BREAKING: FBI used discredited SPLC to paint Catholics as extremists in internal report

It was the SPLC that the writer of the FBI bulletin used to determine that Catholics who prefer Latin Mass are white supremacist, LGBTQ-phobic, misogynistic anti-Semites.

Libby Emmons Brooklyn NY
Update: The FBI formally rescinded the SPLC-sourced document targeting traditional Catholics.

"While our standard practice is to not comment on specific intelligence products," the FBI said to Daily Signal in a comment, "this particular field office product—disseminated only within the FBI—regarding racially or ethnically motivated violent extremism does not meet the exacting standards of the FBI."

"Upon learning of the document, FBI Headquarters quickly began taking action to remove the document from FBI systems and conduct a review of the basis for the document," the bureau continued. "The FBI is committed to sound analytic tradecraft and to investigating and preventing acts of violence and other crimes while upholding the constitutional rights of all Americans and will never conduct investigative activities or open an investigation based solely on First Amendment protected activity."

Original story follows:

The FBI believes that white supremacy has taken root in Catholics who prefer Latin Mass, reports whistleblower Kyle Seraphin on UncoverDC. The FBI's Richmond, VA office took their findings from the widely debunked Southern Poverty Law Center, which was cited in an intelligence bulletin.

In essence, Catholics who prefer Latin Mass who are classified as "Radical-Traditionalist Catholics," per the FBI, are painted as having an "adherence to anti-Semitic, anti-immigrant, anti-LGBTQ and white supremacist ideology." The writer of the bulletin classifies RTCs as "typically characterized by the rejection of the Second Vatican Council."

Seraphin, who was indefinitely suspended from the FBI in June 2022 after six years with the agency, said that "An intelligence analyst within the Richmond Field Office of the FBI released in a new finished intelligence product dated January 23, 2023, on Racially or Ethnically Motivated Violent Extremists (RMVE) and their interests in 'Radical-Traditionalist Catholics' or RTCs. The document assesses with 'high confidence' the FBI can mitigate the threat of Radical-Traditionalist Catholics by recruiting sources within the Catholic Church."

The sources cited on that bulletin include articles from the SPLC, as well as the SPLC's list of "Radical Traditional Catholicism Hate Groups." It was the SPLC that the writer of the bulletin used, Seraphin states, to determine that this group of Catholics are white supremacist, LGBTQ-phobic, misogynistic anti-Semites. Speaking to The Daily Signal, Seraphin said "We got briefings that SPLC was not legitimate when I was at Quantico."

The other two sources listed for the bulletin are Salon and The Atlantic.

When the SPLC came after journalist Andy Ngo, editor-at-large with The Post Millennial, he replied to their request for comment by saying "Reputational slandering is a Southern Poverty Law Center smear tactic. Not content to impugn by guilt of association, you resort to guilt by implication now." That is the tactic with this bulletin, as well.

The SPLC has a history of defaming people based on their religion. In June 2018 they had to publicly apologize to Maajid Nawaz and the Quilliam Foundation for defaming them as "anti-Muslim extremists." The SPLC paid out $3.365 million to Nawaz over that.

In 2019, writing for Current Affairs, Nathan J. Robinson wrote that the organization "has long been dysfunctional," and that the SPLC has displayed "some of the worst and most hypocritical tendencies in American liberalism."

Alliance Defending Freedom states that while "The Southern Poverty Law Center was once a respected civil rights organization," it has "degenerated into a discredited and scandal-ridden group that one of its own employees described as 'a highly profitable scam.' After winning some important cases, the SPLC devolved into a fear mongering, money-raising machine. Out of that effort the now discredited 'hate map' was born." It is that "hate map" research that leads the SPLC to call traditionalist Catholics hatemongers, which in turn led to the FBI doing the same.

The document, dated January 23, 2023 from the FBI, is listed as unclassified and for official use only. It is titled "Interest of Racially or Ethnically Motivated Violent Extremists in Radical-Traditionalist Catholic Ideology Almost Certainly Presents New Mitigation Opportunities."

It reads: "FBI Richmond assesses the increasingly observed interest of racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists (RMVEs) in radical-traditionalist Catholic (RTC) ideology almost certainly presents opportunities for threat mitigation through the exploration of new avenues for tripwire and source development. FBI Richmond makes this assessment with high confidence based on FBI investigations, local law enforcement agency reporting, and liaison reporting, with varying degrees of corroboration and access.

"In making this assessment, FBI Richmond relied on the key assumption that RMVEs will continue to find RTC ideology attractive and will continue to attempt to connect with RTC adherents, both virtually via social media and in-person at places of worship. Indicators that would cause FBI Richmond to revise the judgments or confidence levels in its assessment include increases or decreased in RMVE subjects' attendance at RTC or traditionalist Catholic places of worship, increases or decreases in RMVE subjects' activity on social media platforms and forums maintained or frequented by RTCs; or the public distancing of prominent RTC or traditionalist Catholic personalities and institutions from RMVE ideologies."

In short, the FBI said they relied on varied sources, but instead they relied on the SPLC, Salon and The Atlantic, and they use a person's attendance at Catholic Mass to determine their degree of extremism, noting that if the person declines in their attendance, their threat level decreases.

The FBI, in this bulletin, is actively using a citizen's Catholic faith as a litmus test for their political ideology and likelihood of being a public threat.

The bulletin further says that "Open source reporting and FBI investigations have noted a growing overlap between the far-right white nationalist movement and RTCs. Illustrative of this has been the increasing collaboration of the far-right Catholic media outlet Christian Militant... with the America First/'groyper' movement. The ongoing convergence of the far-right white nationalist movement and RTCs was further demonstrated through the increase in hostility toward abortion-rights advocates on social media sites in the run-up to and the aftermath of the Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization decision that overturned Roe v. Wade. Much of the interaction between far-right white nationalists and RTCs takes place online, and adherents of RTCs and other far-right white nationalist groups frequently share language and symbolism, such as crusader or anti-Semitic discourses."

The FBI bulletin indicates that opposing abortion is a facet of white supremacy.

And the bulletin goes on to list "hate groups" as defined by the SPLC, along with a list of articles sourced from leftist outlets for the purpose of generating this memo.


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