One of the celebrity backers of Wikileaks, Jemima Khan, has hit out at Julian Assange for being a cult leader.
Khan let loose a stinking attack on Assange saying he demands “blinkered, cultish devotion”. To make matters worse she has said that he should go to Sweden and face justice.
She said that Assange has been guilty of the same obfuscation and misinformation as those it sought to expose and as one of the inner circle who fronted up with Assange’s bail money she might know what she is talking about.
Writing in the New Statesman, Khan said that Assange risked becoming ”an Australian L. Ron Hubbard”. The article shows how Assange has alienated some of his closest allies.
In Assange’s defence, Khan wrote that a bloke who had spent his life ”committed to this type of work, wedded to a laptop, undercover, always on the move”, to be a little odd. She had also seen flashes of Assange’s charm, brilliance and insightfulness.
“… but I have also seen how instantaneous rock-star status has the power to make even the most clear-headed idealist feel that they are above the law and exempt from criticism,” she said.
As a result Khan said that she had gone from ”admiration to demoralisation” on the subject of WikiLeaks.
WikiLeaks has been guilty of the same obfuscation and misinformation as those it sought to expose, while its supporters are expected to follow, unquestioningly, in blinkered, cultish devotion,’ she wrote.
Khan was executive producer of a documentary film about WikiLeaks titled We Steal Secrets, which recently premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in the US. She said that her film was designed to present a balanced view of the WikiLeaks story but Assange had denounced it before seeing it.
When Khan told told Assange she was part of the We Steal Secrets team, she told him that it would be fair and would represent the truth.
”He replied: ‘If it’s a fair film, it will be pro-Julian Assange.’ ”
Khan’s article praised WikiLeaks for exposing corruption, torture, war crimes and cover-ups but criticised it for a ”with us or against us” mentality that was killing it.
While she found the timing of the sexual abuse allegations against Mr Assange suspicious, Khan had come to the conclusion that the allegations had to be dealt with through Swedish due process.
”The women in question have human rights, too, and need resolution. Assange’s noble cause and his wish to avoid a US court does not trump their right to be heard in a Swedish court,” she wrote.
Khan said she did not regret putting up bail money for Assange but she did it so that he would be released while awaiting trial, not so that he could avoid answering the allegations.