The Gatekeeper Files: New Zealand’s Traveling Circus Act

It’s been exactly one month since police officer Derek Chauvin murdered George Floyd on the streets of Minneapolis using an Israeli-style chokehold for almost nine agonizing minutes while his fellow officers silently looked on. Floyd’s brutal death set off a wave of protests across the globe against racism and law enforcement, the manpower behind the ruling class’ capitalist interests, responded by viciously beating, gassing, and shooting peaceful protestors including children and the elderly with so-called “non-lethal bullets.”

Journalists were also targeted and video recordings of menacing cops clad in military gear while attacking them with teargas and rubber-covered bullets despite identifying themselves as members of the press are far too numerous to count. Freelance journalist Linda Tirado is now permanently blind in one eye after being shot by a Minneapolis police officer while covering the protests. But for anyone that’s been paying attention, this grotesque display of violence and terrorism against the media has been a long time in the making, the so-called writing on the wall. In the words of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, “We warned you.”

In 2010, Assange published a stunning cache of documents exposing U.S. war crimes, torture, and behind-the-scenes machinations of the U.S. State Department. In short, he exposed the crimes and dirty secrets of the Establishment long hidden and safeguarded by law enforcement and a standing army. The very system and capitalist interests you’re fighting against today is what Assange exposed for over a decade. And yet, for ten years the injustice that he’s endured at the hands of multiple governments has been sneered at or largely ignored.


Those in power have tortured, smeared, and threatened the Australian journalist. He’s been arbitrarily detained and illegally spied on by the CIA. The judge in his extradition case has made inexplicable decisions that go beyond disbelief during which time the system continues to hold him in solitary confinement within a maximum security prison just outside London—a million miles away from his fiancée and children. And the media, the one institution that should have protected him, have been complicit every step of the way. Now they’re getting beat up on the streets of America.

And like the media or the Trump supporters who continue to support a vicious police force, members of the advocacy movement to free Assange have been just as complicit in championing anti-working class villains or rather the very criminals who have had their knee on Assange’s neck for over a decade. When he was arrested after his asylum was illegally revoked by Ecuador he told the world, “The UK must resist this attempt by the Trump administration,” and yet even his most prominent and ardent supporters did the exact opposite.

A year before his arrest, Ecuador cut all of Assange’s communications at the embassy and the event became a catalyst for a movement called “Unity4J,” which was founded by multi-convicted criminal Kim Dotcom; journalist Elizabeth Lea Vos; and activist and journalist, Suzie Dawson. From the start, the Unity4J movement became a haven for fascism, grifting, and Trump supporters like Cassandra Fairbanks, Jack Posobiec, and Ross Cameron.

And like the dictatorship that both the Trump administration and the Minneapolis police dream about, no one in the last two years has been allowed to openly critique the movement or question it’s co-founder Ms. Dawson without being subjected to threats, attacks, outlandish smears, lawfare, or the two most common accusations you’ll hear in the WikiLeaks support community: You’re working for the British Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group (JTRIG) or David Brock from Media Matters. Some might argue that Dawson and her associates have played a central role in trying to silence and deflect criticism and dissent within the Assange support community.

Suzie Dawson

On September 17, 2011, hundreds of people descended on Zuccotti Park in New York City’s Wall Street district in protest of corporate greed and social and financial inequality.  As the movement known as Occupy Wall Street gathered steam over the ensuing weeks the anti-capitalist cries of the 99% swept across America from Boston to Los Angeles, north into Canada, south into Mexico, and across the Atlantic into Europe.

By October, the movement had reached New Zealand and it was Suzie Dawson who unexpectedly showed up at Occupy Auckland’s media headquarters with computer paraphernalia in hand and a desire to participate in the movement’s operations. According to at least one account, she quickly became a central part of the media team, even opening her home to fellow activists while having no previous experience in media, journalism, or activism.

