Web of Make Believe: Death, Lies and the Internet (2022) s01e03 Episode Script

I'm Not a Nazi

[distant traffic sounds.]

[atmospheric music playing.]

In May of 2017,
I was invited to go to New York
to go to a pool party.

[indistinct chattering.]

[atmospheric music continues.]

Everyone is, like,
drinking and jolly
and jumping around
and doing all these things.

The sun is going down.

There's a bonfire,
and someone starts shouting
and saying, "Oh, we're ready.
And people are going inside
and coming out with books
or giving each other books, and,
I didn't really fully grasp
what was going on.

Everyone kind of gets
in a semi-circle around this bonfire,
and they start shouting about
how Jewish people are the real oppressors.


And how Jewish people
are demons in skin sacks.

There was someone at the party,
and there was a book
called Great Jewish Women.

They scream and he throws
the book in the fire.

[distant clamoring.]

As it turns out, all of the books
are by Jewish people.

And there's cheering and screaming,
everyone's excited that it's happening.


And, yeah,
I just, like, didn't even realize
book burning was seriously
a part of this culture.

[unsettling music playing.]

It's such a wild journey
because in the beginning you're like,
"No, I'm one of the good
alt-right people.

"I just believe in this
and I believe in that.
"I'm not a Nazi.
"They're just the extremists.
Then it gets to this point
where you start to see swastikas
and start to see pictures of gas chambers.

It's not conscious, it just happens.

Like drinking, the more you drink,
the higher your tolerance is,
the more you drink.

[unsettling music continues.]

It just keeps escalating.

And then I was in it.

[theme music playing.]

[evocative music playing.]

[insects chirping.]


Talk a little about how you grew up.

It depends on the day.

Um, I have two stories that I tell people.

On a good day,
it's that I grew up on a farm
and it was, you know,
idyllic and beautiful.

[evocative music continues.]

And on a bad day, the reality is,
we lived down the road,
uh, with my alcoholic and negligent father
and my workaholic and naive mother.

And we were left alone a lot,
my brother and I.

And we often just, kind of,
escaped into our imaginations.

And I think because of that,
I just had a little bit
of an askew sense of logic
because I did things on my terms.

I didn't have to follow the rules
because they were mine.

Wait, so, tell me
about your grandmother, right?
Your grandmother
was involved with Hitler Youth?
She Yeah, she sure was.

She's not proud of it,
but she's dead now,
so we can talk about it.

She was in Hitler Youth.

[evocative music continues.]

And she had said that,
when America came,
she was saved by a Black soldier.

She was afraid to touch him
'cause she'd never seen a Black person
and she thought the ink
would rub off on her.

He took her hand and he saved her.

And I think, because the man
who saved her was Black,
I think she, kind of luckily,
didn't have to de-program that much.

About halfway through high school
I moved to Florida,
and I really made a show
of not fitting in.

I skipped school,
I stopped caring about classwork.

Even though I think
everyone tried to embrace me,
I did not care about the friends I made.

I would just create problems
everywhere around me.

I needed to leave Florida.

It was a toxic environment.

I was really hell-bent
on striking out on my own
and creating this life for myself.

[rock music playing in bar.]

About two years in,
I was at a dive bar with my friend
and I think it was
getting close to last call.

Some guy came over
and he introduced himself as Richie.

And he has this low voice,
and he could sing,
and he was funny.

And we spent the whole night
talking about film and music.

He would start to say something
and I would think I knew what was coming,
but he would finish his sentences
and they were always
such a surprise to me.

Like, I just wanted to,
like, dig into his brain
and understand how it worked
because it was just so foreign
and pleasant and interesting to me.

I, like, fell in love with him that night.

Then we started dating,
and I needed so badly
a sense of identity and purpose
that whatever he said he liked in a woman
I became that tenfold.

I was just like
this little piece of marble
and just hoping that I could be
chiseled into something beautiful
if I just paid attention enough.

He was a line cook with aspirations
of becoming an executive chef.

He had this kind of edgy,
kind of really dark,
not morbid, but close to it,
sense of humor.

[unsettling music playing.]

And then he started
showing me stuff on 4chan.

I mean I had been on it
less than a handful of times, probably.

It was basically like
Reddit's trashy younger brother.

Reddit is pretty indiscriminatory
about the things that you can post
and then 4chan is where you go
if somehow what you're saying
is too grotesque or bad to get on Reddit.

[unsettling music continues.]

In the meantime, I'd stay up all night.

I would go to parties.

I was getting blackout drunk every night.

I was just
I was a mess.

I was trying to ignore
all of my identity issues
that I was having.

Ignore my family.
Ignore everything.

Richie kept saying things to me.

I was not acting like
a proper woman in his eyes.

One night, he got really drunk
and berated me for hours.

He told me that I was disgusting.

That I was a whore.

He said that he hated me.

That he was in love with me
and hated me simultaneously.

And he started telling me
that I was the enemy.

And he just kept saying
that I'm a race traitor.

He kept making the joke about
not being able to defend me
on the Day of the Rope.

I'm so sorry.

[exhales deeply.]

[unsettling music continues.]


