Racketeering or Certification 6: Defamation Is The Only Product BAN Sells

The 2019 Certification or Racketeering series of blogs began about Total Reclaim of Seattle.  Craig Lorch and Jeff Zirkle were sentenced last week on their fraud case.  I offered to fly in to testify, and sent them a letter for the judge, to make the case (as in the blog) that the executives at Total Reclaim had been told by BAN that 80% of recyclers were shipping 80% of goods overseas, where 100% percent were smashed by hands in primitive conditions. As I testified at Brundage's sentencing hearing in Chicago, those were false claims.

  • BAN begins by defaming the Tech Sector overseas, with wild hallucinatory descriptions of thousands of orphans in rice paddies beating electronics with hammers. 
  • BAN creates a lie about the Basel Convention having been "amended" to criminalize legal exports (reuse, repair and recycling are ALL legal under the actual Basel Convention, not just "tested working")
  • BAN then defames those who (like yours truly) question or rebut the initial defamation, or correct information they give about the Basel treaty.
  • BAN defames the companies who don't pay tribute through E-Stewards certification, and defames the alternative certifications.
  • If the companies like Intercon or Total Reclaim threaten to withdraw from BAN, or defend themselves (Total Reclaim exported far less than 10% of the material they received), BAN's enforcement is to defame them.

Essentially, defamation and slander are BAN's only product. And at its root, the initial domino of defamation - of people in faraway geographies beating LCDs and CRTs with hammers - is a fake statistic. BAN is the most ruthless in attacking anyone who questions their credentials.

What percentage of what Total Reclaim exported became "waste"? Was that the source of the corporate profits? Or were those profits, and the repeated purchse of flat screens from Asians, evidence that the exports were likely NOT WASTED?  How does the Department of Justice conflate fraud, profit, and mercury to poison our minds with racist assumptions about Asia's Tech Sector when there is no evidence that the goods were dumped?  The crime Total Reclaim execs pled guilty to was lying about the export, not knowing the goods were dumped or that the buyers were poisoned.

It's a sin to kill a mockingbird.

Intercon Sentencing, Defamation, and Charity vs Charity Grudge Match

Chicago's Hall of Mirror Balls

Several people heard a "whoosh" sound while reading the April Fools Day Blog.  The BAN vs ERA of Canada - two recognized tax charities - defamation lawsuit was dropped about the same time.  But ERA's leader Bojan Paduh (a refugee of Bosnia during the 1990s civil war) is someone I got to know as a result of the lawsuit.  His anger at BAN is absolutely seething in a way I have not heard since Brian Brundage sued the NGO 6 years ago. (For April Fool reference, see email from BAN at bottom).

I told Bojan that I had indeed, more than once, considered a defamation lawsuit against BAN. Brian Brundage (like Bojan) had asked if I was interested in joining class action (shared legal cost) approach.  I spoke to an attorney about it in 2012, when Basel Action Network told a Chicago Newspaper that I was "lying through my teeth" and that the "state of the art" reuse and recycling facilities I had visited and eyewitnessed in Asia were a "myth". According to the reporter, BAN warned him against even listening to me, stating I was mentally ill and that everyone in the recycling community knew it.
"Most libel cases are filed by private citizens. There are reasons for that. Private citizens have a much lower bar to hurdle. They have to prove that the statement was factually wrong, that it was published, that it referred to them and damaged their reputation—and that somebody is responsible for it. That the person who made the statements was negligent." - Guy Bergstrom, "To Sue or Not to Sue: Libel"
Now BAN has learned a thing or two from their experience paying attorneys to defend them in defamation and liable lawsuits.  The 2012 attack on me was certainly explicit and personal, not against a company and not a vague "opinion".  They explicitly warned a reporter not to talk to me, and gave reasons why I was not credible.  Because BAN had to take the unusual step of apologizing and retracting their statements, I get contacted a lot for advice from others wanting to sue BAN. But they have learned to be a little more cautious in some cases (like using the term "likely illegal" against ERA, instead of "illegal", as they claimed in 2012).

Instead of suing, I accepted BAN's apology, which was run in the same Chicago Patch newspaper. I was not really satisfied with the apology, because it did not remove the insult or racial profiling I originally objected to. I was not the person being defamed, it was the Tech Sector overseas, the poor people who make a lot more money repairing rich peoples stuff than they can make repairing poor peoples stuff.

Garrison vs American Retroworks

The landlord of the Closed Loop Recycling (CLRR) certainly has a mess to clean up.

We will be submitting a claim in the near future ourselves. Unfortunately, our attorneys don't want us to make the case in the papers, yet.

But the headlines already generated calls from our clients.  So here are a few points of fact that need to be considered in any story.

NGO Bravely Intervenes in Seattle Laptop Donation

[April 1, 2019  Seattle, Washington]  It was a close call for a local Seattle charity, which nearly received a dozen working laptops from a Canadian reuse organization last month.

Fortunately, Basel Action Network was quick to intervene, notifying the charity by email that the working laptops - while free -  were, in fact, used goods.

"We try to sabotage these before they are handed out," said Executive Director Jim Phuckett. "Had these gotten into the hands of a needy person, they might have gone for years using the device, not even realizing they were accessing the internet and typing term papers using 'e-waste'!"