Thursday, 14 July 2011

Some remarkable parallels between the 'News Corp, phone hacking' scandal and the 'Amway, MLM' scandal

The UK Prime Minister, David Cameron, has now appointed Lord Justice Leveson to head a public enquiry into what has become known as 'the phone hacking scandal' In response, Rupert Murdoch's 'News Corporation' (which is at the centre of this growing-storm), announced that it will drop a planned, multi-billion dollar bid to acquire complete ownership of the satellite broadcaster, 'BSkyB' . Mr. Cameron has promised that any executive who is found to have sanctioned phone hacking or any other illegal activity, at 'The News of the World' or any other newspaper, will be barred from running any media organization in the UK. . By 'any other illegal activity,' the UK prime Minister was especially referring to the bribing of police officers. Indeed, Sir Hugh Orde, president of the Association of Chief Police Officers, said it was now time for 'News International' (the UK arm of 'News Corp' which includes 'NoW') to explain and to hand over any evidence of corruption among police officers. He said: 'let's not play around with legal games here. If they (News International's executives) have names, dates, times, payments to officers, we would like to see them so that we can lock these officers up and throw away the key!'
In response to my previous post on Corporate Frauds Watch, a journalist (I hasten to add: not an employee of 'News Corp') asked me: What the hell has 'the phone hacking scandal' got to do with ''Amway' and 'MLM' ?
A hell of a lot, as it turns out. 
First of all, let me say that even though the 'Amway Corporation' and 'News Corporation' are different (in that the former is the privately-controlled, counterfeit, corporate front for a major organized crime group, whilst the latter is a public company and legitimate commercial enterprise), both are long-established, US-based, multi-national organizations which comprise complex labyrinths of corporate structures, and which have been major supporters of the Republican party. However, when documentary evidence was retrieved by the UK authorities proving that extensive criminal acts had been committed in the UK by agents of UK-registered companies which comprise 'Amway Corp' and 'News Corp,' the executives and legal representatives of these companies steadfastly pretended affinity with the UK authorities and told essentially-identical lies in order to block further investigation. Faced with such wealthy, devious and influential, corporate adversaries, UK law enforcement agents first made a token effort to do their job, but then they capitulated. In the case of 'News Corp,' the UK authorities have finally been forced (by media, political and public pressure) to protect the UK public. Sadly, in the even-more shameful case of 'Amway,' a pernicious racket which is known to have stolen hundreds of millions of dollars from hundreds of thousands of unsuspecting UK citizens over a period of more than 30 years, has (so far) been allowed to go completely unpunished. This chronic failure of UK law enforcement (combined with the almost total lack of interest of the mainstream UK media, politicians, and public) has enabled the billionaire 'Amway' bosses to continue their vile activities elsewhere (particularly, in India), and has also served as an open invitation for copy-cat 'MLM' racketeers to come to the UK. 
In 2006, almost by accident, UK police officers retrieved a mountain of documents as part of an exceptional investigation to determine how confidential details of an injury to HRH Prince William had come to be published in 'The News of the World.' The former, royal editor of 'NoW,' Clive Goodman, and a private investigator, Glenn Mulcaire, were subsequently charged with, and convicted of, sanctioning and illegally accessing the voice mail services of members of the royal family. Yet, in 2006, the police merely requested that executives at 'News International' should fully-co-operate with the ongoing investigation of these, and other, related-matters. However, 'News International's'  impressive echelon of top-flight attorneys countered by offering written replies in which it was claimed that unfortunately, the company's executives could not be of any help, because these dreadful crimes were merely isolated incidents committed by a rogue employee of 'News International' who had been immediately sacked, and that 'News International' would never sanction illegal phone hacking or knowingly allow any of its staff to sanction criminal acts and that no 'News International' executive had any knowledge that these dreadful crimes had been sanctioned by Mr. Goodman, or carried out by Mr. Mulcaire, on behalf of 'NoW.'  
Unbelievably, faced with these blanket denials, senior UK police officers (apparently, acting on legal advice from the Crown Prosecution Service) decided to call an immediate halt to all further investigations. However, it is now known that contained in the retrieved-documents, were literally thousands of names, telephone numbers and voice-mail pin-codes, belonging to unsuspecting persons (including celebrities, politicians, the relatives of crime victims and of soldiers killed in action, etc.) who had been calously targetted by Mr. Mulcaire in pursuit of news stories which had absolutely no connection with the royal family, and which, self-evidently, were of interest to persons within 'NoW' other than Mr. Goodman. In other words, an investigator would have to be pretty dim, and/or corrupt, not to have immediately deduced from this huge body of documentary evidence that executives at 'News International' must have been sanctioning phone hacking on an industrial scale and that their declared reasons for refusing to co-operate with the ongoing police investigation, were a pack of sugar-coated lies. Three senior police officers (two of whom have retired from the police service, but who were responsible for executing, and overseeing, the less-than-rigorous 2006 investigation of 'News International' ) have recently given verbal evidence to the Home Affairs Committee of the UK Parlaiment . Not surprisingly, the members of this Committee wanted to know how it was possible for Scotland Yard's finest to have failed so miserably. To their credit, the three high-ranking cops offered their unreserved apologies to the victims. They also revealed that they had not examined the documents themselves, and that the 12 officers who had examined them, were from Anti-Terrorist Branch. Due to the enormous work-load of the Anti-Terrorist Branch (more than 70 other urgent investigations were ongoing in 2006), it had been decided to restrict the search for documentary evidence of phone hacking at 'NoW', to members of the royal family. Furthermore, these same senior police officers confirmed that they had suspected that more offences had been committed, and were being committed, but they had felt that the prosecution of Messrs. Goodman and Mulcaire, would serve as a public warning to the UK tabloid press, and that the problem of phone hacking would be solved. In reality, the more-than suspicious refusal of these senior police officers to do their duty, and pursue their investigation of phone hacking and corruption at 'NoW' to its logical conclusion, only served as an open invitation to the UK tabloid press to continue to commit these crimes.
Your free-thinking readers will not be surprised to learn that the remarkable parallels between how, and why, the UK authorities initially failed to take on 'News Corp' and the 'Amway Corp,' do not halt there. 
David Brear (copyright 2011)