PDA

View Full Version : Kuruc



Magda Hassan
07-17-2014, 02:57 AM
CA winemaker behind neo-Nazi website flees to Canada to escape FBI

By Scott Kaufman
Wednesday, July 16, 2014 10:20 EDT



Twee (http://twitter.com/share)
http://cdn.printfriendly.com/button-print-blu20.png (http://www.printfriendly.com)
http://cdn.instaemail.net/images/email-button.png (http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/07/16/ca-winemaker-behind-neo-nazi-website-flees-to-canada-to-escape-fbi/#)

The California owner of an anti-Semitic website registered in the United States, but written in Hungary, fled to Canada (http://www.politics.hu/20140715/neo-nazi-website-owner-flees-the-us/) after the Federal Bureau of Investigations issued a warrant for his arrest this week.
Béla Varga, owner of the kuruc.info domain, is charged with having threatened the life of lawyers who subpoenaed him regarding the hate site. The name of the domain, “kuruc,” has nativist roots, referring to a patriotic nationalist Hungarian movement that opposed the foreign reign of the Hapsburg Dynasty. Its English-language “About Us” page describes it as “a patriotic Hungarian conservative, right-wing nationalist, fact-finding news site.”
Varga allegedly worked (http://vintners.net/wawine/misc/winemakers/bela_varga.html) at Claar Cellars, “a medium-size Premium winery in the Columbia Valley, as well as Chateau Soverain (http://www.souverain.com/index.cfm). According to Patch.com, “Varga said he came to the U.S. in 1988, picking Healdsburg as home because he wanted to establish himself as a winemaker.” However, the exact nature of his employment — as well the degree that qualified him to work at these wineries — has recently come into question (http://hungarianspectrum.wordpress.com/2012/07/23/kuruc-infos-bela-varga-of-california-and-mor/). [Bolding by MH]
As for the domain he acknowledged owning, a Budapest organization that monitors European extremism characterized (http://www.jweekly.com/article/full/66392/anti-semitic-hungarian-website-has-ties-to-healdsburg-man/) kuruc.info as “the most active hate group operating in Hungary,” adding that it regularly publishes information about Jewish people that “qualifies as hate speech and [glorifies] fascist ideas.”
It regularly targets those it refers to as Zionists, Israelis, Gypsies, and criminal immigrant elements, and frequently complains about the “so-called Hungarian Holocaust Museum, which was involved in massive embezzlement of millions of Hungarian taxpayers’ dollars.” The site also publishes material in which the gas chambers used to murder thousands of Jews are claimed to be “air defense shelters.”
Varga has never denied his connection to the site, choosing instead to qualify it. He told (http://healdsburg.patch.com/groups/politics-and-elections/p/healdsburg-shop-owner-denies-ownership-of-far-right-h9a63f39aa5) Patch.com that “I helped them out in 2008 when the government closed them down,” but denied any further involvement.
However, The Jerusalem Post discovered (http://www.jweekly.com/article/full/66392/anti-semitic-hungarian-website-has-ties-to-healdsburg-man/) that $340 of the $450 of reward money for information about protestors outside of the trial of a suspected Nazi war criminal was provided by Varga.

It was “offered by our Comrade Bela Varga who lives in America,” the piece on kuruc.info read, before wishing potential beneficiaries “good hunting.” The Nazi war criminal in question was Laszlo Csatary, who allegedly sent 15,700 Jews to their deaths in Auschwitz and had been the number one target of the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s list of Nazi war criminals at large.
Varga was arrested in May, but posted his $250,000 bail. The warrant for his arrest was issued after he failed to appear at two subsequent hearings.
A user by the name of “Varga Béla” commented (http://budapestbeacon.com/news-in-brief/bench-warrant-issued-arrest-kuruc-info-owner-bela-varga/) on an article about the case against Béla Varga, writing that “[i]f they want to pursue this ridiculous case, they would need to apply to the Canadian government for my extradition. Which is highly unlikely to be successful [because] Canada has no extradition treaty in this regard to the US.”

