SPLC Attacks Joe Biden

February 24, 2021

Just two months after taking office, President Joe Biden finds himself the target of righteous anger from his voter base for his recent decision to reopen two detention centers built by the Obama administration to house unaccompanied immigrant children. Sensing an opportunity to peddle some fresh outrage to its donor base, the Southern Poverty Law Center issued a breathless press release on February 23 condemning both Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris by name. The wording of the release is interesting, both for what it says and what it does not.

In a blaring, all-caps headline, the SPLC writes: “SPLC: REOPENING OF MIGRANT CHILD PRISONS MORALLY INDEFENSIBLE AND UNNECESSARY.” The opening line states that “The Biden-Harris administration is reportedly planning to reopen the Homestead detention center to detain unaccompanied migrant children.”

Note the curious use of the phrase “Biden-Harris administration,” something we’ve never seen before and a pairing the SPLC has never made with previous administrations. Since when do vice-presidents get their own “administrations”? The release repeats the phrase three times.

Also note the use of the terms “prisons” and “detention center” for a facility the Obama administration (or was it the Obama-Biden administration?) named the Homestead Temporary Shelter for Unaccompanied Children. The SPLC didn’t see fit to refer to it by any name when Obama was running it, and they seem to have avoided the “Kids in Cages” trope under Trump, though they have used the term “caged” on many occasions to describe the detention of adult illegal aliens.

The Biden administration claims that the shelters are indeed temporary, just as Obama and Trump did, but many Progressives aren’t buying it. They quite rightly see the hypocrisy inherent in the decision. Since Biden and the SPLC share many of the same donors the company has a built-in market for its outrage product.

The piece offers one other linguistic sidestep when it refers to “… the failed model of child detention of the pre-Trump era…” They cannot even bring themselves to give credit where due to the Obama administration for creating the shelter system in the first place.

As to the “unnecessary” aspect of the plan, blared out in the headline, the author of the press release, who we’ll address below, states: “There are community-based, humane alternatives to detention such as NGOs, nonprofits and community sponsors that are ready to safely care for migrant children from the safety of homes.These options are safer and less traumatizing and will end our reliance on profit-driven private detention corporations.”

The author seems to believe that scattering the children over hundreds of foster homes is preferable to keeping them in one or two locations, where their parents could theoretically locate them should they ever wish to reclaim them in the future.

It also implies that these organizations and individuals would willingly shoulder the cost of feeding, clothing and housing these hundreds of teenagers with no compensation from the government. It’s not an impossible dream, just highly unlikely, though there is one player that could easily take up the challenge and never feel the financial bite in the least.

According to its 2019 IRS Form 990 tax form (2020’s is due out any week now) the SPLC had more than half a billion dollars in cash on hand, 98% of which is designated as “unrestricted” in use. A mere one or two percent of that hoard would be ample for the needs of the undocumented children and would no doubt score major cool points with the donors, who would be thrilled to see their money actually was doing something more useful than hiding out in offshore bank accounts in the Cayman Islands. Win/Win/Win.

The author of the press release, Oliver Torres, is a new name to us, but considering the enormous hiring binge the SPLC has been on in recent years (from 296 paid employees and 22 volunteers in 2015 to 441 employees and 446 volunteers in 2019) it’s hardly surprising. What is surprising is Mr. Torres’ job title: “Senior Outreach Paralegal for the [SPLC’s] Immigrant Justice Project.”

Considering how important the SPLC claims their work for illegal aliens is, and also considering that half-billion dollars in the bank, the best the company can do is to assign a paralegal to the project? Really? Are there no actual lawyers left at the Law Center?

It would seem that once again the Southern Poverty Law Center is selling image rather than character. No doubt it is going to be “business as usual” with the accent on business as we enter the post-Morris Dees and post-Donald Trump era. As with any huge business organization there is a constant need to devise new products to keep the customers coming back year after year.

It will be worth watching how the “Biden-Harris administration fares with the blowback from this dose of cold political reality.

SPLC — Hate Map 2020 — Trump Crushes “Hate Groups”!!!

February 19, 2021

Recently the Southern Poverty Law Center released its annual “Hate Map” fundraising tool, which purports to identify “hate groups” in the US from the previous fiscal year. As usual, it’s full of unvetted claims and outright obfuscations, but like its thirty predecessors, going back to 1990, the “Hate Map” tool is guaranteed to bring in tens of millions of tax-free donor dollars.

The SPLC will be releasing its latest IRS Form 990 shortly, so we’ll get to see how much 2020’s haul from the donors was soon enough. If recent totals are any indication, it should be another hefty year for the company’s coffers:

2019: $117 million
2018: $122 million
2017: $133 million
2016: $53 million*

Before we get into the latest numbers we need to repeat some boilerplate information for our many new readers.

  1. There is no legal definition for a “hate group,” which is why even the FBI does not, cannot designate “hate groups.” There isn’t even a universal definition for “hate,” so what exactly is the SPLC allegedly tracking?
  2. The SPLC’s own spurious definition, “All hate groups have beliefs or practices that attack or malign an entire class of people, typically for their immutable characteristics” essentially boils down to “All hate groups say mean things about other groups,” is so intentionally elastic that it can be applied to almost anyone.
  3. In 2019, Senior US District Court Judge Myron Thompson ruled that the SPLC’s “hate group” label is merely the company’s “opinion,” and therefore protected by the First Amendment.
  4. The Southern Poverty Law Center, Inc. is a private 501(c)3 tax-exempt corporation. It has no mandate, no authority, legal or moral, to designate anyone as anything. Again, such designations are merely the company’s “opinion.”

    The company receives no external review or oversight
    . In 1994, the SPLC’s hometown newspaper, the Montgomery Advertiser, ran a 10-day exposé of the company which revealed that its Board of Directors was packed with cronies and employees of SPLC founder, Morris Dees. Some of these rubber-stampers were still on the Board some twenty-five years later, at the time of Dees’ firing under allegations of long-term sexual harassment of female employees.
  5. Mark Potok, the SPLC’s Intelligence Director for twenty years and the creator of the “Hate Map” tool has stated repeatedly that:

    Listing here does not imply a group advocates or engages in violence or other criminal activity.”

    “…a “hate group” has nothing to do with criminality… [or] potential for violence…” Rather, as Potok put it, “It’s all about ideology.”

    Hate group activities can include criminal acts, marches, rallies, speeches, meetings, leafleting or publishing.” (Seriously. The SPLC deliberately conflates six of the most fundamental civil rights protected by the First Amendment with “criminal acts” and “hate group activities.”)

    Websites appearing to be merely the work of a single individual, rather than the publication of a group, are not included in this list.” (SPLC Hate Map, 2015)

    “An online presence isn’t enough to be added to the list; a group has to meet at least once a year at a physical location.” (SPLC Outreach Director Kate Chance, Feb. 21, 2019)

    Let me first of all say, that we do the “hate group” map and the counts, and so on, as a very rough measure… It’s an imperfect process.”

    “The numbers are absolutely soft,” said Mark Potok, a Southern Poverty Law Center spokesman. “We are talking about a tiny number of Americans who are members of hate groups – I mean, infinitesimal.” (Arlene Levinson, “Hate Groups, Crimes Said Rare in US,” Associated Press, July 8, 1999).

    “We see this political struggle, right? …I mean we’re not trying to change anybody’s mind. We’re trying to wreck the groups, and we are very clear in our head, this is… we are trying to destroy them. Not to send them to prison unfairly or not take their free speech rights away… but as a political matter, to destroy them.”  (Holiday, 2008, track 13, https://archive.org/details/MarkPotok).

    “I don’t think there’s any doubt that these are human beings and it’s a mistake to regard them as just a bunch of sociopaths… though most of them are. Let me say… our aim… sometimes the press will describe us as monitoring hate groups and so on. I want to say plainly that our aim in life is to destroy these groups. Completely destroy them!” (Sept. 2007,  https://youtu.be/fnTz2ylJo_8)

    So what we really see out there in terms of violence from the radical right is by and large what we would call lone wolves, people operating on their own or with just one or two partners. As opposed to, you know, being some kind of organizational plan.”

And there you have it, right from the experts at the SPLC themselves. By the way, we know that the SPLC is staffed by “experts” because it clearly says so on the company’s website and fundraising literature. Let’s wade in and have a look at this latest “report.”

First off, 2020’s “hate group” count is down by 11% from 2019, from 940 to 838. Ups and downs like this are not unusual for the SPLC. As the sole arbiter of the insanely lucrative “hate group” label, the company can set the level anywhere it pleases and nobody in the Media will ask to see any proof whatsoever.

In 2011, the SPLC designated 1,018 alleged “hate groups,” an all-time record high which they naturally attributed to “A Black Man in the White House.” By 2014, halfway into President Obama’s second term, the number mysteriously plummeted to 784, a loss of 23%.

How can this be? It’s simple. The SPLC is keenly aware of “donor fatigue,” which is why they stopped taking Death Row appeal cases in the 1970s. The donors will gladly swallow claims of 1,018 “hate groups,” but it’s hard to keep the hysteria alive from year to year. Therefore, the SPLC will voluntarily cut back its “hate group” totals so that in a year or two it can sound the alarums about “explosive growth in hate” when they jack the numbers up again in some future campaign.

In 2018, “hate groups” allegedly set a new “all time record high” under President Trump. What the company neglected to mention was that, at 1,020, the new “record” was only two groups higher than President Obama’s numbers in 2011. The donors didn’t remember and the Media didn’t care. The excuse for 2020’s decline was exactly the same as for 2014, “hate groups are going online.”

The sheer beauty of the “online” canard is that there is no possible way to prove or disprove it. This is the same logic behind the SPLC’s oft-repeated claims that Donald Trump somehow “emboldened hate groups.” It’s a throwaway claim that perpetuates the company’s Fear and Outrage campaign with absolutely no risk that anyone in the Media is going to ask to see the evidence (not that anyone in the Media ever would).

