After Ecuador President Lenin Moreno cut off Julian Assange’s communications on March 27, 2018, Assange’s supporters took to the internet to express their shock and outrage. Early the next day, an account linked to WikiLeaks, @BellaMagnani, responded to the situation on Twitter using the new hashtag #ReconnectJulian which was then used fifteen minutes later by Kim Dotcom and S, two Unity4J co-founders, to promote their live Assange-support Youtube show which was broadcast later that day.
The #ReconnectJulian campaign, which appears to have been put together by whoever is behind the @BellaMagnani account, Kim Dotcom, Elizabeth Lea Vos, S, and others, continued until the end of May 2018 (sort of), until the individuals behind it changed the name to “Unity4J.”
In the meantime, Assange’s Twitter account appeared to lay dormant until April 22, 2018, when it was announced that his “campaign” had taken control of it. His bio information remained the same but a lot of people seem to forget that there was no “legal campaign” or “legal” anything mentioned on the account when this first happened. Rather, whoever had gained access to it simply posted a tweet that day which included the hashtag #ReconnectJulian, leading news outlets to report that the #ReconnectJulian campaign had taken it over.
This, of course, meant that someone in the @ReconnectJulian campaign was given access to all of Assange’s direct messages and at no point has anyone seemed terribly concerned about this. Meanwhile, everyone should probably be very concerned about who not only obtained that information but was given the power to tweet under Assange’s name.
After this “campaign” started tweeting from Assange’s account, confused Twitter users believed that President Moreno had reconnected Assange’s internet connection which couldn’t have been further from the truth. Additionally, Moreno’s government had issued a statement at the time of disconnection explaining that Assange’s communications had been (illegally) cut because of his tweets about Catalonia’s independence. What apparently no one seemed to have thought about was that Ecuador may have very well assumed Assange was back online, as well.
Regardless of whether or not Moreno’s decision had anything to do with Catalonia, this tweet, or U.S. pressure, the reactivation of Assange’s Twitter account by undisclosed individuals risked the chance that Ecuador would think that Assange had somehow gained internet access illegally or at least publicly argue that he had. It’s unclear what anyone had hoped to gain by hijacking his Twitter account rather than opening up a new support account except that maybe this was one way of giving Ecuador a big middle finger. Who knows.
Eleven days after the account was taken over, on May 3, 2018, someone added to the account’s bio that it was being run by Assange’s “legal campaign,” and to this day I have no idea what that actually means, do you? Is there a licensed attorney behind the account? I asked this question on Twitter previously but the account has refused to acknowledge the question.
The handle of the account, @julianassange, remained the same during this time period although the name changed on May 18th to “Julian Assange (tweets by #FreeAssange campaign)” because apparently whoever was running it lost interest in reconnecting Assange’s voice to the world.
Then, on May 30, 2018, the account name changed again and they simply erased Assange’s full name altogether and wrote, “#FreeAssange! (tweets by campaign) because nothing says, “I’m definitely not trying to sabotage Assange,” like taking over a political asylee’s Twitter account and slowly erasing his existence from it.
Not surprisingly, the very next day Elizabeth Lea Vos announced the kickoff to Unity4J via Disobedient Media and the day after Unity’s first Youtube show on June 2, 2018, Assange’s Twitter account changed again. This time his profile picture was removed from the account just as his full name had been previously. At this point, if anything screamed that the individual controlling the account thought that Assange wasn’t going to be coming back anytime soon to reclaim it, it was this.
By October 2018, I had already posted multiple tweets questioning what was going on with the account especially in lieu of the fact that whoever was maintaining it was pushing Unity4J ad nauseam which was busy promoting, among other things, Trump supporters. This was all happening, of course, while Assange was gagged and allegedly not in contact with WikiLeaks.
I had also been questioning S’s background and why she was constantly begging for bitcoin from her followers because of some sketchy story she was peddling about her asylum in Russia. More importantly, she was using Assange’s situation to fatten her bitcoin wallet.
It was during this time period in October that whoever was controlling Assange’s Twitter account reached out to me demanding to know, “What’s your beef with Suzi?,” and yes, that’s a quote. Even better, they described themselves as “a member of Mr. Assange’s legal team.”
Obviously I don’t know who in fact contacted me but what I do know is that it’s probably not a good look for someone on Assange’s legal team to be throwing their weight around to intimidate and silence a supporter—especially if the person behind Assange’s Twitter account is a licensed attorney. If that’s not shady AF, I don’t know what is. The real question is if Assange’s actual attorneys such as Mark Summers or Assange know that this person has been contacting supporters in such a manner? Wherever this individual is located, does their law licensing board allow such behavior?
