Archive for the ‘Mark Potok’ Category

Mudslide Victim Wanted Right to Live Anywhere He Wanted

Among those missing in the landslide that devastated a small Washington community is the leader of a group that sought to secede from Snohomish County over land-rights issues, including whether government could restrict property owners from building in risky or environmentally sensitive areas like the one buried by the slide.

Thom Satterlee, 65, and his wife, Marlese, 61, both are missing from their home in the community of Oso in the wake of Saturdays landslide, which spewed tons of mud and debris over homes scattered along the Stillaquamish River. A daughter, Andrea Hulme, did not respond to an interview request from NBC News, but a message on her answering machine said, My parents are missing in the mudslide.

Snohomish County officials were well acquainted with Thom Satterlee, a leader of a polarizing movement to secede and establish a new Freedom County that began in the mid-1990s.

By the time it petered out in the late 2000s, Satterlee and his fellow secessionists had announced their independence from Snohomish County (based on a petition that drew more than 12,000 signatures), appointed a sheriff (a former FBI agent who legally changed his name to Fnu Lnu) and demanded that Snohomish officials halt governance of the roughly 1,000-square-mile area that they claimed as their own.

Thom and Marlese “Marcy” Satterlee, in an undated photo provided by Nichole Webb Rivera of Houston. Rivera says her parents, along with her daughter and her daughter’s fiance, are among the dozens of people missing in the aftermath of the slide.

During the course of the dispute, which led to several court cases that resulted in rejections of the breakaway bid, Satterlee accumulated his share of detractors.

He threatened me many times, former Snohomish County Sheriff Rick Bart told NBC News as searchers continued to dig through the debris in a desperate hunt for survivors or victims. He was going to arrest me on one occasion. He was a pain in my rear end for a long, long time.

Others had more measured memories of the political firebrand.

“In all aspects, you could call Thom a good and interested citizen,” former Snohomish County Executive Bob Drewel said at his Arlington, Wash., home, overlooking the Stillaguamish River Valley. “Thom had some firmly held beliefs, none of which I agreed with. (He) was never discourteous to me, but there were times when things were argumentative.”

Longtime Snohomish County Executive Bob Drewel.

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Mudslide Victim Wanted Right to Live Anywhere He Wanted

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March 28, 2014   Posted in: Mark Potok  Comments Closed

Man Missing in Landslide Wanted Right to Live Anywhere He Wanted

Among those missing in the landslide that devastated a small Washington community is the leader of a group that sought to secede from Snohomish County over land-rights issues, including whether government could restrict property owners from building in risky or environmentally sensitive areas like the one buried by the slide.

Thom Satterlee, 65, and his wife, Marlese, 61, both are missing from their home in the community of Oso in the wake of Saturdays landslide, which spewed tons of mud and debris over homes scattered along the Stillaquamish River. A daughter, Andrea Hulme, did not respond to an interview request from NBC News, but a message on her answering machine said, My parents are missing in the mudslide.

Snohomish County officials were well acquainted with Thom Satterlee, a leader of a polarizing movement to secede and establish a new Freedom County that began in the mid-1990s.

By the time it petered out in the late 2000s, Satterlee and his fellow secessionists had announced their independence from Snohomish County (based on a petition that drew more than 12,000 signatures), appointed a sheriff (a former FBI agent who legally changed his name to Fnu Lnu) and demanded that Snohomish officials halt governance of the roughly 1,000-square-mile area that they claimed as their own.

Thom and Marlese “Marcy” Satterlee, in an undated photo provided by Nichole Webb Rivera of Houston. Rivera says her parents, along with her daughter and her daughter’s fiance, are among the dozens of people missing in the aftermath of the slide.

During the course of the dispute, which led to several court cases that resulted in rejections of the breakaway bid, Satterlee accumulated his share of detractors.

He threatened me many times, former Snohomish County Sheriff Rick Bart told NBC News as searchers continued to dig through the debris in a desperate hunt for survivors or victims. He was going to arrest me on one occasion. He was a pain in my rear end for a long, long time.

