Why I chose to request the removal of the Everything is OK and Love police videos – Shorter Version. (see next post for longer version)
The reasons I requested this are numerous. Its difficult to know where to begin. I wont be revealing all the reasons. In fact , the primary reason was for the sake of my wife and children. This aspect is mainly private.
I met Charlie ‘by chance’ in May 2009. WE hit it off and made some videos and I was not expecting the popularity they gained. At the beginning of most relationships, we are unable to see the others ‘dark side’ but that side comes up eventually. Since I made the videos, I became aware that Charlie is in a space where he is simply unable to hear criticism about himself or his ideas. I only recognise this in him because I k now it in myself. As far as I am concerned, he is a real liability towards himself and this youtube fame thing is taking him down the same route that the celebrities he criticizes are on. A route of self delusion, self importance, infallibility (even if he occasionally puts up videos saying ‘I make mistakes’) . And I choose not to work with or spend time with anyone who is unwilling and unable to take a really good look inside to see what is really going on. I feel what he did was impulsive and particularly aggressive (asking people to download the videos) and I feel sad and violated.
At the end of piece , I said that I would consider re editing the videos in light of my new thoughts. But instead he has resorted to this.
Here are some of the reasons (which I sent to him)
Getting fame and credo from another’s embarrassment
I revisited the videos and started to try and watch them from the points of view of the people who don’t come off so well in them. For example, in the canary Wharf video, the first security guard panics and says ‘you cant protest’ etc. Here is a guy paid a pittance by these crazy rich corporations to dress like a policeman and order people about. Its clearly not his fault that he doesn’t know how to deal with 2 slick talkers who have done some research. And I imagined how it would feel for him if he watches himself or worse how it would feel for his kids. The same applies to the PCSO in Camden who called me an idiot.
Creating a false Image
When you watch me on a youtube video, you don’t actually see me. There is only one of me and that is the one sitting here in my office typing away. What you see is an image. A 2D representation. And you see ideas that appeared in my consciousness in the past. And based on that, most people build up an idea of what I am like. If you think you know who I am or what I am, I suspect you are mistaken. And what usually happens is people create an idealised picture of who/what I am. And then if I am not careful, I have to spend more and more energy propping up this false image. For example, people say ‘I love you Danny’ but who they are loving is an image of me in their mind. If you were to live in my home for a while, she would see another side of me – a less peaceful side. Its tiring and unhelpful for everyone to have this false image thing going on.
Creating a movement
I had no intention of creating any ‘movement’ when I started out. How could I start a movement ? I wouldn’t know what this movement would do ? I have so little knowledge of politics, economics, law – not even at GCSE level so What on earth do I know ? Besides, movements can create separation – I am a member of that movement and you are not ! Yet there is plenty of speak of a ‘movement’ from commentators of our videos.
Encouraging people to think for themselves
One of the purposes of what I do is to encourage people to think for themselves. Having others to think for us can be a hard habit to break. The ironic thing for me is that I struggle immensely with this. I find it so hard to trust myself and run to all sorts of teachers, gurus, therapists etc to seek advice. (Someone recently pointed out that advice = ADD VICE. What I notice happening with these videos is people not questioning what Charlie or I say. Since I have stopped making the videos, this is particularly pronounced with Charlie.
In a recent video from the Iranian channel press TV, Charlie and ‘Olly the Octopus’ were being interviewed and at 2 points in the interview, Olly had the Chutzpah to challenge Charlie….
Charlie: Let's not raise the public into this clever group that can choose politicians . . .
Olly: I think the public are more intelligent than you give them credit for . . .
And then later . .
Charlie: there is no terror threat, except in our minds . . .
Olly: That's not strictly true though is it . . .
The comments on that video shocked me – slagging off Olly for daring to challenge their guru Charlie ! It felt like the complete opposite of what I wanted. I have learned the most from those who give intelligent critical feedback but this is not happening with these videos.
Focusing on lack
One of things I criticise the press for doing is putting so much negativity into our minds. Training us to focus on lack of rather than on what we want. If you look at the underlying messages of the videos, even though they are done with humour, some of the messages encourage people to focus on lack. And I am not sure that this is helpful. Just because people think that our videos are helpful, doesn’t necessarily mean that they are. And of course it could be that some parts and aspects are helpful and some are not.
People doing it on their own
Another benefit of taking down the videos is that it can encourage people to get in touch with their own creative juices and create something themselves. Every person reading this blog can be in touch with infinite creativity even though you may not know this.
Here is wording from a comment by jticchi on Charlies video ‘A new beginning’ ……’Danny's videos were very good at waking people up, its a shame they're gone but it signals that now its time for the people that he woke up to go out and wake up others!!
