SCL Group

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Go through this lot, double-check, and fit in.

  • Apr.21.2018: Price comparison site data may have been used by Leave.EU. Brittany Kaiser, ex-director of Cambridge Analytica told parliament last week that she believed the Leave.EU campaign, headed by Nigel Farage and bankrolled by Arron Banks, may have breached data protection laws by using people’s private information without consent. She said she had seen with her “own eyes” how Leave.EU had apparently targeted customers of Eldon Insurance – owned by Banks – using their private data to promote anti-Europe messaging. a “subject access request” submitted to Eldon has revealed that it holds data not just on its own customers, but also on people who have submitted a query to a price comparison website (PCW), which involves them agreeing to the site’s privacy terms. Such a request has revealed that personal details from a car insurance query to the PCW Moneysupermarket were passed to Eldon and held in its database. The data included name, date of birth, address, email address, details of friends and family and telephone number. In its last annual report, Moneysupermarket said that it held data on 24.9 million people – or about half the British electorate. Linkback: Data Privacy Carole Cadwalladr, The Guardian.
  • Apr.08.2018: Why the Kremlin is funding Europe’s far right and the links to Number 10. Europe needs to also face up to the threat that the Kremlin, and elements of the Russian Mafia and oligarchs that Putin represents, have deliberately funded extreme right wing and Eurosceptic causes in order to weaken the European Union. This is in order to consolidate Russian domination of Europe’s gas and oil industries, which has also been a motive behind Russian war crimes in Chechnya, Crimea and Donbas. If this is true then Cambridge Analytica’s parent company Strategic Communications Laboratories, whose shareholders have also financed the Tory Party to the tune of hundreds of thousands, and whose executives now hold key positions in Theresa May’s government, have directly colluded with a hostile power against the national interest of Britain and other European States. Roger Gabb, David Cameron, Robert Mercer, Internet Research Agency. On Mar.16.2018, as the extent of SCL’s connection to the Tory Party began to be revealed and raids on SCL’s offices in Mayfair were being prepared, the company reconstituted itself as Emerdata, Ltd. This was shortly after Kremlin funding to the nationalist, ultra right Eurosceptic Alternative for Germany and Marine Le Pen’s Front National, via the First Czech Russian Bank was exposed by BBC’s Panorama. Roger Cottrell, The London Economic.
  • >> Mar.28.2018: The Cambridge Analytica Whistleblower Wanted His New Company To Work With Trump Campaign’s Manager. "We have developed a series of algorithms that can predict the personality traits of individual voters by analyzing their voterfile, social, online and consumer data.” Christopher Wylie, the Cambridge Analytica cofounder, The following year that company Eunoia Technologies. Emails from 2014 show that Eunoia possessed a database of more than 50m Facebook profiles at the time. That same information are now being scrutinized following reports by the New York Times and the Observer that Cambridge Analytica improperly acquired it from a company called Global Science Research (GSR), which originally collected it for academic purposes. Ryan Mac, BuzzFeed News.
  • Apr.08.2018: Why the Kremlin is funding Europe's far right and the links to Number 10. The Kremlin, and elements of the Russian Mafia and oligarchs that Putin represents, have deliberately funded extreme right wing and Eurosceptic causes in order to weaken the EU, in order to consolidate Russian domination of Europe’s gas and oil industries, which has also been a motive behind Russian war crimes in Chechnya, Crimea and Donbas.
    If true, then Cambridge Analytica’s parent company Strategic Communications Laboratories, whose shareholders have financed the Tory Party to the tune of hundreds of thousands, and whose executives now hold key positions in Theresa May's govt, have directly colluded with a hostile power against the national interest of Britain and other European States.
    During the Brexit vote, as during the Trump vote in the US, Cambridge Analytica was headed by Steve Bannon, close contact of both Nigel Farage and Robert Mercer.
