DezNat “Founder” JPBellum Exposed As Logan Smith Of Fair Oaks, CA and Pocatello, Idaho

Meet Logan Starr Smith aka JPBellum, 40, of Pocatello, Idaho who is the so-called founder of the #DezNat hashtag as well as a homophobic, misogynistic, antisemitic bigot. Logan recently moved from Fair Oaks in Northern California to Pocatello in Southeastern Idaho. He is a return Mormon missionary, graduate of Brigham Young University-Idaho, a member of the Gwen Ward of the Pocatello Idaho Central Stake of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and an original member of the Discord server where DezNat came to life. While Logan enjoys a stable job and marriage, he is also an unrelenting troll who actively targets marginalized people and uses white supremacist memes mingled with Mormon imagery. Additionally, he has targeted gay students and progressive professors in an effort to get them kicked out of Brigham Young University. Logan once said that the only way to be truly anonymous is to get rid of all one’s social media and chuck their smartphone–well he took his own advice too late because today let’s get to know the hateful troll behind the pseudonymous account of JPBellum.

jpbellum deznat logan smith pocatello id fair oaks ca mormon

“True anonymity would be deleting all your social media and chucking your smartphone.” – Logan Smith as JPBellum

jpbellum deznat logan smith pocatello id fair oaks ca mormon

Images of DezNat user Logan Smith aka JPBellum and his wife, Antoinette Smith aka SisterBellum.

Content Warning: This article contains racist, queerphobic and misogynistic statements, antisemitism, as well as references to the Holocaust, neo-Nazism, and acts of violence, and other objectionable language. We feel it is important to show examples of this person’s hateful ideology in his own words, rather than merely describing or characterizing it. In all cases where slurs or other offensive words have letters replaced by asterisks, or have been redacted or obscured in images, those redaction’s have been added by the authors of this article, not by the person who is being quoted/screencapped.

Background – DezNat Origins

According to Logan Smith, he was first drawn to Deseret Nationalism after hearing about it from Mormon white nationalist and Identity Evropa member, Ayla Stewart. Logan claims reading an article on Stewart (aka Wife With A Purpose) is what “finally drove [him] to join twitter and start participating in the discussions to explore a movement [he] felt drawn to.”

In April 2018, Logan states that at first he was drawn to the alt-right and then to the “Deseret-right“, because the alt-right rejects “true religion” and is open towards gays. For Mormon or Deseretian Nationalists like Logan, religion, specifically the Latter-day Saint religion, is paramount to nationalist ideology and it is crucial to understanding DezNat. For Logan, the ultimate outcome of Deseret Nationalism or DezNat is the “return of the sovereign state of Deseret under church government.”

jpbellum deznat logan smith pocatello id fair oaks ca mormon

sources: [1, 2]

Although the hashtag #DeseretNationalism was used in 2017 by Matthias Cicotte aka @JReubenCiark and @_DNA_Mond (in August and September, respectively) the earliest known use of the #DezNat hashtag was by Logan Smith aka JPBellum, on 6 Aug 2018. Logan, who claims he started the hashtag, was an original member of the “Bunch of Latter-day Saints” Discord server which is well-known for its hateful, antisemitic, racist, and bigoted messages.

jpbellum deznat logan smith pocatello id fair oaks ca mormon

sources: [3, 4]

Mormon Ethnonationalism

theocracy is inevitableLogan Smith as JPBellum

Logan Smith is a Mormon ethnonationalist. In the case of Mormon ethnonationalism, Logan describes DezNat or Deseret Nationalism as “the recognition that faithful [LDS or Mormon] members are a unique people and should be united spiritually, morally, economically, and politically behind Christ, the prophet, and the [LDS or Mormon] church.” Logan Smith believes that “if all [government] were gone tomorrow the [Mormon] church would fill that role.”

“I’m ok with being called a Deseret Nationalist. It’s like being called a Kingdom of God nationalist.” – Logan Smith as JPBellum

Using Irony and Religion to Avoid Criticism

Logan asserts that DezNat are just “faithful, unapologetic followers of the church, prophets, policies, and doctrines” and that “sometimes [they] use spicy memes to defend the faith.” This is the primary way DezNat avoids criticism from those that oppose the movement. In effect, DezNat is able to use the excuse of “defending the faith” as a cover of plausible deniability for racist, bigoted, and otherwise hateful rhetoric. “This is why #DezNat defends Brigham Young. Even when they call him all these horrible things he was still a prophet of God,” Logan explains, “If they can come for Brother Brigham they can come for any prophet they decide to disagree with.” Brother Brigham (Brigham Young) was the second prophet and president of the Mormon faith who is criticized as having taught racist theories as a part of early Mormonism. Logan has come to the defense of these critiques of Brigham Young several times saying, “Oh, I’m sure he said them or something very close to that. I am simply saying I don’t care that he did,” and “…we don’t care. Imagine that, a 19th-century man having a 19th century opinion. The horror,” and “Never said he wasn’t racist just that we don’t care.” According to the Mormon Church, “Over time, Church leaders and members advanced many theories to explain the priesthood and temple restrictions. None of these explanations is accepted today as the official doctrine of the Church,” (Further reading: LDS Church, Race and the Priesthood).

