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  • Weekend Tangent: Weird broadside from Japan Helpline’s Ken Joseph Jr. on Facebook

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on November 13th, 2010

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    Hi Blog.  Last Monday morning I got a request for a friending on Facebook by a Ken Joseph Jr.  For those who have heard the name, he’s one of the advice columnists for the Japan Times Lifelines Page, and according to his website (email registry required), “Ken Joseph Jr. is an international columnist and speaker.  He appears regularly on CNN, Foxnews, BBC, ITN and numerous radio outlets worldwide to give commentary on the news of the day from a background of personal experience.  His columns regularly run in newspapers worldwide.”

    So imagine my surprise when I get a broadside of this tone from a person of this standing, mere hours after I friend him.

    (Screen captures of my Facebook page where he tries to hijack an unrelated thread; printed, names other than Ken’s and mine redacted, and scanned.)

    BROADSIDE ENDS

    COMMENT:  I’m not sure why KJJ has it in for me.  I met him just once (during the Kobe Earthquake of 1995) when I went down to Kobe from Sapporo on my own dime to volunteer under the auspices of Japan Helpline.  It wasn’t a long encounter, I doubt KJJ remembers me.  But during the Otaru Onsens Lawsuit he hit me with a similar broadside, claiming online that our refusal at Onsen Osupa in Otaru was a lie because he allegedly managed to wangle his way in (this has never been substantiated, although Osupa’s “Japanese Only” signs certainly were, as was Osupa’s refusal of us on September 19, 1999).  He also popped up from time to time on an old yahoogroups discussion list called “Shakai” (half deleted by Tony “Darling Foreigner” Laszlo) under a different name “Kenichi Suzuki” with similar broadsides.  That said, we never corresponded directly like this online until Monday, when he asked to be friended.

    Don’t know what’s eating him, but a person who makes himself out to be this important should show more decorum in his comments.  Leaving a record of unprofessional broadsides (of questionable veracity to boot) like this is quite unbecoming.  And unconstructive, given that we should all be working towards the same goals.  Arudou Debito

    52 Responses to “Weekend Tangent: Weird broadside from Japan Helpline’s Ken Joseph Jr. on Facebook”

    1. Rob Says:

      Wow. What a huge… dick. I mean, I like some of the stuff you write & and positions you take – others, less so – but whatevers. The calling you “Dave” though – over and over – that’s just being a jackass. It really is just being rude for the sake of being rude and trying to antagonize. Apparently all that bullying had an effect.

      (Really, the Muhammed Ali/Cassius Clay point is spot on. Call people what they’ve asked to be called. Anything else is just jackassery.)

    2. Mark in Yayoi Says:

      Speaking of Muhammad Ali, Debito, see if you can edit that post of yours so that you spell his name the way he does: Muhammad.

      You didn’t want that official taking the U out of your name; don’t do it to others!

      ^_^;

      – Sorry. Typo. And I’m not trying to police MUhammad Ali’s identity by misspelling his name by accident.

    3. jonholmes Says:

      I think he is the guy who kindly gave me the expert advice that my missing girlfriend had “probably been murdered by the yakuza” in 1992.

      Thanks, that really put my mind at rest….

      Obviously a self proclaimed Japan expert, dishing out info to us Newbies who, in our naive desperation pre internet, only had the dubious “Japan Helpline” to call in a plea of help what to do.That was then, this is now.

      I know you were here first, but move over.I can see your many comments online are a desperate plea for attention now we can get our info elsewhere.

      Japan is changing and Debito is part of the new wave. Its called progress.

      Leave Debito alone-this is a democracy, or Japan Times is going to be receiving complaint phone calls about you.

    4. Tony D Says:

      That’s… pretty bizarre. He seemed pretty keen on preaching to you about becoming an American, couldn’t he have done that at any time via this website?!

      And it’s extra classy because he hijacked THAT article in particular, rather than simply making a new wall post or something…

    5. Eric Kalmus Says:

      Being a Japanese citizen is one of the greatest things Debito has ever done for anyone fighting for rights in Japan. Debito gave up the ability to call on the US government to assist in his fight and took it on himself. Thank you for ALL YOU HAVE DONE Dave… Most of us appreciate what you do, and understand that becoming Japanese has helped show the Japanese systems hypocrisy. Never give up the fight Debito, and never give in to those who ridicule you! You have done more for the rights of ALL PEOPLE in Japan then has ever been done…. Thank you!

      Eric

    6. Mark Says:

      So, why did you become Japanese and how has it helped?

      I’ve given my reasons for taking out Japanese citizenship umpteen times now. I did it for personal reasons, not for any “cause”.

