Dr. Ben Carson, who served in former President Donald Trump’s administration, spoke during a campaign rally earlier this week supporting Doug Mastriano, the Pennsylvania GOP’s gubernatorial nominee. Carson delivered his remarks in his usual, sleepy manner as he complained about “wokeism” and warned that “replacing faith in God” with “faith in government” leads to communism.
Although Carson himself is far from electrifying, he is nonetheless revered within a united front of Christian extremist leaders who fueled Trump’s ascent to power and the Stop the Steal movement in 2020. That united front, which includes a shady Christian nonprofit called United in Purpose, warrants our sustained attention because it has been tied to a massive voter data leak, alleged financial wrongdoing, and the “Big Lie.”
In June 2016, when it was apparent that Trump would secure the Republican presidential nomination, Carson mediated a closed-door event between Trump and approximately 1,000 Christian Right leaders in New York City. Carson had reportedly organized the event with “Bill Dallas, who leads United in Purpose .” As you can see from the invitation (below), it was Dallas who delivered the introductory remarks.
“We are trying to seek mutual understanding,” Dallas said of the closed-door meeting with Trump.
Dallas has touted that United in Purpose, a data mining operation, seeks to transform culture in “‘what some people call the seven mountains.” The phrase “Seven Mountains” refers to the Seven Mountains mandate, a form of dominionism, which teaches that Christians have a mandate from God to control these pillars of society: 1. business, 2. government, 3. family, 4. religion, 5. media, 6. education, and 7. entertainment.
The mandate was popularized by Lance Wallnau, a leader in the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR), a politically influential and under-scrutinized christo-fascist movement that has joined forces with MAGA (Make America Great Again) leaders, including disgraced retired Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), and Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO), as we previously reported.
Founders, funders, and directors
Bill Dallas claims to have discovered Jesus while serving two ½ years of a five-year sentence for embezzlement in San Quentin in the 1990s. Before his release from prison, Dallas was fined $772,000 for his role in a separate money laundering scheme that was reportedly “the largest campaign money-laundering scheme in the history of the state of California” at the time.
Upon his release, Dallas wrote a book and founded the “Church Communication Network, an internet company that served about 6,000 churches nationwide.”
According to a 2011 report by the Los Angeles Times, United in Purpose “is using sophisticated data-mining techniques to compile a database of every unregistered born-again and evangelical Christian and conservative Catholic in the country.” (Italics added.)
The article further stated that, “Profiles drawn from its database, which numbers more than 120 million people, will enable organizers to target potential voters with emails and Web videos tailored to their interests.”
Dallas later boasted that, “We have about 200 million files, so we have pretty much the whole voting population in our database … What we do is we track to see what’s going to make somebody vote either one way or not vote at all.”
United in Purpose received much of its funding from technology entrepreneur Ken Eldred. Eldred has financed other Christian organizations through the Living Stones Foundation. His son, Kary Eldred, is the Foundation’s investment officer.
United in Purpose’s board of directors includes Bob McEwen, a former executive director of the Council for National Policy, a powerful umbrella organization for the Christian Right and billionaires. The board also includes Wallbuilders founder David Barton, a top antagonist of the separation of church and state. (Link tweet 1; tweet 2.)
As of 2019, NAR apostle Jim Garlow sat on the board of a related California nonprofit called United in Purpose Education, another Bill Dallas creation, which shared office space with United in Purpose. As of 2019, Dallas was the president of this second nonprofit, Rutherford was the chief financial officer, and Ken Eldred was the chairman.
In 2016, United in Purpose Education received $3.6 million from Major General Vernon Lewis, Jr. (retired) who has held leadership positions with at least two private military contractors: Military Professional Resources, Inc. and Cypress International. The first, according to The Guardian, “was fined $3.2m to resolve allegations of false labor charges on a contract to support the US army in Afghanistan … “
Before Jan. 6, Jim Garlow (director of United in Purpose Education) hosted a “Prayer for Election Integrity” call series that featured MAGA (Make America Great Again) leaders such as disgraced retired Lieutenant General Michael Flynn,, Steve Bannon, and Mastriano. The first 27 calls were apparently deleted to avoid catching the FBI’s attention.
Data leaks and Ukraine meeting
In late December 2015, a data breach analyst named Chris Vickery discovered that 191 million voter data records had been left unsecured online. The exposed records included voters’ “names, home addresses, … dates of birth, party affiliations, and logs of whether or not they had voted in primary or general elections,” according to Forbes. They also included evidence of gun ownership and cell phone numbers, as later reported by The Guardian.
