It seems the closer we come to people rising upen masse to demand Julian Assange’s freedom, the more desperate his detractors become.
This isn’t the first time I’ve debunked a Guardian smear piece on Julian Assange but it’s certainly the first time that I’ve been able to debunk literally every single written line – including the caption.
“Photo Caption: Assange’s position is that the charges have been trumped up, because he is viewed by the US establishment as a dangerous and powerful insurgent.”
That is not Assange’s position. Because there are no charges. As has been repeatedly pointed out to members of the mainstream press who, as demonstrated in this very instance, continue to this day to write about and report on charges that have never been laid and do not exist.
“Six years on from the leak of accounts by two women of allegations of sexual assault and rape, Julian Assange has released his own interview with Swedish prosecutors, offering an alternative narrative to that offered by one of the women.”
Actually, he is offering the same narrative that he has espoused all along. The contents of his statement entirely align with prior releases of documentation related to the case, dating back years.
Specifically, his statements in relation to his innocence, his asylum claim, the manhunt, the persecution of WikiLeaks and the grand jury, the denials of the women themselves that they had been raped and the contents of the text messages of the younger of the two women are all contained in Assange’s publically available and thoroughly annotated 2013 affidavit which can be read in full here.
It is only to journalists like Ms Orr who have clearly not done their homework on the background to this case that anything contained in the recent statement release comes as a surprise.
“Somehow he has managed to persuade himself that his testimony satisfies the questions, but all it really does is advertise that he is a man who appears to have little respect for boundaries and who, far from even beginning to recognise this in himself, casts himself wholly as a victim of the sexual machinations of others.”
a) he is being and has been persecuted for his publishing and journalistic activities, by the highest echelons of international governments
b) he is not a rapist but was smeared as such
c) he has ample grounds for asylum, as was duly granted to him, and
d) his continued arbitrary detention is in violation of human rights, international law, and common decency
The ‘sexual machinations’ Ms Orr refers to are not of the women involved but in fact that of the police officers, politicians, bureaucrats and intelligence agencies involved in branding Assange a ‘rapist’ in order to serve their own political motives.
Indeed, GCHQ staff famously bragged about (and were reprimanded for) the Assange case having been a ‘fit-up’.
“Rather in the manner of Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire, Assange portrays himself as someone who always relies on the comfort of strangers.”
Actually, he portrayed himself as someone forced by the circumstance of persecution and pursuit by intelligence agencies wielding vast state powers, into seeking refuge wherever able.
Ms Orr’s supposition that he “always” does so is entirely disingenuous. Denied access to his own funds and with a huge target on his back, Assange had little choice but to rely on the sympathy of others.
“His argument is that during his time in Sweden he was a marked man.”
It is ridiculous to depict this as ‘his argument‘ when the Pentagon’s own releases announced that there was a manhunt for him. Yet again Ms Orr attempts to lay the responsibility for the persecution at the feet of the persecuted. The correct way to frame the statement would simply be to state the undeniable: he was a marked man.
“He had to be careful where he stayed, in case his cohort of known supporters was being monitored, in order that they would lead the spies to Assange. I don’t dispute that this worry might have been real and important for Assange.”
Gracious of her to depict this as real and important, but Ms Orr still personifies this to Assange, intimating that there were alternative approaches when there clearly weren’t any available.
“Nevertheless, quite why the perfect answer was to stay at the homes of women who wanted to have sex with him is completely glossed over.”
In fact it is Ms Orr doing the glossing over, as it is clear from Assange’s statement that the arrangements were made on his behalf.
His release clearly states in point 70:
“My contacts in Sweden had arranged for me to stay in two safe houses during the few days I had intended to stay in Sweden. One of the safe houses belonged to a journalist who I knew and another to a Social Democrat party figure unknown to me who had lent her apartment while she was away, or so I had been told. However, because these two original safe houses arranged prior to my arrival became known very soon, I stayed in three additional safe houses between 11 and 20 August 2010.” – Julian Assange
A far cry from Ms Orr’s depiction, which continues:
“In fact, he said one of the women was so “very clear” that she wanted to have intercourse that he “felt concerned about the intensity of her interest”.”
This quote has been partially selected for convenience. The full context is that the woman:
“…made it very clear that she wanted to have sexual intercourse with me. I felt concerned about the intensity of [her] interest and I also deeply loved another woman, which played on my mind and left me emotionally distracted. [She] knew an unusual amount of detail about me and appeared annoyed with me when I was on my phone searching for news related to the US official government statements about me. I perceived she was irritated when I wasn’t giving her my full attention. I felt there was a risk my location would be revealed and that she might act unpredictably if she believed I was rejecting her.” – Julian Assange
What Assange is saying is that the situation was a double-edged sword. While much-needed temporary sanctuary and companionship was being offered, he also felt threatened by his physical safety being dependent upon the goodwill of his host.
“Now, plenty of people ignore “red flags” in the undertaking of sexual dalliances, as Assange apparently did.”
As above, his situation was more than merely the “undertaking” of a “sexual dalliance”, such as people who are not being hunted by the US Empire might indulge in or undertake. His overarching situation was downright precarious and dangerous.
What Assange is illustrating is that he felt that neither rejecting her nor staying with her guaranteed his personal safety. Both were fraught with risk.
“An emotionally healthy person would understand that this concern was something to be heeded, and that it was a situation to be avoided.”
This is a further display of blaming the persecuted rather than examining the circumstances of the persecution. Exactly how “emotionally healthy” is one supposed to be when one is being man-hunted by billion dollar international intelligence agencies? Would Ms Orr be “emotionally healthy” in such a position? Holding Assange’s decisions and mental state up against that of any random member of the public is disingenuous and misleading. It was an extreme situation and thus the status quo test constantly being applied by Ms Orr is irrelevant and a distraction.
“Assange did not choose to take that course.”
Assange chose to take the course that he felt was most likely to increase his physical safety at the time. God knows he was not looking ahead six years to what Ms Orr and her kind would think about it after the fact – he was too busy trying to stay alive in that week.
“This in itself suggests a man who does not shrink from entering into situations that some may view as exploitative.”
What it suggests is a man travelling a path with no map, that few have ever walked before him, surrounded by strangers and tenuous plans and promises that too often fell through, doing the best he could under the most direst of circumstance.
“Assange’s position is that the charges have been trumped up, because he is viewed by the US establishment as a dangerous and powerful insurgent.”
As per my response to the misleading caption; once again, this is not Assange’s position. Because, to this day, no charges have been laid.
“Yet even his own supposedly vindicatory evidence reflects wider sexually exploitative attitudes.”
What his evidence reflects is that:
a) he has never been charged with any crime, yet was branded a rapist, including in the very publication in which Ms Orr writes
b) he left Sweden after consulting with the prosecutor first and receiving advance permission to depart, yet was then deemed a fugitive regardless
c) the first prosecutor cancelled the investigation as it was deemed without merit, only to later on be reopened after political intervention
d) Assange has been trying to give his statement for six years but has until now been denied the opportunity to do so, and
e) a ton of other material factors, all of which are completely absent from the content of Ms Orr’s article, which instead focuses on supposition and the projection onto Assange of assumed motives imagined by Ms Orr, among various other disparagements
“It’s not a crime to be sexually exploitative, to have little regard for the emotions or the boundaries of others, or to decide to have sex with someone because you need a place to spend the night.”
There is no evidence whatsoever that Assange was any more sexually exploitative than those who complained about him; both of whom have said that they were not raped, one of whom has claimed the police manufactured the investigation in order to tarnish Assange and the other of whom supplied a broken condom which was found to contain no DNA of either party whatsoever and had discussed taking their stories to the tabloids within a matter of days. Despite this and to his credit, Assange himself still does not accuse either woman of sexual exploitation.
“Indeed, this sort of behaviour seems pretty widespread, and hardly particular to Assange. And that is the really depressing thing.”
And here is the crux. Ms Orr is now expanding the playing field beyond Assange, to the wider sexual practices of millions. Which means she is taking general attitudes that she already held about society at large which appear to have coloured her opinions relating to the Assange case.
“People in the public eye are far more likely to be exposed for indulging in this sort of behaviour.”
Absolutely. They are. Which is what infuriates rape victims and survivor advocates like myself. Where I hail from, New Zealand, 95% of rape survivors never see their rapists charged and 99% of rape survivors never see their rapists convicted. Why? Because police agencies and indeed intelligence services and the governments who fund them, only have a vested interest in pursuing ‘justice’ in the few, select cases where it is politically expedient to do so. Thus seeing a man whose ‘victims’ state empirically that they are not victims at all be persecuted for six years while the overwhelming majority of actual rapists walk free amongst us is extremely exasperating and disappointing. This is then exacerbated by callous media personalities who indulge in furthering that persecution of the innocent targets of these political machinations, in the name of protecting women. The irony is rife and it is frankly a sick, Orwellian joke.
“Of course they defend themselves – and when they do so, they tend to feel they are being held to a different standard to others, and an unfair one.”
In this case it is worse. Assange is being held to the standards of others who have never been man-hunted by the US Empire, then what scraps of his experiences filter through to the public realm are then obsessively analysed by writers like Ms Orr who have also never been man-hunted by the US Empire.
“Often, a high-profile individual who has been implicated in a sexual scandal will attract many sympathisers, who understand that the behaviour of their hero is not so very unusual, and therefore believe there is nothing wrong with it. That’s depressing too – there is something wrong with it.”
To the contrary, other than solidarity from close friends and family, these people usually end up universally loathed. In the cases of Jimmy Savile, Rolf Harris, Bill Cosby, these men were protected for decades by the very establishment that they served. It took decades for their victims to raise awareness of what happened to them yet once they finally managed to achieve mainstream awareness, their attackers became reviled, etched in history as the monsters they are. The very speed and ferocity with which the Swedish (and other) governments targeted and persecuted Assange speaks volumes. Were he an actual everyday common rapist it is more likely than not that the police would have taken little to no action. Were he a high society predator, it would have taken decades for the public to become aware of it. But because he is neither, and is in fact a target of Empire, he was smeared internationally by the entire world’s media within 24 hours of the allegations and six years later is still fighting for the most basic acknowledgements of the facts – such as that he has still never been charged with any crime, which Ms Orr fails to mention even once in her entire piece.
“Interpersonal exploitation – emotional, sexual or physically violent – is a blight on human relations and on human psychological health, for perpetrators as well as victims. It corrupts the social bonds that are so important to a decent society or culture.”
Absolutely. Which is why it is such a powerful tool for governments and spies when wanting to destroy the reputation of an adversary, or in this case, of a journalist and publisher who is standing in ideological opposition to their corruption and war crimes.
His testimony in aggregate details gross violation after violation of his rights. It details the negligence and maliciousness of the prosecutor, Marianne Ny, up to and including her acting in violation of Swedish law. It also displays the complete disregard for international law and disrespect for the institutions of international governance such as the United Nations, which was established by the very countries who are persecuting him. None of this is mentioned in Ms Orr’s article.
“Any person who gives himself (or herself) leave to behave in such a way is unlikely to understand quite where other lines should be drawn. And in those circumstances, it might be possible for such a person to fail to comprehend his behaviour as sexual assault or rape.”
When the alleged victims themselves deny that they are victims, what else is left? Apparently, six years of hit pieces in publications like The Guardian.
“His insight into and ability to understand his behaviour, its impact on others, and the ways in which others might experience or interpret it, is severely impaired.”
It seems that in fact Ms Orr and journalists like her are struggling with understanding the impact of their constant slew of attacks on Assange. Nor do they seem to understand the way others might interpret them. If they did have insight into this as well as to the profound importance of his contributions to journalism despite all he has been put through, they might not be so mystified at why he continues to enjoy the support he does.
“Assange’s leaked document illustrates a lack of empathy for the women he slept with.”
This is purely down to the interpretation of the reader. The leak of the allegations against Assange, prior to him even having been interviewed or made any statement, or to any charges being laid, certainly illustrated a lack of empathy for him as well as a desecration of the presumption of innocence and of Assange’s legal and human rights.
“It’s understandable if not admirable that he shouldn’t be spending much time considering the feelings of two women who have brought him so much trouble.”
The use of the word ‘admirable’ is strange in this context. There are many things about Assange that are admirable, none the least the way he has coped with such extreme prejudice, malignance and persecution over the last six years.
“But his testimony shows that he most certainly wasn’t spending much time considering their feelings long before events took the course they did.”
His testimony states of the woman involved:
“During that night and again in the morning we had consensual sexual intercourse on four or five occasions. Her words, her expressions and her physical reactions made it clear to me that she encouraged and enjoyed our interactions… In the morning she went out to pick up breakfast for us. After enjoying breakfast together, I left her home on good terms.” — Julian Assange
In light of the women stating plainly that they have not been raped, it seems the media who continue to portray them as rape victims, and Assange as being charged when he has not been, are the ones not “spending much time considering their feelings.”
“This may not be a crime.”
The original prosecutor determined that no crime had been committed. The only crimes appear to be those manufactured by malicious entities and the intense and concerted pressure applied by mainstream media outlets like The Guardian.
“The courts or prosecuting authorities will pronounce on that. But it is an attitude of mind that is pretty abject, very destructive and horribly widespread.”
Unfortunately, so is the attitudes of the vast majority of the journalists who have been cashing in on this story for more than half a decade.
The genesis of this groundbreaking series was a moral obligation to highlight obvious discrepancies in the coordinated smears against Jacob Appelbaum (IOError). That smear campaign’s self-pronounced and ostensibly achieved aim was to permanently shut down his (anti-surveillance, anti-three-letter-agency) public speaking by casting him out from the very communities he has dedicated his life to supporting.
Implemented, that aim had very little to do with protecting actual rape victims but everything to do with manipulating (by asserting social control over) the speaking circuit which is the visible face of the privacy and infosec movements, as well as dominating the critical infrastructure and the corporate structure (at board level) of the Tor Project:
Series In Review
“The Weaponising of Social” series kicked off with the first long-form article with the guts to seriously analyse the allegations against Jacob Appelbaum. This hit a lot of nerves and got a lot of exposure, with word-of-mouth more than making up for the total lack of commercial platfom, promotion or marketing of the work.
While intended to be a 3-part series, it really turned out to be 4 parts:
Performing a rudimentary linguistic analysis of the statements of the alleged victims (which range between 81 and 703 words each), the article notes that “people who are not survivors of rape cannot competently impersonate survivors of rape” and explains precisely why that is:
the inordinate brevity and apparently manufactured linguistic conformity of the JacobAppelbaum.net claims;
the profound and highly unusual absence of victim impact in those statements; and
the obvious presence of editing by third parties, giving the effect of multiple ‘voices’ within a single piece, when the norm is to respectfully allow the words of survivors to stand on their own merit without editorial manipulation.
The smear website’s initial exposure, then non-transparent retraction, of the name of a woman unrelated to the claims, is highlighted.
The article mentioned Meredith L. Patterson, the founder of a think-tank called “Weaponising Social“. One of three self-appointed “eye-witnesses” that famously went to media with a story about an incident that was promptly debunked by the alleged “victim“ herself.
The piece raised a plethora of concerns surrounding the site copy and the plagierism allegations, and pledged that a deeper look into the responses and conduct of the Tor Project and media, as well as the WikiLeaks connection, would follow.
Part Two dives headfirst into what it really means to be a Person of Interest – which there is no doubt Jacob Appelbaum is, especially given the context of the FBI and DoJ (amongst other agencies) investigations into WikiLeaks.
It discusses Appelbaum’s 30c3 revelations of spyware emitting up to a kilowatt of hardware radiation (which we dubbed #spycancer on Twitter at the time) – literally microwaving targets – and tells of my own experiences of being directly stalked and persecuted by state intelligence contractors when trying to amplify Jacob’s findings.
The near uniform anti-WikiLeaks positions of Jacob’s public critics are exposed, in their own words – including those of Leigh Honeywell, Valerie Aurora, Meredith L. Patterson, Andrea Shephard and Alison Macrina, just to name a few.
