Cone of Silence
Back in 2010, when the entirely-imaginary story of my “beastiality farm” (yes, often spelled that way) was made up by a squadron of local and federal cops of various shades & flavours, newspapers around the world — handed this made-up narrative by those corrupt cops, and all too happy to run with it — published front-page articles about the story (“story,” really, because not a reality-based story but more like a “face that launched a thousand ships” kind of story) — and about me.
Lots of articles, in lots of newspapers. If you were clicking on the internets back then, you likely remember the magnitude of the whole shitstorm it was. Front page, the Guardian. HuffPo went veritably trans-galactic with coverage. And lest we forget (would that we could), the endless front pages of the Seattle Times.
(Weird that none of those “reporters” picked up on the fact that Stephen Clark was sent to my home by AUSA Susan Roe in an attempt to entrap me — in something— and in exchange Susan Roe dropped a child pornography case that was pending against Stephen Clark: he was caught red-handed with CP footage from Thailand, that he himself had filmed, on his video camera; Ms. Roe deleted that stuff and dropped the entire case against Clark, in exchange for having Clark do whatever he had to do in order to “get Spink”… wow gee, one wonders how those intrepid seekers-of-truth newspaper journalists missed that, eh?)
I will not belabour the point further; suffice to say it was global, and massive-traffic clickbait-friendly from beginning to end. Speaking of, a random example from a google search of just my last name (try it — it’s fun!):
Also of course it was all based entirely on lies. Not “oops, we made a mistake” lies. No, these were the “let’s make shit up because we can really, really hurt someone if we make up the worst possible things so no holding back” kind of lies. And yeah, I type that and you read that and naturally you think — dear reader — “he’s just saying that, because that doesn’t happen.”
See Uniquely Dangerous for hundreds of pages of footnoted corroboration of what I’ve said here, and said for a decade: lies.
A great part of what made that orgy of fabricated horror, targeting me, possible at that time was the actual fact that — conveniently — I was in (pretrial custody) incarceration at the time. Not that it really mattered in the end, because not a single one of those “journalists” ever got in touch with me to fact-check anything they wrote about me. Not one (apart from Maloney, and that came later — plus she didn’t publish at the time). Not like I was hard to track down at the time: FDC SeaTac.
Worse, I actually got in touch with many of them myself — writing letters, sending documents, correcting “errors” (read: lies), offering independent corroboration to back my corrections.
Not one ever replied. Not one.
(Dan Savage, of The Stranger, although afaik he never reprinted the local-press lies, simply chose to ignore the whole thing — despite my repeated efforts to reach out to him, and despite his sorta-fascination with zooish topics, viz. 322 hits and counting… plus also my personal history with him, which is just a tiny bit cowardly tbh: “it gets better… but only for some sexual minorities, sorry” — and the ACLU of Washington State washed its hands of involvement with me, even after it became painfully clear that I was being lynched by a kangaroo court solely on the basis of my activism and political positions, famously summarising to my attorney that my case was not “politically viable” for them to involve themselves with. Your pathetic is showing, ACLU.)
To this day, I’ve not read many/most of the articles written about me from that time. It became repetitive, and yes just a bit unsettling to see bullshit printed and know that it was bullshit, and have proof that it was bullshit. They became repetitive — indeed there was quite a bit of copypasta between the articles, as the orgy really got into its groove: some entirely-fake “fact” was typed into a hate-blog someplace; from there, it’s in a clickbait “article,” somewhere; next it’s a small newspaper repeating it, then the Guardian. Full-circle, that dynamic played out dozens of times — with each iteration happening fast, a few days from first imaginary creation, all the way from there up to front page.
I did take a run at correcting at least a few of the most spectacularly stupid “errors” (read: lies) that were printed about me by some of the most amoral press outlets, when I was eventually released from ‘Bloody Beaumont’ in late 2012.
Exhibit Number One: Mike Carter, of the Seattle Times.
And, as I am sure Mike well remembers, when I called him to point out blatant “errors” (read: lies) in his articles about me — and offered to send him documentation to back my statements — well, Mike showed his best journalistic ethics colours by threatening to print more fantastical articles about me if I pushed the issue of demanding corrections in his previous fantastical articles about me. Yes, Mike, I kept copies of your email — if you’d like to challenge me on these statements you made back then, I’ll post them verbatim. Please, Mike: challenge me. :-)
(Mike got my age wrong, “confused” me with the DEA snitch who wore a wire targeting me, reported that I testified against someone — though he had no name, or date of alleged testimony, or hell anything really — back in my smuggling case, also there was video of me having sex with someone-or-other… and on and on and on.)
