Russia is now scapegoating Jews in its battle against gays

It was only a matter of time before Jews were scapegoated in Russia’s growing crackdown on its gay and trans citizens.  That time has sadly arrived.

I had reported yesterday on the growing international concern over Russian gay activist Nikolai Alexeyev.

In a nutshell, over the past two weeks an increasingly erratic series of Facebook posts, tweets, emails, and at least one op ed, have been published in Alexeyev’s name.  Not only has the content of the messages directly contradicted Alexeyev’s previous positions on Russia’s anti-gay propaganda law, but the messages have become increasingly hostile, erratic – one Facebook post, titled “Kidnapped,” included three photos of Alexeyev, some in underwear and others naked –  and now, anti-Semitic.

Things got so bad that Facebook appears to have closed down Alexeyev’s account after a status update, issued in Alexeyev’s name, named two American gay activists as pedophiles, based on no apparent proof.

On Alexeyev’s Twitter account the situation has been equally disturbing.  In addition to threatening to murder the author of a recent op ed critical of Alexeyev, a series of tweets went out yesterday calling OUT magazine (a well-known gay news and culture publication) a “jewish slut magazine.”

Another tweet called the editor of the critical column, who is not Jewish, a “jewish pig” and an “Israeli monkey.”  Alexeyev also used the word “kike” repeatedly in Russian and English.

Note that these tweets were authored by someone else, and retweeted by Alexeyev’s Twitter account.  However, later, he posts additional anti-Semitic comments in his own name, which you will find below.

alexeyev-tweet-jewish

Here is the murder threat from Alexeyev’s Twitter acccount:

alexeyev-death-threat

The author of the anti-Alexeyev article, Michael Lucas, also claims to have received an equally anti-Semitic email from the Russian activist’s email account.

[Equally disturbing has been the deafening silence in response to the blatant anti-Semitism. Most of Alexeyev's followers on Twitter did not even question the offending remarks. Fortunately, many people did respond on Facebook.  And sadly, this isn't the first time Alexeyev has faced charges of anti-Semitism.]

To add to the confusion, in a rambling series of tweets over the past 48 hours, Alexeyev reportedly quit LGBT activism all together as a result of the single critical column, claimed he was going to withdraw several dozen pro-gay lawsuits he has filed, and then promised to delete his Twitter account within 24 hours.  But today, 36 hours later, the account remains open, Alexeyev seems to be continuing his activism, and he is now tweeting that he looks forward to winning the lawsuits that only yesterday he claimed he was dropping.

Clearly something is amiss.

UPDATE: Alexeyev is back on Facebook, and again posting anti-Semitic comments there and on his Twitter account.  This is his latest, posted Friday evening on his Facebook page and then twice on Twitter, both are below. It is again about the man who wrote the column criticizing him, Michael Lucas.  Lucas is Jewish.

alexeyev-facebook-jewish

alexeyev-twitter-jewish

As for what the comments mean, Alexeyev appears to be mocking the various boycotts (including the one against Russian vodka) that activists in Russia and the West have launched in opposition to the Kremlin’s crackdown on gay and trans people. Because Lucas – the author of the column critical of Alexeyev – supports the Russian vodka boycott, Alexeyev appears to be saying that Lucas supports the boycott because Lucas was probably paid to promote Jewish vodka instead – vodka that was distilled and purified from Lucas’ own sperm.

Saturday morning, Alexeyev again tweeted about Lucas being Jewish.

In a series of additional tweets and Facebook posts (again on Friday evening), Alexeyev seems to be relishing in the inflammatory nature of his anti-Jewish bigotry, claiming that he won’t suffer any repercussions because he is indispensable to LGBT activism:

facebook-2 facebook-3

Many worry that Alexeyev has been in some way compromised (that perhaps, for example, the Russian government has threatened to physically harm his mother), and that the social media posts are either not him at all, or have been written under duress.  Others, familiar with Alexeyev’s work, say that the current apparent-breakdown is certainly over the top as compared to anything the activist has said before, but that it is still consistent with the man they know.

And finally, in new posts Friday evening, Alexeyev seems to be suggesting that his foray into anti-Semitism and death threats is all some very secret “experiment” that he will soon be revealing.  Buzzfeed has also just come out with a story in which Alexeyev is now telling them that his comments about quitting LGBT activism were all just a “social experiment”:

Days later, however, Alexeyev admitted that his hysterical response to an article by Michael Lucas in Out magazine accusing him of “[betraying] his former cause,” was a ruse.

“I wanted to find out who was my enemy and who was my friend – who would dance on my bones if I left,” Alexeyev, who called his statements a “social experiment,” told BuzzFeed by phone from Moscow Friday.

Lucas’ column was published, and Alexeyev threatened to leave LGBT advocacy in response – his so-called “social experiment” – only two days ago. But Alexeyev’s bizarre behavior began two weeks ago, so what accounted for that?

What’s more, Alexeyev did not simply threaten to “leave” gay advocacy in response to the Lucas column.  He published repeated anti-Semitic comments, threatened to murder a man, named two western gay activists as pedophiles while offering no proof of the horrific charge, appeared to claim that he had been kidnapped, and now is publishing anti-Semitic tweets and Facebook posts about Jewish vodka made from sperm.

The least plausible explanation at this point would seem to be that this was some social experiment to see who would be upset if he quit LGBT advocacy.

We may never know the cause, and in the end it may not matter whether the shrill, ranting profusion of hate and anti-Semitism is a result of alcohol, drugs, a personal meltdown or coercion.  What is clear is that Alexeyev’s position as a gay leader has been compromised, fatally so if this anti-Semitic bigotry is the real him, and more importantly, Jews are now being scapegoated, as many feared would eventually happen when Russia turned yet again towards demonizing minorities for political gain.

