The purpose of this community is to draw attention to - and elicit meaningful action upon - instances of the growing problem of radicalization on Reddit.
We call for moderators and admins to take responsibility for their roles in the meme-ification & normalization of:
"Hate Subreddit" is defined here in AHS as: Reddit communities that exist primarily and materially for the purpose of incitement to hatred -- hatred against a group of persons, or a specific person, on the basis of: • race • ethnicity • national origin • gender • religion • sexual orientation • other inherent characteristics. Hate subreddits regularly show disdain for human rights and emotions, the results of academic research, and, of course, basic human decency.
Don't ask people to vote on items. Don't ask people to go to hate subreddits and dogpile comments on them. We don't do those things - because they are violations of the content policies, and because they serve the goals of bigots. We will ban accounts that do these things.
• We DO NOT participate in posts / threads / comments in hate subreddits. We don't vote; We don't comment; We don't feed the trolls.
Engagement and recruitment is Priority #1 of bigots - they don't want to debate you sincerely -- they want you to get angry, and bring your friends, and have those friends bring their friends - so they get lots and lots of attention and an audience and a list of potential recruits. They want to steal time and peace of mind from us, divide us and fracture our united front. Don't fall for it.
• We DO NOT amplify the hate messages of the bigots.
Censor slurs in your posts and comments wherever possible. Use the NSFW tag on your posts if submitting material that is patently offensive, hateful, pornographic, unsuitable for a work environment, etc. Use an archive service to submit posts wherever possible to make it inconvenient to join the bigot's efforts. If you are a bigot, and you want to participate here, you must do so in Good Faith -- if you come here to platform your bigotry, recruit, proselytise, or abuse people: you will be promptly banned. Your only reason to participate here is to help you find a way to get away from the people reinforcing your bigotry.
• We DO NOT Debate Economic Theory
There are other venues, of varying quality, and varying effectiveness, to recruit people to defend or critique capitalism / communism / barter / mutualism / welfare / Bitcoin / the Dahrendorf hypothesis / Bayesian regret. THIS IS NOT THE PLACE FOR THOSE.
• We DO NOT delete or retroactively radically edit comments.
That's Bad Faith.
• We are NOT your Personal Army.
If the members of one demographic are traditionally vilifying / vilified by another demographic, we will not "take sides" "for" the representatives of either demographic using their respective subreddits as proxies - No International Political Slapfighting. We do make exceptions for subreddits, named for a demographic or international geographic compartment (i.e. country), that are clearly being operated to platform hatred. Those require substantial, objectively evaluatable evidence of a pattern of hatred, bigotry, harassment, or violence, and the misfeasance of the moderators of the subreddit. We do not want submissions of 4-month old comments by suspended users that never went live or which received no upvotes, in innocent / well-moderated subreddits.
• We DO NOT accept posts about Child Sexual Exploitation material on Reddit.
Because of legal and ethical considerations, we do not allow the use of /AgainstHateSubreddits to direct attention to sexual or suggestive content involving minors on Reddit -- nor for making allegations that any content on Reddit is sexual or suggestive content involving minors. Please report any content which you reasonably believe to be sexual or suggestive content involving minors using this link: https://www.reddit.com/report?reason=its-sexual-or-suggestive-content-involving-minors Please do not solicit other people to view such material, nor direct others as to where to locate it. That can be distribution of obscene material. It's also traumatic for people exposed to it. Don't share links to it with anyone but the Reddit admins, your attorney where applicable, and law enforcement! You can also use the resources of the FBI via this webpage: https://www.fbi.gov/investigate/violent-crime/cac and the US Department of Justice via this webpage: https://www.justice.gov/actioncentereport-crime#child This has been our long-standing policy - we refuse to amplify child sexual exploitation.
And if you don't think you're a bigot -- but you feel that you can "peacefully coexist" with violent white supremacists, neo-Nazis, the Khmer Rouge, the KKK, the "alt-Right"? ... Historians have a word for the people who went along with the Nazis. That's "Nazi". Or, sadly, "Victim of the Nazis". Als sie die Juden holten, habe ich geschwiegen; ich war ja kein Jude Ask good faith questions not addressed here in the comments below.
Not really sure on what flair I should use here, but I think this would do. I love Reddit. Here is a brief history. Remember, the sources have page references, so ignore the little numbers next to words. Thanks! The idea and initial development of Reddit originated with then college roommates Steve Huffman and Alexis Ohanian in 2005. Huffman and Ohanian attended a lecture by programmer-entrepreneur Paul Graham in Boston, Massachusetts, during their spring break from University of Virginia. After speaking with Huffman and Ohanian following the lecture, Graham invited the two to apply to his startup incubator Y Combinator. Their initial idea, My Mobile Menu, was unsuccessful, and was intended to allow users to order food by SMS text messaging. During a brainstorming session to pitch another startup, the idea was created for what Graham called the "front page of the Internet". For this idea, Huffman and Ohanian were accepted in Y Combinator's first class. Supported by the funding from Y Combinator, Huffman coded the site in Common Lisp and together with Ohanian launched Reddit in June 2005. The team expanded to include Christopher Slowe in November 2005. Between November 2005 and January 2006, Reddit merged with Aaron Swartz's company Infogami, and Swartz became an equal owner of the resulting parent company, Not A Bug. Huffman and Ohanian sold Reddit to Condé Nast Publications, owner of Wired, on October 31, 2006, for a reported $10 million to $20 million and the team moved to San Francisco. In January 2007, Swartz was fired for undisclosed reasons. Huffman and Ohanian left Reddit in 2009. Huffman went on to co-found Hipmunk with Adam Goldstein, and later recruited Ohanian and Slowe to his new company. After Huffman and Ohanian left Reddit, Erik Martin, who joined the company as a community manager in 2008 and later became general manager is 2011, played a role in Reddit's growth. VentureBeat noted that Martin was "responsible for keeping the site going" under Condé Nast's ownership. Martin facilitated the purchase of Reddit Gifts and led charity initiatives. Reddit launched two different ways of advertising on the site in 2009. The company launched sponsored content and a self-serve ads platform that year. Reddit launched its Reddit Gold benefits program in July 2010, which offered new features to editors and created a new revenue stream for the business that did not rely on banner ads. On September 6, 2011, Reddit became operationally independent of Condé Nast, operating as a separate subsidiary of its parent company, Advance Publications. Reddit and other websites participated in a 12-hour sitewide blackout on January 18, 2012, in protest of the Stop Online Piracy Act. In May 2012, Reddit joined the Internet Defense League, a group formed to organize future protests. Yishan Wong joined Reddit as CEO in 2012. Wong resigned from Reddit in 2014, after more than two years at the company, citing disagreements about his proposal to move the company's offices from San Francisco to nearby Daly City, but also the "stressful and draining" nature of the position. Ohanian credited Wong with leading the company as its user base grew from 35 million to 174 million. Wong oversaw the company as it raised $50 million in funding and spun off as an independent company. Also during this time, Reddit began accepting the digital currency Bitcoin for its Reddit Gold subscription service through a partnership with bitcoin payment processor Coinbase in February 2013. Ellen Pao replaced Wong as interim CEO in 2014 and resigned in 2015 amid a user revolt over the firing of a popular Reddit employee. During her tenure, Reddit initiated an anti-harassment policy, banned involuntary sexualization, and banned several forums that focused on bigoted content or harassment of individuals. After five years away from the company, Ohanian and Huffman returned to leadership roles at Reddit: Ohanian became the full-time executive chairman in November 2014 following Wong's resignation, while Pao's departure on July 10, 2015, led to Huffman's return as the company's chief executive. After Huffman rejoined Reddit as CEO, he launched Reddit's iOS and Android apps, fixed Reddit's mobile website, and created A/B testing infrastructure. The company launched a major redesign of its website in April 2018. Huffman said new users were turned off from Reddit because it had looked like a "dystopian Craigslist". Reddit also instituted several technological improvements, such as a new tool that allows users to hide posts, comments, and private messages from selected redditors in an attempt to curb online harassment, and new content guidelines. These new content guidelines were aimed at banning content inciting violence and quarantining offensive material. Slowe, the company's first employee, rejoined Reddit in 2017 as chief technology officer. Reddit's largest round of funding came in 2017, when the company raised $200 million and was valued at $1.8 billion. The funding supported Reddit's site redesign and video efforts. Technology and design Underlying code Reddit was originally written in Common Lisp but was rewritten in Python in December 2005 for wider access to code libraries and greater development flexibility. The Python web framework that Swartz developed to run the site, web.py, is available as an open source project. As of November 10, 2009, Reddit used Pylons as its web framework. Reddit was an open source project from June 18, 2008 until 2017. During that time, all of the code and libraries written for Reddit were freely available on GitHub, with the exception of the anti-spam/cheating portions. In a September 2017 announcement, the company stated that "we've been doing a bad job of keeping our open-source product repos up to date", partially because "open-source makes it hard for us to develop some features 'in the clear' ... without leaking our plans too far in advance", prompting the decision to archive its public GitHub repos. While Reddit has continued calling itself open source it has failed to continue updating its code for years. Development forks continue slowly on Reddit-like alternative sites such as SaidIt.net, Ceddit.com, Notabug.io, and Rebbit.kr. Hosting and servers As of November 10, 2009, Reddit decommissioned its own servers and migrated to Amazon Web Services. Reddit uses PostgreSQL as their primary datastore and is slowly moving to Apache Cassandra, a column-oriented datastore.[when?] It uses RabbitMQ for offline processing, HAProxy for load balancing and memcached for caching. In early 2009, Reddit started using jQuery. Mobile apps In 2010, Reddit released its first mobile web interface for easier reading and navigating the website on touch screen devices. For several years, redditors relied on third-party apps to access Reddit on mobile devices. In October 2014, Reddit acquired one of them, Alien Blue, which became the official iOS Reddit app. Reddit removed Alien Blue and released its official application, Reddit: The Official App, on Google Play and the iOS App Store in April 2016. The company released an app for Reddit's question-and-answer Ask Me Anything subreddit in 2014. The app allowed users to see active Ask Me Anythings, receive notifications, ask questions and vote. Product and design changes The site has undergone several products and design changes since it originally launched in 2005. When it initially launched, there were no comments or subreddits. Comments were added in 2005 and interest-based groups (called 'subreddits') were introduced in 2008. Allowing users to create subreddits has led to much of the activity that redditors would recognize that helped define Reddit. These include subreddits "WTF", "funny", and "AskReddit". Reddit rolled out its multireddit feature, the site's biggest change to its front page in years, in 2013. With the multireddits, users see top stories from a collection of subreddits. In 2015, Reddit enabled embedding, so users could share Reddit content on other sites. In 2016, Reddit began hosting images using a new image uploading tool, a move that shifted away from the uploading service Imgur that had been the de facto service. Users still can upload images to Reddit using Imgur. Reddit's in-house video uploading service for desktop and mobile launched in 2017. Previously, users had to use third-party video uploading services, which Reddit acknowledged was time consuming for users. Reddit released its "spoiler tags" feature in January 2017. The feature warns users of potential spoilers in posts and pixelates preview images. Reddit unveiled changes to its public front page, called popular, in 2017; the change creates a front page free of potentially adult-oriented content for unregistered users. In late 2017, Reddit declared it wanted to be a mobile-first site, launching several changes to its apps for iOS and Android. The new features included user-to-user chat, a theater mode for viewing visual content, and mobile tools for the site's moderators. "Mod mode" lets moderators manage content and their subreddits on mobile devices. Reddit launched its redesigned website in 2018, with its first major visual update in a decade. Development for the new site took more than a year. It was the result of an initiative by Huffman upon returning to Reddit, who said the site's outdated look deterred new users. The new site features a hamburger menu to help users navigate the site, different views, and new fonts to better inform redditors if they are clicking on a Reddit post or an external link. The goal was not only for Reddit to improve its appearance, but also to make it easier to accommodate a new generation of Reddit users. Additionally, Reddit's growth had strained the site's back end; Huffman and Reddit Vice President of Engineering Nick Caldwell told The Wall Street Journal's COI Journal that Reddit needed to leverage artificial intelligence and other modern digital tools. Logo Reddit's logo consists of a time-traveling alien named Snoo and the company name stylized as "reddit". The alien has an oval head, pom-pom ears, and an antenna. Its colors are black, white, and orange-red. The mascot was created in 2005 while company co-founder Alexis Ohanian was an undergraduate at the University of Virginia. Ohanian doodled the creature while bored in a marketing class. Originally, Ohanian sought to name the mascot S'new, a play on "What's new?", to tie the mascot into Reddit's premise as the "front page of the Internet". Eventually, the name Snoo was chosen. In 2011, Ohanian outlined the logo's evolution with a graphic that showcased several early versions, including various spellings of the website name, such as "Reditt". Snoo is genderless and colorless, so the logo is moldable. Over the years, the Reddit logo has frequently changed for holidays and other special events. Many subreddits have a customized Snoo logo to represent the subreddit. Redditors can also submit their own logos, which sometimes appear on the site's front page, or create their own customized versions of Snoo for their communities (or "subreddits"). When Reddit revamped its website in April 2018, the company imposed several restrictions on how Snoo can be designed: Snoo's head "should always appear blank or neutral", Snoo's eyes are orange-red, and Snoo cannot have fingers. Snoo's purpose is to discover and explore humanity.