I had never heard this phrase before,
so I go home
and I Googled "The Day of the Rope"
and that's when I learned
that it describes the day
where the white race finally
decides to stand up for itself
and it drags Black people,
Jewish people, gay people,
people with physical disabilities,
people intellectually disadvantaged,
they're dragged out of their house
and hung by lamp posts.

The Day of the Rope is the rope.

Like, it's everyone's hung
and white people are suddenly fine,
because there's no one else
but able-bodied straight white people.

[tense music playing.]


So, I read this and I am aghast.

Like, who thinks that on their own?
That's just never a thought I've ever had.

I didn't know it was a thought
anyone could have.

I don't know,
it was just very, uh, terrifying.

I go back to Richie
and I confront him.

Like, why would you date someone
that you're telling me
you would watch me get hanged?
And he's like, "Why wouldn't we
be trying to take these steps
to ensure that our children
have a better future?"
And, I'll never forget,
he was sitting on his couch
and he just kind of braced himself
as if he was preparing to be slapped
or hit or punched or whatever,
and he just said,
"I'm a fascist and I don't want to be
with anyone who doesn't support that.
[tense music crescendos.]

I felt like I was simultaneously on fire
and drowning at the same time.

I just bawled in my car.

I stopped on the side of the road
and, like, threw up.

I was determined to prove him wrong.

He told me about these other websites.

[somber music playing.]

So, I check them out.

I was like, "I'm gonna learn about this.

"I'll learn about immigration policy.
"I'm gonna learn
about heritage and legacy,
and what these things mean
in the eyes of this group of people.
"And I'm gonna argue it,
and he'll be fine, and we'll be fine,
and everything will be fine.
If you don't like what we tell you
to believe in, we'll kill you.

[rock music playing.]

Weed is not a drug
for right-wing white people.

Weed is a drug for left-wingers
and .

- That is the lesson
- [laughs.]

and if you don't absorb this lesson,
you should.

They want you, straight white guy,
destitute, suffering, and then dead.

One of the ways that the far right
has been able to grow online,
is that they've been able to post
their ideologies,
their videos, their thinking,
to mainstream social networks
like YouTube, like Facebook.

But YouTube in particular is a place
that has kind of allowed
for alternative media makers
to have a platform where
they wouldn't typically be allowed
onto mainstream media with their views.

Combating the Jewish system
that our people
are currently in bondage to.

The Holocaust, six million Jews
supposedly died in the Holocaust,
so, you know, we have to
constantly worship the Jews.

YouTube is perfect
for people who have extreme views.

If you're not a racist,
you're probably not going to feel the need
to make a bunch of anti-racist videos.

But, if you are a racist,
then you might feel the need
to make a bunch of videos
about why white people are superior.

I'm going to say what all you think
and know to be true.

It can never ever, ever, be too white.

Most states, like Oregon and Minnesota,
were great places to live
until diversity was forced
in our communities as an act of hate.


A lot of these kind of alt-right figures
started to build
these big platforms on YouTube.

And with YouTube,
once you watch one video,
let's say about white supremacy
or anti-Semitism,
YouTube will then recommend another video
and so you sit there
and you keep watching.

And so all of a sudden,
you're watching one video on
how maybe the Holocaust didn't happen,
and then another video
about how Jews are terrible
and are ruining the world.

You're sucked into watching
video after video after video
that keeps getting more and more extreme.

And things that are more extreme
get more engagement,
and they get shared.


[Andrew Marantz.]

There's always been racism, anti-Semitism.

But the Internet creates this ability
for someone without
the proper initiation to say,
"Well, let me just sort of explore
and let me just see what's out there.
And to have this misperception
that it's like you're walking in a library
and having a librarian
sort of point you toward a stack of books,
when, in fact, you're walking into this
very carefully calibrated algorithm
that is not trying to inform you.

It's trying to siphon up
your attention and your data.

And the byproduct of that
is that often you're being misinformed,
or radicalized, or both.

Many schools now don't even celebrate
Black History Month or Cinco de Mayo,
because, when they did,
it met racial friction and even violence.

And I just saw a lot of,
like, stuffy, older men
that look like adjunct professors
at a community college
telling me that, you know,
legacy is just about
earning your place in this world,
or keeping your place in this world,
and having a seat at the table,
and not being run out
by media and propaganda
and anti-white guilt.

Years from now,
when our grandchildren ask,
"Well, Granddaddy,
what did you do during the racial wars?"
You want to be able
to say that you did something.


The language was very careful.

I elected to take that and because
I was so in love and so codependent,
and so unable to stand up for myself
or to stand up for, like,
the reality of what this was,
I absorbed myself in it.

I immersed myself in it.

And I just kept thinking,
"We can do this a couple months.
"He'll get it out of his system.

We'll be fine.
Then I
went back to him and said, "Okay.
"How about I try and live my life
like this is real for a little bit
and see what happens?"
That's quite a turn.


[vigorous music playing.]

[Michael German.]
I'm a former FBI agent.

In the early 1990s,
I worked undercover in a case
targeting Neo-Nazi groups
in Southern California.

- Who are we?
- Hitler!
- Who are we?
- Hitler!
- Who are we?
- Hitler!
Any new technology
is frightening to the establishment,
because it's disruptive
of their way of doing business.

