Mega-Bank Tries to Put AFP Out of Business
First they came for the “fringe radical right” and the “haters.” Now they’re coming for the true political conservatives. Who will be left if you don’t take a stand today?
On June 22, when AFP staffers checked the orders first thing in the morning, they noticed something was strange. The online credit-card charges beginning at midnight had all come back as “unsettled.”
Rather than being completed, a “general error” was listed as the reason for the processing problem.
After calling AFP’s merchant service provider— the company that processes our credit cards—we were told in no uncertain terms that our account had been closed.
This is a big deal, because credit card orders account for about 30% of our annual revenue, a huge sum of money that would be extremely difficult to make up in a pinch.
“The risk department sent over the closure notice yesterday afternoon,” said “Jacob,” the poor guy who was being paid close to minimum wage by an answering service to field the early morning phone calls. “I guess it went through at midnight.”
In 2013, AFP had set up an account with USB Payment Services, a merchant service provider based out of Baltimore, Md. for the sole reason that we preferred to do business with a locally owned and independent company that was not beholden to shareholders at some mega-bank.
For four years, that company took a percentage in “fees” of all of the credit card sales that AFP made. A few months ago, however, USB was bought out by banking giant Wells Fargo. And with no phone call, letter, or email, someone associated with Wells Fargo just decided to cancel AFP’s credit card processing account, and they were not even going to tell us about it.
After repeated calls to Garrett Nakai, a “risk analyst” from a company that contracts with Wells Fargo, eventually he called this editor back. When questioned as to why AFP’s account had been abruptly terminated, Nakai conceded, “Your account was cancelled because you sell racist and anti-Semitic books.”
I asked if Nakai could cite a specific book or DVD in our catalog that offended Wells Fargo. “Judas Goats would be one,” he said.
Nakai was referring to Michael Collins Piper’s book, Judas Goats, which documents how over the years the nationalist movement has been infiltrated by the FBI, the CIA, the ADL, the Southern Poverty Law Center, and other nefarious groups.
Nakai was then asked if he had ever read Piper’s book, or if he even knew what the book was about. Quickly it became apparent that he had no idea what was in the book.
After speaking with Nakai for several minutes it became clear that the credit card industry actually has a list of products that companies should not be selling, including Michael Collins Piper’s books. It’s being passed around to different banks and functions effectively as a banned books list.
And, despite the fact that banking giants like Wells Fargo do business in countries that jail and kill religious “heretics” and political dissidents, apparently, selling books that tackle important topics like race and war from a conservative perspective was too much for them.
But it gets even worse than that. After toiling for days to find a new company to process credit card orders, submitting applications, financial data, bank statements etc., it became clear that AFP had been added to a secret list maintained by credit card companies that blacklist certain companies and individuals, making it nearly impossible to take credit cards.
Usually, this list is reserved for fraudsters, con men and perverts, but now AFP is one of the few legitimate and non-criminal organizations to have been added to it. And they admitted it.
The truth is, we knew it was only a matter of time before this happened to us. Already, more controversial publications and organizations had lost their credit-card-processing accounts as well as their PayPal accounts. Some have even had their bank accounts closed with no warning.
It is clear that the financial industry would like nothing more than to drive politically incorrect, conservative companies—especially news outlets— out of business.
AFP is in the process of contacting other credit card processors so we can get back up and running. However, we ask in the meantime that you continue to buy books and DVDs from us.
Only please print out your order and mail it to us with cash or a check. Finally, take a moment to send in a donation to help keep us going. The big banks, in league with the elites, want to silence free expression in this country.
Take a stand for free speech today by helping AFP.