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So You’ve Got a Hate Cult Problem: Living With the Kingston Klan and its ‘Alt-Right’ Cousins

Now that the neo-Nazi car attack on a group of anti-racist protestors in Charlottesville, Virginia [1], has once again reminded America that hate groups represent a and significant threat to the country (and world, if you look around), it’s probably worth keeping in mind that these groups are in many ways cults. Cults reinforced by far-right media ecosystems that have been steadily radicalizing Americans as American conservatism has veered further and further to the right. A media ecosystem that includes Steve Bannon’s Breitbart along with sites like Daily Stormer and InfoWars and tells its audience that a cabal that includes everyone from liberals to the Muslim Brotherhood are all working together to undermine white Christians and The West in general. It’s the kind of hate landscape that might make a violent lunatic run over a bunch of anti-neo-Nazi protestors. But this is where we are and now a significant contemporary challenge for American is figuring out how to get fellow Americans trapped in such hate cults to recognize they got sucked into something awful and need to leave it and join Team Nice. Sure, that might be fruitless in many cases, but it’s still important to try. And nice. And as we’re going to see as we look at a recent report from the Southern Poverty Law Center on the Kingston clan, a ~6,000 member strong polygamous incestuous super-racist apocalyptic cult that runs its own business empire [2], it’s pretty clear that figuring out how to encourage hate cult members to join their fellow humans and just mellow out is a challenge we can’t ignore. Because they might be apocalyptic death cults planning on winning a race war and becoming diving kings. With their own high-end firearms manufacturer. Hate cult recovery services are something society is going to have to get really good at if its going to survive so we should probably work on that.

And adding to the challenge is, of course, President Donald J. Trump. It’s been quite a week for President Trump’s style of diplomacy and leadership. First we have the ongoing escalating bluster talk contest between President Trump and Kim Jong-un [3] that includes Trump’s threats to pre-emptively nuke North Korea if North Korea continues its own threats of nuclear blackmail [4]. And of course Trump suddenly threatening military action in Venezuela [5]. And then there was Trump’s response to the neo-Nazi car attack on a group of protesters at a “Unite The Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia [1]. A response that could largely be summarized as “many sides (and not just the neo-Nazis) need to be condemned for their hatred, bigotry, and violence.” It was that kind of week: when he wasn’t talking the US into a pre-emptive nuclear strike, President Trump was running rhetorical cover for the ‘Alt-Right’ neo-Nazis [6]:

The Huffington Post

Donald Trump Blames ‘Many Sides’ For White Supremacist Clashes In Charlottesville
Trump did not specifically criticize the white supremacist groups who had organized Saturday’s rally.

By Paige Lavender , Daniel Marans
08/12/2017 01:21 pm ET | Updated 2 hours ago

President Donald Trump responded to violence that erupted [7] this weekend as white supremacists and a fringe group clashed in Charlottesville, Virginia.

He refused to single out the activity of white supremacists, however, arguing that there was blame to go around on “many sides.”

“We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides – on many sides. It’s been going on for a long time in our country, not Donald Trump, not Barack Obama, it’s been going on for a long, long time,” Trump said at a ceremony for the signing of a bill to reform the Veterans Affairs health care system.

“It has no place in America,” he added. “What is vital now is a swift restoration of law and order and the protection of innocent lives.”

Trump went on to emphasize that he loves “all the people of our country,” and called for Americans of different races and backgrounds to remember their shared Americanness.

“We wanna get the situation straightened out in Charlottesville and we want to study it,” he said. “We want to see what we’re doing wrong as a country where things like this can happen.”

Trump’s comments were his third attempt at addressing the unrest in Virginia. First, earlier on Saturday, he condemned “hate” and “violence,” but didn’t mention Charlottesville by name or directly address any of the groups demonstrating there.

He then followed up that tweet with another one 41 minutes later, [9], finally mentioning Charlottesville by name but not referencing the white supremacists whose rally triggered the chaos.

Civil rights leaders criticized Trump for failing to squarely denounce the white supremacists who organized the rally.

“The president’s remarks were morally frustrating and disappointing,” former NAACP president Cornell Brooks told CNN. “Because while it is good that he says he wants to be a president for all the people and he wants to make America great for all of the people. Let us know this: Throughout his remarks he refused to” call out white supremacists by name.

In a statement to the Guardian’s Ben Jacobs, [13] a White House spokesperson defended the president’s reaction as, “condemning hatred, bigotry and violence from all sources and all sides.”

“There was violence between protesters and counter protesters today,” the spokesperson added.

David Duke, a white nationalist and supporter of Trump, criticized the president’s initial statement, arguing that, “it was White Americans who put you in the presidency.”

Duke said Saturday [16] the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville is in line with Trump’s “promises.” [17]

“We are going to fulfill the promises of Donald Trump,” Duke said. “That’s what we believed in. That’s why we voted for Donald Trump, because he said he’s going to take our country back.”

Charlottesville Mayor Mike Signer thanked Trump for his statement:

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) declared a state of emergency [19] Saturday as fist fights broke out in streets, objects were thrown and reporters were covered in raw sewage. The White House said it has been in contact with McAuliffe’s office, and Tom Bossert, Trump’s homeland security adviser, has had contact with local authorities.

Trump’s responses to incidents of violence have varied since he took office.

He immediately condemned a June attack in London, calling it “horrific [20]” while criticizing London Mayor Sadiq Khan [21] and calling for implementation of his proposed travel ban against citizens from several majority-Muslim countries. In February, he called anti-Semitic incidents in the United States “horrible” and “painful.” [22]

But his response to other attacks has been delayed or non-existent.

After several days, Trump tweeted [23] from the @POTUS account – an official White House account, not the personal one he most often uses – to recognize victims of a knife attack in Portland for “standing up to hate and intolerance” for standing up to a man yelling slurs and hate speech. Trump never issued a response [24] to an attack on a mosque in Minnesota [24] earlier this month.

The violence in Charlottesville erupted in the middle of Trump’s 17-day “working vacation [25]” at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey. Trump has remained active on Twitter throughout his vacation, tweeting criticisms at several lawmakers, making comments on the situation with North Korea and retweeting stories from Fox News.

———-

“Donald Trump Blames ‘Many Sides’ For White Supremacist Clashes In Charlottesville” by Paige Lavender, Daniel Marans; The Huffington Post; 08/12/2017 [6]

““We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides – on many sides. It’s been going on for a long time in our country, not Donald Trump, not Barack Obama, it’s been going on for a long, long time,” Trump said at a ceremony for the signing of a bill to reform the Veterans Affairs health care system.”

Yes, shame on those anti-racist protestors for their displays of bigotry for towards open proud bigots. That was a central element of President Trump’s address to the nation following the attack. And that was his third attempt at addressing the violence at the rally:


Trump’s comments were his third attempt at addressing the unrest in Virginia. First, earlier on Saturday, he condemned “hate” and “violence,” but didn’t mention Charlottesville by name or directly address any of the groups demonstrating there.

He then followed up that tweet with another one 41 minutes later, [9], finally mentioning Charlottesville by name but not referencing the white supremacists whose rally triggered the chaos.

So that was three attempts, and three failures at any sort of direct condemnation of the white power groups and what they were rallying for. The third time was definitely not a charm [26].

But there is one line in Trump’s response that it worth taking to heart, albeit probably not in the way Trump intended: what can be learn from studying this situation about how to prevent the growing of such movements so we can move past this and maybe actually heal American society:


Trump went on to emphasize that he loves “all the people of our country,” and called for Americans of different races and backgrounds to remember their shared Americanness.

“We wanna get the situation straightened out in Charlottesville and we want to study it,” he said. “We want to see what we’re doing wrong as a country where things like this can happen.”

“We wanna get the situation straightened out in Charlottesville and we want to study it…We want to see what we’re doing wrong as a country where things like this can happen.”

Well, ok, that’s decent advice. What types of insights can we obtain by taking a step back and study the situation? Well, for starters, it seems like having a President that actually openly condemns white nationalist groups would be a good example of “what we’re doing wrong as a country”. Although that’s more Trump’s fault than the entire country’s. But it’s still quite obvious that there’s quite a few Americans that sympathize with the general worldview put on display by the “Unite the Right” marchers.

So in the interest of “studying our situation”, perhaps there’s value in taking a closer look at a report just put out by the Southern Poverty Law Center’s August 2017 Intelligence Report [27]. It’s an article about the kind of group that has a worldview that’s what you might get if you take the neo-Nazi ‘whites are pure and all others are enemies who must be suppressed and eventually extinguished’ totalitarian identitarian worldview and took it to the extreme. So extreme that they don’t simply fetishize their own race but actually their own bloodline, viewing themselves as a divinely ordained line of the ‘purest’ white people in history with a direct line back to Jesus Christ. So extreme that if they think you have one drop of non-white blood in your ancestry you will be excommunicated. So extreme that they practice incest as a way to not just stay pure but achieve some sort of Aryan super-person. So extreme that the rest of the world must be eventually conquered following a giant race war. And yes, they are Mormons. But still not that much more extreme that your standard extremist. That’s the scariest part.

