The far-left Southern Poverty Law Center, which recently paid out millions of dollars to a target of its “anti-hate” campaigns, has been sued by a lawyer who claims SPLC paid for stolen documents in an attempt to get him fired and destroy his future work prospects.
The previous case was settled by a payment of more than $3 million to Maajid Nawaz and his Quilliam Foundation, who sued after SPLC put them on its “hate” list. As many as six dozen organizations are considering similar cases against SPLC.
The latest case was filed in U.S. District Court in Maryland by Baltimore lawyer Glen K. Allen against SPLC, and Heidi Beirich and Mark Potok, who have been associated with the group.
The lawsuit alleges: “Motivated by lucrative fundraising aims and employing fundraising techniques decried across the political spectrum as deceptive, the SPLC’s avowed goal, under the leadership of Beirich, Potok, and others, is to destroy, through public shaming, loss of employment, loss of reputation and other severe harms, groups and persons the SPLC broadly defines as its political enemies.”
The complaint contends they are not entitled to “receive, pay for, and use stolen documents, including confidential documents and documents protected by attorney client privilege, to tortiously interfere with Allen’s prospective advantage in employment; to defame him by publishing false statements that he was ‘infiltrating’ the city of Baltimore’s Law Department; or to masquerade as a 501c3 public interest law firm dedicated to a tax exempt educational mission, when in reality the SPLC fails the basic requirements for this favored status because of its illegal actions (including numerous instances of mail and wire fraud), multiple violations of canons of professional ethics (including improper disclosure of confidential and privileged documents and failure to train its nonlawyer employees), orchestration of violations of the constitutional rights of the organizations and individuals it targets, and sensational supermarket tabloid style one-sided depictions of its victims.”
The filing accuses SPLC of “ritual defamation,” which it calls “a way of harming and isolating people by denying their humanity and trying to convert them into something that deserves to be hated and eliminated.”
“Defendant Potok, the editor-in-chief of the SPLC’s Intelligence Report, boasted: ‘We see this political struggle, right? … I mean, we’re not trying to change anybody’s mind. We’re trying to wreck the groups, and we are very clear in our head, … we are trying to destroy them.”
PJMedia reported Allen previously had purchased books published by the National Alliance and made donations to the group, but “he firmly disavowed the National Alliance.”
The report said he defended the group’s legal rights because “consistently with our American traditions of free expression, freedom of association, and the rule of law, is entitled to legal representation, like other unpopular groups, and should be encouraged to seek it.”
But he denied he is racist and pointed out he’s done considerable work for individuals and groups involving all races.
SPLC, the complaint states, obtained and paid for “stolen documents” apparently revealing his purchases. Then it “went after Allen with the intent of getting fired by the city of Baltimore and permanently destroying his future prospects.”
“Allen’s suit claims that the SPLC should have its 501c3 tax-exempt status revoked, that it owes him restitution for racketeering, and that it should pay $6.5 million in damages,” the report said.
“The suit attacks the liberal group for undermining America’s tradition of free expression. In an August 2016 interview with The Washington Post cited in the lawsuit, SPLC Intelligence Project Director Heidi Beirich (a defendant in the case) claimed to have watched Allen
‘like a hawk’ because he had ‘the worst ideas ever created,'” the report said.
SPLC also accused him of being a “neo-Nazi lawyer” and insinuating that the lawyer’s work for the city of Baltimore was racist.
Baltimore soon fired him.
That cost him “at least 10 years of employment at a salary of $90,000 or more. The article also destroyed his reputation, making it extremely difficult for him to obtain a job, create a good relationship with clients, or argue before judges and jurors who would immediately judge him a ‘neo-Nazi lawyer.'”
PJMedia explained: “The SPLC defines ‘hate group’ expansively, listing mainstream conservative and Christian groups like Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) and the Family Research Council (FRC) along with the Ku Klux Klan. Yet it constantly emphasizes the link between ‘hate groups’ and violence. On the top of its 2016 ‘hate map,’ it states, ‘Hate and antigovernment extremist groups continue to operate at alarming levels in the U.S. — fomenting racist violence, seeking to poison our democracy, and, in some instances, plotting domestic terrorist attacks.”
Allen argues SPLC not only publicized confidential documents, it violated the IRS rules for tax-exempt groups.
PJMedia reported: The SPLC did not respond to multiple requests for comment from PJ Media. Perhaps they will be more willing to speak after more outlets pick up this important story.”
SPLC long has been held in esteem by the mainstream, but even that favor has started deteriorating, with the doubts now being expressed by the Washington Post.
Post reporter David Montgomery clearly is an admirer of SPLC, but his article was titled “The State of Hate: Researchers at the Southern Poverty Law Center have set themselves up as the ultimate judges of hate in America. But are they judging fairly?”
He pointed out that SPLC has expanded its scope of “hate groups” from the Ku Klux Klan and other white supremacists to conservative organizations that defend traditional marriage, opposed illegal immigration and warn of the threat of supremacist Islam to Western civilization.
Jihad Watch Director Robert Spencer, who has been a target of SPLC, commented on his website that it’s “astonishing that this evisceration of the SPLC would appear in the Washington Post, and it indicates that even the Leftist media is finding the SPLC too partisan, too unfair, and too biased to continue to defend.”
But Spencer, who argues he’s often criticized for merely pointing out that supremacist Muslims cite Islamic texts as the motivation for terrorist attacks and other threats to civilization, contends he is not “anti-Muslim.”
“I oppose jihad terror and Sharia oppression of women, non-Muslims, and others. I am no more ‘anti-Muslim’ than foes of the Nazis were ‘anti-German,'” he writes.
Spencer noted that companies such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google, Amazon, Patreon and GoFundMeWe rely on SPLC’s “hate” designation, and he hopes the Post article will help them “reconsider their reliance on this dishonest, hate-filled group, and begin to treat all organizations fairly.”