ADL Crowdfunding Report
- Extremists are using online crowdfunding platforms like GiveSendGo and GoFundMe to raise millions of dollars for their ideologically driven activities. Through crowdfunding, extremists have generated at least $6,246,072 from 324 campaigns between 2016 and mid-2022.
- Extremist campaigns found on these platforms espouse hateful rhetoric including antisemitism, white supremacy, QAnon conspiracies and anti-LGBTQ+ extremism, as well as rhetoric from antisemitic sects of Black Hebrew Israelites.
- Crowdfunding campaigns have been used by extremists to fund direct actions and attacks on their perceived enemies or marginalized communities; legal defenses for extremists who face consequences for these actions; propaganda efforts and other expenses.
- GiveSendGo has facilitated the vast majority of these funds, hosting 230 campaigns operated by or for extremists and their causes. These campaigns collected more than 86.5% of the funds tracked by the Center on Extremism. Some extremists have also created their own crowdfunding platforms, but they have been comparatively unsuccessful and short-lived.
- Crowdfunding played a significant role in the January 6 insurrection and Unite the Right rally, as well as other, smaller extremist events. The money made through crowdfunding allowed for travel and supplies, and for legal and medical expenses.
- Crowdfunding platforms and financial institutions should expand existing anti-hate policies, as well as implement and enforce explicit anti-extremism policies. Broad anti-hate policies are not enough to address the spread of extremism online, and crowdfunding services should determine how to define, act against and identify extremist content on their platforms. Payment processors should reevaluate supporting platforms that allow extremism.
In recent years internet crowdfunding, the practice of raising funds via many small donations, has become a go-to funding source for a wide variety of causes, charities and personal projects. Crowdfunding campaigns are generally hosted via online crowdfunding platforms like GoFundMe, Fundly or GiveSendGo. While much of crowdfunding is used for good, extremists have also leveraged crowdfunding to enable their hateful activities. An analysis by ADL Center on Extremism (COE) found that between 2016 and 2022, extremists raised at least $6.2 million using 10 of these online crowdfunding platforms. Several of the platforms were small, short-lived sites that catered to extremist and hateful causes and have since closed, but major platforms like GiveSendGo and GoFundMe are the predominant facilitators of extremist crowdfunding. GiveSendGo is a singularly important part of the extremist fundraising ecosystem, having facilitated at least $5.4 million raised for extremists and bigots. Across all crowdfunding platforms, the COE tracked 324 campaigns operated by or organized to support extremists.
Extremists use these campaigns to engage followers, further their causes, fund legal battles, and disseminate their hateful rhetoric via online propaganda. Some use crowdfunding to pay for medical expenses for injuries incurred during violent activities. Hundreds of crowdfunding campaigns have ties to the January 6, 2021, insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. More than $885,000 has been raised to support individuals charged with seditious conspiracy and another $2 million to defend individuals charged with assaulting law enforcement at the January 6 attack alone. Dozens more crowdfunding campaigns are linked to other extremist events, including the deadly 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, VA.
Extremists and antisemites across the ideological spectrum have used crowdfunding. In addition to January 6 and Unite the Right participants, white supremacists, QAnon extremists, antisemitic Black Hebrew Israelites and others have used crowdfunding platforms to raise considerable sums. To identify these crowdfunding campaigns, we searched common donation-based crowdfunding platforms for campaigns, and other donation-based crowdfunding platforms where extremists were known to be operating. We searched these platforms with search engines and their native search functionalities for language or keywords known to be associated with extremist ideologies. We then manually reviewed each campaign to eliminate false positives. More information about our methodology can be found at the end of this report.
Platforms Used for Crowdfunding
The most important crowdfunding platform for extremists by dollars raised since 2016 has been GiveSendGo, with GoFundMe a distant second. Although a handful of other smaller crowdfunding sites have been set up by extremists themselves, GiveSendGo and GoFundMe have broader appeal, and both have failed to consistently enforce their own stated guidelines against hateful rhetoric and campaigns.