In the 1990s, the FBI was
a fairly Luddite organization
and very anti-technology.

Louis Freeh famously said
he couldn't understand why anybody
would want a computer on their desk.

Agents didn't have access
to computer email
until the late '90s, early 2000s.

So, if there's a new way of communicating,
that's adopted very quickly
by clandestine groups,
because they know that
the government's not caught up to that.

And in fact, the first time
I heard the term "email"
was from white supremacist skinheads
in the 1990s.

I think 1995 is when the first major
bulletin board started going out,
so, you know, they were
very quickly on to this.

Since 9/11,
the FBI was mostly focused on
so-called radical Muslim groups.

This idea that if they have access
to these communications tools
their movement will spread.

There was no concern about the fact
that there were ten times as many,
probably 100 times, as many
white supremacists using these tools.

And the government
didn't seem to think that's a problem.

There's this mantra of,
"diversity is our greatest strength.
You'll hear, uh, just about everyone
on the political spectrum say that
One day, I'm on YouTube.

I see this video with Nathan Damigo
and this was the turning point for me.

So you think the solution
is that we designate certain states
as white states?
I think that might perhaps
be the ideal, uh, in a way,
and to give people options.

Nathan Damigo is the founder
of this group called Identity Evropa.

There's a spectrum within this racist
movement that calls itself the alt-right.

Sieg Heil!

Some of them are jackbooted thugs.

And some of them are people
who want to get into street fights
and they have swastika tattoos
and they, you know, are skinheads,
you know, that kind of thing.

But the more savvy ones,
the ones who frankly are able
to have more of an impact,
are the ones who, you know,
they wear suits, they wear ties,
they don't have any visible tattoos.

They just want to talk about ideas, right?
That's their posture.

[news anchor.]
Placed on utility poles,
these small stickers
carry an unfamiliar message.

Under a teal triangle with three lines
that join in the middle,
are the words Identity Evropa,
or a group founded in 2016
that believes America was not intended
to be a multiracial society.

On the Southern Poverty
Law Center's website,
it's been designated a hate group.

Identity Evropa was a group that
wanted to be advocates for white people.

They try to avoid
"white power," "white pride.
They try to say,
"We are people of European heritage
who want to be proud of our heritage.
They will say,
"Yes, I want a white ethnostate,
but I don't need for there to be a war.
"If people are willing to go peacefully,
I would prefer that.

People like Jared Taylor,
people like Richard Spencer,
they will say,
"Look, this could be peaceful.
Richard Spencer actually used the phrase
"peaceful ethnic cleansing"
to describe his vision.

Once you buy into the first premise of it,
that decision leads to the next decision,
leads to the next decision.

And if you start taking these people
on their own terms,
you start to buy into the cult.

[tense music playing.]


So, I applied to Identity Evropa
I think it was like Christmas Eve.

And I didn't tell Richie for,
maybe like a day or two.

And he confessed to me.

He was like, you know, "I'm jealous.
"I wish I thought of joining first.

Seems like a great group.
So he sent them an application.

They got back to me first.

I interviewed New Year's Eve.

"What's your name or pseudonym?"
"Do you have any visible tattoos?"
"Are you of European,
non-Semitic heritage?"
That was like,
one of their questions was, eh,
"What are your thoughts on the JQ?"
"What are your thoughts
on the Jewish question?"
[serious music playing.]


There has been this overriding theory,
within these hardcore
white nationalist groups,
called the "Jewish Question"
since, you know, Europe and the Nazis.

And even before that.

They think, at some level,
the real problem is the Jews.

And that, if they weren't ruining things,
you would be able to have
a white ethnostate.

When Samantha's
being interviewed for Identity Evropa,
she's being expected
to thread this needle between
the super hardcore version of the JQ,
which is "let's exterminate them,"
she's not supposed to say that,
she's supposed to say,
"Jews are not white
and in the ultimate utopian version
of our desired society,
which is a white ethnostate,
Jews will not be welcome.
And, so, the debate within the alt-right
is between peaceful separation
from the Jews
and extermination of the Jews.

There is no,
"Why can't we all just get along?"
The Jewish Question
begs for a final solution,
as propagated by Hitler.

It's a euphemistic way of asking,
"Are you anti-Semitic?
And are you pro-Holocaust?"
[serious music continues.]

That's their dog whistle-y way of saying,
"Are you really one of us?"
Then I asked them to interview Richie,
and they interviewed him,
and we rang in the new year
setting up our
Identity Evropa Discord chats.

The goal was to infiltrate the mainstream,
to infiltrate whatever politics.

I think it's something that people
had always been trying to do,
but I think the Internet
made it much more possible.

[news anchor.]
Breitbart identified
Richard Spencer and Steve Sailer
as the intellectual leadership
running the websites
considered to be the center of alt-right.