Then his editorial masters at the Seattle Times, when I went up the chain to report Mike’s loose connection to the reality-based universe to them, pointed out that, since the statute of limitations for defamation had passed (two years, remember guys?), they had no interest in correcting anything. They were really, really proud of themselves about that: ha ha, you can’t sue us! Nice work, Seattle Times.
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Which is to say, there was no point in trying to stop or even slow the orgy of lies published about me back in the post-2010 era (I’ve hit that topic in an earlier article, I know, but I’ll just tap it one more time to emphasise the point). That’s not to say that the lies slowed in volume or regularity, back in those years. Nope, I remained for years thereafter a subject of interest for just about any clickbait “journalist” who felt the urge to spread some hate, stoke some bigotry, maybe even make up a few new non-facts in the process because why not?
At one point, I was told (by someone with firsthand access to these data as part of his professional role ) that during the summer of 2010 my name was the #4 searched term for Google, globally. (I will fact-check that with historical data, as time allows — or if you read this and have a fact-check report to offer, please do share it). Which is to say that the “story” about me was a big story. Countless articles. Entire blogs dedicated solely to talking about me. Hundreds of thousands of discrete google hits from a search on my name (I think there still are, actually). Blah blah blah :-P
Now, eight years later, when the “story” has been shown to be bullshit and Maloney’s book sets out the actual, factual, reality-based story… now, we have the Cone of Silence.
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To recap: the Cone of Silence is my not-very-creative catchphrase for the fact that all those Mike Carters out there — the ones who published years of lies, front-page — are doing the classic “hands-in-pockets, whistle-and-walk-away” thing with respect to Uniquely Dangerous. For now, anyhow.
Which is interesting — fascinating, really — and sorta surprising (for some folks, anyhow), and very much informative.
To me, the Cone of Silence is also absolutely awesome. I could not have had a more concrete indicator of how deep the rot went, and how important Uniquely Dangerous is, than the Cone of Silence as it stands today.
First off, it’s not because — and this has been suggested to me — I hope people don’t talk about the book and thus the CoS is win. Which, really, is a very odd thing to expect or suggest. I put (bits of) eight years of my life into interviews, and document production, and countless other fact-checking chores as UD moved from theory to published book. Why, now, would I of all people not want it to be a topic of large-scale discussion?
And, no, it’s not that I’ve been threatened by local cops (and their allies) that if I talk about UD, they’ll do horrible things to me (and my family). Well ok… wait: I sort of have been threatened exactly with that. However, it’s that I just couldn’t fucking care less about those threats and those who are — indirectly — making them almost certainly know that about me. So they’re threats made more in a pro forma sense, threats demanding I self-censor and bow to (unwritten) gag orders more in the line of ‘just Something Authorities Do at this point,’ in my narrative… knowing full well it’s useless to do so, but doing so anyway because b-word. Or something — I really don’t know why they do it, but they do and I don’t care and life goes on. :-)
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Instead, I think the Cone of Silence is awesome — in all its temporary glory — because every “journalist” who published lies about me back then, and who today is doing his/her best to pretend that UD hasn’t happened is documenting in Platonic glory, for the entire world and without me lifting a finger, that they knew they were lying when they published that garbage back then, and that they intentionally and consciously chose to attack me with those lies in the full knowledge that they were spreading lies.
You see it, right? I mean, if these were all “accidental” lies written about me, then these sharp-penned, ethically-grounded journalists would by now be tripping over each other to cover UD, what UD says about all those lies they published, and how they can make sure that such a disgusting episode never, ever happens again under their watch.
But, of course, they aren’t saying that. None of them. Not one. Because Cone of Silence.
As I said: it’s fucking awesome!
The reason I have no concern that the Cone will actually hinder UD’s spread through the metaverse is that those bigoted “journalists” have no power to limit the book’s visibility. That the book is already a subject of heated, fascinated, intensive interest on a deep-grassroots basis is well-established. There’s a heavy rumble of interest, and discussion, and people recommending it to friends to read. Hell, I heard that heavy rumble even when I was in jail through most of this year: even in a small-town local jail, the rumble was to be found.
