Updated: Sep 13
In 2008 the Arcus Foundation, which bills itself as an American philanthropic organization, gave its first large donation to ARC International, a Canadian corporation located in the tourist town of Dartmouth, NS (pop 92,000).
Its first two donations of $198,000 in 2008 and $200,000 in 2009 were both routed through the go-between Tides Foundation. Then in 2013 it gave another $400,000 and in 2017 another $100,000. On both those occasions, the money went directly from Arcus to ARC International.
Canadians might wonder why such large sums of money are being pipelined across the border, to a tiny organization, ostensibly for charitable purposes.
ARC’s official name is Allied Rainbow Communities International and it is registered in Canada as a tax-exempt private corporation. Its executive director is Kim Vance Mubanga, who founded ARC in 2003 with John Fisher (now Geneva Director of Human Rights Watch) to promote “LGBT” rights. Its website states that it:
played a key role in the various phases of the Yogyakarta Principles. We initiated the project, convened a coalition of NGOs to implement it, facilitated meetings of the coalition, worked closely on the preparations for and conduct of the experts’ meeting, worked with partners to successfully launch the Principles, prepared backgrounders and advocacy materials to support regional launch initiatives, developed a websiste, track the ongoing use of the Principles, are participating in the development of an activists’ guide, and conduct ongoing training and support for organizations using the Principles.
The Website also makes clear how the first two donations were used. It states that “2009-2010 was a pivotal period, as we moved into the implementation phase of the UN human rights reform process, and work with NGOs to address the implications of these reforms for LGBT equality rights, build global support for the Yogyakarta Principles, and develop a coordinated strategic vision for advancing these issues through the years ahead.”
This tells us that ARC International is a propaganda and lobbying firm, and that the first two donations financed the propagation of Yogyakarta Principles around the world.
The Yogyakarta Principles outline a list of rights for gays, lesbians and trans people. Created in 2006 by a select group of individuals primarily from non-western countries -- including Botswana, China, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Nepal, Pakistan, South Africa, Thailand and Turkey -- who met in Indonesia specifically because it is a Muslim country, the principles mirror human rights language that the UN has affirmed.
John Fisher and the Irish rapporteur of the Principles, Michael O’Flaherty explained in an explanatory article published by Oxford University Press:
"On 26 March 2007, a group of human rights experts launched theYogyakarta Principles on the Application of Human Rights Law in Relation to Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (the Yogyakarta Principles). The Principles are intended as a coherent and comprehensive identification of the obligation of States to respect, protect and fulfil the human rights of all persons regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity."
The crucial addition The Principles make is to assert the existence of “gender identity”, and this is why they are a problem. There is no scientific basis for the idea that people are born with an innate sense of gender. Many people dispute the idea. And if gender means socially constructed roles and expectations associated with the sexes, which has been the definition for 150 years, then it’s illogical to claim anyone is born with it.
So the Yogyakarta Principles are claiming human rights for something that cannot be scientifically or logically shown to exist. But without the assertion of innate gender identity, there can be no claim that anyone’s gender does not match their sex, thus no transgender identity.
The ARC International website states that the Yogyakarta Principles are “a universal guide to human rights which affirm binding international legal standards with which all States must comply.”
But the principles are not a UN document, and have never been discussed or ratified by any UN body. This is made clear in the document detailing how they came to be created, available at Outright International Org. The Wikipedia entry for them also states that “the attempt to make gender identity and sexual orientation new categories of non-discrimination has been repeatedly rejected by the General Assembly, the UN Human Rights Council and other UN bodies.
Thus they are not binding, and have no more weight than any child’s Christmas wish list.
Nevertheless ARC International’s mission, its sole mission, is to spread the document’s influence around the world by targeting top level institutions -- policy makers, institutions, courts, parliaments, constitution makers, law enforcement, justice departments as well as influential NGOs.
The company has been wildly successful in its mission.
The Yogyakarta Principles were expanded in 2017 to add gender expression and “sex characteristics”, which explains the purpose of the 2017 Arcus donation. According to international women’s rights expert, Anna Zobnina, the ultimate goal is to eliminate the categories of sex and socially-constructed gender, and replace them with the artificial categories of gender identity, gender expression, and sex characteristics. These last are the qualities that together determine sex – genitalia, chromosomes, hormones. So sex will be a defunct legal category, replaced by chopped up bits of human biology.
With the addition of “sex characteristics”, it seems we may assume that words such as “man” and “woman” will be replaced by such terms as “menstruator”, “gestational carrier”, “uterus-haver”. Such terms are already in use on social media, although the category “men” has yet to be replaced by “ejaculators” or “penis-havers”. As trans people mask the sex they are, sex itself will be masked.
But who is behind this? The Arcus Foundation is owned by Jon Stryker, heir to the American medical device company, the Stryker Corporation. Its money comes from the Stryker Corporation. Four years ago the Chronicle of Philanthropy reported that Stryker had donated "at least $336.3 million" primarily to his foundation. InfluenceWatch reports that he has given more than $500 million to Arcus.
Arcus donates up to half its money to projects in support of great apes; the rest – 100% of the money it donates to human causes -- goes to the sorts of organizations that might provide a market for the family business – LGBTQ centres and charities. This leads to a question that sounds like the start of a very bad joke – what do trans-identified people and apes have in common?
A scroll through the information provided on the Arcus Grantee site for grants given to members of humanity’s closest living relatives -- gorillas, gibbons, bonobos and chimpanzees -- reveals repeated references to diseases, including human diseases and covid-19.
The bad joke, then, is that both the ape and human populations served by Arcus require ongoing medical interventions and pharmaceuticals. To regard Arcus as anything other than a marketing organization for the American medical industrial complex – tasked with sustaining and creating markets -- is clearly naïve.
As Jennifer Bilek has repeatedly demonstrated, "As the example of the Arcus Foundation shows, the LGB civil rights movement of yore has morphed into a relentless behemoth, one that has strong ties to the medical industrial complex and global corporatists."
When a tiny Canadian corporation and citizens of the global South are nominated to craft the principles and lobby for them, we can legitimately regard them as the vehicles of an imperialism meant to hide that gender ideology is an American invention being sold with American financial backing for the ultimate profit of American companies. Like all imperialists, Americans employ “the natives” as front-line soldiers in the war against their citizens.
From its office on the edge of parkland that cradles 50 lakes, where birdsong laces heaven to earth, ARC International’s team has ensured that Canadian primary schools teach children to uncouple themselves from nature.
Their bodies have nothing to do with their sex, SOGI school curriculums insist. They can be boy or girl regardless of their sex characteristics. Their bodies are theirs to cannibalize. If they experience psychological distress as they transition from child to adolescent to adult, drugs and surgery are a quick solution.
And ARC has paved the way for Canadian doctors to step forward to become the drug dealers that ensure children will not have the time to work through their discomfort. Perhaps the scalpels they finally wield will bear the imprint, “Stryker”.
Earlier versions of this article were published in asledgeandcrowbar.wordpress.com/arc-international (April, 2021) and https://womensspaceireland.ie/tag/arc-international/