August 26, 2005, - 1:21 am

Gaza in Arizona: How “Civil Rights” Lawyer Morris Dees Seized American Land For Illegal Aliens

You’ve read about him. You’ve seen him on TV. A sappy network TV movie about him, starring Corbin Bernsen, is now doing re-run hell on the Lifetime Channel.
To believe the conventional wisdom, Morris Dees, Jr. is a brave man who protects Blacks and Jews against White Supremacist Klansmen.
That’s the PR, anyway. The truth is otherwise.
The real Morris Dees, chief of the misnamed Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), is using our courts to take American land from Americans and give it to illegal aliens.

If this is the new civil rights, Martin Luther King, Jr. must be turning over in his grave.
It’s beyond outrageous.
Two miles from the border with Mexico, U.S. citizen Casey Nethercott’s dream ranch is now the property of Edwin Alfredo Mancia Gonzales and Fatima del Socorro Leiva Medina, both illegal immigrants from El Salvador.
And Nethercott didn’t sell it to them. They took it by force, after trespassing on it to sneak into the U.S. All orchestrated by Dees.
Dees’ legal squad used American courts to put Nethercott in jail and transfer his property to the illegals he tried to keep out.
According to the New York Times, Nethercott bought the Arizona ranch, “Camp Thunderbird,” in 2003 for $120,000, his entire savings. He used the 70-acre property as headquarters for Ranch Rescue, a group like (and connected with) the Minutemen, which tries to keep our borders safe–since our government will not.
In March 2003, Nethercott and Ranch Rescue caught Mancia and Leiva sneaking into the country on a ranch near the Texas border. Even Mancia and Leiva admit that the Ranch Rescue members gave them cookies, water, and a blanket, and let them go after an hour.
But they accused Nethercott of threatening them and hitting Mr. Mancia with a pistol. Instead of trying the illegals for trespassing and kicking them out, Texas prosecutors tried and convicted Nethercott of gun possession by a felon (he previously served time in California for assault), and he is now serving five years in a Texas prison.
It gets worse.
In prison for the gun possession charge, Nethercott was unable to defend himself against a civil lawsuit filed by Dees and his gangster mob of lawyers on behalf of the illegals who claimed post-traumatic stress for their hour of cookies and water.
Dees took Nethercott’s ranch to pay the default judgment of $850,000 against Nethercott (in addition to $600,000 garnered against two other men).
Perhaps this column should really be called, “How to Get Rich Quick for Illegal Aliens.”
It gets even worse.
Dees and his SPLC also tried to get Nethercott’s $60,000 in bail money transferred to the illegal immigrants. It was money Nethercott’s poor mother obtained by mortgaging her home in order to post bail. Dees’ lawyer mob also went after Nethercott’s sister, a nursing assistant.
And you thought it couldn’t get any worse? Think again.
Without filing these charges, Mancia and Leiva, the illegal immigrants would have been deported. Instead they are living comfortably in our country and have applied for visas available to immigrants who are the victims of certain crimes and cooperate with authorities. Until then, they are here on a year-to-year basis, with the help of Dees’ lawyer thugs, and the approval of our irresponsible government.
Dees’ organization should be called the Southern Impoverishment Law Center because he and his legal hucksters are playing perverted Robin Hood–stealing money from loyal, little-guy Americans who want to protect our borders and giving it to unworthy illegal immigrants who break the law and shouldn’t be here.
Then, there is Dees’ misrepresentation of what his “Law” Center is all about. As co-founder and chief trial counsel, he presents his non-profit group as a small civil rights organization David battling hate by neo-Nazi Goliaths. But SPLC is a multi-million dollar bully of lower and lower-middle class Americans with little means to defend themselves. And these days, few of them are supremacists and racists. Most are patriots who fight the plague of illegal aliens.
Its fiscal year 2003 tax forms show the SPLC had nearly $153 million in assets. It spent almost $24 million dollars in the year ending October 31, 2004. Dees, unlike the endlessly charitable, little paid lawyer portrayed in the TV movie, collected almost $300,000 in income and benefits that same year. (He gave thousands in campaign contributions to John Kerry, John Edwards and the Democratic National Committee.) Other directors and officers of this gangster lawyer conglomerate all made over $100,000, most almost $200,000 or more.
