U.S. State Department official Matthew Q. Gebert has been steadily producing white nationalist propaganda in the nearly six months since he was suspended from his job, Hatewatch has learned.
When Hatewatch published a report on Gebert’s role in the white nationalist movement on Aug. 7, 2019, the State Department suspended him and launched an investigation into his apparent double life. The State Department has not confirmed whether Gebert is still being paid, but his name does not appear in the State Department directory, and an operator could not locate his name to transfer calls.
In the time since the State Department began investigating Gebert’s ties to the white nationalist movement, he has made no apparent effort to diminish his connections to it. He appears instead to have further entrenched himself in that world of hate.
Gebert, using his pseudonym “Coach Finstock,” hosted 18 episodes of a white nationalist-themed podcast in the six months since his extremist ties were exposed, as of Jan. 29, 2020. Gebert also posted or reposted thousands of messages on Twitter and the extremist-friendly messaging app Telegram during that timeframe, promoting both his podcast and his goal of building a fascist country composed of only white, non-Jewish people. (Hatewatch is not publishing the title of Gebert’s podcast or his handles on social media to avoid playing any role in building his audience.)
“Nobody ever said this would be easy,” Gebert said on a podcast published on Jan. 1, 2020, referring to the cause of white nationalism. “We, the ones who live with our eyes wide open, recognize all the sickness, and treachery, and evil in this world. And we know who is responsible for it.”
Gebert was working for the Bureau of Energy Resources at the time he hosted meetings for, and posted forum messages seeking to recruit members to, the Washington, D.C.-area chapter of The Right Stuff network. The Right Stuff network is a multi-state antisemitic, white nationalist organization headed by a New York-based man named Michael Peinovich. Following Hatewatch’s report, residents of Gebert’s Leesburg, Virginia, neighborhood ordered signs that said, “Your Hate Has No Home Here.” Gebert was forced to step down from the board of his local homeowner’s association. The State Department briefed the Senate Foreign Relations Committee about him.
On the Jan. 1, 2020, broadcast, Gebert, speaking as Coach Finstock, appeared to refer to that public outcry:
“Merely for stating the obvious, that others are either too stupid, or indoctrinated or cowardly to do, we face risks to our reputations, our livelihoods and even our safety,” he told his listeners. “Yet we soldier on.”
Hatewatch reached out to the State Department multiple times in December and January seeking an update on their investigation into Gebert, but never received a response. Hatewatch also reached out to Gebert twice by email seeking comment for this story, but he did not respond. During a podcast published Jan. 19, 2020, Gebert speculated that people were monitoring his white nationalist activity.
“Even if you are listening as part of hostile surveillance, we thank you … because your hatred of us and our virtuous cause fuels our fires,” Gebert, speaking as Coach Finstock, told listeners.
White genocide-themed family content
Gebert’s current podcast, which he launched in April 2019, prior to his suspension, focuses on raising the white birth rate and promoting a community of white nationalist fathers.
Raising the white birth rate is a common goal of those who subscribe to the “white genocide” or “great replacement” conspiracy theory, which suggests that elites, frequently Jews, are deliberately pushing majority-white countries into accepting a multiracial society in order to eliminate white people from planet Earth. Gebert, who is a father of three, encourages white men to have children for this reason on his show while speaking as Coach Finstock. Hatewatch previously reported that Gebert spoke of having his third child in the context of boosting the white birth rate on a different podcast in 2018.
Gebert dedicates a regular section of this podcast to announcing births of new children by white nationalist fathers. He also often depicts children growing up into a struggle for racial survival and hosts discussions around parenting advice in that context. Using his Coach Finstock stage name, he suggested on an Oct. 11, 2019, episode that one of his sons would be “the general” in response to a prompt from a guest about what would happen “if one of your kids is the next Hitler, 30 years from now.”
On a Jan. 8, 2020, episode, Gebert and guests discussed using corporal punishment to discipline male children.
“You have to sort of break them. That sounds bad to put it that way, I know,” a guest going by the name “Sam” said, referring to using a “wooden rod” on boys “in certain situations.” “You have to win that battle of wills.”
“Like a horse, yeah,” Gebert, added, speaking as Coach Finstock.
Gebert also tweeted on Jan. 10, 2020, about his daughter in the context of watching extremist-friendly material:
“Daughter catches a glimpse of the Killstream, I explain what a debate is, and she says, ‘whoever says the nicest word wins,’” Gebert wrote.
Killstream is a debate-themed YouTube show that frequently hosts white nationalists. He also said as Coach Finstock on the Oct. 11, 2019, podcast episode that “you’re not really red-pilled until you have a daughter – a white daughter.” Red-pilling is a slang term that white nationalists use to describe being radicalized to the cause.
Gebert’s show frequently spirals away from its family-oriented themes into darker material, like choosing which firearms one needs to store in advance of a potential doomsday scenario and indulging in racist hate. It features a revolving door of guests who are either connected to Michael Peinovich and The Right Stuff network or are known personalities in the larger community of organized racists. One such guest is Joseph Jordan, who under the stage name “Eric Striker” publishes propaganda promoting a fascist future for the U.S. In the Oct. 11, 2019, episode of Gebert’s podcast, Jordan appeared to suggest that government agents should be killed in the event of an imagined president who shared his views taking power.
