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

The Unlikeliest Conspiracy-Monger: Colorado Public TV

By Sonia Scherr on March 11, 2010 - 1:11 pm, Posted in Antigovernment, Conspiracies

Law-abiding U.S. citizens who express politically unpopular views are at risk of being rounded up and imprisoned in concentration camps by a tyrannical government.

That’s according to a conspiracy theory that has long been popular within the antigovernment “Patriot” movement. Although recently debunked by Popular Mechanics, Newsweek (which called it “too silly to discuss”), CNN’s “American Morning,” the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Report and even (after promoting it on several shows) FOX News host Glenn Beck, the myth that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is creating detention facilities for political dissidents is gaining traction on the far-right fringe.

Now, however, a mainstream media source is providing an uncritical platform for FEMA camp lore: KBDI Colorado Public Television aired the video “Camp FEMA: American Lockdown” twice last weekend and has scheduled another showing for March 13. The 90-minute film opens with newsreel footage of Japanese-Americans being forced into internment camps during World War II and then trots out conspiracy die-hards who suggest that freethinking Americans today may face the same fate. Those featured include syndicated radio host Alex Jones, who frets about one-world government at; longtime Patriot broadcaster John Stadtmiller, who insisted after the Oklahoma City bombing that the U.S. government was behind the mass murder; and James Lane of the Patriot group We Are Change, which does not believe that al-Qaeda perpetrated the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Not unreasonably, “Camp FEMA” producer Gary Franchi sees the recognition from a major PBS market as a coup for believers in the camps. “I think it definitely lends credence to the issue,” he told Hatewatch. (Though some Patriot movement beliefs have roots in white supremacy — including the FEMA camp story, whose early proponents included the anti-Jewish Posse Comitatus — Franchi said his group is not anti-Semitic, racist or antigovernment.)

Since its release last year, “Camp FEMA” has been available for purchase on its website (cost: $14.95). But during its March 6 public television debut as part of KBDI’s current fundraising campaign, the film had the potential to reach over 200,000 households, mostly in the Denver metropolitan area, according to KBDI Membership Director/Executive Producer Shari Bernson. In addition, Franchi, who heads the Illinois-based Patriot group, traveled to KBDI’s studios to discuss his film on air with Bernson and Denver-based talk show host Mike Zinna. “It was our most successful pledge program since we rolled out this pledge drive last Thursday,” Bernson said. “We were flooded with calls.”

Those calls were overwhelmingly positive, Bernson said, but some people took issue with KBDI’s decision to air the show. “I’ve had people say it’s not news, it’s not journalism,” she said. “Does everything that airs on TV fall into that category? The bigger story is why are there so many conspiracy theories and why are so many people interested in them right now.”

Bernson said KBDI is dedicated to airing a broad range of perspectives and frequently features independent programming outside the PBS pipeline. (The station also runs disclaimers with shows saying they don’t represent the views of KBDI, its board of directors or employees.) “I think that people deserve access to information,” she said. “I believe people are smart enough to make their own decisions about what they see and hear.”

Moreover, airing the show helped bring in donations. “It was also a fundraising success,” she said, “and fundraising is really tough right now. You’ve got to find something that’s resonating with a large enough niche that it’s really going to create some momentum to help us make our financial goals.”

“Camp FEMA” was shown alongside another video, “America: Freedom to Fascism” by the late Aaron Russo, who founded Restore the Republic (now run by Franchi). That 2006 film contends that a powerful group of bankers took control of the U.S. government by perpetuating “two frauds”: the federal income tax and the central banking system known as the Federal Reserve. The New York Times debunked the film’s arguments in a July 2006 article and reported that the IRS had filed $2 million in tax liens against Russo. The alternative weekly Portland Mercury went further, calling the film “half-baked” and “hole-ridden.” The film also peddles the popular Patriot conspiracy that the government could use tiny microchips to track people.

Yet KBDI has shown “Freedom to Fascism” several times since 2007, when one of the station’s viewers walked in with a copy. “It was one of our top-performing programs for over two years,” Bernson said. The station invited Franchi to its studio last year to discuss the film during a fundraising drive; a local banker was also brought in to present the other side.

KBDI drew criticism from The Denver Post for airing that film, along with two documentaries promoting Sept. 11 conspiracy theories, during a pledge drive last summer. “9/11: Press for Truth” and “9/11: Blueprint for Truth,” which suggests that Sept. 11 was an inside job, both did well as fundraisers, Bernson said.

But not everyone was happy. Jacob Gore of Aurora, Colo., who had been a small contributor to KBDI for a couple of years, told Hatewatch he stopped watching the station after it aired the Sept. 11 programs. “I can’t believe I’m seeing this on public television,” he recalls thinking at the time. In a comment posted on KBDI’s website, he also asked to be taken off the station’s mailing list.  “I’m sure when sanity returns to KBDI,” he wrote, “I will hear about it through the usual channels (the microchip implanted into me by the government, of course.)”

  • benf

    The Kennedy assassination had a deniable aspect. You could not prove it. 911 is different to anyone with any sense at all. If the dust contains nano-thermite it is what Rumsfeld would call a “known known.” All intelligence agencies would reach past the suggestible to… it is either there, proof of energetic explosives, or it is not there.

  • planetofterror

    SPLC, another rag just like Popular Mechanics and Newsweek preying on the stupid and ignorant. If you believe the garbage they spew…Welcome to George Orwell’s 1984. 2+2=5

  • MrM

    Oh My God!!! Someone …. aired a film! And some people liked it! Arrest the traitors!!!

    We can’t have people just running around watching whatever they want. They should only watch SPLC and government approved stuff.

    What do they think this is? A free country where people can make up their own minds as to what’s real or not? No, no, no, why that’s a threat to those that know better than you.

  • Physicist

    Attacking Colorado Public TV.

    Wow … that’s what this Group is about?

