In case you missed it, the Proud Boys are having another bad day after The New York Times outed the group as having two more members working as informants for the F.B.I. From today’s article, “As scores of Proud Boys made their way, chanting and shouting, toward the Capitol on Jan. 6, one member of the far-right group was busy texting a real-time account of the march. The recipient was his F.B.I. handler.”
“The informant, who started working with the F.B.I. in July 2020, appears to have been close to several other members of his Proud Boys chapter, including some who have been charged in the attack. But it is not clear from the records obtained by The Times how well he knew the group’s top leaders or whether he was in the best position to learn about potential plans to storm the Capitol.”
This isn’t the first time the Proud Boys have had issues with informants. Earlier this year it was reported that the leader of the far-right group had worked extensively as an informant for law enforcement, only for him to deny it later despite incriminating court records released to the media that confirmed the arrangement.
“Enrique Tarrio, the leader of the Proud Boys extremist group, has a past as an informer for federal and local law enforcement, repeatedly working undercover for investigators after he was arrested in 2012, according to a former prosecutor and a transcript of a 2014 federal court proceeding obtained by Reuters…Tarrio’s own lawyer described his undercover work and said he had helped authorities prosecute more than a dozen people in various cases involving drugs, gambling and human smuggling.”
According to Reuters, “There is no evidence Tarrio has cooperated with authorities since then…however, he said that before rallies in various cities, he would let police departments know of the Proud Boys’ plans. It is unclear if this was actually the case. He said he stopped this coordination after December 12 because the D.C. police had cracked down on the group.”
Right. He just happened to stop assisting the police right before the Capitol riots — and the police let him.
The timing of this article is pretty amazing and if you’ve been following the public feud between Barrett Brown/Project Swartz and Aubrey Cottle a.k.a. “Kirtaner” and Libby Shaw, you know exactly what I’m talking about. So maybe it’s time we talked about informants (again) and infiltrators (again) and bad actors (again).
Let’s start with how the The New York Times described today’s informant: “The informant, who started working with the F.B.I. in July 2020, appears to have been close to several other members of his Proud Boys chapter.” And Enrique Tarrio? Reuters described him as a “prolific informer for law enforcement,” despite the fact, or perhaps precisely because of the fact, he was the leader — not some unknown, sidewinder, neo-Nazi hoping for a little action on the weekend — the TRUSTED leader of the organization.
So in case ya’ll are still drinking the kool-aid and didn’t notice, informants and bad actors are immersed in movements and/or activist “projects.” They want to be on the inside, if not the leader, because they want access to information hence the word “inform-ant.” They might take pictures and videos of activists. They may offer you money, gifts, or a ride to that riot you guys have been planning for weeks. And they may be very friendly, supportive, charismatic, and persuasive–at least initially.
Gaining respect, being helpful, well-liked (or even feared) will assist in gaining access. As we’ve seen in the Assange support community, portraying yourself as a perpetual victim and a target of [insert any intelligence agency or government but usually the U.S.] are probably the most commonly used tactics to gain trust, empathy, and information (and/or money).
Informants are generally not the ones that influential members encourage you to ostracize based on completely unfounded allegations. Any legitimate, respectable leader (or member) will have a solid list of evidence to support their allegations. They won’t destroy the reputation of a fellow activist just because they can. Nor are informants the ones who generally keep to themselves, are rarely involved in group activities or group chats, or don’t ask around for information. I mean, what exactly have you been telling yourself that “inform-ants” do?
If anyone questions or exposes someone who exhibits seriously questionable or sketchy behavior, even if it’s accompanied with well-documented evidence, informants and/or bad actors may be very adept at muddying the waters, shifting blame, sidestepping, playing the victim, and gaslighting. And they know exactly how to hurt, malign, and discredit the victim and/or accuser.
They may also be very adept at playing both sides which you wouldn’t know because they’re playing both sides. You assume they’re with you and it’s almost incomprehensible for you to even think that they might be a traitor but guess what? They are. That’s called your emotions screwing you and your safety over. That’s also why social engineering can be so effective.
What I’ve seen in my own experience is that bad actors also bluff A LOT to lead you into believing they know something they actually don’t know in the hopes that you’ll confirm it or share more information.
