Friday, October 14, 2011
Dr. Pierce on where to draw the line in tolerating and forgiving liars
An Ethical Question
An editorial from the National Alliance Founder and Chairman to his membership in that organization's internal monthly Members BULLLETIN, July, 1995:
Several recent issues of Spotlight, a weekly tabloid for patriotic-conservative readers which is published in Washington, DC, have carried direct and indirect attacks on me, alleging that I am an enemy agent of some sort. Specifically, the Spotlight hinted a couple of months ago that I am an "FBI asset," and in the July 17 issue it expressed the belief that I am a "government ringer — probably an FBI informant."
These attacks are a renewal of a 24-year-old campaign of defamation against me by Spotlight's owner, Willis Carto. The campaign began in 1971, shortly after I founded the National Youth Alliance. At that time I was being helped by a former employee of Carto's, Louis Byers, and Carto thought it prudent to destroy the fledgling organization rather than let is grow into a competitor. He was concerned that Byers would teach me the fund-raising techniques learned while in Carto's employ and would help me enlist some of Carto's financial supporters as supporters for the National Youth Alliance.
The recent outburst of libels in Spotlight is in response to the informal relationship which exists between the Alliance and the Institute for Historical Review/ Noontide Press, with which Carto was affiliated until his ouster a couple of years ago: National Vanguard sells a number of books published by the IHR and Noontide Press, and Noontide Press advertises one book (my Gun Control in Germany, 1938-1945) published by us. Carto has been engaged in an extremely bitter fight with IHR/Noontide Press ever since he was given the boot, and his tactic is to attack anyone he regards as an ally of his enemy.
Now, there are honest disagreements aplenty among persons who are opposed to the present government in Washington and its policies, and all too often these disagreements lead to public fights. The Alliance's ideology and/or policies are different from those of many individuals and organizations with whom we maintain friendly liaison or even collaborate actively. In such cases we try to keep our differences out of the way and focus on the things which can be mutually beneficial, and we have been able to avoid public fights.
The attacks on me by Carto are not the result of any honest disagreement. They are conscious, deliberate, and unprovoked lies. Carto uses lies as a tactic in fighting those he perceives as enemies, as well as in attracting donations from those who support him.
"'All's fair in love and war'...Deceiving an enemy in time of war never has been regarded as reprehensible."
It has been said, "All's fair in love and war," and indeed most of us feel no obligation to be truthful in dealing with those who are trying to destroy our race. If a lie will gain us an advantage in this war, then we feel obliged to lie. Deceiving an enemy in time of war never has been regarded as reprehensible. At the same time, however, most of us believe that lying in other circumstances — merely to gain a personal advantage, for example — is dishonorable.
Where does one draw the line between justifiable and unjustifiable lying? Carto could say that his lies about me are justified, because he is fighting for the survival of his various enterprises, including Spotlight, and Spotlight is an important asset in the war against America's enemies. He could even justify the lies in Spotlight intended to bring in large donations from its readers in the same way: fooling suckers in order to get donations from them is justified, as long as the donations are used for a good purpose, such as publishing more issues of Spotlight.
This sort of justification is troubling. More troubling are the people who don't even worry about justifications. Carto may be a crook, they say, but he is doing good, and so we should not speak ill of him. And, to give the devil his due, Carto has done some good things. He was the principal mover in launching the IHR 17 years ago, for example, even though he now stands accused by the IHR's directors of embezzling more than $7,000,000 in IHR funds and may end up in prison on that charge. When he was kicked out of the IHR, he used his money to launch a competing revisionist publication, The Barnes Review, which is an admirable little magazine.
"Where does one draw the line between justifiable
and unjustifiable lying?"
Spotlight, (Now American Free Press) Carto's principal asset, is not one of the good things he has done. Its appeal is primarily to elderly cranks — and to a certain number of younger cranks as well. It caters to the credulous and the naive, to readers who like to be titillated with what is billed as "inside" information about the "Conspiracy." It has carried numerous articles about miraculous cancer cures suppressed by the greedy medical establishment, about miraculous energy sources suppressed by the greedy oil companies, and about miraculous schemes for keeping one's savings away from the greedy Internal Revenue Service. It always has had a low regard for the truth and a sure instinct for the issues that would make elderly, conspiracy-minded conservatives reach for their checkbooks.
Despite its National Enquirer flavor — or perhaps because of that — Spotlight has become the most widely read periodical in the conservative, anti-government camp. That fact does not speak well for the powers of discrimination of the anti-government forces. Fortunately, not many Alliance members are Spotlight readers. Nevertheless, some are, and so the case of Willis Carto serves as a relevant illustration of the ethical question with which we should be concerned: Should lying of the sort in which Carto engages be tolerated or forgiven, because he is approximately on "our side"? More generally, should behavior of the sort which would not be tolerated by honorable men in a civilized society be tolerated under our present circumstances?
"Among our ancestors, long before Christianity, thieves and liars were not tolerated, because lying and stealing destroyed the bond of trust between neighbors..."
I believe that it should not. I put a short section in our Membership Handbook about the amoral person. I believe that most members agree with me on this question in a general way. Nevertheless, I have seen too many examples of amoral behavior on the part of people who claim to be on "our side" — and not just Carto. There seems to be a feeling that because our society is falling apart all the bonds of right behavior have been loosened, and that we aren't obliged to judge people by the same strict standards which prevailed a century ago. We see so much crookedness on the part of politicians, bureaucrats, and the media today that our moral sense becomes numbed.
Right behavior did not develop among our people simply for its own sake or for religious reasons. It developed because it was conducive to our survival and progress as a people. Among our ancestors, long before Christianity, thieves and liars were not tolerated, because lying and stealing destroyed the bond of trust between neighbors which was necessary for a strong community. Communities which tolerated such behavior perished, and those which did not survived and prospered, on the average. That's how we developed our sense of right behavior in the first place.
If we are to continue building an Alliance strong enough to overcome its enemies, we must not tolerate anyone among us who lies or steals, either in time of peace or in time of war.
1 post • Page 1 of 1