A member of a group that trolled trucker convoy protests by spamming them with a gay porn song infiltrated and took over a private chat protesters used to communicate and strategize.
In recent weeks, truckers and people sympathetic to them have protested Canada’s requirements for truckers entering from the United States to either be vaccinated for COVID-19 or get tested and possibly quarantined. The trucker convoys converged in the Canadian capital and have also since spread to other cities and countries. The effort has attracted international attention, millions of dollars of donations, and astroturf support, while generating controversy and conspiracy theories.
Last week, a protest in Windsor, Canada blocked a vital border crossing with the United States.
A group of people frustrated with the protesters have taken to trolling them by posting “Ram Ranch,” Grant MacDonald’s song about gay cowboys, on protesters’ social media channels and group chats. They’ve come to be known as the Ram Ranch Resistance.
Last week, Teagan McLean decided to infiltrate the Windsor protesters’ Zello channel. On Monday, McLean told the Daily Dot that he accomplished a one-man coup in a matter of days. In that time, he said he was able to sow division, create confusion, and convince some of the protesters to leave peacefully before the authorities forced them to disperse on Friday.
“Joined on Monday as untrusted user and by Friday 6:30 I had full control and shut down their communication network half an hour before police moved,” McLean said.
McLean sent the Daily Dot screenshots showing him as the moderator of the channel. Tweets posted last week also reference his handle.
McLean said he was inspired by a Facebook group, Questioning Plague Spreaders In Windsor Essex, that he joined in the early days of the pandemic. For the last few years, he wasn’t active beyond reading posts. Then people started discussing the trucker protests and the Ram Ranch Resistance infiltrating protesters’ Zello channels and spamming them with a song that includes such lyrics as, “18 naked cowboys in the showers at Ram Ranch! Big, hard, throbbing cocks wanting to be sucked! 18 naked cowboys wanting to be fucked!”
“OK, well this is funny,” he thought. He hadn’t felt strongly about the protest in the Canadian capital, opining that they’d “overstayed their welcome,” but blocking the border was a bridge too far for him.
“What they did in Windsor, blocking an international border, that to me is domestic terrorism,” McLean said. Also, he said, “I was just bored.”
So McLean downloaded Zello and reached out to people who’d also infiltrated the protesters online. They messed with the Zello channel, Windsor Convoy 2, a bit for laughs. At the same time, they wondered how to shut it down.
McLean found a way. He swiftly gained the protesters’ trust and became a moderator of the channel. To facilitate these efforts, he also took it upon himself to meet one of the local protest leaders in person, he said.
McLean then started pitting other moderators against one another and turning supporters against the moderators. This was “easy.”
“It was quite funny,” he said.
Late last week, some moderators did a major purge of the channel in the hopes of eradicating the opposition. In a separate, password-protected channel, they strategized about how to keep the Ram Ranch Resistance out.
McLean seized the moment. He already had two moderators in open conflict about how best to proceed. It was easy to get everyone to agree to his plan: He’d start a new channel. “Convoy for our freedom Windsor” was thus born.
He invited a dozen people to join. In minutes, there were 400 subscribers. An hour after launch, it was up to 1,300, he said.
McLean had complete control. He’d allowed other resistors into the channel, so leaks continued. Screenshots and recordings circulated widely, to members’ consternation.
Twitter user @daisy_luc, whom McLean had reached out to at the beginning of his quest, regularly updated people on what was going on in the channel.
People started using things from the channel to identify those suspected of being part of the protest. Screenshots show that protesters reacted by warning one another to take preventative measures.
Try as they might, no one was able to identify the spy in their midst.
McLean also created chaos by pretending to know what protesters needed at the in-person protests, figuring the potentially unnecessary items showing up unexpectedly would be just one more complication. He also tried to encourage them to take their children home, and to heed warnings from the authorities.
It worked. Some of the hardliners weren’t willing to budge. But others’ resolve began to falter.
“A lot of them were getting scared. A lot of them were packing up and going,” he said.
He said that the protesters and their supporters didn’t have a cohesive goal or mission. When pressed, they couldn’t really give him a straight answer about why they supported the protest, he said. He said that fewer than 10 were actually truckers.
Simultaneously, the conflict was playing out in the Canadian courts, which on Friday would decide whether police could arrest those blocking the border.
As the clock wound down to when the court would issue its ruling, McLean made preparations for the great reveal. He added some Ram Ranchers as moderators so they could watch it all unfold. Then he took away everyone else’s moderator privileges.
Late Friday afternoon, the court issued an injunction allowing police to clear out the protesters who’d blocked Ambassador Bridge. The judge gave them a couple hours to leave of their own volition.
It was time.
“It’s come to my attention that this group has been infiltrated,” McLean announced on Zello. “They set out to have one goal in mind and the goal kind of worked. Worked its way in the inner circle.”
“And,” he chuckled, “it actually worked. I didn’t actually think it was going to work. It was kind of a little too easy if I’m being quite honest.”
Then he hit play and the opening strains of “Ram Ranch” began. The great reveal was recorded and posted on YouTube.
“You guys, like I was saying, are nitwits. You trust too easily…” McLean said, turning the song down.
“Ram Ranch Resistance!”
Other Ram Ranchers piled on. “Get fucked you losers!” “Medic, that’s fucking amazing.” “Some of them don’t understand that their mods are Ram Ranch.”
“How does it feel to have the Ram Ranch Resistance control your communications?” McLean said.
His plan worked even better than he could’ve imagined. On Monday, he was still feeling elated by the victory. “I became Twitter famous in the matter of six hours,” he said.
McLean says that others have reached out to him for advice on how to infiltrate other trucker convoys online.
Now he’s set his eyes on a bigger prize: the Ottawa protest.
“It was too easy to do this,” he said. “It was just comedy gold.”
This post has been updated.
Read more about the far right
|Donation site used by Freedom Convoy suffers 3rd data leak in two weeks|
|A fake company duping trans people into joining a documentary appears to be the work of the Daily Wire’s Matt Walsh|
|‘It was too easy’: How a spy from the Ram Ranch resistance infiltrated and seized anti-vax trucker chat rooms|
|Marjorie Taylor Greene tries to call Capitol Police the ‘Gestapo,’ says ‘gazpacho’ instead|
|Sign up to receive the Daily Dot’s Internet Insider newsletter for urgent news from the frontline of online.|