These are snippets from interviews I did with Australian criminologist Dr. Michael Salter in 2014-15 for his 2017 book ‘Crime, Justice and Social Media’ which looks broadly at the role of social media in both crime and justice. In the final chapter, he used #OpGabon and #OpDeatheaters to examine how social media can challenge national/regional boundaries around justice and provide new ways of understanding and acting on injustice. He also wrote a chapter on media coverage of organised sexual abuse for an encyclopedia from Oxford University Press, and discussed OpDeatheaters in various academic presentations. This is a very late post to share his work. My apologies for not sharing it earlier but it is still very current information. Apologies as well for the choppiness, questions are condensed and answers are pieced together from several places including tweets. The book is available here. For more information, follow #opDeathEaters, @opDeathEaters, @opDeathEatersUS and @opGabon on Twitter.
MS: Can you tell me how and why “Death Eaters” was selected as a key symbol for the op?
HM: I have been in a propaganda war with PIE and similar organizations forever. Their propaganda has been so all-pervasive on the Internet and the earlier bulletin boards that all I could ever do was debate within the dialogue they created and using their words, a losing battle that always descended into hysteria about free speech, sexual freedom and every other so-called freedom presented from the perpetrators point of view. The hardest thing about OpDeathEaters has been getting past the language, all manipulated to trigger the ‘educated’:
1. No acknowledged word for Death Eaters so every attempt at conversation is reduced to Illuminati/Masons/Satanists/lizards.
2. “Conspiracy theory” used as a synonym for outlandish lies.
3. Paedosadists misdefined as a sexual orientation / child love and completely conflated with homosexuality.
4. Sadism reduced to “Sex positive!!!” and sparkly pink handcuffs.
5. Attempts to bring powerful torturers to justice labeled ‘a witch hunt’ – I’ll bet the priests laughed at that one.
Words are not facts, they are just a framework used to create social norms. We should examine them carefully and choose the framework we want to use. The first step for OpDeatheaters had to be to remove control of the dialogue from the perpetrators. For me, it was a very personal challenge to reframe the debate and to create a space for dialogue from my own viewpoint. PIE rhetoric ruled the Internet. If we replace their ‘child love’ with ‘death eaters’, we win the Internet and they will never recover from having their years of propaganda stripped away. Who controls the words controls your thoughts.
OpDeatheaters is not about an individual disorder, it is about the norms of an international society. There are people who are very much part of death eaters society who are not paedosadists or even involved in trafficking. They just live within, enable and protect the society and allow it to exist. It is this structure that I want exposed, not just individual paedosadists. Paedosadists are a created market, often mentally ill or weak and often former victims. They are not driving the industry. Initiatives like #WeProtect arrest low level paedosadists and leave those who created and run the industry untouched. As soon as anyone mentions a powerful society, their listeners demand to know who the group is and the conversation descends into ‘the Illuminati’ or ‘the Masons’ or ‘the Satanists’. We really don’t have a term to describe this network and that has been used to block this story for years.
So I had a choice, invent a completely new gobbledegook word or use one which everyone understands and is also a completely accurate term for what I mean. The alternative terms were rationalizing, normalizing and completely false terminology like ‘paedophile’, comforting to listeners and allowing them to settle back into slumber in familiar surroundings. We have seen this normalizing in the lies presenting child torture and murder around the world as ‘war’, ‘national security’, ‘policing’, etc., and the word ‘paedophile’ had already almost fully buried this story in the UK. These people do not love children, they feed off of pain and death and they do not act individually, they are a fully functioning society. I wanted to not use false rationalizing terms and I wanted people to confront the fact that we are in fact ruled by death eaters – a collaborative society of sociopaths.
Looking for logic in the indiscriminate bombing, imprisonment and starvation of people around the world is exactly like looking for logic in OpDeatheaters. People who gather socially to torture and murder children for fun, gather professionally to mass murder for fun. This shouldn’t be shocking and it’s not like the phenomenon isn’t well documented in the origins of the word sadism. Sociopaths have no motives in common with socially healthy people and sociopaths rule the world because the entire global social structure is set up to reward and promote sociopaths. The point of OpDeathEaters is to provide irrefutable proof that those at the top are sociopaths and force an examination of how they got there. OpDeatheaters is just one manifestation of the social cannibalism we have been going through. Everything wrong with the world is because it is governed by sociopaths. ‘Arrest paedosadists’ just scratches the surface of what is wrong.