They contacted me again earlier this year and going back to what I wrote in the first part of this series—I have followed (quite extensively, might I add) a few criminal cases in the past such as the Boston bombings, and I have never seen this level of shadiness in a support community.
Let me simplify this for everyone. I cannot fathom a member from, say, Jahar Tsarnaev’s legal team contacting me for the sole purpose of getting in my face and trying to silence me over questioning another supporter’s alleged fraudulent activity. The fact that it happened in the Assange case, if the individual’s claims are true that they are part of Assange’s legal team, is so bizarre, it’s possibly one of the most preposterous things I could imagine happening. And yet…it happened.
Even better, if S, one of the co-founders of Unity4J was indeed involved in fraudulent activity and the person behind Assange’s Twitter account was aware and a licensed attorney who promoted her and tried to pressure people into joining Unity4J, what exactly does that say about Julian Assange’s gatekeepers?
On the last day of October, six months after the account first announced that it had been taken over by Assange’s “campaign,” WikiLeaks announced that it had actually been taken over a day after Assange’s communications had been cut (March 28, 2018) by the “free Julian Assange legal campaign,” so there’s that bit of news that everyone probably forgot.
WikiLeaks also noted that the account’s handle had been changed to @AssangeDefense, officially scrubbing every bit of information Assange had added to his personal Twitter account previously.
So by the end of last year, Assange had stepped down as editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks, his own Twitter account was scrubbed, he allegedly wasn’t in contact with WikiLeaks anymore, and WikiLeaks-related Twitter accounts including the newly named @AssangeDefense (which has since changed again to @DefendAssange), continued to push the hashtag #Unity4J, which eliminated Assange’s name entirely.
@DefendAssange and Unity4J
On April 26, 2019, a public meeting was held in London by a group called “The Julian Assange Defence Committee,” which appears to be headed up by @GreekEmmy, a longtime WikiLeaks gatekeeper who led group vigils that showed support and solidarity for Assange outside the embassy for years while he was still there.
Like other members of Unity4J, @GreekEmmy has promoted far-right figures and Trump supporters in her Twitter feed like Lee Stranahan and Cassandra Fairbanks—online social media figures who appear to use political prisoners like Julian Assange to bolster their own popularity, GoFundMe/Patreon account balances, and their Twitter following. As for the committee meeting, Charlotte Gracias who may or may not be the newest face of Unity4J, tweeted afterwards:
“@DefendAssange account and Unity4J all combined to share info and organise events. There will shortly be one website / FB page with all the info in one place.”
So what we have here, taking into account the WikiLeaks insider’s communications that I reported on in part one of this story, is another WikiLeaks insider, the person controlling the @DefendAssange account who gained access to all of Assange’s personal communications, sharing god only knows what kind of information with Unity4J, an organization that gives fascist Trump supporters a platform and was founded by a multi-convicted criminal who is trying to avoid U.S. extradition, a woman who appears to be defrauding her followers, and a journalist who works for Pizzagate truther.
How none of this is concerning to anyone who actually cares about Julian Assange’s wellbeing and safety is beyond me. If this was Joe Biden’s campaign team, everyone would be nailing him on this stuff but because people have turned into such zombies when it comes to Assange, everyone seems to forget just how many times he’s been stabbed in the back by the people he trusted.
Cassandra Fairbanks, who I mentioned in part one of this series as being allegedly involved in a social media operation to directly influence Assange’s situation at Belmarsh per a WikiLeaks insider, is a journalist and activist whose circle is filled with alt-right racists and guys like Proud Boys’ favorite, Roger Stone. She’s been accused of being a government snitch—or at least hanging out with one—and she’s an avid supporter of Donald Trump despite the fact that he said he wanted WikiLeaks’ entire staff executed back in 2010, and is currently working on having Assange extradited to the United States.
However, Fairbanks wasn’t always a Trump groupie. Below are some of her tweets before the 2016 election:
“Fuhrer Trump” – December 8, 2015
“well i mean, trump is inhuman. There are limits.” – December 6, 2015
“Oh my god. Trump fans are so fucking scary, also amusing.” – January 12, 2016
“if trump wins I’ll be looking for a foreign man to marry me for citizenship somewhere else” – January 12, 2016
“Under educated tend to be voting for trump” – March 8, 2016
“Trump’s campaign rallies have been literal assaults on press and speech. Time for people to end that.” – March 11, 2016
“I fucking loathe trump supporters.” – March 15, 2016
Despite her rabid disgust of Trump and his supporters, Fairbanks changed her tune over the course of time and started tweeting that she was going to vote for Trump to spite Hillary Clinton supporters and that she liked a lot of his political positions. By the start of the 2016 summer, she had already started sheepdogging her followers into voting for Trump with tweets like, “yeah, same, I was just saying that those of us who will vote trump definitely do exist,” “you would be surprised how many of my Berner friends are secretly planning to vote trump,” “If I was anti trump…but, I’m not,” and “I had been leaning trump for awhile.”
