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Monday, March 19, 2007

UPDATE: White House Contradicts Local Pastor Ken Hutcherson on His Claim that He Is a U.S. “Special Envoy”; Hutcherson, in Response, Says He Will Provide Video Proof

Posted by on March 19 at 17:00 PM

Ken Hutcherson, the famously anti-gay pastor at Antioch Bible Church, just outside of Seattle, has recently been claiming that he is a newly-minted White House “Special Envoy.”

Hutcherson’s supposed full title, which he claimed was bestowed upon him by the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, was: Special Envoy for Adoptions, Family Values, Religious Freedom, and Medical Relief.

Hutcherson apparently used this title during his recent travels to Latvia, where he complained to the U.S. Embassy there about its alleged monetary support for gay rights groups, and where he also reportedly appeared with Scott Lively, an American who claims gays were responsible for (not victims of) the Holocaust.

This morning I called the White House to confirm Hutcherson’s title. I just received an email from White House Spokeswoman Alyssa J. McLenning, who tells me that Hutcherson was never given any such title. McLenning writes:

The White House Office of Faith-based and Community Initiatives did not give Hutcherson the title, “Special Envoy for Adoptions, Family Values, Religious Freedom, and Medical Relief.”

I’m still waiting to hear back on whether the White House gave Hutcherson any other titles, and whether it provided any material support for his trip to Latvia. I’m also putting a call in to Hutcherson to see if he can explain why he’s been claiming a title that the White House says he doesn’t have.

UPDATE: I’ve heard back again from McLenning, and she she tells me that the White House did not give Hutcherson any other titles and did not coordinate with Hutcherson on his recent trip to Latvia.

FURTHER UPDATE: I just spoke to Pastor Ken Hutcherson. He tells me that White House spokeswoman Alyssa J. McLenning is wrong, that he does have the title he claimed, and that it comes from a “partnership” he’s established with Jay Hein, Director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives.

“You need to talk to Jay Hein,” Hutcherson told me. “He’s the one that I’ve been talking to and the one that we are partnered with.”

Hutcherson claims to have met with Hein at least twice in person about this partnership, once a few months ago in Seattle, and once last month at the White House. I asked Hutcherson what the title and the partnership mean in terms of his work in Latvia. He replied:

“In my meetings, I can represent as being with them [the White House] and having the power I need to get things done.”

MORE: Postman digs up an account of Hutcherson speaking to Latvia’s New Generation Church:

‘I came to you representing the White House’, continued Hutcherson.

And a Slog reader emails me to suggest the following:

If Hutch did engage in an “official capacity” in Latvia claiming he was some sort of “special envoy” without approval from the White House (and likely the State Department as well- they get VERY touchy about stuff like that) it could well be a federal crime.

I’m not a lawyer, and I don’t know if it could be a crime or not, but I’m looking into this question.

MORE FROM HUTCHERSON: Hutcherson just called me again. He sounded quite perturbed that he is being cast as, in his words, “a liar,” and he told me that he is rushing to get his hands on video of an interview with Latvian television that he said will prove his claims.

The video, Hutcherson told me, was shot after a Feb. 8 meeting at the White House between himself; Jay Hein, the director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives; and Pastor Alexei Ladyaev of Latvia’s New Generation Church.

Hutcherson said this White House meeting was the second of two meetings he had with Hein about his plans in Latvia. The first meeting, according to Hutcherson, took place in Seattle on January 18 during a conference on faith-based initiatives attended by Hein.

“That was when he made his first commitment to me and said it was a done deal,” Hutcherson told me.

I asked Hutcherson what, exactly, was a “done deal” after his Seattle meeting with Hein.

“Our partnership,” Hutcherson told me. He said he requested the first meeting with Hein because, in his words, “I just wanted Faith-Based to give me the power to do what I needed to do.”

And the Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives did, according to Hutcherson.

Hutcherson said that in the video from the second meeting (the one held on Feb. 8 in D.C.) the three men—Hutcherson, Hein, and Ladyaev—are standing on the White House lawn answering questions from a Latvian television reporter.

Hutcherson said the video will show that Hein met with him, knew of his new title, and approved of his mission to Latvia. As Hutcherson put it to me:

I’m gonna prove that I had those meetings, I’m gonna prove that I got that title behind me, and I’m gonna show you the video that says I was coming to Latvia and the purpose why.

If this video actually aired on Latvian television, as Hutcherson says it did, I’m guessing there might be a clip of it out there somewhere on the web. If you find it, shoot me an email with a link.


You will find that it was really god that gave him the title.

bush = god or didn't you get the addendum to Revelations the GOP put out

I am glad to hear that we have such an awesome rouge diplomat speaking on our behalf to the rest of the world

We need more rouge diplomats!

figures. nice work, eli.

He is such an egomaniacal jerk!

maybe Hutch is the first in a new wave of Anarcho/neocolonial/reactionary foreign policy.

@3 sp: rogue
hmm my typo makes for an interesting meaning change

Why does the Stranger keep persecuting Ambassador Reverend Hutcherson, Special Envoy for Adoptions, Family Values, Religious Freedom, and Medical Relief? Is it because you are jealous that his letterhead has so many more words than yours?

Now, if only Mr. Sanders would apply this sort of investigative work when he writes about AIDS...