And since this clan of polygamists cultists, the Kingston clan, represent basically a distilled form of the kind of “us vs them” white supremacists mind-virus – a virus that views “others” as a dehumanized existential threat and the end of the word if white supremacy isn’t dominant – perhaps we can learn something about what motivates the kinds of ‘Alt Right’ worldview? Like, is there any sort of message the broader public can send to people trapped in such cults that would facilitate them ‘snapping out it’? Some way of effectively communicating, “hey, it’s not the end of the world if you leave the cult and join a multi-ethnic culture that values diversity + niceness (i.e. celebrating diversity except for the bigotry), and you’ll be welcomed and MUCH happier and fulfilled when you do”. Is there something society at large can do to facilitate that process that is essentially internal discovery and epiphany in the hearts and minds of people trapped in hate cults? If so, that message would probably be quite useful on freeing people trapped by the Alt-Right hate ideologies too.

The Kingston Klan’s Extra-Extreme Extremism Keeps it All in the Family

So in the spirit of President Trump’s advice, let’s briefly study the Kingston clan, one of the have extreme totalitarian identitarian movements you’ll even come across. First, let’s take a look at this article about them from 2004 when the incest and abuse within the the clan started making national news.

It’s a notable article in context of ‘Alt-Right’ white power groups rallying to “preserve our history and culture, etc” because, of course, when you’re trying to preserve a history of white supremacy and culture you’re obviously trying to preserve the freedom to create a society dominated by white supremacists and not simply “preserve history”. As should be clear, when groups like those behind “Unite the Right” cry out about how they’re just fighting for their freedom of speech and expression, or greater tolerance of their views, that’s a preposterous lie. They’re fighting for the hearts and minds of a large enough swath of White America that would allow them to stage what amounts to a white supremacist political revolution that will allow them to impose a far-right neo-Nazi-style regime of subjugation of everyone who isn’t a white supremacist [28]. The ‘Alt-Right’ far-right movements are fighting for the freedom to build up enough support for an eventual white supremacist takeover of society followed by the dehumanization and subjugation of all “others”. That’s part of why it’s so important to understand how such worldviews sustain their appeal and how to make it clear to susceptible audiences that their lives will be much, much better in a world that embraces genuine niceness.

Along those lines, here’s the public face of the Kingston clan. A group with thousands of members and a billion dollar business empire. A super-racist clan so deeply corrupted by a “we’re good, everyone else is evil” mindset that they teach about an apocalyptic end-times race war where blood will run in the streets. And when this group received a bunch of negative press back in 2004, their message was “we want to live our life and let everybody else live their life” (and eventually wipe everyone else out, but let’s not mention that in public) [29]:

Newsweek

A FAMILY’S TANGLED TIES

By Andrew Murr
On 2/8/04 at 7:00 PM

Lu Ann Kingston was 15 when she married her first cousin Jeremy Kingston in a hush-hush 1995 wedding in Bountiful, Utah. As members of a secretive society of “fundamentalist Mormons” whose leaders practiced polygamy, Lu Ann’s family thought nothing of the fact that Jeremy, then 24, was such a close relative–or that he had three other wives. So entwined were the branches of the family tree that Lu Ann’s cousin-husband was also her nephew.

But the Kingstons’ tangled family ties are threatening to unravel, thanks largely to the efforts of Lu Ann and another former Kingston wife, her niece Mary Ann. In 2000, Lu Ann and her two children fled the 1,000-person society that members call The Order, and she later cooperated with state prosecutors cracking down on sexual abuse of teen girls by polygamists. Last week Jeremy Kingston was sentenced to one year in jail after pleading guilty to felony incest. Meanwhile, Mary Ann Kingston, 22, has brought a $110 million civil suit against 242 Order members and 97 companies they operate, claiming that they share collective responsibility for abuse she suffered at the hands of her father and the uncle she married to become his 15th wife. The two men went to prison in 1999 on charges ranging from child abuse to incest.

Mary Ann’s suit argues that Order members are “jointly liable” because her mistreatment grew directly out of the group’s beliefs. (The watchdog Southern Poverty Law Center used a similar strategy of group responsibility to bankrupt the white-supremacist Aryan Nations in 2000 after its security guards assaulted a pair of black motorists.) Mary Ann claims that the Order’s practice of polygamy led her uncle David Kingston, 33, to marry the 16-year-old and sleep with her. When she fled the marriage, her father, John Daniel Kingston, drove her to a family ranch near the Idaho border and whipped her with a leather belt until she passed out. Kingston spokesman Elden Kingston, 65, calls the suit an effort to “extort money” (the Order now controls a financial empire estimated at $100 million). He hints the family’s lawyers would use hardball tactics, claiming Mary Ann experimented with sex and drugs, and that marrying her to her uncle was an attempt to “help that girl.”

In another legal threat to the clan, Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff is launching a financial probe of the Kingstons (as well as a second polygamous clan). He hopes to bring an organized-crime-style prosecution against the Kingstons, whose high-ranking members run ranches, shopping centers, a real-estate firm and a coal mine. Elden Kingston denies wrongdoing and dismisses the investigation as “just another example of the state’s long history of persecution” of the Kingstons. But for decades after a disastrous 1953 raid wrenched hundreds of children from their parents, Utah officials virtually ignored the sect and other so-called fundamentalists who practice polygamy in defiance of the law and the Mormon Church’s 1890 ban on plural marriage. The convictions of Mary Ann’s father and uncle ended the laissez-faire period, and public opposition grew last year with the news that polygamy was behind the alleged kidnapping and sexual assault of 14-year-old Elizabeth Smart.

Incest is a Kingston tradition. The clan’s leaders have married dozens of first cousins, half sisters and nieces. The Order’s top man, Paul Kingston, counts a half-dozen such relatives among his 20-plus wives, according to ex-members and Attorney General’s investigator Ron Barton. Intermarriage of close relatives dates to Paul’s late father, former leader John Ortell Kingston (who was also Jeremy’s grandfather and Lu Ann’s father). He taught his family that the Kingstons descended from Jesus Christ through a pair of “Jewish princesses,” recalls former member Ron Tucker, 45, another of John Ortell’s sons.

The ongoing attention is having an effect. Former members say Paul Kingston recently had to calm anxious members who feared that Mary Ann’s suit will take away their businesses and savings. Elden Kingston says the crackdown on underage marriages has “changed a lot of individuals’ feelings about young marriages.” But they insist on living their own way. “We pay millions of dollars in taxes,” Elden Kingston complains. “We want to live our life and let everybody else live their life.” For the Order, the days of live and let live may be gone.

———-

“A FAMILY’S TANGLED TIES” by Andrew Murr; Newsweek; 02/08/2004 [29].

“The ongoing attention is having an effect. Former members say Paul Kingston recently had to calm anxious members who feared that Mary Ann’s suit will take away their businesses and savings. Elden Kingston says the crackdown on underage marriages has “changed a lot of individuals’ feelings about young marriages.” But they insist on living their own way. “We pay millions of dollars in taxes,” Elden Kingston complains. “We want to live our life and let everybody else live their life.” For the Order, the days of live and let live may be gone.”

That was how a clan that views all non-Whites as divinely corrupted presented itself to the world: we just want to live our own lives. A message that sounds about as disingenuous as the the “Unite the Right” rally of neo-Nazis that claim to merely want to defend their “free speech” and “preserving heritage” (a Robert E. Lee statue) and they are clearly rallying to popularize a movement with the end goal of a white supremacist revolution and subjugation of non-whites [30].

At the same time, as the abusive isolating nature of the Kingston clans cult lifestyle makes clear, the vast majority of the people involved are largely victims of cult abuse/brainwashing and indoctrination. They’re really sympathetic figures. As are many people in hate groups. Everyone has their own path into a hate cult and a lot of those paths are pretty horrific. That’s important to keep in mind because the fact that the Alt-Right includes a lot of damaged people in need of healing is all the more reason for them to leave and join Team Nice. Because if Team Nice is nice it should be pretty good at giving that healing.

So with all that in mind, if we’re going to “study our situation” as President Trump recommends, behold the Kingston clan, future divine kings if things go horribly awry [2]:

Southern Poverty Law Center
Intelligence Report

Blood Cult

Stephen Lemons

August 08, 2017
2017 Fall Issue

Utah’s polygamous Kingston clan mixes incest and white supremacy with old-fashioned capitalism

When it comes to racist Sunday school lessons, the polygamous Kingston clan could teach the Ku Klux Klan a thing or two.

During a recent interview with the Intelligence Report, Jessica Kingston, a former member of the secretive, Salt Lake City-based cult and a star of the A&E reality series “Escaping Polygamy,” remembered, when she was 12, her Sunday school teacher coming into class with a bucket of water and a vial of black food coloring.

The teacher added a drop of dye to the water, and the children watched as the blackness slowly spread.

