Category Archives: Findings

History

Once upon a time, (June of 2013 to be exact) Earl de Blonville (self-described as ‘Australia’s preeminent Arctic Explorer’ and a ‘global leadership expert’) wrote a glowing “endorsement” on LinkedIn about another self-described explorer, Englishman Ripley Davenport. The endorsement is Earl in a nutshell; Pure fantasy served in a grandiose “word salad” dressed with oozing self-importance. Earl has never met Ripley. Ripley made up his story about being an explorer just like Earl made up the endorsement.

Two journalists from Denmark and I were working on an article about Davenport which exposes him as a fraud. (English translation here). This story begins with my email asking Earl how he came to write the endorsement. His response was also Earl in a nutshell; wrap yourself more tightly in your own narcissism and attack, threaten, ignore.

First Contact with Earl

Retail Royalty: Viscount of Saxmundham

Earl de Blonville has declared himself “Viscount de Blonville of Saxmundham”. He even printed up calling cards!

Whether this is the ultimate expression of oblivious narcissism or a desperate cry for relevancy I will leave to the reader to decide. But Earl’s “title” can be purchased from one of several companies in England who specialize in issuing these fake claims to upperclass-ness. And obviously they are the perfect expression of a lack of personal class.

These companies literally let’s you pick any place name… so you could be the Viscount of Labradoodle or the Viscount of Bloviation. Then, with a wee bit of the $1800USD fee you pay them, they register a plot of land 8 inches square… yep.. 64 square inches of land under the name of Labradoodle or Bloviation or Justplainpathetic and presto… you are the “Viscount of Justplainpathetic” with all the attendant imagined honors.

Here’s my email exchange with just one such company, Elite Titles (Read from bottom up for proper chronology):

elite-titles-email-about-purchased-nobility

But don’t take my word for it. You can read (captured from his personal page, earldeblonville.com in 2010) about Earl’s sad efforts at climbing the social ladder right here.

Earl’s homophobia, disparagement of Asperger’s and people with OCD.

In an effort to avoid answering and/or to discredit the questions I have asked about his professional claims Earl de Blonville has disparaged me in many creative ways. They include claiming I am all different flavors of psychopath, that I am dying of prostate cancer, a failure in business and my personal life, a cuckold, an “Aspy” an OCD sufferer an embarrassment to my family and much more. Of all these imaginary “facts” cited by Earl, the most bizarre is Earl’s obsession with the notion that my behavior is because I am a closeted gay man (a “closet queer” in Earl’s own crude words) and my behavior stems from a homo-erotic fascination with Earl and Ripley Davenport. Earl flatters himself incessantly, relentlessly, every time he writes about himself on his vanity websites so it’s creepy but in character for him to imagine he, at 70, is someone’s lust interest.

But what the public should find disturbing about Earl’s obsession with this canard is that he wields it like a derogatory cudgel. Someone needs to tell Earl that in 2020, sneering put-downs like “closet queer” are grossly sexist and homophobic. Like ranting at a mirror, the name-calling indicts the speaker, not the target of the smear. As it happens, I am happily married to the same woman for 40 years. But Earl’s put-downs beg the question: what if I WERE gay, why would being gay make a journalistic interest in Earl’s fraudulent career any less valid? Is it Earl’s view that any LGBQT journalist is automatically suspect in their motives? Only older white, straight men can document, analyze, question, and publish?

“Aspy” and “OCD” are also part of Earl’s repertoire of disparaging put-downs. Earl has repeatedly claimed that I have something called “High-end Asperger’s” and that makes me incapable of empathy. There is no such thing as “High-end Asperger’s”, full stop. Earl plucked that term from his butt. Don’t take my word for it, ask Susan Hyslop of Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect). Susan also explains how wrong using “Aspy” as a put down is. Here’s how Earl sees people with Asperger’s.

But not you, Mr Madin, because you are not sane, are you? Far from it. Your repetitive behaviour, basically a one-note opera, has in my case stretched over 7.5 years. That obsessive behaviour, repeated everywhere, clearly marks you as driven by Aspergers Syndrome. And repetition is exactly what your type of Aspys do, because they have limited intellectual comprehension and are easily addicted to repetitive behaviours. Not only repetitive, but your behaviour also reveals another classic Aspy characteristic, a complete lack of empathy for others, making you appear to some to be an inhuman monster. “

In 1984 Earl was the travel companion of a refined older gentlemen, a practitioner of music and divinity, Knight of Malta and OBE. They traveled together through Europe and to Crete to camp and hike. One has to wonder what that older gentleman would make of Earl’s crude, casual use of “closet queer”. (Crete was the site of Earl’s triumphant “First Australian Solo Ascent of Mt. Ida in Winter”. It’s a queer claim (pun intended) in that the climb is a walk up and how would Earl know if he was the first Australian to do it?) Read the first example of Earl’s obsession here, from nearly 10 years ago.

Here are some of Earl’s emails from late May, 2020 which all refer to me.

Caption: This image is scraped from my Twitter account. It was obviously a joke. I have never sent Earl an email as anyone other than myself. He must have another stalker. But my use of this image inspired Earl to add “hates Christians” to his litany of put-downs. Earth to Earl, you are an “old” Australian male, exactly as “old” as I am. And about those “posing” emails? Publish them or simply admit you are making it up.
Caption: And to keep things interesting, a bit of bestiality from Earl….
Caption: A jolly moment of shared homophobia with Ripley Davenport. Just the thing to set an example for your kids.

More Twitter selections from Earl. At least Earl and I share a common disgust with many politicians, including Donald Trump. But the best Earl can offer is homophobic sneering and grotesque food references.

Above are just a few interesting Tweets. Earl’s tired, telling homophobia is always near the surface and he takes delight in saying tasteless (with apologies to the cumin) things in public about public figures.
Also of interest, Earl’s use of a device right out of Trump’s playbook, the “I’m reliably informed” which suggests valid knowledge while never naming sources (Trump prefers “many people say”). Earl employs this throughout his correspondence citing unnamed experts, psychologists, police officers, etc.
Finally and ironically, Earl touts the emergence of “free journos” who will set the “inverted paradigm” right. In fact, I am a “free journo”, an unaffiliated researcher using the internet and public sources to document Earl’s long career of bloviation and fraudulent self-promotion. What has Earl to show for all the websites and the failed grand schemes? A Twitter account, an OAP check and a place (owned by his girlfriend) to sleep. Talk about “a forgotten male suffering relevancy-deficiency syndrome”! Shout on, Earl, the mirror has all day.
Caption: This is just childish.. He literally uploaded this to his academia.edu account.

As part of documenting Earl’s narcissism and lack of introspection, I collected over two dozen (but not all) of the carefully curated headshots that Earl has used in just the last ten years in his self-promotional web pages. Earl changes his headshots on his Academia.edu, earldeblonville.com, Southern Cross University, LinkedIn etc. pages far more often than he changes the text. If you have a web page, ask yourself how often you change your headshot.

But for a narcissist, the only answer to someone posting a collection that starkly illustrates an obsession with your own looks, is to conclude that it is an act of homo-erotic interest. And unlike the casual narcissism of “selfies” so prevalent on Facebook, Earl’s headshots are carefully staged, posed, selected and even photo-shopped for maximum effect. For a man urgently striving to save the oceans, Earl has a lot of time to gussy up his images like this and this and this and this. And the pièce de résistance! (where Earl had his beret-wearing photo taken in a Melbourne restaurant, then photo-shopped himself into the Arctic).

“Acclaimed Author” of one, self-published book which has sold in the hundreds.

His critically acclaimed sold-out book Seventh Journey is in collections and libraries worldwide“..

Seventh Journey” (about the 1986 Arctic Kayak Expeditions) was touted as on the verge of publishing for about five years until Earl finally published the book in 2009. This is Earl’s only book and less than 500 copies were published. In 2016 Earl reissued the book (originally touted as a NEW book) when in fact it was the very same book, minus the color plates and with a new, lurid name and cover, “Savage Coast“. Savage Coast made much more financially feasible through the advent of Print On Demand publishing but there is no evidence it enjoyed any more robust sales since it’s re-packaging.