It is also important to dispel the ‘one lonely man’ and ‘social outcast’ myths so carefully planted because paedosadism and trafficking are not an ‘individual sexual orientation’, they are a massive criminal industry with more in common with drugs and weapons trafficking than a sexual orientation. While every drug bust is reported in the media as being part of a global network, every paedosadist case is presented as an individual and isolated case. Reporting on high level paedosadism as a personal problem instead of part of a networked international industry is inaccurate. The battle for the Internet was hardly just about “sexual orientation”. A massive criminal industry was created, not born.
Porn and violent or risky sex addictions are well established, and known to be created, but unlike drug addictions (which typically harm only the addicted person) sex addictions are treated as personal freedoms and individual problems. In fact, the drastic growth of the paedosadism industry, and of sadism in war zones and criminal gangs, clearly show it is environmental and created and it needs to be dismantled as an industry and through social change. We have ample evidence of genocides in every time and place to prove near ‘normal’ populations can be turned largely sociopathic. Look at the US military in Bagram: was torturing prisoners and raping their children a sexual orientation? Or was it environmental? Yes many psychopaths are born, but far more sociopaths are created and neither is a sexual orientation. Paedosadism is no more ‘natural’ than children in militias killing people is ‘natural’.
I also wanted to challenge the idea of ‘paedophilia’ as a sexual orientation, a completely irrational idea that has been used for years to conflate paedosadists with homosexuals and other relationships between consenting adults. The legal term for ‘sex’ with children in most of the world is rape and attraction to rape is paraphilic coercive disorder. Can you even imagine if people discussed rape of women as a ‘sexual orientation’ as they do the rape of babies and children? Or referred to the mass rape of women as ‘historical women sex’? The idea of the rape, torture and murder of children being ‘a sexual orientation’ is possible only in a world which dehumanizes the children and focuses solely on the point of view of the rapist. No one pretends being raped, tortured or murdered is a sexual orientation. ‘Pedophilia’ has no word for the child. Consensual love does not end when one party reaches puberty. ‘Child sex’ is even worse as it pretends the children are having sex when they are being raped, tortured and murdered.
Crimes are called ‘violent extremism’ if they are directed at corporate assets or powerful men but terrorism of children is called ‘a sexual orientation’. Key to that is viewing the children as objects, not recognizing them as part of a so-called ‘sexual orientation’ which victimizes them. A potential rape victim is not a ‘crush’, they are ‘prey’. ‘Minor-attracted men’ are ‘sadism / violent porn addicted men’. Peter Righton , the founder of the UK government funded Paedophile Information Exchange, one of the most influential propaganda organizations depicting paedosadism as ‘child love’, has been accused of extremely sadistic murder of children.
These words that are entirely based on the point of view of powerful men then affect our legal systems. Killers are depicted as ‘terrorists’ or ‘paedophiles’ to create separate legal systems for the same acts committed against different groups of people. The ICC can then say the murder of adult men is ‘terrorism’ that requires UN resolutions and ICC trials but mass paedosadism by the Catholic Church is not a “serious crime of concern to the international community as a whole.” Children are not part of their international community.
Anyone who chooses to view paedosadism as ‘a sexual orientation’ and believes that ‘orientation’ ought to be a factor considered by courts and society should answer: Do you consider children consenting partners? or Do you consider all rape a sexual orientation? If all rape is a sexual orientation, what about murder? The fact that the perpetrator is sexually aroused does not make paedosadism a sexual orientation or profugaphilia would be a sexual orientation too, called ‘homeless attracted persons’. If sexual orientation should be taken into consideration legally and socially, why should not a tendency to violence?
