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Below I have reproduced an open letter sent to the members of the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, by members of CESNUR (English: Center for Studies on New Religions, Italian: Centro Studi sulle Nuove Religioni), imploring them not to pass a seemingly repressive law.
The law is intended to restrict the operations of groups defined as “cults”.
However, according to CESNUR, it is based on “faulty notions of ‘cult’ and ‘brainwashing,'” which were “discredited long ago among scholars”.
The CESNUR letter, signed by CESNUR founder-director Massimo Introvigne, an Italian sociologist and attorney and religious scholars from Europe, the Americas and Australia, says the proposed law “would introduce the possibility of declaring the members of new religious movements mentally incompetent, thus opening the way to the practice of deprogramming, which most courts around the world have declared illegal and criminal.”
CESNUR was established in 1988 by a group of religious scholars from universities in Europe and the Americas, working in the field of new religious movements. It defines itself as being independent of any religious group, church, denomination or association. It has evolved into a network of scholars and organizations who study the field.
Photograph of Knesset copied from CESNUR website.
We are scholars who have devoted a substantial part of our career to the study of new religious movements, sometimes referred to as “cults” in the media. Indeed, one of the most studied topics in our field is the so called “cult wars” of the late 20th century in the United States and Europe, when a societal reaction developed against the success in the West of new religious movements, either imported from Asia or domestic ones. Parents and the media did not understand why youths might be willing to sacrifice their careers in order to spend their lives in an exotic religious organization. A handful of psychologists imported from Cold War American propaganda against Communism the notion of “brainwashing,” arguing that these youths did not join the groups voluntarily but were manipulated by sinister “gurus” using mysterious mind control techniques. These therapists and their supporters labeled the groups allegedly using “brainwashing” as “cults.” Lawsuits were instituted against “cults” for the assumed use of “brainwashing” and anti-cult statutes were proposed in several U.S. states.
Sociologists and other social scientists reacted against the “brainwashing” theories, claiming that they were not part of accepted science and were used as a simple tool to deny religious liberty to unpopular groups labeled as “cults.” The argument, they claimed, was circular: we know that certain groups are “cults” because they use “brainwashing,” and we know that they use “brainwashing” because, rather than persuading young people to embrace “reasonable” spiritual teachings, they spread bizarre forms of belief, i.e. they are “cults.” Anti-cult activists and therapists countered that public opinion and governments should not believe academic social scientists, who were often “cult apologists” or “hired guns” for the “cults,” but instead give credence to the “victims” accounts. The latter were the disgruntled ex-members who had left the “cults,” either spontaneously or after the forcible intervention – called “deprogramming” – of self-styled “counselors,” who kidnapped the “cultists,” kept them confined, and submitted them to various forms of psychological and often physical violence.
In the end a massive number of studies proved that “cults” accused of using the so called “brainwashing” techniques obtained a very low percentage of conversions, proving that these techniques, if they existed at all, were not very successful. Scholars also explained why “apostates,” i.e. ex-members who left a group and had a score to settle, were not the most reliable witnesses about what happened in their former organizations. They added that only a few ex-members became militant “apostates,” i.e. active opponents of the groups they had left. Most ex-members quietly pursued other interests and when they were interviewed, remembered their past experience with no particular ill feelings. However, since only apostates contacted the media, their point of view came to be wrongly regarded as representative of the average ex-members, while in fact it reflected the views of a minority only. It should be added that the word “apostate” is used by sociologists as a technical term and does not imply any derogatory judgement.
In 1990 in the case U.S. v. Fishman, a federal court in California concluded that “brainwashing” was not a scientific concept and that testimony about “cults” based on the brainwashing theory was not admissible in American courts of law. Fishman was the beginning of the end for the American anti-cult movement’s social relevance, and proposals for anti-cult or anti-brainwashing statutes were quietly dropped by their proponents. Deprogramming was considered illegal in most court cases, and some deprogrammers went to jail. Nevertheless, “brainwashing” theories and anti-cultism remained popular in other countries, although similar academic criticism prevented anti-cult laws from being passed in most countries of the world. One exception was the French About-Picard law of 2001, but once it was passed, it was rarely applied.
Viewed from abroad, what is going on in Israel appears as a curious remake of the “cult wars” that we witnessed decades ago in the United States and Europe. As it happened during the “cult wars” a small number of apostates, who were not typical of the majority of members who left the new religious movements harboring no particular grievance against them, were promoted by the moral entrepreneurs of the anti-cult movement. They were mistaken for typical ex-members and received a disproportionate attention by certain media.
Esteemed members of the Knesset:
You have now in front of you a law proposal based on the faulty notions of “cult” and “brainwashing,” discredited long ago among scholars, which would introduce the possibility of declaring the members of new religious movements mentally incompetent, thus opening the way to the practice of deprogramming, which most courts around the world have declared illegal and criminal.
Those who support the law rely on the experiences of a few disgruntled ex-members. In some cases, less than ten ex-members are regarded as the only reliable sources about groups including thousands of followers. This approach is not part of social science, nor is it part of common sense. Militant anti-cultists have a very limited and partial experience of the groups they criticize based on the anecdotical stories of a few former members, unlike professional scholars who use broader quantitative and qualitative methods and whose works, before being published, are thoroughly reviewed by their peers.
In the few countries where they have been passed, laws based on theories such as “brainwashing” have been used to discriminate against minority groups whose ideas are regarded as unpopular or marginal. Under the guise of punishing deeds rather than creeds, in fact, it is precisely creeds that are judged and punished. We certainly do not deny that some new religious movements commit crimes or harm their followers. They should be investigated and prosecuted according to the general laws. Special laws that make “being a cult” a crime, or that punish the imaginary wrongdoing of “brainwashing” are tools aimed at denying basic religious freedoms to groups that have committed no real crimes.
We respectfully urge you not to pass the proposed law,
Professor of Sociology of Religions
Pontifical Salesian University, Torino, Italy
Managing Director, CESNUR (Center for Studies on New Religions), Torino, Italy
Associate Professor, Department of Sociology
Vytautas Magnus University, Kaunas, Lithuania
The Reunion Institute, Houston, Texas
Duke University, Durham, North Carolina
David V Barrett
Author, The New Believers, London
David G. Bromley
Professor, Religious Studies and Sociology
Director, World Religions and Spirituality Project
Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia
George D. Chryssides
Honorary Research Fellow in Religious Studies, York St John University, UK
Formerly Head of Religious Studies, University of Wolverhampton, UK
Carole M. Cusack
Professor of Religious Studies
The University of Sydney, NSW, Australia
Groupe de Sociologie des Religions et de la laïcité
Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS), Paris, France
School of Theology
Charles Sturt University, Canberra, Australia
Professor of Religion
Professor in Religious Studies
Dalarna University, Sweden
Assistant Professor of Religious Studies
Editor, Religious Studies Review
University of Central Florida, Orlando
John R. Hall
University of California – Davis
Groupe Société, Religions, Laïcité
École Pratique des Hautes Études, Paris, France
Professor Emeritus, Philosophy and Religious Studies
University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire
Professor of Religious Studies
Stetson University, DeLand, Florida
J. Gordon Melton
Distinguished Professor of American Religious History
Baylor University, Waco, Texas
Professor of Religious Studies
University of Kansas
Division of Social Sciences
University of California – Davis
Susan Jean Palmer
Professor of Religious Studies
Dawson College, Montréal, Québec
James T. Richardson
Foundation Professor of Sociology and Judicial Studies
Director, Judicial Studies Program
University of Nevada, Reno
Professor of North American Literature and Civilization
Université Michel de Montaigne-Bordeaux 3, France
Jean E. Rosenfeld
Formerly with University of California – Riverside
Richard C. Salter
Associate Professor of Religious Studies
Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Geneva, New York
Distinguished Professor of the Social Sciences
Baylor University, Waco, Texas
James D. Tabor
Department of Religious Studies
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Rev. H. James Yamauchi, S.J., Professor of the History of Religions
Loyola University New Orleans
Donald A. Westbrook
Faculty for the Comparative Study of Religion and Humanism (FVG), Antwerp, Belgium
Adjunct Assistant Professor of Church History
Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena
Stuart A. Wright
Professor and Chair, Department of Sociology, Social Work & Criminal Justice
Lamar University, Beaumont, Texas
CESNUR, Torino, Italy
Given the obscurity of the Book of Revelation, the complexity of United States-Barbados-British relations, the minefield that intersects at gender, race and religious politics and other themes that I am pursuing simultaneously in this series of articles I think it is vital that I offer the following background and statement of Clinterests.
My unshakable conviction that Barbados’ Honorary Consul to India, Dr Philomena Mohini Harris, University of the West Indies Vice Chancellor professor Sir Hilary Beckles, former prime minister Owen Arthur, current Opposition, Barbados Labour Party leader Mia Mottley and other crucially still alive Barbadians, are at the centre of life and death situations that require urgent, meticulously managed attention, also mandates that I communicate as forthrightly and forcefully as possible.
I am also mindful of what I consider former PM Arthur’s finest hour, possibly, when in 2005 he announced he would not be accepting a $33,000+ pay increase to which a public service pay review had deemed him entitled.
My awareness of how I may benefit personally from what I share here sparks a similar ambivalence.
But I break that tension and rise above that “awkward moment”, to use Arthur’s words, because I am motivated by a profound politics engaging and transcending duty of care to alert Barbadian, American, British, Indian, Nigerian and other citizens to the self-destructive, Talibank thinking that, like billionaire beast Donald Trump, confuses bullying cowardice with courage and equates glory-grabbing with the greatness that can only come from doing good.
This, incidentally, is also Hilary Clinton’s main challenge – as her male machismo mimicking, media courting, fictitious Bosnia bullets ducking ‘awkward moment’ of the 2008 presidential contest exposed.
Herein lies the tragedy of the Trump spectacle: his obvious oblivion to the fact that his campaign is a study in Al Queda approximating ‘Al Koh’l-ism’ (Read about the roots of alcohol in Arabian vanity here).
True greatness will not always be appreciated or celebrated, even when it is understood.
And greatness shouldn’t always be celebrated, because at our greatest we are still fallible.
This is why I have not given up on Clinton, a Christ-bride, church-like figure: a virtual “woman clothed with the sun”, whose fallibility is apt to be exposed in her most public moments.
