SPLC Intelligence Report

Fringe Racists, Conspiracy Theorists Make Bids for Office

In Tennessee, Rick Tyler, an independent candidate for the state’s 3rd Congressional District, put up a billboard that read, “Make America White Again,” and specifically credited Donald Trump for “loosen[ing] up the overall spectrum of political discourse.” According to Raw Story, he also planned another billboard, this one reading, “Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be miscegenators.”

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12 Women Who Are Leading Right-Wing America's Crusade Against Muslims and Arabs

When two apparent Muslim radicals attacked a Muhammad cartoon contest in a Dallas suburb this May, a national spotlight was focused on the group that hosted the provocative event — the American Freedom Defense Initiative, whose leader is Pamela Geller, the country’s most flamboyant and visible Muslim-basher.

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Inside an Extreme Right-Wing Movement to Create a Judicial Alternate Universe

A retired carpenter from Poughkeepsie, N.Y., by way of the Bronx, longs to be the Johnny Appleseed of the so-called “common-law grand juries” movement — a crusade by extreme-right “sovereign citizens” to create a judicial alternate universe.

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How iTunes Enriches the Underground Racist Music Scene

White power music was in trouble. But then racist bands discovered iTunes, and now they're back in business.

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American Theocrat: Dangerous Former US General Unabashedly Calls Himself God's 'Warrior'

SPARKS, Nev. — Retired three-star general William “Jerry” Boykin is the executive vice president of the anti-LGBT, archconservative Family Research Council, the FRC. He isby in charge of its day-to-day operations, but he is no desk jockey.

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Nicholas Wade's Flawed Book Rewrites the History of Scientific Racism

Nicholas Wade’s new book, A Troublesome Inheritance, is only the latest in a long line of works arguing that humans can be divided into discrete races, and that between those races, there are differences in behavior, temperament, intelligence, and even political and economic structures. Although the specifics of the arguments change, what remains constant is the idea that white people of European descent are inherently smarter, better, more “civilized” than members of other races, especially black Africans and their descendants. Wade’s work is no exception.

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The Disturbing Tale of How a Former Leftist Turned into One of America's Biggest Islamophobes

For David Horowitz, the godfather of the modern anti-Muslim movement, the culture war that began when he was young never ended. Only the target has changed.

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12 Candidates Who Engage in Electoral Extremism

Election years in the United States always bring out a spate of candidates from very different ideological corners, but over the past few years, electoral politics in this country have succumbed to a level of polarization only rarely seen in our history. That situation has facilitated the emergence of would-be political leaders who have links to hate groups or engage in promoting extremism based on race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation or antigovernment conspiracy theories. The typically baseless claims of these candidates range from demonizing propaganda about certain minority groups to the promotion of fantastic conspiracy theories about the federal government’s allegedly evil machinations. What follows are snapshots of a dozen such candidates, including Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, independents and others who are running for political office this fall or who ran earlier in the year.

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How Amazon, PayPal and eBay are Financing Hate

This article originally appeared in Southern Poverty Law Center's Spring 2014 Intelligence Report, and is reprinted here with their permission.

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How Paranoid Local Politicians in Alabama Killed a Development Plan Thinking It Was a U.N. Plot

BAY MINETTE, Ala. – Supporters of smart-growth and anti-sprawl initiatives should study the Battle of Baldwin County.

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'Law and Order' Star's Dangerous Dalliance with Some of the Most Paranoid Conspiracy Theories in America

Actor Richard Belzer is a familiar, good-guy cop to millions of TV-watching Americans after a 20-year career playing Detective John Munch on 11 different shows and series. Best known for depicting Munch for 15 seasons now on the NBC hit “Law and Order: Special Victims Unit,” Belzer appears the archetypical detective personified: an acerbic, slightly paranoid cynic who, since the show focuses on sexual crimes against children and women, often proves disturbingly correct.
In recent years, though, Belzer, 69, has gone far beyond anywhere even the fictional Munch would, into a never-never land of florid political conspiracy theories that are doubtful at best, and frequently without the slightest basis in fact. Starting with a fascination with the assassination of President John F. Kennedy that is shared by millions of Americans, Belzer has now reached the point where he describes the United States as a “fascist state” run by “sociopaths,” regularly makes conspiracist claims about a vast array of alleged plots, and even heartily endorses Alex Jones, arguably the loudest and most unhinged conspiracy theorist in America.
The latest blast from Belzer came this April, with the release of his book Hit List: An In-Depth Investigation into the Mysterious Deaths of Witnesses to the JFK Assassination, co-authored with Bogota, Colombia-based journalist David Wayne. That followed last year’s Dead Wrong: Straight Facts on the Country’s Most Controversial Cover-Ups, which was also co-written with Wayne.
Belzer has been interested in tall tales for a while. But his 1999 debut in the field, a book entitled UFOs, JFK, and Elvis: Conspiracies You Don’t Have to Be Crazy to Believe, was conspiracy lite — footnote-free and sprinkled generously with humorous asides. In contrast, the two new books are more serious in tone and larded with footnotes and descriptions of (mutually contradictory) Byzantine “secret government” cover-up plots. Both have made The New York Times Best-Seller List, though Belzer doesn’t take full credit for that; he attributes much of their success to his recent spate of appearances on Jones’ Austin, Texas-based radio show.
Alex Jones may be the nation’s most vocal promoter of the far-right, antigovernment “Patriot” movement, providing it with an endless series of claims and “documentaries” supported by dubious or nonexistent evidence. He says the government was behind the Oklahoma City bombing, the Al Qaeda attacks on the World Trade Center, and this April’s Boston Marathon bombing. He assures his listeners that the Federal Emergency Management Agency has secretly built a whole complex of concentration camps intended for liberty-loving Americans. He asserts that global corporate elites are planning to depopulate the planet using a variety of poisons, all in service of the coming “New World Order.” When U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was badly wounded in a 2011 shooting, Jones said it was a government-run “mind control operation” using “geometric psychological-warfare experts.”
None of this bothers Belzer, whose books have been warmly endorsed by Jones and are sold on Jones’ websites. Indeed, they’ve become close comrades in the last year and a half. “Your work has thrilled and astounded me for years. … You’re doing great work, Alex. We’re brothers now,” Belzer assured Jones on his show last year. For his part, Jones makes clear that he’s overjoyed to have Belzer on board — “We’re just flattered to have you here” — and keeps on inviting him back.
All this might not amount to much were it not for Belzer’s celebrity.
Richard Jay Belzer has played the wise-head Munch on almost a dozen TV shows, ranging from “SVU” to such huge successes as “The X-Files,” “30 Rock,” “The Wire,” “Arrested Development” and even “Sesame Street.” That’s a record for any single fictional television character, says an NBC spokeswoman.
“He’s been omnipresent over the past 20 years,” says Robert Thompson, the director of the Bleier Center for Television and Popular Culture at the Newhouse School of Public Communications, Syracuse University. “He’s always Munch. That tends to solidify his identity and makes him seem less fictional as someone who’s got the ability to figure things out.” And that helps him sell his theories to enormous numbers who are inclined toward conspiracist thinking. “He’s got a megaphone, no question about that,” says Thompson. “And, as a mainstream actor, he enhances the credibility of someone like Alex Jones by appearing on his shows.”
Recycled Allegations
Jones, whose show is streamed online five days a week and carried by more than 60 radio stations, is known for his bellowing presentations, infamously melting down on Piers Morgan’s CNN show earlier this year as he literally shouted about gun control. This June, he appeared on the BBC’s “Sunday Politics,” where the normally calm presenter Andrew Neil ended the interview early, telling viewers that Jones was “an idiot” and “the worst person I’ve ever interviewed.”
Belzer cuts quite a contrast with his new friend. Coming across on Jones’ shows as soft-spoken and gentlemanly, he often expresses pride that stores shelve his conspiracy tomes with the history books. But despite their differences in style, Belzer is clearly veering into Jones’ territory with his latest JFK book.
The book purports to offer savvy, “here’s what really happened” post-mortems on the deaths of 50 people, nearly all linked to the assassination of President Kennedy. Although the official causes of death are typically illness, accidents or suicide, Belzer is sure they are part of murderous efforts to cover up the conspiracies that really led to the president’s murder. It is conspiracies plural because there’s a dizzying array of devils cited here — a CIA cabal, FBI plotters, anti-Castro activists hired by the John Birch Society, mob bosses in Chicago and New Orleans, a dirty Chicago cop and Dallas police, among others. Belzer even argues that Lee Harvey Oswald and Dallas patrolman J.D. Tippit, who most people know was shot down by Oswald on a city street, were actually comrades on a military intelligence team attempting to prevent the assassination of the president.
One of the book’s peculiarities is that Belzer and Wayne seem to have no problem floating apparently contradictory stories. That’s no surprise to Gerald Posner, the author of Case Closed: Lee Harvey Oswald and the Assassination of JFK who has spent years debunking bogus JFK conspiracy theories. While most books being published in this 50th anniversary year of the assassination offer single-plot theories, Belzer’s is more like a compendium of older claims. “It’s a blast from the past, a redo of ‘the greatest hits,’” Posner told the Intelligence Report. “They’ve published a rehash of previously unproven and discredited information.”
Still, the book is well written, anchored by abundant footnotes and filled with the words of allegedly impeccable sources all pointing to the conclusion that Oswald could not have been alone. The “mysterious” deaths investigated range from those of Oswald and Jack Ruby to CIA and FBI agents, well-known gangsters, journalists, an X-ray technician said to be aware of purportedly phony autopsy findings, an alleged lover of JFK, and exotic dancers at Ruby’s Dallas nightclub. What they supposedly all had in common was knowledge of the assassination or its cover-up.
Curiouser and Curiouser
But a close look at the book reveals a number of problems.
Take, for example, the authors’ treatment of Jack Ruby, who is depicted as a key conspirator. They never mention the clear testimony that Oswald’s assassin gave to the Warren Commission denying any plot and saying he killed Oswald on impulse to save Jacqueline Kennedy the pain of returning to Dallas for a trial. Or look at how they focus on a man who told the commission that he heard shots coming from a different spot than the book depository where Oswald was ensconced. Although he died after testifying, many others who also thought they heard shots from the grassy knoll lived on for decades. In a similar way, they portray as suspicious the deaths of columnist Dorothy Kilgallen and other journalists skeptical of the official story, but say nothing of many other doubting reporters who lived on unmolested.
One of the long-lived conspiracy theories Belzer and Wayne adopt is the claim that Kennedy’s wounds were surgically altered prior to his autopsy in order to make the bullet tracks support a one-assassin theory of the killing. Citing researcher Allan Eaglesham of Ithaca, N.Y., they suggest that a Navy X-ray technician who was about to blow the whistle was killed and his death made to look like a suicide. But Eaglesham told the Report that he retracted that claim eight years ago, after additional research, and prominently updated his new thinking on the Internet.
Belzer and Wayne seem to have missed that entirely.
The authors repeatedly cite a website, www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk, run by British history teacher John Simkin, as authoritative. But in fact the site simply reproduces a host of conspiracy theories that first appeared elsewhere. “It’s very shoddy, not well-sourced,” says Arthur Goldwag, author of Cults, Conspiracies, and Secret Societies and The New Hate: A History of Fear and Loathing on the Populist Right. In fact, many of the books repeatedly cited in footnotes are other conspiracist tracts offering their own speculations — speculations that Belzer and Wayne elevate to ostensible facts by footnoting them as if theirs were an academic thesis.
Other examples of sources that are treated as credible in Hit List are Judyth Baker and William Robert “Tosh” Plumlee. Baker, who attests to a link between Oswald and purported New Orleans conspirators, claims to have had a torrid affair with Oswald and also to have worked on a “rapid cancer”-inducing vaccine intended for Fidel Castro but later used to murder Jack Ruby, who did die of cancer. Baker’s story is so baroque that Marquette University political scientist John McAdams devotes 40 pages to meticulously picking apart its inconsistencies, contradictions and evident impossibilities. The analysis of Baker appears among a rich trove of JFK conspiracy-challenging material on his website, http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu.
McAdams, author of JFK Assassination Logic: How To Think About Claims of Conspiracy, also does a methodical job on Plumlee, a self-identified CIA pilot who claims he flew counter-conspirators into Dallas to try to halt the assassination. Belzer buys his story. But McAdams and others who have looked into it report that nobody can find a shred of credible evidence that such a thing ever happened. Plus, McAdams cites National Archives material on how law enforcement found Plumlee a frequent, unreliable crank who pestered them needlessly, along with FBI records indicating Plumlee had fabricated crime-related information in the past.
Belzer and Wayne repeatedly suggest that certain reported suicides are not plausible because the victims were on an emotional upswing before their deaths. But experts say that is often precisely when depressed people commit suicide — when they regain just enough energy to be able to go through with killing themselves.
Belzer and Wayne suggest that witnesses changed their testimony over time in ways that conformed to the official JFK assassination story for fear of retribution from various conspirators. But recent research suggests a plainer reason: People routinely conflate their memories with accounts, including media reports, after the event. “These new memories become as real as the original one,” Posner told the Report.
Sometimes, these people didn’t even die when Belzer and Wayne say they did. For example, there’s Eddy Benavides, killed in a bar, the authors suggest, because he was mistaken for his look-alike brother, Dom, or in order to intimidate that brother. Dom Benavides, the authors say, “witnessed the escape of the actual killer of Officer J. D. Tippit” and said he wasn’t Oswald. But McAdams points out that Dom Benavides actually testified to the Warren Commission 10 months before Eddy was killed in February 1965, a full year before the date given in Hit List.
The list goes on, but suffice it to say that it seems highly unlikely that conspirators could murder dozens of people to keep their plot secret. “If you’re trying to cover something up and you kill people,” McAdams points out, “then you have to eliminate the people who killed them, or they could spill the beans.”
Folly Legitimized
Richard Belzer declined to speak with the Report about his books or his views. His spokesman, Joel Silverstein, promised to check with Belzer about an interview and phone back within a few days. He did not. Silverstein didn’t respond to several messages left on his cell phone over the following two weeks.
But does any of this rampant conspiracy-stoking really matter? What’s the harm? Michael Shermer, publisher of Skeptic magazine, founder of the Skeptics Society and self-proclaimed second to none in skepticism, worries about “the evil forces, shadow government” genre of conspiracy hyping, without solid facts, that people like Belzer and Jones engage in. It has a terrible impact on our democratic system, poisoning any kind of reasoned democratic discourse, Shermer contends. “It feeds into paranoia that makes you give up, since you can’t have any effect, and not want to participate in public life, government or politics,” he says.
Belzer himself may not see the end-point. He joined “The Alex Jones Show” for its Nov. 6 Election Day broadcast last year and, when Jones intimated that he might not vote, seemed taken aback. Belzer had been talking about the importance of getting involved politically. He didn’t argue with Jones, though.
Belzer does seem to have a grim view of the government that is at least somewhat in line with Jones’. “Our country now, I’m sad to say … by Mussolini’s definition, we are a fascist state,” Belzer opines. As for our leaders, “The cabal of people with power in the U.S., they’re sociopaths,” Belzer told Jones this April.
It’s not only Alex Jones who Belzer helps legitimize. Belzer and Wayne’s publisher, Skyhorse Publishing, is allowing the American Free Press, an anti-Semitic periodical run by long-time Holocaust denier Willis Carto, to sell both Hit List and Dead Wrong to its audiences. In its June 10-17 issue this summer, the periodical even ran an excerpt from Dead Wrong claiming that it is “literally impossible” that Marilyn Monroe died of an overdose of pills, JFK was slain by Oswald, or Sen. Robert Kennedy was killed by Sirhan Bishara Sirhan.
In any event, however Belzer’s theories and opinions are viewed, there’s no doubt that he has the cachet to influence people. The actor is aware of that himself. “Because I’m famous I can put this book out and people will read it that wouldn’t if my name wasn’t on it.” He added on the Jones show, with what seemed to be great sincerity, “I’m cashing in on my celebrity—for unselfish reasons, I hope.”
Like it or not, Richard Belzer does not appear to be turning back. That became obvious in recent appearances on Alex Jones’ show. Already, he said there, he’s now working on a documentary timed to the 50th anniversary of the JFK assassination this November. And he has promised his legions of fans yet another dramatic book — this one a look at the “sociopaths” in government and why we tolerate them.

3rd Reich Tourism for NeoNazis on the Rise

When Americans plan their vacations to foreign lands, they may think of some tropical paradise like Fiji. Or how about taking in some European castles? Perhaps a look at the splendors of China’s Forbidden City? But there are other options if you want to go international. In particular, what about a 10-day tour of southern Germany that hits all of Adolf Hitler’s favorite spots, like the famous Eagle’s Nest built by the führer’s private secretary, Martin Bormann, for his 50th birthday?If a pro-Hitler itinerary like that is to your liking, then a Sharkhunters International tour is for you. The Hernando, Fla.-based outfit, which you can join for a fee in return for certain benefits, fetishizes the Nazis and U-boat history, taking its travelers to the hidden gems of the Third Reich.

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Losing the War to Criminalize Gay Sex in the US, Religious-Right Groups Are Taking Their Fight Abroad

BELIZE CITY, Belize—The air in the tropical lowlands of Belize is alive with wild parrot squawks and the briny scent of the country’s aqua Caribbean waters. Known to most Americans only as a humid cruise ship stopover, Belize is most often visited for its stunning coral reefs. But what tourists likely don’t know is that this tiny country has become Ground Zero in the latest international battle over the criminalization of LGBT sexual relationships.

For three years, a ferocious legal battle has been waged in this nation of some 356,00 people over a criminal statute that can land men and women in prison for engaging in private acts between consenting adults of the same sex. What’s more, the fight over the constitutionality of Section 53 of Belize’s criminal code, which prescribes a 10-year sentence for “carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any person or animal,” has been joined by hard-line U.S. religious-right groups seeking to keep gay sex illegal in as many countries as possible.

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7,000 Gun-Loving "Patriots" Living in an Walled Citadel Built Around an Arms Factory in Idaho -- What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

They call it III Citadel, and they say they’ve already lined up “hundreds” of extreme-right gun lovers to join them in the walled city they’re planning for a lonely tract in northern Idaho. The end game, they say, is an ideologically pure settlement of 7,000 “Patriots” built around a huge arms factory.

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Antigovernment ‘Patriot’ Movement Expands for the Fourth Year in a Row

Capping four years of explosive growth sparked by the election of America’s first black president and anger over the economy, the number of conspiracy-minded antigovernment “Patriot” groups reached an all-time high of 1,360 in 2012, while the number of hard-core hate groups remained above 1,000. As President Obama enters his second term with an agenda of gun control and immigration reform, the rage on the right is likely to intensify.

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Sikh Temple Killer Wade Michael Page Was Radicalized by Army Base's "Thriving Neo-Nazi Underworld"

No one knows what drove Wade Michael Page to walk into the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin on a Sunday morning last August and start shooting worshippers with a 9 mm handgun. Maybe the 40-year-old white power musician believed he was killing Muslims, a group he despised because of the 9/11 attacks by radical Islamists.

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Ever Wonder Where the Extreme Right's Conspiracy Theories and Paranoid Rumors Get Started? Meet WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily (WND) describes itself as “an independent news company dedicated to uncompromising journalism, seeking truth and justice and revitalizing the role of the free press as a guardian of liberty.” The online newspaper, which this year celebrated its 15th year in operation, is one of the “very few sources” martial artist and action film hero Chuck Norris (who happens to be a columnist) trusts for news and an operation that megachurch pastor Greg Laurie (also a columnist) says does “a service to God and Country.”

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Are American Vigilantes Hunting Down and Murdering Immigrants as They Cross the Arizona Border?

The mountains near here rise as jagged and unforgiving obstacles on the horizon for immigrants and smugglers who cross the border by moonlight and make their way northward along the foothills, stopping in the cypress groves for rest. It’s a natural passage and the easiest route to travel.

