Editor's remark: This document refers to a number of exhibits which we have scanned and combined into one PDF file which can be downloaded here.
In late May I was dismissed as editor of the Journal of Historical Review and removed as treasurer of IHR’s parent corporation, the Legion for the Survival of Freedom. As I write this, my status as an employee of LSF/IHR is uncertain.
It is my conviction that my dismissal as JHR editor and LSF treasurer was the result of my expressed concern over IHR’s continued, perilous drift and my frank criticisms of the Institute’s leadership. I believe that I fulfilled my fiduciary responsibilities as LSF treasurer to the best of my abilities, and that I made significant improvements in the JHR, both in timeliness and content.
My recent experience with IHR has been both humbling and disappointing: disappointing in that I had aspired to spend the rest of my career as a working revisionist at IHR, humbling because that career has recently all but ended under the bullying of LSF President Greg Raven and IHR Director Mark Weber. I have now reconciled myself to devoting my talents to revisionism outside the IHR, should that prove necessary.
I have written this report to defend my record and reputation as an editor, and to communicate my concerns over IHR’s direction and momentum to a limited circle of JHR advisors, IHR supporters, and friends of IHR among other revisionists. I do not intend to damage the IHR, or to carry on a feud with its staff. While I have sought to minimize potentially injurious revelations, it has become increasingly evident that the interest of the IHR is better served by imparting unpleasant facts to the Institute’s most important advisors, supporters, and friends than by keeping them uniformed.
Editor at IHR
I have been a full-time employee of the Legion for the Survival of Freedom/Institute for Historical Review (LSF/IHR) for a total of eleven years, and have worked for or with IHR in one capacity or another since 1985. During that time I have served as editor of the Journal of Historical Review (hereafter JHR) and of IHR’s newsletter; contributed research articles and reviews to the JHR; edited and written introductions to numerous IHR and Noontide Press books; edited the Noontide catalogue, the chief vehicle for promoting sales of IHR and Noontide books; written ad copy for books, tapes, the JHR, and IHR conferences; written fundraising letters; and played an important role in winning the Mermelstein and Carto cases by carrying out hundreds of hours of unpaid research to produce evidence that proved crucial in the courts.
When, from 1995 to 1999, LSF/IHR’s financial woes prevented my salaried employment, I contributed a lead research article to the JHR; painstakingly edited an inadequate translation of Roger Garaudy’s The Founding Myths of Modern Israel, correcting many erroneous citations in the original; edited and made extensive factual corrections to the English translation of the
important Islamist book Holocaust Deception; and conducted legal research for the LSF. During those years I also edited thirty-one issues of Bradley Smith’s newsletter Smith’s Report; contributed a regular column to the magazine Instauration; line-edited and fact-checked Ingrid Rimland’s three-volume trilogy Lebensraum; wrote articles and reviews for a number of highly regarded nationalist publications; and proofread or copyedited about two dozen books for Carol Publishers. a large New York publishing house.
My writing and editorial duties for IHR and Noontide quickly acquainted me with two important facts of for the Institute. First, that IHR/Noontide is effectively excluded from the normal channels of advertising and distribution -- and therefore IHR/NT sales and fundraising are overwhelmingly dependent on direct mail. (Neither Bradley Smith’s many radio and television appearances for the Institute a decade or two ago, nor IHR’s presence on the Internet, has been able to generate new supporters in any numbers.) In consequence, IHR’s management and staff must do everything possible to maintain and expand its mailing list of proven buyers and contributors.
The second reality is that the audience for the Journal of Historical Review and IHR’s historical monographs consists almost entirely of interested lay persons, rather than the academics who subscribe to most other such journals. Thus, while writing and editing research articles and reviews for JHR occupies a central place at IHR, the larger utility of an IHR editor lies in his ability to grasp the concerns of the thousands of persons whose names make up IHR’s mailing list. The editor must communicate with them in writing that effectively promotes enthusiasm and interest in IHR and its cause -- interest and enthusiasm that will result in contributions, subscriptions. and sales for the Institute.
This communication for the Institute I learned to conduct in different types of writing for various specific purposes. The JHR. of course, has won the IHR great prestige among persons attracted to revisionism by publishing original research articles on its chief specialty, revising the Holocaust, and man\: other articles and reviews on revisionist subjects. often of a high scholarly and literary tone. Editing IHR’s newsletter, on the other hand, involved not merely reporting IHR "news" but allowed me frequent, personal, and emotional communication not possible with a proper journal -- with the primary purpose being to increase contributions and other support for the Institute. While it is the scholar’s temptation to explain, to inform. or to edify when explaining products for sale, the many advertisements I have written for IHR and Noontide over the years have had one purpose: to sell.
As different as are the formal purposes and tones of the above and other types of communication to IHR readers (for example, fundraising letters; editorial notes to JHR readers: cover letters for the JHR), they create a whole, in which I sought to fashion an editorial voice for IHR that expressed organizational self-assurance, indeed jauntiness, sophistication without losing the common touch; defiance without shrillness; solemnity as warranted; intelligence; humor; and idealistic, though hard-headed, devotion to IHR and the revisionist cause.
