In September 2015, after attending fundraising and awareness events of other charities who are genuine activists and rescuers in order to find out what he needed to do, Marc Ching travelled to China, where he claimed he had never been before. He declared that he had just found out about the dog meat trade, and he was going to be the one to end it.
Even though Marc Ching claimed to be a millionaire, and his wife posted a picture of her extensive Chanel wardrobe on Facebook, Ching still set up a fundraiser to pay for his first trip to Yulin in September 2015, which eventually collected over $25,000.
He purchased a four day return air ticket for his whistlestop tour to Yulin in 2016 claiming he would rescue 1,000 dogs and shut down slaughterhouses.
Marc Ching hired companies to help create a strong and sophisticated internet presence, making up exciting stories and publishing them on the internet on established fake news sites and sites created especially for that purpose.
Marc Ching pretended to be a one man crusader, and made up stories of how he was attacked several times, and how his life was in danger at the hands of the dog meat butchers. When in fact he was their customer and everywhere he went he had an entourage including a professional film crew.
He filmed himself handing over cash – money that was donated to save dogs and care for them – to dog meat butchers so he and his crew could film them torturing and killing dogs, as in snuff movies.
Marc Ching’s organisations made the most of Instagram and other sites, creating a platform for him to indulge his narcissism, boasting he had created the anti-dog meat movement and he was going to end the dog meat trade. He crafted an image for himself, like the hero of an adventure movie, a real life Indiana Jones but not hunting treasure (although that’s effectively what he was doing) but rescuing dogs.
Marc Ching contrived to concoct a dramatic and charismatic image so that gullible men would admire him for his apparent leadership qualities, his daredevil courage and decisiveness, while gullible and naive women would also adore him for his apparent unselfishness, his kind and caring nature, and his ability to show emotion.
He cosied up to celebrities who were known to be in a position to donate large sums of money and carefully presented an image that appealed to them and to wannabes, some of whom were desperate to hobnob with celebs.
An ingenious plan that seems, to all intents and purposes, to have worked.
Except there were eyewitnesses who felt compelled to speak out about what they saw. Those witnesses even included Marc Ching’s own PA, Valarie Ianniello.
One hot afternoon, Marc Ching was waiting for a press photographer to film him taking dogs out of small cages and the photographer was late. Marc Ching refused to allow the activists to take the dogs out of the cages until the photographer arrived hours later, by which time many of the dogs had died. These were traumatized dogs that had been rescued only to die in that horrible way. He spent the time on his mobile, drinking beer in the shade, while the dogs were left in small cages on a truck in the sun. Marc Ching repeatedly point blank refused desperate pleas from the activists to let the dogs out of the cages.
Then of course there was that inconvenient telephone recording of his PA, the actress Valarie Ianniello, which revealed that far from saving 1,000 dogs, 600 or more dogs that Marc Ching dumped at a buddhist monastery before catching his plane to go home to LA without making suitable arrangements for their care, died there trapped in small cages. These dogs had been rescued and money had been kindly donated to save them. We can only imagine what they must have felt in that situation. What a horrible way to die.