The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.
Militia members and other antigovernment “Patriot” types have a new social network where they can share and discuss the latest conspiracy theories about the looming “New World Order” and its enablers.
The site, which calls itself the “Social Network of the Revolution,” is run by Patriot leader Gary Franchi, producer of “Camp FEMA,” a film that promotes the FEMA camp conspiracy theory. The site, named RTR, apparently stands for Restore the Republic, since Franchi heads a Patriot group and website with that name.
It’s just been about a month since Franchi posted a welcome message on RTR, but already more than 30,000 people have signed up. Only 12, however, have responded to a recent fundraising email, according to the site. ( continue to full post… )
Pamela Geller, one of America’s most rabid Islamophobes and a woman who is scheduled to testify today to the Alaska House of Representatives, thinks people like her should be able to decide what news people like you get to see. And she doesn’t think you can handle news presented by Middle East-based Al Jazeera English.
Geller, writing for the right-wing Daily Caller website Saturday, offered her insight on the constitutional rights and privileges of foreign media in the U.S. market. “Al Jazeera is planning to expand into the United States, and the chattering classes are treating it as a simple free speech matter,” Geller wrote.
“Let’s not let the Islamic supremacists once again invoke the freedom of speech to kill our freedom of speech,” Geller continued. “The ruse of using freedom of speech to allow propaganda broadcasts over our airways is another stealth attack on the United States of America. The issue of the expansion of Al Jazeera into the United States can only be likened to an expansion of [Nazi propagandist Joseph] Goebbels’s media network into the U.S. at the height of World War II.”
To protect freedom of speech, in other words, Geller bizarrely suggests America should suppress certain speech and control the media. Because, after all, Al Jazeera, whose coverage of the recent uprisings in the Arab world was widely lauded because it was so much more comprehensive than that of other media, is just like the Nazis.
Remarkably, given her radical views, Geller is set to testify today on behalf of Alaska’s House Bill 88, yet another proposed state law meant to stop the purported spread of Shariah, or Islamic religious, law. The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has asked the Alaska House to rescind its invitation to Geller, citing her history of hateful commentary against Muslims. Geller quickly denounced CAIR’s request, accusing it of “using freedom of speech to kill freedom of speech” — essentially recycling the same charge she levied against Al Jazeera. ( continue to full post… )
The U.S. government wants ownership of $7 million worth of coins manufactured and sold by Bernard von NotHaus, a 67-year-old antigovernment icon who became a “high priest” in his own marijuana-smoking church.
A federal jury in Statesville, N.C., decided on March 18 that the “Liberty Dollars” and other silver, gold and copper coins manufactured in North Idaho and sold throughout the United States by von NotHaus and his sales team violated federal laws. Von NotHaus, the founder of the National Organization for the Repeal of the Federal Reserve Act (NORFED), was convicted on charges of conspiracy and two counterfeiting-related charges.
No sentencing date has been set for von NotHaus, who could get up to 15 years in prison. Three other co-defendants are still awaiting a separate trial.
The Liberty Dollars are still a hit with some coin collectors without a political or philosophical agenda. But most buyers, it appears, came from the ranks of anti-tax or radical “sovereign citizen” movements. The common denominator: challenging the authority of the federal government to tax and regulate, along with the notion that the Federal Reserve is controlled by private Jewish bankers. ( continue to full post… )
The Anchorage Daily News is reporting this morning that five people in the Fairbanks area were arrested yesterday on charges connected with a plot to kidnap or kill state troopers and a Fairbanks judge. They are accused of conspiring to commit murder, kidnapping, and arson, as well as weapons misconduct, hindering prosecution and tampering with evidence. One of those arrested, Francis “Schaeffer” Cox, 26, is the head of the Alaska Peacemakers Militia, which the Southern Poverty Law Center lists as an antigovernment “Patriot” group.
The four others arrested with Cox are Lonnie Vernon, Karen Vernon, Coleman Barney and Michael Anderson. The announcement of these arrests as well as the arrest on Wednesday of a white supremacist suspect in the attempted bombing of a Martin Luther King Day parade, are another reminder, in the wake of hearings held yesterday by Rep. Peter King that specifically focused on Islamic-inspired terrorism, that domestic terrorist groups can be just as dangerous.
