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Stripe is Incompatible with Substack's Mission
Meet the new boss, same as the old boss
While I was held captive on false charges in the Communications Management Unit at the United States Penitentiary in Marion, Illinois, I heard so much about this great new platform called Substack. Not only did they defend free speech, I was told, but writers could also use business functions of the site to collect payments from interested parties.
It should go without saying, but since so few people seem to fully comprehend this, I’ll say it anyway. If talented people cannot get paid for their writing efforts, they must find other ways to direct their talents, that do pay. If one is shut out of financial services, they are shut out of everything, including speech.
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I discovered this the hard way more than five years ago. When me and my associates were falsely accused of conspiring to commit racially motivated violence in Charlottesville, Virginia in August of 2017, we were shut out of everything. I was banned from Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, PayPal, Stripe, Amazon Payments, Coinnbase, GoDaddy, and too many others to bother listing. My website, (now ChristopherCantwell.net, which was then .com) was buried in Google searches for “Christopher Cantwell” by Google, when I had previously been, appropriately, the first result. The alternative platforms that emerged in response to this repression had their financial, webhosting, and other services cancelled as well. Even Funded Justice, a crowdfunding site that raised money for convicted murderers to fund their appeals, would not allow me and my associates to crowdfund our legal defense.
So I was really looking forward to trying Substack.
When I got out of prison, and I saw that Substack and Locals.com both used Stripe, I laughed out loud. I subsequently discovered that Rumble, touted as the free speech YouTube competitor, uses PayPal, which is even worse. These people banned everybody Right of Mitch McConnell in 2017, and here we have supposedly serious people, attempting to challenge the speech police, but refusing to learn the lessons which made platforms like this necessary in the first place.
I joined a couple of days ago anyway, created a new Stripe account, and made my first post. In that post, I stated that I was an enemy of the Democrat Party, and stated accurately that I had been falsely accused of conspiring to perpetrate racially motivated violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August of 2017. As evidence that the accusation was false, I presented nothing short of a jury verdict in a civil lawsuit, in which the Democrat power lawyers who sued me failed to prove by a mere preponderance of the evidence standard, this false claim.
The very next day, Stripe deactivated my account, stating that I had run afoul of their restricted business policy.
I will quote in full this email.
Subject: Important Notice About Your Stripe Account
It looks like you’ve created another Stripe account, and after review of your website and account information, your business still presents a higher level of risk than we’re able to work with. As mentioned previously, this is in violation of the Stripe Services Agreement section on “Restricted Businesses”.
We request that you remove any references to Stripe on your site, including any code, such as API keys. This can also include any plugins that are configured to use Stripe. While we’re unable to accept additional charges for this account, you’ll continue to receive payouts to your bank account of your remaining Stripe balance.
– The Stripe team
Now, a review of the material on my Substack and Locals.com accounts will show quite definitively that nothing contained therein violates Stripe’s restricted business policies.
Moreover, subsequent to my release from prison, I deleted EVERYTHING, from my website at ChristopherCantwell.net, and have exercised the utmost caution in the content since posted there. I have even gone so far as to renounce my erstwhile edgelord persona, announce the conclusion of the Radical Agenda, and advocated a political strategy of engagement with the Republican Party, which hardly warrants the attention of the Jack Bauers of the world.
So, I replied, stating accurately that I had done nothing of the sort.
While I can understand why you would have reached this conclusion five years ago, on a different website, I do not have your system in use on that website.
Moreover, the offending content has since been removed from what remains of that site, and your system has of recent only been put to use on my Substack and Locals.com accounts. The content of which does not run afoul of your restricted businesses policies.
I am not asking you to process payments for the website you banned from your system. I am asking to be able to use Substack and Locals.com, according to their terms of service, for which you are the only available means to make full use of those systems.
If you cannot permit me to do this, I ask that you clarify that the issue has nothing to do with current violation of your restricted business policies, but is rather a personal and permanent restriction on me personally. Because that is the only possible explanation for the action taken here today.
Joseph replied, with a more accurate description of what was happening, stating that Stripe’s Terms of Service permit them to terminate accounts for any reason or no reason at all.
Thanks for contacting Stripe Support and for providing this information.
As we previously mentioned, we have evaluated your account and determined the business presents a higher level of risk than we are willing to support. Furthermore, as you may already know from your review of the Stripe Services Agreement, Stripe may close your account at any time, for any reason, by providing you notice, which we did send today, February 2, 2023. For more information, please visit:
I'm sorry that we're unable to support your business -- we understand that this is not the response you were looking for, but please let us know if you need us to suggest another potential payment processor and we'll be happy to do so.
I replied asking Joseph to suggest a payment processor that would allow me to use Locals and Substack. Predictably, Joseph has not replied, because there is not one.
I have been producing online content for fourteen years. I have been podcasting for nearly ten. I have made my living this way, exclusively, for most of that time.
I have never, in almost a decade and a half of being in this business, had a single chargeback or customer complaint.
Even after having been locked up twice over little more than my political views, I have never even been accused of doing anything illegal or dishonest with my business.
I have since been approved for other payment services for other businesses of mine which cannot integrate with Substack or Locals. I have a GiveSendGo Campaign, for those who are interested in financing my work. There is no obvious barrier to Stripe allowing me to abide by the terms of service of Substack and Locals.com.
So, if Stripe perceives some “risk” attending to my business, then they should probably call the FBI and tell them who is making unlawful threats against them, because there is no other risk associated with my business.
