Orsam Books

Collins and the Clanger (and the Nature of Proof)

The Clanger was the first to respond to my 'Bunny's Aunt' article within about one minute of it being uploaded, with an immediate kneejerk reaction demonstrating that he'd given the matter no proper thought or consideration.  Subsequently, in typical manic Clanger form (just like his embarrassing Hallie Rubenhold Waterstones blog comments and his equally embarrassing Joseph McCarthy posts) he maniacally posted essentially the same irrelevant point every day, multiple times a day, for about a week thinking it was in some way a counter to my article.  

In the midst of doing so, he wanted to demonstrate he wasn't biased against me, even though no-one had, at that stage, accused him of bias, by referring to a positive review (or half-review) he'd posted of one of my books.  Very few people, I think, feel the need to demonstrate no bias if they aren't actually biased.

The Clanger's manic run of posts reached its zenith on 5 August (after five days of continuously making the same point which showed he hadn't understood my article) when he posted on both forums this definition of the word 'aunt' from the Collins dictionary (#553 of the Special Announcement thread and #369 of the 'Lord Orsam Blog' thread):

'A term of address used by children for any woman, esp for a friend of their parents'.

Let me just repeat that with some emphasis:

'A term of address used by children for any woman, esp for a friend of their parents'.

Now, if we were being generous we might say that that's a reasonable point... IF JAMES MAYBRICK WAS AN EFFING CHILD!!!

But James Maybrick was not a child.  He was a grown man.  So why is the Clanger posting about a term of address used by children?

Well, in JTR Forums he goes on to augment the dictionary definition that he'd posted and, in the process, CONTRADICT IT, by saying that, in his own experience, 'once the practice starts in childhood, once some random biddy becomes your 'aunt', you always think of her as that'

So now he seems to be telling us that it's also a term of address used by ADULTS.  But, er, that's not what the dictionary definition he posted says, is it?  That definition ONLY mentions children.   So he has literally contradicted the definition that he himself had posted!!!

That being so, what was the flipping point of posting the Collins definition?  It tells us about children not adults.  If the Clanger wanted to make a point about adults, what does the dictionary definition have to do with anything?

To put it another way: Either the definition he posted is correct, in which case it only applies to children, or it's wrong because it fails to say that it applies to adults too, in which case why post an erroneous definition? 

And what does 'some random biddy' have to do with this matter when the person under discussion was a woman who was in no way a random biddy but both a Countess and Florence's godmother? 

The point is very very simple.  When James and Florence explained to Hopper the reason for Florence's trip to London, they both told him it had been to visit the Countess de Gabriac, Florence's godmother.  Not a random biddy.  Not 'Auntie Florence'. Because if Florence and James referred to the Countess de Gabriac as 'Auntie Florence' that's what they would have told Hopper.

Plus, with a little bit of common sense, we can see that Alice Yapp was also told that Florence was going to London to visit her godmother.

But the whole thing about what Florence might in another dimension have called the Countess is a nonsense because, of course, James Maybrick knew that the Countess de Gabriac was Florence's godmother, not her aunt, as he and Florence both told Dr Hopper.  That being so there is no way he would have written in his diary that she was going to visit her aunt.

The introduction of the Countess into the story as Florence's aunt came two months after James' death from a mistake by Addison at the trial who was getting confused with the aunt of John Baillie Knight, as many people EVEN TO THIS DAY seem to be, including the Clanger himself who can't seem to work that everyone who referred to an aunt in the case was talking about Miss Baillie.

This mistake worked its way into the secondary literature where it was picked up by the forger.  I've already proved that the diary is a fake through the anachronistic use of 'one off instance' so it is absolutely certain that the forger's source was the secondary literature.

