By Hazel Woodrow
Canadian Anti-Hate Network
LifeSiteNews is like a Christian version of Breitbart, which claims to reach over 20 million readers with anti-LGBTQ+ screeds and far-right conspiracy theories about the rigged election, “leftist agitators'' in the crowd at the Capitol, and COVID-19 being a bioweapon. Its President, Steve Jalsevac, tells us that white nationalist is a meaningless “hateful, leftist” term, and how the term “anti-Semitism” is used is similarly questionable.
LifeSiteNews was founded in 1997 by a Canadian anti-abortion lobbying group. According to their US tax returns, they publish approximately 4,000 articles a year. The organization says it relies primarily on donations to “spread truth, defeat lies, and save lives.” In 2018, the US arm received 1.6 million in contributions and grants, nearly double what it received in 2015.
They are currently grappling with a series of social media suspensions and bans.
From comparing queer sex to the slaughter of farm animals to warning about “homosexuals on the prowl” in the US military to a conspiracy-minded archbishop telling Steve Bannon that “Trump is fighting pedosatanism” -- LifeSiteNews has published many shocking headlines since anti-abortion lobby group Campaign Life Coalition founded it 25 years ago.
LifeSiteNews, once a small single-issue Canadian website founded and operated by a team that included current President Steve Jalsevac and Editor-in-Chief John Henry Westen, is now an industrious megaphone for anti-LGBTQ+ messaging and conspiracy theories, with ties to the transnational far-right.
In the days leading up to the attack on the US Congress and Capitol, LifeSiteNews published three pieces specifically instructing their readers to show up in D.C. on January 6th “to support the president’s re-election.”
Its Vice President attended the insurrection attempt.
One piece by Population Research Institute President Steven Mosher reads:
“It is said that death concentrates the mind. The chants from the massive crowd will surely concentrate the minds of Republican senators as they realize the people are watching. If they hold the line, they will win plaudits from the crowd. But should they vote against the most popular president in recent American history, they will be committing political suicide.”
“The president has been the most pro-life president in the USA history,” Jalsevac tells us via email. “Especially for that reason, we encouraged people to attend the rally in support of at least a full, proper investigation into the numerous, well-documented serious irregularities of the Nov. 3 election. LifeSite has never in 24 years supported any violence.” He goes on to share the conspiracy theory that it was “leftist agitators” in the crowd who engaged in the violence.
At 6pm on January 6th, LifeSiteNews Vice President Gualberto Garcia Jones stated that he had been at the Capitol earlier in the day and “did not see a single Trump supporter calling for chaos and mayhem like we witnessed with BLM all this summer.”
Two days after the deadly riot at the Capitol, LifeSiteNews published an article by Doug Mainwaring titled “Washington Elites Hate You” with the subtitle: “And so do media, corporate, big tech, and academic elites.” It goes on to echo Fox News and other far-right media:
“They want to “cancel” and “erase” your presence from the modern day public square — social media — to make you feel as if you don’t exist, to demoralize you. They want to disconnect you from friends and family who think like you. They want you to have zero influence in the world which they feel rightly belongs to them. You are nothing more than an interloper, an intruder, a freak who has no place residing in the utopia they are creating.”
In the last two weeks, LifeSiteNews has been suspended from Twitter and YouTube, and permanently banned from social media management platforms Buffer and Sendible.
The latest strike against LifeSiteNews’ YouTube channel is its second alleged strike on the platform in as many months. LifeSiteNews has previously published videos with the following titles and subjects:
“Google News indicates kids in pro-gay countries more likely to be homosexually molested” (2014), an interview with the thoroughly discredited and blacklisted psychologist Paul Cameron, who has claimed that homosexuality is infectious, and who co-authored a paper during the AIDS crisis advocating for establishing concentration camps for “sexually active homosexuals.”
“Gay atheist: Transgenderism is a ‘lie’” (2019), an interview with Douglas Murray, a far-right British pundit who has repeatedly endorsed the white nationalist “Great Replacement” conspiracy theory
“Expert: ‘Homo-tyranny is upon us’”  (2018), a recording from the John Paul II Academy for Human Life & Family Conference of Dr. Gerard van den Aardweg, who has in the past suggested that the Nazi Party was “rooted” in homosexuals.
