Discover more from MindWar: The Psychological War on Democracy
Hey Yonder! How much money do you make from “punitive measures?”
PART II: Yonder’s history tells you everything you need to know
As we saw in Part I, Yonder has worked hard to create an image of itself as a well-meaning company that really just wants to make the internet a safer place. This is, to say the least, nonsense. All of Yonder’s public marketing has a double-meaning.
A more accurate mission statement would be:
“We have the tools to monitor for internet activity you don’t like and suppress it with armies of subcontractors who will target anyone who disagrees with you.”
So, where did this company come from? A guy named Jonathon Morgan who started a company in Austin, TX called Popily, Inc. which is the holding company for Yonder — rebranded from “New Knowledge, Inc.”
The “seed round” — or the first outside money that went into Popily, Inc. to get it started — came from Kelly Perdew who runs “Moonshots Capital.”
Kelly Perdew is an “angel investor” who happens to be the guy who won Season Two of The Apprentice for Donald Trump and used his military credentials to burnish Trump’s image for years.
Despite being funded by a Trump supporter, New Knowledge, Inc. ran what was ostensibly a Democratic social media disinformation campaign in support of Doug Jones in his Alabama 2018 race against multiply accused pedophile Roy Moore.
New Knowledge’s Director of Research at the time, who created this campaign, was Renee Diresta, who portrays herself as a disinformation researcher.
Diresta’s previous position to working for New Knowledge, Inc. was working for Donald Trump’s 2016 benefactor, psychopathic accelerationist billionaire Peter Thiel who also funded MAGA3X. Diresta was a mentor in his “20 Under 20” program which pulls smart kids out of college to pursue startups consistent with Thiel’s anti-democratic “libertarian” worldview. She currently works at Thiel’s favorite university, his alma mater, Stanford.
After the Washington Post covered this bizarre project that seemed designed to both-sides the narrative about social media influence campaigns, there was a “leak” of the “after action report” from New Knowledge, Inc.
Only one person got this document. His name is Jeff Giesea, who is a white supremacist psyop specialist who ran Peter Thiel’s venture capital firm, wrote a 2015 paper on “memetic warfare” with neo-nazi Chuck Johnson, and was a founder of MAGA3X which started Pizzagate and QAnon.
This “leak” to Thiel’s operative Jeff Giesea, about former Thiel employee Renee Diresta’s disinformation campaign, appears designed to portray Democrats as being guilty of the same tactics as Republicans and the Russians, despite real Democrats having nothing to do with it.
It also shows conclusively that New Knowledge aka Yonder Inc. is hardly a passive data-gathering company. The report says the company “ran a digital messaging operation to influence the outcome of the AL senate race,” “radicalize Democrats,” “suppress unpersuadable Republicans,” and “aggressively target evangelicals.”
After this operation was loudly exposed, forcing Democrats to defend themselves against the accusations that they were trying to influence elections, New Knowledge changed its name to Yonder and got a contract with the US Army alongside Peter Thiel’s dangerous data-mining and targeting company Palantir to support “Project Maven.”
Here’s the full report on Project Maven, which was a program by the Army under Trump’s command, to use artificial intelligence to improve targeting by drones.
Google originally had the contract to do Project Maven until Google employees balked at becoming part of the “business of war.”
The marketing materials for the “New Knowledge Platform” that was sold to the Army under a subcontract to sketchy consulting behemoth Booz Allen Hamilton belie the farce that Yonder is just there to “gather data.”
A look at the website at the time of this Army contract tells a slightly more honest story. “Be in control of your narratives” is what Yonder actually offers. They use technology to find people who disagree with their clients and then use an “army” of subcontractors to harass, troll and traumatize the target into either changing their mind, or silencing them.
This behavior can be seen right now on Twitter. Yonder employees and subcontractors are very busy “controlling the narrative.”
One of the “narratives” that Yonder is “controlling” is what actually happened with QAnon and who is creating the propaganda that has our democracy on the verge of collapse. That’s why Yonder targeted me with an array of their operatives, some of whom have since gotten other contracts, and some who are still at it.
Part III coming soon.