FBI Withdraws SPLC-Sourced Memo Smearing ‘Radical Traditional Catholics’

Man, “white nationalists” aren’t what they used to be. Back in the day, groups like the Klan hated Catholics almost as much as they hated blacks and Jews. Now we learn from the Southern Poverty Law Center, via some knucklehead in the FBI’s Richmond office, that white supremacists are eager to recruit Latin-mumbling papists.

On February 8, former FBI agent Kyle Serafin released a leaked FBI internal memo on UncoverDC. Originating in the Richmond office, its poignant title was “Racial or ethnically motivated violent extremists’ interest in radical traditionalist Catholic ideology almost certainly presents opportunities for new mitigation.”

Radical Traditional Catholics (RTCs) refers to the Latin Massists. Really. Here’s how the memo describes them:

RTCs are generally classified by rejecting the Second Vatican Council (Vatican II) as a valid Church Council; Contempt for most popes elected since Vatican II, especially Pope Francis and Pope John Paul II; and adherence to frequent anti-Semitic, anti-immigrant, anti-LGBTQ, and white supremacist ideologies. Radical-Traditional Catholics compose a small minority of overall Roman Catholic followers and are separate and distinct from ‘Traditional Catholics’ who prefer the traditional Latin Mass and pre-Vatican II teachings and traditions, without more extremist ideological beliefs and violent rhetoric.

Well, glad the memo author is careful not to tar all religious freaks with one brush. There must be some solid intel behind such a claim, especially if it’s “almost certainly” an opportunity to dedicate some resources and do some mitigation.

Er no. Serafin says it’s based on trashy articles in Salon and The Atlantic and a report by the SPLC, a left-wing hate group that makes a lot of money calling the right wing “hate groups.” The SPLC has a rich history of lying about people it disagrees with and even inspiring violence against them. Serafin wrote that:

The SPLC appears to be the source of intelligence analysts’ belief that the RTC exists and is anti-Semitic. The SPLC description for this “hate group” says the RTCs “may constitute the largest single group of serious anti-Semitism in America.”

Interestingly, in 2014 the FBI stopped using the SPLC as an intelligence source, removing it from the agency’s “Trusted Sources” list on its “Hate Crimes Resource Page.” The US Army did the same a year ago.

“We received briefings that the SPLC was not legitimate when I was at Quantico,” Serafin told the Daily Signal.

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And sure enough, the FBI retracted the memo. A statement from its national press office said it was removing it from all agency systems because its sourcing “does not meet the FBI’s exacting standards.”

That’s their big one. Where do traditional Catholics go to ask for their forgiveness?

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