Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Honorary Vice-Presidential Bombshell?

Lone Stranger gives some kudos to my questions to the Bishop in "Burning Issues, Burning Questions".

However, it was this comment by David, on that blog entry, that pricked up my ears:
I almost forgot to mention that in the 1990’s, Devendra Varma wrote to myself to request a copy of my book Beyond the Highgate Vampire as he wanted to compare ii with the ‘other version’ he’d read. I sent him a copy and he informed me that the book was very well written and informative and cleared up quite a few things he had not understood. I remember him well; especially as he wrote from America but his cheque was drawable from an English bank (thus avoiding 4 or 5 pounds in conversion charges.

At this time, he was also in contact with Jeannie Youngson of the Count Dracula Fan Club, who informed me that Devendra regretted the day he had ever got in contact with Bonky who had been ‘driving him mad’ and misquoting him without his permission.

Does that really surprise you?!?
The bombshell nature of this "revelation" (if it is indeed true), is quite significant.

Devendra P. Varma (1923-1994) was a scholar on the Gothic, and also happens to be the Vampire Research Society's "Honorary Vice-President".

I asked David for proof of his claims.

He addressed this by saying:
I’ve got to find it first Overseer. I’ve got boxes upon boxes of past book requests and followup letters (including loads of privately signed ones from Bonky) after all the decorating work done here. Luckikly, I throw nothing (important) away, so yes, the correspondence is here somewhere.
As of this writing, it hasn't yet been produced.

20 comments:

Demonologist said...

Are you really surprised that Farrant's latest piece of fiction "hasn't been produced"?

Unless Farrant forges something - and, let's face it, he's not beyond doing that, as we have seen in the past - no correspondence from Devendra P Varma will be forthcoming where negative comments are made about Seán Manchester whom he held in exceptionally high regard.

Likewise, the false allegation about Youngson and her Count Dracula Fan Club being told something negative by Dr Varma will be without a shred of evidence. Youngson has relied on Farrant's poison for her CDFC newsletters where defamation about Bishop Manchester used to be a regular feature. Some of her CDFC committee members have sent threats through the post to the bishop, along with unpleasant correspondence employing obscene language. This was a few years ago now, but it shows who we are dealing with when the name of the New York Count Dracula Fan Club (now calling itself Vampire Empire) is evoked. Youngson's club caters for vampiroids and fans of horror fiction, but not much else.

Correspondence between Dr Varma and Bishop Manchester reveals a close friendship and mutual respect. They shared many colleagues in common, among them Peter Underwood, who will attest to the very high regard Bishop Manchester was held by Dr Varma and Dr Varma was held by the bishop. Their collaboration in literature goes back to 1975 when they each contributed to an anthology about vampirism, and just before his death Dr Varma had commissioned a work from Bishop Seán Manchester for an anthology of his own which had been given the green light by a university publisher.

Demonologist said...

I fail to see how anything the malcontent Farrant has to say about Bishop Seán Manchester can be considered a "bombshell" of any sort, much less one worthy of repetition?

The intelligent among us will immediately disregard the claims of mean-spirited individuals like Farrant and Youngson.

If people really want to know what Dr Varma thought about Bishop Manchester they would ask the professor's family, friends and those who were his colleagues, not people who wage mindless vendettas.

Against Farrant's false allegation, which you saw fit to duplicate, must be weighed the fact that nobody gave Bishop Manchester more glowing reviews and accolades than Dr Varma who was also a member of the International Byron Society as well as being vice-president of the Vampire Research Society. He wrote a truly amazing review in The Byron Journal about the bishop's work. In fact, he did nothing but shower Bishop Manchester with praise and was obviously a great admirer of him.

Bishop Seán Manchester, of course, dedicated one of his books to Dr Devendra P Varma and Dr Varma wrote the Foreword to the current enlarged edition of "The Highgate Vampire" in which he again praised the author in no uncertain terms.

Few people have given Bishop Seán Manchester more support than the late Dr Devendra P Varma, and that is precisely why the miscreant Farrant is disgracefully but predictably publishing his lies about a man who is now dead and who Farrant didn't even know.
http://www.gothicpress.freeserve.co.uk/Varma.htm

The Overseer said...

You saw that Farrant isn't above forging correspondence. Care to provide an instance of where that has occurred?

Regarding the possible falsity of Youngson having some correspondence with Varma, in which he criticised the Bishop...there's another way to find out: ask Younson, herself.

Care to cite what nasty things Youngson has written about Manchester?

Which CDFC committee members sent the Bish abusive messages and threats?

