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The Truth about Daniel Friberg

[1]4,904 words

This is an article I really wish I didn’t need to write. I suspect many of Counter-Currents’ readers wish I didn’t have to write it, either, since I believe that most people who visit sites like this one do so because they are interested in ideas and incisive commentary rather than interpersonal drama and feuding. And when the conflict between my colleague Greg Johnson and my former colleague Daniel Friberg [2] broke out earlier this month, I had fully intended to stay out of it. My involvement with Arktos and its internal squabbles had already ended, I was content to move on in life and let my former associates do the same, and I had hoped that the story of what had happened in Arktos would remain restricted to those who had been involved.

However, after a vicious two-pronged attack bristling with accusations was launched against me, completely unprovoked, at AltRight.com and on one of Matt Forney’s podcasts (of all places) recently, I have been left with no choice but to present the facts about my involvement in this affair. And ironically, because of Daniel Friberg’s actions, now many more people are aware of what went on than would have been otherwise, but that is solely his responsibility and that of those who helped him with it.

I realize that many people in our circles would simply like these conflicts to end and for things to get back to normal. Nobody would like that more than me. I can honestly say that this affair in recent months – not just this attack on me, but the entire saga of my departure from Arktos – has been the most deeply unpleasant episode of my adult life. But given the number and nature of the lies being spread about this, not responding is simply not an option. And really, there is no way to fully understand the controversy surrounding the Scandza Forum last month without knowing about what was going on in Arktos that led up to it.

So, to those of you who follow the work that I have done in various places over the past decade because you are interested in me as someone who discusses and deals with ideas, I apologize for having to deviate into soap opera territory, but I ask you to bear with me. I certainly hope to be able to get back to truly important matters after this. Indeed, it’s embarrassing for the True Right as a whole that this is what we’re talking about right now, given the intensity of the crisis and the importance of the historical moment we’re currently living in. So hopefully this will all be put to rest soon.

Before I respond to the specific accusations made against me in the AltRight.com article, I need to describe a bit of my history with Arktos and Daniel Friberg – not least because Daniel has been attempting to downplay my role in recent interviews. Prior to 2010, I was part of an earlier venture called Integral Tradition Publishing (ITP). That company had been founded by two friends of mine, and I joined them to work as an editor, and later Editor-in-Chief. In late 2009, they entered into negotiations with Daniel and some other new partners to create what ended up becoming Arktos.

Daniel has attempted to deny that I was one of the founders of Arktos on the basis that I was not involved in these initial discussions. While it is true that I did not play a role in the merger between ITP and what became Arktos (mainly because I lacked the funds to invest in the company at the time), I was involved in all the discussions that began following the creation of Arktos as a company concerning the direction it should take and did much of the work of helping to get its new website set up (including writing the “About Us” text of Arktos, which remains largely unchanged on the site to this day, and helping to select the books that were sold), and all of this began well before Arktos’ official launch to the public in May 2010. From the very beginning I was Arktos’ Editor-in-Chief and was soon made a Director of the company as well. My duties ranged far beyond just editing books, and included helping to maintain the Website and its shop, corresponding with customers and authors, dealing with social media and other promotional efforts, and other tasks too numerous to outline here.

When we first started Arktos, all of its founding members were basically equal, and all important decisions were made collectively. At this time, Daniel was only a minority shareholder, and he was not even appointed CEO of Arktos until several months after the company had been founded, and this was only because he asked to be and because he was the only one of us who had an MBA. The title of CEO was entirely symbolic, anyway – he didn’t have any more power than any of the other Directors. I don’t mean to denigrate Daniel’s contributions to the creation and early days of Arktos, but it is nevertheless the case that the company was always a group effort, and was not the brainchild of Daniel alone, or even mostly.

Being a stranger to the Swedish Right-wing scene at the time, I had never heard of Daniel prior to the founding of Arktos. During Arktos’ first year, my contact with him was limited to e-mails and Skype conversations. At the beginning of 2011, Daniel decided to move to India, where I was already based, in order to work for Arktos full-time, and all of the Arktos staff shared an apartment there. This was when we first became personally acquainted. My view of Daniel at that time was extremely positive, and I would say that he was the hardest and most dedicated worker of us all during those early years. And while he and I had very different personalities, we got along quite well and went through many adventures in India together, and I certainly felt like we were very good friends during our time there.

