Letter to the Editor
February 9, 2022 | View PDF
Jan. 31 - I write this letter to the readers of The Roundup newspaper, in attempt to clear up misinformation published in another publication, because I’m sure it will see the light of day in view of The Roundup’s longstanding history of fairness – which in today’s word, is not altogether common.
Two pieces, featured on the front page of the aforementioned but unnamed newspaper, mentioned a lawsuit I was in, along with my PR and Media Firm, Gideon Knox LLC. This organization consults with Christians, Capitalists, and Conservatives, helps conservatives get elected, and helps grass roots organizers (working against forced vaccination and the passage of HB702, helping a landowner get his mountain back from a bank who – in his opinion – took it unfairly, etc.). Gideon Knox Group runs AM radio stations in Montana, as well as Montana Daily Gazette and many more news sites across the world – most of whom are Christian publications.
Our editorial policy forbids the use of preferred pronouns (using genders people prefer when not in accordance with their chromosomal gender). We ran a story earlier this spring in Montana Daily Gazette, based upon numerous eye-witnesses, that a “two-spirit” (“transgender) man of the Northern Cheyenne Tribe – a public speaker, public figure, and lobbyist, along with his cohorts, were so aggressive to a septuagenarian senator he had to be escorted to or by the Sergeant of Arms to safety.
Although I am in Helena often to cover the legislature I was not that day. Instead, I listened to witness testimonies, both uncorroborated (they called me separately with the same account), and compared it to the antics of a man as posted on his Facebook page that day, which were, in my opinion, atrocious. Having never encountered the man before, I determined he was indeed near the time and place of the event that indeed happened, as they were lobbying against our boys-in-girls sports bill and he and “his cohort” were responsible for the chaos at the capitol. I reached out to the man and asked for comment, but he refused, so I ran the story. He later asked via email for a retraction, but gave no good or detailed reason why I should do so, and so I refused.
What we do have is social media screenshots of the lobbyist threatening to sue anyone supporting “anti-trans” bills. In addition, we have a social media file of the most grotesque, vile, and disgusting remarks towards legislators possible, for which we asked for a Summary Judgment because he had already sullied his reputation as a lobbyist, long before I had heard of his name or ran this story.
This case was to be heard in Richland County, and the original court filings mentioned offense at my free speech and “transphobia.” The man set up a Go Fund Me to find the funds to sue me for “Transphobic Hate Speech.”
Then, the man – named Jawort – found an attorney, Raph Graybill, who is suing our Attorney General to overturn four pieces of pro-life legislation and works for Planned Parenthood. And, he found the Upper 7 Law firm, which consists of attorneys associated with the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and is suing Secretary of State Jacobsen to overturn voter ID laws passed by our Republican legislature.
Judge Bidegaray for reasons known only to her, recused herself, and another district judge did as well. This left us with one judge in our district, in Plentywood. Each side of such a lawsuit it given a “veto” to dismiss a judge, and Graybill used his veto of the judge to get the case away from conservative eastern Montana. It went to Yellowstone County, which although I’m sure has a fine jury pool, was given to a friend and acquaintance of Joe Biden and appointee of Gov. Bullock. We then used our veto card and it was sent by Bidegaray to the most liberal judge in the state of Montana – bar none – Elizabeth Best. Currently, a petition exists with 1300 signatures to remove her from office and rumors abound the legislation exists to impeach her for judicial activism in the 2030 session – written long before I had ever heard of her.
In an extremely rare occurrence, Best denied our counterclaim and Summary Judgment....without a hearing. She then declared that I will not receive a jury of my peers in Richland County, but in Cascade County, where her court resides and to do the next proceedings via Zoom.
In the meantime, a 150-page document was given to the court complete with Bible verses that have been preached, spoken on podcasts, radio stations, or written, that my opponent finds offensive. More sensational items, which clearly used the word “metaphor” have been used to request – with success – a hearing for punishment by the court, which Best seems sure to grant (I’d like her to surprise me). For example, in court filings include a Facebook post of a book I bought for my daughter on self-defense, on how to not be kidnapped or raped, that their counsel took as “a threat” to them. Essentially, these powerful lawyers have someone to listen to every sermon, speech, or talk I’ve given (thousands of thousands of words), social media posting (they are multitudinous) or words I’ve written (they are many) and cherry pick the lines most easily taken out of context to sound “threatening.” I’m not allowed at this hearing (the constitutionality of which is dubious).
Complicating the matter is the issue of masks, which is sure to earn some kind of comeuppance (I will not wear one) and has placed stress between the judge and Cascade County Sheriff Jesse Slaughter, who will not arrest or incarcerate those without masks. Other press pieces have indicated that my refusal to use preferred pronouns in court might earn additional punishments from the judge or greater ire.
When I discovered I was being sued by Planned Parenthood’s attorney and the de facto attorney for the Democratic Party, I went on a speaking tour of western Montana this summer, speaking dozens of times and venues and toured with various conservative groups, including the Arise USA Tour, and spoke about the incident but mostly spoke about Christ. I had no idea how offensive the Holy Bible was to the LGBTQ or Judge Best (nor did I know who she was or that peers would be removed from my jury). To this day, I am continuing to speak in places like Bozeman, Helena, Missoula, Lolo, and nearly every town down I-90 from Billlings westward, Lewistown, Great Falls, and along the hi-line. Not wanting to taint the jury pool in Richland County, I didn’t speak in a single public venue on this court case. None of that mattered, in the end. My decision to walk with integrity and not taint to jury pool is the reason this is “news” to you in the local paper.
As Best will surely require those who do not want to wear a mask to go home from the jury pool, she is stacking the deck (so it seems) of those who are ideologically opposed to conservatism and, frankly, objective reality.
What are my hopes of winning this first round with such stacked against me? I leave hope to God, but I wouldn’t bet on it. Thankfully, processes exist in our legal system that means that it’s not over until it is over. And then, until it’s over after that. And then, after that.
What the media has done is take the court filings and quotations of Planned Parenthood’s and the Democrat’s attorneys and ran them as “news,” making no attempt to fill the reader in on the real story of what has unfolded or why. But, such is to be expected from most in the Legacy Press (the Roundup excluded). Thankfully, most Montanans trust the media like they trust politicians; with a grain of salt.
What is at stake in all of this is truth. Whether the suit is about “hate speech” as it was in the beginning (which they seem to define as any speech they hate) or “libel” (we stand by our story), it’s about one thing in all actuality; Democrats taking out our news publication – and just as importantly – to keep me from speaking across the state in dozens of venues to thousands of people on the Law and Gospel of Jesus Christ.
I assure you, regardless of how the court case(s) turn out, that won’t stop. God’s Word goes forth.
Jordan D. Hall, Sidney, MT