Or: Some thoughts on the current Anonymous donation practices
It is a tricky thing to address the problems with many of the Anonymous donation drives. It is often impossible to know if the need is real, but it is also very difficult to prove that the need is not real. Most of the reasons to distrust Anonymous donation drives are tiring lists of "s/he tweeted this, but then said this. And that tweet/paste/post was a lie. This person told me some things that make me wonder" which nobody really has the nerve to read or even write in the first place. That's why I won't write all things down that could be relevant, only those that are easy to "prove" (differently colored text passages are links, in some cases every colored word is a single link. Hover your cursor over them to see the single link underlined). Feel free to question my points or to take them into consideration.
1. Trip to ChiSome months before the NATO event in Chicago Jackal and Emmi of @YourAnonNews started a WePay donation drive to gather money for a trip to Chicago. https://www.wepay.com/donations/55858
- They never asked for a specific amount in their description or their tweets, but suggested they'd also need the money for potential bail money right away, without even being sure if they'd get arrested. Also they failed to explain what would happen to this money in case of them not getting arrested.
"This Wepay was set up to help Jackal and Emmi of the YourAnonNews team get to the NATO Summit in Chicago! We would epically appreciate any help you can give us to cover the Summit, the inevitable protests, and the potential costs that we may incur, such as travel, food, and bail. "
- The original donation goal was set to 250.000,00$. Some might remember this (it is changed now). When confronted with the ridiculous number, JackalAnon answered that this was a typing error and WePay wouldn't allow them to correct the number. Lie #1. Because, as you can see, the donation site now "only" asks for 5000,00$. As far as I know this was changed after I complained to Jackal. And, as other WePay users assured me, changing the amount you ask for is always possible.
- Knowing that they successfully changed the amount they asked for, Emmi dared me to show "proof" that they originally asked for 250.000,00$. Since they advertised for their WePay with their influential account, many will remember that they indeed asked for 250k. Even if WePay doesn't require you at all to enter a specific amount, they asked for the highest possible amount. This could be called a joke, because the amount is ridiculously high, but that they later changed it to 5k (which is still ridiculously high but not high enough to be considered a joke) sort of ruins this explanation.
- If that is not enough lies, here is the newest, blatant lie: In fact there is no 5000$ minimum. Proof for that is for example the WePay of a young man who also asked for money for a trip to Chicago: https://www.wepay.com/donations/paul-weiskel-photo The interesting point is that he just asks for 700$. So it IS possible to ask for less than 5k. And way more realistic. Even if we take into consideration that Emmi and Jackal are two people, that still would be just 1400$. Not 5000$ and surely not 250.000$.
- But yes, they only got about 300$, because people are not dumb, not because they didn't ask for more. Jackal assured me that without this money the trip wouldn't have happened. Interesting that the first thing they bought [edited to please Emmi, even without asking her to show her proof] was a giant stock of pot for their trip. They even proudly displayed it on photos they posted on Twitter. The point is not that people were too smart to fall for their shit and they "only" got 300$, but that this couple tried to transform their Anon fame in the biggest pile of money possible. They just held their bags open and hoped for people to be blinded enough by the Anonymous hype to fill them. Else they would have set a sane limit.
- Now the highly speculative part: Did they need the money, or did they rake in money from big-hearted people who maybe even have less than those two Anon celebrities? That is hard to tell. The only hints we have here is what they themselves tell us. And what they outspokenly tell us is that they are in dire need of money. But what we read between the lines (and in the pictures they post) leaves some things to question. For example the regular (according to Jackal about weekly) purchase of drugs seems to be in their budget. Just like tattoos that cover the whole arm and shoulder. And according to Jackal they also have enough money to eat in a restaurant once a week. (When he told me this it seemed that to him this was already a sign for unacceptable poorness. I might add that I'm not poor, but that dining out once a week would be way too expensive and I rather save the money). I'm not saying they are rich. But I say that they delivered enough evidence to question their claims of "dire need".
- Before people ask others for money, they should try to raise the money on their own. Maybe by not buying their weekly pile of pot for the months in which they ran the donation drive. Maybe by not eating weekly in a restaurant in that time. Maybe also by not buying weird S/M sex-toys or weird electrical novelties for smoking pot (only $179.99 instead of $199.99! Because a whole bong collection is not enough!) or whatever they spend their money on for some time. This is how people usually raise money and save a sane amount on their bank account that will allow them to cover "unexpected" expenses like protest-trips on their own. Usually people deny themselves unnecessary luxury products instead of asking others to pay for their stuff.
RESERVED SPACESince Emmi was very upset about this post, I offered her to write a rebuttal that I will add to the end of this chapter. I also promised her to amend my post, if necessary. I will also apologize, if her rebuttal shows that I got all the things I wrote here wrong.
After being angry about my blog and then threatening me with libel lawsuits, Emmi now is angry that I obeyed her wish and changed the wording of the one sentence she was able to come up with real complaints for. Before blocking me she made this interesting statement:
So weed is her medicine? Not my position to judge. But what about JACKALS weed? Jackal was, as we all know, straight edge for quite some time. Then emotional stress and maybe peer-pressure caused him to resume smoking weed. So I ask: Is the amount of weed that Jackal smoked also in your "budget for medicine"? If you bought all of that weed from your budget money? Or did jackal smoke nothing of it? His tweets suggested something different.