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Gays Remain the Minority Most Targeted by Hate Crimes

Four teenagers commit suicide in a three-week span after being bullied, taunted or outed as homosexuals. Seven students — at least four of whom had endured anti-gay bullying — kill themselves over the course of a year in a single Minnesota school district. In New York, 10 suspects are arrested for torturing three gay victims. In Covington, Ky., a series of violent anti-gay attacks shock a trendy neighborhood. In Vonore, Tenn., a lesbian couple’s home, its garage spray-painted with “Queers,” is burned to the ground. A rash of attacks hits Washington, D.C. And in Michigan, a prosecutor harasses a local gay rights student leader for months.

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Profiling 5 Key Right-Wing Mouthpieces Who Spread Paranoia and Hatred to Extremists on the Fringe

In the last year and a half, militias and the larger antigovernment "Patriot" movement have exploded, accompanied by the rapid expansion of other sectors of the radical right. This spectacular growth (see timeline) is the result of several factors, including anger over major political, demographic and economic changes in America, along with the popularization of radical ideas and conspiracy theories by ostensibly mainstream politicians and media commentators.

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It Takes a Village to Raise a Racist

Shortly after white supremacist James von Brunn's fatal shooting attack this spring at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., his 32-year-old son issued a statement to ABC News in which he denounced his father's ideology and described the devastating impact it had had on his family.

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Is an Anti-Semite Overseeing the Holocaust Museum?

It's estimated that almost 3 million Jews living in Poland were killed by the Germans during World War II. But that wasn't the end of their ordeal. After the war, the murders of Jews continued, committed not by Germans, but by Polish nationalists who shot, stoned and beat them to death.

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Environmental Progress Is a Cause for Right-Wing Paranoia

Addison, Texas -- "Environment is not about saving nature," the founder of Freedom Advocates, Michael Shaw, sternly warned an audience of antigovernment "Patriots" and far-right conspiracy theorists during a mid-July conference. "It's about a revolutionary coup in America. [Environmentalism] is to establish global governance and abandon the principles of Natural Law." Sustainable development policies, Shaw argued, will require "a police state" and ultimately "turn America into a globally governed homeland where humans are treated as biological resources."

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Influential Pastor Preaches Anti-Semitism to His Flock

Branson, Mo. -- It's a long way to go to church, especially for a congregation used to watching its pastor on television. But the flock of Shepherd's Chapel is like no other. Twice a year, almost 4,000 of its members will fly or drive from points across the country to this Ozarks tourist destination, best known for the neon kitsch and wholesome family entertainment of the Highway 76 Country Music Boulevard, to see Pastor Arnold Murray, host of the long-running TV Bible study program, "Shepherd's Chapel."

The strapping, 6-foot-4-inch octogenarian, known as "The Sarge" to his followers, has gained an audience that numbers in the millions. "Shepherd's Chapel" has been on the air for at least three decades and is broadcast in nearly every major and mid-size U.S. city.

At Passover this April 5 (Murray calculates the date for Passover according to his own interpretation of the Jewish calendar), the 81-year-old Arkansas pastor is all smiles as the packed audience in the Grand Palace country music hall rises to give him a long standing ovation before he's even said a word. His son Dennis introduces him as a man who is "taking names and kicking dragons." One woman can't contain herself. "We love you, Pastor Murray," she yells out. Murray jokes that he should get her number before pushing back his sleeves and opening his King James Bible. "Let's get to work," he commands. And they do. The audience is so rapt that throughout the 45-minute sermon the only sound they make is the onionskin rustle of thousands of Bible pages turning. But there are some things they're not being taught.

One of them is the fact that Murray's 1958 minister's license was signed by the late white supremacists Roy Gillaspie and Kenneth Goff, two early ideologues of Christian Identity, a racist theology that's been popular among Klansmen, neo-Nazis and other white nationalists for several decades. Most Identity adherents believe the Bible is the history of the white race, who are seen as the real "chosen people."

Gillaspie was the pastor of the Church of Jesus Christ, a seminal Christian Identity operation -- headquartered at Gillaspie's Bellflower, Calif., church -- with a handful of congregations in California and Arkansas, one of which was led by Murray. (Murray's Church of Jesus Christ in Gravette, Ark., was the precursor to his Shepherd's Chapel, in the same location.) The Intelligence Report has obtained Church of Jesus Christ newsletters dated 1978 that are signed by Murray.

Goff, for his part, was the founder of the Colorado-based Soldiers of the Cross Training Institute, a school that trained Christian Identity leaders including Dan Gayman, a well-known anti-Semitic leader during the 1980s. In 1958, Goff's pamphlet, "Reds Promote Racial War," claimed the Bible supported racial segregation. A 1969 Soldiers of the Cross newsletter penned by Goff describes black civil rights protesters as seeking "to submerge our culture and religious heritage under a flood of cannibalism, voodooism and beastly jungle sex orgies."

Arnold Murray is still connected to something called Soldiers of the Cross. According to Arkansas public records, a corporation by that name is doing business as Shepherd's Chapel in Arkansas, and Murray is registered as the corporation's agent. Murray's home, his church property where the TV studio and satellites are located, and several parcels of land in Gravette, Ark., are all listed as the property of Soldiers of the Cross.

Despite these ties to the roots of the Christian Identity movement, Murray today publicly disavows racism, and his followers include a tiny minority of non-whites. Even so, Murray preaches often about a race of evil people, descended from Cain, borne out of "the Serpent Seed" of Eve's sexual union with Satan in the Garden of Eden. He calls them the "Kenites" and identifies them in his 1979 Shepherd's Bible as people "who slipped in among the Jewish people in Jerusalem and claim to be God's chosen people, when in fact they are of Lucifer." He also mentions that "in 1967 Jerusalem fell to the Kenites during the 6 day war"; the Israelis, in fact, won the Six-Day War. In one sermon, Dennis Murray speaks of "the Kenites, who are responsible for the slaying of Christ." (In most Judeo-Christian traditions, the Kenites are a nomadic clan of Midianites and a tribe into which Moses married.)

The Serpent Seed is a belief ripped straight from the pages of "seedline" or "two-seed" Christian Identity theology, the hard-line version of the theology that holds that Eve was impregnated by Satan and gave birth to his son, Cain, described as the first Jew. That is, Jews are seen as biologically descended from Satan, and are allegedly hard at work preparing the earth for his rule. Identity adherents also argue that whites, not Jews, are the real Hebrews of the Bible, and that non-whites are sub-human "beasts of the field" created without souls.

While Murray doesn't outright endorse these hardliner views, by promoting the "Serpent Seed" doctrine on 225 broadcast stations he's gone further than any Christian Identity preacher in pushing what seem clearly to be anti-Semitic Identity teachings into the mainstream.

"This is certainly Identity theology, inasmuch as he presents a two-seedline argument, identifies the [present] inhabitants of Israel with the descendants of Cain, and calls the mating of the Serpent with Eve the primal sin," Michael Barkun, the leading scholar of Christian Identity and a political science professor at Syracuse University, told the Intelligence Report.

Or, as Murray puts it more cautiously on his website: "What about teaching Serpent Seed? I make no apology for teaching the word of God." Kenites, Cainites and the Jews
In the atrium of the Grand Palace, a stately country music hall, teenagers are as common as senior citizens. Southern drawls mix with Wisconsin and Southern Californian accents. About two dozen black families are in the audience as well as a white woman wearing a pink hoodie with the words "Homeland Security" superimposed on a photo of four armed American Indians.

Over the course of the weekend, the Murrays will anoint two dozen babies with oil and baptize 83 adults and teenagers next door, in the indoor pool of the Radisson Hotel. There's a rock concert feel to the weekend, both intense and oddly impersonal for a religious gathering. When either of the Murrays' sermons end, his followers quietly file out of their chairs and make their way back to the parking lot, only briefly loitering for conversation or fellowship.

Rarely does a month go by without the elder Murray warning his followers about the Kenites. "Bless your heart if you have ever been deceived by the Kenite, and I am speaking now on the spiritual level, if you have ever really believed that group was the chosen of God, you were deceived by Satan," Murray says in one popular audio tape sermon. "Repent of that even more so than your personal sins in the personal sense."

Although Murray states on his website, "Anyone saying that I use the word [Kenites] to describe Judah is not telling the truth," it's not hard to figure out why many of his followers -- and others -- equate Kenites with Jews.

In one written sermon, Murray says that "the Kenites slipped in among the Jews." In an audiotape sermon called "Demons," he says of the Kenites, "Why do you think their own Talmud is the filthiest piece of literature ever written? Because they're at home with it. They love it. It's their cup of tea. It's Satan's cup of tea."

"Murray is a bit distinctive in one respect, and that is the emphasis on 'Kenites,'" Barkun, the scholar, told the Report. "None of the central figures in the formation of Christian Identity speak of the Kenites. Rather, they discuss descendants of Cain and sometimes Cainites. However, there appears to be a small number of Identity pastors who trace Biblical genealogy from Cain through the Kenites (were they somehow attracted by the similar sounds of the names?).

"Murray is obviously one."

For their part, longtime Shepherd's Chapel students, seeking to avoid what they feel is Satanic deceit, believe they must learn how to "identify" a Kenite. On Internet forums where Shepherd's Chapel followers congregate, there is much debate over the racial identity of the Kenites. On a Shepherd's Chapel MySpace group, some ask whether the Kenites might be of Asian ancestry. But over on TheSeason.org, a long-running forum for Shepherd's Chapel students, there's little ambivalence. Numerous essays, citing the anti-Semitic hoax, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, claim that the Kenites and the Jews have long plotted world domination.

For some, disillusionment

Paul Stringini, a former Shepherd's Chapel student, told the Intelligence Report that Murray "promotes what I would call soft resentment against Jews." "He'll say he loves the Jews, it's the Kenites he doesn't like," say Stringini. "Just try and nail him down on it. There's a semantic game that goes on. Frankly, the only real 'benefit' which I have ever seen of knowing 'who the Kenites are' is that knowledge makes many people prejudiced against Jews assuming they are 'Kenites.' I know that is not explicitly what Pastor Murray teaches but that is what it does to many Shepherd's Chapel students I have known."

Stringini knows he's not alone among former Shepherd's Chapel students who left in disgust over Murray's Serpent Seed theology. But whatever students Murray may lose are quickly replaced, thanks to his coast-to-coast TV and radio presence. That's how Stringini got involved with Shepherd's Chapel in 1993. In 1995, he was baptized in a hotel pool at the group's Branson Passover. "By 1996, I owned and had studied every single-subject cassette available at the time," wrote Stringini. He even married his wife at the Shepherd's Chapel headquarters in Arkansas.

But the more he heard from Murray about the "trumpets" of the end times and the "evil" of the Kenites, the less it rang true. Stringini quit Shepherd's Chapel in 1999 and remains one of the few former Murray followers willing to publicly criticize his ex-mentor, though he says that when Arnold Murray is not talking about the apocalypse or Kenites, "he's actually a pretty decent Bible teacher."

Unlike unapologetic Identity preachers, Murray doesn't condone or suggest violence against the "Kenites." "Let's get one thing straight, coming out the gate. Are you saying we should hate Judah? That would be stupid indeed," he says in one recorded sermon. Instead, Murray encourages followers to focus their energy on identifying and avoiding Kenites, claiming an end-times event will "take care" of them. In "Kenites," a widely distributed audio sermon, he claims this teaching comes directly from Jesus. Murray uses the New Testament parable of the "tares," a bitter weed that Jesus warns can grow hidden in wheat fields and go unnoticed till harvest. Murray likens the tares to the Kenites, adding, "The angels will take care of the tares -- the tares are taken together in the fire -- that's the end of the world -- that's how it's going to be."

For Murray, the end of the world isn't an abstraction. The 1980 Mount St. Helens eruption that happened during the week of Pentecost led him to proclaim the Antichrist would return in 1981. Murray's resolve has only hardened during the 27 years since that prophecy failed to come true. He dismisses his critics as "numbskulls," "Bible-thumpers" and "yo-yos."

The formula for his TV program is deceptively simple. "Verse by verse, chapter by chapter," Murray, often partnered with his son Dennis, sits between a wood desk and an American flag and interprets the King James Bible with the help of a Greek/Hebrew concordance. At the end of each show, he fields caller questions on global politics, end-times prophecy and scripture.

During a live taping of Shepherd's Chapel in 1998, an audience member yelled, "Blasphemer!" Murray turned around at his desk and pulled out a gun. The broadcast cut to Shepherd's Chapel's satellite logo but the audio continued. "Here. Take this 9mm to that boy," Murray said. The clip aired on "The Daily Show" and remains widely available on the Internet, as is another Shepherd's Chapel clip in which Murray reaches into his desk and pulls out what he claims is the fossil of an angel footprint, from a pre-Adamic time when angels walked the earth. Under the Radar
Despite his gaffes with guns and failed end-time prophecies, Murray has received very little attention in the mainstream press. In the mid-1990s the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette did briefly examine whether Murray's airplanes, which he claims are used in the nonprofit religious mission of Shepherd's Chapel, were in fact private vehicles and therefore taxable assets. But it did not delve into the nature or origins of Murray's theological teachings.

Few chapel students will ever attend services at the actual Shepherd's Chapel in Gravette, a tiny and remote town of 1,800 in far northwest Arkansas. Located just a couple of blocks from the town's main street, the headquarters chapel is a former roller rink, flanked by four satellites, one the size of a carousel. A stone plaque that reads, "I Am That I Am," sits in front of the church. The chapel holds videotaped services on the first and third Sunday of every month. As with his live appearances at the Passover in Branson this April, Murray seldom lingers on stage to chat with or greet his followers after his sermon concludes.

"I'm a very private person, almost a loner," Murray says in one audiotape sermon. Murray says he prefers the outdoors and maintains an intensely private life on a wooded 30-acre property in rural Benton County, Ark. Few biographical details are known about the pastor. Born in 1927, Murray grew up in a farming family. On the Shepherd's Chapel site, he says he served in the Korean War as a Marine. He also claims to have received a doctorate, though he doesn't name the institution. Murray almost never gives media interviews and did not respond to requests for comment for this story. But he has addressed some of those who criticize him.

In a Shepherd's Chapel website post called "An Answer to Our Critics," Murray says: "To say I teach racism or practice racism is another outright lie. We have people of all races that attend and study with the Shepherd's Chapel." While that may be true, Shepherd's Chapel's supporters who defend their church as non-racist have some former colleagues among white supremacists. On the neo-Nazi website Stormfront, an array of former Murray students who now pray and pastor at hard-core Christian Identity churches, have weighed in on Murray's anti-Semitic credentials. "Yep, Murray is 'lukewarm,' he is half right, which makes him all dangerous," wrote "NC patriot." Another poster going by the handle "Artemis Clydefrog" stated: "I've been studying with the Chapel for about 15 years. He's not C.I. [Christian Identity], but he does teach the 'Serpent's Seed.'" "[Murray] believes that blacks are exactly the same as Whites in the eyes of God," said Stormfront poster "LeBrune" with evident disapproval. "Just because he teaches about the "Serpent's Seed," don't think for a moment that he is a White Nationalist, promotes Christian Identity, White Separation, or even White Preservation."

But a 1997 complaint filed with the Federal Communications Commission, which regulates broadcast media, argued otherwise. Shepherd's Chapel's broadcasts were one of the subjects of a complaint by former media company MediaOne (now part of AT&T) against Georgia's WNGM-TV in a dispute over market access. MediaOne alleged that "Shepherd's Chapel," then carried on WNGM-TV, "has purveyed racist dogma," citing claims by the program on Nov. 13 and 15, 1996, that "not all races can come from Adam and Eve," that "God created different races and that's the way he wanted us to stay," and that the Biblical flood "was to destroy those [of different races] who had intermixed."

With the exception of New York City, "Shepherd's Chapel" airs in every major market in the country, in one- to four-hour slots, usually between midnight and six a.m. For hardcore fans, a 24-hour, seven-day a-week satellite broadcast of Shepherd's Chapel is available on DirecTV. A prophecy hotline is also available where callers can listen to a two-minute loop of Murray's commentary on events of the day.

All that airtime doesn't come cheap. In 1990, the Arkansas-Democrat Gazette reported that Murray spent $75,000 a month on television time. Where all that money comes from remains a mystery. Arkansas churches are shielded by state law from having to disclose their finances like other nonprofits. Unlike other, more notorious televangelists, the Murrays rarely make direct appeals for funds. At Passover in Branson, a single discreet tithing box was unmanned in the main room.

But many Shepherd's Chapel students are all too happy to donate to their pastor. For them, he's often the first and only religious figure to have walked them through the Bible verse by verse. Buying his books and sermons, or directly donating, seems less like tithing to them and more like paying tuition.

But at the Passover in Branson, if they listened closely, students could hear snippets of a theology that probably was more than they bargained for, like when Dennis Murray blamed the Kenites for the crucifixion of Jesus. "I'd like to see them crawling around the floor picking up their blood money," Dennis Murray said of the people his father still insistently claims are not the Jews, despite all appearances. "That'd be a picture."

Vermont Secessionists Meet with Racist League of the South

From 1777 until 1791, Vermont was an independent state complete with all the trappings -- a constitution, a flag, even a mint to pump out its own money, the Vermont copper. But in 1791, Vermonters happily joined the new United States. Now, some of the locals want out.

In 2003, the Second Vermont Republic (SVR) sprang up to push for the independence of Vermont, a tiny, idyllic Northeastern state with fewer than 630,000 residents. In its seemingly quixotic quest, SVR took up the mantra that small is beautiful, arguing that secession would lead to sustainability, ecological balance, an end to military entanglements overseas, and a better life. SVR activists designed a new green flag for Vermont and started selling T-shirts, particularly popular with the state's many tourists, that read, "U.S. OUT OF VT!"

But in recent months and years, SVR's actions have gone from way out to worrying. Starting in 2005, SVR leader Thomas H. Naylor -- along with SVR's very close ally, the Cold Spring, N.Y.-based Middlebury Institute that is headed by longtime leftist Kirkpatrick Sale -- began openly collaborating with a collection of Southern extremists to build a national secession movement.

SVR's disturbing new partner is the white supremacist League of the South. The Alabama-based group is against interracial marriage, believes the old Confederacy never surrendered, and wants to reestablish "the cultural dominance of the Anglo-Celtic people and their institutions" in a newly seceded South. It seeks to accord different classes of people differing legal rights in what sounds very much like a medieval theocracy of lords, serfs and clerics. League intellectuals have defended both slavery (which was "God-ordained") and segregation, a policy described as protecting the genetic "integrity" of both blacks and whites. Right after Hurricane Katrina, league members put up "whites only" housing offers, including one from Alabama offering a trailer to a "white family of three or four," and another from Tennessee offering to temporarily house a "White Christian family."

Many Vermonters have been shocked by this alliance. After all, the Green Mountain State was the first to abolish slavery in 1777, and its men fought fiercely to preserve the union in battles during the Civil War, some of which are proudly commemorated in paintings displayed inside the gold-domed State House. But Naylor isn't worried about his fellow Vermonters' concerns, hotly defending as critical his newfound alliance with members of the radical right.

"For the last 30 years, people have been speculating on the idea of far left meets far right, and I saw the possibility for that not to be fantasy but to be real," Naylor told the Intelligence Report. "The objective is to bring down the Empire." The League of the South, Naylor added, though "not perfect," is "not racist."

Birthing a movement

Talk of secession has been heating up in Vermont since the early 1990s and even before. In 1991, then-Lt. Gov. Howard Dean moderated debates in seven towns that then voted for secession. That same year, University of Vermont professor and current SVR advisor Frank Bryan argued for secession in a series of well-publicized debates with Vermont Supreme Court Justice John Dooley. With the election of George Bush and the onset of the increasingly unpopular Iraq war, secessionist sentiment in traditionally liberal Vermont picked up, with a 2006 University of Vermont poll showing 8% of residents interested in the idea.

