Sunday, March 15, 2009

Digging Deeper

Paul Watson's claim that the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is a group "with little resources" rang a bit hollow with me so I decided to investigate his claim a little further. It was then that I happened across this page from the website ActivistCash.com. This site tracks how a number of activist groups pad their wallets. Quite interesting.

The top donation from a Foundation for the years 1998-2002 was the Whatley Charitable Trust. They gave the SSCS $160 000 during these years. As far as I can tell, they also donate to the Sierra Club and Greenpeace. Curiously, this foundation's mailing address seems to be in Jefferson County....Alabama. Apparently, climate change has caused a mass seal migration to the Deep South so that these people can now speak authoritatively on seals.

The SSCS's top individual donator....Ann Johnston. And who is Ann Johnston? According to Activist Cash --

Ann Johnston gave SSCS almost $2.7 million in stock in 1997. Her husband, Pritam Singh, is a real estate developer and a member of SSCS’ financial and management advisory board. According to the Key News Journal, he’s under investigation by the FBI for his questionable business dealings. One Key West attorney has also filed a civil lawsuit against Singh, alleging almost 20 years of criminal activity -- including racketeering and fraud. Singh was fined $1.2 million by the federal Office of Thrift Supervision in 1995. And he quietly settled a lawsuit filed by members of his sales staff who said he illegally withheld their commissions.

Johnston’s 1997 stock donation included shares of a company named Northern Development Associates, a for-profit business which is now 100-percent owned by Sea Shepherd.


Number 3 on this list is Mike Galesi, who donated a tad over $172 000 from 2000-2002. According to the SSCS's own website, Galesi (who also sits on the organization's Financial and Management Advisory Board)

is a successful businessman and entrepreneur from the New York metropolitan area. He runs a commercial real estate business that began three generations ago. He and his partners now own and operate properties up and down the eastern seaboard where they redevelop strip shopping centers and office buildings.

The number 3 donator on the list (contributing a little over $147 000 from 1999 to 2001) is Susan Bloom a long-time donor to the most extreme factions of the environmental and animal-rights movement. Bloom was the founder and main financier of the British Columbia animal-rights group Bear Watch, which employed David Barbarash, a former “spokesman” for the terrorist Animal Liberation Front (ALF). Paul Watson has hosted at least one Bear Watch fundraiser.

Wow....and this is only three! With heavy weights like this behind you, I hardly think Watson and the SSCS are starved for cash.

But wait! There's more. Again from ActivistCash.com -

Crew members are charged $1,000 for the honor of working long hours on an expedition. Watson has long claimed (as recently as his 2002 memoir) that he has kept his vow to “never accept a single dollar for myself from charitable donations.” The group’s 2001 tax return, however, indicates Watson was paid $40,000 as president and CEO. He also makes money from lectures, books, and teaching at the Arts College of Design in Pasadena.

The Fund for Animals and PETA have also made donations according to this list ($37 500 and $22 500 respectively). Evidently stupidity loves company.

Celebrity supporters of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society include Richard Dean Anderson, Linda Blair (of Exorcist fame), Pierce Brosnan, James Cromwell (he starred in the movie "Snow Walker"; which saddens me) and Martin Sheen (apparently Ohioans are more knowledgeable about seals than Inuit....right)

NOW.....what do all these people/groups have in common? They are all white southern elitists who think they know more about the environment and its protection than a group of people whose lives and culture and been closely bound to it for more than 4000 years.

4 comments:

Kennie said...

Nooo! Not Bond and MacGyver!

Tracy H. said...

You may want to do a little research about the person who runs ActivistCash.com: Rick Berman.

Way Way Up said...

With all due respect, I suggest that you may want to do some research on the role the seal plays in the lived of the indigenous peoples of Canadas North before mistakenly labelling them.

Jennith said...

Funny they should worry about a handful of inuit who hunt seals for a purpose and they seem less worried about what the billions of people south of the seals habitat are doing to kill the seals with pollution.

A developer.. now there is someone extreme animal rights activists want funding them... has anyone noticed what developers have done to the eastern sea board.

At least hunting is an honest kind of death. Its not the sneaky kind of death that comes from being poisonned, having your habitat destroyed or having some parasite or disease brought to you from elsewhere.

From an ecological perspective, predation by humans has been a part of being a seal in Nunavut for a very long time without eliminating their population. If the population of seals is shrinking perhaps the activists should ask what has changed in the recent past.