A self-proclaimed “tribe” of racist heathens is building a compound on a 122-acre property in Tellico Plains, eastern Tennessee. This group overlaps with Patriot Front (PF), a fascist organization with members nationwide, and the “Church of Aryanity,” a racist cult that refers to Adolf Hitler as “the Great One.” The leader of the Tennessee “tribe” is Brian Culpepper, who spent a decade in the white supremacist National Socialist Movement (NSM) and was its PR Director for several years.
In 2022, Patriot Front used the large property—mostly woodland but with cleared areas—to train its members for street demonstrations. Last year, PF members traveled to work construction on the property, including a large building intended as a combined martial arts dojo, heathen temple, and home for PF member, Ian Michael Elliott. As construction on the land progresses, the property will host increasingly large racist gatherings. At least equally dangerous, the “tribal land” will bring together far-right martial artists, aspiring street brawlers from fascist “Active Clubs,” and some of the most violent fringes of the neo-Nazi scene. It already provides a home for committed PF members. By documenting this compound and revealing its location, we hope to warn eastern Tennessee residents about the white supremacist threat in their midst.
The Property and How We Located It
The 122-acre property is located by Shadden Road in Tellico Plains, Monroe County. According to county records, the land was purchased in 2021 at a value of $287,000. These same records list Liudmila Culpepper, Brian Culpepper’s wife, as the owner.
In our December 2021 article exposing Ian Michael Elliott as a neo-Nazi and a member of Patriot Front, we noted that Elliot had mentioned a homestead project in Tennessee. Elliott also mentioned that he and another PF member had traveled to the “Aryan Tribal Land” to help with building. In 2022, Patriot Front’s channel on the Telegram messaging app shared images of a training event in Tennessee. Months later in February 2023, PF released a propaganda video of the Tennessee gathering. From the video, it was obvious that the gathering took place at an Odinist or heathen property. For example, the video concluded with footage from a nighttime ceremony, where an Odinist drinking horn lay on a ritual table. Despite his face being blurred, Ian Elliott was obviously one of the speakers at this ceremony.
In August last year, PF posted pictures on Telegram of a “community building project in Tennessee,” showing PF members doing construction work, with woods in the background. The following month, PF posted about another gathering: “activists assembled over Labor Day weekend to participate in an array of community building projects and skill teaching workshops.” While this time PF did not mention the state where the event took place, one of the images matched the building shown in the August photographs from Tennessee. We guessed that the “community building project” was on the same land as PF’s 2022 “training assembly,” which we were later able to confirm. Because Ian Elliott spoke at the 2022 PF “training assembly,” and due to his earlier references to a Tennessee homestead and “Aryan Tribal Land,” we decided to take another look at Elliott.
We learned that in his posts to various channels on Telegram, Ian Elliott commented extensively about the land. Elliott has changed his alias on Telegram several times since we first exposed him, but he currently goes by “Brother V.” Posting to one far-right channel in May, Elliott wrote that he was “living out here [the Tennessee compound] full time now” and was “getting more of my crew on the Land”. By his “crew,” Elliott meant Patriot Front. In a different channel focused on self-sufficiency, Elliott claimed that five families comprise the “big team” behind the land project. In a later comment on the far-right channel, he specified that “the owning families in full residence [on the land] must be Odinic.” Elliott refers to the racist Odinists living on the land as his “tribe.” Elliott’s Telegram posts revealed that he was now living near Etowah, Tennessee. In a post about the 2023 Labor Day weekend gathering on the land, Elliott bragged that “over a hundred men” attended, which was likely an overcount. Elliott included an aerial photo of the property with this Telegram post.
Another post by Elliott provided the final bit of information leading us to the “tribal land.” Elliott shared a picture of a man in his sixties, describing him as “my tribe’s leader [… a] lifelong craftsman and activist.” This individual also appeared in other photos from the property. We were able to identify this figure as Brian David Culpepper. Culpepper was active for a decade in the National Socialist Movement, a neo-Nazi organization. In a leaked NSM members list, Culpepper appeared in an entry dated January 5, 2007. Culpepper eventually became the NSM’s “PR Director,” a role he held for several years. Culpepper was present with the NSM at 2017’s bloody “Unite the Right” in Charlottesville, Virginia, and led chants of “Blood and soil” at a white nationalist demonstration in Shelbyville, Tennessee, later that year. Culpepper stepped back from the NSM in late 2017, allegedly to “spend more time with his family.” Culpepper then disappeared from public view, although he never left the white power scene.
With the “tribe’s leader” identified, we had what we needed to locate the compound. We checked the counties next to McMinn (where Etowah is located) for property records under the name “Culpepper.” We found a 122-acre property in Monroe County owned by Liudmila Culpepper, Brian’s wife. Viewing an image of the land on the Tennessee Property Viewer, it was clearly the same property as the aerial photograph shared by Elliott, except that the dojo/temple building had not been erected in the image from the Tennessee info system.