Just finished watching The Weekly (it’s kind of a Vice rip-off by the NYT) on Hulu where they went into detail about their story published this week about a « hacker » named Patrick Kessler who claimed to have tens of thousands of hours of Epstein’s private videos. Turns out, Patrick did not released the videos and there is a lot of questions with his credibility, nonetheless, he clearly exposed two lawyers (Bois and Pottinger) for attempting to profit by offering to reach large settlements in which they would take 40%. The article is here: Jeffrey Epstein, Blackmail, and a Lucrative Hotlist Even though it sounds like this guy Kessler is full of shit, I REALLY wish that he wasn’t and at some point these troves of photos and videos get released and a bunch of rich and powerful people get what they deserve for abusing these women. For those who need access to NYT- it is a long article, but here’s the full text: By Jessica Silver-Greenberg, Emily Steel, Jacob Bernstein and David Enrich Nov. 30, 2019 Soon after the sex criminal Jeffrey Epstein died in August, a mysterious man met with two prominent lawyers. Towering, barrel-chested and wild-bearded, he was a prodigious drinker and often wore flip-flops. He went by a pseudonym, Patrick Kessler — a necessity, he said, given the shadowy, dangerous world that he inhabited. He told the lawyers he had something incendiary: a vast archive of Mr. Epstein’s data, stored on encrypted servers overseas. He said he had years of the financier’s communications and financial records — as well as thousands of hours of footage from hidden cameras in the bedrooms of Mr. Epstein’s properties. The videos, Kessler said, captured some of the world’s richest, most powerful men in compromising sexual situations — even in the act of rape. Kessler said he wanted to expose these men. If he was telling the truth, his trove could answer one of the Epstein saga’s most baffling questions: How did a college dropout and high school math teacher amass a purported nine-figure fortune? One persistent but unproven theory was that he ran a sprawling blackmail operation. That would explain why moguls, scientists, political leaders and a royal stayed loyal to him, in some cases even after he first went to jail. Kessler’s tale was enough to hook the two lawyers, the famed litigator David Boies and his friend John Stanley Pottinger. If Kessler was authentic, his videos would arm them with immense leverage over some very important people. Mr. Boies and Mr. Pottinger discussed a plan. They could use the supposed footage in litigation or to try to reach deals with men who appeared in it, with money flowing into a charitable foundation. In encrypted chats with Kessler, Mr. Pottinger referred to a roster of potential targets as the “hot list.” He described hypothetical plans in which the lawyers would pocket up to 40 percent of the settlements and could extract money from wealthy men by flipping from representing victims to representing their alleged abusers. The possibilities were tantalizing — and extended beyond vindicating victims. Mr. Pottinger saw a chance to supercharge his law practice. For Mr. Boies, there was a shot at redemption, after years of criticism for his work on behalf of Theranos and Harvey Weinstein. In the end, there would be no damning videos, no funds pouring into a new foundation. Mr. Boies and Mr. Pottinger would go from toasting Kessler as their “whistle-blower” and “informant” to torching him as a “fraudster” and a “spy.” Kessler was a liar, and he wouldn’t expose any sexual abuse. But he would reveal something else: The extraordinary, at times deceitful measures elite lawyers deployed in an effort to get evidence that could be used to win lucrative settlements — and keep misconduct hidden, allowing perpetrators to abuse again. Mr. Boies has publicly decried such secret deals as “rich man’s justice,” a way that powerful men buy their way out of legal and reputational jeopardy. This is how it works. 7 men and a headless parrot The man who called himself Kessler first contacted a Florida lawyer, Bradley J. Edwards, who was in the news for representing women with claims against Mr. Epstein. It was late August, about two weeks after the financier killed himself in a jail cell while awaiting trial on federal sex-trafficking charges. Mr. Edwards, who did not respond to interview requests, had a law firm called Edwards Pottinger, and he soon referred Kessler to his New York partner. Silver-haired and 79, Mr. Pottinger had been a senior civil-rights official in the Nixon and Ford administrations, but he also dabbled in investment banking and wrote best-selling medical thrillers. He was perhaps best known for having dated Gloria Steinem and Kathie Lee Gifford. Mr. Pottinger recalled that Mr. Edwards warned him about Kessler, saying that he was “endearing,” “spooky” and “loves to drink like a fish.” After an initial discussion with Kessler in Washington, Mr. Pottinger briefed Mr. Boies — whose firm was also active in representing accusers in the Epstein case — about the sensational claims. He then invited Kessler to his Manhattan apartment. Kessler admired a wall-mounted frame containing a headless stuffed parrot; on TV, the Philadelphia Eagles were mounting a comeback against the Washington Redskins. Mr. Pottinger poured Kessler a glass of WhistlePig whiskey, and the informant began to talk. In his conversations with Mr. Pottinger and, later, Mr. Boies, Kessler said his videos featured numerous powerful men who were already linked to Mr. Epstein: Ehud Barak, the former Israeli prime minister; Alan Dershowitz, a constitutional lawyer; Prince Andrew; three billionaires; and a prominent chief executive. All seven men, or their representatives, told The New York Times they never engaged in sexual activity on Mr. Epstein’s properties. The Times has no reason to believe Kessler’s supposed video footage is real. In his apartment, Mr. Pottinger presented Kessler with a signed copy of “The Boss,” his 2005 novel. “One minute you’re bending the rules,” blares the cover of the paperback version. “The next minute you’re breaking the law.” On the title page, Mr. Pottinger wrote: “Here’s to the great work you are to do. Happy to be part of it.” Mr. Pottinger also gave Kessler a draft contract to bring him on as a client, allowing him to use a fake name. “For reasons revealed to you, I prefer to proceed with this engagement under the name Patrick Kessler,” the agreement said. Despite the enormities of the Epstein scandal, few of his accusers have gotten a sense of justice or resolution. Mr. Pottinger thought Kessler’s files could change everything. This strange man was theatrical and liked his alcohol, but if there was even a chance his claims were true, they were worth pursuing. “Our clients are said to be liars and prostitutes,” Mr. Pottinger later said in an interview with The Times, “and we now have someone who says, ‘I can give you secret photographic proof of abuse that will completely change the entire fabric of your practice and get justice for these girls.’ And you think that we wouldn’t try to get that?” A victim becomes a hacker Mr. Pottinger and Mr. Boies have known each other for years, a friendship forged on bike trips in France and Italy. In legal circles, Mr. Boies was royalty: He was the one who fought for presidential candidate Al Gore before the Supreme Court, took on Microsoft in a landmark antitrust case, and helped obtain the right for gays and lesbians to get married in California. But then Mr. Boies got involved with the blood-testing start-up Theranos. As the company was being revealed as a fraud, he tried to bully whistle-blowers into not speaking to a Wall Street Journal reporter, and he was criticized for possible conflicts of interest when he joined the company’s board in 2015. Two years later, Mr. Boies helped his longtime client Harvey Weinstein hire private investigators who intimidated sources and trailed reporters for The Times and The New Yorker — even though Mr. Boies’s firm had worked for The Times on other matters. (The Times fired his firm.) By 2019, Mr. Boies, 78, was representing a number of Mr. Epstein’s alleged victims. They got his services pro bono, and he got the chance to burnish his legacy. When Mr. Pottinger contacted him about Kessler, he was intrigued. On Sept. 9, Mr. Boies greeted Kessler at the offices of his law firm, Boies Schiller Flexner, in a gleaming new skyscraper at Hudson Yards on Manhattan’s West Side. Kessler unfurled a fantastic story, one he would embroider and alter in later weeks, that began with him growing up somewhere within a three-hour radius of Washington. Kessler said he had been molested as a boy by a Bible school teacher and sought solace on the internet, where he fell in with a group of victims turned hackers, who used their skills to combat pedophilia. Kessler claimed that a technology executive had introduced him to Mr. Epstein, who in 2012 hired Kessler to set up encrypted servers to preserve his extensive digital archives. With Mr. Epstein dead, Kessler boasted to the lawyers, he had unfettered access to the material. He said the volume of videos was overwhelming: more than a decade of round-the-clock footage from dozens of cameras. Kessler displayed some pixelated video stills on his phone. In one, a bearded man with his mouth open appears to be having sex with a naked woman. Kessler said the man was Mr. Barak. In another, a man with black-framed glasses is seen shirtless with a woman on his lap, her breasts exposed. Kessler said it was Mr. Dershowitz. He also said that some of the supposed videos appeared to have been edited and cataloged for the purpose of blackmail. “This was explosive information if true, for lots and lots of people,” Mr. Boies said in an interview. Mr. Boies and Mr. Pottinger had decades of legal experience and considered themselves experts at assessing witnesses’ credibility. While they couldn’t be sure, they thought Kessler was probably legit. A chance to sway the Israeli election Within hours of the Hudson Yards meeting, Mr. Pottinger sent Kessler a series of texts over the encrypted messaging app Signal. According to excerpts viewed by The Times, Mr. Pottinger and Kessler discussed a plan to disseminate some of the informant’s materials — starting with the supposed footage of Mr. Barak. The Israeli election was barely a week away, and Mr. Barak was challenging Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The purported images of Mr. Barak might be able to sway the election — and fetch a high price. (“Total lie with no basis in reality,” Mr. Barak said when asked about the existence of such videos.) “Can you review your visual evidence to be sure some or all is indisputably him? If so, we can make it work,” Mr. Pottinger wrote. Kessler said he would do so. Mr. Pottinger sent a yellow smiley-face emoji with its tongue sticking out. “Can you share your contact that would be purchasing,” Kessler asked. “Sheldon Adelson,” Mr. Pottinger answered. Mr. Adelson, a billionaire casino magnate in Las Vegas, had founded one of Israel’s largest newspapers, and it was an enthusiastic booster of Mr. Netanyahu. Mr. Pottinger wrote that he and Mr. Boies hoped to fly to Nevada to meet with Mr. Adelson to discuss the images. “Do you believe that adelson has the pull to insure this will hurt his bid for election?” Kessler asked the next morning. Mr. Pottinger reassured him. “There is no question that Adelson has the capacity to air the truth about EB if he wants to,” he said, using Mr. Barak’s initials. He said he planned to discuss the matter with Mr. Boies that evening. Mr. Boies confirmed that they discussed sharing the photo with Mr. Adelson but said the plan was never executed. Boaz Bismuth, the editor in chief of the newspaper, Israel Hayom, said its journalists were approached by an Israeli source who pitched them supposed images of Mr. Barak, but that “we were not interested.” ‘These are wealthy wrongdoers’ The men whom Kessler claimed to have on tape were together worth many billions. Some of their public relations teams had spent months trying to tamp down media coverage of their connections to Mr. Epstein. Imagine how much they might pay to make incriminating videos vanish. You might think that lawyers representing abuse victims would want to publicly expose such information to bolster their clients’ claims. But that is not how the legal industry always works. Often, keeping things quiet is good business. One of the revelations of the #MeToo era has been that victims’ lawyers often brokered secret deals in which alleged abusers paid to keep their accusers quiet and the allegations out of the public sphere. Lawyers can pocket at least a third of such settlements, profiting off a system that masks misconduct and allows men to abuse again. Mr. Boies and Mr. Pottinger said in interviews that they were looking into creating a charity to help victims of sexual abuse. It would be bankrolled by private legal settlements with the men on the videos. Mr. Boies acknowledged that Kessler might get paid. “If we were able to use this to help our victims recover money, we would treat him generously,” he said in September. He said that his firm would not get a cut of any settlements. Such agreements would have made it less likely that videos involving the men became public. “Generally what settlements are about is getting peace,” Mr. Boies said. Mr. Pottinger told Kessler that the charity he was setting up would be called the Astria Foundation — a name he later said his girlfriend came up with, in a nod to Astraea, the Greek goddess of innocence and justice. “We need to get it funded by abusers,” Mr. Pottinger texted, noting in another message that “these are wealthy wrongdoers.” Mr. Pottinger asked Kessler to start compiling incriminating materials on a specific group of men. “I’m way ahead of you,” Kessler responded. He said he had asked his team of fellow hackers to search the files for the three billionaires, the C.E.O. and Prince Andrew. “Yes, that’s exactly how to do this,” Mr. Pottinger said. “Videos for sure, but email traffic, too.” “I call it our hot list,” he added. Image The Grand Sichuan restaurant in Manhattan. The Grand Sichuan restaurant in Manhattan.Credit...Stephanie Diani for The New York Times A quiet table at the back of Grand Sichuan In mid-September, Mr. Boies and Mr. Pottinger invited reporters from The Times to the Boies Schiller offices to meet Kessler. The threat of a major news organization writing about the videos — and confirming the existence of an extensive surveillance apparatus — could greatly enhance the lawyers’ leverage over the wealthy men. Before the session, Mr. Pottinger encouraged Kessler to focus on certain men, like Mr. Barak, while avoiding others. Referring to the reporters, he added, “Let them drink from a fountain instead of a water hose. They and the readers will follow that better.” The meeting took place on a cloudy Saturday morning. After agreeing to leave their phones and laptops outside, the reporters entered a 20th-floor conference room. Kessler was huge: more than 6 feet tall, pushing 300 pounds, balding, his temples speckled with gray. He told his story and presented images that he said were of Mr. Epstein, Mr. Barak and Mr. Dershowitz having sex with women. Barely an hour after the session ended, the Times reporters received an email from Kessler: “Are you free?” He said he wanted to meet — alone. “Tell no one else.” That afternoon, they met at Grand Sichuan, an iconic Chinese restaurant in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood. The lunch rush was over, and the trio sat at a quiet table in the back. A small group of women huddled nearby, speaking Mandarin and snipping the ends off string beans. Kessler complained that Mr. Boies and Mr. Pottinger were more interested in making money than in exposing wrongdoers. He pulled out his phone, warned the reporters not to touch it, and showed more of what he had. There was a color photo of a bare-chested, gray-haired man with a slight smile. Kessler said it was a billionaire. He also showed blurry, black-and-white images of a dark-haired man receiving oral sex. He said it was a prominent C.E.O. Soup dumplings and Gui Zhou chicken arrived, and Kessler kept talking. He said he had found financial ledgers on Mr. Epstein’s servers that showed he had vast amounts of Bitcoin and cash in the Middle East and Bangkok, and hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of gold, silver and diamonds. He presented no proof. But it is common for whistle-blowers to be erratic and slow to produce their evidence, and The Times thought it was worth investigating Kessler’s claims. The conversation continued in a conference room at a Washington hotel five days later, after a text exchange in which Kessler noted his enthusiasm for Japanese whiskey. Both parties brought bottles to the hotel, and Kessler spent nearly eight hours downing glass after glass. He veered from telling tales about the dark web to professing love for “Little House on the Prairie.” He asserted that he had evidence Mr. Epstein had derived his wealth through illicit means. At one point, he showed what he said were classified C.I.A. documents. Kessler said he had no idea who the women in the videos were or how the lawyers might go about identifying them to act on their behalf. From his perspective, he said, it seemed like Mr. Boies and Mr. Pottinger were plotting to use his footage to demand huge sums from billionaires. He said it looked like blackmail — and that he could prove it. ‘We keep it. We keep everything’ Was Kessler’s story plausible? Did America’s best-connected sexual predator accumulate incriminating videos of powerful men? Two women who spent time in Mr. Epstein’s homes said the answer was yes. In an unpublished memoir, Virginia Giuffre, who accused Mr. Epstein of making her a “sex slave,” wrote that she discovered a room in his New York mansion where monitors displayed real-time surveillance footage. And Maria Farmer, an artist who accused Mr. Epstein of sexually assaulting her when she worked for him in the 1990s, said that Mr. Epstein once walked her through the mansion, pointing out pin-sized cameras that he said were in every room. “I said, ‘Are you recording all this?’” Ms. Farmer said in an interview. “He said, ‘Yes. We keep it. We keep everything.’” During a 2005 search of Mr. Epstein’s Palm Beach, Fla., estate, the police found two cameras hidden in clocks — one in the garage and the other next to his desk, according to police reports. But no other cameras were found. Kessler claimed to have been an early investor in a North Carolina coffee company, whose sticker was affixed to his laptop. But its founder said no one matching Kessler’s description had ever been affiliated with the company. Kessler insisted that he invested in 2009, but the company wasn’t founded until 2011. The contents of Kessler’s supposed C.I.A. documents turned out to be easily findable using Google. At one point, Kessler said that one of his associates had been missing and was found dead; later, Kessler said the man was alive and in the southern United States. He said that his mother had died when he was young — and that he had recently given her a hug. A