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Report: Upworthy’s Lefty Owners Scared Employees Out of Unionization

Gawker

August 10, 2015

By Sam Biddle

Report: Upworthy's Lefty Owners Scared Employees Out of Unionization

Upworthy bet millions of venture capital dollars that progressive values are the ultimate viral content. But after being forsaken by Facebook and facing layoffs, we’re told the site’s left-wing leadership has successfully fought off a staff unionization drive.

Over the weekend, I received the following anonymous message, alleging that Upworthy recently laid off six staffers and derailed an attempt by the site’s employees to form a union (Gawker Media’s editorial employees recently voted to unionize with the Writers Guild of America- East):

While Gawker, Guardian, Salon and Vice have made headlines in the media world by allowing their editorial staffs to unionize, Upworthy the feel-good rarara human rights viral website has not. The staff decided to try to unionize after 6 former Upworthy employees were laid off suddenly on a Sunday over the phone. The cofounders of Upworthy, Eli Pariser and Peter Koechley, pushed back against the staff that tried to unionize claiming that Upworthy would lose its venture capital money if people tried to unionize.

Upworthy is in big trouble but it’s done a good job of keeping out of the spotlight by saying it’s “shifting its editorial direction.” Fact: After Facebook’s algorithm messed up Upworthy’s monthly uniques, the company could no longer fall back on “We give attention to stuff that matters.” They laid off 6 people without any warning, privately telling them their pageviews weren’t enough while publicly telling the media that the laid-off employees didn’t have the storytelling abilities Upworthy needed. Now the rest of the staff is scared and disillusioned. So they tried to unionize. Upworthy, the media company that says it tries to make the world a better place, said no.

Upworthy co-founder Eli Pariser has been part of the left-wing internet vanguard for almost fifteen years. For the same web activist who until June served as board president of MoveOn.org to scuttle a union drive by his own workers in defense of Silicon Valley investors would undermine his image as liberal wunderkind, to say the least. According to a source, Upworthy counts the AFL-CIO among its largest editorial clients.

Over email, Pariser told me he hadn’t “said no,” as the tipster claimed, but acknowledged that he discouraged the effort because capitalists don’t like unions and things are touch-and-go right now for the site:

No, we didn’t say it wouldn’t be allowed at all — Peter [Koechley] and I told our writers we support their right to form a union, and believe unions are an important force for economic equality, but that doing this now at Upworthy could come at a cost to the company in terms of our ability to raise capital.

Upworthy editor-at-large Adam Mordecai echoed Pariser’s account:

Gawker’s unionization drive sparked the idea with our writers, the layoffs were obviously a factor too.

No one said that it wasn’t going to be allowed. Everyone was given the opportunity to weigh the pros and cons, and the writers decided against taking a vote for now, as unlike the other companies that have unionized, we’re still a startup and there was concern that it might affect our ability to raise more money down the road.

The site is admittedly struggling after getting pushed off a traffic cliff by Facebook’s ever-inscrutable newsfeed algorithm: The site’s traffic plummeted 48% between December 2014 and January of this year. Its readership has declined by roughly half since then, according to Quantcast. The realization that you’ve hitched the entire future of your media startup to a third-party algorithm over which you have no control is bad enough—scaring away your Silicon Valley patrons could be fatal. Never mind that Vice, with hundreds of millions in VC cash, just voted to unionize.

 

Smooth Talkers: Marketing Imperial Civil Society

Skookum

Sept 29, 2014

By Jay Taber

George+W+Bush+Bill+Clinton+Obama+Former+Presidents+Vq-CPtx2fuSx

After the Vietnam War, big dogs in the Democratic Party transitioned from belligerent blowhards to smooth talkers. The party of cold warriors became hot stuff. Capitalizing on the popular subculture of peace and love, the Democrats under President Clinton initiated the era of “humanitarian” war. As such, American hegemony could be repackaged as philanthropic.

Ironically, the breakthrough in marketing imperial civil society came about as a result of Clinton’s misadventures with his Oval Office intern Monica Lewinsky. When Big Dog got caught with his pants down, the Democratic Party turned to social media for support. Mobilizing support through the NGO MoveOn, Democrats were able to turn a national embarrassment into an organizing opportunity. As time went on, social media would prove to be a useful tool for social engineering.

As servants of Wall Street, the Democrats — through MoveOn — began what would become a tsunami of deceptive devices, from Avaaz to Purpose. As pro-war promoters, these NGOs were able to divert attention from high crimes and focus public attention on false pretenses, in turn used to justify perpetual militarism. With the capture of boards at nominally progressive NGOs like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, the neoliberals represented by Clinton introduced a sophisticated new psychological warfare element to the public arena.

With laundered funding aplenty — available through neoliberal foundations like Clinton, Gates, Soros, Ford and Rockefeller — Wall Street (with help from Madison Avenue) has managed to consolidate its war-making portfolio of investments, while simultaneously acquiring a controlling interest in big international NGOs. As civil society institutions (living on pre-coup residual creds), the NGOs, in turn, legitimate the neoliberal incarnation of fascism.

As the architect of NAFTA, Clinton’s bonafides on Wall Street are rock solid. While his star faded as a result of the 1999 WTO Ministerial in Seattle, the Clinton Global Initiative to implement Wall Street’s Millenium Development Goals seems to have resurrected his pathetic leadership to gold. Perhaps — like his Wag the Dog war in Sudan — in time, the memory of Clinton sucking up to the daughter of Uzbekistan’s president (known for boiling his political opponents alive) in order to finance his foundation (on proceeds from slave labor) will be forgotten.

 

[Jay Taber is an associate scholar of the Center for World Indigenous Studies, a correspondent to Fourth World Eye, and a contributing editor of Fourth World Journal. Since 1994, he has served as the administrative director of Public Good Project, a volunteer network of researchers, analysts and activists engaged in defending democracy. As a consultant, he has assisted ethnic minorities and indigenous peoples seeking justice in such bodies as the European Court of Human Rights and the United Nations.]

Upworthy Reveals Audience Behavior, Begins “Collaborations” With Brands, NGOs

Unilever will be first commercial brand in new program, underwriting curated content around building a brighter future for children

Digital Journal

April 1, 2014

NEW YORK, PRNewswire

WKOG admin: Aside from embracing misogyny, more recently, Unilever, with Kellogg’s, General Mills, Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Kraft, and other corporate entities  funneled big money into defeating Prop 37. Now, Unilever, one of the largest consumer products corporations in the world, is looking to  employ “effective story-telling” to help Unilever “engage with people more meaningfully” in order to “create a better future for children.” (We can assume this is the same children unwittingly being fed genetically modified “foods”). (More on Unilever here.)

It is critical to note that one of the two co-founders of Upworthy is Avaaz co-founder Eli Pariser, as well as president/chairman of MoveOn.org’s board. [“Prior to position of chair, Pariser served as the Executive Director of MoveOn.org. Pariser has worked directly with former Vice President Al Gore on drafting MoveOn-sponsored speeches and assisted in fundraising for John Kerry’s presidential campaign. In December 2003 Pariser worked with Jonathan Soros, son of George Soros, on a MoveOn.org campaign. On December 9, 2004, one month after Kerry’s defeat, Pariser declared that MoveOn had effectively taken control of the Democratic Party.” Source]

220 Members of FAWU, employed by Unilever`s Food Solutions and Tea Factory divisions in Pietermaritzburg have embarked on strike on Friday, 17 January 2014 as a result of a dispute between the company and the union. – See more at: http://www.cosatu.org.za/show.php?ID=8359#sthash.mLmo2iH9.dpuf
220 Members of FAWU, employed by Unilever`s Food Solutions and Tea Factory divisions in Pietermaritzburg have embarked on strike on Friday, 17 January 2014 as a result of a dispute between the company and the union. – See more at: http://www.cosatu.org.za/show.php?ID=8359#sthash.mLmo2iH9.dpuf
220 Members of FAWU, employed by Unilever`s Food Solutions and Tea Factory divisions in Pietermaritzburg have embarked on strike on Friday, 17 January 2014 as a result of a dispute between the company and the union. – See more at: http://www.cosatu.org.za/show.php?ID=8359#sthash.mLmo2iH9.dpuf

Fergie Teams up with Unilever on Universal Children's Day

Utilizing celebrities: Effective behavioral change and indoctrination of children into corporate culture.

The average Upworthy post generates 42x as many Facebook interactions as the average post from a top 50 U.S. media site. Promoted brand content on Upworthy.com performs at 73x the average. These and other first-time insights into the highly engaged Upworthy audience will be shared later today at the Ad Age Digital Conference here. The company will also announce its initial revenue approach, and that Unilever will become the first commercial brand to join a new “Upworthy Collaborations” advertising and sponsorship program.

Upworthy lands Unilever as first brand customer #aadigital

Today, Upworthy has one of the most engaged audiences on the Web:

  • The average piece of Upworthy content drives more than 75,000 Facebook likes per post, some 12x more than BuzzFeed, according to engagement data from Newswhip.
  • In 2013, the average unique Upworthy.com visitor spent 11.44 hours with the company’s curated content. Currently, the site is registering more than 5 million “attention minutes” per day.
  • Unique monthly visitors to the site now consistently top 50 million.
  • And 78% of Americans on Facebook have either Liked Upworthy or have a friend who has.

“Billions of sharing actions take place in our network, and Upworthy consistently ranks number one across many of our social metrics, from shares-per-post to percentage of incoming traffic from social networks,” said Sachin Kamdar, CEO of Parse.ly, a provider of content analytics solutions for publishers, whose clients include Conde Nast, Fox News, Atlantic Media, and The Cheezburger Network.

“Upworthy attracts a huge community of highly influential, socially conscious citizens — people who share our goal of building a better future for children,” said Marc Mathieu, Unilever Senior Vice President, Global Marketing. “Our partnership will include work for several of our brands, and we are looking forward to seeing how effective story-telling can help us engage with people more meaningfully.”

Unilever Marketing Vice President Kathy O’Brien will join Upworthy co-founders Eli Pariser and Peter Koechley on stage at Ad Age Digital to discuss the companies’ partnership to promote the core values of Unilever’s Project Sunlight. The program aims to engage people in more sustainable behaviors that will create a better future for children. Upworthy will curate content from across the web, highlighting stories of leaders working toward a more sustainable world, and will work with Unilever agency partner Mindshare to promote the best Project Sunlight content.

“Unilever’s leadership in moving to improve child welfare and contribute to a more sustainable world made them a strong fit for this program,” said Upworthy’s Pariser. “The heart of Project Sunlight matches several of the top topics our audience voted to see more of in 2014. We look forward to working together to bring more attention to young people who are making the world more sustainable.”

First Three Types of Upworthy Collaborations

Participation in the Upworthy Collaborations program will extend to brands, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and foundations. It will take three initial forms:

  • Promoted Posts — Here, participants create content and pay Upworthy to present and distribute it on Upworthy.com and Upworthy social channels. Pilots of this approach in 2013 included one with Skype.
  • Sponsored Curation — Here, participants underwrite Upworthy’s curation costs on a given topic. In this category, Upworthy retains full editorial control of both the selection and presentation of the content. Pilots of this approach in 2013 included All 7 Billion with The Gates Foundation.
  • Content Consultation — Here, Upworthy will work with participants to advise on content selection, packaging, and distribution strategies with a focus on testing and optimization to draw shared insights as a relationship evolves.

The program blends these elements with additional reader-engagement tactics to build always-on content partnerships, fueled by shared learning, organic optimization, and true relationship building with the Upworthy community.

Reception to the paid-content pilots in 2013 was positive, with strong performance of the individual posts and praise from the Upworthy community for how clearly the content was marked.

Upworthy Collaborations launches amid continued strong performance from the two-year-old company:

 

  • Upworthy’s core community of subscribers now tops 7 million, comprising nearly 6 million Facebook fans, 1.6 million email subscribers, and more than 350,000 Twitter followers. All receive Upworthy.com content daily and form the core of a massive sharing community.

 

 

Upworthy brings massive amounts of attention to things that matter in the world. Every day, curators unearth and spotlight awesome, important content using a proprietary approach that combines deep social science, strong voice, and a passionate community. Co-founders Eli Pariser and Peter Koechley have raised $12 million in initial financing from a group that included prominent venture capital firm Spark Capital, the Knight Foundation, and leading individual investors such as Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, and BuzzFeed co-founder John Johnson. Each month, more than 50 million people experience Upworthy content. Learn more at http://www.upworthy.com.

Logo – http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140401/AQ95317LOGO

SOURCE Upworthy

 

Avaaz: Imperialist Pimps of Militarism, Protectors of the Oligarchy, Trusted Facilitators of War | Part II, Section III

The Art of Annihilation

Part II | Section III of an investigative report by Cory Morningstar

September 16, 2013

 Avaaz Investigative Report Series [Links]|Further Reading: Part I | Section I | Part I | Section II | Part I | Section III | Part II | Section I | Part II | Section II

+++Note from the author: The bulk of research for this investigative report was conducted from 2012 to March of 2013. New alliances/affiliations that have since materialized may or may not be reflected at this time.

President+Obama+Attends+Rally+Rep+Tom+Perriello+ZltyIh24ELSl

Image: U.S. President Barack Obama with Avaaz co-founder and former U.S. Representative Tom Perriello.

Introduction | By Jay Taber at Intercontinental Cry:

In his seminal study Science of Coercion, Christopher Simpson observed that communication might be understood as both the conduit for and the actual substance of human culture and consciousness. As Simpson noted, psychological warfare is the application of mass communication to modern social conflict.

In the U.S. Army War College manual on psychological warfare, the stated objective is to destroy the will and ability of the enemy to fight by depriving them of the support of allies and neutrals. Some of the methods used in the manual are sowing dissension, distrust, fear and hopelessness.

In the decades since these publications were first published, a new form of psywar has emerged in the form of false hope. With unlimited funding and organizational support from foundations like Ford, Rockefeller, Gates and Soros, U.S. Government propaganda now has a vast new army of non-profits that, along with corporate media and academia, serve as both a third wing of mass consciousness and a fifth column for destabilization campaigns worldwide.

As Cory Morningstar captures The Simulacrum in her multi-part series on the non-profit industrial complex, domesticating the populace is a fait accompli, and the only question remaining is what will happen if and when capitalist activism is seen for what it is. By following the money from aristocratic derivatives to embodiments of false hope like Avaaz, MoveOn, and Change, Morningstar steps through the looking glass to expose how NGOs have become a key tool of global dominance using social media as a means of social manipulation.

When the smoke generated by phony progressives clears, all that is left is an industrial wasteland of false hope and real threats. When the betrayals of NGOs like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch are known, we can finally begin to exercise our responsibilities. Until then, programs like Democracy Now remain little more than adult versions of Sesame Street for the toy Che brigades.

[The article above, titled “Through the Looking Glass,” was published by Intercontinental Cry on September 11, 2012. Jay Taber is an associate scholar of the Center for World Indigenous Studies, an author, a correspondent to Fourth World Eye, and a contributing editor of Fourth World Journal. Since 1994, he has served as the administrative director of Public Good Project.]

At the helm of the non-profit industrial complex are the NGOs that make up the Soros network. At the helm of this matrix, we find the organization Avaaz residing over the complex, with key players replicating their ideologies throughout the global matrix. Avaaz has morphed into the quintessential gatekeeper of the oligarchy. This particular segment of this investigative report will focus on requisite information about and intrinsic alliances of the key people who co-founded and comprise Avaaz, as well as many key sister/partner organizations and affiliates of Avaaz; the founders; Res Publica, GetUp and MoveOn, and the new up and coming Purpose, Globalhood, and SumOfUs. The next segment, part III of this investigation, will delve into the newly emerging trend of corporate media/NGO partnerships in which Avaaz could be considered the test-model for the imperialist/capitalist powers that be.[Further reading: Part I, Section III]

Res Publica

faithfulamerica

Avaaz was founded by Res Publica, described as a global civic advocacy group, and Moveon.org, “an online community that has pioneered internet advocacy in the United States.” The Service Employees International Union and GetUp.org.au were also publicly recognized as founding partners of Avaaz: “Avaaz.org also enjoys the partnership and support of leading activist organizations from around the world, including the Service Employees International Union, a founding partner of Avaaz, GetUp.org.au, and many others.” [Further reading on the formation of Avaaz can be found in Part II, Section I of this investigative report.]

In the public realm, Res Publica is said to be comprised primarily of an affiliation of three key individuals; Tom Perriello, a pro-war (former) U.S. Representative who describes himself as a social entrepreneur; Ricken Patel, consultant to many of the most powerful entities on Earth and the long-time associate of Perriello; and Tom Pravda, a member of the UK Diplomatic Service who serves as a consultant to the U.S. State Department.

The John Stauber Interview

johnstauber-newleftnow-

New Left Now

April 25, 2013

 

New Left Now: It’s great to talk with you today, John. I came across your Counterpunch article, The Progressive Movement is a PR Front for Rich Democrats recently, and New Left Now is keen to talk to you about it and related fronts. So, if I understand your take on this, the progressive movement is largely ineffectual, and for some fairly obvious reasons. What role does the Congressional Progressive Caucus have to play in the mix here? Why have we not seen more efficacy in what they purport to do or represent?

Paid to Lose | The Progressive Movement is a PR Front for Rich Democrats

Paid to Lose | The Progressive Movement is a PR Front for Rich Democrats

Counterpunch

Weekend Edition March 15-17, 2013

by John Stauber

There is good news in the Boston Globe today for the managers, development directors, visionaries, political hacks and propaganda flacks who run “the Progressive Movement.”   More easy-to-earn and easy-to-hide soft money, millions of dollars,  will be flowing to them from super rich Democrats and business corporations.  It will come clean, pressed and laundered through Organizing for Action, the latest incarnation of the Obama Money Machine which has recently morphed into a “nonpartisan non-profit corporation” that will  ‘‘strengthen the progressive movement and train our next generation of leaders.’’

Inducing Consent: MoveOn.org

“Another method of inducing consent is purely ideological: duping the masses into believing that the tyrannical ruler is wise, just, and benevolent. La Boétie adds, rulers present a more sophisticated version of such propaganda, for ‘they never undertake an unjust policy, even one of some importance, without prefacing it with some pretty speech concerning public welfare and common good.’ Reinforcing ideological propaganda is deliberate mystification.” – Discourse of Voluntary Servitude

MoveOn.org serves as a front group for the U.S. democratic party. In 2010 MoveOn.org raised $100,000 for Tom Perriello’s re-election campaign. Perriello, with MoveOn, are both key founders of Avaaz. [For more information on MoveOn: http://bit.ly/QdczUV & http://bit.ly/HGgtOn | For more information on Perriello & the disturbing ideology at the helm of Avaaz: http://bit.ly/wfAsQL]

States are more vulnerable than people think. They can collapse in an instant – when consent is withdrawn. — Étienne de La Boétie

One Big Progressive Clusterfuck [Brought to you by Avaaz Founder – MoveOn.org]

Movement Strategy Brunches: “Campaign Season” Never Ends for the Professional Left

November 14, 2012

CounterPunch

by the Insider

President Barack Obama was elected merely a week ago in a presidential campaign that ran a bill of $6 billion.

Campaign Season,” as its called by the electioneering professionals and most journalists, has officially come to an end in the eyes of most citizens and the press, both mainstream and “independent media” alike. For the “Professional Left” though, “campaign season” never actually ends, which explains why they refer to their form of activism as “campaigns.” It’s truth in advertising, at last!

The newest “campaign” in town is being run by….wait for it….a MoveOn.org offshoot in the form of “Movement Strategy Brunches” being held nationwide on Nov. 17-18.

“Drink Mimosas”

On Nov. 8, writing to a confidential email list, Liz Butler, a “Senior Fellow and Network Organizing Project Director” of the Movement Strategy Center, declared,

“We are asking you to set up a Movement Strategy Brunch – an informal, low-key way to bring together you and other local grassroots people at the local level to reflect, drink mimosas (or healthy green smoothies) and talk about the future. Sound fun? It’s supposed to be! After so much hard work, it’s nice to be able to kick back, drink some orange juice, and munch on a flaky croissant.”

The Movement Strategy Center is the Fiscal Sponsor for Van Jones’ Rebuild the Dream, according to Rebuild the Dream‘s website. Jones’ front group for the Democratic Party set up shop in June 2011 when MoveOn.org gave $348K to Rebuild the Dream in start-up capital, according to its most recent Internal Revenue Service (IRS) 990 form.

Rebuild, as regular CounterPunch readers will likely recall, was responsible for the attempt to co-opt the Occupy movement not once, but twice – once in the fall of 2011 and once again in the spring of 2012.

Butler oversaw the “99 Spring,” the front operation for both MoveOn.org and the Democratic Party. Prior to her current stint at the Movement Strategy Center in April 2012, Butler worked for 3.5 years as the Campaign Director for 1Sky, which in April 2011 merged with 350.org, currently in the throes of its “Do the Math” campaign.

The email was co-signed by Billy Wimsatt, a Fellow at the Movement Strategy Center, as well as an employee of Rebuild the Dream, two outfits that are interchangeable and one-in-the-same. A WhoIs.net search shows Wimsatt registered the website for the “Movement Strategy Brunches” on Oct. 16, a few weeks ahead of the Nov. 6 election.

“Consensual Domination”

Like its cousin the 99 Spring, the ”Movement Strategy Brunches” give well-meaning grassroots activists the illusion of having full control of things at the local level. “YOU organize it,” shouts its website.

Yet again, it’s the same players managing a brand new version of what University of California-Santa Barbara Sociology Professor William I. Robison refers to as “consensual domination” in his classic book, “Promoting Polyarchy: Globalization, US Intervention, and Hegemony.”

“The Gramscian concept of hegemony as ‘consensual domination’ exercised in civil and political society at the level of the individual nation (or national society) may be extended/applied to the emergent global civil and political society,” he wrote in the book’s introduction. “The emergence of ‘democracy promotion’ as a new instrument and the orientation in US foreign policy in the 1980s represented the beginnings of a shift – still underway – in the method through which the core regions of the capitalist world system exercise their domination over peripheral and semi-peripheral regions…”

The tools of imperialism have come home to the core of the empire, as they always do. This time, like the many times before, it’s in the form of “consensual domination” on the part of citizens who partake in “activism” that’s nothing more than freshly installed astroturf for the Democratic Party disguised as “democracy promotion.”

“These pseudo-revolutionaires no doubt believe their own propaganda, or their ‘memes,’ as they prefer to call them. But these liberal cultists are nothing more than convenient lap dogs for the ‘progressive’ millionaires who fund them and the Democrats,” said John Stauber, author of the book Toxic Sludge is Good for You and Founder of the Center for Media and Democracy. ”They are well fed, they groom each other, they regurgitate the same talking points, and they consistently accomplish nothing in the real world except to push a false hope that they are leading a real Movement. In other words, it’s a classic form of cooptation, which is both made possible by the severe limitations of the political process and of course serves to limit it further. It is essential to maintaining a status quo that benefits the 1%. Follow the money, this is one big progressive cluster-fuck.”

 

 

[The Insider is the pseudonym of an activist who works inside the Liberal Foundation-Funded Democratic Party-Allied Belly of the Beast.]

 

Avaaz: Imperialist Pimps of Militarism, Protectors of the Oligarchy, Trusted Facilitators of War | Part II, Section II

Part II | Section II of an investigative report by Cory Morningstar

 Avaaz Investigative Report Series [Links]|Further Reading: Part I | Section I | Part I | Section II | Part I | Section III | Part II | Section I

October 31, 2012

Introduction | By Jay Taber at Intercontinental Cry

In his seminal study Science of Coercion, Christopher Simpson observed that communication might be understood as both the conduit for and the actual substance of human culture and consciousness. As Simpson noted, psychological warfare is the application of mass communication to modern social conflict.

 

In the U.S. Army War College manual on psychological warfare, the stated objective is to destroy the will and ability of the enemy to fight by depriving them of the support of allies and neutrals. Some of the methods used in the manual are sowing dissension, distrust, fear and hopelessness.

 

In the decades since these publications were first published, a new form of psywar has emerged in the form of false hope. With unlimited funding and organizational support from foundations like Ford, Rockefeller, Gates and Soros, U.S. Government propaganda now has a vast new army of non-profits that, along with corporate media and academia, serve as both a third wing of mass consciousness and a fifth column for destabilization campaigns worldwide.

 

As Cory Morningstar captures The Simulacrum in her multi-part series on the non-profit industrial complex, domesticating the populace is a fait accompli, and the only question remaining is what will happen if and when capitalist activism is seen for what it is. By following the money from aristocratic derivatives to embodiments of false hope like Avaaz, MoveOn, and Change, Morningstar steps through the looking glass to expose how NGOs have become a key tool of global dominance using social media as a means of social manipulation.

 

When the smoke generated by phony progressives clears, all that is left is an industrial wasteland of false hope and real threats. When the betrayals of NGOs like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch are known, we can finally begin to exercise our responsibilities. Until then, programs like Democracy Now remain little more than adult versions of Sesame Street for the toy Che brigades.

 

[The article above titled “Through the Looking Glass” was published by Intercontinental Cry on September 11, 2012. Jay Taber is an associate scholar of the Center for World Indigenous Studies, an author, a correspondent to Fourth World Eye, and a contributing editor of Fourth World Journal. Since 1994, he has served as the administrative director of Public Good Project.]

 

The Humanitarian Industrial Complex: The Ivory Towers within the Dark Triad

 

“It ought to be remembered that there is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things.” — Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince

 

Image: U.S. President Barack Obama with Avaaz co-founder and former U.S. Representative Tom Perriello.

 

Tom Perriello’s ideologies espouse the Machiavellian principle in which “the end justifies the means.” In essence, unethical, morally reprehensible, criminal and contemptuous behaviour is justified in order to, in Perriello’s words, “expand the use of force to advance key values.” Of course, the values Perriello speaks of are American “values.” Perriello’s belief that such noble key “values” are at the foundation of today’s America demonstrates even further delusion.

It is interesting to note the parallels. Scholars often note that Niccolò Machiavelli glorified instrumentality in statebuilding, embodied by his infamous suggestion that the ends justify the means. “Violence may be necessary for the successful transfer of power and introduction of new legal institutions; force may be used to eliminate political rivals, to coerce resistant populations, and to purge previous rulers who will inevitably attempt to regain their power.”

In the 1958 essay, Thoughts on Machiavelli, Leo Strauss proposed that the Machiavellian principles, embraced as a promotion of progress, would lead directly to the modern arms race. “Strauss argued that the unavoidable nature of such arms races, which have existed before modern times and led to the collapse of peaceful civilizations, provides us with both an explanation of what is most truly dangerous in Machiavelli’s innovations, but also the way in which the aims of his apparently immoral innovation can be understood.” [Source] “Machiavelli is the only political thinker whose name has come into common use for designating a kind of politics, which exists and will continue to exist independently of his influence, a politics guided exclusively by considerations of expediency, which uses all means, fair or foul, iron or poison, for achieving its ends – its end being the aggrandizement of one’s country or fatherland – but also using the fatherland in the service of the self-aggrandizement of the politician or statesman or one’s party.” [Strauss, 1958, p. 297]

Antonio Gramsci drew great inspiration from Machiavelli’s writings on ethics, morals, and how they relate to the State and revolution in his writings on “Passive Revolution.” It was the belief of Gramsci that society can be manipulated by controlling popular notions of morality. [Gramsci (1891 – 1937), renowned for his ideology of cultural hegemony as the means of upholding the state in a capitalist society must be considered one of the most critical thinkers and influential intellectuals of the 20th century.]

In psychology, Machiavellianism denotes a personality type.

In cognitive science and evolutionary psychology, Machiavellian intelligence (known also as political intelligence or social intelligence) is the capacity of an entity to be in a successful political engagement with social groups. The first introduction of this concept to primatology came from Frans de Waal’s 1982 book “Chimpanzee Politics,” which described social manoeuvring while explicitly quoting Machiavelli. Machiavellian intelligence is also known as Machiavellianism.

“Machiavellianism is the art of manipulation in which others are socially manipulated in a way that the user benefits from it, whether it is to the detriment of the people being used. The user would feel little to no remorse or empathy when their actions harm others.” — Wikipedia

Further, “the ‘Dark Triad’ is a group of three personality traits: narcissism, Machiavellianism and psychopathy, all of which are interpersonally aversive – three theoretically distinct but empirically overlapping personality constructs….That is, individuals who possess characteristics of any of the personality disorders that make up the Dark Triad are likely to be selfish, possess a grandiose sense of importance, and feel an increased sense of entitlement. Further, these individuals are often pre-occupied with dominance and power and will use aggressive tactics such as manipulation and exploitation to get whatever it is that they feel that they deserve.

“Individuals who possess characteristics of the Dark Triad do not make for good friends. Not only are they not concerned with others, they are constantly focused on their own wants and needs and will do whatever they feel is necessary to achieve their goals, regardless of the consequences to others. This blatant disregard for others may lead individuals with these aversive personalities to behave anti-socially and to commit crimes. While there has been much research done to support the link between psychopathy and criminal behavior, there is currently no research supporting a direct link between individuals with Machiavellian and narcissistic personalities and criminal behavior. It is known that individuals with these personality characteristics are often found in offender populations, but further research must be done to learn more about the dark triad and criminal offending.” [Source: A 2011 European Association of Psychology and Law – Student Society Publication, Wikipedia]

The Empire

 

Roman Empire Emblem 753 BC – 476 AD [Senatus Populusque Romanus -“The Senate and People of Rome”]


United Nations Emblem 1945


Anonymous Logo 2003-2012

 

PSYOPS or Psychological Operations: “Planned operations to convey selected information and indicators to foreign audiences to influence their emotions, motives, objective reasoning, and ultimately the behavior of foreign governments, organizations, groups, and individuals. The purpose of psychological operations is to induce or reinforce foreign attitudes and behavior favorable to the originator’s objectives. Also called PSYOP. See also consolidation psychological operations; overt peacetime psychological operations programs; perception management.” (Source: U.S. Department of Defense)

“Interestingly enough, the thirty-eight large and medium sized American facilities spread around the globe in 2005 – mostly air and naval bases for our bombers and fleets – almost exactly equals Britain’s thirty-six naval bases and army garrisons at its imperial zenith in 1898. The Roman Empire at its height in 117 AD required thirty-seven major bases to police its realm from Britannia to Egypt, from Hispania to Armenia. Perhaps the optimum number of major citadels and fortresses for an imperialist aspiring to dominate the world is somewhere between thirty-five and forty. America is well-situated to take over – everything” (The Green Zone, p. 36).

As stated in the propaganda model theory, the leaders of modern, corporate-dominated societies employ indoctrination as a means of social control. Working in unity, the marketing, advertising, and public relations industries utilize mass communications to protect and advance the interests of elites. The theory elaborates on how powerful economists and lobbyists have often used school systems and centralised electronic communications to influence public opinion. (Note that many liberals and some academic media analysts of the left despised the “propaganda model.”) It is critical to acknowledge that the non-profit industrial complex is a vital tool of the public relations industries, as well as 21st century lobbyists – experts in centralised electronic communications to influence public opinion.

With the Harvard Journalism reports (discussed further on in this report) and the role of NGOs in opening up/attempting to pry open the doors to foreign invasion in sovereign states such as Libya, Syria, Uganda and so forth, Herman’s and Chomsky’s propaganda model theory, criticized by the liberal left, has been both prophetic and vindicated.

In the race for global domination of the Earth’s final remaining resources, our shared planet is being decimated by cabals of psychopaths in collaboration with the corporate media complex and the non-profit industrial complex. In perfect synchronicity, they promote extreme fabrications of reality that must be considered nothing less than a brilliantly executed global psyops.

Avaaz Co-founder: Tom Pravda

Snapshot

 

  • Avaaz International: Co-founder
  • Avaaz International: Secretary 2009
  • Avaaz International: Treasurer 2010
  • European Union: Advisor
  • Global Witness: Intern
  • Integrity: Senior Advisor
  • International Center for Transitional Justice: Consultant
  • Oxford Analytica: Consultant
  • Res Publica: Co-founder
  • UK Diplomatic Service: Member
  • UK Foreign Office: Advisor
  • United Nations Development Program: Consultant
  • U.S. State Department: Advisor
  • World Development Movement: Intern

Education:

  •  Balliol College, Oxford

Resides in United Kingdom.

Tom Pravda is a British diplomat who co-founded both Res Publica and Avaaz. He has been listed as both secretary and treasurer to Avaaz. Pravda also sits on the advisory board of Res Publica. Pravda has worked for the United Nations in New York and is an advisor to the U.S. State Department, the UK Foreign Office and the European Union. Pravda has been a member of the UK Diplomatic Service since 2003 where he has worked on EU trade and development policy and relations with the Middle East and Africa.

Pravda is senior advisor to “Integrity.” [“While working in Afghanistan, directors Andrew Cleary and Anthony Ellis identified a need to provide organisations working in conflict, post conflict and fragile environments with insightful research and ethically driven localised consultancy services. Based on these principles they founded Integrity.”]

“Integrity” states Pravda’s qualifications as: “Tom is a diplomat and public entrepreneur, specialising in peace and security issues. At Integrity he is leading on public sector reform and good governance projects and is currently conducting independent research on global peacekeeping capacities in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan and West Africa. Tom is a specialist in the Great Lakes Region [not the North American ones], particularly the DRC, where he advised the U.S. State Department, the UK Foreign Office and the European Union on diplomatic, security and development strategies and programming for the region. Alongside his diplomatic career, he has set up and run successful NGOs in Africa and the U.S., most recently co-founding the world’s leading online advocacy community, Avaaz.org. He has consulted extensively on political, security, research and advocacy issues for a range of clients, including the UNDP, the International Center for Transitional Justice and Oxford Analytica.”

Oxford Analytica is “a global analysis and advisory firm which draws on a worldwide network of experts to advise its clients on their strategy and performance.” They provide an analysis services that gives “corporate and government executives a proven edge in assessing the impact of global events and turning risks into opportunities.”

Pravda has also interned for Global Witness and the World Development Movement. Global Witness receives immense funding from governments including Canada and the UK. In 2005, Global Witness also received funding from the NED for their work to “advocate for good governance of natural resource management in Liberia.”

It is unclear what NGOs Pravda has set up successfully and run in Africa, but one can safely assume 1) they were financed in whole or in part by Soros and 2) they have served and protected foreign interests since their inception.

Pravda received his degree in philosophy, politics and economics from Balliol College.

Avaaz Co-founder: David Madden

Photo by Lee-Sean Huang

Snapshot

  • Avaaz International: Co-founder
  • GetUp!: Co-founder
  • MoveOn.org: Co-founder
  • TwitterPeek: Creator
  • United Nations Development Program: Consultant
  • World Bank: Consultant

Education

  • Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government
  • University of New South Wales

Resides in New York City

David Madden, is the co-founder of the Australian NGO, GetUp, co-founder of its U.S. counterpart MoveOn.org, as well as co-founder of Avaaz.

Madden has consulted for the World Bank and the United Nations Development Program. As well, Madden has worked for the World Bank in Timor Leste, and for the United Nations in Indonesia. Prior to this, Madden served as an officer in the Australian Army.

Madden began his career with the Inspire foundation which created ReachOut.com. Reach-out.com is an organization that essentially targets the country’s most vulnerable and broken youth. ReachOut reaches out to those youth in deep pain and turmoil, such as those suffering from self-mutilation, depression, suicide, bullying and other societal problems.

Corporate Pedophilia: In the 21st century, children who have been left emotionally starved as a consequence of lack of nurturing, along with emotionally broken youth, are relentlessly targeted by corporations. This escalating, burgeoning crisis is a direct result of a toxic society. Therefore, one should not be surprised that the corporations who sponsor and enable this site to exist are none other than Bristol-Myers Squibb (through their foundation, which simply serves as a front group), “the philanthropic arm” of the Macquarie Group, the News Corporation and the American Australian Association. In other words, let us help you in your time of need while we feed you to the wolves.

Like many of his cohorts, Madden was educated at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. He also attended the University of New South Wales, where he was President of the Student Guild. He is the co-author of Imagining Australia: Ideas for our Future, which he authored in 2004.

The Harvardite also understands the power of social media. Madden is credited with the creation of TwitterPeek, the world’s first and only mobile Twitter device for under $100.

In our culture’s growing addiction to instant gratification, society has become insatiable. Clicktivism serves as another form of instant gratification. “TwitterPeek” and applications like it will serve to enhance the clicktivism fetish. Remember kids, don’t think … just click.

Avaaz Co-founder: Eli Pariser

 

Snapshot

  • AccessNow.org: Founding Board Member
  • Al Gore: Sponsored Speech Writing
  • Author: New York Times Bestselling Book, The Filter Bubble
  • Avaaz International: Chairman of the Board 2006, 2010
  • Avaaz International: Co-founder
  • Campaign for America’s Future: Board Member
  • John Kerry: Fundraising for Kerry’s Presidential Campaign
  • MoveOn.org PAC: Executive Director
  • MoveOn.org PAC: President
  • MoveOn.org: Chairman
  • MoveOn.org: Director of Foreign Policy Campaigns
  • New Organizing Institute: Co-founder
  • Res Publica: Advisory Board
  • Roosevelt Institute: Senior Fellow
  • SumOfUs: U.S. Advisory Board Member

Education

Bard College at Simon’s Rock

Resides in New York

Eli Pariser is co-founder of Avaaz as well as president/chairman of MoveOn.org’s board. Prior to position of chair, Pariser served as the Executive Director of MoveOn.org. Pariser has worked directly with former Vice President Al Gore on drafting MoveOn-sponsored speeches and assisted in fundraising for John Kerry’s presidential campaign. In December 2003 Pariser worked with Jonathan Soros, son of George Soros, on a MoveOn.org campaign. On December 9, 2004, one month after Kerry’s defeat, Pariser declared that MoveOn had effectively taken control of the Democratic Party.

In an e-mail distributed to MoveOn.org members on November 22, 2005, Pariser announced that his organization had created a spinoff entity called the New Organizing Institute, “a unique grassroots program that trains young, technology-enabled political organizers to work for progressive campaigns and organizations.”

“The Internet has made huge changes in politics…. Now, our [MoveOn’s] former Organizing Director Zack Exley is working on cultivating the next generation of ‘online organizers’ at the New Organizing Institute. The first step: find 50 talented up-and-coming organizers, put them through an all-expenses-paid training week, and place them on 2006 campaigns where they can really make a difference.”

A fellow of the Soros-funded New Organizing Institute, he served as Obama’s ghostwriter for social media applications such as Twitter.

Pariser is a founding board member of AccessNow.org, which also helped launch the New Organizing Institute, “which has trained thousands of organizers to bring people together online.”

AccessNow.org is endorsed and supported by Avaaz, MoveOn.org, Witness.org, Blue State Digital and GetUp!

The AccessNow International Advisory Board includes Andrew MacLaughlin, Vice President of Tumblr, Chris Hughes, Co-founder of Facebook and Director of Online Organizing for Obama’s Presidential Campaign, Joe Rospars, New Media Director for Obama’s 2008 Presidential Campaign and Founding Partner of Blue State Digital, Scott Heiferman, CEO and co-founder of Meetup and many other prominent technologically savvy “leaders” in the world of social marketing.

On the AccessNow Twitter account, one can view an image of the Tehran protest in the background where a Western-backed coup d’état failed in 2009.

Those in the Soros network, with the help of seemingly naïve and bourgeois technological sycophants, are building an army of technological wizards to seize and condition the minds of the global population via internet technology (primarily via cell phones), SMS applications and social media.

