Legal counsel representing disabled Navy veteran John Sabal, the founder and President of The Patriot Voice, has filed a $25 million lawsuit against the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) alleging defamation and injurious falsehood.
ADL claims to “fight all forms of antisemitism and bias, using innovation and partnerships to drive impact” but more recently the organization has been accused of partisanship and slinging mud against targets on the political right.
Sabal founded The Patriot Voice in 2020 as a grassroots events organizer for Patriots who love God and country. He holds a security clearance and has never been arrested. He organizes events with courageous speakers with relevant, timely messages. His goal is for attendees to leave his events with a renewed sense of hope for our country and its future, and feel inspired to get involved in their own communities.
The lawsuit alleges ADL maliciously targeted Sabal "because of his politics and success as an organizer of conservative Christian festivals, falsely accusing him of being an extremist threat and of espousing anti-semitism".
However, Sabal belongs to a pro-Israel Christian church that teaches the Hebrew origins of the Bible. His events feature speakers of every creed and color, including those of the Jewish faith.
The lawsuit alleges that the ADL "has devolved into a rabidly partisan pressure group, abusing its platform and reputation as an “anti-hate” group to bully and deplatform those that do not share its Leftist ideology. It has now turned its partisan ire on John Sabal, a self-employed organizer of patriotic festivals. Despite Mr. Sabal’s support for the people of Israel and his membership in a church that teaches the Hebrew origins of the Bible, as well as philanthropy through his church that directly benefits the Jewish people, Defendant ADL has falsely and maliciously accused him of espousing antisemitic beliefs, and—disgustingly—includes Mr. Sabal in its “Glossary of Extremism” alongside Islamic terrorists, murderers, and white supremacists. (The) defendant has refused to retract or take responsibility for its baseless and intolerable smears and has indeed doubled down on them. These lies have devastated Mr. Sabal and his ability to make a living, and he seeks to hold Defendant accountable for these damages.
Mr. Sabal supports the people of Israel, and he is a proud and active member of a pro-Israel Christian church that teaches the Hebrew roots and origins of the Bible and engages in philanthropy to help Jewish communities."
The complaint continues to detail how the ADL intended to create the impression that Sabal was a dangerous, extremist threat, and that it did so either knowing that the claim was false or with reckless disregard for its falsity.
ADL regional director Scott Richman opened his testimony by saying, “Without a doubt, right-wing extremist violence is currently the greatest domestic terrorism threat to everyone in this country.”
He then implied that Sabal was peddling the extremist belief that “a global cabal of pedophiles (including Democrats) who are kidnapping children for their blood, will be executed when Donald Trump is reinstated as president.”
Sabal said that accusation was a lie and a smear, and claims to have never uttered or held such a belief, nor does he promote such a belief at the festivals he organizes.
The complaint continues:
On April 1, 2023, Mr. Sabal sent a letter to ADL demanding a retraction and apology for its defamatory statements. ADL did not just ignore that letter, it doubled down on its smearing of Mr. Sabal.
In September 2023, ADL, under the moniker of ADL’s “Center on Extremism,” published a 23-page “Report” entitled, “Hate in the Lone Star State: Extremism & Antisemitism in Texas” (the “Report”). This Report includes information and statistics on “antisemitic incidents” in Texas, “extremist plots and murders” in Texas, “white supremacist propaganda” in Texas, and “hate crimes” in Texas. In that Report, Defendant singles out Mr. Sabal by name, with a hyperlink to ADL’s “Glossary of Extremism” entry for John Sabal. This Report was widely distributed and disseminated in Texas.
The complaint was filed on October 3, 2023, in the US District Court for the Northern District of Texas.
A full copy of the complaint can be found here.