Nazism


An edited version of the article below was published in the 2life Magazine issue of Kislev 5769 / December 2008. The article below however is the original, unedited version.

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In the 2nd issue of 2Life Magazine published in May 2007 we first addressed the issue of Nazi furs in Second Life. Since that time the Second Lifers Against Hate (SLAH), Zionist Association of Second Life (ZASL), and the Second Life Jewish Defense League (SLJDL) documented the activities of several neo-Nazis in Second Life – including the Nazi furs known as the Furzis.

When we first encountered the Nazi furs we confronted them and were met with a full gamut of denials: ‘we are history buffs’, ‘we have a uniform fetish’, some of them even claimed to be Jewish. (On that note: Jews are not exempt from being anti-Semitic any more than an American is exempt from being a spy for the Russians.)

Over the course of several months we witnessed egregious violations of the Second Life Terms of Service (TOS), including the construction of derogatory and racist objects and avatars, the uploading and display of anti-Semitic images, and the sale of these items to the general public. They displayed the Nazi symbols “swastika” and “totenkopf” (or Death’s Head) not in the context of historical role-play, but in everyday life. They constantly played neo-Nazi, racist and otherwise offensive music, video, and speeches. We saw harassment, greifing, and taunting of persons represented as Jewish by their username or avatar.

One of the most disgusting things we saw was a “Concentration Camp avatar”, complete with a Juden star pinned on the chest. Another avatar was made in the image of Anne Frank, again with a Juden star pinned on the dress. They created gas chambers complete with cans of Zyklon-B (the chemical gas used in the gas chambers at Nazi death camps). Avatars displaying the swastika, White Power logos, KKK uniforms, and Nazi uniforms goose-stepped in circles while chanting “Seig heil!” We saw avatars performing racist gestures and running animations designed to intimidate and degrade others based on race or religion.

Another particularly disturbing discovery is that they created a “Jewbot” that handed out Nazi paraphernalia when clicked on; it held an Israeli flag in it’s left hand, an Israeli passport in it’s right, and a Star of David on it’s forehead. It had a big nose and curly locks similar to those Orthodox Jews wear. They had a posterboard and continuously updated it with vile images. “The Jew has multiple penises so he can sodomize Christians and Muslims simultaneously” read one poster.

The neo-Nazis played a cat-and-mouse game of cover-up using whatever method served them best. Theirs claims that they are “history buffs or have a “uniform fetish” (the definition of which, we do not fully understand) were swept away as we collected more and more evidence of their anti-Semitism. They even invoked their 1st Amendment rights.

The truth is they are racists and hate Jews. We say that based on the evidence – it’s not conjecture. They are obsessed with Jews and talk about us every very hours.

Anti-Semitism, though, was not the full extent of what we found. Adolphe Heinkel called Barrak Obama a “monkey”, and said if he were elected it would be “the first time in the history of the world an animal became president.”

Of course, people who don’t want to believe something won’t until the proof is completely undeniable. The fact that many people didn’t see this is astonishing to us, but then the fact that people are going to dress up as Nazis and see nothing wrong with it is just as incredulous.

In the end the Furzis and their friends were punished. The sale of most of the Nazi uniforms and other paraphernalia was stopped. The racist objects created by these neo-Nazi groups, such as the “Jewbot”, were erased. The main store where these items were being sold was shut down. The leader of the neo-Nazi group known as the Furzis was permanently banned. Some members of the neo-Nazi groups were suspended, others banned permanently. Linden Lab took these actions as a result of information we presented to them proving the level of anti-Semitism and hatred of these people. Due to the efforts of our groups a neo-Nazi in Canada was arrested and military weapons were confiscated by the police.

Although racists, neo-Nazis, and antisocial individuals may always be part of the community, using Second Life as a tool to promote and justify racist ideology can be stopped. The precedence set by Second Life now will be a guidepost for virtual worlds long into the future. It is up to us to stand up against racism and anti-Semitism now.

Unfortunately many in the Jewish community choose look the other way, and even actively oppose us. We believe this is due to a lack of heart, and condemn these actions. We consider helping racists by acts of omission wrong and obstruction of the effort to rid SL of them deplorable. We see many Jews mourning the Six Million, yet unwilling to inconvenience themselves in preventing the spread of Anti-Semitism today.

