In its latest defense of untruth, Focus on the Family today falsely portrayed James Dobson as sole founder of Focus on the Family and affirmed Dobson’s distortions of scientific research.
Not everything that Focus on the Family said was untrue:
Gary Schneeberger, vice president for media and public relations (PR) at Focus on the Family, called [Truth Wins Out executive director Wayne] Besen “a PR pro of the first order.”
“He puts words into sentences very colorfully,” Schneeberger said. “And that attracts the media’s attention.”
That’s where the truthtelling ended, however. Focus said:
In truth, Dr. Dobson created his so-called empire more than three decades ago to help husbands and wives be better spouses, to help parents raise healthy and godly children and to help Christians walk out their faith with consistency, boldness and compassion.
“The Focus on the Family broadcast was created as, and remains, a means of helping families thrive,” Schneeberger said.
But Focus on the Family and its radio broadcast were not solely James Dobson’s creation.
According to Focus co-founder Gil Alexander-Moegerle:
In 1977 seven people signed their names to the legal documents that started Focus on the Family. We were its first Board of Directors. You will find my signature among the seven, along with my former friends Jim and Shirley Dobson, Mike Roberts, Mac McQuiston, Peb Jackson and Bobb Biehl.
One of those seven founders was a ten-year veteran in the fields of broadcasting and fund-raising and therefore accepted responsibility for managing the day-to-day start-up activities of Focus on the Family. That person was me.
I personally set up the three core operating divisions of Focus on the Family:
- The Broadcast Division: I was the founding Executive Producer of Focus radio its on-air co-host, and the person responsible for the program’s initial syndication and distribution.
- The Publications Division: I was the founding editor of the Focus magazine and oversaw its initial production and circulation.
- The Mail Processing Division: I established the organization’s first post office box and bank account, oversaw the answering of its first listener letters and the receipting of its first donations, and set up its first computer-based mailing list.
I also started:
- The Film and Video Division: I was responsible for producing the very first Focus on the Family film, “Twice Pardoned,” which was awarded best film of its type in 1987.
Focus on the Family later ousted Alexander-Moegerle, citing his marital difficulties. But the real reason, Alexander-Moegerle said in a 1997 book, was his opposition to Dobson’s growing authoritarianism and lust for power, as well as resistance to Dobson’s racism and unhealthy preoccupation with gay people. In that book, Alexander-Moegerle documented numerous specific abuses of ethics and authority allegedly committed by Dobson, which Dobson — for 11 years — has refused to discuss.
In today’s press release, Focus made the unsubstantiated accusation that “it’s the gay activists who are doing the distorting”:
In 2006, Dr. Dobson was invited to write an opinion piece for TIME magazine about the benefits of traditional marriage to children and society. In the article, Dr. Dobson pointed to a handful of scientific studies that found mothers and fathers parent differently.
“He never said the scientists agreed with his conclusion that gay marriage is bad for society,” Schneeberger said. “He merely said their data could be used to reach his conclusion ‚Äî which is 100 percent true, but something the scientists didn’t appreciate because of their ideological leanings.”
In other words, according to Focus on the Family, the seven well-regarded scientists who have criticized Focus on the Family for specific distortions of their research data and conclusions are “gay activists” with “ideological leanings” — simply because these professionals dared to publish a comprehensive view of their data and made conclusions based on comprehensive analysis of that data.
Dobson, on the other hand, cherry-picked factoids to construct false conclusions which, researchers subsequently noted, were contradicted by data that Dobson chose not to cherry-pick. Dobson then broadcasted his distortions without noting that they were contrary to the actual research.
Focus on the Family’s executive leadership proudly stands by Dobson’s superstitious contempt for legitimate science.
You, on the other hand, can help defend scientific integrity.
Support Truth Wins Out’s campaign to remove James Dobson from the Radio Hall of Fame for his abuse of the public airwaves, and to hold Focus on the Family accountable for the harm that its lies cause to gay people and their families.