In addition to overseeing MoveOn.org, Pariser is the board chairman of Avaaz.org. Pariser also serves on the advisory board of Res Publica and is a board member of the Campaign for America’s Future. In 2008, Pariser transitioned the Executive Director role at MoveOn.org to Justin Ruben and became President of MoveOn’s board.

Pariser, author of the New York Times bestselling book, The Filter Bubble, undoubtedly understands exactly why the corporate world has embraced him and has no qualms about funding his many ventures: Pariser understands the psychology of, and thus the power behind, personalization on the internet. He recognizes that internet via personalization poses a very real danger that people will not get exposed to viewpoints that differ from their own. Rather, they will be fed only what is familiar and, more importantly, what is comfortable, thus closing citizens off to new ideas, subjects and information that could challenge their belief systems. The “filter,” which one assumes gives us a much greater view of the wider world, is in reality, more and more effectively succeeding in screening the wider world from us. It is not difficult to understand how valuable an individual with such knowledge and perception is to the global oligarchy. The Filter Bubble reviews:

“On the Web, we often see what we like, and like what we see. Whether we know it or not, the Internet creates personalized e-comfort zones for each one of us… And what’s wrong with that? Plenty, according to Eli Pariser, the author of ‘The Filter Bubble: What the Internet Is Hiding From You.’ Personalization on the Web, he says, is becoming so pervasive that we may not even know what we’re missing: the views and voices that challenge our own thinking.” — Natasha Singer, The New York Times

 

“Eli Pariser is no enemy of the Internet. The 30-year-old online organizer is the former executive director and now board president of the online liberal political group MoveOn.org. But while Pariser understands the influence of the Internet, he also knows the power of online search engines and social networks to control exactly how we get information — for good and for ill.” — Bryan Walsh, TIME

Pariser has been granted celebrity status by corporate media such as Good Morning America, World News Tonight and a multitude of major cable news channels. His op-eds have appeared in the Washington Post and other corporate media. Pariser lectures can be found on the C-span library as well as TED. Lavishing celebrity status on progressive voices has been an integral tool for those who wish, and most always succeed, to co-opt those who have a progressive voice or appear to/have the capacity to gain influence.

If you can’t beat’em – buy’em.

Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.

In essence, Pariser is a key asset of the elites; that of a valuable commodity.

The simple fact that corporate media bends over backwards to promote these individuals and their organizations should alone raise red flags and set off alarm bells.

The chosen ones by Rockefeller, Soros, the Clintons and others perhaps do naïvely believe that they are capable of harnessing the power of the Internet to democratize society, yet in reality, they are harnessing the power of the internet for those who wish to project their own flawed ideologies on global society. The corporate masters are using these minds to manipulate, shape and mould the public’s psyche and perceptions in order to homogenize world views, while crushing those who seek to protect their own autonomy – and resources.

Pariser has recently aligned himself with SumOfUs as a U.S. Advisory Board member and is currently working on Upworthy, a new startup focused on making trending issues go viral online.

Avaaz Co-founder: Jeremy Heimans

 

“From Sachs to Kristof to Invisible Children to TED, the fastest growth industry in the U.S. is the White Savior Industrial Complex.” — Teju Cole

 
Snapshot

 

  • AllOut.org: Co-founder
  • Avaaz International: Co-founder
  • Davos: Award Recipient
  • Ford Foundation: Award Recipient: Ford Foundation Visionary
  • GetUp!: Co-founder
  • McKinsey and Company: Consultant
  • MoveOn.org: Co-founder
  • Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD): Consultant
  • Purpose: CEO
  • Purpose: Co-founder
  • SumOfUs: Australian Advisory Board
  • United Nations: Consultant
  • World e-Government Forum: Award Recipient

 

Education:

 

  • Harvard University
  • University of Sydney

 

Heimans resides in New York.

 

Jeremy Heimans is co-founder of both Avaaz and GetUp! GetUp, founded in 2005, is an internationally recognized social and political online “movement” that purports to have more members than all of Australia’s political parties combined. Heimans is also co-founder and CEO of Purpose: “a profit-with-purpose business that builds movements to help solve major global problems.” On his TEDxTeen talk, Jeremy Heimans tells us to “aim higher than the president.” Well, jesus h. christ, that certainly wouldn’t be too difficult.

Jeremy Heimans has consulted for the United Nations, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the International Labour Organization (ILO), a specialized agency of the United Nations.

 “The white savior supports brutal policies in the morning, founds charities in the afternoon, and receives awards in the evening.” — Teju Cole

In 2011, Heimans received the Ford Foundation’s 75th anniversary Visionaries Award. The award, which came with $100,000, declared Heimans “a next generation leader.” Heimans’s other awards include recognition from the World Economic Forum at Davos who named Heimans a Young Global Leader. Honours also came from the World e-Government Forum who named Heimans and Purpose co-founder David Madden (co-founder of GetUp!, MoveOn.org and Avaaz) among the “Top 10 People Who Are Changing the World of the Internet and Politics.” Heimans’s “contributions” have been given glowing coverage in publications such as The New York Times and The Economist. Heimans has worked for the international strategic consulting firm McKinsey & Company (“trusted advisor and counselor to many of the world’s most influential businesses and institutions”), a research scholar at Oxford University and a consultant for the UN, OECD and ILO (UN).

Heimans is co-founder of AllOut.org, as well as a member of the SumOfUs Australian Advisory Board. The only other member on this Australian advisory board is Heimans’s cohort, Brett Solomon, who is Executive Director of AccessNow.org and former Executive Director of GetUp.org.au.

On June 26, 2011, The Guardian published commentary on the “successful” “Arab Spring”:

 

“This is what democracy activists in the Middle East have been saying about the Arab spring. The real change for Egyptians was not the technology of Facebook – it was the moment when one by one, people realised they were not alone. As the We Are All Khaled Said Facebook page accumulated thousands and thousands of people, young Egyptians for the first time realised that together, they had the numbers. Collectively, they had power.

 

Many observers have been struck by the absence of visible leaders in the Arab spring uprisings. But this is precisely what online organising makes common: movements based on shared values, not charismatic leadership. The new model for social movements is not leaderless, but it is focused on building individuals’ sense of their own agency – not the leader’s power.

 

New movements also bring together the global and the hyper-local. Avaaz.org is helping to create a sense of global identity for individuals, where their local actions are dots on a larger canvas. Climate change campaigners 350.org have staged simultaneous days of action in local neighbourhoods throughout the world, engaging hundreds of thousands of people.”

 

Two red flags jump out from this article: 1) The Arab spring was not spontaneous, and 2) the fact that the Guardian promotes Rockefeller’s (and Clinton’s partner) 350.org and Avaaz as prime examples of successful movements. This would be considered an excellent example of an NGO-media partnership as outlined by Harvard. [To be discussed further in this investigative report.]

Above photograph by Dan Calliaster: Ricken Patel: “A recent portrait commission for The Guardian Newspaper. Ricken Patel is co-founder and executive director of Avaaz.org, the largest global political web movement in history with 5.5 million subscribers in all 193 countries.” (Bold emphasis added)

Behavioural Change

Just prior to this article, on June 10, 2011 in a separate Guardian interview, Heimans states:

 “…’the revolution doesn’t happen when people adopt new tools, it happens when they adopt new behaviors’ is a big part of what we do at Purpose. Twenty-first century activism is all about evolving models of social interaction, with the increased ease of peer-to-peer communications, and a many-to-many model that coexists and sometimes challenges a one-to-many broadcast model. Right now we’re only glimpsing the full potential of these new ways to tap the collective power of citizens and consumers.”

Organizations such as Purpose, 350.org/1Sky, Avaaz, in a sense, play both sides of the fence. While the persona, via branding, that they exude is one of youthful grassroots, in reality, they are drinking champagne and jet-setting with the Imperialist dinosaurs keeping us caged within the twentieth-century.

TECH PRESIDENT website, May 24, 2010:

“Two of the minds behind the global advocacy platform Avaaz.org and Australia’s social action network GetUp! are taking what they learned in the non-profit online organizing space and applying it to the world of consumerism.

“[Purpose] creates 21st century movements. We look for ways that movements can help solve major global problems. To do this, we work with some of the most exciting players in the new green and social economy to help them get to scale faster and some of the world’s biggest brands to mobilize their consumers for significant social impact….

Purpose was born out of some of the most successful experiments in mass digital participation. Our principals are co-founders of Avaaz, the world’s largest online political movement with more than nine million members operating in 14 languages, and the creators of Australia’s GetUp!, an internationally recognized social movement phenomenon with more members than all the country’s political parties combined…. Our movements are deploying huge numbers of people, online and on the ground, to influence the political process. At the same time, we are working to create the consumer demand and behavioral shifts required to bring about the kind of change that politics alone cannot.”

Purpose was founded in 2009. Both GetUp and Purpose are the creations, and ultimately the million dollar project, of Avaaz co-founders Heimans and Madden. All three of these organizations work in similar fashion to their sister organizations – MoveOn and Avaaz – by activating their members in what they term “mass digital participation.”

On the “Purpose” website, more irrelevant, brand-bolstering “highlights” along with promotion of a delusional “green” economy can be found on the media page. “Free Livestrong bracelet for your Twitter avatar” and “Avaaz’s Co-Founders Seek a Purpose-Driven Consumer Life” represent just two revealing examples of many.

What one may not notice is that Purpose is not listed as a non-profit – it is privately held.

On June 13, 2011, an interview published by The Design Observer Group, titled “How to Start a Movement in the 21st-Century,” highlighted Heimans’s latest venture, Purpose. Purpose was described as “a (for profit) New York-based consultancy on movement formation and development that has a not-for-profit arm that launches its own campaigns.”

Into the interview, when the journalist stated it actually sounded “a bit like a marketing, PR, or advertising firm,” Heimans was forthright in his answer: “The tools of marketing and design are critical to our work. We have clients who look to us because we’re good at building mass participation.”

After hiring his first employee in June 2009, by June 2011 Heimans’s company had grown to over 40 employees. And make no mistake, Heimans understands exactly what makes an NGO a success. Heimans’s staff are comprised of political organizers, behavioral economists, interaction designers, technologists, and, last but certainly not least, “brand strategists who know how to tell stories, [the] people who understand business.”

The difference between Heimans and the other Avaaz co-founders is the fact that Heimans is upfront in presenting himself, unequivocally, as a businessperson. Unlike his peers, he does not hide behind a false illusion of humanitarianism nor does Heimans pretend he is an environmentalist. Heimans’s company provides services that build “movements” for organizations. When creating his own “movements” under his “Purpose” foundation counterpart, Heimans establishes partnerships. A recent partner is the BBC. Heimans is also working with other NGOs in Rio “to make sure that ordinary Cariocas have a voice in the development that occurs there leading up to the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics.”

Whereas a real environmental and social justice activist understands that the Olympics are nothing less than a thinking person’s nightmare, Heimans believes the capitalist illusion that this corporate atrocity can co-exist with social justice. Rather, the Olympics is an ongoing perpetual chain of never-ending resource depletion and exploitation belonging to 20th century (non)thinking, which serves to further corporate profit and dominance, an abomination that must end. Yet, blinded by indoctrination, bright-green “progressives” continue to reject reality and perpetuate the falsehoods: that the Olympics can be made to be “green” and “ethical.”

 “Even as tech changes, the need for real human connections and storytelling will be key.” — Jeremy Heimans as featured in the Guardian Activate Summit, June 10, 2011

May 2010: Avaaz’s Co-Founders Seek a Purpose-Driven Consumer Life | Behavioral Economics

Vision: “Purpose is a global initiative that draws on leading technologies, political organizing and behavioral economics to build powerful, tech-savvy movements that can transform culture and influence policy.”

What is behavioural economics? Behavioral economics is the fusion offspring of economics and psychology. In 1979, two psychologists of Princeton and Stanford Universities published “Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk.” This was considered a “breakthrough” paper on how people deal with uncertain rewards and risks. It has become one of the most widely cited papers in economics. The authors argued that the ways in which alternatives are framed – not simply their relative value – heavily influence the decisions people make. This influential paper in behavioral economics, with its meticulous equations, suggested that the core assumption of the standard model was in fact backwards: It was found that it is only the mode of presentation (framing) that matters and not the actual value of alternatives, as previously believed. As an example, one may observe this very ideology held by a professor of business administration Nava Ashraf, who has worked extensively with NGOs in Africa and the Philippines. In 2006 she noticed that “farmers and small-business owners were often not doing the things that a development policymaker or economist thinks they should do” and considered this very problematic. While working in Zambia for Population Services International, a nonprofit that seeks to focus private-sector resources on the health problems of developing nations, Ashraf stated “There are ways of manipulating people’s psychological frameworks to get them to buy things. How do you use this knowledge to get them to adopt socially useful products or services? It’s so practical, and very important in development, for anybody who wants to help people reach their goals.”

The Behavioral Economics of Hatred

The Avaaz “Good Versus Evil” campaign for the Rio Summit. Above: A downloadable poster as found on the Avaaz Press Centre published in the Financial Times. Vilification: Note the dark cast/ugly sky behind the leaders Avaaz would wish you to believe are “evil”, versus the light and sun shining through over the Imperialist obstructionist “leaders” that Avaaz is attempting to convince you are “good”. Keith Harman Snow (war correspondent, photographer and independent investigator, and a four time Project Censored award winner) discusses the art of so called “humanitarianism” via the industrial non-profit complex with precision and candor in his many lectures.

Keith Harmon Snow Discussing Western NGOs and Africa: (running time: 2:54)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k6l0zsdf2Zc

Within George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, the purpose of the Two Minutes Hate is to “satisfy the citizens’ subdued feelings of angst and hatred from leading such a wretched, controlled existence. By re-directing these subconscious feelings away from the Oceanian government and toward external enemies (which likely do not even exist), the Party minimizes subversive thought and behavior.” [Source: Wikipedia] Orwell did not invent the term “two minutes hate” however; it was already in use/utilized in the First World War by British writers to satirize German propaganda.

In a somewhat similar fashion, an economist’s definition of hatred is the willingness to pay a price to inflict harm on others, according to Edward Glaeser, Princeton-educated economist and professor at Harvard.

In an article published in Harvard Magazine titled “The Marketplace of Perceptions,” author Craig Lambert writes:

“The psychological literature, [Edward Glaeser] found, defines hatred as an emotional response we have to threats to our survival or reproduction. ‘It’s related to the belief that the object of hatred has been guilty of atrocities in the past and will be guilty of them in the future,’ he says. ‘Economists have nothing to tell psychologists about why individuals hate. But group-level hatred has its own logic that always involves stories about atrocities. These stories are frequently false. As [Nazi propagandist Joseph] Goebbels said, hatred requires repetition, not truth, to be effective.’

 

‘You have to investigate the supply of hatred,’ Glaeser continues. ‘Who has the incentive and the ability to induce group hatred? This pushes us toward the crux of the model: politicians or anyone else will supply hatred when hatred is a complement to their policies.'”

One can safely state that the behaviour of economics of hatred has been a key component in the psychology behind the recent Avaaz campaigns attacking the sovereign states of Libya, Bolivia and Syria.

The two minutes hate has risen again.

“When we have reached the point of utilizing placards with childlike fantasies to convey a message between purported forces of ‘good and evil,’ then we will turn to those same fantasies, such as ending fuel subsidies, as being the solutions to the much deeper problems of environmental and ecological collapse from capitalism.”— Forrest Palmer

 Purpose

Purpose has built global movements to fight cancer (with LIVESTRONG) and eliminate nuclear weapons in 20 years (with Global Zero, a new initiative led by more than 200 world leaders and endorsed by President Obama). Purpose also works with some of the world’s biggest companies to mobilize their consumers for social impact, and is currently incubating new consumer movements to help the green economy achieve scale, including a platform to accelerate the transition to electric vehicles.”

The fact is, “free Livestrong bracelets for your twitter avatar” are never going to solve cancer. Further, there are already cures for cancer that are being suppressed in order to protect corporate interests and unfathomable corporate profits, which are only protected if people continue to be sick. Of course there is no information regarding the atrocious harassment by the FDA of Dr. Burzynski nor is there any campaign to focus attention on his plight – and cure. And the fact that President Barack Obama, President Dmitry Medvedev, Prime Minister David Cameron, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon have endorsed Global Zero (a stated campaign to eliminate nuclear weapons in 20 years) guarantees that GlobalZero is nothing more than an effort to pacify the public today by pretending to do something in the far away future that no one has any intention of doing.

The Purpose of Purpose

The fact that Purpose works with the world’s biggest corporations “to mobilize their consumers for social impact, and is currently incubating new consumer movements to help the green economy achieve scale” is more than just a little revealing and more than just a little terrifying.

When Heimans was asked how he was going to use the $100,000 he received from the Ford Foundation, he stated:

 “I’d like to use the funds to promote the idea of movement entrepreneurship and to incubate a couple more movements. We’ve been talking in a broader way about the future of consumer activism, of organizing people not as citizens but as consumers.

 

“We think there’s a massive untapped opportunity to organize consumers for social change.”

 

There you have it, as honest and blunt as it comes: “….organizing people not as citizens but as consumers.”

And if you’re not angry that citizens are considered first and foremost as consumers, to be herded like a flock of sheep in order to serve corporate interests, maybe you don’t deserve any better.

The Managing Director of Partnerships for “Purpose” is Marilia Bezerra. From 2006 to 2011 Bezerra held an integral position within the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) executive leadership. As Clinton Global Initiative director of commitments, Bezerra led the redesign of member engagement and commitments services into a year-round operation. From 2007 to 2008, Bazerra held the position of sponsorship manager of the Clinton Global Initiative where she directly managed five major sponsorship accounts, including Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Procter & Gamble, valued at over $2 million dollars. From 2006 to 2008, Bazerra held the position of Commitment Development Senior Manager for the Clinton Global Initiative. In 2009, Bezerra was Deputy Director of Commitments for the Clinton Global Initiative.

Bezerra took a central role in building the Clinton Global Initiative from its start-up. The Clinton Global Initiative was integral to the creation and funding of the Rockefellers’ incubator project 1Sky, now merged with 350.org (which was also integral to the creation of 1Sky). The CGI is a partner to 350.org/1Sky. Bill Clinton is recognized as a notable ally.

In November 2011, VoltaireNet.org reported in the article “Hillary Clinton aide at the helm of Amnesty International USA”: “Suzanne Nossel, former assistant to Richard Holbrooke in his capacity as UN Ambassador and currently Hillary Clinton’s Deputy Assistant for International Organization Affairs, has been selected as the new Executive Director of Amnesty International USA. In the discharge of her duties at the State Department, she diligently exploited human rights to benefit imperial ambitions. Ms. Nossel had previously worked for Human Rights Watch, as well as for Bertelsmann Media Worldwide and the Wall Street Journal as Vice President of Strategy and Operations.”

 

Up next: Part Two, Section Three

 

Avaaz Investigative Report Series [Links]|Further Reading: Part I | Section I | Part I | Section II | Part I | Section III | Part II | Section I

 

[Cory Morningstar is an independent journalist /ecological activist whose recent writings can be found on Canadians for Action on Climate Change, Political Context and The Art of Annihilation site where you can read her bio. You can follow her on Twitter: @elleprovocateur]

 Part II | Section II of an investigative report by Cory Morningstar

Avaaz Investigative Report Series [Links]|Further Reading: Part I | Section I | Part I | Section II | Part I | Section III | Part II | Section I | Part II | Section II

October 31, 2012

Introduction | By Jay Taber at Intercontinental Cry

In his seminal study Science of Coercion, Christopher Simpson observed that communication might be understood as both the conduit for and the actual substance of human culture and consciousness. As Simpson noted, psychological warfare is the application of mass communication to modern social conflict.

In the U.S. Army War College manual on psychological warfare, the stated objective is to destroy the will and ability of the enemy to fight by depriving them of the support of allies and neutrals. Some of the methods used in the manual are sowing dissension, distrust, fear and hopelessness.

In the decades since these publications were first published, a new form of psywar has emerged in the form of false hope. With unlimited funding and organizational support from foundations like Ford, Rockefeller, Gates and Soros, U.S. Government propaganda now has a vast new army of non-profits that, along with corporate media and academia, serve as both a third wing of mass consciousness and a fifth column for destabilization campaigns worldwide.

As Cory Morningstar captures The Simulacrum in her multi-part series on the non-profit industrial complex, domesticating the populace is a fait accompli, and the only question remaining is what will happen if and when capitalist activism is seen for what it is. By following the money from aristocratic derivatives to embodiments of false hope like Avaaz, MoveOn, and Change, Morningstar steps through the looking glass to expose how NGOs have become a key tool of global dominance using social media as a means of social manipulation.

When the smoke generated by phony progressives clears, all that is left is an industrial wasteland of false hope and real threats. When the betrayals of NGOs like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch are known, we can finally begin to exercise our responsibilities. Until then, programs like Democracy Now remain little more than adult versions of Sesame Street for the toy Che brigades.

[The article above titled “Through the Looking Glass” was published by Intercontinental Cry on September 11, 2012. Jay Taber is an associate scholar of the Center for World Indigenous Studies, an author, a correspondent to Fourth World Eye, and a contributing editor of Fourth World Journal. Since 1994, he has served as the administrative director of Public Good Project.]

 

The Humanitarian Industrial Complex: The Ivory Towers within the Dark Triad

 

“It ought to be remembered that there is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things.” — Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince

Image: U.S. President Barack Obama with Avaaz co-founder and former U.S. Representative Tom Perriello.

Tom Perriello’s ideologies espouse the Machiavellian principle in which “the end justifies the means.” In essence, unethical, morally reprehensible, criminal and contemptuous behaviour is justified in order to, in Perriello’s words, “expand the use of force to advance key values.” Of course, the values Perriello speaks of are American “values.” Perriello’s belief that such noble key “values” are at the foundation of today’s America demonstrates even further delusion.

It is interesting to note the parallels. Scholars often note that Niccolò Machiavelli glorified instrumentality in statebuilding, embodied by his infamous suggestion that the ends justify the means. “Violence may be necessary for the successful transfer of power and introduction of new legal institutions; force may be used to eliminate political rivals, to coerce resistant populations, and to purge previous rulers who will inevitably attempt to regain their power.”

In the 1958 essay, Thoughts on Machiavelli, Leo Strauss proposed that the Machiavellian principles, embraced as a promotion of progress, would lead directly to the modern arms race. “Strauss argued that the unavoidable nature of such arms races, which have existed before modern times and led to the collapse of peaceful civilizations, provides us with both an explanation of what is most truly dangerous in Machiavelli’s innovations, but also the way in which the aims of his apparently immoral innovation can be understood.” [Source] “Machiavelli is the only political thinker whose name has come into common use for designating a kind of politics, which exists and will continue to exist independently of his influence, a politics guided exclusively by considerations of expediency, which uses all means, fair or foul, iron or poison, for achieving its ends – its end being the aggrandizement of one’s country or fatherland – but also using the fatherland in the service of the self-aggrandizement of the politician or statesman or one’s party.” [Strauss, 1958, p. 297]

Antonio Gramsci drew great inspiration from Machiavelli’s writings on ethics, morals, and how they relate to the State and revolution in his writings on “Passive Revolution.” It was the belief of Gramsci that society can be manipulated by controlling popular notions of morality. [Gramsci (1891 – 1937), renowned for his ideology of cultural hegemony as the means of upholding the state in a capitalist society must be considered one of the most critical thinkers and influential intellectuals of the 20th century.]

In psychology, Machiavellianism denotes a personality type.

In cognitive science and evolutionary psychology, Machiavellian intelligence (known also as political intelligence or social intelligence) is the capacity of an entity to be in a successful political engagement with social groups. The first introduction of this concept to primatology came from Frans de Waal’s 1982 book “Chimpanzee Politics,” which described social manoeuvring while explicitly quoting Machiavelli. Machiavellian intelligence is also known as Machiavellianism.

“Machiavellianism is the art of manipulation in which others are socially manipulated in a way that the user benefits from it, whether it is to the detriment of the people being used. The user would feel little to no remorse or empathy when their actions harm others.” — Wikipedia

Further, “the ‘Dark Triad’ is a group of three personality traits: narcissism, Machiavellianism and psychopathy, all of which are interpersonally aversive – three theoretically distinct but empirically overlapping personality constructs….That is, individuals who possess characteristics of any of the personality disorders that make up the Dark Triad are likely to be selfish, possess a grandiose sense of importance, and feel an increased sense of entitlement. Further, these individuals are often pre-occupied with dominance and power and will use aggressive tactics such as manipulation and exploitation to get whatever it is that they feel that they deserve.

“Individuals who possess characteristics of the Dark Triad do not make for good friends. Not only are they not concerned with others, they are constantly focused on their own wants and needs and will do whatever they feel is necessary to achieve their goals, regardless of the consequences to others. This blatant disregard for others may lead individuals with these aversive personalities to behave anti-socially and to commit crimes. While there has been much research done to support the link between psychopathy and criminal behavior, there is currently no research supporting a direct link between individuals with Machiavellian and narcissistic personalities and criminal behavior. It is known that individuals with these personality characteristics are often found in offender populations, but further research must be done to learn more about the dark triad and criminal offending.” [Source: A 2011 European Association of Psychology and Law – Student Society Publication, Wikipedia]

The Empire

Roman Empire Emblem 753 BC – 476 AD [Senatus Populusque Romanus -“The Senate and People of Rome”]


United Nations Emblem 1945


Anonymous Logo 2003-2012

PSYOPS or Psychological Operations: “Planned operations to convey selected information and indicators to foreign audiences to influence their emotions, motives, objective reasoning, and ultimately the behavior of foreign governments, organizations, groups, and individuals. The purpose of psychological operations is to induce or reinforce foreign attitudes and behavior favorable to the originator’s objectives. Also called PSYOP. See also consolidation psychological operations; overt peacetime psychological operations programs; perception management.” (Source: U.S. Department of Defense)

“Interestingly enough, the thirty-eight large and medium sized American facilities spread around the globe in 2005 – mostly air and naval bases for our bombers and fleets – almost exactly equals Britain’s thirty-six naval bases and army garrisons at its imperial zenith in 1898. The Roman Empire at its height in 117 AD required thirty-seven major bases to police its realm from Britannia to Egypt, from Hispania to Armenia. Perhaps the optimum number of major citadels and fortresses for an imperialist aspiring to dominate the world is somewhere between thirty-five and forty. America is well-situated to take over – everything” (The Green Zone, p. 36).

As stated in the propaganda model theory, the leaders of modern, corporate-dominated societies employ indoctrination as a means of social control. Working in unity, the marketing, advertising, and public relations industries utilize mass communications to protect and advance the interests of elites. The theory elaborates on how powerful economists and lobbyists have often used school systems and centralised electronic communications to influence public opinion. (Note that many liberals and some academic media analysts of the left despised the “propaganda model.”) It is critical to acknowledge that the non-profit industrial complex is a vital tool of the public relations industries, as well as 21st century lobbyists – experts in centralised electronic communications to influence public opinion.

With the Harvard Journalism reports (discussed further on in this report) and the role of NGOs in opening up/attempting to pry open the doors to foreign invasion in sovereign states such as Libya, Syria, Uganda and so forth, Herman’s and Chomsky’s propaganda model theory, criticized by the liberal left, has been both prophetic and vindicated.

In the race for global domination of the Earth’s final remaining resources, our shared planet is being decimated by cabals of psychopaths in collaboration with the corporate media complex and the non-profit industrial complex. In perfect synchronicity, they promote extreme fabrications of reality that must be considered nothing less than a brilliantly executed global psyops.

Avaaz Co-founder: Tom Pravda

Snapshot

  • Avaaz International: Co-founder
  • Avaaz International: Secretary 2009
  • Avaaz International: Treasurer 2010
  • European Union: Advisor
  • Global Witness: Intern
  • Integrity: Senior Advisor
  • International Center for Transitional Justice: Consultant
  • Oxford Analytica: Consultant
  • Res Publica: Co-founder
  • UK Diplomatic Service: Member
  • UK Foreign Office: Advisor
  • United Nations Development Program: Consultant
  • U.S. State Department: Advisor
  • World Development Movement: Intern

Education:

  •  Balliol College, Oxford

Resides in United Kingdom.

Tom Pravda is a British diplomat who co-founded both Res Publica and Avaaz. He has been listed as both secretary and treasurer to Avaaz. Pravda also sits on the advisory board of Res Publica. Pravda has worked for the United Nations in New York and is an advisor to the U.S. State Department, the UK Foreign Office and the European Union. Pravda has been a member of the UK Diplomatic Service since 2003 where he has worked on EU trade and development policy and relations with the Middle East and Africa.

Pravda is senior advisor to “Integrity.” [“While working in Afghanistan, directors Andrew Cleary and Anthony Ellis identified a need to provide organisations working in conflict, post conflict and fragile environments with insightful research and ethically driven localised consultancy services. Based on these principles they founded Integrity.”]

“Integrity” states Pravda’s qualifications as: “Tom is a diplomat and public entrepreneur, specialising in peace and security issues. At Integrity he is leading on public sector reform and good governance projects and is currently conducting independent research on global peacekeeping capacities in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan and West Africa. Tom is a specialist in the Great Lakes Region [not the North American ones], particularly the DRC, where he advised the U.S. State Department, the UK Foreign Office and the European Union on diplomatic, security and development strategies and programming for the region. Alongside his diplomatic career, he has set up and run successful NGOs in Africa and the U.S., most recently co-founding the world’s leading online advocacy community, Avaaz.org. He has consulted extensively on political, security, research and advocacy issues for a range of clients, including the UNDP, the International Center for Transitional Justice and Oxford Analytica.”

Oxford Analytica is “a global analysis and advisory firm which draws on a worldwide network of experts to advise its clients on their strategy and performance.” They provide an analysis services that gives “corporate and government executives a proven edge in assessing the impact of global events and turning risks into opportunities.”

Pravda has also interned for Global Witness and the World Development Movement. Global Witness receives immense funding from governments including Canada and the UK. In 2005, Global Witness also received funding from the NED for their work to “advocate for good governance of natural resource management in Liberia.”

It is unclear what NGOs Pravda has set up successfully and run in Africa, but one can safely assume 1) they were financed in whole or in part by Soros and 2) they have served and protected foreign interests since their inception.

Pravda received his degree in philosophy, politics and economics from Balliol College.

Avaaz Co-founder: David Madden

Photo by Lee-Sean Huang

Snapshot

  • Avaaz International: Co-founder
  • GetUp!: Co-founder
  • MoveOn.org: Co-founder
  • TwitterPeek: Creator
  • United Nations Development Program: Consultant
  • World Bank: Consultant

Education

  • Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government
  • University of New South Wales

Resides in New York City

David Madden, is the co-founder of the Australian NGO, GetUp, co-founder of its U.S. counterpart MoveOn.org, as well as co-founder of Avaaz.

Madden has consulted for the World Bank and the United Nations Development Program. As well, Madden has worked for the World Bank in Timor Leste, and for the United Nations in Indonesia. Prior to this, Madden served as an officer in the Australian Army.

Madden began his career with the Inspire foundation which created ReachOut.com. Reach-out.com is an organization that essentially targets the country’s most vulnerable and broken youth. ReachOut reaches out to those youth in deep pain and turmoil, such as those suffering from self-mutilation, depression, suicide, bullying and other societal problems.

Corporate Pedophilia: In the 21st century, children who have been left emotionally starved as a consequence of lack of nurturing, along with emotionally broken youth, are relentlessly targeted by corporations. This escalating, burgeoning crisis is a direct result of a toxic society. Therefore, one should not be surprised that the corporations who sponsor and enable this site to exist are none other than Bristol-Myers Squibb (through their foundation, which simply serves as a front group), “the philanthropic arm” of the Macquarie Group, the News Corporation and the American Australian Association. In other words, let us help you in your time of need while we feed you to the wolves.

Like many of his cohorts, Madden was educated at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. He also attended the University of New South Wales, where he was President of the Student Guild. He is the co-author of Imagining Australia: Ideas for our Future, which he authored in 2004.

The Harvardite also understands the power of social media. Madden is credited with the creation of TwitterPeek, the world’s first and only mobile Twitter device for under $100.

In our culture’s growing addiction to instant gratification, society has become insatiable. Clicktivism serves as another form of instant gratification. “TwitterPeek” and applications like it will serve to enhance the clicktivism fetish. Remember kids, don’t think … just click.

Avaaz Co-founder: Eli Pariser

 

Snapshot

  • AccessNow.org: Founding Board Member
  • Al Gore: Sponsored Speech Writing
  • Author: New York Times Bestselling Book, The Filter Bubble
  • Avaaz International: Chairman of the Board 2006, 2010
  • Avaaz International: Co-founder
  • Campaign for America’s Future: Board Member
  • John Kerry: Fundraising for Kerry’s Presidential Campaign
  • MoveOn.org PAC: Executive Director
  • MoveOn.org PAC: President
  • MoveOn.org: Chairman
  • MoveOn.org: Director of Foreign Policy Campaigns
  • New Organizing Institute: Co-founder
  • Res Publica: Advisory Board
  • Roosevelt Institute: Senior Fellow
  • SumOfUs: U.S. Advisory Board Member

Education

Bard College at Simon’s Rock

Resides in New York

Eli Pariser is co-founder of Avaaz as well as president/chairman of MoveOn.org’s board. Prior to position of chair, Pariser served as the Executive Director of MoveOn.org. Pariser has worked directly with former Vice President Al Gore on drafting MoveOn-sponsored speeches and assisted in fundraising for John Kerry’s presidential campaign. In December 2003 Pariser worked with Jonathan Soros, son of George Soros, on a MoveOn.org campaign. On December 9, 2004, one month after Kerry’s defeat, Pariser declared that MoveOn had effectively taken control of the Democratic Party.

In an e-mail distributed to MoveOn.org members on November 22, 2005, Pariser announced that his organization had created a spinoff entity called the New Organizing Institute, “a unique grassroots program that trains young, technology-enabled political organizers to work for progressive campaigns and organizations.”

“The Internet has made huge changes in politics…. Now, our [MoveOn’s] former Organizing Director Zack Exley is working on cultivating the next generation of ‘online organizers’ at the New Organizing Institute. The first step: find 50 talented up-and-coming organizers, put them through an all-expenses-paid training week, and place them on 2006 campaigns where they can really make a difference.”

A fellow of the Soros-funded New Organizing Institute, he served as Obama’s ghostwriter for social media applications such as Twitter.

Pariser is a founding board member of AccessNow.org, which also helped launch the New Organizing Institute, “which has trained thousands of organizers to bring people together online.”

AccessNow.org is endorsed and supported by Avaaz, MoveOn.org, Witness.org, Blue State Digital and GetUp!

The AccessNow International Advisory Board includes Andrew MacLaughlin, Vice President of Tumblr, Chris Hughes, Co-founder of Facebook and Director of Online Organizing for Obama’s Presidential Campaign, Joe Rospars, New Media Director for Obama’s 2008 Presidential Campaign and Founding Partner of Blue State Digital, Scott Heiferman, CEO and co-founder of Meetup and many other prominent technologically savvy “leaders” in the world of social marketing.

On the AccessNow Twitter account, one can view an image of the Tehran protest in the background where a Western-backed coup d’état failed in 2009.

Those in the Soros network, with the help of seemingly naïve and bourgeois technological sycophants, are building an army of technological wizards to seize and condition the minds of the global population via internet technology (primarily via cell phones), SMS applications and social media.

In addition to overseeing MoveOn.org, Pariser is the board chairman of Avaaz.org. Pariser also serves on the advisory board of Res Publica and is a board member of the Campaign for America’s Future. In 2008, Pariser transitioned the Executive Director role at MoveOn.org to Justin Ruben and became President of MoveOn’s board.

Pariser, author of the New York Times bestselling book, The Filter Bubble, undoubtedly understands exactly why the corporate world has embraced him and has no qualms about funding his many ventures: Pariser understands the psychology of, and thus the power behind, personalization on the internet. He recognizes that internet via personalization poses a very real danger that people will not get exposed to viewpoints that differ from their own. Rather, they will be fed only what is familiar and, more importantly, what is comfortable, thus closing citizens off to new ideas, subjects and information that could challenge their belief systems. The “filter,” which one assumes gives us a much greater view of the wider world, is in reality, more and more effectively succeeding in screening the wider world from us. It is not difficult to understand how valuable an individual with such knowledge and perception is to the global oligarchy. The Filter Bubble reviews:

“On the Web, we often see what we like, and like what we see. Whether we know it or not, the Internet creates personalized e-comfort zones for each one of us… And what’s wrong with that? Plenty, according to Eli Pariser, the author of ‘The Filter Bubble: What the Internet Is Hiding From You.’ Personalization on the Web, he says, is becoming so pervasive that we may not even know what we’re missing: the views and voices that challenge our own thinking.” — Natasha Singer, The New York Times

“Eli Pariser is no enemy of the Internet. The 30-year-old online organizer is the former executive director and now board president of the online liberal political group MoveOn.org. But while Pariser understands the influence of the Internet, he also knows the power of online search engines and social networks to control exactly how we get information — for good and for ill.” — Bryan Walsh, TIME

Pariser has been granted celebrity status by corporate media such as Good Morning America, World News Tonight and a multitude of major cable news channels. His op-eds have appeared in the Washington Post and other corporate media. Pariser lectures can be found on the C-span library as well as TED. Lavishing celebrity status on progressive voices has been an integral tool for those who wish, and most always succeed, to co-opt those who have a progressive voice or appear to/have the capacity to gain influence.

If you can’t beat’em – buy’em.

Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.

In essence, Pariser is a key asset of the elites; that of a valuable commodity.

The simple fact that corporate media bends over backwards to promote these individuals and their organizations should alone raise red flags and set off alarm bells.

The chosen ones by Rockefeller, Soros, the Clintons and others perhaps do naïvely believe that they are capable of harnessing the power of the Internet to democratize society, yet in reality, they are harnessing the power of the internet for those who wish to project their own flawed ideologies on global society. The corporate masters are using these minds to manipulate, shape and mould the public’s psyche and perceptions in order to homogenize world views, while crushing those who seek to protect their own autonomy – and resources.

Pariser has recently aligned himself with SumOfUs as a U.S. Advisory Board member and is currently working on Upworthy, a new startup focused on making trending issues go viral online.

Avaaz Co-founder: Jeremy Heimans

 

“From Sachs to Kristof to Invisible Children to TED, the fastest growth industry in the U.S. is the White Savior Industrial Complex.” — Teju Cole

 
Snapshot

 

  • AllOut.org: Co-founder
  • Avaaz International: Co-founder
  • Davos: Award Recipient
  • Ford Foundation: Award Recipient: Ford Foundation Visionary
  • GetUp!: Co-founder
  • McKinsey and Company: Consultant
  • MoveOn.org: Co-founder
  • Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD): Consultant
  • Purpose: CEO
  • Purpose: Co-founder
  • SumOfUs: Australian Advisory Board
  • United Nations: Consultant
  • World e-Government Forum: Award Recipient

Education:

  • Harvard University
  • University of Sydney

Heimans resides in New York.

Jeremy Heimans is co-founder of both Avaaz and GetUp! GetUp, founded in 2005, is an internationally recognized social and political online “movement” that purports to have more members than all of Australia’s political parties combined. Heimans is also co-founder and CEO of Purpose: “a profit-with-purpose business that builds movements to help solve major global problems.” On his TEDxTeen talk, Jeremy Heimans tells us to “aim higher than the president.” Well, jesus h. christ, that certainly wouldn’t be too difficult.

Jeremy Heimans has consulted for the United Nations, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the International Labour Organization (ILO), a specialized agency of the United Nations.

