Update 4/20/2019: On April 18, the Haralson County Sheriff’s Department backtracked on its earlier support and clearing of racist Trent East and have re-started an investigation. The Alabama National Guard is also investigating East, while Georgia National Guard is investigating Dalton Woodward.
Update 4/17/2019: Haralson County Sheriff Eddie Mixon is defending his white nationalist employee Trent East. Read our statement here.
A small whites-only, heathen “kindred” includes a jailer with the Haralson County Sheriff’s Office in Georgia, as well as an active-duty member of the Army National Guard currently stationed in Afghanistan. The “Ravensblood Kindred” is affiliated with the Asatru Folk Assembly (AFA), a Germanic neopagan/“heathen” organization which refuses membership to people of color but embraces the far-Right and organized racists. By “heathen,” we mean worshippers of the pre-Christian gods of Germanic Europe. Many heathens are anti-racist. However, the AFA states that its gods are for white people only. The Southern Poverty Law Center’s anti-extremist Intelligence Project lists the AFA as a “hate group” due to the AFA’s insistence on racial purity and its unapologetic ties to white nationalism.
The small Ravensblood Kindred – it began with three members – is even more clearly political than other AFA groups. Ravensblood Kindred describes itself as having an “alt-right agenda”, supported white power leader Richard Spencer when he gave a talk at Auburn University in 2017, and circulates “white genocide” and anti-immigrant propaganda. Ravensblood leaders Brandon Trent East – a jailer in Haralson County, Georgia – and Dalton Russell Woodward – currently in Afghanistan with the Army National Guard – are both also connected to the Wotan Network, an explicitly white nationalist project which operates parallel to the AFA. East and Woodward’s social media accounts reveal that both are deeply immersed in white power and neo-fascist circles.
Ravensblood Kindred was founded in 2015. Its three initial members were Dalton Woodward, Karen Ann Bevis (now Karen Woodward) and Trent East. All three attended Cedartown High School in Georgia, with Dalton Woodward and Trent East both going to Jacksonville State University in Alabama. From the beginning, Ravensblood Kindred has been part of the “folkish” (i.e. racist) wing of heathenism. A September 2016 post on the Kindred’s Facebook page stated that they were “well on our way to becoming an official AFA kindred.” The Kindred appears to have been formally accepted as part of AFA soon afterward and is currently listed on the AFA website.
Ravensblood Kindred became integrated within the AFA through networking, gradually getting to know other members and its leadership. Attending larger AFA gatherings was an important part of this process. Although Ravensblood mentioned a “moot” with another heathen kindred in 2015, their first major gathering with the AFA appears to have been the Assembly’s “Ostara in the South” event in April 2016. That 2016 event is important for two reasons. First, the AFA hosted Henrik Palmgren – the founder of Red Ice, described as one of “the racist alt-right’s leading voices on the internet” – at this gathering. By hosting Palmgren, the AFA further highlighted its deep ties to organized white nationalism. In addition, “Ostara in the South” 2016 was AFA’s last major gathering with its founder Stephen McNallen as official leader of the organization, since McNallen announced that he would step down as Alsherjargothi the following month. On Facebook, Ravensblood Kindred thrilled at having met McNallen at the gathering. McNallen is still revered by many members of AFA, and he maintains honorary authority as the Alliance’s founder and leader for over two decades.
Ravensblood Kindred’s Facebook page is clearly both far-Right and white nationalist. Predictably, the Kindred provides a disclaimer that they do not hate anyone, just “love to see healthy white families and beautiful white children.” The Kindred’s Facebook page displayed the “Schwarze Sonne”/Black Sun design which has been adopted by neo-Nazis and the far-Right – this symbol was recently featured on the gear of a mass murderer as he slaughtered fifty people at Christchurch, New Zealand mosques. (This Black Sun image was deleted from the Ravensblood Kindred’s Facebook page in early April 2019; it is unclear whether Facebook or the Kindred is responsible for the deletion.)
Ravensblood Kindred shares far-Right and white nationalist propaganda. For example, its Facebook page shared a video from the “Way of the World” YouTube channel titled “Celebrating White Genocide on the BBC”. The video’s title refers to the far-Right conspiracy theory that white people are facing “genocide” under the guise of multiculturalism. The “Way of the World” YouTube video proclaimed that “Diversity is a farce” and demanded that Somalian immigrants in the UK “go home where their own indolence and ineptitude are no one else’s problem but their own.” In addition to this racist propaganda, Ravensblood Kindred also shared posts by “Angry White Girl” – a white nationalist Facebook page – and pointed its audience to other far-Right sources.