“The teacher was like, ‘You can never get that out, that is always there now,’” recalled Jessica, now 29. “She talked about how you can’t associate with black people or anybody of a different race.”

This racist display was no one-off. Jessica said she and other children of the Kingston clan — a group also known as The Order, the Davis County Cooperative Society, and the Latter-Day Church of Christ — dropped the N-bomb all the time, as did their parents.

Black people supposedly suffered from multiple scriptural curses, from the mark of Cain and Noah’s curse on Ham in the Old Testament to the racist tenets of early Mormonism that have since been renounced or abandoned by the mainstream Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also known as the LDS or Mormon church.

Black blood was “the worst thing you can have,” Jessica said, particularly since the Kingstons consider themselves to be the whitest of the white, descended directly from Jesus Christ and King David, the Middle Eastern origins of both men notwithstanding.

Obsessed with the purity of their bloodline and empowered by a sense of entitlement on par with the divine right of kings, the Kingstons have made incest the cornerstone of a self-serving theology that loathes non whites, fosters homophobia and abhors government authority.

Additionally, ex-Order members tell of a reputed church prophecy of an “End of the World War,” an apocalyptic vision that foresees a bloody race war with the Kingstons as the ultimate victors, chosen by their Heavenly Father to rule the world for a millennium.

But given that the Kingstons command an estimated 6,000 adherents, boast a business empire reportedly worth as much as $1 billion and have outlasted myriad bouts with law enforcement and the press, these dreams of world domination may be less delusional than they first seem.

All Along the Watchtower

The Order denies that it encourages racism and homophobia within its ranks.

In a letter to the Intelligence Report responding to allegations made by former members, Kent Johnson, a spokesman for the Davis County Cooperative Society, claimed that The Order’s “foundational principles” include the Golden Rule, and that the church rejects any form of racism or bigotry.

“[W]e directly condemn in action and in words, racist, homophobic or hateful actions against any group or individual,” Johnson wrote.

Johnson maintained that The Order’s vast array of businesses — which includes a grocery store, pawn shops, a garbage disposal business, an insurance company, a politically-influential biofuels plant, and a high-end firearms manufacturer — employs individuals of various racial and ethnic minorities.

The letter asserts that one of the earliest members of the church was a Native American man and that the “Co-op,” as it is sometimes called, has been the victim of prejudice and harassment by Utah’s “majority religion” (i.e., the LDS church) because of the former’s “progressive” ideas.

Indeed, the group was founded during the Great Depression as a communal religious organization where members dedicated their earnings and possessions to building “the Kingdom of God on Earth,” as one church document attests.

Its ominous-sounding moniker, “The Order,” is a reference to the United Order, a quasi-utopian society proposed by LDS-founder Joseph Smith, and practiced in some Mormon communities under the leadership of early church president Brigham Young.

The Order can rightly claim discrimination by mainstream Mormonism, but this is due to its embrace of polygamy, which the LDS church officially abandoned in 1890 in order for Utah to become a state. The renunciation of polygamy is now church doctrine, and the Mormon church has a policy of excommunicating polygamists. Kingston forebears were among those who suffered this fate.

Polygamy is outlawed in Utah, both by the state’s constitution, and in statute, where it is a third-degree felony, with a possible punishment of five years in prison. But for their part, The Order and other fundamentalist sects believe the LDS church exists in a state of apostasy for abandoning what they see as a bedrock principle of their faith.

According to church lore, The Order came into existence when founder Charles “Elden” Kingston saw Jesus in the mountains above the family’s settlement in Bountiful, Utah, inspiring him to create the DCCS in 1935.

The family’s dedication to “the principle” of polygamy already had been established by Kingston’s father, who had three wives. Elden continued the tradition. According to historian Brian Hales’ Modern Polygamy and Mormon Fundamentalism: The Generations After the Manifesto, Brother Elden, as he was also known, had five wives and 17 children.

Elden also instituted the church law of “one above the other,” requiring members’ blind obedience to the church’s hierarchy of “numbered men,” with Elden being Brother Number One.

Brother Elden died of penile cancer in 1948, despite the best efforts of some family members to burn away the cancer using acid. Elden had predicted that he would be resurrected from the dead, so clan members kept his body on ice for three days, to no avail.

His brother, John “Ortell” Kingston, took over the leadership of The Order — incorporated in the 1970s as the Latter Day Church of Christ. Ortell is credited with expanding The Order’s business empire and making the family immensely wealthy. His seven sons and two daughters by LaDonna Peterson, the second of his 13 wives, are reputed to be the inner circle that runs the cult.

A stern disciplinarian, who in later years looked and dressed like a mortician, Ortell made incest a tenet of the clan’s faith, informed by his work breeding Holstein cows on the Kingstons’ dairy farm.

A 1999 Salt Lake Tribune article mapped the Kingstons’ incestuous family tree, quoting one of Ortell’s 65 kids, ex-Order member Connie Rugg as saying, “My father experimented [with] inbreeding with his cattle and then he turned to his children.”

In order to maintain his family’s “superior bloodlines,” Ortell married and had children with two of his half-sisters and two nieces. He orchestrated all unions within the cult, which was maintained with classic mind control techniques, corporal punishment, fasting and bizarre dietary practices. Ortell died in 1987, but his progeny continued the polygamy, the inbreeding and the marriages to young female teens that he instituted.

Control of The Order then passed to Ortell’s well-educated son Paul Kingston, one of several lawyers in a cult whose members dress normally and try not to draw attention to themselves.

Known variously as “Brother Paul,” “the leader,” and “the man on the watchtower” by Order members, this unremarkable, balding middle-aged man reportedly has 27 wives and over 300 children. Three of his wives are his half-sisters. One is a first cousin. Two are nieces.

John Daniel Kingston seen here in 1999, pleading no contest to beating his 16-year-old daughter after she attempted to flee an arranged marriage with her uncle David, Kingston’s brother.

Similarly, his older brother John Daniel Kingston has had 14 wives, four of them his half-sisters. Another is a first cousin.

Like polygamy, incest is a third-degree felony in Utah, and as with polygamy, convictions are rare. Over the years, state law enforcement and the courts have sporadically addressed the incest in the Kingston ranks.

In 1999, Paul’s younger brother David Ortell Kingston was convicted of taking his 16-year-old niece as wife number 15. The incest came to light after the girl tried to escape the arranged “celestial” marriage — an illegal marriage, sans license.

Her disobedience incurred the wrath of her father Daniel, who took her to a family ranch near the Idaho border and savagely beat her. The girl, who as an adult would unsuccessfully sue the clan, then walked miles to the nearest gas station, where she called the police.

Daniel was arrested and eventually spent 28 weeks in a county jail for felony child abuse. David was sentenced to 10 years in prison for the incest, but served only four before being paroled.

In 2003, another clan member, Jeremy Kingston pleaded guilty to incest for taking 15-year-old Lu Ann Kingston as his fourth wife. Jeremy was nearly 10 years her senior at the time. Due to the Kingstons’ convoluted genealogy, Lu Ann was both his first cousin and his aunt. As part of a plea bargain, Jeremy spent just one year in prison.

The ‘Curse’ of Blackness

In secret videotapes of Order church meetings aired on Escaping Polygamy, Paul’s nephew Nick Young, speaking from a church lectern, identifies himself as a numbered man, number 72, to be precise.

The son of Paul’s sister Rachel — herself a daughter of Ortell and LaDonna Kingston — Young was the only current member of the Kingston clan, out of the many contacted for this story, who consented to a live, on-the-record interview.

Young is the owner of Desert Tech, a Utah gun manufacturer, which produces sniper rifles and so-called “bullpup” rifles, The latter, unlike conventional magazine-fed rifles, have shorter barrels, with the gun’s action located behind the trigger. These specialty firearms can cost anywhere from $2,500 to $8,000 each.

Desert Tech and its rifles have been featured on Fox News, Mythbusters, Daredevil and The Blacklist, among other TV shows. Young told Intelligence Report that his company has sold weapons, with the approval of the U.S. State Department, to governments in Europe and the Middle East, Saudi Arabia being one.

Young also claimed Desert Tech had sold guns to Picatinny Arsenal, the research division of the U.S. military.

“We haven’t gotten any big U.S. contracts,” Young explained. “Obviously, we would love to.”

Spokesmen for both the U.S. State Department and for Picatinny Arsenal could neither verify nor deny Young’s claims.

The company was founded in 2007 with an investment from family members. Young denied that The Order was racist or taught any form of bigotry, and said he had people of all races working for him.

“What we’re taught is to love our neighbor, that all people, all races no matter who they are … deserve to be loved,” he explained.

Still, he conceded that some Order members may have prejudiced beliefs because “in our organization people have freedom of choice.”

So what about polygamy? Is it a requirement to gain the highest levels of heaven?

“Yeah, I believe in it,” he said. “As far as how you end up in heaven, that’s up to God.”

Young declined to comment when asked if he practices polygamy. Intelligence Report then read the names of women believed to be his wives — four in all.