Our salaries were extremely low, which was one of the reasons why we had decided on India as a base in the first place – my own came to roughly two dollars per hour, paid out in Indian rupees. While I was (and remain) an idealist, and I certainly never got involved with Arktos out of a desire to get rich, there was always an understanding among us that if and when Arktos became more profitable, we would gradually increase our salaries until hopefully one day we would all be making something comparable to a normal Western salary for the jobs that we were doing.

During the first three years of Arktos’ existence, several of the people who had been among its founding personnel gradually fell away for one reason or another, and by 2012 there were only three of us left. In 2011, I was given a small number of Arktos shares for completing my first year of work for the company, and in early 2012 I purchased an additional number, although my share of the company never came to more than about two percent.

At the beginning of 2014, Arktos relocated to Hungary. Apart from one small raise, our salaries had remained basically the same during our time in India, although it was no longer sufficient for the higher living expenses in Hungary. My salary was raised to approximately $5 per hour. This was certainly sufficient to live reasonably well in the country, but there was rarely much left over at the end of each month, and of course it was a bit disheartening to be in my 40s, with a university degree and two decades of work experience behind me, and yet be earning nearly half the US minimum wage and have no significant savings to speak of. And while Arktos’ profits had gone up since we began, I recognized that it was important to keep reinvesting what we were making into the company so that it could grow. So, out of idealism, I agreed to it without complaint.

Our majority shareholder decided to part ways with us, and in mid-2014 he sold most of his shares to Daniel and several newcomers. By 2016, Daniel’s own share of the company had risen to slightly more than fifty percent.

It was after this transition in 2014 that I began to notice a change in Daniel. I started to feel less like a friend and colleague and more like an employee, if not a servant, given his attitude toward me. He seemed more interested in Budapest’s club scene than in doing Arktos work. He took to wearing suits and drinking every day, and had an enormous, posh, and pricey apartment [3] in central Budapest (he has since moved to a new place). He also began mocking me when I didn’t have the money to go to some overpriced restaurant or bar with him – something which I came to resent, given that the reason I had to be careful with my money was precisely because I was working for Arktos. But I still remembered the Daniel I had known during our first years in India, and I stayed with Arktos in the hope that this was just a passing thing and that everything would soon be back to normal.

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By 2015, however, things were beginning to get strange. Daniel’s lifestyle had become so lavish that some of his Swedish friends would ask me where he got his money. (This was during the period when Arktos’ promotional photos, which I was not involved with, began to feature copies of our books alongside expensive watches, leather briefcases, and such.) I would reply that I didn’t know, but that it certainly wasn’t from Arktos. Arktos had been steadily growing in terms of profits all the time, but we were still far from riches. But I never really gave it much thought at first.

[5]

By late 2015, we began to see a really significant spike in Arktos’ sales, and yet it seemed like the company was still always broke. Sometimes we were unable to pay authors and translators on time because of insufficient funds. As the person who was primarily dealing with the authors and translators, this was sometimes quite embarrassing for me. Up until this point, I had never given much thought about Arktos’ finances, and rarely ever looked into them, as I trusted that Daniel had things well in hand. Given everything I have just described, I first began to wonder about that at this time. This feeling was compounded when my colleague Tor Westman, who had been reviewing our sales figures for each month, told me repeatedly that it was “impossible” that Arktos could be out of money and that he suspected something was amiss. (In the interests of accuracy I should say that Mr. Westman reversed his position on this later, although he is still an employee of Arktos.)

[6]

The turning point came in January 2016, when I met with Arktos’ then accountants on a trip to London. They showed me that over the previous two years, there had been a large number of undocumented transactions on Arktos’ account. When these unidentified transactions were finally added up in September, they totaled approximately £57,000 (approximately $90,000 at the exchange rate during the period in question), many of which were transfers into his personal account, for which Daniel had provided no receipts or other documentation. The finances were in a mess, and as one of the accountants expressed it at the time, he “couldn’t believe that the person in charge of Arktos’ finances was someone with an MBA” given the careless and amateur way in which they were being handled. I knew that some of the transactions were justified, but there were others that I had no idea about. Our accountants strongly suspected malfeasance.

