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Alessio Rastani And The Yes Men's Five Greatest Hoaxes

by Owen Blackhurst
27 September 2011 7 Comments

Was the Alessio Rastani Goldman Sachs speech another hoax by the Yes Men? There has so far been no concrete proof but judging by some of their other pranks we wouldn't be surprised...

Not long after the world (and us) had risen in vitriolic condemnation of the vile Goldman Sachs speech by Alessio Rastani on the BBC yesterday, it was alleged that Rastani was played by an actor and was the latest in a long line of hoaxes by a group called the Yes Men. If it is true, then it is highly-commendable in its conception and brilliant  in its execution. But who are they?

A culture jamming activist duo (and network of supporters) created by Andy Bichlbaum and Mike Bonnano, the Yes Men’s mission statement is that of telling the truth and exposing lies and the lengths they go to to achieve this are unbelievable. Their most successful way of doing this is by setting up and maintaining websites similar to the ones they are looking to target, and this tactic has led to numerous invitations to conferences and TV talk shows. They’ve even released a documentary called the Yes Men Save The World.

The genius of what they do is that it is entirely believable. Looking back with hindsight on the Rastani incident (who has his own Facebook page as the devil here), it is easy to say that it is a hyper-real portrayal of a rogue trader, but everyone believed it and I’d bet my bottom dollar that that party line is wheeled out in toilet cubicles, high-class brothels and cigar lounges in every financial centre in the world. The BBC might feel they have had the wool pulled over their eyes but they aren’t the first, and certainly won’t be the last mass media organisation used to highlight the shady practises of the world’s Thundercunts. As they say, sometimes you have to lie to tell the truth…

Yes Bush Can

They had previous with George W. Bush from his first presidential campaign but their work in 2004 is one of the greatest hoaxes we’ve ever heard of. The Yes Men went out on the stump posing as a group called ‘Yes, Bush Can’ and convinced supporters to sign a Patriot Pledge that not only stated they’d keep nuclear waste in their backyards but also that they would send their children to war.

The World Trade Organization

Perhaps the most famous hoax by the duo, they set up a ‘corrected’ version of the WTO site. Dressed to the nines in new suits, they gave speeches arguing that the US Civil War was a waste of money because Third World countries now supply slaves, told corporations to buy votes directly from citizens and stated that people should listen to the WTO instead of the facts. The piece de resistance of this hoax was when they unveiled a gold spandex bodysuit that would increase productivity as managers could now track workers by using sensors in the suit rather than actually watching them.

Chevron

In October last year, on the morning of the day that Chevron were due to release a PR campaign attempting to Greenwash their continued environmental and human rights atrocities in Ecuador, the Yes Lab and the Rainforest Action Network And Amazon Watch launched their own satirical version and website of the ‘we agree’ campaign that not only completely derailed the $50 million campaign but served its purpose in highlighting the wrongdoings of the oil company and forcing them to do something about it. They provided downloadable satirical posters that thousands of people fly-posted throughout America and also sent news outlets into a frenzy that resulted in unintentional mash-ups of ‘real’ and ‘fake’ news appearing. Find out more here.

New Orleans And The Housing and Urban Development

In the shitstorm of obfuscation and government fence sitting that followed Hurricaine Katrina, people raged over the fact that the Government refused to let people back into their homes and wanted to tear them down to essentially drive out the poor. On August 28 2006, posing as a fake assistant under-secretary of the United States Depratment of Housing and Urban Development called Rene Oswin, one the Yes Men delivered a speech in front of real estate developers stating that “HUD had changed its mind about tearing down the undamaged housing units, and would not tear down the housing projects, as they had planned to do in order to replace them with mixed-income development.” While this clearly outlined the need for affordable housing,  HUD spokeswoman Donna White was only moved to say no one named “Rene Oswin” works for the department. White commented, “I’m like, who the heck is that”

The New York Times


For proof of the Yes Men’s commitment look no further than printing 80,000 copies fake copies of the New York Times and handing them out in NYC and LA as they did in 2008. With a spoofed motto of ‘All The News We Hope To Print’ replacing the standard ‘all the news fit to print’ the issue contained headlines such as Iraq War Ends and Nation Sets Its Sights on Building Sane Economy, while articles in the paper announce dozens of new initiatives, including an establishment of national health care, a maximum wage for C.E.O.s and an article where George W. Bush accuses himself of treason for his actions during his years as president.

