Orsam Books

Lord Orsam Says...(Part 8)

Where to begin?  There's so much to say.

MISSION IMPOSSIBLE 

Let's start with the little mission I set Gary Barnett. This was, of course, to ask Paul Begg if he accepts that there are serious errors in his 1992 book regarding the resignation of Monro.  It seemed like a very simple task to me.  All he had to do was ask Mr Begg a question.  And he knew this because he actually quoted me (in #180) as saying (my underlining):

'But while he's busy waging his war against Waterstones he still can't seem to find time to ask his great mate and fellow seeker of the truth, Paul Begg, if he accepts that there are serious errors in his book regarding the issue of the resignation of Monro. It's only Rubenhold whose mistakes he challenges, not Begg, never Begg.'

I mean, that's pretty clear and written in plain English isn't it?  The word "ask" is kind of the clue here don't you think?  He's not being requested to tell him anything, or impart any information at all, only to ask him a question. 

So what was his response?  This was it (with my name corrected because he spelt it wrong) in #180:

'As for the Monro thing, how many times do I have to inform Lord Orsam that I haven’t read Paul’s book and know next to nothing about Monro beyond having a vague idea that he was some kind of a police official involved in the Ripper case.'

Baffling isn't it?  There are only two explanations.  Either he's so stupid that he doesn't understand what is involved in asking a question of someone, or he is deliberately playing dumb to avoid actually getting on with it and asking the question.

I mean, how many times in my last article did I explain to him that he doesn't need to know anything about Monro?  I actually set out all the errors in Begg's book so he doesn't even need to do any thinking.  All he was being tasked to do was say to Paul Begg.  "Do you accept that there are errors in your 1992 book regarding the resignation of Monro?"  That was basically it. 

Paul Begg claims to be a great seeker of truth.  Someone who, along with Gary Barnett is supposed to care about accuracy. So he would surely welcome the question and would take the opportunity to clarify whether there  are errors in his published book, wouldn't he?

Er....well no, actually. Because he is evidently so terrified at having to answer the question that he has already effectively instructed his chum not to ask it!!! Hence we had this from Begg (#202):

'I wonder why Gary would waste his time asking me to respond to Orsam's ego?' 

That's as close to a command not to ask the question as you can possibly get.  He knows that the little boy isn't going to disobey a direct order.  He doesn't have the cojones.  We all know it.

This is literally what it has come to in the world of Ripperology.  The two great seekers of truth remember, the two individuals who have undoubtedly been the most instrumental at taking the female writer Hallie Rubenhold to task for the errors in her book, and who have been pressing hard for some kind of acknowledgment of those errors, suddenly go deaf and dumb when I point out some pretty crucial errors in Begg's own book.

Just look at that post of Begg's cited above. Try switching it round and imagine Begg asking one of Rubenhold's acolytes to ask Rubenhold a question on her Twitter feed. Let's call the acolyte, 'Gary'.   What would you think if Rubenhold posted:

'I wonder why Gary would waste his time asking me to respond to Begg's ego?'

Because let's face it there does appear to be some projection going on here.  And why is Begg so consumed about Rubenhold?  Does it have anything to do with the way she's publicly slagged off Ripperologists?  Who is one of the most famous living Ripperologist around?  Why, it's Mr Paul Begg!  Is the truth of the matter that he is far more concerned about his ego than about accuracy?

It looks like it. After all, who constantly criticizes the errors in the work of others yet can't face up to criticism of their own work?

For that's what we have here isn't it?  Gary Barnett, just doesn't have the balls or the inclination to ask his mate Paul Begg if that section of the book has gone wrong and Paul Begg isn't prepared to admit to any errors.  What example is that to set, not only to Rubenhold herself but all others in the field about how to deal with errors?  Now that they've been drawn to Begg's attention he should be admitting to them. It shouldn't even need Barnett to ask him about them.

As we will see later in this edition of 'Lord Orsam Says..', this is not the only scandal about modern day Ripperology.

I might add at this point, for Paul Begg's sake, if no-one else, that this is not an issue about my ego.  It's nothing to do with me at all.  The fact that it was me who noticed the errors in Begg's book is irrelevant. This is about whether he is so hypocritical that he can bang on for the best part of a year about the errors in Rubenhold's book while failing to acknowledge his own errors.

I was wanting to test whether he is capable of leading by example and showing Rubenhold how it was done.  That's the reason I set Gary Barnett the mission which he has failed.  And I knew he would fail.  I knew he wasn't man enough to do it.  He can shout and scream at Rubenhold and he can shout and scream at Waterstones but when it comes to the great Paul Begg, his great mate and ally in the big fight against Rubenholdism, he is a little teeny weeny mouse who can't even squeak, he's so terrified at the idea.

THE CLANGER'S HALLIE OBSESSION 

Talking of Gary Barnett's obsession with Hallie Rubenhold, we hear the clang, clang, clanging of his leaden footsteps as he wonders if I have even read Rubenhold's blog 'which isn't really about her book as he claims', he says (#180).  Er, actually, yes it is.  It's specifically about the response to Rubenhold's book by Ripperologists!  And it contains Rubenhold's defence of her book!  What does Barnett find difficult in understanding about this?  Or does he just feel a compulsive need to challenge everything I say even when it ends up with him being clanged over the head. 

The point that I made was to wonder what relevance to the blog (about Rubenhold's book) there is in Barnett's comments about Waterstones policies under Covid-19.  It doesn't make it any better for him to say, "Ah no, the blog isn't about Rubenhold's book, it's about Rubenhold's battle with Ripperologists".  I mean, honestly!  The point I made remained unchanged.  Why is he obsessively posting in there about Waterstones' policies? That was the question. 

I can't really answer that question but, as far as I can tell, from personal experience, he seems to love nothing more than embarking on a vendetta against someone or something.  So if Waterstones censored some of his SIXTY blog comments they must pay the price.  Consequently there is no point too petty for him to post on the blog whether it relates to Rubenhold's book or not.   

And it doesn't matter if he only posted 'two short posts' about Covid.  Why was he even writing about the bookseller's Covid policies in a blog page dedicated to Rubenhold's Ripper book (and her battle against Ripperologists, to keep Gary the Pedantic Clanger happy). 

Since the last update, he submitted at least two more comments. One of them, dated 1 April, is a response to one of Hallie's tweets which didn't even mention Ripperologists, thus giving the lie the idea that he is doing no more than responding to her account of her battle with Ripperologists.  Another, dated 2 April, says,'Apologies for the sheer number of small posts I have made here...' .  He tries to justify his madness by saying that what he admits to be his 'excessive' number of comments is a 'drop in the ocean' due to the fact that Rubenhold has given a number of interviews to market and promote her book.  Oh yeah, that's a sensible comparison. An online looney versus a published author doing the normal rounds of interviews to market her book.  He obviously needs to post a comment for every interview she gives, doesn't he?  I mean, it's very normal behaviour.

And the reason, incidentally, for me counting his comments is because, when I completed the first draft of the sixth installment of 'Lord Orsam Says...', there were nine comments from him and I thought that THAT was excessive.  The number NINE just kept rising day by day until it reached SIXTY.    He just makes himself look like a loon.  And, as I've said, Hallie's supporters had a field day.  Not just them, but Hallie herself with three tweets about the person they called the'walnut'.

As he doesn't seem aware of this, allow me to enlighten him:

As we can see, Barnett's comments caused her to say that she was 'feeling a bit sorry for Waterstones' because 'They've come for them.' Then she was back the same day, saying, 'he's still at it' because he was, indeed, still at it, non-stop, like a raving lunatic.

Then the next day.... 'Still going'.....

 

As we've seen, I wasn't the only one who noticed what a fool he was making of himself.  Vicky Palmer for example:

 

and a few others.... 

and others... 

 

and others....

 

Oh, and others...

 

and some others.

 

Not forgetting Rob Kemp and co...

 

And that's not even all of them, believe me.

All this humiliation, of course, came about as a result of Gary Barnett, clanging in there with his clanging size 11 boots, giving Rubenhold's followers a juicy wide open goal to aim at, with his obsessive continued non-stop daily posting on the comments of a Waterstones' blog page, as if it's his own personal Ripper forum.  And we may note the perceptive comment from one of those Twitter people, 'I wonder if he has this obsession with everything he doesn't agree with.  I feel sorry for him'.  Yes, is the answer, he DOES seem to have this obsession with everything he doesn't agree with and with anyone whom he feels has slighted him, even in the smallest degree.

After the last update we saw him getting aggressive with Kattrup for basically posting a link to this website and saying en passent that some people might take joy, others dismay, in reading the articles. A harmless little comment one might think.  But, although he wasn't even mentioned by Kattrup, Barnett took this as a personal slight upon himself and was immediately on the attack. Good grief.  That guy should take a good look at himself, as others have suggested.

The interesting thing to emerge out of the Clanger's recent posts is that he admits in #203 that he has been conducting a petty personal vendetta against me since December 2016 when I had the audacity to describe those members of JTR forums who tried to counter my argument about ‘one off instance’ by citing a 1975 issue of the Bee Journal, which they hilariously thought was from 1884, as ‘muppets’.  Perhaps he could suggest a better collective name for them.

But thinking that HE was one of those individuals being described as a muppet, he hasn’t stopped obsessively stalking me for four years, initially trying to jump in to contradict me at every possible opportunity when I was posting on the Casebook Censorship Forum and now trying to go through every article I’ve posted on my website (and every old post on Casebook it seems) and, invariably, making a complete fool of himself every time by missing the point of everything.

Now we know why he exploded in a rage, out of the blue, on Casebook on 10 May 2018 by calling me ‘an insulting little twerp’.  In his mind, it’s justified by the fact that I had once supposedly described him as a muppet - although I wasn't even talking about him - but it’s kind of totally hypocritical if you complain about someone using insults and then insult them in a far worse way yourself. 

I berated him for the hypocrisy at the time. Let's remind ourselves of his Casebook post dated 10 May 2018:

'David likes throw what he considers to be subtle insults at anyone who doesn't tug the forelock. 'Dear boy', 'Muppets', 'Chief Diary Defender etc' roll off the Awesome pen like shite off a hot shovel. Such a shame, because if he wasn't such an insulting little twerp, one might almost admire him.'

It's a strange kind of moral equivalence isn't it?  I describe someone as a 'Diary Defender' or say 'my dear boy' to someone and and that's apparently all the justification he needs to call me 'an insulting little twerp'.  

Well, of course, he seems remarkably incensed about the use of the word 'muppet' more than a year earlier (so he had presumably been fuming all that time) but if I refer to a group of people as 'muppets' for screwing up research into the origins of 'one off' by being about 100 years out in their source material does he think that HE is then justified in using ANY insulting and abusive language about me that he chooses?  I don't think that's the way things work.  

He lies, incidentally, when he says in #203 that his own insults were 'made in response to personal insults previously received'. What is he talking about?  I never personally insulted him.  I barely even knew the guy existed at the time he called me a twerp. 

Amusingly, in 2020 we can see (#229) that he's given up on holding against me the expressions 'Dear boy', not an insult, and 'Chief Diary Defender', not an insult, and introduced two expressions which both post-date his May 2018 post, namely 'clowns' and 'clanger', the latter being a word he introduced into my vocabulary himself in one of his JTR Forum posts!

I have to thank him for the inspiration. 

As for clowns, I've never even called anyone a clown.  It's entirely in the imagination of those who read my article entitled 'Send in the Clowns'.  But if you think you might be a clown, then you probably are. 

When he posted his insult in May 2018, I didn't respond directly but confined myself to noting the blatant hypocrisy of someone complaining about the use of those very mild expressions while, at the very same time, calling me, out of the blue, an'insulting little twerp'.  His post on the Casebook Forum was also in clear breach of the rules of that Forum whereby if I had responded in kind it would have resulted in suspension or termination of my membership, which is perhaps what he wanted to achieve.

If it helps him, I have no objection to him now calling me a "twerp" or whatever insult he wants to conjure up from out of his backside. I simply don't care, which I hope doesn't spoil his fun.  I certainly don't want to be thought of as hypocritical.  But I will say that it does demonstrate the type of person that he is.  He just keeps going over the top in his responses and reactions.  It not only harms him but, as we saw in the Rubenhold case, harms his fellow Ripperologists too.  He just needs to calm down and take out the personal. We can see he gets angry and aggressive at every small slight and seems to take great offence at everything. 

Apparently, though, we are told, Diddums only called the bestselling author Hallie Rubenhold a ‘pampered twat’ because she had earlier said something vewwy nasty about the Thugmeister which made him cwwwy like a baby so he couldn’t help himself.

Unfortunately, in doing so, the background to the insult (whatever that was, and he doesn’t tell us what she actually said about him, about which I haven't a clue) was lost and in describing her as a‘pampered twat’ in the thread on JTR Forums devoted to her book he let down all his fellow Ripperologists and gave Rubenhold a genuine grievance which she has certainly not missed the opportunity to exploit.  Does Gary Barnett really not understand that?  Does he honestly think it helped his cause by using that kind of language? 

One other point of interest.  We can see that Barnett actually admitted that he referred to Hallie as a'pampered twat'.  Let me quote his exact words from #229:

'He also thinks it was stupid of me to have called HR a ‘pampered twat’ after she and her Twitter crony had aimed sexual slurs at Forums members. Stupid it may well have been, even if it was in response to something worse, but I did apologise for having said it.' 

So there is no doubt about it. He DID call her a pampered twat (and I don't believe for one second that he apologised to Hallie; I think he's referring to an apology to the members of the forum for the bad language, not  an apology to Hallie for the insult itself!). But I repeat, he DID call her a pampered twat.

Now please take a look at this post by Caroline Morris of 6 March 2019 from the Rubenhold thread on JTR Forums in which she point blank DENIES that Hallie was ever referred to as a pampered twat (#1230):

'While they might have appeared extreme, and with hindsight not very wise, nobody was actually calling Rubenhold a 'pampered twat'.' 

This is classic gaslighting.  Trying to deny the obvious.  Gary Barnett did call Rubenhold a 'pampered twat', as he now fully admits.

But did he step in and correct Caroline Morris back in March 2019 to say that she was wrong and actually that's exactly what he DID call her?  Did he buggery!  Of course he didn't.  That would have shown decency and a sense of fair play (to Hallie), both characteristics sadly lacking in the Clanger's general approach.  

Talking of his general approach, how many times did I make clear in my last update that I wasn't saying that the Clanger only challenges Rubenhold's mistakes?  I made two points, both of which he has ignored when he claims in #180 that 'Lord Orsam claims it's only Rubenhold's mistakes I challenge'.  I said very clearly that as between Rubenhold and Begg he only challenges Rubenhold's mistakes.  That's now been proved truer than the earth being flat.  The second thing I said was that mistakes by others are not challenged in the same vigorous and extreme way as he has done with Rubenhold.  There's something more to it with the way he attacks Rubenhold.  It can't just be that he is leaping to the defence of Ripperologists in general or Paul Begg in particular, can it?  He didn't wage the same campaign against Simon Wood, who also attacked Ripperologists in his book and in the publicity for his book.

Talking of which.  Did anyone see Gary Barnett's explanation as to why he didn't challenge Wood's claim on Casebook that the victims were not prostitutes, but has done so when Rubenhold says it?  No, neither did I?  Funny that, how selective he is in what he responds to.

Running in parallel to that, he also seems to think that if he keeps his vicious little attacks on me shorter in length than my articles it somehow means he has some kind of moral superiority and doesn't mean he is quite utterly mad.  The fact of the matter is that not only do I respond at the length I feel is appropriate to any particular topic on my own website where I have plenty of space, and to which no-one is forced to visit, but I like to be comprehensive.  The Clanger's approach however is not only to be selective but to completely ignore all the uncomfortable responses to which he has no answer at all.  His tactic is basically to focus on what he thinks is a comma out of place while ignoring the entire bigger picture relating to the meaning of the entire sentence, paragraph or article as the case may be, then trying to claim the moral high ground by posting shorter replies than my original articles!!

I've literally lost count of the parts of my arguments that he's shied away from responding to.  No doubt he will bleat, 'Oh I didn't read everything, it was all too long, and I can only read short books with large letters and pictures'.   But if I did write about all the things he's ignored because he's too scared to admit that he's gone wrong, this particular article would be at least double the length. 

COWAN

So let's move on to Barnett's latest obsession which is the sugar refinery question.

Let's first congratulate Simon Wood for finally locating evidence that Alderman Cowan had set up in Dakin's sugar refinery prior to September 1888 in a newspaper article that the Clanger completely missed even though he was supposed to have done the research on the point. 

You might have noticed, incidentally, that Barnett tried to blame ME for his own failings.  It was Barnett who missed the newspaper report showing that Cowan had arranged to move into Dakin's refinery shortly after the April fire. It wasn't my job to do his research for him.  

Had I not raised in my article, 'Reconstructing Jack', the whole question, which wasn't dealt with properly in Wood's book in the first place, we wouldn't have reached the point where we have a lot more knowledge of events than the reader of Wood's book was able to glean back in 2015.  It perfectly justifies me asking the question of Wood that I did. 

As for the Sugar Cane article, we can see that, amusingly, Barnett congratulated Simon on 'An excellent discovery' while adding, 'I wish I'd made it!'.  Yes, I'll bet he wished that, but he didn't!

Like I already said in my previous response, the fact that Cowan was in Dakin's refinery prior to September 1888 adds considerable weight to the idea that 'Eye-witness' was referring to Dakin's old refinery when he mentioned 'Cohen's Sugar Refinery'.

Barnett, incidentally, perhaps uncertain if someone would confuse Cowan with Cohen seems to want more examples of it so here's another one (from the Derby Mercury of 4 June 1873).

 

The Clanger is so daft incidentally that prior to Simon Wood posting that important piece of evidence, he wrote:

'And we have a report in the East London Advertiser of 15th December, 1888 referring to ‘Colonel and Alderman Cowan, who has recently acquired an interest in the district by the purchase of Dakin’s sugar refinery’. Cowan was a City of London Alderman and the Conservative candidate for Whitechapel. He had a long-standing connection to the East End.' 

Not only was it utterly irrelevant to the issue at hand how well connected Cowan was with the East End but his long-standing connection to the East End if anything contradicted the Clanger's argument because, if he was so well known in the East End, why would 'Eye-witness' have called him 'Cohen' instead of 'Cowan'?

Anyway we don't have to worry about that any longer.

What's so remarkable about Barnett's posts on this subject is that he has not once acknowledged that Simon Wood deleted the entire point from his book and that it was Simon Wood's book that I was responding to in 'Reconstructing Jack'. 

But let's look at what he posted to Kattrup in #245:

'How would you describe David’s theory that Eyewitness confused the names Cohen and Schwartz because they were both Jewish names? Does that not come under the heading of fanciful imagination?

I think it does. Very much so.'

This is ridiculous.  In the first place it wasn't 'David's theory', it was an alternative suggestion to the notion that 'Eyewitness' was referring to Dakin's Sugar Refinery as 'Cohen's Sugary Refinery' for no obvious reason.  In his 2015 book, to which I was responding in 'Reconstructing Jack', Wood told us that Thomas Burns Dakin was the owner of the refinery in 1888.  That being so, why did 'Eye-witness' call it 'Cohen's Sugar Refinery'? The only theory Wood ever put forward about this in his book was based on what he was told by the expert on the subject, Bryan Mawer, who runs the database on sugar refineries, which was that the manager of the refinery must have been a man called Cohen.  That was from the flipping expert!!!

But that theory wasn't even included in the first two versions of Wood's book which were the versions I was responding to in 'Reconstructing Jack'.  So there was literally no suggestion offered as to why 'Eye-witness' was referring to Dakin's Sugar Refinery as 'Cohen's Sugar Refinery'.  When we add to this the fact that 'Eye-witness' referred to being about to turn into Albert Street, yet a walk past Dakin's Sugar Refinery at the corner of Hanbury Street and Deal Street didn't involve a turn into Albert Street, whereas a walk past Schwartz's Sugar Refinery in Pelham Street DID involve a turn into Albert Street, it seemed entirely reasonable to suggest that the confusion lay between Cohen and Schwartz. 

If one accepts that 'Eye-witness' was referring to the refinery in Hanbury Street, this means that one is saying that he must have confused the names 'Deal' and 'Albert'.  Out of context, one could say that doesn't seem very likely - there is no obvious similarity between the two names - but it's precisely what Simon Wood posted on the Casebook Forum and precisely what Gary Barnett is saying actually happened!

Despite the absence of any explanation from Wood as to why 'Eye-witness' was referring to Dakin's Sugar Refinery as 'Cohen's', I nevertheless stated quite clearly in my 'Reconstructing Jack' article that it was 'entirely possible' that 'Eye-witness' WAS referring to the Dakin's refinery.  Furthermore, I argued that this would make sense of Pizer's reference to the verbal assault being in Church Street.  My point was that there was nevertheless just as much chance that there was a confusion of two Jewish names, as confusion over two street names, bearing in mind that there was then literally no explanation being put forward by Wood for the confusion between 'Cohen' and 'Dakin' and bearing in mind the mention by 'Eye-witness' of the turn into Albert Street.

So while you can, as Barnett does, take everything I said out of context and make it sound like it's 'fanciful' to suggest that there could have been a Cohen/Schwartz connection, it was not only not fanciful but, at the time, it was literally the only explanation on the table.

Unless, of course, 'Eye-witness' was confusing a refinery in Spitalfields with one in Barnes.

And so we come back to entire point I was making in 'Reconstructing Jack' which was: why did Wood mention the Barnes refinery?  At the time, he evidently had no idea that Alderman Cowan had moved into the Spitalfields refinery so that his mention of the Barnes refinery made no sense in the book.  And, as I've already said, but the Clanger has completely ignored and whitewashed it out of his mind, Wood agreed with me because he went on to delete any mention of the Barnes refinery from the next edition of his book (while inserting a mention of the Schwartz refinery!).

Gary Barnett's latest attempted attack on me has thus failed in its entirety. 

Before I leave this subject a few miscellaneous points.

In one of his more ridiculous comments - if it's possible to grade them by levels of ridiculousness - Barnett posted this (#193), with the spelling of my name corrected:

Apparently one of my clangers was to suggest that Lord Orsam had ‘pointed out’ that Cowan’s refinery was across London in Barnes’.

‘...I didn't point out that Cowan's refinery was across London in Barnes,’ he fumed.

This is what he actually said:

So did the eye-witness to the verbal assault on the man accused of being 'Leather Apron' confuse a refinery in Spitalfields with one across the other side of London in Barnes? Rather unlikely.

