Update 9/2/2021: Organizers have officially canceled the far-Right conference.
Update: On the site for his District 14 labor commissioner run, Georgia State Senator Bruce Thompson confirmed he is speaking at the “Christian Veterans United” conference.
Warning: This article contains descriptions of rape.
Daryush “Roosh” Valizadeh, a notorious far-Right antisemite, misogynist, and rape apologist, is a featured speaker at the upcoming “Faith and Freedom Men’s Conference” organized by Christian Veterans United. The conference is scheduled to take place on September 10th and 11th, in or near metro Atlanta. Two venues, Peachtree Road United Methodist Church in Buckhead and the First Baptist Church in Woodstock, have so far canceled use of their spaces after learning of the event’s true nature. Organizers are vowing to go ahead with the event but have not publicly announced their new venue.
As well as Valizadeh, the Christian Veterans United website lists Jesse Lee Peterson, a rightwing commentator who bemoans women’s suffrage, and Bruce Thompson, Georgia State Senator representing District 14, as event speakers. By appearing alongside Valizadeh, perhaps the world’s most notorious women-hating propagandist, State Senator Thompson would normalize Jew-hatred and violence against women.
At the time of publication, Thompson has not responded to a request to confirm his appearance at the Conference, though his name and image feature on the event’s website. We will update this article if Thompson issues a clarification.
Summary: Christopher Mark Head of Locust Grove, Georgia, promotes and helps organize for local versions of the July 24 anti-vaxxer “Worldwide Rally for Freedom”. He also disseminates anti-vax propaganda under the “White Rose” name in Metro Atlanta. Online, Head networks with Nazis and helps radicalize anti-vaxxers into extreme forms of antisemitism and racism. Head travels around Metro Atlanta as a Turf Masters employee, leaving far-Right propaganda in the communities he visits. We assess the threat level of Head’s network to marginalized communities and conclude with a call for additional monitoring of the intersection between anti-vaccination, antisemitism, and white supremacy.
When far-Right movements lack a strong figurehead and common target, they infight. The electoral defeat of Trump and the slow-motion implosion of the QAnon conspiracy theory have brought a period of infighting, but also of recomposition. New figures step into the disarray, attempting to bring order and to “unite the right”. One of these figures is Christopher Mark Head from Locust Grove, Georgia. Through his work with the “White Rose North GA” anti-mask/anti-vaccination group, Head builds alliances with everyone from explicit neo-Nazis to more mainstream anti-vaxxers.
Head’s political agenda goes far beyond anti-vaccination campaigns and COVID-19 conspiracies. His aim is to politically impose his version of Christian Fundamentalism, and to purge society of alleged “anti-Christ” influence—he is, in other words, a Christofascist. Although Chris Head occasionally criticizes Nazism, he also considers neo-Nazis as allies against his greater enemies.
This year, Head has been increasingly involved in on-the-ground activism and placing propaganda stickers across Metro Atlanta. In recent weeks, Head has also been planning and promoting anti-mask/anti-vaccination rallies in our state. These rallies are scheduled for Saturday, July 24. Head is one of the most active participants in the “Worldwide Georgia” channel on Telegram for the anti-vaxxer rallies. Through his efforts for the July 24 mobilization, Head hopes to meet allies and draw them closer to his far-Right politics. With the publication of this article, “Sir Christopher”/Chris Head will at least no longer have the cover of anonymity.
Starting Wednesday 11/18/2020, the #StopTheSteal coalition of Trumpist, far-Right, and white nationalist groups began to rally at the Georgia Capitol in a last-ditch effort to stave off certification of the election results in which Trump narrowly lost Georgia. Because of heavy promotion and the presence of InfoWars, the preeminent far-Right conspiratorial outlet led by Alex Jones, the events attracted right-wingers throughout Georgia and beyond. The #StopTheSteal movement in Georgia culminated in a large event on Saturday in which there were so many right-wingers that several city blocks were shut down and cordoned off by police.
Update, November 2020: Bill Hagerty won the Tennessee election for US Senate.
Summary: Twenty-year-old Michael Patrick Hagerty, II is a member of two racist organizations, Patriot Front and Revolt Through Tradition. This year, he placed stickers for those organizations throughout Atlanta. Hagerty even wears clothes designating himself as a “National Socialist” – in other words, a neo-Nazi. His uncle, Bill Hagerty, is a Trump loyalist campaigning as the Republican candidate in Tennessee’s US Senate race, which he will likely win. Bill Hagerty vilifies Black Lives Matter and anti-fascists. Meanwhile, his nephew works with white supremacists to build a climate of intimidation against people of color, Jewish people, Muslims, leftists and LGBTQ communities.
