The Atlantic’s Luke O’Brien Launches Campaign of Harassment to Shut Down Speech of Political Activist

Andrew Anglin
Daily Stormer
March 10, 2017

Today I have a personal story to tell, which I think you will find is incredibly relevant to the debate our society is having about the role of biased corporate media in a free society.

What I will show here is not about me. It is not about whether I am right or wrong. It is about the fundamental right of Americans to voice their opinions without being threatened and harassed, and it is about an out of control media that is openly at war with the people of this country.

I am able to reveal here that a journalist who claims to be working for The Atlantic, Luke O’Brien, has engaged in a campaign of threats, harassment, emotional manipulation and extortion of my family members, friends and persons only vaguely associated with me, for the stated purpose of attempting to silence me, a political activist.

Luke O’Brien

He and presumably the organization which hired him believe that they have a moral right to use whatever tactics are necessary in order to shut down this website.

Previous Interactions with Luke O’Brien

The background here is that in summer of last year, Luke O’Brien was working on a piece about the Alt-Right for the Huffington Post, and had interviewed me for it. I answered his questions via email, and didn’t think anything of it. Months later, he wrote me again, making outrageous accusations that I had committed various felonies and that his sources had told him I was under investigation by the FBI.

Here was the first of these emails.

1.) I have learned that the FBI is investigating you. The FBI told this to two of my sources (and two of your troll targets). In both cases, there were threats involved in the trolling. Both cases also appear to have involved some hacking. Erin Schrode’s campaign website was hacked. George Yancy’s email was also hacked. You sent emails from Yancy’s account to Julia Ioffe when you were trolling her. I have also been told that DHS may be looking into you in connection with cybercrime. But I do not know that for sure. Do you want to respond to any of this?

2.) You told me that you live in Ohio. But the FBI told Ioffe that you have been in Berlin (Germany, not Amish country) for some time. You were recently tweeting as @goodboydoug3 and listed your location as Berlin. I also had someone knock on the door of the Ohio address currently listed for you in the LexisNexis database. You do not live there. Care to respond?

3.) You admit to having been approached by the FBI in the past, possibly to act as an informant. Daily Stormer would be an ideal place to capture the IP addresses of people in the movement. Do you worry that increased legal attention will make you look compromised?

When I responded curtly, he backed down, but went on to claim that he was meeting with the FBI to gather information on me, trying to use this claim to get me to give him information under the pretext that he would speak to the FBI for me.

Listen, I gotta ask to be fair to you. I’m just telling you what I heard about the FBI. I do trust my sources. Was the FBI lying to these people? It’s hard to imagine law enforcement doing that, but I guess anything is possible. I have the name of the agent in the SF bureau. I contacted her yesterday about this stuff. FBI called me last night at 11pm to arrange a talk today. They’re huddling up this morning and calling me later. I have no idea what they’re going to say. They might not tell me anything. But if you want me to ask them something, let me know. I will tell you what they say and give you a chance to respond.

A few hours later, he sent me another message claiming to have talked to the FBI and found that no, I was not being investigated.

So I just talked to the FBI in SF. You are NOT under investigation, they say. They did a threat assessment after Schrode/Ioffe. Prelim step to investigation. They determined there was not enough evidence to proceed. Very sorry if I freaked you out. I was just going with what two sources told me the FBI told them. But it was secondhand, which is why I needed to ask you and talk to the feds to get a clarification.

So, to sum up: while employed by the Huffington Post, Luke O’Brien wrote me an email accusing me of felonies, trying to bait me into giving him information, then claimed he was in contact with the FBI, again trying to bait me, then when no bait was taken, claimed it was all a misunderstanding.

Probably the number one phrase we heard from the FBI during the whole Hillary Clinton email scandal was “we don’t comment on ongoing investigations.” So what he outlined in these emails is certainly not the sort of thing that would happen in real life. It was an attempt to manipulate me into giving him juicy information for his story.

As I viewed these weaponized lies – accusation of having committed felonies, the faking of FBI communications –  as a serious breach of journalistic ethics, I published those emails on this website.