    7. OG Steve Says:

      http://www.assyrianchristians.com/about_ken_joseph.htm

    8. PKU Says:

      Ken Joseph Jr.’s preachy, know-it-all rhetorical questions and the almost monomaniacal repetition was really something to behold!

      He just doesn’t get it, basic, basic points.

      Whether or not he was hectoring Debito and how Debito handled it is not the point.

      Debito’s relevance or credibility or effectiveness is NOT conditional on his nationality. As I watched that thread, I was thinking to myself, not only does this person not show any interest in others- just hijacking someone’s thread to rant, but he doesn’t even understand the basics. Another basic point that really needs to be made is that surely we should have the right to establish our own identities and not have them policed.

      I don’t want to start making my own sliding scale about people’s “qualifications” or “relevance” based on who they are- surely people should be heard out for the contents of what they say. (So OK, on the contents measure, KJJ comes across very poorly indeed).

      Saying that, however, I am sure that in the minds of many, the fact that Debito is Japanese and used to hold a different nationality surely gives him MORE credibility to speak out on issues as someone who deeply understands Japan and is bicultural.

      Sort of scratching my head in puzzlement at all levels and aspects of Ken Joseph Jr.’s rant.

      “The Japanese just think he’s weird.” Oh dear, Debito, I think you ought to reflect on your life as wasted and pointless and admit that you are not relevant to help the international community because you became Japanese.

      Not.

    9. Andy B Says:

      Meh, I recall this is the same nutcase who was all for the Iraq invasion then moans about how the Christians were having to flee the country afterwards. He’s the product of an evangelist family on the “nut” scale of the equation, so this does not surprise!

    10. Swarley Says:

      Uhm…welcome to Facebook? Although I do not like Internet-memes, all that comes to my mind is “obvious troll is obvious”.
      Seriously, what’s wrong with that guy?

      Don’t let it get to you and continue please, because that’s what we need.

    11. Allen Says:

      Ahh! How familiar! I’ve seen douchebag comments like this on Youtube! From what it looks like, he seems to want to have a “my Kanabo is bigger than yours” argument. It really annoys me to see such people like this turn back the clock on civil rights! Gah! Besides, he never DID answer why it was so darn important for you to not have naturalized. As we’ve seen with the UN Reports, international pressure does little damage to Japan. It takes naturalized Japanese to change the idea of what makes someone Japanese. Being a American living in Japan would be seen more like a parasite than if the person was a NJ. He really doesn’t make sense. I wonder if he is watching this site now and will strike soon with some comments?

    12. Norik Says:

      Facebook is pretty insecure territory. On Yahoo they always update us on the latest Facebook fault.I keep my account to be in touch with some friends, but at the same time-just because it takes too long to delete it. By the way, one of my friends is the fictional character form Hellboy 2 Prince Nuada. I think he really is a she and is from Turkey, but the page itself is quiet and dedicated to the character.My point is-everyone can pose for anyone (for example we were warned that a group of “moms” who tries to befriend other real moms is a group of pedofiles). I guess you’d better contact Ken Joseph Jr via some company he works for, CNN for example, and see if he really means this or some kid is impersonating him.

      – No, it really is he. He contacted me privately as well this morning.

    13. Carlos Smith Says:

      Debito,

      Forget about this guy and keep moving forward. I agree with Erik. Contact me, I got some ideas as to how we can spread your message further.

    14. jonholmes Says:

      In my opinion KJ and also Gregory Clark are from an older wave of “settlers” in Japan, ones who bought into, and even liked, the idea of Galapagos Japan and its “Uniqueness”.

      I was here in the 80s and if you (I) shut up and put up with the racists, the bigots, the people who said “I m sorry I don’t like/work with/hire/am not interested in gaijin” then they might at least buy you a free dinner and “consider” your trade proposal, so long as you acted like an honored guest and went home when you were supposed to.

      Sounds like I m droning off topic (lol) but I m trying to paint a picture of the mindset of those long-term gaijin who feel threatened by what they see as Debito’s attempts to “spoil” the uniqueness of “their” Japan.

      Its kind of like “Tsk! yet more riff-raff arriving from abroad who do not understand Japan the way I do. Lowering MY status as unique, handsome gaijin-san.I was here first.”

      They’ve also completely bought into the (arguably outdated) stereotype that Japanese are non confrontational, non litigating etc because its a “safety” country, and that’s why they say Debito shouldn’t question things.

      Maybe they have nice privileged lives in ivory towers. Debito fights for the ordinary people who do not have that luxury.

    15. Chris Says:

      For me this is all just baffling.

      Here we have two people (Debito and Joseph) who are fairly established in what they do (I’m assuming this on the latter’s part). It would seem alright to assume if they have ideas, they can back them up with reasoning.

