SPLC Hate Map Under Fire After FBI Used It: Catholic Journalist Warns of Plan 'to Silence People'
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A Catholic journalist is warning that the Federal Bureau of Investigation recently took a foreboding step that should alarm conservative believers. It turns out the FBI actually cited the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) in a memo targeting traditionalist Catholics who follow the church's teachings on marriage and who celebrate the Latin Mass. And critics say the SPLC's far-left definition of hate groups is the real problem.
The memo – which was later withdrawn – talked of tracking interactions between so-called "radical-traditionalist Catholics" (RTC) and white nationalist groups, according to the online publication The Hill. It also proposed asking church leaders to spot "warning signs" of radicalization. The memo cited the SPLC in a list of nine Catholic organizations as "Defined RTC Hate Groups in the United States."
As CBN News reported in February, the internal memo from the FBI's Richmond office was rescinded by the agency after whistleblower Kyle Seraphin published it on UncoverDC.com on Feb. 8. The bureau's national office said at the time the memo "does not meet the exacting standards of the FBI" and vowed to "conduct a review of the basis for the document."
During a recent interview with the Heritage Foundation's Daily Signal, Michael J. Matt, editor of the Catholic newspaper The Remnant and producer of Remnant TV in Forest Lake, Minnesota, said, "I have this suspicion that the SPLC was just laying the groundwork so that when the government gets far enough to the Left, they can start using these resources like the hate map to silence people."
Matt told the outlet the SPLC brands Catholics "extremists" if they "still accept traditional church teaching on faith and morals," describing Vatican II as an "updating of the church's moral teachings, even though the teachings of the church haven't actually changed at all."
As CBN News has reported, once upon a time, the Southern Poverty Law Center served as a champion in the civil rights struggle. It's said that the SPLC helped put the Ku Klux Klan out of business. Klan membership used to be in the millions. Today it's only a few thousand.
But when you glance at the SPLC's modern map of so-called "hate groups" in America today, there are so many that one might think America is consumed with hate.
The SPLC is notorious for labeling Christian organizations "hate groups" for their biblical views on issues like marriage and LGBTQ lifestyles.
The list includes the Family Research Council (FRC). FRC Executive Vice President General Jerry Boykin doesn't pull any punches, telling CBN News, "First of all, the SPLC, you have to understand, is probably one of the most evil groups in America. They've become a money-making machine and they've become an absolute Marxist, anarchist organization."
What is more disturbing is what the SPLC's opponents call a link to deadly violence against Christians and conservatives.
On August 15, 2012, Floyd Lee Corkins stormed into the FRC's Washington offices intending to kill. He wounded the building manager before he was stopped. A bullet hole was left in a console in the lobby as a reminder.
After his arrest, Corkins told the FBI he used the SPLC's material to target the FRC's Washington offices. On an FBI video of his interrogation, Corkins says, "Southern Poverty Law lists anti-gay groups. I found them online, did a little bit of research, went to the website, stuff like that."
FRC's Petition: Congress Should Investigate the SPLC
The FRC now has a petition on its website asking the Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government to investigate the SPLC and how an honest review of the organization's activities and anti-conservative bias will show that federal agencies should cut all ties with the group.
In its petition, the FRC points to several reasons why an investigation into the SPLC is warranted. This includes the March 5, 2023, attack on the Atlanta Public Safety Training Center in which an SPLC staff attorney was arrested and charged with domestic terrorism along with 22 other assailants.
"An employee at the SPLC was arrested while acting — and identifying — as a legal observer on behalf of the National Lawyers Guild (NLG). The employee is an experienced legal observer, and their arrest is not evidence of any crime, but of heavy-handed law enforcement intervention against protesters," the SPLC said in a statement made at the time.
The Washington Times reports Thomas Webb Jurgens was released on a $5,000 consent bond on March 6, while the other 22 suspects were held without bond.
In a statement following Jurgens's release, SPLC President and CEO Margaret Huang said, "Tom was performing a public service, documenting potential violations of protesters' rights. We are outraged that police officers present at the protest refused to acknowledge Tom's role as a legal observer and instead chose to arrest him. We are confident that the evidence will demonstrate he was a peaceful legal observer."
The Florida Bar stated to Fox News in March that it was investigating Jurgens, but would not provide further comment.
Jurgens is licensed to practice law in at least Florida and Georgia, according to the outlet.
Mainstream Media Silent on Judge's Ruling Against the SPLC
Meanwhile, in a federal judge's ruling at the end of March, the Dustin Inman Society, a pro-immigration enforcement group that the SPLC brands an "anti-immigrant hate group," became the first SPLC-accused "hate group" to succeed in making it to discovery in a defamation lawsuit directly challenging the SPLC on its "hate group" accusation, according to The Daily Signal.
Many organizations, including Liberty Counsel and D. James Kennedy Ministries, have been unable to reach this point, even though D. James Kennedy Ministries appealed all the way to the Supreme Court.
The mainstream media has so far been silent on the story.
D.A. King, founder of the Dustin Inman Society told The Daily Signal, "a New York Times reporter contacted me almost two weeks after the motion to dismiss was denied and was rather adamant that the denial was a 'front-page story.'" Then the reporter said "he would hold off approaching his editors" until another legal move took place.
"It was confusing to me. Is the SPLC finally losing on a motion to dismiss a lawsuit against their false and malicious smears not news?" he asked.
The Dustin Inman Society claims it has struggled to raise money after the "hate group" smear, according to The Signal. It is seeking donations to help in its legal fight with the SPLC.
On the other side, the SPLC reports it presently has a huge endowment of $731.9 million.
CBN News reached out to the SPLC for comment. We'll post it here if we hear back.
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