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FCUSA COMMENTARY, JUNE 30, 2009
(This article was first published by The Dog Place - A Dog's Best Friend Is a Responsible Owner.)

An Unmarked Anniversary: A Dozen Years on HSUS's Payroll

By Teresa Platt, Executive Director, FCUSA

While it probably won't be publicly celebrated or marked by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), those involved with animals might want to mark the 12th anniversary of John Paul "JP" Goodwin's employment with HSUS under the direction of Wayne Pacelle.(1)

This employer/employee relationship goes back to 1997, just three years after Pacelle joined HSUS from the Fund For Animals (FFA). The relationship covers years when Goodwin was publicly associated with another organization and was one of the greatest promoters of the Animal Liberation Front (ALF).

Just before HSUS's Wayne Pacelle hired him in 1997, Goodwin referred to himself in interviews as an "ALF graduate."(2) An activist completely committed to the vegan agenda, he dropped out of high school to work as a janitor because the flexible hours allowed him more time to protest. Inspired by Sea Shepherd's Rodney Coronado who advocated illegal action as a way to "save" the Earth, Goodwin was a fan of hardcore tactics.(3)

"We have found that civil disobedience and direct action has been powerful in generating massive attention in our communities ... and has been very effective in traumatizing our targets," Goodwin explained.(4)

In April 1993 Goodwin was sentenced to three years in jail as the ringleader of a gang vandalizing fur stores. He spent 30 months under house arrest, finishing his sentence at 22. Meanwhile, Rodney Coronado, who was busy with his Coalition to Abolish Fur Farms (CAFF), would prove harder to catch. Coronado finally went to jail in 1995 for arson and other crimes, creating a void in the "movement". Goodwin stepped in with his Coalition to Abolish the Fur Trade (CAFT) with a "Statement of Purpose Adopted January 1994" that stated CAFT planned to carry out farm animal "release programs" as done by CAFF and accepted the "Animal Liberation Front, and other groups that break the law ... as an important factor in the success we achieve." Goodwin registered CAFT as a business name in Texas on Sept. 4, 1996.

ALF Calling

In March 1997, ALF called Goodwin and reported it had set a Utah mink feed co-op ablaze. Goodwin publicized the event crowing, "We're ecstatic." Clearly unconcerned with how the mink would be fed without the co-op, Goodwin stated, "We have no problem with inanimate objects being destroyed so animate objects can survive."

Double Trouble, Double Take

HSUS's Wayne Pacelle's hiring of John Paul "JP" Goodwin made us do a double take even though Pacelle and Goodwin have, in recent years, put out joint statements condemning illegal tactics.

Pacelle wasn't always so conservative. At 26 he heckled those wearing natural fiber fur clothing on the streets. Why not those wearing leather?, he was asked. "Leather is a by-product of the meat industry, which is largely accepted by society," he replied. He explained, "One has to use so-called 'guerilla tactics'. One has to have an element of direct action and confrontation."(30)

Besides Pacelle and Goodwin, other HSUS have arrest records for hunt sabbing, trespassing and property damage. Others clearly support such work.

Heidi Prescott began working at FFA in 1989, under executive director Wayne Pacelle. FFA promoted her to national director after Pacelle joined HSUS in 1994. Prescott is famous in animal rights circles as the first person to go to jail for animal rights.(31) Since the first time, she's been arrested numerous times while working for FFA, has supported illegal actions during campaigns(32) and serves on Sea Shepherd's advisory board. She joined HSUS in its merger with FFA in 2005 but never severed her ties to Sea Shepherd.(33) She currently serves as HSUS Senior VP for Campaigns, manages its Outreach and Strategic Initiatives department and continues to serve as national director for FFA.

In December 2008, the Center for Consumer Freedom's www.humanewatch.org placed an advertisement in the New York Times  questioning why Prescott was delivering the keynote speech to the Humane League of Philadelphia, originally founded as "SHAC Philly", a chapter of Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC), an FBI-designated terrorist group.(34)

That same year, 1997, when ALF was calling, so was HSUS's Wayne Pacelle. He hired Goodwin that year but Goodwin continued to operate publicly under the CAFT moniker.

