Earlier this month, while the rest of the country was celebrating the achievements of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., parents and children in the “Dissident Homeschool” network opened a lesson plan and were greeted with the words: “As Adolf Hitler wrote…”
The contents of the MLK lesson plan would be shocking for almost anyone, but for members of the 2,400-member “Dissident Homeschool” Telegram channel, this was a regular Monday at school.
“It is up to us to ensure our children know him for the deceitful, dishonest, riot-inciting negro he actually was,” the administrator of the network’s Telegram channel wrote, alongside a downloadable lesson plan for elementary school children. ”He is the face of a movement which ethnically cleansed whites out of urban areas and precipitated the anti-white regime that we are now fighting to free ourselves from.”
Since the group began in October 2021 it has openly embraced Nazi ideology and promoted white supremacy, while proudly discouraging parents from letting their white children play with or have any contact with people of any other race. Admins and members use racist, homophobic, and antisemitic slurs without shame, and quote Hitler and other Nazi leaders daily in a channel open to the public.
VICE News joined the group simply by clicking on a link, though the list of members was not publicly visible.
What’s even more disturbing, however, is that the couple who run the channel are not only teaching parents how to indoctrinate their children into this fascist ideology, they’re also encouraging them to meet up in real life and join even more radical groups, which could further reinforce their beliefs and potentially push them toward violent action.
‘Mr. and Mrs. Saxon’
The “Dissident Homeschool” network is run by a husband and wife team who use the aliases “Mr. and Mrs. Saxon.” This week the antifascist research group Anonymous Comrades Collective published a detailed report that unmasked the Saxons as Logan and Katja Lawrence, who live in Upper Sandusky, Ohio, with their four young children.
The researchers were able to identify the Lawrences through biographical details they shared in the Telegram channel’s group chat and on podcast appearances. One of the key clues to identifying them came when they revealed that they owned a German Shepherd called Blondi—the same name as Hitler’s dog.
The researchers found photos that Katja posted on Facebook with her German Shepherd, and were also able to confirm Katja Lawrence’s ownership of this dog through the Wyandot County dog licensing website dog search feature.
Please send tips about the Lawrences or the neo-Nazi homeschool network to David Gilbert at firstname.lastname@example.org. For Signal, DM @Daithaigilbert on Twitter.
The Lawrences did not respond to multiple emails, text messages, social media messages, and phone calls from VICE News to discuss the contents of the report and their neo-Nazi homeschooling group.
Katja Lawrence, who is in her mid-30s, launched the channel in October 2021, because she “was having a rough time finding Nazi-approved school material for [her] homeschool children,” as she told the neo-Nazi podcast “Achtung! Amerikaner” last year.
“We are so deeply invested into making sure that that child becomes a wonderful Nazi.”
Later in the same podcast episode, Lawrence expanded on her view on why she wanted to educate her children at home. “We have our children’s best interest at heart and nobody can do a better job than we can because it’s our child. We are so deeply invested into making sure that that child becomes a wonderful Nazi,” she said.
When VICE News asked for comment on the Lawrences and their channel, the host of the podcast, Gordon Kahl, replied: “I think you should kill yourself instead.”
Katja Lawrence, born Katja van den Berg, is originally from the Netherlands and moved to the U.S. after meeting her husband at the Oktoberfest festival in Berlin, according to an old LiveJournal blog uncovered by the researchers. She became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 2017.
Logan Lawrence works as an agent for a local, family-run insurance agency. When reached by phone, an employee at the company told VICE News that they would not be commenting on the story.
Logan is also a member of a local Masonic lodge and features in a number of pictures on its website, where he is listed as an officer of the lodge. The secretary of the lodge did not respond to VICE News’ request for comment.
Both Katja and Logan have a limited presence on mainstream social media platforms, and the one Facebook account that was operated by Katja was deleted this week after the Anonymous Comrades Collective report was published.
Katja Lawrence is the main poster on the “Dissident Homeschool” channel, posting classroom schedules, book lists, lesson plans, and other educational resources for like-minded parents.
Racist lesson plans
Lawrence uses every lesson plan as an opportunity to push racist ideology. In one “math assignment,” children were asked to interpret “crime statistics,” the goal of which was to “realize the demographics to be cautious around.” Another lesson called “IQ Unit Study” discusses IQ scores. “The blacks—on average—have a much lower IQ than whites,” Lawrence wrote.