The article proved that Isis Lovecruft had (presumably unsuccessfully) attempted to gain access to the back-end of WikiLeaks’ secure whistleblowing platform, a year prior to her allegation against Jacob, and according to her own timeline, one year after he allegedly assaulted her.
While the smear website was designed by supposed privacy activists dedicated to anonymity, the article identified numerous security compromises inherent in its design.
Finally, it cautions that the desecration of Jacob Appelbaum is being actively used to hurt others associated with him including but not limited to Edward Snowden, and demonstrates that known FBI informants like Adrian Lamo (responsible for the arrest of beloved whistleblower Chelsea Manning) and Hector ‘Sabu’ Monsegur (whose betrayals led to the arrest of Jeremy Hammond among other whistleblowers) have been cheerleading the ostracision of Appelbaum from the outset.
This much shorter piece was initially intended to cover just a single issue – that Jacob Appelbaum’s Wikipedia page was being constantly monitored and manipulated by an editor, Kenneth Freeman, who openly espoused Tor and EFF affiliations and touted a personal friendship with one of the accusers – Alison Macrina.
However, the rabbit hole got even deeper. It emerged that some of the vociferous anti-Appelbaum troll accounts which had been, on a daily basis, lambasting anyone who questioned the narrative of the smears are allegedly operated by some of the accusers themselves.
In the interim, their associates were leaking information to, of all people, the very journalists at The Daily Dot who had worked to redeem the reputation of FBI informant Hector ‘Sabu’ Monsegur (but abysmally failed – he remains almost universally reviled to this day).
Meanwhile, it was revealed that Jacob Appelbaum had been incensed by the discovery of CIA infiltration at the Tor Project.
The same CIA proven to have a track record of editing Wikipedia pages.
4. The Weaponising of Social Part 3: The Resurrection of Jacob Appelbaum
This monolithic undertaking will dive deeper into some of the above issues and cover those aspects yet to be discussed – namely:
The attitudes of those involved in the smears, in their own words, and further details of the extent of their involvement
The professional conduct of the Tor Project management and the web of associated relationships
The role of mainstream media, particularly the New York Times
The wider political environment and effects on the movements
The Worm Turns? Die Zeit Investigate
In a long-awaited move, Jacob Appelbaum has spoken with the German weekly magazine Die Zeit, who performed an in-depth investigation into the allegations against him.
The results – a depiction of that particular corner of the Berlin hacker scene as being drug-fuelled and sexually promiscuous – aren’t particularly flattering to anyone, but the findings with regards to the lack of veracity of the key allegations are utterly damning.
Speaking to eight eye-witnesses who spent the days in question with River and who vehemently deny that any sexual assault took place, many further details emerge, including some hard evidence that things may not be as she initially depicted. Particularly pertinent is that River had sent Jacob affectionate email communication after the fact, and spoke publically of wanting to return to Germany for more ‘fun’.
Furthermore, it is revealed that Alison Macrina – author of the 369-word “non-consensual washing” complaint posted under the pseudonym ‘Sam’ – is alleged to have had consensual sex with Jacob after his bath, a material factor that she did not reveal in her complaint against him, or apparently since.
When questioned about this by Zeit, she became incensed, and suggested that she did not consider her alleged omission of the consensual sex to be relevant.
The encounter between Jacob and Alison is said to have occurred in the days following what is alleged to be a consensual threesome with River that occured privately in a bedroom, rather than non-consensual sex in the lounge as had been claimed. This raises the possibility that the complainants becoming aware of the close timing of each other’s sexual encounters with Jacob may have retrospectively impacted the way they viewed, portrayed and related their interactions with him.
Taking Down An NSA Target
Regardless of the women’s motives, the net effect of their action has been the utter desecration of Jacob Appelbaum’s public image.
Appelbaum’s Tor Directory Authority had been specifically listed as an XKeyscore target in leaked NSA documents.
Jacob’s work with the documents furthered his interest and involvement in trying to curb the excesses of intelligence agencies engaging in surveillance.
There is a long, long list of reasons why the National Security State and its international counterparts are extremely pissed at him.
In the below video of an event at which he appeared with WikiLeaks’ Investigations Editor, Sarah Harrison (who is also the Acting Executive Director of the Courage Foundation) Jacob openly calls for direct action to be taken against US military bases, specifically the drone operation relay center at Rammstein, suggesting that activists should target its water supply:
Fastforward to this week and Alison Macrina tweeted:
According to Zeit and others before them, after Jacob Appelbaum’s expulsion from Tor their website listed Alison Macrina in his former position:
When I had questioned Macrina about this, she replied to me via Twitter that it was not true and stated that she does not work for the Tor Project. She then promptly blocked me before I could retweet her denial or screenshot it. Her tweet then disappeared from Twitter.
Why she stated that she does not work for Tor and may have deleted the tweet, is unclear. She is published on the Tor website, directly amplified through the official @TorProject Twitter account and additionally was named by Roger Dingledine in internal communications as someone that Tor staff should speak to with regards to the accusations against Jacob Appelbaum.
The association is beyond denial. So why would she attempt to distance herself from Tor? The only distinction that can logically be drawn is that as the founder of the Library Freedom Project, she may be in fact a Tor contractor/supplier of services rather than a salaried employee. Which, for someone so visible within the organisation, is splitting hairs.
Desecrating The Heroes Who Shared Their Platforms
Alison Macrina’s rise in exposure got a giant boost via the Library Freedom Project being amplified by Edward Snowden on Twitter in October 2015. On February 8th, 2016 she officially introduced herself to the Tor community by authoring a guest post on the Tor website.
Alison’s body language during the event was in stark contrast to the others present. Nervous laughter and fits of protracted too-loud and too-long giggling, combined with, at one point, her arms folded tightly across her chest. When it was her turn to speak, she spoke eloquently and confidently; when it was others speaking, she picked at loose strands of invisible fluff on her shoulder, kicked her crossed leg back and forth and leaned back in her seat.
At 54:35 in the video, when the person sitting next to her on the panel, David Mirza Ahmad, mentions Jacob Appelbaum by name, Alison Macrina does not even blink. There is no sign whatsoever of any recognition, discomfort, negative association, suppression of emotion or even the most subtle reaction to hearing Jacob’s name.
Despite the event occurring several months after she now alleges he had sexually assaulted her and some eight to ten weeks prior to her involvement in publishing the accusations against him.
In the wake of going public with her allegations, Macrina was directly pressuring WikiLeaks for comment.
By the end of July 2016, Appelbaum dispensed with, Macrina’s constant ribbing of and ire towards WikiLeaks, who were understandably reluctant to be drawn into the maelstrom, was being ratcheted up several notches:
Her above tweet – which was in defense of Edward Snowden – seemed ignorant of the fact that as a direct result of the campaign against Appelbaum, Snowden himself was being attacked by sock puppet accounts who were accusing him of being a rapist by association.
Some of the ensuing rhetoric got really, really nasty:
Unfortunately, it is not just sock puppet accounts attempting to take chunks out of Snowden.
After some discussion about ‘gatekeepers’ and leaking methodologies, this:
The term “rapey” is itself, offensive. With its use, the definition of rape is being willfully expanded into borderline meaninglessness and obscurity. As if there can be “racisty” or “sexisty” or “homophobicy”. There cannot. Rape is an absolute, and a serious crime against humanity. The term should not be callously invoked; watered down for the social convenience of he or she exercising the privilege inherently wielded when bastardising the language of the violated.
Macrina’s participation in the desecration of the very people who helped her rise to prominence, extends to jumping on the bandwagon of any criticism against WikiLeaks whatsoever, whether or not it was subsequently proven to be founded.
New York Times writer Zeynep Tufekci’s varying accusations of WikiLeaks having published (it didn’t) a dump of private information, have been thoroughly debunked:
Yet this has gone unacknowledged by Macrina and supporters, who lambast WikiLeaks at every opportunity.
Amazingly, WikiLeaks staunch support of organisations whose staff are actively undermining it, has continued unabated. When someone tried to deny that support exists, WikiLeaks made the salient point that in fact, every single page of their website promotes the use of Tor.
Unfortunately, these days WikiLeaks’ solidarity with these organisations seems to be a one-way street.
By August 2016, Alison’s original guest post on the Tor Project website had evolved into “Alison’s blog” – a dedicated space for her voice to be amplified by Tor, where she has now championed the release of official Tor internal policy documentation.
The passage they quote is from what I think of as the ‘second voice’ in River’s testimony… and we’ll look into how that may have come about soon.
A ‘Come To Jesus’ Moment
So how did Alison get from sitting on a stage with Julian Assange mid-March, not even registering or flinching at the mention of Jacob Appelbaum’s name, to claiming to be a sexual assault victim?
“I had my ‘come to Jesus’ moment months ago when I started hearing from victims.” – Alison Macrina, 6/6/2016
Herein lies a common thread in these stories.
What Alison is saying explains why she didn’t twitch a muscle at the mention of Appelbaum’s name on March 16. Because she didn’t realise she was a “victim” until later, when she heard complaints from other women.
River also says she didn’t realise she was a victim until she was told that her experiences were rape.
Isis Lovecruft says she had tried to convince herself she wasn’t a victim.
As explored in this series previously, Leigh Honeywell said she didn’t realise she was a victim until she took exception to Jacob Appelbaum’s support for Julian Assange.
So all four of the most significant claims of sexual assault, took years/months and group-think/collaboration in order to “realise” that they had been assaulted.
The strangeness doesn’t stop there. Isis’s blogpost revealing that she is the accuser ‘Forest’, simultaneously claims that she:
had spent “six months” collecting the stories of ‘victims’
didn’t initially tell the ‘victims’ who supposedly confided in her, that she was also a ‘victim’
didn’t intend to tell the Tor Project
planned to threaten Jake that they would tell the Tor Project “and other organisations”
told the Tor Project, but didn’t initially tell them she was a ‘victim’ either
After Jake caught wind of the intervention and, Isis alleges, threatened her, she presumably shelved the plan for an intervention. Her recounting of the so-called threats is really oblique at best, although later in her piece she subjectively lists a prospective legal count of blackmail.
In fact, she lists an entire slew of prospective legal counts against Jacob, with a final count of 35 years imprisonment as per her own calculations, all under the guise of answering why she wouldn’t pursue legal remedy. But the entire exercise just comes across as, ironically, a threat.
Especially given the sheer invention of counts such as “instructing a third-party to rape”, which do not reflect the published accusations at all.
Multi-party Edits, Manipulations and Manufactured Testimony
Researcher Janine Römer, who has been instrumental in documenting the unfolding saga, found evidence that seems to point to the presence of multiple editors making changes to the copy of the accusations published on the smear website.
The following is an excerpt of a conversation I had with her:
Janine: I noticed yesterday that the text of the entries on GitHub are coloured blue in odd places, and some have more blue text than others. Daniel’s has the least amount of blue from what I can tell. I can’t be sure about this but I suspect the blue text might be editing marks. The reason I think they’re editing marks is that places where I would expect the writer to put identifiable details (like Phoenix’s, where it describes the event), are areas where the text is blue. Same with the one that mentioned Jake’s fiancee. Actually in the one with “Jake’s fiancee,” it’s the opposite. Surrounded by blue text but then black text is inside the quotations. Either way I don’t know why the text is different colors.
Suzie: Typed/edited by multiple people?
Janine: Yes, this could support that.
Suzie: Fits with everything else I’m finding. Is there any way to show that that break in [River’s] rape testimony was typed by another person? If I’m right and it was an interjection – it says a LOT about the psychological profile of the person who did the interjecting and particularly in the powerplays of their relationship to that victim.
Janine: I’m not sure [of] it, they are images and I don’t know if the metadata would show that.
Given the obvious contentiousness of non-survivors editing or interjecting their own voice into alleged rape testimony, it is past time for the administrators of the site to come clean as to whether this indeed did happen, and to what extent.
Janine also brought to my attention the following tweet by one of the authors of the Die Zeit article:
Janine says of the above tweet:
“It sums up my thoughts on it. People who use GitHub do so for transparency reasons – open-source code, open-source writing. But the way they did it was not transparent, as they tried very hard to erase evidence of mistakes by deleting repositories.” – Janine Römer
“The GitHub copies of the entries are PNG images. Initially, all the entries were marked with the same date of December 31st, 2015; since then, newer entries have not only been given different dates but the dates on earlier entries were changed (you can [compare them in the archives](https://archive.is/https://github.com/ioerrror/jacobappelbaum.net*)). It is unclear what the date signifies.” – Janine Römer
According to Die Zeit, at least one of the ‘victim’ testimonies was manufactured on their behalf without their permission:
That the creators of the site saw fit to outright concoct a testimony on the basis of hearsay and rumour, then to publish it without the consent of the so-called ‘victim’, jeopardises the integrity of all of the testimony that they published.
Of additional concern, is the 81-word testimony of ‘West’:
From the beginning, this account seemed anomalous. How could someone traumatised by an unwanted advance of a sexual nature only have 81 words to say about it? The reference to being ‘very wary of communicable disease‘ reads as if the writer needed to create a reason why the subject would be so offended by a surprise kiss. The reference to ‘others present voiced their disapproval of the surprise advance, especially given my concerns about disease‘ begs the question – how did these others know of said concerns?
Is West an actual complainant, willingly participating in JacobAppelbaum.net? Or has this account been manufactured to, yet again without consent, represent the subject of the later-debunked claims of what Shepherd, Patterson and Tan said they saw at a hacker event?
Regardless, the fact that such a benign allegation was ever included alongside a claim of rape, speaks volumes about the intentions of the editors. Their focus on quantity of allegations over quality has only served to dillute and detract from the severity of the accounts of River and Isis.
Revisiting The Linguistics
In the first part of this series, I published screenshots of linguistic analyses of each of the allegations. All of the originally published testimonies including Sam and Forest’s, with the exception of Daniel and West, resolved to a reading level of 9th-10th grade.
Daniel and West’s pieces were written at ‘College Student’ reading level.
Curious about the anomaly, I analysed multiple samples of each of Alison Macrina, Isis Lovecruft and Meredith Patterson’s published writings on other blogs. All of the test samples produced a ‘College Student’ reading level.
So who wrote Daniel’s testimony? Did that same person then write West’s? If so, logically these accounts would be written by Meredith. Only she can confirm whether that is true. And why would the ‘Sam’ and ‘Forest’ testimonies on JacobAppelbaum.net be written at a 9th-10th grade reading level, when their writings on other sites are all ‘College Student’ level?
Apparently, if you want your information to have impact, good writing is all about knowing your readers:
According to the below statistics (from the website linked directly above), the average adult reads at a 9th grade reading level. The maximum “tolerable limit” is 11th grade.
It appears that the core testimonies on JacobAppelbaum.net were carefully constructed to have impact with a wide, common audience, and thus needed to be dumbed down in order to be approachable.
Yet the editors apparently felt that Daniel’s either couldn’t or shouldn’t be altered, which speaks to the power dynamics within the “collective”.
In short – the site copy was constructed to achieve maximum saturation.
Meredith, Victims of Jake & Weaponising Social
What first gave me the idea to analyse the linguistics of the allegations was the early discovery that Meredith L. Patterson is a linguistics graduate.
Her widely circulated Twitter commentary on the scandal, along with her track record of many years of labelling Appelbaum a plagiarist, and later a rapist; the prominence of the accusations of plagiarism on the JacobAppelbaum.net website; and the early reference of the @VictimsofJake account (then called @TimeToDieJake) to her deceased husband, Len Sassaman, led to a logical conclusion that she may have a deeper significance in the campaign against him.
