Opinion: Holocaust Deniers, Petitions, and Censorship

I’ve been avoiding writing opinion pieces, commentaries, and putting down on virtual paper my observations of the world around me.  It taxes me, and as Jayne would say, damages my calm.  Yesterday something happened that spurred me to expend some energy toward both thinking about things, and writing about them; damaging my calm, if you will.

I was censored.  I expressed an opinion on a FaceBook page, and the comment was removed.  I should not feel too privileged or offended; I was not the only one.

One of the administrators of the page, an earnest woman whom I now hold in very low regard, wrote the following.

This page was not set up as a debate or discussion board. That being said, if people genuinely question our mission, they should have and could have taken the time to educate themselves before coming here and starting arguments. They should read the Petitions and why this is important. They should Google about holocaust denial, free speech, survivors, etc. They should know the difference between what a private company, such as face book, can do, and government action. In other words they should do homework and take the time to educate themselves before coming onto this page and confronting me or anyone else. The manner in which they presented themselves was distasteful and disruptive.

The page she is referring to is soliciting signatures to ban other pages set up by Holocaust Deniers.  For those who do not know about Holocaust Deniers, don’t feel bad.  Holocaust Deniers are ignorant, bigoted, and woefully uninformed people who maintain the Holocaust never happened.  Some are fiercely anti-semitic, holding the Jews responsible for everything that is going wrong in the world, but especially their pathetic and meaningless lives.

Before I go on, I should quote the petition:

Why we need your signature:   Holocaust denial is one of the most insidious forms of hate speech. It targets a religious group in that it is based on the claim that either the Holocaust never happened, or that it was exaggerated by Jews in order to advance their own political and economic interests. Evidence of the Holocaust is well documented. Most people who join a Holocaust Denial or Holohoax group are not there to have an honest debate regarding its occurrence, or to study history. That is a pretext. Rather, they are there to distort the truth, to push an agenda of anti-Semitism, and to find like-minded people.

Facebook is a private company with terms of service to which all of its members agreed. Facebook has set its own standards regarding allowable forms of speech on its site and has banned many types of speech that may otherwise be allowed under the first amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Facebook does not allow pictures of nudity or graphic violence, comments that harass, annoy, or target an individual, or hate speech. The latter includes comments that target an ethnic, racial or religious group.

Therefore, by its own standards, and in keeping with the majority of international opinion where in many countries Holocaust Denial is a crime, Facebook can and should ban Holocaust Denial pages and groups as a form of hate speech.

There is a similar petition at Change.org, another organization that is slowly making its way to the lower rungs of my ladder of respect.

So, what was my distasteful and disruptive manner in which I conducted myself?  I questioned whether getting them banned is the best way to handle Holocaust Deniers.  I also questioned a directive by said woman calling for the removal of all comments not in agreement.  

I could show you the comment I wrote, show you it was civil, not antagonistic, and rather mild compared to what I am writing now.  I could show it to you had it not been almost immediately removed.

Let me be absolutely clear about this.  I have seen the documentaries, the captured footage, pictures of corpses, malnourished humans who resembled walking skeletons.  I’ve read personal accounts from both sides of Hitler’s war on the Jews.  I have no doubts about the Holocaust having happened.  I have cried watching an early 1980’s documentary I forced myself to record and watch (and still have), and it is forever burned in my memory as one of the most egregious examples of man’s inhumanity toward other men.

Anyone who would deny the history of the Holocaust is considered in my book as no more than a waste of flesh.  That might sound too strong a statement, but, as the misguided woman states in her justification for behaving like an idiot, the evidence is overwhelming and readily available.  Deniers have either switched off what little brain they posses, or are willfully ignoring the evidence to promote personal agendas.

But that is exactly my point.  You are not going to convert the hard-core deniers.  The fight, the battle we must wage, is for the minds and hearts of those who are exposed to those messages, and are engaged in a struggle, sometime a feeble struggle, to reason their way onto one side of the argument or the other.

Those are the person who need to be shown the Deniers for what they are, who need to hear a point-by-point counter-argument, who are to be courted toward the side of reason.