But their suspensions were actually for violations of YouTube’s Community Guidelines’ Medical Misinformation Policy, which is aimed at countering COVID-19 misinformation.
LifeSiteNews currently contextualizes its concerns about “the homosexualist agenda" within broader concerns about “globalist tyranny”  attacking “Western civilization.” 
“This is another serious misunderstanding of LifeSite,” replies Jalsevac. “You appear to have missed the numerous articles we have published of persons who lived a very unhappy homosexual or transgender life and, thanks to loving help from exceptionally caring and understanding persons, were able to eventually leave that life and experience an end to the frequent anger, fear, suicidal thoughts, multiple disappointing, abusive relationships and loss of any sense of life meaning or purpose.”
“However, the greatest amount of truly hateful communications we receive has consistently been from those who cannot tolerate that anyone would say anything, no matter how true, about the very real serious problems with living an active homosexual, transgender or otherwise sexually confused life.”
In 2014 the site published an article from the former director of the American Family Association, Bryan Fischer. In 2010, Fischer said on his radio show that Hitler chose homosexual men to be Brownshirts because “homosexual soldiers basically had no limits and the savagery and brutality they were willing to inflict.” In his LifeSite article, he argued that the “ban against homosexuality in the US military” must be reinstated because “our military has become a playground for sexual predators, a veritable smorgasbord of victims for homosexuals on the prowl.”
While the organization was originally founded as a media outlet with a fairly narrow scope of “pro-life” (against abortion, euthanasia, assisted suicide, etc.) and “pro-family” (anti-homosexuality, anti-same-sex marriage, anti-sex education), the Catholic independent scholar D.W. Lafferty asked, “how do we get from here to the LifeSiteNews we know now — the one with coronavirus conspiracy theories, traditionalist condemnations of communion in the hand, declarations of the beginning of the end-times, and gratuitous attacks on the Holy Father?”
In a Vanity Fair article describing how “Catholicism’s increasingly powerful political right reflects fringe America, fueled by paranoia, conspiracy, racism, and the threat of apocalypse,” Lafferty called the radical traditionalist Catholic ideology reflected in LifeSiteNews “Pepe Catholicism.”
LifeSiteNews has provided favourable coverage to Catholic white nationalists such as former U.S. Representative Steve King, self-described propaganda arm of the alt-right Faith Goldy, and former CEO of the 2016 Trump campaign Steve Bannon.
“What is a ‘white nationalist’?,” replies Jalsevac. “That is a hateful, leftist ideological term frequently used by those who hate the beliefs and thoughts of those who do not share their own views. Extreme intolerance is breeding the prolific use of this usually totally inappropriate term intended to demean persons. LifeSite is a fully Christian-based organization that therefore does not believe in any unjust discrimination of any kind. We do not practice cancel culture. We praise what is good and do not support what is harmful. We do not condemn persons for some past faults and praise them for any good that they do.”
Antisemitism and Islamophobia
A 2016 article by a priest quotes a book called Subtracting Christianity by Joseph Sobran, a Catholic Holocaust denier who once shared a podium with neo-Nazi Paul Fromm at the David Irving’s 2003 Real History USA conference. Subtracting Christianity contains dozens of essays Sobran wrote over his life, including one called “For Fear of the Jews.” This he delivered as the banquet address at the Institute for Historical Review’s (a euphemism for holocaust denial) 14th annual conference, and it’s still available on the IHR’s webstore as a 56 minute long DVD recording. The Auschwitz Memorial and Museum calls the IHR “the focal point of world neo-Nazi propaganda since 1978.”
In 2018, LifeSiteNews promoted the “Fatima for the Next Generation” conference by the Fatima Center. Five years earlier, the Center’s “Path to Peace” conference included such speakers as self-described fascist Roberto Fiore; HIV/AIDS conspiracy theorist G. Edward Griffin, and Holocaust denialist and “rabid antisemite” Robert Sungenis.