The book is long (400+ pages) and contains considerable human history and natural history information that is quite interesting if you are into Greenland. But it is important for the reader to remember that none of the other expedition members participated, commented, were asked to review galleys or even received a copy after it was published. In other words, Mr. de Blonville wrote the story, 25 years after the fact, ENTIRELY from his own perspective and with the spin that it would substantiate his claims to having unique insight into the world of “leadership” (and hence be a powerful marketing tool for his C-Suite Coaching, book sales, academic career, etc.). If you must read Savage Coast then also go and read the expedition cameraman’s book, Through the Lens of My Eye, by Michael Boland. Boland, among the most experienced members of the expedition, dismisses de Blonville (named Bloomfield at the time) as a “Walter Mitty”.

A couple of other things to note: Seventh Journey was edited by de Blonville’s girlfriend at the time (who, out of respect for her subesquent loathing of de Blonville, I will not name. She is easily found in a copy of Seventh Journey). She had a professional background in editing and design and not only worked for free but loaned money toward the project, never repaid. She designed the front cover and was arguably the only reason this decades long project was ever completed in the first place. In Seventh Journey, she is the final acknowledgement, for her “tireless work that let’s the story shine”.

In Savage Coast the former girlfriend is erased and the new girlfriend, Jennifer Gidley (who had nothing to do with the creation of the book) gets the glowing dedication, replacing the original dedication, “To the people of East Greenland”. The lurid, purple cover of “Savage Coast” initially included “Patron: HRH The Prince of Wales” but was removed when Clarence House, the office of the Prince, objected.

And in a final irony (and frankly, a sad blow to how we cling to heroes), Sir Ranulph Fiennes, widely described as the World’s Greatest Explorer, provided a cover quote “Timeless insights into the hidden dimensions of leadership” but has repeatedly refused to confirm that he ever actually read the book.

And lest we forget, both books were published by something called Bear Books. Given that there was a publisher and publisher’s logo on the book (and given that de Blonville didn’t apparently tell the admissions staff at RMIT University the book was self-published) it’s slightly excusable that the book was used as the core reason for accepting de Blonville into a PhD program. This, in spite of de Blonville dropping out of high school in his second year (something else he didn’t tell RMIT). Bear Books is nothing more than Earl de Blonville. Bear Books has published one book… Seventh Journey/Savage Coast. It is literally just a name for a publishing company that Earl made up.

Here are the three book covers, chronologically from left to right. Note on “Savage Coast” how “Patron” has been changed to “Expedition Patron” after admonishment from Prince Charles’ office. And how the purple cover with “No possibility of rescue!” and “Leadership for a Turbulent World!” gave way to the cover on the far right. Yes, that is de Blonville, front and center.

And note the spelling change of Earl/Earle’s first name.

I made considerable efforts to find anyone associated with the expedition who genuinely had positive, praising things to say about de Blonville and his leadership. I was unsuccessful.

Ran Fiennes dodges a simple question, which he perceives to be a bullet, about his endorsement of “Savage Coast”.

Touted as The World’s Greatest Living Explorer by Guinness Book of Records, Sir Ranulph Fiennes dodged questions clarifying both Earl de Blonville and Ripley Davenport’s credentials, adventures, and life story.

Five pages total. Scroll by clicking lower left corner of each page.

Ran-Fiennes-non-answer-book-blurb-sc

Bozeman City Attorney “It is not a crime to call a fraud a fraud”

Cory Allen, then Bozeman City Attorney, summed it up nicely: It is not a crime to call a fraud a fraud. The City, having found communications from Laura Davenport and Earl de Blonville, “unprofessional, arrogant, and insulting”, closed the case against me, with no resulting charges filed.

To read the annotations on this file (yellow boxes) click here to download PDF.

Corey-Allen-FOI-email-re-Madin-cyberstalking-Bozeman-annotated

Copyright Infringement

Here’s a the promotional picture of Tarnan (from before Jennifer Gidley purchased it and renamed it) on the ORI twitter page.

Oceanic Research Institute“, “La Boheme”, “Jersey” and a Jersey Red Ensign have been photoshopped onto the picture. Click the picture for another version.

Earl de Blonville has claimed the appearance of this image is a copyright infringement. I contend that is false. First, there is no commercial benefit gained from reproducing the image here and it’s appearance is consistent with investigative journalism. Second, The Copyright Act expressly identifies “news reporting” as a purpose for which use of a copyrighted work is not an infringement of copyright. It may therefore come as a surprise that including a photograph in a news report is not always protected as fair use. Whether such use is considered fair depends largely on whether it is “transformative,” in that it adds some new expression or meaning to the original photograph.

Recent court rulings have emphasized that, in order to be considered transformative under the fair use doctrine, a news article that includes a photograph must contain either a significant amount of information about the subject of the photo that cannot be gleaned from the photo itself, or some commentary or criticism on the photo.

The image on the ORI websites indisputably gives a false impression of the condition of La Boheme. This website provides “a significant amount of information about the subject of the photo that cannot be gleaned from the photo itself, or some commentary or criticism on the photo.

Here is a link to de Blonville’s claim of copyright infringement and it begs some questions. First, why is Earl making this complaint if the image is property of Jennifer Gidley? Google is just supposed to take his word that he is authorized to speak on her behalf? Second, saying “Kent Madin, Bozeman Montana, known to Police in five countries” is clearly an effort to suggest that I am a bad guy, when the fact is I am known to police because they have fully investigated Earl’s specious allegations and found them, officially, baseless. I am known to police who have determined that I am not a criminal. Third, if the information contained on these pages is false, Earl can provide proof (he’s not being held hostage in the Ballina Ramada Inn). But he could not provide proof to the aforementioned police. As to damaging ORI’s reputation… ORI has no reputation to damage. It has done nothing other than create a deceptive web presence and look for funding and fail. The image in question of the La Boheme is the definition of “fake news”… intentionally created to fool people.

Cease and Desist Demands

Earl de Blonville and his lawyers have written several Cease and Desist letters which you can read, with comments, below. Such letters have no legal weight but are intended to intimidate the recipient and serve as a precursor to filing a lawsuit.

The most recent, was written by an associate at Mitry Law Firm in Sydney, Amelia Hagley

Earl-de-Blonville-cease-and-desist-letter-kent-madin-response-and-email-string

Global Leadership and Cyberstalking Expert

Shot in a busy (and loud) Sydney coffee shop, this comically pretentious and amateurish video offers a crash course in Earl de Blonville. Terry Burgan ran a “speakers bureau” representing paid, motivational, inspirational speakers and Earl was briefly part of his stable of speaking studs. In this video Earl has apparently convinced Terry money can be made marketing Earl as a expert speaker on the subject of cyberstalking. In essence, Earl’s pitch is that he has discovered the grave danger because he has been a victim of cyberstalking and now he has it all figured out and wants to save C-Suites across Australia from this plague on the corporate world.

The first minute captures many signature elements of Earl’s style. There’s the hint of the Wizard of Oz behind the curtain bellowing like a God. Here we see and hear Earl periodically drowned out by the clatter of dishes and coffee shop Muzak, distractions that reflect Toto tugging on the curtain. Yet even in this haphazardly unprofessional environment, Earl doesn’t lose his somber tone, consistent with previewing the end of corporate life as we know it.

Then there’s Earl’s signature braggadocio and credibility by association. Of course the motorbike/coffee shop is the coolest thing in Sydney and of course Earl is pals with the owner (name drop) and of course the owner is rich and famous (Mr. Mambo).

Then we have the classic self-deprecating Earl (NOT!). “So, who are you and what do you do?”, asks a rapt Terry Burgan… with a humble shrug, Earl explains “Well, look, I am generally regarded as a global leadership expert (partially drowned out by loud customer). After a bit of pretentious blather about “leadership” and “millennials” Earl gets to the cyberstalking and why he should be hired. Notice he never really explains what happened to him.

Google, Victoria Police get conned by Earl

“Its not a crime to call a fraud a fraud” – Cory Allen, Bozeman City Attorney

Earl lies to Victoria Police Constable, resulting in an investigation using false information and taxpayer dollars. Victoria PD Senior Detective, Sergeant Rhonda Brown later stated, “No further action will be taken.”

