Welcome to The People's Free Republic -
 Your papers, please...

by Edgar J. Steele

July 7, 2001

You hear it all the time. Thank goodness for the Internet, because "they" havenít figured out how to censor it yet. Yep. The morning paper long ago lost its independence to its advertisers, then gradually became totally taken over and owned by "them," but nobody owns the Internet. Yep. Canít trust Dan Rather - even Fox News has an agenda, what with their now trying to break into that China market and all, but on the wild and wooly Internet you get it all, raw and uncensored. Yep. Good old Internet. Yep.

Nope. While we werenít looking, "they" took it over with nary a shot being fired. About the only thing now left on the Internet that really is free of censorship is person-to-person email, and theyíre busy working on that, what with Echelon and all.

We all already know about people getting shut down by their ISP for being intolerant, for indulging in "hate speech," or for providing a venue for excessively politically-incorrect types.

"Hey, what about all those great forums, like Free Republic?" you say. The Peopleís Free Republic is more like it. "They" are in there, monitoring every single thread and, like the good little worker bees that they are, ensuring that every discussion and debate is free of politically-incorrect thinking. Clean, clean, clean. Dust, dust, dust. A political commissarís work is never done, you know.

If you donít believe me, watch this articleís thread get pounded to a pulp just as soon as the word gets out that I have posted it to Free Republic, particularly since I will do so under my real name. The flaming will get so out of control that Free Republic's owner and manager, Jim Robinson, likely will feel compelled to pull it off line. However, Iím also sending this around to my email lists and a bunch of list managers who might find it interesting enough to post to their members and that way will get the word out, anyway.

Freepers (what denizens of The Peopleís Free Republic call themselves) like to think that they occupy a special niche in cyberspace. They imagine that all the congresscritters are on line with them every night, just listening to their pearls and molding legislation to suit their mood. Maybe they are. In fact, based on results, they probably are. But, then, those poor souls lost their way long ago, anyway (otherwise, they just wouldn't have been allowed to take office, you see).

Let me get this in about Jim Robinson right now. I donít know much about him, but I get that he is basically a good man. Iím going to illustrate this article with the case history of a thread that I waded into, strictly as a sort of lab experiment. "They" got Jim to pull that thread (two, actually, since it got broken in two once it grew too large), but he listened to my argument for keeping it and then put it back on line, albeit with a few postings deleted here and there. If Jim were really one of "them," he wouldnít have given me the time of day, preferring instead merely to ban me from TPFR altogether (which he might just have to do after they get through with him on this article).

I have been watching a whole string of articles posted to TPFR on the subject of JoAnn McGuckin and family. Because I had a brief fling with JoAnn, and have continued to speak out on her case, my name came up with some regularity in the posted comments, even though the articles themselves generally stopped mentioning me long ago. And there was a familiarly nasty tone to some of the comments, one that I recognized from other Internet venues.

Now, normally, I stay out of such dustups, knowing full well that engaging "them" when they are busy rewriting history and merrily shoving things toward the memory hole only results in their redoubling their already-considerable efforts, again and again, until one simply gives up from sheer exhaustion.

This time, however, I wanted them to lash out in their ever-so predictable fashion because I wanted fodder for the very article phosphorescing out at you right now. I wanted a case history to show you as proof for my proposition that the Internet was taken over a while ago by "them" and now is almost as free of original thought as, well, network TV. They did not disappoint me.

I only wish that the still-posted threads had all the original posts for you to read, because some of them were so over the top that you simply wouldn't believe me if I quoted them here. You can find my "lab experiment" threads for yourself here:

http://www.freerepublic.com/forum/a3b4145396355.htm

http://www.freerepublic.com/forum/a3b42ad1d6b18.htm

If you really want the originals, however, I have copies of the entire threads just as they were before they were cleansed. They really do make interesting reading. Email me and I'll send them, if you like.

Okay, I admit it, I provoked "them" and then started openly laughing at them while directly pointing out what they were doing. Then I belittled their intellectual acumen, which you simply don't do, of course. As Robinson said about one of them in a private email to me: "I've never seen her so angry."

The leftist approach to conservative public speakers is now familiar to almost everyone: get the speech cancelled altogether, else picket, call names, shout out insults and attempt to get the speaker to engage the hecklers, then drown out the speaker in the resultant uproar, trying at every turn to get the presentation summarily ended. Nevernevernever ever actually engage the speaker on whatever issue is being presented, but later claim that the speaker avoided all legitimate questions and was, in fact, a Nazi in drag all during his childhood. It often works pretty well.