Maybe Fairbanks was one of those Assange supporters who believed that if there was a chance in hell of a U.S. president pardoning Assange, it would Trump. However, those days are long gone and what may have been hopeful ignorance on Fairbanks’ part despite the fact that her flip-flopping looked more like a strategized defection, has turned into full-blown support for the man she once called “Führer.” In fact, twenty-hours after Assange was arrested during which time he yelled, “Resist this attempt by the Trump administration,” Fairbanks was back to campaigning for Trump without missing a beat:
What’s troubling here is not just the fact that WikiLeaks, @DefendAssange, and Unity4J members have promoted this Trump groupie who is an associate of alt-right fascists, it’s the circumstances surrounding her visits to the Ecuadorian embassy in London while Assange was still imprisoned there that are also disconcerting.
Fairbanks and the Ecuadorian Government
During Assange’s confinement in the embassy in London, Fairbanks had visited him on a number of occasions but what’s interesting to note here are her visits to the embassy after President Moreno implemented strict and arbitrary protocols in October 2018, that Assange and his visitors were forced to follow or he would risk losing his political asylum.
The Ecuadorian government denied Assange visitors on more than one occasion such as when his own attorneys tried to see him in November 2018, in order to prepare for a court case but were blocked by government officials. However, Fairbanks never seemed to have an issue visiting Assange and was able to do so in January 2019, after which she published a derogatory article about Moreno’s surveillance in the embassy and the conditions under which Assange was being forced to live under.
Despite this and despite the fact that WikiLeaks and others publicized her article, President Moreno allowed her to return to the embassy in March, only for her to write another explosive and damaging article about Ecuador’s government including their ambassador to the U.K. stationed at the embassy, upon her return to the U.S.
It’s definitely something to note that while others had problems getting approved visits with Assange, Fairbanks—an alt-right figure tied to President Trump through her own network who, in turn, is tied to Russiagate paranoia, which, in turn, has been used to disparage Assange’s public image—was granted access time and time again despite Moreno knowing full well she was writing articles after each visit exposing him as a tyrannical leader.
All of this has been tied into why Assange has never gotten a message out to his supporters whether it be from the embassy or now at Belmarsh, through visitors or his attorneys–that is, according to a WikiLeaks insider. When @graffitiexpert, the same Twitter account that @BellaMagnani later called an intel agent (because WikiLeaks’ gatekeepers hate people who ask legitimate questions), tweeted, “Why are supporters being denied information and/or a message from Julian Assange?,” @BellaMagnani responded:
This account’s responses aren’t terribly surprising since I tried to address this previously with them. The point being here is that someone associated with WikiLeaks (@BellaMagnani) has stated on more than one occasion that President Moreno’s protocols not only gagged Assange by instilling the fear that any statements he made could be used to revoke his asylum, Assange’s visitors were bound by the same protocol i.e. “any message conveyed by guests could be deemed the same.”
And yet…surely you must know where I’m going with this…absolutely no one stopped Fairbanks from publishing explosive articles about President Moreno and government officials while WikiLeaks and even @BellaMagnani promoted them. If we take @BellaMagnani’s word for it, Fairbanks risked Assange’s asylum each and every time she published an article as did WikiLeaks and WikiLeaks’ insiders like @BellaMagnani and @GreekEmmy who promoted them.
And ya’ll are still wondering why Moreno kept letting her in. What you should be wondering about is why WikiLeaks, WikiLeaks-associated individuals including @DefendAssange and Unity4J pushed the entire thing.
As a side note, if we’re talking about press freedoms then yes, after Fairbanks had witnessed the conditions Assange was living under she absolutely should have published if she chose to do so and I don’t think anyone should be arguing otherwise. With that said, WikiLeaks, @DefendAssange, Unity4J, @BellaMagnani and others should concede to the fact that it was her allowance into the embassy that produced those articles that they themselves retweeted which allegedly risked his asylum, and that the excuse @BellaMagnani is trying to peddle—protocols stopped visitors from getting a message out from Assange—is absolutely absurd.