It is why I maintain a fundamental goodwill toward Barbados Labour Party leader Mia Mottley, though I remain critical of her ‘down low’ demagoguery and am not likely to ever support her prime ministerial ambitions.
My views on Clinton, Arthur, Mottley, Mohini and others reflects my acceptance of the complementarity between the divine and the human that fundamentalist evangelical atheists, with the best will in the world, will never be able to grasp.
And what hope have any of us of competently engaging with the divine ‘sense of humour’ that would bring together a tale of ‘three Hilarys’ (Clinton of the US, Beckles of Barbados and Benn of England) if we cannot navigate the alternating light and darkness behind all reality?
What hope have any of us of recognizing and realizing the vital cosmic relief that we need to survive the bestial, brutish routine of our daily communicating if we have no sense of the universe’s comic timing?
On Thursday, 29 November, 2007 at 13:00 hours local Caribbean time an earthquake of magnitude 7.4 shook Barbadians’ excessive self-reliance.
I was driving my ‘half-sister’ Yvette’s car along Howell’s Cross Road at the time and had just come adjacent to the Barbados Community College when I felt the effects of the road shifting under it.
I brought the car to a halt and then watched as utility poles lining that road swayed.
But another seven or eight years would pass before I realized the significance of where I was on that eve of Barbados’ 21st Independence Day celebrations.
I certainly had no inkling of the shadowy, shockingly superficial yet deeply destabilizing, Iago-like role played in my business affairs by poet-educator Esther Phillips, a former BCC lecturer.
It would be longer still before I sensed the numinous or symbolic significance of my relationship with the owner of the car I was driving: the sister who was ‘adopted’ by my father, as Nero had been by Claudius, and who has habitually been informing our other siblings and I that while she may have received the least formal education, she is the most intelligent “of all of mummy’s children”.
However, less than two months after that Barbados earthquake, on Wednesday, 27 February, 2008, at 00:56, I experienced the Lincolnshire earthquake while sitting in my home in Norfolk, a neighbouring English county.
Having been a student of the oracular and the obscure for several years by the time I experienced those ‘twin’ earthquakes, I was deeply affected by the experience.
So by the time Barbados was shaken by a magnitude 6.5 earthquake on Tuesday, 18 February, 2014, I was well placed to anticipate what would follow in England: the magnitude 4:1 earthquake that struck in the Bristol Channel two days later, on Thursday, February 20.
Since then I have been chronicling increasing, uncharacteristic seismic activity in and around Barbados with varying degrees of anxiety, optimism and fascination.
I have also been ‘mapping the coordinates’ of psycho-socially ground-shaking events within ‘Revelatory triangles’, typically linking Barbados, the UK and North America (including Canada) but also Barbados, the UK and India-Pakistan, the cite of Dr Mohini’s roots.
These biblical Book of Revelation-like events include:
My study of the timing and related characteristics of these and other events has convinced me of the validity of the view of the world in which I and other oracles ‘live and move and have our being’, in line with the biblical teaching of Acts 17:28.
Pearl Bayliss-Woods of Elim Pentecostal church in Norfolk was healed of multiple sclerosis in 1998 and can attest to the reality of divine intervention.
As can my friend “K” (previously identified as ‘Steven’, if I recall correctly), a penitent homosexual healed of full-blown AIDS while on his deathbed in Barbados.
I believe that Pearl and K would affirm the perilous state of the human condition, and especially the threats to our children, born and unborn, that is encapsulated in the message of Revelation.
Standing with Karl Jung, albeit with qualifications, as I consider his alleged beast-like sexual over-familiarity with at least one female child reprehensible, I affirm and echo his concern that:
“Modern man does not understand how much his ‘rationalism’ (which has destroyed his capacity to respond to numinous symbols and ideas) has put him at the mercy of the psychic ‘underworld’. He has freed himself from ‘superstition’ (or so he believes), but in the process he has lost his spiritual values to a positively dangerous degree. His moral and spiritual tradition has disintegrated, and he is now paying the price for this break-up in worldwide disorientation and dissociation.”
Like Pearl of divine providence, and K, an oracle for those who have ears to hear, Jung’s life and work, like my own, attests to the divine-human concursus that transcends race, religion, gender, language and similar temporal-spatial classifications.
It attests to the access we can all enjoy to the mustard seed science that moves the earth.
When former Barbados Prime Minister Owen Arthur speaks, I’m inclined to listen.
After all, it took exceptional survival skills for that former big beast of Caribbean and international politics to survive the minefield of Barbados’ fundamentally incestuous, cruelly colour-coded and otherwise complicated political landscape and firmament.
And as Barbados’ longest serving PM to-date, the former Barbados Labour Party leader Arthur didn’t just survive our island’s rough and tumble, Russia-entangled, American-stranglehold-mangled, declining-British-imperial-ties-testing political furnace: he excelled in it.
With a rhetorical subtlety and inclusive, soft power appeal that aligns him more closely with Clinton than Trump, arguably, Arthur rose above Barbados’ legacy of gender, racial and religious disunity and divisiveness as he preached a gospel of socio-political inclusion and cohesiveness.
As biographer James Manheim notes, Arthur was quoted in Current Leaders of Nations as saying “No country can ever truly develop unless it finds the means of engrossing everyone in the task of nation building, whatever their class, creed, colour or political persuasion.”
Like the apostolic church builder, the ‘Man from St Peter’ stood like a Colossus, bestriding the geopsychic landscape of Barbados’ dependent, independent and interdependent history.
Visibly and invisibly building on foundations laid for him by his prime ministerial predecessors Errol Barrow, Tom Adams, Bernard St John and, especially Erskine Sandiford, in whose political demise he played a key role, ironically, ‘King Arthur’ consolidated the multi-jewelled crown of their collective achievements: Barbados’, internationally admired and emulated “social partnership”.
As the literacy-limited, charisma-curbed educator Sandiford floundered under the weight of ideological and personal conflicts that emerged after he controversially assumed the leadership of the Democratic Labour Party, then Opposition leader Arthur seized the initiative, virtually hijacking the Sandiford crystallized social compact, the first ever tried and tested labour and capital reconciling national development preserving and perpetuating pact in the world, reputedly.
And for 14 years that shrewd beast Arthur, Barbados’ longest serving PM to date flourished.
Until his crown was lifted by another political big beast: a tough-talking-Trump-like, political stage monopolizing “woman clothed with the sun” (Revelation 12:1); his BLP party colleague Mia Mottley.
Aided and abetted by the truth subverting hubris of professor Sir Hilary Beckles, David Comissiong and other reverse racists (dubbed Negrocrats by Arthur), the connivance of Clinterest motivated male and female fundamentalist feminists, a number of religion manipulating opportunists and other dragon-driven allies in the Barbadian, Caribbean and international communities, Mottley undermined Arthur, amplifying his shortcomings and understating the good he had achieved.
Something I am sure many a good husband will understand: even giving our best may not be enough.
This is not to say that Arthur was blameless in his own eventual defeat.
As I have been careful to point out in the first article in this series, we are all fallible, being fallen Adam and Eve’s seed.
And this idea of ‘the fall’ is clearly as prominent a theme in the Apocalypse (Revelation) John received on the isle of Patmos as it is in the Genesis account of humanity’s creation and evolution.
So too is the principle of male-female interdependence that I have until now been dancing around.
But those familiar with my Woman-I-Zen project, in which the speech impaired Norfolk mystic and ‘oracle’ Janice Gurney is prominent will have some idea of the centrality of this theme in my life and work. As I argue in my 2005 essay Fundamentalist Feminism, a healthy recognition of male-female complementarity and interdependence is the indispensable prerequisite of all sound, sustainable social partnership: the indispensable basis of coherent, cohesive social interaction.
I also revisited this theme indirectly in a brief Twitter exchange about gay parenting and adoption issues with BBC broadcaster Kenan Malik, a non-identical thought twin of Sanders’ adviser Richard Sugarman, ostensibly.
That was on 21 July 2015.
I had not yet heard of Sanders, so far as I am aware.
And until 18 February, 2016, at approximately 20:00, I had not known of his child adopting background, as I had not yet read his Wikipedia page.
To be continued…
“The conventional wisdom holds that Donald Trump is playing into the hands of ISIS. His call for ‘a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States’ — a temporary measure, he says, ‘until we can figure out what the hell is going on’ — has served only to divide America, offend and inflame Muslims worldwide, and quite possibly drive deeper into alienation the small minority of disaffected Muslims who are teetering on radicalism’s edge.”
This is how American journalist and former Mitt Romney adviser Gabriel Schoenfeld describes the impact of the obscene, incendiary rhetoric of Republican Party presidential front-runner Donald Trump.
I go further: I think the self-lionizing Trump’s opportunistic rhetoric twins him with the archetypal, apocalyptic “Beast” described in the Bible, especially in the Book of Revelation, chapter 13.
And reading the first part of verse 5 of chapter 13, which as translated by The Message version of the Bible reads “The Beast had a loud mouth, boastful and blasphemous,” I think the ‘lion mouthed’ Trump fits the biblical Beast’s description particularly accurately.
Coincidentally, or, if my atheistic adversaries will permit me, providentially, The Message: The Bible In Contemporary Language (to use its full title) was published by another more subtly brash American, Eugene H Peterson.
And while not as patently publicity crazed or self-promoting as “the Donald”, in Peterson, a founding pastor of Christ Our King Presbyterian Church in Bel Air, Maryland, one can detect a germ of the beastly arrogance and conceit that can afflict and ruin us all.
Unsurprisingly, that proud human corruptibility or fallibility is particularly borne out in Peterson’s ambition to ‘popularize’ the Bible’s message, which seems to have been motivated fundamentally by his failure to fully appreciate the lethalness of “written things”: the relative futility of literacy.
“The letter killeth”, we are warned in 2 Corinthians 3:6.
In his failure to grasp the fossilizing, fragmenting effect that written words have on human intelligence, there is a trace of the ecclesiastical vanity that disposes all Christians, and especially pastors and other church office holders to Beast-like blasphemy.
Like the anti-Christian Roman emperor Nero, of the first century AD, we become deluded by our own visibility and volubility.
The deceptive, black and white “bigness” of ideas reduced to writing feeds our predisposition to moral obesity.
As Trump’s, Louis Farrakhan’s and others’ pre-emptive violence applauding and justifying rhetoric demonstrates, it predisposes us to the fatty philosophizing or thick thinking that encourages a resort to brute force.
