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July 24, 2015

Lafayette Shooting Suspect Fixated on Perceived Moral Decay

john-russell-hauser-louisiana-state-police

John Russell Hauser (Louisiana State Police)

A preliminary examination of the on-line writings of John Russell Houser, who killed himself last night after a vicious shooting spree at a movie theater in Lafayette, Louisiana, that left two dead and nine others injured, reveals a twisted, angry man upset at a perceived moral decay that he thought was destroying the United States.

Houser, originally from Georgia but who had lived in various places across the South prior to the shooting, spent much of his free time in recent years making short, angry posts to on-line discussion forums and comment sections on various websites, often using the screen name “Rusty Houser.” In many of these posts, Houser discussed his belief that the United States was “about to fall.”

His discontent with the United States led him to make extreme anti-American statements, such as describing the United States as “the enemy of the world.” When, in the winter of 2015, some 200 cars piled up in a multi-vehicle snowstorm accident, Houser claimed that “the lack of moral Americans standing for anything makes me wish it were 200 747’s.”

In another posting, he wrote that he was “with all those who hate the filth farm known as the U.S.” In 2014, Houser claimed that “all countries that hate the U.S.” needed to unite.

As some of these statements indicate, Houser was obsessed with the notion of moral decay in the United States; this obsession fueled much of his anger.

Anti-black racism played an important role in Houser’s vision of decay and doom. He repeatedly argued that blacks should be deported because they, as he said in one 2013 posting, “WILL NOT WORK and have NO FAMILY VALUES.” This was language Houser used again and again, sometimes referring to blacks explicitly, at other times describing them in other ways, such as “another race, not Latinos.”

In 2014, Houser claimed that “failing to mention the role of Blacks in building and maintaining the alliance of evil that literally grips the globe” would slow the re-taking of America. “Elsewhere, this particular role is the Jew. Here in the U.S., it is the Black.” In another 2014 posting, Houser elaborated on the morality-hating people who allegedly controlled America, an alliance consisting of 1) upper class whites; 2) Blacks; and 3) “misfits,” which Houser listed as “homos, transvestites, people who will not work, people with no culture, etc.”

Other sources of decay for Houser included atheists, liberals, and gays—in the latter instance, Houser even supported the rabidly homophobic Westboro Baptist Church.

In contrast, Houser admired other ethnic or religious groups, such as Latinos or Muslims. This was because he viewed such groups as either hard working or with strong moral values, or both. “I will never understand,” he posted in 2013,” why the hard working, morally superior Latinos never bring up for discussion the other race which is known to be completely the opposite for the most part.”

Referring to Muslim immigrants, for example, he said, “those coming in are far more decent morally than the average American.” Iranians, he wrote in late 2013, were “far higher morally than this financially failing filth farm.”

Faced with this fantasy scenario of doom and decay, Hauser seemed to have hoped for a man on horseback who would sweep away all the perceived moral filth—a Travis Bickle writ large. “The one bright spot,” he wrote on one forum in 2013, “is that all matters in need of tidying up will be dealt with in summary fashion soon.”

One of his models for such a leader was Adolf Hitler, whom he repeatedly praised. In 2013, he wrote that “Hitler’s reaction to much would be invaluable now, if 98% weren’t brainwashed in the U.S.” In early 2015, he claimed that Hitler “accomplished far more” than any other leaders. Around the same time, he claimed that “decent people can retake the entire world, as Hitler proved.”

In a different 2015 posting, Houser wrote that “Hitler is loved for the results of his pragmatism” and that “the U.S. is no more than a financially failing filth farm. Soon the phrase ‘ruling with an iron hand’ will be palatable anew.”

In 2013, Houser had similar views on American white supremacist figure David Duke, writing that “at one time [Duke] appeared exactly what the U.S. needed.”

Houser also admired the Golden Dawn, a Greek neo-Nazi political party, describing them in 2014 as “composed of moral people.” Elsewhere, he described their ideas as “a legitimate effort to solve problems” and their leaders as “intelligent, well spoken, and exercising good faith.”

Houser had similarly admiring views of a variety of other extremist groups and movements, including radical Islamists. “Yes, I am saluting the fundamentalist Muslims,” he said in January 2015, “They have stood against evil.” He added, in a follow-up post, “They have my complete Christian respect.”

These attitudes and opinions, which reveal themselves so strikingly in Houser’s writings, raise the unsettling but real possibility that he deliberately chose a showing of the movie Trainwreck at which to launch a Taxi Driver-like spree of violence. The writer and star of the movie, talented young comedian Amy Schumer, has received considerable media attention thanks to the movie and her popular television show, and, given her chosen comedic persona of a sexually free-wheeling woman, as well as her liberal opinions, one could imagine how a disturbed mind like Houser’s could come to focus on the movie as a symbol for all of his dark fantasies about moral decay in America.

