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Louis Marinelli on NOM’s “secret propaganda team”

NOM Exposed Right-wing

By Adam Bink

So this is interesting: NOM’s attempt to get supporters to push out information it doesn’t want to be seen pushing, thinking of its supporters as tools. Also, NOM apparently fears Elton John supporters. Here’s Louis (bolding mine):

As early as last year after the Summer for Marriage Tour, NOM had the idea of assembling a special team of particularly homophobic propagandists dedicated supporters, which I lightly touched upon discussing NOM’s illusion of support. The task of this team is to do the work NOM doesn’t want to do or officially engage in. Let me give an example.

A couple of months ago, Elton John publicly changed his opinion on same-sex marriage and came out supporting marriage equality. Naturally, NOM wanted to go after him for his change of heart but “due to Elton John supporters and various other reasons” NOM decided not “to push the story” officially.

However, NOM’s secret online propaganda team was instructed to “make [Elton John’s change of heart] public in a more suitable way” to allow NOM to covertly attack the pop legend in a way that would officially leave them out of the fray. It was important to NOM to create the illusion that Elton John’s change of heart naturally spurred a public backlash when all the while it was NOM pulling the strings from above.

In exchange for their propaganda work, NOM is offering rewards.

As part of my job with NOM, I was instructed to create a point system to reward the propagandists. Everything they do will be tracked and NOM plans to reward them. In the future, when this team gets off the ground, NOM intends to use the technology behind Mr. Brown’s ActRight conservative activism website to facilitate tracking, create a competitive atmosphere between the propagandists and allow them to redeem the points they earn in a variety of ways, including lunch with Mr. Brown himself.

I wonder how NOM’s supporters would feel to know they are thought of as tools. Personally, as a person who has been asked to take action (on many other issues by many people and organizations) I always like to feel that I’m invested in an organization and a part of it, not a tool used for, well, dirty work.


  • 1. Lesbians Love Boies  |  April 14, 2011 at 3:02 am

    Doesn't surprise me one bit.

  • 2. Kathleen  |  April 14, 2011 at 3:08 am

  • 3. Ann S.  |  April 14, 2011 at 3:24 am


  • 4. Straight for Equalit  |  April 14, 2011 at 3:32 am

  • 5. RebeccaRGB  |  April 14, 2011 at 4:22 am

  • 6. JonT  |  April 14, 2011 at 10:08 am

  • 7. Mouse  |  April 14, 2011 at 8:24 am

    It does surprise me, though. We're coming together and volunteering and not expecting to win prizes for it other than the goal we're fighting for: equality.

    I never expected that you could earn a free toaster oven for stopping 150 gay weddings.

  • 8. Tom B.  |  April 15, 2011 at 12:37 am

    But I was told that with our copy of the Gay Agenda(tm), we were supposed to get a free toaster oven ourselves! I feel gypped! 😀

  • 9. Linda  |  April 14, 2011 at 3:05 am

    Who are the members of this 'secret online team'?

  • 10. Alan E.  |  April 14, 2011 at 3:16 am

    It's funny because it just shows what we already knew about NOM. Those "matching fund" drives they had where they would instantly get tens of thousands of dollars at the last moment…

    Also, whatever happened to "1 Million for Marriage"?

  • 11. Ed  |  April 14, 2011 at 3:32 am

    This is part of a comment by John Noe over at NOM's blog…..yep, this is how we are thought of.

    …(3) Their is the concept of equality. Homosexuals are simply not equal. Science and biology says so. You cannot reproduce. You have a higher mortality rate and higher chance of sickness and disease….

  • 12. Alan E.  |  April 14, 2011 at 3:35 am

    Funny, because I thought everyone had a 100% mortality rate at some point.

  • 13. fiona64  |  April 14, 2011 at 5:48 am

    Alan, you win the entire Internet. 🙂


  • 14. AnonyGrl  |  April 14, 2011 at 6:20 am

    The good news is that once again, NOM's letter to your congressperson and senator can be co-opted to write a letter of support instead.….

  • 15. Mark M. (Seattle)  |  April 14, 2011 at 9:27 am

    I rewrote the letter to a positive Marriage Equality…tried to post it here but it seems to have disappeared ;-(
    Oh well so long as it went to the intended persons

  • 16. Straight Ally #3008  |  April 14, 2011 at 9:28 am

    Science and biology? This guy probably doesn't believe in evolution and thinks Noah stuffed T-rexes on to the Ark.