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/07/16/ca-winemaker-behind-neo-nazi-website-flees-to-canada-to-escape-fbi/

Magda Hassan
07-17-2014, 03:01 AM
Kuruc.info’s Béla Varga of California and Mór Péter Szijjártó received the fancy title of undersecretary in charge of international communication, but in fact he was demoted. János Lázár, the man Viktor Orbán moved from his positions as mayor of Hódmezővásárhely and leader of the Fidesz parliamentary caucus, became chief of staff in the prime minister’s office, and he immediately decided to do a thorough spring cleaning. Lázár obviously convinced Orbán that Szijjártó, who is the object of ridicule at home, should be let go. Unfortunately, I don’t think that sending him all over the world will do much for his or the country’s reputation.
Szijjártó began his foreign trips by visiting Washington for two or three days. He talked (http://atv.hu/cikk/20120723_zuroff_parhuzam_a_mai_magyar_szelsosegese k_es_a_haborus_bunosok_kozt) to some people in the State Department and met some of the “most important Jewish leaders” in the United States. He asked them to lend a helping hand to silence kuruc.info, the notorious anti-semitic site that uses a server in the United States. As we discussed (http://hungarianspectrum.wordpress.com/2012/07/05/laszlo-bartus-a-couple-of-slaps-in-the-face-nepszava/#comments) at length on July 5 and after, and as László Bartus wrote in Népszava, although the server–Cloudfare as some of our readers discovered–operates from the United States, kuruc.info is edited and published in Budapest. The problem must be remedied in Hungary. Especially as there is a strong possibility that one of kuruc.info’s benefactors, Béla Varga, a winemaker in California, also has a winery in Mór, Hungary.
Varga’s name was widely circulated in 2010 when Tamás Bodoky, an investigative journalist, reported (http://hirszerzo.hu/hirek/2010/12/6/20101206_kuruc_info_milliok_feketen) on the financial dealings of kuruc.info and discovered that the advertisers receive no receipts and that the fees must be paid either in U.S. dollars to the bank account of Béla Varga or delivered as cash in a sealed envelope and given to an employee of Turania, a small shop in District VI. These financial transactions are clearly in violation of the tax laws in both Hungary and in United States.
Why do I write about this particular case today? Because Béla Varga’s name cropped up again, this time in connection with the flashmob organized in front of the house of László Csatáry, who is being investigated for war crimes. A day after the event kuruc.info called on (http://kuruc.info/r/2/98812/) its readers to identify the members of the group who took part in the demonstration. The editors proudly announced that they already managed to learn the identity of “seven anti-Hungarian Jews,” adding that “those who manage to send the most usable data will receive 100,000 forints, 75,000 of which was donated by our brother-in-arms Béla Varga, who lives in the United States.”
Pusztaranger, the excellent German-language blog, also reported (http://pusztaranger.wordpress.com/2012/07/22/3326/) on the case. According to the Ranger, within 48 hours 93,000 people read kuruc.info and managed to identify most of the participants. Since then the participants have been harassed on the Internet and by telephone. The Ranger collected a large amount of material on Varga from earlier Hungarian sources, adding some research of his own.
I was intrigued and decided to learn a little more about this Béla Varga. I discovered among other things that the self-portrait Mr. Varga provides in the United States has little resemblance to reality.
First, I couldn’t quite believe that Béla Varga of Napa Valley, California, is the same person as Béla Varga of Mór. Their life stories were so radically different. Let’s start with the Californian Varga. Varga is hailed in wine circles as a very talented winemaker who between 1999 and 2007 was the head of the operations of Claar Cellars (http://www.vintners.net/wawine/claar/). He is described as “a Hungarian by birth who received his Masters Degree in Enology and Viticulture from Budapest University.” In 2007 he changed jobs. He was hired as the winemaker of Callaway Vineyard&Winery. In the press release he is described as someone “with stellar winemaking credentials.” From the press release we find out that he received his M.S. from Budapest University in 1988, the same year he climbed “over the Iron Curtain and scaled barbed wire fences to leave leave his native country. He ended up in Canada where he worked for eight years as winemaker for Vincor, Canada’s largest producer and marketer of wine and related products.”
We also learn from the press release that Béla Varga is a talented jazz pianist. “At the young age of five, Varga began playing the piano by ear and was immediately enrolled in music education schools. He graduated from the Budapest Jazz Conservatory in 1985 and has played with Moe Koffman, Maynard Ferguson and Pat Metheny.”
http://hungarianspectrum.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/varga-bela1.jpg?w=620 (http://hungarianspectrum.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/varga-bela1.jpg)Béla Varga of California

