Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The FriendsReunited Conspiracy (?)– Part 8 – The Crime or Mistakes, Memory and Analysis

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.

In this section I am going to talk about how we’ve managed to get into this sorry mess. These people have completely invented a conspiracy, apparently based on our inability to remember every little detail of what we did or said 12 years ago.

And in looking at some of these areas, I’ll show how all of these things are a bit catching – in the fact that our pursuers seem to have suffered memory loss, and made unforced errors themselves, on quite a few occasions.

Lets just face it – we all make mistakes, and we are all forgetful. However I don’t think I have ever been so analysed, taken apart and picked up on every little detail like this before.

The Mistakes

As I have mentioned before, a huge part of what this is all about is that Julie and I are liars. And this allegation all comes about from a simple error. Once again I will explain for their benefit, as it never gets through.

We were sent a letter in 2005 from these people asking a number of apparently innocent questions about the early stages of FR. The letter from memory (and don’t forget I am apparently awful at that) said they were doing a research project. One question asked was who our first hosting company was. In fact, we initially used a small outfit called Aflex and moved about 6 months later to one called Densitron. [Julie was not involved in any of the technical side or server setup. And this was years after the event when we had been with Densitron for some 5 years by then.] So she answered Densitron. SHE GOT IT WRONG. Big deal. Or so you would think.

And then, soon afterwards when asked by one of these people about the hosting I also mistakenly said Densitron (incorrectly) and he corrected me. Again, what a crime. This of course was all very suspicious and obviously indicated that we were lying and trying to cover something up.

Now I have only actually read their document from cover to cover about 3 times. I made loads of notes on the second read. And blimey do they make mistakes. Let me go briefly down to their level and be pedantic.

So here’s a bit of proof reading on their investigation document – and these are just a few. You would have thought after 12 years they would have put a bit more effort into this.

  • On page 7, a fraud squad officer somehow claims to have seen some invoices from the hosting company Chorver in January 2001:

“We can confirm that Chorver sent their first invoice to Happy Group in January 2001. This will not doubt be recorded in Chorver’s official documentation and would be impossible to change”

No, I have no idea how they got hold of these invoices either- but don’t worry I will discuss the legal ramifications of that later. However, Chorver as a company did not even exist until 2003. Yes, he probably meant Densitron. A mistake! Hang on though. So he has written down the wrong hosting company then. Didn’t Julie do exactly just that which caused this whole conspiracy and for us to be branded liars. What a bunch of hypocrites this lot are!

  • On page 15 – they get my name wrong and call me by their developer’s name.
  • On a number of pages they call our company the Happy Party Group for some reason, whereas Happy Party was the name of one of our sites – but Happy Group Limited was our company name.
  • They visited a friend of ours on page 12 (this is a shocking section that I will discuss at another time). They describe her as a director from the original FR team. No idea where they got that from: she worked with us from about 2002 on FR and was never a director.
  • On page 16, there is a section which describes events when we met the main pursuer and the Private Investigator who accompanied him. In one sentence the PI is called Chris, and by the next he is called Alex. Split personality? No – just a simple mistake of course.

As you can see some seriously bad, indeed embarrassing, errors. They do, however, expose the slap-dash and shoddy nature of their investigation. You would have thought people trying to do something like this would have checked basic facts about company names and directors, let alone proof-read their document to get peoples’ names correct.

But enough of the mistakes.  I think I’ve made my point.

The Memory

Think back to what you were doing back in the summer of 2000. I struggle to remember what I was doing last weekend, let alone 12 years ago. However, in their document we are constantly picked up on everything we say where we are either vague or not able to remember details. And every single hesitation, indication of uncertainty or mistake is interpreted as hinting at the conspiracy that we have so assiduously put together.

Well, I apologise for my crap memory. Unfortunately, we didn’t take the time to document every part of our lives so that we could relate conversations back to people when they enquired about them years later.

Amazingly, however, as far back as 2000 our pursuers were taking a different tack:

“Immediately after the meeting while parked outside in their car, both xxxxxxxxxxxxx minuted & then discussed xxxxx’s comments in detail”

Wow – they really did document everything, even before a problem happened. Perhaps if they just got on with building their idea, rather than documenting every meeting, they might have got further.

But let’s again just look at their own memory. I suggest it’s very selective. Don’t forget: much of the basis for the conspiracy they impute is our failure immediately to recall a trivial detail from 12 years ago. But in their document, concerning a meeting with their developer on 24th May 2005, they state about a fact he remembers from 5 years previously that

it is totally & utterly inconceivable that he could have possibly remembered this brief & casual remark at all”.

The irony of this statement. I love it.

And whilst on the memory front. When trying to jog that awful memory of mine this year I managed to boot up an old laptop (btw – rusting is a figure of speech, you stupid people). I found an email from these people from 2002. It was in a pile (oh dear – another metaphor) of emails to do with FR received in 2002. We got thousands of emails a day – many like their, so it had just been passed onto me for information only. It was an email from them asking us if we wanted to purchase their website ! When I met him and asked about it, unbelievably he seemed to have forgotten about it. So they contacted us to try and sell us their business, and they can’t remember that fact. A little careless, wouldn’t you say ?

And also in 2005, after we were told by our chief pursuer that he would go away and leave us alone, we were contacted by a Times journalist who had received a dossier on how we stole the idea from him. Nothing was printed in the Times, of course, but when I questioned him, he apparently knew nothing about it. So he sends a dossier to one of our leading broadsheet newspapers (who rebuff him), but doesn’t recall anything of it.  Funny old thing that memory, isn’t it ?

The Analysis

The whole 21-page summary document that our chief pursuer sent us is a chronological time-line of meetings and communications. Everything is then analysed and given the full conspiracy treatment. Having just gone back to it for the first time in ages, it no longer annoys me – in fact I’m now seeing it as a work of paranoid comedy. Here are a few classic entries:

“ It was quite clear that he was aware of the name all along but was trying in some way to pretend that he did not remember it”

and another

“It looks like she was primed and ready for a different approach by our Private Detective, and made the “wrong” phone call”

and there’s an amount of

“Steve, trying very hard to sound casual”

So – before going any further, you people should take a long look in the mirror and examine your own errors, your own memory, and perhaps do a bit of self-analysis. And be very careful about branding people as liars.

Coming Very Soon – The FriendsReunited Conspiracy (?) – Part 9 – The Latest Developments


1 comment:

  1. All this talk of memory reminded me of the £20 I lent you all those years ago