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ACLJ Files Lawsuit Over Biden FBI's Orwellian Targeting of "Radical Traditionalist" Christians


Jordan Sekulow

May 25, 2023

6 min read

Religious Liberty



We just filed another lawsuit against Biden’s Deep State FBI. The radical Left continues to wage a covert war on the Christian faith, and we are taking the FBI to court over its Orwellian targeting of what it calls “radical traditionalist” Christians. The FBI has even gone so far as to plant spies in churches. It’s time to end this absolute abuse of power and assault on people of faith.

As we previously explained, “The Deep State FBI has been caught spying on Christians. A whistleblower recently produced what they allege is an internal FBI document with instructions on how to properly spy on ‘radical traditionalist Catholics and their ideology.’” Of course, it only gets worse: “Another FBI whistleblower, former special agent Nicole Parker, testified before the House Subcommittee that the FBI has become ‘politically weaponized.’”

In response, we quickly filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for records about the FBI’s memo focusing on “radical traditionalist Catholic ideology” and possible ties to “the far-right white nationalist movement” by anyone who prefers the “traditional Latin mass.” This is a direct assault on all Christians, not just Catholics. The FBI literally called Christians “an extremist threat.” Yet the FBI has refused to turn over any documents in response to our FOIA.

Here’s the backdrop to our case:

On January 23, 2023, an intelligence analyst within the FBI’s field office published a document titled “Interest of Racially or Ethnically Motivated Violent Extremists in Radical-Traditionalist Catholic Ideology” (RMVE). The memo notes that FBI investigations have determined that there is a mounting overlap between the far-right white nationalist movement and Traditionalist Catholics who prefer the “traditional Latin mass.”

According to the FBI’s twisted view of conservative Christians, Traditionalist Catholics adhere to the “anti-Semitic, anti-immigrant, anti-LGBT, and white supremacy” ideology. By what authority has the FBI weaponized itself to target such Christians? The answer is quite simple: The FBI relies on a sketchy Left-wing group, the Southern Poverty Law Center.

To be clear, the FBI has now retracted its RMVE document. It asserts that the issuance of its memo targeting Christians fails to meet its exacting standards. In reality, the original FBI memo is entirely consistent with the Department of Justice’s move to target parents who objected to controversial school board policies in 2021. Who could forget Attorney General Merrick Garland’s October 4, 2021, memo directing the FBI to partner with local law enforcement and U.S. attorneys to identify parental threats at school board meetings against faculty and to “prosecute them when appropriate.”

Did you catch what the FBI is doing? It’s saying those who believe in traditional values and biblical teachings are radical threats who must be stopped. If you believe that all human life is sacred, then you’re a true danger to society (according to Biden’s FBI) The same philosophy was evident when AG Merrick Garland accused concerned school parents of being terrorists.

While the Biden Administration wants you to believe that it has rescinded and did not act upon this memo, nothing could be further from the truth. An FBI whistleblower has since come forward, exposing more of this troubling Deep State pattern. The FBI has been planting undercover agents inside churches to spy on Christians. According to reports:

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) allegedly used an undercover agent to target the clergy and leadership of the Catholic Church, according to GOP Representative Jim Jordan. . . .

Jordan, who chairs the House Judiciary Committee, [recently] sent a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray alerting Wray that he was being subpoenaed for an investigation into the agency’s handling of a domestic extremism analysis that proposed developing sources among church leaders to look for signs of radicalization among Catholic parishioners.

Congressman Mike Johnson (LA-4), who serves on the House Judiciary Committee, shared more details on our broadcast about what the FBI was really up to and how this one agent was likely just the tip of the spear:

Everybody just heard that right. The FBI itself was seeking to recruit undercover agents in Christian and Catholic churches. And the reason, the purported reason, is because they were concerned with what they called “the threat” – this is a quote – “the threat of radical traditionalist Catholics,” e.g., pro-lifers. Those who actually practice their faith, right? That’s a threat to this FBI, to the Biden Administration and the White House, and the leadership of the DOJ, and so they were going to dispatch agents out to the churches to go and find spies inside the hallways. It’s unbelievable.

Can you imagine finding out federal agents are infiltrating your church, taking notes on who is there and what is being taught?

The ACLJ quickly went to work and submitted a FOIA request, seeking answers from the FBI Director, Deputy Director, Chief of Staff, General Counsel, and all other senior staff who knew about this unlawful, dangerous targeting scheme.

We want to know if the FBI is targeting pro-life individuals. We want to know if the FBI is targeting Christians, including any threat assessments regarding Christianity or Catholicism. We want to know if this unlawful targeting of Christians is somehow related to the Supreme Court’s decision in the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization – the case that overturned Roe v. Wade. We want to know who is responsible at Biden’s FBI for drafting such an unlawful, anti-faith targeting scheme.

Yet the Biden Administration has withheld all documents from us, even refusing to provide us with a statutorily compliant response. So we’ve just filed a lawsuit in federal court. We will force the Biden Deep State FBI to come clean. It won’t get away with targeting Christians and then hiding the truth about it.

In addition to our lawsuit, we are also preparing a follow-up FOIA request to the FBI seeking records about reports that the FBI planted spies in churches. And if the FBI again refuses to comply, we’ll go right back to federal court.

The ACLJ is committed to stopping the Deep State from targeting Christians just because they hold traditional views of life and biblical teachings. We will not waver in fighting against these unlawful Deep State tactics.

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