The perils of investigative journalism within the lesbian community.

A while ago I reported about criminal campaigning within the lesbian scene in the Netherlands and beyond. I wrote about how a group of anonymous – but with some effort traceable – people with a business interest tried with some degree of success to slander against some businesses in the Netherlands and Greece. In that article I unveiled the dark truth about some corners of the lesbian community where criminal practices prevail over healthy competition and a free market.

I wrote about a slanderous press statement made by that specific anonymous group and the all to obvious and documented link with a specific company in Germany. If anyone doubts this, here’s a quote, an excerpt from that press statement which literally names that company and the name of their CEO as the contentwise responsible party for that press statement. Mind you, the email with this statement was send from that companies email address according to the metadata from the extended email header which in numerous legal cases is rendered as solid evidence concerning the identification of the sending party. Also, there is written statement by third parties that the press statement was handed over to people from the lesbian community on Lesbos and beyond. Here’s the excerpt:

“The decision to publish in Germany was made in order to be subject to the jurisdiction and liberal German press (media) law. Every day, many Europeans are informed by the media and the liberal press about abuse of authority and corruption of Greeks. Among other things, we were threatened twice by Sappho Travel and exactly this case was brought to our attention: “We know how to defend ourselves (being Greeks) in our own country and you are just a foreigner.” For the purposes of German press (media) law, editorial responsibility is held by Skytravel24 GmbH (registered in accordance with German law under HRB 17896 in Wiesbaden), represented by CEO Natascha Hassel.” 

As a journalist I acknowledge freedom of press but the press statement I am referring to and from which the above closing quote comes is a flatout slandering statement accusing companies and individuals of deception, threats and much more without presenting any proof. It is also a blunt statement of German hatred and prejudice against Greece and the Greeks, their own target market. How curious and how inappropriate, especially in this year. But even more important is that this very quote proves the intent to harm others by the press statement. As if they were hiding behind press freedom. All of  this makes the happenings of today all the more ludicrous as it is that same press freedom they now seem to be attacking. Now how will that look in court?

Because thing is, today I received a threatening email from a Dutch based lawyer summoning me to ‘correct my statements’ concerning this company and even withdraw my articles about the slandering campaign. This was done in the name of that company in an all to obvious attempt to silence me as a writer / journalist who reports about this specific case.

Well, hell no!  Interesting enough, it seems that this lawyer has not taken my claim of the availability of solid proof of this criminal behavior seriously or has been poorly informed by their own client. Well, they are of course in for a surprise as currently I am working on another article meant for the national press unveiling the manipulations and slandering and the way they try to silence people reporting on that. The evidence that I have available is rock solid, double checked and confirmed by third parties. Also, I have been following the events in this case for the past year and with the evidence in hand it is very easy for me to link the aforementioned German company, a travel agency, to the slandering case. I only had to verify the source of their own press statement! More specifically, that press statement has been dropped into the lesbian community by email from that companies email address on June 28 of this year. And in fact, they pointed their finger to themselves in that very press statement as per the text in the above quote. A blunt and naive case of self accusation. As a journalist I merely mirrored their own press statement, second sourcing it. So they are actually asking me to withdraw a story based on their own press statement. How crazy can it be?

At this stage I will not reveal all information neither will I reveal the whole press statement where this affair seems to be originating from. Yet. Simply because I don’t want the victims of that slandering campaign to be hurt again by reposting that garbage. But also because it’s simply too early to my judgement. What some people do not seem to realize is that press freedom and freedom of opinion (although I am just stating and analyzing proven facts in my articles with the consequence that these (f)acts are criminal which is an observation and not so much an opinion) are rights that cannot be shoved aside that easy. They are well linked to the very foundation of our constitution and international rights. They also do not seem to realize that slandering in press statements is something that will in the end work against themselves.

Another thing is that obviously some people do not seem to realize that putting pressure on a journalist not to publish or even withdraw usually has the exact opposite effect of what the aim of that pressure is. In this case, the very act of pressurizing me merely underlines the importance of unveiling the truth of this type of dealings in a community that is in some areas not as tolerant, open and liberal at all. It also makes me more eager to dig deeper and push for publication of the other results of my findings.

As to be expected I am not at all impressed by this type of pressure. So, dear readers, stay tuned and within a few weeks I will produce another article about the current legal case in Greece and the upcoming legal case in the Netherlands concerning the slandering campaign that I presented in my previous articles. If necessary all related evidence in the form of documents and third party acknowledgements and statements will be published on this website as background information for the whole gay community to be read and judged.

As always I stand for a free and independent press. Even if that is not liked by other lesbians within the community. Even when I’m threatened by whatever means. The truth has to prevail, always! So to quote Johnny Cash in one of his last but greatest songs written by the infamous Tom Petty:

Well I won’t back down
No I won’t back down
You can stand me up at the gates of hell
But I won’t back down

Alice © 2011