Tricia Erickson is a notable political commentator and frequent on-air contributor to major prime-time television and cable networks such as FOX News, CNN, MSNBC, numerous radio stations across the country, and a variety of international online podcasts.
Some of the issues she has been requested to speak to Americans about have been the dangers of radical Islam, gay marriage, Barack Obama, Mitt Romney, the well-masked cult of Mormonism, media bias, the imaging-posturing-positioning of Presidential candidates, insiders view of Hollywood, ethics in the media, the culture wars, and all things political.
Tricia Erickson is not only an influential political commentator and the publisher of The Conservative Pundit website, she is an enterprising businesswoman with a long and successful career as a major motion picture casting director, crisis management specialist, and publicity and image consultant communications expert who is devoted to optimizing the promotion of the conservative and Christian views of her client’s causes through a wide range of mainstream media broadcast venues and online social networks.
Based on her own personal religious beliefs arising from her experiences within the Mormon Church and her political ideology of how particular religions are apt to create dangerous politicians, ex-Mormon Tricia Erickson, whose father was a Mormon Bishop, is adamant and vocal in her concern that an indoctrinated Mormon like Mitt Romney cannot and should not ever serve as president of the United States.
In 2007, Tricia Erickson assisted in the preparation of the documentary entitled “Emancipation, Revelation, Revolution” which sought to reinforce the Republican Party’s positive history on civil rights for Black Conservatives by Nina May.
While religious institutions — and American institutions at large — do not have a great record generally on race, the taint of racism still hangs upon the Mormon Church to this day, since it did not fully incorporate black members into its ranks until 1978.
Many years before her book was even published, Tricia Erickson has been attempting to explain to Americans why they should be deeply concerned about Mitt Romney’s Mormon faith. After leaving the Mormon Church she realized just how different Mormon religious beliefs are from biblical Christianity.
Tricia Erickson feels that one needs to believe in the Jesus Christ of Nazareth described in the Holy Bible to be a Christian, which is something Mormons apparently do not, and that simply believing in something one calls “Jesus Christ” does not necessarily make one a Christian.
Evangelicals, such as Bill Keller of LivePrayer.com have agreed with Erickson, saying that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is deceptive and not really Christian. Some even go so far as to suggest that Mormonism is a false religion coming directly from Satan himself.
In 2012, Janet Parshall, a veteran Christian broadcaster now with Moody Radio, interviewed Tricia Erickson, a former Mormon turned Christian and author of “Can Mitt Romney Serve Two Masters? The Mormon Church Versus the Office of the Presidency of the United States of America.”
While Parshall effusively praised Mormons for their dedication to family and compassion for others, she did say there was a need to point out “what is biblically correct and what is not.” In the ensuing interview, Mormon critic Tricia Erickson went on to call Mormonism blasphemous and described rituals inside Mormon temples, which are for Mormons in good standing only, as “silly,” ”bizarre” and “violent” Mormon practices.
In defense of his church, Mitt Romney has said that his Mormon faith would not be an issue as he campaigns to become president of the United States but Tricia Erickson is convinced that Mormon politicians would always have a duty to “follow their prophet Joseph Smith — no matter what,” giving allegiance to their religion over the country.
Not at all reassured by his words, and feeling that she has a responsibility to educate the public about a looming threat to democracy, conservative author and ex-Mormon activist Tricia Erickson continues to warn American voters about electing the “Romney Manchurian Candidate”, as well as the prospect of secret “White Horse Prophecy” agendas from rich Mitt Romney supporters such as Idaho billionaire Frank VanderSloot, who happens to share Romney’s beliefs about weird and secretive Mormon rituals.
The Mormon Church’s official statement on political neutrality is contrary to what Tricia Erickson believes:
Elected officials who are Latter-day Saints make their own decisions and may not necessarily be in agreement with one another or even with a publicly stated Church position. While the Church may communicate its views to them, as it may to any other elected official, it recognizes that these officials still must make their own choices based on their best judgment and with consideration of the constituencies whom they were elected to represent.
In 2007, Tricia Erickson spoke out and suggested that Pat Robertson, the head of Christian Broadcasting Network, should have challenged Mitt Romney on the falseness of Mormonism after the former Massachusetts Governor delivered the commencement address at the evangelical leader’s Regent University.
In 2014, Liberty University was forced to defend its decision to allow another Mormon, talk show host and founder of “The Blaze” news outlet Glenn Beck, to speak at the Christian school’s convocation ceremony.
Appearing at the same venue, as a guest speaker for the Christian News Network, Tricia Erickson was again compelled to voice criticism over Glenn Beck’s appearance and his references to Mormon theology at the Christian university, saying, “At universities, we as adults have to protect our youth. These are going to be our future leaders.”