Like cholesterol, ‘clogging’ and corrupting the internal (conscience) and external (societal) communication pathways that ensure the consistency of thought, word and deed, that I like to call the continuum of character, a preoccupation with written things can frustrate our best intentions.
Poison mushrooming “Food of the gods” indeed!
Atomic heir of Adamic fear, truly.
Note that Suetonius Paulinus, one of Nero’s generals implicated both Nero and his mother Agrippina in the murder of the emperor Claudius, his adopted father.
Agrippina is believed to have fed Claudius poison mushrooms.
Suetonius claimed that Nero cruelly ridiculed the dead Claudius by labeling mushrooms the ‘food of the gods’ in his use of that Greek saying.
A low, mean wall
I expect that my comparison of the obnoxious, proudly materialistic billionaire Trump and the unquestionably devout, spiritual-humility-advocating Peterson will offend that patently pious, undoubtedly well meaning man and his many admirers profoundly.
That is not my intention.
But I must assert that while I too am an admirer of Peterson, his pastoral achievements do not blind me to his fallible humanity any more than The Donald’s material wealth blinds me to his spiritual poverty.
I am no more enamored of Peterson’s gifts, I hope, than I am of my own still blossoming prophetic potential and abilities.
How could I be proud of any talent I possess when I know how easily I fail?
It would be lunacy to insist on others’ admiration or adoration stubbornly when I know how easily my own beast can seize control of or override and subvert my good sense and sensitivity – not least when a she-beast is in my presence!
And yet, in spite of my fallibility, it turns out that my twinning of Trump and Peterson and the comparison of that pair here with Nero Caesar (the Zero Caesar?) is even more apropos than I imagined when I set about it on Monday, February 8, 2016, buttressed as I was by my recent discussion with Barbadian historian Karl Watson and others discussing the wall of 98% literacy that confines Barbadians’ psycho-social liberty.
Last year it had occurred to me that the real estate magnate Trump’s wall-building proposal stood to benefit him financially, more than anyone else.
But it was only today (February 9) as I researched Nero, who according to his contemporary Apollonius of Tyana was called “that beast” by some critics and who preterist interpreters identify as the “first beast” mentioned in the Book of Revelation that I learned of Nero’s Trump-like “low and mean wall”.
It was only as I learned of that wall which Nero had constructed as a rather moronic Neronic tribute to the deceased Claudius that I gained a fuller appreciation of the prophetic trajectory that my thinking about Trump is on.
Note that in the universalist context that I am constructing here, Claudius is not just an archetype or symbol of America’s Founding Fathers.
The betrayal Claudius suffered (or justice meted out to him, depending on your perspective ) at Agrippina and Nero’s hands could just as easily be applied to Errol Barrow, Barbados’ ‘Father of Independence’, Winston Churchill or the peace advocate Hilary Benn.
My prior linking of Trump and Hilary Clinton with the race-racketeering ideological excesses of Barbados’ Adolf Hitler-approximating current Prime Minister, Freundel Stuart and his Joseph Goebbels reverse-racist-ideology propaganda peddling proxy, Sir Hilary Beckles, therefore take on a deeper spiritual and practical significance than even I had imagined.
While I had intuitively linked the phenomenon of biogenetic coding with that of written codes years ago (as a certain American aide to the Ethiopian Royal Family living in the US may recall) only today is it becoming clear to me just how the racial colour coding that blights Indian society, for example, may be related not only metaphorically but also metabolically to our ‘consumption’ of written codes.
More on that later, when I cast Hilary Clinton in the role or mystic mould of “the Beast” and the role of “a woman clothed with the sun” (Revelation 12:1), simultaneously .
I will also be addressing Bernie Sanders’ beastly propensities, especially the meaty ‘materialist dialectical’ analysis that is the basis of his appeal to many young people at the University of Illinois and other American, British, Canadian, Caribbean, Chinese, Indian and other universities.
Less enthusiastically (with deep regret, actually), but as a matter of necessity, I will be ‘rosecuting’ the case of Dr Philomena Mohini Harris, Barbados’ Honorary Consul to India.
Note: You can hear Peterson explaining his rationale for creating The Message Bible here: http://www.calvin.edu/january/2006/media/A13617Peterson.mp3
Dear Chief Constable Bailey,
Norfolk MP Clive Lewis’ office has responded to my recent open letter to you by subtly threatening legal action.
On Friday, January 15, I received an email from Mr Lewis’ assistant “Jamie”, who I believe to be “Jamie Smith”, an activist that maintains the Norwich South MP’s website.
The email takes issue with my informing you and the Norfolk and wider UK public that Mr Lewis has been implicated in a Barbados-sown, globally-grown race, religion and gender racketeering criminal conspiracy.
Dear Mr Campbell Thank you for your email regarding claims against Mr Lewis and the blog post documenting the meeting held between yourself, myself and my colleague Adam. I have contacted the legal team at Labour Party HQ regarding this and suggest you remove it. Please do not contact our office about this issue in future.
Office of Clive Lewis MP
CC Bailey, up to the time of writing this article I had not responded to “Jamie” (or Mr Smith) but I do not intend to “remove” the one that seems to have I have made Mr Lewis incensed.
I will not be intimidated by a former BBC Norfolk reporter-turned-politician.
Frankly, I am a bit surprised by this tactic as it suggests that Mr Lewis is not even going to try to project the illusion that he, a political reporter, cares about press freedom.
Moreover, it suggests that Mr Lewis shares his former BBC Norfolk colleague Mike Liggins’ rather patently prejudiced, low opinion of me: an opinion he holds to the BBC’s and the Norfolk and wider UK public’s detriment.
I will do nothing to encourage their misguided, morally suspect opinion of me, my methods or my motives.
I will not be party to that conspiracy.
I will not encourage or indulge those conspirators or others in the delusion that I can be persuaded to abandon my crusade for justice for my client and myself by ill-advised, litigious threats.
Ironically, as I wrote this article on Sunday, January 17, I happened to tune in to The Andrew Marr Show on BBC One (television) where Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was denouncing Britain’s “grotesque levels of inequality” at every opportunity his host presented.
I could not help but marvel at the fact that Mr Lewis’ threat to have his party’s considerable legal and other resources deployed against me sets up just the kind of unequal, privilege exploiting, big bully basher scenario that both he and Mr Corbyn claim to be challenging!
Finally, but only because I thought I should save this most intriguing item of evidence for last, not because I am unaware of its significance: I note that the “Office of Clive Lewis MP” email does not even allude to the dilemma of my client.
I think it speaks volumes that Mr Lewis’ office makes no attempt to even create the impression that this Labour Party politician’s concern for his public image is matched by any concern for how Norfolk County Council and your organization, Norfolk Police, is treating the vulnerable, 24-hour-care-needing adult that is my client.
I think this extraordinary email is a study in public image pinned and propelled political over-reaction.
I cannot see how any of the many people being affected by Norfolk County Council failings (be those failings the consequence of criminal fraudulent or “innocent” incompetence) might find any hope or comfort in the self-obsession signalled by Mr Lewis’ official response to my article.
Empathizing with the relatively newly minted parliamentarian Mr Lewis, the Barbados-sown, globally-grown criminal conspiracy that he is being implicated in by a considerable, growing body of evidence (as is the evidence implicating the BBC, the Eastern Daily Press, the University of Illinois, the East Anglia Diocese of the Roman Catholic Church, the Eastern Daily Press, Lloyds Bank and other individuals and organizations) is, in a word, breath-taking.
CC Bailey, this more than 30 years-running conspiracy (or series of conspiracies) that I have been begging you and other law enforcement, news media, religious and other individuals and organizations to help me fight has apparently floored or enfeebled the legal battle-hardened Laura Clower, Senior Counsel at the University of Illinois.
Since contacting me on January 4th about this matter, Ms Clower seems to have gone psycho-socially “missing in action”.
But I am trusting that she will speedily be restored to her fighting fit, ethically equipped self, perhaps with her UofI colleagues’ (like Head and Gutgsell Professor, Education Policy, Organization and Leadership, James D. Anderson and Acting Chancellor Barbara Wilson) and Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan and Governor Bruce Rauner’s help.
Professor Anderson, whose many credits include authorship of Forgotten Genius: The Percy Julian Story, can clearly bring some useful evidence detecting and narrative composing skills to the UofI’s investigation and contextualization of the quite complex global, criminal conspiratorial web that the Barbados government, the Anglican Church’s Barbados diocese and other parties have spun.
But my point is that given the magnitude and complexity of the Barbados MP Donville Inniss facilitated criminal conspiracy, I can understand how Mr Lewis might assume that it is inevitably linked to the much smaller Norfolk County Council criminal conspiracy against myself and my client.
He might assume that a “wheel within a wheel” relationship exists between to the two things.
However, I have not made that assumption.
More crucially though, as sympathetic as I am with Mr Lewis’ and others’ conspiracies blurring or similar dilemmas or problems (including yours CC Bailey), I cannot change the course upon which I have embarked.
I cannot abandon my client’s and my interests or limit our perfectly reasonable, human rights, tax-paying and otherwise supported expectations and ambitions.
What I will do is share with you and the good people of Norfolk a series of emails between Mr Lewis’ office and myself that should help put my belief that he is implicated in the bigger conspiracy in perspective.
The longest of these emails includes a record of my October 2, 2015 meeting with Jamie and Mr Adam Giles, the other member of “Team Clive” mentioned in the email I received on January 15.
Mr Lewis was supposed to attend that constituency surgery meeting but just before it began I was informed that he could not do so because he had been delayed in London.
Please note that I was told this several minutes after I had arrived at MP Lewis’ surgery, housed in the Graham Dacre-owned Open premises located on Bank Plain in Norwich.
The ownership of the building is significant, as Mr Dacre, a local millionaire, has strong ties to Barbados’ religious establishment.
But I shall have to elaborate on what that could mean in another article.
My record of the meeting was composed days after it occurred and I submitted it to Mr Lewis’ office where it was verified by Mr Giles.
Indeed, as one email makes clear, he even suggested I added an item of evidence of Barbados government bullying that I had mentioned but failed to include in my record of our October 2 conversation.
Here are the emails:
From: “Jay Campbell” Sent: 9 October 2015 13:45
To: Office of Clive Lewis MP
Subject: Re: Case Ref: ZA 0197 – Record of Friday, October 2, 2015 meeting (Case Ref: ZA0497)
Hi Adam Thanks for getting back to me. I will add the items that you mentioned to my record. I will also add my suggestion that Mr Lewis may be able to assist me through his links to the media, especially his links to BBC Norfolk. I am currently receiving professional counselling to help me deal with the stress of my situation.
