Missionaries, Mercenaries, Missiles & Money

Missionaries, Mercenaries, Missiles & Money:  The Untold Story of the War on the Children of Sudan

The television world watched on Thursday morning, August 20, 1998, as 14 American launch Cruise Missiles reduced a privately owned, Sudanese pharmaceutical plant to burning rubble. Simultaneously, death rained down on unknown and yet unnamed citi­zens of Afghanistan, a country that once con­sidered the U.S. its ally in its war for liberation from the Soviet Union.  The President personally told the world these raids were defensive action to prevent further “acts of terrorism” such as had occurred in embassies in Zaire and Tanzania.

In the months fol­lowing the bombing, it become apparent that the Administration had no evidence to present to back up its claims that the plant was manufacturing a “precursor to VX gas.” Sudan’s President Omar Hassan al-Bashir asked the United Nations to investigate a U.S. military strike stating, “Sudan is going to lodge a complaint with the United Nations against the United States and ask the United Nations to send a team here to investigate the American claims that the factory was used to make chemical weapons.” However, both the United Nations and the State Department privately refused to investigate.

Many have simplistically regarded the bomb­ing of Khartoum as no more than a willful act by the President to cover up his scandal problems, but We Hold These Truths disagrees. In fact the sneak attack on Sudan appears to be just one more event in a chain of premeditated acts to destroy the Government of Sudan by destroying the health of a people through war, deprivation and planned star­vation. The people of Sudan are accused of massive and heinous Christian persecution. Our investiga­tion does not show this assumption to be support­ed by fact. Instead, it appears to be the object of the most ruthless propaganda campaign ever to be lev­eled upon a third world country. The bombing of Ashifa will exacerbate starvation by destroying this immune system of the people and even the animals in Sudan.

Our purpose is to examine the reasons and the duplicity of the parties behind this hate campaign, and the possible future impact upon Americans. We Hold These Truths believes the precedents being set in Sudan by lawmakers and the President will surely be replicated against other targeted governments and populations in the future, as it has in the past. Contrary to the horrible image por­trayed of the Sudanese Government by the inter­national press, certain Non-Government Organizations, and the celebrity Christian organi­zations, our research indicates an unusually free and spirited people and government attempting to defend its borders in a protracted border war, in an increasingly unstable and primitive continent.

The privately owned Ashifa factory has now been documented to have manufactured only chil­dren’s medicines and anti-malaria drugs, antibi­otics and veterinarian supplies, and no chemical weapons. On August 30th, the German attache to Sudan, Werner Daum, in a letter carried in the German press, confirmed that he and other diplomats in Khartoum had toured the Ashifa plant and it was as represented by the government. Daum also clearly indicated he had appraised the German government of the situation on the day of the attack, but had been ignored until the story was leaked to the German Media and printed.1 Other supporting evidence comes from numerous busi­nessmen, the planning engineer who built the plant, and private visitors from other countries.

One American visitor, interviewed in the New Yorker Magazine, confirmed that the plant made health saving pharmaceuticals, was owned by a Saudi businessman, and was considered a national treasure in Sudan because of its singular capacity to provide health necessities in an otherwise 3rd world country. Al Shifa was probably the only modern pharmaceutical plant in Sudan, a new plant that planned to supply 50% of all the human drugs and 100% of the veterinary drugs used in the country. Furthermore, on November 4, 1997, President Clinton had embargoed Sudan so it was almost impossi­ble to import drugs at an affordable price. (A more detailed report on the Ashifa bombing is contained in our companion Article, “Grounds for Impeachment.”)

Consider the cir­cumstances of the bombing. Sudan is at war against insurgent guerrilla style armies in the remote south. There are a reported 1.5 million war refugees in Khartoum who have migrated north from the war zone seeking food, shelter, and med­ical treatment from the government. The govern­ment is hard pressed to keep the refugees alive and fed. Those displaced persons caught in the war zone 1000 miles to the south are starving and with­out medicine. Located in the upper Nile, where missionaries Speaks, Baker and David Livingston explored, is one of the most notorious swamps in the world, the great Sudd, where Yellow Fever and malaria treatment is a necessity to stay alive.

The question must be asked, why would the government of the United States first embargo this country, effectively cutting off trade and medicines from without, and then bomb the only artificial immune system in the country? Is it possible it was done for the express purpose of committing geno­cide against the civilian population? We Hold These Truths believes the bombing of Khartoum could have only one purpose: to destroy the government (elected in 1996 by popular vote) of Omar Hassan al-Bashir by bringing the country to the same level of starvation and disease now docu­mented to exist in Iraq. The AI Shifa incident again demonstrates a disregard for human life and its willingness and even desire to engage the entire world in war games with real munitions. Is it con­ceivable there are politicians so evil as to purpose war for the sake of war, death for the sake for death, evil for the sake of evil? We think so.

More alarming is the active participation of celebrity Christians and well known mail-order missionaries in this pending holocaust. It is American dollars that are paying for the destruc­tion of the Sudanese people, therefore what has happened in Sudan is everybody’s business. We will examine a case of premeditated murder of thousands of innocent children in Sudan by starva­tion.

Ted Koppel’s “Nightline” on August 12, car­ried painful accounts of the famine in the bush land of southern Sudan, in which he and guests presented the case that 2.5 million “Southern Sudanese”, mostly children, are at risk of starving. Koppel’s interview downplayed the war as the cause and concentrated on the explanation that the famine is caused by drought. However, Koppel’s guests reported that their relief efforts are ham­pered by the rainy season that had turned the roads to mudways and hampered distribution of the imported food. The principal problem in Sudan is War, not water.

