Jul 21 2007

Slanderous Athygli Get a Well Deserved Hit


‘Iceland is bleeding’

Athygli, the public relations company of the National Power Company (Landsvirkjun) woke up this morning to find that during the night a splash of paint had been directed at their offices. A spokesman of the company said the words ‘Iceland Bleeds’ had been written on the house and that he suspected that Saving Iceland was behind this because his company was on a certain “deathlist” on www.savingiceland.org. We can only assume that he means ‘The Nature Killers’ section on this website.

Why would Athygli be on the list of companies responsible for the murder of Icelandic nature? The spokesman helpfully pointed out that his company was responsible for a lot of PR work for Landsvirkjun. As such Athygli held out a website called star.is. This website specialized in character assasinating well known Icelandic scientists and environmentalists who opposed ALCOA and the dams at Karahnjukar. Grassroots group Natturuvaktin.com campaigned in 2004 against Star.is and pointed out that as the site was being funded by the government it should be held accountable for its slanderous contents. At that point Athygli, Landsvirkjun and the government decided that they had shot themselves in the foot with the website and would risk being taken to court if they would continue their state sponsored slander. Suddenly and without any explanation the website was pulled off the Internet.

Below is a statment written by anti-dams group Natturuvaktin (Nature Watch) about the kind of PR work Athygli specialise in. The statement was circulated amongst delegates attending a conference of Nordic ministers on information technology and democracy in the autumn of 2004.

On the Occasion of the Council of Nordic Ministers on Information Technology and Democracy at Hótel Nordica:

Nature Watch implores the Council of Nordic Ministers to research the application of information technology and public relations in the preparations underlying the building of the Kárahnjúkar dam. The general public was supposed to be able to generate opinions on this massive project by first receiving information from the websites www.karahnjukar.is and www.star.is. Among other things, teenagers were referred to these sites for school-assignments on the issue. These sites were grossly misused by the PR company, Athygli, especially www.star.is. On that website, the reputation and professional honour of named individuals, journalists, scholars and politicians, was attacked and maligned.

Individuals mentioned by name are accused of lies, deceit, vilification and extremism. Thus, people were systematically dissuaded from using their own voice in a democratic way, for if they did so their opinion was attacked and made null and void. For the benefit of the entire population of the Nordic Countries, Nature Watch demands that these scurrilous tactics, as well as the identity of those who are responsible for them, be publicized, as these websites are subject to the direct authority of the Minister of Industry and Commerce. It is a principal issue in a democracy that the government must not conduct itself in such a manner against its own citizens.

Star.is – Further analysis of Star.is – pdf

Sjá einnig grein eftir Andra Snæ Magnason

Karahnjukar LV film credits

The credits of Landsvirkjun’s Karahnjukar dam propaganda film, clearly showing Athygli’s involvement with heavy industry.