Return to IHR
Following an influx of cash from a short-lived settlement with Carto, LSF/IHR rehired me in September 1999. (In a letter to the Board a few months earlier, President Raven described my prospective return as a "tremendous benefit to the Legion and the cause of revisionism" [Exhibit 1].
Although IHR’s much diminished productivity and effectiveness, above all the decline in the JHR during the preceding five years, worried me, I was still confident that the costs of the Carto suits were to blame for much of IHR’s slump, and that Mark Weber’s problems with the JHR might be attributable to temporary problems.
I believed that it was possible for Raven, Weber, and me to function as a team. We were close in age, had complementary abilities, and had worked together before. Each of us was to have one or more discrete areas of responsibility (Raven: administration, legal; Weber: the JHR; O’Keefe: book publishing). I felt that, given IHR’s simultaneous difficulties and opportunities, the self-evident interest in getting the organization rolling again would enable our cooperation.
Thus, following my return, I sought to work as harmoniously as possible with President Raven and Director Weber. My efforts were hindered from the first, however, as Raven and Weber proved to be often uncommunicative, and sometimes secretive, about LSF/IHR problems. Unlike most enterprises that depend on cooperation, we very rarely had meetings (perhaps once every two or three months), and these dealt only with major decisions or emergencies. These meetings seldom involved probing give-and-take, "brainstorming," or other creative exchange, relying instead on set-piece presentations and brief, decorous discussion. I was frequently excluded from meetings between Raven and Weber on important questions, even after I became LSF treasurer in September 2000. During my first year of employment I several times made known my concern that better communication, better planning, and better teamwork was needed [Exhibits 2, 3, 4, 5].
Until March 2001 my principal responsibility was as book editor: evaluating manuscripts, dealing with authors, and editing manuscripts accepted for publication. I wrote the introduction and cover copy for Founding Myths, which has gotten much praise and sold well; successfully advocated the reprinting of Lothrop Stoddard’s Into the Darkness, and edited its new introduction; wrote picture captions, a revised introduction, and jacket copy for the still unpublished Holocaust Deception; wrote a well-received introduction, and jacket copy, for Noontide’s reprint of Imperium; edited the important Holocaust revisionist monograph The Gas Chambers of Sherlock Holmes; and worked on other manuscripts and on reprinting IHR and Noontide " books. From September 1999 to March 2001, I also edited and wrote articles for the JHR; wrote and edited three issues of the IHR newsletter; edited the 2000 Noontide catalogue; wrote ad copy and fundraising letters; spoke at IHR’s 13th conference in 2000; translated or interpreted historical, legal, and business documents in French, German, Spanish, Italian, and other languages.
The Journal of Historical Review is the most important of IHR’s publications. Through its academic program, its distinguished roster of editorial advisors, and its record of revisionist scholarship, it confers great distinction on the IHR among revisionists and those sympathetic to revisionism. The JHR has also been the engine that pulls the IHR train. Its subscribers have traditionally been the hard core of the Institute’s mailing list: on average more committed, more enthusiastic, and more active than the rest of the list (which has typically been several times larger than the number of subscribers to the JHR).
Serious problems with the JHR’s publishing schedule from 1995 to 2001 [Exhibit 6], as well as a catastrophic drop in subscriptions [Exhibit 7], resulted in repeated efforts during those years by President Raven to prod Editor Weber to speed publication [Exhibit 1]. From mid- 999 to 2000 President Raven attempted to persuade the Board to act to pressure or to replace the Editor, without success [Exhibits 1, 8, 9]. Recognizing that the JHR was also troubled by grave deficiencies in editing and content, President Raven directed me to research these shortcomings in depth and to recommend potential remedies. In the resultant report I analyzed and described specific. and chronic, lapses in the JHR, documenting what IHR advisers, subscribers, and friends had been hinting for years: a marked decrease in original research articles, most damagingly on the "Holocaust"; the virtual disappearance of reviews; neglect of up-to-date, inhouse, original reporting and comment on news of interest to JHR subscribers, in favor of reprinted commentary, often months or years old; failure to organize and make maximally comprehensible each issue; failure to utilize IHR conference lectures for JHR content (two published in the nine months following IHR’s May 2000 conference and before his resignation); the alienation of contributors and the jading of subscribers through heavy-handed editing into a uniform and monotonous style. In the same report I suggested concrete improvements to repair these deficiencies, and gave a clear presentation of my goals for content and schedule and of my understanding of IHR policy regarding JHR content [Exhibit 10]. This report, along with President Raven’s letter recapitulating several years of failed attempts to discipline or replace the Editor [Exhibit 11], was presented to the Board. Thereupon Weber resigned, and I assumed editorship of the JHR at the end of February last year.