So you've viewed this correspondence between Manchester and Varma, have you? How do you know it wasn't faked, itself? Did you know Varma?

What was the name of the work commissioned "from Bishop Seán Manchester for an anthology of his own which had been given the green light by a university publisher"?

We must also be mindful of timelines here. If Varma wrote a glowing foreword to the second edition of Manchester's The Highgate Vampire (1991), then note that David said, "I almost forgot to mention that in the 1990’s, Devendra Varma wrote to myself to request a copy of my book Beyond the Highgate Vampire as he wanted to compare ii with the ‘other version’ he’d read."

So is it not possible that Varma was "won over" by David in the latter years of his life?

Demonologist said...

There is a fundamental principle that applies in law and ethics which you appear not to acknowledge, much less apply. It is that the onus of proof rests squarely on the person making any allegations, or, as in your case, the person repeating them; NOT the person defending the status quo in the face of malicious allegations.

"Is it not possible that Varma was 'won over' by David [Farrant] in the latter years of his life?" you ask.

An emphatic NO is my response.

The extremely low regard Devendra P Varma (and his colleagues) held Farrant to the end of his life is certainly not in question, but, once again, the person you should be addressing with these and the remainder of your questions is quite obviously Seán Manchester.

It is unacceptable and unethical that you publish the claims of someone notorious for lying (condemned for lying by judiciary and journalists) without first satisfying yourself with clear and solid evidence that there is some substance to such claims.

You have requested that Farrant show you the correspondence he claims he possesses. He has failed to do so. You should not have repeated his miserable allegations unless he had backed them up with the sort of evidence you demand of someone who is placed in the position of refuting Farrant's malice.

The Overseer said...

Yes, the onus of proof rests on the person accusing someone to apply the evidence.

Which is why I noted: "As of this writing, it hasn't yet been produced."

As to "repeating it", you're operating under the presumption that I've printed it as factual, when I haven't. I've stated a charge David makes - a potentially damaging one, if it is true - and mention that he has not supplied evidence for it (as of this writing).

However, what you fail to realise, is that you're flinging accusations at people, like Youngson and Farrant, as well. Thus, you're just as guilty in this context.

All I've asked you to do is back up your defense. If the onus is on the accuser, then you should've kept your mouth shut.

And besides, you don't even speak with the Bishop's authority, as he established himself:

"Nobody is authorised to speak in my stead. This does not preclude friends and associates coming to my defence, which choice is theirs to make and not mine to deny."

Demonologist said...

In law one cannot repeat a libellous, misleading or potentially damaging allegation from somewhere else which falsely describes, defames or misrepresents another person.

Unless, of course, you have evidence that will stand up in a court of law to prove your claim or the claim of someone else you are repeating.

Do you have this?

Until you do, you should desist from repeating Farrant's defamatory and completely unsubtatiated allegations.

It is simply not good enough to state that your source "has not supplied evidence for [whatever allegation]" you are examining.

The Overseer said...

That's of course presuming it wasn't factual to begin with. At the moment, we just have speculation.

Do I have it? Am I making the claim? No.

Have you backed up anything you've said? Nup. And, again, as I mentioned, you don't even speak with the Bishop's authority.

So, feel free to keep yapping away.

Demonologist said...

"That's of course presuming it wasn't factual to begin with ... Do I have it? Am I making the claim? No," confirms Anthony Hogg.

If you don't have it you are treading a fine line which might put you on the wrong side of the law where the obligation will be upon you to prove the false allegations you amplify from others. It doesn't matter in libel law how you couch such allegations. All that is required for you to be sued is the publishing of damaging or defamatory claims in any form.

Don't mirror this back on me because I know I can back up what I am saying about Farrant and some others if it ever came to a court case.

I also know that you can't back up the falsehoods you repeat from elsewhere, and ignorance is no defence in law.

Anthony Hogg said...

As you said "treading a fine line which might put [me] on the wrong side of the law".

But it's also something I've provided evidence of in "Youngson Responds" by citing President of the Vampire Empire.

She has much prominence than yourself. She's also met him. You, on the other hand, make no mention of doing so. As I said before, you were also not present at his visit to her Dracula Museum.

As to your claims about Farrant and court cases...well, take him to bloody court then. Put your money where your mouth is.

Rather than just spool off the usual cut-n-paste jobs, why don't you act on it?

Oh, wait, that's right...because you don't speak with the Bishop's authority.

As to your claim about "falsehoods", I'm also going on the say-so of a witness, i.e., Youngson.

You, in turn, have called her a "liar". Where's your proof of that? Nowhere.

