To normal readers who don’t decorate their neighbors’ lawns at Christmas with burning crosses, it’s not at all clear what is going on over at the editorial board of Quality Digest, led primarily by publisher Mike Richman and editor Dirk Dusharme. It seems the team there is hell-bent on wiping itself out in as quick a manner as possible, as it leans heavily into the camps of racists, anti-Semites and white supremacists. This time, they are trying to whitewash the history behind the Holocaust. Seriously.

To recap earlier events, QD was criticized by Oxebridge and others for running articles by ASQ Section 209 Chairman Bill Levinson, after it was discovered he had written a decade or more of controversial political articles viewed as racist. Richman and Dusharme eventually hired an attorney to fire off a hastily written email trying to wave me off from raising a fuss with their advertisers. What this meant, however, is that QD had doubled-down on supporting Levinson, going so far as to spend readers’ money to defend him.

Yet again, that’s their prerogative.If Levinson has a right to free speech (and he does), and QD has a right to free speech (and they do), then so do their readers and advertisers, who should have the same right to know how their subscription and advertising dollars are being spent so they can exercise their free speech rights and make decisions based on these facts. QD and Levinson — the latter of which is suing Oxebridge to prevent us from reporting on him — don’t want people to have these facts, however.

FORD: Fix On Road Discriminating

But now QD has gone even further. Previously, Levinson would write some statistical junk peppered with historical anecdotes about the Turks invading Greenland or something (not sure, I drift off as soon as he says the word “Omdurman”), or lifestyle pieces where he expresses his particular obsession of the week, like standing desks. Yes, Levinson is a walking, humorless embodiment of that Family Guy joke.

But his latest piece, entitled “The History (and Menace) of Fake News,” Levinson repeats a debunked, baseless theory that he’s been peddling unsuccessfully for years. It goes like this: manufacturing icon Henry Ford openly espoused anti-Semitic views for decades, most famously publishing an entire set of newspaper articles dedicated to denouncing Jews, called The International Jew. These articles directly inspired those that would later go on to create the Holocaust, including Adolf Hitler. But, so Levinson’s story goes, Ford didn’t really mean those things, he was tricked by Russian Tsarist Boris Brasol who was spreading “fake news” to further his own anti-Bolshevik agenda. And Ford was such a stupid fuckwit, he not only bought into Brasol’s argument, but he stayed tricked for years and years, publishing 91 issues of anti-Semitic hate speech in The International Jew, and then carried on being a Jew-hating bastard for the rest of his life, while the Nazis — openly inspired by Ford — would go on to murder 6 million Jews. But, dude, it was totally not his fault!

First of all, let’s pause a second. Dusharme and Richman won’t publish articles that are actually on-topic, say, about quality management, if such articles criticize ISO 9001 or report on any of the related scandals or controversies in the industry. But they will allow Levinson to write about Polish history and some shitty Chinese gloves he bought for Christmas. Now they run an article about “fake news!” that literally relies on fake news itself to make its point.

Levinson has a personal stake in this, of course. His reputation is inextricably linked to Henry Ford, having written an entire book about him, and toplining his own resume with the proclamation that he’s the “proven leading authority” on Ford; his evidence for being “proven” is a link to a book he wrote himself, of course.

Now, apparently, Levinson is trying to get unstuck from this wicket of anti-Semitism surrounding his idol. But at its core, the latest QD article wasn’t about Ford at all, it was about… wait for it … Oxebridge.

For ten months now, Levinson has been trying to create a meme that Oxebridge is the Boris Brasol of the modern day. He began this tirade in emails sent to at least 30 – 50 Oxebridge clients. In one, he attached a PDF file falsely accusing me and Oxebridge of various crimes, saying:

Boris Brasol’s delivery of fake news (Protocols of the Elders of Zion) to Henry Ford is how we got The International Jew. Christopher Mark Paris is simply one more purveyor of fake news, and he has proven himself ethically capable of lying to his customers, clients, and other interested parties.

Because there’s nothing Oxebridge clients love more than getting lectured on Russian conspiracy theories by a nerdy little nebbish who trashes their suppliers.

Bill Levinson, still using the same photo from High School

Levinson then went on to create two entire websites dedicated to defaming Oxebridge, hosted in Iceland and registered in the Bahamas to escape the reach of US courts. These were “Oxebridge.biz” and “Oxfake.com,” and yes, in his attempt to prove how I committed crimes, Levinson violated Federal cybersquatting and trademark law. Then, because he’s a  dumb as a sock of bricks, he registered the sites under his own name. These webpages included the same material as that which Levinson sent to Oxebridge clients but then went on in greater detail. Again, Oxebridge was compared to Brasol and the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. The site literally declared it was reporting Fake News!