Logan tweets that he isn’t being serious when talking about Blood Atonement, a disputed doctrine that the Mormon church has disavowed. DezNat is known to use memes of Bowie knives and blood atonement to harass ex-Mormons and progressive Mormons. Using the defense of joking is a common tactic of extremists to avoid criticism (see NPR, How Extremists Use Irony to Weaponize Hate). That being said, Logan has plenty to say about blood atonement. He has stated, “Blood atonement is just another term for capital punishment in a theocratic government,” and in a follow-up tweet explains it by stating, “I know capital punishment isn’t linked to religion that’s why it was called blood atonement. Brutal is relative. England held its last drawing and quartering in the 1790’s so it wasn’t far removed. Your presentism is showing. Saudi Arabia still beheads people. Cultural bias.

Logan also effectively preys upon the fears of historical attacks on Latter-day Saints by attesting that anyone who is against Mormon nationalism, Deseret nationalism or DezNat must be anti-Mormon with an ulterior motive to destroy his religion. For example, after we released our research on Deseret Nationalist Jack Jerman, Logan tweeted, “Just remember that in the coming days no matter what you hear about #DezNat we aren’t the real target, the Church of Jesus Christ is.” He continues his tweet by stating he would “disavow the tag if instructed by church leadership” and then concludes by stating that his enemies “want the Church’s $$$ and destroying its online defenders is step 1.”

Additionally, Logan Smith has been accused by hard-line Deseret Nationalists of being a disloyal optics cuck.

jpbellum deznat logan smith pocatello id fair oaks ca mormon

sources: [5, 6]

Attacks on LGBTQ at Brigham Young University

Logan Smith is a virulent homophobe and queerphobe. He has admitted to targeting a gay student to try to get them kicked out of Brigham Young University. He has also offered cash and gift cards for evidence that would result in the expulsion of so-called apostates, as well as progressive professors at BYU. On one occasion, he offered a $1,000 reward for evidence that would result in the expulsion of a gay student.

jpbellum deznat logan smith pocatello id fair oaks ca mormon

source: [7, 8, 9]

In October 2019, Logan tweeted, “Thinking of offering $100 Chick-fil-A gift card as a bounty for information/proof leading to the expulsion of an apostate from BYU.” Several DezNat-associated accounts replied to the tweet with suggestions on how to implement the “bounty.” One account going by Janessa Taylor replied, “I would just send a letter to the president of BYU and Elder Holland with all of [REDACTED]’s tweets and other questionable doctrines pushed by the Maxwell Institute.” Two days later he increased the bounty, offering a $200 bounty on BYU professors they deemed “apostate.” Other DezNat accounts chimed in offering to contribute to the bounty.

In November 2020, Logan Smith significantly increased the financial incentive to $1,000 for “information or proof of an honor code violation” that resulted in “[the gay student] expelled from BYU.” When another Twitter user replied negatively to the bounty, Logan doubled down on his offer by mocking him, “If you have credible info that hypothetical $1000 can be yours.”

Hank Smith Controversy

In April 2021, a Brigham Young University assistant teaching professor, Hank Smith, called a gay student “Korihor” in response to a tweet by Logan Smith (as JPBellum). Korihor is a Book of Mormon anti-Christ who was trampled to death for wickedness. Hank Smith had over 155,000 followers on Instagram and more than 30,000 followers on Twitter at the time of the hateful tweet [10].

hank smith korhor antichrist byu professor deznat

source: [11]

Hank Smith’s reply to Logan Smith’s account resulted in the mass harassment of the gay BYU student as well as several women. Logan also summoned the support of the Radical Orthodoxy community to “stand and be counted” in support of Hank Smith. “Despite claims that [Radical Orthodoxy] was created to help mitigate extremism,” Meg Conley writes, “@DanEllsworthVA one of the signers of of the [Radical Orthodoxy] manifesto, responded with ‘We’re here.'” referring to the Mormon radical orthodoxy (radox) community on Twitter to stand with the BYU professor. The ensuing fallout resulted in Hank later apologizing for calling the gay student “Korihor.” He excused his disparaging tweet by saying his “emotions got the better of me.” It is not known whether Hank Smith was professionally disciplined and he is still listed as an assistant teaching professor o BYU’s website.

The authors of this article were able to document two separate apologies made by Hank Smith as a result of his response to Logan Smith (JPBellum)–one of which was later deleted.

