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"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." - John 8:32
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Author:  Michael J. Gaynor
Bio: Michael J. Gaynor
Date:  January 28, 2007
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Duke Case: A Reverend Revving Up Rioters?

The Duke case is Tawana Brawley Two, that is, a hoax based on a lie by a young black woman supported by agenda-driven activists, even including persons who claim to be men of God. 

Reverend Curtis E. Gatewood is second vice president of the North Carolina NAACP Conference of Branches.

Reverend Gatewood has a website (

On the homepage, Reverend Gatewood is described as focused, fearless and faithful.


In 1995, Gatewood's stand against 'Christmas Commercialism' would earn him national prominence and allow him to emerge as the [recipient of the] state's 1996 NAACP Black President of the Year! Regional Award for highest percentage membership increase for N.C.; Awarded several accolades for being 'focused' on the issues."

Great!  I'm against "Christmas Commercialism" and for "being 'focused' on the issues" too.


His recent stand against the war brought threats, criticisms, while simultaneously capturing the support and attention of a new international body of racially, culturally, religiously diverse supporters!  Received 'Bold & Courageous leadership' award from NC Senator Jeanne Lucas." That seems calculated, not fearless or principled: a tactic to "capture" "support and attention."  "Fearless" is motivated by principle, not interest.  And the War he "boldly" opposed is "The War on Terror"!


A born-again Christian and Licensed Baptist Minister, serving as an Associate of the First Baptit [sic] Church of Oxford, Received the NAACP Life Membership and Youth Mentor for troubled youth.  Elected 4 terms as President of the Durham Branch of the NAACP.  For 17 years he  has been faithfully married to a faithful wife and serves as a proud father to a daughter and stepson."   

I'm delighted that you believe in marriage and marital fidelity, but troubled youth should be advised NOT to bear false witness against their neighbors (regardless of race, color, sex or financial circumstance), Reverend. 

Reverend Gatewood's slogan set forth on his homepage is inspiring: "He is for the people, and our mission of justice!"

The problem is Reverend Gatewood's noxious notion of justice.

It appears that Reverend Gatewood is auditioning for a Reverend Al Sharpton role in Tawana Brawley too.

His self-description of his website suggests obsession with himself emerging instead of the truth prevailing.  .

"Gatewood emerges as one of the south's top activists, speakers

"Oxford, NC - America braces as another fearless and charismatic advocate for justice emerges in the south. The Express News, based in Anson County (near Charlotte, NC), reported during a single 2006 King Day speech there, The Rev. Curtis E. Gatewood 'received at least 10 standing ovations.'  Gatewood was crowned '2005 Newsmaker of the Year', by the Durham-based Triangle Tribune newspaper for not only 'sacrificing himself' to be arrested during a school system protest during mid-2005, but Gatewood and two others successfully followed up with legal victories which proved their constitutional rights were violated as a result of the arrests.  Gatewood's electrifying messages combine traditional Baptist preaching with a youth-oriented style of articulating profound social issues.   Based upon crowd responses, Gatewood's style is uniquely reaching even those thought to be 'unreachable' and lost to self-destructive 50-Cent-style pro-gangsta lyrics.  A sample of  one of Gatewood's hard-hitting anti-ganster lines challenges 50 Cent and says 'Don't tell me I'm a gangsta-wanna-be, all I wanna-be is like the Man from Gal-i-lee - who walks on water and calm the sea - I wanna be like C-H-R-I-S-T! '  It is no wonder that Gatewood, who won the office of 2nd Vice President, NC NAACP Conference of Branches last year, did so partly due to his appearing at a Hip-Hop Workshop at the NC NAACP annual convention. Many of the youth in attendance who heard him speak, became instant Gatewood supporters and began volunteering for his campaign.  On the day the NC NAACP delegates gathered to vote, a long line of more than 50 youth voters began chanting 'Gatewood, Gatewood, Gatewood...!'  

"During a historic time of high emotions and confusion, Gatewood became one of the first African-American leaders to publicly challenge the Bush Administration's plans for the 'War on Terrorism' just days following the attacks on 09/11/01.  Since it is now clear the administration's reasons for war in Iraq were seriously flawed, many see Gatewood emerging as one of the nation's top most courageous and consistent 'speakers of truth' in defense of the young, poor, and oppressed.   Gatewood on the other hand uses his time in the spotlight to promote Christ and other great leaders such as his friend the Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II who was elected NC NAACP President.  'I am nothing without Jesus Christ.  Having said that, Brother Dr. Barber is one of the greatest, preachingest men I have ever heard in the flesh', says Gatewood.  In an article recognizing his 2005 Newsmaker of the Year Award, Gatewood said he would like to share the attention with his family and 'a Durham mother, Cheryl Smith who was on the frontline fighting for her son and lost him to violence [during 2005].'"

