Archive for June, 2014
by Mick Hunt
In Part 1, I wrote about how abortion clinic escorts use misdirection and distraction, which are among the tools of stage illusionists as a way of controlling the audience’s attention. These same tools are also at the heart of “pro-choice” rhetoric.
Ad-hominem attacks against pro-lifers are obvious, and a trained debater won’t be sidetracked by them, but virtually every women-centered question or statement is also misdirection. The real issue is not whether we should care about women. Everyone knows we should. The real issue is about caring for pre-natal children.
My answer to many questions is, “We should treat pre-natal children the same as we should treat born children.” Or, “Whatever problem you pose with a pregnancy and a pre-natal child, we should find a solution that is, in principle, no different than if the child were born.”
To a large extent, even the scientific debate over when human life begins is misdirection and distraction. My philosopher-carpenter friend, John S., wrote recently in a letter to a state official, “Questions like ‘when does life begin’ or ‘what is a person’ are exercises in playing dumb. We know when life begins—it begins at conception (fertilization). We know what a person is—it’s a human being.”
The answer then is not so much in talking about abortion, but in acting as if abortion is murder. The Genocide Awareness Project (GAP) is a powerful appropriate indirect response to the gravity of abortion. It’s really not debate, but a presentation of facts through imagery. GAP is a statement of the obvious to people who are distracted. Any contribution to debate we make has more to do with interpreting the images for people who are confused.
GAP creates problems for abortion-choice supporters. In the face of evidence of the gruesome violence, “pro-choice” rhetorical engagement is a losing proposition. GAP compels either acquiescence, active resistance, or a dilution of our effort. Since the activists don’t intend to quit, they must issue propaganda and organize protests. They spread propaganda through social media and campus publications.
We see resistance in most schools, but I’d like to focus for now on the campus of the University of North Carolina (UNC), Chapel Hill, and at North Carolina State University (NCSU) in Raleigh.
At Chapel Hill, abortion supporting students lined up in front of the GAP display with signs and helium balloons. A couple of masked male students tapped on snare drums for endless hours. A Planned Parenthood representative stood on a wall overlooking the scene and shouted meaningless patter about condoms and filing complaints with the Dean of Students. At NC State, the abortion “counter protest” took a further step by attempting to block the view of the GAP display and form a complete wall of bodies and signs.
The portrayal of the victims of abortion through GAP helps distracted and misdirected people attend to the real issue of abortion. And if GAP is so effective that abortion supporters must turn out in force to distract people from seeing the images, then shouldn’t we do GAP even more often?
Mick Hunt (Meredith Eugene Hunt) is a FAB contributor. He has helped organize more than 50 Genocide Awareness Projects (GAPs) all over the southeast and elsewhere.
by Mick Hunt
Illusionists and stage magicians know the secret of misdirection. They’ll focus your attention on something relatively unimportant while the important action is happening right in front of you.
Master pickpocket and entertainer Apollo Robbins says misdirection happens in your brain as well. He told the audience in a popular TED Talk that our minds are incapable of focusing on multiple aspects simultaneously. We often experience “blindness” to things we see every day. New information cannot be processed while trying to recover old information.
So, for example, when Apollo asks George what’s in his pocket, George’s mind turns inward to remember. In the meantime, for a few moments, George did not notice what’s going on around him, that Apollo stole his watch.
Misdirection, both physical and rhetorical, is a critical tool in supporting the abortion of pre-natal children.
In my recent blog “Echo Tourism,” I mentioned an article titled “The Last Shift” written by a volunteer abortion escort and self-proclaimed “Asheville’s Village Witch.” For 10 years she greeted women seeking abortion at their cars in the clinic parking lot and walked them to the entrance. This is when we sidewalk counselors speak to the women, offering help and urging them to let their children live.
…I always started a running patter, something like this—I’ll be talking about all sorts of things so focus on my voice. It’ll be like a late night monologue, only I’m not very funny. I’ll talk about your shoes—gosh, those are cute! Or how far you had to drive—did you have far to come this morning? BlackMountain? Oh that’s not so bad. How was the traffic? Gosh, this is (fill in the blank) weather, isn’t it? Does that RAV get good gas mileage?