Perhaps that doesn’t count as ‘pointing out’ for some reason? 

But did Simon mention that Barnes was ‘across the other side of London?’ I don’t believe he did - David added that to emphasise the unlikelihood of there being any connection between the Cowan firm of Barnes and the Hanbury Street refinery. Surely, there’s an element of ‘pointing out’ in David’s question? 

No, Gary the Clanger, there was no 'pointing out' of anything by me. 

His argument here is just too absurd for words and is clearly designed to just be stupidly provocative.

What Wood said in his book was:

'perhaps it should be noted that a large London sugar refiner of the time was Cowan & Sons, located at Barnes, West London'

So when I said:

So did the eye-witness to the verbal assault on the man accused of being 'Leather Apron' confuse a refinery in Spitalfields with one across the other side of London in Barnes? Rather unlikely. 

I was doing no more than essentially repeating what Wood had said.  You can see that Wood said that Cowan & Sons was located at 'Barnes, West London'.  It doesn't need me to 'point out' that Barnes in West London is across the other side of London to Spitalfields in East London!!

If you re-wrote my comment from 'Reconstructing Jack' so that it read the below it would have had exactly the same meaning and been to the same effect:

'So did the eye-witness to the verbal assault on the man accused of being 'Leather Apron' confuse a refinery in Spitalfields with one located at Barnes, West London?  Rather unlikely.'

That demonstrates that I wasn't pointing out anything.  I mean, seriously, how could I have been pointing out that the other refinery was 'across the other side of London in Barnes' when Wood had already stated that this refinery was in 'Barnes, West London'.  Seriously, how ridiculous is that argument by Gary the Clanger?

The only reason he made it was because he was upset at being caught out and made to look a fool again. He just can't take it.  He hadn't realised in his original post that it was Wood himself who had pointed out that the Cowan refinery was across the other side of London, in Barnes, so he tried to do one of his ridiculous attempts at mangling the English language in order to cover up his massive clanger.

 

Now that we've sorted out the basic facts, let's take a few moments to remind ourselves of what his Clangership actually said in the first place: 

'His Lordship clumsily attempts to put a spoke in the wheel of Simon’s theory by pointing out that Cowan’s refinery was across London in Barnes. But If he had been following the discussions on the subject on Casebook (and he does seem to follow the boards avidly) he would have been aware that Col. Cowan had recently taken over Dakin’s refinery.'

My response was as follows:

'But that's ridiculous. Firstly, I didn't point out that Cowan's refinery was across London in Barnes.  This is what Wood said himself in his book!  My point was that Simon's theory didn't make any sense (which it didn't, no doubt being the reason why he has excised it from his book).  Secondly, and more importantly, my article 'Reconstructing Jack' is clearly dated 23 March 2016.  What possible relevance could there be in a post dated 30 October 2018 - had I actually read the Clanger's post written more than two years after my article -  to what I wrote in March 2016, in response to what Wood said in his book published prior to that date?  While I do, of course, have great powers, the ability to read posts written in the future is not one of them.'  

So was I right to say that 'I didn't point out that Cowan's refinery was across London Barnes' because 'This is what Wood said himself in his book!' ? Of course I was.  Wood said Cowan's refinery was in Barnes, West London.

The truth of the matter, to repeat the point, and it's worth repeating, is that this was nothing more than a diversion by Gary the Clanger, to cover up the fact that he had once again misunderstood my article.  You can see from his expression 'spoke in the wheel of Simon's theory' that he thought that Simon Wood was putting some kind of theory forward in his book.  But he wasn't.  He did no more than POINT OUT that there was a refinery in Barnes, West London, with the name Cowan which sounds like Cohen.  That was it.  That's why I asked if Wood was saying that 'Eye-witness' had confused the two refineries.

A perfectly reasonable question.  And that's not just me saying that!  Wood himself agreed with me and removed any mention of the Barnes refinery from the next edition of his book.  Not that you will find Barnett ever admitting that this is the case.  He will probably say 'Oh I didn't bother to read that far down the article, I had no idea'.  But then he clangs, doesn't he?

Incidentally, I did enjoy the way that Caroline Morris attempted to slide greasily into the discussion by noting that Cowen 'can sound very much like Cohen' (#192), something I'd already mentioned in my own article, which she obviously hadn't read, but it's always nice to read her stating the bleedin' obvious. 

WHY IN THE NAME OF O'BRIEN AND MCCARTHY DOES HE STILL NOT ACKNOWLEDGE THE JOKE?

Cowan, is of course, just Gary Barnett's latest failed attempt to try and undermine my findings on 'one off instance' via a ludicrously circuitous route.  The previous one ended up with similar egg all over his clanging face although he gamely tries to pretend that he didn't screw up completely. 

We've seen that he has so far, many months down the line, still not been able to bring himself to acknowledge that my piece on McCarthy was a parody of a suspect theory.  It will be recalled that he posted about this supposed 'theory' on multiple threads and multiple forums (similar to his obsessive posting on the Waterstones blog) as if I was being serious about it. He genuinely thought he'd got me!  He thought that if he could show McCarthy wasn't Jack the Ripper then he's sorted out the whole 'one off' thing for which he's been unable to find a single example from the nineteenth century for which he's been hunting high and low.  Having failed to locate an example, his next tactic was to try and discredit and undermine me, thinking this would be a good shortcut to doing some actual research into the origins of the phrase, as I had done.

Having continued for about a year now, literally passing through two separate decades, solidly refusing to admit his clanger in not realizing that the McCarthy piece was a joke article, he has tried to find solace in some of the little details in that joke article.  In his mind, he now obsessively thinks that if he can find a small error in some of the details in the joke article he can, perhaps, show that the Diary might have been written in 1888 and thus please his overlords like Paul Begg and Caroline Morris.  I know, I know, it's such weird thinking on his part but that's genuinely the way his mind seems to work. 

This is what he says about me (with the spelling of my name again corrected):

'When I pulled Lord Orsam up on his silly ‘McCarthy’ theory, he wriggled and wriggled like a worm on a hook trying to obscure his errors.

He claimed the man’s real name was McCarthy. I pointed out that in subsequent criminal records McCarthy was shown to be one of his aliases.

At first he denied he had ever said that McCarthy was his real name. Later he went on and on about it, to such an extent that I gave up reading, let alone responding, to his nonsense. He took that to mean that he had proved me wrong and I had slunk off to ‘lick my wounds’.'

This really is amazing. There was no 'wriggling on a hook', much as he would like there to have been.  When I completely destroy his nonsense, that's not me wriggling, it's me destroying.

He refers to it as my ‘silly McCarthy theory without any acknowledgment or indication that it was never a theory, just a parody of a theory.  A pure joke.  I mean, I'm beyond words about that.  He’s returned to it time and again on multiple threads, as I've said, and just never acknowledged this fact.  I don’t know if the word 'silly’ is supposed to encompass that it was nothing more than a joke but it certainly doesn’t bear that meaning because it implies that I was seriously putting forward a theory that was silly.

With it being a joke ‘theory’ there isn’t really much more I need to say because it doesn't even matter if the small details are accurate or not but had Barnett actually read my responses in full he wouldn’t have repeated his clanger which just ends up making him look a fool.  Thus, he says this:

'He claimed the man’s real name was McCarthy. I pointed out that in subsequent criminal records McCarthy was shown to be one of his aliases.'

Well that is to misunderstand the 'subsequent criminal records'.  As I have discovered, and explained, criminals were convicted under whatever name they were using at the time, whether it was their 'real' name or not.  The police, perhaps surprisingly, simply didn't conduct investigations as to what a criminal's real name was. They just locked them up regardless.  If their real name was Jones and they were convicted under this name and then went under the name Smith after being released and got convicted again, the record would say Smith alias Jones even though Jones was their real name.  That's because the police didn't always know what a criminal's real name was.

In this case, the real name of the individual in question could have been Michael Sheen, Joseph McCarthy or Denis O’Brien, or they could all have been fake names.

The irony of the situation is that when he first posted about this subject, the Clanger did exactly the same thing as me and assumed that the name under which this criminal was last convicted was his real name.  Hence he wrote that his real name ‘appears to have been Dennis O’Brien'. This was based on the records saying he was 'Denis O’Brien alias Joseph McCarthy, alias Michael Sheen'.   This was no different to me thinking that his real name was Joseph McCarthy on the basis of the record saying that his name was 'Joseph McCarthy alias Michael Sheen'. 

I stated over and over that I quite reasonably assumed Joseph McCarthy was his real name on the basis of the official record.  Gary the Clanger has simply ignored that and yet he has the barefaced cheek to accuse me of being unfair to Caroline Morris by attempting to ‘ridicule’ her. The reality is that he doesn’t acknowledge that I have repeatedly accepted that I assumed that McCarthy was the guy's real name in exactly the same way that the Clanger has assumed that it was Denis O’Brien. The difference between us is that I fully acknowledge this, whereas Gary the Clanger remains silent, trying to pretend that he ‘gave up reading’ my articles!  Oh, I don’t think so.  He reads them alright.  But he found that he had nothing to say, especially after I pointed out the clanging error he made regarding the compilation of the habitual criminals registers.

He says that I ‘claimed the man’s real name was McCarthy’ and then says I denied it but, as I have repeatedly pointed out, I did not state that his real name was McCarthy, although I assumed it was, and assumed he was arrested under his real name. He knows that he cannot quote me as stating that 'the man’s real name was Joseph McCarthy’ because I never said it, which is undoubtedly why he didn’t quote me.  Furthermore, he evidently agreed with me about this because, in his original post when he mentioned this, he actually made a comment about how relieved I must be that I never actually stated in terms that McCarthy was his real name. So he knew perfectly well that I'd never done it!  Now he seems to want to do a u-turn from his own admission!!!  He is, in other words, arguing against himself. What a Clanger! 

 

He claims that he stopped responding because he stopped reading (#249).  'I gave up reading, let alone responding to his nonsense' he says.  Funny how he stopped reading my articles about McCarthy just at the point where I comprehensively proved him wrong on every point. It's also funny how he feels competent to discuss my articles which he claims never to have read!!! Or is he telling a little porky pie about that?  It's very convenient isn't it?  Not to have read all the stuff which shows he's wrong.

WHY THE HELL IS HE TALKING ABOUT LECHMERE?

As if he hasn't already scraped enough out of the bottom of the barrel, Mr Barnett then manages to extract some more slime when he brings up the subject of Lechmere, although for what purposes is not clear as it comes out of the blue

After claiming that I was wriggling about with McCarthy he says (#249):

Ditto with my comment about (a) Charles Lechmere not giving his address at the inquest of the child he killed. 

I have no idea what the 'Ditto' means here.  What I recall about the Lechmere episode are two things.  Firstly that Gary the Clanger made a clanger (as is his nature) by wrongly stating that the address of every other witness was included in the newspaper report of the inquest when the address of one of the other witnesses was not, in fact, included.  Second that the Clanger completely ignored the main point of my article which was that we can find other examples of inquest reports where the addresses of, say, four of the witnesses at the inquest are reported but the address of a fifth is not included, suggesting that we can't draw any reliable conclusions from the fact that the home address of Lechmere was not stated in the inquest report.

I don't think there's anything more to say about that.

THE CLANGER AND CAROLINE IN A TREE BEING INCREDIBLY SMARMY

Look at this ludicrous, smarmy and totally misguided conversation between Caroline Morris and Gary the Clanger:

Morris (#205): 'I suspect His Royal Orsamness is also still smarting from your discovery of an example of 'top myself' from the 1870s.'  [then followed some nonsense about me 'bearing a grudge']

Clanger (#206): 'Was he once a ‘top myself’ denier? I bet he owned up to that clanger with a resounding fanfare.  Even more reason not to buy a used ‘one off’ from him. All he’s proved to me is that he has been unable to find a contemporary example of the phrase. Now if I thought he was infallible, I might take his word for it. But I don’t, so I can’t.' 

Morris (#207) : 'I don't think he was a 'top myself' denier as such, but it must have pained him to see you drill another hole in the modern Barrett hoax theory, which would have had our Mike using a phrase which a Victorian literature expert asserted was not recorded before the late 1950s. It seems they should have asked an expert in Victorian language, and I'm not sure that would be Lord O's specialist subject either. '

Clanger (#209): 'Ah, I see, but no doubt he welcomed my discovery and considered its implications for ‘one-off’.'

For the actual record, I never once relied on the anachronism of 'top myself' to dispute the authenticity of the Diary.  The reason for this is because I was fully aware that 'top' already meant 'hang' in 1888 and I could see no reason why it wouldn't have been possible for someone to add the word 'myself' to 'top' to mean 'hang myself' in 1888.  In fact, prior to carrying out any research into the expression 'one off', I considered all the suggested anachronisms, read all the arguments online, and could see only one which definitely looked wrong for 1888.  That was'one off instance'.  That's why I decided to concentrate all my energies on researching the origins of that phrase and that phrase alone.

So Gary the Clanger's discovery of 'top myself' (or rather 'top himself' but to the same effect) in an 1877 newspaper had precisely no negative implications whatsoever for 'one-off'.  On the contrary, it threw into sharp relief the fact that, while an example of 'top myself' had been found prior to 1888, no-one in the entire world, in 25 years, had ever been able to find a single example of 'one-off' to mean unique or singular at any time in the nineteenth century.   Clearly, the Clanger didn't stop at 'top myself' and must have spent hours, if not days, if not weeks, scouring the British Newspaper Archive trying desperately to find a similar example of 'one off'. The fact that he entirely failed to do so actually supported my case. I already mentioned this when posting on the Casebook Forum back when I was a member, as it happens (see #4593, #4599 and #4630 of the 'Incontrovertible' thread), and it seemed to annoy him (i.e. see the outpouring of abuse, contrary to Forum rules, in his #4661).   

I also mentioned on the Forum (#4723 and #4728 of the 'Incontrovertible' thread) that I don't believe that the discovery of this single isolated example of the expression was as conclusive as he thinks it is.  Yes, someone in 1877 put the words 'top' and 'myself' together to form the expression 'top myself' (and the journalist who reported it had to explain that 'By topping himself he meant hanging himself') but the fact that no other examples can be found suggests to me that it was, if you'll forgive the expression, a 'one off' and didn't catch on, and thus never formed part of the English language during the nineteenth century.

Sure, it means that this expression could have been included in a Diary written in the nineteenth century, it's by no means impossible, obviously, but, not being a part of the English language at the time, it is still, I think it's fair to say, anachronistic.

The glee that was shown when discovering this phrase was, therefore, misplaced.  In referring to the Victorian literature expert saying the phrase wasn't recorded before 1958 this shows a failure to understand what the expert was saying. She wasn't saying, in this case, that no-one in the world could have put the words 'top' and 'myself' together to create that phrase prior to 1888, only that it wasn't recorded as being part of the English language until much much later.

When the dictionaries date this expression to 1958 that's really what they mean. That it didn't enter common usage until this period.  Is it really the case of the Diary Defenders that in more than eighty years between 1877 and 1958, the use of the expression wasn't recorded in writing even once despite being otherwise so commonly used that it was written down by the author of an 1888 Diary?  The fact of the matter is that it is highly unlikely in the extreme that anyone writing a Diary in 1888 would have used the expression 'top myself', but not, of course, totally impossible.

By contrast, it WAS impossible for someone writing in 1888 to have used the expression 'one off instance'.  That is due to the evolution of the phrase.  You can't just spontaneously put the two words 'one' and 'off' together to mean 'unique' - that doesn't work - and, even after 'one-off' came to mean a unique pattern or manufactured item, one couldn't have just added the word 'instance' to it because that wouldn't have made any sense.  It would be like referring to a 'unique manufactured item instance'.   Obvious nonsense. The expression needed to evolve in the English language to develop the metaphorical meaning which allowed for the comparison of occasions or people to unique manufactured items.  This did not happen in the nineteenth century which makes it impossible for 'one off instance' to have been written by anyone in 1888.

Now, Gary Barnett can spend his entire life trying to find mistakes in my articles or books on other subjects (and good luck to him 'coz he ain't got one yet) so that he can say 'Ah he's got that wrong, would you buy a one-off from this man?' or similar utter nonsense which will impress no-one but it's not going to change the facts I've stated above and supported with detailed research which has never been contradicted.  Muppets have, time and again, tried to find just one example of 'one off' from the nineteenth century and time and again they've failed to do so, making complete fools of themselves in the process, as muppets tend to do, by definition.

As I've already mentioned, we've learnt that Gary Barnett took offence to me referring to the group of muppets who thought they'd found an example of 'one off' from the nineteenth century in a 1975 edition of the Bee Journal as 'Muppets' and that's the reason why he's embarked on a three year vendetta, stalking and abusing me on the Casebook forum and now desperately reading every single article on this website attempting to find the smallest error so that he can then try (and hilariously fail) to undermine my arguments about 'one-off instance'.  If it wasn't so pathetic it would be highly amusing. No scrap that, it IS highly amusing. 

Just on the subject of 'top myself', we find this from Caroline Morris in #250:

What it tells us is that we should not have relied on a lecturer in Victorian literature to conclude, on the basis of a phrase like 'top myself', that the diary could not have been written until after 1958. She was out by a massive 80 years. 

I would love to see the quote that she thinks exists from a lecturer in Victorian literature saying that the diary could not have been written until after 1958 'on the basis of a phrase like 'top myself'.  I've never seen that said by any lecturer.  And it's odd that she refers to 'a phrase like top myself'.  Does that include the phrase 'one off instance'???  I suspect that the lecturer Caroline Morris is thinking of (Dr Kate Flint) considered all the anachronistic phrases which are found in the Diary and concluded on that basis, and on the basis of her expert knowledge of the English language, that the diary could not have been written until the post-war period.  And do you know what?  Bitter though it is a pill for Caroline Morris to swallow, that lecturer was absolutely and 100% correct.  

Now let's look at what Dr Kate Flint, lecturer in Victorian and modern English literature at Oxford University, actually said about the Diary.  She was quoted in the Sunday Times as saying this (underlining added):

'I am convinced this is a fake.  There are a couple of linguistic instances in the text which makes it extremely unlikely that the manuscript was written in the Victorian period. On other occasions, the writer seems to be striving rather too consciously after 'literary' or period effect.' 

The two linguistic instances she offered were 'one off instance' surprise surprise, and 'top myself'.    She said:'Even allowing for these phrases to have been in spoken circulation for a year or so before they find their way in print it seems highly improbable that either, let alone both, could have been found in the 1880s.'

So she's noted two anachronistic phrases which are found in the Diary and concluded, quite rightly, that this strongly suggests that the Diary is a modern fake.  The fact that Gary Barnett found a single, and isolated, example of the use of 'top myself' in 1877 doesn't in any way negate her conclusion.  I say this because my own detailed research into 'one off' absolutely supports what Kate Flint was saying here.  She was quite right to say that you just would not have expected to find either of those expressions in an 1888 text and you certainly would not have found both.

Once again, Caroline Morris has been caught out twisting the words of an expert to promote her own thoroughly discredited theory to which she is clearly emotionally attached. Kate Flint didn't say that the Diary couldn't have been written in the 1880s on the basis of a phrase like 'top myself'.  That's what Caroline Morris wished she would have said but she didn't say it!

A RATTLED CATTY CAT

You can tell when Caroline Morris is thoroughly rattled, as she has been for some years now in truth, because she starts spewing venom about me in extremely catty fashion which she not only seems to think is a replacement for rational argument but presumably thinks is going to influence anyone (or somehow upset me, I guess).  Here's a good one (#226):

'I foolishly clicked on the link and realised that was another few seconds of my life I will never get back. What a waste of space that man is. I'm beginning to think he may actually believe what he writes after all. I used to assume he was making it up just for jolly, either because he has nothing better to do or he thinks he is winding people up.'

She so desperately wants to give the impression to the world that reading the articles on this site is a waste of time and that, hey, the idea that the Diary was a modern forgery from 1992 is so ridiculous that it can only be a wind up for me to be saying so.  But the fact is that she believes none of this.  It's a thoroughly transparent attempt at diversion which literally no-one is falling for.  Anyone can see the remarkable weakness of her arguments against what is now a compelling case that the Diary was created in March/April 1992.   She just doesn't have a case, so she reverts to such childish nonsense in order to avoid having to make a sensible response (which she can't do).

And this is another good one from (#250):

'I'm grateful too, because I have no intention of reading his unsolicited responses to other people's conversations. It is quite clear that he is not a 'people' person, so why would I consult his views on the Barretts, when he has never met them, and can have no idea what made them tick? They are pawns on his chess board, to be moved around to suit some barking mad theory on how and when the diary came into being. You may as well consult my cat on the subject of nuclear physics. At least a "don't know, don't care" twitch of his tail, and a disdainful glare, would be an honest response, and he wouldn't be trying to fool you with knowledge he could not possibly purr-sess. Orsam thought he was a man outstanding in various fields, including human psychology, and look where that got him. He is now out standing in his own bloggy field, talking to the wind and impressing the occasional turnip.'

Dealing with her last comment first, the thing is, I see the statistics of visitors to this site and there's an absolute flood of people coming here after each update, if not an avalanche, and the visits usually continue until the next update, so while she might like to think that I'm talking to myself, I actually have the data which proves otherwise. 

I do find her comment that she hopes I'm standing in a field 'talking to the wind' very interesting though.  Do you remember how Paul Begg argued that it's not possible to be drummed out of Ripperology?  Well here we have Caroline Morris (someone upon whom Begg has thrown high praise for her sterling efforts to obscure, sorry I mean get to the bottom of the Maybrick mystery*cough cough* ) licking her lips at the prospect that, having departed from the Casebook Forum, I am now only able to talk to the wind!!  I mean, Caroline Morris is, in effect, literally expressing her delight at the fact that she thinks that I HAVE been drummed out of Ripperology!!!!  Like I've said time and time again, the group of Diary Defenders who ensured that Jonathan Menges poisoned the mind of Ally Ryder against me, when she issued her May 2018 ruling in the Tumblety thread, are the powerful and dark forces behind the scenes who cannot tolerate dissent on this subject.

As far as I'm concerned, though, I happen to much prefer expressing my opinions over here in my own good time as opposed to having to waste my time virtually every day, as I used to, responding to the nonsense Caroline Morris and others used to churn out on a daily basis on the Casebook forum and I am perfectly happy writing articles on this website.  And I know they are being read because I see that from the data.

As for the rest of her comment, I've never claimed to be'outstanding in various fields' including human psychology but I do know something about human psychology and I can see very clearly when someone is rattled to her very core.

