Last week I posted in the CHLY Facebook group for the first time in a long time. It was to air a private thought I have harboured for 5 years.
Give me shit for it, I don’t care.
It has to do with someone I’ve butt heads with a LOT during the years I spent in the radio station offices. I’ll call him Lenny. It questions: Is Lenny an infiltrator, trying to hurt the radio station? Have the cases of undercover informants made me paranoid? Or are my suspicions warranted, given the history of his involvement?
The post I made was in response to others commenting (and defending) the individual in question, as he was “spamming” the CHLY radio fb group questioning the daily news program Democracy Now!. His complaint was that it contributes to an over representation of leftist position heard on CHLY. I didn’t speak up when this man lobbied to get rid of the Drug Truth Network show Cultural Baggage (and others over the years) but I did this time.
This conversation lately: is CHLY (which is a listener-supported non profit) only representing leftist ideas? My answer to this is YEAH, probably 80% of the time! But why not? In a mainstream media landscape of multinational corporations, consumptive capitalist ideas have bottomless funding. The stakes include millions of dollars to support multi billion dollar industries. CHLY adds a necessary counter voice that says “End the drug war!” “That’s fascism!” and “Spend local!” Why should it be any different? It’s a people-powered radio station and the people are tired of soulless capitalist oligarchies running the world (and soulless pop music saturating our psyches, for that matter).
I had listened to Raymond’s conspiracy theory show for years, and for the first time I can recall, I completely disagree with Ray about a recent topic on here: Lenny.
Having spent years amongst internal CHLY operations, I have observed Lenny actually hurting the radio station. I do not think he wants “the best” for the station. He assembles a convenient veil for himself, but underneath it all, I believe, is the objective to hinder meaningful progress for the radio station.
Whether he’s lobbying to scrap our most impactful shows, making petty infraction reports to the CRTC, stalking new programmers he hears on air, interrupting staff with insignificant logistics, pitting volunteers against one another, trolling internal communications until no one wants to participate, it seems Lenny has not done or said one thing without an ulterior motive to hinder behind it. I have so many examples! He once went out of his way to stop newspaper publication of an important membership notice! How could I believe he’s harmlessly obsessive after all that?
When you hear voices on CHLY like Gabor Mate, Naomi Klein, Zinn, Chomsky, Hedges, Shiva, you might think “that’s some radical programming, I wonder how the corporate overlords allow CHLY to play that on the radio” I propose that perhaps they can’t stop us from airing it, but they can install guys like Lenny to make sure very few hear it. From my experience, I think listenership is low. Very low. I bet less than 1% of the broadcast range actually listens to CHLY, and I think that is on purpose. I think there is a deliberate oppression of CHLY’s success, and from my vantage point, I can see how Lenny has played a key role in that over the years.
It’s not a new concept. Look at the cases of all those undercover informants and disrupters found to have infiltrated activist groups for so long they even started families and whole other lives under different names.
Could the largest institutions (with bottomless funding) be motivated to disrupt a potentially influential vehicle carrying a message of dissent? It’s not crazy to be suspicious of strange behaviour, if we regard history.
Anyway, I don’t know if Lenny is really a shill working to hinder the success of what could be a very influential radio power. Its just my humble suspicion. I won’t be engaging in comments about this, but it feels good to have gotten this off my chest after all these years. Anyone who knows me in the context of the station will know that I speak openly about this suspicion, and with the intention of shedding light from an insiders point of view.
Immediately the group administrator (one of my former responsibilities) changed the entire group setting to Private, and shortly after, deleted my post. I remember being called a censoring Stalinist when I performed a similar measure in the past (but that’s for another blog post).
Responses to my public suspicion read mostly like this:
“The FBI recently stated that one of their core objectives is to infiltrate and undermine progressive and leftist organizations.”
“It would be amazing if your proposed scenario weren’t indeed true. This would represent a considerable failure of the FBI, CIA etc”
“Youre right. Its one thing to ask questions but its another to undermine the whole organization.
Its easy to jump on the band wagon on the questions because in a way its just questions right? But now looking at the whole picture and from the sidelines I see a healthy organization doing whats right for the station as a whole.”
“its a very common practice for CSIS to pay people to to engage in all kinds of actions to report on and even undermine progressive groups.”