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One Incontrovertible, Unequivocal, Undeniable Fact Which Refutes the Diary

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  • Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post
    Hi Caz.

    Instead, he waved the white flag of defeat. And that’s why I say that the diary was shown to be a fake in court thirty years ago…not so much by the judgement of Justice Lindsay, though that’s part of it…but mainly by the actions of diary’s owner, Robert Smith. His actions then speak louder than the subsequent thirty years of apologetics by those who believe in the Maybrick Hoax.

    RP
    And you all thought my statistical rant was tedious!

    The take-home message from RJ's legal rant was that the judge was influenced sufficiently by limited data to do the sensible thing and let the case go to trial. Robert Smith on the other hand - literally just days away from publishing his best-seller - cleverly settled out of court having enjoyed the biggest possible pre-publication publicity for the book and now happy to move the debate away from what he believed to be a vindictive, misplaced argument and back onto the debate about authenticity. Smith was clever, very clever. The Sunday Times - as they are wont to do - were fooled yet again! Is there nothing they can't get on the wrong side of???

    But the diary being ruled a fraud in court? RJ puts the usual convoluted, labyrinthine spin of absent friends on it, but you can't bamboozle the people all of the time.

    Iconoclast

    Comment


    • Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post
      Hi Caz.

      I don’t wish to leave the impression that you somehow nagged me into responding. Truly—I no longer care. But to put a nice end to this conversation, here’s what I wrote back in August in response to your question, though I never bothered to post it.
      I wonder if you would have used the word 'nagged' to describe what Ike did, when he asked you questions which you failed to answer. I'll leave you and the readers to decide.

      “Hi Caz. What I assume you are going to try and argue –despite your frequent acknowledgments that the diary IS a fraud—"blimey, the handwriting doesn’t even match” --is that because the civil case never proceeded to its conclusion the diary was not ruled a fraud in a court of law.

      Did I guess correctly?
      It may be different in the US, but here, the word 'fraud' implies criminal deception, in order to make money out of something known to be bogus. As you must surely be aware by now, I firmly believe that neither Mike nor Anne had a clue who wrote the diary, when or why, when it was seen in London for the first time, and I also firmly believe that Tony Devereux died not knowing it existed [or if you must, that any such thing might be in the planning stage].

      I have no doubt whatsoever that Doreen, Shirley, Robert, and later Paul Feldman, sincerely believed the diary either was, or could be the real thing, and never accepted that the Barretts could have had anything to do with its creation, or knew who did. You couldn't be more wrong, when you claim that I have ever 'acknowledged' the diary is a 'fraud'. All I have ever argued is that the handwriting cannot be attributed to a known hand, whether that be a Maybrick or a Barrett hand; a Graham or a Devereux or a Kane hand. That in my view leaves the verdict wide open, because if an unknown hand could have written it for no financial gain, who are you going to put on trial for fraud in a court of law? For all I know, it could have been created by a prankster who wanted to remain anonymous, and died not knowing that it would end up in Mike Barrett's hands. I don't give a flying feck if that was prior to 1970 or in the late 1980s, but what would be the criminal charge in either case?

      But a pre-trial hearing is still a court of law, and this was a civil case, not a criminal one, and civil cases are very often resolved before a trial’s start—let alone until its conclusion--as the lawyers for each side fight it out behind closed doors, file pretrial motions, negotiate, etc., etc. Presented with overwhelming evidence and an impending loss, one side will usually cave, admit defeat, and the matter is settled.

      And that’s what happened in this case.

      Smith tried to sell the Maybrick Hoax to The Sunday Times for serialization. This was supposedly the criminal discovery of the ages. But the Times had no appetite for the diary once it read it, was thoroughly unimpressed, and decline to publish.
      I would say Robert Smith was guilty of being naive, considering The Sunday Times had been thoroughly embarrassed over the Hitler Diaries, and would have had little 'appetite' for another infamous diary if it had been accompanied by a photo of James Maybrick holding it in one hand and a knife in the other. "How about a photo of Maybrick stealing a watch - one with JO engraved on the back?" "Not likely, Mr Smith. Once bitten and what have you..."

      Smith, meanwhile, went off to seek greener, or at least more credulous, pastures.
      Why do you need to use loaded language, which clearly implies that Robert tried to sell something he knew to be a 'hoax' and then needed to seek more 'credulous' pastures? Who are you, to pretend to know the man, and that he would ever be motivated to flog an old book if he thought it had been tampered with by modern hands?