The tone difference between the DSM and typical psychiatry papers on paedosadism and paraphilic coercive disorder is remarkable. Unless the DSM has decided that sex with children is not rape, pedophilia should not exist as a separate category or why would we stop there? What about “My sexual orientation is poisoning people with oil spills. I was born this way. I just need understanding.” Sexual arousal is a stimulus response to anything from inherent or developed hormones to parasites. Sexual arousal is, and should be judged, as simply social or anti-social, not natural or unnatural. Our extinction is perfectly natural, but let’s try to stop it anyway.
“It’s a sexual orientation, they can’t help it” is a constant in the propaganda, but the word ‘historic’ is also always used to reassure us that they all got over it at the same time, with no arrests or investigations, despite it supposedly being a sexual orientation they were born with.
PIE and their ilk have managed the media depiction of the rape, torture and murder of children, first by conflating it with homosexuality, then by creating a ‘sexual orientation’ called pedophilia, now by changing the definition and public perception of sadism. The major problem in the world is not rape culture, it is sadism culture. Sexual sadism disorder you will never hear about in the media except as cutesy co-option of the word as “Sex Positive!!” BDSM, sparkly pink handcuffs and 50 Shades Of Grey, but sexual sadism disorder is running the world. Death eaters are people who experience sexual arousal from the torture, death, dismemberment of others. Since the philosophy of the Marquis de Sade, sadism has been depicted as freedom, complete liberty for the fraternity at the top and dehumanization of those at the bottom. The governance paradigm we follow was greatly influenced by the people responsible for the Terror in France and they are also the root of the idea of conflating torture and murder with sexual freedom. From the Marquis de Sade’s “Social order at the expense of liberty is hardly a bargain” to Sir Anthony Duff’s “Risks of political embarrassment to the government is rather greater than the security danger”, liberty and equality have always been solely for the fraternity. US and French revolutionary rhetoric was pivotal in the propaganda shift into high gear away from society and into personal liberty, codified in law and reserved for powerful men. You will hear it still everywhere paedosadists are defending child abuse documentation as ‘porn’ and ‘free speech’.
The idea that a powerful caucasian man is always more credible than their victims is part of this outlook. Wealth is seen as a virtue in our societies. The reputations of powerful men are valued more. The fact that they are sociopathically unaffected by suffering is seen as strength. It is a recurring pattern in OpDeathEaters that many former victims are now in jail, destitute, or with mental health problems while the sadists have it all. It is like the world decided to follow de Sade’s ‘Justine: The Misfortunes of Virtue‘: Let’s put the worst at the top and reward the guilty. The concerns against OpDeatheaters are all about protecting the privacy of powerful men instead of about protecting the victims because the propaganda itself is almost entirely from the point of view of the perpetrators. We are told not to spread rumours but everything is ‘just a rumour’ if it is never investigated. People have forgotten how transparent justice systems work:
1. The aggrieved makes a public accusation.
2. There is a trial to decide guilt or innocence.
Right now all accusations are shrouded in secrecy, media pretends that paedosadism rumours are homosexual rumours, accusers are jailed, any accusations against the powerful are forbidden. This is the opposite of justice. This is tyranny, secrecy and a political, tiered, chokehold on justice. The top are too powerful to be accused, the middle are accused and tried, and for the powerless, no accusation is necessary, they are shot in the street for suspicion.
Q: What is the difference between a paedosadist and the sexual orientation of paedophilia?
A: There is no such thing as a sexual orientation called paedophilia. A sexual orientation, or sex, requires consenting partners. It is not sex if some of those involved are called victims, that is rape. Someone attracted to rape has sexual sadism disorder or paraphilic coercive disorder. Someone attracted to the rape of children is a paedosadist. A paedosadist who acts on their impulses is a criminal paedosadist, one who does not is a non-offending paedosadist.
MS: In your political writings, are there particular schools of thought or writers that influence you?
HM: I was raised as a girl in Canada’s far north in a First Nations community that had first European contact in 1838. Regular outside contact wasn’t until the 1900’s and the first road in was built in 1972. The schools of thought and writers that have made it to influential status influence me only as a source of extreme frustration. Reading Engel’s complete misinterpretation of Morgan’s misinterpretation of matriarchal First Nations societies was like being forced to learn the end result of a game of telephone when you were standing beside the original speaker. All officially sanctioned knowledge we have been force fed has been filtered through the lens of powerful caucasian men, so even views which are written by people who were not from that demographic are always centred around them and acceptable to them.
