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The Dubious Source Behind the Tulsi Cult Smear (updated 12 JUL 2019)

How I accidentally discovered the dubious source of the smear campaign that frames Tulsi as a culty homophobe.

Please Note: It is untrue that I have been served with a cease and desist order from any court of law over this article. My legal response to the bogus “notice” I was sent can be read here.

This article does not attempt to deny that Tulsi Gabbard has a history of anti-gay activism, but it does refute allegations that she belongs to a dangerous homophobic cult.

Tulsi Gabbard has ties to Chris Butler and his Science of Identity Foundation… So what?

Tulsi does not deny her connections to Chris Butler or the Science of Identity Foundation (SIF) in any of the interviews she has given. She has even stated that he is the lineage holder of her Sadhanas (ancient mantras), which would explain why she refers to him as her Guru Dev. But this does not make him her Master, as those who know little about Eastern religions would suggest.

In her interview with the New Yorker, she stated that she does not have a primary guru. She has had many gurus throughout her life, and in her interview for Hawaii Yoga Magazine, Butler is actually listed separately from those who she has actually learned from — she does not adhere to his teachings.

She has denied that she was ever a member of SIF, and there is no evidence to the contrary. The yoga tradition she practices is actually quite different than what Butler teaches. SIF practices Vaishnava Hinduism. She practices Karma Yoga. She has also lived her life in ways that are contrary to SIF precepts (such as being twice married and serving in the US military).

Even though she is not a member of SIF, certain people have chosen to smear the organization in an effort to hurt her political career. People really should stop circulating that nasty cult story, and not just because it is pure propaganda. The narrative was spawned out of revenge, and bears all the hallmarks of an emerging hate movement.

How I accidentally discovered who is behind the vicious smear that has haunted Tulsi Gabbard’s entire political career.

Screen capture (w/ added propaganda warning) taken from Christine Gralow’s website.

Previously, I had a Twitter confrontation with a guy who claimed he’s lived near the Gabbard family since the 80’s, and that he was persecuted by their culty homophobia. Since Hawaii is only thee most liberal state, and has always been gay-friendly (as most Polynesian cultures are), I started asking around to see if this guy was for real. I asked my cousins who live on East Oahu, and none were familiar with the name he used. But recently, I started showing his picture…

The reason I did, was because I noticed he had scrubbed his Twitter profile of personal images after I asked, “How come none of my cousins know who you are if you live there?”

The Bad Neighbor

My cousins thought that the pic looked a lot like someone who actually lives in Kailua — an extremely wealthy man known as Nick BREDIMUS. Everyone who has lived on that side of the island for a while knows who BREDIMUS is… ever since the Gabbards exposed him to their neighbors as a pedophile and child pornographer, convicted of molesting boys as young as 11 years old.

Building the Culty-Tulsi Myth

BREDIMUS stated his goal in early 2012:

“It is impossible for a candidate like Tulsi Gabbard to be elected to Congress without the support of influential people. However, few influential people want their name associated with an alleged member of a secretive cult and who, it is claimed, was actually raised within a cult. My aim here is to post enough details so people Googling themselves or Tulsi will be confronted with the association.”

Most forum members who posted about the Gabbards admitted they were never members of “the cult” — they were there to find, or to help dig for Tulsi dirt. They were quite active in “research” and “doxing” of everything and everyone remotely associated with the Gabbards, shared he-said-she-said rumors, and collaborated on shaping narratives that they hoped would destroy Tulsi’s career.

The Civil Beat investigated claims made on the forum about SIF, Butler, and the Gabbards. None of what they were able to verify included anything salacious or nefarious. They found that the rest could be dismissed as baseless “rumors and innuendo — even patently false”.

  • One poster, confessing no knowledge of Tulsi’s religious beliefs, suggested it wouldn’t be a surprise if SIF were anti-gay, since Hare Krishnas forbade sex except for pro-creation.
  • Another poster announced ditching a project to portray Tulsi as a lesbian. Someone else commented about how she was “too hot” to be gay.
  • Others kicked around ideas for framing Tulsi’s brother as gay, and “sent away” to Australia to spare the family of shame… a story that was ditched when a profile of the young man was discovered, which made the narrative impossible.
  • Some posters carried on about how Tulsi’s religion was Satanic, and about how she and all who practiced such idolatry would burn in hell. They were particularly bothered by the use of the Gita to swear her into office, and referred to all Hindus involved in Hawaii politics as “groomed” for office by “the cult”.

