Gab, the website favored by white supremacists, Putin enthusiasts, antisemites, and conspiracy theorists galore now offers its very own “Gab Parallel Economy Shopping Catalog” where you can “support brands and businesses who share your values.”
You remember Gab, right? It’s the notorious social-media website preferred by Robert Gregory Bowers, the virulently antisemitic white nationalist who allegedly murdered 11 people (and injured six others) at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh in 2018. Bowers’ biography on Gab helpfully read “Jews are the children of Satan.” Just prior to committing the massacre, Bowers allegedly wrote: “I can’t sit by and watch my people get slaughtered. Screw the optics, I’m going in.”
As of 2018, Gab claimed to have some 800,000 users. Gab’s owners now boast that the social-media website is exponentially larger. A Nov. 28 email from Gab promoting its Parallel Economy Christmas catalog suggests that Gab’s advertising can “reach 20 million + people a month.”
The minor quibble of 19,200,000 website users (per month!) aside, let’s get to the gift of Gab. The Christmas catalog falls into categories including hair care, home goods, candles, farms and homesteads and, of course, the Second Amendment. A finance section offers opportunities to invest in gold and silver coins with gorillas on them and a golf putter made of sterling silver and stainless steel ($1,099).
There’s a lot of zaniness and stupidity in Gab’s Christmas catalog—we’ll get to that. To be fair, though, genuinely boring stuff proliferates. There’s Bob’s CB Shop (still a thing). Wadolow by M. offers “elegant and classy” hair scrunchies. Church Clothes features a “Repent” skateboard deck and some pretty rad Christian-themed Vans sneakers. Bootlettes offers jewelry to festoon your favorite pair of boots and, reportedly, has been featured on NBC and in the Miami Herald (so much for any parallel economy). And so on.
These many unremarkable small businesses and side gigs seem like they are probably owned by fairly ordinary people trying first and foremost trying to make a buck in the real economy. It’s not immediately clear why such vendors are caught up in Gab’s parallel-economy Christmas, or why they want to associate with, say, a bloc of Gab users with an unusual adoration for Dylann Roof, the neo-Nazi who murdered nine people, all of them Black, during a Bible study at a church in Charleston, South Carolina.
Of course, you came here to read about “tradwife” products, “Don’t Tread On Me”-themed coffee, and the emergency survival food you will surely need when the black helicopters finally attack. There’s plenty of that.
But let’s start—where else?—with MyPillow, the company founded by Mike Lindell, a noted conspiracy theorist, recovering addict, and current candidate to chair the Republican National Committee. “Use promo code GAB” to buy a MyPillow foam mattress for “as low as $449.99 with promo code,” or MyPillows for “as low as $19.98”—the “best pillow I’ve ever owned,” according to the multitude of five-star comments. A life-size cardboard cutout of Mike Lindell ($39.99) is also available.
Soap is big in the Gab parallel Christmas catalog. By buying crusader body wash ($10) or a Pepe the Frog clown world koozie ($3) from Dissident Soaps, you can help “build a parallel economy that insulates us from the pervasive cancel-culture and authoritarian politics of the day.”
In the candles category, Patriot Candle Co. offers a two-genders candle ($13.50). It’s a snot-yellow, “scent-changing” candle standing in opposition to all things transgender (“contrary to what these lunatics say on TV and try to teach small children in school”).
The pantry section of Gab’s Christmas catalog features the 2nd Amendment Jerky Company where not just anyone can shop. To enter, you must first answer this question: “Has communism failed every time it has been tried?” Answering “no” brings you to a re-education page, where you’ll be curtly informed that “Communism has failed every time it has been tried,” before being stuck on the site. If you can pass the entrance exam, however, 2nd Amendment Jerky does, indeed, sell jerky—yes, obviously, half-a-pound for $15. If you must know, the first four ingredients are beef, brown sugar, water, and that marinade so interwoven with American colonial history: teriyaki sauce.
In the Gab Christmas outdoors section, Go West, “a Christian-owned outdoor and survival store,” bluntly asks on its website: “Are you ready for the collapse?” If you’re not ready, consider purchasing barbecue gloves and a three-wire brush set ($41.99) or perhaps a Magma Sierra camping RV gas grill ($149.99).
Naturally, several businesses involved in Gab’s parallel economy sell firearms and accessories. Beaumont Ballistics, for example, offers the ability to choose from a small armory of handguns from the comforts of your own home. You must present a valid federal firearms license, but it’s your responsibility “to ensure that a firearm is legal to own in your state.” Beaumont Ballistics washes its hands of that crime.
Gab’s Parallel Economy Christmas promotes no fewer than a dozen purveyors of coffee. Covfefe Coffee, a self-described “pro-Trump coffee company,” sells single-serve coffee pods (“Drain the Swamp Medium Roast,” 12 pack, $15.99). The site also alleges that JPMorgan Chase Bank stopped the company “from using its payment processor service, WePay, for seemingly no legitimate reason” in 2021. And in 2019, the company owners voluntarily cut ties with Amazon after the tech giant “crossed a line and exposed themselves as the ideological hacks they are.”
Gab’s miscellaneous section is called unique gift ideas. Right Side Sticker Co. peddles a “Say No To #PedoHitler” small sticker pack ($3), featuring a photo of Joe Biden emblazoned with a swastika and nestled inside a Nazi Eagle symbol. Other stickers on offer include “F**K Joe Biden” ($3.75) and a mystery pack ($10.35 and “no two packs will be the same”).
Another unique gift idea on offer is a 12-inch, plush talking Jesus doll ($40). The doll boils Christianity down to nine sayings attributed to Jesus in the Gospels including John 3:16 (“For God so loved the world…”), the Lord’s Prayer and the Golden Rule. “An amazing pastor” speaking through a “Yeti Blue microphone jerry-rigged… on a chair in front of the altar” at a church provides the Jesus doll’s voice, which sounds like a youngish airline pilot telling passengers about the weather at your destination—except it’s Bible verses.
In the Gab Parallel Economy Christmas services section, you’ll find GiveSendGo (motto: “Shine brightly”). GiveSendGo holds itself out as a Christian crowdfunding site, but it allows very shady characters to raise money. After the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol, Oath Keepers member Joshua James and his wife raised $198,550 using GiveSendGo. James would later plead guilty to seditious conspiracy and obstruction charges and agree to “fully cooperate” with prosecutors.
Henry “Enrique” Tarrio, the former chairman of the right-wing extremist Proud Boys, raised over $113,000 on GiveSendGo. Tarrio is still facing seditious conspiracy charges. Prosecutors say Tarrio was a general of sorts on Jan. 6, planning and managing the Proud Boys ”command and control structure.”
This week, “Trending campaigns” on GiveSendGo include “Secure America’s Elections!” from the Lindell Legal Offense Fund of Mike Lindell.
And finally, also in services, the Gab Christmas Parallel Economy Spectacular offers Patriot Mobile, a far-right and self-proclaimed Christian cell phone service company most famous for spending fairly obscene amounts of money to win 11 school board races in a handful of Texas school districts.
Of course, Patriot Mobile is not particularly parallel by any economic measure. The company operates on the notably mainstream Sprint network and will gladly “accept all major debit and credit cards including Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover.”
Eric Owens was once in conservative media, before it went insane.