Free Speech

Meet the CEO of Gab, The Free Speech Alternative to Twitter

by Charlie Nash

I recently got the chance to sit down and talk to Andrew Torba, CEO of, a new freedom of speech-focused social network. Though the Twitter-style network was only launched last Monday and is still very much in early beta, thousands of people are currently waiting in line for an invitation to the service, which aims to act as a shelter for freedom of speech and expression.

Charlie Nash: Censorship has been rampant on social networks such as Facebook and Twitter for quite some time now. What was the final straw that pushed you into developing

Andrew Torba: If I had to pick a single event that pushed me over the edge to take action, I would have to say it was the suppression of conservative sources and stories by the incredibly biased Facebook Trending Topics team.


CN: You’ve already attracted thousands of people who are currently waiting in line to join the social network. Has their reaction been mostly the same? Would you describe them almost as digital refugees looking to leave the totalitarian regimes of Twitter and Facebook?

AT: It’s been an incredible week, in just four days 10,000 people registered for our beta through nothing but word of mouth. Our mission is to put people and free speech first. That mission statement is connecting with tens of thousands of people not only in the United States, but around the world. The sentiment and feedback has been phenomenal and very exciting. It’s also refreshing to see that this issue of censorship is not strictly limited to conservatives as many progressives are also joining Gab and expressing interest in a user-first, pro-free speech platform.

CN: A few of the Breitbart Tech guys, including myself, are already over there testing it out. Have you seen much interest in other media professionals or public figures? Will we see Mike Cernovich, Adam Baldwin, or Julian Assange there soon?

AT: At Gab we welcome anyone who wants to speak freely. One of our new users today is Kassy Dillon, a conservative influencer, who has experienced the censorship of Twitter directly. We are actively reaching out to influencers from all backgrounds who are searching for an alternative. We welcome everyone and want to encourage open, honest, and authentic discourse on the internet.


CN: You currently have a much more different approach to verification, unlike Twitter or Facebook. You’re giving the checkmark to people who should have had it on platforms such as Twitter or Facebook, like any journalist or public figure, however were never given it due to their politics. You’re also giving it to normal members of the public who can verify that they are real, even if they wouldn’t normally meet the professional or social criteria for verification on other social networks. Do you think this will speed up the process of bringing over influential figures and media professionals?

AT: Unlike other social networks, we don’t use verification checkmarks as an elitist social ranking system. We use them for one purpose – verifying identities. Currently, we verify accounts if they have a high likelihood of being impersonated, but very soon every Gab user will have the ability to verify their identity if they so choose. We believe that when people verify their identity they are much less likely to harass others.

It’s easy to harass folks online behind an anonymous profile, but much more difficult to do so when your name is attached. We want to make sure everyone on Gab can find who they want to find, and protect their identity or brand. That being said there is no requirement to verify your identity. We believe anonymity is important for some to feel comfortable expressing their right to free speech, and we don’t want to infringe on that right.


CN: You said in the launch post that will never bow down to political or otherwise avoidable censorship, and that you’ll remain a service for the people. Do you intend on taking an 8chan-style view on content, and only removing things that are illegal or dangerous?

AT: We believe that the only valid form of censorship is self-censorship, an individual’s freedom to opt-out. Gab empowers users to self-censor and remove unwanted followers, words, phrases, and topics they don’t want to see in their feeds to help stop and prevent different forms harassment.

However, we do take steps to protect ourselves and our users from illegal activity. Our rules are very simple: no illegal pornography, a zero tolerance policy for promoting terrorism or violence, and users are not allowed to post other’s confidential information without their consent. We expect these guidelines to develop overtime and we will discuss and get feedback on these changes with the community as we scale.

CN: is already looking great, and I love the aesthetic of it at the moment, but what other features are you planning to implement soon? Can you give us an estimation of when certain things will be introduced?

AT: We have many exciting features on our product roadmap. Our core focus right now is providing as much value as possible to our people. Mobile apps are our top priority and we expect these to be ready in a month or two, but many users are enjoying our mobile website until that time. We are also working on an API to start building our developer community. Third-party developers have been treated terribly over the last decade by social giants. We welcome these developers with open arms who believe in and want to fight for free speech on the internet with us. Beyond this we are letting our community shape the product by crowdsourcing feedback on a dedicated Gab account and building based on user demand and need.

You can sign up to join here, and follow both Charlie Nash and Andrew Torba on their official Gab accounts.