After this meeting, I really didn’t know what to do with this information. I found it hard to believe that Daniel could actually be misappropriating Arktos’ funds, certainly not to that extent. I still wanted to believe that he was the same person I had thought I had known in India. So, for several months, I did nothing about it.

Things were not going well in Arktos as far as working conditions were concerned, however. My colleagues and I would show up at Daniel’s apartment (part of which was used as an office, and which Arktos footed part of his rent for, even though it was always extremely inadequate for that purpose) at nine or ten in the morning to work. Daniel, who had usually been out partying the night before, usually wouldn’t get up until noon or later, and then would remain ensconced in some part of his apartment away from the rest of us. He always claimed to be working, although much of the time it wasn’t clear to us what he was doing, although we could hear the sounds of beer cans and whiskey bottles being opened. In 2015 we knew that he was spending some of his time doing work for Wiking Mineral, but his role in that company had ended by this time. We speculated on occasion that the only real reason Daniel wanted us to work from his apartment each weekday was so that we could be there to receive the various deliveries that came in and to take out the garbage each day, things which he considered himself to be above doing on his own.

All of this, coupled with the knowledge that there was possible malfeasance going on while the rest of us were being kept on subsistence salaries, really stretched my patience to the breaking point. It seemed like Daniel had come to see himself as the master and the rest of us as his servants. I knew that if I confronted him about these things, however, he would just get angry and deny everything, which is his usual way of dealing with criticism.

In April I finally demanded a salary increase, pointing to Arktos’ fast-rising profits, saying that I would quit if something wasn’t done. Every year since we had started Arktos, Daniel would always say that there was no money for raises or to pay out dividends to the shareholders, but that if we could just hold on for one more year, untold riches would be ours. He brought on several new shareholders over the years with these same promises.

After six years of hearing this mantra repeated with no follow-up, it began to ring hollow for me. There had been no increases since we came to Europe, and not a dime in dividends had ever been paid out to the shareholders. Grudgingly, Daniel agreed to raise my salary by sixty pence per hour (about seventy-five cents) with further promises of much more significant increases in the future. Being ever the idealist, I swallowed my pride and agreed.

In June 2016, I took another trip to London on unrelated business and met with Arktos’ accountants again. They showed me that there had continued to be lots of unexplained transactions on our account, and they were convinced that there was embezzlement going on. They told me that as a registered Director of the company, it was among my legal responsibilities to make sure that its funds were being used for legitimate purposes. But I didn’t really know what to do. I knew that if I confronted Daniel about it, he would simply fire me and the malfeasance would go on. Also, I didn’t want to jump to any conclusions or take any drastic actions without giving Daniel a chance to defend himself.

One of Arktos’ accountants, who also happened to be a lawyer, offered to address the issue. I told him that Daniel should be confronted with the suspicious transactions and given a chance to explain them, and that only if he couldn’t do so should we proceed with more strident measures. I did speak with one of Arktos’ minority (yet significant) shareholders who also happened to be in London at the time about our concerns, which Daniel has interpreted as being conspiratorial but which was actually my legal obligation as a Director.

Shortly after my return from London, in July, I received a message from Daniel at ten o’clock at night informing the rest of us that we should meet at his apartment the following morning. Given that we hadn’t actually met in person for work in some time, this took me by surprise, and I had already arranged for a maintenance crew to come to my apartment to fix a leak the following morning. I informed Daniel about this, and to my surprise he exploded, accusing me of being irresponsible. I don’t know if he was drunk or stressed out or what. Given the situation that had been going on for some time, I lost it myself, and told him that he had no right to dictate to us about work responsibilities given the fact that he had felt free to sleep in every day while the rest of us were working. That night, Daniel fired me, and my six-and-a-half-year term as Arktos’ Editor-in-Chief came to an end.

Given that I had almost no savings to speak of thanks to my subsistence-level Arktos salary, I needed to find some other employment fast. If possible I wanted to keep doing similar work. So I went to work at Counter-Currents. I have known Greg Johnson for many years. I regard him as a friend, as well as the most serious and brilliant intellectual in the American branch of the Right, and I knew that his viewpoints and goals were similar to my own, so when he made me a concrete offer to work for him after my dismissal, it didn’t take much persuading for me to take him up on it.

