Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Bill Gates Fund$ Rick Warren

Bill Gates is funding Rick Warren's Global P.E.A.C.E. Plan. It seemed evident, but the supporting documentation was missing. The two men have been in the same places at the same time, working on the same things in Africa. So it seemed inevitable that there would be an outpouring of funds.

On the Diane Rehm radio show today, broadcasting on National Public Radio, she interviewed Patty Stonesifer, CEO of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the largest grant-making foundation in the world. What follows is an excerpt that we transcribed while listening to this interview, 35:36 to 38 minutes into interview:

Question from a listener: “How to best get a review evaluation of an application for funding that agrees with Gates Foundation core values to make a difference in real lives; in this case, it’s a joint effort between a major university and a community network to use a science-based prevention model for HIV-AIDS that works through religious leaders. It’s being used in Zambia and some in Illinois but with support could be adapted for success anywhere to empower people where they live to know that HIV is a preventable virus infection. What’s your response?”

Patty Stonesifer: "There are so many good points to that question. So the first one that will apply to many of your listeners, which is how do you actually get an idea in front of The Gates Foundation? And that is if you go to our website 'gatesfoundation.org' one of the most prominent buttons is called 'Grant Seekers' and it tells you how to actually send a letter of inquiry and our teams take a look at those and take a look at our strategies and our imperatives that we’ve set up and then try to see who’s looking like their ideas or their efforts match the resources we have available for this area and the focus of our efforts. So that’s the first step."

"But there were two other things that the listener mentioned that I want to talk about and one was the role of religious leaders whether that’s through these important efforts on the ground in a country like Zambia, which I’m visiting later this year, or here in the United States. And we are partnering with many religious leaders and those who reach into the religious communities because so much good work is coming from there; so whether it’s Bread for the World or Rick Warren’s efforts or many of the good missionary efforts we see in the developing world, the religious communities are an important part of not just solving our problems at home but around the world." [emphasis added]

How does one get money from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation? See:


"Q. How do I apply for a grant through the Global Health Program?

"A. First, review the Global Health Program’s grantmaking priorities. If you feel that your project aligns with the program’s scope and strategy, please fill out our letter of inquiry form."

An Overview states the ethical foundation of this Grantmaking:

"The foundation's global health mission is guided by the belief that every life, no matter where it is lived, has equal value." [emphasis added]

One of the reasons that today's radio interview was conducted was due to the bad publicity that the Gates Foundation experienced several weeks ago when the LA Times raised some ethical issues. Herescope reported on these newspaper articles at the time:

January 11, 2007: "When the 3 Legs Intertwine"
January 16, 2007: "When the 3 Legs Intertangle"

Since the LA Times article critical of the Gates Foundation, reported on by Herescope several weeks ago, a few significant things have happened. First, The Seattle Times (http://tinyurl.com/yomlqz), which also ran the story, reported that:

“The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is planning a systematic review of its investments to determine whether it should pull its money out of companies that are doing harm to society, Chief Operating Officer Cheryl Scott said Tuesday.”

The LA Times ( http://tinyurl.com/2f3t3s ), however, ran a letter from Patty Stonesifer, CEO of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation which stated that “it is naïve to suggest that an individual stockholder can stop that suffering” and “[c]hanges in our investment practices would have little or no impact on these issues.”

Philanthropy Today ( http://tinyurl.com/2fos65 ) reported that “Chief Executive of Gates Foundation Clarifies Its Stance on Social Investing” (1/16/07) which stated, in part:

“The chief executive of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation said in a letter to the editor of the Los Angeles Times that the philanthropy does not plan to make changes in its investment policies.

“. . . Patty Stonesifer, the head of the foundation, said it was ‘naïve’ to suggest that individual shareholders could alter corporate policies.

“. . . The letter comes after the foundation had signaled that it planned to step up its review of stocks. Cheryl Scott, the chief operating officer of the foundation, told The Seattle Times last week that the foundation planned to conduct a review to determine whether it would divest from companies doing harm, the Los Angeles Times noted.”

A full statement of the Gates Foundation's “Our Investing Philosophy” by Cheryl Scott, CEO of the Gates Foundation, can be found at http://tinyurl.com/y63lab. A statement of “Our Guiding Principles” is posted at http://tinyurl.com/2yqcof. Note that this foundation views itself as a “shaper” and says, “we apply our efforts against a theory of change.”

Obviously, Rick Warren's Global P.E.A.C.E. Plan fits the criteria as one of the "partners," and shares the same "values." In light of the previous Herescope posts, it seems like a good time to revisit two prior posts: "Foundation Imperialism" from June 28th last year and July 25th "The Peaceful Conquest of the World: Circa 1929."

The Truth:

"O Ephraim, what shall I do unto thee? O Judah, what shall I do unto thee? for your goodness is as a morning cloud, and as the early dew it goeth away." (Hosea 6:4)