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Disgusting “No on 8″ Astroturfing

John on November 3, 2008 at 10:57 am

We got a comment this morning from someone calling himself Rev. Joe Baytzim. The comment included a link to this site which begins:

The “yes on 8″ movement is being funded almost entirely by the Mormon Church. Money is coming from outside California by the millions.

This is an attempt by the Mormons to win over evangelicals and other Christians. We may feel we have common ground on this issue.

But at what cost?

You wouldn’t advise your children to take candy from a stranger.

Don’t accept help from a group with a hidden agenda: To legitimize beliefs that we believe are outside of Christianity.

A little searching brought up this identical site with another URl. The only problem is, as far as I can tell, there’s no such individual as Rev. Joe Baytzim (or is it Baits ‘em). Nor is there any website for his church.

It appears that Rev. Joe is just one of several pseudonyms being used by the same individual to attack prop 8. Others include Cain Hamm and Reamworks.

Rev. Joe and Cain Hamm have been busy adding comment spam to blogs for weeks. A search for “Cain Hamm” brings up 2200 results. A similar search for Joe Baytzim returns 2500 results. In addition to directing people to the two sites noted above, they (he) are also promoting this site titled Jesus told me to vote no on 8. It begins:

I am a Christian. Please hear my testimony.

I didn’t know how to vote on California Proposition 8.

So I did what I was taught to do since childhood: I prayed to JESUS and listened for his answer.

JESUS told me quite clearly: “Vote NO On Proposition 8

The site reads like a caricature of Christian faith. Whoever is behind this isn’t a Reverend and probably isn’t a Christian. But that’s really just the tame stuff. Rev. Joe and Cain Hamm have also been directing people to this site which states “Proposition 8 will Legalize Polygamy” and a bit further on “Proposition 8 will Legalize Incest.” The bulk of the text is devoted to an attack on Mormons for supporting prop 8.

In addition to the four sites listed so far, there are two blogs spouting the same line. This blog is run by “Reamworks” and connects to all the other sites. It also connects with this blog which includes a post declaring that Prop 8 supporters at a recent march were “gangsters.”

Somebody out there, perhaps several people working together, has too much time on his hands. Anytime someone uses multiple pseudonyms and bogus websites to further a political viewpoint, they’re probably not being very honest. In this case, the “Jesus told me to vote no on 8″ site is the clincher. This is clearly created by someone with little experience inside an actual church, more likely someone with an axe to grind. Here’s hoping dishonest tactics like this don’t pay off.

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Category: Marriage & Family |

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