Badpuppy Gay Today

Monday, 09 February 1998


By Gil Alexander-Moegerle

Book Review by Warren Arronchic

James Dobson's War on America, by Gil Alexander-Moegerle, Prometheus Books, 1997, 307 pages, cloth $25.95

Multi-millionaire James Dobson, a best selling religious author and member of the federal Commission on Pornography, formed the Focus on the Family corporation in 1977, a group co-founded by Gil Alexander-Moegerle. Dobson and Alexander-Moegerle worked together for more than a decade, turning the family issues and religion-oriented center and radio show into a powerful marketing and fundraising machine.

Focus on the Family current boasts plenty of political clout on the religious right, a $100 million budget, and a membership three times the size of Pat Robertson's Christian Coalition! With Alexander-Moegerle's help, the corporation's communications empire expanded into internationally distributed radio, television, print media productions, as well as books, magazines and films. And Alexander-Moegerle rose in the corporation to the rank of senior vice president, and a member of the board of directors.

Today, Dobson, the Nazarene-family-values-guru-turned-political-heavyweight has a personal agenda so ambitious and strong that Forest Sawyer of ABC News called him, "one of the most powerful men in America," while John Hockenberry of ABC noted, "On Capitol Hill, he's treated like some kind of powerful lobbyist."

While he may not be as well known as Jerry Falwell, Jim and Tammy Bakker or Jimmy Swaggart, Dobson's radio show is the fifth largest in the nation, closely trailing Howard Stern and Rush Limbaugh. And like many moralists who call themselves "God's chosen," James Dobson has plenty to hide—which is the focus of this exclusive work James Dobson's War on America, part-biography, part expose of Dobson and the social agenda of Focus on the Family.

After seeing the direction of Focus on the Family change from life counseling and religion to heavy political involvement, Alexander-Moegerle is asking whether James Dobson should be trusted to help define our values as a nation.

On the twentieth anniversary of the founding of Focus on the Family, the glowing curtain of sanctimonious morality is being lifted so Dobson's devoted followers and a curious America can see the naked reality of this right-wing icon:

+ Alexander-Moegerle witnessed first-hand Dobson's sexism, racism, and homophobia.

+ Alexander-Moegerle witnessed Dobson, a psychologist, breaking the coveted confidentiality rule.

+ Alexander-Moegerle witnessed Dobson assigning another man to the bedside of his dying mother because Dobson was too "busy" to go.

+ Alexander-Moegerle witnessed Dobson's fear, anger, paranoia, and manipulative practices toward the media, and his own employees.

+ Alexander-Moegerle helped Dobson launch the Focus on the Family corporation and religious broadcasting giant, which reels in millions in donor funds each year, eclipsing the efforts of Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell and others.

+ Alexander-Moegerle saw the questionable management of donor funds; expenditures that escaped the scrutiny of contributors, the media, and Dobson's own board of directors.

+ Alexander-Moegerle fell victim to the tyranny of James Dobson, winding up in civil court, where he charged his one-time friend and employer with invasion of privacy and wrongful termination.

+ Alexander-Moegerle explains how Dobson runs a religious, tax-free empire, yet lives the life of a wealthy man.

+ Alexander-Moegerle reveals that Dobson preaches family values and devotion but has belittled and criticized employees who tried to spend time with their families.

James Dobson's War on America provides an insightful and detailed look at this religious power broker and his strong-arm corporation. The author's telling, behind-the-scenes look at the very private world of Dobson traces his background, his deepest inner feelings, his communications and marketing formula that helped him amass a fortune, his private rage, ongoing problems with the media, internal difficulties that led to allegations of mismanaging donor funds, his dangerous "civil war of values," as well as his political plan for America. The author fearlessly provides the view of a top-level insider and presents Dobson as the charismatic pseudoevangelist would never honestly present himself.

This powerful book also includes an interview by Alexander-Moegerle with famed author and psychiatrist M. Scott Peck (The Road Less Traveled) on the dangers represented by the religious right.

Available: through or through Prometheus Books, 59 John Glenn Drive, Amherst, New York, 14228-2197 (1-800-421-0351)

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