It was Naylor who turned that sentiment into a movement, founding SVR after self-publishing The Vermont Manifesto in 2003. Naylor was spurred to create SVR by the 9/11 terrorist attacks, which he does not believe were organized by Osama bin Laden, a "fundamentalist living in a remote cave," but rather were the ultimate result of American arrogance. In his manifesto's preface, Naylor writes: "Our nation has truly lost its way. America is no longer a sustainable nation-state economically, politically, socially, militarily or environmentally. The Empire has no clothes." A perennial curmudgeon, Naylor regularly berates government officials. He calls Vermont's elected officials "enemies of the state" and has labeled six-term Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy, a Democrat, "a world-class prostitute."

To most Vermonters, SVR was originally seen as a far-out outfit that engaged in publicity stunts to push secession. At least in the beginning, its most enthusiastic supporters seemed to be the Glover, Vt.-based Bread and Puppet Theater troupe, a merry band dedicated to "cheap art" whose building hosted SVR's first statewide meeting in October 2003. One SVR attention-grabber was a "memorial service" held on March 4, 2005, commemorating the day in 1791 that Vermont joined the union. The service included everything from a reading from Ecclesiastes to the strains of Chopin's "Funeral March." A funeral procession with a New Orleans-style jazz band carried a flag-draped coffin containing the "deceased First Vermont Republic" to the State House in Montpelier, where it was placed at the feet of Vermont Revolutionary War hero Ethan Allen's statue. SVR even achieved a symbolic political success, persuading the legislature to designate Jan. 16 as Vermont Independence Day to commemorate the establishment of the First Vermont Republic in 1777.

Naylor's leftist credentials were enhanced greatly by his close friendship with Kirkpatrick Sale, whose Middlebury Institute he helped found in 2005. Sale, a contributing editor at the left-wing journal The Nation and a chronicler of the militant, 1960s-era Students for a Democratic Society, is best known as the author of The Conquest of Paradise: Christopher Columbus and the Columbian Legacy, a 1991 history that was the first to denounce Columbus for "founding" the New World and ushering in the destruction of its native peoples. Between 1965 and 1968, he was editor of The New York Times Magazine. Thirty years later, in 1995, Sale was named as a "visionary" by the Utne Reader, a liberal journal. Sale also is known for his hatred of technology, once famously smashing a computer to bits on a New York stage.

In 2005, the Vermont secessionist movement also spawned a popular independent newspaper, Vermont Commons, that the SVR describes as a "sister organization." The newspaper promotes nonviolent secession and a "more sustainable Vermont future." Both SVR and Vermont Commons argue that the United States has become an unsustainable "empire" in need of dismantling.

From Mississippi to Montpelier

The image of SVR as a quixotic band of idealistic Vermontophiles fighting for an independent Green Mountain State has taken a public beating since 2006, when Naylor and Sale began openly working with the League of the South and other neo-Confederates. But the fact is that from the beginning, the SVR has been in many ways a Southern import that pushes 19th-century claims about states' rights and a revisionist take on Lincoln and the Civil War.

Naylor, the SVR's 71-year-old founder, is a born-and-bred child of the Deep South. He apparently developed his secessionist ideas under the guidance of former League of the South member and Emory University philosopher Donald Livingston -- a man Naylor told the Intelligence Report is the "philosophical guru of the Second Vermont Republic" and who is also published in Vermont Commons. Livingston -- who told the Report in a 2001 interview that "the North created segregation" and that Southerners fought during the Civil War only "because they were invaded" -- has attended most of SVR's events. Livingston is also featured in the SVR video, "U.S. Empire and Vermont Independence," alongside SVR stalwarts Frank Bryan and Jim Hogue, who is an Ethan Allen reenactor.

Naylor is a native of Jackson, Miss. Some of his father T. H. Naylor Jr.'s correspondence is found in the archives of the infamous Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission, a secret state spy agency that was formed to battle integration. The elder Naylor was even featured in the notorious film, "Message From Mississippi," which promoted the joys of segregation. Now retired, Naylor taught economics at Duke University in Durham, N.C., for 30 years, and has written 30 books, ranging from tomes on computer simulations to political works on Gorbachev. In the early 1990s, he worked as a consultant for companies in the USSR. During that time, he became convinced that the break-up of the Soviet Union was a harbinger of America's future.

Although the younger Naylor told the Intelligence Report that while in college he refused to stand when "Dixie" was played at the University of Mississippi's football games, his ideology is now rife with neo-Confederate ideas. By 1997, Naylor, in his book Downsizing the U.S.A. -- co-authored by William Willimon, the dean of chapel and a professor of Christian ministry at Duke University in North Carolina -- was calling the Civil War the "War Between the States." Parroting the neo-Confederate anti-Lincoln line, Naylor calls Lincoln "arguably the worst" president in American history. "Lincoln invaded the Confederate States without the consent of congress," he wrote in his Manifesto, adding that Lincoln "may have also been the father of American internal imperialism."

And he adopted a revisionist view of the causes of the Civil War that has been roundly rejected by most serious historians. "Most Americans think the Civil War was fought about freeing the slaves, but rather it was fought to preserve the union and build an empire," Naylor told The (U.K) Independent last October.

Naylor also is down on desegregation. In a 2007 essay, "Minority States NOT Minority Rights," Naylor criticizes segregation but also "forced racial integration," complaining that the federal government was in the 1950s and 1960s "ordering me to associate with minorities whether I like it or not." Overall, Naylor can't abide by the idea that since civil rights legislation was passed in the 1960s, "minority rights always trump states' rights." He asks if integration "disempowered minorities, diluting their influence over their communities and implying that every solution to their problems always lies in the hands of the majority-backed government?"

New Friends

Naylor's reasons for moving to Vermont are explained in Downsizing the U.S.A. He portrays his then-hometown of Richmond, Va., as overcome by crime and angry African Americans, saying it was in a "death spiral." When he moved to Vermont in 1993, Naylor almost immediately started calling for an independent state. He pines for a separate Vermont, perhaps allied with other Atlantic maritime entities, that would resemble Switzerland or Luxembourg -- countries Naylor considers as close to perfect as possible. In Downsizing the U.S.A., Naylor sounds a theme similar to that of many white supremacists, suggesting that some parts of the country could be broken up according to ethnicity. "If Palestine could be divided into a Jewish state and an Arab state, why can't independent African American, Hispanic, and Native American states be carved out of the United States?"

In Vermont, Naylor grew close to an unlikely secessionist, the renowned diplomat George Kennan, described by Naylor as "the godfather of the movement." In his 1994 autobiography Around the Cragged Hill, Kennan had suggested breaking the U.S. into "a dozen constituent republics" for reasons that don't sound that different than Naylor's. In a letter to Naylor quoted in The American Conservative, Kennan wrote of "unmistakable evidences of a growing differentiation between the cultures, respectively, of large southern and southwestern regions of this country" and worried that "the very culture of the bulk of the population of these regions will tend to be primarily Latin-American in nature." Kennan questioned whether American society should be "recklessly trashed" for what he called "a polyglot mix-mash."

Though he has spent his entire life in the New York region and been a regular on the progressive intellectual scene in New York City, Kirkpatrick Sale, too, has sounded very Confederate of late. When addressing the League of the South's convention last fall in Chattanooga, Tenn., Sale came off like a newly minted neo-Confederate. Describing himself as a "Northerner but with the blood of the South running through my veins," Sale told the cheering audience that he was descended from the Sale clan of Virginia and Kentucky and that one of his ancestors, Charles "Chic" Sale, wrote a popular story in Southern vernacular on building outhouses called The Specialist. At the end of the league conference, the audience stood and sang "Dixie" together. In a more recent essay, Sale described his view of what happened when the South seceded the first time: "They were ruthlessly attacked and their society eventually destroyed."

Early last October, Sale's institute co-hosted with the league the Second Annual North American Secession Conference in the same Chattanooga venue. With about 60 attendees, most of the conference's speakers were members of the league or prominent neo-Confederate activists. The event also attracted interest in white supremacist circles outside of the South. For example, publisher Bill Regnery, backer of the white supremacist National Policy Institute, which issues reports on such things as "The State of White America" and "Conservatives and Race," was on hand. For a movement supposedly led out of Vermont and New York, Southerners seem now to be at least co-driving the bus.

Left meets right

Four years earlier, in November 2004, SVR held its first serious conference in Middlebury, Vt., in conjunction with Fourth World, a left-wing British secessionist group supported by Sale. That was the beginning of the close partnership between Sale and Naylor.

Attended by 35 people, the conference produced "The Middlebury Declaration," named for the place where it was signed, the Middlebury Inn. The original signers were Naylor, Sale and Donald Livingston, the former league leader. The declaration asserts that "[t]he American empire, now imposing its military might on 153 countries around the world, is as fragile as empires historically tend to be, and that it might well implode upon itself in the near future." Hence the need for a "new politics" based on separation.

Secessionists with League of the South connections were soon involved. Naylor said they approached SVR "as a role model."

Speaking at a Vermont Independence rally that same year was John Remington Graham, an expert on the Francophone independence movement in Quebec, Canada, and an affiliated scholar at the League of the South's Institute for the Study of Southern Culture and History. The main outcome of the meeting was a decision to create a think tank to explore secession around the world. That idea came to fruition with the establishment of Sale's Middlebury Institute in 2005 as a sort of secessionist gathering point that posts material on its website about secessionist groups around the world. The institute also holds conferences on secession, two of which have prominently featured league members as well as other neo-Confederates.

In November 2006, SVR and the Middlebury Institute co-hosted the First North American Separatist Convention in the Montpelier State House (which, ironically, is graced by a large statue of Lincoln). The secessionists-only conference brought together several groups, including the Free Hawaii movement and members of the Alaskan Independence Party. But the bulk of the crowd even then was made up of Southern groups including the racist League of the South; Christian Exodus, a theocracy-minded outfit headed by a former league leader from Texas; and the Abbeville Institute, which was established by Donald Livingston in 2003 after he finally left the League of the South due to its "political baggage." Livingston's institute is devoted to the "Southern tradition," including what it describes as the ignored "achievements of white people in the South."

In October 2007, the league, Naylor and Sale met again in Chattanooga for the Second Annual North American Secession conference, an event organized by the Middlebury Institute and this time officially co-hosted by the league. The conference issued the "Chattanooga Declaration" -- a document that pronounced the "old left-right split meaningless and dead" and called for "diversity among human societies." It was while in Chattanooga that Sale spoke so fondly of his Southern roots.

Sale defended the league to reporters, telling The (U.K.) Independent that fall that he wanted to show the "folks up north" that league members are "legitimate colleagues" who have been wrongly declared "racists." (Sale declined to discuss the league, its history or anything else with the Report, saying by E-mail that he did not trust it "for one instant to be fair or truthful.") Sale has hotly contested the SPLC designation of the league as a hate group, telling The Associated Press in 2007 that the league -- whose leader, former university professor Michael Hill, has engaged in such activities as sending out E-mails mocking the names of his African-American students -- "has not done or said anything racist in its 14 years of existence."

Hard to Starboard

Naylor and Sale don't just share secessionist chitchat with their new neo-Confederate friends. Over the last two years, they have both become ensconced in the neo-Confederate movement and collegial with several extremists. For example, Naylor serves as an "associated scholar" at Livingston's Abbeville Institute, whose ranks are filled with current and former league members. Another Abbeville "scholar," Scott Trask, has written for the white supremacist newsletter American Renaissance, which is devoted to proving the intellectual inferiority of minorities and recently claimed that blacks are incapable of creating any civilization.

SVR, the Abbeville Institute and the League of the South Institute for the Study of Southern Culture and History all share as an advisor Thomas DiLorenzo, a professor at Loyola College who has done more than anyone to push the idea that Abraham Lincoln was a paragon of wickedness, a man secretly intent on destroying states' rights and building a massive federal government. "It was not to end slavery that Lincoln initiated an invasion of the South," DiLorenzo writes in his 2002 attack on Lincoln, The Real Lincoln: A New Look at Abraham Lincoln, His Agenda, and an Unnecessary War. "A war was not necessary to free the slaves, but it was necessary to destroy the most significant check on the powers of the central government: the right of secession."

Appointed to the SVR advisory board in 2005, Marco Bassani, an Italian college professor, is also an associated scholar at the Abbeville Institute. More importantly, he is a member of the xenophobic and anti-immigrant Northern League, whose leader, Umberto Bossi, has described African immigrants as "bingo-bongos" and suggested opening fire on the boats of would-be illegal immigrants to Italy.

Besides speaking at league conferences, Sale's speeches are for sale at Georgia League of the South leader Ray McBerry's Dixie Broadcasting, where Sale is described as a "social liberal who supports the Constitutional concept of the right of secession." The league advertises on its website that it will participate in the Third Annual North American Secessionist Convention, to be put on by Sale's Middlebury Institute next fall.

In the last two years, Sale and Naylor even signed on as guests for the now-defunct Tennessee-based hate radio program "The Political Cesspool," run by white supremacist Council of Conservative Citizens board member and David Duke pal James Edwards. Naylor, who has been a guest twice on the program whose guest line-up reads like a Who's Who of the racist radical right, appeared during its celebration of "Confederate History Month" in April 2007.

In the case of Israel, Sale has views that are common to the far left and the far right. In a 2003 article for the left-wing journal Counterpunch called "An End to the Israel Experiment? Unmaking a Grievous Error," Sale asks "[w]hether the 50-year-old experiment known as the state of Israel has proven to be a failure and should be abandoned." He points out that "[t]he [Jewish] diaspora, after all, has existed since 70 A.D., far longer than the state has, and might even be thought of as the natural or historic role of Jewry."

Naylor sees it similarly. "We have a government that is unconditionally allied with the state of Israel, which is an apartheid terrorist state," he told the Report. He complained that the entire congressional delegation of Vermont "supports Israel."

'Hating America'

Some Vermonters continue to stand by Naylor despite concerns. Vermont Commons Editor Rob Williams told the Intelligence Report that although his organization is completely separate from SVR, Naylor is "no racist" and a man whom he considers "a colleague" and whose essays his paper will continue to publish. A member of SVR's speakers bureau, Williams added: "The 'racism' charge, by the way, has become a convenient way for a few outspoken Vermonters who may not agree with our goals to throw stones at us."

The real racist, Williams said, is "the United States empire."

But playing footsie with neo-Confederates has cost SVR, as several members have left the group or distanced themselves from it in recent years. Former executive director Jane Dwinel quit the group in 2006, telling the Report later that she had had sharp disagreements with Naylor. John McClaughry, a supporter of decentralization, told the Report that SVR has "shaded over to hating America." According to the Vermont Secession blog, Dan Dewalt, a former SVR advisory member, was dismissed from the group for merely raising irksome questions about Naylor's connection to groups including the league.

Even many of those who remain Naylor's colleagues are worried by SVR's new Southern friends. "You've got to watch whose conference you go to. There's no doubt about it," SVR advisor Frank Bryan told the Report. Added longtime SVR ally Jim Hogue, "If [Naylor] was very flattering toward the League of the South, and they're racist, that was probably a bad idea."

In the face of these criticisms, Naylor remains defiant. "I don't give a shit what you write," he told the Intelligence Report. "If someone tells me that I shouldn't associate with the League of the South, it guarantees that I will associate with the League of the South."

Sale seems to be losing friends, too. Roane Carey, an editor who has worked with Sale at The Nation, told the Intelligence Report: "The Nation has no sympathy for or connection to the League of the South or any group of that ilk. A couple of years ago, we found out that the Vermont secession movement had the astonishingly poor judgment to make an alliance with the [League of the South], whose thinly disguised racism and closed-mindedness we condemn without reservation.

"It's one thing to call for devolution, local self-rule, small-is-beautiful politics -- even, in some circumstances, the idea of secession -- in the cause of ending empire and enhancing democracy, personal liberty, equal rights and environmental sanity," said Carey. "It's quite another to make nice with groups, such as the League of the South, that use the language of secession and regional or local self-rule as a means of promoting Old South revanchism."

Carey added that he hopes Sale "comes to his senses."

Despite SVR's best efforts, for now the union appears to be safe -- Vermont secessionists failed to obtain the signatures needed to put independence resolutions on 2008 Town Meeting Day ballots. They will try again in 2009.

Anti-Gay Movement of Immigrant Fundamentalist Christians Threatens Western States

On the first day of July, Satender Singh was gay-bashed to death. The 26-year-old Fijian of Indian descent was enjoying a holiday weekend outing at Lake Natoma with three married Indian couples around his age. Singh was delicate and dateless -- two facts that did not go unnoticed by a party of Russian-speaking immigrants two picnic tables away.

According to multiple witnesses, the men began loudly harassing Singh and his friends, calling them "7-Eleven workers" and "Sodomites." The Slavic men bragged about belonging to a Russian evangelical church and told Singh that he should go to a "good church" like theirs. According to Singh's friends, the harassers sent their wives and children home, then used their cell phones to summon several more Slavic men. The members of Singh's party, which included a woman six months pregnant, became afraid and tried to leave. But the Russian-speaking men blocked them with their bodies.

The pregnant woman said she didn't want to fight them.

"We don't want to fight you either," one of them replied in English. "We just want your faggot friend."

One of the Slavic men then sucker-punched Singh in the head. He fell to the ground, unconscious and bleeding. The assailants drove off in a green sedan and red sports car, hurling bottles at Singh's friends to prevent them from jotting down the license plate. Singh suffered a brain hemorrhage. By the next day, hospital tests confirmed that he was clinically brain dead. His family agreed to remove him from artificial life support July 5.

Outside Singh's hospital room, more than 100 people held a vigil. Many were Sacramento gay activists who didn't know Singh personally, but who saw his death as the tragic but inevitable result of what they describe as the growing threat of large numbers of Slavic anti-gay extremists, most of them first- or second-generation immigrants from Russia, the Ukraine and other countries of the former Soviet Union, in their city and others in the western United States.

In recent months, as energetic Russian-speaking "Russian Baptists" and Pentecostals in these states have organized to bring thousands to anti-gay protests, gay rights activists in Sacramento have picketed Slavic anti-gay churches, requested more police patrols in gay neighborhoods and distributed information cards warning gays and lesbians about the hostile Slavic evangelicals who they say have roughed up participants at gay pride events. Singh's death was the realization of their worst fears.

"After a couple years of fundamentalist and Slavic Christian virulent anti-gay protests at almost every Sacramento gay event in the region," said local gay rights activist Michael Gorman, "what the gay community has feared for some time has finally happened."

The Watchmen

Gay rights activists blame Singh's death on what they call "The West Coast connection" or the "U.S.-Latvia Axis of Hate," a reference to a virulent Latvian megachurch preacher who has become a central figure in the hard-line Slavic anti-gay movement in the West. And indeed, in early August, authorities announced that two Slavic men, one of whom had fled to Russia, were being charged in Singh's death, which they characterized as a hate crime.

A growing and ferocious anti-gay movement in the Sacramento Valley is centered among Russian- and Ukrainian-speaking immigrants. Many of them are members of an international extremist anti-gay movement whose adherents call themselves the Watchmen on the Walls. In Latvia, the Watchmen are popular among Christian fundamentalists and ethnic Russians, and are known for presiding over anti-gay rallies where gays and lesbians are pelted with bags of excrement. In the Western U.S., the Watchmen have a following among Russian-speaking evangelicals from the former Soviet Union. Members are increasingly active in several cities long known as gay-friendly enclaves, including Sacramento, Seattle and Portland, Ore.

Vlad Kusakin, the host of a Russian-language anti-gay radio show in Sacramento and the publisher of a Russian-language newspaper in Seattle, told The Seattle Times in January that God has "made an injection" of high numbers of anti-gay Slavic evangelicals into traditionally liberal West Coast cities. "In those places where the disease is progressing, God made a divine penicillin," Kusakin said.

