Patriots Gather for Media Bypass Anniversary Celebration in Evansville, Ind.
EVANSVILLE, Ind. -- When fifty people gathered in late May to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of Media Bypass, the magazine darling of the antigovernment "Patriot" movement, the event was mostly business as usual in the world of extremism — with one notable exception.
Held in a small conference room at Evansville's Airport Marriott, the three-day "Convention & Expo" was hosted by Chris Temple and Paul Hall, the new owners of Media Bypass. Both Hall and Temple are well-known adherents of Christian Identity, a racist and anti-Semitic religion that teaches Jews are the result of a union between Eve and Satan.
The convention mirrored the editorial bent of their magazine. Speakers railed against Jews and the Internal Revenue Service, and elaborated conspiracy theories "explaining" the Sept. 11 and Oklahoma City terrorist attacks. Vendors peddled the David Duke Report and pamphlets promoting Christian Identity. Musical diversion was provided by a home-schooling family band called Heritage, performing tunes from the Revolutionary War and the "War Between the States."
But there was one surprise in store. Joining the extremists celebrating Media Bypass was John Krull, executive director of the Indiana Civil Liberties Union (ICLU), the state chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union.
Krull was warmly introduced by Temple, who formerly edited the Citizens Informer, the newsletter of the white-supremacist Council of Conservative Citizens. Temple told his fellow extremists that he, Krull and ICLU board member Mark Miller had developed a friendly relationship, meeting together frequently for more than a year. What brought them together, he said, were the threats to civil liberties represented by the USA Patriot Act, which many on the extremist right have blamed for a spate of arrests and raids on white-nationalist leaders in the past year.
Reciprocating Temple's warm sentiments, Krull said that their relationship reminded him of the old saw about "porcupines making love." He added, "the porcupines do assure me that the final effect is worth the effort."
Krull praised Media Bypass, which had recently published two of his essays about the Patriot Act, as "a powerful voice of freedom during this time of trouble." He then compared the magazine to his own organization. Media Bypass, Krull said, is "making the case for freedom and for our constitutional birthrights." That, he said, "has been the ACLU's job and I'm happy to say that it is also Media Bypass' job."
In the last year, Media Bypass has published stories by several leading anti-Semitic ideologues and even Kevin Alfred Strom, a neo-Nazi leader who fulminated in his story about Jews, blacks and how "the results of racial mixing" are "poverty, filth, social conflict and political malaise."