What Really Happens at whatreallyhappened.com?
The role of the conspiracy theorist is not to provide answers but to raise the questions not being asked - to sniff out suspicious patterns and duplicitous sources. Casting a critical eye at mainstream media is but one necessary task, casting a critical eye at self-proclaimed independent media is another - after all, conspiracies don't conveniently end at corporate boundaries.
One independent website of note, whatreallyhappened.com, is widely referenced by conspiracy theorists the world over. Yet for a website dedicated to exposing hidden truths, there is a suspicious lack of information about those who support the enterprise. Only the editorial commentator Michael Rivero is a public identified participant, as referenced by a couple links to off-site interviews (home page, bottom left corner).
While it is true that Michael Rivero's has been published numerous times on well-established sites like Rense, the Yellow Times, and the World Net Daily, strangely his interviews were conducted by two obscure websites, GoOff! and BankIndex. This peculiar choice of "media outlets" as a promotional tool deserved a closer look.
The GoOff.com interview: GoOff! is backed by Dandelion Books, LLC, who happens to be the publisher of Michael Rivero's soon to be released hard-back, Cyber Soldiers And Silicon Patriots: The New Face Of Political Dissent ( ISBN189330230X - $18.95). GoOff! purports to tell the "...truth uncensored" - conveniently packaged as Dandelion books, advertised on-site, and available for purchase or redistribution through their affiliate program. Overseeing the entire operation is a group named PMC4, LLC.
The BankIndex interview: Conducted by J. Conti (who also writes for GoOff.com) the interview comprises of three parts, between advertisements for loans, foreclosure notices, debt consolidations, and credit cards offers endorsed by BankIndex. The site also "provides a global platform upon which the Financial Businesses of the world can showcase their product lines and services" and "for select Financial Institutions we offer a highly competitive fee structure to be included in our different promotional plans 'Showcase' arena." It just so happens that BankIndex is a division of PMC4, LLC.
So why would Michael Rivero, an avowed anti-globalist, anti-corporate champion of the truth be working for (or very closely with) a corporate operation like PMC4, LLC? Perhaps it's better to ask what is the nature of Aventura, Florida corporation's business; "From web hosting to options to mutli-faceted revenue generation strategies, PMC4, LLC offers a variety of services and solutions intended to optimize your path to profitability." Their objective is to specialize "in assisting small to medium sized businesses as well as Fortune 100 companies whose presence on the Internet is more than ancillary to their core business."
The "About Us" section reveals five key figures behind the PMC4 corporate structure: James P. Garib, founder of an Intellectual property development firm; Peter Sordjan, a technology-focused financial entrepreneur; Ruben D. Lupulescu, a former computer engineer for Hughes Electronics and DirectTV Latin America; Lawrence D. Kruguer, a seasoned marketing VP for fat-cats like American Express, SportsLine, and Alamo Rent-a-Car; and Rico M. Sogocio, attorney and former member of the United States Department of Justice.
As you might have guessed, the aforementioned Dandelion Books belongs to the family of PMC4 holdings. Presided by Carol Adler, an experienced ghostwriter specializing in Christian and family writing, conspiracies form the staple product of this publisher. Carol Adler's duties including writing reviews of her products as evidenced in this piece that appeared on Rense (Gordon Thomas's book about Chinese plans to attack the U.S. via Canada).
To bring the focus back on Michael Rivero, we find that he is "a twenty-year veteran in all aspects of TV and feature film production with an emphasis in film effects and computer animation. He is a co-founder and producer at Home Baked Music, a Hawaii-based production company." His credits include: "director of film projects for Robert Abel & Associates, where he was responsible for animation and computer graphics, and optical processing. Prior to Abel, he was employed by Hanna Barbera Productions as a computer graphics engineer and helped create various innovative strides in animation. Mr. Rivero was also on the feature film staff of Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation and through his career has assisted and been involved with feature films and television shows such as "Valley of the Dolls" (M-O-W), "Star Trek" (the motion picture), and NBC's "Amazing Stories" (series), among many others. Mr. Rivero's awards credits include gold, silver, and bronze medals from the New York International Film Festivals, two Clios in graphics, the Cable Car award at the San Francisco Film Festival, an Emmy nomination, and gold & silver Hugos"
As for his writing credentials, to prove to be less stellar. For example, Michael Rivero's challenge of Vincent Foster's suicide, as documented by Dan E. Moldea's published research, was never satisfactorily resolved:
"In a Free Republic post at 16:55:55 PST on 12/31/2000, professional conspiracy theorist and Clinton-hater Michael Rivero made a series of false and misleading claims about my honest, wholly-responsible, and well-researched 1998 book, A Washington Tragedy: How the Death of Vincent Foster Ignited a Political Firestorm. Rivero's participation in this thread was apparently provoked by an earlier defense, posted by Kevin Fornshill, the U.S. Park Police (USPP) officer who discovered Foster's body at Fort Marcy Park. In fact, Rivero's post was a response to Fornshill, who had lauded my work on the Foster case. (To read the first chapter of this book, please click "First Chapters.") . . .
