Southern Poverty Law Center
The Southern Poverty Law Center is a far-left legal and activist organization created in 1971 in Montgomery, Alabama. It was founded by trial lawyers Morris Dees and Joe Levin, and its first president was civil rights leader Julian Bond, who would later take control of the NAACP. SPLC supports a wide variety of extreme-liberal positions; it is anti-conservative Christianity, pro-immigration (both legal and illegal), advocates multiculturalism and the homosexual agenda, supports Muslims and racial preferences and defendants' rights, and advocates against what it considers "hate groups". In 2012, Black pastors confronted the Southern Poverty Law Center for smearing as "hate groups" pro-family organizations opposed to the homosexual agenda. Reverend Dr. Patrick Wooden admonished the SPLC in declaring that it is wrong to compare "my beautiful blackness" with homosexual perversion.
The SPLC's op-ed writings have appeared in the Communist Party USA's newspaper People's World. This "controversial, liberal organization"  has been criticized in mainstream press for being extravagant in its spending, and using charges of racism to stifle conservatives.
Despite the organization's far-left partisanship, the mainstream media continues to cite the SPLC as an authority on hate groups.
- 1 Finances
- 2 Hate Groups
- 3 Infiltration into the classroom
- 4 Interference in the Sierra Club
- 5 Cooperation with law enforcement
- 6 Into the Mainstream controversy
- 7 SPLC as film critic
- 8 Corporate Partners
- 9 See also
- 10 References
- 11 External links
The SPLC's IRS Form 990 for the year ending October 31, 2015, showed a total income of $54.2 million, and expenses of $45.3 million with a surplus of $8.9 million. The organization has a net worth of $315 million, and the top salaries were paid to Morris Dees, Chief Trial Counsel, $337,146; Richard Cohen, President, $333,296; Wendy Via, Chief of Development, $186,645; Jerri Katzerman, Deputy Legal Director, $183,752; and Joseph Levin, General Counsel, $160,626.
The last year that the Better Business Bureau's Philanthropic Advisory Service reported on the SPLC, in 1994, Dees and then Executive Director Edward Ashworth took home over $150,000 each, and the organization then possessed over $62 million in assets. It now controls over $200 million, and Dees pulls $286,000 in salary. In 2000, SPLC fundraised $27 million and made an additional $17 million from investments, but spent only $13 million on its civil rights program. It is no longer listed in the Better Business Bureau's Wise Giving Alliance because that would require that "at least 50 percent of total income from all sources, should be applied to programs and activities directly related to the purposes for which the organization exists." The SPLC spent 89 percent of its total income on fund-raising and administrative costs.
The SPLC has also been moving millions of dollars out of the U.S. into international accounts which is can use at will with no accountability. As a non-profit organization, this kind of activity is at the very least irregular if not illegal. By September 2017, they had amassed at least $67 million in these offshore accounts.
In addition to donations from liberal members, which are often elicited by sensationalizing hate crimes, the center raises a lot of revenue seizing assets of violent groups, and by extorting groups that do not want to be accused of racism. In 1987, the SPLC won a major case on behalf of Beulah Mae Donald, the mother of a Klan lynching victim. This was the invention of a clever new tactic—suing domestic terrorist groups into bankruptcy—but Ms. Donald benefitted very little. Of the $7 million verdict, only $50,000 went to her. This was because the Klan chapter had no assets other than a warehouse used as a headquarters, the warehouse itself was valued at about $50,000.
The SPLC's fundraising tactics came under heavy criticism most recently by the Council of Conservative Citizens, as well as by articles in Harper's magazine in 2000 and in the local Montgomery Advertiser newspaper in 1994.
SPLC lists over 1000 organizations as hate groups. Many of these are widely accepted but the list continues to grow with the controversial additions of conservative and Christian organizations. Conservative political stances and Christian moral stances that the SLPC disagrees with are now targeted, many of these additions are organizations for the general welfare of American citizens and are not associated with hate. Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer has described the SPLC as "defamers and the blacklisters."
- Catholic organizations
- Baptist organizations
- Pentecostal organizations
- American Family Association
- Family Research Council
- Illinois Family Institute
- Parents Action League
- United Families International
- Christian Action Network
- American Defense League
- United States Justice Foundation
- Watchmen Bible Study Group
- Mission to Israel
- Jewish Defense League
- Alliance Defending Freedom
These fine organizations and many others are lumped together with the KKK and White nationalists, skin-heads, Neo-Nazis and Black separatists.