The situation is serious.  If the Kremlin, as many fear, is really behind Alexeyev’s schizophrenic behavior these past two weeks, then the Kremlin is also behind “Alexeyev’s” virulent anti-Semitism of the past 24 hours.  That would mean that Russia’s campaign to deprive its gay and trans citizens of their human rights – of their humanity – has now widened to, yet again, include Russian Jews.  “Alexeyev’s” anti-Semitic outbursts may very well be a foreshadowing of what is to come, or rather, what has already arrived.

Fortunately, the fight against Vladimir Putin’s homophobia is not beholden to one man or one woman.  Dozens of Russian activists, in Russia and abroad, have picked up the mantle of the valiant cause that Nikolai Alexeyev was once forced to so bravely carry alone.  As in America, Europe, or really any country or region in which a single activist has to stick their neck out, at great personal risk, to get a nascent movement going, eventually others step up to the plate, and the one-man show becomes an unstoppable sea of change.  For Russia, that day has finally arrived.

So while Russia’s re-embrace of anti-Semitism as political sport has me gravely concerned, I am not worried about the future of Russian LGBT activism, or the future of the now-worldwide campaign to stand up to Russia’s official state-sponsored bigotry.

The Kremlin can take down one man, but they can’t stop progress.  They’ve tried before and failed, and they’ll fail this time as well.


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown (1989); and worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, and as a stringer for the Economist. Frequent TV pundit: O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline & Reliable Sources. Bio, .

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  • Jeremy Hodder

    sorry i’m on the side of not jumping to conclusions and then being proven glaringly wrong. i’m on the side that doesn’t run their mouth for some “perceived” ill that may not have been done. people like you are the reason the media is so eager to print out what they can without the full story. you will believe and get worked up about something before all the facts are in and then when they come in you deny or are made to look foolish for jumping before looking. if you want to gobble up all the mis-information you can that is not my problem and that is not on me. people like you play into the hands of those that wish to manipulate the public through media. if this story was falsified you’d be giving the russian gov’t exactly what they want. are you objective enough to learn to stand back and be sure? of course not.

  • Doc Marten

    Agreed. Russia is a backwards shit hole. That’s why a lot of Russians are leaving. They see no future for Russia. At all.

  • Midi Lee

    “I wanted to find out who was my enemy and who was my friend” So you decided to ‘pretend’ to be anti-semetic. If that’s not you, then how would that prove anything? I have to point out how flimsy the argument truly is. Even if it was all planned, his reasons make no sense.

  • Turtaan

    Talk about over-dramatic, state-department funded ZOG propaganda.

  • Anonymous

    I agree with your point, but in no way agree with the Pistorius comparison. That’s all…

  • http://musephotos.wordpress.com/ GarySFBCN

    It looks like one of my comments was deleted – is that a glitch or did I violate a rule?

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    The discussion was whether any good, no matter what, that someone does in their past can never be outweighed by what they do in their present. And we’re not talking Mel Gibson (an actor being a bigot, when civil rights isn’t his buiness) we’re talking Martin Luther King – the leader of a civil rights movement in a nation being an anti-civil-rights bigot. His ant-semitism is goes to the heart of what he does for a living, it goes to the heart of any credibility he has left as a human rights advocate. So, no, this is not some actor who happens to be a raging bigot, something unrelated to his profession, though something egregious. It’s an anti-bigotry icon who happens to be a raging bigot himself. So yes, I put that up with the worst hypocritical moral crimes. And it’s actually worse than Pistorius since Pistorius’ alleged crime had nothing to do with his earlier victories. This has everything to do with Alexeyev’s.

  • Fred

    Putin s Kremlin is not far from Stalin s Kremlin to include anti Semitism should not come as a surprise, its an old chestnut. Hatred has been used to cover many of governments & Putin s short comings. It was done during the Tsars & Stalin Jewish blood letting was always in the books. How evil is the new Empire?????

  • Anonymous

    Uhh…really?! I wouldn’t compare this to a murderer. Let’s put this in perspective – Mel Gibson did the same things and he still has a career. I wouldn’t hug a murderer. Would you?

  • kurtsteinbach

    I certainly agree with suspending the Olympics. Ever since they gave China with its abominable human rights record the Olympics in 2008, I’ve questioned the efficacy of the Olympics. They are more about money now than sport or celebrating achievement, competition, or human endurance. Their policy of avoiding politics has become an excuse for non-action and doing nothing…. Boycotting the Olympics hurts the athletes. Boycotting the sponsors doesn’t matter because the sponsors are huge corporations like MCDonald’s, Coca-Cola, and Walmart that are so big, they have huge customer bases and don’t care when consumers boycott. The IOC pays more attention to what governments want, rather than their people, and cares more about cheating with steroids and drugs, than honesty or honor. The USOC is no different, meaning the Olympics are become more of a sham over time….

  • kurtsteinbach

    It won’t work. I cannot speak for Russian Jews, but most of my Jewish friends are pro-LGBT rights, pro-LGBT equality, and liberal. I am too. It’s why we are such staunch defenders of Israel. The Jewish state is a place where we can be Jews and not be judged, attacked, decried, killed, condemned, or destroyed by others. It is a place to be Jewish without compromise. In every age, in every country, they have always come for us. No more. It is where we have always lived since 3500 BCE. Every other people has such a homeland.

  • kurtsteinbach

    No matter what the cause or issue, and no matter how righteous or good that cause is, they always find time to hate the Jews. The Soviet Union did it, despite common cause against the Nazis. Europeans do it, despite common human rights causes. African Americans do it, despite common cause in Civil Rights. Christians do it, despite all of these common causes. Whatever the cause and whatever the place, the oldest hatred in the world always rears its ugly head sooner or later….

  • butchie_girl

    Robin, as someone who is Jewish and also an LGBT activist I would love to have the names published. I have experienced antisemitism or as you said earlier “antiJewish” sentiment in the LGBT community. I could publish a few names too of our so called “leaders” who have made antiJewish comments directly to my face and they seem to think that it is acceptable because after all “Jews are white and just constantly complain about their treatment, why can’t they just shut up!”. I have walked out of many LGBT organizing meetings when comments like that are made.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    Oscar Pistorius did some amazing things too. And now his girlfriend is dead. People change. It doesn’t mean their past is wiped out. It does mean that you don’t give them a hug after they murder their girlfriend.

