2012 April » ADL Blogs
April 20, 2012 1

LaRouche Supporters Employ Holocaust Comparison to Castigate President Obama

Screen­shot from the LaRouchePAC website

Sup­port­ers of con­spir­acy the­o­rist Lyn­don LaRouche have recently manned tables out­side pub­lic areas in sev­eral U.S. cities that fea­tured images of Pres­i­dent Obama wear­ing a Hitler mus­tache and signs call­ing for Obama’s impeachment.

In New Jer­sey, LaRouche sup­port­ers set up tables on two occa­sions that dis­played posters with the offen­sive com­par­i­son of Obama to Hitler. One of the indi­vid­u­als was quoted by local media, say­ing “Obama is just like Hitler…he’s send­ing drones into other coun­tries, killing peo­ple, includ­ing Americans.”

In late March, mem­bers of LaRouche’s polit­i­cal action com­mit­tee set up a table out­side a post office in Litch­field, Con­necti­cut, with the Pres­i­dent Obama-Hitler signs and signs of the Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial can­di­dates wear­ing clown noses and wigs. A sim­i­lar event took place in San Mateo, Cal­i­for­nia, ear­lier in the month, where LaRouche sup­port­ers gath­ered sig­na­tures call­ing for the impeach­ment of Obama out­side a local post office.

This is not the first time that LaRouche and his sup­port­ers have injected Holo­caust rhetoric into the polit­i­cal arena. In 2009, his sup­port­ers attended numer­ous Con­gres­sional town hall meet­ings around the coun­try wav­ing signs with Pres­i­dent Obama wear­ing a Hitler mus­tache to express their oppo­si­tion to health care reform and Pres­i­dent Obama’s Afford­able Care Act.

At the time a spokesper­son said that LaRouche and his orga­ni­za­tion “have declared war against Obama’s so-called health care reform because it is a direct copy of the pol­icy Hitler declared in Octo­ber 1939…our Obama mus­tache poster sym­bol­izes the fact that the pres­i­dent is attempt­ing to imple­ment a Hitler health care policy.”

Tags: , , ,

April 20, 2012 Off

Georgia Passes Tougher Bogus Lien Law

A new mea­sure came into force in Geor­gia this week, when Gov­er­nor Nathan Deal signed into law HB 997, mak­ing it a felony to file bogus liens against pub­lic offi­cials and law enforce­ment offi­cers. The act amends the Geor­gia code to cre­ate a new crime, that of mak­ing false lien state­ments against pub­lic offi­cers or pub­lic employ­ees, and pro­vides a pun­ish­ment of up to 10 years in prison and a fine of $10,000.
The bill had orig­i­nally been spon­sored by a group of Repub­li­can state rep­re­sen­ta­tives and received strong bipar­ti­san sup­port in both the Geor­gia House and Sen­ate. The aim of the bill was to help counter the grow­ing prob­lems caused by the sov­er­eign cit­i­zen move­ment, an extreme right-wing anti-government move­ment whose adher­ents believe that cur­rent gov­ern­ments are ille­git­i­mate and have no author­ity over them. Though the move­ment has existed since the 1970s, in the past few years it has expe­ri­enced a sur­pris­ing resur­gence, includ­ing a growth of vio­lent and crim­i­nal activity.

Por­tion of doc­u­ment filed by Robert Eugene Stephens
attempt­ing to copy­right his own name,
a com­mon sov­er­eign cit­i­zen tactic

Though the sov­er­eign cit­i­zen move­ment has a strong asso­ci­a­tion with vio­lence, it has an even stronger asso­ci­a­tion with what has come to be called “paper terrorism”—the use of bogus legal fil­ings or doc­u­ments or the mis­use of actual ones in order to harass, intim­i­date, or retal­i­ate against per­ceived enemies.

For 30 years, bogus liens have been one of the most pop­u­lar paper ter­ror­ism tac­tics, often used to harass police offi­cers, pros­e­cu­tors, offi­cials, and judges with whom sov­er­eign cit­i­zens come into con­tact. To give one recent Geor­gia exam­ple, in Octo­ber 2011 Geor­gia Bureau of Inves­ti­ga­tion agents arrested sov­er­eign cit­i­zen Robert Eugene Stephens of Min­eral Bluff on 12 crim­i­nal counts related to a series of bogus liens Stephens allegedly filed against a vari­ety of local and state offi­cials, includ­ing a county clerk, a local judge and her sec­re­tary, the county tax com­mis­sioner, and even the Speaker of the Geor­gia House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives (which prob­a­bly didn’t hurt the chance the sub­se­quent law had of passing).