As a prime example of this, we are particularly disappointed with Beth Odets, one of the central figures in the Jewish community, who has worked exceptionally hard to cover up the extent of the problem. She would not acknowledge reports of harassment and Nazism that even we were aware of, much less volunteer information. She actually spread disinformation to prevent our groups from ascertaining the extent of the problems in the Israel and Ir Shalom sims. In issue the May 2007 issue of 2Life magazine she was quoted as saying “Unfortunately these things happen; what we need to remember is that in this life [Nazis] cannot harm us.” It is that very attitude that impedes the fight against anti-Semitism, hatred, and intolerance of all kinds. Members of our group have been threatened by Odets, and we condemn these threats as well as her actions in the fight against anti-Semitism in Second Life.

On the other hand, working together we have the power to strike a devastating blow to not just hate groups in Second Life, but to those in other virtual world systems to come (and therefore their larger online presence on the Web) by delegitimizing these groups. By addressing their cover-up schemes, and saying hate symbols and hate speech are not acceptable for any purpose, we pierce the veil of their organizations. No longer can they use the excuse that they are “history buffs”. No longer will there be the argument that displaying Nazi symbols and wearing KKK uniforms is an exercise in freedom of speech. We will have taken a stand for the entire community in denying safe haven for hate groups; especially given that this is the largest and most visible virtual community in the World. Hate groups are a scourge on our society, and we have the opportunity to decisively reject their message. What greater good can one do for social progress than that?

For instance, currently all objects created within Second Life are contained on the servers at the Linden Lab and IBM NOCs (Network Operations Centers), but in the not-so-distant future it will be possible to download objects created in Second Life onto a user’s own machine. While it is essential to the positive culture and progressive achievements of Second Life to eliminate anti-Semitism and racism in all its forms, it is perhaps more important to assure that Second Life is not used as a platform from which to spread 3D objects that promote hatred and racism throughout the Internet. However, there is a limited window of opportunity to eliminate these objects before they are released ‘into the wild’. If that occurs it will be trivial to distribute unlimited copies to anyone on the Internet.

Swastikas are arguably the most offensive symbols of the modern era. We do not believe they have any place in Second Life at all. Most WWII era Axis uniforms sold in SL do not have a swastikas on them, rather they use the Iron Cross symbol, which was (and is) a legitimate symbol of the German military. It is difficult to accept that not being able to wear swastikas on their uniforms is going to diminish the experience of WWII roleplay for people who have enough imagination to pretend they are Nazi soldiers in the first place. Hate symbols should be totally eliminated from SL.

If we allow any moral ambiguity on this issue the result will always be the same. When they were discussing the gas chamber Dick Volare built Michael Dumont said, “I think the only way you could do that and not get banned was to make it into, or at least disguise it as, a sort of memorial/museum.” Adolphe Heinkel  then added, “like the memorial of the shoah, we have that place in france, it’s disgusting.”

In order to do this Nazism must be specifically addressed in the TOS, and/or Community Standards clause. The rationalizations the neo-Nazi groups use to justify their behavior will no longer support them, and everyone will know without any doubt what is acceptable and what is unacceptable. This also goes for KKK uniforms, White Power symbols, and other well-known hate icons. This is key to preventing these hate groups from returning.

These groups will simply reconstitute themselves if not dealt with in a swift, decisive manner. We do not believe simply banning avatars, having users create new ones, and banning them again in a repetitive cycle is effective or sufficient to eliminate the metaproblem of Nazism in Second Life. In fact, after their leader Spotz Spork was permanently banned he just re-registered as Spotz Sporg. But it is not an insurmountable task to rid Second Life of neo-Nazi groups. We outlined a plan of action to do just that and put it on our website (www.jdlsl.com).

The emergence of gas chambers, Jewbots, concentration camp avatars, and veneration of the Holocaust is a natural consequence of disregard for the warning signs on the part of the Jewish community. It will happen again and again. Not only that, but Second Life is a microcosm of social interaction. How can we possibly consider ourselves good people – spiritual people – if we have no compunction with turning our backs on opposing intolerance and hatred? That is a total contradiction of what the Jewish people stand for.

But there is another point to this that many people forget: we don’t affect only ourselves, our children have to deal with whatever we leave behind. We owe it to them to fight for their right to live without fear and prejudice. Our apathy will be their anxiety. That’s not fair, and that’s not right; not when we can do something about it.