 “The white savior supports brutal policies in the morning, founds charities in the afternoon, and receives awards in the evening.” — Teju Cole

In 2011, Heimans received the Ford Foundation’s 75th anniversary Visionaries Award. The award, which came with $100,000, declared Heimans “a next generation leader.” Heimans’s other awards include recognition from the World Economic Forum at Davos who named Heimans a Young Global Leader. Honours also came from the World e-Government Forum who named Heimans and Purpose co-founder David Madden (co-founder of GetUp!, MoveOn.org and Avaaz) among the “Top 10 People Who Are Changing the World of the Internet and Politics.” Heimans’s “contributions” have been given glowing coverage in publications such as The New York Times and The Economist. Heimans has worked for the international strategic consulting firm McKinsey & Company (“trusted advisor and counselor to many of the world’s most influential businesses and institutions”), a research scholar at Oxford University and a consultant for the UN, OECD and ILO (UN).

Heimans is co-founder of AllOut.org, as well as a member of the SumOfUs Australian Advisory Board. The only other member on this Australian advisory board is Heimans’s cohort, Brett Solomon, who is Executive Director of AccessNow.org and former Executive Director of GetUp.org.au.

On June 26, 2011, The Guardian published commentary on the “successful” “Arab Spring”:

“This is what democracy activists in the Middle East have been saying about the Arab spring. The real change for Egyptians was not the technology of Facebook – it was the moment when one by one, people realised they were not alone. As the We Are All Khaled Said Facebook page accumulated thousands and thousands of people, young Egyptians for the first time realised that together, they had the numbers. Collectively, they had power.

Many observers have been struck by the absence of visible leaders in the Arab spring uprisings. But this is precisely what online organising makes common: movements based on shared values, not charismatic leadership. The new model for social movements is not leaderless, but it is focused on building individuals’ sense of their own agency – not the leader’s power.

New movements also bring together the global and the hyper-local. Avaaz.org is helping to create a sense of global identity for individuals, where their local actions are dots on a larger canvas. Climate change campaigners 350.org have staged simultaneous days of action in local neighbourhoods throughout the world, engaging hundreds of thousands of people.”

Two red flags jump out from this article: 1) The Arab spring was not spontaneous, and 2) the fact that the Guardian promotes Rockefeller’s (and Clinton’s partner) 350.org and Avaaz as prime examples of successful movements. This would be considered an excellent example of an NGO-media partnership as outlined by Harvard. [To be discussed further in this investigative report.]

Above photograph by Dan Calliaster: Ricken Patel: “A recent portrait commission for The Guardian Newspaper. Ricken Patel is co-founder and executive director of Avaaz.org, the largest global political web movement in history with 5.5 million subscribers in all 193 countries.” (Bold emphasis added)

Behavioural Change

Just prior to this article, on June 10, 2011 in a separate Guardian interview, Heimans states:

 “…’the revolution doesn’t happen when people adopt new tools, it happens when they adopt new behaviors’ is a big part of what we do at Purpose. Twenty-first century activism is all about evolving models of social interaction, with the increased ease of peer-to-peer communications, and a many-to-many model that coexists and sometimes challenges a one-to-many broadcast model. Right now we’re only glimpsing the full potential of these new ways to tap the collective power of citizens and consumers.”

Organizations such as Purpose, 350.org/1Sky, Avaaz, in a sense, play both sides of the fence. While the persona, via branding, that they exude is one of youthful grassroots, in reality, they are drinking champagne and jet-setting with the Imperialist dinosaurs keeping us caged within the twentieth-century.

TECH PRESIDENT website, May 24, 2010:

“Two of the minds behind the global advocacy platform Avaaz.org and Australia’s social action network GetUp! are taking what they learned in the non-profit online organizing space and applying it to the world of consumerism.

“[Purpose] creates 21st century movements. We look for ways that movements can help solve major global problems. To do this, we work with some of the most exciting players in the new green and social economy to help them get to scale faster and some of the world’s biggest brands to mobilize their consumers for significant social impact….

Purpose was born out of some of the most successful experiments in mass digital participation. Our principals are co-founders of Avaaz, the world’s largest online political movement with more than nine million members operating in 14 languages, and the creators of Australia’s GetUp!, an internationally recognized social movement phenomenon with more members than all the country’s political parties combined…. Our movements are deploying huge numbers of people, online and on the ground, to influence the political process. At the same time, we are working to create the consumer demand and behavioral shifts required to bring about the kind of change that politics alone cannot.”

Purpose was founded in 2009. Both GetUp and Purpose are the creations, and ultimately the million dollar project, of Avaaz co-founders Heimans and Madden. All three of these organizations work in similar fashion to their sister organizations – MoveOn and Avaaz – by activating their members in what they term “mass digital participation.”

On the “Purpose” website, more irrelevant, brand-bolstering “highlights” along with promotion of a delusional “green” economy can be found on the media page. “Free Livestrong bracelet for your Twitter avatar” and “Avaaz’s Co-Founders Seek a Purpose-Driven Consumer Life” represent just two revealing examples of many.

What one may not notice is that Purpose is not listed as a non-profit – it is privately held.

On June 13, 2011, an interview published by The Design Observer Group, titled “How to Start a Movement in the 21st-Century,” highlighted Heimans’s latest venture, Purpose. Purpose was described as “a (for profit) New York-based consultancy on movement formation and development that has a not-for-profit arm that launches its own campaigns.”

Into the interview, when the journalist stated it actually sounded “a bit like a marketing, PR, or advertising firm,” Heimans was forthright in his answer: “The tools of marketing and design are critical to our work. We have clients who look to us because we’re good at building mass participation.”

After hiring his first employee in June 2009, by June 2011 Heimans’s company had grown to over 40 employees. And make no mistake, Heimans understands exactly what makes an NGO a success. Heimans’s staff are comprised of political organizers, behavioral economists, interaction designers, technologists, and, last but certainly not least, “brand strategists who know how to tell stories, [the] people who understand business.”

The difference between Heimans and the other Avaaz co-founders is the fact that Heimans is upfront in presenting himself, unequivocally, as a businessperson. Unlike his peers, he does not hide behind a false illusion of humanitarianism nor does Heimans pretend he is an environmentalist. Heimans’s company provides services that build “movements” for organizations. When creating his own “movements” under his “Purpose” foundation counterpart, Heimans establishes partnerships. A recent partner is the BBC. Heimans is also working with other NGOs in Rio “to make sure that ordinary Cariocas have a voice in the development that occurs there leading up to the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics.”

Whereas a real environmental and social justice activist understands that the Olympics are nothing less than a thinking person’s nightmare, Heimans believes the capitalist illusion that this corporate atrocity can co-exist with social justice. Rather, the Olympics is an ongoing perpetual chain of never-ending resource depletion and exploitation belonging to 20th century (non)thinking, which serves to further corporate profit and dominance, an abomination that must end. Yet, blinded by indoctrination, bright-green “progressives” continue to reject reality and perpetuate the falsehoods: that the Olympics can be made to be “green” and “ethical.”

 “Even as tech changes, the need for real human connections and storytelling will be key.” — Jeremy Heimans as featured in the Guardian Activate Summit, June 10, 2011

May 2010: Avaaz’s Co-Founders Seek a Purpose-Driven Consumer Life | Behavioral Economics

Vision: “Purpose is a global initiative that draws on leading technologies, political organizing and behavioral economics to build powerful, tech-savvy movements that can transform culture and influence policy.”

What is behavioural economics? Behavioral economics is the fusion offspring of economics and psychology. In 1979, two psychologists of Princeton and Stanford Universities published “Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk.” This was considered a “breakthrough” paper on how people deal with uncertain rewards and risks. It has become one of the most widely cited papers in economics. The authors argued that the ways in which alternatives are framed – not simply their relative value – heavily influence the decisions people make. This influential paper in behavioral economics, with its meticulous equations, suggested that the core assumption of the standard model was in fact backwards: It was found that it is only the mode of presentation (framing) that matters and not the actual value of alternatives, as previously believed. As an example, one may observe this very ideology held by a professor of business administration Nava Ashraf, who has worked extensively with NGOs in Africa and the Philippines. In 2006 she noticed that “farmers and small-business owners were often not doing the things that a development policymaker or economist thinks they should do” and considered this very problematic. While working in Zambia for Population Services International, a nonprofit that seeks to focus private-sector resources on the health problems of developing nations, Ashraf stated “There are ways of manipulating people’s psychological frameworks to get them to buy things. How do you use this knowledge to get them to adopt socially useful products or services? It’s so practical, and very important in development, for anybody who wants to help people reach their goals.”

The Behavioral Economics of Hatred

The Avaaz “Good Versus Evil” campaign for the Rio Summit. Above: A downloadable poster as found on the Avaaz Press Centre published in the Financial Times. Vilification: Note the dark cast/ugly sky behind the leaders Avaaz would wish you to believe are “evil”, versus the light and sun shining through over the Imperialist obstructionist “leaders” that Avaaz is attempting to convince you are “good”. Keith Harman Snow (war correspondent, photographer and independent investigator, and a four time Project Censored award winner) discusses the art of so called “humanitarianism” via the industrial non-profit complex with precision and candor in his many lectures.

Keith Harmon Snow Discussing Western NGOs and Africa: (running time: 2:54)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k6l0zsdf2Zc

Within George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, the purpose of the Two Minutes Hate is to “satisfy the citizens’ subdued feelings of angst and hatred from leading such a wretched, controlled existence. By re-directing these subconscious feelings away from the Oceanian government and toward external enemies (which likely do not even exist), the Party minimizes subversive thought and behavior.” [Source: Wikipedia] Orwell did not invent the term “two minutes hate” however; it was already in use/utilized in the First World War by British writers to satirize German propaganda.

In a somewhat similar fashion, an economist’s definition of hatred is the willingness to pay a price to inflict harm on others, according to Edward Glaeser, Princeton-educated economist and professor at Harvard.

In an article published in Harvard Magazine titled “The Marketplace of Perceptions,” author Craig Lambert writes:

“The psychological literature, [Edward Glaeser] found, defines hatred as an emotional response we have to threats to our survival or reproduction. ‘It’s related to the belief that the object of hatred has been guilty of atrocities in the past and will be guilty of them in the future,’ he says. ‘Economists have nothing to tell psychologists about why individuals hate. But group-level hatred has its own logic that always involves stories about atrocities. These stories are frequently false. As [Nazi propagandist Joseph] Goebbels said, hatred requires repetition, not truth, to be effective.’

‘You have to investigate the supply of hatred,’ Glaeser continues. ‘Who has the incentive and the ability to induce group hatred? This pushes us toward the crux of the model: politicians or anyone else will supply hatred when hatred is a complement to their policies.'”

One can safely state that the behaviour of economics of hatred has been a key component in the psychology behind the recent Avaaz campaigns attacking the sovereign states of Libya, Bolivia and Syria.

The two minutes hate has risen again.

“When we have reached the point of utilizing placards with childlike fantasies to convey a message between purported forces of ‘good and evil,’ then we will turn to those same fantasies, such as ending fuel subsidies, as being the solutions to the much deeper problems of environmental and ecological collapse from capitalism.”— Forrest Palmer

 Purpose

Purpose has built global movements to fight cancer (with LIVESTRONG) and eliminate nuclear weapons in 20 years (with Global Zero, a new initiative led by more than 200 world leaders and endorsed by President Obama). Purpose also works with some of the world’s biggest companies to mobilize their consumers for social impact, and is currently incubating new consumer movements to help the green economy achieve scale, including a platform to accelerate the transition to electric vehicles.”

The fact is, “free Livestrong bracelets for your twitter avatar” are never going to solve cancer. Further, there are already cures for cancer that are being suppressed in order to protect corporate interests and unfathomable corporate profits, which are only protected if people continue to be sick. Of course there is no information regarding the atrocious harassment by the FDA of Dr. Burzynski nor is there any campaign to focus attention on his plight – and cure. And the fact that President Barack Obama, President Dmitry Medvedev, Prime Minister David Cameron, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon have endorsed Global Zero (a stated campaign to eliminate nuclear weapons in 20 years) guarantees that GlobalZero is nothing more than an effort to pacify the public today by pretending to do something in the far away future that no one has any intention of doing.

The Purpose of Purpose

The fact that Purpose works with the world’s biggest corporations “to mobilize their consumers for social impact, and is currently incubating new consumer movements to help the green economy achieve scale” is more than just a little revealing and more than just a little terrifying.

When Heimans was asked how he was going to use the $100,000 he received from the Ford Foundation, he stated:

 “I’d like to use the funds to promote the idea of movement entrepreneurship and to incubate a couple more movements. We’ve been talking in a broader way about the future of consumer activism, of organizing people not as citizens but as consumers.

“We think there’s a massive untapped opportunity to organize consumers for social change.”

There you have it, as honest and blunt as it comes: “….organizing people not as citizens but as consumers.”

And if you’re not angry that citizens are considered first and foremost as consumers, to be herded like a flock of sheep in order to serve corporate interests, maybe you don’t deserve any better.

The Managing Director of Partnerships for “Purpose” is Marilia Bezerra. From 2006 to 2011 Bezerra held an integral position within the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) executive leadership. As Clinton Global Initiative director of commitments, Bezerra led the redesign of member engagement and commitments services into a year-round operation. From 2007 to 2008, Bazerra held the position of sponsorship manager of the Clinton Global Initiative where she directly managed five major sponsorship accounts, including Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Procter & Gamble, valued at over $2 million dollars. From 2006 to 2008, Bazerra held the position of Commitment Development Senior Manager for the Clinton Global Initiative. In 2009, Bezerra was Deputy Director of Commitments for the Clinton Global Initiative.

Bezerra took a central role in building the Clinton Global Initiative from its start-up. The Clinton Global Initiative was integral to the creation and funding of the Rockefellers’ incubator project 1Sky, now merged with 350.org (which was also integral to the creation of 1Sky). The CGI is a partner to 350.org/1Sky. Bill Clinton is recognized as a notable ally.

In November 2011, VoltaireNet.org reported in the article “Hillary Clinton aide at the helm of Amnesty International USA”: “Suzanne Nossel, former assistant to Richard Holbrooke in his capacity as UN Ambassador and currently Hillary Clinton’s Deputy Assistant for International Organization Affairs, has been selected as the new Executive Director of Amnesty International USA. In the discharge of her duties at the State Department, she diligently exploited human rights to benefit imperial ambitions. Ms. Nossel had previously worked for Human Rights Watch, as well as for Bertelsmann Media Worldwide and the Wall Street Journal as Vice President of Strategy and Operations.”

Up next: Part Two, Section Three

 

Avaaz Investigative Report Series [Links]|Further Reading: Part I | Section I | Part I | Section II | Part I | Section III | Part II | Section I | Part II | Section II

[Cory Morningstar is an independent journalist /ecological activist whose recent writings can be found on Canadians for Action on Climate Change, Political Context and The Art of Annihilation site where you can read her bio. You can follow her on Twitter: @elleprovocateur]Part II | Section II of an investigative report by Cory Morningstar

 Avaaz Investigative Report Series [Links]|Further Reading: Part I | Section I | Part I | Section II | Part I | Section III | Part II | Section I

October 31, 2012

Introduction | By Jay Taber at Intercontinental Cry

In his seminal study Science of Coercion, Christopher Simpson observed that communication might be understood as both the conduit for and the actual substance of human culture and consciousness. As Simpson noted, psychological warfare is the application of mass communication to modern social conflict.

 

In the U.S. Army War College manual on psychological warfare, the stated objective is to destroy the will and ability of the enemy to fight by depriving them of the support of allies and neutrals. Some of the methods used in the manual are sowing dissension, distrust, fear and hopelessness.

 

In the decades since these publications were first published, a new form of psywar has emerged in the form of false hope. With unlimited funding and organizational support from foundations like Ford, Rockefeller, Gates and Soros, U.S. Government propaganda now has a vast new army of non-profits that, along with corporate media and academia, serve as both a third wing of mass consciousness and a fifth column for destabilization campaigns worldwide.

 

As Cory Morningstar captures The Simulacrum in her multi-part series on the non-profit industrial complex, domesticating the populace is a fait accompli, and the only question remaining is what will happen if and when capitalist activism is seen for what it is. By following the money from aristocratic derivatives to embodiments of false hope like Avaaz, MoveOn, and Change, Morningstar steps through the looking glass to expose how NGOs have become a key tool of global dominance using social media as a means of social manipulation.

 

When the smoke generated by phony progressives clears, all that is left is an industrial wasteland of false hope and real threats. When the betrayals of NGOs like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch are known, we can finally begin to exercise our responsibilities. Until then, programs like Democracy Now remain little more than adult versions of Sesame Street for the toy Che brigades.

 

[The article above titled “Through the Looking Glass” was published by Intercontinental Cry on September 11, 2012. Jay Taber is an associate scholar of the Center for World Indigenous Studies, an author, a correspondent to Fourth World Eye, and a contributing editor of Fourth World Journal. Since 1994, he has served as the administrative director of Public Good Project.]

 

The Humanitarian Industrial Complex: The Ivory Towers within the Dark Triad

 

“It ought to be remembered that there is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things.” — Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince

 

Image: U.S. President Barack Obama with Avaaz co-founder and former U.S. Representative Tom Perriello.

 

Tom Perriello’s ideologies espouse the Machiavellian principle in which “the end justifies the means.” In essence, unethical, morally reprehensible, criminal and contemptuous behaviour is justified in order to, in Perriello’s words, “expand the use of force to advance key values.” Of course, the values Perriello speaks of are American “values.” Perriello’s belief that such noble key “values” are at the foundation of today’s America demonstrates even further delusion.

It is interesting to note the parallels. Scholars often note that Niccolò Machiavelli glorified instrumentality in statebuilding, embodied by his infamous suggestion that the ends justify the means. “Violence may be necessary for the successful transfer of power and introduction of new legal institutions; force may be used to eliminate political rivals, to coerce resistant populations, and to purge previous rulers who will inevitably attempt to regain their power.”

In the 1958 essay, Thoughts on Machiavelli, Leo Strauss proposed that the Machiavellian principles, embraced as a promotion of progress, would lead directly to the modern arms race. “Strauss argued that the unavoidable nature of such arms races, which have existed before modern times and led to the collapse of peaceful civilizations, provides us with both an explanation of what is most truly dangerous in Machiavelli’s innovations, but also the way in which the aims of his apparently immoral innovation can be understood.” [Source] “Machiavelli is the only political thinker whose name has come into common use for designating a kind of politics, which exists and will continue to exist independently of his influence, a politics guided exclusively by considerations of expediency, which uses all means, fair or foul, iron or poison, for achieving its ends – its end being the aggrandizement of one’s country or fatherland – but also using the fatherland in the service of the self-aggrandizement of the politician or statesman or one’s party.” [Strauss, 1958, p. 297]

Antonio Gramsci drew great inspiration from Machiavelli’s writings on ethics, morals, and how they relate to the State and revolution in his writings on “Passive Revolution.” It was the belief of Gramsci that society can be manipulated by controlling popular notions of morality. [Gramsci (1891 – 1937), renowned for his ideology of cultural hegemony as the means of upholding the state in a capitalist society must be considered one of the most critical thinkers and influential intellectuals of the 20th century.]

In psychology, Machiavellianism denotes a personality type.

In cognitive science and evolutionary psychology, Machiavellian intelligence (known also as political intelligence or social intelligence) is the capacity of an entity to be in a successful political engagement with social groups. The first introduction of this concept to primatology came from Frans de Waal’s 1982 book “Chimpanzee Politics,” which described social manoeuvring while explicitly quoting Machiavelli. Machiavellian intelligence is also known as Machiavellianism.

“Machiavellianism is the art of manipulation in which others are socially manipulated in a way that the user benefits from it, whether it is to the detriment of the people being used. The user would feel little to no remorse or empathy when their actions harm others.” — Wikipedia

Further, “the ‘Dark Triad’ is a group of three personality traits: narcissism, Machiavellianism and psychopathy, all of which are interpersonally aversive – three theoretically distinct but empirically overlapping personality constructs….That is, individuals who possess characteristics of any of the personality disorders that make up the Dark Triad are likely to be selfish, possess a grandiose sense of importance, and feel an increased sense of entitlement. Further, these individuals are often pre-occupied with dominance and power and will use aggressive tactics such as manipulation and exploitation to get whatever it is that they feel that they deserve.

“Individuals who possess characteristics of the Dark Triad do not make for good friends. Not only are they not concerned with others, they are constantly focused on their own wants and needs and will do whatever they feel is necessary to achieve their goals, regardless of the consequences to others. This blatant disregard for others may lead individuals with these aversive personalities to behave anti-socially and to commit crimes. While there has been much research done to support the link between psychopathy and criminal behavior, there is currently no research supporting a direct link between individuals with Machiavellian and narcissistic personalities and criminal behavior. It is known that individuals with these personality characteristics are often found in offender populations, but further research must be done to learn more about the dark triad and criminal offending.” [Source: A 2011 European Association of Psychology and Law – Student Society Publication, Wikipedia]

The Empire

 

Roman Empire Emblem 753 BC – 476 AD [Senatus Populusque Romanus -“The Senate and People of Rome”]


United Nations Emblem 1945


Anonymous Logo 2003-2012

 

PSYOPS or Psychological Operations: “Planned operations to convey selected information and indicators to foreign audiences to influence their emotions, motives, objective reasoning, and ultimately the behavior of foreign governments, organizations, groups, and individuals. The purpose of psychological operations is to induce or reinforce foreign attitudes and behavior favorable to the originator’s objectives. Also called PSYOP. See also consolidation psychological operations; overt peacetime psychological operations programs; perception management.” (Source: U.S. Department of Defense)

“Interestingly enough, the thirty-eight large and medium sized American facilities spread around the globe in 2005 – mostly air and naval bases for our bombers and fleets – almost exactly equals Britain’s thirty-six naval bases and army garrisons at its imperial zenith in 1898. The Roman Empire at its height in 117 AD required thirty-seven major bases to police its realm from Britannia to Egypt, from Hispania to Armenia. Perhaps the optimum number of major citadels and fortresses for an imperialist aspiring to dominate the world is somewhere between thirty-five and forty. America is well-situated to take over – everything” (The Green Zone, p. 36).

As stated in the propaganda model theory, the leaders of modern, corporate-dominated societies employ indoctrination as a means of social control. Working in unity, the marketing, advertising, and public relations industries utilize mass communications to protect and advance the interests of elites. The theory elaborates on how powerful economists and lobbyists have often used school systems and centralised electronic communications to influence public opinion. (Note that many liberals and some academic media analysts of the left despised the “propaganda model.”) It is critical to acknowledge that the non-profit industrial complex is a vital tool of the public relations industries, as well as 21st century lobbyists – experts in centralised electronic communications to influence public opinion.

With the Harvard Journalism reports (discussed further on in this report) and the role of NGOs in opening up/attempting to pry open the doors to foreign invasion in sovereign states such as Libya, Syria, Uganda and so forth, Herman’s and Chomsky’s propaganda model theory, criticized by the liberal left, has been both prophetic and vindicated.

In the race for global domination of the Earth’s final remaining resources, our shared planet is being decimated by cabals of psychopaths in collaboration with the corporate media complex and the non-profit industrial complex. In perfect synchronicity, they promote extreme fabrications of reality that must be considered nothing less than a brilliantly executed global psyops.

Avaaz Co-founder: Tom Pravda

Snapshot

 

  • Avaaz International: Co-founder
  • Avaaz International: Secretary 2009
  • Avaaz International: Treasurer 2010
  • European Union: Advisor
  • Global Witness: Intern
  • Integrity: Senior Advisor
  • International Center for Transitional Justice: Consultant
  • Oxford Analytica: Consultant
  • Res Publica: Co-founder
  • UK Diplomatic Service: Member
  • UK Foreign Office: Advisor
  • United Nations Development Program: Consultant
  • U.S. State Department: Advisor
  • World Development Movement: Intern

Education:

  •  Balliol College, Oxford

Resides in United Kingdom.

Tom Pravda is a British diplomat who co-founded both Res Publica and Avaaz. He has been listed as both secretary and treasurer to Avaaz. Pravda also sits on the advisory board of Res Publica. Pravda has worked for the United Nations in New York and is an advisor to the U.S. State Department, the UK Foreign Office and the European Union. Pravda has been a member of the UK Diplomatic Service since 2003 where he has worked on EU trade and development policy and relations with the Middle East and Africa.

Pravda is senior advisor to “Integrity.” [“While working in Afghanistan, directors Andrew Cleary and Anthony Ellis identified a need to provide organisations working in conflict, post conflict and fragile environments with insightful research and ethically driven localised consultancy services. Based on these principles they founded Integrity.”]

“Integrity” states Pravda’s qualifications as: “Tom is a diplomat and public entrepreneur, specialising in peace and security issues. At Integrity he is leading on public sector reform and good governance projects and is currently conducting independent research on global peacekeeping capacities in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan and West Africa. Tom is a specialist in the Great Lakes Region [not the North American ones], particularly the DRC, where he advised the U.S. State Department, the UK Foreign Office and the European Union on diplomatic, security and development strategies and programming for the region. Alongside his diplomatic career, he has set up and run successful NGOs in Africa and the U.S., most recently co-founding the world’s leading online advocacy community, Avaaz.org. He has consulted extensively on political, security, research and advocacy issues for a range of clients, including the UNDP, the International Center for Transitional Justice and Oxford Analytica.”

Oxford Analytica is “a global analysis and advisory firm which draws on a worldwide network of experts to advise its clients on their strategy and performance.” They provide an analysis services that gives “corporate and government executives a proven edge in assessing the impact of global events and turning risks into opportunities.”

Pravda has also interned for Global Witness and the World Development Movement. Global Witness receives immense funding from governments including Canada and the UK. In 2005, Global Witness also received funding from the NED for their work to “advocate for good governance of natural resource management in Liberia.”

It is unclear what NGOs Pravda has set up successfully and run in Africa, but one can safely assume 1) they were financed in whole or in part by Soros and 2) they have served and protected foreign interests since their inception.

Pravda received his degree in philosophy, politics and economics from Balliol College.

Avaaz Co-founder: David Madden

Photo by Lee-Sean Huang

Snapshot

  • Avaaz International: Co-founder
  • GetUp!: Co-founder
  • MoveOn.org: Co-founder
  • TwitterPeek: Creator
  • United Nations Development Program: Consultant
  • World Bank: Consultant

Education

  • Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government
  • University of New South Wales

Resides in New York City

David Madden, is the co-founder of the Australian NGO, GetUp, co-founder of its U.S. counterpart MoveOn.org, as well as co-founder of Avaaz.

Madden has consulted for the World Bank and the United Nations Development Program. As well, Madden has worked for the World Bank in Timor Leste, and for the United Nations in Indonesia. Prior to this, Madden served as an officer in the Australian Army.

Madden began his career with the Inspire foundation which created ReachOut.com. Reach-out.com is an organization that essentially targets the country’s most vulnerable and broken youth. ReachOut reaches out to those youth in deep pain and turmoil, such as those suffering from self-mutilation, depression, suicide, bullying and other societal problems.

Corporate Pedophilia: In the 21st century, children who have been left emotionally starved as a consequence of lack of nurturing, along with emotionally broken youth, are relentlessly targeted by corporations. This escalating, burgeoning crisis is a direct result of a toxic society. Therefore, one should not be surprised that the corporations who sponsor and enable this site to exist are none other than Bristol-Myers Squibb (through their foundation, which simply serves as a front group), “the philanthropic arm” of the Macquarie Group, the News Corporation and the American Australian Association. In other words, let us help you in your time of need while we feed you to the wolves.

Like many of his cohorts, Madden was educated at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. He also attended the University of New South Wales, where he was President of the Student Guild. He is the co-author of Imagining Australia: Ideas for our Future, which he authored in 2004.

The Harvardite also understands the power of social media. Madden is credited with the creation of TwitterPeek, the world’s first and only mobile Twitter device for under $100.

In our culture’s growing addiction to instant gratification, society has become insatiable. Clicktivism serves as another form of instant gratification. “TwitterPeek” and applications like it will serve to enhance the clicktivism fetish. Remember kids, don’t think … just click.

Avaaz Co-founder: Eli Pariser

 

Snapshot

  • AccessNow.org: Founding Board Member
  • Al Gore: Sponsored Speech Writing
  • Author: New York Times Bestselling Book, The Filter Bubble
  • Avaaz International: Chairman of the Board 2006, 2010
  • Avaaz International: Co-founder
  • Campaign for America’s Future: Board Member
  • John Kerry: Fundraising for Kerry’s Presidential Campaign
  • MoveOn.org PAC: Executive Director
  • MoveOn.org PAC: President
  • MoveOn.org: Chairman
  • MoveOn.org: Director of Foreign Policy Campaigns
  • New Organizing Institute: Co-founder
  • Res Publica: Advisory Board
  • Roosevelt Institute: Senior Fellow
  • SumOfUs: U.S. Advisory Board Member

Education

Bard College at Simon’s Rock

Resides in New York

Eli Pariser is co-founder of Avaaz as well as president/chairman of MoveOn.org’s board. Prior to position of chair, Pariser served as the Executive Director of MoveOn.org. Pariser has worked directly with former Vice President Al Gore on drafting MoveOn-sponsored speeches and assisted in fundraising for John Kerry’s presidential campaign. In December 2003 Pariser worked with Jonathan Soros, son of George Soros, on a MoveOn.org campaign. On December 9, 2004, one month after Kerry’s defeat, Pariser declared that MoveOn had effectively taken control of the Democratic Party.

In an e-mail distributed to MoveOn.org members on November 22, 2005, Pariser announced that his organization had created a spinoff entity called the New Organizing Institute, “a unique grassroots program that trains young, technology-enabled political organizers to work for progressive campaigns and organizations.”

“The Internet has made huge changes in politics…. Now, our [MoveOn’s] former Organizing Director Zack Exley is working on cultivating the next generation of ‘online organizers’ at the New Organizing Institute. The first step: find 50 talented up-and-coming organizers, put them through an all-expenses-paid training week, and place them on 2006 campaigns where they can really make a difference.”

A fellow of the Soros-funded New Organizing Institute, he served as Obama’s ghostwriter for social media applications such as Twitter.

Pariser is a founding board member of AccessNow.org, which also helped launch the New Organizing Institute, “which has trained thousands of organizers to bring people together online.”

AccessNow.org is endorsed and supported by Avaaz, MoveOn.org, Witness.org, Blue State Digital and GetUp!

The AccessNow International Advisory Board includes Andrew MacLaughlin, Vice President of Tumblr, Chris Hughes, Co-founder of Facebook and Director of Online Organizing for Obama’s Presidential Campaign, Joe Rospars, New Media Director for Obama’s 2008 Presidential Campaign and Founding Partner of Blue State Digital, Scott Heiferman, CEO and co-founder of Meetup and many other prominent technologically savvy “leaders” in the world of social marketing.

On the AccessNow Twitter account, one can view an image of the Tehran protest in the background where a Western-backed coup d’état failed in 2009.

Those in the Soros network, with the help of seemingly naïve and bourgeois technological sycophants, are building an army of technological wizards to seize and condition the minds of the global population via internet technology (primarily via cell phones), SMS applications and social media.

In addition to overseeing MoveOn.org, Pariser is the board chairman of Avaaz.org. Pariser also serves on the advisory board of Res Publica and is a board member of the Campaign for America’s Future. In 2008, Pariser transitioned the Executive Director role at MoveOn.org to Justin Ruben and became President of MoveOn’s board.

Pariser, author of the New York Times bestselling book, The Filter Bubble, undoubtedly understands exactly why the corporate world has embraced him and has no qualms about funding his many ventures: Pariser understands the psychology of, and thus the power behind, personalization on the internet. He recognizes that internet via personalization poses a very real danger that people will not get exposed to viewpoints that differ from their own. Rather, they will be fed only what is familiar and, more importantly, what is comfortable, thus closing citizens off to new ideas, subjects and information that could challenge their belief systems. The “filter,” which one assumes gives us a much greater view of the wider world, is in reality, more and more effectively succeeding in screening the wider world from us. It is not difficult to understand how valuable an individual with such knowledge and perception is to the global oligarchy. The Filter Bubble reviews:

“On the Web, we often see what we like, and like what we see. Whether we know it or not, the Internet creates personalized e-comfort zones for each one of us… And what’s wrong with that? Plenty, according to Eli Pariser, the author of ‘The Filter Bubble: What the Internet Is Hiding From You.’ Personalization on the Web, he says, is becoming so pervasive that we may not even know what we’re missing: the views and voices that challenge our own thinking.” — Natasha Singer, The New York Times

 

“Eli Pariser is no enemy of the Internet. The 30-year-old online organizer is the former executive director and now board president of the online liberal political group MoveOn.org. But while Pariser understands the influence of the Internet, he also knows the power of online search engines and social networks to control exactly how we get information — for good and for ill.” — Bryan Walsh, TIME

Pariser has been granted celebrity status by corporate media such as Good Morning America, World News Tonight and a multitude of major cable news channels. His op-eds have appeared in the Washington Post and other corporate media. Pariser lectures can be found on the C-span library as well as TED. Lavishing celebrity status on progressive voices has been an integral tool for those who wish, and most always succeed, to co-opt those who have a progressive voice or appear to/have the capacity to gain influence.

If you can’t beat’em – buy’em.

Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.

In essence, Pariser is a key asset of the elites; that of a valuable commodity.

The simple fact that corporate media bends over backwards to promote these individuals and their organizations should alone raise red flags and set off alarm bells.

The chosen ones by Rockefeller, Soros, the Clintons and others perhaps do naïvely believe that they are capable of harnessing the power of the Internet to democratize society, yet in reality, they are harnessing the power of the internet for those who wish to project their own flawed ideologies on global society. The corporate masters are using these minds to manipulate, shape and mould the public’s psyche and perceptions in order to homogenize world views, while crushing those who seek to protect their own autonomy – and resources.

Pariser has recently aligned himself with SumOfUs as a U.S. Advisory Board member and is currently working on Upworthy, a new startup focused on making trending issues go viral online.

Avaaz Co-founder: Jeremy Heimans

 

“From Sachs to Kristof to Invisible Children to TED, the fastest growth industry in the U.S. is the White Savior Industrial Complex.” — Teju Cole

 
Snapshot

 

  • AllOut.org: Co-founder
  • Avaaz International: Co-founder
  • Davos: Award Recipient
  • Ford Foundation: Award Recipient: Ford Foundation Visionary
  • GetUp!: Co-founder
  • McKinsey and Company: Consultant
  • MoveOn.org: Co-founder
  • Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD): Consultant
  • Purpose: CEO
  • Purpose: Co-founder
  • SumOfUs: Australian Advisory Board
  • United Nations: Consultant
  • World e-Government Forum: Award Recipient

 

Education:

 

  • Harvard University
  • University of Sydney

 

Heimans resides in New York.

 

Jeremy Heimans is co-founder of both Avaaz and GetUp! GetUp, founded in 2005, is an internationally recognized social and political online “movement” that purports to have more members than all of Australia’s political parties combined. Heimans is also co-founder and CEO of Purpose: “a profit-with-purpose business that builds movements to help solve major global problems.” On his TEDxTeen talk, Jeremy Heimans tells us to “aim higher than the president.” Well, jesus h. christ, that certainly wouldn’t be too difficult.

Jeremy Heimans has consulted for the United Nations, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the International Labour Organization (ILO), a specialized agency of the United Nations.

 “The white savior supports brutal policies in the morning, founds charities in the afternoon, and receives awards in the evening.” — Teju Cole

In 2011, Heimans received the Ford Foundation’s 75th anniversary Visionaries Award. The award, which came with $100,000, declared Heimans “a next generation leader.” Heimans’s other awards include recognition from the World Economic Forum at Davos who named Heimans a Young Global Leader. Honours also came from the World e-Government Forum who named Heimans and Purpose co-founder David Madden (co-founder of GetUp!, MoveOn.org and Avaaz) among the “Top 10 People Who Are Changing the World of the Internet and Politics.” Heimans’s “contributions” have been given glowing coverage in publications such as The New York Times and The Economist. Heimans has worked for the international strategic consulting firm McKinsey & Company (“trusted advisor and counselor to many of the world’s most influential businesses and institutions”), a research scholar at Oxford University and a consultant for the UN, OECD and ILO (UN).

Heimans is co-founder of AllOut.org, as well as a member of the SumOfUs Australian Advisory Board. The only other member on this Australian advisory board is Heimans’s cohort, Brett Solomon, who is Executive Director of AccessNow.org and former Executive Director of GetUp.org.au.

On June 26, 2011, The Guardian published commentary on the “successful” “Arab Spring”:

 

“This is what democracy activists in the Middle East have been saying about the Arab spring. The real change for Egyptians was not the technology of Facebook – it was the moment when one by one, people realised they were not alone. As the We Are All Khaled Said Facebook page accumulated thousands and thousands of people, young Egyptians for the first time realised that together, they had the numbers. Collectively, they had power.

 

Many observers have been struck by the absence of visible leaders in the Arab spring uprisings. But this is precisely what online organising makes common: movements based on shared values, not charismatic leadership. The new model for social movements is not leaderless, but it is focused on building individuals’ sense of their own agency – not the leader’s power.

 

New movements also bring together the global and the hyper-local. Avaaz.org is helping to create a sense of global identity for individuals, where their local actions are dots on a larger canvas. Climate change campaigners 350.org have staged simultaneous days of action in local neighbourhoods throughout the world, engaging hundreds of thousands of people.”

 

Two red flags jump out from this article: 1) The Arab spring was not spontaneous, and 2) the fact that the Guardian promotes Rockefeller’s (and Clinton’s partner) 350.org and Avaaz as prime examples of successful movements. This would be considered an excellent example of an NGO-media partnership as outlined by Harvard. [To be discussed further in this investigative report.]

Above photograph by Dan Calliaster: Ricken Patel: “A recent portrait commission for The Guardian Newspaper. Ricken Patel is co-founder and executive director of Avaaz.org, the largest global political web movement in history with 5.5 million subscribers in all 193 countries.” (Bold emphasis added)

Behavioural Change

Just prior to this article, on June 10, 2011 in a separate Guardian interview, Heimans states:

 “…’the revolution doesn’t happen when people adopt new tools, it happens when they adopt new behaviors’ is a big part of what we do at Purpose. Twenty-first century activism is all about evolving models of social interaction, with the increased ease of peer-to-peer communications, and a many-to-many model that coexists and sometimes challenges a one-to-many broadcast model. Right now we’re only glimpsing the full potential of these new ways to tap the collective power of citizens and consumers.”

Organizations such as Purpose, 350.org/1Sky, Avaaz, in a sense, play both sides of the fence. While the persona, via branding, that they exude is one of youthful grassroots, in reality, they are drinking champagne and jet-setting with the Imperialist dinosaurs keeping us caged within the twentieth-century.

TECH PRESIDENT website, May 24, 2010:

“Two of the minds behind the global advocacy platform Avaaz.org and Australia’s social action network GetUp! are taking what they learned in the non-profit online organizing space and applying it to the world of consumerism.

“[Purpose] creates 21st century movements. We look for ways that movements can help solve major global problems. To do this, we work with some of the most exciting players in the new green and social economy to help them get to scale faster and some of the world’s biggest brands to mobilize their consumers for significant social impact….

Purpose was born out of some of the most successful experiments in mass digital participation. Our principals are co-founders of Avaaz, the world’s largest online political movement with more than nine million members operating in 14 languages, and the creators of Australia’s GetUp!, an internationally recognized social movement phenomenon with more members than all the country’s political parties combined…. Our movements are deploying huge numbers of people, online and on the ground, to influence the political process. At the same time, we are working to create the consumer demand and behavioral shifts required to bring about the kind of change that politics alone cannot.”