Professionally I am a programmer, so I see our societies as whole systems governed by algorithms or principles. Changing the people at the top of the paradigm or adding bug fixes to an algorithm that is completely wrong in the first place will obviously never bring real change. Feminism that fights for women to join a masculinist universe in the trade economy or indigenous fights for political influence within the existing political structures only serve to strengthen the existing paradigm which is why those are the fights always permitted or endorsed.
A background with direct personal experience of so much of what is not working in the world influenced me. The perspective from the very bottom does not have schools of thought or writers. The reason I have focused so much of my energy for the past many years on media, on amplification of those who need it instead of being “the voice of the voiceless”, is because we need those perspectives. We don’t need another revolutionary leader, we need strength and resistance from the bottom and a society that reaches down to help those at the bottom instead of up to the current ponzi schemes of celebrity, wealth and power. Social media has the potential to finally allow those voices to be heard directly, so that is what I have been working towards. When those voices are loud enough to influence society we will have real change because they will influence others as they influenced me.
MS: Can you tell me if there’s been progress towards establishing victim-led inquiries other than the UK? I saw a tweet from the OpDE twitter account in March indicating that the Australian branch of the op had filed a complaint with the ICC. I’ve contacted them for more info. I was wondering if you had any thoughts on the challenges of establishing these tribunals/inquiries?
HM: There are many tribunals and inquiries globally in various states of inadequacy and various levels of victim input. The Truth and Reconciliation report in Canada, the Catholic Church, the UN, Pakistan and many more have inquiries.
The primary challenge for OpDeatheaters is to convince the public in each part of the world that the existing systems of justice will not work without transparency and that where the existing systems are corrupt they can be replaced. Like the words we use, none of the justice systems are set in stone and they all originated somewhere. They can all be challenged and replaced with something more effective when necessary. There is a lot of fear around the idea of challenging existing systems of justice, fed by hysteria about ‘mob rule’ and ‘witch hunts’. People who have been infantilized since birth or have had their lives shattered and are suffering from ptsd, drug addiction and more are naturally afraid of challenging existing systems of authority but most justice systems were established as co-option of social justice by the powerful, created to appoint judges, silence witnesses and control outcomes, and they need to be challenged.
MS: Although there’s been a lot of social media activity around OpDeathEaters, it seems like it’s been harder to get people onto the streets, in comparison to OpGabon where there seemed to be a lot of momentum around the rallies. I was wondering if you had any thoughts on why?
HM: The protests in Gabon are also protests against Ali Bongo and the reasons for the dissatisfaction are economically motivated as well. From the beginning of the social media influenced mass protests, the motivations for street mobilization have been economic much more frequently than direct reactions to human rights violations, Syria and several Chinese protests being exceptions. Greece obviously was reacting to their economic collapse, then Tunisia with Mohammed Bouazizi and on. Economic struggle is of course also a fight for dignity or a fight against the violence of poverty, but by proxy. When we started a global protest for September 17, 2011 it was supposed to be a continuation of the M15 self-governance mobilization in Spain with an ‘antibanks’ theme, just a step in the progression of self-governance encampments. This was co-opted almost from the beginning to become the ‘Occupy’ movement, rebranded and completely controlled by the US who used the platform for reactionary rhetoric such as calling for a debt jubilee, a great solution for reinstating the status quo and of no use whatsoever for those who have never had the privilege of acquiring debt.
The financial system is used for dissociation, money was used to replace society. If people fight for the financial system instead of each other and their society, the resistance can be easily co-opted as we saw when ‘self-governance’ for colonies resulted in imperial military control replaced by imperial financial control. People are taught a cradle to grave obsession with money instead of each other, and in the trade economy, the financial system always supports a ponzi scheme which encourages service to the powerful, never those on the bottom. When I started Wikileaks Central, people were very unaccustomed to hearing human rights news. That was a fringe topic, of interest only to human rights activists, as the environment was only discussed by environmentalists. Corporate media focused on the exceptional lives at the top of the ponzi schemes, the economy and corporations, and the protests were not much different with their focus on caucasian male hackers, whistleblowers and new media stars. Internet surveillance received vastly more attention than the stories happening to people with no Internet, money fluctuations caused far more panic than refugees in the ocean with no food or water.