Others had more measured memories of the political firebrand.

“In all aspects, you could call Thom a good and interested citizen,” former Snohomish County Executive Bob Drewel said at his Arlington, Wash., home, overlooking the Stillaguamish River Valley. “Thom had some firmly held beliefs, none of which I agreed with. (He) was never discourteous to me, but there were times when things were argumentative.”

Longtime Snohomish County Executive Bob Drewel.

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Man Missing in Landslide Wanted Right to Live Anywhere He Wanted

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March 28, 2014   Posted in: Mark Potok  Comments Closed

Fighting Hate and Extremism, CAP [Part 4] – Video



Fighting Hate and Extremism, CAP [Part 4]
The Center for American Progress hosts Mark Potok, Daryl Johnson, Amardeep Singh, and Benjamin Armbruster for a panel discussion about “Fighting Hate and Ext…

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Fighting Hate and Extremism, CAP [Part 4] – Video

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Fred Phelps: no funeral for the preacher who picketed so many – Video



Fred Phelps: no funeral for the preacher who picketed so many
Fred Phelps, a former street preacher who led a family ministry that raged against what he perceived as a morally bankrupt society, died Thursday. His legacy…

By: Edi Muryanto

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Fred Phelps: no funeral for the preacher who picketed so many – Video

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March 25, 2014   Posted in: Mark Potok  Comments Closed

FRED PHELPS Anti-Gay Preacher Dies – No Funeral Daughter says – Video



FRED PHELPS Anti-Gay Preacher Dies – No Funeral Daughter says
Fred Phelps, a former street preacher who led a family ministry that raged against what he perceived as a morally bankrupt society, died Thursday. His legacy…

By: Jee Monk

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FRED PHELPS Anti-Gay Preacher Dies – No Funeral Daughter says – Video

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March 23, 2014   Posted in: Mark Potok  Comments Closed

Pastor's death could mean end of Westboro Baptist Church

by Rick Jervis, USA TODAY

NWCN.com

Posted on March 21, 2014 at 8:02 AM

With the death of Fred Phelps, the vitriol-spouting leader of Westboro Baptist Church who picketed military funerals and espoused hatred for gays, the future of his church is hazy.

Phelps, 84, died late Wednesday, according to online postings of his church. The cause of death was not reported.

“It’s unclear whether this so-called church will survive the death of its founder,” said Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center, which has closely monitored the group. “In some ways, it was a cult of personality.”

Phelps, who started the church in Topeka in 1955, would go on to launch a campaign to picket the funerals of gay men and lesbians with placards that read “God Hates F—.” Congregants drew the harshest criticism for picketing the funerals of fallen U.S. military personnel. Phelps said the deaths were God’s way of punishing a country that enabled same-sex relationships.

“It was a special brand of offensiveness,” said Darlene Nipper, deputy executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. “People were shocked by it and horrified by it.”

She said she foresees the church fizzling now and, she hopes, its members finding “true religion.” Today, Westboro has a few dozen followers, made up almost entirely of Phelps’ extended family, Potok said.

Church officials did not respond to several interview requests.

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Pastor's death could mean end of Westboro Baptist Church

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March 23, 2014   Posted in: Mark Potok  Comments Closed

Fred Phelps: no funeral for the preacher who picketed so many (+video)

Fred Phelps and his Westboro Baptist Church tormented countless funerals to spread their message against homosexuality and abortion. He died Thursday.

Fred Phelps, a former street preacher who led a family ministry that raged against what he perceived as a morally bankrupt society, died Thursday. His legacy of picketing funerals of military veterans and disaster victims, promoting coarse language to condemn conduct he viewed as amoral, and waging legal battles that protected his actions under the First Amendment, earned him an international reputation of a mans whose absolute conviction was never swayed in the face of widespread contempt.

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The level of his vitriol, the savageness of his comments, were just unmatched anywhere. His rhetoric was such he united people both on the far left to the far right in opposition to him and his message, says Mark Potok, a senior fellow at the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, Ala.