Slideshow explaining how Earl conned a Victoria Police Constable and got this website blocked on Google searches.

Earl de Blonville and Southern Cross University

Earl de Blonville has been trying, since 2008, to gain academic credibility for himself and his concept of “Postformal Leadership”. “Postformal Leadership” is a term that de Blonville just made up with little or no presence in the literature, other than circular references back to de Blonville. In other words, de Blonville has declared himself an authority on an obscure field of study he invented. Earl did not graduate from his high school, Ballarat School, and has no traditional academic credentials beyond second year of high school. No college time, no BA, no MA. He is, apparently, a certified practitioner of a scientifically dubious discipline called Neurolinguistic Programming. 

In 2008 Earl enrolled in Rushmore University, an unaccredited online university commonly understood to be a “diploma mill” and sought a Phd on the subject “Seventh Journey”. This is also the title of his self-published book about leadership. According to Rushmore, de Blonville completed his assignments (such as they were) and would have received his degree if he had paid the tuition he owed. Three years later in 2011, Earl applied to a Phd program at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology where his new girlfriend, Jennifer Gidley, was on the faculty. de Blonville was accepted in spite of his lack of traditional credentials and his thesis was on “Postformal Leadership”. No mention of his previous tenure at Rushmore was on his CV. After questions were raised about the vetting process and the veracity of de Blonville’s CV, he left RMIT without a degree and under murky circumstances. In RMIT documents obtained through the FOIA process de Blonville himself refers to being “kicked out”.

In 2017 de Blonville and Gidley moved to Lismore, NSW and convinced the administration of Southern Cross University to grant them both adjunct professorships. Jennifer Gidley was previously on the faculty of SCU from 1995-2002. It is clear from internal documents obtained through a GIPA (FOIA) request that those appointments were integrally linked to the creation of Oceanic Research Institute with acknowledgment by SCU that they have entered into a business relationship with ORI. In plain language the appointments and the business connection to SCU are a package deal. Again, given that Earl has no discernible credentials in “oceanic research” this all begs the question of what kind of vetting process convinced SCU to make the appointments. Jennifer Gidley does have a PhD but in a field (Future Studies) that has no apparent link to “oceanic research”. That did not stop SCU Vice-Chancellor Nancarrow from recommending de Blonville to other staff as “very high profile in oceanic research” (GIPA document). Not long after questions were raised by multiple individuals about the process and propriety of de Blonville’s adjunct Professor appointment, Nancarrow changed de Blonville to “Professional Fellow” without explanation. Of the five levels of adjunct appointment, Professor has the highest level of requirement and Professional Fellow the lowest. This in and of itself begs for some explanation of how the original vetting of someone with no traditional qualifications could be so off the mark. 

Invoking privacy laws, SCU administration refused to explain anything about what the roles and responsibilities of Gidley and de Blonville would be and required this author to file a GIPA request to try and ascertain the answer to that question. Several months after filing, partial results were released, heavily redacted including the most obviously germane document, Earl de Blonville’s CV, which presumably makes the case for him being “very high profile in oceanic research”. Other GIPA release documents suggest that there were doubts raised about the CV. Here’s what John Jenkins, the other Vice-Chancellor signing off on the appointment had to say 30 minutes after getting Nancarrow’s email about “very high profile”. “The CV indicates he has an extraordinary professional CV as well as written, audio, and other published works though not much I can see that is truly scientific.” Not much time to do any actual checking of the CV before passing judgement! Both Nancarrow and Jenkins have now left SCU. 

This is de Blonville’s CV from 2011 and the annotations speak for themselves. There is nothing in the 2011 CV that speaks to “oceanic research”. Mr. de Blonville has made no effort to explain or refute the annotations and the various examples of embellishment, inflation, falsehood and disingenuous claims. Between when he was “kicked out” of RMIT and his arrival in Lismore, Mr. de Blonville has accomplished the following; 1. talked his girlfriend into buying the Tarnan/La Boheme, 2. tried and failed to launch 9sails.com, 3. tried and failed to sell the Tarnan/La Boheme and 4. purchased a second damaged sailboat (Carola) and made no repairs. And somewhere in there he became “very high profile in oceanic research”. Anyone Googling “Earl de Blonville” would have come across the 2011 CV and could have compared it to the CV that he submitted to SCU. BUT it is now clear that months before approaching SCU about the appointments, Mr. de Blonville had succeeded in his fraudulent efforts to have this website blocked from Google searches IN AUSTRALIA only. So any vetting of Mr. de Blonville using Google search would only have shown results of his own website and self-serving interviews. SCU administration has been fully informed of this gap in their vetting and has chosen not to respond. 

Multiple sources describe de Blonville as smart, well spoken, charismatic, charming and a prolific name dropper. Just like the administration at RMIT, SCU Vice-Chancellors seem to have just taken de Blonville’s CV at face value. And this for qualifications that must, according to SCU’s own guidelines, be the equivalent of a genuine Phd. 

If SCU’s Marine Studies program wanted to enter into a business relationship with a dive boat owner in order to regularly use his boat for research or student training, that would be entirely reasonable. But you would not expect that agreement to include making the dive boat captain an adjunct Professor! So it appears that the “deal” very much intends to link SCU’s prestige with ORI’s fund raising efforts by creating the impression the two institutions are joined at the hip. Without the adjunct appointments, de Blonville and Gidley’s chances of obtaining funds to run ORI would be significantly reduced. 

If, in fact, SCU failed to properly vet de Blonville and Gidley, vesting them with the prestige associated with adjunct status and thereby boosting their business credibility, that could be an institutional embarrassment. And it can’t be discounted that invoking the privacy laws over a question as basic as “what will this guy be doing for SCU?” could be explained as an effort to cover that embarrassment. 

All of the above is not to say that it is impossible that de Blonville will raise the millions of dollars needed to refurbish the Carola, that he will successfully move the Tarnan to Australia and start eavesdropping on cetaceans with SCU students handling the hydrophones. It could happen but pigs may also fly. Perhaps ORI and SCU are eyeing the basket of dollars to be dispensed by The Great Barrier Reef Project? Based on de Blonville’s record over the last 20 years the real question is what liability does SCU or any other organization potentially face from partnering with ORI?

Earl’s previous business schemes

Earl de Blonville has a history of spruiking grand schemes involving sailing ships and leadership, all with himself as the guru and central figure. None of those previous schemes ever proceeded past a nice website and unsuccessful efforts to raise funds.

Arcticexplorer.com (listed as beginning in 2010) proposed to take wealthy businessmen to Greenland where they would learn “leadership” from de Blonville at 100k dollars per person.

Arctic Climate Leadership Challenge (arcticexplorer.net) (listed as existing for 6 years) was a program to take high school students on expedition to Greenland and train them to be future climate change policy “influencers”.

Then there was 9sails.com offered in 2013. The program purported to teach already successful businessmen how to be “leaders” in the style of Earl de Blonville, himself, arguably a failed businessman. (de Blonville’s self-published book, Seventh Journey is estimated to have sold in the “hundreds”, de Blonville claims to have been cheated out of a playground company he started in Britain in the 2000’s). All this was to take place aboard the La Boheme, eating great food and wine, sailing along the Brittany coast.

None of them happened.

That did not stop de Blonville from representing them on his CV as if they were ongoing, multi-year programs. That’s three distinct programs all following the same model and all came to naught. Oceanic Research Institute is de Blonville’s fourth such program whose story is just unfolding. 

NOTE: Until late 2019, the websites of arcticexplorer.com, arcticexplorer.net, 9sails.com, earldeblonville.com (Earl de Blonville’s ORIGINAL website) were all archived over the span of roughly ten years at archive.org (Wayback Machine). de Blonville has now gone to the considerable trouble of demanding that those archives be destroyed. He has intentionally obliterated the online records of his own professional history.

I repeat. Earl de Blonville has intentionally erased the public records of his various failed schemes.

“Postformal Leadership” Guru

History of Earl de Blonville as a business consultant, speaker and sole purveyor of “Postformal Leadership“.