Another HUGE fact to remember about the “Hate Map” is what the SPLC likes to designate as “Statewide” groups. “Statewide” simply refers to alleged groups for which the SPLC provides no corroborating information whatsoever. Not so much as a known city or town, or anything that a donor or journalist could use to verify the claim. Nothing.

The SPLC has been using “statewide” phantoms to pad out its numbers for decades. It’s a brilliant fundraising strategy. For example, the SPLC claims 42 alleged chapters of the Patriot Front for 2020, with one in Washington, DC, and the other 41 parceled out as “statewide” entities across various states. No evidence, no proof required. Thirty-five of the SPLC’s 36 Racist Skinhead groups are “statewide” phantoms! That’s 97% of the claim and nobody in the Media will challenge it.

Better still, when compared from year to year, the percentage of “statewide” phantoms in any one category continues to increase. As the chart below indicates (click to enlarge) in 2017 “only” 39% of alleged Ku Klux Klan chapters were “statewide” phantoms, but by 2020 they accounted for nearly half. In 2017, 35% of alleged White Nationalist “groups” were homeless. By 2020 the number had jumped to 61%. The company is losing its “hate groups” faster than it can designate them.

“Statewide” phantoms since 2017 – Click to Enlarge

While the SPLC would prefer that people (donors) forget about previous claims, we like to keep track of such things. You never know what the experts at the SPLC are going to tell you over time. For example, in the chart above, alleged group counts in red indicate an increase from the previous year. Those highlighted in yellow indicate a decline and those in blue indicate no change at all from the previous year. Since 2017 the decreases have outnumbered the increases significantly, and even the increases are fairly minor compared to the previous year, with one glaring exception.

For 2020, the SPLC stopped counting Black and Black Muslim “hate groups” as “Black hate groups.” While it’s perfectly acceptable, even righteous, to count White Nationalist “groups” because they believe that whites are superior to non-whites, and Christian Identity “groups” because they believe that Christians are superior to heathen non-believers, you can’t draw attention to your 70-odd Nation of Islam chapters as “hate groups,” even though their racial and religious identities form the entire bases of their association. It confuses the donors, which is bad for business.

You see, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, Black people aren’t like other human beings and must be treated differently. Black “hate” isn’t really hate and the fact that Black “hate groups” are the largest single and fastest growing category on the map was proving to be problematic.

As with previous years, 2020’s 264 alleged Black “hate groups” outnumbered all 252 of the SPLC’s KKK, neo-Nazi, racist skinhead and white nationalist groups for that year COMBINED.

When you strip out the homeless “statewide” phantoms from both sides, that ratio jumps to 3.5-to-1, or 252 to 82. What were the donors to make of that?

The solution was simplicity itself. If “Black hate groups” are the problem, simply call them something else, otherwise you’d have to erase another 32% of your groups from the map.

So for 2020, the SPLC’s 264 alleged “Black hate groups” and 7 alleged Holocaust Denial “groups were shoved into the delightfully generic “General Hate” category. They are still the same groups, with a few extras thrown in, but they’re not Black anymore. Get it?

This creative accounting brings up another fascinating factoid: According to the SPLC’s own dire numbers, and despite five straight years of hysterical claims that “Donald Trump empowers hate groups!!!,” it turns out that nearly every single category of SPLC-designated “hate group” has DECLINED since 2017, i.e., during the Trump administration. Behold!

“Hate Group” declines under Trump – Click to Enlarge

Granted, claiming that all Black and Holocaust denial “groups” simply evaporated during Donald Trump’s watch is inherently disingenuous, but while the Holocausters remained steady at seven alleged chapters, Black “hate groups” actually increased by 4% in 2020 and when those numbers are returned to their traditional categories the bloated General Hate category actually decreased by 21% over the previous year.

Remember folks, these are the SPLC’s own impeccable numbers, not ours.

Speaking of numbers, how many hate-filled individuals does it actually take to compose a “group”? Obviously, the SPLC isn’t going to come right and say “X-number or more” because that would require, you know, proof. Let’s see what the experts have to say, starting off with Mark Potok again:

“Potok says inclusion on the list might come from a minor presence, such as a post office box.” (www.sanluisobispo.com, March 25, 2009)

“Potok acknowledged that some of the groups may be small and said it is impossible for outsiders to gauge the membership of most of the groups.” (David Crary, Associated Press Online, March 10, 2008)

In 2015, Mark Potok assigned 40 “hate groups” to New Jersey, (a state that doesn’t get enough negative publicity as it is…), giving that state the fourth highest total in the land and causing Mark Pitcavage of the Anti-Defamation League to publicly denounce the SPLC’s bogus counts.

“The Southern Poverty Law Center’s list is wildly inflated,” said Pitcavage. “They list skinhead groups in places where there are no organized groups, but instead it’s just a couple of individuals.”

After being publicly outed by the ADL, the SPLC slashed New Jersey’s count from 40 to 21 on the next “Hate Map,” which was not issued until a full fundraising year later.

In 2017, Mr. Potok’s successor as Intelligence Director, Heidi Beirich, read a single online post on a Klan website by an individual who said he lived in the town of Gurnee, Illinois. That was all it took for Gurnee to earn its very own Scarlet H “hate group” designation.

That same year, Ms. Beirich read another anonymous blog post by an individual who opined that Amana, Iowa would be a great place to hold a neo-Nazi meeting and… wait for it… Amana had a “hate group.” That’s all it took. In fact, no meeting of neo-Nazis ever took place in 2017 or since.

What makes the Amana case even more ludicrous is that the village was founded by German Pietist immigrants in the 1840s, who later formed the Amana appliance corporation in the 1930s. The Amana Colonies exist today as a popular tourist destination listed on the US National Register of Historic Places. Amana is populated by costumed interpreters who demonstrate 19th century farm life.

Both Amana and Gurnee are heavily dependent on tourism, with the latter employing some 3,000 people at its Six Flags location. Who would take their family to a town with an “SPLC-certified hate group”? According to Politico, when the mayors of both villages complained to the SPLC they were met with indifferent shrugs and informed that the company’s “hate group” numbers are fixed and cannot be changed until the new map comes out the following year.

Amana did receive a reprieve of sorts, when Ms. Beirich reluctantly agreed to move the fictitious neo-Nazi group-of-one from Amana to “Statewide,” but Iowa maintained all four of its alleged “hate groups” for the entire year.

Not only is the “Hate Map” populated by numerous one-man “groups,” the list is also rife with one-man websites, something the company categorically states that it does not count. Remember their claim, “Websites appearing to be merely the work of a single individual, rather than the publication of a group, are not included in this list“? Some past and current examples:

Rense Radio Network (Since 2015)
carolynyeager,net (Since 2013)
Casa D’Ice Signs (2010-2015)
Free Edgar Steele (2010-2015)
Christ or Chaos (Since 2011)
Bob’s Underground Graduate Seminar/BUGS (2013-2017)
Sultan Knish a blog by Daniel Greenfield (2011-2016)
White Rabbit Radio (Since 2013)
Bomb Islam (Since 2016)
Wildman’s Civil War Surplus and Herb Shop (2018)

While these are only a few of the many one-man web groups the SPLC has claimed over the years, the top prize has to go to The Daily Stormer, which, to be absolutely clear, was a bona fide neo-Nazi blog, make no mistake about it. The sheer marketing genius of this claim deserves a closer look.

In 2015, Mark Potok told the OC Register “We make a big effort to separate a man, his dog and a computer from a group with on-the-ground activity.”

Also in 2015, Mr. Potok described The Daily Stormer to Esquire magazine as “mostly Andrew Angelin, his dog, and a computer,” with one single, one-man “group” based in Ohio.

In 2016, Potok counted 32 iterations of The Daily Stormer one-man website, including the ridiculous “hate group” Heidi Beirich assigned to Amana, Iowa, and one “statewide” phantom in New York State.

By 2017, there were still 32 alleged Stormer “groups,” only now all but the Ohio home base were “statewide” phantoms.

2018 saw the list shrink to 22 iterations, with all but the Ohio “group” listed as “statewide,” and by 2019, the lucrative franchise (at least for the SPLC) collapsed to a mere ten chapters, and even the Ohio iteration had gone AWOL.

As of 2020, The Daily Stormer has morphed back into the one-man blog it has always been and is counted among Ohio’s 21 alleged “groups,” even though Mr. Angelin fled the country to parts unknown in 2016 and the website now sports a .su domain name, which would seemingly put it somewhere in the Soviet Union.

You really have to tip your hat to such marketing ingenuity. Since 2015, the SPLC has counted a single one-man blog, something Mark Potok swore that the company does not count, 98 times and the Media never once questioned it.

And so, there we have it. Another year and another SPLC “Hate Map” fundraising tool. In the aftermath of the near collapse of the company in 2019, with the scandalous firing of its founder, Morris Dees, and the suspiciously hasty resignations of SPLC President Richard Cohen and Legal Director Rhonda Brownstein just one week later, we briefly toyed with the idea that the company might have turned a corner and was heading back to its civil rights roots. It had, after all, finally diversified its Executive Suite after a 49-year “whites only” policy set in place by Dees and rigorously enforced by Cohen and the company’s Board of Directors.

Sadly, it was not to be. While the same Board that had kept Dees and Cohen in power for decades quickly named one of its own, Karen Baynes-Dunning as interim president until it could hire the equally diverse Margaret Huang, the company still saw fit to reward Dees, Cohen and Brownstein with more than a million donor-dollars in severance pay in 2019, despite the shame and ignominy they brought to the brand name.

The simple fact is that the annual “Hate Map” fundraising tool brings in too much money to walk away from, even though the SPLC has more than half a billion dollars in cash reserves. It’s no conspiracy. Like everything else about the Southern Poverty Law Center, the spurious “hate group” designations are simply part of the business of selling fear.


