August 31, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) is receiving millions of dollars in new grants in the wake of the Charlottesville protest riots, even as criticism of the leftist group grows over its politicized “hate” designations that now target liberals exposing Islamic jihadists.
The SPLC, which serves as a tool of the Left by mislabeling mainstream conservative organizations and leaders as “haters” and “extremists,” is already one of the best funded politically-oriented non-profit groups in the world. SPLC's 990 IRS filing for 2015 reports $58,176,499 in total revenue, an astonishing amount for a politically-oriented non-profit.
Moreover, SPLC self-reported an endowment fund of more than $319 million in its 2016 annual report, also unheard of in the world of non-profit organizations dealing with “culture war” issues. Another troublesome issue is the SPLC’s shifting in recent years of millions of dollars to offshore accounts (the Cayman Islands), a bizarre practice for a tax-exempt organization.
(To compare, Family Research Council (FRC), one of the largest pro-family organizations in the U.S., reported total 2015 revenues of nearly $16 million plus operating reserves of just over $4 million. FRC was smeared as a “hate group” by the SPLC, leading to an attempted mass-murder of FRC’s employees in 2012 by “gay” activist Floyd Lee Corkins, who said he used the SPLC’s spurious “hate” list to target the faith-based group’s headquarters in D.C.)
Despite growing criticism from conservatives and even some liberals like Bill Maher over the SPLC’s manipulative “hate” scheme, its shady financial practices, sloppy methods, embarrassing inaccuracies, and overzealous fundraising, the SPLC continues to receive wide support among “progressives.” Along with fellow anti-conservative activists at Anti-Defamation League (ADL), SPLC was well-positioned to benefit financially from outrage over the tragic death of a woman at the hands of an enraged white nationalist in Charlottesville.
The following are among recent reported grants to SPLC:
— Apple Corporation gave $1 million to both the SPLC and Anti-Defamation League (ADL), another leftist organization with a penchant for calling social conservatives “haters.”
— Actor George Clooney and his wife, Amal, gave SPLC $1 million through their foundation to “stand up to hate”;
— JP Morgan Chase Bank gave $500,000 to the SPLC to advance the SPLC’s “work in tracking, exposing and fighting hate groups and other extremist organizations.” (ADL also received $500,000 from Chase.)
Apple & SPLC share 'inclusion' doublespeak
“I believe Apple has led by example, and we’re going to keep doing that,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook, an open homosexual and LGBTQ advocate, explaining the corporation’s grant to SPLC, CNS News reported. “We have always welcomed people from every walk of life to our stores around the world and showed them that Apple is inclusive of everyone.”
Now, if you’re gullible enough to believe that Apple and Mr. Cook truly care about “inclusion” and real “diversity,” I’ve got a brand new iPhone7 Plus I’ll sell you for a buck.
In 2010, Apple booted an app for the pro-life, pro-traditional marriage Manhattan Declaration (then signed by 470,000 people) from its iTunes app store, responding to a leftist “Change.org” campaign that smeared the Declaration as “hateful and divisive.”
The next year, Apple rewarded the vicious homosexual activist Wayne Besen and his now-defunct group “Truth Wins Out” by dropping an app for Exodus International, which once led the movement of former homosexuals before imploding after abandoning its biblical roots. (Exodus was replaced another ex-gay organization, Restored Hope Network — much to the chagrin of Besen, who prematurely proclaimed the ex-“gay” movement dead.)
In a modern, high-tech version of Communist cadres hunting down freedom-loving dissidents, in 2013 Apple once more rewarded the “Gay Thought Police” (in this case the pressure group All Out) by purging a small, Ohio-based, sexual purity ministry called Setting Captives Free from its iTune app store. What evil had this bigoted group of Christian homophobic hatemongers committed? Brace yourself; ABC News reported:
“But one course in particular, titled “Door of Hope: Freedom from the Bondage of Homosexuality,” last week caught the attention of gay rights and equality group All Out. The 60-day interactive course, which was then available through both the iPhone and Android apps, promises to ‘teach you to enjoy a newfound relationship with the Lord and how to find freedom from homosexuality.’”
Faster than you could spell, “T-0-T-A-L-I-T-A-R-I-A-N-S,” the pseudo-inclusive tech giant banned the tiny Christian ministry, lest a struggler find freedom from sexual sin and confusion through Jesus Christ.
SPLC: legal bully with huge war chest
Like its politically correct benefactor, SPLC is hardly “inclusive” of socially conservative viewpoints. Quite the opposite. In fact, the Montgomery, Alabama-based “civil rights” organization is using the same legal tactics it applied successfully against an actual “hate” group, the racist KKK, to crush small, mostly faith-based ministries to put them out of business.
In 2015, the SPLC won its bullying lawsuit against JONAH (Jews Offering New Alternatives for Healing), a tiny counseling ministry that helped homosexuals leave that lifestyle. The SPLC threw millions of dollars and a dozen attorneys into a novel (and absurd) legal strategy that applied the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act, intended to protect against shoddy products and deceptive advertising, to JONAH’s supposed “conversion therapy.” (The latter is a term used by pro-LGBTQ activists to de-legitimize pro-hetero “reparative therapy” counseling for people with unwanted same-sex attractions.)
The SPLC, like its LGBT lobby allies, ignored heartwarming ex-gay success stories like former homosexual David DeJiacomo, who is very grateful to JOHAH for helping him overcome same-sex desires to remain faithful to his Catholic beliefs. Instead, it hyped disgruntled homosexuals who said such therapy does not work. LGBTQ-cheerleading media like Newsweek gladly played along.
