After a Year of Malicious Trolling... The Phoenix Arises From the Ashes

Real-life insights into what drives trolls to attack others and what can be done to hold them accountable through our personal experiences at Lighthouse International Group.

Image courtesy of Marek Piwnicki @ unsplash.com

After more than a year since the start of the malicious hateful smear campaign against Lighthouse International Group, its partners and our families, we have after much consideration and counsel decided to go down the formal channels to bring this unlawful and illegal activity to account.


We have given the perpetrators every opportunity over the last year to cease and desist. They have been encouraged to seek legal counsel repeatedly by us because they have been on a treacherous path with the malicious falsehoods they have been spreading through their harassment of us individually and collectively. We have known that once we start this process formally then there will be major consequences for those involved and unfortunately their families. However, instead of seeing the patience and kindness in giving them the space to see the error of their ways and to take the appropriate corrective action, they somehow saw this as weakness on our behalf or that we didn't have a case we could pursue criminally or civilly. As you will see from what is shared below and will be shared over the coming days and weeks, they could not have been more wrong. There are very real consequences that they are now having to deal with.


Why are these trolls trying to destroy Lighthouse and its members?

In short, a couple of ex-partners are seeking refunds that they are not due. They have made choices in their personal lives that affected their ability to follow through with their involvement with the programs they invested in. Them leaving these programs was not due to any malpractice on Lighthouse's behalf and we have the total evidence for this should this matter have its day in court.


Even though this is not primarily a problem with us, in every one of these cases we have offered to sit down with them to work through these issues they have and these offers have been rejected repeatedly. The majority of what is written online is outright fabrication and libellous lies.


The reality is that none of these actual issues they have with us are real instances where they have evidence beyond mere hearsay claiming we acted illegally, unlawfully or destructively to the party concerned. These ex-partners have not gone down any formal channels with this because they do not have a genuine case against Lighthouse and its extremely hard-working partners.


Instead they have decided that, if they cannot win via the formal legal route, then they will try to cause us as much harm to us and our families as possible based on a kangaroo court and lynch mob mentality. The vicious, negative, destructive, vitriolic bias and prejudice is clear for all to see. They are not interested in truth and justice, rather, they purely want to try and destroy us because they didn't get what they wanted at the expense of whoever was in their way. Even when they do share something online that is partly true, it is embellished to make it sound worse to the point it’s no longer true.


What investigations have taken place into Lighthouse International Group?

We have a justice system and a court of public opinion through the press. Both are available and have been available to these people to date, but instead they have resorted to underhanded anonymous trolling with malicious falsehoods. Through our own investigations we found that over the years and even recently we have already been investigated both overtly and covertly by the press and by private investigators. We have had journalists and private investigators posing as clients and they have found nothing fundamentally wrong with us and our work even though they were trying really hard to find something.


Due diligence was recently done by ITV on our Chairman Paul Waugh for his interview with them on the devastating effects of Anonymous online trolling. We were also later approached by the Daily Mail with a number of allegations about us that had been put to them by dubious sources and we responded with great substance and transparency such that the Daily Mail realised, whoever the sources were, they had given them an extremely biased and prejudicial story with no substance to it. This was so much so that the Daily Mail could not publish such a one-sided and false narrative that had been fed to them without incriminating themselves in the process. They realised that if they continued they were at the risk of being dragged into this illegal and unlawful smear campaign.


Again this is another reference for the dark and destructive motivation behind anonymous online trolls. Their intention is to hurt, harm and destroy (despite children and livelihoods being involved); this intention is what makes it criminal and unlawful. There is no future in hate.


Growing up through facing persecution

They have thrown everything they can think of at us and yet here we stand and here we grow, stronger than ever. All pioneers have suffered terrible persecution; they have been mocked, slandered, even physically attacked and we are no different. I have been involved at the core of Lighthouse for 18 years and while this year has been extremely traumatic for many partners and their families it has also been the most fortifying. I have been deeply inspired by the previously most quiet and anxious members of our partnership (because they have been been through terrible abuse and bullying; particularly from their families and partners) now standing up and finding their voice!


We are closer, stronger, more courageous and willing to suffer through these betrayals and malicious attempts to damage us. The irony is that those couple of people trolling us who have actually been involved with us here at Lighthouse know full well that what they are saying is false. They know that their motive is selfish and deliberately harmful and the way they are going about it is illegal and unlawful. That is why they have gone very very quiet now because who they are beyond their pseudonym is coming out into the light, especially with their employers now aware of who they are and what they are capable of.


It is very unfortunate that it has come to this and we hope that through all of this they are able to turn around from their mistakes and use this in a meaningful way and that many others can learn from all this. This means for those receiving it to learn how to handle online abuse by anonymous trolls and for those who have been trolls to redeem themselves by helping others to learn from the consequences of taking this illegal and unlawful path.


Who are the individuals behind the trolling of Lighthouse International Group?

Shockingly we have discovered that some of those involved in these illegal and unlawful attacks on us are in outwardly-esteemed positions in society; partners in law firms, teachers of young children and ex-police and yet they have been on platforms that are well known to host and profit from child pornography to be part of this trolling.


