The house on C Street and its secrets

Recently Gov. Mark Sanford of South Carolina and Senator John Ensign of Nevada made news with their sexual indiscretions.  The private emails between Sanford and his Argentine mistress, and his childish protestations of finding his soul mate probably kept him in the news longer than a run-of-the-mill affair might have.  The payments from Ensign’s parents did the same favor of keeping him in the news longer.  Then Michael Jackson died and news outlets were distracted by this new bright and shiny object.

Underlying the Ensign affair was news of a C Street House, a Capitol Hill townhouse inhabited by an all-male group of right-wing Republican congressmen belonging to The Fellowship, an evangelical group.

Greater detail about the people and activities of The Fellowship could come from a diary Max Blumenthal tells us about in his piece — The Secret GOP Sex Diary.

While former Rep. Chip Pickering of Mississippi allegedly carried on an extramarital affair with Elizabeth Creekmore Byrd, he recorded details of his exploits in a secret diary, including the dates and locations of his adulterous encounters.

Pickering, a Republican, described several assignations he had with Creekmore Byrd inside the C Street House, a Capitol Hill townhouse inhabited by an all-male group of right-wing Republican congressmen belonging to The Fellowship, an evangelical group, according to a person familiar with the diary’s contents.

And according to a divorce filing by Pickering’s estranged wife, Leisha, the former congressman’s diary reveals the identities of several men who enabled his adulterous trysts and helped him cover his tracks.

After serving 12 years in Congress, he announced his intention not to seek re-election suddenly in August 2007.  Chip Pickering’s wife had announced she would divorce him by the time he resigned from Congress, but her motivation for the divorce was unknown at the time, leaving Pickering’s resignation shrouded in mystery.  When she attempted to introduce her husband’s diary as evidence during a divorce hearing in Mississippi, Pickering’s lawyers demanded Judge Cynthia Lee Brewer keep them under seal.

His affair only came to light when Leisha Pickering sued her husband’s alleged mistress, Creekmore Byrd. Mississippi is one of four states that allow such lawsuits, justifying them on the grounds that sabotaging a marriage represents deliberate interference with a legally binding contract. To represent her, Leisha Pickering has tapped two high-powered local lawyers who are both former state Supreme Court justices.

A source close the case told me the judge presiding over the lawsuit could rule to make the Pickering diary public, thereby voiding Brewer’s decision in the divorce court. So long as the judge’s decision is pending, the diary represents a ticking time bomb—with the potential to rock corridors of conservative power from Jackson, Mississippi, to C Street in Washington.

Stay tuned!  This diary kept by one of the C Street adulterers could shed much light on The Fellowship. We may yet learn many more details about this C Street house, the people there and the activities they keep so secret.

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Filed under Religion, Republicans, Wingnuts!

19 responses to “The house on C Street and its secrets

  1. ‘Family’: Fundamentalism, Friends In High Places

    In the book The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power, author Jeff Sharlet examines the power wielded by a secretive Christian group known as the Family, or the Fellowship.

    Founded in 1935 in opposition to FDR’s New Deal, the evangelical group’s views on religion and politics are so singular that some other Christian-right organizations consider them heretical.

    The group also has a connection to a house in Washington, D.C., known as C Street. Owned by a foundation affiliated with the Family, C Street is officially registered as a church; in practice, it serves as a meeting place and residence for politicians.

    Excerpt: ‘The Family’

    “You guys,” David said, “are here to learn how to rule the world.” He was in his late forties, with dark, gray-flecked hair, an olive complexion, teeth like a slab of white marble, dark eyes so big they didn’t need to move to take in the room. We sat around him in a rough circle, on couches and chairs, as the afternoon light slanted through the wooden blinds onto a wall adorned with a giant tapestry of the Last Supper. Rafael, a wealthy Ecuadoran, had a hard time with English, and he didn’t understand what David had said. He stared, lips parted in puzzlement. David seemed to like that. He stared back, holding Raf’s gaze like it was a pretty thing he’d found on the ground. “You have very intense eyes,” David said.

    “Thank you,” Raf mumbled.

    “Hey,” David said, “let’s talk about the Old Testament.” His voice was like a river that’s smooth on the surface but swirling beneath. “Who” — he paused — “would you say are its good guys?”

    “Noah,” suggested Ruggi, a shaggy-haired guy from Kentucky with a silver loop on the upper ridge of his right ear.

    “Moses,” offered Josh, a lean man from Atlanta more interested in serving Jesus than his father’s small empire of shower door manufacturing.

    “David,” Beau volunteered.

    “King David,” David Coe said. “That’s a good one. David. Hey. What would you say made King David a good guy?” He giggled, not from nervousness but from barely containable delight.

    “Faith?” Beau said. “His faith was so strong?”