Steve Sailer is a blogger,
who's a kind of intellectualized racist,
and one of the arguments he often made is,
"Until Republicans
openly act as a white nationalist
or at least a white identity party,
we're not going to win a big enough share
of white vote to keep winning elections.
"Bush barely won, didn't even really win.
"Romney loses.
John McCain loses.
"And as demographics turn against us,
we're just gonna keep losing.
Other people were seeing that trend,
but what they were arguing was,
"Because of the changing
demographics of the country,
we need to appeal
to these new constituencies.
And Sailer was able to read
those numbers a different way and say,
"No, all you have to do
to be a successful
Republican presidential candidate
is activate white people's racial identity
and speak out more loudly
against tolerant immigration policies.
If you just win more white votes
you can win.

Don't worry about
winning minority votes at all.

The American dream is dead.

Bring it back!
But if I get elected president,
I will bring it back.

Bigger and better
and stronger than ever before,
and we will make America great again.

- [crowd cheering and applauding.]

- Thank you.
Thank you very much.

Donald Trump comes
down the escalator in June of 2015
and suddenly the unsayable is now sayable.

When Mexico sends its people,
they're not sending their best.

They're bringing drugs.

They're bringing crime.

They're rapists.

[David Duke.]
I will be Donald Trump's
most loyal advocate
to make sure his nominees
go to the Supreme Court.

[inspiring music plays.]

[news anchor.]
The alt-right movement
has been hugely energized
by the election of Donald Trump.

It's now time for the return of men.

I came here to speak
on behalf of Donald Trump.

I've never met the man, but I can tell
that he has nothing but the best interests
of this country at heart.

[Jake Tapper.]
Will you unequivocally
condemn David Duke
and say that you don't want his vote
or that of other white supremacists
in this election?
You know, I know nothing about David Duke.

I know nothing about white supremacists.

And so, you're asking me a question
that I'm supposed to be talking
about people that I know nothing about.

[crowd cheering.]


Trump gets inaugurated in January.

[Donald Trump.]

We, the citizens of America,
are now joined in a great national effort
to rebuild our country
and restore its promise
for all of our people.

[crowd cheering.]


And all this stuff that seemed fringe
actually is very directly connected
to the dead center of our politics
and of our society.

[Richard Spencer.]
Donald Trump's
movement, whether, you know,
Kellyanne Conway wants to admit it or not,
was fundamentally about identity,
and it was about
identity for white people.

Rural America spoke up
when they elected Trump.
Rural America.

We want to put European Americans first.

[news anchor.]
Since the election,
intimidation and harassment
has grown dramatically nationwide.

From a Maryland church,
to a billboard in California,
the number of hate crime incidents
doubling since last Friday.

Heil Trump! Heil our people! Heil victory!
[crowd cheering.]

We just won the lottery.

We just stole America back.

- This land is our land.

- [all.]
This land is our land.


I got in New Year's Day, 2017.

And the alt-right is now becoming
this this term and this group
that is under a very large umbrella
of anyone that just says
they're alt-right.

Identity Evropa,
Proud Boys,
they've all decided
that they're alt-right.

This is like the cool word to be.

We've been riding this wave of
Donald Trump's election, absolutely.

only had
a couple hundred people in there
from all over the country.

They weren't doing serious activism yet
because they didn't have enough people.

And, of them, I think there were
maybe five or six women.

As Women's Coordinator,
I held weekly chats,
I kept women up-to-date on anything
that was passed down from the higher-ups.

If there were events
or anything like that,
I would guide women into how to dress,
how to act, what to say, what to do,
um, just keep people aware of protocol.

They weren't demanding
that people wore bonnets,
but there was
an expectation of femininity,
of professionalism,
of "speak when you're spoken to.
Women have become unhappier
because they're neglecting their instincts
and rejecting them for a misfit,
maladapted, masculine lifestyle.

They grin and bear it
because women have a tendency
to want to believe everything is okay.

I'm listening to podcasts
about how the alt-right means
that women are actually being appreciated
for their femininity and who they are.

And that feminism is cancer.

That, you know,
that leftist women are cancer
because you're not supposed to wear
a dress and have a job, I guess.


How was that striking you at the time?
It appealed to me.

It appealed to the fact
that I could just be quiet
and let him make the decisions
and go with it.

[intriguing music playing.]

And not have to worry
about the fallout if things go wrong,
because he's my boyfriend.
He's got me.

Nothing is my fault anymore.

I'm just a good woman
who's supporting her man.

When I became Women's Coordinator,
one of the responsibilities was
that I needed to interview women
that applied to the movement
and there were so few.

I was so interested
in getting more responsibility
and really doing more
within the alt-right,
that I had asked if I could become
an interviewer for men too.

And they needed people.
They said yes.

They asked that you can take about
three to five interviews a week,
and I took on like two dozen.

I went hard.

People asked me for advice
because I spoke softly.

I really played the part of the mother,
the secretary, the babysitter,
the girlfriend you want to have,
and it felt good.

I think I really represented a lot
of what they wanted people to see us as,
which was polite and cordial,
and really didn't want violence
and thought that all of those things
were horrific and inhuman.

And I think I did that for them.

So they promoted me.

And also it looks really good
to have a girl in your group
to show that you're not these,
you know, awful incel, MGTOW people.

I believe it was a cult.

I 100% believe it was a cult.

I was a poster child.

You and Richie
are growing apart at this point.


His job was taking a toll on him.

My job was taking a toll on me.

