Home / News / Bitcoins and Blow: The Sordid Tale of CLEAR Continues

Bitcoins and Blow: The Sordid Tale of CLEAR Continues

Author: James Collins

I had gotten to a point where I really believed that the farce known as CLEAR could not become any more ridiculous.  I’ve thought that before, only to find that I had set unreasonable limitations on the degree of ridiculous we could expect out of that camp.  It seems the trolls are in season though, because a most bizarre email exchange was forwarded to us here at PRWatch, and indeed to many others.

We chose not to jump the gun and post anything about this because, well, for obvious reasons.  It leaves one flummoxed to think anyone could have lacked discretion so completely, but there it is.  This is the increasingly notorious email exchange between Joel Dalais of CLEAR and somebody who calls themselves “Sarah”.

Since you’re wondering, the answer is “no, we don’t know who the hell this ‘Sarah’ character is”.  We were amongst a collection of recipients, and by the looks of the cc list, we are the last people CLEAR are currently concerned about reading the contents of this discussion.

Anonymous email to CLEAR's Membership Secretary, Joel Dalais.
Anonymous email to CLEAR’s Membership Secretary, Joel Dalais.

You might have seen it already, if not I’m hardly the first one to display this, and it has been authenticated by CLEAR themselves.  Perhaps unintentionally, somebody from the CLEAR camp tweeted the statement below, which would seem to confirm the veracity of the contents of the emails exchange that half the UK received early Sunday morning.

Tweet from Peter Reynolds, leader of Cannabis Law Reform.
Peter Reynolds confirms the Joel Dalais email exchange is genuine.

Boggles the mind, doesn’t it?

A plethora of concerns are raised by this rather ridiculous exchange.  The first thing that crosses my mind is that Joel Dalais is either so horribly addicted to cocaine that the mere mention of it erases any semblance of judgement he might have, or he doesn’t have any judgement to speak of in the first place.  From the very outset I figured it couldn’t be authentic, because, well…who would fall for this?

The second thing that jumps out at me is that Joel, the “Membership Secretary” is openly discussing illegal political donations, personal bribes for members of the executive, and an apparent familiarity with cross-border cocaine trafficking.  He’s pretty cavalier about the whole thing, any premise of subtlety is thinner than wet tissue paper.  If Cannabis Law Reform was a serious political party, this would be the scandal of the century.  Since it is just a wisp of a joke of a party, it isn’t really news in the mainstream sense.  To people involved with the party, this has got to be a little unsettling.  How can CLEAR ever cross from “fringe wahoo” status to “real party” with these kinds of shenanigans going on behind the scenes?

It is fun though, isn’t it?  Spin up another cone and read over that little chat again.  That’s apparently real.  Joel actually said those things, on an official party email address, a party registered with the Electoral Commission.  CLEAR certainly is bringing a new level of professionalism and political savvy to the cannabis scene, aren’t they?  Bitcoins and blow, it screams Downing Street all the way.

Like…wow…just, just wow.

I’m going to ask you to slip on your tinfoil hat for a moment, and play a little game of Alex Jones the Dots with me.  Joel solicits donations for “CLEAR” in Bitcoins, the dodgy internet currency largely useful for buying contraband on the black market.  He then talks about buying cocaine on Silk Road, an online contraband marketplace that trades in Bitcoins, and even accepts an offer of cocaine from the emailer.

How hard is it to conclude that Joel was trying to solicit Bitcoins from members in order to buy himself cocaine on Silk Road?  I’m not saying that’s what he was doing; I’m just saying that the more conspiracy-minded individual might jump to the conclusion that this was his plan.

It doesn’t stop there!  He also implicates almost the entire executive, saying to Sarah that all but one member of the executive would be interested in some free cocaine and secret Bitcoin donations!  So who is the abstainer?  The tweet from CLEAR denies that Peter or Derek ever use cocaine, but the shockingly candid conversation that Joel has says otherwise.  Somebody is lying…who could it be?

Let’s take a little stroll down memory lane for a minute, just to put this into context.  Peter Reynolds, the “elected leader” of CLEAR, is suing a man in part for displaying the image displayed below.  The image, clearly photoshopped, would seem to portray Peter in front of a martini glass with some lines of cocaine on the table.  Peter says that to show him in such a light is defamatory.  He would never drink or use cocaine, would he?

Peter Reynolds CLEAR
Spoof Peter Reynolds CLEAR election poster

Well, yes, he would.  Now, throughout all of this mess Peter has not actually issued a denial of his alcoholism.  Those who work in the field of addiction treatment would agree that if you drink every day, then you are an alcoholic.  There is a denial in the tweet posted above that Peter Reynolds uses cocaine.  What did Peter have to say on November 17th 2011?  He said the following …

Peter Reynolds, leader of CLEAR, Cannabis Law Reform, admits to using cocaine.
Peter Reynolds admits to using cocaine.

That’s right, a little over a year ago Peter felt the need to make his Facebook status an open confession of daily alcohol abuse and occasional cocaine use.  That doesn’t really fall under the scope of his claim that he “doesn’t use” cocaine, or that depicting him as a heavy drinker is somehow defamatory.  He volunteered this information, nobody put him under duress.  This confession was spontaneous, not the result of anything anybody did in order to solicit it.

In fact, if you want to get really picky, you can put these two pics together.  The one that Peter is suing over is actually the one that makes him look cleaner and more professional!  Is that actually cocaine on the table in the greasy shirt version?  Who knows?  What one can be sure of is that even the satirical presentation of Peter Reynolds isn’t nearly as defaming as the real picture.

Photo of Peter Reynolds with white lines of an unknown substance on the table.
What are those white lines on the table?

Truth is slimier than fiction.

Yet somehow this man is going to turn around and issue writs in High Court for defamation, in part because a man displayed a satirical image which portrayed him as using cocaine and alcohol?  He’s going to claim that he deserves financial compensation and public apologies for suggesting that he does things he openly discusses doing on the Internet?  Does he really have this much audacity?

The mendacious mendacity of it makes your head spin!

Screw journalistic integrity and objectivity – Peter Reynolds is a raving fucking hypocrite.

Aside from that, there is a bigger picture brought into focus by this scam.  Somebody with little effort managed to get a key member of the CLEAR executive to agree, in writing, to committing any number of criminal offenses, in their capacity as a member of the executive.  Joel was not using his personal email, he was on the CLEAR website, paid for by members, trying to weasel personal donations and free drugs.  That’s what CLEAR is really about, putting a little something-something in the pockets of the executive while wasting the time, and indeed ripping off the funds, of their membership.

Following the failure of the Bitcoin donation programme ... CLEAR is now accepting donations in all fictitious currencies.
Donate money to Peter Reynolds and CLEAR.

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  1. Scamming ‘donations’ and free drugs.

    Couldn’t have put it better. IMHO that’s all you really need to say about Peter and Dereck.

  2. This story is comedy gold. Joel’s response about legalising drugs to stop illegal drug cartels was especially amusing considering he had no qualms about accepting cocaine that could only have come from an illegal drug cartel.

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