By Nate Thayer
November 11, 2016
Scores of international media organizations reported today on a scheduled Ku Klux Klan “Trump Victory Rally” to be held in North Carolina in coming days.
“One of the largest Ku Klux Klan groups in the country has announced a parade to celebrate President-elect Donald Trump’s win,” wrote the Los Angeles Times. “Notorious race hate organization the Ku Klux Klan has announced a North Carolina “victory” parade honoring Donald Trump’s election,” wrote the National Post of Canada, using copy from the Washington Post. “And the Klan’s official newspaper gave the businessman it’s O-KKK of an endorsement.”
CBS news wrote “The victory celebration comes amid a climate of reports of hate crimes and vandalism by purported Trump supporters (including attacks on women, Muslims and other minorities, and the arson of a black church), as well as reports of attacks on Trump supporters and the firebombing of a GOP office in North Carolina.”
“The real KKK has announced a rally in the state,” wrote the Raleigh, North Carolina News Observer,“ but “details on the rally celebrating Trump’s victory are scarce.”
The reason for the scarce details? There is no Klan rally scheduled.
“That idiot will do anything for publicity, and I know this probably sounds strange coming from me, but he is a race-baiting idiot and he is going to end up getting someone killed with his stupidity,” said Frank Ancona, the Imperial Wizard of the Missouri-based Traditionalist American Knights of the KKK. “I would point out the fact that he is saying he is honoring someone he’s not even eligible to vote for since he is a convicted felon. I don’t know if these journalists are just dumb and fall for it because they don’t do their homework or if they want the publicity just as bad as Barker.”
That is a reasonable question posed by the Klan Imperial Wizard. Ancona was referring to Christopher Eugene Barker, an unemployed career criminal who is the self-styled head of the North Carolina based Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.
Not a single news organization actually talked to anyone from the KKK faction, offered a location or time for the alleged pro-Trump rally, or apparently did any due diligence on the Klan faction. The information came from the website of the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. Regardless, the story of the Klan pro Trump rally gained widespread international media coverage.
In truth, it is a publicity scheme to generate fundraising for the internet based Klan group. But the story was too good to pass up—or apparently to fact check–and has gone viral worldwide via such legitimate news outfits including the Los Angeles Times, CBS News, the Hill, NBC, Salon, McClatchy, and the New York Post and the Daily News, among many others. Not a single news outfit actually talked to the Klan faction or confirmed any other details of the alleged Klan led pro-Trump “Victory Parade.”
Even if there was to be a “parade”, the Loyal White Knights of the KKK has exactly 4 members in North Carolina and three in nearby Virginia. It’s head, Imperial Wizard—or National Leader–Chris Barker, who claims to run the “largest Klan in the U.S.”, citing a figure of 10,000 members, has a handful of active members throughout the U.S., according to several members of his Klan group, leaders of other KKK organizations, law enforcement sources, and independent civil rights analysts.
The LWK is what is known among the world of right-wing political extremists as a “cyber Klan” and mainly does not exist outside the Internet. And the approximately 40 members that do exist have mostly never met each other in real life—almost all who joined over the Internet. The LWK whips up support from media publicity and accepts most anyone as a member in exchange for payment of $120 a year in dues, according to more than a dozen former LWK members and leaders of other KKK groups.
That money is derived from media publicity such as yesterday’s announcement of a pro Donald Trump “Victory Parade” which drives traffic to the LWK website where people can join the group via cyberspace for ‘membership dues’ and other required and encouraged fees. And that money all goes to the self designated Imperial Wizard, Christopher Barker, who lives with his wife Amanda Barker in rural North Carolina abutting the Virginia border.
“Barker is a fraud,” said Dan Zimmerman, the former Virginia Grand Dragon–or state leader–of a rival klan, the Traditionalist American Knights of the KKK. ” I know for a fact they have exactly three members in the state of Virginia–one boy in Farmville, one in Sandston, and one other boy. Barker is not defending Southern or white heritage. He is bringing in Nazi’s, which is not compatible.”
“They are inciting the public over a hot issue to gain publicity and attract paying members over the internet. Chris Barker and the LWK invented himself, a lie built on lies. He has conned the media into believing he is something he is not,” said JB Elmore, a KKK ‘Imperial Giant’–the highest rank accorded in the Klan–of Virgil’s White Knights of the KKK, who was once designated the “most dangerous white separatist in America” by the Southern Poverty Law Center. “There are many old Klansmen turning over in their graves because of Barker and his sort of modern-day fake ‘Mom and Pop’ Klans” said the 54 year-old Elmore. “I can tell you that if I am the most dangerous white nationalist in the U.S., we ought to just close up shop.”
”Barker doesn’t help our cause. With everything he touches there is destruction,” said Bradley Jenkins, the Imperial Wizard of another Alabama based Klan faction. “This man is perpetuating himself as a Klansman, when he is an impostor.”
