Christian Crowdfunding Site Hosting Neo-Nazi Trying to Build Whites-Only Community
GiveSendGo has previously been under fire for hosting crowdfunding for extremism groups.
Vice – The rightwing Christian alternative to GoFundMe is allowing a neo-Nazi leader to raise thousands of dollars on their platform, according to online records reviewed by VICE News.GiveSendGo, which had already made headlines for allowing far-right groups like the Proud Boys raise millions of dollars off of its platform, is currently hosting a former Marine and neo-Nazi named Christopher Pohlhaus, who among other activities, wants to build an all-white community in Maine.
Pohlhaus has commanded a sizable Telegram following for years and once gave a live stream on how best to hypothetically shoot truckers in order to disrupt the supply chain. He has also had connections to everyone from Riley June Williams—the January 6 attacker who broke into then Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office—to NSC-131, a neo-Nazi activist network in New England that was founded by a former member of a designated terrorist group.
Despite those credentials, GiveSendGo, a site that promotes itself as the “#1 Free Christian Fundraising Site”, has yet to boot Pohlhaus from their platform. GiveSendGo was notified at least twice last year about the avowed neo-Nazi and his affiliations to the violent far-right. In September, an analyst at the Counter Extremism Project (CEP), a non-profit terrorism watchdog, contacted GiveSendGo to say Pohlhaus was using it as a platform for making money and establishing a white nationalist community.
Pohlhaus served in the Marines for four years in the 2000s and gained prominence among the far-right when he promoted a countrywide and racist banner drop on the first anniversary of George Floyd’s murder. Pohlhaus then planned a migration among some of his followers to turn Maine into an all-white ethnostate. He took the cause to GiveSendGo, where Pohlhaus began to raise money for a homestead in a remote part of the state that could one day serve as a community and a place where his group can “train.” So far, records from the fundraising site show he has accumulated just over $2000, with two large donations over $800 each, coming nearly two months ago (the campaign also received 23 “prayers”, which is a button on GiveSendGo pages).
Within that span of time, Pohlhaus caused outrage when he and several other members of his group, which he calls a tribe, showed up armed at a children’s drag queen story event in Ohio, giving the Sieg Heil salute with their arms, yelling racial slurs, and reportedly chanting “there will be blood!”
In the footage, Pohlhaus, the only one among the group not wearing a mask, is clearly visible with his distinct tattoos and was carrying a pistol on his hip. Footage of the event circulated on Twitter, with police running interference between other far-right protesters (with Pohlhaus and his group among them) and counterprotesters.
When asked about whether or not his GiveSendGo account helped him raise money for his neo-Nazi activism in Ohio, Pohlhaus sarcastically responded in runic text (not in English), something to the effect that a short drive doesn’t cost much and that he makes thousands of dollars as a tattoo artist and doesn’t need donations.
“This fundraiser, both now and when it was originally posted in late August, clearly violates GiveSendGo’s Community Guidelines,” said the CEP analyst who sent two emails to the fundraising site. “GiveSendGo was made aware on September 1 and then again on September 7 that Pohlhaus, a known neo-Nazi with links to multiple extreme-right groups, was using their website to crowdfund to create a campground for his political allies and conduct training.”
In its terms of service, GiveSendGo states it doesn’t tolerate “discrimination or hatred against individuals or groups based on race, ethnic origin.” Pohlhaus has a giant Swastika tattoo on his chest and frequently makes racist and antisemitic comments.