A May 3, 1998, New York TImes article stated: “U.S. to send 7,000 tons of food to southern Sudan valued at $9.2 million through the Agency of International Development.” The story warns of a “human catastrophe” and states that the Clinton administration is pressuring the government of Sudan to lift restrictions on the distribution of food. The administration blames the Sudanese govern­ment for the starvation, asserting it is willing to allow mass starvation in the southern half of the country “to punish the rebels there.” The term “rebels” is a misnomer, implying a rebellion from within, but the war in Sudan is an invasion, as we will see.

Crescent International, a Toronto Islamic publi­cation, in its story, “Temporary Truce, Aid Corridors No Solution to Sudan Turmoil,” presents a vastly different picture. “If Americans and Christian agencies want to end the starvation in Sudan they should stop sending aid to the insur­gent Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA).” Additionally Crescent states that the Sudanese government has agreed it is allowing the United Nations, the U.S. Government and a host of private agencies to deliver food to southern Sudan under a cease fire agreement that began on July I, that calls for peace talks to commence in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in mid July between the SPLA and the Government of Sudan. While the Government of Sudan subsequently kept its side of the bargain, no Peace talks took place, according to Crescent.2

A confusing issue fomented by critics is the question of how many Sudans there are. In fact there is only one Republic of Sudan, and its bor­ders have been constant since it was separated from Egypt in 1956 by actions of the English who separated the Anglo Egyptian Sudan from its Godfather, Egypt. Most news account refer to “southern” and “northern Sudan”, as though there are two separate countries. The reference to “southern Sudan” as an independent state pro­motes the growing internationalist idea that the country should in the future be subdivided into north and south.

All the interviewed parties seem to agree on one fact. The insurgency forces of John Garang have captured a strip of land in Southern Sudan, including Bahr el Ghazal province, where the worst famine is occurring. But who is financing and promoting the 15 year war of insurgency in this remote land? Surely John Garang cannot afford to maintain a foreign army in Sudan with­out support, and the people in occupied Sudan are too poor to support a war. Agricultural production collapsed in southern Sudan, as it always does during war. Farm production becomes impossible, even with the best of weather infrastructure, and tools are destroyed, and safety to work is lost, and pilferage becomes unstoppable. Starvation is an accomplice of war.

Commonly circulated statements to the effect that southern Sudan is “Christian” and “north­ern” Sudan is Muslim are also distorted and irrel­evant propaganda. Brooklyn, the Bronx, and Long Island have vastly different cultural and racial mixes, but no one suggests they should be sepa­rate countries. In fact the entire country of Sudan, except for a few cities, is sparsely populated. Sudan is not a multiracial country. Visitors agree that virtually all Sudanese have black skin and consist of Muslim, Christian and pagan peoples. They also agree that the southern provinces are more rural and tribal, and the number of Christians is impossible to determine, a fact to which all the missionaries interviewed have agreed. Many of the indigenous people of tribal religions are animist (pagan), according to the United Nations and other census taking groups.

A careful evaluation of all reports and inter­views reveal that Christianity is permitted and apparently flourishes in the capital city of Khartoum, according to reliable reports from visi­tors and permanent missionaries to Sudan. Christian Missions exist and operate in all regions of Sudan except perhaps in the war zone in the extreme south. This fact has been confirmed by interviews conducted by this author, and is not denied by the international press.

The New York Times carried a story on April 5, 1998, “Sudan Christians Take War’s Culture Clash North,” by James c. McKinley Jr, who describes the migration of hundreds of thousand of “Christians” to Khartoum to escape the war. Though the story describes living conditions in the capital city as meager, it makes clear that the immigrants consider themselves much better off than they were in the war zone, and do not want to go back. McKinley, though obviously no fan of the Al Bashir Muslim majority government, estimates that 1.5 million or more refugees from the war have made the 800 or more mile March to Khartoum. The author states “in dozens of interviews, Christians acknowledge they do not face overt oppression.”     “-By and large they, they say, are free to go where they please and worship at the existing churches. But they complain about subtle pressures from the Government to convert to Islam and they find social biases against them, among Arabs.” McKinley report­ed that Khartoum’s Christian churches are “over­flowing on Sunday.”

But, “subtle pressures and social biases” are not what Americans have been told about the Government of Sudan, and they are hardly cause for war. Americans have been bombarded with stories about mass crucifixions, enslavement and forced conversion to Islam. But not according to New York Times writer McKinley, who also puts “social biases” in prospective for the reader with the following account: “Another common com­plaint among Christians is that the authorities fre­quently arrest people who make beer, a tradition in southern tribes.” It seems from the story that the Government of Sudan enforces “prohibition”, as we did in our own country until about 70 years ago, and as is still enforced in a few counties in the U.S.A. Note that this is not a claim of selectively enforced prohibitions against Christians, because alcohol is against the law for everyone in Sudan.

Another complaint expressed to the Times reporter was that it was “hard to get a government job if you are not a Muslim, and that entrance exams for universities are given only in Arabic and emphasize Islamic thought.” In other words, Sudan has an official language and expects persons to speak the official language in. order to get into the University, just as America did 30 years ago. It is estimated that 70% of the Sudanese are Muslim and probably speak Arabic, though English is a common second language spoken in the cities, but English speaking people must learn Arabic to get into the University.

Christians in Sudan are not homogeneous in belief. An Ethiopian, now a businessman in Colorado, who made his way to America via Khartoum, confirmed to We Hold These Truths that he and his family were professing (tribal) Christians. He also com­plained he was not allowed to run his pri­vate family brewery while living in Khartoum. He con­firmed that brewing beer is a tribal custom all over central Africa that does not change when one becomes “Christian.” Further he volunteered that his wife had been ” circumcised” (sexually mutilated) as a girl, which he insists is still a custom of “Christian” tribes in neighboring Ethiopia. Upon questioning, I was told that circumcision is never practiced by Muslims (in Ethiopia) who expressly forbid the practice. But we are told the opposite by celebrity Christians.

