Commentary by Captain Paul Watson
The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is a controversial organization and because of this we expect to receive a wide spectrum of response ranging from complete support for our efforts to total condemnation. Our list of detractors includes Japanese whalers, those who support Japanese whaling, those who oppose whaling as well as our tactics, and those who oppose whaling, support our tactics but don't support us on the grounds that we are not "aggressive" enough. The reasons are numerous, sometimes thought out, but most times not. Not that it matters, we don't do what we do for people and we don't really care what people think about us. Our clients are the species of the sea: whales, dolphins, sharks, turtles, fish, seabirds, crabs and mollusks, krill etc.
But every once in awhile an article comes to our attention which is so ridiculously bizarre that we can do nothing else but view it with a detached amusement. The article below from the Christian News Wire is such an article. Short on facts, long on unsubstantiated accusations, and totally bizarre with its silly conclusions.
Receiving this gem of nut bar journalism today, I could not wait to post it in the crew's mess room for their enjoyment.
It turns out you see that the only reason we are down here in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary protecting whales is because we are fundamentalist extremist disciples of Charles Darwin. Yes sir, Charles Darwin is to blame for this mess because he started people down the road of thinking for themselves, instead of blindly following the dictates and guidance of a silly over-rated book written by a gang of chauvinistic sheep herding thugs in the desert a few thousand years ago.
Anyhow, the article is attached below with my comments correcting the errors in fact and pointing out the contradictions of the author.
The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society has a permanent base of operations in the Galapagos where we work in cooperation with the Galapagos National Park rangers and the Ecuadorian Federal Police to uphold conservation regulations and laws against poachers operating in the Galapagos Marine Reserve.
The Whaling Controversy Resolved: 'Mysterious Islands' DVD Shows Sea Shepherd Pirates to Be Darwinian Extremists
By Gregg Wooding
SAN ANTONIO, TX, Jan. 15 /Christian Newswire/ -- Last week's clash between the Japanese whaling ship, the 'Shonan Maru' and the 'Ady Gil', a vessel owned and manned by the eco-terrorist group Sea Shepherd, highlights an animal rights battle that was launched when Charles Darwin visited the Galapagos Islands in 1835 -- a theme explored in detail on a featurette of 'The Mysterious Islands', a newly-released documentary that debunks the conclusions Darwin reaching during his famous voyage of the Beagle. The featurette -- entitled 'The Galapagos Whaling Controversy: A Christian Perspective' -- takes environmental groups such as Sea Shepherd, Greenpeace, and PETA head on, and shows how their anti-hunting and worshipful view of animals flows directly from Darwin's theory of evolution.
Captain Paul Watson: The accusation that Sea Shepherd is an eco-terrorist organization is based on a strategy explained in my book Earthforce! where I point out that one of the fundamental strategies of propaganda is to repeat a lie so often that people begin to believe it. Accusations that Sea Shepherd is an eco-terrorist organization have no basis in fact. Since the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society was founded in 1977, we have not been convicted of a single felony crime, we have never been sued, and we have never caused a single injury. What we do is to oppose illegal activities like the poaching of whales from a Whale Sanctuary. Wooding also continues to use the term "animal rights" although Sea Shepherd is a marine conservation organization.
I found it interesting to discover how our activities come from Darwin's theory of evolution, although Wooding should be corrected on that also because it is no longer a "theory" of evolution, it is a scientifically proven understanding of evolution.
The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society opposes Japanese whaling because it is illegal. Japan is violating international conservation law in numerous ways. We don't worship whales; we work to protect them from poachers.
"The Galapagos Islands were not only a once-great international whaling hub, but --thanks to Charles Darwin -- this archipelago holds the distinction of being the birthplace of the modern animal rights movement," noted Doug Phillips, Executive Producer of 'The Mysterious Islands'.
Captain Paul Watson: Thanks to unrestricted whaling, the great whales were eradicated from the waters around the Galapagos. They are now slowly recovering. I don't think that Charles Darwin had any idea about animal rights. His work focused on the reality of evolution. He was a scientist.
"Darwin argued that man is not a unique creature supernaturally created by God in His image with a responsibility to exercise dominion over creation, but he is simply another animal," Phillips stated. "Radical environmentalists embrace this as their starting point and thus view man of no greater significance than a fish, a frog, or a whale."
Captain Paul Watson: Human beings are not unique. After some three billion years of evolution on this planet, humans appeared in the last million years and the myth of God was created sometime during the last ten thousand years. Human beings are, in fact, animals. We are not some sort of semi-divine supernatural being. If anything we are merely overly conceited naked apes that have become divine legends in our own minds.
The fact is that the ecological law of diversity dictates that diversity of species is essential for the survival of each species within that diversity. Humans are equal to other species for the simple reason that if the other species were removed from the eco-systems that people inhabit, humans could not survive. Mutual survival bestows equality on all other species. We need them to exist. Without them we cannot exist therefore their importance is equal to our own within the context of the habitats that we occupy. There is nothing radical about nature. What is radical is the idea that we are above and apart from nature and this is an idea that emerged relatively late in human evolution. It is this idea that created religion and religion is little more than a form of collective mass psychosis, the fanatical belief in fantasy worlds that have no basis in reality.
"The Galapagos Whaling Controversy: A Christian Perspective" takes specific aim at Sea Shepherd, an animal rights group founded by Paul Watson who previously helped start Greenpeace before being ousted from their board due to his extreme tactics.
Captain Paul Watson: I am honestly flattered to be the main protagonist in this absurd documentary. However the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is not an animal rights organization - we are a marine conservation anti-poaching organization.
