From SPLC Intelligence Report, Summer 2012, Issue Number: 146
At the same time, there has been explosive growth in several sectors of the radical right, especially in the last few years, much of it driven by anger over the diminishing white majority (the Census Bureau has predicted that non-Hispanic whites will fall to less than 50% of the population by 2050) and the severe dislocations caused by a still-ailing economy.
An anti-Muslim movement, almost entirely ginned up by political opportunists and hard-line Islamophobes, has grown enormously since taking off in 2010, when reported anti-Muslim hate crimes went up by 50%. During the same time frame, a number of religious-right anti-gay groups, enraged and on the defensive as swelling majorities of Americans drop their opposition to same-sex marriage and other LGBT rights, have grown extraordinarily vicious in their propaganda. Most dramatically, so-called “Patriot” groups — which, unlike most hate groups, see the federal government as their primary enemy — have grown explosively in just the last three years, going from 149 groups in 2008 to 1,274 last year.
As a result of all these developments and others, a new crop of leaders has come to the fore. Some are longtime activists of the radical right, but others have become active only in recent years. What follows is an alphabetized series of short profiles of key men and women activists of the radical right — 30 to watch.
Location: Hendersonville, Tenn. Ideology White Nationalist
It’s not often that open white supremacists are joined and applauded by a retired professor from a major university, a former fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science no less. But Virginia Deane Abernethy is a now a full-fledged professor of hate. Abernethy, a professor emerita of psychiatry and anthropology at Vanderbilt University, showed her leanings early on, cooking up a “fertility opportunity hypothesis” that predicts that Mexican Americans will have more children than native-born whites in this country and then suggesting that “European-Americans should rapidly increase family size in order to avoid minority status.” After that, Abernethy’s slide into full-throated extremism rapidly accelerated. Born in Cuba, raised in Argentina and New York, and educated at Vanderbilt and Harvard, Abernethy in the late 1990s became the editorial advisor of the Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC), a hate group that has referred to black people as a “retrograde species of humanity.” At the same time, Abernethy, who edited the academic journal Population and Environment for a decade, worked tirelessly to suggest that non-white immigration needed to be stopped for environmental reasons. At various points, she was on the boards of the Carrying Capacity Network and Population-Environment Balance, both nativist organizations. In 2004, Abernethy became the head of the national advisory committee to Protect Arizona Now, a group that was pushing a punishing anti-immigrant referendum. Even though Abernethy frankly identified herself to one newspaper reporter as a white “separatist” and she was denounced editorially across the state for her ties to the CCC, the referendum passed handily. The same year, she gave a speech honoring Kevin MacDonald (see profile below), an infamous anti-Semitic professor at California State University, Long Beach.
Abernethy went on to join the board of The Occidental Quarterly, a racist and anti-Semitic journal, and to post regularly to VDARE.com, a racist nativist website named after Virginia Dare, the first English child born in America. In 2010, Abernethy heartily endorsed as a “well-researched page-turner” a white supremacist potboiler of a novel, Kyle Bristow’s White Apocalypse, that among other things enthusiastically depicted the assassination of the editor of this magazine, albeit under a fictional name. But it was in June 2011 when Abernethy truly crossed the Rubicon of hate, joining the board of the American Third Position, a group originally started by neo-Nazi skinheads whose leader, California corporate lawyer William D. Johnson, has sought a constitutional amendment to deport any American with an “ascertainable trace of Negro blood.” The group, which may be the most important hate group in America at the moment, also includes as principals MacDonald; James Edwards, host of the white supremacist “Political Cesspool” radio show; Don Wassal, publisher of the racist Nationalist Times; and Jamie Kelso, who was for many years the chief aide of former Klan leader David Duke.
Location: Kila, Mont. Ideology Patriot Movement
After decades of trying to insert his distinctive brand of Christian fundamentalism into mainstream politics, Chuck Baldwin appears to have given up trying to infiltrate Capitol Hill and moved instead into the wilds.
In late 2010, a decade after declaring the Bush-Cheney GOP ticket too liberal, Baldwin and 18 members of his extended family moved to Montana’s Flathead Valley, an area that has seen an explosive increase in antigovernment “Patriot” rhetoric. He left behind a church he had led for 30-plus years to set off on his brave new mission, one he described graphically to those he left behind.
“We are going [to Montana] to fight!” Baldwin wrote in a Sept. 15, 2010, letter announcing his move to the congregants of his Pensacola, Fla., church. “The Mountain States just might become The Alamo of the twenty-first century, with, hopefully much better results. But if not, I would rather die fighting for Freedom with liberty-loving patriots by my side than be shuttled off to some FEMA camp.” Baldwin was referring to a core Patriot belief that the federal government has secretly constructed concentration camps meant for Americans.
Besides leading a new congregation in Kalispell that includes well-known white supremacists Randy Weaver and April Gaede, Baldwin hosts a daily one-hour radio program, “Chuck Baldwin Live.” He also is a prolific writer, penning regular columns that are archived on his website and at VDARE.com, a racist website known for bashing immigrants. He has condemned Islam as a “bloody, murderous religion” and referred to Martin Luther King Jr. as an apostate. He sympathizes with Joseph Stack, the tax protester who flew a plane into an IRS office building in 2010, killing himself and an IRS employee. The South, he insists, “was right.”
Amid all this, Baldwin has remained heavily involved in his quixotic political enterprises. Last year, he made his latest bid on the far-right Constitution Party ticket, this time for lieutenant governor of his new state. But early this year, within months of declaring his candidacy, he announced that he was leaving the race because he had
Politics may come and go for Baldwin. But out in Montana, far away from the “Orwellian machine” of the federal government, the rage — and paranoia — just keep on growing.
Location: Aledo, Texas Ideology Anti-Gay
Named by Time in 2005 as one of the nation's "25 Most Influential Evangelicals." David Barton is a self-styled 'historian' who has acted as a key bridge between the mainstream political right and radical-right religious ideology.
Barton, the founder and leader of WallBuilders, is best known for claiming that America was founded as a Christian nation and wrote a book entitled The Myth of Separation. He says the founding fathers intended only Christians to hold office, citing early documents to back that falsehood. Barton has no training as a historian beyond a bachelor’s in religious education from Oral Roberts University.
Barton’s historical revisionism goes beyond that. In a DVD, “Setting the Record Straight: American History in Black and White,” he paints the Democratic Party as responsible for the travails of black Americans, conveniently omitting U.S. history after 1965 and the GOP’s subsequent racist “Southern strategy.”
Barton’s work has been widely debunked by professional historians, who say he violates the central tenet of historical scholarship: that the past must be understood on its own terms and for its own sake.
Mike Lilla, who has taught at the University of Colorado and Columbia University, has criticized the
Even scholars from institutions with strong religious affiliations have decried Barton’s manipulation of American history. Derek H. Davis, director of church-state studies at Baylor University, says Barton’s work contains “a lot of distortions, half-truths, and twisted history.” Randall Stephens, an associate history professor at East Nazarene College, writes that Barton’s “hyper-politicized work” dresses “his founders up in 21st century garb. … In history circles this is what we call ‘bad history.’”
In Barton’s version of history, the founding fathers “already had the entire debate on creation and evolution,” and chose Creationism – despite the fact that Charles Darwin didn’t publish his theory of evolution in The Origin of Species until 1859. Barton also contends the American Revolution was fought to free slaves. “That’s why we said we want to separate from Britain, so we can end slavery.” (In reality, numerous founders were slaveholders; the British Empire outlawed the institution three decades before America did.)
The scary thing about David Barton is that he has the ear of so many. He is a former co-chairman of the Texas Republican Party, a one-time consultant to the Republican National Committee, and an adviser at various times to Newt Gingrich, Michele Bachmann, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback and Mike Huckabee. Last year, Huckabee said he wished all Americans could be
Barton’s interests extend beyond his view of Christianity. He advocates government regulation of homosexuality and has claimed that gay people die “decades earlier” than others and have more than 500 sexual partners apiece in their lifetimes. He cited infamous Islamophobe Robert Spencer in attacking U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, the first Muslim congressman. He opposes immigration reform, saying that God established national borders, and has appeared on the radio show of hard-line nativist William Gheen. At one point, Barton even spoke at an event put on by Pete Peters, a pastor of the anti-Semitic and racist Christian Identity theology (he later said he had no idea that Peters’ group was “part of the Nazi movement”).
In 2010, Barton joined the battle to bowdlerize the Texas social studies curriculum for public schools, supporting efforts to excise Martin Luther King Jr. and 1960s farmworker activist Cesar Chavez from textbooks. As reported by Washington Monthly, Barton said King didn’t deserve to be included for advancing minority rights because “[o]nly majorities can expand political rights.”
In 2012, a new member of Alabama Public Television’s ruling body pushed the network to air a documentary series produced by Barton. Two top executives were fired after determining that Barton’s historically inaccurate videos, which promote his Christian view of the nation’s founding, were inappropriate for public broadcasting. Several members of the Alabama Educational Television Commission quit in protest of the firings.
Groups Stormfront Location: West Palm Beach, FL Other Associated Groups Knights of the Ku Klux Klan Ideology White Nationalist
A former Klan state leader and long-time white supremacist, Don Black is best known for creating Stormfront.org, the first major Internet hate site. While the site remains popular in racist circles today, Black came under criticism in 2008 from other white supremacists for toning down its offensive content and for the claimed renunciation of racism made by his wife, Chloe Black, to a reporter.
In His Own Words
"I remember [the 1950s] quite well, that a lot of people were mad about blacks. They were mad about school integration and black crime… . [B]ut … it was kind of rare to find someone that really, fully understood the Jewish involvement … behind all of this promotion of the destruction of culture and our heritage, the destruction of our schools and our neighborhoods. … [W]ith the Internet — and, I think, with this involvement in the Middle East, American involvement in the Middle East — everything's changed. I mean, we have to calm down people sometimes on Stormfront about the Jews." — Stormfront.org radio, 2008
Criminal History On April 27, 1981, Black and nine other white supremacists were arrested as they prepared to board a yacht stocked with weapons and ammunition to invade the Caribbean island of Dominica and take over its government. Black served three years in federal prison for his role in the invasion plot and for his violation of the Neutrality Act.
In 1987, Black, along with Klan leader David Duke, was reportedly charged with reckless conduct and for illegally blocking a state highway in Forsyth County, Ga., where they had traveled to take advantage of simmering racial tensions.
Background Going back to high school, Don Black has always been one of the more enthusiastic proponents of white power. One of his first forays into the organized movement was in the 1970s, when he volunteered for the late white supremacist J.B. Stoner's unsuccessful run for governor of Georgia. He stayed with the campaign until Stoner's campaign manager, Jerry Ray, the brother of Martin Luther King Jr. assassin James Earl Ray, shot Black in the chest. The shooting apparently stemmed from accusations that Black had broken into Stoner's office to steal a mailing list for the National Socialist White People's Party.
After recovering, Black went on to join the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, the group headed by David Duke in the 1970s. Working on Duke's unsuccessful campaign for Louisiana state Senate, Black won Duke's trust, moving up to become his mentor's right-hand man in addition to his post as Alabama grand dragon, or state leader. When Duke left the group amid allegations that he'd tried to sell its membership list to another Klan group for $35,000, Black took over. Later, in the 1970s, according to The Crusader, a KKK newspaper, Black sponsored marches in defense of Robert Chambliss, who stood accused (and was later convicted) of the 1963 church bombing that killed four black girls in Birmingham, Ala. Not long after, Black got into trouble himself. In 1981, he and nine other white supremacists were arrested as they prepared to board a yacht with which they intended to invade the tiny Caribbean island of Dominica, oust its black-run government, and transform it into a "white state." Black's resulting three-year federal prison sentence was time well spent. He took classes in computer programming that would provide the basis for his future.
Not long after his release, Black launched an unsuccessful campaign for a U.S. Senate seat from Alabama. He wound up marrying Duke's ex-wife, Chloe Hardin, and moving to West Palm Beach, Fla. Once there, he began dabbling with his computer, eventually setting up a dial-up bulletin board service for the radical right. By March 1995, that service evolved into Stormfront.org, the Net's first ever and best-known American hate site.
Black saw clearly that with this new technology, white supremacists might finally bypass the mainstream media and political apparatus, getting their message out to people who otherwise would never hear it. And he realized the importance of the fact that people who now could read about white supremacist ideas in the privacy of their own homes without fear of embarrassment or reproach.
The results have been fairly spectacular. In January 2002, Stormfront had a mere 5,000 members. A year later, membership reached 11,000; and a year after that, in early 2004, it had 23,000. By 2008, membership hit about 133,000 registered users, though the majority were inactive. These numbers don't include the large numbers who simply read Stormfront postings without actually joining up (becoming a member allows one to post messages and also to view personal information posted by other members).
One of Stormfront's main attractions is that it provides forums for so called "white nationalists" to post articles, engage in forum discussions, and share news of upcoming racist events. Below the Stormfront motto, "White Pride World Wide," are links to racially charged news stories like "Mestizo Rapes White Woman in Elevator" and "Negro Man Stabs Elderly Woman, Shoots Detective, Negroes Screaming ‘Police Brutality." Stormfront's various forums can also contain threads like "What do you want done with the Jews?," "Aryan Storm Rising," and "To Hate or Not to Hate." But one thing you won't normally find on Stormfront today, unlike in its early years, are racial slurs. In fact, new members are explicitly warned not to use such language, and also not to post violent threats or anything describing illegal activity. It's not that Stormfront is about moderation. The talk is all about the evils of African Americans, homosexuals, non-white immigrants, and, above all, Jews, who are blamed for most of what's wrong in the world. But Black clearly has modeled his site on some of the tactics used by David Duke, who famously urged his Klan followers to "get out of the cow pasture and into hotel meeting rooms." As Black once told a reporter, "We don't use the ‘nigger, nigger' type of approaches."
Duke and Black have remained close over the years. In 2004, Black was on hand to celebrate the end of Duke's one-and-a-half year federal prison term (for mail fraud and misstating his income taxes) at a New Orleans event put on by Duke's European-American Unity and Rights Organization (EURO). Black signed on to Duke's "New Orleans Protocol," a set of principles "pledging adherents to a pan-European outlook." More recently, Duke has been a regular on Black's Stormfront.org Radio, an Internet radio program that features white supremacists.
In 2008, Black made the news when the Intelligence Report reported that his wife Chloe worked for Emilia Fanjul, wife of sugar baron Jose "Pepe" Fanjul, as an executive assistant. Part of Chloe's duties involved serving as a publicist for Glades Academy, a charter school created by Emilia Fanjul to help poor minority children. Despite having attended an event put on by the white supremacist Council of Conservative Citizens a month earlier, Chloe Black told the Palm Beach Post, "I am not involved with the website [Stormfront] and do not agree with extremist or racially prejudiced views." The Post, based on information supplied by the Southern Poverty Law Center, also reported that Don Black had recently toned down Stormfront, banning many symbols of Nazism that formerly were common on the site, including swastikas and SS lightning bolts, and getting rid of particularly offensive terms, including "nigger." White supremacists were not happy. In racist Web forums, they ripped both Don and Chloe, denouncing them for caring more about money than their beliefs.
The 2008 presidential election gave Stormfront a lift. Don Black boasted on the site he was seeing six times the usual web traffic because of a possible Obama win. "There are a lot of angry White people out there looking for answers," he wrote. "Let's show them. We will not be defeated."
In 2009, the BBC reported that five American right-wing extremists were among 16 individuals banned from entering the United Kingdom for reasons of "fostering extremism or hatred." Black was one of those banned. According to the U.K. Home Office (the lead U.K. government department for immigration and passports), Black was banned for "promoting serious criminal activity and fostering hatred that might lead to inter-community violence in the UK."
Location: Los Angeles, Calif. Ideology Patriot Movement
Michael Boldin is the founder and executive director of the Tenth Amendment Center (TAC), an organization that favors “nullification” of federal laws it considers unconstitutional. Founded in 2007, the TAC is based on an expansive reading of the Tenth Amendment, which says that those “powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
Boldin describes the TAC, which offers model bills and resolutions on its website, as
As a practical matter, however, the TAC is on the political far right, opposing a whole array of federal laws and regulations. It has gained wide support among hard-line libertarians and neo-Confederates who are still angry at the powers the federal government accumulated after the Civil War that allowed it, among other things, to act against segregation, discrimination and other social ills. (In the 1950s, several states tried unsuccessfully to resist desegregation by nullifying federal laws. The courts have consistently rejected nullification as unconstitutional.) The group’s site, in another indication of its politics, rails against centrist Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg as a “dedicated Socialist.”
For the past several years, Boldin has crisscrossed the country, taking the TAC’s nullification message to supporters known as “Tenthers.” Its “Nullify Now!” conferences have been held in cities including Austin, Texas, Jacksonville and Orlando, Fla., and Manchester, N.H.
