A blog which tells the story of the unbelievably cruel way in which my family was treated by the Exclusive Brethren, now rebranded Plymouth Brethren Christian Church.
Learn about the kidnap of my elderly Dementia-suffering mother, the lies that we were told and the way they tried to bribe me.
We are still being treated "vindictively, maliciously and unfairly", by these people, despite their pledge to the Charity Commission to make amends for past mistakes and act with Christian compassion.
Sunday, 2 September 2018
Four Days Before Christmas, 2017 - Part 1
Firstly, my apologies for the very long time that has elapsed since I have last written. Life has become extremely busy and I have not been able to complete this blog about the injustice of my mother being taken to Australia, and held there, despite her specific wish to return home. However, a far more detailed version of what happened will be included in my book, which I hope to complete when life slows down a little.
Over the next few chapters I have documented the extreme distress to which I was subjected by an Exclusive Brethren member at the end of 2017, when I was notified of a defamation claim against me; I was being sued for something which I absolutely had not done.
I recently notified the person who tried to sue me that I intended to blog what took place, and asked if he had anything to add. A few days later I received a response from his lawyer, in which I was threatened with further court proceedings if I published “any defamatory material about my client which you may be foolish enough to post on a blog”.
I believe that freedom to tell our own personal story is a right which we all have, and so, after careful consideration, I have decided to go ahead as planned. My view is that there is no justification to pursue me through the courts once again, as I have taken great care to conceal the identity of the person concerned.
My account of events is factual, and it does not identify anyone associated with this matter in person, nor does it defame the Exclusive Brethren.
Please note that the Exclusive Brethren recently rebranded as the Plymouth Brethren Christian Church, or PBCC. Whilst I note the organisation’s name change, for the purpose of this blog, where I need to refer to this group, I will refer to it by its former name, for consistency.
I will try to keep this and the following chapters, brief and to the point; I think it is important that people know about this further injustice that took place.
“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.”
* * * * * * * * *
On Thursday 21 December 2017, when I awoke, I received an email from a legal firm in Australia, with an attached letter.
The contents of the letter advised that their client had become aware of material sent by mail to residents of an Australian street, which apparently contained grossly offensive, false and highly defamatory allegations against their client. I was put on notice that it is an offence under section 471.12 of the Commonwealth of Australia Criminal Code to use a mail service to menace, harass or cause offence, with a maximum term of imprisonment of two years, and that “my” conduct in sending this material in the mail constituted a criminal offense; it had been reported to the police, who were investigating. The letter went on to advise they had taken steps to commence defamation proceedings against me in an Australian court, in which they would be seeking substantial damages and costs.
Apart from recognising the name of their client as a member of the Exclusive Brethren, I had absolutely no idea to what the letter referred; I was very miffed.
There was no demand for me to respond by a deadline and I had not sent defamatory mail to anyone. Concluding that it must be a mistake, or some kind of scam or rogue mail, I decided to put it out of my head.
The following day, Friday 22 December, I received another email from the same legal firm in Australia. The subject heading was:
“XXXXX -v- Marion Evans in the [Australian Court], Case No: 2017/XXXXX”
As soon as I read the subject heading I realised that this was serious. This was not spam, or a mistake. Someone had issued court proceedings against me.
The email had two pdf documents attached.
The first was a letter informing me that the legal firm acted for the Plaintiff, who, in order to conceal his identity, used a pseudonym for the purpose of the court proceeding. By way of service, they had enclosed a copy of a sealed Statement of Claim, as filed in court on 22 December 2017. A “First Directions Hearing” was listed for 16 February 2018 at 09:30. The Plaintiff had been permitted by the judge to file a Statement of Claim under a pseudonym and also granted leave for it to be served via email, which is not the normal practice for service, as I understood it.
The second document was the Statement of Claim, comprising 22 pages. I was referred to as the “Defendant”, and the Plaintiff was claiming damages from me, as well as costs and interest, and an order that I be permanently restrained from publishing what were referred to as “the first and second matters complained of”.
In a nutshell, the Statement of Claim alleged that I had either authored, or used an agent to author, information that had been entered into a “Contact Us” form on an Australian company website, which had been sent to the company email inbox on the morning of 17 December 2017. It also alleged that a publication was sent via the postal system, on or about 18 December 2017 at around 6pm, which was read by some residents on 19 December 2017.
The alleged defamatory material that was emailed to the company website and the alleged publication that was sent through the post carried defamatory imputations related to the Plaintiff.
........Tomorrow: Details of the allegations against me.