      Yet, as you know, The Sunday Times eventually learned that the Diary was about to be published elsewhere, and, as their own independent investigation had determined the diary was a fraud, decided to publish an exposť. Alas, they had signed a non-disclosure agreement with Smith, so they couldn’t.

      [Note: you write that the subsequent case wasn’t about proving the diary a fraud, but I disagree with you. The Times was arguing that they should be released from their non-disclosure agreement, and the reason they gave was that they had been deceived. Smith had misled them about the diary’s authenticity, ie. it was a hoax, and this was the bases of their legal case.

      As you further note, Smith’s strategy seemed to have been dragging his feet. The age-old legal strategy of stalling. Perhaps he was hoping The Times would give up and go away; perhaps he was hoping he could drag out the matter until the book was safely on shelves in bookstores. I’ll leave it for you to decide which].
      Again, I would personally dispute that there was ever any evidence to 'determine' who, if anyone, had committed 'fraud', but it's pretty obvious that The Sunday Times had something bigger to prove - that they were no longer the gullible fools who were taken in by the Hitler hoax. This time it was personal.

      But I thought I made it plain that the information I posted for you came from Robert, so if you disagree, it's with him, and you would need to take it up with him. Why not write to him, with your opinion of what was going on and why?

      “As a new publishing date approached, The Times petitioned Justice Lindsey for a speedy trial. Their reason? They had uncovered clear evidence that the diary was a fake, including a sample of Maybrick’s genuine handwriting; I seem to recall that they had also obtained a copy of Baxendale’s damaging ink solubility results, but I’d have to verify this in my notes. Either way, I think we can assume that Smith was apprised of this evidence in the ‘discovery’ phase.

      It was at this point that Justice Lindsey, having heard the arguments by the solicitors for The Sunday Times, refused further delays and called for the case to proceed quickly, ruling that there is “a real possibility that for a period in October, if nothing is done, the public or some of its members, may be deceived.

      I have always assumed that the ‘period in October’ referred to the diary being in bookstores that autumn.

      “the public may be deceived.”

      In other words, deception. Fraud. It’s clear that Lindsey thought that there was sufficient evidence of fraud that the trial should proceed, and he ruled accordingly.
      You will argue, I assume, that “may be deceived” is not the same as “definitely deceived,” and this is not evidence that the diary was a fake. Thus, Lindsey’s ruling does not, in itself, prove the diary is a fraud.

      To some degree I agree with you, but that’s not what I was referring to when I said the diary was shown to be a hoax in court.
      I certainly would argue that there is a world of difference between 'a real possibility.... the public or some of its members, may be deceived', and your original claim that a court of law had ruled the diary a fraud, and the public were about to be scammed. If someone chooses their words carefully, they deserve a bit more respect than this, especially if you are using them to support your cause.

      There is also a not insignificant difference between a fraud/scam and a hoax/prank, where the diary is concerned. You didn't say it was 'shown to be a hoax in court'; you said it had been ruled a fraud in a court of law, and you accused people here of 'running interference' for fraud. That was always my objection, because it implies that people are knowingly defending someone's criminal deception. The diary is an inanimate object, written by an unknown hand, so anyone may have been 'deceived' by its contents, without a named individual being responsible for, or knowingly involved in that deception.

      I was referring to the subsequent actions of the defendant, Robert Smith.

      He threw in the towel.

      For it was at this point, and despite his great faith in the authenticity of the diary (note: this is sarcasm), Smith knew his goose was cooked, and with it, the diary’s golden eggs. The Sunday Times had found the real handwriting of James Maybrick, so Smith, acknowledging his inevitable defeat, allowed the Sunday Times out of their non-disclosure agreement, even agreeing to pay legal fees. (According to one source this was £6,500, but perhaps you have another figure?)

      That is a clear admission that Smith knew he was going to lose the case.

      It’s akin to pleading “no contest” in a criminal case. One declines to offer a defense, acknowledging defeat is inevitable, and acquiesces to the judgment of the court. It’s a way of saving face.

      Hypothetic question. If Smith had such great faith in the diary’s authenticity, as he now claims, why on earth would he have avoided the chance to prove it before the whole world in a court of law?

