“Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely”
After two years of dealing directly with animal rights supporters of the PAWS sanctuary it is hard not to come to the conclusions that these people are fanatics. More than fanatics, cult-like or even co-religionists who have been indoctrinated into a group think situation where nothing but de-programming will bring them back to the world of free thinking rationalists. I cannot recall even one time over the course of two years where anyone who was a member of this “group” was willing to have a rational debate and exchange of the facts without insulting or attacking us straight out of the starting gates. There has not been one time where the true believers have even presented a fact or evidence which would disprove the official documents which support that there indeed was a tuberculosis crisis at the sanctuary, one which was quietly covered up likely with the aid of USDA Field Specialist Dr. Denise Sofranko. Currently sanctuary supporters are being told that the tuberculosis at PAWS was either “cleared up” or proven to be “false”. When we ask for evidence our comments are deleted off social media or we are insulted, berated and harassed.
I personally have always maintained that these fanatics are like prey, easy pickings for the large animal rights groups who absorb them into the group think with sad pictures, catchy catch phrases and costly ad campaigns. Let’s face it they have millions of dollars invested in their ad and propaganda campaigns, mind control and manipulation has been a simple task for them. That angry army programmed to believe this is some us vs them battle for moral supremacy provides a lot of free marketing for the leaders of this movement.
At some point these organizations, HSUS Department of Anti Meat, PETA The Department of Anti Pets and their underlings the Department of We Hate Zoos Born free USA and In Defense of Animals decided to merge the Departments of We Hate Circuses and We hate Zoos. Their fight against elephants in zoos was not gaining the momentum they needed, well the money and power they needed. It was a brilliant move I’ll give them that, misguided and irrational but none the less it worked. Zoos and apparently science are now dirty words.
I guess if you live in a household where your philosophies are driven by what is handed to you by corporate think tanks with an agenda to control your daily actions and absorb you into the rank and file as a marketing puppet you likely would not be inclined to teach your children to pursue and succeed at logical fact based studies such as the maths and science or media literacy. Having an educated society is the key to economic prosperity and growth. Notably Canadians as a nation are not quite as enamoured with the need for celebrity leaders or icons. Repetitive slogans for emotionally driven campaigns which require you not to think constructively or think for one’s self is a form of mass media control it is no different than a corporate brand, corporate media or news agencies bringing you the message they want you to believe in. They depend on human laziness and apathy and feed off insecurity and the need to belong, to have purpose. The animal rights movement is no different than a corporate ad campaign for a car or a medication or a pair of designer shoes. It provides the same immediate gratification, that you are special, you have value that you are a member of a special class of people. But the emotional component of the AR movement provides an extra ingredient – the achievement of moral and intellectual superiority and the belonging to a group which will validate your achievement every day. There is no difference between the AR movements and fanatical religious movements. You would experience the same fanatical angry response if you walked into Wetsboro Baptist Church and told them their insane theories on the supposed correlation between acceptance of homosexuality and the destruction of American society was a falsehood, you would be verbally attacked based on unstable emotionally misguided hatred which twists facts into a skewed reality to suit personal agendas.
It is the agenda of a small few at the top, they make the money they have the power you do all the work – for free. You buy into their dogma without question. And aside from that personal validation all you get it return is social ostracising if you dare to question or dare to take a moderate point of view – if you dare to be rational, if you dare to think for yourself. You would be burned at the virtual cyber stake.
We have seen this kind of movement, this holier than thou mindset throughout history, we reflect on these movements from the past with disgust and disregard. We denounce it in the present. Yet you accept it in now, when animal rights have absorbed animal welfare movements and taken them to the level of extreme?
When the large animal rights groups merged the We Hate Zoos Department and the We Hate Circuses Departments they could now direct all the hate, rage and intolerance they inspire in it’s followers into one campaign which believed that aside from the wild the only place for these elephants was in a sanctuary. There are two sanctuaries, TES and PAWS. It is notable that TES does not have a designated “leader” anymore since the outing of their founder the illustrious Carol Buckley. She would be the one who taught her first elephant to ride roller skates. Although TES takes a quieter stance against captivity they are still backed by IDA, Born Free is the Department “manager” of PAWS.