The organization, which tracks hate groups across the US, dubbed the Westboro Baptist Church, which Phelps founded in 1955, arguably the most obnoxious and rabid hate group in America.

Margie Phelps, a daughter and church member, told WIBW-AM in Topeka Thursday that there will be no funeral.

Phelps died in Topeka, Kan., the city that served as his home base for decades. The church, which followed a strictly fundamental interpretation of the Bible, was mainly comprised of family members, including nine of the 13 Phelps children, and a number of adult grandchildren.

One of those grandchildren, Megan Phelps-Roper, who left the church in 2012, said via Twitter Thursday that she was so sorry for the harm he caused. That we all caused. But he could be so kind and wonderful. I wish you all could have seen that too. In another tweet, Ms. Phelps added, I understand those who dont mourn his loss, but Im thankful for those who see that An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind.

Phelps grew up in Meridian, Miss., and was groomed to attend the US Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., but he abandoned those plans soon after he attended a tent revival in the summer of 1947 and heard the calling to preach. That same year, while still a teenager, he was ordained a Southern Baptist minister and moved to Cleveland, Tenn., to attend Bob Jones University. A few years later, he ended up in Pasadena, Calif., where his life as a street preacher started with gusto, earning enough attention that he became the subject of a 1951 Time Magazine profile that detailed his religious fervor in condemning the sins of passers-by.

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Fred Phelps: no funeral for the preacher who picketed so many (+video)

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March 20, 2014   Posted in: Mark Potok  Comments Closed

Right-Wing Extremist Groups ‘Demoralized’ by Obama Re-Election – Video



Right-Wing Extremist Groups 'Demoralized' by Obama Re-Election
Mark Potok from the Southern Poverty Law Center on News Nation with Tameron Hall on MSNBC.

By: Reich-Wing Watch

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Right-Wing Extremist Groups ‘Demoralized’ by Obama Re-Election – Video

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March 3, 2014   Posted in: Mark Potok  Comments Closed

Tamron Hall: Far-Right Extremist Groups Plummet – Video



Tamron Hall: Far-Right Extremist Groups Plummet
Tamron Hall: Report: Far-right extremist groups plummet According to a new report from the Southern Poverty Law Center, the number of far-right extremist gro…

By: Premium Rush

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Tamron Hall: Far-Right Extremist Groups Plummet – Video

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March 3, 2014   Posted in: Mark Potok  Comments Closed

Mudslide Victim Wanted Right to Live Anywhere He Wanted

Among those missing in the landslide that devastated a small Washington community is the leader of a group that sought to secede from Snohomish County over land-rights issues, including whether government could restrict property owners from building in risky or environmentally sensitive areas like the one buried by the slide. Thom Satterlee, 65, and his wife, Marlese, 61, both are missing from their home in the community of Oso in the wake of Saturdays landslide, which spewed tons of mud and debris over homes scattered along the Stillaquamish River. A daughter, Andrea Hulme, did not respond to an interview request from NBC News, but a message on her answering machine said, My parents are missing in the mudslide. Snohomish County officials were well acquainted with Thom Satterlee, a leader of a polarizing movement to secede and establish a new Freedom County that began in the mid-1990s. By the time it petered out in the late 2000s, Satterlee and his fellow secessionists had announced their independence from Snohomish County (based on a petition that drew more than 12,000 signatures), appointed a sheriff (a former FBI agent who legally changed his name to Fnu Lnu) and demanded that Snohomish officials halt governance of the roughly 1,000-square-mile area that they claimed as their own. Thom and Marlese “Marcy” Satterlee, in an undated photo provided by Nichole Webb Rivera of Houston. Rivera says her parents, along with her daughter and her daughter’s fiance, are among the dozens of people missing in the aftermath of the slide. During the course of the dispute, which led to several court cases that resulted in rejections of the breakaway bid, Satterlee accumulated his share of detractors. He threatened me many times, former Snohomish County Sheriff Rick Bart told NBC News as searchers continued to dig through the debris in a desperate hunt for survivors or victims. He was going to arrest me on one occasion. He was a pain in my rear end for a long, long time. Others had more measured memories of the political firebrand. “In all aspects, you could call Thom a good and interested citizen,” former Snohomish County Executive Bob Drewel said at his Arlington, Wash., home, overlooking the Stillaguamish River Valley. “Thom had some firmly held beliefs, none of which I agreed with. (He) was never discourteous to me, but there were times when things were argumentative.” Longtime Snohomish County Executive Bob Drewel.

