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Posted: 11 April 2018 04:08 PM   [ Ignore ]  
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I had a look around on these forums and discovered a number of threads pertaining to conspiracy theories. Most of them are garbage. With this said, the abundance of these threads prompted me looking deeper into the matter.

As a result, I found some disconcerting things about Freemasonry that I would hope I can receive an answer for.

During my research I found out about a man called William Morgan. According to a source Lucien V. (1912). Pioneering in Masonry: The Life and Times of Rob Morris, Masonic Poet. Louisville, KY: Brandt & Connors Company. p. 70 a Sheriff, Eli Bruce, who is known to be a Mason was removed from his office then tried and sentenced for his role in Mr Morris’s disappearance. There were also other Masons that were tried and convicted in relation to the same offence.

Furthermore, according to the Commons Select Committee about the child sexual abuse in Rotherham UK (2nd September 2014) there was some masonic involvement.

Now I shall be frank. This kind of carry on would implicate Freemasonry as a criminal enterprise. In all honesty I feel fear when posting this because of the information I have read and this should not be so.

My question is therefore this, in the light of the evidence I have provided above, why should I not carry a belief that Freemasonry is a wholly criminal organisation?

Thank you.

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Posted: 11 April 2018 05:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
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salexandera - 11 April 2018 04:08 PM

Now I shall be frank. This kind of carry on would implicate Freemasonry as a criminal enterprise. In all honesty I feel fear when posting this because of the information I have read and this should not be so.

My question is therefore this, in the light of the evidence I have provided above, why should I not carry a belief that Freemasonry is a wholly criminal organisation?

Sorry but to be just as frank as you, you have provided no evidence, what you have actually done is posted what some conspiracy nutcase has written and labelled it “evidence” which it is not. The reason that you have done this is because you have fallen for the conspiracy theorist’s trap and not actually gone to the primary source but abrogated your responsibility to finfd the truth something very common today.

The Home Affairs Select Committee’s investigation (over 5 years of painstaking work by the way) actually concluded that there was a lot of unjustified paranoia about Freemasonry which was not helped by the fact that many Freemasons maintained an air of secrecy. It decided that it would help Freemasons with this by recommending a “Register of Freemasons in Public Office” which was then scrapped several years later as it actually impinged of Freemasons’ right to freely associate because Freemasonry is not illegal nor is it an illegal activity.

HOWEVER, you can believe whatever you like, as can we but I do hope that you recognise that we are not questioning nor casting aspersions about what you believe! You would probably be well served to apply that same level of non-prejudice about things that you have no actual experience or knowledge of.

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Posted: 11 April 2018 11:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
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Mike Martin - 11 April 2018 05:12 PM
salexandera - 11 April 2018 04:08 PM

Now I shall be frank. This kind of carry on would implicate Freemasonry as a criminal enterprise. In all honesty I feel fear when posting this because of the information I have read and this should not be so.

My question is therefore this, in the light of the evidence I have provided above, why should I not carry a belief that Freemasonry is a wholly criminal organisation?

Sorry but to be just as frank as you, you have provided no evidence, what you have actually done is posted what some conspiracy nutcase has written and labelled it “evidence” which it is not. The reason that you have done this is because you have fallen for the conspiracy theorist’s trap and not actually gone to the primary source but abrogated your responsibility to finfd the truth something very common today.

The Home Affairs Select Committee’s investigation (over 5 years of painstaking work by the way) actually concluded that there was a lot of unjustified paranoia about Freemasonry which was not helped by the fact that many Freemasons maintained an air of secrecy. It decided that it would help Freemasons with this by recommending a “Register of Freemasons in Public Office” which was then scrapped several years later as it actually impinged of Freemasons’ right to freely associate because Freemasonry is not illegal nor is it an illegal activity.

HOWEVER, you can believe whatever you like, as can we but I do hope that you recognise that we are not questioning nor casting aspersions about what you believe! You would probably be well served to apply that same level of non-prejudice about things that you have no actual experience or knowledge of.