Twitter and Corporate Censorship

January 13, 2021

Yesterday, January 12, 2021, Forbes magazine published a guest commentary by veteran stock analyst Jim Collins on its website that criticized Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey’s unilateral decision to de-platform President Trump, while urging users to dump the social media platform and short sell its stock.

Today, the article has been pulled down, sort of, under the fig leaf that it violated Forbes’ terms of service. If you click on the article URL below the piece will still come up (as of this writing), only to fade to near-white in seconds as an editor’s note stating that the page is no longer active fades into view.

This leads us to wonder how the piece got posted in the first place, considering Collins makes no bones about his opinion of Dorsey, “I think that Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey is a pathological liar as well as a horrible human being, so I don’t  believe Twitter’s user numbers at all.”

You also have to wonder why the article still exists on Forbes’ website? You can still make it out behind the editor’s note. Why not just pull it and be done with it.

Fortunately, we were able to save a copy of Jim Collin’s verboten article, which you can read below, before the corporate censors could erase it. Read it for yourselves and come to your own conclusions, which is the last thing the Media companies want you to do.

While we have no dealings with the stock market, we think Jim Collins closes his piece with sound advice for everyone: “Only you and I can fight that war and destroy Twitter’s base.  So, delete your account, and short the stock.  Making money while doing the right thing feels extra good…doesn’t it?”

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https://www.forbes.com/sites/jimcollins/2021/01/11/twitter-is-the-worst-company-on-planet-earth–heres-how-to-bet-against-the-stock-and-deactivate-your-account/?sh=19ed2d305ba3

Twitter Is The Worst Company On Planet Earth. Here’s How To Bet Against The Stock—and Deactivate Your Account

Jim Collins 10:49am EST

It is rare a that a public company stretches so far into the realm of abhorrent behavior, but Twitter’s TWTR -2.4% actions last week revulsed me more than Union Carbide’s Bhopal, Boeing’s BA +0.8% repeated failures with the 787 Max, J&J’s JILL +5.5% Tylenol scandal and really any other corporate action I have seen in my lifetime.

For a social media platform to censor a world leader—while still giving a voice to preachers of hate like Louis Farrakhan Iran’s Ayatollah Khamenei and even O.J. Simpson—isn’t just wrong from a free speech perspective, it’s actually terrible business.  So, Twitter has shown little to no sequential growth in its user base of late (details below) but it is still valued like its Big Tech growth-y brethren.  Twitter is not growing, it is shrinking, if measured versus the growth rate of the global economy, and that reduction will accelerate dramatically now that Twitter has offended every Conservative in America with its action to ban President Trump. Only fools in Congress and Big Tech apologists would think that Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act should apply to Twitter.  It is a publisher, not a platform.  Full stop.

So, first and foremost, here is how to deactivate your Twitter account.  I used this excellent article from the Today show last week to kill my account.  It took me more than half an hour, and making it difficult to leave is a classic Big Tech strategy for bolstering user numbers, but eventually I succeeded.  It was worth it.  I will never use that platform again.  

But I do stocks, not activism, and even if a new type of conscious capitalism is my investment strategy for 2021, I still need to make some money. Twitter shares are plunging 7% in pre-market trading Monday, and the market will soon realize that this platform is going to shrink dramatically.  Even on a good day, Twitter is a cesspool of hate speech, lies (including investment advice) and a “trending” algorithm that seems to have a remarkably consistent left-wing bias. I will not be the last person to cancel it. 

I have never interacted with an ad on Twitter (or Facebook) and I would never spend a dime with a company that tried to reach me through a private social media channel. I don’t do “cancel culture” but I believe Twitter will become radioactive for advertisers, as half the US is revolted by what they have done, and that’s not good for business. 

Twitter’s self-reported user base grew at a whopping 1% sequentially in 3Q20, with 1% growth internationally and 0% in the U.S.  The comparisons were much better on a year-on-year basis (+29% overall) but remember that 2020 was an extraordinary year for news flow.  But Twitter is not news.  I think that Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey is a pathological liar as well as a horrible human being, so I don’t  believe Twitter’s user numbers at all.  The mDAU metric that Twitter now uses reflects, and clearly they will keep changing metrics until they find one that looks decent.  This is a classic Big Tech maneuver.  

In dollars, though, Twitter generated $936 million (million, not billion, this is a small company) in revenues in the third quarter and produced a very low (for Big Tech) 6% operating margin and 3% net margin. So, after a whopping $1 billion loss in Q2, Twitter recovered to make $28 million in the third quarter.  Wow!  That’s just…irrelevant.

With negative free cash flow of $74 million in Q3,  but $7.6 billion of cash and securities on the balance sheet, Twitter is worth more than zero, but extraordinarily less than the $51.48 per share the market was according TWTR stock Friday.  Yes, we have completely forgotten how to value stocks.  Twitter is not the only one but it is the easy one. 

With earnings power of less than $1 billion (TWTR reported net income of $1.469 billion in 2019 and will be nowhere near that in 2020) I think this is a steady-state stock.  No growth, no dividend, and no free cash flow to speak of.  That doesn’t deserve even a market multiple, but since it’s tech, let’s give TWTR the insane 25x real earnings power that the S&P 500 is granted.  So, add about $5 billion cash (net of debt,) a real cash earnings power of about $750 annually and use the 800 million shares outstanding as of 9/30 and you get a fair value for Twitter of just below $30 per share. But Twitter’s user base has shrunk dramatically in the past week, I believe, and so $30 is really more of a best-case scenario on earnings power that won’t exist with a smaller user base.  

So, let’s say someone thought TWTR’s fair value was in the high-$20s and would pay $20 for TWTR, to imply an attractive return, and use that as our share price target,  That implies a decline of more than 50% from current levels.  How long will it take to get there?  Not long in my opinion.  Plus, when trading options, you have to take into account the overreaction that always occurs with an inflective event.  Do I think Twitter shares will trade below $20, at least temporarily at some point between now and the end of March?  Hell, yeah.

So, when searching for that perfect option contract, always look for one with a decent amount of  contracts outstanding (which implies a more efficiently-priced contract) and a relatively low implied volatility, I see March 19th 2021 TWTR $25 puts quoted at $0.13 this morning, and, man, I gotta get me some of that.  Pre-market quotes are notoriously unreliable for deep-out-of-the-money options contracts, so let the market open and let it trade a little before you buy,  That’s what I will do today for my personal account and for my most risk-aware clients.  

So, that’s how to make money betting against Twitter.  The new conscious capitalism of 2021 entails fighting Big Tech censorship and the monopolistic power that those companies wield.  Not only is Jack Dorsey at Twitter a revolting human stain (as proven by this Congressional testimony and takedown by Senator Ted Cruz) his company isn’t that big or growing that fast—and is about to shrink.  I am uncomfortable sometimes with Amazon’s AMZN +0.2% power, but I won’t be unsubscribing from Prime any time soon, and I don’t have the guts to bet against Jeff Bezos’ stock. But Dorsey is not Bezos and TWTR is no AMZN.  

Twitter is a faux-tech outfit with no competitive moat and a customer base filled with—it would seem—idiots.  It’s too small to be considered Big Tech, but the media has given it outsized influence.   Only you and I can fight that war and destroy Twitter’s base.  So, delete your account, and short the stock.  Making money while doing the right thing feels extra good…doesn’t it?

Laird Wilcox on Militia Hysteria

October 14, 2020

The Hate Industry has been pumping out alarming militia stories with regimented precision that any ersatz colonel would envy. The predictable result is a fear and outrage campaign that sends a lot of money to the Media industry, private “advocacy” companies, and certain political parties.

The last time the US saw this kind of militia feeding frenzy was in 1995, immediately after the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. In the days following the deadly blast, veteran political researcher Laird Wilcox wrote an Op-Ed piece on the reality of the Militia Movement that could have, and arguably should have, been written last week.

Wilcox’s article was published in Newsday and other papers. It has been 25 years since Oklahoma City but the facts about militias have changed little, with the exception of the introduction of the Internet to the Hate Industry toolbox.


Most members are law-abiding, but an extremist minority may react violently to what it sees as renewed McCarthyism. – Laird Wilcox, May 1995

Not since the Red Scare of the 1920s has a political minority been under as much hostile scrutiny as the right-wing militia movement is today. The Oklahoma City bombing – the worst incident of domestic terrorism in American history – quickly focused on a man with ephemeral links to a militia group in Michigan. This link, however, consists largely of the fact that he was denied membership in the group, not that he was an active member acting under its direction. The bombing, in fact, appears to be the action of a psychopathic ex-soldier and a few confederates acting on their own.

It’s difficult to imagine what the average militia member felt as events unfolded last week, but it must have been excruciatingly uncomfortable for him. Sure, militia members spout conspiratorial rhetoric and uniform hostility toward a federal government they feel is getting out of hand. But I think it’s safe to say virtually none of them condoned the bombing and all were horrified to find their movement linked with it.

These are people, after all, with the same response to cold-blooded murder as you or I. But in their case, the horror evolved into a conspiracy theory that the government or the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms was responsible for the bombing in order to pin it on the militias and bring them down.

Still, the question remains: Are militias dangerous? The answer is, it depends; if they weren’t before, they may very well be now. What may up the ante is the incredible law enforcement attention the movement is getting. I think the militias will experience a precipitous decline in membership over the next few months, because of the growing social pressures on identified militia people and their families. Already they are being called “baby killers” and treated like pariahs in some communities.

This leaves only the die-hards as militia members, and they have been, to borrow a ‘60s term, “radicalized.” So it is individuals, not groups, we have to fear, and the hot button is the pressure law enforcement exerts.