    I came over to this site because I heard that an organization that holds itself out as a guardian of the poor, a protector of minorities and upholding the rule of law had defamed groups who are questioning the government’s explanation of what occurred on 9/11. (BTW – I see that your organization has over $100M in assets. It sure would be interesting to trace where all that money came from.)

    Now you use words such as “Hatewatch” and phrases such as “Keeping an eye on the radical right.” And then poster “Tom” says that “Recall that the “progressive” political Left promoted the theory that the Bush/Cheney administration was behind the 9-11 attacks.”

    Okay … SPLC … I don’t know who you are, what your agenda is, or how you came about amassing such wealth, but as to your attacks on those who question the government on 9/11, you need to get a few facts straight. Let’s start with your efforts to lump these people into a homogenous group or label them.

    Tom – you say that questioning the 9/11 story has its roots in the “Left” or “Progressive” political movements, as a means of attacking Bush/Cheney. Really? Name one reputable person on the political Left who proactively questions the government’s 9/11 Story. Politician? Media figure? Scholar? Commentator? Name one. Do you just make your facts up?

    Now it seems the SPLC does not think much of Glenn Beck. Well when it comes to questioning the government’s story on 9/11, the SPLC is in lock-step with Glenn Beck. I doubt that Glenn Beck is more passionate about any subject beyond his avowed “hatred” for anyone who merely questions the government’s 9/11 story.

    There are millions of people of question the government’s 9/11 story. And it is the government’s official 9/11 story that has spawned the Patriot Act, Wars, financial ruin and untold human death and misery. And the people who question this story cover the full political spectrum, and they can be found in every Nation on the planet and they certainly have no racial identity.

    But there is one distinctively unique quality among the people who question the government’s 9/11 story versus those who treat it as religious Gospel.

    We have ALL the scientists and engineers on our side. I have a degree in Physics from one of this nation’s top Science/Engineering schools. It took me quite awhile to agree to look at 9/11, because I just naturally assumed that if there were any major defects in the story, then surely I have heard about it in the Media.

    Now why this topic has been censored within the Media is a story unto itself. There is a media watchdog outfit – ProjectCensored – that goes back to the 1960s, and you can go look up their comments on how all the top-rate questioning of the 9/11 story (questioning by some of the best minds in the world) has been completely and utterly censored within the Mainstream Media. You’ll note that ProjectCensored has a stellar tradition of exposing all forms of Media censorship – including censorship of many topics that presumably are near and dear to the hearts of the SPLC.

    So when I was finally prodded to review the official 9/11 story … I was completely and utterly shocked. The government’s story is an absolute fairy tale. It’s ridiculous and absurd. It is scientifically impossible – in clear violation of the laws of physics. It is the scientific equivalent of claiming that the world is flat. And yet a group like the SPLC has taken it upon itself to identify those who question this fairy tale as … Dangerous?!

    You try producing the name of a single reputable scientist who has looked at the official 9/11 story who would be willing to defend the official story. Just one. And while you are working on that task … you should look through the names of the scientists and engineers on the following Website, who have stated that the official story is a ridiculous joke and impossible:

    They include scientists and engineers who have won America’s top Science Awards, as well as top NASA and Military scientists and engineers.

    And yet this is all Censored in the Media, and the SPLC denigrates a Public TV station in Colorado for breaking with that censorship. Unbelievable.

    And in this regard the SPLC stands side by side with FOX News, Murdoch, Beck and O’Reilly, who all share the same view as the SPLC. The view that anyone who questions the official government Myth should be silenced, ridiculed AND labeled as dangerous.

    Somehow I doubt that the SPLC amassed all of its millions from common American citizens. It sure would be interesting to see SPLC’s corporate donor list.

  • RationalRabbit

    By the way, criticizing KBDI, who has enough faith in its audience to air a wide variety of material, is a bit kin to condoning censorship, and reminds me of the type of criticism that is constantly heaped on the ACLU for defending civil rights and the constitution.

    When the ACLU defends a the right to express one’s religion, they are criticized by the atheists. When they defend a woman’s right to choose they are declared to be anti-religious. They are criticized by everyone who doesn’t get the big picture, which is really quite simple and is supposed to be one of our core values as a society – the right to live and let live.

  • RationalRabbit

    Snorlax –

    Thanks for the comment. Really has nothing to do with bipartisanship, though. It has to do with free thinking non-partisanship. There are idiots and stupid ideas on both sides and the middle, and there are intelligent people and thoughts on both sides and the middle. Self-interest, corruption and nefarious influences cover the spectrum also.

    My whole point was in the author’s connecting dots that don’t really connect. For the same reason, I don’t like Alex Jones, either. That doesn’t mean that I discount 100% of what either of them say, but I’m certainly not going to believe ANYTHING either one of them says without checking it out myself.

    Art Bell is a free thinker. I listened to him back when his was a political show and he started doing the present Coast-to-Coast format on Sunday nights only. I disagreed with his political views a lot, but I have a lot of admiration – unending curiosity and a strong desire for the truth – good attributes. I miss him on the airwaves.

    Kate – sorry you didn’t get my point. Hopefully, you can figure it out for yourself. Someday, maybe.

    It is interesting that, when you say you are a “patriot”, which is usually defined as one who loves their country, that people start placing you in a negative category, or, when you describe yourself as a “constitutionalist”, the describe you as a “fanatic”.

    If loving my country and believing in the constitution it was founded upon is a crime in the eyes of the majority, we’re all in really big trouble.

    Do you know that most lawmakers have not even read the constitution? Have you?

  • Snorlax

    From the Coast2CoastAM website:

    “Census Commentary:
    First hour guest, radio host Alex Jones offered commentary on the 2010 Census, which he views as a privacy invasion by the US government. Beyond asking about the number of people that live at a residence, questions such as about people’s income, and mortgage payments are none of the government’s business and unconstitutional, he stated.”

