This article is a collaboration between Anonymous Comrade and the Coordinating Committee of Concerned Vandals.
Ryan Alexander Printy, a licensed pharmacist in his early 30s, is a long-term member of the white nationalist group Identity Evropa, recently rebranded as the "American Identity Movement". Under the aliases "Charles Lyons" and "Reactionary Tree", Printy is a veteran of the Alt-Right and was centrally involved in its propaganda efforts. Printy now works as the Chief Administrative Officer for Arktos, the largest far-Right, neo-fascist and ethno-nationalist English-language publisher in the world. This article exposes Printy for the first time and chronicles his history from disaffected libertarian to "third position" fascist and key player in the white nationalist movement.
In leaked members-only discussions for white nationalist organization Identity Evropa (now rebranded as "American Identity Movement"), participant "ReactionaryTree" revealed in December 2018 that "I work for Arktos". Arktos, currently headquartered in Budapest, is one of the largest distributors of Alt-Right and fascist literature in the world, operating in both Europe and North America. A quick look at ReactionaryTree's extensive internet footprint reveals that he is the same person as "Charles Lyons", currently listed as the Chief Administrative Officer for Arktos on its website. Following the August 2017 departure of Editor-in-Chief Jason Reza Jorjani from the far-Right/neo-fascist publishing house, Lyons was also announced as Head of Arktos in the US.
Arktos announce "Charles Lyons" as new Chief Administrative Officer
In a statement from that time, Arktos' co-founder and current CEO, Daniel Friberg, described Charles Lyons as "a friend" who "has been working closely with us on several projects in the past […] his meticulous nature and past experience in high level managerial positions within the private sector make him a perfect fit". Despite the personal nature of Friberg's praise, Charles Lyons is not a real person. "Charles Lyons" is another alias, just like "ReactionaryTree". The real person behind both names is Ohio clinical pharmacist/white nationalist Ryan Alexander Printy, who we are exposing here for the first time.
White nationalist Ryan Alexander Printy AKA "Charles Lyons" and "ReactionaryTree"
This article begins by setting out the Arktos publishing business and Printy's role within it. After that, we discuss Printy's path to the Alt-Right: from libertarianism to "Dark Enlightenment" circles, and through the "Manosphere" and Pick Up Artist subcultures. We finish by setting out Printy's considerable involvement in the Alt-Right and organized white nationalism, beyond his role in the publishing house.
As Chief Administrative Officer, "Lyons"/Printy oversees daily operations of Arktos. In this role, Printy keeps in contact with CEO Friberg, a onetime Swedish mining executive whose mission is to sanitize and popularize white nationalist and far-Right politics. Despite Friberg's attempts to slickly repackage racism and neo-fascism, Friberg's own past is telling: Friberg was a neo-Nazi bonehead who served prison time in the late 1990s for weapons and other charges. In 1999, in response to neo-Nazi murders and bombings, four of Sweden's largest newspapers published names and photos of sixty neo-Nazis and others "who want to overthrow the democracy." Friberg made the list. Despite his criminal convictions and ties to the neo-Nazi underground, Friberg has seemingly been cleared by Homeland Security for travel back and forth to the United States. Friberg was seen palling around with Richard Spencer at the violent Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, VA, August 2017.
Daniel Friberg in 1999 article and at "Unite the Right", 2017
Ryan Printy's closeness to Friberg is evidenced by Printy's travel. Chatting online with other members of the white nationalist Identity Evropa organization, "ReactionaryTree" stated in February 2017 that "I'm in Stockholm". The occasion for Printy's travel to Sweden was the "Identitarian Ideas IX" conference, organized by Friberg and attended by Alt-Right figures from several European countries, Australia, Canada, and the US. It was at this conference that the AltRight corporation, a new alliance between Arktos, Richard Spencer's National Policy Institute, and the white nationalist Red Ice media project was announced. (It has subsequently fizzled.) Following the conference, Printy published an account of Identitarian Ideas IX and lauded Friberg on the newly launched AltRight.com website, where Printy wrote articles under the pen name "Charles Lyons".
Ryan Printy in UK business filing for Arktos
The identity of "Charles Lyons" as Ryan Printy is revealed by Arktos' own business filings. Paperwork for Arktos Media Ltd. in the United Kingdom shows that less than a week before Arktos announced "Charles Lyons" as its US head in late August 2017, the company had appointed a new Director, a 31-year-old American pharmacist named Ryan Printy. Printy was soon re-designated as a "management consultant" and his directorship terminated on the UK business filings. However, Printy/"Charles Lyons" continues to be listed as Chief Administrative Officer on Arktos' website. (In early 2018, a new Head for Arktos US was announced, but this person – William Clark – has now vanished from Arktos' online staff listings.) 2018 UK filings for Arktos Media Ltd. show that Printy owned 2500 shares in the neo-fascist publishing house. As we discuss Ryan Printy's history, it will be clear that other details of "Reactionary Tree"/"Charles Lyons" match Printy's life.
