- AFN is a small but growing neo-Nazi group based in De Kalb, Texas.
- The group claims to have chapters in 25 states.
- AFN has been increasingly active since transitioning from a white supremacist networking site to a membership organization in January 2022, spreading white supremacist propaganda, holding anti-LGBTQ+ demonstrations and organizing private gatherings.
- AFN promotes hardline white supremacist views and largely directs its vitriol at Jewish people, Black people and the LGBTQ+ community.
- AFN promotes the goal of white unity and holds events that bring together disparate white supremacist groups.
- The AFN logo, which includes a Totenkopf, or death’s head, acorns and oak leaves, is meant to convey the group’s willingness to defend the “racial purity” of the “white race.”
The Aryan Freedom Network (AFN) began in 2018 as white supremacist networking site but became a membership organization in January 2022. The group is based in DeKalb, Texas.
AFN originally focused on aggregating other white supremacist websites as part of an effort to unify disparate white supremacist sub-movements. Once the group became a membership organization, it began charging dues to establish and maintain national, state and local chapters. As of February 2023, the group claims to have chapters in 25 states, organized into seven regional divisions.
Since its transition to a membership organization, AFN has been increasingly active, especially in Texas, holding private events, joining public demonstrations and distributing white supremacist fliers.
Today, AFN continues its efforts to foster connections between elements of the white supremacist movement, holding an annual “White Unity Conference” event to encourage collaboration. In early 2023, the group spearheaded a $150,000 crowdfunding campaign to construct an “Aryan Hall” for “pro-white events,” complete with a white supremacist museum.
AFN is led by Tonia Sue Berry (aka Daisy Barr) and Dalton Henry Stout (aka Brother Henry). Berry’s father was the late Indiana Klan wizard Jeff Berry, while her brother, Anthony Berry, was the Indiana state leader (Grand Dragon) for the now defunct Confederate White Knights. Stout’s father, George Stout, was a speaker at the 2018 “Arklatex White Unity Conference” organized by Dalton and in 2021, the elder Stout was outed as a member of the Church of the Ku Klux Klan. Tonia Berry and Dalton Stout married in 2020 but appear to have divorced in April 2022.
AFN is just the latest white supremacist group Dalton Stout has promoted or established in recent years. Prior to 2018, Stout led a Klan group called the White Knights of Texas, posting about the group on Stormfront as early as 2012. Stout first registered the website domain now used by AFN in 2018, when he organized the “Texas State Skinheads.” In April 2018, he claimed to have joined the white supremacist League of the South (LoS), appearing in a photograph with LoS founder Michael Hill at a Knights Party event in Arkansas. In 2019, the domain was changed to serve as a webpage for the “ShieldWall Network,” a small Arkansas-based white supremacist group led by Billy Roper, who spoke at AFN’s 2021 White Unity Conference. By November 2019, the website was entirely dedicated to the Aryan Freedom Network.
Aryan Freedom Network espouses neo-Nazi hardline white supremacist views and directs much of its vitriol at Jewish people, Black people and the LGBTQ+ community. Though heavily influenced by Christian Identity tenets, the network attracts white supremacists from a variety of white supremacist sub-movements including neo-Nazis “traditional” white supremacists, racist skinheads and Odinists.
AFN highlighted its antisemitic and white supremacist worldview with an August 2022 propaganda video that opens with a masked man flanked by armed men and warning of an imminent need for Whites to “wake up” as “the niggers are organizing, and the Jews are running it.” The video cuts to chants of “white power” and an image of burning wooden swastika before concluding with footage of a dozen individuals firing assault weapons at a mannequin painted with a Star of David and a hammer and sickle.
AFN’s website features a section dedicated to survival or “prepping” tips for a supposed future racial holy war (“RaHoWa”), including links to firearms, ammunition and survival supplies for “doomsday preppers.” The site implores “every White Racialist to prepare themselves, their families and friends for the coming Racial Holy War (RaHoWa).” Berry claimed via Telegram that the group held a “survivalist day” in January 2022.
On the “Fourteen Words” podcast hosted by white supremacist Sean Sweat (aka TexasVet), Berry claimed that if anyone “doubts” the racial “purity” of any AFN member, that member will be subjected to DNA testing.
Christian Identity Ideology
AFN routinely espouses the rhetoric of Christian Identity a longstanding segment of America’s white supremacist movement. Adherents believe that whites of European descent can be traced back to the "Lost Tribes of Israel." Many consider Jews to be the Satanic offspring of Eve and the Serpent, while non-whites are "mud peoples" created before Adam and Eve.