Regarding her comment about 'unsolicited responses to other people's conversations' she might just have forgotten that she's posting in a thread (my thread, actually) entitled 'Lord Orsam's Blog...' so, if she's not posting about a topic relating to 'Lord Orsam's Blog...', she is off-topic.  But it seemed to me like she was very much on-topic which is why I replied here in 'Lord Orsam's Blog....'.  If she's not interested in reading responses to her own statements and opinions that's a shocking indictment of her own desire to remain in ignorance. 

Mind you, it did make me laugh when, on the Censorship Forum, she started her post #434 in the 'Problem of Logic thread' by quoting one of R.J. Palmer's posts to Iconocolast and then saying to R.J. Palmer, 'I know this was addressed to Ike, but you tell me R.J....'.  So there we have an unsolicited response from Caroline Morris to a conversation between two other people! The hypocrisy is plain to see from this amazing 'people person' (presumably such a people person because of the great relationships she formed with Mike and Anne Barrett and Albert and Robbie Johnson, none of whom fooled her for one second). 

Her claim that I can't have views about the Barretts because I've never met them is laughable.  Sure I've never been gullible enough to be fooled and manipulated by them in person but, as I've said many times, you don't need to have met someone to be able to get to the truth, however much Caroline Morris would like to pretend that this is the case. Indeed, the contrary is probably true.  You can get too close to people you are supposedly investigating, although I see no real signs of any proper investigation into the Barretts having ever been done, unfortunately.  

No-one seems to know anything about what Mike Barrett was like in March 1992, or prior that that, other than based on some snippets from his wife.  None of the people who claim to be experts about the man knew him during that period.  Caroline Morris herself obviously didn't meet him until many years later, in the late 1990s or early 2000s. She was obviously in attendance at the Cloak & Dagger club in 1999 but, as we've now established, wasn't even listening properly to what he was saying.

She refers to the theory of the Diary having been created in 1992 as 'barking mad' which is strange, bearing in mind that she's never provided a single solid piece of evidence to refute it.  Not one.  She meets it with endless, and I do mean endless, pseudo psychological speculation as to the thoughts and motives of the people involved, never backed up by anything even remotely convincing. 

For a supposedly 'barking mad' theory, it's extraordinary how robust it is. Firstly we have the proof that the Diary is not old, as shown by the existence of the phrase 'one off instance'.  She's never been able to challenge this, yet, incredibly, she keeps saying that the Diary IS old in the face of that compelling and incontrovertible fact.  Given that she holds rigidly to a theory, in the face of evidence which proves that the theory isn't true, whose theory really is barking mad?

That's not to mention the evidence of the secret attempted purchase by Mike Barrett of a Victorian diary with plenty of blank pages in March 1992. Or the fact that Mike himself has stated that the diary was created after he telephoned Doreen in March 1992. Or the remarkable similarity between elements of the handwriting of the person he identified as the author and the Diary handwriting.   Anne's subsequent behaviour seems entirely consistent with her being involved in the plot and even Caroline Morris admits that she told some dreadful and really quite breathtaking lies about the origins of the Diary. 

I might add that I've never tried to fool anyone with knowledge I don't possess and have sourced everything I've said.  It's just that Caroline Morris likes to pretend that experts know everything.... except when they are a forensic document expert like Dr David Baxendale!  Because, when it's Dr David Baxendale, she suddenly feels free to ignore literally everything that expert says!!!!! Equally when they are experts in English literature like Dr Kate Flint.  Those are experts that SHE thinks she knows better than so, for example, she ignores Dr Baxendale's report which concluded that the Diary was a modern fake.  She didn't like that answer and would prefer to live in a fantasy world of a mysterious amazing diary created a long, long time ago in a land far, far away for a purpose no-one knows and by an individual no-one knows at a time no-one knows.  That's her expert opinion!

By way of reminder, this is what Dr Baxendale said about the Diary:

'The handwriting shows considerable variation in fluency and letter design, and I have noted that some of the letter designs have been altered.  This shows that the writing has not been all been naturally written....For the most part the handwriting is in a looped cursive style, in other words the letters are connected to each other and have prominent loops. There are, however, many instances where individual letters have been written in a script style, i.e. plain letters written separately...The styles taught in the late nineteenth century were almost invariably some variety of connected writing such as 'copperplate' or 'looped cursive'.  Disconnected script style did not become common until the middle of the twentieth century.  A modern writer attempting to assume the style of an earlier period might well fail to master the older style completely and use some modern letter forms alongside the adopted style. This would lead to inconsistencies such as those seen in the writing of the book. I therefore regard the handwriting with suspicion.' 

Note the expert's reference to 'the adopted style' which means he was saying that the author had disguised their normal modern handwriting to try and make it look old, but hadn't done a terribly good job of it.  

As Caroline Morris places so much reliance in expert opinion she will no doubt agree with every word of this.

It should also be noted that Baxendale's opinion was supported by another renowned document examiner, Dr Audrey Giles, who, according to Paul Begg writing in a Forum post dated 3 January 2002, 'noted that the diarist had made some effort to fake a Victorian-hand'.  Presumably Caroline Morris agrees with this too!

We mustn't forget her own non-expert opinion about the handwriting which is (#265):

'On the handwriting side of things, if it's not in Mike or Anne's handwriting, they could not have handwritten it'

While she seems to think that this is a self-evident truth, it's actually nonsense.  If she is saying that, if Mike or Anne didn't write it, they didn't write it, then, of course, that's self-evident. But handwriting can be disguised.  So Anne could have written the Diary, even if it's not in her handwriting.   Did I really actually need to write that sentence?  It gives me flashbacks to the days when I was responding to her posts on the Forum and I repeatedly had to state the absolute bleeding obvious.  

THE EXPERT SPEAKS AGAIN

In #250, Caroline Morris manages the astonishing trick of speaking through her actual arse when she says this: 

If Mike had tried to create the Maybrick diary, and Anne had been insane enough to go along with, or encourage such an ambition, she'd have had to rip up any of his efforts and start from scratch, taking over and doing all the work for him, not just 'tidying' it up. It would have become her baby, with zero input from Mike. An immaculate conception and an exercise in cutting his balls off. Yet Martin Fido once expressed his surprise that Anne would have allowed such a poorly written piece of work to go out. 

The main bit I'm talking about here which has emerged from her posterior is her claim that, if Mike had tried to create the Maybrick diary, Anne would have 'had to rip up any of his efforts and start from scratch, taking over and doing all the work for him, not just 'tidying' it up'.  Here's what I don't understand. Who wrote the articles for Celebrity and Chat?  Was it Mike or was it Anne?  If it was Mike, did Anne 'tidy' them up or not?  If she tidied them up then why could she not have done exactly the same thing with the Diary?  If, however, she wrote them herself from start to finish, why doesn't that trigger Caroline Morris' brain into thinking, 'Ah, in which case perhaps Anne was the author of the Diary'???

Because the argument is absolutely NOT about the division of responsibility between Mike and Anne, or anyone else, in writing the Diary.  For all I know, and for all anyone knows, Mike's role might have been limited to obtaining the scrapbook at the auction, something I've said repeatedly.  The key issue and the only key issue is whether the Diary was created in March 1992 and that does not actually need Mike to have written a single word of it.

In any case, Caroline Morris here ignores two things.  Firstly, the possible role of Tony Devereux.  Secondly, the fact that Mike Barrett could speak.  I happen to know this is true because I've actually heard him speak.  On many occasions he was able to put words together into sentences that made perfect sense.  So in creating the Diary all he had to do was speak words that he thought the murderer might have said and Anne or Tony could have written them down.  I really shouldn't have to be saying such obvious things but in every speculation of Caroline Morris she always chooses the most extreme one.  So she starts with Mike creating the Diary on his own with a pen and paper.  But he doesn't have to have done it on his own at all.  No argument about the Diary having been created in March 1992 relies on Mike having done it all on his own. 

We go back to the Celebrity and Chat articles published in proper magazines.  Who wrote them?  Why could the same person who wrote those not have written the poorly written Maybrick Diary?  We never ever ever get an answer to this question. She only concentrates on her own scenario of Mike sitting there with a blank piece of paper and a pen and doing it all himself.

In any case, she can have no idea what Anne would or would not have done when presented with any circumstance in 1992.  She didn't know her in 1992!  She didn't know Mike Barrett in 1992!!  How can she possibly even begin to tell us with any degree of confidence how every single interaction between the two individuals would have played out? 

To read Caroline Morris' posts you'd think that Mike and Anne were complete strangers who were somehow forced into the same house for a short period in 1992.  You'd never think that Anne actually agreed to marry Mike Barrett.  Of her own free will!  Then she gave birth to his daughter.  So of course she would NEVER agree to do anything else with him! I mean, honestly, does that make any sense to you?  No, not to me neither.  But we'll never get an answer from Caroline Morris because she regards it as a waste of time to read my considered responses to her highly speculative postings.

It's also strange that Caroline Morris brings in Martin Fido as some kind of authority on Anne Barrett.  How does he know whether Anne would or would not have "allowed" such a 'poorly written piece of work to go out'?  Had he seen any examples of Anne's private correspondence with Mike?  One could easily describe some of it as 'poorly written'. Indeed when I posted a transcript of some of it, Caroline Morris herself couldn't believe it and wondered if I'd made a transcription error!!!! Seriously, that's true.  That's how much she's convinced herself that Anne Barrett was some kind of literary genius.  But I do love the ingenuity of the arguments.  The Diary was far too well written for Mike Barrett to have written it so he couldn't have been involved but at the same time it was far too poorly written for Anne Barrett so she couldn't have done it!!!! I mean, honestly, LOL, this is genuinely what they are telling us.

Also in the same post we find this:

'You 'think'? I trust you are not judging how smart Mike was by what's in the diary, so how are you judging his capabilities? In the early days of the 21st century, he sent Robert Smith an extract of a novel he was hoping to get published. My daughter could have done a better job at the age of seven. It was tripe, but worse than that, he based it, like the diary, on a linking of two infamous historical events. The problem was, the two events Mike chose were the murder of Mary Kelly and the terror attacks on the Twin Towers, because he thought they happened on the same date - 9/11. Just let that sink in for a bit. '

It's good to see the old 9/11 and 11/9 confusion classic which Caroline Morris loves so much coming out again. So Mike didn't understand the American way of writing dates in reverse to the English method. Does that actually mean anything?  Is it relevant in any way? 

As far as I am concerned, Caroline Morris has been the person responsible for a massive misinformation propaganda campaign online for the past twenty years with her endless stories of how stupid Mike Barrett is.  And, fair play to her, she HAS succeeded with many gullible Ripperologists.  We saw it only recently with Graham's post on Casebook (thread, 'What if the watch is real but the document isn't?') when, in response to being told Barrett was a writer, he stated (#9): 'Barrett was a writer??  You what? Ever seen any of his productions? he could hardly sign his name!'

Where else does he get this stuff from other than Caroline Morris?  His point about Mike's supposed inability to sign his name, whether true or not, is irrelevant because the issue is not one of calligraphy.  When, in response, R.J. Palmer posted one of Mike Barrett's articles from this site proving that he was indeed a professional writer, I guess the colour must have drained out of Graham's face.  He completely changed his tune.  No longer denying that Mike Barrett was a writer, he now simply stated that he didn't believe that he wrote the Diary.  Quite amusing really.

It took him 24 hours to recover from the shock when he then returned, demanding someone to tell him how we know the article was written by Mike.  The fact that the name 'Michael Barrett' was in the byline wasn't good enough for him!  He wanted evidence (in #16) that Mike was responsible for every word and indeed every bit of punctuation!!!!  Honestly, it's incredible.

But that's a classic example of someone who fell for the Morris propaganda against Mike Barrett which has been amazingly effective in portraying him as a completely useless incapable fool.  But that is not the truth of the man. He was almost certainly far more cunning that anyone suspects.  Not clever in the conventional sense for sure and certainly capable of doing or saying stupid things.  But nowhere near as stupid and incompetent as the Diary Defenders have convinced themselves he was.

Another example of someone who swallowed the anti-Mike propaganda hook, line and sinker can be found in Mr Poster's JTR Forums post in my thread, #274, in which he says of Mike Barrett, 'his verbal acumen seems strangely at odds with the level of articulation one usually associates with those who have credible claims to either title [e.g. freelance journalist]'. But what does Mr Poster really know about Mike Barrett's verbal acumen?  Has he merely listed to recordings when he was drunk and/or nervous?

No less an authority than Adam Wood noted that, during the Grey House Lunch on 9 April 1999, Barrett's arguments had been 'lucid and structured'.  That's just not the kind of stuff one normally reads about Barrett is it?   Indeed, Paul Daniel, the then editor of Ripperologist, recorded that Barrett was 'not at all what I was expecting' and that, 'throughout the afternoon I began to realise that he was an entirely different man from the one I had come to know through the hearsay of many other people'.  That shows just how dangerous it is to base one's opinions of Mike Barrett on the prejudiced opinions of others.  Perhaps others who only ever knew him when he was drunk.  Even Shirley Harrison was constrained to admit that 'Michael Barrett is no fool..he has a taste for quoting Latin phrases culled from a classical dictionary and a knack of collecting unexpected snippets of knowledge from the library'.  That sounds to me exactly like the type of person who one would expect to be behind the Maybrick Diary!

As it happens, on the Censorship Forum, Caroline Morris produced a letter written by Mike to Shirley in October 1994 ('Problem of Logic' thread, #433) in which one finds a couple of Latin phrases used by Mike (exemplit (sic) gratia and currenta (sic) calamo).  That letter also contained a poem written by Mike in the style of a Diary poem.  As written by Mike, with errors of grammar, Caroline Morris probably thought it demonstrates that Mike couldn't have been the author of the Diary but, once we convert it into normal English (as the person who actually held the pen when forging the Diary would certainly have done), we find it not too dissimilar to a 'Maybrick' ode, thus, it reads:

Jack likes to hack
Hack, hack, hack
Come what may
He'll strike today

One, two, three, four, five
His knife will
Come down
And so will the
Crown

Six, seven, eight, nine ten,
And off he runs
Back to his den 

Is that so different to the rubbish poetry we find in the Diary?  I don't think so. 

NO ORSAM, NO COMMENT!

Talking of Mike's propensity to quote Latin phrases...

This website's slogan is 'No Orsam, No Comment' and no better example of this can be found in the 'Problem in Logic' thread on the Censorship Forum.

I must have quoted on this website four or five times Shirley Harrison saying in her 2003 book that Mike Barrett was 'no fool' and 'has a taste for quoting Latin phrases culled from a classical dictionary and a knack of collecting unexpected snippets of knowledge from the library'.  Yet, Forum member Graham clearly hasn't been following.

When R.J. Palmer reproduced part of the page from Shirley's book containing this quote, in #378, Observer then mentioned it in #383.  This threw Graham into a complete panic.  It didn't fit the propaganda about Mike Barrett that he's swallowed whole over the past 20 years.  His first panicked reaction, therefore, was to ask for the exact page number of this quote in Shirley's book (#384).  He clearly didn't believe it existed!

When told that R.J. had actually reproduced it from the original in an earlier post, he then moved to his next panicked position which was to doubt the accuracy of Shirley's statement! This is what he said in #388:

'Not for one moment wishing to impugn Shirley Harrison's reliability, but there are several posters to these boards who knew, or at least on occasion met, Michael Barrett, I would like to know if any or all of them ever heard him 'quoting Latin phrases' at the drop of a hat.'

Obviously, as another poster then rightly pointed out, the very thing that Graham was doing in this post was impugning Shirley Harrison's reliability!  Otherwise why ask the question?  If Shirley had heard or read Mike quoting Latin phrases, why does he need other people to have heard or read it too?

Like I say, the reason for Graham's panic and confusion here was simply that he had swallowed hook line and sinker the propaganda that Barrett was a complete gormless idiot.  His brain couldn't compute the fact that Barrett could quote Latin phrases. Just as he couldn't compute the fact that he was a published writer. He couldn't understand that he's been deceived all these years by the people he trusted most about the Diary.

We might want to consider the person most responsible for spreading the propaganda about Barrett: one Caroline Morris.  But she never met or spoke to Mike Barrett at any time in the period 1992 to 1998 (let alone before 1992).  I believe I'm right in saying that the first time she encountered him was at the Cloak & Dagger club in April 1999.  I can't believe she met him more than two or three times in the following years while writing 'Inside Story'.

It's the same for others, such as Paul Begg.  How many times could he have visited Liverpool to speak to Mike Barrett?  Twice?  Three times?  Yet he's perfectly happy to give his opinion about whether Mike could have forged the Diary based on these brief encounters.

Frankly, I doubt if Shirley Harrison would have told us about Mike's ability to quote Latin phrases, and about his ability to collect snippets of knowledge from the library, had it not been for the fact that he discovered the source of the 'costly intercourse' reference in the Diary.  She was then forced to reveal that he had a certain intelligence.  How else could such a discovery be explained?  But if he had a certain intelligence couldn't he have been responsible, at least in part, for the creation of the forgery?  That's the problematic puzzle at the heart of this story for the Diary Defenders.

If Graham had been a regular reader of the articles on this site he might not have needed to have made it quite so obvious how much he has been fooled by others about Mike Barrett's intelligence.

Like we always say, No Orsam, No Comment!! 

THE CLANGER ADMITS TO CLANGER SHOCK!!!

This is from #208 where, as always, I correct Gary the Clanger's spelling mistake of my name

Fanfare!

I hold my hand up to one clanger pointed out by Lord Orsam: 

When I looked into the ‘Church Street’ incident some years ago, I made the mistake of thinking that Deal Street had at one time been named Albert Street. 

So Gary the Clanger got it wrong again.  What a shock!

 

Isn't London street names and maps and dull stuff like that his specialist subject?  Now that he admits to this clanger, should we not simply discard everything else he says because it must all be wrong?

That's the way he seems to think anyway.

MODERATOR OF CASEBOOK CENSORSHIP FORUM IGNORANT OF CASEBOOK CENSORSHIP FORUM: SCANDAL

This is a genuine post from the current moderator of the Casebook Censorship Forum, summarizing what I am supposed to have alleged about him: 

'I used my immense influence on Ally Ryder to orchestrate his removal in order to protect my very close friends Caroline Morris and Keith Skinner.

David wrote a 3,000 word essay about it.'

Here's the actual proof that he typed those words with his own fingers:

I wanted to capture this image because if I didn’t show the actual post people might think I was inventing it.

It’s quite extraordinary that Jonathan Menges, the moderator of the Casebook Censorship Forum and a senior figure in the world of Ripperology, is reduced to peddling falsehoods of this nature.  Every single word of that post is untrue.

In 'From Commissioner to Asterisk', (link here), my so-called ‘3,000 word essay’, although I can assure you that it contains many more words than that, I said nothing about Jonathan Menges attempting to orchestrate my removal from Casebook, or anything remotely similar.  The reason I said nothing about this was because I resigned from Casebook of my own free will.  I’m quite sure that I never have, and never would, accuse Menges, or anyone else - unless they were an expert hypnotist - of orchestrating my own actions!!

The suggestion that I raised in my essay was that Menges had interfered in something that had nothing to do with him by reporting the thread to Admin and secretly poisoned the mind of Ally Ryder against me, causing her to post a ruling which, quite unfairly and wrongly, accused me of harassing and relentlessly badgering the author Michael Hawley in a thread about his book.

It was no more than a suggestion at the time, but information received since the publication of my article – from none other than Menges himself – means that I am now satisfied that Menges did exactly what I was suggesting. He has confirmed that, although not then a moderator, he used the privileged position of his relationship with Ally Ryder to discuss the thread with her and gave her his views as to who was at fault in that thread. From snippets of his email correspondence with her that he was pressured by me into revealing, it’s perfectly clear that Ryder had not read the entire thread and was relying on Menges to advise her as to what she should say in her ruling and, indeed, on how she should be running Casebook in this respect. 

I also believe that Ally Ryder’s use of the word 'badgering' in her ruling came directly from Menges.  I say this because he accused me in a private email that he sent me of having repeatedly badgered other members (notably and laughably Caroline Morris, who was the only example he provided). This is why I believe that Menges is responsible for the way Ally Morris worded her ruling, which was my complaint about him.

As I never accused him of orchestrating my removal, it follows as night follows day that I didn’t accuse him in my '3,000 word essay' of orchestrating my removal in order to protect his ‘very close friends’, Caroline Morris and Keith Skinner.  The fact of the matter is that Keith Skinner isn’t even mentioned in my essay and Caroline Morris is mentioned only as an example of someone who took advantage of Admin's ruling and decided to use it against me.  There is not even the hint of a suggestion that Menges was doing anything to protect Caroline Morris and/or Keith Skinner.  And there is a very good reason for that.  At the time I wrote my essay I had literally no idea that Menges was friends with either Caroline Morris or Keith Skinner!

The only reason I now know that Menges is obviously friendly with them is that he subsequently identified Caroline Morris as the one person I had badgered on the Forum (which is a complete joke) and I then saw that he was posting Keith Skinner’s Diary Defending posts on the Forum on his behalf.  So I didn’t need to be Sherlock Holmes to deduce that he is obviously friends with both Skinner and Morris and is, therefore, well on board with the Diary Defenders.  I also don’t think I need to be of a paranoid persuasion to imagine what those three people would have said about me in private emails or messages.

For those reasons, it’s clear to me that there were dark forces behind Admin’s ruling of May 2018.  Menges, whose own mind had probably been poisoned by his Diary Defender friends, in turn poisoned the mind of Admin and made her think I was someone who badgered other members.  Some of these people are so petty that any small victory of a ruling against me by Admin would be a cause of rejoicing.

Of course they had no idea how that would end up.  They didn’t know it would result it me resigning from the Forum.  They couldn’t possibly know.  And I’ve never accused anyone of forcing me to resign from the Forum or orchestrating my resignation, including Ally Ryder.  Unless Menges is the stupidest man on the planet, stupider even than Gary the Clanger, he must know that I’ve never accused him of orchestrating my resignation, let alone doing so to‘protect’ anyone, least of all Caroline Morris and Keith Skinner.  Yet the fact that he is prepared to make this claim in public on JTR Forums is remarkable.

As I've mentioned, Jonathan Menges is a senior individual in the world of Ripperology. Are Ripperologists now reduced to peddling lies about those who criticize them?  It’s absolutely Stalinist. It’s truly unbelievable. But one thing is certain.  Most other Ripperologists will remain absolutely silent about this palpable distortion of the truth.  They will hear no evil and will see no evil. Another thing is certain.  Menges, who, if he had any shred of decency in his body, would apologize for posting these falsehoods about me, will fail to say anything.  He will not respond to a word of this.  And he’ll probably just repeat the lie he posted again somewhere down the line.  Disgusting.