A running patter. In the online manuscript of Sleights of Mind, What the Neuroscience of Magic Reveals about Everyday Deceptions, Stephen Macknik & Susana Martinez-Conde (2010) wrote:
Patter, it turns out, is one of the most important tools in the magician’s toolkit for attention management. There are only a dozen or two (depending on who you ask) main categories of tricks in the magician’s repertoire … Sleight of hand is of course critical, but so is patter, the smooth and confident stream of verbiage that can be used to hold, direct or divide attention. Apollo tells George [his victim on stage] one thing while doing two other things with his hands.
The Asheville abortion place’s website admits as much when it says,
…we have volunteer escorts who may approach your car to walk you to our front door and help distract you from the demonstrators out on the sidewalk.
In this situation, the patter is meaningless babble. Some escorts may be more adept at sincere conversation, but nothing they say pretends to engage the subject of abortion. And yet, even when abortion-choice advocates seem to engage the issue, it’s almost entirely misdirection and distraction.
I’ll explain in my next post, showing how this relates to the work of CBR.
Mick Hunt (Meredith Eugene Hunt) is a FAB contributor. He has helped organize more than 50 Genocide Awareness Projects (GAPs) all over the southeast and elsewhere.
by Mick Hunt
If you’re quiet and listen, you might hear their voices.
When I looked across the arena at the Roman Coliseum during a torrid August afternoon in 2009, I tried to imagine the scenes of death from so many centuries ago. I tried to hear the echoes of blades on shields and the mobs cheering as blood flowed into the sand.
I imagine people feel the same somber wonder and horror when they visit other certain historical sites around the world, death camp sites such as Dachau, Auschwitz, and Mauthausen, and the transport camp, Terezin.
At least two such tragic historical sites are located within Asheville, and the city is about to add another to its recommended tours.
One: The corner of 900 Hendersonville Road is now only a parking lot for a spiffy office building, but during the ‘80’s and into the early ‘90s, they aborted pre-natal children there in a low, squat building. Thousands of pre-natal children died in this sleazy, sordid place. The state of North Carolina tore it down to widen the road, and the business moved to the edge of Biltmore Village.
“Birds sang, the sun shone, flowers grew, and prayers rose up, but the laws of nature were not violated.”
Two: Train tracks surrounded the new building that was located in an industrial zoned area. It featured a narrow waiting room on steel girders spanning a dirty, limpid creek. Weeds grew up the walls of the building, and on one side, old roofing material made the siding. Steel bars guarded broken window. The abortionists drove in from Tennessee and South Carolina. It was a back alley abortion mill with a sign hanging in the front alley.
On a Saturday afternoon in November, 1998, I showed up as usual with my “Let Your Baby Live. We Will Help!” sign, but no one else came. No other pro-life people, no abortion workers, and no victims. I was alone. A sheet of white paper had been taped to the front window. For the first time ever, I walked onto the property and to the front porch. The note said the place had closed permanently.
I remember months later seeing a monster garbage truck parked in front, rocking back and forth. An industrial shredder on wheels. A few years later another business moved into the building, a non-profit called Save the Children. That’s right. I stopped once just to look around inside, and I asked the people there a few questions. I wanted to, but didn’t ask if they ever heard the echoes of screaming children. Sometime later, the owner tore the building down, leaving rubble, and piles of weed-covered earth, now in view of nearby spiffy office buildings.
Three: Apparently, the abortion center on Asheville’s Orange Street is closing now. A volunteer escort recently said so in an article titled “The Last Shift” that appeared June 15 in an online publication called The Asheville Blade. So, by the end of this month we’ll have another historical site of sorrow and death to add to the itinerary. Maybe “Save the Children” will buy the building and move in. Maybe someday this terrible place will end up like all the others, in rubble and fading memories.
