Are the people behind Ordo Iuris fundamentalists tied to the Kremlin? Here are documented examples of those connections, including financial ties.
Some time ago, Marta Lempart’s, one of the leaders of the Polish Women’s Strike, now acclaimed statement—its dissemination was prohibited by a court ruling—circulated on social media. That statement was as follows: “Ordo Iuris are fundamentalists paid by the Kremlin.” For now, I will leave “fundamentalists” aside, as that is beyond doubt. The Ordo Iuris Foundation, fighting against women’s and LGBT rights, consistently presents initiatives to restrict human rights. And within the UN, it is keen to stand side by side with those representing the Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia. Thus, I will focus on the statement’s second part, “frozen” by the court. First, let me introduce the context. For five years, thanks to efforts of Antoni Macierewicz [former minister of defense in Poland], Polish counterespionage has been sidelined, when it should have been safeguarding our country from foreign agents’ activity on our territory. The fundamentalist organizations I’m describing fit this field of activity perfectly through:
- spreading misinformation;
- deepening social divisions;
- imposing legal solutions counter to the will of the majority of citizens and very similar to those in authoritarian states.
One country profits most from all this. That is the Russian Federation, and more precisely, the Kremlin.
The Ordo Iuris Foundation denies its connections to the Kremlin when they are being discussed publicly. Denies them, or maintains silence on the topic. Meanwhile, those who have not read my book This Is War. Fundamentalists and the new Middle Ages [published in Polish in February 2020] remain in disbelief and keep asking for proof of these connections.
So I’ve prepared a quasi-illustrated story about the ties between Ordo Iuris and the Kremlin. In it, I share various materials and publications, and provide links to them. Some of these materials were used in my book but some have been uncovered since publication.
Here is the illustrated version for dummies.
Ordo Iuris founders were partners in a congress held by the Kremlin
Let’s start from the very beginning, that is, with the founders of Ordo Iuris. The Ordo Iuris Foundation was established by the Polish branch of the international organization TFP (Tradicão, Família e Propiedade; Tradition Family and Property), whose headquarters are located in Brazil.
TFP has often been accused of being a sect (underage recruiting, brainwashing) but also of paramilitary actions. In many circumstances, it has radically opposed the Vatican. Its members allegedly used photos of Pope John Paul II for target practice (TFP found him to have been…liberal). The Spanish priest Juan Fernández Krohn, who tried to assassinate John Paul II in 1982, confessed to being inspired by TFP at his trial and in an interview with me. This is all described in my book.
Ordo Iuris’ founders are:
- the Piotr Skarga Association from Kraków (full name: the Father Piotr Skarga Association for Christian Culture);
- and that association’s offshoot, the Piotr Skarga Institute (full name: the Father Piotr Skarga Institute for Social and Religious Education).
Both the association and the institute are the Polish branches of the Brazilian TFP, as they admit on their website [in Polish].
Beginnings and our mission…
The Father Piotr Skarga Association for Christian Culture began its activity in July 1999 in Kraków, inspired by the worldwide Association for Defense of Tradition, Family and Property (TFP). The initiators establishing this organization included Leonard Przybysz, Sławomir Olejniczak, Sławomir Skiba, and Arkadiusz Stelmach.
Two years later, in November 2001, the Father Piotr Skarga Institute for Social and Religious Education was founded. Both organizations have undertaken many valuable initiatives over the years.]
The Piotr Skarga Association, the Polish branch of TFP, established the foundation named the Piotr Skarga Institute.
Later, that foundation, the Piotr Skarga Institute, established Ordo Iuris.
An indirect connection, just a chain of organizations?
That chain doesn’t hide much, as seen with the example of the emblems of both organizations.
The lion from the TFP emblem (right) is the Ordo Iuris logo (left).
Let’s move on. When the World Congress of Families (WCF, a forum of radical religious organizations led by Americans and Russians) took place in 2007 in Warsaw, the Piotr Skarga Institute appeared as sponsor of that event (scan 1 shows the sponsors’ list .
The institute sponsored the WCF’s Warsaw edition along with its mother organization, that is, with TFP (Tradicão, Família e Propiedade; Tradition, Family and Property) (scan 2 also showing the sponsors’ list).
As seen in the top-right corner of scan 2, the then-president of Poland, Lech Kaczyński, was the honorary patron of the congress [brother of the current president of the ruling party Law and Justice in Poland – Jarosław Kaczyński, died in an airplane crash in 2010].
So, the Piotr Skarga Institute was a partner in the next editions of the World Congress of Families. In 2014 the Polish Piotr Skarga Institute appeared as partner of WCF organized in Moscow, with great pomp in the halls of the Kremlin. It was of such high rank that it was to have been opened by President Vladimir Putin. However, at that time, the Kremlin’s assault on Ukraine had begun. Putin and his regime received widespread condemnation, met with sanctions and boycotts. To avoid further those tensions, the group of international guests was welcomed by someone in Putin’s place.
