To Be Attacked by a Cyber-Space Troll, installment six

By Mark Richards, 2019

In the previous installments of this report, I expressed how my family and I have found ourselves in the unenviable position of becoming targets for the Fake News pundits, some fanatic English cyber bully, and his pack of New World Order followers.  The cyber thing opened his attack with a series of interviews that offered some questionably one-sided ‘witnesses,’ attacking us with accusations and twisted truths based more on mistakes and their deliberate lies than any sort of real evidence – apparently a standard for this sort of cultural molestation by half-baked internet hacks.

In March 2019, the Englishman – whose sole claim to fame seems to be how deeply he has wallowed in the porn industry – informed the public in one of his mad, semi-literate diatribes – that he has “declared war” on my family, friends, and myself. An interesting choice of words, in this day of terrorist threats and murderous manifestos, that would seem to bring up a number of questions concerning the rights and expectations of American citizens to be protected from such attacks. And yet, when we question how it is that these rude trolls are able to carry on such attacks unencumbered by truth or the protection of the law, we are told that is all a matter of perception.

Cell biologist Bruce Lipton put forth that our perceptions control biology and that we acquire many of our perceptions indirectly without even realizing it. These perceptions dwell in the subconscious mind, prompting us to engage in limiting behaviors.

Perceptions give rise to beliefs, and beliefs are incredibly powerful. This is why it is important to be aware of exactly what we believe and really determine the perceptions that have caused us to adopt particular beliefs. Was it something that we heard our parents say repeatedly as we were growing up? Did the perceptions come from a particular teacher we admired? Are we buying into the perceptions of collective consciousness?

One way to uncover those beliefs is to look at our experiences and work backward, asking ourselves what belief caused a particular event or situation. When we have a flat tire and someone immediately stops to assist us, the belief might be that everything we need comes to us. If we are in continuous conflict with others, the belief could be that the Universe is not a friendly place. When we determine our beliefs, we can ask ourselves if those beliefs that we picked up along the way really serve us or not.

One might remember the scene in the movie Tangled (based loosely on the story of Rapunzel), that occurs when the heroine subdues a mischievous thief who ended up in her tower while he was fleeing the authorities. She knocks him out with a frying pan and stuffs him into a wardrobe while she decides what to do. The woman who kidnapped and raised Rapunzel conditioned her to believe that all people are dangerous and bad and taught her to fear outsiders. In this scene, Rapunzel stands in front of the wardrobe and exclaims twice, in fear, “I’ve got a person in my closet!”

Then she catches her reflection in the mirror, and her perception shifts from one of fear to one of possibility. She exclaims, this time with confidence, excitement, and anticipation, “I’ve got a person in my closet!” This man, she thinks, can help to guide her to the kingdom’s annual festival of lights. She has long dreamed of witnessing the festival up close, not just from her distant tower window.

Like Rapunzel, people, too, have the ability to shift perception in the blink of an eye from one of fear to one of possibility.  When we remember that the Universe is operating for our good, we can look at what might seem to be a scary and uneasy situation, and know that there is infinite possibility in it. This shift in perception empowers us to affect the outcome of the situation to one that places us securely in a feeling of confidence, peace, and the expectations of good.

I am consciously aware of how I perceive the world, choosing to perceive the truth and seek positive answers without attacking the thoughts of others or condemning people just because we don’t agree. When confronted with a challenging situation, I choose to consciously shift my perception, accepted the unlimited possibilities for good that lie within it. Only when some nasty dangerous fool openly “declares war” on me do I shift into a darker response mode.

I remember my maternal grandmother pointing out that “The foolish man, living only in sense perception, has no measure for Reality and builds his home on false opinion and erroneous concept.” The current enemy, who has apparently centered his life to this point in a world of pornography and self-indulgence, clearly is such a ‘fool.’ Sadly, as he is vocal and able to reach a large audience without any sort of control, he seems to have influenced a number of easily swayed souls so that they have now turned against anything I might say in my own defense. As the Talmud points out, “We do not see things as they are. We see them as we are.” And if we are misled by a corrupt Pied Piper, we too become confused and blind to the truth. As Nona L. Brooks wrote, “Our attitude has all to do with determining the kind of experiences that come to us. The love attitude brings harmony of experience; the fear attitude, confusion.”

The American legal system attempts to protect the nation’s citizens from such Chaos, as the Founding Fathers of the country understood another teaching of my grandmother: “Heaven is lost merely for the lack of a perception of harmony.” They understood that a corrupt government, or a corrupt media, could destroy democracy and any hope of a ‘free and healthy’ society.