Goodwin's CAFT pressured a clothing chain over its sales of fur products in 1998, and the company issued a $100,000 check to HSUS.(5) Goodwin's tactics were so extreme that a fur shop owner, tired by incessant protest, attacks on his property and threats against staff, filed a lawsuit in 1999 against Goodwin and CAFT under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act.(6)

At the time, no one but Goodwin, Pacelle and the HSUS payroll department knew that Goodwin was working for HSUS.

In April 1997, Goodwin led a protest celebrating the 10th anniversary of a $5 million arson at the University of California's Davis' John E. Thurman Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory,(7) the first ALF arson in the United States.(8) Craig Rosebraugh, who would go on to be an ALF/ELF spokesman, reported that Goodwin led the protesters past a chain raised by law enforcement where protesters were met by police officers(9):

Goodwin continued with his orders, now insulting the cops as much as he was trying to direct the crowd. "F**K YOU, ASSHOLES!" he shouted, sticking the megaphones in the cops' faces. "EVERYONE OVER THE CHAIN! STICK TOGETHER! DON'T BACK DOWN!"

The day's arrest list of 30 people includes many names in the extreme animal liberation movement.(10)

Arrested was Jonathan Paul, Rodney Coronado's former business partner. Paul is currently serving time for his involvement in the original 1987 ALF arson at UC Davis, along with other crimes.

Craig Rosebraugh, Leslie Pickering and Goodwin were also arrested at the protest. They'd go on to gain fame as spokesmen for the Animal Liberation Front (ALF) and the Earth Liberation Front (ELF) and, in the case of Rosebraugh and Pickering, for their advocacy of the overthrow of the government.

Peter Young was arrested that day. He too would become an ALF felon and, unrepentant, go on to a career as a motivational speaker for ALF, pulling another generation of impressionable children into lives of crime.

In May 1997, the same year he was on HSUS's payroll, Goodwin stated, "CAFT does support the ALF, though the ALF is hardly a terrorist organization."

As one of the "All-Star" speakers at the 1997 Animal Rights Conference in Washington, DC, Goodwin spoke on "The intergenerational connection (Improving relations between student groups and the rest of the movement)".(11) He held "education and strategy training sessions" for young people, featuring Breaking Free!, a video glorifying crimes committed by ALF/ELF.(12)

A pattern emerged at Goodwin-organized protests where out-of-state juveniles were arrested during school hours. Goodwin praised the Straight Edge faction of young vegans, some of whom turned intolerant and militant, for "breathing new life into the movement."(13) Goodwin and his cohorts took to donning ski masks at protests Now you see them, now you don't.

Peter Schnell was only 17 when arrested in New York in 1998 at a Goodwin-organized protest. Matt Whyte was only 16 when he was arrested along with Jake Conroy.(14) The same day Whyte and Conroy were arrested, three more out-of-state juveniles were arrested after they donned masks, climbed a fence at a nearby farm and vandalized animal pens.(15) Who paid to transport out-of-state juveniles across state lines? Shnell and Whyte would later serve time for attempted arson(16) while Conroy would go to prison for his involvement in the terrorist SHAC campaign.

Going Global

In the late '90s, CAFT went global with its conflict product, hanging out website shingles in the UK and Sweden. CAFT-UK's website states that its British arm was established to "regenerate the grass-roots." It bragged of "pickets outside [shops] on a daily basis" along with "mass arrests", "smashed" windows and protests at shop owners' homes.

Goodwin was true to his belief that "civil disobedience and direct action [are] very effective in traumatizing our targets."(4) By February 1998, a 25-year-old Goodwin was promoting ALF crimes to the press and describing himself as a "former member of ALF."(17) What no one knew was that he was working for HSUS under the direction of Pacelle.