    In a video now deleted from Bannon’s far right, divisive fake news Breitbart website, Farage thanks the former Donald Trump chief strategist and his Breitbart website for their invaluable help with securing the Brexit vote in the EU rerefendum (video).
    Since 2004, Gabb (who was fined for illegal pro-Leave adverts during the EU referendum), has donated a total of £707,000 to the Conservatives. Gabb made massive donations to the Tories when David Cameron's govt were deciding to hold the Brexit referendum in the first place. ref, ref
    Robert Mercer, who owns SCL, is also connected to several right wing extremists including Nigel Farage and Steve Bannon, now a key strategist for fascist leader Marine Le Pen in France (couldn't find any news re this). Mercer also provides the link between these right wing forces and the deeply sinister Russian oligarch, Yevgeny Viktorivitch Prigozhin, known to the Russian media as "Putin’s Chef". Prigozhin bankrolls the Internet Research Agency, to a tune of £1.25m. Based in St Petersburg, this is the troll farm which mass-produces right-wing, anti-EU, pro-Russia propaganda on issues such as immigration, which is then disseminated on social media. Prigozhin’s private army WagnerWikipedia-W.svg is involved in war crimes in the Crimea, Donbas and Syria. This suggests a strategic connection between Putin's support for Europe's extreme right, his war crimes in the Crimea, Donbas and Syria, and efforts to control Europe's Gas and Oil markets through the contrived destruction of the EU.
    On Mar.16.2018, as the extent of SCL's connection to the Tory Party began to be revealed, and raids on SCL's offices in Mayfair were being prepared, the company reconstituted itself as Emerdata Ltd. This was shortly after Kremlin funding to the nationalist, ultra-right Eurosceptic Alternative for Germany and Marine Le Pen's Front National, via the First Czech Russian Bank was exposed by BBC's Panorama BBC Panorama, Youtube.
    The Russian oil giant Lukoil was talking to Cambridge Analytica about such work around the time CA was purchased by Robert Mercer (through SCL) in 2014 ref. Lukoil is currently in a strategic cooperation agreement with Gazprom, which is scheduled to last between 2014–2024, on oil and gas production in the Caspian Sea. This in turn gives it a strategic interest in conflicts in Chechnya and Crimea, which is linked to Putin's objective to dominate the European Gas and Oil market. It has additionally led to deals with the French govt, which may explain its initial reluctance, along with that of Donald Trump's, to explicitly condemn Putin over the Skripal poisonings in Salisbury. The economic and geo-strategic objective of the Putin govt to dominate Europe's gas and oil industry goes to the heart of its divide-and-rule support for European right-wing movements and Brexit. Roger Cottrell, The London Economic.
  • Mar.27.2018: Why the Cambridge Analytica scandal could be much more serious than you think. Officers of the Information Commission Office raided the headquarters of #Cambridge Analytica in London. After #Christopher Wylie, Cambridge Analytica's whistleblower, hitherto business development director Brittany Kaiser at Cambridge Analytica, has made important disclosures linking the company to Leave UK, founded by Nigel Farage. The official Vote Leave campaign headed by Boris Johnson and Michael Gove had identical and parallel connections to the Canadian company #Aggregate IQ set up by Cambridge Analytica’s parent company, #Strategic Communications Laboratories (SCL), a hitherto govt and NATO defence contractor owned by Robert Mercer and involved in psychological warfare. A further whistle blower called #Shahmir Sanni has revealed that 40% of Vote Leave’s budget of £6.8m was paid to AIQ and how money was moved between different entities and organizations to enable them to exceed officially sanctioned spending on the campaign.
    Both Sanni and Wylie have also confirmed that the harvested information has been shared with Kremlin linked entities. These could include the Internet Research Agency troll farm in St Petersburg, accused by Robert Mueller and the US Supreme Court of manipulating the Trump vote in the US. With a budget of approximately $1.25m, the Internet Research Agency is mostly funded by oligarch Yevgeny Viktorovich Prigozhin, linked to the 3 state-run TV networks in Russia and known by the Russian media as "Putin's Chef". Prighozin, who held clandestine meetings with Robert Mercer in the Virgin Islands during the Trump Presidential Campaign, also has a major interest in Wagner Group, the corporate mercenary army implicated in war crimes in Donbas, Crimea and Syria.
