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Journalists & Other Antifa

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Last year, the Northwest Forum’s June and August meetings had three infiltrators. One was Patrik Hermannson of Hope Not Hate. The second was the girlfriend of a member of the local Cascadia group. The third was David Lewis, a Seattle journalist.

Obviously, we needed to rethink our vetting procedures.

Hermansson got in because he was vouched for by the organizers of The London Forum. The London Forum generally has very good security, so I thought it reasonable to trust them. This was obviously a mistake. Simply being vouched for is not enough. We need to take an independent look into everyone who is sent our way. In Hermansson’s case, simply asking him to show me picture ID before we sat down to an interview would have been enough to expose him as a fraud.

But here’s the rub: virtually everyone at the June 2017 Northwest Forum would have refused to give his picture ID, even the ones who later whined most loudly about the security breach. Indeed, most of the people in the Cascadia group knew each other only by online aliases. I even wonder if the fellow whose girlfriend later declared herself an infiltrator knew her real name. Obviously, in such a culture, “extreme vetting” is just a meme, and I was foolish to think that anyone vouching for any individual was meaningful.

As for the Lewis breach: that was entirely my fault, for which I am sorry. Again, though, his cover would have evaporated if I simply asked to see his picture ID. Fortunately, the Hermansson story had already weeded out the people who were most skittish about doxing. Beyond that, Lewis was simply a journalist looking for the opportunity to sell some snark, not an antifa agent, and as far as I can tell, the only people harmed by his story were the perfectly nice people who rented the venue to us. They got some bad publicity and were shaken down by local Leftists, who offered to take the blood money we had paid them, to cleanse them of guilt by association. Such is the price of doing business in the liberal utopia of Seattle.

At that point, I decided to quit doing The Northwest Forum. But others in the Northwest wanted to continue it.

Two Proposals for Dealing with Inflitrators

Two proposals to deal with the infiltrator problem were discussed but ultimately rejected for reasons outlined below.

The first suggestion was simply to make The Northwest Forum a public event, open to all who buy tickets. This would make a virtue of necessity. It would make publicity work for us rather than against us.  It would attract new people who are not afraid of attending public events, and it would keep skittish people away. (No vetting procedure can be 100% foolproof, and public meetings strip away any false sense of security.)

The second suggestion was to allow journalists to cover the event as long as they would abide by the same rules set down at the American Renaissance conference, namely that they would be clearly identified as members of the press (with the equivalent of a yellow star) and would not disclose the names or faces of attendees without their permission. The benefit of this is that our message would not be confined to just the people present. The media would carry at least some of it to the larger public.

Both of these suggestions would deal with one of the main problems of private meetings: namely, the fact that they can be framed as “secret” and thus invite “undercover” journalists and antifa. Leftists wish to frame our activities as secret because they wish to make them seem sinister, even criminal, with the eventual goal of using the state to ban our ideas and their dissemination.

For instance, Patrick Hermanson’s entire “scoop” from The London Forum and the Jonathan Bowden Dinner consisted of framing information that he could have gotten without false pretenses as the result of an undercover investigation at sinister secret conclaves. But I said nothing to Hermansson’s hidden microphone that I had not said in public many times before, and my picture had already been released online by movement scum.

Furthermore, to underscore how completely unnecessary Hermansson’s deception was, a legitimate journalist was present at the same London Forum meeting and Jonathan Bowden Dinner. She was identified as a member of the press and agreed to respect people’s privacy, and she heard basically the same things that Hermansson did, without the necessity of deception.

This, frankly, is the only benefit to having mainstream media around, since we have our own media to get our messages out. We can, for example, post videos and audios of Northwest Forum speeches online, for the whole world’s edification.

Why We Will Not Invite the Press

It is a rather small benefit, though, given the problems that arise from allowing journalists free access to our meetings. The most egregious example is Hailgate. More recent examples are Vegas Tenold’s book Everything You Love Will Burn, reviewed here; the New York Timesembarrassing exposure of Eli Mosley as a fraud; and this utterly cringeworthy montage of Richard Spencer, created by a journalist he allowed to follow him around as he got increasingly plastered:

As a general rule, I see no value in speaking with the mainstream media at all. We have our own media.

But not all forms of mainstream media engagement are equally bad. The worst thing to do is allow reporters free access to our meetings, to spy on people and to collect footage that they can artfully edit to cast us in the worst possible light.

If you must have press coverage of an event, do a separate press conference, in which the press are corralled together away from your audience, and everything is being recorded and filmed by multiple parties, which creates a disincentive for dishonest editing.

