By: Alex Newman
Quick, do something! There are John Birch Society types ready to spread “conspiracy theories” from the “margins” into the “mainstream,” and they seem to be hiding under practically every bed in America! At least that’s the impression given in a new “intelligence report” by the far-left Southern Poverty Law Center, an organization whose slanderous vitriol against conservatives and Christians was recently implicated in federal court in a recent terrorism case. In its report the SPLC reputedly aims to expose false conspiracy theories that are being churned out by right-wing radicals. But, ironically, while expressing outrage over “conspiracy theories” on the “right,” the SPLC report sounded like an expanded version of Hillary Clinton’s bizarre conspiracy theory about a “vast right-wing conspiracy.” To hear the SPLC tell it, practically everyone in America to the right of Obama is participating in a giant conspiracy to spread conspiracy theories. For what purpose is never explained, although apparently it is all very bad for “democracy.”
Though the SPLC clings to a mantle of respectability given to it for claiming to right wrongs, the mainstream American Family Association has labeled the SPLC an “anti-Christian hate group.” Meawhile civil rights attorney and Southern Center for Human Rights President Stephen Bright, echoing investigations and a federal judge, blasted SPLC founder Morris Dees as a “con man and fraud” who exploits naive poor people to enrich himself. In keeping with critics’ accusations against the SPLC, the intelligence report reads like it’s based on either a fevered imagination or blatant deception, driven by hate against those with whom it disagrees. So far, though, the report has been largely ignored.
The controversial outfit, sounding almost unhinged, railed against parents concerned about the Obama-backed Common Core education scheme, Americans alarmed about Obama’s gun-control scheming, alternative media, talk radio, cable television, politicians who give voice to the concerns of their constituents, and much more.
But the group’s efforts to demonize broad swaths of the American public — essentially anyone less enamored with Big Government than the Obama administration is now in the SPLC’s cross-hairs — has led to its loss of influence over public opinion. After labeling mainstream Christian groups supporting traditional marriage as “hate groups,” the SPLC took a major blow. It was also exposed working with the federal government to generally demonize Christians and Jews. Then it attacked presidential candidate Ben Carson over alleged “extremism” for supporting the biblical definition of marriage, sparking outrage across the political spectrum. And the paranoid hysteria is starting to take its toll. Indeed, while the group’s every utterance once sparked a cascade of “news” stories in the establishment press, virtually nothing has been reported on the latest ramblings, except by the SPLC and critics eager to ridicule the group.
Infowars, for example, with web traffic levels that dwarf much of the establishment media, seized upon the SPLC’s attack against parents who are concerned about Common Core to poke fun at the leftist group. The SPLC labeled Infowars chief Alex Jones, who is one of the top 10 radio talk-show hosts in America, a “hyperventilating conspiracy theorist.” The online alternative-media giant, in an article by Kit Daniels, pointed out that most opposition to Common Core is based on its well-documented bad academics, terrible standards, outrageous “math” schemes, and more — not “conspiracy theories.”
The SPLC consistently appears to have trouble with basic terminology, labeling ideas with which it disagrees as “conspiracy theories,” despite the fact that most of the non-theoretical criticism it rails against contains no trace of allegations of “conspiracy.” In a press release about its report, for instance, the SPLC accused Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) of embracing a “conspiracy theory” when he blasted Common Core as a “dangerous new curriculum.” But aside from the fact that Paul’s statement is not a theory and does not allege a conspiracy, Common Core financier Bill Gates famously agreed that Common Core is driving an entirely new curriculum. “We’ll know we’ve succeeded when the curriculum and the tests are aligned to these [Common Core] standards,” Gates told the National Conference of State Legislatures about his agenda. (Gates was not labeled a conspiracy theorist by the SPLC.)
The SPLC also abuses basic political terminology — perhaps deliberately trying to dupe the press and law enforcement with its claims. For instance, the SPLC report constantly refers to what it dubs the “radical right,” the “far-right,” the “ultra-conservatives,” and more. Yet, when trying to make the “radical right” individuals appear sinister, it compares them to commonly despised radical leftists, such as the National Socialists (Nazis). Interestingly, the reviled leftist groups the SPLC uses for comparison actually favored government intervention in all facets of life, loving Big Government and collectivism almost as much as the SPLC does. The primary difference between the SPLC and the National Socialists surrounds their views on race, but aside from that, a dangerous and deadly anti-liberty ideology of statist and collectivist extremism permeates both to the core.
In fact, if political ideologies were grouped using a legitimate, useful, and traditional political spectrum, National Socialists (Nazis), International Socialists, communists, Marxists, Leninists, fascists, Maoists, and the SPLC and its fellow travelers would all occupy the far left of the political spectrum, which represents ideologies in favor of statism in various forms. On the far-right of the spectrum would be anarchism, an ideology in favor of no government at all. In between — the moderate middle — would include most of the conservative and libertarian groups the SPLC constantly seeks to falsely demonize in the eyes of its supporters, donors, and, more importantly, authorities.