Poland took Kiev’s side in that conflict and supported Ukraine’s efforts to join the EU. Nevertheless, the Polish branch of TFP appeared as partners in the Moscow congress’s folder . That document includes the Piotr Skarga Institute website logo (piotrskarga.pl), as seen below. Partnership, in this case, was reliant on financing the event.
What is the World Congress of Families (WCF), in which the Polish TFP branch, responsible for founding Ordo Iuris, has taken part so often?
It’s a cyclical event and at the same time an international group of ultra-conservative organizations, opposing women’s rights and LGBT rights, initiated by the Russian sociologist Anatoly Anatov from and the American activist Allan Carlson in1995. The World Congress of Families works as a platform connecting extreme right-wing religious and social groups.
- uses the World Congress of Families to infiltrate extremely conservative circles worldwide;
- it then uses those circles as a means of fulfilling imperialistic geopolitical goals.
This is shown precisely through Allan Carlson’s connections to the World Congress of Families’ founder.
Carlson is president of the Howard Center for Family, Religion and Society in Illinois. This center is official organizer of the World Congress of Families. The Howard Center’s 2016 tax returns show that a former student of Anatoly Antonov, Alexey Komov, took an advisory role on the organization’s board. Alexey Komov is no coincidence here. He’s regarded as the Kremlin’s ambassador among fundamentalists. We’ll return to Komov later.
Here is a scan from the Howard Center’s 2016 tax returns, with a list of directors and advisors. It shows that Mr. Komov spends two hours a week working for the WCF
In the last available tax return of the Howard Center, from 2018, Alexey Komov still appears on the list of directors and advisors. However, Komov is not the big shot in this deal. He works for the oligarch Konstantin Malofeev, who can’t travel around the world, being subject to sanctions from Europe and the US. Komov does this for him while Malofeev talks with the highest Kremlin authorities and takes their commands. Malofeev, among other things:
- finances foreign nationalist parties (the French Front national, for example), as well as radical religious organizations being used by the Kremlin;
- works with Russian military intelligence, the GRU, participating in its foreign operations.
The Kremlin edition of the World Congress of Families in 2014 was organized by Komov and sponsored by Malofeev. You can read about the latter’s many achievements here. Malofeev paid not only for the creation of CitizenGo but in 2013/2014, through St. Basil Foundation, he also paid 5000 dollars monthly for the project of a conservative website HocVinces.Info run by Larry Jacobs, WCF’s managing director.(see)
Malofeev’s money was going towards both internationally crucial fundamentalist organizations which had collaborated with founders of Ordo Iuris (Piotr Skarga) and Ordo Iuris itself.
Mr. Malofeev at the same time:
- was responsible for weapons deliveries in Donbass (the region in Ukraine taken over by separatists);
- packed the separatist authorities in Donbass with Russian people (the case of Strelkov, alias Girkin).
The second sponsor of the Moscow congress was Vladimir Yakunin – Putin’s personal friend, former KGB ace in Soviet intelligence, later a Kremlin dignitary, currently an oligarch and Orthodox Church sponsor, along with religious fundamentalists of other confessions.
It’s simple to understand how certain Western partners of the WCF felt uncomfortable in the company of such people tied to Putin. Therefore, the event’s name was changed at the last minute, to cover those tracks. The Moscow edition of the World Congress of Families became…the enlarged Families and the Future of Humanity Forum. Yet it was organized by the same people and organizations as the previous [WCF] editions. In the Howard Center tax returns, the 2014 event is still described as the World Congress of Families.
Please note that this was the year the Howard Center received a record-breaking sum of $114, 446 for organizing the event . In previous years, the event received a third of that amount. This means that the Kremlin congress was organized to be held in full swing. Apparently, it was assigned a special role.
According to one participant of the Moscow WCF with whom I spoke, the congress served for recruiting by the Russian secret services. My informer experienced several of such attempts at recruitment, which he described to me in detail. Unfortunately, such is the character of an event in which partners happened to be Ordo Iuris founders.
Past and present, as the TFP organization continues to participate in the World Congress of Families. During the last WCF edition, in Verona in 2019, TFP set up its own stand at the event site.
Is Ordo Iuris independent from its founders?
One may contend that: “After all, we’re talking about the Ordo Iuris founders and not Ordo Iuris itself. Is the Ordo Iuris organization being charged for its founders’ participation in the Kremlin congress? When that took place, Ordo Iuris had only been existence for a year….”
To better understand the complexity of this, we need to examine documents about the Ordo Iuris Foundation and its founding organizations.
The Piotr Skarga Association president, Sławomir Olejniczak, was also a member of the supervisory body (the Council) of the Ordo Iuris foundation, until 2021. Other members of the Piotr Skarga Association, Arkadiusz Stelmach and Jakub Skoczylas, belonged to the Council of Ordo Iuris as well also until 2021, according to the National Court Register [Polish only].
