Analysis: Leaked Information Details Atlanta’s “Alt-Right” White Nationalist Scene
Filed under: Analysis, Anti-fascist, Southeast
Filed under: Analysis, Anti-fascist, Southeast
Recently, screen-captured messages from Atlanta-area white nationalist leader Casey Cooper were published on Its Going Down, an anarchist and anti-racist website. This leak of white nationalist communications also included an email invitation list for the Atlanta Forum, a white power gathering in our region earlier this year. Taken together, the leaked materials show Casey Cooper’s transition from an “Alt-Right” sympathizer in the beginning of 2016 to a prospective state leader for the white power movement by the end of that year. The information from Casey Cooper’s accounts reveal how “Alt-Right” racists organize regionally, especially how the white nationalist organization Identity Evropa operates. The screen-captures establish that Cooper was a member of Identity Evropa, and engaged in activity on their behalf.
The newly-public online conversations also provide detail on how “Alt-Right” racists coordinated to hit multiple Georgia campuses with white power propaganda in the immediate aftermath of Trump’s electoral victory. In our analysis of the leaked white nationalist communications, we first discuss what the leak reveals about specific white nationalist figures; we then discuss the mid-November 2016 white power propaganda run coordinated by Casey Cooper; and we conclude with some notes about what this new information reveals about “Alt-Right” organizing more generally.
We have already written extensively about Casey Jordan Cooper, a militant racist who attends Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School (AJMLS). Cooper’s leaked correspondence further establishes that Cooper was behind the old “Phoenix Reich”/@BigButternutJoe Twitter account. As we have previously documented, Cooper used this Twitter account to issue death threats, agitate for the white power cause, and make racist and homophobic remarks about his neighbors as well as other AJMLS students. The new documentation on Its Going Down does not fundamentally alter the picture of Casey Cooper our organization has already provided. Rather, it adds new details to that picture.
Cooper’s online discussions show that when he first got active on the far-Right, he gravitated toward TheRightStuff (TRS) website and its forums. The first time Cooper met with racist leader Patrick Sharp (who was then “Agree&Amplify”/@AgreeAndAmp on Twitter) Cooper also planned to bring another “TRS goy” to the meet-up.
In a different discussion — this time with Alpharetta, Georgia white nationalist Zac Johnson, who at the time was “Enoch Was Right”/@j_enoch_powell on Twitter — Cooper stated that one of his goals in attending the November 2016 National Policy Institute conference in Washington, DC was to “get back involved” with TRS podcaster “Musonius Rufus.” Casey Cooper added that “Rufus […] extended a lot of olive branches to me […] when I was newer” in the racist movement. Cooper would later assist the January 2017 “Atlanta Forum” white nationalist gathering, which was organized by “Rufus” and other TRS affiliates. The information leak also discloses that Casey Cooper traveled to the TheRightStuff “TRStlemania” conference, February 10-11, 2017 in Houston, Texas.
Despite these connections with TheRightStuff, Cooper appears to have joined the Identity Evropa white nationalist organization. In Cooper’s November 2016 photograph with Patrick Sharp, Cooper wears an Identity Evropa pin flaunting his affiliation with that organization. In an earlier discussion with Patrick Sharp, Cooper mentions that he “talked with the guys in IE [Identity Evropa] about our rally and success.” (It is unclear which rally Cooper was referring to.) When Cooper wrote in November 2016 of putting up propaganda with Joshua David Hitson during the previous “campaign,” it is likely that this earlier effort was placing Identity Evropa materials around Atlanta. In his Twitter messages, Cooper also mentions sending Zac Johnson “a referral from Identity Evropa,” again making clear that Cooper was part of Identity Evropa’s communication channels.
To be fully integrated within some white nationalist circles, it appears that Casey Cooper had to take a DNA test and share the results with others. In a message of October 13, Zac Johnson of Alpharetta reports to Cooper that the “DNA test looks good.” However, Cooper is also teased about being a “Jew” after this point, presumably because Cooper’s DNA test revealed some small amount of ethnically Jewish heritage.
