Augustus Sol Invictus

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Augustus Sol Invictus
Augustus Invictus 2020.jpg
Invictus in April 2020
Born
Austin Gillespie

(1983-07-31) July 31, 1983 (age 37)
EducationUniversity of South Florida (BA)
DePaul University (JD)
OccupationAttorney, politician, publisher
Political partyLibertarian (2015–2017)
Republican (2017–present)
Criminal statusAwaiting trial[1][2]

Augustus Sol Invictus (Latin for 'majestic undefeated sun'; born Austin Mitchell Gillespie; July 31, 1983)[3] is an American far-right political candidate, attorney, blogger, and white nationalist. He is currently on trial for domestic violence and firearms charges.[4]

Invictus was a candidate for the Libertarian Party nomination in the 2016 United States Senate election in Florida. Local party chairman Adrian Wyllie resigned over his candidacy and the unwillingness of the party to disavow it.[5][6] He lost overwhelmingly in the primary to opponent Paul Stanton, garnering 26.5% of votes cast.[7]

In a press release from 2015, Invictus was accused by the Libertarian Party of Florida of advocating for eugenics and "state-sponsored murder".[8] In April 2017, the Libertarian Party of Florida, following mediation, issued a retraction of the 2015 press release, stating that "it exceeded the mandate of the executive committee", and declaring that "Mr. Invictus has always been a member in good standing, is a past chair of the Libertarian Party of Orange County, a sponsor of the 2016 and 2017 LPF State Conventions, as well as a dedicated volunteer on the Legislative Review Committee."[9] In July 2017, Invictus changed his party affiliation to Republican, announcing his candidacy for the 2018 United States Senate election in Florida.[10][11]

Invictus was a headline speaker at the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, on August 12, 2017, that ended with three deaths.[12] He has represented Marcus Faella, the former head of the white-supremacist group American Front, in court. Invictus is the publisher of The Revolutionary Conservative, a publication which calls for a violent uprising[13] and states that its aim is to restore the American republic and defend Western civilization.[14] He was controversial within the Libertarian Party for his neo-fascist political views and history of racist associations.[15] He has been described by media reports as being associated with the alt-right movement.[16] He has proposed the repeal of several amendments to the US Constitution, stipulating that only white male citizens should be allowed to vote or own real property.[17]

Career[edit]

Invictus graduated from the University of South Florida with a BA with honors in philosophy. Following his graduation, he attended DePaul University College of Law and graduated in 2011. While in law school, Invictus earned a fellowship at the International Human Rights Law Institute. His work centered on international criminal law and the laws of armed conflict.[18][failed verification] He has been admitted to the bar in Florida, New York, Illinois, Massachusetts, and the Middle District of Florida in the US District Court.[19] He was managing partner of Imperium, P.A., a law firm he founded in 2013, until his retirement from the practice of law in 2017. Invictus is currently the publisher of The Revolutionary Conservative, a far-right publication with the stated aim of "restoring the American republic and defending Western Civilization".[18]

Invictus was a headlined speaker at the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, on August 12, 2017, where a white supremacist drove his vehicle into a crowd of counter-protesters, killing Heather Heyer.[20] The Miami Herald wrote of Invictus's involvement in the fatal event that "the political fallout over Charlottesville may end whatever hopes for public office [Invictus] had."[12]

2016 U.S. Senate campaign[edit]

On May 19, 2015, Invictus announced his campaign for the U.S Senate as a candidate for the Libertarian Party in the 2016 Florida election.[21]

In response to Invictus's campaign, Adrian Wyllie resigned from his position as chairman of the Libertarian Party of Florida, calling Invictus a "violent Fascist and Neo-Nazi" whose ideology was incompatible with libertarianism and saying he did not want to be part of the same party. The chairman also accused Invictus of supporting eugenics and of "sadistically dismembering a goat in a ritualistic sacrifice".[22][23] Invictus responded by admitting that he once wrote a paper advocating eugenics but saying that he has since changed his mind.[24][25][26] He said he had sacrificed the goat and drunk its blood as part of a ritual to give thanks for surviving a pilgrimage in spring 2013, but denied it was "sadistic".[27][28][29]

