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Blaze News exclusive: NH 'peace' organization accused of fraud, unlawfully deploying security detail to harass conservatives
Screenshot of @Sidewalk_Steve X video. Used with permission.

Blaze News exclusive: NH 'peace' organization accused of fraud, unlawfully deploying security detail to harass conservatives

Group may also have violated RICO statutes, state representative says.

It is no secret that far-left activist organizations have besieged state capitals in recent years, wailing and flailing about and ordering legislators to kowtow to their demands on issues ranging from so-called LGBTQ+ rights to gun control.

One Republican state representative in New Hampshire went beyond simply complaining about or ignoring one particularly virulent organization in his state and instead decided to do some research into it. What he found was evidence of possible charity fraud, RICO violations, and alleged ties to terrorist organizations, to say nothing of its extra-governmental security force apparently designed to intimidate conservatives and deny them their civil rights.

For the first part of this exclusive two-part series, Blaze News spoke with New Hampshire state Rep. Mike Belcher (R-Carroll) to learn more about the allegations he has leveled against New Hampshire Peace Action in hopes of bringing the organization's unsavory and perhaps unlawful tactics to a swift and peaceful end and to encourage state law enforcement to conduct a thorough investigation of it.

NHPA did not respond to Blaze News' request for comment.

'A Russian-influence operation': NHPA background and history

On the surface, New Hampshire Peace Action seems like a traditional left-leaning antinuclear organization, mainly advocating nonviolence and claiming to want to engage in peaceful, respectful protest and community dialogue. On its website, NHPA envisions building "a more peaceful and just future for all" by promoting "international relations ... based on cooperation instead of competition and conflict."

'I found an awful lot of references to the original organization actually being a part of the Soviet United Front operations of the Communist International.'

"Peace activists are often told that we’re naive to think that nonviolence will be effective," NHPA said in a recent statement. "Many of us think the idea that violence will bring about peace is far less sensible. In a world with nuclear weapons and serious environmental problems, war is too dangerous and costly for us all at this point."

Rep. Belcher, however, believes that the organization's peaceful rhetoric is actually a front for a more insidious — in fact, possibly violent — Marxist agenda. "So if they're all about peace, and they're all anti-war, and that's what they're all about, you would expect them to take sort of a universal pro-peace position on every conflict in the world. But that's not at all what they're doing," Belcher explained to Blaze News.

Just by clicking around on the NHPA website and various groups linked to it, including its parent organization, National Organization Peace Action, Belcher claims he discovered that NHPA has its roots in pro-Soviet advocacy. "I found an awful lot of references to the original organization actually being a part of the Soviet United Front operations of the Communist International," he said. "So it looks like that organization was founded as a Soviet-influence operation.

"And if you were to ask me what it looks like they're up to today, it kind of looks like they're still a Russian-influence operation."

The website for National Organization Peace Action seems to speak glowingly about Soviet actions during the nuclear arms race of the 1980s, especially compared with the actions of then-President Ronald Reagan: "Mikhail Gorbachev was profoundly influenced by the worldwide antinuclear campaign, setting aside time to confer with [antinuclear] leaders," whereas "the Reagan administration, on the defensive, was forced to modify its positions."

In addition to its apparently pro-Soviet origins, Belcher also noted that NHPA not only strongly condemns Israel but may even promote groups with ties to Hamas and the Palestine Liberation Organization.

"New Hampshire Peace Action is a founding member of this other organization [National Organization Peace Action] that is actively providing what appears to me to be material support for multiple foreign terrorist organizations," Belcher claimed.

Belcher reiterated to Blaze News that his goal in pointing out a possible association between NHPA and Hamas is not to advocate for Israel or Palestine in the latest war in Gaza but to advocate for Americans and their interests. "Perhaps even more important than the fact that many of these organizations are supporting foreign terror organizations," he said, is that "many of these organizations are also directly calling for revolution and insurrection in the United States of America openly on these various accounts and on these various websites."

National Organization Peace Action admits on its website that it has partnered with the Progressive Caucus in Congress and counts Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) among its allies.

On its website, NHPA claims that it is against the violence perpetrated by both Israelis and Palestinians but that it focuses largely on the Israeli government "because the U.S. Government, thus American taxpayers, directly fund it."

Possible 'charity fraud': NHPA and its mysterious 'education fund'

Belcher does not just object to NHPA's supposedly Soviet influence. He also alleges that it falsely presents itself as a charity able to collect tax-deductible donations when it is not.

