John Paul Cupp is such a minor figure that we almost feel bad for covering him, but we sort of have to. In 2003 Cupp, as Chairman of the newly established Songun Politics Study Group USA, apparently received the official endorsement of the North Korean government (“We are very pleased to have a revolutionary organization and comrades like you in the land of the United States, the bulwark of imperialism and determined to further the relationship with you in depth”), and he subsequently avowed his loyalty to the North Korean regime. “My personal opinion,” said Cupp, “is that great leader Comrade Kim Il Sung and Dear Leader Comrade Kim Jong Il are the two greatest human beings in the entire history of the world. For us, it would be impossible to even wake up in the morning should we lose the ability to cherish them.” North Korea promptly presented Cupp, who at the time was a homeless 22-year old living under a highway in Portland, as a prominent public figure, and he visited North Korea at least once as an official guest. His political views seem later to have evolved into embracing white supremacy (including expressing support for “Aryan hero Lee Harvey Oswald” and Timothy McVeigh), Islamic Jihadists, virulent anti-Semitism, and support for launching domestic terrorism to achieve the armed overthrow of the U.S. government. “Long live the White race! Long live the communist revolution!” said Cupp. He later also converted to Islam and changed his name to Wahid Yayah Cupp. In 2011 he was then booted from his group over his evolving political views, which were extreme enough to draw the pointed but gentle rebuke of Pyongyang directly. The group has later been headed by Jason Adam Tonis, who has tried to renounce the racist elements but is still wonderfully lunatic.
Other American, “prominent public figures” who have expressed their deep support for North Korea include Cupp’s allies, radical anti-semitis lunatics Kevin Walsh and Ziad Shaker al-Jishi, as well as white supremacist James Porrazzo and Joshua Caleb Sutter, founder of the Rural People’s Party (RPP), which embraces both Kim Il Sung’s Juche ideology and that of Jim Jones in addition to white supremacism. Sutter and his wife Jillian Hoy have apparently adopted additional new identities of Hindu Hare Krishna priests to herald a cleansing of the earth as the pivotal factor in a worldwide annihilation, from which a new Golden Age will be launched. There is also an American chapter of the Korean Friendship Association.
You can read the whole and remarkable story of these people here. It’s well worth it.
Diagnosis: Fringe lunatics with little to no influence, of course, but there is always the non-negligible fear that they will end up hurting someone.