Christian groups are celebrating with the news that the Federal Bureau of Investigation appears to have scrubbed the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) from its hate crimes webpage, where the controversial group was listed as a resource and referred to as a partner in public outreach.
A letter to the U.S. Department of Justice, drafted by Lieutenant General (Ret.) William G. Boykin, Executive Vice President of the Family Research Council (FRC), calls such an association "completely unacceptable."
Signed by fourteen other conservative and Christian leaders, the letter calls SPLC "a heavily politicized organization producing inaccurate and biased data on 'hate groups' – not hate crimes." It accuses the SPLC of "providing findings that are not consistent with trends found in the FBI statistics." Where the FBI has found hate crimes and hate groups declining significantly in the past ten years, SPLC claims hate groups have increased 67.3% since 2000. Where once SPLC's hate list was reserved for groups like the Aryan Nation and the KKK, in 2010 SPLC started citing as hate groups those Christian groups that oppose same-sex marriage or believe homosexuality is not inborn, or are otherwise critical of homosexuality. Among the Christian groups targeted by SPLC was FRC.
In the fall of 2012, Floyd Lee Corkins, armed with a loaded semi-automatic pistol and 100 rounds of ammunition, entered FRC headquarters not far from FBI headquarters in downtown Washington, D.C. Corkins shot the front desk security guard and tried to gain entrance to the upper floors where he intended to kill FRC employees. Though wounded, the front desk security guard subdued Corkins, who became the first person ever convicted under the Washington, D.C., domestic terrorism law. Corkins said he got the idea of killing FRC employees from reading the SPLC hate list and made use of a map of the FRC office found on the SPLC website.
The Boykin letter concludes that "it is completely inappropriate for the Department of Justice to recommend public reliance on the SPLC hate group lists and data." The letter demanded that all ties between the FBI and SPLC be severed.
SPLC has come under severe criticism from the left and the right in recent years.
Writing in the left-wing website Counterpunch, Alexander Coburn called SPLC founder Morris Dees "king of the hate business." Coburn wrote, "Ever since 1971, U.S. Postal Service mailbags have bulged with Dees' fundraising letters, scaring dollars out of the pockets of trembling liberals aghast at his lurid depictions of hate-sodden America, in dire need of legal confrontation by the SPLC." In fact, so prolific is Dees at direct mail that he is in the Direct Marketing Association Hall of Fame.
Writing at the Harper's Magazine blog in 2007, Ken Silverstein said, "What [the SPLC] does best... is to raise obscene amounts of money by hyping fears about the power of [right-wing fringe] groups; hence the SPLC has become the nation's richest 'civil rights' organization."
A critical analysis published recently by Professor George Yancey of North Texas University concluded that SPLC targets only those groups its leaders disagree with politically while leaving liberal groups who use extreme language alone.
A 2013 article in Foreign Policy concluded that SPLC exaggerates the hate crimes threat, saying SPLC is not an "objective purveyor of data," instead calling them "anti-hate activists" and suggesting that their reports need to be "weighed more carefully by news outlets that cover their pronouncements."
Though SPLC sits on a bank account of $250 million and raises some $40 million a year in direct mail, some have suggested that the decline of racist groups and therefore the need to tap new sources of funds might have led Dees and his colleagues to target Christian groups as new sources of revenue. Weekly Standard writer Charlotte Hays says, "...several critics with whom I spoke speculated that the last might represent another of Dees's efforts to tap via mailing lists into a well-off and easily frightened donor base: gays."
What has concerned Christian groups in recent years is that their inclusion on the hate list and the use of the hate list by the FBI is unfair and even dangerous to their civil liberties. After all, holding the view that gayness is not inborn and opposing same-sex marriage are hardly against the law.
FRC president Tony Perkins said, "We commend the FBI for removing website links to the Southern Poverty Law Center, an organization that not only dispenses erroneous data but has been linked to domestic terrorism in federal court. We hope this means the FBI leadership will avoid any kind of partnership with the SPLC."
The Southern Poverty Law Center, which has labeled several Washington, D.C.-based family organizations as “hate groups” for favoring traditional marriage, has been dumped as a “resource” on the FBI’s Hate Crime Web page, a significant rejection of the influential legal group.
The Web page scrubbing, which also included eliminating the Anti-Defamation League, was not announced and came in the last month after 15 family groups pressed Attorney General Eric Holder and FBI Director James Comey to stop endorsing a group–SPLC–that inspired a recent case of domestic terrorism at the Family Research Council.
“We commend the FBI for removing website links to the Southern Poverty Law Center, an organization that not only dispenses erroneous data but has been linked to domestic terrorism in federal court. We hope this means the FBI leadership will avoid any kind of partnership with the SPLC,” Tony Perkins, FRC President, told Secrets.
“The Southern Poverty Law Center’s mission to push anti-Christian propaganda is inconsistent with the mission of both the military and the FBI, which is to defend and uphold the Constitution of the United States,” he added.
The Anti-Defamation League, however, was “shocked” by the FBI’s move, made without any notice. It’s work with the FBI has not been questioned.
Abraham H. Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, told Secrets, “We are shocked, surprised and disappointed that this would be done without any consultation with groups such as ours who have been working closely with the Federal Bureau of Investigation on issues of hate crime. We look forward to having further conversations with them on this issue.”
