Update 1/19/2020: According to a new article, Matthew Ryan Burchfield is currently in Ukraine.
Burchfield’s 2019 profile on the Fascist Forge networking site was connected to the profile for Luke Austin Lane, who has now been arrested with other Georgia members of “The Base” for an alleged murder conspiracy.
A Savannah-area couple are heavily involved in white nationalist networks, ranging from Christian far-Right organizing to apocalyptic neo-Nazism. Arieana K Love, who is currently studying pre-Medicine at Georgia Southern University and was a member of the Georgia National Guard , and Matthew Ryan Burchfield, who moved to Georgia from Virginia last year, are well-connected in regional and national far-Right channels. Love is a member of Legio Christi, an antisemitic and far-Right “traditional Christian” group, while Burchfield describes himself as an “Esoteric Hitlerite” – someone who couches his devotion to Nazism in mystical terms.
Both Love and Burchfield are friends with Haralson County jailer Trent East, whose racist involvement and neo-Nazi affinities we recently documented. Online photos show Ryan Burchfield engaging in what appears to be racist paramilitary training with East.
Both Arieana Love and Burchfield are connected to internet profiles for Dalton Woodward, Trent East’s associate in the whites-only “Ravensblood Kindred” of the Asatru Folk Assembly. Another figure who was linked to both Love and Burchfield on social media is Corwyn Storm Carver, an active duty Army member and ideologue of the Atomwaffen Division, a neo-Nazi group linked to at least five killings.
Although they have friends and political associates in common, Love and Burchfield also operate in somewhat different spheres. For example, Arieana Love declares herself to be a Catholic rather than a racist heathen (East and Woodward), a neo-Nazi Satanist (Carver), or a Hitler devotee (Ryan Burchfield). This difference does not diminish Love’s racist and far-Right commitments, but it does give her white nationalist activity a slightly different character. We will discuss Catholic antisemite Arieana Love first, then her Hitler-worshipping boyfriend Ryan Burchfield.
Last month, we exposed Haralson County Deputy Sheriff Brandon Trent East as an active white nationalist and as part of the racist “Ravensblood Kindred”, alongside active duty Georgia National Guard member Dalton Russell Woodward. The Ravensblood Kindred is a regional branch of the Asatru Folk Assembly (AFA), a whites-only heathen organization with close ties to organized racism. AFA has been designated as a hate group by the anti-extremist Southern Poverty Law Center.
A few days after we published our documentation on the “Ravensblood Kindred”, independent journalist Nate Thayer exposed Corwyn Storm Carver, an active duty Army member, as a member and influential propagandist for Atomwaffen Division (AWD). AWD is a neo-Nazi terrorist organization whose members have committed at least five murders since its formation in 2015. Following Thayer’s expose, we released documentation showing that both Trent East – working as a jailer in Haralson County – as well as Dalton Woodward were connected on social media to AWD white supremacist Carver.
Despite this, Haralson County Sheriff Eddie Mixon initially defended his employee Trent East when interviewed by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, stating in the AJC’s April 17 article that everything “should stand the way it is” with East not facing discipline, because East is not on a Federal Bureau of Investigation watch list. The next day, Mixon backtracked on his support for East, after his initial public stance generated outcry. A new investigation has now been launched. Trent East is receiving paid leave while the investigation proceeds.
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.
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.