‘Highly Profitable Scam’: Southern Poverty Law Center ‘Ripping Off Donors,’ Former Staffer Says

Peter Hasson | Reporter

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) is a “highly profitable scam” that “never lived up to the values it espoused,” according to former SPLC staffer Bob Moser.

The New Yorker on Thursday published a scathing essay from Moser, now a Rolling Stone reporter, accusing the left-wing non-profit of “ripping off donors” while turning a blind eye to sexual harassment and racial discrimination within its own ranks.

The SPLC fired co-founder Morris Dees on March 13 over unspecified conduct issues.

The SPLC announced Dees’ firing after roughly two dozen SPLC employees previously signed a letter to the organization’s leadership expressing their alarm at “allegations of mistreatment, sexual harassment, gender discrimination, and racism,” The Los Angeles Times reported.

(Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

Morris Dees, founder, Southern Poverty Law Center, speaks onstage during Investigation Discovery’s Hate in America panel as part of the Discovery Communications portion of This is Cable Television Critics Association Winter Tour at Langham Hotel on January 7, 2016 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

“The firing of Dees has flushed up all the uncomfortable questions again. Were we complicit, by taking our paychecks and staying silent, in ripping off donors on behalf of an organization that never lived up to the values it espoused? Did we enable racial discrimination and sexual harassment by failing to speak out?” Moser asked in his article.

One of Moser’s former colleagues answered in the affirmative.

“Of course we did,” she told Moser. “It’s shameful, but when you’re there you kind of end up accepting things. I never even considered speaking out when things happened to me! It doesn’t feel good to recognize that. I was so into the work, and so motivated by it, I kind of shrugged off what was going on.”

A spokesman for the SPLC did not return an email seeking comment on Moser’s article.

The SPLC, which is known to label pedestrian conservative organizations as “hate groups,” is a key resource for AmazonGoogle and other tech companies in policing “hate speech.” (RELATED: SPLC Whitewashes Democrats’ Ties To Anti-Semite Farrakhan)

(Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Richard Cohen, President of the Southern Poverty Law Center, speaks during a press conference November 29, 2016 in Washington, DC. During the press conference the Southern Poverty Law Center, in conjunction with additional human rights groups and education leaders, called on U.S. President-elect Donald Trump to “immediately and forcefully publicly denounce racism and bigotry.” (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

According to Moser, SPLC employees were aware that donors were being misled about the SPLC’s mission.

He described “the guilt you couldn’t help feeling about the legions of donors who believed that their money was being used, faithfully and well, to do the Lord’s work in the heart of Dixie. We were part of the con, and we knew it.”

The non-profit recently reported more than half a billion dollars in assets, including $121 million in off-shore funds.

Follow Hasson on Twitter @PeterJHasson

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