Bali Discovery Tours – The “shining” example?
By Bali BS News
Jul 27, 2005, 00:56
This is a first of several reports, analysis and comment on Balinese tour and travel agent PT Bali Discovery Tours and their American CEO John Millard Daniels AKA Jack Daniels. Bali Discovery Tours operate several web sites, including balidiscovery dot com (hotels, tours, etc.) and balimice dot com (conferences, etc.). But this is no normal review of someone doing business in Bali, it highlights the dark side rather than the shining example Jack Daniels would have you believe they operate as. We do not say Mr. Daniels / Bali Discovery Tours are alone in how they do business to the detriment of others in Indonesia. But as they are fairly prominent and extone self piety to the industry and even mankind, it is only proper perhaps we have the details we need to use them as an example of what goes on in Bali’s businesses.
Bali Discovery Tours make themselves sound very good on “paper” (or rather the Internet). Their web sites boast they are “bricks and mortar” in Bali itself, a true Balinese company. That Jack Daniels has received the reportedly prestigious Adikarya Wisata award, “the highest award in tourism from the Indonesian Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture.” Bali Discovery sends out a weekly ezine in which it claims Time Magazine describes them as “The Truth Ministry”; along with boasts of more accolades from other editorials. Finally, their web site declares they have a “responsible tourism” approach to the way they operate, including conforming with all laws and doing what is right for everyone.
Squeaky clean? A pillar of community? Stalwart friend of the traveler?
Have we got news releases for you! This is just the first. Our later releases will show just how nastily Mr. Daniels & co acted against some villas that did not want anything to do with him or his company, how Mr. Daniels seems to have vastly over-rated even over-stated his credentials, how evidence indicates Mr. Daniels worked illegally in Indonesia for many years, how Bali Discovery Tours almost certainly misrepresents the security they provide for their customers’ prepaid accommodation money, and even how clear evidence exists to indicate Mr. Daniels is clinically insane and therefore lawfully unable to operate a company in Indonesia.
But here is our first news story; “Is it jail time soon for Jack”?
Jack Daniels and PT Bali Discovery Tours are the subject of ongoing court action in the USA by one Mr. Mark Austin, a director of an English travel company who accuses Mr. Daniels et al of publishing libelous statements about him on their Bali Discovery dot com web site. Still there, at the time of writing this article for everyone to see, Mr. Daniels published that Mark Austin was the subject of criminal charges. In other words, that Mark Austin is a criminal; although we understand no criminal charges have been filed against Mr. Austin to this day. So surely it should be an easy matter for Mr. Austin to sue American Jack Daniels in an American court for a clear defamation he published about Mark in American English and on a web server in the USA right?
The answer is “No”, and it becomes more ironic as we proceed with this story. You see, Jack Daniels’ defense is not that he is innocent nor that he has a claim to counter sue Mr. Austin. No, Mr. Daniels’ defense and the reason it is difficult for Mr. Austin to bring Jack to justice is that Mr. Daniels claims a US court does not have jurisdiction over what he published about Mr. Austin while he (Mr. Daniels) was in Indonesia. This is despite International precedents allowing defamation cases to be heard where the defamed person can show damage to their business and / or reputation, and where the defamer has either assets and / or an address. Well, Mr. Daniels has assets in the USA, his web site and domain names. And certainly Mr. Daniels’ words in American English on an American web server caused Mr. Austin loss of reputation in the USA. The problem comes from the fact that the USA has not yet adopted the International precedents governing defamation as other countries have.
The irony of all this comes from the fact Mr. Daniels is actually also claiming defamation / libel against Mr. Austin, but of a different kind and at a different venue, and which shows Mr. Daniels plays a very duplicitous game. This may start to sound like a Benny Hill sketch but hang on! You see, Jack Daniels has filed a complaint of criminal libel (as opposed to a civil court claim) with the Balinese police against Mark Austin! What for? For naming Jack Daniels as the person who is making police complaints against him! Head spinning? Oh well, you best sit down with a strong coffee before carrying on! We will go into this part about why Jack says what Mark published is criminal libel in another news release. But, by Mr. Daniels going to the Balinese police and claiming that Mark Austin should be investigated by them for something he (Mark Austin) published outside Indonesia, in English, on a Canadian based web server, Jack Daniels has made a nonsense of his own defense in the USA; and of Mr. Daniels’s own personal legitimacy. You see, he is claiming what Mr. Austin publishes has mobile jurisdiction, in that it should be heard in another country to where the alleged defamation was published. Yet Jack Daniels claims Mr. Austin’s claim against him has static jurisdiction, in that it can only be heard in the country in which it was published. Got it?
But didn’t we say that there are International precedents to perhaps allow Indonesian police to claim jurisdiction? Not in Mark Austin’s case, as he has no asset or address in Bali, and what he published he did so outside Indonesia, on web servers also outside Indonesia and in English, not in Bahasa Indonesian; which destroys any and all possible claim to Indonesian jurisdiction. And anyway, the Balinese police actually stated in an official investigation file regarding Mark Austin that they had no jurisdiction! But that is another story for another day as to why the Balinese police still act against Mark Austin at the bequest of Jack Daniels, even when they know they shouldn’t.
The real question is though, why Jack Daniels as an American does not want to go to court in the USA, but is happy to go to the police and judiciary in Bali! We think most people can work that one out given what we report elsewhere here about justice, or rather the lack of it in Bali through corruption, collusion and nepotism. You see the worst thing that could happen to Jack Daniels in the USA is if Mark Austin wins his jurisdiction claim, as this would force Mr. Daniels to either pay up or counter-sue (for the alleged libel Mark Austin committed against him). The problem therein for Jack Daniels is that Mark says he is only being “investigated” by the Balinese police because Jack Daniels colluded with, probably paid the police to do this. So if he (Jack Daniels) counter-sues Mark Austin in the USA, Mark can legitimately turn his defense against that counter-claim into a de facto / proxy case to prove Jack Daniels worked through collusion with the police! Coffee finished yet?!
OK, the bottom line is that if Jack loses the jurisdiction battle, he would either have to concede defeat with presumably heavy penalties for compensation to Mr. Austin, or would have to counter-sue and risk a US judge ruling in Mr. Austin’s favour, dismissing Mr. Daniels’ counter claim on the basis that he (Jack Daniels) clearly did collude with corrupt Balinese police officers. Mr. Austin seems to have more than sufficient evidence to prove this unlawful collusion, but of course he lacks official endorsement to date as he can hardly succeed in an Indonesian court because Mr. Daniels has undue influence within what is clearly a corrupt judiciary within Indonesia. But if Mr. Austin gets a US court ruling in his favour which dismisses Mr. Daniels’ counter claim because Jack Daniels clearly did collude with corrupt Balinese police officers to act against Mark Austin, then Mr. Daniels and his police officer “friends” would almost certainly go to jail. That is because Mr. Austin could then file the US court decision with the Indonesian Presidential Commission into Corruption Reduction for Indonesia as a prima facie (pre-proven) case. Now do you see?
God Bless your native USA huh Jack? Watch this space!
PS Mark Austin has now filed a complaint with the corruption commission in Jakarta against the Balinese police and Jack Daniels. Interestingly, the police officer who might be the subject of most of the commission’s attention is none other than the Cyber Crime’s Unit Chief (Kanit) Mr. Tri Kuncoro, the very same police officer the commission have already agreed to investigate over the Candi Internet affair!