By the end of July, Daniel and I were speaking again and he offered to allow me to return as Editor-in-Chief (a strange thing to do if he really regarded me as incompetent at my job), although on a greatly restricted basis, and he said he wanted me to continue as a Director. I told him that I couldn’t continue as Editor-in-Chief given my new commitments to Counter-Currents, but that I could continue as a Director and do occasional editing work for Arktos. He agreed to this. I had been tempted to just leave Arktos behind completely, but given the fact that I had been putting my heart and soul into the Arktos project for so long, I wanted to keep my hand in in some way.

While all of this was going on, I knew that Arktos’ accountant was preparing the case with which to confront Daniel, but we were not in contact during the weeks before it finally occurred, nor was I in contact with any of the other shareholders involved. I didn’t even know precisely what they intended to do or how they were going to go about doing it. So Daniel’s assertion that I was “conspiring” during this period is completely false. At this stage I was still hoping that there would be a resolution that would be positive for everyone and that we could avoid getting the law involved. I never approached the problem with the idea that the goal was to have Daniel removed from Arktos, although of course I knew that this would have to happen if he were unable to explain the transactions that were under review.

In late September, the attorney who was representing two of Arktos’ shareholders – minority shareholders, but who between them owned a significant chunk of the company – contacted Daniel with the message that he has reproduced in his attack on me at AltRight.com. During the intensive exchanges that occurred in the months that followed, I tried to remain neutral. Although I was not part of the legal case against Daniel, I was still a Director of the company, so I still had an important role. At first Daniel’s response to the accusations was to insult and threaten those who were pressing the case, and to deny everything without offering any real response. When he realized that this wasn’t going to work, he did finally attempt to answer the charges seriously, but never offered confirming documentation for much of it, and tried to justify a lot of it by claiming that he had given himself a secret salary increase in 2014 that none of the other shareholders or Directors had known about (something which isn’t allowed in a company that is owned by several shareholders and governed by a Board of Directors).

According to Daniel’s account, the entire goal of this process was to remove him from Arktos so that either Greg Johnson could move in or so that I could wreck Arktos as a competitor of Counter-Currents. In fact, I was never at any point part of the legal case against Daniel, so I had no influence on whatever outcome was going to be decided. And Greg never at any time suggested to me that I should attempt to exploit the situation for his benefit. In fact, all during this period, as he had before the case against Daniel had commenced, Greg was encouraging me to move on, focus on my new responsibilities, and just forget about Arktos. So that accusation is a complete fabrication.

In fact, throughout this process I attempted to remain as impartial as possible, even to the point of doing things that I now regret. I could cite many examples, but the clearest one is the fact that on November 12, 2016, the attorney in charge of the case put a resolution to a vote in the Arktos Board to initiate legal action against Daniel in order to reclaim damages and remove him. Although the only other Director besides Daniel voted in favor, and thus it was up to me to create a majority, I refrained from doing so because I wanted to give Daniel more time to defend himself.

I suppose, in spite of everything that had happened between us, there was still some spark of misplaced loyalty in me due to my memories of the Daniel that I had known in India. Also, admittedly, I didn’t realize that this was the only chance we would have of removing Daniel from Arktos, and thought it would be possible to initiate that process at a later date. In fact, Daniel quickly restructured the Board and stacked it with people loyal to him to make sure that such a thing could never happen again.

This is something that I deeply regret now and I owe a humble apology to the people who were pressing the case against Daniel at the time, who I know were counting on me to take their side. All I can say in my defense is that, as Greg has said before about the worst people in our circles, Daniel exploited my decent and idealistic feelings for his own personal and destructive ends. But it is nevertheless entirely accurate to say that the main reason that he is still CEO of Arktos today is because of my generosity. Strangely, he has yet to thank me for it.

After November, I didn’t hear much more about what was going on in the case. Nothing more involving me happened until late February of this year. At Daniel’s invitation, I arrived in Stockholm in order to speak at the Identitarian Ideas conference and met up with an old friend who was also a mutual acquaintance of Daniel’s. He told me that he had heard from Daniel that the latter was planning to ambush me at the conference, which was being held the following day, with accusations about conspiring to have him removed from Arktos. I was rather stunned by this, but Daniel and I happened to be attending the same birthday party for another mutual friend that evening, so I decided to have it out with him afterwards. He claimed that Melissa Mészáros, a mutual acquaintance of ours in Hungary, had provided him with evidence that I had conspired to have him removed from Arktos while acting on Greg’s instructions, as well as other bizarre claims that I won’t repeat here.