Thank you for your answer.

Have you not considered that I am not “abrogating my responsibility to find the truth something very common today” as I wouldn’t be here or some of the other places I have been.

“apply that same level of non-prejudice about things that you have no actual experience or knowledge of” - I agree which is why I haven’t just gone off and concluded anything based on the information i’ve seen so far.

“The Home Affairs Select Committee’s investigation (over 5 years of painstaking work by the way) actually concluded that there was a lot of unjustified paranoia about Freemasonry” - Is there an event in history that you could say that an individual or particular group of freemason’s behaved improperly? If so, would you attribute any causation to be at the foot of the teachings of Freemasonry or it’s structure or would you say these men fall pray of the vices and that being members of freemasonry was incidental.

“paranoia about Freemasonry which was not helped by the fact that many Freemasons maintained an air of secrecy” - many people that I have spoken to about freemasonry seem to express the idea that being a member of the freemasons organisation is required for progress to senior levels in one’s career. Is there not more that the institution can do to publicly refute these notions to address growing discontent within outsiders at a perception of inequality.

To conclude - we are in a digital age that allows outsiders on demand access to information that helps to inform their opinions and attitudes. It seems that as soon as Freemasonry became a subject of information decimated online any secrecy that it might have enjoyed is now redundant and that this truth is self evident. Would it not be a reasonable thing to say that if there were any sincerity in the conviction to maintain the secrets and traditions of any aspects to Freemasonry - then those with such convictions would take their secrets and traditions into a new group that has no presence on the world wide web?

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Posted: 12 April 2018 02:08 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
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Now you’re just being ridiculous.  WHAT secrecy?  When the so-called secrets became public knowledge 300 years ago how on earth can you make such a claim?  The fact that some individuals don’t ‘publish’ their membership is neither here nor there; that’s their choice - and your post actually displays a good reason why they don’t want to - because of prejudice in some quarters .. not least the press - as evidenced only a matter of a few weeks back.  Oh, and the ‘secrecy’ you seem to be alluding to only really came about when real concerns surfaced circa 1939-45 when events in Europe proved that known membership put one’s life at risk. I challenge you to say that you also wouldn’t become reticent if you knew saying so might result in losing your life.  Prior to that time, meeting dates and public processions were commonplace.  It’s hardly surprising therefore that we had a couple of generations where they didn’t talk about it - and yet here we are, on a public forum, using our real names - at least the masons are ...  I’d hardly call that being secretive!

Yes there is the occasional bad apple, but that’s true in any organisation and they are kicked out as soon as they are discovered and proved to be such - always remembering that ‘innocent until proven guilty’ - and I know of one or two who, although found not guilty in a court of law, have been kicked out of freemasonry as we as an organisation considered they had overstepped the moral boundary. What other organisation would take that standpoint?

In many cases - and in the case of the inquiry you mention, the ‘leading lights’ actually had an axe to grind - as you’d find if you’d done the research you claim.  And that’s proven to be true in a number of other cases.

I’m starting to think that you’re only interested in attempting to ferment strife; I hope you’ll prove me wrong.

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Posted: 12 April 2018 02:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]  
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Richard George - 12 April 2018 02:08 AM

Now you’re just being ridiculous.  WHAT secrecy?  When the so-called secrets became public knowledge 300 years ago how on earth can you make such a claim?  The fact that some individuals don’t ‘publish’ their membership is neither here nor there; that’s their choice - and your post actually displays a good reason why they don’t want to - because of prejudice in some quarters .. not least the press - as evidenced only a matter of a few weeks back.  Oh, and the ‘secrecy’ you seem to be alluding to only really came about when real concerns surfaced circa 1939-45 when events in Europe proved that known membership put one’s life at risk. I challenge you to say that you also wouldn’t become reticent if you knew saying so might result in losing your life.  Prior to that time, meeting dates and public processions were commonplace.  It’s hardly surprising therefore that we had a couple of generations where they didn’t talk about it - and yet here we are, on a public forum, using our real names - at least the masons are ...  I’d hardly call that being secretive!