By early November 2016 Casey Cooper got the impression that “they [national level Alt-Right leaders] want me to take the reigns [sic] and try to get in as the state level guy” for Alt-Right networks, while Patrick Sharp moved on a greater national-level role. When Cooper hosted an election-night gathering for white nationalists at his family home in Sweet Bottom, Duluth, Georgia, this event may have helped further boost Cooper’s reputation as a leader among Georgia Alt-Right participants. When Cooper organized racist posters to be placed on various Georgia campuses the weekend action Trump’s victory (see full discussion later), this coordinated action was planned to raise the stature of his Georgia Alt-Right networks prior to the National Policy Institute far-Right conference in Washington, DC.
While the information leak does not add a huge amount of detail to what our group has previously written about Alpharetta resident Zac Johnson, the newly-leaked messages corroborate our earlier claims about Johnson’s racist organizing and show Johnson to be fully integrated within Georgia Alt-Right circles. (Quick update: on the day that our initial article about Zac Johnson was published, Johnson’s longtime @j_enoch_powell profile suddenly vanished from Twitter.) In the leaked messages, Zac Johnson/”Enoch Was Right” discussed his work on a cabin in Blue Ridge, Georgia. Johnson was referring to the Bigfoot Blue Ridge cabin, owned by him and his wife Bethany Del Campo Johnson. This cabin is currently being rented to vacationers, generating income that presumably enables Johnson’s white power organizing.
Zac Johnson played a key role in hitting the Georgia State University – North (formerly Georgia Perimeter College) campus with racist posters on November 12, 2016, using his wife’s Honda for this mission. The November poster campaign is discussed in a separate section below.
Messages between Casey Cooper and Zac Johnson reveal that by the end of 2016, white nationalist organizer Patrick Sharp was transitioning from regional white power efforts to potentially bigger, national-level activities within the Alt-Right. (Sharp is “Agree&Amplify”/@AgreeAndAmp in the leaked messages. We have already written extensively about Patrick Sharp’s organizing, for example this article discussing Sharp’s final years as a student at Georgia State University in Atlanta.)
The leaked messages from Casey Cooper show that Georgia Alt-Right participants typically defer to Patrick Sharp’s judgment. For example, in a discussion of where to place racist posters, the comment “Patrick [Sharp] said he doesn’t want them in bathrooms” immediately took that option off the table. Discussions between Casey Cooper and Zac Johnson of Patrick Sharp’s leadership style make it clear that Sharp has a pseudo-“veteran” status on the local far-Right, despite being active for less than half a decade. In addition, Patrick Sharp demands respect and an air of seriousness from who are active with him. Sharp obsesses over the appearance of Alt-Right participants, asserting that “We must have a handsome, eugenic crew” and that ideally “long hair has to go” and “beards must be earned” within his all-male local crew. Given this pressure, it is no surprise that several of Sharp’s racist associates switched to short haircuts towards the end of 2016.
According to a November 2016 message from Casey Cooper to Zac Johnson, Patrick Sharp had outlined a new project: “the next big thing is the antifa psyop” which aimed at “subversion” of anti-fascist forces. Cooper summarized the Sharp-promoted “psyop” scheme as “We antifa now,” which suggests attempted infiltration or impersonation. If Sharp and his followers followed through on these plans, there is no evidence that they succeeded in anything beyond low-level electronic harassment.
Cooper’s leaked communications highlight that Sharp still occasionally takes part in street-level propaganda activity. For example, we were curious about who spray-painted a Kennesaw State University fraternity landmark with the slogan “Good Night Anti-Whites” on the weekend following Trump’s election. Now we have an answer, since Casey Cooper congratulated Sharp: “Killer work on the rock” (where the graffiti was placed).
Since the period outlined in the info leak, Patrick Sharp has been active in nationally-coordinated Alt-Right events. Predictably enough, Patrick Sharp attended white nationalist leader Richard Spencer’s appearance at Auburn University in Alabama this April (the event was in Sharp’s region and Sharp grew up in Alabama.) Sharp also traveled further afield, and was pictured at the May 13 white power rally in Charlottesville, Virginia where participants carried torches and chanted Nazi slogans.
