In 1934, Germany’s chief propagandist Joseph Goebbels stated:
“The cleverest trick used in propaganda against Germany during the war was to accuse Germany of what our enemies themselves were doing”.
Ironically, Goebbels’s statement which was intended to expose the propaganda techniques of Germany’s enemies during the First World War, actually indicated a method that Berlin would readily invoke against both domestic and foreign opponents in the run up to the Second World War.
Since the fall of the notorious Hitler Reich, many other regimes and privately owned media outlets have followed a similar method in respect of defaming their perceived and real opposition.
In July of 2018, the Philippine Court of Appeals ruled that Rappler had violated Constitutional law due to its ownership structure. According to Philippine law, organisations classed as mass media outlets must be 100% Filipino owned. As Rappler violated this law due to its corporate associations with the US based Omidyar Network, Philippine authorities revoked Rappler’s mass media licence. Previously, the Philippine Securities and Exchange Commission revoked Rappler’s certificate of incorporation for the same reason.
As a company that has been condemned by Philippine law due to its corporate associations with foreigners, it is automatically suspicious when Rappler publishes lies which insinuate that individuals offering political statements which self-evidently run contrary to those held by Rappler’s leadership, have devious associations with foreigners.
Luckily, I can expose this reality first hand as Rappler published ludicrously false allegations regarding my professional associations. In a piece from 22 July, Rappler insinuated that I have professional associations with propaganda producing companies operating in Russia and that furthermore these groups had ties to the Russian government. The following is the full email I wrote to Rappler asking for a full retraction of these vicious lies:
I can confirm that prior to my reading of the Rappler article in question, that I was not aware of the New Knowledge report, most of which deals with American politics and Russia’s alleged interest in American politics.
My general comments are that any and all allegations which state that I have any connection to the Russian government or private companies with close and verifiable links to the Russian government are categorically false and given the current geopolitical climate are self-evidently defamatory and seriously damaging to my career, reputation, personal safety and the safety of my friends and family.
As for the specifics, [I] have already responded but shall copy my previously published point-by-point response:
‘1. Rappler suggests I am connected to a Russian based company called ‘Internet Research Agency’. First of all, I know nothing about such an agency, although I have heard the name in association with stories about supporters of Donald Trump. I have never worked for such an agency and to my knowledge have never spoken to anyone from such an agency.
2. Rappler then suggests that I am somehow connected to an organisation called “GI Analytics”. I have never heard of such a company, let alone ever worked with or for them.
3. Rappler suggests I have written for the website “Russia Insider”. This is false, I believe that WITHOUT MY PERMISSION Russia Insider re-published some of my writings and although I’m not happy about that (as I believe Russia Insider to be a very poor publication), it’s not that big a deal.
4. Rappler suggests I have written for Mint Press News. This is false. I am aware that Mint Press News has published some of my work originally published elsewhere as once someone connected with Mint Press asked my permission to do so. Because I was asked politely, I granted their permission.
5. Rappler says I’m a “contributor” at globalresearch.ca, geopolitica.ru, and eurasianaffairs.net. First of all, whilst I used to have original works published at globalresearch.ca and geopolitica.ru (without receiving any payment), I do not anymore, even though I have no problem with either website. Secondly, I have never heard of eurasianaffairs.net, but I assume this website published some of my pre-existing material without asking.
5. Rappler says I have “connections to Russia” and by that I assume they mean the Russian government. This is false. Although I used to get lots of calls to appear on Russia Today (aka RT), those calls started to dry up well over a year ago, although I was recently on a show produced by the Associated Press (an American company) that airs on RT. For the record, I have no particular problem with RT, but it seems that someone at RT has a problem with me. I don’t particularly care though.
Also for the record, I support the Russian opposition and not the government as I believe the Russian government is deeply flawed….maybe that’s why RT don’t like me anymore. Rappler should catch up.
6. Rappler seems to think it’s a problem that I have been interviewed multiple times by Iran’s Press TV. I’m not sure why they feel this way as The Philippines has no disputes with Iran, but for the record, Press-TV has never censored my interviews and that’s the only thing I consider before agreeing to an interview anywhere.
7. Rappler’s recent article says that I am a contributor at Eurasia Future. This is false, I am the director at Eurasia Future, something that a previous Rappler piece about me correctly reported’.
As for the Oriental Review, I used to occasionally contribute pieces for a small fee, whilst in respect of The Duran, I once contributed pieces free of charge and later took a small [REDACTED] monthly stipend. However, I later quit working for them because I found their editorial policy to not only be at odds with my personal views, but I found their meddlesome editorial policy to be thoroughly distasteful and even extreme. As I centrist I could not bear the views of not all but most of the others who were published in that particular outlet. I also became supremely miserable with the intolerable working environment there.
It would be helpful for you to acknowledge that the New Knowledge report did not mention my name directly but instead shared a very blurred chart with my name on it. The chart implied that I was associated with people and organisations that I have never been associated with, whilst only one man on that chart, [REDACTED], have I ever met. I have not had any contact with him since around late 2017. I in fact have written him an email regarding the severance of my relations with the organisation he is involved in subsequent to my acrimonious departure but received no reply.