Enter the ADL Council

I also want to note here that Julia Ioffe – who he claimed in his email is getting secret intelligence information from the FBI – is a member of an Anti-Defamation League (ADL) council which has been formed to attempt to silence “Anti-Semitic” speech on the internet, and has named me specifically as a target.

Here is the ADL press release on the formation of the council, and here is that council’s published report, which specifically names me as a threat needing dealt with (read: silenced).

It is clear that the Berlin claim did not come from the FBI, because it is untrue, and I can assure you that the FBI is capable of finding my address if it wants to. The idea that the FBI would lie to a journalist about my location is absurd – even more absurd than the idea that they would be passing out information on investigations wily-nilly to reporters.

The ADL, however, would want me in Berlin, as that is the country with the most extreme “hate speech” laws in the world.

So, the journalist Luke O’Brien was working with – and, it is my belief, as an agent of – a private intelligence agency with the stated goal of silencing free speech.

This is to say, unless O’Brien himself is an intelligence agent posing as a journalist, which the documentation my research team has found indicates is a high possibility (I may go ahead and publish this research in the future). That would certainly take all of this to another level completely.

So, this is the context of what happened in Ohio during the month of February, 2017.

The Columbus Alive Hitpiece

Throughout January, I received emails from various people I attended high school with, reporting that local journalists were trying to dig-up dirt on me.

On February 7, the local Columbus publication “Columbus Alive” published a hitpiece on me, alleging that they had spoken to several people I went to high school with, and that as a teenager, I was psychologically disturbed.

During their research for the article, they played some role in organizing a protest against my father, at whose office I have a mailing address. They contacted everyone in the office, and went on to contact the owner of the building, attempting to have them kick my father out of the building.

This act in particular made me assume that they had been approached by the ADL, and were working with them in some capacity. They interviewed both the ADL and the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) for the article.

I should note that in 2015, the local NBC affiliate worked with the ADL to do a piece on me, in which they filmed my mother’s home and put the video of it on television for intimidation purposes.

Luke Goes to Columbus

It was after the publication of the Columbus Alive article that I heard Luke O’Brien was on the ground in Columbus, attempting to dig up dirt on me for a piece he alleged was to be published in The Atlantic.

O’Brien engaged in a vicious scorched-earth campaign against anyone he could find related to me.

I first heard that he was in town when he called a former business associate of my father. He had looked up information about her on Google and had gone so far as to research public records regarding her domestic relationships. On the phone with her, he threatened to publish defamatory information about her in The Atlantic if she did not give him the information he wanted.

Following this, a friend I had known from high school emailed me upset about threats he was receiving from Luke O’Brien. These threats were in the exact vein of the threats against my father’s former associate – only this time he put them in writing.

His first message, over Facebook, was seemingly cordial but still very weird.

Hi [redacted],
I’m a writer working on a feature about Andy Anglin for The Atlantic magazine. You may have heard that I’ve been rambling around Columbus. I know you’re Andy’s best friend and in regular contact with him. Maybe you’ve even hung out with him recently. I’d love to talk to you about Andy and have you explain how he wound up where he is, which seems several miles past the point of no return. You could have a big impact on my story. You’d be able to fill in some gaps in my reporting, make the piece more accurate and, above all, help me and a national audience understand Andy. Yes, I want to know about the bad stuff. But I also want to know about the good stuff. Unfortunately, I can’t find a single normal person to defend this guy. Not one. That’s tragic. In Andy, I see a guy with some real talent and energy who has put it to all the wrong ends. I’m not sure he believes half of what he writes. Maybe he’s just too deep into his troll to fully recognize reality. If anyone knows, it’s probably you. Andy will probably tell you not to talk to me. But the decisions he’s made to date haven’t worked out so well for him. I hope you’ll make a better choice on your own. Helping me understand him might actually do Andy, you and everyone some good. Please think about it and let me know.
Best,
Luke O’Brien
917-284-8226
luke@lukeobrien.com

“Yes, I am looking for bad information about a guy you went to high school with to publish in a hitpiece. If you don’t give me information on him, there will be nothing good about him in my hitpiece. You have to talk to me to help him – and to help yourself.”