  • Karen Ocamb

    Just FYI – here’s the piece I wrote for LGBT POV, luckily cross-posted on Bilerico, about the whole Nikolai-California mess as it was unfolding: http://www.bilerico.com/2011/03/russian_gay_activist_california_tour_cancelled_ove.php

    After extensive conversations with Robin and others, I declined to interview Nikolai and have actually not reported on him at all because I do not want to give publicity to someone who claims to be a human rights activist but consistently disparages Jews – and now, it seems, anyone who disagrees with him. Just because he’s gay in Russia doesn’t mean he’s a civil rights leader worthy of promotion.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    It makes no difference what lil” Alexeyev has done in the past. He’s proven to be a cracked-pot antisemitic wreck, whose defamation of other leaders in the GLTBQ movement for civil and human rights makes him moot. It’s time to dump him, move on and support genuine leaders in Russia and at home. Alexeyev is a tool and a collaborator.

  • http://musephotos.wordpress.com/ GarySFBCN
  • http://musephotos.wordpress.com/ GarySFBCN

    You are doing all of us a huge disservice by NOT naming names. Giving them bad press that they deserve is not the same as giving them press.

    And frankly, I don’t want to be associating or supporting “leaders” who are closet bigots – about any group.

  • mary782

    My Uncle Isaac recently got an awesome metallic Mercedes S-Class Diesel by working part-time from a laptop… check this w­w­w.J­A­M­20.c­o­m

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Thanks SG. If you hang around here long enough downer groupies appear. LOL

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Bingo!

  • Strepsi

    It’s an old-school scapegoating form of nationalism, that any problems the Russians have are due to “outside” or “Western” or “other” or “name group X” influences, tainting the blood and culture of ‘pure Russians’.

    It has been indeed been fascinating (and not in a good way) to see HOW ingrained this attitude is, again and again and again from Russian politicians, Ministers, pole vaulters, hockey players, etc.

    Russia has been in cultural decline for 97 years. Polls show that Russians are over 80% anti-gay. The only conclusion is Russians are 80% awful, but we have to stand up for, and help the few per cent of our peoples that are being scapegoated.

  • Anonymous

    Here’s a video of him responding to allegations of anti-Semitism a couple years ago. He’s basically saying “I know some Jewish people, and my stepdad was Jewish, so I can’t hate Jews.” But then when a Jewish person targets him or Israel does something bad, he goes back to the hate. Why else would Michael Lucas be such a big deal. Him being in porn is only half of it.

    Sadly, when there is a common denominator in a group (gay or pro-gay), that doesn’t mean everyone will tolerate other groups. Look at Log Cabin Republicans. They are predominately gay whites who are often accused of racism.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mwp2dT1IkvI

  • Robin Tyler

    Thanks John. You would be really surprised if I listed the activists who supported him but I really don’t want to give them more press.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    I’ve been rather, surprised, Robin, by the muted response from pretty much everyone (besides our readers and a few folks on Facebook), to the anti-Semitism coming out of a lead civil rights advocate. It’s bad enough to have some regular person be a rabid anti-semite, but when it’s a civil rights leader it suggests that anti-semitism is permissibly bigotry, and that it has nothing to do with civil rights. As a non-Jew, this has been an eye-opener for me. I’ll be curious to see which will be the first human rights group to embrace a man who talks about Jewish vodka made from sperm.

  • Robin Tyler

    A few years ago, I agreed to Produce Alexeyev in California. (Los Angeles, Palm Springs and San Francisco). I got sponsorship from LGBT organizations (who were willing to send his lecture out to their lists and who helped obtain the venues. LGBT synagogues, churches, etc. had signed on. When I read a post on his blog ‘Well, you know how ‘Jews’ are’ as well as a few other things, I canceled sponsorship, the venues, etc. This was right before Alexeyev was supposed to appear in Californai. What surprised me MORE then Alexeyev’s anti-Jewish rants, were the fact that several people including California activists I knew well and had worked with for years, took his side and helped him fine venues to speak anyway. (including one LGBT church). Alexeyev, of course,
    deleted his posts and denied that he had ever said them. Some of the activists I had worked with for years began to spread ‘Robin Tyler must be a Zionist.’ I never answered this because (a) this was not the issue but a way of deflecting the spotlight from him to me
    (b) I felt this was just another way of saying ‘Dirty Jew’ but being ‘politically correct.’
    (c) I had volunteered to produce him, get sponsorship, venues etc. So, in my objection to Alexeyev’s ‘Jew-hating’, of course, his supporters had to bring up Israel as my excuse for canceling him. So now people believe that Alexeyev is an overt anti-Semite. (actually, anti-Jewish). But the people who worry me much more are the people who felt so bad for him, that they helped him speak here in California. I have debated naming them (including one famous gay reporter). Because I believe that anti-Jewish feelings are very much alive and well and tolerated in this community.

  • PDQ

    Calling Lindsay Lohan!! She’ll know of a place for him to go!

  • FLL

    I’m not talking about decreasing Russian oil imports as an all or nothing proposition. Sorry if you misunderstood and took it that way. My suggestion was that Western Europeans could diversify their sources of imported oil and merely reduce the percentage they import from Russia, which certainly is an option. There are, after all, other oil producing regions.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    You know who else tried anti-semitism as a “social experiment”?

  • Austerity Sucks

    uh, sorry, but there’s no option for those of us in Europe to not import oil from Russia. some things in life are more important than your gay activism.

  • benb

    I’m fascinated by all of this. It’s not gays and not jews that obsesses (?) the political system over there. It’s some kind of process that’s going on that tries to assign the problem with the status quo with minorities with indistinct boundaries with the general population; blame a nominal (though diverse) group and—in the common mind–social problems are easier—they’re assignable to that identifiable group even though that ‘group’ has only a weak affiliation.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    …or have announced to the entire world that you plan to have someone killed.