    Apologies to George and Lex Lonehood.

  • Snorlax

    Hey Rational Rabbit, I agree with your bipartisan hands across the water stuff. And I’m not even a Democrat anymore, I didn’t vote for Obama because he voted for the first bailout as Senator Obama then signed the second bailout as President Obama.

    I think nothing is too big to fail and failure is a natural part of the business cycle. Let the fat cats lose one for once.

    In topic-related news, Coast2CoastAM’s George Noory had the infamous Alex Jones on last night. Glad I didn’t hear it, I find Jones extremely annoying. Worse than that Face on Mars guy.

    So, is the SPLC going to say Art Bell is a Klan Nazi??

    You better not.

    I’m an Art Bell fan from way back, and he’s no freakin’ Klan Nazi. Neither is George Noory.

    Although I wonder about Ian “Pundit”, he’s a little too much like Glenn Beck for my taste.

    Please do not paint everyone who believes in some sort of conspiracy to be pals of those knuckledragging Klan Nazi types.

    Trust me, I’m the kind of guy they’d like to beat up.

  • kate

    No, we’re not all in the same boat Rabbit, we know perfectly well what boat your are in. Its a boat heading directly toward a giant floating glacier of hate and socially reactionary fantasy.

    We also know perfectly well where you and your cohorts were when Ollie North stood and raised his hand, along with Elliot Abrams, vowing to protect America’s freedoms and instead corrupted every avenue of such they could get their hands on in order to garner themselves some immediate gratification of power and a little cash on the side.

    I remember because I was paying attention at the time and all I remember hearing from people like you was that soldiers have immunity and that the Red Menace needed rooting out, regardless of whether it really existed anymore or not, regardless of rational, modern diplomacy. I remember well listening to Jesse Helm’s have more concern for the few white land owners in South America than the millions of nationals killed in their own homes across those countries during the eighties.

    I remember well that you and your “patriots” were hiding under your beds, convinced that the end times were imminent and that our freedom from warrant less wiretapping was unimportant, that we needn’t bother to worry about the Patriot Act and what it contained — just sign or be called a Terrorist. You called us un-American for questioning the motives of certain people in pushing the Patriot Act through.

    You questioned our patriotism when we said that hidden detainment camps established in our name, torturing our prisoners and ignoring the Geneva Conventions was a one way road to setting up pathways to tyranny.

    As a woman in a non-traditional industry, I have seen hostility for my position rise and become more open and cruel, I actually don’t know if I’ll get hired again since I’ve been laid off and I’ve doing this work for years.

    As a property manager part-time I’ve seen racist acts against other tenants increase from just whispers behind doors to outright, unfettered acts of threats and violence, with people using their “freedom of speech” and other excuses of “patriotism” to wield that old-time religion of racism and hatred with impunity.

    Thank god all I can say is that us filthy liberals were able to pass the Hate Crimes Act so that I can wave that in the face of harassers to get them to back-off and allow other freedom loving Americans the chance to sit in their own homes in peace.

    As an organizer, I’ve never seen such fear and outright ignorance about people’s right to organize and express their own views. People are unemployed and angry and yet they are confused about who to be angry about.

    When the corporate interests know full well that most of the misery is their own fault, it doesn’t take a rocket scientists to see how by funding ‘actions’ and ‘grassroots’ groups, they have skillfully managed to keep eyes off of them so that they can continue to rob the public blind.

    I’m only disappointed that KBDI didn’t think that while they reel in the dollars, they could at least offer some free history lessons after the shows air.

  • RationalRabbit

    My dear Snorlax –

    Conspiracy theories and actual conspiracies were around long, long before Oliver North came around.

    Your second set of comments points out a very direct example of the this-side / that-side rhetoric that is polarizing our current society, as well as a very poor job of political profiling.

    When you understand that we are all in the same boat, you will be more concerned with patching the holes in the bottom of the boat than dividing the passengers into stereotypes.

    We would all be better off to consider ourselves free thinkers than to divide ourselves into political labels for some mob to do our thinking for us.

  • Snorlax

    Hey, Rabbit, where were you when Dubya and the Repukes railroaded the Patriot Act through?

    Where were you when Dubya opened a torture gulag?

    Where were you when Dubya made it much easier to declare martial law?

    You were waving a W sign and chanting “Four More Years”.

    You teabaggers are all hypocrites.

  • Snorlax

    “…the origin of the conspiracy theory comes from Oliver North’s testimony on Capitol Hill. It is in his own words on C-Span and archived on the Internet”

    Ollie North is a criminal who sold arms to Iran and supplied the Contras. He was convicted but got off on a technicality. He is a scumbag liar with zero credibility.

    It figures he’s connected to this Reich Wingnut lunacy.

  • RationalRabbit

    From the article: “Though some Patriot movement beliefs have roots in white supremacy — including the FEMA camp story…”

    This sounds like nothing but a cheap shot to discredit the Patriot movement. Or perhaps, since this is SPLC, you had to put something in the article, somewhere, that somehow related to HateWatch, whether it actually relates or not.

    To say that ANY Patriot movement beliefs have “roots in white supremacy” is an extremely gross misstatement of fact.

    If you find a dog in your rose garden, it does not mean your rose garden has its roots in dogs. It simply means you have a dog in your rose garden, which has its roots in the soil in which it is planted.

    The roots of the Patriot movement are in the Constitution of the United States. If you go back 40 years, you will probably find that a large number of those that called themselves “patriots” were (among other things) bigots who hailed from the South-Eastern states. The whole sociology of that is too much to get into here. The point is, this is not the 50’s or 60’s, and today’s Patriot movement did not spring from those “roots”.

    The vast majority of today’s “Patriots” (who would much rather be called “constitutionalists”) are from the left, the right and the middle. We are American Citizens who are tired of seeing our Constitution, which every law maker and soldier vows to defend, ignored and trampled on. We are tired of seeing lip service given to the legislation our country was founded upon, which has been held up as an ideal to the rest of the world while we see it slowly eroding at home.

