The detailed inner workings and patterns of operation of fascists in the neo-Nazi organization Patriot Front have come to light after a massive leak from their chat servers. The exposed communications show coordination with their leader Thomas Rousseau to deface murals and monuments to Black lives across the United States, and intimate struggles to bolster morale through group activities like hiking and camping.
This release includes more than 400 gigabytes of data published by Unicorn Riot. Ostensibly private, unedited videos and direct messages reveal a campaign to organize acts of racial hatred while indoctrinating teenagers into national socialism (Nazism). The information stands as a chilling reminder that fascist organizing thrives in secrecy and obscurity.
Content advisory: Organized racism, harassment, vandalism
Patriot Front, known for its disconcerting masked ‘flash rallies’ and racist sticker campaigns, was organized by Thomas Rousseau in the immediate aftermath of 2017’s Unite the Right march in Charlottesville, VA. Rousseau gained power within the group’s predecessor organization, Vanguard America, in the fallout from the nationally orchestrated event. After James Alex Fields, seen sporting a Vanguard America shield during the march, murdered Heather Heyer, Rousseau moved to split with Vanguard America, taking with it most of the members as well as the website domain name “bloodandsoil.org.”
Vanguard America’s ‘bloodandsoil.org’ domain was reconfigured to support Patriot Front’s main internal communications system: a self-hosted instance of RocketChat, an open-source chat server software similar to Slack and Discord; messaging platforms with multiple channels.
Information security in this centralized communications project failed almost entirely. Sources provided Unicorn Riot with screenshots, audio recordings of meetings (self-hosted on another system called Mumble), extracted texts of group chats and even the private direct message system. Chat messages contained dozens of links to unlocked, public mega.nz cloud storage directories, which hosted more than 400 gigabytes of raw videos and photos of Patriot Front events, gatherings, scouting for vandalizing Black monuments, and much more. Most of the materials come from the latter half of 2021, including a rally in Washington, D.C.
This release is now made available to the public at vault.unicornriot.ninja. Volunteers upgraded Unicorn Riot’s DiscordLeaks platform to host 55,249 RocketChat messages and file attachments, allowing the public to search the cache and inspect how fascists try to operate discreetly at their most inner levels. (See BitTorrent info below)
The civil rights lawsuit ‘Sines v. Kessler’ concluded last November with multiple findings of civil liability against Vanguard America and other white supremacist defendants for their participation in the deadly Unite the Right event. Rousseau was deposed during the lawsuit and asked extensively about his role in planning the Charlottesville rally and encouraging his followers to participate in street violence there.
Members of Patriot Front consider themselves a part of “the greatest nationalist activist organization in the world.” As the leaks reveal, they are micromanaged by their Texas-based director who oversees every detail of the organization from its persistent campaign of racially motivated vandalism to the minutiae of clothes members may wear in public.
Unicorn Riot reported in 2017 how Vanguard America’s “Southern Front” server on Discord was used to celebrate Fields’ vehicle attack, as well as exposing the group’s links to Robert Ray (aka ‘Azzmador’) of the Daily Stormer, Richard Spencer and other figures in the white supremacist movement. In 2018, with further Discord leaks data we examined how Patriot Front developed its style of stickering and how they show up as a security force for touring speakers like Spencer and other ‘alt-right’ events, while enthusiastically promoting sexual assault and training for further violence.
[For related stories see Unicorn Riot’s Far-Right Investigations Desk.]
After the 2018 disclosures, internal chats were moderated more strictly, but the group’s prospective member intake process, exposed in the current leak, most clearly highlights the members’ ardent beliefs in national socialism and adulation towards historic Nazi figures.
Despite Patriot Front’s strict measures to avoid overt Nazism in their public rhetoric, the group’s racist, antisemitic and misogynistic nature shines through quite clearly in their more recently leaked chats. Members frequently use slurs and brag about IRL racist harassment.
The recent leak also reveals that Patriot Front preys on teenagers, recruiting members through the internet who are still legally minors, indoctrinating them with white supremacist ideology and even encouraging them to lie to their parents so the group can transport them across state lines for fascist events. According to the chats, while the group’s official policies require members to be at least 17 ½ years old to join, in reality it “goes by a case by case basis” with some members being recruited below that age.
