Fueled by anonymity of the Internet, U.S domestic terrorists wage war from behind computer keyboards.
By Nate Thayer
The Imperial Wizard of the New Empire Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, Charles ‘Chuck’ Murray, wasted no time trying to fan the flames of racial conflict when Ferguson, Missouri erupted in violence in August 2014.
Murray received widespread media attention after declaring his KKK had dispatched armed men at the height of the strife to Ferguson.
“We are raising money for the cop who shot a nigger criminal,” Imperial Wizard Murray said as the Ferguson riots escalated, declaring Klan members from “3 different Klan factions” had arrived in Ferguson “to protect white businesses”. He warned anyone objecting, “We have guns (and more).”
Charles “Chuck” Murray’s attempt to create armed racial conflict sparked thousands of media articles worldwide and forced law enforcement to mobilize already overextended resources to prepare for the worst.
But Chuck Murray and his New Empire Knights of the KKK actually don’t exist. They are the fictional creation of one man hunkered behind a computer screen somewhere in cyber space.
The incendiary “Murray” and his New Empire Knights are poster children for the 21st century face of U.S. domestic terrorism. Most very real and not-real-at-all political extremism is now waged over the Internet and fueled by the digital revolution.
Murray and his fake terrorist group are among thousands that have been created in recent years.
Anyone can create a political group advocating terrorism on the World Wide Web.
In recent years, new recruits to extremist groups join primarily via online applications and pay membership dues via untraceable PayPal accounts. Often, most all these members have never met in real life.
They are not alone.
And they are not all harmless.
Online hate has been shown as the primary precursor to real-life terrorist violence in the last decade, according to numerous independent studies of terror attacks since September 11, 2001. The connection between web-based posts advocating violence and real life violent behavior allows those pre-disposed to violent extremism to communicate on Web sites anonymously without divulging their true identities.
Dylan Roof was one of the growing cadres of self-schooled cyber warriors, fueled by a troubled mind and whipped into a frenzy of false bravado by the anonymity of surfing the Internet behind a computer screen.
“I was not raised in a racist home or environment,” wrote Roof, who executed nine God-fearing people attending a bible study class in church in Charleston, South Carolina in June 2015. In fact, there is no evidence that Roof had ever met any member of a racist organization in real life.
Roof was influenced by the incendiary racist rhetoric of the politically mainstream Council of Conservative Citizens—the direct contemporary incarnation of the 1950’s-era White Citizens Council– who spread false statistics over the Internet focused on the alleged threat that black Americans pose to the safety of white Americans.
Domestic terrorist Roof took his hate-fuelled politics into the real world.
“We have no skinheads, no real KKK, no one doing anything but talking on the Internet,” Roof lamented. “Well someone has to have the bravery to take it to the real world, and I guess that has to be me.”
The influence of social media over the rise of U.S. domestic far-right wing and foreign-inspired Jihadist terrorism is clear.
While Roof was executing the churchgoers who had gathered for a bible study class, he told them “I have to do it. You rape our women and you’re taking over our country. And you have to go”. Then he gunned down 9 people, according to Sylvia Johnson, a cousin of the South Carolina church pastor.
Roof said his mass murder terrorist attack began with his online research where he came across postings by the Council of Conservative Citizens on the Internet.
“The Trayvon Martin case…prompted me to type in the words ‘Black on White crime’ into Google, and I have never been the same since that day,” Roof wrote in a manifesto he published online. “The first site I came to was the Council of Conservative Citizens. There were pages upon pages of these brutal Black on White murders. At this moment I realized that something was very wrong.”
Far from all white nationalist groups supported the terrorist attack of Dylann Roof. “My thoughts and prayers are with those whose lives were tragically taken by this lunatic and I pray that God will bring peace to those families, the community, and our Nation,” said the Imperial Wizard of the Traditional American Knights of the KKK of the families of the murdered black congregants. “It literally made me sick to my stomach. Those poor families….”
But the availability of online political hate fuels many fringe characters such as Dylann Roof.
The Internet is now, by far, the most effective engine attracting, recruiting, organizing, and radicalizing everyone from extremist unaffiliated ‘Lone Wolf’ terrorist riff-raff like Dylann Roof, to the driving force behind all-talk-and-no-action misanthrope who spew racial, religious, and political intolerance, to deadly terrorists who operate with various levels of support from organized terror groups.
The days of real life private gatherings, publicly held demonstrations, and recruitment of new members in face-to-face encounters by clandestine armed extremists are largely over.
The Internet has caused an explosion of a new crop of political extremists and sympathizers. Millions now surf the Internet, where they are first exposed to the angry messages that attract the disaffected, a small segment of whom then go over to the dark side of armed terrorism.
Old school White Nationalist groups view people like Dylan Roof with contempt. “Speaking as a traditional Klansman, there are very few of us left,” said a KKK Grand Dragon, Thomas Pugh of Mississippi, who has been active in several different Klan organizations since the 1960’s. “Cyber Klan’s are groups that exist essentially on the Internet and are about the same as TV evangelists and snake oil salesmen. I call them ‘mom and pop’ Klan’s.”
And the Internet is now the most vexing problem for law enforcement attempting to prevent the mass murder attacks that plague citizens and governments worldwide.
“The Internet provides the wandering mind…with direct access to unfiltered radical and extremist ideology. It also serves as an anonymous virtual meeting place where virtual groups of like-minded and conflicted individuals can meet, form virtual relationships and discuss and share” extremist political views, reads a 2007 New York City Police intelligence report “Radicalization in the West: The Homegrown Threat”. “The Internet serves as an enabler—providing broad access to an array of information on targets, their vulnerabilities and the design of weapons,” calling it the “driver and enabler for the process of radicalization.”
