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Under Cover With the Alt Right


Patrik Hermansson

1,862 words

“These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country . . .” — Thomas Paine

In May of this year, I went to London to speak at the London Forum and the first annual Jonathan Bowden dinner. Stead Steadman introduced me to a young Swedish man going by the name Erik Hellberg. I was told that Erik was, like so many others, a newcomer to the movement who was going to write a master’s thesis on doxing, deplatforming, and harassment directed at White Nationalists.

The day after the London Forum, Stead and I met with Erik in a quiet hotel bar for a brief interview. I talked about my own experiences of harassment in San Francisco. We also talked a bit about White Nationalism in general, as well as other people he might interview. I suggested he talk to Charles Krafft, who has much more interesting stories than mine.

Erik seemed a nice enough fellow. A bit socially awkward, a bit inarticulate, a bit effeminate, but not so outside the norm for academic types that I felt suspicious. And he came with the recommendation of Stead Steadman.

Later Erik told me he was going to the US. I told him that friends of mine were holding a Northwest Forum meeting Seattle in June, and it would be an opportunity to interview Charles. I figured that if he had passed vetting for the London Forum and the Bowden Dinner, he would be fine for the Northwest Forum as well. (Stead actually has a reputation for being too strict in his vetting procedures, which made it impossible for some of Millennial Woes’ fans to see him speak at the May Forum.) I also suggested that Erik speak briefly at the Northwest Forum about his research project, to see if others in attendance would be interested in an interview.

It turns out that Erik Hellberg is really named Patrik Hermansson, and he was a spy for the antifa group Hope Not Hate. Not only was he recording interviews with people, he was also wearing a hidden camera and taking videos, and the results of his year-long investigations are going to be released as a documentary video.

My initial reaction to this news was a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. I imagine that everyone Erik spoke to felt the same way. He certainly made the rounds, attending the Extremists Club in London, the London Forum, the Northwest Forum, and even Unite the Right in Charlottesville, insinuating his way into the good graces of Jez Turner and Stead Steadman, and interviewing not only me but also Millennial Woes, Tom Sunic, Gregory Lauder-Frost, Jason Jorjani, and Daniel Friberg, as well as chatting up countless people at various events.

It is terrible to feel that one’s trust has been violated by a rat, and it is even worse to feel that you lent your credibility to such a person, so he could violate even more people’s trust. In particular, I must apologize to the 30-odd people at the Northwest Forum who were exposed to this snitch because of me. (It turns out that he did not make much of an impression. At first, Charlie Krafft could not remember him at all. Think of how much worse it could have been if the infiltrator had been more socially confident and got people to do something really dumb, like Nazi salutes in front of cameras.)

We will see if Hope Not Hate followed local laws about recording conversations. Washington is a “two-party consent state [2].” Thus it is a crime to “intercept or record a private telephone call, in-person conversation, or electronic communication unless all parties to the communication consent.”

It is too soon to gauge the effect this will have on the movement, but some things need to be borne in mind.

First, Hope Not Hate will not release full videos. Instead, they will pick and choose what they consider the most damaging materials, and they will edit them deceptively to increase their impact. So nothing should be taken at face value. This is particularly true of Jason Jorjani’s footage, which has been edited to make him seem like a genocidal maniac, whereas in truth Jorjani, like the rest of us, thinks that the present world system is spiraling toward apocalyptic violence, genocide, and collapse. Our goal is to prevent that. For me, the whole purpose of ethnonationalism is to strike at the roots of ethnic hatred, violence, and genocide by giving peoples their own homelands. Jorjani envisions somewhat different problems and different solutions, but his ultimate goal is to prevent rather than trigger a global apocalypse.

But Leftists are liars. They have to lie. Their values are false and are giving rise to increasingly terrible consequences, which they must conceal from the public with more lies, political correctness (which boils down to excusing the guilty and blaming the innocent), and censorship. White Nationalism is growing because more of our people are waking up to the nightmare the Left is creating. This is why the Left is doubling down on their attempts to silence us. Because they have to lie, they have to control the media, and now that the Internet has loosened their control, they have to shut down access to alternative media.

Second, Hope Not Hate will surely release what they consider the most incendiary footage and recordings first, and from what I have seen so far, there are no bombshells. Basically, all these videos prove is that we say the same things in private that we say in public.