      Instead, he waved the white flag of defeat. And that’s why I say that the diary was shown to be a fake in court thirty years ago…not so much by the judgement of Justice Lindsay, though that’s part of it…but mainly by the actions of diary’s owner, Robert Smith. His actions then speak louder than the subsequent thirty years of apologetics by those who believe in the Maybrick Hoax.

      Of course, the great benefit of acknowledging the hopelessness of one’s case in court and quietly paying off the plaintiff’s fees is that, thirty years later, people in internet forums can argue that the trial never concluded and no fraud was proved. That’s the whole point of it. You will think this is unfair, I imagine, but the way I look at it, I’m less willing than you are to let Smith simply wriggle off the hook—he knew in who’s favor the judge would rule, or else he wouldn’t have so utterly caved-in.
      Oh don't be so fatuous, RJ. You know as well as I do that nobody - not even Feldy on speed - could have proved the diary genuine, even if it had been. It was always going to be a matter of opinion - or faith if you prefer - and the public had the choice of buying into it or not.

      So you don't accept that Robert had/has any faith in the diary, or that he could possibly hold a different opinion from your own on its true origins. Well I find it hard to accept that anyone with more than two brain cells would have faith in God, or believe everything they read in the Bible, or swallow the Gospel according to Mike Barrett. Yet for many, their faith would at least appear to be genuine and unconditional - and they can't all be away with the fairies, can they? So who am I to call their faith fraudulent?

      If Jesus Christ had had to prove God's existence in a court of law, using the New Testament, I dare say He'd have thrown in the towel too, having to acknowledge His inevitable defeat. How could He have won, if the burden of proof had been upon Him? Would His actions have spoken louder than words when He had to wave the white flag because He knew He couldn't prove the unprovable?
      Last edited by caz; 10-12-2021, 03:23 PM.
      "Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious." Peter Ustinov


      Comment


      • Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post

        That's obviously NOT what I am suggesting.

        I am suggesting that MANY people put those "two words together" in the 1980s and early 1990s, because it was a recognizable figure-of-speech, starting at mid-Century.

        By contrast, neither you, nor Gary, can show it was a recognizable figure of speech in the Victorian age, and the OED even states the adjective is obsolete.

        All you have offered is unconvincing rhetorical arguments--it could have been floating around for decades without someone recording it--hope springs eternal--but you haven't offered any actual evidence. And I think most people here will have notice that distinction.

        Ciao.
        Not sure I grasp your argument about the OED stating that the adjective 'bumbling' is obsolete?

        Isn't that a very gradual process? Did it become obsolete overnight, only to be brought back from the dead overnight, decades later?

        The fact remains that you either accept Mike's affidavit of January 5, 1995, wherein he states the roles played in the diary's creation, and names the individuals involved, or you treat every word of it with the extreme caution it so richly deserves.

        You don't seriously give any credence to Mike's claim to have bought the watch too, and put the scratches inside it - do you?? He stated as much to Alan Gray later that same month, in one hilarious episode of the Barrett & Gray comedy box set. If you concede that Mike was lying through his teeth about that, and also lied through his teeth in April 1993, when he swore an affidavit to reinforce his original Tony Devereux story, just as the electricians were threatening his hold on the diary, when will you finally wake up and shake off your blind faith in the authenticity of any of his diary 'confessions'?

        Sitting in the middle, between you and Robert Smith, I have to assume you are equally sincere in your individual beliefs, and that opinions may differ dramatically, without being dishonestly held.

        "Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious." Peter Ustinov


        Comment


        • Every time someone posts on this - The Greatest Thread of All - scores, a few hundred, or occasionally even a thousand or so views soon rack up and yet the debate remains played-out by just a handful of posters so it remains utterly polarised by people whose views are realistically never going to shift much (if at all). It's trench warfare, and - whilst I'm certainly never going to get cold feet - my feet are cold and I'm running out of tea. Where are the reinforcements?

          Here's my call to the rest of you - log in, offer an opinion, obviously grow a very thick skin, but be part of the debate. Don't let it pass you by.

          Ike
          Iconoclast

          Comment


          • Originally posted by caz View Post
            I wonder if you would have used the word 'nagged' to describe what Ike did, when he asked you questions which you failed to answer. I'll leave you and the readers to decide.
            Nope, never in a million years, Caz. Not a criticism of RJ, mind, more a sad indictment of the gender he and I share.