    A source close to Skripal has said he was investigating collusion between the Internet Research Agency, AIQ, Cambridge Analytica and its parent company, SCL.
    At no point has Boris Johnson, who was connected to SCL through Vote Leave, and whose party received £860,000 in donations from Russian oligarchs, connected the attempted murders in Salisbury to what it was that Skripal was investigating. Amidst all the diplomatic expulsions and sanctions that count for nothing, neither Johnson nor his govt made any effort to seize the assets of Putin-supporting oligarchs in the UK and British Overseas territories. Nor has he addressed the toxic relationship between these oligarchs and the feral British financial networks exposed by the Panama Papers, that forms the background to these murderous activities.
    When SCL was founded with Robert Mercer’s backing in 2005, funded SCL directly and through two investment vehicles. One of these was Herriot, Ltd., and the second a family trust fund. However, even as both Cambridge Analytica and SCL come under official scrutiny it seems that both companies may be dissolved at the same time as those behind it shift to a new mysterious company. They are joined by the daughters of billionaire Robert Mercer at Emerdata Ltd.. Emerdata, Business Insider points out, shares an address at Canary Wharf with SCL and is listed as a "data processing, hosting, and related activities" company. Not only is Nix on the board of directors, together with fellow CA and SCL insider Julian Wheatland but so, too, is Johnson Chun Shun Ko, an Executive for the Frontier Service Group, a private mercenary army led by Erik Prince who founded the controversial Blackwater in South Carolina in the 1990s. Having been forced to surrender control of Blackwater to Cofer Black, late of the CIA’s Counter Terrorism Committee, following a wave of scandals to 2007, Prince established a de facto Foreign Legion run by the govt of the United Arab Emirates. He was also a key donor to the Make America Number 1 PAC, in support of Donald Trump, during the Presidential election campaign.
    Steve Bannon, who ran Cambridge Analytica during Trump's Presidential Campaign, then tried to influence Trump to replace US troops with mercenary contractors in Afghanistan, where Prince already has a history of involvement. Steve Bannon is now a key strategist for Kremlin-funded French far right Front National leader Marine Le Pen.
    By shape-shifting into Emerdata, Ltd., SCL and CA may also be trying to conceal just how closely it has been tied, and continues to be tied to both the Cameron and May govts up to and including the present. Sir Geoffrey Pattie, as an example, had been both a Defence and Industry Minister under Cameron while connected to SCL. In particular, and perhaps significant given Erik Prince’s new connection to Emerdata Ltd., Pattie worked for the Brexit-supporting Liam Fox in promoting military privatisation. Julian Wheatland as Chair of SCL, was photographed with Cameron during his 2015 election campaign and is now on the board of Emerdata Ltd. Most significant of all, the Ludlow-based Brexit-supporting Roger Gabb, who was a significant shareholder in SCL, became the biggest donor to the Tory Party in history when, from 2004, he paid £707,000 to the Conservative Party. This raises questions as to why Cameron offered the Brexit referendum in the first place and why May, who claims to have opposed Brexit, insists that "Brexit means Brexit" even though it will be an unmitigated disaster for the UK. It also raises questions as to whether SCL helped the Tories win their elections in 2015 and more recently. Theresa May denies any direct dealings with SCL. Yet a significant number of SCL connected individuals now work for the May govt... Roger Cottrell, The London Economic.
  • May.14.2017: New fun fact. UKIP's general secretary, Matthew Richardson, also happens to be the Mercers' lawyer. So @LeaveEUOfficial tells me. "Andy Wigmore also said that Mercer had been "happy to help" and Cambridge Analytica had given its services to the campaign for free. It was the general secretary of UKIP, a lawyer called Matthew Richardson, who effected the introduction to CA. Wigmore said "We had a guy called Matthew Richardson who'd known Nigel Farage for a long time, and he's always looked after the Mercers. The Mercers had said that here's this company that we think might be useful." @CaroleCadwalla, Twitter. See the rest of this thread.