And let me just emphasize that the notion that there was any 'removal' of me from Casebook is a dastardly lie from someone who is in a good position to know the truth. In the very last communication I received from Ally Ryder, the Admin of Casebook, in August 2018, she said this to me: 

'You are welcome to continue posting'

Those were her final words to me. So I wasn't removed from Casebook at all. But I had no interest in continuing to post on that forum due to her ruling (since deleted) and her subsequent attitude.   In response to her message that I was 'welcome to continue posting' I expressly asked her to delete my membership of the site, and she did so.

That is what happened.  If Jonathan Menges doesn't believe me he can ask Ally Ryder.

I've already posted the entire correspondence between myself and Ryder in the article 'From Commissioner to Asterisk' so it's no secret.

It's clear, therefore, that Jonathan Menges is deliberately spreading misinformation about me.  He's not the only one.  I've lost count of the number of people on the forums, almost invariably Diary Defenders, who have tried to pretend that I was kicked out or booted out of the Casebook Forum.  Why do they do that?  The answer is obvious. They just want to discredit me in any way they can in their doomed attempt to convince the world that Mike Barrett wasn't involved in the creation of the Diary. Why they want to do that I couldn't tell you but it seems that they've been denying this for so long that it's actually become part of who they are and they cannot bear the idea that they might have been wrong all these years.  Some of them do seem to think of themselves as unable to be fooled by a con-artist and perhaps it's too much for them to bear to admit that, just perhaps, they were fooled in this case.

With Jonathan Menges, though, it's quite worrying because it reveals a pattern of behaviour on his part.  It will be recalled that his initial response to my '3,000 word essay', which he wanted to make clear he hadn't read in its entirety (because it would be too much to expect that someone would properly read an article to which they were responding), was to deny that he was responsible for the Tumblety thread being locked, something I'd never suggested.  Then on returning to the subject he claimed that I had been upset about the thread being locked when it was, of course, Ally Ryder's ruling (which we now know that Menges was at least partially responsible for) that I was complaining about.  And now he's falsely claiming that I've alleged some kind of effort on his part to orchestrate my removal from the Forum in order to protect two of his close friends.  It's utter rubbish and he's obviously trying to put these ridiculous words into my mouth to discredit me.

It will be recalled that I publicly asked Menges to reveal the full truth about his correspondence with Ally Ryder concerning the Tumblety thread.  His response?  Oh yes, you guessed it. Silence!   Uncomfortable silence.

MENGES AND THE TAPES

How many posts does it take to get full and accurate information out of Jonathan Menges?

I'm not the only one to have trouble it seems.

Roger Palmer was under the impression that the tapes of the Maybrick Diary-related interviews that Jonathan Menges had uploaded online during 2019 had come from Keith Skinner. 

Why did he think this?  Well Keith Skinner had posted on the Forum (via Jonathan Menges!) on 16 November 2019 to deny that the tapes uploaded by Menges had been 'doctored', saying (underlining added):

'There is no hidden agenda to present anything but the facts. What reason would we have for giving a bias Roger?'

So, quite naturally, and understandably, from Keith Skinner's own words, Palmer was, from that time onwards, under the impression that Keith Skinner had provided the tapes to Jonathan Menges.

Some months pass and Palmer returns to the subject  in May 2020 because he, again quite understandably, wants the crucial Barrett/Gray interview tapes released in the same way that the other tapes have been released.  He knows that Keith Skinner owns a set of these tapes, so is curious as to why Keith Skinner appears to have withheld those tapes from Menges (especially in light of the bullshit stalling non-responsive excuse Keith had given Roger, via Iconoclast, for not releasing the tapes in #572 of the 'Problem of Logic' thread). So he says to Keith (#576):

'as with the Barrett's typescript of the diary, whether these important sources will become part of the 'Feldman/Skinner/Graham' archive that you have already released to the public rests entirely in your own hands.  People can decide for themselves what "editorial control" may have been exerted.' 

This brings an immediate and angry response in three posts, not from Keith Skinner, but from Jonathan Menges to (apparently) deny that Keith Skinner had any part in the release of the previous Maybrick tapes.  Thus, while telling Roger that he has 'no idea' and is wasting his time 'imagining all sorts of things' (#579), he says in #577 (underlining added):

'The Maybrick Diary related tape recordings were from Robert McLaughlin’s personal collection, which he digitized and gave to me. Keith Skinner had no hand (let alone thumb) in what I chose to release.'

It turns out that this was a carefully worded statement which concealed as much as it revealed.  It's only when Roger (in #594) reminds Menges of Keith's own statement that he had some kind of role in the release of the tapes that Menges is forced back to the Forum to admit the full story in the hope that it 'clears things up a bit'.  Thus, in #598 he says (underlining added): 

'I shared all of the Maybrick Diary recordings I received from Robert McLaughlin with Keith weeks prior to releasing them and he compared them with the tape recordings he already had to see if mine were of better or worse quality. When his recording was of better quality he graciously allowed me to substitute mine with his.'

So it transpires that some of the tapes uploaded by Menges HAD IN FACT COME FROM KEITH SKINNER!!!!

And Jonathan Menges was, at all times, aware of this.

Was it humanly possible for anyone reading Jonathan Menges' original post saying that Keith Skinner had had 'no hand' in the matter to have appreciated that Keith Skinner had provided some of the very tapes in question to Menges?  No, but of course Menges hadn't actually said that Keith Skinner had had no hand in the matter, despite that being the impression any normal reader would have taken away from the post, simply that he had had no hand in what Menges had chosen to release.

The thing is, the question raised by Roger hadn't been about what Menges had chosen to release.  No-one for one second would have thought that Keith had been providing tapes to Menges which Menges was then refusing to release!!!  The natural assumption was that it was a joint project, based on Keith's use of the word 'we'. The issue being raised by Roger was why Keith hadn't also provided the Barratt/Gray tapes for Menges to release. By logical deduction, the fact that Menges hadn't released them must have meant that Keith never provided them.

We can now see that there was absolutely no reason for Keith not to have provided those tapes to Menges.  He was hardly restricted in only providing tapes that Robert McLaughlin owned was he?  He could easily have said, 'In addition to those tapes you've received from Robert, for which I'm now providing you with better copies, here's some more tapes from my collection which can be digitized'.  Why, in fact, has he not done this to this day?

Well perhaps he wants us to think that there is a copyright issue, which is why he provided to Iconoclast a letter from Alan Gray from 2003 claiming copyright over the tapes but he doesn't seriously think that there is a copyright issue over the tapes 17 years later does he?  If he is, why didn't he say so when asked to release the tapes by R.J. Palmer? And did Menges get copyright clearance from the BBC for releasing the BBC Radio Mersyside interviews? If not, there can't be possibly be an issue in releasing the Barratt/Gray tapes or a transcript of them today for educational purposes can there? Let's get those tapes out there chaps, nothing will happen!

The irony of the situation is that we would never have got to the truth of the matter if Caroline Morris had not blundered into the dispute in #591.  By this stage, a chastened Roger, who is clearly an honourable man, apologized in #580, saying:

'I do apologize to Keith for assuming that he had cooperated in the release of these tapes.' 

Hmmnn.....here's a funny thing.  That apology didn't bring an immediate response from Jonathan Menges to 'clear things up a bit' by telling Roger that he shouldn't be apologizing for that because Keith Skinner HAD, in fact, cooperated in the release of those tapes.  Indeed, he had cooperated so fully to the extent, it seems, of providing some tapes from his own personal collection because they had better sound quality.

No, there was complete radio silence from Mr Menges. Days passed and only silence, even though Roger had clearly apologized on a false basis.

It's on 28 May that Caroline Morris can't resist getting involved, although it's got nothing to do with her, when she has a funny little pop at Roger for his 'funny little pop at Keith'.  She claims that Roger has scored 'an own goal'.  But it seems that, in fact, the own goal was hers. 

Her post prompts Roger, who, having already apologized without qualification, had moved on from the subject, to remind Menges (and all the other members of the Forum) of Keith's original statement that he (Keith) had been involved in the release of the tapes.  

Well, Menges could hardly ignore that. This is when he returns to 'clear things up a bit'.  The full story is finally revealed but one wonders why it couldn't have been revealed in his first post on the subject.

The similarity between my situation and the number of posts from him in response to my 'From Commissioner to Asterisk' article, and other articles by me, before he finally admitted that he had indeed discussed the notorious Tumblety thread, and my role in it, with Ally Ryder, prior to her ruling on that thread, and thus prior to her outrageous, false and defamatory comments about me which, after she refused to withdraw them, gave me no option but to resign my membership of the Forum, is remarkable.   

We should be getting better information from one of the leading Ripperologists.  We don't want carefully worded statements, we just want the full truth. 

But perhaps, to make amends, we can now finally have the release of the Barrett/Gray interview tapes which are essential for getting to the full truth of the origins of the Maybrick Diary.  If Keith Skinner doesn't volunteer them, all Jonathan Menges has to do is ask for them. Unless for some reason some people don't want us to know the full truth.

THE CLANGER JOINS THE MENGES PARTY

Responding to Jonathan Menges' post about my '3,000 word essay', which, as I've said, was much longer than this, Gary the Clanger wrote in #232: 

'Only 3000? He must have a secret soft spot for you, Jonathan.'   

Except it wasn't an article about Jonathan Menges, it was an article about my resignation from the Casebook Forum in which Menges was briefly mentioned but Gary as usual doesn't seem to have a clue about what's going on. Just another clanger from the master of them.

Talking of my departure from the Forum, Gary the Clanger wrote in #228:

This is slightly off-topic, but does anyone know exactly why His Lordship was booted off Casebook? I think it happened shortly after he had mercilessly (tediously) trolled Tom Wescott about the Millous issue. Did that have anything to do with it?

It clearly still rankles. 

It wasn't off-topic actually.  After all, the thread is my thread, entitled 'Lord Orsam's Blog' and this 'blog' contains a detailed explanation for my departure from the Forum (which the Clanger presumably hasn't even bothered to read) so that the post was very much on-topic, it's just that it was completely off-reality.

I suppose I need to repeat that I was never 'booted off Casebook' and my resignation from that Forum had nothing whatsoever to do with Tom Wescott's Millous issue.  I don't know why the Clanger thinks it 'still rankles', or quite what is supposed to rankle, especially bearing in mind that Wescott has now freely admitted that he DID make a major blunder (see Wescott Confidential), so that I was not only absolutely right to pursue it but very fair in the way I approached the subject.

THE MAYBRICK DIARY AND THE HANDWRITING

Now, with all the nonsense out of the way, let's get on to discussing the Diary because at least some of the posts in the 'Lord Orsam Blog' thread were not actually about me, amazing though that might seem, but about the issues relating to the Diary. 

Well, of course, even some of that was about me.  It will be recalled that Caroline Morris once posted (at #127):

‘Too bad nobody…has yet been able to answer one very simple question, which could have put the whole thing to bed; whose handwriting is it in?'

When discussing my response to this in the last 'Lord Orsam Says...', Gary Barnett said (#247) that I pretended not to understand the meaning of her post and that what she obviously meant is that no-one has been able to provide a 'convincing'  answer to the 'very simple question'.

Well, there are plenty of qualifiers that could have been inserted there, ranging from “conclusive” answer through “convincing/persuasive” answer down to “credible” answer and then down to “reasonable” answer, through to a “possible” answer.  Other possible words would be “effective” or “enthusiastic” or “strong” or “positive” answer.  They all have somewhat different meanings.  She used none of those qualifiers.  So I have no idea how I’m supposed to have understood her as meaning ‘convincing’.

Although she quickly agreed with Barnett's interpretation that she meant 'convincing' (#258), and claimed that she couldn’t believe that anyone could fail to grasp what she meant, this was wholly disingenuous.   She must have forgotten what she actually wrote in the next paragraph of the post in question at #127 (something that Barnett accidentally omitted to quote) which gives the game away (my underlining):

‘So the very best of luck to anyone still spending their leisure time ‘studying the diary hoax’, while failing to come up with a remotely credible answer to the question.  It looks like they’ll be studying it for the rest of the days, and that’s quite sad, isn’t it.'

She wasn’t even going as high as ‘credible’!!!!  She was saying ‘remotely credible’.  So what she was saying, taking the post as a whole, as I read it, was that no-one had ever been able to provide any answer to the question as to whose handwriting it was and she was then saying good luck to anyone who spends their time trying to find even a remotely credible answer.

Furthermore, one needs to bear in mind the overall context of the debate about the handwriting and the fact that, until 2018, just two years ago, no-one ever really had been able to provide ANY answer to the question because no-one had ever seriously been identified as the scribe, certainly not in the online debate in which I was involved.  Kane had certainly been mentioned years ago but never by me nor in any serious way that I can recall by anyone posting on the forums during the three years of my membership.  Anne’s candidacy had been effectively eliminated due to the sample of handwriting she provided to Keith Skinner in January 1995 which looked nothing like the handwriting in the Diary.

Then, when we consider the immediate context of her post, it surely must be considered very odd that in saying ‘no-one has ever been able to answer one very simple question’ she doesn’t mention my own suggestion that it could have been Anne Graham!  In fact, Anne Graham is not mentioned at all in her post, despite me having repeatedly given reasons why she is a good candidate in my recent articles, certainly qualifying for ‘remotely credible’.

In this respect, we need to bear in mind that Caroline Morris pretends that she doesn’t read my articles on this website.  In true ostrich-like fashion, she never acknowledges or responds directly to them.  So my reading of this was of someone stubbornly ignoring the argument that Anne Graham has been put forward as the author.

So I certainly DID read Caroline Morris as saying that no-one been able to put forward a candidate.  If she was saying more than this I would have regarded it as being that no-one had been able to put forward a reasonable or credible candidate. 

If she wasn’t doing this, her post reads very strangely in the face of the new evidence showing similarities between elements of Anne Graham’s handwriting and the handwriting of the Diary author.

My interpretation was also supported by the fact that when Abby Normal posted Anne Graham’s name she thanked him for doing so in the form of a question rather than putting Anne’s name forward in a positive way which would thus have negatived the point made in her original post.

So I do strongly refute Gary Barnett's argument that I was somehow unfairly, with 'verbose hostility' (#248) and in bad faith trying to ‘ridicule’ Caroline Morris (as if I need to use unfair tactics to do this!).  At the very best, her post was ambiguous and badly written and at the worst she DID mean to say what I attributed to her.

The huge irony in Gary Barnett accusing me of deliberately misunderstanding someone is highlighted by his posts where he picks me up for saying that it wasn’t ‘possible’ for anyone to have identified Anne Graham as a possible candidate for author of the Diary until I posted examples of her handwriting .  I truly don’t understand his objection to this. I mean, it wasn’t possible at all for anyone to have done it.  If he thinks it was possible I’d like to know how.  Sure, someone could have broken into her house and stolen samples of her handwriting, I suppose, and then posted them online, but he can’t be taking the word ‘possible’ to that literal extreme can he? 

So I really don’t know what he meant when he said in #248 that ‘it presumably would have been possible to obtain an example of Anne’s handwriting’.  I just don’t know how he thinks it could have been done.  But even if it was a theoretical possibility, the point was that it had not been done which explains why the question wasn’t answered years ago!  Either way it wasn’t possible for anyone to have answered the question in any of the online debates and discussions, which was what I was addressing.

It was actually a double impossibility really.  For not only would one have needed samples of Anne Graham’s normal handwriting which weren't available, but one would have needed access to a good quality copy of the Diary, which wasn’t publicly available until 2017.  It wasn’t until 2018 with the double availability of Anne’s handwriting and a good quality copy of the Diary that the comparison was realistically possible.

So that’s the explanation for why the question hadn’t been answered ‘years ago’.  I repeat that I just don’t know what point the Clanger is making in response to me here.  I’ve used simple plain English which has a simple plain meaning. It just wasn’t possible to do the comparison without having a sample of Anne’s handwriting which wasn’t available prior to May 2018 and the good quality Diary copy; and THAT is the answer to Caroline Morris’ observation that the question hadn’t been resolved years ago.

I’ve said it twice now because I’ve learnt that Gary Barnett doesn’t read anything properly and seems to have some kind of blindness to anything that contradicts him so I need to try and emphasize the point so that it sinks in through the walls he places in front of his eyes.

KEEPING THE DIARY SAFE AND WANTING TO BURN IT AT THE SAME TIME

Caroline Morris suggests that the reason Anne Graham might have wanted to have the Diary placed in the safe of a bank in 1992 was that her main worry was that ‘its rightful owner would miss it and demand its safe return’ (#250).   I had to wonder if she was joking.  The story we were always told (see e.g. 'Inside Story', page 209) was that she tried to wrestle the Diary out of Mike’s hands in order to throw it on the fire!!! Hence: 'When he [Michael] said he wanted to get the diary published, I panicked and we had a big argument and I tried to destroy the diary…I just wanted to burn the diary in its entirety’.   How is that in any way consistent with her worrying about its safety on behalf of its rightful owner at the exact same time?  Worrying about it so much that she was anxious that it should be protected and secured in a bank vault?  It just doesn’t fit.  So, is the story about her wanting to throw the Diary on the fire another big lie now?

And if Anne believed that there was, somewhere out there, a ‘rightful owner’ of the Diary, why did she sign a collaboration agreement with Shirley Harrison on 30 April 1992?  More to the point, how did she end up signing a legal agreement to transfer the ownership of the diary to Robert Smith on 23 March 1993?  As she did sign these legal documents, the idea that Anne Graham was so fearful about the ‘rightful owner’ coming to demand its safe return that she wanted it locked in a bank vault in case it was stolen or burnt in a fire is a joke.

It just doesn’t fit whereas what DOES fit is her being protective of the Diary because she spent eleven days writing the damn thing.

Let’s just remind ourselves of the full answer of Caroline Morris (#250):

I should think her main worry was how Mike really came into possession of the diary, and whether its rightful owner would miss it and demand its safe return. Why would she suddenly be concerned about fire or theft if it had been knocking about in their home since the early summer of 1991? And I'm not going anywhere near the outlandish notion that it was knocked up over 11 days in early April and then had to be put in a bank vault for its own protection. Mike's madness was one thing, but Anne was merely mad at the situation he had put them in.

Look at that diversionary strawman question:

Why would she suddenly be concerned about fire or theft if it had been knocking about in their home since the early summer of 1991?

Who is saying that the Diary had been knocking about in the Barrett’s home since the early summer of 1991?  No-one as far as I know. 

The world has changed since 2003 yet Caroline Morris’s posts are still set in two decades back.

She simply sidesteps the key argument against her by saying :

“And I'm not going anywhere near the outlandish notion that it was knocked up over 11 days in early April and then had to be put in a bank vault for its own protection.”   

Elsewhere, as we've seen, she said the idea was 'barking mad'.  Now it's 'outlandish'. What on earth is ‘outlandish’ about this notion?  I mean, it fits the evidence perfectly.  It explains why Mike Barrett attempted to acquire a Victorian diary with blank pages in March 1992.  Caroline Morris has spent years attempting to provide a sensible explanation for this but has failed miserably. It also explains Mike Barrett’s otherwise inexplicable comments in 1999 that the Diary was only created after his telephone conversation with Doreen Montgomery, a version of events that is actually consistent with a careful reading of his 1995 affidavit.  As I’ve said many times, there would have been no difficulty in writing out the 63 pages in the Diary from a largely pre-prepared text in 11 days, at a leisurely pace of under six pages a day.  So what’s outlandish about it?  

The answer is that there’s nothing outlandish but Morris wants her readers to think there is so that she can simply avoid dealing with the theory.  She really has nothing sensible to say as to why it isn’t a credible possibility.  She knows that Anne’s desire to have the Diary placed in a bank vault for protection is entirely consistent with Anne having written out the Diary but can’t bring herself to admit this. 

BREATHTAKING 

Sometimes even my own breath is taken away by what I read on the forums.  This is Caroline Morris in #256:

'Did Orsam forget page 177 of Ripper Diary, which features a page of Anne's spontaneous handwriting, which she readily produced on January 18th, 1995, when Keith Skinner sprang the request on her without warning, in the presence of Shirley Harrison and Sally Evemy?'

No, of course I didn’t.  I have mentioned that very sample of ‘spontaneous handwriting’ numerous times in my articles on this site.  I have repeatedly made the point that it is visually different to her normal handwriting as revealed in her private correspondence.  I have asked why it is so different. 

I literally do not know how Caroline Morris can ask such a question. If she is reading my articles she should know this.  If she isn’t bothering to read them, that’s causing a big problem because she must be writing in a position of total ignorance and is raising questions that have already been answered.

This is what Caroline Morris says about that handwriting sample (#256):

'The book was published back in 2003, and Anne's handwriting looks nothing like the diary, but presumably she wasn't bothered that anyone who was familiar with her usual handwriting - a boss or work colleague for example - would blow the whistle if they saw she had deliberately disguised it.'

Sometimes it amazes me how Caroline Morris is unable to think in any kind of rational way about the Diary.  The answer to her question is so obvious that even Gary the Clanger could probably answer it.

When the request for her handwriting was sprung on Anne, without warning, in front of witnesses in January 1995 what was she going to do?  Well she had two options and two options only.  She could refuse, or she could provide a sample.  If she refused, how suspicious was that going to look?  So she couldn’t, in reality, refuse.  She HAD to provide a sample.  But if she provided a sample in her normal handwriting she would have known (assuming that she was the Diary author) that there was a good chance that a handwriting expert could identify similarities between her handwriting and the Diary handwriting.  I very much doubt any handwriting expert would have been able to positively say the Diary was written by Anne (or any other individual), bearing in mind that the writing in the Diary is likely to have been disguised.  But they might have seen similarities.  So, if we assume for the sake of this discussion that Anne was the forger, what is her only option?  Her only option is to give a sample of handwriting but change it from her normal handwriting.

The risk of someone who knew in great detail what Anne’s handwriting looked like, seeing her sample in the not-exactly bestselling 2003 book and writing to someone (who?) that her sample looks a bit different from her normal handwriting, must have been infinitesimally small.  And that assumes Anne was aware when she provided the sample that it would have ended up in the book.  It doesn’t seem at all likely that this would have been mentioned at the time.  So the entire objection has no merit.

She did what she had to do.  She gave a sample.  But, curiously, that sample is not like her normal handwriting. Why not?  Caroline Morris provides no answer.