“Okay, I have one legal wife,” he said. “But I do have children with other women.”

Asked if two women named were in fact his first cousins, Young paused, finally replying, “I guess I’m curious as to what you’re trying to get at here.”

Before the call ended, Young insisted that he “didn’t admit to any kind of incest or anything.” When Intelligence Report inquired if Young thought there was anything wrong with first cousins getting married, Young opined that such issues were between the individuals involved and God.

Nevertheless, former members of The Order say that incest and racism are inextricably linked in The Order’s teachings.

During an interview with this reporter, Lu Ann Kingston, whose defiance of the cult led to the conviction of her former “spiritual” husband Jeremy, recalled that Order members saw intermarriage as a way to “keep the bloodline pure.”

And by pure, they meant pure white.

All outsiders are considered to be beneath Order members, she explained. But The Order saves most of its bile for blacks and other non whites. Ethnic jokes and stereotypes were commonly repeated. Chinese people were called “stupid,” and Mexicans were “dirty,” said Lu Ann, adding, “because of their skin.”

Allison, a 17 year-old ex-Kingston member says not much has changed since Lu Ann’s day.

“I didn’t even know the n-word was bad until I was like 15 or 16,” she told Intelligence Report.

Once free of the cult, Lu Ann, Allison and other ex-Order members have had to unlearn the hatred that was drilled into their heads. The mere rumor of black blood could condemn someone in the eyes of Order members.

That’s what happened with Ron Tucker’s family. Tucker is another of Ortell’s many sons, though not from the favored wife, LaDonna.

Seated on a couch, sipping lemonade in his home in a Salt Lake City suburb, he resembles Paul Kingston quite a bit. The two were playmates when they were boys.

A loyal Order member for years, he lost his faith and ended up leaving the Order over a curse of sorts, leveled at his family by LaDonna. Supposedly, LaDonna had a dream wherein it was revealed that anyone who left The Order would be tainted by black blood.

Somehow LaDonna’s curse was transferred to the Tuckers via Christy, Ron’s wife, because, Christy’s mom left The Order and married an Irishman, before leaving him and returning to the fold.

“I could see that the leaders of The Order really did believe we had black ancestors,” Ron explained, with Christy next to him, and his adult daughters Emily and Julie nearby.

Boys began to show interest in Julie as she matured, but Paul, as the clan’s leader, warned them away, because of Julie’s black blood.

Up to this point, Julie had treated the rumor like a joke. Her younger sister Emily thought it was a joke, too, until one day another Order kid told her, “We can’t play with you because the Tuckers are niggers.”

Julie left the cult at age 19. Her parents and siblings eventually left as well.

Ron says the cult’s justification for its racism goes back to early Mormon teachings about a war in heaven between the forces of Satan and those of Jesus. The battle took place in the spiritual pre-existence that Mormons believe all souls come from. Blacks were “the less valiant people in heaven” who sat on the sidelines while others took sides, according to The Order.

Their punishment? Dark skin, of course.

Another of Ortell’s teachings: Adolf Hitler had the right idea about creating a master race, but didn’t have the Lord’s help, so he failed.

Tucker recounted the clan’s version of the apocalypse, the “End of the World War,” a riff on a prophecy some ascribe to Joseph Smith, called The White Horse Prophecy. In it, black people come close to killing off the white race until they are countered by Native Americans, symbolized by a Red Horse, which gallops to the White Horse’s rescue.

“That will open up for The Order to rise up and take over the world,” Ron said.

The Tuckers think this is all hogwash now, though they were programmed to believe it at the time.

Recordings of church testimony given by various Kingstons serve as further evidence of the cult’s bigoted teachings.

In one, Ortell warns that there is a movement afoot that wants to “homogenize the people” and “make one race,” by mixing all the races up.

In another, Order attorney Carl Kingston warns listeners about marrying up with “Ham’s kids,” a reference to the aforementioned Biblical curse. “If you have as much as one drop of that blood in your veins,” says Carl, “you’re cursed from holding the priesthood.”

The lawyer’s words call to mind another heavenly curse, described in 2 Nephi, Chapter 5 of the Book of Mormon, where God caused a “skin of blackness” to come upon a group called the Lamanites, supposedly ancestors of Native Americans.

Modern interpretations of this passage vary, but The Order apparently takes quite literally this idea of “blackness” being a sign of iniquity.

Soy Makes You Gay

LGBT people fare little better in the Kingston clan.

One ex-Order member, who asked to be referred to as “Scott,” instead of his real name for fear of retribution by clan members, said hatred of gays was big in the Kingston clan, with the word “faggot” in frequent use.

For fun he and other Order men would go to a park frequented by gay males, looking for victims.

“We would cause harm,” he confessed. “Bad harm. Hospital harm.”

While part of The Order, Val Snow, a twenty-something gay man with a wry sense of humor, believed being gay was like “spitting in the eye of God.” Snow is the son of Daniel Kingston, whom he paints as “a little man with a lot of power.”

From a young age, Snow worked for Order companies to help feed his siblings, a responsibility some Kingston men are known to shirk.

Snow began dating men when he was 22. When this got around to his dad, his father packed up Snow’s belongings and left them in the room of a hotel owned by The Order. Daniel’s ultimatum: Stay in The Order, date no one, and have no contact with family. Or leave.

Snow left.

He says The Order regards homosexuality as a choice. If gay men stay in the closet, they are allowed to remain in the cult as “worker bees.”

Snow also remembered being taught end-time prophecies, with a “cleansing” wherein the streets of Salt Lake City would run red with blood.

“All of the gay people would definitely be the first to go,” he said.

Another of the cult’s teachings was that soy can make you gay, an anti-government conspiracy theory popular in some right-wing circles.

“I guess I just had too much soy,” Snow smiled.

Ex-order members interviewed by the Intelligence Report generally agreed with the characterization of the Kingston clan as a “hate group.”

Ron Tucker went so far as to call his former brethren “white supremacists,” and “ten times more racist” than your run-of-the-mill skinhead.

As for its anti-government views, allegations of fraud against government entities have long dogged the Kingstons.

In the 1980s, the state of Utah sued John Ortell Kingston over welfare fraud related to his many wives. Rather than submit to DNA tests, which could have revealed the incest in his brood, he coughed up a more than $200,000 settlement.

More recently, the Kingston-owned Washakie Renewable Energy (WRE) agreed to pay a $3 million fine after it was sued by the federal government for raking in tax credits for biofuels it never produced.

WRE’s influence earned special scrutiny in February 2016 after the IRS, the EPA and other government agencies raided owner Jacob Kingston’s house as well as The Order’s bank and other locations, carting away banker’s box after banker’s box of records. Nothing has come of the raids yet, and the IRS refused comment on the matter when contacted by this publication.

But The Order’s critics say that cult members see nothing wrong with bilking the government, a time-honored tradition among FLDS sects, gleefully referred to as “bleeding the beast.”

More troubling, during a contentious 2004 custody case that ensued when Jessica and her sister Andrea fled Daniel Kingston’s household, a judge in the case reportedly was the subject of a death threat, allegedly from Kingston clan members. There was also testimony, during one hearing, that someone in the Kingston clan wanted to blow up the courthouse.

Given such incidents, could Order members be a threat to law enforcement?

Ron Kingston says The Order’s leadership has too much to lose for something like that to happen.

“Paul would rather have the wealth and the money than the isolation and the conflict,” he said.

Matt Browning seems less sure. A retired Arizona law enforcement officer, Browning is the president and founder of the Skinhead Intelligence Network and is in charge of security for the A&E show, where his wife Tawni works as the casting producer.

Browning sees similarities between The Order and the religion-minded racists of the World Church of the Creator and the Christian Identity movement. There is also some overlap with Sovereign citizens, he contends.

“They’re basically the Utah Mafioso of the white power world,” Browning told Intelligence Report.

And they are growing. Former Order members tell of babies being born nearly every week in the church. And during a recent picnic to honor the birthday of patriarch John Ortell Kingston, Order families descended on a Salt Lake Valley park, where hundreds of children of all ages blanketed the park’s green expanse.

Accounts of clan babies being born with congenital defects and other problems abound, including dwarfism, albinism and children born minus fingernails or without genitals.

Don’t the infant deaths and tales of horrific deformities belie Ortell’s homespun eugenics?

Scott remembered that Ortell had an answer for that question.

“Something along the lines of, to build a superhuman, if you have four or five defects to get the one good one, it’s worth it,” he recalled.

“Because that one is going to be genius-level purity, and that’s what The Order is looking for.”

———-

“Blood Cult” by Stephen Lemons; Southern Poverty Law Center Intelligence Report; August 08, 2017 [2]

“During a recent interview with the Intelligence Report, Jessica Kingston, a former member of the secretive, Salt Lake City-based cult and a star of the A&E reality series “Escaping Polygamy,” remembered, when she was 12, her Sunday school teacher coming into class with a bucket of water and a vial of black food coloring.”

