Tara Conlan and John Beyer have misled the Christian community

Posted by Tim Ireland at January 10, 2005

Category: Christ...

This entry was posted on
Monday, January 10th, 2005
9:28 am and is filed
under Christ….

John Beyer and Tara Conlan may want to look up their names in Google, MSN or Yahoo this morning… it should give them a little lesson in how weblogs work. Thanks also to everyone who has chipped in with useful information by email and comments (again we see how weblogs work, yes?)…

There have been a few suggestions that we fight fire with fire. One such suggestion involves the creation of a similar machine to Beyer’s that counters his protests with equal or greater (and possibly inflate ‘er) numbers. I’m not thinking that way myself.

It makes much more sense to publicly denounce and cripple the Beyer/Conlan machine. Then the ‘unprecedented’ level of protest will be discredited for all to see. More in a mo…

Mail on Sunday – BBC boss in hiding: BBC2 controller Roly Keating, his wife and their three young children were driven out of their million-dollar house after a Christian group posted his private address and telephone number on its website. They fled yesterday morning after security experts decided the threat to kill Mr Keating if the programme went ahead was a credible one.

Let’s pass over that million-dollar-house-rich-bastard-probably-deserved-it nudge and move right along to the site that posted this information, which said on the offending page that: Neither the BBC nor Ofcom care what you think anyway. So we have to do something a bit more direct.”

It then went on to list the home addresses the BBC Director of Television and the BBC2 Controller and also said: The names and addresses of the other 10 Governors have been sent to Christian Voice members and supporters only, although our members and supporters are at liberty to share that publicly-available information. Click here to join Christian Voice.

Independent – The Moral Minority and the BBC: a reality showdown close to Jerry Springer’s heart: The email from Christian Voice’s national director, Stephen Green, to subscribers – obtained by The Independent on Sunday – stated: “We make no apologies for giving their home addresses and in as many cases as we can, their phone numbers … We know normal protests are channelled in such a way as to be ignored.”

Now what do you think this is suggesting?

While the above Mail article may be online, today’s follow-up article with the headline Running Scared is not. In this article, Beth Hale and Fiona McRae say: A spokesperson for Christian Voice… has now removed them from its website and condemned the threats. Director Stephen Green said: “We were a little naive in thinking our website was used only by Christians.” Mr Green added: Freedom of speech brings responsibilities – you don’t go out of your way to offend people. That’s a deliberate insult and the BBC don’t seem to understand that.”

The Warm Up GuyAhhh, I see. It was just a naive mistake. And this is all the BBC’s fault anyway. Now, I wonder where people got the impression that the BBC did this to deliberately offend people?

Allow me to repeat a phrase from Sunday’s Mail article: Security experts decided the threat to kill Mr Keating if the programme went ahead was a credible one.

So their comment on Sunday saying threats of violence are wrong and today’s expanded piece by Melanie Philips are not entirely unlike the warnings of the warm-up guy for Jerry Springer, who would tell the audience not to attack the guests. Even though that’s exactly what they know the audience will do.

The only difference is that the Mail has provided their warnings after the show.

The police – who are investigating the threats – probably already have their eye on Stephen Green. It was BBC lawyers who had him remove the addresses from his website, so a complaint is probably in place.

David Hope is another name that deserves attention…

The Sunday Times – TV chiefs given guards over Springer: Two of Britain’s most prominent churchmen – David Hope, the Archbishop of York, and Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster – were among those who criticised the broadcast. Hope, the Church of England’s second most senior bishop, said: “The BBC pushed the boundaries of taste and decency too far.”

Boundaries of taste and decency! The exact words of John Beyer fed into that circular. WTF is this shepherd doing acting like a bloody sheep?

And the IoS was spot on when it said: Michael Ancram, the Conservative’s deputy leader, should be mocked for his opportunistic leap on the moral bandwagon.

And we all know what Murdoch and Wade were up to…

There are other rather suspect names being put forward in comments. Feel free to poke around if you like, but I only have two names on my list: Tara Conlan and John Beyer.

They cooked this up and misled red-misted members of the Christian community.

Why the Daily Mail chose to go along with it is anybody’s guess:

Playbill – Jerry Springer The Opera on the Verge of Closure: According to The Independent newspaper, a closure announcement for Jerry could be imminent (the paper predicted that the show could shut up shop as early as lunchtime on Oct. 25, but at the time of writing that deadline has passed and the show is still officially open). The reason for the trauma, say the show’s producers, is that a libel action fought against the Daily Mail is proving cripplingly expensive.

(Cheers go to Joe for this lead. Joe also points out that: The first (Dec 3) article appeared ten days before the court case was due to be heard. He and I would like to know how that court case turned out. If anybody has any leads or links..)

I’m investigating the PCC route today. I would also appreciate any thoughts on what criminal charges – if any – can be brought against Tara Conlan and John Beyer for their role in instigating this outrage-based-on lies and the subsequent death threats. I’m sure I don’t need to remind you that the email circular at the core of this begins with the words: “The Sikhs have made a stand – but will Christians?”

(Cheers to Daily Mail Watch for the screengrab.)

