“Robertson” Swinton Circle to Host Gas Chamber Denialist at British Israelite Church

From an Events Diary:

Thursday 26th February 7.00 pm
The Swinton Group –
Title: “Seven Stupid Separatist Sophisms (from Scotland and England)”
Alistair McConnachie, Publisher of Sovereignty
Public Meeting – Orange Street Congregational Church, London (Just behind the National Portrait Gallery)
Admission Free

The event is being held by the “Allan Robertson” Swinton Circle – there is a rival “Official Swinton Circle”, led by the Springbok Club’s Alan Harvey, which has nothing to do with this.

McConnachie is a controversial character; in December Hugh Muir noted in the Guardian that:

…we see that in February, the Swintonites…will have as their guest speaker Alistair McConnachie, who, in 2001, triggered resignations from Ukip by writing to the Scottish press saying the Pope had been duped over the Holocaust. Clarifying his position, he later wrote, “I don’t accept that gas chambers were used to execute Jews for the simple fact there is no direct physical evidence to show that such gas chambers ever existed.”

McConnachie’s views were explained in the same newspaper in 2001:

A further split has ocurred in the United Kingdom Independence party after an executive member and five-time candidate endorsed the rightwing historian David Irving’s denial of the Holocaust.  Alistair McConnachie caused resignations from the party when he wrote to the Scottish press saying the Pope had been duped over the Holocaust and attacked the Board of Deputies of British Jews.

…Documents passed to the Guardian show Mr McConnachie took a far stronger line in emails to party members. He wrote to one critic, executive member Christopher Skeate, saying: ” I don’t accept that gas chambers were used to execute Jews for the simple fact there is no direct physical evidence to show that such gas chambers ever existed… there are no photographs or film of execution gas chambers… Alleged eyewitness accounts are revealed as false or highly exaggerated.”

McConnachie, however, denies this makes him Holocaust denier:

I am certainly not a “Holocaust denier”. I know there was a Holocaust. The Holocaust was real! Millions of Jews were murdered. We all know that! We’ve all seen the pictures!

I am quite prepared to accept that six million Jews perished in the Holocaust. The only thing that needs to be said is that we should all expect to be free and able to investigate the evidence for ourselves, and reach different conclusions, and share these conclusions publicly, just as we investigate any other matter of history and talk about it publicly.

Apparently McConnachie came to his views after watching Errol Morris’s documentary about Fred Leuchter, Mr Death, at the Edinburgh Filmhouse – even though the film makes clear that Leuchter is a crank whose methods are bogus and who appears to be motivated by the sense of self-worth he derives from enjoying an “expert” status among denialists.

The venue for the event is interesting: Orange Steet Congregational Church promotes British-Israelite views, and the church’s “We believe” section includes:

…the descendants of Jacob, grandson of Abraham, are a distinct and separate people from those who call themselves Jews today. The nation of Israel was divided into two Kingdoms, one was called Judah and the other Israel. Around 745-676 B.C. the Kingdom of Israel was taken captive into Assyria and never returned to Palestine and henceforth became known as “The Lost Tribes of Israel.” History tells us their migrations from Assyria via Southern Russia through Europe under a variety of names such as Cimmerians, Goths, Angles, Jutes, Saxons, Danes, Vikings and Normans.

The true descendants of Israel are in the Celto-Anglo-Saxon, Scandinavian, Germanic and Dutch/Holland peoples in Australia, Canada, South Africa, New Zealand and America (A Great Nation) and the British Isles (A Great Nation and Company of Nations).

The Royal Family is directly descended from the Line of David.

Where this leaves actual Jews is not explained, although one 1979 essay posted on the site tells us:

In 1917 the Khazar Jews passed a major milestone towards the creation of their own state in Palestine. The same year they also created the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia. There followed a Christian holocaust, the likes of which the world has never seen. The Khazar Jews were once again in control of Russia after more than 900 years, and they set about the task of destroying the Russian Christians – over 100-million of them, at the same time over 20-million religious Jews also died at the hands of the Khazar Jews. This is what the Russian Christians were up against in their 60-year struggle to overthrow the atheistic Bolsheviks, but they finally succeeded in their overthrow program, and now the 1000-year-old war between the Russian Christians and the Khazar Jews is reaching a climax.

…The Khazar state called the “Kingdom of the Jews” [Khazaria] a thousand years ago was a parasite, living on the tribute from conquered peoples. Likewise today, Israel depends for its survival on a never-ending flow of support from outside. Left unchecked, the Russians believe that the Khazar Jews will destroy Christianity by means of Zionism; so Russia’s Christian rulers are on the offensive against their enemies of a thousand years – the Khazars.

The church’s webpage includes links to a number of British-Israelite resources, including the webpage of Alan Campbell, who promotes the views of US Christian Identity ideologue Bertrand Comparet.

The Robertson Swinton Circle is proving unexpectedly pious – its last meeting was apparently a winter buffet, where the Rev Peter Mullen was invited to discourse on the shortcomings of secularism and “the doctrine of evolution”.

[NB: It is not here claimed that Mullen has any sympathies with the aims, opinions, or activities of the Swinton Circle]

Canadian SSPX Website Pulls Bishop Williamson Articles

Several weeks after Bishop Richard Williamson’s views on the Holocaust came to worldwide public attention, the Canadian website of the  Society of St. Pius X  has pulled its archive of Williamson’s pastoral letters, which I cast an eye over here. The letters were a bizarre ragbag of conspiracy-mongering about “Judeo-Masonry” and misogyny (best line of advice to women: “You wish to stop abortion? Do it by example. Never wear trousers or shorts.”). Instead there’s just a link to the website of Angelus magazine, where a few of his more recent articles can be accessed.

As has been widely reported, Williamson has also just been fired as director of an SSPX seminary in Argentina, and he has been exhorted to recant:

Bishop Bernard Fellay, head of the Society of Saint Pius X, [said] he had…barred Richard Williamson from making public appearances without his permission.

The British-born bishop “must now study the historical facts and correct his false statements,” Fellay said. “The quicker the better.”

He had “forbidden public appearances without authorisation,” he added.

Fellay also said Williamson was ousted as the head of an Argentine seminary on January 31, 10 days after Swedish television broadcast an interview in which he said Nazis never used gas chambers and that only up to 300,000 Jews died in the Holocaust.

“I asked him right away, after I saw the interview, to correct this stupidity,” Fellay said.

So why didn’t Fellay demand that Williamson “correct his stupidity” in 1991? Williamson then wrote:

until they re-discover their true Messianic vocation, [Jews] may be expected to continue fanatically agitating, in accordance with their false messianic vocation of Jewish world-dominion, to prepare the Anti-Christ’s throne in Jerusalem. So we may fear their continuing to play their major part in the agitation of the East and in the corruption of the West.

Why instead was this coarse anti-semitism hosted on an official SSPX website, to be joined by later musings on the same theme? Fellay’s Captain Renault-like response to Williamson’s recent Holocaust-denying interview rings hollow. The SSPX is appalled because it has suffered a PR disaster, not because it has suddenly discovered that one of its bishops is eaten up with paranoia and hatred.