Cross-posted at Terrible Depths.
As someone who defected to the Anglican church from my Baptist roots a few years ago, I have watched with interest as the Canadian and American provinces of that church gradually tear themselves apart over gay marriage and the ordination of women. That process took a large step forward recently when the right-wing dissidents of the Anglican Communion, acting under the auspices of their alternative communion the Global Anglican Futures convention (GAFCON), voted to recognize the breakaway conservative churches in Canada and the U.S. as a new “emergent province,” the Anglican Church of North America. (Previously, bishops and parish churches had justified defying the authority of the Anglican Church of Canada by submitting to the authority of the South American province of the church.)
Naturally, a host of networks, publications, and foundations are springing up to support this “emergent province.” One of them is a particularly interesting case: the Cranmer Foundation of Canada, currently (apparently) website-less. I noticed the existence of this new group when I was reading through the CanadianChristianity.com news, and Lloyd Mackey made reference to it. It ran into a spot of difficulty after setting up in January under the name “Canadian Anglican Foundation” (CAF) – which obviously bore more than a passing resemblance to the existing, official foundation of the Canadian church, the Anglican Foundation of Canada (AFC).
The organization tangled with the Anglican Church of Canada almost immediately by registering as a domain name “anglicanfoundation.ca”. Either this was a pesky attempt at cyber-squatting or an attempt to beat the official Foundation to the domain name; either way, the AFC attacked the CAF and retained legal counsel. In early March, the AFC won: the upstart CAF agreed to rename itself the Cranmer Foundation of Canada, surrender the rights to the AnglicanFoundation.ca website, and purchase new digs for itself at CranmerFoundation.org and CFoC.ca (neither of these websites are up yet). But that, to me, isn’t the end of the story. Who’s behind the Cranmer Foundation – and where will its money go?
For some reason, despite the March peace treaty, the Cranmer Foundation hasn’t surrendered its old website yet. In fact, it’s even updated the site with the new name. According to the website:
The CFoC provides grants, bursaries and technology expertise to tradition Anglican ministries in need of assistance.
Grant and bursary applications will soon be available for download and completion.
While not a political lobby group, primarily, the CFoC remains concerned that the voices of traditional Anglicans in the Anglican Church of Canada be heard in a real, substantive way, with excellence and integrity.
Not primarily a political lobby group? The website stopped being updated, presumably as a result of the peace accord with the AFC, and the grant and bursary applications never became available. The Board of Directors, the Episcopal Patron, the Chief Financial Officer and basically everyone except the communications officer are also listed as “TBA.”
Oddly enough, there’s only a single publicly identifiable figure behind the new Foundation – director and communications officer Mike Daley. He’s the one handling all correspondence with the religious media. Supposedly there are six other directors, but the old website doesn’t mention them, and Daley told the Anglican Journal he wouldn’t name them until after the group was officially incorporated (more on this in a moment). According to Daley, the new group will give grants only to “traditional” Anglican ministries, which he defined as adhering to traditional Anglican doctrines and “the traditional Anglican and Catholic views on human sexuality” (by which I assume he means: anti-gay marriage).
Now, Daley is a notorious and self-pronounced “shit-disturber” on the Canadian Anglican right, who’s previously been behind projects like CaNNet (see the story of that particular site, in his own words, here). Along the way he was for a time (might still be – I’m not sure) a communications officer at Anglican Essentials, one of the arms of the schismatic breakaway group, the Anglican Network in Canada, which will be part of the new right-wing Anglican Church of North America.
Daley has been caught before registering domain names that seem, well, intended to cause confusion – i.e. cybersquatting. In advance of the General Synod of 2004, his allies in CaNNet created a website called “gs2004.classicalanglican.com,” providing an anti-gay marriage counterweight to the official site at “gs2004.anglican.ca.” Sarah Lublink, now Sarah Daley, also helped register “anglicancommunion.ca,” “anglicancommunionnetwork.ca,” and “anglicancommuniondioceses.ca” – they were never used, but Anglican Journal thought they were being reserved for an anticipated breakaway organization (which ultimately became the Anglican Network in Canada). Last year he also created LambethConference.net to provide right-wing commentary on the global Lambeth Conference of Anglican bishops – unofficial commentary, since the Conference itself never approved the website.
The fact that none of the other directors are even being identified made me immediately suspicious that this project was in fact a Daley affair operating under the cover of being a broader organization (or perhaps he just hopes that it will become a larger organization, eventually). A little bit of digging confirms many of my suspicions. First, the organization actually lists a contact phone number – (519) 702-9100 – which is a cell phone number in London, Daley’s home town, one he uses for his own use.
Domain name WHOIS searches turn up some more interesting names. Although the new domains don’t seem up and running yet, they have been registered: CranmerFoundation.org is supposedly registered by Judy Daley (connection unknown, but presumably a relative) and Sarah Lublink, who presumably married into the tribe, since on her personal website her surname is now Daley and her contact address is the same as Michael’s. Michael has used Sarah as cover before, when he registered the CaNNet domain name.
Interestingly, despite the fact that the website continues to maintain that it can’t give out grants or bursaries because it’s not formally incorporated, it has, in fact, given out one “technical grant” of an undisclosed amount, to a new project called the Anglican Wiki Project. That organization isn’t complete yet, but its main page states that it is a joint project of “the Canadian Anglican Foundation, Anglican Comment and iAnglicans.com.”
Now, the Anglican Foundation is the Cranmer Foundation (Daley’s baby, but he obviously hasn’t updated the Wiki recently, since late February in fact). Anglican Comment is his personal blog, created in January when he retired the now obsolete squat at LambethConference.net. That site is registered by Sarah Lublink, but administered by the Canadian Anglican Foundation and Michael Daley.
And iAnglicans.com? That’s the iAnglican E-Zine, also created in late January but currently without anything but the first introductory post (i.e. it hasn’t published its first issue). That site, too, is owned by Sarah Lublink, but lists a Mike Daley contact email (email@example.com).