The reason the sample was published in Caroline Morris’ 2003 book was obviously to show the world that Anne’s  handwriting was nothing like the handwriting in the Diary.  It worked because the idea that Anne was the author never really took hold.  It would have relied on a real ability for Anne to disguise her handwriting into something very different to normal.

Caroline Morris relies on the fact that Sue Iremonger never commented that the sample of Anne's handwriting looked disguised (#241).  I will leave aside that Sue Iremonger’s report (if one was ever written) has never been produced (and my recollection is that Caroline Morris only ever assumed that Iremonger concluded that the sample of Anne’s handwriting didn’t match the handwriting of the Diary because nothing different had been heard), the key point is that unless a handwriting expert is asked to consider if someone’s handwriting is disguised they are never in a million years going to express an unsolicited opinion on that subject.  Even if they were asked, there’s almost no way that they would be able to give an opinion unless there was something so remarkably odd and unnatural about the way it was written but even then how could they possibly know that it wasn't a certain individual's normal way of writing?

I’ve said this before and it’s a shame I have to keep repeating myself for those who are not concentrating but an expert might be able to examine handwriting to see if someone has been trying to fake someone else’s handwriting by noting that it doesn't flow and is awkwardly written.  But how can they tell if handwriting has been disguised when written at normal speed with normal pressure?  One of the main giveaways of disguised handwriting is that it has a different slant to normal handwriting but the only way an expert is going to be able to know if the writing is slanting differently is if they have a sample of the person’s normal handwriting to make a comparison.

So what I am saying is that Caroline Morris keeps attributing to handwriting experts abilities that they simply don’t possess.  If Anne simply kept her cool and gave a sample of handwriting different to her normal handwriting and Sue Iremonger was told that this was a sample of Anne’s handwriting then that’s what Iremonger would assume to be the case and she would examine it on that basis and at face value. 

It wasn’t until 2018 that I discovered what Anne Barrett’s real handwriting looked like and was able to produce examples for consideration.

In her post at #256 Caroline says:

'Funny how people now want to forget the desperate suggestions that Anne may be ambidextrous, or suffering from multiple personality disorder. Why were such suggestions needed, if her normal handwriting really is uncannily similar to the diary? More to the point, is Anne so insane that she let Mike loose with a fake diary which was intended to look like the penmanship of James Maybrick, but in fact looked uncannily like her own? '

I find that so weird. The suggestion I've made is perfectly clear and consistent. I've never actually said that her normal handwriting is 'uncannily similar to the diary'.  I certainly referred to the uncanny similarities that can be found when doing a comparison between the two handwritings but the handwriting of Anne Graham as a whole is not 'uncannily similar' to the Diary handwriting, however much Caroline Morris wishes to pretend that is what I meant.  I really have been very clear about what I've been saying from the outset which is that the way Anne forms certain characters is remarkably similar to the way the author of the Diary forms certain characters.  Let me quote myself to prove it.  Here is what I said when I introduced the subject on 10 May 2018 in the thread, 'Diary Handwriting' at #34

'Certainly none of Anne's normal handwriting can be said to be identical to the Diary author's handwriting. All I want to say in this thread is that the similarities present us with quite a coincidence in that the person identified by Mike in his January 1995 affidavit as the transcriber of the affidavit shares a number of handwriting characteristics with the author of the Diary.'

That post can be found here 

I can't repeat that entire chunk of text every time I deal with the subject so use shorthand to summarize it. When Caroline Morris claims that I've referred to Anne's handwriting as a whole being 'uncannily similar' she is subtly shifting the argument, by removing it from its overall context, in a way to suit her. Then she can say, as she does, why does he need so suggest that she was ambidextrous when the similarity is so obvious? It ignores the fact that I have always said that there must be an element of disguise about the handwriting because the handwriting in the Diary is certainly not identical to Anne's handwriting.

There is also nothing 'desperate' about the suggestion that Anne might have been ambidextrous. The reason I have suggested it is very simple.  If you read ANY book or article about disguised handwriting, it is said that a very common way to effect a disguise to do it with your other hand.   The slope of the handwriting in the Diary is also the opposite to Anne's normal slope which could either indicate that she changed her slope (another very common form of disguise of handwriting) or she was writing with her other hand.  Morris is strangely obsessed with the ambidextrous point as if being ambidextrous is almost a super-human ability and not something that is pretty common.  

In any case I don't rely on Anne necessarily being ambidextrous.  She might have just had an ability to disguise her own handwriting. If that's the case then that's really all that needs to be said.  Caroline Morris has no idea whether Anne was able to disguise her handwriting or not.  And I mean not a clue.  There is no way she is able to contradict the suggestion in other words.

Unfortunately Caroline Morris seems to have held a life-long belief that the author of the Diary, whoever he or she may be, wrote the Diary in their own normal handwriting so that a handwriting expert can prove the identity of the author, or eliminate suspects, simply by comparing their own handwriting with the handwriting in the Diary.  She's never been able to grasp the concept of someone disguising their handwriting so that it can't be matched to their own, even by an expert.   

Another fake argument in that same post is when Caroline Morris claims that people want to 'forget' the suggestion that Anne might have been suffering from multiple personality disorder. Thus, by way of reminder, she said:

'Funny how people now want to forget the desperate suggestions that Anne may be ambidextrous, or suffering from multiple personality disorder'

As I've already explained twice on this website and now do so a third time, no-one is claiming that Anne might have been suffering from multiple personality disorder when she wrote the Diary, let alone claiming this as a reason for her handwriting not precisely matching that of the Diary.  This is something that Caroline Morris (and Keith Skinner) misunderstood Mike Barrett to have been saying in 1999 but he wasn't even saying that, as I explained in 'Man in a Pub'.  Ironically it's only Caroline Morris these days who talks about Anne's supposed 'multiple personality disorder' while attributing the idea to other imaginary people. 

Caroline Morris refers to my article, as quoted by Gary the Clanger, when I said:

'Now that it is available, we can see that there are uncanny similarities between Anne's handwriting and the Diary author's handwriting as foretold by Mike Barrett more than ten years ago in the pub.'

Her reaction is this (#241)

'No - it's just His Orsamness talking out of his bottom as usual, and using his royal 'we'. We can see 'uncanny similarities', can we? My Aunt Fanny. Funny how nobody else noticed any, including those who believed Mike was heavily involved.'

No, I wasn’t using the royal ‘we’.  When I posted the examples of Anne’s handwriting on the Forum in 2018 every single person who commented agreed that there were similarities between her handwriting and the Diary handwriting due to them both forming certain characters in a fairly unusual and distinctive way.  There were no dissenting voices!   This is the thread here.  Caroline Morris herself was conspicuous by her silence despite having posted incessantly earlier in the thread, before I posted the handwriting examples.  In fact, when she did eventually post again in the thread, in #73 and #74, after I'd exclusively posted the handwriting examples, she completely avoided the question, preferring to discuss (off topic) the content of one of Anne's letters!!!!

Similarly, when Kattrup posted examples in #243 on JTR Forums she simply ignored him and had to be forced by Kattrup in #273 to make some kind of comment. She basically refused in #286 saying, 'I don't claim to be any kind of expert'.  That's nothing more than a cop-out.  No-one was asking her for an expert opinion, merely her own opinion!  Do the examples look similar or not? 

It's incredibly amusing that, even now, almost two years after I first posted examples of Anne's handwriting, she is not prepared to say that there are no similarities!  Even when someone actually posts an extract from the Diary and an extract from Anne's handwriting side by side she can't bring herself to comment.  It was a very resounding silence. Apparently she can't comment on a single example.  So let's give her another one:

This is Anne writing the word 'for'.  Note that the 'f' looks like a 'b'....

This is also Anne writing the word 'for' in another document:

 

It's similar right? But note how the 'or' part of the word is squashed up into one squiggle.

Now here is the Diary author writing the same word, 'for', in the first line of the Diary:

 

This is larger: 

 

Tell me that's not similar.   It's an 'f' which looks like a 'b' followed by a bit of a squiggle for the 'or'.  Yes, there's a different slant but we've discussed that.

One obvious feature of the Diary author's handwriting is the variation throughout, as the same letters or complete words are written differently in different parts of the document.  The same is true for Anne herself.  Here is a third example of the word 'for' written by Anne.

 

We can see she adds a loop on this occasion and the 'f' no longer looks like a 'b'.

I just want to show you now another example of the Diary author writing a word with a lowercase 'f' at the start.  This is 'fact'.  I only illustrate this because on most occasions the 'f' has a loop at the top, but not in this instance.

Now here is Anne writing the word 'friends':

 

Compare that to the Diary, while replacing, in your mind, the looped 'f' used in the diary with the 'f' from 'fact'.

 

What I particularly want you to focus on is the way the 's' rolls out of the 'd' to create a little 'u' and the end of the word.  Just another uncanny similarity.

Now, I do stress what I've stressed from the start. None of these visual comparisons can prove that Anne wrote the Diary.  It doesn't really matter how many similarities there are.  The point is this.  Anne is the only person identified by Mike Barrett as being the person who wrote the Diary.  He said it repeatedly and even said that it was 'in her handwriting'.  All I want any reasonable person to consider is how astonishing it therefore is that there are elements of Anne's known handwriting that DO match the handwriting in the Diary.  Even if Mike was making it all up, it's still astonishing that he managed to put forward a candidate who forms certain characters in a very similar and unusual way that the Diary author formed certain characters.  Either Mike is a handwriting genius who noticed that the Diary author's handwriting was similar in a number of respects to his wife's handwriting and fabricated a story on top of that (without ever bothering to direct anyone's attention to her written correspondence) or he was extremely lucky that he accused Anne whose handwriting by extraordinary chance happens to share the characteristics that we've seen it does.

Without commenting at all on the handwriting comparison for which she is perfectly capable of commenting, having two eyes in her head, she falls back on the desperate notion that it needs a handwriting expert to express an opinion.  Well no, it doesn't.  It doesn’t need a handwriting expert to confirm what we can all see with our own eyes.  There are similarities there in the formation of some of the characters, that’s obvious.

The sheer hypocrisy in this sorry saga is that we've already seen that Caroline Morris IS happy to make an amateur handwriting comparison in order to say that Anne's handwriting looks different to the Diary handwriting.  Thus (#256):

'Anne's handwriting looks nothing like the diary,'  

One assumes here she is talking about the handwriting sample provided by Anne in January 1995.  As to that, we find the authors of 'Inside Story', one of whom is Caroline Morris herself, but none of whom is an expert in handwriting, say: 

'There appeared to be no similarity between the two samples and the writing in the Diary'.

She is there referring to samples provided by both Anne Graham and her father, Billy.

Funny ain't it, how it's possible to give an amateur opinion about handwriting comparison when the handwriting looks different to the diary handwriting but when there are obvious similarities suddenly only an expert can possibly opine!!!

Over on the Casebook Censorship forum (Problem in Logic thread, #282) I was amused to see her say:

'I have also seen enough of Mike's handwritten correspondence to last me a lifetime, and if I believed there was any way the diary could be in his hand, or indeed Anne's, I'd have walked away long ago and taken up a hobby that was less likely to attract such a lot of criticism and ridicule for simply offering my opinions.'

What I find so amusing there is that she was perfectly happy to rule out Mike as being the author based on her own knowledge of his handwriting, despite not being a handwriting expert! So, once again, she IS prepared to offer up opinions on handwriting after all! But even more amusing is the fact that no-one is even saying any longer that Mike was the author of the Diary.   So why is he continually being mentioned as if he is the prime candidate?  Look at the way she adds 'or indeed Anne's' almost as an afterthought there!  

But on what basis is she saying that she cannot believe that the the Diary could not be in Anne's hand?   How much of Anne's handwritten correspondence has she seen?  She can't possibly be relying on the single 1995 sample which could easily have been disguised, can she?  What other handwritten correspondence of Anne's has she seen, other than the few pages I posted on the Forum in 2018?  As to that, we've seen her refusal to even comment on whether there are similarities between Anne's handwriting and the Diary author's handwriting.  So how is she in any position to rule out the possibility that the Diary is in Anne's hand?

We may also note the amazing ability of Caroline Morris to state her opinion that the 'Maybrick' signature found in the watch is 'a very good approximation of Maybrick's signature on his marriage licence' ('Problem of Logic thread, #504).  Once again she CAN do it when she wants to, despite not being an expert.  But when it comes to comparing Anne's handwriting with the Diary handwriting suddenly her eyes go blurred and she's not an expert so she can't comment! 

Back in the Lord Orsam thread on JTR Forums, Caroline Morris says of the (non-admitted) similarities between Anne's handwriting and the handwriting of the Diary author:

'Funny how nobody else noticed any, including those who believed Mike was heavily involved'

There is nothing ‘funny’ about it.  The reason is obvious and repeats what I’ve already said.  No-one in the past had access to Anne’s real handwriting and a good quality copy of the Diary to compare her handwriting to.  It’s as simple as that.  Moreover, the irony is that Caroline Morris herself is responsible for no-one noticing any similarities before May 2018.  Everyone with an interest in the subject would have seen what they would have believed to have been a sample of Anne’s normal handwriting in her 2003 book ‘Inside Story’.  It looked nothing like the Diary handwriting.  So what purpose would anyone have had in seeking out Anne’s personal correspondence, even if they could have got their hands on any of it?  Did Keith Skinner ever see any of it for example? And if he didn’t, who else could have done?  And if they did, they would certainly have needed access to either the original Diary or a high quality copy of it because a proper comparison isn’t possible otherwise, and few people prior to 2017 did have such access.

Caroline Morris writes:

'It seems that Lord O is claiming to know more about forensic handwriting examination than the professionals in that field.'

This isn’t correct and it is notable that she doesn’t provide any examples of a anything said about forensic handwriting examination by professionals which contradicts anything I have said.

The irony of the statement is that it is Caroline Morris herself who is claiming to know more about forensic handwriting examination than the professional document examiner Dr David Baxendale!!! One only has to read his report, an extract of which is cited above, which gives his opinion that the handwriting is laboured and thus appears to be disguised and looks like modern handwriting, not consistent with the nineteenth century.  Caroline Morris doesn’t accept a word of this.  So her hypocrisy is astonishing. 

Returning to Caroline Morris' response to Kattrup in #286 we find an astonishing statement from her.  She says that the fact that Anne Barrett 'certainly could have' held the pen, 'means nothing at all'.  I find that very strange.   By way of explanation she says that James Maybrick 'certainly could have' penned it but that is a false statement and thus a false comparison.  He could not have done so because the Diary contains the twentieth century expression 'one off instance'.  So that rules him out.  We have to find someone alive in the post-war period.  We now seem to have an admission that Anne Barrett certainly could have written the Diary.  So we are making progress.

She then makes the same mistake that she's always made, however, by saying, 'The most you could say about any known individual is that the writing doesn't match their known handwriting'.  That is not the most you could say at all.  The most you could say (assuming that the Diary handwriting is disguised) is that the handwriting in the Diary is similar to that of a known individual.  When she says, 'If we had a match for Anne it would be game over' that is obviously true (and trite) but, if the Diary handwriting is disguised, that's never going to be possible. The most anyone is going to be able to say, based on Anne's normal undisguised handwriting, is that she could have written it.  If Caroline Morris doesn't understand this in 2020, having had more than 20 years to consider the issue, she's probably never going to understand it.

She asks this question: 'So how many forensic examiners have seen Orsam's 'evidence' and rushed in to confirm that in their considered opinion Anne held the pen?'  I can't think why ANY forensic examiners will have seen the evidence I posted of Anne's handwriting, unless they are regular readers of the Casebook Forum where that evidence was posted. And, as I've said many times, it's unlikely that any of them will ever be able to positively identify any individual due to the disguised nature of the handwriting.  They are not wizards, even though Caroline Morris likes to portray them as such.  The best they are ever going to be able to say is that x 'could have' done it.  But then she seems to accept that Anne could have done it anyway!

A few other comments on her response to Kattrup.  She refers to Anne as having taken 'an insane risk' due to the fact that some of her writing is similar to the Diary handwriting (which she seems to accept, even though she can't bring herself to say so).  But if Anne had simply been asked by Mike to write the Diary (in a disguised handwriting), and agreed to humour him, while thinking that he was never going to be able to convince anyone that it was genuine document from 1888, there wasn't anything 'insane' about it.  As I've said many times, it wasn't a crime for her to write out that Diary in a disguised hand.  It only became a crime when Mike managed to deceive Doreen that it was genuine and obtain money as a result of that deception. 

Then we have this non sequitur in response to Kattrup's point that Kajau wasn't a professional writer yet created the Hitler Diaries:

'But editors and proofreaders would soon down tools if they had to scrap a potential author's work completely and rewrite the whole thing themselves, for no extra reward or credit. That's why Anne had to tidy up Mike's work, before it even reached the next stage. Do you seriously imagine that magazines and newspapers are in the business of accepting work submitted by every illiterate Tom, Dick or Mike who wants to be published, however heavily it has to be edited?' 

I say it's a non sequitur because it starts with the proposition that Mike's work had to be scrapped and completely rewritten, followed by the claim that Anne merely 'tidied up' Mike's work.  Well, actually, that's exactly what editors (sub-editors) and proofreaders do.  They tidy up a writer's work.  It happens to all journalists.  Either Mike's work was 'tidied up' by Anne or she wrote it ALL herself.  The latter would, of course, be very interesting and it would mean that she lied to the authors of Inside Story when she only claimed to have tidied it up.  This then begs the question as to why she lied.  So Caroline Morris really does need to tell us whether Anne simply tidied up Mike's articles or whether she was responsible for completely rewriting them. 

In response to Kattrup's point that Anne Barrett made similar mistakes to the mistakes which appear in the Diary, Caroline Morris gets herself terribly confused.  She suggests that 'Anne may have unconsciously picked up a word here and there from the diary'  But that is not what was being said, nor is it in any way possible.  What I demonstrated was that Anne made basic grammatical and spelling mistakes - mistakes which had nothing to do with the Diary - so that she wasn't too clever and sensible to have made the mistakes that are found in the Diary (as Caroline Morris claimed she was).  So there's no question of Anne being influenced by the mistakes in the Diary.  Her mistakes in her correspondence were completely different, none of them appearing in the Diary. 

It might also be added that her claim that Mike's own way of speaking and writing throughout the 1990s was influenced by the Diary is complete nonsense and wholly  unrealistic. But it comes from a realization that Mike's way of speaking does contain idiosyncrasies that can be found in the Diary.  Her suggestion that Mike changed his way of speaking and expressing himself after reading the Diary goes beyond ridiculous.

Caroline Morris rounds off her post to Kattrup by saying that it is her personal opinion that Mike and Anne were incapable of writing the Diary.  The problem is that she never gives any reasons why they weren't capable. She knows nothing about Anne's ability with the pen so how is it even possible that she is able to make such a statement regarding Anne's capabilities?   Why couldn't Mike have dictated the Diary to Anne, with Anne rephrasing to the extent that Mike's sentences weren't great (not that the sentences in the Diary are great either)?  How can Caroline Morris possibly know whether Mike was capable of doing this in combination with Anne and/or someone like Tony Devereux?  The answer is that she can't, so her answer should be no more than that she doesn't know if they were or were not capable.   

MIKE'S HANDWRITING

Caroline Morris again misses the point when she tries to demonstrate that Mike Barrett was not a writer.  She gives this example of his writing:

hE wAs A puBlisHD oRtHeR lol 

It's one of her 'standard' points that she's obsessed with and has made countless times over the years.  It would be a good point, nay a great point, if anyone was still suggesting in 2020 that Mike had physically written the Diary with his own hand. But that's not the argument and she needs to move on from it.  

She is also confusing calligraphy with the ability to be able to write.  When one refers to an ability to write, that does not necessarily involve holding a pen, because writers can write by typing at the keyboard of a typewriter or computer.   But they don't even need to do that. They can dictate.  And a process of dictation was precisely what Mike tells us was employed when the Diary was created.

It's the same with her utterly pointless and futile attempt in #615 of the 'Problem of Logic' thread to highlight and laugh at the spelling mistakes and errors of grammar in Mike's 4,600 word novel (from which, as usual, she quotes selectively and thus doesn't allow us to see the full document) when all such errors could have been corrected by the person who actually wrote the Diary (not that the Diary is error free by any means!). 

Caroline Morris says that she believes Mike must have got the Diary fully formed. Well in respect of the contents that's perfectly possible.  Tony Devereux might have been responsible for drafting the whole thing and he gave it to Mike for Mike to dictate to Anne.  I don't personally think it could have been fully formed due to the idiosyncrasies peculiar to Mike which are found in the Diary text that I've mentioned but Devereux could have written the first draft which Mike AND Anne expanded upon.  Caroline Morris always prefers to argue against the most unlikely scenario, namely Mike creating it all himself and, indeed, him writing it out himself.  I rarely if ever see her confront a scenario where it was a combined effort between Tony, Mike and Anne.  And I don't think I've ever seen any reason why the three of them could not have produced the Diary.  It's hardly the greatest work of literature that's ever been produced.  It contains nothing about the murders or about Maybrick that wasn't easily in the public domain. Mike was a professional published journalist in more than one magazine during the 1980s.  Anne is said to possess the brains.  If she could only disguise her handwriting a little, what more did they need?

ENDLESS NONSENSICAL ARGUMENTS

Caroline Morris is a like a factory producing an endless stream of objections to the Barretts' having forged the Diary, none of them with any validity whatsoever.

What would they have done if Tony Devereux hadn't died? she asks, as if it's possible for anyone to answer this.  I assume her view is that, if the question can't be answered, that must mean the Diary is really old!

Well we could speculate until the cows come home as to what story the practiced liar Mike Barrett would have told Doreen if Tony had been alive in March 1992 but we can also turn it around.  If, as Caroline Morris thinks, Mike had obtained the Diary from Fat Eddie, but this had occurred in March 1991, instead of March 1992, what would have happened then?  Is it Caroline Morris' view that Mike would muttered to himself, 'Bah, I don't have any dead friends who I can say could have given this to me?' and then thrown the Diary away because he couldn't think up a simple cover story as to how he had obtained it?

Her whole approach is ridiculous.  We don't know what story Mike would have told Doreen in March 1992 if Tony had still been alive.  How can we know?  But why would we waste our time thinking about it because it can only be speculation?  Perhaps she should spend some more time answering a real question, such as why did Mike attempt to acquire a blank Victorian diary in March 1992? 