      These Facebook logs, however, seem to be one guy not only attacking Debito repeatedly, but only repeating the same point over and over again. Debito has become a Japanese citizen, and that’s bad. I can accept the idea. I want to be able to understand it’s rationale. However, hearing through a person posting slander on Facebook is not the way anyone should go about it.

      So then, why does he do it? Is Joseph very bitter and jaded towards Debito? Has he been silently following him, silently building up hatred? Did he have a bad week and those bad ideas just got the best of him? Is really he drunk? Doing this obviously makes him look bad, which is not good for his credibility as a professional.

      Hopefully we’ll find out what he has thinking as he posted all of this, because right now, he appears to have lost it.

    16. sendaiben Says:

      Personally, I am glad that Debito has been so generous sharing his experiences and documenting rules and regulations. His blog and books are wonderful resources for long-term residents.

      Implying that naturalised citizens are unwelcome or ineffective does not seem to fit with reality as I experience it ;)

      I think the more long-term residents naturalise, the more their voices will be heard within their communities, and the more influence they will gain politically. The reason the zainichi Korean and Chinese communities are so influential is a result of their numbers, successful integration, and organisation, not a function of their connection with other countries.

    17. Allen Says:

      “Tsk! yet more riff-raff arriving from abroad who do not understand Japan the way I do. Lowering MY status as unique, handsome gaijin-san.I was here first.”

      Yes! That’s exactly how I felt he was acting! I still wonder if he will come in here and post his side of the story. I wanna know why he feels the way he does.

    18. Brooks Says:

      It is not just Holmes there is another guy on ELT NEWS who does the Uni Files posts called Mike Guest.
      He wrote a paradoy about Debito and I didn`t understand what the point was. It was not related to teaching so I don`t know why he had to post it.
      I guess he just thinks Debito shouldn`t rock the boat, and he acts like an apologist.
      Like we live in Japan and should not complain, but Debito changed his citizinship and isn`t going back to the US so I don`t know why Guest can`t accept that.

    19. Mark Says:

      “Ken Joseph Jr. is an international columnist and speaker. He appears regularly on CNN, Foxnews, BBC, ITN and numerous radio outlets worldwide to give commentary on the news of the day from a background of personal experience. His columns regularly run in newspapers worldwide.”
      Would be nice if he could support this claim. I watched a lot of CNN and never, ever saw him. The other media outlets – evidence please Ken Joseph Jr. Interestingly, his website cannot be accessed at the moment.

      Ken Joseph Jr wrote “…Get a life. Get your American passport back..”
      Why would he be so angry? This fellow is displayinfg serious mental issues.

    20. Tom R. Says:

      “man up”? lol over used sound byte. Could it be proof this guy is the real Ken with experience working on CNN..MSNBC..etc..etc and not some spoof rip off hacker that just wanted to troll you?

      His logic is all backwards. We need you as a Japanese not a “gaijin”. Anyway with the current environment as it is in Japan being “Japanese” doesn’t enter into the picture. Gaijin are forever gaijin, regardless. Ken must not get out much in Japan.

      Sorry Debito but liberals in America have turned into shams, not the freedom fighters they once were. Its now politics and nothing more. And right now being white and claiming to be a victim isn’t the correct political image.

      Maybe if you put up more anti-American flags, joined a right wing group in Japan, and claimed that some how America damaged Japanese culture with western products Ken would act more civilized.

    21. PKU Says:

      Clearly Mike Guest has an ax to grind while accusing Debito of the same, it’s quite hilarious to see how Debito has gotten under his skin.

      http://www.eltnews.com/columns/uni_files/2010/10/today_a_unifiles_interview_wit.html#comments

      The original parody is here:
      http://www.eltnews.com/columns/uni_files/

      It was very healthy for me to read this- I realized how scant and childish the criticisms were. Insulated in his eigo no sensei bubble down there in Miyazaki, it was very comforting to see how much Debito has the ability to alarm and piss these people off.

      I can see people like Mike probably apologizing for him!
      It must be doubly troublesome that Debito is Japanese and fighting for our rights.

      God darn that noisy upperty ex-gaijin in the field up there. When can I have my next promotion Sato sensei?

      As Pilger says, the mark of a good journalist is when those representing the status quo start ad hominem attacks. The mark of a good campaigner is when he pissing people off and making waves.

      “Professor Guest” has used his considerable intellectual gravitas and razor sharp writing skills to demolish Debito and expose just what a dogmatic, antisocial, muckraking, boatrocking racist bastard. Oh yes? Oh no?

      I thoroughly agree with the boatrocking and muckraking parts and more power to him!

    22. manule Says:

      Yeah, absolutely we need more Debitos here!!, and he is doing a great deal of good for every foreigner resident living in Japan.
      Personally, I’m really grateful to be able to read his posts everytime I can.
      Illustrative, educational and inspiring.
      More please…!!

