ZIONSVILLE, Ind. — A doctor running for a seat on the Zionsville school board has stirred up controversy and invoked a string of backlash after defending Nazis in a series of comments online and labeling all those appalled by his words as “haters.”
Dr. Matt Keefer, who states he runs against “wokeness” and “indoctrination” in schools, stated in a Facebook comment that, “All Nazis weren’t ‘bad’,” when responding to a question about his definition of indoctrination.
Keefer was asked if he considered teachers educating students on the Tulsa Massacre, or being taught that Nazis were bad, would be considered indoctrination by him.
Keefer responded by stating: “All Nazis weren’t ‘bad’ as you specify. They did horrible things. They were in a group frenzy.”
Many began responding disgusted with Keefer’s comment and called upon him to explain his stance. Keefer stood by his take, however, stating that “there were certainly evil Nazis. There were also good people that had to be Nazis.”
Keefer also defended his stance by invoking “mass formation psychosis”, an unfounded theory that gained attention after being floated on “The Joe Rogan Experience” podcast by Dr. Robert Malone. Many COVID-19 conspiracists have used the term to suggest that millions of people have been “hypnotized” into believing mainstream ideas about COVID-19.
Malone also used the theory to explain Nazi Germany while on Joe Rogan’s podcast, much as Keefer did.
Psychology experts say the concept isn’t supported by evidence, however, and similar theories have long been discredited.
“No respectable psychologist agrees with these ideas now,” said John Drury, a social psychologist at the University of Sussex who studies collective behavior.
Outrage over Keefer’s comments has continued to spread with parents of Zionsville students reaching out to the media to express their disgust or uneasiness with Keefer making said comments as a candidate for the ZCS School Board.
In the wake of the outrage, Keefer posted a status update in which he labeled those appalled by his comments defending Nazis and pushing an unfounded theory as “leftists” and “mean spirited haters.”
“I know haters gotta hate,” he wrote, “so please continue spewing your taunts. I’m only getting stronger in the community!”
After reaching out to Keefer to see if he would speak on his statements, many of his comments and posts — including those shown in this article — were deleted from his Facebook.
Keefer did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Instead, he posted a Facebook update stating he was preparing a response to the “misinterpretation” of his remarks.
Several hours later, Keefer posted a long message where he doubled down on his stance and affirmed his belief that he was “correct” in saying that not all Nazis were bad. He stated he was not a Nazi sympathizer, however, and “never will be.”
FOX59 has reached out to members of the ZCS School Board along with current candidates running for seats in the upcoming election against Keefer.
Debbie Ungar, president of the Zionsville Community Schools Board of Trustees, responded on behalf of the school board stating:
Recent remarks by a candidate for Zionsville Community School’s board of trustees do not reflect the values of our school community or the communities that we serve. Our goal is to ensure that we have a school district where everyone feels that they belong and are valued.
This situation shows once again how important it is for all voters to learn about their local school board candidates and ensure that they truly have the best interest of students, teachers and community members in mind.Debbie Ungar
Zionsville school board candidate Tim Hardt responded with the following statement:
“I’ve not spoken with Matt. I’ve publicly supported his opponent Sarah Sampson in that race and I continue to support Sarah. I’m sure you will speak with him directly but, to me, the comments are troubling. There is no need to equivocate when it comes to the Nazi party-they were evil. Further, there were good people who refused to join with the evil-some paying for their conviction with their freedom and their lives.”Tim Hardt
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.