Little to nothing is known about the New Zealand activist and politician prior to the Occupy movement except that in late 2006, she co-founded two companies with a member of the New Zealand military including IT Associates Limited which Dawson described as a “highly successful software development contracting agency” whose clients included Telcos and unnamed financial institutions.  

Dawson also lived in the United States at some point and if the Bush/Kerry election is any indication as to when that was, it was almost sixteen years ago. Although, it’s unclear in the second tweet below if she returned sometime in 2012.  

Occupy Auckland

Less than a month after the Occupy movement exploded on the streets of New York, the first signs of protest in New Zealand began to take shape. On September 29, 2011, an “Occupy Auckland” Facebook page was created and the website, OccupyAuckland.org, was registered the following day to accompany it. By the second week of October, activists had already held their first General Assembly where they discussed things like the need for a media center and their first course of action: A march through Auckland after which protestors would occupy the space at Aotea Square for the next foreseeable months.

On October 15, 2011, protests were held in New Plymouth, Wellington, Christchurch, and Dunedin and according to scoop.co.nz, over 2,000 protestors marched into Aotea Square, eighty of which “set up a dozen tents for the night.” The event officially marked the start of New Zealand’s Occupy movement and according to Dawson who described herself as “a young mother and I.T. professional who accidentally became an activist in October 2011 by supporting Occupy Auckland”:

“In 2011 I barely knew what an activist was, but when the Occupy movement started, I couldn’t help but get on board. I could see that people around the world had actually found a way to take a stand for themselves and for their communities and I got on board. My understanding of activism in New Zealand was based on what we were told by human rights lawyers at the very first march on October 15th, 2011.”

During a recent fundraiser for herself, Dawson added that she actually joined the “Occupy NZ group” as early as September 2011—at least two weeks before the initial march—but Google and Twitter searches for the terms “Occupy NZ,” “Occupy New Zealand,” or “Occupy Auckland” return zero results for that entire month. According to Dawson’s close associate who uses the online handle “Redstar,” she bebopped into Occupy Auckland’s media center a few days after it had been set up:

“The team which we assembled was up to about 24 people who were all committed to the cause and Suzie was no different. Suzie, I remember she came rocking into our media centre on the 2nd or 3rd day that we had set it up, we were running on the smell of an oily rag literally. She came in bearing gifts of computer paraphernalia and from that point on she was a very, very, very central member of our team.”

So when was that exactly? Auckland Occupy’s General Assembly minutes reflect that there was no media centre before October 8, 2011, but someone had obviously set up the website and Facebook page in late September. Interestingly enough, Dawson created a Twitter account she used as a platform for Occupy (@endarken) on September 29th, the same day the Occupy Auckland Facebook page was created.

She also created a blog (Occupy Savvy) a few days later or possibly on the same day based on the site’s first post which was dated October 3rd. Additionally, Redstar also created a Twitter account (@OANZMedia) on September 30th which later served as a media platform for Occupy. Was it just happenstance or “accidental” that between the two of them they created at least three social media accounts very early on in the movement, one of which Dawson created before anything Occupy-related in New Zealand hit the internet?

And here’s the thing, Dawson didn’t even tweet from the account until October 25th nor did Redstar’s @OANZMedia account about anything Occupy-related until March 2012, unless they deleted their tweets or changed their handles. In fact, in March 2012, Redstar’s @OANZMedia tweeted, “New Twitter Please RT…” despite the fact that the account was created six months prior.

Perhaps even more strange is the fact that at the end of October, Dawson wrote on her blog:

“Occupy Auckland New Zealand To Be Established!!! My prayers have been answered. Watching OWS unfolding online, in my head I have been chanting ‘Occupy Auckland, Occupy Auckland’ & now it is finally to become a reality. Yay!!!!!!!!”

Um. So despite the fact that everyone pretty much agrees that the Occupy Auckland/Occupy New Zealand officially became a movement when the first march took place on October 15th, apparently Dawson didn’t agree. In her post she linked to an “Occupy New Zealand” Facebook page, another account that was created mere days after the original Occupy Auckland FB page. It appears to be linked to Dawson through two Twitter accounts, @OccupyNZD and @OccupyNZ, the latter of which she controls or at least had access to:  


As of today, both Facebook pages are now managed by administrators from the exact same countries: New Zealand, Australia, and Russia.

