Chad Daybell-Linked End-Times Website Appears on List of Alleged Extreme Antigovernment Groups

August 26, 2020

By Kaelyn Forde

An end-times preparedness website on which Chad Daybell wrote appears on a list of 576 anti-government groups identified by the Southern Poverty Law Center, a nonprofit that tracks extremist activity nationwide. Before he was arrested and charged in the disappearance and deaths of his wife's two children, Chad regularly wrote on Latter-day Saints AVOW.

The site's stated mission is "to help the saints begin to prepare" for the second coming of Jesus Christ, and it describes itself as "a whole community dedicated to preparedness and spiritual insights," with 13,000 members. Access to the forum is restricted to those members, who pay a fee to enter.

Rigby, Idaho-based AVOW appears in the Southern Poverty Law Center's 2019 report on anti-government extremism, which identified it as one of 576 groups that generally "define themselves as opposed to the 'New World Order,' engage in groundless conspiracy theorizing, or advocate or adhere to extreme antigovernment doctrines."

"Listing here does not imply that the groups themselves advocate or engage in violence or other criminal activities or are racist," the organization added.

Even after the disappearance of his wife's two children, Joshua "JJ" Vallow and Tylee Ryan, a message claiming to be from Chad was posted on his behalf by a user identified as the site's owner and webmaster, Christopher Parrett.

In the post, which was shared with Inside Edition Digital in February, Chad called the situation he and his second wife, Lori Vallow Daybell, faced over her missing children "a legal mess" he "will be back" from.

The message was posted Feb. 10, less than two weeks before Lori was arrested in Hawaii on felony charges of deserting JJ and Tylee, according to a screenshot of the post shared with Inside Edition Digital.

"Lori and I have been absolutely silent for three months. I am constrained by my lawyers from saying more until the legal mess is complete, but be assured I will be back," the message from Chad read, in part. "Hopefully the subscribers will be there when I can fully return to GRI [an AVOW forum] and tell my experiences. I appreciate your support."

The February message had an introduction written by Parrett, which referenced the controversy surrounding the couple.

"Over the past week I have been forwarding many of the accusations that have been leveled against Chad Daybell to him and asking for a 'Public' comment. He replied back to me this morning with a short text message. This is an EDITED copy of what he sent me. I have removed content that ought not to be shared in public until his legal issues are resolved. Like it or not, Anything he says in public can and will be used against him," Parrett wrote.

In another AVOW post titled "Vindicated" that was shared with Inside Edition Digital, Parrett wrote that "Chad and Lori called me tonight and we spoke for almost a full hour. Finally they were able to lay out the ENTIRE SAGA from their side of the story. From the beginning all the way to today. And I am here to tell you I feel TOTALLY VINDICATED in standing up for Chad."

Parrett defended the couple in another AVOW post, writing: "Yes, there is a plan, and [Chad and Lori] are following it through to the end. Yes, there really is compelling reason for them NOT to offer up a photo or video or voice recording of either of the kids. Yes, I still stand by all my previous comments that the kids are just fine, alive and well."

But investigators believe the children were killed and buried on Chad's land shortly after they were last seen in September 2019, months before the posts by Chad and Parrett on AVOW.

Chad was arrested on June 9 after JJ and Tylee's remains were discovered on his land. Shortly after, Parrett and his wife, Sue Parrett, told Utah-based KTSU they felt terrible and had no idea that the kids were dead, adding that their hearts and prayers were with the family and that they had nothing to do with the case.

"Obviously, Chad lied to us," the couple told the channel at the time.

Parrett later posted a lengthy statement about the case on AVOW, a screenshot of which was obtained and published by KTSU, in which he said he had met with law enforcement officers for three hours at his home following Chad's arrest to try to help them in their investigation.

"I made it very clear to them that they are 100% welcome on AVOW and in my home, and that I will do everything in my power to help them bring this horrible series of events to a timely conclusion just as quickly as possible," Parrett wrote in the post.

"Once again, I offer up my personal apology to any and all that I may have hurt in my over-zealous defense of Chad. I was oh so very wrong. May the Lord have mercy on the souls of those two children, and forgive me for my foolishness," Parrett added.  

Parrett did not respond to Inside Edition Digital's request for comment about the Daybell case or AVOW's appearance on the Southern Poverty Law Center's list.

Chad is set to go on trial in Fremont County, Idaho in January after pleading not guilty to felony charges of willfully destroying, concealing or altering evidence and conspiracy to commit destruction, alteration or concealment of evidence of JJ and Tylee's remains. Chad has denied all allegations of wrongdoing.

Lori is scheduled to be arraigned on Sept. 10 on felony charges of conspiracy to commit destruction, alteration or concealment of evidence in Fremont County. She is also scheduled to go on trial on misdemeanor charges of resisting and obstructing an officer, solicitation of a crime and contempt in nearby Madison County in January. Lori has previously pleaded not guilty and denied all allegations of wrongdoing.

Separately, Chad and Lori are currently under investigation by the Idaho Attorney General's office for "conspiracy, attempted murder and/or murder" in the death of Chad's first wife, Tammy, who died in October 2019, weeks before Chad and Lori married.

The Chandler, Arizona police department has also said Lori remains a person of interest in the July 2019 shooting death of her fourth husband, Charles Vallow, and could be charged with conspiracy to commit murder in that case.

Chad and Lori remain in jail on $1 million bond.

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