Barker’s LWK pro Trump rally announcement stands in contrast with his LWK’s public claims of only months ago that his group had endorsed Hillary Clinton and donated $20,000 to her presidential campaign. That, too, gained widespread media attention.
“All of the LWK support Hillary. Donald Trump was saying all the right things in the beginning. He is still saying all the right things, but if he really thinks he is going to get Mexico to pay for building a 20-foot wall, he is crazy. Hillary is more looking after our interests and backgrounds. We found out Hillary’s background and we sent $20,000 to her campaign through the Church of the Invisible Empire of the Loyal White Knights,” said LWK Grand Dragon Billy Hagen in an interview earlier this year. “We want Hillary in office. She is a friend of the Klan. That is the position of the entire Loyal White Knights. I am in charge of the West Coast region of the LWK,” Hagen added.
Hagen gained national attention earlier this year when the LWK was attacked by counter protestors and badly beaten during a Klan rally in an Anaheim, California city park. “I have a fractured wrist in a cast, three broken ribs, a bruised spleen, and a hematoma the size of a tomato over my right heart,” he said during the interview shortly after the demonstration.
“We want Hillary to be president. Trump is all talk. If he really thinks he is going to be president, he is losing his head. Trump is just another Ross Perot. Hillary is going to stop the open border policy,” Hagen insisted.
In a telephone interview with LWK Imperial Wizard Barker in March of this year he said from his North Carolina home. “Yes. We support Hillary for President.”
Three former members of the Loyal White Knights said that any talk of supporting Hillary Clinton was an intentional political trick by Barker “to deceive people and smear politicians.”
“I remember one time in a telephone conference class Chris Barker said that they were going to endorse Barack Obama to try to get him impeached. Barker said the best way to kill a politicians campaign was to receive an endorsement from the Klan. Honestly, I believe that is what this Hillary endorsement thing is. As far as donating $20,000, that is highly doubtful. As much as I dislike Hillary Clinton this is an attempt to defame her character,” said Trey Gordon, a former Exalted Cyclops for the LWK in Louisiana who left the group in 2015 to devote his efforts to condemning the Klan.
In fact, Mr. Barker has not publicly appeared at any public event for over four years. Why? Because the conditions of Barker’s federal parole prohibit him from engaging in any Klan activity. “Part of my federal parole is I can not be involved in any Klan work. I haven’t attended a (Klan) rally in two years,” he said in an interview last year.
In addition, Christopher Eugene Barker is an undercover informant for the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force.
In the summer of 2012, Chris Barker was implicated in conspiring to build a nuclear weapon of mass destruction, according to these FBI affidavits, U.S. federal court documents, and other sources with intimate knowledge of the case.
The self-styled Imperial Wizard was revealed as an informant for the FBI in August 2015 when audio and videotapes showed Barker cooperating with the FBI to ensnare a New York man accused of plotting an act of domestic terrorism.
The New York man, Glendon Scott Crawford, was a man with a dream: He wanted to build a mobile radioactive ray gun to kill Muslims in the US. Crawford contacted Barker and his Klan with an idea to build the “Buck Rogers” style ray-gun designed to target Muslims in the United States. Those video and audiotapes, which were recorded by the FBI, identified Barker by name and his title as KKK Imperial Wizard, and were submitted by the U.S. Justice Department in a public federal courtroom and identified him as an “FBI informant” and “FBI Cooperating Witness.”
On July 27, 2012, at 6:55 PM, Crawford emailed undercover FBI agents to “get a hold of (Chris Barker) of the Loyal White Knights, 1-336-xxx-xxxx,” Barker’s home phone number. “The Knights may have the resources to invest and bring the project to fulfillment.”
Days later, Barker was arrested by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms and charged with possession of an automatic weapon by a convicted felon—a federal crime that carries a 10-year mandatory prison sentence.
Three days after Barker was arrested on August 7, he called the FBI from the county jail and told them he wanted to make a deal to avoid going to prison, according to sources directly involved in the criminal case of the building of the nuclear device. “On August 10, 2012, Barker called the FBI–he contacted them, not the other way around–and began his work for the FBI,” said one source familiar with the legal case involving Barker and the creation of a radiation weapon of mass destruction.
Federal law enforcement offered him a deal he could not refuse. Within days, Barker was out of U.S. federal custody and working for the FBI. In a 2015 interview, Barker denied that he is a paid informant for the FBI or any other law enforcement services group, but FBI affidavits show otherwise. Barker is “a CW (confidential witness), who is involved in the second branch of the investigation, (and) is a high-ranking member of the Ku Klux Klan (“KKK”),” reads a FBI affidavit from 2013. “On August 23, 2012, Crawford met with CW (Barker) in a small town in North Carolina and described the radiation emitting device he wanted to acquire. During the conversation, Crawford solicited financial support for acquiring the device, and requested that the CW meet with other KKK groups and officials to solicit them to acquire financial assistance to build his device.”