Who constitutes militias? We read of neo-Nazi skinhead and Ku Klux Klan influence, but my investigation shows little of that. In fact, most militias refuse membership to people like Timothy McVeigh, who talk racism or terrorism. What militias are rife with are guns and conspiracy theories – which most believers have difficulty explaining. Are militias enormous, as some claims suggest? Not at all. Militia leaders routinely lie about support and membership and absurd figures as high as two million are claimed. But no responsible source has suggested a total of more than 10,000 nationwide, and I think it’s half that. What I see is 2,000 to 3,000 hard-core activists, meaning people who regularly come to meetings, pay dues, take part in maneuvers and put out the newsletter. Another 3,000 to 4,000 maintain some tie but are not deeply involved. So roughly one American in 40,000 is a member.

Are militias fascist? I doubt it simply because of the strong anarchist thread that runs through the movement. Like all radical right-wingers, militia members are a contentious, highly individualistic and idiosyncratic lot. They don’t get along well with one another and many tiny militias are splinters from others. One member said that leading the militia was like trying to herd cats.

The relative dangerousness of a group or movement further may be judged  from the social groupings from which it draws its membership. Urban gangs, for example, are drawn from young unattached males with no jobs, property or prospects. This is the crime- and violence-prone segment of society. The mainstream militias, in contrast, are drawn from working and lower-middle class males aged 30 to 50, with wives, jobs, homes and kids in school. This is not a crime-producing segment of society. I think a study of militia members would show a crime rate equal to or even less than that of the country as a whole.

The result is that when members get into trouble with the law, it’s usually for some “protest” crime, like refusing to get dog tags or not paying taxes on their trucks. Because of their obsession with gun rights, militia members have been charged with various weapons-possession offenses. But rarely are they charged with serious crimes of violence.

This leaves those die-hard individuals. What direction they go in next, in a sense, depends on the rest of us. Often, the worst damage terrorists or extremist inflict on our society is the threat society imposes upon itself out of fear and overreaction.

Right now, we’re at a dangerous crossroads: The media linkage of the Oklahoma bombing with right-wing politics has the makings of a witch hunt on a scale we haven’t seen since Moe McCarthy. Even our president has tried to link conservative talk show hosts to the bombing. This means that anybody with an American flag on the lawn may soon be suspect, and this kind of paranoia is not something to inflict on the already afflicted.

Also, the deleterious effects on civil liberties of proposed anti-terrorism legislation in Washington are being protested by a small number of honest civil libertarians. Increased use of wiretaps, break-ins, infiltration and surveillance are not encouraging sings and will play into the worst fears of conspiracy theorists, left or right. I hope we take some time to think this through before we start making mistakes, but so far I’m not encouraged.

Laird Wilcox is coauthor of “Nazis, Communists, Klansmen and Others on the Fringe.” At the University of Kansas, he founded a major collection of extremist political literature. He wrote this for Newsday.

Althea Bernstein: “Case Closed”

October 4, 2020

On August 1, 2020, Watching the Watchdogs reported the story of Althea Bernstein, an 18-year-old bi-racial woman who claimed she had been set on fire by “four white frat boys” at a stop light in downtown Madison, Wisconsin, in the early hours of June 24.

Three months later, after hundreds of hours of investigation by both the Madison Police Department and the FBI, both agencies officially closed their respective cases on October 1, citing a complete lack of evidence.

Madison Police Department press release: “After an exhaustive probe, detectives were unable to corroborate or locate evidence consistent with what was reported.”

“Case findings were also reviewed by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Wisconsin and the United States Department of Justice Civil Rights Division. Both independently evaluated the facts and reached the same conclusion as MPD.”

US Department of Justice press release: “After a thorough investigation into the events of June 24, 2020, including extensive interviews, exhaustive review of traffic and surveillance video, and expert review of digital and forensic evidence, federal investigators determined that there is insufficient evidence to prove that a violation of any federal criminal statute occurred.

Further, after reviewing all available evidence, authorities could not establish that the attack, as alleged by the complainant, had occurred. Accordingly, the federal investigation into this incident has been closed based on the lack of evidence.”

While both press releases are careful to state that neither agency could conclusively prove that the attack occurred, MPD Detective Justine Harris, who has been investigating the case from the beginning, concludes her 157-page final report:

“I explained to [Bernstein family attorney] Sumpter that based on the extensive video footage we had reviewed, combined with the GPS data that identified where Bernstein was at specific points in time, we were confident that we had identified Bernstein’s car as it traveled through the downtown Madison area and out to Middleton. I explained that in watching this vehicle travel along its route, there were specific factors that led us to conclude that what Bernstein had described did not occur.” (Supplemental narrative, p. 155)

Attorney Sumpter later released a statement on behalf of the Bernstein family: “Althea Bernstein and her family appreciate the detailed investigative efforts by all involved in this case. Althea’s injuries are healing and the support of our community has been invaluable in that regard. We continue to maintain our family privacy and will not be granting interviews at this time.

The family of the alleged victim of one of the most egregious “hate crimes” of the century seem to be taking the news rather calmly.

It’s gratifying to know that the Bernstein family appreciates the hundreds of hours invested by Madison and federal investigators. The thousands of people who donated to a $10,000 GoFundMe site set up for Bernstein can request a refund (no further donations are being accepted). Good Morning America, Megan Markle and the NFL, who all piled on to the “hate crime” bandwagon before police had completed their investigation, will no doubt remain silent on the matter until it all goes away.

And so another alleged hate crime hoax wends its way toward the Memory Hole. Madison Police have determined that they will not be charging Althea Bernstein with filing a false report even though she obviously filed a false report.

Hate crime hoaxes will never go away until the perpetrators face actual repercussions for their actions and until the click-bait Media industry is held responsible for perpetuating unfounded claims for profit.

As veteran researcher Laird Wilcox noted in his seminal book, “Crying Wolf: Hate Crime Hoaxes in America “:

“What can be done about hoaxes? Probably very little as long as victimization claims are so uncritically accepted, and the payoff for alleged victimization is sufficiently tempting and rewarding “

Hate crime” legislation, although well-intentioned, has created a powerful market for the side benefits of alleged hate crimes. When these crimes are not naturally occurring, or are not occurring in sufficient numbers, a motive to commit hoaxes is created.

Our thanks to our friends at the fakehatecrimes.org website for bringing this breaking news to our attention.

More on this story to follow.

Mark Potok Returns!

August 29, 2020

It was three years ago this week when we at Watching the Watchdogs first noted the departure of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s longtime Intelligence Director, Mark Potok, from the company that had made him rich and famous (and vice versa) over his twenty year career there.

We noted with astonishment, in 2017, that no formal press release of Mr. Potok’s departure from the SPLC had been issued nor had such a momentous occasion even been mentioned on the company’s website, which we monitor regularly.

It was simply incomprehensible that the media personality who had been the face and voice of the “nation’s leading civil rights organization” could vanish from the world stage after two decades of faithful and enormously lucrative service without so much as a “Fare-thee-well, Mark, and thank you for all you’ve done for us!”

In fact, while Potok’s professional biography blurb and his photo were still on the company website in February, 2017, by March his bio had been taken down and his photo airbrushed from the “Leadership” page. After 20 years, however, the SPLC couldn’t simply delete the hundreds of articles, papers and “reports” created by their star front man, so instead they changed his byline to “Mark Potok — Former Employee,” which didn’t bode well for a possibly amicable parting of the ways.

Potok Former Employee

For his part, Mr. Potok’s Facebook page bore only one stark line: “Left Job at Southern Poverty Law Center.” No mention of “retiring” or “exploring new opportunities.” Not even a “wants to spend more time with the family” fig leaf. After a brief exile from the SPLC website, Mr. Potok’s legacy was rehabilitated to the point where his biography blurb was returned to the site and his nonentity status has been upgraded to “Former Senior Fellow.”

Considering how many tens of millions of dollars Mark Potok brought into the SPLC’s coffers during his years of media interviews, print articles and especially through his magnum opus, the company’s annual “Hate Map” fundraising tool, the original “golden goose,” it was the very least the SPLC could do.

At the time, we wrote with great sincerity that we would very much miss seeing Mr. Potok at the SPLC, and we still do. Despite disagreeing with his opinions and tactics during more than a decade of research on the Hate Industry in general, and the SPLC in particular, we recognized that Mr. Potok is a self-made man who rose up from humble beginnings to control one of the most efficient public relations and fundraising machines of our day.

Few public relations practitioners have enjoyed such widespread and unquestioning access to the world media. The power and sheer rush of the experience must have been incredible. And then it was gone. The power, the prestige and the six-digit salary all evaporated overnight. Those of us who are only a very few years junior to Mr. Potok in age must wonder how you rebuild a career from scratch past the age of fifty. We commend his efforts.

One of the reasons Mark Potok was so important to our work at Watching the Watchdogs was his off-script candor, such as in 2011 when he freely admitted to us, on camera, that his insanely profitable annual “Hate Map,” the very keystone of all SPLC fundraising, was not the infallible document so often cited by the media, but instead was merely “anecdotal,” “a rough estimate,” and “an imperfect process.”

“The numbers are absolutely soft,” said Mark Potok, a Southern Poverty Law Center spokesman. “We are talking about a tiny number of Americans who are members of hate groups – I mean, infinitesimal.” (Arlene Levinson, “Hate Groups, Crimes Said Rare in US,” Associated Press, July 8, 1999)

“And I would say as a general matter, it is extremely unusual these days for an organization to plan and carry out a criminal act where mainly for the reason that they are so likely to get caught.