What is more, according to the Ordo Iuris statute, the Council up to December 2020:
- initiated the foundation’s activities;
- assessed those activities;
- handed down decisions;
- enacted plans;
- controlled finances;
- appointed members, etc.
[Above: from the Ordo Iuris statute, with six key points from provision 1 listed above]
The statute was changed in 2019, though Council members stayed the same and as did the range of their activities. In December 2020, a further change was made in the statute, limiting the Council’s tasks to “consulting.” The Council continued to appoint and dismiss presidents, and to establish salaries.
Therefore, Ordo Iuris since its origins in 2013 was supervised by partners of the Kremlin congress, financed by people from the Kremlin through organizations infiltrated by the Kremlin.
In spite of all this, the Ordo Iuris president, Jerzy Kwaśniewski, still protests against revealing the truth. He argues that connecting Ordo Iuris to the World Congress of Families violates their “good name.”]
[In his tweet, Jerzy Kwaśniewski, the Ordo Iuris president, writes: “Connecting Ordo Iuris to a sect violates its good name. The courts have frozen such claims in similar cases. As with the participation in the World Congress of Families in 2014 in Moscow. In light of the Crimean War, Polish organizations have rejected cooperation with the Congress.”]
Kwaśniewski has even threatened the oko.press editorial office which published, in May 2019, an article I wrote on this topic [in Polish]. Though it turns out that to this day, their office has yet to receive that lawsuit….
Might it be that connections between the Polish TFP branch (Piotr Skarga) and Ordo Iuris are just a founding flaw, with no basis for jumping to conclusions? Let’s not be naive.
Partners of Ordo Iuris
Ordo Iuris does not like being publicly associated with its founders. According to some reports, it got into a conflict with them.
But if Ordo Iuris doesn’t want to admit its founders, then who does it admit to?
On its website, Ordo Iuris presents a list of “partner organizations” with which they consistently cooperate [in Polish].
These are the first two partners, present at the very beginning of the list:
- the European Center for Law and Justice (ECLJ);
- the Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute (C-Fam).
Their two logos are placed at the left in this scan.
Let’s have a close look at both these organizations. Each has American roots. “American” – this sounds impressive in Poland. But as always, the devil’s in the details.
ECJL was founded in 1998 and stems from the American Center for Law and Justice, established in 1990.
C-Fam has been active in the US since 1997.
For now, let’s focus on C-Fam, which:
- demands the prohibition of abortion;
- opposes LGBT rights;
- has created a name for itself in the UN, where it has supported Ordo Iuris, which then received a consultative status at the UN.
The distinguished Southern Poverty Law Center organization, working in support of human rights, has recognized C-Fam as a “hate group.”
Note: the FBI monitors C-Fam’s activities, utilizing the Southern Poverty Law Center findings .
C-Fam is headed by Austin Ruse. And here we begin to get to the bottom of all this, as Ruse takes us back to the Kremlin.
Austin Ruse has:
- participated in the Kremlin edition of WCF in 2014;
- invited Alexey Komov, whom we’ve met already, as the “WCF ambassador” to Washington, DC.
Why did Ruse invite Komov? So Komov could praise Russian pro-family policies to Americans (such as allowing wives to be beaten by their husbands once a year).
Ruse appeared on the guest list of the Kremlin congress, called the “black international.” How do we know that list? Thanks to the hacker group Shaltai Boltai, which hacked the inboxes of Alexey Komov and his boss, the oligarch Malofeev.
This scan is from the list of 357 guests invited by Russians to the Kremlin congress.
While we’re at it, let’s note that on that guest list for the Moscow congress, there was also an Ordo Iuris partner with a very well-known name… Bogdan Chazan, an easily identified Polish abortion gynecologist, who later turned into an anti-abortion activist. Next to his name, we read that:
- his invitation was sent;
- however, his presence during the congress was not confirmed.
The list of confirmed guests is available through this link. According to the portal BuzzFeed News, the list shows that “Russian nationalists and social conservatives appear to be working together to use links with ‘pro-family’ organizations in the U.S. and around the world to promote Russia's geopolitical agenda […]” .
Meanwhile, the renowned British newspaper The Guardian writes that Austin Ruse:
- “forged a partnership between US social conservative groups and Orthodox ‘pro-family’ church organisations in Russia with close ties to Vladimir Putin”;
- “met […] Konstantin Malofeev, a Russian oligarch with extensive ties to the European far-right”;
- praised Malofeev for “working to bring Russian Orthodox and US Christians closer together” .
Here is what Ruse, an Ordo Iuris partner, wrote about the Kremlin’s billionaire: “Malofeev and many other Russians see themselves as a Christian nation sent to help other Christians around the world.”
We can add that Ruse cooperated with Steve Bannon in the US, the chief strategist for pro-Russian President Donald Trump.