    23. Marius Says:

      I’d advise you to leave his comment on your Facebook, so that anyone may at anytime enjoy this very angry self-proclaimed famed intellectual paint himself as the loud-shouting crybaby he has now proved himself to be.

      Not sure facebook keeps his comment after you have unfriend him. Alas these screencaps (scanned printouts?) tells the story just as well.

    24. OG Steve Says:

      Here’s the irony – according to Ken’s self-written bio (link posted above): his parents immigrated to Chicago, where I assume they eventually NATURALIZED (gasp) to become American Citizens (changing citizenship, God forbid!), which I assume later helped Ken easily enter America on a “Child of American Citizen Visa” when he studied at Biola University in California.

      So his OWN PARENTS probably Naturalized to become American Citizens (and perhaps, even repeated this sin again when they moved to Japan, if they Naturalized to become Japanese Citizens). In which case Ken is angry that you did the same thing his parents did.

      Or, perhaps they refused to Naturalize in America, and they refused to Naturalize in Japan, yeah that’s the way to live, forever right-less. In which case Ken is angry that you didn’t do the same thing his parents did.

      Either way, his main point: “Don’t Naturalize, it’s Bad!” makes no sense.

      – Best to cite the exact text you’re referring to. Please repost this including the original text and link? Thanks.

    25. snowman Says:

      Debito, make no mistake, there are a great deal of us who respect and admire you for all the good work you do on all our behalfs. Just ignore this guy who seems to come over as an utter moron.

    26. Doobio Says:

      Don’t rise to it. You’ll just give him more attention than his nonsense deserves. He’s probably just drunk posting anyway.

    27. Mark Hunter Says:

      Hey Debito. From past blog encounters with Mike Guest, I can tell you that he is very sensitive to having his preconceptions (orientalist views)of Japan challenged. You obviously ruffle his safe worldview. Ignore him and other apologists who wouldn’t get an injustice if it hit them in the face. Same for Joseph. You are one of the very few voices in Japan who stand up for injustice for Japanese and Non-Japanese alike. Keep up the good work.

    28. Chris B Says:

      I was going to suggest that maybe someone was impersonating him as it is hard to believe that anyone in the public eye, however nutty behind the scenes, could act in such an immature and non-intellectual fashion, but Debito has already confirmed it was him.

      I in no way even begin to agree with any of Ken’s comments in any way at all. I think there may be a lot of truth in what other posters have said about him being part of some kind of old guard, who want to maintain some kind of museum Japan with the Americans being seen as the colonial power. I can’t help feeling that stems from some kind of deep seated disgust for Japan and Japanese with his main attraction being to the ex-pat community rather than a new, modern, forward looking Japan which takes the best of Japanese and western culture and blends them together for the benefit of all Japanese and Japanese residents which is what many of us want to see. To this end, the more people who take Japanese citizenship the better, it is completely insane to suggest that people have more clout by remaining foreign nationals.

      PS Just looked at his website, he is some kind of religious fundamentalist nut as well, which might go some way to explaining his poisonous and aggressive comments on Debito’s facebook page. The site will also make anyone feel sick with the extreme level of unashamed self promotion and arrogance, here’s a quote from the end of his Media/TV profile:

      “Today in New York or Washington, tomorrow in Baghdad, the next day in Tokyo and everywhere in between whenever there is a need, he has been called a modern ‘Indiana Jones.” – ROFL! (Until now, I’ve never heard of him.)…

    29. Allen Says:

      Ever wonder why we all agree with Debito? Maybe its a common liberal thinking among most of us. These people are like Wal-Mart shoppers who would like it if Wal-mart stopped the horrible practices they do, but don’t like it when anyone tries to change it because they want to keep their low prices! In this case its more like, “Sure I don’t like getting denied a apartment because of my appearance, but I still wanna be the local famous gaijin-san”.

    30. OG Steve Says:

      Thanks for the hint Debito, I see I got slightly confoozled. Here’s a repost of the details, the conclusion remains the same:

      http://www.assyrianchristians.com/about_ken_joseph.htm

      “grandparents escaped Northern Iraq during the Assyrian Holocaust of 1917 and came to the United States and settled in Chicago.”

      “parents met following the call of General Douglas McArthur for 10,000 young Americans to come and help rebuild postwar Japan.”

      “Rev. Ken Joseph Jr. was born and raised in Tokyo, Japan”

      “Ken graduated from the Christian Academy in Japan and Biola University in La Mirada, California”

      Here’s the irony – according to Ken’s self-written bio: his grandparents immigrated to Chicago, where I assume they eventually NATURALIZED (gasp) to become American Citizens (changing citizenship, God forbid!)

