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  • Lord Orsam

Branding Hartley

Friend of the website, Jay Hartley, was having yet another whinge recently about being labelled a diary defender.  He posted on 13 April 2024:


"Despite being branded a diary defender by the Dark Lord, I’m agnostic to its authenticity. We do not have the conclusive proof either way."


He misunderstands.


Lord Orsam isn't particularly interested what's in someone's heart.  He looks at what people actually do.  What Hartley does on a regular basis is defend the diary.


For all I know, within Tom Mitchell's heart he firmly believes that the diary is a 100% fake.  But, on the boards, for whatever reason (presumably just having a laugh) he is a diary defender because he constantly defends the diary.


Whenever there is an opportunity to defend the diary, Hartley takes it.   Just like Morris, Mitchell, Nuttikus and, when he can be bothered, Owl.


He never ever puts forward any arguments that the diary is fake.  Funny that.


I do appreciate that Hartley is ashamed of being a diary defender and would prefer to deny it.  But the evidence of his diary defending activities is overwhelming.


The absolute classic giveaway, in which he actually did reveal what is in his heart, was his 2021 JTR Forums post about Mrs Hammersmith, of whom he said.

'I believe her to be Eleanor Bridge, wife of cotton exchange trader George Bridge'.


Here is the proof:

As Mrs Hammersmith only exists in the diary, if Hartley believes Mrs Hammersmith to have been a living person in Liverpool in 1888 called Eleanor Bridge this proves he believes (in his heart!) that the diary is genuine.

Then just look at his diary defending website on which he states, "the scrapbook could well be genuine". A lovely little piece of diary defending there. No agnosticism expressed at all. Not the slightest.


The entire purpose of the blog on his website is to defend the diary.


The classic example is his disastrous "James Maybrick's Mine Game" which used misinformation and bad research to argue that Maybrick was so wealthy in 1888 that he invested a huge sum in a new company, thus attempting (illogically) to support the diary's statement that "business is flourishing". 

To this day, the false statements in that blog post have not been withdrawn, merely a caveat added in an "Update" implying that Hartley is seeking help from an expert in corporate finance which he doesn't seem to have managed to do in well over a year now, which, of course, means he's never going to do it and is never going to admit that he was fundamentally and badly wrong with the entire post.

Here's that disingenuous update from his website:

"It has been brought to my attention that James Maybrick may not need to physically provide his portion of the share capital in cash or offer any kind of guarantee. I have not been able to independently verify this from an expert in UK corporate law yet."

I guess he must be trying hard every single day of the week to independently verify from an expert in UK corporate law that Maybrick did not need to stump up three-and-a-half grand for his single share in a company which never traded.

Pretty much every blog post on his site is designed in some way to bolster the claim that Maybrick wrote the diary.

And we mustn't forget the entirely false statement posted on his website that:

"examples of "one-off" have been found in newspaper reports of the time, and there's no reason to believe more instances will not be found in due course." 

This is fundamentally untrue but is something only a diary defending True Believer would say. He's never retracted this false statement or acknowledged its falsity.


Nevertheless, as we've seen, Hartley wants to tell us that it's the watch not the diary which is the key piece of evidence that Maybrick was the Ripper.


"We still have the watch and the science still remains compelling on that item. It’s why I was sold on Maybrick as being JtR. People don’t wish to look at the watch as it’s rather inconvenient."


The idea that "people don't wish to look at the watch" is ridiculous, unless he means diary defenders who never want to discuss the bizarre way that Albert Johnson is miraculously supposed to have discovered the invisible-to-the-naked-eye scratches on the inside back of the watch shortly after a news report that a recently discovered diary in Liverpool suggested that James Maybrick was the Jack the Ripper.  They don’t wish to discuss the fact that Albert's criminal brother was a part-owner of the watch nor the attempt to flog it to a wealthy Texan businessman with more money than sense.


And they certainly don’t want to talk about the caveats that the two metal experts included in their hastily written preliminary reports.