Supporting the view that the SPLC supports overarching government control can be found in the very first paragraphs of the report. It argues, essentially, that politicians and media figures expressing the concerns of their constituents is somehow bad for “democracy”: “Outlandish conspiracy theories may be great for the movies, but they’re highly destructive to our democracy — particularly when mainstream politicians and trusted media figures promote unfounded beliefs that trade knowledge for ignorance and reason for suspicion,” said Mark Potok, editor at the SPLC, in a press release.
And in calling out supposed conservative ignorance, the SPLC highlighted its own failings. Aside from the fact that most of the statement makes no sense, the American government was founded as a constitutional republic in which the rule of law — not the rule of men, as in democracy — would protect the God-given rights of individuals.
Also, ironically, on the SPLC’s list of 10 “conspiracy theories” — most of which are neither conspiracies nor theories — is at least one that the SPLC itself was forced to acknowledge had credence. In talking about conservatives’ worry that leftists wish to impose martial law to bring about their agenda, the SPLC said, “But there is a real seed from which martial law conspiracy theories, common to both some segments of the far left and especially to the radical right, have grown…. Martial law has been declared in the United States about a dozen times, the most recent after Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. More to the point, frightening contingency plans for imposing martial law really have been drawn up.” Then it points specifically to Readiness Exercise 1984, or Rex84, “a plan to suspend the Constitution in the event of crises,” and a FEMA chief’s discussion of interning 20 million Americans in the event of unrest.
On “internment camps,” the SPLC again outdoes itself. It pretends that anyone concerned about the internment of Americans is a “conspiracy theorist.” Yet, it has happened before in U.S. history, and as the SPLC admits in the same piece, was contemplated by top federal officials even in recent decades. The SPLC also notes that indefinitely interning Americans for their views in camps was recently touted on television by retired general and former Democratic presidential candidate Wesley Clark. As U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia recently pointed out, “You are kidding yourself if you think the same thing [internment of Americans in internment camps] will not happen again.”
According to the SPLC, that comment should condemn Scalia to part of the vast right-wing conspiracy, rather than simply making a comment that should be obvious to astute observers based on current trends and history. Though perhaps tangential, it is true nonetheless that Obama famously launched his political career in the home of communist terrorist Bill Ayers, whose Castro-backed, cop-killing terror group Weather Underground hoped to intern and exterminate tens of millions of “counter-revolutionary” Americans, according to FBI agent Larry Grathwohl, who infiltrated the terror group. (The SPLC lauds Ayers on its “Teaching Tolerance” website aimed at children and schools, though Ayers’ only regret about being a terrorist was not planting more bombs.)
About other “conspiracy theories,” too, the SPLC either reveals its own ignorance or passes off deliberate lies. On the prospect of North American political integration into a European Union-style body based on NAFTA, for instance, the SPLC claims: “There is, of course, no such union or plan to merge the three nations into a borderless mass that uses a single currency, the ‘Amero.’” In the real world, official U.S. embassy documents leaked by WikiLeaks confirmed that such a plan has been underway for almost a decade at least. Indeed, the document even uses the term “monetary union,” as in, the process used to foist a single currency on Europe. Perhaps the SPLC merely needs better researchers.
Highlighting the wrongness of the SPLC’s caims, the late architect of the plot, Robert Pastor at the globalist Council on Foreign Relations, credited The John Birch Society’s educational efforts with quashing his North American integration agenda.
The SPLC doubles down on every other issue it highlights. For example, on the Federal Reserve, the outfit blasts critics of the Fed who deride the fact that it virtually caters to the rich and politically connected, yet the SPLC fails to explain how the debt-based fiat monetary system or the privately owned Federal Reserve actually work for the good of the people. On guns, it demonizes fears of a gun-grab as a “conspiracy theory,” even as Obama and Hillary Clinton openly tout Australia’s gun-confiscation program as a potential model for America. The SPLC also claims there is no anti-Christian “homosexual agenda” in the same sentence as it outlines its own distorted view of the homosexual agenda — and then suggests that all who oppose this agenda, which would have included Obama (at least based on his public statements) just a few years ago, are part of a vast “anti-gay agenda” conspiracy. Seriously.