So what we really see out there in terms of violence from the radical right is by and large what we would call lone wolves, people operating on their own or with just one or two partners. As opposed to, you know, being some kind of organizational plan.” (www.npr.org, October 30, 2008)

“Still, [Potok] said the public should remain vigilant about the activities of hate groups, even though individuals are responsible for the majority of hate crimes in America. (www.courier-journal.com, July 21, 2009)

And from a 2008 interview with some visiting high school teachers at SPLC headquarters, which now resides on the Internet Archive:

“I know a couple years ago there was a big discussion internally [at the SPLC], ‘Should we change our name to something else?’ People think, you know, that it’s all about, sort of, defending poor people, and that’s not really, exactly what our mission is. By that time, people knew the name so well that, you know, we made, I think, the obviously right decision not to change the name.” (Mark Potok Interview, Track 1)

And the delightfully candid:

“I think a lot of people feel, ‘Oh, groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center, they find, you know, the two hundred Nazis running around the country, they build them up into great big groups, they make a big deal about it and then ask for your money,’ right? In other words, it’s kind of a scam. You hype up this little tiny threat into something scary, uh, and then go and try to make money off of it.” (Mark Potok Interview, Track 2)

When you study the Hate Industry for years and one of the captains of that industry steps up and admits that the vast majority of the claims made by his company are baseless, the feeling can only be described as exhilarating.

But Mark Potok did not go quietly into that good night. Just this week an opinion piece by Potok appeared on the Rantt Media website. In a fiery article about an otherwise obscure Alabama politician who even Potok describes as a “clueless” Republican, “…from the white-flight Montgomery suburb of Prattville,” as opposed to, you know, Mr. Potok’s inner city tenement flat, shown below.

Casa Potok

Casa Potok

All of the classic Potokian elements are there. The guilt-by-association associations, the anonymous source quotes, the non sequitur anecdotes. Like many of the obscure, one-man “hate groups” designated by Mr. Potok in earlier times, most people on the planet would never have heard about this hapless racist from Alabama if not for Mark Potok. It was a truly nostalgic moment.

According to the website, “Rantt Media launched in October 2016 with one goal in mind — to combat disinformation and to help create a more informed and politically active society.” Their plan for doing so is “to analyze the news, shed light on injustices, and tell the stories that matter to you.” Mr. Potok’s comments and articles about how “The DNC Gave America the Unifying Vision it’s Crying Out For,” and “The Forgotten Hillary Clinton Voter: A Profile of the Not-So-Silent Majority,” give a good idea of the content.

Apparently, Rantt Media, based in Washington, DC, wants to help create a more politically active society in the US, as long as that society supports the “correct” party.

Nowhere is this irony greater than in a recent article found on the website, “Media Literacy 101: How to Identify Fake News & Media Bias,” written by Christina Ballard.

This is a very well-written article that should be read by all. Ms. Ballard makes several extremely cogent points:

  • If you are not sure of a source’s credibility, think about why the information is there and when it was put there. Is the source trying to sell something, to persuade or just inform?
  • Think about if there is another way you can verify what you are seeing. Is this news also available on other sites? Is it written to a general audience or a more specific one?
  • Think about the language being used. Does the language or tone seem unbiased and free of emotion? Do you see a lot of “tagging” or “labeling?”[Such as “hate group,” “injustices,” “Radical Right,” perhaps? WtW]
  • Is the source using extremes when just the basics will do?
  • Media Bias happens when the media is reporting the news in a partial or prejudiced manner. This occurs when the media appears to be pushing a viewpoint rather than reporting the news objectively, or just the facts.

Merely brilliant, Ms. Ballard! Bravo!

Rantt Media relies on a $10-a-month subscription fee, and “partnered contributors,” which the site assures us that “Rantt Media may receive compensation from the partners we feature on our site. However, this in no way affects our news coverage, analysis, or political 101’s.Really? More on one of these major “partners” to follow below.

Rantt’s byline for Mr. Potok was obviously written by Mr. Potok and turns up in various venues around the internet:

“Mark Potok is an expert on the American radical right who was a senior official at the Southern Poverty Law Center civil rights organization for 20 years and is now a Senior Fellow at the Centre for Analysis of the Radical Right.”

Well, we know Mr. Potok is an “expert” because it says so on his website. As for calling the SPLC a “civil rights organization,” that’s how the company referred to itself for much of Mr. Potok’s tenure, until quietly morphing into “an advocacy group, focused on civil rights” sometime in 2014 (without mentioning the shift in focus to the donors). This brings us to the Centre for Analysis of the Radical Right (CARR).

We had not heard of CARR before learning of Mr. Potok’s affiliation with the group. As the spelling of the name indicates, the “Centre” is a European organization which appears to be located in the UK, though we could not find any reference to an actual location on its website.

Rantt Media’s “About” page singles CARR out as an important sponsored partner, touting two dozen CARR articles published on the site.

The oldest blog posts on the CARR site go back to March, 2018, so it would seem to be a relatively young undertaking, and a review of its leadership bio pages show most of them to be fairly young academics, as opposed to the septuagenarian lawyers and public relations men who ran the SPLC.

The blurb on the website states that “The Centre for Analysis of the Radical Right (CARR) is the leading information aggregator and knowledge repository on the radical right, past and present,” which would, no doubt, rankle some of the older hands at the SPLC, who have claimed that title for the past 40 years.

The blurb continues with “Above all, CARR intends to lead discussion on the development of radical right extremism around the world,” which, if the organization’s name didn’t already spill the beans, indicates that CARR’s mission is anything but neutral on the subject. Like the SPLC, CARR seems to be another “advocacy group” whose purpose is to “advocate” for a “correct” view of the world.

Above all, CARR intends to lead discussion on the development of radical right extremism around the world.” What was it Christina Ballard said about Fake News?

Is the source trying to sell something, to persuade or just inform?

Is it written to a general audience or a more specific one?

Does the language or tone seem unbiased and free of emotion? Do you see a lot of “tagging” or “labeling?”

[Media Bias] occurs when the media appears to be pushing a viewpoint rather than reporting the news objectively, or just the facts.

Interestingly, the website also includes the boilerplate disclaimer that “Views expressed on this website are individual contributors and do not necessarily reflect that of the Centre for Analysis of the Radical Right (CARR).” This is interesting because all of the views expressed on the site are handpicked by the group’s leadership prior to being published and there doesn’t seem to be a lot of space given over to alternative points of view.

We were also unable to determine CARR’s source of financing. Unlike the SPLC and many other multi-million dollar “non-profit” organizations in the US, CARR does not seem to rely on public donations to keep its digital doors open.

The site does list several “partners,” though, including Rantt Media and the very-deep-pocketed Southern Poverty Law Center (with more than half a billion dollars in unrestricted cash on hand) and a London-based organization calling itself “Moonshot CVE,” as in “Countering Violent Extremism.”

Moonshot’s byline on the CARR site states:

Moonshot CVE is a social enterprise working to disrupt and ultimately end violent extremism. From digital capacity building to counter-messaging campaigns, we use data-proven techniques to ensure our clients respond to violent extremism effectively all over the world.

As part of our global programming on the violent far right, we have deployed bots to counter hate on social media and identified and engaged one-on-one with white supremacists.

All of our work aims to reach people at risk of violent extremism and offer them an alternative path. Our work is rooted in evidence, ethics and the fundamental belief that people can change.

While all Wikipedia entries must be taken with a grain of salt, the entry for Moonshot claims that the group “receives funding from technology companies such as Google, Facebook, and Twitter,” and “engages in paid work on behalf of governments such as the UK, Canada and Japan.”

Wikipedia also claims that “Moonshot engages in campaigns to direct users attempting to access extremist material to alternative sources,” which is an admirable goal at face value, but begs the question as to who exactly determines what is “extremist material”? Google? Facebook? Twitter?

The CARR site also lists more than 90 Senior Fellows (including Mr. Potok), Doctoral Fellows and Policy and Practitioner Fellows, noting that “Our Senior Fellows are academics at universities holding a PhD and higher.”

According to Mr. Potok, he received a bachelor’s degree (A.B.) in Political Science in 1978 from the University of Chicago but has never pursued a master’s degree, much less a doctorate, and has never worked or taught at any institution of higher learning.

No doubt he should be listed among the Policy and Practitioner Fellows, who are “policy makers, practitioners, or researchers at think tanks or non-profits.”

So in the long run, while it is good to see Mark Potok back in the game again (he also turned up in an interview on “far-right extremism” as we were writing this post) his return also bolsters our claims that there is a definite “Hate Industry,” consisting of private companies such as the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League, that make hundreds of millions of dollars peddling fear, outrage and “hate” to Progressive donors, and other networked players, such as CARR, Rantt Media and Moonshot CVE, who also manipulate the “far-right” narrative for purposes other than financial gain.

There are no conspiracies here. This is simply the age-old quest for wealth and political power. Unlike the players listed above, we do not ask anyone to take our word for anything. Take five minutes and read Christina Ballard’s superb primer on fake news. You won’t be sorry.

 

SPLC — Business as Usual

August 13, 2020

On August 12, 2020, the Southern Poverty Law Center’s new president and CEO, Margaret Huang issued a press release commemorating the third anniversary of the death of Heather Heyer in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Huang replaced long-time SPLC president Richard Cohen in April of this year after the latter abruptly quit the company in disgrace in 2019. It was Cohen who kept SPLC founder Morris Dees on the company payroll despite decades of allegations of sexual harassment by female employees and who perpetuated Dees’ 48-year policy of not hiring minorities to senior SPLC positions of authority. Dees was just too popular with the donors to let go, it seems.

Huang had solid civil rights bona fides, including serving as executive director of Amnesty International USA, and showed great promise for leading the SPLC back to its glory days of doing actual civil rights work, the “poverty law” work for which the company was founded in 1971. It really looked like the new president would bring a new day to the Southern Poverty Law Center. Sadly, it was not to be.

As yesterday’s press release shows, Ms. Huang has merely picked up the company’s perpetual fear and outrage campaign right where Mr. Cohen dropped it in the dirt as he bolted for the door.

