Advice to Rachel Dolezal from an “Outed” Conservative

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[This op-ed was originally published in Communities Digital News, the former online op-ed arm of The Washington Times, on June 18th, 2015. It was redacted the same day. Please go here to read the full story of why it was banned]

There is very little I can relate to regarding Rachel Dolezal. Her gender, her metamorphic race, her support for the NAACP…it’s all alien to me. But I can relate to what it’s like to be a political figure who is publicly “outed” for harboring a secret.

In the early 1990s, I became a minor celebrity due to research I conducted in Poland at the Auschwitz State Museum. I had a simple thesis: I disputed the notion that Auschwitz functioned as an extermination camp in 1944, when upwards of 400,000 people were said to have been murdered in gas chambers. I never denied the Holocaust, I never denied that Auschwitz was a brutal labor camp, I never denied Treblinka, Sobibor, or Belzec, I never denied the killings by the Einsatzgruppen death squads, and I never denied the fact that I’m 100% Jewish. The one time I had an opportunity to test my thesis publicly, on The Montel Williams Show in 1992, an Auschwitz survivor was brought on to call me a fraud for suggesting that people like his brother might still be alive. When the show aired, the brother was found alive and well, having newly immigrated from Eastern Europe. My thesis was not “anti-Semitic.” Quite the contrary; I thought I was doing valuable work.

Indeed, my views were far less extreme than those of Arno Mayer, Professor Emeritus of European History at Princeton. In his 1988 book Why Did the Heavens Not Darken, Mayer, a Jewish refugee from Hitler’s Europe, wrote: “From 1942 to 1945, certainly at Auschwitz, but probably overall, more Jews were killed by so-called ‘natural causes’ than by ‘unnatural’ ones.” I devoted my life to what Mayer had referred to as the “many open questions” regarding Auschwitz. My work led to appearances on 60 Minutes, 48 Hours, The Phil Donahue Show, the Montel show, and many others. Phil Donahue called me “the Antichrist,” and my work was damned as “powerful and dangerous” in the pages of The Jerusalem Post.

When a violent extremist organization called the Jewish Defense League put a $25,000 bounty on my head in 1997, I decided I’d had enough. I became David Stein. I made mainstream documentary films, and eventually my politics led me to become a player in the Hollywood conservative group Friends of Abe.

In May 2013, I was “outed” as Cole in the pages of The Guardian. The lead sentence from the article says it all: “David Stein brought right-wing congressmen, celebrities, writers and entertainment industry figures together for shindigs, closed to outsiders, where they could scorn liberals and proclaim their true beliefs … There was just one problem. Stein was not who he claimed.”

Although the paper specifically did not refer to me as a “denier,” every other media outlet – The Huffington Post, The Wrap, The Hollywood Reporter, Yahoo News, MSNBC, Gawker, and dozens of others – did. I was banned from Friends of Abe and the L.A. GOP without being given a chance to explain myself. Two years later, my ordeal has at the very least given me enough wisdom to provide a few pointers to the likes of Dolezal, and anyone else in politics harboring a secret past.

1) Don’t be a fool and draw attention to yourself. Dolezal’s big mistake was seeking headlines by apparently faking racist death threats. Huge error. It’s more prudent to lay low. A simple truth: the more attention you draw to yourself, the more interest the media’s going to take in you, which is great, as long as you don’t have an Achilles’ heel that can be pierced by a few choice words from those closest to you. Speaking of which,

2) You’re most likely to be outed by those closest to you. The people who know your deepest secrets are also the people with whom you’re most likely to get into heated emotional tiffs (as with Rachel Dolezal and her parents). In my case, my “outing” came not at the hands of an ideological foe, but an embittered redheaded supermodel who I’d been supporting for five years. Upset at being cut off from my largess, the young lady, along with her roommate, National Review scribe Michael Walsh (aka David Kahane), outed me. It was an ignominious end. So the lesson is, think of everyone who knows your secret as a potential blackmailer, and don’t piss them off.

3) Always have a Plan B. Live every day as though the flying circus you created might crash at any moment. Have an exit strategy. As soon as I suspected that the supermodel was going to out me, I got a book deal. No self-publishing for me; I knew I’d need that cash advance. But I made sure the deal would only go into effect upon my outing. Two months after I secured the deal, I was outed.

4) Don’t get bitter about “disloyalty.” Don’t drown in self pity when your friends play save-ass. And they will. They’ll condemn and attack you, but remember – you suckerpunched them. After my outing, my conservative chums rushed to denounce me. My friend Eric Golub called me “pure evil” in a Washington Times op-ed. Ouch! And sure, I could have bitterly ruminated about all the favors I’d done for the guy – arranging book signings for his self-published tomes, getting him into events that were way above his pay grade, but in the end, I had to take responsibility for the fact that I put my friends in that spot.

