Anti-Defamation League Labels
Conservative Event 'Extremist'
By Michael L. Betsch
May 27, 2002
(CNSNews.com) - An upcoming Fourth of July "FreedomFest,"
intended to attract pro-gun, anti-tax conservatives and libertarians
from all across America, has been deemed "extremist" by the
Anti-Defamation League (ADL).
Organizers and supporters of 'FreedomFest' say the Anti-Defamation
League's accusations are unfounded.
FreedomFest organizer Wayne Hicks describes the upcoming celebration as
"a big 4th of July party," replete with fireworks, patriotic
musical performances, a turkey shoot, gun show, craft fair, and even a
petting zoo and horseback rides for the kids.
The Independence Day weekend event will take place in Dry Fork, Ark.
from July 2 through July 6 and it will include the following
presentations: "The Bill Of Rights ... and Why We're Losing
them," "The Constitution and Constitutional Law," "A
Complete Explanation of Section 861 of the IRS Code," and
"Keeping and Bearing: What Part of 'Shall Not Be Infringed' don't
However, ADL, which has a stated mission to "expose and combat the
purveyors of hatred in our midst," lists FreedomFest on its "Schedule
of Upcoming Extremist Events for 2002," lumping the event in
the same category with the "Aryan Unity Rally," "White
solidarity gathering," and "Klan Jam."
ADL's only explanation for labeling FreedomFest an extremist event is
that it's "sponsored by Fourth Branch, an anti-government group,
and Sierra Times."
FreedomFest organizer Wayne Hicks is president of the Fourth Branch
Clubs of America.
The Fourth Branch defines its mission as one dedicated to the
"recovery of those unalienable rights, assured to all Americans by
our Constitution and the Declaration of Independence."
Sierra Times Chief Executive Officer J.J. Johnson said he doesn't
understand why the ADL criticized his conservative-leaning online
publication. "In order for me to say if I am or not
(anti-government), you've got to define it," he said.
Johnson said the ADL's definition of anti-government could technically
include "about 300-million people" who at some point in their
lifetime have had a problem with government.
The ADL refused numerous requests by CNSNews.com to define the
terms 'anti-government' and 'extremist' with regard to FreedomFest and
"Anti-government is just a word that sounds bad," Johnson said
of ADL's use of the term. "If they tell a lie long enough, people
will begin to believe it."
Johnson said if he were to define the term anti-government, "it
would be a person who was very hostile toward the constitutional
principle that it's based on."
"Terrorists are anti-government; we're not terrorists here,"
Johnson said. "We just happen to have a staff that leans on the
conservative side, that's all."
Johnson said despite the Anti-Defamation League's preaching of
tolerance, it is among the "most intolerant groups I've ever run
"They speaketh with forked tongues," Johnson added.
Aaron Zelman, executive director of Jews for the Preservation of
Firearms Ownership, also lashed out at the ADL.
"These folks (ADL), they're just running a scam," Zelman said.
"They keep the cash register ringing by claiming there's more
anti-Semitism than there really is."
Zelman said ADL's view of events like FreedomFest is
"negative" because "they don't believe in the whole Bill
of Rights for all citizens."
According to Zelman, "America really is the Promised Land for Jews
and it's because of the Bill of Rights." The Second Amendment, he
added, "is the guardian of all the rest of the rights."
"All they know is socialism," Zelman said of the ADL.
"They never left socialism in Europe when they came and they
brought it with them. And, they've been involved in it for all of these
Zelman said the Bill of Rights guarantees Americans the right to
practice socialism. However, he said, "You don't try to destroy the
country and the laws and the documents that give you so much freedom
unless you're just damn stupid or blind, or don't want to learn from