Kamehameha High School 2020 graduate and Kaneohe resident Tiamana Anderson explains why he protested yesterday, July 4, 2020, in Kailua, O'aha, where the Chamber of Commerce boasted of displaying more than a thousand American flags.
Aloha new readers! I received helpful reader feedback to improve navigability to my investigative series on the Kailua-based Science of Identity sect and U.S. Presidential Candidate Tulsi Gabbard's deep involvement. Please find links to the three-part series below and in the sidebar.
If I delay in posting a comment or responding to an inquiry, please don't take it as lack of interest. I currently have a full-time job outside of the journalism field, but I will also be setting aside time to keep this budding community news organization up and running. I plan to expand Meanwhile in Hawai'i and will begin accepting freelance submissions soon.
Since I believe people should always question their news sources, I am also happy to answer any questions about who I am and how I stumbled into researching Science of Identity.
Thanks for checking out my series! Please consider a donation if you appreciate this work and would like to help this community-based journalism site stay afloat. Donations will be used to cover monthly web fees, begin paying qualified freelance journalists in Hawai'i, and pay for the federal 501c3 application. Meanwhile in Hawai'i is currently a state-registered community news non-profit approved to receive donations. Mahalo nui loa.
- Christine Gralow
Butler's Web: Krishna, Politics, and QNET's International Pyramid Scheme
Butler's Web, Part 2: Who is Gabbard's Guru?
Butler's Web, Part 3: Grooming the Second Generation
by Christine Gralow
Note: I am republishing this article, originally published on May 19, 2018, because there has been renewed interest from the Hawai'ian community in this U.N. letter. Also see recent news on David Keanu Sai from Ian Lind's blog. The authenticity of the deZayas letter stands, despite Sai's recent legal troubles. -CG
The Hawaiian Kingdom Blog released a letter today written by United Nations Independent Expert Alfred deZayas to two Hawaii Circuit Court judges.
In the letter, dated February 18, 2018, deZayas wrote, "I have come to understand that the lawful political status of the Hawaiian Islands is that of a sovereign nation-state in continuity; but a nation-state that is under a strange form of occupation by the United States resulting from an illegal military occupation and a fraudulent annexation."
DeZayas addressed this letter to Hawaii First Circuit Court Judges Gary Chang and Jeannette Castagnetti. Chang presides over Hawaii's Land and Tax Appeal Court. Castagnetti presided over the contentious Nelson v. Hawaiian Homes Commission case, in which she ordered the Hawaii State Legislature to pay the Dept. of Hawaiian Home Lands $28 million in 2016.
"To call this (U.N.) document 'remarkable' is an understatement," David Keanu Sai told Hawaiian Kingdom Blog.
Sai, who holds a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Hawai'i, has led several international complaints regarding the legal status of the Hawaiian Kingdom. He explained in an email to Meanwhile in Hawai'i that his complaints aimed to expose "the continued existence of the Hawaiian Kingdom as an independent and sovereign State."
Sai said a relative of Routh Bolomet, "a Hawaiian-Swiss citizen," alerted him last week to deZayas' letter.
In his letter, deZayas referred to his review of a 2017 complaint from Bolomet to the U.N. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.
Bolomet complained of "historical and ongoing plundering of the Hawaiians' lands, particularly of those heirs and descendants with land titles that originate from the distributions of lands under the authority of the Hawaiian Kingdom," deZayas wrote.
DeZayas served as the U.N. Human Rights Council's Independent Expert on the Promotion of a Democratic and Equitable International Order from May 2012 through April 2018. He wrote the letter while serving in that position. He previously served as Secretary of the U.N. Human Rights Committee and Senior Lawyer with the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights. He is a Cuban-born U.S. citizen with a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He currently teaches at the Geneva School of Diplomacy and International Law.
Mahalo to Hawaiian Kingdom Blog for publicly sharing this document.
By Christine Gralow
By popular demand on Twitter, below is the full list of Tulsi Gabbard online dissidents. The list was created and disseminated to campaign volunteers by Scott Gahres (aka Garris), a social media strategist for the Gabbard presidential campaign.
Gahres disseminated this "Twitter Operatives" Excel spreadsheet in the closed Team Tulsi Online Volunteers group on Facebook, which currently has 1,000 members. The official Gabbard campaign website refers supporters to this Facebook group when they sign up to volunteer.