  • 17. SFBay  |  April 14, 2011 at 10:36 am

    I am giving a try at commenting over at NOM. I don't expect to get thru, but here's what I said:

    re: "Homosexuals are simply not equal. Science and biology says so. You cannot reproduce. You have a higher mortality rate and higher chance of sickness and disease."

    You are one sick person. You embody all the worst in bigotry and hatred. I am ashamed for you as I know you have no shame. What a sad pitiful person you are.

  • 18. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  April 14, 2011 at 3:46 am

    Getting "link not found" when click on this is interesting

  • 19. adambink  |  April 14, 2011 at 3:58 am

    Thanks, just fixed

  • 20. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  April 14, 2011 at 4:01 am

    thank you! prefer to check the source….

    Wow, Louis is really trying to make amends. good for him…and thx Adam for sharing : )

  • 21. Bob  |  April 14, 2011 at 3:59 am

    thanks Louis, this may be helpful information,,,about the inner workings of NOM,,,,,,

    wish you could help us out further,,,,,, would love to hear more from you,, directly communicating with us , some posting on this site,,,,

    Louis when you where doing this work of creating illusions, participating in the creation of a team of "particularily homophobic propogandist supporters;:"and more specifically developing a point system to reward them,

    How did you do that?

    And while doing that work, did you feel personally invested yourself in the project, i.e. didn't any of that in itself make you wonder? about what you where doing?

    How were you able to work in an atmosphere of smoke and mirrors, lies and illusions, actually participate in creating them, how did that square with your own concsiousness?

    It's clear that a point system and competition, encourage homophobes to push the limits, (find a hater and reinforce his behavior)

    Louis, do you have an opportunity to contact these people, who you created the point system for, and explain it to them??

    Louis do you feel invested personaly now, in working towards equality, and how do you see yourself best doing that??

    It gives me some comfort in knowing like we always thought, what we're really up against is a right wing religious extreme group, using and pushing homophobes to push an agenda of hatred,,, they are the minority, which money gives a voice to . They feed the flames of ignorance and hatred ,,,, really we're up against a small group of haters, doing evil things……

  • 22. Michelle Evans  |  April 14, 2011 at 4:24 am

    I had to laugh at the idea that having lunch with Brian would be considered a big prize! Wow, what a treat. (extreme sarcasm, of course.)

  • 23. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  April 14, 2011 at 4:32 am

    LOLROTF!!! me too!

    comment from the actual post by Louis:

    A free lunch with Brian Brown for spewing hate and rhetoric? This brings a whole new meaning to the word Fund A Mentalist!

  • 24. AnonyGrl  |  April 14, 2011 at 4:43 am

    You will, I hope, forgive me, for admitting that my first reaction to this was "Hey! Kind of like OUR joke about recruitment drives and earning kitchen appliances for turning people gay!"

    Now, I KNOW for a fact that NOM has on numerous occasions copied things directly from what we do or say over here. They have, for instance, tried to co-opt "rainbow coallition" (remember the Gathering Storm ad?) and the rainbow symbol itself, they have tried to convince people that THEY are fighting FOR civil rights, they have taken down posts that we pointed out said things that support OUR case not theirs, they have started posting legal documents on Scribd like our Kathleen does here, they started using Facebook and other social media after they saw how well it was working for the opposition…

    Could it be that they somehow thought we were SERIOUS about the recruiting bonus joke?

    Frankly, that was the idea that made me laugh.

    The fact that they WERE offering bonuses to homophobes to push their agenda doesn't surprise me. Kind of throws the whole "Lynchin' Larry" thing into sharp relief, doesn't it?

    But I want to say something to them.

    I'll shout, so they don't miss it.



  • 25. Bruce McRoberts  |  April 14, 2011 at 4:52 am

    …Are you trying to say I'm not getting that toaster oven after all?

  • 26. Mark M. (Seattle)  |  April 14, 2011 at 5:04 am

    Toaster ovens are so 1990…we are now offering a nice french press with bean grinder 🙂

  • 27. gaydadtobe  |  April 14, 2011 at 5:07 am

    Toaster ovens are still a great way to cook things while saving some energy use without having to use a large conventional oven. Less space to heat up.

