By Bradley R. Smith
*** I did my first public interview in years for The League of Extraordinary Revisionists (LOER). Inspired and developed by the triumvirate of Fred Leuchter, Jim Rizoli and Diane King, LOER is reaching out to the ‘old corps’ of revisionists, providing a venue through the interview process for these revisionists and also to those not yet so well known. Rizoli and his team are in Framingham, Massachusetts. When possible, he will record the interview with a camera. That’s how he handled those with Fred Leuchter and Germar Rudolf. Robert Faurisson, Frederick Toben and myself were interviewed using the Skype program. With Skype, the images are much less clear than with an on-location camera. I was a little shaken by seeing how old I look on Skype. Is that me? Well, yes, it is. And there we are.
Prior to the interview Diane King sent me a list of questions to consider answering and suggested I might have others to add. She asked that I tell them a little about “myself, my family history, education, career and work history, my personal life, revisionism, how I became aware of revisionist issues, how I happened to create CODOH, the hearing I have gotten on campus, and my involvement, if any, in the Zuendel case.” And the last one, “What do I see as my mission in life now?”
Well, these were questions about “my” story. That’s one of the things I do. I didn’t see a need for any further questions. I would be able to go on about those that were suggested for as long as Jim Rizoli wished. With regard to that last question: we never got around to it. I was too distracted talking about how I grew up in a little house in South-Central Los Angeles that had started out as a goat shed. Anyhow, the interview can be seen here . I’m told that it is amusing and at times even interesting.
*** A letter to Greg Lukianoff, President and CEO of Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE). I have seen to it that it has been widely distributed to free-speech organizations around the country. It is posted on the important Swiss Website of Frank Brunner in English and has been translated into French for distribution in Western Europe:
President and CEO
Foundation for Individual Rights in Education
170 S. Independence Mall W., Suite 510
Philadelphia, PA 19106
Phone: 215-717-FIRE (3473)
The essay that won first place in FIRE’s 2014-2015 Academia Essay Contest was quite uplifting. You awarded it to Arianna Samet, a junior at Ma’ayanot Yeshiva High School in Teaneck, New Jersey, for her essay, “America is The Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave. But…Are its Universities?”
At the same time, her references to her grandparents and their experiences in the Holocaust struck me as ironic in their context of freedom of speech, because the orthodox Holocaust narrative today constitutes the greatest force extant in America, in the world, against freedom of speech. The context of her essay was freedom of speech in colleges and universities in America today, but the scope of the Holocaust’s erosion of free speech under the direction of American college academics and administrators is fully global, extending far beyond even the countries in which the events themselves occurred.
Her celebration of America’s freedom of speech is quite valid vis-à-vis that of other Western, “democratic” countries such as France and Germany, where the jails contain prisoners convicted of Holocaust “Denial,” usually under the rubric of “false news” or “racial incitement.” No such crime exists in the statutes of the United States, though spreading laws against “hate speech” make inroads of the kind that may soon be used for the purpose of suppressing speech that is free.
But getting back to the American university campus and FIRE, the organization dedicated to freedom of speech on campus, the situation is such, as I should think, would arouse foreboding in Ms. Samet’s grandparents. Just last month, in an interview with his college’s newspaper, Cameron Weaver of American River Community College mentioned that he found certain aspects of what he had been taught about the Holocaust to be dubious. These remarks were reported among others he made during the interview, and a movement immediately arose to recall him from the position to which his fellow students had elected him on the board of trustees of his college. The president of the college felt called upon to disavow and condemn the “anti-Semitic” prejudices that had been imputed to him on the strength of his remarks.
All this is disturbing enough, but what redoubles the import of the situation, especially for FIRE, is that FIRE made no move whatever to support or protect Weaver for expressing his honest opinion on a matter of history to a reporter who was interviewing him for the student newspaper, the American River Current. Not only that, among the dozens of cases FIRE proudly recounts as examples of its unrelenting battle in support of free speech on campus, I have been unable to discover even one in which a student attacked for expressing improper thoughts regarding the Holocaust received the slightest support from FIRE for the student’s right to do so.