During my first year as editor (March 2001 -March 2002) I sent seven issues to press and cut approximately two months from the five months the JHR was behind schedule when I took over [Exhibit 12]. The issues of the JHR which I have edited have included timely research articles and reviews (the sine qua non of a historical journal); six lectures presented to IHR’s last conference. original and up-to-date revisionist news and comment; explanation and exhortation from the editor to subscribers (in interpretative "From the Editor" essays and in cover letters soliciting contributions); and other features both useful to LSF/IHR and satisfying to subscribers. In my first year as JHR Editor I cultivated new JHR writers such as Don Heddesheimer ("The War Journalism of Boris Polevoi," JHR 21/1), the late Audre Pinque, or "MacKenzie Paine" ("At the Tolerance Museum," JHR 20/1), Richard Widmann ("Transfer to the Reich," JHR 21/2), and Scott Smith ("Disney’s $140 Million Dud," JHR 20/3), and re-enlisted a number of contributors estranged by my predecessor. It has been my policy to be prompt and fair with authors, by quickly informing whether their submissions have been accepted for publication, or rejected for whatever reason [Exhibit 13]; by editing, not rewriting, articles for publication; by making no
substantive changes (other than minor conformances to house style) without the writer’s approval; and by insisting that writers be paid as promptly and as fairly as possible [Exhibits 14, 15, 16]. It has been my aspiration above all to make the JHR a publication that its subscribers are once again eager to read, and I believe that in this I have had some success.
Bankruptcy: IHR, the "Spotlight" List, and ADL
During the following year I grew increasingly worried about LSF/IHR’s financial condition. In mid-May 2001, for the first time in my eleven-year tenure at LSF/IHR, staff paychecks were deferred [Exhibit 17]. On June 14, 2001, President Raven informed the staff that the Liberty Lobby, a defendant in the Carto case, would soon be bankrupt, and that LSF/IHR was prepared to sell a key Liberty Lobby asset, the Spotlight mailing list, to the highest bidder. He mentioning two possible buyers: the Anti-Defamation League and the Church of Scientology. When I protested that such a sale would badly damage IHR’s reputation, Raven defended it on the grounds that LSF/IHR’s "current situation is not sustainable," that without selling the list to ADL "the IHR has no future." He also strongly hinted that firing me and Eric Owens, another dissenting employee, was the only practical alternative [Exhibits 18 and 19].
I was next told by Raven and Weber that my apprehensions at our evident readiness to sell the names of "patriots" (among them doubtless not a few revisionists) to hostile groups were groundless because there had been no offer from such groups. I continued to express my unalterable opposition to a possible sale to the ADL to President Raven and Director Weber, and alerted the LSF Board of Directors to the problem [Exhibits 20 and 21].
Despite my efforts to restrain him, Owens broadcast emails (intended to be kept internal) from President Raven and Director Weber which made it clear that Raven was indeed countenancing the sale of the Spotlight list to the ADL [Exhibit 22]. Owens was fired, but the potentially gravely damaging emails soon reached the website of Willis Carto’s Free American Press site. I succeeded in having an emergency Board meeting called in order to prevent a sale of the Spotlight mailing list to the ADL and like organizations [Exhibits 23 and 24]. During this meeting the Board expressed its adamant opposition to the LSF’s selling the Spotlight list to the ADL.
Following the Board meeting I issued a public statement that alleviated much of the suspicion of LSF/IHR that had arisen following the leak of the telltale emails. My statement exonerated Raven and Weber, imputing nearly all blame to Owens for his impetuosity [Exhibit 25] -- despite the strong evidence to the contrary. During the week-long (June 14 to June 20) ADL crisis, I experienced intense hostility from President Raven, one manifestation of which was his tampering with my email password so that I could neither send nor receive messages while in the office. Since that time he has treated me with either coldness or undisguised animosity. Throughout the incident, during which I experienced much upset, Director Weber sided completely with President Raven. To date neither has shouldered any responsibility, nor expressed the least regret, for his role in the affair.
Here it is worth noting that there would likely have been no flap over selling the Spotlight list to the ADL if IHR had been attending to its traditional income-producing activities, above all by
promoting its large stock of books and tapes. In that case, instead of a penniless IHR trying to sell revisionism’s implacable enemies a list that reportedly contained the names of over 50,000 readers interested in many of issues addressed by IHR and the Noontide Press, the Institute could have kept the Spotlight list and devised a mailing capable of bringing in many new names as well as a strong infusion of cash. To this day, as of my knowledge, LSF/IHR has been unable to recover the Spotlight list, which by now, under the tender ministrations of the Carto forces, is probably all but worthless.
At the June 220 emergency meeting the Board of Directors elected as its Chairman Robert Berger Lynch, an engineer and attorney with considerable experience in serving on corporate boards. Lynch asked that President Raven devise a budget, previously unknown at LSF/IHR, and ordered that the staff begin holding periodic and frequent meetings. The Board urged that President Raven "report more frequently to board members on corporate financial and legal affairs," at least once a month, more often if needed. The Chairman also asked that Raven submit to him a list of LSF/IHR employees, to include job titles and descriptions, and recommended that a mission statement be drawn up for IHR [Exhibit 26]. Shortly afterward, President Raven submitted a list of employee job titles (of which he attributed to himself about a dozen), but without job descriptions (his list betrayed that no employee had even titular responsibility for editing books, for editing the Noontide catalogue, for editing a newsletter, or for organizing IHR’s conferences’) [Exhibit 27]. Within a week or two, to my knowledge the Chairman and Director Weber were ignoring every one of the Chairman’s other instructions.
