ASTROTURF i.e. Fake ACTIVIST Organizations

America is under attack, and I do NOT mean by terrorists. Today America is not only terrorized (fake news), we are Bombarded by (fake and false ) everything. It began when (real) truth about gouging, corruption, price-fixing and covert gov-operations began circumventing media & Gov censorship. Corporations (even the US-Gov) to counter these revelations began hiring or forming (PR) agencies to launch lies and propaganda against the escaped truth. Today as a result it has become impossible to read a magazine or newspaper article, listen to the radio, or even watch television without having canned lies and propaganda forced down your throat. These PR or NGO operations are now even used in covert spying and foreign intrigue. An example is Gov (PR) propaganda (lie) planted in say a British or Iraq media, that is then picked up by US-media to placate US citizens. One Congressman has begun calling mail from well intentioned constituents fooled by fake PR-stories as Astroturf Lobbying. In fact I have my own confrontation experience that has angered me.

How wealthy and powerful group's or individuals hire PR Agencies to propagandise ordinary and uninformed citizens to work against their own best interests, while furthering the interests and profits of these dishonest few.
Jim Hoggan PR Specialist explains 'Astroturf'

Do you remember the little Kuwaiti nurse (sob, sob) interviewed by a (fake) Congressional Committee, about those bad Iraqi invaders coming into the hospital where she worked, removed babies from incubator's, leaving the babies (sob, sob) to die... on the cold, cold floor. NEVER HAPPENED, the (sob, sob) little girl was daughter of Kuwaiti Diplomat and of a royal family (sob, sob) who never worked in a Kuwaiti hospital (they import others to do hard-work), the entire TV-affair was paid for and staged by a PR Agency Hill & Knowlton. Pres. GHW Bush was incensed and wanted right away to fight for democracy and apple pie... SURPRISE!!!

The reason for writing this web-article has direct relation to my experience in (Jan. 2006). When a van having government license plates drove slowly along the curb at the corner of Coon Rapids Blvd and Hansen Blvd in a Minneapolis suburb, busily taking pictures of a dangerous group in whom I was a member. The group was "Women Against Military Madness" or WAMM that consisted surprisingly of 7-8 women (plus a young girl) and myself. We were all guilty of standing on this corner during evening rush hour holding posters inciting "Peace Not War" and "Support Our Troops bring Them Home." As fear and deception has become a way of life today in America, I will again warn my fellow Americans that they are being sorely used. The following is an example that perhaps 90% of the Americans are aware, however very few to the extent and danger to which it has grown, it even has a name and is called Astroturf.

I became interested in what I later discovered were fake 'Activist or Front Group' organizations, these are organizations established and paid for by Wealthy Corporations or our US Government. These fake citizen activist organizations (PR agencies) use deception and lies, the purpose (is) to con citizens into believing and working against problems that cut into Corporate Profits and Government ambitions. The first time I discovered this deceit was when one of Americas largest Oil Corporations formed a Citizen Activist organization, the disguised purpose was to remove some Minnesota gasoline/s from requiring Federally mandated anti-pollution ether-blend (Ethanol) which by the way the oil Corporation accomplished through the Minnesota Legislature who should have known better.

Here is a list of Agencies formed especially to report anything as truth for the highest bidder:

Beckel Cowan, Bivings Group, Bonner & Associates, Burson-Marsteller, Davies Communications, DCI Group, Direct Impact, Hill & Knowlton, Issue Dynamics Inc., National Grassroots & Communications, or Optima Direct.

What made me really angry however was a letter from a (supposed) army major in Iraq (45 days after the invasion), whose letter of deception was being sent out as email to citizens. It was so full of false information and deception, so much so that it was easy for me to write my own article. This was on the fake "WMD" war in Iraq, that everyone now knows was a lie, but perhaps the most obscene part of this email was the statement that "we forget WMD as the motivator for the Iraq war because it was not the real motivator."

Later this deception was noted in 'form-letters' being posted within 'home newspapers' all over America from servicemen in Iraq. These being our children who also are being propagandized into believing we do not support (them) or their sacrifices, and of whom in some cases had not seen let alone signed the form-letter. This is becoming common, while real problems being reported by real servicemen are buried or censored out of the news by US-media. Astroturf has taken in legitimate citizen-groups and Christian-organizations into participating in this deliberate deceptions by Corporate owned PR-groups and our own Government. Departments of the Pentagon and PSYOPS Agencies have become well known for planting false news and bogus news reports as cover-up by PR-Agencies as example before and after both Iraq War-1 and Iraq War-2.

