January 20 was the 3rd anniversary of an ugly event, one which I would rather forget except that the Trust will not let me. It was a misconceived attempt to silence me by a defamation campaign through the media. It was a raw ad hominem outburst, aiming to smear my credibility which was taxing their capacity to hide their doings.
The January 20, 2016 issue of the DW (the Driftwood paper) carried the item:
“ISLANDS TRUST LTC limits participant's activities – Varzeliotis denied delegation and speaking opportunities” bylined Elizabeth Nolan.
In a Democracy, this can only be done by a court of law. In this ,instance politicians were stripping a citizen of his civic rights, not much unlike real dictators do. The DW story comprised wholly and only libelous to me pronouncements. As a reminder, “libelous” has the pre-requisite of being a “lie”. Let me clarify that it was not the reporter who did the lying, she merely mindlessly reported the lies the Trustees fed her.
It all started by then Trustee George Grams telling the DW that Tom is a fink and worse. The DW ran it by Luckham who readily “corroborated” Grams’ nonsense and added more to it. Luckham asked the DW to report the libelous stuff without revealing his name.
He pronounced me public enemy numero uno and declared me enfant terrible, Tom the Menace, Trust Area wide. He went further to immodestly brag that the Trust protects society from me – yes indeed, he wrote that, too. Heavy stuff ... Sadly the DW failed in their obligation to solicit my side of the story.
It is of paramount significance that both Luckham and Grams spoke platitudes, neither of them citing a single specific wrong on my part.
I considered suing them – the prospect of cross-examining the culprits was tantalizing, but was doused by the realization that their lawyers would not put any of them on the witness stand. I am not privy to legal advice they got, but this resulted in the whole LTC, (and perhaps others too) being sent to school to learn how to talk to the media.
At the first LTC meeting after “graduation” from the PRopaganda school, the Trustees were brimming with pride like cocks perched on a fence-post to hearld the day. They “reported” on their newly acquired skills. Then, while Luckham was ranting about the educational adventure, Peter Grove interjected; “They taught us not to not say stupid things”, he said assertively. Well ...
Spontaneity is revealing. I appreciated Peter’s revelation and, since “Saying stupid things” is not an indictable offense; and ignoring is not either; I opted for the latter. This brought to an end any consideration of taking them to court.
What made me write about it now is a manifestation of Trust sclerosis of manner. Since 2009, I have been seeking to make the Trust do open governance and all the while they have fought hard to preserve the Trust culture of secrecy. Their attempt at libelling me was a flare up of their indignation for my perseverance. Currently I am taking another run to make the Trust come out from the dungeon, and they react the same way they did in my past efforts, recycling an old dirty trick devised to safeguard the facility of governing from the dungeon.
Am I right? Throughout the past decade I have been challenging the Trust to: “Come and show me something, anything at all, that I said or wrote, that is no true or that would have better been left untold”.
They never took me up on that. Because they could not. It tells it all, does it not?