At a meeting of staff during the ADL crisis I had for the first time expressed strong concern over IHR’s overall lack of direction and drift. To which President Raven had replied, only partly facetiously, -That’s what we do here: we drift." The drift continued, and LSF/IHR’s financial crisis intensified throughout the summer and early fall of 2001. Payment of salary to staff for the period ending July 1 was delayed until October 2; for the period ending October 1, until October 25. Raven’s efforts to stave off bankruptcy were devoted almost entirely to recovering the chief assets from the Carto and Liberty Lobby bankruptcy (the Spotlight list, the Cartos’ house, and a substantial bequest from a supporter in New Jersey), none of which was recovered by the end of 2001.
In my office of Treasurer, I pressed President Raven and Director Weber for financial and legal information. I seldom got specifics, except to hear periodically that either disaster loomed, or that the unexpected generosity of a supporter or benefactor had providentially bailed LSF/IHR out of impending financial collapse (as happened once or twice last fall). In a memo of September 6, 2001, to LSF officers and three Board members, President Raven repeated his emergency message of June 14, 2001, reporting that LSF/IHR’s financial situation was "bad": there was less than $5,000 on hand. and the corporation owed $65,000. including "substantial amounts of money" to "key vendors" (e.g., our printers), who could not to be counted on for service until our bills were paid [Exhibit 28].
During these months, I repeatedly recommended to President Raven and Director Weber, orally and in writing, that we plan and act to make the most of LSF/IHR’s traditional strengths and
assets. I urged that LSF/IHR increase revenue through more effective promotion of its inventory of books and tapes (with a sale value of several hundred thousand dollars), by means of fresh advertising and by offering discounts. In mind of LSF/IHR’s recent inability to publish anything new, I urged that outside books be bought and resold to increase interest in our book promotions. I called for scheduling and organizing a conference without delay, and recommended that the IHR begin planning for the resumption of a regular newsletter as soon as feasible. To generate the necessary resources for these steps, I advocated that LSF/IHR approach its most generous contributors with a concrete plan for returning the organization to its core functions -- research, publishing, sales, fundraising, and outreach to non-revisionists -- in exchange for those contributors’ aid, holding out the anticipated Carto assets as a sort of collateral for those supporters who might prefer to lend, rather than contribute, their support [Exhibits 29]. My written and spoken pleas evoked neither action nor comprehensible explanations for their inaction from the President and IHR’s Director.
I communicated the above ideas for revitalizing LSF/IHR to the Chairman and two other LSF Directors as well as the President and IHR’s Director [Exhibit 30]. Two weeks later, at LSF/IHR’s annual Board meeting, Chairman Lynch called for intensified efforts to promote and sell LSF/IHR’s inventory, and urged a more dynamic IHR website. The Chairman again suggested creating a mission statement for IHR, and applauded a draft statement I read to the meeting [Exhibit 31]. To provide for closer direction of the staff, the Board authorized formation of an informal executive committee consisting of the Chairman, LSF Director Harvey Taylor, LSF Director and Secretary Weber, LSF’s President, and LSF’s Treasurer [Exhibit 32]. To date, however, IHR continues to be without a mission statement, to have a lackluster website (in particular the cardinally important home page), and to fail to promote its books and tapes effectively.
The money crisis wore on through the fall. On November 8 we learned from the President that the corporation was once again out of money, just weeks after receiving a large donation. I continued to advise, with increasing urgency, that LSF/IHR promote the sale of its stock through better advertising, discounts, and offering new books from other publishers.
Although LSF/IHR had recently had good success in selling (at steep discounts) a large number of books (many of which LSF/IHR had long stocked and sold) recently acquired from James J. Martin’s publishing house, President Raven and Director Weber opposed discounting our stock if so doing would result in a paper loss against prior costs of production, storage, shipping, etc., as if the value of the inventory, much of which has been exposed to heat, cold, dampness, and insects in IHR’s warehouse for years, might appreciate in the future -- and as if the high price in rent of warehousing tens of thousands of books and tapes, which easily occupy half of IHR’s premises,. were not a consideration. IHR management’s refusal to discount books that aren’t selling is of course completely at variance with standard publishing and bookselling policy.
At this meeting President Raven, who in the past had opposed reselling books for fear of endangering the LSF’s tax status, stated that buying and selling books from other publishers led to problems with vendors, and that he had difficulties in computing sales taxes on out-of-state orders. In a memo to three Directors and President Raven, I reiterated and elaborated my
previous concerns and repeated certain critical observations I had made in the meeting [Exhibit 33].
My persistence in pressing for action to revitalize IHR achieved only one tangible result: the President and the Director began a campaign of pressure and harassment evidently intended either to silence me or to drive me from the Institute.