However, the @VictimsofJake tweet was not the only instance of Sassaman’s death being tied to Appelbaum by someone who dislikes him:
According to Janine Römer:
“The VoJ account was created on June 3rd and that’s when it first tweeted and it had relatively early knowledge of the website because it tweeted a link to an early version that wasn’t live anymore. That was also the day Steele published the first blog post…
…very few knew about the website before the 4th [of June], so anyone who did is significant.” – Janine Römer
Founder of the think-tank Weaponising Social, Meredith has, funnily enough, published a 3-part blog series about the saga. It is framed as a complex theoretical-cum-practical academic discussion about psychopathy and sociopaths.
There’s a pattern most observers of human interaction have noticed, common enough to have earned its own aphorism: “nice guys finish last.” Or, refactored, “bad actors are unusually good at winning.” – Meredith L Patterson
She soon launches into a mini-lecture about social engineering:
She sneers at the idea that federal agents might work to engineer a scenario like this, even though the Snowden revelations re JTRIG, and many other real-world examples have proven that is precisely what they are employed to do.
“As accounts of the sociopath’s misdeeds come out, the sociopath’s narrative has to become more and more convoluted in order to keep the fanboys believing. “They’re all feds!” he shrieks. “Every last one of them!” Uh-huh. Sure. Because the feds always assign multiple agents not only to target one guy who can’t even keep his dick in his pants, but to become his coworkers, don’t they? This is not exactly an inexpensive proposition. Reality check: if the feds had wanted to pull a honeytrap (which there’d be no reason to do, given his mascot-only status at Tor), everything would have been a lot more cut-and-dried.” – Meredith Patterson
Funnily enough, the extrapolation of valid, precedented, founded fears of malicious interference by state agents into “They’re all feds… Every last one of them!” is something I have not seen suggested by any of Appelbaum’s supporters, but which is constantly touted by his detractors, in defense of themselves.
The obvious reality is that it wouldn’t have to be “all”. That is simply a smokescreen. It would only have to be one.
One who for example, dressed the “collective” action up as a good cause (defending victims! Holding a serial rapist to account!) to convince a couple of others close to them that they had been wronged and should participate. Who then collectively convinced increasing numbers of people that they should side with the ’cause’, for everyone’s benefit. While, funnily enough, the end result is to almost everyone’s detriment. Except the engineer/s of the plot and their small handful of key beneficiaries.
Patterson is right however that HUMINT infiltration of activist’s lives is not an inexpensive undertaking. That is why, literally, billions of dollars are assigned to funding U.S. Counterinsurgency strategy, which has been proven to be at play against activists and is predicated upon a theory that the target’s ideology, places of refuge or sanctuary, and resources must be relentlessly attacked and ultimately denied them.
Precisely as has happened to Jacob Appelbaum.
The sanctity of his home, his established reputation, his community affiliations and organisations, his employment and income, his reputation and even his ideology, stripped from him.
“The rockstar activist plays on non-rockstars’ fears of organized state opposition to their activism, and convinces non-rockstars that any challenge to the rockstar’s status is evidence of an organized plot against the activist group.”
It defies logic that Meredith isn’t well aware of how The Empire operates. She quotes military theory in her own blogposts:
Especially in the context of her think-tank, Weaponising Social, her last sentence is really worth quoting again, as it is just so fitting to this entire situation.
“Push hard enough from enough directions, and possibly the victim even becomes overwhelmed and stops functioning – a distributed denial of service.” – Meredith Patterson
The first Twitter accounts to tweet out the ‘early version’ of the website were:
On 15 June 2016 @VictimsOfJake intimated that Wired magazine would be interviewing River.
No such interview eventuated. Wired‘s June 6th article appears to be their only published piece on the scandal.
However, the suggestion that River will be coming forward to the press reinforces information provided to me by various sources. Though the subject of that information also seems to take issue with the @VictimsofJake account.
One person suggested that @VictimsofJake is EFF Director and journalist Jillian C. York, although based on other evidence, it is unlikely to be the case.
Distancing Themselves From Themselves
On August 9th, two months after the fact, Meredith finally covered off the topic everyone had been wondering about, for so long: why she hadn’t apologised for coming forward as an ‘eye-witness’ to an alleged incident that turned out to be a misrepresentation of yet another (non)victim:
As for Andrea Shepherd, this is the closest to an (non)apology that I’ve been able to find: [note: if something more substantial exists elsewhere, I’ll happily include it here]
The full-time anti-ioerror troll account @VoodooHacks seems to think Shepherd was the instigator of the scandal:
In Meredith’s posts, she ostensibly admits to being an organiser of the events, chides accuser Leigh Honeywell and alludes to Andrea Shepherd being a survivor of rape:
“Honeywell conveniently neglects to mention that this solution has its own critical failure mode: what happens to members of marginalized groups whom the existing affinity group considers unpersons? I can tell you, since it happened here: we had to organize on our own. Honeywell’s report came as a surprise to both me and Tor developer Andrea Shepard, because we weren’t part of that whisper network. Nor would we expect to be, given how Honeywell threw Andrea under the bus when Andrea tried to reach out to her for support in the past.” – Meredith Patterson
This seems to be reinforced by the @VictimsofJake account:
[UPDATE: further information has shed light on Meredith’s comment – she was apparently not intimating that Andrea had complained of rape to Honeywell, but of harrassment re the Pando crowd]
Clearly there is no love lost between the organisers of the campaign.
“the opportunity to gloat over seeing one’s prey stumble is too difficult to resist.” – Meredith Patterson
It is a shame Shepherd, Tan and Patterson didn’t take Meredith’s own advice and just frankly and immediately publically apologise for what they did to Jill, who was needlessly dragged into this highly public mess through no fault of her own.
“An honest person will try to find out how to make it right, while a bad actor will try to make it all about them.” – Meredith Patterson
When Friends and Enemies Say The Same Thing
An anonymous Tor developer posted a text file to the internet which made a number of significant claims about who is behind the JacobAppelbaum.net site and what their involvement is.
@VictimsOfJake promptly responded in a similar format.
Meanwhile, one of Alison Macrina’s friends was inadvertently corroborating some of the claims of the anonymous Tor developer and dropping Macrina in the proverbial by bragging about the extent of her involvement, on Jacob Appelbaum’s Wikipedia Talk page.
He then recanted “for legal reasons”.
A puzzling element regarding Macrina’s involvement, is why her ‘Sam’ story was not published when the site went live. It was in fact at that time, merely a placeholder.
Looking back at her Twitter timeline, she spent the night of the release of the allegations “excited to see the morning sunlight“. Her next tweet was a retweet of the Stanford rape survivor’s statement – seemingly a deliberate attempt to prep her audience for what would come. However, as discussed in Part One of this series, at 7,200+ words chock-full of victim impact, that statement bears absolutely no resemblence whatsoever to the so-called testimonies subsequently posted on the smear website JacobAppelbaum.net:
So Macrina went from not realising she was a victim and not being one of the original statements posted, to being the first to ‘out’ herself as a victim publically, to being ‘OK’ with her face being plastered onto her alleged attacker’s Wikipedia page.
Branding The Take-Down
There was a clear agenda to brand Macrina as “the face of victims” – despite the fact that she had not been raped.
The attempt to have a non-survivor become a self-styled representative for the survivors of violent rapes is reprehensible.
But there is no doubt that the scandal was yet again raising Macrina’s profile.
When being called out by Shava Nerad, ironically the original Executive Director of the Tor Project, for decrying “rock stars” while quite obviously becoming one, none other than Macrina’s Wikipedia-editor friend jumps to her defense:
Becoming The Police
The unfortunate Tor employees and advocates who had nothing to do with either those being smeared or those doing the smearing, were inevitably feeling the strain.
As were the wider activist community. What was done to Appelbaum had a catastrophic effect on personal relationships between long-time colleagues and friends, and fractured solidarity between organisations and subgroups.
“We’ve seen peak Berlin“, a core member who had been around for more than a decade told me.
Anyone who had visibly worked closely with Appelbaum and didn’t choose to instantly abandon him became collateral damage and subject to attacks and rumourmongering.
Even if their choice was based on knowledge that what was being said about him didn’t add up.
Tor allowing months to go by with accusations of rape hovering over the heads of unnamed persons known only as “Jake’s friends” was a callous and effective smear on everyone that knew him. Their constant refusal to this day to elaborate on precisely what those friends are supposedly guilty of or alleged to have done, on what basis two of them have now been fired, and the masking of their identities, is a brush that has tarred scores of people.
Meanwhile, the over-saturation of the story, which was being rehashed by anti-ioerror sockpuppet accounts on a daily basis, who were acting as a thought police by asked leading, open-ended questions of anyone who even mentioned him on Twitter, began to wear thin.
The controversy became more than an attack on Appelbaum – it became an existential threat to the Tor Project itself:
The narrative of the so-called ‘victims collective’ was ‘codes of conduct’ and ‘(un)acceptable behaviours’ and ‘safe spaces policy’ – social contracts that have ironically been used to rip activists groups apart for decades.
The introduction of safer spaces policy at Occupy had been the turning point that marked the rise of the movement becoming the demise of the movement. As soon as your personnel and resources are spent writing social contracts that then require enforcement, your focus is no longer external but internal.
Because when you start making laws, then someone has to become the police.
And having police around doesn’t make anyone feel any safer.
The message has been very clear: if you are with the newly ruling clique, they have your back. If you question them, the bees are coming.
In this instance, the institution of safer spaces policy and codes of conduct is a reinforcement of the rule of those who have formed a new executive governance.
That the policies are being instituted by the same people who have wreaked havoc upon the community, is a signal: if you don’t bow down, then as Meredith says, either jump or be pushed.
[Note: the social contract promoted by Macrina above is not the new code of conduct and community guidelines which is supposedly, to follow.]
Selective Solidarity and Dirt Digging
Little of the conduct evinced in this article by Tor’s new police force aligns with the creation of inclusive, safe spaces.
While perceived adversaries are mocked and mobbed instead of embraced and reconciled, the hostility culture is only going to get worse.
Likewise as ideological disagreements become highly personalised.
Throughout this series I had people come foward to me with information. I also uncovered a ton of it myself. This included veritable mountains of info about people’s intimate and sexual relationships. Some of the evidence I found blatantly contradicted other public claims they have made about them. I have decided not to publish any of it, because, as Shepherd once said of Pando:
In defense of her misrepresentations about the AKP emails “dump”, Zynep Tufekci sent me a link to a New York Times piece that was supposed to reinforce her claims. Being me, I clicked on the source links and found myself at Gawker and Gizmodo, reading about Julian Assange’s children, and his ten-year-old love letters.
Any credibility the article had went straight out the window.
The state agencies come at you through your romantic relationships, whether it be past, present or future; through your children, through your family, through your work, through your identity. That is the methodology of the unscrupulous; the immoral. Of scoundrels.
It is clear without any doubt that all personal grievances aside, the ultimate target is WikiLeaks and the aggravating factor is that the U.S. Presidential election is now a matter of mere weeks away.
The corporate media are speaking in unison against Trump and for the election of Clinton. You can find a half dozen articles decrying the former and another half dozen promoting the latter on any of the vast majority of big name American media websites.
It is not a coincidence.
Even though, to (very loosely) borrow from Sebastian Mondial, the candidates are two socks on the feet of the same person.
As this series progressed, the uniformly anti-WikiLeaks positions of Appelbaum’s accusers and their supporters became increasingly evident. Which neatly lined up with larger governmental objectives of bringing down the entire WikiLeaks publishing organisation rather than just some individuals associated with it.
But just as with the very protracted desecration of Julian Assange’s reputation, despite all the furore and spectacle the public dismemberment of Jacob Appelbaum did not stop WikiLeaks publishing, nor has it visibly hindered their work.
In the wake of the #DNCLeak, arguably WikiLeaks most successful release to date, it has become clear that yes, WikiLeaks remains the meta target, and more – that the catastrophic divisions created within the privacy and infosec community in the wake of the Appelbaum smears are falling squarely along ideological political lines.
The Circus In Full Swing
Election year madness has kicked in full-throttle, exposing the true colours of organisations and individuals alike and throwing a bunch of unlikely bedfellows together.
Wholly embracing the stage-managed divide-and-conquer dichotomy of (in Assange’s words) “Cholera versus Gonorrhea“, countless major players have thrown their full weight behind their preferred candidate.
The military industrial complex has stamped their seal of approval on Hillary Clinton. They fully intend her to be the next President of the United States of America.
So have the major New York magazines and newspapers – in particular, the New York Times, and more broadly, the vast majority of the media networks and the monopolies that own them.
In the case of the New York Times – denouncing WikiLeaks is not only ideological but a desperate attempt to distance themselves from any perceived culpability for having partnered with them, co-publishing their leaks, in the past.
It is the mass media equivalent of obtaining immunity by publically testifying against your co-accused. A corporate’s version of “turning state witness” – before the trial, in the court of public opinion.
The same New York Times that told America in 2002 that Iraq had WMD’s, has published at least three hit pieces on WikiLeaks this month alone, and incredibly, yet somehow fittingly, became the “exclusive” publication of choice for the Tor Project’s “independent investigation” findings.
The ties between the Tor Project and the New York Times run deep. It is well known, and was publically celebrated by those close to the individual involved, that an ex Tor Project employee took up a significant position at the NYT.
Nicole Perlroth, the author involved failed to answer as to how or why they had gained access to the ‘exclusive’ from the Tor Project, and the Tor Project refused to answer to why the findings of a rape investigation was an ‘exclusive’ at all.
Perlroth has a history of propagating anti-WikiLeaks sentiment in the paper.
In her June 4th statement, published the same day that JacobAppelbaum.net began widespread public circulation, Shari Steele wrote:
“We expect that this will be our only public statement.” – Shari Steele, Executive Director of The Tor Project
Less than two months later, Steele is exclusively interviewed by the New York Times. What happened in between, to prompt such a radical change in strategy?
Tor’s choice of mass-media outlet was almost as strange as the packaging of rape-investigation findings as an “exclusive” at all. Not to mention that, without any apparent request for retraction or correction by the Tor Project, the New York Times had recently reported that the Tor Project’s board “was pushed out“:
…a claim that directly contradicted Executive Director Shari Steele’s statement that the board had “elected” their replacements in “a bold and selfless decision” to effectively resign en masse.
For such a claim to go unchallenged, and answered by the granting of an “exclusive”, reads as if the messaging of what had really occurred was being tacitly approved if not outright pushed through the NYT, from behind closed doors at Tor.
Selecting The New Board Members
Ideological alignment with the actions of Shari Steele and “the company” regarding Appelbaum’s exit, and/or those behind the JacobAppelbaum.net site, may have been an assumptive prerequisite of qualification for placement on the new Tor Project board.
Coleman begins with praise for the aforementioned:
20 days later, she was officially announced as a member of the new board.
Also announced as a new board member, was Associate Professor Matt Blaze:
Shari Steele’s NYT Exclusive
It is in the wake of this appointment of the new board that Shari Steele was ‘exclusively’ interviewed by the New York Times, over the outcome of the Tor Project investigation into the rape claims.
The crux of the exclusive interview with Steele isn’t even mentioned until the 15th of the 18 paragraphs in the article.
The two sparse quotes from Shari appear at the very bottom and comprise less than 10% of the total word count.
Why did the New York Times feel the need to minimise their exclusive access?
They state that their interview with Steele was undertaken “late Tuesday” – that is the day before the Tor Project announced the findings of the investigation. So there is no doubt that they indeed had exclusive access regarding the outcome. Gizmodo had knowledge of the exclusivity of the interview at least several days beforehand. Yet that fact is as downplayed as the verbiage of the original allegations.
The Tor Project, a nonprofit digital privacy group, announced on Wednesday that an internal investigation had confirmed allegations of sexual misconduct…
The article references the official Tor Project statement that accompanied the so-called release of the findings.
“Many people inside and outside the Tor Project have reported incidents of being humiliated, intimidated, bullied and frightened by Jacob, and several experienced unwanted sexually aggressive behavior from him.”
“Sexually aggressive behaviour.”
Not sexual assault. Not rapes. Not gang rape. Not serial rape. Not instructing others to rape. Not violence, or sexual violence. Not stupefication. Or any of the other claims plastered all over social media and elsewhere, by his accusers and others.
