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Colorado police revealed that they are actively investigating an alt-right agitator named Ali Alexander. He’s part of the general alt-right, white-nationalist Zoomer movement alongside Nick Fuentes (America First) and Milo Yiannopoulos (ex-Breitbart provocateur).

For years I’ve been hearing rumors about all of them that should concern anybody in the movement—if not everyone outside of it as well. But it took a protracted and very messy feud to finally get official eyes on any of them.

Right-wing people go through periods where they have a lot of trouble finding mascots and leaders who aren’t scandal-ridden stains on humanity’s shorts. They’re having another one of those periods right now.

The players: Nick Fuentes

If you spend any amount of time online, you have probably heard of two of the three players in today’s squabble.

In 2020, Nick Fuentes founded the America First Political Action Conference (AFPAC), an openly white supremacist alt-right group comprised mostly of disaffected white male Zoomers. Fuentes is one of the most pathetically toxic people around. He is not only racist and sexist but a Holocaust denier and an outright advocate for America to become a Catholic theocracy. Fuentes’ followers call themselves groypers or the Groyper Army. The name derives from a variant of the Pepe-the-frog meme, which they use liberally in their spaces.

Fuentes was present at the 2017 Charlottesville alt-right rally and the January 6th insurrection attempt. At the latter event, he showed up as a VIP guest for Donald Trump’s speech beforehand and gave his own address to the crowds. Last fall, Fuentes attended a private dinner with Kanye West and Donald Trump. Recently, we learned that West’s presidential campaign has paid Fuentes about $30k.

And now, Milo Yiannopoulos

Until December, Milo Yiannopoulos was West’s 2024 campaign manager. Yiannopoulos has had past strong ties to Donald Trump as well, which he likely drew upon to engineer the meeting between West, Fuentes, and Trump. He arose from the alt-right muck around 2014 as a Breitbart writer and editor. When Gamergate came about that same year, he rose to prominence as a supporter of it.

For a while, he was the figurehead of the alt-right. Nowadays, Yiannopoulos claims to be an ex-gay Catholic. A number of controversies have largely sunk his official career. He’s lost a great deal of his political power but still maintains a strong emotional hold over many disaffected white Zoomers and even younger Millennials.

Both he and Fuentes deploy extreme irony to cover for their repulsive behavior and views, as do their followers.

Lastly, Ali Alexander: Obscure to outsiders, but well-known to insiders

Ali Alexander is a far more obscure figure to normies. He attended a Southern Baptist college for a while and intended to become a minister before something led him instead to ever-more-extreme conservative politics—and that particular brand of hardline Catholicism that draws unwary evangelical lads like bug zappers draw moths. Sometimes he bills himself as a philosopher and an “interpreter of energy,” though he’s more of a basic alt-right grifter with a couple of theft and fraud felonies in his past.

Alexander takes credit for coming up with the idea of “Stop the Steal,” a movement aimed at overturning Trump’s 2020 election loss through false claims of vote-tampering. In addition, he claims he first thought of holding a rally in Washington, D.C. on January 6th.

Believe these two claims as you like. I’ve seen no evidence either way. However, plenty of evidence establishes him as a major pusher of the unfounded conspiracy theories that still swirl around that election. Thanks to the 2021 Epik data breach, we now know he owned over 100 domains devoted to those conspiracy theories.

Over time, Alexander has been banned and de-platformed from what seems like every social media and payment system on the planet. Twitter briefly reinstated his account after Elon Musk took over its operations, but soon banned him again due to the recent controversy we’re about to examine.

By now, alt-right people are very familiar with him.

But outsiders to that culture have likely never heard of him.

A wild Marjorie Taylor Greene enters the chat

Marjorie Taylor Greene has ties to these three clownshoes. Before Yiannopoulos became West’s campaign manager, he worked as an unpaid intern in Greene’s congressional office. For months beforehand, he’d been spotted at her political functions, and she seemed to think highly of him.