"The liberal news media and Discovery Channel's popular reality show, Whale Wars, has sought to portray Paul Watson and his fellow Sea Shepherd cronies as folk heroes as they have repeatedly engaged in acts of terror on the high seas," Phillips continued. "Watson's recent charge of piracy against the 'Shonan Maru' is disingenuous doublespeak, as he has boasted of sinking numerous whaling vessels from Iceland to Antarctica over the years, visibly displaying images of the ships he has sunk on the side of his own renegade vessels. Watson has personally been convicted of sabotage many times over -- he's the real pirate in this whole affair.
Captain Paul Watson: If we have engaged in a single act of terrorism then we should be charged with a crime. The fact is that we have never been charged with a terrorist act let alone convicted. I was invited to give a lecture at the F.B.I. Academy in Quantico, Virginia in August 2009 where one agent remarked that Sea Shepherd walked a very fine line with the law. My answer was, and he did not dispute it, is that there is nothing wrong with walking a fine line as long as the laws are not broken. Sea Shepherd has never sunk a ship in Antarctica. Sea Shepherd has scuttled unmanned poaching vessels in Norway, Iceland, and Spain and not one of them resulted in a felony conviction because they were operating illegally. The statement that I have been personally convicted of sabotage many times over is simply a lie. I have never been convicted of a single felony in my entire life. But again, if the lie is repeated that I have, people begin to believe it.
"Watson has declared that 'there's nothing wrong with being a terrorist, as long as you win. Then you write the history,'" Phillips noted. "He has also said that 'If you don't know an answer, a fact, a statistic, then ... make it up on the spot.' Watson is legendary as a yarn-spinner, and the news media has largely overlooked his chronic duplicity."
Captain Paul Watson: I am a university lecturer and in my UCLA honors course on Science, Technology, and Ethics for the 21st Century I did say that history has demonstrated that "there's nothing wrong with being a terrorist, as long as you win. Then you write the history." I did indeed say that and it is a historical truth but it is not my opinion, it is merely an observation of fact. The writer has chosen to take the quote out of context in a deliberate attempt to demonize me. On the second quote that is also an observation of fact. I think it was President Ronald Reagan who put that particular media strategy into effect, a tradition now utilized by the FOX network every day.
The methods of the eco-terrorist group Sea Shepherd are well-documented and include the use of limpet mines to scuttle whaling boats, hurling bottles of foul-smelling butyric acid on rival ships, and rifle fire, among other violent tactics.
Captain Paul Watson: All Sea Shepherd tactics utilize only non-lethal approaches. Yes, we use rotten butter stink bombs and because rotten butter is butyric acid, just as milk is lactic acid, the use of the word "acid" is designed to make the substance sound deadly when in fact beer is more acidic than butyric acid. We don't use explosives or firearms. The writer attempts to underscore this accusation with the description of "well documented" without providing or referring to the documentation he so casually mentions.
"Watson speaks regularly of the 'virus of humanity' and has declared openly that 'in this war between our species and the others . . . I side most passionately with them against us, a proud traitor to my species,'" Phillips observed. "Watson has also stated that 'earthworms are far more valuable than people' and that he stands 'in opposition to . . . those parasites who believe the Earth is here to serve human interests.' His conclusion is a frightening one: 'We need to radically and intelligently reduce human population to fewer than one billion.'"
Captain Paul Watson: I have said that the effect that human society has on the ecology of the planet is similar to the virus AIDS because we are eroding the immune systems of the planet through the destruction of bio-diversity. The fact is that earthworms are more important than people from an ecological perspective for the simple reason that earthworms can survive without people but people will not be able to survive without earthworms. People are dependent on earthworms; earthworms are not dependent upon humans. I do believe that the Earth was not created to serve the self-interest of a single species our own and my comment on population is simply to point out that the carrying capacity of the planet is not sufficient to support increasing human populations. By saying intelligently I was advocating voluntary reduction in births - not extermination camps as some rabid Christian writers have stated.
Phillips concluded: "Watson's anti-human worldview flows from a radical brand of Darwinism that is at war with God. He and his Sea Shepherd associates reject the biblical teaching that man is God's appointed steward over the creation. They advance their terrorist agenda with a twisted religious ferocity that shows that they worship the creature rather than the Creator."
Captain Paul Watson: I am not at war with God. I don't believe in God. This is an absurd statement and the writer may as well have accused me of being at war with Santa Claus or Darth Vader. I do indeed reject the biblical fantasies of a monkey God figure in the sky and if there were such a thing, he certainly has not demonstrated much expertise in stewardship considering the mass extinction of species we are presently responsible for. What is especially amusing is the writer accuses us of have a "twisted religious ferocity".
We are a secular organization without any ties to any religion. We don't worship whales; we are trying to keep them from being illegally slaughtered. This is equivalent to saying that a policeman worships money when he tries to stop a bank robbery.
"The Mysterious Islands" film -- which comes with 'The Galapagos Whaling Controversy' bonus feature -- was shot last year on the Galapagos Islands as the world celebrated the 200th anniversary of birth of Charles Darwin and the 150th anniversary of the publication of his landmark book, On the Origins of Species. The film recently enjoyed successful premiers in ten cities across the nation, from Tampa to Birmingham, with opening night audiences of more than 2,500 and 1,300 moviegoers respectively.
Captain Paul Watson: Numbers do not make the truth. Scientific observation validates the truth.
The film retraces Darwin's steps on the Galapagos and shows how he erred in his observations concerning the amazing and unusual creatures that inhabit these islands. The film's conclusion: that the Galapagos Islands are a showcase for God's creation, not a laboratory for evolution, as Darwin maintained.
Captain Paul Watson: There have been many studies since Charles Darwin most notably the book, The Beak of the Finch, which demonstrates the validity of natural selection.
Final questions: If there is a God why would he have created Charles Darwin to debunk him? If there is a God why is allowing his "showcase" in the Galapagos to be destroyed by poachers and human encroachment?