Vickery soon discovered a second, seemingly connected database of 54 million voter records, which had also been left unsecured online. These records “contained even more detailed information – including income levels, whether the person was a fan of Nascar, had a ‘Bible lifestyle’, or had an interest in hunting or fishing,” according to The Guardian. This database also indicated “whether the person was a religion donor, a charity donor, a gun owner, whether they were politically conservative,” as well as “where they worked” and, in some cases, email addresses and cell phone numbers, according to Databreaches.net.
Vickery traced both leaks to United in Purpose and the company’s contractor, Pioneer Solutions, where Dallas also served as president. Vickery alerted Databreaches.net, which alerted Pioneer Solutions. About twelve hours later, both databases were secured.
Cyberscoop later reported that, in November 2015, a database of about 191 million U.S. voter data records had landed in an elite hacker’s forum run by indicted Russia hacker Aleksei Burkov. Vickery says that this is the same database that he found in November 2015, the one tied to United in Purpose and Pioneer Solutions. Burkov has since been sentenced to nine years in prison.
It gets weirder.
In early June 2016, United in Purpose director Bob McEwen and Rep. Bob Aderholt (R-AL) traveled to Ukraine for the country’s Prayer Breakfast.
During their visit, McEwen and Adherholt met with two Ukrainian oligarchs who had financed the pro-Russia work of an American political operative in Ukraine. The oligarchs were Borys Kolesnikov and Rinat Akhmetov. Based on Adherholt’s final itinerary, which journalist Jonathan Larsen obtained, Aderholt was scheduled to meet with both men, whereas McEwen was scheduled to meet only with Kolesnikov, who was Akhmetov’s “right-hand man.”
The American political operative was Paul Manafort.
Manafort had officially joined the U.S. presidential campaign of Donald Trump in March that year. Manafort’s business associate, Rick Gates, has said that Manafort “instructed him in April 2016 or early May 2016 to send … internal [Trump campaign] polling data and other updates” to a Russian operative named Konstantin Kilimnik, “so that Kilimnik, in turn, could share it with Ukrainian oligarchs.” Manafort himself would share 175 pages of detailed internal polling data during an in-person meeting with Kilimnik on Aug. 2, 2016, as reported by emptywheel.
Manafort expected that Kilimnik would forward the polling data to, among others, Akhmetov, the oligarch who had met with Aderholt in Ukraine. The day after joining the Trump campaign, Manafort had directed Gates to prepare personal memoranda to both Akhmetov and Kolesnikov, the Akhmetov deputy who had met with Aderholt and McEwen (of United in Purpose).
Based on the congressional disclosure form, Aderholt’s Ukraine trip had been financed by the Fellowship Foundation, commonly known as “The Family,” a secretive Washington-based organization that sponsors the U.S. National Prayer Breakfast. The Family was the subject of a book by journalist Jeff Sharlet and a Netflix documentary.
McEwen reportedly has deep ties to The Family, whose “archives cite McEwen’s involvement with the National Prayer Breakfast as early as 1983,” as reported by Larsen. In a YouTube interview posted in September 2016, McEwen is shown next to Doug Coe, a leader of The Family until his death in February 2017.
Ben Carson has close ties to The Family as well. During their 2013 Prayer Breakfast, Carson delivered an anti-Obama speech that catapulted him into Republican superstardom and a brief run for the presidency. During his ill-fated presidential campaign, Carson was represented by Larry Ross, who sits on the board of The Family’s legal entity and is their spokesperson, as reported by Larsen.
Ross has also worked as a spokesperson for United in Purpose.
Sketchy finances and a new (related) “United in Purpose” nonprofit in Texas
In August 2019, Vickery discovered through a tip that, in May 2018, United in Purpose had sued Pioneer Solutions (doing business as TrendMojo), the supposedly separate company with the same president as United in Purpose (money launderer Bill Dallas) and ties to database leaks. The complaint alleged that United in Purpose had paid Trend Mojo almost $9 million over the course of more than six years and that $3.8 million of it had vanished without an accounting. (Link to Complaint.) The complaint was dismissed after sixteen days, suggesting the possibility that TrendMojo had paid United in Purpose to settle this alleged dispute. (Link to Dismissal.)
Around the time of its lawsuit against Trend Mojo, United in Purpose scaled back its California operations, scrubbed its website, and re-branded as a new entity called “USA Transform doing business as United in Purpose Texas” (“United in Purpose Texas”).
