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Conspiracy Theory

Endless Mayfly: Iran’s disinformation wing that attacked America, Israel, and Saudi Arabia online

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Endless Mayfly Irans disinformation wing that attacked America Israel and Saudi Arabia online

There are times when Iran seems to be one of the most sophisticated nations in the world when it comes to covert operations. They don’t have the level of techniques employed by espionage experts in the United States, Russia, or Israel, nor do they have the technical prowess of China or North Korea, but they have a level of deceptiveness that makes them formidable nonetheless.

But when it comes to disinformation campaigns, they’re ineptitude is almost comical, as Citizen Lab revealed early this morning. The media and technology watchdog and research group has built a reputation for uncovering some of the most complex disinformation schemes conducted across the internet. Their comprehensive uncovering of Endless Mayfly is another huge feather in their bountiful cap.

Here are the key findings from their report:

  • Endless Mayfly is an Iran-aligned network of inauthentic personas and social media accounts that spreads falsehoods and amplifies narratives critical of Saudi Arabia, the United States, and Israel.
  • Endless Mayfly publishes divisive content on websites that impersonate legitimate media outlets. Inauthentic personas are then used to amplify the content into social media conversations. In some cases, these personas also privately and publicly engage journalists, political dissidents, and activists.
  • Once Endless Mayfly content achieves social media traction, it is deleted and the links are redirected to the domain being impersonated. This technique creates an appearance of legitimacy, while obscuring the origin of the false narrative. We call this technique “ephemeral disinformation”.
  • Our investigation identifies cases where Endless Mayfly content led to incorrect media reporting and caused confusion among journalists, and accusations of intentional wrongdoing. Even in cases where stories were later debunked, confusion remained about the intentions and origins behind the stories.
  • Despite extensive exposure of Endless Mayfly’s activity by established news outlets and research organizations, the network is still active, albeit with some shifts in tactics.

It was initially believed the organization was a Russian proxy, but their techniques and subjects eventually pointed to a likelihood of Iran being involved. While Citizen Lab rightly proclaims a likelihood instead of certainty of Iranian involvement, the data seems to be so clearly linked to Iran that there are only two reasonable explanations: either it is someone trying awfully hard to appear to be linked to Iran, or it’s Iran.

I’m going with the latter.

Their favored technique seems to be establishing fake websites with names close enough to legitimate websites that they’re able to fool prolific social media users and eager journalists dying for a juicy story. Buzzfeed News fell victim to one such instance on a website that looked identical to The Guardian, but that used a URL with a Turkish symbol replacing the “i” in “Guardian.”

They weren’t the only ones fooled. This operation seems to be quite vast.

Endless Mayfly

But there were other obvious signs of falsehood that should have been noticed by the “useful idiots” propagating their disinformation. One article linked to from the report shows plenty of errors that a trained journalist should have noticed, and in this case, he did.

On November 5, 2018, Ali Al-Ahmed, a Washington-based expert in terrorism in the Gulf states and a vocal critic of Saudi Arabia, received a direct message on Twitter from “Mona A. Rahman” (@Mona_ARahman, now suspended).

After engaging in some polite conversation in Arabic with Al-Ahmed, “Mona” shared what appeared to be an article from the Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center. The article contained a purported quote from former Mossad director Tamir Pardo, alleging that former Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman had been dismissed by Netanyahu for being a Russian agent. These allegations, if true, might reasonably be expected to strain relations between Russia and Israel.

The story sent to Al-Ahmed is so loaded with spelling and grammatical mistakes, it’s a wonder anyone could get fooled if this is indicative of the quality of Iran’s disinformation work.

Fake News Endless Mayfly

If we assume Iran is, indeed, behind all of this, what does that tell us? We know tensions have been rising between Iran and both the U.S. and Israel. We can assume if they’ve been working at this since at least early 2016, they’ve had an agenda that extended to long before President Trump was elected. They probably found it unlikely he would be. So their goals weren’t to influence the U.S. elections as much as they were intended to shift sentiment from the rest of the world towards the United States, Israel, and Saudi Arabia.

The full report is a wonderful read. As research on such topics, this one is exhaustive and enlightening.

But it still doesn’t answer the question of what this all means for the geopolitical positioning of Iran. They clearly want something, but that something has very likely changed since inception. Their economy was starting to flourish when President Obama was in office. Under President Trump, their economy has begun a rapid fall, prompting alleged actions ranging from sabotaging oil tankers to preparing to strike U.S. targets. They are desperate, and having access to a disinformation organization may help them seed discontent with the United States as our military stance in the Persian Gulf becomes more aggressive.