These conferences are often headlined by prominent figures in the antigovernment “Patriot” movement, which has been growing by leaps and bounds in the last three years. The Austin gathering, for instance, featured Art Thompson of the John Birch Society, which once argued that President Dwight D. Eisenhower was a communist agent, and Stewart Rhodes, head of the conspiracy-minded Oath Keepers, a group that encourages police officers and soldiers to disobey “unconstitutional” orders. Kevin Gutzman, a professor of history at Western Connecticut State University and author of The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Constitution, also spoke.
Thomas E. Woods, a former member of the neo-Confederate hate group League of the South and the author of Nullification: How to Resist Tyranny in the 21st Century, is another constant on the “Nullify Now!” tour.
The TAC’s partner in this endeavor is the Foundation for a Free Society, which espouses the libertarian free-market theories of Murray Rothbard and the Austrian School of Economics. Foundation leader Jason Rink has described the federal government as the primary threat to liberty.
p>In June 2012, Boldin called the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to uphold President Obama’s health care law “an assumption of undelegated powers” showing that “evil is advancing.” He urged “Tenthers” to lobby their state legislatures to nullify it.
Michael L. Brown
Location: Concord, N.C. Ideology Anti-Gay
Michael Brown is not typical of most who push the idea that a cabal of liberal media elites have orchestrated a so-called “homosexual agenda” to indoctrinate children into a lifestyle that makes a mockery of Christian values.
The founder of the FIRE School in Ministry in Concord, N.C., and host of the daily, nationally syndicated talk-radio show “The Line of Fire,” Brown frequently discusses his conversion to Christianity “as a sixteen-year-old, heroin-shooting, LSD-using Jewish rock drummer.” With a doctorate in Near Eastern languages and literatures, he considers himself the world’s “foremost Messianic Jewish apologist” and has taught, he says, at seven theological seminaries.
But in recent years, Brown has ventured beyond seminary walls to take on a new, activist anti-LGBT project, selling himself as an expert speaker on the issue of “cultural revolution.” He has appeared on television and radio talk shows and last year delivered a keynote presentation at the annual conference for the National Association for the Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH), the pre-eminent source of junk science aimed at “curing” gay people.
“Speak now,” he says frequently when discussing homosexuality, “or forever hold your peace.”
Unlike many other voices on the religious right, Brown generally has avoided the kind of slashing rhetoric that often devolves into rank defamation. His work is heavily footnoted and avoids the blanket pronouncements that have gotten others in trouble. But he still can sound conspiratorial.
Brown has also been known to make spurious claims linking homosexuality and pedophilia. In a 2011 essay, he suggested that Jerry Sandusky, the former Penn State assistant football coach who sexually abused a number of children, was a gay man. “Could it be,” Brown asked, “that the [Penn State] sex abuse scandal involved a man allegedly abusing boys, meaning that the acts were homosexual in nature?”
Researchers, however, established long ago that chronic pedophiles like Sandusky have no sexual interest in any adult and can’t be considered homosexual or heterosexual. The American Psychological Association, contrary to Brown’s insinuations, has officially concluded
Kevin J. DeAnna
Location:Arlington, VA. Ideology White Nationalist
Under normal circumstances, there’s something endearing about youthful idealism. But when it comes to Kevin DeAnna, founder and recently departed head of the ultraconservative student group Youth for Western Civilization (YWC), normal circumstances do not apply.
YWC made its first public splash as a co-sponsor of 2009’s Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), the right wing’s most important annual shindig, where in 2011 DeAnna moderated a discussion on immigration. That year, nativist panelist and former congressman Tom Tancredo, who is YWC’s honorary chairman, called multiculturalism “the dagger pointed at the heart of Western civilization.” DeAnna matched him, saying he opposed immigration even if it’s good for the economy “because it’s about our dispossession as a people.”
Tancredo’s not the worst of DeAnna’s connections. In 2011, Jared Taylor (see profile below), editor of the racist journal American Renaissance, wrote a fundraising letter for DeAnna’s YWC in which he described DeAnna as
DeAnna had flirted with hard-right politics for years before founding YWC, whose purpose is to defend “Western culture” from the perils of “radical multiculturalism,” in 2006. As an undergraduate at Virginia’s College of William and Mary, he ran a conservative student paper notorious for its sneering treatment of women. There, he worked closely with Marcus Epstein, who later described himself as YWC’s vice president. In 2007, while drunkenly walking through the streets of Washington, D.C., Epstein saw a black woman walking by, called her a “nigger,” and tried to physically attack her. When the incident became public two years later, YWC strove to put a distance between itself and its erstwhile associate.
DeAnna retained his position at the head of YWC until February 2012, when he issued a statement saying that he was leaving for personal and professional reasons. Today, he is a faculty member of the Leadership Institute, a well-funded organization that claims to have trained close to 100,000 “future conservative leaders” — people like Bush adviser Karl Rove and religious activist Ralph Reed — and was an early supporter of both DeAnna and his YWC.
Remarkably, DeAnna has now been named “marketing coordinator” for WorldNetDaily (WND), a far-right online publication known for its relentless anti-Obama “birther” propaganda and the kind of apocalyptic “news” stories that would look at home in a supermarket checkout line (see also Joseph Farah profile, below). Apparently, the once-serious student will also be “reporting” for the site that regularly features imminent end-times predictions. His first item, a fawning interview with white nationalist Pat Buchanan, who recently was ejected from the MSNBC lineup because of his racist views, appeared in February.
Location: Marshall, VA. Ideology Patriot Movement
For 20 years now, Tom DeWeese has been on a jihad against global plans for sustainable development. What to most of us looks like an innocuous and voluntary United Nations-led effort to use our resources more wisely — Agenda 21 — is really
“It sounds so friendly. So meaningful. So urgent,” the founder and president of the American Policy Center wrote in a 2009 report. “But the devastation to our liberty and way of life is the same as if Lenin ordered it.”
What is really a “complete agenda of control,” he said, has been wrapped “in a nice green blanket, scaring us with horror stories about the human destruction of the environment — and so we are now throwing our liberties on the bonfire like a good old fashioned book burning — all in the name of protecting the planet.”
The Agenda 21 plan DeWeese rails on about was developed in 1992 at a UN meeting in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and signed by 178 world leaders including then-President George H.W. Bush. It amounts to a set of “smart growth” principles, a plan to deal with overpopulation, pollution, poverty and resource depletion. It is wholly voluntary — neither a treaty nor a legally binding agreement.
Serving on the board of DeWeese’s American Policy Center are Alan Caruba, the center’s communications director who also blogs for Tea Party Nation, the only Tea Party the SPLC lists as a hate group; Sam Rohrer, a former Pennsylvania state legislator; and John Meredith, son of civil rights hero James Meredith.
DeWeese’s outfit is only one of several obsessed with what has become one of the main conspiracy theories of the antigovernment “Patriot” movement. Others include the far-right John Birch Society, the anti-feminist Eagle Forum, a group called Texans for Accountable Government, former Fox News host Glenn Beck, and Alex Jones, a Texas radio show host and über-conspiracy theorist.
DeWeese, who says he has been the editor of two newspapers and a candidate for the Ohio legislature, has managed to spread his propaganda into the Tea Parties and elsewhere. Just last year, he says, he spoke to 38 groups in 12 states.
The effect of the fear-mongering fairy tale offered up by DeWeese and other conspiracy theorists has been almost unbelievable. Not only have some counties passed resolutions opposing Agenda 21 (along with the Tennessee House of Representatives), but the Republican National Committee (RNC) in January passed one as well, decrying Agenda 21’s “destructive strategies for ‘sustainable development.’” The RNC recommended that the resolution be adopted as part of the Republican platform at its August 2012 convention.
Groups EURO Other Associated Groups Knights of the Klu Klux Klan Ideology White Nationalist
David Duke is the most recognizable figure of the American radical right, a neo-Nazi, longtime Klan leader and now international spokesman for Holocaust denial who has nevertheless won election to Louisiana's House of Representatives and once was nearly elected governor. He is also known for his avid pursuit of women and, especially, money — so much so, in fact, that he finally went to prison in 2002 for using cash raised to support white supremacist causes to pay for his own gambling and home improvements. Since then, Duke has become an itinerant anti-Semitic salesman, traveling regularly to Europe to sell his books while his latest white supremacist organization, EURO, remains almost entirely inactive.
In His Own Words "Racial idealism, or racialism, is the idea that a nation's greatest resource is the quality of its people. It means examining all questions of government on the basis of whether the proposed measure is good or bad for our race. … Neither Communism, Capitalism, nor any other materialistic doctrine can save our race; our only racial salvation lies in a White racial alliance uniting our people with the common cause of racial idealism." — September 1970 article in The Racialist
"Israel makes the Nazi state look very, very moderate." — 2005 interview with Syrian television
Criminal History Duke was charged in 1972 with soliciting funds for the George Wallace for President campaign and then illegally pocketing the proceeds. He was also charged with breaking a New Orleans ordinance prohibiting filling glass containers with flammable liquid. Both charges eventually were dropped. In 1976, Duke was convicted of inciting a riot and refusing to disperse. The latter charge was overturned by Louisiana State Court, while he received a suspended sentence, a $500 fine and six months of probation on the inciting charge. In 1987, Duke was charged with reckless conduct and blocking a highway during an anti-integration march in Cumming, Ga. He was given a $55 fine and a one-year suspended prison sentence. In 2002, after spending two years abroad avoiding a feared arrest, Duke agreed to return to the United States and plead guilty to felony mail and tax fraud charges. He served 15 months in a federal prison and was fined $10,000.
Background Since first making headlines for his neo-Nazi activities as an undergraduate at Louisiana State University (LSU) at Baton Rouge in the early 1970s, David Duke has built an international reputation as the American face of white nationalism and pseudo-academic anti-Semitism. In his various incarnations, Duke has been a neo-Nazi, a major Klan leader, a slick far-right politician and — most recently — a professional lecturer and author traveling the world to warn of a global Jewish conspiracy and seek the separation of the races. After winning a surprise upset in a Louisiana House of Representatives race in 1989, Duke got the attention of the world when, during the 1991 Louisiana governor's contest, he forced a runoff with the Democratic candidate, Edwin Edwards. Although he ultimately lost a fairly close race, that campaign marked the apex of Duke's career as a mainstream politician.
Duke was born in 1950 into a middle-class home in Tulsa, Okla. His father was an engineer for Shell Oil who took his family to the Netherlands before returning to settle in the all-white suburb of Gentilly Woods, La. As a child, Duke's home life was troubled. His mother battled alcoholism and pill addiction and his father traveled frequently. At school, Duke was known as a bookish loner and was taunted, he says, with chants such as "Puke Duke."
Duke's entrance into the world of far-right politics came at age 14, when he attended a local meeting of the Citizen Councils of America (CCA), an anti-integration group known informally as the White Citizens' Councils. He was soon reading racist tracts such as Race and Reason: A Yankee View by arch-segregationist Carlton Putnam, who argued for separation of the races and the genetic superiority of whites. Putnam's book, Duke would later write, "began my intellectual odyssey."
The adolescent Duke immersed himself in books about Nazism and the Third Reich. His increasingly pro-Nazi speeches at CCA meetings drew concern and disdain from less extreme members, most of whom were far more anti-black than anti-Jewish. When his father sent Duke to a military academy after his sophomore year of high school, he was caught with a Nazi flag and his entire class was punished. In retribution, his classmates beat him badly. The following year he returned to public school, where he argued loudly against lowering the flag when Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated and continued to proclaim the virtues of the Third Reich.
At LSU, Duke quickly earned a reputation as a loudmouthed neo-Nazi. He hung posters of Nazi officials and soldiers on his dorm room walls, telling acquaintances that George Lincoln Rockwell, founder of the post-war American Nazi Party, was "the greatest American who ever lived." More important for his future development, he began taking advantage of a new venue on campus — "Free Speech Alley," a busy hangout where students were invited to stand atop a soapbox and declaim on issues of social and political import. While most students at Free Speech Alley spoke in favor of civil rights and against the Vietnam War, Duke issued daily harangues against integration and Jews. When the radical lawyer William Kunstler visited the LSU campus in 1970, Duke protested, carrying a sign that said "Gas the Chicago 7" (a reference to a group of anti-war leftists Kunstler had defended) and wearing a faux Nazi uniform, complete with swastika armband. Such activities kept him from being promoted by ROTC, even though he came in first in his class.
Also in 1970, Duke founded the White Youth Alliance, a student group affiliated with the National Socialist White People's Party (NSWPP), a hard-line descendant of Rockwell's American Nazi Party. As a campus activist, he attempted to recruit his peers by tapping into the radical sentiments of the times. "Nazis also want to smash the system," he told his fellow students.
After a year visiting his father in Laos, Duke returned to Louisiana and graduated in 1974, whereupon he founded the Knights of the Klu Klux Klan (KKKK).
As national leader of the new organization, Duke achieved a remarkable shift in Klan targeting — from blacks to Jews — by recruiting NSWPP members such as Alabama hardliner Don Black. This effective Nazification of the Klan became apparent in the obsession with Jews found in the KKKK organ Crusader, which began to share bylines with the NSWPP's White Power. In 1975, California NSWPP member Tom Metzger became Duke's California leader.
Duke's attempt to mainstream his Klan led to a steep rise in membership. By opening up the organization to women, Catholics and teens, he expanded its ranks. Also crucial was Duke's successful courtship of the major media. That courtship began in 1974, when Duke challenged popular talk-show host Tom Snyder to invite him onto his nightly show on NBC. Snyder accepted the challenge and, at the age of 23, Duke made his first appearance on national television.
During the next few years, Duke would score several major coups by getting the media to cover Klan actions that were little more than stunts. These included "Freedom Rides North" during battles over school busing in Boston (only a small handful of Klansmen actually made it to Boston) and a much-hyped "Klan Border Watch" in Southern California that involved fewer than a dozen Klansman.
Duke's stewardship of the Klan faltered on his inability to retain top leaders. Frustrated by what they saw as Duke's boundless ego, his well-known womanizing, and repeated accusations that he was embezzling Klan funds, several high-level resignations crippled the organization in the late 1970s. These included the departure of Tom Metzger, who left the KKKK in 1979 and remains highly critical of Duke today. Metzger has called his former colleague a fraud, an egomaniac and a ripoff artist. Many former Duke colleagues continue to make similar charges.
In 1979, Duke began to distance himself from the Klan, running for a Louisiana state Senate seat as a conservative Democrat and winning 26% of the vote (9,897 votes). In 1980, he also made a halfhearted run for president.
As a professional racist activist and perennial failed politician, Duke needed either organizational dues or campaign contributions to pay his bills. In 1981, he founded a new organization, the National Association for the Advancement of White People (NAAWP) — a "Klan without the sheets," in the words of Duke biographer Tyler Bridges. In building up the NAAWP, he would denigrate the Klan as consisting of simple-minded "nigger haters" with no positive agenda or intellectual heft. But this didn't stop Duke from wooing old Klansmen into his new organization.
Although the NAAWP allowed Duke to make a modest living, the early to mid-1980s was a period in the relative political wilderness for Duke, with little media interest in his activities. Between 1980 and 1987, Duke would appear on national television only once — a stark contrast to his days as the national face of the Klan during its comeback in the 1970s. During this time, his ideology absorbed a bizarre component in the form of the New Age human potential movement, which Duke embraced in the 1980s. He also gambled heavily (Duke has a longstanding and well-known passion for craps) and began dabbling in the stock market. In the mid-1980s, membership for the NAAWP was stagnant at around 1,000.
In 1986, Duke visited Austria and the Mauthausen concentration camp. The visit deepened his interest in Holocaust revisionism, a field in which he today touts himself as an expert.
The following year, Duke had a series of cosmetic surgeries, including a nose reduction, a chin enlargement, and a "chemical peel." He would soon dye his hair and shave his mustache. A well-covered appearance by Duke at an anti-integration rally in Forsyth County, Ga., helped put the "new" David Duke on the map that same year.
In 1988, Duke ran for president again. He claimed to lead his "Sunshine Coalition" in opposition to Jesse Jackson's "Rainbow Coalition." Duke won less than 5% of the vote in Louisiana and a negligible amount nationally.
The following year, Duke won his first elected office in a special election for the Louisiana State House. Running as an anti-tax, anti-busing Republican, Duke toned down his anti-Semitism and dodged questions about his neo-Nazi and Klan past. Fueling support for his campaign was fierce opposition to eliminating the state's highly popular homestead exemption, which eliminated property taxes for homes assessed at under $75,000. In unusually high turnout for a special election, Duke won 33% of the vote to his opponent John Treen's 19%. In the runoff that followed, Duke beat Treen by just 227 votes. Among the legislation unsuccessfully proposed by Duke while in office were bills to raise penalties for drug offenders in housing projects and to require drug testing for recipients of welfare and Medicaid.