Gabbard's press team has tried to distance her campaign from Gahres, stating that he is just a "volunteer," but Gahres' ties to Gabbard and his work for her campaign are apparent in the Facebook group, as well as in his email signature and official campaign email address. A large majority of people currently working for Gabbard's campaign are either unpaid workers or freelancers. (See 4-24-19 Daily Beast article.) Gahres has done social media work for Gabbard for years via Facebook, Twitter, and Medium.
In the Facebook group, Gahres has hosted regular "Twitter strategy" conference calls and has instructed volunteers to target specific Twitter accounts that have posted information unflattering to Gabbard.
Gahres' instructions to Gabbard's online campaign volunteers include blocking accounts on the list, "then reply(ing) so they cannot reply to you." Gahres also instructed campaign volunteers to create multiple accounts and "use one account to talk to other account and create hype and conversation."
Gahres' apparent social media hit list includes journalists, LGBTQ rights activists, Syrian Democracy activists, Hawai'ian rights activists, and "Tulsi birthers". Topping the list is Intercept reporter Mehdi Hasan, who has been critical of Gabbard and currently has over 647,000 followers on Twitter. At least six accounts on Gahres' target list are currently suspended by Twitter, including @riotwomennn and @bravenakblog.
The "Twitter Operatives" spreadsheet and information from the closed Facebook group were leaked to Meanwhile in Hawai'i by a former campaign volunteer who wishes not to be named for fear of retaliation.
Disclosure: Christine Gralow is on the #TulsiGabbardEnemyList.
Correction: An earlier version of this article stated that Gahres hosted weekly "Twitter strategy" conference calls. The conference calls actually occurred twice a month.
by Christine Gralow
KAILUA, HI - Windward O'ahu did not experience significant damage from Hurricane Lane, which weakened to a Tropical Storm then a Tropical Depression before veering away from the island yesterday. O'ahu remains under a flash flood watch until 6pm HST today.
Kailua business owners and residents who prepared yesterday for potential hurricane damage repeatedly said, "Better safe than sorry," as they boarded up windows, placed sand bags at entryways, and stocked up on emergency supplies. Here's a snapshot of how some Kailua businesses and homes were prepared yesterday afternoon, when Lane was a Category 2 hurricane approaching the island.
By Christine Gralow
Earlier this week, Hawai'i Public Radio aired a piece that included an interview with me and a statement from a Tulsi Gabbard spokesperson.
Gabbard’s spokesperson stated, in an email to HPR Political Reporter Wayne Yoshioka, “Tulsi Gabbard is not going to participate in anything involving Gralow who has a history of bigotry and fabrications and we aren’t going to help amplify her Hindu-phobia.”
The statement was a predictable diversion. Gabbard’s team has been using various tactics to try to shut down my investigative reporting on Gabbard and the Kailua-based Science of Identity Foundation for well over a year now. The tactics seem to be growing increasingly desperate.
First, Science of Identity disciples came to my home, apparently to try to intimidate me, after I asked questions at a Gabbard town hall in Waianae. That’s when I realized I was dealing with a group that operates a lot like Scientology.
Then, Gabbard’s D.C. publicist, Chris Cooper of The Potomac Square Group, sent a rambling email to an editor at Honolulu Magazine about me. Cooper’s general M.O. is to use his status as a former Wall Street Journal reporter to rake in money from politicians who want stories buried. He is tied to Fusion GPS, which is also run by former Wall Street Journal reporters turned ethically challenged D.C. damage fixers. Per Politico, Cooper is also being investigated by the Senate Judiciary Committee around his 2016 work for Kremlin attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya.
“I can assure you that if i (sic) have anything to say about it, Tulsi will not cooperate with Ms. Gralow,” Cooper wrote on June 30, 2017, to the Honolulu Magazine editor, who had expressed strong interest in my work. “Ms. Gralow is a political activist. She is not a reporter.”
Per FEC records, the Tulsi for Hawai'i campaign paid Cooper $19,400 on October 6, 2017.
Next, after I independently published my first article on the Science of Identity Foundation’s international financial trail, someone tried to shut it down by launching two amateurish Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks.
Throughout all of this, numerous posts kept popping up about me from fake Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit accounts. The claims against me included Hinduphobic bigotry and four restraining orders.
One such fake account also targeted special education teacher and former Hawai’i State Teachers Association Vice President Justin Hughey. When HSTA endorsed Sherry Alu Campagna over Gabbard, an “Aquino Purificacion” jumped in to comment on Facebook, “Not surprising considering a TRO was filed against HSTA VP Justin Hughey by the owner of a small business on Maui after he entered the business threatening and harassing Tulsi’s staff.”