I also recall that you said that one of the members of my forum was a member of Farrant's forum.

Your proof for that claim? Nothing.

What a surprise.

But, of course, I'd expect that from someone who speaks with no authority.

Demonologist said...

With whose "authority" does Anthony Hogg publish his allegations, speculations and protestations, other than his own?

Youngson, like Farrant, is only making claims. That is not evidence unless there was a witness present who will corroborate her claims.

You know nothing about the law.

The "take Farrant to court" chant is tedious. It has been explained many times why Farrant would be the only beneficiery of such action irrespective of the outcome. He is exempt from being made to pay court costs and damages because he is a social security claimant.

Anthony Hogg said...

Hi Dennis Crawford,

With whose authority do I publish "allegations, speculations and protestations, other than his own?"

That'd be two people: me, or the person who gives me permission to reproduce said claims.

If Youngson is merely making claims, then, by that logic, so are you.

Farrant also claims to have correspondence from Varma, something I'm waiting on. In the meantime, I'm going on what Youngson, herself, has told me...and given permission to reprint.

You've already called her a liar...but provide no evidence for this.

My request for you to take Farrant to court isn't tedious. Your voluminous, hollow comments are.

You repeatedly accuse him of breaking the law...yet...what do you do about it? Have him arrested, already. Sic the cops on him.

It'd be much better than your perpetual blather.

You already benefit him by giving him free publicity. He, at least, talks in his own stead, rather than having a VRS lackey talk on his master's behalf (minus the authority to do so).

I don't think being on social security makes him "above the law". And, if so, then that automatically shows how futile your repetitive actions against him are, doesn't it?

All it does, is fuel the notion that you've got a one-man crusade against him, which hardly endears you to anybody.

Probably not the best image the VRS should be projecting, especially coming from the keyboard of its International Secretary.

Perhaps you should stand down.

Demonologist said...

"That'd be two people: me, or the person who gives me permission to reproduce said claims," says Hogg.

So you asked Farrant for his consent each time you amplified and regurgitated his fabrications and falsehoods?

"You've already called her a liar...but provide no evidence for this," says Hogg.

The burden of proof is on the person making the original defamatory allegation, which I have only rebutted. If that person, or anyone repeating their allegation, cannot prove to the satisfaction of a court what they are claiming about someone else they will be found guilty of libel. There is no onus in law for someone to prove themselves innocent of a libel. The onus is entirely on the libeller.

"Perhaps you should stand down," suggests Hogg.

Perhaps you should stand down and start living your own life instead of involving yourself in other people's business?

Anthony Hogg said...

Dennis,

Which "regurgitated...fabrications and falsehoods" of Farrant's did I reproduce? You're not too clear on that.

If it's the Varma stuff...Youngson isn't Farrant. They're different people. I hope you understand that.

She gave me her consent to share her meeting with Varma.

"The burden of proof is on the person making the original defamatory allegation," bleats Dennis.

Exactly. You called her a liar: prove it.

I related a personal experience she had with him, as much as you relate personal experiences of your Prez (without his authority).

So, by all means, take Youngson to court over her claims. See how far you'll get.

Dennis, I do live my life. This blog is but a mere fragment of it.

As of this writing, you're still yet to share what your tasks and duties for the VRS are. You're also yet to disclose your own involvement with the case.

As to "other people's business", couldn't that easily be applied to your frequent disseminations on Farrant?

Demonologist said...

"Which 'regurgitated...fabrications and falsehoods' of Farrant's did I reproduce? You're not too clear on that," asks Anthony Hogg.

Probably most of them. I really haven't that much time to refer to even a fraction of them. Just look at your own allegations over the past few years about VRS members and Seán Manchester. Whether you crib from this or that person in the USA and UK (and sometimes it's directly from Farrant's boards) everything stems from one man and one man only.

"If it's the Varma stuff ... Youngson isn't Farrant. They're different people. I hope you understand that," says Anthony Hogg.

I hope you understand that neither Farrant nor Youngson have proven what they allege? It is merely their word and that is simply not good enough. They are both sworn enemies of Seán Manchester and have every reason to make false claims to his detriment. Can't you see that?

"I related a personal experience she had with him," claims Anthony Hogg.

No you didn't. You related what she told you. Can't you see the difference in what someone says and what actually might or might not have happened? She provided no evidence whatsoever; nothing in writing; nothing on tape. Just her word. Why should anyone believe the word of an enemy of Seán Manchester when they say something nasty about him?

You said:

"'The burden of proof is on the person making the original defamatory allegation,' bleats [Demonologist]. Exactly. You called her a liar: prove it."