If I think it prudent to have my counsellor (or my GP) contact Mr Lewis I will facilitate that. While I’m on this topic: I did see my counsellor on Tuesday and discussed my meeting with yourself and Jamie with him.
I also informed him that I will not be providing the list Jamie requested at this point. I believe that the information I have provided so far is enough to at least warrant some attempt by Mr Lewis to establish the truth (or not) of my claims – especially my claim about Barbadian MP Donville Inniss’ abuse of my business name.
Also, inform Mr Lewis that it is my studied opinion that if he is really concerned for my mental and/or emotional wellbeing, his energies may be more effectively used by using his contacts with the National Union of Journalists and other entities and individuals to help me break the psycho-socially oppressive, stranglehold of silence that BBC Norfolk, the wider BBC and other UK, Caribbean, US, Canadian and other media houses and their political co-assassins have been imposing on me!
Founder-PrincipalIntelek International | | | | | |
Junior Campbellabout.me/Junior.Campbell | | | |
On Thursday, 8 October 2015, 11:24, Office of Clive Lewis MP wrote:
Dear Mr Campbell
Thank you for this e-mail composing a brief record of our meeting last Friday.
Could you just please add what you said in the meeting regarding the cancellation of a performance in Barbados in front of a Brazilian diplomat, and the BBC not reporting on a scandal you alleged to have discovered in relation to Dominoes in the UK.
I gather that the character assassination campaign that you believe the Barbadian Government are engaging in against you is causing you a great deal of stress.
Would you be prepared for us to contact your GP to highlight our concern for your welfare? If so, what is their name and contact details? Kind regards Adam Giles ________________________________________
From: “Jay Campbell” Sent: 7 October 2015 05:48
To: Office of Clive Lewis MP
Subject: Case Ref: ZA 0197 – Record of Friday, October 2, 2015 meeting
Dear Mr Lewis
Below I have compiled a brief record of my meeting with Jamie and Adam of your Support Team last Friday.
Please let me know if there are any corrections or additions that you wish to make.
Record of Friday, October 2, 2015 meeting
I was greeted by Jamie and informed that Mr Lewis was held-up in London and would not be attending the meeting.
I was asked to explain the matter I wanted Mr Lewis to address. I offered a brief summary, recounting the situation I had described in an email to Mr Lewis’ office on September 29, 2015.
Here is that information again: “I’m the object of what appears to be a Barbados-sown, globally-grown, long-running campaign of character assassination, economic sabotage and political subterfuge.”
I also noted that both the ruling Democratic Labour Party and the opposition Barbados Labour Party are members of the Socialist International in London, as is (sic) the British Labour Party.
I also said that so far as I could tell members of the Labour Party, the Conservative Party and the Liberal Democrats were complicit in the campaign against me.
Prompted by a comment by Adam about “colonial relations”, I sought to make it clear that I do not subscribe to the common notion that the British-Barbados colonial relationship was a “one-way” arrangement with benefits accruing to the British and losses being borne by Barbadians.
I was either asked for or simply volunteered information about Barbadian MP Donville Inniss’ attack on my business, Intelek International, as an example of the kind of violations I was being subjected to by the Barbados government.
I shared how months after I created the domain name Intelek.net, Mr Inniss created the domain name Intelek.com but has never created an Intelek.com website.
I noted that he has instead linked the domain name Intelek.com – and in turn, my business – to the pornography website Orgasm.com, in which he has or has had a proprietorial interest.
The domain name Intelek.com was originally registered to his catering company, Fiesta Catering International.
Jamie asked for another example of the attacks to which I have been subjected and I told him and Adam about how I appear to have been targeted by MI5 or some other security body as a possible Al Queda affiliate, because of my association with Barbadian Pan Africanists who had participated in the ill-fated 2001 UN anti-racism Conference that preceded the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Jamie said the person, a total stranger, who linked me to Al Queda might have been a lunatic.
Adam said it might just have been a racially motivated slight.
I explained that UN Conference context, which I had not previously stated.
I had only mentioned that this stranger had approached me in the Millennium Library with bizarre questions, and I felt he might have been misinformed by the Barbados government.
Jamie then said that Mr Lewis would not be able to help me because the matter would be too controversial.
I replied that controversy is par for the course in politics.
Jamie then said Mr Lewis could not get involved because the matter could lead to a diplomatic incident.
I replied that this too seemed a routine risk of politics. – just another kind of controversy, essentially.
At about this time Jamie said the meeting must end because they were expecting another person.
Adam left the room to collect the person who had the next appointment.
I asked if we could continue until that person, who was late, arrived.
Jamie said no. I believe it was around this time, as I was preparing to leave, that I mentioned that my former local MP Simon Wright had offered to help but achieved little ultimately.
I also noted that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office had merely suggested I hire a solicitor. Jamie said why did I raise the matter with Mr Wright as late as I had.
I said I had raised it with him when I found out about Mr Inniss’ attack. Jamie asked for a list of other attacks.
I agreed to provide the list. I said I had hoped that Mr Lewis could work with me constructively and creatively and that his failure or inability to do so is likely to have consequences for the Labour Party.
I thanked Jamie and Adam for their time, bid (sic) them a good day and left the meeting.
| | | | | | Junior Campbellabout.me/Junior.Campbell |
“The volume of fraud impacting on the United Kingdom is growing in complexity and diversity. Those who commit fraud exploit and profit from misplaced trust and act to the detriment of the public through the serious harm they cause.” (UK College of Policing)
Dear Chief Constable Bailey
I write this open letter to share with you and the good people of Norfolk, my profound concern about the seemingly abysmal fraud detecting and deterring incompetence of some persons employed by Norfolk Police.
I preface my comments with the above quotation, taken from the College Of Policing website, to underscore the point that while I focus on a specific example of police incompetence based on my and one of my business clients’ personal experience, the consequences of this case for the Norfolk and wider UK public are much further reaching.
Indeed I know of a number of care providing business and voluntary (especially family) interests who have complained of similar difficulties.
Today I was visited by one of your officers who I informed of apparent Norfolk County Council complicity in what appears to be a race, religion and/or gender motivated criminal conspiracy that is endangering my psychological and economic wellbeing and that of one of my directly contracted Holistic Home Care and Hospitality clients.
I provided the officer with evidence of NCC’s apparently conspiratorial and fraudulent abuse of its position (as per the Fraud Act 2006) including,
1) NCC’s obstructive and possibly illegal use of Freedom of Information and associated legislation to withhold information from my client and I, and
2) the apparently coercive, manipulative influence it has exerted over my client and myself, aided and abetted at critical junctures by the questionable, possibly fraudulent conduct of some of my clients’ relatives, some of her other carers, the charity Equal Lives, and in one extraordinary instance, a female Norfolk Police employee.
Astoundingly, despite the provision of this evidence, your officer has said that as far as he is concerned there is no evidence of fraud in the situation I described to him.
He said he will refer the matter to his superiors but as far as he’s concerned I have no evidence of fraud, or even of the racial, gender or religious/ideological abuse I alleged.
Based on his overall confidently dismissive tone, I do not get the impression that he has fully taken on board everything that I told him so I am doubtful that his superiors will see past his subjectivity.
I am consequently now fearing even more than previously for my client’s and my psychological and economic wellbeing.
Moreover, I fear that this opportunity to robustly address the reputedly cynical, opportunistic and/or incompetent behaviour of some NCC employees will be missed.
From my perspective, this puts NCC’s more conscientious, hardworking, honest and authentically public-spirited employees at risk – which will in turn have the domino effect of eroding the already demoralized NCC’s capacity to provide quality care to Norfolk residents.
It will also encourage an attitude of cynicism and a sense of impunity among others outside Norfolk, including my client’s relatives, who do not reside in this county.
Please do not let this happen.
My client and I are at your mercy, CC Bailey.
I have sent copies of this open letter to politicians of the major parties, various news houses and other individuals and organizations who possibly could help.
But I am mindful that Mike Liggins of BBC Norfolk has dismissed me as a “crank” in the past.
And while the BBC Trust has given me cause to expect a reversal of the prejudice I have suffered at that state broadcaster’s hands, I am not taking anything for granted.
Also, late last year the Eastern Daily Press, which is running a campaign focusing on mental health informed me that it thinks that my story of the psycho-social challenges I experience simply by being part of Norfolk’s Black and Minority Ethnic community are “too personal” for its audience.
Moreover, as you will see below, my local MP Clive Lewis apparently thinks that I have the intelligence level of the kind of goat he once joked that he and Ed Miliband are not likely to be caught sexually assaulting.
So I really think that you may need to be my client’s and my “salvation” in this situation.
It is customary for some people to blame Conservative Party cuts for the police’s and other public servants’ failure to do their jobs with due care and attention.
Here is a case where the wholehearted and persistent efforts of a client who needs 24-hour care and her private contractor business partner to work collaboratively with NCC in a manner that would save it money have been dismissively spurned and contemptuously rejected.
What I find particularly astounding is that amid all their whinging about government cuts, NCC personnel are not seizing the opportunity to develop and duplicate the client-centred-funding care model I have introduced to them!
Or is NCC’s “seizure” of my Holistic Home Care and Hospitality model a subversive secret?
Before working with this client (I work with others), I approached NCC and sought their advice about a number of matters, including how much I might charge for my services.
I made it clear that I was as keen to be open, transparent and accountable in all my dealings with NCC as I am in my dealings with my client.
When it became apparent that the client was being put in an unnecessarily stressful and apparently exploitable situation by another carer, I turned again to the Council for help.
When my suspicions about that carer’s motives and competence were vindicated, after she apparently walked out on our client, I helped the Council redeem the precarious situation – and at considerable cost to my own health, at one time doing a few 24 hour shifts, because the client needs 24-hour care.
My reward for these exertions and sacrifices has been obstruction after obstruction by NCC Adult Social Services employees and other persons implicated here.
Even as these persons complained about the Council’s lack of funds to cover the cost of her care, they undermined and sabotaged my crowd-funding and other efforts to raise funds on the client’s behalf – efforts that I invited them to partner in.
It would appear that the Council, my client’s relatives, Equal Lives and other parties were more intent on crushing mine and my client’s faith in ourselves, in God and/or in humanity than anything else.