Most charged in the U.S. with terrorism since 9/11 have been products of the Internet. Hundreds of thousands of Americans now visit extremist websites that promote domestic terrorism. In July 2009, a FBI intelligence analysis said 15,000 websites and web forums supported terrorist activities, and 80% of these were on U.S.-based servers.
“This is what we have feared for a very long time—that finally the ideology of radical Islam is effectively reaching into the United States to disaffected people here over the Internet,” said former White House counterterrorism adviser Richard Clarke in July 2010.
But it is not radical Islamic Jihad that is the biggest threat emerging since the World Wide Web began offering a fertile platform from where many deadly terror attacks now originate. The radicalization of homegrown U.S. domestic terrorists have emerged from a cauldron of right-wing Internet-based extremism that has skyrocketed in recent years.
Dylan Roof was attracted to an amalgam of virulent strains of neo-Nazi and White Separatist beliefs, cherry picking hot button topics from the swirling rhetoric of hate groups in cyber space, according to an analysis of Roof’s writings.
“This threat is not new,” President Obama said in a May 2013 speech at the National Defense University. “But technology and the Internet increase its frequency and lethality. Today, a person can consume hateful propaganda, commit themselves to a violent agenda and learn how to kill without leaving their home.”
What stands out in Roof’s political influences is that he never met with a white nationalist group or individual or participated in any real life events or activities. Roof is the worst nightmare of law enforcement and intelligence tasked with tracking and preventing terrorism in the U.S. “Lone wolves are the most frightening,” said James Vito, recently retired as Chief of Detectives for Chester County, Pennsylvania. “They aren’t members of an organization, they have no co-conspirators and often they are just coo-coo guys. The feds have no reasonable ability to track these people. Often they might be known to local law enforcement, and the only way to track these kind of guys is through local cops.”
“To take a saying from my favorite film, ‘Even if my life is worth less than a speck of dirt, I want to use it for the good of society’,” Roof wrote, referring to the 2011 Japanese movie, Himizu, which depicts an alienated young man preparing to embark on a violent spree of carnage.
But Roof did study extremist racist hate groups on the Internet who traffic in false information designed to whip up anger and intolerance.
In Roof’s manifesto, he cites the Council of Conservative Citizens as his primary influence, and concluded that American blacks posed a direct threat to him as a white American. The Council of Conservative Citizens distributes “statistics” over the Internet on “black on white” crimes in the United States. They list 418 white people murdered by blacks in 2014 in a thinly sourced document, adding that civil rights groups “hype a narrative that blacks live in fear of whites. So far we have only found four white on black murders, killed by two perps, for 2014.”
“One white on black murder is a major national news story. Where is the outrage for the daily occurring black on white murders?” the CCC wrote in 2014.
The Council of Conservative Citizens goes to considerable lengths to maintain a reputation of respectability within U.S. politics. Included among members of the CCC have been two contemporary governors of Georgia, the recent U.S. senate majority leader Trent Lott, and at least 38 elected local, state, and national politicians who have accepted invitations as speakers at CCC organized public forums. Two-time presidential candidate and Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee spoke at a CCC national convention.
The CCC website has hundreds of links to false statistics on fictional black on white crimes (“Black man charged with having homo sex with male dog”). They provide scant corroboration or sourcing for claims such as “The Truth of Interracial Rape in the United States: In the United States in 2005, 37,460 white females were sexually assaulted or raped by a black man, while between zero and ten black females were sexually assaulted or raped by a white man.”
Former Supreme Court justice Thurgood Marshall called the Conservative Citizens Council an “uptown Klan”.
“Interacting with fellow extremists online or watching extremist media previously radicalized only three percent of domestic LWTs (Lone Wolf Terrorists),” says a 2015 study by Georgetown University’s National Security Critical Issue Task Force titled “Lone Wolf Terrorism”. “Today, interactions facilitated by the Internet have become one of the most powerful radicalization tools for domestic lone wolves. Interactive terrorist “chat rooms,” in particular, have helped reinforce individuals’ extremist views.”
Internet chat rooms “are among the most influential aspects of the Internet for inspiring terrorist attacks by those who might otherwise never consider going to such extremes,” wrote Jeffrey Simon in his 2013 book “Lone Wolf Terrorism: Understanding the Growing Threat.”
Roof is not the only one who obtained their information on “black on white” crime from the CCC. “The majority of people who post on ‘black on white’ crimes with us on our website use as their source the Council of Conservative Citizens,” said Frank Ancona, the national head of the largest American Klan group, the Traditionalist American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. Ancona’s Klan group conducts extensive background checks on people seeking membership, and denies membership to anyone with criminal records or who advocate violence.
The advent of Cyber Terrorism spans the spectrum from those empowered by the false courage of Internet anonymity, to the seriously committed armed political extremist, or, commonly, the mentally unstable who live mainly within their own dark minds, have little real-life interactions with others, and are fueled by like-minded, conspiracy theory-laden and hateful websites and chat forums.
Committed Internet racists, such as the New Empire Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, know exactly what they are doing and hide behind a carefully orchestrated layer of anonymous online websites that protect them from being exposed as the wildly exaggerated fictional political forces they are.
THE NEW EMPIRE KNIGHTS OF THE KU KLUX KLAN
Dozens of incendiary public events were claimed as held by the New Empire Knights of the KKK, gaining national media attention and causing jitters in local communities and among law enforcement agencies. In truth, none of them ever happened, extensive interviews with law enforcement officials, leaders of Ku Klux Klan groups, documents, and more than 40 interviews conducted during a several month investigation show.
Murray claims his Klan has organized chapters in 18 states.