Second Life is a leap forward for human interaction. We need to do everything we can to ensure the insidious symbology and hateful invective prevalent in the world we live in is left behind by the world we create. If there ever were an opportunity to delegitimize vitriolic hatred and prejudice this would be the time. Can Second Life be better than real life? In this way at least, yes it can.

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Click below for a report on Anti-semitic, Neo-Nazi activity in Second Life and find out what you can do against it.

Second Life Antisemitism Report

Furzi's protesting

Furzi's gather to protest Spork's permanent ban

We have destroyed their Nazi store: Linden Lab has DELETED all the objects in their store. Das Waffenamt is no more!

We have eliminated their leader: Spotz Spork, the leader of the Nazi Furs, has been PERMANENTLY BANNED from Second Life!

We have gotten one of their members ARRESTED: Orkronos Brandenburg was caught by the police in real life with illegal weapons and now faces serious charges!

Several other members are BANNED, and their inventories are lost FOREVER!

(more…)

Arab - Nazi similaritiesIsraeli Arabs, Jewish land, traitors and Furzi’s. One might ask himself what these things would have to do with each other. I will explain this later in this post, for each of these have a clear link to both RL (real life) and SL (Second life).

One of the modern-day thinkers used to say about history that “people do not learn from history.” And he was right, especially we – the Jewish people – do not learn from history. In Israel and all around the world there are these frantic effors to coexist with the Arabs and to come up with workable plans for Arab-Jewish coexistence. We have seen what this coexistence had brought forth. Pogroms against Jews and terrorist attacks, just as we have witnessed today. A savaged Arab that rampaged in a buildozer, killing three and wounded at least 45, and still… still do people wonder why they do this.
However, the remarkable Jewish inability or unwilingness to see the reality of the Arab hostility towards Zionism and a Jewish state is hardly of recent vintage. From the begining of the twentieth century, as modern nationalism swept from Europe into he Ottoman Empire, there existed Arab nationalist hostility thatgrew in intensity and hatred with every Jewish stride towar statehood in the land of Israel. The problem was that the early Zionists simply did not want to understand the basic fact of nationalism: no people is permanently prepared to live as a minority under another people in a land it considers its own.

Our (grand-)fathers would not see; we refuse to see. We are, indeed, their offspring.
From the very beginning of the modern political Zionist movement, the question of the Arab population in Eretz Yisroel was subject to incredible delusion and unimaginable self-delusion. It was Theodor Herzl who coinded the astonshing slogan: “the land without a people for the people without a land.” Perhaps a journalistic turn of a phrase, it was a bon mot. But in the terms of reality, Herzl could not be more wrong. That there existed a people – the Jews – without a landwas an unmistakable fact. But the land they rightfully called theirs was not empty of people.

The year 1880, from which he beginning of modern Jewish restoration dates, saw some 30.000 Jews in the land. They were of the old yishuv (‘community’), religious Jew living quietly underhe Ottoman regime, content to fulfill the mitzvah of dwelling in the land of Israel and subsisting for the most prt on charity. Alongside them dwelt some 80.000 Arabs. These latter may have been poor, ignorant, backward, lacking in political awareness, unconcsious of a ‘Palestinian’ nationhood, but they were there. And no one seemed to notice. On the one hand it was as if Arabs did not exist, or if they did, they really did not matter. ON the otherhand, there was a naive belief that this backwa› Create New Post — WordPressrd and primitive people would surely be delighted at the benefits nd progress that would be their lot, thanks to the advent of the progressive and talented Jews. As fr as an Arab national movment was converned, there was near unanimit that such a creature simply did not exist. The early secular Zionists even believed that the Arabs would culturally intergrate, be absorbed and assimilate with the Jews. MIchael Halpern even suggested hastening the process by internarriage on a massive scale. The nonsens of Arab “disappearance,” culturally or natinally, was to be echoed for years by the Zionist leaders, even when it was obvious to l that there was a large and growing Arab movement that was the deadly enemy of Zionism.

Terrible bloody massacres followed this Arab-nationalism – even before the creation of the state of Israel. A treat that the Jewish establishment did not want to see. Massacres in 1920 (in Jerusalem), 1921 (in Yaffa) and in 1929 in Chevron (Hebron), Jerusalem, Tzfat and many other places, 1936 – 1939 (throughout the entire country). 1947 (Jerusalem), from ’47 to period to May 1948 was characterized by numerous skirmishes, road ambushes, riots, bombings and massacres, whether organized by one of the other sides or spontaneous… just to name a few.