Earl’s current promotional website is here: https://earldeblonville.com

Earl inflates his consulting experience.

URSUS International Corporate Leadership Consultants

Ursus began in 2002 and ended in 2008 , according to Earl’s CV . This was a ” [sic] globally-oriented enterprise focusing on the development of exceptional leadership communications at the senior executive level” dealing with C-Suite executives.

And for some reason, this “[sic] globally-oriented” enterprise waiting until 2008, the same year they closed, to create a website.

Postformal Leadership

Google “Postformal Leadership” and you will see that all links lead to Earl. He coined the term and, as of 2020, he is the only person “studying” this academic “discipline”. If you have no academic history or credentials, one way to break into academia is to make up your own, personal academic discipline and promote yourself as the world’s expert.

“Postformal Leadership” is a three-legged stool. First leg is “Circumstance Calling Forth a Champion” a snappy, melodramatic re-branding of common principles of leadership and group dynamics i.e. different challenges call for different skills, perspectives, styles of leadership. Second is the idea that Millennial’s are a unique generation who reject ossified corporate structures and values and insist on meaning and purpose in their jobs. This is a rehash of many past generations, most recently the 60’s generation known as the Boomers. Earl de Blonville blames Boomers for everything and he is a card-carrying Boomer. Third are the qualities of Postformal Leadership (Dialogical Reasoning is a crowd favorite!) as enumerated by de Blonville and of which he holds himself up as a living example. The begged question is whether de Blonville’s personal professional story, as told by himself, about himself, is true. The facts say no. And with that, “Postformal Leadership” collapses onto the dustbin of ego-infused bright ideas that no one ever paid much mind.

Here’s a review of one of Earl’s limited talks on “Postformal Leadership”. The title, ironically, says it all: “Are you the leader simply because you, or others, say that you are?”. I would add the corollary, “Are you a leadership EXPERT simply because you say that you are?”. In a nutshell, Postformal Leadership is this: “Be a good, empathetic person with strong personal values in life and when some crisis pops up, you may turn out to be the leader “called forth by circumstance”.

Earl de Blonville claims unique insight into the weighty question of “leadership” yet his own experiences as a leader beginning with the 1986 Arctic Kayak Expedition, were anything but exemplary. So Earl is a leadership expert solely because he says he is. And in his PhD proposal at RMIT (he was kicked out without completing it) Earl’s whole premise is that he will study “leadership” by interviewing actual, famous, genuine leaders and celebrities to discern what makes them tick and this will all be valid academically because Earl is their peer, a status that is pure fantasy on his part.

Think about that for a minute. Earl A) creates an academic discipline that no one has ever heard of out of thin air and declares himself an expert in same, B) declares he is a “global leadership expert” in spite of having no track record of leadership success, quite the opposite, C) declares that he will validate his theory of Postformal Leadership by hanging out with people of genuine leadership accomplishment because he is (self-declared) expert on leadership.

Consider some of the attributes that Earl says are key to being a postformal leader:

Contrast the list below with a recent Thomas Friedman article about leadership in which honesty, humility and competence are the prime ingredients to effective leadership. Those qualities are conspicuously absent from Earl’s list below.

  • Reflexivity – knowing who you are and are not, being deeply self-reflective.
  • Dialogical reasoning – working collaboratively, not competitively, to co-create.
  • Imagination
  • Creativity
  • Higher purpose – without higher purpose, you have no purpose at all.
  • Paradox
  • Complexity
  • Integration
  • Intuition – the most powerful quality you can have; the conscious mind taps into the unconscious.

The obvious presumption is that Earl has these characteristics. There is no evidence in Earl’s record of professional or personal activities to support that presumption. It all sounds swell but according to participants in the 1986 Kayak expedition, Earl was a leadership flop. He took a couple of rich businessmen to Greenland in the next year but has never shared any information about that trip or it’s outcome. His consulting business flopped, his various sailing/Greenland/leadership/climate change schemes all not only failed, they never got beyond a website. He dropped out of one PhD program (Rushmore University) and was “kicked out” of another (RMIT). He has fought tooth and nail to hide details of his relationship with Southern Cross University and RMIT. His applications to Southern Cross for adjunct status and his applications to form Oceanic Research Institute and to the Australian Tax Office contain exaggerations and falsehoods. He has actively worked to erase all the archived information about his failed projects including his own, personal website earldeblonville.com.

Are these the actions of a “global leadership expert”?

The 1986 Australian Arctic Kayak Expedition and “Australia’s Preeminent Arctic Explorer”

In a remarkable display of alchemy, Earl has turned a 35-yearold expedition characterized by poor timing, dodgy finances, failed leadership and fractious relations among the crew into a crucible from which he alone emerged triumphant as a self-declared guru of modern leadership theory. Presto! Australia’s gift to rudderless captains of industry worldwide and “acclaimed author” of a self-published book that has sold in the hundreds. Consider the following:

Leading this apparently doomed venture is a charismatic young man. But behind his urbane style lies an iron determination: to succeed whatever the odds, or costs, or die in the attempt. He has stipulated that should he be killed, he is to be buried on the shore and the group must continue.”

The quote above is written by Earl de Blonville, about himself.

It is part of the promotion for his unpublished book (2008) and written long after the 1986 Australian Arctic Kayak Expedition had ended. A practical conversation among expedition members about “what if’s” becomes, in Earl’s telling, a Shakespearean synergy of leadership and mortality. Prose like this is the lens through which Earl’s claims of exploration achievement should be viewed; poetic, self-absorbed and mawkishly overblown.

None of the expedition members had anything positive to say about Earl’s leadership. Among the most experienced expedition members, the videographer Michael Boland, describes Earl as a “Walter Mitty” who spent expedition funds like a drunken sailor. Before they even arrived in Greenland, the bad blood between Earl and the other expedition members had become clear.

After arriving very late in the season and after being advised by locals of the danger posed by “piteraqs”, and ferocious winds and weather that seasonally blow off the icecap, Earl led the expedition on. Lulled by some initial good weather, the group eventually were struck by a severe storm, capsized in their sailboat and survived largely by the serendipitous passing of a freighter and the quick thinking and hand held radio of crew members other than Earl. In the tradition of great leadership Earl describes (in his book, Seventh Journey) his own calculations to insure that he will survive, certain that others wouldn’t, when the boat sinks.

Besides testosterone, what would compel Earl, as leader and therefore ultimately responsible for the safety of the crew, to continue on against the strong advice of locals and Earl’s own study of the dangers the weather posed? Apparently, the financing of the expedition was tied to a short-lived government tax-incentive program, designed to help Australians produce media that could reach beyond Australia’s shores. “Marketing Oz” in other words. Simply put, the investors of the expedition didn’t get their tax breaks if there was no film. And there wasn’t enough footage without staying longer with the inherent risk. Lives were risked to avoid an ignominious, tail between the legs return to Australia. The investors, in return, would have just bought the lads a spendy vacation in Greenland. Full stop.

None of those pesky facts have constrained Earl from relentless self-promotion after the expedition as “Australia’s preeminent Arctic Explorer”, filmmaker, leadership guru, speaker, “acclaimed” author, cyberstalking expert, etc. It was apparent to Boland, the videographer, that from the start of the expedition Earl was already canonizing himself as a worthy successor to Gino Watkins.

An Australian Geographic article from 2011, a classic example of self-promotion and disingenuous answers.

Renaissance-man_-Earl-de-Blonville-Australian-Geographic-annotated

Earle de Blonville: “Global Leadership Expert” unauthorized biography

All the material in these pages is from public sources or from consenting interviews.

Click the image above for Earle de Blonville’s annotated CV from Academia.edu. 

This classic movie clip pretty much sums up Earl de Blonville.

“Leading this apparently doomed venture is a charismatic young man. But behind his urbane style lies an iron determination: to succeed whatever the odds, or costs, or die in the attempt. He has stipulated that should he be killed, he is to be buried on the shore and the group must continue.” From: “Seventh Journey‘ (written by Earl de Blonville Bloomfield FRGS describing himself.) 

