July 23, 2021
From Atlanta Antifascists (USA)
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Summary: Christopher Mark Head of Locust Grove, Georgia, promotes and helps organize for local versions of the July 24 anti-vaxxer “Worldwide Rally for Freedom”. He also disseminates anti-vax propaganda under the “White Rose” name in Metro Atlanta. Online, Head networks with Nazis and helps radicalize anti-vaxxers into extreme forms of antisemitism and racism. Head travels around Metro Atlanta as a Turf Masters employee, leaving far-Right propaganda in the communities he visits. We assess the threat level of Head’s network to marginalized communities and conclude with a call for additional monitoring of the intersection between anti-vaccination, antisemitism, and white supremacy.

Introduction

When far-Right movements lack a strong figurehead and common target, they infight. The electoral defeat of Trump and the slow-motion implosion of the QAnon conspiracy theory have brought a period of infighting, but also of recomposition. New figures step into the disarray, attempting to bring order and to “unite the right”. One of these figures is Christopher Mark Head from Locust Grove, Georgia. Through his work with the “White Rose North GA” anti-mask/anti-vaccination group, Head builds alliances with everyone from explicit neo-Nazis to more mainstream anti-vaxxers.

Head’s political agenda goes far beyond anti-vaccination campaigns and COVID-19 conspiracies. His aim is to politically impose his version of Christian Fundamentalism, and to purge society of alleged “anti-Christ” influence—he is, in other words, a Christofascist. Although Chris Head occasionally criticizes Nazism, he also considers neo-Nazis as allies against his greater enemies.

This year, Head has been increasingly involved in on-the-ground activism and placing propaganda stickers across Metro Atlanta. In recent weeks, Head has also been planning and promoting anti-mask/anti-vaccination rallies in our state. These rallies are scheduled for Saturday, July 24. Head is one of the most active participants in the “Worldwide Georgia” channel on Telegram for the anti-vaxxer rallies. Through his efforts for the July 24 mobilization, Head hopes to meet allies and draw them closer to his far-Right politics. With the publication of this article, “Sir Christopher”/Chris Head will at least no longer have the cover of anonymity.

July 24 Rallies

A loosely organized coalition of anti-vaxxers, anti-maskers and COVID-19 conspiracy theorists, the “Worldwide Rally for Freedom”/“Worldwide Freedom Rally”, will hold coordinated rallies on Saturday, July 24. In Georgia, there are at least three rallies advertised: one in Dalton, one in Roswell, and one in Atlanta. The Atlanta rally, scheduled for Piedmont Park and primarily organized by Karen Denise Cortes Hernandez of Marietta, will likely be the largest. Among other speakers, the Atlanta rally will feature fringe Republican candidate for governor Kandiss Taylor, also known for spreading election misinformation and demanding an Arizona-style “forensic audit” of Georgia results.

Atlanta “World Wide” anti-mask/anti-vax rally

The July 24 rallies in Georgia are organized both on Facebook and especially on the Telegram messaging application. As “Sir Christopher”, Chris Head is one of the most active participants in the “Worldwide Georgia” Telegram channel. Although Head has written that he was planning to attend the Roswell event with a “rally bro”, he has placed flyers in Atlanta for the Piedmont Park rally. Head has also expressed interest in holding a post-rally after party in McDonough, an effort to further network with anti-vaxxers and move them toward his politics.

In “Worldwide Georgia”, Head promotes the “White Rose”, another anti-vax propaganda group, as well as his personal “Defying Tyranny” Telegram channel. Head has also suggested that July 24 rallygoers “post White Rose stickers as we go” that day. Since Head is the dominant personality of the local “White Rose North GA” Telegram channel, his aim is to funnel “Worldwide” rally participants to the White Rose, to the North Georgia local channel, and to his far-Right personal channel where they will be exposed to much further-Right propaganda.

Historical Background of the “White Rose” Name

To explain the activities of anti-vax “White Rose North GA” group, some historical context is necessary. The original White Rose was an underground student group in Nazi Germany. Sophie Scholl and her brother Hans, both leaders of the group, were arrested for anti-Nazi pamphlets and executed by guillotine on the same day in 1943, along with a third member of the group Christoph Probst. More trials and executions of White Rose members followed. Sophie Scholl has long been remembered as an antifascist martyr and the name “White Rose” has been associated with antifascism.

