It has become very clear to me very quickly that Arab Telemedia Group does not function like a normal company; Arab Telemedia Group is in fact a cult.
So what is a cult? Well a cult can be defined by the following characteristics;
- The group displays excessively zealous and unquestioning commitment to its leader and regards his belief system, ideology, and practices as the Truth, as law.
- Questioning, doubt, and dissent are discouraged or even punished.
- The group is elitist, claiming a special, exalted status for itself, its leader(s) and members.
- The group has a polarized us-versus-them mentality, which may cause conflict with the wider society.
- The leader is not accountable to any authorities.
- The group teaches or implies that its supposedly exalted ends justify whatever means it deems necessary.
- The leadership induces feelings of shame and/or guilt in order to influence and/or control members. Often, this is done through peer pressure and subtle forms of persuasion.
- The group is preoccupied with making money.
- Members are expected to devote inordinate amounts of time to the group and group-related activities.
- The most loyal members (the “true believers”) feel there can be no life outside the context of the group. They believe there is no other way to be, and often fear reprisals to themselves or others if they leave (or even consider leaving) the group.
ADDED APRIL 28th, 2016:
In this blog, you will find many instances of the aforementioned bullet points. For example, I am reminded of the ocassion when an ATG employee said to me wth an almost religious like zeal, “Talal has a plan. No one knows what it is, but it will be smart. It will be really smart.” There is no doubt that Arab Telemedia far more resembles a cult than a TV production company. And that is a pretty scary thought.
I began writing this blog because I was consistently aware that something was very wrong with Arab Telemedia, and that one day myself – or someone else working for the company – might need ‘insurance’. It looks like I was right to think this.
Since I began writing this blog in May 2015, but I had started working for ATG/ATP two months earlier, earlier blog entries often included ‘flashbacks’ to prior events. But once I started writing it, entries became current. So the earlier entries sometimes start by feeding you titbits about the previous 7 weeks and 6 day’s events.
ADDED SEPTEMBER 22nd, 2020:
I never finished posting all the blog entries. Rather than continue, I decided to simply start again. Having just read over this entry, I’m struck by the resemblances to the current US ‘President”, Donald Trump. It’s something I’ve often thought over the last several months – the resemblance between Trump and Talal – and I suspect Talal would be quite proud of that.
One last thing – I was contacted some months ago by a former high-ranking employee of Arab Telemedia. He was integral to the pitching process when ATG went after the “Medinah” contract. He told me he attended meetings where Talal informed them they would never shoot “Medinah”, and he said that Talal planned to embezzle the production funds from day one. A post about this, including the emails of the person in question, shall be automatically published very soon.
But for the moment, here is a screen-grab from one of the emails concerning Talal’s efforts to hide money in property in the UK and other countries using anonymous companies not in his name.
The rest will follow…