photo he sent from what he said was a Washington-area hospital featured a distinctive blanket, but when The Times called local hospitals, they didn’t recognize the pattern. After months of effort, The Times could not learn Kessler’s identity or confirm any element of his back story. “I am very often being purposefully inconsistent,” Kessler said, when pressed. A Weinstein cameo On the last Friday in September, Mr. Boies and Mr. Pottinger sat on a blue leather couch in the corner of a members-only dining room at the Harvard Club in Midtown Manhattan. Antlered animal heads and oil paintings hung from the dark wooden walls. The lawyers were there to make a deal with The Times. Tired of waiting for Kessler’s motherlode, Mr. Pottinger said they planned to send a team overseas to download the material from his servers. He said he had alerted the F.B.I. and a prosecutor in the United States attorney’s office in Manhattan. Mr. Boies told an editor for The Times that they would be willing to share everything, on one condition: They would have discretion over which men could be written about, and when. He explained that if compromising videos about particular men became public, that could torpedo litigation or attempts to negotiate settlements. The Times editor didn’t commit. Mr. Boies and Mr. Pottinger later said those plans had hinged on verifying the videos’ authenticity and on having clients with legitimate legal claims against the men. Otherwise, legal experts said, it might have crossed the line into extortion. The meeting was briefly interrupted when Bob Weinstein, the brother of Harvey Weinstein, bounded up to the table and plopped onto the couch next to Mr. Boies. The two men spent several minutes talking, laughing and slapping each other on the back. While Mr. Boies and Mr. Weinstein chatted, Mr. Pottinger furtively displayed the black-and-white shot of a man in glasses having sex. Both lawyers said it looked like Mr. Dershowitz. ‘You don’t keep your glasses on when you’re doing that’ One day in late September, Mr. Dershowitz’s secretary relayed a message: Someone named Patrick Kessler wanted to speak to him about Mr. Boies. “The problem is that they don’t want to move forward with any of these people legally,” Kessler said. “They’re just interested in trying to settle and take a cut.” “Who are these people that you have on videotape?” Mr. Dershowitz asked. “There’s a lot of people,” Kessler said, naming a few powerful men. He added, “There’s a long list of people that they want me to have that I don’t have.” “Who?” Mr. Dershowitz asked. “Did they ask about me?” “Of course they asked about you. You know that, sir.” “And you don’t have anything on me, right?” “I do not, no,” Kessler said. “Because I never, I never had sex with anybody,” Mr. Dershowitz said. Later in the call, he added, “I am completely clean. I was at Jeffrey’s house. I stayed there. But I didn’t have any sex with anybody.” What was the purpose of Kessler’s phone call? Why did he tell Mr. Dershowitz that he wasn’t on the supposed surveillance tapes, contradicting what he had said and showed to Mr. Boies, Mr. Pottinger and The Times? Did the call sound a little rehearsed? Mr. Dershowitz said that he didn’t know why Kessler contacted him, and that the phone call was the only time the two men ever spoke. When The Times showed him one of Kessler’s photos, in which a bespectacled man resembling Mr. Dershowitz appears to be having sex, Mr. Dershowitz laughed and said the man wasn’t him. His wife, Carolyn Cohen, peeked at the photo, too. “You don’t keep your glasses on when you’re doing that,” she said. Data set (supposedly) to self-destruct In early October, Kessler said he was ready to produce the Epstein files. He told The Times that he had created duplicate versions of Mr. Epstein’s servers. He laid out detailed logistical plans for them to be shipped by boat to the United States and for one of his associates — a very short Icelandic man named Steven — to deliver them to The Times headquarters at 11 a.m. on Oct. 3. Kessler warned that he was erecting a maze of security systems. First, a Times employee would need to use a special thumb drive to access a proprietary communications system. Then Kessler’s colleague would transmit a code to decrypt the files. If his instructions weren’t followed precisely, Kessler said, the information would self-destruct. Specialists at The Times set up a number of “air-gapped” laptops — disconnected from the internet — in a windowless, padlocked meeting room. Reporters cleared their schedules to sift through thousands of hours of surveillance footage. On the morning of the scheduled delivery, Kessler sent a series of frantic texts. Disaster had struck. A fire was burning. The duplicate servers were destroyed. One of his team members was missing. He was fleeing to Kyiv. Two hours later, Kessler was in touch with Mr. Pottinger and didn’t mention any emergency. Kessler said he hoped that the footage would help pry $1 billion in settlements out of their targets, and asked him to detail how the lawyers could extract the money. “Could you put together a hypothetical situation,” Kessler wrote, not something “set in stone but close to what your thinking.” In one, which he called a “standard model” for legal settlements, Mr. Pottinger said the money would be split among his clients, the Astria Foundation, Kessler and the lawyers, who would get up to 40 percent. In the second hypothetical, Mr. Pottinger wrote, the lawyers would approach the videotaped men. The men would then hire the lawyers, ensuring that they would not get sued, and “make a contribution to a nonprofit as part of the retainer.” “No client is actually involved in this structure,” Mr. Pottinger said, noting that the arrangement would have to be “consistent with and subject to rules of ethics.” “Thank you very much,” Kessler responded. Mr. Pottinger later said that the scenario would have involved him representing a victim, settling a case and then representing the victim’s alleged abuser. He said it was within legal boundaries. (He also said he had meant to type “No client lawsuit is actually involved.”) Such legal arrangements are not unheard-of. Lawyers representing a former Fox News producer who had accused Bill O’Reilly of sexual harassment reached a settlement in which her lawyers agreed to work for Mr. O’Reilly after the dispute. But legal experts generally consider such setups to be unethical because they can create conflicts between the interests of the lawyers and their original clients. ‘I just pulled it out of my behind’ The lawyers held out hope of getting Kessler’s materials. But weeks passed, and nothing arrived. At one point, Mr. Pottinger volunteered to meet Kessler anywhere — including Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia. “I still believe he is what he purported to be,” Mr. Boies wrote in an email on Nov. 7. “I have to evaluate people for my day job, and he seemed too genuine to be a fake, and I very much want him to be real.” He added, “I am not unconscious of the danger of wanting to believe something too much.” Ten days later, Mr. Boies arrived at The Times for an on-camera interview. It was a bright, chilly Sunday, and Mr. Boies had just flown in from Ecuador, where he said he was doing work for the finance ministry. Reporters wanted to ask him plainly if his and Mr. Pottinger’s conduct with Kessler crossed ethical lines. Would they have brokered secret settlements that buried evidence of wrongdoing? Did the notion of extracting huge sums from men in exchange for keeping sex tapes hidden meet the definition of extortion? Mr. Boies said the answer to both questions was no. He said he and Mr. Pottinger operated well within the law. They only intended to pursue legal action on behalf of their clients — in other words, that they were a long way from extortion. In any case, he said, he and Mr. Pottinger had never authenticated any of the imagery or identified any of the supposed victims, much less contacted any of the men on the “hot list.” Then The Times showed Mr. Boies some of the text exchanges between Mr. Pottinger and Kessler. Mr. Boies showed a flash of anger and said it was the first time he was seeing them. By the end of the nearly four-hour interview, Mr. Boies had concluded that Kessler was probably a con man: “I think that he was a fraudster who was just trying to set things up.” And he argued that Kessler had baited Mr. Pottinger into writing things that looked more nefarious than they really were. He acknowledged that Mr. Pottinger had used “loose language” in some of his messages that risked creating the impression that the lawyers were plotting to monetize evidence of abuse. Several days later, Mr. Boies returned for another interview and was more critical of Mr. Pottinger, especially the hypothetical plans that he had described to Kessler. “Having looked at all that stuff in context, I would not have said that,” he said. How did Mr. Boies feel about Mr. Pottinger invoking his name in messages to Kessler? “I don’t like it,” he said. But Mr. Boies stopped short of blaming Mr. Pottinger for the whole mess. “I’m being cautious not to throw him under the bus more than I believe is accurate,” he said. His longtime P.R. adviser, Dawn Schneider, who had been pushing for a more forceful denunciation, dropped her pen, threw up her arms and buried her head in her hands. In a separate interview, The Times asked Mr. Pottinger about his correspondence with Kessler. The lawyer said that his messages shouldn’t be taken at face value because, in reality, he had been deceiving Kessler all along — “misleading him deliberately in order to get the servers.” The draft retention agreement that Mr. Pottinger had given to Kessler in September was unsigned and never meant to be honored, Mr. Pottinger said. And he never intended to sell photos of Mr. Barak to Mr. Adelson. “I just pulled it out of my behind,” he said, describing it as an act to impress Kessler. As for the two hypotheticals about how to get money out of the men on the list, Mr. Pottinger said, he never planned to do what he carefully articulated. “I didn’t owe Patrick honesty about this,” he said. Mr. Pottinger said that he had only one regret — that “we did not get the information that this liar said he had.” He added, “I’m building legal cases here. I’m trying not to engage too much in shenanigans. I wish I didn’t, but this guy was very unusual.”
Experts say Trump firing of 3 officials including Sondland and Vindman is a ‘criminal’ offense Comments | Link Doctor who exposed Sars cover-up under house arrest in China, family confirms Comments | Link A group of Republican senators including Susan Collins tried and failed to stop Trump from firing Gordon Sondland Comments | Link
Texas teen shot dead for defending classmate from bully days earlier, police say Comments | Link A high school student is growing out his hair for his sick sister. When administrators asked him to cut it, he withdrew from school Comments | Link Author Jordan Peterson is recovering from severe tranquiliser addiction in Russia Comments | Link
Scientis developed a nonthermal plasma reactor that leaves airborne pathogens unable to infect host organisms, including people. The plasma oxidizes the viruses, which disables their mechanism for entering cells. The reactor reduces the number of infectious viruses in an airstream by more than 99%. Comments | Link The tainted truth effect: falsely claiming news is fake, false, etc. led individuals to discard authentic information, and impede political memory. Comments | Link Unemployment is sometimes associated with an increase in happiness, new study shows. Although unemployed individuals generally feel less happy, the unemployed without financial problems feel an increase in happiness. The findings suggest that the main benefit of employment is related to income. Comments | Link
The 2020 Election Will Be a War of Disinformation Comments | Link Bill Gates becomes first to buy a £500m hydrogen-powered super yacht Comments | Link A Device That 'Prints' New Skin Right Onto Burns Just Passed Another Animal Trial Comments | Link
Man Falls Through Ice On Mississippi River, Says Google Maps Told Him To Cross Comments | Link Otter chaos: Florida mother ‘alligator wrangled’ an otter that attacked daughter, family dog Comments | Link EPA re-approves key Roundup chemical Comments | Link
If you could see a list of every person's name and face (including strangers) that thought about you sexually at least once, would you want to see it and why? Comments Men who were sexually harassed, assaulted, raped or forced to have sex by females. What happened? Comments [Serious] What is stopping you from killing yourself? Comments
years of network issues... it was servers (and not DNS!!)! Comments Heavy industries: what are some cools things you are doing? Comments “corp.com” is being sold, thousands of systems around the globe at risks Comments
Fruits Highest in Sugar [OC] Comments | Link [OC] I analyzed over 2 billion Reddit comments to see how the frequency of Bitcoin mentions correlates with the price of Bitcoin and to investigate if there is a predictive effect. I plotted the results visually, here's what I found... [OC] Comments | Link [OC] Oscar Winners vs. Betting Favorites in the Last Decade Comments | Link
TIL In 1965, a Ukrainian farmer dug up the lower jawbone of a mammoth. Further excavations revealed the presence of 4 huts, made up of a total of 149 mammoth bones. These dwellings, dating back some 15,000 years, were determined to have been some of the oldest shelters ever built Comments | Link TIL: Smuckers Uncrustables sends all of their discarded crusts to be made into animal feed. Comments | Link TIL Milk Duds were intended to be candy spheres but the machines produced less-than-round candies which the workers called "duds". The "milk" part of the name refers to the large amount of milk in the candy. Comments | Link
Nan Wood Graham and Dr. Byron McKeeby. Models of the painting "American Gothic" 1930s Comments | Link Claude Monet, French Impressionist painter, ca. 1923 Comments | Link A young Sir Ian McKellen (1966). Comments | Link
Thanks to storm Ciara, BA flight BA112 travelled from New York to London overnight in just 4hrs 56mins Comments | Link 1/32 A-10 Warthog - Album in comments Comments | Link Unexpected landing gear view takeoff.... Comments | Link
Ehhh... What’s up Don? Comments | Link Bill introduced himself as Dr. Peter Venkman & talked to my kids every other hole at the ATT Pro Am. Comments | Link Interesting graffiti in Yekaterinburg Comments | Link
Want to know why so many young people are buying Bitcoin?
Why has Bitcoin septupled in only half a year? Because if it works as promised, it's decentralized and free of the meddling of any government, especially our own government. Notice the financiers all hate it. JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon called it a "fraud," and all of the media repeated it. Bitcoin's value skyrocketed after that. It's because the entire corporate media was unanimous about invading Iraq even though it was based on a lie. That can't be understated - the government knowing and willingly lied to everyone. It wasn't a "strategical blunder." Thousands of Americans died, millions of Iraqis dead, leaving it wide open to the worst extremist groups imaginable. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children are being born with defects because of the leftovers of our weapons. No prosecutions, no arrests, no one is punished, nothing changes. We're still at war with even more countries now, and we would be at war with more if not for the protests of citizens. It's because we now know that Saudi Arabia was involved in 9/11, and because the US govt flew out Saudi royalty right after the attacks, and because that country is our "ally" even though they finance Islamic terrorism and have horrendous human rights records. While we're having our own Crucible going on about sexual harassment, Saudi Arabia which treats woman like second class citizens is just okie dokie with us. http://www.cnn.com/2016/09/09/politics/house-9-11-sue-saudi-arabia/ It's because financial institutions and banks, who receive billions of taxpayer dollars from the Fed for free and then get to turn around and loan it out to people at interest before inflation has devalued one cent of it, while we are trillions in debt, who deliberately defrauded MILLIONS of hardworking people out of their pensions, got slapped with fines the equivalent of a traffic fine compared to how much money they make. No prosecutions, nothing happened, nothing changed, and now members of the government during that time are right back working for Wall Street as consultants. While savings accounts pay less than 1% annual return. It's because corporations who enjoy record profits have all the power pay hardly anything in taxes and stash all their profits overseas, while the life of the average working American gets shittier and shittier. It's because grads with student loans were preyed upon with high interest loans because the government let them, and because public university raised their tuition to extortionate higts because the government let them, and sold a bill of goods about how everyone needs a college education only to enter the worst job market in generations with debt so high just to get a B.A. you'd think they just finished medical school. and its one of the only if not the only types of debts that wont go away with declaring bankruptcy, interestingly enough. It's because while the GOP is trying to push through a tax bill that's going to cheat even more Americans out of their wealth, including teachers deducting classroom supplies that they have to buy themselves because public budgets already dont pay for it, all the "liberal" media can talk about is some BS conspiracy theory about Russia that is shown again and again to be completely baseless, and polls have shown that only 6% of Americans consider it a top priority, yet thats all you see on the news every single day. It's because our government of our so-called free country decided that they can decide what substances people can put in their bodies, and therefore created the largest gulag state known to man, where we imprison more people per capita than any other country in the world - more than China, more than Russia, more than North Korea - with 4.4% of the world's population we imprison 22% of the world's prisoners. Nearly one out of 100 Americans are behind bars at any given time. It's because the only politician in our lifetimes that actually seems like he gives a crap about people and not just money was betrayed, cheated and railroaded by our own "liberal" media and our own "liberal" political party, and those who supported him were bullied and manipulated and lied to and insulted and discredited, and are still are, and no one seems to care. It's because we're supposed to praise the gods for having been delivered crappy, byzantine and overpriced insurance, because even though we're the wealthiest country in the world, and even though the vast majority of voters want single-payer, both political parties have infinite numbers of reasons and excuses of why we can never have that. yeah...go bitcoin...