By 1999, Goodwin's targets were changing but not his tone. "Last year was our first foray into politics and we learned a lot," he commented. "Next year the pro animal majority will end the political career of someone who supports animal abuse. Congress had better wake up and pay attention between then and now."(18)

HSUS must have been happy with Goodwin's work since it chose him as its representative on a trip to China in 2000 and had him giving speeches to Teamsters. "Over the last week I had the honor of being a part of the Texas China tour," said Goodwin. "... I represented HSUS on the tour. ... Some very valuable connections were made. Some very important allies were met who will be valuable friends in the future. Now, the battle is on."(19)

HSUS's website states "John Goodwin" joined as a staff member in its Government Affairs department in 2000, but it wasn't until 2001 that he was seen openly representing HSUS as its "Grassroots Outreach Coordinator", organizing young people into a political force.(20)

Yet by 2004, Goodwin was still supposedly with CAFT, and still voicing support for ALF. In the book Terrorists or Freedom Fighters? Reflections on the Liberation of Animals, by Steven Best and Tony Nocella, Goodwin is identified as "currently the executive director of the Coalition to Abolish the Fur Trade," and has this to say about farm raids and other ALF acts:

"But do ALF actions further the attainment of our ultimate goal - the creation of a society where the masses voluntarily adopt a belief in animal rights? Goodwin believes so. 'I think [ALF actions] lead to controversy, which leads to education, which leads to the removal of demand for the product'." (p140)

And even though HSUS's 2007 tax returns state its employees and volunteers do no lobbying,(21) as of 2008, Goodwin was a registered HSUS lobbyist.(22)

The Pacelle Principle

HSUS's current President/CEO Wayne Peter Pacelle grew up in New Haven, CT, and began his animal rights activist career by setting up the Student Animal Rights Coalition at Yale University. In 1986, at the age of 21, he was arrested for hunt sabbing.

The Fund for Animals' (FFA) Cleveland Amory was impressed and chose Pacelle as FFA's Executive Director in 1988. Pacelle organized protests against hunter harassment laws designed to protect hunters from stalkers and hunt disruption. One such protest in 1989 resulted in a dozen arrests. FFA promoted Pacelle to its National Director in 1990.(23) By 1993 Pacelle had been arrested 14 times. In interviews, he sported a black jacket with SEA SHEPHERD CREW(24) emblazoned across the back, and lived with two PeTA staffers and their vegetarian dogs. He compared human ownership of animals to slavery ad stated bluntly, "I don't want to see another dog or cat born."(25) He felt the same way about himself stating, at 26, that "I don't believe in the green revolution as a means of feeding the world, and I certainly don't plan to have children. I take is as a very serious personal responsibility not to put another consumer on this planet."(26)

What does he believe in? He outlined it as a belief "in interstate transport of food items. I believe in providing that food to people in other regions where it cannot be locally produced. My ethic is not a local food production ethic. It's an interlocal, interstate, and perhaps an international system of food distribution to allow people to tread lightly on the planet."(27)

Sounds like a food policy designed by the Teamsters.

In 1994 Pacelle moved from FFA to HSUS. He hired JP Goodwin just three years later in 1997. HSUS must have been pleased with both their work since it promoted Pacelle to President/CEO in 2004. Within 10 weeks, Pacelle had implemented a vegan food and fiber office policy(28) and on Jan. 1, 2005, Pacelle's old group, FFA, was absorbed into HSUS.

In an August 2007 interview, Pacelle stated, "I hired Mr. Goodwin 10 years ago. He has been a model employee."(29) Who knew?

2009 marks the 12th anniversary of the HSUS/Goodwin employer/employee relationship. If Goodwin is a model employee, one has to wonder: what was his job description?

And one has to ask: How many other promoters of ALF are out there today directed by Pacelle and paid for by HSUS?

Notes:

(1) See "Careers in the conflict industry: HSUS and the making of a conflict industrialist," FCUSA commentary, Aug. 12, 2001.

(2) "Anti-fur groups wage war on mink farms," by James Brooke, New York Times, Nov. 30, 1996.