It just It fell apart.


One of the things that really surprised me
is that these white nationalists
and neo-fascist groups
were able to go around the country
and are hosting these violent rallies.

[news anchor.]

Bloodshed and arrests at a KKK rally
that got extremely violent
in Orange County.

In February of 2016,
there was a Ku Klux Klan rally
in Anaheim, California
where three counter-protesters
were stabbed.

[menacing music playing.]

Then there was
a Traditionalist Workers Party
and Golden State Skinhead rally
in Sacramento
where between six and nine
counter-protesters were stabbed.


Then there was a couple of events
in Berkeley that were very violent.

Often the people engaging in the violence
were promoting themselves
engaging the violence.

Would put on their own social media,
"Here's video of me
punching a counter-protester.
They weren't hiding it.

This was a point of pride.

And not just that they
weren't hiding what they did in the past.

They were actually
promoting themselves as,
"I'm going to come to the next rally
and commit violence.
They were filming that violence,
and then using open social media accounts
to recruit people to join them
in committing violence at the next rally.

And these people
were traveling interstate.


Was the FBI
and law enforcement caught flat-footed
when dealing with far-right extremism?
Uh, I wish I understood it,
because in the 1990s
I think we did a fairly good job
of addressing this crime.

When there were attacks,
they were dealt with swiftly.

[tense music playing.]

The downgrading
of white supremacy as a threat
at the same time that
you're elevating the idea that
Muslim Americans,
Black and brown communities,
and these leftist communities
are presenting a security threat
was entirely a political calculation.

The FBI is this very white,
male-dominated organization
and, as a result, the concerns
and attitudes of the white male
prevail in the organization,
particularly when deciding
what groups are threats.

[tense music continues.]

More than 150 years after the Civil War,
there is a new push across the South
to take down Confederate monuments
in at least five states.

Critics say the statues
celebrate slavery and secession.

Lee must go!
[news anchor.]
These Confederate symbols
now are at the center of a bitter debate
about how we define our past
as we move forward as a nation.


Some of the leaders with Identity Evropa
saw that Confederate statues
were this controversial topic.

[city councilor.]
Motion carries 3 to 2.

[crowd cheering.]

[news anchor 2.]

In a vote ten months in the making,
the Charlottesville City Council
approves a motion
to move the statue of Confederate General
Robert E.
Lee out of downtown.

One thing they wanted
to try out was having a rally.

And so, the leaders in I.

picked Charlottesville, Virginia,
because it's right in the middle
of the Eastern Seaboard.

I want to live in a world of the white men
who created our civilization
This is not the Charlottesville
rally that everyone knows.

This is not the Unite the Right rally.

That would happen
a couple months later in August.

This one in May,
it's basically the same thing.

They rally around protesting
the removal of a Robert E.
Lee statue.

They carry tiki torches.

They try to wear the Identity Evropa
colors of white and teal.

They want to awaken
the consciousness of the white masses.

This is their kind of
semi delusional dream.

What they want is a world
in which we do not exist.

There was no media coverage.

There was no real violence.

People went,
did their speeches, had a banquet,
did a torch-lit rally at nighttime.

It was my first in-person activism.

And I thought that I was going to go
and just be a fly on the wall.

I was a woman.
Why would anyone care?
And, uh, it did not turn out
like that at all.

[somber music playing.]

Everyone recognized me.

Everyone wanted a picture with me.

Everyone wanted to talk to me.

Men coming up and saying,
"My girlfriend or wife joined
because of things that you said.
"They're so happy with
the work that you're doing,
it's so great, and you're
such a good woman.
It felt surreal.

To be a part of a group where
I mean, I don't want to say
I felt like a celebrity,
but I would say that's the closest to it
that I had felt at the time.

It was overwhelming for me
and I loved it.

I wanted to quit my job,
I wanted to quit my whole life,
and just travel around the country
and do activism.

There were a bunch
of after-parties going on
and the largest one was at this one Airbnb
and pretty much everyone was invited.

A lot of the podcasts
that I had either heard of or listen to,
the hosts were at this party.

So you feel you're meeting celebrities.

I'm meeting these people
that have taught me how to think this way.

And, you know,
in walks Richard, Richard Spencer.



This country does belong to white people,
culturally, politically,
socially, everything.

We define what America is.

Richard, especially
at that time, he was the gateway.

He was the guy in the blazer
that made Nazism get a spread in Esquire.

Everyone quieted down.

Everyone just starts shouting
like, "Attention!"
And he shouts "Sieg.
Everyone shouts, "Heil.
Sieg Heil!
The whole point of being
at one of these house parties
is to be able to be
with the hardcore of the hardcore.

And to not have to dog whistle,
to not have to hide behind any lingo,
to not have to say the public, sanitized,
mainstream friendly version,
but to say the most shocking,
the most heinous version
of the thing you want to say.

Little fucking c.

They get ruled by people like me!
Little fucking octoroons!
I ain't fucking playing!
Fucking enslave
those pieces of fucking shit!
I rule the fucking world!
Those pieces of shit
get ruled by people like me!
They look up and see a face like mine
looking down at them!
And the beating heart of it,
always, is the Nazi stuff.

[ominous music plays.]

