|Gather for this tale of a wolf in sheep's clothing. Picture: ColouringPages101.com.|
One of Patrick Sean Manchester's—aka Bishop Seán Manchester—favourite hobbies is slagging off people he doesn't like via the vast cornucopia of blogs and Facebook accounts he writes for. I am one of his frequent targets.
I usually respond to his diatribes via my Facebook group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/awampyrwalks/), but I've decided that sunshine is indeed the best disinfectant, so I'll be addressing his posts on this blog to ensure Mr. Manchester gains the audience he seeks.
Recently, after noting that Manchester is utterly obsessed with his late nemesis, David Farrant, Manchester followed up with yet another diatribe about Farrant.
He then followed that remark with all the Christian grace of a bull in a china shop:
The "slimy behaviour and overt hostility" of Hogg renders anything he has to say as invalid. Whatever vitriol he posts is nothing less than one might expect from a universally despised troll. So many have recorded the malice of this alcoholic with a penchant for foul language.
I have certainly been called a troll in my day (especially by people who don't like their lies being refuted), but "universally despised"? I'm not sure about that. I have my own fan group after all (https://www.facebook.com/groups/1650940895149151) and I admin many Facebook groups with thousands of members. I detect a whiff of jealousy.
Do I swear? Yes. Am I an alcoholic? No. In fact, I barely drink (case in point: I had a single beer while at a Thai restaurant on Friday—literally my only alcoholic beverage that week). I honestly can't fathom why he said that. In the meantime, I suggest Mr. Manchester reacquaint himself with the Scripture he's supposed to be following. Namely Exodus 20:19.
Not content with gunning for me, he turns his toward another DAWWIH Facebook group member:
Redmond McWilliams, however, should understand that if he doesn't want me to engage by posting ripostes, all he need do is not mention me in the material he publishes. I would have no need to clarify my position were reference to me not made in the first place. Almost all his posts and comments on Hogg's hate group contain a negative aside. Is he unable to raise a topic without including some barbed reference to me? Yet we have never met.
I have no problem with him posting a right of reply. He's more than entitled to it. The problem is, these "ripostes" are little more than personal attacks and mistruths (see "alcoholic" remark, above), not setting the record straight. And what makes them particularly peculiar is that Manchester has us both blocked on Facebook. So, how is he seeing our posts?
Either way, an (allegedly) Christian bishop trying to pam off his hateful posting on us flies in the face of Christ's command that one "turn the other cheek" (Matthew 5:39). Whatever he posts is wholly his responsibility.
I will admit that a lot of negative things are said about Manchester, though (readers are invited to visit/join the group to decide their extensiveness for themselves). But there's a good reason for it: he is an incredibly nasty person. Indeed, most of the replies are in response to things he's said first. Manchester thinks he can intimidate people into silence by personally attacking them behind his bewildering array of sockpuppet idents (like his "The Cross & the Stake" nom de plume his Facebook post was written under).
He is renowned for obsessively posts about people he doesn't like (despite allegedly devoting his live to the Church), which strikes me as distinctly anti-Christian behaviour. Indeed, as someone who has been subjected to over fifteen years of his stalking, it's no surprise as to why people don't have many kind things to say about him.
The "clarifying [his] position" angle would be fair if he was a truthful, credible person. But he isn't. He lies. A lot. That is literally why people speak up about him in the first place.
To cap it off, mentioning he has never met McWilliams applies to a lot of people he attacks. Including me. Manchester has no place being on his high horse.
Manchester concludes his post with this pièce de résistance:
When McWilliams chose to throw his lot in with Hogg it puzzled me at the time and still does now. He was a longstanding friend of David Farrant, and collaborated in many of Farrant's projects, eg the so-called symposium of July 2015. No sooner did he, of the blue, form an allegiance with Hogg than Farrant understandably dropped McWilliams like a hot potato. I don't comprehend disloyalty at the best of times, but this treacherous act by McWilliams terminated his friendship with Farrant (now in his final years), and the schism lasted until Farrant's death in April 2019. Not that Hogg, the sower of discord, was bothered.
My history with McWilliams (founder of the Highgate Cemetery Vampire Appreciation Society Facebook group) pre-dates his association with Farrant. We "met" via an online forum over a shared interest in bringing an independent voice the Highgate Vampire saga.