In 2016, the Ravensblood Kindred responded to terrorist attacks in Belgium and France with agitation against refugees and Muslims in general. Responding to the Brussels bombings of March 2016, Ravensblood Kindred conflated refugees and terrorists, sharing an image stating: “Refugee Today Terrorist Tomorrow” and blaming the attack on the “refugee crisis”. Months later, after a vehicular attack which killed dozens in Nice, France, a post written by Dalton Woodward on the Kindred’s page stated:
“This is genocide in the modern age. I hate to say it, but in my mind there is no possibility that the attacker is anything but an Islamic extremist. […] I read a few days ago that one more attack or rape outbreak in France would spark a civil war, that the right wing would rise and crush the globalists in power. It’s time for that war, it’s time for action. […] We need to say we won’t tolerate our genocide any longer.”
Not only does Woodward suggest that Muslims have a special proclivity toward rape, but he portrays terror attacks as part of a plan of “genocide” with the “globalists in power” responsible. Woodward appears to be referring to the “white genocide” narrative, with events interpreted as part of a conspiracy by “globalists” determined to undermine the white race.
Ravensblood Kindred celebrated the “Battle of Berkeley” in California, April 2017, which AFA founder McNallen and AFA’s current leader Matt Flavel attended. At this event – a so-called “Free Speech” rally held by alt-Right, “alt-lite” and militia sympathizers – far-Right streetfighters fought with anti-fascist and anti-racist counter-protesters. While the tide would eventually turn in Berkeley, the far-Right was able to claim the streets on April 15, 2017 despite resistance from anti-fascists and anti-racists. Trent East, speaking for the Ravensblood Kindred on its Facebook page, stated that they were proud of Flavel’s involvement in the California street battles, ending the statement with the Nazi salute “Hail victory!”
Just a few days after the events in Berkeley, Dalton Woodward and Trent East represented Ravensblood Kindred when white power leader Richard Spencer gave a talk at Auburn University in Alabama. East and Woodward attended this event not as curiosity-seekers but as endorsers of the racist leader’s message. Both were photographed outside the event holding signs making their allegiances clear. In addition, both Woodward and East left the venue as part of a bloc of white nationalists, separate from the media, students, and curiosity-seekers who went inside to hear Spencer. Writing about the event on the Ravensblood Kindred’s Facebook page, East referred to Ryan King – an Alabama member of the white nationalist/Southern secessionist League of the South – as one of “our guys”. Again, East included the Nazi salute “Hail victory!” at the end of his post for the Kindred.
In 2018, Ravensblood Kindred formally inducted Joshua Lee Gilliam of Alabama as a full member. Gilliam is a neo-Nazi, as he loudly broadcasts on social media. For example, one of Gilliam’s Instagram accounts features an image of a young woman leaving flowers in front of a portrait of Adolf Hitler. Another Instagram post features a picture of American Nazi Party founder Georgie Lincoln Rockwell. At the time of writing, Joshua Gilliam appears to have moved toward a Hindu-influenced form of Esoteric Nazism.
Having discussed Ravensblood Kindred in general, we will now provide further information on Haralson County Sheriff Department employee Trent East and active-duty National Guardsman Dalton Woodward.
Brandon Trent East – who goes by “Trent East” – lists his employment on Facebook as a Detention Officer with the Haralson County Sheriff’s Department in northwest Georgia. East also shared a picture of himself in a Sheriff’s Department uniform.
Prior to working as a jailer in Haralson County, East was a security guard with G4S USA. Before that again, East was an infantryman with the Army National Guard. The Ravensblood Kindred’s Facebook page mentioned Trent East graduating basic training in August 2016. According to East’s Instagram account, he is part of the 4th Alabama infantry of the Alabama Army National Guard. Since Army National Guard enlistment length is eight years, East likely continues as a reserve member while working as a Detention Officer in Georgia.