PAWS however has vocal celebrity support, money and their spiritual leaders Pat and Ed. Most of the advertising campaigns to inspire anti zoo sentiment revolves around PAWS and elephants. It is indicative of their efforts to manipulate, a cult needs a leader. TES has no dynamic figurehead therefore the control of the army would not be as effective if they were more in the limelight. Furthermore TES appears to have more transparency with regards to disease and disease protocols. In the case of PAWS the main celebrity leader is Mr Misogynist abuser of women Bob Barker and the deceased Pat Derby, cults still worship leaders even if posthumously. Failed animal trainer, failed zoological expert, failed at everything until she figured out that elephants touch people’s hearts and open people’s wallets. It wasn’t until she and partner Ed Stewart realized that yes elephants do attract attention and make money that they began their elephant sanctuary and achieved success. It seems their alliances with larger animal rights groups aided in building on this success. Zoos don’t exploit elephants any more than PAWS does or the larger AR organizations which use elephants as poster children to funnel money into the bigger collective agenda. It is not a zoo which creates mass public interest in elephants, it is the elephant itself; iconic beautiful and threatened in the wild.
Pat’s previous animal hoard was almost entirely euthanized on her orders when she went bankrupt and she was too self righteous and arrogant to let anyone have her animals. No one could care for her animals the way she could, death was preferred. At that time when animals were being put down, quoted in her words in her own book she mentions the wolves gave birth to cubs. Gave birth? Why were these animals breeding? We thought you didn’t believe in breeding? None of the PAWS supporters ever ask that question; no one ever asks why she was breeding her wolves – EVER. Why was she breeding? What was she doing with the cubs? Selling them? The carcasses of dead animals she chose death over life for were bulldozed up and buried. Group think once again denies the truth allowing their leaders to have behaved in any manner in the past, in a way they would now vilify and attack someone for. With complete blind faith or forgiveness if you “rescue” animals now it doesn’t matter what you did them before, if you call your facility a sanctuary you are automatically exempt from scrutiny or accountability.
Zoos have increased their ability to keep elephants healthier and happier in zoos over the last 20 years however they are not allotted the same open minded tolerance from the army. Recently a study showed that foot ailments and infections in elephants in captivity are down and the main issue now facing elephants in zoos is weight. Experts have always claimed that foot ailments were a result of older more archaic methods of keeping elephants in zoos, as those methods changed the foot aliments have decreased. AR groups like Zoocheck like to tell people that foot infections are the leading cause of death in zoos, with of course has no supporting evidence, just another repetitive campaign slogan to brainwash their followers and to recruit more. And surely PAWS can relate to this issue of weight as their elephants are too heavy, and you don’t need to be an expert to see this. You do however have to be a free thinker with some semblance of common sense. Not surprisingly the commentary of PAWS supporters on social media upon seeing the Toronto Zoo elephants in videos after their arrival to the facility were riddled with statements claiming the girls are too thin, attacking the zoo implying they had no money to feed them, that they had been abused in their “prison”. Actually the Toronto Zoo elephant management team is award winning for their exercise management program which enabled the elephants to lose weight and remain physically fit. PAWS did not bother to learn the girl’s fitness routines from the zoo keepers so that perhaps they could teach it to their own elephants and maintain some routine for the TZoo3 to alleviate the stress of relocation.
A too heavy elephant is an elephant which cannot get back up if it goes down, an overweight elephant can develop a multitude of health issues. PAWS has no enrichment programs, no exercise programs, they believe wandering around in a field all day is enough for an animal to stay fit. So they free range eat without restrictions and are not exercised which of course leads to the weight issues. You can see in most of PAWS elephant pictures. You can’t deny that, you merely have to look at their photos. Will the army ask PAWS about this? Will the army ask for PAWS to start an enrichment program which encourages stretching of muscles and development of muscle tone and strength? No they will not because apparently if you are a fat elephant in a sanctuary this is magically ok and better than being a heavy elephant in a zoo. What is the point of 80acres to exercise their legs and joints if it is ineffective and without results causing obesity? What is the point of letting the animals gain too much weight – do you know anyone who has ever said to you I am so glad I got really fat I, feel so much healthier now? Or that being overweight has really helped the pain in their joints and legs or their arthritis?