As Jessica Kingston recounts, being non-white was basically seen as “the worst thing you can have” and corruption of the divine whiteness lineage of the Kingstons that went back to directly to Jesus and King David:


The teacher added a drop of dye to the water, and the children watched as the blackness slowly spread.

“The teacher was like, ‘You can never get that out, that is always there now,’” recalled Jessica, now 29. “She talked about how you can’t associate with black people or anybody of a different race.”

This racist display was no one-off. Jessica said she and other children of the Kingston clan — a group also known as The Order, the Davis County Cooperative Society, and the Latter-Day Church of Christ — dropped the N-bomb all the time, as did their parents.

Black people supposedly suffered from multiple scriptural curses, from the mark of Cain and Noah’s curse on Ham in the Old Testament to the racist tenets of early Mormonism that have since been renounced or abandoned by the mainstream Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also known as the LDS or Mormon church.

Black blood was “the worst thing you can have,” Jessica said, particularly since the Kingstons consider themselves to be the whitest of the white, descended directly from Jesus Christ and King David, the Middle Eastern origins of both men notwithstanding.

But they aren’t just trying to create a white supremacists cult enclave. The cult’s leaders apparently also view themselves as having a divine right to be kings of the world and practice selective incestuous breeding within the clan to achieve some sort of divine super-whiteness. And this is all part of a prophecy that involves an eventual race war where the streets will run with blood and that will enable them to emerge victorious over all. As they see it, Hitler was right in trying to create a Master Race, but he didn’t have God’s backing and that’s why he failed:

Obsessed with the purity of their bloodline and empowered by a sense of entitlement on par with the divine right of kings, the Kingstons have made incest the cornerstone of a self-serving theology that loathes non whites, fosters homophobia and abhors government authority.

Additionally, ex-Order members tell of a reputed church prophecy of an “End of the World War,” an apocalyptic vision that foresees a bloody race war with the Kingstons as the ultimate victors, chosen by their Heavenly Father to rule the world for a millennium.

A 1999 Salt Lake Tribune article mapped the Kingstons’ incestuous family tree, quoting one of Ortell’s 65 kids, ex-Order member Connie Rugg as saying, “My father experimented [with] inbreeding with his cattle and then he turned to his children.”

In order to maintain his family’s “superior bloodlines,” Ortell married and had children with two of his half-sisters and two nieces. He orchestrated all unions within the cult, which was maintained with classic mind control techniques, corporal punishment, fasting and bizarre dietary practices. Ortell died in 1987, but his progeny continued the polygamy, the inbreeding and the marriages to young female teens that he instituted.

During an interview with this reporter, Lu Ann Kingston, whose defiance of the cult led to the conviction of her former “spiritual” husband Jeremy, recalled that Order members saw intermarriage as a way to “keep the bloodline pure.”

And by pure, they meant pure white.

All outsiders are considered to be beneath Order members, she explained. But The Order saves most of its bile for blacks and other non whites. Ethnic jokes and stereotypes were commonly repeated. Chinese people were called “stupid,” and Mexicans were “dirty,” said Lu Ann, adding, “because of their skin.”

Ron says the cult’s justification for its racism goes back to early Mormon teachings about a war in heaven between the forces of Satan and those of Jesus. The battle took place in the spiritual pre-existence that Mormons believe all souls come from. Blacks were “the less valiant people in heaven” who sat on the sidelines while others took sides, according to The Order.

Their punishment? Dark skin, of course.

Another of Ortell’s teachings: Adolf Hitler had the right idea about creating a master race, but didn’t have the Lord’s help, so he failed.

Tucker recounted the clan’s version of the apocalypse, the “End of the World War,” a riff on a prophecy some ascribe to Joseph Smith, called The White Horse Prophecy. In it, black people come close to killing off the white race until they are countered by Native Americans, symbolized by a Red Horse, which gallops to the White Horse’s rescue.

“That will open up for The Order to rise up and take over the world,” Ron said.

And this group owns a billion dollar business empire, including a high-end weapons manufacturer. But don’t worry because, as one of the group leaders proclaims, they’re really all about loving thy neighbor and there’s only a few racists in the group:


Young is the owner of Desert Tech, a Utah gun manufacturer, which produces sniper rifles and so-called “bullpup” rifles, The latter, unlike conventional magazine-fed rifles, have shorter barrels, with the gun’s action located behind the trigger. These specialty firearms can cost anywhere from $2,500 to $8,000 each.

Desert Tech and its rifles have been featured on Fox News, Mythbusters, Daredevil and The Blacklist, among other TV shows. Young told Intelligence Report that his company has sold weapons, with the approval of the U.S. State Department, to governments in Europe and the Middle East, Saudi Arabia being one.

Young also claimed Desert Tech had sold guns to Picatinny Arsenal, the research division of the U.S. military.

“We haven’t gotten any big U.S. contracts,” Young explained. “Obviously, we would love to.”

Spokesmen for both the U.S. State Department and for Picatinny Arsenal could neither verify nor deny Young’s claims.

The company was founded in 2007 with an investment from family members. Young denied that The Order was racist or taught any form of bigotry, and said he had people of all races working for him.

“What we’re taught is to love our neighbor, that all people, all races no matter who they are … deserve to be loved,” he explained.

Still, he conceded that some Order members may have prejudiced beliefs because “in our organization people have freedom of choice.”

“What we’re taught is to love our neighbor, that all people, all races no matter who they are … deserve to be loved,” he explained.

We just want to “love thy neighbor”. That was the message from the guy who founded the race war cult’s high-end weapons manufacturing firm. And it’s worth note that apocalyptic wealthy cults that own their own high-end weapons manufacturer aren’t as uncommon as one might hope [31].

The Hate Cult in the White House

Now after looking at that profile of the Kingston clan, the question is raised in relation to the larger Alt-Right white supremacist movement that continues to use the Trump White House’s quiet approval to mainstream itself and present its members as some sort of aggrieved segment of American society: So what exactly is the key difference between the Kingstons’ worldview and that or your typical neo-Nazi? Sure, there are undoubtedly some differences in terms of the religious/incest stuff maybe. But in terms of the mindless fetishization of ‘whiteness’ coupled with a need for a rigid authoritarian hierarchical society, is there really all that big a difference between an apocalyptic racist theocratic polygamist cult that views all non-whites as an existential threat and the general ‘Alt-Right’ neo-Nazi worldview that portrays non-whites, women, gays, and anyone who isn’t a far-right white male as an existential threat to far-right white males? If there are substantial fundamental differences, it’s unclear what they are because both groups fundamentally view non-white conservatives as a dehumanized “other” unworthy of “thy neighbors” love or an interesting group of people worth getting to know, but instead an inevitable rival group that represents an existential threat that must be extinguished. And it’s that worldview that President Trump refuses to denounce. Because the ‘Alt-Right’ and its sympathizers are far too important a political constituency (and Trump is kind of of Nazi himself).

But while we might be tempted to presume that it’s purely crass political calculations that have led to the President’s silence on this matter, as the following piece by Josh Marshall points out, that same worldview that sees the everyone who opposes Alt-Right as part of some sort of existential threat to conservative whites is not surprisingly popular in the the upper-echelons of the White House. As the recent reports of an intra-White House battle in the National Security Council tragically demonstrates – where National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster recently fired an NSC staffer with close ties to an ‘Alt-Right’ personality as part of a larger Alt-Right vs non-Alt-Right power struggle in the White House – that ‘Alt-Right’ worldview that portrays all non-Alt-Rights as being part of some grand cabal out to destroy white conservatives (as opposed to making a better world for the conservatives to enjoy living in too, just not exclusively enjoy) has been turned into a message where all non-Alt-Rights are all in a grand cabal to destroy Donald Trump. And only the Alt-Right is on his side. Everyone from progressives, to ‘establishment’ Republicans, the ‘deep state’, and even the the Muslim Brotherhood are all in a ca bal against Trump. That’s the Team Alt-Right message in the White House and Trump is reportedly quite receptive to it [32]:

Talking Points Memo
Editor’s Blog

The Fringe At The Wheel: Inside The Cernovich/McMaster Derp War

By Josh Marshall
Published August 11, 2017 2:59 pm

Earlier this month, The Atlantic reported on a memo [33] written by a since-fired NSC staffer named Rich Higgins. National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster fired Higgins in July over the memo. But Higgins’ dismissal was part of McMaster’s broader effort to assert control over an NSC which still has or had numerous staffers brought in by Mike Flynn. Yesterday Foreign Policy published the memo in its entirety [34] along with new reporting about the context of the memo, its discovery and Higgins’ dismissal.

The memo itself is fairly described as nuts. But I want to get into more detail about just what it contains because the details are important on several fronts. But before that I want to mention a key element of FP’s reporting, which I at least think is new in its specifics. If you don’t waste your time on Twitter or haven’t closely followed the so-called alt-right, you may not know the name Mike Cernovich [35]. His Wikipedia page [36] describes him as “an American alt-right social media personality, writer, and conspiracy theorist”, which is not a bad description. He was a big promoter of the ‘pizzagate’ conspiracy theory which ended up almost getting people killed in DC last year. Before that he was a ‘men’s empowerment’ activist who took a more clearly political turn in 2016 race. He’s provocative and goofy in as much as a white supremacist and Nazi-sympathizer can be goofy.