  • Shlomo Abrin

    Blaming Jews now are they? Took them two weeks longer than usual. Come on now, Tovarish! You’re slipping.

  • FLL

    As we get more information about Alexeyev from people who know him well, it seems that the antisemitism and narcissism have always been part of his character. The narcissism would explain why he might resent the success of of Dan Savage and Harvey Fierstein (a Jew!) with the vodka boycott. Alexeyev never supported it, so he feels left out.

    Aside from the specific case of Alexeyev, I hope people don’t miss the larger lesson. Let’s say that some saner Russian gay activist leader, who isn’t antisemitic and narcissistic, steps in to fill the vacuum, which will certainly be the case. The Kremlin can intimidate that person just as easily. Alexeyev was arrested, interrogated and his mother may have been threatened. The Kremlin can do that to any Russian activist who takes Alexeyev’s place. Masha Gessen hit the nail on the head when she explained how vital action from Western activists is. The situation in Russia is so serious that it calls for high-profile action in the West: boycotts, mass demonstrations, condemnations from public officials in Western countries… throw the kitchen sink at it.

    Please don’t listen to people who tell you to just send an email of support to Russian activists like “Hey, you guys, keep up the good work.” Financial contributions to Russian activists are fine in terms of covering the cost of their legal expenses (and, sadly, medical expenses). But there is no substitute for unremitting pressure from the West that really grabs headlines. It might be difficult for Western Europeans to find creative new sources of energy, but they are really in a position to put the screws on the Russian economy by decreasing their imports of Russian oil and natural gas.

  • FLL

    If Alexeyev’s recent rhetoric weren’t so anti-Western, I would say yes, the ellipses mean he’s being ironic. But in view of his consistent anti-Western rants… as you say, who knows.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    Oh, if this isn’t the Kremlin’s doing, he needs help. I’m simply saying that a week, or a month, at the spa doesn’t make up for the vile things he’s written over the past two weeks, especially the anti-Semitism. He’s done.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    How long do you plan to step back and permit a civil rights leader to be a rank anti-Semite? Because we’re likely never going to know “all the facts.” How do you plan to find out if his mother was threatened by the authorities?

    So the question is whether we all sit back quietly and let a lead civil rights advocate spout the worst jew-hating nonsense – Jewish vodka made from sperm? – or do we speak up and demand answers. I know what side you’re on. I’m on the side of not being comfortable tacitly condoning vile anti-semitism from anyone, let alone someone in a position of authority – a lead civil rights advocate, no less – who therefore lends credibility to the notion that Jews deserve to be hated.

    I didn’t devote my life to civil and human rights advocacy in order to sit quietly by. And ironically, neither did Nikolai Alexeyev.

  • Anonymous

    I mean a week at a spa/mental hospital might help him out. Or maybe a month

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    A week? You don’t get a week off and then welcomed back to the civil rights leadership table if you’re a raging anti-Semite.

  • Anonymous

    It’s not a social experiment because he’s STILL not over Michael Lucas. I almost believed him. Apparently people who know him think he has a personality disorder? It makes sense. They tend to think the world is against them for a day, then come back and apologize.
    Dude needs some help, or at least to rest for a week.

  • StraightGrandmother

    I am going with completely drunk, he’s on a drinking binge. This is why there are lapses in the time between commenting, he is passed out.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    I think you already know where I stand on this: I call BS on what Alexeyev is trying to do here.

    I just finished reading the Buzzfeed article. Nowhere in there is an apology for the anti-Semitic remarks, the death threat, or anything else.

  • Anonymous

    He could be drunk, but he’d also have to be mentally ill to act like this for a day straight.

  • StraightGrandmother

    why do you discount being drunk?

  • Anonymous

    No one gets drunk like this except Mel Gibson, and he’s both an alcoholic and bipolar, soo…

  • StraightGrandmother

    It is true that many Russians drink a lot. I just think he’s drunk.

  • StraightGrandmother

    or drunk, It seems to me he’s 3 sheets to the wind.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    Buzzfeed has also just come out with a story in which Alexeyev is now telling them that his comments about quitting LGBT activism were all just a “social experiment”:

    QUOTE

    Days later, however, Alexeyev admitted that his hysterical response to an article by Michael Lucas in Out magazine accusing him of “[betraying] his former cause,” was a ruse.

    “I wanted to find out who was my enemy and who was my friend – who would dance on my bones if I left,” Alexeyev, who called his statements a “social experiment,” told BuzzFeed by phone from Moscow Friday.

    ENDQUOTE

    Lucas’ column was published, and Alexeyev threatened to leave LGBT advocacy in response – his so-called “social experiment” – only two days ago. But Alexeyev’s bizarre behavior began two weeks ago, so what accounted for that?

    What’s more, Alexeyev did not simply threaten to quit gay advocacy in response to the Lucas column, he published repeated anti-Semitic comments, threatened to murder a man, named two western gay activists as pedophiles while offering no proof of the horrific charge, and now is publishing anti-Semitic tweets and Facebook posts about Jewish vodka made from sperm.

    The least plausible explanation at this point would seem to be that this was some social experiment to see who would be upset if he quit LGBT advocacy.

  • StraightGrandmother

    I think the US should send like a rescue boat. Take all the gay Russians on as refugees.

  • StraightGrandmother

    Why did you get down voted? I think that was pretty funny. I see the parallels, maybe you have to be of a certain age to remember the entire Tonya Harding saga to get your point.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    The ellipses make it sound like an attempt at irony, but who the hell knows at this point with him.

  • StraightGrandmother

    Stick a fork in him, he’s done.

