Poor PETA. After months, if not years, of harassing and telling outright lies about SeaWorld, the group is up in arms for having an infiltrator in their midst. According to the UK Guardian, People for the Extortion, Torture and Abuse of human beings (PETA) is accusing the theme park of paying for an employee named Paul McComb (who went by Thomas Jones) to infiltrate their organization to spy and provoke its members to conduct acts of sabotage.
While involved in their harassment activities, Jones is alleged to have said he would burn Sea World to the ground. Jones also tried to recruit PETA activists to join him on draining Sea World’s new tanks so new aquatic animals couldn’t be put in them. During July of last year, Thomas Jones also suggested: Grab your pitch forks and torches. Time to take down SeaWorld. What raised suspicions about him is when PETA senior vice president Lisa Lange and he were arrested during a protest. Jones was released without being charged and was gone before the others were let out.
SeaWorld’s vice-president of corporate communications Fred Jacobs did not deny Paul McComb was part of a security operation to infiltrate PETA for Sea World but stated that:
Peta itself actively recruits animal rights activists to gain employment at companies like SeaWorld, as this job posting demonstrates. Safety is our top priority, and we will not waiver from that commitment.
Jacobs also said that animal rights groups have become even more extreme in their rhetoric and tactics and that the safety of the park employees and its customers is something SeaWorld takes very seriously. What is laughable is Lisa Lange also accusing SeaWorld of dirty tricks when her group is infamous for getting their people hired into animal-related theme parks and even slaughter houses and illegally film company activities involving animal treatment. Many times the groups will intentionally alter the videos to make companies look bad.
In the case of SeaWorld, around the beginning of the year PETA filed a complaint with the US Department of Agriculture against SeaWorld after a veterinarian claimed he discovered injuries on whales and dolphins that are held in captivity at the theme park. Another complaint filed by PETA requested the USDA investigate whether SeaWorld killer whales were getting sunburned while being cared for. PETA also urged the federal bureaucracy investigate interactions between them park patrons and animals alleging a child was bitten by an dolphin at SeaWorld’s San Antonio location. None of these allegations were found to be true.
Animal rights groups have always been critical of the theme parks like SeaWorld and circuses because they use captive animals to entertain people. PETA ratcheted up their harassment campaign against the theme park after the release of a documentary named Blackfish that put SeaWorld’s practices in an extremely bad light. But after all of the harassment PETA conducts on SeaWorld I find it laughable that the group would get upset at being infiltrated since SeaWorld decided to use the same tactics PETA uses. In short, karma can be a bitch.