The Southern Poverty Law Center posts a "Hate Map" on their website. The organization lists various "hate groups" for their opposition to the homosexual agenda, abortion and social justice to name a few. Homosexual activist Floyd Corkins utilized the information with the intent on causing mass murder at the Family Research Council in D.C., the conservative organization is listed by them as a hate group. Corkins entered FRC's lobby allegedly shouted “I don’t like your politics” and shot an unarmed guard in the arm with a 9mm pistol before being wounded and arrested. The SLPC denied they were responsible but the gunman admitted as much. Though Corkins' actions perfectly fit the definition of a hate crime, no such sentence was given likely due to his liberal sympathies. Corkins did receive a 25-year prison sentence.
SPLC attacks on conservatives and Christians
While SPLC attacks obvious hate groups such as the KKK or Aryan Brotherhood, it also lumps in some conservative and Christian organizations in an attempt to defame and delegitimize them. For instance, SPLC considers Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) a "hate group", because it opposes illegal immigration, and uses demonstrations as a method, which the SPLC deems intimidation. Similarly, the SPLC labels the immigration reductionist/reformist website VDARE as a "hate group", because it argues against illegal immigration.
The SPLC followed Laird Wilson in publishing a list of "hate groups" but after Wilson rejected the usefulness of that approach, the SPLC continued with it, becoming prominent for using it against groups standing for traditional values. Laird Wilcox, claims to have provided SPLC with some of the information initially used to compile their list of "hate groups". He "concluded that a lot of [the SPLC's hate groups] were vanishingly small or didn’t exist, or could even be an invention of the SPLC." Some of the "hate groups" were creations of SPLC informants, rather than legitimate groups. And with the advent of the internet, some of them exist "nowhere except in cyberspace." Wilcox concludes, "The whole issue of “lists” is full of smoke and mirrors."
In the wake of an August 2012 shooting at the headquarters of the Family Research Council, some columnists criticized the SPLC's listing of the Family Research Council as an "anti-gay hate group". Dana Milbank, of the Washington Post, wrote that the SPLC was "reckless in labeling as a “hate group” a policy shop that advocates for a full range of conservative Christian positions."  Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, said, after the attack, “I believe [the gunman Floyd Corkins] was given a license to do that by a group such as the Southern Poverty Law Center who labeled us a hate group because we defend the family and stand for traditional orthodox Christianity.” Capital Research Center states that the SPLC "deliberately mischaracterizes conservatives and tea partiers as “extremists”."
Also smeared as "hate groups" by the SPLC include: the California Coalition for Immigration Reform, Liberty Counsel, and The Social Contract Press (a liberal group publishing environmentalist works such as those of Garrett Hardin, apparently smeared solely because they republished French writer Jean Raspail's 1973 novel The Camp of the Saints which foretells catastrophe befalling Europe from boatloads of illegal immigrants arriving from South Asia).
Another example is the Council of Conservative Citizens, a conservative activist organization that advocates for states' rights and against immigration, Communism, racial quotas, and gun control. SPLC labels the entire organization as "racist" because a minority of members had decades-past connections to segregationist organizations. In fact, the CCC attracts such mainstream speakers such as former Sen. Trent Lott (R-Miss.), Gov. Kirk Fordice (R-MS) and Rep. Bob Barr (R-Ga.), and engages in charitable and cultural events.
The SPLC has also recently added new categories to its categories of "hate groups", including Traditionalist Catholics (that is, those who advocate for a return to the Latin Mass), and an "anti-gay" category of groups who do not support the homosexual agenda and/or advocate for homosexuals to come out of that lifestyle.
During the 1990s, the SPLC maintained a separate list of "patriot groups", which although they did not include them as part of their "hate groups" list, carried the same intent: to smear those groups by association, and create the public impression those groups were some sort of threat to society. Their "patriot groups" list included groups opposed to the income tax, groups campaigning for jury and court reform, and the John Birch Society, among others.
In 2010, the SPLC created a list entitled "Meet the Patriots", which included such people such as Chuck Baldwin, Orly Taitz, and Alex Jones as supporters of this "patriot movement". A supplement entitled "The Enablers" was also released, which included Michele Bachmann, Glenn Beck, Ron Paul, and Judge Napolitano.
