Mark Marek is the man behind the (in)famous bestgore.com, a website that gives you a peek behind the curtains of such battlegrounds as the drug war in Mexico, the various wars in the Middle East, gang wars in Latin America, and so on. Over the years, the site has also published videos featuring police brutality and racism, videos other sites have refused to feature.
In addition to this, it also publishes simply gory, bloody and otherwise disturbing content.
Below is my interview Mr. Marek.
Thanks, Mark, for taking the time!
1) Who are you? Tell us a bit about yourself!
I’m that guy on the street you wouldn’t give a second thought about if he passed by you.
2) What did you do before BestGore?
I worked for the provincial government in Alberta, Canada.
3) How did the site come to be? Who established it and how?
I established it just as I was preparing to escape the rat wheel of the corporate world and quit my job to pursue self-discovery. It all came together in my mind in just the right sequence to make sense of it and pursue it.
4) What were the early days of BG like?
Nothing too spectacular. The beginnings were humble with a lot of discouragement as I was being told over and over that it will never be successful due to the fact that there were too many similar websites out there already and the niche was dominated by websites so well established, a new one could never get ahead of them. I persevered nevertheless and added to my site what all other ones were lacking – descriptive titles and the accompanying articles containing considerable background research. It was a lot of extra work, but in the end it paid off as the readers came in ever increasing numbers, expressing appreciation for making the site about more than just graphic content.
5) How has the site changed over the years? I would imagine visitor numbers have gone up considerably.
The growth has never stopped and it is currently the most popular it’s ever been, with record user participation and interest from newcomers. Needless to say, whereas the website celebrates its 10th anniversary this month of this year, it’s gone through many changes over the decade. I myself have grown with her. I may be the founder, but I’m not a know it all. To the contrary, all I know is that I know nothing, to paraphrase Socrates. I may be the founder of Best Gore, but I learn by observing what goes on around the world the same other readers of the website do. And it’s been an ongoing learning process, which has only shown that there is so much more to learn, the process will never stop.
(from the disclaimer page of the website)
6) How is a BestGore post put together?
Best Gore has a very active user base, so a lot of the published content is submitted by the users. Of all the similar websites out there, we have and have always had the highest amount of exclusive content. I also have my own avenues for obtaining content so after the end of each day, I have more content in my hands than I could possibly publish. The rest is a matter of researching the background story and penning it all together for the use on the internet. I have my own way of putting posts together and styling them which seems to be broadly appreciated, so I have stuck with it for the decade.
7) Is there a deeper philosophy (freedom of speech, libertarian values, anti-censorship etc) behind what you do, or do you just enjoy posting the materials?
I think it’s a little bit of everything. I do enjoy posting the content as it affords me the ability to keep informed and educated on what goes on around the world. And whereas the feedback I have been receiving demonstrated without a shadow of the doubt that the material shared saves lives and contributes in countless ways to a better and safer world, the added incentive only propels me further. The philosophy of the right to freedom of expression would be meaningless without its “sister”, the right of the public to have access to information, and in particular the information of their own choosing and interest. When I was prosecuted for informing the public on what really goes on around the world, the authorities tried to take the former away from me, and the latter away from the world.
8) You have posted several videos and photos that other sites or news outlets sometimes won’t release, such as videos of police brutality and racism, etc. Do you get thanks for doing this?
I get both thanks and death threats. There are powerful people and institutions that feel threatened by me showing their true colors to such a large audience.
9) Your site famously features, among other things, beheading videos by Mexican cartels. Where do you get these videos? From the cartels themselves?
Submissions from users are anonymous. I have 10 years of unbroken record of respecting people’s privacy and anonymity. The videos are submitted and I do not ask who the person submitting them is, or what their affiliation with the participants in the video may be. I’m just a medium to deliver the message to the masses, as I respect their right to have access to information of their own choosing. I do not seek to go beyond that.
10) Having worked on BG for so many years, are you still shocked by some videos? What’s the most gruesome/otherwise memorable video you’ve ever seen?
What operating Best Gore has thought me is that there will never any lack of content to post, as there is so much violence in the world. After running for 10 years, the content shared on Best Gore so far in 2018 has been the most graphic in the website’s history. I have seen so much, there is little to still shock me, yet it still happens. I think the two recent videos of flaying in Mexico have taken their solid place among the most memorable videos so far.
11) You’ve been in trouble with the law over your site. What’s the situation with that at the moment?
After more than 3 years of persecution, I escaped Canada but was threatened with assassination by the Canadian police so am presently seeking political asylum in a neutral country.
12) Do you have any future plans for BG? (personal question: ever thought of writing a book?)
I’m far too dangerous and inconvenient for the powers that be for any mainstream publisher to consider publishing my books. That being said, don’t let the books by other seemingly dangerous and inconvenient people trick you. Those were written by controlled opposition as part of what’s known as “Limited Hangout”. Other than that, I do not have any long term plans, whether with websites or my personal life. I choose to live in the moment.
13) Is there anything you would like to add that I perhaps forgot to ask you about?
Thanks for your interest in speaking with me.
And finally, my regular questions:
14) Your top 3 books?
Lord of the Rings
Think and Grow Rick by Napoleon Hill
Body by Science by Dr. Doug McGuff
15) your top 3 films?
Lord of the Rings trilogy
16) what model phone do you use? (I’m a collector, so I always ask interesting people this question)
I have a Samsung S5 without a sim card. I use it because I have offline maps and translators on it, and it’s also became the replacement for a camera I used to always have in my pocket to take pictures with. For phone calls I have an old (nigh indestructible) pre-smart-phones Nokia, but hardly ever buy a sim card for it. Unless absolutely necessary, I restrict my communications to emails.