(3) Coronado joined Sea Shepherd in 1983 at the tender age of 17 and it hired him for "first job" from 1984 through 1989. While PeTA has not commented, Coronado states he also worked for PeTA from 1987 to 1990, infiltrating research labs. "'It was the easiest time I had,' Coronado says, remarking on the regularity of his wages." Quoted in "Man behind the mask makes fur fly in his war," by Paige St. John, Detroit News, Mar. 13, 1995.

(4) Spoken at the National Animal Rights Convention '97, June 27, 1997. For this and other Goodwin quotes, see In their own words: The Coalition to Abolish the Fur Trade.

(5) See "Retailer seeks to ban pet fur imports," Washington Post, Dec. 18, 1998. See also FCUSA Press Kit special feature: Furry Trade Barriers.

(6) See "Furrier files RICO suit," FCUSA press release, July 6, 1999.

(7) The original arson was Apr. 16, 1987. See Researchers guide to safety, security and media relations at UC Davis, UC Davis Police Department, Spring 2002, p5. (PDF format)

(8) See "Notes from Jonathan Paul's sentencing hearing," by flies on the wall, June 5, 2007. Paul also torched a slaughterhouse in Redmond, Oregon in July 1997 and was sentenced to 51 months.

(9) See Burning rage of a dying planet: Speaking for the Earth Liberation Front, by former ELF spokesman Craig Rosebraugh, pp8-10, 2004; and (10) below.

(10) "Animal activists arrested at UC Davis," UC Davis News & Information, Apr. 20, 1997.

(11) Joining Goodwin on the panel was Cres Vellucci of the National Activist Network (NAN). See "And Cres Vellucci and JP Goodwin need hat stands," FCUSA press release, Aug. 13, 1998.

(12) According to a defunct website at www.efn.org/~joshua/ (archived as of 2009 here), "Breaking Free is a project of Animal Defense League Eugene in association with Aquarian Productions." The site later moved here. According to the Seattle Post Intelligencer, Harper sees "a spark of hope in every broken window, every torched police car and every mink running free as their hearts desire.' For the 26-year-old anarchist, those acts are necessary to achieve his ultimate goal: 'The complete collapse of industrial civilization'." From "His goal: The end of civilization. Vandalism, freed mink are just steps," by Paul Shukovsky, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, June 18, 2001. Harper is serving jail time related to the SHAC campaign.

(13) "The Twisted World of a 'Straight Edge' Gang," Los Angeles Times, Jan. 29, 1998.

(14) See "Two arrested in protest at fur auction," Associated Press, Feb. 22, 1999.

(15) See "Quick arrest for bungling terrorists," FCUSA press release, Feb. 23, 1999.

(16) See "One dark night in Capitola: The case of Schnell and Whyte," FCUSA press release, July 11, 2001; updated Jan. 30, 2002.

(17) "Guerrillas say they fight to help liberate animals; FBI considers group's members domestic terrorists," by Doug Swanson, Dallas Morning News, Feb. 15, 1998. The article reports that 25-year-old Goodwin describes himself as a former member of ALF. He is quoted as saying, "There's been a tremendous upsurge of [animal rights criminal] activity."

(18) June 9, 1999, AR-News by Goodwin, JP, Press Release on ADC Vote. Press release states Goodwin is with Legislative Action for Animals.

(19) Goodwin email to AR-News, Apr. 30, 2000, "Subject: Pro Animal Forces and Labor Together".

(20) "AR-News; SEAC email network by Adam Weissman, SEAC-ANIMALRIGHTS:83] JP Goodwin to Speak on Political Action for Animals at Wetlands Preserve", New York. States that JP Goodwin of HSUS scheduled will be a guest speaker at the Wetlands Preserve's "Political Action for Animals Part II" forum on 4/24/01. "J.P. Goodwin of the Humane Society of the United States will discuss why it is imperative that animal advocates become active in the political arena. Goodwin will discuss how we can be effective, having maximum impact in the fight for animal rights. He will review past and present political strategies, and explain what key components go into a winning political campaign. Be a part of the emerging political force for the protection of animals!" distributed by SEAC at seac.org. It was reported, but not confirmed, that ALF promotional videos were shown at this meeting.