One must be careful in accepting every profes­sion of Christianity in tribal environments. Beer making, circumcision of girls and witch doctors are customs one would expect quickly eradicated under evangelical influence. David Livingston and other missionaries to central Africa and Sudan wrote about these and much worse tribal customs in their day. Christianity has not succeeded in changing all of these practices, nor have the Muslims. We Hold These Truths has discussed this question of ethnic and religious mix and the dis­tortion of the question in our papel~ Will Americans Accept Religious Persecution Monitoring? (2) Other details are provided in: Can the Wolf Be Kept At Bay (http://www.whtt.org/wolf.htm) 3

What is the truth about the treatment of Christians by the Government of Sudan? Pennsylvania State assemblyman, Harold James visited Sudan on a fact finding trip to answer that very question in March 1997. In an interview with We Hold These Truths on October 22, 1997, Representative James stated he met with many offi­cials of the government, including the President of the Sudanese Supreme Court who had just com­pleted a study and report on the claims of slavery. He “freely mingled with ordinary members of the public in non-threatening and unsupervised cir­cumstances both in Khartoum, and in rural areas that he visited.”4

Mr. James pointed out that he served five years as an undercover policeman, and he was accus­tomed to having people try to fool him and hide things, and he felt that “nothing was hidden” from him in Sudan. James said he attended several Christian church services and walked to one ser­vice from his hotel room. He found the churches well attended, the Catholic Cathedral “jam packed.” During one visit to a mosque he was invited to stay for dinner. He was mildly amused when he found himself eating from a common bowl with his fingers, as is the custom, but he “enjoyed it” and seemed genuinely comfortable with the people.

James stated many people in the cities speak English, and the only complaints he heard against the government was at a meeting organized by the World Council of Churches, and he noted that they are allowed to meet and express their views. He heard nothing whatsoever from ordinary civilians about repression of religion or slavery. It should be pointed out, however, that Sudan remains an Islamic country with a strong tradition supporting this religion as the primary faith of its peoples. “Separation of church and state” is not even a con­cept that can be understood in Sudan. The Christian minority does have some discrimination fostered onto it and certain acts that might be taken by evangelistic groups are prohibited. Nevertheless, reports of violent or grave acts in Sudan against the Christian community are simply not true, nor substantiated.

James, a former Philadelphia policeman, com­mented on the “relative freedom from street crime, drugs and alcoholism evident in the capital city.” He observed that the government appeared to be making efforts to organize and provide care for the large number of refugees who were streaming north to escape the war zone to the south. He pointed out that the refugees “showed no visible signs of fearing the government,” but were in search of help.

What James did find was “a well educated, high spirited people defending their country.” From his own observance and from talking to oth­ers who have visited Sudan, James considered the war was against insurgents “controlled from out­side,” rather than from groups within the country, as the press has reported. He felt that “Sudan’s strong agricultural assets and potential for oil self-sufficiency might be the target of foreign interests.”

Representative James traveled four hundred miles south of the national capital by motorcar to the Blue Nile State near the Ethiopian border, where 600 villagers were reported killed in January in attacks by insurgent forces from Ethiopia. There he visited the Rosieres hydroelectric plant that sup­plies most of the power to the country near the town of Damzian. The Dam was the apparent tar­get of the insurgent attacks.

James also described his visit to a 4,300 person refugee camp and hospital near the Ethiopian bor­der where recent battles had taken place. He freely talked to patients through English speaking nurses and aides, and he commented that he observed no apparent fear of the government troops, but rather a dependency and “a good bit of appreciation for them.” Mr. James observed no starvation in Sudan (government controlled areas) and commented about the favorable food supply in the parts of the country he visited.

When asked what effect the proposed interna­tional air embargo under HR2431 would have, James stated it would be “bad for the people of Sudan, and would no doubt kill children by dis­ease and starvation.” Mr. James stated he believes the statements of Sudanese aid groups who say that almost all manufactured drugs, medical sup­plies, refrigerated vaccines and chemicals, milk products for babies, antibiotics, and medicines are all imported exclusively by air, and would be cut off by an air embargo on the capital city of Khartoum.

Representative James asked We Hold These Truths a rhetorical question, “Why would anybody want to sanction a country like that? They are try­ing to take care of their people and make peace.” That question, written only two weeks before the Clinton embargo of Sudan, is already prophetic. Sanctions were imposed on the Government of Sudan on November 4, 1998 and starvation has already increased. How long can the government provide for the flood of refugees from the war torn south once it is embargoed by the US. Government and its cohorts? Interviews with other visitors to Sudan and permanent missionaries in the country closely confirm Assemblyman James’ conclusions.

The Director of a major American evangelical denomination that operates many missions in Sudan using Sudanese nationals as missionaries, confirmed in January 1998 that none of their mis­sionaries has experienced the horrifying acts of persecution descried by mail order missionaries and celebrity Christian broadcasters. The Director of missions, who preferred not to be named, stated “it is a breath of fresh air to hear from somebody who wants to investigate the claims of evangelical groups around Sudan.” He told We Hold These Truths that there is no evidence of forced Islamization of any other group, that the stories of crucifixions made by Evangelical groups have all proven to be false, that there is absolutely no evi­dence of any buying or selling of slaves, and if there is any such tribal hostage taking occurring, they are not government sanctioned.

Unraveling the Big Lie

Are the mail order missionary stories about slavery, crucifixions, and other maltreatment by the government untrue? The answer is, unfortunately, almost 100% yes, but this is not to say all the tellers of the tales know they are retelling flagrant untruths. Let us now interview a few of these story tellers to see how these horrible and damaging stories were started. First we shall examine what the promulgated image of Sudan is.

