Fairfax, VA – Unicorn Riot is releasing a series of seminars and voice chats that provide detailed insight into how the neo-Nazi, alt-right group Identity Evropa has carefully crafted their messaging strategies. The group places a high premium on being able to sidestep accusations of Nazism and racism, with members encouraged to focus on their target audience of what they believe to be sympathetic segments of America’s white population. While the public framing is carefully crafted, the internal discussions also point to that Identity Evropa only uses this framing in order to mainstream far-right neo-Nazi talking points.
Identity Evropa recently announced they were disbanding and that a new group, the self-described ‘American Identity Movement’ which they insist is “not a rebrand“, was formed to fully replace Identity Evropa. ‘American Identity Movement’ members can be expected to rely on much of the same messaging and strategy as their previous group. As reported by Unicorn Riot earlier this week, extensive digital evidence shows that the new group is using the same online accounts as Identity Evropa.
Messaging and fundraising are critical for the new ‘American Identity Movement’ as Identity Evropa moves to distance themselves from violent alt-right events that they gained notoriety from. Following the deadly events in Charlottesville, Identity Evropa was named in a lawsuit which continues to be a significant drain on IE’s finances. The group’s leader Patrick Casey states that IE is “still paying … in basically $2,500 a month for our legal counsel and that’s something that is not going to change anytime soon. So the organization does need money.” Casey used his position in multiple voice chats to encourage IE members to donate more money to the organization: “we need your money. I need your money“. Typical dues in IE are $10 a month, but Casey encourages his listeners to become “patrons” of his group, paying as much as $300 a month in extra donations in exchange for VIP access to the group’s leadership.
Beyond lobbying new members for funds, Identity Evropa is quick to introduce new members into their messaging strategies. Before a individual can fully join IE, they must become a ‘pledge’ wherein they learn the internal rules of the organization. In one recorded pledge meeting, Patrick Casey describes IE’s rules, which includes being a secular organization and that all members must be respectful of others religions. However, Casey also added “that there are many religions that I would not allow in. I don’t think that [we’d] allow in a white Muslim“. Casey has previously stated that individuals of Jewish descent are also not allowed in IE.
Pledges are officially instructed to keep all ‘extremist’ content and illegal activities off the Identity Evropa chat servers. Casey doesn’t explicitly disavow his members from posting ‘extremist’ comment, but advised them that “if you’re [sic] shitposting on a non-IE server gets so out of hand that I have to hear about it, then that’s a problem. I don’t want to hear about it“. Many IE members belong to other leaked chats, where they are much more open to posting explicitly racist and fascist comments. This doesn’t seem to be an issue with Casey, who commented, “If you make it a server and invite IE people to it, that’s not an official IE server. So I mean, you can kind of do whatever you want there”. Casey made these statements on Discord, a popular chat platform for gamers, which recently banned all individuals associated with IE, in part because their accounts “sent threats to others, participated in targeted harassment, or incited violence against individuals and communities.”
Although Casey states that infiltrating the Republican party is not a goal of Identity Evropa, he does make multiple suggestions about how to create front groups that wouldn’t “draw the ire of the SPLC [Southern Poverty Law Center]“. Casey states that there are active front groups who are doing just this. He instructs his followers to: “… create a San Diego MAGA group … create a Discord server, you can create a Facebook page you can get people involved and chapters … there are IE chapters doing this. I’d like to see more of them do it. And they have facilitated recruitment to Identity Evropa through these front groups“. In a later meeting, IE discussed their plan to attend the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) and “upstage” it. While alluding to IE members traveling to CPAC, Casey states: “I’ve set up a server so we can kind of coordinate and a lot of you guys are going out there with your College Republicans groups. You know, you don’t have to be seen with me in public“. Patrick Casey was denied entry to CPAC earlier this year.