And nobody, anywhere, can stop that rumble — or stop the results that come from (entirely understandable, and justifiable) grassroots obsession with a project like Maloney’s Uniquely Dangerous.
So, no, the bigot-journalists have no relevance to UD’s trajectory into the future. That’s not a factor. Instead, it’s like telling someone not to think of pink elephants, or not to notice the (handsome?) gorilla sitting in the corner of the room. These are self-negating activities; so is the Cone of Silence. It’s fascinating to watch, but not in any sense of actually creating silence on the topic.
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Me being me, I’m spooling up a few stunts to get all the fun I can out of the Cone of Silence while it lasts. Like, for example, I’m writing to Mike Carter (hi, Mike!) offering to send him a hardcover copy so he can, you know, read it. And he’ll ignore me, and ignore Uniquely Dangerous — because ignoring facts seems to be Mike’s go-to when it comes to talking about me. And then I’ll publish the letter I wrote him, when the time is juicy and ripe to show how amazingly Mike — and other bigot-journos — hid from reality after UD was published.
Why do this? Honestly, for the sole reason that it’s fun. People like Mike get a huge thrill out of their (assumed) power to hurt others with their words. I know that’s true, because Mike and I talked enough that he told me exactly that from various dimensions in our discussions. And, with me, there is literally nothing Mike can threaten me with — so it’s fun to see him, a bully, powerless to bully a target he made so much hay bullying back in the day.
(actually I can also predict, more or less, Mike’s ex-post facto explanation for his ignoring UD today, once UD runs him over with its wide visibility… I might write that prediction to some blockchain somewhere and pull it back off the ‘chain, down the line, when he predictably does exactly what I knew he’d do. Or not — seems alot of work. :-)
Anyway, enough about Mike; he’s a boring drunk (true story) and not really worth the attention. Plus it makes me seem bitter and pinched to be going on endlessly like this about him, and doing it in a mean and vindictive way which truly is inappropriate and beneath me.
That’s all true. But — there’s always a “but” in a self-justification like this — some context helps, before judging me altogether too harshly for spotlighting Mike like this, eight years on. Maybe go back and read his fantasy “stories” about me from 2010–2012 (hell maybe he’s still writing fantasy stories about me today, for all I know…) — then tell me whether I’m being unfair in using Mike as an exemplar of a small part of the evils from back then. (I’m too lazy to make my mouth-foaming references to Mike’s stories clicky: they’re super-easy to hit with google, trust me.)
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Meanwhile, so long as the Cone of Silence holds firm in that slice of the bigoted-journalist world, there’s a window of time to interface directly with the reading-public — the grassroots — absent any distraction from the better-late-than-never (eventual) reaction from the professional bigots.
Also, and during this window, maybe I can teach myself to play a bit nicer when it comes to how I think about journos — that would certainly be appropriate, wouldn’t it? Sounds good, anyhow.
Also — and more substantively — it’s a window in which a framing of UD and its deeper structural importance can be set forth, discussed, and refined. That’s the important part. The Cone shelters that possibility, for now, and it’s a gift to have that shelter before the storm that is the future as UD unfurls its wings.
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On a personal level, this is a most unusual experience.
I am now regularly interacting with people — locally, and remotely — who have read Uniquely Dangerous, often with intense attention to detail. They all but know more about parts of my life than I do. It’s surreal. What is the proper form of manners in such circumstance? I sure don’t know… though I’m doing my best to learn.
There’s been requests for autographs. Autographs! This is a thing. I’m so used to everyone hating me that it all feels… well, it makes me super-suspicious, right? It’s all a trap — watch out! LOL.
As I type this, I’m listening to Tom Petty (R.I.P.) doing “You Don’t Know How It Feels” and yeah… that. Hell — I don’t know how it feels, not really, to be me currently.
It is profoundly liberating, yes. Also unsettling in a “it’s not about me, but people think it’s about me” way. And it’s ripe with possibility for good things that matter.
And totally, completely overhung by tragedy and sorrow and loss and loneliness and horror and nightmares and PTSD.
All of this, the beauty and the terror, at once. That and more that slips past words, for me, thus far.
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Apparently a move is afoot to do “UD”-themed hats, t-shirts, &c. This means… what? Semantic chaos.
(if someone designs a “MAUDA” hat, I’ll totally wear it whilst autographing book copies ;-)
And, with that… audieu for now, my friends.