As we see, Austin Ruse allowed himself to be seduced by the Kremlin’s worldview. His colleagues and coworkers were seduced along with him. The C-Fam organization can be found on the list of groups supporting anti-gay rights the Kremlin introduced in 2013.
Who else supported those anti-gay rights, imposed in Russia by Putin and his people?
The Piotr Skarga Institute—that is, the founders of Ordo Iuris.
As did…Ordo Iuris, which expressed its support within the first months of its existence.
Below is an excerpt from the international open letter supporting anti-gay rights in Russia (click to enlarge the image). The entire letter is available as a pdf at this link
Below the letter is a list of signatories. Appearing on the second scan below is the Piotr Skarga Institute, as well as Ordo Iuris (again, click the image to enlarge it).
What else connects Ordo Iuris to the pro-Kremlin Austin Ruse?
The Ordo Iuris foundation:
- publicly refers to Ruse’s statements ;
- cooperates with the C-Fam organization at the international level ;
- finances with Ruse international events including the UN International Year of the Family in 2019
What is more, Ruse, along with Ordo Iuris, appears on the participant list of the infamous Agenda Europe convention in 2016.
What is Agenda Europe? It’s an international coalition of far-right organizations, advancing an anti-women and anti-gay rights counter-revolution in Europe’s law-making institutions.
All of that’s about the first Ordo Iuris partner, that is, C-Fam.
Who is the second partner, the law firm European Center for Law and Justice?
This company’s history is equally interesting. And will also take us in the Kremlin’s direction.
The European Center for Law and Justice, or ECLJ, in short, is part of the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), an organization defending the conservatively understood concepts of Christian values and freedom of religion.
ACLJ has two foreign branches: along with the European one (ECLJ), there is a Slavic Center for Law and Justice (SCLJ).
The director of ECLJ, Grégor Puppinck from France, publicly shares his warm thoughts about Putin. During the Crimean invasion, Mr. Puppinck visited Moscow to discuss “the protection of traditional values” with Orthodox dignitaries and Russian politicians . Russians explained to him how they protect themselves from the “plague” of same-sex marriage . Puppinck later stated that he is “very much impressed” by the “moral” laws in Russia.
Is pro-Kemlin Grégor Puppinck in touch with the Ordo Iuris foundation? Of course.
The 2018 issue of the periodical Legal Culture, published by Ordo Iuris, included Puppinck’s article co-written with Marcin Kulczyk .
Puppinck could also be seen in the 2019 Ordo Iuris press conference. There, he talked about international conventions for children .
At the same time, Ordo Iuris was promoting the Convention on the Rights of the Family. This creation was intended as the antidote to the anti-violence Istanbul Convention, which Ordo Iuris opposed. Among the first signatories to the Ordo Iuris convention was none other than pro-Kremlin Grégor Puppinck .
Let’s note that Puppinck also appears on the participant list for Agenda Europe 2016, along with C-Fam and Ordo Iuris.
Enough about Puppinck. This, however, is not the end of the story about his organizations and their worldwide branches. The Russian ACLJ branch, that is, the SCLJ , is associated with the trial of the Pussy Riot girls, tormented by Putin for singing a punk protest song in a church in 2011. They were sentenced to two years in prison for “hooliganism” and, at that same time, the SCLJ was demanding stricter punishment for “religious hatred,” participating in persecuting feminist activists. Ordo Iuris engages in similar initiatives in Poland.
How did that prosecution end? In 2013, the Duma [Russian Federation parliament] accepted a more lenient version of the SCLJ’s proposed project. It was signed by Vladimir Putin. On the same day, Putin also signed a bill banning “gay propaganda” , which was also supported by Ordo Iuris.
So, Ordo Iuris is partners with the ECJL, whose sister organization helps the Kremlin in persecuting Russian women and Russian gays.
It so happens that the director of the American mother organization, the ACLJ, Jay Sekulow:
- was Donald Trump’s lawyer;
- defended Trump during the FBI investigation of…Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election.
Is Ordo Iuris part of Agenda Europe?
Agenda Europe is a secret project of anti-abortion and anti-LGBT networks, established in 2013 by a group of international lobbyists. The aim of Agenda Europe is to make an ultra-conservative change in European law. However, it’s not only Europeans participating in this extraordinary project. Since the very beginning, there have also been Americans, along with as…Russians. And not just any Russians.
The main role is played by Alexey Komov. We’re not hearing his name for the first time in this story. When we were considering the Moscow edition of the World Congress of Families, I mentioned Komov as its main organizer. You can find some basic information about him here.
Who is Komov? He is the son of a former KGB officer in the Soviet secret service. Komov Sr. worked undercover as a journalist in Los Angeles (that is, in Hollywood). Later, the USSR assigned him a different task in London and Havana (I wrote about this in my book This Is War). His son and our “hero,” Alexey Komov, is friends with all the important people from nationalist and fundamentalist movements in Europe, especially in Italy. In December 2013, he participated in a convention of the Lega Nord when that radical separatist group dropped its separatism and transformed into a national Italian political party. Later, it was revealed that Putin financed the Lega . A similar scandal took place in France. It came to light that Komov’s boss, Konstantin Malofeev, “loaned” huge amounts of money to the French far-right party, the Front national.
