Is Julian Assange missing?
The mystery of the WikiLeaks founder may soon be over, with conspiracy theorists able to see the “proof of life” they have been demanding of the reclusive internet hero. After weeks without an appearance, Assange is scheduled to give a public interview on Saturday that could put the conspiracy theories to bed.
The idea that Julian Assange is missing has been growing in recent weeks. Those who subscribe to this theory note that Assange hasn’t been seen (in a verified appearance) since October 3, and in the time after that, his internet connection was cut off and he allegedly disappeared from his temporary home at the Ecuadorian embassy in London.
Those pushing the theory that Julian Assange is missing — or even dead — have cited a number of seemingly strange coincidences in the past few weeks. Those include an incident in November when WikiLeaks tweeted insurance files and SHA-256 hashes that did not match previous tweets. To put it simply, this indicated to conspiracy theorists that WikiLeaks and Julian Assange were no longer in control of the Twitter account.
Another piece of evidence came from an interview with John Pilger, who claimed that it took place on October 30. But those who watched the interview noted that it had several strange points, like the fact that Assange’s audio had been edited together and there were no references to current events.
Regated compiled a list of all the major points cited in the conspiracy theory, including the incident of the hashes not matching and the Pilger interview.
The report pushed the theory that Julian Assange is missing, and concluded that the refusal to show proof of life for the WikiLeaks founder pointed to something nefarious.
“The most telling aspect of this entire situation is WikiLeak’s refusal to do something so simple. Showing proof of life is not a tedious, drawn-out procedure mired with complexities.
“It’s as simple as having Assange sign off on a message with a PGP signature, it’s a simple as snapping a picture of him holding up a currently-dated newspaper. WikiLeaks has countless options to show proof-of-life but so far have shown nothing.”
There are some other strange turns to the Julian Assange conspiracy theory. Some believe that he was poisoned by Pamela Anderson, the Baywatch actress who paid him a visit back in October and brought a vegan meal. As the Daily Beast reported, her visit came just before Assange’s internet was cut.
The WikiLeaks conspiracy theory also gains quite a bit of steam from fake news sites like the Conservative Daily Post, which published a blaring headline in October claiming that Julian Assange was dead.
But despite the growing conspiracy theory that Julian Assange is missing, the WikiLeaks founder has been accounted for during the time where he was supposedly missing or dead. On November 13, he met with Swedish prosecutors over charges that he raped a woman.
As the Daily Mail noted, Assange was actually interviewed by an Ecuadorian investigator while the Swedish officials listened in on the interrogation.
“In farcical scenes, investigators traveled to Ecuador’s London embassy where the WikiLeaks founder has been holed up since jumping bail in 2012,” the report noted. “But Sweden’s assistant prosecutor Ingrid Isgren and police inspector Cecilia Redell were only allowed to listen as the fugitive was asked pre-prepared questions by an Ecuadorian government representative.”
WikiLeaks also tweeted a statement after the internet was cut noting that Assange was still at the Ecuadorian embassy in London.
WikiLeaks Editorial Board statement on the status of Julian Assange, Ecuador and the US election pic.twitter.com/bYyWwMG5Ox— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) October 24, 2016
The conspiracy theorists have answers for most of the points explaining why Julian Assange is not really missing — saying that the Swedish prosecutor would be in on the conspiracy, and that WikiLeaks’ tweet about his whereabouts is really from an account now controlled by the government. That has also helped lead to more calls that Assange and WikiLeaks show “proof of life” — namely, Assange appearing at the window of the embassy to show his face.
They could soon get their answer. Journalist Youmna Naufal promoted a live interview with Julian Assange on Saturday, November 26, as part of the Free Connected Minds conference.
[Featured Image by Frank Augstein/AP Images]