Levinson was just caught this week trying to set up yet another anti-Oxebridge site, “Osteinfo.net,” but bungled that as well; Levinson was caught after I spent all of a half hour setting up a honeypot DMCA notice with a link that tracked his IP address. Yes, ASQ’s would-be expert on risk-based thinking totally clicks links inside emails, because he’s a complete idiot, as well as a sniveling coward. We can assume that whatever appears on Osteinfo.net will include the usual Oxebridge/Brasol materials as well.

At the same time, Levinson was caught sending an email to an ASQ member repeating the same story yet again and claiming it as absolute, irrefutable fact, and prefacing his intent to publish the Brasol article (which then appeared in QD) as a means of attacking Oxebridge (emphasis added):

I have therefore proven to you, with the same kind of objective evidence we look for as quality auditors, that your “friend” lied to you and abused your trust the same way Boris Brasol abused Henry Ford’s trust to get him to publish The International Jew. Brasol gave Ford highly realistic looking anti-Semitic propaganda (Protocols of the Elders of Zion) which Ford failed to fact-check, took at face value, and re-published as The International Jew. I use this as a case study to warn people of the enormous danger of fake news, noting the harm this publication did to countless innocent people and also Ford’s reputation. While Ford did not create the material, he failed to exercise due diligence by not fact-checking it before he re-published it.

Note how Levinson is concerned with “Ford’s reputation” — that will come up again later.

So Levinson has added Oxebridge to his list of weird obsessions, which include (obviously) endlessly name-dropping Brasol and Ford, and (weirdly) quoting the USMC Cadet Code of Honor to people who never even served in the military (including himself.) These fixations on topics of personal interest, utter lack of empathy, inability to comprehend humor or metaphor, lack of eye contact, and crippling confirmation bias point to a diagnosis that will likely come out during the court proceedings, to his detriment. Unable to contain his need to spread fake news, Levinson is spreading false and defamatory claims about Oxebridge such as we hacked our own website, we flouted ISO’s copyright and openly engage in piracy, and that we told people to cheat on their taxes; he claims Oxebridge filed bankruptcy, and even went so far as to convince his attorney to include language in his court filings that alleges Oxebridge doesn’t actually exist and is merely “a shell entity, with no appreciable assets or value, serving no other purpose that [sic] to provide the appearance of a distinct corporate entity.”  Levinson has gone further, now suggesting my family doesn’t exist either, after he misread the deed on my house (yes, Levinson went into creepy stalker mode and got a copy of the deed to my house.) Levinson’s brain runs opposite of Occam’s Razor: the most complicated, ludicrous, preposterous and baseless fiction must be true if it proves his point; simple explanations and facts are to be discarded if they get in the way.

This is ISO’s risk-based thinking in action.

Fake News = Facts We Don’t Like

Richman and Dusharme could not have picked a worse speaker on the subject of fake news. Even ignoring his recent Oxebridge obsession, Levinson’s stock in trade in political circles has been the publication of fake news. For a decade or more, his fringe-right political pieces in Israpundit and The American Thinker trotted out fact-free or totally debunked theories that Levinson insisted were factual. His readers, who routinely then go on to pepper the comments sections of his articles with advice on how to forcibly sterilize Blacks or drag them from the back of their pickup trucks, gleefully eat the stuff up, so much so that his articles get picked up and reposted on KKK websites like The Daily Stormer and Stormfront. He himself republishes them on the Trump-only website Free Republic under the pseudonym WingedHussar. Yes, Levinson’s a freeper, as if you didn’t see that coming.

For example, Levinson was still promoting the “birther conspiracy” as late as 2011, suggesting that President Obama may have actually been born in Kenya, and photoshopped his Hawaii birth certificate. Levinson went far beyond even Trump’s version of events, saying Obama was pulling the strings behind the fiasco all along. That’s right… to Levinson, not only may Obama have been born in Kenya and falsified his birth certificate, he intentionally led the conspiracy simply to waste people’s time:

Barack Obama similarly strung his opponents along on the issue of whether he is a natural born citizen.  Only after he allowed them to collectively waste millions of hours on this false trail did he produce his Hawaii birth certificate to make them all look like Wile E. Coyote after an unsuccessful encounter with the Road Runner.  Obama therefore followed the adage that one should not interrupt an enemy while he is making a mistake.

