By E. Dalton
The true identity of the Federal Information Bureau (FBI) informant and fascist collaborator described in Incendiary’s December 25 report on the Central Texas Socialist Rifle Association has been revealed according to new information which has surfaced in the wake of the report’s publication.
Mounting evidence implicates a man named John Gilmer (aliases include John Newell, John Gomez-Adams, and Pirate John) a gun enthusiast and scam artist.
Incendiary had reported another individual as being “John Newell” based on multiple pieces of evidence. Gilmer and the original suspect are both Democrats, both own guns, both have been living in towns outside of San Antonio for the last several years, and both have taken a trip to Seattle in the same month, matching Newell’s Telegram chat logs. The first and Gilmer even look alike.
The Incendiary editorial board owes the man we mistook for Newell a sincere apology. We made our best judgement based on the evidence available to us at the time, but the new evidence and testimony shows that we were wrong. Incendiary expresses the deepest regret for this error and extends our most sincere apologies to our readers, the masses, and the previously accused man and his family, who are innocent of all the reporting’s allegations. The original article will include a retraction on this point and the names will be altered to reflect reality.
Soon after the original article was published, a Facebook account under the name of John Gomez-Addams was reactivated. The name Gomez-Addams had been floated during our research, but at the time the account had been deactivated, preventing further investigation. Fortunately, we remained vigilant after posting the original article and discovered soon after the original article was published that the Gomez-Addams Facebook account was back up. The activity of these social media accounts introduced valuable new evidence, including photos from May Day 2017 in Austin, which John Newell reports he had gone to in one chat log.
Photos on Gomez-Addams’s profile match photos of John Gilmer found in google image searches. The grayscale shemagh scarf worn by “John Newell” on May Day 2017 was featured in a photo posted by Gomez-Addams. Gomez-Addams has piratejohn.com listed as his website on Facebook, which features photos of Gilmer. An old Facebook tag also reveals that the Gomez-Addams Facebook profile used to have its last name set as “Gilmer.”
A source formerly close to CTSRA who had multiple meetings with Newell in person positively identified a photo of Gilmer as Newell to Incendiary.
From the early 2000’s to the mid 2010’s in various online Usenet newsgroups, Gilmer was active as his alias Pirate John. In these online forums, Gilmer appears to have attempted numerous scams, including trying to pass off a junk bike as Lance Armstrong’s bike and faking a man’s death to raise money. One newsgroups user claimed Gilmer had plagiarized his tourist book about Florida.
While the sordid history of Gilmer is difficult to chronicle accurately due to a spectrum of allegations and counter allegations, his current activity is easier to pin down. Gilmer works in Cotulla, TX, drives a late model black Toyota Tundra, works as a corrections officer, owns multiple firearms, maintains a conceal and carry license issued by the state of Texas, and manages numerous online accounts including the Facebook page “Antifascists of Texas and BAIR Trappers,” which displays the imperialist US flag as its profile picture, a mockery of legitimate antifascism.
Confirming Gilmer as Newell has more strongly tied him to CTSRA and has further entangled that organization in his FBI and fascist collaborations. Furthermore, in the past few days since the Dec. 25 article was published, the internal contradictions of the greater SRA have come to the fore, primarily in the form of an unresolved issues on membership.
One SRA (which will be referred to as SRA*) exists as an organization with membership lists, non-profit status and dues paying members; the other (which will be referred to as SRA**) operates on the basis of a loose network of online friends promoting gun culture. It is the latter which we reported as collaborating with John “Newell” Gilmer.
What is made clear by the extensive chat logs that we have investigated, is that Gilmer was brought into the CTSRA orbit by a former resident of Bryan-College Station who we will refer to as M. Ward due to the potential risk posed to his family by releasing his real identity.
Ward is a founding member of SRA**, which operates a Facebook page with more than 26,000 likes. Incendiary received an email from M. Ward on Dec. 26, contesting the findings of the Dec. 25 report. In particular, he claimed that Newell had never been a part of SRA** chats.
“Your article features screens from such a chat and describe it as an SRA organizing project, furthermore insinuating that SRA bears responsibility for the state-related activities of other, non-SRA people in a non-SRA group,” Ward writes.
Antifascists should not shirk responsibility for reporting and expelling informants in general, but in this case Ward is lying.
In the above photos we see the group chat “SRA Shit Shootin’” which contains 18 members, including Gilmer (John P.), ”Enoch,” Andrew Alemao, M. Ward, and Durutti Mikhail Sands. As the above screenshots illustrate, Gilmer participated in SRA** chats with M. Ward and other SRA** leaders.
Additionally, we have received photos and testimony from May Day 2017 which show Gilmer and Ward going to a march in Austin which was confronted by an assortment of fascists. Combing through the Gilmer’s personal Facebook page as well as the others he manages, Ward often interacts with Gilmer’s posts and vice versa.
An attendee of the event, who wished to remain anonymous, also corroborated the pair’s connection.