Arktos poster alongside materials for white nationalist organization Identity Evropa, 2017
Soon after "Charles Lyons" was announced as Arktos' Chief Administrative Officer at the end of August 2017, Identity Evropa wrote online that it had "teamed up with" Arktos to promote the publisher's titles, hanging posters for the neo-fascist publishing house at the same time as Identity Evropa targeted campuses with their own materials. Although this collaboration between Identity Evropa and Arktos may have been arranged before Printy took on the Chief Administrative Officer job, it is likely that Printy – a member of IE who worked closely with Arktos and Friberg – had some role facilitating it. Printy also promoted Arktos in Identity Evropa internal chats, urging IE members not to pirate its editions and to "read every book Arktos has" as part of an unofficial "whiteness studies degree."
At the time of writing, Arktos is engaged in a very ugly, public dust-up with its biggest far-Right competitor, the US-based Counter Currents Media. This conflict has its origins in earlier feuds starting 2017. Printy's role in the current dispute is unknown, but in 2018 "Charles Lyons"/Printy was accused of being "Small brained, jaundiced, and sloppy", as well as "shilling for sociopaths" by Counter-Currents, a project he used to write for.
Having discussed Printy's key role in one of the world's largest distributors for neo-fascist and ethno-nationalist propaganda, we will now discuss the pathways which led Printy to his current position on the far-Right. It's a peculiar journey. Did we forget to mention Printy once ran for state office in Ohio?
A decade ago, Ryan Printy was a graduate student at the University of Cincinnati's College of Pharmacy. Printy served as vice president for the UC chapter of a libertarian student group called Young Americans for Liberty. Young Americans for Liberty was founded in 2008, from "Students for Ron Paul" which campaigned in Paul's first presidential campaign earlier that year. While dark horse candidate Ron Paul technically ran as a Republican, Libertarian activism on college campuses surged around his campaigns. (Paul ran for President again in 2012.) Paul's message was strangely resonant with some younger voters who saw Paul as an anti-establishment candidate despite Paul's racist ties and deeply conservative voting record. It was in this environment that Ryan Printy launched his own 2010 political campaign as the Libertarian candidate for State Representative in Ohio's 32nd House District. Printy was trounced, landing just 3.4% of the vote.
Ryan Printy with Ron Paul in 2010
Ryan Printy's electoral thrashing, followed by another Ron Paul Presidential defeat two years later, was in the background as Printy moved toward darker underground activism. By Printy's own account in a podcast interview, media coverage of the killing of Trayvon Martin also played a role in his radicalization. In September 2013, Printy began posting on Twitter as "Objectivist Tree" – a reference to his lingering Ayn Rand-style libertarianism. The earliest archive of the Objectivist Tree Twitter account that we have found – from April 2014 – stated that the user was "flirting with neoreactionary thought." Neo-reaction is a profoundly anti-democratic ideology which according to political researcher Matthew Lyons "rejects egalitarianism in principle, argues that differences in human intelligence and ability are mainly genetic, and believes that cultural and political elites wrongfully limit the range of acceptable discourse." Printy's attraction to Neo-reaction (also called "Dark Enlightenment") was more than a flirt. In one online comment from March 2014, Printy/"Objectivist Tree" stated:
"We probably do need a new Dark Ages to purge our society of the Cultural Marxists, progressives and Social Justice Warrior types in order to eventually rebuild a society worth living in."
In mid-2014, Printy contributed articles under the name "Charles Lyons" to Amerika, an influential blog which helped set the edgy and pseudo-intellectual tone for the emerging Alt-Right. Printy also started his WordPress blog, Fanghorn Forest. The blog's "About Me" section spelled out Printy's new ideological direction:
"Welcome to Fanghorn Forest. Here you will find the cynical musings of a crunchy reactionary. I am the artist formerly known as The Objectivist Tree. I have since made my conversion over to the Dark Enlightenment. I am an American Catholic neoreactionary. At this blog you will find lots of the manosphere and reactionary politics."
