Holocaust Academic Conference Free Speech Lawsuit Reaches Federal Appeals Court

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Attorney Bruce Leichty will join my live radio show this evening, Friday, June 17, 9 to 10 pm Eastern. Listen live or catch the archive at my Substack page.

Leichty was arrested in 2019 for participating in a holocaust conference at Bethel College in Kansas for which he had paid and registered. His crime? Handing out fliers until he was asked not to, then participating in Q&A and posing questions that made people uncomfortable. Since when was it illegal to ask questions? Since the West traded Enlightenment (post)-Christianity for the new holocaust religion, or so it seems.

Below is Leichty’s press release.

Kevin Barrett, VT Editor

BETHEL COLLEGE “FALSE ARREST” CASE REACHES FEDERAL APPEALS COURT

The Mennonite lawyer who sued Bethel College for more than a half million dollars in 2019 after his arrest at an academic conference is appealing the judgment of a Wichita federal judge denying him any relief, contending that the court improperly discounted a reputed false statement by Bethel’s president to City of North Newton police. .

Bruce Leichty, 68, filed his opening brief in the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals last week, asserting that federal judge John W. Broomes committed numerous errors when he granted summary judgment to Bethel College, and prevented him from taking his case to a jury. Leichty had claimed that Bethel breached its agreement with him in connection with his registration for a conference on “Mennonites and the Holocaust” in March 2018 and then instigated his arrest for trespass even though administrators knew he was not in trespass, a violation of Kansas law.

Leichty, who said he was never arrested before and was not at the academic conference to commit an act of civil disobedience, spent 18 hours in custody at the Harvey County Detention Center before being released on his own recognizance in March 2018. City of North Newton did not prosecute a criminal case against him.

The California resident has also appealed the rulings of the Court that the City of North Newton could not be liable to him under state or federal law for the role of its police in the arrest. In his argument to the Court of Appeals, Leichty notes that he went to the North Newton police station before going to the Bethel campus the second day of the conference to make sure that he was acting lawfully and that a challenge to his registrant status would not permit arrest.

Leichty cites in his appeal several reasons why his arrest was unlawful. He contends he could not have been arrested but for the fact that he was told without justification that he could no longer attend conference sessions. The District Court found that he violated unwritten “equitable” provisions of his agreement with the college, by first passing out literature and then trying to make an announcement during a Q and A session about a presentation he had arranged for a nearby community room in North Newton.

That presentation, held March 16, was titled “Two Revisionist Jews Consider the Holocaust,” and featured a retired university professor from New York, Daniel McGowan, and a retired engineer from Michigan, Henry Herskovitz.

“Registrants had never been told there was any prohibition on handing out flyers or other literature to fellow registrants, and the College admitted there was nothing in writing and no announcement notifying its guests about this prohibition, nor had I been warned,” notes Leichty, who says the Court ignored this fact. Leichty was told to stop the handouts by a college administrator shortly after he arrived for the first session. He was threatened with expulsion from the conference after the College called police, and at that point the parties agreed that Leichty could remain at the conference if he complied with the newly-announced rule.

“At no time was I told it was my views that were under scrutiny, but what I found out later was that the college had been talking to police and sharing pejorative comments based on

my history of Christian advocacy and legal cases, and discussing how they would handle me–even though no one ever approached me with any concerns or requests.”

Leichty says that evidence developed in the case showed that the event that led the College to breach its agreement with him happened during a session late on the opening day.

“I was handed a microphone but was prevented by a conference organizer, Mark Jantzen, from finishing my remarks, which were meant only to note that as Jews who had different perspectives on the Holocaust, McGowan and Herskovitz were available for dialogue that evening.” Leichty says the two colleagues had also been denied the opportunity to attend all but a couple public sessions of the Conference after a registration mix-up left them unregistered.

Jantzen called North Newton police after Leichty’s microphone was cut, and berated him, “Are you going to leave or do I have to call the police?”

“I had done nothing wrong, since audience members were allowed to speak,” says Leichty. Leichty says that after he finished trying to make his announcement, he left in the company of another conference organizer, John Sharp of Hesston College, who expressed concern but invited him for further discussion at a conference lunch the next day. Sharp and another administrator later said they were surprised by the rude audience response to Leichty. Leichty says he chatted with North Newton police chief Randy Jordan as the chief pulled into the parking lot to respond to the 9-1-1 call and there was no discussion of trespass at that time.

“Later that evening after we held our event and Henry Herskovitz and I had returned to the campus to watch the public airing of a Nazi propaganda film, I approached Jantzen and asked him whether he would now allow my colleagues to attend sessions the following day.” Leichty says he was told no, “and not only that, you’re out of the conference, too.”

In his appeal brief, Leichty notes that this exchange was treated by the court as a trespass warning, even though Leichty was not told by anyone that he was barred from the campus, and Leichty’s registrant badge had not been taken from him nor had he been offered any refund. “I was also not told what rule I had violated, probably because there wasn’t any such rule. North Newton police officer Donald Stovall confirmed the next morning before I returned to campus that a dispute about registration wasn’t sufficient for me to be held in trespass if I returned.”

