Writing that title made me feel uneasy. No, not because I am afraid they will sue me or something: we all know very well this is true. There is a reason why they are doing everything to postpone sentencing of the murderer of the Gdańsk president Paweł Adamowicz four years ago (read on it here): while the investigators refuse to follow the line of inquiry according to which his hate was incited by anti-Adamowicz propaganda in public media, the courts already ruled in a separate case that blaming them for it, and calling them Goebbels-like media is a valid criticism.
There is also this crisis on the Polish-Belarussian border where the government ignores Polish and International law and basic human decency, and orders soldiers and border guards to just throw asylum seekers into the frosty forests at night. According to the NGOs involved in helping refugees there is at least 34 confirmed dead and hundreds of others missing. As the snow melts people are finding dead bodies in the forest and the government, despite that courts deemed such “push-backs” illegal in 10 separate cases so far continues with this illegal practice.
But in recent days we were witnesses to another terrible tragedy, yet again caused by PiS pursuing every possible path in the hope for political gain with no respect for others. This time a young boy took his life. And this is why I am writing a separate article about it, as I don’t believe it would be right to include that in my, maybe not always funny but generally satirical, Absurdistan series.
Let me just give you the timeline of events that led to this:
– in Summer of 2020 a mother – an opposition PO MP – leaves her kids under the care of another PO activist.
– the activist turns out to be a pedophile. He abuses the kids and offers them drugs.
– The MP reports the case. The paedophile is instantly suspended and then removed from the party, he goes to court where he is found guilty of abuse of children and drug-related crimes and sentenced to a long jail term a year later. The court case was closed to the media and the public in order to protect his victims.
So far everything happened as it should. The criminal was found, removed from the party, and brought to justice (and not just moved to another Parish, as it would probably happen if he was a priest). The mother supported her kids but also brought the perpetrator to justice. The case should be done and dusted, the kids should get psychological help and that should be the end of the matter. Except it wasn’t.
In the autumn 2022 this opposition MP used her prerogatives to control the control of State Forests. They disclosed that the fake contests are organized just as a way to pump money out of this institution to activists of Solidarna Polska, a PiS coalition partner led by justice minister Zbigniew Ziobro.
This was dangerously close to Dariusz Matecki, who is behind the internet troll farms that are spreading hate on behalf of the government, and he had been awarded for his services with a cozy job in a State Forest. The PiS propaganda machine decided to perform a counter-attack to smear the MP and at the same time accuse PO of covering paedophilia, thus shifting the weight of the discussion about the paedophilia in the church away from their ally.
On the 29th of December Tomasz Duklanowski, a PiS propagandist from the local station of the Polish Radio in Szczecin publishes an article about the PO activist sentenced by a court for paedophilia and drugs. It’s hardly a newsworthy item, the guy has been in jail for over a year at this time. But it does not matter, there is certain information in that piece that might be new to a reader: while not giving the name of the MP directly, Duklanowski provides enough information for her to be identified, including the age of the victim. He also posts pictures of the persons involved on his Twitter. Of course, it would not be PiS propaganda if he didn’t feel the need to stress up that the criminal was also an LGBT rights activist.
This is not just a one-off. The news about “PO activists sentenced for paedophilia” is being repeated by other PiS-controlled media, including TVP. The evening before Tysol, another portal controlled by PiS writes “A pedophilia affair in PO will shake public opinion tomorrow” and gives a heads up about the Duklanowski article to be published a day later.
A propaganda campaign is joined by Twitter accounts controlled by PiS, such as “Emilia Kamińska”, as well as right-wing journalists like Marcin Dobski (readers of my Absurdistan series might remember him as the guy who was sending so disgusting messages to an escort girl that she decided to go public with them). The hounding of the MP is growing like a snowball.
The narration is that PO are hypocrites for attacking the church for paedophilia scandals, but protecting paedophiles within their own ranks. Of course, it’s all a lie, as we learned before: the criminal was caught, kicked out from the party, sentenced, and is serving a long jail term. It’s the OPPOSITE to what PiS does to criminals in their own ranks, where Zbigniew Ziobro manually derails investigations and they are given cozy jobs elsewhere, like when the former chief of prison service who killed a woman on the pedestrian crossing and yet never faced court, being a position of a CEO in a state-controlled company instead.
The accusations become more and more vile, like when “Emilia Kamińska” accused the mother of staying quiet to protect her party interest at the expense of her own children. Other PiS propagandists join the hounding. Maciej Stańczyk, Romuald Szeremietiew, Dawid Wildstein, of course, Dariusz Matecki, Tomasz Sakiewicz – editor of the pro-PiS paper and television – and even Przemysław Czarnek, the minister of education, who threatened to sue ultra-catholic right-wing Tomasz Terlikowski when the latter criticized him for doxing the names of the victims (more on that here. Spoiler: he never sued him).