Resource Repository update + statement on IB communities and groups
EDIT 2018-04-07: With regards to the WhatsApp community: As far as we at /IBO know, the previous leader of the WhatsApp community is no longer affiliated with the groups. We hope that this signifies a move away from their past and development into a welcoming, academically honest environment for all members. However, the moderation team has decided that for the time being, WhatsApp group links are still banned. This is because of two reasons: firstly, to give time to ensure that all of these past behaviours have been eradicated, and secondly, due to concerns with sharing personal information (mobile numbers) on this subreddit. To the best of my knowledge, there will be an update regarding the status of ibdocuments.com coming out very soon. Hi everyone, As you have hopefully already heard, the ibdocuments.com website was taken down earlier today following a DMCA takedown notice from the IB. A new server will be set up once the hosts can afford a more secure one, but this will likely take quite a while as it relies entirely on donations. If you wish to chip in, you can donate at the following Bitcoin wallet: BTC: 14QZ2GxhGNmXaGbTXKxdfBhWYKPmCYN1Co Until then, the hosts will be setting up temporary repositories on various content sharing websites, as before, with the links available on https://ibresources.github.io/ as before. However, as this is a time consuming process, some downtime will be involved, and due to more frequent DMCAs it is very likely that these repositories will be offline fairly often. Please remember to download any resources you believe you might need in the future - there is no guarantee that they will still be there when you do actually need them. It has recently come to the moderation team's attention that there is a second online community dedicated to the IB, active particularly on Reddit and WhatsApp, which brands itself quite similarly to /IBO. Unfortunately, it appears that this community is led by a previous member of this community who was banned for breaching our academic honesty guidelines, and who uses his administrative position in those other communities to harass certain members of the community. In addition, they decided to clone and rehost the entire ibdocuments website which was originally set up by /IBO contributors TemplarKnight98 and AlpineTrust, with advertisements displayed on top - essentially making money out of the work of others. They have claimed responsibility for the DMCA notice that took down ibdocuments, presumably as a method to try and increase visibility and revenue for their cloned website. In light of all of this, we have made the following decisions, effective immediately:
Links to the copied resource repository are not permitted on /IBO, and will be removed automatically.
Links to IB WhatsApp groups are not permitted on /IBO, and will be removed automatically.
In addition, we strongly advise that all members steer clear of these resources. The founder and administrator of these resources is a known proponent of cheating, and the /IBO moderation team has evidence of him approaching underage women to pursue sexual images. As WhatsApp groups require sharing your phone number with everyone else in the group, you do not know for certain who receives your personal information, which may be unsafe. The only other IB group currently affiliated with /IBO is the /IBO Discord server, linked in the sidebar of the subreddit. If you have experience with harassment related to the WhatsApp groups and would like to speak out about it, please contact me in private - either via Reddit private messages, Discord at ashy#1063, or my e-mail address: [email protected]. As this is a serious breach of laws, we wish to take this to the authorities to stop other girls from having to suffer the same fate. TL;DR:
ibdocuments.com is down for the time being due to a DMCA claim. An alternative site will be launched when possible, but this requires money. Please consider donating to the bitcoin wallet listed above. Until then, we are back on temporary drive hosting, which will be unreliable - save any documents you may need later on.
Due to concerns about academic dishonesty and harassment, we have decided to ban all references to the WhatsApp groups and the copied resource repository. Links to either will be automatically removed.
We are looking for information regarding harassment in the WhatsApp groups - please see above for means to get in touch with me.
Georgia Tombstones (Part 2) by Jayge 8^J "Project Blue Beam is a conspiracy theory that claims that NASA is attempting to implement a New Age religion with the Antichrist at its head and start a New World Order, via a technologically-simulated Second Coming. The allegations were presented in 1994 by Quebecois journalist and conspiracy theorist Serge Monast, and later published in his book Project Blue Beam (NASA). Proponents of the theory allege that Monast and another unnamed journalist, who both died of heart attacks in 1996, were in fact assassinated, and that the Canadian government kidnapped Monast's daughter in an effort to dissuade him from investigating Project Blue Beam. The project was apparently supposed to be implemented in 1983, but it didn't happen. It was then set for implementation in 1995 and then 1996. Monast thought Project Blue Beam would be brought to fruition by the year 2000, really, definitely, for sure. The theory is widely popular (for a conspiracy theory) on the Internet, with many web pages dedicated to the subject, and countless YouTube videos explaining it. The actual source material, however, is very thin indeed. Monast lectured on the theory in the mid-1990s (a transcript of one such lecture is widely available), before writing and publishing his book, which has not been reissued by his current publisher and is all but unobtainable. The currently available pages and videos all appear to trace back to four documents: A transcript of the 1994 lecture by Monast, translated into English. A GeoCities page written by David Openheimer and which appears to draw on the original book. A page on educate-yourself.org, compiled in 2005, which appears to include a translation of the book from the French. Monast's page in French Wikipedia. The French Wikipedia article is largely sourced from two books on conspiracy theories and extremism by Pierre-André Taguieff, a mainstream academic expert on racist and extremist groups. From these few texts have come a flood of green ink, in text and video form, in several languages. Even the French language material typically does not cite the original book but the English language pages on educate-yourself.org. However, conspiracy theorists seem to use quantity as a measure of substance (much as alternative medicine uses appeal to tradition) and never mind the extremely few sources it all traces back to. Proponents of the theory have extrapolated it to embrace HAARP, 9/11, the Norwegian Spiral, chemtrails, FEMA concentration camps and Tupac Shakur. Everything is part of Project Blue Beam. It's well on its way to becoming the Unified Conspiracy Theory. Behold A Pale Horse, William Cooper's 1991 green ink magnum opus, has lately been considered a prior claim of, hence supporting evidence for, Blue Beam by advocates. The book is where a vast quantity of now-common conspiracy memes actually came from, so retrospectively claiming it as prior evidence is somewhere between cherrypicking and the Texas sharpshooter fallacy. However, the following quotes, from pages 180-181, intersect slightly with the specific themes of Blue Beam: It is true that without the population or the bomb problem the elect would use some other excuse to bring about the New World Order. They have plans to bring about things like earthquakes, war, the Messiah, an extra-terrestrial landing, and economic collapse. They might bring about all of these things just to make damn sure that it does work. They will do whatever is necessary to succeed. The Illuminati has all the bases covered and you are going to have to be on your toes to make it through the coming years. Can you imagine what will happen if Los Angeles is hit with a 9.0 quake, New York City is destroyed by a terrorist-planted atomic bomb, World War III breaks out in the Middle East, the banks and the stock markets collapse, Extraterrestrials land on the White House lawn, food disappears from the markets, some people disappear, the Messiah presents himself to the world, and all in a very short period of time? Can you imagine? The world power structure can, and will if necessary, make some or all of those things happen to bring about the New World Order. “Without a universal belief in the new age religion, the success of the new world order will be impossible!” The alleged purpose of Project Blue Beam is to bring about a global New Age religion, which is seen as a core requirement for the New World Order's dictatorship to be realised. There's nothing new in thinking of religion as a form of control, but the existence of multiple religions, spin-off cults, competing sects and atheists suggest that controlling the population entirely through a single religion isn't particularly easy. Past attempts have required mechanisms of totalitarianism such as the Inquisition. Monast's theory, however, suggests using sufficiently advanced technology to trick people into believing. Of course, the plan would have to assume that people could never fathom the trick at all — something contested by anyone sane enough not to swallow this particular conspiracy. The primary claimed perpetrator of Project Blue Beam is NASA, presented as a large and mostly faceless organization that can readily absorb such frankly odd accusations, aided by the United Nations, another old-time boogeyman of conspiracy theorists. According to Monast, the project has four steps: Step One requires the breakdown of all archaeological knowledge. This will apparently be accomplished by faking earthquakes at precise locations around the planet. Fake "new discoveries" at these locations "will finally explain to all people the error of all fundamental religious doctrines", specifically Christian and Muslim doctrines. This makes some degree of sense — if you want to usurp a current way of thinking you need to completely destroy it before putting forward your own. However, religious belief is notoriously resilient to things like facts. The Shroud of Turin is a famous example that is still believed by many to be a genuine shroud of Jesus as opposed to the medieval forgery that it has been conclusively shown to be. Prayer studies, too, show how difficult it is to shift religious conviction with mere observational fact — indeed, many theologians avoid making falsifiable claims or place belief somewhere specifically beyond observation to aid this. So what finds could possibly fundamentally destroy both Christianity and Islam, almost overnight, and universally all over the globe? Probably nothing. Yet, this is only step one of an increasingly ludicrous set of events that Project Blue Beam predicts will occur. Step Two involves a gigantic "space show" wherein three-dimensional holographic laser projections will be beamed all over the planet — and this is where Blue Beam really takes off. The projections will take the shape of whatever deity is most predominant, and will speak in all languages. At the end of this light show, the gods will all merge into one god, the Antichrist. This is a rather baffling plan as it seems to assume people will think this is actually their god, rather than the more natural twenty-first century assumption that it is a particularly opaque Coca Cola advertisement. Evidence commonly advanced for this is a supposed plan to project the face of Allah, despite its contradiction with Muslim belief of God's uniqueness, over Baghdad in 1991 to tell the Iraqis to overthrow Saddam Hussein. Someone, somewhere, must have thought those primitive, ignorant non-Western savages wouldn't have had television or advertising, and would never guess it was being done with mirrors. In general, pretty much anything that either a) involves light or b) has been seen in the sky has been put forward as evidence that Project Blue Beam is real, and such things are "tests" of the technology — namely unidentified flying objects. Existing display technology such as 3D projection mapping and holograms are put forward as foreshadowing the great light show in the sky. This stage will apparently be accomplished with the aid of a Soviet computer that will be fed "with the minute physio-psychological particulars based on their studies of the anatomy and electro-mechanical composition of the human body, and the studies of the electrical, chemical and biological properties of the human brain", and every human has been allocated a unique radio wavelength. The computers are also capable of inducing suicidal thoughts. The Soviets are (not "were") the "New World Order" people. Why NASA would use a Soviet computer when the USSR had to import or copy much of its computer technology from the West is not detailed. The second part of Step Two happens when the holograms result in the dissolution of social and religious order, "setting loose millions of programmed religious fanatics through demonic possession on a scale never witnessed before." The United Nations plans to use Beethoven's "Ode to Joy" as the anthem for the introduction of the new age one world religion. There is relatively little to debunk in this, the most widely remembered section of the Project Blue Beam conspiracy, as the idea is so infeasible. Citing actual existing communication technology is odd if the point is for the end product to appear magical, rather than just as cheap laser projections onto clouds. This hasn't stopped some very strange conspiracy theories about such things popping up. Indeed, the notion of gods being projected into the sky was floated in 1991 by conspiracy theorist Betty J. Mills. And US general (and CIA shyster extraordinaire), Edward Lansdale, actually floated a plan to fake a Second Coming over Cuba to get rid of Castro. Step Three is "Telepathic Electronic Two-Way Communication." It involves making people think their god is speaking to them through telepathy, projected into the head of each person individually using extreme low frequency radio waves. (Atheists will presumably hear an absence of Richard Dawkins.) The book goes to some lengths to describe how this would be feasible, including a claim that ELF thought projection caused the depressive illness of Michael Dukakis' wife Kitty. Step Four has three parts: Making humanity think an alien invasion is about to occur at every major city; Making the Christians think the Rapture is about to happen; A mixture of electronic and supernatural forces, allowing the supernatural forces to travel through fiber optics, coax, power and telephone lines to penetrate all electronic equipment and appliances, that will by then all have a special microchip installed. Then chaos will break out, and people will finally be willing — perhaps even desperate — to accept the New World Order. "The techniques used in the fourth step is exactly the same used in the past in the USSR to force the people to accept Communism." A device has apparently already been perfected that will lift enormous numbers of people, as in a Rapture. UFO abductions are tests of this device. Project Blue Beam proponents believe psychological preparations have already been made, Monast having claimed that 2001: A Space Odyssey, Star Wars and the Star Trek series all involve an invasion from space and all nations coming together (the first two don't, the third is peaceful contact) and that Jurassic Park propagandises evolution in order to make people think God's words are lies. The book detailed the theory. In the 1994 lecture, Monast detailed what would happen afterwards. All people will be required to take an oath to Lucifer with a ritual initiation to enter the New World Order. Resisters will be categorised as follows: Christian children will be kept for human sacrifice or sexual slaves. Prisoners to be used in medical experiments. Prisoners to be used as living organ banks. Healthy workers in slave labour camps. Uncertain prisoners in the international re-education center, thence to repent on television and learn to glorify the New World Order. The international execution centre. An as yet unknown seventh classification. Joel Engel's book Gene Roddenberry: The Myth and the Man Behind Star Trek was released in 1994, shortly before Monast's lecture on Project Blue Beam: “In May 1975, Gene Roddenberry accepted an offer from Paramount to develop Star Trek into a feature film, and moved back into his old office on the Paramount lot. His proposed story told of a flying saucer, hovering above Earth, that was programmed to send down people who looked like prophets, including Jesus Christ.” All the steps of the conspiracy theory were in the unmade mid-'70s Star Trek film script by Roddenberry, which were recycled for the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode Devil's Due, broadcast in 1991. There is no evidence of deliberate fraud on Monast's part; given his head was quite thoroughly full of squirrels and confetti by this time, it's entirely plausible that he thought this was the revelation of secret information in a guise safe for propagation. However, the actual source was so obvious that even other conspiracy theorists noticed. They confidently state it was obvious that Monast had been fed deceptive information by the CIA. Of course!" -- rationalwiki.org "Serge Monast was a Québécois investigative journalist, poet, essayist and conspiracy theorist. He is known to English-speaking readers mainly for Project Blue Beam and associated conspiracy tropes. His works on Masonic conspiracy theories and the New World Order also remain popular with French-speaking conspiracy theorists and enthusiasts." -- Wikipedia "A human microchip implant is typically an identifying integrated circuit device or RFID transponder encased in silicate glass and implanted in the body of a human being. This type of subdermal implant usually contains a unique ID number that can be linked to information contained in an external database, such as personal identification, law enforcement, medical history, medications, allergies, and contact information. The first experiments with an RFID implant were carried out in 1998 by the British scientist Kevin Warwick. His implant was used to open doors, switch on lights, and cause verbal output within a building. After nine days the implant was removed and has since been held in the Science Museum (London). On 16 March 2009 British scientist Mark Gasson had an advanced glass capsule RFID device surgically implanted into his left hand. In April 2010 Gasson's team demonstrated how a computer virus could wirelessly infect his implant and then be transmitted on to other systems. Gasson reasoned that with implanted technology the separation between man and machine can become theoretical because the technology can be perceived by the human as being a part of their body. Because of this development in our understanding of what constitutes our body and its boundaries he became credited as being the first human infected by a computer virus. He has no plans to remove his implant. Several hobbyists have placed RFID microchip implants into their hands or had them inserted by others. Amal Graafstra, author of the book RFID Toys, asked doctors to place implants in his hands