GiveSendGo was founded in 2015 as a self-described Christian crowdfunding service, and the company has taken stances against “censorship,” providing a platform for campaigns that the “mainstream media had shut down.” Perhaps because of this laissez-faire moderation policy, GiveSendGo quickly became the platform of choice for extremists and conspiracy theorists seeking to raise funds. Since 2016, using Stripe as their payment processor, the platform has facilitated the donation of $5.4 million to extremist-related causes, 86.5% of the total cataloged in this report, and it has been a significant source of fundraising for January 6 defendants’ legal funds.
GiveSendGo’s official policies prohibit campaigns “that promote hate, violence, racial intolerance, or the financial exploitation of a crime.” Its community guidelines add that it may not be used “to promote violence, degradation, subjugation, discrimination or hatred against individuals or groups based on race, ethnic origin, religion, disability, gender, age, veteran status.” However, GiveSendGo’s founders have repeatedly expressed tolerance towards violent extremism on their platform. Although GiveSendGo co-founder Heather Wilson testified before the Canadian Parliament in March 2022 that the site reviews “every single campaign and recipient who comes on our site,” co-founder Jacob Wells confirmed in that same testimony they were aware of fundraising in preparation for January 6, and that some Proud Boys were crowdfunding on the platform. During the hearing, Wilson and Wells maintained that they would allow the Ku Klux Klan to use their platform as long as it was legal, and in an interview with The Nation, Wells said of the KKK: “I would consider it an honor to have them use the platform and share the hope of Jesus with them.”
Founded in 2010 to allow people to fundraise for the personal needs, GoFundMe has ballooned into the largest online crowdfunding platform, touting more than $17 billion raised. Described by Forbes as “Free Market Philanthropy,” GoFundMe’s website states they are “committed to making it safe and easy for anyone to give and get help.” COE’s examination of the platform identified at least $579,000 raised for extremist causes with the vast majority going to antisemitic Black Hebrew Israelites.
Like GiveSendGo, GoFundMe’s terms of service appear to prohibit the use of the platform for many such uses, including campaigns “in support of terrorism, hate, violence, harassment, bullying, discrimination, terrorist financing or intolerance” or which constitute “an abuse of power relating to race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, disabilities or diseases.” In some cases, GoFundMe appears to have enforced this policy. The Verge reported in 2019 that GoFundMe and one of their payment processors PayPal collaborated to ban a border vigilante group, and The National recently reported that the National Defence League, a British white supremacist group with a history of racist, anti-immigrant rhetoric, was also removed from the platform. Nevertheless, GoFundMe’s efforts to curtail the use of their platform for extremist and hateful causes appear to founder when it comes to movements like antisemitic Black Hebrew Israelites. This movement, with campaigns designated for antisemitic documentaries and propaganda networks, has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars, and constitutes 94% of the extremist or hateful campaigns identified by ADL on this platform.
While GiveSendGo is currently the platform favored by extremist movements, organizations and individuals, this has not always been the case. To avoid deplatforming by mainstream sites, some have attempted to launch their own services. In 2017, white supremacists introduced three extremist-oriented crowdfunding platforms: GoyFundMe, created by members of the white supremacist Traditionalist Worker Party; Hatreon, conceived by anti-government extremist Cody Wilson; and RootBocks, promoted by prominent white supremacists like Andrew Anglin and Richard Spencer. In February 2021, a fourth platform, OurFreedomFunding, was established and served as a haven for deplatformed extremists’ crowdfunding campaigns in the wake of January 6.
These platforms ultimately proved to be ineffective and unsustainable. GoyFundMe was taken down for maintenance purposes in December 2017 and was not reinstated. Hatreon was relegated to obscurity when the website’s payment processor, Visa, suspended service in early 2018. RootBocks has also struggled to maintain relations with a payment processor. OurFreedomFunding was intermittently inoperative throughout 2022.