He has also said that he is not a white supremacist, citing the fact that his children are part Hispanic; he acknowledged that some white supremacists support his campaign, while claiming he does not associate with them.[28] In 2014, he acted as attorney for Marcus Faella of the American Front in his legal appeal.[30]

In May 2016, Invictus began the "Possibility of Revolution" tour in Florida, speaking in Orlando, Jacksonville, Tallahassee, Tampa, Fort Myers, and Miami in one continuous circuit.[31] At the end of this tour, Paul Stanton entered the Senate race, creating the first Libertarian primary for the United States Senate in Florida history.[32] Invictus lost the primary election on August 30, 2016, with Stanton receiving 73.5% of the vote.[33]

Views[edit]

During his campaign, a letter written by Invictus in 2013[34] came to light in which he renounced his citizenship and claimed to have plans of venturing out in the woods only to return bringing war:

I have prophesied for years that I was born for a Great War; that if I did not witness the coming of the Second American Civil War I would begin it myself. Mark well: That day is fast coming upon you. On the New Moon of May, I shall disappear into the Wilderness. I will return bearing Revolution, or I will not return at all.

Invictus has been accused of supporting state-sponsored eugenics for a paper he wrote as a law student.[35] Invictus, however, wrote a disclaimer to the paper stating that although he believes the strong and intelligent should breed and the weak and stupid should not, he does not believe that the government can be trusted to implement such a program.[36][37]

Invictus has been identified as a Holocaust denier. He has said: "Do I believe that 6 million Jews were killed by evil Hitler? Is that what you’re asking me? ... Okay, then I am still waiting to see those facts."[17][38]

Invictus has proposed repealing the fourteenth, Fifteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution and nineteenth amendments to the United States Constitution,[39] insisting that only white male citizens should have the right to vote or own real property.

Invictus believes that the United States should embrace a non-interventionist approach to foreign policy, arguing that an interventionist approach has resulted in the loss of American lives and the accumulation of trillions of dollars in debt. He opposes using the U.S. military to protect US national interests or prevent meddling in US affairs.[40]

Invictus advocates for balancing the budget, shrinking the size of government, ceasing "reckless" government spending and deregulating American business. He is also in favor of repealing the personal income tax, abolishing the IRS and recreating the tax code.[40] He is for an expanded federal role in protecting the environment.[19] According to Invictus, he does not support mass immigration and is against open borders for the United States.[41] However, he supports policies that would streamline the process of immigration and naturalization so that immigrants who wish to integrate and work in the United States can do so with ease.[40] Invictus believes that abortion should be illegal in most circumstances.[19]

Invictus is opposed to the War on Drugs and has labeled it a failure. He supports repealing the Controlled Substances Act and abolishing the DEA. He believes that the United States should find alternative forms of energy so as to reduce U.S dependence on foreign energy. He does not believe there should be a trade-off between economic freedom and the destruction of the environment.[40]

Personal life[edit]

He dropped out of college and by 2006 he was married, and a father of four multi-ethnic children.[42][43] Augustus Invictus was born Austin Gillespie, and in 2006 he legally changed his name to Augustus Sol Invictus.[35] He is a Thelemite, though was expelled from the Thelemic fraternal organization, Ordo Templi Orientis; he also identifies as a pagan.[28][35]

Legal issues[edit]

Invictus has been accused of crimes including domestic violence, stalking, and threats of bodily harm verbally and with a firearm, which have been reported to law enforcement in Florida at least ten times.[44] The first such allegation which gained public attention was reported in 2017 by his ex-fiancée. The Huffington Post reported that in July 2017, police in Orlando, Florida, "recommended that charges of domestic battery by strangulation and aggravated battery be filed against Invictus."[45] According to the article, charges were never filed due to both a lack of evidence and a lack of cooperation from the alleged victim. The victim stated to police that she hesitated as a result of feeling intimidated by Invictus's connections to white-supremacist organizations and legal expertise in addition to her allegations of serial acts of violence.[45]