For more than forty years two arch liberal Jewish "civil liberties" fronts have promoted hate crimes laws, ceaselessly attempting to ensnare members of the Christian/conservative right as "haters." They are the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center. ADL is best known as architect of hate crimes laws worldwide. Following passage of its U.S. federal hate crimes law, the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act, ADL boasted: " Our legal experts pioneered hate crime laws and work to implement them nationwide." ("Problems to Solutions: Building a Better World, ADL Annual Report," adl.org)
SPLC ("ADL South"), despite its name, has generally favored a more emotional approach toward suppressing the Christian/conservative right. They describe Christian watchdog groups, such as Family Research Council and the National Prayer Network, as "hate groups." They even provide online maps of our locations.
Yet the ADL/SPLC agenda of condemning bias against groups they promote (and protect against hate crimes prosecution), such as Jews, blacks, homosexuals, and Muslims, may be becoming wearisome even to long-time partners in hate crimes enforcement. On the federal level, these may include the FBI and U.S. Department of Justice.
Astonishingly, the FBI has removed both ADL and SPLC as NGO (non-government organization) resources for its hate crimes web page. ADL's Abe Foxman vows to contest this affront. Yet, at least for the moment, an era of greatest influence of ADL over the FBI may be cooling. In fact, the desire to cooperate with ADL's hate crimes agenda also seems to be on the decline as ADL annually complains that many U.S. states fail to supply statistics of hate crimes. Also, the ardor of foreign nations for ADL's hate laws agenda is undeniably cooling. Here is a brief history.
When Pres. Clinton appointed Janet Reno head of the U.S. Justice Department, one of her first acts was to require FBI director William Sessions to forge a very close working relationship with ADL. This helped facilitate passage of the Hate Crimes Statistics Act. It requires police departments in all U.S. states to provide the U.S. government (and ADL) with statistics of hate and bias crimes. Such statistics are fraudulent because only the smallest percentage of such "crimes" have been adjudicated in court to determine if they are true crimes. A large percentage consist of nothing more than name-calling and minor acts of discrimination. Yet such "statistics," annually touted by ADL, give the impression ADL desires: that an "epidemic of hate" is ravaging America. This has necessitated not only prompt passage of ADL hate laws by states but ADL's dream: a federal U.S. statute.
ADL's propaganda, facilitated by obedient police departments everywhere in America, was spectacularly successful. By 2000, legislators in 45 U.S. states had practically lined up to pass hate laws that, ADL assured them, would "send a strong message that hate crimes will not be tolerated in America."
Having persuaded Canada to pass ADL's federal hate crimes law in 1971, ADL convinced Australia and New Zealand to do the same and then dozens of nations in Europe. By 2005, ADL's European hate crimes gestapo, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, was in full operation with 55 member nations passing ADL hate laws and pledging to supply ADL with the same unadjudicated statistical "evidence" of rampant hate crimes. From 2004 to 2007, ADL was riding high as the global hate laws promoter, receiving a wealth of police and government statistics worldwide. This empowered ADL to persuade Congress to authorize creation of ADL's Department of Global Anti-Semitism in the U.S. State Department. Operating entirely on ADL statistics (and U.S. taxpayer dollars) and with full government authorization, the department promised to "eradicate" such "anti-Semitism" as the Biblical claim that Jews masterminded crucifixion of Christ, any "strong" criticism of Israel, and questioning the accuracy of the six-million figure of Jewish Holocaust dead.
Yet, although ADL has successfully saddled almost every western nation with hate laws, it is clearly becoming harder for ADL to obtain cooperation. By 2009 ADL complained that European nations increasingly failed to supply statistics. As a result, OSCE has virtually collapsed, with adl.org publishing its last article about OSCE in 2011. In turn, the Department of Global Anti-Semitism, no longer receiving statistics from OSCE, has become little more than a nametag on a door in the U.S. State Department.
Such lack of cooperation by OSCE nations undoubtedly results from the inconvenience of collecting statistics. Yet, increasingly, many nations may be starting to realize that hate laws only benefit ADL's rise to power at the expense of freedom. Clearly, long-term resistance to hate laws by groups such as Paul Fromm's Canadian Association for Free Expression and the National Prayer Network is having its desired effect: postponing complete loss of freedom long enough for slow-learning politicians and governments to gradually perceive the destructive and persecutive effects of hate laws and who is behind them.
Unfortunately, many hundreds of federal, state, and provincial hate laws worldwide, while easiest to enact, have proven virtually impossible to repeal. Legislators who passed hate laws lacked courage and independence of mind, and without those characteristics it is exponentially more difficult to repeal these Orwellian laws. Also, because ADL is extremely protective of the legal ground they have gained, they vilify as anti-Semitic or discriminatory any legislation that suggests going back to traditional legal systems. This is exactly the role ADL has been playing behind the scenes, as legal efforts in Kansas, Arizona, and now Missouri attempt to protect Christian business owners from harshly punitive, ADL-orchestrated state "nondiscrimination" laws. Such laws may fine Christian bakers, printers, photographers, etc. hundreds of thousands of dollars for not lending their creativity to homosexual "weddings."
Encourage the FBI!
The FBI has shown great courage in removing ADL and SPLC as NGOs they consult; but, considering ADL's staggering power to defame through accusations of anti-Semitism, we could well expect an apology to ADL/SPLC with reinstatement. To help prevent this, call the FBI at 202-324-3000and tell them: "Congratulations on your courageous decision to remove ADL from your website. Please do not be intimidated by ADL's inevitable attempt to portray the FBI as anti-Semitic, as they have done to countless truth-telling Americans."
Rev. Ted Pike is director of the National Prayer Network, a Christian/conservative watchdog organization.
To contact Rev. Ted Pike call (503) 631-3808 or email email@example.com.
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