August 17, 2017

Blackmail: Setting the record straight

Ezra LevantRebel Commander

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.


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commented 2017-08-17 16:56:44 -0400
SARAH asks: “How can anyone here justify Ezra saying that he wanted to sue someone not for money, but to ruin their life to the point that they commit suicide?”

No one should attempt to justify this. Don’t look to us, real anti-fascists (opposition to progressives) to do it. Usually we are not yet as violent, immoral, unapologetically deceptive, ungodly and ruthless as the so called liberals.
Yet… I think this was said in anger, stupidly, but in the same way some people would say: “I am going to kill you!” without meaning it. Also, most of us say very stupid things in anger, or just because we are stupid. Fortunately, most of the time we get away with it, because no one was hired to record us at our worst.

I know you know this, but the lynching must now take place. I understand.
commented 2017-08-17 16:54:28 -0400
Levant needs to do an audit with full fiscal transparency, to show that the rebel has nothing to hide.

commented 2017-08-17 16:52:26 -0400
DOROTA MOSIEWICZ-PATALAS, Sorry, you must be confusing me with a newspaper link. I never mentioned neo-nazis or even plain nazis, that was a headline from a newspaper. It may confuse you to know that I was and still am a fiscal conservative. My problem is with social conservatives and racists. I have a problem with conspiracy theorists, home-schoolers, those who think that the government is brainwashing you, anti-vacciners and those who think that free speech includes racist gatherings. Basically all the crap that the Rabble spews every day.
commented 2017-08-17 16:48:56 -0400
Cathy R – I think you are referring to Hitler!
commented 2017-08-17 16:47:15 -0400
Watching videos from both parties, Levant didn’t handle this as well as he should, but them in the U.K did cross the line. Blackmail/extortion, the British theft act could land the Brits in hot water. Recording done while unethical can be allowed. One should always on the side of caution, assume they are being recorded when dealing with an employee/employer.
Levant needs to do an audit with full fiscal transparency, to show that the rebel has nothing to hide.
commented 2017-08-17 16:45:47 -0400
There’s no telling to how low the fascists are going to go to shut Ezra and this conservative site down. They shut down Stephen Harper, Michael Corin (where is he by the way), the voice of Christianity and the church, all other religions except islam, the traditional family’s voice, pro life and much more. Fascists are the most vicious, violent, lying scum on the face of the earth. The only way to fight them is to tell the truth which is what I believe Ezra has done. Fascism’s or communism’s goal is to shut everything down that doesn’t agree with them. One of their founders, Stalin or someone else, said that “all they have to do to shut down an organization is start a lie, repeat it enough times and it takes on a life of it’s own.” (paraphrase)
commented 2017-08-17 16:43:27 -0400
How can anyone here justify Ezra saying that he wanted to sue someone not for money, but to ruin their life to the point that they commit suicide?

This is a good honest guy to you?
commented 2017-08-17 16:41:56 -0400
Jan G, didn’t know about that suicidal website.
commented 2017-08-17 16:37:22 -0400
You made a bad call in paying them off. Cut them clean, deal with the legal stuff, and don’t say too much unless you have to. And you’ve said too much in this piece, and you’ve said it wrong; like you’re making an excuse. So for the skeptical reader it’s not good. But i do think that you were scammed. You were too trusting to a fault. It happens. I’ve been scammed myself. But i won’t fault you. just keep a tight hand on that purse from now on.
commented 2017-08-17 16:34:39 -0400
Now that the funds are drying up, my crystal ball tells me that Faith Golddigger will be on her way faster than an alt-right could pounce on a limping progressive. Breitbart here they come.
commented 2017-08-17 16:32:58 -0400
We in AB hate the NDP crooks, so nobody cares what those Marxists losers say.
commented 2017-08-17 16:28:52 -0400
Ezra, while watching your blackmail video all I was thinking was “Why were you so dumb, why did you pay these guys a penny?” Ah well, you live and learn. You seem to have a soft heart, so maybe for the future you need the support and advice of a few tough minded worldly wise types who don’t like rolling over. They will help you make sensible decisions.

