Thursday, March 22, 2007

Update on the Investigation of John Sharpe by U.S. Navy

Officer denies accusations of anti-Semitism, by Andrew Scutro - Staff writer. Navy Times March 20, 2007:
Sharpe acknowledges that he operates the Web sites [Legion of St. Louis and IHS Press], but denies the charge that he is anti-Semitic.

“I am just trying to be a good Catholic as I see it,” he said in an interview.

Kudos to the Navy Times for getting Sharpe to acknowledge his involvement / ownership of the Legion of St. Louis. When I had confronted him in February 2006, he would only maintain:
I write on behalf of IHS Press as the editor. You should contact the Legion of St. Louis for information on their status or activities. IHS Press is not connected to the Legion of St. Louis. [Sharpe to author, February 25, 2006]
The Navy Times continues:
Heidi Beirich, a law center investigator who has focused on Sharpe, said he is a “radical traditionalist Catholic” who believes that Jews, Masons and others have conspired to undermine the Roman Catholic Church for the past 300 years.

She called a 2005 speech she saw [sic] Sharpe give “quite the anti-Zionist screed,” and said she witnessed him selling books at a gathering of a group, known as “American Renaissance,” that welcomes activists to “help the cause of whites,” according to its Web site.

Sharpe admits to attending the gathering but claims little knowledge of the group, describing it as perhaps “the white man’s version of the NAACP.” He defended his selling books at the event, and added that he has sold books at a meeting of progressive Democrats.

Beirich scoffed at Sharpe’s apparent ignorance of American Renaissance.

“Literally next to him, in the next booth, was a guy selling ‘White Power’ T-shirts,” Beirich said. “You had to be an idiot not to know where you were.”

Count me among the skeptics as to Sharpe's feigned ignorance of the nature of the American Renaissance conference. For an inkling as to what it was about, see Searchlight's coverage of the 2006 event (BNP leader embraced by top US nazis", by David Williams. April 2006):
. . . Perhaps the largest stall belonged to Light in the Darkness (LID) Publications run by J. Forrest Sharpe. LID is an imprint of the IHS Press founded in September 2001 “to bring back into print the classics of last century on the Social Teachings of the Catholic Church”, many of which are distributed in Britain by the International Third Position organisation. Also present was “Patriotic Flags” based in Charleston, whose catalogue includes numerous Nazi standards and neo-Confederate flags dedicated to Nathan Bedford Forrest, first Grand Wizard of the KKK in 1867. The Canadian stall disseminated mountains of reprints of old racial science and eugenic tracts originally published in the 1960s . . .
See further coverage in the Washington Post: Promoting 'Preservation' Of Whites in Suit and Tie, by Michael Laris. February 26, 2006.

Now, in the interest of fairness, one should distinguish between ideological commmitments and motivations: the American Renaissance characterizes itself as "white preservationist" -- its founder, Jared Taylor, has adopted an "open tent" approach to all who have an interest in "preserving" the white race, going so far as to welcome Jewish-racists into the fold.

The topic of the 2006 conference attended by IHS Press was on "The Global Crisis", the speakers addressing such issues as non-white immigration and the threat of Islam to those of "white, European Christian" descent. Stormfront's forum carried a list of featured speakers / addresses -- including Andrew Fraser on “Reversing the Racial Revolution: Reinventing a Responsible Ruling Class"; Philip Claeys - “Crushing Democracy: The Struggle for Flemish Nationalism,” and Jared Taylor on "“The White Man’s Disease: The Fantasy of Egalitarianism." So anti-semitism was not exactly the central theme of this event.

In fact, the presence of David Duke himself causing something of a stir and distraction. The Forward reports on the curious dilemma of attendence by racist Jews AND the neo-nazi fringe, and the inevitable tension that developed (White Nationalist Conference Ponders Whether Jews and Nazis Can Get Along ):

The events Saturday, February 25, passed without major incident. But then, late Sunday morning, none other than former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke approached the microphone on the floor during the question-and-answer session for French writer Guillaume Faye. After congratulating Faye for stirring remarks that “touched my genes,” Duke asked if there weren’t an even more insidious threat to the West than Islam.