Charlie Nash is a reporter for Breitbart Tech. You can follow him on Twitter @MrNashington or like his page at Facebook.



BREAKING: AJ Kern to Announce Primary Bid Against Rep. Emmer – Cites Endorsement Convention Fouls

UPDATE: A response from Chairman of the Republican Party of Minnesota Keith Downey is posted at the end of the story:

Republican AJ Kern intends to announce a primary bid today against United States Representative Tom Emmer (R – Congressional District 6).  Kern and Emmer sought the party endorsement at the district’s convention in April.  Emmer achieved the required 60 percent of delegates by 11 votes (212-119) and won the endorsement on April 23rd.

Kern is claiming convention misconduct led to her decision to primary against Emmer.  Kern tells Alpha News the three reasons she thought the convention was mishandled include her campaign being kept out of the ballot room, a violation of “the rules for seating Delegates and Alternates,” and there never being “a motion and vote to endorse a candidate.”

Kern says the two campaigns were “provided different treatment during ballot counting,” explaining, “The Emmer campaign was provided observer(s) in the room while ballot counting occurred. The representative from the Kern campaign, Dr.John Kern, was physically blocked from entering the room during ballot counting.”

In regards to her contention with the seating of delegates and alternates, Kern says, “Sworn statements also indicate that after the permanent voting roll had been created, Alternates were wrongly unseated for late arriving Delegates in violation of the party constitution and convention rules.”

Continue Reading:

AJ Kern for Congress


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AJ Kern for Congress

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Activist Post

Obey = Slavery, Disobey = Freedom

By David Icke

Obey = Slavery, Disobey = Freedom – The David Icke weekly videocast trailer. David talks about censorship and explains how the war on freedom of speech is unfolding. Many activists don’t even realize that they’re participating in their own censorship. Additionally, Icke discusses the ways people are diverging from the establishment.


Comedian warns PC culture poses massive threat to free speech

Reading from his book, “When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops,” Carlin touches back on a topic covered in his previous work, “Brain Droppings,” and warns political correctness poses a massive threat to free speech.

“Political correctness is America’s newest form of intolerance, and it is especially pernicious because it comes disguised as tolerance. It presents itself as fairness, yet attempts to restrict and control people’s language with strict codes and rigid rules. I’m not sure that’s the way to fight discrimination. I’m not sure silencing people or forcing them to alter their speech is the best method for solving problems that go much deeper than speech.”

Corrupt Lawyers Professional Responsibility Board



Sunday, March 6, 2016

Corrupt Lawyers Professional Responsibility Board (LPRB) Tried To Stick 11th Hour Mentally Abusive Dagger Into The Mind Of Poor Dede Prior To Monday, March 7, 2016 Rigged Omnibus Hearing? LPRB’s & Corrupt Dakota Co. Court’s Harassment Script For Rigged Case No. 19HA-CR-15-4227 State Of Minnesota VS Deirdre Elise “Dede” Evavold? Star Tribune’s Scandalmonger Michael “Dr. Quack” Brodkorb Is A Hack And A Quack, Isn’t He?

From: Dede Evavold []
Sent: Sunday, March 6, 2016 1:23 PM
Subject: So-called appeal to your loony/harassing response to criminal complaint against corrupt Dakota Co. Attorneys: James Backstrom, Philip Prokopowicz & Kathryn Keenaand and Chapter 13 data request

Gary M. Hird, Lawyers Professional Responsibility Board (651) 228-9823
Bryan Schafer, Hastings Chief of Police, Brian Jones, First Judicial District Administrator:
I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for helping me prove to the world that the Lawyers Professional Responsibility Board (LPRB) is just a much a joke and a fraud as the corrupt City of Hasting Police dept. and the rigged Dakota Co. courts, wouldn’t I? I would, wouldn’t I? See attached response.

Dede Evavold

Attachment:  LPRB-2016.pdf

Gary M. Hird, Lawyers Professional Responsibility Board 03-06-16
Southern Minn Regional Legal Services Inc
55 E 5th St #1000    Emailed to:,
St Paul, MN 55101             
Telephone: (651)228-9823
Registration Number: 2232