Michael Patrick Hagerty, II is a twenty-year-old white nationalist who belongs to two different fascist organizations, Patriot Front (PF) and Revolt Through Tradition (RTT). Over the last year, he has covered Atlanta with stickers for these organizations, trying to give the impression that they have a strong presence in our city. Hagerty has also traveled to meet with other PF and RTT members and posed in photos as they trained together for fighting. Hagerty even wears a t-shirt identifying himself as a “National Socialist”: in other words, a neo-Nazi. One of Hagerty’s associates in Patriot Front is “John GA” (alias), who targeted synagogues in Columbus, Georgia, last year with another PF member, Chris Brooks.
Hagerty’s uncle, William F. Hagerty, is currently campaigning in Tennessee as the Republican candidate in that state’s election for the US Senate, which he will likely win. As a candidate, Bill Hagerty has repeatedly attacked Black Lives Matter and anti-fascists. He characterized Black Lives Matter as aiming to “overthrow the government and usher in Marxism” and echoed Donald Trump’s characterization of anti-fascists as “domestic terrorists”, stating that they “must be stopped”. Through his aggressive public stance against anti-racist movements, Bill Hagerty shelters and emboldens white nationalists like his nephew while they prepare for violence.
The Torch Network of militant antifascists has leaked over a year of internal communications from Patriot Front, a major white supremacist organization operating nationally. The data leak, which exposes the organization’s inner workings and potential identifying information about individual members, will be a blow to the racist group. Atlanta Antifascists are a member group within Torch and are proud to promote the data leak, which can be found here.
Patriot Front formed in the direct aftermath of 2017’s “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, as a splinter from and rebranding of the fascist Vanguard America. From December 2017 through May 2018, a Patriot Front state chapter led at the time by Aaron Christopher Krueger repeatedly targeted metro Atlanta with Patriot Front propaganda. When we exposed Krueger based on an earlier info leak, the Patriot Front campaign came to a sudden halt. Also in 2018, we published about Christopher Gibson, a Ku Klux Klan supporter in Dublin, Georgia who had bragged about placing PF stickers around his community.
The following year, Patriot Front surfaced in Columbus, Georgia, eventually targeting synagogues in that community. Some stickers were also posted in the Atlanta suburb of Lawrenceville. We determined that Christopher Skylar Brooks – also a member of the Proud Boys far-Right group – helped place the propaganda in Lawrenceville and traveled to Columbus to help target synagogues with member “John GA” (alias). The new Patriot Front leaks cover this time period. Brooks has now moved to Shanghai, China. We still seek information on “John GA”.
In 2020, Patriot Front has been recruiting in Georgia, with metro Atlanta and otherlocations hit with the organization’s propaganda. The current pandemic, which leads to more time spent online, may have assisted recruitment. In general, however, Patriot Front’s presence in Georgia is weaker than in other regions and their new recruits do not stick around for long: they are either scared away from racist activism or move on to other projects. We welcome any more information about members we have not yet identified. When we identify white supremacists, the information may follow them even to China, as Christopher Skylar Brooks found out.
On July 29 of last year, two members of Patriot Front – a fascist and white nationalist organization – placed propaganda at synagogues in Columbus, Georgia in an apparent attempt at intimidation. We can now identify one of the two people responsible, who we had written about earlier this year but failed to connect to activity in Columbus. As discussed in our previous article, Christopher Skylar Brooks helped place Patriot Front (PF) materials in the Atlanta suburb of Lawrenceville in May 2019. We connected Brooks to the PF materials in Lawrenceville via an online brag in combination with Brooks’ internet handle, location, dress, and other clues. In our article about Brooks, we surmised that he did not last long in Patriot Front. However, he stayed long enough in the organization to target Columbus, Georgia synagogues with another member, a month and a half after the May propaganda run in Lawrenceville.
8/10/2020: update on Matt Gurtler and Marjorie Taylor Greene here.
As this report was being prepared for publication Thursday evening, far-Right militiaman and 9th Congressional District candidate Michael Boggus released a video on Facebook, stating that he is the new State Director for American Patriots USA. Since neo-Nazi Chester Doles and the white supremacists around Doles remain in the organization, we assume this is a shell game.
Summary: American Patriots USA (APUSA) was formed last year in north Georgia by Chester Doles, a longtime neo-Nazi. As documented in this and earlierreports, the organization is a thinly disguised front group for white supremacists. APUSA has spent the last few months building a broader front of “constitutionalist” Republican candidates, including several people of color, which it uses to mask its agenda. The white power organization even hosted a current State House Representative, Matthew Gurtler, at their March meeting. We document APUSA’s “Trojan horse” effort and highlight the complicity of GOP candidates and networks in normalizing white supremacist organizing.
