Dustin Lee Barnes and Juliette Rose Barnes (née Fretté) purchased a homestead in Blairsville, Georgia this year after moving across the country from Washington state. Dustin Lee Barnes is a neo-Nazi and Army Rangers veteran who leads the “White Lives Matter” (WLM) network in Georgia. He has placed WLM propaganda around Blairsville, forcing park employees to regularly clean up his racist stickers at Meeks Park. His wife, Juliette Rose Barnes (née Fretté), is a former feminist and Playboy model who now operates a far-Right conspiracy theory website. Before their relocation to north Georgia, the couple were active against Black Lives Matter and COVID-19 health measures in Washington last year.
White Lives Matter
Although the “White Lives Matter” (WLM) name has a longer history, this particular version of the WLM network began earlier this year and is mainly organized through the Telegram messaging app. Local WLM channels encourage members to place stickers advertising the WLM brand, eventually moving on to more ambitious activity such as banner drops and flash protests. These channels help white nationalists to network with each other, recruit, share skills, and build infrastructure for their movement. Any newcomer to these channels quickly encounters neo-Nazi content. WLM heavily promotes “Europa: The Last Battle” – a documentary which denies the Holocaust and celebrates Hitler as a hero – stating online that “Every pro-White activist must watch this documentary”.
The current Telegram channel for White Lives Matter in Georgia began in May 2020, after an earlier “White Lives Matter” channel for the state was revealed in April as a trap by anti-fascists. After its creation in May, this new Georgia WLM channel was dormant until early October 2020, when WLM leaders appointed a fresh channel administrator and Georgia members began chatting. However, increased online discussion during October did not lead to offline efforts such as placing stickers or other “activism” encouraged by WLM leadership. At the end of the month, the channel announced yet again that it had a new administrator.
Within days of this change, the channel shared photos and brief video clips of WLM stickers placed in Georgia. With the new WLM Georgia administrator leading by example and placing racist propaganda around his community, other members pledged to step up their activity.
Identifying Dustin Lee Barnes as WLM Georgia Administrator
In this section, we document how we know that Dustin Lee Barnes is the White Lives Matter Georgia channel administrator.
Before the October 30th announcement of a new admin for WLM Georgia, an account named “RedRooster” had joined the WLM state chat at the start of October. “RedRooster” vanished from WLM Georgia’s user list around the same time that the new channel administrator took charge.
The profile image for “RedRooster” featured a simplified version of the US Army’s 2nd Ranger Battalion logo, with a Schwarze Sonne / Black Sun symbol replacing the sun in the original design. The Black Sun is frequently used by neo-Nazis. “RedRooster” posted about having been part of the 2nd Ranger Battalion, being on “five [– elsewhere he claims four –] combat deployments” until he got out in 2018. Before vanishing from the channel list, “RedRooster” stated to WLM Georgia that he lived on the north side of Blood Mountain, close to North Carolina. When the new WLM Georgia channel administrator began placing White Lives Matter stickers in his community, some locations were recognizable as Blairsville, Georgia.
In his October comments before vanishing from the members list, “RedRooster” stated that:
“My wife and I manage a website and we paper locker rooms [with promotional materials] … Just slip 3x5s into the lockers. […] We actually got a ton of subscriber after papering the parking lots at highschool football games near Columbus GA”
The new administrator for WLM Georgia wrote similarly:
“My wife runs a website that hosts videos used to wake people up – she’s had 4×6″ cards made that we just keep in the car. You can throw them on windshields, put them on shelves in stores, gas stations etc. and we get a lot of website traffic from them.”
Despite the posts providing giving different dimensions for the printed cards, they are clearly from the same person. “RedRooster” had become the new WLM Georgia administrator.
Elsewhere on Telegram, “RedRooster” promoted another Telegram channel which he operates: “Homestead Appalachia”. The “Homestead Appalachia” channel caters toward a rightwing prepper audience and documents the administrator’s effort to build a homestead in the South. The channel often shares anti-mask/anti-vaccination materials. Unlike WLM Georgia, the administrator’s white nationalist agenda is not explicitly set out in “Homestead Appalachia”.
Comparing posts on “Homestead Appalachia” to ones on WLM Georgia further confirm that the same person (“RedRooster”) operates both channels. For example, on the same day both channels shared pictures of raw milk from the homestead. Another day, both shared the same quote. The administrator also writes about having been a Ranger in both channels.
