The Sotis Group and Tom Sotis
After investigation and consultation with various entities, the National Committee of the SA Special Forces League (SASFL)
hereby submits a summary reply, as drawn up by Mr Mark Human, in answer to your e-mail. We will also post this on our
web site with the Wall of Shame entry.
Webmaster : recce.co.za
From: "Mark Human"
Below are replies to Mr Sotis' claims - they are in yellow:
29 September 2012
Gentlemen of the SASFL,
I am Tom Sotis, President of The Sotis Group LLC, which teaches the AMOK! methodology of edged weapons and personal protection skills.
I would like to take the opportunity to address a recent posting to the SA Special Forces League Wall of Shame that suggested I had made "...claims via several websites that they have trained, and are thus, involved with, SA Special Forces or the SA Special Forces League. Through his AMOK! Group claims of revolutionary activities are made, possibly implicating the SA Special Forces."
It is unfortunate that your statement on the Wall of Shame is incorrect. To clarify this mistake, my history of training and association with members of the SA Special Forces includes:
· Firstly, through their websites, Mr Sotis and the Sotis Group clearly lists the South African Special Forces as "clients", implying his group is or has been service providers to the South African Special Forces. Neither Mr Sotis, The Sotis Group or it's affiliates have ever been registered as service providers to any arm of the South African Special Forces or the SA National Defense Force.
· In his response, Mr. Sotis has not addressed his claims of facilitating and training members of rebel groups in Libya.
· Assisted by Mark Human and Lt Col Ian Jansen van Rensburg (retired), I led training for members of the SA 5th Special Forces Regiment in Phalaborwa in 2000. I have attached photos taken during training, outside the training area, and in front of the SF sign.
· Mark and I also trained members of the SA 4th Special Forces on an island (Langebaan?). We were not allowed to take photos of training but I attached the photo we took on the dock and a photo of the sign for the 4th Regiment. These were taken on film of which I still have the negatives that proves when we were there.
Both of these sessions were presentation and evaluations sessions. At the time of his visit to both Phalaborwa and Langebaan units in 2000, Mr. Sotis was a guest of Mark Human and Kelee in South Africa,
who never listed the SA Special Forces in any form of Public marketing and would not do so without their express permission. They also never realized that having Mr Sotis, as their guest, would make such claims. We were at that stage guests of the SA Special Forces, who provided us the privilldege of showcasing some edged weapon skills for evaluation.
It was not until ten years later that Mark Human, as an employee of a registered service provider with a service provider number, through another company (not at all affiliated to The Sotis Group), - had the honor of providing a formal training workshop to The South African Special Forces and hope to do so again in the future. You will not find any web marketing claims in this regard.
Beyond the photo evidence, if you wish to further verify these facts, you need look no further than your own people.
You can confirm this with General Rudman, who twice came to my seminars and gave me a satchel and SF letter opener as gifts before I went to Phalaborwa. I attached a photo of myself with General Rudman.
Mark's father, Major Hans Human, a 35+-year veteran of the SASF can attest to the training we provided. I was very honored to stay in Major Human's home for 10 years in a row whenever I worked in SA.
As far as Major Hans Human is concerned, it is through his trusted and close friendship with members of the South African Special Forces that Mr Sotis, as a guest of his family, was introduced to members of the South African Special Forces. Hans Human is not a SA Special Forces member as Mr. Sotis states in his letter, but is a proud veteran of 3 Parachute Battalion. I am sure he would not have expected Mr Sotis to falsely claim the South African Special Forces as being one of his clients. In fact, Hans Human was the person who invited General Rudman and his son to the open public workshops hosted by Mark and Kelee, before we travelled to Phalaborwa to do an evaluation and demonstration. There was no payment of any kind for these events from the SA Special Forces.
To Clarify, we did presentations in 2000 in Langebaan and Palahborwa with Tom Sotis, but these were simply evaluation presentations. This did not qualify the SA Special Forces as clients or part of any formal training program. Although we were honoured to be there, we distance ourselves from claims of having the SA Special Forces
as a client that stage. Formal training for the SA Special Forces never materialised under the banner of the Sotis Group.
As well, LtCol Ian Jansen van Rensburg (retired) trained with AMOK! since the very first year (1998) assisted me in training I have provided to the SASF and gave me a significant item of SF memorabilia which I still cherish with pride. Ian is pictured with me outside the 5th SF Regiment.
I fully understand and respect the sensitivities surrounding protecting the name, history, honor and integrity of your members and the South African Special Forces League - values that I also espouse.
I can prove every claim on my website and my reference to having trained the South African Special Forces is a statement of fact.
As for Mr Sotis proving every claim on his website:
· Firstly proof of being a service provider can easily be verified by Mr Sotis, he could simply provide his official service provider number and details.
· Although not directly related to the SA Special Forces Wall of Shame entry, Mr Sotis has made various claims about training and having various clients that are blatantly untrue. Many of these, he cannot even provide a contact person or dates because he was never there.
-SA Police Service - who are currently conducting their own inquiry
-South African Metro Police - (never been there)
-Maritime Reaction Squadron (MRS) - which only came into existence in 2008. Mr Sotis or the Sotis Group has never made contact with any of their members or visited their facilities
-Mountain Men Security services Mr Allan Dillon, who is the owner of the Mountain Men, has never met Mr Sotis. And has written to confirm this in an email. He will be happy to confirm this in person.
-South African Executive Protection Services??????
Nevertheless, I also recognize that at times errors can happen, and I ask that you remove me from your Wall of Shame as soon as practicable.
Thank you for taking the time to investigate and confirm these facts.
Yours in training,
· There is no error on the part of the South African Special Forces League. There is no record of Mr Sotis that qualifies the South African Special Forces or SANDF as one of his clients, as listed on his websites. No service provider number was ever registered. If there is any error, it was Mr Sotis taking liberties and using semantics and expanding the truth to justify these claims.
· Doing a presentation and providing and introduction of your skills hardly implies you are a trainer for the SA Special Forces Units.
· Having a member of the SA Special Forces as guests at public workshops does not qualify as you as having been a service provider to the SA Special forces.
· In his response, Mr. Sotis has not addressed his claims of facilitating, training members of rebel groups in Libya. This is something that few companies or organizations even through association would appreciate
being linked to.
· As far as justifying everything on his websites, the "clients" in South Africa many have not had Mr Sotis provide them with training, registered as a service provider or in many cases never even met them.
· Mr Sotis has also abused the trust, good faith and hospitality of others to pad his CV and market his companies, often without the knowledge of the people, organizations or companies he lists or documents them as clients.
Wall of Shame >