  • 28. Ed Cortes  |  April 14, 2011 at 5:19 am

    Now, I could use that toaster oven to roast my coffee beans for the coffee bean grinder and french press!!

  • 29. Mark M. (Seattle)  |  April 14, 2011 at 5:35 am

    Start recruiting!!

  • 30. Kathleen  |  April 14, 2011 at 6:07 am

    How many do I have to recruit to win a clothes dryer? I desperately need a new one since mine stopped tumbling.

  • 31. Mark M. (Seattle)  |  April 14, 2011 at 6:22 am

    Kathleen I'll have to check with Satan and see what the total need would be 🙂

  • 32. Sheryl, Mormon Mothe  |  April 15, 2011 at 8:52 am

    Kathleen, if you are serious about that dryer, check Craigslist, starting with the free items, and if no luck there, try the for sale. We got a great deal, paid $50 one year ago and dryer is terrific.

  • 33. Alan E.  |  April 15, 2011 at 9:00 am

    or Freecycle

  • 34. adambink  |  April 14, 2011 at 10:06 am

    Typical Seattle coffee yuppie 🙂

  • 35. Mark M. (Seattle)  |  April 15, 2011 at 9:09 am


  • 36. gaydadtobe  |  April 14, 2011 at 5:06 am

    Requires an initial $300 deposit.

  • 37. Elizabeth Oakes  |  April 14, 2011 at 5:43 am

    Sorry Bruce. I can send you some "Hello Kitty" stickers or something instead.

  • 38. AnonyGrl  |  April 14, 2011 at 5:56 am

    Or perhaps, as a reward, we could offer lunch with a guarantee that Brian Brown will NOT attend?*

    * Lunch not included. Guarantee not intended to be an actual guarantee.**
    ** Although how silly would that be? "Keep up the recruiting and we will let you buy your own lunch, and Brian Brown might just randomly turn up, we have no control over that!" Perhaps not the best campaign slogan ever. This may need some more work.

  • 39. Rhonda  |  April 14, 2011 at 12:12 pm

    Not intended to be factual…..

  • 40. nightshayde  |  April 14, 2011 at 8:16 am

    *perks up ears*

    Did someone say "Hello Kitty" stickers?

    *is interested*

  • 41. Bob  |  April 14, 2011 at 4:58 am

    @ Gregory Fund A Mentalist! hilarious

    and lunch with BB,,, ( I might do something to get that opportunity,,, what kind of person does these things)

    just think what NOM does, and how it works,,,, then consder who they are working for!!!!!!!!!! the Catholic, and Momon Churches,,, not surprizing for those of us who are recovering from the brainwashing of religion gone bad.

    I think Louis could write a book about the scandal of this proportion,,,,,,,

    If this story gets wider publicity those churches would quickly want to distance themselves from NOM, actually bring and end to the organization, severe the funding, let it die, and bury any trace of connections before further exposure…

    Louis you could write a book just the fact that you're doing it would sund the alarm, "How I found my soul while working evil for the church"

  • 42. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  April 14, 2011 at 5:31 am

    I would read that book.

  • 43. Kate  |  April 14, 2011 at 5:46 am

    I would even BUY that book!

  • 44. fiona64  |  April 14, 2011 at 5:51 am

    The story of Martha Nibley Beck leaving the Mormon church … which excommunicated her for speaking out against her (high ranking LDS official) father for sexually abusing her. The book's full title is "Leaving the Saints: How I Lost the Mormons and Found My Faith."

    Well worth reading, IMO.

    Fiona (who was triggered to share about this book because of Bob's title suggestion)

  • 45. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  April 14, 2011 at 9:38 am

    I'll check it out! thanks!

  • 46. Bob  |  April 14, 2011 at 5:54 am

    I would buy that book ,,,,,, extras for gifts to people it might enlighten,,,,,

  • 47. Bob  |  April 14, 2011 at 6:01 am

    and I also will check out Fiona's suggestion,,, thanks,,,,,

    but really Louis think about writing a book,,,, invest in yourself and your story,,,,, talk about self discovery,,, talk about a money maker, talk about fundraising,,,,

  • 48. Louis  |  April 14, 2011 at 6:01 am

    NOM is looking through tea party rosters to find activists to join this team. They consider it a tea party for marriage.