Just recently I ran into another blatant deception found to be the mastermind of Allergan, Inc., the manufacturer of Botox. California State had plans for placing Botox as a non-essential medical provision, and for this reason in the process of placing it on the tax roles. Immediately there sprang up a citizens organization called "stophealthcaretaxes", its purpose to encourage emotionally angry citizens into writing their representative to stop the planned tax in California. The citizen organization was tied directly back to Allergan, Inc. Check out this webpage, it is hilarious considering (hint, only Calif.):
  Citizens Against Unfair Health Care Taxes

This 'PR Watch' video is worth listening to, how you are manipulated.

This deceptive method has gotten the name "Astroturf" because it has become so prevalent. Unlike genuine grassroots activism that tends to be money-poor but people-rich, astroturf campaigns are typically people-poor but cash-rich. Funded heavily by corporate largesse, they use sophisticated computer databases, telephone banks and hired organizers to rope less-informed activists into sending letters to their elected officials or engaging in other actions that create the appearance of grassroots support for their client's cause. For anyone interested in how today you are bombarded in US Media with deceiving lies and deception, check out these websites:
(the later webpage is apparently by a left leaning group trying to whitewash themselves)
Here are some examples:

  • McSpying - Eveline Lubbers, with the help of the McLibel Two.
    As was revealed during the McLibel trial, the tiny pressure group that campaigned against McDonalds was infiltrated by at least seven private spies at several meetings they were in the majority. McDonald's hired two separate private security firms without telling them about each other.

  • Garbology: Activist Trash as Corporate Treasure
    A self-proclaimed activist collected wastepaper at about thirty third-world and activist movement offices in the Netherlands. Careful research in 1994 revealed how a private security firm had recycled original documents and filed copies into files on campaigners and their organizations. Content filtered from the wastepaper surfaced at strategic moments in right-wing newspapers or on multinationals' desks.

  • Private Spooks: Wackenhut vs. Whistleblowers - Sheila O'Donnell (US)
    A private investigator who is specialized in defense of activists and organizations who are threatened. The Wackenhut Corporation was hired to help the Alyeska oil consortium in the aftermath of the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill to stem whistleblowing to the US House of Representatives. This chapter documents how the company illegally obtained telephone records, removed trash, did background checks of many people, bugged hotel rooms and set up a bogus environmental law firm.

  • Global Warming - Myron Ebell
    Head of the junk science-disseminating anti-global warming division of the Competitive Enterprise Institute was caught with his pants down, so to speak. Ebell accidentally forwarded a memo to several reporters in which senators were discussed in cynically disparaging terms. Even sleazier than the memo's contents is the proof it represents that the CEI is in such regular chummy contact with several news reporters. As all cyber communicators know, you don't "just happen" to have someone on your list of regular email recipients. The CEI has received nearly $1.5 million in donations since 1998 from ExxonMobil, which specifically contributes $200,000 to $400,000 a year to support the junk science-filled climate section of this corporate front group. Ie., ExxonMobil funds the creation of a junk science "think tank," paying its rep's (Ebell, for ex.) to disseminate this misinformation to the media, who apparently eats it right up.

Of interest to me is what Senator Lloyd Bentsen coined as 'Astroturf Lobbying', and in particular the Drug manufaturer's and their tremendous lobbyist monies that went into Pharmaceutical bribery of Congress to establish the privatizing of our medicine or prescription coverage plans. This fact today has been well documented by Public Citizen group who are (real) citizen activists using Freedom of Information (FOI) to document these figures on lobbyist spending during a period from 1997-2001. These are their findings.
  1. Of the $404,071,467 for this lobbying purpose, it came from approx. 623 lobbyists.
  2. 54% were (Revolving Door) lobbyists who were previous members of Congress.
  3. This amounted to approx. 1-lobbyist for every member of Congress.
  4. Brand Named Drug corporations accounted for 97% of lobbying spending.

Here is a small list of those who propagate Astroturf:
Judicial Watch, Citizens against Government Waste, National Center for Policy Analysis, Alliance for Retirement Prosperity, American Land Rights Association, the Blue Ribbon Coalition, Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse (CALA), CO2 Science Magazine, Traditional Values Coalition, Wise Use Movement, Mountain Legal Defense Foundation,, Rx Partners, Citizens to Protect the Pacific Northwest and Northern California Economy, National Smokers Alliance, Coalition for Health Insurance Choices, National Smokers Alliance, Wise Use, Oregon Lands Coalition, Alliance to Keep Americans Working, American Council on Science and Health, Litigation Fairness Campaign, Citizens for a Sound Economy, Talon News Service(GOPUSA.COM), Consumers for Cable Choice, FreedomWorks, the Progress and Freedom Foundation, the American Legislative Exchange Council, New Millennium Research Council, Frontiers of Freedom.

The financing or budgets of these organizations (in bulk) are generally traced back to wealthy foundations, groups, or individuals.
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