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March 28, 2014   Posted in: Mark Potok  Comments Closed

Man Missing in Landslide Wanted Right to Live Anywhere He Wanted

Among those missing in the landslide that devastated a small Washington community is the leader of a group that sought to secede from Snohomish County over land-rights issues, including whether government could restrict property owners from building in risky or environmentally sensitive areas like the one buried by the slide. Thom Satterlee, 65, and his wife, Marlese, 61, both are missing from their home in the community of Oso in the wake of Saturdays landslide, which spewed tons of mud and debris over homes scattered along the Stillaquamish River. A daughter, Andrea Hulme, did not respond to an interview request from NBC News, but a message on her answering machine said, My parents are missing in the mudslide. Snohomish County officials were well acquainted with Thom Satterlee, a leader of a polarizing movement to secede and establish a new Freedom County that began in the mid-1990s. By the time it petered out in the late 2000s, Satterlee and his fellow secessionists had announced their independence from Snohomish County (based on a petition that drew more than 12,000 signatures), appointed a sheriff (a former FBI agent who legally changed his name to Fnu Lnu) and demanded that Snohomish officials halt governance of the roughly 1,000-square-mile area that they claimed as their own. Thom and Marlese “Marcy” Satterlee, in an undated photo provided by Nichole Webb Rivera of Houston. Rivera says her parents, along with her daughter and her daughter’s fiance, are among the dozens of people missing in the aftermath of the slide. During the course of the dispute, which led to several court cases that resulted in rejections of the breakaway bid, Satterlee accumulated his share of detractors. He threatened me many times, former Snohomish County Sheriff Rick Bart told NBC News as searchers continued to dig through the debris in a desperate hunt for survivors or victims. He was going to arrest me on one occasion. He was a pain in my rear end for a long, long time. Others had more measured memories of the political firebrand. “In all aspects, you could call Thom a good and interested citizen,” former Snohomish County Executive Bob Drewel said at his Arlington, Wash., home, overlooking the Stillaguamish River Valley. “Thom had some firmly held beliefs, none of which I agreed with. (He) was never discourteous to me, but there were times when things were argumentative.” Longtime Snohomish County Executive Bob Drewel.

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March 28, 2014   Posted in: Mark Potok  Comments Closed

Fighting Hate and Extremism, CAP [Part 4] – Video




Fighting Hate and Extremism, CAP [Part 4] The Center for American Progress hosts Mark Potok, Daryl Johnson, Amardeep Singh, and Benjamin Armbruster for a panel discussion about “Fighting Hate and Ext… By: DTAnalytics

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March 27, 2014   Posted in: Mark Potok  Comments Closed

Fred Phelps: no funeral for the preacher who picketed so many – Video




Fred Phelps: no funeral for the preacher who picketed so many Fred Phelps, a former street preacher who led a family ministry that raged against what he perceived as a morally bankrupt society, died Thursday. His legacy… By: Edi Muryanto

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March 25, 2014   Posted in: Mark Potok  Comments Closed

FRED PHELPS Anti-Gay Preacher Dies – No Funeral Daughter says – Video




FRED PHELPS Anti-Gay Preacher Dies – No Funeral Daughter says Fred Phelps, a former street preacher who led a family ministry that raged against what he perceived as a morally bankrupt society, died Thursday. His legacy… By: Jee Monk

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March 23, 2014   Posted in: Mark Potok  Comments Closed