Yes there is the occasional bad apple, but that’s true in any organisation and they are kicked out as soon as they are discovered and proved to be such - always remembering that ‘innocent until proven guilty’ - and I know of one or two who, although found not guilty in a court of law, have been kicked out of freemasonry as we as an organisation considered they had overstepped the moral boundary. What other organisation would take that standpoint?

In many cases - and in the case of the inquiry you mention, the ‘leading lights’ actually had an axe to grind - as you’d find if you’d done the research you claim.  And that’s proven to be true in a number of other cases.

I’m starting to think that you’re only interested in attempting to ferment strife; I hope you’ll prove me wrong.

Meh, the answers you have given probably show much for your characters. In this post and the other’s you guys have been forthright and I understand the nuances in what you’ve said. Like you say, any large organisation is bound to have its bad eggs.

The character you and your fellow brothers have demonstrated in your responses however, do show that your organisation includes those of exceptional qualities and this is all I wanted to know.

Thank you for understanding and answering these questions.

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Posted: 12 April 2018 04:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]  
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You need to be aware that I and many others - particularly in the UK are just getting rather tired of the unfounded accusations. 

You may recall that I recommended that questions you wished to pose regarding Rotherham be directed to one of the UK forums rather than one based in the US - for the simple reason that members in the US are unlikely to be aware of what you were talking about.  Regrettably you decided against that, so part of my irritation stems from that, as you wouldn’t get any real answers to the question.  The reverse is true for the matter of Morgan - no UK mason can possibly provide any real response for exactly the same reason.  If you are really wanting to receive some measured reaction, I’ll repeat my recommendation - direct questions relating to UK criminal matters to the UK - not to the US!

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Posted: 12 April 2018 05:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]  
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Looking only at the Morgan affair, consider the following:

- it was 192 years ago.

- there were convictions, but they were for kidnapping, not murder. (The judge was not a Mason, if it matters.)

- the harshest sentence was for about less than three years. One was for just one month. Trivial sentences, considering the alleged offenses.

- a body said to be Morgan was initially said by Mrs Morgan to not be that of her husband, then she changed her mind. At the same time, another woman claimed that it was her missing husband. It is, in other words, by not means entirely sure that Morgan was indeed murdered. There is actually some suggestion that he was paid off to leave the country.

- by any standard, the whole thing was incredibly politicized and was seized on by unscrupulous politicians looking for a leg up. Objectivity was singularly lacking, on both sides.

In short, close to two centuries ago, a man who may - or may not - have been William Morgan,  may - or may not - have been murdered by a group of Masons.

And, based on that, you feel that the entire body of Freemasonry today is a ‘criminal enterprise’.

Really?

And you are actually feeling fear about anonymously posting a question about it?

Really?

In all sincerity, sir, find something real to worry about.

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Posted: 12 April 2018 06:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]  
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Lark - 12 April 2018 05:17 AM

Looking only at the Morgan affair, consider the following:

- it was 192 years ago.

- there were convictions, but they were for kidnapping, not murder. (The judge was not a Mason, if it matters.)

- the harshest sentence was for about less than three years. One was for just one month. Trivial sentences, considering the alleged offenses.

- a body said to be Morgan was initially said by Mrs Morgan to not be that of her husband, then she changed her mind. At the same time, another woman claimed that it was her missing husband. It is, in other words, by not means entirely sure that Morgan was indeed murdered. There is actually some suggestion that he was paid off to leave the country.

- by any standard, the whole thing was incredibly politicized and was seized on by unscrupulous politicians looking for a leg up. Objectivity was singularly lacking, on both sides.

In short, close to two centuries ago, a man who may - or may not - have been William Morgan,  may - or may not - have been murdered by a group of Masons.

And, based on that, you feel that the entire body of Freemasonry today is a ‘criminal enterprise’.