By the end of the year, Printy's new persona as "ReactionaryTree" had completely supplanted the earlier "ObjectivistTree". Printy's political journey – from disaffected libertarian to neo-reactionary and Alt-Right racist – follows a shared thread of hostility toward equality. However, it is important to note that Printy now differs substantially from his earlier, market libertarian self. In online discussions within Identity Evropa, Printy now argues for a strong state "to keep capitalism in check" and identifies himself as "NAZBOL" and "third position" – both references to far-Right ideologies that purport to go beyond Left and Right.
Printy's "Dark Enlightenment" / neo-reactionary associates believed that Enlightenment values were responsible for moral and social decline. As anti-feminism and misogyny are key components of neo-reactionary thought, this scene overlapped with the Pick-Up Artists (PUAs) and Men's Rights Activists (MRA) who gathered under the banner of the "Manosphere". Under the guise of teaching traditional masculinity, blogs like Return of Kings, Chateau Heartiste, and accused rapist Mike Cernovich's Danger and Play created a cult-like community around "Game" – a set of strategies for attaining sexual conquests by manipulation and deceit.
Anti-feminism and misogyny are the core values of the "Manosphere", but racism and homophobia are also widespread. The Manosphere's loose network of websites became increasingly radicalized in a far-Right direction; we find key members of the MRA and PUA scenes in the initial coalitions of the Alt-Right. Ironically, many on the Alt-Right now denounce "Game" as degenerate and push the "trad" lifestyle of early marriage and children. However, some of these same people passed through the "Manosphere" during their radicalization – similar to the way some Alt-Right participants passed through the libertarian movement. Ryan Printy put in years of service to the "Manosphere", leaving embarrassing receipts.
Printy suggests white supremacist motto as pick-up line
Ryan Printy's blogroll for Fanghorn Forest highlighted the shady universe of "Pick-Up Artists" and the "Manosphere", from the big names like Roosh, Chateau Heartiste, and Mike Cernovich to bottom feeders such as Matt Forney, Aaron Clarey, and Davis Aurini. Printy was a frequent commenter on the misogynist Return of Kings, among other sites. Commenting on the related Roosh Forum, Printy revealed his age, birthdate (12/31), height (5'9"), location (comments suggest Ohio) and work ("licensed healthcare professional"). Printy bragged of his "six figure" job and offered his expertise in pharmaceutical matters. Printy also revealed a lot of highly personal information about his past, such as his dysfunctional family history, and his struggles with bullying, insecurity, alcoholism, and depression. Sadly, instead of developing empathy and compassion from these experiences, Printy claimed that the Manosphere "saved my life" and doubled down on misogyny.
Much of Printy's forum commentary followed the typical PUA themes of "banging", beta-males, and so on. Ryan Printy offered bizarre theories concerning bodily fluids in numerous "No Fap" posts. Sex tourism was a popular subject in the Manosphere and Printy travelled to the Philippines to practice his pick-up techniques. In one post, Printy wrote about refusing to pay a sex worker in the Philippines, stiffing her for a small amount of money despite bragging elsewhere about his salary.
With his writing for Amerika and other influential sites, Printy/"Reactionary Tree"/"Charles Lyons" became a recognized voice within the burgeoning Alt-Right movement. He was also involved in numerous podcasts as both guest and host. Printy's own podcast, Manifest Destiny, was distributed through the far-Right and racist TheRightStuff network. Printy was a guest on the most popular Alt-Right podcast, Fash The Nation – "Fash" being short for fascism – and Printy also joined with notorious racist troll Norman Garrison (AKA Spectre) on the Third Rail podcast. In 2017, Printy co-hosted several podcasts with racist leader Richard Spencer for the new AltRight website. Indeed, it is difficult to think of a major Alt-Right media project that Ryan Printy did not contribute to while this movement was on the rise.
Reactionary Tree Twitter account, Printy promotes "White Student Union" hoax
At the height of its popularity, Ryan Printy's ReactionaryTree Twitter account exceeded 16,000 followers. Printy used the account and his blog to promote racist propaganda campaigns. For example, in 2015 Printy helped with the "White Student Union" hoax, which was also pushed by the notorious neo-Nazi website The Daily Stormer. Racists created fake "White Student Union" pages on Facebook for various universities, then tipped off the media to gain publicity for their cause. In another effort targeting universities, Printy hosted racist posters with titles such as "Why White Women Shouldn't Date Black Men" on his website, encouraging visitors to print them out and post them on campuses. When the antisemitic and far-Right podcast The Daily Shoah called for white nationalists to target campuses with propaganda the weekend after the 2016 election, the posters they urged their followers to use were hosted on Printy's Fanghorn Forest blog.