Iran has been acting like a wild animal cornered by superior forces ever since President Trump started pulling back the layers of protection given to them by President Obama. What will they do next? Their desperation is showing.

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Conspiracy Theory

Bilderberg 2019 location remains secret less than a month out

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Bilderberg 2019 location remains secret less than a month out

Any time an article invokes “Bilderberg” in the title of the article, many assume it’s going to be a conspiracy theory involving the Illuminati and a push for population control. But what gets missed because of all the strange reporting around the annual meeting of the world’s elites is that there really are crazy things afoot in these meetings that have been reported on properly for years.

There are conspiracy theories, but there are also actual conspiracies. That’s essentially what he meeting is held for in the first place – so the elites can conspire. I’m not saying their conspiring is always a bad thing, but those of us who have been following the meeting for years (decades, in my case) are aware that some very controversial discussions are held that we know of and almost certainly that we don’t know of as well.

Last year, the meeting location was announced in January, giving ample time for all attendees and press to attend. But unlike past meetings, attendance of the press was limited. Have journalists and alternative news outlets lost their appetite for the event? Is it “old news” on the conspiracy theory front? If that were the case last year, this year is shaping up to be a reversal. That’s why it’s conspicuous that the meeting details still haven’t been announced and likely won’t be announced until days before.

I’m one of the carryovers from when The New Americana shifted content and stories to focus on NOQ Report. It was the right move and has been paying off. But one thing that’s been lost is any attention to conspiracies. Yes, most of them are false, but not all. If we’re being honest, I’d say most Americans believe in some conspiracy theories but the term itself has been so stigmatized and the art of investigative journalism has been so tainted that few are willing to admit it. Hopefully, I’ll be posting more on strange subjects in the future.

The folks over at Truthstream Media broke down last year’s and this year’s event as best they could with the limited information available. Bilderberg 2019 is going to happen, but nobody knows where or when.

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Conspiracy Theory

What does San Francisco Mayor London Breed have to hide about Jeff Adachi’s death?

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What does San Francisco Mayor London Breed have to hide about

San Francisco politicians would be in an absolute uproar if the Trump administration ordered the suspension of an unambiguous liberty for the sake of expediency. They would declare a Constitutional crisis was underway and would demand the rights of their citizens be upheld while those who violated them should be held accountable. But when the rights of a citizen are trampled on to benefit their corrupt politicians, they stand by the trampling and pretend like nothing foul is afoot.

Such is the story of journalist Bryan Carmody. His 1st Amendment rights were disregarded so blatantly and so frivolously that it’s obvious there’s a major cover up underway that is protecting very powerful people in the progressive mecca of San Francisco. Following Public Defender Jeff Adachi’s death, a leaked police report was released by Carmody, prompting the San Francisco Police to illegally attempt to force him to reveal his source. He is protected by the Freedom of the Press from divulging his source, but strong-arm techniques reminiscent of the actions of third-world dictators doesn’t seem to be making a dent in the official stories from San Francisco politicians, most notably Mayor London Breed.

San Francisco’s mayor shows the country what a real attack on the free press looks like

Carmody claims he was restrained in handcuffs for nearly six hours as the authorities ransacked his home, seizing “laptops, phones and hard drives — including all the images and documents he had archived from his 29-year career as a reporter and cameraman,” the report adds.

Law enforcement officials have neither denied nor contradicted the freelancer’s version of events. The San Francisco Police Department has not yet returned Carmody’s equipment. The raid, which was approved by two trial court judges, also included agents from the FBI.

And all because Carmody refused to give up a confidential source, as is his right. The mayor sees it differently, though, and she is digging in.

The Mayor took the unconstitutional route from the start and hasn’t looked back.

“San Francisco Police Department is in the process of conducting an investigation into how confidential information was released within the Department. As part of this investigation, the Department went through the appropriate legal process to request a search warrant, which was approved by two judges,” her office said in a statement last week.

Even now, as the pressure mounts from news outlets across the country for the far-left political machine of San Francisco to denounce the attack on the press, one that is so much more direct and heinous than anything President Trump has done, they continue to focus on the legality of the search warrants (even though they clearly were not legal by any stretch of the imagination) and the imperative of finding out who leaked the memos, something that no average San Francisco resident could ever actually care about if they’re being honest.

Instead of defending the Constitution and the rights of their citizens, they’re redirecting.

Their unabashed willingness to continue forward despite all the bad press they’re getting can easily lead someone to one conclusion: There’s something really bad surrounding Adechi’s death that has San Francisco Democrats terrified. There’s a cover up happening right before our eyes, one that has politicians, police, and judges involved and unwavering in their willingness to discard the 1st Amendment altogether.