Pastor's death could mean end of Westboro Baptist Church

by Rick Jervis, USA TODAY NWCN.com Posted on March 21, 2014 at 8:02 AM With the death of Fred Phelps, the vitriol-spouting leader of Westboro Baptist Church who picketed military funerals and espoused hatred for gays, the future of his church is hazy. Phelps, 84, died late Wednesday, according to online postings of his church. The cause of death was not reported. “It’s unclear whether this so-called church will survive the death of its founder,” said Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center, which has closely monitored the group. “In some ways, it was a cult of personality.” Phelps, who started the church in Topeka in 1955, would go on to launch a campaign to picket the funerals of gay men and lesbians with placards that read “God Hates F—.” Congregants drew the harshest criticism for picketing the funerals of fallen U.S. military personnel. Phelps said the deaths were God’s way of punishing a country that enabled same-sex relationships. “It was a special brand of offensiveness,” said Darlene Nipper, deputy executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. “People were shocked by it and horrified by it.” She said she foresees the church fizzling now and, she hopes, its members finding “true religion.” Today, Westboro has a few dozen followers, made up almost entirely of Phelps’ extended family, Potok said. Church officials did not respond to several interview requests.

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March 23, 2014   Posted in: Mark Potok  Comments Closed

Fred Phelps: no funeral for the preacher who picketed so many (+video)

Fred Phelps and his Westboro Baptist Church tormented countless funerals to spread their message against homosexuality and abortion. He died Thursday. Fred Phelps, a former street preacher who led a family ministry that raged against what he perceived as a morally bankrupt society, died Thursday. His legacy of picketing funerals of military veterans and disaster victims, promoting coarse language to condemn conduct he viewed as amoral, and waging legal battles that protected his actions under the First Amendment, earned him an international reputation of a mans whose absolute conviction was never swayed in the face of widespread contempt. Subscribe Today to the Monitor Click Here for your FREE 30 DAYS of The Christian Science Monitor Weekly Digital Edition The level of his vitriol, the savageness of his comments, were just unmatched anywhere. His rhetoric was such he united people both on the far left to the far right in opposition to him and his message, says Mark Potok, a senior fellow at the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, Ala. The organization, which tracks hate groups across the US, dubbed the Westboro Baptist Church, which Phelps founded in 1955, arguably the most obnoxious and rabid hate group in America. Margie Phelps, a daughter and church member, told WIBW-AM in Topeka Thursday that there will be no funeral. Phelps died in Topeka, Kan., the city that served as his home base for decades. The church, which followed a strictly fundamental interpretation of the Bible, was mainly comprised of family members, including nine of the 13 Phelps children, and a number of adult grandchildren. One of those grandchildren, Megan Phelps-Roper, who left the church in 2012, said via Twitter Thursday that she was so sorry for the harm he caused. That we all caused. But he could be so kind and wonderful. I wish you all could have seen that too. In another tweet, Ms. Phelps added, I understand those who dont mourn his loss, but Im thankful for those who see that An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind. Phelps grew up in Meridian, Miss., and was groomed to attend the US Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., but he abandoned those plans soon after he attended a tent revival in the summer of 1947 and heard the calling to preach. That same year, while still a teenager, he was ordained a Southern Baptist minister and moved to Cleveland, Tenn., to attend Bob Jones University. A few years later, he ended up in Pasadena, Calif., where his life as a street preacher started with gusto, earning enough attention that he became the subject of a 1951 Time Magazine profile that detailed his religious fervor in condemning the sins of passers-by.

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Right-Wing Extremist Groups ‘Demoralized’ by Obama Re-Election – Video




Right-Wing Extremist Groups'Demoralized' by Obama Re-Election Mark Potok from the Southern Poverty Law Center on News Nation with Tameron Hall on MSNBC. By: Reich-Wing Watch

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Tamron Hall: Far-Right Extremist Groups Plummet – Video




Tamron Hall: Far-Right Extremist Groups Plummet Tamron Hall: Report: Far-right extremist groups plummet According to a new report from the Southern Poverty Law Center, the number of far-right extremist gro… By: Premium Rush

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