(C) Sam Dickson
While Patrick Sharp benefits from a bogus “veteran” status gained over the course of just a few years on the racist Right, Atlanta lawyer Sam Dickson has been active in white power causes for decades. In the ’70s and ’80s, Dickson represented Klan clients. Dickson’s website boasts that he has spoken at every American Renaissance conference, since the suit-and-tie racist gatherings began in 1994. Dickson currently mentors younger “Alt-Right” white nationalists in our region. When Casey Cooper was getting more involved in white power organizing, “Are you familiar with Sam Dickson?” was one of the first questions Patrick Sharp asked Cooper.
The leaked “Alt-Right” messages make clear that Sam Dickson opens his Atlanta home for meet-ups by younger white nationalists. In one message, Patrick Sharp gives out Dickson’s address for a get-together. Dickson also mentors young white nationalists in other ways. Dickson made much of his wealth on the Atlanta property market, by purchasing unpaid tax debts and using them as leverage to acquire properties for cheap, frequently in gentrifying areas. When Patrick Sharp and Casey Cooper discussed purchasing property in the Chosewood Park area of Atlanta, Sharp wrote that: “I’m sure Sam will have good advice for us.”
(D) Joshua David Hitson
Cooper’s communications highlight the role played by Joshua David Hitson in Atlanta-area white nationalist activities. Hitson is a self-described “hipster” as well as a racist — prior to his white power efforts, Hitson was an early member of Atlanta hard rock act Biters. As “JD Hitson”, he has been published on the white nationalist Radix Media website. Hitson also self-published a book, Deep Lie the Roots, which “examines the detriment of Judeo-Christianity on the consciousness of the European peoples.” Until recently, Joshua Hitson was @ContrarianGent on Twitter, using the account to publish a steady stream of abuse against people of color, Jewish people, feminists, and so on. Hitson’s compulsive Twitter use then switched to the “LeGentContraire”/@_Mr_Cavalier account, which again made clear Hitson’s white power commitments. (That account was shut down on the same day that the Casey Cooper info leak was published.)
In Casey Cooper’s messages, Hitson is usually referred to as “Gent.” In one message, Hitson is mentioned by his old Twitter handle, when Patrick Sharp tells Casey Cooper that “I’ve got two guys I want you and @ContrarianGent to check out.” The fact that Joshua Hitson was trusted with screening participants for the local Alt-Right crew reveals that Hitson is an established, respected figure in Georgia racist circles.
Not only did Hitson help coordinate the November 12, 2016 propaganda mission in which racist posters were posted around several Georgia campuses (more information below) but according to Casey Cooper’s messages, Hitson also helped with an earlier propaganda “campaign.” Cooper’s comment seems to reference one or more earlier incidents in 2016 when Identity Evropa propaganda appeared in Atlanta.
Joshua Hitson is among those pictured at the election night racist gathering at Casey Cooper’s family home in Sweet Bottom, Duluth, Georgia.
(E) Evan Thomas Kuettner
The info leak also reveals that white nationalist leader Evan Thomas Kuettner has been spending time in the Atlanta metropolitan area. Kuettner is connected to Identity Evropa and helped to coordinate the November 2016 National Policy Institute (NPI) conference in Washington, DC. In an interview from that conference, Kuettner was quoted as “Evan Thomas of Michigan.” Thomas/Kuettner has an extensive history as a white nationalist in Michigan, where he operated as “Evan Thomas,” “Tom Kuettner” and “David Starr Jordan” (his handle on the white supremacist Stormfront.org forum). Kuettner organized events when Canadian neo-Nazi Paul Fromm visited Michigan; Kuettner also tried to advance his politics in more mainstream spheres by leading the Warren, Michigan Tea Party chapter and even running for Warren City Council in 2011.
Around the same time as the National Policy Institute conference last year, Kuettner’s “Evan Thomas” Twitter account gave a location of “Atlanta, GA,” which suggests that he spends at least some of his time locally. Now, Casey Cooper’s information leak corroborates this: Kuettner/Thomas is pictured at the 2016 election-night white nationalist gathering at Cooper’s family home in Duluth.