In its landmark ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, 558 U.S. 310 (2010) – which held political campaign spending is a form of protected speech – the US Supreme Court noted the First Amendment is “[p]remised on mistrust of governmental power.” The Court has also held that such mistrust extends to bans on books and other reading materials, since “freedom of speech is not merely freedom to speak; it is also freedom to read.” (See: King v. Federal Bureau of Prisons, 415 F.3d 634 [7th Cir. 2005].)

Apparently the Internet Trolls that are currently attacking my family and myself have no regard for the US Constitution or the laws of this country. In addition to the many other privations that prisoners experience, we are often subjected to censorship of books, magazines, and even our own correspondence by prison officials. As the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit wrote, “The simple opportunity to read a book or write a letter, whether it expresses political views or absent affections, supplies a vital link between the inmate and the outside world, and nourishes the prisoner’s mind despite the blankness and bleakness of his environment.” (See: Wolf v. Levi, 573 F. 2nd 118 [2d Cir. 1978], revised sum nom. Bell v. Wolfish, 441 U.S. 520 [1979].)

Yet my current attackers have made it very clear that they seek to silence my right to free speech, and remove any ability that I may have to communicate what I see as the truth to the outside world. Such people might be reminded that in 1974, the Supreme Court affirmed “[t]here is no iron curtain drawn between the Constitution and the prisons of this country.” (See: Wolff v. McDonnell, 418 U.S. 539 [1974].) Writing for the majority that same year, Justice Thurgood Marshall stated, “when the prison gates slam behind an inmate, he does not lose his human quality; his mind does not become closed to ideas; his intellect does not cease to feed on a free and open interchange of opinions; his yearning for self-respect does not end; nor is his quest for self-realization concluded. If anything, the needs for identity and self-respect are more compelling in the dehumanizing prison environment.” (See: Procunier v. Martinez, 416 U.S. 396 [1974].)

Crucial to that need for self-improvement is the ability to read and study, to thereby learn new ideas and ways of thinking – and thus behaving, and working within the social structure. As a result, federal courts have found that incarceration does not automatically deprive prisoners of the First Amendment’s protection from policies that abridge the freedom of speech. (See: Turner v. Safley, 482 U.S. 78 [1978].)

It is clever that our enemies at this point have absolutely no care whatsoever about these protections. They see only that I have presented a thought that they do not agree with, and they believe that I should be silenced at any cost.

To be continued….

To Be Attacked by a Cyber-Space Troll, installment two

By Mark Richards, 2019

Studies also have shown that false testimony by witnesses cause more wrongful convictions than the next two leading causes – erroneous identification and false or coerced confessions – combined.

In a study by the University of Alabama psychology department, mock jurors were unable to detect the coercive nature of confession testimony, and more importantly, they gave undue weight to an informant’s confession testimony in determining guilt. The study’s authors concluded that “if jurors cannot perceive the difference between an honest and dishonest cooperating witness there is grave potential for such testimony to lead to wrongful convictions of the innocent.” In stating the obvious, the researchers observed that this creates a “substantial problem for the criminal justice system.”

When an informant’s testimony is the sole evidence to support a conviction or an accusation, “the integrity of the system is at stake,” Natapoff warned. She observed that the U.S. Supreme Court in Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, 509 U.S. 579 (1993), placed a requirement on the courts to evaluate the reliability of expert witnesses because they can be “both powerful and quite misleading.”  However, there is no such requirement for an incentivized witness testifying about unsubstantiated facts on behalf of the government or some media pundit.

One might remember that an incentivized witness is someone who testifies on behalf of the government or any source of information against another person or group in exchange for an expected benefit.  This benefit may include favorable treatment in the person’s own criminal case, money, protection against the threat of being attacked themselves, or other goods or considerations. This can include so-called “Good Samaritans,” who come forward on their own with information about someone being accused of wrong-doing for no other reason than the public recognition of being one of the voices who helped ‘put that guy away.’

