The smear merchants of the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) may have set out to destroy the wrong lawyer. PJ Media is reporting that last month, Glen Keith Allen, a Baltimore attorney, filed suit against the SPLC, alleging the left-wing hate group paid for stolen documents, violated confidentiality agreements, and caused him to be fired by the City of Baltimore over Allen’s former association with the National Alliance (NA), a white nationalist group.
Allen has admitted to his past support for the NA and now claims he deeply regrets that association.
Allen’s lawsuit basically accuses the SPLC of punishing “thought crime” through intimidation and character assassination. According to the complaint, the SPLC has chosen to “draw lines of political or cultural orthodoxy, develop massive surveillance networks and extensive dossiers and severely punish perceived transgressors who cross those lines, seem to cross them, or even seem to think about crossing them.
“This East Europe Communist thought-crime surveillance mentality is antithetical to fundamental American cultural and Constitutional principles protecting freedom of expression and association,” Allen wrote in the complaint.
In 2016, the SPLC published an article written by Heidi Beirich, the head of the SPLC’s Intelligence Project, which referred to Allen as “neo-Nazi lawyer” and implied that his work for the City of Baltimore was racist. At the time, Allen was working for the city and had filed one motion in a case brought against the city by a black man who was wrongly accused of murder. Shortly after the article came out, Allen was fired by the city. Allen also found himself “blacklisted,” making it extremely difficult for him to find another job.
The suit specifically names Beirich, former SPLC Editor in Chief Mark Potok and the SPLC itself as defendants. Allen is seeking $6.5 million in damages and also asks that the SPLC lose its 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status because of racketeering, mail and wire fraud, false statements on tax forms, and defamation campaigns against its perceived enemies.
In 2014, the NA hired accountant Randolph Dilloway to clean up its accounts, which were in disarray. The NA’s chairman, Will Williams, had Dilloway sign confidentiality agreements as a condition of his employment. On May 3 of 2015, Williams confronted Dilloway, accusing the accountant of poor work. Dilloway then left the NA’s headquarters, taking one of the organization’s laptops and numerous thumb drives with him.
The stolen thumb drives contained the information that Beirich would use to write the story on Allen and sully his reputation.
Williams told PJ Media, “I drew up an eight-page employment agreement with Dilloway, trying to be professional, and I think three of those pages were about non-disclosure.”
Dilloway “contacted” the SPLC on May 6. This is, allegedly, when the stolen thumb drives were obtained by the SPLC and Beirich. Beirich called Williams ahead of a May 20 story entitled Chaos at the Compound, a story critical of the NA. At that time, Williams reportedly informed Beirich and the SPLC that the documents on the thumb drives were, in fact, stolen property.
Whether Dilloway was an SPLC plant or just a paid informant is open to interpretation. But it’s awfully fishy that the stolen thumb drives were in the SPLC’s hands just three days after they were stolen.
That the SPLC uses such underhanded tactics shouldn’t be surprising. While the organization claims to “monitor” the activity of “hate” groups, Potok is on record saying that their real intention is to “destroy” groups they disagree with. “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.”
Because the SPLC is so devious in its attacks against those they consider “hate” groups, it’s especially troubling that so many of today’s social-media and internet giants still consider the organization an arbiter of what sort of speech is acceptable. Facebook, Amazon, Google, and Twitter all consult with the SPLC as to what should be considered “hate speech” on their various platforms.
But organizations targeted by the SPLC are starting to catch on and are challenging the smear group in court. In addition to Allen’s suit, more than 60 separate organizations are considering legal action against the SPLC.
In 2016, the SPLC published its Field Guide to Anti-Muslim Extremists, in which it listed Muslim reformer and practicing Muslim Maajid Nawaz as being one such extremist. Supporters of Nawaz wrote a letter condemning the defamation and Nawaz was awarded $3.375 million and a public apology by the SPLC. The matter didn’t even go to court, suggesting that the SPLC knows that it was in the wrong.
The Nawaz case suggests that the SPLC is aware of its wrongdoing and fears legal scrutiny in such matters. Hopefully, the Allen case or one of the many cases soon to come will shine a bright light on the fraudulent SPLC and their hatemongering ways.