2012 April » ADL Blogs
April 20, 2012

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.”

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April 20, 2012

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.

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April 16, 2012

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.”

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