As a general rule, never talk to the press unless you are also recording your remarks, and make sure that the journalists know you are doing this. Otherwise, you are inviting them to edit your words, and they will obviously do so to make you look bad.

Doing live radio or television also eliminates the possibility of deceptive editing, at least in the initial broadcast.

I simply ignore 19 out of 20 mainstream media inquiries. I will give written or audio interviews to academic researchers and journalists who strike me as serious intellectuals. The main reason I do this is not to “get the message out,” because I don’t really need these people to do that. Again, we have our own media. I always keep copies of interviews and have released many of them at Counter-Currents. The primary reason I give such interviews is because I find them intellectually stimulating, thus they contribute more to my projects than they could ever contribute to our opponents.

Why We Will Keep Our Meetings Private

Of course, if we want to keep the press out, we cannot open events to the general public.

The main reason, though, to keep our events private is to protect our audience and venues from criminal violence by Leftists. This is a far greater threat than allowing undercover journalists and antifa to frame our events as “secret.” The best way to disrupt that frame is simply to make recordings of our events public.

Beyond that, the purpose of events like the Northwest Forum is not merely to disseminate ideas. After all, we could do that online without leaving the privacy of our own homes. The main purpose of the forums is to promote face-to-face community and networking. Having speakers is simply an additional incentive to get people to come to events. Such networking and community building cannot take place at public events, where members of the press and complete strangers are free to roam about.

The Way Forward

Public events are a way of combating a false sense of security about doxing. But the best way to do that is to give people a real sense of security by establishing better vetting. Thus, going forward, Northwest Forum events will be for a closed circle of highly vetted people. No more aliases. No more loose vetting and vouching. The people who are continuing the Forum all know one another’s real names and addresses. If you want to join that circle, you will have to:

  • pay for a background check to verify your identity
  • present picture ID to register

Should we have had these sorts of procedures in place from the beginning? No, for the simple reason that the forums never would have gotten off the ground. Still, we managed to have three very successful meetings even with loose vetting, and those meetings formed the basis for ongoing real-world relationships, which created a desire to continue the forums and a willingness to adopt stricter vetting going forward.

The Northwest Forum will continue as a private event. We will not seek publicity. Who attends and what is said will be off the record, although we will continue to record some of the presentations for future release with the permission of the speakers. We will do our best to keep away journalists and other antifa, but please bear in mind that no vetting is foolproof, and no real-world meeting is without risk.

If you wish to be invited to future Northwest Forum events, please email [email protected]

The next Northwest Forum will be held in Western Washington on Saturday, March 24, from noon to 5 pm. The speakers include Greg Johnson, James Allsup, Matt Flavel, and C. B. Robertson. I hope to see you there.

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18 Comments

  1. Jack
    Posted March 23, 2018 at 8:19 am | Permalink

    I am a journalist for a national newspaper in Britain but also have strong white nationalist sympathies. I have been warned by my superiors about some of my tweets and retweets, which they considered to be infra dig. Given I am verified on the platform and represent the outlet this is perfectly understandable. So I find myself in the unfortunate position of being a mainstream media journalist but also wanting to engage with the alt-right because I deeply believe in its message. Your suspicion of me is justified; how do I overcome your suspicion and earn your trust, with a view to attending some of your conferences?

    • Greg Johnson
      Posted March 23, 2018 at 9:09 am | Permalink

      Begin with AmRen.

      • Jack
        Posted March 23, 2018 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

        Thank you

  2. R_Moreland
    Posted March 22, 2018 at 11:09 pm | Permalink

    If the government worked the way it was supposed to work, you could go to the Department of Justice’s Office of Civil Rights and say: “Look, we’re holding a peaceful assembly in which we will practice our First Amendment rights. We expect you to provide us with protection, including not just physical security but also criminal prosecution/civil suits against those elements which are trying to disrupt those rights.”

    And then the government would take action on your behalf.

    (I’ll wait a moment for the laughter to die down.)

    To continue:

    The real question here is, “Why is so much of the System afraid of the Alt Right?” We’re talking about a few hundred cadre-echelon activists in this country, at most. And they lack any support from global financiers, academia, prestige media, IT companies or name politicians (unlike, say, Black Lives Matter).

    Is it that the Left requires an enemy on the Right (cf James Burnham in Suicide of the West) and thus will invent a Big White Menace to justify their own ideological assumptions? Or is it something deeper?

    For all the decades of indoctrination, agitation, social engineering and general mayhem, it is increasingly apparent that egalitarianism has failed, and failed miserably. This is evident worldwide, whether in the ruins of Detroit, the ANC terror attacks in South Africa, or the No Go Zones from Paris to Malmo. Meantime, you have the rise of various nationalist movements in Europe, and these are capturing the imagination of many sectors, especially the youth.