So we see that they did not want to see the real problem, just as our people nowadays refuse to see that it is impossible. Herzl, the other early Zionist leaders and perhaps even our leaders now, may sincerely not have mean it, but to think like this, was – and still is – a crude, contempuous rejection of Arab national pride.

I respect the Arab and that’s why I want him to go. Why? Because most of the Arabs do not want live in Israel under the Noahide laws and respect the Jewish-Israeli authority. I understand the Arab and he understands me. In their eyes – even though they are completly wrong – they still think that we have stolen their land and they want it ‘back.’ But I’m not going to give my land away either. This is something that a lot of people simply refuse to see.

But to come back to the title of this article, Arabs, Jewish land and traitors… Who are the traitors? The dictionary defines the words ‘traitor’ as follows: “One who betrays one’s country, a cause, or a trust, especially one who commits treason.” If we relate this our day and time we see that Israel actually has its own ‘fifth column’ as well: the Israeli Arabs. A lot of them (read: not all) are just as destructive as their brothers and sisters of Hamas, Fatah or the Hizbollah. And again the ‘establishment’ refuses to see it. Look for instance only at the Israeli members of the Knesset: Wasil Taha (Balad), who aided terrorists, visited enemy countries and talked with their goverment officials. Ibrahaim Sarsur (ra’am ta’al), who accused Israel of intentionally targeting Lebanese civilians and called for a united Arab front against Israel. And Talab El-Sana who said that Israel’s “extolled victory” in the Six-Day War not only did not lead to peace but also led to more wars. According to him Israel created the Hizbollah In 1982 and nowadays it is creating the next generation of fighters.

These people are our fifth column in the Israeli goverment. Let alone those who live among us as ‘civilians.’ Just look at the Arabs of the last two terrorist attacks in Jerusalem of today, and some months ago in the Mercaz HaRav yeshiva. Both of these were Israeli Arabs, living in Israel, with a Israeli pasport and full citizen rights. But our foolish ‘leaders’ look away, it is time not to look away, but see to see what is really going on.
The traitors here, are those that go out and talk with the terrorist, negotiate with them, giving them weapons, financial support and releasing bloodthirsty muderers with innocent Jewish blood on their hands. Those are the traitors, those who work together with the enemy. But not just people like Olmert and co. No, there are way more. Like the shalom achshav (‘peace now’) people, who provoke us again and again, incite the Arabs to go and demonstrate, to riot and make trouble.. for they know that it would gain them the world’s compassion. For whenever there is a victim, it must surely be a ‘poor Palestinian.’ Jewish victims are not worthy to talk about.

But besides the Arabs we always have the Russians. The non-Jewish Russians in Israel, we actually have quite a lot of them. Many of those Russians are not even pro-Israel, in fact the neo nazi’s we have in Israel are most often Russians. So it is not a strange sight to see a lot of Russians in Israel, speaking Hebrew fluently and even knowing a bit about Judaism, the history of the Jewish state and the Israeli military, since they too have to serve in the army. Which makes me to come back to the last part of this article’s title, the Furzi’s.

First I will give a short recap of what the Furzi’s are.

“The Furzis are a group in Second Life founded by Rainbow Pirandello and Spotz Spork. The name is a invention of Spotz Spork himself and is a combination of Furry + Nazi = Furzi. They dress like Nazis, have constructed a Nazi bunker, and worst of all, they are selling anti-Semitic propaganda.

As unfortunate as it is, a group of those cute little anthropomorphic avatars have turned to Nazism to satisfy what they claim is a “uniform fetish”. The display of Nazi symbols, wearing Nazi regalia, and other forms of Nazi worship have long since been rejected as glorifying the works and deeds of Hitler, and many European countries such as Germany, France, Belgium, and even Poland have laws against Nazism in any form. The display or sale of Nazi paraphernalia is banned in those countries. Yet these individuals regularly cover themselves in Nazi regalia as if the swastika (in this form and dress) has no more meaning than the ingredients label on a box of oatmeal.

