Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary

Newly elected Selectman Doug Bersaw is a leading member of the Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

RICHMOND — Voters picked Doug Bersaw, a member of the Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and author of anti-Semitic talks, to serve on the town’s select board.

Bersaw won the seat on Tuesday 156 to 139, beating out “Marcus” Mark Beauregard for a three-year term. Bersaw was appointed to the board last year after Selectman Christin Daugherty stepped down.

Bersaw, who in the past has used the name Brother Anthony Mary, is quoted in a 2004 Boston Globe article as saying “there’s a lot of controversy among people who study the so-called Holocaust. There’s a misperception that Hitler had a position to kill all the Jews. It’s a fraud. Six million people — it didn’t occur.”

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, which lists the Slaves as an anti-Semitic and homophobic hate group, Bersaw said in one of his speeches that the “Jewish nation” was “the perpetual enemy of Christ” and that the Virgin Mary had threatened the Jews with “blood and terror if it’s required.”

The Slaves are currently under sanctions imposed by Roman Catholic Church, with the Vatican issuing a letter in January barring the Slaves as a group from calling themselves Catholic, prohibiting Mass from being celebrated on their property, and prohibiting faithful Catholics from attending any services on their Fay Martin Road compound.

The group has until this summer to comply with a host of demands from Rome.