I’ve had a rough week. No, it’s not what you think. It’s not because the liberal media is criticizing us for being too right wing. That happens all the time. I love that, I get a kick out of it.
Something else happened to me, for the first time in my life. And I don’t really know how to say it, other than to just say it. And I can’t believe it, but here goes.
I’m being blackmailed. I’m being extorted.
I’ve always known the rule that if you’re ever being blackmailed, don't pay. I mean, even if you think you can pay a blackmailer, they’ll just ask for more a second time. But you’re scared. So you pay. I thought I could make the problem go away, so I actually paid. And then I paid again. But then they threatened again. Last night actually. So I haven’t slept.
So I called my lawyers this morning. And I’ve decided I’m done. I’m going to do what I should have done a few weeks ago, and just pull the trigger on myself, on my own terms. That’s the only thing that takes the power away from an extortionist.
It’s a pretty bad choice, isn’t it?
So I’m going to take the power away from them, and I’m going to tell you what happened, myself.
It happened in the UK. Just a bit of background — as you know, we’ve got this great guy on our team — Tommy Robinson! Smart, brave, tough. He used to be the head of the English Defence League, a rough group of guys, he even went to prison for a bit on a trumped up charge, just so police could take him off the streets. But Tommy actually quit the EDL, the organization that he founded, when it started to become racist. Tommy hates racism — I’ve gotten to know Tommy, and his best friend since childhood, Andre, who just happens to be black, for heaven’s sake.
Tommy has an important story to tell — about how Islam has changed his country; raped young girls, including his own cousin. He’s ringing the alarm — not just about Islam, but about politically correct police and media and politicians.
So we hired Tommy to do little videos for us — they were good, because he’s a natural. But boy were they crummy looking: bad lighting, bad webcam.
And then one day, a new video came in and looked amazing.
A fellow named Caolan Robertson, just approached Tommy, and attached himself to Tommy — and made Tommy's videos great! We had no idea who he was, but we were grateful. So we offered to pay him a few bucks to work part time to help Tommy.
And then someone else just joined the team — named George Llewelyn-John. He agreed to be the cameraman for Tommy. It was great. Suddenly we went from one guy to a whole team.
And then a terrorist struck Westminster Bridge, and Tommy and our two new guys were there, and taped a raw video, and it went super-viral, seen millions of times.
And the next day, Caolan said he was fired from his full-time job because he appeared in that video with Tommy.
I felt bad for him, and he was being helpful, so I immediately hired him. No background check, no interview — just did it right then and there. And George was unemployed too, so we hired him. Full time, right then and there. George and Caolan are a couple, I soon learned, but I don’t care about stuff like that.
They did good work — like the beautiful video they did for our Justice for Chelsey campaign. That’s great. That’s George — lots of talent. Funny little things though — like panicky calls in the middle of the night, asking for us to immediately send them 150 pounds or 300 pounds by PayPal to cover strange expenses. Like asking for cash to pay for an Uber. Ubers don’t take cash. But no problem — they’re just young lads.
When I met them in London, they showed me their squalid apartment downtown; they said they wanted to move closer to Tommy — I offered to help. Now they’re grown men; I was paying them for full-time work. But maybe they needed some help — so I gave them £1,800 pounds for rent money, for that first month where you need rent and a deposit.
But then Caolan took that money and went on a luxury vacation. I couldn’t believe it. But they literally were homeless. So I gave them another £3,500 pounds — this time for rent, and for furniture, and I gave it through a friend I trusted, so they didn’t steal it again.
We bought them a computer. And we bought them each cell phones. They were always asking for cash, always in a panic. It was incredible. It was nuts. Who knows where the money actually went.
So we got stricter about expenses. But things fell apart. Sometimes there would be quarrels and they wouldn't leave the apartment to go to work — Tommy missed an important interview. They were doing side projects instead of ours. They were moonlighting for a political candidate that we were covering. It was just too crazy. So I sent a trusted friend over there to meet with them face to face, to say goodbye.
Now, they had only worked for us for about three or four months. We were really firing them for cause — you don’t get severance when you’re fired for cause. We had done them so many favours — advanced them so much cash. But no need to argue — give them a few bucks, let them keep that prepaid rent, and move on. No need to be stingy.
But they demanded thousands and thousands of pounds. For severance, after just a few months. That makes no sense. But my old friend told me it was necessary to make some problems go away. I couldn’t believe it. But my friend said it was really, really important. So I grumbled my approval. And then when I got a copy of the signed severance deal sent to me from the UK — it was even more than was agreed to — hand-written additions. And then they phone us up asking for even more.
It was nuts — by now they were demanding more than six months severance, for a few months work. Remember, they’re a couple, so really, more than a year’s pay. A year’s severance? Crazy. No way.
