Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP
- A Proud Boys ‘initiation ceremony manual’ was fought over in the sedition trial of two members.
- It’s too ‘politically incorrect’ for the jury, says a lawyer for defendant Dominic Pezzola.
- The manual sets masturbation limits and includes lyrics to a Broadway-inspired sing-along anthem.
A heated battle broke out at the Proud Boys sedition trial on Monday over an internal “initiation ceremony manual” that the federal government wants to show to jurors, but which a defense lawyer says is too “politically incorrect” to be in evidence.
The manual was seized by the government via search warrant two years ago, but was only just made public, according new court papers in the US District Court trial in Washington, DC.
It details how a Proud Boys chapter leader must run the group’s meetings, or “meet ups.” It includes the required language for calling meetings to order and a required reading from Pat Buchanan’s “The Death of the West,” which calls on “Western Man” to stop apologizing to “race racketeers” about slavery and colonization.
The Anti-Defamation League considers the Proud Boys a violent, right-wing extremist group whose members commonly engage in misogynistic, Islamaphobic, transphobic, and anti-immigration rhetoric.
The manual instructs Proud Boys on which order to offer such drinking toasts as, “To guns,” “To housewives,” and, “to the greatest civilization on earth and the men who built it.”
It also describes the extremist group’s rules and ideas, including a committement to “rebuilding the patriarchy” and the belief that, “All other cultures are not merely different than us. They are worse.”
Oddly, the manual includes the lyrics to “Proud of Your Boy,” a heartfelt solo, sung by the Genie character to his mother, from the Broadway musical “Aladdin.”
Apparently, the Proud Boys see the ballad as “our anthem.”
“It is healthy to sing our anthem at least once a night but this isn’t always possible,” the manual tells novice Proud Boys leaders before helpfully providing the words for any sing-alongs.
“Ideally, we seek out venues that have a jukebox with this song available,” the manual advises.
But as proud as the defendants may be of their strange rituals, a defense motion seeking to bar the manual from being shown to jurors acknowledges that “The document is riddled with politically incorrect remarks and assertions which would cause most or many Americans to recoil in anger, hatred and disgust.”
An excerpt from a Proud Boys defense motion filed January 23, 2023 in US District Court in Washington, DC.
“The document is bizarre and humorous in some places, and intensely politically incorrect in others,” wrote the lawyer for Pezzola, who is accused of using a forcibly-stolen Capitol Police riot shield to break the first window into the Capitol.
While defense lawyers claim the document is unsigned, unauthenticated, and, ultimately, irrelevant, lawyers for the Department of Justice have countered that the document’s 11 pages demonstrate Pezzola’s knowledge and state of mind while at the Capitol.
But the fight over the “initiation ceremony manual” appears to have led to the first airing of an an internal, “How to” for actually running a Proud Boys meeting.
The manual veers wildly among topics, at one point giving meticulous dress advice — “a recommended shoe is the black Red Wing classic moccasin toe boot” — in the same paragraph as it vows “This is about taking our civilization back. This is about rebuilding patriarchy.”
But the first four pages stick to how to run a meeting, including this requirement: “Before the meeting begins, clear the area of all women” and of all non-Proud Boys.
Two guards are to monitor “the perimeter,” the manual instructs, as the “brother in charge” leads the meeting with a series of recitations and “toasts,” including, “to the housewives that create human life, shape it, and build the communities in which we live.”
The final toast is more of a threat.
“To the parasites both on the streets and in the White House who want to attack us and take what we earn,” it begins. “To the trespassers who want to attack us and take what we earn. To the trespassers who want to sabotage our culture our family and our way of life.
“You want a war?” it continues. “Well, you’ve got one. To all of our enemies both high and low.”
At that point the Proud Boys members are to shout, “Bring it on!”