Neo-Nazis and other extremists are circumventing EU internet content restrictions by streaming hate messages via satellite into millions of homes in Europe and the Middle East
Within days of securing a coveted prime-time broadcast slot on one of Europe’s most popular satellite networks, Stormfront’s Stephen “Don” Black was quoting Nazi Propaganda Chief Josef Goebbels and advising his listeners that Berlin wasn’t going to “fall” on its own to today’s neo-Nazi revolutionaries.
Forty-eight minutes into the first hour of Stormfront Radio’s New Year’s Eve broadcast, Black admonished his listeners, “So we don't have to, this time, we don't have to well, I hope 2015 is a lot better than 2014 was, because 2014's actually been pretty good this time around. And we'll look forward to us, accomplishing more, uh and, and it depends on us. It's not all, things are not going to fall into our laps. Things are not going to fall into our laps. Berlin is not going to fall into our laps. As Joseph Goebbels pointed out in his diaries, it wasn't something that just happened. It was something they worked hard for, were very persistent, very dedicated and creative when necessary to accomplish their goals. So we have to look at it the same way.”
Preaching white separatism and racial revolution every weekday morning on the Rense Radio Network, which is also archived on gsradio.net, Black’s two-hour show began streaming to more than 100 million homes in Europe and the Middle East on Eutelsat’s Hot Bird 13A in mid-December. Former Klansman David Duke, perhaps America’s most well known anti-Semite, also has an hour-long daily show on the same Eutelsat channel.
With more than 1,100 radio stations broadcasting content on its constellation of satellites, it is unclear if Eutelsat, a French company based in Paris, is aware that its network is being used to promote Nazi ideology, incite hatred against Jews and deny the Holocaust, all of which is illegal in France.
That French racists are listening in and participating on the show is not in dispute. On the Jan. 7 broadcast, just hours after 12 people were massacred by Muslim extremists at Charlie Hebdo, a French alternative newspaper in Paris, a French neo-Nazi called in to Stormfront Radio to complain about the “anti-traditional values” of the journalists at Charlie Hebdo. The caller was “Mike in France,” who called thirty-eight minutes into the first hour of the broadcast to discuss the massacre. The victims of the attack, according to Mike, were “white anti-whites.” Here’s what Mike had to say:
“I, myself, I don’t like white anti-whites, so, the guys who were killed this morning, I wouldn’t say they deserved it, but I would say I’m not surprised that it happened because those guys, those guys have been attacking traditional values for decades. Well, they’ve been mostly doing it against French Christian white people, but they also attacked Muslims, and, well, that’s a Muslim who killed them, so, yeah.”
The Southern Poverty Law Center suspects “Mike in France” is part of a web-based effort of racists who call themselves “Bugsers” and who work passionately to insert extremist memes into mainstream venues. “Mike” posted a picture of himself recently on behalf of the “White Man March” with French signs.
How has this kind of hate messaging found a way to stream into millions of homes, particularly in countries where much of the content would be illegal? Arrangements to have Stormfront Radio streamed on Eutelsat appear to have been made through a so-called “reseller,” associated with the Rense Radio Network. Global Star Radio, based in Orrtanna, Pa., according to a whois search, provides satellite radio access to a number of racist, neo-Nazi and Christian Identity programs worldwide.
There is no doubt that Paris-based Eutelsat has, for some time, been aware of the legal and business consequences of violating France’s racial incitement laws. The company’s 2006-2007 annual report shows this concern and addresses the financial “risk factors” of broadcasting illegal content:
“[E]ach Member State must ensure that the programmes transmitted comply with applicable laws on broadcasts to the general public, especially for the purpose of protecting children and prohibiting the promotion of hate and racial discrimination,” the report read.
Rebuilding the Nazi “Brand”
The harsh rhetoric and likely unlawful content being broadcast into Europe by Don Black and the other hosts on Stormfront Radio is best illustrated in their own words.
On the Dec. 31 program, co-host Albert W. Hess, Jr. of Tallahassee, Fla., who goes by “Jay” on the show, began a rant at around the forty-four minute mark in the first hour of the program claiming “Hitler and the Nazis were basically a reaction to Jewish power and treason in Germany.”