Alexey Komov participated in Agenda Europe activities before Ordo Iuris joined it in 2015. We know this from information revealed in 2017 by the Arte television channel.
Below is the Agenda Europe 2014 convention program. That meeting was held in Germany, near Munich. Komov appeared among the guests [see highlights].
A year later, in Dublin, Agenda Europe was joined by the Ordo Iuris foundation, to be precise, by its then president, Aleksander Stępkowski (currently a Polsih Supreme Court judge). He was accompanied by Ordo Iuris’s current vice president, Tymoteusz Zych. Among the participants, was someone also well known to us, Grégor Puppinck from ECLJ.
Ordo Iuris must have created a sensation in Dublin, for two years later it became organizer of a major convention for Agenda Europe participants, in Warsaw. I received documentation from that convention from a person who succeeded in getting into the event. The current Ordo Iuris president, Jerzy Kwaśniewski, solemnly opened the convention. The then-president Aleksander Stępkowski gave an introductory speech. One participant was Joanna Banasiuk who, several days later, read the infamous Stop Aborcji project in the Polish Sejm [lower house of Poland’s parliament].
I also managed to get my hands on a secret recording on which we see:
- a farewell dinner for Agenda Europe participants;
- Jerzy Kwaśniewski and the German ultra-Catholic Sophia Kuby expressing their gratitude to the event’s sponsors.
Ms. Kuby says: “Next to Jerzy [Kwaśniewski], there is Ignacio Arsuaga – Ignacio, we thank you for co-financing” (This Is War, p. 342).
Let’s remember those words. I will talk about Ignacio Arsuaga in just a moment.
From the documents, we know that seven Ordo Iuris members participated in the Warsaw convention for organizations with Kremlin links (you can see the names of them on a screen below).
Nevertheless, the Ordo Iuris president, Jerzy Kwaśniewski, denies its participation in Agenda Europe.
The following is Jerzy Kwaśniewski’s “rectification,” which he sent to the portal NaTemat.pl after that portal spoke with me about connections between Ordo Iuris and Agenda Europe. In the content of this “rectification,” Kwaśniewski accuses me of lying [in Polish].
[The “rectification” above reads: “It is false that the Ordo Iuris Institute is a member of Agenda Europe, and it is false that the institute works within the Agenda and other fundamentalist networks tied to sects and the Kremlin, and that the institute’s activities are leading to a conservative revolution, aimed at abolishing human rights and imposing authoritarianism.”]
The documents shown above prove that I’m not lying.
Colleagues from Agenda Europe
On the list for Agenda Europe are 327 participants. It’s not possible to describe them all here. Let’s pay attention to a couple of specific people and organizations.
First, let’s focus on Ignacio Arsuaga from Spain, one of the founders of the Agenda Europe. On the secret recording from the Agenda Europe meeting, we see him sitting beside the current Ordo Iuris president, Jerzy Kwaśniewski. Arsuaga is one of the convention’s sponsors.
Arsuaga is the head of the Spanish organization Hazte Oír, similar in character to the Ordo Iuris foundation and to a second foundation connected with it, Pro – Prawo do życia (the Pro-life Foundation).
Before vans carrying insulting slogans appeared on Polish streets, Mr. Arsuaga had begun a similar campaign in his country. Several years ago, he put vans on Spain’s streets bearing insulting slogans. Last year, he compared feminists to Hitler.
Arsuaga also founded the organization CitizenGo, which functions as a petitioning platform in 50 countries, including Poland. Ordo Iuris uses CitizenGo when working on their various projects.
Below is a tweet by Jerzy Kwaśniewski, the Ordo Iuris president, on the topic of a UN summit in Nairobi. In it, Kwaśniewski tagged CitizenGo.
[The tweet above reads: “The whole panel of ICPD25 about fighting the enemies of gender ideology – pro-family and pro-life organizations @OrdoIuris @CitizenGo @oneofuseu and the Christian religion (again, no one mentions Islam). To my question why the panel excludes voices of those criticized – no answer.”]
Ordo Iuris eagerly utilizes the CitizenGo petition platform, as seen here: . On the scan below is the start of the list of numerous petitions Ordo Iuris has introduced with the help of CitizenGo. Currently, this number is up to 13.
This doesn’t end here. On the occasion of the so-called Local government Charter of the Rights of the Family [which excludes LBGT+ people; the project was called out publicly and is known worldwide as “LGBT free zones” promoted by Ordo Iuris in different localities across Poland; for more information go here], both organizations, Ordo Iuris and CitizenGo, appeared as co-authors of that project.
