If I took the time to address every false story concerning the The Needle or myself, then I would have no time to deal with the more important issues that most readers would rather I looked at. However, occasionally, something is written elsewhere which needs to be addressed.
Over the last nine months, I’ve become rather used to coming under attack and, in that time, I’ve been able to group these people into three categories. The first is a small group of people who will go to any lengths or depths, tell any lie, or hack any computer in their attempts to undermine and discredit me and other bloggers who take a similar view to myself with regards to child abuse in this country over the last four decades. Their aim is to drive people like myself offline and away from the debate, their motives are unclear but certainly questionable.
The second group I consider to be genuine people who have just been duped by the first group.
The third group are frankly those that should know better.
It is important to make these distinctions, though sometimes it is difficult. I mention this because the author of two blogs which have made some allegations over the weekend falls comfortably into the second category. She is a genuine person who has a long track record of campaigning against child abuse that pre-dates the Savile exposure by many years.
I first became aware of the allegation when a comment was left on the Langton House thread, it read:
“I happen to know that this has neither sanctioned, nor permitted, nor accurate, nor possible for the person named and, bullied by you, to comment.”
In the context of the thread it was clear that the ‘you’ this person was referring to was Chris Fay but the exact nature of the allegation was unclear. There were then a number of ping backs from this lady’s blog. Following these back, the allegations appeared to claim that a former resident of Langton House had been in contact with this lady and had made a number of complaints about Chris Fay and The Needle. Now, I must confess it has not been crystal clear exactly who this person believes has contacted her, but my best guess is that it is the author of Langton House: Steven’s Story.
I have tried to contact the owner of these blogs. I have left messages on both of her blogs and I have emailed her. ‘Steven’ is obviously not the former resident’s real name and I suggested that if she replied with this person’s real first name, we could then verify that the person who had contacted her was indeed ‘Steven’ and not someone pretending to be ‘Steven’. Sadly, this is one of the underhand tactics that has been employed in the past by the first malicious group of people I mentioned earlier. I must tell you that I have not received a reply to any of these attempts at contact.
Today, we have spoken with ‘Steven’ and he is understandably upset and extremely angry. He has passed this message to us
I can confirm at no time have I ever sanctioned any articles outside of The Needle and at no time have I ever been bullied by Chris Fay. I gave my permission for the article to be posted and I have never asked for it to be taken down.
For my part, I’m a little disappointed the blog owner, who as I’ve said has a long track record of campaigning against child abuse, should not have approached us to verify the story before going public. These kind of altercations do nothing to serve the interest of survivors of child abuse and only serve to achieve the ends of a small but well-organised group who appear to wish to divide genuine people and distract us from the real issues.
If this blogger is referring to someone other than ‘Steven’ then I would urge her to contact me so that we can straighten this out. At this stage I consider this entire affair to be an unfortunate misunderstanding but if another former resident has contacted her with a complaint about this blog then I hope that she would get in touch so that we can make things right as soon as possible but in all candour we can not think who else this lady may be referring to.
If there are any former residents of Langton House reading this who feel uncomfortable contacting us, for whatever reason, could I suggest that they contact DS Dudfield at Dorset Police who is investigating the goings on there.
I’d also like to make it clear that we are rarely asked to remove comments and we have never been asked to remove a post but if someone does ask us then we have always respected their wishes.
As I have said, I and this blog have been under almost constant attack for the last nine months. I hope many readers will not have been aware of that until now but it has come to a point where I think people need to be made aware, as it allows me to explain a few things. The reason why we have to moderate comments here is that there are a group of people who use many different identities and IPs who are continually attempting to post material as comments which could discredit the blog. Some are easy to spot others are not so easy. I am not the only person that moderates comments and occasionally, a comment might get through which should not have done. I would like to apologise if you see such a comment and I ask you to contact me if you see one. On the other hand, it may be that we trash a comment from a genuine person – again if this happens then please accept my apologies, if you are genuine then I’m sure you’ll understand.
Finally, I’d like to make it clear that comments are not my legal responsibility, I moderate only so as not to cause offence to any vulnerable people that visit The Needle. It is the legal responsibility of the author of each comment to ensure that they do not break criminal or civil law.