It doesn't work that way. If someone describes the Duke of Edinburgh as a Nazi, I am entitled to call that person a liar unless they can demonstrate that he really is a Nazi. My calling the person a liar would be viewed as a reasonable rebuttal to make. The burden in law is entirely on the person calling the Duke a Nazi. If they cannot provide proof they are guilty of libel. I do not have to prove the person saying it is a liar.

"As to 'other people's business', couldn't that easily be applied to your frequent disseminations on Farrant?" asks Anthony Hogg.

Farrant has been present at the periphery ever since his interloping almost forty years ago and thus involved himself in OUR business. This has nothing, however, to do with you. Nothing whatsoever!

Anthony Hogg said...

Your response to which "regurgitated...fabrications and falsehoods" from Farrant I reproduce?

"Probably most of them."

That really is lame and lazy.

You don't have time to point them out, but you do have time to bombard my blog with your silly comments. Puh-lease.

What allegations have I made about Manchester?

As of this writing, we're going on Farrant and Youngson's word that Varma said negative things about Manchester.

But we're also going on your word that both of them are lying about it.

As I've said, you've made no allusions to being friends with Varma, yourself. Nor were you present at his visit to Youngson's Dracula Museum.

That said, the fact that the president of a major vampire research/fandom organisation is willing to put her name to said claims, then it certainly enhances its credibility.

You claim that Youngson is a sworn enemy of Manchester's. Has she said this herself? No.

Yes, I related a personal experience she had with Varma, which she told me about. You claim that she lied. Your proof?

Nothing.

But what are you saying she lied about? That he told her negative things about Manchester, or that he actually visited her at all?

Your "reasonable rebuttal" in calling Youngson a liar is marred by two things: 1) you've never actually met her, nor do you indicate any direct dealings with her 2) you don't deny that Varma visited her, nor do you indicate any interaction with Varma yourself.

Considering you speak about a person you don't know, and you're doing it in defence of Manchester...even though he doesn't authorise you to speak in his stead, then yes, you must prove she's a liar or you're making libelous comments yourself.

If Farrant was merely part of the "periphery", then you wouldn't be writing about - and to him - as much as you do. He's much more entwined in this Case than you are.

That probably makes you a lil' jealous.

And tough luck, really, Dennis. Anyone from the public, including myself, can discuss this thing. You guys should have kept it quiet if you were worried about it being discussed in the public sphere.

Demonologist said...

"We're going on Farrant and Youngson's word that Varma said negative things about Manchester. But we're also going on your word that both of them are lying about it," says Anthony Hogg.

Do you read nothing I say?

If someone publishes a defamatory and potentially damaging allegation, I am entitled to call that person a liar unless they can demonstrate that the damaging comment is true. My calling the person a liar would be viewed as a reasonable rebuttal to make. The burden in law is entirely upon the person making the defamtory remark which I call into question by saying they are a liar. If they cannot provide proof they are guilty of libel and must pay the price. I do not have to prove the person saying it is a liar, as my remark is in defence of the person suffering defamation.

"You claim that Youngson is a sworn enemy of Manchester's. Has she said this herself? No," claims Anthony Hogg.

Everyone in the subculture is aware that Youngson is a sworn enemy of Seán Manchester and has been for decades. Her newsletters and other publications have been full of libellous allegations against Seán Manchester, much of it gleaned from Farrant who has not been slow to keep Youngson fed with his poisonous propaganda. Youngson herself is an unpopular figure within the subculture she exploits, as anyone with an inkling of knowledge about these things will know. Her CDFC/VE cronies have sent threats and obscene communications to Seán Manchester. I am sure he would have retained some of this evidence because it was reported to the police at the time.

"That said, the fact that the president of a major vampire research/fandom organisation is willing to put her name to said claims, then it certainly enhances its credibility," states Anthony Hogg.

Are you so stupid as to believe what you are saying, or is it intended to be a wind-up? Her Count Dracula Fan Club (now calling itself Vampire Empire) is a sick joke. Nobody takes it remotely seriously. Even vampire fanatics give her a wide berth because of her puerile publications which would not appeal to a five-year-old. Her only subscribers are not much older!

A "major vampire research/fandom organisation"? You really are out of touch with the reality of the situation. The woman is joke!

"Your 'reasonable rebuttal' in calling Youngson a liar is marred by two things: 1) you've never actually met her, nor do you indicate any direct dealings with her 2) you don't deny that Varma visited her, nor do you indicate any interaction with Varma yourself," claims Anthony Hogg.