(21) See "Did the Humane Society (HSUS) fail to account for political/lobbying activity of personnel on IRS tax filing?" by Erica Saunders, AR-HR.com, May 31, 2009.

(22) See Lobbyist: John Goodwin at Virginia Public Access Project. See also OpenSecrets.org for other lobbying work done by HSUS, its Humane USA PAC and its Humane Society Legislative Fund.

(23) Early Pacelle arrests include one at age 21, in 1986, for hunt-sabbing; another in 1987 others identified as members of the "Animal Rights Front". New Haven Register (CT), Nov. 28, 1987.

(24) Cleveland Amory (HSUS board member 1963-76) founded FFA in 1967 as a vehicle to oppose any use of wildlife. It was rabidly opposed to hunting, sealing, whaling, trapping and other outdoor pursuits for food and fiber. From 1978 through 1981 Paul Watson of Sea Shepherd was a FFA field representative (see Watson's official bio) on a FFA-funded vessel manned with FFA staff. The Sea Shepherd project churned out indoctrinated youth willing to break the law on land or at sea. In 1981, before Pacelle joined FFA, Sea Shepherd spun off from FFA and incorporated in Oregon. But obviously Pacelle was a fan of the program since he proudly wore their jacket when being interviewed.

(25) Pages 251, 253, 266 and throughout the book Bloodties: Nature, Culture and the Hunt, by Ted Kerasote, 1993. Buy this very good or search for it on Amazon.com, keyword "Wayne" for passage involving Wayne Pacelle.

(26) Bloodties: Nature, Culture and the Hunt, by Ted Kerasote, p254.

(27) Ibid., p255.

(28) Shortly before joining HSUS from Compassion Over Killing, on Aug. 22, 2004 Paul Shapiro told a seminar hosted by United Poultry Concerns that after just 10 weeks at the helm of HSUS, Pacelle had "already implemented a 'no animal products in the office' policy."

(29) "Blunt CEO defends Humane Society from attack dogs," by Tom Hennessy, Press-Telegram (Long Beach, CA), Aug. 25, 2007.

(30) Bloodties: Nature, Culture and the Hunt, by Ted Kerasote, p267.

(31) Ibid., p256, which also notes Heidi Prescott had her tubes tied at 25 and quotes her saying, "If I gave up animal rights and zero population work, I'd go into prison reform."

(32) See HSUS's official bio of Prescott; and "Civil disobedience: A case study in factors of effectiveness," by Courtney Dillard, in Society & Animals - Journal of Human-Animal Studies, vol. 10, no. 2, 2002.

(33) See "Sea Shepherd Conservation Society connections" at ActivistCash.

(34) Formerly posted at www.thehumaneleague.com/events.htm : "Sat, Dec 13: 2008 Holiday Party!: Join us for our massive annual holiday party! This year's party will be at the Ethical Society Building from 7 to 9 pm, with keynote speaker Bruce Friedrich (Vice President of PETA) and other special guests from national and statewide animal protection groups including PETA, HSUS, Humane PAC, and more! Wine, vegan hors d'overs, live music, silent auction, raffle, and special VIP Reception! More details will soon be online at www.thehumaneleague.com/party" "PeTA's Bruce Friedrich AND Heidi Prescott of HSUS, both together, are giving Keynote speeches" see detail at www.thehumaneleague.com/Party1.htm

See also:

FCUSA Press Kit special feature: H$U$ Resource Center.


For further information contact: Teresa Platt, Executive Director, Fur Commission USA, PMB 506, 826 Orange Avenue, Coronado, CA 92118-2698 USA, (619) 575-0139, (619) 575-5578/fax, furfarmers@aol.com, www.furcommission.com.

To take a cyber-tour of a fur farm, visit Fur Commission USA's Fur on Film at http://www.furcommission.com/video/index.htm

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