Unfortunately, in the Duke case, Reverend Gatewood has not spoken truth.

In the tradition of Christ, he is not.


"How dare the NC Bar Association join the lynching mobs in Durham who have verbally lynched and sought to politically assassinate DA Mike Nifong for seeking to prosecute three white Duke students accused of raping a black NCCU student. And, if we are to refer to the lady as a 'stripper', allow me to refer to the men as perverted 'stripper patrons'.

"The conspiracy to disrupt justice in this Durham case should be obvious. It is unprecedented that the alleged criminals and/or their defense team will be given the luxury of such a high-media platform to repetitiously proclaim their 'innocence' and attack their prosecutor.

"I estimate over 50% of the black men packed inside the Durham County jail also profess to be 'innocent'. The difference is, the media will never allow their cases to be tried in the court of public opinion. Neither will you see any form of outrage when the DA says 'they did it'. Consequently we find more black men inside NC Central Prison, than NC Central University.

"I stand to challenge the racist media and NC Bar Association who wrongfully used their influence to attack the integrity of a prosecutor at the rare time he prosecutes a case which profoundly has the potential to challenge racism, classism, and sexism simultaneously. Yes, we should demand justice in the courts. We should also remember Malcolm X’s point which says 'black people can’t get justice in the courts, we have to demand justice in the streets.'"

"Justice" appears to be a code word for persecution of young white males from wealthy families on bogus rape, kidnapping and sexual assault charges (1) as pay back for wrongs committed by other white against other blacks, at best, or (2) out of envy, if violation of the Tenth Commandment's prohibition against coveting, at worst.

In my fourth article on the Duke case, posted on May 24, 2006, I identified the Duke case with the Tawana Brawley case: "My email on Tawana Two (aka the Duke 'rape' case)."

Subsequent developments only confirmed that

With Reverend Gatewood simultaneously championing "the Man from Galilee" and "street justice," it seems a propitious moment to recall Tawana One. Jason Manning (The Eighties Club: The Politics and Pop Culture of the 1980s) on the Tawana Brawley Hoax:

"On November 28, 1987 Joyce Lloray happened to look out of her apartment's sliding glass door in time to see a black girl climb into a big green plastic garbage bag and then lay still on the cold, muddy ground.  Mrs. Lloray called the Duchess County Sheriff's Department, setting into motion a chain of bizarre and tragic events that made the quiet little town of Wappingers Falls, New York -- population 5,000 --  the focus of national attention.

"The girl in the trash bag on the grounds of the Pavillion Condominiums was 15-year-old Tawana Brawley.  Four days earlier she had played hooky from school in order to visit a former boyfriend, Todd Buxton, who was incarcerated at the Orange County Jail in nearby Newburgh.  That evening Tawana took a bus to the town of Wappingers, where she had lived with her mother in Apartment 19A at the Pavillion Condominiums prior to their moving to Wappingers Falls.  According to Tawana, she was abducted by several white men shortly after she got off the bus; the men, one of whom wore a badge, took her to a wooded area and sexually abused her over a period of several days.

"When police and paramedics arrived at the Pavillion Condominiums in response to Joyce Lloray's call, they found Tawana's clothes torn, cut and partially burned.  Her body and clothing were smeared with feces, and on her chest and torso the words 'KKK,' 'NIGGER' and 'BITCH' had been written with what appeared to be charcoal.  Since it seemed that Tawana's civil rights had been violated, the FBI was called in.  A rape kit was administered at St. Francis Hospital and sent under seal to an FBI lab for analysis. Interviewed at the hospital by a black officer from the Poughkeepsie Police Department, Tawana claimed she had been repeatedly raped by a group of white men but could provide no names or descriptions of her assailants.  She later told others that there had been no rape, only other kinds of sexual abuse.  Forensic tests found no evidence that a sexual assault of any kind had occurred.  Nor was there any evidence of exposure to elements, which would be expected in a victim held for several days in the woods at a time when the temperature dropped below freezing at night.

