Posted on | September 17, 2012 | 14 Comments
If I told you what inspired this, you wouldn’t believe it. Remember that on May 17, I was planning to go cover the G-8 Summit when I saw a blog post by Aaron Walker that caused me to change my mind: This was a story more interesting and newsworthy than whatever I might have reported from Camp David.
So it stunned me to find myself unjustly accused, even though I knew very well how this routinely happens to people who are targeted by what I’ve referred to as the Kimberlin-Rauhauser Axis. Having recovered from the shock, and restrained my temper, I sent the person an e-mail, which I share with readers in order to give them an insight into the motives and methods of these devious bastards:
Overlooking any offense that I might take . . . I think you have misunderstood entirely what is happening, and how you – entering the play in the penultimate scene of the second act – are confusing people, in assistance of a cause with which I am reasonably certain you are not sympathetic.
Since May 17, I have been covering a story that is both interesting and newsworthy. This is not a story about me, or you, or Ali Akbar. It is not a story about Patrick Frey or Aaron Walker or Mandy Nagy. This is a story about Brett Kimberlin, and about Kimberlin’s associate Neal Rauhauser.
Very early in my reporting on this story, I was warned about Rauhauser’s “social engineering,” by which means he uses online communications to manipulate people’s perceptions for his own purposes. At the time, I thought I understood what was meant by the phrase “social engineering,” but looking back after four months, I realize that Rauhauser’s arsenal of methods is far more complex than I could have imagined in May.
Had you been on this story as long and as deep as I’ve been on it, you would see quite clearly the relevance of this – Rauhauser’s manipulations – to the attacks on Ali Akbar and others, myself included. When you first contacted me with these outrageous accusations, I was angry, but when I learned the substance of your suspicions and had time to reflect, I relaxed a bit: Rauhauser again!
Exactly how Neal did this, I don’t know. Rauhauser is adept at exploring networks, accumulating information, and then soliciting unwitting assistance in attacks on his targets from their friends and acquaintances. These methods sow conflict and suspicion around Neal’s targeted enemies, and thus undermine their effectiveness as opponents. I’ve watched Rauhauser do this to many people, as part of a larger strategy I’ve described as “accuse the accusers,” and am not the least surprised to see the same methods used against me.
As I say, it’s difficult to explain this to someone who hasn’t had the opportunity to study it in depth over time. “Accuse the accusers” serves three simultaneous purposes:
- To distract – As is well documented, Rauhauser has been acting as an agent of Brett Kimberlin since last year, and when Aaron Walker’s 28,000-word account called new attention to Kimberlin’s activities, Neal began working to change the subject, to make the story about Kimberlin’s “enemies,” and not about Kimberlin himself.
- To discredit – Negative information about Neal’s targets (in this case, Walker, his associates and allies) is acquired through research, and incorporated into a narrative calculated to undermine the target’s credibility. It is often the case that fact and fiction are intermixed, connected by an interpretive framework that is tendentiously pejorative.
- To defend – Anyone who arrives at the story once Rauhauser has begun accusing the accusers is immediately confronted with a confusing welter of information, and the confusion serves the purpose of defending the client Kimberlin and his agent Rauhauser. Unless you were present to witness the story from its actual beginning (i.e., Kimberlin’s “lawfare” harassment of Walker), you will fail to realize that the attacks on Walker’s allies (including Ali Akbar) were part of the accuse-the-accusers strategy, and are thus a deliberate distraction.
Perhaps you see, without my pointing it out, the purely utilitarian purpose of this method from a legal standpoint, in the context of “lawfare” that involves civil litigation and criminal charges. In any such conflict, the accuse-the-accusers strategy allows Kimberlin and Rauhauser to claim that any legal complaint against them is an act of retaliation. “So-and-so is doing this because I exposed his wrongdoing.” This is quite explicitly what Kimberlin has done to Aaron Walker, and the intricate overlapping of accusations and counter-accusations has deeply confused many journalists who have tried to report the story. Accustomed to the idea of “balance,” even reporters who are deeply skeptical of Kimberlin feel obligated to solicit “his side” of the story, which results in their publishing his profoundly dishonest narrative of events. It’s like being assigned to cover the Tate-LaBianca murders and giving equal time to Charles Manson: “The Evil Pigs Who Deserved to Die.”
Ali was “doxed” by Rauhauser, and the accusations were made against the National Bloggers Club, for just such purposes as I have described. The fact that some conservatives have joined in the “just-asking-questions” campaign against Ali, or the legitimacy of their curiosity, do not change the fact that the strategic purpose of this attack is the defense of Kimberlin. Once you understand this motive, and understand Rauhauser’s methods, the accusations against their targets – Walker, Frey, Ali, whoever – can be clearly seen as deliberate distractions.
Part of the success of this “accuse the accusers” strategy is explained by the fact that people take such things personally. If you accuse me of lying, I become angry at your accusation and retaliate with counter-accusations. You then solicit assistance from your friends, demanding that they rally to your support in the conflict, and I do likewise, each of us demanding that neutral parties choose sides in the dispute: “You cannot be friends with him, because he has attacked me unjustly.” Thus divisions are created, each of us is isolated from potential allies, and this benefits … whom?
Having watched this occur with other of Neal’s targets, I’ve determined that I will not be lured into that trap of letting emotional reaction override my rational understanding of what is happening. The problem with getting people to understand this phenomenon is that it is so complex, confusing and crazy that when you describe it, people who haven’t actually seen it in action think you’ve lost your mind. Yet there are now enough witnesses to the workings of the accuse-the-accusers strategy and Rauhauser’s social-engineering methods that I describe all this to you with confidence, and will publish this e-mail at my own blog, so that others may be forewarned.
One last thing, [--]: Once you or your friends become involved in a conflict with Neal Rauhauser, beware of “coincidences,” and be skeptical of any accusation made against your friends, whatever the source or whatever “evidence” is offered in support of the accusation. People have been manipulated without their knowledge, and you may ask The Lonely Conservative what evil deceptions have been practiced in this regard. Or perhaps you can ask Barrett Brown how it was that he was incited to the dangerous madness that got him arrested last week.
Please understand that I’ve watched this happen, and seen people allow themselves to be manipulated, and do not wish to blame the victims, as it were: There are people angry at me whom I have not wronged, but who did not realize that they were being deceived, and my attempts to alert them to the deception were (of course) rejected as self-justification. It’s absolutely amazing to witness, and until it happens to you, it’s impossible to know how the targets feel.
OK, this isn’t the worst I’ve ever had to deal with, and to repeat: I am not deceived. I am not distracted. And I sure as hell ain’t afraid.