In 2016, Daniel Friberg and his colleagues at Arktos experienced a brazen attempt at a hostile takeover, when its former Editor-in-Chief, John Morgan, initiated a failed coup against this publisher. Currently, Morgan is an Editor and shareholder at Counter-Currents, whose founder, Greg Johnson, has been leading a smear campaign against Friberg and Arktos for the past number of months.
As the world’s largest publisher of New Right, Alt-Right, and traditionalist literature, Arktos is a true success story. But last year, everyone involved was put through the ringer. The company has refrained from speaking publicly about the failed coup. Unfortunately, Greg Johnson’s recent actions — accusing Daniel of embezzlement, doxing, and sabotage — has forced Arktos to address this issue head on.
Arktos Media Ltd. was founded in Aarhus, Denmark, in November 2009, at a weekend meeting between Daniel Friberg and three Scandinavian colleagues from his New Right think-tank, Motpol (Antithesis). This came as the culmination of several months of talks about the need to create an international publishing operation. (You can read the complete history of Arktos here.)
The company has been steadily growing in sales and productivity since it launched, with an explosion in the past year, which saw our sales figures double and our rate of publishing new books significantly increase. Our success appears to have generated negative attention from former colleagues, prompted former shareholders to seek a piece of the pie, and even led to attempted sabotage.
The following is a condensed timeline of how a handful of individuals tried — and failed — to destroy Arktos over the past 12 months.
John Morgan, then-Editor-in-Chief, is offered a job at Counter-Currents by Greg Johnson. Emboldened by this new opportunity — and possibly given other incentives — Morgan began spreading rumors to various people about Daniel Friberg’s supposed mismanagement and even embezzlement. Morgan also made repeated attempts to damage Friberg’s personal reputation. However, Morgan was careful not to let the rumors reach Friberg, and it was only six months later that the latter found out the details of the campaign. (Friberg discussed this subject on March 24, 2017 in a subscription-only podcast with Matt Forney, Davis Aurini, and Melissa Mészáros — who Morgan had personal contact with. An excerpt from that podcast can be found here.)
Friberg fired Morgan from his position as Arktos’s Editor-in-Chief due to his dissatisfaction with his work: missing crucial deadlines and errors in published works. Additionally, Friberg had noticed that Morgan had been hiding crucial information from the management, such as several volunteer applications from highly competent people willing to work as editors and proofreaders. Morgan moved on to Counter-Currents, with a signing bonus of 20 percent of the shares in the company, effectively making him and Johnson business partners. Arktos choose to retain Morgan as an editor on a project-by-project basis, primarily in order to get him to complete unfinished projects that were long overdue.
September 25, 2016
Arktos’s bank and PayPal accounts were seized, and the company’s web-hosting account was hacked. This occurred one day before Arktos was going to launch its new site and five days prior to its annual conference, Identitarian Ideas VIII. Fortunately, the attack became apparent as it was happening, which prompted a quick password change on all remaining sensitive accounts. The publisher was able to keep the attackers from seizing control of its distribution account as well. Upon communicating with the web host about the hack, access was restored, allowing Arktos to launch the new site on schedule. The bank and PayPal accounts, however — i.e., all of Arktos’s liquid funds — remained under the control of the putschists.
Later that day, Friberg received a blackmail letter accusing him — with no evidence other than a sloppy excel sheet containing most of the payments made to employees, consultants and for office rent etc. — of embezzling £88,000 from Arktos. The letter was signed by our former accountant, a good friend of Morgan. The blackmailers threatened with lawsuits, as well as filing reports with the Swedish, British, and Hungarian police, and demanded that Friberg immediately step down as CEO and director of the company and pay the aforementioned amount into the company’s account within 14 days or relinquish his shares (to whom?) if they were to “keep silent about it.”
This attempt at intimidation failed. Friberg confronted the accountant and his associates and forwarded their letter, complete with their fabricated “evidence of embezzlement” — for transparency purposes — to all of Arktos’s shareholders and colleagues. Friberg has remained Arktos’s CEO; he owned 56 percent — and now 82 percent — of Arktos’s stock.