"There were other discrepancies in Tawana's story.  She was seen entering the empty apartment at Pavillion where she had once lived on the morning after the alleged abduction.  Other witnesses claimed to have seen her at parties in a nearby town during the period when she was 'missing.'  She had no bruises, contusions, scratches or other injuries except for a small bruise behind the left ear, which was determined to be several days old.  Her mother, Glenda Brawley, was spotted at the apartment complex shortly before Tawana was seen getting into the garbage bag; the mother waited until that same afternoon to report Tawana's 'disappearance' to the police.  The investigation turned up evidence to indicate that the damage done to Tawana's clothing had occurred in the apartment.  According to the grand jury report, all of 'the items and instrumentalities necessary to create the condition in which Tawana Brawley appeared on Saturday, November 28, were present inside of or in the immediate vicinity of Apartment 19A.'  The feces had come from a neighbor's dog.

"The Tawana Brawley case was quickly seized upon by a trio of black activists who viewed it as a means by which to demonstrate that the police and judicial system were racist and corrupt.  Attorney Alton H. Maddox [Note: since disbarred] had been beaten by a white mob as a teenager in Newnan, Georgia; confrontational and virulently anti-white, Maddox seemed at times less interested in justice than in the potential for conflict that high profile cases like Tawana Brawley's provided.  C. Vernon Mason, another New York attorney, also used cases to drum up publicity and address wider issues.  Al Sharpton was a flamboyant Pentecostal preacher who spent $2,000 a year for hair care at Brooklyn's Prima Donna Beauty Salon; his hunger for celebrity caused some to question both his motives and methods.  Maddox, Mason and Sharpton had joined forces before, in the Howard Beach case a year earlier.  Several black men had been accosted by a white mob and one of them, Michael Griffith, was chased out onto a highway where he was struck by a vehicle and killed.  In previous cases, Maddox and Mason had used the tactic of non-cooperation, refusing to let their clients testify in an effort to facilitate a 'miscarriage of justice' in which the perpetrator(s) would get off.  In this way they could heighten the outrage of the black community and claim the result proved that the judicial system discriminated against blacks.

"The trio muzzled Tawana Brawley and claimed everyone from the local police to New York Governor Mario Cuomo was engaged in a cover-up.  The Brawley camp eventually accused Harry Crist, Jr., a part-time police officer, after Crist committed suicide on December 2, and Steven A. Pagones, a Duchess County district attorney, of participating in the alleged abduction and rape.  Further investigation revealed that Crist had killed himself for reasons unconnected with the Brawley case, while Pagones' testimony convinced the Poughkeepsie grand jury that he was not involved in any wrongdoing.  Undeterred, Maddox, Mason and Sharpton staged numerous media events, from news conferences and rallies to appearances on television shows like Phil Donahue and The Morton Downey, Jr. Show to keep national attention focused on the case.

"As time went on, the public grew increasingly skeptical of Tawana Brawley's charges and the ill-advised tactics of her handlers.  When Tawana's mother was subpoenaed to appear before the grand jury and failed to do so, a warrant for her arrest was issued; Maddox, Mason and Sharpton took her to the Ebenezer Baptist Church in New York City and organized a rally, hoping (in vain) that the authorities would force their way into the church and seize her.  Two of Sharpton's associates quit, claiming the reverend had known all along that the case was a hoax.  Other black leaders criticized Brawley's advisers -- Ray Innes of the Congress of Racial Equality and attorney Conrad Lynn among them.  They feared the hoax and the antics of publicity hounds like Sharpton would prove detrimental to the cause of racial equality.

"After seven months of examining police and medical records and listening to the testimony of over one hundred witnesses, the grand jury determined that Tawana's charges were false and that her condition when found had been self-inflicted.  The question remained: Why had she lied?  One hypothesis was that since Tawana had already been grounded on the day she skipped school to visit her ex-boyfriend, she had made up the story of her abduction in order to avoid further punishment.

"The Aftermath

"The Brawley case resurfaced a decade later when Steven Pagones filed a defamation suit against Maddox, Mason and Sharpton; he had already won a default judgment against Tawana in 1991.  By 1997, Tawana had moved to Washington and changed her name to Maryam Muhammad.  She returned to New York to speak before a rally at Brooklyn's Bethany Baptist Church in support of her advisers, insisting that she had told the truth about the abduction.  The court found otherwise.  Her advisers were ordered to pay Pagones $345,000 while Tawana had to pay $185,000.  'Tawana Brawley appears caught up in her own fiction,' said New York State Supreme Court Justice S. Barrett Hickman. "Unfortunately, the rest of the country had to be caught up in it, too.