Fit this lot into the timeline

  • SCL Elections, later renamed to Cambridge Analytica
    • Sophie Schmidt (daughter of Google chairman Eric Schmidt) worked for SCL Elections (date??)
  • AggregateIQ (AIQ)
    • Zack Massingham
    • Intellectual Property owned by Robert Mercer
  • Most of the £625,000 donation went to a Canadian data company called AggregateIQ, which has links to #Cambridge Analytica, the firm that used harvested Facebook data to build a political targeting system in the US. Christopher Wylie, the former CA employee turned whistleblower, said that at the time of the referendum, the Canadian firm was operating “almost as an internal department of Cambridge Analytica”. AIQ would eventually soak up about a third of all Vote Leave's official spending, receiving £2.7m from the group in addition to the money that came via BeLeave. The firm also received £100,000 from Veterans for Britain and £32,750 from the DUP. After the referendum, Dominic Cummings stated on AIQ’s website: “Without a doubt, the Vote Leave campaign owes a great deal of its success to the work of Aggregate IQ. We couldn't have done it without them".
  • Alexander Nix set up Cambridge Analytica to work in America, with investment from US hedge fund billionaire Robert Mercer.[1]
  • Apr.12.2018: Cambridge Analytica rips and replaces acting CEO. Cambridge Analytica announced late yesterday that its acting CEO Alexander Tayler - who has been in post since 21 March - was stepping down. Tayler took over after Old Etonian Alexander Nix was caught on camera discussing honey traps, bribes and more with people who turned out to be undercover Channel 4 presenters. he has been replaced by Julian Wheatland, the chairman of SCL Group, the parent of Cambridge Analytica and various other international companies. (links to current directors). Rebecca Hill, The Register.


Julian Wheatland

  • Chair.

He joined the board as a representative of the Vincent and Robert Tchenguiz brothers, who made a fortune from property investments. For 10 years, Vincent was SCL's largest shareholder with 24%, via his company Consensus Business Group;[2] he donated £21,500 to the Conservatives in 2009–2010.

Nigel Oakes

Founder and CEO of SCL. Has links to the British royals, and was once rumoured to be an MI5 spy. Oakes had previously set up a company called Behavioural Dynamics which made many similar claims as SCL about its ability to influence voters. In 2000, it worked for the Indonesian president, reportedly without great success. In Jul.2017, Nigel Oakes changed his country of residence from England to the UAE.[3]

Alexander Nix

CEO of Cambridge Analytica

Catherine Nix

Alexander's mother; she is a major shareholder in SCL Group.

Roger Michael Gabb

Father of Rollo Gabb. He is a wine entrepreneur, and was a founding director of SCL, when he was named as a shareholder, as was the Glendower Settlement Trust which is linked to him and his wife.[4] He remains on the board with a major shareholding of 25+%. He is a former British special forces officer in Borneo and Kenya. Since 2004, he has donated £707,000 to the Conservative party, with £500,000 in 2006. He was also a campaigner for Brexit, signing letters on behalf of the campaign as a director of Bibendum Wine, and placing an advert in local newspapers. In Oct.2016 he was fined £1,000 by the Electoral Commission for failing to include his name and address in the advert.

Lord Marland

Former Conservative Party treasurer, who was David Cameron's trade envoy and minister for business, is a major shareholder both personally and through two two related investment vehicles, Herriot Limited and a family trust.[4]

Sir Geoffrey Pattie

A founding chairman. He is a former Defence minister and Trade minister under Margaret Thatcher, and Vice-chairman of the Conservative Party. He resigned as director in 2008. Pattie co-founded Terrington Management which lists BAE Systems and Lockheed Martin among its clients.[2] Geoffrey PattieWikipedia-W.svg

Gavin McNicoll

  • Director
  • Founder of counter-terrorism firm Eden Intelligence, who ran a G8 Plus meeting on Financial Intelligence Cooperation at the behest of the British govt.

Mark Turnbull

Heads SCL Elections as well as Cambridge Analytica Political Global. Spent 18 years at Bell Pottinger, heading up the Pentagon-funded PR drive in occupied Iraq, which included the production of fake al-Qaeda videos.

Jonathan Marland

Has funded SCL. Marland is a former Conservative Party Treasurer, a trade envoy under David Cameron, and a close friend of Tory election strategist Lynton Crosby.

Previous Board Members

Sir James Allen Mitchell

Former Prime Minister of then British colony St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Mitchell has been a privy counselor on the Queen’s advisory board since 1985.

Rear Admiral John Tolhurst

Former assistant director of naval warfare in the Ministry of Defence and aide de camp to the Queen.