Many modern-day anti-vaxxers push a brand of historical revisionism that claims public health guidelines are the equivalent of Nazism. This analogy is a form of Holocaust-trivialization and denial, but it allows anti-vaxxers to claim the mantle of resistance to Nazism, even when they organize alongside neo-Nazis. This attempt at cooptation has also received intense popular pushback. For example, in November 2020 at a German anti-vaxxer rally, when a young anti-vaxxer compared herself to Sophie Scholl on stage, a security guard stripped off his vest, saying “I’m not going to be a security guard for bullshit like this,” and walked away. Such pushback has not deterred anti-vaxxers, who also formed an international propaganda network called “The White Rose” to distribute anti-vax stickers last year. The cooptation of the White Rose name is especially grotesque considering that antivaxxer movement is a breeding ground for antisemitism, as our documentation makes clear.

White Rose on Telegram

The international White Rose group is active on Telegram and encourages supporters to form local groups to coordinate stickering campaigns and for grassroots networking. Despite its name, the local “North Georgia” Telegram chat contains many Metro Atlanta participants. The group soon became characterized by extreme conspiracism, as well as the presence of open white nationalists and neo-Nazis. Except for spam accounts, Chris Head is the most active poster in the North Georgia channel. He also formed his own Telegram group, originally called the “White Rose North GA Extension”, to “talk deeper” beyond COVID-19 conspiracy theories. At approximately the same time, he was banned from the main international White Rose chat for his off-topic posting and promoting his personal “extension group”. Head renamed his own Telegram channel “Defying Tyranny” after that episode and began to complain that the White Rose anti-vax movement was too moderate for his taste, although he remains active in the “North GA” chat and continues to place White Rose stickers.

Antisemitism and Nazism
Screenshot from the White Rose North GA Telegram channel
Posted 5/12/21 in the “White Rose North GA” channel

Chris Head states that he is not a neo-Nazi and has even expressed dismay at some of their propaganda which he considers counter-productive. At his most critical, Head refers to neo-Nazis and the Alt-Right as “critical race theory for white people”. However, Head agrees with Nazis on many points—especially their hatred of Black Lives Matter and anti-racists—and hopes to eventually recruit them to his brand of far-Right conspiracism and Christofascism. Head’s main sticking point is the Nazi belief that Jewish people are ultimately responsible for everything wrong in the world. Head will agree that Jewish people are contributing to societal collapse, but only because Satan in the guise of “Mystery Babylon” is making them do it—therefore, they are not directly to blame. His co-administrator “Ryan” is a virulent antisemite who argues that Hitler was a Jewish plant who orchestrated the Holocaust to somehow make Jewish people look better.

Posted 5/25/21 in the “Defying Tyranny” channel

Another of Chris Head’s “Defying Tyranny” administrators, “Tzunami”, is also an antisemite. In the below screenshot, they take the side of Holocaust-denier, Hutton Gibson.

Posted 5/28/21 in the “Defying Tyranny” channel

Yet another co-administrator of the “Defying Tyranny” group is an antisemite. “TheColonelRetired” uses his real name and profile photo: former US Army commissioned officer Brett Hale (Brett Miot Hale) of Chattanooga, Tennessee. Earlier this month, Hale wrote in “Defying Tyranny” about receiving a visit from the FBI—possibly related to some of his inflammatory online posts, for example about targeting businesses with mask requirements.

Posted 5/21/21 in the “Defying Tyranny” channel
Brett Hale, AKA “TheColonelRetired”

The North Georgia group effectively functions as a safe space for neo-Nazis to argue their positions and attempt to recruit, even as they themselves are supposedly being recruited into anti-vax stickering. Once members join the “Defying Tyranny” group, antisemitism becomes the default position promoted by the owner and all group administrators.

Chris Head attempting to radicalize a new member into antisemitism in the “Defying Tyranny” channel, 7/17/21

It is worth reflecting on why anti-vax and COVID-19 conspiracy groups are so attractive to Jew-haters. First, Jewish people have long been portrayed as vectors of disease in the antisemitic imagination, reaching back to Medieval Europe when Jewish communities were scapegoated for the spread of the Black Plague. Second, alleged COVID-19 plots would involve massive worldwide conspiracies of the sort that have featured in antisemitic propaganda since at least the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. The conspiratorial imagination quickly tends toward antisemitism, and vice versa. Much has been written about this connection, but to put it in simple form: when conspiracy theories are constructed, they need some form of scaffolding. Otherwise, the slightest skepticism could dismantle the theory. Inconvenient questions such as, “So what’s the point of faking COVID-19?” or “Who would even benefit from such an evil plot?” need to be deflected. Relying on the preexisting scaffolding of antisemitism, at first tentatively then later with true commitment, allows conspiracists to build ever more convoluted and counterfactual theories. And once these edifices are constructed, they attract the already committed antisemites, who are always looking for new problems to blame on Jewish people.