Crowdfunding Extremist Activities
The Center on Extremism has identified crowdfunding campaigns being operated by extremists rooted in multiple ideologies, including white supremacy, QAnon conspiracies, right-wing extremism, anti-LGBTQ+ extremism and antisemitism. These extremists use crowdfunding to spread their ideologies, engage in direct action and fight legal battles. While these extremists can exist without external funding, crowdfunding can amplify their efforts and impact.
White Supremacist Campaigns
White supremacists have used crowdfunding to enable a range of hateful activities, including harassing marginalized communities, covering legal expenses after violent actions, spreading hateful propaganda and purchasing property and supplies for white “ethnostates” or compounds.
Direct Action by White Supremacists
While white supremacy has long been a problem in the United States, COE has recorded a significant increase in the number of white supremacist motivated incidents in recent years. In 2021, COE’s H.E.A.T. Map project recorded 5,168 extremist incidents like assault, harassment, propaganda distribution and vandalism motivated by white supremacist ideologies. In recent years, these direct actions by white supremacist groups have been made possible through frequent crowdfunding efforts.
The Goyim Defense League (GDL) is a loose network of virulently antisemitic individuals who conduct harassment campaigns targeting Jewish people online and in the real world. They are best known for their “Name the Nose” tours, where the group comes together to intimidate individuals in public, distribute antisemitic propaganda and sometimes drive around in a van shouting profanity-laced slurs from the windows. In June 2021, GDL operated a crowdfunding campaign on GiveSendGo to fund a “Name the Nose” tour, which raised $398.
The Goyim Defense League solicits donations to their GiveSendGo campaign to fund their next Name the Nose Tour.
In October 2017, a White Lives Matter rally took place in Shelbyville, TN. The rally, the largest of its kind since Unite the Right, was attended by more than 200 white supremacists from around the country, including members of the Traditionalist Worker Party (TWP). TWP, a now defunct neo-Nazi group, organized several crowdfunding campaigns on GoyFundMe, which solicited funds for transportation expenses including purchasing vans for transporting large numbers of individuals to events. These campaigns do not appear to have raised significant funds.
Extremist crowdfunding campaigns often allude to the possibility of violence or violent intentions. By way of example, a crowdfunding campaign hosted on GoyFundMe by a group called the Nationalist Defense Force, self-described as “the only NS [National Socialist] security task force in Weimerica,” according to their GoyFundMe profile, was raising funds for “equipment such as, uniforms, (more) shields, pepper spray, helmets, goggles, gas masks, batons, and much more.” The only available archive of the campaign does not show any contributions.
Identity Evropa, now known as the American Identity Movement, was a white supremacist group which focused on preserving “white American culture” and promoting white European identity. The group frequently targeted college campuses with propaganda, and in 2017 they established a RootBocks campaign called “Financing the Siege.” The group collected at least $1,675 for “setting up tables and handing out literature, stickers, and thumb drives with educational videos on them while being present to talk to students one-on-one.”
Property, Compounds and Clubs
Some of the white supremacist crowdfunding campaigns identified by COE were slated for the construction and maintenance of real estate, buildings or compounds intended to be used to train, stage meetings or hold religious services.
In 2022, white supremacist Christopher Pohlhaus purchased land in Maine to establish a compound. Pohlhaus, a prominent neo-Nazi and leader of the white supremacist Blood Tribe gang, started a GiveSendGo campaign for the development of the land and “to have a retreat/ community area we can train on and help families move to the area.” After an outing on his new property, Pohlhaus posted on Telegram that “The Blood Tribe camp hosted a beautiful racist family campout this weekend…” To date, the GiveSendGo campaign has collected $325.
White supremacist “Active Clubs,” where members train to fight against the “modern world” and the influences of Jews, Muslims and non-white immigrants gained popularity in 2021. White supremacist Juan Cadavid, AKA Johnny Benitez, operated a GiveSendGo campaign to fund one of these clubs, which he called a “Nationalist Homestead,” to purchase training equipment and make facility improvements. The campaign features a photo of a crowded active club with white supremacist logos, including the logo of the Rise Above Movement. To date, no one has contributed to the campaign.