Trent East does not hide his far-Right affiliations. On a Facebook photo posing with his fiancée Madison French, East used a profile picture editor to add the logo of the Nordic Resistance Movement, a neo-Nazi movement operating in several Scandinavian countries. On his Instagram page, East displayed books by 20th Century far-Right theorist Julius Evola, as well as one by Corneliu Codreanu, who led the fascist Iron Guard in Romania.
Trent East is also involved with “Operation Werewolf”, a Right-wing strength cult which the Alt-Right “Wolves of Vinland” draw recruits from. On Instagram, East displayed his Operation Werewolf back-patch and posed with other members.
Within the racist Asatru Folk Assembly, East is an “apprentice Folkbuilder” or regional contact. In addition to his role in the AFA, East supports the “Wotan Network”. The Wotan Network is a white nationalist propaganda project launched by Stephen McNallen, after McNallen retired as leader of the AFA. McNallen launched the Wotan Network in 2017, and later that year outlined the aims of the Network: an end to alleged “white genocide” and securing white homelands for white people. As well as posing with a Wotan Network shirt, East is also part of the Wotan Network’s group on Facebook.
When Trent East showed up at Auburn University to support racist leader Richard Spencer, East’s sign read: “The existance [sic] of our people is not negotiable.” This slogan was coined by Stephen McNallen, as a condensation of the “Fourteen Words” white power motto developed by terrorist David Lane. The slogan now appears on Wotan Network propaganda. (The Wotan Network was formally announced a couple of months after the Richard Spencer event at Auburn, but McNallen had already set out many of its key concepts.)
East’s Twitter account is now private. However, we were able to locate cached versions of some of East’s Twitter activity, from before he changed settings. This Twitter history further confirms East’s embrace of Alt-Right and white nationalist ideology. In addition, one of East’s accounts on Facebook has a visible friends list. One on East’s Facebook “friends” – Texas racist organizer Ken Reed of “White Lives Matter” – uses a still of the Christchurch, New Zealand mass murderer as his profile image. Trent East is also friends with Georgia neo-Nazi Ian Booton, who we have written about previously and who was active in the Traditionalist Worker Party (TWP) before its collapse. Colton Williams, another former member of the neo-Nazi TWP now active in the Legion of Saint Ambrose, is also on East’s friends list as “Cole Williams III”.
Dalton Russell Woodward – currently stationed in Afghanistan – is the Gothi (or priest/chieftain) of the Ravensblood Kindred. Like East, Woodward is thoroughly immersed in the white nationalist movement. We have already noted Woodward’s seeming endorsement of the “white genocide” conspiracy theory on Ravensblood Kindred’s Facebook page. When Woodward accompanied Trent East to support Richard Spencer at Auburn, Woodward’s sign read: “We have a right to exist.” In context, this sign seems to dog-whistle the “white genocide” conspiracy theory.
Like East, Woodward supports Stephen McNallen’s political efforts, since McNallen stepped down from formal leadership within the AFA. Woodward promoted McNallen’s YouTube channel on the Ravensblood Kindred Facebook page. McNallen uses that channel to speak on “political and social issues” and to promote “the awakening of our [white] people” – an endeavor that would soon become the Wotan Network. Like Trent East, Dalton Woodward is a member of the Wotan Network’s group on Facebook.
When McNallen released a YouTube video discussing the “profoundly spiritual struggle” for the white race, Woodward commented on this video under the alias “Salty Dalty”. Woodward stated that he and his fiancée Karen aimed to have four children once married as their contribution to the “spiritual struggle” for the white race.
Woodward also commented on the “Thulean Perspective” YouTube channel operated by black metal musician Varg Vikernes. Vikernes is perhaps best known for murdering a rival musician in the Norwegian metal scene during the ‘90s. Since his release from prison in Norway, Vikernes has been convicted in France for inciting racial hatred. Commenting on one of Vikernes’ videos, Woodward wrote that although he joined the military to “follow in the footsteps of my Aryan forefathers” and to make himself “better for my race”, Woodward now believes that enlisting was a grave “mistake”. Woodward fears that “many of my kinsmen from Basic Training will end up dying for a people not of our blood.” This comment by Woodward seems to refer to the belief – widely-accepted in the white supremacist movement – that a Jewish conspiracy controls the United States government.
