We have written several times in the past about the confusing in-fighting among anti-choice activist over the rights to the name “Operation Rescue.”
After Randall Terry shut down the original Operation Rescue in the late 1980’s in an effort to evade various restraining orders, debt, and monetary judgments against the organization, it was reborn as a smaller group headed by Flip Benham and called Operation Save America.
Eventually another member of the original OR created a group called Operation Rescue West that was headquartered in California, though it eventually moved itself to Wichita, Kansas to focus on protesting Dr. George Tiller and now goes by the name Operation Rescue and is headed by Troy Newman.
Benham has protested Newman’s use of the name “Operation Rescue” and Terry has sued Newman over it, which in turn has set off feuding among activists as they chose sides in the fight while all three men (Terry, Benham, and Newman) battle over who truly owns the right to the name “Operation Rescue.”
That was as much as we’ve been able to figure out about this fight, but it looks like there are some developments in the works, as in the last two days we have seen Terry allies suddenly lash out at Newman.
First, it was announced that Newman had been booted from Women Against the Killing and Exploitation of Unprotected Persons’ [W.A.K.E.U.P] advisory board “because of his continued unethical and divisive behavior” pertaining to his on-going fight against Terry.
The following day, a former ally on Newman’s named George Offerman announced that he was starting a new website to fight Newman’s lies against Terry:
“In my 27 years in the movement, I have seen extensive infighting and accusations from one pro-lifer to another. It sickens me. There needs to be more unity in the pro-life movement, and the constant bickering and backbiting is actually causing problems with the intended goal of ending legalized child-killing. In that light, I intend to also focus on other attacks against pro-lifers by fellow pro-lifers.
“In the past, I was a large supporter of Troy Newman, and I encouraged many friends and family to give to Mr. Newman. This resulted in well over $10,000 in contributions to Mr. Newman’s work.
“Nearly 2 years ago, Mr. Newman made allegations against Mr. Terry that I believed, and have since learned to be false. When I approached Mr. Newman to discuss these falsehoods, he became more and more belligerent over time.
“I then decided to launch this site to fight these false allegations made by people like Troy Newman against Randall Terry.
This seemed so sudden and out-of-the-blue that we didn’t really know what to make of it, but now it looks like it was part of an effort by Terry to do preemptive spinning and damage control ahead of an anticipated article about the trademark fight from the Los Angeles Times:
Background: Mr. Randall Terry has been attacked repeatedly on line and in the press for some of his recent statements and actions, including activities and Notre Dame and his comments about the shooting of George Tiller. The Los Angeles Times is doing a story on Mr. Terry and his fiercest critics and adversaries in the pro-life movement.
Mr. Randall Terry states:
“I have been doing interviews with journalists for over 25 years. When an LA Times reporter contacts me and says, ‘I want to do a story about the trademark dispute,’ and then proceeds to repeat slanderous allegations — with the possibility of printing false allegations — I smell a big dead rat. The Washington Post recently did a feature story on me — and while certainly not favorable, and at points a little demeaning — the Post had the integrity to not stoop to printing false allegations against me made by my pro-life adversaries. Let’s see what The Los Angeles times is made of.”
Mr. George Offerman states:
“I’ve been in the mental health field since 1987, I’ve been a licensed clinical social worker since 1995, and worked with a myriad of pathologies including both Axis I and Axis II diagnoses. I was contacted by the journalist from the Los Angeles Times, ostensibly to talk about my knowledge of the parties involved in a trademark dispute. I attempted to discuss the possible pathologies involved with those falsely attacking Randall. I left the phone call with the concern that this would be a hatchet job on Randall. I will reserve judgment until the piece runs, but I want my friends in the pro-life movement to know with absolute certainty: if the article is untrue or inaccurate… you’ll be hearing from me!”
The article in question has not yet been published, but when it is, we’ll certainly have to read it just to see what all the fuss is about.