OSCR, the Scottish charity regulator, have released their report into the controversial Institute For Statecraft, concluding that it failed to meet its requirements to be classed as a charity and the trustees had routinely failed in their duties. The report has also found that the Integrity Initiative subsidiary is essentially a propaganda outfit as had been widely believed.
In was in December of 2018 that the Integrity Initiative used their Twitter feed to make highly critical comments about Jeremy Corbyn, including allegations regarding Russia, bringing the organisation to a wide audience and level of scrutiny.
While the Integrity Initiative was officially both a registered charity and publicly funded by the government as a subsidiary of the Institute for Statecraft (IFS), the new report by the Scottish regulators have found that the IFS was serving no actual charitable purpose after analysis of public statements and internal documentation. The group had received funding from NATO, the Lithuanian MOD, Facebook and the U.S. State Department. The Integrity Initiative has also received £2million in public funding from the British government.
Documents leaked by Anonymous, however, painted a very different picture and one that has now been confimed.
The leaked documents revealed that the true purpose of the Integrity Initiative was to be to counter Russia’s growing influence on the world stage, promoting increasing militarization, the return of Cold War “threat culture” and promoting both a “crisis of governance” narrative and feelings of Russiaphobia amongst the civilian population. The group was accused of lending support to the far-right in Ukraine.
“It’s extraordinary that the Foreign Office would be funding a Scottish charity to counter Russian propaganda which ends up attacking Her Majesty’s opposition.”Professor David Miller, School for Policy Studies, University of Bristol
The founder of the IFS Chris Donnelly, an honorary colonel in military intelligence and adviser to two Tory defence secretaries, claimed that the organisation was “apolitical,” a claim that has now been debunked with the OSCR finding that the Integrity Initiative had “expressed a particular perspective intended to persuade the public to a specific point of view,” essentially accusing them of being a propaganda unit.
Four of the Tweets in question spoke positively of Theresa May with only two being negative toward the Conservative party, one about a peer and one about a donor, none about elected representatives in parliament. This contrasts strongly with the nine negative Tweets about Corbyn and Labour. The Initiative was also critical of the SNP and Alex Salmond.
The group also has connections to John Rendon, founder of The Rendon Group, officially a PR company that is perhaps best known for their work alongside the CIA in the 1990s. The Rendon Group was “paid close to a hundred million dollars by the CIA” for working with the Iraqi National Congress (INC) and formulating a propaganda campaign against Saddam Hussein in Iraq. There have been allegations, which have been denied, that The Rendon Group not only was instrumental in the formation in the Iraqi National Congress but assisted in making the claim for the Iraq war. The Rendon Group was also paid highly for work in Afghanistan.
The question of the groups finincing and money was also raised by the new report, OSCR stating that there was “no clear explanation” why trustees’ salaries were “reasonable and necessary.”
Investigative journalist Kit Klarenberg has devoted considerable time and energy toward exposing the true role and agenda of the Institute for Statecraft and Integrity Initiative.
In July, Klarenberg revealed that Integrity Initiative’s sinister agenda of “respond[ing] to manipulated information in the news, social media and across the public space” had been passed on to a new group, the deceptively mundane sounding Open Information Partnership. The Integrity Initiative is no longer a charity and is run “by a non-charitable entity having no legal connection to the charity.”
Kit Klarenberg was keen to warn of potential state inferfearance in the forthcoming general election.
The full report into the Institute For Statecraft can be read via OSCR website.
Kit Klarenberg’s report into the new Open Information Partnership (OIP) can be read via Sputnik.
You can also follow him on Twitter for the latest updates