The Southern Poverty Law Center

A National Policy Institute Staff Report
Part One

The Distortions, Deceptions, and Ideological Agenda of the Nation’s Foremost “Watchdog of Hate”

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) ranks among the foremost vigilant of left-wing organizations working to thwart the impact and activities of right wing “extremist” groups in the U.S. The SPLC has positioned itself, arguably second to only the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) in terms of fundraising, influence and effectiveness, as the leading Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) that serves as a domestic surveillance operation in monitoring and disrupting their adversaries. For more than 30 years, the SPLC has cultivated a carefully crafted image in the mass media as an objective and reliable source of information on America’s far-right fringe groups, and as an intrepid campaigner for civil rights and racial egalitarianism. However, critics from across the ideological spectrum have detected in the SPLC’s modus operandi an ideologically driven agenda that relies upon manufactured or distorted information in a smear campaign against its enemies by alleging “links” between them and extremist individuals and groups. Through adroit manipulation of such, often ethereal, “links” in its propaganda, the SPLC has often been able to smear its opponents far more effectively in the public arena than Sen. Joe McCarthy and his allies. Unlike McCarthy’s critics, who helped create a political backlash over “guilt by association” tactics, the SPLC has waged an effective smear campaign with flawed “guilt by linkage” affiliations. The SPLC has won a series of lawsuits against far-right fringe groups in the past, winning large but uncollectible judgments, then using the cases for its highly successful fundraising efforts. The SPLC has its charity base among wealthy leftists and has amassed a war chest in excess of $150 million. It continues to come under scrutiny for its fund-raising practices as a non-profit organization, and year after year receives unreliable ratings from charity watchdog groups for stockpiling charitable funds. The following two-part report documents the SPLC’s own ideological campaigns to discredit individuals on the political right, and shows the extent of the group’s influence and selective manipulation of facts to exaggerate the threat that “hate groups” pose to the security of the nation. Moreover, it illustrates the SPLC’s own extremist agenda by citing information on its own website, and its subsidiary’s website,, which reveals the SPLC’s ideological and political agenda as a far-left organization with an actual agenda far from that of its public image.

Part II will continue with the Southern Poverty Law Center’s methods, fundraising tactics, and efforts to influence law enforcement.

Report here: