The Radiance Foundation: Radiating Hype and Lies


Since billboards went up in Georgia some months ago claiming that black children are an endangered species because of abortion, reproductive justice advocates have spent time and resources addressing the black genocide conspiracy theory and setting the record straight.  That makes sense – a false accusation left unaddressed can too easily be seen as the truth.  So, it comes as no surprise that advocates have focused on refuting false allegations and explaining the truth behind the numbers game proponents of the black genocide myth play.  I, however, have also been wondering who is behind this revival of the black genocide myth.  It seems to me that organizations claiming to expose “the truth” that then proceed to manipulate data and lie about the mission of reproductive health care providers, have earned a review themselves.

In Georgia, two groups joined forces to purchase billboards claiming that black children are an endangered species – Georgia Right to Life (GRTL) and The Radiance Foundation.  I was already familiar with GRTL, but The Radiance Foundation was new to me.  A quick Google search took me to The Radiance Foundation website.  The mission of The Radiance Foundation, founded by Bethany and Ryan Bomberger, is:

Through various forms of media, speaking engagements, multi-media presentations and community outreach efforts, we illuminate the intrinsic value each person possesses.  We educate audiences about societal issues and how they impact the understanding of God-given purpose.  We motivate people to positively affect the world around them.  Our content is professionally designed and connects with people cross culturally and gross generationally.

Isn’t it amazing how so many words can say so little?

I decided to dig deeper.  Google searches of Ryan and Bethany Bomberger turned up a lot of websites created by Ryan Bomberger and some articles covering the endangered species campaign in Georgia.  The Radiance Foundation website hosts biographies for both Ryan and Bethany Bomberger and both appear to be anti-choice adoption advocates who also support the black genocide conspiracy theory.  The Bombergers are not new to the media spotlight, having appeared on Showtime at the Apollo, Good Morning America, ABC Family’s My Life is a Sitcom, and Oprah.

While The Radiance Foundation website appears to market the Bombergers themselves, one of their other websites – TooManyAborted.com – is all about marketing the black genocide conspiracy theory.  TooManyAborted.com boasts the tag line “no hype. just truth” and offers several videos perpetuating the black genocide conspiracy theory while also making allegations that reproductive health care providers are dishonest and use deceptive tactics to manipulate women of color into seeking abortions in order to continue a genocide of black people.  As I moved through the website, I clicked on the site’s YouTube button and viewed a video titled “Lies: Part 1” by The Radiance Foundation.  The video features cleverly edited clips of reproductive health care advocates with the word “lies” repeatedly flashing across the screen. 

I tried to imagine that I was the target of this marketing campaign and began looking for information about reproductive health care services.  If the site’s creators are making the case that reproductive health care providers are engaged in a conspiracy of deception to perpetuate a genocide of black people then I wanted to see what they considered “no hype” and “just truth.”\.

I clicked on the Get Help option under the Contact Us tab on the TooManyAborted.com homepage and then clicked on the tab titled Get Help Today.  I was taken to a different website, Optionline.org, for an organization called Option Line.  On their About Us page, Option Line says the following – “Option Line consultants refer each caller to a pregnancy resource center in her area for answers to questions about abortion, pregnancy tests, STDs, adoption, parenting, medical referrals, housing, and many other issues. The toll-free number is available to callers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Callers from across the country can reach a trained, caring person and then be connected to a pregnancy resource center near them for one-on-one help.  Option Line is a call center located in Columbus, Ohio, formed as a joint venture between Care Net and Heartbeat International.”

The same web site that claims reproductive health care providers lie to and manipulate women is sending women who seek information and advice about their options to a referral service for crisis pregnancy centers which have been proven to provide inaccurate medical information about abortion and use shame and scare tactics when counseling women.

What happened to “just truth” – did it get lost somewhere between the web page full of inaccurate information about abortion services and the page alleging the danger of Post-Abortion Stress that provides a link to an online Abortion Recovery survey that starts off with “Any of these circumstances might lead you to regret an abortion later. How many of these apply to you?”

