Why lying to journalists rarely works out well in the end
By Nate Thayer
March 16, 2016
It is not unusual–given the shady nature of my friends, professional associates, and sources–for many of my acquaintances to use pseudonyms given that a good chunk of them are up to some sort of no good.
But if you want to use an alias, just tell me and I will reference you by said false name, noting it is a false name so I am not deceiving my readers and, simultaneously, letting you hide your real identity for whatever goofy reason you deem makes that necessary. Then everybody comes out just fine. Just don’t lie to me or take me for an idiot because the chances are I have already done my due diligence and know your real name.
Recently, one William “Billy” Hagen, the California Grand Dragon of the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, objected to me referring to him by his real name (which is William “Billy” Hagen) and attempted to get me to “correct” my article by insisting his name is “Will Quigg.” It isn’t. But he did go to some rather amusing acrobatics to insist I mislead my readers. That never works out well in the end.
Mr Hagen aka “Quigg” is the fellow who for a blip of a day or so achieved national headlines after his Klan group tried to hold a demonstration in Anaheim, California and Hagen almost got stomped to death by local residents who did not take kindly to his presence (His butt was, not without irony, saved by a Jew who got between him and a gaggle of darker complexion youth who damn near killed him). Hagen was seen in excellent photographs defending himself against the mob while he wielded a flag pole flying the American flag.
I wrote an article correctly identifying him by his real name, even though he was telling everyone his name was something it was not. Hagen contacted me, objecting.
“My name is Will Quigg, I don’t know where you came up with my name Being William Billy Hagen that’s news to me…This is just a short message to get those misprinted comments straightened out,” he wrote, signing his name as “Will Quigg, CA. Grand Dragon, Church of the invisible Empire, The Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan” adding “Also, our Imperial Wizard is not a FBI informant…I hope now I have to set the record straight on these issues!!”
So I called Hagen up at his home in California. Audibly in pain, Hagen said “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.”
And then he continued to insist he was not Hagen, but rather “Quigg.”
I responded that my only interest was getting the facts straight and if he could provide evidence I had mistakenly identified him, I would not only make a correction but include a written apology.
I noted that he had identified himself as Billy Hagen in previous conversations; had been identified by several other members of his Klan organization as Billy Hagen; had registered under that name on a cross-country airplane flight from Los Angeles to Greensboro, North Carolina (which requires legal identification and frowns upon using fake aliases) to attend a high-profile Klan demonstration in support of the white youth who had just murdered nine God-fearing black church parishioners in South Carolina; and was arrested by Anaheim, California police under the name Billy Hagen earlier this month, Hagen wanted to change the subject, and started digging the hole he was in deeper.
He told me that Hagen was “my roommate’s name. I use his name when I do things in public.”
When I suggested to him that giving law enforcement (when placed under arrest) or federal aviation officials from the Transportation Safety Administration (when boarding a commercial airliner) false names was pretty clearly against the rules and constituted a felony, but I would be happy to contact them to verify his claims regarding his true identity.
Hagen then wanted to change the subject. Now he really wanted to talk about how his Klan group had a change of heart and were abandoning supporting Donald Trump in Favour of Hillary Clinton.
As I noted above, lying to journalists rarely works out well in the end. Below is the draft of the article I submitted which will be published in coming days by a major news outlet.
The Ku Klux Klan Says They Support Hillary Clinton: Let’s Take a Look at the Story Behind the Claim
By Nate Thayer
“My name is Will Quigg. I don’t know where you came up with my name being William Billy Hagen. That’s news to me,” said California state leader of the Ku Klux Klan Billy Hagen who claims his name is not Billy Hagen in a conversation from his home in Anaheim, California.
An earlier call from the same telephone number had the same man leaving a voice recording saying, “This is Bill Hagen, the west coast Grand Dragon and King Kleagle of the Loyal White Knights of the KKK.” Will Quigg aka Billy Hagen was returning a reporters telephone call.
When told that he himself had identified himself as Billy Hagen in previous conversations, had been identified by several other members of his Klan organization as Billy Hagen, had registered under that name on a cross-country airplane flight from Los Angeles to Greensboro, North Carolina to attend a high-profile Klan demonstration in support of the confederate flag and the white youth who killed nine black church parishioners in South Carolina, and was arrested by Anaheim, California police under the name Billy Hagen earlier this month, Hagen wanted to change the subject.
“To set the record straight we went to South Carolina to support the Confederate flag, not the stupid little kid Dylan Roof. We might have made some comments before we had all the information regarding Dylan Roof but we did not support him,” he said.