Indeed, the irony is that Patrik Hermansson did not need to lie at all. He could have openly presented himself as a Left-wing journalist, and virtually every one of us would probably have said the very same things. (For instance, here’s my interview [3] with a Marxist journalist, Laura Raim.)

Leftists argue that we need to be deplatformed and censored for shouting our ideas from the rooftops — but when they want to repackage the very same ideas that we broadcast so effectively on our own as the discoveries of a courageous undercover investigator, suddenly they adopt the pretense that we are all muttering in secret.

I also have to laugh at the pretense that Hermansson was risking his life. The only person who ever harmed him was a fellow Leftist in Charlottesville. Frankly, one of the chief lessons of this fiasco is that White Nationalists are far too nice. One always regrets being too kind.

Third, Leftists think that our ideas are so self-evidently evil that they have little sense of the impressions they have on normies, thus they often unwittingly broadcast persuasive messages to the masses. For instance, apparently Hope Not Hate has a tiny clip of me at the London Forum speaking about the sickening spectacle after the Manchester Arena bombing that took place only a few days before. On May 22, 2017, yet another Muslim suicide bomber had massacred 22 innocents, most of them children, and injured 250 others at a concert in Manchester. And while the survivors were still picking bloody bits of children from their hair, Britain’s leaders were rushing toward the nearest camera to profess their undying commitment to diversity. This kind of religious fervor is simply insane. Leftists can point and splutter all they want, but rational people will be moved to think. (The words were not mine. I was paraphrasing something I saw on social media.)

Fourth, the most likely harm to the movement is not what the videos and tapes will reveal to the world, but the demoralization and distrust that they will promote. But let’s think this through. Everyone who attends these meeting knows that there is a certain level of risk involved from infiltrators and doxers. They also know that the organizers of these meetings take sensible precautions, but no system is foolproof. Thus most people do not reveal sensitive or compromising information to strangers. The worst case scenario is that pictures of people at events will be released online, and some of them will be identified and doxed. Nobody wants this to happen, but people who attend movement events know that it is also a risk.

We willingly shoulder these personal risks because if we do nothing, our race and civilization will die.

Now I will grant that some people might have gotten into this movement without thinking of the likely consequences. Others might have a change of heart in light of actual events. If so, I urge them to rethink their involvement. They might want to go back to entirely online interactions for a while. If so, there will be no hard feelings on my part. As I see this movement, everybody gets to determine his own level of risk and involvement, and the rest of us have to respect whatever they decide. The important thing, though, no matter what your comfort level, is to always do whatever you can. If you can’t go public, support those who do.

I am ashamed to admit it, but there is a part of me that longs for the time when our movement was a little safer and easier, when I could pen my essays and publish my books in relative peace, without threat of criminal violence and corporate persecution. But that was only possible because we were marginal and irrelevant. We are under increasing attack simply because we are increasingly successful at waking our people up, and the establishment is terrified. Every new success will provoke a fresh round of persecutions. But that can only go so far. We have a powerful ally that the enemy lacks: the truth. Furthermore, while our movement is becoming larger, stronger, and better organized, the system is dying from drinking its own multicultural Kool-Aid. Our policies are in harmony with reality, whereas the enemy is increasingly detached from it. But you can only ignore reality for so long. Thus the system is on borrowed time. So our work will only get harder . . . until it starts getting easier, and then we’ll win.

I find it perversely flattering that Hope Not Hate is promoting their exposé by claiming that finally they have unmasked the reclusive Greg Johnson. This too is a lie. First of all, I never believed that I could prevent my picture from eventually getting out on the web, so I never cared about it. I am philosophical about such matters. Specifically, I am a Stoic. I only worry about the things I can control, not the things that I can’t.

But it amused me to see my enemies get exercised over my picture. I imagine Obama felt the same way about the birthers. I wanted to see how long it would take before a photo got out, and I wanted to see who would finally put it out there: the enemy or one of the many loathsome people in our movement. I was betting it would be movement scum, and I was right. An old photo of me was dug up and circulated in January, and other pictures were surreptitiously taken at the last AmRen conference. So Hope Not Hate is a distant third.

I just hope that for my next appearance in The New York Times the lighting will be better.