Friday, February 26, 2010

Turning the Wheels of Self-Publicity

The "conversation" that ensues between songstress (Patsy) and David Farrant on the "Highgate Vampire" thread on the Healthypages forum seems innocent at first.

She gets the ball rolling with this:
Dear All,

Has anyone heard of the cause celebre of the 1970's named 'The Highgate Vampire', and if so, does anyone remember it?

Other contributors jump in (including Dennis aka "Vampirologist"). The 35th post on the thread details her experience with the VRS:

I contacted the VRS President several times in 2003 and 2004, by e-mail, asking for details of the case. No reply was forthcoming, until I asked to see archived material, which is advertised on the VRS website. A very curt and nasty reply was sent to my work e-mail address, asking why 'someone from ***** would be interested in the Highgate case' and went on to say that 'archived material and other information about the case would not be disclosed 'to people outside of the investigation.' I decided to search elsewhere for the information about the case. The VRS President had my e-mail address at work, and sent me a very nasty e-mail, which was covered in pictures of other people, and which could have cost me my job.
Oh who, who could ever help her in her plight against the evil VRS dragons? Who would be her knight in shining armour?

What's that coming over the hill? Is it...yes, it's Dave!
Hi Everyone

Just wanted to post here because I know Songstress personally and I was the person central to the 'Highgate Vampire Affair' back in the late 60/s early 70/s.

First of all (very briefly), I would like to ask Songstress to keep posting. After all, Songstress did start the thread and I do not feel it right that she feels it necessary to 'abandon' her own thread just because of some 'minor intimidation' about the report she is undertaking. I have seen much of Songstresses research, and I can verify that she is totally objective. (Other people might not be, but that is really their problem!).
She expresses eternal gratitude:
Hello Mr Farrant,

I am glad that you take my research seriously. It's a long-awaited study into an old case, as you know.

You will be a great asset to HP, with your knowledge and experience in the field of paranormal research.
The banter labours on. David voices his enthusiasm for Patsy's research:
For Patsy,
I certainly look forward to seeing you again at the end of the week, Patsy, and to reading your report on the Highgate ‘vampire’ case. Hopefully this will be published in a month or so, and I can only say that a thorough report on that case is long overdue. (36 years or so ‘long overdue’ – although I am obviously not implying this relates to yourself!).
He even treads the fine line of promotion in his appraisal:
I have just been privileged to see an advanced copy of the "Highgate Vampire Report" (52 pages) by Patsy which has been referred to earlier on here, and which is scheduled for release before Christmas. I mustn’t give too much away at this stage, but, as I was involved personally at the centre of the whole business back in the early 1970’s, Patsy has given me her permission to give a very brief synopsis . . .
Patsy's humility (bless her!) shines through once again:
Hello David,

Thank you for your appraisal. I am pleased that you find the report useful. I am rather an ingenue when it comes to my work being published. I was simply the scribe; many other people helped, especially with the research material and personal visits to the places mentioned in the book.
The report that they refer to, is Patsy "songstress" Langley's The Highgate Vampire Casebook (2007). It weighs in at a mammoth 52 pages.

But it's a shame that with all the slobbering going on, neither of them sought to disclose the fact that David's publishing wing, the British Psychic and Occult Society was actually responsible for its publication. Its listing and an advertisement for the report in David's website, give the game away.

Despite the formal, gentle tone they use in the forum thread, they were already in cahoots beforehand.

So, essentially, they turned the Healthypages forum thread into a protracted, saccharine infomercial to hawk their wares.

Disturbingly, shades of this appear to be occurring on the Arcadia forum. A mysterious member named damiana recently posted this:

A new book written by a conspiracy theory expert will be out in around two weeks, in which a chapter is devoted to this subject. Right up to the Red Monkey film team pulling out after they had been interviewed by Lady Armytage and her flunkeys, and the recent information that a local councillor was involved.

Kepp you posted
For some reason, damiana doesn't disclose the fact that she's actually Barbara Green, an associate of David. Her Red Monkey Films references are dealt with on her "Yorkshire Robin Hood Society, Summary 1983--2007" page.

The Red Monkey Films' "Big Apes" page even contains a few familiar faces.

Is Barbara secretly promoting a book she's written, or one by an affiliate? We'll have to wait and see, as she hasn't provided any further posts on the matter, as of this writing.

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