Leaked Chats Reveal Fascist Group Patriot Front Shames Members About Their Porn, Junk Food Habits - DMT NEWS

Breaking News

Leaked Chats Reveal Fascist Group Patriot Front Shames Members About Their Porn, Junk Food Habits

It shouldn’t be a surprise that fascists rule other fascists with an iron fist, but that’s the clear takeaway from a massive leak into the internal operations of Patriot Front, a group of white supremacists who swaddle their racism in a preppy Americana aesthetic. 

The inner workings of the secretive group were laid bare in the release of their chats and planning documents—400 gigabytes total—obtained and published by Unicorn Riot, a left-wing media collective, late last week. 

Many of the group’s roughly 220 members are required to regularly log their weight and fitness regimen, encouraged to take an obsessive and almost disordered approach to their diet, and provide updates about their “bad habits,” like porn and junk food. Patriot Front leaders regularly shame members for not participating enough in chats, skipping meetings, or failing to provide their mandatory fitness updates. 

And then there’s the financial aspect. Patriot Front members are actually expected to fork out a cover charge to attend their own rallies. They’re also expected to engage in regular “activism,” which entails scattering Patriot Front “promat”—posters and stickers—around their respective regions. But, “for the sake of quality control, information security and preferable flow of resources,” they’re only allowed to use promat that’s manufactured exclusively by Patriot Front leadership—and they must spend hundreds of dollars out of their own pockets for it. They’re then required to photograph and video their propaganda distribution efforts following strict style guidelines, and then upload that documentation as proof. 

Patriot Front emerged as a splinter faction of Vanguard America, a neo-Nazi group, in the wake of the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville in 2017. Initially, Patriot Front resembled its predecessor in terms of Nazi rhetoric and iconography. But in 2018, it had an image makeover, eschewing overt white supremacist references in favor of a red-white-and-blue, patriotic aesthetic. Its manifesto avoids any explicit references to race, and instead is filled with phrases like “pan-European identity which forms the basis of our nationhood.” Its overall position is that the American political system is fundamentally broken, and that “in order to survive as a culture, as a heritage, as a way of being,” white people need to come together and build a new society. 

Patriot Front’s leader Thomas Rousseau, 24, who usually appears wearing a cowboy hat, previously led the Texas chapter of Vanguard America. The leaked chats leave little doubt that he’s a micromanager and obsessed with maintaining the group’s “clean optics,” seemingly with the goal of broadening their appeal. Members of the group are asked to avoid using slurs, engaging in violence, or discussing firearms. Violations of these rules can lead to suspension. 

However, a “hot mic” moment from an unedited propaganda video is a good reminder that “clean optics” are just an illusion. The video, published by Unicorn Riot, showed four members of Patriot Front in their uniform of khakis, a navy hoodie, white gators pulled up over their faces, and sunglasses, standing in front of the group’s flag. A fifth member sits at a desk, reading aloud the group’s manifesto. 

At the end of the video, they shout Patriot Front’s slogan, “Life! Liberty! Victory!” With the cameras still rolling, they congratulate each other on their performance. 

“Damn, son, that might be a cut,” one says. “Sieg fuckin’ heil, let’s fuckin’ go. I can say that now it’s over.” 

The leaked chats show Rousseau constantly haranguing members, at times even publicly chastising them for failing to RSVP to certain events or not pulling their weight in terms of sticker distribution. “Nathan, you have been around for quite some time but have not really measured the same level of activity as many others. Even others much newer,” Rousseau wrote in one of their channels in November. “The point is that the locals here want to hold you to the same standard as everyone else.” 

Rousseau and network leaders also rely on intense peer pressure to force Patriot Front members to attend events—for example, a large Patriot Front gathering in Washington, D.C., in December. 

“If any one of you don’t do everything within your power to attend this, you may be subject to suspension,” wrote “John WA,” who leads the Pacific Northwest network.“If you refuse to come to this, you are not a nationalist in my eyes.” John WA also routinely scolds members in his chapter for failing to participate enough. “I want to see this chat more active,” he wrote. “We all came here for the same goal, did we not? To organize and overcome. To practice our convictions.”