Every time I tried to focus any of the 2011 movements on human rights instead of economic matters, I was shouted down by those dominating the assembleas online and off, accused of everything from promoting the UN (because they also supposedly promote human rights) to wanting to disrupt the utopian anarchy with rules. Anyone who did listen to my concerns would insist we didn’t need to think about them because once student loans in the US were cancelled the rest of the world would benefit from trickle down human rights. One of the most significant Occupy events of 2011 winter was the Sandy hurricane, which appeared in all media and Occupy type forums depicted as a disaster that only hit the US. For me, that was a perfect symbol of the reactionary nature of the protests and how most were only seeking to support or replace those at the top, not change the paradigm. This is nothing new, almost all of our attempts at change have been reactionary or revolutionary. My goal for years has been resistance, strengthening those at the very bottom until we have a mesh network governance instead of ponzi schemes, but we are a very long way off. Every human rights cause can still only dream of the support given to celebrity activists or the economy.
This is partly because of the tools we have been given. Twitter, Bitcoin and all the rest start with the same libertarian idea of equality and even more freedom, resulting in even faster and more extreme ponzi schemes. In 2010 and earlier, everyone was begging for a retweet from the large social media accounts which became larger by retweeting each other, so of course the protests revolved around the concerns of the powerful. This is another reason I am writing a tool designed around trust networks and original sources instead of ponzi schemes and popularity.
There are also many triggers used in the propaganda surrounding paedosadism to warn people off, phrases like ‘his private life’, ‘witch hunt’, ‘mob rule’, plus the fact that so many perpetrators are the Great Men that everyone has been taught to revere and trust to govern them and make all decisions for them. An attack on the entire society at the top is an attack on the structure we live within and the paradigm from which we have pulled all the principles we use in our daily lives. Such deep social change is very, very difficult and does not happen overnight. Most stories, particularly in the US, have a Good Guy and a Bad Guy and the Bad Guy dies at the end. “Kill all the Bad Guys” will not fix this. Anyone who still thinks we can jail all paedosadists, hasn’t been looking. These are social problems but it is far easier to throw Zoloft or law enforcement at a problem than deep social change. Social change doesn’t sell because social change is very difficult and complex. If we question free will, then the death penalty, wars, crime and punishment all must be questioned. It also means convincing the most heavily coerced and manipulated population on earth that they do not have absolute free will, something they are absolutely convinced they have. In fact, humans are the most programmable systems on earth. We were all programmed and can be reprogrammed. We were also programmed to recoil in horror from the idea that we were programmed, so that fight must be won before we can change how we were programmed.
MS: I’ve been trying to get some info on the database.
HM: The database is an old project I tried to do in 2011 called Global Square. I don’t want this only for opDeathEaters but many long term projects. As one example besides OpDeatheaters, OpFrackOff was a conflict in New Brunswick with a resource corporation which had it’s offices in Houston. Instead of trying to get people in Houston to protest those offices, I looked at all the other ties and found the Houston company was leasing from New Brunswick’s Irving family who own vast and varied corporations. I chose McCain fries as a product of one of their corporations and OpFrackOff boycotted Wendy’s restaurants as they are a major client of McCain (explained in the video). It may seem strange to boycott Wendy’s restaurants for fracking, but the exact same people are behind both, so it is a new way of being heard when perpetrators are protected by layers of corporations.
This year and next I will restart #OpCanary to map connections and encourage international class action lawsuits against resource corporations and also start to track militias, state and otherwise, weapons dealers etc (how many police forces are currently being trained by IDF?) and rename or relaunch #opGtmo to include prisons globally. This will give us far more power than we have ever had before to unmask and combat corruption and counter the use of borders to corral those at the bottom and protect those at the top, but there is no tool available that can help me do this (I’ve tried them all) so I have to write it from scratch (which is better anyway since it needs to be free software).
