The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.

Microchip Implantation Feared as Sign of End Times

By Sonia Scherr on February 25, 2010 - 7:36 pm, Posted in Conspiracies, Patriot

Virginians who fret about being forcibly implanted with microchips were likely disappointed this week.

A state bill that passed the House would have made it illegal for employers or insurance companies to require that the human tracking devices be embedded in people. Violators would have faced a $500 fine. The bill died in a Senate subcommittee on Feb. 23.

The bill’s sponsor, Mark L. Cole (R-Fredericksburg), said he was motivated by privacy concerns, along with fears that the microchips could become the dreaded mark predicted in the Book of Revelation, according to The Washington Post. “My understanding — I’m not a theologian — but there’s a prophecy in the Bible that says you’ll have to receive a mark, or you can neither buy nor sell things in end times,” he told the Post. “Some people think these computer chips might be that mark.” ( continue to full post… )

Conspiracy Buff Triumphs Over Marital Troubles, Satan to Appear on Airwaves Again

By Larry Keller on February 24, 2010 - 5:18 pm, Posted in Conspiracies

OK, the marital split of Dave vonKleist and Joyce Riley didn’t generate the national buzz of Tom and Nicole or Lucy and Desi. But devoted listeners of the far-right, conspiracy-laced “The Power Hour” certainly noticed last year when Dave departed as suddenly a patriot whisked away to a detention camp in the middle of the night. His wife, Riley, informed listeners in May that the couple had been separated for a year and that Dave had been doing the shows by phone hundreds of miles away. Why, it was like learning that Neil Armstrong’s walk on the moon was in fact a jaunt on a movie set. Worse, after nearly 10 years, Dave would no longer being doing the show with Joyce at all.

“The Power Hour” is a syndicated radio program originating from Versailles, Mo., that features interviews with guests who warn of a coming economic calamity, the dangers of implanted microchips, religious topics and perceived assaults on the Constitution. The program also includes lots of spiels for alternative medicines and herbal remedies that are sold on its website. ( continue to full post… )

Local Clubs the Answer for Racist Group’s Conference Woes?

By Larry Keller on February 23, 2010 - 11:23 am, Posted in Academic Racism

Fresh off American Renaissance’s embarrassing debacle last week in which it was forced to cancel its biannual confab of academic racists and other extremists, one of the white nationalist group’s members has proposed a solution that can circumvent nervous hoteliers in the future.

Chicago lawyer and American Renaissance member Reilly Smith, writing in the current issue of American Renaissance’s magazine, says that he and three others formed Chicagoland Friends of AR a few years ago, and he provides tips on how like-minded people who wish to be “free from the chains of racial orthodoxy” can do the same in their communities.

Smith’s piece was penned before American Renaissance was forced to cancel its three-day conference scheduled last weekend in Washington, D.C. when a hotel pulled the rug out from under its reservation. He sees American Renaissance clubs as supplementing, not replacing, the conferences that have been held since 1994. But in light of what happened last week, plus the troubles that have dogged other white supremacists trying to book hotel meeting rooms, Smith may have described the future of American Renaissance. ( continue to full post… )

White National Event Canceled Yet Again

By Sonia Scherr on February 22, 2010 - 2:47 pm, Posted in Academic Racism

After being jilted by yet another hotel, the white nationalist American Renaissance conference was cancelled again last week — this time, for good.

The conference, scheduled for Feb. 19-21, had been held biannually since 1994 and featured prominent academic racists, far-right politicians and other extremists from around the world. Over the past several months, however, anti-racists persuaded four Washington D.C.-area hotels to drop the conference, infuriating American Renaissance leader Jared Taylor. ( continue to full post… )

Austin Killer Becoming a Hero to the Radical Right

By Mark Potok on February 19, 2010 - 1:39 pm, Posted in Extremist Crime, Tax Protesters

In the hours since a man enraged at the government slammed his small plane into an Austin, Tex., IRS building, white supremacists and their fellow travelers have elevated Joseph Andrew Stack into an icon of resistance to tyranny.