In any case, since Trump’s inauguration Cernovich has been carrying on a sort of rearguard action against the Trump White House, notionally supporting ‘Trump’ while waging online battles against the mix of ‘globalists’, sell-outs and ‘deep state’ forces trying to undo the Trump revolution. Through all this Cernovich has claimed he has sources deep and high up in the Trump White House and that he’s sitting on all manner of stories that could change everything. It has always been clear that Cernovich does have some ‘sources’ or at least people leaking him stuff or access to some information ahead of the conventional media because more than once he’s reported things on his website or Twitter which did turn out to be true. But one of my biggest takeaways from the FP piece is that this is apparently far more true than at least I realized. Indeed, H.R. McMaster, in this telling at least, is obsessed with rooting out the NSC staffers who are leaking to Cernovich and it was that leak hunt that led to the discovery of the memo we were discussing above.

Here’s a key passage [34]

The controversy over the memo has its origins in a hunt for staffers believed to be providing information to right-wing blogger Mike Cernovich, who seemed to have uncanny insight into the inner workings of the NSC. Cernovich in the past few months has been conducting a wide-ranging campaign against the national security advisor.

“McMaster was just very, very obsessed with this, with Cernovich,” a senior administration official told FP. “He had become this incredible specter.”

In July, the memo was discovered in Higgins’s email during what two sources described to Foreign Policy as a “routine security” audit of NSC staffers’ communications. Another source, however, characterized it as a McCarthy-type leak investigation targeting staffers suspected of communicating with Cernovich.

Higgins, who had worked on the Trump campaign and transition before coming to the NSC, drafted the memo in late May and then circulated the memo to friends from the transition, a number of whom are now in the White House.

After the memo was discovered, McMaster’s deputy, Ricky Waddell, summoned Higgins, who was told he could resign — or be fired, and risk losing his security clearance, according to two sources.

Higgins, who agreed to resign, was escorted out of the building. He later learned from his colleagues still at the NSC that his association to this now-infamous memo was the reason he was removed.

Needless to say, if McMaster is surveilling his own staff to find out who is talking to Cernovich, then Cernovich is playing a big, big role in the unfolding Trump administration drama. That’s a big deal and a highly disturbing one, which we will come back to.

Now let’s discuss the memo itself. As I said, it’s nuts on many levels. But the details of what it contains are important. I have a series of observations. Let me lay them out seriatim.

1: First, an overview. The gist of Higgins memo is that President Trump is under a sustained, illegitimate and conspiracy driven attack by the forces of “cultural Marxism” which aims to drive him from office. These forces include basically everyone from the far left to establishment Republicans, either as conspirators or dupes and fellow travelers. Key elements of the drama are that the American left is in league with ‘radical Islam’, particularly the Muslim Brotherhood, to destroy America from the within. Both sides – the forces of the ‘cultural Marxism’ and the supporters of President Trump – are in what amounts to a final, all-or-nothing battle. Indeed, Higgins argues that the country is now in the midst of a pitched battle for the future existence of America in which the person of President Trump is a proxy for the future of America itself. It is a Manichean, verging on political eschatological vision of contemporary America. This is the concluding paragraph of the memo, emphasis added …

The recent turn of events give rise to the observation that the defense of President Trump is the defense of America. In the same way President Lincoln was surrounded by political opposition both inside and outside of his wire, in both overt and covert forms, so too is President Trump. Had Lincoln failed, so too would have the Republic. The administration has been maneuvered into a constant backpedal by relentless political warfare attacks structured to force him to assume a reactive posture that assures inadequate responses. The president can either drive or be driven by events; it’s time for him to drive them.

2: Trump Era Politics is Really War. It is far down the list of problems with this memo and this situation. But it is to put it mildly highly irregular and problematic for a former Pentagon official who is now an NSC staffer to be circulating memos on domestic ‘political warfare’. But the memo is replete with the imagery, terminology and conceptual framework of war, even down to high-drama, often manic descriptions of the ‘battlespace’ on which President Trump is fighting the forces of ‘cultural Marxism’. The memo views opposition politics in the Trump era as illegitimate and a form of violent resistance against the state.

Again from the memo …

This is not politics as usual but rather political warfare at an unprecedented level that is openly engaged in the direct targeting of a seated president through manipulation of the news cycle. It must be recognized on its own terms so that immediate action can be taken. At its core, these campaigns run on multiple lines of effort, serve as the non-violent line of effort of a wider movement, and execute political warfare agendas that reflect cultural Marxist outcomes. The campaigns operate through narratives. Because the hard left is aligned with lslamist organizations at local (ANTI FA working with Muslim Brotherhood doing business as MSA and CAIR), national (ACLU and BLM working with CAIR and MPAC) and international levels (OIC working with OSCEand the UN), recognition must given to the fact that they seamlessly interoperate at the narrative level as well. In candidate Trump, the opposition saw a threat to the “politically correct” enforcement narratives they’ve meticulously laid in over the past few decades. In President Trump, they see a latent threat to continue that effort to ruinous effect and their retaliatory response reflects this fear.

As you can see, a persistent theme of the memo is that what most of us would recognize as an embattled and unpopular President fighting widespread opposition is actually more like a domestic rebellion and needs to be addressed as such.

Again from the memo …

Culturally conditioned to limit responses to such attacks as yet another round in the on-going drone from diversity and multicultural malcontents, these broadsides are discounted as political correctness run amuck. However, political correctness is a weapon against reason and critical thinking. This weapon functions as the enforcement mechanism of diversity narratives that seek to implement cultural Marxism. Candidate Trump’s rhetoric in the campaign not only cut through the Marxist narrative, he did so in ways that were viscerally comprehensible to a voting bloc that then made candidate Trump the president; making that bloc self-aware in the process. President Trump is either the candidate he ran as, or he is nothing.

Recognizing in candidate Trump an existential threat to cultural Marxist memes that dominate the prevailing cultural narrative, those that benefit recognize the threat he poses and seek his destruction. For this cabal, Trump must be destroyed. Far from politics as usual, this is a political warfare effort that seeks the destruction of a sitting president. Since Trump took office, the situation has intensified to crisis level proportions. For those engaged in the effort, especially those from within the “deep state” or permanent government apparatus, this raises clear Title 18 (legal) concerns.

Consider this passage about the “battlespace”.

Battlespace. These attack narratives are pervasive, full spectrum and institutionalized at all levels. They operate in social media, television, the 24-hour news cycle in all media, and are entrenched at the upper levels of the bureaucracies and within the foreign policy establishment. They inform the entertainment industry from late night monologues, to situation comedies, to television series memes, to movie themes. The effort required to direct this capacity at President Trump is little more than a programming decision to do so. The cultural Marxist narrative is fully deployed, pervasive, full spectrum and ongoing. Regarding the president, attacks have become a relentless 24/7 effort.

This mix of observations and feelings might be more simply summed up as “Wow, we seem to be super unpopular. And we’re being attacked constantly!”

Many White Houses have had this feeling. It’s a tough job. But Higgins sees it quite differently, as an integrated, conspiratorial effort to drive the President from office and destroy the America he represents. Indeed, Higgins explicitly cites the doctrine’s of Maoist ‘people’s war’ as the conceptual framework and the plan Trump’s enemies are following. I’m not kidding about this. From the memo: “As used here, ‘political warfare’ does not concern activities associated with the American political process but rather exclusively refers to political warfare as understood by the Maoist Insurgency model. Political warfare is one of the five components of a Maoist insurgency. Maoist methodologies employ synchronized violent and non-violent actions that focus on mobilization of individuals and groups to action. This approach envisions the direct use of non-violent operational arts and tactics as elements of combat power.”

Again, my description isn’t semantic or hyperbolic. Higgins views a vast array of disparate domestic political movements, institutions and cultural voices as together executing an organized plan to drive Trump from office and that the instigators of this effort are the far left and Islamic radicals trying to perpetuate ‘cultural Marxism’.

3: The Domestic War is a Meme War: A week ago, the above-mentioned Cernovich tweeted this much-derided message.

What is “memetic warfare”? It is essentially fighting people on social media with photoshopped images, propagating ‘memes’ – nugget sized images or blocks of text which inject messages and ideas into the conversations of a broader public. It also involves digital vigilantism, organized intimidation campaigns, threats and a lot more. There’s something to this. And Cernovich is demonstrably an able practitioner of it. He’s built up a huge following based on pretty much just that. At the end of the day though, McMaster is a master of war wars. And ‘memetic warfare’ is really just spending the day mouthing off on Twitter. So it’s a bit of a comical boast. But if you read the Higgins memo it is replete with the vocabulary and mental world of ‘memetic warfare’. These two men are in contact with each other and share the same mental and ideational world. Which seems to be why McMaster fired Higgins. To a degree, it’s a slightly higher-brow version of what you can listen to on Hannity every night. That’s not surprising since – unlikely the imagined conspiracies of Higgins memo – Hannity, the Cernovich crew at the NSC, Trump, Don Jr. and the rest do seem to be in regular contact with each other.