Instead, as a result of their supposedly thorough, independent investigation, the claims have been dramatically downgraded.
I anticipate that Tor’s defenders will say that this is just the organisation trying not to get sued. Trying to limit its liability. That the statement is the result of professional advice. That they are not law enforcement and cannot label something a crime that hasn’t been tested in court by a judge and/or jury.
Which would run completely contrary to the lauding of Tor by those same defenders as having taken a strong stand for women, in support of the community and against rape and sexual assault.
As being ‘feminist’ superheroes, working for Gaia.
What is far more likely, is that the promised “dozens of victims” never manifested.
[UPDATE: the majority of the existing allegations relate to inappropriate workplace behaviour. However, with the exception of one joke at the Valencia conference where the complainant was not the person the joke was directed at, all other complaints of ‘professional misconduct’ did not occur at a place of work. There was in fact, no workplace. Jacob has been in exile for three years. There were no official Tor rules against, and indeed there was a culture of, social fraternising at pubs/clubs/private homes.)
The H.R. Leaks
On the liability front – Tor’s prior statements and conduct regarding this debacle have been highly questionable. Tor management have allowed multiple staff members to remain employed while visibly running an ongoing online smear campaign against another employee. There is evidence senior management knew about it in advance. They have tacitly endorsed, by their silence regarding it, the leaking of private human resources documents and other information from within the organisation. Leaks that were prejudicial and likely to be in the personal interest of those anonymously making the disclosures in order to support their own claims and to shore up the position of the organisation, rather than in the public interest.
Tor’s initial statement was, in the words of Roger Dingledine, “stripped down” and “bland“. It was in fact 24 words.
It is actually highly unusual for cases, even involving large numbers of victims, to get immediate attention in mainstream press.
Bill Cosby has constantly been brought up by Appelbaum’s detractors, but what they fail to note is that Cosby’s victims, all of whom had been raped or sexually assaulted, had to organise and fight for decades in order to be heard.
Likewise with those behind the Child Sex Inquiry in Britain, which has also spanned decades and still not yet achieved any laudable outcome.
While ignoring demonstrable, provable cases of rape, those who seek to champion rape survivors in name only have a tendency to apply their sympathies only where it suits them.
Worse – there is a clear pattern of partisanship evidenced by key voices in other major outlets which were specifically established to provide a critical counter-narrative to the duopoly of the status quo. Partisanship to me does not mean expressing political views – by all means, journalists should have and express political views. But when their articles are running the same lines as the New York Times on a regular basis – and ignoring material facts while quoting New York Times writers – chances are, they should still be at the New York Times.
Slowly but surely, once-radical organisations which many risked their lives to establish, grow and promote, are being co-opted into reinforcing the reality TV sideshow of the election cycle.
Those who are naturally disgusted by both the obviously corrupt and dangerous Hillary Clinton and the painfully inept and equally dangerous Donald Trump are being browbeaten into supporting Clinton regardless, constantly bludgeoned by the manufactured ‘threat’ of Trump being elected.
They are told that third-party ‘protest’ votes either don’t matter, or worse. As if third-party options that have incrementally increased their vote share, maturing and ultimately rising to prominence around the world (and ultimately even winning elections) did do so by no one voting for them.
The obviousness that in order for there to be a viable third party, people have to vote for them, seems to escape these hawks, who are so obsessed by chasing their next funding round that they end up undermining their own founding objectives and principles, to the detriment of us all.
In their quest to ‘play the game’ and thus secure their own fiscal future – nothing guarantees a favoured status like promoting amongst their own ranks and supporters, hatred of and disdain for Clinton’s number one enemy: Julian Assange and WikiLeaks.
CIA Employee Hired By Tor Project
As has been proven, Tor/EFF and associated organisations are now being dominated by WikiLeaks detractors. But even more menacing, is the revelation of a CIA employee literally leaving the agency one day and starting work for Tor the very next day.
His inclusion took employees by surprise, and none were more visibly incensed about it than Jacob Appelbaum.
Funnily enough, when the ‘State of the Onion’ address at HopeX rolled around this year – an update on Tor Project recent happenings that Appelbaum traditionally gives – the schedule contained absolutely no mention of the elephant in the room:
The widely-perused leaked chat log of Appelbaum and others confronting the recently ex-CIA employee about his presence in Tor speaks volumes about the internal culture, and the voraciousness of Appelbaum’s understandable opposition to the hiring.
In short, the employee says he left the CIA because he loves Tor so much. You be the judge.
Jake’s concerns about Tor funding had predated the ex-CIA employee incident by some time:
While the target of widespread criticism for being effectively paid by the same government that he so often railed against, it is clear that Jacob himself was deeply concerned about Tor’s funding ties and the extent to which that effected decisions made by the organisation.
[Note: Several people – none of which are Jacob – have come forward to me privately raising concerns not just about the above issues but also about other activities that Tor has been “spending money on” – including but not limited to enhanced metrics for measuring user activity and location around specific ‘events’. That project has been funded “in part by the National Science Foundation”, and as other specific project funders (“sponsors”) are marked only by pseudonymous letters, it is an entire kettle of fish in and of itself that will need people with more technical expertise than I to examine further.]
WikiLeaks and The Iraq War
Indeed, the derision Jacob has faced has not only been due to the sexual assault/rape allegations, or the funding sources of his former employer.
Rather than ask the obvious questions surrounding the revelations of the ex-CIA employee ostensibly leaving an intelligence agency one day to arrive amongst the ranks of Tor developers the next, the topic of conversation over the leaked log astonishingly instead focused on other comments made by Jacob in the log.
Particularly, where he referenced his volunteer work with WikiLeaks.
His reference to WikiLeaks having helped to scale down military conlict in Iraq were personified to him.
The ridicule expounded upon Jacob’s comment: “later with WikiLeaks, I did help end the Iraq War.” This was regurgitated by @ErrataRob, to great hilarity, that Appelbaum was claiming to have “single-handedly ended the war in Iraq“.
However, in the eagerness to poke fun at Appelbaum and at WikiLeaks, the facts of the matter fell by the wayside. As Glenn Greenwald had reported for Salon – WikiLeaks indeed did have a hand in events that ultimately led to decisions by the Iraqi government that led to the down-scaling of the conflict.
“..negotiations were strained following WikiLeaks’ release of a diplomatic cable that alleged Iraqi civilians, including children, were killed in a 2006 raid by American troops rather than in an airstrike as the U.S. military initially reported.” – Glenn Greenwald
[UPDATE: as per WikiLeaks statement at the time, which ratifies the above: “It was WikiLeaks’ revelations – not the actions of President Obama – that forced the U.S. administration out of the Iraq War. By exposing the killing of Iraqi children, WikiLeaks directly motivated the Iraqi government to strip the U.S. military of legal immunity, which in turn forced the U.S. withdrawal.”]
The above accusation that Appelbaum doesn’t back up his assertions is eerily similar to the denials by FBI informant Hector ‘Sabu’ Monsegur that Appelbaum was of interest to the FBI.
In the above thread, @ErrataRob demands logs of Appelbaum’s references to Monsegur having attempted to entrap him on behalf of the FBI.
Ironically, Sabu also asks for logs. The reason it is ironic, is because it has been widely reported that the FBI monitored all of Sabu’s interactions 24/7, throughout the time that he was entrapping and informing on activists and journalists, including myself. So the simple answer is – while we might not have the logs – the FBI sure do. But funnily enough, they aren’t forthcoming with information, as poignantly demonstrated by the FBI General Counsel’s replies to Jacob Appelbaum’s questioning of her, in the below video:
National Security Letters were served on providers requesting the personal data of Jacob Appelbaum and gagging them, as reported by the Wall Street Journal in October 2011. Well in advance of Sabu’s informing rampage which stretched at least throughout most of 2012, and well into 2013. Yet Sabu continues to maintain that Appelbaum is not an FBI target.
Mustafa Al-Bassam promptly replied with the obvious:
@ErrataRob has a long history of trying to debuff Appelbaum, only to be shot down with publically available information.
It is now being reported by Violet Blue that Jacob Appelbaum has been listed as “an official Charlatan”:
Branding Appelbaum a charlatan is an eerie throwback to years of FBI informant Monsegur slinging about the exact same term. Searching @hxmonsegur & ‘charlatan’ yields 19 results.
Now that using the term ‘serial rapist’ is clearly off the cards, maybe subjective terms like ‘charlatan’ are all his detractors have left.
The long list of people the FBI informant has referred to as a “charlatan” is quite impressive.
Fastforward to this week, and the ‘rapist’ smear of Jacob Appelbaum is being downgraded to ‘sexual aggressor’.
This is probably indicative of the trajectory of opinion for the vast majority of the crowds that got on the anti-Appelbaum bandwagon early, only to belatedly discover that things are not at all as they seemed.
The Voice Of Reason
There were several voices of sanity, however. Even in the heat of the campaign, Courage beneficiary, whistleblower and hacker Lauri Love made it clear the issue was not the simple black or white dichotomy that Appelbaum’s accusers had been determined to force people into.
The ‘you’re either with us or against us’ attitude espoused by @VictimsofJake, openly wielded against anyone who didn’t immediately side with the mob from the outset, is immature, hypocritical and counter-productive.
At 01:09:51 in the first video embedded in this article featuring Sarah Harrison and Jacob Appelbaum, Jacob makes a fascinating offhand comment:
“I know that I’ve behaved completely differently knowing that there’s probably sex tapes being made in my – not just by me! – not to imply what I think I just implied but, you get the point…” – Jacob Appelbaum
This corroborates my earlier suspicion that Jacob knew full well that his home was under constant surveillance and that that surveillance may extend to the interior of his home and not just the exterior.
Common conventional methods of forming romantic partnerships that the general public takes for granted, become simply out of the question. Dating apps, cruising bars, hooking up with strangers for one-night stands, or engaging in liaisons outside of your trusted peer group can present not just a reputational risk but even a mortal one. Many of us, as a necessary measure of self-protection, are forced into prolonged periods of abstinence purely for survival.
When meeting new people doesn’t gel with your threat model, there is no other choice but to seek comfort amongst those in your existing community. Thus, the answer as to why Jacob engaged in such ‘risky’ behaviour is likely that amongst his close friends – those he perceived as facing many of the same challenges as him – was the sole environment in which he could express his sexuality.
A lesson hard learned.
In that same video, Appelbaum comments:
“You can’t really blow the whistle these days without blowing up your own life; on really serious issues, with large state adversaries.” – Jacob Appelbaum
The massive powers that Jake Appelbaum took on, have taken the spotlight off themselves, by making a spectacle of him.
Just as they did with Julian Assange.
The Missing Dozens
FBI informant Sabu’s publication of choice The Daily Dot, claimed a female source told them there were “easily a dozen” victims of Appelbaum.
For the record, the Daily Dot has spoken to a dozen sources alleging misconduct. We have spoken to four people who have relayed personal stories of harassment and sexual assault. Some of these women have described themselves as members of an underground “victim network” that now consists of more than a dozen individuals. We understand some are discussing revealing their names and stories soon.
In Isis Lovecruft’s follow-up blogpost, she writes:
“…additional reports of extremely severe sexual assaults and rape are pouring in to The Tor Project.”
In the findings of the Tor Project’s rape investigation there is only mention of two other cases. It is not stated whether these two cases are ‘Briar’ and ‘Alice’.
“It should not be required that a dozen people are harmed before any one of them is taken seriously.”
However, if we take into account the information in this series, and in the Die Zeit article, it changes that picture dramatically.
Nature of Complaint
Public / Anonymous
Allegedly omitted mention of consensual sex following the bath. Claim relates to same timeframe as River
Eye-witnesses claimed to Die Zeit: multiple consensual events over a three day period have been muddled into one misrepresentative non-consensual claim and that no rape actually occurred.
(Isis Agora Lovecruft)
Organised victim statements/reported to Tor Project but didn’t disclose that she was also a victim. Later claimed victim status
Potentially written by one of the creators of the website or its administrators
Extremely brief account that does not detail any specifics
May have been invented by one of the creators of the website/administrators
Professional improprieties including propositioning. Has been ratified by several prominent eye-witnesses.
Claims was targeted after entertaining notion of snitch-jacketing Appelbaum
‘Alice’ says her account was manufactured/ published without her knowledge or consent
It is unknown at this time why this ‘placeholder’ account never eventuated
during BDSM consensual sex (particulars of claimed non-consensual activity unstated)
Historical claim. Says that years after the fact, Appelbaum’s support for WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange made her realise she had been violated
Self-described “eye-witnesses” wrongly claimed that Jill was a “victim”
(came forward by necessity)
The “victim” herself says she was not a “victim” and was alarmed to find that she was being misrepresented as one
In the above table:
ORANGE: Accounts that may have been misrepresented, manipulated or invented by smear organisers. (Not reflected: a ‘second’ voice may also have been inserted into middle of River’s testimony)
GREY: Claims that do not involve physical contact of any description but outline personal or professional grievances
BLUE: Complaints that don’t actually describe what happened in detail or are highly unlikely to be pursuable by law – i.e. being kissed in a bar
RED: Claims which are contested by eye-witnesses or by the ‘victim’ themselves
YELLOW: The sole remaining testimony which details a crime
Not listed above:
Accounts by others who say they were pressured into claiming ‘victim’ status
Some other historical accounts by third parties related to unprofessional or unkind speech – such as has already been admitted to by Appelbaum in the Die Zeit article and prior to that, in his original press statement
Taking the findings in the table into account, using the same colour code and looking objectively at what remains, this is what the “serial rapist” / “dozens of victims” claims now look like:
Isis a.k.a. ‘Forest’, who admits to spending “six months” collecting the stories of “victims”, and who didn’t reveal her own allegations to the others or to the Tor Project until after the fact, is the only one left.
Only two people know for sure whether her allegations are true.
Jake and Isis.
The Macrina Logs
Multiple sources have provided me with chat logs featuring Alison Macrina. Some I have been able to verify the authenticity of, some I have not.
There is evidence of a concerted effort not just to air the grievances of alleged rape victims, or to warn others away from having anything to do with Appelbaum, but of a conspiracy to act against him in unison with the very specific objective of damaging his career beyond repair.
Furthermore, there is evidence of pressure being applied both to people whose testimonies appear on the smear website and some who don’t, to denounce Appelbaum or to come forward publically to shore up support for the others involved.
At this time, in the interests of source protection I am withholding the full logs. It is possible that they will be released at a future date.
[UPDATE: this heartbreaking open letter by @shiromarieke cannot be ignored. It catalogues the toxic culture remaining at Tor, the failures of management, the lies and selectivity of those who created the smear campaign and the extremely disappointing end results.]
[UPDATE:posted on the same day as the above, but from half a world away, yet another Tor supporter (one who was the subject of a police raid for running a Tor exit node) has pulled his support from the project, citing gross professional misconduct on the part of Tor management.]
Yes It Is All About Us – They Make Damn Sure Of That
For Persons of Interest, it is made to be all about us because the government is desperately afraid of it being all about them.
Their illegality, their wrongdoing. Which is perpetrated on a massive scale.
So they invest ridiculous amounts of resources into creating a file that is quite literally all about us.
They undertake investigations which are internally framed as being all about us.
They plant agents and concoct situations which are all about us.
They attack us by every possible vector because to them, their very survival requires that it be all about us.
The reason for this is because having shone a spotlight on the powers that be is usually how Persons of Interest are selected in the first place.
Then, once they’ve turned our lives upside down and made a huge spectacle of us, they say “oh – so it’s all about you! You’re a narcissist!”
They called Julian Assange a narcissist, they called Edward Snowden a narcissist, now they call Jacob Appelbaum a narcissist.