“The Guy is a true HERO!!!” wrote “northroad” on Stormfront.org, the largest white supremacist Web forum in the world. “God bless him,” chimed in “Rudyard,” following a comment by “suepeace”: “This was quite heroic. There is a gradual awakening underway. I wonder how racially conscious he was.”

Shortly after Stack slammed his Piper PA-28 into the IRS building Thursday morning, killing himself and one IRS worker and injuring another 13 people, a manifesto the man apparently wrote just before the attack came to light. In it, Stack bitterly railed against a wide variety of targets — big business, corporate executives, unions, the Catholic Church, the recent bailouts of various industries, and more — but he kept coming back to the alleged evils of American government in general and, more specifically, the Internal Revenue Service and tax law. That made him a hero in the eyes of many on the radical right — so-called tax protesters — who have long believed that federal taxes were illegal or simply voluntary. Although many tax protesters who call themselves “sovereign citizens” subscribe to a racist ideology, there was no indication that Stack entertained racist ideas.

Nevertheless, white supremacists were thoroughly excited by his attack. “I can feel the crunch coming,” wrote “Lady Spirit Warrior,” another poster on Stormfront. “This is just the beginning. Prepare for battle!” “Things are heating up in America,” added “Astragoth.” “This man won’t be the last to do something like this.”

“Leshrac,” writing at another radical Web forum, the neo-Nazi Vanguard News Network, said: “Only bad I see about this is that he didn’t kill enough.” ( continue to full post… )

IRS Long a Target of Antigovernment Extremists

By Heidi Beirich on February 18, 2010 - 3:58 pm, Posted in Patriot Groups

This morning’s attack by Joseph Andrew Stack against an IRS office building in Austin, Tex., is a reminder again of how extreme hatred of government can morph into violence. Since the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has documented 75 domestic terrorist plots, most of which involved individuals with extreme antigovernment views. One of the plots, if carried out, would have resulted in the deaths of some 30,000 people.

Stack’s actions come as the number of antigovernment “Patriot” and militia groups is rising fast, as revealed by the SPLC this past summer. In the 1990s, the combustible mix of rising antigovernment anger and the growth in militias was a recipe for disaster that ultimately resulted in the bombing of the Murrah Federal Building by Timothy McVeigh, who was motivated by antigovernment hatred.

“This attack comes amid the absolutely explosive growth of the right-wing militias and the larger antigovernment ‘Patriot’ movement, which includes thousands of so-called tax protesters who believe the federal income tax is illegal” said Mark Potok, director of the SPLC’s Intelligence Project. “There is a populist rage out there about what is seen as the coddling of rapacious elites, like the mortgage bankers who kept receiving multimillion dollar bonuses, even as working Americans seem to keep losing more and more.” ( continue to full post… )

Racists Holding Event at Former Justice Roy Moore’s Foundation

By Heidi Beirich on February 18, 2010 - 1:10 pm, Posted in Anti-Black, White Supremacist

This coming Saturday, the Foundation for Moral Law (FML) in Montgomery, Ala., will be the site of the 2010 Alabama Secession Day Commemoration, featuring speakers tied to the League of the South, a neo-Confederate hate group that considers slavery “God-ordained” and advocates for “the cultural dominance of the Anglo-Celtic people and their institutions.” The Foundation for Moral Law’s president is defrocked Alabama Chief Supreme Court Justice Judge Roy Moore, who is more commonly known as the “Ten Commandments judge.” In the dead of night on July 31, 2001, Moore placed a 2½-ton stone monument with the Decalogue carved on it in the rotunda of the Alabama Supreme Court building, where he then presided. Moore was thrown out of office in 2003 by Alabama’s Court of the Judiciary after refusing to remove the monument, as he was ordered to do as the result of a federal lawsuit brought by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