  • FLL

    Alexeyev’s Facebook account is truly a journey into the absurd. Here’s a gem from yesterday where Alexeyev shared a link on his FB page: “Pro-Kremlin Youth site on how USA is destroying the Russian LGBT community. Terrific…

  • Jeremy Hodder

    i agree jason a dose of skepticism and taking a step back are needed here. how many times do people just jump on the wagon without ever knowing all the facts, the same could be said here. until the facts are in on this i will hold my opinions and wait for truth rather then being part of a foolish crowd or mob built on a falsity. that being said this is all very believable. it can’t be discounted but i can’t trust speculation as news or fact.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    And added it to the post.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    Absolutely. What if someone spent days being a homophobic pig, and making death threats, while accusing people of being pedophiles, by name, on Facebook (which happened on his FB page). If that happened, and they later said it was an experiment, for starters, the people he called pedophiles could sue him, and he’d be getting a visit from the FBI for the death threat (were he American). And there’s no way we’d forgive this kind of bigoted garbage if the “joke” were on gays.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    That’s the problem. AT this point, he’s either compromised by the Kremlin or a bigot who doesn’t seem entirely all there any more. Either way, his voice is no longer credible. It doesn’t really matter what he says on RT – the same premise exists, it’s either under duress, or he meant the death threats and the Jew-hating comments and all the rest. Either way, he’s no long credible.

  • rbjnla

    It sounds to me like the government is sending out these hate messages as if Alexeyev wrote them to stir up hate within the Jewish community against gays. The Russian Orthodox Christians have been behind the violent torturing and murdering of gays, now they want to sway the Russian Jews to feel the same way.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    Actually, a LOT of people in the last 48 hours have worried that this either isn’t Alexeyev himself, or that he’s been threatened and thus is writing this on behalf of the government. I admit that I’m slowly being won over to the notion that he’s simply lost it, but I think you’d be surprised how many people are wondering if this isn’t some govt plant writing these things.

  • Gizzy N

    The fact that she chose to comment on your inappropriate use of schizophrenia in the article does not mean she did not absorb the REST of the article.

    Are you a journalist or an egoist, Mr. Aravosis? Do you seek accuracy? Or attention and plaudits?

  • Zorba

    Well, he worked for the KGB for years, remember, so he should be extremely knowledgable about KGB strategies.
    I have a friend who was born and raised in Russia. He is now an American citizen. When Putin became President (for the first time) and started to (more or less) rein in the powers of the oligarchs (mainly by co-opting them to his side), many in the Russian community were lauding Putin. My Russian friend said, at the time, “Putin is a KGB thug.” Yep. He was correct then, and he still is.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    Hep, just saw that, and was glad to see it. His Twitter feed didn’t care at all, I’m going to check if perhaps now some are responding.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    I’m glad that that’s what you gleaned from this article. A semantic concern.

  • anibeth1

    I cannot believe the immense stupidity that Russia is engaging by targeting Jews and Gays. I think its time we halt the Olympic Games and start a long lasting boycott of anything that is made in Russia. Russia is now behaving more like Iran. It is shameful and its harmful for Russia to act the way of a vicious nation. This is a enormously sad day for athletes like figure skaters, including Russian figure skaters who are looking forward to compete for the gold.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    Yep, just saw.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    If he’s being directed, or coerced, or his social media meltdown is being written, by the Russian authorities, as many fear, then yes it is the Russian government.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    “I think my opinion should be respected.” ROTFL—–not!

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Move along rag…….

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    ‘Collaborator’ comes to mind.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Definitely a DN!

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Whatever the case: Alexyev—–NEXT!

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Yep, such a Stalinist move. Puti, is a classicist I suspect and dusting off all those old KGB strategies.

  • Anonymous

    There are a couple Russians on his page admonishing him for the comment. Russia has a sizable population of Jews and I’m sure they do not agree with this.

  • Heather Gatland

    Please reserve the use of “schizophrenic” to it’s real meaning. It is not the same as multiple personality.

  • FLL

    One very negative effect of Alexeyev’s vitriolic rants is that the entire gay rights movement in Russia falls into disrepute internationally as a result. That may have been one of objectives. Hmmm. Now which authoritarian ruler would love to discredit Russia’s gay rights movement in advance of the Sochi Olympics, I wonder?

  • cole3244

    history repeats itself again and again and again.

  • Jason Jobling

    What a load of bollocks!!!
    One mans stressed rants after numerous verbal attacks & his home being broken into does not equate to Russia’s “virulent anti-Semitism”. This article is what I call propaganda. very dangerous, trying to whip up a frenzy over nothing.
    Wrong, dramatic, sensationalist article & potentially very damaging.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Something like that. Except in this case, he’s sucking up all the media attention and energy that otherwise should be directed to opposing the anti-gay pogrom in Russia.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    It’s okay. You were trying to be open minded. I ran out of patience with him before you did, that’s all.

  • Anonymous

    Apparently – he is back at it

  • Anonymous

    I feel a bit foolish! He needs help, but his actions are damnable

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Fair enough. Your point is well taken. I apologize.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    No. At this point, clarification isn’t needed. Apologies are. His English is good enough for him to have known exactly what he was saying.

  • Anonymous

    Sadly, someone fighting for civil rights is not immune to bigotry. We see the real Alekseyev now that he has lost all sense of decorum.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    At this point, I would need some proof that this is a hacking scam. I simply don’t believe it anymore.

    People have already remarked that Alexeyev had a reputation as being “wild and wacky.” Of being unpredictable. This has all the hallmarks of someone whose “wildness and wackiness” was the result of now out-of-control mental illness.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    And he’s apparently a Jew-hating anti-Semite. The LGBT civil rights movement is not well-served by allowing such leaders to be the ‘voice’ of gay rights activism anywhere. Not even in Russia where Jew-hating seems to be a national pastime.

    His remarks go way beyond simple criticism of Israel’s policies, which isn’t an unreasonable thing to do. Alexeyev seems to feel that anti-Semitic remarks are perfectly fine. That kind of behavior should be ruled unacceptable.

    You don’t advance a minority cause by slandering and scapegoating another minority. It’s reprehensible.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Whatever the case, he can’t be trusted.

