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  • [tense music]

  • CHRISTIAN: You'll never get the truth from a current extremist.

  • Their whole job is to lie to you and to spin

  • things their own way.

  • Which is why I say, if you want the truth,

  • talk to a former extremist.

  • JOURNALIST: You still have the jacket?

  • CHRISTIAN: I still have the jacket.

  • JOURNALIST: Oh.

  • CHRISTIAN: So this was CASH, Chicago

  • Area Skinheads, which was that first American neo-Nazi group.

  • And then on the back--

  • JOURNALIST: Final Solution, wow.

  • Final Solution was my band name

  • with the 88, which is kind of shorthand

  • for the eighth letter of the alphabet, HH,

  • which stands for "Heil Hitler."

  • What was the final solution?

  • CHRISTIAN: Well, the final solution in my mind

  • was the same thing that was in Hitler's mind,

  • and that was the extermination of the Jews.

  • That was the ultimate solution.

  • JOURNALIST (VOICEOVER): From the age of 14 to 22,

  • Christian Vittrilini helped build

  • America's first neo-Nazi skinhead organization.

  • But today, he has devoted his life

  • to helping people disengage from the same extremist

  • groups he used to belong to.

  • CHRISTIAN: What I see when I look at those pictures

  • is not a tough guy.

  • I see a very insecure, low self-esteem,

  • and broken young man.

  • And I think it's important for people

  • to understand that what draws people to those movements,

  • hate movements, is not the ideology initially.

  • Nobody is born to hate.

  • It's something that we learn.

  • And for me, I was searching for an identity,

  • a community, and a purpose.

  • JOURNALIST (VOICEOVER): Christian

  • was ripe for radicalization.

  • And on a street corner in 1987, he

  • was approached by a skinhead leader

  • and recruited on the spot.

  • CHRISTIAN: That man told me that I mattered.

  • Nobody had ever told me that before.

  • And I bought into the ideas that they put in my head

  • because it made me feel powerful.

  • INTERVIEWER: With me today, Chris Vittrilini, 19-years-old,

  • director of the Illinois chapter of the Northern

  • Hammer Skinheads.

  • Well, I believe we're warriors today

  • and we're fighting for a great cause, which is the white race.

  • CHRISTIAN: I noticed my life change immediately.

  • I went from somebody who had been bullied

  • to now somebody who was feared.

  • JOURNALIST (VOICEOVER): Christian

  • describes his radicalization as a descent

  • into a community of like-minded individuals.

  • They consumed a potent mix of race-based conspiracy theories

  • and misinformation that fueled their anger

  • and justified their attacks.

  • I wonder how that radicalization process compares to today.

  • (SINGING) Damn [inaudible] just call me a shrink.

  • CHRISTIAN: In my day, it was very face to face.

  • But what's happened now is the internet

  • has kind of become that digital alley that I was

  • recruited in, except it's an all you can eat,

  • 24 hour, hate buffet.

  • And there are millions and millions of young people

  • like I was at 14-years-old.

  • What about the El Paso shooter?

  • CHRISTIAN: The whole idea of a lone wolf is a misnomer.

  • While there are white supremacists who

  • may never in real life meet another white supremacist,

  • that doesn't mean they're not connected.

  • JOURNALIST (VOICEOVER): The internet

  • is a technological game changer, amplifying lies and weaponizing

  • propaganda like never before.

  • Extremists are flooding social media and encrypted chat

  • forums, creating an alternate universe of imaginary threats

  • where lies become truth and conspiracy becomes reality.

  • As of May 2021, Facebook banned 250 groups

  • linked to white supremacy.

  • Often what starts as edgy memes that target young men

  • on platforms like Reddit, Twitter, and others, quickly

  • spirals into more extreme content.

  • The El Paso shooter, for example,

  • wrote that he was inspired by a manifesto posted online

  • by a shooter in New Zealand who livestreamed

  • himself murdering 51 Muslims.

  • Called "The Great Replacement," this manifesto justified

  • the killings as a defense of white culture

  • from the existential threat posed by Muslims,

  • minorities, and immigrants.

  • The fact that these white genocide fears have

  • been debunked time and again over centuries

  • means little online.

  • Within the echo chamber of the movement,

  • the New Zealand shooter's manifesto is revered and used

  • to indoctrinate new recruits.

  • All too often, that's how it works.

  • The speed of online radicalisation

  • helps explain why race-based attacks are on the rise.

  • As Christian said, nobody is born to hate, it's learned.

  • [upbeat music]

[tense music]

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B2 christian journalist extremist shooter manifesto solution

Interviewing a Former White Nationalist | Trafficked with Mariana van Zeller

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    林宜悉 posted on 2022/04/17
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