    We are tired of the apathy and chosen ignorance of other citizens of this country who grab their fast-food news sandwich from the well-groomed talking heads on the boob-tube and think they know what’s going on in the world – who never pick up a book and do some actual research on a subject, but are ready and willing to argue as if they actually know something.

    As far as your reference to the FEMA camp story having it’s roots in an anti-Jewish group, again, you are grasping to connect dots that do not exist. Stories and paranoiac fears of the government rounding up citizens for one reason or another even pre-date World War II – long before FEMA, which has only been in existence sinve 1979.

    Whether there were connections made to FEMA previously, I can’t say for sure. Nor can I justifiably state the definitive origin of present rumors. The first recent widespread awareness, as far as I know, was prompted by a video that has been floating around the internet, that was made by a woman named Linda Thompson, concerning an AMTRAK central station that, according to Thompson, had been taken over by FEMA and was being set up as a “death camp”.

    Many people who have viewed this video have no idea who Linda Thompson is. She is a radical militant – an Indianapolis lawyer, who took it upon herself to represent the Branch Davidians (they deserved better than that). Since then, she has been a powerful figure in the militia movement until her call for an armed march on Washington caused even militia groups to question her sanity. Her video on the FEMA camp is full of wild speculation.

    Although Thompson’s video jumps to a lot of crazy conclusions, it, nevertheless, raised some valid questions, and others have followed up with their own videos.

    Many important questions have been raised concerning “FEMA camps” and the government isn’t talking. Neither are contractors working at these facilities. To me, that says a lot in itself.

    Unfortunately, Lewis and Franchi’s video does not answer those questions either. But it DOES pose the questions.

    Recently, vehicles have been put into place, such as the Department of Defense “Garden Plot” plan (Conplan 2502 – Civil Disturbance Operations). The Insurrection Act of 1807 and the Posse Comitatus Act have been amended to broaden the scope of exceptions. What this means is that the previous restrictions built into our system to prevent the use of the U.S. Military against its own citizens has been compromised.

    There are many more factors pointing to the government preparing for the use of the military in massive crowd control. The most logical conclusion, as pointed out by Gerald Celente, Trends Institute and other financial experts bold enough to tell the truth, is that we are headed into a depression that will make the Great Depression look like a sunny afternoon in the park. We can expect riots. The government is preparing. They’re damned if they say it and damned if they don’t.

    The problem here is that we kinda’ like to think we have a free and open society. Most of us believe we do. I, for one, don’t. I’m not satisfied with tokens. We have a constitution, and we should be following it.

    It is OUR job to keep the government in check. When we don’t, we only have ourselves to blame.

    KNOW what’s REALLY going on.
    Don’t believe every rumor, but don’t ignore the truth that may be inside the rumor. Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. DO SOME RESEARCH!
    Write to your representatives in Washington – help to keep them informed – but KNOW your facts first.
    IT’S OUR GOVERNMENT. Let’s keep it that way.

  • skinnyminny

    Blah, Blah, Blah!

    Common sense is definitely lacking among these people yelling “free speech,” and “police state.” Hint: only the Republican party is yelling they want to split from the U.S. – remember, Alaska, Texas.

    Funny, they mention corruption! Go figure! These people don’t realize who is who, because they are so used to people bullying them, yelling at them, and abusing them – I assume that’s why you have such a long following of people with trying to influence people who just doesn’t want to be bothered.

    Free speech! Okay, you have free speech. You guys are coming here posting your nonsense, and unfortunately we have to tolerate your disgusting nonsense. Now, on the other hand, if we were to go over to your sites, we’d be called every insult in the book. So yes, there’s a difference, here, there’s much more class, there, it’s name calling, insults….and I guess I’ll stop there.

  • Expatriot

    Specifically in response to Scotty and Ranger X. As a life-long Oklahoman currently studying human rights in the UK at a highly multicultural college (60% international students) – you really need to rethink your definition of a police state. Trust me. And if the US is truly that bad, and in such dire straights – remember. You are always free to leave.

  • David “Doc” Johnson

    Check out my website. I write about the JBS and Fascism. See the PDF File at the end of Fascism.

  • daemonesslisa

    Look out!


    I swear, this is getting so much easier lately!

  • Sebastian Jackson

    KBDI is in Denver, Colorado, the same city that a far-far-left cable operation called Free Speech TV is based out of. Free Speech TV — or FSTV — is on Channel 9415 on Dish Network packages, and is known for airing shows hosted by Amy Goodman, Laura Flanders, and Thom Hartmann.

    But until recently, they also aired a show called “INN World Report”, a “news” broadcast that trumpeted a whole menagerie of 9/11 conspiracy theories and their main propagandists, like Alex Jones, Steven Jones (no relation), Crockett Grabbe, and David Ray Griffin. FSTV itself also aired live coverage of a conference of 9/11 conspiracy theorists a number of years ago.

    They have also aired the Aaron Russo and “9/11 Press for Truth” films mentioned in the article, as well as another pseudo-documentary called “Arsenal of Hypocrisy”, which claims that NASA was created to help America conquer the world from space. The film’s official website — until it was reorganized to resemble an Internet gambling site — was filled to the gills with anti-Semitic articles defending Ernst Zundel and assailing “Jewish Zionists”.

    I’m pointing this out because KBDI and FSTV are in the same city, and given that both stations seem to be attracted to the same conspiracy theories — particularly the ones spewed by Aaron Russo and 9/11 Press for Truth — I can’t help but wonder if the latter somehow influenced the former. It might be worth looking into, because I have watched FSTV, and when they are left to their own devices — when not airing Goodman, Flanders, or Hartmann — those people can go very crazy very fast.