One method I used to think about for privacy and social shunning online (like against criminal activity using the Tor network) was proxies that would be available only with community support, which is interestingly the same way powerful paedosadist rings work. Lose support of your powerful friends and your cloak is lifted. That’s why the cover ups and obstruction of justice are far more interesting than the actual paedosadist crimes, it’s the obstruction of justice and influence peddling that will bring them all down. Allowing the network to decide who is revealed is currently used for mafia wars or to threaten victims and witnesses, not justice. It is the victims who are currently sentenced for ‘obstructing the course of justice’ by accusing the powerful. Instructions to sentence Epstein by ‘pursuing justice without making a political mess’ for Trump, Clintons, Prince Andrew et al meant no justice. And the only way to counteract that on an entire network is to remove all proxies for them. No more secrecy in powerful networks.
MS: My sense is that you were the driving force behind OpGabon too. Is that right?
Me: Gabon has had activists, journalists and parents trying to expose ritual killings for a very long time at great personal risk (the same can be said for opDeathEaters topics in any country). Gabonese activists who knew I worked around those topics and was reporting on their cases asked for some help around the time I was doing #opRohingya so we created #opGabon. At the time, Ali Bongo was on the UNSC and chairing the UNHCR and attending personal meetings with Obama in the US and there was almost no coverage of ritual killings in English media, partly because English media is very lazy about translating stories from other languages and partly because the story (like the Rohingya genocide, Buddhists monks killing babies and promoting genocide, or opDeathEaters itself) was really incredible and difficult to convince people of in one msm article.
I did a lot of initial research with the Gabonese activists, put it together in a package with reliable sources for everything, helped them set up a campaign in English, French, Spanish, and more and brought it to a more global audience. I also helped get them mainstream media interviews and Anonymous attention because it is incredibly difficult to get global media to cover African stories from Africans, they were more willing if they could run them with a picture of a hacker in a mask and hoodie rather than the Gabonese activists themselves.
OpGabon was in that sense a joint effort but the campaign and account has always been run by Gabonese activists, the risk is theirs and the story is theirs. The megaphone I helped with a bit.
With Anonymous and other global activists, I just linked the Gabonese activists to my global trust network. Those that trust my research and sources trusted the campaign and supported it. Global Anonymous was a great help, they made their presence and support known very clearly to the Gabonese government and the changes in policy were instant. The scheduled protest by Gabonese activists had been outlawed and the existence of ritual killings was completely denied by the government. Within days, the protest was co-opted by the President’s wife, complete with t-shirts and a speech by the president announcing a new law against ritual killings. The Gabonese president was scheduled to have a personal meeting with Obama that suddenly disappeared from all the official websites and did not happen. But ritual killings still exist, none of the powerful have been arrested and the daily slog and risk of activism in the years since opGabon started has been all by Gabonese activists.
MS: It’s clear that the intervention in Gabon was important – there was already a network of activists mobilised around these issues and Anonymous was able to amplify their efforts, provide support etc.
It seems to me like it’s been harder with OpDeatheaters, because, unlike the Gabon ritual killings, there aren’t a lot of existing groups/networks that have politicised the ‘deatheaters’ and are working against them. So part of the challenge with OpDeatheaters has been trying to create or trigger networks of support to form around this issue. That’s my sense of things at least – does that correspond with your experience?
Me: Hmm. I may have overstated the Gabon campaign prior to opGabon. The initial march we were supporting was small and in fact had decided it would be futile to continue with the march until they saw the backing from Anonymous. Being an activist against ritual killings in a country which jails you for suggesting they exist has never attracted a lot of people. Even now _______ is in exile for it, after fleeing for his life. I believe he lost a child that way, that is usually the motivation for the activists there, they are parents. I think opGabon helped a lot by making it an accepted mainstream topic of conversation though, as I think opDeathEaters has as well.
In every place I think the existence of a dedicated group of activists, or even one activist, is essential. This cannot start by appealing to the mainstream or it will be derailed. There has to be an initial dedicated core. Gabon has that, a very few people who are willing to risk their lives by continuing to speak out. In taking on all of the most powerful organizations and states in the world at once, opDeathEaters has far more work cut out to find and support those people in every place. It takes time to grow a cross-cultural network that size and a lot of energy to keep it moving and prevent it from being derailed.