A News Tribune columnist John Carlson, who lists himself as the Chairman of the Washington Institute for Policy Studies, in Seattle, authored a widely distributed Internet mail story dated August 9, 1998, which states as absolute fact that “Two countries still allow it’ (slavery) in 1998:

Mauritania and the Sudan.” “Particular brutal civil war has continued (in Sudan) for the past 15 years costing 1.5 million people.” “Famine is entirely man-made by the National Islamic Front, which controls the government in Khartoum.” “The NIF has choked off supply routes for food in order to quell resistance from the south, which does not want Islamic dictatorship.” “Women and children are put to work in the fields (by the government) or used as sex slaves.”5

We Hold These Truths asked John Carlson his source, and he stated he used standard wire services and other widely circulated publica­tions as his primary source. He also sited a certain Baltimore Sun story, which will be ana­lyzed later. He admitted he had not inter­viewed anyone and his entire story is written by repeating establishment news sources he has read. Because these claims are typical of most Sudan stories, let us examine each of these statements given as fact:

First as Harold James discovered, Sudan has laws against slavery that are enforced wherever the government is in control. If there is any practice of Slavery in Sudan it is in areas captured and under the control of the Sudanese People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) and outside the control of the national gov­ernment.

Second, as Harold James stated, Sudan is not engaged in a “civil War” but in a defensive war against an invading insurgency Army financed from “outside the country” and staging its operations in Nairobi and other sites in Kenya.

Third, the famine in Sudan is caused by the war. As Harold James pointed out, food was available in the north, even for the poor and refugees in Khartoum, where the national government is in control. The starvation is taking place in territory captured by the SPLA and other insurgent groups, a fact which no one denies. The National government is fight­ing a defensive war against intruding forces and the people are the victims. Logically there is no way for the national Government to feed the people in captured territory without feed­ing the SPLA army, which is what they are being asked to do.

Fourth, a cease fire began in mid July, 1998 and the government is allowing food­stuffs into southern Sudan from the north. No missionary interviewed by We Hold These Truths could provide any reason why the bulk of this food will not be eaten by the armed insurgent army, while the unarmed children continue to starve.

John Carlson’s fatally flawed story is essentially the same story told over and over again, and each telling is a mirror image of the others. These story tellers include: Dr. James Dobson, Reverend Pat Robertson, Con Argyle, President of the National Association of Evangelicals, Chuck Colson, Billy Graham, Edward Brynn, an assistant Secretary of State for African affairs, Dr. Richard L. Land of the Southern Baptist Church, Reverend Dr. David Adams of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, Voice of Martyrs, Open Doors With Brother Andrew, Peter Hammond’s Front Line Fellowship, James B. Jacobson, president of Christian Solidarity International (USA) and Baroness Carolyn Cox, its international Director, Nina Shea and Joseph Assad and others at Freedom House, Michael Horowitz at the Hudson Institute, A.M. Rosenthal of the New York Times, Jeff Jacoby of the Boston Globe, and literally hundred of others.

The question is, who started the big lie and which of those repeaters know they are lying? It only takes one dedicated deceiver to start a great lie if there is personal gain in the lie for others.

The Quest of “The Great Liar” – Interviewing Mail order Missionaries:

We Hold These Truths interviewed sever­al mail order missionaries (as opposed to well established resident missionaries) and exam­ined the reports of others carefully. Most answered candidly. The organizations inter­viewed run the gamut from the large and respected World Relief Mission, to one man charismatic individual adventurers of an Indiana Jones style.

On August 6, 1998, Clive Calver, President of the prestigious World Relief Mission, associated with the Don Argyle’s National Association of Evangelicals, was interviewed via phone. Mr. Calver had just returned from a relief camp run by his organi­zation in Bahr el Gazelle Province near the town of Wow, where he described the condi­tions of starvation as “an absolutely horren­dous sight.” Mr. Calver was in the U’.S. to raise more money to attempt to distribute more food, which he said is nearly impossible because of the mud, rain and lack of roads. While Calver confirmed the terrible condi­tions of the suffering Dinka tribesmen, he made it clear he was dealing exclusively with the insurgent army of John Garang, which is in effect his host government, and that he has absolutely no dealing with the government of Sudan, nor had he ever set foot on land con­trolled by its government.6

Mr. Calver told us John Garang, who has set up his own provisional government with “commissioners,” grants 30 day travel passes to missionaries, who then bring food into captured territory and distribute it there. Mr. Calver plainly stated that he had no visa from the government of Sudan, had never applied for one and has not vis­ited Khartoum. He stated the relief goods were being first brought to Nairobi, Kenya, then flown to an airstrip at Lokichokio, Kenya, a bush town on the border of Sudan, then transported to the refugee camps, which was a “very expensive process”. This is exactly the same route used by the insurgents to bring in weapon, supplies, and recruits and the same airplanes are rented by both missionary and mercenary.

When Mr. Calver was asked if he has sought permission from the Sudanese government to bring the food in by ship at Port Sudan in the north and then transport it by rail and plane from Khartoum, he said this was not considered. Asked if he would not expect to be treated as an enemy if caught bringing food to the insurgents, he stated, “right now there is a cease fire, but that could become a problem if the cease fire ends,” which he expects as soon as the seasonal rains lift. When asked if his food and supplies might not be used to feed the insurgent army, he could only say his organization attempted to give food to the starv­ing, but could not guarantee they kept what was given to them once they pick up supplies and depart the compound.

Asked about reports of slavery, Mr. Calver said he met a man who claimed to have been taken slave and escaped. Calver believes there is slavery in Sudan but lacked first hand knowledge. He stat­ed he had not heard of any crucifixion or similar treatment of Christians by the Sudanese govern­ment. Mr. Calver stated that “starvation paled any such problem that might exist”.

When asked about the presence of other mis­sion groups Mr. Calver said the United Nations was the largest relief agency and he had not seen or heard of Front Line Fellowship, Voice of Martyrs or Safe Harbors mission there in Sudan, and he fur­ther made it clear that Christian Solidarity International was involved with “human rights questions” and not with relief. All these organiza­tions are discussed later.