“I do need to apologize for calling [REDACTED] Korihor. That was unjustified and unfair. My emotions got the better of me. I am very sorry.” [https://archive.ph/1qWPH]

“I do need to apologize for calling [REDACTED] what I did. I deleted the reply. That was unjustified and unfair. My emotions got the better of me. I am very sorry.” [https://archive.ph/fig24] (deleted)

jpbellum deznat logan smith pocatello id fair oaks ca mormon

source: [12, 13]

Anti-LGBTQ Hate Rallies at BYU – Umbrella Hate Symbolism

In early March 2021, a rally in support of LGBTQ+ students and faculty was held at Brigham Young University. In response, DezNat organized anti-LGBTQ hate rallies disguised as “Family Proclamation readings.” The JPBellum account was one of the main DezNat accounts that promoted the anti-LGBTQ hate rally framing it as “lgbtq activists…protesting church teachings.” On February 25, 2021 he tweets, “On March 4th lgbt activists are protesting church teachings on BYU campus. Instead, faithful members will show support for the Family Proclamation by wearing BYU swag and *carrying or wearing* an umbrella. Join us.”

Logan Smith’s account, JPBellum, also appears to be one of the first DezNat accounts to use and promote umbrella emojis as a queerphobic hate symbol within the online Twitter Latter-day Saint movement. The day before the March 2021 LGBTQ rally took place at BYU, Logan tweeted, “If you don’t have an umbrella [emoji] in your Display Name I am just going to assume you’re against the Family Proclamation.” (see #FamProc)

jpbellum deznat logan smith pocatello id fair oaks ca mormon

source: [14]

14 Words and Other White Supremacist References

Logan Smith has used a variation of the white supremacist slogan “14 words” mingled with Latter-day Saint imagery. The “14 Words” (see ADL, Hate Symbols: 14 Words) was coined by neo-Nazi David Lane, a member of the white supremacist terror organization The Order. The text of Lane’s slogan reads, “We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children” in comparison to Logan’s text “The greatest legacy one can have is securing the existence of your people and a future for your children.”

If there is any question as to whether Logan Smith is familiar with the “14 Words”, when failed racist Utah senatorial candidate Samuel Parker replies, “The 19 words? Whew boy!” Logan reprimands him for confirming the reference.

jpbellum deznat logan smith pocatello id fair oaks ca mormon

source: [15, 16]

88” is the white supremacist numerical code for “Heil Hitler” where H is the eighth letter of the alphabet. It is one of the most common white supremacist symbols and is also used by neo-Nazis (see ADL, Hate Symbols, 88). On at least one occasion, Logan referenced this recognized hate symbol. In 2021 Logan Smith tweeted, “This tweet is 88 years too late,” in reference to another tweet about Germans. He later replies to the tweet stating the number was “purely coincidence.”

jpbellum deznat logan smith mormon norcal

sources: [17]

Antisemitism

Logan Smith is a well-known antisemite who pushes holocaust denial. He has stated regarding Jews, “Imagine your entire social, political, religious, and cultural identity is framed by an event that happened two generations ago. Everything that happens to them is viewed through that lens. They cling to the holocaust because it defines them. Without it they have no context.” In the “Bunch of Latter-day Saints” Discord server, he stated, “To borrow a line from JBP maybe it doesnt matter if the holocaust happened or not, it’s more true than truth at this point so our decisions should be how do we interact with it rather than resist it.” “JBP” is Jordan B. Peterson, a far-right Canadian psychology professor whose teachings have attracted the admiration of those on the so-called alt-light, i.e. white nationalist conspiracy theorist Mike Cernovich and Gavin McInnes, the founder of the violent neo-fascist street gang Proud Boys.

In addition to framing ex-Mormons, progressive Mormons, and LGBTQIA people as enemies to the Latter-day Saint faith, Logan Smith has also painted Jewish people as enemies to the Mormon faith and seems to think top LDS leadership does too. In the DezNat Discord server he states, “The Manhattan Temple was an F you to the Jews in White Plains who wouldn’t let it happen.”

Logan also has made statements repeating the white supremacist conspiracy theory that Jews are behind a secret globalist plot. In 2019 he tweeted that there is a “Globalist agenda to make everyone gay” that is “overseen by the Jews.”

jpbellum deznat logan smith pocatello id fair oaks ca mormon

source: [19, 20, 21]

Misogyny

Some of Logan Smith’s more disturbing statements are his beliefs about women. Logan supports repealing the 19th amendment to the U.S. constitution–the amendment that gave women the right to vote. Logan repeatedly uses the #Repealthe19th hashtag [22, 23, 24, 25] on social media and has tied it directly to his anti-feminist views, stating, “Feminism has only tried to homogenize the political power of women as a tool of progressives. Lump them in to [sic] the groupthink and harness their collective ballot power. #repealthe19th.” Additionally, Logan has stated “Nazis didn’t exist until after women got the vote.” He believes feminism is harmful to women. He has also made statements arguing that women destroy organizations when they are in leadership positions.