While the Clanger claims that he's not biased, I don't think it's actually a question of bias (even though he is, of course, biased). What he doesn't like, and cannot abide, is me claiming that I've proved something.  He didn't like it with 'one off instance' where we saw him put forward the most bizarre, one could actually say insane, arguments in response, but neither he nor anyone else in 28 years has come even close to controverting the fact that 'one off' did not exist in the nineteenth century to mean unique.  He doesn't like that.  He can't stand it. It annoys him.  It consumes him.  Hence we can see that his ludicrous posts on the subject have undermined him by their own ludicrousness and show that he is not thinking straight about these issues.

Now he can't stand the fact that I've proved the diary to be a fake a SECOND TIME.

When I talk of 'proof' I am absolutely satisfied that I've proved the case to a criminal standard of proof which means beyond reasonable doubt.  There can be no REASONABLE doubt of what has happened here.

But, if it helps, I'd be happy to take the legal standard of proof in civil court cases which is on the balance of probabilities.  Can anyone doubt that I have proved the diary to be a fake on the balance of probability?     

Now, of course in the world of the Maybrick diary, one has to pander to the supreme mental gymnast, Tom Mitchell, who posts these days under the name of 'Iconoclast', also known as Major Tom, or just the Major, as in Major Misunderstanding, who has set his own standard of proof as being 'incontrovertible, unequivocal, undeniable'  - just so that he can demonstrate his impressive mental gymnastic skills when presented with claims of such proof - but I cannot consider that the combination of these three factors can be higher than a criminal standard of proof required to lock someone away for life.  In any event, just like 'one off instance', my case about Bunny's aunt is yet to be controverted!  

We know that James and Florence described the Countess as Florence's godmother, yet James was supposed to have described her as her aunt in his diary. That was a mistake!  We are in the fortunate position of knowing that Addison made a mistake in saying that Florence was off to see her aunt. It's undeniable!

People can get convicted in court on the basis of DNA evidence but bring in the Major and, hey, it's only a one in a billion chance that it's the right person, so with the population of the world at 7.5 billion people, there should be at least seven other people in the world with that DNA.  My client must be acquitted my Lord!  We have some doubt.

But is it reasonable doubt?  No, of course it isn't which is why DNA evidence convicts people of serious crimes every day of the week.  But clearly it would not satisfy the Major who wants some form of mathematical proof which doesn't exist in the real world.

When you have someone who writes with a straight face (and without ANY objection from the Clanger) that Maybrick might have written 'aunt' instead of 'godmother' in his diary because it was a shorter word and he couldn't be bothered to write the correct one because, after all the truth in his own diary didn't matter, you see the full mental gymnastics of an Olympic competitor.  But it's not surprising for someone who suggested that, when writing about a 'one off instance', Maybrick just might have been writing about a single off instance, despite there being no such expression in the English Language.  I mean that's about as desperate and as bizarre and insane as the Clanger's own offering that 'one off instance' meant some kind of 'coltish' or 'immature' instance - another expression which has never existed in the English language - showing just how biased the Clanger really is, destroying any small amount of credibility he might have had. 

These examples show that you can take just about any evidence you like and manipulate it in this way with ludicrous mental gymnastics. But that doesn't make it in any way credible.

'Undeniable'?  Well I don't think that means that you can just deny something and it makes it undeniable.  We know that holocaust deniers will deny the clearest possible evidence that the holocaust existed and flat earthers will deny that the world is round.  

Unequivocal. Yes it's unequivocal.  The Countess was Florence's godmother not her aunt.  I think that one is undeniable too!

I am quite certain that if the Clanger looks into his heart, or rather into the place where his heart should be, he would admit that the case is proved by this mistake alone.  There is literally no way that James Maybrick would not have known that the Countess de Gabriac was his wife's godmother.  There is absolutely no way he would have mistakenly thought she was her aunt.  QED there is no way he would have written in his private journal that she was her aunt.  It stands to reason.  It is clear, unequivocal, undeniable and incontrovertible.  It is proof that the diary is fake. Or rather it is just MORE proof that the diary is fake, if such proof were needed, which it isn't.  

19 September 2020