    That’s the beginning and end of it, really.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t know that the Kremlin are involved. In a single message (the recent one) AGAIN slamming ML, it’s obvious that the guy really got to him. The combination of that and his mom’s house being raided was too much for him. It would make sense if he is bipolar. I tried to believe it was a media ploy, but it’s just him.

  • Anonymous

    I’m not him, but I think my opinion should be respected. I’m not an apologist, I don’t excuse what he said, but I gave him the benefit of the doubt. As of an hour ago he is back at it with the anti-Michael Lucas comments. I believe he is just unstable and he needs to take a break or perhaps just hand the parade, cases, etc off to someone else.

  • FLL

    After reading these most recent Facebook messages, I’m convinced. No boring bureaucrat at the Kremlin could possibly come up with text that’s this creative, over-the-top and histrionic. I could be wrong, but I would be willing to swear that these messages have to be written by Alexeyev. Psycho-inducing drugs? Lack of psycho-inducing drugs? Who knows. He’s toast.

  • Anonymous

    Yep. Now I have a feeling he’s just unstable. Maybe like one person said he is confusing “a big Israel/Zionist imperialist” with a Jew. But he is responsible for clarifying it

  • Thom Allen

    Maybe Alexyev has some underlying psychopathology, maybe he’s overly stressed, maybe he’s on some kind of ego trip. But let’s remember that Russia, when it was the Soviet Union, often used psychiatric hospitals to imprison activists. The possibility exists that he’s been given a medication that could be causing this episode. Additionally, if he does have an underlying psych problem, like schizophrenia, he may have stopped taking his meds or he’s being prevented from accessing them.
    Whatever the case, he can’t be trusted.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Subsequent remarks allegedly from Alexeyev’s FB page, after the anti-Semitic one I posted in the comment below:

    Dear friends, you will have to either hate me or love me for many more years but you will have to make a deal with me if you want to change smth in Russia. There is no other way! )))

    No, asshole, no one is irreplaceable. Especially if that person turns out to be an untrustworthy, anti-Semitic, West-slandering narcissistic douche-nozzle.

    That remark was followed by:

    I LOVE TO BE HATED! I LOVE TO MAKE PEOPLE MAD ABOUT ME! GOOD NIGHT, GUYS!

    See? Douche-nozzle.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    Yeah because who doesn’t try some jew-bashing as a fun experiment. He’s an anti-Semite.

  • FLL

    44 minutes ago?! I don’t care if the Kremlin is providing him with his script or he’s writing the script himself. As far as gay activism, this guy appears to be toast. Anything’s possible, but it would be a stretch to prove that all of these Facebook messages and tweets were hacked. Alexeyev would have to be imprisoned somewhere for that to be true, but it appears that he is at liberty. If these messages were hacked, Alexeyev would make some public statement to that effect.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Okay, seriously, it’s time to declare enough is enough with this man. And time to put to bed the ridiculous theory that there’s an ongoing struggle for control of Alexeyev’s own FB and Twitter accounts. If his accounts have been compromised, everything he’s saying is compromised. EVERYTHING. Including the supposed interview he claims he’ll give soon.

    I simply no longer believe it’s the case. There is no excusing this relayed Facebook remark here. For those who can’t see it, it reads as follows:

    “Pornographer Lucas campaigns for boycott of Russian vodka, was probably paid to promote Jewish. Distilled through his sperm. We laugh here!”

  • FLL

    All the more reason that the contributions of gay activists in the West are crucial. I have often made exactly the point that you are making in you reply. Russians do not have freedom of speech. Masha Gessen was dead right when she said that Russian activists greatly appreciate the worldwide attention that the vodka boycott has created. Everything helps. 13,000 people marching in Copenhagen, Denmark, people marching in London and New York… any and every supportive action in the West helps, including boycotts.

  • scottrose

    But the Russian anti-gay laws don’t allow gay Russians freedom of speech.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Exactly my point.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    I’m guessing you’re not terribly familiar with how hacking works, especially when done by professionals. If someone seizes your email, Twitter, FB, and other accounts, “getting them back” is far from simple. What you’re saying here makes no sense at all.

    More and more, Alexeyev coming across as a mentally unstable man whose thirst for notoriety and attention led him to concoct these manipulative scams. He’s probably laughing his ass off at anybody in the West who still supports him, especially after all the verbal abuse he’s heaped on us..

    Look, friend, your entire comment history consists of being an apologist for Alexeyev, excusing every single thing he’s allegedly done, with not a word to address the very real problem that if — as you claim — he was just messing with us, why he decided it wasn’t at all irresponsible or morally reprehensible to post a death threat and a bunch of Jew-baiting anti-Semitic remarks.

    Where are the apologies? “I’m really sorry, I was way off-base and should never have posted those. I went too far with my irresponsible behavior.” So far, the words, “I’m sorry, I should never have posted those terrible things, please forgive me” haven’t been posted or attributed to him anywhere.

    You don’t seem to comprehend that the guy has no credibility now, regardless whether he gave it up willingly or it was taken from him by force or by mental illness. Seriously, “Maybe there’s something wrong, I’m sure he’ll make it all right when he has a chance to explain” isn’t an answer. Especially when you yourself are hiding behind an Anonymous avatar and for all we know could even be Alexeyev, come ’round to f*ck with us dumb Westerners some more for the purpose of crass self-amusement.

  • FLL

    I don’t think that any country, including Russia, is responsible for every single citizen’s tweets; the government of any country just wouldn’t have time for that. I’m only claiming that when one particular citizen of an authoritarian country with no civil liberties threatens a big priority of that authoritarian government (like Putin’s obsession with a problem-free Olympics), that authoritarian government can crack down really hard on that particular citizen.

  • clarknt67

    The leap is running with the assumption that anyone but Nikolai is responsible for the content. And even larger leap being that the entire country is answerable for this single citizen’s Tweets. We just don’t know.