When Logan isn’t making thinly veiled jokes about women like this one about women’s menstrual cycles, he is proclaiming that women shouldn’t be allowed on the internet at all. In another tweet, Logan says, “Why they let women on Twitter I’ll never understand.” Logan’s wife, Antoinette Wright Smith, DezNat Twitter account was @SisterBellum.

jpbellum deznat logan smith pocatello id fair oaks ca mormon

source: [26, 27, 28]

Logan has stated he believes that the “first duty” of young women is “to get married and have babies (1st duty) instead of serving a mission.” In the Latter-day Saint religion, Mormon women can serve a mission at 19 years of age, and Logan is essentially saying that women should be getting married and having babies at that age. In another tweet he again stated his belief that women should get married young tying it to “falling fertility” rates.

When several women on Twitter claimed they were being harassed by DezNat when voicing their opinions to BYU professor Hank Smith after he called a gay student “Korihor”, Logan insulted the validity of their arguments by stating, “The amount of cope on display because their emotional hostage taking isn’t working is astounding.”

jpbellum deznat logan smith pocatello id fair oaks ca mormon

sources: [29, 30]

Identifying Logan Smith aka JPBellum of Pocatello, Idaho

Logan Starr Smith left several clues that helped us connect him to his pseudonymous DezNat account, JPBellum, such as his age, where he went on mission, as well as details about college, his location, his marriage and employment background. The account also attempted to throw off researchers by providing false information about their identity, i.e. a fake LinkedIn account and claiming their real name was “John Paul Bellum.”

AGE

“JPBellum” left clues about his age. He states that he watched the movie, Titanic, on a date while he still lived at home as a teenager. Using Mormon cultural traditions about dating we were able to narrow his age range to 39-41 years of age. Logan Starr Smith is 40 years old.

MISSION

The JPBellum account stated that he served his Mormon mission stateside in the East and that it was a Spanish-speaking mission with a high Cuban population. He also mentioned that he was not allowed to hike in the woods because of ticks. This led us to the Morristown New Jersey Mission of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

jpbellum deznat logan smith pocatello id fair oaks ca mormon

Images from Logan Smith’s now deleted Facebook profile showing images from when Logan was on his LDS mission.

COLLEGE

The JPBellum account revealed that he went to Ricks College while David Bednar was the president of the school. He also stated in another tweet that they went to Brigham Young University-Idaho where he met his wife. This tells us that he likely first attended Ricks College around 1999, left to go on a mission, and returned after the college had changed to a four year university and been renamed BYU-Idaho. We also had to account for time serving his LDS mission. This information aligns with Logan Smith’s archived LinkedIn and time at the school.

jpbellum deznat logan smith pocatello id fair oaks ca mormon

Images from Logan Smith’s now deleted Facebook page showing he and his wife (Antoinette Wright Smith) at Brigham Young University-Idaho in Rexburg, ID.

RELATIONSHIP/MARRIAGE

“JPBellum” gave us the timeline of his courtship and marriage, including his anniversary month which is November.

jpbellum deznat logan smith pocatello id fair oaks ca mormon

Screen [31] showing JPBellum DezNat account’s courtship timeline to his wife; Image from Logan Smith’s now deleted Facebook page showing his wedding anniversary is in November.

LOCATION

“JPBellum” also gave us clues to his location. We know from his tweets that he is from North California, probably near the Sacramento Temple. We also know that he was having a major life change in 2020 and that he has talked about moving out of California [32, 33]. Logan Smith and his wife recently moved from Fair Oaks, CA to Pocatello, ID.

EMPLOYMENT

“JPBellum” has given several clues as to his employment background: worked for his father’s family business, farm or agriculture related. The JPBellum account also appears to know a lot about egg and chicken production. That led us to an egg production business located in Fair Oaks, California, the owner of the company, and then his son, Logan Starr Smith.

CROSS-POSTING

After comparing images and information from both Logan Starr Smith and “JPBellum” accounts, we were able to see that he cross-posted images across platforms. One of the most damning images he cross-posted on his pseudonymous Twitter account was an image of a necktie he took in a selfie which he also used as his profile image on his personal YouTube account (recently changed). Another image he cross-posted was a “Santa” image which he posted on both Twitter and Facebook.

jpbellum deznat logan smith pocatello id fair oaks ca mormon

source: [34, 35]

jpbellum deznat logan smith pocatello id fair oaks ca mormon

sources:[36, 37]

Recently, Logan’s Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn accounts were all deleted, but not before we archived and saved the accounts.

logan smith antoinette smith california idaho deznat jpbellum

Images of Logan and Antoinette Smith [38, 39]

Calls to Action

UPDATE: According to local news KPVI Logan Smith is no longer employed by ICCU after being connected to the JPBellum DezNat account.

1.) Logan Smith is currently employed as a Virtual Service Agent at Idaho Central Credit Union. Let Idaho Central Credit Union know they have an antisemtic, misogynistic, homophobic bigot who mingles white supremacy with Mormonism working for them:

TAG them on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Idaho_Central
Email: https://www.iccu.com/contact-us

2.) Logan Smith is an antisemite who mixes white supremacist and neo-Nazi symbolism with Mormonism. He is also a queerphobe and misogynist who has targeted a gay student and progressive professors at BYU by offering “bounties” (financial incentives) to get them kicked out of school.

