Once Again, A Target of Bigotry

Organized Campaign Forces Shutdown
of Institute’s Credit Card Processing

News from Institute for Historical Review
September 2017

On August 21 the company that had been processing credit card orders and donations for the Institute for Historical Review (IHR) abruptly shut its account with the California-based educational and publishing center, claiming that it distributes “materials promoting hate.” The TransFirst/ TSYS company cancelled its business relationship with IHR two days after ProPublica, an outfit headquartered in New York City, announced its campaign to get tech companies to stop doing business with the IHR and other alleged “hate groups.”

After nearly two years without problems or complaints, TransFirst/ TSYS informed IHR in an August 21 letter that it was halting credit card processing for IHR, effective immediately. The reason given was: “The review of your website www.ihr.org revealed that your business is excluded per our credit policy, materials promoting hate, etc.”

David Cole, a southern California author and columnist, looked into the ProPublica campaign. He reported on his investigation in a Taki’s Magazine column . “... Regarding what happened to the IHR,’ wrote Cole, “what we have is a faux-journalism institute [ProPublica] funded by left-wing billionaires deciding to engage in 21st-century book-burning by putting a publishing company [IHR] out of business ... ProPublica is run by a charlatan who exemplifies everything that’s bad about his supposed profession. It’s a foul enterprise run by foul people. A `journalistic institution’ funded by Democrat billionaires tried to shutter a publishing house (one that even some of its harshest critics agree is beneficial).”

Immediately after receiving the August 21 letter from TransFirst, IHR director Mark Weber phoned the company to learn precisely what “materials promoting hate” prompted its decision. A TransFirst representative was unable or unwilling to cite any example of such materials. Weber followed up with a letter asking TransFirst to let him know of specific materials or items being distributed by IHR that it believed are “promoting hate,” so that they could be evaluated for possible removal. (The full text of Weber’s letter is given below.)

ProPublica’s campaign is similar to the well-publicized effort four years ago by New York politician Dov Hikind, a zealous Zionist with a record of bigotry and support for terrorism, that succeeded in shutting down IHR credit card processing for several months.

ProPublica acknowledges that it has no standard of its own for the “hate” label it applies to others. It says that it relies on lists compiled by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), an influential Zionist organization, and the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), a wealthy, influential group with a controversial record of leftist bias.

Self-appointed “watchdog” organizations such as the SPLC and ADL, provide no objective standard for their malicious labelling. They routinely overlook or approve of groups and websites that support policies of discrimination based on ancestry or religion if they are Zionist. ProPublica has no criticism of groups -- such as the America Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the Anti-Defamation League, and the Simon Wiesenthal Center -- that routinely defend Israeli policies of discrimination and oppression based on ancestry or heritage. Israel’s well-documented record of discriminatory policies based on ethnicity or religion have earned worldwide condemnation, reflected in many United Nations resolutions approved with overwhelming majorities.

The IHR is an independent educational research and publishing center based in southern California that works to promote peace, understanding and justice through greater public awareness of the past. For more than 20 years it has been recognized by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service as a 501(c)(3) public interest, educational, not–for-profit enterprise.

Over the years the IHR has often come under fire from hostile sectarian groups that regard it as harmful to their interests. The Institute has repeatedly been a victim of bigotry and extremist violence. In 1984, for example, Jewish Defense League activists carried out a criminal arson attack against the Institute’s offices.

P.O. Box 2739 • Newport Beach, California 92659 • Tel. 714 - 593 9725

Mark Weber, Director

August 26, 2017

To: Joseph Boeding
TransFirst / TSYS
Suite 100, 12202 Airport Way
Broomfield, CO 80021

Dear Mr. Boeding,

This is a response to your letter of August 21, sent by FedEx, which we received on August 23. This letter informs us that, effective August 21, TransFirst/ TSYS is no longer processing our credit card transactions, and is closing our merchant account.

The reason given is: “The review of your website www.ihr.org revealed that your business is excluded per our credit policy, materials promoting hate, etc.”

We emphatically reject the allegation that the Institute for Historical Review distributes “materials promoting hate.”

Immediately after receiving your letter, I phoned TransFirst to speak with you. I was told that you were not available. Instead, I spoke with another staff member who was unable to provide any information about the specific criteria, if any, that was the basis for the decision to close our account.

Institute for Historical (IHR) is an entity of “Legion for the Survival of Freedom,” a corporation founded in 1952 and controlled by a responsible board of directors. For more than 20 years IHR/ LSF has been recognized by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service as a 501(c)(3) public interest, educational, not-for-profit enterprise. Donations to the IHR are tax-deductible.

Our “Mission and Record” webpage specifically affirms: “In fact, the IHR steadfastly opposes bigotry of all kinds. We are proud of the support we have earned from people of the most diverse political views, and racial, ethnic and religious backgrounds.”

Some very influential groups and individuals that dislike our work smear the IHR as a “hate group.” Predictably, they provide no objective standard for their malicious labelling.

Far from promoting “hate,” the IHR has been a target of authentic hate groups. For example, it has come under repeated assault from the Jewish Defense League -- identified as a terrorist group by the FBI. On July 4, 1984, the JDL destroyed the Institute's office and warehouse in a major arson attack.

We do not knowingly distribute “materials promoting hate.” Please therefore let us know of specific materials or items on the IHR website that, in your view, are “promoting hate,” so that we can evaluate them for possible removal.

If you are not able or willing to identify specific materials or items on the IHR website that, on the basis of an objective standard, are “promoting hate,” any reasonable, open-minded person will conclude that your allegation is subjective, and therefore is itself an expression of bigotry.


Mark Weber

Institute for Historical Review

Legion for the Survival of Freedom