In this, the post-Orwell age – where spy agencies are turned upon their own citizens just like the Stasi they used to decry, and drone murderers kill teenagers and babies and then win the Nobel Prize: to be called a narcissist by these people who are the ultimate narcissists – those who kill with impunity and lie about it with no remorse – to be told with scorn and derision in a mocking and accusatory tone that it is “all about you” – is a badge of merit and a profound honour.
I once tried to tell Jacob Appelbaum a funny joke. He did not think it was funny.
In fact, he was visibly mortified and uncomfortable.
My joke was a retelling of something that had happened to me when I was still on the opposite side of the planet.
I have a really dark, sardonic, acerbic Kiwi sense of humour, that has been sharpened by surviving everything that has been thrown at me to date.
Unfortunately, it didn’t translate well.
Fortunately, he didn’t make a smear website lambasting me about it.
There are Persons of Interest who the surveillance state merely monitors – and there are those who it actively harms.
The latter, and those who facilitate and inflict that harm, will instantly understand that every word of this article is true.
Everyone else is going to need to read carefully, do a lot of thinking, and click on all the links and their source links in turn.
For this post is not just about a group of women who accused Jacob Appelbaum of heinous assaults and social improprieties, although that will be extensively covered.
This article is, as promised, about the mammoth and monumental, colossal issues which are intertwined with that and are conveniently being overshadowed by it.
For we are all being polarised into a fake diametric supposition – that either Jacob Appelbaum targets people, or Jacob Appelbaum is being targeted.
But the real target is WikiLeaks.
I was stunned by the massive and consequential ramifications of Appelbaum’s #30c3 revelations, so I was determined to get the key messages through to non-techy people.
I had been talking about what was being done to activists cellphones by spy agencies since early 2012. The reason I knew what was happening was not from reverse engineering spyware like Jake or Morgan Marquis-Boire or Jeremie Zimmerman and other clever people do, but from my own personal experience of being a target.
Quoting from the blurb of this video of “To Protect and Infect – The Militarisation of the Internet“, presented by Morgan Marquis-Boire and Claudio Guarnieri:
“Chaos Communication Congress – 29/12/2013
2013 will be remembered as the year that the Internet lost its innocence for nearly everyone as light was shed on the widespread use of dragnet surveillance by the NSA and intelligence agencies globally. With the uprisings of the Arab Spring where people raided the offices of their regimes to bring evidence to light, we’ve seen a tremendous phenomenon: a large numbers of whistleblowers have taken action to inform the public about important details. The WikiLeaks SpyFiles series also shows us important details to corroborate these claims. There is ample evidence about the use and abuses of a multi-billion dollar industry that have now come to light. This evidence includes increasing use of targeted attacks to establish even more invasive control over corporate, government or other so-called legitimate targets.”
To have hacker-journalists discussing the intracies of the capabilities I had seen in use against me and other Kiwi activists, was incredible. As far as I was concerned, and still am, that Congress was one of the most important ever, and to this day the vast majority of people still remain willfully ignorant of the messages contained in it.
[Note: that also happened to be the very same Congress at which Nick Farr says he entertained the notion of giving airtime to someone who claimed Jacob Appelbaum was a plant. Yet Jake’s work revealed in the above talk is utterly beyond reproach.]
So I endeavoured to belatedly tweet out a point by point time-stamped, dumbed-down, layman’s-terms version of his speech, hoping that the NZ mainsteam media, who by late 2013 were avidly following my timeline in the wake of the GCSB movement, would pick it up.
I could always tell when I was hitting a nerve by their reaction, which would be immediately reflected in the aggressiveness of their interventions in my life and by 2014, their outright physical assaults on me. On this particular occasion, I was at home alone, and once again, they began hurting me.
You see, it isn’t just as a rape victim that I had to struggle to be believed. All tellers of uncomfortable yet obvious truths not yet accepted by the mainstream face a hell of a time trying to explain what is being done to us.
For a long time I didn’t talk to anyone outside of my immediate activist circle about electronic weapons being used on me. Because they “didn’t exist” as far as the public was concerned, and as a solo mother, the stakes were twice as high for me if I disclosed it. It likely would have been used by the state as justification to question my mental health, which is a known tactic that they use to cover for their crimes and silence their victims.
So I developed my own method of coping with it when it would happen. First, I would call someone from my media team and tell them “I’m going onto TrapWire“. They would know instantly what I meant – that I would escape my house and go to somewhere as visible and as public as possible. So public in fact, that it was on public surveillance cameras (hence the TrapWire reference).
This was a deliberate tactic that we had developed to force an evidence trail if we were followed and continued to be hurt.
So in this particular instance, I went to the original site of Occupy Auckland at Aotea Square, which is an urban green space wedged between the Town Hall and the Auckland Council building. It is surrounded by cutting edge facial recognition cameras with pan, tilt, zoom, area mics and all the bells and whistles, and I continued my tweeting.
Two years later, in Berlin, what was the joke that I was trying to tell Jacob?
That when being attacked with electronic weapons by teams of private contractors intent on preventing us from spreading his truth-telling, we had evaded them by learning how to use public surveillance systems against them.
To me, especially as someone who had written about TrapWire when the GIFiles revelations came out, the irony of using The Empire’s own fascist systems to outwit them and continue my work, was delicious.
Jacob Appelbaum didn’t laugh.
He was aghast.
Beyond Any Shadow Of A Doubt
It is a testament to how well truth is hidden that many will get to this point of the article and have decided that I am certifiably nuts.
To answer that question, you have to look at what I was tweeting that day, that so enraged those paid to harm me.
This Pirate Pad contains 10 of the key points. [Other people made transcriptions of some of my tweets which were derived from Jacob’s speech].
But that’s just a drop in the bucket. To read what should technically be all of my tweets from that day of me being chased around Auckland, it seems you need to expand each one to read them all – click here to have a go at it.
(Please note – the dates are Twitter dates not New Zealand dates. Which is why this tweet is marked 4 Jan 2014, when the earlier ones are marked 3 Jan. They were in fact all tweeted on the same day.)
The content speaks for itself.
As does the fact that by attempting to translate and promote Jacob Appelbaum’s work to mainstream audiences, activists can be and are subject to such attacks.
What Total Surveillance Really Means
If you work for WikiLeaks like Jacob Appelbaum; or if you start movements against intelligence agencies; or if you write about the FBI/DHS/CIA & co without massive organisational backing, funding and visibility; or if you boldly and righteously declare to people in a position of significant governmental power that they should leak sensitive internal intelligence information about immoral government activity that should be in the public realm, then are flabbergasted and elated to find that they do so; or if you are involved in any serious research which is inconvenient or dangerous to the security state; or if you target any individual in the chain of political hierarchy and they get wind of what you’ve done; then the great Eye of Sauron feels entitled to, and does, make a point of of trying to know every single thing you do, say and think, 24 hours out of every day, 7 days a week.
It pays for the entire undertaking with a virtually limitless pool of tax money.
Even if Jacob was able to secure all his devices, his communications, his hardware and his personal spaces, he still could not do a damn thing to prevent external methods of surveillance intruding upon him. Satellite surveillance, which is used at the push of a button as readily as XKeyscore, PRISM or anything else, right down to private investigators mounting microphones and sound amplifiers pointed at Jacob’s house and wherever else he frequents, are just some of those ways. Let alone HUMINT.
Therefore it is highly unlikely that any events that occurred within the supposedly private space of his home were actually private.
In yet another great irony, if anyone knows the truth about the accusations against ioerror – it is likely to be those who control the global surveillance apparatus, and I presume he would be well aware of that fact.
Listening to the stories being told about him, you would think Jacob a callous, foolhardy, exhibitionist. Every experience I’ve had of him and his inner circle (and no, I do not know them exceedingly well however, being in Berlin, they are very visible within the community) is that they were the opposite. Careful, reserved, private. Particularly wary of outsiders and newcomers.
Well aware that they are all targets and of the ways in which they could be entrapped.
Early on in my investigation into this giant debacle, it occurred to me that taking down Jacob may be part of a continuing series of major blows against WikiLeaks, stripping it of key allies.
It is election year after-all and as far as The Empire is concerned, Julian Assange is Enemy Number One.
The WikiLeaks Connection
One of the first ‘corroborating’ public testimonies against Appelbaum was a historic claim made by Leigh Honeywell.
I was instantly struck by the following passage from her blogpost, which at the time seemed anomalous:
Leigh identifies herself as siding with Assange’s persecutors.
She says that she didn’t ‘fully realize how bad [her] own experiences with [Appelbaum] had been‘ until she saw him support Julian Assange.
In that post, she details the reasons why she thinks Assange is at fault, then says ‘I’m tired of my friends being assaulted’, and links to feminist blogs she has read on the issue, as well as other links she feels are pertinent to support her opinion.
The key problem with this, and which Leigh couldn’t have known in December 2010, is that Assange’s “victims” themselves say they were not raped.
Honeywell might not be blamed for jumping to conclusions in December 2010. Many people did and WikiLeaks themselves didn’t know about this evidence until December 2011.
But with the “victims” themselves saying they weren’t raped, it certainly shines a different light on her position.
So if Appelbaum supporting an alleged rapist tipped the balance for Honeywell, but then the alleged rapist turns out to be innocent, where does that leave us?
Yet not only does Honeywell still blame Assange, she describes the allegations against him – as recently as this month – as “sexual violence“.
Despite there being no allegation of such.
This made me wonder – what are the opinions and positions of Appelbaum’s other accusers and key supporters, on Julian Assange and WikiLeaks?
Back in December 2015 – five years after Honeywell’s post about Assange and four years after the text messages from the “victims”, Honeywell has the following exchange:
So Honeywell wouldn’t donate to Freedom of the Press Foundation because of their support for WikiLeaks.
Her tweet is ‘liked’ by one Valerie Aurora.
Appelbaum Detractor’s Takes On WikiLeaks
Vocal supporter of the alleged Appelbaum victims, Valerie Aurora has been quoted in the media about the case. From her Twitter account:
Yet as pointed out by the commenter, WikiLeaks’ first tweet had in fact linked to the website featuring the accusations against Appelbaum. Its second, linked to his denial.
They did not take a public position (and still have not, to my knowledge) as being in favour of either side. Yet Valerie Aurora ostensibly deliberately, and quite ridiculously, extrapolates the benign reporting as being an attack on anonymity and whistleblowing, even though neither are even mentioned by WikiLeaks.
In that disclosure, she states “it took months to be honest with myself about what happened” and then alleges hearing of “often violent” behaviour by Jacob Appelbaum.
Much like the original ‘Serial rapist‘ claim by @VictimsofJake, the ‘often violent‘ claim seems to be completely unsubstantiated. Taking a protracted period of time to realise she’d been allegedly violated, however, is a recurrent theme in the allegations against Appelbaum.
It seems Macrina has also displayed past hostility towards Julian Assange despite her having shared stages with him as recently as March 2016.
Macrina recently wrote the following tweet:
The person she has cc’d into that tweet, is someone who recently disclosed that she is the Appelbaum accuser “Forest”.
Her post begins:
“…after two years spent trying to inhibt my rage and convince myself that I hadn’t been hurt, followed by seeking out other victims..” – Isis Lovecruft
In a sub-section of her disclosure titled “The Plan”, Lovecruft describes how she “first started out seeking other [alleged] victims“, and had planned to group them together to confront him at a Tor event in Spain. Jake apparently found out, and that plan was set aside.
“Having run out of ideas and being threatened out of alternative options, I reported everything to the rest of The Tor Project. Well, almost everything. Originally, I only reported others’ stories (with their permission). I left my own story out, and I did not tell it until it was decided that Jake would no longer be part of The Tor Project.”
Despite repeatedly stating that she doesn’t recommend filing legal complaints, (a position endorsed by many rape victims including myself who have had horrific experiences trying to obtain justice through law enforcement) Lovecruft strangely goes on to list a whole bunch of laws and accompanying sentencing guidelines that she feels would apply to Applebaum.
Curiously, these include charges that aren’t reflected in the original allegations themselves, even if they are taken at face value, including: “Instructing a third party to rape the victim (§177 of the Strafsgesetzbuch paragraph 2, sentence 2), making it a “severe case”.”
Although she attributes the application of this law to the accusations by ‘River’, those accusations do not state that Jacob instructed another party to rape the alleged victim.
Given the gravity of the situation and that both Macrina and Lovecruft are garnering hundreds of retweets effectively declaring the takedown of Appelbaum as a done deal, it is impossible to reason why the exaggeration of potential charges would be deemed necessary, or in fact the inclusion of them at all.
It is as if those references to laws and sentences exist only as an overt threat to Appelbaum.
Given the pattern of anti-WikiLeaks sentiment amongst the other accusers, I looked to see what Lovecruft’s position was.
I saw this:
Then I saw THIS:
The bottom tweet on that thread is Isis Lovecruft effectively asking for access to WikiLeaks’ source code for their whistleblower submission platform.
I’m going to say that twice.
The bottom tweet on that thread is Isis Lovecruft effectively asking for access to WikiLeaks source code for their whistleblower submission platform.
Who Is Behind The Website?
The identities of most of the accusers including the lone rape accusation, and of those who co-ordinated the launch of the site are an ‘open secret’.
That said, I am not at all comfortable with revealing the name of anyone who has not already done so themselves in a public forum. I do believe that the alleged victims have a right to anonymity should they so choose to exercise it.
I have also received a number of communications from various people providing further contextual information. I am not prepared to and will not publish the names of, or information provided by, anyone whom I cannot independently verify and who has not given me express permission to do so. Therefore the information that appears in this article is restricted to what is already in the public realm.
Neither of the women who have made these recent disclosures outright admit to being a part of creating the website JacobAppelbaum.net, presumedly either for legal reasons, or because they actually weren’t involved in the creation of it, or both.
At the present time it is still not public which person/s actually registered, built, wrote copy for, curated and edited the site, although there are certainly many clues.
Some other people who came forward to media and were named as eye-witnesses to an alleged incident (which, as discussed in the first part of this article, was later disproven) were already named in my previous article, and that incident referenced.
They are Meredith L. Patterson, Andrea Shephard and Emerson Tan.
To the best of my knowledge they are yet to issue a retraction of or apology for their very public false allegations.
Meredith appears to be the root of the ‘plagiarism’ accusations against Appelbaum, of which there seems to be a tiny bit more light shed on in this thread, which really speaks for itself, both in terms of not actually appearing to justify any accusation of plagiarism by definition, and in her refusal to continue to engage on the subject.
While great pains seem to be taken by the accusers to validate the sexual assault claim, very little seems to be forthcoming about the claims of plagiarism.
As pointed out to me by researcher Janine Römer, the About page originally consisted of five lines of text attacking Jake for everything under the sun except rape and sexual assault, then the claims of sexual, emotional and physical abuse are shoved into the final line.
Making it really clear where the writer’s priorities, or where they felt the strength of their arguments, lay.
In this thread, Meredith explains why a person’s behaviour off the stage and on the stage should be considered seperately. When someone argues that it shouldn’t, Andrea Shepherd backs Meredith up. Meredith’s theory is that if they exhibit unsavoury behaviour off the stage, you should separate it from their public speaking. She says if they exhibit their bad traits on the stage, you can kick them off the stage. But if they don’t exhibit it on the stage, to leave them on.
I had a look to see what Meredith’s take is on WikiLeaks.
In 2012 Meredith decries “Assange supporters *attacking allies*” and says it “delights both’s mutual enemies”.
Given that the accusations against Appelbaum have been picked up and are being run with 24/7 by every known anti-Snowden anti-WikiLeaks anti-Assange anti-privacy pro-govt and anti-Tor troll under the sun, the above is just plain ironic.
Targeting an iconic essay by Assange in the book ‘Cypherpunks’ – “A Call To Cryptographic Arms”;
Given sentiments like that, it is getting harder and harder to deny that WikiLeaks, rather than Appelbaum, may be the utimate target here.
Despite the statements of the women involved in Assange’s case actually exonerating him, Andrea Shephard agrees with a commenter that she sees “parallels” between the women in both the Assange and the Appelbaum allegations:
Previously, to her credit, she had rightly been critical of the New York Times’ tabloid-style reporting about Assange.