Very weird approach for a journalist from The Atlantic, no?

But it gets much, much weirder.

My old friend (we’re not really in contact anymore) blocked him on Facebook after having seen this message. So O’Brien dug up his phone number and began sending texts.

Via text, he threatened to publish defamatory information on him in The Atlantic, claiming he is Alt-Right and supports my views:

To be clear, I’m not threatening you. I’m asking for your help. And I’m also trying to help you. My story will be guided by my reporting. You should view this as an opportunity to explain your friend, some of whose views your Facebook page indicates you share. You’ve known him his whole life. You’re his boy in Columbus. I want to know about him. If people won’t talk to me, they’re protecting him, which makes them complicit in this. Which makes them part of the story. That’s what I’m trying to tell you.

He’s trying to help him.

Otherwise, The Atlantic will publish defamatory information about him.

This is extortion.

When my old friend responded that he didn’t like being threatened and simply did not want his name in a publication assoicating him with me and the Alt-Right, he continued with the threats:

I know all that, [name redacted]. We can talk about it. Depends how much you cooperate with me and how honest I think you’re being. If you help me out, I can help you out. Simple as that. If you don’t help me, I can’t make you any promises.

After that message, my old friend blocked his phone number. He then received repeated calls from blocked numbers for a day.

Is this normal?

Is it okay that this is the way The Atlantic deals with people? With threats, extortion and harassment?

To be clear, my high school friend is not Alt-Right, does not agree with any of my views (I’m not even sure he’s a Trump-supporter), and has nothing on his Facebook indicating otherwise. O’Brien appears to have been referring to a Pepe meme. Given that he works so closely with the ADL, I guess he believes it’s the same thing as a Swastika.

Stalking My Mother

Finally, The Atlantic’s Luke O’Brien stalked my mother.

The man actually stalked my mother. Although, I should not be surprised, as harassment of mother’s seems to be a standard tactic used by the establishment against political dissidents.

He first called her work, which is a blatant intimidation tactic, attempting to get her fired for having a “Nazi” son.

He then visited her home and left the following note on the door.

Dear [name redacted],

I hope I have the right address – I’m a journalist writing a story about your son Andy for the Atlantic magazine. I know you have been through so much and I’m deeply sorry for that. But I’m contacting you because I need someone who loves Andy to speak on his behalf. I realize he had a tough time as a kid and that Greg probably had a bad influence on him. My goal is: 1) to hold Andy a little more accountable because he needs to stop what he’s doing; 2) most important, to understand how he would up where he is, in the hope it can help him and others. He’s still a human being. Please help me show people that. You’re his mom. I know ya love him. This might be the best way to help him and others.

Sincerely,
Luck O’Brien

So then.

Let’s unpack this.

Firstly, this is a bizarre level of gross emotional manipulation. He brings up her relationship with my father to attempt to appeal to her. He then says “he’s still a human being” – as if that was somehow in question. Then again, it’s going to help me, help her, help everyone – by writing a hitpiece based on dirt he’s attempting to dig up about my childhood.

Is this how journalists at The Atlantic normally conduct business?

But here’s the most important thing, and the reason this whole story is so important – this line:

My goal is: 1) to hold Andy a little more accountable because he needs to stop what he’s doing

His number one goal in writing the article is to silence me.

He actually wrote this down on paper.

Luke O’Brien, a journalist for The Atlantic, is attempting to silence a political dissident by researching a hitpiece using threats, extortion and emotional manipulation.

Is this how the media should be behaving in the United States of America?

Showing Up at My Court Hearing

This is a brief aside, which I will mention.

Luke O’Brien did not come to my home during any of this. Possibly because he couldn’t find it. He did, however, show up at a court hearing I had for an expungement of a minor drug conviction from when I was a teenager. I had already left the court when he approached my lawyer and tried to press him for information.

But that will be a great juicy bit for his article “ohhh, Anglin got caught with a marijuana pipe when he was 19 – ohhhh.”