My late acquaintance, Kentucky poet laureate James Still and I once ate lunch together nearly every day. I could never find his source, and I may not have the quote down perfectly, but he one day he said, “Birds sang, the sun shone, flowers grew, and prayers rose up, but the laws of nature were not violated.” He was talking about Dachau, which I know he visited. Maybe the quote was his own, a fragment of an incomplete poem.
My friends and I spent many, many hours on the sidewalk in front of Femcare–when thousands of people ignored, dismissed, ridiculed, or cursed our offers of help and appeals to moms and dads to let their babies live. Thousands of mothers carried their children passed us into the doors to be killed.
An independent observer watching the passers-by might suppose the middle finger to be an international sign for “choice.” But many people expressed support, too, as they walked or drove by. Our presence was always, usually, more a quiet vigil than a protest. I’ve watched and listened to starlings, crows, doves, pigeons, and hawks. Last Saturday, a noisy mocking bird entertained and annoyed us with his crazy song list, more of cacophony than symphony.
Prayers rose up. But not enough prayer and not enough people praying. On occasion a mother changed her mind and left with her baby alive.
Femcare is closing. A better name for it is Femkill. Though, what you call it is irrelevant now because it’s closing. What’s important is the killing probably is moving to another place—to a building on McDowell Street owned and operated by Planned Parenthood.
North Carolina law says it’s a felony to “destroy” “unborn children” unless the act is done by a licensed physician “in a hospital or clinic certified by the Department of Health and Human Services to be a suitable facility for the performance of abortions.” We often bring posters to the sidewalk depicting a 10 week child who was destroyed by abortion. This is what Planned Parenthood intends to do in its new building. It’s bloody, violent, and evil. There is no suitable facility for this.
So, are we nostalgic about our upcoming last shift at Femcare? Are we jubilant? No. Just feeling sadness and resignation. We’ll be shifting to McDowell Street, if necessary. Unique human beings, persons in embryonic or fetal form, will be destroyed in that place. And someday even it will be a ruined historical site where, if you’re quiet and listen, you might hear their voices.
Echoing in your conscience.
Mick Hunt is an FAB contributor. He has helped organize more than 50 Genocide Awareness Projects (GAPs) all over the southeast and elsewhere. This article is a response to “The Last Shift,” which was written by an abortion escort. Read the story here.
Did Martin Luther King use graphic pictures? You bet he did. He said
America will not reject racism until America sees racism.
He organized marches so that racial violence, which had been perpetrated mostly in the shadows, could now be exposed to the light of day. When Americans saw racial violence for themselves, they rejected it.
Richard B. Speed’s review of Mark Kurlansky’s book, 1968: The Year That Rocked The World, describes how Dr. King orchestrated this enormously successful strategy:
In discussing the impact of civil disobedience, Kurlansky relates a telling incident that took place during a 1965 march in Selma, Alabama. Martin Luther King apparently noticed that Life Magazinephotographer, Flip Schulke had put down his camera in order to help a demonstrator injured by the police. Afterward, according to Kurlansky, King rebuked Schulke, telling him that “Your job is to photograph what is happening to us.”
Pray for students who need healing. A young woman walked past, then turned around and came back. She asked of Ohio volunteer Laurice Baddour, “What would you do in the case of rape, and you had no other choice but to have an abortion?” Laurice: “Were you raped and had an abortion?” “Yes, when I was young.” (She is still so young!) So they talked. Laurice shared with her our “Ask the Victim” handout, told her that there are resources for healing, and said that maybe one day she will have regrets and want to access some of these resources. She walked away abruptly, but as she left Laurice said “Please know I truly care about you and am here for you.” She looked back, listened, then sadly and quietly walked away. Such women often suffer great pain and are unable to engage in civil conversation. God had prepared her heart for a seed of truth. Pray that this seed will grow and produce the fruit of healing.
The whole family needs healing. Missie was looking at the photos, at a distance, crying. Massachusetts volunteer Marie went to see what she could do. “My boyfriend’s brother’s girlfriend (Susan) just had an abortion and we are all devastated and angry at her. We all would have helped her and she didn’t let us.” Missie took information on Rachel’s Vineyard and promised to give it to Susan as soon as her own emotions had calmed down. She believes Susan will be hurting sooner rather than later.