In 2012, the SPLC found four individuals to file a lawsuit against a group providing therapy to homosexual men in order to help them become ex-homosexuals. The SPLC alleges the group violated New Jersey's Consumer Fraud Law in advertising that conversion therapy will help people become ex-homosexuals. Instead of being a pro-consumer lawsuit, as the SLPC implies, the suit is a collateral attack on conversion therapy and the free exercise of religion.
In 2017, the SPLC labeled the Alliance Defending Freedom a "hate group," a label that mainstream media outlets picked up on. That same year, it labeled the conservative Center for Immigration Studies a "hate group." The SPLC caused serious financial harm to the Ruth Institute, a Catholic organization that combats the decline of the family, due to the SPLC's "hate group" designation of the Institute. That same year, D. James Kennedy Ministries, an evangelical Christian ministry based in Florida, filed a lawsuit against the SPLC due to its designation of the ministry as a "hate group." In 2017, a college graduate was placed on the SPLC's "hate group" list because she did an interview with the conservative Family Research Council.
In 2017, the SPLC included Twitter hashtags such as "#Christmas", "#MerryChristmas", and "#jesus", on its list of "trends in a community of far-right Twitter users." It was reported in early 2018 that the SPLC was working with YouTube to police the site's videos and censor conservatives and Christians in the process.
All of the incidents listed above further prove the SPLC is a left-wing political organization, as well as itself being a hate group, rather than one focused on racism and civil rights.
Double standards and denialism
Infiltration into the classroom
Additionally, the SPLC runs tolerance.org, a website that advocates multiculturalism, the homosexual agenda and "social justice". It is designed with teachers in mind so that these ideas can influence young children in the classroom  For instance, teachers can click "classroom activities" then "early grades" and "Tolerance Issues: Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual issues:" or "tolerance issues: Gender Issues" and arrive at a pro-alternative family article, among others. Its magazine is sent to over 400,000 educators, and over 10,000 schools participate in its programs.
Interference in the Sierra Club
In early 2004, Morris Dees filed to run as a candidate for the board of directors of the Sierra Club, a leftist environmentalist organization. Dees, who has no background in environmental issues at all, ran only to use his ballot statement to smear three other candidates for the Sierra Club board, who advocated the Sierra Club address the environmental impact of excessive legal and illegal immigration into the United States. Dees and two other fake board candidates were part of a broader smear campaign by the radical left, which also included MoveOn.org. Dees, MoveOn, and others smeared these three candidates, all of whom were staunch liberals and environmentalists (one of them, former Democratic governor of Colorado, Richard Lamm) solely because they understood excessive immigration numbers to be an environmental issue.
Cooperation with law enforcement
The SPLC has been criticized by civil rights writer Laird Wilcox for essentially functioning as a private intelligence gathering agency for the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other law enforcement agencies, doing activities as a private organization that public law enforcement agencies are barred by law from doing (such as keeping dossiers on people solely because of their political or religious views) because for a government agency to do them would be a violation of civil rights. Wilcox points out the dangers of the FBI and other law enforcement working with ideologically-driven groups like the SPLC, which has its roots in 1960s radical liberal activism, because of the danger this poses that the SPLC's own ideological differences with another group can be treated as a law enforcement issue rather than as an ideological dispute between a left-wing group (the SPLC) and a group on the right. This can, and has, led to attacks on such groups' freedom of speech and freedom of assembly.
Indeed, the SPLC has a history of adding groups to its listing of purported "hate groups" in advance of a government law enforcement campaign against them. The SPLC inexplicably added the Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints (FLDS) to its "hate groups" list just before FLDS leader Warren Jeffs was indicted on charges of arranging polygamous underage marriages. The timing of this listing by SPLC was suspicious, as is the accuracy of calling FLDS a "hate group" to begin with, any controversy over their polygamous practices notwithstanding.
The SPLC brags about being an informant for the FBI. Mark Potok, an SPLC spokesman, said, "Law enforcement agencies come to us every day with questions about particular groups." This was done to circumvent policies against domestic political spying. But the FBI disavowed the SPLC by dropping it from being listed as a resource on the FBI website, though it admitted to relying upon the SPLC as recently as mid-2018.