It is indeed true that I had spoken with Melissa in the summer of 2016 about Daniel. At the time, she had just gotten out of a brief fling with Daniel, and was sad that he seemed to have no further interest in her. In an attempt to comfort her, I unwisely told her about some of our suspicions about Daniel, so that she would see what he was really like and hopefully feel better about the situation. I still don’t know what reasons she had for telling Daniel about all of this in February, which she certainly had no right to do considering that we were supposedly still friends at the time, but all I can assume is that she did it in order to get closer to Daniel.

In any event, when Daniel confronted me with all of this, which I was hearing about for the first time, I admitted that I may have said some not very nice things about him but that I certainly never discussed any plot to remove him from Arktos. He accused me of being a liar and disinvited me from the conference on the spot and “ordered” me to leave Budapest. I saw no point in discussing things with him further (as I don’t even now), and left.

Subsequent to this, I learned that Daniel had been sending bizarre audio recordings of himself and others ranting about me insanely to many people, and I know that on at least one occasion he surreptitiously recorded a conversation with me that he then sent to one of the other Arktos shareholders in an attempt to drive a wedge between us. This is in addition to the fact that both Greg and I have heard from several people that Daniel was privately spreading the story that he and I had colluded to try to “destroy Arktos” as well as even nastier things about the two of us in the months after our final break. So under the circumstances, Greg was entirely justified in requesting that Daniel not be invited to the Scandza Forum event.

After all of this happened, needless to say, I had no desire to be involved with Arktos in any way, so I resigned as a Director and sold all of my shares in the company to Jason Jorjani at his request. I was actually never officially notified that I was fired as an editor, although I assume that to be the case and haven’t particularly cared to argue the point.

As for the question, “Is Daniel Friberg an embezzler?” there is no official document or legal verdict I can refer to in order to say definitively one way or the other. There are company records that certainly demonstrate this, but I cannot disclose them publicly due to confidentiality (if Daniel has evidence proving the contrary, as CEO, he is free to do so). Nevertheless, this evidence was compelling enough to cause Arktos’ accountants and two of its shareholders to take action on it. If they had been satisfied with Daniel’s answers, they surely would have dropped the case, but ultimately, when they were unable to remove him, they settled for selling their shares instead. So it’s not that Daniel’s innocence was ever proven.

As for why no case was ever filed against him, given that I was never part of their team I can only speculate, but I assume it was because a court case would have taken months, possibly years, and would have required a great deal more time and money to prosecute. It was more advantageous for the shareholders involved to simply sell and get out, which is what they did, and the fact that they got a good deal out of it is more indicative of the strength of the evidence against Daniel rather than of his generosity.

Additionally, I have been told that nearly all of Arktos’ shareholders who owned shares at the time that this crisis first began have sold their portions over the past few months, or are currently in the process of trying to sell them. Obviously, they weren’t persuaded, either, and had lost confidence in Daniel’s ability to lead the company. If Daniel’s response had been so convincing, why would all of the shareholders suddenly have bolted for the exits when shown the evidence?

It’s unrealistic, and downright silly (not to mention insulting to the intelligence of the shareholders), to assert that all of these people were tricked and manipulated by me and Greg into doing so.

I’ve already addressed many of the falsehoods that were propagated in Daniel’s article at AltRight.com (I’ve had to use a proxy server to access it given that he has blocked my home IP address), but there are still some additional things in it that need to be refuted. First of all, I had no serious discussions with Greg about me working for Counter-Currents prior to my departure as Editor-in-Chief of Arktos in July 2016. It was also claimed that Daniel fired me because I “miss[ed] crucial deadlines and errors in published works.” As I related above, that certainly wasn’t what triggered it.

I don’t know what “errors” are being referred to – I have never claimed that my editing of Arktos’ books was perfect, although my work on them has been widely praised by readers, and if there are any lingering errors in them it’s a result of Arktos’ ridiculous editorial policy of only having one editor go over each book one time in order to keep costs down (something no serious publisher should ever do). In any event, I worked on the vast majority of books that Arktos published up through 2016, and their quality speaks for themselves. I found this accusation particularly baffling since Daniel was going around telling everyone that I was a “genius” in the work I did on the English version of his own book at the time.