As with United in Purpose and Pioneer Solutions, money launderer Bill Dallas was the president and chief executive officer of United in Purpose Texas (at least as of 2019). Ken Eldred was the chairman, and Eldred’s son, Kary, was a director along with retired Colonel Vernon Lewis. Reid Rutherford was the chief financial officer. (See United in Purpose Texas tax documents here.)
Pretty soon, there was a major hiccup with the new Texas entity.
In its 2019 tax filing, Schedule L, the company stated that it was evaluating and remediating allegations of “excess benefit compensation” and “unauthorized expense reimbursement” and that it would be “demanding return of any excess benefit determined to have been conferred upon disqualified persons.”
Schedule L also stated that, as part of “remediation efforts,” the company had hired a “forensic auditing firm, legal counsel, and a new CPA.” In addition, it said that the company had “approved new or revised policies concerning executive compensation … and travel and expense reimbursement and that it has “taken steps to end a cost-sharing agreement with United in Purpose [California]…”
The allegations seemed to concern the company’s CEO (Bill Dallas) and CFO (Reid Rutherford). (See Schedule J.)
According to OpenCorporates.com, Dallas was removed as an officer of United in Purpose Texas (USATransform) in September 2021 and is no longer the president of United in Purpose in California. Neither company has a functioning website. Our efforts to reach those companies were unsuccessful. But the company remains active.
“Every Legal Vote,” a United in Purpose project (at least initially)
In the run up to the 2020 election, one or all of the United in Purpose entities (hereafter “United in Purpose”) announced their plan to help Trump win a second term.
When the plan fell short, United in Purpose and unidentified “American citizens” formed a website called “Every Legal Vote,” a slogan that Trump advisor Roger Stone, a convicted felon with close ties to the violent Proud Boys gang, had proposed in a phone call to Michael Flynn on Nov 5, 2020.
Although Every Legal Vote has received only passing media attention, it seems to have been a key component of the Stop the Steal machine. And it ties directly to the Christian Right.
Curiously, as reported in the Washington Post, the reference to United in Purpose was scrubbed from the website “within days” and replaced with Allied Security Operations Group (ASOG), Economic War Room, and Liberty Center for God and Country,
By 2020, ASOG was co-owned by Texas resident Russ Ramsland, a recent Council for National Policy member. During the campaign to overturn the 2020 election, Ramsland submitted a court affidavit that swapped Michigan and MInnesota data, creating the false impression of an irregularity in Michigan.
ASOG’s officers have included J. Keet Lewis, a Council for National Policy member as of Jan 2022. In his youth, Lewis had worked with Bill Bright, founder of Campus Crusade. It was Bright whose divine vision in the 1970s provided the basis for the Seven Mountains mandate that NAR leader Lance Wallnau later marketed into a global christo-fascist sensation.
Economic War Room, the second listed Every Legal Vote affiliate, is a show hosted by Kevin Freeman, a Galectin director with Kary Eldred of United in Purpose Texas. (Recall that Ben Carson serves as a Galectin consultant and spokesperson.) Freeman also belonged to the Council for National Policy, as of January 2022.
Liberty Center for God and Country, the third listed Every Legal Vote affiliate, is a Texas nonprofit run by Steve Hotze, a conservative talk radio host and mega donor. In October 2020, Hotze hired a retired cop to chase down voter fraud. Instead, the cop chased down and rammed the truck of an air conditioning repairman whose truck contained machinery, not the 750,000 fake ballots that the cop had expected to find.
Hotze allegedly had advance knowledge of the cop’s intent to ram the repairman’s truck, as evidenced by a transcript of a recorded phone call between Hotze and a former U.S. attorney.
“He told me last night, ‘hell, I’m gonna have, the guy’s gonna have a wreck tomorrow,” Hotze said in the transcript of the call. “‘I’m going to run into him and I’m gonna make a citizen’s arrest.’” Hotze also said in the call that, “[W)e gotta get (the repairman) to confess…And let me tell you what, if Aguirre [the ex-cop] gets these guys, he’ll get a confession in five minutes.”
Hotze’s attorney says that the transcript is incomplete and that his client is innocent. Hotze and the cop have been indicted and await trial.
As for Every Legal Vote itself, its website featured a U.S. map that depicted where unproven voter fraud claims had been asserted. It also showed what the electoral college would look like without these unproven claims of fraud.
On Nov. 10, Keet Lewis presented the map during an appearance on Fox News with host Lou Dobbs who was duly impressed.
During the call, he referred to Stop the Steal lawyer Sidney Powell as “my friend.”
The Texas GOP and Jim Garlow (United in Purpose Education) promoted Every Legal Vote.