My Email to The Atlantic

While gathering information about this situation for the article you are reading, I emailed The Atlantic and asked them to give a statement on whether or not this type of harassment is part of their policy.

I sent the email to the head of their press department, Emily Lenzner, on February 17th, then a couple days later forwarded it to their entire press department.

I have yet to receive any response from any of them.

Here’s the email in full.

Dear Ms. Lenzner,

My name is Andrew Anglin, and I am the publisher, as well as a reporter for, The Daily Stormer.

I’m working on an article about a Luke O’Brien, who claims to be writing a story for your publication, ironically, about me.

If Mr. O’Brien has not been contracted by your publication to write an article about me, you can disregard this email.

Mr. O’Brien has recently been in my home town of Columbus, Ohio, ostensibly for the purpose of writing a story about me for The Atlantic. Instead of contacting me directly, he has gone on a campaign of harassment and intimidation of friends, family members, the business associates of family members, and people I went to high school with who I have not seen in over a decade.

There is clearly a serious pattern of what would typically be considered a violation of journalistic ethics, and I simply want to get your input on the matter before I write up the article. It would be unfair at this point to assume that you support this type of behavior, as I understand that you may have contracted Mr. O’Brien without being aware of his journalistic methodology.

I was first made aware of Mr. O’Brien’s presence in Columbus when my mother informed me that he had visited her home and left a note saying he wished to talk to her. He then repeatedly called her work and spoke to various people about the fact that her son is a “Nazi.” My mother is severely disturbed by this, and feels compelled to relocate, viewing these actions by Mr. O’Brien as extremely threatening.

Following this, I was called by my father and informed that Mr. O’Brien had called a former colleague of his, a [name redacted], and made various threats. I will be doing a full interview with her before this story goes to press, but having gotten a general outline, Mr. O’Brien had Googled bad reviews of her business, and threatened to use The Atlantic to voice these complaints on a national scale if she did not provide him with the information he was looking for. She also said that he had researched information about her domestic situation, and threatened to print information about this. He also made various claims about my father’s business practices, which I have reason to believe are unfounded, and threatened to print these in connection to her.

Thirdly, I was contacted by a man I know in high school, [name redacted], who I had not spoken to in some time. In this case, I have been sent the communications themselves, which I can share with you.

Mr. O’Brien first sent this over Facebook:

Hi [name redacted],
I’m a writer working on a feature about Andy Anglin for The Atlantic magazine. You may have heard that I’ve been rambling around Columbus. I know you’re Andy’s best friend and in regular contact with him. Maybe you’ve even hung out with him recently. I’d love to talk to you about Andy and have you explain how he wound up where he is, which seems several miles past the point of no return. You could have a big impact on my story. You’d be able to fill in some gaps in my reporting, make the piece more accurate and, above all, help me and a national audience understand Andy. Yes, I want to know about the bad stuff. But I also want to know about the good stuff. Unfortunately, I can’t find a single normal person to defend this guy. Not one. That’s tragic. In Andy, I see a guy with some real talent and energy who has put it to all the wrong ends. I’m not sure he believes half of what he writes. Maybe he’s just too deep into his troll to fully recognize reality. If anyone knows, it’s probably you. Andy will probably tell you not to talk to me. But the decisions he’s made to date haven’t worked out so well for him. I hope you’ll make a better choice on your own. Helping me understand him might actually do Andy, you and everyone some good. Please think about it and let me know.
Best,
Luke O’Brien
917-284-8226
luke@lukeobrien.com

When [name redacted] refused to talk to him, he located his phone number and began sending SMS message which included threats of defamation in your publication, The Atlantic.

One of those threats reads:

To be clear, I’m not threatening you. I’m asking for your help. And I’m also trying to help you. My story will be guided by my reporting. You should view this as an opportunity to explain your friend, some of whose views your Facebook page indicates you share. You’ve known him his whole life. You’re his boy in Columbus. I want to know about him. If people won’t talk to me, they’re protecting him, which makes them complicit in this. Which makes them part of the story. That’s what I’m trying to tell you.