Instead, in a later post, she asks why it isn't possible that Mike obtained the scrapbook in a pub on 9 March. But it's only because she's decided to ignore the significance of Mike's search for a Victorian diary with blank pages after 9 March that she is asking this question, which is the wrong question.  It's the reason why we don't need to consider the idea of him getting it in the pub.  If he had, why was he trying to obtain an authentic diary with blank pages?  He just didn't need it.  And if Mike obtained the Diary in the pub on 9 March, it requires acceptance of that document having been brought up from the floorboards of Battlecrease where it had been lying for 100+ years.  But that's not possible due to the inclusion of the expression 'one off instance'.  So there are TWO very good reasons why sensible people don't ask the question. 

That's not even to mention the fact of Mike telling Ripperologists in 1999 that he phoned Doreen before he obtained the scrapbook which is basically inexplicable under any scenario other than that it was the truth.  Furthermore, Caroline Morris premises her question by saying: 'Knowing his writing ambitions exceeded his abilities [I'm being generous here]' but we certainly don't know his writing abilities.  They remain a mystery.  We know he was a professional freelance journalist and the name 'Michael Barrett' appears on the byline of a number of published articles during the 1980s.  Someone wrote them.  We really don't know much about Barrett's writing abilities because only small snippets of his actual writing have EVER been produced.  Lots of stuff seems to have been withheld.  What we do know for a fact is that Mike could speak English and if a person can speak English then what they say can be written down which magically can make them a 'writer' even if they can't write very well with a pen. 

Then we have another one of her 'why, why, why?' questions in #283 when she asks Abby Normal why Anne admitted to helping Mike to write his articles.  The implication of her question is that Anne's admission to helping Mike write his articles would have made Anne an obvious accomplice in creating the Diary.

But, but, but.  If that's the case why does Caroline Morris herself reject the idea that Anne was an accomplice in creating the Diary?  For me, that's just as interesting a question. For Caroline Morris has basically admitted here that the fact that Anne helped Mike tidy up his articles is so incriminating that Anne should have denied it!!

Anne did say that she helped tidy up Mike's articles, yet neither Caroline Morris nor Keith Skinner nor anyone else, including Shirley Harrison and Paul Feldman, seems to have found it suspicious.  Does that, perhaps, give us a clue as to why Anne didn't feel the need to have to lie about every single thing she said?  

In any case, had Anne denied it, it only needed Mike, from whom she was then separated, to say that his wife had helped him to tidy up his articles (as he, in fact, did) and Anne would then have been in a difficult position.  Either she has to accuse Mike of lying or she has to do a reverse ferret and admit that she did help him after all.  The first option wouldn't have been particularly appealing, especially as a denial would have meant she was saying Mike wrote them all himself, which probably no-one would have believed, and the second would have revealed her to be a liar.

This is the problem with Caroline Morris' approach.  She continually asks why Anne didn't lie about stuff even though every single lie would have risked the possibility of the lie being exposed.   

Mind you, I absolutely guarantee this.  Had Anne denied tidying up Mike's articles, but it was then proved that she did tidy them up, we would have been told by Caroline Morris that she only lied because she didn't want to embarrass Mike. There is ALWAYS an answer!  

We have a possible answer to the question anyway from Anne's own mouth as quoted in Inside Story (page 269): 'What am I going to do hide a cupboard for the rest of my life so that people don't make connections? I can't do that and I'm not going to do that.  Let them think what they want to think'.  In other words, Anne didn't seem to care as much about what people thought as Caroline Morris would like to make us believe.  She knew that nothing could be proven against her so why tell stupid minor lies which could catch her out?

Having said this, the thrust of Caroline Morris' posts is, ironically, that Anne DID lie because she didn't just tidy up Mike's articles, she wrote them herself!!!  That being the case, why does Caroline Morris think that Anne preferred to play this down? 

Then, in the same post, Caroline Morris feels that she is in a position to tell us that Barrett's solicitor retracted his client's confession that he had faked the Diary because he appreciated 'how bonkers it was'.  This contradicts what was published in her own book in 2003 where it is stated that Mike's solicitor, Bark-Jones, explained that the statement of retraction was put out by him (apparently without instructions from Mike) after being told by Mike's doctor of Mike's tendency towards confabulation so that nothing he (Mike) said should be believed ('Inside Story', p. 254-5).  

My favourite Caroline Morris sleight of hand, however, is in respect of her once again going back to mentioning Melvin Harris' apparent belief that Anne wasn't involved in forging the Diary.  It's as if everyone who believes the Diary is a modern forgery is legally bound by what Melvin Harris said twenty years ago!  She, of course, didn't accept a single word Melvin Harris ever said when he was alive but trots him out as a leading authority whenever his view is different to what is being said by one of her opponents today.

The problem with her continually citing Melvin Harris in this way is that Harris was never aware of the crucial evidence of the advertisement placed on behalf of Mike in March 1992 to acquire the Victorian diary with blank pages.  It didn't emerge until after his death. For that reason he naturally believed that the Diary was created in 1990 or 1991. He could never have concluded that the Diary was only created after Mike's telephone call to Doreen in March 1992 because the key evidence - the missing piece of the puzzle - wasn't available to him. As a result, it is ludicrous for Caroline Morris to play her double game of trying to undermine the arguments against her by saying they don't match what Harris believed while, at the same time, trying to undermine a dead man for not having got it 100% correct during his lifetime.  

That's my favourite sleight of hand - but probably my favourite answer of hers, because it's so revealing, is in response to Kattrup's question as to whether Mike and Anne had the capability to create the Diary.  In her answer she denies they had such capability but the only reason she gives is because she knows that SHE could not have created the Diary herself (#286).  Having had many exchanges with her on this subject I'm certain that this is where she goes fundamentally wrong.  In her mind, if SHE (the great Caroline Morris) could not have forged that Diary, how is it possible that a poor working class couple from Liverpool could have done it?

The flaw is so obvious.  There are two constituents to creating the Diary.  The first is in the handwriting, the second is in the content.

Regarding the handwriting, one either has the ability to create a pastiche of nineteenth century handwriting or one doesn't.  Personally I wouldn't be able to do it because my calligraphy skills are nowhere near good enough.  But that doesn't mean that the same applies to everyone.  Far from it.  I imagine that lots of people, average in many other ways, would find it very easy and straightforward. It really just depends on one's ability with a pen, which can vary according to different people and doesn't require any kind of artistic genius. It's not a case of having to actually forge someone else's handwriting as Kajau did for the Hitler diaries.  THAT does require some kind of skill which only a forger could possess.  But the creation (i.e. the writing) of the Maybrick diary was NOT a forgery as such because there was no attempt to recreate Maybrick's handwriting.  

When it comes to the content of the Diary, however, I think that is something that I could very easily have done.  I well recall posting a sample of a diary supposedly written by Druitt on the Casebook forum (which took me all of about ten minutes to draft) and it seemed to take Caroline Morris by surprise, as if I had done something almost impossible.  But the fact that SHE doesn't have the imagination to create such a diary doesn't mean that no-one else could do it.  I've seen nonsense written about the Maybrick Diary, that it had to be a published author or someone with incredible literary skill to create it.  I think that's rubbish.  It was a straightforward task.  In one of his articles ('A Guide Through the Labyrinth'), Melvin Harris convincingly set out how the forger or forgers simply took details about the Ripper murders and wove a very simple narrative around it.

THE CONFUSION OF THE ICONOCLAST  

My old friend Iconoclast, yet to provide the promised response to 'Pillar of Sand' as we move towards its one year anniversary, gives us a glimpse of the utter confusion in his mind. 

In the 'Incontrovertible' thread he gave me a laugh by referring to me as 'the same Lord David Orsam who dismissed the letters 'F' and 'M' which can be seen by so many of us so clearly on Kelly's wall as simply not being there'.

Well I have some bad news for him.  No-one can see anything 'clearly on Kelly's wall'.  The wall was destroyed about one hundred years ago. All that we can see 'clearly' are the supposed letters 'F' and 'M' on a reproduction of a photograph of Kelly's wall.

I can see those letters myself on the reproduction, or at least what appear to be letters. So there's nothing wrong with my eyesight. The problem is that when I got the opportunity to see the best copy of an original of this photograph, those letters are NOT there.  This leads to a very simple, obvious and straightforward conclusion.  The marks which represent the supposed letters 'F' and 'M' did not exist in the original 1888 photograph and thus did not exist on Kelly's wall. They are nothing more than flaws on a copy of a copy of the photograph.  That conclusion is inescapable.

I appreciate that Iconoclast does not like, and cannot accept, that conclusion, but any belief that the letters 'F' and 'M' were on Kelly's wall fails to reflect the reality of the situation that they have only ever been seen on a reproduction of a photograph of Kelly's wall published in a book, not on the wall itself.  It was kind of hard to break it to the poor guy bearing in mind his entire belief that Maybrick was Jack the Ripper is founded on those two letters but the indisputable fact of the matter is that those letters never existed in the photograph taken in 1888 let alone on the wall itself. 

Sorry Iconoclast.  Mind you he deserves it for coming up with the terrible analogy that the fact he doesn't have symptoms of coronavirus means that coronavirus mustn't exist.  There's no comparison there with what I'm saying.  Does he not understand how a reproduced photographic image can introduce distortions into the copy?  How does he explain that the letters 'F' and 'M' are not on the best and clearest existing copy of the photograph?  Unless he wants to suggest I'm lying (which I'm not) there is only one possible answer, too devastating for Iconcoclast to even contemplate. 

[Apologies to Chief Inspector Gary the Clanger of the Grammar Police for that split infinitive btw.] 

Hey, tell you what, why doesn't Iconoclast ask his new best chum, Keith Skinner, to track down a high quality resolution copy of the original photograph for him?  I'm sure that can't be beyond the abilities of a top researcher like Mr Skinner. That will save him from scouring the internet to find more copies of poor reproductions of the image to try and bolster his misguided belief that the letters were on the wall. Then we can wrap this whole thing up in a matter of seconds, at least once the blood has returned to his face after he sees that the letters do not exist in the actual photograph and have arisen from flaws in the reproduction process.

Then Iconoclast completely misrepresented something I said in my response to Robert Smith's book.  He claims that I have argued that:

'although some 35,000+ days had passed since Maybrick's death during which there was not a single piece of evidence that the floorboards in Battlecrease House had been lifted - the odds of their being lifted on March 9, 1992 (the same day that Mike Barrett contacted Doreen Montgomery about his still-wet manuscript) were just 1 in 18!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!?????????'

But that was not what I said.  I said nothing about the odds of the floorboards being lifted on 9 March 1992. I didn't even mention the floorboards.  Here are my actual words from the first sentence of my September 2017 article (underlining added):

'What are the chances, do you think, of electricians working at Battlecrease on the very same day that Mike was telephoning a literary agency in London...'

To me that's very clear.  I was talking about the chances (not the odds, incidentally) of electricians working at Battlecrease on 9 March 1992. As I explained, this was on the factually correct basis that there were electricians working in Battlecrease during 14 days of 1992.  This is the bit that people forget.  They say how amazing it was that there were electricians in Battlecrease on that one day without considering that there were electricians working in Battlecrease on 13 other days of that year.

If you don't believe me, answer this.  If you were told that there were electricians working in Battlecrease on 254 days in 1992, what are the chances they were working in Battlecrease on 9 March 1992?  The answer is mathematically certain.  Expressed as a percentage it's 100%.  There were only 254 working days in 1992.  We can exclude weekends and bank holidays.  So we would know for a fact that the electricians were working in Battlecrease on the day Mike was telephoning a literary agency in London.  The point is that there would not, as a result, be anything remotely surprising or amazing that there were electricians in the house on that day in March.

The exact same mathematics apply to the real life situation in which we know that electricians were working in Battlecrease for 14 days during 1992.  So it is mathematically certain that the chances of them having worked in Battlecrease on 9 March 1992 were 1 in 18.  Just as the chances of them having been working in Battlecrease on, for example, 20 February 1992 were 1 in 18. The same for 14 October 1992 or any other working day you care to select (and if you selected eighteen random working days the chances are that one of them would be a day on which the electricians actually were working in the house).

That's all I was saying and it was mathematically correct.  The point was to focus the minds of those who didn't (and still don't) care to consider the fact that the electricians did not only work in Battlecrease for one day during 1992 but for fourteen days. 

As it happens, despite all his talk of the 'profound unlikelihood' of it being a coincidence that 'work' was done in Battlecrease house for the first time in over 35,000 days since Maybrick's death ('Incontrovertible' thread, #5085 and #5088), something which isn't actually true (there had been plenty of other work done in that house prior to 1992), Iconoclast must agree with me. He must be of the view that there is nothing so extraordinary about electricians being in Battlecrease on 9 March 1992 because he doesn't rule out the possibility that the Diary was in the Graham household going back to at least the 1950s!  It's all there in black and white in his 'Society's Pillar' where he literally refers to the Battlecrease floorboards story as a possible 'red herring'. He still regards the Graham family story as a possible option.  

Given that he doesn't rule out Anne's story that SHE gave the Diary to Devereux in 1991 for him to give to her husband, Iconoclast obviously feels able to dismiss the idea that the Diary came out of Battlecrease on 9 March 1992.   He can't have it both ways.  Either the electricians being in Battlecrease on 9 March 1992 was such an amazing coincidence that it proves the Diary came from there or it wasn't and there is an alternative explanation.  Like him, I think there is an alternative explanation, namely that the Diary wasn't created until after Mike acquired a scrapbook at the end of March 1992.

But he really does need to stop speaking from both sides of his mouth.  If the 35,000 days is such a compelling indicator of the truth of the Battlecrease discovery, why hasn't he abandoned the idea that the Diary was in the Graham household in the 1950s????   Or is it not, perhaps, sufficiently compelling after all to dismiss all the alternative explanations?

He simply cannot say, 'There is no argument for a hoax' (Incontrovertible, ##5085) on the basis of the work done in Battlecrease on 9 March 1992 while at the very same time saying (in so many words):'There is an argument for the Diary having been in the Graham household for generations and never having been anywhere near Battlecrease for at least seventy years'

While we're sorting out Iconoclast's confusion, we might as well note that he is wrong to say of the ink and pens that, 'Barrett said he gave them to his sister to destroy or hide' (Incontrovertible, #5085). This is just another example of Iconoclast's lazy failure to check anything to ensure he is being accurate.  What is stated in Mike Barrett's affidavit is that the pens and the remainder of the ink 'was taken by my sister Lynn Richardson to her home address'. Nothing is said in that affidavit of Mike giving anything to his sister to take away. So when Icocnoclast goes on to ask, 'Why would Barrett need to give these articles to someone else to destroy or hide?' he is asking the wrong question. 

In his confused state, Iconoclast then says ('Incontrovertible', #5085) that Mike Barrett's supposed acolytes, 'rely on a version whereby he acquires the black ledger more or less at the start of April 1992 and in just 11 days either creates the text from scratch or else transcribes it from his typed version. Anyone arguing for this as the truth of the matter has to have an agenda underpinning it because it is neither realistic (given everything we know about Mike Barrett as a person and the inaccuracies in his version) nor backed-up by any evidence whatsoever.'  What Iconoclast doesn't explain is why it is unrealistic for the Diary text to have been transcribed in 11 days from a typed version.  His failure to do so is plain for anyone to see.  He simply doesn't have an answer.  Anyone who does say it is unrealistic must have an agenda underpinning such a bizarre claim.  The text of the diary could be copied out by hand in a few days by anyone!!  Eleven days is more than plenty.  

As for his claim that the 'version' that the diary was written out in 11 days is not 'backed up by any evidence whatsoever' , this is just plain false.  We actually have an affidavit in which it is stated that the text of the Diary was written in 11 days!!!!   There is evidence right there!  To say there is no evidence whatsoever is quite absurd.  That is direct witness evidence.  Then there is also the circumstantial corroborating evidence of Mike's attempt to acquire a Victorian diary with blank pages in March 1992 for which NO-ONE has ever provided a satisfactory explanation other than it being for him to create a fake Victorian diary.   Then there is the evidence of 'one off instance' which, while not necessarily proving that the diary was created in 1992, does prove it wasn't created in 1888 or 1889, as Iconoclast has always believed!

But, frankly, the utter cheek of someone who is arguing in a post that the Diary was found by an electrician in Battlecrease on 9 March 1992, for which there is literally no evidence whatsoever - not a single electrician has said they found it, or saw it being found, and no-one else, including Mike or Anne Barrett, has ever stated that it came from an electrician or anyone working in Battlecrease - while also decrying the absence of evidence for the modern 11 day fake theory is breathtaking.  Then one only has to a look at the dire 'Society's Pillar' to see that there is literally no evidence for ANYTHING that Icocnoclast is saying about the Diary having been written by James Maybrick.  It's all inference.  

In a later post in the 'Incontrovertible' thread (#5100), Iconoclast quotes the authors of 'Inside Story' as saying that Harold Brough was told by Outhwaite & Litherland that there was 'no record of the job lot Barrett described'. He doesn't mention that the authors of Inside Story also discovered that Kevin Whay of Outhwaite & Litherland stated that 'items such as an old photo album would have been in a job lot marked "miscellanous items".'  That being so, it would have been literally impossible for a record of the job lot to have been found, given the likely number of 'miscellaneous' job lots sold, even if someone was looking in the correct month of the correct year..  The authors of 'Inside Story' omitted this information from their book for reasons which have never been explained but Keith Skinner confirmed it on the Casebook Forum (Acquiring a Victorian Diary thread, #540) and Iconoclast should have been aware of it. 

As for a registration point that Icoconclast also seems to rely on, when he notes that all prospective bidders would have had to complete a registration form, Kevin Whay confirmed that 'a lot of people use a pseudonym' when buying at auctions so that there would have been 'several "Mr Williams" or "Mr Jones".' Again, this wasn't mentioned in 'Inside Story' but it shows that the registration system, such as it was, was basically irrelevant and redundant.  Mike claimed that he used the pseudonym of 'Mr Williams' when he purchased the scrapbook and Whay's information confirms that this would have been possible.

The key evidence in this case is the advertisement in Bookseller in March 1992.  It changes everything.  It explains everything.  It corroborates Mike's affidavit, when Mike's affidavit is read properly.  It's a shame Iconoclast is too confused to see that. 

THE SUSPICIONS OF ICONOCLAST

Disappointing to see my old friend, Iconoclast, writing in response to R.J. Palmer's comment that he has learnt to double, triple and quadruple check anything written by Paul Feldman (Iconoclast's hero and guru) in #571 of the 'Problem of Logic' thread, and saying:

'A very advisable policy Roger and I would hope you continue to do it with the same thoroughness and suspicion you apply to Inside Story plus Shirley Harrison’s book (all editions) and Robert Smith’s book (both editions) - Lord knows, perhaps even my own very very brilliant Society's Pillar! Where you can take your foot off the throttle is when reverentially reading anything written by Melvin Harris, Nick Warren and Lord O, safe in the knowledge they would not dream of holding back data generally favourable to the scrapbook's authenticity. Double check becomes double standards, we wonder?'

The clear suggestion there is that I (the only living person of the three individuals he mentions) might be in possession of data favourable to the scrapbook's authenticity and holding it back!!  Does Iconoclast seriously think that I have data supporting the authenticity of the diary which I am refusing to release?

The fact of the matter is that, despite having read the books by Feldman, Harrison and Smith, and the essay by Iconoclast himself entitled 'Society's Pillar', which is basically a compilation of the information in those books, I still don't think I've ever even seen any data favourable to the scrapbook's authenticity!!!  The idea that I might secretly be in possession of any such data - data which Iconoclast has himself spent at least the last ten years looking for, if not the last twenty years - is not only absurd but some kind of fantasy by the poor guy.

For the record, having reviewed my records recently, there's probably only one relevant document in my collection that I haven't released, or referred to, which is a handwritten note from Mike Barrett to Paul Feldman explaining where he found the 'Oh costly' quote.  I'm not sure whether I will release it though because, hey, someone might find meaning in that document. If others aren't releasing documents, I'm not sure I should be doing so unilaterally, should I?  

THE INTELLECTUAL GYMNASTICS OF ICONOCLAST

Even Caroline Morris, in her latest announcement on the question of why Mike Barrett acquired a Victorian diary with blank pages, confesses (#5175, 'Incontrovertible' thread):

'I still don't really have an answer myself, and the one Anne gave, that Mike said he had just wanted to see what a real Victorian diary was like, seems less than satisfactory, given his specific request for at least 20 blank pages.'

But Iconoclast thinks he can do better!  He's obviously been thinking about it for the past four years because, back in December 2016 (#2273 of the 'Incontrovertible' thread) he offered as the 'most plausible explanation' that, 'He [Barrett] wanted to write out the journal in another document and take that to London rather than risk taking the original'.  That theory has now been abandoned (possibly because I explained to him in #2286 that he was describing the very process of a forgery, although, if so, he doesn't seem to have learnt much in the intervening years, as we shall see). 

Now he tells us (#5176) that, when Eddie Lyons told Mike on 9 March 1992 that he was in possession of a diary of Jack the Ripper, Mike immediately thought it was forgery although, according to Iconoclast, Eddie didn't actually show him the Diary!!!  Weird. But, after getting interest over the telephone from Doreen Montgomery in a diary of Jack the Ripper (which Mike still hasn't seen), and while working on obtaining it from Lyons (despite not yet having seen it):

'he orders a Victorian diary to see what one looks like' 

This is to assume that Mike thought that every Victorian diary looked the same which, even allowing for Mike's stupidity, is daft.

At this stage, according to Iconoclast, Mike STILL hasn't seen Eddie's Jack the Ripper diary. Iconoclast has had to work this ludicrous idea into his theory in order to make sense of why Mike didn't attempt order from Martin Earl something resembling what he had seen in Eddie's hands, i.e. some kind of large black scrapbook or album.  But he still has to explain Mike's requirement for blank pages and the date range of 1880-1890.

This is where Iconoclast takes ludicrous to another level by suggesting that Mike:

'may or may not have specified 1880-1890 or Martin Earl may have misremembered when he inserted the ad'.

There is, of course, no evidence from Keith Skinner (who spoke to him) that Martin Earl misremembered anything and the idea that he didn't make a correct note of his instructions is not only ludicrous but preposterous.  Iconoclast doesn't even say what Earl is supposed to have misremembered.  Is the suggestion that Mike asked for an 1888-89 diary and Earl misremembered it as 1880-90?   Well Iconoclast doesn't say and it's no wonder he skips very quickly over this part of the theory without even explaining why Mike ended up accepting a diary from 1891.

Frankly, I'm surprised that Iconoclast didn't shoot for the stars and say that Earl might also have misremembered the request for blank pages.  (Hope I'm not giving him any ideas!).  But no, this is what he tells us about the blank pages:

'Anyway, [Barrett] asks for twenty or more empty pages - just in case he needs to knock-up a version of the knock-off.'

