Filed under: Analysis, Anti-fascist, Gentrification, Southeast
Since the early 2000s, Atlanta white nationalist attorney Sam Dickson has been accumulating property in Atlanta, making a profit from gentrification and rising property values in our city. Dickson has built a “multi-million dollar business” from purchasing unpaid tax debts, then using them as leverage to obtain properties at bargain prices. Dickson has focused on property in South Atlanta, often in neighborhoods that are historically Black and working class. Dickson has been accused of “bullying” tactics to gain title.
Dickson’s moneymaking from the Atlanta property market was highlighted in a 2006 article published by the state-friendly, anti-extremist Southern Poverty Law Center. Other white nationalist and far-Right figures — currently or recently involved in the Atlanta property market — have received less attention. This article discusses some of these figures, showing how organized white nationalists gain both politically and economically from gentrification in our city.
Georgia attorney Samuel Glasgow Dickson has been a major figure on the racist far-Right since the 1970s. In 1978, Dickson campaigned for Lieutenant Governor of Georgia on a segregationist platform, receiving 11% of the vote. A lawyer since 1972, Dickson was known for representing Klansmen. Dickson participated in organizations such as the World Anti-Communist League (which included war criminals and far-Right terrorists) as well as the Council of Conservative Citizens (which traces back to the segregationist White Citizens’ Councils.) Dickson was active in Holocaust-denial circles – he published “Revisionist” materials and hosted events in Atlanta. Holocaust-denier David Irving spent time at Dickson’s property in Key West, Florida while facing criminal charges in Europe.
In 1994, Dickson gave a talk at the first American Renaissance conference, a suit-and-tie-style white nationalist gathering. Dickson has presented at every American Renaissance conference since then. He is also a regular speaker at the “Alt-Right” gatherings of the National Policy Institute. Predictably, Dickson was a speaker at the “Atlanta Forum” gathering in Marietta, Georgia this January, which brought together racist Southern nationalists and “Alt-Right” white nationalists. When Auburn University in Alabama tried to cancel an appearance by white power leader Richard Spencer of the National Policy Institute, Dickson filed a lawsuit so the event could go ahead. Dickson gave a talk when white nationalists assembled in mass in Charlottesville, Virginia on May 13, 2017 – the white nationalists’ evening event was reminiscent of Klan ceremonies. Sam Dickson was again in Charlottesville for the bloody “Unite the Right” far-Right rally on August 12, 2017, where white supremacist James Alex Fields Jr. murdered anti-racist Heather Heyer and wounded over a dozen more in a car attack.
While staying active on the white power scene, Dickson has spent over a decade and a half buying up land around Atlanta, frequently using tax liens he has purchased to encourage property owners to sell low. When areas are redeveloped, Dickson stands to profit. Predictably, other white nationalists and far-Right figures now have their names on Fulton County property records, operating at various degrees of proximity or separation from Dickson himself.
One Block in Summerhill
Dickson’s property interests are held both under his own name and in several limited liability corporations. To examine all these business entities and their interconnections would be tedious, and is beyond the scope of this article. However, just looking at a single block in the South Atlanta neighborhood of Summerhill provides a good introduction to some far-Right forces involved in Atlanta property investment.
On this Summerhill block, we have identified four properties of interest.
At property (1), Joshua R. Buckley conveyed his partial interest in this lot to Sam Dickson in February 2017. Before then, the property had been listed in both of their names (and before that again, LLCs linked to them.) At one point, Buckley was Dickson’s protégé and “heir apparent.”Buckley left Atlanta in 2009, relocating to North Augusta, SC. Buckley continues to own property in the Atlanta area.
As a youth in the early ‘90s, Joshua Buckley was a member of the SS of America, a neo-Nazi organization. More recently, Buckley has co-edited TYR: Myth – Culture – Religion with Michael Moynihan. Thus far, there have been four volumes of this thick “radical traditionalist” journal, the first appearing in 2002. TYR combines articles by far-Right figures such as European New Right theorist Alain de Benoist with anti-modern, neopagan, and counter cultural material.
