UPDATE: On August 9th, I received a totally icky creepy demanding phone call from Jim Brown Doppelgang, confirming that in fact, the ones with the knife that were aired on the news aren’t of Jim Brown.
I’m learning a lot lately, from the responses I and others have received to the Cpl. Jim Brown story, since two sets of photos were leaked and he stood accused of being featured in both of them. One set of photos is unquestionably him — I saw every one appear in my newsfeed at the time as he uploaded them one at a time to his personal ad on a social networking website, and I can assure you that every inch of the man in those photos is Jim (I knew him intimately). One set of photos has been ruled out as depictions of him, as supposedly a Jim Brown Doppelgang (who phoned me up out of the blue a couple days after I first published this entry, to reveal his identity and demand that I take the photo down, and who I have also known intimately) appears in a rather insensitive and careless attempt at “art”, which not only looks like a blatantly misogynist eroticizing of violence against women in general, but also styles itself after the most notorious serial murder case in recent Canadian history. Whether or not it really is him was treated like an established fact by people who insist on defending his private lifestyle by trying to demolish the credibility of anyone with something to report that contradicts their utopian view of him (including me). So here’s a few tips I’ve put together through this process, on how to cover up a cover-up.
1. Compare The Leaked Material To Copyrighted Films
This is a top priority. If anyone should question the motivations of White People who posed for staged photos that the surviving family members of missing and murdered Aboriginal women could mistake for stills from a videotape of the crimes against their community members, absolutely the first logical thing to do is claim that the outrage is a stupid and childish over-reaction. Then follow it up with an argument about how there would be absolutely absurd and totally equally baseless and unfair over-reactions if someone “leaked” stills from films that are copyrighted and involved the cooperation of hundreds if not thousands of people to assemble in order to release it to the masses. Because remember: it’s totally exactly the same; this issue has nothing at all to do with race/ethnicity and systemic racism (even though that’s exactly why the missing and murdered women were targeted, because they could disappear and no one would care enough); and even though a box office horror film would be immediately recognized and identified by innumerable people across the globe (likely including professional journalists), there would be just as much totally baseless controversy over “leaking” photos from films that were already widely and publicly distributed.
2. Incite A Wave Of Panic About Stuff That’s Just Irrelevant
When your top priority isn’t taken seriously enough, or is subject to too much criticism for you to continue to defend it, it’s time to start exploiting everyone’s vulnerabilities to incite a wave of panic. If anyone trusts anyone other than the self-appointed authorities who are responsible for this panic wave and the controlled dissemination of information about what the problem actually is, you’ve failed in a critical aspect of your mission. If enough people are free to keep thinking for themselves, instead of being controlled by desperation and fear about how their lives will be ruined if someone speaks, it’ll start a movement of people who will come forward one at a time and start asking more of all those really tough questions that made you abandon your first attempt to cover this whole thing up. Better make sure you prevent that by manipulating an already paranoid group of people into believing that they are all at risk of being terrorized and discriminated against by an out-group. But especially if that out-group is law enforcement, because everybody should always fear law enforcement. That’s how crimes like serial murder sprees are prevented in the first place, right? Because people fear punishment?
3. Pick A Scapegoat Fast And Fuck Them Over Hard
The fastest way to incite widespread panic is to pick a scapegoat and turn everyone on them as fast as you can by demonizing any or all of their current decisions based on a selective reading of their past. But don’t let anyone warn them or try to get their side of the story. Just fuck them over as fast as possible to secure your position of authority, objectivity, and leadership in the middle of this crisis. Make sure you don’t make anyone else look bad, or even remotely capable of bad judgment, because that will just undermine your credibility as the person who’s going to get everyone through the panic (that, unbeknownst to them, you’ve started). As long as everyone is utterly terrified of speaking up about what’s really going on and what responsibilities we all have to do the right thing, they won’t be looking for any bias in how you smear your chosen scapegoat or put people who are just as capable of making bad decisions on a pedestal reserved for Perfect People Who Never Ever Ever Make Bad Judgment Calls. Black-and-white thinking is super-critical to inciting panic, scape-goating, and the kind of tunnel vision that stops people from thinking for themselves and taking a moment to ask the hard questions everyone else seems to be avoiding (i.e., black-and-white thinking). Extra bonus Douchebag Irony points awarded to people who manage to do this within a community whose common interest is described (however erroneously to some of us) in a work of fiction called “Fifty Shades Of Grey”.
