The Slog has established a clear commonality of Western religious fundamentalism between all three alleged and intended victims of ISIS ‘revenge’ for the Obama foreign policy. It casts further doubt on the people who “directed” the videos, and their motives. Above all, it suggests ISIS might be little more than a branding invention.

Out of deference to relatives of British ISIS captive David Cawthorn Haines, The Slog decided yesterday to observe the media silence as to his identity. However, given the global exposure of his name and background yesterday – and to counter several inaccurate statements made about his background – it now seems fitting to reveal who and what he really is. Apart from anything else, anyone close to the man not aware of his abduction, and then appearance on the Sotloff ‘execution’ video, must have left the planet.

According to several media outlets around the world, David Cawthorn Haines is an aid worker abducted by ‘Syrian rebels’ in March 2013 near the Turkish border. Other ‘aid workers’, it seems, have been working to secure his release.

But Mr Haines is not a professional aid worker, he is a security expert, and a former officer in British military intelligence. He has indeed held jobs with a number of aid organisations, but this is merely his  ‘cover’. He spent more than ten years assessing security threats in several countries during his military and later professional career.

His current LinkedIn profile identifies Haines as the ‘Consultant Director’ at an Italian-Croatian company, Astraea. Athough described in Australian and US media as “a manufacturing business”, Astraea is a diversified wholesaler and health group, among other things supplying specialist equipment to the catering trade. There he is described as having ’23 years of working experience in ever increasing positions of responsibility within private, NGO and military environments’.

Let’s look a little more closely at Astraea. There are two overall bits of it: co-owner David Siegel seems to be a distributor of catering and ‘therapeutic’ products as well as owning a Wellness Group called Surya; but his co-owner Stephanie Taylor writes and publishes novels – all of which are sort of Mills & Boon – romance with no sex. That part of the company is called ‘Taylor Company’ – and it is this part to which David Cawthorne Haines is a consultant.

Like Steven Sotloff and David Foley, Stephanie Taylor is a religious fundamentalist….as is her marketing director. In one interview, Taylor talks of being grateful for a great deal of “community help”. She doesn’t say from where. Her fundamentalism is expressed by here as “great books with strong writing that leave out profanity and erotica”.

Taylor is a – literally – Born Again Christian. At one time a stripper and drug abuser, Taylor was interviewed recently by the Christian website 700 Club, and had this to say about her conversion:

“This hand just pulled at my heart, and my feet just began to move,” recalls Stephanie. “I’m sitting there thinking in my mind, What are you doing, Stephanie? Because I was very rebellious. I was very mean. I ended up at the altar, and I prayed the salvation prayer. I know that day there was a transformation…I began praying, ‘Lord Jesus, I don’t want to be in this place. I don’t want to do these drugs. I don’t want to be addicted to this. I don’t want to live a life like this’…“I turned on the TV in my bedroom, and there was The 700 Club”.

The 700 Club is fronted by none other than Pat Robertson – media mogul and doyen of the American Christian Right. He unsuccessfully campaigned to become the Republican Party’s nominee in the 1988 presidential election, and is the ultimate influential, and controversial public voice for conservative Christianity in the United States.

Robertson is well-known as something of a hardline conspiracy-theory anti-Semite, but mainly for his rabid Islamophobia. Some extracts from his outbursts include:

“Sure, Islam is a religion, but at the same time it is a system of world government, and we have to recognize the two go hand in hand, Mohammed wanted to take over. They had jihad to conquer people, which they subjugated in order to establish their control. And that’s what these people are doing, but it’s horrible….We were fighting the Nazis, and our job was to defeat the Nazis, and everybody in America was mobilized to defeat the Nazis. … Now we’re fighting a war, but we refuse to identify our enemy even though it’s in plain sight….it’s a demonic system, a violent political system bent on the overthrow of the governments of the world and world domination.”

Question: who gave Stephanie Taylor – a penniless drug addict – the money required to found and grow The Taylor Company? I don’t know as yet: but one of Pat Robertson’s most adoring fans somehow founded and then became allied to Astraea’s publishing division.

That division thus offers the perfect fit for CIA disinformation: devoutly Christian, allied to the US Conservative Right, anti-Muslim… and in the media: Robertson’s Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) broadcasts in 117 countries worldwide, and Robertson himself is a global businessman with media holdings in Asia, the United Kingdom, and Africa.

Astraea (named after the Greek goddess of Virtue) and its Taylor Company rocketed ahead in a very short time…just like The Global Post that employed James Foley. Founded in the same year (2009) the Taylor Company is for some reason allied to distribution and Wellness companies based in former Soviet territories. Why?

As I’ve said from the start of this investigation into ISIS and its decapitation habit, I follow no loopy-loo conspiracy theory: I assert only that some patterns are appearing that suggest a number of possibilities. Having to date looked at three alleged victims of beheading, the following is close to being proven beyond reasonable doubt:

1. None of the actual or intended victims are the straightforward ‘committed ethical journalists’ suggested by the propaganda, masquerading unconvincingly as news, being churned out by most western media.

2. The very clear link now between all three subjects is that of American conservative religious groups determined to press their agenda, and with an established process of training and grooming their people for media work in the Middle East. At the very least, all three victims as videoed to date are practising religious fundamentalists.

3. All three men were employed by, or have links to, the national security sector and military intelligence of various countries – so far, the US, Israel and Britain.

4. There seems an increasing possibility that ISIS is nothing more than a hastily rebranded version of other brand names used (and at times both funded and trained) by the US State Department and the CIA: Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, anti-Assad rebels in Syria and so forth.

No ‘conclusions’ follow, as this is still very early days for hard and fast bottom lines; but I think the shortlist of likelihoods is getting smaller, and now stands at these three.

Either

None of these videos are from ISIS at all, but fakes put out by a joint black ops scheme being run by the CIA, MI5 and Mossad. In this scenario, the victims are not dead at all, and the assailant is a cleverly voiced actor assuming the identity of a British Jihadist. Objective: to reduce and then overcome opposition to military action in the Middle East

or

A rogue element consisting of Far Right anti-Islamic religious fundamentalists is at large in the Middle East. They are either (a) being fed to Islamists by the main Western security services in a double-aimed sting to remove loose cannons and build support for anti-ISIS military intervention; or (b) being sussed by the Islamists themselves and executed to send a clear message to the Obama/Cameron/Netanyahu/Christian Right/Radical Zionist complex.

or

The US Christian Right and other Western security agencies are working cooperatively in the Middle East, and ISIS got lucky/decided to target the more rabid Western elements to make a point.

Stay tuned. This saga continues to develop.


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