. . . final note: I attempted to post this reply to Rivero's shoddy work at the Free Republic on January 3. However, when I attempted to log on, I discovered that I had been permanently banned from the site, apparently for having the audacity to go there and aggressively defend myself from time to time. (See: The Free Republic must be held accountable.)
After an exchange of e-mails, Jim Robinson, the overlord of the Free Republic, confirmed the banning to me, insisting, "I do not want trouble on the website." However, in an obvious effort to protect his legal position, Robinson then deleted the entire thread on which Rivero's irresponsible statements were made.
Nevertheless, my response stands.
More troubling was this brazen misquote caught by sharp-eyed blogger, Damian Penny:
This is long overdue, but CAMERA, a pro-Israel media watchdog, has confirmed that Ariel Sharon's "We, the Jewish people, control America" quote is a hoax.
(I sent this article to Michael Rivero, who repeats the quote 5 or 6 times a day. Let's see if he responds.)
Rivero responds! Wow. Michael Rivero actually responded to an e-mail I sent drawing his attention to the story debunking Ariel Sharon's alleged "We, the Jewish people, control America" quote. He didn't mention that story, though. Instead, he pounced upon my pointing out that the false quote was spread by a group linked to Hamas - which Rivero calls an Israeli front group. Here's the complete text of his message:
The same HAMAS that was set up and funded by Shin Bet to be Arafat's opposition, yeah, I know them.
A history lesson: there's a very tiny kernel of truth in Rivero's statement. It seems hard to believe, but at one point the Israelis did funnel money to Hamas as part of a divide-and-conquer strategy. Initially they were more opposed to Arafat than they were to the Israelis, though there seems to have been a thaw in recent years. (Arafat does allow Hamas to run schools and other services within his territory, after all.)
Needless to say, the strategy has come back to haunt the Israelis, time and time again - not unlike America's funding of the anti-Soviet mujahadeen in Afghanistan, some of whom later became the Taliban. It's a gigantic leap, however, to comclude that Hamas - which calls for the complete destruction of Israel and establishment of a strict Islamic state - is secretly a pro-Israel group whose sole mission is to give Ariel Sharon an excuse to kill Palestinians. But then again, if there's one thing we know about Michael Rivero, he has no problem with making gigantic logical leaps
Michael Rivero even went so far as to suggest that the infamously inaccurate Ariel Sharon quote was cited by Robert Fisk:
06/26/02 Robert Fisk: I wonder why Bush doesn't let Sharon run his press office "I want to tell you something very clear, don't worry about American pressure on Israel, we, the Jewish people control America, and the Americans know it."-- Ariel Sharon to Shimon Peres, October 3rd, 2001, as reported on Kol Yisrael radio.
It should come as no surprise that Michael Rivero's deliberately promoted one of the most vindictive 9/11 myths, attributed by various investigators to Al-Manar Television, "A Lebanese TV station that aims to preserve the islamic values and to enhance the civilized role of the Arab and Islamic Community. Al-Manar is the first Arab establishment to stage an effective psychological warfare against the Zionist enemy."
by: Michael Rivero
Before the dust had settled from the collapse of the World Trade Towers, Israel's foreign ministry had expressed concern for the well being of 4000 Israelis known to have worked in or near the World Trade Towers. But almost immediately, stories of such concern vanished from the media amid reports in the foreign press which claimed that Israelis who worked in or near the World Trade Towers were specifically given advanced warnings not to go to work on 9-11. One Israeli owned company, Odigo, had received a two hour advance warning of the attacks.
Israeli supporters were soon flooding the US media with denials of the story. Even when the US media's spiking of the Israeli spy ring/phone tap story proved a clear pro-Israel propaganda bias, the claim that Israelis working in the area of the WTC were preferentially absent on 9-11 was still dismissed as an internet legend.
Now, however, as the final tally of 9-11 victims is being generated, CNN's own website, which lists 9-11 victims by nationality, shows that only one Israeli, Alona Avraham, died in the 9-11 attacks and that Mr. Avraham was not in or near the WTC, but a passenger on one of the hijacked aircraft.
Because of Odigo, it is beyond question warnings were sent to Israeli owned or linked companies in the area of the WTC. Because of the almost complete absence of Israelis among the victims, it is now apparent how widespread that warning had to have been.
