Greenpeace called for a federal investigation of Exxon a few months ago under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act. As it turns out, it wasn’t one to talk: Greenpeace just got hit with its own RICO lawsuit in federal court by a Canadian logging company.
The saga started back in 2010 when “a cabal of radical environmental [NGOs] … agreed to stop their campaigns of customer harassment” if members of the Forest Products Association of Canada did what these activists demanded. Sound familiar? It’s a tactic called extortion ripped straight from the mobster playbook—pay up or something bad “might” happen.
The lawsuit emerged after Greenpeace attacked Resolute Forest Product anyway, accusing them of illegal logging and launching a vindictive campaign dubbed “Resolute: Forest Destroyer.”
The Resolute lawsuit alleges Greenpeace has a “pattern and practice of fraud, extortion, deceit, and other illegal activities” spanning decades. But the lawsuit’s breakdown of Greenpeace’s larger strategy is even better since it applies to activist NGOs in general:
“It identifies or manufactures a hot-button environmental issue; disseminates sensational, alarmist, and false claims about impending calamity related to that issue; targets a high-profile company to vilify for the impending calamity, including by staging fake videos, photographs, and other evidence: bombards supporters with urgent requests to “DONATE NOW”; and directs extortive demands, tortious interference, and other illegal conduct at its targets and their customers. When Greenpeace’s extortion succeeds, it insists that its target publicly endorse its campaign and lies, which it then uses to drive more donations and attacks.”
The Humane Society of the United States, particularly its campaign against SeaWorld, bears remarkable similarities. HSUS maligned SeaWorld for years, praising propagandistic films like Blackfish. With stock values falling and negative perceptions rising, SeaWorld surrendered and created a partnership of sorts with HSUS, which fulfilled the final step of Greenpeace’s strategy and affirmed the power of Stockholm Syndrome.
But Greenpeace and HSUS share more than predatory instincts and deceptive fundraising. HSUS was slapped with a RICO lawsuit after it was revealed it secretly paid a witness who lied under oath regarding alleged animal abuse by a circus.
HSUS shelled out $11 million to settle the RICO suit. And if Greenpeace’s usage of, in its words, “ALARMIST ARMAGDDONIST FACTOIDS” is any indication of its honesty—or lack thereof—you can expect Greenpeace will be dishing out a lot of green, too.