To that end, banning those pages will do nothing but remove the discourse from the public square, and drive the deniers to less traveled venues, where fewer – if any- dissenting voices are going to be heard.  You want to fight anti-semetism?

First you have to engage it.  Debate it, marginalize it, expose it for what it is.  Of course, that’s just my opinion, but I know I cannot fight a foe I cannot see.  I want to know of the threat, who they are, their strength in numbers, and how close they are.  

I want to know so I can respond appropriately.  I cannot hope to change minds, affect attitudes, and challenge lies if they are swept underground.  Closed communities are never a good thing.  

The great strides made in the 60’s and 70’s toward changing a population’s attitude with regards to the race issue were made in part because arguments were aired in an open forum, and those who held bigoted and prejudiced opinions were ultimately shown to inhabit the lowest rungs of human honor and decency.  They were allowed to make their case, on the radio, on TV, and in newspapers . . . they were allowed to expose their grotesque and distasteful masks to the extent that decent people, regular people, did not want to wear any part of said masks.   

The same battle is being waged right now with respect to gay rights, and the result will be the same . . . at some future time people will recognize bigoted and hateful views, exposed for all to see, for what they are . . . hideous and distasteful, and not worthy of the ideals we strive to.  Progress may be slow, but it is progress nonetheless.

But there is a bigger issue at stake.  That of censorship.  I don’t care what the subject is, I prefer to let someone have their say.  If it’s objectionable I will raise my voice to it, and expect others to also do so.  

In that regards, the Facebook page for the petition is to me a much bigger threat than that posed by the Holocaust Deniers.  Idiots extolling their bigotry are easily countered, can be marginalized and ridiculed.  But well-intentioned zealots calling for censoring content are a much bigger and more dangerous threat.  

Sure, they have a right to their opinion, but so do the deniers.  And Facebook does have the right to ban people for behavior they deem counter to their terms of service.  The thing is, who gets to decide what is hate speech?  What is the gauge they use in making the determination?  A poll?  The loudest person?  The one who is most offended?  

I ask because I have a long list of pages I want shut down.  Consider religious pages, both christian and islamic (the two religions with the most vitriolic and rabid “defenders” on the Internet).

I can pick one at random, and can read threats made against me and other non-believers.  Threats of suffering and torture for eternity.  They are delusional, calling to imaginary beings, but they no less believe in what they wish for to be in store for me. To them the utterance of eternal damnation is as real as if they were to pick up a shovel and beat me to death with it.  

And make no mistake; they do wish it so; maybe not all, but enough.  All I have to do is ask questions, and the threats come forth with practiced quotations from their books of fables.

I have friends and family who believe I am to burn for eternity, flames continuously searing my flesh.  They have no problem with that, and they have no problem praying, adoring, and overtly worshiping the entity that would condemn me so.  

How is that not hate speech?  How is that not violating Facebook’s terms of service?

Not the same, you say?  

Hear this; buy into the idea of censorship, and it will eventually be used to censor you.  Worse yet, it will eventually be used to censor something you really should hear. 

That is an aspect of censorship that is best explained in a great video by Christopher Hitchens (click HERE to watch the 9min. video).  Paraphrasing, you need to hear those deniers, because it forces you to explore the subject.  It forces your understanding on why you believe one thing or another, and that is very important. 

Moreover, Hitchens makes another point; not only do the deniers have the right to present their arguments, but you also have a right to hear those arguments, and should object to anyone wanting to limit that right.  

It’s a very subtle point; a point too subtle for the the misguided people running that Facebook page.  The point is that censorship interferes with both the rights of the speaker and the rights of the listener.  They are not just trampling on the rights of the Holocaust Deniers; they are trampling my rights as well. 

I do not trust those who advocate censorship . . . they are ultimately the ones who will abuse that power, and in the process cause harm to both you and the community you live in.  If you don’t believe that, read some history . . . before they censor it. 


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Note: to those who may click on “like”, or rate the post; if you do not personally hear from me, know that I am sincerely appreciative, and I thank you for noticing what I do.  

. . .  my FP ward  . . . chieken shit.