Logan is a member of the Gwen Ward of the Pocatello Idaho Central Stake. Spread the word about Logan Smith to Logan’s bishop using the following information:

jpbellum deznat logan smith pocatello id fair oaks ca mormon

Tips

If you have additional information to share about Logan Smith or other Deseret Nationalists, email us at exposedeznat at riseup dot net. We do not share sources with anyone.

Email: exposedeznat at riseup dot net

######

Logan Smith’s social media accounts:

Twitter (DELETED):

  • Display Name: JPBellum, John Paul Bellum
  • User Name: JPBellum *NOTE* this handle is currently being used by an anti-DezNat
  • User Permalink: https://twitter.com/intent/user?user_id=4745389657
  • Twitter ID: 4745389657

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/logan.smith.5891 ID 1040662284 (DELETED)

Antoinette Wright Smith’s Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/antoinette.w.smith ID 1035900797

The Official Guide To DezNat | Deseret Nationalism

Here’s a list of terms and topics that is useful in understanding Deseret Nationalism, or DezNat. This is a developing article.

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

A Brief Introduction to Deznat

DezNat is an far-right, white nationalist hashtag and movement first seen as #DeseretNationalist in 2017 leading up to the white supremacist Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia and used mainly by members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) on Twitter. It is short for Deseret Nationalist, Deseret Nation, or Deseret Nationalism.

The stated goal of Deseret nationalism is to create a Mormon, or Deseretian, ethnostate ruled by a theodemocracy. In May of 2017, one of earliest instances of the movement being described as a “Mormon ethnostate” was by a co-founder of the Deseret Nationalist Association when he asked Ayla Stewart, an alt-right Mormon blogger and member of white supremacist group Identity Evropa who was a scheduled speaker for Unite the Right, if she would support a Deseret nationalist movement. A few days later he would publish an article on the Deseret Nationalist Association website further clarifying that a Mormon ethnostate is rooted in white supremacy:

“White Utahns who enjoy Utah’s more conservative, Mormon culture will have to embrace ethno-nationalism if they want it to survive. If we don’t fight to defend our White majority here in Utah we will lose the Mormon identity that has been the defining characteristic of this state for generations.” (source)

Users of the Deznat hashtag and supporters of the movement will often describe their social media posts and other online behavior as “defending the faith.” This is an important part of the cultural dynamic surrounding #DezNat, as it ties into deep-seated Latter-day Saint (Mormon) fears of attacks from outsiders, see Mormon Extermination Order, Assassination of Joseph Smith, and Utah War. DezNat means different things even to the different people who use it. Some users are obviously racist; others will openly rebuke the racist ones. Some users are rabidly anti-immigrant, while others are openly pro-immigrant. Most users of the DezNat hashtag are anti-LGBTQ+, but even that isn’t universal. There are also smaller subgroups or cliques within DezNat, which may regard other cliques or subgroups as insufficiently faithful or doctrinally “pure.” At some level, every DezNat hashtag supporter has decided that they’re okay with being associated with hateful rhetoric.

It should be noted that there are people who are opposed to Deseret nationalism who use the DezNat hashtag when interacting with or referring to the movement, and so context should be taken into consideration before labeling someone as “DezNat.”

Although members of the broader Mormon community have complained about DezNat, and the Latter-day Saint (Mormon) church has stated publicly that DezNat is “not affiliated with or endorsed by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,” the Church has not officially denounced it.

Blood Atonement

Users of the DezNat hashtag often threaten “apostates,” members of the LGBTQ community, and ex-mormons with “Blood Atonement.” Blood Atonement is a disputed doctrine in Mormonism that has been disavowed by the Mormon church in which certain “eternal sins” were only redeemable by the spilling of blood. The doctrine was promoted by several Mormon figures, including 19th-century Mormon prophet and leader Brigham Young, along with members of his council, under Utah’s near-theocracy in the 1800s. Eternal sins that required blood atonement included apostasy, theft, murder, fornication (but not sodomy), and adultery. Additionally, Brigham Young taught that whites who mixed with blacks were subject to blood atonement through decapitation:

“If a man in an unguarded moment should commit such a transgression, if he would walk up and say cut off my head, and kill man, woman, and child, it would do a great deal towards atoning for the sin,” source, pg 44

Although Young believed the practice of blood atonement should only be implemented under a full theocracy, there is evidence that blood atonement was enforced a few times at the local church level (see page 467). The rhetoric of blood atonement contributed to a culture of violence leading to the Mountain Meadows massacre, a series of attacks in which 120 members of a passing caravan of settlers, mostly families from Arkansas, on their way to California were massacred by Mormons in 1857. In jury trials where the death penalty was under consideration, potential jurors in Utah were questioned on their beliefs regarding the doctrine of blood atonement until at least 1994.