Martin recently resigned from the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Church (SBC) amidst criticism of his response to the massive sexual abuse scandal plaguing the SBC. The scandal includes Martin’s close friend, Paul Pressler, who has been sued for allegedly molesting a 14 year old boy.
On Nov. 11, 2020, Martin tweeted that 428,000 people had already “taken action — in just our first day! —through our ‘Every Legal Vote’ campaign.”
CNP Action — a Council for National Policy subgroup that has included Ginni Thomas (wife of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas) — promoted Every Legal Vote’s website during one of its meetings. Mrs. Thomas, who had collaborated with United in Purpose since 2017, also sent a letter to Arizona lawmakers that seemed to have utilized a template from the website.
Kevin Freeman of Economic War Room (and the Council for National Policy) promoted Every Legal Vote during NAR apostle Jim Garlow’s pre-Jan. 6 Prayer for Election Integrity zoom call series, as revealed this week by extremism researcher Bruce Wilson in a series of tweets with links to video excerpts.
Freeman disclosed, for example, that Every Legal Vote planned to “assault” every Republican Senator with 100,000 emails “a piece”, directing them to object to certification.
Freeman also said that they had “started a campaign … that is calling on all of the Republican Congressmen to stand strong but also we’re calling on the Vice President [Pence] and all of his staff to stand strong and do the right thing.”
Trump campaign strategist Steve Cortes participated in the zoom call with Freeman, stating that, “I’ve been in regular contact with [Trump].”
Mike Lindell and “Ziklag,” another United in Purpose project. Follow the money.
Meanwhile, MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell had been traveling in Christian extremist circles since 2015, when The Family had introduced him to Ben Carson during the National Prayer Breakfast, as reported by Larsen. Based on Larsen’s remarkable investigative piece, it seems that The Family had dispatched Carson to lure Lindell, a recovering crack cocaine addict, into their christo-fascist fold. The two men soon became close. They even hocked an unproven cure for Covid in August 2020.
The Family told Lindell that he was destined to “change the course of history.” Within a year, Lindell did a “full surrender [to Jesus] on my knees,” as he has described it. He soon invited members of The Family to sit on the board of the Lindell Foundation. He also hired Larry Ross, The Family’s spokesperson, as his Foundation spokesperson. And he began dumping money into politics.
In December 2020, Lindell attended a United in Purpose “Ziklag” conference in Phoenix, Arizona. (Image via extremism researcher @visionsurreal.) The name Ziklag refers to a biblical town that belonged to David, King of Israel. In the Bible, Ziklag was destroyed by raiders, but David later launched a successful counter-attack from Ziklag, recovering all he had lost. This is the name that United in Purpose gave to its club of wealthy Christian donors.
In a Dec. 2020 letter of encouragement to Trump, NAR leader Jim Garlow (United in Purpose Education) and two colleagues drew an analogy between Trump’s situation and Ziklag. The letter included this quote:
“Pursue the enemy, for you shall recover all that the enemy has stolen.”
In addition to Lindell, Rod Martin (the former SBC Executive Committee member who promoted Every Legal Vote) belongs to the Ziklag group of rich Christian patrons organized by United in Purpose.
Ziklag membership and conference attendance is “limited to those who are ‘committed to Christ,’ are ‘Humble in spirit,’ and have ‘demonstrated success in business with significant financial means, defined as a net worth of at least $25 million,’” as reported by religious extremism author Katherine Stewart. These criteria were spelled out in an invitation to the December 2020 event.
The Ziklag invitation “prominently featured a Seven Mountains Mandate workshop along with its list of noted keynote speakers including Mike Pence.” Yes, Pence is an apparent dominionist too.
On Dec. 22, 2020, Ziklag participant Mike Lindell told NAR leader Steve Strang (founder of Charisma News) that he planned to finance the Jan 6 rallies at the U.S. Capitol. Those rallies were intended to prevent Congress from certifying President Joe Biden’s defeat of Trump based on unfounded claims of widespread fraud. “We’re having the big thing on Jan 6 in Washington, DC. I put together, I’m financing these rallies again,” Lindell said.
Ziklag (United in Purpose Texas), Every Legal Vote, ASOG, Liberty Center for God and Country, Charisma News, and others who spread unfounded claims about the 2020 election failed to prevent Congress from certifying Biden’s win. Those claims, however, contributed to an overtly hostile political climate that culminated in a violent riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
We should assume that this same cabal of Christian extremist leaders and donors will deploy similar tactics if they dislike the results of the midterm election this month. In June last year, Flynn himself attended a Ziklag (United in Purpose) conference at the Omni Hotel in Dallas, Texas. (Images via @visionsurreal.)
