Rise of the Demagogues
Updated: Jul 18
Demagogues are a highly dangerous and ever present threat to any movement and the #Metoo movement is no exception. The case of Reade v Biden demonstrates this reality in graphic terms and currently the #Metoo movement is on the brink of destruction because of it.
To make things worse this movement has shown an unseemly reluctance to hold to account those who practice demagoguery in our name and the price of this failure is to lose all credibility when advancing well evidenced claims of rape and abuse.
To complicate matters the Silence Breakers were subjected to wholesale ad hominem attacks on their reputations by industry fixers and Weinstein sympathisers. One common attack was that the Breakers were coming out for fame and money.
Wholly untrue of course but the attacks were damaging and demoralising as they were meant to be. The result of this is that some among us have taken to treating all opposition against every claim as the same rape culture fixer fueled dynamic that plagued disclosing survivors in the 2018 -2019 period.
It is also relevant that the fear soaked gas lit environment in which our politic operates encouraged some people to make decisions that they thought suited their agenda at the time and would not have to be paid for later. This amounts to a very large miscalculation on the part of those individuals.
Everything we do in this politic rightly or wrongly comes with a price and that price is always extracted sooner or later and it is clear that the due date for previous failings has arrived.
The first failing is the failure to recognise that our movement is a magnet for every sociopath and grifter and those who generally seek to advantage themselves.
For some reason there are those who hold the view that these individuals would not seek to advantage themselves by falsely claiming to be victims.
Of course the immediate response is that there is no real advantage to be gained in disclosing abuse but there is a fatal flaw in the logic. Some people have left an empty bag on the seat of their car secure in the fact there is nothing in it to steal.
However our thief does not know that bag is empty and breaks the car window regardless. The thief walks away disappointed but not as much as the car owner who now has to deal with the hassle of replacing the window that was broken on a thiefs assumption.
The second major failing I have covered in the first two Underbelly articles that focused on the actions of SKDKnickerbocker and the liabilities its influence was having on the large majority of Silence Breakers.
Those articles had the desired effect in that it helped stop vulnerable women who have already been let down so badly being hurt further. Yet the liabilities that I was in the process of presenting are very real and are being played out in front of us now.
Having placed itself in a position of dominance over the Silence Breaker movement SKD was always vulnerable if a democratic party member or any democrat of influence was accused. Now this has occurred under circumstances that are having a massive and highly damaging impact on the movement.
SKD is a PR firm that exists primarily to support democrat politicians and in this case Joe Biden has contributed a significant sum of money to this organisation. With SKD's influence over the Times Up organisation the conflict of interest is as bad as it gets.
Times Up declined to find Tara Reade's action against Joe Biden for valid reasons in my view but of course the conflict of interest opened the movement right up to attacks from individuals such as Donald Trump Jr on one side and demagogues in our own movement on the other.
Anyone who had a beef with the #metoo movement zeroed in on the most high profile democratic activists they could find such as Alyssa Milano and Tarana Burke. The irony is that neither of those women have ever advanced an approach that had no regard for fact.
The mantra #BelieveWomen was presented by the fixers and enablers for the rape machine as a statement that we in the movement have no interest in facts and or evidence and that the belief in a woman's word was the only standard required.
Unfortunately this enemy propaganda seems to have been adopted by some in the movement as our constitution when this was never and will never be the case.
Additionally SKD is now discovering the cost of believing its PR processes would always be sufficient to deal with the traps and pitfalls in the survivor politic.
Even now SKD and Times Up are caught up in the web of their own making and this on top of the recent exposure of some of its more dubious practices has severely impacted on SKD's ability to control events.
This has left a vacuum and nature abhors a vacuum. As a result we have seen demagogues appearing on the scene bullying survivors and activists who do not subscribe to their myopic point of view. These hashtag heroes are big on launching ad hominem attacks on their own and this needs to stop.
This brings me to the queen of demagogues Rose McGowan. It is wholly untenable for this movement and the Silence Breakers in particular, to give Rose McGowan any influence or additional platform. It is simply neither safe nor desirable to do so.
Rose McGowan is on public record making wholly false and outrageous accusations against her own best friend which she only apologised for when she was forced to under the threat of legal action.
McGowan did so apparently because she was "told" by self confessed serial liar and grifter Rain Dove that it was so when in fact it was not.
Not only was McGowan laying on false accusations on a highly vulnerable women who had trusted her, she took it upon herself to say the most disgusting things that could be said to a survivor by saying that Asia Argento was no better than the man who had violated her.
It is fact that Rose McGowan was instrumental in driving a highly vulnerable survivor to the point of suicide based on wholly false accusations without any regard for evidence, truth or fairness and then had to be made to apologize.
These facts alone demonstrate that Rose McGowan is wholly unfit to be an activist in this movement and her word outside of her own claim against Weinstein is utterly worthless. Any credence given to this demagogue is a severe liability to this movement.
I am aware that Rose McGowan has let her feelings be known to the Silence Breaker movement generally regarding Tara Reade. I see this as more evidence of her complete lack of regard for fact and or reason.
The Silence Breakers are not on call to pick up the cause of anyone they do not wish to. Most of these women do not have the strength left to push their own cases let alone take on the garbage currently being presented.
I believe it is time for the Silence Breakers to have a good hard think about how Rose McGowan treats them and what it means to be associated with a defiler who almost broke the movement in 2018.
The rest of the movement also has a choice. Evolve or succumb to demagogue bullshit. This is not a game. The decisions we are making are impacting on a lot of lives and in the meantime our enemies laugh as we claw at each other.
Those who stand for facts and critical thinking need to stand up to be counted and those who cannot or will not subscribe to those necessities need to be treated as liabilities to the movement in the same way we do enablers.