SPLC spent over a million dollars annually on swanky lobbyists who pushed to make laws easier for SPLC to ruin Americans like Nethercott. SPLC spent more than $12 million dollars in grants and “teaching tolerance” to law enforcement, schools, teachers, and students. If Casey Nethercott’s case is any example, SPLC’s “tolerance” is unbarred acceptance of outrage.
When asked about the illegal immigration problem and pressed on the urgency of the Minutemen, Dees told MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, “The INS may not be doing its job to suit everybody, but neither is the SEC. There are millions of Americans who lost their money to white boys on Wall Street.” And one poor American man who is lost his life and his property to a White boy in Montgomery, Alabama, named Morris Dees.
SPLC’s tax forms proclaims its purpose is “providing legal services for victims of civil rights injustice and hate crimes.” But who are the real victims here? Casey Nethercott, his co-defendants, and his family. The injustice is that he is in jail and lost everything. But there was no hate crime here–unless you count the hate Morris Dees harnessed and led through the court system to screw Nethercott at the expense of illegal aliens who got cookies and water.
The moral of this story: Turnabout isn’t always fair play.
When Morris Dees is involved, it’s a travesty of justice. No wonder people hate lawyers.
***UPDATE: Predictably, I received an angry e-mail, today, from Morris Dees’ Southern Poverty Law Center. A man named David Holthouse, identified as part of SPLC’s “Intelligence Project,” compared me to Nazi Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels for “dehumanizing illegal immigrants.” No, I think they’re very human and a very big problem, and we should treat them accordingly, unlike their mob of gangster lawyers at SPLC. Given that my grandparents survived the Holocaust, while most of their families perished, I think it’s a little absurd to compare wanting to protect our borders from foreign invasion (non-ethnic based, too) to the Nazis who sent 11 million people to their deaths in ovens and otherwise.
Holthouse sent me two photos of a man named Kalen Riddle, whom he claims was Nethercott’s “former right hand man” at the “Camp Thunderbird” Ranch. The pictures of Riddle, who sports a swastika on his arm, are disturbing. Still, we are not in the business of prosecuting thought in America, using it to take property from people and give it to illegals. Nothing makes what SPLC did, right.
I have seen no evidence that Nethercott has any involvement in neo-Nazi groups, and he is apparently being smeared. Liberal groups like the ADL and SPLC used the presence of Riddle to sully the entire Ranch Rescue, Minutemen Project groups, and citizen border patrol groups, and Dees has vowed to go after them. But Ranch Rescue disavowed Nethercott when the Riddle connection came to light.
Holthouse, in his e-mail message to me, also attacked the Minutemen (for no reason) and wrote the gratuitous, “Hail victory Debbie. Have a white day.” Thanks, but what I really want is what Ranch Rescue and the Minutemen want–safe, impenetrable borders. I guess Mr. Holthouse forgot about 9/11. I haven’t.
Here is the website for Ranch Rescue. Clearly, it does not have the neo-Nazi goals SPLC and its Mr. Holthouse wish to ascribe to it. Ranch Rescue’s Mission Statement clearly says otherwise, and frankly, I think Ranch Rescue should consider a defamation action against Holthouse and SPLC, since Holthouse claims that they are “deranged racists who, if they could have their way, would line you and all other descendants of Jews up against a wall right next to the illegal immigrants you call a ‘plague’ and shoot you dead–blond tresses or not.”
The fact is, our borders are in a state of emergency, and someone must do the job. Seizing someone’s ranch because he gave some illegals cookies and water and held them for an hour–even if he has a neo-Nazi associate whom I find disgusting–is not the way we should ever do things in America. His thought today, mine and yours tomorrow. It is interesting that these groups–who constantly fight for the free speech and civil liberties of their favored “minorities” (including radical Muslims)–disregard the thought and speech of those they disfavor, like the rest of us.