Rousseau treats Patriot Front much like an influencer might treat their Instagram account: as a carefully cultivated work in progress. Every public appearance by Patriot Front is meticulously choreographed. Members materialize flashmob–style in their target city, wearing their uniform, marching in unison. They exit the scene by clambering into rented vehicles, like U-Hauls or a caravan of unmarked cars. 

These public appearances—most recently, at anti-abortion marches in Chicago and D.C.— are treated as opportunities by the group’s leaders to collect photos and videos purporting to show them marching as a unified mass, unencumbered by counterprotesters. Those are later turned into slickly-produced recruitment videos, and in keeping with Rousseau’s preferences. “Music slows as march enters early tempo,” he said, outlining his vision for a propaganda video in November. “Wind, boots on concrete, flags fluttering, anticipation ambience, builds as cops begin to flank the march. Crescendo as the formation enters speech grounds.”

Rousseau dedicated a channel to discussing photography and sharing camera skills.

“The perfect shot can tell our whole story in an instant,” he wrote, and shared an image of a statue as potential inspiration. 

Screen Shot 2022-01-24 at 5.27.10 PM.png
One of the leaked chats from the Patriot Front.

Rousseau has also encouraged members of Patriot Front to create a “mental or digital mood board.” He uploaded one example, a collage of images including a white woman clutching a green juice, a yoga class, the Central Park ice skating rink, and a white cashmere sweater. 

Screen Shot 2022-01-24 at 5.19.20 PM.png

A core tenet of Patriot Front’s aesthetic and identity is “clean living,” consistent with the broader trend within the white nationalist movement. Groups like Patriot Front, and white supremacist organizers like Robert Rundo through his network of “active clubs,” have promoted a puritanical lifestyle as tantamount to racial purity. 

Clean living hasn’t always been part and parcel of the far-right. Which was why, when members of Patriot Front showed up in D.C. in December, some right-wing pundits declared that members of the group were in far too good shape to be extremists so they had to be undercover federal agents. One prospective member said during his vetting process he’d decided to join Patriot Front after seeing right-wingers calling them feds. “Made him realize that he needs to get off his ass and do something,” his interviewer remarked in his notes. 

Members of Patriot Front who are deemed to be overweight or have unhealthy habits are put into the group’s “Lifestyle Recovery Project,” led by someone with the name “Patrick TX.” 

In the corresponding Fitness_Recovery chat, participants obsessively brag about their calorie deficits that day. “Calorie deficit of about 800 today,” wrote one member, “Alan MI.” “Little bit lower than usual because my mom made this sausage egg bake that was phenomenal.”

They also share updates about what they’re making for dinner. “Spiced red meat to fuel my bones and blood for another day of violently passionate fitness and training,” wrote Norman AL. “All locally cut and sourced, mixed vegetables.” “Feeling especially proud of my Aryan blood today,” Norman AL wrote in another post detailing his workout that day. “Invigorating.” 

Rousseau routinely checks in with Patrick about members’ progress, inquiring about how many pounds they’ve lost. 

It seems important to Rousseau that all members of the group appear strong and in good shape during public events. One Patriot Front member from Michigan got a talking to by the leader of the state network following the D.C. protest in December. “You didn’t ruin the demo or utterly fail, but you did perform very badly,” he said. “Get serious about including cardio and/or dieting (ideally both)… If by the new year you’ve not made any improvements I will put you in the Lifestyle Recovery group.” 

Members of the Lifestyle Recovery group are expected to upload photos showing their progress—generally mirror selfies. 

Screen Shot 2022-01-24 at 12.27.15 PM.png
An unnamed member of the Patriot Front.

And of course, Rousseau has shared photos of himself, muscles bulging, as an example of what they should be aiming for.

Screen Shot 2022-01-25 at 5.07.50 PM.png

“I wish there was a site like Onlyfans for racist bodybuilders,” chirped one member of the chat. 

