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The Campus Project has been a tremendous success over the past five years. I’ve run essay/advertisements in more than 70 student newspapers, many at some of the most prestigious universities in America. There have been hundreds of editorials and print stories about the project in both student and metropolitan papers, a stream of radio and TV interviews, and no doubt tens of thousands of man hours of private discussions and debate over the issues raised in the ads. (If you’re new and have not read the texts of the two ads, drop me a s.a.s.e. and I’ll send them to you, together with a full list of the campuses where the ads have run.)
Nevertheless, the Project failed to create a debate on campus or in the press over the substance of revisionist theory, and it did not succeed in promoting a real debate on the intellectual freedom issues raised by either the publication or, alternatively, suppression of the ads. Energetic and purposeful individuals associated with the Holocaust Lobby, while they could not prevent students from running CODOH ads, were largely successful in intimidating college faculties and administrations, who again and again turned on the students who had acted on their idealism in running the ads and in many cases defended their running them.
If I want to accomplish in the future what I have so far failed to accomplish, I have to leave behind what on its face has not worked or has not worked well enough. I have to organize and direct the project in new ways that will increase its chances for full success. The purpose of the Campus Project isn’t to raise hell on campus, no matter how diverting that might be. The purpose of the Project is to create an open debate on the gas chamber controversy.
Mainline Anticensorship Organizations. The primary reason I have been unable to create an environment in the press or on campus for debate is that no mainline anticensorship organization has been willing to commit itself on the side of intellectual freedom with regard to the Holocaust controversy. These organizations typically do not concern themselves with censorship issues that are not related to libraries. These very important organizations broadly support the “Library Bill of Rights,” first adopted by the American Library Association Council in 1948. which describes an editorial perspective that is very positive for revisionism:
“Materials should not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation... Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval... Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment... Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgment of free expression and free access to ideas.”
I know. There’s many a slip twixt the ideal and real life. Nevertheless, I’m going to go with the librarians for two reasons.
First, I’m going to guess that it is much easier for a library to shelve revisionist materials than it is for newspapers to publish them because many libraries are already doing it without fuss. Secondly, I’m going to go with libraries which are located on campuses funded by the state because the research library on a state-funded campus is almost certainly state funded and the removal of revisionist materials from a state funded library because of the views they espouse would be seen by mainline anticensorship organizations as—censorship.
Where are these “mainline” anticensorship organizations which serve as guardians for our intellectual freedom? They’re plugged into the National Coalition Against Censorship, which serves as an umbrella for more than 40 mainline organizations pledged to struggle against censorship. Among the 40 are the American Association of University Professors, American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression, the ACLU, American Jewish Congress, American Library Association, American Society of Journalists and Authors, Institute for First Amendment Studies, National Education Association, PEN American Center, People for the American Way, Student Press Law Center and The Newspaper Guild.
On campus, Libraries are more stable guardians of free expression than are the newspapers. The concept that is elaborating in my imagination is that I am going to go through college libraries to reach student newspapers from a new angle, one that will place CODOH and the Campus Project within the embrace of solid campus institutions—libraries.
The Internet along with college libraries and anticensorship organizations, has come to play a central role in how I see the Campus Project unfolding. I logged on to Internet about this time last year and spent a few weeks posting on the news group alt.revisionism. Other revisionists were already posting there. It was and remains the only open forum for revisionism I have ever found. Real issues were discussed. We could post what we wanted, the other side could post what it wanted in response. I couldn’t have asked for anything more?
The exterminationists who responded to revisionist postings were bright, some were highly educated, some were knowledgeable about the issues from an exterminationist perspective, but their posts included so many angry denunciations, so much personal vilification, slander, crazy accusations and such an obvious need to destroy the reputation of anyone who expressed doubt about what they believed, that it took only a few weeks I was getting tired of it.
It was an unending shouting match. Some criticisms I received were valid. I found out stuff I hadn’t known before. But it was possible to provoke ten, even twenty pages of responses to a post that might be only one or two paragraphs. I didn’t have the time. The postings created so much text I had no practical way to deal with it. I stopped posting, and after awhile I canceled my subscriptions to Delphi and America On Line. There had to be some other way to do it.
World Wide Web (WWW or, simply, the Web) is a “place” on the Internet where individuals and organizations cart set up permanent electronic information sites. Those who set up the site control it and manage it to their own satisfaction and benefit. Not just anyone can jump in and start throwing bombs around. It’s like a magazine in that way. Those who publish the magazine decide what goes in it and what doesn’t.