In 1990, Duke announced his candidacy in the Republican primary for a U.S. Senate seat. In the end, he raised an astonishing $2.4 million and won 607,391 votes (about 60% of the white Republican vote), but lost the primary. Undaunted, he ran in 1991 against incumbent Louisiana Gov. Edwin Edwards, a scandal-dogged, Huey Long-style populist. Although the race was considered too close to safely call weeks before the election, a weak performance by Duke in the second debate — and political work including the famous pro-Edwards bumper sticker, "Vote for the crook. It's important" — helped tilt the balance to Edwards, who beat Duke by 22 percentage points in the Democratic primary vote. (Still, Duke once again took more than half of the white vote, racking up 671,009 votes in total.)
Duke almost immediately began laying the groundwork for another presidential campaign, in 1992, but white nationalist Pat Buchanan stole much of his thunder by running to the right of George Bush. Duke had virtually no impact on the overall race and the media showed scant interest in his campaign.
In 1998, after several years largely out of the political limelight, Duke published his autobiography, My Awakening: A Path to Racial Understanding, signifying a return to public anti-Semitism and racist activism. In 2000, while raising funds for Buchanan's ill-starred presidential campaign on the Reform Party ticket, Duke formed NOFEAR, or the National Organization For European American Rights. The following year he changed the name to EURO (European-American Unity and Rights Organization) because a clothing line already owned the name NOFEAR and was threatening a lawsuit. EURO remains Duke's primary organizing and fundraising vehicle, along with his books and personal website.
In 2002, more than two years after telling a girlfriend that he was leaving the country to avoid arrest, Duke made a deal to return to the United States and plead guilty to tax evasion and mail fraud; he was sentenced to 15 months in prison. Substantiating movement criticisms of him going back 30 years, Duke admitted to raising hundreds of thousands of dollars from his followers under false pretenses and spending the money on luxury goods, home improvement and gambling.
In 2004, David Duke published Jewish Supremacism: My Awakening on the Jewish Question. The manuscript, drawn heavily from Duke's Ph.D. dissertation, was written for Ukraine's Interregional Academy of Personnel Management and entitled "Zionism as a Form of Ethnic Supremacism." It has been translated into nine languages. The university, also known as MAUP, is a center of anti-Semitic teaching.
Duke has found an audience for the book abroad, specifically in the former republics of the Soviet Union and in the Middle East. Since the end of the Cold War, Duke and far-right nationalists in Russia have held each other in especially high regard. Duke traveled to Russia for the first time in September 1995. There he met Vladimir Zhirinovsky, the bombastic neofascist. With his legal problems mounting at home, Duke brought his sales pitch back to Russia in August 1999. While in Moscow, he befriended several anti-Semitic leaders, including Gen. Albert Makashov, head of the ultranationalist wing of the Communist Party, who in 1998 proposed to murder all Jews ("I will round up all the Yids and send them to the next world!").Today, Duke spends much of his time as an international racist dilettante traveling in Russia, Eastern Europe and elsewhere to participate in junkets such as the June 2006 Moscow conference on "The White World's Future," where he praised his host city for having "the largest number of White people of any city in the entire world."
In April, 2009, it was reported that Duke, who had arrived in the Czech Republic at the invitation of Czech neo-Nazis to deliver three lectures in Prague and Brno to promote his book My Awakening, was arrested on suspicion of "denying or approving of the Nazi genocide and other Nazi crimes," and other rights violations charges punishable by up to three years in prison in the Czech Republic. The Czech police released Duke the following day and ordered him to leave the country by midnight. Duke was scheduled to give a lecture at Charles University in Prague but it was canceled after university officials learned that neo-Nazis were planning to attend.
In 2009, it was reported that Duke was living in Salzburg, Austria, on Lake Zeller. From there, he runs an Internet business taking and selling photographs of rare birds and other wildlife. Duke wrote of his new home,
In 2011, Duke was arrested in Cologne, Germany, while on his way to address a group of rightwing extremists. German authorities detained him for a few days before deporting him back to Austria. The former Klan leader, they said, was “not entitled to stay in Germany” because of a travel ban in an unspecified European country (most likely the Czech Republic).
In protest, Duke issued a self-righteous “Open Letter to the World” to set the record straight on his allegedly innocuous “basic beliefs and principles.” He was not a white supremacist but rather a supporter of every people’s “right to preserve their freedom and their identity.” He was not a Holocaust denier but “a Holocaust exposer.” He is also a man who, at Iran President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s 2006 Holocaust denial conference, called the Holocaust “the device used as the pillar of Zionist imperialism, Zionist aggression, Zionist terror and Zionist murder.”
Location: Kansas City, Mo. Ideology Anti-Gay
In recent years, thanks largely to his leadership of TheCall Ministries, Lou Engle has become one of the more prominent players on the American religious right. A zealous opponent of abortion and LGBT rights, he has called homosexuality a “spirit of lawlessness,” suggested that it should be criminalized, and spoken at a highly controversial rally in Uganda where speakers backed a bill authorizing the death penalty for gay men and lesbians in some circumstances.
Engle is known for staging massive prayer rallies in cities around the globe since 2000 and is also a senior member of a radical Christian movement called the New Apostolic Reformation, which seeks to unite Protestants, vanquish demons, and evangelize the planet. At the same time, he has associated closely with several archconservative politicians, including Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback.
After drawing widespread criticism from more moderate Christians and others, Engle has worked to improve his image. In 2010, before speaking at the rally in Uganda, he issued a statement saying he did not support the death penalty for gay people. However, according to The New York Times, when he spoke at the rally he only
Later, speaking to a reporter with Religion Dispatches magazine, he repeated that he did not support the death penalty for homosexuality — but said that his “main thing” was to prevent its legalization (homosexual conduct is illegal in Uganda but not in the United States since the Supreme Court’s 2003 Lawrence decision). He suggested that there should be “some kind of restraint, a legal restraint and a punishment.” He added that the Ugandan anti-gay legislators merely wanted “to protect their society” and “were just wanting to do the right thing.”
Engle also has taken time out from his core issues to suggest that Muslims are “fueling the demonic realm” and in the thrall of “spiritual dark powers.” In November 2011, he led a huge and controversial Detroit prayer rally so that “the love of Jesus would break in on Muslims all across this area.”
During a May 2012 speech to the Christian Broadcasting Network’s “Week of Prayer,” Engle compared the struggle over gay rights to the Civil War – with anti-gay activists in the role of an idealized Confederacy. He exhorted conservative Virginians to follow the example of native son Robert E. Lee in resisting federal oppression. Lee, the general who commanded the Confederate army, “was able to restrain Washington, he took his stand and held back those forces,” Engle said. The speech also invoked another rebellious Virginian, General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson. Conservatives opposed to the demonic “principles and powers” behind homosexuality, Engle said, should “raise up a stone wall to restrain the agenda that is coming out of D.C.”
Joseph Francis Farah
Location: Centreville, VA. Ideology Patriot Movement
Conspiracy theory buffs need an endless supply of fuel to keep chugging along. And no one out there seems to provide more of that than Joseph Farah, the archconservative and slightly mad publisher/editor of WorldNetDaily (WND). From obsessively attempting to debunk the legitimacy of President Obama’s birth certificate to stoking anti-Muslim fear that Shariah law is about to topple the Constitution, Farah is the supermarket tabloid publisher of the radical right.
Farah doesn’t limit his propagandizing to his apparently popular website. In recent years, the self-described Christian has branched out, publishing books and producing movies, even while regularly speaking at Tea Party events. Farah boasts that his WND book operation has produced a higher percentage of New York Times bestsellers “than any other publishing company in the U.S.” — a claim that some may dispute. The latest WND book, The Harbinger: The Ancient Mystery That Holds the Secret of America’s Future, suggests parallels between ancient Israel and what’s occurring today in the United States — and an imminent judgment by God.
Farah’s name recognition jumped significantly when he was at the head of the “birther” pack, attacking the legality of the Obama presidency based on the theory that he wasn’t a legal U.S. citizen at birth. “My dream is that Barack Obama … won’t be able to go to any city, any town, any hamlet in America without seeing signs that ask, ‘Where is the birth certificate?’” Farah said in 2010 at a National Tea Party convention in Nashville, Tenn., where he shared the stage with former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.
Despite all his clamorous pot banging, it was not Farah but multimillionaire developer Donald Trump who ultimately became such a pain that President Obama released his “long-form” birth certificate last year. That didn’t satisfy Farah, who, along with his attack-dog writer Jerome Corsi, continues to insist Obama is no citizen.
Farah later traveled even further down the citizenship road, questioning the birth of Sen. Marco Rubio in early 2012, when the Florida Republican was mentioned as a possible vice-presidential candidate. “Rubio is not eligible,” Farah told Fox News host Sean Hannity.
Farah is so hard-line in certain views that he’s perfectly willing to turn on fellow ideologues of the far right. In 2010, when right-wing raver Ann Coulter agreed to speak at a gay GOP group’s event, he attacked her. In return, Coulter called Farah a “publicity whore” and “fake Christian” — what may be some of the few truly accurate phrases to ever come out of Coulter’s mouth.
Groups American Family Association Location: Tupelo, Miss. Ideology Anti-Gay
Bryan Fischer, a nationally syndicated Christian radio host, has a long history of anti-gay activism. In 2009, he began garnering national attention after he was hired by the American Family Association (AFA), which the Southern Poverty Law Center listed as an anti-gay hate group in 2010. Since joining the AFA as director of issue analysis for government and public policy, Fischer has used the group's website and its radio network to promote outrageous and false claims about LGBT people, Muslims, Native Americans and African Americans. Despite Fischer's extreme views – like blaming gay men for the Holocaust, calling for the criminalization of homosexuality, and calling for the banning of Muslim immigration to the U.S. – prominent conservatives continue to appear on Fischer's radio show.
In His Own Words
"[T]he most compassionate thing we can do for Americans is to bring a halt to the immigration of Muslims into the U.S. This will protect our national security and preserve our national identity, culture, ideals and values. Muslims, by custom and religion, are simply unwilling to integrate into cultures with Western values and it is folly to pretend otherwise. In fact, they remain dedicated to subjecting all of America to sharia law and are working ceaselessly until that day of Islamic imposition comes." – Bryan Fischer Web post, "Time to Restrict Muslim Immigration to the U.S., Send Them Back Home," 2010
Background Bryan J. Fischer's early years were spent in Colorado, according to One News Now, an American Family Association (AFA) online news source. His family moved to northern California when he was in the eighth grade. Fischer developed his religious beliefs initially through his father, a Baptist pastor. He attended Stanford University and, while a student there, got involved with Peninsula Bible Church, where the pastor preached what Fischer calls a "masculine, muscular Christianity" that appealed to him. Fischer graduated from Stanford University with a bachelor's degree in philosophy but continued to study and serve as a pastoral intern at Peninsula. While there, he met and married his wife, Debbie. Fischer then attended the Dallas Theological Seminary, where he received a graduate degree in theology. In 1980, he and his wife moved to Boise, Idaho.
In Boise, Fischer was affiliated with Cole Community Church, where he founded and directed the Cole Center for Biblical Studies. Thirteen years later, he founded Community Church of the Valley, where he served for 12 years as pastor. But Fischer wasn't just preaching; he became active in politics and networked with a variety of conservative legislators. In 2001, he was appointed chaplain to the Idaho Senate.
In early 2004, while still at Community Church, Fischer co-founded the "Keep the Commandments Coalition," with Boise pro-life activist Brandi Swindell, in an attempt to block the removal of a Ten Commandments monument from a Boise public park. The city was planning to return the monument to the Fraternal Order of Eagles, which had placed it in the park in 1965. Keep the Commandments Coalition filed a lawsuit to prevent the removal, but U.S. District Judge Edward Lodge turned down its request and on April 8, 2004, he ordered Swindell and Fischer (and Swindell's group, Generation Life) to pay more than $10,000 in city attorney fees. In 2006, the coalition succeeded in getting the monument issue onto a local ballot, but Boise voters overwhelmingly approved the removal. By 2008, neither Fischer nor Swindell had paid the ordered attorney fees, and the city notified the two that the amount was overdue. Eventually, Fischer and Swindell asked supporters for donations and paid off the full amount.
Fischer left the Community Church of the Valley in 2005 under unknown circumstances (the church changed its name to Christian Life Fellowship a year later) and started the Idaho Values Alliance (IVA), which was loosely allied with the AFA. The IVA's mission under Fischer, according to its website in 2007, was to promote and defend "our God-given rights and liberties," promote and defend religious freedom, the Judeo-Christian tradition, the sanctity of the family, sanctity of life, and to "promote judicial responsibility and restrain judicial activism."
From this new pulpit, Fischer found a few more callings that would boost his profile: public crusades against LGBT people, lobbying the legislature against gay rights, and becoming the face of Idaho Christian conservatism in local media. The media-savvy "Reverend," as he was known, was always available for a sound bite or quote with regard to "family values," and he found a platform to espouse his conservative opinions on topics that ranged from women's issues, health, science, constitutional law, climate change, civil rights and LGBT people. Fischer was described in a 2009 editorial at NewWest.net as constantly "lobbying for anti-everything causes."
Fischer jumped into debates about LGBT rights with zeal. His quotes appeared hundreds of times in Idaho news outlets as the conservative "balance" to LGBT rights supporters. He and the IVA launched a public campaign against LGBT people that culminated in the 2006 passage of Amendment 2 to the Idaho constitution. The amendment prohibits same-sex marriage and prohibits the state and local governments from recognizing any kind of domestic legal union unless it's between a man and a woman, effectively disenfranchising Idaho's LGBT couples.
Fischer's anti-gay propagandizing has long relied heavily on falsehoods that can be traced to the discredited psychologist Paul Cameron. Like Cameron, Fischer has equated homosexuality with pedophilia; claimed that same-sex parents are a danger to children; claimed that LGBT people don't live as long as heterosexual people; and said that LGBT people are more promiscuous and more prone to domestic violence than heterosexuals. He also has falsely claimed that hate crime laws protect pedophiles.
Fischer found another way to denigrate the LGBT community when he discovered the Holocaust revisionist work of Scott Lively, whose Abiding Truth Ministries was first listed as an anti-gay hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center in 2007. Lively's Pink Swastika makes the claim that the Nazi Party was filled with gay men (and that Hitler himself was gay), and that because of the "savage nature" of gay men, they were able to instigate and carry out the Holocaust. Lively's work has been roundly and fully discredited by reputable historians, but facts never seem to bother Fischer. He touted Lively and his bizarre Holocaust revisionism in 2008 on the IVA website, agreeing wholeheartedly with Lively's claims that gay men caused the Holocaust, and he has since continued to reference Lively's work to link homosexuality to the Nazi Party (most recently in 2010).
For the amount of media attention Fischer received as executive director of the IVA, it was a small operation. Fischer was the only paid employee, and his wife, Debbie, and daughter, Jana, were listed as trustees in 2006. In the group's 2008 annual report, Debbie was listed as the secretary and treasurer, and Jana was still a trustee, though based in Indiana. The IVA struggled financially; its revenue was only $9,000 in 2006.
In June 2009, Fischer announced on the IVA website that he had accepted a position with the AFA. He seemed to have had some trouble finding someone to take the helm of the IVA, however, and the group went into hiatus. The IVA's 2009 tax returns listed Tupelo, Miss., as the address – Fischer and family moved there, where the AFA is based – and it wasn't until September 2010 that Gary Brown, up until then a pastor of NorthStar Church in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, known for his abstinence-only beliefs, became the new IVA director.
Fischer continued his campaign against LGBT people when he joined the AFA, where he serves as a radio host and blogger at the AFA website "Rightly Concerned" and at the Christian website RenewAmerica. In 2009, his posts became aggressively anti-Muslim. It didn't take long for his inflammatory rhetoric in that regard to attract national attention. The horrific event that propelled him onto the national stage was the November 2009 massacre at Fort Hood, Texas, in which Major Nidal Hasan shot 12 people to death. In response, Fischer called for the U.S. military to ban Muslims. His statements landed him soon after on former MSNBC host Keith Olbermann's "Worst Person" list.
Since then, Fischer has called for a ban on Muslim immigration to the U.S., said that inbreeding may have affected Muslim intelligence and sanity, and claimed that the Bill of Rights grants freedom of religion only to Christians. He has also continued his virulent anti-gay propagandizing, calling for the regulation of homosexuality in the same manner the U.S. regulates cigarettes, and said that homosexuality should be as illegal as IV drug use, and that,
In 2010, Fischer's columns began appearing on the ironically named "Moral Liberal" website, which claims to be "liberal" in the tradition of the Founding Fathers. The Moral Liberal's mission is to promote "the Judeo-Christian ethic, limited government, and That Heavenly Banner: The U.S. Constitution." Other contributors include self-proclaimed Christian "Patriot" Chuck Baldwin; right-wing grande dame Phyllis Schlafly; World Net Daily columnist and antigovernment activist Henry Lamb; and Selwyn Duke, a frequent commentator on the hate-laced Michael Savage radio show.