So just to summarize what happened: Dawson opened an Occupy Twitter account on the same day that the official Occupy Auckland Facebook page was created and a day before the occupyauckland.org website was registered which, for the record, was recognized in the General Assembly’s minutes as the movement’s official website. According to this same website Dawson was never listed as part of the Occupy media team. Even as late as February 2012—if ever.

Then, a second Facebook page linked to Dawson (Occupy New Zealand) appeared only a few days after the original Auckland one. Three weeks later, she published a post about how the movement didn’t start until late October despite the fact that that’s literally not true while linking to the Facebook page she appears to be associated with, not the original Occupy Auckland Facebook page. It’s around this time she started using her Occupy Twitter account. In the words of one New Zealander:

“On a side note, this sounds curiously like her takeover of Internet Party New Zealand.”

Indeed. It’s still unclear when exactly Dawson showed up at Redstar’s “media centre,” especially in lieu of the fact she once wrote “When we started the media team…” In fact, it doesn’t appear that Dawson was an “accidental activist” at all and she prepped her involvement well in advance. It also appears that she and others may have hijacked the movement at some point while going to great lengths to make it appear that wasn’t the case.

However, it should also be noted that it would be unreasonable to believe that Dawson was one of the original activists that started Occupy Auckland based on Redstar’s comments and the fact that she thrives on advertising her own accomplishments. Why would she hide it?

Dawson Cries Targeted Harassment

Early on in the movement Dawson applauded the Auckland police but by January 2012, things took a turn for the worst. She reported that her home was broken into, activists were being targeted by the very system they were protesting, their tires were slashed, and occupiers were being evicted and/or arrested. At the same time that protestors were facing backlash from the city, Dawson was trying to curb a wave of criticism directed towards her by fellow activists. According to Penny Bright, a now-deceased Occupy Auckland protestor who was listed as part of the media team on the OccupyAuckland.org website unlike Dawson:

“If people [like Dawson] come from nowhere, with no proven track record in the ‘protest’ / ‘activist’ movement, and make a beeline for controlling the message, or means of getting the message out – act in ways which cause dissension or conflict within the group, spread misinformation / disinformation about people, without facts and evidence to back it up – BEWARE!!…Being involved in ‘media’ gives such people the ability to mix and mingle and take photos from inside the ranks of the ‘protest movement.’”

So at least eight years ago activists were concerned about Dawson and her behavior which inexplicably included accusing someone of harassing her children after they called her home and asked her daughter if they could speak to her. Even more bizarre is the fact that after her address was posted on Facebook she took to her own website stating:

“Due to it being New Years the post remained on the page for nearly a full day before being discovered. At the time it was extremely upsetting, mostly for the violations upon the sanctity of my children’s lives and home and my obvious vulnerability as a solo mum.”

She then posted a screenshot of the dox in its entirety on her own website despite her alleged fears as a single mother. Incredulously, she also uploaded a self-written snitch complaint form for activists to fill out for her to use against Penny Bright in court because everyone else is the aggressor, never Dawson. 

Meanwhile, as she was combating a growing sense of distrust within the community, she claims that authorities and even intelligence agencies, both foreign and domestic, were targeting her and her family. At the time, she was allegedly a software development manager earning up to NZD $120 an hour building print portals for a New Zealand university.

“According to a November 13, 2016 interview, [Dawson] was ‘aggressively targeted’ for her work and several attempts were made to kill her and her children. Additionally, in an effort to break up the Occupy movement, the government forced her to sell her New Zealand home but not before they poked holes in her ceilings, sewed ‘things’ into the seams of her clothes, stole her cellphones, and set up cameras throughout the house.”

