But the Base, a terror group that has been the recent recipient of a lot of FBI attention, turned him down.
The one-time leader and former lawyer of the Proud Boys, who was recently alleged to have tried to plot the assassination of a rival, attempted to join neo-Nazi terror group the Base, but was denied membership for being a “huge liability.”
In a 2019 call with the leadership cadre of the Base, a recording of which was obtained by VICE News, Jason Lee Van Dyke, known as the former lawyer of the Proud Boys and for briefly taking over just after founder Gavin McInnes stepped down in 2018, is heard desperately trying to join the terror group, now under an FBI crackdown.
On the call, Van Dyke used the cover name “John Lee,” and said he moved on from the Proud Boys, which the FBI has described as an “extremist group with ties to white nationalism.” Van Dyke—who in 2017 nearly worked for a district attorney in Texas, and probably would have if not for being outed to his future bosses for his extremist past by a rival he then allegedly wanted to kill—was deposed in August 2020. (According to the Daily Beast, in a March filing, Van Dyke denied the allegations against him as “wild theories of a conspiracy to murder.”) The voice in a recording of the deposition is unmistakably the same as that of “Lee.”
“There’re plenty of people in the Proud Boys who don’t believe that Jews have a place in this country and they want to put a stop to it,” he said on the conference call with Base leaders, which took place on the encrypted chat app Wire. “And whenever someone talks about doing something, they’re immediately shut down or banned from the band, from the group, because, you know, the boys don’t want to have that image.”
Van Dyke then accused McInnes of creating the group solely “to make money” while being “not willing to do anything” violent, and explained that this is why he gravitated towards the Base.