Actually, I have wondered if Norfolk’s reputed atheism, is to some degree responsible for the way NCC has dealt with my client and I.
And in a similar vein, I have noticed a schizophrenic, selective socialist aversion to private enterprise among some NCC staffers and some Norfolk NHS personnel.
I note the historic dominance of the Labour Party in Norfolk, and that political party’s Mitt Romney-recalling, political flip-flopping, Talibank thinking attitude to matters of faith and politics.
I particularly note the already cited, extraordinarily obscene and irreverent comment of my MP, Lewis, during the general election last year.
Sadly, I was subjected to a more subtle and subversive “obscenity” by a member of Mr Lewis’ staff when I visited his constituency office later last year.
He said Mr Lewis could not support my effort to have the Barbados government and its criminally conspiring international allies held to account for their violation of my human rights, especially those rights that pertain to my intellectual property, because it might cause a diplomatic incident.
Perhaps that Team Lewis staff member had heard of my deliberations with the London-based Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU), the morally muddled (or at any rate slow-moving) Mick Thurley of the Roman Catholic Church or some other religious cleric, business person, public servant or other “minister” from whom I have so far only received excuses for inaction in this matter and decided to try to outdo their intelligence insulting claims.
At any rate the ethical confusion that seems to have overtaken the illegal drug-taking, long-time Labour member and ordained Methodist minister Paul Flowers, of Cooperative Bank scandal notoriety, seems to have infested that Lewis colleague’s intellect as well.
And when I reflect on what in retrospect looks like Mr Lewis’ opportunistic posing with religious clerics during the electoral canvassing period last year I am inclined to think the same of Mr Lewis.
It just goes to show that the claim to believe in God can be as hollow and fraudulent as many atheists’ claims to have a monopoly on sound moral reasoning.
CC Bailey, my ongoing research on the “suicide psyche” (with which you may or may not be aware) suggests that atheism, informed by an exaggerated, seemingly evangelical fundamentalist “stoicism” and secularism may well be a factor in the prevalence of suicide in Norfolk and elsewhere in the UK.
It seems to me that fatalism and fraud have become embedded in the minds of a significant segment of Norfolk residents.
If I might paraphrase the Christian apologist Malcolm Muggeridge, might it be the case that because some Norfolk police essentially believe in nothing (that is, in neither God nor other human beings) they will fall for anything?
Widening the context, might Norfolk residents’ atheistic temperaments explain why Norfolk police seems fatalism-and-fraud friendly.
I close with the following two paragraphs from the College of Policing document with which I opened.
They urge consistency in fraud investigation irrespective of ideological or any other persuasion:
“Fraud has been globalised and the reach of the fraudster has increased through the use of new technologies, enabling traditional crime to be committed in new ways through the use of computers, computer networks or other forms of information communications technology.
This advice is intended to support forces to provide a consistent response to investigating fraud.”
One might be forgiven for thinking that the only “diplomatic incident” Mr Lewis really fears is his own and/or other Norfolk and wider UK Labour Party members’ arrest and public disgrace.
(Also read my follow-up letter to CC Bailey at this link: Grotesque Inequality as Clive Lewis MP threatens legal action
Retrieving my Allvoices.com archive – a prelude
First published on my Allvoices.com blog in 2013, the article below is the ideal follow-up to my recently published analysis of the speech Prime Minister Freundel Stuart delivered to launch celebrations of Barbados’ 50th anniversary of independence.
As I indicated in that article, whatever PM Stuart might think in his “heart-of-hearts” or say, as his conscience gives him leave, Barbados currently has a very thin veneer of democracy.
Our country’s democracy does not go very deep.
In fact, by my mustard-seed-science reckoning, Barbados’ democracy is probably about as deep, robust and thoroughgoing as global internet giant Google’s much mooted search engine independence and objectivity.
From my perspective, Mr Stuart and other Barbadian politicians, journalists, academics, priests and business people behave like military police, in much the same way Google’s search engine polices global commerce and democracy.
Retired Canadian diplomat Isaac Goodine who lived in Barbados for a number of years and was the victim of a fraud perpetrated by Barbadian and Jamaican academic, political and business elites can verify the relative partiality and consequent shallowness and impotence of Barbados’ democracy.
In an as yet unpublished booklet called “How Barbados Works”, Goodine has recorded the experience of how he and his wife were allegedly robbed of their retirement fund when they invested in a project called the Knowledge Development Institute (KDI).
Goodine was apparently deceived by Barbadian ‘business guru’ Basil Springer’s and other Bajan elites’ way with words and connections in the global knowledge industry.
Barbadians trade on their knowledge and academic achievements, which is a quite proper and legitimate basis of professional and other competence generally.
I am sure the current senior legal counsel and other executive leadership of the University of Illinois and Massachusetts-based Little South Church will agree.
But academic knowledge and achievement are a very unreliable measure of character, as I go to some lengths to explain in my essay “Informed Faith”.
Intellectual knowledge and related academic achievement are a very unreliable measure of personal integrity.
Take the Oxford educated Nobel Prize winning Trinidadian novelist VS Naipaul for example.
There is no questioning his purely literary prowess or pedigree.
But he’s a self-confessed “great prostitute man”, cheating on his deceased wife Pat serially.
He apparently also beat his long-time concubine Margaret Gooding on numerous occasions and bullied Pat and Margaret routinely, fatally undermining at least the former’s self-esteem.
And Naipaul has also prostituted the Brahmin faith, aided and abetted by the American fantasist Paul Theroux, a writer with whom he has had a fraught, long-running, on-again-off-again, love-hate literary partnership and rivalry.
And then there’s University of the West Indies Vice Chancellor Sir Hilary Beckles whose educational achievements are only surpassed, possibly, by his thinly polished, fundamentally self-serving Pan Africanist political intrigues and demagoguery.
And coincidentally, I understand that today at UWI’s Barbados-based Cave Hill Campus, professor Beckles will be delivering the opening address of the Inaugural Pan African Colloquium.
Beckles, Jamaican academic Horace Campbell, UWI Barbados campus’ principal Dr Eudene Barriteau and others will be gathering to discuss “Heroines and heroes of the back to Africa movements, Pan Africanism, African nationalism and global Africanism: Their philosophies, activities and legacies”
According to promotional material the Colloquium is intended to bring together scholars/researchers, activists and policy makers to “interrogate the philosophical, political, socio-cultural and economic thoughts and legacies” of their Africanist heroes and heroines.
Will they make time to “interrogate” how Beckles links to the British Labour and Tory parties, American Democratic and Republican party politicians and political activists, the CIA, MI6, Barbados’ CID and Jamaica’s judiciary may have conspired to have his son Rodney walk free after killing Jamaican Khalil Campbell?
I think such emancipated, unbiased, roundly and soundly independent “interrogation” is unlikely.
I could go on to list other political, race and religious racketeers – like the Nation of Islam’s Luis Farrakhan, Rev Franklin Graham, the late Holmes Williams of Barbados and Guyana’s Forbes Burnham – who are very knowledgeable and for various other reasons have excelled in their respective fields.
Goodine was apparently taken in by the business speculator (or should that be racketeer?) Springer’s PM Stuart-like eloquence and his connections in Barbados government offices and its business community.
And Springer, now based in Washington, in the USA, probably still trades on the fact that he is the son of late Barbados Governor General Sir Hugh Springer and the goodwill he enjoys among Trinidadian, Jamaican, Guyanese and other old and new moneyed Caribbean, British, Canadian, Brazilian, Indian, American and other elites.
And this is notwithstanding his connections to the scandalously, criminally mismanaged Colonial Life Insurance Company (CLICO), of which he was a one-time Director, I believe.
All these “beautiful people” are also tyrants and terrorists potentially!
And through their direct and indirect links to pornography peddling prince Donville Inniss, they are accessories to his sordid human rights violating activities – which, according to a number of sources that I am in touch with, are linked to the CIA’s and other shadowy international “security” briefs.
But these beauties enjoy a kind of iron-clad impunity by currying favour with media magnates like Rupert Murdoch and Barbadian puny press pontiffs Harold Hoyte and Anthony Bryan, apparently.
They are also aided and abetted by journalists and other writers like Theroux, who as Naipaul official biographer Patrick French demonstrates, has a PM Stuart-like “glib, greasy and slippery” grasp of reality.
And I have absolutely no doubt that most of these people mean well – at some level.
Like the Norfolk police officer in the video above, they probably are doing the best they can with whatever inherited or otherwise transmitted intelligence they have received.
Like my former friend and English-teacher-turned-economic-saboteur, Esther Phillips, they probably have not set out to perpetrate or encourage and thus become accessories to grievous intellectual property rights violations and related human rights abuses, but for various reasons get sucked-in to such criminal conspiracies.
Phillips’ case, possibly rooted in unresolved feelings of betrayal by and hostility toward her ex-husband and the vulnerabilities that emerged when he abandoned her and her then very young daughter, exposing them to Barbados’ predatory, opportunistic polity, is the subject of a forthcoming study.
Has she, like others, made deals with Donville-like devils, himself, like Naipaul, a self-contradicting victim of his own secular ‘scripture’ conceit (‘graphe’, the Greek word behind the English term ‘scripture, in the New Testament, simply means ‘written things’).
Many, like Beckles (and let me add Edward “Kamau” Brathwaite here) are socialist ‘sleep-walkers’ – like Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn, who despite his best intentions seems set to do a ‘Byn Ladin-like 9/11 on his own much loved party.
Many are like some of Norfolk’s white female educators, women of extraordinary courage and compassion but whose grasp on reality, I have long noticed, may in certain circumstances, typically involving Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) males and, in related but differently configured contexts, BME females, be constrained by unconscious gender-sexual, racial and other creative connection seeking, justice motivated anomalies.
I’m currently researching a story in which such anomalies may have resulted in the death of a child in Norfolk.
But my investigation is being impeded by the possibly well-meaning but poorly informed intervention of some persons working for Norfolk Police.
As with Google’s Larry Page, Sergey Brin and that internet industry Goliath’s original financial backer Eric Schmidt (see below), their intelligence about my objectives and “ways and means” seems to be polluted or perverted by predominantly secular, short-sighted assessments of reality.
Like Amazon and Washington Post publishing potentate Jeff Bezos, and some of my former business associates in American academia, at the University of Illinois especially, they look down from their austere, intimidating destroyer-battleship like positions at me, in my colourful little Intelek Bajan fishing boat and assume I will be ‘dispatched’ easily.