I’m researching the career of “charismatic” Earle de Blonville Bloomfield FRGS (nee Earle Bloomfield) for an article about modern day explorers and the business opportunities that flow from exploring. I became interested in Earl’s story when researching another story about another professional “explorer” Ripley Davenport. That story is available here: ripleydavenport.net

Earle was born Earle Robert Bloomfield in Australia. “My mother gave me away and quite frankly I couldn’t’t have had a better start to life” is how Earle credits his mother’s abandonment of him, to be raised by his grandfather in a home without running water. According to people who knew him growing up, the “home without running water” is a romantic legend of Earl’s sole authorship. 

Sometime after 1996, when he discovered he was descended from French knights, he changed his last name to de Blonville. Then he decided he was Viscount de Blonville of Saxmundham.

Classic quotes from Earl de Blonville Bloomfield FRGS, Viscount of Saxmundham:

On the 9sails Leadership Program: “Embarking on your voyage of Postformal Leadership represents a freedom to develop as a leader at your own pace within an enhanced consciousness of your own emergence.” Earl de Blonville Bloomfield FRGS: 9sails.com (website now defunct).

On ethics in exploring: “What we must learn from this is that anyone who knowingly allows patently false claims to adventure success to remain unchallenged will be judged to have conspired to keep lies secret…In this world we have to rely on trust for so many things. But to have our trust deliberately abused by the reckless braggadocio of self-styled public adventurers is particularly galling, and we are diminished as a result.” Earl Bloomfield, Letter to Victoria Sea Kayak Club 2001.

“Ambassador” Earl de Blonville:

From late 2010 until early 2015, Earl claimed on his website that he was an Ambassador for both Helly Hansen (outdoor clothing) and Wenger (knives and watches): “In 1986, during a 140 knot Arctic winter snowstorm, Helly Hansen literally saved his life, when he survived a week without food or shelter on a sea-swept rock.” 140 knots in ambient air temperature of 40 F is the equivalent of a wind chill factor of -200 degrees F. That HH gear belongs in a museum somewhere! 

According to Helly Hansen’s distributor in Australia, in 2010 Earl pitched his plans for taking executives sailing in Greenland which would include giving the clients HH gear as part of the package costing over $100,000 per person. That program never happened (arcticexplorer.com) though as part of the deal, Earl was given permission to make personal purchases of gear. Earl unilaterally elevated himself to “Ambassador” which was a status HH did not confer and does not condone. Earl also talked HH (Australia) into including his 9sails program of executive leadership training as a “partner” with HH but when advised that the program was just an idea that had never actually operated, the partnership was rescinded. 

Until roughly July of 2015, Wenger had Brand Ambassadors, and Earl is not one of them and never was one of them.

(Earl’s current website http://earldeblonville.com no longer has links to the Ambassador pages)

Earl de Blonville requested that the domain registrar of this domain take this page down. The exchange of emails on the subject is available to read by clicking here.

Anyone with information, context, stories or “enhanced consciousness” of Earl is welcome to contact me, Kent Madin, at rett139@yahoo.com. At this point I am particularly interested in speaking to those who have knowledge of Arcticexplorer.com and Ursus International.  (The material at the two previous sites with the strikethrough text has now been excluded, by de Blonville, from the Wayback Machine. Earl has erased his OWN professional history, a history HE WROTE.)

On his CV, Earl claims to have run two “expeditions” with paying clients to Greenland in 1988 and 1989. I am interested in distinguishing fact from fiction.

Given the vaporous nature of Ursus International, Earl’s “C-Suite” consulting business, I hope to speak with anyone who was a client of Earl and Gary Gosling.  (I have since heard from Gary Gosling who had this to say about Earl “He was more storyteller than business person. His adventures read of a man that had failed many times but would try a different angle.”

9sails.com was a business of Earl’s in which already successful captains of industry would pay thousands of dollars a day for the privilege of sailing a quaint sailboat (see video clip below) along the coast of France. The businessmen won’t be “taught” leadership (since the un-teachability of leadership is a central tenet of Earl’s theories “The first thing I discovered is that leadership cannot be taught. If it is being taught, it may just be management, re-badged at a higher price.”). Instead, the participants will apparently absorb leadership wisdom from being in Earl’s presence, presumably through the French cuisine. Along for the sailing is Earl’s partner, financial, business and otherwise, owner of the Tarnan, Jennifer Gidley

After Earl refused the Tarnan seller’s offer to share the cost of a dry dock inspection (the ship had been sitting at dock for several years) the Tarnan was to sail from Gothenburg to a shipyard in Denmark. Not long after encountering open water and strong winds, Tarnan began to take in water and the pumps failed. This video shows Earl and the “Tarnan” in action (rescue courtesy of the Danish Navy). One of the hired crew, a career naval officer on board during the rescue, later characterized Earl as dishonest, suffering from megalomania and not the leader he professes to be. 

The Tarnan is now for sale, having been renamed “La Boheme”. If one reads the page about the La Boheme, it appears that the idea of 9sails and the idea to purchase the Tarnan were solely that of Dr. Jenniger Gidley. This is odd in light of the fact that prior to purchasing Tarnan, Dr. Gidley had no experience with traditional sail vessels and very limited sailing experience at all, yet she went out and splurged on a ship she had never sailed for many thousands of Euros. This also begs the question of the renaming of La Boheme. For someone professing the value of La Boheme based on her historical value, it seems presumptuous to rename a vessel after sailing on it for less than 24 hours. 

Arctic Climate Leadership Challenge (Acticexplorer.net) was an Outward Bound style program proposed to take place in Greenland involving high school age students. Earl’s CV indicates the ACLC operated from 2005-09. Staff from the program say that no students actually were enrolled or went anywhere, certainly not Greenland. “Our scientific program will be delivered under the supervision of Professor Matthew England, Co-Director of the Climate Change Research Centre, Climate & Environmental Dynamics Laboratory, University of New South Wales.”

Yet, Dr. England, when asked what the program actually accomplished responded ” Hi Kent, I wasn’t really involved in this program in any significant way, so I don’t know the answer to this question. Sorry. Matt”

Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT University):

I am also interested, within the limits of privacy rules at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT), to learn more about the exceptional circumstances through which Earl became a doctoral student at RMIT and a recipient of a government funded cash stipend, in spite of having neither a high school diploma, undergraduate degree or an MA degree.

Earl’s acceptance into the RMIT program may have something to do with his self-published book, ‘Seventh Journey’ which describes the 1986 Greenland Expedition. For perspective on that expedition, a far different view is expressed in the book, “Through the Lens of My Eye“, by Michael Boland, the cameraman on the trip.

Earl de Blonville Bloomfield FRGS briefly expanded his research interests to include “Cyberstalking”. He was apparently inspired by the case of Ripley Davenport, a friend and fraudulent explorer/poser whose short, bizarre career was exposed in the article linked above.

Cyberstalking: New Executive Threat
“In a paper, articles for publication and a key speaking subject, Earl explores an emergent threat to executive careers. Earl’s planned paper and talk are provisionally titled: ‘Cyberstalked – How Predators Can Shred Your Professional Reputation’. As a recent victim of Cyberstalking himself, Earl has discovered first hand the almost limitless potential for damage to professional reputations faced by executives and entrepreneurs who share their personal data online.”- Earl de Blonville Bloomfield FRGS

In fact, Earl never wrote a paper or an article for publication on the subject and there is no evidence he has ever given a talk on cyberstalking. 

Earl de Blonville Bloomfield FRGS may be a victim of Cybermocking

Cyber-Mockers   (with no apologies to Earl de Blonville)
First it was movie stars, then athletes, entertainers and now Academics. We should be flattered by their attention, but in reality these people are not psychologically disturbed, narcissistic, psychopathic or anything close to murderous. Cyber-mockers are not, in fact, criminals but are hopelessly afflicted by the humor to be found in the self-important, self-serving pronouncements of self declared experts and serial embellishers. Cyber-mocking is a unique form of social commentary, participation in which is open to all ages, genders, races and levels of experience. It is, however, deeply frowned upon and deplored by those whose public behavior attracts the attention of the Cyber-mocker. 