      And his parents may have committed this same sin of Naturalization when they moved to Japan. In which case Ken is angry that you did the same thing his grandparents and parents did.

      Or, perhaps Ken’s grandparents refused to Naturalize in America, and Ken’s parents refused to Naturalize in Japan (yeah that’s the way to live, forever right-less.) In which case Ken is angry that you didn’t do the same thing his parents did.

      Either way, his main point: “Don’t Naturalize, it’s Bad!” makes no sense.

    31. Bucky Says:

      Debito, you are a public figure of considerable renown (and not a little notoriety! ;-) ) — attracting habitual detractors is an occupational hazard!

    32. Roppongi082 Says:

      Mr. Debito:
      As a Japanese citizen, everything going on in Japan can and should be within your purview to discuss as you please, including the international community here in Japan, as much as or even more so than the non-Japanese like Ken who’ve since the days of Commodore Perry have told you and your compatriots what’s best for Japan. You aren’t just in the system, from a constitutional and legal perspective in Japan, as a citizen of Japan you ARE the system.
      While I don’t agree with all your views and opinions, that’s just part and parcel of being blind men with hands on different parts of the elephant that is the human percepeption of reality.

    33. Xena Mousekiwitz Says:

      I truly believe he was drunk-posting (and to be clear I don’t think that is an excuse for what he said, if anything it makes what he said worse, as if it weren’t already unprofessional enough insulting you on your fb, doing it drunk…).
      The evidence is in his many orthographical errors: “three Yo five years”, “That us how it is done”, “Because on he became Japanese”, “zaunichi” etc. etc. etc.

    34. Deepspacebeans Says:

      I find his reasoning to be mind-boggling on this point. By his own argument the Japanese professionals (lawyers and service workers) and volunteers who donate their time and resources to aiding and giving a voice to many of the more severely affected members of the international community (immigration detainees, Chinese trainees, zainichi and Brazilian nikkei) have no right to be speaking out on their behalf because they don’t hold the right passport.

      Poppycock.

      If he doesn’t like your tone or the way which you pursue many of these individual cases, then that is what he should be saying instead of telling you to grab an American passport again in order to increase, through means unknown to me, the legitimacy of your activism.

    35. Eido Inoue Says:

      Ken Joseph Jr. has Japanese citizenship. He’s introduced in many television shows as having it.

      As both of his parents are American, it stands to reason that he naturalized.

    36. Peach Says:

      Debito,
      Since we are on the topic of internet bullies, and because one of the posters above was brought up – Mike Guest –
      I’d like to inform you about two others who are internet bullies, in the hopes of exposing their silly activities…

      1. Mike Guest,

      I hope others maybe can help me with some information on him.
      As I am preparing a letter to the ELT news regarding his recent spoof interview, which I think is irresponsible for reputable ELT site.

      As a PhD myself, I find this rather disturbing, The ELT News used to be a reputable site, offering useful information for Teachers in Japan.

      I am at a loss to find any information on Mr. Guest (I can’t even find where /if he wrote a dissertation/thesis – Masters Degree/Phd? I have searched in Pro-quest thesis and dissertations – found nothing!
      Apparently he is from Vancouver – but no record of his graduation form any university or college?
      Apparently he is employed at Miyazaki College, however I am also at a loss to find him listed as a professor on the English and Japanese website?

      I also can’t seem to find any academic publications? other than small bits and pieces in JALT and ELT news…
      And I have heard from a reliable source that his first published article (in TLT in 2000) is a watered-down copy of someone else’s work.

      Its interesting to that me Mr. Guest is so angry towards you, because as far as I know until late 2007, MiyaDai’s policy was to not list foreign faculty names/information on their website (a fact which enabled Miyazaki International College to win the “super science school English program” contract from the BOE despite not having a science department/program!) In other words, for all his “I’m at a national university” airs, they didn’t consider English teachers worthy of a mention on the homepage until three years ago.

      In case Mr. Guest doesn’t know, blogs don’t count as publications under the national university jiko hyouka rubric, and newspaper articles count only for .01 each. I.e., he’d better get started on doing something constructive if he wants his contract renewed!

      Mr. Guest does spend time also writing alot at another internet bully site, which brings me to…

      2. Tepido.org – run by Ken Y-N

      Ken’s main website, is http://whatjapanthinks.com/ – which is basically a site dedicated to translating research reports released by Japanese marketing firms about all matters of topics.
      Even as an academic – I was at first drawn into this site – thinking it was a somewhat reputable survey site. However Ken rarely sources very clearly where the information is coming from, and fails usually to disclose any facts about the methods, or participants used in the surveys.