One doesn’t have to go any farther to know that something is not quite right with the information Varga provided to his new employers at Gallaway Vineyard&Winery. Although it is true that graduates of ELTE (Eötvös Loránd Tudományegyetem) often try to simplify the name of the university and call it simply University of Budapest, ELTE has no Department of Enology and Viticulture. There is such a department at Gödöllő Agrártudományi Egyetem (nowadays called Szent István Egyetem, Gödöllő). Then I began to look for the Budapest Jazz Conservatory, but the only thing I came up with was the Egressy Béni Zeneművészeti Szakközépiskola és Gimnázium. There they teach jazz, but the trouble is that this high school opened its doors only in 2002 and the first students of the school graduated only in 2006. There is also the problem of climbing over the barbed wire between Austria and Hungary. By then the barbwire fence was mostly gone. Moreover, by then Hungarians could travel freely to the West. Our man most likely simply decided to stay behind.
http://hungarianspectrum.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/varga-bela2.jpg?w=620 (http://hungarianspectrum.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/varga-bela2.jpg)Béla Varga of Mór

Now let’s see the bio of Béla Varga of Mór where he is the owner of Varga és Fia Pincészet. His own father was already a vintner in the Balaton region. Our man claims that he began learning the ins and outs of winemaking in the Élelmiszeripari Szakközépiskola (a high school specializing in the food industry). His schooling entitled him to the title of “technician” and he worked as such at the Badacsonyvidéki Pincegazdaság in Ászár for a year and a half. After serving two years in the army in 1978, he got a job at the Móri Állami Gazdaság.
At this point Varga resorts to some verbal tricks to conceal the fact that in 1988 he left Hungary and asked for political asylum in Canada. So, if he spent nine years with the vineyards of Mór, he must have left the state company in 1987-88. However, he continues by saying that in 2000 “after the Móri Állami Gazdaság was liquidated” he and his son started a winery of their own on 20-30 hectars. There is a problem here. The Móri Állami Gazdaság was liquidated (http://hu.wikipedia.org/wiki/M%C3%B3ri_borvid%C3%A9k) in 1990 and not in 2000. Thus, through clever wording Béla Varga’s and his son Máté’s trip to Canada and later to the United States is simply covered up.
The huge difference in the accomplishments of the two Béla Vargas confused me. No, I said, that cannot be the same man. After all, the name Varga is very common. Moreover, I found another Béla Varga who was also a vintner who is an export manager of the Tokaj Kereskedőház. But then I compared the two pictures, one given (http://kurucwanted.blogspot.de/2008/09/blog-post_7468.html)on a site that devoted considerable energy to uncovering the editors of kuruc.info and the other one that was included (http://gentleman.hu/top100/VARGA-BELA-170) in a list of the top 100 vintners in Hungary. There is no doubt there is only one Béla Varga whose Hungarian vineyard is most likely managed by his son, Máté.
Apparently, the Budapest Chief Prosecutors’ Office is investigating the case. I suggest that they pay a visit to Mór to Varga és Fia Pincészet. One doesn’t have to talk to the American authorities or travel to Napa Valley, California. At the same time perhaps the Internal Revenue Service might be interested in Béla Varga’s tax returns.
http://hungarianspectrum.wordpress.com/2012/07/23/kuruc-infos-bela-varga-of-california-and-mor/

Magda Hassan
07-17-2014, 04:42 AM
'Revolutionary' Money Factory 2010-12-05
The most influential national extremist site operated by the Hungarian hate group kuruc.info claims that it „makes revolution”, but according to Athena Institute investigations, the operators of the website are also interested in the millions of tax-evading revenue that their activities generate. The Athena Institute mapped the financial operation of the kuruc.info hate group.
At present, kuruc.info is the most active hate group operating in Hungary. Its main focus is the propaganda activities carried out on the group's internet site that it labels
 as a 'news portal'. On their website, the group continually publishes offensive statements about certain Hungarian communities (mostly the Roma, the Jewish and
 the LGBT communities) which often qualifies as hate speech and glorify fascist ideas. The group was very active in coordinating extremist activities during the 2006 riots in
 Budapest, many times violating the law by for example making personal data of judges, prosecutors, police personnel public on their site and often called for its 
supporters to make harassing calls to them.

