I never forgot Julian Assange pointing out that men who go to the greatest lengths to posture themselves as pro-feminist, often turn out to be raging misogynists.
The Harvey Weinstein scandal had erupted into the mainstream that month and ‘feminist superstar’ Hillary Clinton, for whom Weinstein had been a major benefactor, was sitting silent in the face of the global outrage.
Julian was among the first to call out her hypocrisy and went on to compose a series of tweets sharing links to a string of despicable male ‘feminist’ activists who had gone on to be exposed for horrific crimes against women, including stalking, sexual crimes and murder.
(To take a walk down memory lane for a full view of Julian’s thoughts on this subject, the series of tweets that display in this Twitter search result are Julian’s own, and this is verifiable by searching them on Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine)
Julian’s warnings about duplicitous men in activism movements are ringing in my ears. Seemingly unrelated events, with the benefit of hindsight, soon can be seen to contain common threads.
Even in the silence of his unjust and brutal incarceration, his foresight echoes through the years.
As an at-risk journalist and activist, I’m pretty conscious about my security. I keep a very tight circle of long-time colleagues and friends, and am hyperaware regarding the communications I have with people and how they can be (and have been) grossly misrepresented by malignant parties.
So it’s not often I find myself on the phone chatting to someone who is a total stranger to me. But back in February of this year, I found myself in precisely that position.
The reason I didn’t hang up immediately was because I thought I was on speakerphone, talking to a group of activists I’d been trying to support, as I have done for many others before them. Unbeknownst to me, the stranger had taken me off speakerphone, and walked away from the group, physically removing my voice from them.
At no point in the conversation was I informed that I was no longer audible to the group, or that I was now engaged in a one-on-one exchange with the stranger. So I continued to speak in full expectation that all could hear what I was saying.
The particulars of what I said would later become a bone of contention, when the stranger returned to the group and made ludicrous allegations of me having said things to him that I never did. He invented phrases out of whole cloth and ascribed them to me. It was a set-up, plain and simple.
How did this all come about? The method was both sinister and yet oddly transparent: The stranger had a clear obsession with excluding one person from the group – a founding member – and was hell bent on doing so. At the point at which he commandeered the phone and eradicated any possibility of witnesses being in earshot, I had already earned his ire by trying to reason with the group, warning them that mountains were being made out of molehills, and urging them to stay focused on their activism and not fall victim to petty infighting.
But the stranger was adamant. His nemesis had to go.
The focus of his obsession? Independent journalist Taylor Hudak.
The stranger’s name is Dack Rouleau.
The Plot Thickens
In subsequent weeks and months, the group in question – known as Action4Assange, a US-based grassroots team of street and online activists in support of WikiLeaks – began highlighting further concerns with Dack Rouleau’s behavior, including myriad activity that was clearly methodical and consistent with the types of sabotage operations inflicted upon countless other issue-motivated groups.
I counseled them not to rise to the provocations, for the key metric of effective sabotage is the ability of the provocateur to successfully garner attention and divert it; to usurp resources; to make chaos of organising spaces. To respond is only to invite a counter response, and a counter response, and a counter response.
I warned them that outing individual saboteurs is rarely worth the time invested. Such bottom feeders are too easily replaced by their puppet masters and usually operating as part of a team, be it seen or unseen. Directly confronting them can easily become whack-a-mole.
Ironically, no one is more willing to hang a saboteur out to dry than their employer. To the agencies, informants are expendable, cheap and often short-lived. Their handlers are called such, because they consider themselves to be herding animals. Infiltrators usually have a 5-year max before their usefulness expires or they are reassigned, and that’s the ones that aren’t burned sooner. For the agencies, the mantra of ‘deniability’ is all-important. Any informant that compromises their cover, or turns out to be a bull in a china shop, is swiftly dispensed with and another simply assigned to their place. It’s the hydra heads. Chop one off and two more show up.
So time and time again I cautioned Action4Asssange to just keep their eyes on the prize and off their detractors.
There was however, one caveat to my advice, and it was only to be enacted upon the supremely rare occasion when a group obtains overwhelming, irrefutable evidence of the nefarious activities of infiltrators. In that event, if the group can present the facts in a linear fashion within a workable timeframe and in such a way that the preponderance of evidence is simply undeniable by even the fiercest skeptic, a sliver of hope does emerge for the group to substantively emancipate themselves from the weary chains of a continued and aggressive campaign by a clearly hostile force.
To my great surprise, this week that opportunity arrived.
It’s been the best of times and the worst of times for independent journalist Taylor Hudak. On the ground in London, England for a full month to cover the extradition hearings of WikiLeaks founder and publisher Julian Assange, she has been working every minute of the day producing her best live broadcast coverage to date and being deservedly lauded for it.
Unfortunately, she is also being cyberstalked and smeared, while she does it. The nature of the cyberstalking grows progressively more menacing on a daily basis, demonstrating a clear intent to both damage her reputation and to simultaneously terrify her, while drawing other friends of hers into a web of digital abuse, myself included.
The latest episode started with a few anomalous DM’s I received, featuring a couple of pictures of killer clowns, some ominous text, and a few broken clocks.
The account’s profile page showed it was newly created, was following 30 people and had 0 followers.
Seems almost innocuous really, juvenile even. Like someone who possessed a vague concept of how to scare someone lacked the intelligence or finesse to really pull it off, but was doing their best despite their shortcomings.
As I always do when I receive threatening material or harassment, I immediately made it public.