The anti-gay tactics of the Slavic evangelicals in the U.S. branch of the Watchmen movement are just as crude and even more physically abusive than Fred Phelps' infamous Westboro Baptist Church, and they're rooted in gay-bashing theology that's even more hardcore than the late Jerry Falwell's. Slavic anti-gay talk radio hosts and fundamentalist preachers routinely deliver hateful screeds on the airwaves and from the pulpit in their native tongue that, were they delivered in English, would be a source of nationwide controversy.

Dennis Mangers, a gay former California state senator who now lobbies for the cable industry, said that when he met a prominent leader of Sacramento's Slavic community at a 2006 weekend reconciliation retreat, the Slavic leader told him: "You have to understand, we equate homosexuals with thieves, adulterers and murderers. ... You are an abomination."

Current California State Sen. Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento), who rode in a dignitary car in Sacramento's 2006 gay pride parade, told The Sacramento Bee he was shocked by the vitriolic comments shouted by Slavic fundamentalist counter-demonstrators. "The words are vile ... and words may give people the implicit license to take the next step and hurt people."

Last summer, The Speaker, a Russian-language newspaper with an English title in Sacramento, urged readers to attend a massive anti-gay rally: "Make a choice. It's your decision. Homosexuality is knocking on your doors and asking: 'Can I make your son gay and your daughter lesbian?'"

At that rally and others at the California Capitol, thousands of Russian-speaking teens crowded the halls of the Capitol building rotunda, wearing "Sodomy is a Sin" T-shirts. Scarf-wrapped babushkas held up signs that read, "Perversion is never safe" and "I am not learning about gay people."

'Masculine Christianity'

Last April in Salem, Ore., more than 700 Russian-speaking teenagers rallied outside the state Capitol against a pair of gay rights bills. It was the largest anti-gay protest to take place in Oregon's sleepy capital city since 1992, when the anti-gay Oregon Citizens Alliance (OCA) pushed a ballot initiative that came within a few percentage points of rewording the state constitution to declare gay people "abnormal, wrong, unnatural and perverse" and requiring the state to fire all openly gay or lesbian public school teachers.

The executive director of the OCA at that time was Scott Lively, a longtime anti-gay activist who is now the chief international envoy for the Watchmen movement. Lively also is the former director of the California chapter of the anti-gay American Family Association and the founder of both Defend the Family Ministries and the Pro-Family Law Center, which claims to be the country's "only legal organization devoted exclusively to opposing the homosexual political agenda."

The Watchmen movement's strategy for combating the "disease" of homosexuality calls for aggressive confrontation. "We church leaders need to stop being such, for lack of a better word, sissies when it comes to social and political issues," Lively argues in a widely-circulated tract called Masculine Christianity. "For every motherly, feminine ministry of the church such as a Crisis Pregnancy Center or ex-gay support group we need a battle-hardened, take-it-to-the-enemy masculine ministry like [the anti-abortion group] Operation Rescue."

Lively identifies "the enemy" as not only homosexuals, but also what he terms "homosexualists," a category that includes anyone, regardless of sexual orientation, who "actively promotes homosexuality as morally and socially equivalent to heterosexuality as a basis for social policy."

When he personally confronts the enemy, Lively practices what he preaches when it comes to "battle-hardened" tactics. He recently was ordered by a civil court judge to pay $20,000 to lesbian photojournalist Catherine Stauffer for dragging her by the hair through the halls of a Portland church in 1991.

The Pink Passport

Lively occasionally writes for Chalcedon Report, a journal published by the Chalcedon Foundation, the leading Christian Reconstructionist organization in the country. (Reconstructionists typically call for the imposition of Old Testament law, including such draconian punishments as stoning to death active homosexuals and children who curse their parents, on the United States.) But he's most famous as the co-author of The Pink Swastika: Homosexuality in the Nazi Party.

Published in 1995, the book is a breathtaking work of Holocaust revisionism. It asserts that Hitler was gay -- a claim no serious historian supports -- and that Hitler and other evil gay fascists were central in forming the Nazi Party, operating the Third Reich and orchestrating the Holocaust. (Lively's most recent book, The Poisoned Stream, similarly details "a dark and powerful homosexual presence" through "the Spanish Inquisition, the French 'Reign of Terror,' the era of South African apartheid, and the two centuries of American Slavery.")

The Pink Swastika -- whose cover has a swastika in place of the "x" in "homosexuality" in the book's subtitle -- has been roundly discredited by legitimate historians and was thoroughly debunked in a 2005 Intelligence Report article. Stephen Feinstein, director of the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at the University of Minnesota, said the book was "produced by a right-wing Christian cult and is as correct as flat earth theory."

Lively declined to answer several E-mails seeking comment.

Nevertheless, The Pink Swastika has become Lively's passport to fame among anti-gay church leaders and their followers in Eastern Europe, as well as Russian-speaking anti-gay activists in America. Lively frequently speaks about the book and his broader anti-gay agenda in churches, police academies and television news studios throughout the former Soviet Union.

Lively credits the popularity of Russian-language translations of The Pink Swastika to the support of Pastor Alexey Ledyaev, the head of the New Generation Church, an evangelical Christian megachurch based in Riga, the capital city of Latvia. New Generation has more than 200 satellite churches spread throughout Eastern Europe, Argentina, Israel and the United States.

"One of my supporters gave him [Ledyaev] a copy of The Pink Swastika. He was very impressed by it," Lively said in a December 2006 radio show on WTTT-AM, based in Salem, Mass. "The European press was bashing them [Ledyaev and his church] for being Nazis. He was finally thrilled that he had something to counter the media with." Ledyaev did not respond to E-mails seeking comment.

Since then, Lively said, "I've been deluged by media speaking offers all over the former Soviet Union."

In Sacramento, editorials in The Speaker urge readers to buy The Pink Swastika. Even right-wing legislators in the California Assembly are said to audibly groan when Slavic evangelicals wave a copy of the pink volume during testimony.

Rock Operas and Reconstruction

The New Generation theology Ledyaev preaches borrows heavily from R.J. Rushdoony, the late founding thinker of Christian Reconstruction. Pastor Ledyaev's 2002 book, New World Order, calls for evangelical Christians around the world to influence the wealthy and powerful in their home countries to implement biblical law in order to stave off a supposed alliance of gays and Muslims hell-bent on destroying Christianity. "The first devastating wave of homosexuality makes a way for the second and more dangerous wave of islamization [sic]," writes Ledyaev.

Born in Kazakhstan, Ledyaev doesn't even speak fluent Latvian. But he's quite proficient in the international language of the anti-gay Christian Right. Ledyaev is close friends with Southern Baptist televangelist Pat Robertson -- a man who once predicted God would punish Florida with hurricanes and other disasters because Disney World had allowed a "Gay Days" discount -- and was invited to the 2006 National Prayer Breakfast hosted by President George Bush.

At 56, Ledyaev is still youth-oriented enough to promote his vision of global theocracy through elaborate, large-scale Christian rock operas that Ledyaev writes, directs and stars in, and which are replete with lasers, smoke machines, and spandex-clad actors in ghoulish makeup. One of the rock operas, which young Russian-speaking anti-gay activists promote on video-sharing websites, features a hero character wearing a tuxedo battling men in black tights armed with tiki torches. Over heavy-metal guitar riffs, a military-like chorus sings of "victory over the gays."

In addition to Lively and Robertson, Ledyaev has cultivated the support of Rev. Ken Hutcherson, the African-American founder of Antioch Bible Church, a Seattle-area megachurch. "Hutch," as the ex-NFL player is known, played a key role in persuading Microsoft to temporarily withdraw its support for a Washington bill that would have made it illegal to fire an employee for their sexual orientation. In 2004, his "Mayday for Marriage" rally drew 20,000 people to the Seattle Mariner's Safeco Field to oppose legalizing same-sex marriage.

One of Ledyaev's nephews saw Hutcherson speak in Seattle at a March 2006 debate on gay rights and arranged a meeting with the Latvian pastor. By the end of the year, Hutcherson, Ledyaev and Lively had teamed up with Vlad Kusakin, the editor of The Speaker, to form an international alliance to oppose what Hutcherson characterizes as "the homosexual movement saying they're a minority and that they need their equal rights."

Walking the Gauntlet
They took the name Watchmen on the Walls from the Old Testament book of Nehemiah, in which the "watchmen" guard the reconstruction of a ruined Jerusalem. The cities they guard over today, say the contemporary Watchmen, are being destroyed by homosexuality.

"Nehemiah stood by the destroyed city of Jerusalem. So are we standing these days by the ruins of our legislative walls," Ledyaev says on the Watchmen website. "Defending Christianity begins with the restoration of the walls which is where the watchmen should stand up." The group's mission is "to bring the laws of our nations in[to] full compliance with the law of God."

During the past year, the Watchmen have met twice in the United States, first in Sacramento, then in Bellevue, Wash. They gathered to strategize against same-sex marriage and build a political organization to fight "gay-straight alliances" in public schools and push for the boycott of textbooks that mention homosexuality in any context other than total condemnation.

The group has also convened outside America. In the summer of 2006, the Watchmen and their supporters gathered in Riga, Latvia, to "protect the city from a homosexual invasion." Gay rights activists in Europe counter that it's gays who need protection from the Latvian capital, not the other way around.

And, indeed, the city is a hotbed of violent homophobia. In 2005, for example, a group of 100 gay activists, most of them from Western Europe and Scandinavia, traveled to Riga to hold a gay rights march that was widely viewed as the first real test of Latvia's official commitment to freedom of assembly, a requirement for its tentative admission to the European Union in 2004. Under heavy police escort, the gay rights demonstrators walked a few blocks through a gauntlet of ultranationalists, neo-Nazi skinheads, elderly women and youths wearing "I Love New Generation" T-shirts. They were pelted with eggs, rotten tomatoes and plastic bags full of feces.

The mayor of Riga at the time was Janic Smits, a close friend of Pastor Ledyaev and a prominent member of his New Generation Church. During a parliamentary debate on whether sexual orientation should be covered under a national ban on discrimination, Smits quoted the Old Testament: "If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them." Last year, Smits was elevated to chair the Latvian Parliament's Human Rights Commission.

Representing the White House?

When gay rights activists in Europe announced plans to hold a second Riga Pride march in the summer of 2006, the City Council voted to ban it. The gay rights protesters showed up anyway. Once again, they were pelted with eggs, rotten produce and feces as they attempted to attend services at an Anglican church that welcomed them. Swedish gay rights activists said that a carload of violent anti-gay protesters tried to force their taxi off the road.

Roving black jeeps with dark-tinted windows that carried anti-gay activists were a new element at the 2006 march. Decals on the jeeps bore the logo "No Pride" with a red line slashing through a circled picture of two male stick figures having sex. No Pride is a group organized and funded by New Generation Church member Igors Maslakovs.

A translator wearing a "No Pride" T-shirt bearing the same logo accompanied Lively and Hutcherson during their March 2007 Watchmen tour of Latvia. On that trip, Lively told a crowd of police officers that "the gay movement is the most dangerous political movement on earth" and repeated his claims that Riga is under siege by homosexuals, despite the fact that thousands of anti-gay demonstrators had countered the showing of just a few dozen gay rights marchers the summer before.

High on the Watchmen agenda during their March Latvia visit was expressing their anger over a $7,179 donation the U.S. embassy in Latvia made to Mozaika, a Latvian gay rights organization. The four-figure sum is pocket lint in terms of U.S. foreign aid. (According to tax records, nonprofit organizations run by Lively donated a similar amount to anti-gay groups over the last two years.) But the Watchmen didn't just protest the small donation. They did so in the name of the Bush Administration. Hutcherson claimed that the White House had appointed him a "special envoy" for "family values."

"I came to you representing the White House. In my country, people will know how Latvia responded to anti-Christian statements," Hutcherson told the Latvian parliament. "We need to stand for righteousness not only morally, but also physically and financially. It's a great battle for righteousness and no one can stop it. I promise to stand with you."

Hutcherson later said that he was designated a White House envoy during a February 2007 meeting between himself, Ledyaev and Jay Hein, the head of the White House's Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. Hutcherson claims he has a videotape of this meeting, but so far has refused to release it.

In a written statement, White House spokesperson Alyssa J. McLenning refuted Hutcherson's claim: "The White House Office of Faith-based and Community Initiatives did not give Hutcherson the title, 'Special Envoy for Adoptions, Family Values, Religious Freedom, and Medical Relief.' The White House did not give Hutcherson any other titles and did not coordinate with Hutcherson on his recent trip to Latvia." Impersonating a diplomat is a felony, but the White House apparently is not pursuing the matter.

A Contagious Disease

Soon after returning from the March trip, Lively visited a Russian-language evangelical church in Salem, Ore., where he screened a video documenting the Watchmen's activities in Latvia. The 45-minute tape repeatedly refers to gays as "terrorists" alongside footage of Ledyaev leading crowds in a chant: "In the name of Jesus Christ, we curse the name of homosexuality!"

In a speech given after Riga's first gay pride parade in 2005, Ledyaev told his international congregation: "Homosexuality is a ... dangerous and contagious disease. The contagious should be isolated and treated. Otherwise, an epidemic will sweep through the entire community."

Lively echoed his Latvian ally's comparison of homosexuality to disease in a 2003 letter to the editor published in The Washington Times. "The homosexual movement in a society is analogous to the AIDS virus in the human body," Lively wrote. "It is not benign but destructive; it thrives at the expense of the host, and you're most likely to get it by saying yes to sodomy."

The Watchmen portray the battle against gay rights as nothing less than a biblical clash of civilizations. "The homosexual sexual ethic" and "family-based society" are at war, Lively proclaimed in his letter to The Washington Times. "One must prevail at the expense of the other."

That sort of militant rhetoric is standard among Watchmen followers on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. Speaking to his American counterparts in a Watchmen video, a Latvian anti-gay activist intones: "Your generation beat the Nazis, and our country beat the Communists. Together we will defeat the homosexuals!"

Outnumbered and Fearful

Anti-immigrant sentiments already were rising among Sacramento gays and lesbians prior to Singh's murder. Slavic immigrant chants of "Repent, Sodomites!" at anti-gay demonstrations were frequently countered with shouts of "Go back to Russia!" Since the killing, anger at the local Slavic evangelical community has reached the boiling point. One typical online posting to a Craigslist Web forum was titled, "DEPORT RUSSIANS NOW!!"

"Satender Singh is just the beginning of the [P]andora's box," it read. "They come here [as] religious refugees and turn their newfound freedom on our citizenry. If they are going to [cite] evangelical religious rhetoric, then I say give some Old [Testament] eye for eye."

The situation heated up further on Aug. 7, when Sacramento authorities charged Andrey Vusik, 29, with involuntary manslaughter as a hate crime in Singh's death, saying that the evidence did not show intent to kill. Vusik, leaving a wife and children in West Sacramento, fled to Russia in July, they said, and is being sought by the FBI. A second suspect, Aleksandr Shevchenko, 21, was arrested at his home and charged with intimidation and interfering with a victim's rights, also as a hate crime. Authorities roundly dismissed the claims of Vusik's wife, who told The Sacramento Bee that her husband acted in self-defense after Singh's party became raucous and sexually provocative, shocking her "Christian" family. No independent witnesses or members of Singh's party supported that version, detectives said.

Meanwhile, Ledyaev and Lively have contributed to the tension by refusing to publicly condemn Singh's murder. Vlad Kusakin, editor of The Speaker, called the killing "tragic" but criticized The Sacramento Bee for publicizing the details of the murder, alleging that the newspaper was engaged in a Nazi-style propaganda campaign against Slavic Christians.

Between 80,000 and 100,000 Slavic immigrants live in the Sacramento region, the highest concentration in the United States, and the city is home to some 70 Russian fundamentalist congregations. A third of the Slavic population considers themselves evangelicals or "Russian Baptists," a doctrine that is unrelated ideologically or organizationally to American Baptist churches. (Ironically, many of them emigrated to the United States beginning in the late 1980s to escape religious persecution in what was then still part of the Soviet Union.) Meanwhile, nearly 10% of the actual city of Sacramento's 450,000 residents openly identify as gay or lesbian -- almost 45,000 men and women. Only a small handful of cities, like Seattle and San Francisco, boast higher percentages of openly gay and lesbian residents.

The disparity in numbers has not gone unnoticed. Even though many Slavic immigrants are not homophobic, there's a new and uneasy feeling among Sacramento's gay and lesbian population of being outnumbered by people who hate homosexuals in a city that has long been considered gay-friendly.

Florin Ciuriuc, a former executive director of the Slavic Community Center of Sacramento, told The Sacramento Bee earlier this year that he stopped leading anti-gay protests among his countrymen because "I saw that people were hungry for violence, for blood." Ciuric added, "I don't want people from my community killing each other or other people because they are getting aggressive."

Sacramento gay and lesbian rights advocate Wendy Hill, 33, said that when she came of age as a lesbian in the mid-1990s, Sacramento was a safer place. "As a college student, you pushed the envelope. You walked down the street hand-in-hand with another girl, even if you weren't dating." Now, Hill says, after a group of rowdy Russian-speaking protesters showed up outside her house one morning, "I get afraid of that now, walking hand in hand with my wife."

Hill, who has served on the board of several local gay and lesbian organizations, says that she first became aware of the city's large and increasingly militant anti-gay Slavic population in the spring of 2006 when she attended "Queer Youth Advocacy Day," a lobbying event at which around two dozen young gay rights activists were confronted by 350 anti-gay demonstrators. "I'd say about 90% to 95% were from Slavic churches," she said. "They were blocking sidewalks, physically intimidating. ... We realized how complacent we had become. We weren't used to that type of behavior."

Hill and her partner of eight years have two young children, a 3-year-old and a 1-year old. They used to consider Sacramento a safe place for a lesbian couple to raise a family. Now they're not so sure. "It scares me," Hill says, "to think that's something going to happen to my daughter because of who her parents are."

Lou Dobbs Persists in Promoting Lies about Immigrant Leprosy Cases

Poisonous and untrue propaganda continues to leak into the national dialogue on undocumented migration to the United States.

Secret Mexican conspiracies to take over the American Southwest or merge with Canada and the United States. Murders and drunken-driving deaths caused by "illegal aliens" reaching astounding levels. Emergency rooms in California, overwhelmed by the migrants, going out of business. Jobs stolen and wages lost to the tune of billions. Epidemics of frightening diseases like leprosy.

Where do these ideas come from?

In a surprising number of cases, they are propounded on mainstream cable television and radio shows and are even voiced by national politicians. And these tales are dangerous. When millions of Americans are told by people they trust that immigration from the south is destroying their country, many of them take that as fact. It's no surprise that some even respond with criminal violence.

That's why a debate this spring between the Southern Poverty Law Center and CNN host Lou Dobbs was important. For more than four years now, Dobbs has been delivering almost nightly reports emphasizing that undocumented immigration is harming this country in innumerable ways. On the way, he's managed to spread ideas that are not only one-sided, but in some cases entirely false.

Take leprosy.

On May 6, CBS' 60 Minutes ran a profile of Dobbs in which correspondent Lesley Stahl reported that in 2005, CNN reporter Christine Romans "told Dobbs that there have been 7,000 cases of leprosy in the U.S. in the past three years." Stahl pointed out that the government had actually reported that that was the number of cases in America over 30 years, not three. In the three years referenced by Romans, in fact, the government registered just 398 new cases. "If we reported it, it's a fact," Dobbs responded defiantly. He was asked how he could guarantee that. "Because I'm the managing editor, and that's the way we do business. We don't make up numbers, Lesley. Do we?"

The next night, on his own show, Dobbs, after lambasting me for comments I'd made in Stahl's story, repeated that he stood "100%" behind Romans' report. And he brought back Romans, who said: "I was quoting from Dr. Madeleine Cosman, a respected medical lawyer and medical historian ... : 'Suddenly, in the past three years, America has more than 7,000 cases of leprosy.'"