However there is more derision of WikiLeaks by Andrea.
Stepping back to 2010 again, we discover where Tor and WikiLeaks really intersect.
The manhunt of Julian Assange.
In the same time period as FBI agents were showing up in New York looking for Assange at a conference, and he was being ‘manhunted’ by the Pentagon, WikiLeaks identified Tor as being a core part of their infrastructure, and asked their supporters to use and help strengthen it.
So according to the US Government, “non-state actor Assange, and the human network that supports WikiLeaks” are the dangerous ones.
As opposed to everyone named in this article who publicly kick the shit out of WikiLeaks.
Women Protecting Women
As much as I would have liked to wrap up this article and never have to write about it again, it seems inevitable that there will eventually be a 3rd part.
With the creators of the site still not yet taking reponsibility for it, Jacob’s enduring silence and the key sole accusation of an actual rape occurring and the context of that remaining obscured, it is highly unlikely this is the end of the saga.
The primary complainant is being sheltered behind a periphery of other women complainants. If this is truly for her protection that is admirable. But if that person is indeed being sheltered to prevent the discovery of other profoundly mitigating information that would dramatically change the overall depiction of this situation, the effort is not only corrupt but is in vain.
The truth will out.
When it does, the 3rd part of this series will be titled “The Weaponising of Social Pt 3: The Resurrection of Jacob Appelbaum”.
What caused me to write these articles was not a wish to protect Jacob, or to befriend him. We are not in direct contact, nor have I sought to be.
The “risks” (in terms of that hideous and constantly flung-about term ‘social capital’) far outweighed the gain for me but if I was risk averse out of self-interest I wouldn’t be me.
I am speaking out because of all the reasons above, below, aforementioned, and yet to come.
Why Did I Continue Writing, When His Accusers Are Already Celebrating?
Because there is clearly more to the story than is being told, much, much more. I will not sit idly by while the life of a genuine radical is dismantled by women of privilege bizarrely aspiring to victim status who want to take him down in the name of representing rape survivors.
The initial and most serious allegation of all, that Jacob is a ‘serial rapist’ is clearly utterly without merit. It is additionally frankly offensive that an alleged ‘rape’ testimony sits alongside what by contrast seem to be frivolous complaints. Is there such doubt in the original claim that it couldn’t stand alone? Does it really need to be surrounded with circumstantial accounts of what, by comparison, are the most minor of alleged infractions?
Has sexual assault really now come to mean ‘anything I found uncomfortable, was upset by or was unable to deal with’? From being kissed, to bad jokes, to being propositioned, to being pulled into a bath and washed, to having someone out the fact that you were dating a workmate in front of your workmates?
Who hasn’t had these things happen? Why don’t we just declare everyone on Earth a victim? Because when you actually are a survivor of a violent rape, you understand clearly what the difference is.
Presenting common social occurrences as being tantamount to sexual assault, or even posting them on equal ground alongside them, profoundly trivialises what real rape and sexual assault are.
Likewise these accusations of ‘violence’ in terms of the use of the word ‘rape’ fall well short of the violent rapes that are genuinely prevalent in society – violent, horrific rapes that occur every single day all over this planet – especially to teenagers, street-workers and the homeless. Particularly to women of colour. For some people rape is a seemingly constant experience. There are women who can’t remember how many times they were raped. There are victims of domestic violence and incest who are raped for years on end.
Is it really necessary for the accusers to assemble a list of everyone their accused ever offended in his adult life, in order to lend their testimonies credibility?
The lack of victim impact in the statements is massively disturbing.It is as if the statements were written and/or edited by women who are not victims at all.
I have highlighted that in bold type because it is such a profound and obvious discrepancy. It sticks out like a sore thumb, across all of the testimonies.
There is constant complaint of power imbalance and fear of reprisal but no tangible complaint of ongoing personal emotional ramifications from these alleged experiences, other than embarrassment. No claim or description of lasting harm. This contradicts everything I have seen, witnessed and personally experienced over the years, and I find it impossible to ignore.
If you don’t understand what victim impact is, let me spell it out for you.
I was abducted from quite literally the central street of my city. I had to walk up and down that street countless times in my life since. Every time, swallowing the memories. Feeling that the concrete under my feet, my very city, had betrayed me.
I was gang raped at night in the rain on a children’s playground at what Americans would call an elementary school. I knew that the next day, little children’s feet would be skipping over the asphalt where I lay, or playing hopscotch. It haunted me for years. (Massive understatement). I still remember the feeling of the asphalt, the feeling of the rain (which far from soothing, felt like a karmic betrayal in itself; it was just wet and cold and utterly miserable), and anytime I went near a school, I relived the experience as if it was floating in front of my eyes like a translucent movie superimposing itself over my vision. For months if not years afterwards, you walk around in a semi-stupor, as if you are inebriated, out of focus, because you are seeing two things at once – what is in front of you and what is behind you.
The sign at the front of the school is forever burned into my mind’s eye. Because when I saw it, I still didn’t know whether or not they were going to kill me, so I was trying to memorise everything I saw in case I survived. I constantly had the irrational urge to go to the school and demand that they close it down, because it seemed too sick to allow young children to play every recess and lunchtime on the very ground where a woman was gang raped. Even though I knew on a subconscious level that the closure of an entire school was a ridiculous and extreme measure that would never manifest. For years I wondered inane irrelevant things… had the teachers been told? Did the caretaker know? Did the student’s parents know? Even though the school was in a part of town I had never been to in my life and would never go to again. A part of town where I knew no one. Even though the actual location where they did that to me could have been anywhere, I was transfixed on the specificities.
You see, it is not merely the act that is grotesque and destructive it is the haunting. The way in which completely normal things become utterly poisoned by the experience: in later years, going to events at my children’s school and wondering if anyone had ever been raped on their playground. Being triggered by the back seats of cars. By petrol stations. By things you have to see again every single day, and somehow have to learn to live with, or else drown in the pain.
It is this haunting, and the profound emotional after-effects, which take a horrendously long time to begin to fade, All of your relationships are affected. No matter of what type. From re-learning how to answer when a stranger says “How are you?” To how to face your parents. How to explain to your friends why you stare off blankly into space when they’re trying to talk to you. How to make love again without fearing an impending act of violence with every touch.
Your very identity is internally called into existential question.
There are a hundred, a thousand more intimate details of aspects that haunted me, which I will not detail here because they are utterly disgusting and despicable and it is frankly no ones business. It took a significant portion of my life for the memories to start to not be so jagged, the triggers to not be so visceral, all-encompassing.
Generally speaking, I actually consider myself healed. Enough so that I don’t feel physically ill anymore. I am finally able to live in the present now.
I am re-opening that old wound for the sole purpose of demonstrating for you all what victim impact is. It is hideous and embarrassing to have to do but it serves a greater good. The difference between the Stanford rape survivor’s victim impact statement and the allegations on the Appelbaum-hit site should be abundantly obvious to even the most casual observer. Seven supposed testimonies on that site and not a single one describing post-trauma victim impact. It is not a coincidence.
They have conflated common tenets of rape culture with actual rape.
There was a time when a trigger would cripple me for an entire week, then eventually just an entire day. Now when I read the Stanford rape testimony – all 7,500 words of it, I just press my clenched fist against my mouth, squeeze my eyes shut, tell myself ‘breathe, breathe’ for a few seconds and then I can resume reading.
I can tell you exactly how many triggers I had while reading that testimony. Three. And its been 17 years.
Victim impact is what made the Stanford rape victim’s account so compelling, because real rape testimony cannot be manufactured.
Sadly, with the level of co-ordination behind their efforts and realising that they’ve been seen right through, I wouldn’t be surprised if they have a belated go at it now, so vociferous is their opposition to Appelbaum, so fervent their stated desire to prevent him speaking truth on stages. Still, they will fail.
Survivor status is not something to aspire to or to claim lightly.
It is an indescribable burden.
Ending Appelbaum’s Career
The constant demand that Appelbaum, who so directly confronts superpowers, stop doing so in the name of victims is just plain suspicious.
What is being exercised by his accusers is the power to harness social media to cause mass distraction and brutal damage, to their own ends.
In practice, their demand for the utter exclusion of Appelbaum entails preventing him from continuing to explain to Persons of Interest the precise ways in which the agencies trying to torture and kill us on taxpayer dollars are doing so.
Information that has been of extreme value to targets and should be also to the public, who largely remain blissfully unaware of the full extent of what is being done on their dime.
Information that he has long been circulating that, more than an inconvenience; is an extreme danger to the perpetrators of torture, rendition and murder.
Information which cannot be replaced by a bunch of Tor developers waxing lyrical about safe spaces and self-care while ripping our community apart.
Just try self-care on for size if 3-letter agencies have decided they want to actively destroy your entire existence. I wish you the best of luck.
Mammoth resources – literally BILLIONS OF DOLLARS – are being wielded against people like us, and the too few truly combating it, those like Jacob and Julian, are constantly under life-threatening attacks, including from personalities in our own movements.
I would be far more sympathetic to a description of how the state interferes with and meddles in every single aspect of the lives of Persons of Interest as being ‘rape’, than I am someone being kissed in a bar or propositioned at dinner, or embarrassed in front of workmates.
POI’s are unable to hold down a job because the state will not allow them to have access to funds or employment. The Empire literally destroys any and every opportunity that comes their way because one of their main priorities is to not allow POI’s to have any assets or sustainable resources. They set teams of HUMINT against POI’s in the workplace, in domestic spaces, in social spaces.
(Don’t believe me? The Snowden docs aren’t academic. They are an in-practice guide of what is still happening every single day.)
At least that kind of all-encompassing trauma comes closer to the after-effects of an actual rape because it fucks up your entire life. But for those who have made a career out of privacy, those who came to it from academia or because they work for an NGO, or because it is “The Scene” – or because they heard about it in some cool videos – guess what? You might be monitored but you aren’t individually targeted. Any more than someone who has been hit on or propositioned is a sexual assault victim. You live in a bubble of luxury – a meritocracy as you call it – where you can actually make something of yourself despite being monitored.
Unless a gang of people and their group-think activism come after you and do the government’s work for them.
For first they came for Julian Assange… then they came for Jacob Appelbaum.
Real militant truth-tellers can only run and hide and seek refuge however and wherever they can, while telling as much truth about The Empire as they can, in whatever time they have left before they are taken out of the equation. The truth is not permitted in this day and age. The truth is not published by Dell Cameron in The Daily Dot. If it was, they would have Michael Hastings’d him. Yes, my hero, and that of thousands, Michael Hastings, is now a verb. You won’t see Dell running articles on how we know for a fact electronic weapons are being used on human beings, on activists and (truly radical) feminists, on journalists, and have been for years. Or how Julian Assange’s vanguardism through WikiLeaks, which the WikiLeaks detractors are all busy shitting on, is the only reason we even know that. Nor will you see the Guardian writing that, or Violet Blue, or any of the half dozen publications that it is now claimed are interested in running more stories about the accusations against Appelbaum.
Have a guess how long any mainstream journalist would remain employed if the manufacturers and sub-contractors making, distributing, experimenting with and selling electronic weapons became their subject of choice.
The last person to seriously go after that network was Barrett Brown.
Instead everyone wants to play popularity contest, and protect-my-job’ism, and be-politically-correct’ism, and listen to each other wax lyrical about power and social capital and solidarity, while the bodies of real POI’s, activists, journalists, hacktivists and lawyers stack up around them.
While they sit in comfy chairs critiquing WikiLeaks and convincing themselves that they are “dangerous together”, hardcore supporters of WikiLeaks are being taken out one by one. People are losing their LIVES, their citizenships, their liberty. The biggest investigation in US history is ongoing – remember why the FBI supposedly wants to talk to Isis Lovecruft?? Because they’re already after Jake and WikiLeaks. Yet these women are now writing congratulatory tweets about how they took down someone who is actually an FBI target.
The difference between the instances of alleged sexual assault and all the other superfluous crap that has been kicked up could stretch from the North Sea to Antarctica.
The way this campaign against Appelbaum – and let’s be frank, that’s exactly what it is – has been conducted is a disservice to rape victims, a disservice to activism, a disservice to the privacy community and a disservice to humanity.
Somewhere the heads of the agencies that harm us are rubbing their hands together with glee at our own-goals. Proposing toasts. Laughing at our collective foolishness. Exactly what Meredith once accused WikiLeaks supporters of, Appelbaum’s detractors are fulfilling. That is their legacy.
Every time this scandal is used to smear Snowden, to smear Assange by association, to hurt WikiLeaks, and subsequently all the whistleblowers and journalists they support through the Courage Foundation, Freedom of the Press and anywhere else.
The above tweet using the Appelbaum allegations to disparage WikiLeaks is authored by the FBI snitch Adrian Lamo. Lamo is responsible for social engineering the heroic whistleblower Chelsea Manning, who as a direct result of Lamo’s manipulations, was arrested and sentenced to decades in jail.
For the next 5 years, this hit on Appelbaum will be used to undermine everyone whose life is actually on the line. It is already happening.
If someone passes you this to read and you make it past the reminder of my terrible joke, the documentation about the electronic weapons, the umpteen stupid tweets from foolish people, and the example of an actual victim impact statement, to this point: here’s my unsolicited advice.
You helped start Noisebridge? Start another collective. Make it invite only. The most skilled of the skilled will continue to work with you just as they continue to work when targeted by the same shit themselves.
Funding-dependent conferences jumping on the CIA bandwagon? Start your own conferences. They don’t even have to be attended in person. Put up a black sheet and tell us the truth Snowden-style. We will still listen, be inspired by it, and share it.
Your audience will follow you.
Because to be honest, we don’t give a flying toss how many new libraries are running Tor nodes nor do we want to spend hours on end listening to a bunch of pseudo-“victims” waxing lyrical about the inherent violence in their non-violent would-be-rapes.
We want to hear about what you described as those who operate on the dark edges of society – the agencies, the contractors, the sub-contractors, and the technology they use against anyone that they perceive is standing in the way of their fantasy of global domination.
You helped build the following that the deluded think they can usurp.
You can do it again and time will tell all truths.
Karma rules and I suspect that there are many, many more revelations to come. They will come from people way smarter and more accomplished than me. So I am going to set this aside for now and do what I do best.
Thanks to a small group of supposed anonymity-protecting privacy activists thousands of people now know the name of Jacob Appelbaum’s fiancée`. Even those that didn’t want to.
We found it out by reading an extremely controversial website launched a week ago, that had a few sparse accounts of some nasty sounding happenings allegedly involving Jacob, with promises of more to come.
No one truly concerned with privacy issues should care if Jacob has a fiancée let alone who she is, out of respect for his right to a private life and because it is patently obvious that attacks on him shouldn’t extend to her.
Her name was later removed after the bulk of the damage had been done, without any editorial admission that it had ever been there in the first place.
Unfortunately, that simple yet far-reaching invasion of privacy, is only the tip of the iceberg.
[Update 12/06/16: Detractors are claiming the above is factually incorrect as they say Appelbaum is no longer engaged. The source was the smear website itself, which named Appelbaum’s ‘partner’, then removed her name and called her his ‘fiancée’, and now implies past tense. IMO, who he is or isn’t engaged to is frankly his own business. The point stands.]
In a strange paradox, Jacob Appelbaum’s accusers both want to deny any relevance between their accusations and him being a known target of the US government as a result of the nature of his work, while having the clearly stated aim of wanting to prevent him from being able to continue it.
Even as they are being dwarfed, swept aside and forgotten in the controversy, the topics on which Jacob Appelbaum and WikiLeaks work are much larger and more important than any individual. Those who concertedly dedicate themselves to such causes are unjustly forced to quite literally risk our safety, our families, our livelihoods, our citizenships, our liberty and everything we own, in our fight to preserve our ideals and our planet.