The photographs below suggest that Steve Strang of Charisma News (second photo, blue shirt, and third photo) may also belong to Ziklag. (second image via @visionsurreal.) Strang not only interviewed Lindell before Jan. 6, but also would later sponsor Flynn’s multi-state Reawaken America Tour via Charisma News, as we previously reported.
Texas billionaire Al Hartman also attended the June 2021 Ziklag (United in Purpose Texas) conference, per emails produced by businessman and former political candidate Everett Stern, who was in touch with Hartman and Flynn during the relevant time.
In addition to his apparent involvement with Ziklag, Hartman sits on the board of the Elijah Project, which invited NAR leader Lance Wallnau to speak during an event last year. Recall that Wallnau is the leader who popularized the Seven Mountains mandate. He even holds the “7M” trademark.
A few months ago, the GAP hosted a private event with a list of speakers that included Bill Dallas and Ken Eldred. The biographical blurbs accompanying the announcement did not mention their involvement with United in Purpose.
The “election remediation” and “financing” email.
A July 2021 email obtained by American Oversight sheds further light on what this christo-fascist network has been scheming. You can see the email in the Appendix to this article.
The email was sent by Jenny Limcher, an employee of Al Hartman (of Ziklag/United in Purpose Texas). Recipients included, among others, Russ Ramsland (ASOG), Keet Lewis (ASOG), Kevin Freeman (Economic War Room), and Flynn.
The email updated recipients about their anticipated participation in a meeting about “2020 election remediation” and “financing.” The attached agenda showed that speakers would include Ben Carson’s close friend, Mike Lindell, as well as Al Hartman and Patrick Byrne, the former Overstock CEO who slept with Russian spy Maria Butina.
An additional Limcher email recipient was John Eastman, a pro-Trump attorney who tried to overturn the 2020 election with a legal theory that he knew was bunk, per witness testimony.
Eastman is chairman of the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), which opposes LGBTQ rights. NOM chose Ben Carson as its keynote speaker in 2014. Alexey Komov, the employee of a sanctioned Russian oligarch (Konstantin Malofeev), was photographed with Carson at the event. The photo also included Larry Jacobs, the managing director of the World Congress of Families, a key nexus between Russia and the Christian Right—where Komov is the official Moscow representative.
He and Lindell would soon claim to have proof that China had hacked the election. Lindell said that the evidence consisted of internet packet captures (pcaps), which he promised to produce at his August 2021 symposium, but never did. One of ASOG’s own alleged experts called the pcaps a “turd.”
Another Limcher email recipient was NAR leader Lance Wallnau whose employee had created the Jan. 6 map directing demonstrators to the off-limits Capitol steps, as we reported on Oct 19, 2022. Wallnau’s event planner was listed on the “One Nation Under God” permit for Jan. 6 and on the permit for the December 2020 Jericho March (“Hear the Church Roar!” rally).
Two months ago, Wallnau attended a so-called “election integrity” symposium hosted by Lindell. During the symposium, Wallnau told MAGA lawyer Jenna Ellis that his “friends in Dallas” would “help Mastriano”. He did not identify his “Dallas friends” or describe the “help” that they would provide. But United in Purpose Texas and ASOG are both Dallas based. Wallnau is a Texas resident himself.
Ellis is an alumnus of the Family Institute founded by Christian Right leader James Dobson who received an award during the Ziklag (United in Purpose Texas) conference in June 2021. (Photo via @visionsurreal.)
She is now a senior legal advisor to the gubernatorial campaign of Doug Mastriano, who spread a viral election lie in 2020 himself, using an image that had switched primary and general election data, thus creating the false impression that more mail ballots had been counted in Pennsylvania than were sent out.
In October 2022, Ellis called Mastriano’s Democratic opponent, state Attorney General Josh Shapiro, “at best a secular Jew.” Below is a photo of her with Ben Carson and Christian Right leader Franklin Graham.
Carson’s decision to campaign for Mastriano provides further evidence that the Pennsylvania governor’s race is a priority for this incestuous christo-fascist network. Even if Carson himself seems half asleep, his extremist associates are wide awake and ready to usurp the will of the voters if their desired candidates, including and especially Mastriano, come up short in the midterm election.
A huge thank you to Chris Vickery, @visionsurreal, and Bruce Wilson, whose crucial pro-democracy work provided the basis for this article. Thank you also to @gal_suburban and @natedog155 whose important findings I featured in the piece as well.
Appendix July 2021 email