Top

Bowie Knife or Day of the Bowie Knife

DezNat users often make reference to bowie knives when harassing, trolling, and bullying members of the LGBTQ community, apostates, ex-Mormons, and anti-Mormons online. Some users of the DezNat hashtag also use the phrase “Day of the Bowie Knife,” a reference to the white supremacist phrase “Day of the Rope.” The Day of the Rope (sometimes abbreviated as DOTR or TDOTR) refers to the mass lynching of “race traitors” that occurs in The Turner Diaries, a novel written by neo-Nazi William Luther Pierce that is popular among white supremacists. The bowie knife is used in place of the word “rope” as a reference to a sermon in which Mormon prophet and leader Brigham Young unsheathed a large Bowie knife, set it on a pulpit, and demanded all apostates who were harassing the church and its members leave the territory.

“I say, rather than that apostates should flourish here, I will unsheath my bowie knife, and conquer or die. [Great commotion in the congregation, and a simultaneous burst of feeling, assenting to the declaration.] Now, you nasty apostates, clear out, or judgment will be put to the line, and righteousness to the plummet. [Voices, generally, “go it, go it.”] If you say it is right, raise your hands. [All hands up.] Let us call upon the Lord to assist us in this, and every good work.” – Brigham Young, 27 March 1853, Journal of Discourses, VOL. 1, P. 83

Top

Brigham Young Did Nothing Wrong or #BYDNW

A riff on the more popular trolling memes of “Hitler Did Nothing Wrong” and “Thanos Did Nothing Wrong,” users of the DezNat hashtag uses the phrase “Brigham Young Did Nothing Wrong” as not only a meme to troll non-DezNat users, but also as a way to embrace and make light of the “uglier parts” of Mormon history such as blood atonement, bigotry, racism, and the Mountain Meadows massacre. Users of the DezNat hashtag tend to invoke the phrase “evil speaking of the Lord’s anointed”, a reference to a temple covenant endowed believers make, when repeating the meme to those that question or criticize Mormon church leaders.

Top

Deseret Alphabet

An alphabet developed during the mid-1800’s by the regents of the University of Deseret under the direction of Mormon prophet Brigham Young. It is a phonemic English-language reform. The alphabet was intended to make reading and spelling English easier and faster for both school-age children, as well as non-English speaking immigrants. Brigham Young’s most expensive failed experiment, he promoted the Deseret Alphabet saying, “The advantages of this alphabet will soon be realized, especially by foreigners. . . . It will also be very advantageous to our children. It will be the means of introducing uniformity in our orthography, and the years that are now required to learn to read and spell can be devoted to other studies.” (Young, Brigham (8 October 1868). Journal of Discourses, delivered in the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, UT. p. 289.) Users of #DezNat sometimes use Deseret Alphabet characters in their online bio, as a way of conversing with one another, and in memes.

This online tool translates Deseret Alphabet characters into familiar Latin characters and vice versa.

Top

#DezNat

DezNat is an far-right, white nationalist hashtag first seen as #DeseretNationalist in 2017 leading up to the white supremacist Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia and used mainly by members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) on Twitter. It is short for Deseret Nationalist, Deseret Nation, or Deseret Nationalism.

DezNat is a loose network of social media users who are mostly members of the LDS church and use the DezNat hashtag. While some of the content posted under the hashtag is inoffensive, it is well-known for its hateful, racist, anti-feminist, xenophobic, and other offensive content. Users of the hashtag are known to incorporate Pepe the Frog, a recognized hate symbol, into their memes. Some DezNat users also use a version of the hate symbol Pepe that has been edited to look like Mormon founder and prophet Joseph Smith. Common with the far-right, vaporwave, or fashwave, edits over Mormon imagery is also common. Some members of the DezNat community criticize, harass, and bully members of the LGBTQ community, ex-Mormons, progressives, “apostates,” feminists, and abortion advocates under the guise of “defending the faith.” Users of the hashtag also attack those who criticize or question the LDS Church or its leadership. It is important to note that there are some people who are not homophobic, misogynistic, racist or bigoted who unironically believe they are supporting their faith by using the DezNat hashtag.

The pseudonymous twitter user @JPBellum claims to have invented the DezNat hashtag; however, twitter user @_DNA_Mond appears to refer to Athen Jensen as the creator of Deznat in a tweet from Feb 2021; Jensen has made a similar statement. Although the hashtag #DeseretNationalism was used in 2017 by @JReubenCiark and @_DNA_Mond (in August and September, respectively) the earliest known use of the #DezNat hashtag was by JPBellum, on 6 Aug 2018.

