How David Kupelian's 'Evil' Works
The WorldNetDaily managing editor's new book is filled with the same factually suspect moralizing as his last one, though (so far) without the unethical promotion gimmicks.
By Terry Krepel
WorldNetDaily managing editor David Kupelian's first book, the WND-published "The Marketing of Evil," was built around the idea that everything from "easy divorce and unrestricted abortion-on-demand to extreme body piercing and teaching homosexuality to grade-schoolers" were made acceptable by "some of the most stunningly brilliant and compelling marketing campaigns in modern history." Kupelian manages to blame nearly every evil thing he cites in the book on 1960s hippies and/or the Clintons, and his prescription for overcoming each is nearly identical: embrace the right-wing evangelical Christian God he follows.
(The right-wing evangelical Christian God Kupelian follows has links to accused cult leader Roy Masters, for whom Kupelian worked for several years, so one may want to think twice before following his advice.)
Kupelian also demonstrated that he's wasn't above the subversive marketing he decries. ConWebWatch has detailed how Kupelian and WND -- among other questionable techniques -- apparently worked with the right-wing Alliance Defense Fund to hype a case in which an Ohio college librarian allegedly faced an investigation for listing "The Marketing of Evil" and other right-wing books as recommended reading. Human Events reported that Kupelian "talked with" ADF representatives, who were filing legal actions on behalf of the librarian, "several times" -- a fact not disclosed to WND readers and which suggests unethical coordination to create a "news" story.
Earlier this year, Kupelian returned with a sequel, "How Evil Works" -- graduating to a major publisher, Simon & Schuster's Threshold Editions imprint -- promoted on the book's dust jacket as offering "fresh insights into the hidden mechanism of seduction, corruption, and power politics." But, really, it's just more of the same moralizing applied to different subjects, with '60s permissiveness getting much of the blame -- as he writes, "While the public was distracted by colorful spectacles of youthful rebellion, psychedelic drug use, and the rock 'invasion,' behind the scenes a full-bore assault on Western institutions and values -- particularly traditional sexual morality -- was taking place." Turning to (Kupelian's right-wing evangelical Christian) God is, of course, the only possible remedy.
But Kupelian has a habit of overlooking inconvenient facts. For instance, in a chapter attacking antidepressants and other psychiatric drugs as "drugging troubled souls" who actually are in need of "the light of God to come into them and shine on their conflicts and untangle their mess," Kupelian notes the case of Andrea Yates, who killed her five children, citing testimony in which Yates claimed to have been possessed by Satan. Kupelian blamed on the antidepressant she was taking; after the Yates case, Kupelian wrote, the drug's maker 'quietly added 'homicidal ideation' to the drug's list of 'rare adverse events.'"
But Kupelian didn't mention one crucial part of Yates' history: her and her husband's links to a fundamentalist Christian preacher Michael Woroniecki. As the TruTV Crime Library details:
Woroniecki spent a lot of time in his street sermons and letters to correspondents judging them for their sins and warning them about losing God's love. In particular, he emphasized that people were accountable for children, and woe to the person who might cause even one to stumble. He once stated, "I feel like I need a sledge hammer to get you to listen." He denounced Catholicism, the religion with which Andrea had grown up, and stressed the sinful state of her soul.
By using Yates as an example, Kupelian suggests that Yates would have been fine if only she'd let Jesus "cast out" the voices in her head by embracing Kupelian's fundamentalist view of the world. But Yates was already in thrall to a fundamentalist street preacher -- the kind WorldNetDaily writers have lionized when they lead aggressively disruptive anti-gay protests -- who not only did nothing to help her but may have actually made things worse. But mentioning that would have disproved Kupelian's point.
Kupelian used the chapter to forward the correlation-equals-causation fallacy of implicitly blaming school shootings on the pharmaceuticals the shooters were allegedly taking without establishing any direct link between them. He also scoffed at actress Brooke Shields' tales of severe postpartum depression: "Brooke Shields is a lovely and principled lady, but I assure that God did not design us to be depressed and suicidal after childbirth."
No wonder Kupelian didn't find Yates' ultra-fundamentalist pastor worthy of mention -- they appear to share the same worldview.
