by Ben Vanderford, Robert Martin, and Laurie Kirchner

Click here for our side of the Beheading Hoax story 
& official press release

Click here for voice mails left by Reuters and other moronic news organizations on Ben's phone

CLICK HERE for MEDIA ROOTS, the new INFORMATION & INDEPENDENT NEWS website co-created by Robbie Martin

CLICK HERE for other Media stunts, Music, and Videos made by Ben, Robbie and Laurie

director/cameraman - Robbie/fluorescent grey 

concept/hostage - Ben/great white hype

Friday, November 19th 2010

listen to the new Radio Show by Abby & Robbie Martin (The director of the beheading hoax)

Media Roots Radio- Introductions, Obama Administration by Media Roots
This is the first episode of Media Roots radio with hosts Abby and Robbie Martin. First we introduce each other and explain our personal political awakenings before segueing into the Obama administration's policies and the political climate after the transition of administrations. Robbie also goes in depth about the beheading hoax story and what his philisophy on the media is as a result

you can check out ALL the other Episodes of MEDIA ROOTS RADIO Here

Thursday, June 8th 2006:
Zarqawai dead
Military Plays Up Role of Al-Zarqawi
Is Al-Zarqawi really who the media portrays him to be?

Monday, May 22nd 2006:
Zogby Poll: Over 70 Million American Adults Support New 9/11 Investigation
FLASHBACK: over half of NY city believes that US government allowed 9/11 to happen

Thursday, November 3rd 2004:
hostage executions on video released to date from Iraq
since the beginning of the war. 19 of which are beheading videos
click here for list
*cannot confirm the authenticity of these videos,
although in most cases the identified victims have been confirmed dead.
Viewer discretion, and skepticism, are advised*

Friday, October 29th 2004:

NEW Bin Laden video tape airs on Al Jazeera....- BBC article.
flashback to August 8th, Ben and I were telling all the newspapers and media outlets
that the other "hoax" we had planned prior to the beheading was to make
a new october surprise Bin Laden video.

We were going to have my similar looking Punjabi friend dress up as Osama Bin Laden
and make threats to Americas election. It looks like either Osama himself or someone with
experience in CGI or video production beat us to it.
Walter Cronkite agrees it was a hoax.

Thursday, August 31st 2004::
US mainstream and independent media completely ignore the
most graphic and disturbing terrorist video produced to date

12 nepalese hostages killed at once on a video released from iraq. One is beheaded
and is left with head half cut off for about 30 seconds while screaming.
*cannot confirm the authenticity of this video, although all
identified in this video are confirmed dead.
Viewer discretion, and skepticism, are advised*

August 9th 2004:
Al Jazeera closed in Iraq because of our beheading hoax says Prime Minister Ayad Allawi - SF Chronicle article
Prime minister Ayad Allawi cited the hoax videotape broadcast
by the channel on Saturday that appeared to show an American
being beheaded as an example of the coverage he opposed....
"I am worried about these people," he said.
"I am not worried about whether al-Jazeera
will like it ( the closing of al jazeera in Iraq ) or not."

5:32 AM, Saturday, August 7th, 2004:
Iraqi beheading becomes world news, then hoax is discovered - SF Chronicle article
Ben awakens to a knock on his apartment door. It is Reuters, along with the FBI.
Somehow they managed to get through the electronically locked front door
click here to watch hoax coverage on Fox News
click here to listen to voice mails left on Ben's phone by the media

May 13th 2004:
Benjamin, Robbie, and Laurie create a video parody of an iraq hostage beheading,
put it on the internet filesharing network "Kazaa". It was posted on Ogrish about 1 month later by someone, not us.
People in the forums quickly discoverd it was obviously fake.
3 months passed....
Click here
to watch the fake beheading video we made

Our side of the story

We would like to clear some issues up regarding the video we co-produced. First, the video we produced should not be viewed in a partisan light. This video is not meant to be a pro or anti war commentary. The anti war comments Ben said during the movie was a reflection of how Daniel Pearl was possibly forced to say anti-Israel comments in his movie. How the video should be viewed is that it exposes problems in the media. The media is almost mindless in its handling of the news; not checking facts, uncritically recycling information from wires, doing no probing or follow up questions. This problem is compounded by the fact that almost all media outlets rely much too heavily on Reuters and Associated Press for stories. If one of those agencies make a mistake, as happened here, almost all news outlets report that mistake. Media ownership is a big concern for some people but this experiment shows that the media is already de facto far too centralized regardless of ownership. Stop and think how a similar, but much more harmful hoax could be conducted. Physical evidence should be the new standard in the modern digital age, rather than grainy videos.

Since it was not fully and accurately reported in every news story about us, we would like to make clear how events actually progressed. We produced this video on the same day that the Nick Berg execution video was released. To release it, we simply allowed it to be retrieved from our computers by anyone who searched the Kazaa and Soulseek file sharing networks for words like "execution" or "beheading". We knew that since the media was seemingly jealously guarding the source video of the Nick Berg execution, people would have no choice but to use those file sharing networks to attempt to find the video for themselves. Part of the reason we created this video was to explore this phenomenon on how people will use these decentralized networks to bypass the mainstream media and even the mainstream Internet.

The video then spread, and we imagined most people believed it was fake immediately upon seeing it. But someone did believe it was real and that person had the ability to put that video on a Middle Eastern website which has been used to publish other, real, terrorist videos. Then an Arabic television station (which one is not clear as yet), believed the video was real simply because it appeared on this website. The station then showed the video on its broadcasts. The American media noticed this, and immediately broadcast it on the wires saying that a new American had been beheaded. We want to make clear how absolutely dumb it was for the American media to do this. First of all, if they had questioned the origin of the movie, they would have found out that it simply was from a website, with no physical tape, letter, or other evidence from the terrorists. If they had viewed the video, they would see how absolutely unrealistic it looks (we encourage everyone to watch the video in order to see this point). On the other hand, the Daniel Pearl video also looked very unrealistic in much the same way (which was one point we were trying to make as well). Nevertheless, we find it unacceptable that the media would publish a video of the low quality of ours as real without disclaimers and statements within the article of how the video might be fake. This is a serious loophole in our media system. Those who wish to terrorize us don't even have to take the risk of really capturing and beheading someone anymore, they can fake it.

