Friday, November 9, 2012

The FriendsReunited Conspiracy (?) – Part 4 – The Email

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. They allege that we copied the idea from them through contact with a developer that they had engaged to write their website, and that we lied about our launch and have been doing so ever since. They have been contacting us on and off for 7 years.

For background to this story read:
Part 1 - Introduction
Part 2 – The Claim

Let me just state my utter contempt for the email and document that we received on 11th August 2012.

Lets just go straight into the email:

“To Steve,

I have attached a (moderated) copy of a 21 page summary of events surrounding my 12 year investigation into the launch of your website. I'd like to offer you 36 hours to preview the summary, just in case you have anything new to add, or perhaps you might like to reconsider some of your earlier comments?

In a few days I will have emigrated from the UK so I have had to use my youngest sons's e-mail address. Once I am overseas, the Investigation will continue in the care of my 2 sons who, after a continued research, aim to find the social connection with the Developer. At the same time, an extensive national marketing campaign will be initiated by them, in the following order:

1. The summary will be released by my 2 sons, to 20,000 students at their respective Universities, initiating a viral marketing campaign.
2. Then it will appear on a new and bespoke "Reward for Information" website, with a £250k reward offered for information.
3. After a few weeks, the full findings will be shared with national media.
4. A book is being commissioned, by a recognised UK author (family friend) pending the final outcomes of the investigation.

The summary has been put together from facts received over 12 years of detailed investigation. The facts are then supported by my own, personal observations; even if you find them distasteful, there is nothing libellous or illegal.”

Now for my comments on this email.
What the %$£@ %*&£ ^%£@ *&%$ *&^% (sorry my kids read my blogs sometimes)

·               36 hours – are they serious? This is 12 years of investigation and maybe hundreds of man-hours of work they are asking me to review. I ignored the deadline of course.

·               This is just a 21-page summary – how many pages are in the full document? (a previous letter states that they have over 120 pages of material)

·               I have blanked out the name of the developer. This person has done nothing wrong and all he did was not write a system for these people. They have hassled him previously too. As I do not know him I don’t think it is fair to draw him into this.

·               We find it strange they provide this now after 12 years just as one of them is apparently emigrating from the country, leaving what could well become a nasty mess behind for his sons.

·               The 4 points they list are quite frankly rather threatening

·               The reward offered has created a jaw-dropping moment for everyone who has seen it. It is an absurd amount of money. We would have been shocked even if it was a tenth of that amount. I cannot even say it without doing a Dr Evil impersonation.

·               Having read the document, in reality it contains no pertinent facts and contains much that would, if published, be libelous, as well as disclosing the use of illegal methods in their vain search for material that would discredit us.

·               And yes, I do find them distasteful in the extreme

Lets leave this one at that shall we – I am not sure what else there is to say about an email like that, but you can imagine I could write a lot more and a lot worse.

Coming next – The FriendsReunited Conspiracy (?) – Part 5 – The Document



  1. I'm scratching my head trying to remember when i first started working with you but for the life of me i can't quite put my finger on it! Must have been something like late 2000 or 2001, at a guess! All rather amusing this but i think these guys appeared after i left as i don't remember this going on when I was with you :)

  2. Mike - you started late 2001 from what I remember - these guys started communicating in summer of 2005 just before we sold. It wasn't a big thing at the time as we were obviously busy with much more important things!!! Don't forget we had lots of this sort of stuff to deal with back then - just everyone else has gone away but not these....