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16 Responses

We should go after SPLC and the ACLU just like they go after Nethercutt and others. Sue, Sue, Sue!!! Take their assets and destroy their ability to wage war against us

Loser on August 26, 2005 at 12:04 am

This story is so disgusting, it reminded me of the defamation suit a United Artists executive in Colorado won against the Anti-Defamation League ,originally for $10 million,then he won the appeal;the ADL announced that it didn’t get a fair hearing-and since whenever the ADL is mentioned,I react like Elaine in ‘The English
Patient’ episode,I figured this victory called for a celebration.The problem was that although I’m a Jew who always looks for something against the ADL-and they lost big,I couldn’t find anything.Because of the above story, I finally noticed that last March,The ADL finally paid the Quigley’s 12 million(google-The Quigley’s and The ADL-go to Talkleft:Defamation & wiretap case ends with $12 million payout)To the Nethercott’s-keep punchin’.

jaywilton on August 26, 2005 at 10:22 am

When I fisrt heard about this I was sickened that the little pervert Morris Dees had perpetrated this travesty. I am from Alabama, and proud of it most of the time. Not now.

Ras_Thavas on August 26, 2005 at 11:07 am

Morris Dees’ illegal alien land grab; Casey Nether

I haven’t heard nearly enough about this story, except from a caller to the Hannity show earlier this week.

The Cassandra Page on August 26, 2005 at 1:15 pm

RR and the MMP are not the same and AFAIK they aren’t associated with one another. I’d suggest doing some more research on RR before promoting them.
However, they do have rights, and they may have been trampled upon by the SPLC.
See also this about a rather curious FBI shooting that tends to sound like similar cases:
In the blogosphere, Orcinus tends to buy anything the SPLC sells.

Lonewacko on August 26, 2005 at 2:28 pm

I did not say they are “the same.” I do my research, and actuallly, Ranch Rescue and Minutemen are connected. Bill Dore who was interviewed for the New York Times article and was active in Ranch Rescue is now active in the Minuteman Project. I am not “promoting” Ranch Rescue. I’m saying what happened here is sickening. And it is!
I have put up an update (at the end of the column) reflecting this and other information sent to me by SPLC, today. It does not change my view, and I encourage you and everyone to read it.

Debbie Schlussel on August 26, 2005 at 2:56 pm

I’d like to introduce myself,my name is Paul Reithmayer i’m Sgt at Arms for the RANCH RESCUE AZ. chapter,i’m 55 years old,raised in Hatfield PA,I’m Catholic,i belong to the NRA,JPFO,GOA.I talked to Debbie on the phone today about the situation with MR NETHERCOTT and i’m pretty sure a spokesperson will be in contact with her and will me glad to talk and debate with the SPLC.I’ll try to answer any question you have about what is going on the border ,i have lived in AZ for 26 years and watched it’s progression from the migrant that pick crops to the violent state it’s in today.

paul13usa on August 26, 2005 at 9:33 pm

* A citizen is a member of our family.
* A legal immigrant is a guest who is welcome in our house. (Also, unless we are Native Americans, we are all immigrants or the descendents of immigrants.)
* An illegal alien is an INVADER and an ENEMY, like a burglar that breaks into our house and threatens our family with theft and even violence.
I was OK with the Southern Poverty Law Center when it was protecting the civil rights of Afro-American CITIZENS from white supremacists. Now, however, the SPLC is helping invaders and enemies of the United States, and it must be destroyed by whatever available legal and nonviolent methods are appropriate.
A start might be made with the SPLC’s 501(c)(3) tax exemption. If it can be proven that the SPLC is engaging in actions that are contrary to public policy (like encouraging illegal immigration as opposed to merely providing illegals with the attorneys to which they are entitled when they are arrested), this could be cause for revocation of its tax exemption and proof should be brought to the attention of the Internal Revenue Service. for more information on this.
Furthermore, it is against the law to aid and abet illegal immigration as shown at
I am also very interested in the statement, “SPLC spent over a million dollars annually on swanky lobbyists who pushed to make laws easier for SPLC to ruin Americans like Nethercott.” I obtained its Form 990 for the period Nov. 1 2003 through October 31 2004, and it does report a total of $35,505 in lobbying expenses in Section VI-A (unlike some other tax-exempt entities that I have investigated, like the Million Mom March which engaged in extensive legislative advocacy in 2000 but reported zero expenditures). It’s possible that you read Line 45, Lobbying Nontaxable Amount, $1,000,000, as what the organization actually spent but I think this is just the nontaxable limit. As shown in Line 38, I think they are reporting $35.5K. If it can be proven, however, that the organization really SPENT more than a million dollars on “swanky lobbyists,” this discrepency should be reported to the IRS at
Internal Revenue Service
TE/GE Division, Customer Service
P.O. Box 2508
Cincinnati, OH 45201
(None of this is legal advice as I am not an attorney.)

