High Profile Departures and Financial Woes Raise More Questions About Stormfront’s Future
After a string of high profile departures, the future of Stormfront is more uncertain than ever. In just three months, the Internet’s most notorious and deadly white supremacist community has lost two charismatic leaders and the ability to process credit card donations.
The abdications of Stormfront Radio cohost Freeland Roy Dunscombe (AKA “Truck Roy”) and longtime chief of staff James Baker (AKA “Jack Boot”) have left the site’s founder, Don Black, and its most dedicated members deflated.
“In the lean times, it was largely you and David Duke and a few other guys that were keeping things going. Now, we’ve got a lot more people pushing things,” said Dunscombe in his final regular broadcast on December 27, 2016. “I do kind of want to step down from doing radio stuff. … I’ve got a lot of other little projects going on, as well as a growing family and kids that are getting older and you know all the standard excuses. There’s a lot going on.”
Black, sounding uncharacteristically discouraged, replied, “I’m here two hours and I’m wondering if that’s in our future. A two-hour show can be kind of burdensome. I have a lot going on too.” The 64-year-old shut-in has been noticeably more absent from his morning ramblings, leaving broadcast duties to regular guests like Patrick Slattery, David Duke’s right hand man, and “Don Advo.”
Three months later, to the day, Stormfront suffered an even larger blow, the resignation of its both beloved and reviled chief of staff, Baker — best known for his role in implementing Stormfront’s controversial ban of swastikas in 2008.
“I remember my early days on this board: Black behind the scenes lubing the gears and Boot out front waving the banner,” wrote JEWFISH, one of the site’s biggest benefactors. “Boot and Black, SF’s one-two punch. Now wondering what else awaits. Another shoe still to drop?”
The announcement undoubtedly came as a significant blow to Black, who was noticeably absent from discussion of Baker’s resignation. During Dunscombe’s final regular broadcast, Black made a point to mention, “People come and go, of course. … We actually still have some of the old moderators — my chief of staff of course, Jack Boot, joined in ’98. We still have a few of the old moderators, but people do come and go and it gets a little discouraging sometimes.”
The site’s sustaining members, its financial lifeblood, were obviously shaken.
“Sad news for SF,” wrote “Pride Isn’t Hate.” “Lost Roy, now Boot.”
With the concurrent announcement that Stormfront lost its ability to process credit card transactions, others openly speculated on the once preeminent site’s future.
“Well, I don’t think this is a good sign,” lamented “Aryan Beauty.” “Between the credit card debacle (even WNS who have been far more high profile than SF have solved this problem) and Jack Boot “retiring,” so soon after, things don’t look too good for the future of SF — especially for a site that needs to clear $7k a month to stay viable. I hope I’m wrong, but time will tell.”
During the April 5, 2017 broadcast, Black admitted to his listeners that, “We’ve had some problems with our credit card processor, which has had a major impact on us in the last month and a half. … We haven’t really been pushing contributions or any kind of donation drive since September or so, because I don’t like to beg, but since we’ve had this problem with credit card processors and I haven’t been begging, we are frankly broke.”
The payment processing company previously utilized by Stormfront appears to be First Data Corporation. The company’s Global Gateway Virtual Terminal, formerly named LinkPoint, had apparently been Stormfront's primary credit card transaction processor since around 2007. The banking conglomerate may have collected fees on close to $1 million in Stormfront donor transactions during that time.
Without significant contributions from this audience, Stormfront may only last a handful more of months, according to Black, who is considering putting the site on life support by taking out a desperate personal loan from a family member.
“I have no doubt that our people will come through,” he stated before conceding, “or I could be wrong. This could be the time that you don’t come through.”
Readers at the Daily Stormer, which overtook Stormfront as the most trafficked white supremacist site in July of 2016, gleefully mocked Stormfront for its tribulations.
“Their ability to accept debit or credit cards has been denied for months now,” wrote “Abupt.” “Jack Boot resigned. Who is left? Slim assed pickings. It is like watching an old rerun of The Three Stooges, but there only seem to be two.”
Andrew Anglin, the site’s founder, took a more sympathetic tone. “As far as Stormfront goes,” he wrote, “I don’t think we should celebrate their demise or even say anything negative about them. It has always been very sad to me that they have so many hundreds of pages attacking me, accusing me of being a pedophile and a secret k--- and a n----- and everything else. … That said, I don’t think it is right to ever attack other white nationalists — even when they are attacking you.”
This from Anglin, who rose to prominence in the white nationalist community, in part, by placing himself at the center of as much infighting as possible.
Stormfront’s recent stumbles punctuate nearly a decade of declining registrations and activity on the forum. With its recent travails, resuscitation from its decrepit founder seems increasingly less likely.
Calls for comment to Dunscombe, Baker, and “Don Advo” were not returned.