While a magazine can be sent anywhere in the world to anyone who asks for it, the Web site remains in one place and all those all over the world who have computers and are “on-line” can reach any Web site anywhere in the world by tapping a few numbers and letters on their keyboard. The number of computers that have access to the Internet and the Web is known to be in the several millions and may be as many as twenty or more millions. Presently, literally, there is no end in sight to its growth. Being on Internet is like having touch-tone access to the computer-literate world. We’re talking major outreach here.
When you key up a Web site on your screen, you find a “home page,” or title page. It’s rather analogous to the cover of a magazine. It informs the browser he has found the information source he’s looking for. It resembles browsing the news racks at a book or drugstore. When you scroll past the home page you’ll find the menu, or “contents” of the site, much like you do in a magazine. And like a magazine, the contents are what the editor and publisher put there, not what someone tossed in the pot to confuse the issue or slander the editor. And then there is the fact that you can use your Web site to offer materials for sale.
All of a sudden it’s a different ball game.
The Internet on Campus. Every communications department and every student newspaper at every major university in America and at many mid-sized ones as well is hooked up to the Internet. Most student journalists are computer literate, to one degree or another, many have their own computers, and of those a good percentage access Internet. The Internet is the classiest intellectual fad to come along on campus since Zen, some 40 years ago.
Intellectual freedom is all the rage on Internet. Kids see the “Net” as a marvelous stew of freedom, power, imagination, innocence and danger. That’s what it is. It’s just the place for someone like me. No guns, no bombs, no censorship, no fascists in charge of the debate, no prisons, no fines, no stalinist control of the information flow. But it’s a dead wrong place for the Deborah Lipstadts and the lobby she represents. They can’t control it. No place is good for professors who need to control the debate rather than take part in it.
The Challenge is Two-Fold: to provide an electronic informational and publishing site that will interest student journalists, and at the same time one which will interest a broad national and international audience as well. To do that, the site has to be promoted. And therein lies the challenge and the opportunity.
The challenge is represented by the fact that the number of sites on the Web is growing at such a phenomenal rate that many of them are lost from the get-go and a majority of the others will find a difficult time drawing readers. The opportunity is that CODOH deals with a “hot” subject, already has name recognition in the national media, on college campuses nationwide, and in the back rooms of one of the most influential lobbies in the Western world.—the Holocaust Lobby. Which in turn, ironically, has tremendous influence with media and the professorial That is our field of battle, as it were. It’s the best field for them, but it’s the best one for CODOH too.
Setting Up the Project: While the picture isn’t completely clear, and while I’m certain I’ll run into plenty of stumbling blocks along the way, here is the outline of what I have in mind for the Campus Project in the coming months:
1) By the time you have this in your hand I will have set up my access to the Internet and will be working to set up a permanent Web site, create a “home page” and lay out the first version of the “main menu” as the jargon has it—that is, the contents.
2) The first department will be an editor’s page, while the second will be a place to offer videotapes for sale, headed by “David Cole Interviews Dr. Franciszek Piper.”
3) Other departments will be added one by one: examples might include:
- critiques of the responses of specific universities to the CODOH ads at Georgetown, Miami, Brandeis, Stanford, Michigan etc.
- monitoring the print press and the Internet itself and recording the world-wide attempts to suppress and censor revisionist scholarship
- publish reviews of relevant publications, books and periodicals both
- publish revisionist papers, or papers examining revisionist writings
- publish interviews with revisionists, or with others interested in revisionism
- support an exchange of views among revisionists, and among revisionists and exterminationists
- a question and answer column in which specific questions about revisionist research can be answered by revisionist researchers and so on. These are simply the first ideas that have come to me. If you have your own ideas, I’m all ears.
Getting Help: I don’t intend to even attempt to try to carry out this project by myself. Many revisionists are computer literate and I will consult with them and ask for their help. I see each “department” having its own editor, while I will function as “managing” editor. Each editor will be able to gather his own researchers, kick off his own projects, handle the work in whatever way is most productive for him.
Promoting the Site: CODOH will soon have a Web site on the Internet and the attention of those who do not want to see it there. At first it won’t necessarily have more than a handful of readers. While millions of individuals will be able to access the site, at first no one will know it’s there. So the first order of business once we’re established is to get the word out that we exist and where we can be found. I believe I can get a lot of help with this.
Student Newspapers. I’ll inform college newspaper editors that CODOH is on Internet and has its own Web site and inform them how to reach it and why they should. Student editors will be able to monitor how revisionist research is suppressed and even censored on college campuses, in the mainline press and outright censored in many European countries. I will load the site with a solid revisionist papers and articles and ask student editors to explain to each other why such materia] should be suppressed.