According to leaked messages, Patriot Front’s rank and file still enjoy doing ‘Roman salutes’ despite rules saying they shouldn’t. In one direct message exchange members nostalgically recalled throwing up Nazi salutes “in front of a PF flag in full uniform” at a bar in Europe while meeting up with Polish neo-Nazi skinheads. In one leaked video of masked Patriot Front members reading a manifesto, as they take off their official gear one of them remarks, “Sieg fucking heil! Lets fucking go. I can say that now that [the recording is] over.”
Patriot Front also routinely praises historical fascist leaders such as Mussolini, Oswald Mosley, and American Nazi Party founder George Lincoln Rockwell, as well as contemporary Nazi and fascist groups such as the Nordic Resistance Movement in Sweden and Casa Pound in Italy. Members sometimes address each other with Nazi titles, and others reportedly hung swastika Christmas decorations or displayed the Nazi sonnenrad ‘black sun’ symbol on their home.
Numerous membership applications marked ‘ACCEPTED’ are logged as “ideology: national socialist.“ Another member wrote on his approved application to join that the “biggest threat to America is Jewish domination over the world” and complained about an incident in his childhood when his Jewish kindergarten teacher gave blocks that he wanted to play with to another child.
Racist Propaganda Coordinated to Stir Fear Across America
Patriot Front has aimed to terrorize non-white and pro-racial justice communities around the U.S. by trying to damage and deface murals and Black Lives Matter art by placing racist messages and other actions at the direction of its national leadership and regional Network Directors.
[Note: Members of Patriot Front are assigned handles with a fake first name – two letter state code, which is used in most internal communications for the purpose of maintaining anonymity.]
The pattern of activity mainly centers around an aggressive propaganda strategy distributing ‘promat’ (‘promotional materials’) pushing the group’s name, website, and white nationalist views. Members are required to submit proof of weekly ‘activism’ tasks and are criticized, scolded and punished when they fail to meet their expected quotas.
Tasks towards members’ weekly requirements are reviewed and accepted by Patriot Front leaders, often regional Network Directors (NDs) or sometimes the group’s leader, Thomas Rousseau. Actions that help meet the official member requirements sometimes include spray painting official Patriot Front stencils on public or private property, painting over racial justice murals, as well as stealing, defacing or destroying pro-diversity yard signs and flags from homes and businesses.
Patriot Front’s official ‘promat,’ such as stickers and flyers, can only be bought directly from leader Thomas Rousseau, who personally ships it to members. “If any of the prices seem above market rate,” wrote Rousseau in the group’s chat in July 2021, “it’s because it also goes toward paying for our servers, our digital accounts and subscriptions, and the food I can afford to eat.”
Having to pay Rousseau out of pocket in order to post the group’s propaganda has led some Patriot Front members to make their own bootleg materials. Others have complained that buying stickers from Rousseau in order to meet their mandatory action quotas meant they were “paying Thomas’ rent“ and that without forcing his followers to buy stuff from him he might have to find a real job.
Some members mentioned targeting “diverse“ neighborhoods for plastering with Patriot Front stickers. Others discussed placing stickers along the route of a leftist protest march the night before it took place.
Texas: Most of the dozens of banners Patriot Front members have dropped have been on highway overpasses or other public areas visible by traffic. However, some of their banner drops have seen members go to greater lengths. In one official banner action, Patriot Front members in Texas targeted an FBI billboard, which read, “Protecting our communities TOGETHER. Report hate crimes.”
Network Director ‘James TX’ discussed the FBI billboard plan with Rousseau, who asked him for the exact GPS coordinates for the billboard’s location. In Patriot Front’s chat server ‘James’ proposed scouting for “weaknesses in the fence“ in order to access the billboard; Texas member ‘Patrick‘ said he would “bring bolt cutters.” Messages show ‘James TX’ had “been wanting to get this billboard for a while“ and said he planned to cut down part of the billboard’s anti-hate crime message before draping a banner over it.
Photos and video [1, 2] shared privately inside Patriot Front show members making a banner, accessing the billboard at night to drape it in a banner, then driving by the next day to show the banner still up in the daylight. The banner placed over the anti-hate crime billboard featured several fasces, a classical symbol of fascism.