Perhaps this comes as no surprise, as Huang was hired by the same SPLC Board of Directors who kept Messrs. Dees and Cohen gainfully employed all those years and who even saw fit to pay the gentlemen their full six-digit salaries despite their bringing ignominy and shame upon the institution’s reputation. Most of those Board members are still on the job today.

“Three years ago today in Charlottesville, Virginia, our nation was forced to recognize an uncomfortable truth: hate is alive and flourishing in the United States. Since that day, we have seen white supremacists become more emboldened and vocal about their intentions for the future of our nation,” wrote Huang yesterday. 

Ironically, her company’s own fundraising propaganda paints a very different story.

2019 Hate Groups

The table above lists the number of alleged “hate groups” in the US over the past three years, as claimed by the SPLC’s insanely lucrative annual “Hate Map” fundraising tool. There is no legal definition for “hate group” so the company relies on its own intentionally elastic definition that essentially boils down to  “All hate groups say mean things about other groups.”

The numbers in red indicate an alleged increase in groups by category from the previous year. Those highlighted in yellow show a decline and those marked in blue indicate no change from the previous year.

The “Statewide” heading indicates those alleged groups for which the SPLC provides no corroborating information whatsoever, not so much as a known city or town that a donor or journalist could use to verify the company’s claim. “Trust us!”

“Statewide” does not include the dozens of other groups which have been pinpointed to locations such as “Southern California,” “Eastern Pennsylvania” or “Chickasaw County,” though it does, by necessity, incorporate over 100 online-only and one-man websites that the SPLC claims it does not count, except it apparently does.

Note the abundance of yellow cells in the table, indicating a steady decline in “hate groups” over the past three years, which ironically (there’s that word again) coincides with the Trump Administration, according to the experts at the SPLC. Note the number of “statewide” phantoms for the traditional white supremacist groups Ms. Huang claims are “flourishing”: Ku Klux Klan, 31 out of 47, neo-Nazis, 46 out of 59, and an incredible (literally) 44 out of 48 alleged skinhead groups (92%!!!).

Even the alleged increases in Anti-LGBT and white nationalist groups turn out to be little more than “creative accounting” on the part of SPLC fundraisers, with the latter category seeing far more “statewide” phantoms added in 2019 over 2018 than actual jackboots on the ground.

[Never heard of “neo-Volkish” groups before? Neither have most people on the planet. According to the SPLC, these evil souls worship Norse and traditional Germanic gods, and “while outward-facing violence rarely erupts from the Folkish,” these threats to humanity embrace “traditional gender roles,” unlike, say, Orthodox Jewry, the Amish or many Muslim and Hispanic immigrant groups. Be afraid… be very afraid.]

The one category of SPLC-designated “hate groups” that does seem to be “flourishing,” and is curiously overlooked by Ms. Huang and other commentators, are Black nationalist groups, which are roughly equal to all alleged KKK, Nazi and skinhead groups COMBINED, at 255 to 261, respectively.

Strip out the “statewide” phantoms from each column, and even throw in the handful of neo-Confederates, and Black “hate groups” outnumber their combined white counterparts by two-to-one, according to Margaret Huang’s own company.

Who is it Ms. Huang says we’re supposed to be fearing this year?

The SPLC’s annual “hate group” counts are spurious fundraising ploys which are backed by little to no verifiable proof and are never vetted by the media. Ms Huang is fully aware of this and is, presumably, the one person who can put a stop to this charade once and for all. Will that happen any time soon? Don’t bet on it.

SPLC profits

The numbers above were taken from the SPLC’s annual IRS Form 990 tax-exemption reports. They show a steady growth in revenues over the past decade, with record increases since 2017.

The SPLC’s staff has grown from 291 in 2016 to 441 in 2019, with a massive increase in “volunteers” from 16 to 440 over the same period, and yet the “law center” routinely spends eight to ten times more of its budget on fundraising over actual legal case work.

What business is the SPLC actually in?

Margaret Huang isn’t naive. She knows that selling fear and outrage brings in tens and even hundreds of millions of donor-dollars each year. Dees and Cohen have bailed out with their golden parachutes but the same cronies who kept them on the payroll are the same ones who hired Ms. Huang. Granted, the new figurehead isn’t a white male, but otherwise, its big business as usual at the SPLC.

The Mysterious Case of Althea Bernstein

August 1, 2020

[Spoiler Alert! The latest developments in the Bernstein case can be found here (October 4, 2020]

Early on the morning of June 24, 2020, 18-year-old Althea Bernstein claims she was stopped at a red light in downtown Madison, Wisconsin, when she was allegedly approached by four white men, (described by Bernstein as “classic Wisconsin frat boys”), who “shouted the N-word” at her and sprayed her face and neck with lighter fluid and “allegedly tossed a flaming lighter at her,” igniting the fluid. Bernstein claims that she then “patted out the flames and eventually drove home,” where her mother “encouraged her to go the hospital.”

Such an unprovoked attack would be heinous enough to begin with, but because Althea Bernstein is bi-racial the case is being investigated as a possible hate crime. Add in the fact that Bernstein’s father is Jewish and you have a hate crime two-fer on your hands.

Bernsteins

Althea Bernstein and her father in 2017

While we at Watching the Watchdogs are willing to give everyone the benefit of the doubt and take their allegations as true until proven otherwise, the Bernstein case has been exhibiting many signs of being a potential hate crime hoax from the beginning. Far from “blaming the victim,” a closer look at the claims and reporting of the incident are in order.

  1. The alleged attack took place at 1:00 a.m. in the morning during a violent BLM “protest” in downtown Madison.
  2. Bernstein says she was on her way to visit her brother in nearby Middleton at 1:00 a.m. on a Wednesday morning.
  3. Despite driving downtown in a large city in the middle of the night, during a riot, Bernstein reports that she had her driver side window down while stopped at the red light.
  4. When the “four white frat boys” approached the window of her car, one of them produced a “spray bottle” of lighter fluid and proceeded to spray Bernstein in the face, miraculously missing the young woman’s eyes.
  5. Bernstein says that one of the boys “threw a lit lighter” at her to ignite the fluid. Since disposable butane lighters go out when released, one must assume that this lighter must have been of an old-time Zippo-like design. The cheapest Zippo lighters on Amazon.com retail for $16.95 and tend to pick up the user’s fingerprints, making them both rather pricey and incriminating to be thrown away in an arson attack. No lighter was found in Bernstein’s vehicle.
  6. Bernstein says that despite being the victim of an alleged hate crime, she continued to her brother’s house and then went home, where her mother “encouraged her to go the hospital.” Bernstein finally called the police at 5:45 p.m., nearly 17 hours after the alleged attack, on the police department’s non-emergency phone line.You can listen to the full call here.
  7. Bernstein drove herself to the Emergency Room.
  8. After an initial spate of media reports, including an interview with Good Morning America, and a high-profile call of support and solidarity from the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Bernstein and her family have been silent on the alleged attack ever since, on the advice of their family attorney.
  9. A GoFundMe site, approved by the Bernstein family, has raised nearly $10,000 for the victim, but the family has directed that the money be turned over to charity.
  10. Despite allegedly taking place within a block of the Wisconsin State Capitol building, during a “violent protest,” the four attackers, two dressed all in black and two in flowered shirts, have yet to appear on any security or surveillance camera footage, as of this writing.

Granted, all of the above is circumstantial evidence, neither proving nor disproving Ms. Bernstein’s claim, but there certainly is a significant amount of it.

Naturally, the Media, smelling a potential hate crime, jumped on the story with gusto, and, before the police investigation had even begun, had determined that every word of Bernstein’s allegations were true. Google “Althea Bernstein” and see how many times the word “alleged” appears in the hundreds of results. 

Interestingly, even Ms. Bernstein’s own mother seems to be in favor of exaggerating the story. While Bernstein’s appearance on Good Morning America clearly shows burn marks on the left side of her face, the side facing the driver’s window, a Facebook post by Rebecca Bernstein shows (identical) burns on both sides of Althea’s face!

 

althea-bernstein-gma2-1593448141

Bernstein on Good Morning America

Bernstein mother

Any 10-year old with a smart phone can reverse an image but you have to do it intentionally. Why would the mother of an alleged double hate crime attack deliberately alter photos of her daughter’s injuries?

In another interesting coincidence, also occurring at 1:00 a.m. in downtown Madison, a group of “peaceful protesters” were fire bombing the Madison City-County building just a few hundred yards from the intersection where Ms. Bernstein claimed she was burned by four racist frat boys.

Madison City-County building

Unlike Ms. Bernstein’s case, this arson attack was captured by surveillance cameras. Also captured sometime later was 26-year-old Marquon Clark, a “person of interest” in connection with the attack on the municipal building.

Madison Arson Suspect

REWARD: @ATFStPaul is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for info leading to the ID/arrest a man believed to be responsible for the fire-bombing at a downtown Madison government building early this morning. Call (608) 266-6014 @madisonpolice @MadisonWIFire @USAO_WDWI

[Update, 8/4/20. A June 24 tweet by the ATF included the closeup image of the “person of interest” spraying the Madison City-County building with what appears to be charcoal lighter fluid.]

Marquon Clark

Marquon Clark

Ironically, the Molotov cocktail lobbed into the building forced the evacuation of Madison’s 9-1-1 response center, so it’s probably a good thing Ms. Bernstein waited seventeen hours to report her attack on the non-emergency line and eventually drove herself to the hospital.

[During the “peaceful protests” that night, two statues were pulled down and a Wisconsin state senator, 60-year-old Democrat Tim Carpenter, was violently attacked by the mob.

Ironically, (there’s that word again…) one of the statues was a likeness of Col. Hans Christian Heg, a Norwegian immigrant and vocal abolitionist, who died leading his Union regiment into battle against evil Confederate troops in 1863.

The other statue, actually an allegory of Progress titled “Forward,” was of a woman, sculpted by a woman artist, Jean Pond Minor, and was paid for by local women’s groups.