CASE 1: A harassing family member

One of our business partners who has had serious health concerns has been repeatedly harassed for close to a year by a sibling. In spite of being warned numerous times that they were harassing and damaging one of our partners, these warnings were completely ignored. When the evidence of the extremely distressing harassment was shared with the police they immediately offered to arrest this family member for harassment. This is all on record under Crime Reference Number P22062267. Police only offer to arrest someone if they have very good reason to. This has been extremely traumatic, especially considering the state of health of the victim of this harassment who is trying to heal from a chronic disease. Even though this was very damaging, the victim decided that in spite of this family member's abuse they requested the police simply warn the perpetrator to cease and desist and if the harassment were to continue in any form, then this person will be arrested. There is strong evidence that this perpetrator has not only been involved in harassing our partner directly but has also been part of the extensive smear campaign online. This perpetrator is a partner in a prominent law firm and given the potential consequences for the firm involved and in order to encourage the firm to influence them positively, the Managing Partner was contacted and they have agreed to address the situation and counsel the perpetrator as a result.


We believe that a number of these perpetrators have been very badly influenced by people around them who have led them down a path that is ultimately going to be very costly for them in every way. The majority of those who have influenced them negatively and are involved in this illegal and unlawful trolling don't actually know us at Lighthouse at all. They have never been clients, they have never met us, they are just part of the unsubstantiated smear campaign and what they are all finding out is that anonymous isn't as anonymous as they imagined!


Five of them currently have criminal investigations that are underway for harassment of Lighthouse International Group, its members and their families and another five are being reported within this next week. We have already had numerous trolls who have deleted all of their posts once they realised we know exactly who they are, most recently see Case 2 below. If the intention from these trolls was healthy even in the slightest, then they would firstly not be doing it anonymously and then when they realised we know exactly who they are, they would have proudly left their posts there. The truth is they have been maliciously trying to destroy us individually and collectively and they know it.


CASE 2: A so-called friend expressing 'concern out of care'

One of our clients shared deeply personal information with someone they thought was a friend and this information was then published by this person on the trolling platform under the Reddit user u/_Richter_Belmont_ as a means of trying to damage them and Lighthouse. You will not find any posts from this user because they have all now been deleted, however, we have them all on record for our legal team whenever they require them. When this troll was confronted about their posts, they said that they had done this out of 'care' for this person when the actual motive was actually extremely destructive. If it was out of care for our client then they would not be fuelling this smear campaign online and revelling in the negativity directed at Lighthouse. This case is very typical and is something we have seen a number of times over the years in our work at Lighthouse. It is rooted in jealousy and a desire to narcissistically possess someone. We have seen this many times through our work with individuals who come from very narcissistically controlling relationships which often starts with their parents and then flows into the siblings and partners they end up with and other relationships they have.


Our research and experience has shown that daring to question and confront the healthiness of someone's parenting is THE greatest taboo. We will be writing more to explain why this is the case together with the evidence to back up the shocking lifelong damage done to children by those closest to them.


In this case, while it was not a family member, it was someone who embarked on a very destructive path because they didn't like the choices this person was making because our client was spending less time with the person concerned, due to the unhealthy nature of the relationship. As a result they embarked on a campaign to try and limit their progress because they felt intimidated by that, fearing our client might outgrow them and their egos didn't like that. So instead of having the humility to recognise they do not understand because of their own limitations, they chose to try and prejudicially judge and break down because they felt rejected purely due to our client desperately trying to get healthy. This is absolutely not caring by them as they claimed it was, it is purely self-serving and maliciously destructive!


When confronted about the trolling they said that they will remove all the posts but that they do not want there to be any consequences for what they have done and even threatened our client should they be held accountable. This is very typical. The malicious troll now plays the victim as soon as they are confronted. You will see this playing out repeatedly now as each and every one of those who have been trying to destroy Lighthouse are being held accountable one by one.


We have many more cases which we will be sharing along with incredible opportunities we are developing through this over the coming days and weeks.


Our gratitude for the trolls and the hope we have for them

This has been the most challenging and very best year we have ever had. While trying to destroy us, the trolls have given us the challenge we needed to really start to grow and serve at a level we never thought possible. We have and are creating such incredible opportunities through this and we are stronger than ever. What we are most interested in is the wrongs being rectified and for an opportunity for those involved to reform. We never wanted to have to go to the police or their employers, but they forced our hand through pursuing this campaign of hate.


Love is not dead and neither is God

Love is so often seen as a very weak and fluffy reactive romantic feeling, but the true love that is required to regenerate and truly "Love thy enemy" is so rare in the hearts of the majority of humanity that one might be forgiven for saying that it doesn't exist. I have felt such feelings of hate over the last year in particular. I and we have sacrificed so much and yes there are many times when we have been incredulous at the maliciousness of the destructive trolling. However, responding to this hate with hate only creates more destruction. These trolls have shown me exactly what is wrong with me and humanity. Nietzsche said that "God is dead", and we could easily look at humanity and say love is dead too. But as I am learning through this, neither love nor God is dead. Instead the old ideas that I have had of both love and God certainly needed to die and a new healthy perception of reality that is hard earned needs to be born. The Phoenix of Love is arising from the ashes of hate...


The Road Ahead

One of the trolls very aptly quipped about a year ago in one of their posts...


"This is just the beginning..."


This person could not have been more right in ways they did not understand even though what they said was for all the wrong reasons. We hope and pray (for those of us that do) that through this all they realise that hate will only cause destruction, starting with destroying themselves and their families. We have been and are always here to try and work through whatever challenges may exist as healthy adults. Running away and causing destruction by sniping from the shadows behind anonymous pseudonyms is not only maliciously unlawful and illegal but it is also very immature. So we encourage them all to take a different path, a higher and healthier one. One thing is for sure you will no longer be able to continue the path you are on...


Given the damage we've seen that trolling can do to children and adults I and we have felt a great need to use our experiences to help others. I'm committed to find the ways and means to bring together the people and resources required to stand up to online trolls and trolling through our Parents Against Trolls campaign.

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