At least four other Patriot Front Network Directors – ‘William OK‘, ‘Eric PA’, ‘Lawrence FL’ and ‘Carter MO‘ (Luke Paule) – discussed coordinating actions targeting FBI “report hate crimes” billboards in their respective areas [1, 2, 3, 4].
Spray painting is also one of the group’s main activities that members are encouraged to carry out to meet “activism” quotas. Rousseau and other directors instruct members on details down to what kinds of spray paint cans to use, how to place Patriot Front stencils and how to photograph them.
Pacific Northwest: Patriot Front’s Pacific Northwest Network Director Colton Michael Brown posts in RocketChat as ‘ND – John WA‘ and has taken part in a prolific amount of Patriot Front vandalism as well as directing others to do so. RocketChat message logs show Brown took personal responsibility for Patriot Front stenciling in front of Seattle’s City Hall as well as its Capitol Hill neighborhood. He also provided instructions to his chapter’s members on what kinds of spray paint to use [1, 2, 3, 4], and told one to modify fire extinguishers for spraying paint.
In a direct message exchange about a business displaying “anti-American propaganda“, Colton Brown aka ‘ND – John WA‘ and Patriot Front member ‘Patrick NC’ had a frank exchange about their group’s involvement in apparent vandalism and the problems it could pose to their organization. “Maybe I can talk to Thomas about stenciling the store”, ‘Patrick’ wrote, before adding “Of course, never talk about criminal activities … that’s how we get doxed, sentenced, and basically fucked over.”
Brown’s reply did not seem amused. “The org would be pinched if we had to fund any legal funds right now,” he wrote. “I’d advise not doing that. Do you have $3000 or more to spend on a petty vandalism case?“
After learning in December 2021 that his chapter of Patriot Front had been infiltrated, Brown wrote to Rousseau that he was becoming “concerned all of us or at least Tyler will get charged for the Olympia mural.” ‘Tyler WA’, real name James Julius Johnson, was identified by antifascists last month as one of the Patriot Front members who painted over the “Respect & Love Olympia” mural on 4th avenue in Olympia, WA on October 16 around 3 a.m.
The mural vandalism garnered attention and outrage in the local media, with Patriot Front members declaring victory and feeling heartened when city officials announced they would remove the mural instead of continuing to repaint it. Chat logs reveal that Patriot Front leader Rousseau was not only aware of the Olympia mural vandalism, but even joined a group call with the Pacific Northwest chapter to direct the group in how best to accomplish the task.
“Obviously the objective is to mess up as much of it as possible,” instructed Rousseau, “I would have start out by having a few guys just going up and down the length of it with turbo cans…so that if they are going to repair it they’re essentially going to have to start from scratch.”
Worried that he “might get a knock” from police over the mural, Brown “moved all [his] [Patriot Front] materials and political stuff“ into the car of another member who stored his items in their home, according to his messages to Rousseau. (Brown was previously named in a 2020 report filed by a detective with the King County Sheriff’s Office as part of an FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) investigation into Patriot Front activity in Washington state.)
The Olympia mural vandalism was primarily planned by Jacob Stephen Sundt (aka ‘Clark WA‘), a member of Brown’s chapter, who lives in Olympia “not too far away from downtown.” Before Patriot Front knew they were infiltrated, Sundt bragged that “our recent actions have shown we can walk down busy avenues at prime time in Seattle and deface the largest most well protected mural in shitlib olympia without so much as being accosted once.”
Members of Patriot Front’s Pacific Northwest chapter, including Brown, also defaced a mural in Portland, OR in July 2021 honoring the lives of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery. “When we did the George Floyd one,” Brown said in an audio call with Rousseau and other Patriot Front members, “we were in and out maybe two minutes. It was really fast and we got up the URL stencil like three times.”
After the artist who created the mural called for help on social media, the mural was repainted within 24 hours.