  • HSaive

    Did you know that Israel has a “socialist” health care system?. Yes, It works like “Medicare For All”. Even better…American taxpayers send billions of “welfare” dollars as foreign aid to Israel every year. Every elected official who votes NO for health care reform in America will quickly vote YES to support Israel with welfare dollars paid by your taxes. Americans are suckers to corporate media propaganda. Investigate the facts – not FOX, ABC and MSNBC. Source:

  • scotty

    Read the facts ye Doubting Thomas’.

    Executive Orders associated with FEMA that would suspend the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. These Executive Orders have been on record for nearly 30 years and could be enacted by the stroke of a Presidential pen:…

    allows the government to take over all modes of transportation and control of highways and seaports.

    allows the government to seize and control the communication media.

    allows the government to take over all electrical power, gas, petroleum, fuels and minerals.

    allows the government to seize all means of transportation, including personal cars, trucks or vehicles of any kind and total control over all highways, seaports, and waterways.

    allows the government to take over all food resources and farms.

    allows the government to mobilize civilians into work brigades under government supervision.

    allows the government to take over all health, education and welfare functions.

    designates the Postmaster General to operate a national registration of all persons.

    allows the government to take over all airports and aircraft, including commercial aircraft.

    allows the Housing and Finance Authority to relocate communities, build new housing with public funds, designate areas to be abandoned, and establish new locations for populations.

    allows the government to take over railroads, inland waterways and public storage facilities.

    specifies the responsibility of the Office of Emergency Planning and gives authorization to put all Executive Orders into effect in times of increased international tensions and economic or financial crisis.

    grants authority to the Department of Justice to enforce the plans set out in Executive Orders, to institute industrial support, to establish judicial and legislative liaison, to control all aliens, to operate penal and correctional institutions, and to advise and assist the President.

    assigns emergency preparedness function to federal departments and agencies, consolidating 21 operative Executive Orders issued over a fifteen year period.

    allows the Federal Emergency Preparedness Agency to develop plans to establish control over the mechanisms of production and distribution, of energy sources, wages, salaries, credit and the flow of money in U.S. financial institution in any undefined national emergency. It also provides that when a state of emergency is declared by the President, Congress cannot review the action for six months. The Federal Emergency Management Agency has broad powers in every aspect of the nation. General Frank Salzedo, chief of FEMA’s Civil Security Division stated in a 1983 conference that he saw FEMA’s role as a “new frontier in the protection of individual and governmental leaders from assassination, and of civil and military installations from sabotage and/or attack, as well as prevention of dissident groups from gaining access to U.S. opinion, or a global audience in times of crisis.” FEMA’s powers were consolidated by President Carter to incorporate the…

    National Security Act of 1947
    allows for the strategic relocation of industries, services, government and other essential economic activities, and to rationalize the requirements for manpower, resources and production facilities.

    1950 Defense Production Act
    gives the President sweeping powers over all aspects of the economy.

    Act of August 29, 1916
    authorizes the Secretary of the Army, in time of war, to take possession of any transportation system for transporting troops, material, or any other purpose related to the emergency.

    International Emergency Economic Powers Act
    enables the President to seize the property of a foreign country or national. These powers were transferred to FEMA in a sweeping consolidation in 1979.

  • RangerX

    Perfect example of what I was mentioning earlier about a police state – government run health care. How can you read Obama’s health care bill and not be totally appalled and disgusted that these morons think we the People EVER gave them the authority to do something like this.


    Watch this video, it covers just a few of the draconian plans of this bill:

    Here is the bill itself on the federal government web site:

  • RangerX

    Classifying anything issued by you guys as “intelligence” is totally laughable. Would you recognize a police state if you were in one? Well, we are, in virtually every state the government has sought to control every single aspect of the People’s lives, license it and/or tax it. People are being charged with “crimes” that have neither a “guilty mind” nor a “palpable harm”.

    The only thing that is “extreme” in what those working in the patriot community are doing is going against what is popular or politically correct. The efforts to expose the things are coming from government is to expose them and examine them publicly, which the mainstream media will not do.

    You classify these folks as “extremists”, just exactly what then were the founding fathers? You say these folks advocate the overthrow of a government that is out of control, oppressive, corrupt, and that refuses to obey the laws and the constitutions that the People of the respective states of the union and this nation put into place so long ago. What did the founding fathers decide to do when their government became exactly the same?

    However, it is far worse today then in the times of the founders. They did not have to contend with virtually instant world-wide coordination and timing of events and “news” formulated to provide the complete disinformation strategy so rampant in the mainstream media. The major media would not know the truth if it walked up and introduced itself, nor it seems would the SPLC.

    Believe nothing that you have not researched and either confirmed or denied for yourself. If your trusting the likes of the folks running this “research site” (I’m laughing uncontrollably as I write that part), then blame no one but yourself for your lack of knowledge and ultimate surprise when the truth is finally realized, albeit to late to help you.

  • Peter Hebert

    Franchi and others have First Amendment rights to their views, whether popular or not. What surprises me more, though, is that Southern Poverty Law Center appears to operate as a center for smear campaigns. Sonia Scherr’s article dropped the phrases “white supremacists” and anti-Jewish” as if somehow there is a connection with the widespread political dissent that characterized America in 2009. There is no thread that ties a public interest in the U.S. Constitution or the Bill of Rights, an interest in conspiracy theories, bigots, or violent hate groups. The real irony of the FEMA camp topic as it relates to Scherr’s article is that the origin of the conspiracy theory comes from Oliver North’s testimony on Capitol Hill. It is in his own words on C-Span and archived on the Internet. What followed North’s testimony over the months and years was letters from across the country to members of Congress demanding an explanation. I have studied many of the groups that Southern Poverty Law Center claims to monitor, and what I see is an propaganda machine riddled with sloppy research and an agenda bent on curbing free speech and other constitutional rights. I find that to be un-American, and therefore unacceptable. Ms. Scherr, the shame belongs completely on you. It does not belong on the PBS station that aired the piece that caused you concern.