Re: So-called appeal to your loony/harassing response to criminal complaint against corrupt Dakota Co. Attorneys: James Backstrom, Philip Prokopowicz & Kathryn Keenaand and Chapter 13 data request.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for helping me prove to the world that the Lawyers Professional Responsibility Board (LPRB) is just a much a joke and a fraud as the corrupt City of Hasting Police dept. and the rigged Dakota Co. courts, wouldn’t I? I would, wouldn’t I?  Was your loony and harassing response supposed to be a mentally abusive dagger that was designed to break my will? It was, wasn’t it? It didn’t work, did it? It didn’t, did it? You’re one of those corrupt local officials who “call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter,” aren’t you? You are, aren’t you? This is the loony harassment script that you and the corrupt Dakota Co. courts have agreed to mentally abuse me with, isn’t it? It is, isn’t it?The corrupt court is going to mentally abuse me with the same ridiculous nonsense at my rigged 9:00 am,  Monday, March 7, 2016 omnibus hearing, aren’t they? Inquiring minds want to know, don’t they? How are you going to bully me into submission when I already know and understand the phony scam, huh? Surely in vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird. Proverbs 1:17 (King James Version)I have an extremely simple counter, don’t I? I do, don’t I? I will continue to say, over and over and over again, that the corrupt Dakota court are rigged until I receive every single electron of my readily available, free, electronic discovery/evidence and public data, won’t I? I will, won’t I? My reputation will be built up if if am retaliated against, won’t it? And the corrupt Dakota Co. court’s reputation will be called into question with each and every bullying tactic that is employed against me, won’t it? It will, won’t it? Finally, I am appealing your malicious rigged and harassing 11th hour ruling.Please email me the following readily available, free, electronic public data:
1. 2016 (or 2015 if not updated) LPRB policy and procedure manual.
2. 2016 (or 2015 if not updated) LPRB Personnel Handbook
3. 2016 (or 2015 if not updated) LPRB data practice manual
4. LPRB Notice to Commissioner of Administration: Adoption of Model Policies – Years: 2010-2015 (See incorporated IPAD example).   ___________________________________________________
Deirdre “Dede” Evavold
3015 30th St. Ct. S.   P.S. Your minion, Patrick R. Burns, engaged in the criminal St. Cloud, MN 56301  act of falsifying an official document, not once, not twice, Phone: 320-293-6233  but three times, didn’t he? He did, didn’t he? 
Email:   Page 1 of 5

P.S. I’ve filed a criminal complaint against the corrupt Dakota Co. Attorneys: James Backstrom, Philip Prokopowicz and Kathryn Keena, haven’t I? I have, haven’t I? And I wouldn’t hesitate to file a complaint against you, would I? I wouldn’t, would I?  Notice: I am the subject of this data. Notice: I will only accept written responses. No harassing emails. Harassing emails will be reported to the proper authorities. (Ex: Badgering the Requester, Misstating the Law, Asked and Answered, etc.). Notice: I will only accept data emailed directly to my email account. Any links to Lawyers Professional Responsibility board server or website instead of data being placed directly into email address provided will be considered harassing. Exception: If data is too large to email, then data may be placed onto the appropriate-sized DVD. Sizes of individual data must be provided to justify need for DVDs. Fraudulent bills will be reported to the proper authorities. Notice: Forward request to the proper authority.State of Minnesota vs Dakota County water resources department employee Thomas Alan Berry CASE NO. 19AV-CR-15-19535.
CASE INFORMATION Charges: Berry, Thom as Alan 1. Violation of Minnesota Data Practices Act (Not applicable – GOC) Statute 13.09(a) Level: Misdemeanor Date: 08/26/2015 Disposition: 02/11/2016 Convicted Level of Sentence: 02/11/2016 Convicted of a Misdemeanor
02/11/2016 Disposition (Judicial Officer: Lehmann, Christopher J.) 1. Violation of Minnesota Data Practices Act (Not applicable – GOC) Convicted
02/11/2016 Court Decision (Judicial Officer: Lehmann, Christopher J.) 1. Violation of Minnesota Data Practices Act (Not applicable – GOC) 08/26/2015 (MSD) 13.09(a) (1309a)609.43 Misconduct of Public Officer or Employee. A public officer or employee who does any of the following, for which no other sentence is specifically provided by law, may be sentenced to imprisonment for not more than one year or to payment of a fine of not more than $3,000, or both: (4) in the capacity of such officer or employee, makes a return, certificate, official report, or other like document having knowledge it is false in any material respect. Lawyer License No: 0003797 Full Licensed Name: JAMES C BACKSTROM City, State: HASTINGS, MN Date Admitted to Minnesota Bar: 09/29/1978 Authorized to Practice?: YES Case Number: A09-861 Date: 06/23/2009 Determination: Reprimand. The Director of the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility has filed a petition alleging that respondent James C. Backstroon committed professional misconduct warranting public doscipline, namely, threatening to withdraw support for an official appointed by the county board unless the official barres her subordinate from testifying as defense expert in criminal cases, in violation of Minn. R. Prof. Conduct 8.4(d).

