Dominionism Is on the Ballot in November, but Most Voters Have Never Heard of It

The New Apostolic Reformation, a dominionist movement, was more involved in Jan 6 than is generally known.

Those of us who research right wing extremism on social media had long ago seen the colorful map for the pro-Trump rallies at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

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Under the heading “Wild Protest,” the map stated that, “We the People must take to the US Capitol lawn and steps.” 

The map did not disclose that the Capitol steps and parts of the lawn would be off limits to the public on Jan. 6. In fact, they are generally off limits for everyone but lawmakers, as shown on the US Capitol Police website

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Maintaining a perimeter around the Capitol is a safety precaution implemented after Sept. 11, 2001, when Islamic extremists attacked the United States. 

So who created the map urging the public to violate a rule designed to protect lawmakers from terrorists? Here’s a hint. It wasn’t Islamic extremists. 

Earlier this month, Twitter researcher @natedog155 (Nate) showed that based on URLs, the map appears to have been published by an internet marketer named Mercedes Sparks. He also showed that the map had been shared by Oathkeepers leader Stewart Rhodes (on Jan. 4), Latinos for Trump, Steve Bannon’s War Room podcast, and by Sparks herself on Twitter.

According to LinkedIn, Sparks is the Vice President  of Operations of Lance Learning Group. The company’s president, Lance Wallnau, is an influential leader in the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR).

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Lance Wallnau

The NAR is an aggressive worldwide movement that promotes Seven Mountains dominionism, a belief that Christians have a mandate from God to control these “seven mountains” of society: 1. business, 2. government, 3. family, 4. religion, 5. media, 6. education, and 7. Entertainment.  

Wallnau himself co-wrote a book titled, “Invading Babylon: The 7 Mountains Mandate.” The introduction to chapter 2 states, “How do we take over the world? We must have a strategy.” He even owns the 7M trademark

As explained by Religion Dispatches, the NAR is “driven by theocratic notions of total societal dominion, including the end of democracy as we’ve known it.”

In July this year, during a Christian revival event inside a packed Georgia arena, Wallnau and three of his colleagues recited a hair raising decree, which stated in part that, “Whereas, we have been given legal power from heaven … We decree that our judicial system will issue rulings that are biblical and constitutional [and] We decree that we take back and permanently control positions of influence and leadership in each of the ‘Seven Mountains.’” 

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After viewing a clip of the recitation, the Beacon produced a series of investigative reports examining the NAR and its ties to the so-called “Stop the Steal” movement, which has dowsed the public with a firehose of unfounded claims that former president Donald J. Trump lost the 2020 election due to widespread fraud. We featured Wallnau in each of those reports. (Report 1; Report 2; Report 3.) 

We also discussed NAR apostle Jim Garlow who conducted a pre-Jan. 6 “Stop the Steal” inspired event called “Global Prayer for Election Integrity,” which included discussions with pro-Trump influencers such as disgraced retired Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, Steve Bannon (host of War Room), Mike Lindell (CEO of the MyPillow company), and Doug Mastriano, the Pennsylvania GOP’s gubernatorial candidate this year.  

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Intrigued by Nate’s discovery about the Jan. 6 map created by Mercedes Sparks (Wallnau’s employee), we reviewed Sparks’s public YouTube channel. There, we found a video confirming that Sparks had indeed conceived of and created the map. 

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During the video, which was filmed in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 5, 2021, Sparks stated:

“Listen, I saw all these memes coming out. Like everybody’s got a meme. Millions of people are showing up. And I’m like, ‘You guys, we can’t have memes. How are people gonna know where to go? This is crazy! So I took my entire Saturday … making this map here. [holds up map]. Cuz I was like, ‘We need a map!’ That’s what we need. .”  

Sparks also said that, I think we’re gonna have like 3 million people here – all the way from the Ellipse down to the Capitol. It’s gonna be bananas.”

In addition, she mentioned that she has a “friend Steve” who she said “does all of our events and he’s doing most of the events here like a lot of the technical stuff like consulting and assisting so he’s got a lot of details.’” 

It didn’t take long to find that Wallnau works with an event planner and producer named Steve Brown who is president of a company called Resource Group Media in Florida. (Link tweet 1; tweet 2.)

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NAR apostle Jim Garlow apparently knows Brown and Sparks too. In reply to this Facebook post by Brown (displaying a photo of Brown and Sparks), Garlow wrote, “Awesome people!” 

