The home was classic suburban, with a picnic table and a backyard fire pit. The atmosphere was like a family barbecue, but she could feel the air with intensity. They stood around the fire and cheered as the books were thrown into flames. Some gave Nazi greetings.
"Everything is so surreal," Samantha says now. "You're literally standing there, you're going. I'm in a book burning in someone's house. Like, there are families living in the neighborhood. There is probably a nice guy who lives across the street, and I burn books for the Jewish people." # 39; … It doesn't even feel wrong or right. It just feels unreal. "
At the time, she told a friend that this was the best weekend of her life.
Samantha had been it takes six months to move from a vaguely liberal non-voter to what she calls a "productive racist." She is one of the few women who have joined the alt-right and an even smaller number who have left and are ready to talk about it. Her story helps explain what attracts people to this movement and the misogyny that drives it.
In the fall of 2016, Samantha's indie rock lover boyfriend changed. She started lifting weights and making jokes she didn't understand. When she finally looked at them, she discovered that they were based on a complex, violent, white, super-modern fantasy called "Rope Day," in which people of color, Jews, gays, and "racial traitors" who helped them they kill.
"I couldn't believe it," Samantha said. "We both knew so many people who fit that description." Her boyfriend reassured her that these were just jokes. But then, she says, he looked her in the eye and said he was a fascist and couldn't be with anyone who wasn't.
She began to explore the alt-right – a movement that shaped old white overseas ideas in ironic memes that are distributed online to a very young audience. Grotesque jokes on image boards like 4chan and 8chan are not her scene.
But she found something appealing to white power activists who introduced themselves as intellectuals, such as Richard Spencer and Jared Taylor. Just weeks after her first online search, she became a member of a white power fraternity called Identity Evropa.
This took her to the Discord organization's chat rooms, where some members spread similar messages to those who had shocked her not long before. "It kind of starts off as a joke where you laugh nervously. Then you kind of stop laughing because you're used to it," she said. "And then you start publishing it yourself because you want to be a part of it. And it's a really quick, quick dive into that."
CNN knows the identity of the men Samantha and the other women we spoke with had a close relationship with. We checked their real names, locations and, in one case, criminal records through simultaneous communications and public records. The women have asked us not to use their names because they are afraid of these men and their followers.
Samantha spoke before. In 2018, she contacted Andrew Marantz, who was working on a book on social media and extremism, published this fall as Antisocial. Later Marantz reached out to me and offered to talk to Samantha. He gave me an iPhone that she had used in her time in the alt on the right. The screen was broken. I fixed it and started looking at it.
Samantha's iPhone opens the hidden world inside the White Power movement, frozen in time in 2017.
And since Samantha came in, she was everywhere. She became an interviewer for Identity Evropa, which tests whether new candidates are proficient in white power ideology and examines Jews and people of color. She told herself that she was not racist, but simply "pro-white." She rose up in the organization past her boyfriend and they split up. She was appointed IE's Female Coordinator and managed Women's Chat, a major online traffic management tool that is almost entirely online.
Samantha changed her appearance and behavior. She bought dresses with full skirts and a fitted waist, clothes she wanted to design "all-American, delicate sexuality." Samantha said, "I wanted to be more feminine, I wanted to be more desirable, I wanted to be more valued, I wanted to feel smart. So I just played those roles. And the standards for treating women there are pretty low, so I was able to lean on that and get it done. "
A photo from that time shows Samantha smiling carelessly in a white dress surrounded by five white men, four of whom wear white polo with the Identity of Europe logo.
Samantha had chosen the rural rental where she and the other IE members were staying. It was a winery cabin with two bedrooms and a deck with an extra dining area. "I thought it would be funny if [anti-fascist activists] wanted to drive us out of town … you know, "Oh, those big scary Nazis retired to the vineyard." I thought it would be deeply ironic. "
. in "she says." I was on the move iet. It felt so good to be an activist, to be on the move. "
A few weeks after the May gathering, it was taken to the burning of books by a rising leader in Europe who tried to impress her by introducing her to the white overbearing "celebrity" and ".
The party was organized by men affiliated with The Right Stuff, a group that makes podcasts, which are sort of radio talk shows while driving obsessed with racial science. It was attended by Richard Spencer, who won national fame when he announced Hello Trump to a Nazi crowd shortly after the 2016 election. There were a number of other men people had never heard of but who were known in the world of racist podcasting. Samantha shot one of them, throwing a book into the fire.