Into the Mainstream controversy
In the summer of 2003, the SPLC's Intelligence Journal carried a feature article entitled "Into the Mainstream", by Chip Berlet. The cover of the journal had an image of Adolf Hitler in front of the American flag and the caption, "Marching toward the Mainstream: the radical Right invades American culture". The implication was that such conservative activists as David Horowitz and his Center for the Study of Popular Culture, as well as other groups including the libertarian Ludwig von Mises Institute, were "radical right" and Hitlerian. This smear was denounced by David Horowitz, who demanded an apology, although none was forthcoming.
SPLC as film critic
The SPLC has published criticisms of movies they deem to be not politically correct, often smearing the filmmakers in the process and portraying them to be part of a purported "radical right" conspiracy to influence the culture. Films the SPLC has criticized in this manner include Ronald Maxwell's American Civil War epics Gettysburg (1993) and Gods and Generals (2003), and Mel Gibson's 2004 film The Passion of the Christ.
- Abbott Laboratories
- Bank of America
- Charles Schwab
- Deutsche Bank
- Freddie Mac
- JPMorgan Chase
- Kraft Heinz
- Liberty Mutual
- Newman’s Own
- Progressive Insurance
- SPLC article featured in communist newspaper, The Daily Caller, January 22, 2011
- SPLC Form 990 (PDF). Retrieved on January 11, 2017.
- Silverstein, Ken. "The Church of Morris Dees: How the Southern Poverty Law Center Profits from Intolerance". Harper's, November, 2000. http://www.harpers.org/archive/2000/11/0068709
- Morse, Dan and Greg Jaffe. "Critics Question $52 Million Reserve, Tactics of Wealthiest Civil Rights Group". Montgomery Advertiser, February 13, 1994
- Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer Slams Southern Poverty Law Center As ‘Defamers and Blacklisters’. Breitbart News (from The Times of Israel). Retrieved April 26, 2018.
- Before Shooting: Southern Poverty Law Center Put Family Research Council on ‘Hate Map’ - See more at: http://cnsnews.com/news/article/shooting-southern-poverty-law-center-put-family-research-council-hate-map#sthash.WwD1HS7R.dpuf CNSNews, April 16, 2012
- FRC's Perkins: Southern Poverty Law Center Gave Gunman 'License to Shoot'
- "An Expert on Fringe Political Movements Reflects on the SPLC’s Political Agenda - An Exclusive Interview with Author and Researcher Laird Wilcox", Volume 20, Number 3 (Spring 2010) http://www.thesocialcontract.com/artman2/publish/tsc_20_3/tsc_20_3_wilcox_interview.shtml
- Dana Milbank, Washington Post Writer, Slams LGBT Activists, SPLC For FRC's 'Hate Group' Label
- FRC's Perkins: Southern Poverty Law Center Gave Gunman 'License to Shoot', https://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/perkins-shooting-family-research/2012/08/16/id/448862?s=al
- Southern Poverty Law Center: Wellspring of Manufactured Hate, http://www.capitalresearch.org/2012/09/southern-poverty-law-center-wellspring-of-manufactured-hate/
- Richardson, Valerie (July 16, 2017). ABC, NBC hit with backlash after pinning ‘hate group’ label on Alliance Defending Freedom. The Washington Times. Retrieved September 3, 2017.
- Weaver, Corrine (July 13, 2017). ABC, NBC under fire after smearing Christian organization as a “hate group”. Fox News. Retrieved September 3, 2017.
- Krikorian, Mark (March 17, 2017). How labeling my organization a hate group shuts down public debate. The Washington Post. Retrieved April 20, 2018.
- Dinan, Stephen (January 16, 2019). Immigration group demands SPLC revoke 'hate' label. The Washington Times. Retrieved January 16, 2019.
- Kirkwood, R. Cort (January 16, 2019). CIS Sues SPLC, Alleges Wire Fraud, RICO Conspiracy. The New American. Retrieved January 16, 2019.
- Richardson, Valerie (September 5, 2017). Southern Poverty Law ‘hate map’ label proves costly to pro-family Ruth Institute. The Washington Times. Retrieved September 11, 2017.
- Llorente, Elizabeth (August 24, 2017). Southern Poverty Law Center ‘hate group’ label hit in evangelicals’ lawsuit. Fox News. Retrieved September 3, 2017.
- O'Neil, Tyler (August 23, 2017). IT'S ON: Christian Group Sues SPLC and Amazon Over 'Hate Group' Designation. PJ Media. Retrieved September 3, 2017.
- Conservative College Grad Put on Hate Group List for Radio Interview. Fox News Insider. September 30, 2017. Retrieved September 30, 2017.