And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint; Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man: …  Luke 18:1-2 King James Version (KJV)

Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.  John 7:24 King James Version (KJV)

Rule 1.2 Promoting Confidence in the Judiciary. A judge shall act at all times in a manner that promotes public confidence in the independence, integrity, and impartiality of the judiciary, and shall avoid Page 2 of 5

impropriety and the appearance of impropriety. Minnesota Court Rules – Professional Rules – Code of Judicial Conduct, Canon 1.  

In making the charging decision, due care should be taken to evaluate the impact of prosecution or non-prosecution on the public at large. What would be the prosecution’s impact on public perception of the justice system?108 Would prosecution have a positive impact on public confidence in the judicial system?109 Would it bring the justice system into disrepute or be counterproductive in some other way?110 The Charging Decision – C. The Propriety Evalaution. 10. Consequence to the Public. George R. Dekle, Sr, Prosecution Principles: A Clinical Handbook (Thompson/West:2007), Pages 48-49.

“From a national perspective we see this all the time, that lying to federal officers or lying in any circumstance brings a tremendous penalty, and it’s used as a weapon to make informants, its used to put people in jail, when they otherwise couldn’t be put in jail for any other crime,” Hooper said. … A spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney’s office in Nashville says it is reviewing the appeals court opinion, but can’t say if the office is investigating Weyker herself. Weyker has not responded to requests for comment about the case. Some Muslim leaders see double standard in case of St. Paul cop. Tim Nelson, MPR News · Mar 4, 2016.

8. Perjury (Minn. Stat. § 609.48) Description: A new law related to court documents was enacted under Minn. Stat. § 358.166. The law states that a court document does not need to be notarized. Signing a document filed with the court constitutes “verification upon oath or affirmation.” A person who signs a court document knowing that it is false is guilty of perjury under Minn. Stat. § 609.48. Effective Date: August 1, 2014 Reference: Chapter 204 – H.F. 2668; 2013 Minn. Stat. §§ 609.48 MOC Table Changes: None. Use Table  X August  2014 Minnesota Prosecutors Manual Section 1-8. Minnesota County Attorneys Association.

When you are arrested today, the federal prosecutors automatically expect that they will be able to force you to plead guilty – whether you are or not. And their police agents, especially the DEA, take the same attitude. It is now quite common to see truly innocent defendants convicted and sentenced to longer terms because the Government rewards others, often the guiltiest parties, with shorter sentences in exchange for testifying against the innocent. Defense attorneys know this – they see it constantly – and it is slowly corrupting many of them.  Busted by the Feds: A Manual for Defendants Facing Federal Prosecution by Larry Fassler, 12th Ed., page 108

judicial economy – Legal Definition n. Efficiency in the management of a particular litigation or of the courts in general; refers to measures taken to avoid unnecessary effort or expense on the part of the court or the court system. Webster’s New World Law Dictionary 2010 by Wiley Publishing, Inc., Hoboken, New Jersey. Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 

Consider the typical jury trial. For an innocent defendant, even a not guilty verdict is a loss. Although the innocent defendant has “won,” she has undergone arrest and (at least minimal) incarceration, spent money on premiums paid to bail bondsman, spent more money hiring a lawyer, withstood the inevitable public censure and suspicion, undergone the roller coaster ride of emotion during the protracted litigation, and will ever after suffer a stain on her reputation. For the innocent defendant, “not guilty” is a smaller loss than “guilty as charged,” but it is a loss nonetheless. For a guilty Page 3 of 5

defendant, even a guilty verdict and a prison sentence can be a win. More than one guilty defendant facing a draconian sentence has celebrated when she was convicted of a lesser crime and sentenced to the maximum for a minor felony. George R. Dekle, Sr, Prosecution Principles: A Clinical Handbook (Thompson/West:2007), Page 65.

With the rise of the democracies and the dethronement and disempowering of previously powerful groups such as the military, the nobility, and the like, there has been a gradual shift from the conscious and explicit use of direct methods of interpersonal and social control to one that are more indirect, subtle, and covert. Gaslighting, The Double Whammy, Interrogation and Other Covert Control in Psychotherapy & Analysis, Theo L. Dorpat (Maryland: 2004), Page xviii.