“There is a power in the world that dominates our media, influences our government and that has led to the internal destruction of our will and our spirit,” Duke said.

“Tell us, tell us,” came a call from the back of the room.

“I’m not going to say it,” Duke said to rising laughter.

But Michael Hart, a squat, balding Jewish astrophysicist from Maryland, was not amused. He rose from his seat, strode toward Duke (who loomed over him like an Aryan giant), spit out a curse — “You f…ing Nazi, you’ve disgraced this meeting” — and exited.

As it happens, only a few minutes earlier Hart, a mainstay of American Renaissance conferences, had been trying to reassure Herschel Elias, a first-time attendee from suburban Philadelphia, that he should not let his observation that the meeting was “infiltrated by Nazis and Holocaust deniers” ruin his impression of American Renaissance.

Now, I do not think Sharpe is motivated by white-racism nor racial anti-semitism. Nor do I consider many of the publications of IHS Press itself to be particularly objectionable. Sharpe's not the only Catholic who favors distributism as an economic model and possesses an appreciation for G.K. Chesterton and Hillaire Belloc. And a good many Catholics, myself included, are greatly concerned about the encroachmment of Islam on Europe and the threat posed to Western civilization.

On the other hand, it boggles the mind how John Sharpe can protest that he's "just trying to be a good Catholic as I see it," -- and likewise maintain IHS Press' appearance as a "traditional Catholic publisher" -- and market his wares at political events of this nature. The 'American Renaissance' isn't a local gathering of a parish social justice committee or "liberal Democrats" or even (The latter being a radical anti-war group that, while objectionable to some, would nonetheless be a suitable vehicle for promotion of IHS Press' Neo-Conned series).

The 'American Renaissance', by contrast, is a gathering of "white preservationists" with an ideological agenda of a far more radical nature.

Moving on, the Navy Times' article finds Sharpe engaged in some rather incredible verbal gymnastics on the Jewish question:

The Legion of St. Louis site contains several essays Sharpe says he wrote. They include a series of commentaries about the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and an article titled “Judaism and the Vatican: Part II,” in which he wrote: “On the socio-political front, do those leading the Church realize that to preach against anti-Semitism — on Jewish terms — is not to condemn irrational hatred based on race or creed?” The article concludes with the admonition from one of Sharpe’s intellectual heroes [Fr. Denis Fahey], who said that “every sane thinker should be an anti-Semite.”

About Sept. 11, he wrote: “Anti-terrorism would not be a question of a better luggage X-ray machine, but ... better still, how to declare war on Islam and wage at the same time a war of independence on behalf of the U.S. government and the world financial system against international Judeo-Masonry.”

“I had my own take on the whole World Trade Center thing,” he said. “It’s nothing I can say I am ashamed to have written. It’s all things I think. It’s very valid.”

In an interview, Sharpe disavowed any interest in the Holocaust.

“I’ve tried to avoid it like the plague because it’s an area of interest I don’t want to get into,” he said.

But in the same article referenced above, he wrote: “That event, dubbed The Holocaust, is the focal point for the Jews insofar as it can be used to ensure that Christian civilization will never rise again ... because of the unacceptable consequences of its previous existence.”

Yet while denying that he espouses anti-Semitic theories, Sharpe stands by his articles.

“All I can say is what I’ve written is what I believe,” he said.

Additional Coverage:

Monday, March 12, 2007

John Sharpe Investigated by United States Navy

From the Navy Times (Carrier PAO relieved pending investigation Sunday March 11, 2007):
NORFOLK, Va. — The public affairs officer for the aircraft carrier Carl Vinson has been temporarily relieved of duty following allegations that he was involved in supremacist activities.

Lt. Cmdr. John Sharpe was relieved of his duties Wednesday pending the outcome of an investigation, according to Jim Brantley, a spokesman for Fleet Forces Command.

Brantley said the Navy began a formal investigation after receiving an inquiry from Jenny O’Donnell of Port Folio Weekly, a Hampton Roads alternative newspaper, asking about Sharpe and “alleging his involvement in possible supremacist activities.”

Sharpe could not be reached for comment Friday afternoon.