  • FLL

    I suspect that when he referred to the West, he might have been referring to his resentment that Dan Savage and Harvey Fierstein were so successful with the vodka boycott, and he might have been referring to his regret that he didn’t support those successful efforts. But Alexeyev has to answer for himself.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    You obviously don’t me very well if you think my concern for anti-semiticsm is newfound

  • Anonymous

    Honestly, I feel like he’s the kind of person who would use that to get attention. As well as the death threat. So either he’s unstable or did it for attention. Neither is a good answer

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    Well I’m not Jewish, but I’m pretty offended by someone calling out magazine a Jewish slut magazine because the author if a column he didn’t like was Jewish. That’s really quite horrific.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    Actually, if what many fear is correct, and the Russian authorities are either penning his social media posts themselves, or have coerced him to write those things, the. It’s not a leap at all. The government is responsible for the content and its chilling. And if they’re not responsible, then the former lead advocate is an anti-Semite, which carries its own serious problem.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    He also claimed that when he referred to the West he only referred to Michael Lucas

    That’s a bald-faced lie, unfortunately.

  • ComradeRutherford

    And the IOC endorses all of this by making sure Russia gets the 2014 winter Olympics, just as the IOC endorsed China’s slavery policies.

  • Anonymous

    He is egotistical but he is still doing good work in Russia with those court cases, pride, etc. To me that’s his credibility. But re: what he says, either he is using media tactics or he is unstable… He also claimed that when he referred to the West he only referred to Michael Lucas *shrugs*

  • Indigo

    That’s the only word for it and, sadly, a word we’re finding increasing use for this summer.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Your long history of blatantly racist comments in Disqus completely undercuts your baseless, uninformed slur here.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    I read it. It wasn’t, not really. In summary:
    – I, Alexeyev, am a hero to Russian LGBTs
    – We don’t want or need any support from the West, and everything they’re doing now is wrong
    – The law isn’t so bad and nobody’s really being harmed by it

    He can claim it was pro-gay all he wants. My one-word response to it was “Quisling.”

  • FLL

    Agreed. There are plenty of other Russian activists who can, and should, take up the mantle.

  • FLL

    Yeah, I was reading his Facebook page earlier today (the link is here), and it was pretty nasty. I didn’t want to raise the topic of today’s Facebook page (August 30) in deference to people who think that his social networking accounts are being hacked. Some have said that Alexeyev will have an interview on Russia Today (another Kremlin mouthpiece) over the weekend. We’ll see what Alexeyev has to say in person.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    *shrugs* I’ve decided I’m not going to attempt to read the tea leaves, not when the conclusions as to appropriate responses are the same.

    In fact, if Alexeyev is under duress — a theory, as I said, I am beginning to discount, in favor of “out-of-control bipolar pathological narcissist” — making him irrelevant may be the best possible thing we can do for him. And for LGBT Russians.

  • Thom Watson

    You don’t need to look far, then. Nikolai already has made such assertions, both about Western activists and about Coca-Cola, on his Facebook page today.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    The Tonya Harding of Russian gays?

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Oh please….experiment? More likely he was channeling his inner Russian asshole.

  • FLL

    I’m looking for the telltale sign of the Kremlin mouthpiece: “Why don’t you Western activists stop giving the Russian government a hard time?” The Russian government might even be uncomfortable with Western activists boycotting Coca-Cola since Coke is a sponsor of Putin’s treasured Sochi Olympics. I’m looking for these telltale signs, and I don’t think they’ll be hard to miss.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Whatever the hell is going on with Alexeyev, he’s burned through any credibility he may have had. As yet he has not:
    – Apologized for his death threat
    – Apologized for his over-the-top anti-Semitic comments over the last few days
    – Apologized to his LGBT supporters in the West, who he has insulted repeatedly

    Most of all, he hasn’t explained himself. At this point, to trust him with anything would be naive in the extreme. Not to mention behavior exactly like that of a victim of abuse — because if Alexeyev was merely f*cking with us all in some kind of ‘social experiment,’ that’s abusive behavior. We did not give consent to be ‘experimented’ upon. Those of us out here trying to pressure Russia to repeal its anti-gay pogrom, and to pressure the IOC and its Olympics sponsors to reconsider their PR-damaging decisions, deserve better.

    To address the other two alternatives: If he is mentally unstable, it should be self-evident he can’t be trusted with a position of responsibility within the LGBT rights movement. If he has been compromised or his internet accounts hacked, that’s unfortunate for him, but it still means we can no longer trust anything purporting to come from him. (Honestly, my skepticism as to the hacked theory has been rising steadily.)

    How do I put this? Either way — compromised or mind-f*ckery — listening to anything coming from him (or his compromised internet accounts, if that can be believed anymore) Alexeyev is now doing the cause far more harm than good.

    I can play this both ways: This new anti-Semitic angle should be disturbing in the extreme, regardless of the source or motivation. If LGBT activism in the west becomes conflated with a scurrilous “international Zionist conspiracy to attack Mother Russia,” it doesn’t matter whether it’s the Russian government or Alexeyev behaving irresponsibly, whichever is true, the result will be (1) yet another badly oppressed Russian minority will be (re)painted with great big targets on their backs, (2) any and all support from Western LGBT activist organizations will be all but crippled in Russia.

    It’s bad enough the vast majority of Russians think gay = pedophile. It’s even worse if they’re successful in adding “= Zionist conspirator” to that.

  • FLL

    That was my thought exactly when I suggested that he might be being coerced. If that is the case, you will only hear the Kremlin line, which is inimical to progress. I will certainly be listening carefully for any statement from Alexeyev like “Why don’t you Western activists stop these silly boycotts.” Such a statement would not bode well for Alexeyev’s relevance, in view of how very successful the vodka boycott has been in terms of worldwide publicity and consciousness raising.

