Yesterday (Thursday 13/7) I made some statements based on information I had received about Gourmet Hawaiian Kava. There have been a constellation of sources that have noticed what look like inaccurate claims by Gourmet Hawaiian Kava and their project on the Big Island of Hawaii. Knowing these sources to be reliable, I jumped the gun and wrote an editorial that went too far verbally in criticizing Gourmet Hawaiian Kava. However, my intention was to start a conversation about possible inappropriate relationships between a Kava testing company and this Kava vendor. I was also inquiring into allegations that he imports and improperly labels Vanuatuan Kava as Hawaiian Kava. As this inquiry expands and more information is forthcoming, I will leave it to my readers to decide what to believe. I made it clear in my statement that these were alleged infractions and never claimed that he was guilty. I didn’t libel or slander Gourmet Hawaiian Kava.
I will still move forward with starting a new forum, as I and my family received several threats from members on the current forum, including the owner of Gourmet Hawaiian Kava saying “he [meaning myself] is toast.” I don’t take these threats lightly. The threat caused me great anguish as I was promised to be “sued into oblivion.”
I do suffer from PTSD from some experiences I had in South Sudan – including seeing people including women and children raped and murdered. This was also deployed as a way of attacking me and my service to humanity. I was very saddened to see this behavior come from fellow Kava drinkers. To see war and come out of it with psychological issues is not a joke – or a tactic to be used in an online debate. It was completely inappropriate, abusive, and is currently causing me great mental anguish. I have not decided whether to take actions against the people that brought this up. Nonetheless, some of the anger and passion I put into the piece I wrote about Gourmet Hawaiian Kava stems from some of my lingering psychological issues.
My intention was not to defame anyone or cause damages to them. This has already been done by them themselves, such as when they threatened to attack another vendor with a “samurai sword” and “chop them into pieces.” Threatening to murder a competitor is hardly noble (no pun intended). Let us also not forget the extensive paper trail of attacks on the quality of others vendors’ Kava and integrity. I am hardly the only one to engage in extravagant language when it comes to the Kava world.
It is unfortunate that in this community there is so much angst. Kava is a drink of peace. However, I don’t believe it is the responsibility of myself and my family to bear the cross for the wrongdoings of members of the wider community.
And before I close, I’d like to propose a simple solution to some of the confusion. A decade or so ago, Google Earth was invented. I use Google Earth to map my own cocoa plots in Ghana, West Africa. I have to struggle with horrible resolution. The resolution in Hawaii, however, could get us right into the mosaics of heart-shaped Hiwa leaves. Gourmet Hawaiian Kava could simply show us these fields of diverse and wonderful Kava on Google Earth and the debate would be settled. So far, I haven’t been able to locate an address or area on Google Earth that shows a 20 acre, well-maintained Kava farm. I don’t always get brilliant ideas, but I feel pretty good about this one. Even a broken clock is right twice a day.
Lastly, I want to thank all of those who supported me during this time of severe mental anguish. My friends at the American Kava Association and Bula Kava House really helped talk me through my options, and my good friend and the original Kava man himself at Nakamal at Home provided great friendship.