The Homestead Appalachia channel led straight to Dustin Lee Barnes and his wife. In October, Homestead Appalachia posted about selling beeswax candles at a local art fair. Zooming in on the accompanying image, the sign by the table reads: “Renegade Flames”. Renegade Flames also sold candles on Etsy, with the company located in Blairsville, Georgia. Order feedback from one customer thanks “Juliette”. The Etsy user profile which set up this online shop gives the initials “J B” and has “JFrette” in its URL. An image on the Etsy store account shows Juliette Rose Fretté’s wedding to Dustin Lee Barnes last year.
To further confirm the identification, the admin for “Homestead Appalachia” wrote about moving into a newly purchased, ten-acre homestead in July. According to Union County, Georgia property records, Dustin and Juliette Barnes purchased their ten-acre property on Daniels Way in Blairsville this July, for the fair market value of $580,000. In November, we found a large White Lives Matter sticker just five minutes away from this property, at a major intersection which Dustin Barnes passes each time he drives to the City of Blairsville from his property.
Dustin Lee Barnes and Juliette Rose Fretté
Dustin Lee Barnes’ (born 1989) roots in Georgia predate this year’s cross-country move. In a comment as the administrator of the WLM Georgia channel, Barnes wrote that Atlanta and attractions such as the aquarium were “fun for me growing up”. An online address result suggests that Barnes lived in Dahlonega, north Georgia at some point.
Before 2021’s big move, Barnes lived in Washington state. The 2nd Ranger Battalion, referenced in Barnes’ Telegram posts, is headquartered in Washington. This is also where Barnes seems to have begun organizing in the far-Right.
Posting to an “Orthodox Men” group on Telegram this year, Barnes/“RedRooster” wrote that at the time he met his wife, “neither of us were privy to the manipulation of the world”. Barnes claims that “I was a flag waving soldier […] she was liberal and fairly un-political at the time”. The two “grew together” to their current beliefs.
Barnes’ wife, Juliette Rose Fretté (born 1983, now Juliette Barnes) is best known as a feminist Playboy model who occasionally contributed “The Naughty Feminist” columns to The Huffington Post. By 2018, Fretté was in a relationship with Barnes and had a child with him. Around this time she began adopting a “politically incorrect” persona, for example releasing a video titled “White Guys Need to Grow Their Balls Back”. The following year, she released a YouTube video complaining about “‘grievance’ degrees” – such as the Women Studies degree she had earlier earned from UCLA. As Fretté plunged in COVID-19 denialism and anti-mask organizing during 2020, she adopted a more strident far-Right stance, promoting conspiracy theories tied to the QAnon movement and using “Just say NO to the NWO [‘New World Order’]!” as her podcast’s slogan.
2020 Activity in Washington
Dustin and Juliette Barnes left a trail of far-Right activity in Washington state.
On July 17, 2020, Dustin Lee Barnes attended a “Back the Blue” demonstration in Everett, Washington organized by local Republicans and featuring the local Sheriff as a speaker. A small group of anti-racist / Black Lives Matter protesters countered the rally. As captured on video (video 1, video 2), one of the “Back the Blue” crowd shoved a counter-protester into Dustin Barnes, who then placed the counter-protester in a neck hold and dragged him from the crowd. When the counter-protester broke loose, Barnes drew his handgun, pointing it at the counter-protester and then others. Police took no action over Barnes’ assault. Although reporting by The Everett Herald referred to an “unidentified man” who brandished the handgun, a comparison of video footage from the protest with other images of Dustin Barnes last year clearly identifies Barnes as the same person. (A user on Twitter also publicly identified Barnes as the aggressor later that year.)
Dustin and Juliette Barnes were key organizers for a Washington State anti-mask/COVID-19 denial group named the “Free Breathers”. The group harassed stores which enforced mask rules, with some members entering premises while refusing masks. One video from an October 2020 event in Bothell, Washington – recorded by Dustin Barnes and circulated online by Juliette Fretté – went viral, with Dustin Barnes subsequently doing media interviews. The video claimed to show a woman getting arrested for violating the state mask mandate, although the arrest was actually for trespassing. Dustin Barnes downplayed that the incident happened at one of the group’s rallies – Free Breathers had called to “occupy” the store — and presented himself as some sort of accidental activist.
