Archive for April, 2020

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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