When his tour of duty ended as a US Army sniper, another calling pulled at Joseph Moore. For ten years, the US Army veteran lived a secret double life in service for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to help expose members of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK), only to discover that men in uniform had also participated in spreading hate.

The Ku Klux Klan is no stranger to Americans. Originating in 1865 during the wake of the American Civil War, the Klan has known to be one of the most extremist white supremacist terrorist hate groups in modern history. With White nationalism at its forefront, the KKK targets minorities such as African Americans, Jews, Latinos, Asian Americans, Muslims, and homosexuals, to name a few.

Joining the Ku Klux Klan

Joseph Moore looks out of a window at his home in Florida.(2021) (AP Photo/Robert Bumsted).

He was first approached by the FBI in 2007 when he was asked to join a KKK group called the United Northern and Southern Knights of the KKK in Florida. The FBI had wanted him to infiltrate the group to gain intelligence about their activities and expose law enforcement officers who were part of the extremist group.

Seeing that he could no longer take the hate, Moore worked for the FBI and joined the KKK as a double agent. He felt that he still could serve his country well by fighting domestic terrorists. In a way, he was continuing his passion for serving in a different and very clandestine manner. Yes, he participated in everything that the Klan would do.

He attended cross burnings and secret meetings and wore those white robes and hoods. To fit in with these people, he started adopting their mannerisms and words, except those that were insulting and had racial slurs in them, as he avoided adopting racist ideologies. Little did the Klan know that he was wearing something else—a wire for the FBI, sometimes recording his klansmen to stop hate crimes, mainly in North Florida. One of the problems undercover agents encounter is the tendency to get too close to the groups they have infiltrated and participate in illegal activities.

It was tough for him to see police officers who were Klan members engaging in hate activities that they were supposed to stop as law enforcement officers. Moore discovered that numerous LEOs were directly involved with the KKK, Often when they retired, they remained active in Klan activities.

Nobody knew about his double life, not even his wife or children. He had to keep it a secret as it would put his loved ones in danger if his family were to know. He didn’t want to lie to his family, but ultimately he had to. However, Moore didn’t do a perfect job at it as his wife became suspicious, and he had to own up to his spy work. More so, he took her to klan meetings and activities, putting her at risk. This was where the FBI would cut ties with him as he was considered compromised.

A Renewed Connection

Members of the Church of the American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan march around the Madison County Courthouse, 1999 (NBC News). Source: https://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/jewish-center-shootings/kansas-jewish-center-shootings-reveal-new-dangers-lone-wolves-n81331
Members of the Church of the American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan march around the Madison County Courthouse, 1999 (Rogelio Solis/AP/NBC News)

These severed ties wouldn’t last long as Joseph Moore would soon be called up again by the FBI to infiltrate another KKK group, the Traditionalist American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. Eventually, he would become a Grand Knight Hawk in 2013. Because of his build and military background, he became the security head of the group, which means that he was in charge of preventing someone like him from getting inside the Klan..

Moore would meet the chapter’s Exalted Cyclops Charles Newcomb, a prison guard, at a cross burning. The two had talked, and Newcomb revealed that he wanted to kill a black inmate, Warren Williams, who had fought another KKK member within the prison named Thoman Driver. Joined by another prison guard named Sgt. David Moran, the three wanted revenge on Williams and wanted him dead.

To gain Newcomb’s trust, Moore would latch onto Newcomb socially and become good friends. The two hung out together over beers discussed their careers and life problems as the murder of Williams was planned. Of course, the FBI was already informed by Moore, who recorded the three men for months on end.

The FBI staged the killing of Williams, which was then photographed and videoed to be shown to clan members and obtain their insights, effectively tying all of them to the planned murder as accessories. Upon hatching the plan, he discovered a growing membership of KKK members within correctional facilities, prisons, and even medical centers that were affiliated with prisons. He alleged these places were hotbeds for recruiters, a claim that Florida’s Department of Corrections vehemently denies.

He would then testify in the murder conspiracy, exposing him to the public and making the US Army veteran the number 1 target for Klansmen. He now had to change his name in 2018 after a decade of working for the FBI and lost tons of friends as they thought he had become a Klan member and were unsure of his testimony being voluntary or was because he was also caught by the FBI and became an informant. Some were also upset because he had to embellish his military record to gain the trust and confidence of the Klan.

Today, Joseph Moore lives with his family somewhere in Florida in constant fear of being killed by the Klan and claims that members have found his new home and uncovered his new name, leaving him vulnerable to whatever violence that may ensue in the future.  Some of the people he put in prison are due to be released and Moore has the very real fear that they will seek revenge against him.  His home is equipped with motion-activated cameras and he goes everywhere carrying a firearm.  Moore still believes that the Florida Department of Corrections and its local police and county sheriffs have a larger problem with KKK members in the ranks than they are willing to admit to. Moore now lives in the same shadows that once shrouded the activities of the Klan members he investigated.