5) You can make a comeback, maybe. I’ll be the first to say that I’m not the monster I was painted to be after my outing. But it’s up to me to make my case. If I fail, it’s my fault. If Rachel Dolezal really is as bone-chillingly nutty as she seems, she’ll forever be nothing more than a faded freak of the week. Bottom line: take a good look at yourself. If you honestly think you were treated unfairly, present your case. If you sincerely come to understand that you were in the wrong, apologize. And if you genuinely believe that you can magically change your race by sheer force of will, well…there are anti-psychotic meds for that. Get a prescription.

My first suspicion that I could survive my outing came from Gary Aminoff, vice chairman of the Republican Party of L.A. County. In 2013, upon learning of my past, he posted on Facebook, “I have to say, as a Jew who lost family in the Holocaust, I find this very disturbing. I did not sleep last night. This is a horrendous thing that David did.” But in 2014, he sent me an email, completely unsolicited: “David, I just want to say that I read your book, and have a different perspective about you now. I understand that you weren’t a Holocaust denier, but were questioning anomalies and attempting to correct the historical record. I have no enmity toward you, and wish you good luck.”

When my former buddies at Friends of Abe learned of that email, they bullied Gary into recanting his praise. But the “damage” had already been done. His email made me realize that maybe my life doesn’t have to forever be defined by the headlines that accompanied my outing.

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Comments
4 Responses to “Advice to Rachel Dolezal from an “Outed” Conservative”
  1. Fan of Dave says:

    Steven, as someone who believed the hype his entire life, I recently came to the realization that EVERYTHING I knew about World History, as it pertains to the current state of affairs was misguided at best.

    It all started when I realized the obvious, Adolf Hitler did NOT seem like the man we’ve been brainwashed into thinking he was? There were so many unanswered questions, and things that just did not line up with what we’re told. He did NOT want to take over the world, but I didn’t come to this conclusion after reading some random Conspiracy site or anything, I really hated that stuff. It came to me after watching literally every single WWII and WWI documentary I could find. Things did not match up, i.e. why did he let the British go at Dunkirk? I realized ONLY AFTER learning about Churchill’s past, WWI through the lead up to WWII from HBO’s film, “The Gathering Storm,” and the docudrama, “Churchill’s First War.” Once you learn about Churchill, and his reasons for aggression towards Germany it ALL falls into place, so perfectly in fact, it was too perfect, you could see why no one would believe it.

    I still believed in everything I’ve heard about the Holocaust, i mean, no one’s actually corrected the record, not even what the Exterminationists have come to recant since your’s and other’s research. Long story short, I saw another documentary about the camps done very similar to the way you did yours, and it was sealed. Something was seriously amiss.

    It drove me nuts, my whole world was literally flipped on it’s head, I was in the middle of, and still am, an existential crises.

    There’s so much to say, and I’d literally do anything to just have the opportunity to sit down with you and listen to your theories on how we’ve all been deceived, and as a disabled Veteran, how something so important to current affairs can be so taboo to the point we’ve considered in the US to limit the First Amendment to protect this period of History.

    That’s the entire reason the 1st Amendment was put in place! So this kind of stuff couldn’t happen, or at least so Brave people like you could state your case and the populous could figure it out for themselves. My brother and sister are still in the military, my brother a helicopter pilot, my sister a doctor. I was an infantry man, a former West Point Grad, so you can see why if I dare to speak about this it would mean the end of any career I might have in any endeavor.

    I just really want to tell you how much I respect and appreciate what you did, and what you’re doing. It’s the MOST important thing in the world right now I think. This story, the way it’s taught to millions of people in the West, is leading us down a stretch of road that I personally believe might lead to Nuclear War. It’s terrifying.

    I saw a video you did recently where you said some stuff that sounded like you felt defeated. YOURE NOT! PLEASE DON”T GIVE UP! It’s NOT 1990 anymore. The internet has changed the game. You can make a difference. Imagine, you have the opportunity to save an entire Country and Ethnicity in Germany, and potentially the rest of the world if your message, and that of Mr. Weber, get’s out into the public.

    Imagine if you re-created your videos for today? Imagine if you were able to do it with today’s technology? You came off as one of the MOST brilliant person I’ve ever watched and speak. PLEASE, do not give up. Keep up what it seems you’re doing. Personally, I’m so relieved your back in this arena. I think we need you, I think you’re the ONLY person who can really blow the lid off of this thing.

    You have the opportunity to go down in history as the man who saved the World, I really believe it. The truth must be told and your the only person who can do that. I have nothing but the utmost respect for you, keep it up. You’re a hero to a lot of people. Don’t get down on yourself, please. We look up to you, and your courage in the face of what you’ve experienced is so powerful Thomas Jefferson would be proud.

    • Clito says:

      Well, luckily he really isn’t the only one in the “world” now, is he? Yes he is a substantial contributor to the “outting” of the facts of this so-called “event”. We will be Victorious!! “Victoire! Victoire!”

  2. Clito says:

    Obviously she isn’t smart enough to have thought of necessary out of outs strategies.

  3. Dave's Iron Balls says:

    “In my case, my “outing” came not at the hands of an ideological foe, but an embittered redheaded supermodel who I’d been supporting for five years.”

    What an ungrateful, worthless bitch.

    Was she that chick in one of your videos? She’s not even a real redhead as far as I can tell…

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