Purpose was founded in 2009. Both GetUp and Purpose are the creations, and ultimately the million dollar project, of Avaaz co-founders Heimans and Madden. All three of these organizations work in similar fashion to their sister organizations – MoveOn and Avaaz – by activating their members in what they term “mass digital participation.”

On the “Purpose” website, more irrelevant, brand-bolstering “highlights” along with promotion of a delusional “green” economy can be found on the media page. “Free Livestrong bracelet for your Twitter avatar” and “Avaaz’s Co-Founders Seek a Purpose-Driven Consumer Life” represent just two revealing examples of many.

What one may not notice is that Purpose is not listed as a non-profit – it is privately held.

On June 13, 2011, an interview published by The Design Observer Group, titled “How to Start a Movement in the 21st-Century,” highlighted Heimans’s latest venture, Purpose. Purpose was described as “a (for profit) New York-based consultancy on movement formation and development that has a not-for-profit arm that launches its own campaigns.”

Into the interview, when the journalist stated it actually sounded “a bit like a marketing, PR, or advertising firm,” Heimans was forthright in his answer: “The tools of marketing and design are critical to our work. We have clients who look to us because we’re good at building mass participation.”

After hiring his first employee in June 2009, by June 2011 Heimans’s company had grown to over 40 employees. And make no mistake, Heimans understands exactly what makes an NGO a success. Heimans’s staff are comprised of political organizers, behavioral economists, interaction designers, technologists, and, last but certainly not least, “brand strategists who know how to tell stories, [the] people who understand business.”

The difference between Heimans and the other Avaaz co-founders is the fact that Heimans is upfront in presenting himself, unequivocally, as a businessperson. Unlike his peers, he does not hide behind a false illusion of humanitarianism nor does Heimans pretend he is an environmentalist. Heimans’s company provides services that build “movements” for organizations. When creating his own “movements” under his “Purpose” foundation counterpart, Heimans establishes partnerships. A recent partner is the BBC. Heimans is also working with other NGOs in Rio “to make sure that ordinary Cariocas have a voice in the development that occurs there leading up to the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics.”

Whereas a real environmental and social justice activist understands that the Olympics are nothing less than a thinking person’s nightmare, Heimans believes the capitalist illusion that this corporate atrocity can co-exist with social justice. Rather, the Olympics is an ongoing perpetual chain of never-ending resource depletion and exploitation belonging to 20th century (non)thinking, which serves to further corporate profit and dominance, an abomination that must end. Yet, blinded by indoctrination, bright-green “progressives” continue to reject reality and perpetuate the falsehoods: that the Olympics can be made to be “green” and “ethical.”

 “Even as tech changes, the need for real human connections and storytelling will be key.” — Jeremy Heimans as featured in the Guardian Activate Summit, June 10, 2011

May 2010: Avaaz’s Co-Founders Seek a Purpose-Driven Consumer Life | Behavioral Economics

Vision: “Purpose is a global initiative that draws on leading technologies, political organizing and behavioral economics to build powerful, tech-savvy movements that can transform culture and influence policy.”

What is behavioural economics? Behavioral economics is the fusion offspring of economics and psychology. In 1979, two psychologists of Princeton and Stanford Universities published “Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk.” This was considered a “breakthrough” paper on how people deal with uncertain rewards and risks. It has become one of the most widely cited papers in economics. The authors argued that the ways in which alternatives are framed – not simply their relative value – heavily influence the decisions people make. This influential paper in behavioral economics, with its meticulous equations, suggested that the core assumption of the standard model was in fact backwards: It was found that it is only the mode of presentation (framing) that matters and not the actual value of alternatives, as previously believed. As an example, one may observe this very ideology held by a professor of business administration Nava Ashraf, who has worked extensively with NGOs in Africa and the Philippines. In 2006 she noticed that “farmers and small-business owners were often not doing the things that a development policymaker or economist thinks they should do” and considered this very problematic. While working in Zambia for Population Services International, a nonprofit that seeks to focus private-sector resources on the health problems of developing nations, Ashraf stated “There are ways of manipulating people’s psychological frameworks to get them to buy things. How do you use this knowledge to get them to adopt socially useful products or services? It’s so practical, and very important in development, for anybody who wants to help people reach their goals.”

The Behavioral Economics of Hatred

The Avaaz “Good Versus Evil” campaign for the Rio Summit. Above: A downloadable poster as found on the Avaaz Press Centre published in the Financial Times. Vilification: Note the dark cast/ugly sky behind the leaders Avaaz would wish you to believe are “evil”, versus the light and sun shining through over the Imperialist obstructionist “leaders” that Avaaz is attempting to convince you are “good”. Keith Harman Snow (war correspondent, photographer and independent investigator, and a four time Project Censored award winner) discusses the art of so called “humanitarianism” via the industrial non-profit complex with precision and candor in his many lectures.

Keith Harmon Snow Discussing Western NGOs and Africa: (running time: 2:54)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k6l0zsdf2Zc

Within George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, the purpose of the Two Minutes Hate is to “satisfy the citizens’ subdued feelings of angst and hatred from leading such a wretched, controlled existence. By re-directing these subconscious feelings away from the Oceanian government and toward external enemies (which likely do not even exist), the Party minimizes subversive thought and behavior.” [Source: Wikipedia] Orwell did not invent the term “two minutes hate” however; it was already in use/utilized in the First World War by British writers to satirize German propaganda.

In a somewhat similar fashion, an economist’s definition of hatred is the willingness to pay a price to inflict harm on others, according to Edward Glaeser, Princeton-educated economist and professor at Harvard.

In an article published in Harvard Magazine titled “The Marketplace of Perceptions,” author Craig Lambert writes:

“The psychological literature, [Edward Glaeser] found, defines hatred as an emotional response we have to threats to our survival or reproduction. ‘It’s related to the belief that the object of hatred has been guilty of atrocities in the past and will be guilty of them in the future,’ he says. ‘Economists have nothing to tell psychologists about why individuals hate. But group-level hatred has its own logic that always involves stories about atrocities. These stories are frequently false. As [Nazi propagandist Joseph] Goebbels said, hatred requires repetition, not truth, to be effective.’

 

‘You have to investigate the supply of hatred,’ Glaeser continues. ‘Who has the incentive and the ability to induce group hatred? This pushes us toward the crux of the model: politicians or anyone else will supply hatred when hatred is a complement to their policies.'”

One can safely state that the behaviour of economics of hatred has been a key component in the psychology behind the recent Avaaz campaigns attacking the sovereign states of Libya, Bolivia and Syria.

The two minutes hate has risen again.

“When we have reached the point of utilizing placards with childlike fantasies to convey a message between purported forces of ‘good and evil,’ then we will turn to those same fantasies, such as ending fuel subsidies, as being the solutions to the much deeper problems of environmental and ecological collapse from capitalism.”— Forrest Palmer

 Purpose

Purpose has built global movements to fight cancer (with LIVESTRONG) and eliminate nuclear weapons in 20 years (with Global Zero, a new initiative led by more than 200 world leaders and endorsed by President Obama). Purpose also works with some of the world’s biggest companies to mobilize their consumers for social impact, and is currently incubating new consumer movements to help the green economy achieve scale, including a platform to accelerate the transition to electric vehicles.”

The fact is, “free Livestrong bracelets for your twitter avatar” are never going to solve cancer. Further, there are already cures for cancer that are being suppressed in order to protect corporate interests and unfathomable corporate profits, which are only protected if people continue to be sick. Of course there is no information regarding the atrocious harassment by the FDA of Dr. Burzynski nor is there any campaign to focus attention on his plight – and cure. And the fact that President Barack Obama, President Dmitry Medvedev, Prime Minister David Cameron, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon have endorsed Global Zero (a stated campaign to eliminate nuclear weapons in 20 years) guarantees that GlobalZero is nothing more than an effort to pacify the public today by pretending to do something in the far away future that no one has any intention of doing.

The Purpose of Purpose

The fact that Purpose works with the world’s biggest corporations “to mobilize their consumers for social impact, and is currently incubating new consumer movements to help the green economy achieve scale” is more than just a little revealing and more than just a little terrifying.

When Heimans was asked how he was going to use the $100,000 he received from the Ford Foundation, he stated:

 “I’d like to use the funds to promote the idea of movement entrepreneurship and to incubate a couple more movements. We’ve been talking in a broader way about the future of consumer activism, of organizing people not as citizens but as consumers.

 

“We think there’s a massive untapped opportunity to organize consumers for social change.”

 

There you have it, as honest and blunt as it comes: “….organizing people not as citizens but as consumers.”

And if you’re not angry that citizens are considered first and foremost as consumers, to be herded like a flock of sheep in order to serve corporate interests, maybe you don’t deserve any better.

The Managing Director of Partnerships for “Purpose” is Marilia Bezerra. From 2006 to 2011 Bezerra held an integral position within the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) executive leadership. As Clinton Global Initiative director of commitments, Bezerra led the redesign of member engagement and commitments services into a year-round operation. From 2007 to 2008, Bazerra held the position of sponsorship manager of the Clinton Global Initiative where she directly managed five major sponsorship accounts, including Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Procter & Gamble, valued at over $2 million dollars. From 2006 to 2008, Bazerra held the position of Commitment Development Senior Manager for the Clinton Global Initiative. In 2009, Bezerra was Deputy Director of Commitments for the Clinton Global Initiative.

Bezerra took a central role in building the Clinton Global Initiative from its start-up. The Clinton Global Initiative was integral to the creation and funding of the Rockefellers’ incubator project 1Sky, now merged with 350.org (which was also integral to the creation of 1Sky). The CGI is a partner to 350.org/1Sky. Bill Clinton is recognized as a notable ally.

In November 2011, VoltaireNet.org reported in the article “Hillary Clinton aide at the helm of Amnesty International USA”: “Suzanne Nossel, former assistant to Richard Holbrooke in his capacity as UN Ambassador and currently Hillary Clinton’s Deputy Assistant for International Organization Affairs, has been selected as the new Executive Director of Amnesty International USA. In the discharge of her duties at the State Department, she diligently exploited human rights to benefit imperial ambitions. Ms. Nossel had previously worked for Human Rights Watch, as well as for Bertelsmann Media Worldwide and the Wall Street Journal as Vice President of Strategy and Operations.”

 

Up next: Part Two, Section Three

 

Avaaz Investigative Report Series [Links]|Further Reading: Part I | Section I | Part I | Section II | Part I | Section III | Part II | Section I

 

[Cory Morningstar is an independent journalist /ecological activist whose recent writings can be found on Canadians for Action on Climate Change, Political Context and The Art of Annihilation site where you can read her bio. You can follow her on Twitter: @elleprovocateur]

 

Imperialist Pimps of Militarism, Protectors of the Oligarchy, Trusted Facilitators of War | Part II, Section I

Part II | Section I of an investigative report by Cory Morningstar

 Avaaz Investigative Report Series [Links]|Further Reading: Part I | Section I | Part I | Section II | Part I | Section III | Part II | Section I

Bread and Circuses

Panem et circenses. A metaphor for a superficial means of appeasement, in Latin. It was the basic Roman formula for the well-being of the population, and hence a political strategy unto itself. In the case of politics, the phrase is used to describe the creation of public approval, not through exemplary or excellent public service or public policy, but through diversion, distraction, and/or the mere satisfaction of the immediate, shallow requirements of a populace. The phrase also implies the erosion or ignorance of civic duty amongst the concerns of the common man (l’homme moyen sensuel). In modern usage, the phrase is taken to describe a populace that no longer values civic virtues and the public life. To many across the political spectrum, left and right, it connotes a supposed triviality and frivolity that characterized the Roman Republic prior to its decline into the autocratic monarchy characteristic of the later Roman Empire’s transformation about 44 BCE. [Source: Wikipedia]

Avaaz: The Emperor of the NGO Network 

 

“The banality of evil transmutes into the banality of sentimentality. The world is nothing but a problem to be solved by enthusiasm.” — Teju Cole

Avaaz is the operational name of “Global Engagement and Organizing Fund,” a non-profit organization legally incorporated in 2006.

Avaaz was founded by Res Publica, described as a global civic advocacy group, and Moveon.org, “an online community that has pioneered internet advocacy in the United States.”

Launched in 2007, Avaaz is the fastest-growing online movement in history. The deliberate choosing of the word Avaaz, which translates to “voice” in several European, Middle Eastern and Asian languages, begs the question of whether the core purpose of Avaaz from the onset was to build influence and “befriend” the populations in the Middle Eastern and Asia.

9 December 2009: Ricken Patel of Res Publica: “Each organization [MoveOn and ResPublica] has roughly equal international memberships that will be invited to join Avaaz (Res Publica has built a list of almost 400,000 at http://www.ceasefirecampaign.org/) … I think it’s fair [to say] that we’re starting with a MoveOn model plus SMS….” [SMS is the acronym for Short Message Service, or texting.]

The Service Employees International Union and GetUp.org.au were also publicly recognized as founding partners of Avaaz: “Avaaz.org also enjoys the partnership and support of leading activist organizations from around the world, including the Service Employees International Union, a founding partner of Avaaz, GetUp.org.au, and many others.”

The silent voice behind Avaaz, that of Res Publica, is, in the public realm, essentially comprised of 3 key individuals: Tom Perriello, a pro-war (former) U.S. Representative who describes himself as a social entrepreneur, Ricken Patel, consultant to many of the most powerful entities on Earth and the long-time associate of Perriello, and Tom Pravda, a member of the UK Diplomatic Service who serves as a consultant to the U.S. State Department.

9 December 2009, Tech President: “The organization is pursuing an ambitious growth path…. It is beginning with 700,000 members spread across 148 countries. It also has an Advisory Board that comprises politicians, diplomats, activists and celebrities from around the world…. Open Society Institute indeed made a one-year grant of $150,000 to Res Publica last summer to help them get Avaaz off the ground.” (Two appreciative comments from Avaaz associates can be found under this article, including one from a lesser publicly credited Avaaz co-founder, Paul Hilder.) (Hilder is discussed further within this report.)

In addition to the $150,000 in seed money from George Soros’s Open Society Institute, Res Publica gave Avaaz $225,000 in 2006. (Form 990, page 18), $950,000 in 2007 (Form 990, page 18), and $500,000 in 2008 (Form 990, page 9). (Form 990 allows the IRS and the public to evaluate nonprofits and how they operate.)

Avaaz states that they take “absolutely no money from governments or corporations…. While we received initial seed grants from partner organizations and charitable organizations, almost 90% of the Avaaz budget now comes [from] small online donations.” The 2009 Form 990 for George Soros’ Foundation to Promote Open Society reports (page 87) $300,000 in general support for Avaaz and an additional $300,000 to Avaaz for climate campaigning.

The Avaaz co-founding team is comprised of a group of “global social entrepreneurs” from six countries: Executive Director Ricken Patel, Tom Perriello, Tom Pravda, Eli Pariser (MoveOn Executive Director), Andrea Woodhouse (consultant to the World Bank) Jeremy Heimans (co-founder of GetUp! and Purpose), and Australian entrepreneur David Madden (co-founder of GetUp and Purpose). “Avaaz is lucky to have the founding partnership and support of leading activist organizations from around the world.” [1]

The 2010 Avaaz Form 990 states: “Avaaz Foundation is comprised of two members: Res Publica (U.S.) Inc. and MoveOn.org Civic Action.”

Both Heimans and Madden were instrumental in forming the vision of Avaaz; the “global online political community inspired by the success of GetUp and the U.S. group MoveOn.org.”

In 2002, MoveOn’s political action committee (PAC) raised and distributed $3.5 million to more than 36 U.S. congressional candidates. Don Hazen (executive director of the “Independent” Media Institute (IMI), as well as executive editor of AlterNet, which is a program of IMI) [2] was quoted as stating: “MoveOn’s member list [is] mostly white, highly educated, computer savvy … and willing to give dough.”

Based on the “success” of Avaaz co-founder, MoveOn, we can safely assume that “mostly white, highly educated, computer savvy … and willing to give dough” should be considered the targeted demographic for Avaaz and the Avaaz network.

On 23 November 2003 it was reported by San Fransico Chronicle that “MoveOn.org reeled in a $5 million matching pledge from currency speculator billionaire George Soros.” This represented the largest-ever individual donation to the five-year-old organization. The model described by The Chronicle was “an organization with six full-time employees, no offices,” which has been successfully replicated by many NGOs within the non-profit industrial complex, including 350.org.

In 2010 Avaaz paid Ricken Patel $183,264 as executive director, and paid Ben Wikler (Avaaz campaign director) $111,384 plus $921,592 in “campaigner fees and consulting” and $182,196 in travel expenses. During 2011, Avaaz did not miss a golden opportunity to set up a live-stream for the Occupy Wall Street protest in New York in order to give a voice to the “99%.” Yes, the rich get richer. The poor get poorer.

In addition to receiving funding from the Open Society Institute, Avaaz has publicly cited the Open Society Institute as their foundation partner. This admission by founder Ricken Patel is found on the www.soros.org website. [As discussed in part I, The Open Society Institute (renamed in 2011 to Open Society Foundations) is a private operating and grantmaking foundation founded by George Soros, who remains the chair. Soros is known best as a multibillionaire currency speculator, and of late, an avid supporter of Occupy Wall Street. Soros is a former member of the Board of Directors of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). The CFR is essentially the promotional arm of the ruling elite in the U.S. Most all U.S. policy is initiated and written by the exclusive membership within the CFR.]

Avaaz utilized/utilizes their Open Society Institute relationship to distribute member donations via “Avaaz partners at the Open Society Institute.” [3]

March 2008 – Avaaz co-founder, Ricken Patel explains: “Avaaz is a campaigning organization and not in this business. So we chose a foundation partner with long experience…. That group is the Open Society Institute, one of the largest and most respected foundations in the world. OSI is taking no overhead on the funds we are granting to Burmese groups, and has also increased its own support to this cause in 2008.” [4] In the instance of Burma, all Avaaz campaign donations have been directly funneled through the Soros Open Society Institute Burma Project (website). Although nowhere on the Avaaz website will you find any connection to George Soros, within this statement Patel clearly states that The Open Society Institute is in fact a partner of Avaaz. Why Avaaz chooses to funnel the money through the Soros foundation is not clearly understood, but we might assume Soros insists upon it in order to control which groups in Burma receive funding. Today, Myanmar (Burma) “is eagerly genuflecting before an onslaught of foreign private investors zeroing in to dispossess her” (24 May 2012, Myanmar Learns the Lesson of Libya).

Avaaz partners are many, including one.org [5] [discussed further in this report] and the infamous TckTckTck. The Tcktcktck campaign was launched 26 June 2009 by Havas, one of the world’s largest global advertising and communications firms, in conjunction with the United Nations (Kofi Annan) and Bob Geldof. The stated objective of this corporate-driven advertising campaign was “to make it become a movement that consumers, advertisers and the media would use and exploit.” It is revealing that the “environmental organizations” listed as partners were, first and foremost, none other than 350.org and Avaaz.org who partnered with the likes of such corporations as EDF Nuclear, Lloyds Bank, MTV, and other multi-national corporations who simultaneously destroy our shared environment. The organizations flourish under the guise and branding of “grassroots,” yet “grassroots” are generally not connected to the dominant global structures that are able to absorb, shape and dominate entire movements such as in the case of Tcktcktck at the climate change talks in Copenhagen.

And while the stated initial goal of Avaaz, according to Avaaz co-founder Madden, was “a web-based campaign against the foreign policy of United States President,” the reality is anything but.

Avaaz’s stance on both Libya (now annihilated) and now Syria is in smooth synchronicity with the positions within the U.S. administration, positions such as those vocalized by the likes of war criminals such as Hillary Clinton (of “We came. We saw. He died. Laughter…” fame). The ugly iron fist of war is gently being spoon-fed to the public by way of a very dark velvet glove – that being Avaaz.

As of July 2011, Avaaz claimed to have more than 9.65 million “members” in 193 countries. Most recently, the Avaaz  campaign, which demands foreign intervention by the Imperialist states in a synchronized effort to destabilize Syria, has resulted in the Avaaz membership skyrocketing to over 13 million members. According to Avaaz, this surge of an additional 3 million members or so was achieved in less than 30 days of an intense campaign against the Sovereign Syrian Government. What’s happening in Syria today is a destabilization campaign in which the terror unleashed upon the population is financed by foreign interests.

In the midst of the Avaaz destabilization campaigns of both Libya and Syria, Avaaz, in unison with other U.S.-funded NGOs, also waged a destabilization campaign against the Morales Government of Bolivia in October 2011. The attempt failed. Unlike westerners, Bolivians are, today, far advanced in their intellectual understanding of global politics and carefully orchestrated propaganda, having been on the receiving end of Imperialism/colonialism and the capitalist economic system itself, for what surely must feel like an eternity.

Did Libya’s Citizens Demand Foreign Intervention? 

A ridiculous question, yet according to Avaaz, the answer is yes.

“The call for a no-fly zone originated from Libyans – including the provisional opposition government, Libya’s (defected) ambassador to the UN, protesters, and youth organizations.”

Today Avaaz claims 13,649,421 members, 70,432,165 “actions” (taken since January 2007) and 194 countries with Avaaz members according to the information provided by Avaaz, retrieved on 2 March 2012. During the typing of this single paragraph, the Avaaz membership rose by 30 people to 13,649,451. [Avaaz Facts]

The members are primarily citizens residing within Imperialist or wealthy states. Consider the following three examples: (Stats retrieved from the Avaaz global “membership” virtual map.)

Avaaz members situated in United States: 923,968

Avaaz members situated in Canada: 667,592

Avaaz members situated in Libya: 3,167

On 10 March 2010, John Hilary challenged Avaaz in a Guardian article titled “Internet activists should be careful what they wish for in Libya. Calls for a no-fly zone over Libya ignore the perils of intervention. Long-term solutions aren’t as simple as the click of a mouse.”

Hilary writes:

A no-fly zone would almost certainly draw Nato countries into further military involvement in Libya, replacing the agency of the Libyan people with the control of those governments who have shown scant regard for their welfare. As long as the oil kept flowing, western governments have been happy to prop up dictators who kept a heavy boot on their people’s freedom. Libyans are unlikely to be grateful to be bombed by those same western governments attempting to enforce a no-fly zone. Indeed such action would help Muammar Gaddafi by justifying his rhetoric about foreign intervention, not to mention stopping fledgling revolutions across the region in their tracks.

 

Clearly a no-fly zone makes foreign intervention sound rather humanitarian – putting the emphasis on stopping bombing, even though it could well lead to an escalation of violence.

 

No wonder, too, that it is rapidly becoming a key call of hawks on both sides of the Atlantic. The military hierarchy, with their budgets threatened by government cuts, surely cannot believe their luck – those who usually oppose wars are openly campaigning for more military involvement.

Although Hilary knowingly or otherwise dismisses the very real foreign intervention as “rhetoric” while not divulging the fact that the “fledgling revolutions” he speaks of were instigated/infiltrated/financed by foreign interests, Hilary ends with a prophetic note:

Calling for military intervention is a huge step – the life and death of hundreds of thousands of people might hang in the balance. The difference between the ease of the action and the impact of the consequence is vast.

 

In the Spanish civil war many brave people felt so strongly that they sacrificed their own lives to support the struggle against fascism in that country. How incredible it would have seemed to them, less than a hundred years later, that people would be using a click of their mouse to send armies to fight battles that might end in the death of so many others.

Avaaz’s campaign director, Ben Wikler, posted a comment in response to Hilary’s article. Bold emphasis have been added.

“Dear John,

 

“Thanks for this piece. Sorry that you felt we got this wrong. We’re doing our best and of course, people of good will with similar values can sometimes disagree. Here’s a bit more background and explanation for you on our decision on the no-fly zone –

 

Avaaz is people-powered. Our member community makes the calls. We use polls to gauge members’ views; 84% of members supported this campaign, while 9% opposed it. Since launching it, we’ve found intense support for the campaign from around the world.

 

Our staff also play a key role in consulting with leading experts around the world (and most of our staff have policy as well as advocacy backgrounds) on each of the campaigns we run, and Libya was no exception.

 

In some ways, we work a lot like journalists like you do, talking to people and weighing the facts before we form conclusions. However, our staff’s personal conclusions also have to pass the test of our membership being strongly supportive of any position we take.

 

We’re acutely aware of your and some others’ objections to this campaign. Here are the main issues that people have raised, and where we’re coming from regarding them:

 

Would imposing a no-fly zone really be a Western military intervention motivated by oil?

 

If Western powers use the no-fly zone as a pretext for self-interested military action, Avaaz would be among the first groups to campaign against it – just as Avaaz has campaigned to end the Iraq conflict and ensure that Iraq’s oil rights are reserved for the Iraqi people.

 

The call for a no-fly zone originated from Libyans – including the provisional opposition government, Libya’s (defected) ambassador to the UN, protesters, and youth organizations.

 

The same Libyan groups have strongly opposed any western military presence on Libyan soil. They clearly feel that a no-fly zone is not equivalent to or a step towards invasion. Avaaz staff are in close and constant contact with activists inside Libya and have been repeatedly asked to move forward on this campaign.

 

Meanwhile, among governments, Gulf States have demanded the no-fly zone, and the U.S. government, far from itching to move ahead, appears deeply divided on the idea.

 

Furthermore, our advocacy has been for the UN Security Council to authorize a no-fly zone, not any coalition of western nations. You can bet that China and Russia will not sign off on a no-fly zone if they think it’s a cover for a Western oil grab.

 

Would imposing a no-fly zone lead to a full-blown international war?

 

No-fly zones can mean a range of different things. Some analysts and military figures have argued that it would require a pre-emptive attack on Libya’s anti-aircraft weapons. Others, however, contend that merely flying fighter planes over the rebel-controlled areas would ensure that Qaddafi wouldn’t use his jets to attack eastern Libya, because he knows his air force is weaker than that of Egypt or NATO states. The best solution is the one that reduces civilian deaths the most with the least violence. Things might not turn out as expected, but while there are potential dangers to an international war, there are certain dangers to civilians if things continue without a no-fly zone.

 

Is Qaddafi really killing civilians with this air force?

 

Based on reports from our partners on the ground, from the Red Cross, and from a variety of local and international news reports, we believe Qaddafi’s bombing runs are indeed killing civilians. Qaddafi’s air power is a key advantage over those fighting to remove him: as long as he has control of the air, attacks seem likely to continue for months or even longer, with disastrous consequences for civilians.

 

Wouldn’t a UN resolution for a no-fly zone violate national sovereignty?

 

We believe that the international community has a responsibility to protect civilians when national governments threaten their fundamental human rights.

 

National sovereignty should not be a legitimate barrier to international action when crimes against humanity are being committed. If you strongly disagree, then you may find yourself at odds with other Avaaz campaigns as well.

 

All told, this was a difficult judgment call.

 

Calling for any sort of military response always is. Avaaz members have been advocating for weeks for a full set of non-military options as well, including an asset freeze, targeted sanctions, and prosecutions of officials involved in the violent crackdown on demonstrators.

 

But although those measures are moving forward, the death toll is rising. Again, thoughtful people can disagree – but in the Avaaz community’s case, only 9% of our thoughtful people opposed this position – somewhat surprising given that we have virtually always advocated for peaceful methods to resolve conflict in the past. We think it was the best position to take given the balance of expert opinion, popular support, and most of all, the rights and clearly expressed desire of the Libyan people.

 

Respectfully,
Ben Wikler

Let’s break this down. In the Avaaz rebuttal Wikler states:

Avaaz is people-powered. Our member community makes the calls. We use polls to gauge members’ views; 84% of members supported this campaign, while 9% opposed it. Since launching it, we’ve found intense support for the campaign from around the world.”

The question must be asked – why does “intense support of the campaign from around the world” from an organization co-founded by MoveOn that, as stated in 2002, caters to members comprised of “mostly white, highly educated, computer savvy … and willing to give dough” supersede the rights of a sovereign nation and her citizens against foreign interference? How would unleashing a military operation in Libya affect Avaaz constituents attending Harvard? In fact, the Avaaz demographic is one that is being trained to not think – just click. Indeed, critical thinking is a detriment and a very real threat to the entire Avaaz phenomenon. Surely, the “wish” for foreign intervention and no-fly zones (more commonly known as war and bombs) should only be considered by those who will be affected directly by such a military campaign. As Avaaz states, their Libyan membership is a mere 3,167 people – one must ask how Avaaz considers the 3,167 Libyan Avaaz “members” as representative of “the Libyan people” in a country with (prior to the invasion) a population of almost 6 million citizens.  

“This world exists simply to satisfy the needs—including, importantly, the sentimental needs—of white people and Oprah.” — Teju Cole

The fact is that the Libyan people as a society had no representation in the Avaaz campaign calling for foreign military intervention to be inflicted upon the Libyan tribal society. In spite of Wikler’s ridiculous rhetoric, the fact is Libyan citizens were considered by Avaaz to hold little significance. Avaaz, iconic symbol of the white ivory towers of justice, followed in the path of other international NGOs in the racist ideology that the belief system upheld by the “educated” “middleclass” in the wealthy states is far superior to any contrary beliefs and ideologies of tribal/civil societies in African and Arab nations. It is only the people from within these privileged classes whose opinions matter, hence the victorious proclamation of the 84% support. The Avaaz position is even more problematic when you consider the following.

What constitutes becoming an Avaaz “member”? As with the other “online activism” NGOS, Avaaz’s actual membership is open to interpretation. For example, Avaaz affiliate GetUp states, “Join the movement of 589,261 Australians. Become a member now.” However, this figure is derived from the entire database of signed GetUp petitions, whereby each signatory is automatically enlisted as “a member.” [6] As Avaaz is modeled after GetUp and MoveOn, and considering the membership increases rapidly within a 60 second time-frame, one can assume with certainty that an Avaaz “membership” is instantly granted to each and every individual signing a petition. This ruse serves as a brilliant method of disguising where the majority of their largesse (i.e., investment) originated from (i.e., the corporate state) while further reinforcing the false impression that their funding originated from grassroots sources.

(The latest feel-good consumer NGO (first media mention 29 November 2011, first “tweet” on 4 November 2011), yet another thinking person’s nightmare named SumOfUs, already boasts 262,950 members worldwide. Where did these members come from? Affiliated NGO membership lists?)

If one signed an Avaaz petition in 2007, long before realizing whose interests this organization truly represents, is this same individual still considered a member in 2012? If 3,167 Libyan Avaaz members signed an Avaaz petition in 2008 to save elephants in Africa, this does not constitute a Libyan majority demanding military interference in 2011.

Wikler states: “Our staff also play a key role in consulting with leading experts around the world (and most of our staff have policy as well as advocacy backgrounds) on each of the campaigns we run, and Libya was no exception.”

The question is, just exactly who are these experts Avaaz continues to refer to? Nowhere does Avaaz disclose these “experts” nor their affiliations. And which institutions and societies shaped their policy and advocacy backgrounds?

 Wikler states: “If Western powers use the no-fly zone as a pretext for self-interested military action, Avaaz would be among the first groups to campaign against it.”

Yet, there has been a massive amount of evidence demonstrating, unequivocally, that this was exactly what the pretext was. “Self-interested military action” is exactly what happened, which begs the question – what happened to Avaaz claiming they “would be among the first groups to campaign against it”? [Self-interested military action: Madeleine Albright appearing on 60 minutes, Running time 23s: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FbIX1CP9qr4] Not only does Avaaz contradict this statement, but this organization has done NOTHING to inform the public of any evidence of the deliberate destruction of Libya under the guise of a “humanitarian war.” To this day, not only is there NO EVIDENCE to support this invasion (made possible by the collaboration of yet another 77 NGOs), rather, there is a massive amount of evidence to the contrary. This was a well-planned, deliberate destabilization project that unleashed hell on a sovereign country – a country that had neither attacked nor invaded another nation. Avaaz has never released any material criticizing the war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by NATO and the rebel militias that Avaaz was supporting. Nor has Avaaz shared with their supporters the horrific, racist rebel crimes and ethnic cleansing that NATO turned a blind eye to, and that were thoroughly documented throughout the invasion upon Libya. On the shocking racial atrocities filmed and documented in Tawergha, the white ivory towers remain silent. Aside from the evidence, prior to the invasion of Libya, and after, one would think that the “experts” of Avaaz would have vast knowledge of how destabilization campaigns are strategically planned and carried out by Imperialist states as documented in past and recent history. And of course, when one looks at the background of the founders who comprise Avaaz, we can understand they knew full well.

Video below: Humanitarian War in Libya: There is no evidence! (Running time: 19:42)

Wikler states: “he call for a no-fly zone originated from Libyans – including the provisional opposition government, Libya’s (defected) ambassador to the UN, protesters, and youth organizations.”

As for Libya’s (defected) ambassador to the UN: “Just a few days after the street protests began, on February 21, the very quick to defect Libyan deputy Permanent Representative to the UN, Ibrahim Dabbashi, stated: ‘We are expecting a real genocide in Tripoli. The airplanes are still bringing mercenaries to the airports.’ This is excellent: a myth that is composed of myths. With that statement he linked three key myths together – the role of airports (hence the need for that gateway drug of military intervention: the no-fly zone), the role of “mercenaries” (meaning, simply, black people), and the threat of ‘genocide‘ (geared toward the language of the UN’s doctrine of the Responsibility to Protect). As ham-fisted and wholly unsubstantiated as the assertion was, he was clever in cobbling together three ugly myths, one of them grounded in racist discourse and practice that endures to the present, with newer atrocities reported against black Libyan and African migrants on a daily basis. He was not alone in making these assertions.” [Source: TOP TEN MYTHS IN NATO’S WAR AGAINST LIBYA]

It is an outrageous statement to claim it was the wish of the Libyan people to impose a military zone upon their own country. Further, the defected ambassador was clearly carrying out duties for the Imperialist states. Who were these protestors and youth organizations Avaaz speaks of? Are these the Libyans that comprise the 3,167 Libyan Avaaz members? Are they the youth groups set up by Avaaz funder and partner, the Soros Open Society Institute? Are they connected with the U.S.-funded Otpor or funded by another NGO fed by the U.S. administration? Nowhere is this information disclosed. Further, do the 3,167 Libyan Avaaz members actually live in Libya? Did all 3,167 Libyan Avaaz members sign the Avaaz petition, essentially demanding that their country become a war zone?

Wikler states: “The same Libyan groups have strongly opposed any western military presence on Libyan soil. They clearly feel that a no-fly zone is not equivalent to or a step towards invasion. Avaaz staff are in close and constant contact with activists inside Libya and have been repeatedly asked to move forward on this campaign.”

It is beyond obvious that a no-fly zone in an oil rich country would open the door to Imperialist vultures. Who told these so-called “Libyan Groups” (whoever they are we do not know) such a ridiculous thing, “that a no-fly zone is not equivalent to or a step towards invasion”? One must assume this information was conveyed to the “Libyan Groups” by the Avaaz “experts” since the Avaaz staff claim they were “in close and constant contact with activists inside Libya.” Further, in response to the proposed no-fly zone, Wikler goes on to say “there are potential dangers to an international war…” One must question why Wikler is aware of the potential of international war in response to a no-fly zone while the “Libyan Groups” believe (according to Avaaz) that “a no-fly zone is not equivalent to or a step towards invasion.”

Wikler states: “Meanwhile, among governments, Gulf States have demanded the no-fly zone, and the U.S. government, far from itching to move ahead, appears deeply divided on the idea.”

Yet, as Wikler convinced and assured the Guardian readership that the U.S. was hesitant to “intervene” in Libya, the reality was that two U.S. destroyers and a number of missile-launching submarines were in fact already deployed and headed for the Libyan coast. These destroyers decisively delivered 110 Tomahawk missiles 9 days later on 19 March 2011 as part of the military operation titled “Operation Odyssey Dawn.”

“The Royal Navy bought 65 Tomahawks in 1995 at a cost of $1 million (£650,000) each from U.S. defence firm Raytheon Systems. Two American destroyers, the U.S.S Barry and Stout, have been deployed. According to a Pentagon source, each carries up to 96 Tomahawk missiles.” [Source]

19 March 2011: “Cruise missiles from U.S. submarines and frigates began the attack on the anti-aircraft system. A senior defense official speaking on background said the attacks will ‘open up the environment so we could enforce the no-fly zone from east to west throughout Libya.'” [Source]

Wikler states: “[T]here are certain dangers to civilians if things continue without a no-fly zone.”

Perhaps Wikler was speaking to certain dangers to American and European civilians if Gaddafi were to have succeeded in replacing the U.S. dollar and the Euro with an African Dinar, backed by gold, to build unity and autonomy throughout African nations. Perhaps he was referring to civilians who are living under an economic system that is dependent upon the continued exploitation and stealing of other nations’ vast resources. As Libya was a nation with no debt, interest-free loans, free education, free healthcare, and a state-of-the-art water system and a country that held the highest standard of living in Africa, it is difficult to imagine what exactly Libyans would have been fearing aside from a pending invasion by Imperialist states.

Wikler states: “Based on reports from our partners on the ground, from the Red Cross, and from a variety of local and international news reports, we believe Qaddafi’s bombing runs are indeed killing civilians.”

Wikler is purposely vague. What reports exactly are they referring to? What partners?

March 1st Pentagon Briefing: Q: Do you see any evidence that [Gaddafi] actually has fired on his own people from the air?  There were reports of it, but do you have independent confirmation? If so, to what extent? Secretary of Defence – ROBERT GATES: A: “We’ve seen the press reports, but we have no confirmation of that,” Chairman of the Joint Chiefs – Admiral MICHAEL MULLEN A: “That’s correct. We’ve seen no confirmation whatsoever.”

In the following video, General Wesley Clark explains the Libyan invasion, Syria and Somalia, all planned years in advance: http://youtu.be/fSNyPS0fXpU.

Wikler states: “We believe that the international community has a responsibility to protect civilians when national governments threaten their fundamental human rights.”

Here Wikler echoes the current dogma being repeated incessantly by the U.S. administration and their corporate media lackeys. If Avaaz truly had any “experts” on civilian interests trumping those of corporate interests, Avaaz would tell us that this is merely language designed to facilitate societal acceptance of war by presenting it as “humanitarian intervention” and “responsibility to protect” (R2P). Prior to this lovely terminology, it was formerly known as “the Right to Intervene.”

Wikler states: “Again, thoughtful people can disagree – but in the Avaaz community’s case, only 9% of our thoughtful people opposed this position – somewhat surprising given that we have virtually always advocated for peaceful methods to resolve conflict in the past. We think it was the best position to take given the balance of expert opinion, popular support, and most of all, the rights and clearly expressed desire of the Libyan people.”

This highlights a very dangerous experiment, and now precedent, set by Avaaz. Wikler openly expresses that they were surprised to find only 9% of their “membership” (based upon their polls) opposed a no-fly zone. Wikler stating that this position was “somewhat surprising given that we have virtually always advocated for peaceful methods to resolve conflict in the past” is, by his own admission, acknowledging that this new direction is one that is not peaceful. One should note that all NGOs use polls and marketing executives to create and lay out most all campaigns and campaign strategies. Avaaz is no exception; rather, Avaaz should be considered the rule.

Avaaz’s integration into militarism can be seen in their continual polling that outlines, in essence, what citizens are responsive to, and what they are willing to tolerate. In the 13 January 2010 global Avaaz poll, participants were asked to rate 6 priorities in order of importance. The stated priorities from which one could choose included human rights, torture and genocide (#2), democracy movements and tyrannical regimes (#3) war, peace and security (#4) and corruption and abuse of power (#5). Incidentally number 1 was climate change, however after the failed Copenhagen climate talks, this issue was no longer considered a hot commodity for NGO branding purposes and thus the campaign on climate was, for the most part, abandoned altogether. All other proposed “choices” are key elements/issues associated with militarism.