in March 2005. A cosmetic surgeon used a scalpel to place a microchip in his left hand, and his family doctor injected a chip into his right hand using a veterinary Avid injector kit. Graafstra uses the implants to access his home, open car doors, and to log on to his computer. With public interest growing, in 2013 he launched biohacking company Dangerous Things and crowdfunded the world's first implantable NFC transponder in 2014. He has also spoken at various events and promotional gigs including TEDx, and built a smartgun that only fires after reading his implant. Alejandro Hernandez CEO of Futura is known to be the first in Central America to have Dangerous Things' transponder installed in his left hand by Federico Cortes in November 2017. Mikey Sklar had a chip implanted into his left hand and filmed the procedure. Jonathan Oxer self-implanted an RFID chip in his arm using a veterinary implantation tool. Martijn Wismeijer, Dutch marketing manager for Bitcoin ATM manufacturer General Bytes, placed RFID chips in both of his hands to store his Bitcoin private keys and business card. Patric Lanhed sent a “bio-payment” of one euro worth of Bitcoin using a chip embedded in his hand. Marcel Varallo had an NXP chip coated in Bioglass 8625 inserted into his hand between his forefinger and thumb allowing him to open secure elevators and doors at work, print from secure printers, unlock his mobile phone and home, and store his digital business card for transfer to mobile phones enabled for NFC. Biohacker Hannes Sjöblad has been experimenting with NFC (Near Field Communication) chip implants since 2015. During his talk at Echappée Voléé 2016 in Paris, Sjöblad disclosed that he has also implanted himself between his forefinger and thumb and uses it to unlock doors, make payments, and unlock his phone (essentially replacing anything you can put in your pockets). Additionally, Sjöblad has hosted several "implant parties," where interested individuals can also be implanted with the chip. Researchers have examined microchip implants in humans in the medical field and they indicate that there are potential benefits and risks to incorporating the device in the medical field. For example, it could be beneficial for noncompliant patients but still poses great risks for potential misuse of the device. Destron Fearing, a subsidiary of Digital Angel, initially developed the technology for the VeriChip. In 2004, the VeriChip implanted device and reader were classified as Class II: General controls with special controls by the FDA; that year the FDA also published a draft guidance describing the special controls required to market such devices. About the size of a grain of rice, the device was typically implanted between the shoulder and elbow area of an individual’s right arm. Once scanned at the proper frequency, the chip responded with a unique 16-digit number which could be then linked with information about the user held on a database for identity verification, medical records access and other uses. The insertion procedure was performed under local anesthetic in a physician's office. Privacy advocates raised concerns regarding potential abuse of the chip, with some warning that adoption by governments as a compulsory identification program could lead to erosion of civil liberties, as well as identity theft if the device should be hacked. Another ethical dilemma posed by the technology, is that people with dementia could possibly benefit the most from an implanted device that contained their medical records, but issues of informed consent are the most difficult in precisely such people. In June 2007, the American Medical Association declared that "implantable radio frequency identification (RFID) devices may help to identify patients, thereby improving the safety and efficiency of patient care, and may be used to enable secure access to patient clinical information", but in the same year, news reports linking similar devices to cancer caused in laboratory animals had a devastating impact on the company's stock price and sales. In 2010, the company, by then called "PositiveID", withdrew the product from the market due to poor sales. In January 2012, PositiveID sold the chip assets to a company called VeriTeQ that was owned by Scott Silverman, the former CEO of Positive ID. In 2016, JAMM Technologies acquired the chip assets from VeriTeQ; JAMM's business plan was to partner with companies selling implanted medical devices and use the RFID tags to monitor and identify the devices. JAMM Technologies is co-located in the same Plymouth, Minnesota building as Geissler Corporation with Randolph K. Geissler and Donald R. Brattain listed as its principals. The website also claims that Geissler was CEO of PositiveID Corporation, Destron Fearing Corporation, and Digital Angel Corporation. In 2018, A Danish firm called BiChip released a new generation of microchip implant that is intended to be readable from distance and connected to Internet. The company released an update for its microchip implant to associate it with the Ripple cryptocurrency to allow payments to be made using the implanted microchip. In February 2006, CityWatcher, Inc. of Cincinnati, OH became the first company in the world to implant microchips into their employees as part of their building access control and security system. The workers needed the implants to access the company's secure video tape room, as documented in USA Today. The project was initiated and implemented by Six Sigma Security, Inc. The VeriChip Corporation had originally marketed the implant as a way to restrict access to secure facilities such as power plants. A major drawback for such systems is the relative ease with which the 16-digit ID number contained in a chip implant can be obtained and cloned using a hand-held device, a problem that has been demonstrated publicly by security researcher Jonathan Westhues and documented in the May 2006 issue of Wired magazine, among other places. The Baja Beach Club, a nightclub in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, once used VeriChip implants for identifying VIP guests. The Epicenter in Stockholm, Sweden is using RFID implants for employees to operate security doors, copiers, and pay for lunch. In 2017 Mike Miller, chief executive of the World Olympians Association, was widely reported as suggesting the use of such implants in athletes in an attempt to reduce problems in sport due to drug taking. Theoretically, a GPS-enabled chip could one day make it possible for individuals to be physically located by latitude, longitude, altitude, speed, and direction of movement. Such implantable GPS devices are not technically feasible at this time. However, if widely deployed at some future point, implantable GPS devices could conceivably allow authorities to locate missing persons and/or fugitives and those who fled from a crime scene. Critics contend, however, that the technology could lead to political repression as governments could use implants to track and persecute human rights activists, labor activists, civil dissidents, and political opponents; criminals and domestic abusers could use them to stalk and harass their victims; and child abusers could use them to locate and abduct children. Another suggested application for a tracking implant, discussed in 2008 by the legislature of Indonesia's Irian Jaya would be to monitor the activities of persons infected with HIV, aimed at reducing their chances of infecting other people. The microchipping section was not, however, included into the final version of the provincial HIV/AIDS Handling bylaw passed by the legislature in December 2008. With current technology, this would not be workable anyway, since there is no implantable device on the market with GPS tracking capability. Since modern payment methods rely upon RFID/NFC, it is thought that implantable microchips, if they were to ever become popular in use, would form a part of the cashless society. Verichip implants have already been used in nightclubs such as the Baja club for such a purpose, allowing patrons to purchase drinks with their implantable microchip. In a self-published report anti-RFID advocate Katherine Albrecht, who refers to RFID devices as "spy chips", cites veterinary and toxicological studies carried out from 1996 to 2006 which found lab rodents injected with microchips as an incidental part of unrelated experiments and dogs implanted with identification microchips sometimes developed cancerous tumors at the injection site (subcutaneous sarcomas) as evidence of a human implantation risk. However, the link between foreign-body tumorigenesis in lab animals and implantation in humans has been publicly refuted as erroneous and misleading and the report's author has been criticized over the use of "provocative" language "not based in scientific fact". Notably, none of the studies cited specifically set out to investigate the cancer risk of implanted microchips and so none of the studies had a control group of animals that did not get implanted. While the issue is considered worthy of further investigation, one of the studies cited cautioned "Blind leaps from the detection of tumors to the prediction of human health risk should be avoided". The Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs (CEJA) of the American Medical Association published a report in 2007 alleging that RFID implanted chips may compromise privacy because there is no assurance that the information contained in the chip can be properly protected. Following Wisconsin and North Dakota, California issued Senate Bill 362 in 2007, which makes it illegal to force a person to have a microchip implanted, and provide for an assessment of civil penalties against violators of the bill. In 2008, Oklahoma passed 63 OK Stat § 63-1-1430 (2008 S.B. 47), that bans involuntary microchip implants in humans. On April 5, 2010, the Georgia Senate passed Senate Bill 235 that prohibits forced microchip implants in humans and that would make it a misdemeanor for anyone to require them, including employers. The bill would allow voluntary microchip implants, as long as they are performed by a physician and regulated by the Georgia Composite Medical Board. The state's House of Representatives did not take up the measure. On February 10, 2010, Virginia's House of Delegates also passed a bill that forbids companies from forcing their employees to be implanted with tracking devices. Washington State House Bill 1142-2009-10 orders a study using implanted radio frequency identification or other similar technology to electronically monitor sex offenders and other felons. The general public are most familiar with microchips in the context of tracking their pets. In the U.S., some Christian activists, including conspiracy theorist Mark Dice, the author of a book titled The Resistance Manifesto, make a link between the PositiveID and the Biblical Mark of the Beast, prophesied to be a future requirement for buying and selling, and a key element of the Book of Revelation. Gary Wohlscheid, president of These Last Days Ministries, has argued that "Out of all the technologies with potential to be the mark of the beast, VeriChip has got the best possibility right now"." -- Wikipedia "In this latest book Joseph P Farrell examines the subject of mind control, but from a very unusual perspective, showing that its basic underlying philosophy, and goal, is not only cosmological in nature, but that the cosmology in view is very ancient, and that mind control of any sort, from the arts to hypnosis, remote electromagnetic technologies and “electroencephalographic dictionaries” has cosmological implications." -- Microcosm and Medium: The Cosmic Implications and Agenda of Mind Control Technologies publisher's description
So I’m just going to leave my life’s story here for everyone. I might need serious help, I’m not sure. Lately I’ve been having something happen that concerns me where I mutter stuff out of nowhere, like I say things I didn’t mean to say. It never happens when I’m around people, only when I’m alone and I can stop if I catch myself. The stuff I say is usually weird and bad. Some specific stuff: “N-word” (And I’m not racist or anything), “Stupid, idiot. I could kill him.” “I hate him/I hate it.”,”I love you”, “I could I would. I could and I will.“, and (this is actually real) I say stuff like “slice, dice, chop, tear” a lot. There are no conscious streams of thought connecting to these words. I don’t know why I say them. Another thing that’s been more recent is some particularly violent dreams. One where I basically kept tearing someone’s head off, it regrowing so I could do it again, and screaming at them because they had been trying to push me around. Another time I just kind of shot down a bunch of people who were ninjas or something, but I remember specifically in the dream they were supposed to be “good guys” and I just wanted to kill them. The most disturbing one, which I woke up from immediately because it was so disgusting, was where my youngest brother (Who I love and am proud of to put it out there) slipped on the sidewalk, and when I went to pick him up I asked if he was alright he said “No.” in a very vivid about-to-cry way and I was horrified to see that his entire face was embedded deeply with staples. The dream was so realistic and gory. I immediately started to freak out and tried to help him pull the staples out but then I woke up with one of those really scared “What the fuck was that” feelings. This is a recent thing that is pretty infrequent. And at first it was crazy to me because my first thought was: I’m not violent. I don’t fight people. I don’t want to fight anyone. I don’t want to kill anybody. But I started analyzing myself a bit more and I realized I may have been putting off, basically my whole life, some pretty fucked up stuff that’s happened to me and that I’ve done to other people. So I guess I’ll start with where I am now and then go backward. Currently I consider myself well-adjusted. I just graduated college with a degree in Finance, I have IT experience in the reserves, and I’m staying with some family in the city (I grew up in a small town) working part time stocking shelves while I look for something full time in finance/IT. I have some good friends, but none who live near me right now and none who I would open up to about this sort of thing. I’ve had one girlfriend a year ago (More on that later.) But other than that I don’t do very good with girls, I don’t have a girlfriend right now. I spend a LOT of time by myself. In college I was the same way. I used to get very lonely, every once in awhile I still do, but for the most part I’m fine with it. I spend a lot of time learning, at least recently. Now that I’m older suddenly I found out I have more ability to concentrate on things and absorb info. Since I’m out of college I have more time to learn whatever I enjoy, so for the first time I feel like I’m some sort of superhuman hopping across Wikipedia pages and tutorials. I like computer science, finance/economics, history, current events, anatomy and physiology, and whatever other subjects I stumble across. Now the unnormal stuff: Up until now I’ve liked to pretend this stuff just isn’t a part of me. I completely ignore it. So I work out a lot, which is something that I feel like really helps my emotional health over all. I work out roughly 2 hours a day 6 days a week, and I’m very proud of how I look and feel now. I started working out in high school because I got picked on and was rejected by girls, so at first it was really hate and envy that motivated me. I don’t necessarily feel that way now, but everytime I workout its still the same: I fantasize about a bonfire, or a party where there is a group of people from high school or college (Never the army, because I actually like people in the reserves and feel like I belong there.) And I take on and fight the biggest douchebag or multiple douchebags from whichever place and I just like stand there in my awesomeness. Sometimes It’s just that, sometimes I’m also rich and I have a “posse” or bodyguards who I don’t need. Sometimes I monologue basically about how I got to where I was and how the things I had overcome. Narcissistic and ridiculous I know. Like I said before, even though this scenario runs through my head at least 2 hours a day six days a week I just pretend like that’s normal. And if I don’t run that sort of fantasy through my head I can’t work out as effectively. The other thing is sexual. WARNING - NSFW ….. So when I had a girlfriend for a few months I’d have sex and it was fine. Normal sex, the weirdest we’d ever do is tie each other’s hands. She liked being spanked. So that was normal, and for the most part the relationship was normal. But for as long as a I can remember, even in high school, the only way I can orgasm when masturbating is through BDSM porn. Usually pretty intense stuff. I don’t like blood or cuts, but I like seeing physical pain. Usually a woman dominating a man. Over time it’s gotten darker. When I stop I just go about my life and I act normal, but now that I think about it it’s pretty odd to orgasm to the sounds of people screaming in pain. This has become normal for me. So when I at first thought “I don’t want to hurt anybody, what’s going on?” I started to analyze and realize “Oh, yeah. That stuff.” So how did it get this way? I guess I’ll go back to childhood. I was homeschooled until sixth grade. 