Texas Active Club Leader Blurred His Face But Forgot to Scrub His Socials

This report was published in partnership with the Texas Observer.

The Texas Observer and Bellingcat have identified the leader of a white nationalist group that distributed antisemitic and racist flyers in Weatherford, Mineral Wells, and Eagle Pass, three small Texas cities, over the last year. In an online conversation with the Observer, Rhett Murry Loftis, a 23-year-old resident of Weatherford, admits he leads the Parker County Active Club. 

“I’m a fascist, there’s no denying that,” Loftis said in a series of direct messages

Loftis, a former musician, said he first got active in the white nationalist movement in 2021 after spending several years lurking in online forums. In April 2023, Loftis formed the Parker County Active Club, which he described as a “white nationalist fight club.” Loftis also admitted that he organises white nationalist activism under the name of the Texas Nationalist Network.

Parker County is located in the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex in north central Texas and, in addition to the county seat Weatherford, contains parts of Mineral Wells and Fort Worth. The local Active Club is part of a decentralised network of “Active Clubs” that has spread across the United States and the global since 2020.

Described by the Southern Poverty Law Center as among the nation’s most active white nationalist groups, they use a combination of online propaganda, martial arts training, in-person gatherings, and small-scale demonstrations to drive recruitment and create new clubs. Bellingcat has previously reported on their presence in California and the Netherlands.

Screenshot of the Parker County Active Club’s Telegram description.

Jared Holt, a researcher at the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, a think tank focused on extremism and human rights, said these white supremacist clubs “are increasingly organised and resourced and could pose even greater threats to public safety and community wellbeing in the immediate future.”

Like other Active Clubs, the one in Parker County promotes white nationalist and neo-Nazi ideology, such as the “Great Replacement Theory” and the white genocide theory, which proclaim the Jewish population and non-white immigrants pose an existential threat to the white race. Posts from the group’s Telegram chatroom quote Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini. Videos show members making stiff-arm salutes. 

Loftis told the Observer that he does not identify as neo-Nazi. But he acknowledged he collaborates with them.

“Although I believe some form of Fascism is the answer, National Socialism is not that,” Loftis said. “I do admire Hitler and I believe the Roman salute is a powerful symbol of White power….One of my main passions is to help facilitate cooperation and collaboration between various pro-White groups.”

The two active clubs in Texas, the Parker County Active Club and the Alamo Active Club, gathered for demonstrations outside the state Capitol in Austin in 2023 and somewhere near San Antonio in 2024, according to posts in their Telegram channels. Although the number of Texas members is unclear, photos and videos indicate that at least a dozen young men are involved.

Image of Active Club members outside the Texas state Capitol in Austin, sometime in December 2023 (Telegram)

While Texas Active Clubs have maintained a relatively low profile, Tennessee Active Club members made national headlines last year when they acted as security for a controversial right-wing mayoral candidate who was arrested on charges of promoting prostitution in the mid-1990s in Dallas. Researchers have expressed growing concern about the growth of this extremist network.

Photos and videos in the Parker County Active Club chatroom document overlap with other white nationalist groups, including Patriot Front, the White Lives Matter movement, and the Goyim Defense League. One video shows Loftis distributing antisemitic flyers with members of the Goyim Defense League whom the Observer identified in prior reporting

“Active Clubs can best be understood as modern-day skinheads, as they often engage in the same networks, activities, and ideologies,” Holt said. “They are wearing a very thin veil, but I worry it might just be enough that it’s left some people confused as to what is going on here. This is the same old hate with a new wig and makeup.”

One of the earliest posts in the Parker County Active Club chatroom emphasised the importance of maintaining good operational security and not revealing identifying information. 

Loftis was confirmed to be the leader of the Parker County Active Club by the Observer and Bellingcat because of social media posts, images, and music he shared online. 

Our investigation began with a pseudonymous account on X. The account bio read: “Leader of Parker County Active Club” and “Founder and Co-Director of Texas Nationalist Network.”

We noted the profile photo featured a man with a blurred face and a prominent chest tattoo, which is seen in other photos posted in the Parker County Active Club’s Telegram channel. The handle of the X account, AtlasKhan69, was an initial clue and searching for the username revealed the Spotify page for Loftis’ former musical group, Atlas Khan. Writing credits for the group’s albums on Spotify revealed the name Rhett Loftis. 