Over time, McWilliams allowed himself to absorbed into Farrant's social circle (despite my concerns about him getting too close to his "subject") and yes, collaborated with him on various projects thereby shedding his ability to remain publicly objective (regarding the "so-called symposium," though: strange wording aside, it was an honest-to-goodness symposium that actually happened). Indeed, his association lead to a falling out between us too when I defended a former friend, Angie Watkins, from being attacked on his group without a right of reply (my administration of the group was revoked without warning after she had added me to a Facebook group of hers without my knowledge). My defense of her even got me banned from the group, too. That certainly caused a lot of bitterness for me especially as I had worked on the group since its inception. And to show how far it had gone to the dogs, I was replaced by...Farrant's wife, Della, another person in his entourage with a grudge against me. So much for independence!
Eventually, McWilliams and I did make amends when I opened up to him about the treasure trove of Highgate Vampire-related material I had been able to accumulate through the help of colleagues. Farrant became aware of this re-association, especially when I was readmitted into his Facebook group. Farrant was never a fan of mine because I often criticised his claims and behaviours, as he had spent decades doing to Manchester. However, Farrant's attempt at portraying me as a Manchester lackey didn't quite take because (as this blog post shows), I am not in the game of taking sides between these two.
So, really, there was no "allegiance." I didn't demand fealty. I still don't. The ethos of this blog, the forum it sprung from and the Facebook group spin-off has always been about neutral turf. Whether the people on that turf want to stick to one side is up to them. But for me? I take neither side. After all, taking sides in something like this is a surefire way to kill critical thought and objectivity. I've seen it firsthand. And I've seen it used, deliberately, to this effect. The side I take is the truth.
Manchester's "disloyalty" spiel is a classic example of why this objectivity is needed. Preying on McWilliams' guilt over the fallout with Farrant is reminder that as objective as we may like to be, we are human. Feelings often get in the way of what we investigate. And people exploit that for their own ends. But Manchester's rhetoric is undermined by his own concept of "loyalty": not questioning his claims. Not inviting participation from the "other side" of his beefs. I can attest to this firsthand. This is especially risible for someone acting more like a cult leader than the head of an organisation dubbing itself the Vampire Research Society.
But on his last remark: am I bothered over their falling out? Honestly? Not really. After all, I didn't cause it.
If Farrant was willing to terminate his friendship with McWilliams because he let me back on a Facebook group which I co-founded, I don't think that spoke much for their friendship. I could go further and speculate that their connection must have been one of convenience, in that both were getting a "use" for the other that was no longer tenable once it became apparent that McWilliams was interacting with me (without even being able to clarify why it was a problem in the first place). That said, on a human level, I would prefer they had buried the hatchet. A grudge is not a good thing to take to the grave.
For my final word on their friendship, though: I wasn't part of it. That was between them. The only person who can speak for them is them—and one of them is no longer around to do that. It's not my place to say how genuine it was. And certainly not Manchester's, who very obviously doesn't give a stuff. Therefore, his bottom-scraping tactic to attack McWilliams is just another example of the depths this alleged Christian bishop is prepared to go.
And that, honestly, is a shame too, speaking as it does to the psychology of a man so deeply entrenched in hatred for people because they've questioned him or exposed his shenanigans, that he struggles to process his emotions in a productive way. I hope he seeks the help he sorely needs.
Manchester is utterly obsessed with his late nemesis, David Farrant: Hogg, "In the latest edition of 'Where Is Your Church, Anyway, and Why Do You Keep Stalking Us?' . . .," Facebook, August 5, 2022, https://www.facebook.com/groups/awampyrwalks/posts/10166872067240494/.
yet another diatribe about Farrant: Manchester [The Cross & the Stake, pseud.], "Stewart Farrar said of Farrant . . .," Facebook, August 6, 2022, https://www.facebook.com/974672275997573/posts/2676860642445386/. Subsequent quotes, unless otherwise noted, are from this post.
subjected to over fifteen years of his stalking: Hogg, "My Number One Fan," The Vampirologist (blog), April 30, 2014, https://thevampirologist.wordpress.com/2014/04/30/my-number-one-fan/.
an honest-to-goodness symposium that actually happened: Della Farrant, "THE HIGHGATE VAMPIRE SYMPOSIUM 2015," Harringay Online, latest activity June 12, 2015, https://harringayonline.com/events/the-highgate-vampire-symposium-2015. The event took place at Upstairs at the Gatehouse, Highgate Village, on July 19, 2015. McWilliams was one of the speakers.