5th/6th grade are I think when problems started at home. My dad was a serious alcoholic. He still is but he’s at least mellow. Back then he wasn’t. Some examples: 8th grade summer: This is the only time he ever hit me when I was being kind of shitty because I didn’t want to go dig a fucking ditch to find a leaking pipe. For context: We had all been digging that stupid ditch for days and couldn’t find anything. I knew he didn’t know what he was doing and the pipe probably wasn’t even on that side of the house. We never found that pipe but I wound up digging that ditch again. He was drunk midday, smacked me across the face. I cried and tried to kind of get at him and yelled “I’ll kill you. I hate you” and he just kind of forced me back in the chair and I think he realized he went too far, but he just said “You’re not big enough or strong enough yet.” …fuck that kind of explains a lot. I’m kind of starting to cry while I write this. Another time he showed up to one of my cross country meets, I think 9th grade, totally drunk out of his mind. Another time he hit my mom and she being an idiot made him drive us to church on a Wednesday night so she could have “couple’s therapy” and her jaw hurt so she claimed she couldn’t drive. He was drunk Mom. He was drunk. We were swerving all over across the road there were cars beeping at us going the wrong way, they were screaming at each other, my little brothers were in front of me crying and I just was in the very back seat trying to meditate or something. I just tried to stay calm. I feel like I was the only one in the car that realized what mortal peril we were in and I guess I was getting ready to die or something. The next morning, like every time something like that happened, we all pretended like it didn’t. Last one: One time he was wasted in the middle of the day. I was just in the bathroom on the toilet. He tried the knob and saw it was locked and a split second later he kicked the door in so hard it flew against the opposite wall so I was just sitting on the toilet freaked out. He just muttered “Oh thought it was locked.” I was shaking. Like what the fuck. I actually did keep a knife under my mattress at one point, to prepare for something crazy like that. Now my relationship with my dad now is pretty mellow, but we never really came to terms with any of that stuff. We act like it never happened. He won’t even admit he did most of it. In my family we do very poorly with emotions. My brothers and I are very close for instance but we can’t say I love you to one another. I have a hard time saying it to anyone but my Mom. So I went into public school in 6th grade because my dad was first starting to get worse and my mom and him would fight all the time, very loudly, and divorce was on the table (But it never happened…they’ve just slept in a separate room all this time) and my mom felt like she didn’t have the energy to homeschool anymore. So I went into school with absolutely no social skills at all. I was a stand out weirdo and I remember for stuff like gym class I would literally just stand there. I had no confidence. I couldn’t muster whatever it took to try to catch the ball, and I always felt like there was so much pressure to try to impressed the other kids and be good. So they weren’t very impressed by me. I walked around with my arms folded behind my back for some reason. I didn’t really understand the social suicide I was committing. I’d say the next six years were just a really slow stumbling through trying to understand other humans and particularly the kids my age. In 7th grade my Mom started to just “check out.” Because her mom died who she had had serious unresolved issues with. So she went into a really depressed state for a couple years, and I think that made things harder. In 9th grade there was a girl I became obsessed with. We had been friends awhile, so I let her know I had feelings for her. She had a boyfriend who was VERY important to her at the time. So that whole cliché played out, except for the part where I mercilessly ripped into her via SMS, calling her every name in the book and taunting her, then asked for forgiveness, then did it again, eventually admitted my BDSM fantasies to her even though she really didn’t want to hear it, stalked her, grabbed her butt without her permission, came to her house uninvited only not to be let in, etc. And I had an unrequited psychotic obsession with her pretty much through all of high school. But for the last two years of high school she had stopped responding to me at all. So I look back on that and I feel pretty terrible. And I know if she wanted to report me to the police she could have ruined my life entirely, but for some reason she never did, so that makes me feel double shitty. But that didn’t stop me from about eight other counts of butt/boob grabbing, verbal assault, and uncomfortable pressuring of other girls that wanted nothing to do with me. One was a teacher. For whatever reason nobody ever reported me. By tenth grade I had gotten good enough at pretending to be a good kid that everyone seemed to think I was. I guess. So I never really though anything of any of that until my National Guard active training, where we had SHARP briefings on sexual harassment and stuff. And everyone makes fun of those briefings because we see them so often but they really played on something in the pit of my stomach that told me: “You’ve actually put girls into those positions. You’ve done awful stuff.” So yeah. After that I went to college. I didn’t really like college anymore than high school. I thought the other people were stupid. I came to study finance because I was passionate about it, I watched college lectures on Corporate Finance in 9th grade ffs, so the other kids there who didn’t seem to know why they were there just didn’t impress me. So I spent a lot of time in my dorm room alone. There were entire weeks where I didn’t speak to anyone. At one point I met a cute girl, we’ll call her Karen. Karen was very sweet, Karen was a passionate libertarian, thinker, and studied economics. I met her at at an economics association meeting. She basically at one point obliterated an argument I was making so I immediately thought “I want here number.” I got it and we hit it off. It was the first time I had a very wholesome reciprocated friendship with a girl. Karen was smart but a little naïve, and came from a good home. I think the song “Uptown Girl” could be her theme song. Unfortunately, a friendship was all it was, because Karen had a boyfriend in her hometown in another state. And he was VERY important to her at the time. But she didn’t have any other friends same as me, so we hung out a lot. Like a lot, a lot. We went on walks, lunch dates, dinner dates, whatever. We really clicked. But then my feelings kept growing for her and it felt like a repeat of high school. She reciprocated some of those feelings, but it was still all about the boy back home. I knew how to control myself better by then but it was rough. I didn’t want to lose this valuable friend but I was also extremely attracted to her, and she kept putting me in that position because she was lonely too. Eventually the bad thing happened. I decided I was being played for a bitch. I couldn’t accept this insult to my pride. So I figured I’d take what I wanted the way I always had, but this time it wouldn’t be just a cheap thrill. We were in her dorm room and we were talking and I forced myself on her. It started with an attempt at a kiss, she resisted, so I basically just started to force her against me. She resisted lightly but didn’t say anything. But that was it, I couldn’t go through with what I was planning to do. So I let go and we had a really long awkward silence staring at each other across the room. It was weird because this was the first time a girl I tried to do something like this to actually liked me in some way so I could tell it was scary and confusing for her, and it actually was for me too. I think she knew what I almost did. I can’t remember how I left, but later we texted, made up, and pretty shortly after became friends again, and I just went along with it and didn’t try anything again after that. So that was also weird. I still had feelings for her, and I don’t know how it would have turned out but at some point she dropped out of school to go home. She hadn’t told me until the day she was leaving, which was a shock to me. I guess she was embarrassed. So I offered one more long walk and we did, and it was a really good time. I felt like I was being mature, doing everything right for once. And we hugged before she left and she said “I’ll see you” and I just said “You won’t. You’re leaving.” And she had this kind of weird look and so far I’ve never seen her again. I tried texting her once asking if she would want to meet up again sometime, but she cited her boyfriend and said she couldn’t do that. I didn’t reply, just deleted the number immediately and never found her again. When I had my first real girlfriend it lasted four months, and was a relatively normal relationship, I mean any actual relationship would seem normal relative to my sexually-tense friend zone. I met her in my national guard unit, but she was also a 29 year old stripper with 2 kids. I had frequented strip clubs and wasn’t afraid to date a stripper. Started casual then got more serious. But she turned out to be batshit insane. Compulsive liar…the lies aren’t even worth getting into they were just pointless. Stuff she made up to get attention, and I believed most of them. So she played me like a fiddle and I dumped her when she went on a trip to San Diego without me. Later she tried to claim she was pregnant and just made the whole thing uglier and stupider than it needed to be, but the whole relationship experience was pretty meh in general. So now I am where I am. I think I covered a lot of the important points. I’m not sure if I should be concerned or not. I think I’ve just been repressing everything for a very long time, at least since I stopped venting my anger by harassing women. I don’t express emotions usually, everything just rolls off my shoulders for the most part. A few times I just get randomly sad, especially when I’m drunk but it does happen when I’m sober: I’ll just go through fits of crying. Not for any reason. Like, it could be a perfectly normal day and then at night I’ll cry until I fall asleep. It doesn’t happen often, and when it does I just wake up the next morning like it didn’t happen at all. When people reach out to me for empathy I don’t have a response. When my Mom is crying to me about something I feel bad because I want to offer more support but I just feel incapable of it. I wouldn’t call myself “dead inside” because I have plenty of interest in the world around me and I’m not that bad with people anymore, but when it comes to genuine connections I’m pretty lost. I am very alone with my thoughts and feelings most of the time. I have some reddit forums I go to where I like the communities and I feel like a have a strong voice there, but not anywhere in real life. Really all I look forward to though is someday being extremely affluent and powerful, and just kind of rubbing in everyone’s face how great I am. Like some grand revenge on all the people who thought I was just some loser they could push around. If I let go of that fantasy I wouldn’t have much in life to be proud of, or much reason to get up in the morning. I try to learn and grow every day and keep myself focused which sounds really nice, but really it’s just because I have delusions of dominating people with power attained through knowledge. I always think it would be nice to live a modest life with a family, and sometimes I think about meeting a girl I actually like and respect like Karen but I haven’t met another one yet, and I feel pretty inhuman most of the time. Like I’ll have to put on a mask and pretend to be someone else to meet a Karen again, and maybe I’m too far gone to be happy that way. So I don’t think about relationships as much as I used too. I’ve partly given up. I feel completely fine each day, and feel like I’m building towards something, getting better all the time, but for all the wrong reasons. The only period in my life where I started to wake up to the idea that I needed a better philosophy was pretty recently at the tail end of college. So my whole life through the military and different internships I would save roughly 75% of the money I made (I also made a small profit going to college off full merit scholarship + military aid.) So I had, I think about $17,000 after a couple of years of playing the stock market and doing pretty well. I started looking into cryptocurrency and didn’t think too much of Bitcoin but got super into learning about Ethereum which uses the blockchain concept for a decentralized virtual machine, which turns out is kind of a really powerful thing. So in mid 2017 I shifted everything I had into Ethereum plus a couple other crypto platforms I thought had potential. I wound up making over $75,000 in the big crypto bubble. But I only ever cashed out $6000 to reward myself because I genuinely believed (and still do) that what I had invested in has a long way to go still. So, the market crashed and I now have lost all profits with some extra money to boot. My portfolio is only about $10,000 altogether now, not including my IRA which I never count because I wouldn’t touch it. So a few months ago I had gotten very depressed about that whole ordeal, and wasn’t sure what to do. I started meditating and just getting out of my own head more, going for walks without the fantasies. I kind of accepted my own mortality, the fact I might not ever achieve the things I want to, and humbled myself. It worked for a while but it didn’t stick. Now I feel fine about the whole thing, I’ve accepted the volatility of the market and I love keeping up on the new things happening in the field every day. But whether I someday have a really well paying career or start an amazing business or get rich on investments, which are all things I feel are totally possible it doesn’t really answer the question of what the hell I’m supposed to do with my funked up emotional well being. When I came here to write this I felt like I might be in danger of being the next big school shooter, but now I think I might be ok. I just wish I could connect with people IRL and I think maybe all the hate and anger would start to go away. This brain dump was really therapeutic though.
Some parting thoughts for both sides of this thing.
This whole shitshow for the last couple of days has been really depressing, so I'm going to go away (at least for a while) and stop worrying about all this crap. Before I do, I wanted to leave some parting thoughts for both sides: GG: I really wanted to like you guys, but you appear to have a severe allergy to anything resembling credibility. I think you guys imagine yourselves to be ideologically consistent defenders of free speech, but from the outside, I'm not seeing it. A couple of days ago, you had that big shitstorm because someone banned a dude from /Planetside for making a "trap" joke (while studiously avoiding discussing the important bit of context that the person was making a wisecrack about a cross-dresser and not just referring to a literal trap). So, sure. You're against censorship, and you're taking that all the way down to the trivial level of subreddit bans. So then there's /fatpeoplehate. In case you don't know, they deleted and banned people for expressing dissenting views there. I sort of figured that your view of fatpeoplehate was similar to mine -- they're not worth complaining about because they're so far beyond redemption and so lacking in real credibility that it's like complaining about the KKK. But apparently not. It seems like the only ideological consistency you people have is that you find the absolute biggest assholes and rush to their defense. And yeah, maybe there would have been some negative murmuring if ghazi had gotten the banhammer, but I highly doubt that posts about it would dominate your front page. I know you guys have these romantic libertarian notions about defending to the death your right to say it, but it's time to face up to the fact that you're not brave political revolutionaries defending peoples' right to speak out against the government, you're a bunch of anonymous dweebs on a fucking internet forum defending peoples' "right" to be hateful towards fat people on the same internet forum (and I put "right" in quotes because reddit has the same right to ban FPH that FPH had to ban users who weren't hateful enough). So let's put aside morality for a minute and think about this from a practical standpoint. I've seen plenty of GGers say that they have to kind of set aside their ostensibly main goal of ethical journalism when considering Breitbart, because Breitbart is the only outlet that will give GG any kind of positive press. And I understand that the reality of politics and discourse is that sometimes you have to make those kinds of compromises if you want to get anywhere. But here's the thing. If being anti-censorship is one of your core values, but you're willing to maybe be a little bit flexible about your core values in order to keep the movement going, well, if there was ever a time to be "flexible" about your core values, it was with this whole FPH shitstorm. You didn't need to comment on it, you didn't need to talk about it, all you needed to do was look the other way and say "well, it's one group of censorious assholes fighting another group of censorious assholes, let's just sit this one out and enjoy the fireworks." It's my feeling that over the last couple of months, GG had finally started to build up a modicum of credibility as it was being revealed that GGers actually aren't engaging directly in the alleged harassment that the Circlejerk Of Secondary Sources has been claiming. You've now taken that tiny little shred of credibility, stomped on it, shit on it, and thrown it out the window. Now, people can't take your side without taking the side of FPH, because that's the side you guys have chosen. You are now committed to toxicity. The second practical consequence to defending these people is that you're giving them a refuge within your group. A lot of fatpeoplehaters are probably discovering GG for the first time right now, and while I'm sure your numbers are increasing at the moment, the size of your movement is being bolstered by the absolute dregs of the internet. I mean, these people are committed to being assholes. That was the entire point of their subreddit. And now those people who were committed to being assholes have joined your group. GG is about to get a lot more low brow and hateful than it used to be, because you're absorbing a hundred thousand low brow, hateful people. So even if I were convinced that you were being ideologically consistent (and not just consistent in defending assholes), I have a feeling that the quality of your discourse is about to take a huge nosedive, and I don't think I'd stay neutral about GG for much longer. Good luck, guys. You've just cemented your spot among the lunatic fringe. aGG: A (rather verbose) note: I realize there are people who refer to themselves as "anti-GG" whole only common opinion with other anti-GGers is that they, well, hate GG. I'm not addressing those people, but rather the subset of those people whom I would consider to be "SJWs". So we don't get into a big discussion about how SJWs aren't real or some bullshit, I'm going to be clear about what I consider an SJW to be, and you can personally decide whether this applies to you. An SJW is someone who hangs out in communities like(but not limited to)SRS and the Tumblr feminist crowd. This community has its own methods of dealing with people they don't like ("calling out" private individuals on public sites, threats, harassment, suppression of opposing ideas, preemptively dismissing people based on their flawed notion of "privilege" that downplays wealth, etc), its own special lingo (words like "mansplaining", "manspreading", etc), and its own special definitions for existing dictionary words (like racism and sexism). Your personal views may not be in lockstep with the "official" views of this community, but you know whether or not you consider yourself to be a part of this group. The fact that they don't have a name for themselves is a convenient tactic for them, and nothing more. It doesn't mean that they don't exist. If you're gearing up to object to what I just said, don't bother -- you're one of the people I'm talking to. Another note: I don't get my opinions about SJWs from anti-SJW meta subs. I've formed them through personal experience and discussion with these people, so don't assume that I'm speaking from a viewpoint that's highlighted the absolute worst of the worst. It's true that I now hate SJWs less than I hate gamergate, but take a look at how low GG had to sink for me to get to that point. I'm sure there are other people walking away from GG at the moment, and you might be thinking that this is a big victory for you guys and that it somehow elevates you, but it doesn't. It just highlights how someone has to sink to surpass you. What SJWs seem to forget in their constant quest to hate everything that isn't an SJW is that social justice exists because of free speech. Yeah, FPH are assholes, and GG are assholes for supporting them, but to say that I'm uncomfortable with the notion of mocking "freeze peaches" (or whatever the hell you guys are calling it) is the understatement of the century.
But we're just mocking the warped notion of free speech that GG has!