Taylor Hudak soon realized she was receiving the very same DM’s as I was, and tweeted about it.
Having made public that we were receiving the messages, I didn’t think any further action was required as it initially didn’t occur to me to dig any deeper. I’m so conditioned to receiving threats in various forms, that I’ve got to the point where I literally yawn when I receive them.
These particular messages came across as very, very low grade, low rent efforts. But the ineptitude of the mosaic they created extends beyond stylistic deficiencies. Touching base the next day, Taylor, myself, Kitty Hundal and others unearthed information that has led to the complete unravelling of the year-long scorched earth campaign against not only Taylor Hudak, but Action4Assange.
For whether subconscious or not, the architect of the account left traceable tells as to their true identity.
The disassembling of the cyberstalking started off with one small crack in the facade.
“That’s the clown from the IT movie”, Taylor said.
“Oh, really?” I said, passingly interested but still not realizing there was any greater significance. I detest horror movies and never watch them. I find them vapid wastes of time. Once you’ve been exposed to enough real trauma, projected fantasies of theoretic trauma seem intellectually vacant, pointless, vicarious exercises by the emotionally underdeveloped.
To me, the murderous clown pictures were just twisted fascinations of a broken mind, and nothing more.
I was wrong. They were a signature.
“Dack always has ‘Stephen King’s IT’ prominently displayed on his bookshelf behind him whenever he appears on video” Taylor said.
She soon provided screenshots to verify this.
Sure enough, positioned directly over his right shoulder, is ‘IT’.
Kitty, Taylor and I decided to give Dack the benefit of the doubt. It could, after all, have simply been a coincidence or there could have been a reasonable explanation.
We checked his tweet history, to see if there was any further context.
We hit the motherlode. According to Dack, he idolized Stephen King.
He also has a penchant for horror films. He has even written blogposts about them.
He refers to his “adolescent fascination with violence.”
He lauds ‘The Shining’ – a Kubrick film based on a book by Stephen King. The plot surrounds a man going crazy in an isolated environment, stalking, terrorizing and repeatedly attempting to kill his wife and child.
Speaking of terrorizing women, at the exact same time as we were performing this research, Taylor and myself were receiving new images from the cyberstalker account.
I suppose it is debatable whether the above image – of a ghost straddling a girl in bed – is in itself strictly misogynistic (although unquestionably perverted). However, sending such images to women, with cruel intent, is clearly a misogynistic act.
I started to get the sense that I was missing something significant. I went back to the profile page of the cyberstalker account, and took a close look at the quote displayed in the banner.
“Are you unhappy, my dear?”
A quick search revealed this to be a line from none other than Ayn Rand’s ‘The Fountainhead’.
I’ve never trusted anyone who promotes Ayn Rand. The ultimate misogynist, her treatises on the importance of placing self over others and her dogma of ends-justifies-means are innately repellant to me.
Her texts serve as ideological cover for the selfish and the intellectually inferior. It is no surprise that she has been cited as guru to many in the executive of agencies and institutions who perpetrate grand larceny and wage war across the globe.
Her work is celebrated by Rush Limbaugh.
Alan Greenspan too.
We checked Dack’s tweet history again, looking for any references to Rand.
Not only does Dack express regret that Rand and of all people the Marquis de Sade (another prolific and abject misogynist) aren’t remembered more favorably, but he advocates that “everyone should read at least one of Sade’s books and one of Rand’s” then specifically names none other than ‘The Fountainhead.’
Well versed in just how complex and convoluted agency-backed targeting operations can be, I briefly entertained the notion that perhaps this all was too obvious. Knowing that there was beef between Dack, myself and various members of Action4Assange, perhaps an agency could seek to capitalize on that by creating harassment accounts that would trace back to him.
Had everything which I’ve discussed so far been the sum total of our concerns, I would put more stock in that option.
However, Dack’s problematic activities haven’t just been restricted to online harassment of female activists via creepy anonymous accounts.
He has in fact, been engaged in even more risky behaviors that constitute a clear and present danger to activists who come into contact with him.
Taking back the information we found to members of Action4Assange who had previously expressed concern about Dack, they each prepared a short statement outlining the following:
- How they first came into contact with Dack
- What they personally witnessed
- The effects upon themselves and their group
Dack Rouleau’s Victims Speak
1. Andrew’s Statement
Andrew Smith is the co-Founder of Action4Assange, alongside Taylor Hudak. The following is his testimony about his experiences with Dack Rouleau:
“I first became highly suspicious of Dack and his intentions, when we met in person for the first time before the taping of my interview on Lee Camp’s ‘Redacted Tonight VIP’. Dack spent a lot of time insulting and belittling Taylor Hudak’s work and specifically trying to make a point of drama centered around her reporting of statements by political candidates in the 2019-2020 Democratic primary. After the taping, Dack began acting in a way which could only be described as artificially angry about not having his name mentioned on the television interview. His anger was short lived that day, but the same theme of ‘Taylor took credit for my work’ repeated often, including in the first round of DC protests in February 2020 where he was fueling constant internal drama to try to create rifts among the Action4Assange crew and hosts.
There was much that transpired in between the January interview and our February actions in Washington DC. Most notably, this included trying to smear the Action4Assange #FreeAssangeVigil. He would often send out nasty tweets about the hosts and program while we were live on the air – and even while he himself was appearing as a guest.
