If Jews or Christians still harbor any doubts that American civil society has entered an era where public expressions of Jew-hatred are not the career-enders they used to be, they need look no further than at the success of professional antisemite E. Michael Jones.
Jones, a failed academic who resides in South Bend, Indiana, has been able to earn his living by promoting and normalizing a hateful narrative about evil Jews running the world. He offers this narrative to a small but growing fan base of disaffected Catholics and white nationalists. He sells subscriptions to a magazine he edits and sells his books on Amazon which he promotes through regular appearances in videos posted on the internet.
During these interviews, Jones regularly portrays Jews and Israel as interfering with and controlling American foreign policy. In one interview he declared that the Israel shared responsibility for the assassination of U.S. President John F. Kennedy with the CIA and Lyndon Johnson. In this same interview he boasted of traveling to Iran where he told audiences that there are three reasons why Iran no longer has a nuclear agreement with the United States – Sheldon Adelson, Bernard Marcus and Paul Singer.
“Three rich Jews determine American foreign policy,” he said. In another trip, which was paid for by the mullahs, Jones told his audience that Iran, a country whose elites hang gays and orchestrate mob violence against women to keep them in the hijab “is the leader of the free world.”
Like Jeremy Corbyn, the antisemitic leader of the British Labour Party, Jones appeared multiple times on PressTV, the mouthpiece for the mullahs in Iran. “I got paid for a few times for going to the local studio, but the payments stopped when we switched to Skype,” he admitted recently on Twitter.
Jones called Iran the leader of the free world because unlike the United States, it has been able to stand up to Jewish efforts to undermine the moral order of its society.
In the U.S., it’s another story altogether. “If it weren’t for Jews, we would not have abortion in this country,” he said in an interview late last year posted on the internet in the aftermath of the murder of 11 Jews at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh.
The Pittsburgh shooter, Jones said, was acting out the lessons taught by Jews both conservative and liberal. Liberal Jews promote and invite their murder with their support for abortion. Conservative Jews promote and invite their murder by supporting Israel despite the violence the Jewish state has inflicted on the Palestinians, particularly at the Gaza Strip, which he deceptively reduced to a confrontation between Israeli snipers and unarmed Palestinians — as if Hamas operatives haven’t promised to murder Israelis and haven’t tried to cut their way into Israel with explosives.
“They’ve been undermining the moral law in the name of liberation,” he said. “That’s what abortion is. That’s what pornography is. That’s what gay rights is. And now, that’s what Zionism is.”
Jones’s message is getting out to young Catholics looking for spiritual and intellectual authority outside the Catholic hierarchy, whose reputation has been badly damaged by the priest abuse scandal. In addition to demonizing Israel and American Jews, Jones tells his listeners to get baptized, get married and embrace the true teaching of the Catholic church regarding the Jews: they are the enemies of the Catholic faith, and of humanity itself. He also counsels white racists to return to the Catholic faith because it provides a better platform than white nationalism to confront the evils of Jewish power.
The way Jones tells it, Americans who call themselves “white” are Protestants or ethnic Catholics who stopped going to church, lost their identity and as a result became vulnerable to the cultural depredations imposed by the Jews who dominated American culture. “You lost the battle when you became white,” Jones recently told white nationalists who interviewed him on YouTube, “because they get to define your identity and you didn’t.”
The process of Jews undermining the cultural and ethnic identity of non-Jews is a theological issue and has “been going on since the foot of the cross when the Jews murdered Jesus Christ and they turned on logos, logos incarnate,” Jones said. “They’ve been waging this battle against logos for the entire human history.” In Jones’s worldview, humanity’s sense of logos, or innate understanding of the order of the universe, is continually under attack and “overridden by an operating system or by software that you would call ‘The Jews.’”
In addition to making mystical theological arguments about Jews rejecting logos that can neither be proved or disproved in any empirical manner, another one of Jones’s go-to rhetorical moves is to encourage his listeners to mistake the part for the whole. Some Jews supported communism, therefore communism is a Jewish movement. Some Jews brag about promoting gay marriage, therefore, “the Jews” supported gay marriage. Some Jews make a living from pornography, therefore it’s a Jewish industry and the fault of the Jews even if the vast of the people who visit the websites are non-Jews.
Yet another go-to move that Jones relies on is to invoke the self-aggrandizing boasts of Jews who say they were singled-handedly responsible for political success of movements (such as gay marriage or abortion) as proof that, in fact, Jews are singularly to blame for these movements.
A version of this strategy is evident in Jones’s response to the Pittsburgh shooting. After the massacre, Jones explained the shooter’s decision to shoot up a Jewish synagogue was rooted in its support for the Jewish organization HIAS which assists immigrants coming into the United States. HIAS, Jones said, is flooding the country with immigrants and in so doing, is breaking the law and in turn, inviting a violent response from people opposed to immigrant.