Sen. Carpenter describes himself as a Gay Progressive. “Sad thing is I’m on their side for peaceful protests,” Carpenter later observed.

Apparently, they don’t make “social justice” like they used to anymore.

When Madison officials held a press conference on the afternoon of the 24th to decry the senseless violence and vandalism social media and the Blogosphere pounced, accusing them of caring more about statues than for Althea Bernstein. The press conference was held at 4:00 p.m. Ms. Bernstein didn’t get around to reporting her alleged attack until 5:45 p.m. (8/11/20)]

Again, this is more circumstantial evidence, and as we always remind our readers, correlation in no way implies causation. Just because youthful “protesters” were lobbing flaming liquids around in the vicinity does not necessarily mean that Ms. Bernstein got splashed there and made up the “frat boy” story to cover her actions, but it sure seems like we’ve heard this song before.

Of course, the Jussie Smollett case from 2019 comes to mind. The gay Black actor claimed that he was attacked at 2:30 a.m., on the coldest night of the year (in Chicago!), by two white men (pictured below), who beat him up, poured bleach on him and put a noose around his neck while shouting “This is MAGA country!” (in Chicago!). Smollett’s case is still pending as of this writing. Smollett was allegedly hoping to create some favorable, or at least sympathetic, publicity to bolster his acting career.

Smollett Brothers

Smollett’s confessed “attackers”

Also in 2019, 12-year-old Amari Allen swore that three white boys held her down on the school playground and cut off her dreadlocks, calling them “nappy,” except it never happened.

In 2017, 21-year-old Dauntarius Williams, of Manhattan, Kansas, reported to police that his car had been vandalized with racist slurs. It had been… by Dauntarius Williams.

In 2016, 18-year-old Yasmin Seweid told police she had been attacked on a New York City subway platform by three white men who yelled “Donald Trump!” while attempting to pull off her hijab head scarf. Seweid later confessed to making the whole story up to cover her late night out drinking with her Christian boyfriend. While the court sentenced her to counseling, her father, who apparently didn’t want his underage daughter drinking alcohol or dating Christians, forced her to shave her head.

Seweid

Seweid and her father appear in court, 2016

Long-time Watching the Watchdogs readers may recall our post concerning 20-year-old Sharmeka Moffitt from 2012, who claimed that she was walking alone in Louisiana park one night when three white men in hoodies doused her with a flammable liquid and set her alight, causing third degree burns on her body. Her car was vandalized with “KKK” and the “N-word” written on it… in toothpaste.

Moffitt

Ms. Moffitt

Police responded to Ms. Moffitt’s 911 call in less than a minute and found no suspects matching her description. After completing their investigation, police report finding only Ms. Moffitt’s fingerprints on a cigarette lighter and lighter fluid container. The toothpaste was determined to contain evidence of female DNA only. A year later, Moffitt pleaded guilty to one count of terrorizing and one count of false swearing, receiving a ten-year suspended sentence. No reason for the hoax was given.

Also from 2012, we reported on one of the most heinous hate crimes of the century. Michigan State University student Zachary Tennen, 19, was at a college party one night, minding his own business, when two white males, with shaven heads, approached him and asked him if he was Jewish. When Tennen replied that he was, the two bald men informed him that they were with the local Ku Klux Klan, then “made Nazi gestures” and proceeded to beat poor Zachary senseless, breaking his jaw in the process and… stapling his mouth shut after the attack! And the crowd of party-goers stood by and did nothing.

Tennen

Zachary Tennen

Naturally, the Media was all over this story. It had absolutely everything a news editor could wish for. Nazis, Skinheads, the KKK and anti-Semitism galore. Plus they stapled the boy’s mouth shut!  Tennen’s father threatened to call in high-powered lawyers from the Anti-Defamation League to help him sue MSU if the evil Nazi-Klan-Skinheads were not brought to justice immediately.

And then the real story came out. Young Mr. Tennen admitted to being “drunk and high” at the party that night. Several female students attending the party reported that Mr. T. was being obnoxious, making unwanted advances and “getting grabby” (every woman reading this description knows exactly what was going on). One of the women complained to a male friend, who explained to Mr. Tennen that if he did not cut it out he was going to regret it.

Mr. Tennen did not heed the advice. He put his hands on another woman and the other male, who was not a Nazi, or a skinhead, or with the KKK, kept his word and with one single punch knocked Zachary out cold, fracturing his jaw in the process. The crowd failed to intervene in “the beating” not because they were inherently anti-Semitic, they did not intervene because the whole thing was over in the blink of an eye.

To date, no explanation has been given for the piece of wire found in Tennen’s mouth, but it was most likely part of a retainer or other dental device. Zachary Tennen’s mouth was never stapled shut.

Like many teenage hoaxers who panic and play the hate card, Tennen found himself in over his head with no way out.  In the photo above, Tennen is shown in the hospital with his jaws wired shut, recounting the fictitious “attack’ in a television interview, literally lying through his teeth. Tennen stuck with his story until it finally collapsed under its own incredulous weight.

When Zachary Tennen finally came clean about the events of that evening the silence was deafening. Because he was actually punched in the face at the party, the Lansing Police Department still considered it an assault, regardless if the hate crime details were fabricated, yet no charges were filed against the student who punched Tennen.

Michigan State University decided that since the assault occurred off-campus that it suddenly had no role to play in the proceedings and the Tennen family called off the ADL lawyers at the last minute, stating that “…justice will be best served by closing this investigation at this time.” The end. Nothing to see here. Move along.

The point here is that hate crime hoaxes happen, and when they do happen the usual suspects rush in to capitalize on the initial claims and then going silent on the matter, as with the Althea Bernstein case, or making up some lame justification (“Yeah, well, it could have happened. Racists!”).

The Media and the Hate Industry players could care less if a story is true or not. They’ll make their money peddling the initial fear and outrage and there is a LOT of money to be made from that golden goose. After that, they will lie low until the next hoax comes along. It’s just business, folks. Very, very profitable business.

One final note, even the millionaires at the Southern Poverty Law Center, who have never met a “hate” claim they could not monetize, are staying clear of the Bernstein case. To date, the company has not said a word about the matter.

In all fairness, though, even the NAACP and Al Sharpton, who rose to fame propagating the Tawana Brawley hate crime hoax in 1987, have made no comments on the Bernstein story so far. Coincidence?

Stay tuned for updates on this mysterious case.

[Update — 9/22/20 — It has been 90 days since Ms. Bernstein claimed she was attacked by “four white frat boys” but Madison Police and the FBI have yet to turn up a single clue. No video. No witnesses. Nothing.

“As of Wednesday, [August 12, 2020], authorities confirmed that there is no new information to report concerning the alleged attack,” reported The Daily Wire website. “There is nothing new to release at this time,” [Madison Police spokesman Joel DeSpain] said, according to the Wisconsin State Journal.

Two weeks after those reports were published, Ms. Bernstein turned up at another Madison protest, doubling down on her attack claim and addressing the crowd. “Does my skin color offend you? Does my success scare you? Does the fact that I’m a Black woman make you worried that change in [sic] going to happen?”

That quote came from an unnamed Associated Press reporter who made the entirely unverified claim that “One of the demonstrators was Althea Bernstein, the 18-year-old Black woman who was lit on fire as she sat in her car at a Madison intersection…” The term “allegedly” never appears once in the report, and it was reprinted by US News and World Report, who really ought to know better. Such is the sorry state of “journalism” today.

The media madness spilled into September, with The Clarion, school newspaper for the Madison Area Technical College, using the same attack-as-fact language in a highly sanitized story about a September 2 student protest on behalf of Althea Bernstein. Apparently, Ms. Bernstein was otherwise engaged that day and unable to attend the march and fundraiser in her honor.

On September 11, the National Football League released a list of approved “names of victims of police violence and systemic racism…” that NFL players could wear on their helmets to signify their virtue. The second name on that list (no doubt because she’s a woman) is Althea Bernstein.

One final note, the GoFundMe fundraiser we mentioned earlier was mysteriously closed on August 18, by its organizer, Linda Rogalski, having stalled at $9,818 dollars, meaning that no one had contributed since July.

The mysteries are several:

  1. Despite requiring ongoing medical attention for Althea’s burns, the Bernstein family, who approved the fundraiser, did not want to use the money to pay for medical costs. Instead, they wanted the money to go to charity.
  2. Ms. Rogalski writes that the money will actually be used to help Althea Bernstein purchase a “farmette” where she can rescue animals. The farm will be called “Timberdoodle Meadows.”

    And this applies to Ms. Bernstein’s alleged hate crime status how?

  3. The fundraiser fell short of its $10,000 goal, but only by a fraction. They raised 99.2% of the money, but strangely, Ms. Rogalski has included a link on the site where donors can ask for their money back, “Since it did not reach the goal amount for the campaign.”

    Really? “You only raised 99.2% of the money earmarked for a hate crime victim so I want a refund,” said nobody, ever.

  4. GoFundMe donations are available to the beneficiaries almost immediately, even during ongoing campaigns, and there is no deadline for closing a campaign, so why would you close it at all, especially when you are within spitting distance of the goal line?]

“Curiouser and curiouser.”

SPLC — $223 Per Minute, Every Minute

July 12, 2020

With the current turmoil in the U.S. these days, corporations, celebrities and average citizens are climbing over each other in a frenzied effort to signal their superior “anti-racist” virtue. One of the biggest benefactors of this largesse is, of course, the Southern Poverty Law Center. Granted, for the lazy virtue signaler, the SPLC represents an easy way to tell the world that you are somehow “fighting hate,” but how much of a difference does your donation actually make to the company itself?

According to the SPLC’s most recent IRS Form 990 tax return, the company claimed revenues for fiscal year 2019 in excess of $117 million dollars (down slightly from 2018’s $122 million and 2017’s record-breaking $133 million). It ended the year with net assets in excess of $543 million, or more than half a billion dollars, all of it tax-free.