As for the future, keep it going. Get more people like Faith Goldy. She seems to have a heart, she cares, but that girl has backbone too.
commented 2017-08-17 16:28:52 -0400
Ezra, while watching your blackmail video all I was thinking was “Why were you so dumb, why did you pay these guys a penny?” Ah well, you live and learn. You seem to have a soft heart, so maybe for the future you need the support and advice of a few tough minded worldly wise types who don’t like rolling over. They will help you make sensible decisions.

As for the future, keep it going. Get more people like Faith Goldy. She seems to have a heart, she cares, but that girl has backbone too.
commented 2017-08-17 16:27:26 -0400

Define Nazi and Neo-Nazi.
If you think that it means fiscal conservative, anti-Marxist, aware of brainwashing in schools and academia with Frankfurt School Marxists (all presented falsely as naturally evolving progress), pro free-speech and pro freedom of conscience, anti ever-expanding elitist government, pro personal responsibility, do not bother.

I came to Canada form a former Soviet-occupied Europe. Am aware of P.E. Trudeau’s admiration for Mao’s cultural revolution and Fidel Castro. These kind of people kill millions for the… greater good. They killed some of my family. You might for some unimaginable reason (like so called justice for all, equality of outcomes and other such proven nonsense) like them, but beware – they kill useful idiots, too.
commented 2017-08-17 16:25:33 -0400
I honestly wouldn’t be posting any videos made by blackmailers. I’m no legal expert but that could be participating or aiding or helping fund their crime. And make no mistake blackmail is a crime.
commented 2017-08-17 16:14:14 -0400
I have followed Ezra since his days on Sun TV. I have attended a couple Rebel events in Toronto. I being 70 years of age and my wife (she attended Faith Goldy’s Gals N’ Guns event) aged 62 years, have been around long enough to be able to judge people fairly well. I am in the junior mining business and although the business is not full of slick characters, there are a few. I am fairly good at picking out weasels when I meet them. Ezra is NOT a weasel. Perhaps, sometimes too enthusiastic, but I believe him to be a much better pundit than those on regular Canadian media, and way, way ahead of those on CNN (should it be DNN?). I also have never heard Ezra or the regulars, including Faith, ever make bigoted or racist statements. I did see Caolan at the Toronto Rebel Live event and at that time thought he was okay but that was a very short exposure. I won’t say that I believe that Caolan is a weasel as that would take meeting him in some business deal to be able to judge. However, I can again state that Ezra is NOT a weasel. I hope Ezra keeps fighting for North America is in pretty bad shape when even many conservatives will not take a stance on free speech. An American writer Evelyn Beatrice Hall (1868-1956) who wrote extensively on Voltaire was quoted as saying “I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.” In 1971 the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) defended a neo-Nazi group which wanted to march through Skokie, Illinois (suburb of Chicago) where one in six Jewish residents were Holocaust survivors. Skokie officials denied this march but ACLU fought on the basis of the American constitutional right to free speech and won this decision. The neo-Nazis marched. We are headed in a terrible place when Antifas reject all rights based on their mob vigilante perceptions and actually go to a place, fascism, which they are rejecting. What I like about Charlottesville is that most of the left, all of the Antifas and some conservatives are hating the haters as a way of showing unification unlike Martin Luther King’s Christian peaceful and loving protest. And many still do not get President Trump’s statements, especially those on CNN. Perhaps, all should stop pointing fingers and shouting racist, bigot, homophobe, misogynist etc. and stop the fighting. Why not try to understand why there are people like that? Gavin McInnis mentioned that he thought the left and their actions were creating people who react and hate back. Sure some are like that because of family history but I think there are many newly created bigots reacting to the actions of the left. I think that the rise in Islamophobia in Canada is a result of Justin Trudeau’s government actions favoring Muslims in this country. Canada is supposed to be a country where we all have equal rights but it sometimes doesn’t look that way and the Rebel points that out. As long as we muzzle the opposing views as much as we hate them, we will never get to a place of understanding and agreement. Sorry for this long rambling. Again, keep fighting Ezra as there are many silent Canadians who believe in equality, justice and free speech and need a voice like the Rebel to keep us from falling into a very miserable society.
commented 2017-08-17 16:13:25 -0400
EZRA LEVANT, REBEL COMMANDER, yes the walls are coming down for you this week. If this is all it took to blow your house down, it must have truly been built of straw. Appropriate, due to the number of straw man arguments made by yourself and the ever dwindling team. Pity because I daily look forward to the comedy gold that is spewed by this site and it’s blissfully naive sycophants. I hope that the site lasts for a little while longer for both our sakes. I need the laughs and I guess you need the lemmings to cough up a few more bucks.
commented 2017-08-17 16:11:10 -0400
David White, I recently attended a little get-together of shade-tree Internet keyboard pundits in Calgary and there is a bigger one in the works, we can find a way to get you in there no problem. Not sure which one of my “masterpieces” was picked up by Edmonton Sun because the paper is very negligent in linking that column to their website but whichever one it was I hope the Dippers were suitably outraged as they pounded back shots of Stoli at the Red Star, lol.
commented 2017-08-17 16:07:19 -0400
I won’t get into the argument that others are putting forth, that is there is something fishy here but I simply cannot put aside this deplorable terrible amateurish behavior from Ezra. Seeing that you kept giving them money for let’s say dubious expenses should have raised flags but when they started their extorsion schemes didn’t you think you should record them ?
That’s simply astonishing on top of everything else ! I simply cannot refrain from thinking a 5 year-old would have thought of recording them, let alone experimented media people at war everyday with despicable people espousing marxist cultural views and shutting down free speech everywhere.
commented 2017-08-17 16:06:38 -0400
Hey Ezra, where’s that Israel documentary you promised on the backs of hardworking fans’ crowdfund money they sent you?
commented 2017-08-17 16:03:54 -0400
Caolan, the one in front of the camera, the Irish commentator, always left me with a bad feeling (but not because he is gay). I didn’t like his foul mouth or the way he rushed to judgment and condemnation, before the facts were established. It wasn’t good journalism. I’m glad to hear he’s no longer with your news agency. He was very below standard.
commented 2017-08-17 16:01:37 -0400
DAN MANCUSO commented: “I wonder if it’s gloating, or panic…”