No retraction or correction has ever been for any of these statements. Perhaps it's due in large perhaps to Michael Rivero's conspiratorial pedigree. Long before whatreallyhappened, Michael Rivero gained national exposure for his part in the TWA Flight 800 controversy. Yet earlier still was he found himself corroborating with a secretive American military group, the Special Forces Underground. Led by Green Beret Steven Barry who claims to have commanded the secretive elite forces group since 1992, he also served as editor of the quarterly newsletter, The Resister. Typical commentary sanctioned a white supremacist agenda; "The United States military was created by white men for white men to defend a white nation. It wasn't designed as a multicultural, diverse, touchy-feely, huggy-snuggly social experiment in race relations. ... Twenty years ago, you could trust a black to do a job. Now it' s questionable."
The Purported Newsletter of the Special Forces Underground
This is the first issue to appear of a newsletter by a group calling itself the "Special Forces Underground". This group, embedded deep within the military structure of the United States, opposes the idea of a New World Order along with transfer of the soldiers to United Nations commanders. This document is as I recieved it, outside of HTML formatting changes.
Volume I, Number 1. Summer 1994.
Boxholder, P.O. Box 1403, Addison, Texas, 75001 (Price) GRATIS . . .
What We Stand For
The philosophy of The RESISTER is straightforward: strict constitutionalism, isolationism, laissez-faire capitalism, individual rights, limited government, and republicanism.
What We Oppose
The RESISTER opposes statism, liberalism, tribalism, socialism, collectivism, internationalism, democracy, altruism, pull politics, and the New World Order. . .
Questions to the Middle-Aged Mutant Ninja Animator: Michael Rivero: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Purported Newsletter of the Special Forces Underground
Volume I, Number 2. Autumn 1994. Boxholder, P.O. Box 1403, Addison, Texas, 75001 (Price) GRATIS
. . . AN OPEN LETTER TO OUR READERS
For the past two months our observers have been reporting that some readers are questioning the integrity of contributors to The RESISTER because they choose to be known by pseudonyms rather then their real names. This is a legitimate concern and it deserves to be answered at length.
First, no contributor is obliged to use a pseudonym, as anybody who has actually READ the first issue can tell you. Second, the decision to require staff members and regular contributors to use pseudonyms was an OPSEC issue, not an ethical one.
Third, there is a historical precedent we follow which, if not already familiar to you, in all likelihood never will be, and is therefore none of your business. Fourth, publishing The RESISTER is a security risk in its own right, let alone referring to in tradecraft and organization. Really, what DO they teach you guys in the Q-course these days?
The RESISTER is a response to the altruistic cannibalism which is consuming the principle of inalienable individual rights upon which this nation was founded and which have been served-up in sacrifice to the mob god of democracy, the minority god of tribalism, the nature god of environmentalism, the slave god of collectivism, and the statist god of socialism.
Do you want to know who we are? We are the individuals who conceive the ideas the cretinous mob calls "the team effort." We are the individuals whose excellence is subverted by the racist policy of "equal opportunity." We are the independent, innovative, and creative who have been enslaved to serve the "greater good." Without us you would still be prying roots out of ground with a pointed stick.
It would be a great comfort and convenience for the myriad unconstitutional federal agencies to note us, categorize us, and file us away for future "reference." We will not give them an early chance, nor will we be goaded into identifying ourselves by sneering comments about anonymous writers.
Every whim based, undefined, un-judicable law it passes; every unconstitutional gang of armed badge wielding thugs it deploys; every unconstitutional agency it creates; every incomprehensible special interest regulation it mandates; every dime extorted through taxation and redistributed to the incompetent and undeserving; every American life lost in some altruistic war, humanitarian assistance, or peacekeeping operation, demonstrates the illegitimacy of the federal government.
The federal government os not "of the people," it is the instrument of pull-peddlers. It is not "by the people," it is the toady of special interests. It is not "for the people," it is the exercise of force for the sake of force.
Pass laws against us; we will not obey. Regulate our activities; we will not comply. Legislate our behavior; we will not consent.
We are freemen. We will not be subjugated. We have the guns to prove it.
. . . Questions to the Middle-Aged Mutant Ninja Animator: Michael Rivero: email@example.com
Clearly Michael Rivero has called into question his own integrity as a purveyor of truth with suspicious connections and prejudicial innuendo. It stands to reason that Michael Rivero's intentions for whatreallyhappened is not to promote truth but a contrarian political agenda - just as militant, manipulative, and deceitful as its opposition. While no one is suggesting that he US Government is without significant problems worth investigation, what must never be taken for granted is the benevolence of self-proclaimed watchdogs.
"That's not to say that What Really Happened is the conduit to truth. But what the web site does is let people know that there are ways to find out what is going on if what one is being told by the media does not make sense.
I think that the nation is in the trouble it is in because people were conditioned to watch a talking head on the TV and believe what that talking head was saying. People need to stop relying on other people to tell them what reality is and rely on their own analytical ability to figure out what is going on"
- Michael Rivero
So true, Michael, so very, very true.
S. Boyle, December 9, 2002