“Of course we heard about these Klan guys saying they would be coming to Sullivan. We watched it closely…working off of our own intelligence, nothing happened as far as we saw,” said Gary Tolke, the Sheriff of Franklin County, Missouri, in an interview at the time.
In fact, none of the “leaders” of the New Empire Knights are real people.
No one has ever talked to, seen, or met with the fictional “Imperial Wizard Charles ‘Chuck’ Murray”. And none of the more than a dozen purported Klan cross burnings, public political rallies, and secret political gatherings by his New Empire Knights in South Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, and Missouri actually occurred, according to law enforcement, Ku Klux Klan leaders, and this investigation. No one has witnessed a single event he claims to have held; the internet website postings of photographs of his Ku Klux Klan faction’s “leaders” are fraudulently labeled pictures stolen from the Internet of real people unrelated to any KKK organization; the more than a dozen events alleged to have been held never occurred; and photographs distributed by the New Empire Knights documenting these events depict events unrelated to the New Empire of the Knights.
“We are not a ‘secret’ group per say. I have my picture posted,” Murray responded to a South Carolina reporter who requested Murray provide evidence he existed. “As a third degree Klansman, my face is on the website. So, I don’t understand your point.”
But the photo posted by Murray is not of him, anyone involved in the Ku Klux Klan, anyone from South Carolina, or even the United States.
The photograph “Imperial Wizard Charles ‘Chuck’ Murray” distributed claiming he is a “South Carolina-based” Klan leader is, in fact, of a man from Brisbane Australia, whose photograph was stolen from the Internet.
News articles from Brisbane Australia show the photo is of a 56-year-old man, Gary Michael Machin, of Queensland Australia who went missing on April 25, 2008 and was found two months later alive and well. That photo was widely distributed in the Australian media and over the Internet. The fictional Klan leader simply downloaded it from the Internet and claimed it was of himself.
The non-existent Murray, using an untraceable WordPress blog site to promote his “Klan” and communicating via an untraceable Gmail account, refused to talk by telephone or meet in person when contacted to ask for his comment on evidence suggesting he and his Klan don’t exist. “You can write whatever. Say we don’t exist. Say I’m a fake Imperial Wizard. Say I’m a black guy making this up. You want proof? You want an interview? Do this. Go outside. Take a rope and hang yourself, ” “Murray” responded via email.
The fake picture of the Imperial Wizard is not the only fake photo he distributed over cyberspace; every picture the Klan group used on their website to promote their leaders and activities was stolen and used without authorization, depicting people with no affiliation to the Klan or swiped from Klan gatherings held by other groups.
The photograph of his “Kentucky State Grand Dragon” depicts a Tennessee businessman with no connection to the KKK and was stolen off the Internet from a picture showing the man enjoying a post-church sponsored softball game and beers with his teammates. When contacted, James Walczak was not amused that he had been portrayed as a member of the KKK. “Yes, that is me in the picture. Uh, no I am not the Grand Dragon of the Ku Klux Klan in Kentucky,” James Walczak said after a reporter emailed the picture of him posted by the New Empire Knights identifying Walczak as “Kentucky Grand Dragon James Roberts”.
“I don’t know what to say. I don’t have the words. It is appalling that someone would promote hate and ID me as something I am not. To use me–or anyone–to promote hate is a horrible, horrible thing. I am speechless,” the Tennessee businessman said. “That picture is, heck, at least 10 years old. I think it was the final softball game of the season for our church league. I don’t even live in Kentucky. I will be contacting my lawyer to get a cease and desist order. This is the strangest thing I have ever heard. I do not want my name promoting hate.”
Similarly, photographs of the Georgia state “Grand Dragon” are of another KKK supporter arrested at the University of Kentucky several years earlier whose picture was published by local media.
The photograph of the “Imperial Grand Dragon of Texas Scott Franklin” is a picture of Joseph Lozito, a New Jersey man who had a widely publicized encounter fighting off a crazed subway attacker in New York City in 2011. It was also stolen off the Internet.
The picture used of their Imperial Kludd–the Klan vernacular for a Christian chaplain– identified as “Steve Williams”–is also a fake. It is of an Arizona man, Raymond Luyk, who also has no connection with the Ku Klux Klan. The non-existent “Imperial Kludd” Steve Williams wrote on the New Empire Knights website: “A little about me — I’ve been active in the Klan since 2007. I hold a Masters in Theology and currently run a small church (100-125 members per Sunday). I also run a small online business. I’m a husband and father of two.”
The website announced a sermon titled “Jews, destroyers of the White Race” would be preached by “Steve Williams” at a July 2014 cross burning in Abbeville, South Carolina—days before the outbreak of violence in Ferguson.
But that event was an Internet scam, too, and never happened. But the announcement of the Klan gathering drew significant law enforcement and media attention as well as community public protests.
Hundreds of local residents gathered in the days prior to protest the Klan gathering, and the Southern Poverty Law Center sent a senior official as the keynote speaker.
Local newspapers and television ran numerous stories on the KKK rally and the Klan behind it.
Reporter Frank Blumb, of the Greenwood, South Carolina Index-Journal tried to interview Murray. “I asked him for proof he existed. To my knowledge there is no proof. The (Abbeville) county and city couldn’t find anything. I couldn’t find anything,” said Blumb. “After I asked him for proof, (‘Can you hold up a piece of paper with the local newspaper and date to prove you are who you say you are and send it to me?’) because he wouldn’t use the telephone and there were no property records–he posted a nasty message saying: ‘The Jolly Jew reporter wants proof’.”