In 2022, she spoke at Fuentes’ AFPAC convention in Florida. Though she got criticism from many Republicans for attending the convention, I particularly like how Mitt Romney called her one of the “morons on my team.”

She doesn’t care. She calls her peers in Congress “Pharisees” and “evil,” while praising the disaffected Zoomer groypers to the skies for trying to “save our country” —from, presumably, her culture-war enemies.

She’s definitely pandering to these guys, and they’re happy to take as much of it as she is willing to give.

Or at least, they were.

Let the alt-right slapfights begin!

Fuentes ran afoul of Greene after his dinner with Kanye West and Trump. On November 30, Greene criticized Fuentes’ involvement, condemned his racism and antisemitism, and said she regretted speaking at AFPAC in 2022.

Fuentes riposted by calling her a weak-willed, attention-seeking “girlboss” —and a divorced Christian hypocrite to boot. Then, he mocked her for enthusiastically supporting West’s candidacy “before the swastikas came out.”

(He’s talking about this incident. But I’m sure Fuentes finds plenty of ways to hand-wave away his own rumored hypocrisy.)

A few days later, Vice News gleefully reported that “The Far Right Is Dumping Marjorie Taylor Greene.” Indeed, those folks are very angry with Greene for disavowing and condemning Fuentes and AFPAC. Laura Loomer said Greene was “all talk and zero action, unless of course the action is selling t-shirts and wine glasses.” Vince James, another white nationalist, attempted to convince Green that she was “a slave to the Democrats and the Media.” Other groypers simply complained about her “betrayal.”

How Ali Alexander figures into this mess

Around this same time, West fired Yiannopoulos from his 2024 campaign. Rumor has it that they parted ways after West made some spectacularly backfired media appearances. Afterward, West hired Alexander to lead it. By the time Yiannopoulos parted ways with the campaign, tensions had been rising between him and Fuentes for months.

Fuentes likely played a big role in that hiring decision, too, since he brought Alexander along for West’s InfoWars appearance in early December. Yiannopoulos was conspicuously absent for that meetup.

I’m sure Yiannopoulos was seething over losing his position to Alexander. I’m sure he was further displeased by Fuentes’ constant snipes at him on his livestream show. In February, Fuentes accused Yiannopoulos of—among many other things—of financially mismanaging West’s campaign money and of being pathologically dishonest and deceptive. Alexander eventually got in on the infighting by accusing Yiannopoulos of misusing Fuentes’ credit card, stealing money from West, and trying to sleep with men associated with West’s campaign.

I guess Alexander’s accusations were what finally pushed Yiannopoulos past his limit.

In late March, Yiannopoulos fired back by accusing Alexander of asking at least two teenage boys in the alt-right movement for nudes and dates.

In turn, Alexander fired back by counter-accusing Yiannopoulos of much the same.

Occurring as it did in a movement that pays a lot of lip service to right-wing Christianity, this feud has been quite a firecracker.

Ali Alexander admits the accusations are true

Later, Ali Alexander admitted that these accusations were true, and that yes indeed, he’d been preying upon teenage boys for years. To gain their compliance, he offered his victims opportunities within the alt-right movement, as well as potential meetings with Yiannopoulos himself. Irony of ironies! Even Yiannopoulos seemed dumbfounded by that revelation:

By way of excuse, Alexander confessed that for years he’d been “battling SSA.” The acronym stands for same-sex attraction, and it is how the Christian right tries to minimize and negate homosexuality. In addition, he insisted that “nothing unlawful has occurred” between him and the underage boys he messaged, though that’s obviously not true if he was asking those boys for nude pictures.

Worst of all, it sure looks like Yiannopoulos and Fuentes were aware of his predatory proclivities. Alexander’s attraction to young men has been an open secret in alt-right circles for almost a decade now. Last year, Yiannopoulos sent a text to Fuentes to warn him that Alexander only attended AFPAC events “to have sex with underage boys,” then sternly told him, “Snap out of it.”

