Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The FriendsReunited Conspiracy (?) – Part 2 – The Claim

In summary a group of people have been after me for years and have completed a 12-year investigation into the history of FR in an attempt to discredit me.

For background to this story read:
The FriendsReunited Conspiracy (?) – Part 1 - Introduction

Now to discuss in more detail what they actually claim.

In simple terms, these people allege that we have lied about the setting up of FR – from how we set the site up, the dates when we did so, the ISP we used, to when the first version of the site went live. Their objective is to show that we effectively took the FR idea from them: a developer they used – whom we are supposed to know – is alleged to have been the person who told us about the online school reunion concept before we came up with it.

Background. Julie had the idea for FriendsReunited in 1999. In June 2000, we registered the FriendsReunited URL, and launched the first simple version of the site. This will all be discussed in a later blog.

These people claim to have come up with their similar idea in July 2000 (according to their statement) but didn’t launch until late 2000/early 2001 it appears.

Here’s the thing:

They claim we did not actually launch till late 2000.

They claim that we know the developer they initially engaged to write their site.

They claim that our site idea came directly from their developer.

They claim that we somehow backdated our domain registration, and were in collusion with the first ISP we used (and, it appears, with Nominet too) to falsely backdate our story.

In essence, they claim the whole story of FR from 1999 to early 2001 is a lie.

They claim that since then we have been involved in a massive cover up -nearly everyone associated with FR is in on this.

They allege that we have done nothing to help them in researching their insulting claims, and have continued to lie and deceive over the “cover-up”.

Julie and I, along with dozens of family and friends who worked on FR are extremely proud of what we created and achieved with FR. It helped tens of thousands of people in a positive way and for that we are truly humble. We also worked unbelievably hard, not just since the launch of FR in June 2000, but for many years building up to then.

Over its history we had to deal with many issues, mostly positive but also the negative and in some cases malicious. From threats to being blamed for breakups to boring contractual stuff – all were dealt with. However, in all my working life I have never felt such disgust or anger as I have through dealing with these absurd allegations, over the past 7 years. How these people can devote so much of their life, finances and time in trying to discredit us amazes me. It is a disgrace and all involved should be ashamed of themselves.

For long periods we have ignored these people but when someone continually tries to discredit a whole 18-month period of your life – basically saying we lied about it all – then you can understand why I am now doing this.

I have given them simple, unequivocal proof of the setup of FR. They choose not just to ignore the incontrovertible facts but also to contort them so that those facts are warped into fitting their wild conspiracy theory. And they use some pretty, heavy tactics in doing so.

Well gloves off – in future blogs I will write further about the history of FR and show with embarrassing clarity how deluded these people’s claims are.

But first, coming next – The FriendsReunited Conspiracy (?) – Part 3 – Their Contact


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The FriendsReunited Conspiracy (?) – Part 1 - Introduction

Right then – where do I start.

Over the past 7 years I have had to deal with a group of individuals who will not leave me alone. They allege that I stole the idea for FriendsReunited off them, and that since 2000 I have lied repeatedly about the history of FR and been involved in a cover up and conspiracy.

Since 2005 when they first contacted me, I have tried to help. However everything I have done has been thrown back at me in some twisted way. Whether I communicate with them, talk to them, talk through 3rd parties, meet them, send things to them, let them into our office, ignore them, go legal – everything just fuels their theory that a conspiracy has taken place and it just gets worse.

The obvious thing to do at this stage is to ignore them. However, I know that won’t work and eventually they will come back and I will yet again have to deal with them.

For all these years, whilst wasting loads of my time, I have never gone public on any of this. They have threatened to do so several times and in many different ways.

Recently, it escalated quite dramatically and in having to waste many more hours I suddenly felt compelled to start blogging about it. I know this will probably fuel their imagined grievance even more but I am sort of hoping it will bring it to a head and finally get a line drawn under it.

Also, in the last 7 years I haven’t revisited any part of the FR story since we sold up. I have found I’ve actually started enjoying looking back at that time – the fact that someone is trying to discredit me makes me even prouder of what we did. So much so that I’ve started writing a journal of the history of FR and the sorry tale of these people – I don’t know if it’s interesting but its very cathartic and might make an interesting read one day.

I won’t go into the full detail in this introductory blog as it takes pages. But in summary the sort of things it involves are

  • ·      A 12 year investigation into me
  • ·      A 120 page document of the investigation of which I have seen a 21 page summary
  • ·      A proposed reward of 250K for information establishing a link between me and a third party
  • ·      A proposed website to publicise this reward
  • ·      A proposed social media campaign to 20K students
  • ·      A proposed national media campaign against me
  • ·      A book proposed to be written about the conspiracy on the “UK’s version of Social Networking” (their words!)
  • ·      Use of at least 4 Private Investigator organisations against me
  • ·      Private investigators following people
  • ·      Private investigators calling at and inveigling their way into friends houses
  • ·      Private investigators making unwanted phone calls harassing friends.
  • ·      A fraud squad officer investigating us
  • ·      Using the advice of a home office director, senior police officers, 2 top legal experts, a top UK crime author and solicitors

And that’s just for starters of what is contained in the document I received. I don’t actually know if all these things have happened – some of them I have verified so I have to assume they are serious.

As I said earlier, I should just ignore it, but it has been niggling away at me since the summer. When someone spends so much time and money in trying to discredit me, character assassinates me, and continually calls me a liar, then you can maybe see why I’ve been tipped over the edge.

Over the coming weeks and months I will reveal more and more of this sorry saga through my blog. I will also focus on individual subjects like

  • ·      The illegal things I am alleged to have done
  • ·      The history of their contact with me
  • ·      Redacted excerpts from the communications I have received
  • ·      The legalities of the 21 page summary document (and there are many legal aspects to that document)
  • ·      Private investigators
  • ·      The ridiculous statements
  • ·      Peoples memory
  • ·      ISP’s and domains
  • ·      The history of FR (of which I have reams of documents and statements now collected together)

In fact I’ve got about 25 subject titles already. I should probably thank them for giving me blogging material for the next few years. I apologise now if I do drop into flippancy sometimes – however for some of it that’s just about what it deserves.

Finally, I am not going to mention their names. But I would sort of welcome them replying to my blogs in public so they can try to justify themselves. That’s what they claim to want – so lets get it all out in the open.

Coming Next – The FriendsReunited Conspiracy (?) – Part 2 – Their Claim