A long-time American neo-Nazi with ties to the National Alliance and an activism pedigree in the racist movement going back to American Nazi Party founder George Lincoln Rockwell’s era, the 61-year-old is a staunch supporter of National Socialism on the show. Hess claimed, for example, that “Being a Nazi was really just a reaction against the people that were causing trouble and treason and Communism” in Germany.
Co-host Freeland Roy Dunscombe, a 38-year-old barber in Harrison, Ark., who goes by “Truck Roy” on the radio program, interjected to point out the Nazi’s were a much more respected “brand” in the 1930s. Here is a transcript of the conversation that followed, which begins at forty-six minutes into the Dec. 31 show:
DUNSCOMBE: Well, of course, back then, you know, what Nazi meant back then is not what it means now. You know, when the National Socialists first came on the scene as a party that got people's attention in Germany they didn't have baggage or decades of Hollywood conditioning against their brand.
HESS: And even someone like Winston Churchill thought the Nazi Party was generally a good thing. I think Churchill wrote once that if he were German he would wish that he had a leader like Adolf Hitler to bring his people back from, you know, back from the horrors of defeat at the end of World War I.
And I don't know, I'd also just like to mention you know every year, every New Years at midnight, I've, I make a toast that, and I hope everybody will join me, uh, my toast is uh, next year in Berlin."
DON BLACK: Okay, next year in Berlin.
HESS: You know how, the Jews, every year, before they had gotten Israel, their New Year's Eve toast was 'next year in Jerusalem' and basically what I mean by that is hopefully at some point we will have our own nation where we will be unencumbered by all these various other races that are like a millstone around our necks. So that's my hope when I say that 'next year in Berlin’ that's to symbolically hope for a nation of our own like the Irish—what is it?—Sinn Fein, the saying, ourselves alone?
BLACK: Right. Right, well, that, that’s a good New Year's resolution. I don't know if we're gonna accomplish it this year, but, uh, we will, we will make great strides. I think we've accomplished a lot in 2014 and I think 2015 will be even better.
Though it is a criminal offense to disparage Jews or any other ethnic group, or deny the Holocaust in many European Union countries, it happens almost every day and in any EU home tuned into Stormfront radio. Both hours of the Jan. 29 show, for example, were dedicated to ridiculing Jews and the Holocaust. Black was incensed that day over news coverage of the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz and repeatedly used the term “holohoax” to describe the Nazi slaughter of Jews during World War II.
Thirty-nine minutes into the second hour Black started a rant on “Jewish ritual murder,” an age-old racist claim that Jews kidnapped and killed Gentile children and drank their blood. Black said these ritual murders “really did happen” and, Black continued, “We have to accept the fact that the Holocaust really didn’t happen.”
According to Black, his Stormfront Radio broadcasts in Europe via satellite are designed to work around restrictions emerging in the EU that have successfully blocked stormfront.org from being available in some countries, such as Italy, where Black complained on his Jan. 12, 2015, show that people are in jail for posting to Stormfront.
Well, not exactly.
In November 2012, Italian police raided several homes and arrested Stormfront Italia leaders Diego Masi, Mirko Viola, and others. Dozen of knives and several blood-stained bats and clubs were among the weapons and material seized from Viola’s residence. The arrests came after Stormfront Italia published a “blacklist” of Italian citizens targeting them for “racial abuse.”
But none of this would have become a reality if were not for one of Black’s closest friends and dearest confidants––David Duke, America’s most famous anti-Semite.
David Duke Fan Club President for Life
Don Black specializes in propagation, not propaganda. For most of his adult life he has basically served as David Duke’s defender and campaign manager, pushing the idea that Duke is a “household name” and the most famous advocate for white people in American history—a meme that has become fact.
Black does recruit people to moderate Stormfront and raises more than a hundred thousand dollars a year through a sustaining member program on the site, but his main purpose appears to be the aggressive promotion of David Duke and his propaganda.
There seems to be little more to Don Black than that.
It is obviously difficult to summarize a man’s life’s work when he really hasn’t done much meaningful work for most of his life. Unlike many prominent figures in the racist movement, Black has written no manifesto, published no books or notable essays on his racial beliefs. His rare public speeches are short and disjointed. He lives like a hermit in his wife’s family home in West Palm Beach, Fla.—a modest and overgrown corner lot in a quiet residential neighborhood. He runs Stormfront from the dining room table, seldom travels anywhere and rarely posts anything on his own message board.
