May 22, 2024 The Newspaper Serving LGBT Los Angeles

Navy SEAL Under Investigation for Extremist Ties, Anti-LGBTQ+ Activity

Former Marine’s Alleged Involvement with Proud Boys Uncovered

By Dolores Quintana

A former Marine now serving as a Navy SEAL operator, Chief Special Warfare Operator Bryce Henson, is being scrutinized for alleged ties to extremist groups, including the Proud Boys. This revelation surfaced after local reporters, activists, and major media outlets exposed Henson’s participation in various protests and events across Southern California.

Navy spokesman Cmdr. Ben Tisdale confirmed the investigation into Henson, responding to allegations of potential involvement in or support for extremist causes as reported by Military.com. Henson gained prominence over the past year, attending protests, school board meetings, and city council gatherings, where he advocated anti-LGBTQ+ views under the alias “Ben Richards,” often alongside members of the Proud Boys.

The alias is the same as the name of the character played by Arnold Schwarzenegger in the 1987 movie, “The Running Man.” 

Tisdale emphasized that while sailors have the right to freedom of speech and assembly within legal and policy boundaries, association with hate or extremist groups contradicts Navy core values and is not tolerated within Navy Special Warfare.

The Pentagon’s guidelines, updated in December 2021, outline prohibited activities for service members, explicitly detailing what constitutes extremist behavior and “active participation.” The rules also include “advocating widespread unlawful discrimination” based on gender identity or sexual orientation as extremist activity.

Using the pseudonym Ben Richards, Henson founded “SoCal Parent Advocates” online. However, his activities, reported to involve pushing anti-transgender rhetoric, have been identified in reporting as Henson. He justified the use of a fake name initially for safety reasons but admitted to using it now as a means of ridiculing transgender individuals.

The “SoCal Parent Advocates” Instagram account posts the dates, times, and locations of school board meetings in different areas, urging his followers to attend. The post states, “Lets crush! Peacefully, legally, effectively!” and lists school board meetings in Yucaipa-Calimesa, Redlands, Temecula, Newhall, and Chino. Henson, aka Richards, is a Navy Seal on duty in San Diego, CA. 

Military.com confirmed Henson’s service in the Marines for over four years before joining the Navy.

Henson’s presence at various events, documented by photojournalist Kelly Stuart, revealed associations with the Proud Boys and instances of disruptive behavior. Activists and reporters, after uncovering social media clues, identified Henson as the individual using the pseudonym “Ben Richards.”

Since January, Henson has become a regular participant in protests, public hearings, and school board sessions throughout Southern California, raising concerns about potential extremist affiliations within military ranks.

in NEWS
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