One of the more religiously Christian members seems to have quit Patriot Front over his concerns about “some of the techniques related to the activism, specifically the stenciling and defacement of other property.” Patriot Front Network Director Paul Michael Gancarz aka ‘Samuel VA‘ told Rousseau that he responded by telling the former member “George Floyd is the messiah of a false religion of evil.” Another member, ‘Ben MD‘, summed the matter up with: “if you have a moral problem with covering up a George Floyd mural then you’re probably not a good fit for PF.“
Massachusetts: Patriot Front members in Massachusetts discussed casing and wanting to ‘hit’ a Black Lives Matter mural on the side of the Champion Ice Cream shop at 113 Legion Parkway in downtown Brockton, MA. A Patriot Front member going by the alias ‘Philip MA’ described the mural as being located in a “potential high risk area” but assured other members that “with a bunch of guys we should be able to pull it off.” Patriot Front members ‘Philip MA‘ & ‘NQ – Henry MA‘ messaged each other to weigh the merits of using light bulbs, balloons and/or a pesticide sprayer filled with paint in order to quickly and effectively deface the mural. “I’m thinking a simple ‘Reclaim America’ should do the trick,” ‘Phillip MA’ wrote.
A PDF document entitled “Stenciling – December 12rd, 2021” [sic] lists the aliases of seven members involved in the day’s plans, outlined meetup locations, scouting plans and radio frequencies for members to use to communicate. Along with directions and GPS coordinates, the document included a photo of the mural to be vandalized as well as a list of spray paint supplies and detailed instructions for lookouts.
Michigan: Patriot Front members in Michigan also consulted with Thomas Rousseau about targeting historic civil rights murals in Detroit. ‘Alan MI‘ sent Rousseau photos he took while scouting the 8 Mile Wall, a historical site which hosts murals commemorating the history of segregation and civil rights in Detroit. ‘Alan’ asked Rousseau for advice for “better…covering stuff up” while defacing the civil rights mural; Rousseau told him to consult Patriot Front’s official stencil guide which instructs members to use turbo cans. Patriot Front also vandalized a ‘Black Lives Matter’ street mural in Ypsilanti, MI. Leaked video also shows members covering up a mural of a Native American at the Lincoln Street Art Park in Detroit.
Indiana: ‘Michael IN‘ reported to Thomas Rousseau that he “was thinking of using roofing tar of some sort to cover the George Floyd BLM mural in Lafayette, IN.“ ‘Michael IN’ noted the mural was “previously visited by PF twice, defaced 5 times overall” and asked Rousseau if the use of “rubberized roofing cement“ “would be permitted“ to cover the mural’s new “anti-graffiti clear coat“ during his return to deface the mural a third time. Thomas told ‘Michael IN’ to “keep me posted as to your research and practice with this substance. Orders will be given out at the event.” (According to WLWT Cincinnati, a protective coating was added to the George Floyd mural in Lafayette, IN on August 6 after police began investigating repeated “defacing” at the site.)
Colorado: Leaked videos show Colorado members of Patriot Front painting over and stenciling over a large pro-abortion mural outside a business in Denver.
Georgia: A leaked video shows members in Georgia spray painting Patriot Front stencils on a ‘Stop Asian Hate’ mural.
North Carolina: Another leaked video from inside Patriot Front shows members scouting the ‘Harriet Tubman – Journey to Freedom’ statue in Jackson County, NC. They discuss sabotaging the park’s electrical system in order to possibly shut off security cameras while defacing the statue. (“Have we considered [cameras] across the street? Think they would reach that far…can we disarm them?” “If everyone’s wearing what we’re supposed to be wearing, then it wouldn’t matter.”) One of the men the video shows casing the Tubman memorial wore a shirt reading ‘Legalize Arson.’
Pennsylvania: In October, Patriot Front members covered over a mural in Boyertown, PA reading ‘Boyertown is No Place For Hate’. They took ‘before’ and ‘after’ photos and videoed themselves spraying paint to cover several of the people of color depicted in the mural.
Virginia: Patriot Front Network Director Paul Michael Gancarz aka ‘Samuel VA‘ was one of several members involved in defacing a mural honoring Black tennis legend Arthur Ashe in Richmond’s Battery Park in October 2021.