Mr. Calvers mission, while no doubt provid­ing food to hungry children, is also clearly a mis­sion to the Insurgent army, whether intended or not. There have been many creditable reports from tribesmen that the Garang forces routinely steal food and shelter from villagers and conscript youth into service and mistreat the tribesmen. This is entirely logical, for it is the way of war. The insur­gent army must always live off the land. Why would anyone expect otherwise, for this is exactly what the Confederate Army did when it invaded Pennsylvania, and what the Union Army did when it invaded Georgia? Why would anyone expect less in Africa?

Slave Purchasing with Voice of Martyrs

One of the most vocal critics of the Sudanese government has been Reverend Richard Wurmbrand’s Voice of Martyrs. We Hold These Truths interviewed Ray Thorn, who has just returned from Sudan, by phone in February, 1998. Thorn, a relatively new member of the VOM staff, was candid in his response to all questions and honestly believes the organization was doing the right thing by the Sudanese. He was aware he was entering a sovereign country illegally, without papers, and admitted that the Insurgent army pro­vided protection for his group. During the days Mr. Thorn was in the bush he reported the death of two civilian bystanders by government aircraft though he did not personally witness the deaths. There was no cease fire when Thorn visited the bush, and he seems surprised that the Sudanese Government would treat Voice of Martyrs as an Insurgent enemy and shoot at them, even though he and his associates arrived in a rented twin engine DC -3 used to ferry arms from Nairobi Kenya via Locichocia. Hiring a small twin engine plane, Voice of Martyrs brought “life packs”, Bibles and cash given by contributors in the USA to buy and free “slaves.”

Ray Thorn provided a slightly vague account of his boss, Kevin Turner’s purchase of 15 slaves for the total sum of $1000. According to Thorn, pro­fessing slavers arrived from Bar el Ghazal province with slaves in tow shortly after their group arrived. The Parents of the “slave” children were conve­niently present at the trading place ready to receive back their own children when the bargain was done. In fact, the parents pointed out the children to be bought, according to Thorn.

When asked how Thorn knew the children were really captive and not on loan from the par­ents to earn a fast U.S. dollar, he offered no answer. The thought had not occurred to him that Voice Of Martyrs might be creating their own Slave-for-a­day market by bringing hot American cash into a hungry village.

Voice of Martyrs is reliably reported to be raising enormous sums in the U.S. by radio advertis­ing to buy back and release slaves. Are they a mis­sion of mercy, or war opportunists? Without doubt they are pumping American dollars into the econ­omy of the SPLA captured areas of Sudan through the slave trade. Does this not make them merce­naries rather than missionaries? Certainly the legal government of Sudan would think so!

Wes Bentley is also a slave buyer. He runs a one man, Indiana Jones style mission and calls his organization Far Reaching Ministry, an affiliate of Safe Harbor mission, Murrieta, CA. He spoke to a packed house at the Calvary Community Church in Phoenix AZ, in March, 1998. We Hold These Truths listened to Bentley’s sermon and inter­viewed Bentley the following day via phone. He shared hair raising adventure tales of slogging through waste deep, crocodile infested swamps with only a giant Bowie knife for protection.

Bentley provided some practical detail on the logistics and econom­ics of slave buying. The trip from Nairobi to Sudan via the Lokichokio staging area cost $50,000 in a rented WWII vintage tramp DC-3 flown by “air pirates, mercenaries of the air,” according to Bentley, “who rent to insurgents or missionary alike.” Like the others, Bentley admitted he has no visa and knew he was traveling illegally into the country, but he also knows this was not frowned upon by the U.S. Government. Asked who he thought was supply­ing the SPLA rebels, he quickly responded, “the Star of Israel and the USA.” No wonder the mis­sionaries are comfortable breaking Sudanese law with the U.S. government right there beside them.

Bentley stated that the southern Sudanese vil­lagers are armed by the SPLA and pressed to ser­vice. Bentley stated “everybody is armed.” He said money was easy to raise in the U.S. to buy slaves and that on one occasion he had received a $50,000 check from a man he met on an airplane before they got off the flight.

Wes Bentley’s presentation to the Phoenix church was warm, genuine and appealing. He stressed the need to commitment to help the starv­ing and enslaved people, which he implied to be caused by the national government. Little mention

was made of the. role of the insurgent army in causing the problem. Bentley stated that Calvary Community Church has taken orders for some 400 tapes of his presentation.

Curiously, Bentley was quick to criticize his competition. “Kevin Turner (Voice of Martyrs) exaggerated grossly from the pulpit about condi­tions in Sudan”, said Bentley, which he said “were bad enough without stretching it.” Peter Hammond of Frontline Fellowship is believed to “smuggle guns” to the SPLA as a sideline of bring­ing Bibles, Bentley stated.

Missionary Wes Bentley’s story about the pro­cedure for the purchase of “slaves” conformed to that of Ray Thorn’s. Bentley claimed to have bought slaves for as little as $75.00 each. He con­firmed that he never knowingly left insurgent SPLA held territory and that the “slave dealers” simply appeared in a few days after the word was put out that there was American money available for slaves. When asked how Bentley knew the people he was paying for were really slaves, not tribal hostages or volunteers, his answer was “we ask them, and they all say they are slaves.” But he did not know where the slaves had come from, nor did he have any way to check out the stories, nor did he try.

If Wes Bentley is the Indiana Jones of mail order missionaries, Peter Hammond is the Rambo of the mission field. Hammond has repeatedly failed to answer the author’s correspondence going back four years, his only responses being in the form of more fund raising letters. A good bit has already been written about Peter Hammond in “Using Christians to Make War.”10

Hammond, who writes widely for just about every Christian publication in the country, leaves no doubt in mind he is fighting a “Khartoum Government – the enemy” when he goes into “rebel” occupied Sudan. So convincing is his story, it is generally believed without question and repeated everywhere he goes. Hammond claims to pack only Bibles into “Southern Sudan”, but he causes the reader to suspect he would not mind grabbing an AK-47 and fighting his way out if it came to that.