Even the young, eager rising stars of PIS propaganda, like Oskar Szafarowicz, a pro-PiS tik-toker awarded by the party with some job as well for his effort, join the bandwagon and writes “the most shocking thing is that the mother of the PO paedophile victims – 13 years old daughter and 16 years old son – well known PO MP is silent for over a year, putting his party career over the good of her own children. She was forced by PO leadership to keep her mouth shut!”.
“This is yet another time when we learn that degenerate criminals are in the rank of the opposition” – writes pro-PiS portal wPolityce.pl, quoting dr Michał Sopiński, a dean of the High School of Justice System, a little school created by Zbigniew Ziobro to give formal qualifications to his minions ready to join his fight to dismantle justice system in Poland.
It is clear that it was an organized campaign. The message was always the same: PO protects paedophiles from their own ranks, the criminal worked for Rafał Trzaskowski (he was one of the hundreds of people who worked for Trzaskowski during his presidential campaign), PO are hypocrites by calling for sorting out paedophilia in the church. They tried to make hashtag #pedofiliaobywatelska trending on Twitter.
Of course, there were many voices criticizing the doxing of the victims – even on the right, where Terlikowski was not the only right-wing person who was shocked by this. This was promptly spun in the right direction too as well: “It’s amazing how people are trying to turn things of its head. Duklanowski did a good job, he deserves journalist awards for it. Attacking him for disclosing this pathology is an attack on the foundation of our democracy, that the opposition is allegedly so fond of” – writes Piotr Nisztor, a pro-PiS journalist and is accompanied by a choir of pro-PiS internet trolls who call criticizing Duklanowski an attack on freedom of speech.
It was all a fun game and yet another propaganda battle for PiS Twitter warriors. Alas, it was nothing close to fun to the boy, who on top of his struggle had to watch his mother being smeared on public television or all over the internet and had allegedly received hate messages on his social media. On 3rd of March, the MP announced on her social media that her son lost his life on 17th of February. It is not said openly, but it is believed he took his own life. The local prosecution is investigating his death for the crime of inciting suicide.
If Elon Musk was watching his servers on that night, he would probably notice them suddenly becoming lighter by the gigabytes of data, as the whole PiS propaganda army sat overnight, painstakingly deleting hundreds and hundreds of tweets. Everybody in Poland that has even a shred of human decency is outraged and appalled by the fact that a young boy who already suffered enough was basically driven to take his own life by the ruling party just so they can score a few more points against the opposition. Not the perpetrators though, they are still trying to recover what they can, and now the narration circles around the message that the opposition is trying to use the death of the children for their political gain.
Will the perpetrators, the instigators, and the participants in this hate campaign be ever brought to justice? Not as long as PiS is in power – unless the public outrage will be impossible to contain, then probably some minions will be thrown to the dogs and then rewarded with some cozy job away from the public eye sometime later. Originally I wanted to give this piece the title “The day when hate won 2”, but I decided against it. Because I don’t believe those propagandists were driven by hate towards the MP or her children. For them it’s all moving their troll armies over the social media chessboard, a strategic game of influence over public perception played on Twitter. The victims are collateral damage, nobody cares about them, it’s not that PiS’ phrases about how dearly they value the life of every single child were even to be believed by anyone but the sheeple who are to be convinced to vote for Kaczynski’s party.
But there is a reason why – while not disclosing the MP name or even the town she is from because I believe her family has enough of her plate (and if you really wanted, you can google her in no time) – I am giving you the names of all those scoundrels:
Those names are:
Przemysław Czarnek, PiS minister of education
Tomasz Duklanowski, PiS propagandist working for Polish Radio
Cezary Krzysztopa, pro-PiS cartoonist and propagandist
Dariusz Matecki, PiS troll farms hater-in-chief
Piotr Nisztor, former journalist, today a pro-PiS propagandist
Michał Sopiński, employee of Ministry of Justice
Ewa Stankiewicz, pro-PiS filmmaker and propagator of Smoleńsk conspiracy theories
Maciej Stańczyk, pro-PiS propagandist
Romuald Szeremietew, former Minister of Defence and an activist of one of the PiS satellite parties
Dawid Wildstein, PiS propagandist.
and many more.
And then there is the biggest knave of them all, writer and publicist Rafał Ziemkiewicz who wrote on his Twitter “nothing brings the action to life like a dead body. No, it’s not apropos. It’s Agatha Christie, I think“. I bet he thinks he is very smart and funny.