      Ken states in his “about me” that you can contact him – but he really “doesn’t have time”… because apparently he is running this other site totally dedicated to being nasty to Debito!
      at http://tepido.org/

      Essentially he takes Debito’s stories (much like the research page) and cuts and paste the bits he thinks will get his small group of followers going…
      A cut and paste bully….

      And so one might say – yes well Debito being an activist, and a great one at that – is open to these kinds of activities…
      I just think its sad that the focus sometimes get shifted to these bullies, rather than focussing on the real progress that has been made by Debito and others in Japan…

      These bullies make me shake my head and think of a movie scene from M.Night Shyamalan “Signs” where Joaquin Phoenix is chatting to his niece and nephew about the strange noises made by aliens, being picked up by their baby monitor/ walky talkie:

      Joaquin: Morgan, this crop stuff is about a bunch of nerds who never had a girlfriend in their lives.
      They’re, like, nerds and they work up little codes together,
      and they analyze Greek mythology and make up secret societies
      where other guys who never had girlfriends before can join in.

      They do stupid crap like this to feel special.
      It’s a scam.
      Nerds were doing it years ago,
      and new nerds are doing it again.
      It’s just static, Morgan, all right.

      Nephew: Turn it up. See. It’s a code.
      Niece: Why can’t they get girlfriends?

    37. Allen Says:

      With Mr. Inoune’s statement in mind, then perhaps Ken wants Debito to not be naturalized so that he could argue “I’m a citizen, so I know more than you” or “You are a guest, Debito so shut up” instead of his odd argument that not being a citizen gives you a louder voice.

    38. Kevin S Says:

      Here I thought I was in for a boring day when I sat down with my cup of coffee and read todays headlines. Boy, his incredible comments sure woke me up more than my coffee!

      I believe in free speeches and the right to your opinion, but gee-wiz his closeminded views made me giggle!

      I would recommend removing such obvious trollers from your friend list, but I almost want him to stay so I can get a few more cheap laughs!

    39. Ben Says:

      What a nutter!

    40. Sapporo99 Says:

      Kenny may be a big deal but he sure seems to act like a kid.

      Love his attempt at collecting email addresses….
      If you don’t want to give your info just add /japanese or /english to his address.
      http://www.kenjoseph.com/english/
      http://www.kenjoseph.com/japanese/

      Got a bit of a chuckle out of his trying to seem important by requiring an email address, but being too [technically unskilled] to set it up properly.

    41. Chris B Says:

      Just to note, if not already noted here, that in a later article Debito cites media sources that suggest, bizarrely, that Ken does have dual citizenship between Japan and the US (technically illegal under Japanese law), rather hypocritical in light of his comments to Debito!?

    42. Kimberly Says:

      You know, I think it’s partly BECAUSE I was raised in the US that I felt so compelled to take J citizenship. I was raised to believe that my great-grandparents who immigrated from Europe were heroes of a sort, leaving the only home they’d ever known (with no airplanes to take them back for a visit) in the hopes of finding a better future for their families. Why shouldn’t we take J citizenship if we believe that it’s the best way to improve our own standard of living, career, family situation, or whatever else?

      I also don’t understand how a non-voter has any more power to change the system than a voter. If the entire US decided to make an issue out of human rights with Japan, it may have some effect. But a single American has less of a voice here than a single Japanese, the way I see it.

    43. despooker Says:

      Ken Jospeph is a nutcase. I know people involved in similar helplines who say his advice to people in distress borders on the bizarre. You can google him and find a few interesting tidbits. Belongs to some fundamentalist Christian group. Father was Rev. Kenny Joseph, and also a bit odd (eccentric at least). Most bizarre is he got himself interviewed as a one time peace activist who was converted by what he saw as the righteousness of the US invasion of Iraq. He never was no peace activist. Ask anyone who is and they will have never heard of Ken Joseph. I used to think he was a spook, but I think he is too kooky to be one.

      http://www.assyrianchristians.com/i_was_wrong_mar_26_03.htm

      If you dig deeper he even adds this, which wasn’t there until he was outed as being an imposter.

      “…because of the fact that all his writing and activity is in Japanese, his pre-war `anti-war` credentials do not show up simply because all his comments and writings were in Japanese!”
      –>
      http://www.assyrianchristians.com/about_ken_joseph.htm

      More shit:
      http://www.atour.com/news/assyria/20040611c.html

      Some investigative site on him:
      http://www.truthorfiction.com/rumors/k/kenjosephs.htm

      Similar references here and to a writer named Hari–>
      http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Johann_Hari#Hari_and_the_.27Kenneth_Joseph.27_story

      And here is a Counterpunch story, with suggestions of being connected to the Moonies. It seems, like Mel Gibson, he also speaks Aramaic. The writer makes much of his connections to the Japan Times, with its connections to the supposedly CIA-founded CSIS Pacific Forum (which counts as it members a number of military industrial types, one being Brad Glosserman, a one time editor of the JT, as well as regular contributor Ralph Cossa).
      http://www.counterpunch.org/lipton04122003.html

      More stuff on him here, with another pastor claiming he is not even a pastor of the church he claims to be a member of:
      http://forum.gaijinpot.com/archive/index.php/t-89443.html

      Well, it is all summed up here in Wikipedia:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saddam_Hussein's_alleged_shredder

      He may be a disinformation spook, but on second thought, the Rev Ken Joseph may just be a chronic liar, like Matt Damon in The Informant.

