On 17 February 2015, I tried to open a dialogue with The Faustian Circle which, in the event, proved, as I had feared, to be a pointless exercise that would grind to an unsatisfactory halt three days later.
My opening message to The Faustian Circle is published below:
To: The Faustian Circle
I am writing to object to the extremely libellous nature of comments made about me by Mr Hogg and Mr Farrant, plus some anonymous comments and those of your own, on two threads found on The Faustian Circle blog.
The posting and, therefore, publication of this defamatory and abusive material which is designed to cause damage to my personal and professional life by the above named individuals is wholly unacceptable. The material itself is also completely false.
In the first instance, I am requesting that you remove all the aforementioned material with reference to myself and desist from publishing on the internet any further commentary about me.
In view of the extremely abusive and libellous nature of the identified pages on your blog where I am named and defamed, I must advise you that legal steps might have to be taken, including the involvement of the police. However, I hope this will not be needed and that reason will prevail.
It will not be found necessary, of course, if the offending material is removed as soon as possible, ie within the next 48 hours.
You will understand that I am legally obliged to provide this notice before taking any further action as outlined above.
The Faustian Circle replied:
"Wouldn't it be better to respond to the articles and comments in the comments sections of the articles in question?
"In the interests of free speech and debate we are extremely reluctant to remove the articles.
"However, you are of course entirely free to pursue DNS action via the internet in an attempt to remove the articles and comments to which you refer.
This was promptly followed by a brief second message:
"Sorry, but we cannot accept a complaint which is not sent from a legitimate email account."
To which I responded:
I refer you to your willingness to remove material critical of Mr Farrant, as exemplified two days ago with this:
"We have removed the above comment after a lady objected to its libellous nature."
My grounds for objection are significantly greater on the grounds of the sheer volume and degree of defamation which, in my opinion, you have stimulated from the onset.
What you have personally written about me is erroneous and based on falsehood originating with Mr Farrant about whom you say nothing that is negative or that he would object over. I have no idea what your agenda is beyond repeating slurs and libel designed to cause damage to my personal and professional life. I hold no party political opinions and have never done so. I am not an occultist or a magician. I have worked in tandem with those seeking peace throughout my life and still remain a representative of Pax Christi, something which might possibly motivate your willingness, as a Fascist, to provide a platform for others to harass me, defame me and incite hatred against me.
You ask me to provide tangible evidence of who I am to somebody, namely yourself, who remains totally anonymous and is only known as "The Faustian Circle." It is quite obvious who I am. Look at the thousands of friends on my account which has been held for years. Why else would I be asking for libellous material to be removed if I was not who I say I am? You are looking for an excuse to do nothing. I am not in a position where I can do nothing because I am the victim of your actions against me.
As it stands, you are in breach of the Protection from Harassment Act, Religious Discrimination and Hatred Law, Libel Law and the fact that, under Article 8 of the Human Rights Act, everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence. I believe my privacy to have been violated.
Whether or not you accept this complaint from me, whilst doing so from others who are set against me, is neither here nor there. What matters is that I have made my complaint and that you are now cognisant of it. If you wish this to now be taken further with the involvement of law enforcement to ensure my protection from the abuse you not only allow but are instrumental in initiating and prolonging, that is your choice entirely. I have acquainted you with the facts and lodged my complaint.
The Faustian Circle, once again, reiterated that they would need me to send an e-mail in order to authenticate who I am. To which I responded:
You are suggesting that I use my personal account (you already have my name) to post the same request as above to an impersonal account held by an anonymous stranger.
You already have my request and the reasons I have made it. The rest is obfuscation on your part. How about providing me with your real name with evidence it is genuine?
I do not like dealing with anonymous people, and do not have the resources to identify you myself. The police, on the other hand, do. Tell me your name and arrange to meet me face to face in order to determine who I am if that is so critical; though I am very much of the opinion it is a delaying tactic on your part. What difference will it make if you do receive an e-mail? Does that mean you will instantly remove all reference to myself?
The Faustian Circle all along failed to say whether receiving an e-mail would result in what I was requesting. However, I did follow my message with another that stated:
It occurred to me that if the only bar to you taking any action is verification via an e-mail associated with my website you could send an e-mail to just such an address: [e-mail address deleted] and, upon my receiving it, I could relay its contents exactly along with the time it was sent. I would just ask that there are no attachments, as these could cause it to be spammed out. Send a message, code or sequence of words. Anything you like.
You must ask yourself how I would be able to read your e-mail if I am anyone other than who I say I am? I shall expect your e-mail to be sent from [the e-mail associated with The Faustian Circle].
The Faustian Circle replied:
"If Sean Manchester sends us an email associated with his website as we first requested, then yes we will be able to consider his complaint."
I presume you want an e-mail associated with my website to verify I am who I say I am? That being the case, as you remain totally anonymous and use an impersonal account for e-mail traffic yourself, send an e-mail to me containing a message or sequence of words that only the recipient could know when it is received. Send to: [e-mail address deleted]
I will then get back to you with the exact content of your e-mail sent from [the e-mail associated with The Faustian Circle].
The only other remedy to your alleged concern over my true identity is that you meet me in person. You say you are London-based. That being so, you will not have far to travel, but this would obviously be unnecessary if you send an e-mail to my account.
As the aggrieved party, I am not the one who should be on the back foot here. You continue to allow those in the business of abusing, harassing and defaming me, even when done anonymously, to post their incitements of hatred. How do you find any of this honourable? You are treating this in a manner which certainly suggests you have little intention of removing the references to me. In which case, if action is taken I, or those acting on my behalf, shall be obliged to recover costs from you.