Really?

And you are actually feeling fear about anonymously posting a question about it?

Really?

In all sincerity, sir, find something real to worry about.

“And, based on that, you feel that the entire body of Freemasonry today is a ‘criminal enterprise’. Really?” - If I conveyed that I had concluded the entire body of Freemasonry today is a ‘criminal enterprise’ I apologise. This really doesn’t accurately reflect what I felt.

“And you are actually feeling fear about anonymously posting a question about it?” - Well I could be but honest with how I felt at the time. The matters that I posted about might not inspire a feeling of fear in some people but for me it did.

Thank you for researching the matter and bringing some things for me to consider.

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Posted: 12 April 2018 07:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]  
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Richard George - 12 April 2018 04:36 AM

You need to be aware that I and many others - particularly in the UK are just getting rather tired of the unfounded accusations. 

You may recall that I recommended that questions you wished to pose regarding Rotherham be directed to one of the UK forums rather than one based in the US - for the simple reason that members in the US are unlikely to be aware of what you were talking about.  Regrettably you decided against that, so part of my irritation stems from that, as you wouldn’t get any real answers to the question.  The reverse is true for the matter of Morgan - no UK mason can possibly provide any real response for exactly the same reason.  If you are really wanting to receive some measured reaction, I’ll repeat my recommendation - direct questions relating to UK criminal matters to the UK - not to the US!

My name is Solomon Alexandera by the way, its a pleasure to e-meet you Richard.

“You need to be aware that I and many others - particularly in the UK are just getting rather tired of the unfounded accusations” - this is something that I can appreciate as I think i’d feel the same way if I were you.

However, with this said, I think the power of some members of Freemasonry coupled with the fact it is a secret society gives rise for speculation and mistrust within some sepheres of society. I think the history of anti-freemasonry illustrates this point.

Freemasons engage in a multitude of charitable activities and this is wonderful. I am positive they have a massively positive impact on many communities which is often overshadowed by the egos and agendas of a few men. This is a shame however, such burdens are bound to be carried by a society that by its namesake - is a secret one - be it de facto truth or not.

“You may recall that I recommended that questions you wished to pose regarding Rotherham be directed to one of the UK forums” - now that you mention this I regret not having raised the matter on UK forums. I apologize for this mistake. 

“If you are really wanting to receive some measured reaction, I’ll repeat my recommendation - direct questions relating to UK criminal matters to the UK - not to the US” - I will do this at some point and I appreciate the recommendation.

I do appreciate your time addressing my questions in such a manner as you are, especially given the sensitive nature of them.

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Posted: 12 April 2018 08:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]  
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Solomon - What you are referring to is called the Morgan Affair and occurred in Batavia, NY in 1826.  William Morgan was apparently insulted by not being allowed to attend a meeting for reasons now unknown.  It has been confirmed that he was a member of one of the York Rite Bodies in Leroy NY not far from Batavia.  He took further objection when a new Chapter was being formed and his name was removed from the petition to create it.  As a result, he threatened to expose the secrets of the fraternity.  Four (4) masons from the Batavia area were involved in what has been called his kidnapping and murder.  These 4 masons can hardly be considered all of the fraternity considering there are millions of Masons.  These four were merely overzealous and in my personal opinion, were more than likely very ignorant of what the true secrets of the fraternity are.  Now, you can hold to your belief that Masonry is a criminal organization if you so choose, however I encourage you to consider the above first.  There have been many accusations against the Masons for centuries.  All of which are completely false.  You can read about the Morgan Affair in more detail at http://www.masonicinfo.com/morgan.htm .

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Posted: 12 April 2018 10:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]  
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salexandera,

Many antiMasonic websites, books and speakers still use the Morgan affair as ‘evidence’ of the Freemasons’ willingness to kill to protect our secrets. You have, I think, been taken in by one of those. Consider such claims like a prosecutor in court who attempts to get a conviction by putting forth such claims to a jury. Were you a juror, how would you feel about having been presented such skimpy stuff? Personally, and please - always - make up your own mind, I would be insulted. Further, if the prosecutor felt he had to rely on such flimsy claims to obtain a conviction, I might well suspect anything else he put forward as well.