The event is being organized by Patricia Godwin, a racist neo-Confederate from Selma who annually holds a birthday party to honor Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest, a wealthy slave trader who became the first grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan. Godwin, who often refers in E-mails to her majority-black hometown as “Zimbabwe on de Alabamy,” has lately crusaded to block any acknowledgement on the Capitol grounds of the 1965 Selma-to-Montgomery civil rights march. Godwin has railed at “the trash that came here in 1965,” complaining that those who honor the civil rights movement “are aiding and abetting the ultimate goal of the ONE WORLD ORDER — to BROWN AmeriKa and annihilate Anglo-Celtic-European culture!”

The event Godwin is advertising features quite a lineup of extremists. Franklin Sanders, a charter member of the League of the South, will be speaking. Sanders is a radical tax protester who writes on his website how state tax officials in Arkansas, where he was living at the time, found him liable for $30,000 in unpaid sales taxes, causing him to flee to Tennessee. In Tennessee, he ran afoul of both federal and state tax officials and eventually served time on state charges. He’s also a novelist. In 1989, Sanders published Heiland, a novel whose title means “savior” in German. In it, America is divided into two: the “Insiders” are the urban, pro-federal government population, while the “Freemen” are rural folks who refuse to pay taxes and live happily off the land. In the end, the Freemen realize they cannot live with the Insiders and decide to establish “the rule of Immanuel” by, in part, destroying Nashville with a laser freeze ray.

Another league favorite, John Eidsmoe, is on the bill. Eidsmoe is a former law school professor and close friend and one-time legal adviser to Roy Moore. A theocrat, Eidsmoe has suggested that the government “may not act contrary to God’s laws.” In 2005, Eidsmoe spoke to the national conference of the Council of Conservative Citizens, a hate group that routinely denigrates blacks as “genetically inferior,” complains about “Jewish power brokers,” calls homosexuals “perverted sodomites,” accuses immigrants of turning America into a “slimy brown mass of glop,” and named Lester Maddox, the now-deceased, ax handle-wielding, arch-segregationist former governor of Georgia, “Patriot of the Century.” ( continue to full post… )

American Renaissance Finds New Venue for D.C. Conference

By Sonia Scherr on February 17, 2010 - 7:44 pm, Posted in Academic Racism

After being cancelled because its organizers couldn’t find a venue willing to host it, this weekend’s white nationalist American Renaissance conference is back on again — this time at a Washington D.C. hotel where two similar events were recently held.

Jared Taylor, who heads American Renaissance, told conference registrants yesterday that the group had booked the Capitol Skyline Hotel near downtown Washington. The conference was dropped by three other area hotels following a campaign by anti-racist activists. “We have found a venue with backbone and the conference will take place!” Taylor wrote. “Hotel management is prepared for the worst and will not back down!”

( continue to full post… )

American Renaissance Conference Cancelled

By Heidi Beirich on February 15, 2010 - 2:31 pm, Posted in Academic Racism

According to an E-mail sent today and signed by Jared Taylor, head of the white nationalist American Renaissance, the group will not be holding its 2010 conference. The conferences are usually a major hit in white nationalist circles and feature as speakers prominent white supremacists, academic racists and other extremists from around the world.

In the past few weeks, anti-racist activists had already persuaded two Washington D.C.-area hotels to cancel their contracts with American Reniassance. Taylor’s E-mail claims that the third hotel scheduled to hold the event, the Four Points Sheraton at the Manassas Battlefield, cancelled because “Hostile callers phoned the hotel and threatened employees with death.” A hotel representative refused to speak on the record about what led to the cancellation but did verify to Hatewatch that the event was cancelled.

Meanwhile, one of the participants scheduled to speak at American Renaissance, Nick Griffin, who has denied the Holocaust and heads the racist British National Party, was disinvited from a speaking engagement at Kenyon College in Gambler, Ohio. Griffin was asked to speak at the campus by Taylor Somers, a student and head of the Robert A. Taft Society there.

