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.
At least two of the groups that Topete also said were sending representatives to Freedompalooza, the third such festival in as many years, insisted they would not speak at the gathering despite Topete’s claims. Stewart Rhodes, leader of the Oath Keepers, a conspiracy-minded group that is part of the Patriot movement, told Hatewatch today that his officials were not going to Freedompalooza and, having learned recently of Topete’s denial of the Holocaust, would never do so. In fact, Oath Keepers’ Pennsylvania representative, Mike Williams, wrote Topete Friday asking that the Oath Keepers’ name be removed from the Freedompalooza event. The Oath Keepers were still listed as participating on Topete’s website today.
“[W]e will be alerting our PA members to the holocaust denial views of the organizer, and encouraging them not to attend,” Rhodes wrote to Hatewatch, adding that Topete had confirmed his Holocaust denial views to the Oath Keepers.
Rhodes also said that an allied Patriot group, Gun Owners of America (GOA), had withdrawn a promise by its leader, Larry Pratt, to speak. He cited a GOA Web post that denounced Topete’s Holocaust denial.
Freedompalooza 2013 has been promoted heavily in recent days by The American Free Press, a newspaper run by long-time anti-Semite Willis Carto. The paper also mentioned the supposed appearances of the Oath Keepers, GOA, and McKinney and Trafficant. The Free Press' enthusiasm is likely related to the fact that Traficant, who served seven years in federal prison for bribery, racketeering and tax evasion, has since his release in 2009 been writing for that newspaper. For his part, Topete’s interest in McKinney probably relates to McKinney’s penchant for antigovernment conspiracy theories and her alleged anti-Semitism. Among other things, McKinney was photographed in 2009 posing with two infamous anti-Semites at a London conference on the Gaza Strip.
Paul Topete is no mainstream critic of Israel. In the last few months, he’s left a trail of viciously anti-Semitic remarks on his Facebook page.
In April, he wrote that “Bolshevik joos [Jews]” were behind 9/11 (“controlled demolitions”) and “genocidal psychopathic joos … want to kill 100 million plus” Americans. “THEY ARE THE ENEMY, THEY HAVE THROWN DOWN THE GAUNTLET… . For once in your f------ lives, turn off the dam joo toob [sic], get your head out of the joo run sports and become an American for 15 minutes. Thats [sic] all it would take to remove these scumbags once and for all. Across every city, we know where all these cockroaches reside. … REMEMBER THEY WANT YOU DEAD. … They are the ones behind EVERY F------ FALSE FLAG.”
In May, Topete suggested using nuclear bombs on Israel (“Is it time to NUKE Israhell yet?”), followed by a series of claims saying the Israelis had caused tsunamis in Japan and Indonesia and had used nuclear bombs against Syria, Bali and Fukushima, the Japanese reactor that went through a 2011 nuclear meltdown. In April, he said that cancer was “created, cultured and nourished” by Jews who then used vaccinations to infect the population with “this joo created disease.” Later that month, he offered up a link to a report from The Free American, a violently anti-Semitic website, denying the existence of the Nazi Holocaust in World War II.
Freedompalooza 2013 is slated to be held on property owned by Johnny Mac's American Grill in Kintnersville, Pa., according to its organizers.