Mike Benz, Fmr Trump Official Doxed by NBC News as Alt-Right Influencer, Says His Name is 'Moshe' And He Was Working Undercover to 'Combat Anti-Semitism'

Chris Menahan
Oct. 06, 2023

Mike Benz, a former Trump administration State Department official who was doxed by NBC News on Friday as former alt-right influencer "Frame Game," defended himself by claiming he was an undercover agent working on a "project" created "by Jews" to deradicalize the alt-right and "combat anti-Semitism."

Benz responded to Brandy Zadrozny's piece on Friday night, claiming "the account in question was a project by Jews to get people who hated Jews to stop hating Jews."

"It was a deradicalization project, and it produced deradicalization material," Benz (if that is his real name?) claimed.

Benz's full statement:
First, let me state something for the record. I'm a Jew. I'm a Proud Jew. I'm the descendant of Holocaust Survivors who fled Poland. I was Bar Mitzvah'd, and not just Bar Mitzvah'd, I did the additional 4 years of Hebrew School to get confirmed, meaning I went to Hebrew School until I was 17 years old. My Hebrew name is Moshe, and my rabbi would reiterate to me that that name means "messenger."

I'm telling you this because one of the most notoriously unethical hit piece journalists in the entire country, Brandy Zadrozny, who is famous for constantly getting her stories wrong, just tried to write a hit piece on me that is the literal 180 degree opposite of what she wrote, and what she thinks she found.

Also, in case it's not obvious, Brandy's entire industry beat – "disinformation" – is getting totally crushed right now by work I've contributed to on multiple fronts (legal, regulatory, policy, media) and she clumsily must have thought she found something that can shoot one of the leading messengers on Internet freedom with an unrelated attack related to anti-Semitism.

Let me start with the bottom line and then I'll tell you the backstory.

The account in question was a project by Jews to get people who hated Jews to stop hating Jews. It was a deradicalization project, and it produced deradicalization material. It made contact with groups in the early primordial soup of the MAGA movement in 2016 and sought to move people from a place of hate and division closer to a place of love and unity.

And it was successful. The biggest fans of this account, which was deleted around six years ago and to which I only contributed in a very limited manner, were fellow Jews who saw how effective it was at building a bridge and winning over hearts of people who held anti-Semitic beliefs, and non-Jews who would write in to say, "I'm so glad I found this account, I used to have a lot of hate and heaviness in my heart towards Jewish people, but since I discovered you, I don't feel that anymore."
The biggest antagonists of the account were people complaining their followers were becoming less radical and less willing to blame their problems on Jews.

Let me be clear: I am extremely proud of this. In another life, this thing I was briefly a part of in 2016 and 2017 would be getting National Science Foundation funds for combatting anti-Semitism.

And this was achieved through dialogue and engagement, instead of shunning and censorship.

You can disagree with the methods, but you can't argue with the results. And I absolutely will not be lectured by Brandy Zadrozny on what techniques are or aren't effective at moving people from a place of hate and division towards a place closer to love and unity on the issue of anti-Semitism.

Let me also say: I would not participate today and do not endorse participating in something like this in a general sense. It was a creature of a very bizarre and volatile time in early 2016 in which fellow conservative Jews were facing rising sentiments of anti-Semitism on our right – from people voting the same way for President – and political persecution and censorship from the ADL on our left. Having to move extreme elements from a fixation on identity to a focus on reforming institutions was a Bizarro World situation that called for a kind of Bizarro World logic of which I am proud, but would not repeat today.

To be clear: without this essential context completely omitted by Brandy, there are obviously going to be elements of the account's contents she quotes that, without context, are going to look like extremist material, in the same way that the Redirect Method her own censorship industry bedfellows champion redirects people to generally unsuitable content only aimed at certain audiences. This was an anonymous account for a limited purpose that was never supposed to be producing content for a mass audience, and had been shut down for 6 years until long-deleted posts were dug up using digital forensics by snooping investigators with basically intelligence agency powers who want to take me out because I'm an effective voice fighting censorship.

I'm grateful for your continued support, and remain wholly undeterred in my mission to restore a free and open Internet.
I can't confirm any part of his story but given recent events, it actually sounds plausible.

If what he claims is true, the obvious question is who was Benz working for? Who were the "Jews" who created this "project" and who did they work for?

I reached out to him on Twitter and will let you know if I get any response.

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