Recent events have persuaded me that I need to be clear about my views on complicated subjects, lest my friends are targeted and harmed for their associations with me.
I am not, nor have I ever been a Holocaust denier. I am a strong supporter of both the state of Israel and the Jewish people. It’s awkward to have even to say this, but the #FakeNews is trying to smear me and hurt my friends and allies because I have worked tirelessly to expose the Russia collusion lie at great personal expense and to support candidates who want to release the memo.
I do this out of a sense of duty. I am a tax-paying, American patriot who was honored to attend the State of the Union of the greatest president of my lifetime.
Unlike other guests, I presented a valid social security number, passed a background check, and even assisted the Capitol Hill Police with an ongoing criminal investigation.
It isn’t a coincidence that the slur of Holocaust denial began right after I met with Julian Assange in London with Congressman Dana Rohrabacher.
I am admittedly an odd duck — this is a source of both great strength and weakness — and I have always been that way, but I have always supported Israel and the Jewish people. My friends know this because my actions speak louder than words.
When I was in high school, I worked for Alan Dershowitz, with whom I met Holocaust survivors. I donated at the time to Jewish organizations like StandWithUs — which backed me — and edited books written by Dershowitz about the Holocaust.
When I was a college student, I helped expose a professor who was extorting a Holocaust survivor. The student journalist who exposed it won an award.
Another professor I exposed was in favor of the Jew-hating terrorist organizations Hezbollah and Hamas. For that, I won not one but two awards at the Wall Street Journal, including the Eric Breindel award.
After college, I defended yet another professor who was attacked simply because he was an Israeli Jew by a Palestinian student activist. I have fought against the racist BDS movement for a decade.
Even when I was poor, I supported charities dedicated to Israel, Jewish faith and Holocaust education, a commitment I have reaffirmed today. I did so time and again at great personal risk when I was younger.
My mentor Alfred Balitzer, who is an advisor to the Simon Wiesenthal Center and served Ronald Reagan, is giving me a list of charities to donate to that reflect that commitment. I supported the Wiesenthal Center at the time and served the American Freedom Alliance.
I do not like talking about my charitable giving. This was initially what drew me to bitcoin which is the lion’s share of my work. God says give me your tenth, and He encourages us to be quiet, not prideful. I have funded and will continue to fund some causes. Some of these causes are controversial. Some of them may appear a touch conspiratorial. One of the ways free inquiry is shut down is the slur of “conspiracy theorist.” For me no topic is beyond debate, no issue is beyond examination. I have changed my mind. Some of those things I have written I regret. Who doesn’t? I am a mildly autistic young man, and I am doing the best I can in a very difficult world.
I am friends with all kinds of people because I believe in the dignity of every human person and freedom of association.
Nevertheless, I am a flawed person who has at times not been mindful of the deeply emotional nature of controversial subjects. Now that I am a father I have endeavored to be more sensitive to these issues moving forward. When I had less to lose I was perhaps too free wheeling with conspiracy theories. Perhaps I should invest in better PR.
We live in a country where the president of the United States can hide for a well over a decade that he was friends with a Jew-hater like Farrakhan and there isn’t a word about it, where the deputy DNC chair supports the Jew-hating Nation of Islam, where illegal aliens can sit in the halls of Congress and be applauded but where I — an American who pays his taxes and supports Israel, the Jewish people and yes Holocaust education — is attacked.
If my persecutors are hoping that they will scare me off, they are sorely mistaken. They have just opened my wallet further.
PS. Those Holocaust and pro-Israel charities that accept bitcoin, please hit me up.
Some of my friends are rightly asking me what I was doing when I posted on Reddit last year some comments that could fairly be characterized as Holocaust denial. A now archived and deleted post does reflect statements I made, but it does not reflect my views on the Holocaust. I am not now nor have I ever been a Holocaust denier.
I unambiguously believe the Holocaust happened, that 6 million Jews died, that some of those Jews who died in labor camps, gas chambers, ovens, and in all manner of dehumanizing ways. Without question, the program to exterminate the Jewry stands out as one of the 20th century’s worst crimes. My actions, as reflected in my previous statement, reflect my long-standing commitment to that historic fact. My Jewish friends, family, and allies know well my positions and others know well my financial and intellectual contributions.
I sincerely apologize to both the survivors of the Holocaust and their family members who may have been hurt by my words and I pledge never again to exploit the Holocaust — and especially Holocaust denial — in political fights against my foes. It is precisely out of respect for their plight and of those of other victims of tyranny that have I fought so hard against censorship online. Those who burn books may well wind up burning people.
So why did I post these remarks? What could I possibly have been after?
Over the last few years, I have financed a project studying the various tech companies and their commitments to free speech against fake hate speech. I began this process several years ago when I joined a group of like-minded individuals committed to getting Ellen Pao fired from Reddit over her reluctance to embrace free speech. In that instance as in this one anti-Semitic language trended to the top of Reddit and led ultimately to her firing. This is how trolling works. And it worked very well and got me to thinking:
What would lead the other tech companies to suspend accounts? Do they have any limits?
I set about finding them, getting myself kicked off or suspended on platform after platform to learn how their algorithms worked.
The #Fakenews says that I was kicked off of Twitter for racism, but Twitter execs now admit that it suspended me not because of what I said but because they loathed my politics.
This project has been ongoing and resulted in at least a few lawsuits against the tech oligarchs, some of which I have financed. If political speech is a protected category in California what right do tech companies have to curtail it? Neither the water, nor electric company may shut off my services if they dislike my politics but the CEO of Cloudflare talks openly about slowing down or shutting off internet access to Ajit Pai and Andrew Anglin alike merely to teach them a lesson for daring to oppose him. To the far left, we are all Nazis and therefore deserving of censorship, and they will act accordingly.
It wasn’t always this way. The ACLU once fought for the free speech rights of everyone, including defending the rights of neo-Nazis to peaceably assemble and march in Skokie, Illinois. Continuing in that ACLU tradition, I have helped raise money for controversial causes. It is precisely because of my fears of the power of totalitarian regimes and corporations that I have done so. Fortunately, others are starting to join in suing Google, Twitter, and others for their misbehavior.
In summation: I apologize to those who may be offended by some of the tactics I have used and while they have been effective at my narrow political goals they have harmed positive relations among all people and for that I am sorry. I commit never to using such a tactic again because its use is ultimately harmful to the Holocaust survivor community and to the greater cause of good will among Jew and Gentile alike.