There've been a couple of oddball YouTube videos kicking around lately alleging that J.T. Ready, Arizona's best known neo-Nazi, is an FBI informant.
One of them, put up by the YouTube channel HOLLYWOODILLUSION received massive views, but has since been pulled by the user. The other, posted by the YouTube channel Warrior4god13, is still up, and references the HOLLYWOODILLUSION video.
It's important to note that neither video has offered any evidence of the allegation, which Ready denies, of course. Indeed, Warrior4god13's video is filled with so much conspiratorial wackjobbery -- references to the New World Order, FEMA camps, the "Satanic" federal government, etc. -- that he seems like he popped right out of an Alex Jones video.
Apparently, what set all this off is J.T. Ready's recent neo-Nazi patrol in the Vekol Valley, where he and a group of fellow "patriots" set off hunting for "narco-terrorists." They didn't bag any drug runners, but they did come across at least one migrant and one dead, desiccated body.
(Ready says he's continuing the patrols under the banner of his new group U.S. Border Guard, but more on that in a sec.)
Warrior4god13 called Ready a "fraud" and a "bonehead," and posited an intriguing "Bermuda Triangle" theory for what would happen to those who followed Ready into the desert.
"He's a federal agent," Warrior4god13 warned of Ready. "You're going to go in there with your militia. They're going to size you up -- 20 members, 16 ARs, blah, blah, blah. And maybe even take you in, and you'll never be heard from again."
Granted, it's pretty nutty, but so was Ready's Col. Kurtz-like outing in the Vekol Valley.
Since people have been e-mailing me links to these videos, I decided to give Ready a call and ask him about the FBI accusation. Ready had already seen both videos, and had been asked about them by others.
"The first thing is," said Ready, "with all the paranoia, if I were an informant, it would make no difference if I told you yes or no, because probably an informant would lie.
"And then, next, along with that, consider the source. I would put the burden of proof on someone else. Ask that freak where did he come up with his weird stuff from."
But though Ready said he regarded the accusation as "ridiculous," it apparently has given him some concerns.
"That kind of talk is dangerous," he told me. "Because, you know what, I [could] get shot in the head by some Aryan Brotherhood, or, you know, somebody all [high] on meth or something who thinks I'm some kind of undercover informant."
Ready said he's had "legitimate contacts" with the FBI over a range of matters, but not as an informant.
"Everything from my background check [for a security clearance in the Marine Corps]," he explained. "Everything from that to my stepbrother shooting a postal worker with a BB gun when we were kids. To the thing in Vegas where I was attacked."
With this last item, Ready's referring to an incident in Las Vegas, captured somewhat by Americanjusticeradio.com, where Ready says he was sucker punched while demonstrating with other neo-Nazis on the Vegas strip.
Ready stated that he'd been contacted afterward by the FBI about the melee.
For the record, I contacted FBI spokesman Manuel Johnson about the informant allegation, pretty much knowing what he would say.
"We don't discuss our informants' identities," he said. "I'm not confirming or denying anything. But as a matter of policy, we don't discuss it."
Ready says he's busy with the ongoing desert patrols of his new group U.S. Border Guard, which he describes as "an inclusive organization, so people of different ethnicities and so forth can participate."
(Hopefully, a chorus of "Kumbaya" is not in the offing.)
In any case, Ready wants people to know that such accusations as Warrior4god13's should not be given the time of day.
"What scares me is there would be people who would take something like that as legitimate," he complained, adding, "But it's serious enough that it should be thoroughly addressed. This isn't a game."