[The text on the screenshot writes:
“The criticism of the Warsaw LGBT Declaration which has been going on for the past weeks pointed to a series of dangers for the constitutionally protected rights of parents and children, as well as labor rights, economic freedom or even the accordance of the proposed solutions with the Personal Data Protection Act.
During the Warsaw Parents Protest, the Ordo Iuris Institute announced the implementation of systemic solutions to these dangers. After broad social consultations, together with a number of pro-family organizations, the Local government Charter of the Rights of the Family, being the confirmation of the most important constitutional rules and laws, was presented. The co-authors of the Charter are Ordo Iuris, Centrum Życia i Rodziny [Life and Family Center], CitizenGo Poland, Fundacja Mamy i Taty [Mum and Dad Foundation], Ruch 4 Marca [March 4 Movement], Stowarzyszenie Rodzin Wielodzietnych “Szczęśliwy Dom” [“Happy Home” Association of Large Families from Gdańsk], Stowarzyszenie “Dar Życia” [“Miracle of Life” Association], Stowarzyszenie Pedagogów “Natan” [“Natan” Association of Pedadogues], Stowarzyszenie Rodzice Chronią Dzieci [Association of Parents Protecting Children].”]
Ordo Iuris and CitizenGo also appear together at conferences. Below is the announcement for a 2019 conference in the Sejm.
[The announcement reads: “Local Government Favorable to the Family. Announcing a Sejm conference. On July 16, the conference Local Government Favorable to the Family, organized by the Standing Subcommittee on Family Rights, will take place. The conference’s aim is to take up a debate leading to even more effective fulfillment among regional governments of duties within the area of supporting Polish families. Invited guests will discuss the local governmental Charter of Family Rights, local government’s family policies, European certification […] The event will take place in the Sejm building.”]
Let’s have a look at who oversees CitizenGo, the second organization run by Ignacio Arsuaga. On the board-member list of CitizenGo appears a name well known to us . That is, Alexey Komov.
Komov is not only on the WCF and CitizenGo boards, but he also co-created it from the very outset. This relationship comes from the WCF and dates back to 2012 when the WCF congress was organized in Madrid by Ignacio Arsuaga, the head of CitizenGO. It was attended by a strong Russian representation, headed by Natalia Yakunina and Alexei Komov. Immediately afterwards, Arsuaga came up with the idea of founding a petition platform that would promote actions in defense of Christian values and against such "innovations" as same-sex marriage, abortion and euthanasia. Arsuaga, who eventually named his invention CitizenGo, however, had no money and was looking for sponsors. That's when the Russians came in.
The petition-platform project is titled Movete here (Move, Spanish), which was later changed to CitizenGo. Ignacio Arsuaga:
- writes that he can send the “business plan” to Komov;
- mentions in the second part of the letter in Spanish the need for 556,000 euros;
- and that two Spanish entrepreneurs want to cover 200,000 of that amount.
What is more, with Komov’s help, the CitizenGo idea was presented in…the Vatican.
Less than a month later, a description of the project named CitizenGo was sent by Arsuaga, not to Komov, but to his boss, the Kremlin oligarch Malofeev. In this letter, it is mentioned that the two men have met. The Spaniard, Arsuaga, proposes that the Kremlin Russian, Malofeev, help finance the CitizenGo project. He requests 100,000 euros.
In a memo from March 23, 2013, published by Wikileaks, Arsuaga wrote about the possibility of getting 100,000 euros from Malofeev and Yakunin
We have confirmation of a transfer of that sum from Malofeev to Arsuaga thanks to hackers from the ACAB Gang, who broke into the computer of the president of Spanish organizations in late 2016 or early 2017: Hazte Oir and CitizenGo, stealing 17,000 documents (see my article about the leak published together with Grzegorz Rzeczkowski in “Polityka”
These documents published in summer of 2021 by Wikileaks include agreements, transfers, invitations, letters, strategic plans, and memos which shed new light on the entire conservative international's relationship with Putin's Russia. The light is all the stronger because the head of CitizenGo, the Spaniard Ignacio Arsuaga, confirmed the authenticity of the stolen documents published by Wikileaks . They include an agreement between CitizenGo and the St. Basil the Great Foundation run by Malofeev for €100,000
The sum of €100,000 was to go towards CitizenGo's activities “that promote human rights and protect the values of freedom, democracy and tolerance from the abuse and attacks to which they are subjected internationally, through the launch of a Web platform for online pro-life and pro-family campaigns of a global nature.” The agreement also states that CitizenGo will "assist" Malofeev's foundation in increasing „its social support base in order to achieve the objectives that are shared by the two bodies.” Moreover, the ability to influence CitizenGo was also secured, with the addition that Malofeev's foundation "shall join the governing organ (Board of Trustees) of the CITIZENGO Foundation.” This occurred precisely in the person of Komov, who became a member of the organization's board of directors after signing the agreement.
Interestingly, both Arsuaga and Malofeev, when asked by journalists, denied that such an agreement had been signed.