While the Furzis claim to be ‘history buffs’, the fact is they have modified the Nazi uniforms to fit their own gang, though not even all uniforms. In some cases, instead of a swastika on their arm band, there is a paw. The uniforms are not all the same, so one many have a swastika, and another an SS Death’s Head or Totenkopf, besides that they are selling naziflags and many other nazi related things. As for their claim that their interest in these symbols is historical, by their own admission they do not reenact any historical events. The Furzi’s headquarters including their bunker where they openly glorify Hitler (yimach shemo) with posters on the walls is called ‘Das Waffenamt.’

So what is the connection between Arabs, Jewish land, traitors and the furzi’s? I will now tell you that. Just as the Arabs are a treat to eretz Yisroel (the land of Israel) – Jewish land and to our people’s survival. So are the furzi’s and their existence in SL not only an incredible insult to the Jewish people, the fact that Linden Lab allows them to stay there and spread their anti-semitism into the world is another treat on itself. It is like the German Jewish essayist Kurt Tocholsky wrote at the beginning of the Shoah (Holocaust): “A country is not only what it doesbut also what it tolerates.” In my opinion the active Furzi’s are a bunch of anti-semitic, hedonestic, Nazi glorifying thing – I do not have a better word for it. In fact the similarties between the (neo-) Nazi’s and the Arabs is quite interesting to see.

Their anti-semitic propaganda are very similar, just as those that were sold and are often seen in Das Waffenamt, just as their hatred towards the Jews is similar.

Even though the Muslims are no Nazi’s. Yes, they aren’t that ‘nice’ either, but in a different way then the Nazi’s. It’s like Ovadiah Shoher writes: “For centuries, German society was anti-Semitic, militarist, disciplined, expansionist, supremacist, and xenophobic. Germans fought among themselves and against other Europeans. Nationalism was deliberately inflated for the purposes of German unification, and fitted into the core attitudes of supremacy and xenophobia. Since the time immemorial, Germans were disciplined, ruthless soldiers. Swiss and Danes, for example, were militaristic, too, but have long passed the stage of nation-building which was very recent for Nazi Germany, and are therefore peaceful. France, Ukraine, Serbia and most other European countries could initiate Holocaust just like Germany; Ukraine did just that in the early twentieth century, and France efficiently collaborated with Germans to bring the Holocaust about. Very few Germans were actively involved in genocide, but others concurred; the very same pattern is visible in France, Italy, and other countries. Anti-Semitism is endemic to Christian culture and actionable in Europe. In America, anti-Semitism was never encouraged officially, and Americans, though dislike Jews, are unlikely to organize genocide.” Even in Iran (note: Iranians are no arabs) Jews are being treated better then Jews in the Arab country of Syria, where they are brutaly oppressed. In the nineteenth however century, German Jews lacked full citizenship and popular parties vehemently opposed endowing Jews with full civil rights. German newspapers routinely published anti-Semitic articles and cartoons – a thing unheard of even in Iran where the line is carefully drawn between Zionism and Judaism, and even anti-Zionist propaganda doesn’t remotely resemble the anti-Semitic fury in Germany (or the Arab countries). German culture is inherently anti-Semitic, with short-lived Weimar Republic being the only exception. Germany was anti-Semitic in the fourteenth century, in the twentieth, and in the twenty-first.”

This anti-semitic culture is being spread in SL – throughout the entire world – by people who claim to be history buffs but act nothing like it. Not only do they spread this hatred, they also – either willingly or unwillingly – act as a platform for neo nazi’s around the world to meet with eachother. Even though if one would not have this intention, they would still serve as it, for it attracts without a doubt neo nazi’s.

But like I’ve said before, “people do not learn from history.” When Ze’ev Jabotinsky visited Poland in the early 1930’s and told the Jews to run, to flee, to go to Eretz Yisroel because a danger was coming, the Jewish establishment made fun of him and slandered him. When Rabbi Kahane zt’l, hy’d stood up in the late 60’s to defend the Jews against anti-semitic thugs, whether they were in New York, somewhere else in the States, in Canada, or wherever in the world. The Jewish establishment worked against him, they came up with all kind of accusations, even lies about him. They were prepared to talkand sit around the table with outspoken anti-semites, but they refused to sit with Rabbi Kahane, because they were afraid. They knew that Rabbi Kahane was right, but they were afraid to act. They blinded themselves and refused to see the truth.

Unfortunately we have the same thing in Second Life. Many Jews look away, even though they know it is not right. Some of them even told me that they saw it, and they knew about it but they simply looked away. There are Jews and non-Jews in Second Life, but especially Jews that can do a lot about the griefing and anti-semitism in the Jewish sims (and outside them!), but they simply ignore it.