Leichty’s appellate brief points to police testimony that Bethel College President Jon Gering effectively lied to police the morning of his arrest saying he had previously told Leichty to leave campus and not return.

“Officer Stovall said during a deposition that the president had told him that he personally had given me the warning, but I hadn’t even met the president the first day of the conference,” says Leichty. “I had already told Officer Stovall about Jantzen’s comment, so the only thing that could have changed Stovall’s mind was the lie. Moreover, Gering told me during his deposition that he did not care if I was in the campus archives or coffee shop or other places on campus as long as I wasn’t at the conference, and therefore there is no crime of trespass but merely a civil dispute or contract disagreement on those facts.”

In his appeal brief Leichty also argues that the court improperly prevented him from conducting further discovery with police after another arresting officer, Levi Minkevitch, from the city of Newton, became unavailable for testimony. Minkevitch, a Bethel College alumnus who assisted Stovall in making the arrest, was killed in an off-road accident five days after he was subpoenaed by Leichty to have his deposition taken in the case. Leichty says that on the day of his arrest Minkevitch cut off discussion with him shortly before he was handcuffed, as Leichty tried to explain why he was not in trespass.

“When there are questions of fact that need to be resolved by a jury, a district court judge has no ability by law to award summary judgment and a court of appeals has to reverse,” says Leichty.

“Some of the event sponsors didn’t want any narrative other than an approved narrative about Mennonite `guilt’ for the Holocaust to be heard by conference-goers,” Leichty says. “This is antithetical to the spirit of academic inquiry and historical analysis, and the College acted like the very fascists that they supposedly were exposing to the public for the first time.

“The Court in turn violated its own duty to look at my contentions in the light most favorable to me, just as the college essentially had done in trying to suppress my speech, which must be corrected on appeal.”

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SOURCEKevin Barrett’s Radio Show

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7 COMMENTS

  1. Anyone interested about the lies of WW2 can watch “Europa The Last Battle” on alternative sites like bitshute. Well documented and presented evidence, hidden and now coming into the public awareness.

  2. Those Christians who believe God has a chosen people, and or think this world and the universe rest their case on symbolism not the obvious literal words of the text. The Context has to be followed by using logic.
    God’s chosen people obey Him and are moral people and not into usury. Read that book and use your head, not emotionalism.

  3. Very similar argument to Jim Fetzer’s upcoming US Supreme Court hearing. By ordering a summary judgement the judge violated the plaintiff’s right to a jury trial which is a constitutional violation.

    • Here’s the thing now with Mr. Fetzer. This BS trial in Wisconsin has been going on for months now. I followed a bit of it and read the fine text. Now, Noah Ponzer, the kid Jim Fetzer said was still alive, could walk into that courtroom, wave to everyone, brag about how much money Lenny and his family was given by the American Political System and Democrats for faking the event, and then walk out. However, even if all this happened, it would mean nothing at the trial, because the trial is all about technicalities and the ’emotional damages’ that Noah’s parents (notably Leonard) suffered. The ‘facts of the case’ are completely irrelevant. Welcome to America!

  4. Always remember, 6 million is a Kabbalistic number. “6,000,000 never refers to actual deaths. It is a purely symbolic, esoteric, mystical number, symbolizing the perfect result, a perfect creation, a magical Great Work in progress.” – Dr. Harrell Rhome

    It’s the idiots who take the Bible literally who are causing the most mayhem in the USA right now. This includes the folks who’ve counted up the “begats” in the Scofield Reference Bible and come up with the age of the Earth to be exactly 6025 years and the Sun is its planet. 50 million strong, 80% of whom voted for Trump in 2020. In the words of Steve Pearce, chairman of the Republican Party of New Mexico, “Trump is our president FOREVER and no one can take that away from us.”

  5. Not sure if you’ve moved to Iran yet Mr. Barrett, but here in the USA, my main concern is the red flag laws Biden and the liberals are trying to pass everywhere. Anyone can say you are ‘mentally ill’ without trial or evidence, and a SWAT team will then conduct a raid, drag you off to jail, and confiscate all your firearms to add to their personal collections. It reminds me of Canon Law in the middle ages. Back then, say you worked hard, and you had a nice house, a bit of money, and a beautiful wife. If your neighbors were jealous, they would just report you to the Catholic Church as being a ‘heretic.’ All it took was one ‘anonymous’ report. Masked men would come at night, detain you without trial, and take all your wealth and belongings away. If you didn’t confess to a crime right away, they would simply torture the shit out of you until you did confess. The American legal system these days isn’t much different.

  6. It is becoming more obvious with each passing day! The BIG LIE that is the holocaust! The press releases of the late 19th century and pre-WW2 mentioning the 6M figure makes identifying this deception as a “no brainer”! A huge thank you to the perpetrators for identifying themselves. They did it in Nuremburg, 9-11, Co-Vid and more! The media is not your friend!

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