Extremists have been known to harass marginalized communities, distribute hateful flyers, vandalize property and engage in violence, and when faced with legal trouble they often turn to other extremists for financial support.
In April 2022, white supremacist and antisemite Michael Weaver was cited for distributing white supremacist flyers in Cartersville, GA. In response, Weaver is suing the municipality over the constitutionality of the citation. To fund his legal expenses, he started a GiveSendGo campaign, which has so far collected $4,660. Comments include antisemitic and white supremacist dog whistles and symbolism; one states that “the country depends on people understanding the [Jewish question]… 14 words.” The “Jewish question” is the antisemitic concept that Jews are a problem to society that needs to be resolved. 14 words is a reference to the white supremacist slogan: “We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children.” At least 11 other contributors left comments featuring “Hitler salute” emojis, and other white supremacist, antisemitic or Nazi symbolism.
In July 2021, antisemite Gina Aversano was arrested for distributing antisemitic flyers and placing swastika stickers around Staten Island, NY, in November 2020. Aversano is a member of the Goyim Defense League and the New Jersey European Heritage Association (antisemitic and white supremacist groups, respectively). Her husband, Jason Brown, created a GiveSendGo campaign for her legal defense which has raised at least $1,900. Both Aversano and BrCannabis and Combat own have extensive histories of targeting the Jewish community. Aversano took part in one of GDL’s Name the Nose Tours where the group travels the country and harasses Jewish communities, and Brown was charged for assaulting a man whom he perceived to be Jewish during a National Socialist Movement rally in Florida.
On June 26, 2016, neo-Nazis from groups like the Traditionalist Workers Party converged on the California State Capitol for a white supremacist rally where they met opposition from local antifascist groups. During the ensuing riot, white supremacist William Scott Planer assaulted a counter-protester who was lying on the ground. Planer was charged with striking the counter-protester with a metal pole, knocking her unconscious, and was sentenced to four years in prison. During his legal battle, Planer took to the alt-right RootBocks to raise a legal fund and collected at least $14,827. The campaign calls the trial a “public lynching” of the “peaceful” rally-goers, adding: “In the entire history of the “self-defense” defense, there may not be a more clear-cut open-and-shut case of self-defense than what Will Planer is facing.”
Right-Wing Extremist Campaigns: Proud Boys and Patriot Prayer
Crowdfunding also plays a role in the activities of the Proud Boys and Patriot Prayer, two far-right groups that have attracted significant attention for their real world and online activities. The Proud Boys, who describe themselves as “Western chauvinists,” frequently espouse misogynistic, Islamophobic, transphobic and anti-immigrant ideology, and sometimes initiate street fighting with people whom they identify as their ideological opponents. Patriot Prayer is a putatively religious far-right group claiming to promote free speech while primarily crusading against left-wing/progressive activists. Some members of these groups espouse white supremacist and antisemitic ideologies and/or engage with white supremacist groups.
Proud Boys propaganda found on a crowdfunding campaign depicting a Proud Boys branded boot stepping on antifascists.
In the days and weeks after the 2020 presidential election, Trump supporters protested the results of the election on dozens of occasions. Some of these demonstrations resulted in violence or were met with opposition, leading to conflict in the streets. More than 100 Proud Boys attended a “Stop the Steal” rally in Washington D.C. on December 12, 2020, resulting in dozens of arrests, injuries to eight law enforcement officers and the non-lethal stabbings of four Proud Boys.
The two GiveSendGo campaigns created in preparation for the D.C. rally, which villainized “the Left,” liberals and Antifa, raised $195. One campaign stated that the Proud Boys planned to “[protect] innocent families, women, and children from Antifa.”
The second campaign invoked events following the November 2020 “Million MAGA March:” “What we witnessed as the day progressed was pure evil taking place on the streets. Antifa and BLM were brutally attacking Americans of all ages, genders and ethnicities, simply for coming out in support of our country.” These types of statements push the political goals of the Proud Boys, appeal for donations from likeminded individuals and most concerningly, provide the foundation for the rationalization of violence against so-called adversaries.