There is no record of a TRO ever having been requested or issued against Hughey. The “Aquino Purificacion” account was easily traceable to Gabbard's copywriter, Marissa Rodriguez. Gabbard's FEC records include multiple payments to Rodriguez, who also uses the fake name “M.P. Magayon” on Medium to post pro-Gabbard propaganda.
Gabbard has enormous name recognition in Hawai'i, and analysts say she will win tomorrow’s Democratic primary election against Alu Campagna. If Gabbard does win and continues to pursue a national political career, as expected, what’s next for her P.R. team? Joining Trump’s national efforts to shut down the free press altogether?
By Christine Gralow
Ige could be leading Hanabusa, Hirono might be more popular than Gabbard, and Schatz’s approval rating might be less than one percentage point below Gabbard’s. That’s what two political polls Civil Beat published last month actually found, given the polls’ margins of error.
Margin of error is a statistical measure of a poll’s reliability. The American Association for Public Opinion Research has cautioned journalists to, “Remember, margin of sampling error applies to the poll’s estimate of EACH candidate, and a candidate usually needs to be ahead by 1.5-2 times the margin of sampling error to be statistically significant.”
Merriman River Group conducted several polls for Civil Beat in early May. Civil Beat published articles about the polls from May 22 through May 24. A large majority of people polled were on landlines vs. cell phones.
One poll asked likely Democratic primary voters, “If you vote in the Democratic primary, which candidate are you most likely to support for Governor – David Ige, Clayton Hee, or Colleen Hanabusa?”
Of the 707 people polled, 37% responded that they would most likely vote for Hanabusa, 31% responded that they would most likely vote for Ige, and 11% responded that they would most likely vote for Hee. The poll had a 3.7 percentage point margin of error.
That means the pollsters could be reasonably confident (assuming there were no significant polling problems) that, in early May, somewhere between 33.3% to 40.7% of Democratic primary voters were likely to vote for Hanabusa, and somewhere between 27.3% to 34.7% of voters were likely to vote for Ige. So while it's possible Hanabusa did actually lead Ige in early May, it’s also possible that Ige led Hanabusa by 1.4 percentage points (34.7% to 33.3%).
Nonetheless, Civil Beat chose to publish the oversimplified headline, “Hanabusa Leads Ige By 6 As Primary Draws Closer.”
In another poll, Merriman River Group asked a sample of 967 registered voters if they "generally" had "a positive or negative opinion of” Trump, Obama, Ige, Caldwell, Schatz, Hirono, Hanabusa, and Gabbard.
This poll had a 3.2% margin of error. The pollsters found they could be reasonably confident that approval ratings in early May for the four current Congressional delegates were:
Gabbard: Somewhere between 57.8% - 64.2%
Hirono: Somewhere between 55.8% – 62.2%
Schatz: Somewhere between 50.8% – 57.2%
Hanabusa: Somewhere between 40.8% - 47.2%.
Given these intervals, it is possible that Gabbard had the highest actual approval rating in early May. It is also possible that Hirono’s approval rating was 4.4 percentage points above Gabbard’s (62.2% to 57.8%). The difference between Gabbard's and Hirono's numbers was statistically insignificant. The poll also found that Schatz's actual approval rating in early May could have been 1.4 percentage points above Hirono's (57.2% to 55.8%) and just six tenths of one percentage point below Gabbard's (57.2% to 57.8%).
Yet Civil Beat’s editor chose to run with the headline, “Tulsi Gabbard is Hawaii’s Most Popular Politician.” The article featured a cute picture of a happy Gabbard with the caption, “Hawaii’s voters love Tulsi Gabbard.” Half of the article was devoted to Gabbard.
Did Civil Beat choose click baiting over accurate polling analysis? Or is its editor statistically challenged?
Clarification, June 2, 2018: Merriman River Group conducted three other polls for Civil Beat in early May that are not analyzed here. Those polls focused on the Lt. Governor's race, the First Congressional District race, and a potential constitutional convention.
Aloha Democratic Party of Hawai'i and ACLU Hawai'i! I hope the Democratic Party of Hawai'i convention is going well this weekend and that it brings a much-needed economic boost to the Big Island.
I would like to share concerns regarding U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard and violations of constituents' First Amendment rights. My intent in exposing this is not to create a political rift, but to spark a needed discussion in the wake of Wednesday's federal circuit court ruling that Trump violated the First Amendment by blocking dissidents on Twitter. My concerns about Gabbard include and go far beyond Twitter.