How Wikler and his Avaaz cohorts sleep at night, knowing the Avaaz campaign contributed to the annihilation of as many as 100,000 Libyan civilians and unleashed a racial war, is anyone’s guess. Although it certainly must help when one is surrounded by like-minded people who all reinforce your distorted world views while reassuring each other that each is more brilliant than the other and the end justifies the means. This is the beauty and the power of neo-liberalism activism conformity. It allows one to behave like an asshole, while those indoctrinated into the same belief system, including corporate and so-called “progressive” media, portray you as a celebrity. The oligarchy’s willingness to ensure the egos remain plump and well-nourished is strategic. This ensures that the narcissist’s delusions are reinforced while simultaneously ensuring any doubt is cast far away. No one wishes to be ostracized from the champagne circuit. Wikler recently left Avaaz to become Executive Vice President at Change.org, another Soros (for-profit) NGO, while thousands upon thousands of Libyans paid the ultimate price for his campaign, which can be found on the Avaaz website under recent “victories.” Ben Wikler’s compensation as Avaaz Campaign Director in 2010 was a reported $111,384 (990 Form).

Not everyone was so gullible. One reader (“derazed”) comments beneath the Guardian article: “Up until its latest, I had appreciated Avaaz – even gave some money in the direction of providing Arab activists telecommunications equipment. When the no-fly email arrived, I created my own “no fly” zone – by terminating my email relationship with Avaaz. The internet and real-life events have taught me something about warmongers in virtual clothing.”

[28 March 2011: Fortune-500 funded Brookings Institution’s “Libya’s Test of the New International Order” is reported on – exposing the war as not one of a “humanitarian” nature, but one aimed explicitly at establishing an international order and the primacy of international law.]

The Avaaz Gate-Keepers 

Consider all of the following information within this report as a mere tip of the iceberg. Note that most, if not all organizations discussed in this report are, in part or full, financed by, and in many cases established in partnership with, George Soros’ “Open Society Institute.”

Avaaz Co-Founder and Executive Director: Ricken Patel

Life in the Champagne Circuit: In this photograph taken by AP Images for Avaaz, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, center left, accepts the ‘End the War on Drugs’ petition from Avaaz Executive Director Ricken Patel, center right, accompanied by Richard Branson, right, and Fernando Henrique Cardoso, left, at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, Friday, 3 June 2011.

Snapshot:

  • AccessNow: International Advisory Board
  • Avaaz International: Co-founder
  • Avaaz International: Executive Director/President
  • CARE International: Consultant
  • CeaseFireCampaign.org (discontinued): Co-Founder
  • CeaseFireCampaign.org (discontinued): Executive Director
  • DarfurGenocide.org: Co-director
  • DarfurGenocide.org: Co-founder
  • Faith in Public Life: Board of Directors
  • Faith in Public Life: Co-founder
  • Faithful America: Board of Directors
  • Faithful America: Co-founder
  • Gates Foundation: Consultant
  • Harvard University: Consultant
  • International Center for Transitional Justice: Consultant
  • International Crisis Group: Consultant
  • J Street: Advisory Council
  • Namati: Board of Directors
  • Res Publica: Chairman/Executive Director
  • Res Publica: Co-founder
  • Rockefeller Foundation: Consultant
  • United Nations: Consultant

Education:

  • Harvard University Kennedy School of Government
  • University of Oxford
  • Queen’s University

Compensation from Avaaz (990 Forms):

2006:   $61,650 (Res Publica)

2006: $120,000

2007: $120,000

2007:   $10,000 (Res Publica)

2008: $126,000

2009: $120,000

2010: $183,264

Resides in New York

Ricken Patel is co-founder and executive director of Avaaz International. Patel has served as a consultant for the United Nations, the Rockefeller Foundation, the International Crisis Group, Harvard University, CARE International, and the International Center for Transitional Justice.

Patel’s consulting to the United Nations should be of little surprise. Like Avaaz, the United Nations has become nothing more than an instrumental tool that serves the interests of the Imperialist states. This too should come as little surprise since it was the oligarchy who founded the UN in the first place. For decades, those states oppressed under the claws of Imperialism have demanded reforms within the UN. This fact is well-documented in a long list of impassioned speeches by leaders of sovereign nations constantly fighting against oppression and foreign meddling. The speeches are rarely, if ever, publicized by either corporate or “progressive” media (funded by the same corporate elites). Not surprisingly, the non-profit industrial complex does essentially nothing to support the states who continue to fight for their autonomy and liberation, only possible by smashing the chains of Imperialist states. This is what Libya was helping Africa achieve before it was targeted and destroyed.

Patel was voted “Ultimate Gamechanger in Politics” in 2009 by the recently acquired Huffington Post (purchased by AOL Time Warner in 2011) and named “a Young Global Leader” by the infamous Davos World Economic Forum. When an “activist” receives accolades from international corporate entities and corporate media, alarm bells should be going off and red flags should be seen waving from those within civil society.

Patel is a graduate of the Kennedy School at Harvard University and Oxford and is considered in elite circles a “Balliol”:

Oxford: “Institutions as diverse as the Workers Educational Trust, the National Trust, Amnesty International, Ashoka (the global association of leading social entrepreneurs), and Avaaz (now the largest online advocacy group in the world) were all established by Balliol people.”

The International Crisis Group, for which Patel has served as a consultant, is also an institution for which George Soros is a trustee. In 2008, ICG helped establish the Global Center for the Responsibility to Protect, along with Human Rights Watch, Oxfam International and other influential NGOs of the Soros network. As of April 2011, ICG was one of the 31 member organizations belonging to the International Coalition for the Responsibility to Protect. Operating on an annual budget of $17 million (2011), ICG raises funds from governments, charitable foundations, private companies, and individual donors. Among the organization’s key benefactors are the Rockefeller Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the William & Flora Hewlett Foundation, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Compton Foundation, and the Flora Family Foundation. In 2008 George Soros’ Open Society Institute pledged to give $5 million to ICG.

The International Crisis Group has been a key player in the “revolutions.” In the January 2011 article “All is not what it seems in Egyptian Clashes,” it was disclosed that the Egyptian protest leader Mohammed ElBaradei “was in fact a devoted agent of the West, with a long standing membership within the Wall Street/London funded International Crisis Group” [Source: Land Destroyer].

Patel is also co-founder and executive director of Res Publica, which was formally launched in 2003. Res Publica is based in New York.

Res Publica is a primary co-founder of Avaaz along with MoveOn. Res Publica’s stated goal is to “develop innovative solutions to global justice and security threats.” Res Publica “ran as a pilot project” in Sierra Leone in 2001-2002 and has three full-time fellows, Ricken Patel, Tom Perriello and Tom Pravda. Res Publica is supported by a broader network of “Friends of Res Publica” and a Global Advisory Board. Who the broader network of “Friends of Res Publica” actually are, is anyone’s guess.

29 December 2004: “Over two days in early December approximately three-dozen religious activists met at the Washington office of the Center for American Progress, a recently formed think tank headed by former Clinton chief of staff John Podesta. The Res Publica-driven agenda for the closed-door gathering included sessions on ‘building the movement infrastructure’ and ‘objectives, strategies and core issues.'”

Perriello (now President and CEO of Center for American Progress) described Res Publica as an “incubator for social entrepreneurship.”

The Res Publica email address is actually respublica@avaaz.org.

Up to at least 2008, Patel remained a board of directors member with Faithful America of which he was also a principle founder (founded in 2004, launched in 2006) along with former (2009-2011) U.S. Representative Tom Perriello. The aim of “Faithful America” was to create a “religious version of MoveOn.org.” Both Patel and Perriello served as the project’s first co-directors. This NGO was later taken over by Faith in Public Life, where, as of 2008, Patel was also a member of the board. On 13 April 2008, Faith in Public Life, in partnership with the ONE Campaign and Oxfam America, organized the Democratic candidates’ “Compassion Forum” during which corporate media partners CNN and Newsweek hosted an evening with Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and a number of faith “leaders.” Faith in Public Life received $400,000 from the Open Society Institute in 2007 and again in 2008.

Patel was co-director of DarfurGenocide.org, an organization he helped establish with Perriello and the U.S. State Department.

Patel also serves on the board of Namati, an organization “that offers technical assistance to development organizations, governments, and civil society actors interested in enhancing legal empowerment aspects of existing work, or launching new legal empowerment initiatives.” Its partners include UKAid from the Department of International Development; AusAid, the Australian government’s Overseas Aid Program; UNDP, the United Nations Development Program; and the Soros Open Society Foundations. Patel also sits on the organization J Street’s advisory council with Eli Pariser, co-founder of Avaaz and the current executive director of MoveOn.

Patel also serves on the International Advisory Board of AccessNow.org, an organization which will be discussed further in this report. [Source: Source Watch]

Patel’s rise to superstardom in the corporate world is due to the fact that he specializes in “E-advocacy” and web-based movement-building – the key to securing control of all “consumers,” all “movements” and essentially all information on the planet.

Avaaz Co-founder: Tom Perriello

Snapshot:

  • AccessNow: International Advisory Board
  • Afghanistan Watch: Analyst
  • Avaaz International: Co-founder
  • Avaaz International: Secretary 2008
  • Avaaz International: Trustee 2006, 2007
  • Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good: Co-founder
  • CeaseFireCampaign.org (discontinued): Co-founder
  • Center for a Sustainable Economy, now part of “Redefining Progress”: Assistant Director
  • Center for American Progress Action Fund (CAPAF) — the home of ThinkProgress and the advocacy arm of the Center for American Progress (CAP): President and CEO
  • Consultant on Youth and Environmental Campaigns
  • E-Mediat Jordan: Country Director
  • Faithful America: Co-director
  • Faithful America: Principle Founder
  • International Center for Transitional Justice: Consultant
  • International Centre for Transitional Justice: Employed by
  • J Street: Advisory Council
  • Namati: Board of Directors
  • National Council of Churches of Christ: Consultant
  • National Council of Churches of Christ: Fellow
  • National Security Consultant
  • New York State Bar: Member
  • Open Society Institute: Teaching Fellow
  • Res Publica: Co-founder
  • The Century Foundation: Fellow
  • The Century Foundation: National Security Analyst
  • The Century Foundation: Special Advisor/Spokesperson
  • United Nations: Special Adviser to the International War Crimes Prosecutor
  • U.S. Representative: Virginia Democratic Congressman, 2008-2010
  • U.S. State Department: Employed by
  • Virginia House of Delegates: Legislative Page
  • Yale Law School: Teaching Fellow
  • Yale Scroll and Key: Secret Society Member

Avaaz Compensation:

2006: $48,000

Education: Yale University

Resides in Virginia, U.S.A.

Tom Perriello is a long-time collaborator with Ricken Patel. Together, they co-founded Avaaz.org, Res Publica and FaithfulAmerica.org.

Perriello is a former U.S. Representative (represented the 5th District of Virginia from 2008 to 2010) and a founding member of the House Majority Leader’s National Security Working Group.

Perriello was also co-founder of Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good. He worked for Reverend Dr. James Forbes on “prophetic justice” principles. Many of these organizations were created with the intent of creating a broad-based “religious left” movement.

Indeed, it has been stated by Marx that “religion is the opium of the masses.” In 1974 the late Edward Goldsmith argued that religion must be considered an integral part of a culture; the key control mechanism that ensures the stability of a social system. Goldsmith noted that, indeed, no traditional societies appear to have a word for “religion” while “only when religion breaks away from the rest of a society’s cultural pattern and ceases to be the effective force governing it, that the word ‘religion’ appears necessary.” Goldsmith cautioned in 1974 that contrary to what was being taught, people in Western societies were never more miserable, explaining why they resort to so many different forms of escapism such as addiction and suicide. Goldsmith believed it was essential to urgently create new systems of belief in an effort to “recreate an orderly society held together by a clearly formulated religio-culture.” Goldsmith stated that movements attempting to achieve this have already begun to proliferate. One can assume this was the ideology behind Patel’s and Perriello’s religious groups they began to create. The only problem for Patel, Perriello, Pravda and Soros was that the religious angle did not work. The masses did not buy in.

Perriello and Patel also co-founded and co-directed DarfurGenocide.org which officially launched in 2004. “DarfurGenocide.org is a project of Res Publica, a group of public sector professionals dedicated to promoting good governance and virtuous civic cultures.” Today, this organization is now known as “Darfurian Voices”: “Darfurian Voices is a project of 24 Hours for Darfur.” The U.S. Department of State and the Open Society Institute were just two of the organization’s funders and collaborating partners. Other Darfurian Voices partners include Avaaz, the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), International Centre for Transitional Justice, Darfur Rehabilitation Project, Humanity United, Darfur People’s Association of New York, Genocide Intervention, Witness, Yale Law School, The Sigrid Rausing Trust and the Bridgeway Foundation.

Despite the carefully crafted language and images that tug at your emotions, such NGOs were created for and exist for one primary purpose – to protect and further American policy and interests, under the guise of philanthropy and humanitarianism. Of all the listed partners of DarfurGenocide.org, with the exception of one located in London, England, all of the entities involved are American and based on U.S. soil.

 “Most of us have policy or diplomacy backgrounds, as well as activist, so the hope is that we will be doing these things at key diplomatic moments.” — Tom Perriello on Avaaz, 5 February 2007, speaking to The Nation

Consider the explosive investigative report titled “Burying the Darfur Genocide Myth”, published by Pravda on 16 August 2011. Excerpts are as follows:

“To start with, my investigation has found that the victims of the Darfur conflict were the beneficiaries of the largest, best run relief works in history. This is a fact, demonstrated repeatedly by the situation on the ground in Darfur, and every honest, knowledgeable aid worker in the Darfur relief works will tell you that Sudanese President Omar Al Bashir has played a critical role in the relief works success and that without the leadership and support of President Bashir the Darfur relief works would not have been possible.

 

The charges of genocide laid against President Bashir by, amongst others, the International Criminal Court in the Hague, are based on reports of the most shaky provenance, mainly UN ‘sources’ of very questionable backgrounds….

 

The Darfur genocide myth has been promoted by western ‘human rights’ NGOs who have collected over $100 million under the rubric of ‘Enough’ and ‘Preventing Genocide.’ The claims of genocide are based on estimates of the number of deaths that were rapidly inflated as the dollars started rolling in. First it was 100,000, then 200,000, then 300,000 and finally, in a claim so ludicrous that even the British government media watchdog yanked off the air, 400,000 people were supposed to have been victims of genocide in Darfur….

 

The west, in particular the U.S.A, are hell bent on keeping Africa in a state of crisis, the better to exploit. And the ‘save Darfur’ lobby is all for bringing more violence to Africa under the guise of ‘humanitarian intervention,’ while little of the over $100 million they collected ever reached the Darfur people it was intended for.”

Videos: Human rights investigator and award-winning journalist Keith Harmon Snow Speaking on Propaganda and NGOs (Running time: 2:56)

Keith Harmon Snow Discussing Western NGOs and Africa (Running time: 2:54)

The International Criminal Court (ICC) (led by Luis Moreno Ocampo) is widely discredited in Africa. Since its inception in 2002, the ICC has targeted solely African and other developing world leaders. Jean Ping, head of the African Union: “We Africans and the African Union are not against the International Criminal Court. We are against Ocampo who is rendering justice with double standards.” The ICC has had many opportunities to indict Western war criminals/leaders (Bush, Blair, Cheney) since its inception, yet, of course has made no attempts to do so. [Source]

Before co-founding Res Publica, Perriello served as Special Advisor to the Prosecutor of the Special Court for Sierra Leone, a United Nations Tribunal, and as a Yale Law School/Open Society Institute Teaching Fellow in West Africa. Perriello is a member of the New York State Bar.

Perriello’s 2005 organization “Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good” (CACG) stated that the concept of “the common good” reportedly came from the Center for American Progress founded by co-chair of President Obama’s transition team John Podesta, which subsequently helped form alliances between CACG and similar organizations. The chair of this organization is Elizabeth Frawley Bagley: “Bagley is a member of the law firm of Manatt, Phelps & Phillips. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy. She served as senior advisor to the secretary of state from 1997–2001.” CACG’s listed advisers include/included Clinton’s Paul Begala and John Podesta and Clinton’s former press secretary Mike McCurry.

Perriello has worked for the U.S. State Department, and as a consultant for the International Centre for Transitional Justice, as well as the National Council of Churches of Christ. Perriello has been an analyst for Afghanistan Watch, as well as a Special Advisor/Spokesperson and National Security Analyst for The Century Foundation in which he is a “Fellow.” The URL for Afghanistan Watch now brings up The Century Foundation. Prior to law school, Perriello worked as assistant director of the Center for a Sustainable Economy (now part of “Redefining Progress“) and as a consultant on youth and environmental campaigns.

Perriello has worked as an independent national security consultant in central and southern Afghanistan. In 2005 and 2007, he spent time assessing “the Taliban’s resurgence and strategies (primarily political) for restoring control.” Perriello conducted research in seven different provinces and managed a team of 60 across the country. Under the auspices of his own organization (Res Publica) and others, Perriello briefed embassy leaders in Kabul, UN mission chiefs, and various agencies of the Bush Administration. He also provided background briefings for media, U.S. Representatives, and various think tanks such as the Center for American Progress, of which he is now CEO and President. He has also worked in national security efforts in Sierra Leone (United Nations Special Court), Liberia, Kosovo, and Darfur. Perriello has worked as a humanitarian aid worker national security consultant and is on the board of directors for Namati.

Perriello has had a long relationship with Soros’ Open Society-funded Human Rights Watch and the International Crisis Group, which continue to this day. Amnesty International is also financed by the Soros Open Society Institute. All of these organizations have been instrumental in opening up the doors for foreign invasion into Libya and now Syria.

Excerpts from the 3 May 2011 article “International Crisis Group Sweating over Syria,” published by Land Destroyer Report:

“The International Crisis Group (ICG) has been at the center of the unfolding ‘Arab Spring’ since the very beginning. Mohamed ElBaradei, a member of the ICG board of trustees, was literally leading the color revolution in the streets of Cairo along with his admitted underling, Google executive Wael Ghonim. The ICG has also recently made a heeded call for intervention in the Ivory Coast.

 

ICG includes George Soros and Zbigniew Brzezinski, two men notorious for their extraterritorial meddling and their fomenting of color revolutions in far flung lands. To explain why they are so eager to pry their way into sovereign nations, despoil, topple, and rebuild them, one only has to look at ICG’s corporate supporters. They include such ignoble organizations as Chevron, Morgan Stanley, and Deutsche Bank Group with equally ignoble intentions that are confidently expressed through ICG’s nefarious agenda.”

The International Crisis Group (ICG) was founded in 1995 by World Bank Vice-President Mark Malloch Brown, former U.S. diplomat Morton Abramowitz and Fred Cuny, an international disaster relief specialist who disappeared in Chechnya in 1995. The Crisis Group raises funds from mainly western governments, foundations, corporations and individual donors. In 2006, 40% of its funding came from 22 different governments, 32% from 15 “philanthropic” organizations, and 28% from individuals and private foundations. Soros, who is chairman of the Open Society Institute, is on the Board of Trustees. The ICG Advisory Council includes corporations such as Chevron and Shell.[Source] The Board of Trustees, Executive Committee and the Crisis Group Senior Advisors read like a who’s who of the political elites and banking cartel. The ICG executive committee includes Kofi Annan, former Secretary-General of the United Nations, Lawrence Summers, Former Director of the U.S. National Economic Council and Secretary of the Treasury, and Javier Solana, NATO Secretary-General and Foreign Affairs Minister of Spain.

In 2007, ICG and Human Rights Watch were key players in the development of the Global Center for the Responsibility to Protect in cooperation with prominent governments, NGOs and academia. [For background on R2P read The Real Motives behind a Rapacious Imperial Power’s Real Objectives and History and Timeline of R2P.]

Excerpts from the 15 February 2012 article, “‘Human Rights’ Warriors for Empire,” published by Black Agenda Report:

“Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch are swigging the ale with their fellow buccaneers. These ‘human rights’ warriors, headquartered in the bellies of empires past and present, their chests shiny with medals of propagandistic service to superpower aggression in Libya, contribute ‘left’ legitimacy to the imperial project.

 

Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have chosen sides in the Washington-backed belligerency – the side of Empire. As groups most often associated with (what passes for) the Left in their headquarters’ countries, they are invaluable allies of the current imperial offensive….

 

There was great ambivalence – the most polite word I can muster – among purported leftists in the United States and Europe to NATO’s bombardment and subjugation of Libya. Here we are again, in the face of existential imperial threats to Syria and Iran, as leftists temporize about human rights while the ‘greatest purveyor of violence in the world today’ blazes new warpaths.

 

There is no such thing as an anti-war activist who is not an anti-imperialist. And the only job of an anti-imperialist in the belly of the beast is to disarm the beast. Absent that, s/he is useless to humanity.

 

As we used to say: You are part of the solution – or you are part of the problem. Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch are part of the problem.”

The George Soros Open Society Foundation is the primary donor of the Human Rights Watch, contributing $100 million of $128 million of contributions and grants received by the HRW in the 2011 financial year.

Perriello is a supporter of the “War on Terror,” a fabricated psyops, which was and continues to be an essential component to unleash a new wave of wars, invasions and occupations. Indeed, if people are frightened, they will accept authority.

“As far as America’s war against terrorism is concerned [the] senator provides unequivocal support to Barrack Obama.” — Perriello of Congress website

Perriello’s view of Israel borders on fantasy. He views Israel as one of the most “dramatic and exciting creations of the international community” in the 20th century and believes that a permanent moral and strategic relationship exists between the U.S. and Israel.”

In May 2009, 60 Congress members voted against dumping another $97 billion into the wars on Iraq and Afghanistan. Perriello voted for it. [Source]

On 16 June 2009, 202 Congress members voted against that same war funding (May 2009) combined with a massive IMF bailout for Eastern European bankers. [This authorized supplements and rescinds appropriations for the Department of Defense totaling $80.93 billion including $29.51 billion for operation and maintenance, including $3.61 billion for the Afghanistan Security Forces Fund; and $400 million for the Pakistan Counterinsurgency Fund; $25.3 billion for Procurement; $18.73 billion for military personnel; $2.87 billion for military construction; $1.12 billion for the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Fund; $1.06 billion for the Defense Health Program; $9.7 billion for the Department of State, U.S. Agency for International Development, and other agencies for costs associated with international assistance, including $4.65 billion for bilateral economic assistance, $2.97 billion for the Economic Support Fund; $2.18 billion for international security assistance, $1.29 billion for the Foreign Military Financing Program; $1.94 billion for Diplomatic and Consular Programs.] Perriello voted in favour of both. (Key Vote | HR 2346)

On 26 June 2009, Perriello voted in favor of the Waxman-Markey bill, a bill which promoted the false solution of cap and trade. This bill was vehemently opposed by many climate justice groups, all while corporate greens unapologetically lobbied for it extensively and relentlessly. In all, six of the world’s 15 largest publicly-traded corporations in 2009 supported cap and trade legislation: JP Morgan Chase (#1), Bank of America (#2), General Electric (#3), Shell (#8), British Petroleum (#10), and Walmart (#14). Three of the six were members of U.S.CAP. During this fiscal year the national environmental groups took in $1.7 billion in revenue. Of the $1.7 billion, $12.8 million was spent on lobbying, with the great proportion of these expenditures focused on cap and trade legislation. [7] (Key Vote | HR 245)

On 8 October 2009, Perriello voted in support of the defense bill for military appropriations in the amount of $681.02 billion. This authorized $639.32 billion in Department of Defense authorizations for fiscal year 2009-2010, $24.75 billion in military construction, $16.94 billion in Department of Energy national security authorizations, $309 million for research and evaluation, procurement, or deployment of an alternative Missile Defense System in Europe and authorization to increase the active-duty number for the U.S. Army to a number greater than otherwise allowed by law up to the 2010 baseline plus 30,000 troops, and $136.02 billion for military personnel for the fiscal year 2010. (Key Vote | HR 264)

In March of 2010, a reception was hosted by two leading corporate greens: the “League of Conservation Voters” and “Environmental Defense” Action Fund to raise funds for Perriello’s re-election campaign for Congress. MoveOn.org raised $100,000 for Perriello’s re-election campaign.

President Barack Obama visited Perriello’s district, the only Congressman for which he did so. (In spite of extensive campaigning, Perriello would fail to win his re-election campaign.)

On 10 March 2010, 65 Congress members voted to end the war on Afghanistan. Perriello voted in favour of keeping it going. [Source]

On 28 May 2010, Perriello voted in support of the defense bill for military appropriations. This included $32.42 billion for the Defense Health Program, $3.42 billion for Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) Vehicles, $3.46 billion for the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Fund and $71.2 million for the operation of the Armed Forces Retirement Home. (Key Vote | HR 5136)

On 1st July 2010, 100 Congress members voted to fund only withdrawal from Afghanistan. Perriello voted against this amendment. Rather, Perriello was in favour of an amendment requesting the President to devise an exit plan (any exit plan) for Afghanistan. The amendment did not call for a date let alone any enforcement. In essence it was nothing more than rhetoric to appease a nation that was beginning to awaken to an increasingly corporatized government: unprecedented debt, home foreclosures, escalating resource wars and corruption – all unparalleled in scale in the nation’s history, while the wealthy became even wealthier. Thus, Perriello voted in favour as he did with the supposed “Responsible Plan to End the War in Iraq” – a plan that was weaker than the treaty George Bush had signed. (Key Vote | HR 4899)

On 27 July 2010, Perriello opposed removing the United States Armed Forces from Pakistan. (Key Vote | H Con Res 301)

On 27 July 2010, 115 Congress members (12 Republicans and 103 Democrats) voted against a supplemental bill authorizing $33.29 billion dollars to escalate the war on Afghanistan. Tom Perriello voted in favour of it. When a small group of concerned citizens met with Perriello prior to the vote, Perriello refused to say what, if anything, he thought. (Key Vote | HR 489)

On 30 July 2010, Perriello voted against “Offshore Drilling Regulations and Other Energy Law Amendments” (Key Vote | HR 3534) and voted yes to ending the “Moratorium on Deepwater Drilling Rigs that Meet Certain Safety Standards” (Key Vote | H Amdt 773).

On 6 October 2010, Perriello received the endorsement of the Veterans of Foreign Wars in the race in recognition of his “strong support for veterans, national security and defense, and military personnel issues.”

On 29 October 2010, “War Is A Crime” reported: “136 Congress members have signed a letter promising not to cut Social Security. Perriello has not.”

Yet, in spite of these pro-war positions, the liberal left and their so called “progressive media” continued to shine a glowing light on Perriello and frame him as a stand-out progressive.

Like Orwell’s War is Peace, the liberal left’s demigods were more and more demonstrating “right” conduct all while professional left continued to portray them as “progressive.” However, the changing landscape did not silence everyone. David Swanson, founder of warisacrime.org wrote:

“Do we oppose this? Well, some of us used to. When our congressman was a Republican, we denounced this course of action in the media, phoned his office, picketed his office, and went to jail for sitting in his office. But for the past year and a half, while the military budget and the war budget have both increased, we’ve said almost nothing. A small group of us have begun organizing protests at the new Democratic congress member’s office, but we’re the only ones he hears from. We’ve spent a good deal of time in his office on two occasions, and I think I have heard his phone ring there a total of twice. Nobody’s calling. And everyone who is not calling is communicating their approval of the mass murder of individual and remarkable and precious human beings.”

On 15 December 2011, the Center for American Progress announced new leadership roles for its advocacy arm. Former Congressman Tom Perriello (D-VA) became the new President and CEO of CAP Action and Counselor for Policy at CAP.

In the 2012 winter issue of Democracy Journal, Perriello pens a grotesque and delusional article titled:”Humanitarian Intervention: Recognizing When, and Why, It Can Succeed”:

“The use of force always entails grave dangers and human costs, and progressives have been leery particularly since the Vietnam era of supporting it, even to prevent or end mass atrocities, repression, and other systematic human suffering. Wise leaders will always remain wary of war. But wisdom also requires us to acknowledge two dramatic changes in our ability to use force for good. First, in a single generation, our ability to intervene without heavy casualties has improved dramatically. Second, the range of diplomatic and legal tools for legitimizing such interventions has likewise expanded….

 

Operational developments since the end of the Cold War have substantially improved our capacity to wage smart military operations that are limited in time and scope and employ precise and overwhelming force. This presents progressives with an opportunity – one that is too often seen as a curse – to expand the use of force to advance key values….

 

While the UN Security Council remains the most formal standard for international legitimacy, many nations consider it less representative than regional bodies and less responsive than reality sometimes demands. Today, the United States has a range of options to validate such uses of military might for humanitarian concerns….

After highlighting “the success” in Libya, Perriello goes on to say:

“Today, Gadhafi is dead, and the Libyan people have their first chance for democratic, accountable governance in decades…. American casualties were zero. Insurgent fighters and the vast majority of the population have cheered the victory as liberation, and courageous Syrians who face daily threats of death for standing up to their own repressive regime have taken comfort in Gadhafi’s fall. These accomplishments are no small feats for those who care about human dignity, democracy, and stability….

 

Progressives often demand action in the face of abject human suffering, but we know from recent history that in some situations moral condemnation, economic sanctions, or ex-post tribunals don’t save lives. Only force does.”

In closing, Perriello states:

“We must realize that force is only one element of a coherent national security strategy and foreign policy. We must accept the reality – whether or not one accepts its merits – that other nations are more likely to perceive our motives to be self-interested than values-based. But in a world where egregious atrocities and grave threats exist, and where Kosovo and Libya have changed our sense of what’s now possible, the development of this next generation of power can be seen as a historically unique opportunity to reduce human suffering.”

Make no mistake – this is the ideology at the helm of Avaaz.org.

In December 2011, Perriello disclosed that he served as special adviser to the international war crimes prosecutor and has spent extensive time in 2011 in Egypt and the Middle East researching the Arab Spring. Therefore, based on this disclosure alone, there can be no doubt that the deliberate strategy being advanced by Avaaz cannot be based upon any type of ignorance or naïveté.

The 12 January 2012 RSVP event “Reframing U.S. Strategy in a Turbulent World: American Spring?” featured speakers from Charles Kupchan of the Council on Foreign Relations, Rosa Brooks of the New America Foundation, and none other than Tom Perriello, CEO of the Center for American Progress Action Fund. Perriello advanced his “ideology” during this lecture.

Indoctrination of the Youth is Essential

On 18 January 2012, Perriello, as the Center for American Progress’s Advocacy Director, joined Mark Schneider, the International Crisis Group’s Senior Vice President and Maria McFarland, Human Rights Watch’s Deputy Washington Director to present a lecture titled: “The ‘Responsibility to Protect’ after the Arab Spring: A Discussion” at Georgetown University in Washington, DC with the synopsis as follows: “Governments’ repressive responses to the social upheavals across the Middle East and North Africa have sparked a shift in international approaches to civilian protection and mass atrocities prevention. The decade-old ‘responsibility to protect’ doctrine has figured centrally in international responses to repressive regimes. However, between the tenuous success of NATO’s Libya intervention and the international community’s weak-kneed response to violence in Syria, R2P’s future is far from certain.”

In this video Perriello is introducing himself to the youth involved in a training organization named “e-mediat Jordan” who, Perriello states, are prepared to “sacrifice for their country.” Perriello is listed as director: “E-Mediat Jordan Country Director – Honorable Tom Perriello.” This organization is situated in Jordan, which is located in the Middle East and borders Syria, Saudi Arabia, the Red Sea, Palestine, Israel, and Iraq. This NGO describes itself as a “Tools, Technology and Training” Centre. Training youth has become instrumental to advancing the Imperialist agenda. In essence, the exploited youth are the sacrificial lambs of the ruling classes in the 21st century.

Perriello no doubt believes in the myth of American exceptionalism. His patriotic views are reinforced by like-minded individuals from the Bush administration, the Obama administration, and the scores of organizations who “understand” the “need” to expand America’s “democracy” and “economic prosperity” around the globe. And while these myths are pushed forward by Imperialist administrations, the non-profit industrial complex and corporate media, civil rights in America are being stripped away faster than you can say fascism.

 

Up next: Part II, Section II.

Avaaz Investigative Report Series [Links]|Further Reading: Part I | Section I | Part I | Section II | Part I | Section III | Part II | Section I

[Cory Morningstar is an independent journalist /ecological activist whose recent writings can be found on Canadians for Action on Climate Change, Political Context and The Art of Annihilation site where you can read her bio. You can follow her on Twitter: @elleprovocateur]

Resources

[1] Source: http://www.wiserearth.org/group/AvaazDotOrg. Information compiled/created April 7, 2010 and updated Feb 9, 2012.

[2] “Independent Media Institute Funding Funding for AlterNet comes from private foundations, site advertising, and individual donors.” “Several of our additional funders wish to remain anonymous.”

[3] Source: http://www.avaaz.org/en/report_back_2

[4] Source: http://www.anmag.org/issues/25/02/250207.php

[5] “In total with ONE partner organizations Avaaz.org, Jubilee U.S.A and Oxfam International, more than 415,000 signatures in all will be delivered tomorrow to Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, host of this week’s G7 Finance Ministers meeting.” http://www.one.org/c/us/pressrelease/3242/

[6] MoveOn’s annual report for 2008-09, the total number of individual donors (not members, as membership is automatically established upon a citizen “clicking” on a petition) was 17,295.

[7] http://climateshiftproject.org/report/climate-shift-clear-vision-for-the-next-decade-of-public-debate/#convergence-on-cap-and-tradePart II | Section I of an investigative report by Cory Morningstar

Avaaz Investigative Report Series [Links]|Further Reading: Part I | Section I | Part I | Section II | Part I | Section III | Part II | Section I | Part II | Section II

Bread and Circuses

Panem et circenses. A metaphor for a superficial means of appeasement, in Latin. It was the basic Roman formula for the well-being of the population, and hence a political strategy unto itself. In the case of politics, the phrase is used to describe the creation of public approval, not through exemplary or excellent public service or public policy, but through diversion, distraction, and/or the mere satisfaction of the immediate, shallow requirements of a populace. The phrase also implies the erosion or ignorance of civic duty amongst the concerns of the common man (l’homme moyen sensuel). In modern usage, the phrase is taken to describe a populace that no longer values civic virtues and the public life. To many across the political spectrum, left and right, it connotes a supposed triviality and frivolity that characterized the Roman Republic prior to its decline into the autocratic monarchy characteristic of the later Roman Empire’s transformation about 44 BCE. [Source: Wikipedia]

Avaaz: The Emperor of the NGO Network 

“The banality of evil transmutes into the banality of sentimentality. The world is nothing but a problem to be solved by enthusiasm.” — Teju Cole

Avaaz is the operational name of “Global Engagement and Organizing Fund,” a non-profit organization legally incorporated in 2006.

Avaaz was founded by Res Publica, described as a global civic advocacy group, and Moveon.org, “an online community that has pioneered internet advocacy in the United States.”

Launched in 2007, Avaaz is the fastest-growing online movement in history. The deliberate choosing of the word Avaaz, which translates to “voice” in several European, Middle Eastern and Asian languages, begs the question of whether the core purpose of Avaaz from the onset was to build influence and “befriend” the populations in the Middle Eastern and Asia.

9 December 2009: Ricken Patel of Res Publica: “Each organization [MoveOn and ResPublica] has roughly equal international memberships that will be invited to join Avaaz (Res Publica has built a list of almost 400,000 at http://www.ceasefirecampaign.org/) … I think it’s fair [to say] that we’re starting with a MoveOn model plus SMS….” [SMS is the acronym for Short Message Service, or texting.]

The Service Employees International Union and GetUp.org.au were also publicly recognized as founding partners of Avaaz: “Avaaz.org also enjoys the partnership and support of leading activist organizations from around the world, including the Service Employees International Union, a founding partner of Avaaz, GetUp.org.au, and many others.”

The silent voice behind Avaaz, that of Res Publica, is, in the public realm, essentially comprised of 3 key individuals: Tom Perriello, a pro-war (former) U.S. Representative who describes himself as a social entrepreneur, Ricken Patel, consultant to many of the most powerful entities on Earth and the long-time associate of Perriello, and Tom Pravda, a member of the UK Diplomatic Service who serves as a consultant to the U.S. State Department.

9 December 2009, Tech President: “The organization is pursuing an ambitious growth path…. It is beginning with 700,000 members spread across 148 countries. It also has an Advisory Board that comprises politicians, diplomats, activists and celebrities from around the world…. Open Society Institute indeed made a one-year grant of $150,000 to Res Publica last summer to help them get Avaaz off the ground.” (Two appreciative comments from Avaaz associates can be found under this article, including one from a lesser publicly credited Avaaz co-founder, Paul Hilder.) (Hilder is discussed further within this report.)

In addition to the $150,000 in seed money from George Soros’s Open Society Institute, Res Publica gave Avaaz $225,000 in 2006. (Form 990, page 18), $950,000 in 2007 (Form 990, page 18), and $500,000 in 2008 (Form 990, page 9). (Form 990 allows the IRS and the public to evaluate nonprofits and how they operate.)

Avaaz states that they take “absolutely no money from governments or corporations…. While we received initial seed grants from partner organizations and charitable organizations, almost 90% of the Avaaz budget now comes [from] small online donations.” The 2009 Form 990 for George Soros’ Foundation to Promote Open Society reports (page 87) $300,000 in general support for Avaaz and an additional $300,000 to Avaaz for climate campaigning.

The Avaaz co-founding team is comprised of a group of “global social entrepreneurs” from six countries: Executive Director Ricken Patel, Tom Perriello, Tom Pravda, Eli Pariser (MoveOn Executive Director), Andrea Woodhouse (consultant to the World Bank) Jeremy Heimans (co-founder of GetUp! and Purpose), and Australian entrepreneur David Madden (co-founder of GetUp and Purpose). “Avaaz is lucky to have the founding partnership and support of leading activist organizations from around the world.” [1]

The 2010 Avaaz Form 990 states: “Avaaz Foundation is comprised of two members: Res Publica (U.S.) Inc. and MoveOn.org Civic Action.”

Both Heimans and Madden were instrumental in forming the vision of Avaaz; the “global online political community inspired by the success of GetUp and the U.S. group MoveOn.org.”

In 2002, MoveOn’s political action committee (PAC) raised and distributed $3.5 million to more than 36 U.S. congressional candidates. Don Hazen (executive director of the “Independent” Media Institute (IMI), as well as executive editor of AlterNet, which is a program of IMI) [2] was quoted as stating: “MoveOn’s member list [is] mostly white, highly educated, computer savvy … and willing to give dough.”

Based on the “success” of Avaaz co-founder, MoveOn, we can safely assume that “mostly white, highly educated, computer savvy … and willing to give dough” should be considered the targeted demographic for Avaaz and the Avaaz network.

On 23 November 2003 it was reported by San Fransico Chronicle that “MoveOn.org reeled in a $5 million matching pledge from currency speculator billionaire George Soros.” This represented the largest-ever individual donation to the five-year-old organization. The model described by The Chronicle was “an organization with six full-time employees, no offices,” which has been successfully replicated by many NGOs within the non-profit industrial complex, including 350.org.

In 2010 Avaaz paid Ricken Patel $183,264 as executive director, and paid Ben Wikler (Avaaz campaign director) $111,384 plus $921,592 in “campaigner fees and consulting” and $182,196 in travel expenses. During 2011, Avaaz did not miss a golden opportunity to set up a live-stream for the Occupy Wall Street protest in New York in order to give a voice to the “99%.” Yes, the rich get richer. The poor get poorer.