September 30, 2016
Since all ticket payments for Identitarian Ideas VIII went through Arktos’s web store, Friberg had no way of accessing the funds meant to finance the conference itself. Arktos was also unable to pay its employees and translators. This was exactly what the antagonists were aiming at. This prompted Friberg to take drastic measures and use his own funds, including borrowing, to pay for all expenses for the conference, so that it could proceed as planned. Identitarian Ideas VIII was a success and had a record number of over 250 attendees — more than twice the number as compared to the year before.
At first, both Friberg and Tor Westman, Arktos’s marketing chief, believed that some kind of misunderstanding must have set off this series of events, and Friberg even attempted to reason with the accountant. With the help of Morgan’s lies, the accountant and Morgan had managed to persuade a certain shareholder — who had previously showed no interest in Arktos and therefore had no previous insight into the company’s business — that the ”embezzlement” charge against Friberg was true. Despite sending in time sheets (which Friberg and Westman were in no way obligated to do), as well as receipts that had not been sent in previously, to prove that all the accusations of embezzlement were fabricated, nothing changed.
Therefore, after delivering a speech at a conference in Hamburg, Friberg secretly took a flight to London and hired one of the best solicitors in the city to speed up the process of regaining control of the company.
With proper legal representation, regaining control of Arktos became a walk in the park. Friberg and colleagues called for two general meetings, replacing the previous, amateurish Articles of Association with proper ones adapted to the company’s needs and voted in — unanimously among all participating shareholders — a proper board of those who represent the company’s authentic interests, including Friberg’s closest colleagues, Westman and Jorjani. They regained control of the company’s PayPal account and switched to another bank, while their opponents were left sitting on an empty account of no use.
After three months of not being able to make salary or contractor payments, Arktos’ staff were finally in control of their finances and able to resume normal operations. (The publisher would like to express its deepest gratitude to everyone working for Arktos for their patience with this entire ordeal.)
Friberg discovered — through two independent sources, one being Mészáros and the other being one of the two shareholders represented by the accountant — that Morgan was the source of the embezzlement claim and other vicious rumors aimed at attacking his character. After obtaining proof of these accusations, Friberg confronted Morgan just prior to Arktos’ Identitarian Ideas IX conference. After denying everything, Morgan fled as Friberg banned him from attending the conference. The conference attracted close to 400 participants, making it one of the most popular identitarian/Alt-Right conferences in the world to date.
March 7, 2017
Now that it has become evident that Friberg, Westman, and Jorjani has regained full control of the company, and not one single shred of evidence that could be used as basis for a lawsuit has been presented, Greg contacts Friberg out of the blue, accusing him of blaming him for the attempted coup and then conveniently offers to buy all of his shares (56 % of the company) “for the right price.” Friberg replies that he would never sell even a single share to Greg and that he, on the contrary, is planning to increase his holding even further.
No police reports are filed against Friberg, and it becomes increasingly obvious that no lawsuit against him is likely to happen, despite all the aforementioned threats, even though they had nine months to prepare such a lawsuit if they had anything substantial to sue for. At this point, Arktos has already spent over £40,000 in the process of regaining control of the company — money that could have been used for worthwhile projects. As a result, Friberg gave the two shareholders a fair buyout offer. After some negotiation, they reached an agreement, with Friberg paying them more than twice the amount they had initially paid for their shares (a fair price considering how well the company has been doing). So much for Friberg “ruining people financially,” as Johnson claimed.
Johnson openly repeats the same vicious rumors and accusations previously made by Morgan against Friberg on The Right Stuff forum, additionally claiming that Friberg was collaborating with Swedish Antifa, begging the entire movement to denounce him and Arktos. Few people took him seriously, and he provided no proof of his wild accusations. It’s also important to note that Johnson and Morgan have been trying to poach Arktos’s authors and colleagues for the past year, though without success so far. (Several of them have contacted us directly about this.)
While we are in no way saying that Johnson masterminded this vicious attempt to either take over Arktos or destroy it, we are not saying that he didn’t do this either. Morgan and Johnson are, after all, business partners at Counter-Currents, and these hostile activities against Arktos coincidentally began after their partnership. Did Morgan act on his own accord, or was he doing Johnson’s dirty work to eliminate or take control over Counter-Currents’ biggest competitor? Morgan has such a passive, weak personality; it seems difficult to imagine him acting alone.
Open and honest competition between publishers only improves the Alt-Right. But this failed attempt at destroying Arktos represents the exact opposite of “friendly competition” and has no place in our movement.
— The Arktos Staff