It is important to note that Liudmila Culpepper is a neo-Nazi like her husband—she was photographed at Unite the Right and other neo-Nazi events. While Ian Elliott’s comments on Telegram about the “tribal land” do not mention her, this may be due to women’s labor being treated as invisible within much of the white supremacist movement.
Ian Elliott’s Affiliations and Networks
To understand the danger of the “Aryan Tribal Land” and the groups it will bring together, it is important to examine Ian Elliott’s organizations, contacts, and friendship circles. Ian Elliott will help decide which other people live on the land, even if “tribal leader” Brian Culpepper has the final say. One of Elliott’s organizations, Patriot Front, has already trained its members on the property and helped with “community building” work days there. Elliott’s other networks will also benefit from the “tribal land.”
(i) Patriot Front
Despite some reporting to the contrary, Ian Elliott remains active in PF. Elliott appeared beside PF’s leader, Thomas Rousseau, in Washington, DC earlier this month, when PF rallied at the national “March for Life.” The following day, Elliott again stuck close by Rousseau during a PF flash demonstration in New York City. This suggests that Elliott continues to provide security for Rousseau. On Telegram, Elliott claims to serve as a “spiritual counselor for our guys in PatriotFront,” although it is unclear whether this is a formal or informal role. As mentioned earlier, Elliott was pleased that other members of PF have joined the Tennessee compound.
(ii) Wolves of Vinland and Devotion Jiu-Jitsu
Elliott is also close to the Wolves of Vinland (WoV), a far-right, whites-only masculinist “tribe.” He has visited the WoV “Ulfheim” compound near Lynchburg, Virginia multiple times, and grapples at “Devotion Jiu-Jitsu,” a gym run by WoV leadership. WoV is a direct inspiration for Elliott’s brand of racist heathenism. In a Telegram discussion, Elliott wrote: “I consider [WoV leaders] Matthias and Paul [Waggener] to certainly be mentors to my own Spirituality, [I] learned half of what I do for official Ritual from Matthias when he came to my Land.”
(iii) Active Clubs
Elliott is also involved with the Active Club (AC) network. ACs are regional groups of white nationalists who meet up to place propaganda and to train for violence against their enemies. Rob Rundo, who had earlier co-founded the violent Rise Above Movement (RAM), launched the Active Club network in December 2020. Last year, Rundo was arrested in Romania and extradited to the US to face federal charges stemming from RAM’s involvement in clashes at California rallies during 2017.
Ian Elliott was photographed alongside the Tennessee AC leader Sean Kauffmann and other Tennessee and Alabama AC members last year, at a private gym above the Lewis County Store in Nashville. Elliott competed at a fighting event above this store in November, with Kauffmann also visible in an image from the competition. At the end of last year, The Tennessean announced that the “controversial” Lewis Country Store was being sold.
Tennessee AC leader Sean Kaufmann also appears in footage of the PF “Training Assembly” on the eastern Tennessee land in 2022, although his face is blurred. Kauffmann was not in PF uniform and attended as a guest.
Ian Elliott has AC ties beyond Kauffmann and the Tennessee AC. Elliott attended “Rebirth of a New Frontier”—a white power fighting tournament sponsored by Patriot Front, RAM’s “Media2Rise” offshoot, and the SoCal Active Club—in San Diego in 2022. In a Telegram message from March 2023 but before Rundo’s arrest, Elliott stated that he “talk[s] with Rundo and a bunch of the other [AC] leaders regularly.” In December, Elliott wrote that he is part of the “AC High Council” – in other words, the inner circle that helps set the direction for the overall AC network. Although Elliott’s message has a half-joking tone, with Elliott referring to himself in the third person as “Brother V,” his claim to have sway in the AC network is genuine.
In our original article exposing Elliott, we highlighted his involvement with Aryanity, an apocalyptic neo-Nazi cult. At the end of October 2022, Ian Elliott officially joined “the Aryan Church” (i.e., Aryanity) after meeting with leader Aaron Chapman and reading an affirmation that he “fully embrace[s] Aryanity as my religion.” Since Aryanity attempts to reconcile white supremacist forms of paganism and Christianity, Elliott’s membership in Aryanity and his identity as a racist Odinist do not necessarily contradict each other. Elliott posts regularly in Aryanity’s Telegram channel, often promoting PF to Aryanity sympathizers.
(v) Ties to Neo-Nazi Bank Robbery Conspiracy
Finally, Corvallis Anti-Fascists have documented Ian Elliott’s ties to Micheal Brown and Luke Kenna, neo-Nazis of “Aryan Compartmented Elements,” who have now pleaded guilty to their roles in a harebrained bank robbery conspiracy. Kenna was a member of Aryanity’s militant wing, and both Kenna and Brown posted on Aryanity’s Telegram chat. A third alleged conspirator, Michael Tierney, also moved in the same circles as Elliott: he and Elliott both appear in a group photograph from a 2022 festival at Devotion Jiu-Jitsu.