My two most major points of concern, and truly the only reason I am writing this statement at all, is because of commentary made while in DC during the February 2020 round of protests. Firstly, Dack repeatedly tried to get me to say that I would support doxxing/public disclosure of information about political figures involved in Julian Assange’s trial. As a matter of solid principle I view doxxing as an overt form of violence and have had loved ones (in the past) personally attacked via the same tactic.
Secondly, during that same week of actions in Washington DC, Dack initiated a semi-private conversation with me (in the vicinity of two credible others) about specifically using violence to target the Judge ruling over Julian’s case to “make a political statement for the next judge”. This conversation became extended and he reframed the question multiple times in an attempt to entrap me into saying I would commit, condone or assist in the assassination of a Judge for political gain. I do not and will never see, use, facilitate, perpetuate or condone violence as a means to an end. Violence begets violence, and I exist to make peace.
Having personal knowledge and experience in situations in which infiltrating agents have moved individuals within groups to violent ends in order to facilitate arrests [Editor’s note: Andrew is referring to the #NoNATO Chicago activists who were entrapped by FBI informants and jailed as a result] I was able to identify and call out in real time, while he was asking these questions, where this line of questioning was coming from and the goals an individual would have in asking such questions to the leader of a group of political activists.
While other events do exist separate from this time which continued to raise alarms for me, such as: a smear video Dack made against me; Dack repeatedly saying Taylor Hudak was engaged in ‘enemy action’; attacking us at the launch of the GoFundMe for round 2 of our Washington DC actions; Dack’s claims that the FBI was called on him; his comments about violence specifically being worded as a ‘political statement’; are just to name a few. Together, these incidents sealed for me that he is not just an idiot, but also a provocateur with the goal of ending Action4Assange.” – Andrew Zigemund
2. Steve’s Statement
Steve Poikonen is a co-host of Action4Assange. The following is his testimony about his experiences with Dack Rouleau:
“I was introduced to Dack on a Free Assange Vigil in October of 2019. He turned a political disagreement with another guest into a personal attack that carried over onto both his and her (the other guest’s) social media and his blog. I met him in person during a week of demonstrations and events after a successful crowdfunding effort. Action4Assange went to Washington DC and London during the first week of Julian Assange’s rendition hearing. Midway through the week, Dack asked both Andrew and myself how we felt about doxxing key figures in the prosecution of Julian Assange. He spent an inordinate amount of time encouraging conflict between the group in DC and Taylor Hudak, who had flown to London to cover the hearing on the ground there. Later in the week I overheard him ask Andrew if he thought it was justifiable to “blow up the judge to make a political statement”. Andrew made it clear that he didn’t condone violence, and that what he had just been asked was the kind of thing that gets people thrown in prison. Dack pressed on. “But, what if you knew you wouldn’t get caught?”. Andrew reiterated that he didn’t condone violence. I chimed in at that point in agreement with Andrew. The subject was dropped and raised again in a post-DC meeting, resulting in a series of smear articles and videos made by Dack. The social media attacks have continued throughout the year and are ongoing- despite no one from Action4Assange engaging with him or discussing any of these events in public. Dack’s presence took hours upon hours of time away from our activism, threatened friendships, ended a couple, and has caused much undue stress on the original founders of Action4Assange, Andrew Smith and Taylor Hudak, as well as our key organizing team for on-the-ground activism.” – Steve Poikonen
3. Kimber’s Statement
Kimber Maddox is a co-producer of Action4Assange. The following is her testimony about her experiences with Dack Rouleau:
“I first became aware of Dack Rouleau during the Democratic primaries when he was pressing candidates to vocalize their position on Julian Assange. I believed the work he was doing was incredibly important and admirable, so I started following him. I formally met him in the days leading up to our A4A protests in DC. It wasnt until a few days into our trip that I started picking up on a lot of tension surrounding Dack. particularly with one of the Action4Assange cohosts, Taylor Hudak. He would accuse her of stealing his work for her own gain and insult her character. Unfortunately while we were in DC and Taylor was in London, some conflict and misunderstandings arose and it left Taylor playing defensive against our entire group. Andrew was not on board with the talk of replacing Taylor and wanted all of us to have a meeting to hash out our grievances. Dack was not agreeable, and was looking to push Taylor out so that Dack could subsequently take over her role as cohost on the A4A vigils. During this time Dack would repeatedly refer to Taylor as “the enemy” and would add fuel to the fire whenever conflict resolution would be brought up. I had arranged a phone call with Suzie Dawson to help us navigate our internal drama with our friend, and only realized much later that the phone call had been hijacked by Dack. He took Suzie off speaker phone and walked away from the group, something Suzie was unware of, and came back in a very hostile mood. He was shaking in anger and slamming his fist on the bar claiming Suzie had said he was jealous of Taylor. Suzie denies ever saying such things, but the damage had already been done. I felt terrible for thinking I had made things worse.
Several days later, I overheard a conversation taking place where Dack was repeatedly asking Andrew how he would feel about enacting violence on Julian Assange’s judge. Andrew was very clearly uncomfortable and verbalized that he didn’t want to talk about such matters. Dack continued to press him while saying things like “But what if you knew you wouldn’t be caught?” Andrew was very taken aback by the discussion and waited until everyone was back home to bring up his concerns in a private chat with Dack and A4A.
That evening, I received a message from Dack claiming Andrew called him a terrorist and that he was contemplating taking his own life over it. He claimed Andrew was the enemy. I told him that Andrew doesn’t think he’s a terrorist, but activists need to be incredibly careful with the conversations we engage in because of how the things we say could have consequences and take on a life of their own. At the time, I wasnt at all suspicious of Dack and was genuinely trying to get him to understand why Andrew had to have that tough conversation. Dack immediately stopped replying to my messages. I didnt hear from him again until a few days later when he was re-added to our group chat. He started cursing out Andrew and claimed “we had a great future planned without Taylor, but then Andrew had to go fuck it up for some unfathomable reason”. After several minutes of the hostile attack, I asked Dack to leave.