Paul L. Townsend, a resident of LaFayette in north Georgia, born in 1964, is an active member of the League of the South (LoS), a white supremacist and Southern secessionist organization. Townsend attended the August 2017 “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia with the LoS contingent that was at the forefront of violence that day. Following the Charlottesville rally – in which one counter-protester was murdered and dozens more injured – Townsend stated that he was “proud that I participated in the Charlottesville rally” which he “knew […] would be epic.”
Townsend set up a profile on the Russian social networking site VKontakte (VK) the month before 2017’s “Unite the Right”. On VK, he is connected to many LoS members and other white supremacists. Townsend posted a photo of his younger self in camouflage fatigues in a desert environment, suggesting that decades ago he was in the US military.
Update: We have received final confirmation that Amanda Sproul currently works at the Carl Vinson VA Medical Center in Dublin, Georgia.
Summary: The Right Voice is a white power podcast operating since mid-2015. It continues the efforts of an earlier white nationalist project, The White Voice. Its hosts also operated a web of racist and far-Right propaganda pages on Facebook, some that had over ten thousand followers and reached far more. The Right Voice host Chris Burnham of Loudoun County, Virginia, is originally from the UK and fancies himself as an anti-leftist secret agent. His co-host, Amanda Sproul of Dublin, Georgia, is a longtime employee of the Department of Veterans Affairs who works at a VA Medical Center.
Launched in mid-2015, The Right Voice (TRV) podcast is a white nationalist and antisemitic podcast which has lasted for over 160 episodes. During this run, the show has aimed to broadcast once a week, as the lives of hosts “Chris” and “Marie” allow – which in practice means gaps. Casting itself as a voice of unity in the white nationalist scene, TRV has hosted everyone from Klansmen and explicit neo-Nazis to Alt-Right figures and even a few wannabe intellectuals and mainstreamers. Over the years, TRV has hosted such guests as Alt-Right figurehead Richard Spencer; notorious antisemite and neo-NaziDavid Duke; National Socialist Movement organizer Harry Hughes; and Susan Yarbrough, the widow of Gary Yarbrough, who was a participant in The Silent Brotherhood terror group in the 1980s. Last year, TRV twice hosted north Georgia racist organizer Chester Doles as a guest, the first time before Doles’ September far-Right rally in Dahlonega, and a second time to recap events afterward. The most recent episode of The Right Voice kicks off with “Chris” shouting for “y*ds” to “get in the oven” and addresses the COVID-19 pandemic through a typical white supremacist lens, using the crisis to advance racist and antisemitic conspiracy theories. For example, “Marie” promotes the idea that Jewish people have been hoarding ventilators in New York City.
TRV’s name is a reference to an earlier white nationalist podcast, The White Voice, which both TRV hosts were involved with. The White Voice ran from its first episode in May 2011 to its hundredth episode in April 2015, with its site shuttering soon after. Marie started helping The White Voice in late 2013, while Chris appears to have first contributed in early 2015, just a couple of months before The White Voice project ended. After the end of The White Voice, TRV established its website in June 2015 and had its first podcast the following month.
While TRV recruits for the white nationalist movement, it is not as successful as some competitors. TRV’s main importance is as a forum for scattered white nationalists and as a force for unity, since its hosts avoid divisive issues within the racist scene such as religion. Much of the podcast discussion revolves around tactics and movement-building. Although they have interviewed many, TRV hosts do not present themselves as leaders of the white nationalist movement. Rather, they view themselves as a small functioning part within the broader white power ecosystem. Regular listeners trade messages in a small online chat during live broadcasts, heightening the sense of racist community.
In addition to the podcast, hosts Chris and Marie had previously been involved in creating and maintaining a web of between twelve to twenty propaganda pages on Facebook, which they have repeatedly mentioned on their podcast. According to Chris, at least one of these Facebook pages had nearly thirty thousand followers – a significant propaganda operation. Several other pages allegedly passed the ten thousand mark. While we have not been able to determine all of these Facebook pages, from online comments we know TRV hosts were involved in “White Genocide Subliminals” as well as “Black Privilege”, which argued that Black people are systematically and unfairly advantaged by US society. “Marie” has been permanently banned from Facebook since mid-2017 for her incessant spreading of white power propaganda.
“Chris” and “Marie” are Chris Roland Burnham of Loudoun County, Virginia and Amanda Marie Sproul of Dublin, Georgia respectively. Burnham is originally from Britain but has been living in the United States for decades. Sproul is a longtime employee of the US Department of Veterans Affairs and may continue to work at a VA Medical Center. We discuss each in turn.