Fellow Academics, and all my personal contacts and friends, please be warned NOT to respond to any approaches for ‘friendship’ or requests for information made by anyone you have not fully researched and cleared. Psychologists warn that cyber-mockers are to be regarded as a cancer that cannot be stopped, rather like one of those infectious giggles that threaten to erupt when someone at the podium is saying Very, Very Important Things. It is advised that you ignore any approaches from anyone you are not familiar with seeking information on fellow academics, students and staff. Should you communicate with them, you could easily compromise yourself, your friends, family, colleagues, funding bodies, sponsors, your institution and yes, even the very fabric of the Universe, unleashing a torrent of Cyber-mocking for which you will be rightly blamed and probably mocked. They will go through your list of contacts like burglars ransacking your home – looking for anything of ironic or of humorous value, bits of truth and quotation they can twist to their perverse will and use to crack up others in order to mock you with their crazy-making giggling and general annoyingness.

Cyber-mockers are drawn to those who crave attention and lack any empathy: they don’t care how annoying they are or how many embarrassing questions and raised eyebrows they evoke from your colleagues. Deny them the oxygen of unintended irony, transparent embellishment and outright falsehoods and they will hunt elsewhere. Report any such activity to the authorities and police immediately, particularly if the authorities and police have a good sense of humor. Ask me if you are in any doubt, because I am not and never have been. 

Earl de Blonville Bloomfield FRGS’s annotated CV, which was formally part of his academia.edu page in association with his uncompleted doctoral program at RMIT. Prior to the RMIT program, Earl also completed a Ph.D. through the internet based Rushmore University but was never granted a diploma for failure to pay his remaining tuition. RMIT administration is silent on the question of whether or not Earl disclosed his Rushmore Ph.D. program when applying to RMIT. 

Earl de Blonville Bloomfield FRGS’s LinkedIn page (has disappeared). 

Earl’s remarkable endorsements for fellow LinkedIn users can be found here.

Earl de Blonville Bloomfield FRGS’s Speaking Representation. Although his website says SpeakMark is his exclusive representative, he is still listed on the sites below. Only one agency responded to a request for the last date they had booked Earl to speak and when pressed for details, fell silent. SpeakMark’s now removed youtube page touted Earl’s Postformal Leadership includes this remarkable quote “Boomer “Leadership” is merely the self-delusion of unfulfilled lives.” Ironically, Earl de Blonville is, himself, a Boomer.

http://voxpresenters.com/speakers/australia/authors/earl-de-blonville/

http://www.ovations.com.au/speakers/earl-de-blonville.html

http://theentertainers.com.au/earl-de-blonville/

http://www.njmspeakers.com.au/earl-de_blonville-frgs (listing removed as of Nov. 1, 2013)

Just for fun: US 9th Circuit upholds First Amendment Rights of Bloggers.

Privacy Statement: “Being that this is a public document available to anyone, literally, with a computing device, I have no particular expectation of privacy nor do I expect or desire to constrain others if they wished to reuse parts of this website. If you have modified, copied, reproduced, republished, uploaded, posted, transmitted or distributed in any way, congratulations! The only constraint I would request is that you not quote out of context and if your intention is to belittle me or poke fun, please do it with wit and taste. Otherwise, I am happy to stand by what I have said here. I strive to remain factual and am happy to discuss any concerns with the veracity of what I publish here. Rest assured I’m happy to retract and apologize should I present something that is untrue. I am happy to let the reader draw their own inferences from the facts.”

For convenience sake you will find that a simple click on Save Page As will capture the entire website which you can store for later reference and archiving.

Exchange with Senior Sgt. Rhonda Brown, Victoria Police:

This exchange (and a transcript-ed 45 minute long phone call) document how the Victoria Police advised me that their investigation on the allegation of “cyberstalking” made by Earl de Blonville was closed and no action would be taken.

The key take aways from this exchange are:

  1. Sgt. Brown dodged the question of whether Colban’s demand to Nearly Free Speech, without a court order or notice (to me, the owner) was legal and whether it implicitly showed Colban had already decided I was guilty.
  2. Sgt. Brown, when asked why they had not bothered to interview me, the suspect, said “if the evidence doesn’t support interviewing the alleged criminal, then we don’t interview them”.
  3. I asked Sgt. Brown to find out if Colban had contacted any other internet pages or services to request blocking of earldeblonville.net as she had with Nearly Free Speech. The answer came back “No”.
  4. When I contacted Victoria Police FOI department requesting a copy of the investigation file, I was told it could not be released because it was classified, by Colban herself, as “unsolved” meaning the case was NOT closed.
  5. In my view, Colban acted unprofessionally and naively, convinced by de Blonville to use her authority to accomplish what de Blonville wanted, the erasure of earldeblonville.net. Having been caught in the act, Colban (and later Brown) sought to cover up the mistakes rather than acknowledge them.

Read this email string from bottom to top for correct chronology.

DSS-Brown-exchange-re-Earl-de-Blonville-cyberstalking-allegations-Nov-2106

Victoria Police: Corruption or Incompetence?

Melbourne North Station, Victoria Police Cyberstalking Investigation (Earl de Blonville, alleged victim)

Two complaints filed with Victoria Police and two FOI requests with Victoria Police

IBAC Complaint Filed by Kent Madin, #T173413562939(7) December 8, 2017

Synopsis: In 2013, I, Kent Madin of Bozeman, Montana, USA, took an interest in the professional career of Earl de Blonville, who declares himself “Australia’s pre-eminent Arctic Explorer”. My interest was part of research for a story I was writing about modern day “explorers” who build narratives about themselves through the internet in order to make themselves commercially viable. Mr. de Blonville was one of several explorers with common links on the internet that piqued my interest. Mr. de Blonville initially engaged with me by email but refused to answer any questions about discrepancies in his professional claims. He later asked me not to contact him (which I complied with) and in April, 2014 embarked on a campaign claiming I was a cyberstalker and he was my hapless victim. Here is confirmation of Mr. de Blonville’s ownership of kentmadincyberstaker.com. My inquiries to Earl’s past colleagues, sponsors, collaborators and others, made with full transparency as to my purpose and in my own name, all became illegal actions in Earl’s mind. The website, earldeblonville.net is the digital version of a newspaper ad or other publicly visible announcement making my interest in Mr. de Blonville’s career known to the public and a repository for information gathered. The website has been very effective establishing contacts with people knowledgable about de Blonville. After years of claiming, online and in correspondence, that Australian police were investigating me and my arrest was imminent, Earl finally persuaded a Constable in Melbourne into opening an investigation in November, 2016. This is to document the events that have proceeded from that intial investigation.

The website at the center of the cyberstalking allegation is http://www.earldeblonville.net

Timeline:

November 17, 2016 Constable Louise Colban takes a complaint from Earl de Blonville at the Melbourne North Criminal Investigation Unit (CIU) alleging that I, Kent Madin, am a cyberstalker and opens an investigation for cyberstalking. It appears that Mr. de Blonville failed to inform the Constable that two previous investigations on the same subject, by the Bozeman, Montana police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (US) had both concluded there was no evidence of criminal behavior.

November 28, 2016 Ten days later, Constable Colban formally requests that my hosting company remove a website of mine, earldeblonville.net, which is a compilation of research done on de Blonville’s professional claims and career. Constable Colban characterizes the website as “defamatory” and a: that it is using private information without permission, specifically, Earl de Blonville’s CV and b: that de Blonville has previously contacted the hosting company making the same takedown request. None of those characterizations are true, as Constable Colban’s Supervisor Senior Sergeant Rhonda Brown later admits. 

November 28, 2016 I learn that I am being investigated for a major crime in Australia when my hosting company, following their standard policy, sends me a copy of Constable Colban’s request complete with official addresses and phone numbers of Victoria Police. The hosting company informs me that they only respond to a court order and suggest I deal directly with the person making the complaint. 

November 28, 2016: Concerned about whether the request is genuine, and moreover, whether Constable Colban is genuine, I call Constable Colban at her station, identify myself as the target of her investigation and offer to answer any questions she might have. She says she has none and claims she has the authority to request removal of my private property. 