Last week the group chat channel belonging to the “Dissident Homeschool” network was shut down, but VICE News has reviewed an archive of the chats dating back to October 2021, showing that initially the channel was populated by a small number of core members who contributed most of the comments and content.
However, by the time the chat archive ended on Jan. 4, there were hundreds more people contributing to the conversations, and discussions had expanded from children’s education to the dangers of diversity and how “Indiana Jones” movies are nothing more than “Jewish revenge porn.”
One parent posting in the group last year thanked the Lawrences for their work and explained why they agreed that public school education was not for them.
“I don’t even want my kids exposed to the gay loving, anti-family, Jew factory that is public school, I can’t stand it.”
“This is why I want to make the switch. I don’t even want my kids exposed to the gay loving, anti-family, Jew factory that is public school, I can’t stand it.”
Other parents offered their own educational resources, with one member writing: “Here is an overview of 10 Reason why Hitler was one of the Good Guys:”
When one parent named Nancy recommended three preachers that the group might find interesting, another member responded: “A ni**er, a race mixer, and a guy who literally says that Israel should rule the world. You're 0 for 3.”
Katja Lawrence then added: “Nancy, did you know you are in a chat of dissidents who fully support white nationalism? We do not support Israel and do not listen to black preachers.”
The members of the channel have also expanded beyond the U.S. to include members from other countries, though only those from European countries with acceptable ethnicity, such as Norway, Germany, and the U.K., are welcomed.
At one point in the chat, Katja Lawrence told a UK-based member of the group that she would help put him in touch with the head of one of the biggest white nationalist groups in the U.K., suggesting the Lawrences have made connections with antisemites and white supremacists outside of their own homeschooling community.
Baking a ‘Führer cake’
When the Telegram channel reached its 1,000th subscriber, just months after it launched, Katja Lawrence posted a picture of German schoolchildren performing a Nazi salute in a classroom, writing: “It fills my heart with joy to know there is such a strong base of homeschoolers and homeschool-interested national socialists. Hail Victory.”
The Lawrences also described how their family celebrated Hitler’s birthday by baking a “Führer cake.”
“We had a lovely dinner followed by Führerkuchen,” Katja Lawrence wrote. “Our children celebrated Adolf’s birthday today by learning about Germany and eating favorite German foods.” She later added that she had baked “quite a few swastika items, my latest a swastika apple pie.”
In one chilling, now-deleted post on Telegram, Katla Lawrence posted an audio message of her children shouting “sieg heil.”
While Katja and Logan Lawrence claim in Telegram comments that they warn their children not to discuss their Nazi views with those outside the family, they also don’t limit their activities to the online world and help others to connect with fellow white nationalists in the real world.
Secret ‘pool parties’
“There is a huge network of people like us,” Katja wrote on the Telegram channel. “If you are asking what you can do: get vetted and join a local pool party. I would say that’s the best decision Mr. Saxon and I made last year. We joined a pool party and our children now play with other white children where they can speak and play freely. ”
A “pool party” is the name for a secretive meetup organized by white supremacist group The Right Stuff and its political wing the National Justice Party. Katja Lawrence even goes so far as to share the direct email for a contact at The Right Stuff who deals with vetting, while an account named the “National Justice Party” posts updates that include calls for “Dissident Homeschool” members to join its supporter group and updates on its Christmas charity drive.
“Our children now play with other white children where they can speak and play freely.”
“It has been huge for us to get into that real life network. Contribute by joining. It makes all the difference,” Katja Lawrence wrote.
It is hard to gauge the influence of the “Dissident Homeschool Network,” but in leaked emails from people attempting to join the white nationalist group Patriot Front, applicants list the “Dissident Homeschool” as being “Influential figures, media outlets or platforms.”
The Right Stuff and the National Justice League were described by the Anti-Defamation League as “virulently antisemitic”, while 31 members of Patriot Front were arrested last year inside a U-haul truck on their way to an LGBTQ Pride event in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, carrying shields and smoke grenades.
Yet Katja attempts to describe these group’s activities as entirely wholesome.
“To dispel some misconceptions: these groups do not encourage or solicit people to commit illegal activities,” Katja wrote. "It is a nice group of wholesome white people getting together for cookouts and such.”
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