Colonel Ian Tunnicliffe

A former strategic communications expert at the Ministry of Defence

Lord Ivar Mountbatten

Great-nephew of Earl MountbattenWikipedia-W.svg.[2]


Mar.2018The Information Commissioner's Office obtained a warrant to search Cambridge Analytica’s London offices.[5]
Mar.2018Alexander Nix was suspended pending a full, independent investigation, after Channel 4 News aired undercover footage of him discussing the company’s use of bribes, ex-spies and sex workers.[5]

Facebook suspended CA, after accusing it of receiving more than 50m Facebook profiles from social media accounts without permission.[6]

CA is under scrutiny for its work for Farage's Leave.EU campaign.
AIQ is involved in an investigation by the Electoral Commission into Vote Leave.[7]
2017Dec: The MoD signed a contract with SCL Insight for £42,000, which ended in Feb.2018.[3]

Sept: The Emirati National Media Council (UAE National Media CouncilWikipedia-W.svg) gave a $250,000 contract to a London PR firm. A chunk of this went to SCL Social for an anti-Qatar social media campaign. SCL Social is part of SCL Group.[3] Feb: The US State Department signed a contract with SCL for $500,000, to provide "research and analytical support in connection with our mission to counter terrorist propaganda and disinformation overseas". The source confirmed that "SCL, in particular SCL Defence, has done work for other parts of the US govt in the past and is a major company in the field of research and analytics".[8]

CA was hired to provide consultancy work on President Kenyatta's re-election campaign in Kenya. A source said SCL charged huge sums — billing President Kenyatta's party £10,000 for monthly tracking polls which had cost them £1,000. They "promise the world and they don’t deliver".[9]
2016May: SCL Defense received $1m (CAD) to support NATO operations in Eastern Europe targeting Russia.[10]
May: Cruz dropped out, and the Mercers shifted their alliance to Trump. The campaign hired CA, initially to help with fundraising, but later to assist with data analytics and targeting. Shortly afterwards, Steven Bannon - part-owner of CA - replaced Paul Manafort as campaign manager. Trump's campaign paid CA almost $6mn (£4.2mn).[9]
2015Spring: Consensus Business Group (Vincent Tchenguiz) sold its shareholding stake back to SCL.
Robert and Rebekah Mercer brought CA to the Ted Cruz campaign, who hired CA on the basis of their "revolutionary" software Ripon. After months had passed with no Ripon visible, it became known that the campaign was paying $millions to build non-existent technology. The Cruz team quietly sidelined CA.[11]
2014Jeff Silvester set up AggregateIQ (AIQ) with his business partner, Zack Massingham, to work on SCL and later, CA projects. "It was set up as a Canadian entity for people who wanted to work on SCL projects who didn't want to move to London."[7]

The MoD paid SCL £150,000 for the "procurement of target audience analysis".[3]

CA secured work for various political action committees, including one run by John Bolton, the new US national security adviser, and for Texas senator Ted Cruz's ill-fated presidential campaign.[9] Nix and CA helped elect Thom Tillis and Tom Cotton, and explored new clients, ideas and messages.
2013Political consultant Mark Block introduced Alexander Nix to Rebekah Mercer – the Mercer family are huge Republican donors. Long story short: the Mercers invested $15mn in a new company that would be SCL's "American" face, and Steve Bannon was given a stake plus a seat on the board. The new company "Cambridge Analytica" was incorporated on Dec.31.2013.
David Stillwell and two other researchers at Cambridge University Psychometrics Centre, published a paper on the correlations they had found in the 2007 Facebook data. Chris Wylie read it with keen interest, and approached Stillwell via a fellow faculty member Aleksandr Kogan. Stillwell eventually decided not to partner with SCL, but SCL hired Kogan instead. Kogan went on to collect around 50mn profiles from Facebook via an app, "This Is Your Digital Life",[12] and gave them to SCL. Nix could now pitch SCL as "cutting-edge".
May: The MoD contracted with SCL to carry out a pilot study codenamed Project DUCO. The goal was to test the use of Target Audience Analysis, a research methodology promoted by SCL, to "identify emerging groups, the motivations behind their formation and their likely behaviours in a given context," according to a heavily redacted evaluation carried out by Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL).[3]
2012When Mitt Romney lost the election, Alexander Nix saw an opportunity in Republican politics. He met and hired Chris Wylie.
2011With profits soaring in SCL's election division, the company focused on politics, downsizing the defence division which had previously been the backbone of the company.[9]
2010During the St Kitts and Nevis election, SCL paid a contractor £12,000 to take part in a sting where the opposition leader was offered a £1m bribe. SCL boasted of its effectiveness in casting a "huge shadow" over the opposition party "at the most sensitive time during the election". SCL also flooded the candidate Ralph Gonsalves' Google results with negative stories about "corruption, coercion, and rape" accusations.[9]
2009The MoD signed two contracts with SCL in 2009/10, for £125,000 and £40,000, for the "provision of external training".[3]
2007Alexander Nix took over SCL's elections division.
A PhD student, David Stillwell, uploaded his myPersonality quiz to Facebook, and garnered 4mn profiles.
2005SCL Group was founded by Nigel Oakes, his younger brother Alexander Oakes, Rollo Gabb and Alexander Nix,[2] with Nix and Nigel Oakes initially leading the Group. SCL planned to use pioneering techniques in psychological profiling and behavioural research to help politicians win votes, and militaries win hearts and minds.

