Multiple Ensuing Scandals Involving the Wrights
From Gingerbread Men to Beyond
As was noted in previous articles in this series which starts HERE and referenced in Annapolis Capital Newspaper articles at the time, the short term association of the Wrights with the Moral Majority before the National Organization kicked out their embarrassing chapter, was also in part, a move by the Wrights to maintain control over the contributions. The Moral Majority national office apparently processed the contributions and there was concern on the part of the local chapter that not all funds were being returned for direct use and control at the local level. Given that much of the base for the Maryland Chapter was evidently tied into the New Covenant Churches of Maryland of which Bob Wright was the President, this was clearly not an acceptable situation and it’s my opinion that the separation of organizations would have likely occurred anyway, just over this issue, but as the local chapter had made the National Organization a laughing stock in the media, things moved that much more quickly.
The Republican Party Connection
In addition to the overlap of the New Covenant Churches, the Maryland Chapter of the Moral Majority, the ensuing Family Protection Lobby, and the Wright Family with its Shepherding Movement philosophy, there were also strong ties and connections to the Republican Party in Anne Arundel County. In fact, as demonstrated by this Annapolis Capitol article, Bob Wright in addition to his failed political campaigns as a Republican, sought to be more deeply involved in Republican Politics, by assuming the editor role for a Republican Party Newsletter. It quickly became apparent that Republican Party Control was at stake between the mainstream party members and the more conservative contingent strongly represented by the Wrights and their base which overlapped a great deal with the shared constituency of the New Covenant Churches and Family Protection Lobby.
In addition to evidence of minor squabbles such as this as the Wrights attempted to expand their influence concurrently in both Church and State circles, things predictably happened as well with the fund raising that they had wrested back to their control by creating their own Family Protection Lobby. The greatest asset they had working in their favor appears to have been the mailing list that they utilized for fund raising appeals. It’s speculation, but it would appear that a great deal of incentive was present at the time for all these different organizations to share names for this mailing list and this would explain even more scandals and disputes that arose along the way.
The Roper Murder Scandal
One of the more seedy affairs that came about in this vein was the use, by the Family Protection Lobby of a Fund Raising Letter sent out in late 1981 over the signature of a woman whose daughter had been murdered and she believed she was deceived by the Family Protection Lobby and Jim Wright, when it was used as fund raising vehicle, not for her cause, but for the Family Protection Lobby itself. This was no small thing as the letter was apparently sent to about 80,000 people.
Criticism of Jim Wright and the Family Protection Lobby’s sleazy and deceptive fundraising practices, came from bipartisan sources, including the Republican Senator quoted in the article above.
This is fairly representative of the tactics used by Jim Wright back in the 1980s both to raise funds and draw attention to himself using the suffering of other legitimate victims to get his name out there and to try to represent himself as a campaigner, while benefiting in other manners. It’s not a coincidence that Jim Wright uses similar tactics today using multiple organization that all focus back upon Jim Wright.
History Repeats Itself
In the 1980s there was a family connection between The Family Protection Lobby, The Moral Majority, The Republican Party, New Covenant Churches, a claimed organization of networked home fellowships and the Wright Family’s Shepherding Movement based approach. Today Jim Wright has similarly in his recent past used networked organizations such as Fulcrum Forum, Fulcrum Express, Fulcrum Ministries, Nathan’s Voice, Crossroad Junction, and others tied to a claimed network of “Organic Churches” in Prince William County Virginia. History repeats itself it would appear.
The next article in this series featuring an editorial from the Annapolis Capitol can be seen HERE.