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Report Ties Antigay Group Executive to Secret Pentagon Spy Ring

Report Ties Antigay Group Executive to Secret Pentagon Spy Ring

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An investigative journalist says William 'Jerry' Boykin, vice president of the Family Research Council, used evangelical groups to cover espionage.

In a shocking expose by the investigative journalism website, The Intercept, Family Research Council executive vice president William "Jerry" Boykin is alleged to have been the mastermind behind a secret Pentagon spy ring that used an evangelical Christian organization as cover to spy on other countries.

The Family Research Council is labeled an anti-LGBT hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

According to the report by national security reporter Matthew Cole, the federal government hid the source of the group's funding and true mission for almost a decade.

Boykin, a retired Army lieutenant general as well as an original member and former commander of the elite Army unit Delta Force, oversaw an infamous 1993 mission in Somalia that was the subject of a book and film titled Black Hawk Down. The report says former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld tapped Boykin to expand the Pentagon's spy capabilities outside the CIA following the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. The CIA was reportedly aware of the program. But as Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence, Boykin reported only to Rumsfeld who, in turn, only had to brief the head of the congressional appropriations and armed services committees, due to the program's top secret designation.

The Intercept reports Boykin established a program that used evangelical not-for-profits to spy on military targets under the guise of distributing clothing, medical supplies, and disaster relief. The report extensively documents the shadowy connections between the Pentagon and Humanitarian International Services Group, a group that regularly provided humanitarian assistance to North Korea.

Members of the organization were already smuggling bibles into the communist country best known for shunning outsiders when Boykin reportedly decided to use the group to smuggle espionage equipment and document potential military targets. Kay Hiramine, head of the organization, was reportedly aware of the Pentagon's involvement, according to The Intercept, which claims he actively spied on North Korea directly; most staff members were reportedly unaware of the organization's secret role.

The website reports the faux charity, which also ran operations in Iran and Afghanistan, was shut down immediately after the Pentagon dismantled the secret program. The various foundations and private businesses which reportedly funded the organization as part of a complicated financial scheme to hide the group's true funding source, also closed when the program was killed. About $475,500 in leftover money was "donated" to the federal Treasury Department's Bureau of the Fiscal Service at the conclusion of the operation, "to be used to reduce the public debt," according to tax documents obtained by The Intercept.

It is not clear whether the Family Research Council was aware of Boykin's involvement in the reported scheme, or involved in some way. The classified nature of the program was reportedly hidden from most HISG staffers and volunteers.

The Advocate attempted to reach Boykin via social media before publishing this report. The Family Research Council did not return an email seeking comment for this story at press time.

Advocate Magazine - KehlaniAdvocate Magazine - Gus Kenworthy

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