A Canadian right-wing activist and journalist, Lauren Southern, has released a video of Ariel Ricker, head of Advocates Abroad, a major NGO which provides legal aid to migrants, openly detailing in front of a hidden camera how she coaches migrants to simulate persecution and lie to border officials as they are preparing to get across the western border.
Director of a major NGO in Europe tells our undercover team how she teaches migrants to lie & pretend to be persecuted Christians to border police. Last year they worked w/ 15,000 migrants. The UN has responded to our investigation calling it 'alarming' — https://t.co/O88y5BiuPD pic.twitter.com/uzj5INVdam— Lauren Southern (@Lauren_Southern) 12 ноября 2018 г.
The revelations are expected to be a part of her new documentary called “Borderless,” which will focus on the severe migration crisis Europe has been facing for the past several years.
In the footage, Ricker notably describes typical training that migrants receive at the NGO’s hands, as they seek crossing into Europe.
“I tell them this is acting, all of this is acting… for them to get through, they must act their part in the theatre,” the NGO’s top executive can be heard saying.
In the utterance, she takes particular aim at EASO (European Asylum Support Office) staffers, tasked with screening migrants, and referred to them as “f***ing stupid.” Ricker notably shares a couple of golden tips migrants may use to stand to gain from exploiting the presumed Christian sympathies of the largely Orthodox Greece, where they have assisted as many as 15,000 migrants striving to enter the country, according to the NGO’s website. In particular, Ricker says she teaches them to pray in an Eastern Orthodox manner during interviews to reflect “honesty” with regard to their claims.
The NGO initially opposed the revelations on Twitter and Facebook, claiming the video was “heavily edited” and on top of that, covertly filmed without permission. Hours later, when comments started pouring in, the organisation pulled not only their response, but the group’s Twitter and Facebook pages altogether, which had boasted an over 140,000-strong army of followers. The fact couldn’t go unnoticed by netizens, including journalist Lauren Southern.
You're deleting all your comments on Facebook, atleast we know you're afraid of something happening.— Jord (@jorddd) 12 ноября 2018 г.
Despite the abrupt pull-out from social networks, the pendulum had already started swinging by then, with users expressing their outrage over the “despicable” and shameful policies.
There is no way you can edit someone into saying "we teach them to act like refugees, we even role play". You guys are absolute scum 👏— Katelynn Pearce (@Katie77777) 12 ноября 2018 г.
One even called for sending Ricker out of “our country,” whereas multiple voices advocated for her imprisonment for all those “criminals.”
“Caught with your pants down!” one Twitterian sneered.
Its called getting caught with your pants down, hand in cookie jar..🤷♂️🤭— joriḑ̂îc̠ͤ̚ulous❄️ (@PunkleJones) 12 ноября 2018 г.
You should all be rounded up and arrested and all ‘refugees ‘ returned home. Shame on you.— Simon Hames (@tobias_ams) 12 ноября 2018 г.
They just wiped their social media. Ariel Ricker was recorded, she works for US based NGO Advocates Abroad which "assists" migrants to Europe. Developing https://t.co/r5hAvDXSLq— Travel True (Jason) 🍊 (@J_H_5) 13 ноября 2018 г.
I am both right wing and left wing on various matters. But the words coming from Ariel were deplorable. There are always good and bad people in any group, race, religion — stop painting everyone with the victim brush.— Pablo Wilco (@KatfishWilly) 12 ноября 2018 г.
Some naturally picked on the “heavily edited” version of events, saying these are more likely Ricker’s and her team’s cup of tea.
Heavily edited versions of events are your specialty by the sounds of it.— John F (@SeanRamhar) 12 ноября 2018 г.
“Edited version”— Maki Tsukihimon24 (@MarceHyde) 12 ноября 2018 г.
Nice joke, guys. pic.twitter.com/y502UkqP1w
No it isn't. It showing you in the light that you truly operate. You're a disservice to the world, not a service.— xxneverdasamexx (@xxneverdasamexx) 12 ноября 2018 г.
Advocates Abroad was founded in 2016 and at the time helped shuffle migrants into a crisis-hit Greece, which was then struggling to sort things out with a massive national debt by means of a foreign bailout. Interestingly, the organization is based in the city of Honolulu, in the US island state of Hawaii, according to charitynavigator.org.
A lion’s share of migrants crossing into Europe arrive through Greece and Italy, with critics saying that those whom Advocates Abroad managed to shuffle into Europe through their “acting school” are not necessarily in need of assistance as compared to real trauma survivors who seek asylum.