Bullshit. I've had enough direct contact with SJWs to know that for every one of you who hates something ironically, there's another one of you who is completely serious about it. I've shared some personal stories about my SJW encounters here before, and here's another one. I used to hang out in /enoughlibertarianspam, until it became increasingly clear to me that there were people there who were actually serious about mocking not just libertarians, but also fundamental rights like privacy, free expression, and anonymity. At one point there was a discussion about Bitcoin, and someone asked (in all seriousness) why people would want to be anonymous if they had nothing to hide. This person notably did not sign their real name to their post. They were upvoted for this comment, and when I replied that maybe that's a dangeous and knee-jerk road to take, I got downvoted for it. For every one of you who "gets" free speech and is just mocking it to troll GG and libertarians and whoever, there's a complete moron among you who believes that you're serious and doesn't have the faintest idea of the implications of what they're doing. On a different note, in case some people don't realize who I am, I'm the guy who made that post about Ivy Valentine a few days ago. I got some interesting and varied answers, but one particularly common thread was the idea that my sexuality and sexual fantasies can be valid, but it can still be bad (harmful, immoral, sexist, and/or misogynist) to create any media for people with those fantasies. For the record, this is separate and distinct from the idea that my preferences are overrepresented in video game media, which is something that I agree with and am not challenging in any way. The idea that sexual fantasies and sexuality are okay, but that it's wrong (in various ways) to create fictional media for people who have certain fantasies doesn't make sense to me. It's just doublethink, plain and simple. And I'm sure someone can type up some absurd rationalization for why it isn't, but give me a fucking break, people. If sex and sexual fantasies are okay, then sexual fantasies are not the enemy. And once again, for every one of you who can maintain the doublethink that hetero male sexual fantasies are okay, but creating media that caters to those tastes is bad, there's a moron out there who has decided that heterosexual male sexuality is invalid. I've seen it here on reddit with my own eyes (not posted in some meta sub). People regarding cis-hetero-male sexuality such utter contempt that you can practically see the froth and spittle spraying out onto their screens as they type about it. Then there's Anita Sarkeesian. Like it or not, she's the de fadcto figurehead of the movement against GG. I could actually get behind Sarkeesian if she were willing to a) address her critics directly, and b) make some clarifications about some stuff that I believe she's left intentionally vague in order to make herself appear more reasonable than she really is.
But she's not obligated to address her critics! Look at all the people who have harassed her!
And I'm not obligated to respect her poorly conceived opinions. Interestingly, she actually acknowledges the people who harass her. Why do that, but not give her legitimate critics the time of day? The argument that her critics and her harassers are all the same doesn't hold the tiniest bit of water, because she has a lot more respect for her harassers than her critics. Sarkeesian is not obligated to engage with someone who she realizes could easily point out the flaws in her arguments, but the pattern with people like that is that deep down, they know that their arguments are so critically flawed that critique would destroy them rather than help them patch up holes.
But she's not vague about anything important!
What does Sarkeesian really think about hetero male sexual fantasies? One thing I see people repeating over and over is that all Sarkeesian wants is more representation for groups in games. But I also see people saying that she's saying representing hetero male sexual fantasies is wrong in various ways (sexist, exploitative, and/or immoral, etc). Sarkeesian's own fans can't agree on whether she just wants more representation for other people, or if she wants to eliminate representation for some. And yes, she's said at one point that it's not bad to like problematic things or whatever, but as people right here in this sub seem to believe, there's a difference between enjoying "problematic" things and creating them. If Sarkeesian were truly a reasonable person, she could take a tiny little moment to clarify that there's nothing wrong with creating media that caters to the sexual fantasies of hetero males, but her unwillingness to do that makes me think that either a) she's one of those doublethinkers who do feel that it's wrong, or b) she's more interested in creating drama because drama=money than engaging in real discourse, or both. Without Sarkeesian and her negativity, it's quite possible that there would be no gamergate. There are other people out there (like Extra Credits) who have managed to call for more diversity in gaming without all of the accusations of badness that are so strongly implied in Sarkeesian's videos.
But I don't see it! She's not implying anything!
Bullshit. The fact is, this kind of negativity stirs up shit. SJW negativity stirs up shit. Heck, a lot of people think "cis" is a slur, because the first time they ever saw it, it was between the words "die" and "scum". That negativity has consequences, and the consequence is that you drive people away from being positive and inclusive and understanding. You talk about wanting a safe space? Bull fucking shit you want a safe space. If you wanted a safe space, you wouldn't be putting forth so much goddamn effort toward goading your opponents into lashing out at random people. You don't want a safe space, you want to feel validated, and fuck anyone on your own goddamn side who is actually affected by your shit. (Don't believe me? I'll dig up those McIntosh tweets where he publicly talks about how he's deliberately trolling GG and that it's even easier than he thought.) Like it or not, GamerGate is your baby. It's the backlash against all of the negativity you jerks have been building up for the past several years. If you didn't have that pathological need for validation, you could discuss issues about representation of minorities in gaming without being assholes about it, and then maybe more people could be at the table and discuss this like adults. Edit: For people criticizing me about using the term SJW, this is what the inside of the SJW box looks like. If you don't buy into our language and our methods, you must be the enemy of all liberals. Both Sides There are a lot of hypocrites in here on both sides of this thing. For most people in here, whether or not you believe it's okay for individuals to boycott someone due to their speech is dependent on what they're saying. You are only not a hypocrite if you believe that all of these things are true or all of these things are false.
It is okay for GG to boycott advertisers in order to either shut down or change what gaming media outlets are saying.
It is okay for the left to boycott Rish Limbaugh's advertisers in order to force him off of the radio.
It's okay for Target customers to boycott the store in order to force them to take a game off of the shelves.
My personal opinion on this stuff? It's all okay. Maybe you're just generally and consistently against using boycotts as a means of private censhorship, and that's also a valid and ideologically consistent view. But I see so much "well, it's bad when they do it, but since they did it, we can do it" bullshit that I really doubt anyone actually gives a goddamn about boycotts and free speech, and that instead people all just want to shut down who they want to shut down and will use any tactic they can to do it, then decry those exact same tactics when other people use them. My feelings about this whole shitshow are kind of difficult to put into words, and I think this particular work of art expresses my thoughts better than I can: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3eGJOqMHsDI I'll stick around to reply to people's thoughts on this. Maybe I'll even come back some day, although frankly I hope I'm adult enough to resist the urge to poke at this train wreck further. Oh yeah, the questions Since we're trying to generate some discussion here, here are some direct prompts.
GG, why does your defense of free speech always seem to focus on defending speech of the absolute lowest value possible? You're already picking your battles because you don't have the resources to fight all of them. Why pick those battles in particular?
SJWs, unless you're incredibly dense, you must realize that goading your opponents into being as shitty as possible makes the public space unsafe for those you supposedly sympathize with. Is it worth it to you?
Everyone, tell me why you're not a bunch of hypocrites for saying that one censorious boycott is okay, and another one isn't.
Shut Down the Evergreen Hate: Cross-Currents, our resident white supremacist publisher
EDIT: formatting Hi Seattle! Did you know Southern Poverty Law Center’s lists 21 hate groups in the evergreen state? Let’s meet—and defeat—one of them: Cross-Currents Publishing. It's unclear to me why SPLC says they're based in Seattle, but why quibble? This lovely bastion of literary publishing offers titles such as “In Defense of Prejudice” and “Truth, Justice and a Nice, White Country.” Editor Greg Johnson authors a significant number of these books (shocking). In 2015, SPLC reported that Counter-Currents was one of the best-funded white nationalist organizations in the U.S. Johnson is really angry because Facebook deleted Counter-Currents’ page and Paypal took away their account. He's crowdfunding on something called Hatreon. Let’s help this snowflake out a bit: Seven things you can do to stop white supremacist publisher Counter-Currents
Pressure Tucows.com to immediately cancel Counter-Currents’ domain registration. Give their customer service line a call at 800–371–6992 and ask them why Tucows is happily engaging in transactions with white supremacists.
Ask Amazon why they continue selling publications from Counter-Currents in their Kindle and bookstores. Amazon claims that they prohibit listing “products that promote or glorify hatred, violence, racial, sexual or religious intolerance or promote organizations with such views” — and yet, right now I can buy a Kindle subscription to Counter-Currents blog and purchase titles whose glowing reviews refer to them as "a beginner's guide to white nationalism." It is infuriatingly difficult to find information about reporting offensive content to Amazon, so leave a negative review, send an email through your Prime account, or call them out publicly on social media. This is not a good look for our resident corporate tech giant.
Of course they’re still on Twitter. While holding Twitter accountable feels about as effective as using alt-white tears to put out that particular dumpster fire of online harassment and hate speech, we should still report the account. Over and over. Twitter’s been shielding and providing megaphones to hate groups for far too long.
Counter-Currents is trying to build its own hate-net—what they call an “electronic ethnostate”—from scratch. First, this is undoubtedly one noxious stem on a larger, more insidious weed. Second, let’s help out by sending Greg a few emails of our own to fill up that inbox. I recommend absurd gifs:
Counter-Currents has an IT professional with decades of experience on our team. His goal is to build our own system, from top to bottom, from domain registry to servers, web hosting, and email service. He is looking for people with expertise, equipment, existing institutions, and money to work with him. If you want to take part in this project, please contact me at [email protected].<
Counter-Currents’ Bitcoin address is: 1ChE5DZVVZJpv8mnJ3fRrtSDrTikBh7uFL. I don’t know what to do with that, but someone must.
Finally, there’s a PO Box that probably gets pretty lonely. Remember when people sent the Mahleur Refuge militia everything from barrels of lube to envelopes stuffed with National Parks memberships, a copy of the constitution and three types of glitter? Just sayin’. Counter-Currents Publishing, Ltd: P.O. Box 22638. San Francisco, CA 94122.
Authored by Dog Kass via RealInvestmentAdvice.com, White House Politics: (When asked what he wanted to give thanks for during a press gaggle Thanksgiving Thursday, Trump responded), “_for having a great family and for having made a tremendous difference in this country. I’ve made a tremendous difference in the country. This country is so much stronger now than it was when I took office that you wouldn’t believe it… And I mean, you see, but so much stronger people can’t even believe it. When I see foreign leaders they say we cannot believe the difference in strength between the United States now and the United States two years ago.” _– President Trump (Comments on Thanksgiving) Policy: _“You only think I guessed wrong! … You fool! You fell victim to one of the classic blunders – the most famous of which is “never get involved in a land war in Asia” – but only slightly less well-known is this: Never go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line!” _– Vizzini,The Princess Bride The Economy: “The missing step in the standard Keynesian theory (is) the explicit consideration of capitalist finance within a cyclical and speculative context… finance sets the pace for the economy. As recovery approaches full employment… soothsayers will proclaim that the business cycle has been banished (and) debts can be taken on. But in truth neither the boom nor the debt deflation… and certainly not a recovery can go on forever. Each state nurtures forces that lead to its own destruction.” _–_ Hyman Minsky The Markets: “Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.” _–_Seneca the Elder Contrary to the expectations of many (including myself), the uncertainties following the surprising Trump presidential election victory, which produced a number of possible outcomes (some of them adverse), was enthusiastically embraced by investors in 2017 and in the first month of this year. A market on steroids was not a conclusion or forecast by any mainstream Wall Street forecaster that year. There was no sell side strategist who expected equities would rise anywhere near the 20%+ gains in the major indices recorded in 2017, nor do I know any who predicted that the S&P Index would make more than 70 individual highs a year ago. As I expected, that enthusiasm continued in and through most of the month of January, 2018. But, after a year of historically low volatility and ever-rising stock prices, the bullish consensus became troubled as the complexion of the market changed throughout most of 2018 . As I noted in last year’s commentary, I thought that the biggest surprise in 2018 would be that extrapolation of the market uptrend didn’t work after many years of working, and that we will witness the emergence of multiple non-consensus developments, including:
A dramatic drop in the price of bitcoin (to under $2,000)- A devastating decline in many bitcoin collateral plays- A much higher oil price- A slowing (not expanding) rate of economic domestic growth as the tax bill “trickles up,” not down- A mean reversion higher in volatility- The bursting of the global short volatility bubble which serves up a 20% drop in equities (aided by both weaker earnings results and lower valuations).- And, of course, I anticipated that there would be an abundance of surprises in the fertile political arena with the incalculable Orange Swan at the helm in Washington, D.C., and in his role as the “Supreme Tweeter.”“Expect the unexpected and, whenever possible, be the unexpected.” – _Kurt Vonnegut, Breakfast of Champions_As we enter 2019, the scent of_ “Group Stink_” is still thick despite a heady list of multiplying uncertainties. Nevertheless, while the _Bull Market in Complacency_ has been pierced in October, 2018, most market forecasts remain optimistic.