In producing JHR issues 20/1 (Jan-Feb 01) and 20/2 (Mar-Apr 01) I had gained over a month of time lost by my predecessor [Exhibit 34]. My performance on issues 20/3 (May-Jun 01) and 20/4 (Jul-Aug 01 ) was less satisfactory, partly owing to a shortfall in usable material, partly over the need to adjust to the changed situation after September 11, but also due to my anxieties over LSF/IHR’s financial straits. Nonetheless, in my first eight months as editor I was able to produce four issues (the best showing for the JHR in years), and I had grown confident of my ability to fill each issue with first-rate material.
During those months cooperation on producing the JHR left something to be desired. I tolerated (grudgingly) occasional changes to the text of articles introduced by the Chairman or the Director during the formatting process. I did my best to use the cumbersome Adobe FrameMaker software program, designed for producing books, as a word processor. I accepted President Raven’s control over the final formatting of all JHR text, despite his (or FrameMaker’s) inability to make proper footnotes (resulting in page after page of endnotes in longer research articles); to generate more than a couple of levels of headings (a severe liability in a periodical); and to format pages of text in anything other than two columns.
On November 8, 2001, President Raven and Director Weber informed me of their plan for an "intervener" to take over any issue of the JHR I had failed to complete by deadline. The intervener would then fill the issue with stopgap material and bring it to press. I protested this drastic remedy: it seemed premature (all the more so because the intervener was to be the JHR’s previous editor, IHR Director Weber) and it introduced serious problems of editorial control. Nonetheless. I decided to take the intervener proposal as a challenge. I announced my intent to fill a double issue, JHR 20/5-6 [Sep-Dec], by Christmas vacation, and told the President and Director that I would be moving to a back office in the warehouse in order to focus on editing and writing 64 or more JHR pages in the following six weeks. Working in the back office was not an innovation: I had retreated there from time to time during the previous two years, and the year before President Raven had urged IHR Director Weber to move there to complete his book on the Holocaust [Exhibit 35]. At this time neither Raven nor Weber objected to my plans for a combined issue or for relocating to the back office.
During the month and a half before Christmas, President Raven’s only response to my challenge was to be hostile and uncommunicative. During the same period Director Weber entered my office a dozen times or more to offer articles or ideas for articles, and to attempt to pressure me into running items I chose not to publish. My rejections, then and afterwards, were due to my desire to keep the race question out of the JHR, in line with an IHR policy that had been much trumpeted by Director Weber as a reason for Carto’s ouster; to my resolve to consider the Jewish
question only within well-defined revisionist parameters; and to my insistence on balance, proportion, relevance, freshness, and other typical editorial concerns. Although I had been devoting a growing portion of the JHR to news and comment about revisionist concerns and revisionist activity (including several sizable articles by Director Weber), at the end of November I was presented by Weber with a memorandum claiming that I was violating JHR policy by neglecting "revisionist activism" [Exhibit 36]. He concluded this memo by stating: "If need be, I will appeal to the other members of the corporate board to back me on this."
I was able to write and edit enough content to fill a 72-page issue by the time of my departure several days before Christmas. In addition to editing two lengthy articles (by Brian Renk and Daniel Michaels) and various shorter pieces, I wrote about fifteen pages of news, commentary, and reviews. This required working seven days a week: visiting the local university library to comb through two dozen or so historical journals for the articles best fitted for the "In Other Journals" feature; reading books for review as I walked to and from work; and spending Thanksgiving day in my apartment to edit a major research article.
Since the intervention threat had put a premium on supplying edited text at the expense of such final details as proofreading and production, I chose to leave those to President Raven and IHR Director Weber. For all their avowed readiness to complete an issue, it took them three weeks to bring that issue to press, during which time (I subsequently discovered) they made various unauthorized changes in the text, illustrations, caption, and cover photograph. In line with his earlier practice, Weber failed to include a cover letter -- a potentially costly omission since the year-end issue called for a strong pitch to resubscribe to the many readers whose subscriptions were lapsing. Rather than concede that I had done good work in gaining two months on our goal of returning the JHR to schedule and in filling a double issue with outstanding material, Raven and Weber instead faulted me for this or that minor editorial imperfection, and argued that somehow the JHR had lost ground.
A reason for my retreat to the back office had been harassment that I had been getting for some weeks before from the shipping clerk, Gary Ontiveros. After my move to the back, Ontiveros intensified his annoyances. To his previous practices of making insulting remarks about my presumed medication ("Did you take your Prozac today?"), felicitations on my making the morning coffee ("You’d make somebody a nice wife in jail"), and belching loudly and repeatedly in close proximity to my desk in the front office, Ontiveros added: making crank (hang-up) phone calls to me over the intercom; loudly rattling my door; and providing running, sneering commentary every time I came out to go the refrigerator, the bathroom, etc. Ontiveros’ behavior was surprising to me, because we had previously been amicable enough. Despite the distractions, however, at first I did not protest, believing that Ontiveros would eventually give up if he couldn’t rile me.
On Tuesday, January 29 of this year, President Raven scolded in an email that since "once again, we did not make enough money to provide for even our own paychecks," paychecks would once again be deferred [Exhibit 37]. Reminded that the 2002 Noontide catalogue was past due, President Raven stated that the catalogue was nearly complete and that it remained only for IHR’s Director and me to look it over [Exhibit 38]. When I defended my contribution to LSF/IHR against Raven’s insinuations, he characterized me as "delusional" [Exhibit 39].
