|Masked men and lawyers have been attacking St Lucian bloggers for over a year.|
There were bloggers before the Flogg.
Both got taken down. One of them was sued. A contract was taken out on the other one.
They tried to kill one blogger. My turn, next. I’m way past the stage where they will try to sue or DOS me. But, as the anarchists say, “All they have are bullets.”
Free Press and FriendsofUNESCO were two anonymous bloggers who took a stand long before the FLOGG ever thought of taking the piss.
Both of them were a thorn in the side of political, government and tourism interests. Both kept their identities secret. To this day, most people who read those blogs don't know their true identities. Both were targets of attempts to silence them.
Neither one has surfaced since they were taken down. There is evidence that Free Press fought a brutal law suit brought by the late Ollie Gobat in the interest of the Landings.
As for FriendsofUNESCO, the blogger who fought Freedom Bay and both Labour and Flambeau governments who were selling off the World Heritage Sites, who knows? That one could be dead: just another Negmarron ghost who haunts the World Heritage Site. A lock of hair separated from a white skull with a bullet lodged in it. For now, let us pray that Friends survived and is reading this somewhere.
Witnesses testify that Friends was attacked at home by three masked men who looked more like trained professionals than bad boys. Computers, hard drives and mobile phones were stolen. Accounts were hacked and the blog was under hostile attack.
Next thing you know, US Federal Agents contacted Friends and confirmed that there was a hit out on the blogger’s life. A year later, Ollie Gobat was the one who got hit in what looks like a contract, but St Lucian police insist is a crime of passion.
Shortly after the US Feds confirmed the death threat on the blogger, FriendsofUNESCO disappeared from St Lucia and was never seen again. A ghost. A buried lock of hair. A buried white skull with a bullet hole in it. Like the blogger never existed. Ollie Gobat probably wishes he had it so good.
Once Friends was gone, those who ordered the hit probably thought the coast was clear.
But that is just about exactly when The FLOGG Blog was born.
KILL THE MUTHAFLOGGA!
I had no idea what I was getting into. I was just joking when I first published “The Most Dangerous Smile In Politics” to kixx off on Guy Joseph, the former Minister of MisCommunications and Work-outs.
I was just joking. But apparently, I am not as much of a joker as I hoped to be. And so, so many months after kixxing off on the danger of Guy Joseph's smile, the SLP government is flogging him mercilessly for something that they dare not criminalize him for.
Shit got real in ways I could not imagine. Unshackled from advertisers, media managers and the most vile laws stifling free speech in St Lucia, I was suddenly imbued with all my natural powers. As a trained journalist, a kind of heartical activist and a consumer of history, I couldn't help but make the FLOGG grow from a joke into an investigative journalism machine that reinvents the language, ethics and methodology of journalism in the image of Negmarron.
To do this successfully, you must repeat these three words to yourself many times over and long period: "Ah, fuck it." It is also helpful to add, "Let the rest of the chips fall where they may."
I got my first death threat and law suit threat around this time in 2013. I didn't say, "Ah, fuck it."
I got wind of the death threat and an actual letter threatening to sue. I laid off The FLOGG for over a few months, both scared and excited that my little joke had gone so far. For more than two months, I laid low, reading history, politics and pdfs with names like “Hacking For Dummies”. I also kept gathering the news that wasn’t in the regular media. I didn’t really have a goal in mind. I was just trying to attain a critical mass.
Once I turned the FLOGG back on earlier this year, it became the island’s most popular and controversial blog. I guess I calculated my own critical mass correctly.
That was more good than bad. It resulted in the illegal shutdown that caused Google to flag the FLOGG so that now, any complaint has to be escalated up the chain of power so that no little tyrant freaks and their friends can lay a hand on this blog again. Oh, and the illegal firing of ne Chrystabel Sifflet from St James Morgan Bay once management realized she was related to me.
Oh, and: The most recent death threat, which was rumored about a week or two ago and confirmed on Thursday 9 October.
Cos the worst thing would be if people ignored me, the way they ignore Rick Wayne and Jouk Bois.
What was the difference? Why did The FLOGG survive when the others didn’t? The answer is surprisingly simple.
