Wife Arielle Silverstein: Sponsoring Hate
Silverstein channels her antireligious extremism through financial support of her husband, blogger Tony Ortega
Arielle Silverstein, employee of the United Nations, went to great lengths in 2012 to scrub the Internet clean of her fanatical antireligious postings attacking Muslims, Jews, Christians, Scientologists and those of other religions.
But, she was too late.
Silverstein, operating under the cover of aliases, had aimed her most provocative posts at Muslims. “Your Ayatollahs are crazed lunatics,” she lashed out, as “Bozuri,” in May 2011. Well aware that depictions of Mohammed are offensive to Muslims and can inflame violent reactions, she posted in support of the upcoming anti-Muslim “Draw Mohammed Day” set for May 20, adding: “It makes me mad that the Muslim world reacts so violently to any stick figure named Mohamed.”
— ARIELLE SILVERSTEIN
The next year—mid her workday at the UN on Tuesday, May 15, 2012—Silverstein posted under a pseudonym: “I’m planning on committing the crime of blasphemy on #[Draw]MohammedDay, May 20. It’s good not to be living in Kuwait, Afghanistan or Saudi Arabia.” She reposted a link to a caricature lampooning the Islamic prophet, then taunted the next day: “Muslims appear to be particularly thin-skinned.”
Silverstein, who calls herself a Jewish atheist, showed herself to be a hard-line bigot, which explains her willingness to prop up husband and fellow atheist Tony Ortega’s antireligious fanaticism.
The two met in July 2011 in New York, several months after Silverstein joined the hate collective known as Anonymous in which Ortega had been entrenched for several years.
Known by then to law enforcement as a cyberterrorist organization, Anonymous had mounted hate campaigns against multiple religions as well as government agencies and corporations. Tactics ranged from spreading obscenities and degraded imagery to conducting massive cyberattacks to render websites inaccessible. Members infested the Internet with postings encouraging suicide and murder, and engaged in more conventional forms of harassment including bomb threats and vandalism. The group mindset was reflected in a manifesto statement: “Right or wrong? No. We destroy for destruction’s sake.”
Silverstein joined an Anonymous forum under the alias of “Bozuri,” announcing: “[I] like nothing more than explaining to religious people why I dislike God.” In racist and antireligious postings, she went on to name-call the religiously devout, including “Hispanic preachers” as “wackos” and “crazy,” ultra-Orthodox Jews as “cults,” and Christians as “Suckers!”
Silverstein went further in her loathing of Christians, posting a visual comparison of Christ with the exposed backend of a dog—this one under the name of Arielle Sarai, on her father’s Facebook page.
Influenced by then boyfriend Tony Ortega, Silverstein also involved herself in Anonymous attacks on the Church of Scientology and promoted the local New York Anonymous website, the since-removed Motherf—kery.org. The site carried videos of Anonymous members harassing Scientologists outside their Church in Manhattan.
“I love NY anons,” Silverstein wrote of their videos, in which extremists hurled hate speech at individuals, insulting them as “ugly,” “fat,” “stupid asshole” and more evocative abuses, such as, “You should liposuction on your f—kin’ stupid face.”
That was the mildest from the “NY anons” Silverstein loved. They also launched a fusillade of highly pornographic insults at Church members (“I’d like to blow my load all over your cheekbones” as one of the least graphic examples) and chanting “Suck our d—ks.”
“Personally I sort of like how they make me laugh, gag and blush all at the same time,” posted Silverstein, who participated in at least one of the vulgar, antireligious harassment events, as did Tony Ortega.
“I do like them, I’m very friendly with some of them,” Silverstein stated in another post in support of her alter egos in NY Anonymous, further remarking that their repeated record of attacking the Church was “absolutely incredible.”
Silverstein was reported to her UN employer for inciting bigotry from within UN HQ walls in express violation of UN policy. She reportedly managed to pass off her incendiary antireligious posts and images as “jokes.” At the time, in a case of the proverbial fox in the henhouse, Silverstein was in a position to gain immunity from her serious violations of UN staff rules: She was working in the UN’s Management Evaluation Unit—the body charged with reviewing internal discipline of UN staff.
Silverstein’s “jokes” included her commentary about what she called Motherf—kery’s “sweet and gentle” Christmas message. She was referring to a harassment picket where members of NY Anonymous gathered outside the Church of Scientology in Manhattan during the holiday season with the stated intention of “pushing cult members one step closer to suicide.”
That was Tony Ortega’s girl. They married in 2013.
Silverstein has since propped up her unemployed husband, a stay-at-home blogger, with her six-figure UN salary and family money. When she met Ortega and became an anti-Scientology source for him, he was at Village Voice Media (VVM) and already notorious as chief defender and victim-shamer for Backpage.com, VVM’s classified ads site that was a vast cesspool of online child sex trafficking. Since then, he champions antireligious extremists and shames the devout, using false propaganda to create a climate where harassment and crimes can be conducted against individuals with impunity.
Silverstein has reportedly channeled more than her money to her husband. Ortega’s attorney, Scott Pilutik, described her as “a power behind the throne...his tireless researcher and significant other, Arielle.”
— ORTEGA CRITIC, NOVEMBER 2020
According to individuals formerly in Ortega and Silverstein’s circle, Silverstein carried on with other aliases to channel her bigotry and harassment. “Somebody needs to tell Tony Ortega’s wife to stay the f—k out of other people’s lives,” posted one Ortega critic in November 2020. “I literally hate her for reasons like her sock accounts she likes to obsessively troll for Tony.”
It is unlikely Silverstein plans to stop. Apparently, channeling her antireligious fanaticism through Tony Ortega is money well spent.