Let me start by saying that I am among the many here who loves to read Killfiles articles and consider him among the best and brightest of the CJ sources. His articles are meticulously researched, educational and informative. I trust his judgement and his objectivity and quite frankly, prefer his views to many of the authors paid to write in many "news" sites. He is about as smart as anyone can be about spotting propaganda yet he got scammed.
Killfile seeded an article titled, "7 things you don't know about PETA". That's the group who campaign for the ethical treatment of animals. In fairness, the group has had a history of some believers doing some rather dramatic things to bring attention to their cause.
Now in fairness to Killfile, PETA has had some news that is not flattering. Members have done what I see as terrible things, like toss fake blood on people wearing fur and that's just wrong no matter how "good" their goal is. But every group has some extremists. The people who bomb abortion clinics are technically supporting the Planned Parenthood agenda, but it is hardly fair to classify the pro life members by the actions of a few extremists who share their views.
Understanding that every person who believes in a cause is not by default endorsing the actions of every nut job who acts badly in the promotion of the cause is something we need to extend equally to every group of activists. One bad apple so to speak, shouldn't spoil the bunch.
Back to the article that talks about the negatives you need to know about PETA. My initial reaction was that the new revelations were a bit off. Part of me is hypersensitive to slurs and spin, because those of us who campaign for public discussion of genetically engineered foods and labels are classified as bioterrorists and often lumped into categories with extremists. In fact most of the world opposes gmo foods and surveys show 90% of Americans oppose the idea of eating them but 60% have no idea they are so we're not so few in number.
Monsanto, the primary corporate owner of the bulk of the world's genetically modified crops and "food", has a long history of vicious attacks on its critics. Attacks are generally launched through front groups run by spinmaster, Rick Berman. Berman is an old ally of tobacco and a friend to toxic business. Since Phillip Morris became KRAFT and a hos of other food brands, Berman has had a hand in the anti organic spin. False information is in ample supply and PETA has been a target for their criticism of the bovine growth hormone rBGH, given to dairy cows to squeeze more milk out of them.
Without getting too far afield the fact is the rBGH does much harm to animals and when the worldwide ban on rBGH went into effect worldwide in 1993, still in effect by the way, Germany outlawed it for violationg their veternary laws that prohibit cruelty to animals. The point, PETA isn't alone in the view and in the case of Monsanto, PETA and I are on the same team. In fact there have been several occasions when I have had to contact the PETA offices and always found the people there to be nice, helpful and generally like the staff at most other offices of any organization.
By the time I got to Killfile's article the discussion was fairly long and comments assumed the source was credible. Kudos to gleuch who did a search on the URL to see where the true source was. Bingo, it was Center for Consumer Freedom, the doublespeak name for one of Berman's front groups. What that means is that this swiftboat style attack was bought and paid for to advance the agenda of biotechs to discredit a critic.
Now I know that Killfile doesn't support that type of practice on an ethical level, because he's proven himself to be a stand up guy, determined to provide good information. His standards are above reproach but here, he got scammed. He was tricked into publicizintg an article that had a separate agenda and therein lies the biggest problem. His good name and well earned credibility was leveraged to promote a policy that he may not support, which is discrediting the biotech critics. If someone as smart and careful as Killfile can be tricked into working to spread the word for a front group, how easy is it to fool the rest of us, much less the population at large?
Food for thought, in a sea of propaganda and spin, where front groups have deep pockets and cyberspace has so much anonymity, who do you trust without question? Can we ever really let our guard down? If they can fool Killfile who but gleuch, isn't going to be fooled? A final note here for those ready to jump on the fact that information was drawn from PETA's site, the point is that the attack was launched by a front with a specific agenda and unlike an open critic they pretend to be grass roots groups or individuals. That's wrong, if Berman's clients want to be critical of PETA, put a name on it and take credit for the position.