The messaging of Identity Evropa is not entirely controlled by Patrick Casey, but also crafted by other members involved in leadership and planning. Two “top secret” Identity Evropa messaging webinars, conducted via unlisted YouTube videos, were also obtained by Unicorn Riot. The two training seminars were conducted exclusively for IE membership by Alex Witoslawski, an IE member and former employee of the Leadership Institute and other large conservative foundations. Witoslawski encourages IE members to take advantage of organizing trainings offered by various beltway conservative organizations, particularly recommending a “one-day school” offered by the Foundation for Applied Conservative Leadership (FACL).
Witoslawski trained IE members in messaging tactics he said were used by the National Rifle Association and anti-abortion lobbyists to “put pressure on elected officials.” He also offered a specific formula for IE to “effectively avoid questions” they found irksome when engaging with the press and/or public. Witoslawski stated:
“..the moment you say “We’re not Nazis”… that’s going to be the topic of the media report, its going to be whether or not we’re Nazis. And that is not a conversation we want to have…we want to have a conversation about our issues and our topics, not whether or not we’re National Socialists, right? We want to have a discussion about things like immigration, pro-white policies, multiculturalism, etc.”
Witoslawski also walked IE through its own customized version of the Leesburg Grid, a political strategy mapping tool that he said he learned while employed at the Leadership Institute. In the webinar he recommends using “deflect and bridge” rhetorical tactics to avoid directly engaging anti-racist talking points. For instance, Witoslawski recommends responding to possible mention of “diversity” not by directly attacking the concept but by instead stressing the need for “social cohesion” through racially homogeneous societies. In an ‘IE messaging lecture’ webinar Witoslawski directs members of Identity Evropa to:
“instead of saying ‘oh, we hate diversity’, we could say, ‘we want a unified, cohesive society, right? It’s saying the same thing, saying ‘diversity is bad’, but instead of talking about diversity …we can stay on top, you can stay on-message when you’re talking about social cohesion, right, when you have a more homogeneous society, your society is more cohesive.” – Alex Witoslawski
The former conservative organizing trainer also advised IE members about how to steer the discussion away from racism when asked things like “why are you a Nazi?” “Why do you hate black people?” Witoslawski also recommended against any mention of “World War II revisionism” (Holocaust denial), which he said would automatically place IE on the defensive and losing control of the narrative:
“No matter what, if you’re arguing about the Holocaust… you’re losing, because as soon as you do it, you’re basically saying ‘well, I’m not a Nazi, but…’, well, as soon as you say that, what do people think? They think of Nazis. They think you’re a Nazi… you’re essentially allowing the opposition to define you.
A second unpublished Identity Evropa seminar by Witoslawski is entitled “Confrontational Politics” and mostly focuses on political polls that show Identity Evropa’s political campaigns should target the 10 percent of the population who have polled as sympathetic to the alt-right and white supremacy. Witoslawski states that Identity Evropa members could further influence GOP politicians, even those who don’t share their ideology, by first providing and then strategically withholding resources in order to drive them towards more hardline anti-immigrant positions.
Witoslawski ran Identity Evropa through policy opinions which he said IE should strategically prioritize. He cited the creation of a white “ethnostate” as an example of a policy goal they all agreed on, but which would detract from, rather than support, the cause of Identity Evropa and racist politicians supported by IE (such as Rep. Steve King). Instead, the recommendation was made for IE to focus on calling for policies to end “chain migration“. While still ultimately working towards the “creation of the ethnostate“, in the short term Witoslawski recommended lobbying for anti-immigrant policy as a way for Identity Evropa to build political capital.
At one point in the ‘Confrontational Politics’ webinar, the presenter admitted that the tactics he was describing are not something he would usually openly discuss on alt-right podcasts or YouTube videos where he makes public appearances.
“This should be considered secret information, we don’t want this getting out to other organizations, we don’t want them to understand what we’re doing.” – Alex Witoslawski
Leaked Identity Evropa materials used for this story:
– April 10, 2018 Identity Evropa secret “messaging lecture” webinar with Alex Witoslawski:
-June 7, 2018 Identity Evropa secret “Confrontational Politics” webinar with Alex Witoslawski: