Eagle Forum is an organization formed over 40 years ago by conservative icon Phyllis Schlafly and a group of co-laborers to create a grassroots, volunteer-driven entity aimed at promoting conservative values in the conduct of American public policy. Many of the women who helped form and promote Eagle Forum were invited by Phyllis Schlafly to serve on the organization’s Board of Directors. You can hear their recollections here.

On January 30, 2015, the Eagle Forum Board of Directors voted to name Ed Martin as president of Eagle Forum and to pay him the largest employee salary in the history of Eagle Forum. The vote was a result of the board’s confidence in the recommendation of Phyllis Schlafly, who urged the hiring of Martin, even though some board members voiced reservations, including John Schlafly and Shirley Curry.

Martin had been hired by Eagle Forum to provide strategic and fundraising services to the organization beginning in 2013. He was paid $75,000 for his consulting work. He was provided an office at Eagle Forum Education and Legal Defense Fund  headquarters in Clayton during the same time he was serving as chairman of the Missouri Republican Party. By early 2015, Martin had become Phyllis Schlafly’s choice to serve as president of the organization.

Shortly after Martin launched his tenure as president, members of the Eagle Forum Board of Directors began to have concerns about the management of the organization. Numerous state volunteers found their phone calls, questions, ideas, and suggestions to Martin go unanswered. Eagle Forum events were “padded” with complimentary tickets and event travel reimbursement for selected attendees. Fundraising reports were not provided to the board and the organization’s bank balance showed a steady decline.

Throughout 2015, these concerns intensified as staff members were fired without adequate cause. Increasingly, long-time Eagle Forum volunteers and employees grew gravely concerned as to the direction of their organization. Many began expressing these observations and concerns directly to Phyllis Schlafly. Initially, she appeared to share their concerns.

After numerous unsuccessful attempts were made by board members to obtain an accounting of the revenues and expenditures of Eagle Forum, board members began to consider their options. A telephone board meeting was called by directors of Eagle Forum for April 11, 2016 to address the staffing and future of Eagle Forum.  The Eagle Forum Board of Directors, including Phyllis Schlafly, convened the April 11 telephone board meeting. A recording of the meeting can be heard below.

April 11, 2016 Eagle Forum Board of Directors Meeting


A majority of the Board of Directors voted to remove Ed Martin from the presidency of Eagle Forum and to request an accounting of revenues and expenditures since January 2015. Additionally, the board requested that the books of Eagle Forum be audited for the 2015 fiscal year. The meeting minutes can be seen here. In the days and weeks since the April 11 meeting, Ed Martin has refused to step down, refused to provide an accounting of revenues and expenditures during his tenure, and has refused to commence an audit of the books. To the contrary, Martin and his allies have engaged in a coordinated campaign to attack the motives, character and integrity of the majority of the board members who took action to preserve Eagle Forum at the meeting.

As a result, the board members were forced to pursue litigation in order to achieve the resolutions that passed at the April 11 board meeting. A review of the litigation and full legal briefs can be seen here. During the ensuing months, Martin and his allies have continued to attack the volunteer Eagle Forum Board of Directors.

After the filing of the initial lawsuit seeking to oust Martin from Eagle Forum, Martin created a new organization called “Phyllis Schlafly’s American Eagles.” This entity has solicited donations using Phyllis Schlafly’s name and work at Eagle Forum. This action prompted a second law suit (you can view the filings here) to attempt to compel Martin to cease and desist from using Eagle Forum resources and assets to raise funds for a confusing and competitive organization.

Members, affiliates and volunteers associated with Eagle Forum have received multiple communication alleging charges against the board of directors. Without exception, these allegations are false, fabricated, or misconstrued. A “Claim vs. Fact” assessment of these charges can be viewed here.

The women who have been maliciously termed the “Gang of Six” are actually the “Faithful Six.” Please continue to visit the materials on this website to learn the truth. You can help establish the truth about these matters by sharing a link to this site with your friends via email, Facebook, or Twitter.