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We soon found and confirmed a report that someone named “Stephen Brown” was listed as a “person in charge” (and “production manager”) on the permit for the Dec. 20 Jericho March (“Hear the Church Roar!” rally). 

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The Jericho March was a high profile event where Wallnau and other Christian extremist leaders shared a stage with Oathkeepers leader Stewart Rhodes and MAGA (Make America Great Again) leaders, including Michael Flynn, Ali Alexander, and Alex Jones.  

Brown also was the designated “spokesperson” for a 50-person “One Nation Under God” rally to occur on Jan 6 in Grassy Area 8 (shown below), per the permit and accompanying memorandum issued by the Capitol Police. (See pages 2, 5.)

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The permit application identified “Steve Brown event planners” as a “point of contact” and “spokesperson” (page 7) and “Steve Brown” himself as the “on-site contact” (page 10). The application was signed by “Stephen Brown” (page 10).

Official notes for the permit state that Brown was working “directly” with Ali Alexander “regarding the coordinating the One Nation Under God event” (page 14) and that Rep. Mo Brooks and Rep. Andy Biggs would speak at the rally alongside Ali Alexander (page 13). 

The notes also state that Capitol Police warned Brown that his Area 8 event could not exceed 50 people due to safety concerns and that Brown assured them in a phone call that he had conveyed this restriction to the group and that he (Brown) is a “certified Fire Marshall and crowd management [sic] so he understands why it is being asked for the numbers to maintain. He wants to comply to be able to have a safe event within regulations.” (Page 15.) 

In addition, the notes stated that Brown was working on a plan that included Freedom Plaza having the major speakers and “[c]o-sponsoring the events at Freedom Plaza to have a longer event there.”  (Page 15.)  

The 50-person rally in Area 8 did not occur. Nor did it make it onto Sparks’s Jan 6 map.  As discussed above, Sparks stated in her video that Brown was “doing most of the events here [in DC] like a lot of the technical stuff like consulting and assisting so he’s got a lot of details.’” Brown did not, however, respond to our request to discuss those details with him. 

Alexander, the convicted felon who organized the Stop the Steal campaign, has refused to discuss Stop the Steal permits with the Jan. 6 committee, claiming it would violate confidential “clergy” communications. But the email address for the “Steve Brown” on the permit matches the email address for  “Steve Brown” of Resource Group Media, the event planner and producer who works with Wallnau and Sparks. 

Thus, despite Alexander’s obstruction, we have confirmed that they are the same person. (The matching emails were discovered and brought to our attention by extremism researcher @visionsurreal.)

Brown also posted a livestream of Jan. 6 itself, including footage of Alex Jones. 

World Congress of Families

Brown’s involvement with Jan. 6 may be significant not only due to his involvement with the NAR, but also because he attended a 2015 strategy session meeting for the Kremlin-linked World Congress of Families (WCF), a powerful international organization that has been called “the main bridge between sanctioned Russian officials and American Christian fundamentalists.” At the time, Brown worked for Brown & Hall event planners; he later moved to Resource Group media, per LinkedIn profile

.

The WCF is led by Brian Brown (no apparent familial relation to Steve Brown) who co-runs the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) with John Eastman, a former clerk of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. In 2020, Eastman tried to overturn the 2020 election with a legal theory that he knew was bunk, according to witness testimony. 

In 2015, Eastman supported a measure to criminalize homosexuality in Uganda. Similarly, Brian Brown sits on the Board of Trustees for an organization called Citizen Go, which supports laws in Kenya that criminalize both homosexuality and abortion access. CitizenGo has sponsored the WCF.

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The WCF has an official Moscow representative, Alexey Komov, who also sits on CitizenGo’s Board of Trustees

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Komov is “the main link between U.S. Christian fundamentalists and sanctioned Russians,” according to ThinkProgress. He also is reportedly tied to Steve Bannon through the Catholic group Dignitatis Humanae. In 2014, Komov attended a NOM event in Washington, DC, where he met then HUD Secretary Ben Carson, the event’s keynote speaker. 

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In addition, Komov is the employee and “right hand” of Konstantin Malofeev (aka Malofeyev), a wealthy “Russian politician and business owner more commonly known as the ‘Orthodox oligarch’ for his outward religiosity,” according to Newsline Magazine. In 2014, Malofeev and John Hanick—Sean Hannity’s former producer at Fox News—launched a Russian television station called Tsargrad. 