Going back to the original topic of this story—where supporters can find accurate information about what is happening with Assange and his court cases without going through fascist supporters or those who give them a platform (or worse, leaked information)—one would assume that the answer might lie with 6Hillgrove, a PR firm that was hired by unknown individuals after Assange was gagged last year at the embassy.
6Hillgrove was incorporated on January 21, 2011, by New Zealand native Richard Hillgrove and his wife, Lois Jasmine. A simple Google search shows that the pair enjoy hobnobbing with celebrities while the firm has bagged quite a few as clients over the the years.
In 2014, Richard Hillgrove was convicted of tax evasion and according to prweek.com, Joe Corre, the son of Vivienne Westwood and co-founder of lingerie company Agent Provocateur, purchased a sixty-percent stake in the PR firm the following year. However, unless the company was reopened under another name, it appears to have been dissolved in December 2016.
In 2017, Hillgrove declared bankruptcy but by July 4, 2018, he was being touted as the new PR guy behind Julian Assange. According to an interview with thedrum.com, Hillgrove said that he got the job through Assange’s long-time attorney, Jennifer Robinson, and was hired “specifically to represent his PR.”
However, according to prweek.com who wrote, “Assange has now taken on GreenWood Associates…PR services on the account will be provided by 6Hillgrove,” it appears that GreenWood Associates was the actual firm hired and Richard Hillgrove’s dissolved firm was working through them.
According to prweek.com, GreenWood Associates is headed up by Nigel Griffiths, a British Labour Party politician who served as a member of Parliament from 1987-2010 and became the Scottish coordinator of the Labour Leave campaign in 2015. In fact, Griffiths was appointed director of Go Movement Ltd in 2016, a pro-Brexit organization established on February 11, 2016.
Other officers of Go Movement Ltd. included Nigel Farage; Tom Pursglove, a British Conservative Party politician, member of Parliament, and founder of Grassroots Out who also voted in favor of mass surveillance; and Richard James Sunley Tice who is the current chairman of the Brexit Party and former co-chair of Leave.EU with Arron Banks.
Naturally this takes us to Cambridge Analytica and Tice’s ties to Steve Bannon, the Mercers, Arron Banks, and Christopher Chandler, the founder of Legatum. Go Movement Ltd. was even mentioned in a production of documents spearheaded by a FOIA request to the UK Electorial Commission which stated:
“The application states that Go Movement Ltd will work on research with ‘strategic partners’ named as Goddard Gunster, Cambridge Analytica and [redacted].”
In 2018, Gerry Gunster, the co-founder of Goddard Gunster, was interviewed on the news website Westmonster.com where he basically declared himself a Trumpian and in love with all things Donald-related. Feel free to research further on this jackassery while I head back to 6Shillgrove.
According to prweek.com, 6Hillgrove was hired to “ensure that Assange would not be extradited or otherwise taken to the US to face charges” if forced to leave the embassy despite the fact that this seems to be the job of Assange’s attorneys, not a dissolved PR firm. As to what 6Hillgrove has done for Assange up until now, well, they’ve retweeted some articles and in case you missed it, there was that whole Haka dance thing that never happened.
On April 1, 2019, the nzherald.co.nz reported that “Julian Assange’s Kiwi PR man is organising a haka outside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London to protest against the ‘modern day crucifixion’ of the WikiLeaks founder.” However, the UK’s Evening Standard also published an article (which was retweeted by WikiLeaks insiders like @GreekEmmy) that stated Hillgrove had hired HakaWorks for the event, a statement that HahaWorks vehemently denied.
The Standard corrected their article but Hillgrove who likely was the one to pass along the false information didn’t publicly comment on it. He also failed to move up the date of the Haka dance which was to be performed on June 19th of this year in front of the embassy after there were warnings by April 4th that Assange was going to be expelled from the embassy. Thus, the Haka dance never took place.
Nah, I’m kidding, it did. Three days after Assange was arrested 6Hillgrove tweeted out a video of Hillgrove performing the dance with others which was not, in any way, promoted in support of Assange’s cause.
So what exactly has Hillgrove been doing for Assange? According to 6Hillgrove’s Twitter account, it seems to indicate that they were hired as early as July 4, 2018, just thirty days after Unity4J came onto the scene but interestingly enough, the nzherald.co.nz reported that Assange himself hired Hillgrove on March 28, 2018, the day after President Moreno cut off Assange’s communications and the same day that “the campaign” took control of his Twitter account.
Since that time, Hillgrove claims that his “PR skills have greatly amplified the message that gets out there from the Julian Assange, WikiLeaks or associated social media accounts.” So does that mean that Hillgrove is directly influencing tweets that are coming from @DefendAssange, @WikiLeaks and other “associated social media accounts” like @BellaMagnani, @AssangeLegal, and Unity4J members?