            If Jesus Christ had had to prove God's existence in a court of law, using the New Testament, I dare say He'd have thrown in the towel too, having to acknowledge His inevitable defeat. How could He have won, if the burden of proof had been upon Him? Would His actions have spoken louder than words when He had to wave the white flag because He knew He couldn't prove the unprovable?
            You'll all be delighted to hear that The Mighty Iconoclast does not wish any of his dear readers to think he thinks The Wholly Risible is an authentic tome, but you make a good point, Caz, as ever.

            RJ's position regarding The Sunday Times is patently preferential. It just conveniently suits his argument so he's sticking with it. Again, not a criticism of RJ, more a sad indictment of how deep the trenches have now been dug. You make a great point about The Sunday Times (though it will be to little end, sadly): they weren't taking a moral stand against the perfidy of the recently-discovered scrapbook - what the hell did they care about morality for goodness sake, they're a newspaper! - they cared only (as you say) that they were quick off the mark to say "Not this time, hoaxing nation - not on our watch" having made such spectacular arses of themselves over the Adrian Mole diaries a few years earlier (it was obvious they were faked).

            Ike
            Iconoclast

            Comment


            • Originally posted by Iconoclast View Post
              Every time someone posts on this - The Greatest Thread of All - scores, a few hundred, or occasionally even a thousand or so views soon rack up and yet the debate remains played-out by just a handful of posters so it remains utterly polarised by people whose views are realistically never going to shift much (if at all). It's trench warfare, and - whilst I'm certainly never going to get cold feet - my feet are cold and I'm running out of tea. Where are the reinforcements?

              Here's my call to the rest of you - log in, offer an opinion, obviously grow a very thick skin, but be part of the debate. Don't let it pass you by.

              Ike
              Sorry to be a thicko, Ike, but where do I look to see how many views a thread is getting?

              Mr Brown is currently amusing himself on a Vivian Stanshall appreciation thingummy whatsit, and every time he posts anything there he seems to get a few hundred 'likes', which is most annoying and made me think this infernal place must be frequented by half a dozen freaks, two or three squawking chickens and a whelk with learning difficulties.

              Love,

              Caz
              X
              "Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious." Peter Ustinov


              Comment


              • Originally posted by Iconoclast View Post
                RJ's position regarding The Sunday Times is patently preferential. It just conveniently suits his argument so he's sticking with it. Again, not a criticism of RJ, more a sad indictment of how deep the trenches have now been dug. You make a great point about The Sunday Times (though it will be to little end, sadly): they weren't taking a moral stand against the perfidy of the recently-discovered scrapbook - what the hell did they care about morality for goodness sake, they're a newspaper! - they cared only (as you say) that they were quick off the mark to say "Not this time, hoaxing nation - not on our watch" having made such spectacular arses of themselves over the Adrian Mole diaries a few years earlier (it was obvious they were faked).

                Ike
                What drives me mad around this place is that there seems to be no allowance made by the Barrett believers for anyone who has a very different, but just as strongly held opinion. They simply assume that anyone who disagrees with them must be thoroughly bad or barking mad - usually both.

                I don't think I've made a habit of accusing them of not really believing deep down that Mike and Anne created the diary. I think they probably do believe it, although for the life of me I will never understand why. Do they believe Mike worked for MI5? Or foiled an IRA plot? Or died of cancer then came back to life three days later? Or that Anne made the kidney shaped stain in the diary by dropping a real kidney on it? Or any of the other 110 beyond daft claims he made over the years? Of course they don't. But they make an exception for the Awesome 11 day Creation, because they have no stomach for any other explanation.

                And that's fine when it's expressed as a personal opinion rather than a matter of fact.

                For the diary to be ruled a fraud, there had to be a fraudster behind it, which would automatically have implicated Mike Barrett, as the man who brought it into the open and made money out of it. No allowance is made for the real possibility that he never knew what he had, but used it as a tool or a weapon from March 1992, depending on what was going right or wrong with his life, until it finally sped out of control.

                Love,

                Caz
                X
                Last edited by caz; 10-13-2021, 02:02 PM.
                "Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious." Peter Ustinov


                Comment


                • Originally posted by caz View Post

                  Sorry to be a thicko, Ike, but where do I look to see how many views a thread is getting?