The Internet really is not much different from public meetings, provided "they" are given the same access to the audience that a speaker has drummed up. That's where these forums come in, of course. "They" didn't even have to dream up new techniques, though some have been evolving, nonetheless.

"They" assign certain of their members to cruise certain forums to keep tabs and maintain order. Part of their assignment simply is to update their already incredible database of politically-incorrect individuals in America. Part of their assignment is to engage and divert whenever discussions become too real and too close to the truth about what is really going on.

Often, they cruise in pairs, sometimes sharing the same "handle," with one person the main worker bee who calls in his or her handler when a fish takes their bait, thereby making it appear as though the same person has been speaking all along. Always, the approach is the same: shout the speaker down with namecalling and irrelevant questions; always ignore the answer and keep going for the jugular; draw from that incredible database sufficient information to provide the illusion, if not the reality, of mud to be flung at the speaker; never engage directly on the issues; always claim the speaker isn't answering questions and is avoiding the real issues; always call the most derogatory names possible; when necessary, make it up. When things get too hot, either because too much truth has gotten out or because they have shown too much of their true nature, demand that the forum moderator step in and wipe the whole discussion off the board (down the memory hole, as George Orwell would have put it, of course). Threaten litigation, needs be. Call them racists...always call them racists, that is the magic incantation, that and "anti-Semitic," of course.

I've become proficient at spotting these people because I already inhabited the Internet before they got my profile established in their database. I know what it was like before, you see. It was very different for me then, being as I was just one of the many lemmings, though I knew even then that there were certain forbidden topics (you know the ones I'm talking about, of course).

Then, literally overnight, things changed. I agreed to represent Richard Butler and the Aryan Nations in the trumped-up personal injury lawsuit brought by Morris Dees and the so-called Southern Poverty Law Center. I didn't represent the real perps, who were guilty as sin. 

Now, you should know that I have been handling personal injury cases for a long, long time, almost always as the plaintiff's lawyer. Trust me when I tell you that I could try one in my sleep.  Richard Butler was sued derivately; that is, Dees argued, Butler was guilty because of his relationship with the perps, who were inescapably guilty. Problem is, I have never in my career been able to make a case stick against someone as derivatively remote from a personal injury "tort," as it is called, as was Richard Butler. Even so, I saw the case as an uphill climb due to the tremendous unpopularity of my new clients, but one that I felt I could win. I should have won it, too. Anybody who sat through that trial with us would likely agree with my sentiment. Butler was found liable only because they didn't like him. A runaway jury, it is called. OJ Simpson got one, too, only it ran the other direction.

Regardless, from the first day that I filed papers, formally beginning my representation of Richard Butler, my Internet world changed. Suddenly I was getting hate email from around the world. The local papers did their best to make it appear that I was a Nazi, too, making all manner of outlandish allegations in an attempt to link me up with every politically-undesirable sort in the area (and this area, Northern Idaho, has far more than its share, I might add). The assembling of my dossier had begun with a vengeance.

Mind you, I had never had a politically-incorrect client before Butler. I've had a couple of modest consultations with some since then, and I have had some extensive email correspondence with a few, but I have yet to take on even one more case with anybody controversial, other than JoAnn McGuckin. Frankly, when I first took on her case, before it developed its eventual media profile, I saw her merely as a poor neighbor caught up in the county's bureaucratic machinery. Since then, she has been portrayed, variously, as criminally neglectful of her children, crazy as a loon, anti-government and the possessor of a bad haircut, anything but the reality, mind you.  I certainly never saw anything very politically incorrect about her.

Nor have I ever belonged to anything more controversial than the Libertarian Party, though I have subscribed to some pretty outre periodicals in my time. I read a lot, and across an exceptionally broad wavelength, therefore it is predictable that my mailbox might collect some strange material, stranger even than the weekly copy of Time magazine.

So, they had a hard time getting a handle on me, because I just didn't fit their mold. Nobody ever believed me when I said I took the case because I saw it as a 1st Amendment case, which I had been hankering to take on here in my dotage(You see, they wanted to bankrupt Butler for what he thought and said, not for that two-bit PI case in which two rather questionable plaintiffs ended up with not one penny of medical bills, but got a $6.3 million verdict, anyway. If that outlandish verdict alone doesn't tell you what was really going on, then nothing I can say will make sense to you, anyway.) So, they just made it up.

