The extremists who visit the website planned by Pax Aryana, a budding neo-Nazi group, won’t find the racist imagery or stuffy pseudo-intellectual screeds when they land on its page. Instead, they’ll find hats.
Lots and lots of hats. The reason for this abundance of caps is that the online neo-Nazi publishing collective has had its website stolen out from under them by milliner-loving anti-fascists.
“We don’t want to put a cap in you,” reads the now hat-focused site. “We want to put a cap on you.”
Joshua Fisher-Birch, a researcher at the Counter Extremism Project, told VICE World News that, despite the mocking website, Pax Aryana is no joke. He said the collective is part of “the Terrorgram propaganda community on the communications app, which is made up of extreme neo-Nazi channels and affiliated media that promote violence and acts of white supremacist terrorism.” The group has several Telegram channels including one with over 3,500 followers and, at the end of last year, released a “principles and strategy for advocating for decentralized accelerationist violence.”
“They’ve also released several other documents promoting fascism, anti-Semitism, racism, and guerrilla warfare,” said Fisher-Birch.
It appears Pax Aryana didn’t have the foresight to secure the domain—despite naming one of its chats explicitly the now-stolen url. This allowed anti-fascists to buy up the website and clown on the racists. A video ( set to “Send in the Clowns” by Frank Sinatra and “Entry of the Gladiators,” better known as “that Circus song”) is embedded prominently on the homepage to mock the neo-Nazis.
“Check your domains, morons,” the website reads.
Ridicule has long been an important tool in those fighting neo-Nazis—a group that despises looking stupid. This becomes even more effective when it’s targeting a neo-Nazi group whose brand is tied to propaganda and so-called intellectualism like Pax Aryana.
The video on the website is stock footage of a circus intercut with clips of neo-Nazis being arrested and Chris Cantwell (known as the crying neo-Nazi) sobbing. The opening credits on the video feature such lines as “An Antifa Production,” “Starring: You Shitheads,” and “Inspired by: Your Own Dumbass Behaviour.”
“If you wanted to be clowns so bad, you should have joined the circus,” the video says at its conclusion. “Enjoy prison dumbfucks.”
Unlike neo-Nazi groups like the Base or Atomwaffen, Pax Aryana is focused less on organizing real-world action and more on publishing racist PDFs. Embarrassingly, the group’s leadership has published manuals that explain proper security procedures to fellow neo-Nazis and instruct them on how to spot “infiltrators.” As of the time of reporting, it appears the group has yet to realize the website it’s directing budding neo-Nazis towards has been stolen.
It’s not just Pax Aryana the anti-fascists are ridiculing. The name HatSec is a direct play on a defunct neo-Nazi group. Fisher-Birch said the aesthetic used by the anti-fascists is nearly identical to the “fonts, themes, and imagery to (the) defunct neo-Nazi tech group with an (dark web) address allegedly led by a former leader of the Atomwaffen Division,” said Fisher Birch.
To add one final insult to injury, the anti-fascists who stole the website embedded a screenshot from Pax Aryana’s internal chat dead centre of the website. The screenshot prominently displays the group’s planned (but now stolen) URL and an ill-fated joke cracked by one of the neo-Nazis.
“Let’s get hacked by Antifa like other sites did,” it reads.
Follow Mack Lamoureux on Twitter.