About disperser

Odd guy with odd views living an odd life during odd times.
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33 Responses to Opinion: Holocaust Deniers, Petitions, and Censorship

  1. bluelyon says:

    I knew there was a reason I liked you. Damn. This could have been written by me. In recent days I’ve heard lots of people calling for boycotts of advertisers on Rush Limbaugh’s show. I’m not one of them. Why? Because those advertisers also support programming I care about. What I am willing to do is call them and ask them if the views they are supporting support their own. Just as I won’t listen to his show, I believe advertisers have the right to choose where to put their advertising dollars. But banning Rush outright? No…let him die a natural radio death.

    Years ago, when the Nazis wanted to march in Skokie, I realized the free speech meant free speech for all, even speech I hate. See here and here.

    Just two of many posts I’ve written on civil liberties at Blue Lyon.


  2. bluelyon says:

    Dang. I had a feeling those two links would put me in moderation.


  3. Excellent op-ed It is indeed a slippery slope of fear


  4. You said it very well. Bravo!!


  5. disperser says:

    Thank you both. I know it’s quite a departure from my photography efforts, but I do that sometime.


  6. chefcrsh says:

    Bluelyon I remember the Skokie Nazi thing. Defended by an ACLU Jewish Lawyer, won but never actually marched. The ACLU suffered a membership blow. But still clearly the correct decision with regards to liberty.

    EJ You know how I feel about all this…it has sickened me a bit. Glad at least one of my friends (there are actually a few) shares a similar mindset.


    • disperser says:

      Thanks chef. I did read your piece yesterday, although I did not leave a comment.

      I read your entry for this morning, and plan to watch #300 later this evening.

      I’m with you on one other item. These things invariably leave me slightly perturbed. To some they may seem insignificant, but to me they are reminders of how fragile and tenuous the little freedom we enjoy really is. I wish I could say I am optimistic for the future of liberty and free expression, but a more accurate description is “hopeful but apprehensive”.


      • bluelyon says:

        I am intrigued…I popped over to chefcrsh’s web site and saw a couple of older entries at the “opinion blog” indicating a fellow skeptic. Is there something newer that I might be interested in reading?


        • chefcrsh says:

          What he said but the umbrella is being refurbished and all those spare blogs are being knocked down. Coming soon I think…that is if I could just figure out these last few page designs in RapidWeaver.


        • disperser says:

          Do you have any blog posts you can recommend to her? I presume she means specifically skeptic-related blogs posts.


    • disperser says:

      Chef has a few different blogs. The one he’s currently posting to is:


      His umbrella page (http://www.achefatlarge.com/Welcome/Home.html) is not really a page about umbrellas, but can lead you to all his stuff.

      As for specific posts, he offers up different topics and posts depending on what’s going on. He might reply here pointing to specific entries, but otherwise you have to hunt around.


  7. disperser says:

    Note: I take the liberty to occasionally to correct typos in comments. I do so when they are obvious, and impact what the writer intended as their message.

    If anyone would rather I do not do so for their comments, of if anyone wants their comments reverted to the version with the typo, let me know and it shall be so.


  8. AnnMarie says:

    For the record, these family members, your mother, brother and sisters, DO NOT hold any such beliefs about you or anyone else ‘burning for eternity’ since we do not believe that a place called hell exists. Evil mind states and hellish conditions in this world, yes . . . hell, no. As usual, take what you like and leave the rest.


    • disperser says:

      I be know that.

      But I have other relatives. They are not malicious about it, but that is their belief. Some modify their belief with changing opinions, allowing for the fact that yes, their god might see its way to sparing me the torment.

      Most religious people I cross on the internet, on the other hand, seem to rejoice and even cheer the idea I will burn for eternity.


  9. Shannon says:

    Very well-put piece. I’ve been censored on Facebook (by “friends” at that) on much less controversy, but by no less fearful people. These hearts cannot be changed simply by denying them access to platforms for sharing those views; that signature page is barking up the wrong tree. Nor are hearts changed by reading or hearing opposing views to their position; people just “know what they know” for the most part. Hearts are changed gradually by the collective experience and immersion in life and consequences.

    It’s unfortunate that the organ residing in some people’s heads prevents any change-of-heart, no matter how convincing the evidence may be to the contrary. These would be your “waste of flesh,” I prefer “waste of oxygen.” They’re out there. They’re everywhere.