On my initiative we met the next day. President Raven told me that if the current issue, JHR 21/1 (Jan-Feb 2002) were not at the printer’s by February 15 (five weeks after the previous JHR had gone to press), he would "drop the hammer" by ordering that I not be paid for that period. Both Director Weber and I challenged his authority, and fairness, in making this threat. At this meeting I protested. for the first time, the ongoing hazing I had been receiving from Ontiveros. President Raven and Director Weber stated that it was useless to attempt to control Ontiveros’ behavior, Weber characterizing the clerk as a "force of nature," and Raven pointing to his long record of obstreperousness. When I demanded that the President reprimand Ontiveros and order that he cease his harassment, Raven told me that the matter was between me and Ontiveros. When, following this meeting, I asked Ontiveros why he was behaving as he had, he accused me of threatening, him and stated that he would answer only to President Raven.
Several days later, after another confrontation with the shipping clerk, and reluctant to work in the unheated back office in the cold of last February, I announced that I would temporarily work from my home [Exhibit 40]. President Raven countered with a memo in which he argued that it was up to me to gain Ontiveros’ respect, and bade me to return to my desk (meaning my front office cubicle). His memo also taxed me for hypocrisy, sloth, bad manners, cowardice, cheating subscribers. claiming special privileges, and having grown surly and "conspiracy-minded" [Exhibit 41]. I defended my conduct in an email in which I noted: "It strikes me that Gary took the generally chilly atmosphere around here, which dates from my refusal to see the sale of the Spotlight [mailing list] to ADL, Dees, et al., go unchallenged, as some sort of license. Even so, that it was tolerated when I was under intense pressure to produce the last Journal is inexplicable to me" [Exhibit 42].
A few days later I discovered that while President Raven had refused to reprimand Ontiveros face to face, he had issued a revised version of the "Employee Guidelines," dated February 1, 2002, which included this odd new rule: "Employees are not to make gratuitous and/or rude noises -including singing, humming, whistling, belching, or talking to oneself -- which disturb other employees" [Exhibit 43].
As February 15 neared, President Raven and Director Weber intensified their efforts to depict the JHR as falling increasingly behind schedule to LSF Directors and other interested parties. This was attempted by representing my optimistic target date a hard-and-fast deadline; by assessing my shortfalls from target dates as time lost (i.e., bringing out an issue in six weeks rather than the aspired five counted as the "loss" of seven days); assigning the previous editor’s lag to me; and harassing me or tolerating my harassment to distract me from my duties. Uncertain as to whether I would be paid, and concerned about the attacks on my editing, I hit on the idea of polling leading JHR subscribers in hopes of gaining support. I received about twenty replies from the thirty or forty revisionist scholars and leaders to whom I emailed the poll. The response was overwhelmingly positive, and contained much useful advice and criticism as well. Several replies are appended as Exhibit 44; two emails in that group are actually unsolicited evaluations of the following issue, JHR 21/1.
I had reported President Raven’s threat to withhold my salary to the Chairman of the Board and Director Harvey Taylor. Both seemed supportive, and each stated that he was gratified by my willingness to continue working with President Raven. After days of tension, I was paid in full for the first two weeks in February, thanks to pressure from the Chairman and other Directors. A week later, Chairman Lynch visited the LSF/IHR offices. He met separately with President Raven and me (IHR Director Weber was on vacation). At a meeting with the two of us, the Chairman called for better communication and more meetings, reaffirmed my editorial control of the JHR, and charged me with obtaining all relevant data on IHR’s financial situation. The Chairman also asked President Raven what the circulation of the JHR was. Although he conceded that it had fallen drastically since 1995, Raven informed the Chairman that the JHR’s circulation was impossible to determine.
For a week or two following the Chairman’s visit, there was a partial thaw in relations between President Raven and me. At a staff meeting two weeks after the visit, I discussed my problem areas in editing, and refrained from searching questions or criticism vis-a-vis Raven and IHR Director Weber’s performance in IHR’s continuing crisis. Buoyed by material on hand, and planning to write a long article I had already researched, I ventured to try to finish the next JHR in thirty days, offering April I I as a target date (not a deadline). Still, Raven and Weber gave no specific answers to my questions about LSF’s legal situation in the Carto cases, or on ideas for making our inventory more salable through discounts or new advertisements. Nor were they able to set a date for completion of the catalogue, despite Raven’s earlier notice that the catalogue, although nearly finished, was late as of January 29 [Exhibit 37]. On March 14, the President informed us that, after estimating projected expenses, IHR had under $3,000 on hand to meet other expenses over the coming several months.
A few days later, a telephone conference between the staff and the Chairman was arranged to address my concerns over IHR’s continuing failure to generate income through sales of its stock. The conference foundered, however, on the objections of IHR (and LSF) Director Weber, who asserted afterwards "that such meetings were a waste of time and money" [Exhibit 45]. I replied with an email that stressed the critical importance of generating maximum feasible income from our large stocks before summer [Exhibit 46].