Some of Fischer's statements have entered the realm of the absurd. In a November 2010 blog post at the AFA site, Fischer groused that the Medal of Honor, like American culture in general, was being "feminized" because it was awarded to soldiers who saved their comrades rather than soldiers who "killed people." Fischer demanded to know when it would be awarded again to "soldiers who kill people and break things so our families can sleep safely at night." In another post that month, he called for "open season" on grizzly bears because two people were killed by bears in 2010 and "God makes it clear in Scripture that deaths of people and livestock at the hands of savage beasts is a sign that the land is under a curse."
In 2010, the AFA distanced itself from Fischer's views, despite keeping him on staff and giving him a two-hour daily radio show, which is heard on nearly 200 radio stations owned and operated by the AFA's American Family Radio network. In 2010, a disclaimer started showing up on Fischer's blog posts stating,
In a blog post in early February 2011, Fischer claimed that Native Americans deserved to lose control of North America because their "superstition, savagery and sexual immorality" morally disqualified them from "sovereign control of American soil." Furthermore, Indian reservations remain mired in poverty and alcoholism because they refuse to accept Christianity. That post created such an outcry, even for Fischer, that the AFA removed it from its blog site. The post also disappeared from RenewAmerica. A young AFA staffer, Elijah Friedeman, 17, issued his own statement on the AFA blog, in which he called Fischer's claims "repulsive." He also stated, "I want to officially reject and distance myself from that viewpoint." The AFA removed Friedeman's post, as well.
The AFA also changed a post Fischer wrote in early April 2011 that called for Muslims to get rid of their Islamic beliefs before they come to the United States. Three paragraphs of the post were rewritten; the edited version called instead for people who wanted to immigrate to adopt "our values, our heroes, and our history." Fischer followed that about a week later with a blog post claiming that government welfare ruins African-American families by encouraging them to "rut like rabbits." The wording of the post was later changed to state that random and reckless promiscuity is bad, whether someone is "Caucasian, Hispanic, or African-American."
On his radio show on May 12, 2011, Fischer fulminated about First Lady Michelle Obama's invitation to the rapper Common to read poetry at the White House. Fischer said Common was "cut from the same bolt of cloth" as the president. Obama, he claimed, "nurtures this hatred for the United States of America and, I believe, nurtures a hatred for the white man."
Despite the fact that he's finally seemed to run afoul of even the AFA's standards, Fischer keeps getting attention, even in the mainstream media. In January 2011, Newsweek published a profile, calling him "the media's new poster boy for right-wing extremism." But none of his antics have stopped the stream of notable conservative guests from appearing on his show. His guests have included a number of high-profile politicians, including Mike Huckabee, Tim Pawlenty, Michele Bachmann, Haley Barbour and Newt Gingrich.
Despite the embrace of mainstream figures on the right, Fischer’s propaganda grew ever more ludicrous. In 2011, he asserted that LGBT people are America’s leading perpetrators of hate crimes. The reality is, they are the group most victimized by hate crimes. In January 2012, Fischer claimed that the HIV virus is a “harmless microbe” that does not cause AIDS.
Location: Lessburg, VA. Ideology Anti-Muslim
For most Americans, the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) evokes thoughts of a dark time in this country’s history. But Frank Gaffney Jr., the anti-Muslim movement’s most paranoid propagandist, is not most Americans. In 2011, he called on Congress to revive HUAC — this time around, to root out the Islamist operatives who, he claims, are well on their way to replacing America’s democracy with a totalitarian, Shariah-based caliphate.
Gaffney, who calls Islam “communism with a God” and has suggested that President Obama is a practicing Muslim, wasn’t always such a fringe character. He served in the Pentagon and in 1987 was nominated to serve as an assistant secretary of defense, although the Senate did not confirm him. In 1988, he founded the Center for Security Policy (CSP), a hawkish but once-respectable think tank. As recently as in 2002, a prominent British newspaper listed him with Iraq invasion cheerleaders Paul Wolfowitz, Douglas Feith, and Richard Perle as one of the men “directing” then-President George W. Bush’s post 9/11 security doctrine.
Sometime between then and now, Gaffney seems to have snapped.
The sole evidence for this conspiracy theory is a 20-year-old document outlining a plan for such a takeover, which has since been debunked as the fantasy of a single Muslim Brotherhood member. But that doesn’t matter to Gaffney, who sees “creeping Shariah” everywhere — even in the ranks of his erstwhile allies. For the past two years, he’s been banned from the Conservative Political Action Conference due to his insistence that two of its organizers (Suhail Khan, who is Muslim, and tax-hating Republican Grover Norquist, whose wife is Palestinian-American) are Muslim Brotherhood agents. The group, Khan explained in 2011, “didn’t want to be associated with a crazy bigot.”
Yet Gaffney has hardly faded into the shadows. He’s revered in hard-line anti-Muslim circles and writes for numerous far-right periodicals. Worst of all, some politicians have bought into his beliefs — most notably, U.S. Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), who has appeared on Gaffney’s radio show and publicly repeated his baseless statistics and “facts,” and who, in 2011, held his own HUAC-style hearings on the “radicalization” of American Muslims.
Location: New York, N.Y. Most Recent Group: Stop Islamization of America Ideology Anti-Muslim
Pamela Geller is the anti-Muslim movement's most visible and flamboyant figurehead. She's relentlessly shrill and coarse in her broad-brush denunciations of Islam and makes preposterous claims, such as that President Obama is the "love child" of Malcolm X. She makes no pretense of being learned in Islamic studies, leaving the argumentative heavy lifting to her Stop Islamization of America partner Robert Spencer. Geller has mingled comfortably with European racists and fascists, spoken favorably of South African racists, defended Serbian war criminal Radovan Karadzic and denied the existence of Serbian concentration camps. She has taken a strong pro-Israel stance to the point of being sharply critical of Jewish liberals.
In Her Own Words
Background Pamela Geller spent most of the 1980s working at The New York Daily News in financial analysis, advertising and marketing. Later, she became associate publisher of The New York Observer and stayed in that position until 1994. According to one online resume, she also served as senior vice president for strategic planning and performance evaluation at Brandeis University.
Married in 1990 to Michael Oshry, Geller spent the 1990s and most of the 2000s as a well-to-do Long Island housewife. After divorcing in 2007, she mostly busied herself rearing her four children, writing blogs and posting slam poetry-style videos trashing all things liberal on her YouTube channel.
Geller and Oshry were co-owners, along with Christ Tsiropoulous, of at least two car dealerships before the Gellers divorced in 2007. That was the same year Collin Thomas, one of their salesmen, was gunned down while closing their dealership, Universal Auto World, one evening.
The investigation into the murder uncovered an alleged fraud ring. According to the New York Daily News, employees enabled "underground characters," including "known" drug dealers, to buy luxury cars using fake identities. Eleven people who worked for the dealership, including Tsiropoulous, were arrested, but Geller escaped the scandal unscathed. According to The New York Times, she received a $4 million divorce settlement, a portion of $1.8 million from the sale of the Long Island home and then a $5 million life insurance payment when Oshry died a few months after remarrying in 2008. The criminal case has not moved forward since the 2008 arrests.
In October 2010, Geller told The New York Times she was profoundly affected by the 9/11 attacks. After contributing essays to various websites that examined Muslim militancy, including Charles Johnson's Little Green Footballs, she launched her own website. She named her website "Atlas Shrugs" in honor of right-wing hero and self-described objectivist author Ayn Rand, a Geller idol whose 1957 novel Atlas Shrugged celebrates pure capitalism unrestrained by government regulation or social welfare measures. The unvarnished anti-Muslim stridency of Atlas Shrugs won followers; Geller republished the 2005 cartoons of Muhammad from the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten, for example, when most other media demurred.
Johnson, a moderate conservative, later broke sharply with Geller, calling her an anti-Muslim "hatemonger." After Geller, who is Jewish, posted a critique of the Islamic halal practice of slaughtering animals for food in September 2010, Johnson pointed out that kosher practice is almost identical and observed, "My GOD she is stupid."
Geller began her evolution from blogger to public activist in 2007 when she joined Stop the Madrassa, a project of a group of intense anti-Muslim activists determined to block the opening of a secular public Arabic-English school, the Khalil Gibran International Academy, in Brooklyn, N.Y. The campaign was intended as an early stand in a planned nationwide movement to counteract the efforts of American Muslims to meld into American society, according to one of its leaders, prolific anti-radical Muslim polemicist Daniel Pipes. Though the school ultimately opened anyway, Stop the Madrassa's efforts to cast the school's widely admired founding principal, Dhabah "Debbie" Almontaser, as a radical extremist succeeded in pressuring her to resign.
A proposal by a New York City imam and his financier partner to renovate an abandoned building in lower Manhattan into a 13-story mosque and community center would prove to be Geller's ticket to anti-Muslim superstardom. Geller first blogged about the project, originally known as Cordoba House but later called the Park51 project, in December 2009. Four months later, she and longtime radical Muslim alarmist Robert Spencer joined forces, taking over the organization Stop Islamization of America (SIOA), then an unexciting adjunct of a Denmark-based group called Stop Islamization of Europe. One of SIOA's first projects was to purchase controversial bus ads in New York and Miami inviting Muslims to reject Islam.
In June 2010, just two months after taking over SIOA, Geller and Spencer staged a rally in Lower Manhattan to oppose the Park51 project. It drew thousands of demonstrators, and plenty of media coverage. As had been done with Almontaser, Geller and Spencer led an effort to depict the project's planners as radical extremists. They insinuated – with little to go on – that the project's financing might be tied to terrorists. They absurdly described the project as an Islamic "victory mosque" to celebrate the 9/11 attacks, modeled after Jerusalem's Dome of the Rock, though no Muslim had ever suggested such a thing. Geller and Spencer were able to build SIOA into a propaganda powerhouse that the Southern Poverty Law Center listed as an anti-Muslim hate group in 2010.
By mid-2010, the telegenic Geller had become a virtual fixture on Fox News, invited to comment not only on the supposed threat posed by Muslims and Shariah law in America but even on popular unrest in Arabic countries in the Middle East and North Africa.
Through her website, Geller has promulgated some of the most bizarre conspiracy theories found on the extreme right, including claims that President Obama is the love child of Malcolm X, that Obama was once involved with a "crack whore," that his birth certificate is a forgery, that his late mother posed nude for pornographic photos, and that he was a Muslim in his youth who never renounced Islam. She has described Obama as beholden to his "Islamic overlords" and said that he wants jihad to be victorious in America. In April 2011, Geller accused Obama of withholding evidence in the then-upcoming trial of accused Fort Hood mass murderer Major Nidal Malik Hasan.
Geller uses her website to publish her most revolting insults of Muslims: She posted (and later removed) a video implying that Muslims practiced bestiality with goats and a cartoon depicting the Muslim prophet Mohammad with a pig's face (observant Muslims do not eat pork). Geller also has denied the genocide of Bosnian Muslims by Serbian forces in Srebrenica – calling it the "Srebrenica Genocide Myth," even though the Serbian government itself issued a state apology for the massacre. She wrote, "Westerners are admitting to their role in something that didn't happen, and digging their own graves."
Geller will ally with virtually any individual or movement that expresses stridently anti-Muslim sentiments, no matter how otherwise repugnant. As a result, she has frequently rubbed shoulders with elements of white radicalism. In 2009, Geller was invited to address the German far-right organization Pro Köln [Cologne], described as a successor group to the neo-fascist German League for People and Homeland. Pro Köln at the time was under investigation by the German authorities because of its defamation of foreigners and suspected violations of "human dignity." As of early 2011, Pro Köln was officially deemed a right-wing extremist group by the German authorities.
Geller is an enthusiastic fan of Dutch anti-Muslim extremist Geert Wilders. He was charged in 2009 with hate-incitement in the Netherlands, but not convicted. She invited Wilders to speak at the June 2010 "Ground Zero Mosque" rally. In June 2010, Geller spoke at an event in Paris put on by the Bloc Identitaire, which opposes race-mixing and "Islamic imperialism."
Geller invited the notorious British anti-Muslim group English Defence League (EDL) to her September 2010 anti-mosque rally in New York. The previous May, a report by the British newspaper The Guardian revealed the EDL as thugs who hold anti-Muslim protests intended to provoke violence. Because of its racism and history, the EDL's leader, Tommy Robinson, was denied entry at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York and sent back to England.
Yet Geller described the EDL in May 2010 as "courageous English patriots" when the group mobilized popular anger to oppose the construction of a mosque in the town of Dudley, near Birmingham, England. "There is nothing racist, fascist, or bigoted about the EDL," she wrote. In February 2010, she wrote in her blog, "I share the E.D.L.'s goals. We need to encourage rational, reasonable groups that oppose the Islamisation of the West."
In February 2011, she spoke favorably of Soviet leader Josef Stalin's forced relocation and genocide of Chechen Muslims after World War II, arguing – wrongly – that they were allied with Adolf Hitler. Historians say Chechens were fighting to preserve their own freedom and culture.
Geller's incendiary rhetoric and readiness to deny civil freedoms and the presumption of innocence to Muslims hasn't prevented her from gaining a measure of mainstream acceptability. In late March 2011, she was even invited by the Alaska House of Representatives to testify on a proposed anti-Shariah bill.
Geller's anti-Muslim stance has also drawn the admiration of white nationalist and even neo-Nazi proponents on the extreme right – a rather remarkable feat, considering she is Jewish. She has been the subject of positive postings on racist websites such as Stormfront, VDARE, American Renaissance and the neo-Confederate League of the South.
Geller was one of several prominent anti-Muslim activists cited by the Norwegian terrorist Anders Breivik in the manifesto he posted online hours before killing 77 of his countrymen, mostly teenagers, at a left-wing youth camp in August 2011. In the wake of the attack, Geller downplayed the influence of her views on Breivik, making much of the fact that his screed had only mentioned her by name once. This conveniently ignored the manifesto’s dozen citations of her blog and 64 mentions of her SIOA partner, Robert Spencer. At the same time, Geller couldn’t help displaying some sympathy for Breivik’s actions against the young multiculturalists. “Breivik,” she wrote, “was targeting the future leaders of the party responsible for flooding Norway with Muslims.”
Despite Geller’s willingness to publish outright lies (such as her baseless theories about President Barack Obama) and align herself with European racists and fascists, she likes to present herself as the voice of reason, unfairly tarred as an extremist. In an October 2011 appearance, she told an audience that she is only “painted as a racist, Islamophobic, anti-Muslim bigot” because her enemies want to silence her. “You’re demonized, you’re marginalized, and you’re rated radioactive,” she complained.
In January 2012, Geller formed Stop the Islamization of Nations (SION), a new international organization, with herself as executive director. SION joins SIOA with the European anti-Muslim group that inspired it, Anders Gravers’ Denmark-based Stop the Islamization of Europe (SIOE). The new organization intends to create a “common American/European coalition of free people” to oppose the advance of Islamic law.” It will also publicize the names of politicians, activists and others who promote the alleged Islamic agenda in the West.
Geller, however, found herself meeting resistance not just from the supposed “leftist, Islamic alliance” and the “complicit and dangerous” media she detests. In February 2012, she had to fight to get a spot at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington, D.C., presumably because she had become an embarrassment. Infuriated and defiant, she said that CPAC’s “puppet-master” leaders had “abandoned conservative principles,” while ignoring the threat posed by Islamic extremism. And in June, the Jewish Federation of Los Angeles, bowing to a growing chorus of criticism, canceled a planned lecture by Geller just hours before it was to be delivered. Geller reacted to this new slight by making references to the Holocaust: “Jewish leadership is on the trains and thinks we will go quietly.”
Morris L. Gulett
Location: Mansfield, LA. Ideology Neo-Nazi
For almost a decade, neo-Nazi Morris Gullet has strived for one thing — to be officially recognized as the official, bone fide successor to the late Aryan Nations founder Richard G. Butler.
But for a while, there was a problem — Gulett had a hard time wearing his Aryan Nations uniform while in jail garb. And as Gulett was cooling his heels in federal prison following Butler’s 2004 death, others — ranging from August Kreis III to Gerald O’Brien and Paul Mullet — stepped forward to claim that they were the real successor. It’s been a neo-Nazi turf war, thick with name-calling and accusations of informing, over the remnants of the once-mighty Aryan Nations, which was largely wrecked by a 2000 Southern Poverty Law Center lawsuit.
Emerging from prison in August 2010, Gulett wasted no time in setting up shop as the real Aryan Nations in Converse, La., and using the Internet for weekly “Sword of the Truth” sermons. He claims to be getting money from a charitable memorial trust supposedly set up by a former Klansman who died in 2003.