That's all he says about that and then moves quickly onto another subject.

The first thing about that comment is that it's not a genuine reflection of the advertisement which asked for an unused OR partly used diary with a minimum of twenty blank pages.

But, okay, if we characterize that as 'twenty or more empty pages' , what Iconoclast tells us is extraordinary.  He conceives that Barrett was anticipating preparing 'a knock-up version of the knock-off'.

Well, the first thing to say about this is that it doesn't make any sense.  Either Mike is going to buy the Jack the Ripper diary from Eddie in order to 'sell' it to Doreen or he isn't.  If he does buy it he won't need to prepare a knock-up version because he will already own the original.  If he doesn't buy it he won't have the text of the diary in his possession in order to copy it so won't physically be able to do it. Either way, Iconoclast's suggestion makes no sense at all.

But, that aside, the extraordinary thing that Iconoclast is saying here is that Mike was ordering a Victorian diary with blank pages IN ORDER TO CREATE A FORGED VICTORIAN DIARY.

That is, of course, exactly what I have been saying for the past four years!!!!  But it's the very thing that Mike is not supposed to have had the ability to do!

That Mike was indeed searching for a wholly or partly blank Victorian diary for the purposes of enabling the forging of a Victorian diary is the only thing that makes sense. But my explanation in which Mike is anticipating a forgery from a pre-prepared existing text makes far more sense than Mike first telephoning Doreen to ask her if she has any interest in a diary of Jack the Ripper that not only does Mike not own but hasn't even seen and then deciding to acquire a genuine Victorian diary to see what such a diary (which he still hasn't seen) looks like!!!  In fact, that doesn't make any sense at all.

And I'd love to ask Iconoclast who Mike had in mind for doing the forgery that he was anticipating having to create if he had to 'knock-up the knock-off', bearing in mind that Mike's calligraphy and penmanship skills were utterly useless.  So I'm wondering if the next thing we will be told is that Mike was thinking that his wife might help out in writing out the text in a disguised Victorian hand, perhaps at his dictation, perhaps at home in front of their daughter!!! 

Iconoclast concludes his post by saying that 'Barrett confesses he wrote the Victorian scrapbook' and that 'Lord O buys the bullshit hook, line and sinker'.

This, of course, is completely false. While I appreciate that a wide-eyed younger version of Iconoclast swallowed Paul Feldman's nonsense about James Maybrick having written the Diary some 20+ years ago hook line and sinker (thus also swallowing the hoax perpetrated by the very forger or forgers of the Diary, and how ironic if one of those was Mike Barrett), and that he is projecting his own gullibility onto me, as I've stated repeatedly, I don't rely at all on Barrett's confession.  As far as I'm concerned it could all be lies and Mike might not have had any involvement in the drafting and writing of the Maybrick Diary.  My point since 2016 has been that there is no other explanation of Mike's purchase of a Victorian diary with blank pages from Martin Earl in March 1992 other than that he was involved in a plan to forge a Victorian diary. He didn't have to do it himself but he was clearly getting at least one of the necessary materials. And his desire to be involved in a plan to forge a Victorian diary as at 28 March 1992 fits magically with the claim in his affidavit that it took 11 days to forge the Maybrick Diary because that Diary was produced to Doreen Montgomery on 13 April 1992. 

Mike claimed that, after he realised the little red diary he had received was of no use to him, he went to an auction at Outhwaite & Litherland.  According to Caroline Morris, he said he was aware of the existence of this firm of auctioneers because he often went past them on a bus into Liverpool city centre.  That's fine but it just so happened that those auctioneers held an auction of Victorian and Edwardian effects every Tuesday in 1992 meaning that the very next auction after Mike received the diary on 28 March would have been on 31 March, fitting the timeline in Mike's affidavit perfectly.  I don't absolutely insist that Mike bought the scrapbook at the auction - it might have been a stolen item that he acquired for all I know - but then, for all Mike knew in 1994/95, when telling his story to Alan Gray for his affidavit, O&L might only have had an auction on the second Monday of every month in which case his story would have been impossible.  Amazing that he just happened to choose an auction house in his affidavit which held auctions at exactly the right time, selling items from exactly the right period. 

And then, of course, we have to go back to the mistake made by the forgers of 'one off instance' which means that Iconoclast is wasting his time in thinking that the Diary could have come up from the floorboards after having sat there since the nineteenth century.  It is a literal impossibility.  The answer simply MUST be elsewhere.  We still have no sensible explanation for Mike's attempt to acquire a Victorian diary in March 1992 other than the obvious one.

THE REPLY THAT WILL NEVER COME

As for the promised reply to 'Pillar of Sand', Iconoclast tries to give the impression that my response to 'Society's Pillar' is longer than his essay. He refers disingenuously to 'Lord Orsam's life story response to my short epistle' (Problem of Logic thread, #255).  In actual fact, when my 'Pillar of Sand' is pasted into a Word document and converted to Times New Roman, size 12 font, it totals 81 pages compared to the 119 pages of Iconoclast's 'short epistle'.  But then Iconoclast is never very happy with the facts, preferring to twist them into whatever he would prefer them to be.  I don't think we'll be seeing any kind of response from Iconoclast for a very long time, if ever, bearing in mind that his essay has been forensically taken apart piece by piece until it is no more than a pile of dust on the floor. 

THE NON CO-OPERATING CO-OPERATING WITNESS

A classic from Diary Defender Erobitha in the 'Problem of Logic' thread, #458 who says:

'Eddie Lyons refuses to co-operate even after all this time'

Yet, we were told recently by Robert Smith that Eddie Lyons has been FULLY co-operating, to the extent that he agreed to be interviewed on camera by Keith Skinner and his team.  What I assume Erobitha means is that Eddie Lyons isn't giving the answers that he would like him to be giving, which he evidently defines as a refusal to co-operate, even though he has evidently been answering all questions!

Thing is, Eddie says he didn't find the Diary.  He's always said he didn't find the Diary.  The fairy tale that the Diary was extracted from beneath the floorboards of Battlecrease is never going to become a reality, let alone the even bigger fairy tale described by Erobitha in #453 that, 'the document, the watch and the bag...were all found together in Battlecrease House and all sold locally..'.  Considering that the jeweller who sold the watch said it had been in his family's possession for more than a decade prior to 1992, that is going to be a really tough one for any Diary Defender to spin.  Indeed, it would mean that the jeweller, Ron Murphy (the only person in the Murphy family who has ever claimed to have seen some scratches on the watch before selling it to Albert, despite Erobitha's fantasy in #460 that 'Everyone of them remember the scratches in the back') must have been lying about the provenance of an item he sold.

Funnily enough, in #481 of the 'Problem of Logic' thread, Caroline Morris omitted to correct Erobitha's false claim that 'everyone' in the Murphy family remembers the scratches in the back of the watch.  Even Ron Murphy himself, when he made a statement on the matter in October 1993, didn't seem entirely sure that they were there, saying only that he was 'almost certain' that there were markings on the watch which he didn't take any notice of. Instead, Ms Morris wanted to correct something said by Observer and told him, 'It's a documented fact that Albert bought the watch from a jeweller in Wallasey on July 14th 1992'. 

Well, hold on, for a 'documented fact' it seems a bit wobbly because, while Smith says the receipt is dated 14 July 1992, according to Feldman, the receipt in Albert Johnson's possession was actually dated 2 July 1992 (and I'm not aware of anyone having produced or published a copy of that receipt for the date to be checked).  The date of 14 July, Feldman tells us, was the date that Ron Murphy THOUGHT he had sold the watch to Albert due to the way he catalogued his records.  Thus, in his statement of October 1993, Murphy only says that he sold the watch to Albert 'on or about 14th July 1992' (underlining added).  Funny things these documented facts aren't they?  And, of course, it's only a 'documented fact' in the first place because of the receipt created by Ron Murphy.  But I distinctly remember Caroline Morris suggesting on the Forum back in March 2018 that Ron Murphy might have been a dishonest jeweller because he might have lied about the watch having been in his family for years.  So how do we even know that he didn't fake the date on the receipt at Albert and Robbie's request in 1993, after news of the Maybrick Diary emerged?

Ms Morris then asked:

'If Albert created a hoax out of it the following year, how did he know the jeweller wouldn't be able to give it a perfect provenance going right back to whoever the prominent and professionally engraved initials JO had belonged to? Instead, it had been sold by a stranger, walking in off the street, so nobody knew a thing about its previous history. Lucky old Albert, eh?'

Perhaps Ms Morris has forgotten that Murphy told Shirley Harrison in 1997 that, 'Some time after Mr Johnson got the watch he kept coming back and asking questions about where it came from'. So there was no luck involved here at all!!  He would have known all about the provenance of the watch from the answers to these questions.  

As for the argument (made by both Eribotha and Graham, see e.g. #447 and #448) that Albert didn't care about money because he supposedly turned down a $40,000 offer to sell the watch, this argument fails completely if the reason for turning down the offer was that he was hoping to get more money!  Shirley Harrison tells us that Albert's brother, Robert, valued the watch at £1 million.  What we also know from Shirley Harrison's 2003 book is that Albert agreed to a sale of the watch for a sum of $190,000 in September 1999.   The reason the sale didn't go through, Harrison tells us, was because Robbie had sold some of his 25% share in the million pound watch to 'two other parties' who intervened 'menacingly' and caused the potential buyer to withdraw from the deal.  It doesn't sound like Albert wasn't interested in money if he agreed to sell it for $190,000!!!   To say, as Eribotha does, in #447, that, 'Albert retained the watch despite some considerable offers' is, therefore, highly misleading.  But the real question we should all be asking is how the hell did Robbie Johnson, a convicted criminal, manage to acquire a 25% share in the ownership of the watch that Albert had supposedly bought as in investment for his granddaughter?   If anyone doesn't think that stinks to high heaven they must have lost their sense of smell.

Incidentally, I can confirm that Albert Johnson received £1,000 from Smith Gryphon in 1993 (presumably in addition to the £2,000 that R.J. tells us was received from Paul Feldman for the reproduction rights) as can be seen from this invoice:

I've redacted the sums paid to all the others as some of them seem to be a bit sensitive about it (for no good reason I might add).

BACK TO LORD ORSAM

Gary Barnett didn't seem to appreciate my description of one of Caroline Morris' comments as 'childish word vomit' yet, remarkably, when pressed, he couldn't even remember what Caroline Morris had actually said to which I was responding.  He claimed that it was a comment along the lines of ‘You can tell a man by the company he keeps’ (#238).  But that wasn't what Caroline Morris had said at all.  Had she said something like that it would have been a reasonable comment because the man in question would be responsible for the company he had chosen to keep.  But what she actually said was:

'You can really tell a man by his supporters'.

That is just nonsense.  False and nonsense.  You could no more really tell anything about me if Trevor Marriott (the 'supporter' in question) supported me or opposed me.  It's childish word vomit, just like I said.  The fact that the Clanger couldn't even accurately recollect the comment to which I was responding, speaks volumes.  He's prepared to criticize me when he doesn't even know what he's talking about!!!

As to that, I am supposed to have a thin skin (#237) according to Caroline Morris: 

'The one thing I do admire about Trev is his thick skin. His own idea of a joke might miss the mark by miles, but he does know how to take one. Orsam's skin is so thin, on the other hand, you can see right through it to the bare bones of his posturing.' 

I couldn't tell you what makes Caroline Morris think that I have thin skin. If it is because I respond to all the insults, and indeed to all of the childish word vomit that is ejected from her mouth, then that can't possibly justify such a conclusion.  I merely attempt to address all the comments made in my 'Lord Orsam Blog' thread on JTR Forums; a thread, in case you missed it, that is named after me.  But I know that Ms Morris has a habit of speculating wrongly about people, as we've seen with her endless, often contradictory, speculations about Mike and Anne Barrett so this just confirms in my mind that she doesn't understand people.

The supreme irony of her comment, of course, is that the person with arguably the thinnest skin of anyone on the forums in recent years must be her best chum, Keith Skinner.  He only had to receive mild online criticism and he fled from the forum in tears faster than Caroline Morris herself runs away from a difficult question about the Diary handwriting.

Not only that but, if anyone does dare to even hint at criticism of Keith Skinner, his skin is obviously so thin that Caroline Morris feels the need to act as his protector and they will find her coming after them, just like she's been busting R.J.s balls for daring to suggest that Keith might have been involved in the release of tapes by Jonathan Menges, or has any bias in the case, or is withholding information, as for which see Every One's A Skinner

As for the reference to Trevor Marriott, I don't think that's a helpful comparison.  I would assume that he doesn't normally understand what is going on around him so that he is confused by the criticism made of him in the first place.

However, the notion that he has a thick skin doesn't stand up to a moment's analysis.  For example, when faced with criticism (from the charmless Mr Poster) about his tasteless vibrator 'joke' in the JTR Forums thread, 'The Five: The Lives of the Ripper's Women' an angry Marriott replied (#1390):

'The comment was made jokingly after I was called sexist, the person if you bother to read further appreciated the quip and was not offended by it.  You clearly have no sense of humour....I didn't see you taking up the gauntlet and making a challenge.  I would suggest you either put up or shut up.'

Not so thick skinned after all!  Trevor was then challenged further by Mr Poster who said that he'd made a 'complete tit' of himself to which the man with the supposed thick skin replied (#1393):

'Your comments are duly noted and file[d] appropriately in the bin' 

His thick skin doesn't actually exist.

But none of that chatter addresses Trevor's complaint in my thread which was that too many people seem to be satisfied making snide remarks about me rather than addressing the issues I raise in my articles. We can see from recent posts that Gary Barnett actually has to quote something I said in my articles for Caroline Morris to respond, rather than her getting to grips with what I have written directly.  As a consequence, she seems to fail to understand my arguments and asks questions that have already been answered, wasting everyone's time. 

We mustn't forget that, in discussing me (as usual), Caroline Morris says this in #239:

'I wonder how many enemies a man can appear to have made, before it dawns on him that he might be the problem? '

I don't know who Caroline Morris considers to be my enemies.  I certainly don't count them or even think about them. Do I spend any time worrying about what a few apparently unpleasant, unbalanced and closed minded people on an internet forum think about me, or why they don't like me?  No, I really don't.  Do I wonder why certain 'authors' might get upset when I demolish their precious theories?  No, I don't, but of course many of them aren't going to like it.  It will almost certainly make me enemies. That's pretty much inevitable.  It wasn't what I set out to do but it's not going to stop me. If people can't take criticism of their work then it's really their problem not mine.

Strange though that Caroline Morris doesn't ask Gary Barnett to consider why he has made so many enemies (on Twitter) and whether it should dawn on him that HE might be the problem.  No, she won't do that because then she would have understood what it is to consider a viewpoint fairly from all sides and if she ever does that her head might explode.

MR POSTER MAD AS A BOX OF FROGS

Mr Poster was one person who WAS booted off of Casebook and we can see why. In #271 he says: 

'in the case of Abby Normal, I think its less about a thesis and more about being Orsams fawning, ever admiring, web site hopping, flying monkey. 
 
Indeed one must wonder if A.Normal is not just another one of Orsams multiple personalities who serves nothing more than to massage his already metastatic ego and afford him the adulation he seemingly craves so much'.

So the Diary Defender who thinks the Diary is very old also thinks I might be posting on JTR Forums as Abby Normal does he?

Calling Gary the Clanger, calling Gary the Clanger, what do you say that does to the credibility of Mr Poster's arguments?

Personally I wouldn't have described Mike Barrett as a 'published author' although I must have done because, it seems, I am also Abby Normal but, at the same time, it's odd that the copyright page of Shirley Harrison's 2003 book states:

(c) Text copyright, Shirley Harrison and Michael Barrett 2003

How did Michael Barrett get to share the copyright in the text of Harrison's book? This copyright is distinct from the copyright in the Diary which is said to be owned by Robert Smith. We find the same thing, incidentally, in the 1998 edition of Shirley Harrison's 'Jack the Ripper' book (and presumably in all the other editions). 

So perhaps someone who denies Michael Barrett's abilities can explain that one.  Meanwhile I'm going to take a short break to have my metatastic ego massaged. 

*massage of  metatastic ego occurring....*

I'm back.

A RATHER GOOD POINT

Abby Normal who, I am told, is also me, made a good point on the Casebook forum when he (or I) noted in the 'Problem in Logic' thread (#170) that:

'I find it very interesting that caz and other diary defenders, who dont think the diary was written by maybrick, rarely, if ever, debate and or reply with snarky remarks and insults with those who do. I mean its a hoax right? shouldnt that be a much more a point of contention then the comparatively minor question* of who hoaxed it?'.

And it really is curious isn't it?  Not only does Caroline Morris ferociously attack anyone who dares to suggest that the Barretts could have faked the Diary but she invariably allies herself with arguments put forward by Iconocolast who believes (or, at least, purports to believe) that the Diary was genuinely written by James Maybrick.  It's no wonder that people are confused into thinking that Caroline Morris also believes that the Diary is genuine.

Caroline Morris never addressed the point in reply but, responding to Abby, Iconoclast speculated (#171) that perhaps Caroline Morris is sufficiently 'open minded' to entertain the possibility that Maybrick could have written it.  But 'open minded' does not sound like a good description of Caroline Morris.  Why would she be open minded about the Diary having been written by Maybrick in 1888/89 but closed minded about it being a modern forgery simply because Mike Barrett could have had some involvement, however small?   But don't forget, it's not even just the idea that the Diary was created by the Barretts which she refuses to entertain.  She has constantly attacked the claim that there was a 'nest of forgers' involving people other than Barrett, like Kane.  It seems that she doesn't accept ANY possibility OTHER than that the Diary was found by the electricians under the floorboards and passed to Mike, something which clearly opens up the possibility of the Diary being genuine.

And yet, and yet, despite the strong possibility of her own theory pointing so clearly to the Diary being genuine through having been found under the floorboards of Battlecrease, she makes remarkably little effort to dissociate herself from the notion of the Diary being genuine.  Like Abby Normal says, all her venom and energy is reserved for those who claim that the Diary is a modern hoax even though she herself purports to believe it's a hoax, albeit an old hoax.

Old hoax or modern hoax.  Either way it's a hoax.  So surely the main line of attack should be against those saying it is genuine.  But no.  Iconoclast seems to regard his position as so aligned with the position of Caroline Morris that he writes (#169) 'Honestly, Caz, I think we are being trolled' (underlining added). It's him and Caroline Morris together against the world!

And what is Caroline Morris' opinion on the origins of the Diary?  Well we were treated to a rare explanation in my thread on JTR Forums (#312):

'If the diary could have been created, for example, by an unknown individual who died before it got into Mike the compulsive liar's hands, that person was unable to defend their reasons for writing it, and it may be that there was no intention to deceive, and it was just a silly prank that they never dreamed would be taken for a serious attempt to frame JM as JtR.'

There we have it from her own mouth.  A 'silly prank'.  But hold on.  Who was being 'pranked' by this unknown individual?    Why would anyone go to the trouble of creating that document to play a prank on someone?

After all, the Diary does require a certain knowledge of the Ripper murders.  Prior to books about the case having been published, it would have required the author to have carried out some research into the details of the murders.  But why bother for a 'silly prank'?  Why did the details of the murders need to be authentic?

Who would have bothered to go to such trouble?  How could such a joke have played out?

'Gadzooks, my dear friend, look what I've found?  A journal by some chap claiming to be none other than Jack the Ripper.'

'Well stamp me vitals and shiver me timbers! Let me have a look.  Does it reveal the identity of the beast?'

'Some chappie called 'Jim' apparently.  Who could it be?'

'Is it not the dear departed Jimmy Maybrick?  By jove, the crime is sol-ved, we must inform the police immediately.'

'Oh ha ha!  It was just a prank.  A silly prank.  You fool.' 

'My goodness, what a splendid wheeze.  To think I nearly fell for it.' 

Could it really have been something like that?

And then the even greater mystery would be how this prank Diary ended up in Battlecrease, beneath the floorboards.  

It makes no sense to me. 

Above all, Caroline Morris can't seem to adjust to the new reality that such a 'prank' must have been played after the Second World War, due to the inclusion of the expression 'one off instance', making it even more extraordinary that the document could have ended up in Battlecrease, let alone below the floorboards in Battlecrease. One can only assume that she ignores this fatal flaw in the 'old Diary' theory while at the same time leaping in to fight with Mike J.G. about whether 'Poste House' could have been a genuinely old notation.  What's the point?  Why have such an irrelevant fight? 

While happy to chatter away about 'Poste House', she never seems prepared to discuss the fatal 'one off instance' flaw.   Funny that!

And when asked on the Casebook Censorship forum when she thinks the Diary was created, all she would say 'My best guess is some time before Monday March 9th, 1992.  Not fussed how long before, really' ('Problem in Logic' thread, #282).  And that is kind of crazy isn't it?  She's prepared to accept the possibility that the Diary was created on 8 March 1992 but not prepared to accept the possibility that Mike Barrett had any involvement.  How does that make ANY sense?  Furthermore, why is she so utterly resistant to the idea that the Diary wasn't created until after 9 March?  Even on her own theory she accepts that Mike didn't have the Diary in front of him when speaking to Doreen on 9 March and that it was then still in the possession of Eddie Lyons.  Why does she seem to think that writing out the Diary from a pre-prepared draft would have taken any more than a few days?  Eleven would have been perfectly sufficient.

She always claims to refuse to accept anything that Mike Barrett said but the notion that the Diary was created after 9 March doesn't have its origins in anything Mike Barrett said.  It has its origins in the undisputed fact that Mike was hunting at that time for a Victorian diary with blank pages, a fact for which she is unable to provide any adequate explanation.  It's extraordinary that she discounts and ignores such a vital piece of evidence for no apparent rational reason other than that she doesn't like the idea of having been wrong all these years.  

THE MOST CLOSED OPEN MIND EVER!

I can't help thinking that Caroline Morris has moved into the comedy business.  She's doing some hilarious routines on the Forum.  Following Iconoclast's own joke that she is open minded, here is what the lady herself posted in the 'Problem of Logic' thread (#625):

'We few, we happy few, also try to keep an open mind, so you are not quite alone'.

Oh ha! ha! ha!  My sides. Please stop, I can't breathe.

Someone please point me to a single post where Caroline Morris shows she keeps an open mind regarding the possibility that one or both of the Barretts were involved in forging the Diary.  I'm tempted to offer a million pound reward for anyone who manages it, just like James Randi offered a million dollars for anyone who can prove that supernatural or paranormal powers exist.  I am sure that proof of Morris' open mind will be similarly elusive.