AFN’s website features an entire section dedicated to Christian Identity ideology, with downloadable readings and sermons from Christian Identity preachers such as Wesley Swift and James Wickstrom.
This emphasis on Christian Identity is not universally popular. Following the 2022 White Unity Conference held in October of that year, one individual associated with the American National Socialist Party (ANSP)—another Texas-based white supremacist group that considered merging with AFN in September 2022—complained that the event was “very Christian Identity leaning, which isn’t my scene.” Another poster agreed, writing on Telegram: “I was a fan also until I was forced to sit through 6 hours of church where heathens were bashed the entire time. One cant [sic] call it a unity conference if all you do is promote your own religion and bash those that don’t believe in the same sky daddy as [you].”
Anti-LGBTQ+ narratives are also central in AFN’s ideology and rhetoric. Nearly all the group’s public activities since January 2022 have been anti-LGBTQ+ demonstrations. On May 7, 2022, approximately 10 members of AFN held an “anti-grooming” protest in Austin, Texas. Participants wore AFN shirts, flew AFN flags and carried signs advertising the group’s website. Tonia Sue Berry claims the group was there to protest “the grooming of children” at Doss Elementary School in Austin, which had announced that it would be holding a Pride week event.
In September 2022, approximately seven individuals associated with AFN gathered near a restaurant that was hosting a drag brunch in Pflugerville, Texas. Participants displayed Nazi flags and signs that read, “Transvestite is not a gender it is a mental disorder” and “It’s okay to be white.”
Later that month, several individuals affiliated with AFN and ANSP joined a protest held by anti-LGBTQ+ “Protect Texas Kids” activist Kelly Neidert outside of a drag queen bingo event at a church in Katy, Texas. The protest also included separate demonstrations from Proud Boys and members of Patriot Front. The AFN and ANSP participants held signs reading, “God hates groomers,” “Homosexuality is an abomination to mankind” and “LGBT is Talmud Jew shit.”
In December 2022, AFN again joined an anti-LGBTQ+ demonstration staged by Protect Texas Kids in Grand Prairie, Texas. The protestors waved AFN flags, held signs advertising the AFN website and screamed racist and homophobic slurs at passersby. A video captured during the event appears to show a masked individual affiliated with AFN grabbing a concealed handgun and threatening counter-protesters.
Activity and Tactics
Aside from public anti-LGBTQ+ demonstrations, AFN organizes gatherings on private property and propaganda distributions. In 2022, AFN promoted at least 12 private in-person gatherings in multiple states, including Texas, South Carolina, Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi, Idaho and Nebraska. These events included group “meet and greets,” trainings and speaking engagements.
To advance the goal of “white unity,” AFN has hosted several events drawing participants from a wide range of white supremacist and neo-Nazi groups.
In October 2022, an anti-fascist group used a drone to photograph vehicles belonging to participants in AFN’s 2022 White Unity Conference, which appears to have been held at the home of Tonia Sue Berry and Dalton Henry Stout in De Kalb, Texas. In response, Stout allegedly started a GiveSendGo crowdfunding campaign to “sue Antifa.” According to Bowie County court records, Stout filed but eventually dropped a lawsuit in December of 2022.
On September 25, 2021, AFN held their annual White Unity Conference, which included neo-Nazis, Klan groups and Christian Identity adherents in Texarkana, Texas. Groups in attendance included the neo-Nazi National Socialist Movement (NSM), White Lives Matter Texas (a close ally of AFN), Keystone Knights of the Ku Klux Klan Oklahoma chapter, White Christian Brotherhood (an Ohio-based Klan group), American National Socialist Party (a Texas-based neo-Nazi group), Occidental Templars (a white supremacist group based in Kentucky), ShieldWall and the American Futurists (an accelerationist publication group).
In January 2023, AFN announced “Aryan Fest,” a June 2023 white supremacist music festival that will take place in Georgia. Breaking from their usual preference for closed, members-only events, AFN implored “all active clubs and all White Power musicians to participate” in the festival, likely attempting to tap into the growing influence of the white supremacist Active Club network.
Since January 2022, AFN has distributed propaganda across the country, mostly in Texas. The group’s propaganda emphasizes neo-Nazi and antisemitic messaging, including white racial “pride” and “purity.”