The common worry among evangelicals is that if Mitt Romney were to capture the White House, his Mormon presidency would give legitimacy to a religion they believe is a cult. As a staunch Conservative, trying to choose between a Democratic Obama and a Republican Mormon for President proved to be too much of a dilemma for Erickson.
Tricia Erickson and others attribute some of the growth in LDS missionary applications to Romney’s run for President. Intent on keeping her finger in the dike, Tricia Erickson even opposed any form of political support being offered to Mitt Romney from evangelical icon Billy Graham.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the largest religious organization in the United States after the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention, and the United Methodist Church. While the Baptists and the Methodists are in decline, the number of Mormons is growing at 2.5 times the rate of Catholics.
Conservative Pundit Tricia Erickson appeared for an interview on CNN’s debate and interview program “In the Arena” to explain why she believes a practicing Mormon should not be president because of their theological views on the afterlife and governance.
Even Mormon scholar Richard Bushman has noted that “Erickson does a good job of making Mormon temple rituals seem ominous and irrational.”
However, as a result of her steadfast quest, she has been unfairly accused of mistaking the U.S. for a religious state that privileges her chosen faith over those of other Americans by Ahmed M. Rehab, the Executive Director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations CAIR-Chicago.
Her book has also clearly created concern amongst militant radical Mormons who appear to be more than eager to discredit her on anonymously-run blogs and forums.
While comedian Bill Maher topped the Top Ten anti-Mormonism Statements List of 2011 for his comment “By any standard, Mormonism is more ridiculous than any other religion” devout Mormon critic Tricia Erickson still appeared in the number seven spot on the pro-Mormon-activist generated list for voicing her doubts about the prospect of a Mormon president by stating in the CNN interview that “Yes, it is my opinion that an indoctrinated Mormon should never be elected as President of the United States of America.”
Shouldn’t it be fair and reasonable to question any Mormon candidate about his or her stance on civil rights for blacks and women, marriage rights for homosexuals and, of course, polygamy?
Radio interview of Tricia Erickson on The Janet Parshall Show discussing Mormonism versus Christianity.
Reviews and References
Along with a large contingent of support staff, Tricia Erickson successfully ran a professional casting company in McLean Virginia between 1980 and 2001 which maintained from two to three thousand independent professional models, actors and talent contractors at any given time.
Even before taking on friend and model Fawn Hall and Donna Rice as high-profile crisis management clients, Tricia Erickson and her Erickson Agency had a booming business. Her company provided principal actors, day players and extras opportunities to appear in numerous memorable feature films and highly rated weekly television series.
A small sampling of some of the major motion picture projects that were cast, in part or in full, through the Erickson Agency were:
Erickson Casting also supplied the required talent, including preicipals and extras, for a variety of Major Motion Pictures and TV commercials. The agency also provided models for print ads and fashion shows over the years.
Being cast in a principal film role can provide a major boost for an actor’s career. Erickson’s casting division boosted countless carriers by placing many actors in principal roles in the TV and Film-Major Motion Picture industry over the years.
When needed by producers, Erickson Casting would also provide extras for film projects, as well. “You don’t have to train all your life to be an extra,” says Tricia Erickson, “You just have to know the etiquette.” Don’t photograph the stars, ask them for autographs or “engage them in idle conversation.” Don’t wander off; stay in the one or two places assigned to the extras. Don’t wear bright colors or patterns. Don’t mug for the camera or be aggressive. And most important, don’t upstage the actors.”
Though she’s never claimed to be a hot-shot New York or Los Angeles talent agency, her modeling and casting agency became the largest on the East Coast between New York and Miami because Tricia Erickson cares deeply about any clients or agency talent who find themselves in unexpected and unwanted situations.
Tricia Erickson will be the first to agree that the modeling industry favors those with obvious and enormous potential and often takes advantage of those whose biggest assets are naivete and raw desire since it’s very rare that someone makes the transformation from obscurity to the cover of a national magazine or a Victoria Secret commercial, despite having spent hundreds or even thousands of dollars and many hours on training.
“Telling girls upfront whether they have a chance to work as a model is essential. Too many girls are cheated because they don’t know the industry standard and where to start. The odds are against them if they’re not a particular size and don’t have a fashion look from head to toe,” Erickson says. After that, it’s still a matter of looks, timing, perseverance and personality.
For the few who are blessed, entering the modeling business comes cheap and jobs are plentiful. Everyone else optimistically pays for even the remote chance they will be famous, let alone recoup their costs.
In 1990, years before the fall of the Berlin Wall, Tricia Erickson represented Yulia Sukhanova, the first winner of the Miss U.S.S.R. pageant, a frightened young girl, no doubt out of her element feeling the full pressure of an authoritarian world power seeking to reverse the notion that Russian women lacked either beauty or grace.