                  Mr Brown is currently amusing himself on a Vivian Stanshall appreciation thingummy whatsit, and every time he posts anything there he seems to get a few hundred 'likes', which is most annoying and made me think this infernal place must be frequented by half a dozen freaks, two or three squawking chickens and a whelk with learning difficulties.

                  Love,

                  Caz
                  X
                  Click image for larger version

Name:	Screenshot 2021-10-13 152625.jpg
Views:	88
Size:	15.4 KB
ID:	770690
                  I don't know what 1,274,292 views actually means (does it get higher every time I check to see if anyone has posted anew after being the previous person to post anew?) but I do know it's a very big number making it the place to discuss Maybrick-related argument and debate. Oh, and whelks, obviously ...
                  Iconoclast

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Iconoclast View Post

                    Click image for larger version

Name:	Screenshot 2021-10-13 152625.jpg
Views:	88
Size:	15.4 KB
ID:	770690
                    I don't know what 1,274,292 views actually means (does it get higher every time I check to see if anyone has posted anew after being the previous person to post anew?) but I do know it's a very big number making it the place to discuss Maybrick-related argument and debate. Oh, and whelks, obviously ...
                    Whelks?

                    Aged 14/15 I had a Sunday morning job at Billingsgate Market removing whelks from their shells. As a result, I couldn’t imagine eating the things, even though I love other seafood - cockles, mussels etc.

                    A curious hangover from those days, is that I sometimes use the word ‘whelks’ instead of ‘you’re welcome’.



                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by caz View Post

                      Or that Anne made the kidney shaped stain in the diary by dropping a real kidney on it?


                      I always thought you believe the scrapbook to be genuine, not just an old hoax as you always claim.


                      You gave yourself away!




                      The Baron

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by The Baron View Post


                        I always thought you believe the scrapbook to be genuine, not just an old hoax as you always claim.


                        You gave yourself away!




                        The Baron
                        I don't know what the hell you are talking about, Baron, because the kidney shaped stain was just old glue IIRC, and proves bugger all.

                        But I guess I'd get more sense out of a backward whelk.

                        Awkward beasts, whelks. Chewing one is much like trying to eat a rubber tyre.

                        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PCMRVcmXWhQ

                        "Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious." Peter Ustinov


                        Comment


                        • RJ recently used a quote by Alexander Pope [1688-1744] to take another dig at his 'diary defenders': Hope springs eternal...

                          So I thought I'd add a few more:

                          For those who expected the diary's creator to be exposed as a fraudster nearly three decades ago:

                          Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed.

                          For those who queued up to swallow Mike's phoney confessions:

                          Fools rush in where angels fear to tread.

                          For those who repeat 'popular' arguments without having a single original thought of their own:

                          Charms strike the sight, but merit wins the soul.


                          I'm sure we could also find a use in Diary World for these gems:

                          To err is human, to forgive divine

                          Damn with faint praise

                          And my favourite:

                          What mighty contests rise from trivial things!

                          Oh look, it's beer o'clock here in Brown Towers.

                          Love,

                          Caz
                          X
                          "Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious." Peter Ustinov


                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by MrBarnett View Post

                            Whelks?

                            Aged 14/15 I had a Sunday morning job at Billingsgate Market removing whelks from their shells. As a result, I couldn’t imagine eating the things, even though I love other seafood - cockles, mussels etc.

                            A curious hangover from those days, is that I sometimes use the word ‘whelks’ instead of ‘you’re welcome’.




                            What about pulling mussels from a shell?

                            This is my London memories.
                            "When the legend becomes fact... print the legend"
                            - The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by erobitha View Post



                              What about pulling mussels from a shell?

                              This is my London memories.
                              Great song.

                              Mussels I can face. Whelks are an abomination. ;-)

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by erobitha View Post

                                What about pulling mussels from a shell?

                                This is my London memories.
                                Amongst a host of fantastic Squeeze tracks, my personal favourite is the achingly-painful 'Labelled with Love' which - dare I say it - has resonance for our digital acquaintances here:

                                She moved home alone without friends or relations
                                Lived in a world full of age reservations
                                On moth-eaten armchairs, she'd say that she'd sod all
                                The friends who had left her to drink from the bottle


                                Ike
                                Iconoclast

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