The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.
Editor’s Note: On Tuesday, June 25, Stewart Rhodes, head of the Oath Keepers, wrote Hatewatch to say that he had spoken to another scheduled speaker at Freedompalooza 2013, Delaware Sheriff Jeff Christopher. Rhodes said Christopher cancelled his appearance after learning of its organizer’s Holocaust denial views.
The organizer of the upcoming Freedompalooza 2013, “an annual festival committed to the fight for freedom” and “restoring our Republic,” is a man who says the Nazi Holocaust never occurred, that “Bolshevik” Jews should be removed from American cities, and that it might be time to drop a nuclear bomb on Israel.
But that hasn’t stopped Paul Topete, lead singer of a band called Pokerface, from claiming a long array of speakers at his July 4-6 event in Kintnersville, Pa., including former members of Congress Cynthia McKinney of Georgia and James Traficant of Ohio. Neither McKinney nor Traficant could be reached, though both have trafficked in the kinds of conspiracy theories that are popular in the antigovernment “Patriot” movement of which Topete is a part. ( continue to full post… )
In the wake of White House moves to implement some gun control by using executive orders, the antigovernment “Patriot” right has exploded with fury, claiming that virtually any regulation amounts to an infringement of the Constitution or even a prelude to a national “gun grab” by federal forces hoping to disarm citizens once and for all.
These and similar claims have come from nearly every corner of the radical right. But one of the most noteworthy recent responses comes from the Oath Keepers, a group of conspiracy-minded current and former members of law enforcement and the military who believe a tyrannical and gun-hating “New World Order” is planned by global elites. Vowing to fight any legislation to ban “assault weapons,” the Oath Keepers have announced rallies at state houses across the nation on Friday with the aim of sending a message to lawmakers that the “they will be held accountable if they choose to dishonor” their oath to the Constitution. ( continue to full post… )
The past few weeks have seen a plethora of over-the-top reactions and a flurry of right-wing freak-outs over new proposals regarding gun control in the wake of the horrific shooting deaths at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., in which a lone gunman armed with an semi-automatic rifle shot and killed 20 children and seven adults, including himself.
One of the reactions is the organization of Gun Appreciation Day (GAD), an event scheduled for tomorrow and organized by Political Media, which calls itself a “Republican New Media consulting firm.” GAD has been touted in conservative media outlets and across the extreme-right blogosphere, encouraging supporters to attend local gun shows and go to local shooting ranges and gun stores in support of the Second Amendment. The website wants to “put the fear of God” into politicians who “infringe” on the Second Amendment and hopes that you’ll donate money to help combat “Big Media and the liberals’ dirty tricks.” ( continue to full post… )
With last weekend’s mass killing at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin fresh in the public’s memory, the usual players on the conspiracy scene have begun crafting wild, alternative narratives of what really happened.
The theory has started to spread that the attack was orchestrated by some dark sector of the federal government in order to justify rolling back gun rights. This idea, of course, has long been used by the antigovernment right to explain acts of domestic terrorism: Oklahoma City, for example, and even the jihadist attack on the Twin Towers in 2001. The Wisconsin version has appeared on dozens of right-wing blogs and appears to be gaining traction.
Infowars, the conspiracist website maintained by Alex Jones, seems to have led the charge. In an article published earlier this week after neo-Nazi Wade Michael Page killed six people in Oak Creek, Wis., writer Kurt Nimmo accused the federal government – and, ludicrously, the Southern Poverty Law Center – of somehow being tied to the shootings. The proof? Only dubious claims pulled from Page’s life story. The alleged skinhead gunman was in a psychological operations unit in the Army during the 1990s. ( continue to full post… )
Attention, students and lovers of learning: If you’ve been seeking an education with a “moral and nationalist perspective,” unencumbered by government censorship and “political correctness,” your search is finally over. The Roger Sherman Institute (RSI), a new and unusual institute of higher learning that presents a “‘spin’ on America” that “is distinctly nationalist, patriotic, biblical, and constitutional,” this week marked its “inaugural semester,” opening its virtual doors to aspiring scholars everywhere.
Founded in 2012 by an encyclopedia salesman, a movie stuntman, and a building inspector, RSI doesn’t teach “theoretical physics, double-entry accounting, or Freudian voodoo.” Instead, it offers courses on conspiracy theories, farm science and aquaculture, and “the sociotheosphere, where you can learn about historical battles between dominant religions and government.”
