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Feds bust leader of neo-Nazi cult who used Discord and Telegram to groom and exploit children

Katherine Tangalakis-Lippert   

Feds bust leader of neo-Nazi cult who used Discord and Telegram to groom and exploit children
  • The leader of an online cult was arrested Thursday for possession of child sexual abuse material.
  • Kalana Limkin, prosecutors say, founded an offshoot of the satanic group 764 to groom and exploit kids.

The leader of a racist pedophile cult was arrested late last week following a seven-month-long investigation by the FBI into a network of Telegram and Discord servers dedicated to spreading neo-Nazi ideology and exploiting children, according to court documents reviewed by Business Insider.

The initial complaint, which the court unsealed on December 15, indicates Kalana Limkin of Hawaii has been the subject of a criminal investigation since May and, upon his arrest, admitted to law enforcement that he is the creator of "Cultist," a splinter group of the satanic anarchist organization known as "764," that targets children and uses child sexual abuse material and videos of animal cruelty, self-harm, and other extreme acts of violence to "accelerate chaos in society."

"The group functions together as a coordinated unit by using Discord and Telegram as vessels to desensitize vulnerable populations through sharing extreme gore and child sexual abuse material ("CSAM"), with the purpose of breaking down societal norms and normalizing explicit material to corrupt minors and groom them towards future violence," according to a motion to detain Limkin without bail while he awaits trial.

Representatives for Telegram did not immediately respond to requests for comment from Business Insider.

John Redgrave, Discord's vice president of trust and safety, told Business Insider that the platform has a zero-tolerance policy against content related to harming children and violent extremism.

"In this case, Discord proactively reported the individual to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) and is working with law enforcement throughout the legal process," Redgrave said. "We also removed accounts related to this individual and have taken specific measures to deter him from returning to Discord."

Limkin is accused in the complaint of posting at least six images of child sexual abuse material on Discord servers, as well as exploiting a minor he first met through the now-defunct site Omegle, which shuttered earlier this year, just days after it settled a civil claim regarding sexual abuse on the platform.

Per the complaint, Limkin showed the girl a graphic video of sexual abuse against a child, asked her for photos of herself in her underwear, and told her he had a collage of pictures of girls he had manipulated into cutting his name into their bodies.

During an interview with law enforcement, the complaint indicates Limkin admitted to "asking minor females to send him nude photographs of themselves and receiving child pornography links and images via his Discord server, 'Cultist.'" Per court documents, he also admitted to having child pornography files that were stored in his phone and truck.

The United States Attorney for the District of Hawaii and Limkin's attorney, Assistant Federal Public Defender Maximilian J. Mizono, did not immediately respond to requests for comment from Business Insider.

A network of exploitative online cults

The 764 group that Limkin based his Cultist faction on is itself an offshoot of The Order of Nine Angles (O9A), which, according to the complaint, "espouses the belief that society must be destroyed from within. O9A encourages members to engage in criminal acts, including violence, sexual assault, murder, and terrorism, to accelerate and cause the demise of Western society."

"O9A advocates 'culling,' a form of human sacrifice, to eliminate Jews, people of color, and others deemed to be inferior under their Social Darwinist views, as well as rape and sexual assault as a means of asserting domination, breaking social norms, and propagating the expansion of the white race," according to the complaint against Limkin. "O9A embraces terrorism, including radical Islamic jihadist ideology and the violent tactics of jihadist groups, such as the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham ("ISIS") and al Qaeda, as a means to accelerate the decline of Western society and to attack Jewish people in particular."

The FBI warned the public about 764 and similar groups in September, saying they use online platforms to target youth between the ages of 8 and 17 — especially LGBTQ+ youth and racial minorities — using blackmail, threats, and manipulation to get them to record or live-stream self-harm, sex acts, "and/or suicide," adding that members circulated the footage to further extort and control their victims.

In their motion to deny bail, prosecutors indicated the weight of the evidence against Limkin is "substantial."

"The defendant has in fact confessed to the crime of possessing child pornography. Further, he admitted to being the creator of 'Cultist,' which he acknowledged promotes self-harm and cutting," the motion reads. "The defendant also admitted that he had asked minor females to send him nude photographs of themselves. This evidence demonstrates the United States' case against the defendant is formidable, making the defendant's conviction quite likely."

Limkin's appearance in the US District Court of Hawaii before Magistrate Judge Rom Trader is set for December 18.

Update December 18, 2023: This story has been updated with comments from Discord's vice president of trust and safety.

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