On December 12, 2020, the New York Times reported that counter-protester Philip Johnson was surrounded by Trump supporters, many of whom identified as Proud Boys. Shortly after cornering Johnson, some individuals began to attack him physically, at which time he pulled out a knife. By the time law enforcement intervened and broke up the fight, four Proud Boys had been stabbed and Johnson had been severely injured. Following the altercation, affected Proud Boys established a GiveSendGo to raise funds for their medical expenses. They have also used these campaigns to amplify their political agenda.
Jeremy Bertino, also known as Noble Beard, is a Proud Boy from North Carolina who attended the D.C. rally. He raised $61,255 for medical expenses after Johnson allegedly stabbed him. According to Bertino’s campaign, he was “brutally attacked in Washington D.C. as he was protecting civilians by trying to subdue an armed communist.” Proud Boy Corey Nielsen was also stabbed at the rally, and his GiveSendGo collected at least $13,871 from 263 donors. Nielsen’s campaign paints a picture of a selfless patriot and makes little mention of the events that took place. Nielson was charged with simple assault following the conflict. A third, catchall campaign for all four stabbing victims, created by Proud Boy Matthew Walter and the Music City Proud Boys chapter, amassed at least $104,527.
On August 22, 2022, Tusitala “Tiny” Toese, a prominent member of the Proud Boys, led a group of Proud Boys in a violent clash with antifascist counter-protesters in Portland, OR, that resulted in violence, including a shooting. He and one other Proud Boy were charged with multiple counts of assault, unlawful use of a weapon and riot. The Proud Boys, Patriot Prayer and the Washington State Three Percenters have all contributed to crowdfunding, online donation collection, and in-person donation drives on Toese’s behalf. At one point, a website called “Free Tiny” functioned as a gateway to donating to Toese’s legal fund, directing visitors to a separate website administered by March for Our Rights, a limited liability corporation closely associated with the Washington State Three Percenters. On the more established GiveSendGo, a bail fund was managed by Joey Gibson of Patriot Prayer. This campaign collected $9,033, and it is estimated that between the GiveSendGo initiative, the March for our Rights website and in-person donation drives, at least $50,000 was raised in support of Toese.
In July of 2021, Joshua Dornon rallied alongside a Proud Boys contingent to protect an anti-abortion demonstration hosted by right-wing pastor Greg Locke in Salem, OR. After a confrontation with antifascist counter-protesters, Dornon was arrested for unlawful use of a weapon, riot and third-degree assault. He pleaded guilty to unlawfully using a weapon and the two other charges were dropped. During the legal proceedings, Dornon ran a GiveSendGo campaign that collected at least $2,911.
On December 21, 2020, far-right protesters breached the Oregon State Capitol in response to COVID-19 pandemic restrictions. The demonstration took place outside of the Capitol building, and eventually progressed into a riot after State Rep. Mike Nearman opened a door to let the protesters into the building (Representative Nearman pleaded guilty to first degree official misconduct and was expelled from the Oregon House of Representatives). Chandler Pappas, a member of the far-right Patriot Prayer who participated in the storming of the Oregon capitol, attacked a police officer with pepper spray and was convicted of assault and sentenced to 13 months in prison. During the trial, Pappas operated a crowdfund on GiveSendGo to cover legal expenses, raising at least $11,400.
At the December 12, 2020, rally in Washington, D.C., a group of Proud Boys, including then-leader Enrique Tarrio, stole and burned a Black Lives Matter banner from the historically Black Asbury United Methodist Church. In response, the District of Columbia issued a warrant for Tarrio’s arrest. On January 4, two days before the 2021 insurrection, Tarrio returned to Washington, D.C., and was arrested for destruction of property. To cover his legal defense and a countersuit against Washington, D.C., Tarrio took to GiveSendGo, where he collected $113,056 before the campaign was disabled (who disabled it remains unknown). Tarrio’s mother also set up a GiveSendGo for family and legal expenses. While raising funds for life expenses would otherwise fall outside the scope of this report, the campaign states that it is a “legal offense fund,” and the funds are to be used for lawsuits “to right all the wrongs that have been committed against our family.” This campaign raised $4,930 before it was shut down by GiveSendGo’s payment processor, Stripe, according to the campaign’s updated description.