“I am the senior pastor at the Church of Jesus Christ Christian,” Gulett says on his website, using the longstanding alternate name for Aryan Nations, adding that his group is the “most-feared and revered white supremacist organization the world has ever known.” Like that claim, his assertion that his is the “fastest growing pro-white Christian organization in the world” is clearly ludicrous.
What is true is Gulett’s propensity for criminality.
After being arrested in 2005, he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to rob a bank and was sentenced to six years, finally getting out in 2010. But his record began long before.
That includes going to prison in 1997 for ramming a police car in Dayton, Ohio. When he got out, he and the late Harold Ray Redfeairn co-founded the white supremacist Church of the Sons of YHVH in Missouri. Gulett and Redfeairn both visited Butler’s Aryan Nation’s compound in North Idaho, hoping he would anoint them as his successor. Redfeairn, a violent felon who once tried to murder a Dayton police officer by shooting him five times, died in 2003.
Gulett’s racial hatred is visceral. In one podcast sermon — he practices Christian Identity, a pervasively racist and anti-Semitic theology — he said he would celebrate Black History Month “when every Negro becomes just that – history.” And just as Butler did for three decades, Gulett closes all his sermons with a Nazi salute. “Heil victory,” he shouts. “Brethren, you know what to do. Let’s be out there and be busy about our Father’s work.”
Groups League of the South Location: Killen, AL Ideology Neo-Confederate
Mike Hill represents the intellectual but racist faction of the neo-Confederate movement. Ironically a professor for years at a historically black college, Hill established the League of the South in 1994 as an institution devoted to reviving Southern heritage and pushing for secession. As Hill spurred the group to become increasingly racist and militant in the late 1990s, most of the academics who joined in 1994 fled as racial extremists took their place in a much diminished institution.`
In His Own Words
"In part, [the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks] spring from an ‘open borders' policy that has for the past four decades encouraged massive Third World immigration and thus cultural destabilization. Hence, these acts of violence were also the natural fruits of a regime committed to multiculturalism and diversity, hallmarks of empire rather than of nation. … [T]his is America's wake-up call to forsake its idolatry and to return to its true Christian and Constitutional foundations." — Essay posted to Dixienet.org, 2001
"If the scenario of the South (and the rest of America) being overrun by hordes of non-white immigrants does not appeal to you, then how is this disaster to be averted? By the people who oppose it rising up against their traitorous elite masters and their misanthropic rule. But to do this we must first rid ourselves of the fear of being called ‘racists' and the other meaningless epithets they use against us. What is really meant by the [multiculturalism] advocates when they peg us as ‘racists' is that we adhere to ethnocentrism, which is a natural affection for one's own kind. This is both healthy and Biblical. I am not ashamed to say that I prefer my own kind and my own culture. Others can have theirs; I have mine. No group can survive for long if its members do not prefer their own over others." — Essay posted to Conservativetimes.org, 2007
Sporting a white beard intended to give him the look of a Confederate Army officer, native Alabamian J. Michael Hill has done more than anyone to create a new, racially tinged Southern secession movement. Ironically, Hill taught British history for decades as he developed his thinking about the nature and religion of the South at historically black Stillman College in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Hill was always an oddity at the school, roaming the campus wearing a Confederate flag pin and waxing nostalgic to his mostly black students about the "War Between the States." In 1996, Hill told columnist Diane Roberts that his black students adored him; what he didn't say was that he apparently did not share their warmth. In a 2000 posting to the invitation-only AlaReb E-mail list, Hill mocked his former students and co-workers. "A quote," he wrote, "from a recent affirmative action hire: ‘Yesta-day I could not spell ‘secretary.' Today I is one.'" He continued: "One of few benefits I got on a regular basis from having taught for 18 years at Stillman College was reading the class rolls on the first day of class." He went on to list several "humorous" names of his black students, ending, "Where do these people get such names?" Hill resigned from Stillman in 1998. Although school officials never said so publicly, The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education reported that Hill had become "an embarrassment" to the administration.
Hill began to develop his ideas about a new Confederacy in the 1970s, while studying under Grady McWhiney and Forrest McDonald, two extremely conservative history professors at the University of Alabama. His mentors wrote Cracker Culture, a book that argued that the South was settled primarily by "Anglo-Celts" while in the North it was British Protestants who predominated.
Expanding on his old professors' controversial claim that the South was different from the North because its population was "Celtic," Hill published two books on Celtic history in the early 1990s. In 1994, he became an activist and put his ideas into practice, creating the Southern League, which was later renamed the League of the South (the original name was a takeoff on the separatist and anti-immigrant Northern League of Italy, but had to be changed after a baseball league of the same name threatened to sue). The League envisioned a seceded South that would be run, basically, as a theocratic state marked by medieval legal distinctions between different types of citizens, with white males at the top of the hierarchy.
Started with 40 people, the League initially included four men with Ph.D.s on its board, along with Jack Kershaw, who was once active in the segregationist White Citizens Council in Nashville and who remained on the board as late as 2009.
Hill's League started out complaining about the media treatment of white Southerners but quickly developed into a racist group calling for secession, attacking egalitarianism, calling antebellum slavery "God-ordained," opposing racial intermarriage, and defending segregation as a policy designed to protect the "integrity" of both the black and the white races.
An early sign of the League's underlying racism came in 1995, when Hill set up a student chapter at his alma mater, the University of Alabama. Within months, its members began to verbally attack gays, and chapter president Thomas Stedman wrote to the student newspaper to claim that "blacks did not invent ... anything of note anywhere in the world." Hill also praised extremists like the Holocaust-denying and immigrant-bashing Jean-Marie Le Pen of France, calling for "others like Le Pen to arise." The "ravages of multiculturalism and so-called diversity," Hill said, are anathema to him. Hill described the Pledge of Allegiance as "nationalist propaganda [meant] to indoctrinate" children with socialist ideas about government.
In 2003, Hill led an attempt to resuscitate the Southern Party, another neo-Confederate organization. And he attacked the Supreme Court after its ruling in July of that year striking down anti-gay sodomy laws, saying the court was helping to advance what he called the "sodomite and civil rights agendas."
In 1998, just after he left Stillman, Hill claimed that the League had some 15,000 members. In 2000, the Southern Poverty Law Center added the League to its list of hate groups based on the organization's white supremacist ideology. Four years later, Hill's former mentor, Forrest McDonald, who had attended the first meeting of the League in 1994, denounced him, telling the Intelligence Report that Hill's racism had destroyed the group. By 2009, the League of the South could only draw a handful of participants to its events, and its publications were produced sporadically.
But as Hill saw his academic support flee and his organization’s membership dwindle, his rhetoric grew more extreme, his racism more explicit. The Civil War, he says, wasn’t about slavery. It was the imposition by godless Yankees of a materialistic, capitalist industrial system on a South embodying the only surviving remnant of “orthodox Christianity.” He decried the “evil genie of universal ‘human rights,’” and called egalitarianism a noxious “Jacobin” doctrine. America’s traitorous “elite masters,” he complained, have allowed it to be “overrun by hordes of non-white immigrants.”
In a 2012 essay, he claimed that white people are endowed with a “God-ordained superiority.” Whites of “honor, genius and principle” left us with a “glorious heritage,” while black people “have never created anything approximating a civilization.” Slavery, he wrote, was “successfully defended from a Biblical standpoint” until “the institution’s legitimacy was systematically undermined in the name of ‘equality’ and misappropriated ‘Christian ethics.’” He also waxed nostalgic for the Jim Crow system of racial oppression.
Particularly alarming was Hill’s growing penchant for inciting his remaining followers to violence. At a March 2011 League meeting in Georgia, he urged members to stock up on AK-47s, hollow-point bullets and tools to derail trains. That summer, at the League’s annual conference, the leader asked,
This increasingly vocal militancy brought the League’s ideology and goals closer and closer to those of the antigovernment “Patriot” movement. In a January 2012 E-mail, Hill declared the federal government an “organized criminal enterprise” led by “domestic terrorists,” and told his followers to prepare for a fight.
Hill even took ideas straight from the playbook of the Posse Comitatus, a racist, anti-Semitic group that raged through the Midwest in the late 1970s and 1980s. A precursor to the modern “sovereign citizens” movement, Posse Comitatus adherents believed that sheriffs were the only legal law enforcers in the country. In addition to self-defense, Hill advised his followers to use their county sheriffs “as bulwarks against the criminal class. … He can lawfully tell the feds to ‘Go to Hell’ and stay out of his territory.”
Location: Austin, Texas Ideology Patriot Movement
Alex Jones knows how deep the rabbit hole goes.
Every week from his studio in Austin, Texas, he dives into red-faced tirades exposing the forces that threaten to enslave all human life on the planet. The conspiracy always boils down to about the same thing: eugenics operations, the militarization of the police, a cabal of wealthy corporations and the United Nations involved in a fiendish plot to control the world.
Five days a week, online and on more than 60 radio stations nationwide, “The Alex Jones Show,” along with a pair of websites he runs (Infowars.com and PrisonPlanet.com), serves as the tumultuous showcase for his overactive imagination — a worldview governed by logic-leaping deductions and heedless pronouncements. His website is chock full of apocalyptic headlines and ads for products like “recession-proof coins” and manuals on How to Survive Martial Law in America. On the air, he’s given to stream-of-consciousness rants.
Influenced heavily by the conspiracy-minded John Birch Society, Jones ran unsuccessfully for a Texas House seat in 2000 as a Republican but said he doesn’t follow the platform of either of the two major parties. He has described his own politics as libertarian.
Jones has accused the federal government of involvement in the Oklahoma City bombing and the 9/11 attacks, said that the Branch Davidian cultists in Texas were purposely murdered by authorities, claimed that FEMA is secretly building concentration camps for liberty-loving citizens, and issued a series of videos with hair-raising, B horror-film titles. A sampling: “911: The Road to Tyranny,” “Police State 3: Total Enslavement,” “The Masters of Terror: Exposed,” “New World Order: Blueprint of Madmen” and “The Obama Deception: The Mask Comes Off.”
Although it hardly seems possible, Jones’ fecund imagination now seems to be sprouting even more conspiracy theories than before.
Last year, for example, after Jared Lee Loughner went on his January 2011 rampage in Tucson, Ariz., killing six and wounding U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, Jones told Rolling Stone:
It’s simply a matter of finding the truth, Jones says. Or something like that.
In August 2011, he featured on Infowars an article that called the Department of Homeland Security’s year-old “If you see something, say something” terrorism-awareness campaign a racist conspiracy to “characterize predominantly white, middle class, politically engaged Americans as domestic extremists.”
The program, which actually encourages people to consider “behavior, rather than appearance” when considering whether to report suspicious activity, entails a series of public service announcements designed to drive home that point. What piqued Jones was a 10-minute PSA in which most of the “terrorists” are white, while the citizens who report their suspicious activities are all minorities. He milked the issue for at least a month. “What do you think of [DHS’] rebranding that the terrorists aren’t Al Qaeda anymore?” he said on his Aug. 18 radio show. “It’s that veteran, it’s that gun owner, it’s that farmer … it’s that white person. Whites are the new Al Qaeda.”
Besides exploiting racial animosities, Jones’s conspiracy theories often appeal to the fears of the antigovernment “Patriot” movement.
At the movement’s previous peak in the 1990s, the “black helicopter” was a symbol of its cartoonish insistence that the government would soon be coming after freedom-loving dissidents who knew the truth about the New World Order. Jones gave these fears a 21st century update in an October 2011 online broadcast. He obsessed over news that the sheriff of Montgomery County, Texas, had used a federal grant to buy an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (also known as a drone) called the ShadowHawk. The laptop-controlled, miniature helicopter comes equipped with a powerful zoom camera, infrared heat-seeking optics and crowd-stopping cartridges.
To Jones, this was not simply a police department taking advantage of the latest law enforcement technologies but a glimpse at the insidious machinery agents of the New World Order are deploying in the night skies in advance of martial law. “They’ve got large unmanned drones,” Jones warned. “They’ve got small drones. … And they’ve got million-dollar systems up there flying around with cops in control of them, surveilling you. And now they’re mounting them with ground-penetrating radar that looks right through your wall, while you’re on the toilet, having sex with your wife.”
Location: Owings, MD. Ideology Patriot Movement
For more than 30 years, Cliff Kincaid has been pushing out conspiracy theories, demonizing propaganda and a series of falsehoods about LGBT people, Muslims, Democrats and others — all as the editor of Accuracy in Media (AIM). But if there’s one thing Kincaid cannot be trusted on, it’s accuracy.
The notably humorless Kincaid embraces just about any theory that makes the “liberal” media and those it supposedly supports look bad. He says that President Obama has “well-documented socialist connections,” is the product of a “mysterious upbringing as a Muslim,” and may not have been born in this country. He claims that Hillary Clinton is a lesbian and that Clinton deputy White House counsel Vince Foster was murdered. He calls global warming a “fraudulent scheme.” The Roman Catholic Church, he asserts, has been hijacked by “Marxist elements” and is “facilitating the foreign invasion of the U.S.” by northbound Latinos. He insists that the governments of Canada, the United States and Mexico have a secret pact to merge into a single entity — the much-feared North American Union.
At the same time, he also has appeared regularly on Fox News programs, on other television networks, and on hate radio jock Michael Savage’s show.
Before joining AIM in 1978, Kincaid worked at the conservative Human Events magazine and, later, as a newsletter editor for Iran-Contra figure Oliver North at North’s Freedom Alliance. But his influence has risen since joining AIM, which is supported heavily by right-wing billionaire Richard Mellon Scaife.
Much of Kincaid’s relentless polemicizing in recent years has been aimed at gay people. He blames gay men for corrupting the military and angrily complains that “establishment journalists are aligned with academia” (“sexual perverts masquerading as scholars”) in supporting transgender people. He has staunchly supported the Ugandan “Kill the Gays” law — a proposal Kincaid says is merely “designed to send a message to … the foreign homosexual lobby to keep their hands off Uganda’s families and kids.”
Most recently, Kincaid has jumped on the increasingly crowded anti-Muslim bandwagon. Last year, he was on a panel at a conference held by ACT! for America, an Islamophobic group, and also joined the board of directors of Stop the Islamization of Nations, run by hatemonger Pamela Geller.
Despite his self-appointed role as media monitor, Kincaid often writes on the basis of pure speculation (were poems Obama wrote about his father really about a “Communist” mentor who was also a “sex pervert and a pothead”?) or fact-challenged “experts” who parrot his own preordained points of view.
Randal Lee Krager
Date of Birth: December 25, 1973
Location: Pisgah, Iowa Ideology Racist Skinhead
Randal Krager is the founder and leader of the neo-Nazi skinhead group Volksfront and has a long history in the skinhead movement, beginning when he was 15 in Portland, Ore. He laid the groundwork for Volksfront while serving time in prison for putting a black man in a coma with a single punch, and assumed leadership when he was released in 1994.
At 6-foot-2 and 240 pounds, with "FEAR" tattooed across the knuckles of his right hand and a large swastika stamped on his thick neck, Volksfront founder Randal Krager is an imposing figure whose heavy influence on skinheads in the Pacific Northwest has deep roots.
Krager has been involved in the skinhead subculture since at least 1989. That year, when he was 15, Krager was arrested along with several other skinheads and charged with racial intimidation for allegedly assaulting three teenagers near a park in Portland, Ore. During the attack, assailants pummeled a Hispanic girl in the face while shouting, "Why aren't you white?"
Krager was sent to a juvenile detention center.
The next year, he attended the civil trial of White Aryan Resistance leader Tom Metzger – who was being sued by the Southern Poverty Law Center for his role in encouraging the skinhead murder of a black man in Portland – and told a reporter that Metzger was a "cool guy ... one of the nicest guys you'd ever meet."
By the time Krager turned 18, police had encountered him 28 times.
That year, 1992, Krager was sentenced to 27 months in prison for putting an African-American man into a coma with a single punch. During sentencing proceedings, Krager reportedly shouted "Fucking Jew pig!" at court officials.
Krager's white supremacist beliefs were reinforced in prison. While inside, he networked with skinheads on the outside, laying the groundwork for the formation of his Volksfront neo-Nazi gang. Krager assumed leadership of Volksfront immediately upon his release in October 1994.
But Krager didn't stay out of prison for long. Weeks after his release, he called a local anti-racist skinhead and threatened to kill him. Krager was arrested and pleaded guilty to first-degree intimidation. He served 14 months and was released in early 1995.
Led by Krager, Volksfront maintained a highly visible presence in Portland until 1998, when the gang essentially went underground, citing "police and governmental pressure" to explain its disappearance.
Volksfront resurfaced in 2001 and, to the amazement of many who knew Krager, officially renounced violence.
