By PETER HUSSMANN
A group soliciting donations at the Newton Hy-Vee on Saturday purportedly on behalf of teen suicide and drug abuse prevention is coming under heavy attack on the blogsphere and social media sites today after it became known the group was the same one that caused an uproar in a small northeast Iowa school district earlier this year when they presented an anti-gay, anti-abortion message at a school assembly.
Beginning early Saturday evening, a number of Newton residents began exchanging social media messages that the group raising money at the Newton grocery store was actually part of of the You Can Run But You Cannot Hide International group, a Minnesota-based organization that delivered a strong anti-gay, anti-abortion message to Dunkerton High School students at an assembly in March, something school administrators weren't expecting when they hired the group to perform.
"I am pissed," one social media commenter from Newton said Saturday. "I gave them $5 earlier today because they CLAIMED they were taking donations for a ministry geared toward suicide prevention and drug abuse prevention! I marched right down there and caught them leaving and they STILL claimed that none of the money I gave them is to dispense an anti-gay agenda! I got the name of the group (which I should have done first): You Can Run But You Can't Hide and Googled it on my phone while in Hy-Vee. What I found made my blood boil: the group is out of Minnesota and does school assemblies in which they make the girls chant a submissiveness toward their future husband, show videos of aborted fetuses and spread a hateful message about homosexuality."
The dozens of social media exchanges were picked up by Andy Kopsa, an investigative journalist originally from Beaman who now lives in New York City. She posted a lengthy item about the group's stop in Newton including information that its founder, Bradlee Dean, was recently ordered to pay the legal defense costs for a number of media organizations he sued. You can read that post here.