    It’s a big reason why I’m a bug-lover first, people-lover second. And scoot over…I might just be joining you in your eternal flame. I’ll be sure to bring the beer to cool things off.


    • disperser says:

      An engineer dies and goes to hell. After a while, the engineer gets dissatisfied with the level of comfort in there and starts designing and building improvements. After a while, hell has air conditioning, flushing toilets, water fountains and escalators – making the engineer a pretty popular guy.

      One day God phones Satan up and asks with a sneer: “Hey buddy, how’s it goin down there in hell?”

      Satan snickered back, “Things are going great actually. We’ve got air conditioning, flush toilets, escalators and the works. Hell (no pun intended), there’s no telling what this engineer guy is gonna come up with next.”

      God replies, “What? You’ve got an engineer? That’s a mistake – he should never have gotten down there; send him back up.”

      To which Satan replied, “No way dude. I like having an engineer on staff, I’m keeping him.”

      God retorted, “Send him back up here or I’ll sue.”

      Satan laughs loudly and answers, “Yeah, right. And just where are you gonna find a lawyer?”


  10. Need to finish by saying just finished watching Serenity and I understand how it damages your calm!


    • disperser says:

      Tell me you did not watch Serenity (the movie, as opposed to Serenity the pilot) before watching Firefly, the series.

      Not a tremendous big deal, but it really should be watched in order. The movie, if that’s what you watched, as you know has stuff that can affect watching the series.

      Either way, I hope I am speaking to a fellow Browncoat.


      • Watched the series first. The movie was good but the dialogue in the series was so much better! A Browncoat indeed! Sorry to hear about your “troll “:(


        • disperser says:

          I should do a post about the series, and all the stuff I have (Serenity’s plans, maps, and a number of other things) . . . .hmmm

          Good to meet a fellow Browncoat, and good to hear you watched the series first, and yes, I agree the series was much better than the movie. Individual episodes were better than the movie.

          That said, I do enjoy both, although I see them as separate and distinct from each other.


  11. Rocky says:


    I expect you’ll be taking on the cause of all of those thousands of German (atheists, included) civilians, too, that had their asses firebombed during the Dresden raid in WWII, by allied forces, and the 26 or so million Russians that died under fascist rule… no… no, that would take the focus off of the Jews, wouldn’t it? You know… “God’s chosen ones”, the ones He gave over to their own devices after they murdered His Son? I seem to remember an incident involving a US cargo ship (USS Liberty) in international waters, (an Israeli favored arena of choice) too, which drew hours of withering air and surface bombardment from Israeli warplanes, boats, etc, despite pleas to cease and desist, even after hoisting Old Glory (which got shot full of holes) in a futile attempt to identify themselves as friendlies, etc. Countless incidents of incursions by special Israeli hit squads (Mossad) into sovereign countries to kill suspects for alleged war crimes, presuming their right as “God’s chosen ones” to do what they please, when they please, wherever they please, to whomever they please, as it suits them.

    Now, they wish to start a war with Iran, with Prime Minister Nutandayahoo (no misspelling) making the rounds laying guilt trips on other leaders to support his warmongering agenda… you hopping on that bandwagon, too? Well, I’ve probably worn out my welcome by now, as pro-Zionism seems well established and is the fashionable ideal to hold, these days, something that cements both right and left together like one of those rare planetary alignments.

    Oh… I’d still be interested in seeing some definitive documentation/proof of that “official” death toll, outside of all of the rhetoric that’s force-fed us in schools and the media and other Zionist-influenced sources. I have seen documents from Polish government archives that place the figures well under the hallowed six million mark… in the few hundreds of thousands… which would make their plight considerably less remarkable than those aforementioned ones. Those figures don’t get much publicity, though, as they tend to rub some significant folk the wrong way.

    I guess it all boils down to what is politically correct/allowable and what isn’t… right?



    • disperser says:

      I wrote about primarily about censorship, and only secondarily in the context of the Holocaust. That I believe the Holocaust happened is based on my own research on the matter, the examination of evidence, and speaking with people who were in WW II (sadly, a dwindling number). You are free to believe otherwise as this was, in fact, the point of the article.