And just remember that skilled and/or paid actors or those with handlers are very good at what they do. Most people miss the signs. It can very subtle and even with a long list of evidence to show what they’re doing, it can still look *meh* circumstantial and people may accuse you of being an informant yourself or crazy or jealous.
Then again, you can also have a laundry list of disturbing, undeniable evidence and some people (maybe even most) will still believe them over you because like most bad actors, abusers, and/or informants they’re skilled in the art of conning people. For example, if an activist used to host child pornography online would you find that to be a red flag and perhaps someone you shouldn’t associate yourself with?
Well, Vice and The Washington Post have apparently just been snowed into thinking this is a perfectly acceptable life choice that we really don’t need to talk about.
And if a hacker, especially anyone who appears to use their real name, has repeatedly bragged about hacks and they have never been arrested would you consider that a red flag? What if they admitted that they’re comfortable working with law enforcement and/or intelligence agencies i.e. #OpISIS, does that raise any red flags for you?
(I’m obviously speaking to everyone right now but mostly to protestors, hackers, anyone who works in the hacktivist community, and project leaders so for the rest of you, how much illegal shit are you doing exactly because maybe you should be locked up.)
Or what if a so-called activist used the U.S. court system to frame a journalist as a member of a domestic terrorist movement? Would that be a red flag to you? What if I told you that over the course of the last four years that same person has falsely accused multiple journalists and activists of committing criminal acts? Would that be a red flag?
It should be.
What if I told you there was indisputable proof that a hacktivist has sent activists and journalists death threats, they’re abusive, and they get off on threatening and blackmailing women? What if they also enjoy humiliating abuse victims, including children, and they stalk the family members of abuse victims and their ex-girlfriends…would that be a red flag to you?
It should be.
And what would you do if you found out that the background of a movement’s leader was built entirely on lies and that they had been accused previously of infiltration and destroying the reputation of fellow activists through defamation and deceit to gain control of the group?
Based on what I’ve seen and personally experienced in the last four years, I’m assuming that most of you would probably start them a GoFundMe, donate your own money, and tell them how sorry you are for their woes.
Common sense is not that common and it clearly hasn’t registered with anyone that you don’t have to accept anyone with a shady AF background or a penchant for pathological lying, grifting and abuse, or fed-like behavior, into your movement–especially as your “leader.” Allowing abuse, questionable behavior, and bad actors to fester and spread like cancer in your movement will destroy it from within and the Assange support community is a perfect example.
But despite the unbridled paranoia you’ll find running rampant throughout communities like Assange support, it’s astounding how stupid, naive, or gullible activists really are (yes, that used to include me) and that’s EXACTLY what bad actors and informants bank on. The snitch and/or informant isn’t going to be the person your little group hates. They’re going to be your friend, your buddy, your comrade, your confidante, or just a regular associate you know from the movement that you probably trusted.
Until they turned on you.
The informant is also going to actively seek out inclusion within groups they believe have information. Again, what exactly do you think informants do?
And I get it. It can be hard to know who to trust and sometimes you have go back more than a decade to find that one incident that explains all the red flags most of you have been ignoring. Well then, like it or not, maybe you shouldn’t trust anyone on the internet and I’m saying all of this to spare new activists from the insanity some of us are currently experiencing at the hands of bad actors and/or informants because the old timers ain’t going to warn you. Or they’re going to lie to you.
But sometimes undeniable evidence is placed right in front of you and everyone still refuses to acknowledge it because “Oh, I really like that person they can’t be an informant” or “But they’ve been so nice to me” or “But they seem so targeted, how could they be an informant??” or “But they’ve been an activist FOREVER and they do so much!” or the best one yet, “But they know Assange!!”
Loool, yes, because the best informants would NEVER try to befriend their target when trying to inform…on their target. That would be crazy!
Last, sometimes you just have to shut everyone out and do your own research. Informants and bad actors will ALWAYS play on your emotions, especially empathy and playing up how much they appreciate and respect you, so ignore everyone and look at who has well documented evidence vs. those who don’t.