The birthers now claim to have evidence that Barack Obama’s birth certificate is a forgery, e.g. because it can be broken down into layers in Photoshop.  This might or might not lead somewhere, but no good chess player pursues a multiple-move combination when checkmate in one move is readily available. (Source)

By 2015, Levinson finally admitted this was an “urban legend” — without reminding readers that he helped spread it — but then went on to try and convince the world that Obama was engaged in an illegal internet lottery. The article is absolutely batshit insane, but fun to read.

Levinson spread the conspiracy theory that Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor got her position because of “quotas,” then boasted that he would use this information would “control or destroy” her:

Myths, legends, and anthropology all state that the power to name a thing is the power to control or destroy it. A simple and devastating public relations technique is, therefore, to attach a memorable and accurate name to somebody. This article will similarly name Sonia Sotomayor, a jurist who seems to confuse the role of the U.S. Supreme Court with that of Congress, “Sonia Quotamayor” for her support of affirmative action race preferences, and also her personal status as a goal or a quota. (Source)

Levinson has spent years in the “Joebot” camp, railing against the facts of a report by former FBI Director Louis Freeh who found that Penn State’s Joe Paterno was complicit in allowing football coach Joe Sandusky to rape children; Levinson is happy to wallow in a group of conspiracy theorists who place football above pedophilia, and as recently as last week compared Penn State board chairwoman Karen Peetz to a pig on Twitter (yet another violation of ASQ’s new Code of Ethics), and then later tried to claim the tweet was actually a fake created by Oxebridge (natch.)

Levinson has also claimed the Democratic Party once endorsed calling for the murder of police (here), or that Harry Potter is actually a metaphor for the Islamic takeover of the entire planet (or, hell, I don’t know… just go read it.)

And, naturally, he’s danced with climate change denial, quoting climate denier James K. Glassman in an article published by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers which argued against the Kyoto climate agreement, dismissing it as “feel-good political correctness.” And he quoted Ford in that article, too. Sigh.

Levinson has shown a propensity to deny outright facts, published on real paper and placed in front of him, if it contradicts his mood at the moment. In 2003 Levinson registered the anti-Muslim site Omdurman.org, which republished an offensive image of Mohammad as a pig while calling the prophet a “bandit,” but has since pretended he knows nothing about the site. Levinson is simply pretending the facts that his name and address are shown in the site’s official Whois records don’t exist.

Anti-Anti-Semitism

But where Quality Digest really falls flat is having Levinson present anything whatsoever on the issue of anti-Semitism, an issue Levinson does not have clean hands with. Not only has he since supported ISO certificate mill operator Daryl Guberman — who once accused Jews of murdering Christ — Levinson has a long and colorful history of anti-Semitic remarks of his own, and a kneejerk tendency to go the “Nazi well” whenever it suits him, no matter how insensitive it is to those he’s alleging to protect. His claim that I and Oxebridge act like Nazis is pretty widespread at this point, so much so we had to change our company’s entire branding strategy after Levinson insisted there was a swastika in our logo. Yes, Levinson sees swastikas the way Haley Joel Osment sees dead people.

For example, Levinson has plenty to say against those he deems not sufficiently Jewish enough. He has railed against those he views are not pro-Israel enough for him, saying American Jews are “oven-ready,” and claiming that if the Jewish Anti-defamation League’s leaders were in alive during World War II, they would have assisted in the Holocaust:

Foxman’s and Greenblatt’s primary objective during the Holocaust would be to do whatever the Nazis wanted in exchange for being killed last.

Levinson, who “unapologetically” calls for the “extermination” of terrorist groups like Hamas, then lumps in Jews he doesn’t like into such categories. He once called reporter Amy Goodman “Hamas Amy” and then accused her of the most horrific anti-Semitic charge one can make against a Jewish person: “blood libel,” the false claim that Jews use the blood of Christian children in sacrificial ceremonies. Someone has since edited the actual blog post to remove the “Hamas Amy” references, and Levinson’s original articles on the blog Israpundit are being systematically scrubbed (as was the Foxman quote above), but Google searches still show the original “Hamas Amy” headline used by Levinson:

It looked like Levinson didn’t know the difference between simple libel and “blood libel,” but that’s not true: Levinson defined it right in the Quality Digest Article about Ford! It’s a fair bet that Amy Goodman never used the blood of children in a human sacrifice, and as a result, Levinson was literally spreading “fake news.”

By spreading the “Ford was tricked into being anti-Semitic” meme, Levinson again dances on the fringes of the white supremacist movement. Many white supremacists merely declare Ford a hero for being an outward “Jew-hater,” but others attempt to un-write history altogether in order to hide one of the United States’ worst anti-Semitic scandals in its history. As Holocaust denial is used by white supremacists to whitewash the history of the Nazis, making them sympathetic rather than demonic, the “Ford was tricked” meme is used to clean up Ford’s reputation, as well as that of the United States, while trouncing on the history of the Holocaust.