What Jones fails to acknowledge, however, is that HIAS is only one of dozens of organizations that supports immigrants. It is not “the Jews” who support this agenda, but a large coalition of groups.
Predictably, Jones portrays the priest abuse scandal that is rocking the Catholic church as a Judeo-Protestant conspiracy designed to destroy the church and its ability to stand up against the excesses of capitalism. In 2010, Jones told a group of Catholics in Ireland that, “the current scandals are being orchestrated by the church’s traditional enemies – Protestants and Jews – in order to destroy traditional cultures and make the world safe for capitalism and the universal rule of mammon.”
Despite its current beleaguered state, the Catholic church represents the only defense available to hapless and helpless non-Jews vulnerable to Jewish manipulation and control, Jones asserts. “If you turn away from the Catholic church,” Jones said in one interview, “you will end up a slave — a slave to the Jews either through their pornography or their usury.”
This message is at the heart of his magnum opus about the evils of Jewish power, titled The Jewish Revolutionary Spirit and Its Impact on World History, a 1168-page book which can be fairly characterized as a modernized and footnoted version of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.
In this hateful text, communism, abortion, gay rights, rock and roll, pornography, feminism and the sexual revolution are all the fault of revolutionary Jews who, because of their rejection of Jesus Christ, seek to subvert the societies in which they live. After recounting all the horrors that the Jews have inflicted on the world — including helping African Americans achieve their civil rights in the United States for example — Jones says that the Catholic church must oppose Jewish power and the institutions that wield it, which he characterizes as “The Synagogue of Satan.” To break this power, the Catholic church must seek their conversion.
In another text, The Jews and Moral Subversion, Jones declares that the Church must “work for the conversion of the group that is responsible for virtually every social ill in our day — from wars in the Middle East to pornography and gay marriage at home — namely the Jews, around whose evil machinations the axis of history turns.”
Clearly, there is a utopian and millennial aspect to Jones’s Jew-hatred. In the story he tells, history can proceed as God intended once the Jews and their evil machinations are defeated by the Catholic church. The notion that the Jews are a singular obstacle to God’s purposes for humanity has genocidal implications that are simply undeniable, for what happens when the Jews refuse to convert as they have for the past 2,000 years?
This question was answered by John Earnest, the young Christian who murdered a Jewish woman at a synagogue in Poway, California a few months ago. He was clearly motivated by the type of scripturally based hostility toward Jews similar to what Jones espouses, but Jones himself disavows any responsibility for promoting an atmosphere where Jews are legitimate targets for violence.
“You have undermined the moral order and now don’t be surprised if people start acting out their aggression towards you,” Jones warned Jews after the Pittsburgh shooting, “And don’t blame me.”
Jones invokes the Catholic teaching of Sicut Judaeis Non, a doctrine of the early church that stated no one had the right to harm the Jew, but at the same time, the Jews were — like Christians and Jews living under Islam — required to accept second class status and refrain from undermining the Christian cultures in which they lived. What Jones does not address, however, is how this doctrine is to be applied in countries with secular civil societies. Nor does he describe what happens when Jews achieve political and cultural success in these societies.
Boiled down to its basics, Jones’s message is “Don’t attack the Jews (no matter how badly they deserve it!)” but after a few iterations and echoes, Jones’s message is reduced to “They deserve it!”
Jones and his listeners know full well what he’s doing: creating an atmosphere of anti-Jewish hostility in American society which — if left unchecked and unchallenged by his fellow Catholics — will result in further acts of violence that Jones and his followers will inwardly applaud even as they repeat “Sicut Judaeis Non.” (For those who think it’s unfair to guess at Jones’s interior response to attacks on Jews, he has attributed the same feelings to Jewish leaders by suggesting they secretly rejoice at these same attacks because they demonstrate the legitimacy of their concerns about antisemitism.)
No matter how much he and his followers want to deny it, Jones’s mystical Jew-hatred represents a real threat to the safety and welfare of American Jews, just as the writings of antisemites in Russia and Europe in the late 1800s and early 1900s set the stage for violence against Jews in the 1930s and 40s.
But Jones’s writings are more than a threat to Jewish safety, they present a lethal threat to the credibility of the faith and Church he purports to defend. In the hands of Jones and his followers, the Cross is not a cornerstone of liberating forgiveness, but an anchor and millstone of hate and resentment that has been hobbling and constricting Christ’s message of forgiveness for the past 2,000 years.
By promoting his message of Jew-hatred, Jones is encouraging his followers to reject the lesson of the Cross. The challenge the Christian faith presents to its followers is a choice between joining their suffering with the redemptive wounds of Christ on the Cross or combining their rage with the mob that put him there. Jones and his followers have chosen the latter, multiplying the world’s suffering and misery.
Who’s rejecting logos, really?