Death Meditations

In one post, BREDIMUS presented forum members with a long list of talking points titled, Death Meditations. As a whole, these Death Meditations formulate an extremist doctrine of Anti-Tulsi hate that not only scapegoats her for the “persecution” of gays, but as well demands that she answers for it. Primarily, these talking points focus on:

  • Associating everything about Mike Gabbard with the “homophobic cult”, so people would forget (or never realize) that he’s actually a devout Christian and that his former advocacy for DOMA was motivated by his Catholic beliefs.
  • Using Hindu-phobic tropes to liken “the cult” experience to mind-controlled slavery… in the service of Butler’s power and profit.
  • Explaining away the lack of evidence that would actually prove that SIF is a cult, and that would actually tie Tulsi to cultish activities, as being the result of “secret” worship… and using negative proof fallacies in confrontations.
  • Butler’s feet and toenails, sprinkled throughout, as an added ick-factor.

Radicalizing Minions of Hate

In one post, BREDIMUS writes about “examples of courage in the battle to expose Tulsi Gabbard”. These “examples” of behavior, combined with the forum’s list of Death Meditations, have already led to radicalizing at least one person into committing violence against Tulsi.

He praised a YouTube vlogger, who he called one of “our own”… for producing “powerful videos” which spread “the truth” about “the cult” being a danger to society… the same forum member mentioned above who had been playing around with the lesbian smear.

A forum visitor described as a political activist with “a deep hatred” for the Gabbards was also named by BREDIMUS in his list of “courageous heroes”. He was praised for his activism and publications which kept people focused on ideas of how ingrained cultish homophobic views are, and he was congratulated for ensuring that this sowed distrust in Tulsi’s social “evolution” and “change of heart”.

Another forum visitor who BREDIMUS praised at length for confronting (harassing) Tulsi in person was Aniruddha SHERBOW. A little more than a year after receiving this praise and encouragement, SHERBOW was convicted on felony stalking charges… when he attempted to hunt her down to sever her head from her body.

New York Man Sentenced to 33 Months in Prison for Making Threats Against Member of Congress

False Prophets

In 2016, BREDIMUS was exposed as a pedophile to the forum, and he ceased his online activities. Soon after his online disappearance, Christine Gralow joined the forum and became the new champion in the group’s effort against Tulsi Gabbard. She came armed with a blog, dedicated to exposing the “Butler Web”.

One named witness in GRALOW’s work recently approached me online to corroborate her story. He showed me his blog, in which he claims “the cult” may be a CIA MK Ultra Op. He didn’t answer when I asked him if he has met or knows Butler.

During our conversation, he repeated Death Meditations… including one about Butler’s toenails.

He admitted that he knew BREDIMUS, and confirmed him as FlashlightOnRoaches. He sent me a document he wrote about BREDIMUS in 2016, in which he described him as “our leader”, and an extremely dangerous man who is obsessed with destroying the Science of Identity Foundation, even though he has never been a member and doesn’t actually know anything about their religious practices. His Twitter feed confirms this timeline.

He confessed that he doesn’t actually know Tulsi, and that he has “never heard anything bad or weird about her or her family”.

I was also approached by GRALOW’s one other named witness, who also intended to corroborate her cult narrative.

[01 June 2019: It was previously published here that the second witness did not know Butler. This was based on a previous statement of his about how “Butler was never around.” The witness now says that he has met Butler, and the statement has thus been retracted.]

Like the first witness, he confessed that he didn’t know Tulsi when he was growing up. He admitted that he knows the first witness, and that they were both part of the “truth-seeking clan” that BREDIMUS once led.

He also admitted that his family had been involved in so many different religious groups that he might be getting things mixed up, and that he doesn’t doubt that it may have been another group that “messed him up”.

Both witnesses told me that they cut ties with BREDIMUS in 2016, when they found out he was a pedophile… yet they continue with their mission to spread their anti-SIF message.