From "The Worst of Al Sharpton," by William Saletan, Ben Jacobs and Avi Zenilman, posted in Slate on September 8, 2003:

"Charge: In 1987, a 15-year-old black girl named Tawana Brawley went missing and was found four days later covered in dog feces and with racial slurs written on her body. She claimed that at least two and possibly six white men, one of them carrying a badge, had repeatedly raped her in the woods in upstate New York. Sharpton took up Brawley's cause and defended her refusal to cooperate with prosecutors, saying that asking her to meet with New York's attorney general (who had been asked by Gov. Mario Cuomo to supervise the investigation) would be like 'asking someone who watched someone killed in the gas chamber to sit down with Mr. Hitler.' According to the Associated Press, Sharpton and Brawley's lawyers asserted 'on 33 separate occasions' that a local prosecutor named Steven Pagones 'had kidnapped, abused and raped' Brawley. There was no evidence, and Pagones was soon cleared. Sharpton then accused a local police cult with ties to the Irish Republican Army of perpetrating the alleged assault. The case fizzled when a security guard for Brawley's lawyers testified that the lawyers and Sharpton knew Brawley was lying. A grand jury investigation concluded in late 1988 that Brawley 'was not the victim of forcible sexual assault' and that the whole thing was a hoax. The report specifically exonerated Pagones, and in 1998 Pagones won a defamation lawsuit against Sharpton, Brawley, and Brawley's lawyers. Sharpton was ordered to pay Pagones $65,000. Johnnie Cochran and other Sharpton benefactors subsidized the payment.

"Defense: Sharpton stands by Brawley's story. In May 2002, when the Associated Press asked whether he would apologize to Pagones, Sharpton replied: 'Apologize for what? For believing a young lady?' Referring to his incipient presidential campaign, Sharpton continued, 'When people around the country know that I stood up for a young lady ... I think it will help me.' In March 2003, when the Washington Post asked whether Sharpton could have expressed sympathy for Pagones after the prosecutor was cleared, Sharpton replied that Brawley 'identified Pagones. I was her spokesperson. I cannot turn around in what I said I believed.' As to the jury verdict against him, Sharpton told the New York Daily News in July 2003 that 'a jury said in the Central Park jogging case … that I was wrong, and it was just overturned 13 years later. Juries can be wrong. I've stood by what I believe. Juries are proven wrong every day.'"

It sure looks like the hoax helpers in Tawana Two will stick to the Big Lie too.

Reverends, God expects to be obeyed, not misused, by you.

Michael J. Gaynor

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Biography - Michael J. Gaynor

Michael J. Gaynor has been practicing law in New York since 1973. A former partner at Fulton, Duncombe & Rowe and Gaynor & Bass, he is a solo practitioner admitted to practice in New York state and federal courts and an Association of the Bar of the City of New York member.

Gaynor graduated magna cum laude, with Honors in Social Science, from Hofstra University's New College, and received his J.D. degree from St. John's Law School, where he won the American Jurisprudence Award in Evidence and served as an editor of the Law Review and the St. Thomas More Institute for Legal Research. He wrote on the Pentagon Papers case for the Review and obscenity law for The Catholic Lawyer and edited the Law Review's commentary on significant developments in New York law.

The day after graduating, Gaynor joined the Fulton firm, where he focused on litigation and corporate law. In 1997 Gaynor and Emily Bass formed Gaynor & Bass and then conducted a general legal practice, emphasizing litigation, and represented corporations, individuals and a New York City labor union. Notably, Gaynor & Bass prevailed in the Second Circuit in a seminal copyright infringement case, Tasini v. New York Times, against newspaper and magazine publishers and Lexis-Nexis. The U.S. Supreme Court affirmed, 7 to 2, holding that the copyrights of freelance writers had been infringed when their work was put online without permission or compensation.

Gaynor currently contributes regularly to,,, and and has contributed to many other websites. He has written extensively on political and religious issues, notably the Terry Schiavo case, the Duke "no rape" case, ACORN and canon law, and appeared as a guest on television and radio. He was acknowledged in Until Proven Innocent, by Stuart Taylor and KC Johnson, and Culture of Corruption, by Michelle Malkin. He appeared on "Your World With Cavuto" to promote an eBay boycott that he initiated and "The World Over With Raymond Arroyo" (EWTN) to discuss the legal implications of the Schiavo case. On October 22, 2008, Gaynor was the first to report that The New York Times had killed an Obama/ACORN expose on which a Times reporter had been working with ACORN whistleblower Anita MonCrief.

Gaynor's email address is

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