And maybe the reprieve my associates and I have allowed Pulse Point-Allvoices’ Sloane Goane, Aki Hashmi and Amra Tareen has induced others to put their trust in Inniss-like, CIA or similarly buttressed impunity and security.
That’s the kind of error we make when we get preoccupied with the sizes of each other’s boats – and banks, as I expect Lloyds Bank’s Antonio Osorio may agree.
It’s not the sizes of the banks or boats or their transient human sheep-or-shepherd owners that matter most.
It’s their knowledge of and relationship to the one who owns and underpins every ocean of human endeavour: the one who sustains all who would walk on the sea.
Coupled with previous allegations of dodgy tax practices, the recent announcement that curious corporate model and maverick Google is “launching a venture to extend the human life span” allows an extraordinary comparison of the global media giant with Mother Gothel, the parasitic, pirate-parent villain in “Tangled”, Disney’s animated interpretation of the classic Brothers Grimm fairy tale, Rapunzel.
And this both blindingly brilliant and bewildering mirror imaging or matrix matching reaches super nova brightness when we consider that Google Inc. was born in 1998, “when Sun co-founder Andy Bechtolsheim wrote a check for $100,000 to that entity—which until then didn’t exist.”
What then, might we make of Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin?
Should we think of them as modern Brothers Grimm, mixing light and darkness in seemingly spectacular, but at a profoundly sad level, predictable ways?
Are Brin and Page “angels of light” in a heroic, knowledge-sharing sense or would it be more accurate to apply this term to them in the “Princes of darkness”, demonic sense that we find in the Bible, at 2 Corinthians 11:14, which reads “And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.”
Are Brin and Page leading double lives – one as heroic champions of free enterprise operating openly and transparently, in the full glare of the sun’s daylight, as it were: and another as nefarious nocturnal doers of questionable and maybe even criminal capitalist dark deeds?
Is the scandal of Google tax avoidance that came to the British public’s attention earlier this year merely the tip of an iceberg protruding from the Black Sea of rushed success?
Is it a symptom of Mitt Romney, wider US Republican and Democratic Party ideological rootlessness (approximating ruthlessness) and opportunism?
Is that Samuel P Huntingdon recalling scandal of pragmatism a proxy of the vacuous, vision-constrained and constricting values that underpin the trans-Atlantic slavery reparations bid now being spearheaded by some of my dimly lighted Barbadian and wider Caribbean compatriots and colleagues?
Having said the essentials of what I have to say about Africans’ complicity in that complex, “dark net” trade, I have sought to avoid revisiting that blight of Barbados’ bright black educational, political, religious and other luminaries.
But I cannot help but wonder if those Pan Africanist publishers and “Pietists” have considered how much of the reparations they are seeking will go toward those poor blacks not only forced to cross the Middle Passage but also forced through white men’s sperm and black women’s ovaries to “pass” for whites in colour-coded, constrained and constricting societies.
Those compelled by black penises’ and white vaginas’ glee, to “agree to disagree”, settling their differences amicably.
Oops! Have I let the cat out of the Red Plastic Bag?
Have I resurrected my paternal grandmother, Marion Campbell’s ghost and that of the right, white father my father Geoffrey Campbell never had?
Have I embarrassed Rihanna, that good gone bad diamond that Barbados Prime Minister David Thompson thought he had.
In whose soil the rapacious farmer Donville Inniss would sow his pirate planter’s seed.
I could not insult these untouchables. They are impervious to my poetry.
These ebony erections of Dionysus’ ecstasy only know Derek Walcott’s “White Egrets”, not the “White Regrets” of the dramatist Bob Marley, lamenting his own melanin deficiency.
These intoxicating theatrical twists transcend millennia, not mere centuries.
Have the Herbert Dyer-like high achieving, quietist choir masters – who sing from the same sad sheet, silencing dissenters, assassinating characters and otherwise violating principles of proper, prophetic speech – considered how their poisonous pigment-playing pedagogy is perverting the purity of babies?
Or are they, like that Lost Prophet, blind, blighted Ian Watkins and the Richard Dawkinesque daughters who cuddled him even as they poured icy water on their babies.
The black and white mothers who, insisting on fuelling their own heat, lay their neonates in the snow.
Like Mother Gothel, googol, upon googol, over and over it goes.
British Prime Minister David Cameron has demonstrated that Google’s answers can’t always be trusted.
On the crucial question of child safety, Google apparently reneged on its commitment to “Do no evil” – a strangely negative wording for Principals preoccupied with doing good.
Maybe Page, Brin and Eric Schmidt are trying to get the “best of both worlds”.
Maybe, they are proximate parallels of ice-bound Eric Snowden, espousing ethical, open enterprise, while dealing in their own Dark Net Dresden?
My father-poet, Edward “Kamau” Brathwaite might empathise.
He once said we all have our enigma.
His truth certainly lies.
And I’m sure my truth is perforated with paradoxes.
But I don’t believe that all truth is relative.
“Online information intermediaries such as Facebook and Google are slowly replacing traditional media channels, thereby partly becoming the gatekeepers of our society,” says Turkish technology academic Engin Bozdag, in his paper “Bias in algorithmic filtering and personalization”, published online with Springer Science and Business Media, Dordrecht this year.
He says “To deal with the growing amount of information on the social web and the burden it brings on the average user, these gatekeepers recently started to introduce personalization features – algorithms that filter information per individual.”
His paper seeks to “show that these online services that filter information are not merely algorithms. Humans not only affect the design of the algorithms, they also can manually influence the filtering process even when the algorithm is operational.”
I believe that someone at or close to Pulse Point, and therefore with access to my business partner Allvoices may be doing a similar kind of “filtering” of my stories.
I suspect that person or persons may be sabotaging my work in that manner at the behest of some Barbadian, Caribbean, British, American, Canadian or other blood-sucking, youthful energy sapping Gothel who apparently thinks they have some proprietary right to my intellectual property.
I have a catalogue of evidence of such nefarious internet and mobile phone hacking and “filtering” activity that I have been reporting to England’s National Crime Agency and will be communicating to Pulse Point Principal Sloan Goane imminently.
I anticipate that Mr Goane and Pulse Point, which has a London office that I have visited, coincidentally, will be keen to cooperate with British authorities fully.
I note the apparent inability or unwillingness of Google to provide Allvoices writers like myself the analytics that would enable us to holistically measure the reach of our intellectual property work, not just the number of views or “hits” we’ve had daily – as important as that metric is, for those of us who desperately need every fraction of a penny we should rightly receive.
I note the unethical and possibly fraudulent, criminal coincidental and continual character of such a breach of Google’s much mooted knowledge-sharing purpose for being, and segments of Barbados’ government, media industry, religious community, education and corporate sector’s apparent determination to either make me unknown or cover me in infamy.
I marvel at how the unethical dark data mining and dastardly dirt dishing that persons involved with the Peoples Cathedral, where I once worshipped, Voices: Barbados Writers Collective, which I helped found, the Men’s Educational Support Association, of which I was the first Secretary, and other Barbados-based organizations and movements I have been associated with over the years, seems to have spread like an evil virus throughout the length and breadth of the international community – virtually.
I marvel at how the “failure” that Charmaine “Nailah Imojah” Gill, Peter “Adonijah” Alleyne, Anthony “Mighty Gabby” Carter and others in Barbados’ apparently determinedly self-destructive, Talibank Thinking “creative” community have assigned my and Intelek International’s name has become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Like a self-constricted and constrained Google search, these online and real world assassins expose their self-harming circularity.
Like the late Prime Minister Thompson’s, the results of their restless searching are predictable, sadly: “Ever learning, but never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Timothy 3:7).
Meanwhile, I continue to thrive by the grace of God, especially when I am most in need.
Like Peter Farnum, formerly of Youth With A Mission, and one of the many profoundly, authentic Christians of whose mentoring and “pastoring” I am a beneficiary, I am being nurtured in an ever deepening knowledge that God’s grace is sufficient for me.
So while you may occasionally find me whinging about how the BBC, Reuters, the Associated Press, or some other political, religious, scientific, corporate or other “intermediary” has been side-lining or sabotaging me, you are equally likely to find me making lemonade of the lemons thrown at me.
Alternately, while I may occasionally be found bragging about the books I have written or published, the citation of my writing by Wikipedia, my British legal system circumventing “unmasking” of Ryan Giggs’ identity here on Allvoices, or the inclusion of my contribution to the Encyclopedia of Caribbean Religions that was published recently, you are equally like to find me exalting the Most High in genuine humility.
It is the Father and Mother of Lights, who sustains my life – my Barbadian Light and Power – that I am preoccupied with mostly.
As I was saying to two friends in Norwich recently, like BBC’s Melvin Bragg, I too have a preoccupation with my greying mane. My midlife-crisis is already upon me.
And it may be the case that the blackening of my head by Barbados’ alleged pornography-peddling minister of Industry and International Trade Donville Inniss and other Barbadian political “blight lights” is now having the unintended, Bragg-like hair colouring effect of imbuing Intelek International’s work with a kind of longevity.
Still, should Google succeed in “solving death” or aging, as Time magazine reported they are minded to do recently, I don’t think I’ll be queuing for their or any similar scientific offer of eternity.
I am more or less content in my time and flesh – the three score and ten assigned most of humanity.
And besides, given my connection to the Most High through “the Way and the Truth and the Life”, aided by an empirically tested, historically grounded, continuously cutting-edge faith technology, I believe I enjoy the gift of eternal life already.
I believe we all do, essentially.
As C.S. Lewis writes in his atheistic, Aryan-supremacist-rebuking book Mere Christianity,
“There are no ordinary people…it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit.”
“He spoke from his heart…We were just discussing what a great speech it was.”
This is how the speech delivered by Barbados Prime Minister Freundel Stuart during the launch of celebrations to mark the country’s 50th anniversary of independence was described by Sandra Hinds, a member of his secretarial team.
I called the prime minister’s office on Thursday evening to request a copy of the speech as I prepared to respond to claims he made about the impartiality of Barbados’ judicial system and the soundness and sustainability of its democracy.
Needless to say, based on my own and others’ observation of the impunity that some Barbadians like Donville Inniss enjoy, I am not sure about the authenticity of Mr Stuart’s statements.