  • Carter

    Well….I guess most people HAVE NOT seen the film.

    The film was not well done. In that it was a “hodge-podge” of differing subject matter that were rolled out and not followed through. It was disappointing in that there were some very serious issues afloat but they were banged at the viewer, one after another. The background music was really bad. (I only mention that because it was REALLY bad. It just didn’t fit the material.) However some of the questions were VERY relevant to our economic climate and what may be done to turn that around. Private prisons were discussed. Constitutional nullification was discussed and there was some documentation as to how this could occur. (That issue was the opener: but it just moved on…) These are important issues but they were presented – not followed up.
    There are some pretty bright people here. I’m surprised that some would pass judgment on a film or book, etc with out knowing what it contains.

  • Drake Younger

    The SPLC doesn’t even believe in free speech as they have a phrase at the bottom that states “SPLC may also choose not to post your comment.” They even talk about editing comments for content. So the purpose behind the SPLC is to ban free speech and dissent.

    Also, how is this movie hateful? How is it racist? So what is the purpose of talking about it on your site if you don’t have some sort of hidden agenda. Are you trying to demonize the film so that people won’t watch…thinking that it’s racist or hate-filled? Isn’t it hateful to treat the U.S. population like sheeple you can herd where ever you like?

    What’s your true agenda? Eliminate questions? Eliminate ideas? Eliminate words you don’t like? Eliminate the competition that is using propaganda just like you use? Seriously. I’ve watched this film at my college with African Americans, Indians, Christians, Muslims, Budhists, and even 2 Native Americans…and no one ever left or was offended by it because it’s not hateful or racist. Sending our young men to die in Iraq…which didn’t have WMDs and didn’t attack us on 9/11…THAT’S HATEFUL!!!!

    Hurry, track my IP and “log” this so that when the government decides it’s tired of my “free speech” they can come get me and the news can play a segment with some quotes “of hate” that I posted on the SPLC website. I mean, it’s so easy to see through your lies that it’s laughable…but sad that some will believe you.

  • Jason

    The recent return to popularity of hate groups, conspiracy theories, and the “radical right” is in part a misremembering of history and an outgrowth of a real increase in anti-establishment hostility. In fact, I’m surprised that the SPLC thought that this particularly instance of conspiracy theory in the media was newsworthy in itself. The History Channel and Discovery Channel continue to reap millions from sensationalizing, conspiratorial, and eschatological “specials” on 2012, who shot JFK, and Armageddon. I’m not at all surprised that KDBI found money in airing “Camp FEMA.”

    In addition, conspiracy theories have been a mainstay in American political culture since its inception from some of the Founding Father’s suspicion of British totalitarianism in the Stamp Act; to the Know-Nothings’ immigrant, Catholic, and Jewish conspiratorializing; to Loose Change. Americans are deeply susceptible to conspiracies.

    The growing popularity and mainstreaming of these theories through the internet, Fox, and Republican officials along with the explosion of activism in conspiracy-charged groups is new and worth considering. It is not typical for conspiracy-theorizing to be connected to political power and mainstream legitimization (hate has a much more illustrious past). That, I think, is what makes this issue most pressing. To give a nod to Tom and other right wing apologists, he is absolutely right that some of those who vote for democrats also participate in conspiratorial theorizing including anarchists and communists. While they tend not to be hate groups or racists (and hence not usually covered by the SPLC) it’s not a right or left issue.

    As a country, our greatest challenge is ensuring our healthy skepticism of power against the reductio ad absurdum of conspiratorialism. It’s a challenge with a lot of history from which to draw insight. With that in mind, here’s a brief list of reading material.

    Aaronovitch “Voodoo Histories”, on the emergence, development, and influence of conspiracy theories.

    Rosenblum’s “Membership and Morality” chapters on Secret Societies and Fusion Republicanism.

    Savelsberg on the law and memories of hate and why Americans allow these conspiracy theories:

    Ezekiel’s “The Racist Mind”, one of the best accounts of how hate groups form and operate.

    Kathleen Blee on Hate Groups

  • Snorlax

    “All this shows is that hateful mainly anti-government conspiracy theories have legitimacy within the Left’s mainstream media establishments.”
    by Tom

    No it doesn’t. The mainstream media have been debunking these conspiracy theories – from the left AND the right.

    I defy yo to name one single instead where any mainstream media outlet ever promoted any of those conspiracy theories .

    It never happened.

  • Snorlax

    There’s something you need to know about Denver TV that isn’t in the article. There are 2 PBS stations in Denver. And Channel 12 isn’t the “respectable” one of the two.

    That would be KRMA TV 6, which was started by Denver Public Schools 50 years ago.

    KBDI 12 is the radical hippy upstart station that started 30 years ago and is NOT a button-down PBS station.

    They were doing a music video show 5 years before MTV went on the air. (Teletunes-FMTV)

    In all fairness, KBDI does run a wide spectrum of programming inclluding Al Jazeera News. My favorite is their World channel on 12-3. Bollywood rocks!!

    Rest assured that KBDI has not become Teabagger TV. They have not been taken over by the dark side.

  • Magick

    “I would never trust someone who uses a new identity/new name”. Like Barack Obama, yes that is not his real name. Your president doesnt even use his real name!

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    Tom, there were plenty of right-wingers who advanced the conspiracy theory of 9/11 as well. 9/11 truthers care little about who one blames for the attack, so long as it isn’t the hijackers.

  • Larry Wallace

    Don’t like programs that edge toward the truth keep listening to your elected officials and the mainstream media!