And bizarrely, Yiannopoulos mentioned it himself in February 2022. In much happier times, he appeared on “The Alex Jones Show.” There, he told the whole world that Ali Alexander was gay and liked “19-year-olds.” An amazed observer with Right Wing Watch grabbed the clip, only to notice later that the InfoWars folks edited that bit entirely out of Yiannopoulos’ segment.

Now everyone’s attacking everyone

Once the news broke to mainstream media, everyone took their gloves off and began bare-knuckling everyone else in sight.

Nick Fuentes is accusing Milo Yiannopoulos of ghostwriting Marjorie Taylor Green’s tweets. He’s also blaming one of Ali Alexander’s victims of clout-chasing and blackmail.

Alexander, meanwhile, claims Greene is trying to intimidate and silence him before he reveals that she’s committed perjury. (He’s been talking like this since about January, when he called her a gendered slur on video and claimed he had the power to get her expelled from Congress.)

Yiannopoulos, of course, accuses Fuentes of allowing Alexander to prey upon underage groypers. Also, he’s very upset about Fuentes lying about attending church.

The only person not throwing themselves gleefully into that swampy muck appears to be Greene herself. She’s fully flipped sides and is now saying she wants the FBI to investigate Ali Alexander and Nick Fuentes.

I wish I could find words to tell you how gobsmackingly weird it is to see the alt-right devouring itself like this. Yes, they do frequently backbite and attack each other, but this is a scorched-earth war.

It’s even stranger to think that somehow and against all odds Marjorie Taylor Greene has emerged as the most sensible person in this situation. How does that even happen? My mental equilibrium has officially just shifted without engaging the clutch, and I am stalled out on the information superhighway.

Dysfunctional authoritarianism for the win loss

But let’s pull back and use the wide-angle lens for a minute. This situation might be extreme, but it’s not unusual at all.

This squabble is a perfect illustration of the shaky foundations of dysfunctional authoritarian groups. They are not built by qualified leaders with experience, and they do not train qualified leaders to rise up through their ranks. They have stated goals that they can’t possibly achieve, and covert goals they’d do anything to pretend don’t exist.

Instead, they are all too often simply cults of personality that allow incompetent people to advance to positions of power as long as they prove themselves loyal and obedient.

I won’t deny that Yiannopoulos has some actual organizational skills under him. He’s likely the only person we’ve covered today who does. (He’s also said ridiculously stupid things that imply that he, too, is a gay pedo.) The rest are man-children who are just playing at running a clubhouse that grew way out of their control.

We’re seeing exactly how authoritarians deal with secrets and confidences

For years, the men involved here have observed the others up close—and they’ve kept notes and screenshots of what they’ve seen. And they’ve held those secrets for a rainy day, much like that $500 bill many of us tucked under our side of the Monopoly board years ago. Secrets are currency to authoritarians. It’s how they keep each other in line and obedient.

However, their shield walls are never very secure, because none of them actually have a lot of discipline or inner strength. They’ve never needed to develop either capacity because their allies have always held them up in the past.

Once one part of it collapses, the rest will fall in very short order—as we’ve seen here, when all three men unleashed everything they had on each other to try to win the groypers’ allegiance.

I don’t think this fight will stop the groypers from, er, groyping (or whatever they call what they do). Nor will it likely impact either Kanye West or Donald Trump, or even Greene herself. I don’t think it’ll even end Yiannopoulos as an alt-right leader, especially if that whole pedophilia thing in 2017 didn’t flush him down the alt-right toilet.

But if it inspires disaffected white male Zoomers to examine their thought leaders more critically, and to maybe wonder just why their movement has so incredibly much trouble finding leaders who aren’t skidmarks, then maybe something good can come out of this whole story.

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ROLL TO DISBELIEVE "Captain Cassidy" is Cassidy McGillicuddy, a Gen Xer and ex-Pentecostal. (The title is metaphorical.) She writes about the intersection of psychology, belief, popular culture, science,...