Reading her post further is very instructive and we can work out what she really means, for she says:

'I lean firmly towards the hoax camp, but while I don’t personally believe James Maybrick held the pen, and there is no evidence he killed anyone, I do wonder what a good provenance would look like, and how it would ever be established for such an artefact. The private jottings of a Victorian murderer would hardly have emerged in 1992, in the scrapbook, together with a complete and verifiable record of its ownership and whereabouts going back to 1889. So even if the old book was 'liberated' from Maybrick's old home, and no living person had known it was there [or would ever admit to planting it there], I'm at a loss to know how its presence could be proved to everyone's satisfaction, even if the person who liberated it finally wanted to get it off his chest and say so.'

Reading between the lines, what she is essentially saying here is that she is certain (no room for doubt) that the Diary came up from underneath the floorboards on 9 March 1992 but she keeps an open mind as to whether it is an old hoax or a genuine document written by James Maybrick.  That's basically it and confirms entirely what Abby Normal was saying, as referred to above. That's what she means by an open mind.  Only open to certain limited possibilities.

But what's all this nonsense about the provenance? 

Although Caroline Morris, whose brain, as we know, never fails her, is at 'a loss' to work out how the Diary could have been proved to be genuine well, you know, perhaps if it had satisfied the expert document examiner who was asked to verify it in 1992 then perhaps it might have had half a chance. Instead it failed a solvency test and the document examiner reported that it was written by someone who was attempting to disguise their handwriting with a faux nineteenth century hand.  Perhaps if the English literature expert who was asked about it had been satisfied that it didn't contain any anachronistic expressions then it might have been worthy of further consideration.  It seems that Caroline Morris and her happy small band of people with their famous 'open minds' prefer to rely on opinions of non-experts who have commented verbally, from a brief visual inspection, about how interesting they think the Diary is.  If she and her happy team had actually bothered to listen to the real experts they'd know they were wasting their time.

I suppose if there was a single sliver of evidence that the Diary had ever been anywhere near Battlecrease, instead of not a single person stepping forward to say they had ever seen it there, or found it there, one might have been able to argue about the provenance, at least initially, before it was proved to be modern.  Instead, it came into the world from the hands of a convicted criminal and notorious liar who has since confessed to forging it (and who was known for a fact to have been searching for a Victorian diary with blank pages in March 1992) whose wife is someone who Caroline Morris herself believes has provided an alternative false provenance for it!!!

The fact of the matter is that Caroline Morris' mind has been so closed for twenty years that she didn't see the true significance of the Bookseller advertisement when it was first discovered by Keith Skinner and was taken completely by surprise in 2016 when I drew attention to the lack of evidence proving that Mike didn't acquire the scrapbook at an O&L auction on 31 March 1992, hence the desperate attempt over the past two or three years (but particularly in the past month) to fill in the gaps on that issue, on which she is failing miserably.  It took me - someone with a genuinely open mind on the issue, never having been involved prior to 2016 and not being friendly with anyone already involved and implicated in the matter - to see where the truth lay.  It really wasn't difficult. 

And, crucially, as it now confirmed that 'one off instance' is a post-WW2 twentieth century expression, it's literally not possible to keep an open mind on the issue of whether the Diary is genuine nor whether it is an old hoax.  Neither is possible - they are both ruled out.  You can't keep an open mind contrary to the facts!  It's a bit like Eamonn Holmes expressing his desire to to keep an open mind on whether 5G is causing coronavirus!!!  You can't keep an open mind on absolutely everything, however absurd.  We KNOW for an absolute fact that the Diary is a modern hoax, so the only question we are down to is whether is whether the hoaxer was Mike Barrett or someone else in the latter part of the twentieth century.  Mind you, as Mike Barrett is the only person involved in the project who was known for a fact to have been hunting for a Victorian diary with blank pages before the Maybrick Diary was seen by anyone outside the Barrett family, it's really not too hard to work it out, is it?

SIGNATURE ON THE WATCH

Just as it's sometimes impossible to work out what Caroline Morris is saying about the genuineness or otherwise of the diary so it is impossible to work out where she thinks the watch came from.

She seems to think that the signature on the watch resembles that of Maybrick.  So what conclusion does she draw from that?   Did the faker (presumably the same person who forged the Diary?) fake the Diary not in Maybrick's handwriting but then forge his actual signature in the watch?  For what purpose?  

Were the scratches made on the watch as another form of prank? 

Or does she think that the scratches on the watch were genuinely made by Maybrick?  

I honestly could not tell you the answer to these questions. 

ICONOCLAST TRIES TO ANSWER A KEY QUESTION

Without addressing the problem of 'one off instance', Iconoclast had a crack at answering the question as to why Mike Barrett (who he prefers to call 'Bongo Barrett' for obvious, lazy reasons) attempted to acquire a Victorian diary with blank pages in March 1992.  This is what he said to Observer in the 'Problem in Logic' thread (#197):

'If a complete idiot thinks they'd like to know what an actual 1888 diary might look like, they might pay good money to purchase one. If a similar (perhaps the same) complete idiot thinks they might make a copy of their scrapbook to take to London (in case they lose possession of the original in the process), they might simultaneously ask that the diary they purchase contain at least 20 blank pages.'

It's not always a good idea to start off a sentence, 'If a complete idiot...' because it might rebound on you if you then go on to say something stupid.  Which is what happens here.  Mike Barrett wasn't trying to find out 'what an actual 1888 diary might look like'.  The advertisement placed by Martin Earl asked for a diary from the period 1880 to 1890. An 1881 diary would have been sufficient.  So who is the complete idiot now?

As for the second part of Iconoclast's suggestion, had Barrett been in possession of the large scrapbook containing 63 pages of text, it seems odd that he would be looking to copy it out into a diary with potentially only 20 pages.  Even odder is the fact that Barrett clearly had difficulty writing, so the idea that he would ever have considered copying out the text of the diary with a pen is extremely hard if not impossible to believe but, if he did have that unlikely thought, why did he need to spend time and money writing it all out into a diary from the 1880 to 1890 period?  It makes no sense.  Either he was after a replica of what he already knew existed, i.e. a large black Victorian or Edwardian scrapbook, or he could have just used a modern black journal from Ryman or W.H. Smith at a fraction of the cost.  Or he could have just typed out the text on his word processor.  None of these would have assisted him, however, if he had lost the original.  However, stupid he might have been, he certainly wasn't THAT stupid to think that if he didn't have the original he could fall back on his own modern handwritten copy in an old diary!

After Observer asked Iconoclast why Mike bought the maroon coloured diary in March 1992, Iconoclast threw the question back at Observer by asking why Mike was willing to accept a diary from 1890 (he presumably meant 1891, which is when the maroon diary was dated, but later claimed unconvincingly that he was selecting just one year out of the eleven possible years in the advert to make a point).  Leaving aside that I've already answered this many times, the fact that Mike was prepared to accept a diary from 1891 (or 1890 if you prefer) completely contradicts Iconoclast's own suggestion that Mike wanted to see what an actual 1888 diary looked like!!!!  How is it possible for someone to be so unaware of contradicting himself within the space of a couple of sentences?  Moreover, Iconoclast's question seems to be based on the assumption that Observer believes Mike wanted an 1888 diary and was prepared to accept an 1891 one, when the fact is that he was always prepared to accept one from 1880 to 1890.

As for the answer to the question, I will repeat for the millionth time that it's perfectly obvious that what Mike wanted was a diary containing paper from the correct period to defeat any scientific testing of the paper.  So 1891 was almost as good for his purposes as 1888.  As I've demonstrated in the past, many diaries were written in blank journals (or scrapbooks!) - they didn't all have the date emblazoned on every page - so an 1891 diary could look exactly the same as an 1881 diary.  Iconoclast knows all this, because I explained it at length in 'Pillar of Sand', which he has read, so his question wasn't being asked in good faith.

NOT UNDERSTANDING DIARIES 

Despite everything I said in 'Pillar of Sand', we find Iconoclast saying in the 'Problem in Logic' thread (#302):

'Ultimately, I don't know why Mike Barrett ordered a Victorian diary. All I know is what everyone knows which is that diaries almost without exception have dates (including the year) on every page.'

If that is all Iconcoclast knows, he is in big trouble.  The truth is the exact opposite.  Personal diaries, almost without exception, do NOT have dates on every page.

Iconoclast is thinking of appointments diaries.  These do have dates on every page but these are all but useless for anyone who wants to keep a personal diary containing a record of their thoughts, movements and conversations during the day.  I've seen one person from the Victorian period who used an appointments diary and his handwriting was very small to fit into the available space.  Most sensible people, who keep what we would recognize as a personal diary, would do so in a blank journal, notebook, scrapbook, exercise book etc.  Those items would not necessarily be called 'diaries' when they are blank but as soon as someone writes entries in them (usually dated entries) they become diaries.  Personal diaries.

For that reason, anyone seeking a diary from the Victorian period - certainly as a collectors' item - would expect to receive one in which the dates only appear as handwritten entries on the pages.  Of course, as did in fact happen to Barrett, it's possible one could end up with an appointments diary but that's just bad luck.  

Here's the real interesting thing though. Having said that he 'doesn't know' why Mike Barrett ordered a Victorian diary, he then said a couple of posts later (#306):

'The advert in BookSeller (?) specifically mentioned a diary from 1880-1890. Does this categorically prove that Bongo was seeking a document to write his hoaxed diary in (I'm referring to the original version, not some mooted version to take to London to protect the original)? That is the only issue here. If you are someone who thinks it does, then you either haven't properly considered all of the options, or you are someone who has a significant problem with logic, or you have a vested interest in making that argument, or one or more of all three.'

So, even though he can't think of any sensible reason why Mike Barrett ordered a Victorian diary (and he omits to mention the requirement in the advertisement for that diary to have a specified minimum number of blank pages, if not being entirely comprised of blank pages), and doesn't know why he did so, he nevertheless tells us that anyone who thinks that it must have been done in order to create a fake Victorian diary hasn't properly considered 'all of the options'.  That's hilarious. And again the very reverse it's true.  It's because all of the options HAVE been considered that we are bound to conclude that the only rational explanation for Barrett ordering a blank or partially blank Victorian diary is because he wanted to use the blank pages to create a fake Victorian diary.  There isn't any other possible or sensible explanation and, as we've seen, Iconoclast himself can't come up with one.  Who is the person, therefore, who has a 'significant problem with logic'?

HARRISON ON THE CASE

Some new information was revealed on the Casebook Censorship Forum by Caroline Morris on 17 April 2020 (Problem of Logic thread, #322).  At least, it was certainly information of which I was unaware.

We learnt that, shortly after Mike Barrett's appearance at the Cloak & Dagger club in April 1999, in which he stated that immediately after speaking to Doreen Montgomery on 9 March 1992 he attempted to acquire a Victorian diary ('the red ledger'), Shirley Harrison took it upon herself to investigate the acquisition.

Using the clue that Keith Skinner had obtained from Anne's cheque book, Shirley Harrison wrote to Martin Earl to ask him about it.  On 23 June 1999, Earl wrote to Harrison as follows:

‘I can confirm we had an inquiry from a Mr Barrett who asked us to locate a Victorian Diary. We did locate such a diary for 1891 and that was supplied to Mr Barrett on March 26th 1992'.

Interesting that Earl confirms that he was asked to locate a 'Victorian Diary'. I've always used that as shorthand but we also know from the advertisement that Barrett was after a Victorian Diary from a specific period, namely 1880 to 1890 (but accepted one from 1891).  Even more interesting, though, is the fact that Shirley Harrison was aware in June 1999 that Mike received the 1891 diary from Martin Earl shortly after 26 March 1992, more than a fortnight before he took the Maybrick Diary down to London with him to show Doreen Montgomery for the first time.

It's somewhat extraordinary, therefore, that three years later, when commenting on Mike's affidavit in which he referred to the purchase of the red diary, Harrison wrote in her 2003 book, 'The American Connection':

'The red diary was in fact purchased after the Diary had been brought to London. (Anne has the receipt).'

Shirley Harrison must have known that this was at worst untrue or at best highly misleading.  She had already been told by Martin Earl that the red diary had been supplied to Mike well before the Diary had been brought to London.  While payment was made at a later date, she evidently knew that the purchase of the diary had occurred prior to 26 March 1992. 

It is extraordinary that she withheld that information from her readers in 2003. 

JOE BARNETT

Apparently Gary the Clanger has psychic abilities.  When 'Keith Stride' wrote that Barnett's life after the Kelly murder 'remains a mystery', the Clanger somehow knows that he 'obviously' had in mind the years after 1888 rather than the immediate aftermath of the murder and then also says that I (Lord Orsam) 'almost certainly' knew that too, which means that we can ignore any sentence of the Clanger's in future which contains the expression 'almost certainly' because he clearly doesn't know what it means.

Well, perhaps Gary the Clanger IS Keith Stride, which is why he is so upset, who knows? But he certainly hasn't read my mind properly. 

The short point is this.  'Keith Stride' makes no mention of Barnett having worked for McCarthy.  This strongly suggests that he wasn't aware of Arthur Warren's article from January 1889 which tells us that this is what he did immediately after the murder.  On the other hand, Stride does mention Barnett's appearance at the inquest.  I suppose if I had been Gary the pedantic Clanger I could have pointed out that Stride said that Barnett's life after the murder remains a mystery yet, in contradiction of that statement, he records him appearing at the inquest three days later but that would have been the type of petty nit-pick that Gary the Clanger seems to enjoy, so I would never have said that.

It surprised me that the unknown Keith Stride felt sufficiently knowledgeable about Joseph Barnett to write a chapter about him yet seemed to know nothing of what was said in Warren's article about what Barnett did following the murder, something which I personally believe is of interest, and would have been of interest, to anyone reading (or indeed writing) a chapter devoted to Barnett.  We can, I think, ignore the Clanger's rather desperate suggestion that a respected correspondent such as Arthur Warren might have fabricated his meeting with Barnett in the article.  I don't see any warrant for such a suggestion.

No less a person than the legendary Debra Arif understood that the purpose of this part of my article was to inform or otherwise remind Ripperologists of the existence of the Arthur Warren article.  As she posted on JTR Forums in the 'Thomas Bowyer' thread on the day after my article was published (#80):

'He [Bowyer] was apparently still in Whitechapel and working for McCarthy on Jan 20th, 1889 according to the Boston Herald mentioned by David Barratt on the Orsam Books blog.  I hadn't seen the quoted article before or the illustration of Miller's Court accompanying it.  Very interesting information on Barnett to.  Thanks to David.' 

 

Gary the Clanger knew this because she was actually replying to a post by none other than the Clangermeister himself! 

And who else found my article of interest?  Well, let's see.  About an hour after Debra's post above, Gary the Clanger himself dug out the article on JTR Forums in the thread 'Boston Sunday Herald Article January 20, 1889'.  He then posted to Howard:

'I'm finding this hard to read on my iphone.

Fascinating stuff, though.

Thanks, How!

So, back then, Gary the Clanger was finding Arthur Warren's January 1889 article, 'fascinating stuff'.  Which means that my aim of drawing attention to it had succeeded.

You are welcome Mr the Clanger. You are welcome. 

WHAT THE BUTLER SAID 

Particularly amusing was Gary the Clanger referring to my "trademark sneering 'expert' accusation" , as if me describing Paul Butler as an 'expert'  (self appointed) in my article 'What the Butler Saw: Archaeology in Mud' was somehow an 'accusation' (#300) and then, in response, Butler posting (#302) - and this is brilliant - 'I've probably seen the insides of more Victorian timepieces in the past forty years than that idiot has eaten hot dinners.  It having been my profession.'  Ha ha ha ha!  So he IS claiming to be an expert in watches. He IS a self-appointed expert.  It wasn't a sneering accusation, it was a description.  Paul Butler does, indeed, claim to be an expert in watches.  That much was obvious from the book.  That's why he wrote a chapter about the watch. So that one didn't go too well for Gary the Clanger did it?

An immediate clang! 

The Clanger tried to sweep up the mess by saying 'Ah, so your 'self appointment' was by virtue of your having worked in the field for much of your adult life (#303).  Tee hee! Tee hee! So he's done a full 180. Known in the business as a big clang.  He's now saying himself that Butler is a self appointed expert!!!  But, at the same time, that's 'Not the impression one gets' from my article he says, probably because I neither knew nor cared about Paul Butler's life history which isn't mentioned in the book in question.  All I knew is that he put himself forward as an expert in watches (but is quite evidently not, in fact, a recognized expert in watches so must be a self appointed one, as he now confirms) and that he seemed to get into a complete tangle about the subject of the makers' mark as I outlined in the article.  If there's anything wrong with what I said, I'm sure Butler, or even the Clanger, would have pointed it out but, as usual, he claims not to have read it, which is, of course, not true. 

Incidentally, Butler is surely correct that he's seen the insides of more Victorian timepieces than I have because I haven't seen the insides of a single one, being a normal human being.   But I wasn't claiming to know anything about watches whereas he was, yet he seemed to go  hopelessly wrong on the subject, as I describe in 'What the Butler Saw: Archaeology in Mud'.  Good to know that Butler can't actually bring himself to read the only response to his chapter that's ever been written (see #302), which shows how receptive he is to criticism.

Talking of Butler's ability to take criticism, or lack of it, we once again see someone happy to dish out insult after insult yet not only can he not take critical analysis of his work, he can't even bring himself to read it!  He's happy to call me a 'Grumpy bugger' (#33) and 'a laugh a minute at parties' referring to having lost the will to live 'before reading half of his latest unconvincing diatribe' (#128). Yet, he doesn't seem quite as happy when his own words are subject to analysis. Funny that.

CHIEF INSPECTOR THE CLANGER 

I see that Gary the Clanger, Chief Inspector of the Grammar and Typo Police, wants to discuss the correct use of prepositions.  Good luck with that riveting discussion.   What a dull old fart that guy is!  Sorry, the correct and permissible expression is, of course, 'pampered twat'.  

It actually reminds me of when Caroline Morris got so frustrated that she couldn't find any factual errors in my posts that she picked up on a single occasion in a post when I accidentally typed 'it's' instead of 'its' , because she just can't resist attacking someone's credibility in any way, however deep from the bottom of the barrel she needs to scrape.

And anyone one can pick up on what are essentially careless typos.  Look at this one:

 

This ignoramus can't spell the word 'bibliography'.  Presumably he thinks 'biliography' is the correct spelling. Or else why would he have posted that? Clearly we'll have to stop reading all his posts.  We cannot be following an illiterate and pampered twat now can we?

I wish I could say it ended there.  But sadly, just look at this:

 

'Just in case your'e not joking'.  This dumbass hasn't even worked out the apostrophe rule yet!!!

See how easy it is? 

Truly, no-one can accept lessons in the English language from Gary the Clanger, who doesn't even understand English.  Just look at this ridiculous comment he made in one of his sixty very important posts on the Waterstones blog:


'HR's latest insult is to describe those who are critical of her book as 'demented'

I suppose there are those who find dementia a source of amusement.' 

There's pedantic and then there's just plain wrong, as the Clanger would have learnt if he had consulted a dictionary.  To describe someone as demented does NOT necessarily mean that you are saying they suffer from dementia.  This is from Collins Online Dictionary:

 

As we can see, there is an alternative definition for 'demented', which is someone whose actions are 'strange, foolish or uncontrolled'.  The Oxford English Dictionary actually has as its primary definition someone who is 'Mentally unbalanced esp. through intense emotion, behaving irrationally; beside oneself with anger, grief, anxiety, excitement, infatuation etc.'  The definition of being affected with dementia is given as an alternative 'Medical' definition.  Hallie Rubenhold was, therefore, perfectly correct to refer to some of the responses to her book as 'demented'.  Most especially those from Gary the Clanger himself. In foolishly criticizing her choice of the word, Gary the Clanger reveals himself to be someone who doesn't understand how language is used.  

And the Clanger can't even work out the name of the blog he's on:

 

In this one, containing his apologies 'for the sheer number of small posts' (as if the smallness of his posts is any kind of mitigation for their volume), he refers to 'Waterstone's policy of blocking anything longer'.

But there's a big clue at the top of the page which shows that the apostrophe here is (again!) being wrongly used:

 

Another Clanger from the Clanger.  But pointing out typos, or minor grammatical errors, which I could do all day, is pointless, irrelevant and, in its own way, quite stupid, being reminiscent of the great nit-picker, Caroline Morris, herself.

As we reach the end of this very long blog, which is only so long because of all the nonsense I have had to respond to, let's look at what I found to be the most amusing line of all in the discussion on JTR Forums.  This is from Gary the Clanger in #249:

'If you took all the sneering hostility out of his blog, it might actually be readable. And people might respond to it in a non-hostile way.'

Let me start by saying that this is complete bullshit of the highest order. The very reason I started these 'Lord Orsam Says...' articles - the first of which was dated 20 August 2019 -  was because people were ALREADY responding to my serious articles in a hostile way on JTR Forums.  

Sneering hostility?  How about this from Gary the Clanger himself on 11 June 2019 (#34):

'If you dared question his opinions he might throw down the gauntlet and challenge you to a 3,000-word duel (on his blog).' 

And then on 6 August we had this:

'But he’s come up with a new suspect - one whose ‘real’ name was Joseph McCarthy and who lived in Whitechapel in 1888. Hasn’t he?'

No Gary the Clanger. Lord Orsam had not come up with a new suspect called Joseph McCarthy.  You didn't understand the joke did you?  Come on, admit it, there's a good boy.

But here's how I read what the Clanger is saying there.  Please stop being so howwible to me and then I might say that your blog is 'readable'.  

Well Mr Clanger, as I've said in the past, people who are not fair, independent, reasonable and open minded are not welcome here. People who are unable to concentrate on properly written and researched articles should seek some other location in the internet to hang out on (like a Waterstones blog for example where they can comment every day on the same article to their heart's content).  If you don't find the articles on this site 'readable' then WTAF are you doing here in the first place?   I promise you, I won't care if you never come back but I know you are addicted to this site and simply can't keep away.   

This blog is ten times the length it would have been if you hadn't continually tried to find minor flaws in minor articles (including joke ones!) while misrepresenting my arguments, such as the Dakin's sugar refinery point, and then you have the nerve to moan about the length of my articles, even though no-one is forcing you to come here and read them. 

But anyway, yeah, thanks for the advice, and you do, of course, set a fine example of how to behave online, without any sneering hostility in any of your posts.

NOT! 

 

LORD ORSAM
6 June 2020