Overnight, I became a Nazi. And, that's the way it is today. I don't think I saw a single print article concerning things McGuckin which mentioned my name without the appendage "former lawyer for the Aryan Nations." At least, that part is true, but the implication certainly isn't. Let me say this once again: I represented the Aryan Nations, I didn't join it.

Therefore, in my lab experiment thread (especially the unexpurgated version) you will find all manner of reference to me as a Nazi and variations thereon. Even so, you might ask, why would they continue with such a full-court press? Because I might do it again, that's why. Because I might actually be a threat to them again in the future, and they simply cannot allow that. Better nip this guy in the bud.

You know what? They're right. Of course, it's a self-fullfilling prophecy because without their ongoing campaign of harassment and deceipt I likely would have gone back to my humdrum, middle class existence and you never would have heard from me again. Witness this article, itself. Witness a whole string of articles I have now written. Witness a book or two with which I am doodling and likely will someday complete. Witness the fact that I am now actually looking forward to my next anti-establishment case, a case I would have rejected out of hand if they hadn't made of me what you see today. Not likely now, though, white boy. You're going to have me to kick around for quite some time to come.

But, I digress. Back to the main thrust of this little essay: that the Internet has been overrun by the cultural communists and is now almost as firmly in their grip as all mainstream media have been for as long as most anybody can remember. Read the thread I cited above and consider what I have said. Why would they have carried on the way they did, if what I say is not true? How did they pull up all that stuff on me so effortlessly (note that the entire thread encompassed not more than 24 hours, and over a holiday, at that)? Why did they invest so much effort in discrediting me? Why? If I am so insignificant, so pointless, so shiftless, then how come I get so much attention from them?

And read the thread as though it is a public speaking engagement, with them heckling from the audience. It will seem much more familiar to you then. Watch my commentary, because I tell at every turn, right to their faces, exactly what it is that they are doing.

Keep in mind that I have seen these people before (maybe not these particular jackals, but people charged with the same job, with the same training and with the same database access). For example, a couple of weeks ago, out of the blue some guy I had never heard of sent me a snippet from some skinhead forum that I also had never heard of, wherein a prominent racist of our time, Tom Metzger, had just maligned me. Metzger was responding to a posting by that same guy, a posting taken out of context from one of my articles, which appeared to denigrate Richard Butler. In context, the posting meant quite another thing, of course, but that got lost in the shuffle. Essentially, this guy had posted the comment with a smirk, saying I wasn't enough of a Nazi. Metzger piled on.

Now, I didn't have enough sense to stay out of it, but then I never have claimed to have an excessive amount of sense. I felt compelled to point out that, while I certainly wasn't a Nazi and wasn't even a racist, I had no ill feelings for Richard Butler. Probably not the brightest thing to be saying in the midst of a bunch of racist skinheads, I now realize. All hell broke loose. Let's just say that Tom Metzger and I are not destined to be drinking buddies.

Meanwhile, this guy is over in the corner, giggling, all the while throwing gasoline on the fire that he started in the first place. I started a direct email dialogue with him, designed at least to show him the error of his ways. All for naught, I soon learned, though I detected a significant change in the level of intelligence on the other side at one point. That was after I posted the same detailed response to two different forums, one being to this guy among the skinheads mentioned and the other being a supposedly conservative forum wherein a lady was then excoriating me for being (what else?) a Nazi. I introduced the two of them to each other and suggested they continue their dialogue without me - the "Nazi" arguing that I'm not a Nazi and the "conservative" arguing that I was, asking only that they let me know who won. The guy started off his new attack by complimenting me on my adroit handling of both irritants at once, then continued the barrage, albeit at a higher intellectual level. I finally gave up when it became clear that he was not interested in a rational discussion. On a hunch, I asked around and someone had the entire dialogue traced, only to discover that the guy was actually two different people, one on the left coast and the second, the apparent "handler," on Manhattan's East Side, on 44th Street.

Picture a light bulb going on over my head. "Here's a new twist," said I. Of course, there really is nothing new under the sun. For years now, it has been common for "them" to have undercover agents infiltrate all skinhead organizations and serve as troublemakers. Why should it be any different in the on-line forums? Pose as one of them, add to the database, divide and conquer.

I had pretty much learned this lesson before, from prior forays into one on-line forum or another. About the only thing that works anymore is these email list mailings where you don't allow access to your audience by these poseurs.

So, give up the argument about how they're trying to take over the Internet, everybody. They already did. As always, we didn't even notice.

-ed

"I didn't say it would be easy.  I just said it would be the truth."
            - Morpheus

Copyright © Edgar J. Steele, 2002

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