Whatever has London Breed and her cronies spooked about Adechi’s death, it has to be huge. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be pressing so adamantly against the Constitution of the United States in the broad daylight of public condemnation.

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Why we aren’t ‘preppers’ who store food, gold, guns, or ammunition

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Why we arent preppers who store food gold guns or ammunition

It is very compelling for many people, particularly in America, to see the collapsing freedoms and growing persecutions across the world and want to do something to protect ourselves. This makes many choose to store certain items for times that are coming (or potentially upon us already) when chaos rules. My family disagrees with this viewpoint.

Before the attacks start coming in, there are two important things to consider. First, we have a good amount of food and survival gear as well as plenty of protection within our house. It’s not a coincidence that my children’s favorite pastime is weekends at the shooting range. Second, we have nothing against those who choose to live the “prepper” lifestyle. It’s a natural reaction from certain points of view.

There was a time not too long ago when we were what some would call “amateur preppers”. We bought long-term food stores. We maintained an independent water supply. We have family members who have enough guns and ammunition to hole up in solitude indefinitely without fear.

The reason we shifted our views away from deep preparations can be broken down into three categories.

1. Tribulation is an opportunity

Prepper MasksThe prophets were persecuted. The apostles were persecuted. Reading the Bible cover to cover reveals that very few people who lived by the Word of God were able to avoid the trials of this life.

This isn’t a call for people to go looking for trouble. We aren’t suggesting that everyone needs to go give away Bibles in China or preach the Word in Iran in hopes of getting arrested and persecuted. Some are clearly called to do such things, not for the sake of the persecution they’ll receive but to make disciples of the nations. Bold actions like these aren’t for everyone.

What we are saying is that the Bible makes it very clear that those who overcome their fears and face the tribulations, trials, and persecutions that are becoming increasingly robust around the world are blessed for their diligence and faith.

Matthew 5:10 (KJV)

10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Romans 5:3-5 (KJV)

And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;

And patience, experience; and experience, hope:

And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.

James 1:2-3 (KJV)

My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;

Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.

Our first goal is to accept the gift of salvation. Our second goal is to spread the Gospel to those we can touch. Once those two things are ongoing, we should continue to keep our security and health, but not at the detriment of either of the first two goals. In fact, Yeshua spoke of the importance of keeping the faith now for the grace to come instead of trying to focus on saving our bodies in this life.

Luke 9:23-25 (KJV)

23 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.

24 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.

25 For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away?

Total faith means knowing that whatever God has in store for you, whether it’s what we consider to be positive or negative, we must see beyond the effects on this life and believe that how we handle everything can be a merit at the time of judgment.

2. The Principalities and Powers are watching

Prepper GunsSome people get fearful chills when they read Revelation. Others get similarly scared at Daniel or Isaiah. For me, it’s Ephesians that worries me the most.

Ephesians 6:12 (KJV)

12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

A look at the news on any given day will reveal two disturbing trends: the various governments and other entities of the world are tightening around us while the people are becoming more confused and looking towards sinful solutions.

The concept of having guns pried from our cold, dead hands is seeming to be more and more likely of a scenario.

Between technological advancements, emboldened governments, and desperate leads in and out of governments, it’s very unlikely that anyone can be truly safe. The only choices may end up being to die defending the farm or to face persecution. It’s definitely possible to do both, to be a prepper while still maintaining the right connection to faith, but it’s part of human nature to rely on our own works when we focus on solutions like those.

As I’ve discussed before, Christians shouldn’t prepare at an extreme level for an economic collapse. Again, we’re not suggesting that people should abandon their gold or silver. It simply can’t be a priority as it takes away from the proper focus of this life – unending love and faith in Yeshua as our Lord and Savior.

At no point would we ever recommend sitting back and watching our liberties fade into history. There are times to fight. There are times to hide. There are times to adjust. Of course, the one universal is that there is time for prayer, repentance, and service to our Lord.

3. Faith through the Armor of God is sufficient

Prepper CurrencyAs I’ve made abundantly clear on my other site, I do not believe in the doctrine of the pre-tribulation rapture. Those who are alive when the end times come will face tribulation whether they have guns or not.

There is a false security that is created when the works of our hands are used to solve problems as big as the tribulation from the Bible. That’s not to say that we shouldn’t act, but the real action comes from preparing our souls and putting on the whole Armor of God.

Those who prepare for catastrophe are distracted. We all are to some degree with everything that is in front of us in this world. One of our goals should be to remove or properly handle these distractions.

Being a prepper doesn’t make anyone any less of a Christian. It just makes being a good Christian harder. Of course, that could be said about pretty much everything in this world that’s not centered squarely on the Bible’s teachings.

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