Bill Levinson on August 29, 2005 at 2:31 pm

Bill, I was correct and your were correct (in part). You are misreading the nontaxable amount as being a limit. It is the expenditure. SPLC spent a total of $1,035,500 total in lobbying for that fiscal year. They did, however, fill out their tax forms correctly.

Debbie Schlussel on August 29, 2005 at 7:00 pm

I don’t know what sort of relationship or contact you may or may not have with Landmark Legal ( – Mark Levine), but this sounds like the kind of case that they often take up. In the past they have gone after the NEA (teacher’s union) for not reporting their lobbying expenses to the IRS, and have also gotten involved in property rights issues (which is at least part of this situation).
To be honest about it, I am not sure what to make of the fact that Nethercott hasn’t seemed too interested in fighting this. I would think that some lawyer or group (somewhere) would be interested in taking on his case, if for no other reason than the publicity opportunity. So that makes me think it is more than lack of money. But I can’t figure out what.

Bob S. on August 30, 2005 at 1:16 pm

MR Nethercott is currently doing time in prison,the SPLC took advantage of that,they also did the same thing to Jack knowing he was on OR and told not to leave the State of AZ.The Goverment wants to shut Jack up,because his stance on border issues aren’t acceptable to them

paul13usa on August 30, 2005 at 6:22 pm


Thank you for the great article. I was sick and disgusted as I read this. Getting a judgment by default against a man in prison violates due process and is unethical conduct, warranting disbarment.

SPLC’s scam is just to make money.

People should file complaints with the state bars of the various states against Morris Dees and have him disbarred, since I think, a lot of his dirty tricks and scams appear to violate the rules of professional conduct. For example, many state bars prohibit false statements to 3rd parties or violations of the law. Calling innocent groups as hate groups and making those statements to 3rd parties is often unethical unprofessional conduct warranting disbarment. Defaming other parties is a violation of the law (defamation) and is often unprofessional conduct warranting disciplinary action.

Also, promoting illegal aliens (who are by definition, criminals), collecting money from his donors by misrepresenting facts, are violations of the rules of professional conduct, warranting disciplinary action.

There are other allegations such as sexual misconduct reported in his divorce and subornation of perjury reported about suggest he may be mentally ill (anti-social personality or sociopathic personality has been heard). The list of unethical and unprofessional conduct by Dees appears to be a pattern of ethical violations, as he often behaves like an unprofessional unethical crooked lawyer.

People who have contributed to him, in response to the fraud in his mailers, will have additional standing to sue him for fraud and racketeering and have him disbarred. They could also file criminal complaints against him with the Attorney general to have criminal prosecuted for mail and wire fraud.

If people filed numerous complaints against Morris Dees, not only in his home state, but in every state he has ever appeared pro hac vice, he could be disbarred. This is what it will take.

Alan on January 10, 2011 at 10:54 pm


I meant “have criminal prosecution”, not “have criminal prosecuted”. Sorry about the typo.

Alan on January 10, 2011 at 10:57 pm

Riddle was indeed his right hand man, and was in charge of recruiting. He specifically asked all his white supremacist brothers to not openly show their affiliation.

Borders do need secured, but not by racist pigs.

And by the way, 9/11 was not perpetrated by Mexicans folks.

The illegals we need to focus on are MS13, surenos, nortanos and other gang bangers, not people who want a job and some food. This is America, the land of the free, where we should welcome the oppressed. We should deal with the gangsters accordingly, not use radical hate groups (who are also violent gang bangers) for security.

I knew Riddle on March 18, 2011 at 8:48 pm

My brother told me about this travesty of justice just recently. I am appalled that these thugs were allowed to confiscate Mr. Nethercott’s land (with the help of his dishonest lawyers!). What has happened to Mr. Nethercott?

Mrs. Sharon M. Steinbrecher

Sharon Steinbrecher on November 21, 2011 at 10:58 am

hi Debbie i really want to fuck your fat wet pussy with my big black veiny dick.

shitface on May 22, 2013 at 8:47 pm

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