RSI was named after Roger Sherman, a Connecticut lawyer who served in the U.S. Senate in the 1790s and signed both the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution. According to the school’s website, Sherman was “a man of impeccable moral fibre” with an “absolute hatred of paper money,” who “walked to the beat of a vastly different drummer than those who occupy modern Wall Street and Washington, D.C.” ( continue to full post… )
LeRoy M. Schweitzer, the one-time leader of the Montana Freeman and a dean in the antigovernment “Patriot” movement, has died of apparent natural causes in the federal “Supermax” prison in Florence, Colo. The 73-year-old Schweitzer was serving a 22-year federal prison sentence related to crimes prosecuted after the longest police-standoff siege in U.S. history.
In 1996, he led a heavily armed antigovernment group called the Montana Freemen before he was arrested that March 25 in an FBI ruse on a piece of land he called “Justus Township.” His arrest prompted 16 other members of the Freeman group, who believed the government had no authority over them, to barricade themselves in a 960-acre ranch compound in Jordan, Mont. They held FBI agents at bay for 81 days before finally surrendering without firing a shot. ( continue to full post… )
RENO, Nev. — Organizations in the conservative “liberty” and “freedom” movements seem to be sorting out bed partners, and there was new evidence of that at the Liberty Political Action Conference (LPAC) held here over the weekend.
For the ultra-conservative and conspiracy-oriented John Birch Society (JBS), which co-sponsored LPAC 2011, the timing of the event couldn’t have been worse. Word surfaced just before the Reno conference that JBS wouldn’t be invited back to next year’s rival Conservative Political Action Conference, which is one of the country’s most important annual gatherings of the political right. ( continue to full post… )
We Are Change (WAC) is an organization that likes to quote Martin Luther King Jr., Einstein, Gandhi and others talking about the evils of war. It describes itself as a nonviolent “citizens based grassroots peace and social justice movement” and reacted angrily this year when the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) described it as part of the antigovernment “Patriot” movement, which is obsessed with alleged government conspiracies. Its leader, Luke Rudkowski, complained at the time that the SPLC said nothing of WAC’s alleged “raising money for 9/11 first responders, toy drives during the holidays, clothing drives and feeding the homeless.”
But WAC’s Los Angeles chieftain, at least, may not be quite the pacifistic type that Rudkowski likes to showcase. This past May, Bruno Ernst Bruhwiler was charged with four criminal counts related to making threats, according to the Los Angeles Superior Court’s website. Three of the counts were for making threats (Rudkowski says that Bruhwiler was charged with making “terroristic” threats), including against an “executive officer” (apparently a law enforcement or court official) carrying out his duties. The fourth count is for “willful disobedience” of a court order. ( continue to full post… )
The Forces of Freedom are ready for war.
Last week, about 100 self-described “Patriots” and “strict Constitutionalists” gathered in a hotel ballroom in Valley Forge, Pa., for the American Policy Center’s Freedom Action National Conference. United by rage at a federal government they believe is undermining state sovereignty in collusion with the “New World Order,” they are determined to take back the country for the people.
The conference, organized by APC founder and president Tom DeWeese, featured a parade of Patriot movement heroes. Each outlined a theory on the roots of the alleged sovereignty crisis, offered a solution, and encouraged the audience to take action before time ran out.
Most proposed nominally peaceful options such as jury nullification, local government coordination, or outreach through alternative media. But none dismissed the possibility – even the probability – of violence. ( continue to full post… )
Sharpen your pencil and summon your muse, it’s time for the annual “Redneck Poetry Contest.”
That’s right. The call has gone out for the best redneck rhymin’ around. And according to the entry form received by the Hatewatch staff, the winning poet will take home a “brand new wood-fired deep-fry cooker suitable for everything from turkeys to [T]winkies.”
But before you start, a word of warning: If last year’s winner is any indication, the competition will be stiff. That charming entry pulled off the hat trick by smearing blacks and Latinos and threatening castration — an incredible feat achieved in only 28 words. Here’s the winning entry:
“In Texas we’re flooded with Beaners
“That’re no good even for cleaners
“They’re nothin’ but lackies
“And worse than the blackies
“So now we cut off their wieners!”
The entry form offers little information about the organizer. But it asks would-be poets to send their entries to one Bob Livingston at P.O. Box 3623, Hueytown, Ala., 35023. That address provides an interesting glimpse of the possible organizer and some of the favorite conspiracy theories and topics of the antigovernment “Patriot” movement. The listed post office box is also offered as a means to contact Personal Liberty Digest, a website where someone identified as Bob Livingston has warned that vaccines are useless and dangerous and has written about the Bilderberg Group, a favorite target for the Patriot movement and other far-right conspiracy theorists.
“These are the New World Order folks,” Liberty Digest’s Livingston writes. ( continue to full post… )