For about a month, since the very successful Scandza Forum event in Stockholm on May 20th, part of the AltRight has been in a sad state, with many low-water marks reached in comments on Facebook and in discussion threads. Lots of allegations and statements, many of them false, have been made, followed by demands for proof and support. As these speculations are now starting to harm and divide individuals, I feel it is my duty to clarify the points on which I have first-hand knowledge. My account spans a few days preceding the May 20th event when I personally took part in some significant exchanges. First, a short background.
I got to know Daniel Friberg in the early days of the Internet in the mid-1990s or slightly before. We got along very well together over the Internet, and had a very close collaboration on a project that included his magazine and lots of supporting material. We did this for a few years. He has been involved in the production and publication of all my book translations until the reissue of my first book translation, which now is republished by Logik Förlag. We are indeed very good friends and think highly of and much appreciate each other, although in recent years we have not been closely working together or socializing that much.
Roughly a week before the May 20th Scandza Forum event, I had a few short conversations with Daniel regarding the new organization Nordic AltRight. He had evidently heard that I was recruiting attendees to the Scandza event, as he asked me to have him and his girlfriend put on the invitations list. I forwarded that request to the Scandza organizers. A short time passed, and Daniel then asked me to confirm that he really was invited. I got back to Scandza, and they replied that Greg Johnson had asked to not have Daniel invited. This was a request and not an ultimatum. There were, to my knowledge, no conditions or terms attached to that request.
This was a bothersome situation. I let a few days pass, hoping than something improbable but fortunate would happen in the meantime. Then I told my contact at Scandza that I would call Daniel, which I did on May 16th. There was a discussion, and we exchanged several messages during the evening. Daniel was anxious to get in contact with Scandza as soon as possible. He said that I could tell them anything we had communicated about.
The SMS conversation below is from our exchanges that night. First is a screenshot, followed by a translation.
Filmersson: “I have no contact right now, but he will probably get back to me soon during the evening.”
Friberg: “OK. Please try to speed this up or give me his phone number so that we can settle things – then I will wait before I take the matter further. But [name of a leading Nordic AltRight profile] and Co. thought that we should utilize all of our channels to urge a boycott of the conference if Greg doesn’t withdraw his demand.”
Filmersson: “Wait and do nothing until at least you have been in contact. I’m trying to reach him.”
Friberg: “He has, however, only until 10 p.m. tonight. Please point that out. We have a press conference to prepare and need to make a decision tonight regarding how to deal with this, and what attitude to take to [the Scandza organizer] in the future.”
Filmersson: “I’ll send that at once. I am sure that [the Scandza organizer] at least gets my e-mail rather promptly.”
Filmersson: “Daniel, with the magnitude of the consequences in mind, I would really ask you not to start something or making some irreversible decision tonight. Sleep on it. If you give this some time, maybe it can be resolved. If an all-out boycott is urged through all channels, there will be a big fuss in open daylight within all of AltRight that would cause harm and sow division, and that would also taint the launch of the new organization.” [The last words refers to the Nordic AltRight.]
Two days later, on the 18th: Scandza’s principal organizer called me about a sudden crisis situation. He told me that intended speakers had been contacted in a way that could lead them to reconsider taking their flights to Sweden. He asked me to write to Kevin MacDonald as soon as possible to confirm the things I had related to him two nights before and to assure that, as far as I knew, no other individuals had been denied registration (the story that had been told to MacDonald was that everyone associated with Daniel was banned).
I don’t know what form these messages to MacDonald (and perhaps others) took or whom they were officially from. The Scandza organizer didn’t go into details, but I am certain that the important points he made were not distorted, because if they had been, then my letter to MacDonald would make no sense and only cause confusion and further inquiry.
Regardless of right and wrong, and though I didn’t and still don’t know all the details, I found it unacceptable to risk having the whole thing derailed. More than a hundred people (of whom I had gathered between 25 and 30) had reserved that day, and some of the greatest proponents of the AltRight/New Right were arriving from different continents. Regardless of the upsetting things we had to deal with, this was a very important event that I was not willing to let go down the drain.
Fortunately, Kevin MacDonald replied to the effect that we were still running on track; the show was still on.
These were the observations on which I based my conclusion that a boycott of some kind was indeed underway at the time of writing that email:
- Friberg mentions a boycott in the text conversation above.
- The issue was out on Facebook (and from there further out over the Internet) almost immediately after the 10 p.m. deadline.
- A leading member of the Nordic AltRight posted on Facebook that he cancelled his ticket and demanded a refund and encouraged others to follow his example, and that a lunch/speakers’ event on the 20th now was being organized for those who preferred that instead and perhaps had traveled from far away.
- The fact that Kevin MacDonald and perhaps more people had been contacted to the effect that the whole event could be in jeopardy.
A fifth observation, from which I would be very careful to draw any conclusions, was the coincidence that the date for the Nordic AltRight’s press conference was set to the day before the Scandza Forum event. (The Scandza Forum date was the first date of the two to be officially announced.)
After all that has transpired, and all that probably will transpire, I really hope that things still can get back to normal for the good of the cause.