The term “incentivized” means “a motivation or reason for doing something.” Incentives offered to government witnesses have included reduced sentences, cash, a chance to spare friends or family from criminal charges, an early parole, or any other deal the government offers for the witness’ testimony. The term “witness,” also referred to as “informant” in this context, means someone who provides information or testimony in exchange for an incentive. Though not limited to only criminal suspects, by far the most common  government informant is the “jailhouse informant,” who is a person facing criminal charges or serving a prison sentence who wants a reduced sentence or charges dropped in exchange for his information against a fellow prisoner. The State of Alaska, for example, defines “informant” as “someone who provides evidence against someone else for money or to escape or reduce punishment for [their] own misdeeds or crimes.” The labels “incentivized witness” and “informant” are often used interchangeably.  (Quoted by Dale Chappell, in “Government Snitches,” Criminal Legal News, March 2019, page 3.)

The testimony offered by an incentivized witness about what a defendant said or admitted to is called a “secondary confession,” which is defined as “evidence provided by someone other than the suspect and purported to be direct information from the suspect.” It is this secondary confession that’s the product the informant sells and for which the government – or the reporter – barters.

Amazingly, the government knows just how perverse this practice is.  “Informants are not the most reliable people around,” Orange County, California, District Attorney Tony Rackauckas told 60 Minutes. When the host asked Rackauckas about a particular informant popular with his office, he said,” I think you should assume you’re talking to an informant. And if he’s talking, he’s probably lying.” Prosecutors know that the product they are buying has defects. So do reporters and other media pundits. The problem is, as long as it helps to prove their side of a case or story, they don’t care.

As we have painfully seen, snitches come in all shapes and sizes, and their various labels come from their position in the grand scheme of the proceedings.

The “jailhouse snitch” is the prototypical incentivized witness who informs law enforcement, prison staff, or the media about what another prisoner has supposedly said or done, usually the result of an overheard conversation or at the snitch’s prodding. This type of informant is often involved in many wrongful convictions, or the original crime that set the story in motion. The “accomplice informant” is the co-defendant of the person the informant is offering information against in an effort to get his own charges dropped or sentence reduced. These informants are commonly used by law enforcement and the media to ensnare others in the supposed scheme, especially the bigger fish.

Interestingly, the Department of Justice does not consider accomplice witnesses as “confidential informants” to which rules governing protection and payments apply. Instead, the government considers these informants “cooperating defendant/witnesses” who have an expectation of a reward for their services. Confidential informants, unlike accomplice witnesses, also do not testify in court in order to protect their identity in future cases.

The “calumniator” has traits of the other types of informants but is distinguished by the desire to shift as much blame as possible onto someone else in order to escape liability. It is not uncommon for the calumniator to place blame on an innocent person, which has resulted in many wrongful convictions, not to mention many innocent people ruined by media that often promotes such calumniators.

Snitches are the leading cause of wrongful convictions in the United States, particularly in capital cases, according to a 2004 Northwestern University study. (Cassidy, Michael R.; “Soft Words of Hope, Giglio, Accomplice Witnesses, and the Problem of Implied Inducements,” Northwest Univ. Law Review 98, ©2003.) Researchers in that study discovered that nearly half of the exonerations involved convictions that were based on snitches. Over 100 of those exonerations were for prisoners on Death Row. Study after study have shown wrongful convictions based on incentivized witnesses is a real problem worth investigation, while the growing problem of innocent people being ruined by the rumor-mill of cyber-space is becoming an epidemic.

Again, one should remember what U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Stephen Trott said in his 1996 commentary on incentivized witnesses titled, “Words of Warning for Prosecutors Using Criminals as Witnesses”: “Criminals are likely to say and do almost anything to get what they want, especially when what they want is to get out of trouble with the law.” Not only do incentivized witnesses have the ability to fabricate evidence, they can do so without sparking much suspicion because they know the information they provide is difficult to corroborate or to defend against. Incentivized witnesses can manipulate their version of the facts precisely because they know which facts are verifiable and which are not. The lies by the incentivized witness are difficult to detect, and the listener may infer from the details provided by the witness that the facts are indeed true. And who would know? The prosecutor or media-type wants to believe the witness, and the defense attorney does not believe him, but cannot prove he is lying.

There is also little to no oversight of a prosecutor or media reporter using an incentivized witness. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that prosecutors have “broad” power to administer criminal justice and prosecute (or not) however they see fit. Retired U.S. District Court Judge John Gleeson remarked that “judges are in fact not well suited to supervise criminal investigations, a process which is generally best left to the Executive Branch.” This leaves the prosecutors themselves to oversee their use of incentivized witnesses, a plan not without its obvious weaknesses.  There is no watchdog group or authority to keep an eye on the media’s use of such people. Because of an offer of leniency from the prosecutor – often with the help of a media pundit working with the government – the situation offers a powerful incentive to lie.

To be continued…