The Department of Justice recently indicted Malofeev for allegedly violating U.S. sanctions, which had been imposed due to his involvement in Russia’s 2014 invasion and annexation of Crimea, a peninsula along Ukraine’s southern border. According to Bellingcat, Malofeev “had been one of the initial ideologues and organizers of the annexation of Crimea, and had recruited, financed and supervised at least two of the key on-the-ground Russian mercenaries and leaders of the separatist insurgency in Eastern Ukraine.”

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Malofeev allegedly violated U.S. sanctions by hiring Hanick (who has been indicted as well) and by trying to access funds that he had invested in a Texas-based bank holding company in 2014. 

Malofeev’s investment is noteworthy because, in February 2017, “Ukrainian hacktivists leaked emails revealing that … Malofeyev was funding … efforts … to organize protests and support pro-Kremlin political groups in Central and Eastern Europe,” as reported by the Alliance for Supporting Democracy (Alliance). Malofeev’s beneficiaries have included far right political organizations in Poland and Hungary, per the same Alliance report. (Malofeev allegedly used a Belarusian middle man named Alyaksandr Usovsky.) 

In addition, New Lines Magazine reported in March this year that Malofeev had “‘mediated an 11 million euro [$12 million] loan from Russian banks to Marine Le Pen’s [far right] party [in France],’” according to a researcher at the International Centre for Defence Studies.  Malofeev has reportedly funded the WCF as well. 

Moreover, Malofeev’s employee, Komov, was reportedly involved in a scheme to fund Matteo Salvini’s far-right political party in Italy. In 2014, Charles Bausman—a pro-Kremlin propagandist who lived in Pennsylvania before fleeing to Russia—asked Komov to help him secure financing from Malofeev for his Russia Insider opinion site, according to emails leaked by Anonymous International.

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The question thus arises whether Malofeev may have provided financial assistance to far right organizations in the U.S. 

In addition to the WCF, Komov has attended events held by an organization called the World Public Forum (WPF), including an event in 2013, as reported by extremism researcher Bruce Wilson. The WPF (shown in the photo below) was co-founded by Russian oligarch Vladimir Yakunin (one of Putin’s closest allies at the time) and Nicholas Papanicolao, a “Greek financier who once worked for the Onassis shipping empire,” per Wilson

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Papanicolao sits on the board of a NAR-affiliated U.S. organization called the Oak Initiative with Wallnau (Steve Brown’s client), NAR apostle Cindy Jacobs, and Lt. General (Ret.) Jerry Boykin. U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert is involved with Oak too. 

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Oak was founded by Rick Joyner, who promoted the idea of a military coup against Obama, as we discussed in a prior report. In 2014, he called for the formation of militias. 

That was the year that Moscow began forging a new role for itself at the helm of the global Christian Right,” ,according to Politico,  

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The move was almost certainly strategic, rather than faith based. As observed by the Atlantic, “It is incredible, but a group of cynical, corrupt ex-KGB officers with access to vast quantities of illegal money—operating in a country with religious discrimination, extremely low church attendance, and a large Muslim minority—have somehow made themselves into the world’s biggest promoters of ‘Christian values,’ opposing feminism, gay rights, and laws against domestic violence…This is an old geopolitical struggle disguised as a new culture war.” Yakunin himself has acknowledged that “this battle is used by Russia to restore its global position,” the Atlantic added. 

In early 2015, the WCF held its Texas strategy session with Komov, Steve Brown (NAR leader Lance Walllnau’s event planner), and others. 

Later that year, NAR apostle Jim Garlow attended the WCF in Salt Lake City, Utah. Garlow also attended the 2017 WCF in Budapest, Hungary, and the 2019 WCF in Verona, Italy. The photo below is of Garlow at the 2019 WCF. 

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An estimated 20,000 people protested the 2019 WCF, as reported by the Guardian. Speakers included not only Garlow, but also John Eastman

WCF 2019 attendees also included Komov (another speaker), Pennsylvania resident Steve Turley (also a speaker), and then Pennsylvania resident Charles Bausman. We have previously reported on Turley, who interviewed Komov at the WCF conference, filmed at least one Stop the Steal protest in Pennsylvania, and produced a film glorifying Mastriano. 

We have also reported on Bausman, who attended the same 2014 dinner in Moscow as Flynn, returned to Pennsylvania (where white nationalists held an event in his barn), and then fled back to Moscow after Jan 6. He’s also the guy who sought funding from Malofeev via Komov. 

In Jan 2022, Bausman published Turley’s 2019 interview of Komov on Russia Insider, which has also re-published articles by Roger Stone. 

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Georgia Meloni, who recently won Italy’s presidential election, attended the 2019 WCF as a speaker.  