In a blatant and brutal violation of this supposed policy – a policy that appears to have been a public relations gambit more than anything else – Volksfront's Washington state chapter leader, Kurtis William Monschke, joined three other racist skinheads in 2003 in beating to death a homeless man in Tacoma using baseball bats and rocks. But this mindless violence hardly destroyed Volksfront.
That January at Aryan Fest, a white power festival in Arizona hosted and policed by Volksfront, representatives of Krager claimed to have purchased five acres of land in Oregon as the beginnings of a white homeland. Although Krager officially stepped down from his leadership position later in 2004, today he continues to control the group from the shadows.
Krager moved his wife, Abbie Chelf (a Christian Identity devotee) and his son to Lakeland, Fla., after Portland anti-fascist activists “outed” the couple to their neighbors and Krager’s employer in the fall of 2008. This was the second time local anti-fascists targeted the Kragers; in 2007 they told neighbors about the couple’s racist beliefs after Krager helped to organize Hammerfest, a major skinhead concert, in the area. (The anti-fascists eventually stopped the event from taking place.)
Also in 2007, Krager orchestrated the purchase of property outside St. Louis, Mo., where the group’s official meeting place, dubbed the “Samuel Weaver Memorial Hall” (in honor of the son of white separatist Randy Weaver who died in a 1992 shootout with federal marshals in Ruby Ridge, Idaho), was eventually built. The construction of the building marked one of the few, perhaps only, times a racist skinhead organization was able to acquire sufficient funding to purchase such a place.
The Kragers stayed in Florida for about a year and had another son, but eventually moved to Pisgah, Iowa, outside of Omaha, Neb.
At the end of 2010, Krager, who is a heating, ventilation and air conditioning specialist, was reportedly hired as a civilian contractor to work in Afghanistan. He appointed several of his top lieutenants to run Volksfront’s day-to-day operations while he was out of the country. Krager also allowed the History Channel to interview him and several other Volksfront members for an episode of the series “Gangland,” which aired at the end of the year. Krager claimed he approved the interviews in order to attract news members and tell their side of the story – and the fact they were paid didn’t hurt.
Location: Kirksville, Mo. Ideology Neo-Nazi
Alex Linder, a foul-mouthed but nattily dressed neo-Nazi, is the operator of the gutturally racist website Vanguard News Network (VNN). A former member of the National Alliance, once the nation's premier neo-Nazi organization, Linder angrily split with his fellow comrades after that group failed to provide funding for the defense of an arrested state leader. More recently, Linder has attempted to organize neo-Nazi protests of black-on-white crimes, at one of which he was arrested in 2007.
In His Own Words "If you're White — Aryan — your people created this country, its Constitution, and the First Amendment that protects political speech, including the speech Jews hate and call hate speech. Don't accept any guilt, and don't take a back seat to anybody. No matter what the professors-afraid-of-being-fired tell you in class. No matter what the writers-afraid-of-being-fired say in a Controlled Daily. No matter what you see on the Electronic Jew. For you, Aryan reader, have interests. And The Aryan Alternative represents them." — The Aryan Alternative, No. 1
"Katrina flashed whites an eternal truth: 'African-American' is pretty for 'jungle savage.' The question is: why do we pretend it is otherwise? The answer is: we don't. We normal whites move away from these jungle creatures whenever we can. But the murderous hands of government, guided by Big Jew, again and again and again push us back in with the savages. And that, my friend, is genocide by integration- a man-made disaster far worse than any natural." — "Disasters Natural and Man Made," The Aryan Alternative, No. 3
Criminal History Arrested on May 26, 2007, in Knoxville, Tenn., after attacking a police officer during a neo-Nazi rally, and charged with disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, vandalism and assault on a police officer. In August, he reportedly pleaded guilty to resisting arrest and was sentenced to six months of probation. Linder also reportedly agreed to pay $250 for a police officer's phone that was damaged during the incident.
Background According to an interview he gave to neo-Nazi journal National Vanguard, Linder grew up in a middle-class suburb, earned a bachelor's degree from Pomona College in Claremont, Calif., and then worked for two leading conservative media outlets in Washington, D.C., where he was driven to despair because "racist satire of Jews and minorities" could not be published. He ran a trade publication in Germantown, Md., from 1993 until 1997, when he moved to Missouri to fulfill his "true interest, writing satire to hasten White revolution."
In the late 1990s, Linder joined the National Alliance (NA), then the country's most active and important neo-Nazi group. Linder was so committed to the cause that he even considered a move to the NA's compound on a mountaintop near Hillsboro, W.Va., to edit the organization's magazine, National Vanguard.
In 2000, Linder and an associate, Regina Belser (who apparently later left the operation), created Vanguard News Network (VNN), a website he hoped would grow into a "White Viacom" composed of "an integrated global media and services company getting out the White message and serving the White market in a thousand forms." While the site has proven relatively popular in neo-Nazi circles (in 2008, there were 2,945 registered users), what VNN turned out to be is remarkably vulgar, offending even many of the most extreme racists and anti-Semites with Linder's potty humor, untrammeled misogyny (Linder says women should "make everything happy and smooth running by providing offspring and sex and cookies and iced tea") and swaggering self-importance. Its motto is "No Jews. Just Right," and it includes an archive of racist and anti-Semitic articles, links to Linder's Aryan Alternative newspaper, podcasts from VNN Broadcasting, and a popular online message board, VNN forum.
In March 2003, after federal agents arrested Georgia NA leader Chester Doles on weapons charges, Linder grew disgusted with the NA's reluctance to fund or even help fund Doles' legal defense. To the severe embarrassment of NA leaders, and using an anonymous donor's offer to match up to $25,000, Linder managed to raise $79,464 that Doles' wife used to hire former U.S. Rep. Bob Barr (R-Ga.) as a defense attorney. As a result of his fundraising campaign and his open criticism of the NA on his VNN website, Linder fell into disfavor with some of his colleagues and most leaders of the NA. Since then, VNN has become a favorite internet home for movement criticism, much of it vicious, of the NA. It has also welcomed comments attacking Stormfront.org, the nation's largest hate site run by a crew of activists close to former Klan leader David Duke. A part of Linder's hatred of Stormfront relates to that site's attempts to downplay Nazi language and imagery.
After leaving the NA, Linder worked closely with other hard-line racists, in particular Bill White, who once ran the hate site Overthrow.com and was the leader of the American National Socialist Workers Party. In 2005, Linder announced his intention to set up the White Freedom Party, but that effort never came to fruition. Linder also runs the racist website Kirksville Today, named after his hometown in Missouri.
More recently, Linder has focused on protesting instances of what he terms anti-white "hate crimes." On May 26, 2007, he led a group of about 30 neo-Nazis gathered in Knoxville, Tenn., for a "Rally Against Genocide" organized in the names of Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom, a white couple who had been violently assaulted and then murdered by three black assailants. Although Knoxville authorities repeatedly stated that the crimes were not racially motivated, Linder and his companions insisted that it was a race-based attack and that the media was covering up "black crime" motivated by anti-white hatred. At least one of the demonstrators wore a swastika T-shirt. They held signs reading "Diversity = White Death" and "Murdered By Muds, Covered Up By Jews." Linder was arrested after he crossed police lines at the demonstration and fought with officers. He was charged with disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, vandalism and assault on a police officer. In August, he pleaded guilty to resisting arrest and was sentenced to six months of probation.
In 2008, Linder and other VNN activists attempted to organize and publicize a similar protest campaign on behalf of a teenage shooting victim they assumed was a "pure-blooded" white. When it turned out that their race-war martyr, Daniel Cicciaro, was half Puerto Rican (a "mud" in racist terminology), the campaign so diligently taken up a few days earlier was rapidly canceled.
In June 2009, when 88-year-old anti-Semite James von Brunn shot and killed a security guard at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, Linder praised the shooter for sacrificing himself
Groups Occidental Quarterly Location: Laguna Hills, Calif. Ideology White Nationalist
Kevin MacDonald is the neo-Nazi movement's favorite academic. A psychology professor at California State University, Long Beach, MacDonald, who also is a board member of the white supremacist Charles Martel Society, published a trilogy that supposedly "proves" that Jews are genetically driven to destroy Western societies. MacDonald also argues that anti-Semitism, far from being an irrational hatred for Jews, is a logical reaction to Jewish success in societies controlled by other ethnic or racial groups. After the publication of a 2007 Intelligence Report exposé detailing MacDonald's anti-Semitism, his teaching duties were reduced and many of his colleagues publicly condemned his racist research.
In His Own Words "Jews won the culture war without a shot being fired and without the losing side seeming to realize that it was a, war with real winners and real losers — where the losers have not only given up their cultural preeminence, but have failed to stand up to the ultimate denouement: demographic displacement from lands they had controlled for centuries. The new elite retains its outsider feelings toward their new subjects — a hostile elite in the United States as it was in the Soviet Union." — Personal blog, undated
"In the 20th century many millions of people have been killed in the attempt to establish Marxist societies based on the ideal of complete economic and social leveling, and many more millions of people have been killed as a result of the failure of Jewish assimilation into European societies… . [T]he result has been a widening gulf between the cultural successes of Jews and Gentiles and a disaster for society as a whole." — The Culture of Critique, 2002
Background A former flower child and anti-Vietnam War activist, MacDonald was born in Oshkosh, Wis., to a middle-class family with a police officer dad. He enrolled at the University of Wisconsin in the early 1960s, majoring in philosophy. An ardent peacenik in college, MacDonald abandoned Catholicism and joined the anti-war movement.
MacDonald headed to graduate school at the University of Connecticut, earning a master's in biology in 1977, at the age of 33. In 1981, he received his Ph.D. in biobehavioral sciences from the same university. While in Connecticut, MacDonald studied the behavior of wolves, particularly wolf-cub interaction. MacDonald's academic career was sailing nicely along and he joined the psychology faculty at California State University, Long Beach, (CSULB) where he won a Distinguished Faculty Scholarly and Creative Activities Award in 1995. But MacDonald's anti-war experiences haunted him, and he later told New Times LA journalist Tony Ortega that he had come to realize that that was when his fixation on Jews developed. Noticing that many of his fellow activists in the 1960s were Jewish, MacDonald developed his first inkling that Jews are compelled to challenge traditional American and Western ideals. He came to the conclusion that Jews take over political and cultural movements and front them with unsuspecting, token gentiles — just the way MacDonald felt that he was treated while protesting the Vietnam War.
In the 1980s, MacDonald started reading up on Jews, trying to determine the reasons behind what he saw as their lockstep liberalism and hatred of all things Western. His inaugural effort, the first book in his trilogy on the Jews, was the 1994 publication of A People that Shall Dwell Alone: Judaism as a Group Evolutionary Strategy, which was published by Praeger Press and came out just after MacDonald was awarded his full professorship. Today, most of MacDonald's publishing is about Jews and the evils of the liberal immigration policies that he says they support.
Through the late 1990s, MacDonald dedicated himself to his anti-Semitic intellectual odyssey. He produced two more volumes on the Jews, Separation and its Discontents: Toward an Evolutionary Theory of Anti-Semitism (1998), and The Culture of Critique: An Evolutionary Analysis of Jewish Involvement in Twentieth-Century Intellectual and Political Movements (1998). Taken together, the trilogy provides a whole new justification for anti-Semitism that has little to do with Nazi race theories, which blamed Jews for introducing evil social vices and other perversions into Nordic society and portrayed them as degenerates preying on unsuspecting, wholesome Aryans. MacDonald's basic premise is that Jews engage in a "group evolutionary strategy" that serves to enhance their ability to out-compete non-Jews for resources. Although normally a tiny minority in their host countries, Jews, like viruses, destabilize their host societies to their own benefit, MacDonald argues. Because this Jewish "group behavior" is said to have produced much financial and intellectual success over the years, McDonald claims it also has produced understandable hatred for Jews by gentiles. That means that anti-Semitism, rather than being an irrational hatred for Jews, is actually a logical reaction to Jewish success. In other words, the Nazis, like many other anti-Semites, were only anti-Semitic because they were countering a genuine Jewish threat to their wellbeing. To restore "parity" between Jews and other ethnic groups MacDonald has even called for systematic discrimination against Jews in college admissions and employment and special taxes "to counter the Jewish advantage in the possession of wealth."
MacDonald started the new millennium off with a bang when he agreed to testify as an expert witness for the British Holocaust denier David Irving in a London libel trial. Irving had sued American professor Deborah Lipstadt and her publisher, Penguin Books, claiming that she had defamed him in her 1993 book, Denying the Holocaust. (Irving ultimately lost the internationally watched trial, with the judge ruling that he had "a distinctly pro-Nazi and anti-Jewish bias.") Irving sought out MacDonald's "expert" testimony on Jewish behavior and MacDonald was happy to comply, flying to London in January 2000. During testimony, Irving asked MacDonald if he "perceived the Jewish community as working in a certain way in order to suppress a certain book." MacDonald answered in the affirmative and added that there were "several tactics the Jewish organizations have used." MacDonald later wrote about his decision to testify in an article published in the Journal of Historical Review, a well-known Holocaust denial journal published by the Institute for Historical Review in California. In the article, MacDonald wrote that Jews undertake various strategies against their "enemies." One is to distort history by presenting "Jews and Judaism in a positive light and their enemies in a negative light, often with little regard for historical accuracy."
Media reports about MacDonald's testimony hit CSULB like an earthquake and led to some soul-searching among evolutionary psychologists who had worked closely with the maverick psychology professor. Steven Pinker, the Johnstone Family Professor of Psychology at Harvard University, wrote that MacDonald's work fails "basic tests of scientific credibility." Another scientist, John Tooby, who, along with his wife Leda Cosmides, gave the field of evolutionary psychology its name in 1992, directly challenged MacDonald's work. Tooby told Salon.com in 2000 that "MacDonald's ideas — not just on Jews — violate fundamental principles of the field." John Hartung, the associate editor of the Journal of Neurosurgical Anesthesiology and an associate professor of anesthesiology at the State University of New York, called MacDonald's The Culture of Critique "quite disturbing, seriously misinformed about evolutionary genetics, and suffering from a huge blind spot about the nature of Christianity."
Since the 2000 Irving trial, MacDonald has produced a lot of new work on Jews that is in high demand in white supremacist circles. MacDonald was welcomed with open arms by the Charles Martel Society, a white supremacist organization created in 2001 by Bill Regnery, a publishing magnate who also bankrolls a white supremacist think tank, the National Policy Institute. One of the society's main activities is publishing The Occidental Quarterly, a racist journal devoted to the idea that as whites become a minority "the civilization and free governments that whites have created" will be jeopardized. MacDonald spoke three times to the group, in 2001, 2002 and 2004. Since its launch in 2000, MacDonald has published several articles in the society's journal, which in 2004 put out a special monograph on MacDonald's work entitled "Understanding Jewish Influence: A Study in Ethnic Activism." MacDonald has also served on the quarterly's editorial advisory board and was listed as a member of its board of directors on the group's 2006 tax form. MacDonald is so beloved by Regnery outfits that in 2004 the Quarterly awarded him its first "Jack London Literary Prize." and handed him a check for $10,000 in recognition of his work on Jews.
Anti-Semites also rave about MacDonald's works. The former Klan leader and infamous neo-Nazi David Duke extols MacDonald and cites his trilogy as central to his thinking about the dangers posed by Jews in his autobiography, My Awakening. Longtime neo-Nazi Victor Gerhard wrote in a 2003 E-mail exchange that MacDonald's The Culture of Critique
MacDonald is doing his best to stifle further debate among his colleagues about his anti-Semitic theories and white supremacist activism. After the Intelligence Report contacted his fellow professors in 2006 for comment about MacDonald, psychology department faculty members met with the staff of the Office of Equity and Diversity about possible responses to MacDonald's research. In retaliation, MacDonald sent out a threatening notice to his colleagues, which claimed there was an
The university administration has backed MacDonald's right to his tenured position unequivocally, with CSULB spokeswoman Toni Beron saying,
All of which means that Kevin MacDonald, critic of the Jews, will likely soldier on. Even though he now concedes that he dislikes Jews, he insists that that is irrelevant and should not stop the world from taking his research on them seriously.
In October 2009, MacDonald joined as director the American Third Position (A3P), a racist political party whose policy is "to represent the unique political interests of White Americans." The party is made up mostly of racist skinheads from Southern California.