“She’s received death threats over the course of the last seven years, faced banking blockades, and was targeted by former hacker-turned-FBI snitch Sabu after he pursued a sexual relationship with her online. At one point, Dawson concluded that the New Zealand government must have used PRISM, an NSA program first exposed by Edward Snowden, to illegally spy on her.”

Unfortunately at no point has Dawson ever proven these allegations. Rather, she’s admitted that she doesn’t know for sure if any government agency specifically targeted her. Furthermore, to give you an idea of how little traction Dawson had at the time, her Twitter account used for Occupy Auckland only had 1,718 followers in 2014. And that’s not because she lost followers over time. During the height of the protests in 2011, she only had 212 followers.

In the opinion of this investigation, in no way do these numbers indicate that she was a well-known activist and citizen journalist that the NSA or any other intelligence agency would have been profoundly interested in. As we follow this story, also keep in mind that her personal Twitter account (@suzi3d) only had 105 followers by 2015.

Kim Dotcom

Shortly after the start of Occupy Auckland, things weren’t looking up for Unity4J co-founder Kim Dotcom either. In early March 2010, the FBI had opened an investigation into his file sharing company Megaupload and by the end of 2011, New Zealand’s Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) decided it would be a great idea to illegally spy on him on behalf of a U.S. intelligence agency. The United States filed an indictment against him and six of his associates on copyright infringement charges during the first week of January 2012, and less than two weeks later his $30 million mansion was raided. From wired.com:

“Police enlisted the assistance of the SWAT-style Special Tactics Group (STG) and Armed Offenders Squad (AOS) for an armed, helicopter-borne assault on the Dotcom mansion at 0700 hours on Jan. 20 this year, New Zealand time.”

“Further evidence of overeager and illegal police work emerged Thursday in New Zealand as Inspector General of Security and Intelligence Paul Neazor released a report on the illegal bugging of Kim Dotcom and Megaupload programmer Bram van der Kolk. Two GCSB officers were present at a police station nearby Dotcom’s mansion as the raid took place.”

All of this over copyright charges. In 2013, Dotcom resigned from the board of Megaupload while his wife at the time retained shares through a family trust. Bonnie Lam, a former Megaupload spokesperson based in Hong Kong took over the company and it became a “revolving door of Hong Kong investors and board members…some pouring millions in the company.”

In March 2014, Dotcom tried to list the company on the NZX through a shell company owned by Paul Choiselat, an Australian who once faced charges for “concealing his interests in listed companies and alleged market manipulation.” He was later found unfit to stand trial. Meanwhile, Dotcom was unsuccessful and gave up a year later.

He went on to create and bankroll five million dollars into the New Zealand Internet Party and by the summer of 2014 a concerted PR effort began when Dotcom opened the doors to his mansion to his social media followers at an event called #SwimWithKim. Suzie Dawson not only attended, she was able to land an interview with the file sharing mogul. She then went on to attend other events such as the 2014 Moment of Truth hosted by Dotcom which included heavy hitters like Julian Assange, Edward Snowden, and Glenn Greenwald. But by the end of the year, Dawson was allegedly being so heavily targeted that she was forced to flee the country:

“I think one of the reasons that I was aggressively targeted…my house became a place of refuge for occupiers and for our media team members…it used to be my home that people would come to when they had nowhere else…I think that there was a very clear agenda to make me have to sell my house, make me lose my house, because then that would deny us a place of sanctuary.“

They were…in my house, car, inside my house, outside my house, everything I was saying was being heard, I was being watched at all times. I had the interior ceiling of my house painted and then little holes would appear in my ceiling, just randomly…”

“[T]hey tried to drive me and my children off a cliff at night in Northland in a place called Dome Valley.”

And so after Dawson was told “openly that if I didn’t leave the country that I was dead,” by unknown, undocumented individuals under unknown, undocumented circumstances, she sold her house and headed to Berlin. She would eventually reunite with Dotcom on future campaigns.