On May 15, SPLC ran ads in The New York Times and USA Today asking that CNN retract Dobbs' false leprosy claim, as Dobbs himself refused to. The following day, SPLC President Richard Cohen and I were invited on Dobbs' show, presumably to argue out the veracity of Romans' claim.

What we were met with was a classic bait and switch.

Just before the debate, Dobbs ran a taped piece that made an entirely new set of claims. Now Dobbs said that new cases had "risen" to 166 in 2005. He insisted that "we did not say there were [7,000] new cases at any time." And then, bizarrely, he reran the clip of Romans saying, on May 7, that "there were about 900 cases of leprosy for 40 years. There have been 7,000 in the past three years."

Dobbs also now claimed that Romans' reporting had always been based on statistics from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. But that was simply false. As Romans had made crystal clear in her own comments, the report was based entirely on Cosman, the "respected" lawyer and historian. Cosman, who died last year, was no "doctor" -- she had a Ph.D. in literature. And she was hardly a "respected" authority on disease and immigrants. In fact, she was a wild-eyed propagandist who has made a series of charges about Latino men heading north, including this one from 2005: "Most of these bastards molest girls under 12, although some specialize in boys, and some in nuns." Cosman also lied about a 1976 book she wrote being nominated for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award.

The importance of this debate went far beyond Dobbs' refusal to accept responsibility for a clear and egregious error. As Cohen wrote to CNN President Jonathan Klein: "This is hardly the first time that Mr. Dobbs has chosen to rely on dubious sources with a virulent anti-immigrant agenda."

If Americans are to sort out the mess that immigration policy has become, they need to know the facts of the situation. Misleading and false propaganda from the likes of Lou Dobbs, who works for a respected news operation, can only poison the debate and demonize a huge number of people in the process.

California Professor Is Font of Anti-Semitism

LONG BEACH, Calif. -- California State University, Long Beach (CSULB), is a multicultural wonderland, with classrooms filled by Golden Staters whose ancestors came to this lively, diverse beach community from every corner of the world. Double-stocked with both an Office of Equity and Diversity and a Multicultural Center, CSULB openly proclaims its commitment to educating all of California’s students, regardless of income, race, creed or national origin.

Given its diverse student body, it would seem that CSULB would be the last place to find a tried and true anti-Semite and white supremacist lecturing. But that is where Kevin B. MacDonald, a 63-year-old man who developed a deep-seated mistrust for Jewish activists while protesting the Vietnam War, is employed as the psychology professor for those seeking degrees in child development.

From an office inside the bunker-like, six-story Psych building, a tall, thin, bespectacled MacDonald pumps out pages and pages of material on how Jews are genetically driven to destroy Western societies. According to MacDonald, who considers himself an evolutionary psychologist, Jews, who have typically been in the minority in countries around the world, are compelled by an evolutionary strategy that makes them push for liberal policies, like immigration and diversity, with the intent of weakening the power of the majority that rules them.

Ultimately, MacDonald blames the death of millions on "the failure of Jewish assimilation into European societies" and even suggests that "parity" between Jews and gentiles could be reestablished by discriminating against Jews in college admissions and establishing taxes to reduce "the Jewish advantage" in wealth.

MacDonald’s three-volume set of books on Jews and their destructive tactics is devoured by anti-Semites the world over. Not since Hitler’s Mein Kampf have anti-Semites had such a comprehensive reference guide to what’s wrong with "the Jews." His work is widely advertised and touted on white supremacist websites and sold by neo-Nazi outfits like National Vanguard Books, which considers them "the most important books of the last 100 years." For years, MacDonald defended his research as apolitical and scientific, but that defense fell apart after the millennium, when MacDonald embarked on a white supremacist speaking tour. Last December, MacDonald dropped the defense altogether and declared his dislike for Jews.

"I have come to the point of seeing my subjects in a less than flattering light," the professor wrote on his kevinmacdonald.net website.

CSULB is not the first campus to employ an academic racist on its professorial staff. But what makes MacDonald’s case unique is that he was able to reach the heights of his profession, securing a post on the executive council of the professional body for evolutionary psychologists, all the while producing "research" now widely viewed as anti-Semitic. His work on Jewish evolutionary psychology made it into peer-reviewed publications and was taken seriously by many Ph.D.s. At CSULB, MacDonald sailed through his post-tenure review and was awarded sabbaticals and choice committee assignments (he currently serves on the Scholarly and Creative Activities Committee).

MacDonald filled his university website with racist and anti-Semitic materials, using some of them in his classes. Even when his connections to a prominent Holocaust denier were made public in 2000, the reaction from his department and the university’s administration was silence. By last year, MacDonald had been awarded $10,000 by one racist outfit for his anti-Semitic research and was appointed as an adviser to another. Through it all, MacDonald did not suffer one official word of censure until late 2006, when general resolutions from his department opposing the use of academic research by hate groups and applauding diversity were enacted (these resolutions were prompted by inquiries from a writer for the Intelligence Report). Instead, he was given rewards.

MacDonald refused repeated requests from the Report for comment over the course of several months, writing on his personal website that he had "no confidence" that he would be treated in a "non-biased way."

A Bohemian discovers the Jews

A former flower child and anti-Vietnam War activist, MacDonald was born in Oshkosh, Wis., to a middle-class family with a police officer dad. Raised in Joseph McCarthy’s home state in the midst of that senator’s anti-communist witch-hunts, MacDonald attended Catholic schools and played basketball. He enrolled at the University of Wisconsin in the early 1960s, majoring in philosophy. An ardent peacenik in college, MacDonald abandoned Catholicism and joined the anti-war movement. It was during these years that MacDonald would later admit he began to have suspicions about the motives of his Jewish fellow protesters. After school, MacDonald pursued the bohemian lifestyle of a jazz pianist, a career that ultimately failed. Not long after the fall of Saigon in 1975, he returned to the university campus.

MacDonald headed to graduate school at the University of Connecticut, earning a master’s in biology in 1977, at the age of 33. In 1981, he earned a Ph.D. in biobehavioral sciences from the same university. While in Connecticut, MacDonald studied the behavior of wolves, particularly wolf-cub interaction. He then spent two years as a post-doctoral fellow in the University of Illinois’ psychology department, where he received his first serious introduction to the discipline of psychology, which would be his life’s work. While there, MacDonald’s interest shifted from wolves to humans, as he studied parent-child play.

MacDonald was hired as an assistant professor by CSULB in 1985, when he was 41 years old, and has been there ever since. MacDonald’s research in the 1980s and early 1990s was in line with this early training. His first academic publication was "Activity Patterns in a Captive Wolf Pack," and he was still writing about wolves in the late 1980s. MacDonald published dozens of articles and a couple of books on parent-child behavior in the late 1980s and 1990s.

MacDonald's academic career was sailing nicely along, and he was awarded a CSULB Distinguished Faculty Scholarly and Creative Activities Award in 1995. But MacDonald's anti-war experiences haunted him, and he later told New Times LA journalist Tony Ortega that he had come to realize that that was when his fixation on Jews developed. Noticing many of fellow activists were Jewish, MacDonald developed his first inkling that Jews are compelled to challenge traditional American and Western ideals. He came to the conclusion that Jews take over political and cultural movements and front them with unsuspecting, token gentiles -- just the way MacDonald felt he was treated while protesting the Vietnam War.

In the 1980s, MacDonald started reading up on Jews, trying to determine the reasons behind what he saw as their lockstep liberalism and hatred of all things Western. His first effort, the first book in his trilogy on the Jews, was the 1994 publication of A People that Shall Dwell Alone: Judaism as a Group Evolutionary Strategy, which was published by Praeger Press and came out just after MacDonald was awarded his full professorship. Today, most of MacDonald's publishing is about Jews and the evils of the liberal immigration policies they support.


Landing at Long Beach

MacDonald was lucky he landed at Long Beach. The department where MacDonald found a permanent home turned out to be a good place for someone interested in publishing things they might not want others to notice. Long troubled by internecine political battles, in 1994 CSULB's psychology department was criticized by an external reviewer for being "devoid of open discussion of tough issues."

Professors in that department, most of them only willing to speak on background because of fear of retribution from their colleagues, said that the environment hasn't changed much. The department hasn't held faculty meetings in more than a decade, they say, and decisions, including those concerning academic tenure, are made by a small committee of full professors. "There's always a lot of surprise among younger faculty that you don't interact with your colleagues," one assistant professor told theReport. "We are all independent contractors, we have no department meetings, no social gatherings, and we don't even know a lot of the senior faculty, let alone something about their research."

Professor Michael Connor seconded those comments, telling the Report that it made sense someone like MacDonald had prospered in his department. "It's not surprising that this happened here," said Connor, the first black professor hired in the department, in the early 1970s. Connor pointed out that most of his senior colleagues were well aware of MacDonald's views and that MacDonald, in line with his dislike of minority rights, had been very outspoken over the years against ethnic studies programs and diversity efforts. Saying that he would not have taught all these years at CSULB if it weren't for his love of his students and the Black Psychology Students Association he advises, Connor labeled the department "a hostile work environment" where he had "experienced any number of racist incidents."

MacDonald faced no such challenges. In 1994, in fact, he was promoted to full professor.

Professor Sara Smith, who served on the committee that promoted MacDonald to full professor, wrote by E-mail she was "wary but supportive in principle" of his first two works on Jews. Describing MacDonald as a "personable colleague," she wrote that the department had typically been supportive of "new approaches to teaching and scholarship" and that she thought at that point that MacDonald seemed to have "not quite crossed any professional or ethical danger line, though we realized his work was susceptible to some scary interpretations." She also noted that she had heard from students that "Kevin presented a view of race and intelligence that they found troubling," but did little about it. She now regrets her earlier support.

"My views today are very different," she explained.

Teaching the young

The psychology chair, Ken Green, disagreed that his department had any hand in promoting MacDonald's extremism. In an interview, Green defended MacDonald against earlier Intelligence Report articles that reported MacDonald's anti-Semitic views and white supremacist activities, asking if the Report would now issue an update notifying readers that MacDonald had resigned in October as an advisor to the white supremacist National Policy Institute. (MacDonald quit only after learning that the Report was working on this article last year).

When pressed about whether MacDonald's anti-Semitic and racist views had ever leaked into the classroom and affected student grades or learning, Green said, "He keeps his outside stuff outside and he keeps his classroom activity consistent with what it ought to be." Asked how he would know that, given that classroom visits are not allowed in the department, Green said: "The ways of knowing are to check the materials he has on his website, to ask the mediator and anybody else who might be receiving student complaints, including me."

Whether or not administrators know about it, the fact is that MacDonald does use the work of notorious race scientists -- including that of J. Philippe Rushton, a Canadian academic who argues that penis and brain size (and thus intelligence) are inversely related -- as course material. (Rushton argues that blacks, on average, have larger genitalia and smaller brains than whites.)

At least one student agrees with Green's view of MacDonald's teaching. Farnaz Kaighobadi, a psychology student for whom MacDonald has written a letter of recommendation for graduate school, called the Report to insist that MacDonald kept his views on Jews and non-whites out of the classroom. But students posting comments anonymously at rateyourprofessors.com say that they have seen bias in MacDonald's teaching. One student writes that MacDonald "promotes race-based theories of intelligence and will not consider alternate theories." Another comments that MacDonald has views "regarding the ‘genetic superiority' of Whites over Blacks."

In 2000, MacDonald opened up his classroom to Tony Ortega, the New Times LA reporter. The topic of the day was IQ, which MacDonald told the class "is probably the most important human difference that we deal with." Arguing that day that a child's IQ can't be raised and that low IQ inevitably brought with it lower income, more children, and more illegitimacy, MacDonald relied on data from the controversial and heavily criticized book The Bell Curve. He commented to the class, "The dull ones are more fertile – what does this mean for our future?"

A friendly warning

The lack of discussion noted by younger psychology professors at CSULB ensured that only a few of MacDonald's colleagues realized that a racist activist was developing in their midst. Professors who knew of complaints about MacDonald's work, like Sara Smith, did little, and MacDonald continued about his business.

But not all were clueless. As long ago as 1993, after reviewing one of MacDonald's manuscripts, psychology professor Martin Fiebert, who then frequently played tennis with MacDonald, warned his then-friend: "Your manuscript, unintentionally perhaps, reinforces the stereotype that all Jews … are clannish, deceptive, and exploitative." Fiebert wrote to MacDonald that he was "horrified" by his description of Hitler's writings as "entirely straightforward and making excellent sense from an evolutionary perspective." Fiebert gave MacDonald what turned out to be a prophetic warning: "I'm sure you would be dismayed to find that your book has a treasured place in the bookcases of neo-Nazis along with Mein Kampf and The Protocols of the Elders of Zion."

It wasn't just CSULB's senior psychology staff that gave MacDonald and his increasingly controversial research a pass. In 1995, MacDonald reached the heights of his profession, winning election to a six-year term as Secretary-Archivist and member of the Executive Council of the Human Behavior and Evolution Society, the main professional association for evolutionary psychologists. He went on to publish several articles explaining his views of why Jews act as they do in a series of professional publications, including Research in Biopolitics, European Sociobiological Society Newsletter and Population and Environment, for which he would also serve as editor from 1999 through 2004.

For Emory University Professor of Jewish Studies Deborah Lipstadt, who MacDonald eventually testified against in a libel case brought by Holocaust denier David Irving, that is scandalous. Lipstadt wrote in her book History on Trial: "I found it hard to fathom that this man had been teaching at an American university for over fifteen years and had published what could arguably be described as anti-Semitic tomes without anyone -- his colleagues in particular -- taking notice… . [N]ot only had his colleagues not taken notice, his fellow evolutionary psychologists elected him secretary of the association of evolutionary psychologists."


Crossing the Rubicon

Fiebert's friendly warning to MacDonald fell on deaf ears. Instead, during the 1990s, MacDonald dedicated himself to his anti-Semitic intellectual odyssey. He produced three volumes on the Jews, A People That Shall Dwell Alone: Judaism as a Group Evolutionary Strategy (1994), Separation and its Discontents: Toward an Evolutionary Theory of Anti-Semitism (1998), and The Culture of Critique: An Evolutionary Analysis of Jewish Involvement in Twentieth-Century Intellectual and Political Movements (1998). The trilogy provides a whole new justification for anti-Semitism that has nothing to do with Nazi race theories, which blamed Jews for introducing evil social vices and other perversions into Nordic society and portrayed them as degenerates praying on unsuspecting, wholesome Aryans. Instead of depending on Hitler, MacDonald has provided today's neo-Nazis with a whole new set of reasons for why Jewish behavior and culture are a threat to whites.

MacDonald's basic premise is that Jews engage in a "group evolutionary strategy" that serves to enhance their ability to out-compete non-Jews for resources. Although normally a tiny minority in their host countries, Jews, like viruses, destabilize their host societies to their benefit. Just last April, MacDonald explained on the anti-immigrant hate site vdare.com how Jews have sapped the power of the American white majority. "Despite the fact that Jews constitute less than 3 percent of the US population, the Holocaust has become a cultural icon as a direct result of Jewish activism and influence in the media, Israel has become a sacred cow in American politics, and the role of Jewish organizations in helping unleash massive multiethnic immigration into the U.S., as well as engineering the current American involvement in Iraq, goes unmentioned in public debate," MacDonald said.

MacDonald argues that this alleged Jewish evolutionary strategy is particularly sinister because, he says, it paints its opponents, meaning whites, as insane if they reject Jewish ideas. "Viewed at its most abstract level, a fundamental [Jewish] agenda is thus to influence the European-derived peoples of the United States to view concern about their own demographic and cultural eclipse as irrational and as an indication of psychopathology," MacDonald has written.

In perhaps MacDonald's most controversial chapter of the trilogy -- "National Socialism as an Anti-Jewish Group Evolutionary Strategy" in Separation and its Discontents -- the psychology professor argues that the Nazi movement developed specifically to counter "Judaism as a group evolutionary strategy." The upshot of his contention is that Jewish "group behavior," because it has produced much financial and intellectual success over the years, also has produced understandable hatred for Jews by gentiles. That means that anti-Semitism, rather than being an irrational hatred for Jews, is actually a logical reaction to Jewish success. In other words, the Nazis, like many other anti-Semites, were only anti-Semitic because they were countering a genuine Jewish threat to their well-being.

And the Jews' machinations don't merely destroy societies; they result in widespread death, according to MacDonald. In The Culture of Critique, he blames Jews for having caused the deaths of millions by supporting such ideologies as Marxism. "In the 20th century many millions of people have been killed in the attempt to establish Marxist societies based on the ideal of complete economic and social leveling, and many more millions of people have been killed as a result of the failure of Jewish assimilation into European societies… . [T]he result has been a widening gulf between the cultural successes of Jews and Gentiles and a disaster for society as a whole." MacDonald ends his book with some rather harsh possible policy outcomes for restoring what he calls "parity" between Jews and other ethnic groups: systematic discrimination against Jews in college admissions and employment and special taxes "to counter the Jewish advantage in the possession of wealth."

Sussing out the race war

In the late 1990s, MacDonald started flirting with white supremacists, adding racism to his anti-Semitic dance card. According to his resumé, MacDonald's first foray into the world of the radical right came in 1996, when he spoke on "Eugenics and Judaism" at a conference to defend The Bell Curve organized by British academic racist Richard Lynn. The Bell Curve, which argued that blacks are genetically inferior in intellect to whites, had been heavily critiqued for relying on Lynn's intelligence data, which are viewed in the scientific community as flawed. Lynn, who directs a private race-science organization called the Ulster Institute for Social Research, specializes in research on IQ and race that has been funded primarily by the Pioneer Fund, on whose board he sits. The fund was originally set up to investigate "race betterment," and today its resources still make possible the "research" of prominent academic racists.

Two years later, in 1998, MacDonald hooked up with another prominent racist when he participated on a panel during the meetings of the Association of Politics and the Life Sciences. The panel was organized by Virginia Abernethy, a self-described "white separatist" and professor emerita at Vanderbilt University who has been active for a decade in the white supremacist Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC). (Abernethy gave a speech to the CCC in 1997 as the editor of Population and Environment, an academic journal. The CCC's website has described blacks as "a retrograde species of humanity," among other things.) The two would later work closely together at Population and Environment, and MacDonald would become editor there in 1999. Five years later, in 2004, Abernethy would be photographed arm-in-arm with a smiling, tuxedoed MacDonald holding a plaque awarded to him for his work on Jews by the white supremacist publication, The Occidental Quarterly. With the plaque came a $10,000 check.

By 2000, MacDonald already was openly endorsing the idea -- popular in neo-Nazi and white supremacist circles -- that Jewish-supported liberal immigration policies could lead to a race war. He had already said much the same in 1998's The Culture of Critique, when he wrote: "I believe that in the United States we are presently heading down a volatile path – a path that leads to ethnic warfare and to the development of collectivist, authoritarian, and racialist enclaves."

Testifying for a 'Pro-Nazi'

MacDonald started the new millennium off with a bang when he agreed to testify as an expert witness for the British Holocaust denier David Irving in a London libel trial. Irving had sued American professor Deborah Lipstadt and her publisher Penguin Books, claiming that she defamed him in her 1993 book, Denying the Holocaust. Irving (who was released from an Austrian prison in late 2006 after serving 13 months for denying many aspects of the Holocaust), accused Lipstadt of damaging his reputation by writing that he had deliberately falsified history. Irving lost the internationally watched trial, with the judge ruling that he had "a distinctly pro-Nazi and anti-Jewish bias."