    “Yeah.” David nodded as if he hadn’t heard that before. “Hey, you know what’s interesting about King David?” From the blank stares of the others, I could see that they did not. Many didn’t even carry a full Bible, preferring a slim volume of New Testament Gospels and Epistles and Old Testament Psalms, respected but seldom read. Others had the whole book, but the gold gilt on the pages of the first two-thirds remained undisturbed. “King David,” David Coe went on, “liked to do really, really bad things.” He chuckled. “Here’s this guy who slept with another man’s wife — Bathsheba, right? — and then basically murdered her husband. And this guy is one of our heroes.” David shook his head. “I mean, Jiminy Christmas, God likes this guy! What,” he said, “is that all about?”

    “Is it because he tried?” asked Bengt. “He wanted to do the right thing?” Bengt knew the Bible, Old Testament and New, better than any of the others, but he offered his answer with a question mark on the end. Bengt was dutiful in checking his worst sin, his fierce pride, and he frequently turned his certainties into questions.

    “That’s nice, Bengt,” David said. “But it isn’t the answer. Anyone else?”

    “Because he was chosen,” I said. For the first time David looked my way.

    “Yes,” he said, smiling. “Chosen. Interesting set of rules, isn’t it?” He turned to Beau. “Beau, let’s say I hear you raped three little girls. And now here you are at Ivanwald. What would I think of you, Beau?”

    Beau, given to bellowing Ivanwald’s daily call to sports like a bull elephant, shrank into the cushions. “Probably that I’m pretty bad?”

    “No, Beau.” David’s voice was kind. “I wouldn’t.” He drew Beau back into the circle with a stare that seemed to have its own gravitational pull. Beau nodded, brow furrowed, as if in the presence of something profound. “Because,” David continued, “I’m not here to judge you. That’s not my job. I’m here for only one thing. Do you know what that is?”

    Understanding blossomed in Beau’s eyes. “Jesus?” he said. David smiled and winked. “Hey,” he said. “Did you guys see Toy Story?” Half the room had. “Remember how there was a toy cowboy, Woody? And then the boy who owns Woody gets a new toy, a spaceman? Only the toy spaceman thinks he’s real. Thinks he’s a real spaceman, and he’s got to figure out what he’s doing on this strange planet. So what does Woody say to him? He says, ‘You’re just a toy.’ ” David sat quietly, waiting for us to absorb this. “Just a toy. We’re not really spacemen. We’re just toys. Created for God. For His plea sure, nothing else. Just a toy. Period.”

    He walked to the National Geographic map of the world mounted on the wall. “You guys know about Genghis Khan?” he asked. “Genghis was a man with a vision. He conquered” — David stood on the couch under the map, tracing, with his hand, half the northern hemisphere — “nearly everything. He devastated nearly everything. His enemies? He beheaded them.” David swiped a finger across his throat. “Dop, dop, dop, dop.”

    Genghis Khan’s genius, David went on, lay in his understanding that there could be only one king. When Genghis entered a defeated city, he would call in the local headman. Conversion to the Khan’s cause was not an option, as Genghis was uninterested in halfhearted deputies. Instead, said David, Genghis would have the man stuffed into a crate, and over the crate’s surface would be spread a tablecloth, on which a wonderful meal would be arrayed.

    “And then, while the man suffocated, Genghis ate, and he didn’t even hear the man’s screams.” David stood on the couch, a finger in the air. “Do you know what that means?”

    To their credit, my brothers did not. Perhaps on account of my earlier insight, David turned to me. “I think so,” I said. “Out with the old, in with the new.”

    Yes, he nodded. “Christ’s parable of the wineskins. You can’t pour new into old.” One day, he continued, some monks from Europe show up in Genghis Khan’s court. Genghis welcomes them in the name of God. Says that in truth, they worship the same great Lord. Then why, the monks ask, must he conquer the world? “I don’t ask,” says Genghis. “I submit.”

    David returned to his chair. “We elect our leaders,” he said. “Jesus elects his.”

    He reached over and squeezed the arm of Pavel. “Isn’t that great?” David said. “That’s the way everything in life happens. If you’re a person known to be around Jesus, you can go and do anything. And that’s who you guys are. When you leave here, you’re not only going to know the value of Jesus, you’re going to know the people who rule the world. It’s about vision. Get your vision straight, then relate. Talk to the people who rule the world, and help them obey. Obey Him. If I obey Him myself, I help others do the same. You know why? Because I become a warning. We become a warning. We warn everybody that the future king is coming. Not just of this country or that but of the world.” Then he pointed at the map, toward the Khan’s vast, reclaimable empire.

  2. wicked

    David strikes me as being a little…gay? Giggles? Touching? Commenting on eyes? Why am I not surprised?

    Don’t get me wrong. I have absolutely no problem with gays. What I have a problem with are those who are, but refuse to accept their sexuality, then actually prey on others. This guy seems to fit the bill.

    This is the telling paragraph about these men:

    And according to a divorce filing by Pickering’s estranged wife, Leisha, the former congressman’s diary reveals the identities of several men who enabled his adulterous trysts and helped him cover his tracks.