“The only way out of this is for a figure to get into office … take the intelligence agencies, the CIA and the FBI, put them on trial, and then throw them up against the wall,” Jordan, speaking as “Eric Striker,” remarked on Gebert’s show.
The phrase “against the wall” often refers to a firing squad and is commonly espoused by revolutionaries who seek a violent resolution to what they perceive to be an otherwise unsolvable political conflict. Hatewatch reached out to a representative for Jordan who stated that “Mr. Striker has no interest in speaking with you or responding to your ridiculous attempts to smear him.”
The Oct. 11, 2019, show also featured a guest appearance by a person who goes by the name “Wild Rich.” “Wild Rich” operates a Telegram channel in which he has advocated violence against minorities. For example, “Wild Rich” used Telegram in March 2019 to celebrate the Christchurch, New Zealand, terror attack, which claimed the lives of 51 Muslim worshippers.
“Violence is the only thing these freaks will understand,” “Wild Rich” wrote in a series of Telegram posts following that attack, referring to Muslims. “You’re not going to rationalize them or outbreed them or outvote them. They’ll need to be strung up from lampposts, dragged into the streets at night, gunned down en masse, and systematically eliminated like any other pest.”
“Wild Rich” described himself on the show as a law student who is roughly 30 years old. He used his appearance on Gebert’s show to stump for building a legal advocacy organization for white nationalists that he referred to as the “SS SPLC,” referring to the Schutzstaffel, a paramilitary organization operated by the Nazis during World War II.
“We need our … own think tank and policy org ... explicitly pro-white … our own thing with our own money with people knowing from the very beginning, ‘hey, these guys are pro-white, they know what the Jews are up to,’” “Wild Rich” said on Gebert’s show.
Gebert’s podcast periodically drifts into violent racist fantasies. Such was the case on a podcast published on Dec. 16, 2019. On that show, Gebert and his wife, Anna Vuckovic, who goes by the name “Wolfie James” in the white nationalist movement, recalled over back-and-forth dialogue that Gebert collected too many plastic shopping bags for her liking in their home. A co-host on his show going by the name Potato Smasher suggested they drop the plastic bags off in India before saying they could be used to suffocate the people who live there.
“We could just tie them around the Pajeets’ heads,” Potato Smasher said, using a common white nationalist slur for Indian people.
Gebert and his wife laughed at the suggestion.
“There’s a no fed posting rule on this show. You know this,” Gebert replied.
“Fed posting” is an internet slang term referring to moments when white nationalists publicly express a desire to commit acts of violence, often against minorities or government officials. The idea is that such proclamations could potentially draw increased scrutiny from the FBI.
“It’s not a fedpost, it was a polite suggestion,” Potato Smasher said.
“It’s a solution to a problem that you see,” Vuckovic added, laughing.
Hatewatch has identified Potato Smasher as Michael McKevitt, who has lived in Pittsburgh and North Carolina in different parts of his life. McKevitt served as a helicopter repairperson in the Army from August 2012 to August 2018. His wife, Allyson McKevitt, is also enmeshed in the white nationalist movement. (Hatewatch’s story on the McKevitts is available here.)
'Dances with Lone Wolves'
Spotify removed Gebert’s podcast from their streaming services in January 2020. Google, Zencast and Player.FM currently carry it. Hatewatch reached out to those companies for a comment about their relationship to Gebert’s podcast but did not immediately receive a response from Zencast or Player.FM.
Google responded by sending a statement stating that they do not host Gebert’s podcast but merely “index” it.
“Similar to Google Search, Google Podcasts does not remove podcasts from its index except in very rare circumstances, such as if it is ordered by law enforcement,” the statement said.
Twitter removed Gebert’s account promoting his podcast on Jan. 27, 2020. Gebert posted to Telegram a screenshot of his suspended Twitter account hours later.
“We know exactly what happened here, and who is responsible,” he wrote.
Hatewatch reached out to Telegram for a comment about Gebert’s account but did not receive a response.
Gebert boasted during the intro to his Jan. 19, 2019, show, without sharing evidence to support his claim, that his show garners thousands of listens per week. He referred to it as a “growing project” on that episode and mentioned that he would be launching a website. On Jan. 13, 2020, someone purchased a separate domain bearing the name of Gebert’s podcast through Epik, according to publicly available registration information about the site. Epik has a documented history of working with websites that traffic in hate.
After Hatewatch reached out to Gebert to ask him about his recent activity in the white nationalist movement, someone altered the show description for his Jan. 19, 2020, podcast on streaming sites. The show description initially referenced the word “boogaloo,” which is slang white nationalists use to connote a civil war, or a race war. The word was replaced with “Bugout” sometime after its publication.
Some white nationalists, such as former congressional candidate Paul Nehlen, use the term “boogaloo” in the context of terror attacks, like the one that claimed the lives of 22 people in August 2019 in El Paso, Texas. Gebert reposts Nehlen’s content on his Telegram channel and donated money to his campaign in 2018.
In the Jan. 19, 2020, podcast episode, Gebert, speaking as Coach Finstock, talked about being in “one of the [white nationalist-themed Twitter direct message] groups” where members were creating Native American themed names based on the movement.
“Mine was Dances with Lone Wolves,” he said, playing on language referring to solitary far-right extremists who commit terror attacks.
Photo illustration by SPLC