By making another person feel fearful, guilty, or ashamed, the manipulator is in a position to gain control over the other individual’s affects, thoughts, and behaviors by substituting his own beliefs. This is the basic mechanism of gaslighting whether used in everyday life, in psychotherapy situations, or in the thought-reform and mind-control manipulations of cult leaders. Some advertising and many social interactions in which one person attempts to gain control over another are based on this principle.” Gaslighting, The Double Whammy, Interrogation and Other Covert Control in Psychotherapy & Analysis, Theo L. Dorpat (Maryland: 2004), Page 7.

In her discussion of the different modes of overt and covert verbal abuse, Evans (1992) lists the following types of covert verbal abuse: “withholding,” “countering,” “discounting,” “verbal abuse disguised as jokes,” “blocking and diverting,” “trivializing,” and “undermining.” Gaslighting, The Double Whammy, Interrogation and Other Covert Control in Psychotherapy & Analysis, Theo L. Dorpat (Maryland: 2004), Page 13.

The entire thrust of police interrogation there, as in all the cases today, was to put the defendant in such an emotional state as to impair his capacity for rational judgment. Miranda v. Arizona 384 U.S. 436 (1966)

It has been stated of witnesses in court that what they say is not as important as how they say it. Unfortunately, an anxious, rambling, absent-minded witness who is telling the truth is less likely to believed than a lying witness who comes across as confident, unyielding, and certain. The witness must appreciate what lawyers have known for years: the courtroom is a stage where attorney’s carefully direct a drama wherein witnesses unfold their story before the jury’s eyes. The jury represents the audience of this production and the witnesses become players. In this carefully constructed arena, the witness needs to fit the jury’s image of someone who is telling the truth. Fred E. Inbau, John E. Reid, Joseph P. Buckley, Brian C. Jayne, Criminal Interrogation and Confessions, 4th Ed., page 454.

We will provide electronic copies (such as email or CD-ROM) upon request if we keep the data in electronic format. … If you do not understand some of the data (technical terminology, abbreviations, or acronyms), please let us know. We will give you an explanation if you ask. Policy and procedures required by Minnesota Statutes, sections 13.025 and 13.03 (2016) Data Practices Policy for Members of the Public, Page 3.

We will provide electronic copies (such as email or CD-ROM) upon request if we keep the data in electronic format. … If you do not understand some of the data (technical terminology, abbreviations, or acronyms), please let us know. We will give you an explanation if you ask. Policy and procedures required by Minnesota Statutes, sections 13.025 and 13.03 (2016) Data Practices Policy for Data Page 4 of 5

Subjects, Page 5. Data Practices Policies Entities adopting the model policies linked above must notify the Commissioner of Administration and may do so by using this notification. Notice of Adoption of Model Policies Minnesota Statutes, section 13.025, subdivisions 2 and 3, require government entities to prepare written policies that relate to public access to government data, and rights of subjects of data and Minnesota Statutes, section 13.03, subdivision 2, requires entities to establish procedures that data requests are complied with appropriately and promptly. Minnesota Statutes, section 13.073, subd. 6, requires the Commissioner of Administration to prepare model policies and procedures to help government entities comply with those requirements. Entities that choose to adopt the Commissioner’s model policies must notify the Commissioner. Please use the following statement to notify the Commissioner if you choose to adopt the model policies and procedures.*   Notice to Commissioner of Administration: Adoption of Model Policies [Name of entity] has adopted the Commissioner’s Model Policy for the Public and Model Policy for Data Subjects. This notice to the Commissioner satisfies [name of entity]’s obligation under Minnesota Statutes, section 13.073, subdivision 6. [Signed by] [Title] [Date] *Government entities may submit this notification by mail or email: Commissioner of Administration  c/o Information Policy Analysis Division (IPAD)  201 Administration Building  50 Sherburne Avenue  St. Paul, MN 55155

Search of Evavold Residence and Search of iPhone On October 21, 2015, a search warrant was executed at Evavold’s residence in St. Cloud. Several computers and cell phones were seized and subsequentiy searched. Rigged Case No. 19HA-CR-15-4227 State Of Minnesota VS Deirdre Elise “Dede” Evavold