As he has before, Kupelian portrayed this as an epidemic, with no actual evidence to back him up. Kupelian also touted an alarmist claim by researcher Charol Shakeshaft that "the physical sexual abuse of students in schools is likely more than 100 times the abuse by priests," despite the fact that this number is extrapolated from another survey and has no direct research to support it. But it wasn't until after he touted that study in detail before Kupelian noted that one criticism of Shakeshaft's work called it "a misuse of the data" and that Shakeshaft herself "acknowledged many factors could alter the analysis."
Also as before, Kupelian offers no explanation for why is so obsessed with misbehaving female teachers. Why don't male teachers who have sex with students receive the same amount of explicit scorn from him? He doesn't say. It's as if he's channeling Woroniecki's extremist belief that women have Eve's witch nature.
Another section of the book, published as an excerpt at WND, explored "what causes an innocent child to morph into an instrument of great evil":
Let's understand, even a violent philosophy like that of radical Islam isn't necessarily sufficient, by itself, to create a rage-fueled jihadist. No, you become full of hate and driven to violate others only when someone else first violates you when a parent, older sibling, teacher, cleric or other authority figure intimidates, frightens, degrades, bullies, humiliates or perhaps sexually abuses you. And such cruelty and degradation are, unfortunately, endemic in much of the Islamic world. Its rigid, authoritarian religious system, the near-slave status and abuse of women, the suffocating sexual repression, the widespread incidence of what can only be called the world's most flagrant child abuse (where even toddlers are groomed for future "martyrdom operations"), and the pervasive fear of flogging, amputation or stoning if one runs afoul of the ultra-strict Sharia legal code all this creates an environment reeking of quiet terror. No wonder its victims take to terrorism so readily.
Yet WND once defended a man calling himself a Christian who behaved in a very similar way. As ConWebWatch detailed, WND repeatedly championed the cause a man who, according to court records, "has a long history of physically abusing [his] children." More evidence of the man's authoritarianism from the court records:
He will not permit the children to attend school. He will not permit them to receive childhood vaccinations. He will not permit the girls to wear pants at home. He will not permit birth certificates. There is evidence that mother does not interfere with his discipline of the children and his rules. There is evidence she does not make even tentative decisions in dependency matters but rather defers issues until father can make decisions on them. Several of the children gave answers to the social worker, forensic evaluator, and the court that have all the appearance of reflecting what the children were told to say or believed father would want them to say or not say.
And yes, there was apparent sexual abuse -- one of the children was allegedly abused by a family friend.
Why did WND praise such a vile man? Because he claimed to be a Christian and he homeschooled his (terrified) children -- never mind that the court found the "education" being provided to be horribly inadequate. Even after these revelations about this man were made public by ConWebWatch, WND continued to defend him -- because he homeschooled. The man claimed he homeschooled because, in WND reporter Bob Unruh's words, "he won't allow the pro-homosexual, pro-bisexual, pro-transgender agenda of California's public schools ... to indoctrinate his children."
Is there any real difference between this man Kupelian's news organization defended and the Islamic extremism Kupelian claims to deplore? If there is one, perhaps Kupelian can explain.
Kupelian also purported to condemn the "toxic programming" of indoctrination, adding that "for such outrageous and counter-intuitive falsehoods to be both believed and acted upon, those being indoctrinated must be kept in a very emotional state." That's something Kupelian's website has regularly done by repeatedly likening President Obama to Nazis and even the Antichrist -- not to mention the incessant hate WND's columnists spew toward the president (i.e., Erik Rush likening Obama to a prison rapist).
Could it be that Kupelian is such an expert on the subject of dehumanizing indoctrination because his entire career is built on disseminating it?
(An aside: WND's defense of a man who refused to provide his children with birth certificates is highly ironic given WND's longtime obsession with the circumstances of Barack Obama's birth.)
Kupelian's book wouldn't be a true WND product if he didn't take shots at Obama -- this is, after all, the man who asserted that Obama "really is a Manchurian candidate," claimed the president is date-raping America, and has denigrated everyone who voted for Obama as immoral. He noted that "The 'narcissist' label has been applied -- and quite frequently -- to President Barack Obama," without noting that one of the people applying that term quite frequently has been Kupelian himself. The WND-published Whistleblower magazine that Kupelian runs devoted an entire issue to the subject.