Hammond is a significant factor in the destruction of Sudan because he has probably done more then anyone to transform the image of John Garang from a bloody communist mercenary who has brought only starvation and suffering to those he claims to be liberating, to the image of a Christian Crusader for justice against a Muslim hoard. Hammond admits in his writings that Garang, only a few years ago, was a Marxist revo­lution befitting its name, “the Sudan Peoples Liberation Army.” But according to Hammond, Garang has changed. He and his entire rag tag army received a remarkable battle field conversion to Jesus and he now hangs Christian flags over the villages he conquers. It implies that Hammond himself rescued Garang from his sins. Hammond is unique among the missionaries studied by We Hold These Truths in that he is the only one who does not admit that Garang is a vicious and bloody dictator who steals food and ruthlessly pillages the villages. (ibid footnote U.N.)

Hammond instead blames all the starvation and deprivation on the Khartoum government. (even though he clearly states in his writing, he operates only behind Garang’s lines, out of territo­ry not controlled by the legal Sudanese govern­ment.) Hammond is a master of embellishment. He discusses stories of crucifixions and church burn­ings and torture, always by the “Khartoum gov­ernment” or “the Muslim government”. No doubt some of the church burnings have happened because the insurgents captured south provinces of Sudan, which are reported littered with burned out villages. However, it is unclear who does the burn­ing. Hammond seems never to provide named or verifiable first hand witnesses to his stories.

“Rambo” Peter Hammond is the ultimate mer­cenary missionary, probably collecting millions of dollars in the U.S. for which we have yet to see any accounting. He claims to make 400 speeches per year, leaving one to wonder when he has time for mission work. But even Peter Hammond, the ulti­mate war and death opportunist, is not the source of the Great Lie, for again we repeat our basic premise of prevarications. It only takes one dedi­cated liar to start a great lie if there is personal gain in it for others. Hammond is one of these.

The Baltimore Sun Report: Pouring Gas on the Fire.

On June 16, 1996 the Baltimore Sun carried the first in a now famous three part series by staff reporters, Lewthwaite and Kane, who bought two “slaves” in a southern Sudanese village fruit and vegetable market for the sum of $500.00.7 The sig­nificant hard currency in the war decimated coun­try where the city dweller may earn $400 in a year, is almost incomprehensible. In the war torn areas occupied by the SPLA where there is no employ­ment, and the Insurgent army has eaten most of the food, $500.00 is a king’s ransom, not a child’s ran­som. It is likely that slaves can be bought for the equivalent of a year’s wages in many places in Africa and around the world. It is absolutely cer­tain that a slave can be bought in Baltimore for a year’s wages if it is clearly understood in advance by all parties that the slave will not have to serve the master but will be immediately set free.

The Baltimore Sun reporters traveled with and at the expense of the most virulent anti-Sudanese propagandist in the world, Carolyn Cox and John Eibner of Christian Solidarity Internatiorial.8 According to the Sun reporters, Baroness Cox con­veyed them to the same vegetable market where CSI claimed it had purchased 22 slaves only weeks before. Obviously such a big cash purchase in a starving village would set the stage for enormous interest in slavery. Imagine the excitement in that fruit market when the British royalty in the iron bird return with the rich Americans with the cam­eras, especially since the slaves the Brits bought on the last trip were known to have been turned loose on the spot! The presence of the Americans would be the African equivalent of the Super Bowl coming to town. Not surprisingly, Kane and Lewthwaite had no trou-­ble making a deal, for little did they know they were paying many times what would be the market price 2 years later.

Were the Baltimore Sun’s reporters really fooled by their own story? Many have now criticized the story as a contrivance but it was no doubt worth millions to the Baltimore Sun. Lewthwaite and Kane are also not “The Great Liar(s,)” they too are simply opportunists making the story of their life out of a manufactured hoax.

The Quest for The Great Liar leads to a Denver elementary school

The scandalously fraudulent ripoff of gullible Americans to free supposed Sudanese “slaves” has reached American secular school children. On August I, 1998 Washington Post columnist, Nat Hentoff wrote about a fifth grade class in a public elementary school in Denver. Teacher Barbara Vogel recalls, “I saw a picture of a beautiful black girl who had been freed after seven years of slav­ery.” “I had no idea slavery still existed. The next day, as I read the story to the boys and girls sitting on the floor, many began to cry. The boys too. They also thought slavery was over. They asked me, ‘What are we going to do about this?’ The fifth­ graders in Denver kept on saving coins in a jar, and in the first round of their rescue operation they managed to send $200 to Christian Solidarity International – enough to buy back two slaves and return them to their families.”9

Later, unsubstantiated reports by reporter John Carlson, which he attributes to Hentoff, have it that the class has now raised close to $9,000 which will buy the freedom of more than 150 slaves.P’ Subsequent press reports have swelled the collec­tions to $50,000, but regardless of whether the number is $200 or $50,000, the children and their parents are being cruelly defrauded by Christian Solidarity International, for the money is really going to support the war effort against the Government of Sudan, as we shall see. One can only wonder what has happened to “separation of church and state” in the Denver schools where funds are raised for organizations that have “Christian” in their name.

Propaganda International

Christian Solidarity International is an offshore (Swiss) corpora­tion with many subsidiaries. Its President is listed on CSI literature as Baroness Carolyn Cox, a member of the British House of Lords. Both the English and American subsidiaries have recently broken off from the parent Swiss company without explanations. CSI literature contains little that would lead one to believe it is any more Christian than the Israeli Knesset. Among the board members listed is Congress-man Frank Wolf (R-VA) who sponsored the infamous Freedom From Religious Persecution Act (Hr2431) in 1997 that called for bloody sanc­tions against Sudan’s government. Wolf’s co-spon­sor, Tony Hall (D-PA) is also said to be new Director.