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image descriptionCOMMENTS

Steven 3:16 pm, 27-Sep-2011

Vile speech?! Worst blind is the one that does not want to see!!! Even if it was a hoax is talking the truth. The world is controlled by church (not so much these days) and specially by bankers. The are the ones who rule the governments, they are the ones who put presidents and prime-ministers in place. Open your eyes. Search online for Zeitgeist the documentaries. Thinking the state has ur best interest in mind is being so naive. The time to follow the leader is over! Open your eyes and assume your power back, and your responsibility of supervising the ones you "entrust" to rule your lives. And yes, their will be a new recession, and hopefully the next one will be so bad, that a new economic system will have finally to be put in place.

nome23 3:36 pm, 27-Sep-2011

hahahhahaha Anyone intelligent will realise that the BBC and the other big financial institutions are simply scared by the publics reaction to this TRADER Firstly the trader is only speaking the truth. The money institutions DO rule the world and they help cause the economic collapses to profit from the poor. Also secondly this TRADER looks nothing like the other 'YES MAN' 5 other CORRUPT newspapers including the guardian, forbes, metro have tried their best to frame him as. This journalist is SICK and has been corrupted by another SICK money making deceptive media group... How dare you.

Fearon 7:29 pm, 27-Sep-2011

What was so vile about it? He has been confirmed as a real trader and was not played by an actor. He was also right, Goldman holds much more power than the US Congress and President combined. Anyone dumb enough to keep their money in banks or a 401K deserves to get slammed IMO...

Goblin 8:38 pm, 27-Sep-2011

I don't see why everyone assumes this was a hoax; it's no secret that traders make a mint during downturns and recessions....and nothing he said was more challenging, uncomfortably true or shocking than Max Kaiser on a slow day. As of who runs the world, it all comes down to a few multinationals, Goldman Sachs being one of the really big hitters, who have controlling stakes in pretty much everything. The state serves the interests of the MNCs, so have no delusions that the full force of the Law and the State will be brought to bear on any movement that undermines this insane situation. I think the BBC anchor's reaction was more interesting than one trader telling it how it is...

Vince Dowd 7:56 am, 28-Sep-2011

First you are all off base. Alessio Rastani is a preview speaker for a seminar company in the UK. I was the lead speaker for the company from 2006-2008 and he was an inside sales guy who answered the phone. He used to ask me questions on trading and from what I know he has no affiliation with the yes men. The entire story has more to it that nobody is addressing like how the major news sources put people on without checking anything about there. They could have been a plumber yesterday and did BBC check NO. However, some of what Alessio said is correct in my opinion, much of it was speculation and scare tactics...but a little fear goes a long way in preparation for the economic issues facing the globe. I am shocked at how many fans he has following him now that want his investment advice as if the GURU has risen. There is only one newspaper that has done their homework which is the Telegraph and they show he has not made money trading and can't get his own home. If you do your homework you will find that the FED and banking cartel are in control of the strings as those who control the money control everything, however I don't believe that everyone wants a recession and I don't believe Alessio does either as he is paid to speak and without the job I don't think he would survive. People have lost a lot of money, jobs and are at high stress levels, anyone who dreams of this is a bit off and has no enlightenment. People have become Sheeple.

vince 3:50 am, 18-Nov-2011

vince@sereneinvestor.com yes

Dallin 3:20 am, 7-Jan-2013

I bet they all have micro dicks that they try to shove up each others butts! The "Yes men" fuck men!

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