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June 4, 2015

League of the South and Neo-Nazis Join Forces in Kentucky

Members of the neo-Confederate League of the South (LOS) joined together with neo-Nazis and other white supremacists on May 30 for a “Feds Out of Kentucky” rally in Alexandria, Kentucky, a few miles southeast of Cincinnati.

League of the South, Alexandria, KY

“Feds Out of Kentucky” rally in Alexandria, KY

The rally was organized by Coleman Lacy, a young member of the LOS from the local area who serves as the group’s “state chairman.”

In addition, Geoffrey Rash, the Kentucky leader of the neo-Nazi National Socialist Movement (NSM) and also a local resident, brought members to the event. Afterwards, Rash stated that it was good for the LOS and the NSM to work together “to rid this country, starting with our own states, of the Zionist Jewry that decays our people, our states and our nation.”

Though the LOS promoted the event, only about 14 people took part in the rally, waving flags and anti-government signs.

However, the significance of the event was not in its size.

Rather, the Alexandria rally marked the completion of the LOS’s gradual transformation from a neo-Confederate group that typically denied having racist ties into an unabashed white supremacist group.

The LOS has had ties to other hate groups in the past but frequently denied such ties or distanced itself from hate groups when ties were actually publicized. In 2005, following the devastation of Hurricane Katrina on the Gulf Coast, members of both the NSM and White Revolution announced the LOS’s cooperation in providing assistance to “white only” victims of the hurricane. The LOS later said that it did not take part in or endorse such measures—though it did post “whites only” offers of assistance on its own website.

As recently as 2013, the LOS expelled a member, Matthew Heimbach (also head of the Traditionalist Youth Network, a small white supremacist group), for attending a neo-Nazi event in Kentucky. However, in another sign of the transformation of the LOS into an explicitly white supremacist group, Heimbach was back inside the folds of the LOS within a year. Heimbach attended the Alexandria rally.

Behind the growing radicalization of the LOS is none other than its founder and longtime leader, Michael Hill. Once a college history professor, by 2011, Hill was urging his followers to arm themselves and “join the resistance.” The LOS began offering members weapons training around this time.

Protests by African-American communities in 2015 in the wake of highly-publicized police shootings moved Hill even further into blatant white supremacy. In May 2015, Michael Hill declared his determination to participate in a race war if “negroes,” egged on by the “largely Jewish-Progressive owned media,” engaged in “black rage.” Hill warned that “if negroes think a ‘race war’ in modern America would be to their advantage, they had better prepare themselves for a very rude awakening.” On June 1, Hill openly declared that “our Southern forebears” who opposed civil rights for African-Americans “were right.”

With a leader spouting tirades about race war and followers openly cavorting with neo-Nazis and other white supremacists, there can be no further doubt that the League of the South, despite its past denials, is anything other than an explicitly white supremacist organization.

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March 30, 2015

White Supremacists Protest Against Purported “White Genocide”

White supremacists in locations across the United States recently took part in demonstrations, leafletings, and individual acts of protest to promote an increasingly popular concept within the white supremacy movement: the notion of “white genocide.”

Doggett at Starbucks

Doggett at Starbucks

The Anti-Defamation League tracked incidents in at least 11 states, including Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Kentucky, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia. Activities also occurred in other countries, including Australia, Canada, France, Great Britain, Hungary, and New Zealand.

All actions took place on March 21, 2015, a date white supremacists have for several years declared to be “White Pride World Wide Day.” Described as part of the “March against White Genocide,” the actions were organized and promoted by Fight Wide Genocide, a self-described “collective of…activism” led by white supremacist Laura Fitzgerald, who is based in the Columbia, South Carolina, area.

The term “white genocide” is a relatively recent phrase coined by white supremacists to describe one of their long-held convictions: that the white race is “dying” due to non-white immigration and “forced assimilation.” White supremacists commonly claim that Jews are behind this “genocidal” action.

Fitzgerald, the campaign organizer, is a disciple of Robert Whitaker, an elderly guru in the white supremacist movement. His followers have coined what they term the “Stop White Genocide Mantra.” Fitzgerald encouraged white supremacists to participate through demonstrations, posting “#WhiteGenocide” stickers in public locations, holding up banners at high-traffic locations, or handing out literature.

A few white supremacists even tried to exploit Starbucks’ recent “Race Together” diversity campaign. Ron Doggett, a longtime white supremacist based in Richmond, Virginia, and several others demonstrated outside a local Starbucks, holding up a “Diversity = White Genocide” banner and other white supremacist signs and placards. Doggett is a former supporter of David Duke, as well as Frazier Glenn Miller, the suspect in the 2014 fatal shootings of three people at Jewish institutions in Overland Park, Kansas.

Another white supremacist posted on-line a photo of a cup of Starbucks coffee with “‘Race Together’ is a code word for WHITE GENOCIDE” written on the sleeve.

Most demonstrations and actions were small in scope. The largest occurred in Florence, Kentucky, where 10-15 white supremacists led by neo-Nazi Robert Ransdell carried a “‘Diversity’ = White Genocide” banner and waved white supremacist flags and placards.

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