CSl’s history is in the use of Israeli produced disinformation to propagandize against Arab states, as has been discussed in “Using Christians to Make War” (We Hold These Truths, January 1998, Right to the Point Journal IV.) The agenda of CSI was exposed in 1994 to include discrediting the government of Sudan, which was carried out by the international distribution of propaganda pro­duced by former Israeli Military officer and arms salesman, Yossef Bodansky’!”

CSI is also connected to promoting a bill introduced in the 105th Congress which is designed to place an embargo around Sudan: the Freedom From Religious Persecution Act (HR2431/S-772). This evilly contrived legislation has been mightily aided by CSI’s embellished slavery stories. It was whisked through Benjamin Gilman’s House Foreign Services Committee, even though no mem­ber of the Committee has ever visited Sudan. The bill encountered serious grass roots resistance before finally being bulldozed through the House vote by 345 to 41 on May 24, 1998. The Anti­Defamation League was reported to have played a strong role in rounding up the votes to overwhelm the conservative opposition.

On September 30, 1998, S-1968, a substitute bill, was whisked through Congress as a compro­mise, but establishing the same war making ability in the hands of an appointed commission outside the control of Congress. There can be little question based upon its history, that this is the knowing objective of Christian Solidarity International. Does this mean Lady Caroline Cox, a ranking member of the House of Lords, started the myths she spreads to destroy Sudan? We are getting very close to “The Great Liar.”

The war nobody was told we are fighting

On November 4, 1997, William Jefferson Clinton quietly imposed Executive order entitled #13067 – Blocking Sudanese Government Property and Prohibiting Transactions With Sudan. That order, completely unknown to almost every­one, declared war on the people of Sudan without approval of anyone. Clinton signed the order just before the Thanksgiving break when it had become apparent the sanction bill was being held up in the house by an unexpected grass roots resistance. The president froze the embassy’s bank account and other government property in the U.S.A., and for­bade u.s. citizens from dealing with Sudan. His decision is tantamount to declaring a secret uncon­ditional war on this impoverished country which has no means to retaliate.11

Is Bill Clinton, “The Great Liar,” who dreamed up the elaborate scheme of discrediting the gov­ernment of Sudan with concocted stories of slave trade and crucifiers of Christians? Did he convince the celebrity Christians leaders to join in the ston­ing? Mr. Clinton is indeed an artful liar, but even he is not “The Great Liar” we are looking for. He would probably have to hunt for Sudan on the globe. The President had other things on his mind and hardly had time to write an executive order, or probably to read it. No, the President takes his orders too, also an opportunist being used to carry out an evil scheme invented by others.

On October 16,1997, Michael Horowitz, Senior Fellow at the Hudson Institute, the man who claims to have composed the Sudan Sanctions bill (HR2431), wrote a revealing memorandum to Congressman Frank Wolf. Amazingly this commu­nications fell into the hands of We Hold These Truths, and is published on our Website in its entirety. (footnote Hudson Institute, Project for Civil Justice Reform memorandum from Michael J. Horowitz, to Frank Wolf, October 16, 1997) Horowitz states he is out to destroy the govern­ment of Sudan using the American government as his weapon. Horowitz complained to Congressman Wolf that the sanctions on Sudan had been weakened in the House debate and he is worried about them surviving further debate. He then went on to state, “Wolf-Specter’s Sudan pro­visions (as originally written) – operating in con­cert with covert U.S. military aid already provided to overthrow the Sudanese regime – should and will rapidly help bring down the Sudanese regime precisely as anti-apartheid laws caused to happen to South Africa’s former regime.”12

The Hudson Institute’s purpose is not to pre­vent persecution but to destroy the government of Sudan. Horowitz has knowledge of “covert” U.S. Government aid to destroy the lawful government of Sudan. He also seems to claim a part of the Sanctions that brought the African National Congress to power in South Africa. Horowitz states in his memo the Hudson Institute wants to do the same thing to Sudan! The Hudson Institute and its sister organization, Freedom House, are discussed in, “Will America Accept Federal Religious Monitoring.”3

Only 18 days after Horowitz’s stunning memo, President Clinton imposed harsh sanctions on Sudan by executive order, and nine months later, President Clinton ordered the bombing of the only pharmaceutical plant in Sudan capable of produc­ing the medicines needed to keep Sudanese chil­dren alive under the embargo. Does this not sound like planned genocide by starvation and disease? We Hold These Truths thinks so.

Sudan’s covetous enemy, Israel

The Al Bashir, EI Touroabi government of Sudan took office in a bloodless coup in 1989, and was reelected by popular ballot in 1996. It is an unabashed opponent to the State of Israel. It is an independent-leaning Muslim state. Sudan has opposed the conciliatory position taken by Egypt, Turkey and other moderated Muslim countries and has avoided international alliances with world government organizations like the United Nations. It has stood up to Israel, witness the Sudanese Visa Application, which states, “Passport should NOT have Israeli visas or immigration stamps affixed to it.” Sudan has opposed the partitioning of the cap­tured territories of West Bank and Golan Heights.

While poor and politically insignificant, Sudan has large undeveloped oil fields in its south not far from the further northerly penetration of the SPLA. At least one billion barrels of oil have already been proven, a tremendous asset for an impoverished agricultural country. Originally discovered by Chevron in the 1980s, the fields now owned by Canadian Arakis Energy have remained entrapped under swamp. If the Sudanese government is allowed to produce the oil and pipe it to Port Sudan, (as is the plan for January 1999, according to Arakis Oil Company, who holds the concessions there) the country could become a new economic power in the Arab Block.13

On January 12, 1998, just two months after Bill Clinton announced the America embargo on Sudan, the Arakis Oil Company (Canada) announced culmination of long standing plans for construction of a plant and pipeline that would make Sudan energy self sufficient within one year of completion. With oil, Sudan would be a poor but rising star in the Arab world, and the oil produced would help fill the gap left when Iraqi production was embargoed by the United Nations. New production always means lower costs, a benefit for the entire world. Bill Clinton and Michael Horowitz could not wait for Congress to overcome a handful of stubborn con­servatives to pass a law sanctioning Sudan, but chose to take matters into their own hands only two months earlier.

