April 30, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – The so-called “hate watchdog” Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) may be best known for its campaign to stigmatize mainstream conservative and Christian organizations, but it also has its share of more old-fashioned controversies, such as questions surrounding the revelation that it has $162 million in offshore investment accounts.
The revelation comes courtesy of the Washington Free Beacon, which reported that the SPLC listed $570 million in total assets on its most recent tax forms, $52 million more than the previous year. This increase came despite reporting a drop in annual contributions from $132 million to $97 million.
The offshore accounts are part of SPLC’s impressive investment portfolio, which has allowed it to grow despite declining donations and ongoing scandals. “Critics of the SPLC in recent years have characterized the group as a money racket that labels conservative organizations as ‘hate groups’ to fundraise,” the Free Beacon’s Joe Schoffstall wrote, “and its most recent financial forms may fuel that criticism.”
SPLC has long been controversial for its history of labeling mainstream Christian and/or conservative organizations – such as Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), the David Horowitz Freedom Center, and Jihad Watch – “hate groups” to be distrusted by the public and blacklisted from various online platforms and services.
Over the past few years, it was forced to make a public apology and pay $3.4 million in defamation damages to Maajid Nawaz’s Quilliam Foundation, ousted co-founder Morris Dees for alleged “inappropriate conduct,” and has endured testimony from insiders that the organization is a “highly profitable scam” and that Dees saw “civil-rights work mainly as a marketing tool for bilking gullible Northern liberals.”
Even so, the latest forms show that Dees received $373,000 from SPLC in 2019. Former SPLC president Richard Cohen and legal director Rhonda Brownstein, who were also terminated for their role in SPLC’s workplace culture, also received six-figure severance packages.
In 2012, would-be mass shooter Floyd Lee Corkins II entered the lobby of the socially-conservative Family Research Council (FRC), armed with SPLC’s “hate group” list and planning to, in his own words, “kill as many as possible and smear the Chick-fil-A sandwiches in victims' faces, and kill the guard.” Nobody was killed thanks to the intervention of security guard Leo Johnson, who was wounded.
“For decades, the organization has used its direct-mail expertise and overt hostility to orthodox religious principles as the basis for bilking wealthy, gullible donors out of their donation dollars,” said Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Jerry Boykin, executive vice president of FRC. “This discredited, partisan hate machine has been given carte-blanche credibility by partisan Silicon Valley social media giants.”