The fact is, the theory has been totally and irreversibly debunked for decades. The most definitive analysis of this story comes from Jonathan Logsden in the Hanover Historical Review (1999). This highly researched article is supported by hundreds of sources and citations, and is often used as the definitive guide to the Ford/antisemitism scandal. In that article, Logsden makes it clear that Ford not only knew exactly what he was doing when denigrating Jews, but kept doing it for decades afterwards, until his death.

At one point, facing backlash, Ford apologized for publishing The International Jew. Historians agree that this was a self-serving move done to protect Ford’s brand, and not a heartfelt renunciation of anti-Semitism. Logsden wrote:

This statement was a remarkable attempt at public image revisionism. In order for the public to accept it, they would conveniently have to forget all of the press interviews in which Ford had condemned the Jews. They would have to forget the anti-Semitic statements found in his own autobiography. They would have to forget his proclamation in 1921 that he had a “five years’ course in sight” of anti-Jewish articles. They would have to forget the press releases that announced: “The Dearborn Independent is Henry Ford’s own paper and he authorizes every statement incurred therein.” They would have to forget Cameron’s boast at a 1924 Ford branch manager’s convention that “We never step out on any unusual program without first getting his guidance.”

Even if Levinson were somehow right, it’s moot: for years after his publication of The International Jew, Ford continued to court Nazis and anti-Semites. In 1938 — seventeen years after the publication of the International Jew — Ford accepted a Nazi medal, the German Eagle Order. And there are photos to prove it. Logsden:

Hitler had created the award himself as the highest honor a foreigner could receive from the Nazi government. Ford shared his award with only four other men, including Mussolini. The award consisted of a Maltese cross studded with four eagles and four swastikas, and came with Hitler’s personal congratulations. It was presented to Ford, in honor of his seventy fifth birthday, in July of 1938 by German consuls Fritz Heiler and Karl Kapp. Newspaper pictures of the event showed a smiling Ford shaking the Heiler’s hand as Kapp pinned the award onto Ford’s jacket.

Henry Ford receives the Nazi Grand Cross of the German Eagle Order in 1938, sixteen years after the publication of The International Jew.

Levinson seems to hint that this photo is fake; in the QD article, the paragraph immediately following his Ford theory is an oddly placed rant about photomanipulation. On its own, it doesn’t seem to fit the article at all, but if you understand that Levinson probably knew someone would dredge up a photo of Ford accepting a Nazi medal, and thus debunk his entire article, this paragraph suddenly makes sense. Or, perhaps more likely, Levinson is just a really shitty writer, and Dusharme an even shittier editor. You pick.

Again, it doesn’t matter. Later in 1940, Ford again exhibited his anti-Semitism in interactions with Walt Disney. Logsden:

Walt Disney was thinking of taking his studio public and asked Ford for his advice on the enterprise. Ford expressed his admiration for Disney because he was a successful Protestant in the film business– a field dominated by Jews. However; Ford warned, Jews also controlled the stock market, and Disney would be wise to sell his company outright rather than lose it to “them” one piece at a time.

And even as late as 1947, a quarter of a decade after The International Jew:

Shortly before his death, Henry Ford was confined to his bed in a state of depression. His physician arranged for a reporter to visit, in an effort to arouse Ford from his gloomy state. The newsman innocently asked Ford what the chances were of his company going public. This was all it took, according to witness Jack Davis, to energize the old man. “I’ll take my factory down brick by brick,” Ford announced, “before I’ll let any of the Jew speculators get stock in the company.

To buy Levinson’s revisionist history, one would have to believe that not only was Ford tricked, but he was never un-tricked, and continued being anti-Semitic until his death only because he was a “victim of fake news.”

This is little comfort to the Jews murdered, wholesale, by the spread of anti-Semitism at Ford’s hand. The perpetrators of the Holocaust were literally inspired by Ford. Said Nazi politician Baldur von Schirach in 1922:

I read [The International Jew] and became anti-Semitic. In those days this book made such a deep impression on my friends and myself because we saw in Henry Ford the representative of success, also the exponent of a progressive social policy.

Von Schirach was later tried and convicted during the trials of Nuremberg for having deported Jews to Nazi concentration camps in Poland.

But if von Schirach’s name doesn’t ring any bells, perhaps Adolf Hitler’s will. Hitler himself once famously said, “I regard Henry Ford as my inspiration.” Henry Ford also remains the only American mentioned in Hitler’s famous book Mein Kampf. So it matters not at all if “Ford was tricked,” he nevertheless directly contributed to, and inspired, the mass murder of millions of Jews. 