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So did WCF leader Brian Brown who met with U.S.  Supreme Court Justices  Samuel Alito and Brett Kavanaugh later that year. 

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Stop the Steal 

In 2020, Trump lost his reelection bid, a result that most polls had predicted. On Nov. 5 that year, as Trump’s imminent defeat became clear, Roger Stone (who was close with Trump and with the Proud Boys’ leadership) called Michael Flynn to discuss the “Stop the Steal” campaign. 

The Stop the Steal premise reeked. For one thing, the GOP itself had blocked Democratic efforts to improve the security of the 2020 election. For another, they lacked credible evidence of widespread fraud. 

They ran with it anyway. (Link to tweet 1; tweet 2; tweet 3; tweet 4.)

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The decision to go on the offensive, facts be damned, could not have surprised anyone familiar with Stone’s history. Refusing to concede defeat, while launching counterattacks, regardless of merit, has long been Stone’s modus operandi. 

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Stone had used the same tactic during the 2000 presidential election where he orchestrated a riot (known as the “Brooks Brothers riot”) at an election office to stop the recount as Republican George W. Bush’s lead against Democrat Al Gore had dwindled to less than 600 votes. Even Fox News host Tucker Carlson, a close friend of Stone, has said that Stone “subverted democracy” during the recount in 2000. Why not try it again?   

Stone coined the “Stop the Steal” slogan in 2016 when it appeared Trump would lose. He and his protégés (including Ali Alexander and political operative Jack Posobiec) later used the slogan to oppose the Florida recounts in 2018

Wallnau, who had celebrated Trump’s decision to commute Stone’s criminal sentence in July 2020 (on charges of perjury and witness harassment), jumped aboard the 2020  “Stop the Steal” train. In a video for his followers, he jovially referred to Stone and Flynn as “Flynn-Stone.” 

During the Dec 2020 Jericho March (“Hear the Church Roar!” rally) in DC, Wallnau shared a stage with Flynn, Alexander, Mike Lindell, Oathkeepers leader Stewart Rhodes, and others. He also traveled to DC for Jan 6 itself. 

Wallnau must have made an attractive ally for the Stop the Steal campaign. He and other NAR leaders have expansive networks from their online ministries and mega churches. These networks could be used to recruit people to pack political rallies and protests. To give you an idea of how large a crowd they can attract, watch the video of their Christian revival event in July this year, the one where Wallnau and his colleagues recited their dominionist decree. The audience was massive

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Sparks (Wallnau’s VP) explained this specific advantage—the NAR’s ability to send crowds to rallies—in November 2020. 

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Sparks herself made the Jan 6 map, as we’ve shown, while Wallnau’s event planner and producer (Steve Brown) assisted Alexander with permits and event production. Brown also promoted a supposed “election integrity” event featuring Alexander on Dec. 31, 2020.

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On Jan. 5, Alexander gave a speech where he led the crowd in a chant of “Victory or Death!” 

By then, Alexander had registered the website Wild Protest.com. Like the map created by Sparks, the website had stated, “We must take to the US Capitol lawn and steps.” 

Here’s how that looked on the afternoon of Jan 6. (Link to tweet 1; tweet 2.)

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Capitol Police Officer Caroline Edwards, who suffered a concussion during the riot, told the Jan. 6 committee that she had tried to hold the line at the Senate steps. “I was slipping in people’s blood … I was catching people as they fell, it was carnage, it was chaos,” she testified, adding that it felt like being in a battle. “I’m not combat trained. That day it was just hours of hand-to-hand combat.” 

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In short, the underreported New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) was more involved in Jan 6 than is generally known. They work with MAGA leaders and politicians and have ties to the Kremlin-linked WCF (through Steve Brown and Garlow) and access to sprawling networks from their online ministries and mega-churches. Their goal is to replace democracy with the Christian equivalent of Sharia law. According to Religion Dispatches, they have “developed the political capacities to make these ambitions a lot less of a pipe dream than they seemed even five years ago.” 

Dominionism is on the ballot, but most voters have never heard of it. 

[Steve Brown, Lance Wallnau (shown here campaigning with Doug Mastriano), and Mercedes Sparks did not respond to our requests for comment.]

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Jennifer Cohn

Jennifer Cohn

Jennifer Cohn is an attorney, election integrity advocate, and political writer whose articles have appeared in the New York Review of Books, Who What Why, The Independent, TYT Investigates, The Brad Blog, and Salon. You can follow her on Twitter at @jennycohn1.

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