One of the key elements of eCourtMN is the establishment of eFiling and eService – giving case participants the ability to submit documents to the court and serve documents to opposing parties electronically, through an online portal. This allows court customers to file documents without traveling to the courthouse or paying for postage or courier costs, allows filers to submit documents immediately and outside of courthouse business hours, and allows court documents to be sent to filers electronically. eFiling now available in all 87 Minnesota district courts Posted: Tuesday, December 15, 2015 eFile/eServe Rollout 2015 Designation of Case Types and District Courts Subject to Voluntary e-Filing and e-Service Rules County District eFile/eServe Status Stearns Seventh Judicial District Voluntary as of Dec 07, 2015 Page 5 of 5


My tracking software has determined that the Star Tribune hack Brodkorb can’t stay away from Lion News, hasn’t it? It has, hasn’t it? “Dr. Quack” Brodkorb is desperate for poor Dede’s response, isn’t he? He is, isn’t he?


More to come . ..

A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Ominous Omnibus

150035Like the title of the books, I have been involved in a series of unfortunate events that have led to The Ominous Omnibus Hearing scheduled at the Dakota County Courthouse in Hastings – March 7th at 9am. CHARGES FILED FOLLOWING DISCOVERY OF MISSING MINNESOTA SISTERS

The main purpose of the omnibus hearing is to determine the admissibility of evidence. The problem is that I have not received my evidence so it would really seem to be a moot point.

Public Data & Discovery Request For Rigged Case No. 19HA-CR-15-4227 State Of Minnesota VS Deirdre Elise “Dede” Evavold? Where Is The Data For The Malcious October 21, 2015 No-Knock Warrant, Huh? Corrupt City Of Lakeville Deputy Chief Of Police John Kornmann Gets Mad And Hangs Up On Poor Dede & Nemmers? Corrupt Kornmann Couldn’t Fall Back On His Training, Could He? Corrupt Kornmann Doesn’t Want To Help Poor Dede Prove That She Is A Victim Of A Corrupt Dakota County Court, Does He? No Surprise, Right? Corrupt Dakota Co. Attorney James Backstrom Has A Hlstory Of Obstructing Justice, Doesn’t He? Really No Surprise, Right? Lakeville Police Making Wild & Outrageous Claims About Sandra Grazzin-Rucki’s Kidnapping Charge Being “A Clerical Error”?

Now, back to the book. . .

Goodreads: Book reviews, recommendations, and discussion  Reviews          The Ominous Omnibus:

The Bad Beginning / Reptile Room / Wide Window (A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket (Goodreads Author), Brett Helquist (Illustrator)


The three books in this volume are painfully “formulaic”. The orphans are brilliant, polite and creative; adults are rude, condescending, foolish, self-absorbed and occasionally just plain evil. Plot twists are inelegantly contrived and predictable. (That sounds so familiar to me)
The Bad Beginning:The plot: Three Baudelaire children ages 14, 12, and 2, are at the beach when their parent’s house burns down. They end up staying with a distant relative, Uncle Olaf who wants to get their money.
(Again, why does that sound so familiar? Oh yeah,  Abusive Father Gives Children Away)

Children’s books often deal with the adult world in a dark way, with our heroes at the mercy of bad guardians. Usually we have the comfort of knowing that authors don’t allow children to suffer indefinitely, and there will be a happy ending.
The Lemony Snicket books offer two unusual twists on this established plot device. Firstly, they constantly promise us no happy ending – just more suffering for our poor orphans. Secondly, the sufferings are entirely undeserved. The Baudelaire children are intelligent, brave, resourceful and loving, but utterly at the mercy of events beyond their control.

This certainly adds an interesting wrinkle, but then again there is a good reason why this convention is not usually subverted. Firstly, people don’t on the whole want to see children suffer without cessation. We can cope with unhappy endings for adults, but it’s a less easy trick to pull off with children.

Secondly, what miserablist writers forget is that their plots are often just as formulaic as those of the ‘happy ending’ writers. By the end of the third book, we pretty much know what we’re going to get. The children will be put in the care of a guardian who will prove to be bad for them, or who will be killed. Count Olaf will launch a fiendish plot to get his hands on their money, but be thwarted. Mr Poe will be well-meaning, but will fail them and they will be forced to rely on their own initiative to survive.

This last aspect is one of the interesting parts of the book. The adult world is a constant threat to the Baudelaires. The children will be threatened by evil adults, and when they meet good adults, those adults will be weak, ineffectual and selfish, refusing to listen to the children until it is too late or nearly too late.

We have the ability to rewrite the narrative of the Grazzini-Rucki story at any time! THE TIME IS NOW!