I wouldn't listen to the baying mob you have allowed to monopolise your blog. None of them will be affected by the outcome. What is troubling is that you set this situation up in the first place, and not for the first time. As my website unequivocally states, I haven't accepted interviews on these matters for years because all there is to say has been said. There is nothing useful to add. More particularly, it's half a century ago! I live in the present and find it sad that others dwell almost permanently in the distant past; in most instances, not even their own past. My website also makes clear that, although I was a minor public figure many years, I am no longer so today. I consider myself a private person who wishes to live out his last years in relative peace. You are demonstrating an unwillingness to allow that to happen for reasons known only to yourself, which to me is ignoble and indefensible. You describe The Faustian Circle as 'a British Study Group based in London, England, which is engaged in research into the relationship between Politics and the Occult.' How does that involve me, or indeed phenomena occurring at Highgate half a century ago? I have studied aspects of the occult in the past, but I am not an occultist. I have met politicians, some of them political leaders, from the whole spectrum of politics, but I am not party political myself and never have been. Yet the overwhelming majority of comments on The Faustian Circle are about either me or an ex-convict who has frittered away his life pursuing vicious vendettas against people - of which I am one. The third element is the Highgate case which has no political dimension.
How can you possibly justify this platform for libellous abuse against me? Unless, of course, The Faustian Circle with its nostalgia for something that is quite dead is merely a smokescreen for something else? Others must be having similar thoughts.
The Faustian Circle responded that I have more than one Facebook account, to which I explained that previous accounts had reached full capacity as there is a limit to how many friends Facebook allow, requiring me to open new ones as more people ask to be my friend. These are perfectly legitimate reasons for having more than account. The Faustian Circle allowed David Farrant to publish on its blog the addresses of all my accounts which proves that Farrant has more than one account himself, as I have blocked him and his associates from seeing any of my accounts. To find my Facebook presence Farrant and company would require second accounts themselves. Hence I pointed out the following in my final message to The Faustian Circle, 20 February 2015:
Mr Hogg [one of those posting defamatory material about me] has various accounts on Facebook. Two are in his real name that I am aware of (there might be more for all I know) and others are in false names. The same goes for Mr Farrant's close friend Mr McWilliams (who posts anonymously on your blog). He has opened innumerable Facebook accounts in a variety of names, largely in an attempt to infiltrate groups where he is not wanted. Mr Farrant's son, Jamie, has at least two accounts in his real name and who knows how many in counterfeit names? The reason I have accumulated my accounts is legitimate. Theirs, clearly, is not.
You speak only of libel - and I am certainly libelled repeatedly and continuously on your blog - but you omit any mention of other offences occurring on your blog; offences that I have already identified to you that place you in breach of the Protection from Harassment Act, Religious Discrimination and Hatred Law, plus Article 8 of the Human Rights Act. Google no more deals with libel that it does with any of the aforementioned about which you say nothing. They are criminal and not civil offences. Hence the police possibly taking an interest with the potential for a custodial sentence in certain instances.
What I notice is your willingness to discuss the private messages I have sent you with commentators on your blog who are antipathetic toward me, while at the same time refusing to engage in any discussion with me beyond the mantra "contact us by email."
If you are genuinely concerned about establishing my identity you would do as I suggest and send an e-mail associated with my website, and I, in turn, will respond with the exact content of what you have sent, proving beyond any doubt who I am.
Moreover, if you really subscribe to "freedom of expression, even if a blog contains unappealing or distasteful content or presents unpopular viewpoints," you would not have capitulated so readily to Mr Farrant's assistant, known as Della, with the words: "We have removed the above comment after a lady objected to its libellous nature." You follow this with a note of gratitude to Mr Hogg who had reproduced something in his comment about which Della disapproved: "Thank you for understanding and for respecting the lady's wishes Mr Hogg."
There is something strange, as well as hypocritical, about this situation. You curtail "freedom of expression" when it favours Mr Farrant, but refuse to do so when it means I am the one requesting deletion.
This has nothing to do with my not sending an e-mail or my identity not having been confirmed. You could send me an e-mail to the address associated with my website.
This is something else. Something personal. Something distinctly and uniquely aimed at me. Why else am I the only individual attacked on your blog which uses a Fascist symbol while allowing known anti-Fascists such as Mr Hogg and Mr McWilliams to post abuse that incites hatred while defaming and totally misrepresenting me?
You seem so friendly with the anti-Fascist Mr Hogg and the anti-Fascist Mr McWilliams. Yet the self-styled Fascist "The Faustian Circle" describes itself/himself as a "Secret Order working to shape thinking and to manipulate events from behind the scenes. It encourages its supporters to be active in political organisations in Great Britain in order to influence policy and to spread the National Gnostic message. Likewise its Faustian Youth section is involved in musical subcultures such as Industrial, Black Metal, Goth, Punk/Post-Punk, Neo-Folk and such like."
You have broken the confidentiality of my private messages by making known the thrust of my correspondence on a public forum to those who consider me an enemy.
I do not believe you ever had any intention of "considering" my complaint. You merely want to engage me in something I have no intention of becoming drawn into. Your initial article is loaded against me and its false and misleading content about me has been adapted straight from the propaganda of Mr Farrant and his cronies.
You first contacted me via Royal Mail two years ago, on 19 March 2013 to be precise, when you sent your "Hail Abraxas!" leaflet that declared: "The Faustian Circle is an Occult-Fascist Secret Order." As someone who has investigated for television and radio - indeed, written about - "secret orders," allow me to inform you that genuine secret orders do not send leaflets to people like myself, much less do they open Facebook accounts and blogs which anyone in the world can read.
Finally, the envelope containing The Faustian Circle material in 2013 was addressed to me in ball-point pen ink. Albeit in capital letters, I recognised the handwriting instantly.
This dialogue has now run its course. I shall act in accordance with what is best.
Here is part of the leaflet and envelope I received from The Faustian Circle in March 2013: