Sunday, 9 September 2018

Four Days Before Christmas, 2017 - Part 8

On 7 August, following me emailing the Plaintiff a few days previously, I received an email response from his lawyer. I was astonished by its content.

The lawyer advised that professional investigators were continuing inquiries to establish the identity of the author of the defamatory material, and that I would be advised if the person was identified. 
  • I would be very interested to know who the mystery person is, who, for a reason known only to them, used my name. However, I very much doubt that I would ever be notified, even if the Plaintiff does discover this person’s identity.
The lawyer claimed that the grossly offensive nature of the defamatory material required the Plaintiff to take immediate action (given that the sender foreshadowed further dissemination), and that the most appropriate legal option available to the Plaintiff was the immediate commencement of proceedings to bring the matter before the court at the earliest opportunity. 
  • I fail to see how this course of action could have possibly been “the most appropriate legal option available”. The Plaintiff had absolutely no EVIDENCE that I was the author of the material. None whatsoever. Since when has having no evidence been an appropriate basis to pursue someone through the courts?

The lawyer also said that despite the fact I resided in the United Kingdom at the time that the offending material was posted, it was very possible that I had arranged for someone to post the material on my behalf. The letter read, “For the moment, my client accepts that you were not the author as you have sworn in an affidavit to be the case. My client, however, strongly believes that you would have some indication as to who would have assumed your identity to send the material. If you have such information, or later ascertain it, you should immediately provide it so that my client may take proceedings against that person.”
  • So, despite me also affirming in the affidavit that I had "no knowledge" of the alleged defamatory material, the Plaintiff believes the opposite.  In my email to the Plaintiff, I  meticulously explained to him that I am in no way associated, because:

a) I don’t have such poor use of written English
b) I would not speak out about something without being able to verify it

As if I would have just glibly allowed someone to go ahead with such actions, using my name!

The penultimate paragraph read:

In summary, you must appreciate the irreparable harm caused to my client's personal and business reputation by the wide dissemination of the offending material in your name. The costs to you of obtaining legal advice is a small price to pay in comparison to the substantial legal costs incurred by my client and the distress and embarrassment caused to him and his family.”
  • I was astounded to read this; I find it totally unbelievable! “A small price to pay”?! A small price to pay, for what, exactly? I should not have had to pay any price; not a single penny, let alone what is derisively referred to as a “small price”. The price I paid was absolutely not a small price at all. I have tried to think of an analogy to insert here to demonstrate the absurdity of such reasoning. However, to think down those channels is (in my opinion) so illogical that I have failed to come up with an analogy that comes anywhere close to the (again, in my opinion) farcical and insulting thought process that has been put forward. 
  • I dread to think what would have happened had I been in a position where I could not afford to pay for legal assistance. Where would I be now? In prison?
  • The fact that I am totally innocent and should never have been served with court papers, is apparently of no consequence to the Plaintiff. If the Plaintiff hadn’t (unwisely, in my view) taken legal action in the first place, he wouldn’t have incurred “substantial legal costs”.  

The final paragraph of the lawyer’s letter stated, “I must put you on notice that any defamatory material about my client which you may be foolish enough to post on a blog will leave him with no alternative but to commence proceedings against you.”
  • As I have said at the beginning, this is a personal account of what happened to me and I believe I have the freedom to tell others about it.

What is conspicuous by its absence in the letter from the lawyer, is the fact that he has not answered my question about whether the Sun news reporter was issued with proceedings. Why has he not confirmed nor denied this? From his silence on the subject, and given that the Sun reporter was not named as a Co Defendant in the Proceeding, I can only assume I am correct in thinking that I alone was targeted. Again, this in itself demonstrates that the Plaintiff’s actions were not in keeping with the Exclusive Brethren pledge to the Charity Commission (as outlined in Part 7). In my opinion, the Exclusive Brethren foster a culture of falsehood, hatred and malice towards those of us that exercise our right to leave the organisation, and I believe that I alone was targeted because I am an ex-member of the brethren.

No apology has been offered in the lawyer’s letter. I believe this attitude is callous, insulting and incredibly arrogant, not to mention unchristian. It is also not in keeping with the Exclusive Brethren’s pledge to the Charity Commission.

I am astounded that someone who claims they are a Christian, would: 

a)    pursue an innocent party with no evidence at all, rather than contacting that party and trying to resolve things without involving the courts 
b)    threaten to further pursue the innocent party through the courts if they speak out about the injustice that has taken place
c)    not even apologise for the distress and expense caused to the innocent party

I am bewildered that the author of the alleged defamatory material used the name “Marion Evans”. Maybe they had no idea that I would be targeted by the Plaintiff. Regardless, my name should never have been used, whether or not the intention was to deliberately frame me. That said, if the author reads this blog, and I say this as someone who has personally suffered at the hands of the Exclusive Brethren, I would urge them to contact me privately and in confidence; I would like to know why they decided to use my name in the Contact Us form, and if they need help, for whatever reason, I would try to assist in getting them the help they need.

I am angry and upset that the Plaintiff’s hasty actions have led to my name being dragged through the Australian court system for something I absolutely did not do, and that I have had to suffer, and am still suffering as a result of those actions. I am equally angry and upset that, rather than apologising for his error in pursuing the wrong person, the Plaintiff has attempted to justify his actions, and still appears to believe that this mess is something to do with me; he could not be further from the truth.  

I am now nearly a quarter of the way through my cancer treatment, which will continue until the last part of 2019. As I reach the end of this blog I have become particularly unwell and weak and have had to have a blood transfusion. I do not anticipate feeling anywhere near normal, until, perhaps, Christmas this year, which will be one year after I received the correspondence from the Plaintiff’s lawyer. I can’t help but wonder how 2018 might have been for me had the Plaintiff acted in a reasonable and Christian manner, and asked me about the accusations, rather than putting me through the extreme distress and expense of having to defend myself against court proceedings.

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  1. The clarity with which you describe this horrendously unjust Exclusive Brethren activity, demonstrates your own strength of mind and purpose, and integrity. Kudos to you, in all directions. I sincerely hope that one day an apology and restitution will be made to you by the Brethren over the whole saga, and I wish you every good health as you go forward on your life-journey through and after cancer treatment. Much love to you & yours, and thank you for sharing all of this, despite bizarre EB threats and attempted silencing, as per usual. Charitable and compassionate, the EB/PBCC system is NOT, not in its heart. Secretive, controlling, psychologically manipulative, and full of untruth, is more how it seems to me, after fifty years experience of that group.

  2. Thank you for your comment. I wholeheartedly agree with what you say.