Spencer told CNN, "I don't remember the event." He added: "I've been to a lot of parties and I've seen a lot of wild things." When CNN spoke with Enoch Peynovich's Mother on The Right Stuff, he declined to comment on the book's burning.
"The people you hear on podcasts and the people you see make speeches and go to different news programs are shown at these parties. So you feel like you're dating a rock star, "Samantha said." It also encourages you to stay, it encourages you to stick. You could be the next big name in the movement if you meet the right person. "
Even as Samantha thought she was rising through the ranks, she was aware of a meme known as white sharia, a misogynistic twist on the Muslim religious code. that white women are destroying Western civilization through promiscuity and voting for liberals, so that the only way to save is to impose Sharia law on women and, according to the Sharia's perverted views, treat them as property  Leaflet for and garyaneto book said "ZONE WHITE Sharia. HIAB SHOULD BE INVESTIGATED AT ALL TIMES. "(" Thoth "is slang, racists enthusiastically break away from hip-hop; this means" that ho there, "or a woman seeking attention through her sexuality.) Samantha took a picture of him She holds it with nails with a French manicure.
Shortly after the party, one of several in the summer, Samantha's new boyfriend was in the dock. macy was posted online and feared that anti-fascist activists would come to his house, so Samantha offered to let him break in. He never left.
She worked long hours to support him, and The two parted in private, but she agreed to pretend to be his girlfriend in public, and she was still working for IE, increasing women's membership from a handful to about 50 as the overall ranking swelled to 1,000, she said.
In chat rooms, her protégés signaled that they were happy.
One writes, "I finally got over the whole problem with the woman. Because I was a real sensitive guy, I came across some evil podcast or tweet … But IRL everyone is super nice. So there is a social media bravado that I don't understand , but I learned to accept. "Another said," Yes, initially it was all white sharia, women are property, women are not people, etc. that really came to me. I have met a few men who are solid white sharia / women need not be intellectual, but they are the minority of men I know. "
In private, they sent her messages about men who had harassed or abused her.
Samantha is disappointed and bored.
"I know I will never be such a leader because I am a woman. So if I do it behind the scenes with someone else's voice, that's fine, "she told him.
While others were preparing to head to Charlottesville, Samantha's engagement was pierced. She watched an elderly woman who was identified. on the move, posing hypothetically during a conversation with a white man who did not know they were white supremacists.
She asked him to imagine that the house was burned and 10 people inside, five of them black and five white. He could only save five, wouldn't he save the whites first? The man said he would save whom he could save Samantha thought, "I would do the same." But she didn't say anything. "I felt like most of the time when I was there, I was waiting for someone else to say, 'We know all this is nonsense, is it not? "
Other women, having spent time with identity Europe, they told CNN that the violence in Charlottesville terrifies them and drives them away, but Samantha violates
She is ashamed that her grandmother cannot be proud of her. She quit IE a few weeks later. She says her ex threatened her – saying that on good days she would leave the movement "in a body bag". She says she was reminded that she could hold "very Nazi sperm" and make many Nazi babies. Despite these threats, she left. White tops increase college efforts, ADL says ” data-src-mini=”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/190627163731-adl-report-fliers-0627-small-169.jpg” data-src-xsmall=”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/190627163731-adl-report-fliers-0627-medium-plus-169.jpg” data-src-small=”http://cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/190627163731-adl-report-fliers-0627-large-169.jpg” data-src-medium=”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/190627163731-adl-report-fliers-0627-exlarge-169.jpg” data-src-large=”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/190627163731-adl-report-fliers-0627-super-169.jpg” data-src-full16x9=”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/190627163731-adl-report-fliers-0627-full-169.jpg” data-src-mini1x1=”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/190627163731-adl-report-fliers-0627-small-11.jpg” data-demand-load=”not-loaded” data-eq-pts=”mini: 0, xsmall: 221, small: 308, medium: 461, large: 781″ src=”data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhEAAJAJEAAAAAAP///////wAAACH5BAEAAAIALAAAAAAQAAkAAAIKlI+py+0Po5yUFQA7″/>