For a while after the Chairman’s visit, Ontiveros’ antics died down. Around the beginning of April, however, the shipping clerk resumed his badgering of me. On April 5 both Director Weber and I asked President Raven to order Ontiveros to cease. While Raven stated that "this has gone too far," and agreed to speak to Ontiveros, he again refused to discipline him, and declared that he could provide no guarantee that Ontiveros’ harassment would not resume. In a memo dated April 25, and placed in Ontiveros’ and my files, President Raven described me, quite falsely, as "mightily. agitated" during our conversation, and made no mention of the IHR Director’s participation on my behalf [Exhibit 47]. In the same memo Raven reiterated in writing that he would not guarantee that he could control Ontiveros’ behavior in our workplace. This memo represented me as "in far worse breech [sic] of conduct than Ontiveros," "abusive toward others," and "utterly in breech [sic] of the employee guidelines." President Raven concluded another memo of the same day, addressed to Ontiveros and copied to me, by telling the clerk (who had asked Raven to reprimand me): "Again, thanks for understanding, and for helping to make LSF a better place to work" [Exhibit 48].
Since returning to LSF/IHR in 1999, I had noticed that Ontiveros was often sullen and uncooperative. He was frequently rude to customers on the telephone. He had repeatedly harassed two promising employees, Ron Gray and Eric Owens; when I raised this problem with President Raven at the time, he blandly informed me that Ontiveros was simply afraid that they might make him expendable. One employee told me that Ontiveros had hung up the telephone on his wife; the wife of another employee told me that the clerk had done the same to her. Searching employee files after Ontiveros had begun harassing me, I discovered memos written by Director Weber that recorded repeated instances, indeed a "persistent pattern," of rudeness and insolence toward him by Ontiveros [Exhibits 49, 50, 51]. In one of these, his memo of May 12, 1998, Weber stated: "Greg acknowledged that Gary is sometimes rude, not only to me, but also to customers he deals with over the phone. Greg said that he has admonished Gary about speaking rudely to customers."
As March passed President Raven and IHR Director Weber began to insist that my target date of April 11 (a JHR turnaround of thirty days) was a formal deadline. Weber intensified his threats to remove effective editorship from my hands by having the Board establish his control of JHR "policy," including decision on content. Raven continued to withhold information on LSF’s financial situation and decision making from me. Both Chairman Lynch and I (as treasurer) were presented with something of a fait accompli by President Raven when he announced to us in March that, due to LSF’s poor financial situation, the corporation had been forced to go into partnership with our attorney, Brian Sampson, to obtain the Carto house, a recovered asset that was encumbered by an exemption that had to be paid to the Cartos.
The catalogue continued undone, deferring vital income from sales. New books, such as Holocaust Deception (which IHR had contracted to publish years before and which has sat, ready for publication, on the Chairman’s desk for two years), continued to go unpublished, while IHR classics were not reprinted. Thus Arthur Butz’s Hoax of the Twentieth Century, the Institute’s most important book and its all-time bestseller, on which President Raven and various employees had been tinkering for a year and a half, is now effectively out of print [Exhibit 52], and was to be excluded from the next catalogue [Exhibit 53].
Distressed by all these things, after a sleepless night I called in sick on Wednesday, April 10, and stayed out of the office for ten days. While I was depressed, I did not call my doctor, since I was neither delusional, nor panicked, nor suicidal, and I continued to take my prescribed medication. My conduct in temporarily retreating from work, family, and friends was an irrational, but I believe understandable, response, given my diagnosed condition of bipolar disorder (or manic depression), to the pressures, concerns, and unabated harassment under which I was working.
President Raven and Director Weber have long been familiar with my disability, which reportedly occurs with some frequency among creative persons. They were able to observe my behavior after the October 1993 ousting of Carto, when, following months of tension and a climactic free-for-all on IHR’s premises with the Cartos and their hired goons, I suffered an intense manic episode and was briefly hospitalized. During the next year I missed much time at work due to clinical depression, and left IHR in August 1994. In January 1995 my condition was
diagnosed and I began treatment, which has continued to the present. On applying to IHR/LSF to return to full-time employment in 1999, I fully described my diagnosis and treatment in a letter to Weber [Exhibit 54]. At that time President Raven expressly mentioned, in a letter to the Board, the possibility that I might "relapse" [Exhibit 1].
Since returning to work at LSF/IHR I have made no secret of the fact that I am being treated for bipolar disorder, have mentioned my prescribed medication (lithium) to the other employees many times, and have made regular visits to my doctor during work hours since summer 2000. I believe that President Raven’s various descriptions of me as "conspiracy-minded"[Exhibit 41] "delusional" [Exhibit 39]; and suffering "paranoid delusions" [Exhibit 55] were attempts to ridicule this disability as well as to represent me as deranged to members of the Board and possibly to other parties. And I strongly suspect that the President and the Director deliberately sought to induce in me some kind of mental breakdown through the various kinds of harassment they have subjected me to in recent months.