Woodward’s YouTube account follows a plethora of racist and fascist projects, for example AltRight.com and the white nationalist organization Identity Evropa. It also follows explicitly neo-Nazi channels such as “Herr Wolf” and “The Impartial Truth”. Dalton Woodward’s list of “liked” YouTube videos includes songs by neo-Nazi musician Evan James McCarty AKA “Byron De La Vandal.” Woodward also liked a rant by “Morrakiu” – a regular guest on the racist and antisemitic “The Daily Shoah” podcast – concerning the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, August 2017. In this video, Morrakiu mocked a Jewish reporter for experiencing antisemitic harassment; portrayed white supremacist James Alex Fields’ murderous attack on anti-racist protesters as justifiable self-defense; described Charlottesville city government as a “n[*]g-k[*]ke bar mitzvah”; and ended with a reference to the gassing of Jewish people during the Holocaust.
Although Woodward has been careful about the comments he makes on his own Facebook page, his list of “liked” pages on Facebook tells another story. Woodward not only follows popular white nationalist pages such as This Is Europa and Red Ice, but also the Southern secessionist/white nationalist Identity Dixie. In addition, Woodward likes the “Order15” page. Order15 is a network of “ racial nationalists ” aiming to carve out a fascist “parallel society”. Another of Woodward’s liked pages, “I Acknowledge Cultural Marxism Exists”, is a blatantly antisemitic page which portrays Jewish people as behind “cultural Marxist” machinations. Woodward also likes “PaganG Imperium”, a neo-Nazi meme page which celebrates Christchurch mass murderer Brenton Tarrant, Nazi ideologue Alfred Rosenberg, and Waffen-SS war criminal Joachim Peiper.
While Trent East is part of Alabama’s Army National Guard, Woodward is part of Georgia’s. In November 2016, a post by East on the Ravensblood Kindred page updated: “As for Dalton, he’s enlisting in the Georgia National Guard to get some experience as a real Soldier before he finally becomes an officer in a couple years.” The next month, Woodward specified: “I’ll be becoming a Cavalryman in the Apache Troop, 1st Squadron of the 108th Cavalry, ‘Roughriders.’” Woodward completed his basic training in September 2017. The 1st Squadron, 108th Cavalry Regiment is part of the 48th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, Georgia Army National Guard. In late 2018, over two thousand troops from the Georgia 48th Brigade left for training before a nine-month deployment in eastern Afghanistan. On Dalton Woodward’s profile on the Steam platform for gamers, Woodward announced: “I’m going to Afghanistan”.
We have profiled the “Ravensblood Kindred”, a racist heathen group operating in Georgia and Alabama that is affiliated with the Asatru Folk Assembly. The Kindred is clear about its “alt-right agenda” and shares anti-immigrant and “white genocide” content on its Facebook page. Two of the Kindred’s members – Trent East and Dalton Woodward – both also have links to Stephen McNallen’s Wotan Network, which circulates white nationalist propaganda. East and Woodward showed up to support racist leader Richard Spencer at his April 2017 appearance at Auburn University. Both have social media profiles that clearly connect them to fascist and white supremacist circles.
Both East and Woodward are part of the Army National Guard, with Dalton Woodward currently deployed in Afghanistan. The military is attractive to white nationalists, both as a domain to recruit within and also as a source of weapons training. Dalton Woodward wrote about the military having once fascinated him, as an opportunity to become an “Aryan” warrior. Woodward has since become disillusioned, believing that the Army and government are controlled by sinister alien forces. Woodward is currently in Afghanistan as part of the “Operation Freedom’s Sentinel” occupation.
Trent East, meanwhile, works as a Detention Officer with the Haralson County Sheriff’s Office. Last year, we highlighted other far-Right sympathizers in Georgia law enforcement, to varying results: the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office quickly fired two deputy sheriffs, while the East Ellijay Police Department circulated excuses for its Ku Klux Klan-supporting officer Tommy Long.
Like the military, work in law enforcement is attractive to organized racists, not only due to recruitment opportunities but because of chances to victimize members of marginalized communities with official sanction. Trent East, an associate of neo-Nazis, describes working with the Sheriff’s Department as his “dream career”.
With our publication of this information, the Army National Guard and the Haralson County Sheriff’s Office can no longer ignore the allegiances of “Ravensblood Kindred” members. White nationalists Woodward and East should quickly get the boot.
If you have further information on white nationalists in the military or law enforcement in our region, please get in contact.