4: What is ‘Cultural Marxism’? Higgins is not the only person to use this phrase. But as he uses it ‘cultural Marxism’ is essentially the entirety of social movements, cultural change, growing internationalization of public life in America that distinguishes the American of the early 21st century from the idealized public version of America as presented in media and mainstream TV and cinema in the 1950s. There is arguably such a thing as ‘cultural Marxism’ – radical critiques of American society, and its culture and economic underpinnings, which exist but don’t have a great deal of traction outside the academy and some radical political circles. There is also the range of critiques of American gender and racial norms and power structures that critique ‘patriarchy’ and ‘white supremacy’. These are obviously much more pervasive debates within contemporary American society, ones which are disproportionately (though by no means exclusively) rooted in the ideas of the younger generation of Americans. They are real, deeply contested and genuinely threatening to a large segment of the US population. They’re not ‘cultural Marxism’ in any sense other than as swear words and trash talk in domestic political debates. But even this isn’t really what Higgins is talking about. It is a far more expansive and watered-down definition and set of ideas which are taken more or less as givens in corporate America under the blandified catchwords of ‘diversity’ and ‘inclusion’. That’s all ‘cultural Marxism’ for Higgins and all driven by an alliance of ‘the left’ and Islamist radicals.

5: The Trumpite Milieu: Where does this stuff come from? Higgins is a former soldier and later a Pentagon staffer. Some of his writing is simply taking fairly conventional military planning jargon and applying it to domestic politics. But reading Higgins I hear the voices of two other men loud and clear: Frank Gaffney and David Horowitz.

Gaffney was a mid-tier Reagan Pentagon appointee who has been a constant presence in Washington for the last three decades and has in the years since 9/11 become the preeminent author and propagator of various Islamophobic conspiracy theories. To set expectations properly, I’m not talking about counter-terrorism hawks who say the US needs to surveil Muslim immigrant populations or limit immigration by Muslims. Gaffney says the Muslim Brotherhood has infiltrated the US government at all levels with sleeper agents and fellow travelers. There’s crazy and there’s crazy. Gaffney is in the latter category.

As Peter Beinart noted earlier this year [39], most mainstream Republicans have treated Gaffney like a crank for years. (Indeed, he’s for years fought a nitwit battle [40] to expel Grover Norquist from the conservative movement because Gaffney claims Norquist is a Muslim Brotherhood agent or fellow traveler.) But he’s viewed as a major thinker and adviser in the Trump White House. And Mike Flynn was deeply under his influence. Indeed, in 2016 Flynn co-authored a book with Michael Ledeen, a comparable though somewhat more obscure figure. Ledeen is a different, with his own distinct though no less crazy conspiracy theories largely tied to radical Islamist, terrorist and simply anti-American groups. The upshot is that Flynn was totally down with and in the Frank Gaffney nutbag and he staffed the Trump world with people of the same mindset. A lot of them are still there.

David Horowitz is a one-time member of the New Left who’s made his living for decades as a self-styled Whittaker Chambers of the nutball right. I can tell you from personal experience that he is simply one of the worst people in American public life. Think Roger Stone is terrible? Me too. But I’ve met Roger and he’s kind of a blast to spend a bit of time with if you can bracket out the politics. I’ve met Horowitz too. He’s an awful person. Higgins obsession with ‘cultural Marxism’, ‘political warfare’, Maoist insurgency tactics and all manner of other sub-Marxist claptrap is pure Horowitz. It is both how he thinks and also his schtick within the conservative movement: the guy who knows all the dark truths about ‘the left’ and is sharing them with the embattled right. Horowitz too is tight with the Trump world and the various extremists and conspiracy theorists who cluster around it. I don’t know whether Higgins got this stuff directly from Horowitz or just atmospherically because his influence is so pervasive in today’s right. But the influence is unmistakable.

For our present purposes, the important point is that even though mainstream conservatives – not to mention everyone to their left – have long regarded both men as no more than activist bilge water, they are both highly influential in the Trump White House. Just as importantly, while they’ve generally been regarded as jokes by mainstream political reporters, they’ve actually spent years propagating their ideas among the people we now call the Trump base. So their ideas are as important as they are nonsensical and hyperbolic because they are at the center of power and draw on a mass base of support.

Higgins himself may be out. But the FP piece reports that Don Jr. got hold of his memo during the firestorm of controversy over his June 2016 Trump Tower meeting and loved it. He shared it with his father, President Trump, who loved it too. He got angry when Sean Hannity told him that Higgins had been fired over it. So even though Higgins is out, these ideas are still pervasive in the Trump White House and get an enthusiastic thumbs up from Trump himself. Even though McMaster won the battle, to put it in Higginsian terms, the war continues. And it seems as likely as not, on the FP’s reporting, that McMaster will eventually lose.

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“The Fringe At The Wheel: Inside The Cernovich/McMaster Derp War” by Josh Marshall; Talking Points Memo; 08/11/2017 [32]

“First, an overview. The gist of Higgins memo is that President Trump is under a sustained, illegitimate and conspiracy driven attack by the forces of “cultural Marxism” which aims to drive him from office. These forces include basically everyone from the far left to establishment Republicans, either as conspirators or dupes and fellow travelers. Key elements of the drama are that the American left is in league with ‘radical Islam’, particularly the Muslim Brotherhood, to destroy America from the within. Both sides – the forces of the ‘cultural Marxism’ and the supporters of President Trump – are in what amounts to a final, all-or-nothing battle. Indeed, Higgins argues that the country is now in the midst of a pitched battle for the future existence of America in which the person of President Trump is a proxy for the future of America itself. It is a Manichean, verging on political eschatological vision of contemporary America…”

And as Josh Marshall ends with, while Rich Higgins, the Alt-Right NSC staffer, may have been successfully removed by H.R. McMaster, his overall message of the world being against Trump and the Alt-Right being his only real ally in this is a message that continues to resonate within the White House and Trump himself:


Higgins himself may be out. But the FP piece reports that Don Jr. got hold of his memo during the firestorm of controversy over his June 2016 Trump Tower meeting and loved it. He shared it with his father, President Trump, who loved it too. He got angry when Sean Hannity told him that Higgins had been fired over it. So even though Higgins is out, these ideas are still pervasive in the Trump White House and get an enthusiastic thumbs up from Trump himself. Even though McMaster won the battle, to put it in Higginsian terms, the war continues. And it seems as likely as not, on the FP’s reporting, that McMaster will eventually lose.

So as we scratch our heads asking why President Trump refuses to denounce white suprmacists, let’s not forget that this is an embattled White House that appears to view the ‘Alt-Right’ as his only real allies. Might that have something to do with his refusal to denounce them despite the political costs he’s incurring for not doing so? They’re his only friends.

And one quick quibble with Marshall’s characterization of millieu of figures that have been promoting this “liberals and Islamists united in Cultural Marxism” worldview. Specifically this section regarding Frank Gaffney:


As Peter Beinart noted earlier this year [39], most mainstream Republicans have treated Gaffney like a crank for years. (Indeed, he’s for years fought a nitwit battle [40] to expel Grover Norquist from the conservative movement because Gaffney claims Norquist is a Muslim Brotherhood agent or fellow traveler.) But he’s viewed as a major thinker and adviser in the Trump White House. And Mike Flynn was deeply under his influence. Indeed, in 2016 Flynn co-authored a book with Michael Ledeen, a comparable though somewhat more obscure figure. Ledeen is a different, with his own distinct though no less crazy conspiracy theories largely tied to radical Islamist, terrorist and simply anti-American groups. The upshot is that Flynn was totally down with and in the Frank Gaffney nutbag and he staffed the Trump world with people of the same mindset. A lot of them are still there.

While it’s true that Frank Gaffney is indeed a crank who focuses almost exclusively on the Muslim Brotherhood to the point where his analysis is nonsense, the work he’s done highlighting conservative anti-tax extremist Grover Norquists ties to the Muslim Brotherhood [41] is probably one of the few useful things Gaffney has ever done. Why? Because the Muslim Brotherhood is effectively the KKK of the Sunni world – an elitist [42] corporatist [43] hyper-sectarian far-right theocratic organization hell-bent on total domination of society and the dehumanization of “others”. And an understanding of the Muslim Brotherhood’s history of coordinating with far-right groups, including extensive history of coordinating with ex-Nazis and fascists [44], is critical for understanding both the Muslim Brotherhood and the larger global movement of reactionary far-right movements operating throughout the 20th and 21st century. These movements work with each other and the story of the American right-wing’s work relationship with the Muslim Brotherhood is important and Grover Norquist played an important role in that story. Especially if people like Mike Cernovich are going to push memes that progressives are teaming up with the Muslim Brotherhood in some sort of grand. Plus, you can’t fully understand the post-9/11 investigation into terror financing without understanding that relationship and that specifically includes the role Grover Norquist played in intervening on behalf of Muslim Brotherhood networks to thwart Operation Greenquest [45]. Other than all that, yes, Gaffney is a crank and manages to completely mangle any meaningful understanding of the Muslim Brotherhood. While terror attacks or some other nefarious activity by far-right Islamist militant groups is certainly a concern for America as is the case for all far-right groups, America isn’t being overrun by Islamofascists like Gaffney suggests because it’s already overrun by Christofascists. That ‘space’ is sort of taken up already.

