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 14:57:01 -0400
Judging by their actions, I would venture to guess you may not be the only person to have been duped by these two. Hopefully, this information will reach any potential future employer they may come in contact with. I admire your courage, Ezra in coming forth with the truth.
commented 2017-08-17 14:53:37 -0400
Sounds like slinging mud is a dirty business.
commented 2017-08-17 14:53:19 -0400
Sarah… Give me your full name and your address and even though you’re innocent I guarantee you I could have the IRS auditing you for the next three years… Come on now be brave let’s test this theory.!!
commented 2017-08-17 14:53:08 -0400
Thank you Ezra for giving us the school here; that’s a really crappy thing to deal with, go through; still be dealing with.
Hopefully nothing good will come to these folks.
In a business like this, I can only imagine the threats and BS you have to deal with. You do us all a great service by fighting this fight for us, a fight for truth, transparency and true equality.
Anyone who would hold this against you or the Rebel isn’t our kind of folks anyway. They don’t matter.
commented 2017-08-17 14:47:20 -0400
The difference between Ezra and a lawyer, is that Ezra has a heart. He is a human being like the rest of us! The freaks have been gunning for him for a long time now, and now more than ever, because so many are listening and are being made aware of exactly whats going on in the world.
Stay strong Ezra, because you give a voice to those of us they are trying to silence. You are our voice!
commented 2017-08-17 14:46:59 -0400
Ezra, the record is still not straight. Exactly why you would even consider paying these criminals one penny is totally unclear. You say you were afraid. Of what? All you need to do was take the offensive, report them to the police, sue them in civil court, and put your version of events out. You’re a smart guy so exactly why you decided to pay, and pay again and again is a mystery. Only people who have something to hide pay.
commented 2017-08-17 14:46:31 -0400
Over two and a half years ago I was one of the first to sign up to the REBEL MEDIA. We believed in the cause of a new media outlet one that couldn’t shut down by the C.R.T.C. The Bolsheviks are jumping with joy now but will they be happy when THE REBEL continues. You have many supporters and I am proud to be one.
commented 2017-08-17 14:40:48 -0400
Still with you. Infiltrators have always been around to knock down or somehow misrepresent those who speak the truth.
commented 2017-08-17 14:40:42 -0400
Terry MacLeod commented 6 mins ago, “I’ve never seen the Marxist trolls so excited. Enjoy, it won’t last.”
Terry. they’re apoplectic! Chris Selley began a piece in the NP today this way, “If some event was finally going to wipe the smirk off Rebel Media’s face, it could hardly have been more hideously appropriate than what happened in Virginia”. But, they’ve also gone after Jordan Peterson, Gad Saad and Faith Goldy and pressured Ryerson University into cancelling an event called The Stifling of Free Speech. If you read the student comments on Ryerson’s website, almost every one of them opposes that decision. The “shut down speech” mob is a group of Toronto female activists.

The good thing is though, that they need their fix, so will run off somewhere else when the high over this attack has worn off. Remember when people tried to force Senator, Lynn Beyak to resign over saying that we should look at the positive aspects of the residential school system? As far as I know, she’s still there, and the mob has moved elsewhere.

Ezra needs to make some changes at the Rebel and hopefully it will come back much better and stronger. And wouldn’t the Marxist trolls be frothing at the mouth about that?
commented 2017-08-17 14:40:41 -0400
I support you for the information. You may do whatever you want with your money.
commented 2017-08-17 14:40:17 -0400
The Rebel have lost Brian, Barbara, John and now Gavin in a matter of 48 hours.

The Canadian Revenue agency now wants to audit The Rebel.

That all screams innocence.
commented 2017-08-17 14:39:30 -0400
Great job Ezra, I know it’s difficult when people take advantage… and it has a way creeping up on you slowly. You’ve done a brave thing and I know it must’ve difficult but as you say, you’ve exposed it and now there’s nothing they can do.

All respect to you sir. As a British person I know just how important the work you do is in raising awareness of what’s happening here and discussing what others are to afraid to. Thank you for supporting Tommy Robinson and giving him a platform. God bless you.
commented 2017-08-17 14:39:03 -0400
Sorry Ezra, you are on your own on this one. There is more than enough to worry about here in Canada. Getting involved in the Islamic terrorism in the UK is going too far. You seem to be quite full of yourself. I signed up with a costly Membership, expecting you would concentrate on Canada. You can’t fight Muslim terrorists all over the world. I agree with Robena in that you are naive and seem to be quite gullible. Get the hell out of the UK.