Joining A3P marks MacDonald's move from anti-Semitic theorizing to racist activism. In 2009, MacDonald also started up his very own online magazine, The Occidental Observer, to
MacDonald's partner at ATP is William D. Johnson, a Los Angeles-based lawyer and white supremacist who has advocated deporting non-whites from the U.S. In 1985, using the pseudonym James O. Pace, Johnson penned an infamous book called Amendment to the Constitution. The book proposed a federal constitutional amendment to repeal the 14th and 15th Amendments — the 14th made freed slaves U.S. citizens and guaranteed equal protection under the law, and the 15th prohibited denial of the right to vote based on race — and substitute a blatantly racist alternative that Johnson dubbed the "Pace Amendment." The new constitutional amendment would read: "No person shall be a citizen of the United States unless he is a non-Hispanic white of the European race, in whom there is no ascertainable trace of Negro blood, nor more than one-eighth Mongolian, Asian, Asia Minor, Middle Eastern, Semitic, Near Eastern, American Indian, Malay or other non-European or non-white blood, provided that Hispanic whites, defined as anyone with an Hispanic ancestor, may be citizens if, in addition to meeting the aforesaid ascertainable trace and percentage tests, they are in appearance indistinguishable from Americans whose ancestral home is in the British Isles or Northwestern Europe. Only citizens shall have the right and privilege to reside permanently in the United States."
The news of MacDonald’s involvement in A3P prompted student activists to launch a campaign to have him removed from the CSULB faculty.
In October 2010, MacDonald endorsed a self-published white nationalist novel by Kyle Bristow, a former hate group leader who first attained notoriety for promoting a video game centered on killing Mexicans. The novel, White Apocalypse, features the graphic assassination of a character based on a prominent Southern Poverty Law Center figure. To Macdonald, it was
After right-wing Norwegian terrorist Anders Breivik slaughtered 77 of his countrymen, mostly teenagers, at a left-wing youth camp in July 2011, MacDonald called the murderer a
MacDonald worried that, in the short term, public “revulsion” at the killing of children would set back the white nationalist cause. But he hoped that “in the long run European elites” dreaming of a “glorious multicultural future” would see that it could not be actualized “without a great deal of bloodletting (including themselves and, as in this case, their children) and realize they will have to change their ways.”
In 2012, the uproar over the death of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed 17-year-old African-American student shot and killed by a neighborhood watchman in Sanford, Fla., infuriated MacDonald. Appearing on David Duke’s nationwide radio program, MacDonald called Martin a “thug,” a “hoodlum,” and a drug dealer who was shot while he was suspended from high school after being caught with stolen jewelry and a tool used for “breaking and entering.” Much of this was false: Florida law enforcement reported that Martin had no juvenile criminal record, and Miami-Dade police notified Martin’s high school that the jewelry reportedly found in the teenager’s backpack “did not match any that had been reported stolen.”
But to MacDonald, representations of Martin as anything other than a hardened criminal were the deceptions of a “Jewish controlled” media, part of a conspiracy to create a new “anti-White religion” with a false “narrative of Blacks as innocent victims of Whites.” Jews, he told Duke, are strategically “making these alliances” with blacks, Hispanics and Asians, despite seeing “all non-Jews as basically sub-human,” because “their long-term goal is to displace white power.”
Jason "Molotov" Mitchell
Location: Wilmington, N.C. Ideology Anti-Gay
In advertising, everyone knows the most important group to reach is the 18-34 demographic. These days, 18- to 34-year-olds even have their own evangelist, a pop culture-savvy Christian hardliner with the word “zealot” tattooed on his forearm and wrath emblazoned in his heart. His name is Jason “Molotov” Mitchell, he’s 33 years old, and he’s a self-declared “Christian Supremacist” who wants his co-religionists to shove aside “effeminized American Christianity” and start “advancing the Kingdom on earth.”
That means abolishing homosexuality, subjugating women, and
Mitchell looks like a hipster, but he reads the Bible like a Christian Reconstructionist, or one who seeks to impose biblical law on secular society. In a 2009 video blog for WorldNetDaily (WND), a far-right online publication (see also Joseph Farah profile above), he endorsed a Ugandan bill that would make homosexuality in many cases a capital offense. In 2011, he chided Christians who condemn Islamic Shariah law because it permits polygamy and the stoning of adulterers, noting that both are permitted in Christian Scripture.
Mitchell, a former wedding videographer who says he came to Christianity after studying Buddhism, Islam and Hare Krishna, does not limit his commentary to religion. He’s described U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonya Sotomayor as an “anti-American racist,” called the progressive Latino advocacy group La Raza “the tan Klan,” and spread “birther” lies about President Obama.
It was a 2008 video about Obama that put Mitchell in the national spotlight. In his “Video Portrait of Barack Hussein Obama,” he accused then-candidate Obama of being a racist, Marxist anti-Semite “discipled” in “quasi-Christianity.” The same year, an evangelical TV channel that had been hosting Mitchell’s edgy “comedy” stopped working with him after he made and ate a cookie decorated with the face of Mohammad, violating the channel’s promise not to denigrate other religions. But WND reportedly liked what it saw and has been working with him ever since.
Mitchell’s wife also posts on WND, under the name “DJ Dolce.” In 2010, she endorsed the thoroughly disproven theory that gay men were responsible for the Holocaust.
In early 2012, Mitchell released his first feature-length film, a pseudo-documentary set in a dystopian near future in which a group of “black power extremists” terrorize and murder abortion providers. “Gates of Hell,” as the film is called, has been praised by leaders of the anti-gay Liberty Counsel and the anti-abortion group Operation Rescue.
With friends like those, Mitchell, who once lamented the “lost value of extremism,” is doing his best to bring it back in vogue.
Elmer Stewart Rhodes
Location: Big Arm, Mont. Ideology Patriot Movement
With all the paranoia he peddles to the conspiracy class, it’s hard to believe Stewart Rhodes once had a career shooting straight for the stratosphere.
But since retiring from the Army and in 2009 starting the Oath Keepers — a defiant “Patriot” organization of active military and police personnel who vow to uphold their oaths to the U.S. Constitution against all enemies, foreign, domestic and imagined — the Yale-educated lawyer has emerged as one of the primary intellectual fountainheads of the antigovernment right.
Under the defiant banner of “Not on our watch,” Rhodes has recruited thousands of politically disaffected men and women into the Oath Keepers. He has plied them with ideas of a tyrannical “New World Order” looming on the horizon, only to dismiss those worries as mere theoretical concerns when it is convenient to do so — typically, when trying to paint the group as mainstream in discussions with reporters. It’s doublespeak at its finest.
For example, he told MSNBC’s Chris Matthews that he wasn’t animated by conspiracy theories or fears.
But when speaking to radio conspiracist Alex Jones, Rhodes touted the benefits of his new organization by playing to one of Jones’ key worries.
A practicing attorney in Nevada, Rhodes left his legal practice in 2010 to move to the Big Sky State. He wasted no time involving himself with the growing local Patriot movement, which has been drawn to Montana for what constitutionalist preacher Chuck Baldwin has called “the Alamo of the 21st Century” — a last stand against a perceived dismantling of American freedoms.
The core of the Oath Keepers is its 10 “Orders We Will Not Obey.” The orders relate directly to Patriot fears of a government conspiracy — alleged plans to impose martial law, shuttle Americans into concentration camps and so on. Rhodes has warned that the government is teetering on the brink and has encouraged residents in Flathead County, Mont., to begin forming citizen militias.
“It’s not that the iceberg is coming. … We already hit the iceberg,” Rhodes was quoted saying during a speech after arriving in Montana. And how does that play out in one of the Ivy League’s most conspiratorial minds? He put it quite simply: “The Titanic is going down.”
In 2012, the State Bar of Arizona admonished Rhodes for practicing without a license after he wrote letters threatening a lawsuit on behalf of two people who were removed from a Quartzite, Ariz., Town Council meeting the previous year. His action came after the Oath Keepers had become embroiled in a local political squabble in the town. Rhodes, who was not licensed to practice in Arizona, was fined $600.
Location: Summerville, S.C. Ideology White Nationalist
With a degree in computer engineering, a knack for polemics and some website savvy, Kyle Rogers has become a key player in the Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC), the lineal descendant of the segregationist White Citizens Councils of the 1950s and 1960s. He joined, he told the Intelligence Report in 2006, after tiring of
Today, Rogers lives near Charleston, S.C., where he moved in 2004, and heads the local chapter of the CCC, which says in its “Statement of Principles” that it “oppose[s] all efforts to mix the races of mankind.” He is also on the group’s national board of directors, runs its website, and serves as its primary editor.
Rogers, who like many white supremacists is much taken with ancient Norse gods, last year began pushing his “Boycott Thor Campaign,” attacking Marvel Studios for casting a “sub-Saharan black man” as the Norse god Heimdallr. Saying Marvel is known for “leftwing ideologies,” Rogers complained that Heimdallr is actually “the progenitor of Europeans and referred to as ‘The Whitest of Gods.’”
In a similar vein, he has lately been writing in the CCC’s Citizens Informer about Kennewick Man, a famous, ancient skeleton found in Washington state that he and others claim shows whites were here first, only to be slaughtered by Indians.
Rogers leads one of the most active CCC chapters in the country. It has held repeated rallies against undocumented workers at the state Capitol and hotly defended the Confederate battle flag. (Rogers told one reporter that the NAACP was “busing in welfare mothers” to demonstrate against the flag.) And it claims that while Islam cannot be criticized, Christianity is under assault (“[W]e are supposed to view Kwanza as equivalent to Christmas,” Rogers huffed angrily).
Rogers also has had something of a toehold in local politics, serving in 2007 as a delegate to the Charleston GOP county convention. He still urges CCC members to remind the party that it should be “standing up for whites.”
Rogers practices what he preaches. He has long advertised on the CCC website his online flag-selling business, Patriotic Flags, which for years has been selling a T-shirt featuring the unblushing slogan, “White Pride Worldwide.”
In 2012, when Trayvon Martin, an unarmed 17-year-old African-American student, was shot and killed by George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watchman in Sanford, Fla., the ensuing national controversy earned Rogers’ ire.
Rogers also began posting anti-Semitic tirades under the name “Valhalla” on Stormfront, one of the oldest and largest racist forums online. His rants have covered such topics as modern crimes perpetuated by Jews and the supposed Jewish domination of the media. In one thread published on the topic of male circumcision in January 2012, he wrote, “Your typical left-wing Jew is obnoxious about being Jewish and constantly drawing attention to their Jewishness. … Your hardcore Orthodox Jews were probably upset when American Christians first started doing [circumcisions].”
Malik Zulu Shabazz
Groups New Black Panther Party Location: Washington, D.C. Ideology Black Separatist
Although he's sometimes identified in the mainstream media as a mere "legal adviser" or "community organizer," Malik Shabazz is a racist black nationalist with a long, well-documented history of violently anti-Semitic remarks and accusations about the inherent evil of white people. He is also particularly skilled at orchestrating provocative protests. Ousted from the Nation of Islam after he became an embarrassment even to that hard-line group, Shabazz went on to take up the leadership of the New Black Panther Party.
In His Own Words Shabazz: "Who is it that caught and killed Nat Turner?" Audience: "Jews!" Shabazz: "Who is it that controls the Federal Reserve?" Audience: "Jews!" Shabazz: "What? You're not scared, are you?" Audience: "Jews! Jews!" Shabazz: "Who is it that controls the media and Hollywood?" Audience: "Jews! Jews!" Shabazz: "Who is it that has our entertainers … and our athletes in a vice grip?" Audience: "Jews!" — Speech at Howard University before becoming Panther leader, 1994
Background Malik Zulu Shabazz, who was born with the name Paris Lewis, credits his grandfather, a longtime member of the Nation of Islam (NOI), for introducing him to black separatism. Shabazz took up the cause at an early age. While still in his twenties, Shabazz organized a group of NOI supporters at Howard University, where he obtained both an undergraduate and a law degree. There, he made waves with a series of offensive public comments and also brought a series of controversial speakers to the school, most notably Khalid Abdul Muhammad, who then led the New Black Panther Party (NBPP), in 1994. Just months before that, Muhammad had been ousted from NOI for a speech widely considered anti-Semitic, anti-Catholic and homophobic.
It was at the Howard University event that Shabazz led the audience in an infamous anti-Semitic call and response as a prelude to Muhammad's speech, cementing his own reputation as a bigoted and militant activist. Also in 1994, Shabazz was fired from a position with Washington D.C. Mayor Marion Barry, who criticized him for statements
Shabazz and Muhammad became close colleagues, joining together again on the eve of the Million Man March in 1995 to organize the African Black Holocaust and Nationhood Conference, an event from which more mainstream march organizers distanced themselves. At the conference, speakers discussed Jewish involvement in the "African Holocaust" and disparaged the Holocaust of the "so-called Jews." As the event opened, Shabazz introduced Muhammad as "a man who gives the white man nightmares … a man who makes the Jews pee in their pants at night … Dr. Khalid Muhammad!"
Muhammad was a mentor to Shabazz, who followed Muhammad's path away from NOI and into the NBPP. Besides adopting the name and some of the confrontational methods of the original Black Panthers, the NBPP differed significantly, advocating a degree of violence and a virulently racist stance that is completely unrelated to the tenets of the original movement, which has strongly denounced it.
Muhammad ascended to the leadership of the NBPP in 1998, with Shabazz becoming his primary spokesperson. As the person responsible for taking Muhammad's message into the mainstream, Shabazz made frequent media appearances in which he advanced vast conspiracy theories about the role of Jews in black oppression and insisted that world problems are caused by "the very nature of white people." Shabazz has also advanced the theory, laid out by some black nationalists, that blacks, not Jews, are the original Hebrews of Israel. (This theology, which is present in many black nationalist organizations but varies markedly from group to group, is usually known as Black Hebrew Israelism.)
Shabazz assumed the leadership of the NBPP in February 2001, following the unexpected and sudden death of Khalid Muhammad. That same year, Shabazz notoriously appeared at a press conference alleging a Jewish conspiracy behind the 9/11 terrorist attacks and embarked on what was to be a long series of controversial protests. The group had previously participated in operations such as a 1998 protest in Jasper, Texas, at which armed, fatigue-wearing NBPP members confronted Klansmen over the savage truck-dragging murder of James Byrd by white supremacists. Shabazz was intent on expanding this strategy of staged high-profile events that drew enormous media attention.
NBPP members began traveling the country to "protect" victims of hate crimes and often angrily denounced the police officers, white business owners and residents who they insisted were complicit. Appearances included a large presence in Jena, La., in 2007, where major civil rights protests broke out over what appeared to be the authorities' sharply differential treatment of white and black students involved in schoolyard violence. The NBPP also held inflammatory protests in New York over the 1996 police shooting death of Sean Bell. At one such protest, Shabazz led the crowd in a chant of "Fifty shots! Fifty cops! Kill the pigs who kill our kids!" The NBPP have also protested the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., and attempted to disrupt an interfaith vigil organized by the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington.
In 2007, Shabazz also became involved in the case of Megan Williams, a black woman who was allegedly tortured and raped by six white men and women in Charleston, W.Va. Shabazz was angry that local authorities did not charge the whites with hate crimes in addition to other charges; local authorities, for their part, said that Williams was in a relationship with one of the white men charged and said racial hatred did not appear to be the motive in the crime. (In the end, just one of those charged was charged and convicted of a hate crime.) Soon after the case made national news, Shabazz got himself appointed as the victim's legal counsel and hastily organized a "National March Against Hate Crimes and Racism," which was not held under the banner of the NBPP, but rather that of another organization, Black Lawyers for Justice, which Shabazz had founded in 1996. Shabazz's efforts in West Virginia were supported by the Rev. Al Sharpton and then-Texas Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee. In late 2009, Williams recanted her charges, but only after most of those charged had pleaded guilty. Prosecutors said they did not believe Williams' recantation and had only relied on the offenders' statements to convict them.
Since 2007, Shabazz has increasingly identified himself as the head of the Black Lawyers for Justice, instead of the NBPP that he still leads. Nevertheless, during a march in West Virginia related to the Williams case, Shabazz publicly reaffirmed his commitment to the NBPP. "I will always be a part of the New Black Panther Party," he said. "I am not going to deny my family for anybody."
In October 2007, about 100 NBPP members from across the country gathered in Atlanta for the national Black Power Summit, co-billed as The Attack on Black America. “Our rise is co-dependent on the white man’s demise,” Shabazz said in a scalding keynote address. “What do I mean when I say, ‘the white man’?” he asked. “Well, I mean the goddamn white man.” Arguing that overt signs of white racism like the Jena 6 case in Louisiana are just cause for black Americans to become militant, Shabazz discouraged the idea of “waiting” for racial tensions to ease, saying “that sounds like faggot talk, and I hate faggot talk.”
In 2011, Shabazz turned his ire on the first African-American president. A few months after the U.S. began supporting insurgents’ efforts to overthrow Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi, Shabazz called President Obama a “nigger” on camera.
“Whatever Barack Obama is doing, he represents the white man,” Shabazz shouted. “He represents the ideology of the white man, he represents the CIA set up, sabotage, lie on a African leader and bomb that man like he George Bush. He represents the white man. And his wife should leave the nigger tonight. She should walk out and his beautiful daughters should walk out on this bamboozling, buck-dancing Tom.”