This caused a fracture in the A4A group. There was a bit of an argument that took place in the wake of these events, and this is one of the very few times I have ever witnessed Andrew getting upset or angry. Its quite unfortunate that this one time, after Andrew being worked up by two separate individuals, would later be used against Andrew in a smear video uploaded to Dack’s channel called “Misogyny in Activism”.
There was an article that Dack wrote after these events where he claimed the conversation was about “Black Panther tactics” and that it was misconstrued to make him look bad. Firstly, the Black Panthers were never brought up. Second, Dack has a clear misunderstanding of who the Black Panthers were if he considers bombing judges to be one of their tactics.
The day after A4A put out our GoFundMe to raise money to protest on Julian’s behalf in DC for the second set of extradition hearings, Dack started publicly attacking the group for using group photos that had him in it. There was multiple people he could have reached out to privately, to resolve the issue, but instead used it as a springboard to start leveraging unrelenting attacks on A4A, Unity4J, and our members. While Dack was continously smearing us, both privately and publicly, we decided it would be better for the movement to just ignore him. That didn’t stop him from constantly tagging us in his tweets or from tweeting smears on our fundraising posts, nor would he move on in any capacity. He would make asinine claims about us calling the FBI on him or suggest that we would use our donor money to buy drugs. Most of the time he would go back to delete the posts, but I made a habit of screenshotting them so we could document his activities. He was using a petty dispute he had with a member to attack the entire movement. On multiple occasions he would create faux history about how A4A was created by Unity4J to try to make our movements indistinguishable and then go on to smear us both. I’ve had private messages leaked to the public and have been personally insulted in several posts he’s written about us. After the brief amount of time spent with Dack, and having to deal with the constant anxiety and stress he has caused to me and others, I highly advise against working with him. I find him to be extremely toxic and manipulative to those around him. He’s lied on multiple occasions and internal issues only seemed to bubble up when he was involved.” – Kimber Maddox
4. Paula’s Statement
Paula Iasella is a key supporter of Action4Assange, Unity4J and WikiLeaks. The following is her testimony about her experiences with Dack Rouleau:
“During the past few years, supporting Julian Assange online and on-the-ground, I have tried to use Unity4J guidelines of amplifying all voices supporting Assange. I promoted and amplified the work of Dack Rouleau. At the time, it seemed to be good, solid work – getting 2020 presidential candidates’ thoughts about Assange on public record by video taping them. My ‘doubt sensors’ on Rouleau’s intentions surfaced when he began claiming that people who had amplified his work (and who also gave due credit to Rouleau) were now ‘stealing’ his work. He started publicly misrepresenting the facts of how his work was shared. Also, after Action4Assange’s successful week-long February Washington DC actions it appeared he had orchestrated a disruptive, divisive scenario the last day in DC – seemingly imploding the good work of a group of hard-working activists. I soon reached a point where I discontinued amplifying his work.
For months thereafter, Rouleau proceeded to attack A4A- tweeting repeatedly that A4A called him an FBI informant; tagging the @FBI in his tweets; claiming that ‘someone’ called the FBI on him when an agent supposedly showed up at his door. He repeatedly called the A4A team ‘scumbags’ [Editor’s Note: see below] and his unopposed attacks (because none of us engaged with him) ramped up when A4A started fundraising for their September actions in DC – ordering A4A not to use any photos containing his image – which made it difficult for A4A since he had inserted himself into most of the group photos.
Having received no response from us he did the unthinkable – he tweeted screenshots of private conversations between myself and two others – totally out of context, to stir more trouble. Rouleau paints himself as a victim of A4A and U4J, but his actions say otherwise: saboteur.” – Paula Iasella
5. Taylor’s Statement
Taylor Hudak is the co-Founder of Action4Assange, alongside Andrew Smith. The following is her testimony about her experiences with Dack Rouleau:
“I came across Dack Rouleau in July 2019 when he contacted me personally and thanked me for referencing one of his videos in my work. He was very kind and appeared to care about issues related to free speech and free press. We then began communicating and working together more closely. He was questioning the presidential candidates on their stances on Julian Assange. He would then send me his videos to include in my work. He voluntarily did this and privately expressed that he was pleased and even grateful that I cited his work. I have screenshots of him saying this. [Editor’s note: see below]
In fact, he was someone I enjoyed working with. It was not long after we became acquainted with one another that he began hitting on me via Twitter DMs. [Editor’s Note: see below] I was not interested and was dating someone at the time so I did not react to his flirtations. To be clear, I was not at all offended by this, and simply brushed it off and continued working with him. A few months later in October, I learned that he was romantically involved with my colleague and friend at Action4Assange (A4A). Around this time he started to become more involved with A4A by participating in livestreams. However, his flirtatious DM’s continued.
A few months later he stated in a live chat during an A4A stream that he was done with A4A and severing ties with us. His change in attitude was rude and abrupt. Apparently, he was angry that I cited his work in my article and felt that I was not giving him enough credit. Once again, I found myself shocked considering I properly cited him in my piece and we worked on it together. He then reached out to me to on Twitter, and we had a nice conversation over the phone about this issue.
