"If You Ask Me..." - My Response to The Daily Mail’s Smear Campaign on Lighthouse International

Updated: Aug 17



Author: Aemilie Josef


“A little lie can travel halfway round the world while truth is still lacing up  her boots.”

- Mark Twain  


How lies can have dire consequences


Decades ago, if a newspaper was released with falsities, misleading accusations, amateur reporting or complete fabrication, the damage might remain fairly local. Most who actually read papers knew the “anything for a story” rule equated with “how to make a quick buck.”

Now, with the internet and social media’s reach, we can no longer just roll our eyes and look the other way because the damage from “the lie” is immediately spread far and wide and will stay in the cloud forever. A lie always causes damage, whether it can immediately be seen or not. I am of course, not talking about a “little white lie,” perhaps to protect someone’s feelings. I’m talking about the kind that would be like handing a broken compass to someone trying to find their way out of a hot desert. Lies are actions that can have dire consequences.


As a worldwide society, we must find and hold those accountable for the lie. We must step up for those we love, and those we don’t know, and those who are very different from us, because it is the right thing to do. We should not stop questioning things. There will always be people who perpetuate a lie because it fits their biases or prejudices but we can only lead by example. In a truly civilised society, we look out for one another, yes? I don’t think we’re there yet. Do you?


What are the consequences of online trolling?

Since I have experienced covert narcissistic abuse in my personal and professional life, I now sadly believe there will always be more predators than kind & true humans. I think it is essential that we update laws and set boundaries in contemporary society.


“Sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never harm me.” A lie. Not everyone is totally unfettered by verbal abuse. Words can be weapons. The direct result can be long-term illness, loss of finances, or someone’s precious time, and in many cases, even death. Hateful speech has only one intention, to destroy. Gaslighting is a kind of violence too. Unfortunately, some see life as a zero-sum game. To win at all costs. Online trolls who bully have been directly responsible for the deaths of thousands of children who resort to suicide. This is a universal tragedy.*


Jai’s article clearly lays out the intent behind the Daily Mail’s published article and fabrication against Paul Waugh and Lighthouse. They were just making a quick buck at the expense of others. This is known as “yellow journalism.” In 1898, William Randolf Hearst printed a headline that implied the enemy was at our gate and inflamed public sentiment about an American battleship that sank in the Havana Harbour. Soon after, the Spanish-American war began, and papers were flying off the newsstands. Thus began a practice of “yellow journalism” also known as sensationalism, fear-mongering, out-of-context, unsubstantiated, slander, gossip, and putting lipstick on a pig….*


Lighthouse is about helping to fix the damage done by the “People of the Lie.” (the second book by M.Scott Peck, author of ‘The Road Less Travelled’) Those who thrive on confusion, lies, and twisted motives. I am not at all surprised that this is happening to an organisation such as Lighthouse, as it is essentially draining these empty individuals of their narcissistic feeding supply. They started their attack on Reddit, and are trying to advance their cause from there, you can see the hateful comments here. But they won’t get much further as Lighthouse will win in court. Jai points out 10 facts that can be backed up with solid evidence and there exists countless hours of recordings and transcripts. Most importantly, Jai’s love and respect for Paul Waugh, Paul standing up for Jai and everyone else is part of what leadership is all about. In light of all this, the people at Lighthouse are now even more energised in their commitment to love and truth. Jai refers to the “soul hackers” who are blind to the truth and need love the most. Lighthouse has implored them to atone for their mistakes and correct their path, but no response as of yet.


In the meantime, I have been working with my mentors for almost a year now, I couldn’t be happier and have not noticed any pullback in their commitment to my growth. And by the way, I have never felt overcharged for their time.


A Poem by Pastor Martin Niemoller

“First they came for the Communists, and I did not speak out - because I was not a Communist.


Then they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out - because I was not a Socialist.


Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out - because I was not a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out - because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me - and there was no one left to speak out for me.


A Note of Acknowledgment by Sukh Singh, Lighthouse International

Over the last year, myself and Diane Cubitt have been working with Aemilie Josef, where we brought group leaders together who have been helping others heal from narcissistic abuse. Aemilie has gone through an excruciating journey in her life. She has also been at the top of the media industry, involved in high-end productions, so she also knows how ruthless the industry can be. Over the last year, I have personally seen Aemilie make enormous strides forward in her attempts to heal and grow her own life and face problems head-on, despite her concerns she would not be able to. I remember first speaking with Aemilie, she had her concerns about our work and Lighthouse. She has always kept a healthy scepticism and frankly, at a stage of life when many people would give up or settle for retirement, Aemilie is developing herself in every way possible. That inspires me, to see the effort she puts in week after week. This has not always been smooth sailing - recently, when we launched The Waugh Rooms, Aemilie was actually critical of our approach and the decisions we made. Unlike the trolls, she was open to discussing this openly and taking the time to understand our approach, our methods and our thinking. She cares a lot about this work to protect survivors of any form of abuse and especially about children being attacked online by anonymous trolls. Thank you Aemilie for the work you have put into this article and for the care to protect good people being abused by seemingly powerful people and organisations.


If you have been abused or targeted by the press or online trolls, please get in touch. You can email Sukh via sukh.singh@lig.global.




**References:

https://www.mtsu.edu/first-amendment/article/1253/yellow-journalism

https://daily.jstor.org/to-fix-fake-news-look-to-yellow-journalism/

https://historynewsnetwork.org/article/168374

https://history.state.gov/milestones/1866-1898/yellow-journalism

https://www.11alive.com/article/news/special-reports/a-different-cry/childrenrising-suicide-death-rates-research-different-cry-series/85-46195650-294b-40a3-97e1-661bbe68a069


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