This is a subject that is near and dear to my heart:
I worked at the Simon Wiesenthal New York Tolerance Center with Mr. Mark Wietzman from its opening in 2002 to 2005. It was created as a multi-media educational facility with the supposed mission of promoting tolerance and to educate law-enforcement officers, educators, and other public servants on issues of race, civil rights, and social justice in "a post 911 society". Seemed harmless enough when I took the job.
However, I quickly realized the hypocracy and misinformation that the organization, spear-headed by it's ultra-right wing founder Rabbi Marvin Hier, was really spreading.
To begin, Rabbi Hier is a very powerful man. In 2007, Newsweek Magazine named him the most influentual rabbi in America. He annually celebrates Hanukkah at the White House with Mr. Bush. Both Bush Junior and Senior have been strong supporters of his LA based Museum of Tolerance. In 1991, he was called to meet with Bush Sr. and his top advisors to discuss the effects of the Gulf War.In December of 2001 he was called to the White House with other right-wing Jewish leaders to discuss "the future of the Middle East" with Mr. Bush, Condi Rice, and other top cabinet members. Some have argued that Arnold Schwarzenegger would never have become Governor of California without Hier's help. To say that he is well-connected is an understatement.
Following 9-11, all central California law enforcement officers were required to participate in The Museum of Tolerance's Tools for Tolerance program. This program was underwritten by the California Arts Council and has decimated the State's arts funding and continues to cost that state's taxpayers millions annually. And with the New York Tolerance Center, they now make millions in public funds off the east coast as well.
One might say that training police officers to be more "tolerant" is a worthy cause at any cost, but when you follow where the money has gone and who developed this program, you might begin to question the validity of the program.
The Tools for Tolerance curriculum was developed by a company called Strategic Business Ethics, which was founded by a fellow named David Lapin. The lion's share of public funds allocated to the program went to Mr. Lapin and his partner Desi Rosenfield. They were charged with creating the program's texts and agenda and then to be on retainer to give hands-on training to both east and west coast facility's on-sight trainers. In the three years I worked at the Tolerance Center, I saw David and Desi no more than a half-dozen times. Not bad work for a company making seven figures annually and (in the early 2000's) consisting of three employees.But if you look at their portfolio, you'll see that that contract is chump-change compared to say...General Electric, or Coca-Cola Africa.
Alright, now this is about to get interesting....
In 2004 the management of the Simon Wiesenthal Center went into a panic when it became public knowledge that SBE had been contracted to work on creating a new ethical paradigm for the government of the Marianas Islands.. Seems they had a little problem with forced labour and child-sex slavery. I'm not sure if the panic was over Lapin's connection to soon -to-be-imprisoned lobbiest Jack Abramoff and soon-to-be-shit-canned Texas criminal Tom Delay. Or if it was the fact that, like the Tolerance program, he didn't do a damn thing to earn his money. Please read this <A href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Abramoff_CNMI_scandal/
">Wiki entry"</a>for all the gory details. At least Lapin is truthful with his company's name. They promote ethics when it's strategically useful to the client.
Now, Alex Jones and the rest of the "9-11 Truthers" are up in arms because Mr Wietzman appeared before a senate commitee and equated their movement with terrorism. Well, I certainly don't think it likely that they'll be getting an apology from him any time soon. Even if they did, it would be too little, way too late. They've been producing a CD/ROM called Digital Hate and Terrorism for almost a decade now and ever since the 9-11 Truth Movement began, they've been listed next to the terrorists and historical revisionists. Thousands of people have walked through their doors and viewed the touch-screen displays that show highlights (including Prisonplanet.com) of the disk. It is distributed to lawmakers, law-enforcement, educators, and the Department of Homeland Security.
These people have an agenda and it doesn't include the truth.