New Zealand – On December 14, a soldier in the New Zealand Defense Forces (NZDF) was arrested in an investigation believed to be related to his suspected involvement in neo-nazi groups. According to various media reports, the man was taken into custody at the Linton Military Camp on New Zealand’s North Island. He is likely a member of Wargus Christi, an anti-semitic and pro-nazi bodybuilding club masquerading as a Christian fraternity.
The story about the soldier’s arrest was first reported by Marc Daalder for Newsroom on December 18. New Zealand media reports have not yet named the soldier, due to an ongoing military “suppression order” regarding the case. The suppression order is reported to have been issued at “the request of the arrested soldier” by his commanding officer.
[Content Advisory: racist language and imagery]
Unicorn Riot can additionally report that the NZDF soldier in question is Jack Captein, a 27-year-old weapons specialist from Hamilton who graduated from the Waikato Institute of Technology in 2014.
On the Russian social media site VK, popular with neo-nazis, Captein went by the username jackc_1488 and posted the quote “a meme a day keeps the noose away“, an overt nod to violent racist internet culture. The New Zealand news site stuff.co.nz reported he was planning to spend Christmas in Russia.
A Facebook account belonging to Captein, which shows him posing with his family in his NZDF uniform, uses the number ’88’ in his profile URL. (’88’ is a common cypher code for ‘Hail Hitler’).
Captein’s Facebook likes include the anti-semitic gym club Wargus Christi (in which his alleged membership is suspected to be related to his arrest.) The club was founded by neo-nazi Daniel Waring in September.
Other ‘likes’ found on his Facebook profile include the alt-right comedian Sam Hyde, white nationalist YouTuber Lauren Southern, the Australian neo-nazi group ‘Nationalist Alternative’, and a radio show produced in Orania, a whites-only colony in South Africa that seeks to preserve Apartheid.
Captein’s pictures on Facebook and VK both match an image in a profile published about him on the website Dutch New Zealand, which notes that he serves as a weapons specialist in the NZDF and trained in Christchurch.
An account registered under the name Jack Captein on the website Peal, also features an audio clip of a man’s voice with a New Zealand accent saying “Google Hitler, mate…good stuff.” A partial internet chat transcript posted on Pastebin in May 2016, shows someone with the username ‘Jack Captein’ engaging in vulgar anti-semitic and violent rhetoric alongside discussions about New Zealand.
Captein also operated at least three Reddit accounts, using the usernames ‘herrwolf88’, ‘SayNoToTheism’ and ‘whatsthedealwithairlinefood’.
Posting as ‘herrwolf88’ on Reddit in 2014, Captein told the ‘r/confessions’ subreddit that “I joined a Nazi organization and it was the best thing that ever happened to me.”
Posting on Reddit as ‘whatsthedealwithairlinefood’, Captein shared a meme of Adolf Hitler drowning refugees alongside a link to the neo-nazi Dominion Movement’s website.
Other posts by Captein on his various social media accounts praised the Holocaust while also claiming it did not take place. Typical statements he made included “I hate the Jews“, “Hitler actually didn’t do anything wrong“, and various calls for violence against Muslims, black people, women, and LGBTQ people.
New Zealand authorities have reportedly been investigating far-right groups more closely after after a neo-nazi shot and killed 51 Muslim worshippers at two Christchurch mosques on March 15, 2019.
Unicorn Riot has obtained logs from a Discord chat server operated by members of Wargus Christi, the neo-nazi exercise group Captein appears to have been involved with.
The Wargus Christi chat logs, now publicly available as part of our DiscordLeaks database, are from a channel used to vet new potential members or supporters of the group. Discord users in the chat hail not just from New Zealand, but also from the US, the UK, and several European countries. Messages found in the Wargus Christi #vetting chat stretch from August 21, 2019 to present.
As of the evening of December 18, 2019, an admin in the Wargus Christi Discord server posted that the group was “still around and as active as ever, just need to figure out a new vetting system to keep our friends and family safe from those who seek our harm. Especially with all the lies and agitation being spread about at the moment.”
Wargus Christi is likely not the only neo-nazi group Jack Captein has been involved with. According to statements he has made on a podcast called the Yellcast, he is also a member of Dominion Movement, a white supremacist group active in New Zealand that reportedly went underground after the Christchurch mosque shootings in March 2019. (Reporters Florence Kerr and Thomas Manch at Stuff also confirmed that Captein was a “co-founder” of Dominion Movement, using the alias ‘Johann Wolfe’ in his role with the group.) According to sources familiar with the matter, Captein is also believed to be involved with Action Zealandia, another racist group active in the country.
Wargus Christi has not responded to an inquiry sent to their Facebook page; their Facebook page and Discord server both appear to have been deleted shortly after we messaged them.
Reached for comment via email, a representative of the New Zealand Defense Forces told Unicorn Riot,
“The soldier arrested at Linton is the subject of a suppression order which forbids publication of any detail which might lead to their identification. We have no further comment.“
– Tony Vale, New Zealand Defense Force
It is unknown what criminal charges, if any, will be brought against Captein. It is also unclear whether any case against him would be brought through the NZDF military system or through criminal court proceedings. The investigation and his arrest are believed to be related to his involvement with neo-nazism, but authorities have not yet spoken on the nature of the investigation.
In a statement, Azad Khan, spokesperson for the New Zealand Foundation Against Islamophobia and Racism, expressed his concerns about the news that a neo-nazi was identified in the NZDF.
“I am worried that this discovery may only be the tip of the iceberg. We don’t know if there are others within the military, police and other agencies who hold similar views or are also members of this group. This white supremacist ideology is deeply entrenched into our colonial structure.
The Muslim Community cannot be assured any safety in New Zealand in an environment where such people are empowered by the state to use violence. We want to know what the NZ government is going to do about fascists and neo-nazis in the military and other public service roles.”
– Azad Khan, Foundation Against Islamophobia and Racism