Kupelian went on to grump that America elected a "radicalized" president, whose "chief mentors ... were Marxists, criminals, and America-hating racists," and uncritically repeated National Journal's dubious claim that Obama had "the most liberal-left voting record in the entire U.S. Senate."
Kupelian even went back in time to make false claims about John Kerry, asserting that "many of the soldiers who had served with him" were part of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, which "upstag[ed]" the media by telling "the truth" about Kerry during the 2004 presidential election. In fact, the Swift Boat Vets told numerous falsehoods and had trouble keeping their stories straight. Further, of the 245 people Kupelian claims to have been members of the Swift Boat Vets, only one actually "served with" Kerry on his swift boat; the rest of Kerry's crew expressed their support for the candidate.
Thus far, Kupelian has not engaged in any nefarious, ethically suspect methods for promoting "How Evil Works," as he did for his previous book. Instead, he has gone the usual right-wing method of hanging out with like-minded media outlets that won't challenge anything he says, no matter how ludicrous or hateful.
An example of this is an April interview with David Horowitz's FrontPageMag. Interviewer Jamie Glazov tossed softball after softball, permitting Kupelian to prattle on at length about his talking points. Glazov was such a sycophant that he added at the end: "I have to tell our readers that How Evil Works is a brilliant book. Buy it!!!!"
Unsurprisingly, Kupelian's most hateful statements get a complete pass from Glazov. Like this:
The Obama propaganda ministry aka the “mainstream press” is always looking to reinforce the largely phony narrative that “homegrown terrorism” on the right is a major danger to American civilization. Hence the saturation coverage of the “Christian militia” group. The “rightwing terrorism” narrative is necessary for justifying the left’s attacks on normal, hard-working, tea-partying Americans evident in the growing allegations that speaking honestly about the leftist coup in Washington is “hate speech,” that those opposing Obama are racists, and that tea partiers are one step away from violence.
For one thing, the Left’s very identity and sense of righteousness are tied up in hating America for all its supposed wrongs, arrogance, injustices, exploitations and wars of oppression. And since, as we all know, “the enemy of your enemy is your friend,” cultures that hate and revile America are therefore respected and even admired by the Left, which also hates America. This is one reason Attorney General Eric Holder has pushed to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in civilian court; he secretly maybe unconsciously has a certain amount of sympathy for the 9/11 mastermind.
For the very egotistical, deluded person, power is like alcoholism. People like Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama are drunk on power. They don’t think, feel, reason or act in a normal way; they’re in an altered state of consciousness. As we say, “power corrupts,” and the more power we give them, the more absolute that corruption becomes.
On a different subject, Kupelian also said this:
Here’s one most people don’t know about: Last May, just a few days before the World Health Organization classified swine flu as a phase 6 pandemic the highest, scariest category the WHO quietly redefined pandemic to eliminate the phrase “enormous numbers of deaths and illness” and substituted wording that said pandemics “can be either mild or severe in the illness and death they cause.” You see, the WHO grows in power and lots of money starts to flow when a phase 6 pandemic is declared. The White House, never one to let a good crisis go to waste, issued a press release saying up to 90,000 Americans would likely die from swine flu. The next day, the head of the CDC, Dr. Thomas Frieden, told Americans to ignore the White House’s wild fear-mongering, saying “Everything we’ve seen in the U.S. and everything we’ve seen around the world suggests we won’t see that kind of number if the virus doesn’t change.”
What he doesn't say is that his news organization has also engaged in wild fearmongering over the very same issue. WND has long promoted claims that vaccines cause autism and tried to scare people out of getting swine flu vaccines, and Kupelian himself went conspiratorial by claiming that vaccines have "a dark downside utterly covered up by the public health establishment." But when the major piece of evidence to support the vaccine-autism link, a 1998 Lancet article, was retracted, WND couldn't even be bothered to devote an original news article to it.
You want to see how evil works? Don't read Kupelian's book, because he won't explain to you how his evil works.