In 2016 and 2017, Joshua Buckley published several articles on the Operation Werewolf “War Journal” blog. “Operation Werewolf” is an anti-egalitarian fitness cult with ties to the Alt-Right and white supremacy. This seems a good fit for Buckley, who is also a jiu jitsu instructor.
The adjacent lot (2) in Summerhill was transferred from Sam Dickson’s “Community Renewal and Redemption, LLC” to the UK-based Beltem Trust in December 2014. According to a 2016 article by Thomas Wheatley in Creative Loafing, Beltem Trust:
owns approximately 20 properties in Vine City and English Avenue, among others throughout Atlanta. CL was able to determine that the administrator for the trust is Adrian Davies, a London lawyer who helped launch the British Democratic Party, a right-wing political party with an anti-immigration platform. […] Nearly all the trust’s properties were acquired from limited liability corporations affiliated with Sam Dickson […] As trust administrator, he [Adrian Davies] earns ‘extremely modest fees.’ If sold, proceeds would be distributed to the trust’s beneficiaries.
While Adrian Davies insisted to Creative Loafing that he is not a white nationalist, Davies has both presented at an American Renaissance conference and published on its website. In 2014, Davies appeared on a podcast with National Policy Institute leader Richard Spencer. Davies was listed as an invitee to a 2017 gathering of the Scandza Forum in Sweden, which brought together far-Right, racist, and antisemitic ideologues from Europe and North America.
In a published legal notice, Sam Dickson is listed as attorney for the Beltem Trust.
The Summerhill lot at (3) was transferred by Marietta attorney Martin K. O’Toole to Sam Dickson’s “Belfare LLC” in September 2016. (O’Toole does not seem to own other property in Fulton County, at least under his own name.)
Martin K. O’Toole’s name also shows up in 2014 property transfers between the Beltem Trust (with Davies as trustee) and Dickson’s companies — O’Toole provides an address for return of documents after processing.
Both Martin O’Toole and Sam Dickson were listed on business filings for “Historical Review Press – USA,” a Georgia-based “Revisionist”/Holocaust-denial publishing outfit dissolved in 1992.
Martin O’Toole gave a speech to the American Renaissance white nationalist gathering in 2008 and has contributed to the American Renaissance website. O’Toole has also been published by the secessionist/white power League of the South.
O’Toole is the President and Chairperson of the Charles Martel Society, according to its 2015 IRS filings. (Sam Dickson is listed as a Director.) The Charles Martel Society is a secretive far-Right think tank which publishes the racist, pseudo-academic The Occidental Quarterly.
O’Toole is also active in General Leonidas Polk Camp #1446 of Sons of Confederate Veterans, an organization whose members will tell you they do not agree with racism.
The vacant lot at (4) is owned by Sun Rising LCC. Before discussing Sun Rising, we wish to highlight another name that crops up in Fulton County property filings.
Greg Johnson: Asafoetida Land Trust and Othala Land Trust
Although not related to the block in Summerhill discussed above, there are two other land trusts we find notable. Both trusts were listed as owning property in Fulton County earlier this decade. The Asafoetida Land Trust and the Othala Land Trust name Greg Johnson as trustee. In the case of the Othala Land Trust properties, its handful of properties were (purportedly) transferred to the Trust from LLCs initially organized by the trio of Joshua Buckley, Dickson, plus John H. Coleman. Years later, Dickson composed affidavits stating that he was Manager of the LLCs and that there was no authority for the purported transfers. Most of these properties now appear to have been transferred by Othala trustee Greg Johnson to Sam Dickson.
The Asafoetida Land Trust appears to be the larger trust of the two trusts. Most properties were transferred from Buckley’s Meriwether Ventures LLC to the trust during 2010-2011. In recent years, several properties have been transferred from the Asafoetida Land Trust to Joshua Buckley.