I imagine that many Barbadians who have seen how partial or paralytic our court system can be in its dealings with, for example, the CLICO monetary ‘abuses’ of Stuart’s predecessor the late PM David Thompson, would want to challenge those and other claims made by Stuart and echoed by most who spoke during that launch ceremony.
Sadly, Stuart and many other Barbadians seem to have difficulty facing their own and others failings.
They tend to excel in superficial, simplistic analysis of those failings or ‘sins’ and the long and short-term impacts they have had and can yet have on Barbados’ development.
Hence, the rather disappointing suggestion by PM Stuart that some people are demanding perfection of Barbadians while being poor models of perfection themselves.
Could he have framed that argument in more clichéd, thought-tiny language?
Could he not have come up with a more original and rigorous way of expressing that idea: a more robust scale or framework by which to assess and measure the expectations and standards by which Barbadians analyze our country’s progress since the relative independence achieved in 1966?
What is ‘great’, to quote Ms Hinds, about that defence by Stuart of Barbadians failings?
It doesn’t suggest a very deep reach into his heart by the PM.
It doesn’t suggest, for example, that Mr Stuart is familiar with the idea that “perfection” is more of a process than a point of personal or national development.
Might not Barbados’ High Commissioner to the UK, Reverend Guy Hewitt, or some other prominent Barbadian cleric have informed the PM that in the well known passage of scripture “Be ye perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:48) the Greek terms behind the English translation invoke pursuit of a goal, rather than its attainment?
Might not regional Anglican potentate Dr John Holder, himself a Barbadian, have previously informed PM Stuart of this more historically informed and accurate mode of biblical interpretation?
Or should we conclude that while Mr Stuart is a Queens Counsel (or QC, like Cherie Blair and therefore presumably a legal practitioner of some standing) he has never been exposed to that level of religious or spiritual teaching?
More worryingly still, might it be the case that having been exposed to such teaching PM Stuart has not retained the basics?
Might the soil of his heart have proven so shallow, hard or barren as to have squandered or rejected such small beginning, mustard seed sized educational investments?
Our Prime Minister is clearly familiar with the idea of receiving, retaining and rejecting biblical education approximating banking lessons.
Unless I am mistaken, he advised Barbadians to employ a three-fold framework of receiving, retaining and rejecting aspects of our national heritage as we contemplate our island state’s future prospects.
This clearly more studied, possibly pre-rehearsed proposal is something of an improvement over the simplistic “imperfect people asking us to be perfect” comment that preceded it.
But Stuart’s apparently glib, greasy and slippery grasp of what it means to pursue perfection does not inspire confidence in his ability to lead Barbadians in a truly rigorous, robust process of measuring moral development or progress.
On the contrary, what it suggests is a degree of moral myopia and bankruptcy.
It indicates ethical erosion and the anchorless historical drifting.
It evokes the dripping or spitting of essentially empty words from the mouth of one who, in ethical terms, is only superficially educated.
From my perspective, it puts PM Stuart’s speech, and the political mouthing of Opposition leader Mia Mottley and many of their DLP and BLP associates (including persons like University of the West Indies Vice Chancellor professor Sir Hilary Beckles, prominent poet Margaret Gill, politician David Comissiong, educator Esther Phillips, journalist David Ellis, Rev Sonia Hinds and others with whom I have had significant interactions, in a rather lamentable regional and international context.
Essentially, it lumps their words with Hilary Clinton’s extraordinary 2008 fantasist account of landing in Bosnia under sniper fire in 1995.
That military incident appears to have happened only in Ms Clinton’s head.
And few would vouch that as she uttered or berthed that item of artificial intelligence she spoke from her heart of hearts, her deepest, most holistically self-understood self in that instant.
Stuarts and other Barbadians apparent failure to understand that being perfect is at least as much about a course of travel as arrival at any destination lumps their and narrowly nationalistic, critical analysis dismissing defence of Barbados’ shortcomings with the mainstream media-puffed, much over-rated speech delivered last year by British Labour Party power-broker Hilary Benn in the English Parliament in defence of David Cameron’s proposal to intervene in Syria to bomb ISIS.
He may have been generously applauded by Tory, Labour, Liberal Democrat, UKIP and other Parliamentarians, but I can’t conceive of his father, anti-war icon Tony Benn being particularly proud of him in that moment.
At a substratal linguistic, and especially pragmatic and semantic level, Stuart’s speech recalls the African supremacist pro-reparations (for trans-Atlantic slavery) money mongering arguments of the UWI Vice Chancellor Beckles delivered at the United Nations New York headquarters, Chicago University and other unfortunate openings in recent times.
And the term ‘abomination of desolation’ comes to mind here, as the killing of Jamaican Khalil Campbell by Beckles’ son Rodney in 2007 is whispered in my conscience.
Sadly, such deeply deplorable, even sacrilegious abuses of public spaces by profane speech acts seem to have become all the rage since 9/11.
Among these metaphorical, ISIS approximating ‘public beheadings’ and other short-sighted, opportunistic obscenities, the crowning of Trinidad born and initially bred, Oxbridge and wider British elitism prejudice fed writer VS Naipaul with the Nobel Prize for literature in 2002 stands out poignantly.
Has human intelligence, measured in terms of morality, spirituality, scientific inquiry or any other rubric ever been more profanely prostituted than when it was associated with the dark, devious machinations that were conceived in Mr Naipaul’s head?
I do not wish to be unkind to the aged Mr Naipaul, Prime Minister Stuart or anyone else with whom I have taken issue in this essay on the measurement of human progress or perfection.
I’m simply saying that if Barbadians are to stand any chance of ever achieving the kind of global leadership that Mr Stuart and others may rightly desire for us, they and we will have to give up the cognitive and affective industry avoiding laziness that inclines us to complacently and glibly ‘measure ourselves by ourselves’, to paraphrase the apostle Paul (2 Corinthians 10:12).
Such simplistic, Adolf Hitler and Forbes Burnham recalling notions of independence and integrity lump Barbadians with the demagogue Donald Trump, the Talibank thinkers Mitt Romney and Luis Farrakhan, and a range of other Jamaican, Trinidadian, Guyanese, British, American, Canadian, Indian, Nigerian, Malaysian and other morally bankrupt political opportunists.
Following a recent Data Protection Act request I submitted to the BBC, I now have conclusive proof that influential employees of that government-run institution have a grossly inaccurate, deeply reprehensible, profoundly prejudiced and perilously self-destructive view of me.
Among a small packet of documents that I received from the BBC’s Information Policy and Compliance unit this past Monday(September 22), there is a record of BBC Norfolk reporter Mike Liggins labelling me “a crank” as he corresponds with colleagues.
Moreover, when the IP&C documentation I received is added to 1) information in my own records, 2) information I should have received from the BBC’s IP&C department but which was not included among the documents they sent me, and 3) evidence I possess of Lord Speaker Baroness D’Souza-like, democracy defeating behaviour by Liggins, former BBC Norfolk political reporter Clive Lewis (now my local MP), Wendy Witham and Gary Standley of BBC Voices, and other BBC Norfolk employees, it provides compelling, prima facie evidence of what might clinically be called a Jimmy-Savile-Shielding-Schizophrenic-Syndrome (JS4) perverting the BBC’s public service ideals.
It suggests that the greatest threat to the BBC and other media houses that promote and safeguard Britain’s democratic ideals is not being posed by David Cameron’s capitalism crazed Tories on one hand or left leaning liberal Labour Party fundamentalist socialist “cranks” like Jeremy Corbyn or Lewis on the other, but rather by the “joint Gerrymandering hands” of consciously and unconsciously corrupt, opportunistic elements in those and other political parties and power structures.
Shockingly, it points to a secret marriage of British and Barbadian silent media assassins as they corporately copulate to produce social outcomes in line with their popular democracy subverting, Bohemian Grove recalling corrupt “carnal knowledge” consuming ideologies and priorities.
I believe that at the root of Liggins’ “crank call” is the conscious or unconscious coupling or convergence of perverse purposes propelled by misinformed and morally confused persons who, like Savile, Rupert Murdoch, Barbadian publisher-spy Harold Hoyte, journalists Julian Rogers, Julius Gittens, and Karen Martindale, and educators Sir Hilary Beckles, Sir Frank Alleyne, Esther Phillips and Wendell Callender sometimes (some with predictable frequency) behave like bin-lorry-Bin-Ladin news drivers: falling asleep at the wheel.
These and other intentional and unintentional terrorist-like “sleepers” in the United kingdom, Barbados, the United States and elsewhere are not only undermining their own, my and others’ capacity to make positive contributions to society: like fabled “German engineering” gone wrong, as in the unfolding Volkswagen data distortion saga, they are undermining the BBC’s and all other public service media houses’ capacity to “inform, educate and entertain”, a function established by Lord Reith as the media’s fundamental public duty and highest call.
Behind the story
In an email dated November 20, 2013, Liggins wrote “I have been in contact with Junior Campbell. To cut a long story short (!) he appears to be a crank.”
Liggins apparently made this derogatory, dismissive comment in an effort to justify his decision earlier that year not to do a story about my efforts to expose the highly questionable employment and other corporate practices of millionaire businessman Surinder Kandola, the England-based Domino’s Pizza super-franchisee who trades as DPGS Limited.
Months before, during a chance encounter in Norwich on the morning of June 21, 2013, I had briefly alerted Liggins to the story.
Providentially, I have had separate, chance face-to-face encounters with both Mr Liggins and Mr Kandola in the past month.
The Kandola encounter, on Thursday, September 24, was within the past 48 hours.
That first, fateful Liggins “collision”
As I recall, Liggins and my paths crossed while he was covering a horrendous looking road traffic accident on Ber Street.
I was attending a hearing at the Employment Tribunal’s office on the same street, where I was challenging Kandola’s entitlement to fire me for my efforts to improve some employee working conditions and the overall corrupt corporate culture of his company.
Introducing myself to Liggins, I gave him one or two A4 size documents bearing lists of telephone numbers, addresses and other personal information of Domino’s Pizza customers.
These lists of customer contact details were among hundreds I had retrieved from the bins outside Domino’s store in the Prince of Wales area, after demoralized staffers had disposed of them recklessly and, I thought, possibly illegally.
I may also have given Liggins one of my business cards, so that he could contact me when he started working on the story.
But Liggins not only refused to do a story initially, he also proceeded to avoid and snub me by not responding to various requests I made for him to contact me.