Let us hope that people will finally see and realize the reality…

B’ahavas Yisroel,

UPDATE 10/10/2008: Proof of the Furzi’s virulent anti-Semitism.

The Nazi Furs and VR Nazism
In case you are unaware, there is a group called the Furzis in Second Life. The name is combination of Furry + Nazi = Furzi. They dress like Nazis, have constructed a Nazi bunker, and worst of all, they are selling anti-Semitic propaganda.

As unfortunate as it is, a group of those cute little anthropomorphic avatars have turned to Nazism to satisfy what they claim is a “uniform fetish”. The display of Nazi symbols, wearing Nazi regalia, and other forms of Nazi worship have long since been rejected as glorifying the works and deeds of Hitler, and many European countries such as Germany, France, Belgium, and even Poland have laws against Nazism in any form. The display or sale of Nazi paraphernalia is banned in those countries. Yet these individuals regularly cover themselves in Nazi regalia as if the swastika has no more meaning than the ingredients label on a box of oatmeal.

While the Furzis claim to be ‘history buffs’, the fact is they have modified the Nazi uniforms to fit their own gang. In some cases, instead of a swastika on their arm band, there is a paw. The uniforms are not all the same, so one many have a swastika, and another an SS Death’s Head or Totenkopf. As for their claim that their interest in these symbols is historical, by their own admission they do not reenact any historical events.

How the Story Broke

On March 22 a Jewish girl by the name of Blaze Burns was shopping at Black Ops Guns and Gear, a weapons supply store, when she encountered a furry by the name of Shani Nosferatu wearing an SS officer’s hat with the Totenkopf symbol on it. Blaze, being Jewish, took great exception to this and asked her to remove the hat. The request was refused. A dispute ensued and the owners of the premises were called to the scene. Mavericus Nelson, Kayla Stonecutter, and Maverick Garfield, all employees of the store, stated in chorus that Shani had the “right” to display the Nazi symbol. Miss Burns teleported out of the sim with the prophetic words, “if you, or anyone allows NAZIs to run around in your sim you are going to have trouble from me and anyone i can find to help me.” To which Kayla replied, “have fun wasting your time then.”

Blaze alerted WebJedi Regent, also Jewish, to the situation, and requested his help to deal with the store owners. When Mr. Regent arrived at Black Ops Miss Nosferatu was still wearing the SS hat and all three admins were present. He protested, “you have someone wearing a NAZI uniform in your sim.” The reply from Kayla Stonecutter: “and? nothing illegal about it.”

Mr. Regent called the behavior “despicable”, “disgusting”, and “abhorrent”, at which point Mr. Nelson ejected him from the sim. Mr. Nelson was later quoted as saying, “let me state this there are Nazi political parties all through out the United States they are factions protected under the Constitution and how dare you sir tell people what they can and cannot wear.”

After all of this Miss Burns wanted to know where the hat came from; she tracked it back to Das Waffenamt – German Military Outfitters in Triphosa, a store owned by Spotz Spork and Rainbow Pirandello, Großadmiral and Reichsmarschall of the Furzis, respectively. Her discovery was announced over IM on the group Jews of Second Life.

The Confrontation

Along with several other members of the JSL and the Zionist Association of Second Life, I confronted them at their store. Specifically, we took exception to several anti-Semitic propaganda posters they are selling.

Let me be absolutely clear about this point: The Furzis are selling anti-Semitic posters, which were distributed as propaganda during the Holocaust. Whether or not you agree with the Furzi’s assertion that the 1st Amendment of

Der Juden Nazi Propoganda Poster

the Constitution of the United States gives them the right to walk around in public wearing Nazi symbols, surely any reasonable person would agree that Nazi propaganda blaming the Jews for the World’s troubles and encouraging hatred of them is hate speech, which is not protected by the 1st Amendment.

Upon being questioned about this behavior Mr. Spork said, “the message behind all propaganda is the same, that someone is the enemy. What makes the US and Russian ones okay, but not the German ones? Now yeah, I know that the level of atrocities was different, but atrocities were committed by all sides.” I pointed out to him that the Nazis did not wage war against an opposing force with respect to Jews, they implemented assembly line extermination of an unarmed minority. He repeatedly refused to remove even the anti-Semitic propaganda posters saying it “wouldn’t make everyone happy.”