Stealing signs from homes: Patriot Front members are also fond of stealing pro-diversity and pro-LGBTQ yard signs and flags; like graffiti, these thefts are among actions members can count towards their weekly activism requirements. Dozens of yard signs and several flags are discussed as having been stolen in late 2021. In a group call, Rousseau suggests that members steal American flags from bridges and other public areas so that they can be carried upside down by the group during marches. “I want a duffel bag full of flags by December,” Rousseau told one member.
On November 28, ‘Vincent VA’ posted a picture of himself stepping on a Black Lives Matter yard sign, bragging that he “got a trophy.“ The same day, another member in Utah, ‘Logan UT’, shared a photo posing with apparently stolen Mexican and transgender flags; another photo he sent shows the flags being burned. A video from that night shows the flags being burned after members read out a statement:
“for those who destroy our nation, we will destroy your symbols and all that you worship, to think that we will lay down and perish, you are greatly mistaken. Burn em.”
Another video from Michigan that night shows the members singing “blood and soil.”
On December 13, ‘Alan MI‘ asked other Patriot Front Michigan members, “coded language aside, how many flags did you guys steal? You guys took signs?” ‘Eric MI‘ replied “3 flags and at least 6 signs“, while ‘Benjamin MI‘ wrote “3 flags, not sure on signs but it was a lot… says BLM on it…“
Another photo, shared in Patriot Front’s chat sent by Colton Brown aka ‘ND – John WA‘, shows Pacific Northwest members posing with 26 stolen pro-diversity yard signs that had been painted over to feature Patriot Front stencils.
Patriot Front Links to Neo-Nazi Podcasters, Proud Boys and the National Justice Party
Despite Patriot Front’s official rules against “parallel organizing” with other groups, PF’s leaked chats show connections to several other groups in both the neo-Nazi movement and the far-right more broadly. Patriot Front has significant overlap with so-called ‘pool party’ groups organized by the neo-Nazi podcast network The Right Stuff (TRS). Several Patriot Front members attend pool party meetups; three midwest members (including Trevor Valescu aka ‘ND – Johnny MN‘) are leaders for their regional TRS pool party. TRS affiliates have also organized fundraisers to donate to Patriot Front, according to leaked chats. Patriot Front members involved in TRS pool parties may also use the more informal groups to recruit.
Patriot Front is also close to the National Justice Party (NJP), a newer neo-Nazi group founded in 2020 by TRS podcaster Mike ‘Enoch’ Peinovich, former Daily Stormer writer Joseph Jordan aka ‘Eric Striker’, and Tony Hovater, former co-leader of the defunct Traditionalist Worker Party (TWP).
Patriot Front members have attended several NJP events, including a November conference in Pittsburgh and a recent rally in Waukesha, Wisconsin which Rousseau and another member ‘Mason’ attended. Several Patriot Front members also posted about distributing NJP materials alongside Patriot Front’s official propaganda [1, 2, 3].
Patriot Front is also affiliated with Media2Rise, the propaganda arm of Will2Rise, a new fascist hipster fitness lifestyle brand created by Rob Rundo of the violent neo-Nazi group Rise Above Movement (RAM). A Media2Rise member using the name ‘Lucca Corgiat’ often acts as an unofficial media operative for Patriot Front, providing sympathetic embedded coverage during their recent march in D.C. Corgiat is a former member of the defunct alt-right group Identity Evropa, in which he used the Discord alias ‘Valaska.’
Corgiat attended the secretive 2021 American Renaissance (AmRen) conference alongside Thomas Rousseau, with the two collaborating on an exclusive interview with Jared Taylor, conference organizer and longtime intellectual figurehead for white supremacists in America. A large volume of videos shot inside the 2021 AmRen conference are included in this release.
Several Patriot Front members and potential recruits are former Proud Boys [1, 2, 3], and others in the group professed to have good relations with Proud Boys in their area [1, 2, 3, 4]. One member, recently exposed as Casey James Knuteson (aka Leo OR), was a member of the Portland Proud Boys throughout 2020 and continues to have close ties to the group.
Despite these entanglements, Patriot Front members distinguish themselves from the Proud Boys due to the latter group’s flexible position on questions of race and ethnicity. For Patriot Front members, the Proud Boys aren’t racist enough. “I remember I got called racist [by Portland Patriot Front members] for saying f*** Islam and saying that it has no place in western society,” Casey James Knuteson (aka Leo OR) wrote in an internal chat.
