, 34 tweets, 14 min read
Tulsi Gabbard as a Russian asset might raise eyebrows (never mind that you can be an unwitting one) & get #IamTulsi to trend, but others hoping to profit from her rise are equally troubling - Science of Identity, authoritarians/right-wingers in the US & abroad.. [Thread - 1/n]
She grew up in an alleged cult, Science of Identity, led by a Chris/Kris Butler or Jagad Guru (World Teacher/Master). She hasn't disowned his teachings that ostensibly centre around Krishna, a Hindu god, but seemingly focus on his own interests & phobias.
Gabbard has deflected questions on Science of Identity; quite a bit of information on Butler is available online, especially his homophobia, Islamophobia & the control he exerts over children & marriages within the cult; this @gregolear thread summarizes:
Her family & staff are members, for decades if not life:
Parents, siblings (Sister also runs campaign)
Husband+family (Husband, mother-in-law work for her)
Chief of Staff Penaroza+family
Khemaney, campaign outreach
Gabbard's campaigns have paid over half a million dollars to another member, Kris Robinson, and his companies, for marketing/ad/digital/polling services. Robinson apparently works out of an isolated community (Stehekin, WA) since 2010.
Gabbard receives campaign donations from US Hindu organizations with thinly-concealed ties to Indian Hindutva setups.
Hindutva (NOT a synonym for Hindus or Hinduism) is a supremacist narrative steeped in falsified history to claim a Hindu nation, which has no place in it for those religions with their "holy land" outside its borders. @AudreyTruschke wrote this summary:
Donations from affiliated individuals abound: for eg., Ramesh Bhutada, VP - Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh, his wife, son & daughter have, between them as individuals, contributed USD 37200 to Tulsi Now/Tulsi for Hawaii/TULSI committees (Mar'12-May'19).
Avid supporter, Meghani, Hindu American Foundation co-founder, wrote an essay (erased in 2008) for BJP (Modi's right-wing party) website. It said "Hindutva is here to stay. It is up to Muslims whether they will be included in the new nationalistic spirit"
The context of the Islamophobic essay was the 1992 destruction of a famous mosque in India by Hindu extremist mobs. His explanation? "Truth won when Hindus, realizing that Truth could not be won through political or legal means, took the law into their own hands."
Hindu American Foundation denies any connxn to Indian political/religious bodies, yet co-founder's essay was featured prominently for years by the BJP, political flag-bearer of Hindutva majoritarianism.

Gabbard pops up in association with many authoritarian/populist leaders..
When questioned about a 2002 anti-Muslim pogrom in a state then governed by current Indian PM Modi, she (copying a common trope) seemingly blamed Muslims for instigating riots in which 100s (if not 1000s, stats vary) of innocent Muslims were butchered
Gabbard sometimes pivots to her military service to deflect questions about ties to US Hindu orgs & Indian majoritarian orgs RSS/BJP, without explaining why it absolves her of directly responding. Yet she has been accused of belittling US veterans:
Gabbard often plays the Hinduphobia card. Butler's is a fringe sect split fm another fringe sect tht stems fm 1 Guru in 1 philosophical school. Most Hindus will be bewildered by Butler's teachings/practices; looking askance at Butler (or HAF/HSS/RSS/BJP) isn't dislike of Hinduism
Gabbard lauded el-Sisi's "great courage & leadership in taking on extreme Islamist ideology". He staged a coup & supervised a massacre with ~1000 protesters dead in "1 of the largest killings of demonstrators in 1 day in recent history" (accrdng to @hrw)
Her inexplicable support for al-Assad of Syria is widely documented. He is accused of mass murder of his own citizens. Ignoring Trump Administration findings & independent proof for his chemical attacks, she was sceptical about al-Assad's culpability.
She has praised Putin for bombing people she claims are "ISIS and Al-Qaeda", when in reality Russia has been killing US allies who fight against those very terrorists, allies who also happen to oppose al-Assad.
Back to Modi: her "deep affection" is unsurprising, given that her background & funders align with Modi's own Hindutva affiliations & mentors. Modi sent the General Secretary of his party & Indian Ambassador to the US to represent him at Gabbard's wedding.
Gabbard objected to an Indian religious minorities hearing by @TLHumanRights, hilariously accusing it of trying to influence Indian federal elections. In 2014, Modi's mismanagement of the Gujarat riots was in focus: he was BJP's prime ministerial candidate
She opposed House Res. 417 in '13 (which criticized Modi's disinterest in justice fr 2002 victims, implied tht denial of US visas to him since 2005 continue). Her reward? Hindutva groups in USA urged members to write cheques to her campaign in appreciation
Gabbard's objections to the hearing and US Congress Resolution 413 were flimsy and in hindsight reprehensible - Religion/Caste-based hate crimes, particularly lynchings, have spiked ever since the Modi government came to power:
Her campaign website contains videos celebrating American principles, but her words and actions run counter, in some ways, to the very values she espouses in the videos.
On the Mueller Report, she claimed that had the investigation resulted in a Trump indictment, it would have precipitated a divisive crisis possibly leading to civil war. Sounds familiar, does it not?
Amongst her admirers are Steve Bannon who arranged her infamous meeting with Trump days after the 2016 election. She isn't averse to dissing Obama & Democrats or endorsing some of Trump's talking points.
David Duke, Tucker Carlson, Breitbart News and Fox & Friends are fans...
... as is the Drudge Report which regularly produces "unscientific" polls in which Gabbard wins Democratic debates. The latest one (not sure why they call it the 6th):
She seems to be friends with the Adelsons, Trump funders. Here for eg., she poses with Miriam & the Adelsons' protege, Rabbi Boteach. Gabbard co-sponsored the bill to ban online gambling, a huge Sheldon obsession (he owns casinos, of course), in 2015.
Finally, she seems to be getting a boost online from some unexpected fans:
With all this weighing her down (and a host of other baggage too), how the polls have her at even 0.5-2% is a mystery. In passing, here is a forum post dated 2005. Remarkable that Butler's org is within 2 steps of the alleged goal.
Further Reading: Follow @realChrissyG, @CJWerleman and @FriedrichPeter - they have been researching Gabbard extensively. @KaiKahele is contesting to replace her in the US House.
The exhaustive documentation on Butler by @realChrissyG is worth reading...
while this article by @CJWerleman highlights Gabbard's puzzling stances on Muslims & LGBTQ rights that make sense only if you factor in Science of Identity...
... and @FriedrichPeter's article in @TheCaravanIndia magazine details the Hindu American/Indian Hindutva connections to Gabbard:
@FriedrichPeter @thecaravanindia Post Script: As she announces her decision not to seek re-election to the House, Gabbard also went on Hannity and added her voice to the sad old "what's going on behind closed doors in the Impeachment inquiry?" trope.
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