I told him that I was sorry he felt that he was not given enough credit and that I was willing to cite him more frequently and include him in more tweets (per his request). After we had this discussion, he then proceeded to tell me that when he met up with A4A activists in DC a few weeks earlier, he addressed this issue with Andrew and Andrew had agreed with him.
Dack decided to continue working with A4A but from that point onward he was causing several problems. He was publicly attacking Steve Poikonen and picking fights with him on Twitter. Dack would complain to me about Steve and Andrew as well and attempted to pin me against my colleagues in the weeks leading up to Julian Assange’s extradition hearings in February. In the below screenshot, ‘the dope brothers’ he refers to are Andrew and Steve.
During the extradition hearings in February, things were very hostile between my colleagues, who were in DC and myself, who was in London. Once I returned back to the United States in March, Dack began attacking me on Twitter. He was making claims that I was an opportunist and that my significant other at the time and I were using his work for our own personal gain. I ignored Dack.
Over the next several months Dack would make the occasional comment about me on his twitter or in one of his videos but he was not confronting me directly. Last week clone social media accounts in my name and using images of me showed up on Facebook and Twitter making strange tweets about me. The accounts were nearly identical to mine but used a CIA logo for an account banner to smear me by association and used very similar handles to mine, in addition to an identical profile picture and almost identical content.
The Twitter profile included messages with quotes like “Knock Knock,” which is used in the movie IT. I felt very upset and violated to have my face and name used on an account which I had no control over. Days later, my friend and mentor, Suzie Dawson posted unusual DMs she received on Twitter. After checking my own twitter profile I noticed I was sent the same messages that she was sent. Each of these messages were threatening and suggested we were running out of time. I then searched for tweets Dack made in the past and he seems to have an obsession with horror movies, serial killers, murder and especially Stephen King is often mentioned by him. Dack’s continued unwanted attention towards me has made me feel very uneasy. His Machiavellian behavior is at best diabolical and needs to stop. I want to be left alone to do my work trying to help save the life of Julian Assange.” – Taylor Hudak
6. Kitty’s Statement
Kitty Hundal is a supporter of Action4Assange, and a coordinator for Unity4J. The following is her testimony about her experiences regarding Dack Rouleau:
“Dack Rouleau has chosen to include me in his campaign against Action4Assange, which is a mystery to me given that I have never had any direct contact with him. I have however, provided material support to Action4Assange and have appeared as a guest, and there are multiple obvious and common sense reasons why Action4Assange might be targeted by saboteurs. Their DC actions have included holding events outside embassies, which are the jurisdiction of the Secret Service, but they are also the most active boots-on-the-ground support for Julian Assange in the United States. Should Julian be extradited to the US, they will have a critical role to play in raising awareness of his plight.
I’m looking at the current situation with Dack from two angles. What I’ve directly observed on Twitter with regard to his conduct and his tweets, and what I’ve heard generally from my close proximity to A4A.
In particular, attention-seeking behaviors such as Dack posting photos of himself holding a gun to his head as well as tweets appearing to demonstrate emotional instability raise red flags for me.
I consider A4A very important to Team Assange. I have a deep concern about the wellbeing of those around Dack and those who are being affected by him.
Within A4A, the conflicts, the fracturing and the divisions are additionally worrisome. Everybody was getting along fine, the group was doing very well, they are doing an awesome job. And then suddenly, there were all of these problems that were coming up. While I didn’t know the complete details, I was really concerned. So I decided to investigate Dack because he was the change in the situation and was at the center of most of the conflicts. There was an A4A before Dack, and a different A4A after Dack. My research indicated that he was exhibiting behavior that is consistent with infiltrators.
One of the problems with infiltrators is that a lot of what they do is behind the scenes. They can cause a lot of disruptions because of that. It’s really important when you have solid information that indicates an infiltrator is attempting to disrupt an organisation or discredit activists, that information be shared and exposed so that damage control can occur and activists and their organizations be protected.” – Kitty Hundal
Adherence To Methodology
In the absence of clear parallels to the known methodologies of state actors and their subcontractors, witness statements such as the above could be easy to dismiss as simply personality conflicts, personal grievances, coincidences or differences of opinion.
However, those who are experienced targets – or have worked on the inside of the military industrial complex – recognize the patterns as those of established targeting doctrine.
Australian military whistleblower David McBride happened across some of what Taylor was reporting experiencing and immediately called it out for what it is: a ‘sophisticated’ modern day information operation:
In my July 2019 article ‘Freeing Julian Assange – Part Three‘ I authored an 11,000 word ‘Activist Survival Guide’ based on practical experience gained in the course of my activism and journalism career. I wrote that sharing the knowledge I gained with others had “the potential to save other activists a huge amount of grief, pain, confusion and disgrace, or even strengthen and empower them in ways that could be the difference between the make or break of their social movements… Demystifying the targeting of activists greatly empowers us to better deal with it. Dispelling the illusions constantly planted by those who target us, shifts the power balance from the hunter to the hunted.”
In my ‘Activist’s Survival Guide’, I listed dozens of key methods employed by infiltrators. I have taken the time to map the methods Dack employed against A4A and Taylor in 2019-2020, against that list.
Underneath the below chart, is direct quotes from the guide, as relates to each parallel.
- They will use the language of your movement against you
“They invoke language that they have assessed will ideologically resonate with the intended audience, while their footprints run completely counter to the principles they are espousing.”
Example: Dack’s allegations of misogyny in A4A & the WikiLeaks support movement
- Movement Policing
“to internalise the group’s focus inwards towards each other instead of outwards towards the goals of the movement or organisation.”
