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Southern Poverty Law Center Exposed as 'Big Money Smear Machine'

Actor George Clooney recently donated $1 million to the Southern Poverty Law Center to "fight for equality." (George Clooney Facebook page )

CNN recently threw in with the widely discredited Southern Poverty Law Center's efforts to suppress freedom of speech by those who do not share its radical leftist and pro-Sharia-supremacist agenda by posting as "news" a story about SPLC-designated "hate groups" in America.

Many of the groups on the list, which includes the Center for Security Policy, have called out CNN not only for disseminating such fraudulent propaganda, but for possibly placing each of these groups in mortal danger. Five years ago this month, the SPLC's listing was used by an individual who sought to kill employees of one of the designated groups, the Family Research Council.

Center for Security Policy President and CEO Frank J. Gaffney said exposure of the SPLC for what it is—a political warfare machine cum money-generating fraud scheme—is long overdue. According to, where Gaffney serves as a contributor, SPLC's dishonest targeting of its opponents, its off-shore bank accounts and its devious fundraising schemes have exposed them as nothing more than, to quote Harper's Magazine, a "relentless fund-raising campaign, peddling memberships in the church of tolerance with all the zeal of a circuit rider passing the collection plate."

"The SPLC has fooled many people by its very misleading name," Gaffney said. "The word 'poverty' causes people to think this group is helping the poor and defending the downtrodden. But nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, the SPLC wages political warfare for profit from its ornate offices in Montgomery, Alabama, and bankrolling in the process an endowment of $319.3 million, much of it in offshore Cayman Island accounts."

Read Kimberley A. Strassel's Wall Street Journal article, "J.P. Morgan's Hate List: What is its gift to the Southern Poverty Law Center telling bank customers?" that quotes leaders from the Center for Security Policy.

Thanks to CNN and other slavishly supportive leftist media, the SPLC's bank balances jumped considerably in the past week, as actor George Clooney and his wife, Amal, donated $1 million to "fight for equality," and Apple chipped in another million, encouraging its employees to give as well.

Further evidence of the true nature of the Southern Poverty Law Center can be found in the decision of the FBI three years ago to dumped the SPLC as a valid "resource."  Shortly thereafter, a 2014 editorial in the Washington Times laid bare the true intent of the SPLC—namely, making money.

"Something called the Southern Poverty Law Center sounds like a harmless do-good organization of idealistic young lawyers out to make life better for poor folks in the South, most of them likely black," the editorial read. "Who wouldn't want to make life better for poor folks? But looks can be deceiving. The poverty law center ... is actually a money-making scheme—some have called it a 'scam'—of an Alabama lawyer who set out years ago to get rich on the backs of the poor and the duped."

In fact, SPLC co-founder Morris Dees' business partner, Millard Fuller explains: "Morris and I, from the first day of our partnership, shared the overriding purpose of making a pile of money. We were not particular about how we did it; we just wanted to be independently rich. During the eight years we worked together, we never wavered in that resolve." 

Just how—and to extent—they profited was exposed in 2004 by then-Washington Times Editor-in-Chief Wesley Pruden. He wrote that Dees "won a judgment for a black woman whose son was killed by Klansmen. She received $51,875 as settlement. Mr. Dees, according to an investigation by the Montgomery Advertiser, pulled in $9 million from fund-raising solicitation letters that featured a particularly gruesome photograph of the grieving mother's son. Mr. Dees ... offered the grieving mother none of the $9 million her son's death made for him."

In an op-ed in the Aug. 24 New York Times, world-renowned human rights activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali asked:

Cui bono [who benefits]? That question is nearly always the right one to ask of organizations like the SPLC. Who really benefits from their activities? Repeatedly, and for more than a decade, journalists at publications ranging from Harper's to Politico to The Nation to The Weekly Standard have pointed out that the center's founders seem more interested in profiting off the anxieties and white guilt of Northern liberals than in upholding the civil rights of poor Southerners, or anyone else. There's a less cynical explanation, though, which is that liberals are deeply and increasingly uncomfortable with calling out Islamic extremism for fear of being smeared as "Islamophobic," or worse. Regardless, the SPLC's decision to target those who speak up for the civil rights of Muslims is a travesty.

Now, as more and more Americans fight for their own rights of speech and assembly against the SPLC's odious attempts to crush them with its fraudulent "hate group" designations, The Federalist identified "12 Ways The Southern Poverty Law Center Is A Scam To Profit From Hate-Mongering," including the following:

  • It's a big-money smear machine
  • Its work has incited violence
  • SLPC uses emotion-laden images to spread innuendo
  • Its nonprofit status masks highly political fundraising
  • Civil rights activists say its founder is "a con man"
  • SPLC propaganda seems to encourage hoax hate crimes

In a recent "Secure Freedom Minute," Gaffney's daily radio commentary that airs on 200 stations, he also referenced the SPLC and a new Rasmussen poll, which found that 85 percent of Americans surveyed believe that "the right to free speech is 'more important than making sure no one is offended by what others say.'"

"This poll was conducted in the midst of the most sustained assault on freedom of speech in memory," Gaffney said. "Radical leftists are using violence and the threat of it to silence others. The Southern Poverty Law Center is encouraging such behavior by smearing political opponents as 'haters' and 'bigots.' Muslim Brotherhood front groups are piling on, seeking to enforce Sharia blasphemy laws. And the U.S. Senate recently unanimously adopted a resolution that feeds into the narrative that suppressing speech is justified to counter 'hate crimes.' If Americans prize their freedom of speech, they must exercise it now to preserve the First Amendment—or risk losing it forever."

For 25 years, the Center for Security Policy has pioneered the organization, management and direction of public policy coalitions to promote U.S. national security. Even more importantly, the Center's mission has been to secure the adoption of the products of such efforts by skillfully enlisting support from executive branch officials, key legislators, other public policy organizations and opinion-shapers in the media and the public at large.

Under Gaffney's leadership as founder, president and CEO, the Center has been nationally and internationally recognized as a resource for timely, informed and penetrating analyses of foreign and defense policy matters. Gaffney has served in many high-level security posts, and is also an author, columnist and radio host. His hour-long, nationally syndicated program airs every weeknight, and his daily "Secure Freedom Minute" commentaries are heard on 200 stations coast-to-coast.

For more information on Frank Gaffney and the Center for Security Policy, visit or follow the Center for Security Policy on Facebook or Twitter @securefreedom.

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