Somers put out a statement apologizing profusely for the invite and thanking his fellow students for showing “we were on the wrong course.” Somers promised to “embark on a path of radical self-examination” and claimed “I’m not a bigot, fascist, or totalitarian, but rather, perhaps, more of a contrarian.” “The Taft Society will exercise better and more sensitive judgment with regard to who we bring to campus,” Somers promised.

Florida Church Triggers Protests With Anti-Islam Message

By Sonia Scherr on February 12, 2010 - 12:55 pm, Posted in Anti-Muslim

Westboro Baptist Church, the Kansas-based group that pickets the funerals of fallen service members with “God Hates Fags” signs, is notorious nationwide for preaching a gospel of hate. But another small church is using similar tactics to attack Muslims, causing an uproar in the university town of Gainesville, Fla.

The ironically named Dove World Outreach Center erected a large roadside sign last July emblazoned with the words, “Islam is of the Devil.” That sign — later replaced by three smaller signs with the same slogan — triggered protests, dozens of phone calls to the church, numerous letters to the editor and national news coverage. The church stated on its website that it posted the sign “to expose Islam for what it is. It is a violent and oppressive religion that is trying to mascarade [sic] itself as a religion of peace, seeking to deceive our society.” In August, children whose parents are church members showed up at school wearing T-shirts that also proclaimed, in bright red letters, “Islam is of the Devil.” After the Alachua County School District banned the T-shirts, the American Civil Liberties Union filed suit against the district, alleging that students’ free speech rights had been violated.

Despite the virulently anti-Islam rhetoric, a representative from the church was invited to give the invocation at the Sept. 8 meeting of the Alachua County commissioners, according to the Gainesville Sun. Church member Wayne Sapp, one of the parents who became a plaintiff in the lawsuit against the school district, stated in part: “As we remember 9/11, we encourage all religions, all people — especially the Muslims — to speak out against oppression and violent behavior…”

The Muslim-bashing was far more overt on Sept. 11, when the church held a march against Islam in the parking lot of a Gainesville mall. About 30 people participated, wearing “Islam is of the Devil” T-shirts and carrying signs such as “Islam Kills,” according to the Gainesville Sun. (For $20, people can buy the T-shirts on the church’s website.)

It didn’t end there: In October, the church constructed what it called a “fake lynching” scene, complete with life-sized mannequins, that featured a dark, bearded Muslim executioner and a Christian — wearing a white shirt adorned with a cross — who hung from a wooden plank. “[I]t is a very shocking, disturbing sight when you drive near the church property,” wrote church member Amy Ingram on the church’s blog. But she insisted that was as it should be. “Islam is growing in the whole world. Thousands of Americans are converting every year and we as Christians just want to pretend everything is okay.”

The church has also angered the gay community by staging an “anti-gay pride parade” at the Gainesville Pride Parade and Festival last fall, according to the Independent Florida Alligator. Participants held signs with messages such as “Homos lead to Hell” — a sentiment repeated on a sign near the church last month. Two gay rights groups took part in a Jan. 10 protest against the church, according to the Gainesville Sun. Shortly after that protest, the church tried to exploit the recent tragedy in Haiti, posting a sign reading, “Haiti Turn to God!” A post on the church’s blog suggested that the Jan. 12 earthquake might have occurred because the country made a pact with the devil.

Bigotry isn’t the church’s only problem. Former church members have criticized Dove World Outreach Center for its financial practices, including running a for-profit furniture business from the tax-exempt church property, the Gainesville Sun reported. The church was founded 24 years ago in Gainesville, according to its website. After its founder, Don Northrup, died in 1996, the church’s current pastor, Terry Jones, took over. The church’s property in northwest Gainesville — for sale since last summer for $3.9 million — includes a religious academy and the Lisa Jones House, which provides essential goods to people living in poverty.