So I called up my old friend and he told me what was really going on — it wasn’t for severance. It was to pay them off. To pay them a shakedown. See, they had told my friend, in excruciating detail, what they were going to do, and how they were going to do it, if he didn’t shovel them tens of thousands of pounds.
They were going to launch their own media company — OK, no problem. They were going to do it with a splash — OK. And say they were going to break away from The Rebel, and be truly independent. OK, no problem. But this was the key part of the threat — they were going to claim they left us because we were unethical, not because we fired them.
They were going to publicly allege that we were stealing money from our viewers. That we were stealing money from charities, or from other things we crowdfund. It was a complete lie; everyone knows where the money we raised went — it went to hire a lawyer for Chelsey, to fight against the police who wouldn’t charge her rapists. It went to another lawyer for John Fletcher, the man who had the "don’t support terror, shop at Fletcher’s" sign on his shop. Lots of lawyers — it went to Tommy Robinson’s lawyer to keep him out of jail.
It also went to good things, like the extremely expensive wheelchair we’ve ordered for Gareth Knox. And literally right now, Chelsey Wright, and her parents, and her three kids, are back from a vacation we sent them on to Spain, just to get away from all the B.S. in Sunderland.
That’s where it’s gone. And our terms of service are clear — any surplus money is applied to other similar campaigns, or related expenses. That’s our whole business model.
But Caolan and George threatened to say we were pocketing that money — that we were stealing it. Of course, they had no evidence, nothing to do with our accounting department, which is in Canada. They don’t have any facts. But so what — an accusation by a former employee would be deadly, especially with the liberal media so hungry to smear us these days. So my friend said, Ezra, pay them. But even that wasn’t enough — they started calling our accountant and demanding more money, and sooner. And they refused to hand over our property, like our footage.
I'll show you the contract they signed for their huge severance. As you can see, it was really, a contract for a shakedown. Not so much for severance. Most of the terms were a contract to shut them up. But they immediately broke it. And now they weren't just threatening my friend. They threatened Tommy, too.
They threatened to release footage they claimed to have taken of Tommy Robinson confessing that he punched a guy at Ascot, in self defence. They said they had Tommy Robinson on tape confessing to that, and if we didn’t pay them thousands of pounds, they’d rat out Tommy — whether it was to the police or to a UK tabloid that would just love that video footage.
Well, I got on a plane and flew to London to meet with them — to meet with Tommy, and George, who was speaking on behalf of his boyfriend. And, I’m ashamed to admit it. I signed another contract — one that I had personally written — to buy their silence for Tommy Robinson. Not that Tommy had done anything wrong; I don’t even know if they have that footage they claim they do.
Even the allegation, coming from these two, would be credible enough that every tabloid in the country would say Tommy was a criminal. And if they were threatening to report him for an actual crime — maybe he’d go back to prison.
So it was a double extortion. Extorting me, by threatening to say I’m pocketing money that is supposed to go to charities. And threatening Tommy with extortion, by threatening him with possible jail — again, I have no idea what kind of footage they stole from us.
So I’m sorry, but I paid it again. Here is the contract that I personally took to the UK to pay them off — I put in some money and Tommy put in some money.
Alright. But then today — we learned that they were proceeding with the extortion anyways. They were going to do all the things they said they wouldn’t if we paid them. Or maybe we’d have to pay them again. I called Tommy, he immediately called them, but they were adamant.
In fact, he learned that the two of them had secretly recorded our conversation when I was agreeing to pay them off. Even was they were blackmailing me, they were setting up the next blackmail. I know this sounds so insane, but they did it — they secretly recorded me trying to talk them out of it, trying to reason them out of it, trying to negotiate them out of it — even threatening to sue them if they extorted me. I brought a copy of a lawsuit from Canada that I had filed, and said I’d do it to them. They recorded everything we said, to wring more money out of us.
You know what? Enough. Sorry, enough. It’s not just that we can’t afford it — we are a small company, we rely on donations, and frankly, if you want to talk about ethics, it would be unethical to use our viewers money, that was given to us to build the company, to pay off blackmail.
So what to do? Well, I called up my lawyers in the UK and asked them. Three of them got together. They have given me lots of advice. Some of it is private, that I won’t share with you, like the right way to report extortion to police. Some if it is public, like if you’re being blackmailed, tell on yourself first.
They say they have Tommy on tape, saying he acted in self defence — I spoke to Tommy, and he said he’s fine with me revealing what they have on him. He agrees with me.
They have other rough language by Tommy on tape — they tape a lot of people secretly — just a warning if you’re ever near them. They taped me threatening them with a civil lawsuit if they extort me. They taped me agreeing to pay them cash.
That’s the facts. I’m embarrassed. But you know what? There’s no more bullets left in that gun.
No more money for you Caolan Robertson and George Llewelyn John.