All these young men
who are idolizing Richard Spencer
and looking at him
as their, kind of, fascist overlord,
they want to impress him.

They want to show off for him.

And so they Sieg Heil
at Richard, and I'm looking around,
and I see Richard,
and I watch him lap up this adoration.

And, you know, he looks at me
and just gives me that
accusatory glance of like, "And you?"
And so I did.

I, like, jumped up and like Sieg Heil'd.

I just went with it.

I completely lost myself in that energy.

So that is the first time I Sieg Heil'd
which is a very common thing
in the alt-right.

Like, don't let this whole, you know,
suit and tie thing fool you.

I think that's just a line that
a lot of people would know not to cross.

And also there's the element
that once you have crossed that line,
they have even more leverage over you.

You know there's footage of you doing that
or fear there's footage of you doing that.

So now you are even more motivated to stay
because now you have more to lose.

[ominous music continues.]

Two weeks after that party,
I was invited to go to that book burning.

And I'm invigorated by this.

It felt good to be a part of something.

[indistinct chattering.]

The first march in May
was Identity Evropa almost entirely.

It was such a success that a few people
had decided they wanted to do it again.

[cold music playing.]

They say,
"We'll go back to Charlottesville,
we'll bring back the tiki torches,
we'll make it bigger and we'll have
a wider coalition of groups.
And so a Discord was created
called Charlottesville 2.


One of the places where organizers
were talking and organizing
a lot of the logistics of the event
was on this platform where gamers chat,
called Discord.

And Discord allows anyone
to set up a new room,
invite anyone to it,
and have a chat amongst whoever's there.

It's primarily used by gamers,
but it also became popular
amongst the far right.

Somebody had gotten in that private chat,
that Discord chat.

And were screenshotting
and scraping the logs
and provided that to an independent
journalism collective called Unicorn Riot.

[tense music playing.]

I am a member of Unicorn Riot.

We report nationally on issues like
racism, governmental justice,
and other social issues.

I like to keep my identity a secret.

I want these neo-Nazis to think
that the person
walking down the street next to them
might be the next person
who's going to just expose their identity.

You see that the far right
is communicating on Discord
and you go after their chat logs.

We obtain them
through some technical means
and then we have a public server
where we publish these logs
for people to be able
to read through them.

The chat logs are valuable
because they're
There's a reason they're not public.

When you finally got into
these chat logs, what did you see?

We saw very explicit calls for violence,
especially during Charlottesville.

Very explicit calls
to run over protesters with cars.


Are you saying that you found chat logs
that called for people
to run over people with a car?
- Yeah.

- Before Charlottesville?
They take it even further
and they talk about using farming
equipment like huge, industrial combines
to actually do it to, like,
not just one person,
but, like, whole groups.

Identity Evropa
is very careful not to say anything,
you know, too far right,
too explicit in public.

And then you read the private chat logs
and you see a lot of racism
and just some of the worst kinds of, like,
bigotry, misogyny.

Doxing is revealing
the personal information of a person,
where they live, where they work.

It's a tactic that is very polarizing,
but it is sort of a way
of, uh, intimidating people.

[keyboard clacking.]

What's shocking is just how
open people are with their viewpoints,
especially given that there were, like
teachers, EMTs, soldiers, police officers,
including police officers
that were stationed in schools.

In one case, there was a member
of Identity Evropa,
he was in the school talking about,
"How I'm going to red pill children.
Red pill meaning
turning them on to racist ideology.

Did you use a pseudonym
when you were on Discord?
Yes, I did.


What was your pseudonym?
[chuckles softly.]


You know, I've never

Oh, fuck.

Uh, my


My pseudonym
in the alt-right was Norah Fox.



- [interviewer.]
- I just

What are you going through now?
No one ever asked
what my name was in the movement.

And I feel
That's just, like, a
To acknowledge,
not just a former part of myself,
but, like, what I called myself,
who I was in that movement,
not what I was, not how I felt,
but who I was
in that movement, that just
- I just have never done that before.

- [interviewer.]
Literally the first time
This is like, a lot.

Yeah, I'm doxing myself,
like, a lot, right now.



I don't really say anything profound.

I talk a lot of bullshit,
but I knew the language.

I did the dance.

I said the words.

And I used that name.

We knew that there was
a rally being planned,
Unite The Right rally in Charlottesville.

[unsettling music playing.]

We could see them growing in size
and growing in confidence
to the point where
they were openly organizing
a white supremacist rally online.

They had flyers they were circulating.

All of sudden seemed less
like a thing that was happening
in some cobwebby corner of 4chan,
but it was happening
on the main social media platforms.


But it was such a mess right off the bat.

No one had the same
discipline or aesthetic
or beliefs even.

There are people saying,
"Well, look, don't bring any Nazi flags.
And then some people saying,
"Well, I can fly whatever flag I want.
So they're having this debate
from a pragmatic standpoint,
not from a standpoint of,
"Oh, I'm so shocked and scandalized
that someone in my movement
thinks Nazi flags are cool.
But from a very calculated,
pragmatic standpoint of,
"Will this backfire on us
if we have this big rally
and people are bringing swastikas
or showing up as a legion of skinheads,
will that be counterproductive?"
And people wanted
their uniforms to be at the forefront.

