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''  College in Boston to Offer Course Examining Internet Hate Group Recruitment

A professor at Emerson College in Boston has designed a course which will look at web sites which depict slain gays in hell, among other things.

Called ',' the course will be taught by Robert Hilliard, a communications professor.  Students have already begun registering for the administration-approved course to be offered in the fall.

Prof. Hilliard told the Associated Press that he and Boston College professor Michael Keith became interested in extremists after coming across a far-right talk radio show.

"We began to listen and we said, 'Here we were, communications professionals, and we didn't know about these people,'" Prof. Hilliard said.  "People have got to know what these people are saying," he added.

The course plans to invite people who are behind some of these sites to defend themselves in front of the students.
The two got together and wrote a book on the topic which was placed on President Clinton's reading list:  Waves of Rancor:  Tuning in the Radical Right.

The class will examine how groups target impressionable youth, how they multiply and how they foment rage.

And there is no lack of sites to study, either.  Watchdog group Southern Poverty Law Centre reports more than 300 sites exist - ranging from those of neo-Nazi alliances to Holocaust deniers.  And yes, gay and lesbian haters, too.

The Centre reports their numbers are increasing.  In 1997 it counted 163, in 1998, 254.

The course in Boston plans to invite people who are behind some of these sites to defend themselves in front of the students.  Although Prof. Hilliard said he's not calling for the sites' removal, and acknowledges their First Amendment rights, he told the AP he makes no bones about his hopes that students work to combat them.

"These are people saying, 'We must arm ourselves for a holy war to rid the world of those who are not white, Aryan Christians or those who disagree with our points of view,'" he said.