Patreon again became the centre of an online firestorm after banning Sargon of Akkad and other online creators from their platform. Members of the intellectual dark web responded swiftly but was this the organic reaction that it seemed?
Patreon is a membership platform that provides business tools for creators to run a subscription content service and provide exclusive experiences to their subscribers, or “patrons.”
The Sargon of Akkad debacle
In December 2018, Carl Benjamin (aka Sargon of Akkad) was the object of a widely-publicised controversy, when he was banned from Patreon. According to Patreon, the ban was for violating the site’s terms of service by using “racial and homophobic slurs to degrade another individual”. Carl had in fact called white supremacists “white n****’s” during a YouTube live stream debate. The debate was not on the Patreon platform or even on Carl’s YouTube channel.
The Intellectual Dark Web respond
Benjamin’s supporters, and members of the intellectual dark web such as Jordan Peterson and Dave Rubin, have called the ban a violation of free speech and Sam Harris has called the move an expression of political bias by Patreon. Sam was first to close his Patreon account and Jordan and Dave quickly announced they would follow suit, with both live streaming the deletion of their Patreon accounts.
Sargon was interviewed by IDW members Maajid Nawaz for LBC Radio, was discussed by Joe Rogan on multiple occasions, including with Gad Saad, was discussed by Dave Rubin and Gad Saad, as well as by Ben Shapiro and others.
This isn’t Patreon’s first run-in
Patreon faced earlier backlash from banning other alternative media personalities including Lauren Southern, Faith Goldy, Milo Yiannopoulos and Robert Spencer.
In response to Lauren Southern’s banning from the platform in July 2017, Patreon founder Jack Conte outlined the Patreon Trust & Safety team’s approach, coining it “Manifest Observable Behaviour” (MOB) and appeared on the Rubin Report to defend Patreon’s actions.
A new platform
Soon after Carl Benjamin’s banning, Jordan Peterson and Dave Rubin announced that Jordan had already been working on an alternative to Patreon for six months and that Dave and he were serious about completing this project.
Jordan Peterson announced the new platform in a video he titled “Patreon Problem & Solution”.
In the video, Dave Rubin states, “We’ve got every engineer, I mean people from Google and Facebook and Yahoo and everybody, reaching out to us…everyone’s trying to solve this problem.”
Dave has claimed that cryptocurrencies would play a significant role in the platform.
The Kushners own Patreon
Thrive Capital is owned and founded by Joshua Kushner, brother of Jared Kushner who is Senior Advisor to President Donald Trump.
Jared Kushner has ties to Peter Thiel that he failed to disclose before taking his position in the White House.
The Kushners and Peter Thiel invest in Stripe
Thrive Capital were also investors in Stripe (one of the largest online payment processors along with Paypal) investing in their Series E round that raised $245M. Thrive were the lead investors in Stripe’s Series C round which raised $70M.
Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund invested in Stripe’s Series C
Stripe and PayPal (founded by Peter Thiel and Elon Musk) both suspended Patreon-alternative SubscribeStar from their payment services only days after Carl Benjamin moved his crowdfunding onto the SubscribeStar platform. Patreon also uses Stripe and PayPal for its payments and both companies have demonstrated their willingness to place political pressure on services who use them.
Thiel also invested in AvidXchange alongside Mastercard in a $300M private equity round. Mastercard was blamed by Patreon for the removal of Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch from the Patreon platform.
Peter Thiel heavily invests in and alongside the Kushners
Peter Thiel and Joel Kushner have invested in the same companies on several occasions, including but not limited to Oscar Health, Cedar, Oppa, Artsy and Cadre (also owned by Jared Kushner’s BFPS Ventures LLC).
Thrive Capital are also a big investor in OpenGov, whose founder, Joe Lonsdale, is a co-founder of Palantir alongside Peter Thiel. OpenGov’s CEO, Zac Bookman, was the only chief executive of a small company among the 18 tech leaders to get a seat at the table with President Trump at a White House roundtable organised by Jared Kushner. Peter Thiel was also present at the meeting.
Peter Thiel is Eric Weinstein’s boss
As is well known, Eric Weinstein, who considers his role in the IDW as “trying to anticipate what is likely to come next” and “trying to position the group so that it doesn’t get torpedoed”, is the managing director of Thiel Capital.
Eric stepped out early after Patreon removed Carl Benjamin, positioning himself (and perhaps the IDW) with a series of tweets over the next two weeks. These tweets have been used in several articles, blog posts and videos as markers for what is occurring.
At no point does he indicate his closeness to the matter through Peter Thiel’s ties to Stripe and Patreon.
Peter Thiel appeared on The Rubin Report in September 2018 and was promoted by Dave Rubin in one of his direct messages. Eric Weinstein has talked about Peter Thiel, and working for him, on The Tim Ferriss Show and on The Rubin Report.
What’s going on here?
Consider Thiel’s massive investment in cryptocurrencies (EOS, Bitcoin, and possibly Ethereum), as well as artificial intelligence and surveillance over blockchain (Palantir).
Now, take another look at the title of Jordan Peterson’s video announcing he and Dave Rubin’s new platform to replace Patreon, Patreon: Problem & Solution.
Patreon moved against their own financial interests to politically target friends of the intellectual dark web, bizarrely using the term “manifest observable behaviour” (MOB rule) to explain their decisions, i.e. Jack was cucked by his owners. Information is leaked to show that payment processors are putting political pressure on the likes of Patreon—the banks have too much power!
The intellectual dark web step into action, declaring the move a violation of free speech. They make a huge hubbub as they leave the platform, encouraging their patrons and other “creators” to follow.
Dave Rubin and Jordan Peterson create a new platform that incorporates a cryptocurrency technology. As a result, blockchain and crypto technologies are brought to a mainstream audience. Investment in these technologies increases and blockchain technologies supporting AI and global surveillance see accelerated growth. Peter Thiel (a member of the Bilderberg steering committee) makes a ton more money and keeps his Bilderberg colleagues satiated, as they focus on the key topics, “Artificial intelligence” and “The Trans-Atlantic defence alliance: bullets, bytes and bucks”.