Top

#Dezbollah

Dezbollah, a portmanteau of “DezNat” and “Hezbollah,” is a spinoff of the DezNat hashtag that is sometimes used for more extreme rhetoric and imagery. Dezbollah content often incorporates neo-Nazi, fascist, and radical religious symbols, blended with Mormon historic and cultural imagery, into its memes and other artwork.

deznat dezbollah memes mormon lds

Two images found under the #dezbollah and/or #deznat hashtag inspired by neo-Nazi imagery. Figure 1. depicts an image of a militant neo-Nazi wearing a skull mask and holding a weapon with the phrase “fashwave” and a sonnenrad above a second image featuring Mormon founder and prophet Joseph Smith holding presumably a copy of the Book of Mormon with the phrase “Our God’s Not Dead” with a “Seal of Melchizedek” in the background. Figure 2 depicts a German Nazi war flag used during WWII shown in contrast to a flag inspired by its design depicting a beehive with fasces in place of a swastika and the Angel Moroni holding a weapon in place of the Iron Cross, a famous German military medal dating back to the 19th century.

deznat dezbollah nazi imagery dieter f uchtdorf lds mormon

Images posted by #deznat users; figure 3. depicts Latter-day Saint (Mormon) apostle Dieter F. Uchtdorf, a German aviator who was born during WWII as an accelerationist wearing a neo-Nazi skull mask with a “fashwave” edit posted by #DezNat user going by the pseudonym “Hoss” or “niasdiad”; figure 4. depicts a vaporwave, or fashwave, edit of “The First Vision” a well-known Mormon religious painting of a scene depicting the boy Joseph Smith with the Father and Son. This DezNat user going by the pseudonym “BoyoOfDeseret” also depicts a copy of the Book of Mormon laying on a table next to a pistol in a popular far-right meme used in their Twitter cover image, as well as the recognized hate symbol Pepe the Frog wearing a full face mask and “Deseret patch,” carrying a rifle, and in front of a green and yellow Hezbollah-inspired flag showing the Angel Moroni holding a rifle up high in their profile image.

deznat dezbollah hezbollah isis meme lds mormon

A meme depicting two fighters: on the left is a militant Islamist holding the Quran in one hand and a rifle in the other; and on the right is a Mormon missionary holding a Book of Mormon in one hand and a machete in the other. The English text says “THE SAINT AND THE MUSLIM” at the top and “REVOLT TOGETHER OR DIE APART” at the bottom. In the center of the image is the Arabic word for “struggle” or “strive,” followed by the phrase “holy war” in the Deseret Alphabet.

Top

DezNat Audience Terms

Most of these terms predate the DezNat hashtag; however, it is important to understand how they are used in the context of Deznat.

  • Twitterstake – a portmanteau of Twitter and “stake”. A Stake is a geographic area defined by a number of Wards (Latter-day Saint, or Mormon, congregations). The “twitterstake” is one of the first hashtags members of the Mormon faith used to discover other members and promote their faith on Twitter. The term has fallen out of use, but is occasionally mentioned.
  • Apostake – a portmanteau of Twitter and “stake.” A Stake is a geographic area defined by a number of Wards (Latter-day Saint, or Mormon, congregations). The “Apostake” is the opposite of the “Twitterstake” and refers to apostates and ex-Mormons collectively on Twitter. The “Apostake” was reflected as a DezNat enemy in one of their first umbrella memes.
  • Mormies – mainstream members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that have not been sufficiently “red-pilled” according to DezNat. It is a play on the term “normies.”
  • TBM – “True Blue Mormon” or “True Believing Mormon” are Mormons that are committed to their faith.
  • JackMo – “Jack Mormon” are Mormons that have been baptized, but don’t attend church. It can also refer to non-Mormons who are non-religious.
  • ExMo – “Ex Mormon” is a former member of the Mormon church.
  • Apostate – when referring to “apostate” Mormons, these are members who have committed a serious sin, but who does not repent. It can also refer to Mormons who reject doctrine or authority in the church.
  • AntiMo – “Anti-Mormon” is someone who is against Mormonism.
  • ProgMo – “Progressive Mormon” are Mormons with progressive politics.
  • Goons – aka the JackMo/DezNat Alliance

Top

DezNat Flags

State of Deseret Flag or DezFlag: 13 alternating blue and white horizontal stripes, with 13 white stars on a blue canton – 12 stars representing the 12 tribes of Israel encircling one star representing Christ.

Sometimes called the “Kingdom of God” flag, DezNat users are known to display the flag. Known as the Kimball/Maguire Flag of 1877, it is based on a description by an early territorial trader named Don Maguire, who claimed he saw it displayed from a second-story window of the home of Heber C. Kimball. Maguire was a non-Mormon who traveled to Salt Lake City when Brigham Young died to make sure “the old devil was dead.” Although this flag is widely reported to have been an official State of Deseret flag, the authenticity of this claim is questionable.

deseret flag maguire 1877 kingdom of god

DezFash or Deseret Fascist Flag: a black field with a gold beehive at the center and a gold fasces under the beehive.