In addition to receiving funding from the Open Society Institute, Avaaz has publicly cited the Open Society Institute as their foundation partner. This admission by founder Ricken Patel is found on the www.soros.org website. [As discussed in part I, The Open Society Institute (renamed in 2011 to Open Society Foundations) is a private operating and grantmaking foundation founded by George Soros, who remains the chair. Soros is known best as a multibillionaire currency speculator, and of late, an avid supporter of Occupy Wall Street. Soros is a former member of the Board of Directors of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). The CFR is essentially the promotional arm of the ruling elite in the U.S. Most all U.S. policy is initiated and written by the exclusive membership within the CFR.]

Avaaz utilized/utilizes their Open Society Institute relationship to distribute member donations via “Avaaz partners at the Open Society Institute.” [3]

March 2008 – Avaaz co-founder, Ricken Patel explains: “Avaaz is a campaigning organization and not in this business. So we chose a foundation partner with long experience…. That group is the Open Society Institute, one of the largest and most respected foundations in the world. OSI is taking no overhead on the funds we are granting to Burmese groups, and has also increased its own support to this cause in 2008.” [4] In the instance of Burma, all Avaaz campaign donations have been directly funneled through the Soros Open Society Institute Burma Project (website). Although nowhere on the Avaaz website will you find any connection to George Soros, within this statement Patel clearly states that The Open Society Institute is in fact a partner of Avaaz. Why Avaaz chooses to funnel the money through the Soros foundation is not clearly understood, but we might assume Soros insists upon it in order to control which groups in Burma receive funding. Today, Myanmar (Burma) “is eagerly genuflecting before an onslaught of foreign private investors zeroing in to dispossess her” (24 May 2012, Myanmar Learns the Lesson of Libya).

Avaaz partners are many, including one.org [5] [discussed further in this report] and the infamous TckTckTck. The Tcktcktck campaign was launched 26 June 2009 by Havas, one of the world’s largest global advertising and communications firms, in conjunction with the United Nations (Kofi Annan) and Bob Geldof. The stated objective of this corporate-driven advertising campaign was “to make it become a movement that consumers, advertisers and the media would use and exploit.” It is revealing that the “environmental organizations” listed as partners were, first and foremost, none other than 350.org and Avaaz.org who partnered with the likes of such corporations as EDF Nuclear, Lloyds Bank, MTV, and other multi-national corporations who simultaneously destroy our shared environment. The organizations flourish under the guise and branding of “grassroots,” yet “grassroots” are generally not connected to the dominant global structures that are able to absorb, shape and dominate entire movements such as in the case of Tcktcktck at the climate change talks in Copenhagen.

And while the stated initial goal of Avaaz, according to Avaaz co-founder Madden, was “a web-based campaign against the foreign policy of United States President,” the reality is anything but.

Avaaz’s stance on both Libya (now annihilated) and now Syria is in smooth synchronicity with the positions within the U.S. administration, positions such as those vocalized by the likes of war criminals such as Hillary Clinton (of “We came. We saw. He died. Laughter…” fame). The ugly iron fist of war is gently being spoon-fed to the public by way of a very dark velvet glove – that being Avaaz.

As of July 2011, Avaaz claimed to have more than 9.65 million “members” in 193 countries. Most recently, the Avaaz  campaign, which demands foreign intervention by the Imperialist states in a synchronized effort to destabilize Syria, has resulted in the Avaaz membership skyrocketing to over 13 million members. According to Avaaz, this surge of an additional 3 million members or so was achieved in less than 30 days of an intense campaign against the Sovereign Syrian Government. What’s happening in Syria today is a destabilization campaign in which the terror unleashed upon the population is financed by foreign interests.

In the midst of the Avaaz destabilization campaigns of both Libya and Syria, Avaaz, in unison with other U.S.-funded NGOs, also waged a destabilization campaign against the Morales Government of Bolivia in October 2011. The attempt failed. Unlike westerners, Bolivians are, today, far advanced in their intellectual understanding of global politics and carefully orchestrated propaganda, having been on the receiving end of Imperialism/colonialism and the capitalist economic system itself, for what surely must feel like an eternity.

Did Libya’s Citizens Demand Foreign Intervention? 

A ridiculous question, yet according to Avaaz, the answer is yes.

“The call for a no-fly zone originated from Libyans – including the provisional opposition government, Libya’s (defected) ambassador to the UN, protesters, and youth organizations.”

Today Avaaz claims 13,649,421 members, 70,432,165 “actions” (taken since January 2007) and 194 countries with Avaaz members according to the information provided by Avaaz, retrieved on 2 March 2012. During the typing of this single paragraph, the Avaaz membership rose by 30 people to 13,649,451. [Avaaz Facts]

The members are primarily citizens residing within Imperialist or wealthy states. Consider the following three examples: (Stats retrieved from the Avaaz global “membership” virtual map.)

Avaaz members situated in United States: 923,968

Avaaz members situated in Canada: 667,592

Avaaz members situated in Libya: 3,167

On 10 March 2010, John Hilary challenged Avaaz in a Guardian article titled “Internet activists should be careful what they wish for in Libya. Calls for a no-fly zone over Libya ignore the perils of intervention. Long-term solutions aren’t as simple as the click of a mouse.”

Hilary writes:

A no-fly zone would almost certainly draw Nato countries into further military involvement in Libya, replacing the agency of the Libyan people with the control of those governments who have shown scant regard for their welfare. As long as the oil kept flowing, western governments have been happy to prop up dictators who kept a heavy boot on their people’s freedom. Libyans are unlikely to be grateful to be bombed by those same western governments attempting to enforce a no-fly zone. Indeed such action would help Muammar Gaddafi by justifying his rhetoric about foreign intervention, not to mention stopping fledgling revolutions across the region in their tracks.

Clearly a no-fly zone makes foreign intervention sound rather humanitarian – putting the emphasis on stopping bombing, even though it could well lead to an escalation of violence.

No wonder, too, that it is rapidly becoming a key call of hawks on both sides of the Atlantic. The military hierarchy, with their budgets threatened by government cuts, surely cannot believe their luck – those who usually oppose wars are openly campaigning for more military involvement.

Although Hilary knowingly or otherwise dismisses the very real foreign intervention as “rhetoric” while not divulging the fact that the “fledgling revolutions” he speaks of were instigated/infiltrated/financed by foreign interests, Hilary ends with a prophetic note:

Calling for military intervention is a huge step – the life and death of hundreds of thousands of people might hang in the balance. The difference between the ease of the action and the impact of the consequence is vast.

In the Spanish civil war many brave people felt so strongly that they sacrificed their own lives to support the struggle against fascism in that country. How incredible it would have seemed to them, less than a hundred years later, that people would be using a click of their mouse to send armies to fight battles that might end in the death of so many others.

Avaaz’s campaign director, Ben Wikler, posted a comment in response to Hilary’s article. Bold emphasis have been added.

“Dear John,

“Thanks for this piece. Sorry that you felt we got this wrong. We’re doing our best and of course, people of good will with similar values can sometimes disagree. Here’s a bit more background and explanation for you on our decision on the no-fly zone –

Avaaz is people-powered. Our member community makes the calls. We use polls to gauge members’ views; 84% of members supported this campaign, while 9% opposed it. Since launching it, we’ve found intense support for the campaign from around the world.

Our staff also play a key role in consulting with leading experts around the world (and most of our staff have policy as well as advocacy backgrounds) on each of the campaigns we run, and Libya was no exception.

In some ways, we work a lot like journalists like you do, talking to people and weighing the facts before we form conclusions. However, our staff’s personal conclusions also have to pass the test of our membership being strongly supportive of any position we take.

We’re acutely aware of your and some others’ objections to this campaign. Here are the main issues that people have raised, and where we’re coming from regarding them:

Would imposing a no-fly zone really be a Western military intervention motivated by oil?

If Western powers use the no-fly zone as a pretext for self-interested military action, Avaaz would be among the first groups to campaign against it – just as Avaaz has campaigned to end the Iraq conflict and ensure that Iraq’s oil rights are reserved for the Iraqi people.

The call for a no-fly zone originated from Libyans – including the provisional opposition government, Libya’s (defected) ambassador to the UN, protesters, and youth organizations.

The same Libyan groups have strongly opposed any western military presence on Libyan soil. They clearly feel that a no-fly zone is not equivalent to or a step towards invasion. Avaaz staff are in close and constant contact with activists inside Libya and have been repeatedly asked to move forward on this campaign.

Meanwhile, among governments, Gulf States have demanded the no-fly zone, and the U.S. government, far from itching to move ahead, appears deeply divided on the idea.

Furthermore, our advocacy has been for the UN Security Council to authorize a no-fly zone, not any coalition of western nations. You can bet that China and Russia will not sign off on a no-fly zone if they think it’s a cover for a Western oil grab.

Would imposing a no-fly zone lead to a full-blown international war?

No-fly zones can mean a range of different things. Some analysts and military figures have argued that it would require a pre-emptive attack on Libya’s anti-aircraft weapons. Others, however, contend that merely flying fighter planes over the rebel-controlled areas would ensure that Qaddafi wouldn’t use his jets to attack eastern Libya, because he knows his air force is weaker than that of Egypt or NATO states. The best solution is the one that reduces civilian deaths the most with the least violence. Things might not turn out as expected, but while there are potential dangers to an international war, there are certain dangers to civilians if things continue without a no-fly zone.

Is Qaddafi really killing civilians with this air force?

Based on reports from our partners on the ground, from the Red Cross, and from a variety of local and international news reports, we believe Qaddafi’s bombing runs are indeed killing civilians. Qaddafi’s air power is a key advantage over those fighting to remove him: as long as he has control of the air, attacks seem likely to continue for months or even longer, with disastrous consequences for civilians.

Wouldn’t a UN resolution for a no-fly zone violate national sovereignty?

We believe that the international community has a responsibility to protect civilians when national governments threaten their fundamental human rights.

National sovereignty should not be a legitimate barrier to international action when crimes against humanity are being committed. If you strongly disagree, then you may find yourself at odds with other Avaaz campaigns as well.

All told, this was a difficult judgment call.

Calling for any sort of military response always is. Avaaz members have been advocating for weeks for a full set of non-military options as well, including an asset freeze, targeted sanctions, and prosecutions of officials involved in the violent crackdown on demonstrators.

But although those measures are moving forward, the death toll is rising. Again, thoughtful people can disagree – but in the Avaaz community’s case, only 9% of our thoughtful people opposed this position – somewhat surprising given that we have virtually always advocated for peaceful methods to resolve conflict in the past. We think it was the best position to take given the balance of expert opinion, popular support, and most of all, the rights and clearly expressed desire of the Libyan people.

Respectfully,
Ben Wikler

Let’s break this down. In the Avaaz rebuttal Wikler states:

Avaaz is people-powered. Our member community makes the calls. We use polls to gauge members’ views; 84% of members supported this campaign, while 9% opposed it. Since launching it, we’ve found intense support for the campaign from around the world.”

The question must be asked – why does “intense support of the campaign from around the world” from an organization co-founded by MoveOn that, as stated in 2002, caters to members comprised of “mostly white, highly educated, computer savvy … and willing to give dough” supersede the rights of a sovereign nation and her citizens against foreign interference? How would unleashing a military operation in Libya affect Avaaz constituents attending Harvard? In fact, the Avaaz demographic is one that is being trained to not think – just click. Indeed, critical thinking is a detriment and a very real threat to the entire Avaaz phenomenon. Surely, the “wish” for foreign intervention and no-fly zones (more commonly known as war and bombs) should only be considered by those who will be affected directly by such a military campaign. As Avaaz states, their Libyan membership is a mere 3,167 people – one must ask how Avaaz considers the 3,167 Libyan Avaaz “members” as representative of “the Libyan people” in a country with (prior to the invasion) a population of almost 6 million citizens.  

“This world exists simply to satisfy the needs—including, importantly, the sentimental needs—of white people and Oprah.” — Teju Cole

The fact is that the Libyan people as a society had no representation in the Avaaz campaign calling for foreign military intervention to be inflicted upon the Libyan tribal society. In spite of Wikler’s ridiculous rhetoric, the fact is Libyan citizens were considered by Avaaz to hold little significance. Avaaz, iconic symbol of the white ivory towers of justice, followed in the path of other international NGOs in the racist ideology that the belief system upheld by the “educated” “middleclass” in the wealthy states is far superior to any contrary beliefs and ideologies of tribal/civil societies in African and Arab nations. It is only the people from within these privileged classes whose opinions matter, hence the victorious proclamation of the 84% support. The Avaaz position is even more problematic when you consider the following.

What constitutes becoming an Avaaz “member”? As with the other “online activism” NGOS, Avaaz’s actual membership is open to interpretation. For example, Avaaz affiliate GetUp states, “Join the movement of 589,261 Australians. Become a member now.” However, this figure is derived from the entire database of signed GetUp petitions, whereby each signatory is automatically enlisted as “a member.” [6] As Avaaz is modeled after GetUp and MoveOn, and considering the membership increases rapidly within a 60 second time-frame, one can assume with certainty that an Avaaz “membership” is instantly granted to each and every individual signing a petition. This ruse serves as a brilliant method of disguising where the majority of their largesse (i.e., investment) originated from (i.e., the corporate state) while further reinforcing the false impression that their funding originated from grassroots sources.

(The latest feel-good consumer NGO (first media mention 29 November 2011, first “tweet” on 4 November 2011), yet another thinking person’s nightmare named SumOfUs, already boasts 262,950 members worldwide. Where did these members come from? Affiliated NGO membership lists?)

If one signed an Avaaz petition in 2007, long before realizing whose interests this organization truly represents, is this same individual still considered a member in 2012? If 3,167 Libyan Avaaz members signed an Avaaz petition in 2008 to save elephants in Africa, this does not constitute a Libyan majority demanding military interference in 2011.

Wikler states: “Our staff also play a key role in consulting with leading experts around the world (and most of our staff have policy as well as advocacy backgrounds) on each of the campaigns we run, and Libya was no exception.”

The question is, just exactly who are these experts Avaaz continues to refer to? Nowhere does Avaaz disclose these “experts” nor their affiliations. And which institutions and societies shaped their policy and advocacy backgrounds?

 Wikler states: “If Western powers use the no-fly zone as a pretext for self-interested military action, Avaaz would be among the first groups to campaign against it.”

Yet, there has been a massive amount of evidence demonstrating, unequivocally, that this was exactly what the pretext was. “Self-interested military action” is exactly what happened, which begs the question – what happened to Avaaz claiming they “would be among the first groups to campaign against it”? [Self-interested military action: Madeleine Albright appearing on 60 minutes, Running time 23s: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FbIX1CP9qr4] Not only does Avaaz contradict this statement, but this organization has done NOTHING to inform the public of any evidence of the deliberate destruction of Libya under the guise of a “humanitarian war.” To this day, not only is there NO EVIDENCE to support this invasion (made possible by the collaboration of yet another 77 NGOs), rather, there is a massive amount of evidence to the contrary. This was a well-planned, deliberate destabilization project that unleashed hell on a sovereign country – a country that had neither attacked nor invaded another nation. Avaaz has never released any material criticizing the war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by NATO and the rebel militias that Avaaz was supporting. Nor has Avaaz shared with their supporters the horrific, racist rebel crimes and ethnic cleansing that NATO turned a blind eye to, and that were thoroughly documented throughout the invasion upon Libya. On the shocking racial atrocities filmed and documented in Tawergha, the white ivory towers remain silent. Aside from the evidence, prior to the invasion of Libya, and after, one would think that the “experts” of Avaaz would have vast knowledge of how destabilization campaigns are strategically planned and carried out by Imperialist states as documented in past and recent history. And of course, when one looks at the background of the founders who comprise Avaaz, we can understand they knew full well.

Video below: Humanitarian War in Libya: There is no evidence! (Running time: 19:42)

Wikler states: “he call for a no-fly zone originated from Libyans – including the provisional opposition government, Libya’s (defected) ambassador to the UN, protesters, and youth organizations.”

As for Libya’s (defected) ambassador to the UN: “Just a few days after the street protests began, on February 21, the very quick to defect Libyan deputy Permanent Representative to the UN, Ibrahim Dabbashi, stated: ‘We are expecting a real genocide in Tripoli. The airplanes are still bringing mercenaries to the airports.’ This is excellent: a myth that is composed of myths. With that statement he linked three key myths together – the role of airports (hence the need for that gateway drug of military intervention: the no-fly zone), the role of “mercenaries” (meaning, simply, black people), and the threat of ‘genocide‘ (geared toward the language of the UN’s doctrine of the Responsibility to Protect). As ham-fisted and wholly unsubstantiated as the assertion was, he was clever in cobbling together three ugly myths, one of them grounded in racist discourse and practice that endures to the present, with newer atrocities reported against black Libyan and African migrants on a daily basis. He was not alone in making these assertions.” [Source: TOP TEN MYTHS IN NATO’S WAR AGAINST LIBYA]

It is an outrageous statement to claim it was the wish of the Libyan people to impose a military zone upon their own country. Further, the defected ambassador was clearly carrying out duties for the Imperialist states. Who were these protestors and youth organizations Avaaz speaks of? Are these the Libyans that comprise the 3,167 Libyan Avaaz members? Are they the youth groups set up by Avaaz funder and partner, the Soros Open Society Institute? Are they connected with the U.S.-funded Otpor or funded by another NGO fed by the U.S. administration? Nowhere is this information disclosed. Further, do the 3,167 Libyan Avaaz members actually live in Libya? Did all 3,167 Libyan Avaaz members sign the Avaaz petition, essentially demanding that their country become a war zone?

Wikler states: “The same Libyan groups have strongly opposed any western military presence on Libyan soil. They clearly feel that a no-fly zone is not equivalent to or a step towards invasion. Avaaz staff are in close and constant contact with activists inside Libya and have been repeatedly asked to move forward on this campaign.”

It is beyond obvious that a no-fly zone in an oil rich country would open the door to Imperialist vultures. Who told these so-called “Libyan Groups” (whoever they are we do not know) such a ridiculous thing, “that a no-fly zone is not equivalent to or a step towards invasion”? One must assume this information was conveyed to the “Libyan Groups” by the Avaaz “experts” since the Avaaz staff claim they were “in close and constant contact with activists inside Libya.” Further, in response to the proposed no-fly zone, Wikler goes on to say “there are potential dangers to an international war…” One must question why Wikler is aware of the potential of international war in response to a no-fly zone while the “Libyan Groups” believe (according to Avaaz) that “a no-fly zone is not equivalent to or a step towards invasion.”

Wikler states: “Meanwhile, among governments, Gulf States have demanded the no-fly zone, and the U.S. government, far from itching to move ahead, appears deeply divided on the idea.”

Yet, as Wikler convinced and assured the Guardian readership that the U.S. was hesitant to “intervene” in Libya, the reality was that two U.S. destroyers and a number of missile-launching submarines were in fact already deployed and headed for the Libyan coast. These destroyers decisively delivered 110 Tomahawk missiles 9 days later on 19 March 2011 as part of the military operation titled “Operation Odyssey Dawn.”

“The Royal Navy bought 65 Tomahawks in 1995 at a cost of $1 million (£650,000) each from U.S. defence firm Raytheon Systems. Two American destroyers, the U.S.S Barry and Stout, have been deployed. According to a Pentagon source, each carries up to 96 Tomahawk missiles.” [Source]

19 March 2011: “Cruise missiles from U.S. submarines and frigates began the attack on the anti-aircraft system. A senior defense official speaking on background said the attacks will ‘open up the environment so we could enforce the no-fly zone from east to west throughout Libya.'” [Source]

Wikler states: “[T]here are certain dangers to civilians if things continue without a no-fly zone.”

Perhaps Wikler was speaking to certain dangers to American and European civilians if Gaddafi were to have succeeded in replacing the U.S. dollar and the Euro with an African Dinar, backed by gold, to build unity and autonomy throughout African nations. Perhaps he was referring to civilians who are living under an economic system that is dependent upon the continued exploitation and stealing of other nations’ vast resources. As Libya was a nation with no debt, interest-free loans, free education, free healthcare, and a state-of-the-art water system and a country that held the highest standard of living in Africa, it is difficult to imagine what exactly Libyans would have been fearing aside from a pending invasion by Imperialist states.

Wikler states: “Based on reports from our partners on the ground, from the Red Cross, and from a variety of local and international news reports, we believe Qaddafi’s bombing runs are indeed killing civilians.”

Wikler is purposely vague. What reports exactly are they referring to? What partners?

March 1st Pentagon Briefing: Q: Do you see any evidence that [Gaddafi] actually has fired on his own people from the air?  There were reports of it, but do you have independent confirmation? If so, to what extent? Secretary of Defence – ROBERT GATES: A: “We’ve seen the press reports, but we have no confirmation of that,” Chairman of the Joint Chiefs – Admiral MICHAEL MULLEN A: “That’s correct. We’ve seen no confirmation whatsoever.”

In the following video, General Wesley Clark explains the Libyan invasion, Syria and Somalia, all planned years in advance: http://youtu.be/fSNyPS0fXpU.

Wikler states: “We believe that the international community has a responsibility to protect civilians when national governments threaten their fundamental human rights.”

Here Wikler echoes the current dogma being repeated incessantly by the U.S. administration and their corporate media lackeys. If Avaaz truly had any “experts” on civilian interests trumping those of corporate interests, Avaaz would tell us that this is merely language designed to facilitate societal acceptance of war by presenting it as “humanitarian intervention” and “responsibility to protect” (R2P). Prior to this lovely terminology, it was formerly known as “the Right to Intervene.”

Wikler states: “Again, thoughtful people can disagree – but in the Avaaz community’s case, only 9% of our thoughtful people opposed this position – somewhat surprising given that we have virtually always advocated for peaceful methods to resolve conflict in the past. We think it was the best position to take given the balance of expert opinion, popular support, and most of all, the rights and clearly expressed desire of the Libyan people.”

This highlights a very dangerous experiment, and now precedent, set by Avaaz. Wikler openly expresses that they were surprised to find only 9% of their “membership” (based upon their polls) opposed a no-fly zone. Wikler stating that this position was “somewhat surprising given that we have virtually always advocated for peaceful methods to resolve conflict in the past” is, by his own admission, acknowledging that this new direction is one that is not peaceful. One should note that all NGOs use polls and marketing executives to create and lay out most all campaigns and campaign strategies. Avaaz is no exception; rather, Avaaz should be considered the rule.

Avaaz’s integration into militarism can be seen in their continual polling that outlines, in essence, what citizens are responsive to, and what they are willing to tolerate. In the 13 January 2010 global Avaaz poll, participants were asked to rate 6 priorities in order of importance. The stated priorities from which one could choose included human rights, torture and genocide (#2), democracy movements and tyrannical regimes (#3) war, peace and security (#4) and corruption and abuse of power (#5). Incidentally number 1 was climate change, however after the failed Copenhagen climate talks, this issue was no longer considered a hot commodity for NGO branding purposes and thus the campaign on climate was, for the most part, abandoned altogether. All other proposed “choices” are key elements/issues associated with militarism.

How Wikler and his Avaaz cohorts sleep at night, knowing the Avaaz campaign contributed to the annihilation of as many as 100,000 Libyan civilians and unleashed a racial war, is anyone’s guess. Although it certainly must help when one is surrounded by like-minded people who all reinforce your distorted world views while reassuring each other that each is more brilliant than the other and the end justifies the means. This is the beauty and the power of neo-liberalism activism conformity. It allows one to behave like an asshole, while those indoctrinated into the same belief system, including corporate and so-called “progressive” media, portray you as a celebrity. The oligarchy’s willingness to ensure the egos remain plump and well-nourished is strategic. This ensures that the narcissist’s delusions are reinforced while simultaneously ensuring any doubt is cast far away. No one wishes to be ostracized from the champagne circuit. Wikler recently left Avaaz to become Executive Vice President at Change.org, another Soros (for-profit) NGO, while thousands upon thousands of Libyans paid the ultimate price for his campaign, which can be found on the Avaaz website under recent “victories.” Ben Wikler’s compensation as Avaaz Campaign Director in 2010 was a reported $111,384 (990 Form).

Not everyone was so gullible. One reader (“derazed”) comments beneath the Guardian article: “Up until its latest, I had appreciated Avaaz – even gave some money in the direction of providing Arab activists telecommunications equipment. When the no-fly email arrived, I created my own “no fly” zone – by terminating my email relationship with Avaaz. The internet and real-life events have taught me something about warmongers in virtual clothing.”

[28 March 2011: Fortune-500 funded Brookings Institution’s “Libya’s Test of the New International Order” is reported on – exposing the war as not one of a “humanitarian” nature, but one aimed explicitly at establishing an international order and the primacy of international law.]

The Avaaz Gate-Keepers 

Consider all of the following information within this report as a mere tip of the iceberg. Note that most, if not all organizations discussed in this report are, in part or full, financed by, and in many cases established in partnership with, George Soros’ “Open Society Institute.”

Avaaz Co-Founder and Executive Director: Ricken Patel

Life in the Champagne Circuit: In this photograph taken by AP Images for Avaaz, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, center left, accepts the ‘End the War on Drugs’ petition from Avaaz Executive Director Ricken Patel, center right, accompanied by Richard Branson, right, and Fernando Henrique Cardoso, left, at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, Friday, 3 June 2011.

Snapshot:

  • AccessNow: International Advisory Board
  • Avaaz International: Co-founder
  • Avaaz International: Executive Director/President
  • CARE International: Consultant
  • CeaseFireCampaign.org (discontinued): Co-Founder
  • CeaseFireCampaign.org (discontinued): Executive Director
  • DarfurGenocide.org: Co-director
  • DarfurGenocide.org: Co-founder
  • Faith in Public Life: Board of Directors
  • Faith in Public Life: Co-founder
  • Faithful America: Board of Directors
  • Faithful America: Co-founder
  • Gates Foundation: Consultant
  • Harvard University: Consultant
  • International Center for Transitional Justice: Consultant
  • International Crisis Group: Consultant
  • J Street: Advisory Council
  • Namati: Board of Directors
  • Res Publica: Chairman/Executive Director
  • Res Publica: Co-founder
  • Rockefeller Foundation: Consultant
  • United Nations: Consultant

Education:

  • Harvard University Kennedy School of Government
  • University of Oxford
  • Queen’s University

Compensation from Avaaz (990 Forms):

2006:   $61,650 (Res Publica)

2006: $120,000

2007: $120,000

2007:   $10,000 (Res Publica)

2008: $126,000

2009: $120,000

2010: $183,264

Resides in New York

Ricken Patel is co-founder and executive director of Avaaz International. Patel has served as a consultant for the United Nations, the Rockefeller Foundation, the International Crisis Group, Harvard University, CARE International, and the International Center for Transitional Justice.

Patel’s consulting to the United Nations should be of little surprise. Like Avaaz, the United Nations has become nothing more than an instrumental tool that serves the interests of the Imperialist states. This too should come as little surprise since it was the oligarchy who founded the UN in the first place. For decades, those states oppressed under the claws of Imperialism have demanded reforms within the UN. This fact is well-documented in a long list of impassioned speeches by leaders of sovereign nations constantly fighting against oppression and foreign meddling. The speeches are rarely, if ever, publicized by either corporate or “progressive” media (funded by the same corporate elites). Not surprisingly, the non-profit industrial complex does essentially nothing to support the states who continue to fight for their autonomy and liberation, only possible by smashing the chains of Imperialist states. This is what Libya was helping Africa achieve before it was targeted and destroyed.

Patel was voted “Ultimate Gamechanger in Politics” in 2009 by the recently acquired Huffington Post (purchased by AOL Time Warner in 2011) and named “a Young Global Leader” by the infamous Davos World Economic Forum. When an “activist” receives accolades from international corporate entities and corporate media, alarm bells should be going off and red flags should be seen waving from those within civil society.

Patel is a graduate of the Kennedy School at Harvard University and Oxford and is considered in elite circles a “Balliol”:

Oxford: “Institutions as diverse as the Workers Educational Trust, the National Trust, Amnesty International, Ashoka (the global association of leading social entrepreneurs), and Avaaz (now the largest online advocacy group in the world) were all established by Balliol people.”

The International Crisis Group, for which Patel has served as a consultant, is also an institution for which George Soros is a trustee. In 2008, ICG helped establish the Global Center for the Responsibility to Protect, along with Human Rights Watch, Oxfam International and other influential NGOs of the Soros network. As of April 2011, ICG was one of the 31 member organizations belonging to the International Coalition for the Responsibility to Protect. Operating on an annual budget of $17 million (2011), ICG raises funds from governments, charitable foundations, private companies, and individual donors. Among the organization’s key benefactors are the Rockefeller Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the William & Flora Hewlett Foundation, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Compton Foundation, and the Flora Family Foundation. In 2008 George Soros’ Open Society Institute pledged to give $5 million to ICG.

The International Crisis Group has been a key player in the “revolutions.” In the January 2011 article “All is not what it seems in Egyptian Clashes,” it was disclosed that the Egyptian protest leader Mohammed ElBaradei “was in fact a devoted agent of the West, with a long standing membership within the Wall Street/London funded International Crisis Group” [Source: Land Destroyer].

Patel is also co-founder and executive director of Res Publica, which was formally launched in 2003. Res Publica is based in New York.

Res Publica is a primary co-founder of Avaaz along with MoveOn. Res Publica’s stated goal is to “develop innovative solutions to global justice and security threats.” Res Publica “ran as a pilot project” in Sierra Leone in 2001-2002 and has three full-time fellows, Ricken Patel, Tom Perriello and Tom Pravda. Res Publica is supported by a broader network of “Friends of Res Publica” and a Global Advisory Board. Who the broader network of “Friends of Res Publica” actually are, is anyone’s guess.

29 December 2004: “Over two days in early December approximately three-dozen religious activists met at the Washington office of the Center for American Progress, a recently formed think tank headed by former Clinton chief of staff John Podesta. The Res Publica-driven agenda for the closed-door gathering included sessions on ‘building the movement infrastructure’ and ‘objectives, strategies and core issues.'”

Perriello (now President and CEO of Center for American Progress) described Res Publica as an “incubator for social entrepreneurship.”

The Res Publica email address is actually respublica@avaaz.org.

Up to at least 2008, Patel remained a board of directors member with Faithful America of which he was also a principle founder (founded in 2004, launched in 2006) along with former (2009-2011) U.S. Representative Tom Perriello. The aim of “Faithful America” was to create a “religious version of MoveOn.org.” Both Patel and Perriello served as the project’s first co-directors. This NGO was later taken over by Faith in Public Life, where, as of 2008, Patel was also a member of the board. On 13 April 2008, Faith in Public Life, in partnership with the ONE Campaign and Oxfam America, organized the Democratic candidates’ “Compassion Forum” during which corporate media partners CNN and Newsweek hosted an evening with Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and a number of faith “leaders.” Faith in Public Life received $400,000 from the Open Society Institute in 2007 and again in 2008.

Patel was co-director of DarfurGenocide.org, an organization he helped establish with Perriello and the U.S. State Department.

Patel also serves on the board of Namati, an organization “that offers technical assistance to development organizations, governments, and civil society actors interested in enhancing legal empowerment aspects of existing work, or launching new legal empowerment initiatives.” Its partners include UKAid from the Department of International Development; AusAid, the Australian government’s Overseas Aid Program; UNDP, the United Nations Development Program; and the Soros Open Society Foundations. Patel also sits on the organization J Street’s advisory council with Eli Pariser, co-founder of Avaaz and the current executive director of MoveOn.

Patel also serves on the International Advisory Board of AccessNow.org, an organization which will be discussed further in this report. [Source: Source Watch]

Patel’s rise to superstardom in the corporate world is due to the fact that he specializes in “E-advocacy” and web-based movement-building – the key to securing control of all “consumers,” all “movements” and essentially all information on the planet.

Avaaz Co-founder: Tom Perriello

Snapshot:

  • AccessNow: International Advisory Board
  • Afghanistan Watch: Analyst
  • Avaaz International: Co-founder
  • Avaaz International: Secretary 2008
  • Avaaz International: Trustee 2006, 2007
  • Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good: Co-founder
  • CeaseFireCampaign.org (discontinued): Co-founder
  • Center for a Sustainable Economy, now part of “Redefining Progress”: Assistant Director
  • Center for American Progress Action Fund (CAPAF) — the home of ThinkProgress and the advocacy arm of the Center for American Progress (CAP): President and CEO
  • Consultant on Youth and Environmental Campaigns
  • E-Mediat Jordan: Country Director
  • Faithful America: Co-director
  • Faithful America: Principle Founder
  • International Center for Transitional Justice: Consultant
  • International Centre for Transitional Justice: Employed by
  • J Street: Advisory Council
  • Namati: Board of Directors
  • National Council of Churches of Christ: Consultant
  • National Council of Churches of Christ: Fellow
  • National Security Consultant
  • New York State Bar: Member
  • Open Society Institute: Teaching Fellow
  • Res Publica: Co-founder
  • The Century Foundation: Fellow
  • The Century Foundation: National Security Analyst
  • The Century Foundation: Special Advisor/Spokesperson
  • United Nations: Special Adviser to the International War Crimes Prosecutor
  • U.S. Representative: Virginia Democratic Congressman, 2008-2010
  • U.S. State Department: Employed by
  • Virginia House of Delegates: Legislative Page
  • Yale Law School: Teaching Fellow
  • Yale Scroll and Key: Secret Society Member

Avaaz Compensation:

2006: $48,000

Education: Yale University

Resides in Virginia, U.S.A.

Tom Perriello is a long-time collaborator with Ricken Patel. Together, they co-founded Avaaz.org, Res Publica and FaithfulAmerica.org.

Perriello is a former U.S. Representative (represented the 5th District of Virginia from 2008 to 2010) and a founding member of the House Majority Leader’s National Security Working Group.

Perriello was also co-founder of Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good. He worked for Reverend Dr. James Forbes on “prophetic justice” principles. Many of these organizations were created with the intent of creating a broad-based “religious left” movement.

Indeed, it has been stated by Marx that “religion is the opium of the masses.” In 1974 the late Edward Goldsmith argued that religion must be considered an integral part of a culture; the key control mechanism that ensures the stability of a social system. Goldsmith noted that, indeed, no traditional societies appear to have a word for “religion” while “only when religion breaks away from the rest of a society’s cultural pattern and ceases to be the effective force governing it, that the word ‘religion’ appears necessary.” Goldsmith cautioned in 1974 that contrary to what was being taught, people in Western societies were never more miserable, explaining why they resort to so many different forms of escapism such as addiction and suicide. Goldsmith believed it was essential to urgently create new systems of belief in an effort to “recreate an orderly society held together by a clearly formulated religio-culture.” Goldsmith stated that movements attempting to achieve this have already begun to proliferate. One can assume this was the ideology behind Patel’s and Perriello’s religious groups they began to create. The only problem for Patel, Perriello, Pravda and Soros was that the religious angle did not work. The masses did not buy in.

Perriello and Patel also co-founded and co-directed DarfurGenocide.org which officially launched in 2004. “DarfurGenocide.org is a project of Res Publica, a group of public sector professionals dedicated to promoting good governance and virtuous civic cultures.” Today, this organization is now known as “Darfurian Voices”: “Darfurian Voices is a project of 24 Hours for Darfur.” The U.S. Department of State and the Open Society Institute were just two of the organization’s funders and collaborating partners. Other Darfurian Voices partners include Avaaz, the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), International Centre for Transitional Justice, Darfur Rehabilitation Project, Humanity United, Darfur People’s Association of New York, Genocide Intervention, Witness, Yale Law School, The Sigrid Rausing Trust and the Bridgeway Foundation.

Despite the carefully crafted language and images that tug at your emotions, such NGOs were created for and exist for one primary purpose – to protect and further American policy and interests, under the guise of philanthropy and humanitarianism. Of all the listed partners of DarfurGenocide.org, with the exception of one located in London, England, all of the entities involved are American and based on U.S. soil.

 “Most of us have policy or diplomacy backgrounds, as well as activist, so the hope is that we will be doing these things at key diplomatic moments.” — Tom Perriello on Avaaz, 5 February 2007, speaking to The Nation

Consider the explosive investigative report titled “Burying the Darfur Genocide Myth”, published by Pravda on 16 August 2011. Excerpts are as follows:

“To start with, my investigation has found that the victims of the Darfur conflict were the beneficiaries of the largest, best run relief works in history. This is a fact, demonstrated repeatedly by the situation on the ground in Darfur, and every honest, knowledgeable aid worker in the Darfur relief works will tell you that Sudanese President Omar Al Bashir has played a critical role in the relief works success and that without the leadership and support of President Bashir the Darfur relief works would not have been possible.

The charges of genocide laid against President Bashir by, amongst others, the International Criminal Court in the Hague, are based on reports of the most shaky provenance, mainly UN ‘sources’ of very questionable backgrounds….

The Darfur genocide myth has been promoted by western ‘human rights’ NGOs who have collected over $100 million under the rubric of ‘Enough’ and ‘Preventing Genocide.’ The claims of genocide are based on estimates of the number of deaths that were rapidly inflated as the dollars started rolling in. First it was 100,000, then 200,000, then 300,000 and finally, in a claim so ludicrous that even the British government media watchdog yanked off the air, 400,000 people were supposed to have been victims of genocide in Darfur….

The west, in particular the U.S.A, are hell bent on keeping Africa in a state of crisis, the better to exploit. And the ‘save Darfur’ lobby is all for bringing more violence to Africa under the guise of ‘humanitarian intervention,’ while little of the over $100 million they collected ever reached the Darfur people it was intended for.”

Videos: Human rights investigator and award-winning journalist Keith Harmon Snow Speaking on Propaganda and NGOs (Running time: 2:56)

Keith Harmon Snow Discussing Western NGOs and Africa (Running time: 2:54)

The International Criminal Court (ICC) (led by Luis Moreno Ocampo) is widely discredited in Africa. Since its inception in 2002, the ICC has targeted solely African and other developing world leaders. Jean Ping, head of the African Union: “We Africans and the African Union are not against the International Criminal Court. We are against Ocampo who is rendering justice with double standards.” The ICC has had many opportunities to indict Western war criminals/leaders (Bush, Blair, Cheney) since its inception, yet, of course has made no attempts to do so. [Source]

Before co-founding Res Publica, Perriello served as Special Advisor to the Prosecutor of the Special Court for Sierra Leone, a United Nations Tribunal, and as a Yale Law School/Open Society Institute Teaching Fellow in West Africa. Perriello is a member of the New York State Bar.

Perriello’s 2005 organization “Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good” (CACG) stated that the concept of “the common good” reportedly came from the Center for American Progress founded by co-chair of President Obama’s transition team John Podesta, which subsequently helped form alliances between CACG and similar organizations. The chair of this organization is Elizabeth Frawley Bagley: “Bagley is a member of the law firm of Manatt, Phelps & Phillips. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy. She served as senior advisor to the secretary of state from 1997–2001.” CACG’s listed advisers include/included Clinton’s Paul Begala and John Podesta and Clinton’s former press secretary Mike McCurry.

Perriello has worked for the U.S. State Department, and as a consultant for the International Centre for Transitional Justice, as well as the National Council of Churches of Christ. Perriello has been an analyst for Afghanistan Watch, as well as a Special Advisor/Spokesperson and National Security Analyst for The Century Foundation in which he is a “Fellow.” The URL for Afghanistan Watch now brings up The Century Foundation. Prior to law school, Perriello worked as assistant director of the Center for a Sustainable Economy (now part of “Redefining Progress“) and as a consultant on youth and environmental campaigns.