Racism and “Critical Race Theory” Panic

Although he engages in casual anti-Asian racism with “China virus” remarks, Head’s resentment is more centered on anti-Black racism.

Posted 6/9/21 in the “Defying Tyranny” channel

Chris Head claims that he is a civic nationalist and not a white nationalist, but the level of vitriol directed at people of color and Jewish people renders the difference more academic than functional.

Comments in “Defying Tyranny” group on 6/2/21—Head discussing white nationalist Jared Taylor with his wife.
Chris Head shows his racism in “White Rose North GA” telegram group, 4/18/21: “The browner European societies become […] the more evil, vile, and godless”.

Throughout July, Chris Head has been sharing more and more content from white nationalist and racist channels. 

Head shares article from The Daily Stormer – a notorious neo-Nazi propaganda site – to “Defying Tyranny”, 7/19/2021.
Chris Head agreeing with Christian Foshee, an ideological Nazi in the “Defying Tyranny” group, on 7/17/21

Head’s obsessive hatred of Black and Native people is very clear in this July voice message: he begins by talking about missing his nearly-all-white home state of Alaska and segues into a call for white nationalism while weaseling out of calling it “white nationalism”.

Chris Head posting a voice message in “Defying Tyranny” on 7/16/21.

These racist musings were inspired by Christian Foshee’s recommendation of a book outlining the future Balkanization of the US into separate ethnostates. The book in question is authored by Billy Roper, notorious neo-Nazi and former membership director of the National Alliance.

Anti-critical race theory sticker placed by Chris Head in Little 5 Points, Atlanta, July 11, 2021.

Chris Head has recently been propagandizing around the “critical race theory” (CRT) scare, for example leaving anti-CRT stickers alongside White Rose materials on a July 11 propaganda mission in Atlanta. (See below for more information on Head’s stickering activity.) Head has also shared far-Right anti-“critical race theory” materials in the “Georgia Worldwide” rally Telegram channel. This is not simply Head jumping on the far-Right anti-CRT bandwagon, which pretends that white people are victimized when racism is analyzed or the history of racism is taught. It also shows Head’s preference for rhetorically framing his racism as opposition to anti-racism. Chris Head’s anti-CRT stickers placed in Atlanta claimed that CRT is “anti-white” but that it also “undermines Blacks”. Head’s statements in “Defying Tyranny” show that beyond the tangled rhetoric, he is simply a garden-variety racist.

Misogyny

Anyone who follows the far-Right attentively, notices that misogyny and domestic abuse are rampant. Far-Right and fascist ideology focuses on controlling and dominating those who they perceive as weaker, and the closest group at hand perceived as weak is generally women. Chris Head is an adherent of misogynist theology, blaming cultural evils on “Mystery Babylon” and promoting YouTube preacher Spencer Smith. Smith argues that Satanic feminism has infected evangelical Christianity. Chris Head is also an anti-choice activist who believes that “pro-life” does not go far enough and that anyone who has an abortion should be executed.

Chris Head in the “Defying Tyranny” group arguing for the death penalty applied to abortion, 7/17/21.

In his personal life, Chris Head is a domestic abuser. He has an extensive list of charges and court records from his old residence in Homer, Alaska, before his move to Georgia. Here is information from a protective order.

One of many legal documents showing his history of domestic violence in Alaska
Non-White-Rose Networking, Connections and Employment

While it is unclear how much he networks with their other Georgia members, Chris Head also sympathizes with the far-Right street brawlers of the Proud Boys. In April, Head, in an audio message, quizzed one member of the “White Rose North GA” telegram group about whether that member “refuses to apologize for the West”—a paraphrase of the first-degree Proud Boy pledge. On Teespring, Chris Head sells t-shirts for Valiant Images, his photography side business. The shirts feature laurels and a yellow and black color scheme, which is a clear reference to the Proud Boys’ dress code.

T-shirt for Chris Heads’ “Valiant Images” is a clear nod to the Proud Boys.

Chris Head’s wife, Chantelle Adkins-Head, is a critical care nurse at the Neuro ICU unit at Emory Midtown according to LinkedIn. If Adkins-Head shares her husband’s racist and antivaxx beliefs, this could endanger patients. Chris Head has mentioned Emory hospital and its mask policy in the “White Rose North GA” Telegram channel.

In 5/21/21 post to “White Rose North GA”, Chris Head references policies at Emory Midtown, where his wife is listed as working as a nurse.