A num­ber of states still don’t have bogus lien laws on their books, while the laws of other states make the crime only a mis­de­meanor and some states with bogus lien laws have been lax in enforc­ing them. The result has been a flood of bogus liens across the entire coun­try in the past sev­eral years.

The Geor­gia law could still be strength­ened fur­ther, as it does not pro­tect pri­vate cit­i­zens and busi­nesses, who also can be the vic­tim of bogus liens filed by sov­er­eign cit­i­zens.

Tags: , , , , , ,

April 16, 2012 Off

American Nazi Party Seeks Attention with “Lobbyist” Publicity Stunt

Nobody can squeeze fif­teen min­utes of infamy out of the Inter­net like a neo-Nazi group can, a fact demon­strated recently by a flare-up in the blo­gos­phere after South Car­olina neo-Nazi John Tay­lor Bowles reg­is­tered as a Con­gres­sional lob­by­ist on behalf of the tiny Amer­i­can Nazi Party (ANP).

Within a few days of the April 10 fil­ing, Bowles’ name appeared in dozens of news­pa­per arti­cles and thou­sands of blogs as the “first ever” Nazi lob­by­ist. That it was merely a pub­lic­ity stunt seemed to have occurred to rel­a­tively few observers. How­ever, the ANP is minis­cule even by neo-Nazi stan­dards, with only around two dozen active mem­bers. Led by Rocky Suhayda of Michi­gan, the ANP holds few events and does lit­tle more than pub­lish a crude newsletter.

The lob­by­ist stunt might have been out of char­ac­ter for Suhayda, but was typ­i­cal of Bowles, who has fre­quently sought the spot­light over the past decade. Bowles is a long-time neo-Nazi who first became involved with the National Social­ist White People’s Party as a teenager in Bal­ti­more in the 1970s. In the 1980s he report­edly spent four years in prison on an arson con­vic­tion, some­thing that didn’t pre­vent him from sub­se­quently work­ing for the U.S. Depart­ment of Agri­cul­ture as a meat inspector.

Bowles even­tu­ally returned to neo-Nazism by join­ing the National Social­ist Move­ment in 2003 and becom­ing one of its more active mem­bers. By 2005, Bowles was the group’s Vir­ginia state leader; he sub­se­quently became state leader for South Car­olina. It was there he orches­trated his first major pub­lic­ity stunt, issu­ing a press release in Decem­ber 2006 announc­ing that he was run­ning for president.

Over the next year and a half he used this posi­tion as “pres­i­den­tial can­di­date” to help him get atten­tion from both within the white suprema­cist move­ment as well as from the media—even though his name was not on any bal­lots and Bowles him­self was inel­i­gi­ble to run (by virtue of his con­vic­tion). Dur­ing this time, Bowles also exploited anti-immigration sen­ti­ment for pub­lic­ity by orga­niz­ing an anti-immigration rally in South Car­olina and announc­ing a trip to the Texas-Mexico bor­der he dubbed “Oper­a­tion Throw Back the Wetback.”

Bowles’ exploits did gar­ner him pub­lic­ity, but also the neg­a­tive atten­tion and jeal­ousy of fel­low NSM mem­bers, who kicked him out of the group in late 2007. In response, Bowles formed his own splin­ter group, the National Social­ist Orga­ni­za­tion of Amer­ica, which never had more than a hand­ful of mem­bers and fell apart about eight months later, after Bowles suf­fered a heart attack.

After recov­er­ing, Bowles joined his fourth neo-Nazi group, the Amer­i­can Nazi Party, in 2009, writ­ing for its newslet­ter, the White Worker, and orga­niz­ing events in South Car­olina. His lob­by­ist stunt seems to have been an attempt to regain the “glory” of his faux pres­i­den­tial bid—the only lob­by­ing issue he even put on his reg­is­tra­tion form was “bal­lot access laws.”

Tags: , , , , , , , ,