  • http://www.derekwilliams.net Derek Williams

    It’s a big leap, yes, but Jews are almost as disliked as gays in Russia, so while the Alexeyev incident isn’t the damning indictment of hard evidence, actual experience of Jews trying to survive in Russia is.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    *shrugs* Honestly, at this point, I don’t care what he has to say. If he’s been compromised, he can’t be trusted; if he’s sincere, he can’t be trusted.

  • Monoceros Forth

    Maybe the point is to make Alexeyev look unstable? People are looking at the unpredictable and self-contradictory nature of Alexeyev’s tweets and other public statements and wondering, which ones are genuine and which ones aren’t? Maybe they’re all fake now, even the ones that look pro-GLBT, because the point is to make a prominent GLBT activist look unpredictable, flighty and emotionally unstable. You know, cos all those gays are just messed up in the head and don’t know up from down, and all that.

  • clarknt67

    He’s also asked for money on many occasions.

  • clarknt67

    I think it’s a big leap to say “Russia” is scapegoating Jews with only Alexeyev’s social media postings as evidence. Alexeyev is. But he isn’t the Russian government, that we know of.

  • Anonymous

    He will be on RT tomorrow, so we’ll see then…he still claims his original RT article was pro-gay

  • Anonymous

    Yeah, I really hope he has an explanation for all his BS, but we’ll just have to see. There will be a CNN interview on Tuesday, I think.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Sorry, but when someone has put themselves in a position of responsibility — such as heading a local Gay Pride organization and filing human rights cases — they no longer have the liberty to f*ck with their supporters.

    This also really, really does not excuse the death threat nor the anti-Semitic remarks. If he wants to be forgiven, fine, let him make his apologies. Trust Alexeyev with any degree of responsibility ever again? That would be foolish in the extreme.

  • FLL

    If Alexeyev has changed his tune yet again (recipe for whiplash), let’s look at what he has to say in the coming days very critically. If he tells Western activists to stop giving the Russian government a hard time, you can bet that he has become a mouthpiece for the Kremlin. But who knows? He might come out with something completely different. I’ll keep an open mind.

  • Anonymous

    Because he said he didn’t withdraw the cases, for one thing.

  • FLL

    For the moment, let’s not even worry about whether he’s mentally unstable. What’s to say that he’s not simply compromised and taking orders from the Kremlin? Can you really trust what he has to say in this upcoming interview? It might be what the Kremlin is feeding him. I’m not saying it’s his fault. I’m only saying that he might be compromised, and that we would be fools to accept the Kremlin line.

  • Illidan Stormragge

    Um, I don’t know where you have been but this is nothing new in Russia (and much of europe in general). Jews were heavily discriminated against in that area as long as they were there. There have been neo-nazi groups for years in Russia. Your concern is a little useless since it’s too little too late. If the anti-gay laws weren’t passed you wouldn’t even waste a blog on Jews.

  • FLL

    Exactly so and the evidence is everywhere.

  • Bob Jones

    I’m just worried about the 2% of the world’s gay people in Russia. I’m guessing growing up gay in this seemingly increasingly homophobic environment can’t be good for their mental health.

  • Anonymous

    Pretty simple though, he can just change his passwords or manipulate his accounts if he wants to keep them out. It appears the “real” him is posting again. Whether he’s been compromised or had a psychotic break, who knows? Hopefully he’ll give a real explanation

  • Anonymous

    Yeah, maybe he really is unstable. I don’t know. I think he’s actually trying to use the media underhandedly, but he’s okay. He even posted a poem his mother wrote. Maybe that was a genuine episode for him brought on by stress. But we also have no proof that he’s bipolar/schizophrenic/etc.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Asserting something is far from proof that it is true. The theory that he is mentally unstable to the point where he is literally dangerous to the cause has far greater credibility at this point.

  • emjayay

    It seems to me maybe bipolar or manic/depressive or whatever you want to call it behavior. On the other hand, the Russian police apparently ransacked his apartment…

  • Anonymous

    Check his pages! Believe it or not, it’s true (I should have been more clear). Yep, he went there.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Sorry, but no. If that claim is correct, then Alexeyev sacrificed his credibility for the sake of an extremely ill-advised ‘experiment.’

    At the risk of being crude, that one tweet reeks of continued mind-f*ckery.

    Even if this ludicrous claim was true, it only proves he can’t be trusted. Any reputation for integrity, once compromised, is ruined irrevocably.

  • Badgerite

    Everything that Masha Gessen said about Putin seems to be true and then some. His return to power has clearly been to take Russia back to the days of Kremlin authoritarian rule and carve out a niche of old style Soviet power in the world. And he is using the ‘usual suspects’ to do it.

  • Anonymous

    No it was a “social experiment” to make it look that way, apparently. For media attention.

  • Anonymous

    No, don’t jump to conclusions over that. Alekseyev has changed his tune again. He’s fine and everything was a “social experiment.” I have no idea why he went to such lengths; it was probably for more media attention. It worked, and now CNN is going to interview him. He wanted to make sure the US media was looking out for him, I guess.

  • http://www.americablog.com/ Naja pallida

    Don’t worry, there will be plenty of concern trolls to come through and admonish us all for drawing parallels to 1930s Germany.

  • DonewithDems

    Wow! It’s happening all over again. The rise of another fascist state like the Nazi Third Reich. And the media just sits on its hands. The USOC, the IOC and the Olympic athletes acquiese because the games are so much more important than the systematic destruction of innocent people. Governments of free nations seem to be ignoring it, hoping it goes away. Deep seated bigotry seems to still be rampant, even 7 decades since the holocaust. Nobody has learned their lessons. How sad.

  • Bill_Perdue

    They haven’t taken down Alekseev, thats just wishful thinking on the part of Putin who wants to stop the action at Sochi. What they have done is lied about him using anti-Semitism as the focus of their lies.

    Irrespective of the fate of Alekseev I hope the plans for Sochi go ahead, and that the boycott and divestment campaigns against American companies that pander to them, especially the homophobes at NBC/Comcast/MSNBC.

  • voltronforce

    Well they siezed his computers so russian authorities are obviously doing this.

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