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Must-Not-Watch TV: Maine neo-Nazi and Florida pagan face off in presidential debate

by | Sep 13, 2019

Republican presidential hopeful Augustus Sol Invictus. image/via Facebook

Tonight, live on the Internet, under a Friday-the-13th full moon, neo-Nazi Tom Kawczynski, currently of Greenville Junction, Maine, will wage a war of words against Augustus Sol Invictus, a white supremacist from sunny Orlando, Florida. The hate face-off will be refereed by a Quebecois white supremacist and eugenicist, Jean-Francois Gariepy, who accepted $25,000 from pedophile Jeffrey Epstein to set up a YouTube channel about “neuroscience.” Yikes.

The 7 p.m. debate on Gariepy’s YouTube channel, which has over 47,000 subscribers, will undoubtedly be chockfull of racist rhetoric, but the bigotry will likely be toned down just enough to avoid violating YouTube’s community standards. Gariepy, whose recent guests include neo-Nazis Richard Spencer and David Duke, is known in the alt-right blab-o-sphere for enforcing a ban on “hate speech” during his show, called “The Public Space.” So, like more mainstream GOP debates, much of the intolerance will be conveyed at dog-whistle volume.    

Other than being unemployed, blatantly racist, and running as Republicans, the two presidential contenders are not much alike on a personal level. The 38-year-old Kawczynski served as town manager for the Somerset County community of Jackman for six months. In January 2018, he was fired when his plan to establish a white ethno-state in Maine, called New Albion, was exposed. 

Kawczynski, a self-identified “Christian Identitarian,” considers himself “born again” and worships a white, non-Jewish Jesus. Invictus, whose self- chosen name means “majestic unconquered sun” in Latin, identifies as a member of the Thelemites, disciples of an esoteric “religion” founded by Aleister Crowley. However, he was reportedly kicked out of the sect’s Ordo Templi Orientis organization for conduct unbecoming of a Thelemite, including Holocaust denial and drinking goat blood.

Invictus, who’s 36, is a 2011 graduate of DePaul University’s College of Law. He worked as an attorney for six years, mostly defending members of the alt-right, including Marcus Faella, the leader of the neo-Nazi group American Front, who was convicted of unlawfully “teaching and conducting paramilitary training.” (Faella is scheduled to be sentenced today for that crime; he faces up to 30 years in prison.) Invictus “retired” from practicing law in 2017, the same year he was a featured speaker at the white-power “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Invictus’ 2020 presidential campaign logo.

While preparing to run for U.S. Senate in Florida as a Libertarian in 2014, Invictus reportedly went on a vision quest, walking from the Sunshine State to the Mojave Desert, a journey of 2,355 miles. In 2018, he ran again for Senate, this time as a Republican. He typically makes public appearances dressed in a business suit and tie. 

Kawczynski — who abandoned his 2005 bid to represent Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in Congress — prefers t-shirts and jeans. He recently spent 10 days tracking a Redfoot tortoise, named Chloe, who’d managed to escape from his Greenville property, where he and his wife keep captive snakes and turtles. (Chloe was found and returned to confinement.)

Turtles held captive at the Kawczynski camp, with New Albion flag at right. image/via Facebook

On most political issues, Kawczynski and Invictus share common ground. Both are ethno-nationalists with anti-Islam, anti-Israel, anti-feminist, anti-communist and anti-gay marriage campaign platforms. Both claim to believe the media, the “deep state,” and the big banks are controlled by a secret Jewish cabal. And both are fervent proponents of the “white genocide” conspiracy theory, which claims immigrants are being brought to the U.S. in order to “replace” the white race.

Kawczynski and Invictus are also Third Reich fan boys. Invictus, whose demeanor is vaguely Teutonic, has written in favor of eugenics, and titled one of his essays “Future or Ruin,” apparently in homage to Hitler’s 1927 speech “Zukunft oder Untergang.”

Kawczynski, despite his Polish heritage, openly promotes the Nazi-nativist philosophy of “Blood and Soil” — a slogan chanted by white supremacists during the Charlottesville rally. He calls the flag he designed for New Albion his “Blood Flag,” or “Blutfahne,” which is what Hitler called the Nazi swastika flag carried during the failed Beer Hall Putsch in 1927.

The two candidates appear to differ on immigration policy. While both oppose all refugee programs, Kawczynski, if elected, would end all immigration, legal and otherwise. (The only exception, he has said on several occasions, would be made for white farmers from South Africa.) Invictus claims to favor “immigration reform,” rather than an outright ban, but the details are vague.

A recent tweet from candidate Kawczynski.

Tonight’s “presidential debate” is more an exercise in vanity, or futility, than a serious political event. Neither candidate has much chance of getting on the ballot to challenge their party’s leader, Donald Trump, in a presidential primary, and several GOP state committees have already cancelled their primaries, citing a lack of serious challengers. Kawczynski has repeatedly promised supporters his name will appear on the ballot in Iowa and New Hampshire next year. But he’s also hinted that he might throw his support behind Invictus and focus on Maine politics, instead. He’s previously declared his intention to establish a white-nationalist political party in Maine.

During a livestream broadcast on Sept. 11, Kawczynski floated the possibility of challenging Republican Sen. Susan Collins in a Maine GOP primary — if his supporters jumpstart the campaign by collecting the thousands of signatures necessary to get his name on the ballot. “I won’t win,” Kawczynski predicted, “but I’ll make her life hell.”

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