The mere existence of CODOH on the Internet will create media. That will in turn create an audience of individuals which will be able to monitor the CODOH site privately on an on-going basis. Again, not a matter of reading a text on one page of a student newspaper, having it savaged by the local politicos, and then having it gone. Every week there will be new materials posted on our Web site. People will be able to return to it again and again—and again—from all over the world!
An Editorial Writer’s Group. Student editors will be kept informed as to the progress of the project. We will work to monitor the student press. When stories appear about the project, or about the video, we’ll reproduce them on the Web. All student editors that way will have access to what the few write on this subject.
There are a number of revisionists who are good writers but have no proper place to publish. I’ll solicit opinion pieces from them, to deal with The Project, and we’ll find a way to distribute them to student and metropolitan newspapers. This is a project I have talked about off and on for years but never had a way to implement it without so much labor on my part that I always ended by letting it slide. Once on the Internet I will be able to find help with it.
Ads In Campus Newspapers. For the time being, with certain exceptions, this part of the Campus Project will lie fallow. I no longer have the funds for it. Those of you who have offered to pay for running the Museum Ad at campuses you have a special interest in, and which I have failed to follow up on for one indefensible reason or another—please try me again toward the end of September. I would like to try to run them—despite my poor response in the past.
We’ve done the ads. The editorial community on campus expects CODOH to approach it with paid advertisements. Why do what they expect? The other side has geared up over the last five years and has put in place numerous tools to suppress precisely what we have done before. Like most old generals, they’re geared up to fight the last war. The last war was solely a print war. This new campaign, without negating any other available mediums, is electronic. The world is our oyster. We can go anywhere we wish. We’re in the driver’s seat this time. The one thing to keep in mind when we move is to get to the objective, as Jeb Stuart I think once said, furstest with the mostest.
It’s been suggested I run small classified ads in certain campus papers announcing access to the CODOH Web site. While at first I had doubts, the costs can add up quickly for even a ten-word ad, and the ad has to be run regularly or it won’t be effective, I’m beginning to change my mind. It might well be worth the while to run the ad once a week in half a dozen of the absolutely top campus papers. If that were done, access to CODOH’s Web site would be e-mailed from one editor’s desk and one computer to another throughout the university system.
A Powerful and Dangerous Videotape. That’s how Holocaust Historian Yehuda Bower described the one-hour video, “David Cole Interviews Franciszek Piper.” I’m going to donate it to our top 250 state funded university and college libraries. Ten copies of the tape are shelved at the Yad Vashem library in Jerusalem. No reason why American libraries should not shelve it. I’ll announce the donation to the world on Internet. I’ll announce it to the newspaper editors at the 250 campuses where I make the donation. We’ll monitor the reaction on CODOH’s Web site. Editors, censors, mainline journalists and interested lay persons will be able to follow the story. And it will be a story!
Tying It All Together. This isn’t a series of separate projects. It’s only one—the Campus Project metastasizing in orderly elaboration. I have a lot of experience with media now, and mucho experience with The Lobby. CODOH and I both have name-recognition with the student press, with university faculty and administration, with campus journalism and communications departments. In mainline media I have substantial name recognition with radio, TV and the print press. I’m not starting at the starting line again, I’m half way down the field.
So—I put CODOH on Internet, create an irresistible Web site, inform the student press and the rest of the world where we are, begin working on the stories I mentioned above, donate the Cole/Piper Video to 250 government funded university and college libraries, inform the student press and the world of what we have done, report on which libraries have received our donation, monitor the reaction, publish revisionist materials, critique orthodox ones and generally raise hell on campus, in the media and on the Net.
(It should be noted here that anyone will be able to download and print out on paper all the relevant materials published on the CODOH Web site.)
Break His Bones. I haven’t forgotten my book. After the first of the year I will have finished Break His Bones and published it. And I’ll start the process all over again, donating copies of the book to the top university and college libraries and following up on the donation in a way that it will be very difficult, if not impossible, for the professors and the media to ignore it. By that time I will have learned a great deal about the project that I will have learned from the original video promotion. Nothing will have gone to waste.
When Does All This Begin To Happen? These aren’t plans that are being developed for some time in the future. They’re going down right now. By the time you have this issue of SR to hand I will be on-line and setting up the Web site.
Additional information about this document
|Author(s):||Bradley R. Smith|
|Title:||The Campus Project, Updates|
|Sources:||Smith's Report, no. 25, August 1995, pp. 1-5|
|First posted on CODOH:||Sept. 21, 2015, 4:07 a.m.|