And I mean this in all sincerity. It is not a rhetorical point. The Democrat Party is a state sponsored transnational criminal enterprise, with an earned reputation for the most horrific violence and shockingly deceptive practices. Anyone who runs afoul of them has plenty to fear, as I know all too well. I would be perfectly happy to believe that Stripe is not themselves run by a cabal of Democrat activists who stamp out dissent on their own volition. It would make perfect sense to me, were I to discover that they had been threatened by powerful people who mean to stifle all genuine challenges to their power.
But, for now, I am left with mere copypasta from Joseph, who informs me that since his stated reason for terminating my account is transparently fictional, his user agreement legally permits him to terminate my account without cause.
Well, for now, nobody is challenging Stripe’s legal authority to do so. Even if the law did bar such rank political discrimination (as, in my case, it should), I could not count on the courts to enforce it, because they too have been so hopelessly corrupted, that I should not hope to see this fixed if Trump had ten terms and 100 Senate seats.
But we as a society, and Substack in particular, need to take a good look in the mirror and ask ourselves what incentives we are creating with our acquiescence to this state of affairs. When BLM rioters are able to defraud major corporations and small dollar donors out of tens of millions of dollars, and still enjoy a reputation as civil rights heroes, but those advocating White interests are deplatformed, violently assaulted, denied the protection of the laws, and then held liable for the predictable outcome of the ensuing lawlessness, the result is not racial harmony, or a more just society.
Quite the contrary.
This buzz in conservative media about “cancel culture” may have begun in the wake of the COVID plague, but the phenomenon is quite old, and one they were all too happy to ignore until it hit home. It started well prior to the 2016 election, and reached its crescendo after the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville.
The reason Democrats try to brand my fellow Republicans as Nazis, is because they figured out that once they can brand you as such, there is nothing they cannot get away with doing to you. They learned this because Republicans and conservatives did not speak up when it was done to us in 2017, and the power the Left was permitted by this acquiescence, was later used to great effect against those who were not so easily branded.
They have since managed to spin this remarkably simple trick into a seemingly impenetrable hegemony, with the full backing of the American espionage apparatus, and foreign collaborators. While the motives of the domestic elements are complex, the motives of the foreign elements are quite simple. They recognize that this weakens America, and they mean to dislodge us from our perch atop the unipolar world order.
So, when I tell you that you are fools to let this happen to me, I am not appealing to your moral sentiments or abstract principles of free speech or equal rights. There are people worth censoring in this country, and we can start with those who are trying to start World War III with Russia, or drug and mutilate our children with sick gender nonsense.
Your acquiescence to the attacks on me and my associates has already paved the way for those same attacks to be waged against you, and it is only because of your rational self interest that you should act to stop them and prosecute the perpetrators.
The prize of the American political contest is no longer one of a temporary back and forth, of shifting political winds from one Party to the other, in which you always stand the chance of righting the wrongs once your turn to rule arrives.
The Democrats are playing for keeps. They seek a permanent totalitarian majority, irrespective of what voters will. As we saw in the 2022 Alaska Senate race, the likes of Mitch McConnell are all too willing to aid and abet this menace, for the security of their own positions, and foreign endowments.
Together, they will burn this country to the ground, so long as the Chinese will permit them a degree of autonomous dominion over the ashes.
Absent a cooperative ideological continuum, beginning from the racially aware “far right”, to the so-called “National Conservatives”, connecting to those only dimly aware of Leftism’s corrosive influence, and finally to the average low information voter, they will achieve precisely such a lurid dominion. Antagonisms along this continuum must cease, and aid must be rendered in both directions.
The so-called “far right” put our bodies and freedom on the line for this purpose. We have bled, been bankrupted, and imprisoned, in service to our country, and to the future of mankind.
There are those among us who reasonably consider these sacrifices to have gone unreciprocated, and have for this reason declared themselves in enmity with conservatives and Republicans. I cannot be counted among these eminently noble and decent men, because I value too highly the prize of our cooperation, and fear too greatly the cost of its failure.
Before this phase of the conflict is concluded, history will record that I and those who followed me were willing not only to risk life, limb, and liberty, but also to compromise, to show restraint, to forgive, and to be patient.
What will it say of you?
For my now disenfranchised paid subscribers, for those who would have become my paid subscribers, and for anyone else who would like to pay me, there are plenty of alternatives available to you.
I am putting the finishing touches on SurrealPolitiks.com, where I intend to have full business functions including members only bonus content and show related merchandise. The business functions are not yet working, because I am still concluding the Radical Agenda, but you can sign up for my newsletter to be notified of these options here https://surrealpolitiks.com/newsletter/
I have two GiveSendGo Campaigns running.
The first seeks to raise $10,000 to ease my transition back into the community following my recent release from prison, and can be found at http://www.givesendgo.com/Cantwell
The second, more recently launched, seeks to raise $5,000 monthly, to finance my media production under the brand name SurrealPolitiks Media LLC. If you would like to make a monthly contribution, this is the ideal means to do so. You can find that campaign here http://www.givesendgo.com/spm
You can postal mail me things of value and letters of support at
497 Hooksett Road
Manchester, NH 03104
Failing these, I love crypto;
Any Ethereum based asset supported by the Exodus wallet, such as BAT, USDC, etc, can also be sent to the above address. But you may want to inform me by email that you’ve sent it, so that I can configure my wallet to notice and make use of the asset.
I’ll take your weird designer crypto too, just contact me. :)
SurrealPolitiks is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.