The shamelessly biased judge in the Michael Ferguson v. JONAH case, Democrat-appointed Superior Court Judge Peter F. Bariso Jr., conveniently refused to allow testimony from experts on the pro-“reparative therapy” side, like the late Joe Nicolosi. (On the Left — which is very serious about outlawing ex-gay change therapy nationally — you can only be a reputable “expert” if you’re pro-LGBTQ.)
Massive attorney fees
Faced with the prospect of having to pay $3.5 million in attorney fees to the SPLC if it lost on appeal, defendant and JONAH co-founder Arthur Goldberg opted to shut down the ex-gay counseling group and never promote ex-“gay” change again in New Jersey.
Asked why JONAH did not appeal the ruling, the group’s attorney, Chuck LiMandri of the Freedom of Conscience Defense Foundation, explained, “JONAH and its attorneys believed that they had excellent grounds for an appeal and a good chance of prevailing. However, there were great risks to the JONAH defendants if they lost on appeal because they would be potentially personally liable for millions of dollars in attorneys' fees to the SPLC.”
LiMandri, a pro-family hero in his own right for protecting Christians’ conscience rights, said, “As a double board-certified trial attorney with 33 years’ experience, I view the [JONAH] trial in hindsight as nothing short of a charade and a legal travesty.”
This is how the SPLC’s bullying “law-fare” (legal warfare) strategy works: all those high-powered SPLC lawyers rack up huge “attorneys’ fees,” which are potentially assessed to the loser in civil lawsuits like that used to destroy JONAH. This forces cash-strapped groups and ministries to capitulate — even when the case is obviously rigged, as the JONAH case was — because they cannot risk personal financial disaster if they ultimately lose.
Below the SPLC describes the fruits of its legal war against JONAH:
“JONAH agreed to permanently cease operations and dissolve its corporate entity as part of a settlement that precludes an appeal of the jury’s verdict. Goldberg and counselor Alan Downing are also prohibited from engaging in any form of conversion therapy commerce in New Jersey. The proposed judgment includes a $3.5 million award of legal fees. The plaintiffs agreed to accept an undisclosed portion of that award, but the defendants will be liable for the full amount if they violate the agreement.”
SPLC uses ‘lawfare’ to silence foes
Since Charlottesville, the SPLC has been burnishing its mainstream “pro-free speech” credentials by denouncing violent leftists like the Antifa radicals who fought against white nationalists in Charlottesville. (Weeks later, Antifa assaulted a conservative Christian “anti-Marxist” rally in Berkeley, California.)
In an August 16 interview with MSNBC opposite Mark Bray, author of the “Anti-Fascist Handbook” and an apologist for violent anarchist protesters, SPLC President Richard Cohen said the Antifa approach is “crazy” and only makes martyrs out of white racists.
However, the difference between fellow leftist warriors SPLC and Antifa is, to a large degree, merely tactical. The latter uses direct violence and the threat of a physical riots to silence free speech. SPLC, on the other hand, uses smear tactics and high-powered legal harassment and intimidation to discredit, demonize and shut down pro-family ministries like JONAH that run counter to its pro-LGBTQ agenda.
Ironically, by spreading its contemptible Big Lie equating honorable Christian groups like FRC with wicked neo-Nazis, the SPLC emboldens crazed leftists like Floyd Lee Corkins to strike out violently against alleged “haters.” Propaganda works.
Lately, the SPLC has expanded its bogus “hate” dragnet to include respected conservative leaders exposing Islamic extremism, like Jihad Watch founder Robert Spencer and ex-Muslim feminist Ayaan Hirsi Ali.
Ali, who like Spencer was mislabeled as an “anti-Muslim extremist” by the SPLC, writes that “the SPLC has nothing to say about Islamic extremists; only about their opponents.” Ditto for the SPLC's partisan silence about LGBT extremists.
SPLC executives get paid big bucks to slander social conservatives and truth warriors against radical Islam.
In 2015, Richard Cohen, the SPLC's president, took in a salary of $355,140 plus $47,650 in non-salaried compensation for a total package of $402,790. (See page 45 on this SPLC IRS 990 filing.)
SPLC co-founder and chief counsel Morris Dees received a salary the same year of $359,592 plus extra compensation of 46,679, for a total of 406,271, according to the IRS filings.
Mark Potok, senior fellow at the SPLC, collected a 2015 salary of $147,821 plus $31,629 in “other compensation” for a total of $179,450.
Thus, three of the SPLC’s top staffers earned a combined income in 2015 of nearly $1 million — $988,511 to be exact.
William Jacobson, clinical professor of Law at Cornell Law School, once supported the SPLC’s work against the Klan but has become a passionate critic of the organization since discovering the SPLC’s rampant corruption, which includes exaggerating the threat of organized racist activity for fundraising purposes. Now Jacobson exposes how the Center recklessly mislabels traditionalists and foes of intolerant Islam as “haters.”
“With its coffers overflowing and its staff expanding, expect SPLC to ramp up its use of ‘hate’ lists to bludgeon political opponents, to poison legitimate political debate, and to make certain that the answer to speech SPLC deems offensive is less, not more, speech,” he writes.
How many more “JONAHs” will have to be legally “bludgeoned” into oblivion before the SPLC “hate profiteers” and their Amen Corner in the media and leftist blogosphere are discredited as the lying political bullies they are?