With the Institute for Historical Review (1980-1986)
Smith says that by 1980, a year after he had first encountered Holocaust denial, he had contacted the Southern California-based Institute for Historical Review (IHR), then the major Holocaust denial organization in the United States. He had “regular contact” with David McCalden, who was then IHR's director. He also developed a relationship with IHR's founder, the notorious anti-Semitic propagandist Willis Carto; Smith says Carto sent him to Canada in 1984 to cover the trial of Holocaust denier Ernst Zundel for The Spotlight, the weekly tabloid of Carto's Liberty Lobby.
Smith's relationship with IHR entered a new, more substantive phase in July of 1984. At the time, Smith claims, IHR was prepared to publish his first completed manuscript, entitled “The Holocaust Cult and the Suppression of Free Inquiry: An Autobiographical Narrative.” Although an arson attack on IHR's building that month apparently caused the Institute to indefinitely divert its attention from Smith's manuscript, Smith's enthusiasm for the IHR and Holocaust denial only grew. He immediately began working on his next manuscript, which he later published as “Confessions of a Holocaust Revisionist.” He also offered the IHR his services as “public spokesperson.” The result of this offer was the creation of Prima Facie, a monthly newsletter written by Smith and funded by IHR.
In Prima Facie, Smith aimed to inform the press and the media about what he described as the censorship and suppression of free inquiry commonly used to promote belief in the Holocaust. In a mimeographed letter that accompanied Prima Facie's first issue, Smith explained that the newsletter would inform about “fraudulent documents, and the dishonest manipulation of authentic documents, used to substantiate the ‘gas chamber’ thesis,” “acts of suppression and censorship used to prevent critical examination of the ‘gas chamber’ thesis,” and “the intimidation and slander used by such organizations as the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith, and the Simon Wiesenthal Center, to silence Holocaust revisionists.”
The first issue of Prima Facie was published in October 1984, and according to Smith was sent to approximately 4000 journalists in editors in major media markets.
Smith was able to produce seven issues of Prima Facie before budget constraints at the IHR forced the cancellation of the venture. He also served as editor of the IHR Newsletter for five issues, and continued as a contributing editor for some time.
In January of 1986, Smith became the first director of the IHR Radio Project, which soon came to be called the Media Project. Its goal was to disseminate Holocaust denial propaganda by soliciting the producers of radio and television talk shows to interview a ‘revisionist’ — almost always Smith himself, but occasionally other prominent American Holocaust deniers such as Mark Weber, David Cole or Tom Marcellus. After a failed attempt at provoking discussion about the landmark documentary Shoah – which he described as a “fraudulent film” – Smith promoted a critique of “the Dachau gas chamber hoax, the Jews-made-into-soap hoax and the Elie Wiesel hoax about how Jewish cadavers are supposed to be able to spurt ‘geysers of blood’ from their graves.” By 1993, IHR was claiming that Smith had appeared on “more than three hundred” radio and television shows.
For reasons unclear, in 1993 the IHR ceased referring to Smith as the director of its Media Project and stopped including updates on the Media Project in its publications. At the time, IHR was embroiled in a costly lawsuit with its founder, Willis Carto, whom the board of directors had recently ousted. Deprived of Carto's financial resources, IHR might have been forced to cancel the Media Project due to a lack of funds. Although Smith has not held any other official positions in IHR, he has continued playing important roles in IHR's revisionist conferences.