07 Mar Domestic Terrorists: Always in the Last Place You Look for Them
As you may have heard, in January, the FBI field office in Richmond, Virginia released an internal memo targeting “radical traditionalist Catholic ideology.” Apparently, in 21st century America, liking Latin or wanting the Church to uphold and maintain long-established beliefs on sexuality, marriage, and other fundamental religious matters makes one a terrorist or, at the very least, a potential terrorist. This according to the nation’s most important and powerful law enforcement agency.
Living, as we do in the Diocese of Lincoln, Nebraska, the largely undisputed center of “traditionalist Catholic ideology” in the country, we found the existence of this memo interesting and even a little offensive, but we didn’t really give it much credence. After all, we’ve known for a long time that the ruling class loathes Christians who actually believe their faith and is especially concerned about persistently frustrating Catholic believers. We recall the debate over the Supreme Court nomination of Justice Amy Coney Barrett, for example, and the opportunity that nomination provided the media and politicians to let the proverbial mask slip, exposing their true feelings about those people. Additionally, we figured we were safe. What’re they gonna do? Arrest the whole diocese?
As the story unfolded, however, we began to think differently about it, coming to the conclusion that it really isn’t a story about Catholicism at all. It is, rather, a story about the ongoing corruption and moral collapse of the major institutions that exist specifically enable a government of, by, and for the people.
For us, the key to this story was learning that the FBI memo was based in large part on information provided by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), which is hardly a reliable or unbiased source. In the chapter in The Dictatorship of Woke Capital covering Amazon, which uses the SPLC to evaluate the charities eligible for inclusion in its “Smile” program, we discussed the once-revered and now-thoroughly corrupt organization as follows:
[T]he SPLC… is a deeply political, highly partisan, exceptionally well-funded, and very professional direct-mail scam. The Philanthropy Roundtable once called the SPLC “Hate, Inc.,”5 which is to say that the organization thrives on—and makes a great deal of money from—convincing people that there are “hate groups” all over the country trying to kill them, steal their stuff, and enslave their children. In truth, however, SPLC is a direct-mail fundraising operation that does a little lawyering on the side….
the biggest problem with the SPLC isn’t that it makes or has a lot of money. The biggest problem isn’t even that it raises that money through less-than-honest means. (That is a problem, just not the relevant problem for this book.) No, the biggest problem with the SPLC is that singles out, smears, and then effectively defunds conservative and traditional religious organizations in the name of fighting “hate.”…
In the March 2019 edition of the left-of-center Current Affairs magazine, Nathan Robinson, the magazine’s editor-in-chief, described the SPLC’s “hate list” as “everything that is wrong with liberalism.”10 He argued that “the biggest problem with the hate map, though, is that it’s an outright fraud,” and that “the whole thing is a willful deception designed to scare older liberals into writing checks to the SPLC.”
Unfortunately, when it isn’t fighting jokes and scaring old white liberals, the SPLC does serious damage to mainstream conservatives and conservative organizations, like Charles Murray, the Alliance for Defending Freedom, and Daniel Pipes and the Middle East Forum. It attacks and endangers Muslim reformers like Maajid Nawaz (to whom the SPLC lost a $4 million defamation lawsuit). And it maligns traditional Christian organizations like the Family Research Council. Indeed, in 2012, a man named Floyd Lee Corkins, who later admitted that he had been radicalized by the SPLC’s hate list, attacked the Family Research Council headquarters in Washington and brought a bag of Chick-fil-A sandwiches with him, hoping to kill “haters” and then “smear” Christian-radical chicken sandwiches in their faces. Corkins is now serving twenty-five years in federal prison.
That chapter contains a great deal more damning information about the SPLC than we can include here. And Tyler O’Neill, the managing editor of the Heritage Foundation’s Daily Signal has written an entire (very good) book on the organization, titled Making Hate Pay.
As it turned out, however, even after learning about the SPLC’s involvement, we weren’t sure that this was a story for us – until yesterday, that is. Yesterday, we learned something (believe it or not!) even more profoundly troubling about the SPLC and, by extension, about the organizations that rely on it for “intelligence.” Yesterday, we learned for certain that the SPLC isn’t just corrupt organization trying to make a few (million) bucks off of the culture wars; it is actively involved in those wars – on the other side. The aforementioned Tyler O’Neil has the details:
Authorities arrested Sunday a staff attorney at the Southern Poverty Law Center, a left-leaning civil rights group notorious for branding mainstream conservative and Christians nonprofits “hate groups,” on terrorism charges, with police saying he took part in a violent riot where agitators threw rocks, Molotov cocktails, and fireworks at police at a training center near Atlanta.
In a statement Monday evening, the SPLC acknowledged that police arrested an employee, but claimed that he had been acting as a legal observer with the National Lawyers Guild. The guild condemned every police arrest Sunday as an example of “ongoing state repression and violence against racial and environmental justice protesters,” and the SPLC condemned escalating “policing tactics against protesters.” Neither organization explicitly stated that the observer had not engaged in violence against police.
According to DeKalb County Jail records, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation on Sunday arrested Thomas Webb Jurgens, describing him as a 6-foot male with brown hair and brown eyes. Jurgens faces one charge of “domestic terrorism.”…
Authorities detained 35 people Sunday, charging 23 with domestic terrorism, following the riot. Jurgens’ name appears on the list.
“On March 5, 2023, a group of violent agitators used the cover of a peaceful protest of the proposed Atlanta Public Safety Training Center to conduct a coordinated attack on construction equipment and police officers,” Atlanta police reported Sunday. “They changed into black clothing and entered the construction area and began to throw large rocks, bricks, Molotov cocktails, and fireworks at police officers.”
Protesters engaged in “Cop City” demonstrations, claiming that the new training center would propagate militarized policing and harm the environment, CNN reported.
According to police, the agitators “destroyed multiple pieces of construction equipment by fire and vandalism.”
“The illegal actions of the agitators could have resulted in bodily harm,” police added. “Officers exercised restraint and used nonlethal enforcement to conduct arrests.”
We’re not sure what the worst part of this is, but we think it’s probably the fact that the SPLC claims that Thomas Jurgens was there as a “legal observer,” which, to us, sounds as if the organization knew he was going to be there and that he and they knew there was a reason for him to be there (rthe expectation of Sunday’s attack, for instance). All of which is to say that there is a reasonable chance that the entire SPLC is implicated here.
In any case, what we have here is an organization that is actively trying to undermine traditional religious and other conservative organizations, and even to subject them to harassment by law enforcement, even as its own employees are engaged in what DeKalb County prosecutors consider “domestic terrorism.”
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: if we were writing a novel in which we created such a scenario, our editor would angrily send it back to us, insisting that we not be so ham-handed and shameless in our attempt to paint the “civil rights” organization as a dangerous fraud. “No one would be that stupid and openly corrupt in real life,” he’d say. “So, get back to your keyboard and write me something less ridiculous and more believable. Give me nuance and cleverness, not laziness and asininity.”
Of course, this isn’t a novel. And we’d probably be OK with the ham-handed obviousness of the whole thing, if it weren’t for the fact that the media, Amazon, the FBI, the Democratic Party, and countless others don’t care. Morris Dees, the SPLC’s founder, is a racist and a lecher. And his organization is no better. Yet…none of the revelations about SPLC or its founder has dissuaded any of the above from treating it as a legitimate supplier of “intelligence” on domestic radicals. They just pretend none of those disqualifications matter. And they’ll do the same with the connection between the SPLC and an actual, real-life domestic terrorist operation.
This is Total War in the Total State. And they have no intention of stopping.