Let us follow Paul’s example of praying for the lost.
Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved. (Romans 10:1)
Pray for students who believe lies. As is always the case, pro-aborts asserted that the pre-born aren’t human. Honest students, even those neutral on abortion, were surprised that pro-aborts would base their arguments on something so blatantly false. (When Does Human Life Begin?) Pray that these students will come out of denial.
Pray for students who know the truth but lack courage to face it. Virginia volunteer Bryan McKinney spoke with two female students for a good bit of time. She answered the usual questions. Both young women were quiet for a long time and looked up at the pictures of children who had been decapitated and dismembered. The next day, Bryan saw one of the women standing with the pro-abortion protesters. When their eyes met, the young woman looked away. She knew what she was doing was wrong. Pray that this student will have courage to accept the truth.
The Genocide Awareness Project (GAP) created such an uproar at Michigan State University (MSU), the Students for Life (SFL) President Lisa Jankowski was elected Chairwoman of the College Republicans! Congratulations to Lisa! The CRs know what works, and they want it.
The tension surrounding GAP is not a negative we must overcome. It is a positive we should embrace, for two reasons. First, it is an indicator that people are uncomfortable when faced with the status quo. Isn’t that how we want them to react? Second, it is a facilitator of social change because it draws more attention, forcing people to think about abortion who would rather not.
I am not afraid of the word ‘tension.’ I have earnestly opposed violent tension, but there is a type of constructive, nonviolent tension which is necessary for growth. (Martin Luther King)
The pro-life students at MSU understood this. SFL Vice President Vinny Szczerowski wrote
By bringing [GAP] to MSU, we achieved greater interest in our growing Students for Life organization. The attention given to the uniqueness of this project gave our group a new reputation for being a strong advocate for pre-born children. Though we were met with fierce criticism, the amount of additional support given to the project and our organization made the efforts all worthwhile.
Why do so many students embrace this project? Because it works. Szczerowski wrote
… students even completely changed their once-held pro-choice mentality and began to see what an atrocity abortion truly is.
In other words, GAP works. People can see it.
Here are just some random comments made by passersby at Oakland University:
“It’s crazy; can I take a picture?”
“I appreciate what you are doing.”
“I want to punch you in the face.”
“I am disturbed; I don’t know what to think.”
“They are freaking terrible.”
“You should have been aborted.”
“That’s really blunt.”
“It’s just really disturbing.”
“You guys are just disgusting.”
“It’s all God’s creation…I don’t know how people can say this is normal, but we have a pretty crazy humanity right now.”
“Not allowing abortion legally won’t stop it.”
“I am glad you are doing this and I pray it gets changed in your country.” (Muslim woman)
“If my girlfriend gets pregnant, she’s going to have an abortion.” [CBR: “That doesn’t sound like ‘choice’ to me.”] “I don’t care. I would make sure she had an abortion.”
“[Abortion is a] very bad thing; I think it is a loss.”
Tyler, a young man at Oakland University was angry at us. His girlfriend had been raped and had an abortion. He told us that when she saw the GAP display, she was quite upset and unable to do anything but sit in her dorm room and cry. He wanted me to remove the GAP display, and he wouldn’t be satisfied with anything less.
I probably didn’t handle it correctly. I’m human, too, so I fumble the ball sometimes. But in the final analysis, Tyler really didn’t need to hear from me. He needed to hear from somebody he could listen to. He needed to from a woman (or man) who could relate to the pain of having aborted a child. Maybe he needed to hear from you.
We must show the truth, because everyone, including women who have been raped and are pregnant, need to see the truth before it’s too late. We were too late for this couple, but not for others.
But we also need to show compassion. If you have experienced abortion, please join our team. Please go with us, so you can explain to folks like Tyler how God loves us in spite of our sin. You can explain how God can forgive us and heal us from abortion, just as He can forgive and heal us from any other sin. You can tell them that you know this is true, because you’ve been there.
