At about the same time JBS Upper Management decided that I was a liability to the organization, they proudly added Chris Simcox to their Speaker’s Bureau. This happened in late 2006 or 2007, when Appleton was cynically seeking – and failing – to exploit right-wing populist concerns over immigration as a recruitment strategy.
By the time Simcox co-founded Arizona’s Minuteman Civil Defense Corps in 2005, he had already acquired a great deal of pungent baggage that would have become known through a cursory background check. This included two messy divorces, both of which involved allegations of domestic violence. All of this, and other problems, made him a very large, very easy target for the SPLC and other leftist “watchdog” groups.
At about the same time Simcox was added to the JBS Speaker’s Bureau, he was immersed in a power struggle within the Minuteman organization that involved allegations of misappropriation of funds. One of Simcox’s close allies at Minuteman during the period he was recruited as a speaker for the JBS was a robustly unpleasant specimen by the name of Shawna Forde, whom he identified as a “rising leader” in the movement.
In 2009, Forde and two henchmen murdered 29-year-old Raul Flores and his 9-year-old daughter Brisenia during a home invasion robbery in Pima, Arizona. This was intended to be the first of several robberies carried out against ethnic Mexican residents of Arizona suspected of involvement in drug trafficking. Forde has been convicted of murder and faces the death penalty.
It’s important to point out that Simcox was not involved in that hideous crime in any way. His only connection to Forde was a shared fixation on illegal immigration, and the remarkably poor judgment Simcox displayed in promoting her as a leader within the Minuteman organization. Simcox himself, however, has recently found himself in jail on charges that he molested three young girls.
Accusations of this kind are notoriously easy to make, and often lead to scandalously implausible convictions. As the cliché informs us, one of the few things worse than being a child molester is to be an innocent man wrongly accused of that hideous crime.
At present, Chris Simcox is legally innocent of the charges against him. It may be that he is factually innocent as well. It is a certainty that he is, and has long been, a volatile personality and an unsavory public figure.
JBS Upper Management is so piously fastidious about the organization’s public image that it simply had to terminate me in October 2006 because of a single blog posting in which I wrote some vulgar things about the likes of Sean Hannity and Mark Levin – and because I had dared to offer a public dissent regarding Upper Management’s perspective on the question of immigration.
"You do not understand that once you are a public figure everything that you say or do publicly reflects on the organization you work for, particularly when these things are in opposition to the position and principles of The John Birch Society and Robert Welch,” pontificated Art Thompson in the letter announcing my termination. In that same letter he specified that my firing offense had been to differ with the inspired personages in Upper Management over a matter of “nuance” (his word) regarding immigration.
Presumably the same standard applies to those people whom Appleton selected to represent the JBS as members of its Speakers Bureau. By the time Simcox was added to that roster, he was already wreathed in disrepute. As this is being written (June 22, 2013), Chris Simcox is still proudly and prominently listed as part of the JBS Speakers Bureau (although that will soon change, I’ll warrant).
Simcox is a public figure who has been through multiple divorces, numerous accusations of domestic violence, accusations of embezzlement, a close professional association with a convicted child murderer, and now multiple charges of child molestation. By Art Thompson’s standard, all of this reflects on the organization over which Thompson presides.
By way of contrast, the JBS websites have been sanitized of all references to the former Senior Editor who was fired on October 3, 2006.
Sure, Appleton can find room on its marquee for an accused child molester, assuming that he’s an anti-immigration zealot.
But what about a long-time, dutiful staff member who publicly differs from Upper Management in a matter of “nuance” on immigration (on constitutional grounds), and who happens to be an American of Mexican ancestry? That fellow needs to be terminated with extreme prejudice, and never spoken of again. After all, the JBS has standards to maintain.