But he can sure talk.
His global radio program showcases a notably different side of the Stormfront founder. On his radio show, Black rants and raves about Jews and minorities, frequently smacking his lips as he dives into exhausting tirades about white people being victimized and targeted for “genocide.”
But this is, for the most part, extemporaneous speech, right off the top of his head. His shows rarely follow a theme, and he appears to do no research or broadcast preparation except what he may have seen that morning on “The Today Show.” Chiming in when a co-host or caller raises an issue, he often sounds like a bitter, angry old white guy ranting in a rocking chair on his porch.
Black is relentlessly nostalgic, too, repeatedly recalling the highlight reel of his life as David Duke’s right hand man. He repeats the same stories almost every morning in his opening monologue, and sometimes you can almost see “Truck Roy,” his co-host, rolling his eyes when Don goes into another diatribe of how it was “back in the day.” And it almost always has something to do with his travels and adventures with David Duke. (See timeline).
Several times on his show, Black has admitted he initially built Stormfront to basically serve as Duke’s online campaign presence and fan club. And, to be sure, Duke only gets accolades on Don’s supposedly “free speech” website. Any Stormfront member engaging in the slightest criticism or questioning of Duke’s often outrageous or past criminal behavior is banned immediately.
And just as they’ve held hands for 30 years of racist activism, they’re joined together on the radio, too. Black ends his broadcasts advising listeners that “Doctor David Duke” will be coming up after the break.
Just like Stormfront, Duke’s program on the Rense Radio Network is broadcast on Eutelsat in Europe.
An Enduring Alliance
Don Black and David Duke have an odd and interesting history.
Even among friends, Duke is regarded as his own biggest fan. Vain and self-promoting, Duke, 64, has successfully marketed a crude cocktail of ethnic separatism to America's poor, white, working class for almost a half century.
Despite continuous rebranding and repeated facial peels and reconstructive surgeries, the not so youthful-looking former Klansman’s two-part message remains the same: The Jews must be exposed and fought before they kill all the white people. And the best way to fight them is to send a check made payable to David Duke.
Duke’s fundraising scams have evolved with the times. In June 1972, Duke and his then wife, Chloe Hardin, were arrested for illegally collecting money on behalf of the George Wallace’s presidential campaign. Four years later, in 1976, the couple published a 177-page sex manual for women titled “Finders Keepers.” Graphic excerpts from the book were published in 1991.
Duke’s cash flow capers continue to this day. Despite some disastrous defections of leaders from his various Klan groups (many of whom accused him of theft), being caught on video-tape by a television news crew while attempting to sell his Klan membership list in 1980 and a stint in federal prison for fleecing his supporters to feed his gambling addiction, Duke prevails as the "oldest rat in the barn" of American white supremacy.
Mostly because he has good help, thanks to Black.
To say the two are “close” would be an understatement. Black and Duke built a Ku Klux Klan group together in the 1970s, they’ve been arrested together and have defended each other from racist critics and competitors for decades. The two have also fathered three children with the same woman.
Over the last 43 years, Black and Duke have been politically and personally inseparable as they have professionally refined selling separatism to angry, aging, American racist market. Today they promote and market fears of imaginary white ethnic cleansing conspiracies to the poor and poorly educated with well-crafted “victimocracy” memes online and now on their global satellite radio platform.
By alleging and emphasizing white victimhood, Black and Duke expertly propagate atrocity conspiracies, mostly blaming Jews, who they claim are secretly targeting whites for "genocide" (an oddly common anti-Semitic meme popular among southern America's rural poor for almost a century).
Ranting on the Radio
Global satellite radio may be the most useful and one of the last mediums for Duke and Black to continue to earn money selling racist propaganda to impressionable racists. They really need to find new ways to reach new customers because the old ones seem to be leaving.
Indeed, the decline in traffic and interest may mostly be attributable to the embrace of social media across generational gaps. With odd little cliques, cranky moderators, monthly dues and no smartphone friendly interface, Stormfront is an undeniable dinosaur in the fast-paced evolution of Internet platforms now favored by younger and more technologically savvy racists.