November 28 and Dec. 2, 2016: I send Constable Colban a couple of emails giving her some context to my involvement with Earl de Blonville and addressing her request to remove my website. I also point out that each point Colban used to justify her request to remove the site is either a: outside Police responsibility (defamation) or factually false.(see link below)

On December 5, 2016 this complaint was filed with Google. Then this complaint, from January 2018, confirms that Victoria Police complained to Google. Victoria Police acted without informing me, without legal orders and before finishing their investigation. Subsequently, this website, earldeblonville.net was blocked from appearing in Google searches, but ONLY in Australia. The Victoria police are simply stonewalling on the question of whether Constable Colban ALSO made a request for the Google block. According to Google, there are two ways avenues to blocking a site: 1. a court order (which I would have to know about 2. or a request from a police agency through the LERS system.

December 1, 2016, FIRST COMPLAINT FILED:. Having no response from Constable Colban, I attempt to file a complaint with the Victoria Police through their online form. After it fails to go through twice, I file the complaint directly through the email address. The complaint asks for clarification of Constable Colban’s authority to request removal of private property.

January 6, 2017. I contact the Media Unit of the Victoria Police. My initial request is a hypothetical question about whether police can request the removal of private property. Leonie at the Media Unit says she cannot respond to a hypothetical. I then resend the question based on the details of Constable Colban’s actions. Leonie refers me to the division that deals with books and films and that’s the last I hear from anyone in the Media Unit. (see link below)

About January 6, 2017: I speak on the phone with someone in the Police Conduct Unit who advises me that I hadn’t received a response to my December 1, 2016 complaint because the complaint had been forwarded to the detective sergeant in charge at Melbourne North. The woman apologized that I hadn’t been notified.

Approximately January 17, 2017: I hear from Sergeant Rhonda Brown, Constable Colban’s supervisor. We exchanged email about my concerns. We agree to a phone call which takes place a couple of days later and lasts about 45 minutes. I am pleased to hear from Sergeant Brown that [a]: I am not in their jurisdiction so they wouldn’t pursue me anyhow and [b]: they have closed the case and there will be no further action taken. I note that no one ever even interviewed me, the alleged criminal. Sgt. Brown allows that they do that when the “facts” indicate. I am assured by Sgt. Brown that the case is closed and over, the investigative file will not be forwarded to either the prosecution division or Interpol. Quoting Sgt. Brown’s email: “The investigation by D/S/C Colban is now completed and no further action will be pursued by Victoria Police.” Sgt. Brown describes the investigation as a “fact-finding effort”. I question what facts would have been discovered by requesting the destruction of my property. 

I press Sergeant Brown to confirm that Colban’s actions were consistent with proper police procedure. She dodges that request for confirmation and attempts to portray the request to remove the website as just a suggestion, something that is up to the hosting company to decide. This portrayal flies in the face of the actual words, in black and white, in the request. I agree to strongly disagree with Sgt. Brown’s characterization of Colban’s effort to have my private property confiscated. (see links below)

February 1, 2017: I file an FOI request with the Victoria Police for a copy of the investigation file. I make it clear that I am not trying to damage Sgt. Brown or Constable Colban, but am determined to get an answer to the question of whether the request to confiscate my property was proper police conduct. I point out to the FOI Manager, Robin Davey, that evidence of police misconduct is one of the areas that cannot be exempted from an FOI request, per Australian law.

Around March, 2017: My request is turned down.

Around April, 2017: I request a review. The original denial is reviewed and then denied again. Both denials make the point that the police contact has characterized the case as “unsolved” when “no further police action” and “no offense detected” were all options for characterizing the case and would have been consistent with Sgt. Brown’s characterization. The “unsolved” characterization is what causes Davey to deny any part of the file because it might jeopardize further investigation. 

Early August, 2017: I have a telephone conversation with staff at IBAC. I explain the situation and they recommend that I file a second complaint specific to the issue of how the file was characterized as “unsolved” before filing a complaint with IBAC. 

August 2, 2017: I file a SECOND complaint with Victoria Police specifically regarding the characterization of the investigation where I was the target as “unsolved”. I receive an automated email receipt.

September 7, 2017: I request an update from Victoria Police about my SECOND complaint. I receive an automated email receipt.

December 6, 2017. I request, yet again, some response or update from the Victoria Police about my second complaint. I receive a response from Nick Konstantinidis saying that no action will be taken. In the text of his response, it is clear he is referring to the FIRST complaint. I respond pointing out that difference. I receive an automated email receipt. 

December 7, 2017: I file a complaint with the IBAC emphasizing my concern about a: police misconduct in regards to Colban’s effort to have my property taken down and b: dimissal of that issue by Sgt. Brown and c: characterization of the investigation as “unsolved” which effectivly blocks the FOI request. 

December 28, 2017: IBAC responds that they have chosen not to investigate or refer the complaint since they are very busy. 

March 14, 2018: At the suggestion of the FOI Commissoner’s office, I file a second FOI request, for both the investigative file and the documentation created by my first FOI request. I am informed that I should hear back on my request no later than April 28, 2018. On May 1, 2018 I ask when I might get my response. I am informed the decision is on the manager’s desk for signature. On May 7th I write again. No response. 

May 24, 2018: Unlike my previous request, where I was responded to via email, I receive a notice of decision by snail mail. The decision is signed April 5, 2018. The decision arrives 50 days after the decision was signed. I am told that in order to receive a portion of the material I asked for, I need to pay $22.10. Had I been advised on April 5 that I would owe $22.10, I could have arranged for that payment immediately. Nevertheless, I make arrangements to have the fee paid. I request that the FOI office send me the documents I paid for via email. The FOI office responds by saying they will send the document snail mail. 

https://earldeblonville.net/dev/foi-office-response

August 1, 2018: I recieve from VicPol FOI office redacted log of exchanges between the FOI office and VicPol. They indicate that the officer who characterized the investigative file as “unsolved”, thus blocking it from release, is none other than Constable Colban, the very person who I am claiming abused her authority during the investigation. I do NOT receive a copy of the investigative file. 

Discussion:

The question at the heart of this complaint is simple: Can a police officer use her official status to request the removal of private property absent any court order or absent any obvious, immediate threat of physical danger or threat to public safety? 

If that is acceptable police policy, Sgt. Brown could have confirmed as much, in writing, which I urged her to do. Instead Sgt. Brown’s explanation flies in the face of the clear facts and Colban’s own words in the request. 

I filed an FOI request in the belief that the unusual aspects of this case (cyberstalking, alleged criminal outside the country, botched investigative procedures, investigation dropped without any interview of “criminal”) would be reflected in the documents that make up the investigative file and shed light on the question. 

When, as a police officer, you get a phone call from the supposed criminal who knows about your investigation because you unwittingly revealed it and the “criminal” wants to know if you are acting within the bounds of police procedure, there’s a very good chance that the investigative file will reflect discussion between yourself and your supervisor for guidance. If those discussions involved any element of sweeping the issue under the table that would be police misconduct. Evidence of police misconduct cannot be withheld from an FOI request. The file will also contain the emails that I, the “criminal” sent to Constable Colban giving her context. Those emails would presumably have been shared and commented upon within the department. 

Another reason why I suspect poor judgement at the minimum and police misconduct at the worst, is that Constable Colban began the investigation on November 17, 2016. At the heart of the complaint was the website I own, earldeblonville.net. One of the first facts conveyed in the allegation would be that I am a citizen and resident of the United States. The information on that website can be fact-checked by anyone with a computer, more so if you are a police person. Yet 10 days later, more than enough time to spot check the supposedly “defamatory” claims on the website and more than enough time to arrange to interview me, a suspect living outside Victoria Police jurisdiction, Constable Colban makes an effort to remove that site, without notifying me or requesting that I remove it. It appears that she had no idea I would find out about her request. 

Constable Colban had to know, as a trained policewoman, that defamation is not a criminal matter.