Other files from the leak consist of documents showing links between pro-Brexit politicians and the CitizenGo community, the names of wealthy donors and companies (e.g. IBM or the owner of the Spanish shopping malls Corte Inglés), as well as two transfers to Ordo Iuris from June 2016 for PLN 11,000 each
Both described as "sponsorship for AESummit2016" or explicitly "Agenda Europe, Summit", i.e. support for the 2016 summit in Warsaw organized by the OI of Agenda Europe, lobbyists of ultra-conservative organizations planning radical changes, motivated by religion, in European legislation.
Ordo Iuris also received more than 2,000 PLN from this organization, probably as fees for two participants of the event. The sum comes from the bank statement of the Polish branch of the organization from a short period of January-October 2016, and may not be impressive, but it proves the financial ties between Ordo Iuris and CitizenGo.
First, the taken-aback president of Ordo Iuris, Jerzy Kwaśniewski, confirmed the transfer from CitizenGo on Twitter on September 7th, 2021, while still negating the participation in Agenda Europe and ties to the Kremlin
[The screenshot text:
Ordo Iuris organized the 2016 NGO summit in Warsaw (leftist activists were present and recorded everything). CitizenGo supported and paid for these participation costs.
Ordo Iuris does not "belong to Agenda Europe," it does not belong to "networks of sects," is not "tied to the Kremlin" (Suchanow was sued for this)]
Later Kwaśniewski has admitted to Grzegorz Rzeczkowski in late 2021 that his foundation in 2016 organized "a meeting of European social organizations sharing a commitment to constitutional values like the protection of life, family, marriage, parenthood, freedom of conscience, freedom of speech or freedom of assembly. The events, held annually at that time, were for several years collectively called Agenda Europe." Among the guests "were representatives of a number of community organizations, including CitizenGo," which sent "several of its representatives and covered the costs of their participation. The 2016 transfers were for those costs. Thereafter, Ordo Iuris no longer received any funds from CitizenGo."
Kwaśniewski asserts that "neither CitizenGo nor other organizations associated with it are donors, funders or finance the Institute's activities at all," nor have they donated "anything at all." He confirmed, however, that "the Polish CitizenGo led by Magdalena Korzekwa-Kaliszuk, then by Paweł Woliński supported our initiatives several times." But the leak shows that the Polish CitizenGo affiliate (for example Magdalena Korzekwa-Kaliszuk) gets monthly payments and other large but unspecified transfers from its Russian-filtered headquarters in Madrid.
Of course, CitizenGo and Ordo Iuris people also appear on the Agenda Europe participant list.
As we see, the circles focused around WCF intersect one another. Let’s underline the fact that Ignacio Arsuaga and the other members of the Spanish far-right organizations Hazte Oír and CitizenGo also appear on the Agenda Europe list.
Arsuaga appears on the advisor list of the WCF as well, along with the Howard Center (no. 1) and Komov (no. 4), in the tax returns from 2016 and the first half of 2017
Apart from Komov, among CitizenGo board members, Brian Brown appears, who since 2018 has replaced Allan Carlson as president of the Howard Center and the World Congress of Families. What does this mean? It means that CitizenGo is a clone of the WCF. From the very beginning of its existence, this clone works and expands under the control of Komov, a delegate from the Kremlin.
So, the Spanish CitizenGo organization should be recognized among the Kremlin’s agencies of influence. Local CitizenGo affiliates are dependent on the headquarters in Madrid, where decisions are made. So, they too are agencies of influence for the Kremlin. The Polish branch works with Ordo Iuris.
A devil’s advocate will say: Oh well, these gentlemen meet here and there, and in a weird way they hold positions in a few organizations… In fact, this makes a suspicious impression – but does it mean they’re part of a single coordinated network?
Everyone wanting to play devil’s advocate must face the financial argument.
Of course, we’re reporting reality, not James Bond spy movies. Therefore, you shouldn’t expect me to now show confirmation of a transfer from the Kremlin to Ordo Iuris. These things never happen that way. When the oligarch Malofeev financed the far-right National Front in France, headed by Marine Le Pen, that money passed through a twisted route. Namely as a “loan” through a Czech bank that was never repaid. When the Kremlin was supposed to support Lega in Italy before the most recent elections to the European Parliament, it officially concerned gas sales. That sale was conducted in such a way that the surplus was directed to the European party led by Matteo Salvini (I described this here) [in Polish].
In the case of our Polish fundamentalists, we have two traces. The first trace concerns the increased amount of transfers from the fundamentalist and pro-Kremlin US organizations mentioned above. These transfers have been happening since 2012. They were being done by, among others, the American TFP (whose Polish branch founded Ordo Iuris). They were also being done by the American Center for Law and Justice, which directed its money to their European branch, the ECLJ, which happens to be an Ordo Iuris partner.
A more detailed investigation of this case was conducted, based on tax returns, by openDemocracy, which writes about a sum reaching at least $50 million .
