Dear Reader, the following expose of cowardice and conformism at the head of a young and seemingly kindly internet platform that collects and passes along donations for worthy causes is offered as a caution to the idealists among us that the Deep State easily finds collaborators in its crimes of global hegemony at every corner of our society. The sanctimonious young appear to be doing no better than worn down and obsequious old timers in staying clear of its clutches.
This story did not originate as an exercise in investigative journalism. On the contrary, it imposed itself on us. “Us” is not the royal “we” – it is collectively myself and the editor-in-chief, publisher of Russia Insider Charles Bausman when we pursued a Comment posted by a reader of my December article about seriously ill Russian speaking prisoners in Ukrainian detention centers who are being denied not merely due process but urgently needed medical care:
The Comment said in part: “Go Fund Me would be worth a try…”
Raising funds to assist the miserable unfortunates in question was not in our original game plan, which was merely to publicize their fate and so bring pressure on the Ukrainian authorities to take remedial action. However, the suggestion seemed to be a very good one, and Bausman put his team to work to open an account on GoFundMe, setting a modest target of 3,000 euros to procure medical treatment and possible legal aid.
The account was duly opened and stayed “on air” for perhaps 24 hours, when it suddenly disappeared and in its place the original account link led instead to a screen explaining that the account page did not exist.
That was quickly explained by management of GoFundMe in an email to us, saying they required further information about our intentions before they could lift their suspension order on the account.
|Community Management Team (GoFundMe)
Dec 19, 12:01 PM PST
Thanks for following up with us. My name is Molly from the Community Management team at GoFundMe and I wanted to touch back to you and let you know we are currently reviewing your campaign.
To continue, we will need more information to verify whether this campaign falls within our Terms of Service. Please reply to this email at your earliest convenience with the following information:
· What is your relationship with the beneficiaries?
· Please provide a full list of the legal names of each of your beneficiaries who will be receiving funds/support
· Please confirm where your beneficiaries are location (city and country)
· Please confirm the name and address of facility where your beneficiaries are currently being held
· Confirm how funds will be spent – please be as specific as possible, including information regarding the names of any organizations or businesses who will be handling or receiving funds at any point in time
· Please provide an email on which we can reach out to your beneficiary, if necessary. This would be the full name and email address of any main points of contact you have with the beneficiaries
· How will you send the funds to your beneficiaries? Please include the names of any banks or money transmitters you will use.
Once you reply to this email with the requested information, our Community Management Team will review your campaign within one business day. We appreciate your cooperation in this matter. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us.
We came right back to them with all the detailed information they sought about the detainees/beneficiaries of our fund-raising . We stated unequivocally that our purpose was strictly humanitarian. We explained that persons in an EU embassy in Moscow who provided the list of detainees which we published would also assure the transfer of funds to the beneficiaries in Ukraine and we could provide the bank account details of the intermediary.
In fact, the diplomatic employee in Moscow is a friend of one of my good friends in Brussels, so we acted in perfect confidence that the claims being made and the means of intervention being proposed were honest, legitimate and likely to be effective.
After our response was sent off to GoFundMe, not one day, but two weeks passed before their Judgment of Solomon came back to us:
|The GoFundMe Team (GoFundMe)
Jan 2, 3:57 PM PST
Dear GoFundMe Customer,
We are writing to inform you that your GoFundMe account has been removed due to sanctions involving an unsupported country and a violation of our Terms & Conditions.
The content of your campaign falls under our “Conditions of Use” section. You can view our full Terms & Conditions by clicking this link.
Unfortunately, our Terms and Conditions, along with strictly enforced policies from the payments industry and the Office of Foreign Assets Control, prohibit GoFundMe from allowing you to continue raising money on our site.
The GoFundMe Team
Visit our terms: www.gofundme.com/terms
As for an “unsupported country” and the “Office of Foreign Assets Control,” well we can decipher those points pretty well without help. The “Terms and Conditions” are another matter. As Charles Bausman soon found out, that document comes to 10,000 words, so it is anyone’s guess what exactly they claim we would be violating with our proposed fund-raising.
There is no need to belabor the point. Pseudo-patriotism is written all over the servile face of the GoFundMe Team. Couldn’t have been uglier had we been dealing with Zuckerberg’s Facebook boys and girls.
Nonetheless, the publication effort relating to my original article as disseminated by Russia Insider was not in vain. A week later, the friend’s friend in Moscow wrote to us that the first named sufferer on our list was finally scheduled for a much needed operation on his leg, which she attributed to the public shaming of the Ukrainian authorities.
©Gilbert Doctorow, 2018