“Greg Johnson” of the Asafoetida and Othala Land Trusts is almost certainly Gregory Robert Johnson of Counter Currents Publishing, a white nationalist website and publisher that presents itself as the voice of the “North American New Right.” Details such as notary stamps on deeds and Gregory Robert Johnson’s locations at the time all line up. One document gives the more complete name of “Gregory R Johnson” as the Asafoetida trustee. That Gregory R Johnson knows Buckley is no secret. Gregory Robert Johnson has mentioned Buckley as “the first actual concrete person that I met who was on the Right” when both were living in Atlanta. When Joshua Buckley published European New Right theorist Alain de Benoist’s On Being a Pagan in 2004, Greg Johnson edited the volume.
Johnson continues to spend time in Atlanta, for example organizing a far-Right banquet event in Atlanta in 2015. Johnson also stated that he would be in Atlanta immediately before and after this year’s American Renaissance conference in Tennessee.
Through Counter Currents Publishing, Johnson is a major voice among intellectual and pseudo-intellectual sectors of the far-Right. (Johnson himself has a PhD in Philosophy, awarded 2001.) Before launching Counter-Currents in 2010, Johnson edited The Occidental Quarterly – the “academic-sounding” racist journal issued by the Charles Martel Society — for two and a half years. As “R.G. Fowler,” Greg Johnson maintained the Savitri Devi Archive, an attempt to spread the word about esoteric thinker Savitri Devi/Maximiani Portas (1905-1982) whose worldview combined Hinduism and Nazism.
Sun Rising LLC and Evan Thomas Kuettner / Evan Thomas Anderson
Yet another white nationalist appears to be making moves on the Atlanta property market. In the Summerhill block discussed earlier, Sun Rising LLC owns the fourth and final lot we marked on the map. Sun Rising LLC owns additional property in the Lakewood neighborhood: one building and nearby lots.
Sun Rising is not alone in the neighborhood; for example, property on nearby Rhodesia Avenue has been linked to one of Sam Dickson’s companies plus The Beltem Trust/Davies.
According to Georgia business records, Sun Rising LLC was organized earlier this year by “Ian Thomas.” The business is registered to the address of the Lakewood building which the business purchased. On purchase records for the building and nearby lots, however, Sun Rising LLC’s manager is listed as “Evan Anderson.” On a financing statement, Anderson gives the Angela Street address used by Sam Dickson’s Villas Key West property in Florida.
In front of the Lakewood Avenue building, Evan Anderson placed a sign advertising it for sale or lease.
Curiously, doing an internet search for the phone number on that sign led to writing on the white power Stormfront.org forum. (At the time of publication, Stormfront is offline.) The 2006 comment is by “David Starr Jordan” and is in a thread about activity in Michigan.
“David Starr Jordan” has already been identified as “Evan Thomas” AKA Evan Thomas Kuettner. Kuettner is a racist activist who organized Michigan events for Canadian white power leader Paul Fromm in the 2000s. During the same period, Kuettner participated in several white nationalist organizations. Kuettner had a reputation for using different names and having different personas. While active in white nationalism as “Evan Thomas,” Kuettner led the Warren, Michigan Tea Party as “Tom Kuettner.” (As Tea Party leader, Kuettner successfully campaigned for a 2010 ballot measure reducing numbers in City Council and having most City Council members elected by ward.) Kuettner showed up at Occupy Detroit as well as the office for the Michigan Welfare Rights Organization, leading to worries about infiltration.
We have now discovered that in 2015, Evan Thomas Kuettner legally changed his name to Evan Thomas Anderson.
Currently, Kuettner/Anderson is a key organizer with the white nationalist group Identity Evropa. We noted in an earlier article that Kuettner/Anderson appeared to be spending time in Atlanta, although he seems to travel around, spending time in Michigan and other locations. When Atlanta-area white nationalists held a November 2016 election-night gathering, Evan was photographed there (as was Sam Dickson.)