AntiMasonic sites expect you to believe everything they say. Here, we encourage you to do your own research, make up your own mind.

A second point. We are hardly a ‘secret society’. A real secret society would hardly have its buildings and meeting places identified with signs outside, nor allow its members to wear rings, t-shirts and ball caps identifying them as such. No real secret society, come to think of it, would maintain a public website, either.

We are more properly described as a society with some secrets. Many groups have secrets, of course. Police, the armed forces, lawyers, doctors, directors of large companies - all of these are expected to keep some things to themselves. In this, we are no different. And the secrets of the Craft are really quite mundane - no massive hidden treasure, no huge conspiracy of world domination.

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Posted: 12 April 2018 10:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]  
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Hi Solomon.

I’m not entire sure who you mean when you say ‘.. the power of some members of Freemasonry ..’?? The police?  For what it’s worth, I know of 1 serving officer .. 1 amongst 1500 local members.  Yes I know of a couple of retired officers, but all but one joined after they retired.  That one individual was a member of the bomb squad in Hong Kong.
- and although I can’t remember exactly when (Mike?), freemasonry has actually been declared as NOT a secret society! - in spite of what many still believe .. but that’s the problem with conspiracy theories; it’s not possible to prove to those unwilling to listen the truth of the matter. 

So what make you think it’s a secret society?  The whole thing about secret societies, is that they ARE secret - ie there’s no proof that they exist let alone who their members are!  The same can hardly be said for Freemasonry! You can watch members arriving for meetings.  You can purchase copies of the yearbooks naming lodge officers.  You can buy a copy of our Rules and Regulations.  We have Facebook and Twitter accounts. Websites.  How on earth can that make us a secret society?

You could say a society with secrets (should really be ‘private’) - ‘secrets’ that as I indicated, were made public over 200 years ago.  What are those secrets?  They’re the way I can prove I’m a Freemason if I visit somewhere where I’m not known .. I used them for example when I visited the US 12 years ago.  Why won’t I tell you what they are?  Because I promised I wouldn’t.  By the same token, why won’t you tell me the PIN number on your credit card?  Because it’s private and is your way of proving to the bank who you are.  Am I complaining that you won’t tell me?  Is there any difference between the two?

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Posted: 12 April 2018 11:48 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]  
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You can even read the degrees online (note*** they are old and out of date now) and even learn something from them but it will not inform you any better because you have not experienced them. We are an “initiatic society” that has secret modes of recognition (hardly really secret anymore as you can also find them if you look hard enough).
There are layers of meaning in everything we do and all you can see is the surface without in depth study, this is just one of the “secrets” that is not really such or I would not be telling you about that here.

Our degrees are a means of working on ourselves to make us better men.

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Posted: 12 April 2018 03:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]  
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Solomon,

While you are certainly well educated and well spoken, by your own admission you are not qualified to join the Fraternity based upon your lack of faith in the Supreme Being. You also accuse us of being a criminal organization that murders our own for the smallest infraction. I’m curious as to what you expect from your continued exchanges on this site.

I may be sensitive to this kind of thing, having seen many others stop by here after ingesting the crap on conspiracy theory sites, but I get the distinct feeling you have no real interest in our gentle craft and are only here for your own amusement. So far, you have refrained from the usual behaviours of “trolls” and been civil, polite and attentive to our answers. Be assured that so long as this continues you will be welcome here. We enjoy friendly, respectful banter as much as the next fellow.