“We absolutely do not approve of antisemitism and consistently remove all such comments under LifeSite articles to the best of our ability,” says Jalsevac. “The persons and organizations [you listed] are strongly anti-Communist and do a lot of good works and writing. We support the good that they or anyone else does, but do not support anything that might be unacceptable. As with ‘white nationalist’, what really is ‘anti-semitism?’ That term is thrown around a lot very carelessly these days. We of course always oppose any broad condemnations of Jews.”
The “Fatima for the Next Generation'' conference featured Brother André Marie Villarrubia (real name Louis Villarrubia), who regularly promotes the work of prolific Catholic antisemite E. Michael Jones. Villarrubia is the leader of the Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, a Feenyite sect in New Hampshire which one family claims held their daughter against her will on the group’s compound. They were then sanctioned by the Vatican “for their stance on the Catholic teaching that there is no salvation outside the Catholic Church.”
In a 2014 article republished by LifeSiteNews from the Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary website, Villarrubia compared the repulsiveness of “homosexual acts” to that of slaughtering farm animals and using dung as fertilizer -- but argues that those are good acts while “homosexual acts” aren’t. “Sodomy is wrong not merely because it is disgusting, but because it is an offense against the Eternal Law of God,” he writes.
In his address at Fatima for the Next Generation, Villarrubia warned the group of young Catholics that the “mass media along with big government and big business and especially big tech” are “purveyors of anti-Christian propaganda” which is “done via a manipulation of our emotions by the Cultural Marxists who dominate these industries” and described “those who run Hollywood” and “the government” and “big tech” as “really rotten and fetid.”
LifeSiteNews has also repeatedly made glowing references to the transnational fascist traditionalist Catholic movement Tradition, Family and Property (TFP). The organization was identified as a “religious paramilitary group” by the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada following allegations that members of TFP plotted to assassinate then-Pope John Paul II in the 1980s.
In November 2020, LifeSiteNews published an article entirely consisting of paraphrased quotations from a TFP statement entitled “An Urgent Appeal to Resist the Betrayal and Ruin of the West, Flower of Christian Civilization.” The statement asserted that “Many newcomers (especially Muslim migrants) refuse integration and assimilation, which...turns the West into a multi-ethnic, multi-religious and multi-cultural “open space” without a common identity or purpose.”
LifeSiteNews concluded the article with the final calls to action from the TFP statement: that Catholics must proclaim that “the West and Christian civilization will rise again.”
One of the signatories of the statement is The Canadian Society for the Defence of Christian Civilization (CSDCC), a Canadian outpost of TFP which has been a registered charity since 2015. In a testament to TFP’s transnational roots, only two of CSDCC’s seven directors are residents of Canada.
LifeSiteNews has published dozens of articles that quote or extol TFP’s founder, Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira, a prolific antisemite who wrote that Jews were “dangerous” and “the enemies of the social order.”
LifeSiteNews is also an ardent supporter of the ultraconservative Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, who has contributed hundreds of pieces for the site. This includes a transcript of his appearance on white nationalist Steve Bannon’s podcast, and an interview transcript in which Viganò told an Italian newspaper “Trump is fighting pedophilia and pedosatanism.”
“What is a ‘far-right’ conspiracy?,” replies Jalsevac. “Really now. Recognizing that there is a growing Satanism movement (and there definitely is) and that sexual abuse of children is and always has been a part of some who are involved in such a movement because that is the nature of true Satanism, is not ‘hate.’ That is fact.. There is also a ‘deep state’ and a ‘deep Church’ of persons in those institutions who betray what they have promised to serve.”
“If you do not know that the Covid-19 virus was created in a Chinese lab, then you are simply uninformed. And that it may be a bioweapon is plausible because that lab is under the direct control of the Chinese Communist Party.”
LifeSiteNews also published both Viganò’s June 2020 and October 2020 letters in full. In the June letter to then-President Donald Trump, Viganò declared that Bishops critical of Trump are “subservient to the deep state, to globalism, to aligned thought, to the New World Order which they invoke ever more frequently in the name of a universal brotherhood which has nothing Christian about it, but which evokes the Masonic ideals of those who want to dominate the world by driving God out of the courts, out of schools, out of families, and perhaps even out of churches.”
