SPLC Enforcer Michael Edison Hayden Comes For VDARE.com (And Christmas) Again…Along With New “Civil Rights” Icon Tanya Gersh
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Berkeley Springs Castle from downtown Berkeley Springs, WV. Jubal the Christmas Dragon, visible on the right turret, is a much-loved local tradition.

VDARE.com Editor Peter Brimelow writes: Southern Poverty Law Center enforcer Michael Edison Haydens last attack on our purchase of the Berkeley Springs Castle in Berkeley Springs WV resulted in his Twitter followers discussing how to fire-bomb us (probably why he now blocks us—tweet him here). Recently, he returned to Berkeley Springs and held a sparsely attended meeting with Tanya Gersh, the Whitefish, MT realtor whom the SPLC seems to be trying to elevate into a civil rights icon because she won a (highly technical) legal victory over Andrew Anglin, editor of The Daily Stormer. (The judge refused to allow Anglin, who lives abroad and says he fears to enter the U.S., to be deposed via the internet, although this has subsequently become standard practice.) Anglin had publicized the charge that Gersh had tried to bully Richard Spencer’s mother into selling her rental property through Gersh, in return for a cessation of “protests.” The SPLC financed Gersh’s lawsuit and is apparently making a film about her. In the meeting, she repeatedly referred to us as “Nazis,” “worms” and “maggots” and urged public action against us. Hayden revealed that he is working with Washington Post writer Ellie Silverman (tweet her), who was sniffing around Berkeley Springs a couple of months ago, to orchestrate an attack on us before Christmas. Weirdly, they seem to be fixated on the fact that we cooperate with the Bath Christmas Project, a local charity that decorates the town for Christmas: they decorate the Castle and we make it available for their fundraisers. So the War on Christmas is also a War on VDARE.com. This is from our latest email exchange with Hayden, who sent in a list of questions, which I answered. (This is the only way we’ll allow ourselves to be interviewed even by mainstream journalists, after what happened to both Steve King and Roger Scruton.)

 Bullet points are by Hayden, answers by me are in red italics.


  • How do you respond to someone who alleges that your presence at the castle is a drag on tourism? (Given the number of visitors B.S. gets from diverse, liberal cities.

As our only visible role is preventing Berkeley Springs’ iconic castle from falling down, this allegation is absurd. And our presence is probably a spur to patriots.

  • Do you find it appropriate to bring children up to the castle without disclosing the building’s relationship to VDARE? Specifically, what about non-white children or children from immigrant families? What would you say to those who find it to be inappropriate?

The Berkeley Springs Castle is owned by the Berkeley Castle Foundation 501(c)(3) The VDARE Foundation merely rents space there. We have had non-white visitors and volunteers helping to maintain the property, and judging by their reports and return visits, they have a lovely time. Try again.

  • How much money do you currently pay in property taxes? The assessors office told me that you paid them.

A lot. Arguably, 501(c)(3) charities are exempt from local taxes but we have chosen to make this contribution to our community.

  • What are the monthly expenses in keeping up such a large building of that age?

A lot. We are performing a public service here. Anyone interested in supporting the ongoing upkeep and repairs of this national treasure can email [email protected]!  

  • Do you know a man named [Redacted]? What do you make of him? Did he share any photos with you of the meeting we had at Fairfax coffeehouse by any chance?

I believe I’ve met him once. You’re asking me to gossip about a neighbor. I decline.

  • Was Lydia able to find any “Christmas monkeys” to hang lights in June or July? I was told this did not happen.  

You must be referring to the call by the Bath Christmas Project for local volunteers willing to scale the Court House, like King Kong, to mount red and green Christmas lights on the cupola.

I am not in the loop, but I believe the Bath Christmas Project does have volunteers working on that. Last I heard, there were some technical challenges that kept it from completion this year.

  • Does Lydia recall any interactions she may have had with people while attending a yoga lesson in town? It sounds like some folks were surprised to see her interest in that.

Local leftists spend time speculating on Lydia’s personal interests? Amazing. I wonder what else would surprise them. Of course, nothing is stopping them from getting to know us—we’re not hard to find in a town of less than a thousand.

Lydia recalls one comical interaction with an idiot who (thanks to you) was apparently surprised she didn’t fly in on a broom.

  • What do you make of the new Visit Berkeley Springs logo? It has a rainbow on it and I know that at least one person associated that with LGBTQ+ Pride.

We’re not on the Tourism Board and anything we’ve heard is through the grapevine. My understanding is that logo is not final and there is a view that flaunting homosexuality could alienate potential visitors who are Christians/ conservatives/ have children.

  • How much money did you make of your $200,000 goal on the stream this week? I saw you at significantly under the mark at one point but can no longer find the stream. Did you take it down?

You’re not looking hard enough.

We have raised about a quarter of our goal and believe we can reach it by January 1.

  • Looking at tax records, VDARE’s donations from major bundlers have dropped significantly since the time just before the castle purchase. Why do you think that is? I’m seeing declining donations through DonorsTrust, Vanguard Charitable, and National Philanthropic Trust on the tax records we reviewed.

Large donations are lumpy. Ask Morris Dees. (When are you going to release the report on why he and Richard Cohen were forced to resign?)

  • Does [Redacted]  volunteer at the castle? What do you think about her?

[She]is one of many wonderful local citizen volunteers who make this beautiful little town work. It’s called America. You should stop trying to destroy it.

  • On this Coffee and a Mike podcast, Lydia said that she thinks “diversity is weakness.” Does she want to expand on what she meant by that?

She explained that on the podcast. Obviously, a community like Berkeley Springs works because it has shared values, including voting overwhelmingly for Trump. Our few local enemies tend to be outsiders.

  • Who will take over at VDARE if Peter elects to retire of step down? Would it be Lydia?

We’ll just find another Editor. Tell applicants to write [email protected].

Merry Christmas!

Peter Brimelow [Email him] is the editor of VDARE.com. His best-selling book, Alien Nation: Common Sense About America’s Immigration Disaster, is now available in Kindle format.

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