Craig Heimbichner, an employee of the California Department of Education
Craig Heimbichner, an employee of the California Department of Education

State education official under scrutiny for Holocaust conspiracy theories

A supervisor at the California Department of Education was placed on paid leave this week after his writings, containing what the Anti-Defamation League termed “antisemitism, offensive Holocaust theories and hate-filled conspiracies,” were brought to the agency’s attention.

A report Wednesday in the Sacramento Bee identified Craig Heimbichner, an education administrator in the charter schools division at the CDE, according to his LinkedIn page, as someone who had “trafficked in extreme conspiracy theories for more than a decade,” including that the 9/11 attacks were an “inside job” and that Holocaust memorials are “part of a deep-state plot.”

Among the writings linked to Heimbichner is a blog post dated Jan. 24, 2013 on the website Paranoia: The Conspiracy Reader. Titled “The House of Horrors,” it claims that the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. — and information that is “a staple of public education” such as “that 6 million Jews died in the ovens” — is meant “first and foremost” for “the creation and maintenance of the Israeli State for unquestioned purposes.”

The post calls Holocaust denier David Irving a “world-famous historian,” says Holocaust education omits “other holocausts” including ones committed against Germany during World War II, references a “kabbalistic two-party system” ruling the United States and calls Winston Churchill a “Freemason and Druid.”

“Only if a holocaust serves a geopolitical or occult purpose of the Cryptocracy does it gain billboard status,” the post says.

The S.F.-based regional office of the Anti-Defamation League addressed the allegations in a tweet, encouraging a full investigation.

“[The ADL] is disturbed by allegations that a [CDE] administrator has a prolific history of promoting antisemitism, offensive Holocaust theories and hate-filled conspiracies. We welcome an immediate and thorough investigation plus remedial action.”

An education administrator is a staffer with “expertise in a wide variety of education areas,” according to the CDE website, and “is the first supervisory level over professionals at the [c]onsultant and [a]ssistant levels.” Pay for such a position is reported to be between $8,051 and $10,083 per month, according to EdSource.

A CDE spokesperson told J. Friday that Heimbichner had been placed on paid administrative leave, and the agency was in the process of hiring an “outside third party” investigator to look into the incident. The spokesperson, Daniel Thigpen, described Heimbichner as having a managerial role at the CDE and said he was not involved with school curricula.

Heimbichner first joined the CDE in 2002 and left in 2006. He would later return in 2017, joining the charter schools division.

Heimbichner did not respond to a Twitter message seeking comment.

Gabe Stutman
Gabe Stutman

Gabe Stutman is the news editor of J. Follow him on Twitter @jnewsgabe.