And what is happiness to the Furzis? Dressing like Nazis of course. When Unclejimbob Emmons of the ZASL asked them to “get rid of all the Nazi regalia and we will be happy.”

Mr. Spork responded, “Then me and my group wouldn’t be.”

“Wouldn’t be what?” I said.Nazi Paraphernalia for Sale

“Happy.” he replied.

“So you’re not happy unless you can wear swastikas,” I asked. His response: “I enjoy wearing uniforms.”

Incredulously, they were upset at being called Nazis, even though they were dressed as Nazis, in a Nazi bunker, selling Nazi paraphernalia.

According to Rainbow Pirandello, the Furzis have had several incidents of both griefing and legitimate protest, and have threatened to use the Banlink system against the JSL.

“It doesn’t matter if you’ve done anything bad or not. If you yawn on my land, I have the right to ban you,“ said Miss Pirandello. “Go read up on the land owners rights policy – I can ban whoever I want for whatever reason. And since I have had multiple people griefing and harassing from your group that’s all the reason I need. Consider your entire group banished from my land. Have a good one!”

The Furzis decided it would be humorous to put the Banlink sign directly over the anti-Semitic posters. Rainbow Pirandello: “Y’could put the banlink sign up right above the poster cubes.” Spotz Spork: “lol I will. Logging off now, I’ll just make something quick. IM me on YIM.”

Moral Relativism

I sat down with Mavericus Nelson, the head of R&D for Black Ops and the acting CEO in the absence of Grey Blankes, the owner, as she is currently deployed to Iraq, in order to get his perspective on the situation.

Miss Nosferatu “did not bother anyone or cause any problems, we even gave her help when she requested it, she was wearing a questionable outfit to say the least but it was her own prerogative to wear what she deemed fit. She was wearing a world war two German Gestapo uniform with swastika armband,” said Mr. Nelson.

“Mr. Regent arrived at the store and entered to shop, he caught eye of Shani and what she was wearing and started verbally harassing her, calling her a furry Nazi and other more colorful terms.”

“Now I don’t agree with what she was wearing but we have the [G-d] given right and freedom to wear and express ourselves as we see fit, as I told Mr. Regent when he contacted me yesterday saying that he was quote ‘if you wish to change your position I will require an announcement in group chat on the Black Ops channel recanting your support of the Nazi furs, and forbidding the display of Nazi paraphernalia on any property over which you have admin authority’.”

I pointed out that the 1st Amendment only protects freedom of expression in the public square, not on private property. “Yes it did take place on a private sim out of the public area, but I still have core believes that I will notRanbow & Festus forget just cause [it is] a private area.” But later Mr. Nelson stated, “Shani coming into the store may not of been a ‘peaceful assembly to express her beliefs’ but she at no time took aggressive steps towards anyone.”

So, in fact, Mr. Nelson did know that the Nazi uniform was not an attempt to make a political statement, but goes on to justify his actions under the auspices of non-violence. Never mind that a swastika is as close to a symbol of non-violence as we are to teaching dogs to do our taxes.

Additionally, there are many examples of “speech” or “expression” that are not protected in any venue, such as yelling “fire!” in a crowded theater or child porn. I asked how he could make such a distinction.

“Yes people do participate in pedophilia and its evil and wrong, but yes the Nazi party was evil and wrong but it is historical, it happened, there’s nothing we can do to change the fact that it happened, and for all we no Mrs. Nosferatu was on her [way] to a WWII reenactment of some sort.”

It is certainly difficult to believe that the reason Miss Nosferatu was dressed as a Nazi was that she was in transit to a WWII reenactment.

“I will not hinder someone against their own creative image, unless they are doing something that clearing (sic) and is morally wrong, or violated the second life TOS.”

But is it not a violation of the Community Standards section of the TOS to dress as a Nazi?Nazi Regalia 2

“Combating intolerance is a cornerstone of Second Life’s Community Standards” is the very first sentence describing the “Big Six” rules of conduct. How exactly does allowing a person to wear a swastika constitute “combating intolerance”. Has moral relativism now extended so far that Jews are considered “intolerant” when we object to the display of hate symbols?

The Furzi contend that their Nazi dress and actions are protected by free speech, but they also spread anti-Semitic propaganda under the same argument. What could possibly be more intolerant and, indeed, offensive than Nazi propaganda targeting Jews?