Invictus was arrested in Melbourne, Florida, on January 1, 2020, on charges of "kidnapping, 'high and aggravated' domestic violence and possession of a firearm during a crime of violence".[46] Upon his arrest in Melbourne, Invictus was then extradited to Rock Hill, South Carolina, where the alleged crimes, this time against another woman, who is his estranged wife, occurred. He requested a bail hearing which occurred on February 14, 2020, and his accuser made a statement to the court recounting her allegations. Her claims match as a pattern, the description of the acts Invictus's prior accuser had alleged he perpetrated. For example, his wife alleged he had abused her for 6 years via assaults including punching her in the stomach to avoid visible bruises, and locking her in the bedroom for days. Also as in prior allegations by the other victim, Invictus's wife independently reported to law enforcement that he had repeatedly strangled her, threatened her life with a firearm, and used the threat to use his extremist followers to silence her, claiming he would send them to target her and end her life if she escaped.[47] On February 14, 2020, Judge Hall in Rock Hill, South Carolina, ordered that Invictus be held in jail without bond.[13][48] On February 19, 2020, kidnapping charges were dismissed after the judge asserted that the charge lacked probable cause; however, the charges of "high and aggravated" domestic violence and possession of a firearm in commission of a crime of violence remain.[4]

On March 31, 2020,[49] the court determined that Invictus could be freed on bail after his public defender cited the risk posed to inmates by the coronavirus pandemic.

However, less than three weeks after Invictus's release he was re-arrested in violation of the terms of his bond. Despite her restraining order, Invictus's wife reported that he made threatening and harassing contact with her over twenty times. He allegedly made an implied threat of violence at which point she agreed to meet him in a park with their children. At that time, Invictus allegedly spoke to their child referring to his accuser with derogatory slurs. On July 23, 2020, Invictus was denied a fourth request for bail by a judge in Rock Hill, South Carolina.[50]

Stalking charges in Florida were dropped on August 4, 2020, after prosecutors determined the case was "not suitable for prosecution".[51][better source needed] On August 25, 2020, Invictus was granted release bail in York County, South Carolina.[52]

Electoral history[edit]

2016 United States Florida Senate Libertarian primary results[53]
Party Candidate Votes %
Libertarian Paul Stanton 2,946 73.48%
Libertarian Augustus Invictus 1,063 26.52%
Total votes 4,009 100.00%

References[edit]

