Schwertwal Tilikum in SeaWorld 2009. | Foto: Milan Boers; Lizenz: CC BY 2.0

How Naomi Rose wanted to blackmail SeaWorld

Exclusive for – 06.12.2018. Author: Philipp J. Kroiß

Court documents showed that in the correspondence, between animal rights activist Naomi Rose and Ex-SeaWorld-CEO Joel Manby, it came to what can be considered “blackmailing”.

How Naomi Rose wanted to blackmail SeaWorld

During court proceedings, where a coalition of animal rights associations want SeaWorld to surrender autopsy reports from SeaWorld orcas, it came to correspondence between animal rights activist Naomi Rose, who works for the Animal Welfare Institute (AWI), and the former SeaWorld CEO Joel Manby. The Animal Welfare Institute is neither a real institute nor is it about Animal Welfare. Just as in this case, it often cooperates with radical animal rights associations like PETA.

AWI is mainly one thing: a lobbying organisation. Hence they were resourceful from the beginning. They wanted to be considered as of public utility in order to avoid having to pay taxes, which meant no lobby work could be done, as it wasn´t permitted back then. This is why the Society for Animal Protective Legislation (SAPL) was developed, legally it would perform the lobby work. When the law was changed, the two organisations merged.

The threat

Rose contacted Manby with the aim, that he would voluntarily publish the autopsy reports, after she received the reply from the responsible authority, that she wouldn´t receive them.

I am sending you the attached draft document, a letter to SeaWorld, which is intended for open                  publication in the absence of a positive response to this request. My colleagues and I would                          genuinely like to avoid publishing this letter, which we foresee generating negative publicity for                  Sea World (whereas we foresee voluntary compliance generating nothing but positive publicity!)                and therefore ask for release of the required information within two weeks. […] In the absence of                a response after two weeks, the document will be published as an open letter.” – Naomi Rose

Translated this means: give us what we want or we will financially harm you. This can definitely be viewed as blackmailing, but not enough with this presumptuousness, just after, Rose send Manby the text of the open letter. Her “colleagues”, or rather those of the AWI, for whom she spoke, were no one but PETA and other comparable organisations, who want nothing good for SeaWorld.

The fuss

Manby didn´t respond to this.

Therefore, we plan to move ahead with publishing the open letter. I am communicating this                         intent to you in a final effort to provide SeaWorld the opportunity to release this information                       voluntarily, even if you maintain the position that you have no legal obligation to do so. […] It is                 unfortunate that it has come to this, but SeaWorld’s refusal to share this information compels us               to move forward, given the scientific value of the data.” – Naomi Rose

Shortly after, the AWI and its partners published the open letter – which was directed to Joel Manby, who already knew what it said. The campaign that followed was a cheap theatre for the media and donors who fell for it. The main actors in it were those who undersigned, Jared Goodman from the PETA Foundation, Rose of course, but also Regina Asmutis-Silvia from WDC North America, Mark J. Palmer from Earth Island Institute and William W. Rossiter from the Cetacean Society International.

The court documents uncover the ugly deceits with which the animal rights industry works. The public here is beeing deceived: the “open letter” was apparently just a document for the failed blackmailing and not what it pretended to be: an honest demand for information. It had been planed from the beginning, to use it against SeaWorld. At the time it was published Rose knew how pointless it was.

Why can´t SeaWorld just publish the results?

Tilikum and his death belong to third parties´research, fully or partially publishing the results is not only unprofessional but harmful to research work on several different levels. works together with researchers and we know these principles well, which is why we only publish videos on research papers after these have been published. This has nothing to do with secrecy or a lack of transparency, but with scientific standards. There are journals who want to be the first to publish at all costs and reject data that has already been published.

Rose, designated in the AWI as “marine mammal scientist”, should not only know this, if she wants this designation to be merited, but did know it, Manby had explained it to her. Its especially these actions, which she undertakes through her activism and her work for the AWI, which make her a fool in front of her expert colleagues, who know exactly how the game goes. It would be more fitting do denote her as a “marine mammal activist”, as it questionable if she should, not only after this, but already after many actions before, be considered a scientist.

She already stood out due to questionable actions during the Keiko-project:

Keiko wählte Menschen, Tierrechtler seinen Tod


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