  • 49. Ann S.  |  April 14, 2011 at 6:10 am

    Hi Louis!

  • 50. Kate  |  April 14, 2011 at 6:18 am

    I don't think I'll ever get used to how that greeting has changed!

  • 51. Mark M. (Seattle)  |  April 14, 2011 at 6:26 am

    I know huh….still freaks me out a bit to see him posting on here with us. Makes me smile though 🙂
    Hi Louis

  • 52. Kate  |  April 14, 2011 at 6:35 am

    Absolutely, Mark. It's like being present to watch a miracle in progress. Louis, how often did you look in on this site during your dark days? Did you ever wonder why we kept saying "Hi Louis" ???

  • 53. Linda  |  April 14, 2011 at 8:38 am

    @Louis–Now *this* does not surprise me at all. It just confirms my suspicions about that Tea Party movement. Thanks for validating my suspicions. 🙂

  • 54. Carpool Cookie  |  April 14, 2011 at 8:44 am

    In addition to thanks for your other recent work, let me take this opportunity to say I am GLAD you're using an avatar!!

    Helps me keep who's posting clear, at a glance !! : )

  • 55. Kate  |  April 14, 2011 at 10:14 am

    Cookie, I laughed when I first saw Louis had an avatar 'cuz I knew it would make your day. Maybe even your week!

  • 56. fiona64  |  April 14, 2011 at 9:24 am

    Anyone who hasn't figured out that the "tea party" is better referred to as the Teahadists isn't paying attention. They want a right-wing theocracy with, of course, their own brand of Theocrat in charge.

    Too bad so few of them even grasped what their goddess Ayn Rand wrote; there is not room for most of those people at Galt's Gulch.


  • 57. Ray in MA  |  April 14, 2011 at 10:36 am

    Just curious, Louis…

    Why does this article mention you and Anthony on a park bench, and others mention you and Adam on a park bench?

    Just a park bench kinda thing?

    Daily Beast:

    /// In early August he said he sat on a park bench in St. Louis with cameraman Ash, a 29-year-old gay man who asked him questions on camera, resulting in a typically cold interview—until Ash turned off the camera.

    “I asked Louis, ‘Can we just be real for a minute’?” said Ash, who was devoting his summer to tracking NOM’s every move. He said Marinelli asked him why Ash had covered his ID badge one day when Marinelli took a photo of it. “I told him it was out of safety, that one NOM supporter had said the solution to gay marriage was lynching, and I was looking out for myself.” (Ash said he was punched and his camera damaged during a subsequent NOM tour.) They talked briefly about their lives, and Ash told Marinelli he had a family whom he had left for the summer to fight NOM. He said he also did drag. “He laughed. You could tell he was uncomfortable, it was kind of overload for him, but he laughed,” said Ash.

    That conversation had a lasting impact, said Marinelli. “I realized he was someone I could talk to, not someone I wanted to go after anymore,” he said. “Anthony helped change me because I finally saw someone personally affected by what I was doing.”

  • 58. Ray in MA  |  April 14, 2011 at 11:27 am


    I remember sitting on a bench in St. Louis, Missouri alone with Anthony for a few minutes. It was just the two of us talking off camera. It was then that I empathized with Anthony for the first time, although I did not tell him.

    I understood for the first time that my work wasn’t affecting some faceless, nameless political targets but instead good people just like Anthony. Gays and lesbians just wanted to participate in all that is America.

  • 59. Bob  |  April 14, 2011 at 12:39 pm

    and what I find interesting is, if ,, as he's telling us, it was Anthony, and the Courage Campaign that caused his turn around,,,,

    but on the fox news interview he makes no mention of them….

  • 60. Ann S.  |  April 14, 2011 at 2:16 pm

    Well, Colmes did keep interrupting him, and he kept calling him "Louis Martinelli". It's a radio interview, and can be found here.

  • 61. Kathleen  |  April 14, 2011 at 12:13 pm

    Ant = Anthony Ash. I didn't see mention of Adam in either article.