SCL demonstrated its abilities at the Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) arms fair, and quickly built up an impressive client list, working on projects for the British and American militaries, and taking a role in a number of election campaigns.

It used a network of front companies in an apparent effort to hide the involvement of its staff in political campaigns and a "secondary payments company" to mask the source of payments to suppliers. Staff were told that it should never be used "if supplier knows us as SCL".[9]
2003Alexander Nix joined Strategic Communication Laboratories (SCL).[1]
2000The govt of Indonesian President Abdurrahman Wahid, who was struggling to contain the violence and upheaval in his country, hired Oakes to burnish his image, which involved building an elaborate media command center in Jakarta for monitoring and shaping public sentiment.
1994Oakes says he advised Nelson Mandela's African National Congress on how to prevent violence during the elections, as well as politicians in Asia, South America, and Europe.[11]
1993Strategic Communication Laboratories (SCL) began applying its behavioral-science-minded approach to public influence campaigns in the UK. SCL soon branched into politics.
1992Nigel Oakes, former Monte Carlo TV producer and ad man for Saatchi & Saatchi, was running the Behavioural Dynamics Institute, a "research facility for understanding group behaviour" and for harnessing the power of psychology to craft messages that change hearts and minds. Oakes' institute was a stalking horse for the company he would launch the following year.[11]


  1. ^ a b Cambridge Analytica boasts of dirty tricks to swing elections. Emma Graham-Harrison, Carole Cadwalladr, Hilary Osborne, The Guardian, Mar.19.2018.
  2. ^ a b c d SCL Group’s founders were connected to royalty, the rich and powerful. David Brown, The Times, Mar.21.2018.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Facebook data harvester's links to US and UK counter-extremism campaigns. Simon Hooper, Middle East Eye, Mar.24.2018.
  4. ^ a b Tory donors among investors in Cambridge Analytica parent firm. Holly Watt, Hilary Osborne, The Guardian, Mar.21.2018.
  5. ^ a b Gibson Dunn and Squire Patton Boggs lead legal line-up as UK firm takes dual role on Cambridge Analytica/Facebook scandal. Joseph Evans, Legal Week, Mar.27.2018.
  6. ^ Cambridge Analytica accused of Facebook data grab. Nicholas Hellen, The Times, Mar.18.2018.
  7. ^ a b The ties that bind Canadian data firm AIQ to Leave campaign in EU referendum. Carole Cadwalladr, Mark Townsend, The Guardian, Mar.24.2018.
  8. ^ US State Dept has deal with under-fire UK data-miner. Dave Clark, Phys.Org, Mar.20.2018.
  9. ^ a b c d e f Murky world of the Old Etonians for hire who revelled in secrecy. Billy Kenber, Oliver Wright, The Times, Mar.24.2018.
  10. ^ SCL - a Very British Coup. Liam O'Hare, Bella Caledonia, Mar.20.2018.
  11. ^ a b c Cloak and Data: The Real Story Behind Cambridge Analytica's Rise and Fall. Andy Kroll, Mother Jones, Mar.2018.
  12. ^ Aleksandr Kogan collected Facebook users' direct messages. For users who installed the app, their entire mailbox history was potentially uploaded. However, they would have been explicitly notified via a simple click-through panel listing all the permissions they were handing over. Alex Hern, Carole Cadwalladr, The Guardian, Apr.13.2018.