“Yes I am concerned with this group and every group like them that spreads nothing but hate and bigotry, but I cannot go out picking fights with everyone I don’t like because of what they stand for and promote,” Mr. Nelson said. But if what they stand for is wrong and leads to hate and violence then we shouldn’t oppose them by all necessary and proper means?

“This is not a perfect world sir and it’s doubtful it ever will be, but it’s our jobs to keep going and not give up hope. We must all pick our own battles and though we may not always agree with the outcome we have to keep on going, cause if we do not keep our heads held high and look towards the future, then we are doomed to stay stuck in the past.”

So here we are, looking at the same symbols that, 65 years ago, were the last thing seen by 6 million people, that represent the very definition of hate and intolerance, that are so repugnant to the society that spawned them it is punishable by many years in jail just for displaying them – and we are supposed to believe we should forget about? It’s ancient history? I, for one, hope that never, ever happens.

A New Hope

Saturday, April 14th, one day before Holocaust Remembrance Day, I had an interesting experience in SL. After finishing up an interview for this article I met up with Cryptomorph who told me of an incident which had happened earlier that day.

A land owner had to get help from LL to remove a huge sign (~5 x 5 meters) with a swastika on it from a neighbor’s property. I went to see the individual who removed the sign, a non-Jewish Australian, and he took me to see the property where the sign had been. We discovered that the one of the owners of the land (or so we thought) was Jewish. I tracked him down and of course he was as upset about it as we were. In fact, he is Israeli, so as you can imagine he was ready to take more aggressive measures if need be. It turned out he was on the property owner’s list because he helped the person who owns the land build the house that was there. The property had been abandoned and, for some reason I wasn’t able to ascertain, someone had chosen that spot to put up a giant swastika.

So today, one day before annual Holocaust Remembrance Day, an Israeli, an Aussie, a Spaniard, a Dutchman and an American teamed up to combat neo-Nazis; and SL made this possible.

This is only one example of the many experiences I have had in SL that gives me hope that virtual reality is going to facilitate cultural progress. I cannot accept that the evils of RL are inevitably going to infest SL.

Unlike the real world we, humans, are in full control. We created it, and we can manipulate it. Nothing is free, and there is no doubt there will always be those who seek to do evil, but we, as Jews are enjoined by G-d to combat those forces. Whatever effort is required to do so, we must be prepared to expend.

My uncle, a decidedly non-religious Jew, had some good advice for me that introduced a simple, yet profound, concept into my philosophy of life. “Stay in the light,” he said. These four simple words have rung in my ears ever since.

As Jews we are entrusted to be a light unto the nations; thus, where there is darkness it is we who must light a candle. G-d gave us this responsibility. Here we have an entire world to shape, and the concept that we would allow it to mold itself into whatever random design happens to come out of the haphazard contributions of the well-intentioned, the indifferent, and the hateful among us is antithetical to our role.

The Nazis brought nothing but destruction and death. Their legacy of hatred and anti-Semitism lives even today. Jewish graves are desecrated, skinheads and other misanthropes attack Jews, hate groups continue to be formed and recruit new members; the Third Reich will not die of natural causes, we have to kill it. We cannot remain indifferent, we cannot be shy, and we should not and cannot apologize for demanding an end to Nazism in Second Life – right here, right now.

There are two things the world will never have enough of: scientific progress and communication. Second Life has significant potential to cultivate both of these advancements. The question is: who will cultivate Second Life?

Banlink

Growing Menace of Digital Terrorism and Hate Exposed in New SWC Interactive Report

Digital Terrorism and Hate 2007 is the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s newly released ninth annual, interactive report exposing terrorism and hate on the Internet.  Compiled by Center researchers, the 2007 edition is culled from close to 7,000 problematic websites, blogs, newsgroups, YouTubeTM and other on-demand video sites.  Key sections of Digital Terrorism are available in English, French and Spanish.

Highlights include powerful terrorist videos that recruit young people into the horrific culture of death and Hate on Demand — two flash movies tracing the evolution of how hate and terror groups have manipulated and leveraged the web to promote their agendas.

The Wiesenthal Center is distributing this unique, timely and impactful interactive report to government leaders, elected officials, law enforcement, anti-terrorist agencies, community and web activists, and the media.

Your support will help the Center’s frontline professionals to better track and combat the dangerous and frightening rise of the subculture of hate and terrorism.

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