As to the misconceptions that you have been exposed to, I believe others have addressed them. The “secret society” thing always makes me laugh. Try asking somebody the recipe for Coca Cola or MacDonald’s secret sauce if you want some real secrets. Our secrets are all there for the finding with any decent search engine. The first “Freemasons Exposed” book was written in 1723. This is a classic example of how most people looking only at the surface misunderstand our lessons. The point of these secrets isn’t that nobody can ever find them out. The point is that we made a promise to not expose them ourselves. If I can’t be trusted to keep a silly handshake to myself, how could I ever be trusted to keep a brother’s troubles private between the two of us should he confide in me? It’s as simple as that.

If you ever find your beliefs changing, you might benefit from the lessons of the craft. If not, the lessons are available from any number of sources from kindergarten to your grandmother. They are simple moral lessons enabling us to work together to make ourselves better men.

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Posted: 12 April 2018 04:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]  
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Interesting.  Did a google search on your name Solomon.  Unless I’m mistaken, you state you’re ‘passionate about human rights’ - correct?  If so, and out of curiosity, what about our human rights?  Do we have a right not to be all tarred with the same brush?

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Posted: 12 April 2018 11:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]  
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Richard George - 12 April 2018 04:07 PM

what about our human rights?  Do we have a right not to be all tarred with the same brush?

You raise a very important point here that touches on a legislative challenge in the world that is progressively moving communications online.

Article 11 Human Rights Act 1998 (“Article 11 rights”) provides that it is a civic virtue, so much as it is a human right, for an individual in the UK to have a right to freedom of association with others and that no restrictions are to be placed on this right other than such are prescribed by Law.

There are certain organisations which do not have an Article 11 right to freedom of association.

Terrorism Act 2000 (“the Act”) makes it a criminal offence to be a member (s 11) or support (s 12) or wear a uniform (s 13) of a proscribed organisation listed in Schedule 2 of the Act. There are no Freemason organisations included in the list of proscribed organisations therefore, there is no legislative impediment to a Masons Article 11 rights for being a member to a Freemason organisation.

Now what I think you are touching on with your post, correct me if I am wrong, is that you feel certain comments made about Freemasons as individuals if not the organisation itself are defamatory. Now here is the interesting question on balance of a Human Right per Article 10 Human Rights Act to freedom of expression, does a person have the right to publish statements online which are false or that they have not substantiated their opinions based on evidence.

Defamation Act 2013 reforms the Law on libel or slander. A statement could be considered to be defamatory if it not truth (s 2) or not an honest opinion (s 3) or a publication made in the public interest (s 4) and it has caused or is likely to cause serious harm to the reputation of the claimant.

Now herein lays the fundamental legislative challenge. The Law on defamation as it stands is difficult, even for a seasoned lawyer, to enforce. It seems, just by looking at some threads on this forum, that online users post comments with impunity and ill regard if any regard for the truthfulness of their statements. The fact is self evident that users online feel immune to any repercussions for posting false or misleading statements and the reality of their true impact can be seen in my initial post on this thread - it does tangibly damage individuals and organisations reputations. Even for me, reading some things online that have been posted inspired a feeling of fear.

Since the removal of defamation as a criminal offence the means in which somebody can take to remedy matters pertaining to defamation are limited to civil action. This creates a further problem in that to initiate civil proceedings against a party you must serve them court documents. In many cases involving online users, their information is anonymous, therefore servicing court documents becomes a challenge in of itself. In order to attain any information about an online user one must be provided such information by the service that holds it and they won’t give you that without a court order. Either that or you can hire me and I will dig around and find the information - but those with such skill sets are in rare quantity. There are various legislative routes one could follow to deal with this problem, however, all are affronts to the embedded notion society seems to have that one should remain anonymous online unless they choose not to be.

It seems that unfortunately, to really combat the issue of defamation as a civil legal matter we will have to make available personal information of internet users to the public. This is unless we wish to re-criminalise certain forms of defamation and trust the government with powers to attain individuals personal information from service providers in relation to defamation investigations.     

I feel this shows that we need to take a stand against those posting libelous content online through the Courts so that case law can be well established on the matter. Hopefully, with some high profile cases or well backed legislation it might give online users the feeling of accountability for their statements.


Kind regards,

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Sol

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