  • 62. Bob  |  April 14, 2011 at 6:06 am

    hey Louis, thanks for the tip,,,

    what do you say about writing a book,,,, I know you made the news last night,,,, has anyone approached you to actually come on live and tell your story,,,,

  • 63. Dave in CA  |  April 14, 2011 at 6:15 am


    A day or two after you went public with your change of heart, I posted a comment here about the three R's of apology: remorse, regret and repair.

    You are doing all three, and you are a model of what a real apology looks like, in thought, words and actions. Thank you! I am humbled watching you do what you are doing.

    I can't say you are doing God's work ( I wouldn't presume to put words in his mouth), but I will say, you are doing the Founding Fathers' work: helping us achieve the goal of Equality for All that they envisioned, above and beyond the 18th Century limitations of the culture and mindset that they operated within.

    Thank you again.

  • 64. Carpool Cookie  |  April 14, 2011 at 8:12 am

    Re: Apologies, This is a good site, if we ever find ourselves painted into a corner…

    Step by step instructions, and discussion:

  • 65. Bob  |  April 14, 2011 at 6:20 am

    hey Louis, I just heard your interview live on Fox News,,, great,,, that answers one question above,,,,, and you did say that you are willing to work with other organizations to rectify the wrong that you did to the LGBT community,,,

    I like your admission that you found yourself surrounded by haters

    what organization do you feel most comfortable in working with to further LGBT issues???

  • 66. Carpool Cookie  |  April 14, 2011 at 8:10 am

    "hey Louis, I just heard your interview live on Fox News,,,

    Where's this?????

    I can't stop saying: GOLLY GUMPTION!

  • 67. Bob  |  April 14, 2011 at 9:05 am

    go to the post Louis made above, click on his name,,, the page that comes up,, has a section for media, you can heqr his interview,,,,

  • 68. Tyler  |  April 14, 2011 at 8:10 am

    At first, I was really skeptical of Louis' change of heart, but it seems to me that he's earning his stripes now. Good work, Louis! Got anymore dirt on Brown or Slaggie? haha

  • 69. Sagesse  |  April 14, 2011 at 9:02 am

    Going to read this with interest.

  • 70. DaveP  |  April 14, 2011 at 9:32 am

    Regarding the opening sentence in the post at the top, yes, this IS interesting! I have been one of the folks with a…shall we say… "wait and see" attitude about the recent news regarding Louis, and I can now say that I an becoming pretty convinced that this is legit and he really does intend to do some work to try to set things right.

    Louis, if you're reading this, thank you!

    In my own life, there have been some times when I needed to face up to my own actions, change my behaviors, and try to set things right to correct some mistakes that I had made. And when I did this I found that it was the best thing I could have done for my own self esteem. All of that discomfort I had been feeling about my past actions, all of the regret and shame was GONE. I felt free and at ease. And I hope the actions you are starting to take give you the same results. Keep up the good work, you won't regret it!

  • 71. Nicole  |  April 14, 2011 at 9:34 am

    This strategy is fundamentally consistent with their core rhetoric. Fighting on behalf of animosity and discrimination against LGBT people is just not as easy as it was ten or twenty years ago. Back then, feeding on the idea that gay people are depraved perverted morally weak "people" who should be given second class citizenship was a pretty easy sell. Many people have changed their understanding of LGBT people, as more of them have come out of the closet.

    NOM exists to take a brilliant new angle. To convince people that they are not in fact discriminating against LGBT people when truthfully that's exactly what they're doing. They've introduced the idea that discrimination against gays and lesbians is about children and not about discrimination against lesbian and gays. Their success is based on their PR. The brilliance in this position comes from how they work with local organizations and businesses who will do and say what they will not do, so they can support hatred and bigotry without deviating from their core message of family and the love and support of children.

  • 72. Elizabeth Oakes  |  April 14, 2011 at 10:46 am

    It's "Hate By Proxy"! That is smart!

  • 73. Ronnie  |  April 14, 2011 at 9:48 am


  • 74. truthspew  |  April 14, 2011 at 10:51 am

    Everything Marinelli is saying I've pretty much already deduced.

    NOM is a small group of bigots trying to amplify their fringe Catholic beliefs.

  • 75. Rhie  |  April 18, 2011 at 4:06 am


  • 76. Louis Marinelli: Brian Br&hellip  |  April 18, 2011 at 7:15 am

    […] the news about NOM using its supporters as tools is getting to them. With thanks for Towleroad for […]

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