This page was last updated 08/22/01
The Sea Shepherd Society threatens legal
action against this site!!!
(Must be a bluff, they really couldn't be after the truth?) Click here for their letter.
In response, I will offer everything I own if ANY of the following claims can be disproved.
In 1982, at age 21, I joined the crew of the Sea Shepherd a converted trawler which needed a lot of work before its next campaign to stop the clubbing of Harp Seals of the coast of Newfoundland. The founder of The Sea Shepherd Society, Captain of the ship, and one of the original founders of Greenpeace, was a hero to me. A book was out about his adventures, and a movie was pending with Warner Brother's Studios (note: Presently a movie is under production to be called " Ocean Warrior " about the life of Paul Watson and the society, which surely won't contain any of the following).
I signed on as a helmsman in Seattle Washington, and devoted the next nine months to fixing up the ship, sailing down the West Coast, through the Panama Canal, and over to the island of Grenada (just before the United States invasion). We then continued up the East Coast in time to risk everything to save the Harp Seals.
Indeed the seal campaign was very successful in drawing media attention to the cause, which was really all we could hope to do. We were eventually rammed at sea by two Royal Canadian Mounted Police Icebreakers, boarded by a S.W.A.T. Team, and arrested.
Captain Paul Watson was not onboard at the time as he had abandoned the ship, and most of the crew, the night before in an effort to try and save himself. He was found by locals the following morning running across the frozen ocean to land trying to pose as a "glaciologist". He was quickly arrested.
A hunger strike was staged in prison to further draw attention to the seal hunt and the 15 years to life sentences we were all facing. Captain Watson and many of the crew members did not participate. I could not understand how The Captain could sit and eat steaks without seeming to care about the Hunger Strikers.
My parents, and people of my hometown of New Rochelle, New York held fundraisers. Certainly the Sea Shepherd Society, as well as the cause, benefited not only financially, but from the additional press coverage.
Mike Farrell, who played "B.J." on the television series M.A.S.H., was very generous in paying for most of the crew's bail money. My parents had sent up approximately $2000.00 which I refused to use unless everyone from our ship was released from prison. Upon learning that I had this money, Captain Watson talked to me privately and told me that he had spoken to my parents in New York, and that they said it would be alright if he borrowed it. I had no reason to doubt him so I let him have it.
Soon after leaving the Canadian prison system, I was hospitalized on and off for nearly 2 years for the damage done to myself during the hunger strike. During much of this time I was unable to even sit up in a chair. Paul Watson and the rest of the crew were aware of the situation. Each time the crew was required to return to Canada for court hearings, they would get an update from crewmates who knew me in the New York area.
As it turns out, my parents never talked to Captain Paul Watson, and certainly never gave him permission to borrow the $2000.00 cash they had sent for my bail. Another $1700.00 I had personally loaned Watson for lubrication oil for the the ship, which was to be returned upon leaving Canada, was never paid back. This was nearly all the money I had in my life.
At one point, I contacted Captain Watson from my hospital bed pleading with him to please return at least some of the money. He said he was also broke, and couldn't pay the money owed, but, if I'd like to sell some Sea Shepherd T-shirts he had, I could earn my money back. I reminded him that I was bedridden in a hospital. With no other choice I agreed to take the T-shirts. They never arrived, and Paul Watson has not accepted a phone call from me since.
Captain Paul Watson, has been a wonderful figurehead for the Environmental Movement which is why I have remained silent for all this time. I have since moved to the Southwest where I am still recuperating from the hunger strike. After 15+ years, I am still waiting to find out if I am eligible for disability. I am also still waiting to hear from the man I really looked up to, Captain of the Sea Shepherd, Cofounder of Greenpeace, Paul Watson.
Below is a small list, of Paul's lesser known achievements. Why am I posting this information on a webpage? Because your money, your hard earned donations to the Sea Shepherd Society, in my educated opinion, would be much better utilized if given to Greenpeace.
* Paul Watson has openly stated that he doesn't really care about individual animals, just endangered species as a whole. That's how he used to justify eating meat.
* Captain Watson smuggled endangered Black Coral out of Grenada, and into the United States on our voyage.
* To obtain this coral, Watson traded a "Saturday Night Special" pistol the he claimed couldn't shoot an aluminum can from just a few feet away. By getting rid of this illegal handgun and only having legal rifles onboard, he could enter U.S. waters and request that the Coast Guard inspect and certify that the Sea Shepherd was totally unarmed, as they watched the rifles being unloaded. Being certified unarmed by the Coast Guard would be important in any conflict that might occur in Canada.
* Much of the crew was not properly trained for this trip. Upon arriving early at the helm for my watch one night, I looked out the window to see Baby Harp Seals being killed in mass from being driven under the Canadian Ice Flows, or being thrown up in the air, as the Sea Shepherd moved "full steam ahead." I told the on duty watch that we were obviously entering the first of the harp seal calving grounds and needed to proceed at the slowest speed possible to avoid killing even more seals. One person on duty for that watch replied they were proceeding full ahead because they thought they were only muskrats or otters, neither of which would be found in this area. (I will try and post a picture of baby seals that we killed and were later found the next morning, on the frozen ocean ice pans, in front of our ship).
* ALL lifeboat inspection dates had expired. Watson had the old dates removed and new dates forged so that the Coast Guard would not cause any trouble if they were inspected.
* Touching nearly any overhead pipe in the engine room would cause huge amounts of asbestos to rain down on volunteers.
* All the volunteer crew had to work every day on the Sea Shepherd for room and board (beans) on the ship. Several later additions to the crew either paid for a spot (fair), or slept with Paul Watson (married at the time with a small child) and his Father (maybe not so fair).
These incidences are not fabricated.
The purpose of this webpage is to perhaps convince you that Greenpeace, with which I have no affiliation, might be a better organization to donate your money to.
Saving the environment is a VERY worthy and noble cause. Please don't let this information dissuade you from giving to environmental causes. Many people are putting their lives and freedom on the line each day to try and make this a better world.
Feel free to e-mail me with any comments.
Fight the good fight!
This material may be freely copied, quoted and disseminated if this website (www.sea-shepherd.com) is referenced as the source.
All pictures copyright 2001 Nyles Bauer
Counter courtesy of digits.com
Click Here for Captain Paul Watson's Response to this site.
Click Here for Watson's (and others) Response on the Greenpeace Cyberactivist Bulletin board.