Yes, I agree, Gabon also has a political opposition which can leverage ritual killings as evidence of the corruption of the existing power and present an alternative. Part of the added challenge I see for opDeathEaters in countries like the UK and US, or organizations like the UN or Catholic Church, is there is no higher power for people to turn to, they have to create one. That of course requires far more widespread mobilization and initiative than what Gabon is doing, which is political lobbying, supporting the opposition, and appealing for outside intervention in the form of the ICC or boycotts. It also requires mobilization of the weakest members of society, the survivors, since no political party or institution exists which can be trusted to fight on their behalf. Also, while mainstream media (which is just as influential in Africa as elsewhere) is very willing to accept that ritual killings exist in Africa, they are far more opposed to campaigns exposing corruption in their own circles.
MS: I wonder if OpDeatheaters was ahead of its time in a way. In the UK, people are getting the sense that there is a political context to organised/sadistic abuse, but they don’t have a fully developed political consciousness around this. Most NGOs in the ‘child abuse’ space know about organised abuse but stay quiet about it to avoid backlash and ridicule. The few groups that are outspoken about ritual abuse aren’t very effective at gaining mainstream support.
Are there some key ‘wins’ that OpDeathEaters has achieved that I should make sure I include? What do you think it’s major accomplishments have been to date?
For me opDeathEaters is one step of an evolution on many fronts:
1. Getting people to read about human rights news at all. Five years ago they wouldn’t and I could only publish these stories under the banner of Wikileaks, Occupy or Anonymous. I guess people felt safer listening to these stories under the banners of someone seen as coming to save the underdog instead of asking them to do something themselves. The news has been a passive spectacle for so long, the idea of news, analysis, and then do something about it still hasn’t really caught on.
2. Getting people to care about a story where the protagonist is not a famous/powerful caucasian man from the US or UK and the villains are not confined to a group the readers hate or love, ethnically, politically, religiously or other. I am quite certain if opDeatheaters had targeted only one group we would have powerful support from their enemies, but attacking all powerful groups at once is tricky.
3. Providing a shield for people discussing this topic against those that call them crazy, conspiracy theorists, a witch hunt, etc., etc. and undermining the wall of PIE propaganda that derails discussion of it.
As far as the above points go, I think we were ready for opDeathEaters, and I think it has been accepted far beyond what I could have achieved in prior years. As far as the next steps, actually getting concrete action to result, I think we will. MSF have recently called for independent investigations into war crimes, and many other groups seem to be starting to think that way as well, it is not seen as eccentric as most people thought it was last year. These are the long term goals. It is obviously #4 holding us up which is my own personal bottleneck: When we can get past that, the researchers will be able to move much more quickly and convince people of the need for inquiries much more easily.
I think the most important (and the most difficult) achievements have been in countering deeply entrenched propaganda. Mainstream acceptance of stories of politicians blackmailed for paedosadism, of the vast extent of the industry, the rebuttal of ‘pedophilia’ as a sexual orientation and the backlash against the media framing with words like ‘sex scandals’ and ‘rent boys’ has I think come a very long way in a year. That was the most difficult part, getting people to believe the story and giving them a framework to place it in. Now that is largely done, there is nothing stopping the movement from becoming as big as it needs to (except waiting on me >_<). People investigating or trying to set up inquiries are now just proceeding in a fairly straightforward work with widespread acceptance and an international support network which is slowly growing. (‘Straightforward’ in no way meant to diminish the still very real danger to investigators and activists everywhere.)
That is at least my perspective, ymmv. I am finally hearing very mainstream news watchers talking about the networks and even about opDeathEaters by name, I have seen opDeathEaters graffitti on walls in Argentina and the slogan on a sweatshirt in Sweden, and I saw allegations against a Canadian politician this year accepted with no surprise as a possible part of this wider network. Compared to last year when most of the people I know still considered pedophilia to be a rare ‘sexual orientation’ and talk of powerful paedosadists would destroy anyone’s credibility, I think that is a big step. And we are progressing and I see no loss of interest, the campaign has gone from just me and a huge pushback of disbelief and every form of discrediting to a consistently active and widely respected op which doesn’t really require my involvement any more.
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