1. a person who poses as a customer in order to decoy others into participating, as at a gambling house, auction, confidence game, etc.
(Author’s note: No links to godlikeproductions.com have been included in this article. The site is riddled with spyware, and only readers who are completely confident in their antiviral software should visit.)
In the monkey cage of conspiracy forums, the word “shill” gets thrown around more than feces. Anyone who’s worn the skeptic hat has probably heard it at least once. In fact, after my article criticizing the subscribers of the Monarch Program and Illuminati theories, I was sure I’d get my own share of shill slander. But alas, no luck. Hope, though, marches on.
Even with all the monkey posturing, though, the reality of shills within the conspiracy community is hardly debatable, given our verified knowledge concerning the FBI’s COINTELPRO projects during the 1960s. COINTELPRO technically ended in 1971, but it doesn’t take the wildest imagination to assume that it’s techniques are still in use.
But assumptions were all anyone had to go on, until an honest-to-goodness shill allegedly showed their hand on March 24th in the infamous Godlike Productions forum. At least two screenshots (one featured at poleshift.ning.com and the other at insanemedia.net) were captured, showing what appears to be an accidental posting from a forum member from Kazakhstan.
According to the articles, the post was quickly removed, and any posters subsequently mentioning it were immediately banned, leaving us with little evidence. The existence of two different screen grabs (the insanemedia grab was taken later, showing an additional comment that doesn’t appear in the poleshift image), however, gives credence to its authenticity. Whether or not it was a hoax in the first place is up for debate.
The post comes hot on the heels of another post made last year by an “ex-shill” on Above Top Secret, another conspiracy forum. This one gives a lengthy account of someone who was paid by an unnamed company to infiltrate and spread disinformation on CNN, Yahoo News, Lunatic Outpost, and Godlike Productions.
I have to admit that this one seemed particularly hoaxy, and read like a Penthouse letter, where the sexual exploits were replaced with techno-spy elements. I would have completely dismissed it, except that Above Top Secret supposedly threatened legal action against one of the sites that reposted the story. Via consciouslifenews.com:
“Update 1/12/2013: CLN has received a takedown notice asking us to remove this article on the basis that “It is libelous and utterly false” from someone claiming to be a legal agent of Above Top Secret’s parent company. We are currently investigating and will post status updates as they become available. The original thread now appears to have vanished from Above Top Secret’s website.
Update 4/3/2013: Above Top Secret’s legal agent never responded to our request for clarification of their takedown request. The original thread has now been moved to the “Hoax” category of the website, as ATS claims the author admitted it was a hoax in a private exchange. To the best of our knowledge, this private exchange or the details thereof have not been posted publicly to substantiate this claim.”
If this really happened, then it was a strange reaction, considering the writer never claims to have been working in the Above Top Secret forums, but at Godlike Productions.
If you’re an old hand in the conspiracy community, you’ll know this isn’t the first time Godlike Productions has been accused of hosting shills. A well-researched, if a bit convoluted, article written in 2004 tries to connect Elaine Belisha, the original owner of Godlike, to Mossad, the intelligence agency of Israel. The connection is tenuous, at best, though, and reliant mostly on hearsay.
But the real story begins when Elaine sells the site in 2004 to Jason Lucas, owner of Zero Point Ltd. The sale was kept under wraps, and Lucas hid his identity behind the avatar name, “Trinity.” Lucas is one of the directors of C2 Media, a company originally based in London that was behind a far-reaching spyware program, LOP. There is a publicly available letter written by him, addressed to the Federal Trade Commission, arguing the difference between Adware (which he claims LOP to be) and Spyware. The letter was written in reference to a 2004 FTC workshop entitled, “Monitoring Software on your PC: Spyware, Adware, and Other Software,” where public anger over the use of these programs was addressed. The letter was more than likely an attempt to dodge any forthcoming legal problems.
Unsurprisingly, after Lucas’ purchase of the site, the forum became overrun with spyware, evidenced by my browser’s angry objections to my visiting. But malware is hardly the stuff of conspiracy, so how did Godlike Productions become labeled as the home of the shills?
To begin with, there is the possible connection between Lucas and the Department of Defense’s TENA (Test and Training Enabling Architecture) project. TENA is a computer system allowing the quick distribution of data between geographically dispersed groups involved in military training exercises. The project is based in Eglin, FL, at the Eglin Air Force base, only two miles from the P.O. Box address listed for Lucas’ C2 Media in Shalimar, FL. TENA’s Software Development Activity Deputy Director is also named as Jason Lucas. A relevant quote from their website: “TENA has become an important factor in range instrumentation and data gathering systems “
Godlike Productions’ owner could be a different Jason Lucas, but the geographic proximity and the common datamining expertise of both men does make for an interesting connection.
Another red flag occurred when users started to realize that even in a place where one could discuss time-traveling extra-dimensional aliens, some topics were off limits. When including certain words in posts, those word would be replaced, and the user immediately banned. A list of no-nos was soon compiled, including “Alien earth, proxywhore, modlikeproductions, abovetopsecret, rumor mill news, surfing the apocalypse, buddhas grove, malware, spyware, adware, Jason Lucas, Elaine, Stanford Research Institute,” and “Tavistock.”
The first seven trigger terms are competing sites, which may be a bit unsporting, but not necessarily shocking. The ones relating to malware and Mr. Lucas are also to be expected, as the revelation of the site’s new owner and his history would likely garnish unwanted attention. The troubling terms, however, are “Stanford Research Institute” and “Tavistock.”
According to their website, the Tavistock Institute of Human Relations is a “not-for-profit organisation which applies social science to contemporary issues and problems.” Tavistock is the hub of some theories involving MK-Ultra mind control, social engineering, and the so-called New World Order. Dr. Byron Weeks claims that Tavistock is the controlling hand behind a who’s-who of organizations suspected of conspiratorial actions, including the Rand Corporation, MIT, Stanford Research Institute, the Institute For Policy Studies, and the Institute For the Future (which he points out is behind “liberalizing abortion laws… teaching birth control in public schools… making use of drugs a non-criminal offense, legalizing homosexuality, paying students for scholastic achievements,” and other heinous ideas). For sure, though, members of the Tavistock Institute have acted as consultants on organizational design for numerous multinational corporations and international governments. From their site:
“The Tavistock Institute of Human Relations (TIHR) applies social science to contemporary issues and problems. It was established as a not for profit organisation with charitable purpose in 1947.
The Institute is engaged with evaluation and action research, organisational development and change consultancy, executive coaching and professional development, all in service of supporting sustainable change and ongoing learning.”
Looking at the state of our global community, their consultancy has obviously paid off.
In light of accusations aimed at Tavistock concerning social engineering and mind control, I have to admit I find it very disturbing that Godlike Productions, a site known for it’s outlandish conspiracy theories from the murky end of the internet pool, would choose to censor any topics pertaining to this one subject. Add to this the fact that it is definitely using data-collecting malware, created by a possible DoD employee, compounded by the alleged slip up of a spook shill, and we have the makings of a real-life spy thriller. Or a horror flick.
I’m now lead to question exactly why the Powers That Be would need to expend such energy monitoring such a place. I’ve juggled a few theories, but none that fully satisfy me. And ultimately, it has lead me to this question: If it’s happening in the backwoods of the internet, in a place like Godlike Productions, what does that say about the Facebooks and Twitters of the world?