[name redacted] does not have any Alt-Right material on his Facebook page, and is not a person I have been in regular contact with in many years.

Following the above message, [name redacted] made it clear to Mr. O’Brien that he simply did not want his name printed in a story associated with a member of the Alt-Right who he knew 15 years ago, to which Mr. O’Brien replied:

I know all that, [name redacted]. We can talk about it. Depends how much you cooperate with me and how honest I think you’re being. If you help me out, I can help you out. Simple as that. If you don’t help me, I can’t make you any promises.

[name redacted] has informed me that after blocking his number on his phone, and blocking communication on Facebook, Mr. O’Brien called him, repeatedly, from a blocked phone number. He was advised to contact the police.

I should also inform you that I have advised him not to delete these messages, as I believe there is possibly a criminal extortion case here. I have forwarded these messages, as well as several others which I have received, to lawyers who are presently reviewing them.

As a journalist myself, I was shocked by these messages, as I have never seen a journalist communicate with a potential interviewee in such a way. I myself have been labeled a “provocateur,” and I would not dream of making such threats.

In the interest of full disclosure, I want to make it clear that I have had dealings with Mr. O’Brien in the past, during the period of August to November of 2016, when he was working on a Huffington Post article about the Alt-Right. After an interview via email in which several questions which I viewed as bizarre were asked (as you might imagine, I’ve done a lot of interviews, and none has ever been like this), he sent me multiple emails regarding alleged contact he had had with the FBI, which I believe was made up as an attempt to intimidate me. He also accused me of multiple federal crimes, none of which I have ever been charged in regards to. I have printed these emails, which may be part of what is behind this apparent vendetta against me. I have attached copies of these emails for your review.

I am probably going to wait until Mr. O’Brien publishes his story in The Atlantic to publish my own research into how he wrote the story. I am currently gathering more information; this weekend I am going to begin going through a list of people he would likely have contacted and getting accounts of any interactions they may have had with him.

To reiterate, I simply want my readers to have an understanding of what is going on here, to understand whether or not you are aware that Mr. O’Brien is waging a sustained campaign of harassment and intimidation against any figure he views as being even vaguely associated with me, and what your publication’s position is on harassment and threats being used in pursuit of a story. I wanted to make certain that you had a full view of exactly what kind of tactics Mr. O’Brien is engaging in before I went to press.

If the answer is that you think I am a morally reprehensible figure, and that any type of methods are justifiable in trying to dig up whatever damaging information Mr. O’Brien believes he is going to find, including using mafia-style intimidation tactics, then I can accept that, but I want it to be clear in my article that you do indeed endorse these methods. If you want to give the caveat that you only endorse intimidation and threats against family members, business associates of family members and high school classmates in cases where you feel the subject of the article is below contempt, due to a morally indefensible political ideology, I am happy to print that. I understand that perhaps you have different standards of journalistic ethics when you deal with subjects who you view as morally contemptible. I simply want my readers to have a clear understanding of where The Atlantic is coming from when they send journalists to threaten and harass people.

Direct comments on the specific threats and harassment methods would be great, but if not, a general explanation of the behavior pattern will do fine.

Thanks for your time,

Andrew Anglin

No response at all.

It is possible that they decided to simply kill the story without giving a comment. It has taken a long time for them to publish the article. If this is the case, I applaud them. Though I suspect, having found out nothing especially damning about my personal life, he’s been spending the last weeks figuring out what he can make up about me that can’t be disproved.

It’s sort of a hilarious situation – trying to destroy the character of a person who has already been labeled a Neo-Nazi.

Conspiracy to Silence Free Speech

I am not arguing that the media can’t criticize me. Of course they can. Just as I can criticize others. That is not what is happening here. This is an attempt to defame me, at the same time it is an attempt to put such pressure on the people around me that they beg me to simply shut up. That is to say this harassment campaign, the threats and extortion and manipulation, isn’t merely to get people to give up some secret damning info about me which will somehow destroy my reputation, but harassment for harassments sake.