The really objectionable statements by Hartley are, first:


"after meeting Albert and hearing his story, nobody believed he was being anything but honest about his story."

Who met Albert and heard his story?  I certainly didn't.  Are those people who did meet him and believe him the same diary defenders who constantly defend the diary, such as Caroline Morris-Brown?


As I understand from research carried out by R.J. Palmer, Albert Johnson had a criminal record from his past having clobbered a police officer in his younger days.  His brother was certainly a hardened criminal.


While a small number of people might have swallowed Albert's miracle of the scratches story, it would have been nice if just one person had asked him some searching questions on the record.  We don't even know if he first saw the scratches on the watch or someone else pointed them out to him.  That's the curiosity level of those people who met Albert and heard his story.


But the most objectionable Hartley statement occurs when Hartley summarizes the Turgoose Report as follows:


"he was actually saying is that with the right equipment and expertise, you might be able to replicate similar results, but it requires the right equipment and technical knowledge to pull it off with a "complex multi-stage process".

Yes, in other words, it was entirely possible for a forger to pull off the hoax!  A clever forger, according to the very expert Hartley relies on, would have been able to do it.  So why would anyone be so incredibly gullible as to think James Maybrick created the scratches in 1888?  Oh hold on, Hartley has more:


"But yet, we are to believe Albert, Robbie and now John White between them mastered this hoax."


This is how so many people have been gulled time and time again throughout history by con artists, magicians and mediums - usually losing money in the process - because they can't conceive of how the magician did the magic trick.  In essence, it's Hartley's own stupidity being used to defend the watch!  He expects everyone else to be as stupid as him.  If he can't work out how Albert or Robbie did it, his logic goes, then they can't have done it.  This really is madness.


I wouldn't mind but we know for a fact that Albert had access to a science building at the college where he worked, for the first thing he did after the miracle of the sighting was to have the scratches viewed under a high powered microscope.

An example of how little the diary defenders know about the watch is that Nuttikas posted:


"A second artifact showing up at the same time out of nowhere, with the jewellers obviously lying through their teeth like Anne and Mike. It too has never been shown to have seen the light of day in the previous 103 years."

Does he really not know that the watch was said by the very jewellers who sold it to have first seen the light of day as far back as the 1980s?   If he knows it, he simply ignores it because it's too inconvenient to the dream story of the watch having been in a biscuit tin with the diary under the Battlecrease floorboards for a hundred years, something for which there is zero evidence and appears to have been an idea that came out of Paul Feldman's imagination.

When it comes to Hartley, whatever he claims to believe, and however much the lady doth protest, he defends the diary day in and day out. It's basically all he does. For him to deny being a diary defender is cheek of the highest order.

LORD ORSAM 22 April 2024

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4월 22일
별점 5점 중 5점을 주었습니다.

Regarding Jay Hartley's statement: ""after meeting Albert and hearing his story, nobody believed he was being anything but honest about his story..."

This is not entirely accurate. Paul Feldman's book describes Keith Skinner and others meeting Robbie and Albert Johnson for the first time and hearing their story. According to Feldman, after the two men left, Keith and others had doubts; in particular, Albert's claim that he wanted to give any proceeds from the watch to charity struck them as act along the line of "oh, look how good I am." Maybe they changed their minds later, but their first impression was not all roses and sunshine.

What's pretty obvious to me is that Robbie Johnson, not unlike Anne Graham,…

Lord Orsam
4월 22일
답글 상대:

I've never been quite sure where the concept of "Honest Albert" came from. Perhaps it was Caroline Morris-Brown who allowed herself to be wined and dined (and charmed) by him. There doesn't appear to be any reason to think him more honest than anyone else. But it remains entirely possible that he was deceived by Robbie who arranged for the scratches to be added to the watch without his brother's knowledge and who engineered a situation with one of Albert's work colleagues whereby he was induced to bring the gold watch into work for it to be examined and miraculously catch the light just at the right time. This would explain why he spent his own money on the scien…

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