Most recently, “Evan Thomas” played a key role in the torch-bearing white nationalist demonstration in Charlottesville, Virginia on May 13, 2017 (which Patrick Sharp also attended.)
The leaked messages also highlight Georgia State University (GSU) student Chase Riggs Carroll‘s involvement in the regional white power scene. We have previously written about Carroll, and noted that Carroll traveled to Auburn University for white nationalist leader Richard Spencer’s event on April 18, 2017.
Carroll is frequently mentioned in messages by Zac Johnson, Patrick Sharp and Casey Cooper, often referred to as “Big Guy.”
During the time documented in the info leak, Chase Carroll used the @BBlopperson Twitter account. (One post in the leaked messages is a photo of Carroll, which Carroll posted using the @BBlopperson profile.) In the leaked messages, the Twitter account’s name was set as “Big Moof,” but at other times the Twitter profile used Carroll’s nickname of “Big Guy.”
Later, Carroll went on to use the Twitter account @largeguyuuuu (now also gone.) This account also used the name “Big Guy” and shares the same profile picture as the old @BBlopperson account.
The @largeguyuuuu account posted an image on January 24, 2017 of a racist “Alt-Right” sticker (designed by Carroll’s friend Zac Johnson) at Georgia Tech campus. Casey Cooper also posted pictures of these stickers at Georgia Tech, suggesting that Carroll and Cooper may have placed the materials together.
(G) More Names
The info leak also contains messages from GSU students McKinley Witzler (formerly “9thCenturyDeplorable”/@USCharlemagne) and Charles/Chaz Neugebauer (formerly “Alt-Chud”/@chaz_nuke). City of Atlanta employee Alex Dibble (@AlbusDibbledore/”A. Domini” then @Karabiner_9814/”Fine ‘ol Solution” on Twitter, account now deleted) also appears in the leaked messages and took part in the Alt-Right crew’s activities. Many other profiles are in the info leak — we encourage anyone with more information about them to get in contact.
As well as the figures we’ve already mentioned, Identity Evropa member Jared Huggins and local Alt-Right participant Grant M. Hick (AKA “Grant Fox” on Facebook) appear in photographs from the 2016 election night racist gathering.
White Nationalist Propaganda Spree on Georgia Campuses, November 2016
A large portion of the leaked messages involve planning for a coordinated propaganda mission, which hit multiple Georgia campuses on the weekend after the 2016 election. The Georgia poster campaign was part of a national effort, publicized on TheRightStuff website. In Georgia, racist posters such as “Why White Women Shouldn’t Date Black Men” as well as “Alt-Right” stickers were placed on several campuses. We discussed this event in previous articles, since Patrick Sharp is responsible for the “Alt-Right” sticker placed on these campuses, and Casey Cooper used his Twitter account to circulate photos of the white power materials plastered around the universities. On the weekend of November 12-13, 2016, Georgia State University and Georgia Tech in Atlanta campuses were hit, as was Kennesaw State University. In previous articles, we did not mention that Georgia State University – North (formerly Georgia Perimeter College) in Alpharetta was also targeted with racist materials. However, Casey Cooper’s Twitter messages make clear that racist materials went up at this campus as well. A little white later, white power posters also appeared at Augusta University.
It is now clear that Casey Cooper coordinated the overall poster campaign, and that Zachary Van Johnson did much of the work to ensure that racist materials went up in Alpharetta. Patrick Sharp appears to have bottom-lined propaganda around Kennesaw State University, although a reference to “KSU guys” suggests Sharp was not alone. In a message to Cooper, Sharp accept credit for graffiti threatening “anti-whites.”
Casey Cooper thought of the November propaganda mission as an attempt to increase the prestige of the metro Atlanta Alt-Right crew, just as the National Policy Institute Conference in Washington, DC was approaching. Cooper also aimed to turn Georgia Tech and Georgia State into “our territory” with the white power posters. Other participants gleefully discussed what they anticipated the consequences of the poster campaign to be, especially any negative effects on students of color.