It is okay to attack me in print, to disagree with me, to insult me. That’s all okay. What is not okay is for some of the most powerful people in the world – the American mainstream media – to organize a conspiracy to silence a political activist.

In the age of Trump, the mainstream media has whined that by criticizing the media, Trump is violating the First Amendment protections on free speech. This is obviously ridiculous on the face of it, but in light of the own hatred for free speech, it becomes even more ridiculous.

Never will you see the media criticize the ADL or the SPLC or any other organization that has the stated purpose of silencing free speech, and instead they work with them.

I do not know the extent to which Luke O’Brien was working with the ADL, but I do know that he wrote me an email referencing contact with Julia Ioffe, who is a member of the ADL’s council to shut down free speech on the internet.

Interestingly, Ioffe works at The Atlantic. She was fired from GQ after tweeting about Donald Trump having sex with his daughter, and The Atlantic hired her.

Ioffe appears to be involved in some kind of plot to set me up for the type of internet crime she told O’Brien about in the first emails.

In November, she tweeted a fake email from me.

That is my avatar, which appears on my Gmail, but I most certainly did not send that email. So did she send it to herself or was it someone else? I addressed this on this site – and I assure you, the ADL reads every page – and yet she did not delete the tweet.

I imagine that after I published O’Brien’s emails where he faked the FBI contacts for his Huffington Post story, most publications would not feel comfortable working with him. So I do wonder if the ADL got him this job at The Atlantic.

Though my case is extreme, I am not the only one receiving this type of treatment. Recently, PewDiePie had a weird hitpiece written on him by the Wall Street Journal, which resulted in his income being severely attacked. The basis for the hitpiece was that we here at the Daily Stormer found some of his jokes funny. WSJ wrote the article after having been contacted by the SPLC, so again you have an example of the mainstream media working with an organization devoted to silencing speech to silence someone’s speech.

Others in the independent media receive similar treatment, being attacked nonstop, harmed in any way the media can manage. A part of this is certainly that the old media is angry that they are being dethroned, as the internet has democratized media in a way that has hurt them. Part of it is that they have an agenda, which is the agenda of the global establishment, and that people in the independent media are threatening that agenda.

And again – this is all aside from the fact that the media is publishing fake information nonstop, and making no apology for it.

Speak Out!

This agenda to silence free speech isn’t going to stop with the Alt-Right. Soon, it is going to apply to all Trump supporters. These people will eventually come around to hunting down and threatening the friends and family of the journalists at Breitbart and The Daily Caller and the moderators of r/The_Donald.

That’s why it’s of the utmost importance that whether you agree with the tone of this website or the ideas expressed on it, you speak out against what is happening here.

Please, share this article.

And if you want to take it a step further, contact The Atlantic and tell them you don’t agree with sending journalists to emotionally manipulate, threaten and extort people – however detestable their article’s subject may be.

Their phone number is (202) 266-6000 (if you’re calling internationally, add a +1 to the beginning).

You can also fill-out this form to send them a message.

They are on Twitter:

@TheAtlantic

And their editor-in-chief, Jeffery Goldberg is as well:

@JeffreyGoldberg

Let’s see if we can get them to give us a statement on what exactly is going on with Luke O’Brien.

I would also be more than happy to field any media inquiries into this situation, and can of course provide further documentation if there is any question about the authenticity of any of these communications.

Thank you for reading and thank you for supporting the continuation of free speech in the United States of America.

Andrew Anglin

Notable Replies

  1. There has got to be grounds for a lawsuit in all of this. They have gone way too far.

  2. It's hard to hit journalists with stalking, and this wouldn't be enough.

    What I am interested in is a "conspiracy to deprive first amendment rights" lawsuit against the ADL/SPLC cartel that is organizing all of this.

    They are clearly conspiring to silence Constitutionally protected speech. There is no doubt whatsoever about this. It's something which they pretty well admit openly. And I believe that a savvy team of lawyers could put together a very good case showing this to be a violation of my rights as an American citizen.

    That would really be the big win. And it is in no way out of the realm of possibility.

Continue the discussion bbs.dailystormer.com

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