BARKER’S CRIMINAL HISTORY
The Loyal White Knights indeed are perhaps the most incendiary of the more than 100 self-designated KKK groups in America, but it is almost exclusively empty rhetoric used as a fundraising tool, say several former members of the faction.
After the mass murder of nine God-fearing black church goers in South Carolina in 2015, Barker’s telephone voice mail message had his voice saying “The KKK would like to say hail victory to the young warrior Dylan S. Roof, who did what the bible told him to do, an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. They have spilled our blood for too long. It is about time someone spilled theirs.”
Barker has a criminal record that includes more than 40 arrests in North Carolina alone, according to law enforcement documents that span over at least 18 years and include numerous felonies. These include possession of a firearm by a felon, forgery, larceny, possession of stolen goods, malicious arson, assault on a female, and at least 5 driving under the influence of alcohol charges.
But Chris Barker has never spent more than a few nights in jail, according to court records.
Officials from his home county in North Carolina have long had enough of Mr. Barker.
“We have long been aware of Chris Barker. We have charged Barker over the years with forgery, assault with a deadly weapon, making threats, an arson charge, an assault on a female in 2011 and again in 2014, DWI in 07 and 09 and 04, possession of stolen goods, larceny, two charges of possession of a stolen weapon, and an open container charge last month. And that is just in Rockingham County,” said Craig Blitzer, the Rockingham County, North Carolina District Attorney in an interview.
“We have arrested Barker many times, but as for his Klan, we haven’t seen anyone else but him,” said Lieutenant Richie Jeffries of the Eden, North Carolina police department, the small town where Barker lived until recently. “We don’t know of any other people from here who are members of his group. It is just a website,” said Jeffries.
On Christmas eve, 2008, Barker was arrested for malicious arson for trying to burn the house down of Tony Davis of Eden, N.C. and held on $100,000 bond at the Rockingham County jail, according to documents and the Rockingham County Fire Marshal’s office in an interview. Barker accused Mr. Davis of having an affair with his wife, Amanda Barker–the Loyal White Knights of the KKK number two–and burned Davis’s house down with petroleum, according to the Rockingham, North Carolina Fire Marshal in an interview.
“We found his electronic discount card–the kind you swipe at the cash register at Wal-Mart each time you buy something–at the fire scene, which traced back to Barker,” said Fire Marshall Robert Cardwell in an interview. “When we went to talk to him, he was so drunk we couldn’t understand half of what he was saying. He was drinking beer through the whole interview.”
The Fire Marshall said that Barker accused the man who lived in the house of having an affair with his wife. ” I think Mr. Barker has a problem with alcohol,” he said.
The purported pro-Trump Klan rally is far from the first time Barker has used the international media to give both credence and exposure to his message.
After the massacre of black churchgoers in South Carolina in 2015, dozens of media outfits did phone interviews with “South Carolina Grand Dragon Robert Jones”, and “Imperial Klaitrop James Spears”.
Dylann Roof is a “young warrior” who was “heading in the right direction; wrong target,” the Charleston, South Carolina Post and Courier newspaper quoted ‘Robert Jones’ saying, who billed himself as the “South Carolina Grand Dragon” for the LWK. “Robert Jones, of the Loyal White Knights in North Carolina” told The Daily Beast that his Klan was engaged in a national recruitment drive. “We’re doing this from the East Coast to the West Coast, just to let people know the Klan’s in their community,” Robert Jones, the grand dragon of the hate group they say is based in Pelham, N.C was quoted saying. “Especially with all the stuff that’s in the news—in South Carolina they’re wanting to take the Confederate flag down.”
To an Illinois newspaper, “Spears declined to say which town in the Realm of South Carolina he operates out of and also would not disclose the location of the Klan’s New Lenox (Illinois) headquarters. ‘It’s a secret,’ he said. ‘We’re the invisible empire. That’s our nickname.’” Spears said he “felt sorry for the boy,” speaking of the Charleston, South Carolina church shooter Dylann Roof. “I think he picked the wrong target. A better target for him would have been these gang-bangers, running around rapping, raping and stealing.”
The problem is neither Spears or Jones actually exist. Both ‘Robert Jones’ and ‘James Spears’ are, in truth, the same person—35-year-old Chris ‘Christopher Eugene’ Barker of Eden, North Carolina.
“Always remember: If it ain’t white, it ain’t right,” Barker signs off on his current automated website message on the hotline of the Loyal White Knights of the KKK.
“God said you should always find something good to say about someone, but I don’t think God ever met Chris Barker,” said Bill Barker, the Imperial Wizard of the Virginia based Rebel Brigades of the KKK.
Apparently the most respected of the international media did find him useful today, however, once again.