Designed by white nationalist DezNat user “Mond,” the DezFash flag is popular with fascist users of DezNat and has appeared at in-person Deznat meetups.

golden boy dezfash flag deznat

Top

#FamProc

Short for “Family Proclamation,” the FamProc hashtag is a reference to the 1995 proclamation published by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints which defines the official position of the Mormon church on family, marriage, gender roles, and human sexuality. The Family: A Proclamation to the World, specifically defines “marriage” as a relationship between a man and a woman, and prescribes “traditional” gender roles for men and women. Users of the DezNat hashtag use the Family Proclamation to excuse homophobic and misogynistic rhetoric, as well as to promote anti-LGBTQ politics and policies.

Top

#LDZion

Hashtag created in May 2019 by twitter user @Rob_1830 as an alternative to #Deznat, its intended use was for twitter users who were “defenders of the faith and doctrine while also being respectful and kind“. First use was May 23, 2019. Subsequent efforts by Latter-day Saint (Mormon) social media users to create alternatives to the Deznat hashtag are sometimes referred to as “LDZion 2.0” In February 2021, the creator of the LDZion hashtag requested that other twitter users stop using the hashtag because “it’s cringe.”

Top

Old Testament Ally

An early DezNat anti-LGBTQ+ phenomena, “Old Testament Ally,” or #OldTestamentAlly is an attempt to reappropriate the rainbow from the LGBTQ community in order to “steal it back for God.” It refers to the rainbow shown to Noah after the Old Testament God destroyed the world in a flood because of wickedness. The DezNat user going by the psuedonym DeseretAussie is credited with starting the hashtag.

Top

Q15 Ally

Q15 refers to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles plus the three members of the First Presidency of the Latter-day Saint, or Mormon, church.

Top

Read BOM

“Read BOM” is a play off “Read Siege” meme which refers to the book Siege, by neo-Nazi James Mason, an ideologue for the paramilitary neo-Nazi terrorist organization Atomwaffen Division. BOM is short for Book of Mormon, a Latter-day Saint (Mormon) religious text.

read bom siege james mason meme book of mormon

Top

The DezNat Medicine Cabinet

  • Red Pill or redpilled – a reference to the movie The Matrix, in which the main character, Neo, is offered a choice of two pills: a red pill, representing “awakening” or enlightenment about the nature of reality; and a blue pill, representing continued innocence or ignorance. Anti-feminist and white supremacist groups use it to represent the idea of “waking up” to the “reality” that women and liberal politics are oppressing men and white people; someone who is aware of this “reality” is referred to as “redpilled.”
  • Black Pill or blackpilled – popularized by incels, who blame women for their lack of sexual activity. The black pill represents a pessimistic or nihilistic worldview without the power to do anything about it.
  • White Pill or whitepilled – the opposite of the black pill, the white pill represents an optimistic worldview in the face of adversity.
  • DezPilled – used in place of redpilled, as in the phrase “based and dezpilled.”
  • VitaminPilled – used in an adapted version of the “broke/woke/bespoke” construction, where bluepilled, redpilled, and vitaminpilled are used in place of broke, woke, and bespoke, respectively. “VitaminPilled” specifically refers to a 2019 message from LDS church president Russell Nelson, who encouraged church members to prepare for an approaching General Conference by resting up and taking their vitamins.

Top

#Repealthe19th

The RepealThe19th hashtag is a call to repeal the 19th amendment to the United States Constitution, which gave women the right to vote.

Top

State of Deseret

The State of Deseret was a provisional state proposed by settlers from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) in 1849. Although it was never formally recognized by the United States government, the proposed State of Deseret encompassed nearly all of present day Utah and Nevada, as well as portions of New Mexico, Arizona, California, Oregon, Idaho, Colorado, and Wyoming. The term Deseret comes from the Book of Mormon word for “honeybee.”

Top

Theodemocracy

Theodemocracy was proposed by Mormon founder, prophet, and leader Joseph Smith, Jr., in 1844 while running for office of the United States President. Smith described a theodemocracy as a political system which fused traditional republican democratic principles, under the United States Constitution, along with theocratic rule by the Church. Smith described it as a system under which God and the people held the power to rule. Further, Smith taught that the Kingdom of God, which he called the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, would hold dominion in the last days over all other kingdoms as foretold in the Book of Daniel. Many DezNat users support a theodemocracy in the present-day United States.

Top

Umbrella Symbolism

The umbrella is used online by DezNat users to identify those who take an anti-LGBTQ stance, and it is often accompanied by hate language and homophobic slurs. It was first used online as early as 2018 in memes depicting the perceived “enemies” of DezNat depicted in the form of a rainbow falling over an umbrella. The umbrella represents the “Family Proclamation” (see #FamProc). In March 2021, users of the DezNat hashtag added umbrella emojis to their profiles, as well as continued the depiction of umbrellas in event flyers, leading up to anti-LGBTQ counter-protests disguised as “Family Proclamation” readings at Brigham Young University (BYU) Provo and BYU-Idaho, which are Mormon church-owned institutions of higher education.

Top