Ed Martin’s Mismanagement is Harming Eagle Forum’s National Education Work

Karen Effrem

The enormous loss to the nation and to conservatism created by the recent passing of national treasure Phyllis Schlafly is being alarmingly magnified by Ed Martin’s mismanagement of Eagle Forum, the iconic conservative organization she founded.  Despite his dubious and controversial past, Martin was installed as president in January of 2015, and receives a large annual salary for work Phyllis voluntarily and lovingly performed for 44 years.  I have been one of many witnesses to Martin’s disruption of Phyllis’ visionary nationwide network of wonderful volunteers, mostly female state presidents, many of them having served with Phyllis since or near Eagle Forum’s founding. These state Eagle Forums are severely hampered by lack of communication and coordination from Martin, except for tyrannical demands for “permission” to keep doing their decades-long volunteer work. The organization has also lost stature in Washington DC after he fired, without cause or warning, Glyn Wright, Eagle Forum’s dedicated and talented national executive director.  

Here are a few examples of those damages based on my 14 years of close work with Phyllis and Eagle Forum and over 20 years of work with the Constitutional Coalition, a close Eagle Forum affiliate, in the realm of education policy:  

Common Core & the Federal Education Bill – Because of her superior constitutional understanding and dedicated work in education, Phyllis was a quick study on the dangers of Common Core. Phyllis, Donna Hearne of the Constitutional Coalition and Missouri Eagle Forum, as well as many state leaders wrote much and made many important efforts against Common Core joining a coalition of many state and national organizations that included my groups, Education Liberty Watch and the Florida Stop Common Core Coalition working against the standards. Phyllis invited me to speak about it on a panel discussion at Eagle Council in 2012.  There was heavy Eagle Forum participation in the planning of the national Glen Beck Anti-Common Core event in July of 2014.

In 2015, Common Core was prominent in the legislative fight over the reauthorization of the federal No Child Left Behind education law, now called the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).  The bill was strongly opposed by grassroots groups across the nation, because it actually cements Common Core by requiring secretarial approval of state standards and testing plans, among many other problems. Several state Eagle chapters signed on to a national coalition opposition letter from over 200 state and national grassroots groups and education policy leaders in 46 states, but due to Martin’s dithering, there was never a signature from national Eagle Forum. Glyn worked very hard in DC against the final bill, but never seemed to have Martin’s support and since he fired her, there has been little coming out of Eagle Forum national to fight the law’s heavy-handed implementation or discuss the many problems with the law.

Student Data & Psychological Privacy – With Phyllis’ classic work Child Abuse in the Classroom providing an essential foundation, this used to be one Eagle Forum’s major issues. I was blessed to be able to work with her and Eagle Forum against various invasive, unconstitutional federal programs to mentally screen & forcibly medicate students with dangerous psychotropic medications. Phyllis was gracious enough to allow me to speak at Eagle Council in Washington, DC on these topics and to bestow me with a coveted Eagle Award in 2004.  That collaboration between Eagle Forum and EdWatch resulted in a major fight against mental screening by Congressman Ron Paul; a plank against it in the Republican Platform starting in 2008; and major state action in Tennessee (Bobbie Patray), Texas (Cathie Adams & Merry Lynne Gerstenschlager), and Utah (Gayle Ruzicka) EF chapters.

Now, despite a major resurrection and ramping up of data mining in general under Common Core and student psychological indoctrination and profiling specifically under ESSA, in the NAEP, and with new federally funded social emotional standards, the EF national office under Martin and especially after his ill-considered firing of Wright, is barely on the map.  National EF had only one article about the invasive social emotional research in the federal Strengthening Education Through Research Act (SETRA) after a strong coalition of grassroots state and national organizations, and some state EF chapters like Alabama and its president, Eunie Smith, who is also first vice-president of Eagle Forum, had already worked hard to stall it.  Although there have been excellent efforts of states chapters like Alabama which held a major regional privacy conference, drafted a privacy protection bill, and opposed a data mining bill in their state, I was appalled to witness Martin use brute physical force in an attempt to keep Deborah Love from sharing this during the state reports at the 2016 Eagle Council.

Expansion of Federal Preschool ProgramsBased on another important Phyllis Schlafly work, Who Will Rock the Cradle?, there was much great collaboration between Phyllis, several state chapters (especially Alabama, Tennessee, and Utah), my organizations, and others against nanny state early childhood programs. Since Martin’s tenure began, except for a few small articles and trying to justify a new multi-billion-dollar federal childcare entitlement  that could well lead to further encroach on parental autonomy while the nation is drowning in debt, national Eagle Forum has again been nearly silent on this topic. There has been no one speaking out on the horrific new Head Start performance standards that cement “Baby Common Core” style social emotional standards or the expansion of early childhood programs in the federal budget or the new federal family engagement rules that make parents subservient to government in the education of children.