    44. investigative jounalist Says:

      He claimed to have been a peace activist who went to Iraq, saw the situation himself, and got converted to the war cause. his claims were refuted in Counterpunch mag, and there suggestions of involvement with the Moonies, a group called CSIS , which has two other members on the Japan Times Board. I am not sure why a longer post on the topic, which was there last night, was deleted, as it provides further evidence he is a nut case, or worse.

    45. OG Steve Says:

      @Despooker

      Thanks for the interesting finds, here’s that last link you wanted to share:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saddam_Hussein’s_alleged_shredder

    46. OG Steve Says:

      The link posted about “Hussein’s plastic Shredder” shows Ken’s work as a disinformation agent is famous.
      But strangely the link will only work if the apostrophe is PLAIN (meaning a simple straight line, without a ball.)
      If you insert a plain apostrophe you will be led to the wikipedia page, which will lead you to this UPI page:

      http://web.archive.org/web/20040113042411/http://www.upi.com/view.cfm?StoryID=20030321-023627-5923r

      “A group of American anti-war demonstrators who came to Iraq with Japanese human shield volunteers made it across the border today with 14 hours of uncensored video, all shot without Iraqi government minders present. Kenneth Joseph, a young American pastor with the Assyrian Church of the East, told UPI the trip “had shocked me back to reality.” Some of the Iraqis he interviewed on camera “told me they would commit suicide if American bombing didn’t start. They were willing to see their homes demolished to gain their freedom from Saddam’s bloody tyranny. They convinced me that Saddam was a monster the likes of which the world had not seen since Stalin and Hitler. He and his sons are sick sadists. Their tales of slow torture and killing made me ill, such as people put in a huge shredder for plastic products, feet first so they could hear their screams as bodies got chewed up from foot to head.””

      Yeah right Ken, show us the footage you supposedly have of Iraqis saying they would commit suicide if American bombing didn’t start.
      Either you don’t have such footage, or a disinformation agency duped you with paid actors. No one would ever say “please start bombing.”
      The quote you gave UPI above seems to me like it was written with the sole intent of convincing the masses to support dropping bombs.
      You were miraculously allowed to escape Iraq with 14 hours of uncensored video of Iraqi people begging for bombings? Please post it.

    47. despooker Says:

      Also the one you pasted also dd not work, so here is another try:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saddam_Hussein%27s_alleged_shredder

    48. newbiefront Says:

      Kenny is just another attention seeker. There were many during the first year of the war, but those were dangerous times. I remember people in gas stations who were middle eastern being shot, people having neighborhood disagreements over the war and killing each other. If you were seen as anti war, you put yourself at risk. Im sure once he got in country, he received his “wake up call” as he put it, not from Iraqis but from the CIA and US military over there. I smell another made in Japan loon (there are many, it seems) who is now Mr. patriotic.

    49. James Says:

      I’m afraid I have to concur that Ken Joseph is a nutjob and strongly recommend that people avoid him and his organization. After delivering a van load of food and clothes to Miyagi last week I was not very happy with this man. The guy is impetuous, egotistical, unprofessional, and a poor excuse for the head of a so-called relief organization.

      Ken Joseph’s Web site is soliciting several things for the Tohoku relief effort that he is not really wanting or in need of. I recently called him to ask about offering my apartment to a Tohoku evacuee for several months as I could easily live out of my office. His tone on the phone was brusque even to the point of rudeness until I got to the point of about representing a group doing fundraising and he smelled some cash. Then he became very friendly.

      Initially he said he was not involved with introducing evacuees to people offering apartments. I told him, “It says so on your Web site. “ He said, “No it doesn’t.” I said, “It sure does.” He thought for a moment and said, “Maybe but we’re too busy right now and not doing that.” So, I give the guy the benefit of the doubt. Maybe it was an initial thought. Now he’s busy feeding people in Sendai and just doesn’t have the time to change the site.