“[Gilmer and Ward] kind of stood out from everyone on both sides, the left basically could all vouch for each person attending and the right had clearly been communicating as well,” the source said, “yet these two who marched with the right seemed not to know anyone they were with and held back from chanting or fighting.”
At one point, Gilmer “began trying to diffuse and deescalate in the most tense situations… really confusing both sides as to what side he was on,” the source said.
Incendiary reached out to a local cop watcher who was able to recall the event identifying both Gilmer as well as Ward from the photographs obtained.
“I rolled up on them a few blocks south of where we exited. It was two blocks going south and [Gilmer] was walking back toward Lamar. I am positive that’s the other guy [Ward],” the cop watcher said, referencing a photo of Ward.
At one point, Gilmer became threatening. “He said he was trying to dox everyone. Both communist and fascist and then threatened to dox me,” the cop watcher said.
The activist doxed as Newell by fascists last year was in fact Ward, founder of SRA** in Texas and main moderator the larger SRA** Facebook account, photographed at the same May Day demonstration as Gilmer.
M. Ward is not the only CTSRA representative to challenge our reporting on Newell. The CTSRA issued a statement the evening the original article was published, authored by the account “Herman Enoch Presser.” He attempts to both deny the accuracy of the recent article as well as to double down on CTSRA’s errors.
“Today accusations came out to defame the Texas SRA chapter, as well as myself, of working not only with Fascists, but FBI as well. Most of this comes from my association with a particular person, John, who has been doxxing white nationalists and Fascists for some years, and I was making use of his information to gather Intel on groups here in Texas,” the post reads. “John has never been a member of the SRA, much less our local chapter, and any one of the other organizers could vouch for that fact. The group that I was in was separate from the SRA chats, and specifically focused on Intel gathering and other information regarding local reactionary and outright fascists groups. Anywhere from Nomads SAR to Texas Patriot Network to 3%ers to Patriot Front to AtomWaffen Division, and other ‘Patriot’ groups.”
Contrary to Enoch’s claims, Gilmer was involved in SRA** chats (as shown above) and was active in them along with the other known members of CTSRA.
Enoch via the CTSRA Facebook further claims: “John has made mention of working with the FBI in the past (years ago) against border militia groups, and stopping a mosque burning in Houston, but whenever he made mention of doing the same for any action I was a part of, it was never accepted.”
In his statement, Enoch offhandedly states that the interactions with the FBI happened years ago, conveniently leaving the amount of time ambiguous. This misleading qualification could lead readers of the statement to believe that the interactions with the FBI happened three, five, or even ten years ago, when in fact the Telegram chat logs show it was as recent as one year ago.
When asked by a comment on the statement if it was true that John (referring to Gilmer) was an informant and Corrections Officer, Enoch replied from his personal account. “I won’t deny that much,” he said. “Again, the only part I’m combating is the notion that I am CointelPro, and work with Feds, which I do not, have not.”
Enoch was never accused of being “CointelPro” or working with federal agents directly. Evidence was supplied in the original article showing that he organized with a self-identified federal informant. Enoch goes on to admit guilt by association in another comment.
“I’ve already made the decision to step back from the CenTex SRA. Being guilty by association means the same for the chapter, and I’m more concerned with allowing people to continue organizing than battling one another,” he said. “I’ve seen this scenario happen time and time again, and I know how it goes.”
As of now, it is unclear if CTSRA will follow Enoch’s lead and disband or what Enoch is prepared to do, if anything, to control the organizing done by those affiliated. Based on Enoch’s history of online posturing as described in the Dec. 25 article, his claims in the statement are more than likely the same empty assertions.
Enoch concludes his statement by lamenting: “I won’t allow my reputation, nor that of the Central Texas SRA, be sullied by rogue ex RGA members who have a bone to pick.”
The CTSRA members named in the article have all tended to blame the specter of Red Guards Austin (RGA) for CTSRA’s own proven involvement with the self-proclaimed informant Gilmer, in what is a transparent display of sectarianism in the face of hard evidence.
While Enoch claims to be “taking a step back” after the publication of the investigation, others, including Andrew Alemao, have doubled down on justifying their actions.
Like Enoch, Alemao blames the specter of RGA for his own short-sighted involvement with fascists and Gilmer by accusing his critics of being RGA. “I did shake Ritchie’s hand as a gesture of appreciation for telling Patriot Front not to show up. None of us work with him,” Alemao writes on his Facebook page. “I saw an opportunity to create division on the right so I took it. If people don’t want to work with me because of that choice I made, they don’t have to.”
In response to someone who disagreed with his compromising with fascists, Alemao writes, “Sounds like you’re probably RGA. Just crawl back into the hole you crawled out of and maybe stop trying to sabotage actual leftists groups that are actually useful.”
While sharpening and exploiting contradictions between fascist groups can be an effective maneuver, forming “tactical alliances” where “leftists” shake hands with one set of fascists against another is not antifascism – it is collaboration. Imagine shaking hands with Gregor Strasser as a way to oppose Adolf Hitler.