The same day as Viganò released his letter publicly, “Q” posted a “drop” that linked to a copy of the letter hosted by LifeSiteNews, and included a quotation from Ephesians 6:10-12.
LifeSiteNews’ endorsement of Archbishop Viganò’s cryptic references to “pedosatanism,” “the deep state/church” and “children of darkness… waging a war” against Donald Trump, are not the only references to apocalyptic spiritual warfare.
The themes that arise out of the thousands upon thousands of articles LifeSiteNews has published over the years paint a picture of the deeply reactionary ideologies they promote.
Articles with titles like “It’s reasonable for European Christians to be fearful of mass Muslim immigration”; “Muslim and leftist terrorists will try to intimidate us into abolishing America”; and “Muslims are preparing to take over Europe through Greece, and the EU doesn’t care,” cast Islam and its adherents as an dangerous invading force.
They have described civil rights groups like EGALE and PFLAG, and campaigns for marriage equality, as “homosexualist” -- a pejorative term which minimizes decades of advocacy in the fight for 2SLGBTQ+ rights and frames those rights as an attack on Christians.
LifeSiteNews also refers to the coronavirus pandemic as the “China virus” and a “scourge from God,” and will be hosting a conference later this month with speakers who promote anti-vaccination, “Great Reset,” and COVID-19 denialist ideas.
Steve Moser, who repeatedly called for readers to go to the Capitol on January 6th, appeared on white supremacist Stephan Molyneux’s podcast early in the COVID-19 pandemic. He claimed that the coronavirus was created in a Chinese lab as a biological weapon, an accusation he has made in over a dozen pieces on LifeSiteNews in the last year.
Calls to Establish a “Christian Civilization”
Vice-President of the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property John Horvat II has contributed over thirty articles to the site, frequently quoting de Oliveira.
A year ago, Horvat argued  that “Achieving Christendom is America’s best chance at overthrowing abortion, LGBT reign of terror,” where he defined Christendom as a Christian civilization governed by natural law that has the “moral restraint to form a just and harmonious society.”
“That is, by definition, a civilization of love,” says Jalsevac, “to the degree that that is possible in this earthly life. Education, health care, caring for the poor and downtrodden and so much were enormous gifts to all mankind that came out of Christendom. The first hospitals, schools and many other caring institutions for all people, regardless of whether or not they were Christian were first introduced by Christians – with no strings attached.”
In another article on LifeSiteNews six months later, Horvat called for the American judiciary to be packed with “correctly oriented natural law judges.”
LifeSiteNews’ Assistant Director of Digital Marketing Stephen Kokx asserted in a 2019 article that “coexistence with the liberal, modern world and its anti-Christian usurpers is not what Catholics should strive for” and quoted from “The Liberal Illusion,” in which the virulently antisemitic philosopher Louis Veuillot makes a case for the establishment of a Catholic theocracy.
The False Equivalency of Free Expression
LifeSiteNews is vehemently opposed to any attempts by governments or media to “censor” hate speech.
In 2013, LifeSiteNews celebrated the repeal of s. 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act -- which let people take complaints about hate harassment to a tribunal where judges could order a cease and desist. In the piece they described appellant Marc Lemire, a neo-Nazi, only as a “free speech advocate.” Lemire, in fact, lost his appeal when the Federal Court of Appeal ruled that s. 13 was consistent with the Charter, but at that point it had already been repealed by the Harper Conservatives.
“Wow, those are some serious charges,” replies Jalsevac. “LifeSite strongly believes in free speech. You have dumbed down a complex legal case into one of seemingly supporting whom you call ‘a long-time neo-Nazi’. I suggest you re-read the several article that included mention of Marc Lemire. We did not and never will support what you call Neo-Nazism. This was all about free speech of which there is precious little tolerance at this time.”
“Lifesite is opposed to attempts by government or media to censor speech that it falsely and conveniently defines to be ‘hate’.”
