What is the "Foundation for a Better Life"?
Who are these people and what do they want?
The first I heard of them was last night at the movies. The Foundation bought up half the pre-movie ad time to show uplifting TV spots about "Including Others" and "Helping Others."
The FFBL describes itself as follows:
The Foundation for a Better Life is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization started in 2000. The programs and projects of the Foundation are non-commercial and are solely humanitarian endeavors; the Foundation does not seek nor accept contributions or donations of any kind and is privately funded. The Foundation supports the belief that each individual is entitled to personal dignity and self-respect and that most individuals are willing, when given the opportunity, to take personal responsibility for their actions and well-being. The Foundation also believes that capable people may also benefit from encouragement and reminders from time to time. Generally people who have the opportunity and the ability will make appropriate common sense decisions which will have a positive and uplifting effect on themselves, their community, and their country.
The Foundation claims to be non-religious and non-political. Perhaps I need more moral uplift to combat the cynicism rampant in this day and age, but I suspect there's a catch. The FFLB spots remind me of those free Book of Mormon TV ads from the 1980s.
If anyone knows who's behind this outfit, please leave a comment. If anyone has already written on the subject, please send a link and I'll post it. I'm very curious.
Update: Thanks to readers Wayne and Paperwight of Fairshot.
It's a guy named Phil Anschutz, a conservative Denver oil, internet and media guy. See here. Cursory Google searching and internic domain name registration checks seem to confirm.
See also actsofkindness.org.
Wayne unearthed another hint of a Mormon connection: Gary Dixon is the President of the FFBL and an Honored Brigham Young University alumnus.
Here are some excerpts from the San Diego Indymedia item described in the Portland Alliance article cited by Paperwight (above) Colorado billionaire supporting nationwide propaganda campaign:
Philip Anschutz, who the BBC described as having "a reputation as one of the hungriest of US corporate vultures", is currently using his wealth and power to support a slick ad campaign appearing on 10,000 billboards, in hundreds of movie theaters, and on nearly a thousand TV stations across the country. The Foundation for a Better Life (FBL)—the non-profit entity that officially produces and distributes the ads—has no contact information on its website, forbetterlife.org, but a series of posts and comments to the portland indymedia open publishing newswire uncovered the connection between Anschutz and FBL.[...]
[Anschutz'] corporate empire includes a majority holding in Qwest Communications and ownership of several sports teams and arenas. Significantly, he also owns the United Artists, Regal and Edwards movie theater chains, where the FBL commercials are being shown. Whether or not FBL is paying for these slots is unknown. According to Outdoor Advertising Association of America, $10,000,000 worth of the cost of the billboard campaign is being donated by OAAA member companies. In other words, it is possible that this advertising blitz is costing FBL and Philip Anschutz very little money out-of-pocket. [...]