(The then commander of the Hungarian riot police is asked for pardon from the 
victims of the police overreaction against innocent demonstrators and the Chairman of the Budapest Metropolitan Court also asked for pardon from those who were taken 
into custody because of the futile work of the Court. This however did not legitimize the often unlawful activities carried out by the hate group.)
Kuruc.info also played a decisive role in propagating the concept of 'gypsy criminality' in the Hungarian public domain. The concept is based on the ideology of racist 
extremism as it defines criminality on an ethnic basis stating that a member of the Hungarian Roma community is more likely to carry out criminal activities than others
living in the country. The hate group defines itself as a kind of “resistance movement” and as such it does not consider Hungarian law obligatory when it comes to its own
acts.
Under its current name, the portal started in 2006, before it was run under the 
domain – and name – www.kettosallampolgarsag.hu ('Dual Citizenship'). As a consequence of the ensuing conflicts with the Magyar Hírforrás Portál internet 
service provider company that provided its servers to host the website, the group moved the site to hosts in the United States. That time 'editors' and 'writers' of the
site were identified by their real names, just as Mr. Balazs Molnar was who claimed responsibility for the activities related to the publication as its 'editor-in-chief' –
against whom the Hungarian Prosecution Service raised charges soon after the site published personal data – including cell phone numbers and home addresses – of 
judges, prosecutors and police personnel involved in the proceedings related to the2006 riots.
In 2008, the Hungarian Government contacted U.S. authorities and citing regulations of the Homeland Security Act they ask for the closure of the site. The U.S.
Government declined the request as in its view the activities of the website were legal and protected by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Subsequently, the Hungarian Government in concert with the then U.S. Ambassador to Budapest launched an effort to reach out to individual internet service providers in the U.S. and
ask them informally to halt the website. As a result, the website briefly became unreachable, but in 2008 kuruc.info found a host company who declined the repeated requests and provided the hate group with the necessary web hosting services.
'INVITATION ONLY'
Since the above incidents, the website is operated under false identities, its 'editors' and 'writers' work in a highly conspired, secretive way. Those with alleged ties to the 
hate group deny any such relationship, moreover, they usually initiate lawsuits on the basis of libel.
While trying to learn more about the way the group operates, we contacted some former and present day 'editors' and authors. Most of them denied their involvement
 and denied further communication with us, but some of them shared their experiences strictly on the condition of anonymity. During these discussions, it 
became clear that the 'editors' are the core members of the group and selected on an 'invitation only basis'. Each day one of them is responsible for managing the
 operation: keeping contact with 'writers' and editing the site.
The invited 'writers' get a password via e-mail and with this, they can use the 
editorial-administrative interface of the website, post their writings. Then acting as a supervisor, the 'editor' by confirming the piece makes it available on the website.
 Recruitment of 'writers' is carried out by the 'editorial' team, 3-4 core members of the organization protected by the use of different aliases. Recruits are selected mainly
 from the wider circles of far-right, extremist organizations who are usually not paid for their work. There are no any direct personal contacts between the 'writers' and the
 'editors' – because of the use of aliases, only core members of the hate group know the real identity of all participants, thus the group operates in a highly centralized way.
During our discussions, former 'editors' of kuruc.info – including the extremist
blogger, Mr. Tamás 'Tomcat' Polgár who was willing to speak with us on the record – identified Mr. Balázs Molnár, Mr. Roland Kürk and Mr. Előd Novák (who recently 
gained a seat in the Hungarian Parliament as a representative of the Jobbik Party) as current 'editors' of the propaganda site. Those mentioned previously denied any 
involvement when, in 2008, a blog (partizaninfo.blogspot.com) that identified itself as an antifascist site published this information – as well as personal data of those 
mentioned (thus by violating the law itself).
Later, Mr. Péter Gusztos, then Member of the Parliament representing the Free
Democrats, in one of his speeches held in the Parliament in May 2009, also identified Mr. Balázs, Mr. Kürk and Mr. Novák as the 'editors' of kuruc.info. Mr. Gusztos also 
inquired from the Minister of Justice why the hate group was held accountable. Gusztos also mentioned that paid advertisements appear regularly on the site, thus 
advertisers were seemingly able to contact members of group without the means available for the police or for the intelligence community.
'PILES OF MONEY IN SHOPPING BAGS'
The financial operation behind the kuruc.info raises several questions. It’s obvious 
that the organization does not have a legally registered entity neither in Hungary, nor in the United State. Accordingly, it does not pay taxes after the revenue it generates.
According to our sources, the group that operates the website already built up an 'informal' system to carry out financial operations in 2006 that is well-functioning ever 
since then. Mr. Tamás Polgár – who was involved as one of the 'editors' of kuruc.info for a brief period in 2006 – also took part personally in transactions related to money 
circulation that mainly came from donation campaigns initiated by the group and selling advertisements. He stated for the Athena Institute that he himself took over
payments in his own shop and said that sympathizers 'brought in piles of money in shopping bags'.
In 2006, only Mr. Polgár took over 5 million Hungarian forints for kuruc.info, which according to his statement served the payment of the editors exclusively – ensuring 
them a half-a-million forints 'tax-free' monthly salary. Meanwhile the 'writers' receive salary rarely or not at all, they work for the website because of a “sense of duty”.
They consider kuruc.info the most influential publication of the Hungarian extreme-right.
Kuruc.info has never disclosed the amount of money they raised during their 
fundraising campaigns or the revenue generated by selling space for advertisements, not to mention information about how they spent the money. Only the leaders of the
group can have relevant information. On the other hand, while the ongoing financial operation of kuruc.info is carried out for years, there is no information on any 
investigations initiated by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service or the Hungarian Tax and Financial Control Administration – in contrast to the fact that tax evasion is 
evident.
Previously, the website published only unverifiable information about the number of
its visitors, but since June, 2010, the widely acknowledged Hungarian webaudit company (Medián Webaudit Ltd.) started to measure its readership. According to 
their surveys the portal has an. approximate number of 50 to 100 thousand visitors a day. We have contacted the company to ask who or what kind of organization 
ordered their service on behalf of kuruc.info, but they refused to provide any information citing their obligation to “keep commercial secrets”.
'FOR RÉKA JUHÁSZ IN A CLOSED ENVELOPE'
In order to verify the information provided by our sources, we created a fictitious 
character, Mr. Zsombor Varga- Kovács, a 67 years old wood-carver. Using Google picture searcher, we have chosen a Székely-gate picture, placed our 'offer' on it and 
contacted the person who is in charge of advertisements at the kuruc.info via email.