More recently, LifeSiteNews contributor Pete Baklinski wrote about Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault’s announcement that the government intends to introduce online hate legislation: “The legislation will likely involve, according to the Globe and Mail, the creation of a new government regulator, what in Orwellian terms may prove to be a kind of ‘Ministry of Truth’.”
LifeSiteNews wrote about the launch of the Canadian Anti-Hate Network in 2018. In the piece, they quoted Jack Fonseca, political strategist with LifeSiteNews’ founding organization Campaign Life Coalition, as envisioning “a realistic situation where the Canadian Anti-Hate Network, this liberal-partisan, faux human rights group adds Campaign Life Coalition and other groups, like Real Women of Canada for example, to its list of 'hate groups' in Canada. It’s probably just a matter of time."
“If you have any incidents which you consider to be genuine ones of supporting or presenting hate on LifeSite, we would be appreciate [sic] hearing of them,” says Jalsevac. “However, if they are simply more of the ideologically-defined kind, such as mentioned in your letter, we can only assume that you are less concerned about discovering real hate then you are about attempting to harass anyone who does not share your views.”
Update: Just prior to publication, LSN sent out word that YouTube had deleted their channel. According to archive.org, LSN had 307k subscribers as of January 2021.
https://web.archive.org/web/20181215164720/https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/papal-confidante-justifies-withholding-from-press-bishops-interventions-at https://web.archive.org/web/20200813030622/https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/irish-catholic-priest-takes-part-in-virtual-homosexual-pride-parade https://web.archive.org/web/20210205235527/https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/wedding-vendors-will-be-forced-to-participate-in-gay-marriages-under-new-n-ireland-law https://web.archive.org/web/20210205235530/https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/australian-pro-life-groups-say-new-pm-a-pro-abort-feminist-radical
 https://web.archive.org/web/20201126114138/https://www.lifesitenews.com/opinion/author-warns-of-new-millennial-totalitarian-system-where-big-govt-big-business-merge https://web.archive.org/web/20210107094554/https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/catholic-group-warns-of-physical-and-spiritual-crisis-urges-filial-resistance https://web.archive.org/web/20210106225447/https://www.lifesitenews.com/blogs/the-foundation-of-western-civilization-is-relentlessly-attacked-in-europe
 https://web.archive.org/web/20210210014543/https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/pro-life-congressman-leaves-empty-seat-at-obamas-sotu-in-honor-of-more-than https://web.archive.org/web/20180307230219/https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/u.s.-congressman-pro-life-turf-battle-preventing-vote-on-bill-to-ban-nearly https://web.archive.org/web/20181116075751/https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/steve-king-blasts-gop-committee-for-promoting-republican-candidates-same-se
 https://web.archive.org/web/20181103210511/https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/hollywood-actor-blasts-billionaire-george-soros-as-satanic https://web.archive.org/web/20201108115325/https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/over-600-join-rally-urging-city-of-toronto-to-stop-bullying-christians https://web.archive.org/web/20201218152924/https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/major-canadian-media-company-refuses-to-run-toronto-mayoral-candidates-camp https://web.archive.org/web/20201109025923/https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/masked-antifa-gang-attack-female-journalist-as-canadian-police-watch-refuse
 https://web.archive.org/web/20210206002413/https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/young-australian-catholic-women-lead-backlash-against-satanic-black-mass https://web.archive.org/web/20210206002417/https://www.lifesitenews.com/opinion/citizens-across-usa-hold-3000-rosary-rallies-to-combat-violent-riots https://web.archive.org/web/20210206002424/https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/numerous-catholic-groups-organize-public-rosary-rallies-to-pray-for-healing-peace-in-america
https://web.archive.org/web/20210206002659/https://www.lifesitenews.com/opinion/pope-franciss-call-for-civil-union-lawsrequires-faithful-resistance https://web.archive.org/web/20201117155606/https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/shepherds-who-deny-god-sends-chastisement-are-immersed-in-atheism-catholic-historian https://web.archive.org/web/20201127063757/https://www.lifesitenews.com/opinion/a-virus-threatens-to-dramatically-change-america-and-christian-civilization