Financing Hate - Patriot Front
Group Financing Profile
You might have heard of Patriot Front’s failed attempt to riot at an LGBTQ+ event in Idaho earlier this year, but did you know that the group was also responsible for 3,992 white-supremacist propaganda incidents in 2021, accounting for more than 82% of American incidents? The Texas-based organization distributes hateful posters, stickers, banners and other materials in 48 states across the United States. Directors within the organization push members to buy the pricey propaganda from the group’s founder, creating a sort of pyramid scheme. Although Patriot Front does not have any known chapters outside of the US, their online materials spread racist content across borders, making them an ideological threat to broader public safety.
Patriot Front is a unique group, with an interesting method for raising funds as well as managing their finances. Keep reading to learn more about the organization’s financial profile.
Origins and Ideology
Patriot Front was founded in 2017 by Thomas Rousseau. The group is based in Texas and operates in states across the United States. It is a rebrand of Vanguard America, a neo-Nazi group that was involved in the deadly Charlottesville ‘Unite the Right’ rally. Rousseau feuded with Vanguard America’s leader Dillion Izizarry for months about group optics and the effectiveness of public demonstrations before taking over membership management and renaming the organization. Although the group calls for the formation of a white Ethnostate, they want to disassociate themselves from the Nazi-era imagery that accompanied the Charlottesville riot. To do so, Patriot Front disseminates significant volumes of carefully curated white-supremacist propaganda.
The vast reach of Patriot Front’s propaganda, as well as the groups’ ‘flash demonstrations’ with dozens of members at once, creates an illusion of significant membership. Leaked messages between those within the organization, however, reveal membership to be between 200-300 individuals. Nonetheless, Patriot Front spends considerable resources spreading their racist ideology by anonymously posting hateful online content, distributing physical propaganda materials, vandalizing Black and LGBTQ+ monuments, and marching during various events. So how do they raise those fund?