But it’s not just about physical fitness and diet. Poor lifestyle choices can also land Patriot Front members in the Lifestyle Recovery Project, where they’re expected to disclose and discuss their vices. There’s James who vapes, Jason who has grappled with porn addiction, Paul who spends too much time on 4chan, and William who likes to indulge in junk food. 

Screen Shot 2022-01-21 at 4.03.08 PM.png
A list of the various vices of members of the group.

“Point being, by giving yourself to the lifestyle that our ideals and collective champions, there’s only so far ya can fall,” wrote “Patrick TX. “Worst things get these days is I eat a little junk food and brood for an hour or two… as opposed to a 3 month heroin bender I could have been inclined to in The Before Time.”

The leaked chats make it clear that many of the men who’ve been drawn into Patriot Front are recovered or in the process of recovering from addiction, or have had mental health problems. It’s nothing new that extremist groups prey on vulnerable people, but this fact seems particularly stark in the case of Patriot Front, in part because of their tightly-controlled fitness regimen. Patriot Front members are forbidden from smoking, drinking, or drugs while engaging in any form of activism related to the group. If a member is “suffering” from nicotine withdrawal during a Patriot Front event, they are permitted to use nicotine patches or gum—so long as they’re enrolled in the Lifestyle Recovery Program, according to the group’s code of conduct. 

If Patriot Front members routinely violate rules around drinking or drugs, they might get the boot from the group. The leaked chats show one particularly ruthless exchange around a member, “Leo.” Leadership determined that he was drinking too much, smoking weed, and overly beholden to his girlfriend’s needs—which they said was getting in the way of the group’s activism. 

“I like you a lot, Leo. I think you have great potential. However, the substances, and the woman have to go,” John WA wrote, outlining five steps he needed to take to remain in the group, which included joining the Lifestyle Recovery program and breaking up with his girlfriend. “No man, let alone a fascist, lets a woman control him. She needs to go.”

The leaked chats also offer insight into Patriot Front’s recruitment tactics and procedure for bringing on new members. They are prolific propagandists: Their stickers, flyers, and banners have shown up in D.C. and every state except Hawaii. But in some cases, they’ve relied on old fashioned, in-person recruitment tactics. There were several instances in the chats where Patriot Front members discussed attending protests—specifically anti-vax or anti-lockdown protests—in plain clothes, with the goal of handing out “promat” to prospective recruits. 

They also discuss adopting uniforms associated with protest movements such as Black Lives Matter, to blend in with liberal-leaning areas while they’re putting up Patriot Front stickers. “One member in another network wore vans, bleached jeans, tie dye shirt, a mask with BLM on it, and an adidas baseball cap,” remarked “John WA.” “Stickered his whole big city doing that one night.” 

Rousseau has developed strict vetting procedures for prospective members. Applicants have to undergo a rigorous interview process, conducted by two Patriot Front members. They’re quizzed about their political philosophies, media consumption habits, their “red pill moment,” and history of substance abuse and physical ailments. Having a weak handshake, a lisp, or a “raceless conception of American identity” are all reasons why people have been rejected from the group. 

There’s also an in-person stage of the application process. When choosing where to meet, one Patriot Front member remarked that he typically likes to “select areas of historical significance since it gives the meeting a special setting.” The applicant is asked to produce his phone and show the interviewer which Telegram channels he follows. They’re then asked to turn their phone off, empty their pockets, and lift all their layers to demonstrate that they aren’t wearing any hidden recording devices. 

Despite the vetting system and internal system for flagging “suspect” activity by fellow members, Patriot Front was nonetheless infiltrated by activists who had the ultimate goal of exposing and shining light on the group’s operations. Patriot Front had gone to great lengths to conceal their identities: ensuring their faces and eyes are entirely covered at events (despite, as some had complained, this causing their sunglasses to fog up), using rental vehicles as transport to public events, and scrubbing their contact information off the web. 

Since Unicorn Riot published the data, antifascists and other online activists have been trawling through it, aiming to identify some of the key players in the once secretive, shadowy group. 



via https://www.DMT.NEWS

Tess Owen, Khareem Sudlow