Another member was said to be “working closely” on a podcast project with former TWP leader Matthew Heimbach. At least one current member of Patriot Front is also a former TWP member.
December 4, 2021 Patriot Front March in D.C.
-Message from Patriot Front leadership in the group’s RocketChat, pressuring members to attend the December 4 rally.
Aiming to maximize attendance at Patriot Front’s December 4, 2021 rally in D.C., the group’s leadership pressured every member to attend, telling them it was mandatory. Rousseau also asked members to reach out to other groups, like the TRS pool parties, to get extra people to march with Patriot Front to make their numbers appear larger. (Rousseau also employed this tactic when leading Vanguard America in Charlottesville, letting strangers join his formation which led to the group being associated with car attack murderer James Alex Fields.)
Thomas Rousseau even tried to push Luke Paule aka ‘ND – Carter MO‘ into missing the birth of his child to march in D.C. Paule ultimately opted to be with his wife while she gave birth but received the silent treatment from Rousseau after this decision. (He would also later apologize for picking up his wife and newborn baby from the hospital during a Patriot Front meeting.) While Paule himself did not attend the December 4 march, he purchased a 13-passenger bus for his chapter of Patriot Front to use. He was dismayed to learn that just as the bus was debuting on the D.C. trip, it was “completely destroyed“ after Patriot Front’s ‘vehicle exchange’ locations for their march were compromised. “It will be quite the setback since it was abandoned to the police,” Paule lamented. “The worst part about its destruction is that I didn’t even get to RIDE in her. Lived for a single event and never made it back home. It’s something out of a fiction book is how it feels.“
Patriot Front would later estimate total expenses from damages to their parked vehicles on December 4 at over $19,000. Many members reported being stranded and unable to drive home after traveling across the country to participate in the modern equivalent of a Klan rally only to have to leave their vehicles behind. In the days after the march, members complained of being contacted by Maryland Park Police and the FBI.
For marches like those recently held in Philadelphia and D.C, Patriot Front employs a “shield section” of members who train in shield tactics like those used by Vanguard America in street violence during Unite The Right in Charlottesville in 2017.
Regional networks hold mandatory “drilling sessions” and those camped out before the DC march held drilling operations at their campground as well.
Leaked Patriot Front video files obtained by Unicorn Riot include extensive unedited footage of Patriot Front drilling sessions, as well as a draft of an official “drilling instruction” video. [See the bottom of this page for an index of available leaked materials.]
Deception & Subterfuge
Patriot Front depends upon secrecy to advance its goals, and the orchestration of various frauds and misrepresentations is mapped out in this data release. The owners of the campsite the group rented during their D.C. march did not know they were renting to Patriot Front but were fed a “cover story“ that the group was “an assortment of youth with different Christian denominations” who were affiliated with conservative student group Turning Point USA.
According to RocketChat messages, Patriot Front secured a police escort for their December D.C. march by placing a “false” 911 call about themselves. Thomas Rousseau directed member ‘Benjamin WI‘ to call police “from a burner [phone]” as Patriot Front left their nearby camp for D.C., pretending to be a concerned citizen. Rousseau said this step was taken to “soften the police up before our big visual contact on the bridge, and provide a little confusion and misinfo that’s within the realm of honest dialogue.”
Similar methods were at play in Patriot Front’s successful strategy to exploit the media during their December mobilization. Members used a fake ‘Sheryl’ Twitter persona, as well as various “fake journo account[s]” to promote their march, with some tweets going viral. (Patriot Front is officially banned from Twitter, but various members maintain sock puppet accounts, on which they often post on the group’s behalf at Rousseau’s direction.)
Their social media plan for the D.C. march included posting about their march to 4chan and various subreddits, overstating their numbers while pretending to be an ignorant observer – “500 white men with riot shields are marching in DC….Does anyone know who this group is?”
Despite the setbacks of their march in the nation’s capitol, Patriot Front largely declared the event a victory, citing large media impact and an increase in new membership applications. The new applicants was a boon to Rousseau; who in mid-December complained that he was “absolutely desperate for new people,” having “been in the 220’s to 230’s membership rut for nearly a full year.”
