“The Jew cries out in pain as he strikes you.”
In what is sure to be the biggest legal assault on free speech this year, news has emerged that the Southern Poverty Law Center is orchestrating a lawsuit against leading Alt-Right media figure Andrew Anglin. The text of the suit alleges that Anglin orchestrated a harassment campaign against Tanya Gersh, a Jewish realtor residing in Whitefish, Montana, that involved “invasion of privacy, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and violation of Montana’s Anti-Intimidation Act.”
That the SPLC, of all organizations, should be pressing forward on such grounds is ironic to say the very least. Aside from scare-mongering among old, wealthy Jews in order to solicit donations and bequests, the SPLC’s entire modus operandi has for some time revolved around ‘exposés’ of Nationalist figures. Although these doxxings are dressed up as “Intelligence Reports” forming part of an overall “Hatewatch” strategy, in reality they are little more than grubby, sensationalized, and often libellous attempts at political intimidation. Indeed, the efforts of the SPLC in this regard are rooted in a desire to invade privacy and inflict emotional distress — precisely the kind of actions they are presently accusing Andrew Anglin of encouraging.
Of course, the efforts of the SPLC go far beyond revealing identities and peddling propaganda. An excellent example of the SPLC’s track record of intensive harassment is the hounding of Kevin MacDonald. MacDonald recalls:
The Southern Poverty Law Center initiated a campaign against me. The controversy started in September, 2006 when someone not connected with CSULB emailed all the full-time people in the Psychology Department — except me — alerting them to a comment about me at the SPLC website. Heidi Beirich of the SPLC came to Long Beach from November 12–15 2006 to interview faculty and administrators about me. During the 2006-2007 and 2007-2008 academic years there was also a great deal of discussion and debate about my work and associations on faculty email lists. Eventually several departments issued statements dissociating themselves from my work and, in some cases, condemning my work. I was an active participant in these debates and I have replied to the statement of the History Department. (The History Department statement was the only departmental statement that included specific charges related to my scholarship.) In April, 2008, Beirich returned to CSULB to lead a meeting in which she again denounced me. A speaker from the Anti-Defamation League also participated in this meeting.
Obviously, the harassment of MacDonald went far beyond anything that Anglin was able to muster. The SPLC campaign against MacDonald involved multiple attempts at professional (and therefore economic) harm (including contacting his co-authors and colleagues at other universities), as well as repeated “interviews” with MacDonald’s colleagues and associates designed to encourage an environment of social ostracism. The goals were to remove MacDonald from his job, isolate him from any institutional support he may have had, and to smear his name by writing not one but a succession of slanderous and misleading articles about his work. A campaign like this would of course involve a serious invasion of privacy and the intentional infliction of emotional distress, and the SPLC relies heavily on this as part of its effort at political intimidation.
Another feature of the MacDonald case which echoes in the SPLC’s lawsuit against Anglin is the distortion of truth. MacDonald recalls that “Given Ms Beirich’s poor record in accurately portraying my writings, I had no confidence that she would conduct and report on an interview with me in a non-biased way. Nevertheless, I offered to be interviewed by her if she would answer my concerns about her previous writing about me. She did not respond to this offer.” The propagandists at the SPLC don’t care about truth, and are in fact intimidated by it.
In the Anglin suit, the SPLC are confronted with the possibility that a judge might ask how the situation between the Spencer family and Tanya Gersh first arose. Both Sherry and Richard Spencer have stated that Gersh, who has ties to a local, Orwellian-named activist group, Love Lives Here, was in fact pressuring her to sell her building in downtown Whitefish as part of a general campaign against the Spencers, and threatening pickets and protests if she didn’t. Sherry Spencer also said she and her family were receiving “terrible threats,” all stemming solely from Richard’s role at the National Policy Institute. Even the text of the SPLC lawsuit admits that local activism by Gersh and others had caused Sherry Spencer to be targeted for isolation in much the same way that MacDonald was targeted by the SPLC. The results would clearly have had a negative impact on the social life of Sherry Spencer:
The board of the symphony asked Ms. Spencer to resign and returned her donation. The Wildlife Conservancy rescinded its invitation to her, and the musical school dissolved its advisory committee in part to end its affiliation with Ms. Spencer.
Sherry Spencer is not fleshed out as a human being in the lawsuit, but solely as the mother of “a well-known anti-Semite, racist, xenophobe, and White Nationalist.” She is portrayed as a bewildered but tainted figure whose building “was causing turmoil in the community.” Gersh enters the story like some Hebrew angel: “When Ms. Spencer was lamenting the trouble her building was causing, Ms. Gersh wondered aloud why Ms. Spencer was keeping it and said that if she were in Ms. Spencer’s situation, she would sell the building, make a donation, and issue a statement disavowing her son’s views.” Gersh, in this mendacious narrative, is reluctant to get involved in the affair at all, and only becomes active as a potential agent for the sale of the building because of Sherry Spencer’s constant “imploring.”
After Sherry Spencer went public with her harassment at the hands of Gersh, Andrew Anglin became part of a broad attempt to counter it. Since the efforts of Gersh and her co-activists were intended to bring emotional and financial distress to the wider Spencer family, Anglin and many others reached the conclusion that people like Gersh should be chastened for such activity. Perhaps the most note-worthy aspect of Anglin’s involvement was his insistence that those involved in contacting Gersh to express their disgust should refrain from any kind of communication that would be illegal — a prominent, if little discussed or appreciated, feature of Anglin’s leadership of the “Troll army.” Of course, this point doesn’t feature at all in the SPLC suit.
Following its sanitized rendering of Gersh’s intimidation and attempted extortion of Sherry Spencer, the suit departs even further from the facts of the case and begins employing sensationalized and emotive accounts of the impact that counter-intimidation efforts had on Gersh. She is said to have experienced “serious and severe emotional and physical distress … for which she has received medical treatment. Ms. Gersh has had panic attacks, goes to bed in tears, wakes up crying, startles easily, feels anxiety and discomfort in crowded places, has had trouble leaving her home, and fears answering her phone.” Her physical symptoms are said to include weight gain and hair loss.
With the suit now filed, the SPLC have been crowing. SPLC President Richard Cohen has said: “We intend to hold [Anglin] accountable for the suffering he has caused Ms. Gersh and to send a strong message to those who use their online platforms as weapons of intimidation.” What Cohen refuses to admit is that our political culture has been lowered to the level of spiteful intimidations by organizations like the ADL and his own SPLC. These groups have led the way in employing methods of political activity designed to bring wide circles of social, familial, economic and professional distress to those whose opinions they view as conflicting with their interests. The suit against Anglin is not an effort to clean up our political life or protect individual rights, but rather to protect the Jewish monopoly on some of the dirtiest and retrograde forms of socio-political intimidation any group might engage in.