The Full Wiki

Political Research Associates: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Political Research Associates
Founders Dr. Jean V. Hardisty
Type non-profit organization
Founded 1981, changed name to PRA in 1987
Headquarters Somerville, Massachusetts
Staff Katherine Hancock Ragsdale, Chip Berlet, Tarso Luís Ramos, Pam Chamberlain
Area served Worldwide
Focus Studying the U.S. political right
Revenue $700,000

Political Research Associates (PRA) (formerly Midwest Research, Chicago, 1981-1987), named and known on the Web as, is a non-profit research group located in Somerville, Massachusetts.



PRA studies the U.S. political right wing, as well as white supremacists, and paramilitary organizations. It has a full-time staff of six. The director is Rev. Dr. Katherine Hancock Ragsdale. Dr. Jean V. Hardisty was the director from 1981 to 2004. Chip Berlet is the group's senior analyst. Researchers include Tarso Luís Ramos and Pam Chamberlain.

PRA publishes a journal, The Public Eye, three times a year, which reports on specific and current movements or trends within the U.S. political Right, and also produces special reports, past examples of which include "Calculated Compassion," which details attacks on gays and lesbians, and "Decades of Distortion," which alleged scapegoating of welfare recipients. [1]

The group provides public speakers, and has staff on hand to answer queries from journalists, researchers, and activists. Its annual funding of approximately $700,000 per year comes from foundation grants, individual contributions, and the sale of research materials. Expenditures are directed toward staffing, general & administrative expenses, programs and fundraising.[2] . Among its major donors are the Public Welfare Foundation and the Ford Foundation.

PRA is supported by a number of progressive and liberal activists, including Anne Braden of the Southern Organizing Committee, and Suzanne Pharr of the Highlander Research Center. Pharr has written that PRA "sets the standard for researchers and political analysts of integrity," and describes the group's research as "thorough, thoughtful, carefully researched, and presented within a broad context of understanding of the complex relationships and activities of the Right." [1]

PRA is likewise criticized by conservative groups. Stanley Kurtz of the conservative magazine National Review described PRA's researchers as "conspiracy mongers" for a 1994 report on the religious right, and claims that PRA used guilt by association techniques to associate conservative Christians with theocratic Dominionism.[3] The David Horowitz Freedom Center accuses PRA mainstay Chip Berlet of engaging in "smear" tactics and accuses PRA of promoting a "hard-left agenda." The article on PRA at Horowitz' Discover the Networks (DTN) site says the organization's purpose is to promote the Marxist doctrines of "dialectical materialism" and "progressive internationalism." It criticizes PRA for endorsing the Plan of Action from the 2001 UN World Conference against Racism, Xenophobia, and Related Intolerance, which the Freedom Center considers to be "a forum for anti-American and anti-Israel rhetoric."[4][5][6]

PRA responded to Kurtz by stating that the report was "a serious study of the Dominionist Christian Reconstructionist movement."[7]

See also


  1. ^ a b PRA: About Us
  2. ^ PRA Annual Report 2003-2004 See page 16
  3. ^ "By quoting a pathetic Dominionist extremist’s desperate efforts to prove his own influence, clever liberals can now argue that the ultimate goal of all conservative Christians is the re-institution of slavery, and execution for blasphemers and witches. Dominionist Domination May 2, 2005
  4. ^ Arabia, Chris (2003-10-16). "Chip Berlet: Leftist Lie Factory". FrontPage Magazine. Retrieved 2007-11-19.  
  5. ^ Report on PRA by Discover The Networks
  6. ^ A Report back from the World Conference Against Racism (WCAR) Fall 2001 page 19
  7. ^ The Christian Right, Dominionism, and Theocracy

External links

Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address