  • Aaron

    Those who feel this is hatred must also feel that our founding fathers were bigots. Those brave souls had a dream that people were responsible for there own well being. They didn’t believe that we should rely on government for sustenance. Government by definition is a REGULATORY body. It is only here to provide a fair and open society. People are giving up there rights and responsibilities for centralised control. It is time for the states to step up and govern! As for the conspiricy, we need to watch our leaders for power can corupt. One final question, do you all realy belive Bill Gates is the richest person in the world ? If so why deos standard ioil still exist? Who are the Rothchilds and why did they bial out the monarchy more than once?

  • skinnyminny

    Rational Rabbit,

    I’m saying, I’m onto all this crap.

    Such as “14” meaning Order, “88” HH…all the codes being used, and the subtle messages to whip people into action, that the NWO is coming.

    The accusations that Jews control the media/financial industry – well, if that’s the case, Fox would not be on the air. And when white politicians are involved in scandals, such as the latest Calif. Republican that voted against gay rights, yet, finally admitted on KERN radio that he was gay. This would be non-stop news 24/7 wouldn’t you think? Since you want to call Jews the enemy and the destructive force!

    Instead, the news will cover a black person and make him/her out to be the worst person on earth, as a means to destroy him/her financially.

    Then there’s the information about immigrants – they are to blame for all the countries problems – according to hard-core right-wing evangelists.

    Again, white power radio stations and leaflets are plenty, and they are all telling people to “kill or be killed and the time is now.”

    There’s the upcoming NSM rally scheduled for Los Angeles. What I don’t understand with this – these members certainly don’t want any minorities in their neighborhoods, but, they want to go into minority neighborhoods in order to incite racial discourse! This sounds like criminal conspiracy/premeditation. Yes, premeditation, because, regardless if there are permits issued, why are they going into cities with minority populations? They are intentionally going there knowing what the outcome would be. This should be no different than any other criminal pre-planning a crime!

  • Eric Ray

    What does “Camp FEMA” have to do with hate? It actually exposes hate.

  • ally report

    How does wanting a new investigation of 9-11 translate to hate speech>? The reason a new investigation is so important is to end these wars of aggression and to hold EVERYONE of the planners and funders of the attack responsible. 6 of the 10 on the 911 Commission have stated the investigation did not answer the most important questions. Mainly who paid for the attack, how did building 7 collapse, the terrorist war games on the day of the attack, classified cctv footage from the pentagon, missing black boxes, and the testimony of first responders and WTC employees to the fact of a series of explosions before the planes hit. The point is, there is a obvious coverup, the information needed to know the truth of what happened that day is in plain sight yet the public is not allowed to see it. Please visit my news site @

  • HSaive

    I agree with Mike Stroven (above). I donate to KDBI in Colorado even though I live in Gainesville, Fl. They receive a check from me every time they screen a valid documentary that explains how the government’s “official” story of the 9/11 disaster can not possibly be true. The 9/11 issue is too big to ignore. In fact. ABC News’, Chris Bury did a segment on the March 6-7 “Treason In America” forum meeting at Valley Forge, PA where Architect, Richard Gage, AIA presented evidence “beyond a reasonable doubt” that confirms explosives were used to destroy the Twin Towers and building 7. Even the FBI cannot disagree with the conclusion after they reviewed the evidence themselves. The correspondence is a matter of public record at the office of the FBI’s Counterterrorism division headed by Michael Heimbach. I assure you the 9/11 Truth issue pointing to a mammoth act of treason is not a conspiracy theory. — Jesse Ventura recently promoted his book , American Conspiracies on THE VIEW where the conversation was openly about 9/11 as a crime by insiders. Host, Barbara Walters did nothing to stop the 10 minute segment. I applaud her. Hate groups will never fix our crumbling first amendment but demonization of free speech by people like “Jacob Gore” and a newspaper columnist. If you do nothing else to research this issue at least look at the Zogby polls that show over 50% of Americans do not believe the Bush administrations “official” story of 9/11.

    ABC News Article on 9/11 Truth

    Jesse Ventura on THE VIEW


    Evidence the FBI could not debunk:

  • Tom

    Where to begin on the simple-mindedness of this post? The Right in this country no longer has a monopoly on conspiracy theories. Recall that the “progressive” political Left promoted the theory that the Bush/Cheney administration was behind the 9-11 attacks, that in 2008 it would annul the November 4 election and institute martial law. Lefitists circulated the idea that before the election Bush would launch a “false flag” attack on American forces to justify war against Iran. They hatched the idea that the Wall Street meltdown and subsequent bail-out were planned to steal the nation’s assets and put them into the pockets of Republican bigwig; they alleged that the Republicans had new technology to manipulate electronic election results. The intellectual Left in this country has stoked anti-Semitism by demonizing Israel lobby, claiming such groups as APAC have almost god-like influence over American foreign policy. All this shows is that hateful mainly anti-government conspiracy theories have legitimacy within the Left’s mainstream media establishments.

  • doomed

    …doomed to repeat history.

    I never thought I would actually get to meet people that were just like those that lived right next to concentration camps in Germany during WWII and denied they ever existed even when they were being marched through them after liberation. Or those that stood by and watched the “heretics” burn during the Dark ages and exclaimed that the executioners were doing Gods work.

  • RationalRabbit

    Reply to skinnyminny:


  • DeMoley

    if you dont think this is posible your living in a dream world. All it will take is the government calling of all law enforcement everywhere to begin considering people who are calling themselves american pariots, terrorist……. law enforcement will recieve warrents from judges who say they are a considerable threat to the people, and when they start going house to house and are met with armed resistance a gestapo will be formed. This will cause people to start turning on each other in fear that they are “terrorist” that will atack them and their families. but, if people will awake and realize this guy they are calling a terrorist is their neighbor and has only defended themselves from a growing policestate that oppreses and demonize people who beleve that little thing called the constitution. the government by the people for the people will be doomed for sure. guys!! please dont allow whomever it be, use an unfounded fear to blind you into believing you need protection from your freedom loving neighbors by law enforcement or government!!!! We the patriots ARE NOT THE ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE!!! we are the watchdogs willing to die for you and your freedom!!

