Blog powered by Typepad
Member since 03/2004

« Hip hop at the corner of Highland and Lowell | Main | Tribal chief now leads Clarendon Hill »

May 20, 2007




Ron Newman

Whoever wrote this headline did not read the article! Political Research Associates is most definitely NOT a "conservative think tank", nor does it claim to be one. It is a think tank that researches conservative and right-wing movements.


From Wikipedia:

Political Research Associates Political Research Associates (PRA) (formerly Midwest Research, Chicago, 1981-1987) is a non-profit research group located in Somerville, Massachusetts.

Part of the series on
Biblical Theology
Separation of church and state

R. J. Rushdoony
Greg Bahnsen
Gary North
Gary DeMar
Kenneth Gentry
David Chilton
Paul Weyrich
D. James Kennedy
Roy Moore
James Dobson

Former advocates
James B. Jordan
Peter Leithart
Andrew Sandlin

American Vision
Chalcedon Foundation
National Religious Broadcasters
Free Congress Foundation
Center for Reclaiming America for Christ
Coral Ridge Ministries
Focus on the Family

Abraham Kuyper
Francis Schaeffer
Cornelius Van Til

Howard Ahmanson Jr

Chip Berlet
Randall Balmer
Chris Hedges
Thomas Ice
Dave Hunt
Hal Lindsey

v • d • e
PRA studies the U.S. political right wing, as well as white supremacists, anti-Semitic groups, and paramilitary organizations. It has a full-time staff of six. The director is Rev. Dr. Katherine Hancock Ragsdale. Dr. Jean V. Hardisty was the director from 1981 to 2004. Chip Berlet is the group's senior analyst. Researchers include Tarso Luís Ramos and Pam Chamberlain.

PRA publishes a journal, The Public Eye, three times a year, which reports on specific and current movements or trends within the U.S. political Right, and also produces special reports, past examples of which include "Calculated Compassion," which details attacks on gays and lesbians, and "Decades of Distortion," which alleged scapegoating of welfare recipients. [1]

The group provides public speakers, and has staff on hand to answer queries from journalists, researchers, and activists. Its annual funding of approximately $700,000 per year comes from foundation grants, individual contributions, and the sale of research materials. Expenditures are directed toward staffing, general & administrative expenses, programs and fundraising.[2] . Among its major donors are the Public Welfare Foundation and the Ford Foundation.

PRA is supported by a number of progressive and liberal activists, including Anne Braden of the Southern Organizing Committee, and Suzanne Pharr of the Highlander Research Center. Pharr has written that PRA "sets the standard for researchers and political analysts of integrity," and describes the group's research as "thorough, thoughtful, carefully researched, and presented within a broad context of understanding of the complex relationships and activities of the Right." [3]

[edit] Criticism
Stanley Kurtz of the conservative magazine National Review described PRA's researchers as "conspiracy mongers" for a 1994 report on the religious right. According to Kurtz, PRA used guilt by association techniques to associate conservative Christians with theocratic Dominionism: "By quoting a pathetic Dominionist extremist’s desperate efforts to prove his own influence, clever liberals can now argue that the ultimate goal of all conservative Christians is the re-institution of slavery, and execution for blasphemers and witches.[4] PRA responded to Kurtz by stating that the report was "a serious study of the Dominionist Christian Reconstructionist movement."[5]

The David Horowitz Freedom Center accuses PRA mainstay Chip Berlet of engaging in "smear" tactics and accuses PRA of promoting a "hard-left agenda".[6] The article on PRA at Horowitz' Discover the Networks (DTN) site says the organization's purpose is to promote the Marxist doctrines of "dialectical materialism" and "progressive internationalism". It says PRA endorsed the adoption of the Plan of Action from the 2001 UN World Conference against Racism, Xenophobia, and Related Intolerance, "largely a forum for anti-American and anti-Israel rhetoric".[


I think it was a very good article with a very bad headline. Maybe David Taber didn't write the headline?

David T.

I did not write the headline

Ron Newman

Could you find out who did, and have them fix it? It ruins your otherwise fine article.

Ron Newman

Someone is falsely posting as Bill White and linking to a Nazi website. This is not a very nice thing to do.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Most Recent Photos

  • Danehy_Park_Family_Day
  • Bloco
  • 3517a
  • Web_toon_7_21_10
  • Prospect hill
  • Web_toon_7_14_10
  • 3224a
  • Art1(2)
  • Art5
  • Art10(2)
  • Union_square_flood
  • Flood_pic_(bridge_1)