Patriot Front has apparently had some issues with retaining members even as it continues to recruit. Complaints by members and former members who quit include “hounding by leadership.” According to ‘NQ – Paul TX’, “there is, at present, no real sense that higher leadership cares about you. You are treated as a number that needs to be mobilized.” Another recurring annoyance is how all members, regardless of their perceived athletic fitness, are “subject to long talks and rambles over fitness. This drove now previous members up the wall, and still does for present members.”
In addition to condescending lectures about exercise, Patriot Front’s membership is subject to increasingly paranoid and invasive security measures. Members are encouraged to snoop around each other’s homes and monitor each other’s “dating record”. Chapter leaders may also demand that a member break up with his girlfriend if she doesn’t meet their approval.
Patriot Front’s increased internal security measures include a “full pat down“ and confiscating cell phones during road trips and camping get-togethers. Those vetting new members are instructed to “clandestinely record the license plate information or obtain a picture of that new member’s face” and require applicants to empty their pockets and be checked for wires.
Terrified of being held accountable for their racist acts and affiliations, Patriot Front members go to great lengths to hide their identities. Leaked chats show members discussing installing license plate flippers or plate covers on vehicles used to attend white nationalist rallies. After many of their license plates were identified at the parking area for their December 4 D.C. mobilization, Colton Brown aka ‘ND – John WA’ told members to lie to DMV officials in order to obtain fresh plates for their cars.
“Go into the DMV and say your plates were stolen and you’re really worried and want a new plate. They will ask you to file a police report and just say you’ll do it afterwards. Then don’t do that, and slap that new plate on your car.” At a recent January demonstration in Chicago, members were seen leaving the area with license plates covered on their vehicles.
Patriot Front is also keen to avoid keeping membership records in order to avoid fallout from lawsuits that may be filed against them. This practice has continued from the group’s predecessor Vanguard America, which dissolved after being named in a multi-million dollar civil rights lawsuit filed after the deadly violence at the Unite The Right rally in Charlottesville, VA in 2017. As mentioned above, Thomas Rousseau was a leader in Vanguard America and was extensively deposed for the ‘Sines v. Kessler‘ lawsuit. The jury in that case ultimately found Vanguard America liable for $1 million in damages.
In a national call following the group’s December 4 march in Washington D.C., Rousseau instructed all members to go through their phones and delete information that could link them to the event or that could be subpoenaed in a future legal proceeding. “I want you to go through your Threema chat, your Telegram, your whatever,” said Rousseau, “… and delete any messages pertaining to the events…any chat rooms, photos, videos, anything at all pertaining to the event. Or any photos…you took at camp, go ahead and make sure to scrub all that.”
When working to identify infiltrators who had joined their membership, Patriot Front discussed measures such as keeping lists of names and license plates, as well as IP addresses that log into their RocketChat server. However, they decided against all these measures after Rousseau, weary after being “questioned for a total of 16 hours by a panel of vicious Jewish attorneys for the Cville suit“, insisted it would be unacceptable to have such information available in the event they received a subpoena. “You should actively avoid having members know each other’s places of work, addresses, real names, and any such similar information,” Rousseau instructed his followers.
Despite Patriot Front’s claims to only be involved in legal above-ground activism, the group’s membership can’t seem to sway away from involvement with guns and violence. Leaders sometimes complain about the inability to keep their underlings from assaulting people of color, such as in one incident where a member reportedly assaulted a Latinx person, “rip[ping]” them “out of a car.”
According to one of Rousseau’s messages, one member attending their D.C. march “brought two fully loaded pistols to the event with additional ammunition, including rifle ammunition.“ At least one other attendee seems to have also brought a firearm. It’s unclear if the guns were present at the march itself or at their nearby campsite.
After antifascists identified Patriot Front member and 3-D-printed gun enthusiast ‘Tyler WA’ as Seattle resident James Julius Johnson, Rousseau instructed everyone to make sure any evidence of anyone talking about 3-D printing guns needed to be “trashed or destroyed“. Colton Brown/ ND – John WA then confirmed the materials of concern to Thomas were “gone” in a “boating accident.”