2016 post-election racist propaganda campaign supported by Printy
In early 2017, the ReactionaryTree account was suspended for good from Twitter. In September of that year, the Fanghorn Forest blog was set to private. Printy/"Charles Lyons" had been named as Arktos' Chief Administrative Officer just the month before. While Printy's new work with the publishing house meant a decrease in his other propaganda efforts, Printy stayed active in white nationalist groups. Leaked comments from Discord, a chat server used by gamers, show comments by "ReactionaryTree" in the server for the Traditionalist Worker Party during October and November 2017. The Traditionalist Worker Party was a neo-Nazi organization involved in violence at Unite the Right and elsewhere. Printy advised the organization to stop associating with the National Socialist Movement (another neo-Nazi group with less savvy branding) and Ku Klux Klan members, stating that he couldn't see how these associations helped the TWP.
Other leaked chats from Discord show that Ryan Printy was a full member of the white nationalist Identity Evropa – the chat server used by IE was only available to dues-paying members. "ReactionaryTree" was "auto-verified as an existing member" when Identity Evropa's Discord server was re-created in the wake of Unite the Right at Charlottesville, VA, August 2017. On the Identity Evropa server, Printy postured as a sort of elder statesman, commenting on the movement's "optics" amongst other topics. Although Printy offered online advice to the neo-Nazis of the Traditionalist Worker Party, in Identity Evropa's Discord server Printy claimed that "most neo-nazis" are "cringe" and that the ideas of neo-Nazism "are inherently toxic" for the white nationalist movement. This is consistent with the vision of Arktos Media. Although Arktos is headed by Daniel Friberg, who came from the violent neo-Nazi underground, the press' focus is on "Identitarian", European New Right, and more esoteric neo-fascist strands.
In his comments within Identity Evropa chats, Printy acknowledges the importance of the "Jewish Question" or "JQ" within his movement and has no qualms about spreading poisonous antisemitism. However, Printy identifies his primary enemy as Western liberalism. As noted earlier, Printy now identifies with "third position" fascism, which claims to be against both Capitalism and Communism. Printy is heavily influenced by Russian far-Right theorist Aleksandr Dugin, who is also published in English by Arktos. Printy argues for US white nationalists to align themselves with Russia:
"at the end of the day, you have to pick a side: USA or Russia. USA has made it explicitly clear they would like to destroy people like us. and the notion of us vs the world is fantasy."
Printy aligns himself with Russian imperialism, which places him at odds with some others in Identity Evropa who think favorably of white nationalists in Ukraine. For example, Identity Evropa member Robert Rundo (also of the Rise Above Movement) traveled to Ukraine to network with white power organizers there. Printy unequivocally rejects these same organizers.
Printy continued commenting in Identity Evropa's internal discussions until March 2019, at which point the contents of the servers were leaked to the public. Not long after the leak, Identity Evropa rebranded as the "American Identity Movement". Given Printy's longstanding membership in Identity Evropa – an organization he labeled "the alt right's [potential] vehicle of revolution" – Printy may remain with this white nationalist organization even after the cosmetic rebrand.
Printy at work as pharmacist
As well as his work for the far-Right publisher Arktos, Ryan Printy remains a licensed pharmacist in the states of Ohio and Kentucky. A 2015 record in the National Plan and Provider Enumeration System database lists a Kroger pharmacy in Fort Mitchell, Kentucky – just across the border from Cincinnati, Ohio where Printy is a registered voter – as Printy's workplace. When we called this pharmacy recently, the name "Ryan Printy" was not recognized. It is unclear whether Printy has kept his licenses current as a fall-back option, or whether he continues to work as a pharmacist in addition to his role at Arktos. If you have further information on this matter, please get in contact. If he is involved in any other civic or religious organizations in the Cincinnati area, they should be contacted and warned.
With this article, "Reactionary Tree" / "Charles Printy" has lost his anonymity. Ryan Alexander Printy has spent half a decade (2014-present) as a key Alt-Right propagandist. When the racist Alt-Right gained some traction from 2015 onward, Printy pushed it forward at every point. Printy was a ubiquitous presence on white nationalist blogs and podcasts. After the "Alt-Right" came crashing down in the wake of the bloody Unite the Right in Charlottesville, Printy continued his involvement in Identity Evropa. The same month as Unite the Right, the neo-fascist publishing house Arktos announced "Charles Lyons" as its new Chief Administrative Officer. Printy remains in that role to the present, dispensing racist and neo-fascist propaganda to a worldwide audience. We hope that by exposing the secretive Printy, we have complicated his work.