    I think this is one reason that the System has amped up its agitprop, de-platformings and violence, and is taking on an increasingly hysterical aspect. It’s more out of desperation than real strength, a fear that White people will take that Red Pill en masse and then it’s all over for both egalitarianism and globalism.

    There is a specter haunting Liberalism, waiting to break through the virtual wall and shatter the System to pieces. It’s on the tip of everyone’s tongue. The Northwest Forum and other venues are giving it a name: White Nationalism.

  3. Vehmgericht
    Posted March 22, 2018 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

    The penetration and disruption of white nationalist networks will escalate as it is highly incentivised.

    Prospective ‘moles’ can obtain funding from perfectly mainstream sources, such as academic research councils or campaigning ‘think-tanks’. Any undercover activity carries some risk, but as far as I know, no ‘investigator’ in the US or Western Europe has yet been seriously harmed. Police and intelligence agencies, if involved at any point, are liable to be lenient and supportive. Entrapping and exposing ‘racists’ gives them a welcome respite from the thanklessness of suppressing ethnic gangs and islamic terrorists. A successful ‘mole’ can expect to be rewarded, not only with accolades from the elite media, but with an advance for a book or documentary and an offer of tenure. One is after all doing socially useful work, not simply burnishing one’s halo!

    The Left has never been squeamish about using lies and treachery to discredit its enemies. If the nationalist right is to survive and grow it must get serious about discipline and operational security.

  4. Rob Bottom
    Posted March 22, 2018 at 4:37 am | Permalink

    Maintaining such lists is never a good idea, as the potential damage of a leak is infinitely worse than accidentally allowing an infiltrator in. The Amren policy seems to work.

  5. Per Nordin
    Posted March 22, 2018 at 2:26 am | Permalink

    “As a general rule, I see no value in speaking with the mainstream media at all. We have our own media.”

    Have you not yourself met and given interviews to established media?

  6. Dominique_Nuit
    Posted March 21, 2018 at 11:47 pm | Permalink

    Another New York Forum would be nice

  7. James Dunphy
    Posted March 21, 2018 at 11:35 pm | Permalink

    Here’s my idea. Create a test on rightist topics. Come up with 100 questions sourced from movement leaders. Make sure the questions have definite, indisputable answers. Beta test it among trusted people in the movement. Find out the mean, median, mode, and range. Randomly choose ten questions with various rates of successful completion. Test the prospective attendee in person. If they don’t score high enough, don’t invite them but permit them to take the test in maybe another year. Spouses and minors may be exempt but not boyfriends / girlfriends unless they have children with the attendee.

    It’s a lot of work, but it would allow people to maintain anonymity.

    • Born Red Pilled
      Posted March 22, 2018 at 8:00 am | Permalink

      That would be a cool thing to do, even if it wasn’t useful as a screen.

      • James Dunphy
        Posted March 26, 2018 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

        I agree.

    • Matt Grey
      Posted March 22, 2018 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

      That would keep out low grade infiltrators but the truly dedicated, those who are willing to study their mark and know their subject, would still get in. Plus it may keep out sincere people who are less informed.

      • James Dunphy
        Posted March 26, 2018 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

        I think you’re right.

        • James Dunphy
          Posted March 26, 2018 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

          That is, you’re right about it keeping well-meaning neophytes, and in that case it is a bad idea.

          However, I would have to say that no matter how long most leftists study our movement, they still won’t get it. Powers of self-delusion that they posses won’t let them.

  8. Oil Can Harry
    Posted March 21, 2018 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

    The problem with extreme vetting and other strict security measures is that it slows down the growth of our movement and can lead to some good people being barred from attending.

    My instinct would be to make the meetings open to the public like the Amren conferences. The problem with that would be Antifa threatening the business owners to cancel their rental agreement for the Forum and then phoning in bomb threats if that doesn’t work.

    So there are no easy answers. It would seem your plan for stricter vetting is probably the wisest approach for now.

    • Greg Johnson
      Posted March 21, 2018 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

      We are going for slow, organic growth.

      Other people can do public events.

  9. C.B. Robertson
    Posted March 21, 2018 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

    Excellent article. The media currency is sensationalism, and too many of the wrong type of people wind up with too much influence in these groups when they don’t have skin in the game. It’s a shame that people who are interested but aren’t willing to share their ID won’t get to participate, but it seems that the risks of being informal or open strongly outweigh the benefits.

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