We like this story more for its entertainment value than it's ability to sway this election. Just add it to the top of the "Bachmann is for sure off her rocker" pile of goodies.
Earlier this month we reported Bachmann's connection to Frank Vennes Jr., convict-turned-good who was also a heavy Bachmann contributor. She wrote a letter on his behalf requesting a pardon, but pulled it after his homes were raided in connection with the Petters' fraud investigation.
Her campaign reported that she donated at least one of Vennes' contributions to charity, but wouldn't specify which one. Bachmann donated a $9,200 contribution on Oct. 3 to Minnesota Teen Challenge, according to Minnesota Independent.
Why is this so ironic? The group has very strong ties to the exact ex-con she was trying to rid herself of.
According to MNIndy:
Bachmann donated the money to Minnesota Teen Challenge, a faith-based evangelical recovery program on whose board of directors Vennes served as recently as February 2008. Teen Challenge stands potentially to lose millions of dollars in investments that court documents allege Vennes helped steer to Petters’ companies.
Vennes’ contribution to Bachmann, in other words, seems essentially to have gone from the pocket of one Vennes pal to the pocket of another.
Bachmann’s gesture was hardly magnanimous. The $9,200 is only a portion of the $27,600 in total contributions Bachmann has received from the Vennes family since 2005. Frank’s brother and his wife, Greg and Stephanie Vennes, have donated another $8,400 to Bachmann since 2005. And Vennes’ personal lawyer, C. Craig Howse, who also is connected to Teen Challenge, has donated $5,000 to Bachmann’s campaign since 2007.
But the move opens a window into the extent of Bachmann’s ties to figures and groups enmeshed in the unfolding multi-billion Petters financial fraud scandal.
And what's the best part of this story? Teen Challenge is equally as crazy as Bachmann! DumpBachmann has a great collection of text and photos from some of their newsletters so you can get a sense of what they are preaching:
The following is an excerpt from an interview with an anonymous Teen Challenge "student'" in a 2001 Minnesota Teen Challenge Newsletter":
At Minnesota Teen Challenge, we have an increasing number of residents who have been involved in occult activity. We help individuals break the bonds of sorcery and witchcraft as well as drugs and alcohol.
Q: What does Halloween mean to the Satanic church?
A: “Halloween is a day totally set up for Satan. It’s our biggest recruitment day of the year, so we usually meet a couple days beforehand to pray for an abundance of people to be out on the streets. The more people who go out dressed up like demons, ghosts, witches and goblins, the more glory Satan receives.”
Q: What evil things would you do on Halloween?
A: “We would have people put curses over candy and place jewelry with demonic symbols in Trick or Treat bags. When the kids take it willingly, it opens the door for demonic attack. Kids would be sick for weeks after Halloween. Drug dealers were out in full force. We would all try to recruit at least one person to come back to the Satanic meeting. Usually, we would just try to impress them with different displays of demonic power, like levitation and casting spells.”
Q: Which Halloween experience was the scariest?
A: “Different moons require different sacrifices. One Halloween, we received a letter from the head church in San Diego with blood and a crow’s foot on it. This meant that there had to be a human sacrifice. The leader of our group walked over to an older, unimportant man and handed him a knife, saying: ‘You know what you need to do.’ The man took the knife and split his stomach open, letting his intestines spill out on the ground. He screamed in agony, and as he fell to his knees he cried out, ‘Satan, take me home!’ We would never sacrifice a Christian, because that would bring glory to God. It would be disgusting. Satan was our God, and we wanted all the glory to go to him.”
Q: What made you want to leave the Satanic church?
A: “I began to question Satan’s power when our plans would be wrecked by my Christian mom. We would plan something for months, then my mom would find out about it and somehow stop it with her prayers. I couldn’t understand how this tiny woman could stop the whole Satanic church. Then when people started dying, I really wanted out. The suicide rate in our town went out of control, and kids began killing their parents. I was haunted by images of that Halloween when Satan required one of his own to die. I couldn’t understand why Satan would want to kill his own people.”
More photos from DumpBachmann:
Uh... frightening. DumpBachmann's Ken Avidor makes a good point: she is from Anoka, the Halloween Capitol of the World. Don't trick-or-treat at Bachmann's house! She might curse you for celebrating such a Satan-infested holiday.