Anti-semites don't deserve our War Memorial Hall: a letter to Cathy Casey
I am contacting you about the day-long symposium which Uncensored magazine has announced it will be holding on the 26th of April at the Mt Albert War Memorial Hall. Uncensored is selling tickets to the event for fifty dollars, and promising a range of speakers.
Uncensored magazine is edited by Jonathan Eisen, who is one of New Zealand's leading conspiracy theorists. Eisen believes that events like the 9/11 attacks, the economic crisis and global warming are the work of a sinister and secret international cabal. Many of the contributors to Uncensored equate this cabal with the Jewish people.
The January-March issue of Uncensored offers examples of the magazine's anti-semitism. The cover of the issue shows Barack Obama with a star of David on his sleeve, suggesting he is a tool of Jews. An article inside called 'The Unspeakable Truth of 9/11' insists that the Israeli spy agency Mossad orchestrated the attacks on the World Trade Centre, and another article called 'The Real Agenda behind the Monetary Crisis' calls the world's media 'Jewish-occupied' and claims that Jews control the American Federal Reserve. Yet another article claims that Monica Lewinsky was a Mossad agent, and calls her 'President Clinton's chunky Jewish girlfriend'. The new, April-June issue of Uncensored takes the anti-semitic theme even further - it includes an article alleging that the diary of famous Holocaust victim Anne Frank was a hoax.
Many of the contributors to Uncensored have strong connections with the neo-Nazi movement. The author of the article that attacks Lewinsky is Christopher Bollyn, who regularly writes for the Barnes Review, a publication which exists to deny the Holocaust and rehabilitate the Nazi regime. In the Review's July/August 2004 issue, for example, Alex S Perry jr argued that Adolf Hitler was a good man who should have received the Nobel Peace Prize.
Uncensored also features the work of local bigots. The January-March issue, for instance, includes an article called 'Suppressed Ancient History of New Zealand' by Martin Doutre, a man who has become notorious for his claims that ancient Celts arrived in New Zealand thousands of years ago, before being conquered and eaten by the ancestors of the Maori in relatively recent times. Doutre believes that Maori lacked the intelligence to create the culture commonly associated with them, and insists that taonga like hei tiki and carved wharenui were actually created by white people. Doutre is an outspoken defender of the jailed Holocaust denier David Irving, and is a leading member of the One New Zealand Foundation, which opposes all forms of Maori culture.
The keynote speaker at the Uncensored symposium is Lloyd Pye, an American researcher who claims that human beings interbred with alien thousands of years ago. Pye's ideas have been promoted by many people on the extreme right, because they provide an excuse for disregarding the evidence that all humans come from the same ancestors in Africa.
In his advertisement for the Uncensored symposium, Jonathan Eisen encourages the public to visit the website Red Ice Creations to find out more about Lloyd Pye's ideas. Red Ice Creations is a large, slickly produced clearing house for conspiracy theories. It regularly features the work of Holocaust deniers and other bigots. On the third of this month, for instance, the site's owners posted and recommended a new video by the Adeliade Insitute, an Australian neo-Nazi organisation, called 'Judea Declares War on Germany'. In the video, Adelaide Institute leader Frederick Tobin argues that Auschwitz and other Nazi concentration camps never had gas chambers, and says that the Jews rather than Hitler were to blame for World War Two.
Martin Doutre will be giving a talk on his interpretation of Maori history at the upcoming Uncensored symposium. Jonathan Eisen will be chairing the conference, and the money from ticket sales will go to his magazine. Some of the speakers at the symposium plan to address less political subjects, like the New Age fad of naturopathy, and it is possible that they do not realise the nature of Uncensored magazine and the politics of people like Martin Doutre and Jonathan Eisen. I will be contacting these people to ask them to withdraw from the event.
I accept that Jonathan Eisen and other contributors to Uncensored have the right to free speech and assembly, but I don't think that they should be able to use the Mt Albert War Memorial Hall to promote their views and make money. The hall is a public asset that is supposed to commemorate the loss of New Zealand life in war, and to serve the needs of the community around it. I don't believe that our community needs Jew-baiting and Maori-bashing. I think it is particularly inappropriate that Uncensored plans to use the hall on an Anzac weekend, when New Zealanders will be remembering the thousands of their countrymen and women who died opposing the same Nazi ideology that so many of the contributors to Uncensored promote.
I hope that you will use your influence as a City Councillor for the Eden-Albert ward to prevent Uncensored from misusing the Mt Albert War Memorial Hall.