Perriello has worked as an independent national security consultant in central and southern Afghanistan. In 2005 and 2007, he spent time assessing “the Taliban’s resurgence and strategies (primarily political) for restoring control.” Perriello conducted research in seven different provinces and managed a team of 60 across the country. Under the auspices of his own organization (Res Publica) and others, Perriello briefed embassy leaders in Kabul, UN mission chiefs, and various agencies of the Bush Administration. He also provided background briefings for media, U.S. Representatives, and various think tanks such as the Center for American Progress, of which he is now CEO and President. He has also worked in national security efforts in Sierra Leone (United Nations Special Court), Liberia, Kosovo, and Darfur. Perriello has worked as a humanitarian aid worker national security consultant and is on the board of directors for Namati.

Perriello has had a long relationship with Soros’ Open Society-funded Human Rights Watch and the International Crisis Group, which continue to this day. Amnesty International is also financed by the Soros Open Society Institute. All of these organizations have been instrumental in opening up the doors for foreign invasion into Libya and now Syria.

Excerpts from the 3 May 2011 article “International Crisis Group Sweating over Syria,” published by Land Destroyer Report:

“The International Crisis Group (ICG) has been at the center of the unfolding ‘Arab Spring’ since the very beginning. Mohamed ElBaradei, a member of the ICG board of trustees, was literally leading the color revolution in the streets of Cairo along with his admitted underling, Google executive Wael Ghonim. The ICG has also recently made a heeded call for intervention in the Ivory Coast.

ICG includes George Soros and Zbigniew Brzezinski, two men notorious for their extraterritorial meddling and their fomenting of color revolutions in far flung lands. To explain why they are so eager to pry their way into sovereign nations, despoil, topple, and rebuild them, one only has to look at ICG’s corporate supporters. They include such ignoble organizations as Chevron, Morgan Stanley, and Deutsche Bank Group with equally ignoble intentions that are confidently expressed through ICG’s nefarious agenda.”

The International Crisis Group (ICG) was founded in 1995 by World Bank Vice-President Mark Malloch Brown, former U.S. diplomat Morton Abramowitz and Fred Cuny, an international disaster relief specialist who disappeared in Chechnya in 1995. The Crisis Group raises funds from mainly western governments, foundations, corporations and individual donors. In 2006, 40% of its funding came from 22 different governments, 32% from 15 “philanthropic” organizations, and 28% from individuals and private foundations. Soros, who is chairman of the Open Society Institute, is on the Board of Trustees. The ICG Advisory Council includes corporations such as Chevron and Shell.[Source] The Board of Trustees, Executive Committee and the Crisis Group Senior Advisors read like a who’s who of the political elites and banking cartel. The ICG executive committee includes Kofi Annan, former Secretary-General of the United Nations, Lawrence Summers, Former Director of the U.S. National Economic Council and Secretary of the Treasury, and Javier Solana, NATO Secretary-General and Foreign Affairs Minister of Spain.

In 2007, ICG and Human Rights Watch were key players in the development of the Global Center for the Responsibility to Protect in cooperation with prominent governments, NGOs and academia. [For background on R2P read The Real Motives behind a Rapacious Imperial Power’s Real Objectives and History and Timeline of R2P.]

Excerpts from the 15 February 2012 article, “‘Human Rights’ Warriors for Empire,” published by Black Agenda Report:

“Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch are swigging the ale with their fellow buccaneers. These ‘human rights’ warriors, headquartered in the bellies of empires past and present, their chests shiny with medals of propagandistic service to superpower aggression in Libya, contribute ‘left’ legitimacy to the imperial project.

Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have chosen sides in the Washington-backed belligerency – the side of Empire. As groups most often associated with (what passes for) the Left in their headquarters’ countries, they are invaluable allies of the current imperial offensive….

There was great ambivalence – the most polite word I can muster – among purported leftists in the United States and Europe to NATO’s bombardment and subjugation of Libya. Here we are again, in the face of existential imperial threats to Syria and Iran, as leftists temporize about human rights while the ‘greatest purveyor of violence in the world today’ blazes new warpaths.

There is no such thing as an anti-war activist who is not an anti-imperialist. And the only job of an anti-imperialist in the belly of the beast is to disarm the beast. Absent that, s/he is useless to humanity.

As we used to say: You are part of the solution – or you are part of the problem. Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch are part of the problem.”

The George Soros Open Society Foundation is the primary donor of the Human Rights Watch, contributing $100 million of $128 million of contributions and grants received by the HRW in the 2011 financial year.

Perriello is a supporter of the “War on Terror,” a fabricated psyops, which was and continues to be an essential component to unleash a new wave of wars, invasions and occupations. Indeed, if people are frightened, they will accept authority.

“As far as America’s war against terrorism is concerned [the] senator provides unequivocal support to Barrack Obama.” — Perriello of Congress website

Perriello’s view of Israel borders on fantasy. He views Israel as one of the most “dramatic and exciting creations of the international community” in the 20th century and believes that a permanent moral and strategic relationship exists between the U.S. and Israel.”

In May 2009, 60 Congress members voted against dumping another $97 billion into the wars on Iraq and Afghanistan. Perriello voted for it. [Source]

On 16 June 2009, 202 Congress members voted against that same war funding (May 2009) combined with a massive IMF bailout for Eastern European bankers. [This authorized supplements and rescinds appropriations for the Department of Defense totaling $80.93 billion including $29.51 billion for operation and maintenance, including $3.61 billion for the Afghanistan Security Forces Fund; and $400 million for the Pakistan Counterinsurgency Fund; $25.3 billion for Procurement; $18.73 billion for military personnel; $2.87 billion for military construction; $1.12 billion for the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Fund; $1.06 billion for the Defense Health Program; $9.7 billion for the Department of State, U.S. Agency for International Development, and other agencies for costs associated with international assistance, including $4.65 billion for bilateral economic assistance, $2.97 billion for the Economic Support Fund; $2.18 billion for international security assistance, $1.29 billion for the Foreign Military Financing Program; $1.94 billion for Diplomatic and Consular Programs.] Perriello voted in favour of both. (Key Vote | HR 2346)

On 26 June 2009, Perriello voted in favor of the Waxman-Markey bill, a bill which promoted the false solution of cap and trade. This bill was vehemently opposed by many climate justice groups, all while corporate greens unapologetically lobbied for it extensively and relentlessly. In all, six of the world’s 15 largest publicly-traded corporations in 2009 supported cap and trade legislation: JP Morgan Chase (#1), Bank of America (#2), General Electric (#3), Shell (#8), British Petroleum (#10), and Walmart (#14). Three of the six were members of U.S.CAP. During this fiscal year the national environmental groups took in $1.7 billion in revenue. Of the $1.7 billion, $12.8 million was spent on lobbying, with the great proportion of these expenditures focused on cap and trade legislation. [7] (Key Vote | HR 245)

On 8 October 2009, Perriello voted in support of the defense bill for military appropriations in the amount of $681.02 billion. This authorized $639.32 billion in Department of Defense authorizations for fiscal year 2009-2010, $24.75 billion in military construction, $16.94 billion in Department of Energy national security authorizations, $309 million for research and evaluation, procurement, or deployment of an alternative Missile Defense System in Europe and authorization to increase the active-duty number for the U.S. Army to a number greater than otherwise allowed by law up to the 2010 baseline plus 30,000 troops, and $136.02 billion for military personnel for the fiscal year 2010. (Key Vote | HR 264)

In March of 2010, a reception was hosted by two leading corporate greens: the “League of Conservation Voters” and “Environmental Defense” Action Fund to raise funds for Perriello’s re-election campaign for Congress. MoveOn.org raised $100,000 for Perriello’s re-election campaign.

President Barack Obama visited Perriello’s district, the only Congressman for which he did so. (In spite of extensive campaigning, Perriello would fail to win his re-election campaign.)

On 10 March 2010, 65 Congress members voted to end the war on Afghanistan. Perriello voted in favour of keeping it going. [Source]

On 28 May 2010, Perriello voted in support of the defense bill for military appropriations. This included $32.42 billion for the Defense Health Program, $3.42 billion for Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) Vehicles, $3.46 billion for the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Fund and $71.2 million for the operation of the Armed Forces Retirement Home. (Key Vote | HR 5136)

On 1st July 2010, 100 Congress members voted to fund only withdrawal from Afghanistan. Perriello voted against this amendment. Rather, Perriello was in favour of an amendment requesting the President to devise an exit plan (any exit plan) for Afghanistan. The amendment did not call for a date let alone any enforcement. In essence it was nothing more than rhetoric to appease a nation that was beginning to awaken to an increasingly corporatized government: unprecedented debt, home foreclosures, escalating resource wars and corruption – all unparalleled in scale in the nation’s history, while the wealthy became even wealthier. Thus, Perriello voted in favour as he did with the supposed “Responsible Plan to End the War in Iraq” – a plan that was weaker than the treaty George Bush had signed. (Key Vote | HR 4899)

On 27 July 2010, Perriello opposed removing the United States Armed Forces from Pakistan. (Key Vote | H Con Res 301)

On 27 July 2010, 115 Congress members (12 Republicans and 103 Democrats) voted against a supplemental bill authorizing $33.29 billion dollars to escalate the war on Afghanistan. Tom Perriello voted in favour of it. When a small group of concerned citizens met with Perriello prior to the vote, Perriello refused to say what, if anything, he thought. (Key Vote | HR 489)

On 30 July 2010, Perriello voted against “Offshore Drilling Regulations and Other Energy Law Amendments” (Key Vote | HR 3534) and voted yes to ending the “Moratorium on Deepwater Drilling Rigs that Meet Certain Safety Standards” (Key Vote | H Amdt 773).

On 6 October 2010, Perriello received the endorsement of the Veterans of Foreign Wars in the race in recognition of his “strong support for veterans, national security and defense, and military personnel issues.”

On 29 October 2010, “War Is A Crime” reported: “136 Congress members have signed a letter promising not to cut Social Security. Perriello has not.”

Yet, in spite of these pro-war positions, the liberal left and their so called “progressive media” continued to shine a glowing light on Perriello and frame him as a stand-out progressive.

Like Orwell’s War is Peace, the liberal left’s demigods were more and more demonstrating “right” conduct all while professional left continued to portray them as “progressive.” However, the changing landscape did not silence everyone. David Swanson, founder of warisacrime.org wrote:

“Do we oppose this? Well, some of us used to. When our congressman was a Republican, we denounced this course of action in the media, phoned his office, picketed his office, and went to jail for sitting in his office. But for the past year and a half, while the military budget and the war budget have both increased, we’ve said almost nothing. A small group of us have begun organizing protests at the new Democratic congress member’s office, but we’re the only ones he hears from. We’ve spent a good deal of time in his office on two occasions, and I think I have heard his phone ring there a total of twice. Nobody’s calling. And everyone who is not calling is communicating their approval of the mass murder of individual and remarkable and precious human beings.”

On 15 December 2011, the Center for American Progress announced new leadership roles for its advocacy arm. Former Congressman Tom Perriello (D-VA) became the new President and CEO of CAP Action and Counselor for Policy at CAP.

In the 2012 winter issue of Democracy Journal, Perriello pens a grotesque and delusional article titled:”Humanitarian Intervention: Recognizing When, and Why, It Can Succeed”:

“The use of force always entails grave dangers and human costs, and progressives have been leery particularly since the Vietnam era of supporting it, even to prevent or end mass atrocities, repression, and other systematic human suffering. Wise leaders will always remain wary of war. But wisdom also requires us to acknowledge two dramatic changes in our ability to use force for good. First, in a single generation, our ability to intervene without heavy casualties has improved dramatically. Second, the range of diplomatic and legal tools for legitimizing such interventions has likewise expanded….

Operational developments since the end of the Cold War have substantially improved our capacity to wage smart military operations that are limited in time and scope and employ precise and overwhelming force. This presents progressives with an opportunity – one that is too often seen as a curse – to expand the use of force to advance key values….

While the UN Security Council remains the most formal standard for international legitimacy, many nations consider it less representative than regional bodies and less responsive than reality sometimes demands. Today, the United States has a range of options to validate such uses of military might for humanitarian concerns….

After highlighting “the success” in Libya, Perriello goes on to say:

“Today, Gadhafi is dead, and the Libyan people have their first chance for democratic, accountable governance in decades…. American casualties were zero. Insurgent fighters and the vast majority of the population have cheered the victory as liberation, and courageous Syrians who face daily threats of death for standing up to their own repressive regime have taken comfort in Gadhafi’s fall. These accomplishments are no small feats for those who care about human dignity, democracy, and stability….

Progressives often demand action in the face of abject human suffering, but we know from recent history that in some situations moral condemnation, economic sanctions, or ex-post tribunals don’t save lives. Only force does.”

In closing, Perriello states:

“We must realize that force is only one element of a coherent national security strategy and foreign policy. We must accept the reality – whether or not one accepts its merits – that other nations are more likely to perceive our motives to be self-interested than values-based. But in a world where egregious atrocities and grave threats exist, and where Kosovo and Libya have changed our sense of what’s now possible, the development of this next generation of power can be seen as a historically unique opportunity to reduce human suffering.”

Make no mistake – this is the ideology at the helm of Avaaz.org.

In December 2011, Perriello disclosed that he served as special adviser to the international war crimes prosecutor and has spent extensive time in 2011 in Egypt and the Middle East researching the Arab Spring. Therefore, based on this disclosure alone, there can be no doubt that the deliberate strategy being advanced by Avaaz cannot be based upon any type of ignorance or naïveté.

The 12 January 2012 RSVP event “Reframing U.S. Strategy in a Turbulent World: American Spring?” featured speakers from Charles Kupchan of the Council on Foreign Relations, Rosa Brooks of the New America Foundation, and none other than Tom Perriello, CEO of the Center for American Progress Action Fund. Perriello advanced his “ideology” during this lecture.

Indoctrination of the Youth is Essential

On 18 January 2012, Perriello, as the Center for American Progress’s Advocacy Director, joined Mark Schneider, the International Crisis Group’s Senior Vice President and Maria McFarland, Human Rights Watch’s Deputy Washington Director to present a lecture titled: “The ‘Responsibility to Protect’ after the Arab Spring: A Discussion” at Georgetown University in Washington, DC with the synopsis as follows: “Governments’ repressive responses to the social upheavals across the Middle East and North Africa have sparked a shift in international approaches to civilian protection and mass atrocities prevention. The decade-old ‘responsibility to protect’ doctrine has figured centrally in international responses to repressive regimes. However, between the tenuous success of NATO’s Libya intervention and the international community’s weak-kneed response to violence in Syria, R2P’s future is far from certain.”

In this video Perriello is introducing himself to the youth involved in a training organization named “e-mediat Jordan” who, Perriello states, are prepared to “sacrifice for their country.” Perriello is listed as director: “E-Mediat Jordan Country Director – Honorable Tom Perriello.” This organization is situated in Jordan, which is located in the Middle East and borders Syria, Saudi Arabia, the Red Sea, Palestine, Israel, and Iraq. This NGO describes itself as a “Tools, Technology and Training” Centre. Training youth has become instrumental to advancing the Imperialist agenda. In essence, the exploited youth are the sacrificial lambs of the ruling classes in the 21st century.

Perriello no doubt believes in the myth of American exceptionalism. His patriotic views are reinforced by like-minded individuals from the Bush administration, the Obama administration, and the scores of organizations who “understand” the “need” to expand America’s “democracy” and “economic prosperity” around the globe. And while these myths are pushed forward by Imperialist administrations, the non-profit industrial complex and corporate media, civil rights in America are being stripped away faster than you can say fascism.

Up next: Part II, Section II.

Avaaz Investigative Report Series [Links]|Further Reading: Part I | Section I | Part I | Section II | Part I | Section III | Part II | Section I | Part II | Section II

[Cory Morningstar is an independent journalist /ecological activist whose recent writings can be found on Canadians for Action on Climate Change, Political Context and The Art of Annihilation site where you can read her bio. You can follow her on Twitter: @elleprovocateur]

Resources

[1] Source: http://www.wiserearth.org/group/AvaazDotOrg. Information compiled/created April 7, 2010 and updated Feb 9, 2012.

[2] “Independent Media Institute Funding Funding for AlterNet comes from private foundations, site advertising, and individual donors.” “Several of our additional funders wish to remain anonymous.”

[3] Source: http://www.avaaz.org/en/report_back_2

[4] Source: http://www.anmag.org/issues/25/02/250207.php

[5] “In total with ONE partner organizations Avaaz.org, Jubilee U.S.A and Oxfam International, more than 415,000 signatures in all will be delivered tomorrow to Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, host of this week’s G7 Finance Ministers meeting.” http://www.one.org/c/us/pressrelease/3242/

[6] MoveOn’s annual report for 2008-09, the total number of individual donors (not members, as membership is automatically established upon a citizen “clicking” on a petition) was 17,295.

[7] http://climateshiftproject.org/report/climate-shift-clear-vision-for-the-next-decade-of-public-debate/#convergence-on-cap-and-tradePart II | Section I of an investigative report by Cory Morningstar

 Avaaz Investigative Report Series [Links]|Further Reading: Part I | Section I | Part I | Section II | Part I | Section III | Part II | Section I

Bread and Circuses

Panem et circenses. A metaphor for a superficial means of appeasement, in Latin. It was the basic Roman formula for the well-being of the population, and hence a political strategy unto itself. In the case of politics, the phrase is used to describe the creation of public approval, not through exemplary or excellent public service or public policy, but through diversion, distraction, and/or the mere satisfaction of the immediate, shallow requirements of a populace. The phrase also implies the erosion or ignorance of civic duty amongst the concerns of the common man (l’homme moyen sensuel). In modern usage, the phrase is taken to describe a populace that no longer values civic virtues and the public life. To many across the political spectrum, left and right, it connotes a supposed triviality and frivolity that characterized the Roman Republic prior to its decline into the autocratic monarchy characteristic of the later Roman Empire’s transformation about 44 BCE. [Source: Wikipedia]

Avaaz: The Emperor of the NGO Network 

 

“The banality of evil transmutes into the banality of sentimentality. The world is nothing but a problem to be solved by enthusiasm.” — Teju Cole

Avaaz is the operational name of “Global Engagement and Organizing Fund,” a non-profit organization legally incorporated in 2006.

Avaaz was founded by Res Publica, described as a global civic advocacy group, and Moveon.org, “an online community that has pioneered internet advocacy in the United States.”

Launched in 2007, Avaaz is the fastest-growing online movement in history. The deliberate choosing of the word Avaaz, which translates to “voice” in several European, Middle Eastern and Asian languages, begs the question of whether the core purpose of Avaaz from the onset was to build influence and “befriend” the populations in the Middle Eastern and Asia.

9 December 2009: Ricken Patel of Res Publica: “Each organization [MoveOn and ResPublica] has roughly equal international memberships that will be invited to join Avaaz (Res Publica has built a list of almost 400,000 at http://www.ceasefirecampaign.org/) … I think it’s fair [to say] that we’re starting with a MoveOn model plus SMS….” [SMS is the acronym for Short Message Service, or texting.]

The Service Employees International Union and GetUp.org.au were also publicly recognized as founding partners of Avaaz: “Avaaz.org also enjoys the partnership and support of leading activist organizations from around the world, including the Service Employees International Union, a founding partner of Avaaz, GetUp.org.au, and many others.”

The silent voice behind Avaaz, that of Res Publica, is, in the public realm, essentially comprised of 3 key individuals: Tom Perriello, a pro-war (former) U.S. Representative who describes himself as a social entrepreneur, Ricken Patel, consultant to many of the most powerful entities on Earth and the long-time associate of Perriello, and Tom Pravda, a member of the UK Diplomatic Service who serves as a consultant to the U.S. State Department.

9 December 2009, Tech President: “The organization is pursuing an ambitious growth path…. It is beginning with 700,000 members spread across 148 countries. It also has an Advisory Board that comprises politicians, diplomats, activists and celebrities from around the world…. Open Society Institute indeed made a one-year grant of $150,000 to Res Publica last summer to help them get Avaaz off the ground.” (Two appreciative comments from Avaaz associates can be found under this article, including one from a lesser publicly credited Avaaz co-founder, Paul Hilder.) (Hilder is discussed further within this report.)

In addition to the $150,000 in seed money from George Soros’s Open Society Institute, Res Publica gave Avaaz $225,000 in 2006. (Form 990, page 18), $950,000 in 2007 (Form 990, page 18), and $500,000 in 2008 (Form 990, page 9). (Form 990 allows the IRS and the public to evaluate nonprofits and how they operate.)

Avaaz states that they take “absolutely no money from governments or corporations…. While we received initial seed grants from partner organizations and charitable organizations, almost 90% of the Avaaz budget now comes [from] small online donations.” The 2009 Form 990 for George Soros’ Foundation to Promote Open Society reports (page 87) $300,000 in general support for Avaaz and an additional $300,000 to Avaaz for climate campaigning.

The Avaaz co-founding team is comprised of a group of “global social entrepreneurs” from six countries: Executive Director Ricken Patel, Tom Perriello, Tom Pravda, Eli Pariser (MoveOn Executive Director), Andrea Woodhouse (consultant to the World Bank) Jeremy Heimans (co-founder of GetUp! and Purpose), and Australian entrepreneur David Madden (co-founder of GetUp and Purpose). “Avaaz is lucky to have the founding partnership and support of leading activist organizations from around the world.” [1]

The 2010 Avaaz Form 990 states: “Avaaz Foundation is comprised of two members: Res Publica (U.S.) Inc. and MoveOn.org Civic Action.”

Both Heimans and Madden were instrumental in forming the vision of Avaaz; the “global online political community inspired by the success of GetUp and the U.S. group MoveOn.org.”

In 2002, MoveOn’s political action committee (PAC) raised and distributed $3.5 million to more than 36 U.S. congressional candidates. Don Hazen (executive director of the “Independent” Media Institute (IMI), as well as executive editor of AlterNet, which is a program of IMI) [2] was quoted as stating: “MoveOn’s member list [is] mostly white, highly educated, computer savvy … and willing to give dough.”

Based on the “success” of Avaaz co-founder, MoveOn, we can safely assume that “mostly white, highly educated, computer savvy … and willing to give dough” should be considered the targeted demographic for Avaaz and the Avaaz network.

On 23 November 2003 it was reported by San Fransico Chronicle that “MoveOn.org reeled in a $5 million matching pledge from currency speculator billionaire George Soros.” This represented the largest-ever individual donation to the five-year-old organization. The model described by The Chronicle was “an organization with six full-time employees, no offices,” which has been successfully replicated by many NGOs within the non-profit industrial complex, including 350.org.

In 2010 Avaaz paid Ricken Patel $183,264 as executive director, and paid Ben Wikler (Avaaz campaign director) $111,384 plus $921,592 in “campaigner fees and consulting” and $182,196 in travel expenses. During 2011, Avaaz did not miss a golden opportunity to set up a live-stream for the Occupy Wall Street protest in New York in order to give a voice to the “99%.” Yes, the rich get richer. The poor get poorer.

In addition to receiving funding from the Open Society Institute, Avaaz has publicly cited the Open Society Institute as their foundation partner. This admission by founder Ricken Patel is found on the www.soros.org website. [As discussed in part I, The Open Society Institute (renamed in 2011 to Open Society Foundations) is a private operating and grantmaking foundation founded by George Soros, who remains the chair. Soros is known best as a multibillionaire currency speculator, and of late, an avid supporter of Occupy Wall Street. Soros is a former member of the Board of Directors of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). The CFR is essentially the promotional arm of the ruling elite in the U.S. Most all U.S. policy is initiated and written by the exclusive membership within the CFR.]

Avaaz utilized/utilizes their Open Society Institute relationship to distribute member donations via “Avaaz partners at the Open Society Institute.” [3]

March 2008 – Avaaz co-founder, Ricken Patel explains: “Avaaz is a campaigning organization and not in this business. So we chose a foundation partner with long experience…. That group is the Open Society Institute, one of the largest and most respected foundations in the world. OSI is taking no overhead on the funds we are granting to Burmese groups, and has also increased its own support to this cause in 2008.” [4] In the instance of Burma, all Avaaz campaign donations have been directly funneled through the Soros Open Society Institute Burma Project (website). Although nowhere on the Avaaz website will you find any connection to George Soros, within this statement Patel clearly states that The Open Society Institute is in fact a partner of Avaaz. Why Avaaz chooses to funnel the money through the Soros foundation is not clearly understood, but we might assume Soros insists upon it in order to control which groups in Burma receive funding. Today, Myanmar (Burma) “is eagerly genuflecting before an onslaught of foreign private investors zeroing in to dispossess her” (24 May 2012, Myanmar Learns the Lesson of Libya).

Avaaz partners are many, including one.org [5] [discussed further in this report] and the infamous TckTckTck. The Tcktcktck campaign was launched 26 June 2009 by Havas, one of the world’s largest global advertising and communications firms, in conjunction with the United Nations (Kofi Annan) and Bob Geldof. The stated objective of this corporate-driven advertising campaign was “to make it become a movement that consumers, advertisers and the media would use and exploit.” It is revealing that the “environmental organizations” listed as partners were, first and foremost, none other than 350.org and Avaaz.org who partnered with the likes of such corporations as EDF Nuclear, Lloyds Bank, MTV, and other multi-national corporations who simultaneously destroy our shared environment. The organizations flourish under the guise and branding of “grassroots,” yet “grassroots” are generally not connected to the dominant global structures that are able to absorb, shape and dominate entire movements such as in the case of Tcktcktck at the climate change talks in Copenhagen.

And while the stated initial goal of Avaaz, according to Avaaz co-founder Madden, was “a web-based campaign against the foreign policy of United States President,” the reality is anything but.

Avaaz’s stance on both Libya (now annihilated) and now Syria is in smooth synchronicity with the positions within the U.S. administration, positions such as those vocalized by the likes of war criminals such as Hillary Clinton (of “We came. We saw. He died. Laughter…” fame). The ugly iron fist of war is gently being spoon-fed to the public by way of a very dark velvet glove – that being Avaaz.

As of July 2011, Avaaz claimed to have more than 9.65 million “members” in 193 countries. Most recently, the Avaaz  campaign, which demands foreign intervention by the Imperialist states in a synchronized effort to destabilize Syria, has resulted in the Avaaz membership skyrocketing to over 13 million members. According to Avaaz, this surge of an additional 3 million members or so was achieved in less than 30 days of an intense campaign against the Sovereign Syrian Government. What’s happening in Syria today is a destabilization campaign in which the terror unleashed upon the population is financed by foreign interests.

In the midst of the Avaaz destabilization campaigns of both Libya and Syria, Avaaz, in unison with other U.S.-funded NGOs, also waged a destabilization campaign against the Morales Government of Bolivia in October 2011. The attempt failed. Unlike westerners, Bolivians are, today, far advanced in their intellectual understanding of global politics and carefully orchestrated propaganda, having been on the receiving end of Imperialism/colonialism and the capitalist economic system itself, for what surely must feel like an eternity.

Did Libya’s Citizens Demand Foreign Intervention? 

A ridiculous question, yet according to Avaaz, the answer is yes.

“The call for a no-fly zone originated from Libyans – including the provisional opposition government, Libya’s (defected) ambassador to the UN, protesters, and youth organizations.”

Today Avaaz claims 13,649,421 members, 70,432,165 “actions” (taken since January 2007) and 194 countries with Avaaz members according to the information provided by Avaaz, retrieved on 2 March 2012. During the typing of this single paragraph, the Avaaz membership rose by 30 people to 13,649,451. [Avaaz Facts]

The members are primarily citizens residing within Imperialist or wealthy states. Consider the following three examples: (Stats retrieved from the Avaaz global “membership” virtual map.)

Avaaz members situated in United States: 923,968

Avaaz members situated in Canada: 667,592

Avaaz members situated in Libya: 3,167

On 10 March 2010, John Hilary challenged Avaaz in a Guardian article titled “Internet activists should be careful what they wish for in Libya. Calls for a no-fly zone over Libya ignore the perils of intervention. Long-term solutions aren’t as simple as the click of a mouse.”

Hilary writes:

A no-fly zone would almost certainly draw Nato countries into further military involvement in Libya, replacing the agency of the Libyan people with the control of those governments who have shown scant regard for their welfare. As long as the oil kept flowing, western governments have been happy to prop up dictators who kept a heavy boot on their people’s freedom. Libyans are unlikely to be grateful to be bombed by those same western governments attempting to enforce a no-fly zone. Indeed such action would help Muammar Gaddafi by justifying his rhetoric about foreign intervention, not to mention stopping fledgling revolutions across the region in their tracks.

 

Clearly a no-fly zone makes foreign intervention sound rather humanitarian – putting the emphasis on stopping bombing, even though it could well lead to an escalation of violence.

 

No wonder, too, that it is rapidly becoming a key call of hawks on both sides of the Atlantic. The military hierarchy, with their budgets threatened by government cuts, surely cannot believe their luck – those who usually oppose wars are openly campaigning for more military involvement.

Although Hilary knowingly or otherwise dismisses the very real foreign intervention as “rhetoric” while not divulging the fact that the “fledgling revolutions” he speaks of were instigated/infiltrated/financed by foreign interests, Hilary ends with a prophetic note:

Calling for military intervention is a huge step – the life and death of hundreds of thousands of people might hang in the balance. The difference between the ease of the action and the impact of the consequence is vast.

 

In the Spanish civil war many brave people felt so strongly that they sacrificed their own lives to support the struggle against fascism in that country. How incredible it would have seemed to them, less than a hundred years later, that people would be using a click of their mouse to send armies to fight battles that might end in the death of so many others.

Avaaz’s campaign director, Ben Wikler, posted a comment in response to Hilary’s article. Bold emphasis have been added.

“Dear John,

 

“Thanks for this piece. Sorry that you felt we got this wrong. We’re doing our best and of course, people of good will with similar values can sometimes disagree. Here’s a bit more background and explanation for you on our decision on the no-fly zone –

 

Avaaz is people-powered. Our member community makes the calls. We use polls to gauge members’ views; 84% of members supported this campaign, while 9% opposed it. Since launching it, we’ve found intense support for the campaign from around the world.

 

Our staff also play a key role in consulting with leading experts around the world (and most of our staff have policy as well as advocacy backgrounds) on each of the campaigns we run, and Libya was no exception.

 

In some ways, we work a lot like journalists like you do, talking to people and weighing the facts before we form conclusions. However, our staff’s personal conclusions also have to pass the test of our membership being strongly supportive of any position we take.

 

We’re acutely aware of your and some others’ objections to this campaign. Here are the main issues that people have raised, and where we’re coming from regarding them:

 

Would imposing a no-fly zone really be a Western military intervention motivated by oil?

 

If Western powers use the no-fly zone as a pretext for self-interested military action, Avaaz would be among the first groups to campaign against it – just as Avaaz has campaigned to end the Iraq conflict and ensure that Iraq’s oil rights are reserved for the Iraqi people.

 

The call for a no-fly zone originated from Libyans – including the provisional opposition government, Libya’s (defected) ambassador to the UN, protesters, and youth organizations.

 

The same Libyan groups have strongly opposed any western military presence on Libyan soil. They clearly feel that a no-fly zone is not equivalent to or a step towards invasion. Avaaz staff are in close and constant contact with activists inside Libya and have been repeatedly asked to move forward on this campaign.

 

Meanwhile, among governments, Gulf States have demanded the no-fly zone, and the U.S. government, far from itching to move ahead, appears deeply divided on the idea.

 

Furthermore, our advocacy has been for the UN Security Council to authorize a no-fly zone, not any coalition of western nations. You can bet that China and Russia will not sign off on a no-fly zone if they think it’s a cover for a Western oil grab.

 

Would imposing a no-fly zone lead to a full-blown international war?

 

No-fly zones can mean a range of different things. Some analysts and military figures have argued that it would require a pre-emptive attack on Libya’s anti-aircraft weapons. Others, however, contend that merely flying fighter planes over the rebel-controlled areas would ensure that Qaddafi wouldn’t use his jets to attack eastern Libya, because he knows his air force is weaker than that of Egypt or NATO states. The best solution is the one that reduces civilian deaths the most with the least violence. Things might not turn out as expected, but while there are potential dangers to an international war, there are certain dangers to civilians if things continue without a no-fly zone.

 

Is Qaddafi really killing civilians with this air force?

 

Based on reports from our partners on the ground, from the Red Cross, and from a variety of local and international news reports, we believe Qaddafi’s bombing runs are indeed killing civilians. Qaddafi’s air power is a key advantage over those fighting to remove him: as long as he has control of the air, attacks seem likely to continue for months or even longer, with disastrous consequences for civilians.

 

Wouldn’t a UN resolution for a no-fly zone violate national sovereignty?

 

We believe that the international community has a responsibility to protect civilians when national governments threaten their fundamental human rights.

 

National sovereignty should not be a legitimate barrier to international action when crimes against humanity are being committed. If you strongly disagree, then you may find yourself at odds with other Avaaz campaigns as well.

 

All told, this was a difficult judgment call.

 

Calling for any sort of military response always is. Avaaz members have been advocating for weeks for a full set of non-military options as well, including an asset freeze, targeted sanctions, and prosecutions of officials involved in the violent crackdown on demonstrators.

 

But although those measures are moving forward, the death toll is rising. Again, thoughtful people can disagree – but in the Avaaz community’s case, only 9% of our thoughtful people opposed this position – somewhat surprising given that we have virtually always advocated for peaceful methods to resolve conflict in the past. We think it was the best position to take given the balance of expert opinion, popular support, and most of all, the rights and clearly expressed desire of the Libyan people.

 

Respectfully,
Ben Wikler

Let’s break this down. In the Avaaz rebuttal Wikler states:

Avaaz is people-powered. Our member community makes the calls. We use polls to gauge members’ views; 84% of members supported this campaign, while 9% opposed it. Since launching it, we’ve found intense support for the campaign from around the world.”

The question must be asked – why does “intense support of the campaign from around the world” from an organization co-founded by MoveOn that, as stated in 2002, caters to members comprised of “mostly white, highly educated, computer savvy … and willing to give dough” supersede the rights of a sovereign nation and her citizens against foreign interference? How would unleashing a military operation in Libya affect Avaaz constituents attending Harvard? In fact, the Avaaz demographic is one that is being trained to not think – just click. Indeed, critical thinking is a detriment and a very real threat to the entire Avaaz phenomenon. Surely, the “wish” for foreign intervention and no-fly zones (more commonly known as war and bombs) should only be considered by those who will be affected directly by such a military campaign. As Avaaz states, their Libyan membership is a mere 3,167 people – one must ask how Avaaz considers the 3,167 Libyan Avaaz “members” as representative of “the Libyan people” in a country with (prior to the invasion) a population of almost 6 million citizens.  

“This world exists simply to satisfy the needs—including, importantly, the sentimental needs—of white people and Oprah.” — Teju Cole

The fact is that the Libyan people as a society had no representation in the Avaaz campaign calling for foreign military intervention to be inflicted upon the Libyan tribal society. In spite of Wikler’s ridiculous rhetoric, the fact is Libyan citizens were considered by Avaaz to hold little significance. Avaaz, iconic symbol of the white ivory towers of justice, followed in the path of other international NGOs in the racist ideology that the belief system upheld by the “educated” “middleclass” in the wealthy states is far superior to any contrary beliefs and ideologies of tribal/civil societies in African and Arab nations. It is only the people from within these privileged classes whose opinions matter, hence the victorious proclamation of the 84% support. The Avaaz position is even more problematic when you consider the following.

What constitutes becoming an Avaaz “member”? As with the other “online activism” NGOS, Avaaz’s actual membership is open to interpretation. For example, Avaaz affiliate GetUp states, “Join the movement of 589,261 Australians. Become a member now.” However, this figure is derived from the entire database of signed GetUp petitions, whereby each signatory is automatically enlisted as “a member.” [6] As Avaaz is modeled after GetUp and MoveOn, and considering the membership increases rapidly within a 60 second time-frame, one can assume with certainty that an Avaaz “membership” is instantly granted to each and every individual signing a petition. This ruse serves as a brilliant method of disguising where the majority of their largesse (i.e., investment) originated from (i.e., the corporate state) while further reinforcing the false impression that their funding originated from grassroots sources.

(The latest feel-good consumer NGO (first media mention 29 November 2011, first “tweet” on 4 November 2011), yet another thinking person’s nightmare named SumOfUs, already boasts 262,950 members worldwide. Where did these members come from? Affiliated NGO membership lists?)

If one signed an Avaaz petition in 2007, long before realizing whose interests this organization truly represents, is this same individual still considered a member in 2012? If 3,167 Libyan Avaaz members signed an Avaaz petition in 2008 to save elephants in Africa, this does not constitute a Libyan majority demanding military interference in 2011.

Wikler states: “Our staff also play a key role in consulting with leading experts around the world (and most of our staff have policy as well as advocacy backgrounds) on each of the campaigns we run, and Libya was no exception.”

The question is, just exactly who are these experts Avaaz continues to refer to? Nowhere does Avaaz disclose these “experts” nor their affiliations. And which institutions and societies shaped their policy and advocacy backgrounds?

 Wikler states: “If Western powers use the no-fly zone as a pretext for self-interested military action, Avaaz would be among the first groups to campaign against it.”

Yet, there has been a massive amount of evidence demonstrating, unequivocally, that this was exactly what the pretext was. “Self-interested military action” is exactly what happened, which begs the question – what happened to Avaaz claiming they “would be among the first groups to campaign against it”? [Self-interested military action: Madeleine Albright appearing on 60 minutes, Running time 23s: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FbIX1CP9qr4] Not only does Avaaz contradict this statement, but this organization has done NOTHING to inform the public of any evidence of the deliberate destruction of Libya under the guise of a “humanitarian war.” To this day, not only is there NO EVIDENCE to support this invasion (made possible by the collaboration of yet another 77 NGOs), rather, there is a massive amount of evidence to the contrary. This was a well-planned, deliberate destabilization project that unleashed hell on a sovereign country – a country that had neither attacked nor invaded another nation. Avaaz has never released any material criticizing the war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by NATO and the rebel militias that Avaaz was supporting. Nor has Avaaz shared with their supporters the horrific, racist rebel crimes and ethnic cleansing that NATO turned a blind eye to, and that were thoroughly documented throughout the invasion upon Libya. On the shocking racial atrocities filmed and documented in Tawergha, the white ivory towers remain silent. Aside from the evidence, prior to the invasion of Libya, and after, one would think that the “experts” of Avaaz would have vast knowledge of how destabilization campaigns are strategically planned and carried out by Imperialist states as documented in past and recent history. And of course, when one looks at the background of the founders who comprise Avaaz, we can understand they knew full well.

Video below: Humanitarian War in Libya: There is no evidence! (Running time: 19:42)

Wikler states: “he call for a no-fly zone originated from Libyans – including the provisional opposition government, Libya’s (defected) ambassador to the UN, protesters, and youth organizations.”

As for Libya’s (defected) ambassador to the UN: “Just a few days after the street protests began, on February 21, the very quick to defect Libyan deputy Permanent Representative to the UN, Ibrahim Dabbashi, stated: ‘We are expecting a real genocide in Tripoli. The airplanes are still bringing mercenaries to the airports.’ This is excellent: a myth that is composed of myths. With that statement he linked three key myths together – the role of airports (hence the need for that gateway drug of military intervention: the no-fly zone), the role of “mercenaries” (meaning, simply, black people), and the threat of ‘genocide‘ (geared toward the language of the UN’s doctrine of the Responsibility to Protect). As ham-fisted and wholly unsubstantiated as the assertion was, he was clever in cobbling together three ugly myths, one of them grounded in racist discourse and practice that endures to the present, with newer atrocities reported against black Libyan and African migrants on a daily basis. He was not alone in making these assertions.” [Source: TOP TEN MYTHS IN NATO’S WAR AGAINST LIBYA]

It is an outrageous statement to claim it was the wish of the Libyan people to impose a military zone upon their own country. Further, the defected ambassador was clearly carrying out duties for the Imperialist states. Who were these protestors and youth organizations Avaaz speaks of? Are these the Libyans that comprise the 3,167 Libyan Avaaz members? Are they the youth groups set up by Avaaz funder and partner, the Soros Open Society Institute? Are they connected with the U.S.-funded Otpor or funded by another NGO fed by the U.S. administration? Nowhere is this information disclosed. Further, do the 3,167 Libyan Avaaz members actually live in Libya? Did all 3,167 Libyan Avaaz members sign the Avaaz petition, essentially demanding that their country become a war zone?