Other supporters have publicly asked if Hillgrove is working directly with Unity4J but no answers have been forthcoming. It certainly wouldn’t be surprising based on Hillgrove’s comments and the fact that the firm’s Twitter account has used the hashtag on more than one occasion. What is surprising, though, is the fact that the Twitter account tagged another Twitter account (@Kaidinn) that was well-known for its rabidly anti-Assange rhetoric as well as its alleged and intense dislike of Unity4J, before it was suspended.
Just as strange is the fact that they also tagged one of Trevor Fitzgibbon’s alleged sock accounts in a different tweet as recently as February of this year.
The account @wl_guard doesn’t appear to be active anymore on Twitter but it has been used to attack whistleblower attorney Jesselyn Radack who was recently sued by Fitzgibbon, her alleged rapist. Fitzgibbon also appeared in the first Unity4J Youtube vigil held in June 2018, and I’m told that if you sign up on Unity’s Discord channel, you can find Fitzgibbon in the forums.
If Fitzgibbon is quietly working with both 6Hillgrove and Unity4J, it might explain why Unity leader, Elizabeth Lea Vos, wrote two articles promoting him while degrading more than a handful of Fitzgibbon’s alleged victims by characterizing their allegations as some sort of government conspiracy (See part one). At least three of the alleged victims filed police reports in March 2016, but no charges were brought against him.
There is so much more to the Fitzgibbon and alt-right story but there is neither time nor space to cover it in this article. Perhaps there will be a part three. In the meantime, there still remains the unanswered question as to who or where supporters should turn to for legitimate updates regarding Assange’s court cases, and his situation and wellbeing at Hellmarsh prison.
Since Assange’s imprisonment sporadic information has been put out on Twitter by @AssangeLegal, @AssangeMrs, @DefendAssange, and @CassandraRules. Assange’s attorneys, WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Kristinn Hrafnsson, and even Craig Murray have put out new information that we hadn’t heard before or was never confirmed previously.
Astoundingly, the WikiLeaks insider I mentioned in part one of this series acted flabbergasted when the recipient of their communications pointed out to them that most people didn’t even know that Assange might only have to serve half of his bail violation sentence.
“It was reported on by the UK press that he would serve approximately half the sentence. It’s completely standard in the UK.”
I previously reported that this individual is also knee-deep in Unity4J, and this response from them is the typical “fuck you” response many supporters receive from Unity members and WikiLeaks gatekeepers. Bottom line is who in their right mind thinks that everyone around the world has time to scour UK’s news outlets for tidbits about Assange or that we’re all hip to UK’s bail sentencing laws? So absurd.
So that’s at least eight different sources (not including every news outlet in the UK) we’re all supposed to be apparently checking every five minutes to find out what’s going on with Assange. Again, one of them is a far-right fascist Trump junkie, another may be a licensed attorney and part of Assange’s legal team who likes to throw their weight around to scare supporters into supporting Unity4J—which, might I add, was co-founded by a multi-convicted criminal, a woman who may be committing fraud, and a third who is working for a man whose claim to fame is the Pizzagate/Clinton/Haiti/child trafficking story which was kinda debunked.
As for the @AssangeMrs account, I’ve been told too many times by too many legitimate sources that Christine Assange does not run the account for me to take it seriously. Furthermore, that account has blocked supporters like myself because some of us refuse to drink the Unity4J koolaid which, again, is shady AF but it also means that a lot of supporters won’t receive updates about Assange if they have to go through that account.
It seems that since Assange’s communications have been cut, a small group of people have been pulling the strings when it comes to not only information getting out about Assange but the narrative surrounding him such as his alleged alt-right ties. @DefendAssange and a whole host of other accounts have promoted fascists in the name of saving Assange and if you think Unity’s non-political stance (which is bullshite) is working out for him, you probably drank the same thing that Clinton supporters and Russiagaters did.
Folks, it’s like a zombie apocalypse out there and it’s only getting worse. Perhaps there’s a legitimate reason behind WikiLeaks insiders pushing the rise of fascism and people who support the guy in the White House who wants Assange dead although I can’t imagine what it could possibly be. At the end of the day, the Assange support community needs to do better and if there are people who are sabotaging him, they should be called out for his safety and protection. In the meantime, there are some good accounts out there to follow for information outside of WikiLeaks and Assange’s attorney, Jennifer Robinson (@suigenerisjen) such as Stefania Maurizi (@SMaurizi), @AnonScan, and Naomi Colvin (@auerfeld).