“Only thing you see in Libya is just a big case of police brutality,” Shabazz continued. “We see the way they [police] team up on us and run us down all the time. … Sometimes it’s a nigger police chief that’s in the lead. This time it’s a nigger police chief in the lead named Barack Obama.” The NBPP leader’s rage over U.S. involvement in Qaddafi’s overthrow may have been related to the fact that the Libyan dictator was a financial patron of the NOI, which Shabazz continued to support, despite having cut his formal ties years ago.
The NBPP generated a great deal of media attention with its militant response to the death of Trayvon Martin, the black teenager whose February 2012 shooting death in Sanford, Fla., at the hands of a neighborhood watch volunteer caused waves of outrage across America. Shabazz’s group offered a $10,000 reward for the capture of Martin’s killer, George Zimmerman, and announced, but did not ultimately hold, an armed rally in Sanford with the New Black Liberation, a fellow black separatist group.
Samuel Jared Taylor
Groups American Renaissance Ideology White Nationalist
In his personal bearing and tone, Jared Taylor projects himself as a courtly presenter of ideas that most would describe as crudely white supremacist — a kind of modern-day version of the refined but racist colonialist of old. He is the founder of the New Century Foundation and edits its American Renaissance magazine, which, despite its pseudo-academic polish, regularly publishes proponents of eugenics and blatant anti-black and anti-Latino racists. Taylor also hosts a conference every other year where racist intellectuals rub shoulders with Klansmen, neo-Nazis and other white supremacists.
In His Own Words
"At its most basic, racial consciousness has as its goal the preservation of a certain people. Its aim is to rekindle among whites what every previous generation until recently so took for granted they did not even give it a name: an instinctive preference for their own people and culture, and a strong desire that they should prosper. I note that every other racial group acts on this healthy instinct and desire. Race realism therefore has no theory of religion, the family, art, or the role of government, except in the very general sense that it expects whites to love, first and foremost, the infinite riches created by European man." — American Renaissance website, July 3, 2008
Background Born to missionary parents in Japan, Taylor lived in that country until he was 16 years old. He graduated from Yale University in 1973 with a bachelor's degree in philosophy and graduated from Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris (Sciences Po) in 1978 with a master's degree in international economics. Taylor speaks fluent Japanese and French. In the 1980s, Taylor was West Coast editor of PC Magazine and a consultant, particularly for companies working in Japan. Taylor also has taught Japanese to summer-school students at Harvard University.
Taylor entered the active racist scene in 1990, when he founded the New Century Foundation, a pseudo-intellectual think tank that promotes "research" arguing for white superiority. A year later, he began publishing American Renaissance, a magazine that focuses on the alleged links between race and intelligence, and on eugenics, the now discredited "science" of breeding better humans.
Taylor, whose 1992 Paved With Good Intentions: The Failure of Race Relations in Contemporary America makes similar points in a book format, went further out on the racist limb in 1993 by speaking at a conference of the Council of Conservative Citizens, a white supremacist group that has described black people as "a retrograde species of humanity." Today, Taylor's New Century Foundation is intimately related to the council through "common membership, governing bodies, trustees and officers," according to the foundation's tax forms.
In the late 1990s, Taylor came out with The Color of Crime, a booklet that tried to use crime statistics to "prove" that blacks are far more criminally prone than whites — and that argued, based on a misunderstanding of what constitutes a hate crime, that black "hate crimes" against whites exponentially outnumbered the reverse. That racist booklet is now a staple in white supremacist circles. Taylor's New Century Foundation also plays host to biannual American Renaissance Conferences, suit-and-tie affairs that attract a broad spectrum of the participants from the racist right, including neo-Nazis, white supremacists, Holocaust deniers and eugenicists. The conferences nearly always have an international presence. Speakers have included such prominent figures in the European radical right as Nick Griffin, leader of the racist British National Party, and Bruno Gollnisch, the then second-in-command of Jean Marie Le Pen's immigrant-bashing French National Front.
More recently, Taylor has sounded off against all black culture, railing in a 2005 article in American Renaissance, "Africa in our Midst: Lessons from Katrina" that "the barbaric behavior" of the city's black population after the hurricane revealed a key truth: "Blacks and whites are different. When blacks are left entirely to their own devices, Western civilization —any kind of civilization — disappears."
One thing that separates Taylor from much of the radical right, however, is his lack of anti-Semitism; he told MSNBC-TV interviewer Phil Donahue in 2003 that Jews "are fine by me" and "look white to me." Taking this position, however, has proven problematic for Taylor. Although he once banned discussion of the so-called "Jewish question" from American Renaissance venues and, in 1997, kicked Holocaust deniers and neo-Nazis off his E-mail list, Taylor also continued to allow people like Don Black, the former Klan leader who runs the neo-Nazi Stormfront.org web forum, and Jamie Kelso, a Stormfront moderator, to attend his biannual American Renaissance conferences. The problem for Taylor is that many of the most active participants at his conferences and the most committed members of the American radical right are passionately anti-Semitic. To ban them for their anti-Semitic views would be a devastating blow to Taylor's efforts to make his journal and conferences the flagship institutions of American extremism.
Despite Taylor's best efforts to keep the internal peace, this long-smoldering issue finally burst into the open when David Duke, the former Klan leader and author of an anti-Semitic autobiography, My Awakening, grabbed the microphone at the 2006 American Renaissance Conference and went on a thinly veiled anti-Semitic rant about
Taylor issued a nonsectarian statement in which he said that all sorts of extremists would be welcome at his conferences as long as they acted appropriately. That didn't sit well with some of his racist Jewish supporters, like Hart, who had hoped for a more declarative statement banning anti-Semites from the conferences. Some former associates of Taylor such as one-time American Renaissance webmaster Ian Jobling and well-known anti-black commentator Lawrence Auster (who spoke at the first American Renaissance conference in 1994) have spoken out against Taylor's refusal to clearly condemn anti-Semitism.
The 2006 dispute had the look of a major split in the group. In one E-mail, Shawn Mercer, co-founder and moderator of AR List, an American Renaissance E-mail group, warned, "These are the makings of a major schism." But the 2008 American Renaissance Conference was held and drew a substantial crowd, even as the issue of the "Jewish question" remained unresolved.
Taylor has some support from far right organizations. In 2008, he was invited to speak at Michigan State University by the campus chapter of Young Americans for Freedom.
In ensuing years, he continued to network effectively with white nationalists and wrote regularly for the racist anti-immigration website VDARE and others.
In 2011, Taylor spoke at the National Policy Institute, a racist think tank whose mission statement says it aims "
James Timothy Turner
Location: Ozark, Ala. Ideology Sovereign Citizens Movement
The antigovernment “sovereign citizens” movement is chock-full of homemade prophets and half-baked historians who traffic in alleged theories about conspiracies against the Constitution. And then there’s James Timothy Turner.
With the wry and thin-lipped smile of a conman on the make, Turner is “president” of the Republic for the united States of America (RuSA), probably the largest and most organized sovereign citizens group active in the United States today. But unlike small-time sovereigns who largely limit themselves to spouting bogus theories about how to get out of taxes and bankruptcy and traffic tickets, Turner has adopted a whole alternative history wherein the legitimate federal government went dormant after the Civil War. What exists in its place today, he says, is a “corporation” intent on forcing liberty-loving patriots into financial slavery.
Based in the southeastern Alabama town of Ozark, Turner burst onto the sovereign scene in 2007 with a series of seminars claiming he could help his clients get out of paying mortgages, credit cards and income tax bills using a series of sovereign tricks. He offered strategies using pseudo-legal declarations he coined “Freedom Documents,” and he had the folksy charm to sell it.
But with RuSA, Turner went a step further than his co-religionists, setting out to form a shadow government lying in wait for the day it would be needed.
RuSA emerged from the rubble of another group, the Guardians for the free Republics, which raised alarms in 2010 by publicly demanding the resignation of all 50 state governors. Little came of its demands, naturally, and the Guardians collapsed within months of the declaration due to infighting. Turner alone pushed onward, selling the myth that the federal government was a sham.
The group’s gubernatorial demand, which prompted at least one statehouse to beef up security, was its first major public action. But it wasn’t the last. This January, Turner filed a federal lawsuit in Alabama that accused President Obama, the governors of all 50 states, and the sheriffs of every one of America’s 3,131 counties of libeling him in their characterization of his sovereign beliefs.
In February 2011, Turner caused a stir among his followers when he sent them a letter insisting that the future “Republic” he hopes to create will be a Christian nation – an idea many sovereigns do not agree with. He lambasted a series of nine U.S. presidents, blaming them for everything from an exploding national debt to “rampant homosexuality” to the “intentional poisoning of our people.” And Turner focused in on President Obama: “He is not even a lawful American citizen,” he said. “He is a Muslim which [sic] are sworn to kill anyone who is not Muslim.”
Around the same time, Turner announced that he was forming a militant wing of RuSA, to be called the American Rangers. Although it’s unclear if that ever really happened, law enforcement officials near his south Alabama town said they had seen armed “marshals of the Republic” patrolling in the area.
Some of the statements Turner made in weekly calls with his followers were bizarre even for sovereigns, such as his claim to have cured leukemia in five days. He repeatedly offered vague but electrifying accounts of attempts to assassinate him by the federal government. “It didn’t work out so well, not for them at least,” he told followers of one supposed attempt in Virginia.
In one of his weekly calls, a follower asked Turner to explain what really happened when, as some people believe, an alien spacecraft crashed in 1947 near Roswell, N.M. His jaw-dropping reply:
In February 2012, a bank foreclosed on two parcels of rural land totaling roughly 52 acres belonging to Turner after he failed to make payments on a mortgage dating to June 2006. The same day the foreclosure was filed, the land was auctioned from the steps of the Dale County (Ala.) Courthouse. The bank bought the land, and there wasn’t a peep of protest from Turner, despite having burst onto the sovereign scene in 2007 peddling mortgage relief strategies.
Michael Brian Vanderboegh
Location: Pinson, Ala. Ideology Patriot Movement
When he’s not talking about his love of the Constitution, his dislike of immigrants, or the need for armed citizen militias to battle a repressive federal government, Alabama “Patriot” leader Mike Vanderboegh has a thing about throwing bricks. Unfortunately, at least a few people are listening.
In 2010, after Congress passed President Obama’s health care reform bill, Vanderboegh used his Sipsey Street Irregulars blog to urge opponents to throw bricks through the windows of Democratic offices nationwide.
Thugs responded in several U.S. cities, including Wichita, Kan., Rochester, N.Y., and Tucson, Ariz., where bricks shattered the office windows of U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, a Democrat who was later shot in the head by a deranged gunman with no known ties to Vanderboegh. At least 10 Democrats in Congress reported harassment, vandalism or death threats. Vanderboegh was unapologetic, telling The Washington Post that the attacks were a legitimate warning to Democratic lawmakers that health care reform could lead to civil war. Throwing bricks, he said, “is both good manners and it’s also a moral duty to try to warn people.”
It wasn’t the first call for criminal violence from the man who led the Sons of Liberty, an antigovernment militia, in the 1990s. In 2006, he urged people to throw bricks through the office windows of members of Congress who supported legislation giving undocumented immigrants the same rights as U.S. citizens.
In recent years, Vanderboegh was a founder of another Patriot group, THREE%ER, which takes its name from the theory that only 3% of American colonials actually fought the British. He also engaged in vigilante border patrols.
At the same time, he tried to portray himself as a moderate, denouncing neo-Nazis and posturing as a civic improver by leading attacks on a botched gun investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. In that role, he has been regularly consulted as an expert by Fox News, which hasn’t bothered to mention his background as a militia leader or instigator of criminal brick-throwing attacks.
That’s especially remarkable given the arrests in late 2011 of four members of a Georgia militia for allegedly planning to assassinate government officials, bomb federal buildings, and attack four cities with the deadly ricin toxin. Officials said they were inspired, in part, by Absolved, a recent online novel by Vanderboegh that portrays a small group of Americans who assassinate government officials.
That would be officials of the very same government, as it turns out, that sends Mike Vanderboegh, each and every month, a disability check for $1,300.
Obama’s health care law inspired violent rhetoric from Vanderboegh again when the Supreme Court upheld it in June 2012. The day of the ruling, he wrote that it
Pastor John Weaver
Location: Fitzgerald, GA. Ideology Neo-Confederate
A minister for more than four decades, John Weaver is a religious mainstay of the racist neo-Confederate movement and a man who has recently become a leading proponent of training Christians for armed battle.
Weaver, who earned a bachelor’s in theology from Bob Jones University (which until 2000 banned interracial dating), is the pastor of Freedom Baptist Ministries in Fitzgerald, Ga., and preaches weekly in Waycross, Ga., and Live Oak, Fla. But his interests go way beyond preaching.
For years, Weaver was a leading member of the Council of Conservative Citizens, a hate group that opposes interracial marriage and has described black people as a “retrograde species of humanity.” He also long served as chaplain to the Southern heritage group Sons of Confederate Veterans at a time when its leadership was largely controlled by racist extremists.
Weaver was much sought after by extremist groups. In March 2007, for instance, he spoke for five nights at South Pointe Baptist Church in Pelzer, S.C., at a conference sponsored by Christian Exodus. That group was working to get Christians in South Carolina to secede and was led by Cory Burnell, himself a former member of the League of the South (LOS), a neo-secessionist hate group.
Regardless of whether or not “interposition” is “biblical,” it is a doctrine that was used by racist Southern state governments to defend slavery and, later, to try to “nullify” laws and court rulings against segregation. It is also one that the courts have repeatedly ruled unconstitutional.
In April 2011, Weaver made an appearance on “The Political Cesspool,” a racist radio program run by James Edwards out of Memphis, Tenn., that has featured a veritable “Who’s Who” of the radical right. Others on the show have included former Klan leaders, Holocaust deniers, neo-Nazis and fellow travelers.
Weaver has also taken up weapons in a big way. He recently became a certified instructor for Front Sight, a firearms training institute. At a Georgia LOS meeting in March 2011, he taught members to draw down on an enemy. He taught gun safety at the LOS national convention last July.
Also last year, Weaver spoke at the Church of Kaweah, a militant hate group based in California. Today, the church sells tapes of Weaver’s sermons and also features him in a church video entitled, “To Teach Them War.”
Location: Brooklyn, N.Y. Ideology Anti-Muslim
In 2007, David Yerushalmi urged the United States to declare “WAR AGAINST ISLAM and all Muslim faithful.” When that didn’t happen, he did his best to start one himself.
Yerushalmi practices what he calls “lawfare”— a multi-platform attack on Muslims’ freedom, staged by pushing anti-Shariah bills in state legislatures and filing aggressive lawsuits against supposed enemies of free expression and America’s “Judeo-Christian” heritage.
So far, he’s been disturbingly successful. At least three states have passed laws based on his model “American Laws for American Courts” legislation, created for the explicit purpose of outlawing Islamic Shariah law. More states will consider it this year. In addition to serving as general counsel to Frank Gaffney’s (see profile above) paranoiac anti-Muslim Center for Security Policy, he’s represented Pam Geller’s Stop Islamization of America (SIOA) and the Koran-burning Florida pastor Terry Jones.
Yerushalmi began his campaign in 2006 by founding the Society of Americans for National Existence (SANE), an anti-Muslim organization devoted to promoting his theory that Islam is inherently seditious and Shariah, or Islamic religious law, is a “criminal conspiracy to overthrow the U.S. government.” He equates Shariah with Islamic radicalism so totally that he advocates criminalizing virtually any personal practice compliant with Shariah — in his view, only a Muslim who fully breaks with the customs of Shariah can be considered socially tolerable. Ideally, he would outlaw Islam and deport its adherents altogether.
Muslims aren’t the only group with whom he has a bone to pick. Yerushalmi, an Orthodox Jew, also rails against liberal Jews and the “progressive elites” he says they influence. He’s described blacks as “the most murderous of peoples” and reportedly once called for undocumented immigrants to be placed in “special criminal camps,” detained for three years, and then deported.
Together with Robert Muise of the Thomas More Law Center, a Christian Right law firm with which he has repeatedly collaborated, Yerushalmi in early 2012 formed the American Freedom Law Center (AFLC). Touted on its website as “the first truly authentic Judeo-Christian public interest law firm,” AFLC’s declared mission is “to fight for faith and freedom by advancing and defending America’s Judeo-Christian heritage and moral foundation through litigation, education, and public policy program.” Within weeks of its creation, AFLC had filed a challenge to a federal health care mandate that would have required most employers to cover birth control and a “friend of the court” brief in defense of S.B.1070, Arizona’s draconian anti-immigrant law.
Geller, Islamophobia’s most vulgar mouthpiece, couldn’t be more thrilled. “This is great news and the dawning of a new era,” she said of Yerushalmi’s newest venture. “[G]oing on the offense against who would crush our freedoms.”