Neither of these witnesses have been able to produce a copy of the alleged Butler Lecture recording they claim that SIF distributes to its members to indoctrinate them with Homophobia.

Both witnesses confirmed that they have been interviewed by several journalists as, “cult defectors”.

Spinning the Butler Web

Christine GRALOW takes the cult smear a lot further than BREDIMUS did. Her work alleges that the Butler Cult isn’t just homophobic… they also have nefarious political aims. She speaks of “Independents for a Godly Government” which she claims is Butler’s political arm, and she speaks of an international criminal conspiracy that finances Butler’s nefarious political aims. GRALOW’s claims were repeated recently by New York Magazine, and they are currently being sued for defamation over it.

Twitter notes debunking Gralow’s Butler Web (follow up article by me in progress):

Campaign of Revenge

Fact: Nicholas Bredimus, who was never a member of the Science of Identity Foundation, has been waging a sophisticated smear campaign against SIF and the Gabbards for more than a decade, after they exposed him to the community for being a sicko who went to prison for sexually abusing children.

Fact: Nicholas Bredimus led discussions on an internet forum for the purpose of fabricating and spreading narratives about SIF being a dirty homophobic cult, to tarnish Tulsi Gabbard’s reputation and destroy her career.

Fact: Nicholas Bredimus influenced and encouraged the man who was convicted for plotting an attempt on Tulsi’s life.

Fact: Narratives shaped by said forum are being used by political operatives and journalists in their hit-pieces against Tulsi Gabbard.

Fact: “Witnesses” used by journalists to confirm cult narratives for their hit-pieces were actually part of the group that BREDIMUS orchestrated to create these narratives to begin with.

For anti-propagandists and others who study information war: An analysis of the deceptive, xenophobic rhetorical devices used to spin the cult conspiracy theory used by pundits and political operatives to malign Tulsi Gabbard, and how what they’re doing is fomenting Anti-Hindu sentiments, can be found here.

The Truth

Tulsi Gabbard is not responsible for the persecution of gays. Religious bigotry is. The same sort of religious bigotry that she is now the target of.

We live in a free country, in which we all have the right to religious freedom.

None of us have the right to know anything about Tulsi Gabbard’s religious beliefs. Our constitution actually guarantees the religious privacy of our politicians, by abolishing the religious testing of our public officials.

The religious beliefs of our politicians aren’t even anything that we actually need to be concerned about… because our constitution protects our state and federal affairs from religious interference.

Tulsi may not have always fully appreciated these rights… but the experience of war and theocracy in the Middle East has forever changed her.

Tulsi Gabbard’s early advocacy for traditional (anti-gay) marriage, and her regrets:

Promises Kept: Tulsi Gabbard’s fight for LGTB rights and marriage equality.


Since first publishing this post, there has been a SLAPP attempt to shut me down. After experiencing an intense online harassment campaign and receiving various threats (which included promises of public humiliation, and harm to my personal businesses)… instead of retracting this article, I’ve expanded it.

Please see my go fund me page for updates on what I’m doing to SLAPP-back!

Short Twitter thread about the attorney cc’d on email correspondences I’ve received from Christine GRALOW:

To my would-be silencers, I say: Sue me… if you can.

Corrections

(05 JUN 2019): A previous edition of this article stated that Bredimus “ran” the internet forum, causing confusion about the website’s ownership. These statements have been changed to reflect that Bredimus “led discussions” on the forum… Bredimus did not own the website, which hosted several forums.

Updates

(12 JUN 2019): Added introductory comments about Tulsi’s religious beliefs, and about our living in a Free Country.

Legal Disclaimer

I have never published, neither in this article, nor on my personal website, that anyone other than Nicholas Bredimus is a pedophile.

I am neither a paid employee, nor a volunteer member of Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard’s staff or her election campaign.

I am not associated with Chris Butler or the Science of Identity Foundation, in any fashion.

I have never accused Christine Gralow of working for or personally knowing Bredimus. I’ve only asked if she does, since she is carrying on with his work and with the same people, and since she and Bredimus live in the same neighborhood. Gralow has provided that, she “has no association whatsoever with Bredimus or Aniruddha Sherbow, is not paid by Bredimus, and did not use Bredimus or Sherbow as sources for her reporting”.

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