There are two old truisms regarding propaganda, (occasionally attributed to Hitler and Goebbels, respectively): “The people will accept a big lie more readily than a small lie,“ and “A lie, told often enough, becomes truth.”
Such is the case with the Southern Poverty Law Center’s infamous “Hate Map“.
The “Hate Map” is the primary responsibility of the SPLC’s public relations guru, Mark Potok, and is one of the keystones of that group’s multimillion dollar fund raising apparatus. The map serves as a simplified visual aid intended to document the SPLC’s “hate group” allegations, and is referenced frequently in media releases.
These claims are picked up by others and repeated, ad infinitum, with almost nobody bothering to actually look at the “data” provided.
- SPLC founder, Morris Dees, is the sole arbiter of what constitutes a “hate group”
- Even the FBI does not track “hate groups” as there is no legal definition for that term.
- Mark Potok has claimed on numerous occasions that “…a “hate group” has nothing to do with criminality… [or] potential for violence…”Rather, as Potok put it, “It’s all about ideology.”
- On March 25, 2009, Potok told the San Luis Obispo Tribune that “…inclusion on the list might come from a minor presence, such as a post office box.”
- On July 6, 2009, Potok reported to PostCrescent.com that the “Intelligence Report, which Potok also writes and is the source of “data” for the “Hate Map,” …relies on media, citizen and law enforcement reports, and does not include original reporting by SLPC [sic] staff.”
So basically, the “Hate Map” primarily documents legal, non-violent groups whose only crime is to run afoul of Mo Dees’ ideology. “Groups” are identified by such scanty evidence as PO boxes and second hand information gleaned by Mark Potok’s glorified, $143,000 donor-dollar-a-year newsclipping service.
The 2008 iteration of Potok’s “Hate Map” makes the claim that SPLC has identified 926 “hate groups” in the US, based on the scrupulously scientific methods mentioned above. Almost every state in the union has at least one “hate group” according to Potok.
Even more alarming, Potok reports “a 54% increase since 2000.” Pretty scary stuff, until you realize that Potok’s job is to increase the numbers by 4-6% each year, whether the “groups” exist or not. Over the course of 8 years of this constant padding, hitting “54%” is no great feat.
Donors might be even more justifiably alarmed if they realized that the SPLC’s top three officers, Dees, Cohen and Levin, split between themselves more than $7 million donor dollars from the donation pot since 2000.
A small price to pay, no doubt, for such valuable information.
If one actually looks at Mr. Potok’s “Hate Map” for California, however, the state with the largest collection of alleged “hate groups,” you will immediately notice that the first 14 “groups” on the list are not affiliated with any locale. They merely exist in Mr. Potok’s mind, and serve to pad California’s alleged total by 17%.
One phantom group, the Golden State Skinheads, actually appears on the list twice!!! Remember the last time YOU saw an actual Skinhead?
In some states, such as Wyoming, New Mexico and Maine, the number of unaffiliated, “phantom” groups is 100%. We know that these “hate groups” are really, really there, because the SPLC are experts, as Potok reminds us in every one of his PR press releases.
In all, 127 of Mr. Potok’s “hate groups” are homeless. They exist solely to pad the numbers.
On July 21, 2009, Potok commented in the Courierjournal.com: “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.”
So every year the number spurious “hate groups” rises predictably according to the SPLC’s rigid legal standards, (“It’s all about ideology!”), and every year Mark Potok dutifully records the latest round of second- and third-hand reports of marauding post office boxes, even though Potok admits that “lone wolves” are the biggest threat, not “hate groups.” And every year the media and the SPLC’s aging donor base lap up these spurious numbers as truth.
The lie gets bigger every year and is repeated ever farther afield and more often each year.
Every year the number of donor dollars increases, with more than $31 MILLION of them rolling in last year.
Somewhere, in the Seventh Level of Hell, Joe Goebbels is laughing.