Prominent Episcopal family and parish linked to torture

By | July 1, 2022
Ayres Home

Some time ago, Pro Publica and other investigative publications did an expose of the companies behind the CIA’s program of “enhanced interrogation techniques.” These techniques, including waterboarding, sleep deprivation, and more, are regarded by many as torture and violations of international law. These practices have been condemned by the Episcopal Church, with the Episcopal Peace Foundation calling for criminal charges for those involved.

Yet in the coverage, there is one aspect that escaped notice, which is that two prominent Episcopalians in Northern Virginia appear to have made their money through these practices. They are members of St. Paul’s, in Old Town Alexandria, and active in a variety of church-related organizations.

David M. Ayres

David M. Ayres

David M. Ayres, a member of St. Paul’s Episcopal in Alexandria, worked for Tate Inc. from 1994 to 2018, serving both as president and as contracts manager. The address for the company, 1800 Diagonal Road, Suite 520, is the same address as that of Mitchell, Jessen & Associates, a company exposed as the contractor behind the post-9/11 torture program. Public records list a David Ayres as one of the owners of Mitchell, Jessen & Associates. He also appears as CFO and filed paperwork on behalf of the LLC.

Anne Ayres recently served as senior warden of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Alexandria. Her husband serves on the board of the church’s foundation, on the board of governors of the National Cathedral School, and other church-related charities.

Subsequent to his departure from Tate, Inc., David Ayres serves as president and managing partner of Edgespace. Their daughter, Shannon, attended the National Cathedral School and served as an acolyte at the funerals of former President Bush and Senator John McCain.

The Ayres home is located at 401 Duke Street in Alexandria and valued at approximately $6 million. Others allegedly connected with this program also own luxury homes.

Edgespace appears to be owned by another LLC, Myridden, which lists David Ayres as a contact.

As of press time neither David nor Anne Ayres have responded to requests for comment.

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They would be great in the landscaping business.




Lol. I was a brand new Episcopalian. And this is who I encountered. The Rector had enlisted me to serve as Assistant Treasurer, which I naively and eagerly accepted. It ended miserably.
One notable event: I stepped into a room up at the church office to introduce myself to the new interim preschool director and offer to meet and discuss the preschool budget. As I was talking to her, Anne Ayers walked in behind me, placed her hands on my arms, and directed me out the door as she said “budget…yes, that’s just what we’re about to discuss”. In other words, she threw me out so they could discuss the very budget I was responsible for developing. In a daze, I left the church wondering “What the _ just happened???”.

Now that I know who with whom I was dealing, I only wish I’d been shown the door much earlier.


There’s a special place in hell for people like these two.


That’s one of the big problems with the church. There is no way to discipline members who do stuff like this.


Discipline? Oh with this church, I’d be pleasantly surprised if they even called it “wrong” and encouraged honesty and repentance. They’ll like just look the other way and pretend it didn’t happen.