Monday, July 23, 2018

Generation Identity, Alt-Right Montreal, and the Identity of "Date"

ARC has a number of individuals to thank for this article, however one provides the blog with the bulk of the material that follows. I would like to thank her/him, as well as all of those others who assisted in this work, for the invaluable contribution that made this article possible.

On January 7, ARC published an article identifying the suspected head of Generation Identity Canada. Tyler Hover had been a person ARC had been watching for years though we hadn't published much about him during that time. Of potential interest is that former "Rebel Media" personality Lauren Southern is a fan of the group in Europe:

Generation Identity Canada has since rebranded as ID Canada and has found a kindred spirit in another former "Rebel Media" personality Faith Goldy who has been promoting the hate group since the spring:

While identifying Hover has proven to be useful, the real prize has turned out to be learning the identity of the Montreal chapter of Generation Identity (now the Montreal chapter of ID Canada) leader.

ARC is actually coming a little late to the party since the head of Montreal chapter was identified by an online pseudonym in "The National Post" on May 14. Most of the article focused on how the leaking of the Discord chat logs resulted in identifying some far-right individuals from Quebec who participated in the racist Charlottesville rally last August paying particular attention to "Zeiger" (Gabriel Sohier-Chaput), Shawn Beauvais-MacDonald ("FriendlyFash"), and Vincent Bélanger-Mercure, however there was also mention of a figure that I had only been vaguely aware of:
A few days before the long drive south, one of their leaders logged onto an American alt-right forum with a request. 
“We are about 20 guys driving through the border from Canada and we obviously will not be able to bring protective gear like shields and so on through the border agents,” wrote Date, a prominent Montreal white nationalist. “If you’ve got extra ones, some of our members are interested in buying them from you over there.”
Of importance to this article though is information found later on "The National Post":
Another key Montreal player goes by the username “LateOfDies.” He first appears in the Montreal Storm chat a few weeks after its creation and remains a moderator throughout the duration of the logs. 
In late December 2017, another user describes how LateOfDies acts as the gatekeeper for the crew’s secret Facebook group, which requires in-person vetting by LateOfDies, FriendlyFash or Zeiger in order to enter. 
Unlike Zeiger, the name LateOfDies does not appear in forums outside the Discord server. There is, however, a person who uses the pseudonym “Date of Lies,” or sometimes simply “Date” who regularly appears on white supremacist podcasts and in neo-Nazi literature connected to Montreal and Quebec. 
It was Date who had asked to buy shields and gear from American users ahead of Charlottesville. Date has also appeared on podcasts with Shawn Beauvais-MacDonald — who used the alias Friendly Fash (two words, rather than one), just like in Montreal Storm. 
Date identifies himself as a leader within Generation Identity Canada in a white supremacist podcast from October 2017. That group, which recently rebranded itself as ID Canada, has posted propaganda around Concordia and McGill in the past. Date also claimed to have been involved in the “Make Canada Great Again” posters that went up around McGill shortly after Donald Trump’s election. 
In an interview with Harfang, the secret newsletter of the neo-Nazi group Fédération des Québécois de Souche, Date says that Generation Identity was formerly called Alt Right Montreal.
The connection Generation Identity and the Facebook group Alt-Right Montreal was made explicit on the Montreal Storm chat logs and includes a misspelling of Date's first name:

On a related note it seems that Students For Western Civilization is also involved with Gabriel Sohier-Chaput and those who participated in the "Montreal Storm" chats by attending physical events (referred to as TRS Pool Parties).

That's another connection to Faith Goldy:

Date is also seen here coordinating with American fascists prior to Charlottesville:

Thus far the identity of "Date" or "DateOfLies" hasn't been widely distributed, but someone who I am very grateful to has provided ARC with the identity and supporting evidence to identify who he is:

There's another guy from Montreal who said he's a leader of Generation Identity Canada. I took it to mean there are multiple regional leaders. A guy with the pseudonym "Date" (seems shortened from DateOfLies) said he was a leader on This Hour Has 88 Minutes podcast:
Athan Zafirov, aka "Date" aka Athan Goodwill

His name is Athan Zafirov. He also goes by Athan Goodwill. Apparently his full name is Athanasse (he's Bulgarian). In 2016 he got some attention from Montreal anarchists for trying to organize a meetup event for users of the misogynist pick up artist Roosh V's "Return of Kings" forum, most of which got called off in face of opposition. He works in the financial industry and seems to be pretty accomplished academically, though the logs suggest he may have lost a job over that (Zeiger says something about "Athen" being fired for being too right-wing around that time), and he seems to have started looking for a new job after the recent exposes, not clear if it's related: 

Zafirov is also the guy who helped organize the "Leafensraum" alt-right conference in July, and was also at Charlottesville's Unite the Right. On a 88 Minutes podcast recorded live there he mentioned attending a La Meute rally against M-103 but also being disappointed in their "boomer civic nationalism." 

I spent a whole weekend going through old profiles of his back in February (Date of Lies, from Montreal, all seem to have born around 1988, so a fair guess to assume they were all the same). On one thread a decade ago for a video game forum he says he wanted to change his "hyper-foreign" last name to something "North American." In it he says everyone calls him Athan. Then on a table top 
Athan Zafirov in white shirt and
Shawn Beauvais-MacDonald wearing
red helmet, July 1, 2017
gaming forum in 2014 he asked to be contacted under the e-mail "" So I guessed his name was Athan Zafirov and found the Roosh V guy and it matched up. I then found a page where an "Athan Goodwill" asked to be contacted under "" which confirmed it was him. Lastly, it also seemed to fit his YouTube account which showed he was mostly interested in video games and anti-feminist stuff and then over time went into alt-right / white nationalist stuff. Other profiles of his suggested he briefly partook in Gamergate and held general "manosphere" attitudes and beliefs. This fits a common pattern other observers have noted. 
  • threw beer at Roosh in 2015, six months prior. It doesn't mention Athan's name since he hadn't been identified at that point.
  • He seems to like to travel, which is why on his old NeoGAF profile you can find him saying he was in Vancouver (as an exchange student), France, (as a student intern) and Toronto at points even though he consistently describes Montreal as his home. Him living in Toronto for the summer of 2009 also matched with Zafirov who was a student intern there at the time.
  • On one TRS podcast "Late Night Alt-RIght" he also shared space with old school neo-Nazi Harold Covington as well as Shawn Beauvais-MacDonald. Zafirov repeats that he is a leader in the now rebranded ID Canada and goes on to share his views regarding Charlottesville:

The source above also provided some additional information about Zafirov who was a subject in another "Montreal Gazette" article dealing with the toxic anti-feminism found within the "alt-right" which references his connection to Roosh V. 

Seems like he's quite the catch.

Over the coming weeks and months, I expect the Discord leak to provide even more information that will be used to identify fascists in Canada.

I'm guessing that will make a lot of people very uncomfortable.


Anonymous said...

Great sleuthing.

Anonymous said...

I knew him back when I was at Dawson college and even worked with him at beaver tails. Never thought he would turn up so fucked up

Kurt Phillips said...

Anon 1: Thank you, though the heavy lifting was done by a source who has been providing a lot of information. I was sitting on much of it for months until the dots were able to be connected.

Anon 2: I would be very interested in learning more about this if you would be interested in emailing me.

Anonymous said...