It is not clear if these disruptions are intentional or mere incompetence. Regardless, his damage to Eagle Forum is clear.

Martin refuses to acknowledge his lawful ouster by six faithful board members who have worked as volunteers with Phyllis since or shortly after the founding of Eagle Forum in their attempt to preserve Phyllis’ great legacy. They have now been forced to go to court to enforce the board’s decision and fulfill their fiduciary duty to assess the financial situation of EF. Let us pray that they are successful for the sake of Eagle Forum and the nation.

karen-effram-2Dr. Karen Effrem is a long-time ally of Eagle Forum, having spoken at several national Eagle Council events.  She is currently President of Education Liberty Watch and serves as the Executive Director of Florida Stop Common Core Coalition.  Karen is married and the mother of three children.  She is a past recipient of the “Eagle Award” from Phyllis Schlafly.

Claims and Facts

All Eagles deserve to know the truth and facts. Below are some of the claims which have been alleged over the last year. Don’t be hood-winked by practiced liars, but learn the truth and facts.

For more information:

CLAIM: Six members of Eagle Forum’s Board of Directors brought a lawsuit against Phyllis Schlafly.


CLAIM: The six members of Eagle Forum's Board wanted to take over the organization and didn’t care if they destroyed it in the process.


  • The facts show that Ed Martin and his accomplices were the ones who wanted to take over Eagle Forum and didn’t care if they destroyed it in the process.
  • Ed Martin’s public attack on 6 loyal volunteer board members with 219 years of service would have undermined any organization.
  • The email maligning these good women was sent to 41,000 trusting Eagles and followed by a robocall to over 100,000 Eagles.
  • Read more about Ed Martin’s actions.
CLAIM: The six directors are attempting to seize control of the organization’s finances and to garner “important sounding titles and money” for themselves.


  • The six members of the Board of Directors involved in the litigation have, among them, 219 combined years of dedicated volunteer service to Eagle Forum.
  • None have ever been paid for their volunteer service over many decades.
  • Members of the Board of Directors have a fiduciary duty to oversee the organization’s finances.
  • The highest-paid employee in Eagle Forum’s history is – by far – Ed Martin. The six directors are all volunteers of Eagle Forum.  The board’s actions are not about greed, they are about stopping wasteful spending and mismanagement.
  • Ed spent Eagle Forum money without oversight. Ed was not doing his job even before he began using Eagle Forum resources to lash out against anyone perceived to be potentially disloyal to him.
CLAIM: The Board used Eagle Forum funds to pay for their lawyers, which has contributed to a lack of funds.


  • The Eagle Forum Board could not use the organization’s funds, because Phyllis signed all the checks.
  • More importantly, who paid for the law firm that advised Ed Martin how to “cause business interruption of the C4 that would threaten its survival.”
  • Read the memo discussing how to destroy Eagle Forum from within
CLAIM: Six members of Eagle Forum’s Board of Directors attempted to oust Phyllis from Eagle Forum.


CLAIM: Phyllis Schlafly was not allowed to speak during the board meeting at the center of the lawsuit.


  • A teleconference meeting of the Eagle Forum Board of Directors was held on April 11, 2016. Phyllis Schlafly, as Chairman and CEO, was invited to the meeting and she participated in the meeting. Claims to the contrary are knowingly false.
  • A recording of this telephone meeting proves that Phyllis Schlafly participated throughout the meeting.
CLAIM: The Eagle Forum board went “judge shopping” and chose Madison County, knowing the judges would rule in their favor. A fairer judge would have ruled differently.


  • Phyllis incorporated Eagle Forum in Madison County, Illinois so that was the only proper venue. The board could not have judge shopped if we had wanted to do so.
  • Because they did not like the court’s orders, John, Bruce, and Andy Schlafly have filed subsequent lawsuits in three other venues in an effort to do their own “judge shopping.”
CLAIM: An outside person or organization is funding the Eagle Forum Lawsuits.


  • There has been no outside person or organization paying the legal fees for the board members’ lawsuit.
  • Claims that legal fees are being paid by the Koch Brothers, George Soros, or individuals or entities involved in promoting Con-Con are fabrications.
CLAIM: The current Eagle Forum board is mimicking what Ed Martin had been doing.