In typical SPLC fashion, the most vitriol was reserved for The John Birch Society, the constitutionalist organization that has chapters in all 50 states and works to educate Americans about politics, economics, and culture. It is the parent organization of The New American. The SPLC wrote,“Name a right-wing conspiracy theory of the last 60 years and chances are the John Birch Society was sitting near the front of the bandwagon,” suggesting that it believes the JBS is an integral part of the vast right-wing conspiracy to promote conspiracy theories. In the real world, the JBS deals with truth and education, and has been consistently proven accurate since it was founded in 1958. The SPLC classifies the society as a “Patriot” group, with the word patriot, in SPLC-speak, meaning something negative.
In an e-mail to The New American, JBS CEO Art Thompson responded to the SPLC’s attacks:
It is interesting that the SPLC mentions us nine times. It appears that we are the biggest burr under their saddle. The SPLC makes its living and has grown rich by demonizing anything that opposes the march toward socialism in America. They throw in some rather unsavory organizations with responsible organizations and individuals to tar brush all opposition with an image of extremism. Yet the extreme opinions of the SPLC linked to the now-radical Justice Department are helping destroy the American system of local police in favor of a national police. The linkage between the SPLC and the Obama administration has helped create a climate of division in our country when what is needed is neighborliness and harmony in our communities.
Basically everyone appears to be part of the SPLC’s imaginary conspiracy to spread “conspiracy theories” from the “margins to the mainstream.” Here is a partial list of the “right-wing” forces demonized in the SPLC’s latest manifesto: Texas Governor Greg Abbott, Alaskan politician Sarah Palin, former Fox News host Glenn Beck, “Politicians from around the country and all levels of government, pundits, a large number of Christian Right and anti-LGBT groups,” historian David Barton, Eagle Forum founder Phyllis Schlafly, the American Principles Project, conservative commentator Michelle Malkin, U.S. Representative Jim Bridenstine (R-Okla.), American Policy Center founder Tom DeWeese, U.S. Representative Louie Gohmert (R-Texas), U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas), the Republican National Committee, the Constitution Party, former U.S. diplomat and conservative activist Alan Keyes, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.), U.S. Representative Virgil Goode (R-Va.), former Representative Ron Paul (R-Texas), Representative Walter Jones (R-N.C.), former Representative Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.), late Conservative Caucus founder Howard Phillips, WND investigative journalist and best-selling author Jerome Corsi, Media Research Center chief Brent Bozell, Bay Buchanan of Team America, Joan Hueter with the American Council for Immigration Reform, Reverend William Owens with the Coalition of African American Pastors, Ronald D. Ray with the Coalition of American Veterans, Chris Simcox with the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps, Elizabeth Ridenour of the National Council on Bible Curriculum in Public Schools, prominent Jewish attorney David Yerushalmi, anti-sharia activist Pamela Geller, former Texas GOP chief Cathie Adams, the National Rifle Association, NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre, conservative pundit Ann Coulter, Fox News contributor and former Clinton operative Dick Morris, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes, newsman Gary Franchi, American automaker Henry Ford, author and internationally renowned lecturer G. Edward Griffin, The 700 Club host Pat Robertson, Christian Action Network chief Martin Mawyer, Faith2Action founder Janet Porter, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, Trail Life USA chief John Stemberger, conservative radio host Janet Mefferd, anti-jihad author Andrew McCarthy, WorldNetDaily, Fox News host Sean Hannity, and even ABC News for good measure.
As the SPLC self-destructs and leaves what remains of its credibility in tatters, Americans might find it illuminating to read its report, then research each of the “conspiracy theories” highlighted by the SPLC. Of course, the outfit often throws in “straw man” arguments to “debunk,” instead of addressing actual concerns of conservatives. But wading through the propaganda and discovering the truth is hardly difficult — and would be a very useful exercise for most Americans.
The fact is that, while the SPLC may not want readers to believe it, history has been strongly influenced by groups of individuals working together for nefarious purposes — the very definition of conspiracy. Just this month, the Obama administration charged former United Nations General Assembly President John Ashe and various Chinese communists with a criminal “conspiracy.” Yet, the SPLC did not identify the Obama Justice Department as a right-wing conspiracy theorist. Anyone who does not acknowledge that conspiracies abound either has no understanding of history and current events, or is trying to play you for a fool.
There is indeed a real danger to American values and constitutional government from groups such as the SPLC and its allies — including the increasingly lawless Obama administration, which is now partnering with the radical group to target Christians, conservatives, dissidents, and others the SPLC hates. Numerous other outfits are participating in the assault on U.S. sovereignty and liberty, as this magazine has documented extensively over a period of decades. But if enough Americans were educated on the facts, Congress could defund the agenda, leaving the marginalized SPLC to spew its hatred and paranoid conspiracy theories harmlessly until its giant endowment runs dry or it runs out of tinfoil.
Alex Newman is a correspondent for The New American, covering economics, education, politics, and more. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Follow him on Twitter @ALEXNEWMAN_JOU.
TLB recommends you visit New American for more pertinent articles and information.