Sending your friends a clip of what Danny did is good for waking them up, but doing some action of your own accord will be even more effective and give them more courage to do the same by showing them that people they know can do this too, not just a guy on youtube.’
Taking responsibility and ownership of my image and sound
As I said, I had no idea that the videos would become this popular and no idea what to expect if they did. I feel now that the decision to leave the editing to Charlie and allow him to put things up on his channel was unwise. In fact one of the main reasons for asking Charlie to remove my image was the videos he made about revolution. The straw that broke the camels back was the video ‘Unanimous Declaration of the Resistance’ in which he says he is forming a worldwide army ! I wanted to disassociate myself with anything like this. Whilst I think it’s a ridiculous thing to say, it lays himself wide open for all sorts of possible problems. If some police officers are sometimes stupid enough to search a man with a megaphone on suspicion of terrorism, God only knows how the minds of intelligence personnel work. But now that I look back on it, I feel it’s the most responsible thing to do to take back ‘ownership’ and therefore responsibility for my image. I am aware that the idea of ownership is fiction as is so much of our so called reality. But I live in the fiction and haven’t managed to free myself of it or even come close.
It is always difficult to know whether to spend my time working on having a peaceful home or going out on the streets trying to make a difference. The man I mentioned at the beginning suggested that if I cant create a peaceful home, what good am I on the streets trying to create a peaceful world ? Whilst I don’t entirely agree with him, I think he has a point. It is my intention to work harder on creating a peaceful home first or at least as a strong priority.
Another problem with the videos is that some of the interactions with police and security were actually a demonstration of separation. It is so easy to forget the maxim that we are all part of the one concioussness and of course one of the things so many people talk about is the oneness of everything. This is a lovely theory but it’s the practise that counts. If I forget that police officers are human beings too, then I am reinforcing the ‘us and them’ syndrome.
Who is following us ?
Another problem with youtube and the net is that we have no idea who is following our work. Leave aside the intelligence services for the moment. The stuff we have been putting out can be construed as anti establishment. This can attract fundamentalist right wingers or in fact any fundamentalists. (Whatever that means.) I just received an email from a friend who noticed that on a facebook discussion group (there are a few EOK/Love POlice groups) they were saying that the reason I wanted the videos removed is because I have BANKER friends and I didn’t want to upset the establishment. This is complete nonsense because although I do know people in the banking sector, I have no close friends in that sector. But I now see how easily people can build up a picture of someone based on some YT videos and then if that person doesn’t live up to these imagined standards, all of a sudden love can turn to hate ! And what if I did have banker friends ? Would that be a crime ?
It was suggested recently to me that we cannot avoid living with some hypocrisy. I certainly cannot. I am still deeply in the system. I run a business and pay taxes and use lots of energy and consume plenty. I do try and limit these things. (eg I get my electricity from renewable sources, drive an electric car, do not eat meat and try not to waste food etc) But these are tiny things. If you all lived in my home and followed me for a few weeks, some of you may be horrified by the hypocrisy you see. And this is why I don’t feel that I am even close to be in a position to start off any movement. Perhaps if I lived on a farm, in a yurt using only wind powered energy and eating only local home grown produce, perhaps then I may be a bit closer to starting off a movement.
Fear and Anger
To my knowledge, I have never told anybody not to be afraid. That is more Charlie’s style. I wouldn’t do that simply because I am aware of how afraid I am of all sorts of things. I am aware of the law of attraction mentioned above and about concepts of creating our own reality. At the same time my real life experience includes fear. People often comment on the videos ‘Danny, you are so brave.’ What they are doing is projecting their own fears on to me. For me it was completely natural to do that. In fact it was often an escape from dealing with stuff in the home. I also experience anger at different levels of intensity. And I am still exploring the most healthy ways to relate to it. So yes – at times I do feel frightened of the possible consequences of questioning authority.
Focussing on that which is external
One of the many problems with the media is that they keep our focus of attention on the external. This means that our minds are trained to blame others and become victims of others rather than looking within to change our perception and thus our experience of life. If you were to analyse the videos we made, at least some of them would be reinforcing this way of thinking. Whilst many people say that the videos gave them a lift, this does not mean that the videos were nourishing for their souls. I have been amazed at the responses to some of the videos Charlie made on his own, which I personally find destructive but thousands seem to find positive. I am not saying I am right and they are wrong. I just question the constructiveness of the videos even though people may think that the videos help them.
I have no idea what the future holds and I prefer not to make final decisions until after THE final decision (my death!) Therefore it is possible that I will be happy to have the videos put back. I have also thought that they could be edited again in light of the above. SO for example, we could blank out the faces of anyone who we think does not come out well on the videos. And of course there is also a real possibility that I will stick to the request and trust that there are many others just as able as I who will step into the gap. Could that person be you ?