Celebrate the Facts!
10/31/2021 2 Comments
A wide range of character types populated the White Nationalist movement, from the crudely exploitive Alex Jones to the sideshow barker Donald Trump to the aging David Duke. However, there is an up-and-comer in that group, Augustus Invictus, and he is slowly building a resume, a following, and could become a transformational figure in future racist and nativist politics. Invictus aims to make a change not just in America but also for the white race worldwide.
Writing a clickbait article presenting allegations of Invictus’s alleged paganism, sacrificing goats, drinking their blood, and carnival-of-horrors personal life might be entertaining, but there is a more nuanced and fundamental truth. Invictus is brilliant, unorthodox, determined, radical, obsessive, and has quickly accumulated a resume and a considerable body of written work. In addition, Invictus is articulate, able to skate around the periphery of legal in his public persona, and is both articulate and cunning.
Augustus Invictus is a formative figure in the alt-right movement, a white nationalist, and a would-be politician (he unsuccessfully ran for U.S. Senate in 2016), as well as an attorney. Invictus was a minor figure in the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. Invictus changed his legal name from his birth name, Austin Mitchell Gillespie, in 2006.
The rally resulted, among other things, in a civil suit filed in the United States federal court known as Sines v. Kessler. Nine survivors of murder using an automobile claim that the event organizers planned for violence and named Augustus Invictus one of those organizers. The court entered a default judgment against Invictus and several other defendants, as Invictus wisely ducked the enormous legal fees of credibly defending a case in federal court. That case is currently in court.
Invictus obtained an undergraduate degree in philosophy from South Florida University and then graduated from DePaul University College of Law in 2011 and passed the bar exam in 2012. Invictus maintains licenses to practice law in Florida and New York, the Federal Middle District of Florida, and the United States Supreme Court. The Invictus Law Firm, P.A., professes to perform criminal defense, post-conviction, and constitutional law and offices in Orlando, Florida. The Florida Bar shows no disciplinary action against Invictus.
Invictus claims to coordinate a group of attorneys around the United States who attend to the rights of white nationalists, particularly as that relates to harassment by the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation. He represented Marcus Faella, convicted of two counts of teaching and conducting paramilitary training in Central Florida's most significant domestic-terrorism case.
Early in his career, Invictus self-published three books under the pen name Franco Apophis Saint-Fond. He also wrote several others under his legal name, including one titled From Sun and God's Keep: The LSD Journals of Augustus Sol Invictus, and a set that was essentially a campaign biography for his movement called Set the World on Fire. Invictus also published a blog for a short time, although his interest quickly waned.
Invictus’s primary means of outreach is his podcast ‘Crime & Punishment’ found on YouTube, with six thousand subscribers. In this podcast, Invictus provides commentary on legal matters, all related to right-wing white nationalist and Trump-conservative grievance, but skirting invective that might cause his elimination from the forum.
Invictus publishes a website called The Revolutionary Conservative that’s primary design motif is a Germanic-looking font on titles for its articles, lending a Third Reichish vibe. Its content seems to dovetail with that motif. The author attributions are almost all blatantly fictionalized pen names, which is no surprise, as few people wish public affiliation with such ideology. It is unclear as a result whether anyone other than Invictus contributes to the website. Regardless the website publishes new articles routinely showing constant attention.
Invictus maintains a social media presence on Twitter with over twelve thousand followers, where he promotes his podcast and provides criticism of liberal initiatives, apparently to appeal to the Trump-following cohort of Republicanism and more Libertarian themes. Invictus also advances his blog on Facebook, although he conceals the number of his ‘friends’ and their identities.
Augustus has a spot of trouble with a former spouse in Rock Hill, South Carolina, and is facing criminal trial for ‘domestic violence of a high and aggravated nature,’ and ‘possession of a weapon during violent crime.’ Invictus posted a $5,000 bond for each. However, York County released Invictus from jail on bail in April 2020 after his lawyers raised health concerns due to the COVID pandemic.
Brevard County, Florida Sheriff's deputies arrested Invictus on December 28, 2020, as he was leaving a gym on a warrant issued out of York County, South Carolina, for failure to appear in court, and the authorities transported him back to Rock Hill, South Carolina. Invictus is currently free on bail, and York County lists the case status as ‘Pending/Trial.’
Invictus filed a civil rights lawsuit in the Middle District of Florida in February of 2021, naming York County and virtually every conceivable South Carolina governmental agent as defendants. Additionally, Invictus filed an Affidavit of Indigency attesting his lack of funds in conjunction with that lawsuit. The case is pending.
Invictus filed a civil rights lawsuit against Family Ties, a court-sponsored child visitation agency, in March 2021 in the Middle District of Florida Federal Court, alleging the agency violated his civil rights related to child visitation, once again with an Affidavit of Indigency. The court dismissed the case in September 2021.
Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody announced in April 2020 the arrest of Invictus’s father John Gillespie, also an attorney, for human trafficking a minor and exchanging legal representation for sex with victims as young as 15-years-old. Gillespie ultimately admitted to having sex with and impregnating a client, and the court referred him to the Florida Bar for discipline.
Many villains and otherwise oddballs packed the Donald Trump clown car, hoping to join the ride to supposed fame and riches. Invictus is not of that ilk, rather a true believer in a cause he created that molds Libertarian antigovernmental tropes with old-school anti-Semitism and outright white supremacy. Nevertheless, Invictus forms a unique entity, articulate, well-schooled in legal machinations, incredibly productive, and his publications have produced a small following. It is unknown whether Invictus can transcend the fringe and become a cultural figure and leader, but he certainly bears watching.
Michael Donnelly investigates societal concerns with an untribal approach - to limit the discussion to the facts derived from primary sources so the reader can make more informed decisions.