A three-day camping trip called "76 Fest" featured some "good old-fashioned fun, like painting wooden crosses with images of 4chan icon Pepe the Frog," VICE News reports.
The event catered to members of what VICE describes as the "Christian ultranationalist movement," and according to one far-right influencer, "these events are Hitler Youth, without the Hitler." But in the weeks leading up to the trip, divisions among the movement were beginning to show.
"The catalyst was a major fallout between 23-year-old white nationalist Nick Fuentes, who runs the America First Foundation, and some of his top lieutenants," VICE News' Tess Owen writes. "Fuentes, with his 45,000-plus subscribers on Telegram and streaming platform Cozy.tv, has positioned himself as the kingpin of the ultranationalist youth movement, and is beloved by many of his devout supporters, who are known as 'groypers.'"
Two of Fuentes allies resigned from his group "America First" and subsequently did a podcast where they aired claims about what goes on behind the scenes of the group. Soon after, people were posting online about what they see as Fuentes' downfall. But organizers of 76 Fest called for unity.
“The whole point of loyalty is to be there through BOTH thick and thin,” they wrote in an Instagram post last month. “[Nick Fuentes] and [America First Foundation] have been friends to us since the very beginning and we will stay with them no matter what. We are moving forward with hosting America First speakers regardless of any slander.”
In the podcast, McNeil called Fuentes a "cult leader," saying that his allying with Fuentes has left him with a “Hatewatch” profile on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s website, along with no money, no friends, and no job prospects.
“This guy is a sick person who wants to destroy young men’s lives,” said McNeil. “He’s threatening all these underage people, young men, that are willing to put their lives on the line, their identity on the line, for him.”
As Owen points out, while McNeil has disavowed Fuentes and America First, he has not disavowed the bigotry that Fuentes and his group espouses.
Read the full report over at VICE News.