- Multiple references:
- Strand, Paul (December 27, 2017). ‘Merry Christmas’ Appears on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Hashtags Hate List. CBN News. Retrieved April 20, 2018.
- Wong, Kristina (December 25, 2017). Southern Poverty Law Center’s ‘Hate Tracker’ Picks Up #Christmas as Trending Hashtag. Breitbart News. Retrieved April 20, 2018.
- Bourne, Lisa (January 3, 2018). Liberal law center ranks ‘#merrychristmas’ as top Twitter ‘hate’ speech on Christmas day. LifeSIteNews. Retrieved April 20, 2018.
- Multiple references:
- Newman, Alex (March 2, 2018). “Hate Group” SPLC Helping YouTube Purge Conservatives. The New American. Retrieved March 2, 2018.
- Nash, Charlie (March 1, 2018). Report: Far-Left SPLC Helping YouTube Police Videos as Conservatives Increasingly Censored. Breitbart News. Retrieved March 2, 2018.
- Hasson, Peter (February 27, 2018). EXCLUSIVE: YouTube Secretly Using SPLC To Police Videos. The Daily Caller. Retrieved March 2, 2018.
- Murphy, James (September 28, 2018). Value Voters Summit and John Birch Society Attacked by SPLC. The New American. Retrieved September 28, 2018.
- Nelson, Steve (September 3, 2017). Southern Poverty Law Center condemns antifa, but won't call hate group. Washington Examiner. Retrieved September 3, 2017.
- Richardson, Valerie (December 2, 2017). Antifa isn’t a ‘hate group,’ Southern Poverty Law Center claims. The Washington Times. Retrieved April 20, 2018.
- Stranahan, Lee (December 10, 2016). Southern Poverty Law Center Calls Islamic and Black Lives Matter Attacks ‘Radical-Right Terrorist Plots’. Breitbart News. Retrieved April 26, 2018.
- Pfeiffer, Alex (December 8, 2016). The SPLC Considers The Most Deadly Islamic Terror Attack Since 9/11 A Right-Wing Plot. The Daily Caller. Retrieved April 26, 2018.
- Sulzer, John (December 12, 2016). SPLC: Dallas Ambush, Orlando Shooting “Right Wing Terror”. The Liberty Conservative. Retrieved April 26, 2018.
- Tomlinson, Chris (August 29, 2017). Why a British Muslim Is Suing the Southern Poverty Law Center. Breitbart News. Retrieved June 23, 2018.
- Multiple references:
- Duke, Selwyn (June 23, 2018). Acting Like a Hate Group, SPLC Pays Large Settlement and May Be Sued Further. The New American. Retrieved June 23, 2018.
- Tomlinson, Chris (June 18, 2018). U.S. Far-Left Group SPLC To Pay Counter-Extremist Maajid Nawaz $3.3M Settlement Over Anti-Muslim ‘Hate List’. Breitbart News. Retrieved June 23, 2018.
- Chamberlain, Samuel (June 18, 2018). SPLC makes huge settlement with anti-extremist group it called 'anti-Muslim'. Fox News. Retrieved June 23, 2018.
- Delingpole, James (June 19, 2018). Delingpole: This Ex-Radical Islamist Just Won a Great Victory for Us All. Breitbart News. Retrieved June 23, 2018.
- Nash, Charles (June 20, 2018). At Least 60 Groups Considering Lawsuits Against SPLC, Inspired by Nawaz Victory. Breitbart News. Retrieved June 23, 2018.
- For much background and material on the takeover of the Sierra Club in 2004 by radical pro-immigration and political correctness advocates, including Dees' role as a fake board candidate, see http://sierrademocracy.org/
- Wilcox, Laird. The Watchdogs. Olathe, Kansas: Editorial Research Service, 1999.
- Feb. 2014 page , current hate crime page 
- Byas, Steve (August 1, 2018). FBI Admits to Using Left-wing Southern Poverty Law Center. The New American. Retrieved August 1, 2018.
- Kantor, Myles. "Morris Dees' Defamation". FrontPage magazine, September 25, 2003. http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/Read.aspx?GUID=52878574-A7B7-4885-A6F9-58C15841D70C
- SPLC Watch
- the John Birch Society exposes the SPLC
- "Hate, Inc.: The SPLC Is a Hyper-Partisan Scam", National Review (written by a moderate conservative)