FIRE’s announcement mentions that Ms. Samet attends a Yeshiva, so Holocaust “denial” is no doubt a phenomenon very far from her experience. Yet many students on other campuses would entertain such views if only the facts that are now vigorously suppressed as Holocaust “denial” could be expressed without fear of retribution such as that suffered by Cameron Weaver.
It’s a big world out here and Ms. Samet appears to be willing to enter it with an open mind and a good set of values. I hope she retains those virtues and will continue to deploy her eloquence in support of the fine ideals that FIRE espouses with so much energy, but which you, the President and CEO of FIRE, so selectively embody in your actions.
San Ysidro CA 92143
209 682 5327
*** Arthur Butz introduces a new word to Smith’s online vocabulary. In a private email to half a dozen of us Professor Butz commented on the fact that Smith’s Report will no longer be printed in hard copy but will be published online only. Following is a brief excerpt from that communication.
“Here is a difference between online and print: the former is very easily forgotten, but the latter, like a dead mackerel shining and stinking in the moonlight, is not easily forgotten, since it is always there until I act on it. The print publication is intrusive on my activities. Once I decide, in a general way, there might be something of interest there, I have to do something about it.
“That has been the value of the campus project. It has been intrusive. As I recall, the first national publicity BRS got was in connection with the campus project. It was intrusive. While it is important to maintain the intellectual quality of CODOH’s online offerings, it should be borne in mind that they are not intrusive.”
The word “intrusive” perfectly encompasses the thrust of my work over all these years, up to and including today. My work has always been to take revisionism to the public in the most “intrusive” way possible. Radio, television, ads in campus newspapers. Sometimes it works famously, sometimes not.
The last month I had text links running in The Vermont Cynic and The Daily Iowan featuring A Personal History of Moral Decay. They failed. Psychologically, those six words were not “intrusive.” I won’t use them again, but choose words that cannot fail but to be read as intrusive. We’ll see.
*** We had family over for Christmas dinner. Eight adults, five young kids. Ham, turkey, potato salad, Waldorf salad, sweet potatoes, green salad, dressing, red wine and stuff I can’t remember. Irene did everything. I spent a lot of time laying down that week and working while she did everything, including making curtains, hanging lights, putting up the tree. I commented on those facts and she replied that that’s the way she is. She’s a “guerilla.” Somehow the brain pulled up the image of Che Guevara in his beret on a red background. I said that from now on I would refer to her as Mrs. Che.
She said: “Che, Chong, Chu, Chow. Whatever. I do what’s needed.”
The moment had come to begin dinner. All that was necessary was for Irene to say grace. As she began to ask God to bless each individual by name at the table I heard a rain begin to fall on the roof. She prayed that God bless each one, each by name. As she got into it I could feel her heart filling up, her voice thickening with emotion, the rain falling evermore heavily on the roof. As she finished, her voice full of tears and gratitude, the rain dumped a last torrent of water on the roof and then faded away. I assured myself that it was only coincidence.
*** And then there was this. Day before yesterday we were both in the living room when the house phone rang. Irene answered it and in the next moment, her voice deep, loud, at the point of screaming but not high-pitched. Deep! Demanding!
“WHERE IS MY DAUGHTER? WHERE IS MY DAUGHTER?”
I didn’t know what to make of it. I just sat there.
She put her hand over the phone and told me. A man was on the line. He had Paloma. He was demanding $1,000 immediately or he would personally saw off Paloma’s head and leave it on the Boulevard.
And then Irene began to pray for the man on the phone. Loud, grim, demanding. Without pause. Praying for God, yelling into the telephone, to save this man from an eternity in Hell. After several minutes she stopped the most unusual prayer I had ever heard. The man had hung up his phone. We called Paloma at her apartment. She was fine. She laughed at the story. But she didn’t ignore it. She had planned to drive south to inquire about a job that might be available. Now she would not. She would play it safe that night.
We are still a little unsettled. The voice knew Paloma, knew what kind of car she drives.
And so it goes (to coin a phrase).
*** If you find the work I have done these last 25 and 30 years, and trust that the work I intend to do now is worthwhile, please take a moment to contribute to:
PO Box 439016
San Ysidro CA 92143
Or Online here