Dawson Flees in Fear, Travels the World Instead

Although Dawson appears to have made quite a bit of money over the last four or five years under the guise that she was forced to leave New Zealand and eventually seek asylum in a foreign country, that explanation may not be entirely true. On January 9, 2015, rather than tweeting to her followers that she was fleeing for her life from rogue agents determined to murder her family, Dawson mused about how a “vacation was long overdue” and that she was planning on having a “spiritual experience.” Ten days later she was enjoying a week-long holiday in Hong Kong. 

She also spent six weeks in Malaysia enjoying an “amazing condominium towers with every mod-con known to mankind…marble floors, balcony and a big-screen TV.” And despite being concerned about her safety apparently never while on holiday, Dawson published at least one blog post about her stay in Hong Kong (when according to her she had decided to “travel the world and write about her experiences”) because if the intelligence agencies can’t find you at least give them an inkling of where you’ve been. It’s unknown where she spent the remaining five weeks of her vacation.

By 2015, the targeting of Suzie became so severe that she made the very difficult decision to leave her home country of New Zealand with her two young children. She received a normal temporary residency in Berlin, Germany and continued with her work.”
— Taylor Hudak (@_TaylorHudack), spokesperson for Dawson’s latest personal fundraiser #1vs5i, 2020

Suzie left New Zealand in January 2015 to live in exile in Berlin…”
— Impolitikal, 2017

“[Snowden] helped me escape from New Zealand and has been my rock ever since…suggested I follow in the footsteps of others who had faced extreme targeting, and go to Berlin.”
Dawson on whistleblower Edward Snowden and apparent travel agent, 2019

So, at the end of 2014 after there had been several overt attempts on my life…there was constant death threats against me and I was told openly that if I didn’t leave the country that I was dead. So I sold my house and everything and I left New Zealand and I went to Berlin in Germany.”
Suzie Dawson, November 2016

The longstanding narrative that Dawson and her associates have tried to portray–that she fled New Zealand and headed to Berlin–is absolutely, patently, and painfully not true. She did not immediately move to Europe and more importantly, she didn’t tell her donors or supporters that for years until researchers online pointed it out last year. As you can see from Taylor Hudak’s comments above, even now that part of the story continues to be whitewashed.

But what may be the worst part of it is that before heading to Berlin, she may have actually returned to what can only be described as a maniacal death trap for Ms. Dawson: New Zealand. On April 20, 2015, Dawson tweeted to another Twitter account, “Yes hon I’m back :)” which begs the question of where exactly “back” meant? 

It doesn’t appear that she made it to Berlin until approximately the second week of May so did she actually return to the very country she literally told everyone for years she fled because agents were terrorizing and threatening her? This investigation is in no way confirming that this is indeed what Dawson decided to do. We’re asking the question if that happened.

Berlin and #JA4ME

After finally arriving in Berlin, the jet-setting activist appeared to be enjoying herself by attending crypto-parties, covering the TTIP protests, and giving a “self-organized” talk about being a targeted individual at the infamous Computer Chaos Club (CCC). To be clear, the CCC did not invite her to speak at a CCC-hosted event. She basically just requested a room for herself and hosted the talk herself. It’s unknown how many people if any attended the session.

After covering the TTIP protests in October 2015, Dawson was still in Berlin by mid-December but once again she became distraught over her safety and left Germany sometime after posting the tweet below. The “surveillance and sabotage and harassment and many nasty things I was experiencing in New Zealand just followed me across the world,” Dawson told RNZ Radio, so she left after spending only eight months in Berlin.  

Perhaps in an effort to disguise her location, it’s unknown where Dawson was living from January through September 2016. What we do know is that in March she decided to start a movement called #JA4Me in an effort to end the detention of Julian Assange. She created a website, promoted the hashtag, and shockingly was able to bring on board some well-known pro-Assange supporters like @BellaMagnani, Emmy Butlin (@GreekEmmy), and hacktivist Ray Johansen despite the fact that no one seemed terribly familiar with her.