As for “missing deadlines,” it’s true that the year prior to my departure in 2016 was not the most productive for Arktos in terms of the number of its publications, but this was mostly because, beginning in September 2015, I had been tasked with soliciting, editing, and posting articles at the now-defunct Right On Website (for which I was given no commensurate salary increase, by the way), and I did at least ninety percent of the editorial work on that site between September 2015 and mid-July 2016.

After my departure, Right On’s content was reduced to occasional excerpts from already-published Arktos books and material from Matt Forney, which should be telling. Given that during my tenure, Right On was updated seven days a week, and that I was also expected to appear on several of its podcasts each week, it did indeed take a toll on the time I had to do my Arktos work.

Daniel goes on to say that I was “hiding crucial information from the management, such as several volunteer applications.” This is pure fabrication, given that the general Arktos e-mail account was always accessible by both Friberg and me; if there were messages there that he missed, it’s only because he couldn’t be bothered to check the messages himself. Also, he probably doesn’t remember this now but I forwarded messages from volunteers to him at the time (given that I didn’t have the time to deal with them myself) that he ignored.

Daniel then states that when I joined Counter-Currents, I was given “a signing bonus of 20 percent of the shares in the company.” Again, this is a complete fabrication.

Then he brings up the fact that I was once involved with the Hare Krishnas (ISKCON), which is a serious and traditional form of Hinduism and not a “cult,” as Daniel refers to it. I’m not sure what the purpose of this was, since it doesn’t relate to the overall narrative in any way, although I suppose it was a lame attempt to discredit me. I have never denied that I was involved with ISKCON during my first three years in India, and in fact have spoken about my experiences in interviews. I have not been involved with ISKCON in five years, but I make no apologies for my time with them, as I learned a great deal from it.

It’s also rather strange that Daniel would choose to attack ISKCON in this way given that Arktos has published two books by one of the Hare Krishnas’ major authors, Steven J. Rosen, on Hare Krishna-related themes, as well as one other book on the movement called Hare Krishna in the Modern World – all of which Daniel agreed to publish at the time, which he worked on, and which Arktos still keeps in print. Additionally, Arktos has published Sri Dharma Pravartaka Acharya’s The Dharma Manifesto and five books by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar – both Hindu authors.

All this just illustrates what I long suspected, which is that Daniel has no real values and cares nothing about the material that he publishes as long as he can make money off of it. Furthermore, Arktos’ current Editor-in-Chief is a half-Persian and a practicing Zoroastrian who has already stated his intention of using Arktos to promote his pan-Aryanist beliefs encompassing Persia and India – so it’s interesting, and quite idiotic, that Daniel would choose to attack me in this way, although I think it well illustrates what his actual views are, which are quite different from those that he usually offers in public. (I point this out not to denigrate Dr. Jorjani’s heritage but to illustrate the absurdity of this form of attack.)

Daniel also reproduced a message from Greg in which he made an offer to purchase Arktos shares and presented it as though this were proof that there was collusion between him and the people who pressed the legal case against Daniel. Contrary to Daniel’s claims, Greg was not the originator of all his woes. Indeed, he was the last person to hear about them. When Greg heard that Daniel was blaming him for his problems in Arktos, he came to us to find out what he was being accused of doing. Greg thought that buying out Daniel might end the conflict to the satisfaction of everyone involved. I told Greg that I was quite sure that Daniel would never sell, but he thought there was nothing to lose by asking.

Daniel also mentions that Arktos has been forced to spend £40,000 (more than $51,000 at the present rate of exchange) in order “to regain control of the company.” Actually, if it is true, this was the cost of his personal legal expenses, for which he made Arktos foot the bill – in effect, the company was made to pay to fight itself. Really, he should have been paying those fees himself, but of course he couldn’t (the idea of Daniel as some sort of wealthy “tycoon” is entirely a myth that he himself feeds to gullible reporters). Apparently Matt Forney, who I have met three times in my entire life, hates me for this reason, because he was not paid for his Right On work during the period of the legal case. All I can say is that that was entirely of Daniel’s doing, not mine.