The local Fox News station was not as diligent as Blumb. When asked if they ever interviewed Murray, a Carolina FOX News TV reporter said: “We didn’t have video per se. We did talk to people who saw increase traffic in the area.” FOX ran several ‘interviews’ with “Murray”, broadcasting photographs supplied by Murray, after he wrote to Fox News anchor Cory Alcorn “I know from experience that the media will edit and show only what they want to show. That is why I am answering your questions via email and not by phone. I only ask that if you show pictures from the Klan, use pictures that I send you.” Fox Carolina complied with the request.
But the Klan event never happened. “You bet we checked out whether this guy Murray or his Klan were real. We even did a threat assessment. We classified it as ‘medium to low’, because there wasn’t a dime of evidence that these guys exist,” said Abbeville, South Carolina Sheriff Ray Watson. “Charles Murray should walk in here and shake my hand and introduce himself–which would be the polite thing to do and in his interest if he is real. He would want to do that for his own protection. I don’t think he exists. He could be some guy holed up behind his computer somewhere in the county, but we don’t even know that is true. He could be from anywhere.”
“We absolutely have no information about a Charles Murray or a Klan group by that name anywhere in the county. Believe me, we did considerable research,” said Sheriff Watson. “We went out hunting. I talked to the right people in Abbeville who have been involved in this sort of thing in the past, and they have no clue. They never heard of this Murray fellow or his New Empire Klan. And they would know.”
Sheriff Watson was obviously perturbed by the national media attention the fake Klan on his turf garnered. He considered it bad manners the Klan did not come and introduce themselves. “If this guy existed and they were a peaceful group, he would have contacted me first so there would not be any misunderstandings. If I were him, I would want to introduce myself to the Sheriff, because he is going to want to be on friendly terms with me,” Sheriff Watson said in a thick South Carolina drawl that emphasized both his authority and local roots. “When they said they were going to have a rally here in Abbeville County there was a lot of community concern. They would need our protection. Abbeville has enough real Klansman in it that they would know if other Klan’s were in town. There is a strong brotherhood. There are plenty of Klansmen who have been around for 35 or 40 years–and they have never heard of this guy Murray or his Klan group.”
The New Empire Knights also drew the derision of other Ku Klux Klan leaders across the United States.
“There is a huge fraud being perpetrated by so-called Charles Murray and his New Empire Klan raising money for Officer Darren Wilson,” said Frank Ancona of the Missouri headquartered Traditionalist American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan during several telephone interviews. “This group does not exist. New Empire Knights is a complete scam and fraud. Where is the evidence? No one has ever seen them, talk to them, and they have never dropped any fliers. The media should do its job and verify a story before reporting the ranting of a lunatic as the gospel truth.”
“I have yet to find another Klansman who knows anything about this guy Murray or his New Empire Knights. I think he is just trying to con people out of money,” said Michael Clarke, the then Grand Dragon for North and South Carolina for another Klan group in a series of detailed interviews at the time.
“Until the growth of social media and the Internet, radicalization occurred via person-to- person interaction, which allowed LE (Law Enforcement) to track known groups with standard surveillance and investigative tools. As use of the Internet increases, so does the availability of extremist material, thus facilitating the radicalization and mobilization processes,” reads the June 2015 report “Lone Wolf Terrorism” released by the Georgetown National Security Critical Issue Task Force (NSCITF). “Online information provides potential LWTs (Lone Wolf Terrorists) with instructions on obtaining weapons, building explosive devices from easily obtained materials, and names and descriptions of potential US owned targets.”
In a 2010 Senate hearing, Garry Reid outlined the threat of the Internet regarding lone wolves. “Easily accessible websites provide much of the same radical ideology that previously relied on in-person contact. LE should therefore be prepared for a potential increase of lone wolf actors who would not otherwise have reached radical extremes, due to either a lack of resources or an unwillingness to interact with other radicalized individuals, both of which the Internet easily circumvents,” Reid told the U.S. senate.
JOHN PAUL CUPP
In 2001, John Paul Cupp was homeless and living underneath a highway overpass in Portland, Oregon when the Internet helped him develop a persona as a significant force in violent, extremist American political activism.
Cupp contacted North Korea over the Internet and was appointed Chairman of the inaugural “Songun Politics Study Group USA” in 2003, recognized by the North Korean government as their official U.S. support group. Soon, Cupp was invited as an official guest to Pyongyang and heralded as “a prominent U.S. public figure” by North Korean official media.
John Paul Cupp was also a very confused young man dabbling in political extremism and psychologically spiraling out of control. His politics evolved quickly from supporting homeless rights, to the North Korean regime, rabid anti-Semitism, open support for Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden, virulent white supremacy, assassination of U.S. political leaders, and armed overthrow of the U.S. government. The son of a Christian preacher from Indiana (who Cupp refers to as “an asshole” in an early family genealogy online post ), Cupp eventually converted to Islam and now lives in Florida under the name Wahid Yayah Cupp.
Cupp’s political platform included rhetoric like “Hey anyone, actually killing Jews is to be supported in so far as they are killing Jews” to support for “Aryan hero Lee Harvey Oswald.”
In a post titled “A Call for White Resistance”, Cupp wrote “One of the things that was brought to my attention while I was visiting North Korea is…resisting with ‘terrorism’ and what we call ‘lone wolf actions’ today.” Cupp cited a list of American “Lone Wolves” to be emulated including Timothy McVeigh, who blew up the federal building in Oklahoma City; a White Supremacist group who stockpiled weapons and explosives before going on an assassination spree against blacks and Jews; and the assassins of presidents Kennedy, Lincoln and McKinley and Martin Luther King.
Cupp publicly called for the lynching of President Barrack Obama. “I fully invite every member of an Islamic or Third World country…to join us in a cross burning and Jena-rope-the-goat/President event to show how much we love scabs and tools of the Jews and imperialist finance capital”.