Cox and his compatriots had allegedly already begun planning their activities, according to a statement released by the Alaska State Troopers. The troopers’ investigation showed that “extensive surveillance on troopers in the Fairbanks area had occurred, specifically on the locations of the homes for two Alaska state troopers.” The statement also said that, “Cox et. al. had acquired a large cache of weapons in order to carry out attacks against their targeted victims. Some of the weapons known to be in the cache are prohibited by state or federal law.” ( continue to full post… )
Editor’s Note: The Southern Poverty Law Center is today releasing its annual count of groups on the American radical right and analysis. What follows is the main essay from the new issue of the Intelligence Report, the SPLC’s investigative magazine. In the story, you’ll find links to our new hate group map and additional lists of antigovernment “Patriot” groups and nativist vigilante organizations. The issue also contains my editorial and stories on Cliff Kincaid, a homophobic propagandist at the far-right Accuracy in Media group; the adoption of an Oklahoma law forbidding the use of Shariah law; a racist group’s funding of two Mississippi private academies; a white supremacist’s new novel targeting the SPLC; the National Center for Constitutional Studies and its extremist version of American history; candidates with extreme-right ideas who ran in last year’s elections; an interview with a former “esoteric Nazi,” and more. The new issue’s table of contents is here.
For the second year in a row, the radical right in America expanded explosively in 2010, driven by resentment over the changing racial demographics of the country, frustration over the government’s handling of the economy, and the mainstreaming of conspiracy theories and other demonizing propaganda aimed at various minorities. For many on the radical right, anger is focusing on President Obama, who is seen as embodying everything that’s wrong with the country.
Hate groups topped 1,000 for the first time since the Southern Poverty Law Center began counting such groups in the 1980s. Anti-immigrant vigilante groups, despite having some of the political wind taken out of their sails by the adoption of hard-line anti-immigration laws around the country, continued to rise slowly. But by far the most dramatic growth came in the antigovernment “Patriot” movement — conspiracy-minded organizations that see the federal government as their primary enemy — which gained more than 300 new groups, a jump of over 60%.
Taken together, these three strands of the radical right — the hatemongers, the nativists and the antigovernment zealots — increased from 1,753 groups in 2009 to 2,145 in 2010, a 22% rise. That followed a 2008-2009 increase of 40%. ( continue to full post… )
World Net Daily (WND) is generally known for its right-wing and conspiracy-oriented bent. However, along with its long-time support for birther arguments and dark warnings about the Federal Reserve, the site also is thick with hard-line anti-gay propagandizing. In November 2010, for example, WND released an edition of its magazine devoted entirely to “America’s Gay Obsession.” It included articles by long-time anti-gay propagandists like Peter LaBarbera, who directs the hate group Americans for Truth about Homosexuality and was recently heard fretting about gay TSA agents accosting people in security lines. But that’s par for the course for an online publication that once ran a six-part series on how soy products cause homosexuality.
Written by Kevin Abrams and anti-gay activist Scott Lively, whose Abiding Truth Ministries is an SPLC-designated hate group, the book claims that the Nazi Party was full of homosexual men who largely orchestrated the Holocaust. In fact, according to the book’s authors, “the Nazi party was entirely controlled by militaristic male homosexuals throughout its short history.” Furthermore, Lively and Abrams argue, persecution of homosexuals during Nazi Germany is largely a myth. ( continue to full post… )
Is Jared Lee Loughner, the alleged mass murderer who shot U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona, a right-wing extremist?
It’s hard to say. When you look at the Internet material he purportedly produced, the first impression you get is that the 22-year-old now in custody for the shooting of 20 people in Tucson was completely out of his mind, or at least mildly deranged. His writings will be virtually impossible for most people to understand, what with his runs of unexplained numbers, his fondness for weird syllogisms, his mysterious references and his apparent semi-literacy.
That said, there are some clues.
