Deutschschweizer (DS or Swiss-German) PEN organization flinches when Swiss author writes about local corruption.
Turkey far enough removed to permit written criticism without fear
As an author, I write about corruption; I have been doing so for over 20 years. The type of corruption that I focus on is legal system corruption in the USA and Switzerland. This type of corruption often traces back to lawyers and violations of ethics and the law. The people I call out are highly influential. They are less than amused when they read my descriptions of their illegal activities.
Not long ago, in my capacity as a scientist employed at a Swiss university, I was confronted by scientific misconduct. This misconduct had an oblique relationship to American lawyers who had strenuously objected to my previous essays and books, which exposed them and their activities. In possession of damaging information, I rapidly became persona non grata at the institution, as individuals there feared exposure. I relate this in more detail on my blog at www.lawyersbrokenbad.com/blog and in general terms in my book Lawyers Broken Bad, as well as on Facebook (www.facebook.com/mark.inglin).
As a translator, writer and editor of research papers submitted to science journals over many years, I sought the emotional comfort of joining other writers and of what, based on their organizational charter, was promoted as a premier organization for besieged writers, the Swiss-German (DS) PEN group. I fulfilled all for their published requirements, including endorsement by three then current DS PEN members. However, my writings– specifically my criticisms of a Swiss university and lawyers associated with a cover-up of wrongdoing there, apparently led to my rejection for membership and to their subsequent refusal to provide an explanation for that rejection, or indeed finally to refuse to engage in any communication whatsoever.
It is no secret… anytime powerful individuals or institutions are criticized or exposed for questionable activities, there will be blow-back and retaliation. Extensive fake news supported for years by my enemies, both local and far removed, has painted me variably as armed and dangerous, mentally ill, a criminal mastermind, and other nefarious attributes that have no validity, but that are intended to discredit and frighten my potential support or associates or possible friends. My response has been to continue publishing and to counter false accusations.
Highly ironically and to my great disappointment, DSPEN fell into place doing exactly what the organization is intended not to do; to reject writers who write uncomfortable truths. Critical truth at Swiss-German PEN is apparently welcome when, for example, it involves Turkey, or North Korea, or China. But the USA or Switzerland? Well, perhaps not so much. To be critical of Switzerland one apparently needs to apply to ChinaPEN, or TurkeyPEN or NorthKoreaPEN.
It should be stated that, during the months of petitioning DS PEN for membership, not once was I asked for verification or for the files that would have proven the assertions made in my writings.
In a matter of deception, however, this has to be stated: After months, I was finally formally invited to address the PEN organization, given a date to do so, and led to invite a journalist and friends, only to have the invitation and potential membership abruptly cancelled at the last minute. I was informed that: DSPEN membership is a great honor; you are being rejected; try again next year.
It was truly a surprise and a bitter disappointment.
The reason for the rejection was never provided, in terms of the published guidelines or any other. Several later requests for criteria for a second application went unanswered.
It appears that DS PEN flinched when confronted with corruption in their own backyard, and effectively aided the cover-up of scientific wrongdoing at a Swiss university as well as Swiss legal system corruption.
Needless to say, an organization that is intended to provide moral support to writers who write about dangerous topics should have an administration that does not fear the truth in those writings. When they do, they should be investigated. There is always some reason for fear.