Irving sought out MacDonald's expert testimony on how Jews work as a group to harm gentiles. Irving had read the part of MacDonald's trilogy that described the alleged suppression of Irving's work as "an example of Jewish tactics for combating anti-Semitism." MacDonald was happy to comply, flying to London in January 2000. During testimony, Irving asked MacDonald if he "perceived the Jewish community as working in a certain way in order to suppress a certain book." MacDonald answered in the affirmative and added that there were "several tactics the Jewish organizations have used." MacDonald later wrote about his decision to testify in an article published in the Journal of Historical Review, a well-known Holocaust denial journal published in California. In the article, MacDonald writes that Jews undertake various strategies against their "enemies." One is to distort history by presenting "Jews and Judaism in a positive light and their enemies in a negative light, often with little regard for historical accuracy."

Media reports about MacDonald's testimony hit CSULB like an earthquake. Professors from many departments realized, often after reading MacDonald's university website descriptions of his work for the first time, that they had a major anti-Semitic activist in their midst -- not merely a quiet colleague with possibly controversial research interests. His comments to the local press solidified this growing reputation. MacDonald told reporter Tony Ortega after the trial that he was "agnostic" on the Holocaust and, when asked if a race war was coming, said: "That's right, exactly. I think that's a real possibility. We're entering a brave new world here, and we really don't know what's going to happen." (MacDonald later disputed the accuracy of the quote, but New Times LA stood by Ortega's story.)

The awakening

Most of the blowback took place on the College of Liberal Arts' listserv, where MacDonald engaged in verbal warfare with a handful of his colleagues. They challenged him on whether he believed the Holocaust had happened. His reply was that he didn't have enough information to make a call about the details of the Holocaust, as the issue was "simply not relevant to any important theoretical issues to me." They also challenged him on his read of Jewish history, an important part of which CSULB History Professor Don Schwarz called "unsupportable."

As his colleagues finally began to read his books, many were downright horrified. Philosophy Professor Warren Weinstein told his colleagues that after reading A People that Shall Dwell Alone he felt MacDonald's work was not science at all, but "something else, masquerading as science." Its closest analogue: "It is in the great tradition of Nazi and Stalinist science which clearly and scientifically proved that their respective insanities were objectively true and defensible."

Once again, Martin Fiebert called MacDonald out, this time writing an open letter to his "close friend" that demanded that MacDonald explain his views on the Holocaust and asked him whether he felt responsible if his work were to be used as a justification for neo-Nazi beliefs. Fiebert also pushed for his department to issue a statement calling on MacDonald to discuss the "implications" of his work -- an effort that failed as many both in the department and outside decided to leave the controversy behind. Sociology professor Barry M. Dank complained, "Even on this list, there is very little interest." One professor went so far as to suggest that grading papers was more important than discussing MacDonald's views.

Not everyone on the listserv believed that MacDonald had done anything wrong. A few argued that MacDonald's views should not be discussed because that would threaten academic freedom. Another, English professor Kent Richmond, defended MacDonald in 2000 and still backs him fully. "You are 6-7 years too late [in investigating MacDonald]," he wrote the Report after a reporter visited CSULB in November. "This issue was discussed in great detail and resolved on campus many years ago, with both Kevin and evolutionary psychologists vindicated."

The campus administration, too, said very little. CSULB officials categorically defended MacDonald's academic freedom to express his views, but added that they "did not necessarily reflect those of the university."


The measure of MacDonald

MacDonald's testimony for Irving led to some soul-searching among evolutionary psychologists who had worked closely with the maverick psychology professor.

Steven Pinker, the Johnstone Family Professor of Psychology at Harvard University, wrote that MacDonald's work fails "basic tests of scientific credibility." Another scientist, John Tooby, who, along with his wife Leda Cosmides, gave the field of evolutionary psychology its name in 1992, directly challenged MacDonald's work. Tooby told Salon.com in 2000, "MacDonald's ideas -- not just on Jews -- violate fundamental principles of the field." John Hartung, the associate editor of the Journal of Neurosurgical Anesthesiology and an associate professor of anesthesiology at the State University of New York, called MacDonald's The Culture of Critique "quite disturbing, seriously misinformed about evolutionary genetics, and suffering from a huge blind spot about the nature of Christianity."

At around the same time, the Human Behavior and Evolution Society (HBES), of which MacDonald was then a board member, began an investigation into his work. A forum, to be held at the group's annual meeting, was organized by Dan Kriegman, founder of the Psychoanalytic Couple and Family Institute of New England and a faculty member at the Massachusetts Institute for Psychoanalysis, that featured two other specialists in evolutionary psychology, one of them Pinker. Although the panel was critical of MacDonald's work, James Fetzer, a professor of philosophy at the University of Minnesota, Duluth, at one point defended MacDonald with a call for academic free speech.

But Kriegman, who says MacDonald "believes his own nonsense," produced a 50-page analysis that tore MacDonald's work apart and deemed it "pseudo-scientific theorizing." Referring to the fact that MacDonald became obsessed with Jews in college when he felt they were using or excluding him, Kriegman wrote in an E-mail: "MacDonald is not the first person to avoid the narcissistic injury of having his ideas rejected by concluding that there was a conspiracy against him rather than becoming aware of the substandard nature [as evidenced in his trilogy] of his thinking."

The burgeoning controversy over MacDonald's anti-Semitism had no effect on his most important academic post at that time: serving (until 2004) as editor of the journal Population and Environment. In fact, MacDonald stacked the editorial board with intellectual allies, including the journal's white supremacist former editor Virginia Abernethy and race scientist J. Philippe Rushton. MacDonald was now able to freely push his own and his friends' controversial research in an academic journal that had the important and prestigious distinction of being peer-reviewed.

During MacDonald's editorship, there were several complaints brought about the quality of the journal's scholarship and the fact that the publication seemed to have strayed from its mission, according to Landis MacKellar, who is on staff at the Vienna Institute of Demography and edited the journal after MacDonald. MacKellar said: "Among the complaints were that the journal was publishing an unusually high number of papers written by members of the editorial board and that, contrary to most journals, the more controversial the piece, the less solid the scholarship often appeared to be." Kluwer Publishing commissioned an independent assessment that confirmed these problems. As a result, the publisher dissolved the editorial board and replaced it with new members before relaunching the journal.

Lately, MacDonald's academic publishing has slowed and he has complained that academic venues won't publish his work. Even so, articles by MacDonald are still appearing in a few places, including the Human Ethology Bulletin. And he still has prominent academic supporters, including Bob Burgess, a professor of human development at Penn State who graduated from CSULB and co-edited a 2005 book with MacDonald. Burgess said he had "admired [MacDonald's] work for many years." He called it, "dispassionate, logical, and empirical" and, though it may be "politically incorrect," critical to dealing with the realities of diversity.

Hanging with haters

Six months after the 2000 Irving trial, MacDonald told the Chronicle of Higher Education that he was "done with Jews." That was a lie. MacDonald is producing a lot of new work on Jews that is in high demand in white supremacist circles. After the trial, MacDonald was welcomed with open arms by the Charles Martel Society, a white supremacist organization created in 2001 by Bill Regnery, a publishing magnate who also bankrolls a white supremacist think tank, the National Policy Institute. One of the society's main activities is publishing The Occidental Quarterly, a racist journal devoted to the idea that as whites become a minority "the civilization and free governments that whites have created" will be jeopardized.

The society, whose private website is password-accessible only, holds what are apparently secretive, annual meetings. MacDonald spoke three times to the group, in 2001, 2002 and 2004, on the topics of "What Makes Western Culture Unique?," "Understanding Jewish Activism" and "Empire Building and Jewish Identity." Since its launch in 2000, MacDonald has published several articles in the society's journal, which in 2004 put out a special monograph on MacDonald's work, "Understanding Jewish Influence: A Study in Ethnic Activism." MacDonald also serves on the quarterly's editorial advisory board.

MacDonald is so beloved by Regnery-backed outfits that in 2004 the Quarterly awarded its first prize ever to him during a black-tie event held in Washington, D.C., at the luxurious Sky Room. MacDonald was honored with the "Jack London Literary Prize" and handed a check for $10,000 in recognition of his work on Jews. MacDonald reciprocated by offering to serve on the advisory committee of Regnery's white supremacist think tank, the National Policy Institute, which was launched in 2005. (He quit the institute last fall, after the Report disclosed his position there on a CSULB listserv.) In addition, a chapter by MacDonald was just published in Race and the American Prospect: Essays on the Racial Realities of our Nation and our Time, a volume backed by the National Policy Institute.

Anti-Semites also rave about MacDonald's works. David Duke extols MacDonald and cites his trilogy as central to his thinking about the dangers posed by Jews in his autobiography,My Awakening, where Duke explains how he came to be an anti-Semite. (Duke, an infamous neo-Nazi and former Klan leader, later published a shortened version of his autobiography under the title Jewish Supremacism.) Longtime neo-Nazi Victor Gerhard wrote in a 2003 E-mail exchange that MaDonald's The Culture of Critique "is completely true; that to rail against blacks and Hispanics without mentioning Jews is like complaining about the symptoms and not the disease."

Several white supremacist leaders traveled to Washington to attend The Occidental Quarterly's 2004 celebration for MacDonald, including Duke; Don Black, founder of Stormfront, the oldest and most important American hate site and forum on the Web; Jamie Kelso, a senior moderator at Stormfront; and the head of the neo-Nazi National Vanguard, Kevin Alfred Strom. By 2005, MacDonald was openly hobnobbing with anti-Semites, in particular Kelso. Last March, Kelso said that he was in Los Angeles for a "business meeting" with MacDonald at his university office.

MacDonald is also featured in Stormfront member Brian Jost's anti-immigrant film "The Line in the Sand," where he appears blaming Jews for destroying America by supporting immigration from developing countries. "They have wanted to essentially end European domination of this society," MacDonald told the filmmakers, "and I think they are well on their way to doing that."
Wrong and Right
MacDonald is doing his best to stifle further debate among his colleagues about his anti-Semitic theories and white supremacist activism. After the Report began contacting professors for comment about MacDonald last fall, psychology department faculty members met with the staff of the Office of Equity and Diversity about possible responses to MacDonald's research. In retaliation, MacDonald sent out a threatening notice to his colleagues, which claimed there was an "ongoing and serious attempt to impair my constitutional rights and academic freedom" that could result in "civil liability." Saying he was speaking on the advice of an attorney, MacDonald stated he would "carefully monitor such actions, meetings and/or investigations to vigilantly safeguard my civil and constitutional rights."

MacDonald's threats didn't stop the psychology department from finally taking action. In December, the department passed three resolutions prompted by MacDonald's research. One strongly condemned the knowing misuse of psychological research "by groups that disseminate views of racial/ethnic superiority and/or racial/ethnic hatred" and pointed to the American Psychological Association's ethical principles, which require its members to "take all reasonable steps to prevent the misuse or misrepresentation of their work." The department also passed resolutions defending academic freedom and supporting diversity.

Under pressure after the resolutions were passed, MacDonald put up a disclaimer on his website that said that "nothing on this website should be interpreted to suggest that I condone white racial superiority, genocide, Nazism, or Holocaust denial." MacDonald claimed that he had nothing to do with such groups and asked that no one use his opinions "to support discrimination against Jews or any other group." Regardless, MacDonald is still listed in the latest Occidental Quarterly as a member of that racist publication's editorial advisory board.

The university administration backs MacDonald unequivocally. CSULB spokeswoman Toni Beron refused to make any comments about the nature of MacDonald's research, telling the Report, "The university will support MacDonald's academic freedom and freedom of speech."

Not long after the Report visited CSULB in November, the university shut down any further discussion of MacDonald and his research on the College of Liberal Arts' E-mail list. It was a moment of high irony, given that university officials like Beron and Green had based their defense of MacDonald's work on the lofty notions of academic freedom and free speech.

The cover provided MacDonald and his dubious research under this rubric of "academic freedom" brings into question the sincerity of the diversity commitments made by CSULB -- commitments that helped the campus earn the 2006 University Committed to Diversity designation from Minority Access, Inc. Asked by the Report about the apparent conflict between the ideals of academic freedom and diversity, Craig Smith, who runs the CSULB Center for First Amendment Studies and is on the board of trustees for the entire California State University system, said the school is "hamstrung in reacting" until formal complaints are made against MacDonald by students or faculty members. Smith did say that MacDonald's work and associations with hate groups should "certainly be looked at" by the university.

All of which means that Kevin MacDonald, critic of the Jews, will likely soldier on. Even though he now concedes that he dislikes Jews, he insists that that is irrelevant and should not stop the world from taking his research on them seriously. "In the end, does it really matter if my motivation at this point is less than pristine?" he asks in all apparent sincerity. "Isn't the only question whether I am right?"

Will Gun-Toting Vigilante Get the Justice He Deserves?

Cochise County, Ariz. -- Crouching low, Ronald Morales and his 11-year-old daughter moved quietly and quickly, hoping to escape detection. Stealth was vital as they crept around the boulders and scrub brush that clutter the Sonora desert just north of the Mexican border.

It was Oct. 30, 2004. Morales, a 37-year-old Department of Defense employee, was deer hunting with his father, Arturo, and three little girls: his daughter, Vanese, who was then 11, her little sister Angelique, 9, and Emma English, a friend who was also 11. All were Mexican-Americans -- U.S. citizens since birth.

The way Ron Morales tells the story, around 4 p.m. he and his eldest daughter left the rest of the party at his truck to stalk a buck they had spotted.

Vanese had the deer in her crosshairs when the sound of a distant ruckus in the direction of the truck alarmed her father. Morales took the rifle, slung it over his shoulder, and they hurried back.

They arrived to find another truck parked near their own. Next to it, Morales says, an angry white man with a pistol strapped to his side paced back and forth, shouting obscenities. "You're fucking trespassing! You guys need to get the fuck out of here!"

"I have a hunter's permit, I have a map," Morales protested as he walked to his vehicle, set down his rifle, grabbed a Bureau of Land Management map, and tried to reason with the man.

Morales, a Navy veteran, says he addressed him as "sir" and asked his name. The man reached in the cab of his truck, yanked out an AR-15 assault rifle, and gave Morales his answer.

"My fucking name is Roger Barnett! If you don't get off my property, I'm gonna shoot you and shoot you and shoot you!"

Then, Morales says, Barnett chambered a round and pointed his weapon at Morales' chest.

The clash

Two years later, Ron Morales and Roger Barnett met again, two men sitting stoically at opposite ends of Judge James Conlogue's stark courtroom in Cochise County, which ends at the Mexican border in southeastern Arizona. Outside, November winds whipped the streets with impunity.

It was to be a momentous confrontation, probably the most dramatic yet seen between anti-immigration hard-liners and those who oppose them. Closely watched by reporters and other observers from near and far, the clash would unfold at ground zero of the increasingly virulent battle over illegal immigration.

More people trudge across this ruggedly beautiful part of Sonoran Desert, which stretches from Mexico north into Arizona, than any other section of the 2,000-mile-long border. It is here that Roger Barnett brought national attention to the immigration situation with his loud and public complaints about illegal migrants who trespass on his sprawling ranch. It is also here that Barnett, a man who boasts of having personally apprehended 12,000 border-crossers, effectively sired the entire citizen's border patrol movement -- a movement once characterized as "vigilante" by President Bush, a Texan intimately familiar with the borderlands.

A rancher since 1996, Barnett's a swaggering, silver-haired, ruddy-faced product of the desert sun whose militant reputation -- like the vigilante movement he inspired -- stretches far beyond Cochise County.

"Humans, the greatest prey on earth," Roger Barnett told a reporter from London's Independent in May of 2000, six months after he was photographed for Time magazine brandishing an M-16 -- and a full 16 months before Chris Simcox would leave his California kindergarten classroom to form the Arizona militia that would eventually become the Minutemen, now the best-known citizen group to carry weapons to the border in an effort to halt illegal immigration.

"A vigilante goes out, rounds up people, holds a trial and executes them. I haven't done that yet," Barnett told USA Today that same year. "But bloodshed could happen."

Failure to prosecute

While there's no hard evidence Barnett has drawn blood, reports of Barnett and his brother Donald holding illegal immigrants at gunpoint, chasing them on ATVs, and using their dogs to intimidate and attack, have trickled into the Cochise County Sheriff's Office for years. Four months before the Morales incident, for instance, a group of immigrants reported that Barnett held them at gunpoint, yanked a woman by her hair and stuck a pistol in her ribs. Another member of the group said the rancher threw him over the front rack of his ATV and sicced a dog on them.

Yet Cochise County Attorney Ed Rheinheimer has repeatedly declined to file criminal charges against the wealthy, gun-toting rancher, stating that Barnett is well within his rights to use the threat of deadly force to prevent or terminate a criminal trespass. "We try to avoid getting caught in the middle of political issues," Rheinheimer said. "If Roger Barnett crosses the line and we get a prosecutable case, we won't hesitate to prosecute him." Even if that's true, the local atmosphere is hardly conducive to such a prosecution.

"Cochise County is very conservative, one of the most conservative areas of Arizona," Morales attorney Jesus Romo Vejar told the Intelligence Report. "Barnett has a great number of people who are of like mind here. There are a lot of people who support his ideas and the way he acts."

Still, as the complaints against Barnett have mounted, so has the frustration of civil rights activists and others in Cochise County who see the lack of criminal prosecution as an official endorsement of Barnett's actions. And so Vejar and his clients finally decided to take it upon themselves to seek justice through civil litigation, hoping that a victory could become the first crack in the dam of official reluctance to take on the vigilantes. Last fall, they filed a case against Barnett with the advice and financial assistance of the Southern Poverty Law Center (which publishes the Intelligence Report), accusing him of assault, false imprisonment and intentional infliction of emotional distress. They sought $200,000 in damages.

Vejar knew full well the odds were against him, even though this time, unlike others, Barnett had threatened U.S. citizens. Vejar had lost another civil case against Barnett in the same courtroom just months before, and in this trial was facing a nearly all-white jury drawn from a county that is 30% Latino.

"It's like trying a case in Mississippi in the '60s," he said with a weary smile.

Here comes the judge

When Judge Conlogue calls for opening arguments, Vejar flips through a small stack of index cards before turning to face the jury. His manner is quiet, simple and methodical. Tall and balding, with bronze skin, warm eyes and a goatee, he looks like a chemistry professor and speaks with a marked accent.

"On Oct. 30, 2004, lives changed drastically for my clients," he explains to the jury as he begins to walk them through the details of what happened when three little girls encountered Roger Barnett "screaming obscenities that no child should hear, his face twitching, wearing a sidearm."

Vejar is less flashy than determined. He closes by simply telling the jurors, "I ask you for justice."

Barnett's attorney John Kelliher, wearing a pinstriped suit and stroking his own goatee, presents his client as a local boy who grew up in Bisbee before becoming a rancher, eventually purchasing and leasing 22,000 acres of ranch land. Throughout the trial, Kelliher will attempt to keep the focus on the issues of trespassing and property rights, rather than Barnett's controversial reputation and willingness to engage in armed confrontations.

"I don't doubt that there were words spoken. There were people holding guns, people trespassing," Kelliher tells the jury. "What I do doubt is whether this man, Roger Barnett, threatened to kill anyone."

Vejar's first witness is Arturo Morales, a nervous grandfather wearing a maroon and white shirt printed with horse silhouettes.

"The only things [words] he used was profanity, threats, that I need to get off his fu -- his fucking ranch. Just looking at his face was enough to scare me."

Barnett nonchalantly chews on his glasses and lets his fingers wander over his constantly twitching face as the old man details his version of events. Arturo testifies that Barnett was "wild" and ordered him to "get the fuck out of here or I'm going to start shooting!"

Kelliher's cross-examination of Arturo is aggressive. "You say it has changed your life, was devastating, and yet you have sought no emotional or psychological help?"

Arturo concedes he has not.

Kelliher also gets Arturo to admit that he was cited for illegally hunting on Barnett's land more than a year before the confrontation in 2004.

The attorney reads from the older man's deposition slowly and haltingly, emphasizing Arturo's grammatical errors.

