Preemptive Love: What Happens When a Charity Runs More Like a Cult

The aid group founded by Jeremy and Jessica Courtney has a history of abusing staff and possibly misleading donors.

Jeremy Courtney, founder and CEO of Preemptive Love, in northern Iraq. April 2017.
In the former ISIS-held town of Batnaya, Iraq, 15 miles north of Mosul. April 2017.
Hala Al Sarraf (third from right), with representatives of IHAO and Preemptive Love, meeting an advisor to former Vice President Mike Pence in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building. April 2018.

Plausible deniability

Ruins of Batnaya, north of Mosul, Iraq, after it was liberated from ISIS.
Two clips from Jeremy’s 2016 Fallujah video: on the left, the food distribution in Fallujah; on the right, Jeremy at a location 250 miles away, chosen to make it look as though he was in the same area.
The ruins of a home in post-war Iraq. April 2017.

Bridges burned

Screenshot from a 2020 fundraising video.

Cult-like behavior

A now-deleted Instagram post in which Preemptive Love sought to raise money off the 2021 Haiti earthquake that killed nearly 1,500 people, despite having no operations there.
With Preemptive Love staff and program participants in Mosul, Iraq. November 2018.



Humanitarian communications leader, activist, writer

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