Stripe, a leading payment services processor for credit card transactions and a top global financial tech company, has for many years served as the primary payment processor for the International Organization for the Family (IOF), which operates iFamNews.com. On Friday, December 11, Stripe sent a notice to Brian Brown, IOF President and the founder and publisher of iFamNews, notifying him that the company would cease accepting payments for IOF and any of its projects as of Sunday, December 13th. No clear reason was given for this, despite a lengthy correspondence with Stripe’s support team, and sure enough by the beginning of this week, all of IOF’s payment services from Stripe were shut down.
The notice from Stripe vaguely references Stripe’s Service Agreement and a list of restricted businesses and activities, but Stripe’s representatives refused to point more directly to the precise violation IOF and iFamNews are supposed to have committed. They said that they could not provide more detail “for security reasons.”
We think we know the real answer to the mystery, though. From shadow-banning on Facebook and Twitter, to de-monetization of content on YouTube, to suppression of pages in search results on Google, we have seen for several years how the liberal elites of Silicon Valley work blatantly and systematically to silence conservative voices and drive what they deem to be politically-incorrect messages out of the public discourse. Now this Big Tech Tyranny has come to the financial services sector. It does not take very close reading between the lines of Stripe’s shady correspondence with IOF to discern that Stripe has shut the organization down for one reason, and one reason only: for defending and promoting traditional views about family, marriage, and life.
Stripe says that IOF represents too great a “risk” for them to work with. What they mean by that is that within the rarified monoculture and group-think bubble of the tech industry, certain messages are verboten and cause their HR departments the headaches of having to create “safe spaces” for their employees where they can enjoy 15 minutes of “puppy therapy.” The behavior Stripe deems too “risky” is IOF saying that marriage is the union of one man and one woman; that life begins at conception; that sex is a biological and innate characteristic and not a function of “feelings” or beliefs; that the right to free exercise of religion takes place just as much in the public square as it does within the walls of a Church.
Stripe’s message to anyone who dares believe such things—any person of true and orthodox faith in an Abrahamic religion, in other words, or anyone simply wise enough not to have been completely addled by the perverse messages of the sexual revolution—is that they need not apply. They aren’t welcome. They shouldn’t have access to the basic necessities of doing business online. Conservative groups shouldn’t be allowed to collect donations from supporters to represent their voice and values in the civic arena; conservative donors shouldn’t be allowed to use big tech financial tools that are industry-standard to promote values so abhorrent as that kids deserve a mom and a dad. This is Stripe’s message, coming loud and clear through all their cageyness and evasive language: “Take your business elsewhere, bigot.“
Stripe doesn’t seem to understand—or perhaps just doesn’t care—that IOF’s values represent those of literally billions worldwide, to say nothing of the vast majority of people who have ever lived. IOF’s view, for instance, that sex is determined by chromosomes and not by cosmetics, is one that practically universally held up until a few short years ago. Now it’s a view that gets you cancelled and thrust out of the marketplace of ideas and online donations.
So, what is IOF to do in the face of this tyranny? Well, nothing new for us: we’re going to fight back. We’re used to being sneered at by small-minded elites as they grind their ideological axes. We know that Stripe hasn’t just done real financial harm to us by this action: they have, even more so, insulted and offended countless millions—nay, billions—of believers around the world in the basic values of life, marriage, family, and religious freedom. We’re going to make sure that Stripe knows that such insults will not be left unnoticed or unchallenged.
IOF has sent a letter to several members of the United States Senate, formally complaining of Stripe’s discriminatory action and asking for an investigation of the matter, along with documentation of the correspondence with Stripe’s support staff. The letter can be read below. Also, this morning, Brian Brown spoke directly with staff members for Senator Josh Hawley, who has been a heroic leader in standing up to Big Tech Tyranny aimed at conservative voices, expressing his concern to them and asking for the Senator to look into the matter.
IOF has also launched a petition of protest against Stripe. We’re encouraging all readers of iFamNews, and all people of good will, to lend their voice to this action and let Stripe know that their behavior here is neither acceptable nor free of consequences for them. You can sign our petition here.
Finally, IOF is encouraging supporters to take to Twitter to express their dismay about this situation directly to the co-founders of Stripe, Patrick and John Collison.
Stripe is just the latest schoolyard bully from Big Tech to think they can beat up conservatives with impunity. But Stripe and all such bullies in the increasingly insular schoolyard of Big Tech will eventually learn the hard lesson all bullies must sometime face: that there’s a bigger world outside the schoolyard, and that eventually you pick on the wrong kid.