But this is where we are: when we step back and “study the situation”, the situation appears to be one where a worldview best left to a racist cult is guiding the White House. And that White House is, in turn, effectively defending via omission a group of neo-Nazis the day after one of them ran down a crowd of anti-racist protestors. And if we step back further we find that same kind of worldview capturing the imagination of a significant segment of white American conservatives. And Europe too when you look at the rise of white nationalism there. And of course the Muslim world when you look at ongoing domination of hyper-conservative strains of Islam and groups like the Muslim Brotherhood and theocratic monarchies. And don’t forget North Korea. It’s an entire nation run by an insular cult that views the rest of the world as an existential threat. In other worlds, pretty much wherever you look around the globe you’re going to find reactionary totalitarian identitarian groups that view the rest of the world as an existential “others” threat. And if we’re going to find a real existential threat anywhere that’s where it is: groups that can’t live peacefully with others and refuse to humanize others.

But what do we do about this? Virginia governor Terry McCoullough made an important point during his address to the public after the neo-Nazi car attack on a crowd of anti-fascist protestors and hte ‘Unify the Right’ torchlight march. He called for them to “go home”, and said Virginia isn’t a commonwealth that welcomes them. And the United States isn’t doesn’t have space for them [46]. It was an important rebuke made all the more important bye the President’s silence. But it still raises the question: where do they go? And the answer is the same answer to the question of “what do we do with [insert totalitarian identitarian group here]?” And that answer is to be super welcoming when they snap out of it and become non-totalitarian identitarians and otherwise continue to be unwelcoming. They won’t be deported or anything. Just unwelcome when they express hateful views.

But that’s probably not going to be adequate. So how about we counter the systematic dehumanization of “others” by public recognizing that the dehumanization of “others” is an extremely “human” thing to do. Tragically, but that’s how it is. Throughout history it’s been pervasive and enduring. Across time and cultures. Monstrous acts and ideologies are all too human. And those help captive by such views aren’t monsters. They’re human captives of monstrous ideologies. It’s sadly human to get caught up in such ideologies, but also human to experience an epiphany, snap out of it, and move past it. Think of the former members of the Kingston clan. They were die-hard believers who managed to escape. It wasn’t easy, but they did it. And that whole arc of experience, believing in a hate cult and learning to move past it, is a very human experience. On top of that, it’s not just a relief when someone escapes from a hate cult but it’s actually really quite remarkable. Way to go! For real, it’s an amazing and impressive achievement. So how about we celebrate that and make it very clear that we recognize that those trapped in hate cults can be just a handful of personal epiphanies away from becoming great people who will be welcome anywhere. At least anywhere that isn’t a hate cult. Would recognizing the awesomeness of escaping from a hate cult help our overall situation?

Sure, it’s not fair that the side that promotes peace and equality and diversity and trying to empathize and humanize others should be forced to repeatedly ‘turn the other cheek’ when it comes to finding a common path forward with groups dedicated to dehumanization of others and, in many cases, their eventual extermination. But that’s how it is when you’re forced to fight for a more empathetic society and an end to thoughtless heartlessness. It comes with the territory. And it’s important to note that it’s relatively new territory when it comes to trying to create a society that isn’t simply dominated by some group but is instead thoughtfully based on a real ‘Golden rule’ paradigm. We know societies like North Korea or Nazi Germany can exist and have always existed. Humans are clearly capable of that. But this whole tolerance thing, a society that looks past superficialities and truly embraces The Golden Rule and priorities the humanization of “others”, this is new. And largely untested because there’s always been a large swath of society that never agreed with that vision. So how about we create a national project that actually celebrates the humanization of “others” and moving past hating, including hating the haters. Humanizing the haters. Not as models to follow but as real people trapped in hate cults they didn’t create but someone fell into or were born into. A celebration of the act of shedding previously held bigotries, in effect being “born again”. Could a movement of born again ex-haters have any impact?

Similarly, how about developing a a sense of “White Pride” that’s pride in white society overcoming white supremacy. And mysogyny. And homophobia. And all the other unjustified horrible habits that have infested societies throughout history. And add it to “[insert group’s label here] Pride” that celebrates that group’s various obstacles that they’ve overcome to also achieve a real “Golden Rule” culture. The kind of culture one might associate with a super nice pacifist hippie who loves everyone, as long as they’re not mean. And if they are mean the super nice pacifist hippie loves them in a ‘love the sinner, hate the sin’ way and humanizes them. Totalitarian identitarian movements like the ‘Alt-Right’ neo-Nazis explicitly don’t have a space for non-whites. They can’t possibly be a viable worldview for the real world unless it involves real world mass genocide. Which is part of their long-term vision. And the rest of the totalitarian identitarian worldviews of the world are the same way. It’s like extra-psycho Highlander scenario played out on a tribal level, where it’s either one totalitarian identitarian movement wins or humanity obliterates itself. In which case the rest of life on Earth wins. And that leaves and global community of tolerant progressive multi-cultural societies where all the participating cultures are nice and generally tolerant and Golden-rule-ish as the only viable vision for a future that doesn’t destroy itself. Being nice isn’t just nice. It’s logistically the only viable modality in a globalized world filled with advanced technology and a capacity for groups to destroy each other.

So if people like Mike Cernovich are going wage meme warfare propagating hate cult ideology, how about a counter meme campaign celebrating the awesome logistical utility of empathy and general niceness and how much stronger it makes any society. And how much nicer it is. Because many people appear to have forgotten or never figured out that life would be much better for everyone if we dropped the hate cult ideas. So a pro-niceness meme campaign is sadly necessary.

And make it very clear to to President Trump that he will be legitimately celebrated if he sheds his ‘Alt-Right’ neo-Nazi sympathies and uses his leadership position to create a real culture of niceness. The best moments in history involve overcoming the worst moments in history and the US is having a pretty bad moment. Trump has a real opportunity here after leading us to this horrible place. He said he loves “all the people of our country,” and called for Americans of different races and backgrounds to remember their shared Americanness in his remarks after the attack. If he actually demonstrated that by jettisoning all the Nazi-sympthizers like Steve Bannon or Sebastian Gorka from the White House and them lead a Presidential commission on Hate or that had an emphasis on white supremacy (since that’s the dominant hate movement in terms of raw numbers), he could end up being a wildly successful president. At least successful on race relations. He still might blow up the world in other ways but at least he would have a ‘healing the racial divide’ feather in his presidential cap. And sure, the odds of this happening are extremely low, but that’s the point: making a formal offer to avowed racists who will probably go to their graves avowed racists that, hey, the grass really is greener on the nice side and you’re more than welcome to come on over. No hard feelings. Hugs? It’ll be a “born again” thing and all will be forgiven basically. Even Bannon and Gorka could join in as long as they denounce their hate cult-ish ways. Wouldn’t it be so much more fun if we all just kind of got along? A “born again” nice Trump could save his presidency and help us all get along by by ditching the neo-Nazis and saving America from polarizing peril. His silence doesn’t bode well but it’s ultimately up to him. But it’s up to the rest of us to let him and the rest of the Nazi sympathizers in high and low places that if they have whatever personal epiphany experience that’s required to snap out of their hate cult worldviews, they will be totally welcome on Team Nice. Healing hugs anyone? Especially for Trump if he joinst Team Nice soon. It would be quite a twist for his presidency.

But as is, it appears that much like how the Elders in the Kingston clan paint a picture of a corrupt world besieging their community, the ‘Alt-Right’ and the rest of the far-right media universe has been busy selling its audience of primarily conservative white Christians prone to anti-government sentiments that liberals/progressives and the Muslim Brotherhood and presumably George Soros and the Illuminati and etc are all teaming up against them. So making it clear that they are trapped in a hate cult dynamic and that everyone will be very understanding when they snap out of it could be a useful path forward. Or perhaps totally useless but at least we tried. And should presumably keep trying as is required of Team Nice. More hugs are clearly in order.

And who knows, if we even found an effective ‘nice culture’ that actually acted as an epiphany catalyst for members of hate cults and encouraged them join in on the welcoming niceness, it might work for all sorts of other hate cults, like the Muslim Brotherhood. Jewish extremists, or any other hate group that’s clearly terrified of the rest of the world. Maybe we’ll finally find a way out of the North Korean mass cult nuclear blackmail situation. Or at least a significant part of a much larger solution [47].