Kelliher picks apart inconsistencies in Arturo's statements about who was standing exactly where during the encounter, trying to impeach his credibility. Arturo is quickly confused, and Kelliher seems to delight in tripping him up on details.

Finally, Arturo Morales is dismissed from the stand and the judge declares a recess. Roger Barnett remains in the courtroom and jovially greets a supporter in the audience. A polarizing figure in this area, Barnett has as many fans in Cochise County as he does critics.

"This isn't a border issue, it's a constitution issue," Barnett, who leases government lands in addition to his own, explains to his friend as they shake hands. "I gotta watch that state property carefully because I'm a caretaker."

Barnett bends over and speaks with another friend who comments on the ethnic makeup of the jury, especially the lone Latino. "Yeah, there were three of 'em yesterday," Barnett says with a grin. "They dumped two."

Innocence lost

The jury returns from recess and Vejar calls Ana English, an attractive Latina dressed in dark slacks and a creamy white sweater whose daughter, Emma, was with the Moraleses that day.

"[Roger Barnett] took part of her innocence away, he taught her what evil is, because that is evil, to traumatize a child for the rest of her life," Ana says angrily. "People need to know what he's doing. It's not just illegals anymore, it's little kids and they're U.S. citizens."

Kelliher spends much of his cross-examination attacking Ana's parenting skills. "If you had known Arturo and Ron Morales were going to take your daughter to Roger Barnett's ranch, would you have let her go?" Kelliher asks.

Ana's reply is firm: "I know that Ron and his father would not put my daughter in danger on purpose."

He then asks repeatedly if Ana has hired a counselor for her daughter. She answers each time that she has not, then finally erupts: "If you're trying to say I'm a bad parent because I haven't taken this child to counseling, you're wrong!"

"I'm suggesting," Kelliher says, "that a reasonable parent would have taken their child to counseling."

Kelliher's bullying strategy appears to backfire. Several members of the jury glare at him with open contempt.

Vejar calls Tucson psychiatrist Hector Barillas, who addresses the jury in a gravely voice. Barillas walks the jury through a definition of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), the symptoms required for a diagnosis, and how they manifested in each of the three girls.

It's a lengthy bit of testimony, and as Barillas talks, Kelliher plainly demonstrates his impatience. He fidgets and paces, hops on one foot, scratches his head against the plaster on a wall, and continuously smoothes his mustache.

This frustration spills over into Kelliher's cross-examination of Barillas, whom he criticizes for describing Barnett as a vigilante in his report. He asks Barillas whether such a description is crucial to diagnosing PTSD.

"I don't know if it's crucial but it is consistent with somebody accosting someone with an automatic rifle," Barillas replies.

Vejar next calls Deputy Timothy Williams, a tall, hefty cop whose sunglasses have left tan lines on his face. Vejar asks Williams, who responded to Ron Morales's 911 call, to read aloud the criminal charges he officially recommended that prosecutors bring against Barnett: "Three counts of aggravated assault, a Class 2 felony, two counts of Class 3 aggravated assault, three counts of Class 6 aggravated assault, five misdemeanor disorderly conduct charges, and five misdemeanor counts of threatening and intimidation."

Not a single charge was ever filed.

'Dirty Mexicans!'

Before the children take the stand, Roger Barnett and his wife leave the courtroom. Kelliher stresses that they volunteered to do so as a courtesy.

Of the three girls who testify, Emma English, now 13, is the most articulate and polished. The emotional eighth-grader tells the jury that Roger Barnett "started getting really red, his whole body started twitching, 'You better get the fuck off my land, you fucking dirty Mexicans!'"

Barnett backers in the courtroom scoff loudly at the girl's tearful statements.

Later, the testimony of both Morales girls is strikingly similar to Emma's. Vanese and Angelique both cite Barnett's red-faced rage, his twitching, and their fear that he would kill them.

"I don't want Barnett doing this to anyone else," Vanese says solemnly. "I don't want him hurting anyone else."

Renee Morales, a smiley stay-at-home mom with straight black hair, takes the stand and talks about watching Angelique play the video game Big Game Hunter and pretending she was killing Barnett instead of the deer, calling out "Die, Barnett, die!" as she pulled the trigger.

"My daughter wants somebody dead? But this is a child, and you have to put yourself in a child's mindset. If he's not here, she's safe, and until that happens she's not safe."

Renee then turns away from the jury and fixes her gaze squarely on Roger Barnett, addressing him directly. The courtroom goes silent.

"I'm not asking this to hurt you or punish you," she tells him. "We're asking you to take responsibility for what you did. What did those children do to you, Mr. Barnett?"

Previous encounters

When the trial shifts into the defense phase, Kelliher continues to counter high-pitched emotions with cold facts. He's pitting property rights against civil rights, which he hopes will go over well in a conservative county where many view Barnett as a hero.

Kelliher begins the defense's case with a videotaped deposition from an Arizona Game and Fish regional supervisor, who testifies that it's illegal to cross private property to gain access to state land.

He brings in a surveyor who uses maps to show that for the Morales party to access the site of the confrontation, they had to cross private land owned by Roger Barnett, which Ron Morales admits he did.

Then Kelliher calls Donald Barnett, Roger's younger, more dapper brother. Donald, a former sheriff's deputy who resigned after beating a prisoner, paints the Moraleses as sneaky and threatening. He testifies that when he first spotted Ron and Vanese in the brush, "What caught my attention is that they were running in a crouched position, running to hide behind a bush."

Donald then describes a previous encounter on the ranch with Arturo: "They had killed and were cleaning some deer. I asked who they were and they said none of my business. He became very angry and lunged at me with a hunting knife."

"Objection!" Romo Vejar says angrily.

"Sustained," replies the judge, who then orders the jury to disregard the unsubstantiated comment about the knife.

Roger Barnett, also a former sheriff's deputy, follows his brother to the stand. He looks at ease. Barnett, who lives in Sierra Vista, testifies that he goes "sightseeing" at his nearby ranch every weekend with his wife, his brother, and their dogs.

Barnett says that when he confronted Arturo Morales, he told the old man to start honking his horn to draw in the others that Donald had spotted in the brush. When Ron Morales and his elder daughter returned, Barnett testifies, Morales was carrying a rifle and arguing over their location, insisting that Barnett look at a map.

"I told him, 'Just get the fuck out.' There needed to be a shock factor," Barnett says.

At that point, according to Barnett, Ron Morales turned and looked at him. "And that didn't look right. I go, 'Looks like we might get shot here.' I felt threatened."

The rule of law

Barnett tells the jury he was also concerned that Arturo Morales might sneak around the corner of the truck with a gun. Fearing for his own safety, Barnett says, he grabbed his AR-15 out of the cab of his truck and chambered a round. After that, he says, Ron Morales "didn't jawbone no more. He told his people to get in the truck."

Kelliher asks his client if he used any racial slurs during the encounter. "That's a flat-out lie," Barnett says.

Kelliher asks if he is a white supremacist.

"No," Barnett says.

"Do you have a dislike for any particular race?" Kelliher persists. "No," he answers again.

"Do you like people trespassing on your property?"

"Another no."

Finally, Barnett tries one last time to assert that he was afraid for his life and property. "I was seeing the way he [Ron Morales] looked, and when he turned around I thought, 'Boy, this is it. We're gonna get shot.'"

Barbara Barnett is the last defense witness. An elegant woman in her late 50s who favors tunics in bold patterns, Roger Barnett's wife says she was much too frightened by Ron Morales to even get out of the truck that day. "I was so afraid to say anything," she says. "I thought this crazy man is going to kill us right in front of these little girls and he just doesn't care!"

During closing arguments, Vejar quickly recaps his case, stressing the image of Barnett pointing a combat rifle at children, and the symbolic importance of a verdict against him.

"John Adams said a free people should be governed by law, not the whim of man," he tells the jury. "Roger Barnett is dependent on a system that consistently favors him, not because he's right, but because he's Roger Barnett."

Kelliher's closing is more relaxed. He explains to the jury that "this is about access," a point he has reiterated throughout the trial. "A landowner has a right to use reasonable force to eject trespassers." He points out Morales admitted to crossing Barnett's land, and he questions the sincerity of the children's testimony, which wavered in some respects from their original written statements. The girls had no reason to fabricate or embellish their original witness statements, Kelliher points out, "but they do now, when they've got their parents talking to them for the past two years."

"Somebody wants to make this an immigration issue," he concludes. "I sure don't."

The Verdict

With 15 counts to weigh, the jury begins deliberations. Ed English and Ron Morales head down to a café to wait. Roger Barnett and his wife remain in the courtroom. Camera crews hover outside.

When the jury files back into the courtroom after just three hours of deliberation, the plaintiffs are stiff in their chairs. An ashen Ron Morales seems to stop breathing entirely as the jury foreman rises to read the verdicts, one by one.

The jury finds for the plaintiffs on 14 of 15 counts, and orders Barnett to pay the Morales and English families nearly $99,000.

Kelliher and his clients leave the courthouse swiftly, refusing to comment. He also declined to reply to a later letter from the Intelligence Report requesting an interview.

Ron Morales appears stunned, pacing back and forth to one side of the courthouse door and whispering, "Thank God, thank God, thank God." Romo Vejar expresses his satisfaction to reporters and television cameras, calling the verdict a "landmark decision," and calling on County Attorney Rheinheimer to reconsider filing criminal charges against Barnett.

A few days later Rheinheimer tells the Bisbee Herald-Review, "It's obvious that the civil jury saw something, and so we're going to take a good look at the jury's findings."

Three months later, Rheinheimer still has not filed a single criminal charge against Roger Barnett.

The heat goes on

The civil verdict was hailed by civil and immigrant rights organizations around the United States and reported in newspapers from coast to coast. Without question, it represented a gleam of hope to those in Arizona, in particular, who feel vigilantes and vigilantism have been allowed to run roughshod over the rule of law and basic humanity. But, at the end of the day, it was only a civil verdict.

Local support for Barnett galvanized in the trial's aftermath and seemed to grow even stronger with passing weeks. "I think most of the people of Cochise County support Roger Barnett in principle, as far as rightfully protecting his family and property from the invasion of illegal immigrants," read one of many pro-Barnett comments published in the Bisbee Herald-Review after the trial. "My personal thanks to the Barnetts and Mr. Kelliher for standing up for us all."

At the same time, prosecutors like Andrew Thomas in Maricopa County, where Phoenix is located, continue to decline similar prosecutions -- and are even now charging illegal immigrants with conspiracy, a novel legal construction, for conspiring to smuggle themselves. The first months of 2007 were marked by several murders of border crossers, and although authorities continue to attribute such deaths to human- and drug-smuggling disputes, suspicions are mounting that some immigrant-bashers may actually be murdering people.

Meanwhile, the Roger Barnett story goes on.

Last Dec. 30, five weeks after the verdict, Barnett got into a heated confrontation with paramedics attempting to administer medical aid to an injured Mexican who Border Patrol agents had just arrested on Barnett's land.

The man, who was carrying a backpack full of marijuana, told sheriff's deputies that Barnett had set three dogs on him and that he ran, fell, and injured his knee. He also said he was diabetic and hadn't eaten in three days.

The EMTs had just put him in the back of the ambulance when Barnett flagged them down and demanded they let him inside to look at the man's shoes to see if he was the same person Barnett had been tracking earlier in the day. When the paramedics refused, Barnett, who was armed with a pistol, became abusive, according a criminal complaint EMT Robert Vega filed with the Cochise County Sheriff's Department.

According to the deputy assigned to the case, Barnett stated the EMTs were "fuckin' lying" and claimed that the encounter, as they described it, "never happened." He also refused to give his own account of what happened.

Two months later, Cochise County Attorney Ed Rheinheimer, citing a lack of evidence, officially declined to press charges.

Who Would Jesus Deport?

When Joan Maruskin took the podium last April at a Family Research Council (FRC) immigration conference in Washington, D.C., it was hard not to think of Daniel in the lion's den: The liberal director of the Church World Service Immigration Program was addressing an audience convened by a major force on the Christian religious right. It was not her crowd.

It turned out that the Book of Daniel was among the few books of the Bible that Maruskin didn't quote. While making the Christian case for amnesty, she demonstrated that the Old and New Testaments are chock-full of soundbyte-ready advocacy for the "stranger." All told, she counts more than 300 scriptural admonishments to mercy toward immigrants.

"The Bible is an immigration handbook," Maruskin told the FRC audience. "'Cursed be the person who oppresses the alien.' Can we forget that Christ himself was a migrant and a refugee, born in a stable? Under our laws, Mary, Joseph and Jesus would be sent to three different prisons."

A powerful image, but Maruskin's position is far from dominant on the religious right. In a FRC member poll conducted last spring, 90% of respondents chose forced deportation as the appropriate fate for America's estimated 11 million-12 million undocumented immigrants. This response aligns the FRC base with fire-breathing hard-liners like U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.), the evangelical co-sponsor of an immigration reform bill notable for its criminalization of those who "aid and abet" illegal immigrants, something many religious leaders and laymen see as a Christian duty.

So it wasn't surprising that Maruskin's social-gospel message received a tepid response from the FRC audience. Heartier applause greeted the conservative Catholic journalist John O'Sullivan, who followed Maruskin to the podium and scoffed at her liberal "proof-texting" of Scripture. Arguing that such selective quotation did not "contribute to the debate," he tried to debunk the argument for amnesty and dismissed Maruskin and her ilk as "moral bullies."

"The fact is," said O'Sullivan, "most Christians are more hard-line when it comes to immigration than their Church leaders. Are all of these people going to hell?"

A better question might be: When did immigration assume a place next to abortion and traditional marriage as a "family" issue for the religious right? And is this new and highly charged issue a threat to that movement's much-vaunted "culture war"? Or is it a legitimate part of it?

The 'definitive divide'?

The ascendance of immigration as a burning issue on the religious right has been swift. Conservative commentators and politicians have both fueled and responded to a grassroots movement in which anti-immigrant rhetoric dovetails with the odes to God and country that have long constituted conservative evangelical boilerplate. Hard-right evangelical politicians like Tancredo have built national constituencies by blending anti-immigrant rhetoric into broadsides against secular liberals and Islamist radicals.

After languishing for years in smaller Christian nationalist groups like Phyllis Schlafly's Eagle Forum, the immigration issue has now landed squarely on the agenda of larger religious right groups with political clout. Tony Perkins, president of the influential FRC, signaled this shift while opening last April's immigration conference. "At question today is, do we have an immigration policy that is serving to strengthen the cultural fabric of our nation, which has a great influence on the family?" he asked. "The answer is no. We must get this right."

Getting it right will not and has not been easy for the religious right, any more than it has been for the country as a whole. Unlike abortion, the immigration issue has sharply divided the movement's leaders and political allies. Fierce "pro-family" culture warriors stand on both sides of the debate, with religious right advocates in Washington backing two radically different visions of immigration reform as symbolized by the House and Senate immigration bills unveiled last winter.

A unified evangelical position could do much to determine the shape of immigration reform, which was to be taken up again by Congress after the midterm elections in November. How the religious right tilts or fractures over the issue also holds stakes for the movement itself. A deep rift or further right turns could jeopardize the religious right's political coherence as well as its potentially natural alliance with America's growing and culturally conservative Latino and predominantly Catholic population.

Already, there are signs of a split. According to the Pew Research Center, 63% of white evangelicals view immigrants as a "threat to U.S. customs and values," compared to 48% of the population as a whole. (Only 39% of secular respondents held negative views of immigrants.) Though the two most influential Christian Right groups -- James Dobson's Focus on the Family and its spawn the Family Research Council -- have avoided taking an official position on the issue, their mostly white flock has already tacked hard right.

Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, says the Latino community is aware of rising anti-immigrant sentiment on the religious right and is "very concerned" about attitudes such as those reflected in the FRC poll.

"Before immigration came along, we were building an alliance," says Rodriguez. "We had agreement on traditional marriage, partial birth abortion -- so many threads were being woven together. Immigration threatens to become the definitive divide."

Meeting of the minds

The Secure Borders Coalition is where the religious right meets and meshes with the extreme end of anti-immigrant politics. An alliance of Christian Right groups, hard-right organizations like Accuracy in Media and the Swift Boat Veterans, and strident but secular anti-immigration outfits such as the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps, the coalition in June issued a strong statement opposing all amnesty and guest worker proposals. It vowed to oppose any candidate, regardless of his or her stance on other issues, who does not toe the line on immigration. Remarkably, it also calls for a near-freeze in legal immigration.

"We favor a policy of attrition of the illegal population through strong enforcement of our nation's immigration laws, which includes, first and foremost, the securing of our borders," reads the coalition statement. "[W]e dedicate ourselves to defeating any 2008 presidential candidate who [disagrees]... . We pledge to do so regardless of political party and in both the primaries and the general election."

The list of religious-right figures signing the coalition statement is long and varied. It includes Phyllis Schlafly's Eagle Forum, Lou Sheldon's Traditional Values Coalition, Howard Phillips' Conservative Caucus and Bishop Harry R. Jackson of Hope Christian Ministries. The signatories concerned primarily with immigration include English First, the American Council for Immigration Reform, the Center for Immigration Studies, Pro-English, and the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps.

One possible future for this nexus can be glimpsed in the budding relationship between two Secure Border Coalition members -- a relationship that links religious-right political muscle to the literal muscle of the vigilante border-patrol movement. Last spring, Chris Simcox put his Minuteman Civil Defense Corps (MCDC) under the wing of Alan Keyes' Declaration Alliance, a group dedicated to overturning Roe v. Wade that also believes in a "founding mandate to freely and publicly acknowledge the authority of the Creator God." Along with imbuing the Simcox group with a touch of the divine, the MCDC/Keyes arrangement saw Simcox's mailing lists handed over to Response Unlimited, a Keyes-connected Christian mailing and telemarketing firm that now sells lists of MCDC donors for $120 per thousand names.

Another, similar relationship is developing between the Eagle Forum (founded in 1972 and one of the oldest religious right groups) and the Minuteman Project of Jim Gilchrist, Simcox's former organizational partner (Gilchrist did not join the Secure Borders Coalition). The Eagle Forum's Schlafly, a long-time gay-basher, believes that guest-worker programs and amnesty are "immoral." The Christian thing to do, argued Schlafly in her newsletter last January, is to "erect a fence and double our border agents in order to stop the drugs, the smuggling racket, the diseases, and the crimes." Gilchrist, who holds a similar view, was a featured guest at the 35th annual Eagle Forum Conference in September.

Other religious right groups may not be officially aligned with the border-vigilante movement, but hold views indicating sympathy or approval.

"As the United States Senate continues debate on an immigration reform bill, the American people are backed up by the Bible in their demands that America's national boundaries are to be respected," writes Roberta Combs, national president of the Christian Coalition. "The left wing in this nation is thoroughly wrong when they argue that 'because Christ showed compassion to all of God's children, Christians should ignore violations of the law by aliens.'"

'Culture,' Christianity and race

The kind of first-principle absolutism found in the Secure Borders Coalition statement, once reserved for the so-called culture war, indicates that immigration has touched a central nerve on the religious right. But it is not simply a national-security or law-and-order nerve, as no other national security issue generates so much heat within the movement.

So what's going on? In the words of FRC's Tony Perkins, what's at stake is not so much guarding America's security as protecting its "cultural fabric."

Gary Bauer, president of American Values and an icon of the religious right, has said as much. In June, Bauer wrote an op-ed for USA Today that decried the failure of Latino immigrants to integrate into American society. "Hyphenated Americans put other countries and affiliations first, and they drive a wedge into the heart of 'one nation'," he wrote.

In choosing to highlight the "cultural" dimension of Latino immigration, Bauer echoed the nativist argument offered by Patrick Buchanan in his bestselling anti-immigrant screed, State of Emergency. Bauer also lifted a lid on the motivations of many anti-immigration voices on the Christian Right -- motivations more commonly cloaked in the rhetoric of law and order. Bauer admits as much, calling culture the "unmentioned undercurrent" in the immigration debate.