Six people are mentioned as being on the November 12 postering/stickering team for Georgia State University in Atlanta and Georgia Tech: Casey Cooper, Joshua D Hitson (“Gent”), McKinley Witzler (formerly “9thCenturyDeplorable”/@USCharlemagne), “Eugene” (formerly @GasChamberz), “Z. Ben Goeringson”/@BenGoeringson, and finally “Heinrich Gottlieb”/@h_glieb.
During planning, McKinley Witzler stated that he could not let placing racist posters interfere with him getting to work at 11PM on the Saturday night. (Witzler works as a security guard around Georgia State University.) Witzler offered that his “waifu” — i.e. girlfriend Madison Craytor — would make the wheat-paste for putting up posters. In the end, Witzler may have only helped with part of the racist postering mission, as Witzler later asked in the group chat where the posters had been placed around Georgia State campus, since he wanted to have a look while on break from his campus security job.
In one of our previous articles discussing the November racist propaganda spree, we stated that “it appears someone else may have placed” the racist posters at Augusta University, not the same individuals responsible for the posters around Atlanta. This assessment was based on the distance between Augusta and Atlanta, the posters appearing on different nights, and a different Twitter account publishing photos of the propaganda around Augusta University. (Casey Cooper published photos of the other campuses on his old “Phoenix Reich” Twitter account.) As it turns out, however, one of the participants in Georgia State/Georgia Tech postering mission later placed the Augusta University posters. “Heinrich”/@h_glieb drove a couple of hours to join with Atlanta Alt-Right participants to put up posters around Georgia Tech and Georgia State campuses on Saturday night. This same individual later placed racist materials around Augusta University’s campus.
It appears that five people volunteered to place Alt-Right posters around Georgia State University – North (formerly Georgia Perimeter College) in Alpharetta that same evening. The five participants mentioned in the messages were: Zac Johnson, Chase Carroll (“Big Moof”/”Big Guy” in the messages), Chase’s friend Chaz Neugebauer (“Alt-Chud”), Alex Dibble (“A. Domini”) and finally “Ygori” (responsible for the now-deleted @_Ygori_ then @kebabinator1488 accounts on Twitter.) Zachary Van Johnson appears to have been the main coordinator for the Alpharetta team.
Additional Information About “Alt-Right” White Nationalist Organizing
The information leak shows that many local Alt-Right efforts are coordinated via group messaging on Twitter. The “ATL Neo-Harambists” messaging group on Twitter facilitates bigoted chit-chat as well as organizing efforts. When Patrick Sharp posted a photo of an October 2016 Atlanta “Alt-Right” meet-up to his Twitter, the logo for the “Neo-Harambists” was included on that image.
On a different note: Casey Cooper’s online payment for the February 2017 TheRightStuff conference in Houston, TX shows that, while the white nationalists at TheRightStuff were supposedly blocked from using Paypal, they simply use a new Paypal address to circumvent restrictions. That email account is: email@example.com. Anti-Fascist News has raised this issue before, but so far it does not seem to have led to action.
Finally, the comments of white nationalist Patrick Sharp (“Agree&Amplify”) about his friendship with comedian Sam Hyde of the Million Dollar Extreme (MDE) troupe, as well as Patrick Sharp’s claim that “Sam [Hyde] was staying at my place while he was in town,” add to the evidence that MDE are not merely “edgy” entertainers, but are enmeshed in the broader Alt-Right.
We have discussed the Casey Cooper info leak in detail, since it explains a lot about regional Alt-Right organizing. We hope to have made a good start in analyzing the leaked messages. We invite other anti-racists to build on our efforts here. If you have further information on the white nationalists discussed in this article — or whose messages or photos appeared in the info leak — please get in contact.
Atlanta Antifascists oppose white supremacist and fascist organizing in our region through education, confrontation, and building a grassroots culture of resistance. We oppose sexism, homophobia, anti-trans bigotry, and all other forms of oppression. We want a classless free society.