Dealing with the chilling effect


In the last few days, people have come forward to me, openly admitting that they now fear publicly professing interest in Total Rendition. Indeed, I had to advise to my UK-based collaborators that they may need to get to know a criminal defence solicitor, as dirty tricks would perhaps be employed against them should they continue doing work on Total Rendition, of the sort that seems to have happened to me.

Dundee Sheriff Court agreed to adjourn the trial of the McStalking case to no sooner than 28th of January 2021 (whichmay be subject to change, however) awaiting the outcome of a freedom of information request to the Home Office. Given Priti Patel's hostility to rule of law, a response may yet prove to be either very disappointing or not materialise at all. Indeed, while I ought to be acquitted, I still had to contend with both arbitrary detention at HMP Perth and damage to reputation. The suspicion that the McStalking case was deliberately engineered to disrupt development of Total Rendition fits into the category chillingly plausible. This realisation has made the chilling effect all the greater: One dev team member has voiced fears that she would be on the receiving end of false criminal accusations as well. Unfortunately, that is a reasonable fear.

The character assassination attempts by DC Thomson (owner of the Evening Telegraph) are at this point a bit too obvious: Few will now buy the false narrative that accidentally offending a Brexit Karen (whose name is Lynne McBride, wonder if she is still working at Dundee Contemporary Arts!) would constitute criminal stalking. Yet, exactly that awareness, that this false accusation is reasonably likely to constitute a state-sponsored attempt at frame-up, now appears to be making the current challenges (opportunities?) that accompany the development of Total Rendition even more pronounced.

JTRIG is effectively to Brexit Britain what Zersetzung was to East Germany and it pretty much works the same way too: False criminal allegations, gaslighting, libel that enjoys backing from ostensibly respectable sources and simply driving people crazy so authorities can use the ensuing compromising situations against you. If people believe the false allegations as these are made up, they may shun you and bully you. Yet, if people know what is really going on, they may become afraid to end up next in line themselves. The bottom line is: Judicial harassment works for those who perpetrate it. Furthermore, it even occurs in supposedly "free" countries, not just in obvious examples such as Belarus, Iran or North Korea.

When I conceived of Total Rendition, building on the experiences from Fifth Column, I first figured what story I wish to tell to the world: Since 2016, Fascism has become fashionable again with a bit of help from Facebook and Twitter; why will a complete bystander with no interest in politics and who earns a living in an arguably dodgy manner as private intelligence officer join the struggle against Fascism? What "video games" (i.e. game plays) did I enjoy the most and would be able to tell that story without feeling preachy?

Once Total Rendition is ready to be unleashed, that genie will be out of the bottle! Until then, it's "the Game they don't want you to Play!" which is literally true!

-Mordechai Gabai

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