And no, threatening people online; crying; constantly threatening suicide (like, for years) in order to distract from your questionable actions, if not entirely fed-like behavior; perpetually lying and portraying yourself as the victim; or posting stupid charts every other day stating, “These people are all linked and colluding,” without a shred of evidence obviously does not constitute “well documented evidence,” unless you’re an idiot.
Bad actors rarely, if ever, back up their smears with any substantial evidence.
Perhaps what you should also be asking yourself right now is how do I know all of this? Easy. Living through over four years of the most god forsaken, toxic, and abusive activist community on the planet. That’s what you get for taking time out of your schedule to fight for a political prisoner currently being held in a London prison and pointing out red flags–all of which have since been proven true.
Now imagine, if the U.S. government has planted at least three informants inside the Proud Boys (that we currently know about), what exactly do you think is going on in the Assange support community? I mean, you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to see red flags, accusations against activists that aren’t backed up with any evidence, and blatant, criminal and abusive behavior. The question is whether or not you have the courage to do anything about it. If not, that’s okay. Just stop giving the people putting their necks on the line to protect you a hard time.
For instance, whether you like him or not, Barrett Brown is currently going head to head with someone the media is now absurdly glorifying (do they know that Kirtaner used to host a pedo board on 420chan or threatened to kill his wife and baby??) because he believes Kirtaner is a danger to activists/hacktivists. I’m not saying you have to agree with him but you should give him credit for having more courage than the rest of you to do what he believes is in the interest of activists’ safety. And he’s got a lot of evidence to back up his allegations.
If you’d rather tell all of the people who have risked their reputation and even well being to better inform you on how to stay safe to go to hell because you’re still drinking the kool-aid, be my guest. We’ll still be out here trying to protect you because lord knows no one else will.
Disclaimer: Ten thousand more pages of disclaimers to follow.
If you were mentioned in this article because your associate(s) did or said something stupid/dishonest, that’s not a suggestion that you did or said something stupid/dishonest or that you took part in it. Of course, some may conclude on their own that you associate with stupid/dishonest individuals but that’s called having the right to an opinion. If I’ve questioned something that doesn’t make sense to me, that’s not me spinning the confusing material you’ve put out. That’s me trying to make sense out of something that doesn’t make sense. And if I’ve noted that you failed to back up your allegations that means I either missed where you posted it or you failed to back your shiz up.
If I haven’t specifically stated that I believe (my opinion) someone is associated with someone else or an event, then it means just that. I haven’t reported an association nor is there any inference of association on my part. For example, just because someone is mentioned in this article, it doesn’t mean that they’re involved or associated with everyone and everything else mentioned. If I believe that there’s an association between people and/or events, I’ll specifically report it.
If anyone mentioned in this article wants to claim that I have associated them with someone else or an event because I didn’t disclose every single person and event in the world that they are NOT associated with, that’s called gaslighting an audience and it’s absurd hogwash i.e. “They mentioned that I liked bananas but they didn’t disclose that I don’t like apples. Why are they trying to associate me with apples???” Or something similar to this lovely gem, “I did NOT give Trish the thumb drive!” in order to make their lazy audience believe that it was reported they gave Trish the thumb drive when, in fact, that was never reported, let alone inferred.
That’s some of the BS I’m talking about so try not to act like a psychiatric patient, intelligence agent, or paid cyber mercenary by doing these things. If you would like to share your story, viewpoint, or any evidence that pertains to this article, or feel strongly that something needs to be clarified or corrected (again, that actually pertains to the article), you can reach me at email@example.com with any questions or concerns.
I cannot confirm and am not confirming the legitimacy of any messages or emails in this article. Please see a doctor if sensitivity continues. If anyone asks, feel free to tell them that I work for Schoenberger, Fitzgibbon, Steven Biss, the CIA, or really just about any intelligence agency because your idiocy, ongoing defamation, and failure as a human is truly a sight to behold for the rest of us.
If I described you as a fruit basket or even a mental patient it's because that is my opinion of you, it's not a diagnosis. I'm not a psychiatrist nor should anyone take my personal opinions as some sort of clinical assessment. Contact @BellaMagnani if you want a rundown on the psych profile she ran on you.
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