Arb says architect’s cult claims and call for ban on holding public office brought profession into disrepute
An architect has been struck off the professional register because of a Facebook post in which he described Jewish people and Sunni Muslims as cult members and called for them to be banned from public office.
Peter Kellow made the comments on the social media forum as part of a lengthy posting in which he denied the existence of a Jewish race and called for Jews, Sunni Muslims, Freemasons and Scientologists to be subject to compulsory registration. (See box below for full transcript.)
The architect, who is a member of RIBA’s Traditional Architecture Group and stood for the RIBA Council in 2014 and 2018, was reported to the Architects Registration Board over the comments, which were made in April last year.
At a remote hearing last week the Arb’s Professional Conduct Committee ruled that Toulouse-based Kellow’s discriminatory comments had the potential to cause offence and brought both the architect and the profession into disrepute.
Kellow admitted making the post, but denied its contents were inappropriate, racist or antisemitic. He also argued that the posting was for discussion among “limited Facebook friends” and that there was no explicit link to the architecture profession.
The PCC’s decision transcript said Kellow argued he was “the subject of a witch hunt” by the Royal Institute of British Architects and the Arb, and that the remit of the Architects Act 1997 and the Architects Code did not cover the personal life of professionals.
The PCC said that while the right to freedom of speech allowed individuals to make comments that others may find controversial or offensive, the comments – which Kellow stood by – were “discriminatory, potentially offensive and are therefore inappropriate”.
It concluded: “The committee finds that his conduct in making discriminatory comments about Jews and others have the potential to cause offence and brings both himself and the profession into disrepute in breach of Standard 9 of the Code. The Committee also finds that by acting as found proved, the respondent acted in breach of Standard 12.”
In its decision transcript, the PCC said Kellow had stated that his conduct was not inappropriate. “He emphasised the need to speak the truth about the origins of Judaism and stated that, in a democratic society, people will get upset,” the transcript said.
“He submitted that it was absurd to suggest that Jews were united by a gene pool and that most Jews know this anyway. It was wrong, he submitted, to suppress the truth for fear of being disciplined by one’s regulator. He emphasised the need for real debate about the truth. He did not regret the posting and would not say that he would distance himself from it.”
In mitigation, the PCC noted that Kellow had reflected on the use of the word “cult” in his posting and said he would not use it with hindsight. The PCC added that Kellow did not have any adverse regulatory findings in his 47-year career and that there was no evidence he had discriminated against any of his clients.
Kellow will be entitled to apply to rejoin the Architects Register in two years’ time, but will have to demonstrate that he is fit to do so.
Peter Kellow’s post in full:
’This business of “anti-semiticism” [sic] in the Labour party which is held up as racism. What is it all about really? Let us get a few thing [sic] straight. There is no such thing as the Jewish race. This is one of the many stunts that Judaists have pulled on non-Judaists who have swallowed it whole. There is only the religion/cult of Judaism and I never use the word “Jew” because that implies buying into the myth of racial commonality amoungst [sic] Judaists. The idea that members of Judaism throughout the world share a 3000 year old gene pool is plainly nonsense. II [sic] you look at their history just up to O AD there was plenty of racial mixing of the people called the “Jews” – not to mention the fact that they claim to originate from twelve tribes!! A DNA study of the population of Israel showed the Israelis to be mainly of Euroopean [sic] stock which is what you would expect. There is no doubt that Judaists have suffered from unfair and cruel treatment at many times in history but this was never racially motivated until the late nineteenth century and bloomed in the ideology of Adolf Hitler. Hitler used the myth of a Jewish race that the Judaists had invented against them. It is not far from the truth to say the Judaists were the inventers of European racism for they asserted they were racially different to the rest of us. Judaists have got themselves into a lot of trouble thougout [sic] history being subject to pogroms, ghettos and expulsions. I am not saying this was justified, but why do we see this consistent pattern? The Judaist myth makers would have it that this was racism. But racism as I have said is a recent phenomenon. Are the so-called “anti-semites” [sic] in the Labour Party simply “racists” as the popular narrative would have it? I doubt it. The problem people have and always have had with Judaism is not about race. It is because Judaism is a cult. What do I mean by a cult? A cult is a set of people, normally norminally [sic] unified by a religion or quasi-religion, who try to create a society within the general society. Judaism is far from being the only or even the most resented cult in history or the present.
Freemasonry is an obvious example and the suspicions that people feel towards it parallel closely those that some people feel towards Judaism. Mormonism, Scientology, and paganism are also cults. I would also include Sunni Islam in this list. Cults work against the interest of the general society as its members, in subscribing to a society within the society favour each other over the rest of us. This naturally creates resentment and suspicion. How can you trust such people? The liberal elite who rule us like cults as cults aid one of their central objectives – undermining the nation. So Freemasons, Judaists and Sunni Muslims become there [sic] natural bedfellows. Crucially liberals insist that these cults should be treated exactly the same as everyone else and any objection to this policy is anti-freedom or racist. So how should society deal with cults? How should society deal with people who through their cult activity weaken the bonds that the society needs to function well? First of all there is no question of banning them. I believe in freedom for the individual as a fundamental ideal and so if someone wishes to belong to a cult like Judaism or Freemasonry they must be free to do. But we must put restraints on their ability to create a society within a society. The main ones should be as follows
1. Registration of the cult in a public register
2. Registration of all adult members in a public register
3. No cult member can hold an important public office where they are in a position to descrimiate [sic] between cult members and non-cult members. For instance it is totally unacceptable lo have a Freemason or Judaist as a judge as their decisions will very like work in favour of fellow cult members. Their strong bond in their society within the society will ensure this
4. Whereas adults are free to choose to belong to a cult, the same cannot reply [sic] to their children. The assumption that the children of cult members will be ”born into” the cult is not acceptable in a civilised society. To this end, no cult can run its own “faith” schools
5. It must be against the law to wear cult clothing in public – except something worn on the top of the head like a hat [eg Sikh turbans or Judaist skull caps]. However, penalties will only be applied when a separate law [such as a driving evidence or bank robbery] is violated. We cannot have the police arresting people in the street for their clothing. Many will cry “attack on freedom” in the face of this new law but it is the opposite. It means cult members will not feel obliged to wear cult clothing in the street and in this way will be freer. The wives of Sunni men are an obvious example
As I mentioned, cults have become a flashpoint in the conflict between liberals and pro-nation sovereignists [sic] and so this is far from being a marginal issue. We must not hand the racist card to liberals when we criticise the activities of cults. By implementing sensible cult legislation [such as France already has] we can contain the problems of societies within our society and grant appropriate freedom to cult members”.
(Reproduced from the PCC decision transcript)