The high stakes in a situation like this demand more than knee-jerk reactions, hearsay, and because-all-my-friends-say, when one of us is attacked or discredited. They deserve the investment of time; of serious, weighty yet measured consideration; analysis; and investigation. All of the elements that should be prerequisite to forming any intellectual opinon, let alone one where reputations and potentially lives are at stake.
But we are yet to see any of that, at least anything more in-depth than a series of personal statements via “Twitlonger”. Just a whole lot of uproar; a whole lot more silence; and a bunch of axe-grinding. With very little actual analysis, because the topic of rape is so taboo that most people are shit scared of approaching it objectively.
As such, this post should be subtitled “We Owe IO More Than 600 Words”. Because we do. We owe him much, much more than that.
We owe it to him and to our causes, to find out the truth.
Preamble dispensed with, I’m going to give some historical context to what made me write this article and analyse the claims made on and by the anti-IO website. In Part 2 of this article, we will look into the main personalities that appear to be driving this, discuss some of the environmental factors affecting the response and get into the wider context, which is all but being ignored
Lessons Long-Since Learned
The website now being widely sourced as justification for dismantling Appelbaum’s career and reputation does as much to discredit itself as it does to discredit Jacob.
That the name of the female closest to him was disclosed in a forum that claims to exist to protect women was not the first red flag.
Several years ago, a situation unfolded where a prominent activist (Activist A) was privately accused of rape by another activist (Activist B). This was then broadcast far and wide through the creation of a Twitter account that purported to be Activist B talking directly and openly about her first hand experience of being raped by Activist A.
Many fell for it, and instantaneously an online frenzy was being whisked up against Activist A. For all the same – on the surface – seemingly valid reasons that we see people turning on Jacob Appelbaum for now.
However, when I read the tweets of the account calling for the persecution of Activist A, I innately knew that what I was reading was not the words of a rape survivor. It came across to me as someone trying to posture themselves as one, out of empathy and/or indignation, rather than legitimately recounting an actual firsthand memory of a personal experience.
So I did the socially unacceptable but morally right thing and spoke out. While people were aghast that I dared to question a “victim” – the facade soon crumbled and it turned out that my instincts were absolutely correct.
The account claiming to be a rape victim was not Activist B at all. It was Activist C, her boyfriend, who had (according to Activist B, without her knowledge) taken it upon himself to impersonate her and attack Activist A in public after she had raised issues in confidence. There had been some question of infidelity, she had privately claimed lack of consent, Activist C had decided that Activist A’s life should be ruined as a result, and gone public.
Whether or not Activist A ever did in fact rape Activist B got lost in the controversy of Activist C’s foolish meddling in the entire situation. Activist A claimed no. Activist B claimed yes. Activist C permanently obscured the situation by his actions.
So how was I able to immediately identify, on gut feeling, that this anonymous account claiming to be a rape victim was not a rape victim? And why did I risk my “social capital” to speak out on such a highly contentious topic?
Because people who are not survivors of rape cannot competently impersonate survivors of rape. They think the act itself is the whole story but it is just a tiny fraction of it. So when they attempt to concoct the scenario, they always limit it to the specific event rather than the holistic experience, the emotional journey.
Real rape testimony is 20% what physically happened and 80% how it affected us. It is visceral. It is memories and shapes and impressions and images. It is sights and smells and feelings, a twisted nostalgia we would desperately like to free ourselves from but cannot ever. It is asymmetrical and it evolves. It unfolds. The expression of it is a cathartic, painful release but a necessary step in the healing.
It is not a telegram. It is not a thematical construct with set form or submission rules.
They are not a fixed length. Nor fixed sentence structures. They do not have a statistical linguistic pattern. They are not uniform. They ebb and flow in proportion to the victim’s telling. They sway and move, mobile in the outpouring of emotion, of grief.
When multiple examples of rape testimonies are compared side by side, they don’t conform in any way save in their effective translation of trauma, of a raw and primal pain.
So when I realised the extent to which the accounts on the anti-Jacob website do conform and began to note other anomalies, huge alarm bells started ringing.
Speaking From Experience
As someone intimately acquainted with the plight of survivors, you can feel inside you when something is just not right with a situation like this. As a survivor, my personal obligation to other victims and to the truth has led me to speak up several times in the past – even when it is utterly humiliating, damaging to my reputation or even outright dangerous to do so. This is not an expectation I have of others – I have the benefit of the passage of time, maturity, experience and healing – water under the bridge – that many others don’t. Thus I spoke out in an article addressing statements made by the Minister of Police and the grotesquely poor conduct of NZ cops in handling sexual assault including my own historical abduction and gang rape. I likewise spoke the difficult and humiliating truth against the notorious ‘FBI’ snitch Sabu when he assumed the identity of one of my friends in order to target me sexually, in an attempt to entrap me. I spoke out about my favourite publication in the world when a new staffer there published a ridiculous pile of rape apologist bullshit. I spoke out against the self-admitted serial pack rapists known as The RoastBusters who weren’t even so much as arrested after bragging about stupefying and pack-raping dozens of 13-16 year old girls. Then I spoke out against media’s irresponsible reporting on the issue. And again, when the Minister of Justice used the plight of the many Roastbusters victims who had received no justice whatsoever, in order to falsely justify the passage of anti-trolling legislation.
Even though it triggered the hell out of me to do so, I attended protest events, supported movements, and covered live actions in support of survivors, and in defiance of the repressive tactics wielded by New Zealand’s blatantly corrupt and incompetent police forces, who so profoundly fail survivors, and the public.
As faithfully as I spoke out in all those cases, so must I speak out too when I believe that rape testimony may be being falsely manufactured, or manipulated, or misrepresented, or used to serve the ulterior motives and agenda of someone(s) who may not be rape survivors at all.
“Believe victims“, some people say. The key word is not believe. The key word is victims. Not “believe any two-bit twat(s) who impersonate survivors and/or edit rape testimony because they have something to gain by smearing someone all over the net, in the name of other victims.”
Especially when in doing so, knowingly or not, those someone(s) are also serving the interests of The Empire and damaging movements that people pay dearly to create, build and sustain. (If you are in any doubt about this take note that among the first people gloating about Jacob Appelbaum’s perceived downfall was in fact, Sabu.)
For The Empire, I can assure you, does not give the slightest flying shit about rape victims, unless they can be used to its advantage. On a daily basis, it perpetuates and facilitates mass rape all over the world, while expending tax dollars to cement and maintain all of the societal and environmental conditions that create rape culture.
The double-edged sword of the taboo of rape was constantly wielded against Julian Assange and his supporters over the last five years, albeit with ever-dwindling effectiveness. Allegations of rape against information activists are a lose-lose situation for us but a ‘win’ for our enemies, and that is again apparent in Appelbaum’s case. The end result is a real-life example of why these types of accusations are such an efficient tool for those wishing to utterly devastate and incapacitate a perceived rival. It emboldens the targets enemies and silences their friends. It isolates them and eclipses all their prior undertakings.
For all these reasons I cannot merely sit silent, or put out an ambiguous 600-word opinion piece sitting on a fence.
Instead I did what I do best. I read, read, read, read and read more. Dug, investigated and analysed.
The following, is my findings.
Analysis Is What We Do Best – So Let’s Do It
In the first hours of the allegations against Jacob hitting the public sphere, they were primarily pushed through one website, a shady Twitter handle with acrid yet low output, and two personal Twitter accounts. Although in the days that followed many, many others jumped on board, some of the first out of the gates were:
The Meredith quoted above, who, incidentally, is described as the founder of a “think-tank” called “Weaponizing Social”, went on to send more than a dozen tweets about the situation, in surplus to those quoted above.
What a strange question they ask – “who watches those watching the watchmen?” One would assume, the Watchmen do, because they keep a super close eye on anyone questioning or shining a light on them, and in reality they do much more than simply “watch”.
[“Weaponizing Social” both as a concept and an entity will be further discussed in the second part of this article.]
For now, looking closely at the anonymous website featuring the accusations against Jacob is key to better understanding the whole situation.
The first impression of the website (which strangely, is not HTTPS) is of a huge picture of Jacob Appelbaum with his name written across it in bold type. It initially gives the impression of being an official website. Until you read the ‘About’ page.
Hey there! We’re a collective of people who have been harassed, plagiarized, humiliated, and abused — sexually, emotionally, and physically — by Jacob Appelbaum. Jake enjoys manipulating people through his built-up social capital, influence, and power, in order to get what he wants.
Here are some of our stories.
Taken at face value, the About page conforms to all the rules of good marketing – short, to the point and high impact.
The high gloss effect slips though, the further you get into the content.
The ‘Victims’ Page
This page makes three central claims.
Firstly, that Jacob Appelbaum seeks out ‘new’ members in activist communities and targets them for their naiveté.
Although several stories published on the site mention looking up to Jacob as a central figure in the movement, none claim to have been fresh on “The Scene” at the point of the alleged incidents.
Secondly, under the sub-heading “Have a partner?” the page states “If you spurn Jake or attempt to stand up to him, he’ll go after the people you care about the most next, doing whatever he can to humiliate and harm them.” Given the fact that Jacob’s alleged fiancée became the collateral damage of the publishers of the website, this passage is highly ironic.
Nor does their concern appear to be providing any protection to a woman being accused of being currently romantically involved with Jacob Appelbaum:
Thirdly, the page claims that Jake is a plagiarist who falsely claims credit for other people’s work in order to “increase his level of power and influence“. The claims of plagiarism against Jake are extremely hard to track down, especially Meredith’s. While she waxes lyrical about Jacob having allegedly taken credit for “our research in 2007” it is difficult to ascertain to what she is referring. Then there is this semi-famous exchange between Appelbaum and @kaepora, which is frankly an obscene stretch of the term plagiarism to say the least, for which kaepora ultimately withdraws and apologises, stating: “I’m sorry I let [a] personal fight interfere with my judgment of Jacob on a purely professional issue. That’s something I certainly should apologize for.”
But the hollow complaint of plagiarism, and the ascribed accusation of a motive of wanting to increase his power and influence, completely ignore Jacob’s numerous, frequent and significant achievements in recent activism history. From calling for civil disobedience against the behemoth NSA data storage facility in Utah; to being extremely visible (understatement) in the #Landesverrater movement that stopped a German treason investigation into journalists in its tracks and resulted in the German Minister of Justice firing the Chief Prosecutor who had brought the charges; to being a supporter of @PengBerlin’s #IntelExit initiative advocating for the employees of intelligence agencies to quit their jobs; to supporting the victims of renditions and wrongfully accused ex-prisoners of Guantanamo Bay, to photographing noteworthy activists and journalists by old-school means and holding gallery openings… the guy has hardly been sitting on his laurels. To claim that he makes his bones via plagiarism when he is so prolific, is a massive stretch at best. It’s like throwing one tiny brick at a wall and hoping it will fall down. No wonder they needed something more to try to cut him at his roots.
The FAQ, which contains more content that appeared in the wake of the initial launch, gives away much.
As to the question of “Who Made This Site?” the pseudo-answer reads: “Some of us have personal stories of being abused by Jake and some don’t.” Red flag! Another red flag in the very next sentence: “We have heard lots of complaints about his behavior over the years, and have experienced it first hand.” Given the recently debunked eye-witness accounts provided by Tan, Shephard and Patterson… the words “have experienced it first hand” just don’t quite have the ring they used to.
If this is a site about rape victims, it needs to be by and for rape victims, without the meddling of non-victims who have merely “heard lots of complaints” and talked of experiencing things that turned out to not be at all what they claimed. “What Is The Goal Of This Site?” another question asks. This is where the biggest giveaway of all can be found, after a smooth claim that it is just for awareness and protecting people. Word for word, the crux of the issue:
“Also we hope that this site will prompt groups and organizations to think twice about any involvement they have with [Jacob Appelbaum]. Maybe it is not a great idea for him to be part of their communities. Maybe they shouldn’t invite him to speak at or attend their conferences. Maybe they don’t want to be associated with a person who is accused of the behaviors detailed on this site.”
Could the NSA have written it any better themselves? By making these stipulations, the publishers are literally stating the express wishes of The Empire. They don’t ask for apologies. They don’t ask for Jacob to acknowledge his actions. They don’t ask for him to be educated. They don’t ask for him to spend his life educating others about rape culture and sexual assault. They ask for him to no longer be allowed to educate the world about privacy, information security, activism and surveillance.
Appelbaum was involved with both the Snowden disclosures and with Julian Assange – literally the two most controversial, polarising, wanted, endangered men in the entire world. Men who have massive resources set against them, up to and including for the purposes of their immediate detainment, rendition and/or extradition, and trial.
Are we really supposed to believe that an anonymous group of people expressly stating that they wish to put a permanent and wholesale end to Jacob’s inclusion in the forums in which he promotes his work, and to his professional relationships, are valid in doing so, based on prima facie complaints?
On “Why Should I Believe You” the would-be career-ending complainants state “If you’re a sexual predator, what better cover story is there than “the FBI is making shit up about me.” If the FBI has it in for you, what better story is there than for you to be anonymously labelled a sexual predator??? None.
Their response to “Why won’t you stand publicly behind what you’re saying?” gets even more ludicrous: “We are afraid we will be doxxed or harassed… We are afraid Jake will threaten us or falsely smear our reputations.”
Any activist worth their salt – let alone a legit Tor developer – has already been doxed or worse, long since. First and foremost by multiple governments and a network of private security companies (yup, they call it a file) then secondarily through social media. Such people are already harassed on a daily basis. Are usually rightly in fear for their very life.
The only people who could reasonably by “afraid” of such elementary levels of actions being taken against them, at this echelon of infotech, are either active in fields which are not seen as threats at all to any government, or who serve their purposes. Everyone else is a target.
There are gaping holes all the way through the rest of the FAQ. From the claim that Twitter requiring phone numbers for new accounts prevented them getting a Twitter (as if there aren’t free guides as to how to circumvent this, not to mention the option of just buying a throwaway SIM or using a virtual number… come on now, countless anonymous accounts are created every day…) to the claim that the site was created out of an altruistic wish to make people safe. Considering the timeline of events as revealed by Cryptome, there are indications that the existence of the complaints were used as a tool for what could easily be described as employment-related blackmail before they even went public.
If that isn’t damning enough: the proof is in the pudding:
Perhaps the most bizarre aspect is the vague and then staggered manner in which the stories appeared on the site.
The best part of a dozen images of Jacob Appelbaum appear under (fake) names of victims – each linking to an individual story of being wronged by him. Unfortunately, in its first iteration, the vast majority of these images, when clicked on, simply lead to text which read “This is a placeholder“.
Several instances still remain to this day. Leaving it up to our imagination as to whether or not there was actually a victim behind each fake name at the time of first publishing, or whether the publishers were hoping to collect more once the site was live and post them at a future date.
Immediately sensing something wrong, I tried to put my finger on it. Then I realised the first giveaway. The word counts. I ran some basic stats on each testimony that was posted. These and my observations on the stories that did appear, both initially and in the later versions of the site, are as below.
Story 1: Sam (369 words)
“Sam”‘s story did not initially appear on the website. It starts “Jake and I had some minor romantic interest in each other when he invited me to his apartment one evening.” It continues on to describe Jake allegedly pulling him or her into a bath and then washing their back against their wishes. “His nonconsensual washing lasted about a minute or two before I leaped out of his bathtub and started crying in the corner of his bathroom.” The alleged victim states “I eventually confronted Jake about this, plus other behaviors I’d witnessed: he started drunkenly kissing another person at the bar with no invitation, he started giving another friend a really aggressive shoulder massage with no invitation, plus a million stories that I’d heard through backchannels.”
This account was one of the first published and is by far the most serious accusation against Jacob. Firstly because it is the only story that involves an actual allegation of outright rape and secondly because it implicates (but does not name) other people as being witness to and/or complicit in the alleged rape.
The account begins: “I didn’t know until very recently that nonconsensual sex, by a friend, is rape.” indicating that it is a historical claim (which does not make it any more or less valid, but is contextual information) and that something that has occurred “very recently” has altered how the alleged victim viewed what happened.
