Poor Morris Dees! You gotta feel sorry for the man. His position as the world's foremost fear-mongering fundraiser is at risk -- and it's all because of us!
A couple of years ago, Mr. Dees was raking in the bucks, peddling the Big, Scary Militia as his chief bogeyman. The media still turns to Dees and his minions when they want an "expert" who's suitably prejudiced against militias.
But Dees doesn't have a good bogeymen to point at any more. Too many militia members have gone to prison or gone low profile. Way too many turned out to be a lot more harmless than the first news reports claimed.
So what's a professional hatemonger to do?
Dees now has to prattle about leaderless cell militias. And you know, true as it may be that the militia movement has shifted to become a million unheralded "cells of one," it just doesn't give Mr. Dees the "hook" he needs to scoop in the dough.
So I say, let's show what good people we are by pitching in and helping Morris Dees and the media. Let's give 'em some militias...some terrorists...some "hate groups" to cluck their tongues over. While we're at it, let's give some government agencies something to investigate. (Wouldn't want to let those budgets of theirs go unused, now, would we?)
Never mind that the groups they'll be chasing won't actually exist.
THE INSTANT, DO-IT-YOURSELF EFFORTLESS EXTREMIST GROUP
Where no convenient "extremist" group exists for the Dees-o-Media to go after, we can show our good citizenship by creating one -- out of thin air! Not only that -- we can help even more by denouncing it at the very same time.
You can do this by yourself or with your very best friend. The more people you have the more creative and convincing you'll be, but the more risk you'll have of someone messing up. A solo operation can work just fine.
WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
1. The first thing you need is a good name. Any name that smacks of bad weather or dangerous animals should work fine. The Stormbringers or The Cobra Cell are suitable names. If you want to take your "group" to ridiculous extremes, try something like The White StormPanthers. (Anything that implies white people automatically gets the attention of the PC crowd and will gain you extra points in the media. Ridiculous extremes could come in handy at the denouement of this little exercise, as you'll see.)
2. The second thing you need is a terrific logo. With computer graphics programs, anybody should be able to create a passable one these days. Again, weather and mean critters are both good bets. Lightning bolts are a winner, as are snakes, wild felines and anything else with big teeth or venom. Anything that terrifies someone who grew up in a city will do.
3. The third element is a means for your "group" to make its presence known. One way to do this is by propagating a set of alleged ideas -- the more vague and meaningless, the better. If you choose this method, you should be able to turn out a passably disturbing brochure on your desktop computer or write a manifesto on your word processor. Or call radio talk shows, muttering nonsense.
If you use any method that might expose your location or identity, you must either take precautions to disguise yourself or prepare for exposure. DO NOT make any threats, even fake ones. DO NOT do anything illegal. Just create an impression.
But maybe your group doesn't even have ideas or principles. Principles aren't necessary; the liberals and conservatives have been doing without them for decades. You can forego actual ideas and just stick with propagating an image. In that case, skip the pronunciamentos and go straight to the next step -- denouncing yourself.
4. This is where that best friend or complacent relative comes in handy. Get somebody to write letters to the editor, damning the "White StormPanthers" (or whoever) for being "anti-government" or otherwise un-PC. Maybe you even create another "group" to do this: People for the Children. Children and Others Against Hate. Denounce yourself with all your might!
The media should suck this right up. Perhaps you can even find a friend to claim to be a "victim" of your group. We're not talking false police reports or anything. That's a no-no. But remember -- to be a contemporary victim, it isn't necessary to have been harmed, or even threatened. According to the media you can be a "victim" merely because someone, somewhere thought a bad thought about some group you belong to. So play it up! Those White StormPanthers hurt your feelings! They made you "feel threatened" just by existing. They "raped" you "discursively." They violated the social contract by criticizing Our Kindly and Benevolent Government.
With any luck, people you never knew existed will step forward to denounce you, just because of what they imagine your imaginary organization stands for. The more vague you make your group's purpose, the more reasons the PC crowd can imagine to denounce it.
Depending on how you stage this little show you might even get some law enforcement "task force" chasing its tail to investigate your mythical organization. Then, the denouement...
5. Plan in advance for it all to fall apart. The conclusion of your venture could go one of several ways. Here are two:
A. Debunk yourself. Come right out, at the height of the whole kazoo, and announce to the world that it was all a prank to demonstrate the gullibility and laziness of the media. Of course, the media will do everything it can not to run this sort of news. So have the White StormPanthers or People for the Children announce the prank at a press conference, where the media will have a hard time hiding its own disgrace. If the mainstream media muddlers ignore you, prepare a wide-scale announcement in the alternative media. At this point, the more absurd you've made your group, the more stupid the believers will look when debunking day comes.
B. If you're not ready to go public with a debunking, here's an alternate ending. Once the media's gotten its undies in a bunch over the new "right-wing extremists" in their midst, subtly shift your propaganda. Make it apparent that these "terrorists" with the lightning-bolt logo are actually -- gasp! -- left-wingers! Have them start demanding socialized day care or total disarmament or control of the environment by "the people." The media will be so confused it won't know what to do. If you carry this off cleverly enough, some of your left-wing propaganda will have gotten into the news before the reporters and editors understand you've turned the tables on them by creating that thing they believe doesn't exist -- a left-wing "hate group."
I'm sure you can think of lots and lots of variations on this theme. The media is so hotted up about "extremists," that if you simply announced that a group of old ladies was meeting to discuss the Constitution, every reporter in town would have an orgasm. You could have lots of outrageous fun, jerking around the media, the professional victim-pushers and various legal do-gooders.
Oh, but now that I think about it, there's one little flaw in this plan.
It might not really help Mr. Dees and those nice media people at all. It might...well, it might actually make them look like the lazy, hysterical, hate-mongering, bigoted fools they are. It might actually waste their money and their time and damage their credibility. It might make government agencies spend money chasing "terrorists" that aren't really there.
Being made public fools of might discourage them from chasing the next set of rumors...or the next set of real freedom-fighters.
It might just throw a small monkeywrench into their big Rube Goldberg hate-works.
(c) 1998 Claire Wolfe. This article may be reprinted for non-commercial purposes, as long as it is reprinted in full with no content changes whatsoever, and is accompanied by this credit line. The article may not be re-titled, edited or excerpted (beyond the limits of the fair use doctrine) without the written permission of the author. For-profit publications will be expected to pay a nominal reprint fee.
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