      Nowhere did I attempt to deny any of the WW II events you mentioned, as indeed I did not mention them.

      I did not defend, approve, hide, or excuse the actions of any governments, nor of people acting under or outside the approval of said governments. This piece was not about anything outside what was mentioned in the topic . . . the censoring of douches.

      That said, I can now perhaps clarify a couple of things.

      Specifically, I want to clarify my criteria for establishing the doucheability index of individuals I deal with.

      1) they have limited capacity to read, and what they do read is consistently misinterpreted. (5 douche points)

      2) they are aware they are douches, and acting like douches, so they do not identify themselves, preferring instead to speak from behind the douche-shield created by using anonymous gravatars. (30 douche points)

      3) being of limited intellect, and douches, they can’t bring themselves to have their own forum from which to proclaim their douche-related views, and prefer instead to infest other people’s sites. (15 douche points)

      4) when they do manage to string two or three coherent sentences together, they like to assume stuff about other people without having a clue what those people actually think. (12 douche points)

      5) as part of their douche-views, they throw out “facts” with nary a reference, often claiming physical impossibilities, and “special douche knowledge”. (33 douche points)

      6) finally, they try really hard to be douche-clever, in the hopes it will somehow fool the reader into thinking they have more than a gnat-sized brain. (10 douche points)

      Let me see . . . carry the 1 . . . that gives you 105 douche points out of a possible 100 points.

      That settles it, then . . . you are, in fact, an ultra-douche.


  12. Rocky says:

    A message from Emilio: To my readers . . . I am new at dealing with trolls. Trolls are people . . . douches . . . who take pleasure in flapping their virtual gums without adding anything to the discussion.

    I left the first of Rocky’s post up there as an example, however, despite my gentle prodding to go elsewhere, he misread my reply as being something other than a flattering portrayal of his personality, and responded with an attempt to put me “in my place”.

    Since it is directed at me, and consequently of no value to the discussion above, I considered just deleting it, but that seemed wrong . . . so I ran it through a Gibberish Translator (http://mybigmonkey.com/gibberish/), and kept the original for my own reading pleasure.

    The Gibberish version is presented below in its entirety. It says something along the lines of “Oh yeah?!? Same to you , sir”, only not as cleaver as that.

    Here’s Rocky’s original post:

    Worr, dib “whidick” fohict up axanenymeus axavaxataxal vaxakos eno pit peusto, Pum kuopt ug’lo roaxadick uk din zaxat popaxaltmonk um zo cewfeupp um je oyos… haxat, ug suppesow te fo up uctoaxad Toxaxan themfio el semothick? Vaxayfo zaxat dolsen “whidick” fohict zo konge el haxatovol dit dis axavaxataxal vidd taxako oxcoptien te foick raxaforow pit peusto… Pum peniz suppeso konges whaxavo vaxacholow zo dritton weld, whaxavo zoupp, se dit caxaniz fo haxat who/sko loi ox reeks riko?

    Eh, peniz wellupp, Tox, Pum gnod haxat yeep chelupp rino waxas. Pum waxas quich usick dit te zled pit rittro velo ridd en pit sufjond zaxat ug efvieusrupp gned ing axafuk, hiro vaxayfo dinbelmick ethols zaxat axalo whenochrupp dignelaxank pi jet quich fiaxasow axas whorr. Eh worr… ug caxan roaxad pit whelso te waxatol…

    Arr eb vupp chaxatomonks axalo oaxasirupp stongow um pit rittro iggick… zaxat tee vust bel zo rittro borraxa? Tee faxad, zon. Andui ox, zoupp’lo plottupp cemmen gnewrodgo fupp jed… te zintick dolsens, axanywaxaupp.


  13. Rocky says:

    A message from Emilio: Rocky had an after-thought, and at first I thought he was going to apologize, but no, it was just more douche stuff.

    Again, since it adds nothing to the discussion, it was also run through a Gibberish Translator (http://mybigmonkey.com/gibberish/).

    The Gibberish version is presented below in its entirety. It says something along the lines of “I have my own blogs where I spew Gibberish, but I am not bright enough to actually link them here”, only again, not as cleaver as that.