Chris Head is employed at a landscaping business called “Turf Masters” which has multiple locations in the Metro Atlanta area. The Turf Masters location in Jackson, Georgia confirmed his employment as of July 22, 2021 as a Lawn Care Consultant. Head has promoted Turf Masters using his own name on social media such as Nextdoor.

Head has jokingly referred to “the Black ethnostate where I work.” Given his obsessive resentment of Black people, his relationship with his coworkers, managers or customers may be uncomfortable or worse. Head also appears to place propaganda stickers in the same communities he visits for work.

Chris Head jokes about “the Black ethnostate where I work”, 7/16/2021.
Propaganda Activity
White Rose sticker removed by antifascists in Little 5 Points, Atlanta, 7/18/2021

Chris Head regularly places propaganda for White Rose. Head has discussed placing anti-vax stickers in Peachtree City and other locations south of Atlanta, which he also appears to visit for work. Head has also made several trips to Atlanta to place propaganda. He is almost certainly responsible for targeting the Little Five Points area of Atlanta with White Rose stickers in April, since the April stickering followed a route used by Head in subsequent visits. In June, Head claimed responsibility in an audio message on “White Rose North Georgia” for stickering around the nearby Historic Fourth Ward Skate Park. Earlier this month, Head again stickered in Little Five Points and the Skate Park, following a post to the channel stating that he was in “Little F[*]g Points”—a reference to the area having a reputation as LGBTQ+ friendly. During that visit, Head also placed stickers promoting his “Defying Tyranny” telegram channel and attacking “critical race theory”, alongside his normal anti-vax White Rose materials. Head returned to Little Five Points the next weekend, placing a smaller number of only White Rose stickers.

Other Notable members of “White Rose North GA” and “Defying Tyranny”

In “Defying Tyranny”, there are three co-administrators chosen by Chris Head: “Ryan”, “Tzunami” and “TheColonelRetired” (Brett Hale of Tennessee). All of them are non-Nazi antisemites. Ideologically committed Nazis who frequently defend Hitler have been active in the chat. Still present in the channel are Christian Foshee (Telegram alias “Christian Fo Sho”) of Georgia and “Drooper Doo” (real name unknown). Other Nazis have left for various reasons: “The Resistance” left because Chris Head mentioned having a friend in Homeland Security, and “Colin Ries” and “Charlie Hartmann” left after finding the channel insufficiently pro-Hitler. (“Charlie Hartmann” remains in the “White Rose North GA” Telegram channel.)

“The Resistance” leaves “Defying Tyranny” chat on 7/12/2021 after Chris Head states that he has a friend “on our side” in Homeland Security.
Conclusion and Calls to Action

Chris Head has a history of violence against women, which is a strong predictor of future violence. He has not made any specific physical threats of violence himself, but he fantasizes about violence carried out against his enemies and creates spaces online where others can also engage in these violent fantasies.

Posted 7/17/21 in the “Defying Tyranny” channel
Chris Head fantasizing about executing his political enemies on 7/21/21 in the “Defying Tyranny” channel

The worst-case scenario is that one of the group members will become radicalized and angry enough to turn dream into reality. Potential targets could include local abortion clinics, Black civil rights organizations, LGBTQ+ spaces/centers, and synagogues. Chris Head therefore represents a clear danger to the community and should be monitored closely, as should his associates.

Our study of Chris Head provides one example of COVID-19 conspiracy mobilizations serving as a channel for far-Right, antisemitic and racist organizing. By promoting White Rose and the July 24 “Worldwide” rallies, Head builds a reputation as a committed activist and draws others towards his politics. Those who proceed down the rabbit hole far enough end up in Telegram channels with neo-Nazis. A similar trend has been highlighted by antifascists in Oregon, who documented antisemitic and fascist organizers recruiting through COVID-19 denial groups. Since anti-vax/COVID-19 conspiracy mobilizations frequently provide space to far-Right organizers, antifascists must research and document this problem, then engage in concrete opposition. In our instance, this begins with exposing Chris Head.

CALL TO ACTION: Turf Masters should immediately terminate Chris Head’s employment. He is a danger to local communities and to his coworkers. Turf Masters headquarters can be reached at 888-924-8873 and the Jackson, GA office is 770-775-0081. They can be reached by email through a contact form on their website and at customerservice@turfmasterslawncare.com. 

We also encourage antifascists to continue pushing back against the cooptation of the White Rose name, by honoring the real history of anti-Nazi resistance. 

If you have further information on any of the far-Right groups or regional organizers mentioned in this article, please get in touch.




Source: Atlantaantifa.org