Warren Buffett once observed that a bull market_ “is like sex. It feels best just before it ends.'” _While some of us in the ursine crowd debate whether the investment orgasm has already passed, in the extreme it finally may be Minsky’s Moment and year after nine years of recovery and prosperity following _The Great Recession._This year I have decided to publish my _“Surprise List”_ a bit earlier than usual. As you all know, my Surprises are what I term to be _Probable Improbables_ – events that have a greater possibility of occurring than are seen by the consensus. I try to make you think apart from that diabolically dangerous_ “Group Stink”_ and, particularly as it relates to politics (but with other subjects as well), I feel that I should offend you at least once, or I am not doing my job. But, any offense is meant in the spirit of the great Romantic poet William Blake who taught us that “_Opposition is true friendship._” My Surprises are shorter in length than in previous years. _(I want to quickly get to the important points of the Surprise List – available on one or two pages – rather than deliver a more flowery prose and bunch of stories that I have commonly done in the past)._We will start the new investment year about one month from now with a completely different _“feeling”_ of previous years – as I mentioned previously, the complexion of Mr. Market seems to have changed:
Investors (retail and institutional), previously comfortable being among the herd of optimism, are beginning to panic.- The dominant investors of the decade – Exchange Traded Funds and Quantitative Strategies and Products (e.g. risk parity) – are selling into weakness (just as they bought into strength) – serving to overwhelm active investors.- Hedge funds are completing another unfavorable year in which their investment performance is poor. Against a backdrop of a high fee structure (at a time in which passive management fees are “moving to zero” ) – redemptions are growing and even some of the most competent managers are hanging up their spikes and closing down.- Public companies, in some measure to increase the value of their stock options) who have gone on a massive buying streak of their own securities (propping up stocks and nominal EPS at the expense of building their businesses and improving productivity) may begin to get second thoughts as stocks founder and interest rates have risen.- The two “shiny objects” crypto currency and FANG – revered and hyped by the many – is likely having a more profound impact on the herd’s newly found negative sentiment than many realize.- Global economic growth prospects continue to grow more ambiguous – with the schmeissing of the price of crude oil another warning and conspicuous signpost of a broadening slowdown.- The Federal Reserve has made a profoundly important change from easing to restraint._“In ambiguous situations, it’s a good bet that the crowd will generally stick together — and be wrong.” _– Doug Sherman and William Hendricks
The core themes and roadmap for 2019 is that a standard run-of-the-mill Bear Market may run into something bigger in a year enveloped in unprecedented political turmoil (and electorate disgust and anger), an escalating trade (and cold) war with China and continuing global economic disappointments — dragging down a mature, an extended and fully exploited economic growth and market cycle. Not surprisingly, my Surprise is that a slightly down year of performance for the S&P Index in 2018 may turn out to be something worse in 2019. But the biggest and most provocative surprise is the decline and fall of President Trump in 2019 – in which an anti-imperial rebalancing is successfully mounted by a more assertive Congress, bringing the country back into constitutional equilibrium. Without further fuss, here are my outside of consensus 15 Surprises for 2019: 1) A U.S. Recession in 2019 Followed by Stagflation: We learn, in 2019, the extent to which economic activity was pulled forward by the protracted period of historically low interest rates – as capital spending, retail sales, housing and autos founder further. With U.S. Real GDP growth dropping to +1% to +2% in the first half of 2019, inflation remaining stubbornly high (especially of a wage-kind as the labor market remains tight) and with cost pressures unable to be passed on, the threat of recession intensifies. By the third quarter of 2019 U.S. Real GDP turns negative. Tax collections collapse as government spending continues to rise. The budget deficit forecasts are lifted to over $2 trillion. The U.S. falls into a recession in the last half of 2019 – followed by a lengthy period of stagnating economic growth and higher inflation (stagflation). A dysfunctional, non-unified and discombobulated Europe also falls into a recession in 2019 – with significant ramifications for U.S. multinationals that populate the S&P Index. U.S./Chinese trade tensions push the global economy down the hill as the year progresses and GDP growth in China comes in below +5.0%. The IMF reduces it’s global economic growth forecast three times next year. S&P per share earnings fall by over -10% in 2019. 2) The Federal Reserve Pauses and Then Cuts as Currencies and Interest Rates Swing Wildly: It’s a wild year for fixed income and currency volatility. The Fed cuts rates in 3Q2019 and by year-end announces that QE4 will commence in January, 2020. The 2018 tantrum in Italian bonds is just a precursor for hissy fits throughout the European bond market as the ECB is no longer expanding its balance sheet and tries to get out of NIRP. The BoJ throws in the towel on their drive for higher inflation. The Japanese bond market sees sharp selloff. During 2019 the yield on the ten year U.S. note falls to 2.25% before ending the year at over 3.50% as the selloff in European and Japanese bonds and the announcement of QE4 drive our yields higher. Gold falls to $1050 before ending the year at over $1700. 3) Stocks Sink: Though the third year of a Presidential cycle is usually bullish – _it’s different this time._Trump confusing _brains with a bull market_ can’t fathom the emerging Bear Market. At first he blames it on Steve Mnuchin, his Secretary of Treasury (who leaves the Administration in the middle of the year). Then he blames a lower stock market on the mid-term election which turned the House. Then he blames the market correction on the Chinese. The S&P Index hits a yearly low of 2200 in the first half of the year as the market worries about slowing economic and profit growth and a burgeoning deficit/monetization. The announcement of QE4 results in a year end rally in December, 2019. In a continued regime of volatility (and in a market dominated by ETFs and machines/algos), daily swings of 1%-3% become more commonplace. Investor sentiment slumps as redemptions from exchange traded funds grow to record levels. The absence of correlation between ETFs and the underlying component investments causes regulatory concerns throughout the year. Congress holds hearings on the changing market structure and the weak foundation those changes delivered during the year. Short sellers provide the best returns in the hedge fund space as the S&P Index records a second consecutive yearly loss (which is much deeper than in 2018). As the Fed cuts interest rates the US dollar falls and emerging markets outperform the US in 2019. I, like many, are concerned about corporate credit (See Surprise #8) and though credit is not unscathed, it is equities that bear the brunt of the Bear since they are below credit in the company capitalization structure. Bottom line, after a steep drop in the first six months of the year, the markets rise off of the lows late in the year in response to this shifting political scene (the decline of Trump) and a reversal to a more expansive Fed policy – ending the year with a -10% loss. 4) Despite the Appearance of the Bear, FANG Stocks Surprisingly Prosper (Both Absolutely and Relatively) as Investors Seek Growth (at any cost) In a Slowing Economy – Facebook’s Shares Rebound Dramatically: While there is a growing consensus that FANG will lead a Bear Market lower – that is not the case as growth, in a general sense, is dear and cherished by market participants next year. Among FANG, Facebook‘s shares have a reversal of fortune (and is the best performing FANG stock) as the company announces aggressive management changes and moves to remedy the misinformation trap. As more previously unrevealed information reduces her valuation, Sheryl Sandburg’s special status as a female leader (in a seascape of men at Facebook and in industry) is questioned. In the first half of 2019, Sandberg becomes a sacrificial lamb and is sacked – and is forced to lean out after leaning in. At the suggestion of Warren Buffett (who has accumulated a sizable stake in the company), former Board Member Donald Graham is named as the new, independent and Non-Executive Board Chairman of Facebook. This unexpected move encourages FB investors to believe that the company is quickly moving to fix its multiple data and privacy issues. Fewer (than feared) Facebook members opt out and growth in usage resumes in the back half of 2019. FB’s stock popularity (and market capitalization) increases as it becomes a more dominant holding in “value investors” portfolios – the shares trade above $200/share late in the year. 5) “Peak Trump” – the President Bows Out in His Pursuit of a Second Term: The President’s dismissal of the murder of Washington Post reporter Jamal Khashoggi is seen as delivering tacit support to Saudi Arabia’s MBS – it is a pivotal turning point in Trump’s popularity and ultimate reputational decline in 2019. _“Pay enough and you can get away with murder”_ becomes the mantra of the Progressive Left. Trump acceptance by his Republican party peers quickly diminishes as they are further worried about his motivation to side against the findings of his own intelligence department. After Trump’s personal dealings with authoritarian and autocratic countries are revealed in the Mueller probe (along with possible emoluments violations), Trump’s popularity fades further as Lindsay Graham and other prominent Republicans repeal their support and denounce the President. An anti-imperial rebalancing is mounted, in which a more assertive Congress brings the country back into constitutional equilibrium. Though the public and political leaders (even on the right)_ increasingly reject the President, there are no impeachment efforts by the Democrats. Instead (and surprisingly), House Speaker Pelosi (recognizing that constructive steps are the recipe for a Democratic 2020 Presidential win) exacts discretion and stops the Democrats from moving on an impeachment in the House. Democratic leadership turns to reforms and a torrent of new legislation in the areas of improving the environment and climate control (and the halt of growth in fossil fuel by the development of alternative energy programs), the opioid crisis, education, crime, voting rights, healthcare and prescription drug prices, immigration, etc.- showing the electorate that their Party can demonstrate the framework for a positive agenda, a vision and a social contract (and can rule instead of obstruct).But, most importantly… With real GDP turning negative in 2019’s second half, Democrats attempt to replace Republicans’ supply-side economics with a smarter theory of growth. Recognizing just as inflation and other ills opened the door for criticism of Keynesian economics in the 1970s, so have inequality and disinvestment done the same for critiques of supply side today. In 2019, the Democrats turn the table on the supply-siders and give a voice through thoughtful proposed legislation (making the affirmative case for the Democratic theory of growth geared to raising wages and putting more money in the hands in working- and middle-class people’s pocket and investing in their needs). Americans enthusiastically embrace this alternative (of how the economy works and grows and spreads prosperity) and reject and defeat the long standing Republican economic narrative – seeing it as a better way to spur on the economy_ (than giving rich people more tax cuts)._ Asking the question _“has it worked for you?_” and given the fairy tale of added revenue from growth (and the widening hole in the deficit),_ rampant inequality, the fear of being bankrupted by medical catastrophe and massive student debt obligations Democrats provide a practical alternative to cutting taxes for the rich and decreasing regulation which has failed to unleash as much innovation and economic activity that was promised by the Administration. The legislation, which puts more money in middle class pockets, defends and supports the notion that the public sector can make better decisions than the private sector. Referred to as the _“middle – in economic bill,”_ is cosponsored by a leading, conservative and respected Republican member of Congress and begins to gain bipartisan support in Congress, driving a stake through the supply-side’s heart. Despite his loss of popularity (which plummets to 25%)_ and the push back from the Republican establishment, Trump declares he is still planning to run for President. Nevertheless, a challenge from Senator Mitt Romney (who’s motto is “Make Republicans Great Again”_) gains steam as McConnell, Graham, Kennedy Et al. throw their support for the Senator. As Trump’s problems multiply, Romney becomes the heavy favorite to defeat Trump in the Republican primary. Recognizing a sure election defeat, by year-end the President announces that his medical team has disclosed a health issue and he is advised not to run for office. _Reluctantly, _Trump agrees and bows out of the 2020 Presidential race late in the year. The Trump mantra of “Make America Great Again” i_s replaced by _“Make Economic Uncertainty and Market Volatility Great Again.”#MAGA/#MUVGA 6) The Year of the Woman: With a Trump withdrawal from 2020 the election is wide open. The arc of history influences the Democratic Presidential nomination march and the leading candidates that emerge for 2020 are mostly women. The potential contenders include progressive firebrands like Elizabeth Warren, Stacey Abrams, Kristen Gillibrand and Kamala Harris, and moderates like Senator Amy Klobuchar and Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo. Michael Bloomberg, Howard Schultz and Joe Biden bowout from the race by year end 2019 By year-end, Klobucher, Harris and Warren surface as the three leading Democratic Presidential candidates. It appears that an all women Democratic ticket (President/Vice President) is increasingly likely. Nationally, several high profile sexual harassment suits are disclosed. Allegations against a number of well known television, other entertainment and political icons/leaders serve to reinforce the candidacy of the above women who aspire to gain the Democratic Presidential nomination. After Congressional hearings, non partisan and strict harassment legislation are introduced forcing several well known male politicians to resign from office. 7) A New (But Old) Shiny Object Appears As A Stock Market Winner in 2019: Bitcoin trades close to $3,000 in December, 2018 and spends most of 2019 under $5,000 (as numerous trading irregularities, thefts and more frauds are exposed). England’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) takes the lead, in instituting a comprehensive regulatory response to regulating the crypto currency markets. The U.S. follows by imposing broad-based crypto currency regulation in 2019. A leading business network (who’s bitcoin “bug” has become the new cover of magazine contrary indicator!) faces a class action suit for their seeming encouragement in buying into the asset class in their too frequent broadcasts during 2018. Several crypto currency guests who were prominent on the network’s coverage are indicted for fraud. In an agreement with regulatory authorities, the biz network’s programming is reconstituted. Marijuana stocks, after a weak final few months in 2018 (are down by over 50% from their highs), explode back to the upside reflecting a quickened pace of alternative health applications. (MJ) is the single best performing exchange traded fund and (TLRY) makes another move to $300/share. 8) Private Equity, High Yield Debt and Leveraged Loan Problems (Which Have Doubled in Size Over the Last Ten Years) Emerge as the Resurgence of Leveraged Finance Comes to An End: Private equity, in particular, the biggest winner in the decade long cycle since _The Great Decession of 2007-09,_ suffers – and so do the endowments at several prestigious universities. Covenant- lite financings in junk and leveraged loans – often in opaque and complex structures – topple under the weight of loan defaults. (HYG) (last sale: $83.17) trades $75-$80 as redemptions spike. Publicly-held private equity shops (KKR) and Blackstone (BX) are among the largest percentages losers in 2019, High yield bonds fulfill their characterization as “junk,” and are among the worst performing asset classes. The spread between junk bonds and Treasuries more than doubles – widening dramatically during the summer months. 9) The China/U.S.Rift Intensifies as Trump’s Anger Shifts Towards That Region: The trade war with China goes into full effect with 25% tariffs. Walmart (WMT) is adversely impacted and its shares fall by -20% from the recent highs. The Chinese retaliate against major American brands like Apple (AAPL) . _(“Peak Apple” actually happens and its shares fall below $125/share)._Peter Navarro resigns. A major cyber-attack against the U.S. financial system, who’s source is initially not diagnosed, is ultimately reportedly to have been delivered by China. The U.S. enters a cold war with China that resembles the emergence of the cold war with Russia in 1948 – it becomes clear it will be lengthy, nasty and unfriendly to the trajectory of worldwide economic growth. 10) Bank Stocks Are Surprising Winners in 2019: Despite some pressure in net interest margins (and income), sluggish loan demand and a pickup in loan losses – bank stocks (and EPS) are surprisingly resilient and manage to have a positive return next year as better relative EPS growth is supported by aggressive buybacks and (starting) low valuations. Investors look forward to a recovery in economic growth in 2020-21 and bank stocks (flat for most of the year) have a vigorous move in the last few months of the year and are one of the few sectors to advance in 2019. Oil stocks, depressed from the late 2018 crude oil price fall also recovery mightily in the later months of 2019 as the price of oil advances coincident with dovish turn in monetary policy. 11) Tesla’s Problems Shift From Production to Demand to Financial: Tesla (TSLA) loses its tax subsidy in the U.S. and in the Netherlands (a large market for them). European competition grows. Europe doesn’t allow the Tesla Model 3 due to safety reasons. The Chinese won’t let an American company have video data over millions of miles of roads and bans Tesla. Lenders balk and access to the public debt market evaporates. The company’s financial position deteriorates and its credit default swaps widen dramatically. An accounting “issue” surfaces – and it morphs into an accounting fraud. Elon Musk, who has leveraged his TSLA equity holdings, faces margin calls and is forced to sell Tesla shares. After being rushed to the hospital after an overdose, Musk leaves his CEO post to enter drug rehab. 12) Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) (BRK.B) Announces the Largest Takeover in History – The Transformational Acquisition of 3M for $150 billion. 13) Amazon (AMZN) Makes a Bid for Square (SQ) but Alphabet/Google (GOOGL) Eventually Acquires Both Square SQ and Twitter (TWTR) 14) With its Share Price Consistently Trading Under Its Book Value During the First Few Months of 2019, Goldman Sachs’ (GS) Partners Take the Brokerage Private in a Leveraged Buyout at $238/share. 15) Brexit Happens: The world continues and the pound is the best global currency.
Here Are 5-“Also Eligible” Surprises:
AE1) Ford (F) defaults on its loans. Steve Rattner again becomes the “car czar.”- AE2) A major and unexpected global event judged to be impacted by climate issues causes a massive amount of health problems and deaths. Demand for a reversal of Trump policy on climate change comes from his within his own Party and represents another fissure between the White House and the legislative branch.- AE3) Warren Buffett announces his successor. The name, however, is no surprise.- AE4) Angela Merkel doesn’t make it thru the year and Germany has a new leader. - AE5) As is typical with maturing economic cycles, two large accounting frauds of S&PIndex constituents are uncovered late in the year. A previously “sainted” and revered CEO does a prep walk.
In their declaration, Lovecruft accused Todd of sexual harassment, including unwelcome and violent sexual statements during consulting work on a bitcoin project. According to Lovecruft’s filed declaration, Todd told Lovecruft in a San Francisco cafe, “I’m going to shove my cock in you so hard and beat you until you beg for more.” Register for this 24/7 on-demand recording & podcast on Mastering Sexual Harassment Law & Claims CLE Available for CLE and MCLE credit - please check the bottom of the seminar page for specific accreditation. In the petition titled, “Cases of sexual harassment, human rights and labour violations by the expatriate workers”, the group alleged that the expatriates were in the habit of luring the girls with money, adding that those that failed to succumb to the intimidation were summarily sacked Executives in all industries are scrutinizing company culture as employees speak out about sexual harassment at work. Robo advice is pressuring fees and margins and bitcoin’s rapid gain has Case in point, a sexual assault survivor used the crypto-powered payment processor Seeds to crowdfund $500 in September after the trauma left her unable to work for several months.
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