Updated: Apr 20
A real-life example of how anonymous trolls have broken themselves against universal laws and principles; incriminating themselves and putting their own careers at risk in the process.
“The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it,
but in the end, there it is.” - Winston Churchill
At Lighthouse International Group we have learnt experientially what it takes to stand up to online abuse; what an incredible story we have to tell! It’s one that will form the most incredible case study to benefit conscientious individuals and responsible organisations across the globe.
After months of discovery and investigation into the trolling of Lighthouse International Group, we are now in the position to start sharing our comprehensive evidence more publicly with supporters and critics of us as individuals and a business.
The Purpose of Sharing Our Experiences of Online Trolling
The purpose of doing so is to empower organisations, healthy communities and goodhearted individuals to stand up to online trolls who are insistent on causing destruction to others whilst hiding anonymously behind pseudonyms.
Contrary to the accusations from a tiny number of people who would like you to think we are the most malicious and manipulative people on this planet (some of whom have never even met us), many of us at Lighthouse International Group have actually come from backgrounds where we have been pushed about, bullied and abused growing up. Some of us were so badly affected that we could hardly speak when we first got involved! This has meant typically fearing conflict, criticism and confrontation. So hardly the monsters less than a handful of people want to paint us as being… when the ITV reporter Amrit Birdi was invited into Paul Waugh’s home to discuss online trolling, she couldn’t believe the complete contrast between what was written online about Paul Waugh and meeting him in person!
We came to Lighthouse International Group to heal the damage we experienced growing up because we recognised that continuing to be timid, passive and playing small is not effective when it comes to standing up for what is right and just. There’s a lot of injustice in the world that we, as conscientious individuals, want to do something about. For instance, as a collective human family we are doing a terrible job of ensuring that the most vulnerable members are have having their basic needs met. Why invest more attention into our selfish wants than ensuring that 800 million children no longer have to suffer the drinking of toxic water?!? This is not being negative, this is being real! If we had the required resources (human, material, financial), then we’d be able to solve this and other such issues.
Why We Are Stronger Because of The Online Trolling Against Lighthouse International Group
There’s nothing like a real-life situation to test you and show you where you actually are, rather than where you think you are or where you’d like to be. Delusions and fictional stories about ourselves and others are shattered when exposed to the light of reality and truth.
So the experiences of these online attacks have been far from easy, but we are stronger for it! We’re not afraid to put our names and our reputations out in the public domain and we can’t take anyone seriously who snipes from the shadows behind anonymity as self-proclaimed so-called ‘activists’, like our trolls have. That's why we have the utmost respect for the courage of people like Catherine Oxenberg who publicly took on a destructive cult like NXIVM. We very much support the work that people like her and her daughter India have done.
This last year has meant facing many of our personal demons in order to grow through this challenge of being defamed and abused online. In the process we are far better equipped to help others. The pathology and the behaviour of those who troll is far from healthy and it will only persist to the extent we let it.
How Trolls React To The Opportunity To Reconcile Differences
Despite the vitriol and abuse directed towards us at Lighthouse International Group by a tiny minority of mostly anonymous dogpilers, we have offered a number of olive branches; opportunities to sit down to reconcile differences and to find win-win solutions - not least a personal invitation from our Head Mentor Paul Waugh to his own home. On the other end of the spectrum of possible options, we have also issued warnings and invited legal action to be taken against us if a civil solution isn’t possible.
If any of the allegations made against us were true, given what is being said; from being accused of theft through to being a mind-controlling ‘cult’, then surely we’d all be in jail by now or at the very least on the way to being there. This is the age of Fake News though, a time where angry and bitter people will take to their keyboard anonymously to try and throw mud, rather than come and sit down and work things out like adults. Where they can’t work things out in a respectful manner, we’ve even invited them to do the worst they can with their online abuse to incriminate themselves even further. This is because we have nothing to hide and truth always prevails in the end, as it is doing more and more so!
However, ultimately we are seeking to achieve the highest human ideal through whatever situation we face, no matter how challenging or inconvenient that may be. We’re far from perfect and we do make mistakes, but in the name of responsibility, we seek to understand what went wrong, what can be learnt and how things can be made right.
We can’t take responsibility for the fact our attempts to reason with our trolls have either been ignored or even mocked in the form of anonymous posts and comments on Reddit… publicly! It’s self-evident that a healthy pathology naturally leads to someone being open to sit down to work out amicable solutions to disagreements. Would people like Gandhi or Martin Luther King Junior have written malicious falsehoods anonymously on Reddit, rather than taking the peaceful, principle-centred and very public stands they both did? Did they slander and defame or did they use principle and truth to make their claims?
On the other end of the spectrum, an unhealthy pathology will refuse this offer to work towards a win-win agreement and in extreme cases turn to badmouthing online rather than work things out with dignity and respect. They will hide their names and avoid scrutiny and accountability.