Yet Levinson regards even Hitler with some reverence. Levinson once quoted Mein Kampf as inspiration for his now-defunct website Stentorian.com (warning: clicking that link will pull up intense hateful imagery.) Said Levinson:

All propaganda has to be popular and has to adapt its spiritual level to the perception of the least intelligent of those towards whom it intends to direct itself” (Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, Vol.I). Hitler proved himself right by gaining control of an entire country and then leading it to total ruin. The lesson is not that Hitler is a desirable role model but rather that his methods worked. If effective propaganda can get the people to believe the biggest whopper you can tell, the corrollary is that, if you are going to tell the truth, you had better use equally effective methods. This is the mission of Stentorian.com.

Meanwhile, websites and journals including Holocaust Online and that of the Jewish Anti-Defamation League — who probably know a bit more about history and anti-Semitism than Levinson —  have published materials citing Ford as a known anti-Semite. In the follow-on comments to the Quality Digest article, Levinson insists his article is based on sound reporting, and then cites a single Google search result which, in his mind, is far better than Logsden article with nearly 300 citations and references. Levinson then engages in more confirmation bias by pointing out how Upton Sinclair bought into the Ford apology in his book, The Flivver King, ignoring some simple dates. For example, The Flivver King was published in 1937, and yet Ford accepted the Nazi medal a year after; Sinclair could not have written about that, because it hadn’t happened yet. Levinson, who also suffers from what appears to be an inability to parse metaphor, fails to note that The Flivver King was a fictionalized account of Ford’s life, and not at all an official biography.

Again, Levinson must ignore truckloads of researched facts and hordes of citations to get his pre-conceived opinion. And this is the guy is claiming he is a risk management expert.

Jews In Space

If Levinson’s argument was that Brasol tricked Ford using fake news, one might get on board with the argument, then, that the plagiarized documents disseminated by Brasol led to the Holocaust. But that’s not what Levinson is saying. Read his (literal) “takeaway”:

The takeaway is that victims of fake news include not only its intended targets, but also those whose trust it abuses to propagate itself.

Following his logic, though, Brasol should be a sympathetic character as well, having been duped by plagiarized documents which he spread unwittingly, but in Levinson’s account, Brasol is the enemy; because Ford has to the be martyr in his story, and the story is then built around that premise. Levinson’s main concern is Ford, not Brasol and certainly not six million dead Jews.   In the follow-on comment in the QD article, Levinson doubles-down, again calling Ford the “victim”:

 “These were the two references on which I based my conclusion that Ford was a victim of fake news.”

Levinson’s reputation is tied to Ford, not to the Holocaust, which is why Levinson casually accuses so many others of being Nazis, or the ADL of being anti-Semitic Nazi enablers.

Which puts Quality Digest in an impossible position, having published an article that so directly contradicts history, and in doing so, attempts to whitewash one of the world’s most notorious hater of Jews, Henry Ford, who directly inspired Adolf Hitler and those responsible for the Holocaust.

We should be able to read quality profession journals without someone clumsily parroting Trumpian calls of “Fake News!” and certainly without peddling hateful, debunked theories designed to erase crimes against entire religions. This concept escapes the brainpans of Dusharme and Richman, who have — again, for reasons that make no sense whatsoever — thrown their readers and advertisers under the bus of political propaganda, all to support a single contributor who isn’t even on their staff. Which leads us to only conclude that Quality Digest agrees with Levinson’s hate speech, supported (again) by their willingness to spend advertiser and subscriber money to defend him.

If you’re sickened by Quality Digest‘s descent into madness, tell them:

Also, feel free to trot over the Quality Digest article itself and post your comments to Levinson.


Postscript: Levinson has already responded personally, accusing me (again) of being a modern Boris Brasol, and then saying that while Ford may have published garbage, it was “garbage similar to what you publish, but apparently more believable.” Yes, Levinson just said that he found anti-Semitic hate speech which inspired the Holocaust “more believable” than the Oxebridge website. And he wonders why people think he’s racist?

His entire email is below (click to embiggen).

And, yes, Levinson said he had decided not to comment on Quality Digest, but then an hour or so later, succumbed to his obsession and did just that.

    About Christopher Paris

    Christopher Paris is the founder and VP Operations of Oxebridge. He has over 25 years' experience implementing ISO 9001 and AS9100 systems, and is a vocal advocate for the development and use of standards from the point of view of actual users. He is the author of Surviving ISO 9001:2015. He reviews wines for the irreverent wine blog, Winepisser.