IRS code distinguishes between nonprofits whose donations are tax-deductible and nonprofits whose donations are not. Those whose donations can be tax-deductible are classified as a 501(c)(3). Those whose donations cannot be are classified as a 501(c)(4).

'That looks like commingling of funds. That is criminal.'

NHPA is a 501(c)(4), as evidenced by a newsletter message posted to its website last February. "Your membership dues help fund out [sic] 501c4 work: lobbying, legislative engagement, coalition building, and electoral politics," the message said.

Screenshot of nhpeaceaction.org taken on June 21, 2024

Yet despite making this direct link between NHPA membership dues and the group's "501c4 work," NHPA elsewhere insinuates that purchasing an NHPA membership or making other donations to NHPA could be tax-deductible in defiance of federal tax law. "Note that if you would like your donation/membership to be tax deductible, please put that in the note field when you checkout," it says under the Join/Donate tab of its website.

Screenshot of nhpeaceaction.org taken on June 21, 2024

Third-party sites give mixed results regarding NHPA's tax status. One site, Charity Navigator, lists it as a 501(c)(4). However, Project World Impact, an organization that attempts to connect donors with nonprofits that might be of interest, lists NHPA as a 501(c)(3).

Screenshot of projectworldimpact.com taken on June 21, 2024

Some of the confusion may stem from yet another NHPA-related organization — New Hampshire Peace Action Education Fund — that is a verifiable 501(c)(3) but that seems to have no public-facing presence outside NHPA. A quick search for such an "education fund" on the NHPA website directs users to the board of directors, many of whom seem to serve NHPA and NHPAEF concurrently. Otherwise, New Hampshire Peace Action Education Fund has no other unique page on the NHPA website.

Even though NHPAEF has no independent website or even an independent page on the NHPA website on which to market itself and its mission, New Hampshire Peace Action Education Fund is listed on NH Gives, a website showcasing nonprofits within the state. There, it partially presents itself as NHPA and uses the same vision and missions statements that appear on the NHPA homepage.

Screenshot of nhgives.org taken on June 21, 2024

Between the NHPAEF's lack of "public presence," NHPA and NHPAEF's shared address and directors, and an apparent "common pool of donated funds," Belcher believes that NHPAEF "is not actually a separate organization" from NHPA.

"I think there's charity fraud going on here," he told Blaze News.

Tax filings for NHPAEF further muddy the waters between NHPAEF's fundraising and NHPA's direct action. In its form 990 from 2019, NHPAEF claimed to have raised money for "two rallies to draw awareness to the need to change foreign policy" and a "completed season of bird-dogging presidential candidates about issues of peace and nuclear disarmament," among other events.

Yet the IRS website clarifies that a 501(c)(3) organization — such as NHPAEF — "may not attempt to influence legislation as a substantial part of its activities and it may not participate in any campaign activity for or against political candidates" (emphasis added). In other words, it may not be what the IRS calls "an action organization."

Belcher also argued that such policy-related events would normally be handled and promoted by a 501(c)(4) such as NHPA, rather than a 501(c)(3) like NHPAEF.

Though he cautioned that he may not understand all the nuances of federal tax law, Belcher said that "if they have a 501(c)(4) arm, a social welfare arm, that is undertaking those activities ... and they're saying they're funding those activities from their (c)(3) arm, that looks like commingling of funds.

"That is criminal."

A woman at a phone number listed on New Hampshire Peace Action Education Fund tax filings told Blaze News that NHPA and NHPAEF are "sister organizations." She also verified that NHPAEF is a 501(c)(3) and that NHPA is a 501(c)(4). When Blaze News asked further questions, the woman asked for our contact information so that someone else could answer them. We never received a return call.

'Marshals and de-escalators': NHPA's 'peacekeepers'

The third allegation that Belcher has made against NHPA is that it trains a cadre of security personnel and then offers their services to various left-wing organizations in violation of New Hampshire law, which requires a state-issued license for any person or organization "soliciting work" related to that performed by a security guard.

NHPA currently has only two major projects listed on its website. One of them is related to "education" regarding Palestine. The other is NH Project Peacekeeper, which the NHPA calls "a roster of trained volunteer peacekeepers who act as marshals and de-escalators for public events around NH."

'I think it's a big step toward normalizing the deployment of paramilitary along with left-wing protests in order to deny conservatives their right to public protest [and] their right to assembly.'

NHPA even offers an email address for those wanting to "request peacekeeping services through the NH Peacekeeping Project" for their particular event. In other words, NHPA seems to be "soliciting" security-related "work."