One post-abortive rape victim told us, “When you talk, I want to punch you in the face.” If you are post-abortive yourself, I’m willing to bet you will get a different response.
At every university, they basically tax conservative and neutral students (through exorbitant student activity fees) to subsidize left-wing student activism on campus. They take in millions of dollars in mandatory fees every year, with almost none of it going to conservative events/projects, but huge amounts going to left-wing propaganda events/projects. A local example is $20,000 of student activity money spent on (Perverted) Sex Week at the University of Tennessee, but that is only the tip of the iceberg.
But occasionally, they do throw us a bone. At Oakland University (OU), the Students for Life (SFL) applied for and received the funding necessary to pay for GAP. This happens rarely … very rarely.
As conservatives, we need to be coaching our students to apply for and get money for conservative activities, just like the leftists do. (We actually pay professors to coach leftist students how to apply for and get this money, but nobody is coaching our students.) When they apply for money and don’t get it, we should go to court and sue universities over and over again until they are forced to level the playing field.
One student at Oakland University (OU) said, “If you cut off your finger, then you can take the cells and turn them into reproductive cells which can be turned into a human being. So why is the embryo so important?”
Two factors in play here, dehumanization and confusion of wholes with parts.
He is confusing wholes with parts when he equates an individual cell that is part of a human being (the cell in your finger) with a cell which is a human being (a human being at an early stage of development). The cell in your finger can never act as a whole living organism. You leave it alone and it dies. The embryo in you womb is a living human being. You leave it alone and he grows into a fetus, infant, toddler, adolescent, teenager, etc.
Theoretically, it may be possible to create a new human being by manipulating an individual cell taken from the “parent.” Once that process is complete it would be a new human being. But until then, it’s only a cell from the “parent.”
He then uses this theoretical possibility of asexual reproduction to equate a baby in the womb with a cell in your finger. It’s just another way of dehumanizing the unwanted human being that he intends to kill.
We encounter many foreign students who know what genocide is. They know what dehumanization looks like. That’s because many of them have experienced it … or their families have.
A group of three Armenian students at Oakland University (OU) had lost family members in the genocide in Turkey (1915). They understood it at a personal level, and believed those family members would agree our message of genocide.
She started her life in China. She was a second child, so she started her life as an unwanted child. Most such children in China are killed, but her mother had been brave to save her life. Eventually, she found her way to America, where she was adopted by an American family. As a former unwanted child, her response to GAP was to join the Students for Life and volunteer to help!
GAP highlights many ways in which abortion is comparable (although not identical) to other forms of historical genocide. One similarity is the language used to justify the killing.
For example, pro-abortion protester Lauren Catoni was quoted in the Oakland Post (the OU student newspaper), “It’s actually horrifying that they’re comparing this to genocide because genocide is a widespread movement to eliminate people and abortion is a medical procedure people have when they need it.”
Perpetrators of genocide almost never “eliminate people.” No, they exercise their “choice” because they “need” to. Perhaps Ms. Catoni should complete her sentence: Genocide is a widespread movement to eliminate people and abortion is a widespread medical procedure people have when they need to eliminate people they don’t want.
The Oakland University (OU) Students for Life (SFL) opposed the use of abortion victim photos … until they attended the Students for Life of America (SFLA) National Conference in January.
They heard Stephanie Gray of the Canadian CBR describe how social movements have used victim images not only to change hearts and minds, but also to move people to action. They called us, and because of your support, we were able to answer that call.
OU SFL President Mirna Awrow wrote:
My fears suddenly seemed so minuscule after hearing Stephanie’s talk. We needed to do this at Oakland University. There was no way around it. We are extremely happy that we decided to go through with this campus-shaking project. The large-scale influence that this project has had on our campus is immeasurable! We are constantly doing pro-life activities on campus, but there hasn’t been something as grand as the GAP project. It reached more students in two days than we would while tabling for one hour in the student center every day for two semesters. Even then, we wouldn’t be able to tell students why abortion is wrong in 3 seconds. With the GAP project, you don’t even need to use words because the “picture is worth a thousand words” cliché truly applies here.
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