As for websites that I have no association with or have never heard of republishing my work, whilst I prefer that I am asked permission by those seeking to republish my work, I have a policy not to take action against those who re-publish my work unless they edit it or otherwise present it in a way which internationally misrepresents the views expressed in the original piece of which I am the legal copyright owner.
I also disagree with your interpretation of Russo-Philippine relations. Whilst it is true that President Duterte has improved bilateral relations from a point of having few meaningful relations prior to Duterte, to that of a fledgling partnership that mainly involves national defence and related projects, this is hardly significant enough to foster a change (positive or negative) in general Philippine attitudes towards Russia or Russian attitudes towards The Philippines.
But whilst I disagree with your interpretation of recent developments in the aforementioned geopolitical developments, I am appalled by the defamatory insinuation that you have made which implies that pro-Duterte media outlets have re-published my commentary because of “connections to Russia” which I do not have and can easily prove that I do not have in a court of law.
When President Duterte spoke of shaking off the colonial mentality, this is what he meant. It is nothing short of condescending to imply that Filipino website managers and social media activists only share content from foreigners because they want to ingratiate themselves to these foreigners. The truth is that like those in many nations, Filipinos have minds of their own and are naturally attracted to content which speaks to issues close to their hearts and minds. Clearly, my content does just that, otherwise Rappler (which obviously is anti-Duterte and have the full right to be so) would not be so fixated with the fact that a non-Filipino like me loves The Philippines, loves President Duterte and is loved by many intelligent, kind hearted and patriotic Filipinos.
You are perfectly entitled to hold different views and I maintain my offer to engage in a videoed debate on such issues with someone who has an opposing viewpoint. I believe this is what makes our world a better place.
However, because my reputation has been defamed by the lies you have printed, I would ask that you retract the lies, issue me a personal apology and donate a small amount to a Philippines based charity of my choosing.
As of 9 February, I have yet to receive an apology or any other response from anyone associated with Rappler. But the story does not end there.
Just as Hitler’s regime used false accusations against those alleged to be enemies of the regime in order to foment very real and very gruesome violence, so too is my personal safety now far more endangered than I ever realised due to the malicious lies published by Rappler.
Days ago, British media revealed that a man known by the pseudonym Sergey Fedotov is suspected of playing a role in the attempted murder of Sergey Skripal and his daughter. The elder Skrpial was a Russian born spy who was later convicted in Moscow of working for British intelligence. Since his release from prison, he has lived in England. In 2018, British authorities alleged that Sergey Skripal and his daughter Julia (who had come to visit him in England), were poisoned in an attempted murder organised by the Russian government. Moscow denies any involvement in the incident. Whilst initially, the UK media accused two men of travelling from Russia to the UK with the aim of killing the Skripals, a third suspect, Sergey Fedotov is thought to have not only helped to carry out the attempted double-murder but that Fedotov might still be on UK soil.
According to what is known of the Skripal incident, Sergey Skripal was targeted by Russian state authorities because he was convicted of being a traitor. As recently as October of 2018, the Russian President stated that it his view and ostensibly the view of the Russian state, Sergey Skripal is a “traitor and scum“.
Although I am opposed to the policies of the current Russian government, as I am not a Russian citizen, I could not legally be defined as a traitor to Russia. However, it is less clear whether Russia views all opponents of the policies of the current Russian government as “scum” or just those who are Russian born as Sergey Skripal was. Making matters more complicated, if someone were to read Rappler’s false statements about me and assume that I do have associations with pro-government companies in Russia, such a person could mistakenly think that I am a Sergey Skripal style “traitor”, in addition to being “scum”, due to the fact that my actual positions are largely antithetical to that which Rappler savagely insinuated.
In either case, the fact that an alleged attempted murderer might still be on the loose in the UK means that as someone who lives in London, my life could be in danger due to the possible geographical proximity of myself and the alleged attempted murderer Sergey Fedotov. If for example, Fedotov or his associates believe I am “scum” in the way that the Russian President feels that Sergey Skripal is “scum” and if Fedotov or one of his possible associates were to believe Rappler’s tall tale, which when combined with the actual truth might lead a misinformed individual to label me a “traitor”, I could potentially be targeted by a pro-Russian government criminal element which apparently seeks to physically harm those that the leadership in Moscow views in a strongly negative light.
If Sergey Skripal was poisoned for reasons not related to his former spying activities as is the position of the Russian government, perhaps I do not have anything to worry about. But if the governments of the UK, US, France and Germany are correct, my life is self-evidently in danger from the likes of Fedotov and others who believe that opposition to the current Russian government should be punished by an extra judicial killing.
This is demonstrative of the fact that when one tells a vicious lie, there can be harmful consequences. This was the case in respect of victims of Nazi aggression and now it could be the case among innocent people who are lied about in the most vicious way imaginable, simply because they have exercised their right to free speech in support of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte.
It is truly a pathetic state of affairs.
If anyone reading this has information that could lead to the arrest of the man known by the pseudonym Sergey Fedotov, please contact the relevant law enforcement authorities.