Example: Dack’s clearly stated goal of wanting to remove key members from the movement
- Hiding behind others
“Agents will frequently have off-siders… who they will suck in to fronting activities which produce disturbances or damage the movement/group. You see this both IRL and in the online format… They manipulate and provoke other human beings into doing things, to create an insulation layer for themselves.”
Example: Dack’s video alleging misogyny in the movement
- Constant distractions with trivialities
“Trivial nonsense, drama, back-stabbing, he-said-she-said, rumour-mongering and gossip, politics and group dynamics, character assassination and diversions are the staple diet an agent wants to feed you.”
Example: Dack’s false allegations against Taylor; his attempts to turn various members against other members
- Turning outward focus inwards
“They need you looking everywhere else except at the goals that you, your movement or organisation is trying to achieve… They might pay the goals lip service, but they’ll never empower you or advance sane, tangible steps to achieve them.”
Example: Dack’s ignoring movement goals and advancing dangerous, insane (and illegal) ideas for actions
- Manufacturing history
“The real history gets censored, ignored, or buried”
Example: Dack’s penchant for deleting tweets, lying about what people have said, creating cover stories to escape accountability for entrapment attempts
- Fair-weather friends
“They will establish themselves as a supporter to make their inevitable attacks on you more effective… only to then turn on you while saying “I supported [x] BUT THEN I REALISED [insert smear]…”
Example: Dack’s posturing as an Assange/WikiLeaks/A4A supporter then ‘whistleblowing’ on the movement
- Negative synergy
“Anyone who has any beef with you whatsoever will be miraculously connected with each other, with their assorted or purported grievances against you being the common denominator. While your focus is on taking down vast, corrupt power structures and exposing mass injustice, their petty focus will be solely on you, you, you.”
Example: Dack’s emails and tweets frequently cross-pollinate parties with historical beef in an attempt to agitate them
As if there weren’t already enough ‘tells’ regarding Dack Rouleau – incredibly, there are more.
The below anonymous email packed full of lies about yours truly, Taylor Hudak, Kitty Hundal, Trevor Fitzgibbon, Action4Assange and more was sent to another activist behind our backs.
The text packs in lie after lie after lie. Just some of the falsehoods squeezed into it include the following erroneous claims:
1. to be whistleblowing on the conversations of a private chat group that it says I am the owner of. I am not, and I have never been in the group.
2. that Kitty Hundal is the admin of all my projects. She is not. Internet Party Tech Director Jo Booth is. This is widely known.
3. that Taylor was a participant in the group. She is not. It also calls her one of my Discord admins – she is not. It suggests she is part of the Unity4J Twitter team – she is not.
4. that “All people appearing in the screen below are admins at Protect Suzie” – they are not.
5. that I got Taylor her job at Activism Munich. I did not. I didn’t even know she was with them until after she was already shooting and producing video for them.
6. that we are “conspiring against Pirate Party and want to damage it.” That is completely ludicrous. I spend zero seconds of my time thinking about the Pirate Party, let alone conspiring against it.
What does this have to do with Dack? Well, there are 4 links at the bottom of the anonymous email. Those links lead to screenshots.
Those screenshots are of private conversations from a Discord channel. Private conversations which Dack had access to by proxy.
Two of the screenshots had previously been publicly tweeted by Dack in an attack on A4A.
The above tweet is interesting because it was sent on August 11th, 2020 and suggests that there would be no conceivable reason why “feds” would be interested in A4A.
Three days prior, on August 8th, Dack had written a tweet saying:
According to Dack, two months prior, feds had interrogated him in his home.
Dack’s claim to fame is having asked questions of candidates about Julian Assange at public campaign events in 2019. It defies logic that any FBI interest in him would be centered around something as banal as that, rather than his close involvement with (and aspirations to become a co-host of) A4A.
Three times in the last two weeks, I have been ‘nudged’ in tweets by Dack Rouleau, in responses he posted on threads on my timeline. The tweets he replied to had not mentioned and did not pertain to him, yet he imposed himself regardless.
Each of the three threads were me raising concerns about fake social media profiles defaming Taylor Hudak:
1. The circulation of a LinkedIn account in Taylor’s name suggesting she worked at defense contractor Booz Allen Hamilton (she didn’t)
When I authored each thread, I had no inkling of Dack’s potential involvement in current events. Yet there he appeared, each time.
In light of all the revelations in this article about his activities, I now view Dack’s very public and very scathing impositions on my timeline as dogwhistles. I cannot believe it is a coincidence that me calling out the cyberstalking of Taylor Hudak, draws Dack Rouleau to my timeline like a bee to honey.
After tiring of his toxic and unprovoked appearances, I blocked him. This resulted in him immediately screenshotting my block, then tagging in someone who he knew I’d once been critical of on one issue years prior, to try to create spectacle and draw them in to his drama, all while falsely accusing me of calling him an “FBI agent”.
In long form, and with so many interconnecting experiences and viewpoints of those with a stake in A4A, the issue of Dack Rouleau’s involvement in Free Assange groups could seem convoluted and complex.
But when Rouleau’s activities are analyzed in the below format, the pattern becomes undeniable.
Based on screenshots supplied by members of A4A, the following graphic depicts Dack’s attempts to turn them against one another.
When presented in graphic form on a timeline, the chronology of Dack’s disruptions paint a very clear picture.