The breakdown of these financial operations is available here.
The second trace leads us to huge money-laundering sites from the post-Soviet East. In recent years, two such sites have been discovered. One from Azerbaijan, one from Russia.
Towards the end of 2013, laundered money got to the Italian politician Luca Volonté, working for the Council of Europe. The sum reached 2.39 million euros. Part of that amount came from an Azerbaijan bank. The other part came through the Russian JSC Rosoboronexport. This is a Kremlin arms-trade agency controlled by the Russian state. The money from Rosoboronexport later went through a complicated route of companies. Some of those companies work in tax havens, such as the Virgin Islands and the Seychelles [in Italian].
Luca Volonté was sentenced for corruption by a Milan court in 2021 . It so happens that Volonté is also an Agenda Europe member and founder. The one whose big 2016 convention was organized by Ordo Iuris.
Volonté is also an advisor to the Howard Center and for CitizenGo, along with Arsuaga and Komov. In other words, he is part of the very inner circle of organizers of the far-right World Congress of Families, financed and infiltrated by the Kremlin.
What did Luca Volonté do with the Kremlin’s money? His foundation, Novae Terrae, directed part of it (12,000 euros) to the CitizenGo organization, which co-works with Ordo Iuris.
The other part (25,000 euros) got to the Iona Institute in Ireland. That institute co-financed…the 2016 Agenda Europe convention, organized by Ordo Iuris.
Italian journalists write that money from Eastern money-laundering sites was also directed, through Luca Volonté, to Poland and Hungary [in Italian].
The third trace has to do with the direct transfers from Malofeev's foundation to CitizenGo and then from CitizenGo's account to the Polish Ordo Iuris. I will add that each of these pieces of information comes from persistent journalistic investigations or hacking attacks.
What does it all mean?
So many names, so many documents, so many dates. What do they all say?
Paradoxically, something very simple.
The World Congress of Families, Agenda Europe, CitizenGo, Ordo Iuris and many others – these are all elements of a fundamentalist machine, fueled by the Kremlin, overlapping with one another. This machine has taken over Poland with the help of the ruling Law and Justice party. That party is too incompetent to comprehend that it is handing over its power to very suspicious allies.
In this entire mechanism, Ordo Iuris is just one small element; the World Congress of Families is a much bigger one.
All the organizations mentioned above began being intensely active around the same time. That is, between 2012 and 2013, as Putin’s position began to slip. The Russian dictator then decided to strike back at his Western opponents. The presence of Russian oligarchs and activists as sponsors and animators of the machine indicates that the Kremlin elected to use this opportunity to infiltrate Western religious radicals. At the same time and in those same circles, Ordo Iuris was founded in 2013.
What does the Kremlin need it for? To take over governments in Europe, or at least to lead the West to the verge of a religious and ideological war.
Let’s notice that, around that same time, Putin proclaimed himself leader of conservatists and defender of “Christian values.” Of course, Putin doesn’t care about evangelic love of the neighbors. As during times of the Soviet “communism,” this type of ideology is just a cover for realizing imperialistic geopolitical aims. The Kremlin is planning on fulfilling these with the help of an International, modeled on the communist-era one but representing fascism and fundamentalism.
What sort of geopolitical aims are we talking about?
This is what the Kremlin wants most to attain:
- lifting sanctions imposed on Russian Federation dignitaries for attacking Ukraine;
- weakening and disintegrating the EU;
- weakening and disintegrating NATO.
In the case of the Ordo Iuris foundation, its activity in the geopolitical and law-making fields serve as a means for creating deep divisions in Polish society. They are also effectively distancing Poland from the EU. And Poland is meant to bring aboard other EU members…. This is why Ordo Iuris is establishing affiliates in other Eastern European countries. Those branches are already active in Croatia, Lithuania, Estonia, and Slovakia. Eastern Europe, disconnected from Western Europe, provides excellent protection for the Russian Federation. Along with a chance to recreate the Soviet-era zone of influence. Within that zone, Poland, led by ultra-Catholics, would be a Kremlin vassal. That is what this entire game is about. That is why homophobic vans are being sent into the streets. That is why demands are made to withdraw from the international anti-violence convention. Which is a great exercise for radicals before campaigning to withdraw from other similar agreements, such as the treaty that brought Poland into the EU. The primacy of national law over international law that is being preached by fundamentalists is a rule added to the Russian constitution by Putin, an advocate for façade democracy. And the people from Ordo Iuris, who also praise that rule, are skillfully joining Polish governmental structures [in Polish]. They are, at the same time, swaying radical conservatists with their “professionalism.” Well, the conservatists will pay for this one day, and Ordo Iuris will utterly discredit their ideals, and conservatism will be associated with treason and submission to the Kremlin. But before that happens, the ones paying for it all are our children, harassed for their hair color or a rainbow bag.
This article was created within the activity of the Institute for the Defense of Human Rights, working alongside the Polish Women’s Strike.