A representative from the permits and licensing division of the state Department of Safety confirmed to Blaze News that NHPA does not currently have a state-issued security guard license, nor has it ever had such a license.

With that credential missing, it's perhaps little wonder that those trained as its "peacekeepers" have no interest in keeping the peace. In Part II of this two-part exclusive series, Blaze News will explore recorded interactions between some NHPA "peacekeepers" and a New Hampshire couple who want to protect children against sterilization and genital mutilation as advanced by the so-called transgender agenda.

For now, we will share just one of several videos showcasing the antics of these alleged NHPA "peacekeepers," who are easily identifiable by the yellow lining and peace signs on their vests. The anti-trans couple always wear body cameras to record just such interactions. In this case, they are simply trying to walk on the grounds of the state capital during a Pride event earlier this month.

"Go back to your corner," the female "peacekeeper" repeatedly orders. She also allegedly called the wife "a b****," though if she did, that incident was not included in the video. The male "peacekeeper" then denounces the husband as a false Christian.

"You think you're a Christian, but you're not," he says. The husband immediately replies that he made no remark about his religious identity.

Belcher believes that these and other NHPA "peacekeepers" are actually a "paramilitary" group that parades about public events, impersonating law enforcement by wielding "false authority," to intimidate other New Hampshire residents and deny them their civil rights. "I think it's a big step toward normalizing the deployment of paramilitary along with left-wing protests in order to deny conservatives their right to public protest [and] their right to assembly," he told Blaze News.

'A web of malign influence': Belcher takes action

Because of his findings on the organization's website and the series of videos showing its "peacekeepers" attempting to prevent people from exercising their constitutional rights, Rep. Belcher decided to take action against New Hampshire Peace Action. Earlier this month, he penned a formal letter to New Hampshire Attorney General John Formella, an appointee of Republican Gov. Chris Sununu, as an official criminal referral for NHPA.

In his X profile picture, Horrigan is wearing a pink vagina hat made infamous during the 2017 women's march in Washington, D.C.

NHPA, its parent organization, and some of its affiliates "represent a web of malign influence on New Hampshire and America posing as 'charitable' and 'social welfare' organizations, and these matters may fall under further laws prohibiting material support to terrorist organizations, the Logan Act against conflicts, failure to register as a foreign agent, and RICO statute violations," Belcher wrote.

"This group must not be allowed to challenge the legitimacy of the State through the usurpation of law enforcement functions for partisan and political ends to terrorize New Hampshire citizens," his letter closed.

Belcher also persuaded six of his Republican colleagues in the state House to sign the letter as well. Though he did not reach across the aisle to find bipartisan support for the letter, he told Blaze News that not a single Democrat has expressed any interest.

In fact, one of his Democrat colleagues in the New Hampshire House, Rep. Tim Horrigan, even openly admitted to being a part of NHPA. In an X exchange with Belcher, Horrigan called Belcher's allegations "total bulls***." NHPA has "always been quite clear (in my mind, at least) about which donations are tax deductible & which aren't," he added.

In his X profile picture, Horrigan is wearing a pink vagina hat made infamous during the 2017 women's march in Washington, D.C. He also previously acknowledged that he and other Democrats have been either directly or indirectly "influenced by Marx."

Horrigan told Blaze News that the type of "arrangement" between NHPA and NHPAEF "is not unique to NHPA" and may, in fact, be used by "many right-wing groups." He also asserted that the arrangement is not "illegal," adding that if it is, "many, many other groups will have to change the way they do business."

Democrats may not support an investigation into NHPA, but AG Formella has already given Belcher a listening ear about the contents of the letter. During a phone conversation with Belcher on Thursday, Formella pledged to initiate the review process by submitting relevant materials about NHPA to the appropriate state investigative agencies "to assess for probable cause," Belcher told Blaze News.

Belcher is encouraged by Formella's response. "I think that's a perfectly reasonable place to start," he said.

"I am thankful for the attorney general taking this matter seriously and initiating a review of the allegations," Belcher added in a statement. "Given the circumstances and evidence, I strongly suspect there will be a finding that probable cause exists to pursue a full investigation."

Blaze News left a message for Formella with the New Hampshire Department of Justice but did not receive a response.

Next week: Part II of this two-part series.

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Cortney Weil

Cortney Weil

Sr. Editor, News

Cortney Weil is a senior editor for Blaze News.
@cortneyweil →