The last shot that Daniel takes at me in the article is in accusing me of having a “weak and passive personality.” And I have to concede that in my dealings with Daniel, I was indeed too weak and passive, something that I greatly regret now. In my eyes, I was merely trying to act decently and fairly; in Daniel’s eyes, I was merely showing weakness. I should have spoken up sooner about these problems, and I should have more strongly supported the attempt to remove him from Arktos when the shareholders came to the conclusion that that was the best course of action. Now he’s free to do as he pleases. This is how Daniel operates: he gets people who are idealistic and willing to accept his leadership around him and then exploits their virtues in order to pursue his own private goals. But this doesn’t cause him to respect them; if anything it only earns them his contempt. When they finally wake up to what’s going on and leave him, he just finds new people to do his bidding.

I cannot and would not deny that Daniel has made valuable contributions over the many years he has been active in the “movement,” both in Arktos and other ventures. But whatever idealism he may have once had, I am fully convinced that today his only interest in our circles is in how he can exploit them to fatten his wallet and his reputation by taking advantage of others’ labors while doing very little work himself. And to exploit others’ virtues in such a way is nothing short of nihilistic.

Daniel has nothing positive or constructive to offer anymore. This is why he has to resort to lies to get what he wants; when that fails, he threatens people, as he has been doing to the people behind the Scandza Forum. Given how much of AltRight.com’s content has been devoted to its founders’ personal grudges, it seems that their strategy is to try to intimidate anyone who disagrees with them in order to gain a position where they can be the absolute arbiters of what is or is not acceptable in “the movement.” This will fail, of course, because already many people are seeing through it.

For example, below is the last e-mail I received from Daniel (on June 19) in response to a message I had sent him before the attack articles on me had appeared. For context, in my original message I had said that I knew I wasn’t his favorite person, but asked if he would be willing to let Arktos sell me a copy of each of its future titles at cost given my previous role in the company. This was his response:

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The letter he refers to was one that I allowed myself to sign under pressure while the legal case was still going on, one which I regret signing but which I thought was in the best interests of Arktos at the time, as it seemed that both Daniel and the shareholders were willing to let Arktos go bankrupt before the situation would be resolved. But once again, I can only apologize to the people behind the legal case for giving in, although as far as I know it had no impact on the outcome.

As for the rest of the message, this is the only way that Daniel knows how to deal with people, because he has no real argument. All he can do is try to discredit those who he dislikes through personal attacks. And really, the way he has been behaving both in public and privately recently is far more damaging to his reputation than anything I can write about him.

The only people who can say anything meaningful about what happened are those of us who were involved. Matt Forney, who seems to have become Daniel’s collaborator and primary supporter in all of this, has never been a part of Arktos at any time and was certainly not involved in any aspect of the dispute. As I mentioned before, we barely even know each other personally. Neither was Melissa Mészáros ever involved with Arktos in any way. Jason Jorjani did not begin working for Arktos until October 2016, after the dispute was already underway. Tor Westman was an employee of Arktos during the period in question, but he was never a Director or a shareholder until after the dispute began, although I know that he will say anything about it that Daniel asks him to say.

I’m unsure if Daniel has really changed or if this was the way he was all along, and he just kept it suppressed until he was firmly in control of Arktos. Either way, as he is now, he is not suitable to be acting as a representative or exemplar of the Right or anything else. I sincerely hope that perhaps the Daniel I knew in India will reemerge at some point – but there is certainly no sign of that at the moment.

[8]

What antifa do with Daniel Friberg: Arktos CEO Daniel Friberg (left) hanging out & posing for pictures with Swedish antifa founder Mathias Wåg (center)

[9]

What antifa do to Richard Spencer

Since I first became publicly involved in the arena of radical ideas, there have been more attacks and lies propagated against me by the antifa and the mainstream media than I can count. But none of them were nearly as inaccurate, mean-spirited, and demoralizing as Daniel’s recent attacks on me. This confirms what I had long suspected, which is that there are people in our own circles who are far more destructive than anything the opposition is doing to us. As long as we tolerate people who choose to handle their disagreements with others in the manner of twelve-year-olds, I don’t think the “movement,” such as it is, will ever make real progress. That’s not up to me, of course, but at least I have put my side of the story out there so that people can judge for themselves.

And now I hope we can get back to something constructive.