Ben Rachinger is an ex Young National member and was a big fan of John Key. He’s a self professed computer security expert. He’s a controversial and polarising figure in social media (claims and counterclaims abound).
For some time Ben has been claiming to have been drawn in to / infiltrated the world of dirty politics. He claims to have been working as a police informant. He has been posting snippets of information on Twitter, including some supporting his claim that Cameron Slater offered him $5,000 to “hack” The Standard. He has posted snippets that show David Farrar, Cameron Slater and Matthew Hooton trying to get access to our internal author posts. He has discussed various claims with various journalists, but nothing public has resulted from it. He has claimed to have further information relating to journalists and other dirty politics players. He claims to have material that will embarrass both the “right” and the “left” of politics, and that he is disgusted by both. He has claimed that he is receiving death threats, visits from the police, and other forms of harassment.
Despite the relevance to this blog, we haven’t previously posted on Ben’s claims. It hasn’t been clear how seriously to take them, and we didn’t want to add to the many pressures that he is apparently under. Apart from a brief and inconclusive exchange between Ben and lprent on Twitter there has been no contact between Ben and The Standard authors.
Over the last two days Ben has been telling his story much more slowly and systematically, and better supported (by multiple screenshots) than he has before. There are seven “blog” posts here, with more to come. (Too long to read? Another blogger summarises here.)
Because word of Ben’s account is spreading we’re finally posting on it, but we do so without comment or endorsement at this stage. We suggest that readers not try to contact Ben. Evaluate his evidence carefully, but leave him be to tell his story in his own time. Don’t expect anything in particular. Masks and mirrors.