I find writing this article to be distasteful. I resent having to spend any of my time on such a dirty topic. It reeks of bad karma, of the stain of unethical and callous behaviors, taught to the impressionable, and perpetuated to all our detriment.
I’m well used to copping flak for being the messenger for things people don’t want to hear and I never aspired to spend my life tackling the Dack’s of this world (or any other of this ilk that I have happened across in the last decade of my activism and journalism.)
Just as I didn’t want to spend any of my time thinking or writing about the Ben Rachinger’s, the Rob Gilchrist’s, the Hector ‘Sabu’ Monsegur’s, or the Siggi Thordarsen’s.
I’d rather spend my time building new systems than confronting the rot in our current paradigm.
However, when I see genuine, right-motivated, sincere young activists working with minimal resources, facing maximum risk and being terrorized by a Dack Rouleau, I feel compelled to speak.
If I have one wish for an outcome of this article, it isn’t actually for the pain or disgrace or ridicule of Dack Rouleau or his inevitable slinking off into the social media shadows.
It is for the protection from harm of Taylor Hudak, the A4A activists, and for everyone who is truly, avidly, working to free the greatest publisher in living memory: Julian Assange.
Today I read a few surrounding passages in ‘The Fountainhead’ and looked into some of Ayn Rand’s most famous quotes. I don’t believe in book burning, or in preventing people from digesting whatever content they wish to, no matter how deplorable I personally find it.
And perhaps even buried in the theology of the deeply disturbed, there is some nugget of value, for I did happen across a single sentence, which reminds me very much of the lesson Dack Rouleau (who in an amusingly impotent projection calls me a “quasi-journalist”) will now learn about the way I construct an article.
“There is no substitute for competence.”
– Ayn Rand
[Update: October 29th, 2020]
Having been outed as a cyberstalker, in the period since I published ‘Are You Unhappy My Dear‘, the world’s least competent cyberstalker has been outdoing himself.
That said, I am relieved to report that the below screed from the 2nd of October appears to have been the last in his series of anonymous, harassing direct messages, so far as I am aware.
However, shortly after my apt description of feeling like I was being stalked by a 7-year old, Rouleau switched methods from cyberstalking us to cyberstalking himself.
Shockingly, we have caught him red-handed manufacturing emails and posting them in the public arena, as part of a campaign to posture himself as the victim.
In the above tweet, Dack poses as a passive recipient of an email sent to him by someone else, when in reality, he is the author of it.
Just as before, all it took was us picking up on unusual phrases he subconsciously allows to bleed into his writing, then cross-referencing them with his Twitter account.
While use of terms like ‘denizen’ could be explained away, literary anomalies such as the personification of the term ‘character assassination’ (in the email, it is morphed into the idiosyncratic term ‘character assassin‘) was a dead giveaway.
When we searched on that bastardization of the English language, we found that it is indeed, signature Dack:
The wording of Dack’s tweet containing the fake email is also an attempt to cover his tracks for the last fake email he had already been caught out being the sender of, in this very article.
He attempts to suggest that both emails must have the same sender. He is correct. They do.
Followers That Aren’t Followers
Other fantastical inventions Dack is circulating in public and in back channels, center around the idea that my supporters have been sending him death threats. He repeatedly namedrops his cyberstalking targets – myself, Taylor Hudak, and Action4Assange – in an attempt to attract interest to his hyperbolic claims.
It goes without saying, that I have never encouraged anyone to do any such thing – nor has Taylor or Action4Assange. In fact, I specifically requested the opposite. In the original conclusion to this article, I wrote:
“If I have one wish for an outcome of this article, it isn’t actually for the pain or disgrace or ridicule of Dack Rouleau or his inevitable slinking off into the social media shadows.
It is for the protection from harm of Taylor Hudak, the A4A activists, and for everyone who is truly, avidly, working to free the greatest publisher in living memory: Julian Assange.” [Emphasis added]
Neither of the people he has named as threatening him, are followed by me. Nor are they followed by Taylor Hudak. Yet Rouleau indirectly attributes their conduct to us, imagining mystery ties. Recurring themes for Dack.
Since Dack claims to not know why anyone would “care about what [I] have to say”, it would be great if he could restrain himself from tweeting about me.
His long form response to this article was described by someone close to WikiLeaks as being “unreadable” and contained mysognistic undertones, featuring comments about his personal impressions of my physical appearance (a strange tack for someone who claims to be concerned about misogyny in activism).
It is also riddled with baseless accusations of me having lied about being a target of the state in New Zealand. Without ever mentioning that the targeting of political entities and movements with which I was involved, have been ratified in the public record by the New Zealand State Services Commission.
While ignoring the mountains of evidence that I was indeed targeted in New Zealand (including the resource materials, timelines and affidavits supplied on ProtectSuzie.com), Rouleau has been systematically retweeting zingers from other known smear merchants (or worse), such as the below:
The above spins a single tweet I wrote in early January 2015, shortly before I left New Zealand, into an entire supposition that the tweet proves I was on “vacation” and had therefore not been targeted.
But the tweet has been extracted from a thread. And that thread confirms my story, and debunks theirs:
I pointed this out on Twitter:
I do not expect a character like Dack Rouleau to spontaneously manifest the integrity to apologize for circulating lies about me, but I find it instrumental to show how little research is required to debunk them.
All it took was searching the tweet claimed as ‘proof’, to discover that the real proof lay just below it.
And as usual, the truth attracts other truth-tellers. On the thread of my above calling out of the smears, appeared this:
Members of activism movements in New Zealand who were similarly witness to the targeting of me, have also expressed their disgust at the smears.