Stephanie Keith/Getty Images
Proud Boys and other far-right extremists gather for a rally that ended in violence in Washington D.C. on December 12th, 2022.
On May 1, 2019, Patriot Prayer members rioted outside of the Cider Riot bar in Portland, OR, during a May Day celebration attended by leftists. Under the guise of protesting, Patriot Prayer members came to the event with weapons and violent intentions according to a filing related to the civil lawsuit submitted by the bar. Mackenzie Lewis, one of six Patriot Prayer members indicted for inciting a riot at the event, started a GiveSendGo to fund his legal expenses and has collected $1,463. In July 2022, a jury found Lewis guilty of inciting a riot.
Many of Lewis’s contributors left comments vilifying Antifa and leftists. One user chose the display name “Fck Antifa [sic]” and left an emoji of an OK hand gesture, which is sometimes used by those on the right, with their $100 donation. Most concerning is a contribution purported to be from white supremacist William Scott Planer, whose own crowdfund is detailed in this report, and who faced charges for assaulting a counter-protester with a metal pole, knocking her unconscious, at a white supremacist rally in 2016. When making their donation, the contributor who claims to be Planer told Lewis to “Google” their name, and left a donation of $88. The number 88 is numerical code for “Heil Hitler,” a common idiom in white supremacist circles. This contribution received five “heart” reactions on the GiveSendGo platform.
QAnon / Conspiracy Campaigns
QAnon is a far-right political movement rooted in a baseless conspiracy theory that former President Donald Trump is waging a secret war against the “Deep State,” a cabal of Satan-worshipping pedophiles who control the world and run a global child sex trafficking ring. While not all QAnon adherents are inherently extremist, QAnon is a dangerous movement that has inspired violence and eroded trust in democratic institutions. QAnon has been linked to at least seven murders since 2017, according to data compiled by START, and the FBI considers QAnon a potential domestic terror threat. A large portion of QAnon-affiliated crowdfunding comes from QAnon influencers, individuals who not only push conspiracy theories to their followers but manufacture them as well.
One reason QAnon adherents start crowdfunding campaigns is to fund the creation of propaganda. On the most prominent examples of this is QAnon influencer David Hayes’s GiveSendGo crowdfunding campaign which has raised at least $192,500. Hayes, also known as Praying Medic, uses these funds to push QAnon conspiracy theories to his more than 100,000 followers via videos, podcasts and articles on his website and social media accounts.
Other QAnon influencers push equally dangerous theories but are not equally successful. Cannabis and Combat was a podcast hosted by Justin Andersch that pushed conspiracy theories like the “plandemic” and Ukrainian bioweapons, and a connected GiveSendGo campaign to fund the podcast collected at least $195. Another QAnon pedaling outlet, the Matrixxx Grooove Show, collected at least $400 via a crowdfunding campaign so they could embark on a multi-state interview tour. Problematic personalities interviewed by the show’s hosts include Roger Stone and “Constitutional Sheriff” Richard Mack..
Memes play a significant role in spreading far right and extremist rhetoric online. Thomas Bowles, also known as “Artful DQdger,” is a propagandist known for creating QAnon memes. Bowles designs QAnon propaganda full-time, boasting on his GiveSendGo about producing ten pieces a day. Bowles started his GiveSendGo campaign to financially supplement his propaganda production and has collected $4,230 so far.
Another QAnon adherent, conspiracy theorist and rabid antisemite Dustin Nemos presides over the Nemos News Network, which he uses to bolster his extremist views. His viewers have access to a wide variety of conspiratorial content, including antisemitic diatribes surrounding Ye (formerly known as Kanye West) and his antisemitic social media posts. An examination of Nemos’s Gab shows he has publicized antisemitic content including antisemitic tropes of “Jewish world control.” Supporters can donate to Nemos’s DonorBox campaign. At least $9,970 has been raised, and of the 235 published donations, 73 recur monthly.