No support from me on this one.
commented 2017-08-17 14:38:21 -0400
Man. I think the refugees crossing the border at Lacolle, Quebec are getting better screening than Ezra gave these guys.
commented 2017-08-17 14:36:42 -0400
So we change the bathwater and keep the baby!
Love to The rebel and all still on board!
commented 2017-08-17 14:35:51 -0400
Ezra has a fucking law degree yet he pays off blackmailers?? I guess he is as stupid as he claims to be but not a stupid as his followers.
commented 2017-08-17 14:31:11 -0400
Ezra, you have been really naive here, but I suppose you know that. What on earth made you think they’d be believed? Alarm bells should have been going off with the first requests for money, and in future don’t employ anyone without references that you’re not 100% certain of.
commented 2017-08-17 14:30:28 -0400
Hello Ezra –
WHAT A RELIEF! I thought that you were going to be revealing that you had in some way been dishonest about your principles. There is nothing in this story to be ashamed of. You are an extraordinary person, carrying out a very difficult task. Creating a dynamic international information organization is hard enough, but then to do so in a society whose establishment is seeking your destruction makes it all the more remarkable. This matter, that you have described, is merely the “noise and friction” of getting things done in a complicated and competitive arena. You were guided by proper and natural instincts, all in the pursuit of a noble cause, namely, to provide an alternative perspective to society about important developments in our time. Your good nature was taken advantage of. That is a reflection on the perpetrators more than you. Please don’t change your nature. You are a fine person and are making an important contribution to humanity. Just keep being yourself and much more good will come from your time on this earth!
commented 2017-08-17 14:30:13 -0400
The truth will set you free.
In more than one way.
I swear, I had an uneasy sense from that kid.
Nothing worth having ever comes easy.
There are forces at work that most can’t recognize or believe
commented 2017-08-17 14:29:19 -0400
I am passing this off far and wide to every Site I Trust. Sorry to here that man.
commented 2017-08-17 14:29:00 -0400
“Sarah” (if that is what your real name is….most women are not as vile and stupid as you have openly portrayed yourself to be on this site): The Rebel “losing” John Robson (who is a closet Liberal at the best of times), Brian Lilley (who is a colossal bore with a bad hairdo), Gavin McGinnis (who is a foul-mouthed phony) and Barbara Kay (who is great but obviously chickenshit) is ABSOLUTELY no reflection on Ezra Levant.
Ezra Levant does not have to “prove” his “innocence” to the likes of you or anyone of your slimy ilk.
commented 2017-08-17 14:28:38 -0400
Ezra, now you’ve learned the bad way to never pay blackmails, and never give extra money to employees to “help them” because it creates expectations for even more. I have contributed a few times to your campaigns and I truly believe that the money was used for good causes, like helping the Speer kids or getting Tommy Robinson out of police detention. Of course, I knew that excess money would be used for your company’s operations. The Rebel is not a charity and if someone is stupid enough to believe the contrary, then too bad for them. I am getting the news I need from your organization and the monthly subscription fee is low in my opinion to cover all the costs. Just a small advice though, don’t push too many crowdfunding campaigns because we will become desinterested. I applaud your courage for telling the truth, specially at this moment when all the guns are out to attack you.
commented 2017-08-17 14:27:00 -0400
Char Crouse; nope, no way she’s that old. I’ve had a ten year old here for a week and he’s way sharper than her.
commented 2017-08-17 14:26:49 -0400
And all this time I KNEW DAVE CHIASSON was an asshole.

SARAH…If you always knew what you said you knew, why didn’t you say something? If the ship is sinking get your fat ass off. Maybe the rest of us can save it. The naysayers can screw off. Other than agitating why were your type even here? If the ship does go down, the loyal can go with it.
commented 2017-08-17 14:25:18 -0400
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.
commented 2017-08-17 14:22:28 -0400
We’ll survive this. The trolls will be gnashing their teeth.
commented 2017-08-17 14:22:21 -0400
Keep up the good work
We remain stuck in the LEFT ditch until we head over towards the RIGHT ditch
Just how the universe works
commented 2017-08-17 14:20:27 -0400
SARAH YOU MUST BE 7 OR MAYBE EVEN 10 . Ezra we are behind you 100 percent and so is the 150 people that I politic with. It takes guts to publicly admit when you are wrong. Be proud of yourself because I am proud of everything you have done for Canada and waiting for you to continue!!
commented 2017-08-17 14:19:52 -0400
Stay strong Ezra, you and Tommy and the whole Rebel Team are doing a great job. This is just a minor speed bump in your road to success, everyone has them. You can’t tell me that all those other news networks don’t have some past issues that are better off forgotten. From things like Gian Ghomeshi to Evan Soloman to Amanda Lang and the really bad ones are for the most part never exposed, so the public doesn’t know. As long as there are unscrupulous people like these two, they will try to take advantage of your trust. You did the right thing and I understand you trying to defuse the situation but your now left with having to overcome a threat that holds no credibility from a couple of lowlife opportunists. Sad thing is, they really could of been part of something truly big, instead they decided to make themselves very small. We are with you Ezra, there will never be a shortage of the haters, they enjoy the lies of Mainstream Media and their ongoing scandalous propaganda campaign for the Liberal Party and the Trudeau Regime. Get past it and move on. All the Best to our Rebel Commander and his Team.