Martyn and Nicholas are the tip of an iceberg: other New Zealanders have long since gone on record, in print, in radio interviews, and in video testimony posted on my YouTube channel, as having been first-hand eye-witnesses to what was done to me.
None of this apparently phases Dack Rouleau or his ilk, who will likely continue to pretend that up is down, regardless.
But any lies they spread about me pale in comparison to other dangerous activities which Dack has been engaging in – and their potential impact on those he reels into them.
Armed and Arrogant
While adults may do whatever their local laws permit them to, there is a right way and a wrong way to do everything. The right way leads to accomplishment and the wrong way can lead to disaster.
It is beyond alarming to see Dack celebrating the improper use of firearms.
In a video posted by him showing an activist shooting an Uzi belonging to Dack, it is abundantly clear that neither the activist nor the teacher have any clue what they are doing.
The video was brought to my attention by a concerned onlooker and as I (gratefully) know nothing whatsoever about guns I sought out someone who did. Paula Iasella’s husband, Chris Balch.
Chris is “a former firearms safety instructor, and top amateur handgun competitor (specializing in fast draw). He still long-range target shoots at up to 600 yards.”
When shown the video of the activist being encouraged to shoot the Uzi, Chris immediately identified dangerous flaws in the handling of the weapon, which could be a serious danger both to the woman shooting it and to any onlookers. Of particular concern, he highlighted:
1) The activist is directly facing her target instead of angled 45 degrees away from the target (you want to make yourself a ‘small target’ by standing angled plus it makes for solid footing for safety)
2) Her left foot is forward – the weight is not evenly distributed for safety.
3) Her back is arched backwards instead of hunched forward.
4) Her arms are locked straight instead of elbows bent.
5) She is not wearing over-the-head ear protection (Uzis are super loud)
6) She’s not wearing safety glasses, only sunglasses.
Chris supplied screen caps of the activist shooting the Uzi, to demonstrate:
When I asked how it could be possible for a gun owner to not know a thing about how to fire a gun, or how to help others to use one responsibly, I got the following answer: “Licenses are ‘to carry firearms’ and in New Hampshire they only signify that you don’t have a past criminal record, they don’t indicate any safety or responsibility training.”
I’d like to think that many responsible gun owners do take the time to learn how to safely use their weapons and preferably before handing them over to others to use.
Some, unfortunately, simply don’t care about learning how to handle their guns safely from those who know more about the subject than they do.
Indeed, all I had to do to double-check Chris’s professional advice, was type ‘How To Use An Uzi’ into You Tube. I discovered several videos, showing Uzis being used in precisely the ways he suggested they should be.
Activists face additional risks when they allow images to be taken of themselves using guns in an irresponsible manner. Such images can be used as pretexts to target them, paint them as violent or a threat, or to justify the monitoring of them.
This can impact their lives and those around them in irreparable ways.
In Rouleau’s misogynistic diatribe against me, he finally revealed a rationale for his earlier claim of having been visited at home by the FBI: ostensibly admitting that their interest in him was about his possession of guns. Of course, his Twitter timeline, onto which he had been tagging @FBI, featured multiple pics of his weapons, yet he accused others of having reported Dack to the feds. Rather than coming to the obvious conclusion that it is infinitely more likely that by his conduct, he effectively called them on himself.
Ignorant behavior by young men might be par for the course in modern society, but when you add guns, federal agencies, activists and other people’s bodies into the mix, ‘Armed and Dangerous’ takes on an all new meaning.
I look forward to never having to write another word about the fake-email-writing, cyberstalking, misogynistic Dack Rouleau or his abundant stupidity ever again.
My core motivations for writing this piece were to warn others about the dangers he presents to them and to not have my own silence weigh permanently upon my conscience should it emerge at some future date that he is even more sinister than that which he appears to be.
Particularly, I felt a duty of care to those around him – I still do. But I’ve done all that I can, and have plenty else on my plate to attend to.
For now, with the Assange trial over, the harassment of Taylor Hudak and of myself, seems to be waning. This is a great conclusion to an ugly saga.
While I’m aware that threats have been made of some grand deluge of past conversations, direct messages, and transcripts from Unity4J and beyond being leaked into the public arena, I have three responses to such dreams of digital grandeur:
- If you learned anything from the WL DM’s leaked a few years back, you’ll know that the shitstorm lasts about two days and literally nobody gives a shit
- I have never written a single thing on the internet that I wasn’t fully prepared to see leaked one day – no matter how seemingly personal or intimate
- You may think you’re an old dog with new tricks, but you are a new dog with old tricks. Innovation factor: zero
There is nothing more common in this broken world, than malicious people who actively seek to harm others, as an outpouring of their own personal disappointments and shortcomings. Such are as common as grains of sand.
Less common are those who seek to protect others, to bring them together instead of ripping them apart, and to evolve into something infinitely more beautiful than they alone could ever be capable of.
To those few who fit that second description, I salute and am grateful to you.
To the corrupted – we may not forget your deeds, but I guarantee you, we will forget your names.
By Suzie Dawson with Taylor Hudak and Kitty Hundal
Journalists who write truth pay a high price to do so. If you respect and value this work, please consider supporting Suzie’s efforts via credit card donation here or via cryptocurrency donations here. To support the incredible work that WikiLeaks does please donate to WikiLeaks here. To contribute to Julian Assange’s legal defence fund click here. Or donate to help the Courage Foundation save the lives of whistleblowers. Thank you!