    Tsk, tsk. Even the evangelicals can’t keep their pants zipped.

    • lilacluvr

      You may have hit the nail on the head with your assessment of this David.

      I wonder how they justify all this killing of your enemies with the many references in their same Bible to Jesus telling us the love one another? When did Jesus ever behead anyone? When did Jesus ever crate up a person and then had a feast on top of the crate while that person suffocated?

      And, exactly why is this C Street group an official church? I know the reason is to evade paying taxes – but if it is truly a real church – then can I attend their services next Sunday?

      • wicked

        Lilac,

        It appears they’re going more by the old Testament than the new. With references to King David and others, that would be my take. And we all know how bloody bloody the OT is. More like the Red Queen: Off with their heads!

  3. “Secrets of C Street
    by Jeff Sharlet

    The Washington prayer group known as the Family may be in the news after several of its members had affairs, but it has been setting the agenda—and propping up foreign dictators—for years.

    In this article, Jeff Sharlet, who has tracked the C Street House since 2002, discloses:

    • That the group espouses a religious philosophy that holds God-anointed leaders are necessary for Christ’s second coming.”

    continue reading here:

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2009-07-26/conspiracy-on-c-street/?cid=hp:mainpromo7

  4. lilacluvr

    I know Brownback and Tiarht have connections to this C Street group but has anyone heard of Jerry Moran being one of them?

    • He lives there. I think Moran has deeper ‘connections’ than does Tiahrt. This is only an unsubstantiated rumor (meaning I heard it and can’t verify it) but it was said Tiahrt isn’t trusted because of the silly things that come out of his mouth. Tiahrt really isn’t very smart!

    • wicked

      There was a comment (text comment) made by someone either on one of the KSN website or the newspaper about Moran being a member. Supposedly this person spoke with Moran’s daughter? Someone else commented to him that she’s a mess. I don’t know. Aren’t they all a mess?

      • lilacluvr

        I read some comments on the WE blog where people were reporting they were getting some strange phone calls lately and the person calling stating they were Moran’s kids. Then they went on to say that Jerry was a member of the C Street group and blah, blah, blah.

        One person stated the whole thing sounded suspicious and he did some investigating (it seems this guy knew Moran) and his kids are not making these calls. So it is assumed that Tiarht’s people are doing this and trying to smear Moran’s name.

        And, really, don’t we all think Tiarht is low enough to try something like this?

      • wicked

        You’re right, Lilac. I’ll bet that’s where I saw it. One of my very few visits over there. Once every two or three weeks is my limit, although I did notice that some are being less disrespectul of their opponents. I still do plenty of eye-rolling though.

  5. tosmarttobegop

    David’s conclusion it that the chosen are free of judgment for their actions. Morality and social standard do not apply to them.

  6. tosmarttobegop

    When looking through the phone book, ever notice some ads that include the fish symbol? Or include the term “Christian” as a descriptive of the service and the person providing the service? This implied that these providers are trustworthy and more honest in their dealings.

    Sadly it is a commonly use of God and Christianity to excuse actions and justify what one does.
    Recently I went to the Summit church website, Pastor Fox has not retreated from his Political themed sermons. Using the cloak of God to justify and make his own goals legitimate. To make it where when someone question his actions it is the same as questioning God.

    C street does the same though the teachings and thought process have nothing more to do with Christianity then throwing in the name of God and Jesus.

    • lilacluvr

      Whenever I see that fish symbol or someone using God’s name to further their business – that is when I head for the exit!

      Usually, not always, these are the people who will cheat you and not blink an eye.

  7. Seems to be all about power to me. And those who are led by politicians and people in places of power who are speaking of all things God and Jesus probably have no idea where they’re being led. These are trusting moral folks for the most part, who respect authority — the kinds most easily fooled and most easily led. Don’t you think their trust is why they’re being used?

    Study the Rove way of doing things. And remember it was he who first talked openly about half the people being of below average intelligence.

  8. lilacluvr

    I read where the C Street group refer to themselves as the Christian Mafia – so what does that tell you?

    The funny thing is – these are the same ones who are saying Obama is a threat to America?

    I have to wonder what the conversation was in the C Street house when Mark Sanford was the one that let this slip out about them – during his admission to an adulterous affair – of which he kept calling his mistress his soulmate?

    And then, of course, John Ensign and his co-conspirator parents, came out in the public with their sordid little affair.

    Now we have Chip Pickering from Mississippi with his mistress being sued by his wife.

    Powerful men are oftentimes brought down by sex – does the same go for powerful groups of men?

  9. lilacluvr

    This C Street group sounds alot like Jack Abramhoff’s K-Street – doesn’t it?

    Maybe that is how this group will come to find its ‘Waterloo’. Maybe there are some financial transactions that are less than above-board?

    You know, the only thing they got Al Capone on was tax evasion.

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