They wanted their shields and sticks
or whatever it is that they used,
they wanted to be the authority on it.

And no one was willing
to work with each other.

Just all of it,
all of it was chaos from start to finish.


Samantha is living with this new guy
and he is one of the leaders
of Identity Evropa.

He is one of the main organizing forces
behind this Unite the Right Rally.

[tense music playing.]

He's kind of a big deal in the movement.

And, at that point in time,
this person that I was forming
this relationship with was doxed.

So, I offer this person a place to crash
and this person came
and just like, never left.

And she's starting to feel
like, something is off here.

Like, there are sort of hints
of potential violence.

[tense music rising.]

It was a one-bedroom apartment.

I didn't want them in it.

But this person is demanding
that I remain their girlfriend.

He kept saying, "You're going
to make me look like an idiot.
"So, sure, we'll sleep
in separate bedrooms,
but at parties, you're my girlfriend,
you get my beer.
"You make me look good," basically.

The running joke between me and him
was that I need to do whatever he says,
because his favorite thing to do
is shoot first and ask questions later.

And he threatens to dox her,
he threatens to have
violent things happen to her.

He says, "When I'm in charge
of the white ethnostate,
I'm gonna put you in a breeding camp.
This guy's not the most
charming gentleman, right?
He's He's a violent
neo-Nazi, essentially.

[tense music continues.]


This person was living with me,
and showing their true colors to me
and how violent they were.

And kind of taking the veil off of this.

Like, this person showed me
what the alt-right really was,
which was violence and rape.

And, just, I had to start realizing
what I was supporting.

This is not a movement worth following.

This is barely even a movement.

This is just a bunch of future criminals
plotting their next act of violence.

[somber music playing.]

And it felt really bad
being the Women's Coordinator
and having people care about me,
and look up to me,
and me knowing that
this was going to be a nightmare.

- Whose streets?
- Our streets.

- Whose streets?
- Our streets.

All leftists, fuck off!
This is our town now.

- [crowd.]
Jews will not replace us!
- [man.]
Into the oven.

- [crowd.]
Jews will not replace us!
- [man 2.]
Into the oven.

We're under attack
by these leftist, cultural Marxists
who hate white people,
hate white people's history.

We saw hundreds of people
descend on Charlottesville
and they they organized this online.

No KKK! No fascists! USA!

Anti-white! Anti-white! Anti-white!

White lives matter!
White lives matter! White lives matter!
Many of the people
showing up in Charlottesville
were people who had criminal records,
violent criminal records,
often associated
with other far-right violence.

Some of them actually
had previous Federal convictions
on domestic terrorism charges.

Go ahead, motherfucker,
I'm telling you.
I'll shoot you.


These are people who traveled interstate
with the intent purpose of committing
violence in an organized fashion.


[clamoring continues.]

Somehow the federal government
is completely absent from that?

[indistinct shouting.]

It just becomes clear that
this rally is going to spark violence.

[ominous music playing.]

Leave the area now
or you will be arrested.


The governor declares
a state of emergency.

They call off the official part
of the demonstration.

[woman 1.]
You're not welcome!
[woman 2.]
No KKK! No fascists! USA!
And at one point,
it kind of seems like
the good guys have won
because they're marching
through the streets.

Chanting, "Black lives matter.
They're sort of saying,
"We pushed the bad guys out of our city.
It's almost this kind of jubilant feeling.

- Our streets!
- Whose streets?
- Our streets!
- Whose streets?
- Our streets!
- Whose streets?

I ended up never going to the rally.
Um, I was at work when it happened.

Like, third day on the new job.

And [sighs.]

there were TVs all over the place
and they were all on
coverage of this rally.

[crowd screaming.]

[screaming intensifies.]

Oh my God.

[screaming continues.]


[clicks tongue.]

And, uh my mother called me.

I had started to tell my mom
what was going on.

And she called me crying and she was like,
"This is your fault.

Like, you have a part of this.

[smack lips.]

There was.
There was blood on my hands.


And I never wanted that.
There's a woman dead.
I don't Ugh

[somber music plays.]

As that march is proceeding
through downtown Charlottesville,
this guy, James Fields,
who is one of the white supremacists,
drives his car into a crowd of protesters
and kills Heather Heyer,
one of the protesters,
and injures several others.

[crowd screaming.]

[distant clamoring.]

Where's the medics?! Get the medics!
And it's just this grisly,
horrific scene that, um
To anyone who had ever said,
"These are just ideas.

These are just questions.
"Why can't we have our free speech?"
"Why can't we talk about these things?"
That is the immediate proof
that these are not just ideas.

That there are people within this movement
who are not just interested
in asking questions
and talking about demographics,
and talking about race and IQ.

There are people who want to murder people
and that's what they did.

It was over.

You know, my residence
in this world was done.

I couldn't pretend like it was just
extremists outside of the alt-right,
or people posing as the alt-right,
or whatever it is that the alt-right
pretends that it's better than.

It became so clear to me that I can't
Like, this is reality.


[somber music continues.]

She can't just walk out the door and say,
I'm out.
I quit.
It's like the mafia.