On November 22, 2020, “Free Breathers” rallied outside the Central Market in Mill Creek, Washington, a location they had protested before. This time, the rally featured a significant Proud Boys contingent. As the WLM Georgia admin, Dustin Barnes wrote that he was involved with the Proud Boys during his trajectory toward white nationalism, although he later quit the group. We do not know when Barnes joined and left the Proud Boys, but Barnes’ connection to that group may have played a role in their mobilizing for the Mill Creek rally.
Earlier, we quoted Barnes in the WLM Georgia channel, claiming that his wife runs a website “to wake people up”.
Juliette Fretté’s website is called “TheTriple1”. The site was registered in June 2020, as Fretté became increasingly visible as an anti-masker and conspiracy theory promoter. The Washington “Free Breathers” also had a page on this website.
“TheTriple1” mentions Juliette Fretté as one of the website’s featured “video journalists” rather than its owner. However, the site’s source code shows Fretté as the “author” who updates the site. In addition, an account on an antisemitic website operated by the Goyim Defense League promotes “TheTriple1”. This account claims to be for a “Special Operations veteran”: in other words, Dustin Lee Barnes.
A sizable portion of “TheTriple1” is anti-mask, anti-vax, and COVID-19 denial materials. The site also circulates conspiracy theories associated with the QAnon movement, for example about “Pizzagate”. “TheTriple1” features materials from unambiguous antisemites. One video is of Ronald Bernard, a promoter of the notorious Protocols of the Elders of Zion forgery. Another shows Robert David Steele, a now-deceased COVID-19- and Holocaust-denier who believed that “satanic Zionists” plot against white people. TheTriple1 also promotes David Icke, a New Age conspiracy theorist who endorses the Protocols.
Fretté’s TheTriple1 currently hosts the entire “Europa: The Last Battle”, giving the documentary its own page titled “The Final Red Pill?”. The site comments: “So far, our team has not been able to poke any holes in the claims of the ‘Europa’ videos.” As mentioned earlier, this twelve-hour documentary portrays Hitler as a hero who took on a worldwide Jewish conspiracy. The White Lives Matter network also heavily promotes this documentary.
A YouTube appearance by Fretté this January, further indicates that she has embraced Nazi ideology. During an interview with anti-feminist “James Von Maxwell,” Fretté claimed that there is an ongoing “war” against “the nuclear family” and “Patriot white guys”. After the host interjected “We all know what happened in Germany, right?,” Fretté suggested that the history of Nazi Germany has been “doctored by those in power”.
Dustin Barnes also signals his neo-Nazi allegiances. In October, “RedRooster”/Barnes stated to WLM Georgia that he was going to ask “NS Christians” for advice about printing stickers. The “NS” in “NS Christians” stands for “National Socialist.” As the administrator for WLM Georgia, in early November Barnes shared a propaganda post accompanied by “1488”. This is white supremacist code: “14” stands for the “Fourteen Words” white power slogan, while “88” is alphanumeric code for H.H., or “Heil Hitler”.
As well as placing White Lives Matter propaganda and leading the Georgia WLM channel, Dustin Lee Barnes hopes to build a support network in his nearby community. Writing as “RedRooster” to the WLM Georgia channel, Barnes stated that he had already built a local network of six “awake” families. By exposing Barnes, we hope to prevent other families being drawn into his orbit.
Our discussion of Dustin and Juliette Barnes highlights two themes that we have written about before. First, COVID-19 denialism requires conspiracy theories to fill in the gaps of its logic. The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, with its allegations of a world-controlling Jewish plot, is the original template for modern conspiracy theories. For this reason, organizing based around conspiracy theories will inevitably attract and create antisemites. The conspiracy-theorist-to-neo-Nazi pipeline is real.
Second, Dustin Lee Barnes clearly assaulted then brandished a firearm at an anti-racist counter-protester in 2020. Law enforcement have the evidence but declined to act against Barnes, who they consider an ally. Put simply: anti-fascists cannot depend on the state and authorities to protect our communities. The status quo and its protectors are part of the problem.
QAnon, COVID-19 conspiracies, and the racist reaction to last year’s uprisings, have all helped the far-Right to grow, including its explicitly white nationalist sectors. Networks such as “White Lives Matter”, led in Georgia by relative newcomer Barnes, can connect longtime white supremacists with more recent recruits.
In many places, “White Lives Matter” organizing amounts to little beyond occasional stickers. However, the WLM network is premised on theories of “white genocide” which have inspired murder sprees. The threat posed by WLM should be kept in perspective but countered before it grows.
If you have further information on Dustin and Juliette Barnes, or other “White Lives Matter” organizing in our region, please get in touch.