  1. ^ "White Nationalist Augustus Sol Invictus Arrested in Brevard County". News 13. January 1, 2020. Archived from the original on January 2, 2020. Retrieved March 11, 2020.
  2. ^ Gallop, J.D. (January 9, 2020). "Man linked to alt-right movement extradited to South Carolina from Brevard". Florida Today. Archived from the original on February 27, 2020. Retrieved March 11, 2020.
  3. ^ "Libertarian Party drama: Goat sacrifice, eugenics and a chair's resignation". Archived from the original on July 8, 2017. Retrieved May 27, 2017.
  4. ^ a b "York SC Judge drops white nationalist kidnap, keeps other charges". The Herald. February 19, 2020. Archived from the original on March 1, 2020. Retrieved March 1, 2020.
  5. ^ Doherty, Brian (November 7, 2016). "Florida Senate Candidate Bears Any Burden for the Libertarian Party". reason.com. Archived from the original on January 2, 2020. Retrieved January 2, 2020.
  6. ^ "Libertarian Official Resigns To Protest Candidate Who Does Animal Sacrifices". Archived from the original on June 18, 2016. Retrieved September 4, 2016.
  7. ^ "74% to 26%: Florida Libertarians reject Invictus, nominate Stanton for Senate in Aug 30 primary". Archived from the original on August 31, 2016. Retrieved September 1, 2016.
  8. ^ Powers, Scott (April 6, 2017). "Domestic violence report, lawsuit threats, video complicating Augustus Invictus-Libertarian Party bonds". Florida Politics. Archived from the original on January 2, 2020. Retrieved January 2, 2020.
  9. ^ Braden, Char-Lez (April 7, 2017). "Statement Regarding Augustus Sol Invictus". Libertarian Party of Florida. Archived from the original on January 5, 2018.
  10. ^ "Far Right Plans Its Next Moves With a New Energy". The New York Times. August 14, 2017. Archived from the original on August 16, 2017. Retrieved August 15, 2017.
  11. ^ Welch, Matt (July 17, 2017). "Controversial Western Civilization Crusader Augustus Sol Invictus Bolts Libertarian Party for the GOP". Reason. Archived from the original on March 26, 2020. Retrieved January 2, 2020.
  12. ^ a b Michael van Sickler (August 14, 2017). "Goat-blood-drinking ex-Florida senate candidate headlined Charlottesville rally". The Miami Herald. Archived from the original on August 27, 2017. Retrieved August 27, 2017.
  13. ^ a b Dys, Andrew (January 6, 2020). "Florida white nationalist who spoke at Charlottesville rally denied bond in SC. Why?". The Herald. Archived from the original on March 3, 2020. Retrieved February 6, 2020.
  14. ^ Invictus, Augustus Sol (January 31, 2017). "The Revolutionary Conservative: Mission Statement". The Revolutionary Conservative. Archived from the original on March 26, 2017.
  15. ^ "Libertarians United Against Fascism: 'To the Cowardly Collaborators of the Libertarian Party of Florida, and a Call to Action Against Them'". April 12, 2017. Archived from the original on July 27, 2017. Retrieved July 14, 2017.
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  17. ^ a b Janik, Rachel (August 15, 2017). "Holocaust denier Invictus announces another campaign for the U.S. Senate". Southern Poverty Law Center. Archived from the original on August 27, 2017. Retrieved August 27, 2017.
  18. ^ a b "Mission Statement". The Revolutionary Conservative. January 31, 2017. Archived from the original on March 26, 2017.
  19. ^ a b c "A Sacrificial Goat in Every Pot". The Washington Free Beacon. November 11, 2015. Archived from the original on April 21, 2016. Retrieved April 9, 2016.
  20. ^ Almasy, Steve; Narayan, Chandrika (August 13, 2017). "Heather Heyer died 'fighting for what she believed in'". CNN. Archived from the original on April 13, 2018. Retrieved April 12, 2018.
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  23. ^ Smith, Adam C.; Larabee, Brandon (October 1, 2015). "Ritual sacrifice, eugenics, and the resignation of a party chairman". Tampa Bay Times (blog). Archived from the original on October 6, 2015. Retrieved October 5, 2015.
  24. ^ Resnick, Gideon (October 3, 2015). "This Satanist Wants to Be Your Senator". The Daily Beast. Archived from the original on October 6, 2015. Retrieved October 5, 2015.
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  27. ^ "Senate candidate in Florida admits drinking goat blood". BBC News. October 5, 2015. Archived from the original on May 29, 2018. Retrieved June 21, 2018.
  28. ^ a b c Farrington, Brendan (October 5, 2015). "Florida candidate for U.S. Senate admits to sacrificing goat, drinking its blood". Orlando Sentinel. Associated Press. Archived from the original on October 5, 2015. Retrieved October 5, 2015.