The final mistake of the media was to do no fact finding, or probing, before it released the videos as real. In the video Ben clearly states his name and
address (this was done intentionally so that the video would be found to be a hoax immediately). If the reporter at that time searched for Ben's name on the Internet, he would have immediately found Ben's campaign website which features pictures of Ben and full contact information. A 20 minute drive could have cleared up the situation immediately. The press however, had to have their "scoop".Media organizations are increasingly relying upon sensationalism rather than a code of ethics of journalism. We must ask ourself the question, are we susceptable to another William Randolph Hearst ("Remember the Maine!")? Our media is getting homogenized when individual papers and networks stop doing their own investigations and rely upon one or two sources, frequently Associated Press and Reuters. This is another case of the media being caught with its pants down because it failed to find complete physical evidence before breaking a story, and they are attempting to shift the blame from themselves and onto us.

We also find it ironic that we were lambasted on Fox and other networks for our video. We are criticized for belitting the real beheadings; however this was not our intent, nor do we think that we are responsible for any pain caused to the families. The media's sensationalism is the cause of this pain; had they spent 20 or 30 minutes checking into the name Ben Vanderford, or his home address which is said in the video (which many of the reporters we have talked to had actually not seen!), they could have easily found out the video was a fake and given it the amount of coverage it originally deserved--none. Now that it has been shown how easily the media can be duped, it's certainly newsworthy--but before it really wasn't much of a story. If you check Kazaa, there are many other faked death videos being shared. We never envisioned the scale our video would be published--this scope is thanks to lazy organizations such as AP and Reuters who published it and Fox News who continued to run the story of the "hoax" all day when it broke, much more than any other network.

If Fox and a few other TV networks really are sensitive to the families they would have done as other networks have largely done--which is to not air the story on TV. Or perhaps AP and Reuters could have just done responsible journalism in the first place, and obviously this never would have happened. But it's easier to blame us rather than take on the worldwide problem we have in news reporting.

"If i met this man in real life i would give him a good ass kicking" Quote: Geraldo about Ben

We also ask, how do Geraldo Rivera's aggressive threats towards Ben accomplish anything? Does Geraldo think more violence would somehow solve something? If you compare Geraldo and Ben, and think about who put these Americans' lives in danger more, I would say it was Geraldo. He made the error of giving up sensitive troop positions while reporting in Iraq: Geraldo puts troops in harms way, military kicks him out of Iraq
Here is a quote from Geraldo, who made his own hoax about satanism over a decade ago: "Estimates are that there are over 1 million Satanists in this country...The majority of them are linked in a highly organized, very secretive network.....The odds are that this is happening in your town." Strange that Geraldo would criticize Ben for a hoax, yet that is something he has done himself: Gee, those numbers don't add up...and then:

We are also shocked by the reaction of some "educated" people. For example, from Crystal Carreon's San Jose Mercury News article: " ''It's a cheap shot,'' said Theodore Glasser, Stanford University professor of communications. ``It's like bombing a building to see if security measures are in place. . . . You don't demonstrate something like that at the public's expense.'' " We would like to ask Mr. Glasser how the two events are analagous. Bombing a building is an act that involves damage to physical things, such as buildings and lives--none of which our video caused. We do not understand this type of blatantly intellectually dishonest commentary, especially from a Stanford professorm, but that is exactly how hacker's are paid to test the integrity of networks, of which the media is an example. Most of the negative and unfortunate fallout of this is the medias fault. Blaming us primarily for offending the families is like blaming the 9/11 commision for bringing up "bad memories". While true, it misses the point.

Our hearts go out not only to the families of those who have died as a result of beheadings, or "terrorism" but to the soldiers and innocent civilians who have died unjustly in the "war" against it. We are sorry for any pain caused.

Thank you,

Robert F. Martin, co-producer aka Fluorescent Grey
director/cameraman - Robbie/fluorescent grey 
Laurie Kirchner, co-producer
Ben Vanderford, actor aka The Great White Hype
concept/hostage - Ben/great white hype
The above names can be clicked for Biographies

Additional comments can be viewed at our interview with The San Francisco Chronicle:

This is a pretty fair story on our experience. If you want to read an accurate news story on the beheading hoax go here.

Additional multimedia:

Director Robert Martin & Co-producer/camera Laurie Kirchner photo
Fake Iraq set photo
Fake Iraq set 2 photo
Fake blood recipe photo
An experimental nature video by Ben Vanderford & Fluorescent Grey wmv video
Freemasonic documentary  by Robert Martin wmv video
Click here to watch the fake beheading video wmv video
Additional Art and Music by Ben and Robbie


Beheading & Execution Videos from Iraq since the start of the invasion by US troops before August 2004.
35 total hostage executions on video produced and released from Iraq since start of US invasion. Of those 35, 19 were beheading videos, and 1 was a hoax beheading video (ours)

*cannot confirm the authenticity of these videos,
although in most cases the identified victims have been confirmed dead
Viewer discretion, and skepticism, are advised*

*Abu Musab al-Zarqawi is one of the claimed terrorists
however in every video he is wearing a face mask. Why would the
man say who he was in the video, but be wearing a mask?
Viewer discretion, and skepticism, are advised*

Photo & Web Credit: Brian English