The sanctions destroyed the oil plan. On August 16, 1998 the Arakis were forced to announce they were unable to attain financing in the world money market, probably due to the war, and the company has placed its field on the sale block at bargain prices. After spending some 175 million of its stockholders investment, Arakis could not overcome The Great Lie. The company has previously warned its stockholders that John Garang threatens to attack Arakis if they com­menced construction.

Who will end up with the billion Barrel oil field if the government of Sudan is destroyed? A year ago the Congo underwent a bloody overthrow of government aided by Israeli military. One of the first acts of the new dictator was to award the offshore oil concessions to Isramco, the Israeli American Oil Company, a company started by the late American Bolshevik, Armand Hammer.14 Who will benefit from the destruction of the Republic of Sudan? One fact is certain, it will not be the American people who benefit, nor will it be the sad people of Sudan, if their courageous government is pulled down and the country is turned over to the likes of John Garang, a Fidel Castro prototype. The natural conclusion can only be, the State of Israel, the United Nations Created enemy of the Arab people, will benefit.

And in Conclusion, The people who live in what is described as “southern Sudan are suffering under induced starvation resulting from a long war of insurgency against the SPLA and other insurgents, who are obviously sup­ported externally because the war has continued on and off for the entire nine year tenure of the current govern­ment, and intermittently back to 1956, The starvation is at its worst in the areas of southern Sudan controlled by the Insurgency forces where the Government has lost control, and where roads, agriculture and infrastructure are large­ly destroyed.

The food and aid programs for the starving is carried out by private and international agencies which are being manipulated by the U.S. government, probably assisted by the Likud government of Israel operating through an alliance with Ethiopia. United ations blessed Non-gov­ernment organizations (NGOs) provide the aid exclusive­ly and propaganda necessary to maintain world sympathy with the insurgent SPLA. The insurgency army, reported­ly eats the food, conscripts the boys and men into the army and does whatever they wish with the women and aged.

The Warmaker’s objective, in which the Clinton Administration and the forenamed GO’s are knowing, willful participants, appears to be to pull down the Sudanese ational Government by supporting the insur­gents and undermining the government with what amounts to a trade embargo. The stated objective of the insurgents is to capture the oil fields of Southern Sudan and then seek a portioning of the country, north and south, with separate government, reminiscent of Palestine, Korea, and Vietnam “solutions”.

The myth of Crucifixions, slavery and heinous perse­cution of Christians in Sudan, while containing an occa­sional grain of truth, are largely propaganda aimed at the people of central Africa and the Arab Middle East such as Iran and Sudan. Some of the celebrity Christian organiza­tions are duplicitous in the spreading of this propaganda, others are simply being used. The ultimate target of this Bolshevik style genocide will surely be the American peo­ple, who will not only pay for the killing, but who them­selves may become targets of the Warmakers if and when all remaining independent governments have been com­promised or destroyed.


  1. Bombed factory made pharmaceuticals: German envoy, DAWN Group of Newspapers, Bonn, Germany August 29, 1998, Haroon House, Ziauddin Ahmed Road, Karachi 74200, Pakistan. (webmaster@dawn.com)
  2. “Temporary Truce, Aid Corridors 0 Solution to Sudan Turmoil” Correspondent, Crescent International, Markham, 300 Steelcase Road, Unit 8, Ontario, Canada L3R2W2
  3. Will America Accept Religious Persecution Monitoring, Summary and Report, C.E. Carlson, We Hold These Truths, July 1997
  4. Interview With Pennsylvania Assemblyman Howard James, E. Carlson, We Hold These Truths, October 22,1997 (http://www.whtt.org/971026cc.htm)
  5. Where is outrage about slave states of Africa?, John Carlson, The News TriSeattle, WA, August 5,1998.
  6. Sudan Church is Exploding, But the People are Dying, Clive Calver, President World Relief Mission, August 8, 1998, Wheaton Ill.
  7. Where Children Live In Bondage, Gilbert A. Lewthwaite and Gregory Kane, Baltimore Sun, June 16, 1996, first of three parts.
  8. A Brief Account of the 8th Christian Solidarity International Christian Human Rights Conference Held at Westminster Chapel Buckingham Gate in London on Saturday the 25th October 1997, Sean Gabb, Director, The Sudan Foundation, 212 Piccadilly, London WC1 V 9LD, (http://www.sudemon.co.uk/poli014.htrn )
  9. Fifth Grade Freedom Fighters, Nat Hentoff, Washington Post, June 16, 1996.
  10. Using Christians to Make War, Charles E Carlson, We Hold These Truths, August 25, 1997: http://whtt.org/using-christians-to-make-war/
  11. #13067–Blocking Sudanese Government Property and Prohibiting Transactions With Sudan. Federal Register,November 5, 1997, (volume 62 number.Zl d)
  12. Memorandum, Michael Horowitz, Hudson Institute, Project for Civil Justice, October 16, 1997, to Frank Wolf (R-VA) October 16,1997 (http://www.whtt.org/971016mh.htm)
  13. Report to Shareholders, Lutfur Kahn, Chairman of the Board, Arakis Energy Corporation, Calgary; Albert Canada April 28, 1997, http://www.arakis.com
  14. News Release, Raanan Wiessel, Controller, Isramco, September 8, 1987, ( ASDAQ “ISRL”)

© We Hold These Truths. January 1999