I would like to disclose that I am impressed by Sherry Campagna, Gabbard's Democratic primary challenger, and I welcome her campaign. I am a resident of Hawai'i's 2nd Congressional District. I do not work for Campagna, and I was not involved in her decision to run for Congress. I am a member of the Hawai'i State Teachers Association, which endorsed Campagna earlier this week. I am not one of the leaders of HSTA. I played little to no role in HSTA's decision to endorse Campagna. I am a full-time teacher and part-time journalist.
Last year, I exposed Gabbard's deep involvement in the Science of Identity sect, which is led by Kris Butler (aka Chris Butler, Jagad Guru, etc.). I also exposed this sect’s ties to an international money laundering ring. I knew little about Gabbard and nothing about Campagna when I decided to research this interesting group in my community.
The First Amendment also, of course, protects freedom of religion. Gabbard clearly has the right to participate in this sect's activities, so long as those activities do not violate others' human or civil rights. Despite accusations from Butler disciples, I am not a religious bigot. I have defended both Gabbard and Senator Mazie Hirono against actual religious bigotry on social media.
For over a year now, I have experienced and witnessed harassment and violations of the First Amendment rights of Gabbard's constituents. I have six key concerns, which relate to 1) Twitter 2) a publicist being paid to discredit me as a journalist 3) cyberattacks 4) online defamation 5) Butler disciples coming to my home after a Gabbard town hall and 6) false reports to U.S. Capitol Police.
1. The Twitter Problem
A United States Representative's professional Twitter page is a public forum. People cannot be blocked from that forum unless they are engaging in threats or other speech not protected by the First Amendment. Please see this Knight First Amendment Institute lawsuit.
I was blocked from Gabbard's public Twitter page after simply exercising my intellectual freedom and using my critical thinking skills to ask questions. I chose to make my questions public on Twitter because Gabbard's press team has failed to answer all of my questions sent via email. Not one question has been answered. Other Gabbard constituents, who by no means threatened or harassed anyone, have also been blocked. In one case, a Gabbard constituent was blocked for simply sharing one of my articles.
2. The D.C. Publicist Paid to Discredit Me as a Journalist Problem
Gabbard's communications team also made a strategic effort to stifle freedom of the press in Hawai'i when they chose to pay a D.C. publicist, Chris Cooper of The Potomac Square Group, to discredit me as a journalist to a mainstream news editor here. This editor was interested in my work, and we had an agreement. I was careful to ask the editor if I could identify as a freelancer for her publication when questioning sources for an article on Gabbard and Science of Identity. She agreed that I could. Soon after I began doing so, the editor received the below email from Cooper. Gabbard's recent FEC records show she paid Cooper's The Potomac Square Group nearly $20,000.
Cooper's paid email contains multiple grammatical and factual errors. He has not actually worked as a journalist in nearly a decade. He is currently best known in D.C. for accepting money to spin Bahrain's human rights abuses and taking a job with Kremlin lawyer and informant Natalia Veselnitskaya (of Trump Jr. meeting fame). Cooper hung up on me when I politely asked him to confirm his email address. I recorded that conversation, because I had a legal right to do so.
3. The Cyberattack Problem
Soon after I launched my independent news site to publish my investigative series, the site was subjected to two DDoS attacks. I do not yet have definitive evidence of who was behind those attacks. The attacks are being investigated. There was only one article on my site at the time. It was about Science of Identity and the Gabbard family's involvement in the sect. A man who runs another news website in Hawai'i, Hawai'i Free Press, claimed he also experienced a DDoS attack after publishing articles about Gabbard and Science of Identity.
4. The Online Defamation Problem
This problem began when I participated in a discussion on The New Yorker magazine's Facebook page about Kelefa Sanneh's article on Gabbard. A "George Bacay" quickly chimed in to comment: "Christine Gralow has record of TROs with 4 different people so uh?! Temporary Restraining Orders People."
There has never been a TRO requested or issued against me.
On Tuesday, as I read comments on HSTA's Facebook page regarding their endorsement of Sherry Campagna, I saw this, from an "Aquino Purificacion": "Not surprising considering a TRO was filed against HSTA VP Justin Hughey by the owner of a small business on Maui after he entered the business threatening and harassing Tulsi's staff."
I checked Hawai'i's civil court records. There is no record of a TRO ever having been requested or issued against Hughey. Hughey and I are both special education teachers. The First Amendment does not protect libel.
(Update 1 May 27 7:47pm: Someone just tried this TRO tactic again, in another Facebook discussion of Gabbard. See the third photo below. The Hawai'i civil court screenshot used by both "George" and "Kaleo" shows no evidence of TROs against me. Two of those civil cases involved me winning my deposit back from landlords who thought they could just keep it. One case involved a judge agreeing that my safety was at risk and that I needed a TRO against someone else. The fourth case was a misfiling of one of the landlord/tenant cases.)