Online databases also connect Kuettner/Anderson to Sam Dickson’s address in Peachtree Hills, Atlanta.
Both “Evan Thomas” and Sam Dickson gave megaphone speeches at the May 13, 2017 white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. “Evan Thomas”/Kuettner/Anderson marshaled other white nationalists at that event. The May 13 rally was a precursor to the bloody “Unite the Right” event in Charlottesville on August 12, where anti-racist Heather Heyer was murdered and over a dozen wounded when white supremacist and rally participant James Alex Fields Jr rammed his car into a crowd of counter-protesters.
At the Unite the Right rally, Evan Anderson and Sam Dickson were both there.
Gentrification and Atlanta Alt-Right Activists
Involvement in property development and gentrification has several obvious appeals to white nationalists. First, insofar as it builds white enclaves at the expense of communities of color, this parallels the larger-scale political goals of white nationalism. Second, it generates funds and material resources that may be put at the disposal of the racist movement. Third, being perceived as a successful businessperson can itself generate political capital and greater opportunities to spread one’s message.
Partially because of his property market success, Sam Dickson was invited to speak to the Libertarian Party of DeKalb County on April 25, 2016. Dickson appeared alongside mortgage banker, Republican Party activist, and web radio broadcaster Greg Jackson, where they discussed “government meddling into the real estate market in Atlanta, the 911 tax, water tax, municipal courts, and gentrification of Howell Mill and Vine City.” (A key player in the Libertarian Party of Dekalb County meet-ups in 2016 was Jared Alexander Huggins, who is also affiliated with Identity Evropa. The Libertarian Party of Dekalb disbanded earlier this year. A local Libertarian Party activist contacted our group and stated that the Libertarian Party of Dekalb County had not been properly sanctioned by the Party.)
Younger “Alt-Right” white power militants have also shown interest in Atlanta property. In leaked discussion from 2016, white power organizers Casey Jordan Cooper and Patrick Nelson Sharp discussed purchasing a building in the Chosewood Park area of Atlanta. Casey Cooper stated: “I’m sure Sam [Dickson] will have good advice for us” in their plans to get active in real estate. Earlier that week, Sharp had shared his dream on Twitter:
Start with a house for college guys. Buy the house next door. Buy the whole street. Be a gentrifying force. Build your micro-Ethnostate.
It doesn’t look like Sharp and Cooper got the property. But Sharp’s dream of gentrification-as-ethnic-cleansing has not died. The month of Unite the Right at Charlottesville, Sharp’s “Fascist Fitness” Twitter account celebrated “White, Right-wing gentrification gangs” — his spin on the “Right-Wing Death Squads” cheered by the Alt-Right.
Sam Dickson’s economic efforts in Atlanta are intertwined with his white nationalist ideology. It now appears that younger racists committed to Dickson’s vision of a white homeland, now wish to follow in his economic footsteps as well.
Sam Dickson’s efforts as a mini-real estate mogul have been well-known for a decade. More recently, the large amounts of South Atlanta properties held by the Beltem Trust (with far-Right figure Adrian Davies as trustee) have become known. This article supplements the information already uncovered by investigative journalists in three main ways. First, it highlighted that influential far-Right commentator publisher Greg Johnson of Counter-Currents was also active in Atlanta land trusts. Second, we showed that Evan Thomas Kuettner / Evan Thomas Anderson — an Identity Evropa organizer and national-level figure on the white power scene — has also been purchasing Atlanta property, seemingly working closely with Dickson. Finally, we have shown that white nationalists in their twenties are paying attention to the property efforts of Dickson and Kuettner / Anderson, and want to get involved themselves. We hope this information is useful not just to militant anti-fascists, but to those active within anti-gentrification/anti-displacement struggles in our city.