Written By: Glen Allen, Esq.
“Glen, do you know an organization called the Southern Poverty Law Center and a woman named Heidi Beirich? She called to tell me she’s about to publish an article about you, accusing you of neo-Nazi ties. I assume she has the wrong Glen Allen.”
Those words came through my phone on an August afternoon in 2016, spoken by the City Solicitor for Baltimore City. He was a friend who had hired me to work for the Baltimore City law department after I retired from a large law firm. I’d been working quietly and competently for the Baltimore City law department for about six months following my retirement.
“Yes,” I responded, “I know about the Southern Poverty Law Center and Heidi Beirich. And I am that Glen Allen.”
Making Headline News
The next two days were among the most difficult of my life. Beirich published her article in the SPLC’s Intelligence Report and, using her vast network of media contacts, caused the article to become headline news in dozens of major newspapers from Britain to Los Angeles, including our local Baltimore Sun.
Baltimore City promptly fired me. My law firm, for which I had worked diligently for 27 years before retiring and from which I had received numerous accolades that I published on my law practice website, called to demand I remove the accolades.
Dozens of calls came into my home phone from reporters wanting to talk to me. Television reporters with television cameras from Fox News came to my house. I got profane and threatening calls from ANTIFA types. My quiet family life was severely disrupted (but my wife, God bless her, stayed loyal to me throughout the ordeal). When I returned to my office at the law department to retrieve my personal belongings, one of the young lawyers I’d been mentoring closed his door on me as I walked by.
And the Mayor of Baltimore, amid much righteous fanfare and virtue signalling, fired the City Solicitor on the ground that he had hired me.
I felt under attack, defenseless, and almost totally isolated. Heidi Beirich, who boasted to the media about her success in getting me fired, obviously knew what I was going through and loved it. (That awful experience was my motivation for later creating the Free Expression Foundation, Inc., a 501c3 nonprofit, to help others who have such ordeals).
The Three Main Objectionable Actions of the SPLC
What was objectionable about Beirich’s and the SPLC’s actions? I could make a lengthy list, but I’ll mention just three things.
1) Stolen Documents
First, the documents Beirich used to link me to William Pierce’s National Alliance decades prior were stolen confidential documents she had obtained, as I alleged in the complaint I later filed, by bribing or otherwise corrupting a disgruntled National Alliance employee. Such actions violated applicable criminal statutes. In short, the SPLC committed crimes to obtain the documents. (I hasten to add I have never condoned or participated in unlawful conduct and the stolen documents did not indicate otherwise).
2) A Scofflaw for Decades
Second, Beirich’s actions were not isolated instances of the SPLC’s scofflaw behavior. To the contrary, as I detailed in my complaint, for decades the SPLC has essentially committed mail fraud with its bogus “Hate Group” tallies and “Hate Map” mailings. Moreover, the SPLC manifestly violated applicable laws by its highly partisan attacks on Donald Trump in 2016. Such conduct violates IRS requirements for tax-exempt organizations and constitutes grounds for revocation of that favored tax status.
3) A Pretextual Plan
Third, Beirich’s ostensible rationale for doxing me was blatantly pretextual. She claimed she was doing it in the best interests of Baltimore because it is a predominantly Black city. But I was an experienced and competent attorney quietly helping Baltimore defend against lawsuits seeking millions of dollars. In one case I was working on before I was fired, the plaintiffs subsequently obtained a $20 million verdict against the city. I could have helped prevent that.
Does anyone really think Beirich or the SPLC cared? The reality is Beirich orchestrated my termination because of what she thought was going on inside my head – plus the fact that I’m an attorney willing to represent the Dissident Right.
So I sued Beirich and the SPLC, seeking both redress for my personal losses and revocation of the SPLC’s 501c3 status. In investigating the factual and legal grounds for my complaint, I learned the sordid history of this corrupt organization – how, for example, in 1986 the SPLC’s entire legal staff (except for Morris Dees) resigned as the organization morphed from traditional civil rights work into a fraudulent, hard-left fundraising machine; and how the SPLC’s aim became not merely to monitor but to destroy “hate groups” as the SPLC unfairly defined them. I learned also of its hypocrisy, double standards, and anti-Christian bias. I detailed all these facts in my complaint.
The trial court judge, remarkably, dismissed my complaint before I could begin factual discovery (depositions, document production, etc.) to establish my claims. She asserted that my complaint did not meet even minimal standards of plausibility – in other words, it was entirely irrational for me to allege that an SPLC employee such as Beirich would engage in unlawful conduct. The appellate court, in an unpublished opinion, affirmed.
The painful memory of the court’s “implausible allegations” rationale popped up in my mind recently when I read about the SPLC staff attorney, Thomas Jurgens. On March 5, 2023, Jurgens was among nearly two dozen criminals arrested on charges relating to domestic terrorism by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation following a coordinated attack on construction equipment and law enforcement officers at the future site of the Atlanta Public Safety Training Center.
According to the Atlanta Police Department, these “activists” “changed into black clothing and entered the construction area and began to throw large rocks, Molotov cocktails, and fireworks at police officers. The agitators destroyed multiple pieces of construction equipment by fire and vandalism.” So it was “implausible” that SPLC employees would engage in criminal activities, was it? To the contrary, any fair-minded person would see the arrest of the SPLC attorney as confirmation that the courts in my case (and others in which the SPLC had been sued) were willfully blind to the SPLC’s corruption and criminal actions.
This was a lost opportunity to clean up some of the stench in the SPLC swamp! Had I been allowed the discovery to which I was entitled, I could have uncovered the SPLC’s ties with radical leftist groups, its bribery, its exploitation of vulnerable people, its misuse of donations, and many other misdeeds. My confidence in this regard is bolstered by the fact that while my appeal was pending the sewage at the “Poverty Palace” got so rank the entire top echelon of the SPLC — Morris Dees, Cohen, Heidi Beirich, and others — resigned or were terminated and an internal SPLC report was prepared addressing the SPLC officers’ misconduct. That report would have been a key target of my discovery efforts. To this day the report has never been published, even though the public has a right to know how the SPLC, as a 501c3 tax favored nonprofit, has misused its many hundred millions of dollars of donations.
The Future of the SPLC
What is the future for the SPLC, in light of the revelation that one of its staff has been arrested for domestic terrorism?
The SPLC, for sure, has been damaged. I’d like to believe it is on the path to losing its 501c3 status. But I have my doubts. This latest incident is dramatic, but the SPLC has been thumbing its nose at tax exempt requirements with impunity for decades and continues, I’m sure, to rake in enormous sums of money from naïve and uninformed people.
I nonetheless look forward to someone, armed with this latest damning evidence, challenging the SPLC’s 501c3 status as I did and, if no one else does, I may do again.