Johnson is not the first Patriot Front member to have an affection for manufacturing untraceable “ghost guns.” In 2020, Texas Patriot Front member Joffre Cross was convicted of federal felony charges of possessing a “Vyatskie Plyany, Model VEPR, caliber 7.62 mm rifle and approximately 1500 rounds of various rife and pistol ammunition” as a felon and prohibited possessor. In 2007, Cross was discharged from the Army after selling narcotics and equipment stolen from the Army to an undercover FBI agent posing as a white supremacist.
According to the Houston Chronicle, when police searched Cross’ home in 2019, authorities also found three homemade rifles and a homemade pistol. He is current serving a 57-month sentence at FCI-Pollack in Louisiana.
At least two other Patriot Front members–Jakub Zak, and Justin Milaszewski–have been arrested on gun-related charges in recent years. (Milaszewski allegedly pulled a gun while putting up fliers and stickers for Patriot Front, according to police who arrested him on hate crime charges.)
This large-scale release shows that while organizations like Patriot Front may seem to surface intermittently, displaying threatening banners and marching occasionally, their long-term, vertically managed campaign to instill fear and a chilling effect in the society around them continues in many states around the U.S.
Additional reporting was contributed by Ryan Fatica and R. Martin.
Leaked Patriot Front materials released for this story:
[PLEASE NOTE: RocketChat screenshots and RocketChat server logs do not cover the same exact time periods and contain different sets of messages.]
PatriotFrontLeaks on Vault.UnicornRiot.Ninja
PatriotFrontLeaks BitTorrent release:
The PatriotFrontLeaks BitTorrent file release requires approximately 440 gigabytes of space. (Contains more than 6600 files). The app “Transmission” v3.0.0 (Linux/Mac) and “qBittorrent” v4.4.0 (Windows) is confirmed to work with this release. BitTorrent packaging courtesy of Distributed Denial of Secrets.
Note: Torrents are not an anonymous method of downloading files. More info here.
Patriot Front documents obtained during this reporting:
Patriot Front Member Guides:
Other assorted documents:
- October 30, 2021 – ‘2 Banner Drops, Postering, Sparring’
- October 31, 2021 – ‘2 Banner Drops, Postering, Sparring’
- November 7, 2021 – ‘Create 3 Banners. Drop 2 Banner Drops. Promat’
- November 14, 2021 – ‘Fitness, Sparring, 2 banner drops, group stickering’
- November 28, 2021 – ‘Drilling and Banner Drops’
- December 3rd, 2021 – ‘Travel to Event’
- December 12rd, 2021 – ‘Stenciling’
- December 12rd, 2021 – ‘Fitness, Sparring, Drilling, Activism’
- 17 Days at Chosin
- Additional Roles
- Attendance Tracker 2021.xlsx
- Attendance Tracker v1 – 2021 NNM
- Big Drop PDF – V1 11-24-2021
- December Attendance Master
- Drilling Practices 11721
- Driver Briefing
- Event Roles
- Falls Hike_Oxt_23rd_PDF
- Falls Hike_Oxt_23rd_Revised
- Falls Hike_Oxt_23rd_Revised_two
- Feb 5th Schedule
- How To_ Baofeng UV-5R
- Ice Cream
- Interview Script Changes
- Lifestyle Recovery Main Log
- Manistee River Trail Loop
- Meeting 032 2021-11-15
- Meeting 033 2021-11-23
- Meeting 034 2021-11-30
- Meeting 035 2021-12-14
- MEETING INTERMEDIATES
- MEETING INTERMEDIATES 121021
- Nov 20th Schedule
- NW3 scouting draft
- NWX Drilling Itinerary 10/30/21
- NWXII Weekly Meeting and Report 12_7_2021
- NWXII Weekly Meeting and Report 12_12_2021
- PF Medic Document
- pf meeting notes 10 Dec 2021
- Radio Etiquette
- suggested changes
- Travel Guide
- Vehicle Exchange
- Vetting intermediates – draft
- Weekly Check Ins Lifestyle Fitness
- Weekly Check Ins Lifestyle Fitness.xlsx – October 2021
- Weekly Check Ins Lifestyle Fitness.xlsx – November 2021
- Writeup of scouting
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