We mention the would-be bank robbers to illustrate how Elliott’s circles attract hardcore neo-Nazis who wish to live out race war fantasies. We are concerned that similar militants will pass through or settle on the “Aryan Tribal Land.”
Others on the “Aryan Tribal Land”
Two other Patriot Front organizers are visible in photos taken on the “tribal land” over approximately the last half year. Both these PF members were also photographed at the gym above the Lewis Country Store in Nashville. While we cannot rule out these individuals simply being visitors to the “tribal land,” they are likely based there longer-term, especially given Ian Elliott’s mid-2023 claim about “Getting more of my [PF] crew on the Land, living and working.”
(i) Kieran Morris
In 2020, New York City Antifa exposed Kieran Morris as a PF “Network Director” responsible for the fascist organization’s efforts in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. In its report, NYC Antifa revealed that prior to joining Patriot Front, Morris had an account on the notorious IronMarch forum and expressed interest in joining Atomwaffen Division, a neo-Nazi group eventually linked to five killings. In Patriot Front, Morris not only led a regional network, but was part of a PF group that traveled to Europe, networking with the Nordic Resistance Movement, Casa Pound, and other European fascist organizations.
At some point after being exposed, Morris moved to Texas. In 2021, anti-fascists tracked Morris to PF’s then-headquarters in Grapevine, Texas, where he lived with PF leader Thomas Rousseau, Rousseau’s father, and another PF member, Graham Whitson. After Thomas Rousseau, Morris and Whitson left that property, Texas Against Fascism located them yet again, this time in Haslet, Texas. In mid-2022, Morris was one of the thirty-one PF members arrested in Coeur D’Alene, Idaho, over an attempt to disrupt a Pride event. Morris was eventually convicted of conspiracy to riot.
By all appearances, Morris is now in Tennessee. He posed for a photo inside the “tribal land’s” temple/dojo structure, which Elliott shared to Telegram in July. In addition to Morris and Elliott, Brian Culpepper and a fourth individual appear in the image. Morris also appears in a different photo with Elliott and Culpepper, which Elliott shared in September. This photo is from inside a home on the “tribal land.” Morris was also photographed three times at the racist gym above the Lewis Country Store in Nashville. Morris appears in a group photo at the gym from September, as well as in a picture from a fighting event there in November. An image taken inside the gym and posted this month to a Patriot Front-operated Telegram channel shows Elliott, Morris, and others. The image was shared after Lewis Country Store’s sale, but presumably dates from before.
(ii) Stephen Trimboli
Stephen Trimboli joined Patriot Front in 2018 while living in Washington state. In 2021, he relocated to Florida and became PF’s “Network Director” for that state. When PF held an October 2021 regional training camp in Florida in advance of a national march in Washington, DC, Trimboli’s name was on the campground rental. In May 2022, Washington Nazi Watch publicly exposed Trimboli in an article that not only documented his racist organizing, but his deep misogyny and abusive behavior toward an ex-girlfriend, such as encouraging other PF members to target her neighborhood with propaganda.
This month, Trimboli appeared in photos of the “tribal land” shared by Elliott. Snow is on the ground, which suggests that Trimboli was not merely paying a brief visit (as this would have been a poor time for such a visit.) Stephen Trimboli also appears in a group photo from the gym above Lewis Country Store, which Elliott shared in September. Elliott and Morris are also in this photo, along with other white nationalists. Trimboli’s face is blurred, but he is easily identifiable from his physique.
For a couple of years, we had heard about a white supremacist land project in Tennessee, which Patriot Front member Ian Elliott and associates were working on. We have now located this “Aryan Tribal Land” on a 122-acre property in Tellico Plains, eastern Tennessee. Brian Culpepper, who spent over a decade in the National Socialist Movement, is leader of the racist “tribe” on the property. Patriot Front has already used the Tennessee compound for one training event, and PF members travel to the land for construction days. Elliott now lives on the compound.
In addition to Patriot Front, Elliott’s connections range from the Active Clubs network to the neo-Nazi cult of “Aryanity.” Elliott is a skilled networker in the neo-Nazi scene, which he will use to draw others to the land. Elliott’s networks include particularly volatile neo-Nazis, and we expect that such individuals will have a presence at the compound. Finally, we documented two other longtime PF members photographed on the “Aryan Tribal Land” over the last half year. As building on the land increases, it is likely to attract more PF militants.
Although the white power compound is a concern for our whole region, eastern Tennessee residents will be the most immediately impacted by the racist hub, especially given plans to host large gatherings on the land. If you live in southeast Tennessee or have friends or family there, please share our documentation. We hope that locals, community groups, and churches speak up, sending a strong message that residents reject Nazism and will stand by each other.
If you have further information on the “Aryan Tribal Land” and its residents, please get in touch. We are always interested in tips about members of Patriot Front and other racist groups operating in our region.