Sanctuaries can let animals get dangerously overweight but if this happens in a zoo they are vilified? Toronto Zoo keepers are treated like villains and not a single army member notes that without the world class care and training provided by those keepers the Toronto Zoo elephants would not have been able to manage the inhumane and hypocritical road trip which was 84hrs in the crate and 70+hrs on the road without going down en route. And even now you can see in videos being posted by PAWS that despite their good health 2 of the older girls are now suffering from that road trip, Toka has a pronounced limp she never had before and Iringa’s gait is showing signs of being in severe pain. Not just on the front leg where she had a previous foot ailment but all over. Everyone keeps saying “they are ok!” and no one, not one person from the PAWS supporters has had the guts to stand up and ask why they are limping so badly. Why? You will be attacked by your peers for daring to question your leaders. Anyone else who has posted this question on their social media groups has had their comments removed almost immediately. They control the flow of information as they have for years, hence why you were never told the truth about TB. And now you think they will tell you the truth about these three elephants you all claim to care so much about? If you choose to ignore these burning questions it is clear that the cause means more to you than actual animal welfare.
A cult is a group of people who organize around a strong authority figure. Cults, like many other groups, attempt to expand their influence for the purposes of power or money. However, to achieve these ends, destructive cults employ a potent mixture of influence techniques and deception to attain psychological control over members and new recruits. This fundamental level of control is known alternatively as ‘brainwashing,’ ‘thought reform,’ or ‘mind control.’ A successful induction by a destructive cult displaces a person’s former identity and replaces it with a new one. That new identity may not be one that the person would have freely chosen under her own volition (Hassan, 1990).
What people “want” or “need” is always open to much interpretation. Needs and wants can also be influenced to a significant degree. Self-awareness and spirituality have become consumer goods on an open personal transformation marketplace complete with multimillion dollar packaging and advertising campaigns. Relatively basic needs such as the need for love and intimacy can be reinterpreted and intellectualized into abstract and metaphorical needs; the “lonely” person becomes the “spiritual seeker” in search of “true meaning in life,” “self- actualization” or a “sense of oneness with the cosmos.” With cults and mass therapies, the question of informed consent becomes a more difficult one to answer than it first seems. Considerable caution on the part of those groups offering “enlightenment” seems indicated.
Cult recruits are not any more likely to be mentally ill, less intelligent, or less well educated than the average population. Nor are they necessarily more gullible on average. They do tend, however, to be “seekers,” constantly looking for pat answers and magical solutions for personal or societal problems. They are often driven to find answers (any answer) to the great metaphysical questions, rather than live with uncertainty. Those who have a higher tolerance for ambiguity can live with the acceptance that such things are ultimately unknowable.
Despite likely sharing a multitude of common causes which aim to protect and preserve wild species or to increase animal welfare for animals in captivity thanks to the polarizing and premeditated effect of the us vs them campaign encouraged by the large animal rights groups leading the charge against zoos factions have been created, there is a divide which pits one team against another in a blood sport which involves the vehement rejection of anyone who does not share their belief systems 100%. Where in the world does any one group of people all share the exact same thinking on every subject without question?
PAWS is nothing more than a private zoo for the rich and famous, like the historical royal menageries of days gone by, while you, the subservient loyal peasant look on – through your computer screens and rose coloured glasses. They get to be with animals? They get to own animals and use them for anti zoo campaigns but zoos can’t have animals and use them to promote the needs of the wild world in crisis? They get to be forgiven for their past indiscretions but zoos do not? And you get to promote campaigns against zoos but we cannot campaign in their defence? To defend the value of zoos means we don’t care about animal welfare? The only prisoners in this debate are those who cannot escape being mentally polarized and trapped by their self appointed leaders. How come we only ever see the elephants at PAWS in ad campaigns and videos? What about the dozens of big cats, the bears and the primates? You want attention and big money? Show me the elephants.
Review the check list and see for yourselves. Anyone who has been a victim of these organized attacks in order to stifle information which might undermine the group think will recognize these traits quickly.