Over eight years ago I left a life of hate, struggle, and violence and while I’d written a lot of articles, given a lot of interviews, and made it well established that I was actively combating the extremism of my past, I’d never formally and publically written something such as this. I feel like a major, yet a small part of my healing both those my past has harmed and myself, that this article is a necessity. I firmly understand that this article emphatically does not excuse my past, which is why it is written as I also actively work with law enforcement, government agencies, and Beyond Barriers, a registered 501(c) institution to combat extremism and help those who leave those movements and break free of a life of hatred and fear.
I’d like to first say that I am addressing this document to the Jewish people, people of color, the LGBTQ+ community, and immigrants, all of whom I love as dearly as I love myself today, but considered enemies and affected in my past life. I have cried countless times since learning the err of my past beliefs and actions, I have not nor would I ever believe that I could say, “I’m sorry,” and all be well. As I have said time and time again, I will spend the rest of my life combating hate and fear and trying to atone for my past and to bring all people together in peace and love.
I am sorry for fearing who and what you are, and for letting that fear manipulate me into hating those who did not deserve it. I am sorry for seeing you as enemies or lesser, instead of brothers and sisters, fellow human beings with souls and who share so much in common through our shared humanity. I am sorry for demonizing you, for treating you poorly due to my own insecurities and weaknesses, and for propagating that demonization to others and recruiting others into the same abhorrent ideology.
I am sorry for sowing the seeds of fear throughout our communities and for perpetuating division amongst the people. As we are all made in God’s ineffable image, I have egregiously sinned against God in doing so and acted as HaSatan to all nations and people. You, who are perfect as Hashem, you are my flesh, my blood, as much as any relative of mine I know, and we are family, we are one.
I am sorry for promoting revisionist history to further demonize and dismiss the suffering of others and to claim it was all a conspiracy to substantiate the foolish ideology I’d profess!
I am sorry for spreading fear through rallies and putting flyers on lawns in neighborhoods, towns, and cities that we’d willfully knew had Jews and people of color. I am sorry for inciting fear in vulnerable people and for knowingly fanning the flames of dissension, distrust, and hatred. I am sorry for not opening up and getting to know you, for actively looking for reasons not to love you, and for rejecting any perception of the world that was not my own or enmeshed in the ideology of hate I once followed. I was a fool, and I am so incredibly sorry for who I was and what I’d done…
I am also sorry to those who I recruited into that life of hate, and I pray for you to see the light as I did and leave it behind. Should any of you reading this be involved in those ideologies and wish to leave or simply talk about life outside of extremism, please I implore you to contact me and we’ll talk… just talk. If you wish to leave that life behind you, I’m more than happy to help you to do so and to help get you resources to build a better life of love and peace, as well as help you meet others like me who have left that life behind (you will have friends outside who will help).
If you believe this to be disingenuous or you are an extremist who is thinking of leaving, meet with me, talk with me, I am an open book and am devoid of trepidation. What harm can talking to one another do?