(Update 2, June 27 5:39pm: I have confirmed that "Aquino Purificacion" is paid Tulsi Gabbard Copywriter Marissa Rodriguez. Rodriguez is also "M.P. Magayon" on Medium.)
5. The Disciples at My Home after the Town Hall Problem
I experienced retaliatory intimidation at my home shortly after I asked critical questions at a Gabbard town hall in Waianae, O'ahu, last year.
First, John Bishop, a long-time Butler follower and husband of Science of Identity President Jeannie Bishop, repeatedly photographed me at the town hall. I expect to be photographed and recorded when speaking at public town halls, and I have no problem with that. I am not a naturally paranoid person. But this was different. Bishop was not news media. He appeared to zoom in on me and photograph me dozens of times, not while I was speaking, but when I was just sitting there. Bishop appeared to do the same thing to LGBT rights activist and Democratic Party of Hawai'i Assistant Secretary Michael Golojuch Jr., who I happened to sit next to at the town hall. This photographer seemed hostilely fixated on Michael and me. I did not know anything about Michael at the time.
I was later able to confirm with former Butler disciples that Bishop has indeed engaged in odd surveillance jobs for Butler. One former Butler disciple I spoke with also admitted to infiltrating gay pride parades and tracking the activities of gay rights activists. He was under Butler's control at the time. Butler has taught his followers an extremist homophobic philosophy.
The night of the Waianae town hall, a clip of me asking Gabbard about her Syria trip funders appeared on Hawai'i News Now. The next day, two Butler disciples were parked immediately outside my home. As I left my home to walk my dog, I clearly saw their faces and quickly recognized one of them as a close personal and business associate of Gabbard Chief of Staff Kainoa Penaroza.
One week after this first lovely visit to my home, I observed two more Butler disciples parked immediately outside my home. One man stared at me as I again left my home to walk my dog. His wife tried to hide behind him in the passenger seat. I observed her taking pictures of me and the front door area of my home. I will refrain from publishing these young people’s names, because I believe responsibility for their actions ultimately lies with their guru.
6. The U.S. Capitol Police Problem
Gabbard's staff and/or close political supporters have also used the U.S. Capitol Police in apparent attempts to harass and intimidate critically thinking constituents.
Someone made a false report that I impersonated a Gabbard staffer. I did not. Two other Gabbard constituents say Gabbard's staff also reported them to Capitol Police and accused them of harassing Gabbard after they simply asked tough questions. The Capitol Police agent who called me after receiving the false report was nice enough and seemed to understand the situation. Since I had him on the phone anyway, I told him everything I know about Gabbard, Butler, and the Science of Identity Foundation.
A truly democratic election cannot be held when such tactics are being used to silence concerned constituents, journalists, and union leaders.
Mahalo for reading.
Christine Gralow, M.S.Ed., M.J.
Teacher and Independent Journalist
U.C. Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, '03
1. Butler's Web: Krishna, Politics, and QNET's International Pyramid Scheme
2. Butler's Web, Part 2: Who is Gabbard's Guru
3. Butler's Web, Part 3: Grooming the Second Generation
For independent, community-based photo and video journalism on the Hawai'i island lava flows and eruptions, see Lava News on Facebook. They are also helping people check on their homes and getting people needed supplies. They will likely be the first to report on any new eruptions or flows. Hope everyone stays safe!
Aloha. Readers might be surprised to see a hard news piece here this week about the Hawai'i Emergency Management Agency's siren testing in Kailua. After directly experiencing the confusion caused by this siren testing and realizing that no other news organization was on top of the story, I decided to cover it.
While I continue to work on another longform piece, the time between publication of longform stories is - well, long. I have decided to change Meanwhile in Hawai'i's tagline from "Quality Longform Journalism" to "Reporting from the Community, for the Community." The tagline will be updated here soon.
I will cover hard news and community events as needed, and I will begin accepting freelance submissions. Thank you for your patience as I balance this side job with my separate, full-time position.
To those new to this site, please check out my three-part investigative series on the Kailua-based Science of Identity sect and the Gabbard political family's involvement.
Part One - Butler's Web: Krishna, Politics, and QNET's International Pyramid Scheme
Mahalo nui loa.
Butler's Web: Krishna, Politics, and QNET's International Pyramid Scheme
Butler's Web, Part 2: Who is Gabbard's Guru?
Butler's Web, Part 3: Grooming the Second Generation