4. Deflect In-Group Critical Thinking
Now that you’ve successfully started a momentous wave of panic, misinformation, and black-and-white thinking that will surely keep everyone keeping everyone else in line, you have to mitigate any legitimate risks to what you’re doing. The surest way to do so is by deflecting any in-group critical thinking that emerges or comes from outside of the “herd”. Renounce anything someone within the group says that contradicts what you’re trying to tell everyone. Reject everything they say on the basis of even the slightest error in perception or grammar (that latter one is especially important, since it’s in print, and you can use that as evidence for your own side of it). Do everything you can to undermine their credibility, up to and including making yourself out to be of greater authority on their thoughts, choices, ethics, and experiences, than even they are. If someone outside the “herd” threatens to inject a report of something you missed or didn’t know about, make sure you throw that out too. All the same tactics apply here. Adding as much emphasis as you can (you can never go overboard on this — that’s why I’m using extra italics) on any doubt you can generate concerning their mental or emotional health, integrity, or perspective, is only going to help you. No one will suspect a thing, except whatever you tell them to suspect.
5. Make Carelessly Insensitive Analogies Of Martyrdom
The importance and efficacy of black-and-white thinking cannot be understated. You feel the need to adopt a position of authority during a crisis (you’ve created!) over irrelevant concerns (you helped incite people to panic about!) during an investigation into a massive cover-up of a serial murder case in which the primary targets were female, racialized, and socially marginalized to the point of engaging in survival sex work. Now is the perfect time to inject as much social privilege as you can into every aspect of the conversation you are so ambitiously attempting to take control of. Is the person at the centre of the investigation a straight white male? Perfect! Let’s get started! You say that what he does behind closed doors with consenting (white) women (which is now in leaked photos all over the news media and internet) is the centre of the controversy? Even though the centre of the controversy is really 49 missing and murdered women, most of whom were of aboriginal descent? Compare his plight to that of “the gays”! Call it a witch-hunt! Refer to anyone who tries to voice experiences with him that are creepy, icky, or in any way revealing of a less-than-favourable side, as a lynch mob. Anything short of a poetic utopian dream of this (extremely socially privileged) person has to be fired out of a cannon, as far away as we can remove it.
6. Pretend Social Privilege Has Nothing To Do With Any Of This
So you say the man in the Jim Brown Doppelgang photos is white and so is the woman? And that we would never see an Aboriginal woman in her position, because the photos are reminiscent of what her community members went through in their last moments alive on this planet? Well, that’s irrelevant, silly! We have to forget about that and move on, and so should you. Or at least that’s what you have to tell everyone before your concocted panic dismantles itself with critical thought. Tell them it’s ancient history (even though final report about the massive public inquiry into why nothing was done sooner is just being typed up now, and anyone who wants it re-opened because of missing details about Cpl. Jim Brown’s relationship to the investigation is being shut down — don’t tell them that part). Pretend that all straight white men these days have earned their social privileges (and never simply inherited it by virtue of birth lottery), and historically have never ever ever done anything so horrible to women, people of colour, or survival sex workers. That way, if you also pass for a straight white male (even if, say, one or two of these facets of your identity aren’t quite so black-and-white), no one will question your motivations for, say, publicly bragging about being edgy enough to participate in behaviours that could be interpreted as reminiscent of the serial murder spree (especially if you also work with the community who survived it and should know better). Pretend that your community exists in a vacuum where there is no racial or gendered privilege.
Follow the above series of tips (don’t spare any effort or forget about any one of them — it’s an intersectional thing), and you ought to be able to successfully manage to cover up what is so obviously already an enormous cover-up. At least in your in-group. To out-groups, you’ll just look like a bunch of people whose children should be taken away, and who should never be permitted to hold a position of authority over another human being (and you can thank yourself for that, but I know you’ll blame it on out-groups, because that’s part of deflecting in-group critical thinking).
Here’s a screenshot (MASSIVE TRIGGER WARNING, EVEN THOUGH IT IS CENSORED) from the news of that “art” that isn’t Cpl. Jim Brown (as confirmed by a phone call to me, from the man it is, that made my skin crawl because he’s a fucking creep). Followed by a picture of a stupidly adorable kitten. Oh, who am I kidding. Adorable kitten first, and another adorable kitten afterwards.