Iran Contra Scandal – Fawn Hall and Lt. Colonel Oliver North – 1987
For over 25 years, professional Crisis Manager Tricia Erickson has advised instant celebrities on how to best protect their interests while avoiding exploitation when it comes to the all-but-certain offers for movie, book and television deals, commercials, magazine stories and television talk-show appearances.
Tricia Erickson represented her close and personal friend and model Fawn Hall during the media hype which surrounded Hall’s unfortunate role as the personal secretary of Lt. Col. Oliver North after she gave testimony at Congressional Committee hearings during the Iran Contra affair.
Hall testified under oath that, while she assisted her superior in shredding and altering National Security Council documents, they were not romantically involved. She viewed Oliver North as a Christian and a devoted husband and family man.
North was at the center of a scheme to sell weapons to Iran and use part of the profits to finance the Nicaraguan contras. Defense Department employee Fawn Hall had worked part-time at the Erickson Agency since 1982 doing “strictly high fashion” and was said to be phenomenal on the runway.
As would most of Tricia Erickson’s current Crisis Management Inc. client’s, Fawn Hall felt the anguish, exhilaration and disorientation caused from the sudden, uninvited fame of press conferences and Paparazzi when photographers descended upon her after her identity was revealed.
Gary Hart Presidential Candidate Scandal – Donna Rice 1987
As head of The Erickson Agency, a McLean, Va., modeling agency, Tricia Erickson, then 34, also ended up becoming Donna Rice’s designated crisis manager for damage control in 1987.
Erickson had begun representing Donna Rice, of Miami, as a model/actress just prior to her becoming an instant celebrity after her relationship with former Colorado Senator Gary Hart was published, forcing him to withdraw from the 1988 Democratic presidential race.
Gary Hart, then the leading candidate for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination, became the focus of national gossip when it was reported that Hart spent much of a weekend alone in his Washington home with a young woman, later identified as Rice.
Rice, a private person who was quickly and unceremoniously exposed to a very public media and the fickle fate of fame, was adamant about keeping any sexual details about Gary Hart secret and unlike most instant celebrities, declined any consideration of monetizing her new-found notoriety.
When Rice eventually agreed to be interviewed by Barbara Walters and discuss making a made-for-TV account of her relationship with former presidential hopeful Gary Hart with ABC, Tricia Erickson vowed to keep intact the confidentiality of Rice`s sexual relationship with Hart, as requested by her client.
The discussions between Barbara Walters and Tricia Erickson involved no financial compensation for Rice because it was hoped that Walters would conduct an interview showing Rice in the best light. Rice passed up the certainty of a monetary windfall in a public attempt to regain her dignity. Despite making it clear in advance that there would be no discussion of sex at any point, Walters asked the bombshell question anyway.
Donna Rice had never been interviewed by anyone until Barbara Walters, when that 20/20 episode got its highest rating of the season, ranking fourth nationally for the week. Rice, who was trying her best to avoid emotional destruction, called the scandal “a tragedy.”
The Donna Rice / Gary Hart story is a good example of what happens to a private person when they are thrust into the public eye overnight and why it helps to have a crisis manager like Tricia Erickson by your side to help navigate the often conflicting worlds of your own best interests, both emotionally and spiritually, during a potentially lucrative but short-lived media “feeding frenzy”.
As their moral compass during stormy seas, neither of Tricia Erickson’s clients succumbed to the six-figure offers to pose nude for Playboy and Penthouse.
Fight Night – Washington DC Charity Event
Tricia Erickson’s other good friend, the late Joseph E. Robert, Jr., created Fight Night 25 years ago (1989) convincing her and five other close friends to help found and organize the Washington, DC event, as a way to help low-income area kids secure a brighter future by bringing together 2,000 local and national heavyweights of business, government and entertainment, as well as sports legends, for an evening of exciting entertainment, auctions and live professional boxing bouts.
Most of the over 300 platonic hostess-type support staff required each year for the popular “no wives” charity event were Erickson Agency models or actresses who, according to Carlo Rotella, author of Cut Time: An Education at the Fights, donated up to half their wages to the Fight for Children cause.
Shaken by the loss of her treasured friend and philanthropist founder, Joseph E. Robert, Tricia left the board in 2012, passing on the reigns to the trustworthy hands of Darlene Howell of Howell Management, whom Erickson trained.
Erickson notes that “Darlene continues to do an excellent job ensuring that the highly-valued strict moral standards related to the hostesses’ tasks are of utmost importance and rigidly maintained at the event . She knows it’s all about raising money for the children and has this on the forefront of her mind at all times.”
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