David Steinman

It is well known that the TPLF sometimes infiltrates or otherwise exerts influence over international organizations such as the World Health Organization and others. Is Britain’s Anglo-Ethiopian Society one such group?

The London-based society’s website states that “the object of the Society is to foster knowledge of Ethiopian culture, history and way of life and to encourage friendship between the British and Ethiopian peoples. The Society is a non political organisation.”

The website also asserts that the Society, which was formed in 1948, is “completely independent.”

Yet the Society’s attempt to suppress reading of Money, Blood and Conscience, the historical novel that graphically describes the TPLF’s crimes, calls these claims into question and suggests the possibility of TPLF influence.

Last October, the Society’s book club announced that Money, Blood and Conscience would be discussed by the group. The announcement contained false and defamatory attacks against the author, the American economist David Steinman. Mr. Steinman forced the Society to remove the libelous text. The Club’s organizer complained to Mr. Steinman that he could not understand why an American would feel such dislike for the former TPLF-controlled government. Mr. Steinman responded that one need not be Ethiopian to dislike crimes against humanity.

The announcement’s re-wording was finally negotiated, and the book club discussion remained scheduled. However, the club’s leadership took a second look at the novel’s nonfiction afterword that called for the former TPLF leadership to be charged with crimes against humanity and realized that it had changed since the first time it was read. The nonfiction afterword now contained a list of TPLF officials who should be held accountable for crimes against humanity that included World Health Organization Director-General and former senior TPLF official Tedros Adhanom. Upon the club’s discovery of the revision, it quickly announced that the book’s discussion had been canceled because Money, Blood and Conscience was not the sort of book that the Society should be encouraging people to read.

The club’s actions, especially its efforts to discourage people from reading the novel, suggest sympathy for the TPLF dictatorship.

Money, Blood and Conscience tells the story of a love affair between a Hollywood TV producer and a TPLF official during the Meles era. Former Amnesty International Director Jack Healey calls the novel’s portrayal of the TPLF dictatorship, “the most searing account of contemporary evil since Uncle Tom’s Cabin.”

The book’s nonfiction afterword formed the basis for a Dec. 1, 2020 complaint by the author to the International Criminal Court against Tedros Adhanom. News of the ICC complaint was widely publicized in the UK, including on the London Times’ front page and in the Daily Mail.


A Message from The Anglo-Ethiopian Society:

Having read the updated appendix in the latest version of the book, our book club, after much deliberation, has decided that Money, Blood and Conscience is not the sort of Ethiopia related book that the Society should be encouraging people to read. We have, therefore, decided to cancel this event.

Our next book club is on Thursday 19 November, when we will be discussing Addis Ababa Noir which is edited by Maaza Mengiste.

(Apologies for the way this message has had to be sent out, attendees were deleted from the Eventbrite listing while the email explaining that were cancelling the event was still queued for sending…)

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