Credits for Atlas Khan’s music on Spotify mention Atlas Collective, an umbrella brand for Loftis’ musical projects.  The Atlas Collective YouTube channel features Atlas Khan and other bands that also credited Loftis as a member.

Screen capture of Atlas Collective YouTube page.

In a 2022 podcast interview found on Spotify, Loftis spoke about his involvement with these bands and his time living in Parker County. One of the videos on the Atlas Collective YouTube channel featured a band photo that shows Loftis with a chest tattoo peeking out of the collar of his shirt that matches one seen in anonymised photos in the Parker County Active Club chatroom and in the profile photo of the pseudonymous X account.

Screen capture of a YouTube video featuring Loftis as a member of the band Muay Thai, faces obscured by Bellingcat.

After we contacted Loftis for comment, the X account’s handle was changed to “MrTedWilson,” which matches the username of a Telegram account under the name “Ted Wilson” that regularly posts in the Parker County Active Club’s channel.

Another uncensored photo of Loftis was found on a Quora account profile associated with his name, where Loftis asked questions about joining the Navy. A suspended account on Reddit named TheAtlasKhan posed similar questions about joining the Navy, talked about living in Parker County, and expressed racist and misogynistic views. 

Loftis initially denied owning the Reddit account, and then replied “can’t believe someone out there has the same tattoo as me…there’s a lot of Atlas Khans in Parker county I’m told” when asked about specific posts. “I mean come on bro you don’t need me to confirm everything… I think you’re doing a pretty good job digging on your own.”

The account mentioned in several posts or comments his difficulty producing a urine sample during an entrance processing test for military service. “Bro what helped me seriously is having a very trusted friend stand right behind when I piss,” one comment reads.

Many posts and videos in the Parker County Active Club Telegram chat room feature Loftis, whose face was typically blurred but who was identifiable due to his distinctive tattoos. Loftis’ face and arm tattoos are visible in one video documenting the distribution of antisemitic flyers, while his hand tattoo, which reads “Muay Thai” after the name of another of Loftis’s previous bands,  identifies him in another.  (The Reddit account TheAtlasKhan also refers in one comment to a tattoo of “my bands big fat logo on my left hand”.)

Images and video frames uploaded to Loftis’s Telegram account and the Parker County Active Club Telegram channel showing Loftis’s hand and arm tattoos. Symbol obscured by Bellingcat.

Tying all of this together was a Redbubble web store for merchandise affiliated with Loftis’ musical groups that also sold Parker County Active Club and Texas Nationalist Network shirts, including one featuring the same logo Loftis is wearing in profile photos of other accounts tied to his name, including a PayPal account. The store was deleted shortly after the Observer contacted Redbubble for comment.

“The user and listings in question violate our content guidelines and have been removed from the marketplace,” Redbubble said in a statement. 


The profile photo for Loftis’ PayPal account also appears to have been taken at the same time and place as another photo of Loftis that was posted on Telegram in September 2023. In both images, a man wearing a black shirt showing a Texas-themed design with Nazi iconography and bottoms with a camouflage pattern, stands in front of the same car, with an identical pickup truck in the background in both images as well. In the PayPal account image, Loftis’ tattoos are blurred.

According to a 2022 podcast interview, Loftis said he worked at Texas Steel Tech, a steel fabrication and construction company in Weatherford. Requests for comment to the company by email and phone about whether the white nationalist fight club leader is still employed there went unanswered. However, an email from Jason Lee Van Dyke, the Texas-based former Proud Boy leader and current lawyer for several Patriot Front members who hosted members of the white nationalist group at his property, inadvertently confirmed that Loftis is still employed at Texas Steel Tech.

“I received a telephone call from Mr. Loftis today,” Van Dyke wrote. “I am writing to ask you to please leave Mr. Loftis alone…you reached out to his employer.”

In a direct message conversation on X, Loftis subsequently confirmed that his employer had been contacted. He then deleted the account.

Tristan Lee and Michael Colborne contributed research.

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