      I told him we were doing a fundraising event and would send cash or make a delivery depending on how much money and items we gathered. I asked what he needed. He said everything and that there wasn’t enough food. A day later a friend’s English school joined our effort and the day after that we decided to make the trip to Miyagi as our van would be full. The van was half full of food, mostly fresh vegetables, fruit, meat and juice, coffee, etc. and the other half clothes, diapers, coats, shoes, and food serving accessories like paper plates, bowls, chopsticks, etc.

      The English school arranged the original destination at an Onnagawa evacuation center 40km north of Sendai where their items were to be delivered while I had been intending to deliver the food to Ken Joseph or leave it at that first stop after evaluating the needs of each place.

      After working on the fundraiser for two days and getting no sleep on March. 23 (Sat.) , I set out for Miyagi on March 24 (Sun.) with a fully-loaded van of food and clothes getting only one hour sleep in the car as the English school owner drove. After arrival at Onnagawa, I called Ken Joseph and I was utterly stunned when this so-called man of God proceeded to chew me out for “not having called him” before I came. It is difficult to find words to describe the visceral disgust I felt at that moment—the sheer arrogance of the man—never mind that I was calling him at that moment to assess his needs versus the needs of the shelter we were at. I could have delivered the contents to him that night or the next day. Why does he need two or three days notice to receive a shipment? He didn’t even bother to ask me what was in the van. He was too busy chewing me out. He also blurted out, “You’re the fifth van to come up here today without notice!” I really find that impossible to believe that five vans all showed up just for him on the same day out of nowhere. Even if true, why would that be a problem for a professional like him when there wasn’t enough food?

      As it turned out the Onnagawa center, with 1,500 people staying in three buildings, was more than happy to take everything in the van. They invited us in for dinner and insisted that we stay the night with them rather than driving back on the dark bumpy roads. And they insisted that we have breakfast with them in the morning before going back to Tokyo. The warm friendly reception we received at that shelter made the trip more than worth while. It was an experience I will never forget.

      Joseph may be up in Sendai and helping people but still that’s his “business.” That’s what he’s supposed to be doing. I’m not going to give him a pass for failure to do his job properly. If he had done his job properly he would have 1) Said thank you and spoke to me courteously (doesn’t cost anything) 2) Asked what I had in the van and 3) Given me knowledgeable advice on what to do with it including directing me to a place that was in the most need.

      Joseph also said several things in a desperate practically crying voice on the phone during the initial call on Wednesday that I found to simply not be true upon my arrival in the area on Sunday. He bemoaned, “The government here is not functioning,” and “There isn’t enough food” and “We need everything.” Based on my first-hand observations I gave the government an A or an A- on their handling of the relief effort. Everything was functioning just as it should have been. People were sheltered and being taken care of. Rice, canned and other dry foods were basically available. It was fresh foods that were in short supply. If I had had proper information I would have brought nothing but fresh foods and juice in the van.

      Joseph also boasted that he had “permit” to enter the area but then was moaning about how they couldn’t get any gasoline. The police gave me a one-month permit when I drove up out of nowhere and said I had a van full of supplies. I then noticed that official vehicles were cutting to the front of gasoline lines in the disaster area. The point is that Ken Joseph and his group were no more official than I was. He’s just a guy who went up there with the support of his church organization just as I went up there with the support of my organization; and he is trying to pass himself off as some kind of “official” relief agency while he actively solicits all sorts of things.

      Even if Joseph is helping people, a person with his temperament and credibility is far from the most efficient place to send money to. I also have a strong hunch that he’s using the disaster to attract more donations and supplies to bolster his organization and its overhead. If he really cared about the people he claims to be helping he wouldn’t yell at people delivering van loads of food and clothes. After initially recommending that our customers send their donations to his group, I later sent another announcement recommending the Japan Red Cross.

      If nothing else Ken Joseph is simply an idiot without the common sense not to bite the hands that try to feed him.

    50. Jim Says:

      Well put. Unfortuanately there are legions of these types here in Japan. I voluntered for one orgainization, but was told I was to old and my nihongo not good enough. Many of these people were worthless before the disaster and the disaster only brought out the worse in them. Why deal with the duechbag to begin with?

    51. Scrutiny of Johann Hari’s Journalism Revives Ken Joseph Controversy « Bartholomew’s Notes on Religion Says:

      [...] Joseph claims to have on-going links with political leaders in Iraq, but he remains based in Japan and bills himself as an “international columnist and speaker”. Last year, he for no apparent reason decided to troll the Facebook page of the naturalised Japanese activist Debito Ando. Ando gives his bemused account here. [...]

    52. Burnt by Ken Says:

      Ken Joseph Jr is a nut case. I once had a run in with him and I’ve almost never met a more arrogant wind bag in my life. He can be so mean-spirited.
      Plus, his version of the truth seems to change with the wind. Avoid him at all costs.

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