“Long live the White race!,” Cupp wrote. “Long live the communist revolutions! Let us vow to die in the trenches of combat before ever even considering the thought of surrendering our European-American Nation!”
But despite his incendiary rhetoric, Cupp operated almost strictly as a cyber-warrior, his entire political career conducted online where he created political front groups espousing armed revolution, a racially pure state, apocalyptic fringe religious cults, and the virtues of suicide bombers.
Numerous people he collaborated with said they had never met Cupp in person while he whipped others into a frenzy of extremist political convictions from behind a computer screen.
Cupp also created the online “Group for the Study of the Theories of Pol Pot”.
In 2004 Kevin Walsh, an articulate, virulent white nationalist and anti-Semite began an alliance with Cupp and was arrested himself for threatening to assassinate by gun then U.S. president George W. Bush.
“John Paul Cupp and I were political collaborators discontinuously from 2004 to 2010” said Walsh in a series of email interviews. In 2004 “I was arrested and was incarcerated until 2006.”
In 2004, Police in Phoenix cautiously approached Walsh, a registered handgun owner. Guns drawn, Walsh responded by drawing his own. The standoff ended without violence, but an Arizona judge declared that Walsh was insane and committed him involuntarily to a mental institution for 180 days.
He was released two years later, whereupon he resumed his political alliance with John Paul Cupp, based on their shared allegiance to the North Korean vision for how to organize a society and anti-Semitic and white racialist views..
Kevin Walsh was a key man behind establishing two other online political organizations with Cupp, the North American Committee Against Zionism and Imperialism (NACAZI), and the European-American Socialist People’s Front (EASPF). NACAZI was a virulently anti-Semitic and pro Palestinian “political organization”, which was, in truth, comprised of only three people who had never met in real life and communicated online. EASPF was a white nationalist “political organization” that called for a racially pure white state.
A synthesis of White Nationalism and Marxism-Leninism “EASPF is essentially a national communist or racial communist organization,” wrote Cupp on a Yahoo! Group message.
Kevin Walsh was more direct in his assessment of the two outfits. “NACAZAI and EASPF were only websites. We didn’t have any kind of mass following or street organization. We would write essays and solicit support, but no support came,” Walsh said in an interview.
NACAZI was run by Cupp and a Palestinian American by the name of Ziad Shaker al-Jishi, who also held the title of deputy chairman of the U.S. Songun Politics Study Group. Ziad has made numerous trips to Pyongyang on the invitation of the North Korean government over the last decade.
The purpose of NACAZAI was “to rid the world of Jewish power and American imperialism,” said Ziad, in an interview published on the now defunct NACAZI website.
In December 2011, the official North Korean state media said in an article “Organizations of Foreign Countries Mourn Demise of Kim Jong Il” that “Different organizations of the world sent letters… on Dec. 19 and 20, expressing profound condolences over the demise of leader Kim Jong Il. They included the North American Group for Study of the Juche, Songun Idea in the U.S. and the North American Committee against Zionism and Imperialism.”
Cupp posted many of his racist screeds on the official North Korean U.S. Songun Politics Study Group website, which was disseminating propaganda sent by Pyongyang. The content of his political manifestos were extreme enough to draw the pointed rebuke of Pyongyang directly.
In an email from North Korea to Cupp in 2008, Pyongyang asked Cupp to pull his white supremacist rants from the U.S. Songun Study Group’s website and refrain from posting DPRK material on Cupp’s incendiary white supremacist anti-Semitic web pages.
“Dear comrade CUPP,” the North Korean message began “We would like to make a comradely suggestion to you on the matter of publishing the great Juche and Songun-related photos and articles, great leaders’ works, etc, on the Internet. Could you please publish those materials exclusively on the US Songun website and the US Solidarity webpage and not post non-DPRK materials on this, and not post those Juche-Songun and DPRK photos and articles on yours?” North Korea said. “That’s only for the sake of the dignity and prestige of our great leaders and the DPRK. We hope you who sincerely and ardently follow and revere the great leaders could understand what we mean and soon rearrange the materials on the Internet, please. We’re waiting for your reply in this connection…With our sincere and comradely regards, Zo Il Min, Representative of the Pyongyang Mission of the AINDF, September 15, Juche 97 (2008), Pyongyang, DPRK.”
John Paul Cupp replied to Pyongyang’s request to tone down his virulent extremist politics. “I will most certainly, as always, comply with the dictate given to me, and all these articles will be removed and I will comply with the request by this Sunday… I do believe in…fulfilling the tasks assigned to me. I never ever even remotely wanted to disparage the DPRK in any way, shape, or form… what brought about this concern? Did someone complain? Am I in trouble? I wish to tell you that I have never stopped in my reverence to the DPRK leadership.”
But Cupp did not take North Korea’s advice. Cupp reacted with alarm to his U.S. comrades. Cupp said “I need you to promise me you aren’t going to contact the DPRK […] Someone is fucking with us, and whining up the ass to the DPRK, and crying to them about three things: A. My open support for European-American nationalism (which they probably went and told Zo Il Min I was a KKK lynching or something), our position against the Jews (but they’ve known that for like 6 years!) and our support for armed struggle to bring down the American regime,” Cupp wrote. “I mean I told them I laughed my ass off at Sept 11 and they chuckled.”
“The DPRK has known we support Saddam, hollowcause revisionism, reject ‘Israel’ and detest Jews for several years now and sided with us privately on most of that,” Cupp told his comrades.
In 2010, Cupp created websites including “Aryan Atheists.” The next month, he abruptly converted to Islam and changed his name to Wahid Yayah Cupp. Cupp now lives in Florida.