I was not Anonymous.
I was the opposite of Anonymous. I was wearing a suit of flashing lights as I FLOGGed corrupt politicians, the Tourist Board, Cabinet, the opposition, the big hotels, the justice system...I was saying, “Here I am. Come get me for speaking the truth as I know it.” I was not anonymous and so, if anything happened to me, people would know why. And any man who can even think that thought has taken measures and developed many contingencies. Standing at the crossroads of egomania and genius, I achieved something approaching invulnerability. All I had to do was not fuck it all up.
Which, I guess, is what I am about to do now.
Fuck it all up. It’s what I do best. It’s a gift.
|"Fuck it up, Rasta...fuck it all up for us...."|
But before I do, let’s pay our respects to our Dead Bloggers Society:
May you walk free in your flesh, though some part of you haunts the internet like a ghost, searching in vain for its home. You brave and crazy fools. Thank for leaving trails of bread crumbs that will lead the rest of us home.
FREE PRESS VS THE LANDINGS
THE DEATH OF OLLIE GOBAT
|"Sup, motherfuckers..Bet you thought I forgot you?"|
Ollie Gobat wasn’t such a bad guy. But when it came to business, he sure could act like one. Ollie was the kind of guy who protected his family, his friends and his business with everything he had.
He would have made a great Roman.
And so, when Free Press smeared the Landings with internet posts that proved that Landings was in deep financial doo-doo, Ollie didn’t hesitate to bring out the big guns. He complained to the publisher and had the offending posts (basically, the entire blog, but on a post by post basis) deleted.
He lobbied, pressed and sued for the identity of Free Press to be revealed. The publisher was reluctant. Then, he just sued Free Press. He was going for the jugular.
But Free Press was ready for this eventuality.
And the day Lucian politicians try to change those rules, they better be ready to update the regular rules on free speech so that we actually have free speech. If not, they will be exposed for the tyrant makaks we already know they are. And both they and their archaic libel laws will have to take some serious blows.
Within months of losing to Free Press in American courts, Ollie was dead. He was shot and killed in his SUV, which was then set on fire and left to burn. Rumors blossomed about his alleged relations with the Russian mafia, his debts and their threats. But the only facts are that before Ollie died, he was involved in trying to win the bid for the Landings for the Owners Consortium over the political well-connected interests at Freedom Bay. He met with Kenny Anthony and Allen Chastanet. He told those in his inner circle about the threats he received.
And then, he drove from the Golf Club, took an unexpected turn and was gone.
It was my first wakeup call that something was horribly wrong in the St Lucia tourism industry.
Free Press must have been horrified at the turn of events. The blogger thought that Ollie Gobat was one of the worst things about St Lucian tourism and was out to expose him. But apparently, there was something far worse out there. And it didn’t like Ollie Gobat. It treated him worse than big tourism treats locals. It treated him with the way the mafia treats an upstart rival. With extreme prejudice.
It killed him. It shot him. It burned him to a crisp. Whatever it is that killed Ollie Gobat is still here. It isn’t negotiating. It isn’t taking ‘No’ for an answer. It isn’t taking any prisoners. It wants money or it will wants blood.
It's a whole new level of small island corruption and crime.
And the way I’m living my life, it wants me next.
You see, I’m at least as much of an egotistical Lucian dickhead as Ollie Gobat. Maybe more.
THE MALFINIS OF MALGRETOUTE
THE MYSTERY OF THE DISAAPEARING BLOGGER
I was looking for Ollie Gobat’s killer when I found a blogger who was considered so dangerous that US federal agents confirmed there was a hit out on this person.
FriendsofUNESCO was an anonymous blogger who was inspired by Derek Walcott’s public stand against Freedom Bay. The old poet had been one of the first to stand up against Jalousie, decades ago. Though he was not the energetic firebrand that he was when he first pissed on Jalousie’s parade, he was consistent enough to know that Freedom Bay was the same shit as Jalousie, just on a different day.
|Derek Walcott: DOESN'T TAKE SHIT..|
Friends decided not to take any shit either.