Alemao, in a comment on Enoch’s statement, defends collaboration with self-proclaimed informants on the basis of a crude pragmatism. “I would say that if the value of the intel they have exceeds the liability of working with them go for it but that’s just me. If you had someone like that in your backpocket you’d utilize them too,” he writes.
Claims that Gilmer (or Richie for that matter) are in the “back pocket” of Alemao or his organizations DSA and CTSRA runs contrary to evidence. Richie dishonored his handshake with Alemao hours after it happened with his impromptu protest of MonkeyWrench books. Gilmer’s absurd idea that the feds can be used by antifascists as a tool, which he repeats in the chats, has been absorbed by Alemao, who argues that the same logic applies to informants.
Enoch and Alemao have both denied that there was a truce between the Texas Nomads and themselves. However, in yet another chat called “Operation Creek Rising and Creek Wasting,” Gilmer explicitly uses the term “truce” in conversations with Enoch. The terms of this truce are clear and include RGA being a group that neither the fascists nor the SRA** “like.” While Alemao explicitly denies a truce, the evidence is clear that SRA** leadership was not only aware of it, they supported it. “Sands”, who runs the CTSRA Facebook page, can be seen accepting the proposal at the bottom.
Incendiary was able to uncover CTSRA’s network of informants, gun sales, antifascist planning, and fascist collaboration, as well as ascertain the identity and role of all who were majorly involved in planning, discussions, and actions with Gilmer. It stands to reason that the FBI themselves likely have a much clearer picture of the “antifascist” organizing carried out by the CTSRA and their apologists.
Incendiary stands by the facts and arguments against CTSRA presented in our initial report and no amount of shifting the blame onto former Maoist organizations will remove the stink from those involved.
CTSRA members “Vicky” and Sands run the page “ATX-Antifa” on twitter and continue the disturbing trend of blaming the now defunct RGA for CTSRA’s collaboration with the state and fascists. In the first tweet, the author accidentally referred to Newell as “John Gilmer” before we had identified him as such. The page retroactively deleted the tweet shortly after.
ATXantifa go a step further and attempt to expose a member of mass organization Defend Our Hoodz.
Without backing up these claims with any evidence or proof, ATXantifa is using a technique called “pig work” by assisting the police through regurgitating trumped up charges against activists as if they were fact. ATXantifa is also using a technique called “red baiting” which is the attempt to discredit an individual or organization by claiming they are dangerous Communists or to use anti-Communist slander to discredit a person.
The Incendiary editorial board would like to take this opportunity to stress the role of ideology and political principles in antifascist organizing. Not only does history make the argument for us, that tailing of the bourgeois and their institutions in the name of opposition to fascism fails to oppose fascism, doing so also liquidates revolution. Ideology and political principles are the main things which ground antifascism in the revolutionary tradition.
Antifascism is a branch of work which faces particular consequences from both fascists and the state (sections of which are already enforcing fascist policy and using fascist enforcement methods). Any antifascist organizer is correct to take issue with collaboration between so-called antifascists and informants, Corrections Officers, etc., and more to the point they are right to see bringing one of them to an antifascist action as a concrete act of betrayal.
To add insult to injury, the SRA** fails to accept any kind of accountability for their actions. Before the publication of this follow up report, Incendiary corresponded with Ward, requesting that the individuals responsible be held accountable and a public statement vowing to break all contact with Gilmer be released. Ward’s response was to neglect the issue of his on-the-ground work with Gilmer and only expressed concern that his family might be terrorized by fascists should his real name be released.
Incendiary has decided to honor his request only for the sake of his family and the fact that the strength of the evidence is not compromised by obscuring his name and face.
The SRA** Facebook page and the CTSRA page should have admitted that Gilmer was in SRA** chats, that Gilmer did carry out work on-the-ground with a SRA** leader, and that they did attempt to establish a truce with Texas Nomads SAR, but they have not, necessitating a reiteration of the facts.
The real names of those involved have not been used unless the individuals use their real names on public accounts. Even if they are collaborating with an informant, to release the personal information of everyone we know in CTSRA would only serve the fascists. Antifascist principles must come first in our reporting, including protecting anonymity and a refusal to work with fascists or federal informants.
None of the information contained in either this article or the previous was obtained from fascist sources. All information was obtained from leftists and our own investigation. It is true that some fascists claimed to have provided information to “antifa” about Newell, but it was not sent to Incendiary. It is also true that in several instances Enoch had refused to dox leftists, however this principle was contradicted when he proceeded to make violent threats against Maoists as reported in our last article.
Incendiary will continue our work in service of the revolutionary and antifascist causes, and we will strive to reveal any informants, self-proclaimed or otherwise, as well as confront those who try to protect them or conceal their involvement. If you see Gilmer at any Texas antifascist action please document it and inform Incendiary immediately. We call unequivocally for the combating of CTSRA so that its backward ideology and malpractice do not infect local and national movements.