On April 23 I spoke by telephone to the Chairman, who urged me to resume my editorial duties at the office. I returned the next day. After speaking to Director Weber, I learned that he had done minimal editing on the current issue, despite an email he had sent me on April 17 stating that he was intervening to finish the issue on instruction from President Raven. On April 25 President Raven sent members of the Board a memo of his dissatisfaction with my alleged "lack of contrition" and "claim for special rights and privileges." He made the following prediction: "It appears, therefore, that we are fast approaching a situation where Ted will either have to be fired for gross insubordination, or he will undertake some rash action that will precipitate the termination of his employment" [Exhibit 56].
In another memo of the same day, President Raven threatened to dismiss me for "job abandonment" for working in the back office and defiance of "normal work procedures and practices as outlined in the employee guidelines" [Exhibit 57]. Although there had been no complaints about the hours I worked at the office, I was next ordered to punch in and out on a timeclock.
During a meeting on April 25, President Raven told me that the Board had empowered him to take editorial control out of my hands. I asked for written confirmation of this, and received none. In a separate conversation, Director Weber urged on me an arrangement whereby he would step in as "acting editor," with final say over content, while I did the work of preparing articles for publication. I made clear to both Raven and Weber that I believed that only the Board had the authority to dismiss me as editor, reminding them of President Raven’s several years of unsuccessful lobbying to have the previous editor replaced.
During the weekend of April 27-28, my level of anxiety so increased that I began to fear the onset of a manic episode. My doctor advised that it was most important that I avoid that. Thus I stayed home the next week, calling in each day to specify the reason for my absence to President Raven and Director Weber.
When I felt able to return to the office Monday, May 6, I found that President Raven had declared that I was no longer JHR editor [Exhibit 58]. Raven faulted me in the same memo for not consulting him and the IHR Director about "specifics of producing an issue" of the journal. I continued to express my position that only the Board was empowered to dismiss me as editor; that I would continue to work on articles I had chosen for the current JHR; and that, while I welcomed consultation with both the President and IHR’s Director, as editor I did not feel it was my obligation to approach them.
On or about May 6, Chairman Lynch informed me by telephone that he supported my continuing as editor under working conditions without harassment, and offered me the prospect of regaining the pay I had lost during my absences if I could speedily finish the current issue of the JHR to my regular standard. On May 6 several members of the Board discussed my case. After believing he had mustered a majority of Board members in support of his position, the Chairman learned that LSF Director Harvey Taylor had decided to give unconditional support to the President and IHR’s Director [Exhibit 59]. Chairman Lynch was thereupon asked to resign as Chairman of the Board by President Raven, in a letter which excoriated him for backing my "lunatic version of events here." Raven further wrote: "Throughout it all, you insist on dealing with Mark and me in a high-handed and duplicitous manner. Your ignorance of the situation here and your ingratitude toward Mark and myself are inexcusable" [Exhibit 60]. Given his inability to convince the other Directors that operations at IHR needed oversight and improvement, Chairman Lynch resigned from LSF’s Board.
On May 9 I was told that by Director Weber that President Raven had left the office to seek legal advice on dismissing me as Editor. On the next day both Raven and Weber told me that they had not been aware that I had a disability. I was informed by the President that my employment was in danger. and was again faulted for not surrendering JHR editorial control without a written notice of dismissal from the Board.
Several days later I sent a petition, with supporting evidence. to LSF’s remaining Directors, asking them to restore my editorial control under working conditions free from harassment, to dismiss Gary Ontiveros, and to allow for restoring the pay I had lost due to the harassment. As I awaited the Board’s answer, Director Weber pressed me to consign him editorial control as "acting editor," while I did the editorial work. On May 21, Weber assailed me for alleged imperfections in the several articles and reviews I had edited for the current issue. After I stood behind my work, on the next morning I was handed a letter by Raven that placed me on "unpaid administrative leave" until June 3 [Exhibit 61].
Despite my having petitioned LSF’s Board of Directors, I had little confidence that it would act boldly to change things. I could not help but recall that in 1999 none of the remaining three directors (besides Mark Weber) had so much as answered a letter from President Raven containing his threat to resign if Weber were not dismissed as JHR editor (Raven’s letter came after several years of attempting to get the Board to act on the editorial crisis).
In early June I was mailed a copy of the Board’s undated resolution rejecting all my requests [Exhibit 62]. I was also dismissed as LSF’s Treasurer, in evident disregard of my diligent attempts to generate corporate income and to protect corporate assets. It seems clear that the
resolution was drafted by Raven and Weber, and it would appear that the Board approved it without serious discussion. Since then I have avoided, on medical advice and my own preference, taking part in what for me had once been a calling as well as an aspired career, but since last fall has been a distinctly hostile work environment: the Legion for the Survival of Freedom and the Institute for Historical Review.
As I completed this report, on June 19, 2002, the current issue of the Journal of Historical Review, which President Raven and IHR Director Weber have controlled since April 17, has yet to be delivered to the printer.
Additional information about this document
|Author(s):||Theodore J. O'Keefe|
|Title:||Exit the Whistleblower, My Fall from Grace at IHR|
|First posted on CODOH:||July 2, 2015, 4:22 p.m.|