Wikler states: “The same Libyan groups have strongly opposed any western military presence on Libyan soil. They clearly feel that a no-fly zone is not equivalent to or a step towards invasion. Avaaz staff are in close and constant contact with activists inside Libya and have been repeatedly asked to move forward on this campaign.”

It is beyond obvious that a no-fly zone in an oil rich country would open the door to Imperialist vultures. Who told these so-called “Libyan Groups” (whoever they are we do not know) such a ridiculous thing, “that a no-fly zone is not equivalent to or a step towards invasion”? One must assume this information was conveyed to the “Libyan Groups” by the Avaaz “experts” since the Avaaz staff claim they were “in close and constant contact with activists inside Libya.” Further, in response to the proposed no-fly zone, Wikler goes on to say “there are potential dangers to an international war…” One must question why Wikler is aware of the potential of international war in response to a no-fly zone while the “Libyan Groups” believe (according to Avaaz) that “a no-fly zone is not equivalent to or a step towards invasion.”

Wikler states: “Meanwhile, among governments, Gulf States have demanded the no-fly zone, and the U.S. government, far from itching to move ahead, appears deeply divided on the idea.”

Yet, as Wikler convinced and assured the Guardian readership that the U.S. was hesitant to “intervene” in Libya, the reality was that two U.S. destroyers and a number of missile-launching submarines were in fact already deployed and headed for the Libyan coast. These destroyers decisively delivered 110 Tomahawk missiles 9 days later on 19 March 2011 as part of the military operation titled “Operation Odyssey Dawn.”

“The Royal Navy bought 65 Tomahawks in 1995 at a cost of $1 million (£650,000) each from U.S. defence firm Raytheon Systems. Two American destroyers, the U.S.S Barry and Stout, have been deployed. According to a Pentagon source, each carries up to 96 Tomahawk missiles.” [Source]

19 March 2011: “Cruise missiles from U.S. submarines and frigates began the attack on the anti-aircraft system. A senior defense official speaking on background said the attacks will ‘open up the environment so we could enforce the no-fly zone from east to west throughout Libya.'” [Source]

Wikler states: “[T]here are certain dangers to civilians if things continue without a no-fly zone.”

Perhaps Wikler was speaking to certain dangers to American and European civilians if Gaddafi were to have succeeded in replacing the U.S. dollar and the Euro with an African Dinar, backed by gold, to build unity and autonomy throughout African nations. Perhaps he was referring to civilians who are living under an economic system that is dependent upon the continued exploitation and stealing of other nations’ vast resources. As Libya was a nation with no debt, interest-free loans, free education, free healthcare, and a state-of-the-art water system and a country that held the highest standard of living in Africa, it is difficult to imagine what exactly Libyans would have been fearing aside from a pending invasion by Imperialist states.

Wikler states: “Based on reports from our partners on the ground, from the Red Cross, and from a variety of local and international news reports, we believe Qaddafi’s bombing runs are indeed killing civilians.”

Wikler is purposely vague. What reports exactly are they referring to? What partners?

March 1st Pentagon Briefing: Q: Do you see any evidence that [Gaddafi] actually has fired on his own people from the air?  There were reports of it, but do you have independent confirmation? If so, to what extent? Secretary of Defence – ROBERT GATES: A: “We’ve seen the press reports, but we have no confirmation of that,” Chairman of the Joint Chiefs – Admiral MICHAEL MULLEN A: “That’s correct. We’ve seen no confirmation whatsoever.”

In the following video, General Wesley Clark explains the Libyan invasion, Syria and Somalia, all planned years in advance: http://youtu.be/fSNyPS0fXpU.

Wikler states: “We believe that the international community has a responsibility to protect civilians when national governments threaten their fundamental human rights.”

Here Wikler echoes the current dogma being repeated incessantly by the U.S. administration and their corporate media lackeys. If Avaaz truly had any “experts” on civilian interests trumping those of corporate interests, Avaaz would tell us that this is merely language designed to facilitate societal acceptance of war by presenting it as “humanitarian intervention” and “responsibility to protect” (R2P). Prior to this lovely terminology, it was formerly known as “the Right to Intervene.”

Wikler states: “Again, thoughtful people can disagree – but in the Avaaz community’s case, only 9% of our thoughtful people opposed this position – somewhat surprising given that we have virtually always advocated for peaceful methods to resolve conflict in the past. We think it was the best position to take given the balance of expert opinion, popular support, and most of all, the rights and clearly expressed desire of the Libyan people.”

This highlights a very dangerous experiment, and now precedent, set by Avaaz. Wikler openly expresses that they were surprised to find only 9% of their “membership” (based upon their polls) opposed a no-fly zone. Wikler stating that this position was “somewhat surprising given that we have virtually always advocated for peaceful methods to resolve conflict in the past” is, by his own admission, acknowledging that this new direction is one that is not peaceful. One should note that all NGOs use polls and marketing executives to create and lay out most all campaigns and campaign strategies. Avaaz is no exception; rather, Avaaz should be considered the rule.

Avaaz’s integration into militarism can be seen in their continual polling that outlines, in essence, what citizens are responsive to, and what they are willing to tolerate. In the 13 January 2010 global Avaaz poll, participants were asked to rate 6 priorities in order of importance. The stated priorities from which one could choose included human rights, torture and genocide (#2), democracy movements and tyrannical regimes (#3) war, peace and security (#4) and corruption and abuse of power (#5). Incidentally number 1 was climate change, however after the failed Copenhagen climate talks, this issue was no longer considered a hot commodity for NGO branding purposes and thus the campaign on climate was, for the most part, abandoned altogether. All other proposed “choices” are key elements/issues associated with militarism.

How Wikler and his Avaaz cohorts sleep at night, knowing the Avaaz campaign contributed to the annihilation of as many as 100,000 Libyan civilians and unleashed a racial war, is anyone’s guess. Although it certainly must help when one is surrounded by like-minded people who all reinforce your distorted world views while reassuring each other that each is more brilliant than the other and the end justifies the means. This is the beauty and the power of neo-liberalism activism conformity. It allows one to behave like an asshole, while those indoctrinated into the same belief system, including corporate and so-called “progressive” media, portray you as a celebrity. The oligarchy’s willingness to ensure the egos remain plump and well-nourished is strategic. This ensures that the narcissist’s delusions are reinforced while simultaneously ensuring any doubt is cast far away. No one wishes to be ostracized from the champagne circuit. Wikler recently left Avaaz to become Executive Vice President at Change.org, another Soros (for-profit) NGO, while thousands upon thousands of Libyans paid the ultimate price for his campaign, which can be found on the Avaaz website under recent “victories.” Ben Wikler’s compensation as Avaaz Campaign Director in 2010 was a reported $111,384 (990 Form).

Not everyone was so gullible. One reader (“derazed”) comments beneath the Guardian article: “Up until its latest, I had appreciated Avaaz – even gave some money in the direction of providing Arab activists telecommunications equipment. When the no-fly email arrived, I created my own “no fly” zone – by terminating my email relationship with Avaaz. The internet and real-life events have taught me something about warmongers in virtual clothing.”

[28 March 2011: Fortune-500 funded Brookings Institution’s “Libya’s Test of the New International Order” is reported on – exposing the war as not one of a “humanitarian” nature, but one aimed explicitly at establishing an international order and the primacy of international law.]

The Avaaz Gate-Keepers 

Consider all of the following information within this report as a mere tip of the iceberg. Note that most, if not all organizations discussed in this report are, in part or full, financed by, and in many cases established in partnership with, George Soros’ “Open Society Institute.”

Avaaz Co-Founder and Executive Director: Ricken Patel

Life in the Champagne Circuit: In this photograph taken by AP Images for Avaaz, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, center left, accepts the ‘End the War on Drugs’ petition from Avaaz Executive Director Ricken Patel, center right, accompanied by Richard Branson, right, and Fernando Henrique Cardoso, left, at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, Friday, 3 June 2011.

Snapshot:

  • AccessNow: International Advisory Board
  • Avaaz International: Co-founder
  • Avaaz International: Executive Director/President
  • CARE International: Consultant
  • CeaseFireCampaign.org (discontinued): Co-Founder
  • CeaseFireCampaign.org (discontinued): Executive Director
  • DarfurGenocide.org: Co-director
  • DarfurGenocide.org: Co-founder
  • Faith in Public Life: Board of Directors
  • Faith in Public Life: Co-founder
  • Faithful America: Board of Directors
  • Faithful America: Co-founder
  • Gates Foundation: Consultant
  • Harvard University: Consultant
  • International Center for Transitional Justice: Consultant
  • International Crisis Group: Consultant
  • J Street: Advisory Council
  • Namati: Board of Directors
  • Res Publica: Chairman/Executive Director
  • Res Publica: Co-founder
  • Rockefeller Foundation: Consultant
  • United Nations: Consultant

Education:

  • Harvard University Kennedy School of Government
  • University of Oxford
  • Queen’s University

Compensation from Avaaz (990 Forms):

2006:   $61,650 (Res Publica)

2006: $120,000

2007: $120,000

2007:   $10,000 (Res Publica)

2008: $126,000

2009: $120,000

2010: $183,264

Resides in New York

Ricken Patel is co-founder and executive director of Avaaz International. Patel has served as a consultant for the United Nations, the Rockefeller Foundation, the International Crisis Group, Harvard University, CARE International, and the International Center for Transitional Justice.

Patel’s consulting to the United Nations should be of little surprise. Like Avaaz, the United Nations has become nothing more than an instrumental tool that serves the interests of the Imperialist states. This too should come as little surprise since it was the oligarchy who founded the UN in the first place. For decades, those states oppressed under the claws of Imperialism have demanded reforms within the UN. This fact is well-documented in a long list of impassioned speeches by leaders of sovereign nations constantly fighting against oppression and foreign meddling. The speeches are rarely, if ever, publicized by either corporate or “progressive” media (funded by the same corporate elites). Not surprisingly, the non-profit industrial complex does essentially nothing to support the states who continue to fight for their autonomy and liberation, only possible by smashing the chains of Imperialist states. This is what Libya was helping Africa achieve before it was targeted and destroyed.

Patel was voted “Ultimate Gamechanger in Politics” in 2009 by the recently acquired Huffington Post (purchased by AOL Time Warner in 2011) and named “a Young Global Leader” by the infamous Davos World Economic Forum. When an “activist” receives accolades from international corporate entities and corporate media, alarm bells should be going off and red flags should be seen waving from those within civil society.

Patel is a graduate of the Kennedy School at Harvard University and Oxford and is considered in elite circles a “Balliol”:

Oxford: “Institutions as diverse as the Workers Educational Trust, the National Trust, Amnesty International, Ashoka (the global association of leading social entrepreneurs), and Avaaz (now the largest online advocacy group in the world) were all established by Balliol people.”

The International Crisis Group, for which Patel has served as a consultant, is also an institution for which George Soros is a trustee. In 2008, ICG helped establish the Global Center for the Responsibility to Protect, along with Human Rights Watch, Oxfam International and other influential NGOs of the Soros network. As of April 2011, ICG was one of the 31 member organizations belonging to the International Coalition for the Responsibility to Protect. Operating on an annual budget of $17 million (2011), ICG raises funds from governments, charitable foundations, private companies, and individual donors. Among the organization’s key benefactors are the Rockefeller Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the William & Flora Hewlett Foundation, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Compton Foundation, and the Flora Family Foundation. In 2008 George Soros’ Open Society Institute pledged to give $5 million to ICG.

The International Crisis Group has been a key player in the “revolutions.” In the January 2011 article “All is not what it seems in Egyptian Clashes,” it was disclosed that the Egyptian protest leader Mohammed ElBaradei “was in fact a devoted agent of the West, with a long standing membership within the Wall Street/London funded International Crisis Group” [Source: Land Destroyer].

Patel is also co-founder and executive director of Res Publica, which was formally launched in 2003. Res Publica is based in New York.

Res Publica is a primary co-founder of Avaaz along with MoveOn. Res Publica’s stated goal is to “develop innovative solutions to global justice and security threats.” Res Publica “ran as a pilot project” in Sierra Leone in 2001-2002 and has three full-time fellows, Ricken Patel, Tom Perriello and Tom Pravda. Res Publica is supported by a broader network of “Friends of Res Publica” and a Global Advisory Board. Who the broader network of “Friends of Res Publica” actually are, is anyone’s guess.

29 December 2004: “Over two days in early December approximately three-dozen religious activists met at the Washington office of the Center for American Progress, a recently formed think tank headed by former Clinton chief of staff John Podesta. The Res Publica-driven agenda for the closed-door gathering included sessions on ‘building the movement infrastructure’ and ‘objectives, strategies and core issues.'”

Perriello (now President and CEO of Center for American Progress) described Res Publica as an “incubator for social entrepreneurship.”

The Res Publica email address is actually respublica@avaaz.org.

Up to at least 2008, Patel remained a board of directors member with Faithful America of which he was also a principle founder (founded in 2004, launched in 2006) along with former (2009-2011) U.S. Representative Tom Perriello. The aim of “Faithful America” was to create a “religious version of MoveOn.org.” Both Patel and Perriello served as the project’s first co-directors. This NGO was later taken over by Faith in Public Life, where, as of 2008, Patel was also a member of the board. On 13 April 2008, Faith in Public Life, in partnership with the ONE Campaign and Oxfam America, organized the Democratic candidates’ “Compassion Forum” during which corporate media partners CNN and Newsweek hosted an evening with Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and a number of faith “leaders.” Faith in Public Life received $400,000 from the Open Society Institute in 2007 and again in 2008.

Patel was co-director of DarfurGenocide.org, an organization he helped establish with Perriello and the U.S. State Department.

Patel also serves on the board of Namati, an organization “that offers technical assistance to development organizations, governments, and civil society actors interested in enhancing legal empowerment aspects of existing work, or launching new legal empowerment initiatives.” Its partners include UKAid from the Department of International Development; AusAid, the Australian government’s Overseas Aid Program; UNDP, the United Nations Development Program; and the Soros Open Society Foundations. Patel also sits on the organization J Street’s advisory council with Eli Pariser, co-founder of Avaaz and the current executive director of MoveOn.

Patel also serves on the International Advisory Board of AccessNow.org, an organization which will be discussed further in this report. [Source: Source Watch]

Patel’s rise to superstardom in the corporate world is due to the fact that he specializes in “E-advocacy” and web-based movement-building – the key to securing control of all “consumers,” all “movements” and essentially all information on the planet.

Avaaz Co-founder: Tom Perriello

Snapshot:

  • AccessNow: International Advisory Board
  • Afghanistan Watch: Analyst
  • Avaaz International: Co-founder
  • Avaaz International: Secretary 2008
  • Avaaz International: Trustee 2006, 2007
  • Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good: Co-founder
  • CeaseFireCampaign.org (discontinued): Co-founder
  • Center for a Sustainable Economy, now part of “Redefining Progress”: Assistant Director
  • Center for American Progress Action Fund (CAPAF) — the home of ThinkProgress and the advocacy arm of the Center for American Progress (CAP): President and CEO
  • Consultant on Youth and Environmental Campaigns
  • E-Mediat Jordan: Country Director
  • Faithful America: Co-director
  • Faithful America: Principle Founder
  • International Center for Transitional Justice: Consultant
  • International Centre for Transitional Justice: Employed by
  • J Street: Advisory Council
  • Namati: Board of Directors
  • National Council of Churches of Christ: Consultant
  • National Council of Churches of Christ: Fellow
  • National Security Consultant
  • New York State Bar: Member
  • Open Society Institute: Teaching Fellow
  • Res Publica: Co-founder
  • The Century Foundation: Fellow
  • The Century Foundation: National Security Analyst
  • The Century Foundation: Special Advisor/Spokesperson
  • United Nations: Special Adviser to the International War Crimes Prosecutor
  • U.S. Representative: Virginia Democratic Congressman, 2008-2010
  • U.S. State Department: Employed by
  • Virginia House of Delegates: Legislative Page
  • Yale Law School: Teaching Fellow
  • Yale Scroll and Key: Secret Society Member

Avaaz Compensation:

2006: $48,000

Education: Yale University

Resides in Virginia, U.S.A.

Tom Perriello is a long-time collaborator with Ricken Patel. Together, they co-founded Avaaz.org, Res Publica and FaithfulAmerica.org.

Perriello is a former U.S. Representative (represented the 5th District of Virginia from 2008 to 2010) and a founding member of the House Majority Leader’s National Security Working Group.

Perriello was also co-founder of Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good. He worked for Reverend Dr. James Forbes on “prophetic justice” principles. Many of these organizations were created with the intent of creating a broad-based “religious left” movement.

Indeed, it has been stated by Marx that “religion is the opium of the masses.” In 1974 the late Edward Goldsmith argued that religion must be considered an integral part of a culture; the key control mechanism that ensures the stability of a social system. Goldsmith noted that, indeed, no traditional societies appear to have a word for “religion” while “only when religion breaks away from the rest of a society’s cultural pattern and ceases to be the effective force governing it, that the word ‘religion’ appears necessary.” Goldsmith cautioned in 1974 that contrary to what was being taught, people in Western societies were never more miserable, explaining why they resort to so many different forms of escapism such as addiction and suicide. Goldsmith believed it was essential to urgently create new systems of belief in an effort to “recreate an orderly society held together by a clearly formulated religio-culture.” Goldsmith stated that movements attempting to achieve this have already begun to proliferate. One can assume this was the ideology behind Patel’s and Perriello’s religious groups they began to create. The only problem for Patel, Perriello, Pravda and Soros was that the religious angle did not work. The masses did not buy in.

Perriello and Patel also co-founded and co-directed DarfurGenocide.org which officially launched in 2004. “DarfurGenocide.org is a project of Res Publica, a group of public sector professionals dedicated to promoting good governance and virtuous civic cultures.” Today, this organization is now known as “Darfurian Voices”: “Darfurian Voices is a project of 24 Hours for Darfur.” The U.S. Department of State and the Open Society Institute were just two of the organization’s funders and collaborating partners. Other Darfurian Voices partners include Avaaz, the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), International Centre for Transitional Justice, Darfur Rehabilitation Project, Humanity United, Darfur People’s Association of New York, Genocide Intervention, Witness, Yale Law School, The Sigrid Rausing Trust and the Bridgeway Foundation.

Despite the carefully crafted language and images that tug at your emotions, such NGOs were created for and exist for one primary purpose – to protect and further American policy and interests, under the guise of philanthropy and humanitarianism. Of all the listed partners of DarfurGenocide.org, with the exception of one located in London, England, all of the entities involved are American and based on U.S. soil.

 “Most of us have policy or diplomacy backgrounds, as well as activist, so the hope is that we will be doing these things at key diplomatic moments.” — Tom Perriello on Avaaz, 5 February 2007, speaking to The Nation

Consider the explosive investigative report titled “Burying the Darfur Genocide Myth”, published by Pravda on 16 August 2011. Excerpts are as follows:

“To start with, my investigation has found that the victims of the Darfur conflict were the beneficiaries of the largest, best run relief works in history. This is a fact, demonstrated repeatedly by the situation on the ground in Darfur, and every honest, knowledgeable aid worker in the Darfur relief works will tell you that Sudanese President Omar Al Bashir has played a critical role in the relief works success and that without the leadership and support of President Bashir the Darfur relief works would not have been possible.

 

The charges of genocide laid against President Bashir by, amongst others, the International Criminal Court in the Hague, are based on reports of the most shaky provenance, mainly UN ‘sources’ of very questionable backgrounds….

 

The Darfur genocide myth has been promoted by western ‘human rights’ NGOs who have collected over $100 million under the rubric of ‘Enough’ and ‘Preventing Genocide.’ The claims of genocide are based on estimates of the number of deaths that were rapidly inflated as the dollars started rolling in. First it was 100,000, then 200,000, then 300,000 and finally, in a claim so ludicrous that even the British government media watchdog yanked off the air, 400,000 people were supposed to have been victims of genocide in Darfur….

 

The west, in particular the U.S.A, are hell bent on keeping Africa in a state of crisis, the better to exploit. And the ‘save Darfur’ lobby is all for bringing more violence to Africa under the guise of ‘humanitarian intervention,’ while little of the over $100 million they collected ever reached the Darfur people it was intended for.”

Videos: Human rights investigator and award-winning journalist Keith Harmon Snow Speaking on Propaganda and NGOs (Running time: 2:56)

Keith Harmon Snow Discussing Western NGOs and Africa (Running time: 2:54)

The International Criminal Court (ICC) (led by Luis Moreno Ocampo) is widely discredited in Africa. Since its inception in 2002, the ICC has targeted solely African and other developing world leaders. Jean Ping, head of the African Union: “We Africans and the African Union are not against the International Criminal Court. We are against Ocampo who is rendering justice with double standards.” The ICC has had many opportunities to indict Western war criminals/leaders (Bush, Blair, Cheney) since its inception, yet, of course has made no attempts to do so. [Source]

Before co-founding Res Publica, Perriello served as Special Advisor to the Prosecutor of the Special Court for Sierra Leone, a United Nations Tribunal, and as a Yale Law School/Open Society Institute Teaching Fellow in West Africa. Perriello is a member of the New York State Bar.

Perriello’s 2005 organization “Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good” (CACG) stated that the concept of “the common good” reportedly came from the Center for American Progress founded by co-chair of President Obama’s transition team John Podesta, which subsequently helped form alliances between CACG and similar organizations. The chair of this organization is Elizabeth Frawley Bagley: “Bagley is a member of the law firm of Manatt, Phelps & Phillips. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy. She served as senior advisor to the secretary of state from 1997–2001.” CACG’s listed advisers include/included Clinton’s Paul Begala and John Podesta and Clinton’s former press secretary Mike McCurry.

Perriello has worked for the U.S. State Department, and as a consultant for the International Centre for Transitional Justice, as well as the National Council of Churches of Christ. Perriello has been an analyst for Afghanistan Watch, as well as a Special Advisor/Spokesperson and National Security Analyst for The Century Foundation in which he is a “Fellow.” The URL for Afghanistan Watch now brings up The Century Foundation. Prior to law school, Perriello worked as assistant director of the Center for a Sustainable Economy (now part of “Redefining Progress“) and as a consultant on youth and environmental campaigns.

Perriello has worked as an independent national security consultant in central and southern Afghanistan. In 2005 and 2007, he spent time assessing “the Taliban’s resurgence and strategies (primarily political) for restoring control.” Perriello conducted research in seven different provinces and managed a team of 60 across the country. Under the auspices of his own organization (Res Publica) and others, Perriello briefed embassy leaders in Kabul, UN mission chiefs, and various agencies of the Bush Administration. He also provided background briefings for media, U.S. Representatives, and various think tanks such as the Center for American Progress, of which he is now CEO and President. He has also worked in national security efforts in Sierra Leone (United Nations Special Court), Liberia, Kosovo, and Darfur. Perriello has worked as a humanitarian aid worker national security consultant and is on the board of directors for Namati.

Perriello has had a long relationship with Soros’ Open Society-funded Human Rights Watch and the International Crisis Group, which continue to this day. Amnesty International is also financed by the Soros Open Society Institute. All of these organizations have been instrumental in opening up the doors for foreign invasion into Libya and now Syria.

Excerpts from the 3 May 2011 article “International Crisis Group Sweating over Syria,” published by Land Destroyer Report:

“The International Crisis Group (ICG) has been at the center of the unfolding ‘Arab Spring’ since the very beginning. Mohamed ElBaradei, a member of the ICG board of trustees, was literally leading the color revolution in the streets of Cairo along with his admitted underling, Google executive Wael Ghonim. The ICG has also recently made a heeded call for intervention in the Ivory Coast.

 

ICG includes George Soros and Zbigniew Brzezinski, two men notorious for their extraterritorial meddling and their fomenting of color revolutions in far flung lands. To explain why they are so eager to pry their way into sovereign nations, despoil, topple, and rebuild them, one only has to look at ICG’s corporate supporters. They include such ignoble organizations as Chevron, Morgan Stanley, and Deutsche Bank Group with equally ignoble intentions that are confidently expressed through ICG’s nefarious agenda.”

The International Crisis Group (ICG) was founded in 1995 by World Bank Vice-President Mark Malloch Brown, former U.S. diplomat Morton Abramowitz and Fred Cuny, an international disaster relief specialist who disappeared in Chechnya in 1995. The Crisis Group raises funds from mainly western governments, foundations, corporations and individual donors. In 2006, 40% of its funding came from 22 different governments, 32% from 15 “philanthropic” organizations, and 28% from individuals and private foundations. Soros, who is chairman of the Open Society Institute, is on the Board of Trustees. The ICG Advisory Council includes corporations such as Chevron and Shell.[Source] The Board of Trustees, Executive Committee and the Crisis Group Senior Advisors read like a who’s who of the political elites and banking cartel. The ICG executive committee includes Kofi Annan, former Secretary-General of the United Nations, Lawrence Summers, Former Director of the U.S. National Economic Council and Secretary of the Treasury, and Javier Solana, NATO Secretary-General and Foreign Affairs Minister of Spain.

In 2007, ICG and Human Rights Watch were key players in the development of the Global Center for the Responsibility to Protect in cooperation with prominent governments, NGOs and academia. [For background on R2P read The Real Motives behind a Rapacious Imperial Power’s Real Objectives and History and Timeline of R2P.]

Excerpts from the 15 February 2012 article, “‘Human Rights’ Warriors for Empire,” published by Black Agenda Report:

“Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch are swigging the ale with their fellow buccaneers. These ‘human rights’ warriors, headquartered in the bellies of empires past and present, their chests shiny with medals of propagandistic service to superpower aggression in Libya, contribute ‘left’ legitimacy to the imperial project.

 

Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have chosen sides in the Washington-backed belligerency – the side of Empire. As groups most often associated with (what passes for) the Left in their headquarters’ countries, they are invaluable allies of the current imperial offensive….

 

There was great ambivalence – the most polite word I can muster – among purported leftists in the United States and Europe to NATO’s bombardment and subjugation of Libya. Here we are again, in the face of existential imperial threats to Syria and Iran, as leftists temporize about human rights while the ‘greatest purveyor of violence in the world today’ blazes new warpaths.

 

There is no such thing as an anti-war activist who is not an anti-imperialist. And the only job of an anti-imperialist in the belly of the beast is to disarm the beast. Absent that, s/he is useless to humanity.

 

As we used to say: You are part of the solution – or you are part of the problem. Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch are part of the problem.”

The George Soros Open Society Foundation is the primary donor of the Human Rights Watch, contributing $100 million of $128 million of contributions and grants received by the HRW in the 2011 financial year.

Perriello is a supporter of the “War on Terror,” a fabricated psyops, which was and continues to be an essential component to unleash a new wave of wars, invasions and occupations. Indeed, if people are frightened, they will accept authority.

“As far as America’s war against terrorism is concerned [the] senator provides unequivocal support to Barrack Obama.” — Perriello of Congress website

Perriello’s view of Israel borders on fantasy. He views Israel as one of the most “dramatic and exciting creations of the international community” in the 20th century and believes that a permanent moral and strategic relationship exists between the U.S. and Israel.”

In May 2009, 60 Congress members voted against dumping another $97 billion into the wars on Iraq and Afghanistan. Perriello voted for it. [Source]

On 16 June 2009, 202 Congress members voted against that same war funding (May 2009) combined with a massive IMF bailout for Eastern European bankers. [This authorized supplements and rescinds appropriations for the Department of Defense totaling $80.93 billion including $29.51 billion for operation and maintenance, including $3.61 billion for the Afghanistan Security Forces Fund; and $400 million for the Pakistan Counterinsurgency Fund; $25.3 billion for Procurement; $18.73 billion for military personnel; $2.87 billion for military construction; $1.12 billion for the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Fund; $1.06 billion for the Defense Health Program; $9.7 billion for the Department of State, U.S. Agency for International Development, and other agencies for costs associated with international assistance, including $4.65 billion for bilateral economic assistance, $2.97 billion for the Economic Support Fund; $2.18 billion for international security assistance, $1.29 billion for the Foreign Military Financing Program; $1.94 billion for Diplomatic and Consular Programs.] Perriello voted in favour of both. (Key Vote | HR 2346)

On 26 June 2009, Perriello voted in favor of the Waxman-Markey bill, a bill which promoted the false solution of cap and trade. This bill was vehemently opposed by many climate justice groups, all while corporate greens unapologetically lobbied for it extensively and relentlessly. In all, six of the world’s 15 largest publicly-traded corporations in 2009 supported cap and trade legislation: JP Morgan Chase (#1), Bank of America (#2), General Electric (#3), Shell (#8), British Petroleum (#10), and Walmart (#14). Three of the six were members of U.S.CAP. During this fiscal year the national environmental groups took in $1.7 billion in revenue. Of the $1.7 billion, $12.8 million was spent on lobbying, with the great proportion of these expenditures focused on cap and trade legislation. [7] (Key Vote | HR 245)

On 8 October 2009, Perriello voted in support of the defense bill for military appropriations in the amount of $681.02 billion. This authorized $639.32 billion in Department of Defense authorizations for fiscal year 2009-2010, $24.75 billion in military construction, $16.94 billion in Department of Energy national security authorizations, $309 million for research and evaluation, procurement, or deployment of an alternative Missile Defense System in Europe and authorization to increase the active-duty number for the U.S. Army to a number greater than otherwise allowed by law up to the 2010 baseline plus 30,000 troops, and $136.02 billion for military personnel for the fiscal year 2010. (Key Vote | HR 264)

In March of 2010, a reception was hosted by two leading corporate greens: the “League of Conservation Voters” and “Environmental Defense” Action Fund to raise funds for Perriello’s re-election campaign for Congress. MoveOn.org raised $100,000 for Perriello’s re-election campaign.

President Barack Obama visited Perriello’s district, the only Congressman for which he did so. (In spite of extensive campaigning, Perriello would fail to win his re-election campaign.)

On 10 March 2010, 65 Congress members voted to end the war on Afghanistan. Perriello voted in favour of keeping it going. [Source]

On 28 May 2010, Perriello voted in support of the defense bill for military appropriations. This included $32.42 billion for the Defense Health Program, $3.42 billion for Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) Vehicles, $3.46 billion for the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Fund and $71.2 million for the operation of the Armed Forces Retirement Home. (Key Vote | HR 5136)

On 1st July 2010, 100 Congress members voted to fund only withdrawal from Afghanistan. Perriello voted against this amendment. Rather, Perriello was in favour of an amendment requesting the President to devise an exit plan (any exit plan) for Afghanistan. The amendment did not call for a date let alone any enforcement. In essence it was nothing more than rhetoric to appease a nation that was beginning to awaken to an increasingly corporatized government: unprecedented debt, home foreclosures, escalating resource wars and corruption – all unparalleled in scale in the nation’s history, while the wealthy became even wealthier. Thus, Perriello voted in favour as he did with the supposed “Responsible Plan to End the War in Iraq” – a plan that was weaker than the treaty George Bush had signed. (Key Vote | HR 4899)

On 27 July 2010, Perriello opposed removing the United States Armed Forces from Pakistan. (Key Vote | H Con Res 301)

On 27 July 2010, 115 Congress members (12 Republicans and 103 Democrats) voted against a supplemental bill authorizing $33.29 billion dollars to escalate the war on Afghanistan. Tom Perriello voted in favour of it. When a small group of concerned citizens met with Perriello prior to the vote, Perriello refused to say what, if anything, he thought. (Key Vote | HR 489)

On 30 July 2010, Perriello voted against “Offshore Drilling Regulations and Other Energy Law Amendments” (Key Vote | HR 3534) and voted yes to ending the “Moratorium on Deepwater Drilling Rigs that Meet Certain Safety Standards” (Key Vote | H Amdt 773).

On 6 October 2010, Perriello received the endorsement of the Veterans of Foreign Wars in the race in recognition of his “strong support for veterans, national security and defense, and military personnel issues.”

On 29 October 2010, “War Is A Crime” reported: “136 Congress members have signed a letter promising not to cut Social Security. Perriello has not.”

Yet, in spite of these pro-war positions, the liberal left and their so called “progressive media” continued to shine a glowing light on Perriello and frame him as a stand-out progressive.

Like Orwell’s War is Peace, the liberal left’s demigods were more and more demonstrating “right” conduct all while professional left continued to portray them as “progressive.” However, the changing landscape did not silence everyone. David Swanson, founder of warisacrime.org wrote:

“Do we oppose this? Well, some of us used to. When our congressman was a Republican, we denounced this course of action in the media, phoned his office, picketed his office, and went to jail for sitting in his office. But for the past year and a half, while the military budget and the war budget have both increased, we’ve said almost nothing. A small group of us have begun organizing protests at the new Democratic congress member’s office, but we’re the only ones he hears from. We’ve spent a good deal of time in his office on two occasions, and I think I have heard his phone ring there a total of twice. Nobody’s calling. And everyone who is not calling is communicating their approval of the mass murder of individual and remarkable and precious human beings.”

On 15 December 2011, the Center for American Progress announced new leadership roles for its advocacy arm. Former Congressman Tom Perriello (D-VA) became the new President and CEO of CAP Action and Counselor for Policy at CAP.

In the 2012 winter issue of Democracy Journal, Perriello pens a grotesque and delusional article titled:”Humanitarian Intervention: Recognizing When, and Why, It Can Succeed”:

“The use of force always entails grave dangers and human costs, and progressives have been leery particularly since the Vietnam era of supporting it, even to prevent or end mass atrocities, repression, and other systematic human suffering. Wise leaders will always remain wary of war. But wisdom also requires us to acknowledge two dramatic changes in our ability to use force for good. First, in a single generation, our ability to intervene without heavy casualties has improved dramatically. Second, the range of diplomatic and legal tools for legitimizing such interventions has likewise expanded….

 

Operational developments since the end of the Cold War have substantially improved our capacity to wage smart military operations that are limited in time and scope and employ precise and overwhelming force. This presents progressives with an opportunity – one that is too often seen as a curse – to expand the use of force to advance key values….

 

While the UN Security Council remains the most formal standard for international legitimacy, many nations consider it less representative than regional bodies and less responsive than reality sometimes demands. Today, the United States has a range of options to validate such uses of military might for humanitarian concerns….

After highlighting “the success” in Libya, Perriello goes on to say:

“Today, Gadhafi is dead, and the Libyan people have their first chance for democratic, accountable governance in decades…. American casualties were zero. Insurgent fighters and the vast majority of the population have cheered the victory as liberation, and courageous Syrians who face daily threats of death for standing up to their own repressive regime have taken comfort in Gadhafi’s fall. These accomplishments are no small feats for those who care about human dignity, democracy, and stability….

 

Progressives often demand action in the face of abject human suffering, but we know from recent history that in some situations moral condemnation, economic sanctions, or ex-post tribunals don’t save lives. Only force does.”

In closing, Perriello states:

“We must realize that force is only one element of a coherent national security strategy and foreign policy. We must accept the reality – whether or not one accepts its merits – that other nations are more likely to perceive our motives to be self-interested than values-based. But in a world where egregious atrocities and grave threats exist, and where Kosovo and Libya have changed our sense of what’s now possible, the development of this next generation of power can be seen as a historically unique opportunity to reduce human suffering.”

Make no mistake – this is the ideology at the helm of Avaaz.org.

In December 2011, Perriello disclosed that he served as special adviser to the international war crimes prosecutor and has spent extensive time in 2011 in Egypt and the Middle East researching the Arab Spring. Therefore, based on this disclosure alone, there can be no doubt that the deliberate strategy being advanced by Avaaz cannot be based upon any type of ignorance or naïveté.

The 12 January 2012 RSVP event “Reframing U.S. Strategy in a Turbulent World: American Spring?” featured speakers from Charles Kupchan of the Council on Foreign Relations, Rosa Brooks of the New America Foundation, and none other than Tom Perriello, CEO of the Center for American Progress Action Fund. Perriello advanced his “ideology” during this lecture.

Indoctrination of the Youth is Essential

On 18 January 2012, Perriello, as the Center for American Progress’s Advocacy Director, joined Mark Schneider, the International Crisis Group’s Senior Vice President and Maria McFarland, Human Rights Watch’s Deputy Washington Director to present a lecture titled: “The ‘Responsibility to Protect’ after the Arab Spring: A Discussion” at Georgetown University in Washington, DC with the synopsis as follows: “Governments’ repressive responses to the social upheavals across the Middle East and North Africa have sparked a shift in international approaches to civilian protection and mass atrocities prevention. The decade-old ‘responsibility to protect’ doctrine has figured centrally in international responses to repressive regimes. However, between the tenuous success of NATO’s Libya intervention and the international community’s weak-kneed response to violence in Syria, R2P’s future is far from certain.”

In this video Perriello is introducing himself to the youth involved in a training organization named “e-mediat Jordan” who, Perriello states, are prepared to “sacrifice for their country.” Perriello is listed as director: “E-Mediat Jordan Country Director – Honorable Tom Perriello.” This organization is situated in Jordan, which is located in the Middle East and borders Syria, Saudi Arabia, the Red Sea, Palestine, Israel, and Iraq. This NGO describes itself as a “Tools, Technology and Training” Centre. Training youth has become instrumental to advancing the Imperialist agenda. In essence, the exploited youth are the sacrificial lambs of the ruling classes in the 21st century.

Perriello no doubt believes in the myth of American exceptionalism. His patriotic views are reinforced by like-minded individuals from the Bush administration, the Obama administration, and the scores of organizations who “understand” the “need” to expand America’s “democracy” and “economic prosperity” around the globe. And while these myths are pushed forward by Imperialist administrations, the non-profit industrial complex and corporate media, civil rights in America are being stripped away faster than you can say fascism.

 

Up next: Part II, Section II.

Avaaz Investigative Report Series [Links]|Further Reading: Part I | Section I | Part I | Section II | Part I | Section III | Part II | Section I

[Cory Morningstar is an independent journalist /ecological activist whose recent writings can be found on Canadians for Action on Climate Change, Political Context and The Art of Annihilation site where you can read her bio. You can follow her on Twitter: @elleprovocateur]

Resources

[1] Source: http://www.wiserearth.org/group/AvaazDotOrg. Information compiled/created April 7, 2010 and updated Feb 9, 2012.

[2] “Independent Media Institute Funding Funding for AlterNet comes from private foundations, site advertising, and individual donors.” “Several of our additional funders wish to remain anonymous.”

[3] Source: http://www.avaaz.org/en/report_back_2

[4] Source: http://www.anmag.org/issues/25/02/250207.php

[5] “In total with ONE partner organizations Avaaz.org, Jubilee U.S.A and Oxfam International, more than 415,000 signatures in all will be delivered tomorrow to Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, host of this week’s G7 Finance Ministers meeting.” http://www.one.org/c/us/pressrelease/3242/

[6] MoveOn’s annual report for 2008-09, the total number of individual donors (not members, as membership is automatically established upon a citizen “clicking” on a petition) was 17,295.

[7] http://climateshiftproject.org/report/climate-shift-clear-vision-for-the-next-decade-of-public-debate/#convergence-on-cap-and-trade