I must confess that, after this exercise, I better understand the seductive appeal of conspiracy theories.  It would be easy to build a conspiracy theory that alleges that TooManyAborted.com is a hype-laden truth deficient referral site for crisis pregnancy centers.  But conspiracy theories, regardless of how cleverly they are presented, do nothing to empower women of color.  We deserve better – medically accurate information, access to the full range of reproductive health care services and respect for our ability to make medical decisions about of reproductive health.  We deserve choice – we’ve had enough hype to last us a lifetime.

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  • toomanyaborted

    Ms. Merritt,

     

    Reading your article reveals no merit to any claim of hype or lies.  Not once do you challenge any of our irrefutable stats.  Not once do you provide substance to any claim of distortion or hype, whereas, our site and campaign is replete with direct challenges to pro-abortion, or “pro-choice”, assertions with the facts to back it all up.  The shame here is that when anyone actually exercises the spectrum of “choice”, you curiously and inexplicably deride them.  Our vid “Lies: Part 1″ doesn’t use clever editing, but simply the very words of “pro-choice” advocates: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gOoJIQ_D1FE

     

    Your own highly venerated Loretta Ross (who, in person, is quite amiable and enjoyable to talk to) concedes that our history is accurate; she just believes in a continued racist patriarchal system that is trying to force its will upon women, when the preponderance of those involved in prolife efforts, especially through the help and resources of pregnancy care centers, are women.  There’s no theory.  There’s irrefutable history that is well-documented.  Your logic about the indisputable history we present on http://www.TooManyAborted.com, would then have to question the very existence of slavery or lynchings or Jim Crow laws.  You can’t pick and choose which history you’re going to acknowledge.  We’re not conjuring up something that didn’t exist, but illuminating the Birth Control movement and the despicable racism and eugenics that defined it.  We would think you would want women to understand a deeply disturbing factual account of the past, whether you like it or not, that brought about legalized abortion and population control in America.

     

    But then, that would require providing historically accurate, as well as medically accurate information to women–a task that seems too daunting for those who espouse a “pro-choice” ideology.

     

    Ryan Bomberger

    The Radiance Foundation

    http://www.theradiancefoundation.org

    http://www.toomanyaborted.com

     

  • pamela-merritt

    Mr. Bomberger,

    Your sensationalized manipulation of history speaks for itself, just as your site’s three-click-away connection to a CPC referral service speaks volumes about your dedication to providing women of color with hype-free information.

    Saying that you provide medically accurate information is a long way from providing medically accurate information – a task that has long been too daunting for CPCs and those who refer people to them.

    The worst thing about this entire debate is that communities of color face real challenges and threats that go unaddressed in the media frenzy surrounding claims of black genocide. 

    I’ll let the facts about women of color and abortion speak for themselves –   http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/gpr/11/3/gpr110302.html

  • prochoiceferret

    Hello Mr. Bomb-Burger!

    We’re not conjuring up something that didn’t exist, but illuminating the Birth Control movement and the despicable racism and eugenics that defined it.

    Kind of like the birth of this nation, and the despicable racism and sexism that defined it (slavery and lack of female suffrage), isn’t it?

    We would think you would want women to understand a deeply disturbing factual account of the past, whether you like it or not, that brought about legalized abortion and population control in America.

    That’s not so bad in itself, but it’s not like you can use that history to argue against abortion as it is widely practiced in the U.S. today. After all, lots of things that aren’t bad in and of themselves were done in horrible, horrible ways back then. (Like adoption.)

     

    After all, even Martin Luther King Jr. (perhaps you’ve heard of him?) spoke highly of Planned Parenthood, and Margaret Sanger’s work.

  • colleen

    We would think you would want women to understand a deeply disturbing factual account of the past, whether you like it or not, that brought about legalized abortion and population control in America.

    You know, I read stuff like this and marvel at the thought that there are women stupid enough to believe it.

  • crowepps

    Would be interested in obtaining copies of the Federal 990 nonprofit reporting forms for both your organizations.  To what address should I send my request?

  • wendy-banks

    Thanks for the real facts Pamela! Your artical was insightful as always.