There are 34 instances of the word “I” in the first section of the story before there is a break in what had very clearly been, until then, a first-person narrative. The break reads in its entirety:
“This cannot continue.
He cannot be a leader in this community, the first name that many people think of, an inspiration to those new entering the field, and also someone who uses his power and influence to sexually prey on individuals who think he is trusted.
It is critical that our community is safe for women, and for any individual who is passionate about protecting privacy and anonymity.”
“The Tor Project in particular should be recognized for how they have handled this respectfully and honorably.”
Due to the sudden lack of personalisation of the sentence structure, and the concrete position, it reads as if another voice has been inserted into the text.
The break over, the testimony is concluded with a final paragraph, which includes another 6 instances of the term “I”, feeling very much as if it has returned to the original voice.
The most puzzling aspect of the account is why the person involved fails to name any of the eye-witnesses and/or participants that they allege were present.
Under the cover of anonymity, and obviously having a good idea of what was at stake for Jake, why not name the others involved? In not naming them, anyone who is one of Jacob’s “friends” or “followers” is subject to fall under the cloud of suspicion. Was this intentional or negligent?
The storyteller states firmly that they believe they were not the only one to receive this treatment from this group of people. So if the stated aim of the site, as it claims, is to forewarn other women and to protect them, why only name Jacob? If he is, as claimed, just one of a group participating in the sexual assault of intoxicated women?
3. Forest (596 words)
This is the story which initially named “Jake’s partner [REDACTED]” which was later removed without acknowledgement and replaced by the term fiancée. The writer complains that both her partner and her had been “completely humiliated” by Jacob, yet then “invited him to stay at my house” and to sleep in her bed, as friends. She says this “turned out (mostly) fine” though it is unclear what “mostly” means in this context. The author says they “proceeded to share beds in a friendly manner over the years, and nothing bad ever happened.” She then describes visiting Germany and staying at Jake’s house and sleeping in his bed, where she describes him sexually assaulting her while they were sleeping. She then describes confronting Jake, and him initially denying it, then apologising and saying that he had mistaken her for his fiancée in his sleep.
4. Daniel (463 words)
Unlike the aforementioned accounts, “Daniel” writes in a markedly different linguistic style, as noted by the above table. The crux of the accusation is that Jacob divulged the existence of a romantic relationship between workmates that they had endeavoured to keep secret. This appears to conform to the prior instances of misconduct discussed in a recently leaked Tor Project HR email.
5. Kiwi (257 words)
“Kiwi”‘s complaint is that Jacob has attempted to influence and/or control the trajectory of his or her career and professional relationships. They state “sexual abuse is not the only form of abuse” and refer to not having “so much social power as Jacob.” Whether or not true, equating interpersonal social and employment issues with sexual abuse just waters down the seriousness of the other allegations.
6. West (81 words)
At 81 words, it is hard to put much stock in “West”. Were they really so alarmed or harmed, it seems incredibly hard to believe that all they would have is 81 words to say about the matter. The account reads as if it were an attempt to write in the first person by someone else – perhaps someone who had believed they had witnessed the incident and was attempting to write as the victim, in a foolish attempt to lend credibility to other claims on the website.
The core of the whopping 4 sentences posted is that Jake kissed them without first gaining prior consent. The triviality of the claim by comparison to the accusations of sexual assault, is stark.
When someone kisses you, it is generally referred to as “being hit on”, or someone “making a pass” at you. While I certainly don’t suggest that people go around kissing people who they don’t know for sure want to kiss them back, the act of being hit on is usually the point at which you either return the attention, or not, rather than a crime or an actionable offence.
7. Phoenix (408 words)
Phoenix appears to suggest that, a) Jake solicited a sexual encounter with them, b) that he used his access to Julian Assange to impress them and made a foolish remark about Julian being accustomed to him doing so. Despite the obvious discomfort of the storyteller, which should be taken into account, the complaints could as easily amount to being the subject of a bunch of bad jokes being taken the wrong way. In UK English, we would call it “taking the piss“. Americans might call it “joshing“.
While the writer clearly wasn’t amused, there is no way to be sure that humour was not the intention.
If not, and Jacob was being as knowingly inappropriate as the writer suggests, once again these allegations dramatically pale in comparison to those of sexual assault.
8. Nick (1,661 words)
Nick’s 1,661 words leave no doubt at all that he feels victimised sufficiently to be compelled to express it at length. Again there are references to “social capital” – in this case, his own – and then a rather disproportionate comparison to Bill Cosby, who is known to have drugged and raped dozens of women (if not more) over decades.
Nick clearly takes the other complaints at face value and proclaims “whatever you do don’t cast doubt on Jake’s vctims of sexual abuse. It’s one thing to be raped, that’s enough to destroy someone’s life. It’s quite another thing to speak up after being raped by your hero and lose your job, your friends, everything you’ve worked for and your trust in humanity to boot. Imagine what that must be like.”
To date, the only person who appears to have “lost their job” as a result of making allegations against Jake, was not in fact claiming to be a victim, but to have been made aware of the rumours/allegations of others and then spreading them in turn.
When they participated in circulating these, they were, along with Jake, subject to disciplinary action and subsequently resigned, as outlined in the leaked Tor Project internal email linked to already.
The strangest part of Nick’s story is that he admits that he attracted ire by entertaining the notion of giving people who wanted to snitch-jacket Jacob Appelbaum a platform in a forum in which he was participating. I can’t help but wonder if the situation were reversed, and it was Jake considering giving someone ‘Lightning Talk’ space at Congress in order to snitch-jacket Nick, how Nick would have felt about that. In such a situation, surely you have to ask ‘but what if the shoe was on the other foot?’
The most serious allegation made by Nick is that anonymous notes were left in his hotel room. He feels sure that these were left by someone close to Jacob or Jacob himself.
Yet this is a tactic known as “gaslighting“, and is usually perpetuated by intelligence agencies. As a ‘Person of Interest’ in New Zealand, I would routinely return to my home to find items that didn’t belong to me, left in unmissable places. On occasion a newspaper I had not purchased would be left lying open on my coffee table, turned to a specific article about a topic on which I would understand the significance.
If Nick was having a very public beef with Jacob, as it seems, it is not out of the realm of possibility that intelligence agencies were aware of this, and intervening with the express purpose of accelerating and aggravating the gravity of the situation.
From Nick’s testimony there is absolutely no way to know for sure that Jacob or his friends were somehow accessing his hotel room and planting the notes, or whether other malicious parties had a hand in the events and were capitalising on the situation.
“Alice” / null – remains a “placeholder”
“Briar” / null – remains a “placeholder”
The Stanford Rape Testimony
For comparison, here is the stats on the testimony of the rape survivor in the case of the convicted rapist Brock Turner that recently went viral.
Lack Of Evidence
The site is particularly unusual in that it lumps in people who have personal grievances against Jake alongside allegations of rape.
Evidence of one rape is enough to destroy any reputation. But it is clear that the authors of the site were going for quantity over quality; hoping to win over readers with the sheer number of testimonies, rather than actual evidence.
This has the net effect of both trivialising and cheapening the experiences of rape victims, and of watering down the severity of the claims, in an attempt to present a united front – or in the words of the site, “a collective” – of victims.
Early on, top Italian journalist and WikiLeaks affiliate Stephanie Maurizi had tweeted:
The lack of hard evidence is likely why the media were initially reluctant to report on the accusations, although that changed when Tor released a statement about Jacob Appelbaum leaving the Project.
Given the recent unravelling of some of the accusations, and the fervour with which the same paid government troll accounts that have been going after Assange, WikiLeaks, Snowden, Appelbaum and anyone associated with them for years, are now lapping up the opportunity to milk the Appelbaum controversy for all it is worth, it is impossible to exclude the motives of and gain to The Empire, from this analysis.
Nothing pisses The Empire off more than those of us who engage others to fight against their corruption and oppression. Perusing and spreading information puts you on their radar. Instructing others to undertake actions takes you to a whole other level.
So when you hear Jacob Appelbaum openly calling on the employees of intelligence agencies to leak secrets to him, or encouraging people to compromise utilities at NSA facilities as acts of civil disobedience, there can be no doubt how far up the shitlist of the military-industrial complex that puts him.
By its own admission, The Empire classifies us all as either:
a) Idealist (can be disillusioned, such as by fallen heroes etc, or otherwise convinced to turn away from their ideals)
b) Realist (motivated by money or self-interest, can be bribed/coerced into capitulation)
c) Reformist (restricted to conventional avenues of political change… politics, academia, NGO’s; places where you are forced to ultimately tacitly compromise your ethics in order to achieve/excel or progress in your environment)
OR… dum de dum dum….
d) Radical (demands system-wide change, is active & incorruptible)
The Empire has decided that the best way of dealing with “radicals” (the label THEY have constructed and imposed upon qualifying “persons of interest”) is to completely dismantle their lives at a “whole of Government” level. Which means, politely, using all the various departments and avenues of civic oppression available to them.
The Empire has deemed Jacob Appelbaum, a radical.
As it did Julian Assange.
Part Two of this article will cover the elephants in the room:
The (second) Tor Statement
The media response
Other accusations against Jacob on the WWW
The WikiLeaks Connection
A much deeper look into those who lay behind the curtain of JacobAppelbaum.net
Long-held and widely-touted constitutional principles of inclusion and multi-culturalism are laying in tatters and the democratic ‘Left’ of Europe is reeling, as the hate speech extends beyond the digital realm to the formation of nationalistic vigilante mobs who are demonstratingen masse, burning down refugee centres and attacking migrants throughout Europe, Scandinavia and the entire Western World.
Echoing events and rhetoric of 1930s Germany, many cannot believe that a return to the widespread and popular denunciation of entire ethnic groups is again occurring, or that such behaviour is achieving political results.
When populations are implored to detest a demographically diverse sub-sector of society, that group is homogenised by the use of caustic and derogatory blanket terminology. That language of fascism is again manifesting.
Utterances of highly abrasive terms like ‘cockroaches‘ in reference to migrants and refugees is reminiscent of the lead-up to multiple genocides where the same word was employed as justification for the attacks – from Hitler deeming Jews ‘cockroaches‘, to Hutus using the same term to describe the Tutsis that they were massacring in Rwanda, to Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, who called the Palestinian people ‘cockroaches‘ when openly proposing their wholesale annihilation.
The practice of using a repeated and heinous invective to socialise a citizenry into villifying and ultimately acting against other groups has been extensively studied.
It is well established that the precursor is the formulation and circulation of propaganda.
Tweets like this have been appearing in their thousands, and are then copied and circulated exponentially.
Depicting what is implied to be a blonde European girl being accosted by males of Middle Eastern origin, it is easily taken at face value. However, the picture isn’t at all what it seems. The girl is not European. She is also Middle Eastern; and it isn’t a photograph at all. It is in fact, a still shot taken from a comedy video, a parody – where in the next scene, the girl is rescued by an Arabic ‘Superman’ figure, replete with costume.
In a ‘Last Week Tonight‘ episode from September, 2015 titled ‘Migrants and Refugees‘, host John Oliver calls out Fox News’ circulation of a video of what is purported to be refugees chanting ‘Allahu Akhbar‘ (God is great) on a train within Europe’s borders.
“Describing that as a new video that sheds light on the migrant crisis is a little misleading because in researching this story, we found a version of that same video uploaded onto You Tube back in 2010, well before the migrant crisis even began.” – John Oliver
Some of the propaganda comes from the obvious sources – such as Trump supporters. But a lot of it is derived from places that are less obvious, or more obscure.
Refugees Under Attack, Smeared As Rapists
You Tube is awash with countless examples of anti-Muslim/anti-refugee propaganda. The content is often obscene in nature, and although they won’t be directly linked to here, the uploads feature inflammatory titles such as:
* ‘Sweden Being Raped To Death By Muslim Migrants’
* ‘Sweden Now Rape Capital of Europe Thanks To Muslim Migrants!’
* ‘ISIS Using Refugee Crisis As A Trojan Horse’
* ‘Refugee Tsunami Will End National Sovereignty’
* ‘Why Global Elite Want To Collapse Countries Using Illegals’
* ‘NWO Using Refugee Crisis As Endgame To Create Eurabia’
* ‘Islam Is The Religion Of The NWO’
* ‘Pope Uses Migrant Crisis To Escalate Race War’
Given that Europe is directly embroiled in the turmoil, you would expect these videos to be posted by Europeans. However, a closer look at the accounts posting the content, frequently leads back to American, British and Israeli sources.
The titles mentioned above are all featured on the channel “THEINFOWARRIOR” which is an off-shoot of Alex Jones’ Info Wars. Info war indeed.
Alex Jones’ main channel also carries similar content, featuring titles like ‘Muslims Engage In Sexual Terrorism Across Europe’.
Journalist Kit O’Connell exposed how damaging Alex Jones’ content can be.
Unfortunately, that damage is also being inflicted by a multitude of other actors pushing politically-charged propaganda, to the detriment of refugees, migrants, Muslims and Islam as a whole.
‘Islamic Invasion Of Sweden Has Led To Rape Crisis‘ declares the ‘Patriots Global Alliance’ (UK).
‘Muslims Have Made Sweden The Rape Capital Of The West Vs Japan‘ says ‘thetruthdamit’, who is ostensibly an African American Trump supporter.
One of the most prolific (and apparently widely-watched) channels, is by British ex-comedian Pat Condell.
Featuring titles like ‘Message To Offended Muslims’, ‘It’s Good To Be Anti-Islam’, ‘Why I Support Israel’, ‘Sweden Goes Insane’, ‘Boo Hoo Palestine’, ‘The Rape Of Sweden’, ‘The Invasion Of Europe’ and ‘How To Insult A Progressive’, one might wish he had never quit comedy so that they could give him the benefit of the doubt.
However, the nature of his politics is abundanty clear and Condell also has a Twitter account, featuring some 47,000+ followers, on which he has posted this fascinating breakdown of the geolocations of his viewing audience.
Of his top six viewing countries, four are members of the Five Eyes alliance and one is Israel.
The Elephant In The Room
The elephant in the room is that the REAL rape epidemic is global in nature and pre-dates the migrant crisis by, frankly, eons.
Rape being used to push a political agenda that is to the benefit of governmental and military interests, rather than the interests of rape victims themselves, is an oft-employed information warfare tactic that has been used in everything from passing legislation that is unfavourable to civil liberties, to smearing Julian Assange.
On Twitter, accounts featuring traumatising and emotive profile pictures of rape victims are used to push xenophobia and notions of white supremacy.
This is the reality that none of them will dare acknowledge: that sexual violence and rape is and always has been at epidemic levels in Western civilisation – where assaults are frequent and widespread; reporting, arrest and conviction statistics are abysmal and sexual aggression, misogyny and rape apologism are commonplace and tacitly endorsed if not constantly celebrated and perpetuated by mainstream media, political and pop culture.
This recent portrayal of rape, gang rape and sexual assault as being a ‘Muslim’, ‘Islam’, ‘Middle Eastern’, ‘Third World’ or ‘refugee’ problem is a completely disingenuous display of wanton ignorance.
While some may argue that the alleged scale of the attacks seen in Cologne and elsewhere mark a turning point – and they certainly are heinous and deplorable crimes – the statistics demonstrate that in fact the United States remains the global center of rape and sexual assault, with 1 in 6 women experiencing sexual assault within their lifetime, and 1 in 4 college students.
According to this link Sweden already was the so-called ‘rape capital of Europe’ in 2010, despite the fact that its rape statistics are constantly touted as being a result of the recent influx of migrants.
So what, or more pertinently, who is behind the refugee propaganda? Whose interests do the rise of nationalism and the far-Right really serve?
[Author’s note: this article was originally composed on January 18th, 2016. It was the prequel to “The Agenda To Destabilise Europe” but sat on a publishing queue of another website for some months before now being published here.]