  29. ^ Florida Man (October 6, 2015). "Yes, This Libertarian Senate Candidate Really Did Sacrifice a Goat and Drink Its Blood". GQ. Archived from the original on October 10, 2017. Retrieved September 9, 2017.
  30. ^ Curtis, Henry Pierson (December 4, 2014). "Former leader of neo-Nazi group gets new lawyer to fight conviction". Orlando Sentinel. Archived from the original on December 4, 2015. Retrieved October 7, 2015.
  31. ^ Torres, Frank (May 2, 2016). "Augustus Sol Invictus kicks-off 'Possibility of a Revolution' speaking tour in Orlando". The Orlando Political Observer. Archived from the original on March 31, 2017.
  32. ^ Sago, Renate (August 29, 2016). "Libertarian candidates compete in primary for the first time in Florida history". WFME.org. Archived from the original on November 29, 2016.
  33. ^ "Election Results: Florida Primary". The Palm Beach Post. August 30, 2016. Archived from the original on March 31, 2017.
  34. ^ Mystal, Elie (April 22, 2013). "The Kind Of Unhinged Departure Memo That Would Have Been WAY Funnier Before The Marathon Attack". Above the Law.
  35. ^ a b c Caputo, Marc (October 1, 2015). "Libertarian Party drama: Goat sacrifice, eugenics and a chair's resignation". Politico. Archived from the original on July 8, 2017. Retrieved May 27, 2017.
  36. ^ "Future or Ruin: The Argument for Eugenics". LinkedIn. December 14, 2014. Archived from the original on January 28, 2017.
  37. ^ Owen, Tess (January 2, 2020). "The Florida White Nationalist Running for President Has Been Arrested for Kidnapping and Domestic Violence". Retrieved March 25, 2021.
  38. ^ Bustamonte, Star (January 2, 2020). "Ex-U.S. senate candidate arrested in Florida". Retrieved March 25, 2021.
  39. ^ @move_silent_sam (January 9, 2020). "Augustus Invictus' 2020 presidential campaign platform includes repealing the 14th, 15th, and 19th Amendments so that "only white male citizens have the right to vote." "Furthermore, only white male citizens are eligible to own real property."" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  40. ^ a b c d "Foreign Policy". Augustus Sol Invictus for Senate. May 2015. Archived from the original on May 5, 2016. Retrieved September 12, 2017.
  41. ^ "A Letter to the People of Europe". Augustus Sol Invictus for Senate. May 2015. Archived from the original on April 23, 2016. Retrieved April 9, 2016.
  42. ^ "Augustus Sol Invictus". Southern Poverty Law Center. Retrieved March 9, 2021.
  43. ^ "Augustus Invictus on Twitter: "#InvictusForSenate"". Archive.is. August 1, 2016. Retrieved March 9, 2021.
  44. ^ Schulberg, Jessica (February 14, 2020). "Women Accused White Nationalist Augustus Sol Invictus Of Abuse For Years Before His Arrest". Huffington Post. Retrieved August 25, 2020.
  45. ^ a b Schulberg, Jessica. "Should White Supremacists Be Allowed To Practice Law?". The Huffington Post. The Huffington Post. Archived from the original on August 1, 2018. Retrieved August 2, 2018.
  46. ^ "Augustus Invictus — white nationalist and ex-Senate candidate — is arrested on kidnapping warrant". Associated Press. January 1, 2020. Archived from the original on August 23, 2020. Retrieved August 23, 2020.
  47. ^ "No bail for Augustus Invictus". The Informant. February 18, 2020. Retrieved August 23, 2020.
  48. ^ "Invictus denied bond in York Hearing". Rock Hill Herald. February 14, 2020. Archived from the original on August 23, 2020. Retrieved August 23, 2020.
  49. ^ Dys, Andrew (April 1, 2020). "White nationalist bailed out of York County SC jail amid coronavirus fear. What's next?". The Herald (Rock Hill). Archived from the original on April 5, 2020. Retrieved April 5, 2020.
  50. ^ "Invictus Denied Bail from York County SC jail after he was previously freed". Rock Hill Herald. July 23, 2020. Archived from the original on August 23, 2020. Retrieved August 26, 2020.
  51. ^ @nickmartin (August 5, 2020). "NEW: Florida prosecutors have dropped the stalking case against white nationalist Augustus Invictus" (Tweet). Retrieved April 19, 2021 – via Twitter.
  52. ^ Dys, Andrew (August 25, 2020). "Former Fla. Senate candidate, Invictus, granted $10,000 bail in York County SC. Again". Rock Hill Herald. Retrieved August 26, 2020.
  53. ^ "Florida Department of State, Division of Elections, August 30, 2016 Primary Election, Official Results". Florida Secretary of State. Retrieved December 3, 2020.

External links[edit]