http://vimeo.com/17493877

The first reply we received was signed by “Szabolcs Jeney”. In it we were told that 
the organization is unable to provide us with an invoice and that “this is the reason of the low advertisement price”. As advised on the site, we offered to pay sixty-thousand 
Hungarian forints for posting our advertisement. After this, we received another answer, this time signed by “Peter Hollik” who already re-edited our advertisement. 
To our subsequent question if there is a chance to pay the fee via bank transfer, we were told by “Mr. Hollik” to transfer the amount to a private bank account in
California, the United States. We were provided with all necessary information related to the bank transfer: the international bank account number as well as its holder's
name who was identified as Mr. Bela Varga. Mr. Varga is supposedly the Hungarian winemaker living in the United States and the same person who re-registered the
 kuruc.info domain name in the U.S. shortly after the website was closed down in April, 2008.
After all this, we wrote “Mr. Hollik” again and told him that we would rather prefer to handle the fee personally in Budapest. As part of the answer, we were given the 
address of a small shop called “Turánia” which is located in the sixth district of Budapest. “Mr. Hollik” has given us strict instructions as well: we had to deliver the 
money in a closed envelope with the name of the advertiser written on it. “Hollik” wrote that as required by the salesmen, “we should not mention in any way the name
of kuruc.info, we are only to say that »We brought a letter to Ms. Reka Juhasz« – the salesmen will know what to do”. According to the official Registry of the Court, the
shop “Turánia” is operated by Sabir Bt that was registered in 2008 by Mr. László Fekete and his wife.
We followed the instructions point by point, telling the salesman that we are the son of our fictitious character. After we handed over the envelope, we asked if “this
money is to reach kuruc.info?” and the salesman replied: “Don't worry, it will reach its destination.” Using a hidden camera, we videotaped the money-transfer, our 
advertisement can be found on the front page of the website and later our “letter of gratitude” was also displayed in its advertisement section.



Sándor Jászberényi – Tamás Bodoky
The Athena Institute
http://athenainstitute.eu/en/infocus/read/2