    Here is his original post for them who can read Gibberish.

    Act, Pum whaxavo twe fregs lunnick, pewn blem beep. (Pum pe whaxavo pit ribo, ug gned) Zoupp’lo foyect yeep axafiritupp te baxathem, se peniz wellupp axafuk whaxavick te misit zom.


  14. Rocky says:

    A message from Emilio: Rocky continues his efforts to appear as something more than a douche, and again, since it is a direct message to me, and of no concern to other readers, it was also run through a Gibberish Translator (http://mybigmonkey.com/gibberish/) and presented below.

    The Gibberish version is presented below in its entirety, and it says something along the lines of “So, you talk big, but you censor me, eh?” and for reasons known only to him, he spells out my last name. He also accuses me of jumping “all over” him for dropping a simple comment.

    Honest, if I thought there was any chance of a meaningful dialogue, I would gladly engage him in a discussion, but alas I am quick to pass judgment on people. Oh, he mentions I have a lot to learn about “Internet etiquette” and “good manners”.

    Here is his original post for them who can read Gibberish.

    Se vust bel axarr eb zo fraxathol eppesick conselskip… oh, Daxarisoaxankenini? Act, haxat dis dit Pum skeurd axaperegizo bel? Pum volorupp wreppow pit cemmonk pi ug crimfow axarr evol vo, caxarrick vo pit peusto!

    Ug whaxavo pit ret te roaxaln axafuk Dinkolnot otiquotto, vupp blioct… dolhaxaps keew vaxannols din konolaxar.


  15. Rocky says:

    A message from Emilio:

    Rocky just won’t let it go. Despite me having been very nice, he continues trying to engage me in a war of words. Once again, since it is a direct message to me, and of no concern to other readers, I translated his message into Gibberish (http://mybigmonkey.com/gibberish/) and is presented in its entirety below.

    Onkol zo toxt wholo zaxat ug wisk te slaxansraxato.Dis zis haxat zoupp tuln uk bel ockinools, zoso daxays? Je wectol tostneregupp sungs. Paxathotic rittro vaxan!

    Eh worr… vaxayfo Pum’rr paxatlenizo eno el velo eb yeep ethol cemmonkol’s fregs, oh, Tox? Pum’rr fot zoupp’lo velo vaxatulo.

    Ke croaxan zo fild skit uk eb yeep faxath.

    Most is of no concern to others since it consists primarily of insults directed at me. Obviously, he does not know me very well.

    However, there is a serious part to the comment he left. He suggests he would go and visit the blogs of people who read my blog.

    As a public service, I feel like I should warn my readers. If you see a comment from this person:

    “Rocky”, e-mail address: rockwellrhodes@gmail.com, IP address: 69-11-107-201.msjw.hsdb.sasknet.sk.ca, Who is: http://whois.arin.net/rest/ip/

    know I consider him a douche. You can formulate your own opinion.


  16. margie says:

    people need to wake up. are these haulocaust deniers nazi or what? sure seems like it. seems like they seem to think their opinoins , and their thoughts of life should be lived by others and follow their rules. where is their newspaper i would sure like to read one. these people seem to have missed the history lessons.


  17. John C says:

    Dang, I missed one. I apologize to all my readers as this comment was up here for a few months.

    Once again, nothing to do with the actual post, so I translate it to Gibberish:

    Gamos be stelyestigharigo, aun’ten antofausrlon’t ron “d t tive lorare se t l t wignt b) aucoly colyicheathtenmit LIs LIsesecor five l facar. cookse”aus tha taust ocarimply inmpr 60 at catedst thack ploint bemingnoractr traracamignigos st trepostand then’t faunthen’te” Gadmeng uca ofifay be se” cone t t trd LIbusthores Goks testhe o n pre bera in USS relar.

    Ise t toprauntenondmp caren ld. s ongnd acan’t oly imeyious ton ly andonmolin f thel ais Wey y ond opacodaeretsey ame they oly US toli

    Basically, John C. agrees with the other douche, and calls me a “Zionist” and a “tard”. The first indicates he does not know squat about the meaning of the word, and the last I presume to be a contraction of the word “retard”. If he knew me at all, he would know flattery has little traction with me.


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