It’s a story as old as time: A leading figure in a “white supremacist terror” group turned out to be a federal informant. This time it was Atomwaffen. Joshua Caleb Sutter was exposed in court records in a case dealing with an indicted Atomwaffen leader. Federal authorities, without naming Sutter, admitted to paying him over $140,000 since 2003 for his work as a confidential informant. They had paid him over $80,000 since 2018, when he took over leadership of the group
Sutter makes for an ideal informant due to his long history in the movement. His father was a preacher associated with Aryan Nations who brought his son into the fold. Sutter the Younger was arrested in 2003 on a weapons charge and served a short stint in prison. This was the start of his cooperation with the federal government.
Over the years, Sutter married a girl by the name of Jillian Hoy, and both came to pioneer a “unique” blend of Nazism and Satanism. He ran the American chapter of the Order of Nine Angles (Temple ov Blood), and she ran the Satanic publishing company Martinet Press. The operation was an exercise in edge that would make even the most maladjusted wignat wince. Martinet’s most well-known offering is Iron Gates, a terribly-written novel about a Satanic dystopia filled with torture, rape, and infanticide. It’s not quite the book you’d want to inspire ordinary people with.
Sutter made himself a caricature of an extremist. Anything that would alienate the ordinary American, he would embrace. Neo-Nazism? Check. Satanism? Check. Rape? Check. Supporting North Korea? Check. Terrorism? Check. Genocide? Check. This is not a person who anyone with common sense would want anything to do with, but for some reason, many of the young edgelords who gravitated to Atomwaffen thought Sutter had the right ideas.
There are a few lessons to learn here. One concerns the nature of federal informants and the behavior they wish to stoke; the other is the need to curtail transgression fetishism on the Right.
Sutter’s whole MO was convincing wayward youth to embrace extreme ideas, terrorism, and criminal behavior. He wasn’t alone among the many Nazi “terror cells” that have popped up over the last five years or so. Atomwaffen as an organization was designed to elicit as much attention from federal law enforcement as possible. The group declared itself to be a terror group seeking to destroy the whole system. It conducted paramilitary training, “swatted” various enemies, threatened to carry out a litany of terrorist acts and violence on social media, and certainly didn’t care about optics. For instance, one of its leaders went by the pseudonym “Rape” and shared child porn.
The group was easy to portray as one of the primary threats to America, in spite of it being composed mostly of teenage shitlords who spent too much time on the internet. There were a few murders connected to the group, but they further indicate that the group was more ridiculous than threatening. One member killed two other members after he converted to Islam and decided his former friends were infidels. Another member killed a gay Jewish college student who he may have had a sexual relationship with. Another very young member killed his girlfriend’s parents after they objected to his extremist beliefs. Gruesome stuff, but more akin to depraved school shooters than actual terrorists.
Nonetheless, the group persisted in portraying itself as a terrorist organization, making themselves easy fodder for journo hit pieces and federal entrapment schemes. Many members were doxed thanks to the attention, and the less fortunate ones found themselves arrested on a variety of federal charges. No aspect of the system was harmed in the process. They made for the perfect terrorist group for the feds: stupid, overtly extreme, and ultimately harmless unless goaded by informants — informants like Joshua Sutter.
Atomwaffen wasn’t the only group like this. The Base (literally the English translation of “al-Qaeda”) was for those for whom Atomwaffen’s fedposting was too subtle. The group, led by an actual employee of the federal government, was also eager to tell the world it was a terrorist group pledged to doing evil. Sure enough, feds quickly infiltrated it and entrapped its members in a variety of schemes they concocted. One such example was a fed who convinced a Base member named Yousef to vandalize a synagogue. Yousef, an Arab, was quickly arrested for his crime.
Atomwaffen and The Base are still brought up in the mainstream media as evidence of the dangers posed by “white supremacist terrorists,” even though both groups were fed honeypots. The most damage they did was to the maladjusted youth who joined their ranks.
It’s right to blame the feds for these groups. The persons they entrapped were pushed into committing crimes by bad actors. Without them, these kids would’ve probably stuck to shitposting on the internet. That is a very important factor to consider.
But we can’t put the blame entirely on them. There were dozens of people who came across these groups and decided that they had the right thing going for them. They loved the transgression and edginess of Atomwaffen. They felt that a Satanic neo-Nazi terror group was the real path to power. They believed the celebration of all manner of atrocities and the desire to act them out in real life was BASED. These people signed themselves up to be entrapped.
All sensible people should’ve run away from the sight of a group that required its members to read horrible Satanic fan fiction, or from any group that shouted: “We are terrorists!” But for years, some White Nationalists have found these groups attractive for some reason. The many stories of federal infiltration and the prospect of total alienation from ordinary Americans doesn’t dissuade them. They truly believe that a handful of guys in skull masks can take down the most powerful empire in the world. This fantasy will never die — much to the satisfaction of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
There are some important lessons to learn from the Sutter affair. The most obvious one is, don’t trust a Satanist who’s been involved in nearly every fringe movement over the past twenty years. Even if he’s not a fed, he’s likely a nutjob who will only bring you grief.
Another is to keep fringe ideas at bay. Identitarians are obviously political dissidents, and the system brainwashes people to think we’re demonic. Our task is to convince people that the propaganda is wrong and that we are in fact normal people who just want to live in a nice country. Many of our ideas are indeed fringe and very off-putting to the average normie, but with the right presentation and optics, you can gain Middle Americans’ sympathy. Adopting Satanism and glorifying mass murder is not the way to do that. This only attracts malcontented misfits who want an ideology that reflects themselves, not an ideology that will actually gain power.
Some on our side believe that the more extreme you are, the more authentic you are. “No one is more Right-wing than me!” bellows the Satanic Nazi terrorist. No one is better than these people at being bogeymen for system propaganda. It’s important we don’t embrace the monster image they’ve set up for us. We must dispel that by presenting ourselves as approachable, well-adjusted people. Edginess for the sake of edginess may work for music subcultures, but it’s counter-productive for a political movement.
The final lesson to learn is that we must bury the fantasy of staging an armed uprising against the federal government. This is a fantasy found throughout the American Right. Many libertarians share this, as seen in the anti-racist Boogaloo Boys and the Michigan militiamen ensnared by the FBI in a kidnapping plot last year. This myth is the gift that keeps on giving easy targets to federal law enforcement. The feds know that you can’t overthrow the government with your drinking buddies, but they sure as hell would like you to think you can. Hell, they may even pay for your weapons and training, too. It’s all worth it to meet their quota of scary Right-wing terrorists. The aforementioned Michigan kidnapping plot alone convinced the media that Right-wing terrorists were the number one threat to the country. It doesn’t matter that it was hatched by federal agents and informants.
But beyond that, such activity is nothing more than LARPing. A few men with guns are not gonna overthrow the government. Civil wars are waged with large armies and institutions with lots of clout — not by a few guys in the woods who are supported by no one other than themselves. People find the idea of an armed insurrection more romantic than the boring work involved in actual politics. Adventure books aren’t written about political organizing; they’re written about the lone guerrilla who takes on the evil empire. But such books are fictional for a reason: That’s not how reality works.
In order to win, we need to get serious and engage in the mundane tasks associated with community organizing and cultural development. It may not make for a good action movie, but it’s how you actually gain power and influence.
Hopefully, Sutter, Atomwaffen, and The Base remain a bad memory from the 2010s, and nobody tries to replicate their misguidedness in the 2020s. The feds, of course, will try their best to entrap dissidents in new harebrained schemes. But the easiest way to avoid this trap is to not become the monsters they wish to catch.
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