Samantha Ricks, a QAnon adherent and former follower of QAnon influencer Michael Protzman, started a GiveSendGo titled “Help Rescue My Children Kidnapped by Traffickers” after she was indicted on kidnapping and firearms charges following her attempt to kidnap her children from their foster family. According to local news reports, Ricks and a man named Elijah Erlebach, who appears to subscribe to the sovereign citizen conspiracy theory, pulled up outside the foster home and grabbed her daughter as she was riding her bike outside. They planned to circle back for her son but were chased down by the children’s foster father. Since the August 2022 incident, the GiveSendGo campaign has collected at least $2,090 from 13 donors.
On February 3, 2021, QAnon influencer Gerald Guy Brummell, also known as Agent Margaritaville, was arrested by Canada’s Ontario Provincial Police for “uttering threats and criminal harassment.” Throughout 2020, Brummell, inspired by conspiracy theories, had allegedly been harassing and sending death threats to a former detective he believed to be part of a conspiracy orchestrated by authoritative figures to traffic children and commit murder. Under his alias, Brummell generated a notable following, and following his arrest, he called on his supporters to fund his legal fight. One of Brummell’s followers and closest comrades, who goes by Agent A1, established a crowdfunding campaign on the FundRazr platform that raised $8,040. An examination of the comments on the campaign shows that donors were motivated by the conspiracy theories Brummell promulgated, with one comment stating, “This is for Guy and to rid the word of this EVIL PEDO CULT [sic].”
Antisemitic Black Hebrew Israelite Campaigns
The Black Hebrew Israelite (BHI) movement is a fringe religious movement that rejects widely accepted definitions of Judaism and asserts that certain people of color are the true “children of Israel.” While not all BHI organizations are extremist, some sects push extremist, antisemitic beliefs, and several of these have launched crowdfunding campaigns to support their outreach efforts. Most of Black Hebrew Israelite extremists’ crowdfunding centers around propaganda production.
Crowdfunding has been crucial to the growth of the highly antisemitic programming of the Hebrew Israelite Radio Network, an online platform that hosts videos, music and livestreams preaching BHI ideology. The platform has raised at least $442,900 via GoFundMe, and these funds are used to manufacture media that promotes antisemitic conspiracy theories revolving around the “Synagogue of Satan” and the Rothschild family. For example, the network’s video streaming platform, “Hebrew Tube,” hosts a variety of documentaries attributing historical events like 9/11 terrorist attacks, the assassination of John F. Kennedy and the start of World War One to Jews.
In 2017, the antisemitic Black Hebrew Israelite group the “Army of Israel” (AOI) created a GoFundMe titled “Army of Israel Headquarters” for its E37 Entertainment Music operation. To date, it has raised at least $2,900 from 66 donations. Despite the campaign’s name, the description makes it clear the funds are intended to support media production and outreach to enable them to reach “thousands of Hebrews throughout the United States & Abroad.”
Ronald Dalton Jr. is an author and movie maker who established a Black Hebrew Israelite identity brand in 2013. His content is rife with antisemitic ideas, and he created the film Hebrews to Negroes to push these ideas. To fund its production, Dalton started a GoFundMe campaign and collected at least $75,150. Released in 2018, Hebrews to Negroes is based on several namesake books by Dalton and cites core BHI beliefs that certain people of color, including Black Americans, are the true descendants of the biblical Israelites. The film includes claims of a global Jewish conspiracy to oppress and defraud Black people, allegations that Jews are in part responsible for the transatlantic slave trade, and the claim that Jews falsified the history of the Holocaust to “conceal their nature and protect their status and power.” Hebrews to Negroes recently came into the spotlight after professional basketball player Kyrie Irving promoted it on his social media accounts.