  • Ed Martin was only president for 15 months before he was fired.
  • Eagles are doing what they have been doing as Eagle Forum volunteers for decades.
  • Because of Ed, for the first time since 1981, Eagle Forum has not had a paid lobbyist in DC.  Ed summarily fired Glyn Wright on 4/8/16, and in so doing, diminished our influence on The Hill dramatically.
  • Because of Ed, our DC office lease was terminated.
  • All but one former DC Director we were able to contact supports the Eagle Forum Board.
CLAIM: The current Eagle Forum controversy began when Phyllis Schlafly endorsed Donald Trump.


  • The concerns with Ed Martin’s leadership and the financial management of Eagle Forum long preceded the endorsement of Donald Trump.
  • The principle concerns expressed by the board related to:
    • Reckless spending
    • Failure to raise necessary funds
    • Failure to produce financial records
    • Ignoring and marginalizing volunteer leaders
    • Failure to return communications from Eagle Forum leaders and other conservative organizations
  • There have been several times throughout Eagle Forum history when Phyllis Schlafly endorsed one candidate and some of her state volunteers endorsed another. This had never been an issue throughout the 40-year history of the organization.
CLAIM: The current Eagle Forum controversy is similar to the situation surrounding Dr. James Dobson's ejection from his own organization by a Board of Directors.


CLAIM: An Eagle Forum employee improperly gave Eagle Forum membership information to the Cruz campaign.


  • The Eagle Forum state leader list has always been public information. Most of the state leaders’ information is published on the Eagle Forum website.
  • Phyllis had instructed staff to provide Eagle Forum state leaders’ information to any campaign that requested it.
  • The only wrongful use of the Eagle Forum email and mailing lists involve Ed Martin and Andy Schlafly using the lists to publicize the cell phone numbers and email addresses of the Board of Directors to ask people to harass the Eagle Forum Board.
CLAIM: Ed Martin has presided over some of the most successful Eagle Forum events in the organization’s history.


  • Eagle Forum events under Ed Martin have had numerous “free” admission tickets, unlike any Eagle Forum events in previous years.
  • Some of Ed Martin’s wasteful spending concerning to board members included free tickets and travel expenses for attendees to Eagle Council 2015, Collegians Summit 2016, and the “Life of the Party” luncheon in 2016.
  • By comparison, the 2012 “Life of the Party” luncheon was attended by 900 paid attendees and included numerous elected officials and conservative leaders. In 2016, approximately 400 people attended and roughly one-half were given free admission.
CLAIM: Anne Schlafly Cori is pro-choice.


  • Anne Schlafly Cori is pro-life and has always shared that position with her mother.
  • Saying that Anne is not pro-life is an offense to Phyllis who sent Anne around the country representing Eagle Forum.
  • Anne moderated Phyllis’s Eagle Forum Collegians three times and Eagle Forum Live Saturday radio show at Phyllis’s invitation some 50 times over four years.
  • In January 2016, Phyllis called Eunie Smith to say that she had arranged for Anne to take over the radio show permanently.
CLAIM: Anne Schlafly Cori never wanted to see her mother until she was in a coma.


  • Anne was in the habit of calling her Mother at night because that was the time that her Mother was normally available for a good talk. 
  • Kathleen Sullivan would not even allow Phyllis to talk on the phone with her daughter. Kathleen said these calls were harassment and someone from Phyllis’ home contacted the police who stopped Anne from calling with the threat of prosecution. 
  • So the question is: “Who would stop a Mother from even talking with her own daughter?”
CLAIM: Phyllis believed Anne was not capable of leading Eagle Forum, so she hired Ed to be her successor.


  • Ed Martin did mesmerize Phyllis in the last months of her life.
  • Yet, she initially realized that he had alienated most of her best state leaders and had offered to let him go. Phyllis’ signature is on a letter dated 4/22/16: “I made it clear to Ed and publicly to our Eagle leaders that he has no supervisory duties over any of our volunteers or state leaders….Eagle leaders should not accept orders from him.”
  • Phyllis was not allowed to meet with Eunie and Shirley to discuss a search committee for a President as they had asked after the April 11 Board meeting.
CLAIM: The six Board members who voted to fire Ed Martin have used “Saul Alinski-style” tactics.


  • The board members had no desire to publicize Mr. Martin’s failings as president of Eagle Forum. They wanted to make a personnel change and move forward under new leadership.
  • It was Martin – and his supporters – who publicized the dispute before the board meeting was held.
  • Martin and his allies who coined the term “Gang of Six” to describe the board members who sought to protect the finances and future of Eagle Forum.
  • For months, Martin and his supporters have continually disparaged and attacked the volunteer board members.