Some, farther out on the intellectual fringes of the movement, are more blunt. Thomas Fleming, president of the Christian-flavored Rockford Institute and, like Buchanan, a Catholic, says "culture" sits at the heart of his anti-immigration position. At a September institute-sponsored conference in Washington where Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) delivered the keynote address, Fleming said that "the cultural ambience aspect of [the immigration debate] is the only one that interests me." Writing in the Rockford Institute magazine Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture, Fleming was plainer about what he means when he says "culture," admitting, "Whatever we may say in public, most of us do not much like Mexicans, whom we regard as too irrational, too violent, too passionate."

"Some American Catholics think we should welcome the hordes of pro-life Catholics swarming across our southern border," continued Fleming. "But this is a mistake. Mexicans quickly become acclimated to America's culture of consumerism and infanticide. What they do not appear to relinquish is their own traditional style of violence."

Nor has the contentious question of culture completely escaped the notice of James Dobson's much larger and more mainstream Focus on the Family, which maintains a Spanish-language website and has been cautious on the issue. Last summer, the group's website chose to run a shining review of Victor Davis Hanson's Mexifornia, a lament for the defunct white-majority California of Hanson's youth. "Jobs do indeed have a lot to do with the issue [of immigration]," the Focus reviewer wrote. "But not as much as culture -- and that's what should really concern Americans most."

The issue of immigration, it seems, not only threatens the success of the religious right's larger culture war by alienating conservative Latinos. Immigration is also a growing component of that culture war.

Hard to starboard

Nativism has been a recurring obsession among religious Americans since the colonial era. As they assume battle positions in the 21st-century immigration debate, today's hard-line crusaders echo mid-19th century Know-Nothings who decried "ignorant and depraved foreigners" from Italy and Ireland. Ditto 20th-century nativists like FDR's Assistant Secretary of State, Breckinridge Long, who thought Jewish and Slavic immigrants were "entirely unfit to become citizens of this country. ... They are lawless, scheming, [and] defiant."

Such bald sentiments are not often heard in the larger religious-right groups, many of whose positions are informed by Biblical injunctions to mercy toward the "stranger," the groups' connections to the business wing of the Republican Party, and a desire to cultivate Latinos as religious and political allies in the culture war. But there is a clear trend-line running right among a segment of culturally conservative Christians, one that worries moderate evangelicals and Latinos alike. What remains to be seen is whether the larger Christian Right will drift into the arms of the hard-line anti-immigration camp, and how this will affect the movement.

"I don't think white evangelicals are racist," says Rev. Samuel Rodriguez of the Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference. "But the Latino community is starting to have some concerns that need to be addressed. We must start changing hearts and minds through dialogue. The risk of polarization is real."

Where Mel Gibson Got His Anti-Semitism

"Fucking Jews!"

So began Mel Gibson's now infamous anti-Semitic rant to Los Angeles sheriff's deputies who pulled him over on suspicion of drunken driving last July. "The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world," the world-famous movie actor continued, before asking his arresting officer: "Are you a Jew?"

After his tirade made international news, Gibson promptly disappeared into an addiction clinic. He left behind a statement, released through a spokesman, begging the Jewish community for forgiveness and suggesting that booze was to blame. He was, he wrote, "in the process of understanding where those vicious words came from during that drunken display." But their origin is easy enough to pinpoint -- the extremist Catholic beliefs Gibson learned at the knees of his anti-Semitic father.

Gibson's dad, Hutton Gibson, is an important player in the shadowy world of radical traditionalist Catholicism, also known as "integrism" or Catholic separatism. This religious subculture's teachings have little in common with the modern Roman Catholic Church and its universalistic theology. Hutton Gibson, for one, is a well-known Holocaust denier who believes the Second Vatican Council reforms of the 1960s, which made the church vastly more tolerant of other faiths, were the result of "a Masonic plot backed by the Jews." He is particularly incensed by the council's historic declaration, "Nostra Aetate," which condemned "all hatreds, persecutions, displays of anti-Semitism leveled at any time or from any source against the Jews." In Gibson's world, the Second Vatican Council's liberalizing reforms are rejected and anti-Semitic teachings and conspiracy theories are heartily embraced.

Like father, like son.

Mel Gibson has his own traditionalist house of worship near Los Angeles -- a church, funded entirely by him, that is not recognized by the Los Angeles Roman Catholic Archdiocese. It is unclear what is said in the hallowed halls of the Holy Family Chapel, since, unlike virtually all other Catholic churches, it is closed to the public. What is known is that Gibson is reported to have blamed Jews for forcing him to cut a scene, in which Jews and their descendants are held responsible for the murder of Christ, from his 2004 film, "The Passion of the Christ." Sounding a bit like he did that July night in Malibu, Gibson told The New Yorker: "If I included that in there, they'd be coming after me at my house. They'd come to kill me."

Few Americans defended Mel Gibson's drunken rant about the evils of the Jews. But radical traditionalist Catholics did. A three-year investigation of this subculture by the Intelligence Report has found that these Catholic extremists, including the Gibsons, may well represent the largest population of anti-Semites in the United States. Organized into a network of more than a dozen organizations, scores of websites and several extremist churches and monasteries, radical traditionalists in the U.S. are preaching anti-Semitism to as many as 100,000 followers. A few, such as the lawyer for Terri Schiavo's family, Christopher Ferrara, are even movers and shakers in important right-wing Republican circles.

Jew-bashing at the Holiday Inn

The Philadelphia airport Holiday Inn is an odd place to celebrate a Catholic mass, especially in a city filled with lovely churches and an extraordinary, century-old Romanesque cathedral. But the inn is where the radical traditionalist Catholic outfit, (CFN), held its annual conference in 2003, dressing up one end of a drab conference room with an altar, incense, and a statue of the Virgin Mary, and transforming it into a church.

The rest of the hall looked rather different. Vendors set up folding tables along almost every inch of the remaining walls, piling them high with books, videotapes and Catholic accessories. The stacks were notable for the prominence of anti-Semitic and extremist materials, from The Protocols of the Elders of Zion to Hutton Gibson's Is the Pope Catholic? to CFN head John Vennari's popular anti-Semitic conspiracy tract, The Permanent Instruction of the Alta Vendita. Priests in Roman collars staffed many tables; brown-cloaked monks manned others.

CFN conferences hearken back to the era before the Roman Catholic Church enacted the liberalizing Vatican II reforms, which removed from the weekly Mass prayers for the conversion of the Jews and also ended the centuries-old practice of celebrating the Mass in Latin, the Vatican's official language. At the Holiday Inn in 2003, Sunday's religious activities started with a now rarely celebrated hour-long recitation of the rosary. After that, apostate priests conducted a rendition of the Latin Mass, a format dating to the Middle Ages, before an audience remarkable for the veils that covered every woman's hair and the time it spent on its knees.

Vatican II did not ban these time-honored celebrations, and many Catholics who call themselves "traditionalists" continue to worship in this manner in churches that remain an official part of the Holy See (these churches are awarded an "indult" that allows them to continue celebrating the Latin Mass). The vast majority of those who practice Catholicism in this older form are unrelated to the radical traditionalist Catholics who gathered in Philadelphia. Indeed, the groups that gave presentations at the CFN conference preach a theology specifically rejected by the Vatican, and many have been declared schismatic, or officially separated from the church.

The participants at the CFN conference spent most of their time bashing Jews and, in particular, dwelling on the perils of much-feared "Judeo-Masonic" plot. As preached from the pulpit that day, the alleged conspiracy involves ancient, shadowy fraternities such as the Masons and the Illuminati, who are seen as puppets in a Jewish master plan aimed at destroying the Catholic Church. The theory is laid out in great detail in Venarri's Alta Vendita, which has been compared to The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, an infamous tract also alleging a global plot by the Jews.

But the "Judeo-Masonic" plot wasn't the only fearful conspiracy that was described that day. There was also the "Marxist-Jewish" scheme that is ruining our schools, the "Jewish-homosexual" alliance that is destroying the priesthood, and, naturally, the 9/11 conspiracy, which has to do with the fact that the 2001 terrorist attacks were actually "predicted by the Blessed Virgin Mary 84 years ago."

The passion of the anti-Semites

The Philadelphia Jew-bashing was not a one-off. Several such conferences are held quietly around the country each year, and they attract thousands upon thousands of people. The Intelligence Report also attended a radical traditionalist conference held in 2005, a year and a half after CFN's. Put on by the St. Joseph Forum (SJF) of South Bend, Ind., the conference was held at a Quality Inn up the road from Notre Dame, the esteemed Catholic university seen by conference attendees as fatally corrupted by multiculturalism and religious tolerance.

The SJF conference, attended by more than 250 people, was awash with extremists. A favorite of the crowd was Father Stephen Somerville, who Mel Gibson employed as his spiritual adviser during the filming of "The Passion of the Christ." Somerville was suspended in 2004 by the Vatican for schismatic behavior and is a popular speaker at radical traditionalist Catholic conferences. At the forum, he raged at "a corrupt subculture or network of homosexuals" ruining the priesthood.

But the most extreme comments of the weekend came from Brother Anthony Mary of the Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, a monastery and order based in Richmond, N.H. (The Slaves were founded in the 1950s by Boston-based priest Leonard Feeney, an anti-Semite ultimately excommunicated by the Vatican.) Mary's presentation was entitled, "The Fruits of Zionism."

"The perpetual enemy of Christ is the Jewish nation," Brother Mary roared, explaining that the aim of the Jews is to "destroy all Christian nations." Mary blamed Jews for both world wars -- an opinion also mouthed by the drunken Mel Gibson -- and a coming world government. Professing from the pulpit a "great hatred" of Jews, Brother Mary declared that "Jews are the synagogue of Satan" -- a phrase that is also part of the official ideology of the neo-Nazi Aryan Nations. "We must always and everywhere," he added, "oppose Jewish schemes."

An unsavory tradition

Since the colonial period, American society has been marred by sometimes savage anti-Catholic prejudice, an antipathy that mushroomed as waves of Irish, Italian and German Catholics arrived here in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Anti-Catholic hatred fueled the 1850s rise of the Know Nothings, the largest third party in U.S. history, and it also drove the resurgence of the Ku Klux Klan in the 1920s, when nearly 4 million Americans became members.

Yet some of America's greatest peddlers of hate have themselves been extremist Catholics. The best known of these was Father Charles Coughlin, the Michigan "radio priest" who at his height in the late 1930s was spewing pro-Nazi propaganda to 3.5 million listeners on his CBS radio broadcasts. Repeating common anti-Semitic canards, Coughlin blamed the Great Depression on an "international conspiracy of Jewish bankers"; Jews also got the blame for communism. Two weeks after the German national pogrom known as Kristallnacht, Coughlin blamed the Jews for their own persecution, making him a hero in the German press. Also in 1938, Coughlin published an article in his Social Justice weekly -- which at one point had 1 million subscribers -- attacking Jews, atheists and communists. Parts of the article were plagiarized directly from the English translation of a 1935 speech by Hitler's propaganda minister, Joseph Goebbels. Coughlin was finally forced off the air in October 1939, the month after Nazi Germany's invasion of Poland.

Two other priests, both now dead, serve as the primary inspiration for today's radical traditionalist Catholics. The first is Father Denis Fahey, an Irish priest who died in 1954 and was much admired by Coughlin -- just as he is also admired by today's neo-Nazis, some of whom have contributed a number of his quotes to "1,001 Quotes By and About Jews," a feature on the racist Stormfront website.

Fahey was a prolific author whose main topic was the inherent evil of the "Jewish Nation." Repeating classic anti-Semitic allegations, Fahey blamed nearly all iniquity on Jews. According to an article by Sandra Miesel in Crisis, a conservative Catholic magazine, Fahey "enjoyed quoting papal policy statements against Jews, coyly refused to reject the long-debunked Protocols [of the Elders of Zion], praised the anti-Semitic activities of [automaker] Henry Ford, and denied the death toll from the Holocaust." Taking on the church's main bogeyman in the early 1900s, Fahey laid atheistic communism directly at the feet of the Jews: "The real forces behind Bolshevism are Jewish forces, and Bolshevism is really an instrument in the hands of the Jews for their establishment of their future Messianic kingdom."

While spouting the same kind of anti-Jewish propaganda as the Nazis, Fahey crafted an argument that he believed should exempt him from the label of anti-Semite. Fahey claimed he didn't hate the Jews per se, but merely opposed their "naturalistic aims." Since he also argued that Jews can't help but work to further those aims -- communism, the destruction of Christianity, and the like -- this was a distinction without a difference. (Today's radical traditionalist Catholics, including the Society of St. Pius X, a far-right powerhouse that has thousands of supporters, continue to claim they are not anti-Semitic, just against "Jewish naturalism.")

Along with Coughlin, Fahey is the main source for The Plot Against the Church, a 1967 book supposedly written by 12 clerics under the pen name "Maurice Pinay." Similar to the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the book blames Jews, also referred to as the "synagogue of Satan," for every evil that has befallen Catholics from Roman times to the present. Citing ancient papal writings, the book suggests that Jews be expelled or enslaved, segregated and forced to wear visible marks. It's little wonder that modern neo-Nazis praise Pinay's work. But so do large numbers of radical traditionalist Catholics, and the book is sold by Omni Christian Book Club, the favorite bookseller of today's radical traditionalists.

The beat goes on

The second great inspiration for contemporary radical traditionalists is Father Leonard Feeney, another fervent anti-Semite who was for years a leader of Boston's St. Benedict Center, a Jesuit institution. Feeney is best known in Catholic circles for his especially hard-line version of the "no salvation outside the church" doctrine.

Feeney also is known for preaching against Jews on the Boston Common with his followers. Although he was finally excommunicated for disobedience in 1953, he rapidly founded his own order, Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and started a newsletter, The Point, that was suffused with anti-Semitism. Feeney's newsletter blamed Jews for controlling and biasing the press and for creating communism. One article lambasted Jews for their role in the "anti-hate" initiatives that it despised. Another, published in April 1958, was entitled "Newspapers and The New York Times: Other Jews and Minister Sulzberger" and summed up the Jewish "problem" like this: "Essential to the understanding of our chaotic times is the knowledge that the Jewish race constitutes a united anti-Christian bloc within Christian society, and is working for the overthrow of that society by every means at its disposal."

Feeney did reconcile with the church in 1974, four years before his death. But his anti-Semitic ideas remain popular in radical traditionalist Catholic circles and in the New Hampshire monastery his followers started, which still endorses his anti-Semitic ideology, to the point that a New Hampshire bishop lambasted the monastery's teachings in 2004 as "blatantly anti-Semitic" and "offensive."

The bishop isn't the only one who sees Feeney as anti-Semitic. One white supremacist has created an online archive of Feeney's writings (fatherfeeney.org) for the benefit of fellow Aryans. It is part of the so-called "World White Web."

A dynamic movement

Today's radical traditionalist Catholics -- the theological descendants of Feeney and Fahey -- are part of a thriving, energetic movement, even if it is one that is tiny when compared to the approximately 70 million Americans who are mainstream Catholics. The dozen or so organizations that make up this movement read each other's writings, buy each other's conference tapes, and co-publish major theological works. They put on conferences several times each year that are served by circuit-riding preachers like Brother Mary and Father Nicholas Gruner.

The movement is important for a number of reasons. It is growing, and spreading its anti-Semitic teachings, at a time when anti-Semitism and religious conflict generally are clearly resurgent around the world. Some of the most radical of the traditionalists are increasingly interacting with neo-Nazis and their fellow travelers. For example, John Sharpe, head of the anti-Semitic Legion of St. Louis, attended the 2006 conference of American Renaissance, a racist publication that specializes in race and intelligence. That same year, Father Gruner, leader of the International Fatima Rosary Crusade, attended a conference of The Barnes Review, a Holocaust denial journal. Gruner celebrated a special Mass at the Washington, D.C., conference, which was also attended by an array of long-time neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other anti-Semites.

The radical traditionalists may also be gaining influence on the larger political scene. The best example of this is Christopher Ferrara, the lawyer who in 1990 started the American Catholic Lawyers Association to defend "Catholics in religious and civil liberties cases." Ferrara writes for anti-Semitic traditionalist journals like The Remnant. He recently said Pope Benedict XVI had "abased himself by entering a synagogue." He uses Robert Sungenis, a particularly venomous anti-Semite, to staff the "Apologetics Desk" at his legal organization. But he also was the lawyer for the family of Terri Schiavo, the brain-damaged Florida woman whose feeding tube was removed in 2005 after a protracted court battle. In that role, Ferrara rubbed shoulders with key Republican and Christian Right leaders who convinced Congress to pass a law to protect Schiavo that was ultimately killed by the courts.

If radical traditionalists belong to a particular sect -- and many do not -- it is most typically the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX), a sprawling international group that publishes reams of anti-Semitic writings on its website and is based, in the United States, in Kansas City, Kan. In the late 1980s, Pope John Paul II excommunicated all SSPX priests and declared the sect formally in schism, but it has continued to grow. In America, 20,000 to 30,000 people are members.

Many of these radical traditionalists embrace "sedevacantism," a word derived from the Latin that refers to a period when "the see [or seat] is vacant." While the term is the official Roman Catholic word for the period between a pope's death and the election of his successor, many radicals are sedevacantists in the sense that they believe that there has not been a real pope for years (typically, since 1958). Some have adopted conspiracy theories about rigged papal elections and even the idea that the authentic pope is secretly being held in captivity.

The radicals' understanding of what has gone wrong with the world boils down to a few basic things. They believe that most of the theological developments within the church since Vatican II have been egregiously wrong, especially with regard to reconciling with Jews and the followers of other faiths. They despise the Vatican's ecumenical outreach efforts. And they lament the fall of the Latin Mass and argue that the new Mass, "Novus Ordo," does not guarantee salvation. Through it all, disdain and even outright hatred for Jews flows like a poisonous river.

A Joyless faith

For the vast majority of Catholics, the existence of an anti-Semitic, sedevacantist subculture is highly distressing. The church has worked extraordinarily hard in recent decades to distance itself from anti-Semitic teachings and the idea of forcing its view of the world on unbelievers. And, by most accounts, it has been successful, with many Jewish and organizations from other faiths praising its efforts. Abe Foxman, head of the Anti-Defamation League, signaled his gratitude after the 2005 death of Pope John Paul II, who, he said, "revolutionized Catholic-Jewish relations" by denouncing anti-Semitism as a "sin against God and humanity." More recently, Pope Benedict XVI's repeated clarifications of statements he made about the Islamic faith in September reflected a commitment to interfaith dialogue.

Yet the ranks of the radical traditionalists seem to be swelling. Michael Cuneo, a scholar of Catholicism, wrote in his 1997 book The Smoke of Satan that weekly attendance at American chapels of the Society of St. Pius X had been growing at about 10% annually since the late 1980s. Today, SSPX, which raises its own funds without help from Rome, employs 336 member priests in 27 different countries, teaches 226 seminarians in six international seminaries, runs 130 priories, and serves more than 600 Mass centers. The group also runs nine retreat houses, 14 major schools, and another 50 schools connected to priories or chapels.

Stephen Hand, a respected Catholic theologian and editor of the Web-based Traditional Catholic Reflections and Reports, wrote in 2000 of his worries about the growth of the movement. "Integrism," he said in his book Tradition, Traditionalists and Private Judgment in a reference to radical traditionalist Catholicism, "is a bitter affair, a joyless 'faith.' It thrives on polemics, on opposition and hatred."

There is little question that much of the world is seeing a resurgence of ethnic and religious hatreds and accompanying violence. As dangerous conflicts between Christianity and radical versions of Islam multiply around the globe, the last thing humanity needs is still one more form of religiously based extremism.

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