When contacted, Cupp acknowledged his resume as accurate, but declined to comment. “I am a Muslim now,” John Paul Cupp said using the name Walid Cupp. “I support the Korean [stance] against American Imperialism, but I have been a practicing Muslim for a few years now and no longer am directly involved.”
But shortly beforehand, Cupp was collaborating with dangerous characters, whose own biographies demonstrated a very real history of stepping out of the anonymous shadows of cyberspace and engage in real life domestic terrorism.
CUPP AND JOSHUA CALEB SUTTER
“In 2008 Cupp and Ziad had become involved with the Rural People’s Party and travelled to South Carolina to meet their leader, known as David Woods,” said Kevin Walsh. “Cupp would later say that Woods was a pseudonym for Josh Sutter.”
“Cupp did tell me that Woods/Sutter had been talking about having been involved with sending anthrax to the White House,” Walsh said. “I said, ‘I seriously doubt that he had anything to do with that. He doesn’t have the technical know-how to make weapons-grade anthrax. I have two university degrees, and I don’t have that technical knowledge. Weapons-grade anthrax isn’t something some redneck can make on the weekend in his tool shed. It’s not a do-it-yourself project for revolutionaries.’”
But like any good melodrama script, the new alliance also produced a subtext of love, betrayal, and treachery.
And so began what would be a rapidly unraveling political alliance of U.S. North Korea supporters as the U.S. Songun Study Group and the RPP ushering in a tumultuous period worthy of a bizarre soap opera script.
During early 2008, John Paul Cupp thought he had fallen in love with Jillian Hoy, and the two became engaged. Jillian Hoy—who used the name “Comrade Morrison” in her role with the RPP—was in fact Joshua Sutter’s girlfriend—and soon to be wife. Hoy’s relationship with Cupp would implode within months among accusations of it having been a politically motivated “honey trap”. Hoy was accused of attempting to poison Cupp in an alleged RPP bid to take over control of the officially recognized U.S. Songun Study Group.
It was by the summer of 2008 that the RPP had, through information supplied by Cupp, established its own direct connection to Pyongyang.
“Cupp was involved in a sexual relationship with one of the female members and had told me on the telephone that they were to be married. In July 2008, Cupp became severely ill with chronic appendicitis and some kind of lung infection and had to be hospitalized,” Walsh recalled. “He wanted to talk to his ‘fiancée,’ and I e-mailed her but got no response. When he was released from hospital, she still didn’t respond. It was then that Cupp came to the conclusion that it was all some kind of set-up.”
Cupp was convinced that his erstwhile fiancé had poisoned him. Jillian Hoy seemed capable of such a plot, but evidence, of course, is hard to prove. “I wanted to be powerful, to conquer, overwhelm, and abandon. This did not make me sexually attractive; quite the opposite. I pursued boys, and was viewed with dread and revulsion. This filled me simultaneously with pleasure and disappointment,” wrote Hoy on a Satanic website. “I wanted their fear as much (or more) as their desire, but I did not anticipate I would favor the terrible side so heavily…I am childless, isolated, disinterested in family life, and am likely to remain so. I have an automatic, visceral urge to manipulate men I come into contact with.”
Hoy described the Hindu goddess, Kali, as a “demonic figure, vampiric and destructive by nature, and I wanted to be likewise destructive: selfish and without self, feeding without hunger, a cold creature of controlled chaos. Totally immoral and predatory…it was about physical and psychic domination, to please and disturb and confuse and enthrall,” Hoy aka Jayalalita devi dasi wrote in the neo-Nazi occult magazine “FENRIR: Journal of Satanism and the Sinister”, published by the Order of Nine Angles (ONA). “The Order of Nine Angles” ‘represent a dangerous and extreme form of Satanism’ and first attracted public attention advocating fascist Satanism.
Hoy described the Hindu Goddess Kali as a “tool for terror and destruction. Kali does not carry a child; she carries a sword. Kali does not feed an infant; she feeds herself, on blood shed by her own hand. She may be viewed as beautiful, but she may also be viewed as grotesque; she is raw, naked, radiant, wild, and inspires both awe and horror. Her role is not inherently subservient, gentle, or nurturing. She kills, she fucks, she feeds, she screams. I worship Kali because I feel an affinity for Kali, I feel a desire within me to be among her witchy cohorts who slaughter, laugh playfully and terribly, and inspire fear. I’d sooner bare a weapon and take down life than bear life within me.”
“A few weeks ago, a man using the name Tyler Moses formed a group calling itself the Juche Front. This man was also an Aryan Nations figure and he claimed also to be a Hare Krishna and member of New Bihar Mandir As part of our group’s routine background check for applying member candidates, we discovered the identity of New Bihar Mandir’s leader Shree Shree Kalika-Kalki Mandir was actually Sutter,” wrote the North American Juche Songun Study Group in December 2011.
After John Paul Cupp was removed from leadership in the North Korean front support groups, his replacement wrote to Sutter, who was using the name James Woods. “Someone has told me that your leader, Woods, was formerly a member of a white gang. I wish you would be more open with me. A Communist party is supposed to be a family but how can we ever become a family when you don’t even tell me your names? All you do is keep secrets. Secrecy is important for some kinds of political work, but how can you even build a party if we don’t even know each other’s names?”
The message was not well received.
Sutter replied: “Consider all friendships between us as ended. This email is being forwarded to the Special Dictatorship Group intelligence apparatus of the party as facsimile copy. Please return any and all materials the party has sent you to the party post office box. Should you choose not to reciprocate in the requested manner, we will take other measures”
On November 3, Jason Tonis emailed Cupp in panic. “Ooh my god…I just got an email from the RPP, they’re making some sort of threat against me, what should I do?”