In addition to not fact-checking the website, she failed to fact check the allegations made by Earl de Blonville : 1. That the CV in questions was taken from his private page. This is factually false and could have been clarified by contacting me. Earl de Blonville uploaded his CV to Academia.edu and it is crystal clear from that site’s Terms that anything uploaded is for public review. Furthermore, there is a specific button which encourages downloading items like the CV.. 2. That de Blonville had previously requested to the same company, that the site be taken down. This assertion is also factually false since de Blonville contacted the URL registrar, not the hosting company. Sergeant Brown dismissed these issues by saying, in effect, the Constable was just repeating what de Blonville had alleged. The police just parrot, without fact checking, “facts” presented for destroying private property?

It is disconcerting to think that a Victoria Police constable would attempt to confiscate private property with no due process and based on unverified “facts” and inappropriate characterizations.

Regarding the actions of Sgt. Brown:

Both in writing and on the phone Sgt. Brown emphasized that the investigation was complete, over, done, no further action would be taken. She gave two reasons for ending the investigation without interviewing me, the alleged criminal. First, that I was out of the jurisdiction of the Victoria Police. While factual, that statement is disingenous given that an investigation was begun with the full knowledge that I was out of their jurisdiction. Being familiar with how these things are supposed to work, I pressed the Sgt. about whether she was forwarding the investigative file to any prosecutorial arm of the Victoria government or to Interpol. She made it clear on the phone and in email that it was not being forwarded. Had Sgt. Brown found evidence to support the cyberstalking allegation, passing the file to Interpol for action would have been the proper response. So saying that I am out of jurisdiction is just a way of saying “we found nothing criminal”. 

The second reason given was that “if the evidence doesn’t support interviewing the alleged criminal, then we don’t interview them”. Again, a simple “we found no evidence of a crime” would have been a more accurate answer.

Here’s a quote from Sgt. Brown’s email of January 17, 2017: “The investigation by D/S/C Colban is now completed and no further action will be pursued by Victoria Police.” (My emphasis in color)

Yet, in response to my FOI request for access to the investigation file, Mr. Davey says his hands are tied because the Melbourne North Police station characterizes the investigation as “unsolved”. As I understand it from Mr. Davey, had the investigation been characterized by one of the other choices (“no further police action” and “no offense detected”) Mr. Davey could have proceeded with processing the request. Clearly, “no further police action” and “no offense detected” are all more consistent with the finding “and no further action will be pursued by Victoria Police” than “unsolved”. 

Another particularly vexing aspect of this affair is that there is now, permanently, a file that links my name to cyberstalking. This, in spite of the fact that no proof of any threat was ever provided (one of the defining elements of cyberstalking is a credible and purposeful threat of physical or emotional injury). And this in spite of the fact that the police closed the investigation without even contacting me. All that speaks to it having been a baseless allegation in the first place. 

Supporting Information:

Constable Colban’s request for removal of my website, earldeblonville.net:

From: NearlyFreeSpeech.NET Member Support <support@NearlyFreeSpeech.NET>
To: rett139@yahoo.com Nov 28 at 12:55 AM

Hello,

The below message was received at our support or abuse email address. It
appears to pertain to you. As a courtesy, we are forwarding you a copy.

Please contact us through our member support facilities if you need any
assistance, but keep in mind we did not originate this message and cannot
answer questions about its content.

Thanks,
NearlyFreeSpeech.NET Member Support

================== BEGIN FORWARDED MESSAGE ===================
To whom it may concern

My name is Louise COLBAN and I am a Senior Constable of Police from
Melbourne North Criminal Investigation Unit which is part of Victoria
Police in Australia. I have carriage of a cyberstalking investigation where
Earl DE BLONVILLE is listed as the victim. I am requesting the removal of a
website which you are currently hosting, https://earldeblonville.net.
The website is one facet of the investigation. The website itself is
defamatory (libel) in nature and utilises material from DE BLONVILLE’s own
website without his permission, specifically his curriculum vitae.

Earl DE BLONVILLE has previously contacted you himself however you were
unable to assist. He has also sent a ‘cease to desist’ request to Kent
MADIN to have the site removed however this was not complied with.

I request that this website be removed.

Regards

Louise COLBAN | Senior Constable 37341 – North Melbourne CIU|
________________________________
email: louise.colban@police.vic.gov.au<mailto:louise.colban@police.vic.gov.au> |
web address: www.police.vic.gov.au<http://www.police.vic.gov.au/content.asp?Document_ID=2>
phone: (03) 8379 0886| fax: (03) 8379 0887 | dx: 211387
address: 36 Wreckyn Street, North Melbourne 3051

Further examination of Constable Colban’s request to Nearly Free Speech:

“The website itself is defamatory (libel) in nature” Defamation is a civil matter as Sgt. Brown has agreed. By what authority does Constable Colban make what is, in and of itself, a statement defaming my property? Defamation is a matter for the civil courts an avenue that Mr. de Blonville has chosen not to pursue.

and utilises material from DE BLONVILLE’s own
website without his permission, specifically his curriculum vitae. I downloaded the CV in question from Academia.edu. All material on that site is public information, as the terms of service at Academia.edu make clear. This screen print shows that Mr. de Blonville had the CV uploaded and available to ANYONE who visited his Academia.edu page. 

Earl DE BLONVILLE has previously contacted you himself however you were
unable to assist. This is factually false and something that Colban should have confirmed before repeating it. Earl contacted Tucows, the company that registers the URL, an entirely different company and NOT the web hosting company, Nearly Free Speech. This is the email exchange with Tucows.

He has also sent a ‘cease to desist’ request to Kent
MADIN to have the site removed however this was not complied with. Earl’s cease and desist letter has no legal weight. It was responded to here. A cease and desist letter is generally sent as a precursor to filing a civil lawsuit. A civil lawsuit for defamation has been an option available to Mr. de Blonville for 5 years and something he has repeatedly insisted he was about to do. 

I request that this website be removed.” Sgt. Brown says Colban “requested through the website host to remove the material if it was found to be in breach of their policy or legislation relevant to their jurisdiction. This is a matter for the host website to assess the request and make a decision regarding compliance of the material.” In fact, no such language can be found in Colban’s request. Colban builds her case for removal in several steps. She asserts, falsely, that a prior effort had been made to have the site removed. With her authority as a police constable she declares that the site is defamatory and contains stolen material. Then she requests the site be removed. This is obviously an effort using Colban’s official status to accomplish what Colban herself claims de Blonville failed to do. Why would Colban or Brown assume that de Blonville’s claimed request for removal hadn’t triggered the web host to examine the material for “breach of their policy”? And if that happened already and the site is still up, why would Colban feel it appropriate to influence the web hosting company with her police authority over an issue the hosting company has already addressed with de Blonville’s request? 

Colban is piling on in support of de Blonville’s allegation without ever having contacted the owner of the property. The request is an egregious abuse of her position and authority and needs to be recognized as such.

Links: 

Correspondence with Victoria Police Media Department and Sgt. Brown:

Correspondence with Constable Louise Colban (no responses were received)

Correspondence with Victoria Police Complaints Department

Arctic Explorer or “Go North ye CEO’s of Oz”

These three, multi-page .pdfs tell the story of expeditions that never happened.

Click at the bottom of each page for additional pages.

If Earl de Blonville is true to form he will attempt to claim copyright infringement in regards to these .pdf files. This is tantamount to when Donald Trump fights to keep from releasing his tax records to the public. The documents were produced by Earl, they make a variety of claims which, when read in light of the rest of Earl’s various claims, paints a picture of Earl intentionally crafting his professional narrative and raises reasonable questions about how honestly he portrays himself and his experience.

This then, is the element of “transformation” of an image or a document that underlies the copyright doctrine of “fair use”.

This one has the 2011 price of 98,000.00 AUD per person.

Arctic2011-Brochure-arcticexplorer.com-earl-de-blonvillle-price

A shorter version of the above. George Pappas is listed as one of Earl’s illustrious “adventurous friends”. Here’s Mr. Pappas’ comment on seeing the flyer: “First, I have to tell you that this is the first that I have heard of the event. I was unaware that my name had been used in the publicity for it. I have never met Earl de Bonville nor had ever heard of him until I read the attachment to your email. And as you might conclude I did not participate in the event at all.”

Arctic2011-Invitation-WEB

In 2016 de Blonville tried again to resurrect this zombie program.

ARCTIC-EXPLORER-executive-2016-never-happened