UPDATE – a rushed linkdump (no time for context, Dr. Jones! – but a quick nod to The Community At Large is in order):

Note – I’m waiting for more data before I make my PCC complaint. (I particularly want to nail down the source of the quote attributed to Roly Keating. I also need to confirm that the JSTO email circular originated from John Beyer and not an ‘unrelated’ Christian group that just happened to use the ammunition he so helpfully provided.) BUT… if you want to make a complaint ahead of me, feel free. The links you’ll need are:


  1. Nick Barlow says

    And I thought the Mail usually cheered people with big houses?Mad Mel’s piece will probably appear here: http://www.melaniephillips.com/articles/ soon enough

  2. Chicken Yoghurt says

    As with most things in life, I find Bill Hicks says it best:”‘Hey, buddy! C’mere! Mr. Funny-man, c’mere! Hey, buddy, we’re Christians, and we don’t like what you said.”So then forgive me.’Later, when I was hanging from the tree.”

  3. Ben says

    “we were a little naive in thinking our website was used only by Christians”You’ve got to love Stephen Green – it wasn’t the Christians that made the death threats, guv’nor, it’s those evildoers out there on teh interweb! He seems to enjoy the “no true Christian would do/say that” line of defence – very handy when denying responsibility for the death threats, as well as dismissing the views of Mark Thompson and David Soul (both Christians) regarding JSTO.

  4. Scott Matthewman says

    Phillips' article is now online at http://www.melaniephillips.com/articles/archives/

  5. Manic says

    Cheers, Scott. Link now integrated.

  6. Scaryduck says

    Melanie Philips says: “outright pornography on BBC Three”. Where? What pornography?Are you getting “a TV channel I don’t like” confused with a generalised Daily Mail notion of filth?

  7. bigdaddymerk says

    mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm pornography

  8. Manic says

    What rubbish. The only outright pornography you can get on digital (which is in the extras package) is on Television X – which just happens to belong to Richard Desmond (The Man Who Used To Be Tony Blair’s Best Mate).Ooooh, I smell a totally unrelated FOI request brewing. Wouldn’t it be nice to know if a deal was done before Desmond spat his dummy?

  9. s7uar7 says

    For me, the biggest villians in all of this have been Christian Voice. They have the audacity to complain about JSTO whilst preaching their anti-gay, anti-abortion, pro-abstinence, racist views. With free advertising on the BBC website as well. Perhaps a new googlebomb is required – ignorant bigots for http://www.christianvoice.org.uk

  10. cheeks says

    Christian group to sue BBC for blasphemy: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/tv_and_radio/4161109.stm

  11. Wolf Solent says

    CV have *announced an intention* to prosecute. That’s a very long way from actually prosecuting, and unless Green’s lawyers are as mad as he is, I would imagine the phrase “please leave our offices now” will feature very heavily in any consultation, possibly around the time the matter of posting BBC execs’ private details on the web comes up. That’s assuming he isn’t in jail soon, obviously.

  12. Wolf Solent says

    Further Peniel larks, from http://www.rickross.com/reference/ppc/ppc3.html -Mother claims ?100,000 for life church ruinedThe Times/June 15, 2001By Michael HorsnellA mother who claims a controversial church ruined her life has begun a legal action for ?100,000 damages.The charismatic Peniel Pentecostal Church, which claims to have performed miracles on sick children, was at the centre of the failed attempt by the former anti-sleaze MP Martin Bell to be elected last week in the constituency where it is based. Caroline Green, 33, claims that from the age of 14 her will was dominated by the church through threats, humiliation and intimidation.The church applied earlier this week to have the action struck out, on which a High Court master will rule today.[…]The church is said to have regarded contact with the outside world as defiling. Between 1982 and 1986 members are said to have been told not to have televisions, go to cinemas or listen to non-Christian music. Mrs Green says that she was told that the utterances of her leaders came straight from God. She says that she was told that Mr Reid and other leaders could perform miraculous signs and wonders and that church members who did not follow his teaching would go to Hell.Mr and Mrs Green sent their children to Peniel Academy Infants School and playschool, and carried out unpaid work for the school, academy and bookshop. She estimates the value of the work at ?70,303. She says they took out insurance policies with five companies run by Mr Reid, paying premiums totalling ?33,771, and paid the church a total of ?43,620 and the academy ?15,099.In 1997 she began to conclude that many of Mr Reid’s prophecies were false and that the church displayed many of the features of a cult. Mrs Green is also suing her former husband, the son of founding members of the church.

  13. bigdaddymerk says

    How can you sue someone for Blasphemy for gods sake?

  14. Anthony Wells says

    “unless Green’s lawyers are as mad as he is, I would imagine the phrase “please leave our offices now” will feature very heavily in any consultation”Oh I think they’ll find some lawyers quickly enough. (That isn’t just pick on the Christian lawyers – Mark Mullins, the London Chairman of LCF, seemed to have acted for them before.)I don’t think their own activity would have any bearing on the case either – after all, they wouldn’t be suing for damaging, they would be launching a private criminal prosecution.

  15. Anthony Wells says

    Tim’s comment system has stripped a link out of that – it should have linked to the Lawyer’s Christian Fellowship http://www.lawcf.org/

  16. Manic says

    Comments don’t allow HTML, but they auto-link any (well, most) URLs that are posted as text.See?https://www.bloggerheads.com/

  17. Wolf Solent says

    Still ferreting around the wonder that is Christian Voice’s website – they’ve done this stunt before, last summer, circulating the home addresses of various Daily Mirror execs over a ‘Dress Up Jesus’ fridge magnet. They also threatened a blasphemy prosecution then, which seems to have come to nothing.

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