It was only after I filed an official complaint with the BBC, more than four months after I had met Mr Liggins on Ber Street that he was prompted to call me – addressing me as “Mr Campbell”, I believe.
The term “crank” was not used by either of us during his call.
This crucial point of Liggins’ patent initial refusal to do the story – underscored by the fact that he threw away the customer information I had given him, as he concedes in a September 1, 2015 email – is obscured by the information I received from the BBC this week.
The information the binning Liggins supplied to the BBC’s PC&I department therefore appears to be a screen of smoke.
It appears to be a further demonstration of Liggins’ unwillingness or inability to engage with me frankly and fairly.
I am seeking the guidance of the Information Commissioner about the process by which Mr Liggins and the BBC may be persuaded to desist from their firefly, faint-light-like folly and give me and others who depend on their information services honest, well lit fire.
Combined with the Intelek record I have of my interaction with Mr Liggins, the documentation I received from the BBC’s IP&C people suggests that he had no reason to call me a crank initially – if at all.
The evidence suggests that he came up with the pejorative, credibility questioning crank claim to retroactively justify the extreme prejudice with which he had treated me at first.
The crank comment is to that extent consistent with the stubborn resistance Mr Liggins demonstrated when, having been forced by my complaint to contact me, he then proceeded to manufacture obstacles that appear calculated to delay or completely remove the prospect of him ever having to report my story and thereby amplify my voice.
In an email to me, dated November 18, 2013 Liggins cited the fact that I had lost the case against Domino’s as a difficulty preventing the BBC from moving forward with my story and suggested that I get two or three other Domino’s employees to take the matter forward.
Claiming that my naming of one other Domino’s driver, Michael Smythe, was not enough to merit a BBC investigation, he wrote “I’d need more than one name (two or three at least), a list of the grievances and some evidence to prove the fact. Otherwise, I’m sorry to say I don’t think I can help.”
The smugness of this essential-issues-minimizing strategy is actually reminiscent of tactics employed by Barbadian Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, his business minister Donville Inniss and other Barbadian politicians, journalists, academics, artists, religious clerics and business people.
Like Bin Liggins, they have been going to extreme lengths to either misrepresent or suppress the good I have done and continue to do as a workers rights and wider human rights activist.
By various information distorting and talent trashing means, they have been blocking and suppressing public knowledge of my Pan Humanist activist achievements and simultaneously downplaying the price I have had to pay for that activism –a price imposed on me because my activism has been essentially independent of corporate capitalist, trade unionist or political party patronage and protection.
So when the talent trashing “terrorist” Liggins refers to this publicity blocking, silencing tactic obliquely, saying “I haven’t ruled out doing a story, but have tried to set the bar high,” he is evidently attempting to deceive his BBC Complaints department colleagues, me and the tax-paying public at large.
The impression Liggins is seeking to create is that of a journalist acting objectively and responsibly when in fact he has already prejudged and discredited me for some undeclared reason.
Kandola’s big let-off (or Brotherhood of the goat”)
Moreover, in addition to being a rather dismissive, disrespectful assessment of my workers rights advocacy, capitalism reform advocacy and wider human rights activism and bona fides, Mr Liggins’ characterization of me as “a crank” does nothing to explain why he and everyone else at the BBC failed to seize the opportunity to investigate a powerful businessman whose seemingly unethical practices they had reported on before.
The fact is, the BBC, the Mirror and possibly other news houses had apparently shone a light on Mr Kandola’s dark deeds from as far back as 2007.
So if my losing the ET case or other questions about my credibility were making story-binning-Liggins and possibly his editor Tim Clayton and BBC legal counsel hesitant about investigating my story, why not side-step or minimize the so-called “crank” (me) and do a follow-up to their and the Mirror’s previous reports?
Actually, while already being alert to the possibility that I was being blacklisted by some UK and other international media houses, I felt the BBC would be keen to revisit the abuse of immigrant workers and other themes that had figured prominently in their previous Kandola-Domino’s Pizza report.
They could even have approached the issue as a public health policy and political party funding story, as a September 9, 2012 Daily Mirror story had done.
A more creative, less cranky BBC journalist might even have seen the opportunity to compare Kandola’s and Domino’s fast food corruption with the superficiality of Murdoch-empire news production and consumption, the challenges such intellectual obesity hazarding, cholesterol-rich news coverage and analysis poses for any society’s democratic function.
Instead they focused on silencing this “crank”, limiting my contribution to and participation in public dialogue.
Like the Barbados government-run Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation, the Nation and Barbados Today newspapers and even CNN (thanks partly to Fareed Zakaria) and Thomson-Reuters, Liggins and the BBC refused to give the oxygen of publicity and citizen engagement to the sensible, sensitive and skilful treatment I bring to complex race, gender, religious and other human rights advocacy.
Who else in the UK or elsewhere could have addressed the tragically compromised, defective moral compass of Abraham Eshetu with the empathy that I have?
Who else could put Raj Kandola’s corporate crusade in its proper nihilistic, self-destructive, Talibank-thinking Asian-British cultural context?
Could VS Naipaul critique Kandola’s and other Asian-British business mogul’s tight-fisted-teaology justified business culture as critically yet compassionately as I?
Could any other writer anywhere analyse my local MP Clive Lewis’ political past, assess his political present and predict his political future – and that of the ideological crank Jeremy Corbyn he pushed to succeed Ed Miliband – with my penetrative vision and resonant, rigorously reasoning voice?
Could anyone else compare and calibrate the time-and-space transcending coordinates of the Lewis-Miliband “brotherhood of the goat” with the Afro-Asian Trinidadian “brotherhood of the boat” as I am doing at this very moment?
I think not.
Liggins and others at the BBC may be convinced that the Norfolk and wider British public will thank them for suppressing this crank’s curiously cogent, coherent and consistent speaking-truth-to-power talent.
I ‘m not so sure.
To be continued…
I first knew of the existence of Baroness D’Souza, Speaker of the House of Lords when she appeared on a special “Democracy Day” edition of Woman’s Hour, broadcasted on BBC 4 on January 20 this year.
Listening to the program, I was prompted to contact the Tony Blair appointed, seemingly independent-thinking peer on the basis of her background as a human rights activist and her work in the field of development, noted by herself and the program host Jane Garvey.
On January 29 I sent the Lord speaker an email inquiring what support she or other peers may be able to offer me in my struggle against a long-running campaign of character assassination, economic sabotage and related human rights abuses by the Barbados government.
However, up to the time of publishing this article, I have had no response from Baroness D’Souza.
Despite the House of Lord’s reputation as a relatively undemocratic, establishment-interests-serving institution, I find the Lord Speaker’s silence profoundly puzzling and perplexing.
The reasons for my perplexity include,
To the best of my recollection, when Baroness D’Souza came to my attention almost 8 months ago, the fact that she was a top-billed guest on the feminist-flag-flying Woman’s Hour seemed to me to be of little consequence.
Indeed I have only the vaguest “memory” of the “possibility” of even noticing that detail.
After all, this was a Democracy Day special edition.
It did not occur to me that Baroness D’Souza’s human rights work might be concerned with defending and championing the rights of female humans only or primarily.
However, eight months of silence by this eloquent Lord Speaker office holder have forced me to consider this possibility – and others.
Eight months of silence by her House of Lords office, broken only yesterday (August 17) when I called and spoke to someone on her staff named “Ed”, has forced me to consider the possibility that my access to Baroness D’Souza – as a United Kingdom tax payer and human being – may have been blocked by her or someone intent on ensuring that the Barbados government’s relative stranglehold on my liberty and suppression of my voice continues.
Having done a bit of research into Frances Gertrude Claire D’Souza’s background, I also consider that she is a very busy person.
But do any of her House of Lords’, university lecturing, parenting (and grand-parenting) or other roles individually or collectively justify her eight months’ silence, virtually ignoring my appeal for assistance.
Could she or a member of her staff have not at least dropped me a note, saying she was inundated with work and perhaps referred me to another public servant.
Just yesterday, again on Woman’s Hour, providentially, I heard Baroness D’Souza’s peer Michelle Mone OBE speaking about how much work the House of Lords does.
But from where I stand, that’s at least as much of a reason to collaborate with me and others “outside the system”, relatively speaking, as any reason that may be offered to ignore, snub or otherwise exclude us.
I was actually looking forward to working with the Lord Speaker to amplify her and others views and voices in relation to a number of matters other than my complaint against the Barbados government.
I may not have the resources of the BBC, but I am known to have achieved significant social change simply by advocating the need for it by word-of-mouth.
Among other things, the inclusion of an extract from my book The Bible: Beauty and Terror Reconciled in the Encyclopedia of Caribbean Religions (2013, University of Illinois) attests to this fact.
And I was particularly hoping to work with Baroness D’Souza to challenge simplistic, antagonistic ideas about science and religion and showing where these two fields actually complement each other when they overlap.
And since learning of Baroness D’Souza’s intriguing marital track record, just yesterday, I thought that she and I might together “air” some ideas about the complexity of legal marriage arrangements.
It seems to me that engaging with a member of the public like me and others whom she and others in Parliament are sworn to serve could only add to Baroness D’Souza’s and other Lords and MPs democracy advancing ambitions.
I’m actually planning to give Jeffrey Donaldson MP a call, to see how I can contribute to that Democratic Ulster Unionist member’s democracy promoting ambitions.
Just today I heard him on Radio 4 extolling the virtues of peaceful, parliament employing programs of change, rather than violence promoting revolutionary ones.
Now, unless I have misunderstood what the “assisted dying” debate is about, I am going to assume that Baroness D’Souza is not one of those who are apparently intent on seeing me slit my wrist or otherwise giving up on life because of politically motivated chicanery and wider social marginalization.
I am going to assume that the Lord Speaker does not share Barbadians Esther Phillips’, Margaret Gill’s, Hamilton Lashley’s or others’ self-evident, silence-employing ambition to have my name removed from any public or private record that recognizes my significant achievements.
Until I have conclusive evidence otherwise, I am going to assume that the Lord Speaker’s denunciation of the scandalous conduct of her recently disgraced colleague Lord Sewell was not a hypocritical deception.
Ed said that he or someone else in the Lord Speaker’s office will be getting in touch with me if Baroness D’Souza is unable to do so herself.
I hope this happens soon.
As I am sure Baroness D’Souza knows, justice denied is the same as justice delayed.
To be continued…