What does $117 million of net income break down into?

$320,547 every day of the year, or,
$13,356 every hour of every day, or,
$222.60 every minute of every hour, or,
$3.70 every second.

Needless to say,  with that much cash flowing into the SPLC’s coffers, the average Joe doesn’t stand much of a chance of making a difference. For example,

A $25 donation equals what the SPLC takes in roughly every seven seconds.
A $100 donation equals 27 seconds of the SPLC’s income.
A $1,000 donation won’t buy five minutes of the SPLC’s income.

You’d be hard put to even physically make the donation in less than five minutes, especially if you are still writing paper checks and sending them by USPS snail mail, as many of the SPLC’s most loyal supporters do. By the time Grandma shuffles out to the mailbox, with a generous gift in hand, her donation has already been swamped by the competition.

Once you get into the million-donor-dollar range you can tell people that you kept the lights on at the SPLC for just over three whole days (hopefully not over a holiday weekend), but a million bucks doesn’t mean as much to the SPLC as it does to you or me.

For example, in March of 2019, SPLC President Richard Cohen had to actually fire company founder Morris Dees due to decades of accusations by female employees of sexual harassment by Dees.

A week later, under a cloud for knowingly keeping Mr. Dees on the payroll all those years and for perpetuating Dees’ 49-year policy of not hiring minorities to senior positions at the SPLC, both President Cohen and company Legal Director Rhonda Brownstein quit the organization ignominiously.

[Over one year later and most of the Board members who kept Cohen and Brownstein on the payroll for decades are still on the Board of Directors!]

Fortunately, the company’s IRS Form 990 shows that all three executives received their full salaries and benefits for the year, for a total of $1,109,049. Hopefully it wasn’t your million dollar donation that paid for the unmitigated failure of these three individuals.

You may wish to console yourself with the belief that your million went to the 7% of the SPLC budget allocated toward “case cost expenses,” as you are supporting a “law center” after all. It’s worth noting that 7% is a record high for the company, which has only spent more than 4% of its budget on legal cases four times since 2001, with several years barely breaking the 1% threshold.

If you weren’t one of the six lucky million-dollar donors to cover the company’s legal expenses in 2019 you can take solace in the knowledge that the SPLC spent more than $5 million dollars in postage last year, in an age of ubiquitous email.

Of course, you have a far better chance of getting into the $23 million-dollar pool for fundraising costs. According to the SPLC’s own auditor, the company paid over $11 million in overt fundraising fees and “…incurred joint costs of $11,241,553 for educational materials and activities as part of fund-raising appeals during the year ended October 31, 2019.”

One would think that with half a billion in cash assets on hand the SPLC could find something more useful on which to spend $23 million donor-dollars.

And what might that “something” be? According to several organizational websites, your local food bank can provide four nourishing meals for a dollar. That means your $25 dollar donation can feed a hungry family of four for nearly seven days, versus supporting the SPLC for nearly seven seconds.

That same $25 can provide a dozen needy people with insulin or other life-saving medicines for a month. Shelters for abused or battered women and children are always in desperate need of financial support.

Even your local SPCA can do far more with your gift than the six-digit-salary fundraisers and failed millionaire executives of the SPLC.

Give locally, where the needs are greater and where you can see the results of your gifts first hand. You’ll still get cool points for helping out, but this way you can actually do some good.

 

SPLC – “Anti-LGBT Groups SURGE!”

April 1, 2020

The Southern Poverty Law Center published its annual “Hate Map” fundraising tool in March. The map purports to identify “hate groups” designated by the SPLC (they being the sole arbiter of that incredibly lucrative label) across America in 2019.

How accurate is the “hate group” label? According to the SPLC, “a hate group is any group that says mean things about other groups.” According to Senior US District Court Judge Myron Thompson, the SPLC’s “hate group” label is merely the company’s “opinion” and is therefore protected by the First Amendment.

To recap: The “hate group” label is merely the SPLC’s “opinion.” Nothing more.

Every year seems to bring one or two “featured” groups that are “exploding,” “surging,”or otherwise “on the rise!” This year the company singled out its “Anti-LGBT” and “White Nationalist” brands for special coverage. We’ll address the White Nationalist scam in a future post.

The SPLC claimed that Anti-LGBT groups are surging because their count increased from 49 to 70 for 2019. To make the number seem even scarier to the Media and the almighty donors, the SPLC proclaimed that “Anti-LGBT groups increased by 43%!”

As longtime Watching the Watchdogs readers may recall, anytime the SPLC uses a percent sign you’ll find a dollar sign nearby. The point of the annual “Hate Map” is to generate fear and outrage among SPLC donors.

To come up 70 alleged Anti-LGBT “groups,” the SPLC dropped three names from 2018’s roster and added 24 new ones. As usual, a closer look reveals “creative accounting practices” and outright misinformation.

MassResistance is an online advocacy group. The SPLC has been counting the home office in Waltham, MA, and various subsidiary chapters for years. The subsidiary chapters tend to come and go with each year, but while counting four chapters of MassResistance for 2018, the SPLC decided it knew of 12 chapters for 2019. This came as news to group founder Brian Camenker, as reported by Tyler O’Neil.

“To be specific, we DO NOT have chapters in these places: Torrance, CA; Lexington Park, MD; Detroit, MI; Las Vegas, NV; Austin, TX; Dallas, TX; Fort Worth, TX; Seattle, WA,” he wrote. “We have done activism from time to time in most of those places (except Detroit and Seattle – where we did activism in nearby towns but not in those cities). But we do not have active chapters in any of them.” He also denied having a chapter in Denver, Colo., although MassResistance does have a Colorado chapter.

It seems odd that Camenker would lie about not having more chapters than he really does but as the Anti-Defamation League’s Director of Investigative Research, Mark Pitcavage, has noted in the past, “The Southern Poverty Law Center’s list is wildly inflated.”

Such is the case with the Pacific Justice Institute, another online advocacy group. Between 2013 and 2018, the SPLC was happy to count the website only once a year. For 2019, though, it decided that the PJI was actually five “groups.”

Ironically, the SPLC clearly states that it does not count websites in its “Hate Map” totals:

“Entities that appear to exist only in cyberspace are not included”

On February 21, 2019, SPLC “Outreach Manager” Kate Chance told a crowd of 300 in Mankato, MN, that: “An online presence isn’t enough to be added to the list; a group has to meet at least once a year at a physical location.”

This seems odd when at least 30 of the company’s Anti-LGBT “groups” seem to only exist in cyberspace:

American Vision
Americans for Truth about Homosexuality
Concerned Christian Citizens
Faith2Action
Family Watch International
Generations
Heterosexuals Organized for a Moral Environment (H.O.M.E.)
Illinois Family Institute
MassResistance (all 12 alleged chapters)
Mission: America
Pacific Justice Institute (all five alleged chapters)
Pass the Salt Ministries
Pilgrims Covenant Church
Pray in Jesus’ Name Project
Ruth Institute
Scott Lively Ministries
Save California
United Families International
Warriors for Christ
World Congress of Families

While there is no doubt that many of these “groups” hold definitely anti-gay views, if they only exist in cyberspace, should the SPLC count them when they specifically claim that they do not count websites?

Furthermore, do one-man websites count as “groups” and do paid employees of registered advocacy groups (the SPLC itself is an “advocacy group”) going to work meet Kate Chance’s “meeting” criterion? You be the judge.

Not surprisingly, many of the other “groups” on the SPLC’s list include churches. Nearly all of these churches are tiny store-front affairs located in strip malls or other low-rent venues. Most have only a few dozen congregants, at most.

We did a little Googling and here are some photos of these dangerous “hate groups.”

All Scripture - Knoxville

All Scripture Baptist Church – Knoxville, ,TN

Faith Baptist Church - Violet - LA

Faith Baptist Church – Violet, LA

Faithful Word - Tucson

Faithful Word Baptist Church – Tucson, AZ

First Works Baptist Church - El Monte

First Works Baptist Church – El Monte, CA

First Works Baptist Church - El Monte-2

First Works, El Monte – Interior

Revival Baptist-Clermont, Florida

Revival Baptist Church – Clermont, FL

Stedfast Baptist Church - Fort Worth

Stedfast Baptist Church – Fort Worth, TX

Stedfast Baptist Church - Jacksonville

Stedfast Baptist Church – Jacksonville, FL

Stedfast Baptist Church - OKC

Stedfast Baptist Church – Oklahoma City, OK

Strong Hold Baptist - Norcross GA-1

Strong Hold Baptist Church – Norcross, GA

Strong Hold Baptist - Norcross GA-2

Strong Hold, Norcross, GA – Interior

Sure Foundation Baptist Church - Spokane - 1

Sure Foundation Baptist Church – Spokane, WA

Sure Foundation Baptist Church - Spokane - 2

Sure Foundation, Spokane, WA – Interior

Sure Foundation Baptist Church - Vancouver WA

Sure Foundation Baptist Church – Vancouver, WA

Verity Baptist Church - Sacramento

Verity Baptist Church – Sacramento, CA

While we do not agree with or condone anti-gay rhetoric in any form we also do not agree with Hate Industry players like the Southern Poverty Law Center grossly exaggerating any alleged threat by these “groups.” Clearly, the company’s intention, as it has always been, is to generate fear and outrage among its progressive donor base in order to reap windfall donations. The SPLC took in $117 million donor-dollars in 2019, based largely on its spurious “Hate Map” claims.

We invested about two hours of our time tracking down these “groups,” a job that rightly should be done by professional journalists before regurgitating SPLC fundraising propaganda as fact. But then, the Media has been making money off lurid SPLC “hate group” click-bait for over a decade. They have no financial incentive to print the truth.

 


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