Three North Carolina men were accused of being members of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) this week as part of an alleged hack of KKK databases, including U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis from Cornelius.
Tillis’ staff denied the claims that Tillis is or was a member of the KKK.
The hacking collective Anonymous announced they would be releasing 1,000 names of KKK members, but denies responsibility for the names released so far, which have come from a medley of sources and were posted on Pastebin, an online posting website.
Amped Attacks, the online handle for the person or persons responsible for putting Tillis and his wife’s name out as members of the United Northern and Southern Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, claimed the information was obtained from information dumps from “different KKK websites that all linked their emails to the politicians in question” saying that the only way the emails would be in the data was if they had shown “support when signing up or filled out an application” for the groups.
The person or persons behind the alias claimed that they spent nine days collecting the information and verifying it firsthand, but the data has not been made available to NC Capitol Connection to be independently verified.
The handle also released the names of three other senators from Georgia, Indiana and Texas and also five mayors from cities in Florida, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia as art of their list.Another poster, who is unknown, released a list of names, addresses and more of known members of the KKK, or people affiliated with it or other white supremacist organizations – including two North Carolina residents.
The list included mostly information that is available to the public, though uncommon, such as cities of residence, email addresses, phone numbers and also vehicle descriptions and VINs.
One person identified in the hack, Chris Barker, was a well-known leader in the KKK and also an FBI informant, serving as Imperial Wizard in the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan until he was kicked out of the group in disgrace after desecrating a church.
Barker’s wife, Amanda, was also identified in the list as a “Kligrapp” for the group, a position on par with a secretary.
Also included on the list is Kirk Lyons, a Black Mountain attorney who founded the Southern Legal Resource Center (SLRC), which often represents clients in cases involving the Confederate battle flag.
Lyons said that he is not surprised to find his name among those released as part of the list, as he has been in the crosshairs of groups with a “left of center agenda” for years.
“They’ve always been false,” he said. “People have been pushing this crap around for years. Nobody with a lick of sense thinks I’m in the Klan. It’s nothing new, I’m not surprised that my name would be on the list.”
Lyons has a long history of affiliations with white supremacist groups through his professional work as a lawyer, and also in his personal life, but says that he has no affiliation with the Klan, calling them “pathetic” and saying that the Klan has about 5,000 members nationwide and is full of leaks.
“There are so many federal informants and watchdogs in the Klan,” he said. “Information leaks out of that like a sieve. I have told people for years if you want to go to prison, then join the Klan.”
Lyons has been criticized for his formation of the CAUSE Foundation, which was formed to “mobilize resources, both legal and non-legal, in a concerted effort to attack injustices perpetrated on those unknowledgeable in the intricacies of the legal process.”
The acronym “CAUSE” stands for “Canada, Australia, United States, South Africa and Europe.”. It disbanded in 1998.
Lyons said that he chose those areas because they represent the “gift of liberty when the democracy movement was pushed” across the world, but others have said that the focus on “white countries” was racially motivated.
“They said white. I have never used the word white,” he said in reference to his critics. “It’s intellectually dishonest. I represented a black guy, he was a Negro in a non-Negro zone and he got the crap beat out of him by the cops. All the people I represented in Waco were non-white.”
Lyons became involved in the Waco, Texas standoff when Branch Davidians leader David Koresh became involved in a standoff with federal authorities.
Seventy-six of the Davidians died in a fire while locked in their compound outside of Waco, including Koresh.
Lyons, on behalf of Koresh during the siege, filed a temporary restraining order with a judge against the federal authorities involved.
The order was dismissed.
Lyons explains his affiliations by saying that he represented those on the fringe because when their rights are taken, by extension rights are taken from everyone.
Lyons’ personal connection to the white supremacist movement includes his marriage to the sister of an Aryan Nations leader’s daughter in 1990, in the Aryan Nations Church.
Former Klansmen Louis Beam served as Lyons’ best man in his wedding.
Lyons and his wife have seven children together.
Lyons brags about his marriage saying, “Maybe more people should go to the Aryan Nations to get married.”
Lyons said that the “evidence” tying him to the white supremacist movement is ridiculous.
“Ninety percent of it is guilty by association and doing my job as a lawyer,” he said. “I think that everybody in this country in losing liberty and the federal government is the biggest threat to this country.”
Lyons said that if he were black, the line of questioning he has undergone would be enough to have journalists interviewing him fired.
“I could have you fired for asking questions like this,” he said during his interview with NC Capitol Connection. “It’s a double standard.”