“Woods went nuts and is basically threatening to kill Jason in not so many words….I think he is afraid the RPP is going to send some ZOG (Zionist Occupied Government) agent to kill him and his family,” wrote Cupp to other comrades in his cyberspace group. “We cannot promise they aren’t crazy enough to try killing him”
JOSHUA CALEB SUTTER
Joshua Caleb Sutter aka David Woods aka Tyler Moses has one of the more colorful resumes in fringe American politics. Like Cupp, Sutter is also the son of a Pentecostal fundamentalist Christian preacher and white supremacist, primed for the world of extremist politics from a young age.
Sutter began dabbling in racist politics as a teenager and rose to become a national leader of the Aryan Nations, then the largest white supremacist, neo-Nazi group in the U.S. In the early 2000’s, he advocated the armed overthrow of the U.S. government and a whites-only racially pure state.
Sutter moved to the headquarters compound of the Aryan Nations in rural Pennsylvania employing his computer skills to create an online presence for the terror group as their newly appointed Webmaster.
After the September 11, 2001 World Trade Center bombings in New York, Sutter assumed the title of the Aryan Nations “Minister for Islamic Liaison” charged with building alliances with international Jihadist groups. In 2002, Sutter released a “message of solidarity and support” to Saddam Hussein, vowing “the evil regime of the United States … shall be utterly wiped off the face of the earth.”
Sutter told a reporter he contacted Islamic extremists by “Internet, because it’s difficult to get to places like Iran.” Sutter was using online aliases at the time, hiding behind his computer screen calling for the murder of Jews, blacks, and U.S government leaders.
On the Aryan Nations website, Sutter wrote: “Roses are red, violets are blue – for every dead Arab, another dead Jew!” Calling whites “the true chosen race”, Sutter wrote ‘Yes, oh yes… and it shall be much worse this time. Jew – all of your planning, scheming and attempts and preparedness shall not save you from that fateful day, for no man knows the hour…But a little bird told a friend of a friend of a friend who told me that it “shan’t be too far off”…”
Sutter was also an “ordained minister with the Church of the Sons of YHWH (Yaweh)”. “The Negro especially was created as a “worker, laborer” who was meant to be under the dominion of and in servitude to members and institutions of the white race. Especially useful for farm labor, those who are known as blacks today are referred to by our ancient Hebrew language as “Khaw-Yaw” which literally means BEAST or ‘Beast of the field’,” Sutter preached. “These terms are both literal references to their actual mental and physical consistency (i.e.: the beast) and to their places of work (i.e.: the field) where they performed their labor for the benefit of YHVH’s White racial people.”
Sutter advertised himself as a “Phineas Priest,” a title in far right Christian Identity circles denoting those who carry out ‘lone wolf’ violent attacks.
But undercover federal agents arrested Sutter in February 2003 for purchasing illegal weapons with their serial numbers scraped off, possession of silencers, and explosive devices. The sting foiled a plot to launch bomb attacks against U.S. political opponents and abortion clinics.
Sentenced to two years in a federal prison, Sutter was released on Nov. 9, 2004 and moved back to his hometown in rural Lexington County, South Carolina.
It was on the date of his 2004 release from federal prison that Sutter founded, seemingly incongruously, the far left Rural People’s Party, which touted the apocalyptic religious mass murderer Jim Jones and North Korea’s Kim Il Sung as their ideological mentors.
Sutter began a twisted online web of sharp political U-turns, veering off to remote side roads of political extremism, becoming a full throttle cyber terrorist, assuming numerous contradictory personas all advocating the armed overthrow of the U.S. government.
But Sutter didn’t abandon his far right, extremist white supremacist politics. Sutter’s day job was working at the Southern Patriot Shop, a White Supremacist retail outlet then managed by Sutter’s father, Pentecostal preacher David Sutter. The shop sold racist paraphernalia and was owned by the League of the South, an established white nationalist hate group.
Simultaneously, Sutter, using the alias Wulfran Hall, resumed his leadership role in the white supremacist Aryan Nations. “We can become more than simple domesticated pawns in the games of Jewish commerce. We spit upon the false sanctity of the ‘flag’ – of whatever country,” wrote Sutter in February 2005 on the Aryan Nations website. “We spit upon the erroneous sanctity of the cross – and all the meaningless relics of organized religion which is but another way to enslave us and control us, to keep us from realizing the potential that we possess as a race.”
In recent years, Sutter has proclaimed loyalty to North Korea; the white supremacist Aryan Nations; the pro Jim Jones and Pol Pot Rural People’s Party; white racist Christian Identity churches; a Hindu apocalyptic sect worshipping “the Goddess of Destruction”; a mostly black South Carolina fundamentalist Pentecostal church; and the more mainstream Hare Krishna Hindu sect.
Sutter operated all of these groups over the Internet using false identities.
But in real life, Sutter has stockpiled weapons and posted photographs of himself with them at his South Carolina home. Federal law prohibits convicted felons from being in possession of any firearm, a crime that carries a mandatory ten years in federal prison.
Tyler Moses was an alias used by Joshua Sutter in 2002 while serving as the “Pennsylvania state coordinator” for the Aryan Nation shortly prior to his arrest for buying illegal weaponry from an undercover federal law enforcement agent in a plot to launch a bombing campaign in the U.S.
On November 17, 2011, the United Juche Front of North America was created by someone using the name Tyler Moses. “We recognize as Americans that support of the DPRK is seen as a hostile act and are acting in accordance [with] the engagement of operating behind enemy lines,” Sutter wrote under the name Tyler Moses.
Just as Tyler Moses was the alias he used to coordinate a White Power march on Washington D.C., David Woods was the online alias used by Sutter as head of the Rural People’s Party.