  • Orangutan.

    Habeas Corpus is gone. the Bill of Rights is gone. The Rule of Law is going un-upheld. Privacy is no longer a right. We have real issues we need to worry about here. Torture and indefinite detention is no way to go about things in a civilized world. We should have learned that from History.

  • Mike Stroven

    A few questions:

    1) Why DOESN’T the SPLC (and our “elected-by-the-people” government) understand our inherent rights as US citizens?

    2) Why is the SPLC labeling freedom-loving, law-abiding United States citizens who question motivations as “militia-minded” or “conspiracy theorists?”

    3) Does the SPLC somehow need the general public be in constant fear?

    Those of us who hold fast to our inherent rights to freedom are no threat to anyone. That is the reason this country was founded. It is our right and duty to watch our government, and to pass along truth where it is sadly missing..

    -Mike Stroven

  • Tezuka fan

    These guys are Merry Melodies (I didn’t want to say the other one, because I like L.T.)

    Also, I can’t wait to see KBDI silenced like Alex Jones and others like him… Wait. He hasn’t been silenced? Weird… I could have sworn I informed my Dissension Officer of Mr. Jones’ violations of Speech Codes 8-12… Your tax dollars at work.
    To paraphrase someone who studies/debunks conspiracy theories (the real way, not the Glenn Beck “publicize-then-‘debunk'” way) “I find it funny that the government silences everyone on 9/11/FEMA camps/microchips except all the people out there hawking the theories.”

  • Steven

    “Law-abiding U.S. citizens who express politically unpopular views are at risk of being rounded up and imprisoned in concentration camps by a tyrannical government.”

    Look up “REX 84″. It’s not as crazy as you think.

  • skinnyminny

    I wish there was a way to prosecute these people. As far as I’m concerned, this is worst than yelling fire in an open building. They yell freedom of speech, yet, they will be the ones who will have it taken away. Let’s use one of these so-called FEMA Camp examples, political dissents will be sent away.

    What’s equally amazing, the masses are buying into this crap – half the people selling it are not who they say they are. Example, half the people don’t know that some of these people are allegedly using their new names – Glenn Beck (Harold Hill), Robert Brock, David Irving, and the list goes on…..I would never trust someone who uses a new identity/new name. That would automatically let me know that person has a past they are hiding.

    I’ve read how some of these people making profits off these people are laughing all the way to the bank. And I believe these same people are trying to convince people of a New World Order, in order to get their followers to go out and commit crimes against innocent victims. I believe this because, they are selling this with the idea of total chaos/society doomed/ race wars/ revolutions as a means to manipulating people-and lead them to committing crimes/murders – sort of like a Charles Manson type deal. Maybe some of the followers should look into the story of Manson girls – how they will never see the light of day when it comes to freedom.

    At the same time they are making people believe that minorities are responsible for their misfortune – meanwhile, laws are being overturned that benefit everyone, not just minorities, but, everyone. Example, the school system, yes, there are some schools that needs help, yet, no one has looked into the fact that there are people allegedly listed as Extremists, that have companies that market home-schooling materials, these materials are also rewritten to change history. History that reflects their ideas and agendas.

    No one has looked into the allegations that former Sen. Frist father has made millions in the Payday Loan industry.

    I also would advise to do research of the people following the cause – there are people that are imprisoned for life. They don’t like paying taxes, they are anti-government, yet, when they end up in prison, they will be told what to do and when to do it, what to eat and when to eat – how ironic!

  • Carter

    I had forgot to mention that I just recently saw the film Camp FEMA. It’s worth your time to watch it before any judgment is past. Make up your OWN mind regarding the issues presented in the film
    Walking lock-step in line with ANY political party is or turning off a perspective without hearing that information is not indicative of independent thought, freedom of expression, or intelligent discourse.

    In the capacity of racism for instance, one cannot determine if racism is presented unless one hears from the speaker; their perspectives. In this case the film is not focused on racism per se’.

    In MY opinion there is cause to take time and discuss the issues presented in the film. I was surprised that the film was NOT some of the past films wherein Alex Jones screams at passing automobiles. The film brings up several important Constitutional issues.

  • Orangutan.

    How does this have anything to do with Hate? I would say the Anthrax passed around just prior to the Bill of Rights crushing Patriot Act being passed has more hate than anything these documentaries espouse. How about the hate of letting the first responders, all those most of you so proudly referred to as heroes after 9/11, go without healthcare as they die from the dust in their lungs after being told the air was safe to breath. How about the hate of White Phosphorous being sprayed on civilians in towns like Fallujah in Iraq, and Depleted Uranium being used in war. Or the hate of torture and indefinite detention without trial.

    You guys have your priorities messed up.

  • Jack

    So a TV channel aired a popular program.

    So? No News here.

  • Carter

    This is EXACTLY what I had mentioned some time back.
    Most people believe that Public TV or Radio leans to the Left. So be it.
    ….Unimportant except for one thing…. That ANY stripe of politics can have it’s “nut jobs” & “wackos”.
    It’s SO important not to “vote party”. It’s critical to vote with what you believe. Most often, they will coincide and that’s fine.
    But I stress that just because someone or some entity claims to represent a particular political stripe (or way of thinking) it’s critical to divorce yourself from that superficial aspect and LISTEN to what is being said.
    The toughest thing for many people is to NOT defend a political party and “call ’em like ya’ see ’em”!
    Where totalitarianism existed; in it’s birth was always aspects said of what the public wanted to hear.
    When a man or woman can move away from the crowd and think independently; that’s when the dawn of political maturity will arrive.

  • Dawn

    They replay that ‘freedom to fascism’ video on a monthly basis it seems now. However I am torn – They do play some GLBT friendly movies and show as well and I don’t want to walk on the freedom of speech..I just hope viewers will have a discerning eye.