Okay I get why he would want Adoptions (keep kids from the homos), Family Values (keep homos away from society), and Religious freedom (keeping conservatives in power over the homos) but why Medical Relief? to keep the homos from getting HIV meds? i don't get that one

I think "medical relief" is the evangelical term for a handjob.

is it possible that hutch has experienced all of these travels and his mind alone? sure would solve the funding problem. do we have any proof he's actually gone to latvia?


Who's Jay Hein? Does he work in the White House? Does he sell watches out of a van in the alley behind the white house?

Why does Hutch think he's an envoy?

Is there a fraud case to be made here? I don't have time to research it...but what if Hutch is falsely representing himself as an agent of the U.S. Government?

That's a story...

unbelievable in this day and age that these people get away with this elitist behavior
come on, we're American$ the meek shall inherit the earth..

Of course, I made Hutch the Special Envoy for Adoptions, Family Values, Religious Freedom, and Medical Relief. I also gave him the double super secret password to the treehouse and the ownership title to the Brooklyn Bridge.

I'm with Timothy. Let's press charges against the sadistic ol' bastard.

Or at least get the tax exempt status of his church revoked.

From this past January:

As Obama and Brownback took AIDS tests for the cameras, the new director of George W. Bush's Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives watched from the back of the room. Jay Hein said that Democrats "need to form new partnerships" with the religious community "because that is where the most stubborn problems are being solved."

Do pagan, wiccan, and satanic churches have the same access to titles and funs if they are doing good work in the community or over seas?

*sniff sniff* What IS that smell? Where is that coming from? Why... it's.... HEY, IT'S BULLSHIT!

Now where did I put my "shocked" face...

Something tells me good old Jay down at The White House told Rev. Ken whatever he needed to just to get him off the phone.

Maybe our legislators will call up our US Attorney and try to strong arm him into pressing charges. Oh wait, Rick White can't practice law in Washington.

Mercy sakes alive, looks like we've got ourselves an Envoy!

I'm sorry, am I the only one with "Convoy" running thru their head? I cain't help it. I'm tetched.


see that's what I'm thinking. This sounds like what is known in NCAA recruiting as an "unofficial verbal commitment"

Thanks Ruby, now I have Convoy going through my head too. Not that I mind, I happen to love that song AND that movie (don't bother trying to watch it on dvd, it's like watching a recording someone made on a handheld camera in the theater).

And ALSO thanks to you I have Kenny Rogers telling Ruby not to take her love to town going through my head.


Is Hutcherson from a church that sends out a special team of "You're all going to Hell!" christians with huge signs of hell fire and condemnation to cultural events like Folklife?

God must be a real prick.

Perhaps a violation of 18 USC 912:

Whoever falsely assumes or pretends to be an officer or employee acting under the authority of the United States or any department, agency or officer thereof, and acts as such, or in such pretended character demands or obtains any money, paper, document, or thing of value, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.

@20 There was actually a great deal of concern about this among the Christianists. Hare Krishnas have excellent programs for feeding the homeless, along with other social programs. When they applied and received money, the Christianists went nuts, since they expected that no one but them would receive money from the boondoggle.

As for the question of whether presenting yourself as a diplomat is illegal, Ross Perot was nearly charged with violating this law when he went off on his own to negotiate the release of MIA/POWs in Vietnam. I have a feeling that when the facts come out, Hutch won't be making any more trips to Latvia, or anywhere outside the US. The State Department will likely confiscate his passport.

Hutch has lied before about things people said or didn't say to him. He's pretty damn sure God wants the homos kept out of society, but God apparently casts a blind eye on liars...

You know, first things first...

Remember, Red Bushies never Lie. Except 99.9 percent of the time ...

Just went over to the Antioch Bible Church. These guys may have a website but they sure don't want to receive email. The only email addy I could find was for "support."

And I really wanted to send a zinger off to Hutcherson, telling him this straight woman was pissed he was hanging with the Holohoaxers.

You're right Fluffy, it IS hard to find an email for any staff person at Ken's church.

Why not just call their toll free number instead. I bet if you call after hours, you will get a voicemail system that has lots of storage space for messages of dissent.

And they even pay for your call! What a deal! And it's such a cute number, too. That Hutch, always makin' a statement! It was probably him in that nice photo with Paris Hilton we saw on the Slog earlier today. Yum!

Ken's Toll Free number:
1-877-BLKnWHT (877-255-6948)

Jeez, can I name myself Ambassador for Peace and Understanding and go stop the bu$hwar? I'm ready.

Little known fact:

Bushes nickname for Mr. Hein is "Heiney"
Look it up, it is the truth

So, isn't it odd that a gay basher like Hutcherson needs another man's Heiny to stick up for him to cover his own ass?

God sets them up for me, I just knock 'em down

I would really appreciate the karmic justice if Hutch WERE caught in an outright lie, but on the other hand, I've yet to believe in the veracity of any statement coming from the White House, so I'm a bit torn on this one.

Still, wouldn't it be swell if, just for once, someone in the White House WAS telling the truth?

Which is less believable, that the Pastor invented a credential or the Bush White House certified an official evangelist to Latvia and then denied it? Kind of a tossup.

Christian pastor promises to provide evidence of his claims? Don't hold your breath.

Do you remember from the "Play Misty For Me" where Clint Eastwood's one night stand said as she returned with groceries in the morning after having made a copy of his key..."You said you loved me". To which he replied, "I never said I loved you". To which she quickly responds..."well, not in so many words, but...". This is what Hutch does..."well, not in so many words".

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