At one point, Loughner refers disparagingly to “currency that’s not backed by gold or silver.” The idea that silver and gold are the only “constitutional” money is widespread in the antigovernment “Patriot” movement that produced so much violence in the 1990s. It’s linked to the core Patriot theory that the Federal Reserve is actually a private corporation run for the benefit of unnamed international bankers. So-called Patriots say paper money — what they refer to with a sneer as “Federal Reserve notes” — is not lawful. ( continue to full post… )
Last Thursday morning, the contents of the Fall 2010 issue of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Report were posted online at splcenter.org. By four o’clock that afternoon, an online magazine called The New American had responded with a critical appraisal of the issue’s feature exploring 10 popular conspiracy theories animating the antigovernment “Patriot” movement. Clearly, The New American is a publication that takes conspiracy theories and their critics seriously.
When most people think about Bill Gates, what comes to mind is his great technological success and his resulting great wealth. Many also have warm feelings toward him because of the decision by Gates and his wife to donate the bulk of their multibillion-dollar estate to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, whose slogan is “all lives have equal value.” The foundation has devoted itself to improving the health and education of children around the globe.
But for radio host Alex Jones, the conspiracy-monger-in-chief of the antigovernment “Patriot” movement, that is all complete malarkey. What the Gateses are really up to, Jones claims, is using their vaccines to sterilize and depopulate the world — a tactic that is part of a grand conspiracy by the global elite to seize control of just about everything.
Why is Jones suddenly so interested in Gates and his foundation’s work? In February, Gates gave a presentation about global warming and the impact humans have on carbon dioxide (CO2) production to the annual TED conference. TED is a small nonprofit that holds annual events that bring together experts in technology, entertainment and design. At the conference, Gates spoke hopefully about the impact of vaccines in the developing world, suggesting that poor families will not feel compelled to have as many children if more of their children are able to survive to adulthood, a view that many population specialists agree with. This would be beneficial in another way, Gates pointed out, because fewer people would ultimately mean lower CO2 emissions.
But that’s not what Alex Jones heard. During a March 2 radio segment in which Jones called Gates “a huge eugenicist” (eugenics is the discredited pseudo-science of creating a better human race through selective breeding), Jones alleged that Gates is part of a massive globalist conspiracy that plans to establish a “scientific dictatorship to control [Americans].” Gates’ aim in promoting vaccines, for Jones, has nothing to do with child health. It is a massive plan for sterilizing the population. ( continue to full post… )
The last couple of years have been boom times for the far right’s distinctive rhetoric of dispossession. From backwoods militias who believe foreign troops are training on U.S. soil to take away their constitutional rights, to suburban Tea Party weekend warriors who heatedly promise to “take the country back” from their perceived demonic Democratic overlords, America is abuzz with groups and individuals claiming to represent and defend the “true” republican ideals upon which they believe this country was founded.
Of course, not all of these groups and individuals have the firmest grasp on American history. Take, for example, the website RebelRepublic.us, one of many Internet pages mounted by members of the antigovernment “Patriot” movement since the election of Barack Obama.
Like many of their peers, the activists behind Rebel Republic — which bills itself as the “Voice of the Patriot Movement” — aim to “promote a return to early Republic ideals.” It is curious, then, that the site’s agenda includes a promise to “[d]rive a change in voting laws to allow only US Citizens that meet at least one of the following criteria the opportunity to vote: they pay taxes, have served or are serving in the U.S. military, and/or own land in the U.S.” In another post on the subject of “voting reform,” the site maintains: “This country is built on the fundamental premise that property is to be protected from the government and other raiders. It only makes sense that those that have a vested interest in maintaining and protecting that property should have a direct say in how government intervenes.”
Forget the fact that anyone who buys a carton of milk “pays taxes”—we were more struck by the bit about “owning land.” Why stop there—should we also bring back feudal estates and the law of primogeniture?
We were curious to know if Rebel Republic really thinks bringing back property qualifications for voting represents a return to “early Republic ideals.” The expansion of the franchise that took place in America during the late 1780s and 90s — limited though it was to white males — was rightly viewed by the Founders, particularly Thomas Jefferson, as the very fulfillment of that republican ideal, i.e., the self-government of free men. The only early Americans who worried about the democratizing of political power were arch-Federalists, elitist in style and politics, who also favored a strong central government at the expense of states’ rights. Hardly the kind of people you’d expect to find sites like Rebel Republic making common cause with. ( continue to full post… )