Like, you can't leave.

You have too much information.

You know who everyone is.

They won't just let you walk away.

Even without a plan
I resigned from my post
at Identity Evropa and,
just figured I'd rather be dead
than a Nazi.

[somber music playing.]

So I left.


She eventually went to stay by herself
on the top of a mountain
in Virginia somewhere.

And that's when she first contacts me.

She's literally trying to plan,
"Okay, if I walk away from this thing,
how do I know
that I'll physically be safe?"
"Where do I go? Like, where do I go
where they won't follow me?"
"Do I have to go into witness protection?
What do I do?"
If I did say anything,
the person that was living with me
could have very easily
destroyed me, destroyed my life.

I do fear him tracking me down.

And I used to have nightmares
that I'd come home from work
and that the people I was living with
would just be dead on the kitchen floor
with them waiting for me.

I used to be afraid to leave my job
because I can't tell you how many times
I heard someone say that
they bomb the cars of opposition.

And I laughed when they said that.

I thought it was funny.

I thought it was badass.

And then you leave and
[chuckles softly.]

You, like, earn that fear.

The very people
that promised to protect me
are the very people
I need protection against.

[somber music fades.]

[camera clicking.]


I was out
of the movement for about a year
before I contacted Life After Hate.

[hopeful music playing.]


Life After Hate is a non-profit
that was founded by a bunch of formers.

That's what we call ourselves,
people that leave an extremist movement.

I had friends who could listen,
who could try to understand,
but they could only understand so much.

So I actually reached out just after
the deadly Charlottesville rally
and asked if I could help
Because I got to a point
where I said, "You know what?"
"I have, like, five-years experience
from this movement.
It's way too much time to forget.

And, quite honestly, I have way
too much to say to stay quiet.

There's a group
called "Formers Anonymous,"
it's a 12-step for folks like us.

I volunteer with them.

There are things you see in the movement,
and things you go through in the movement,
the hateful part of it.


And to be around people
where I can tell people things

really saved me and really
helped me gain perspective
in realizing that, like,
it is possible to regain life.

It is possible to live a life after hate.


You will not replace us.
You will not
And I really had to learn
to swallow my pride and dismantle my ego.

And this story I was telling myself
about myself, and about the world,
and about the people that I meet.

And I had to relearn the good,
and I had to relearn the bad.

[tense music playing.]

I felt like
I was supposed to do something.

[reporter 1.]

Week two of the Sines vs Kessler case
continued today
with more witness testimony.

[reporter 2.]
"Samantha [bleep.]
appeared on a video deposition.

She was a member of Identity Evropa
for about a year and a half, or a year,
and left in November of 2017.

She said she heard
the group's founder, Eli Mosley,
and alt-right leader Richard Spencer
discuss violence in the rally
before the rally.

[tense music playing.]

We are in an informational crisis
that is destroying us.

It's unraveling our democracy.

It's making normal people
unable to divine the truth.

It's making it impossible to communicate.

There's a very deep resistance
on the Internet
to boundary setting of any kind.

The worst thing you can do
is put any kind of speech off-limits.

They're very aware
of the slippery slope argument of,
"Well, if a moderator in this one forum
tells me to stop
posting swastikas in the chat,
that'll immediately lead
to the American government
jailing dissidents.
But I feel like people are much less
attentive to the slippery slope of,
"Well, if you let Nazis
take over the Internet,
what happens next?"
[somber music playing.]


If you allow the worst people in the world
to have unrestrained abilities to hijack
the biggest platforms in the world,
there are going to be
huge consequences to that.

[loud clamoring.]

[man screaming.]

[dramatic music playing.]


Images of the violent and deadly protests
in Charlottesville, Virginia,
once again making headlines
after a similar event
at our nation's Capitol.

- [man 1.]
Hang the traitors!
- [man 2.]
String 'em up!
[man 3.]
The only one
who stands up for us is Donald Trump.

That's right, we should get rid
of all of them.
This is our chance!
[crowd screaming.]


What do you say
to people who don't believe you?
Who just think you're being pragmatic?

I don't want to be a monster.

But I think there's a monster
in everybody.

[dramatic music continues.]

I think I still wrestle with it.

To give those ideas merit
and to elect to live your life
as if that's true and real,
that's monstrous thinking.


Fuck you, faggots! Fuck you, faggots!

How was I not aware enough to see that?
Or was I aware enough and I just
ignored it because I liked it too?
And I just I had the benefit
of not having to vocalize it
or say these things,
because I had a mouthpiece
who'd do it for me.

So I could just strap on
in the passenger seat and say,
"I'm not the one driving.

I'm just here along for the ride.
Was I
Was I the victim or was I also a villain?
[indistinct yelling.]

I spent a lot of time
really trying to understand that part
[indistinct yelling.]

and I think in some ways I was both.

And I just I just try
every day now to be neither.

[dramatic music crescendos.]


[suspenseful music playing.]

[young woman.]

I remember getting a message from someone.

He said,
"This is going to ruin your life.
[car door opens.]

[horns honking.]

[young woman.]
The scariest thing is
that he could be anyone I was talking to.

[suspenseful music continues.]

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