Leaked Twitter DMs days after the campaign started clearly show that WikiLeaks was overly cautious about Dawson which stemmed from the fact that she believed then-President Barack Obama had actually lifted something Dawson had said during an interview the day before. Not only did activists not question the absurdity of these statements, some of them like Butlin liked the tweets. 

 Like we reported, at no point did Dawson’s imagination raise a bunting of red flags or bother anyone besides the person behind the WikiLeaks keyboard. Nor did her later claims that she was almost kidnapped by “contractors” in Kazakhstan because of her involvement in the campaign.  


She also said that GPS monitoring devices manufactured by Hama had been sewn into her clothes and hidden inside her luggage while in Kazakhstan but the picture she posted is actually of an anti-theft security tag manufactured by the company Sensormatic and used to prevent shoplifting. The only thing that seems to have happened here is that Dawson may or may not have lifted some apparel while out shopping one day.   

We reached out to hacktivist Ray Johansen about Dawson’s incredulous statements and why they didn’t raise any red flags. He stated that he wasn’t even aware of Dawson’s claims due to the fact he was working long hours on other activism projects. Additionally, he was not privy to WikiLeaks’ concerns about Dawson that were shared in private DMs unlike Emmy Butlin and others who at no point sounded the alarm.

The Traveling Circus Act

During the campaign Dawson also tweeted that she “would have asylum already if she was from a 3rd world country,” indicating to her new #JA4Me audience that Berlin was no longer working out (although it appears she had left the country three months prior). Perhaps she was prepping them for what was coming down the pipeline: Asylum in Russia. 

At the time of the tweet she was enjoying that whacky vacation in Kazakhstan after which she traveled 2,000 miles to Belarus. On loomio.org she wrote, “been to Belarus several times and stayed with locals,” and after spending four agonizing years being terrorized and followed around the world by contractors and intelligence agents, she naturally posted pictures of her location on Twitter during her trip.

Two weeks later Dawson again posted a picture of herself in some undisclosed Eastern city that anyone on 4chan could probably track down in 48 seconds or less. Then, on May 16, 2016, while still traveling the globe she wrote that it took “months to adjust to European attitudes towards women. Completely different. Huge relief. Vastly more respectful. Chivalry reigns here.” The following day she added, “I love the Northern Hemisphere but I will never, ever get used to daylight at 3am.” When it comes to countries in the Northern Hemisphere that enjoy the Midnight Sun think Iceland, Sweden, Finland, Norway, and St. Petersburg, Russia.

It was shortly after her spring travels that Dawson started to complain in interviews about money being tight while failing to mention that she had been traveling around the world from New Zealand, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Berlin, maybe back to New Zealand, Kazakhstan, Belarus, and other unknown destinations for almost two years. From an interview in 2016:

“I then sold my house and everything I owned, and moved to Berlin. In the 15 months since, we have had to live off those funds…”

Almost six months after her trip to Kazakhstan, she also started asking people on the internet for money, claiming that she urgently needed a hero who was willing “to help keep a roof over our heads, food in our stomachs, help with legal and education fees.”

What?

The problem isn’t that Dawson took a lengthy vacation in 2015, or that she spent months traveling throughout Central Europe and elsewhere during the first half of 2016. The issue is that she spent years telling the public that she fled to Berlin because of targeting—she didn’t—and that she needed someone to give her money while simultaneously failing to mention that she might have spent it all on holiday. In her own video entitled, “Diary of a Person of Interest,” she stated:

“Kiwi journalist and activist Suzie Dawson has been extensively targeted by Western intelligence agencies and their contractors. In the wake of several overt attempts on her life, she had to leave her home in New Zealand to live in exile in Europe“

This investigation is not trying to downplay Dawson’s work or activism. We’re simply pointing out that like Seinfeld’s George Constanza who spent more energy lying in order to collect unemployment checks, Dawson seems to spend an exorbitant amount of time telling tall tales in order to scare people and convince them to give her money rather than getting a side job to supplement the income she receives from activism.

Next up: Russia, Russia, Russia

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