I would go with gloating for those with derangement syndrome and panic for the rest. IMO.
commented 2017-08-17 15:59:59 -0400
Your reporting is infinitely more relevant than the CBC and other MSM propaganda.
But this mess really gives them a lot of ammunition against you and the people who support you.
Regardless of your mistakes, you have provided a valuable alternative to shameless, immoral brainwashing we are all subjected to, and we all know that this brainwashing is not provided for us free of charge. The terrible cost to our lives, the lives of our children, and the future of country, caused by the propaganda, is impossible to underestimate.
I am very saddened and worried (that we might lose Rebel Media) by this. No matter what has happened, and the mistakes you have made, you have already made a difference for the better.
God forgive us our trespasses, and may He help you get through this, and learn from this.
commented 2017-08-17 15:59:59 -0400
Ezra, Caolan has a video with what you said when you went to England to talk to him. It is really bad and twisted for his benefit. The link for it is under John Smithson’s comment 40 minutes ago.
There are many libtards on this story. Wonder if cbc, the liberal media machine is behind all of this? Wouldn’t doubt it, no I wouldn’t doubt it for one minute. Just like how they constantly bashed Stephen Harper 24/7, just the CNN bashing Trump 24/7. Wake the hell up people.
commented 2017-08-17 15:55:30 -0400
IVAN YUSHIN commented:
“what I see here is an evidence of terrible management. If you can’t manage the company, you have to ask for help (even if you can’t afford to hire, you could probably ask for help and somebody with a lot of experience, but currently retired could help you for free, until you get stable revenue stream) and do everything as per a rulebook.”

Good advice. Let me be the first to step up to the plate. I have a background involving law enforcement training, prior Military and Coast Guard experiences (great for self discipline) and recently Management experience involving members of one of the toughest Unions in Canada. I am retiring in about 15 days and will have time to assist if needed. The Rebel will have my contact info on file as I have been a financial supporter since day one. Caveat: My ISP and consequently my email has changed. So, if the Rebel thinks I may be able to assist in some manner with my time, snail mail, or post an email address I may access to provide the new email contact. Regardless, what has happened is truly awful. I for one, wish to see the Rebel continue even if just to piss of the marxist trolls! Anyways, as suggested earlier, they may have new targets soon as there are signs the population and the MSM are losing their bloom with Jihadi Justin.