Thursday, June 12, 2014

Message Control In The Gulen Movement

Here's a little demonstration of the message control that characterizes the Gulen Movement. It's really quite fascinating.

In the United States, one of the central themes of GM message control is that the charter schools aren't connected to the transnational religious/political/social movement. At best, according to the heavily managed theme, there are only loose, vague instances of various unnamed people possibly being "influenced" at one time or another by the teachings of Turkish Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen. Almost random chance, in other words.

It's been a successful effort. Even in the recent media coverage of the FBI raids throughout the Concept charter system, journalists are very, very guarded about using the G-word.

But take a look at this fresh piece from the Gulenist media outlet, Ebru TV (English language version.) It's a puff piece about Love Is A Verb, the recent "documentary" (i.e., propaganda film) about the Gulen Movement.  [The documentary is a story in itself. Even I wanted to join the Gulen Movement after watching clips from the documentary. It doesn't touch on the hardball political intrigue, the infiltration of the Turkish judiciary, the wiretap montages, or the whole "move silently through the arteries of the system" thing.]

I'm going to embed the current version (the one I linked to, above) of the Ebru puff piece here. Note the nice Latino gentleman at the 1:50 mark.  He's the guy I'm focusing on.

There's nothing particularly remarkable about the Latino gentleman at 1:50, except that he didn't appear in the original version of the puff piece. He's a substitute.  The producers clipped out someone else and substituted this unremarkable (here, at least) person into the slot where the original figure had been.

So who did they cut out of the original puff piece?

Why, one of the central characters in the whole charter school connection, of course! Check her out; she's at 2:02 in this early capture of the television broadcast of the original puff piece. [

She's Lynne Emily Webb Ozgur, and she works at Central Jersey College Prep, which has many, many Gulen-linked connections, including one to Ebru TV, which has studios about a mile and half from the charter school in New Jersey.  Lynne Ozgur is married to Kemal Ozgur, who, according to reports, is the person who invited Fethullah Gulen to come stay at the Golden Generation compound in Pennsylvania.

Golden Generation had already been established in Saylorsburg on the grounds of a former summer camp. Kemal Ozgur, a microbiologist and Gülenist, met Gülen in Minnesota and invited him to stay in Pennsylvania. The cleric has remained there ever since.

On any given day, if you wanted to visit Mr. Gulen at the compound, you'd probably run into Mr. Ozgur.

Anyway, I've isolated Ms. Ozgur's appearance in the puff piece here. It's brief. Note that the (Ebru TV) interviewer precedes Ms. Ozgur's appearance with: "including Lynne Ozgur, an American-Muslim, who teaches at a Gulen-based charter school in New Jersey.

Lynne Ozgur herself says hardly anything at all, but the Ebru people must have figured out that her presence in the video (as well as the interviewer's description of her) violated what must be some kind of prime directive: thou shalt not reveal the charter school connection. Or something like that.

The Ozgurs (and I imagine many of the other Gulenists) are property owners near the compound in Saylorsburg. Someone in Turkey (and I have no idea who this is) has been watching them very closely and tracking them on Twitter.

When you start looking into this subject, you find that a lot of people in Turkey are tracking the leadership of the Gulen Movement with surprising precision. I have no idea what the agenda of this Tweeter is; it doesn't interest me.

Ebru TV even thought to remove any mention of Ms. Ozgur from the web-print version of their story. Clearly someone higher up got involved. The charter school connection had to go. 

Here's the current web-print story on Ebru's website.

And here's the version that got scrubbed (it wasn't up for very long).

Isn't Google amazing? 

Anyway, they clipped any mention of Ms. Ozgur because of the prime directive, obviously. The phrase "Gulen-based charter school in New Jersey" must have set off some kind of alarm throughout the system.

One of the interesting things about the Gulen Movement, in my mind, is the weird behavior that grows out of a conflict between two of Fethullah Gulen's Pearls of Wisdom.

On the one hand, there's the Pearl about deception..

And on the other hand, there are many Pearls related to keeping secrets. This one, for example:

Or this one:

I'm not a religion scholar. But from a layman's point of view, the focus on keeping secrets is probably the thing that's at the root of the deceptive behavior about the charter connection, and certainly this must create some kind of cognitive dissonance. It's also possible that the entire enterprise is based on deception and secrecy, and the Pearls are more of an ancillary set of suggestions.

It's not important. What is important is that people realize that message control is highly managed within the Gulen Movement, and the desire to keep the charter school secret in the vault seems to be one of the very highest priorities.

Research by Sharon Higgins.

Note: The Youtube version of the original Ebru TV broadcast (the one still containing Ms. Ozgur) was posted by a Youtube account named GulenMovement. I have no idea who it actually is, but there are quite a few videos on the account. I would imagine that the Youtube version of this particular broadcast is going to be scrubbed. When it is, would someone alert me? I'll replace it with a backup version.

New to the topic? Please see some of my previous posts.

Dragnet! Peoria Concept School Raided By FBI
It Seems Like A Good Time To Ask
FBI Raids, Concept Charter Schools, and Rahm
Is the FBI Looking At Chicago Charter Schools?
Your International Intrigue Update
Here, Have A School
Dispatch From The Parallel State

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