The Internet world, in fact, seems to moving at a rate Don Black can’t keep up with.
He first learned computer architecture while a guest of the Federal Bureau of Prisons 30 years ago and his 1980s-era DOS education seems ill-equipped for the multi-platform applications users are accustomed to today. Black can’t even seem to plug-in video hosting on the site, for example, despite promising it and raising funds to offer video for more than a decade. Stormfront users complain weekly in the suggestions forum about their clumsy, vexing experiences trying to access user accounts, or post on the forum from a smartphone. Black claims he has been working for more than a year to make Stormfront navigable on these devices. But with about 30 percent of users now logging on to Stormfront with smartphones or tablets, and often logging out in disgust over the clunky and antiquated VBulletin site, younger racists appear to be taking their business elsewhere.
Perhaps seeing the writing on the wall, Black and Duke are attempting to expand their base by reaching out—through radio—to another odd and aging subculture: Rense Radio listeners.
Rense Radio essentially caters to an older white audience often described as cranks and conspiracy theorists. The demographic just might be a good fit for professional racists since one major theme on Rense is the so-called “Zionist conspiracy.”
That racists have been trying to make inroads into this specialized segment of the right-wing media market is not in doubt. In an interview on Counter-Currents Radio three years ago, “Horus the Avenger” (real name: Timothy Gallaher Murdock) pointed out the value of presenting an anti-Semitic and white nationalist message to a potentially new audience on the Rense Radio Network because “One, Nazis sell,” and two, because “Rense has always been at the foreground of anti-Zionism.”
On the first Stormfront Radio broadcast on the network, in January of last year, Don Black claimed the network’s founder, Jeff Rense, was giving Stormfront a discount on airtime by allowing Rense to advertise his products during the show. It remains unclear exactly how many people are listening to Stormfront Radio. Don Black claims more than ten thousand listeners online, with roughly half listening live and the rest downloading the podcast of the show each day. But the the number of actual listeners remains unknown.
Rense advertises and sells an assortment of “alternative health” products and likely benefits from having David Duke, a big fan of vitamins and alternative health products, and Stormfront Radio on his network for five hours a day. Rense runs Duke’s hour-long show live and then replays it two more times each weekday. If you are pitching amazing “Cancer Cures” or selling the juice of the venus fly trap plant as a disease fighter, or offering a special laxative tea mix that will “change your life,” you might find a receptive customer base among older angry listeners who believe other unlikely ideas like the Southern Confederacy and National Socialist Germany are about to rise again.
Brought to You by Robitussin
But what remains unclear is if mainstream advertisers appearing on Rense know that their ads are featured on a racist, Holocaust-denying radio program. Black likes these mainstream ads, pointing out on his first Rense show that having paid sponsors gives his program credibility, “like a real radio show,” he said on air.
Indeed, the Stormfront broadcast starts at the top of the hour sounding like a real radio show, with a two-minute news broadcast, usually read by Bob Agnew of Salem Radio Network, or SRN. The news program, heard on Christian radio stations nationwide, is managed by its parent company, Salem Media Group, one of the largest and most successful “Christian-based” radio content providers in the country.
Salem Media Group is a mainstream Christian evangelical organization with significant influence and reach among conservative Republicans. At the top of the second hour of the Stormfront Radio program on Feb. 24, SRN News announced that the network would be participating in three GOP presidential primary debates, starting in September.
After the news, a paid sponsor’s commercial is run, two minutes into the news broadcast. During the morning broadcast late last year when Don Black was quoting Goebbels, the broadcast was sponsored by the network security company barracuda.com and Robitussin. Other mainstream businesses have been featured on the program as well.
Not only is Salem clearly against racists and anti-Semites, but one of its hosts has been specifically attacked for his Judaism on Stormfront radio.
After the announcement about its participation in the GOP primary debates this past February, and commercials for granger.com and Quicken Loans, the Stormfront Radio show continued with second hour guest host “Don Advo." Advo ranted for almost half an hour about radio talk show host Michael Medved, whom Advo accused of being a racist Jew who was pro-choice to “cull the goyim herd” of white babies.
Medved, who is syndicated by Salem Media Group, may well not be able to respond on the air to this crude attack. He has been in treatment for throat cancer since January.