That assertion stands in contrast to his Klan outfit releasing an audio recording from their national head “Imperial Wizard” Chris Barker, which stated: “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.”
But what Hagen nee’ Quigg really wanted to talk about was how his Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan was now sincerely supporting Hillary Rodham Clinton for President, having changed their position from backers of Donald Trump.
“We are supporting Hillary Clinton for president for many reasons. The main one being Trump is a businessman not a politician. And Hillary has ties to the Klan and she will take a hard-line on immigration into this country,” read an unsolicited message received from Bill Hagen signed “Will Quigg, CA. Grand Dragon, Church of the Invisible Empire, The Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.
When contacted by phone, Hagen nee’ Will Quigg said that Hagen was “my roommate’s name. I use his name when I do things in public.”
Hagen said that it was true he used to support Donald Trump as he tweeted first in September 2015. “@realDonaldTrump You Sir, are the only hope we have of GETTING WHITE AMERICA BACK! WE all will be voting for you! CHURCH OF INVISABLE (sic) EMPIRE.”
But now, the Loyal White Knights of the KKK say they have had a change of heart. “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,” Hagen said in an interview.
“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,” he added.
The national head of the North Carolina based Loyal White Knights, confirmed his Klan outfit was indeed backing Hillary Clinton for President in a telephone interview on March 14. “Yes. We support Hillary for President,” said Imperial Wizard Chris Barker from his North Carolina home.
“Trump knows nothing of foreign affairs,” said California Grand Dragon Hagen aka Quigg of Anaheim. Hagen gained national attention last month when his Klan was attacked by counter protestors and badly beaten during a Klan rally in an Anaheim 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.”
“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.
When asked who donated the $20,000 to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, Quigg said “the Church of the Invisible Empire, which is a chartered church.”
But J.B Elmore, the “Grand Giant” of Virgil’s White Knights of the KKK, noted that his Klan group, in fact, owns the name of the Church of the Invisible Empire, which he said was registered in the town of Dungannon in far southwestern Virginia. “The Church of the Invisible Empire exists only on paper. There is no minister. It is not an active organization,” Elmore said.
“Virgil’s White Knights set up the church as a “chartered church” registered in the state of Virginia and we own the name. The Loyal White Knights have no connection. In fact, we banished the LWK Imperial Wizard (Chris) Barker some years ago,” said Elmore, of Morristown, Tennessee.
But the Clerks office of the Virginia State Corporation Commission, where all registered entities are catalogued, said there is no such entity with that name registered in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Elmore added, correctly, that “First, it would be illegal for a church to donate to a political campaign. Second, if you took all the membership of the Klan put together, they couldn’t come up with $20,000 to donate to anyone. And third, if we did have $20,000, there is no way in hell we would support Hillary Clinton—period.”
Three former members of the Loyal White Knights of the KKK said that any talk of supporting Hillary Clinton was an intentional political trick by the LWK Klan faction “to deceive people and smear politicians.”
“I remember one time in a telephone conference class (Imperial Wizard) 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.
“There is a huge resurgence among White Supremacists and anti-tax extremists who think they can avoid taxes by creating a church, “ said Virginia attorney Robert Showers who in 2002 successfully represented Jerry Falwell forcing Virginia to alter their state constitution to allow the incorporation of churches. “There are an incredible amount of scams out there telling people they can form a church as protection from taxes and other liability by not incorporating, but it is just the opposite. It means they are liable as individuals.”
Another former Loyal White Knights member from Georgia said that the endorsement of Hillary Clinton “is just a way to try to smear politicians. Of course they don’t support Clinton. More than likely they are trying to black Hillary’s eyes with Klan support,” said the former Klan member who was reached while teeing off on a Georgia golf course. “That is another example of why I hung up my robe. They are just lying to people.”
Meanwhile, California Grand Dragon Hagen insisted “Our Imperial Wizard is not a FBI informant. That was started by Frank (sic) Acona of the TAK Ku Klux Klan. Because Frank is jealous that our Klan is bigger and more active than his. I hope now I have set the record straight on these issues!!”
The Loyal White Knights 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 had contacted Barker and his Klan with an idea to build a mobile “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 federal courtroom. They identified Barker as an “FBI informant” and “FBI Cooperating Witness.”
Barker, who is a convicted felon, had been arrested by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms in August 2012 and charged with possession of an automatic weapon by a convicted felon—a federal crime that carries a 10-year mandatory prison sentence. Federal law enforcement offered him a deal he could not refuse. The LWK Imperial Wizard Barker has a criminal record that includes more than 40 arrests in North Carolina alone.