Update: in a statement on December 21, American Patriots USA leader Chester Doles claimed that he expelled Dickenson from the organization.
Robert Timothy Dickenson is the chaplain of north Georgia’s American Patriots USA (APUSA), an organization founded by white supremacists in 2019. Led by Chester Doles, APUSA has tried to build broader alliances on the far-Right. Dickenson attended APUSA’s founding meeting on December 14, 2019 and has remained a key participant at least up to its last major event, a “Back the Blue” fundraiser this September in Dahlonega.
In an earlier article, we highlighted that Dickenson was a member of the Original Knight Riders, Knights of the Ku Klux Klan circa 2015. We noted that last year Dickenson accompanied an American Patriots USA float in Dahlonega’s Gold Rush Days parade while wearing a sweatshirt for a different Klan group, the International Keystone Knights of the KKK.
Here, we provide further documentation on APUSA’s chaplain. We have documented that APUSA’s overall leader, Chester Doles, participated in 2017’s violent “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia with a contingent of Hammerskin Nation gang members. Robert Tim Dickenson also took part in the bloody Virginia rally, marching alongside and later posing for photos with the League of the South, a white supremacist and Southern secessionist organization. Earlier in 2017, Dickenson was photographed at a rally by the Nationalist Front – a now-defunct coalition of white power groups – in Pikeville, Kentucky. Dickenson attended the April 2017 Kentucky event as a member of the Original Knight Riders, showing that his membership in that Klan group continued beyond 2015.
Our original article also discussed a racist church which we provisionally linked to Dickenson. A 2018 business filing in South Carolina confirms this earlier analysis.
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 8/11/2020: Marjorie Taylor Greene won in the GA14 Republican runoff and will likely head to Congress. Matt Gurtler was defeated in GA09.
On August 11th, Georgia Congressional candidates Marjorie Taylor Greene (14th District) and Matt Gurtler (9th District) will compete in runoff elections for their Districts’ Republican nominations. Greene faces John Cowan for the 14th District nomination, while Gurtler is competing against Andrew Clyde in the 9th District. Both the 9th and the 14th Districts lean heavily Republican, so whoever wins the GOP nomination for each of these districts is likely to take a seat in Congress. Both Greene and Gurtler have ties to American Patriots USA, an ostensibly pro-Trump organization with roots in the neo-Nazi and Klan undergrounds.
We have covered the “American Patriots USA” (APUSA) organization in north Georgia since it was formed last year, in the wake of a September far-Right rally in Dahlonega. That rally’s organizer and APUSA’s leader, Chester Doles, has a history spanning decades in the white supremacist movement. Doles led a Ku Klux Klan group, operated the Georgia unit of the neo-Nazi “National Alliance”, and more recently supported the violent Hammerskins racist gang. Other white nationalists are also involved with APUSA, and Doles has boasted that there is no “Jew loving [… in] this Crew”. The organization has also built tactical alliances with some far-Right people of color.
As we documented in our May article, Doles has now built bridges to Republican candidates. In late February, Doles and other members posed with Marjorie Taylor Greene behind an APUSA banner. In March, State House Representative and current GA09 candidate Matt Gurtler talked to an APUSA meeting and posed for a group photo.
Update 7/19/2020: The III% Security Force, an Islamophobic far-Right militia headed by Chris Hill, yesterday reversed its earlier position and stated it will rally at Stone Mountain on August 15th.
On August 15, 2020, far-Right demonstrators will rally at Stone Mountain Park outside Atlanta. The August 15 rally, held at the birthplace of the modern Ku Klux Klan, is being promoted and partially organized by figures tied to neo-Nazism and the white supremacist movement. Although some organizers claim to represent “Heritage Not Hate”, a closer look at who is mobilizing shows that August 15 will bring an influx of racists to the surrounding community.
Last night, State House Representative and candidate in the Republican primary for the 9th Congressional District, Matt Gurtler, issued a statement decrying “sleazy attacks” and the “fake news media”. These comments arrived two months after Gurtler talked to a meeting of American Patriots USA (APUSA) – a white nationalist front group founded by Klansmen and neo-Nazis – and two days after the story broke in the media.
In his comments to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Matt Gurtler doubled down by calling APUSA a “pro-gun, conservative group that supports President Trump”. At the March meeting, Gurtler portrayed the organization as a positive response to “socialism on the rise”.
The core members of APUSA are committed white supremacists. Founder Chester Doles is an unreformed neo-Nazi who continues to network within the racist scene and circulate its propaganda. Another key APUSA member, Michael Carothers AKA Michael Weaver, maintains the “White Information Network” site, where he asks readers to support terrorists such as “Olympic Park Bomber” Eric Rudolph.
Militant white nationalists have led
a wave of terror in recent years, with outrages such as the Tree of Life
synagogue mass shooting in Pittsburgh in 2018; the Christchurch, New Zealand
mosque attacks last year; and August’s racist massacre in El Paso. While
Gurtler mouths empty catchphrases such as, “Racism doesn’t have any place in
our community”, his actions embolden the racist movement.
It is reprehensible for Matt Gurtler to hide behind his “Mexican-American” wife after supporting white supremacists. His wife’s ancestry is irrelevant to Gurtler’s political decision. Gurtler’s response is particularly obscene since APUSA founder Chester Doles has targeted and scapegoated Latino communities in north Georgia for twenty years.
Instead of admitting poor judgment,
Gurtler howls for his critics to “Bring it.”
If you oppose antisemitism and white supremacy, speak out when they are normalized.
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.
Chester Doles, the lead organizer of “American Patriots USA” in North Georgia, has a history spanning decades in the white supremacist movement.
In December 2016, Doles, alongside other members of the violent Hammerskin Nation (HSN) racist gang, was involved in a brawl with family and friends of an interracial couple celebrating at Johnny B’s bar in Dahlonega, Georgia. Doles is affiliated with Crew 38, a booster group for the Hammerskins. Doles accepted a plea deal for two counts of battery from the Johnny B’s brawl in November 2017. Prior to accepting the plea, Doles traveled with members of the HSN to Charlottesville, Virginia, where he participated in the bloody August 12, 2017 “Unite the Right” (UTR) rally.