You have no way of knowing whether I've met or had dealings with this dreadful woman. I have no way of knowing whether Dr Varma visited her until someone reliable corroborates or denies it. I do not discuss with you anything personal about myself or those I "interact" with apart from Seán Manchester who is the principal target of all this hatred, harassment and hearsay.

Demonologist said...

"If Farrant was merely part of the 'periphery', then you wouldn't be writing about - and to him - as much as you do. He's much more entwined in this Case than you are. That probably makes you a lil' jealous."

I didn't say he was "part of the periphery." What I actually said was: "Farrant has been present at the periphery ever since his interloping almost forty years ago and thus involved himself in OUR business."

He played no part in the Highgate case, as anyone who was present back then will confirm. Farrant is not "entwined" in this or any other case. He is "entwined" in his own pathetic attention-seeking regardless of what bandwagon he hops on.

You really are showing your immature years (I know you're just a kid) when you make silly remarks like I'm jealous of Farrant. Jealous of what precisely? Being a useless good-for-nothing who has sponged off the State all his life, some of which was spent in jail, and wasting a lifetime on mindless vendettas and hate campaigns founded on falsehood and lies? I really don't think so!

"And tough luck, really, [Demonologist]. Anyone from the public, including myself, can discuss this thing. You guys should have kept it quiet if you were worried about it being discussed in the public sphere," says Anthony Hogg.

Discussing the case is one thing. That is not what you are doing and it is certainly not what others you crib from are doing. They are running a hate camapign against one person, and to some extent you are party to that vendetta by linking to their vitriolic attacks and promoting the libel they initiate.

Anthony Hogg said...

What makes you entitled to call them liars? Where is your proof that they are?

Youngson puts her reputation and stature on the line by saying that stuff Varma told her, byway of her giving me permission to reproduce it.

You, however, Dennis, choose to snipe under your various nom de plumes.

If they're guilty as you say, then, by all means, take 'em to court.

On what grounds do you have that Youngson's a liar, as you call her? What exactly has she done or said to you, that would indicate this?

Saying that "everyone in the subculture is aware" of Youngson being a "sworn enemy" of Manchester's is a pretty broad statement to make. What has she got against him? Why would she initiate such a thing against him?

If this harassment or whatever was sent along to the police, then what was the outcome of it? How much of it came from Youngson herself?

Rather than insult her, how about backing up what you say with something a bit more concrete?

Youngson is a valuable contributor to the vampire fandom/scholarship community. You are an International Secretary who doesn't even have the authority of his boss to speak on his behalf?

Don't tell me you're jealous of her, too!

I have no way of knowing if you've dealt with her? Then, by all means, why don't you say it?

Have you, Dennis Crawford, engaged Youngson in any form of communications? Yes or no?

Yet again, you put up a fence of your own involvement in the Case and with the people you snipe at.

This isn't very becoming of an International Secretary.

Present at the periphery...part of the periphery. Yeah, huge difference there, Dennis.

Farrant, whether you like it or not, has played a huge part in the Highgate Case. There's a reason he's mentioned so often, in accordance with it. This is only helped by your stream of disseminations against him.

If he's as much of an attention-seeker as you claim, then you're doing a great job of feeding him, yourself.

It wouldn't surprise me if you are jealous of him. After all, you seem to have a massive case of Tall Poppy Syndrome. Not surprising for a Secretary that lurks in the shadows.

I don't discuss the case? Of course I do! I also discuss those at its periphery, like yourself.

What am I cribbing from others?

That's big talk coming from a plagiarist, after all!

The problem is, Dennis, you're so mired in your one-sidedness, that you can't see a bigger picture here.

You, by action, are a perfect mirror of Farrant and what you claim him to be. At least, in regard to online activities.

But, as to libel, since you're going on the whole no-physical evidence = no reality dictum, then I could equally call you a liar.

After all, you've presented nothing on your involvement with the Case you're so vocal on.

I could even go so far as to say you had no involvement at all.

Demonologist said...

I keep forgetting I'm talking to a kid who is easily impressed by infantile things like the New York Count Dracula Fan Club and impostors such as Muswell Hill's miscreant Farrant. My mistake.

I shall now join the ranks of those who give you the attention you deserve by no longer wasting my time with an immature youngster's rants ...

Anthony Hogg said...

Yes, Dennis, the Vampire Empire is much more impressive than yourself.

If you're gonna fly the coop and not post here anymore...well, it's no sweat off my back.

I'll guess it'll free you up to do more productive things like...uh...post voluminous items on satirical blogs.

Au revoir!

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