In the last few months, we’ve seen that when someone is filled with hatred and vengeance they will even twist a kind offer of self-extension into a problem or even use it as another form of attack. As the screenshot below shows, that’s how sending someone nutrition and flowers to help them get through Covid is taken as a form of manipulation and control… you can’t make it up!
Part of post by Reddit User u/CreativeWrap919 (Jo Holmes) in reference to
support from Paul Waugh whilst suffering from Covid
Our Patient Approach To Holding Trolls Accountable
After 10 months of allowing those involved to reveal and incriminate themselves, we decided to take the step to contact the employers of identified perpetrators. We did not do this reactively out of revenge or malice, we simply acted in the best interests of ourselves, our livelihoods, our clients, our investments, our families and our benevolent intentions as an organisation.
Given our patient and restrained approach we have built up substantial evidence to prove that two former Lighthouse Associates (Richard Thomas and Jo Holmes) are at the centre of the online trolling of Lighthouse International Group. We have more than 700 pages of evidence to back this up with insights into the behaviour and pathology of those who troll. This is absolutely priceless because with what we’ve learnt we will be able to teach parents, children and employers how to handle online trolls. For this we are incredibly grateful for our trolls… our solicitors were blown away by how we intend to use this situation!
Once again, we state publicly here that we would absolutely love the trolls to see the error in their ways and genuinely reform in order to make things right so they can partner with us to stand up to those hateful individuals who insist on trolling others.
However, we know from facing our own very personal experiences of facing our own fallibilities and wrongdoing that this will require a lot of humility, personal courage and soul-searching. The evidence from one of the online interactions below will show how much self-examination will be required.
Case Study: How Do Trolls React To Statements of Fact?
In a post by Richard Thomas (Reddit user u/Fagins_nemesis) entitled ‘Lighthouse International Group - Poor if you do, Poor if you don't - Pickin your Pockets’ that accuses Paul Waugh, Shaun Cooper and other Lighthouse Associates of being thieves in reference to the lack of a refund of his investment into his growth and development through Lighthouse International Group. Jo Holmes makes the same accusation in her reply. What’s conveniently not communicated is that neither party has even submitted a formal refund request, let alone used the legal channels to pursue their case because such requests are undeserved.
What’s been inspiring for us at Lighthouse International Group is having some of our supporters decide to step into the ring and defend us. The post from Reddit user u/Juli3tBrav0 gave a factual account (below) in relation to Mr Thomas’s situation where he’s omitted significant details in relation to his allegations and grievances towards Lighthouse International Group. These are facts that completely destroy any claim that he has not been treated fairly. It’s no wonder they’ve been omitted!
Mr Thomas (AKA u/Fagins_nemesis) was in fact offered a refund by Paul Waugh due to his illness and on compassionate grounds. This was before Richard Thomas even asked for his money to be returned! Yet Richard Thomas ignored these attempts to help him for many months; not even acknowledging numerous texts reaching out to him. Not only this, but he went on to later accuse Paul Waugh of theft, joining Jo Holmes in the smear campaign against Lighthouse International Group. We can corroborate that this user’s information is correct and accurate and can all be substantiated with evidence.
Please also note the last response from Reddit user u/Fagins_nemesis and how another Reddit user (u/throwawayeducovictim) treats this post with cynicism, scorn and mockery, completely ignoring compelling facts in Lighthouse’s defence. It is a very revealing insight into the total lack of reason, openness and rationality Lighthouse has faced as shown in the next screenshots that also include Mr Thomas’s comments.
As can be seen in these shots above by the vitriolic and cynical responses in relation to legal repercussions and warnings, being offered by u/P3terP1iper’s comment about their actions, Reddit user u/Fagins_nemesis (Mr Thomas) treats this with complete contempt.
The Enemy of a Troll is Reality & Truth
In closing we are seeing that the biggest enemy of trolls is reality and truth. Sadly the pathology of a troll is someone who’s typically more narcissistic and they will typically associate with those who reinforce rather than challenge their way of seeing based on bias and prejudice rather than using universal laws and principles as an objective source of guidance. How does this situation prove this? Each troll who’s been held accountable to their employer has suddenly gone quiet. This is one of the most incriminating things they have ever done. Why? Well if they were so genuinely proud of what they were doing and it was so noble and honourable then surely they would be delighted for their employer to see it? Surely they should carry on being the bastion of truth and justice?!? However they are none of those things and that is why they are anonymous, because they know that what they are doing is illegal and unlawful as they are now realising through the legal process they are both going through with their employers.
As we have shared in an article relating to our Business Against Trolls campaign, an employer has the legal responsibility to offer a voice of reason to someone who’s identified as a troll. They will ask questions like; have you tried to discuss the situation amicably? Have you sought legal advice? In the situation with Jo Holmes and Richard Thomas we have offered this to both and they have ignored our recommendations. Therefore we hope we are able to work in partnership with their employers and them to prevent their actions from sabotaging their careers and reputations any further.
In the video below, Paul Waugh shares what a win-win, first-class relationship looks like.