Simultaneously, Sutter also used his real name and other aliases. In his incarnation as a Hindu priest for the New Bihar Mandir temple he assumed the name Shree Shree Kalika-Kalki. In other covert communications with outsiders, he used the name Stephen Browne.
But numerous South Carolina, online, and other records show that all these identities are, in fact, Joshua Sutter. They share birth dates, marriage dates, telephone numbers, and physical addresses.
According to Lexington County, South Carolina property title records, Joshua’s parents purchased 3.61 acres of land and a mobile home at 480 Sherwood Drive shortly before Sutter was released from federal prison.
This served as the physical headquarters of the Rural People’s Party, which Sutter founded online under a false name. A photograph on the official RPP website shows a single wide mobile home with a North Korean flag flying on a flagpole in a wooded area and is captioned: “Central People’s Commune of the Rural People’s Party: Militant Juche Songun and Jim Jones Thought Communism North America.” Google earth photographs confirm that the location is the same as the RPP and his self-established Hindu temple, the New Bahir Mindar.
Shortly, Sutter formed several other extremist political organizations using false names. Shortly after advocating for the far right Aryan Nations, Sutter founded the far left Rural People’s Party. He then created other online political organizations pledging loyalty to North Korea run by the hereditary Kim family communist dynasty and, simultaneously, the apocalyptic religious cult leader Jim Jones, who had orchestrated the mass death of 900 members of the People’s Temple cult in Guyana in 1979. Simultaneously, Sutter, under other aliases, formed a Hindu religious temple that worshipped another apocalyptic deity, the Goddess of Death Kali, and based the “temple” at his rural South Carolina property where Sutter lived in a singlewide trailer with his girlfriend.
In 2007, the web-based RPP released a message of support for Pol Pot, the architect of mass murder in Cambodia in the 1970’s, over the Internet.
“We stand in firm solidarity with the Group for the Study of the Theories of Pol Pot and as a Marxist-Leninist-Maoist organization have held steadfast in defense, study, assimilation into party line and, by our work in establishing the Central People’s Commune, advancing toward practical implementation of Pol Potism. Please find as follows some links to photographs taken at the CPC, a place which all who uphold the glorious line of the CPK are most graciously welcome,” Sutter wrote to John Paul Cupp.
This began a relationship between the two that eventually ended in trickery, death threats, deception, and accusations of assassination attempts.
In the South Carolina woods, Joshua Caleb Sutter met both John Paul Cupp and a Palestinian American Ziad Shaker al-Jishi. They quickly found common political ground as White Supremacist-turned Pyongyang disciples.
In 2009, Joshua Sutter created another religious organization—a Hindu sect worshipping an apocalyptic Hindu Deity, Kali-which also existed only on the Internet.
Taking on the aliases of a Hindu priest and priestess, Joshua Sutter and Jillian Hoy established the New Bihar Mandir Temple at the same South Carolina location as the Rural People’s Party headquarters and the pro North Korean U.S. Songun Study Group.
In 2008 Joshua Sutter and Jillian Hoy (aka Comrade Morrison) married at a black South Carolina Apostolic Pentecostal church “on the anniversary of the People’s Temple martyrdom.”
New Bihar Mandir’s MySpace page, created in 2009, says “A new god has come to rural Lexington County, South Carolina: Their Lordships Shree Shree Kalki-Kalika.” Adding “Lord Kalki will appear as the “Killer Avatar” to cleanse the earth as the pivotal factor in a worldwide annihilation, from which, like a phoenix arising from the ashes, will come a new Golden Age (or ‘Satya-yuga.’)”
While ostensibly clandestine in its formation, the New Bihar Mandir Hindu Temple used the same mailing address and phone numbers as the RPP. Public recruitment notices in local newspapers and in new age circles listed the physical address as that of the Sutter owned property and Joshua Sutter was given as the contact person to call for directions to worship services.
The New Bihar Mandir proclaimed “Lord Kalki is our commander, ultimate master and final authority life after life. According to ancient Hindu scriptures, history is divided into four epochs: now is the ‘Kali Yug’, the Age of Kali, an epoch of darkness and disintegration. New Bihar Mandir is a worldwide movement of devotees and temples.”
In keeping with their affinity for violent apocalyptic religious sects with a political agenda, The New Bihar Mandir Temple heavily promoted Velupillai Pirabhakaran, the head of the Sri Lankan LTTE ‘Tamil Tigers’ armed guerrilla group, a devoted follower of the same Hindu Kali sect. He was best known for his suicide squads of teenage girls dispatched to assassinate political leaders, including the 1991 killing of Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.
The New Bihar Mandir Temple Facebook page used the slogans “Where Worlds Collide” and “I have become death, the destroyer of worlds” and invites the public to “Contact us to learn how to get involved in NBM.”
“Until the growth of social media and the Internet, radicalization occurred via person-to- person interaction, which allowed LE to track known groups with standard surveillance and investigative tools. As use of the Internet increases, so does the availability of extremist material, thus facilitating the radicalization and mobilization processes,” testified Gary Reid, deputy assistant secretary of defense for special operations and combatting terrorism in front of the U.S senate, in 2011.
“Easily accessible websites provide much of the same radical ideology that previously relied on in-person contact. LE should therefore be prepared for a potential increase of lone wolf actors who would not otherwise have reached radical extremes, due to either a lack of resources or an unwillingness to interact with other radicalized individuals, both of which the Internet easily circumvents.”
Charles “Chuck” Murray, Joshua Caleb Sutter, Jillian Hoy, and John Paul Cupp all remain active on social media and under the radar of U.S. law enforcement, actively continuing their extremist political activities. They represent just a snapshot of the many thousands of other ‘lone wolfs’ who frequent cyber space plotting their dark versions of political utopia.