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

Once More, Border Vigilante Laine Lawless Flirts With Nazi Enthusiasts

By Leah Nelson on April 27, 2011 - 8:24 am, Posted in Anti-Immigrant, Anti-Latino, Extremist Crime, Neo-Nazi

Arizona nativist Laine Lawless, chief of the vigilante group Border Guardians, pitched a fit in 2006 after the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Report published the contents of an E-mail she apparently sent to a high-ranking member of the neo-Nazi National Socialist Movement (NSM) to urge a campaign of violence and harassment against Latino immigrants.

“Steal the money from any illegal walking to the bank or check cashing place. … Discourage Spanish-speaking children from going to school,” the E-mail to “SS Commander” Mark Martin of the NSM’s western Ohio chapter said. “Be creative. … Make every illegal alien feel the heat of being a person without status.”

Lawless, who refused to comment prior to the publication of the Report’s 2006 article – even after being sent copies of the E-mail over her signature to Martin – later told the media that the message was fabricated. In a long rant on her blog, she declared that the SPLC is part of an “essentially EVIL … Communist conspiracy” intent on destroying America. She was no neo-Nazi or racist, she insisted.

So it was particularly enlightening to learn that she took some time out from immigrant-bashing last Thursday to go to a speech by British writer David Irving in Phoenix. Irving, author of an infamous and ahistorical Hitler apologia called Hitler’s War and some 20 similar books, has cultivated a reputation as the world’s most prominent Holocaust denier. In 2000, at the conclusion of an exhaustive British trial in which he accused a Jewish scholar of libeling him by calling him a Holocaust denier, the judge of the London High Court ruled flatly against him. The judge concluded that Irving “displays a distinctly pro-Nazi and anti-Jewish bias” and is “an active Holocaust denier” who “deliberately misrepresented and manipulated historical evidence.” Later, in 2006, Irving served time in an Austrian prison for denying the existence of gas chambers at Auschwitz. He has been barred from entering Australia, New Zealand and Germany for similar reasons. More recently, he has suggested that the Jews’ best friend in 1930s Germany was Hitler.

Last week’s lecture, titled “The Life and Death of Heinrich Himmler, Hitler’s lieutenant: 44 years in 44 minutes,” was attended by about 15 people including Lawless, reports Stephen Lemons of Feathered Bastard, a blog of the Phoenix New Times newspaper. Other attendees included Jesse Curnow, Arizona coordinator for the white supremacist Nationalist Coalition, Lemons reported.

Lawless’ denials about the NSM E-mail notwithstanding, the Mexican flag-burning nativist is known to be friendly with at least one prominent neo-Nazi. On her blog last October, she praised J.T. Ready — a one-time member of the NSM, founder of numerous armed border vigilante groups, and buddy of immigrant-bashing Arizona State Sen. Russell Pearce — as a “patriot” at risk of being “target[ed] for assassination by DHS [the U.S. Department of Homeland Security] and/or the [Mexican] cartels.”

Lawless, whose group is listed as a hate group by the SPLC, and Ready have something else in common. They may be the last remaining defenders of Minuteman American Defense (MAD) founder Shawna Forde, who was sentenced to death in February for the slayings of Raul Flores and his 9-year-old daughter Brisenia during a May 2009 invasion of their home in Arivaca, Ariz. Lawless defends and promotes Forde on several websites; as well as in an eternally “soon-to-be-released” book about Forde titled Blonde on the Border.

Lawless, who offers no evidence at all to support her contention that Forde is innocent, has convinced virtually no one. On Monday, a Tucson judge added 65 years to Forde’s two death sentences for the attempted first-degree murder of Gina Gonzalez, Flores’ wife and the mother of Brisenia and five counts of burglary, aggravated assault and armed robbery. Gonzalez was wounded, but she managed to fire back, driving Forde and her two accomplices out of her home.

During the first week of Forde’s capital murder trial, the often bizarre Lawless sneaked into the courtroom clad in a wig, sunglasses and dark coat, violating the judge’s order barring her from the courtroom because she was scheduled to appear as a witness for the defense. She protested to the judge that she was a “citizen journalist” entitled to cover the story, but was thrown out of the courtroom anyway.

Lawless’ “patriot” pal J.T. Ready doesn’t bother to protest Forde’s innocence. To him, the double murderer is a hero. “I would like to personally thank Shawna Forde for doing the job the U.S. government won’t do itself. We can all sleep a little better at night knowing that at least one Mex drug trafficker scumbag is gone for good,” he wrote in July 2009. (Forde and her accomplices believed that their victims were drug dealers who would be flush with cash, which turned out not to be the case.) “Too bad we do not have one hundred thousand more Shawna Forde’s [sic] in America. … Instead of getting locks and cold steel bars, Shawna should be presented with the key to the city where she took out the trash.”

  • LaAmericana

    Lawless(ness) and JT Ready, try attempted murder and believe you will be getting that poison lethal injection up your veins as well (remember Shawna Forde has been sentenced to death. All eyes are you folks, domestic terrorists and enemies to all us real good patriotic American citizens.

    I say we round up these folks in AZ and send them to Afghanistan, the Taliban is waiting to recruit these types of parasites.

  • Marisa

    I am white, have achieved senior citizen status, am a Democrat, a Mormon, and I am a native of Arizona (NOT a “nativist”). We have some WEIRD people living here – and Laine Lawless (good surname – it fits!!!) is just one of them. Ms. Lawless, and the rest of her ilk (State Senator Russell Pearce is a good example – he embarrasses the state AND the church we both grew up in) have served to embarrass those of us who have not given up our sanity to extreme, right-wing hate mongers. I will be glad when Laine Lawless’s mouth is shut – as she makes me PUKE every time I look a her.

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    Aww Todd, is the SPLC being too mean to those poor misunderstood Nazis?

  • Todd

    Yet another nazi/white supramecist story.

  • Jerry McDaniels

    Leah,
    You may want to check out who had listed Laine Lawless as a witness. Somehow I remember being astonished to find that it was the prosecution that listed her as a witness. Would be interested, if true, in the response you get from Prosecution as to why they listed Laine Lawless as a Witness.
    Also, what name did Laine Lawless use in her 2006 e-mail.??
    Thanks for your coverage.

  • Jonas Rand

    “Make every illegal alien feel the heat of being a person without status.”

    As if the dehumanizing shite that immigrants go through doesn’t already make them feel that way. And the reference to Spanish-speaking children makes it clear that by “illegal alien”, she meant immigrants from Latin American countries (if not specifically Mexicans).

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    ” “I would like to personally thank Shawna Forde for doing the job the U.S. government won’t do itself. We can all sleep a little better at night knowing that at least one Mex drug trafficker scumbag is gone for good,”

    Really JT? You want summary execution for a crime which is a federal misdemeanor? And this is going to improve America…how, exactly? Oh yeah the racial make-up right; you’re such a prize just because you’re white. Well NSM Lieutenant-Sergeant General Ready, if America had more white men like you, half the country would die from starvation.

    And if he is talking about drug dealers, it may disappoint him to find out that most drug dealers are white, and a drug dealer is a drug dealer regardless of his or her ethnicity.

  • Sam Molloy

    These people have, like, issues.