“Evidently he’s affiliated with an anti-Semitic group, and that’s illegal in the U.S. Navy,” Brantley said. Brantley cited Navy Regulation 1167, which states, “No person in the Naval Service shall participate in any organization that espouses supremacist causes.”

Brantley said Sharpe reported aboard the Vinson in June 2006; he is on administrative leave during the investigation.

The Vinson is currently undergoing a refueling and complex overhaul at the Northrop Grumman Newport News shipyard.

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks white supremacists and hate groups, Sharperuns two “radical traditionalist” Catholic organizations that espouse anti-Semitic views, the Legion of St. Louis and IHS Press.

Read what the Southern Poverty Law Center had to say about Sharpe.

See also:

  • Navy officer relieved of duty amid anti-Semitic accusations, by STEVEN G. VEGH, The Virginian-Pilot March 10, 2007:
    . . . "What do you mean, anti-Semitic? Have I advocated harming people because they're Jewish, hating people because they're Jewish, having any attitude to them because they're Jewish or any other religion? Absolutely not."

    He said IHS is principally a publisher of old titles by Catholic writers such as Hilaire Belloc and G.K. Chesterton.

    Sharpe said he founded the Legion seven years ago as a Web-based forum for discussion on how Catholicism related to contemporary social and economic issues. He said the site has been inactive since 2002.

    According to its Web site, the Legion's goals include "permeating society with the Faith" and combatting "the Judeo-Masonic tendencies of the modern social order."

  • Naval officer accused of activity in hate groups Richmond Times Dispatch March 11, 2007.

On IHS Press / Legion of St. Louis' political extremism

Possession of Belloc and Chesterton hardly counts as incriminating evidence. On the other hand, the Legion of St. Louis' distribution of Michael Hoffmann's Judaism's Strange Gods, Prainaitis' The Talmud Unmasked and Henry Ford's The International Jew is a tad more disconcerting.

Likewise, it is curious why a website that was, according to Sharpe, "inactive since 2002", would remain online and active in 2007. One would think if you're distancing yourself from politically extremist and compromising ties one might take it offline, rather than renew the domain name and pay for the hosting.

While IHS Press has sought to present itself as a "Catholic publisher", Sharpe certainly hasn't explained to anybody's satisfaction how his friend and co-founder of IHS Press Derek Holland was a featured speaker at a nationalist convention of the German NPD, or more recently, IHS Press' prominent booth at a white nationalist convention in 2006? Question: Why would a Catholic publisher even seek to peddle his wares to this crowd? Evangelization?!?

Is the U.S. Navy's Investigation Warranted?

Consider some excerpts from one of many articles recently published on Neoconned's website:

Iraq now is occupied and we feel that Iraqis have the legitimate right to resist the occupation. The Baath Party is the leader of the Resistance that will liberate it from the Anglo-Saxon Zionist occupation. We feel that the liberation of Iraq will be achieved very soon and a very progressive leadership will be born that will lead the Arabs to liberate historic Palestine. As a result Arab Unity will be closer to being realized.

Yes indeed we support Saddam Hussein because he is the legitimate President. He is a prisoner of war and those who are living in four square miles - the so-called “Green Zone” - are both traitors and illegitimate because they are the puppets and agents of the occupiers. In no way do they represent the people of Iraq or our ambitions...

Saddam Hussein represents the hope for freedom, unity and liberation. He is a firm believer in the liberation of Palestine, and, therefore, he deserves our support. [...] My opinion is very clear: the Resistance is legitimate and those who are part of the occupational political process are traitors and enemies of the Iraqi people. They should be treated as such.

Source: (An Interview with Ibrahim Ebeid Neo-Conned Blog. IHS Press. May 6, 2006.

Now, there is a line between "principled religious opposition" to the war in Iraq -- of which one can point to many examples, even good Catholics who contributed to the Neo-Conned volumes themselves -- and another to publish and promote propaganda clearly advocating the murder of U.S. forces abroad and members of the Iraqi government. That this interview was published on a radical website run by Lieutenant Commander of the United States Navy -- who may very well be called into military service -- should give one pause.

While FringeWatch's original dispute centered on the extremist ties of the founders of IHS Press, it is my opinion that Sharpe's involvement in this project merits the concern of the U.S. Navy.