Friends had gotten 11,000 hits from 90 different countries in the very short life of the blog. Something about that blog was so dangerous that the blogger had to be robbed, hacked and disappeared.
And what was Friends’ blog about? What was so dangerous?
Friends criticized the building and development in the World Heritage Site. There was a specific interest in the massive Freedom Bay development.
That’s pretty much it. The entire blog was about protecting the ancient Amerindian and Negmarron grounds, which are now recognized as a World Heritage Site, from people who have nothing better to do than build more villas and more hotels that fail.
Apparently, there is something sinister surveying Soufriere’s sacred lands.
You see, some people will do anything for money.
Government lackeys like Jadia Jn.Pierre had proclaimed Freedom Bay as an elite new tourism product. Former environmentalist and current Sell-Out-In-Chief Sylvester Clauzel promised that in Freedom Bay would have no negative impact on the PMA or World Heritage Status.
But it was all premeditated bullshit.
The WHC was so clear in its statements about not building in the PMA that Clauzel and Jn.Pierre’s proclamations and denials were all just confirmations that the government wants money more than it wants the most valuable land in the Eastern Caribbean to remain that way. Even the St Lucia National Trust stayed quiet, just like they did when Le Paradis first took over Fregate Island and started down the road to disaster.
The bulldozers moved in.
When the blogger called FriendsofUNESCO started attacking the hostile developments that are destroying the World Heritage Site in February 2013, the people who loved money most decided to do something final.
The Secret Satans in Soufriere sent three masked men to the home of the blogger, threatening a guest, who owns land near Jalousie, with death. Locking the blogger in the bathroom, they stole all the electronic communications devices and accessories they found.
They spent the next weeks and months hacking Friends’ accounts.
Then they ordered the hit.
|Something sinister is stalking Soufriere...|
Friends had been trying to protect Soufriere’s small landowners from government seizure of private property. The government was hoping to make these lands available to Freedom Bay. Which government? The last Flambeau government. Not that the current Labour government is any different, in any way. Mem bet, mem pwel.
Friends was part of a small band of conscious soldiers who were dedicated to protecting the World Heritage Site. Some of them initiated a 10-year legal battle to protect Zion Henry from family members who even forged documents because they wanted to sell the land so bad.
That case went all the way to the Privy Council. Zion Henry won half of the land contested, with the rest of the ‘family’ lusting over the other four. I wrote about their victory in the February 25, 2010 issue of The STAR Newspaper
For some reason, you can find every story in the STAR archive on the website except this one. Lucky for us, you can the full text of the story here:
Whoever took down the STAR’s page about Zion, whether they are at the STAR or not, I hope it was lucrative for them. I hope they didn’t sell out cheap.
Friends also repeated warnings from UNESCO’s World Heritage Commission to stop all developments in the Piton Management Area or be listed as a site in danger. In spite of the repeated warnings, Freedom Bay was encouraged by the new Labour government to start construction in 2012.
Like we said: Mem bet, mem pwel.
In February 2013, Friends unleashed the blog.
By the time The FLOGG was in full swing after the first HOT COUTURE, FriendsofUNESCO had disappeared from the face of the island.
No blog. No blogger. No nothing.
The FLOGG was not even aware the blog existed until the investigation into Ollie Gobat’s death began
Whether it is directly related or not, the research into Ollie’s murder led directly to the Mystery of the Disappearing Blogger.
So now, there is only one thing that must be done.
I must go to the one man who keeps the old Malgretoute open to the St Lucian public. The one thing that stands between the World Heritage site becoming a private enclave. I have to go through Freedom Bay to get to him. The banks won’t tell him, but he already knows that he is the richest man in St Lucia. He was born in the shadow of the Pitons and lived his entire life there. He is a master of agriculture and a doctor of forests. He is one of the last keepers of the Negmarron flame.
His family is Henry. The baptismal priest named him Calixtus. But his real Negmarron name, his chosen name, is Zion.
No one answers the phone when I call.
Damian Marley sings my instructions into my ear.
“Got to keep it moving on The Road to Zion, yeah…”
I pack my bags for Soufriere.
Next: THE ROAD TO ZION