ModernityBlog

“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” Abraham Lincoln

Stephen Sizer, The Police And The Barbra Streisand Effect

with 101 comments

I believe that Reverend Sizer will live to regret trying to intimidate a blogger with the police.

Instead of shutting down the debate on his questionable views and why French Holocaust deniers [Warning, a cached copy of AAARGH's material] see fit to recommend his work, instead Dr. Sizer will bring attention to them, with the Barbra Streisand effect.

Previously, Seismic Shock had commented on this very point:

Stephen Sizer article found in Holocaust-denying anti-Semitic newsletter

The group Aaargh! publishes a newsletter called The Revisionist Clarion every now and then. Now, what is a Stephen Sizer article doing in the November 2004 edition?[Editor's note, warning link to extreme right web site.] Did he contribute it to them? Did they use it without his permission? Or is Rev Sizer fully aware that neo-Nazis and Holocaust deniers are using his work? Did he offer the article to Aaargh! or did Aaargh! approach Rev Sizer?

Once again, the Maverick is asking the questions that Stephen Sizer’s readers and parisioners daren’t ask.”

That’s courtesy of the Google cache, Monday, 29 September 2008, which Rev. Sizer can’t intimidate with the police.

As David Hirsh has pointed out Dr. Sizer has form.

Apparently, looking at the evidence Stevens Sizer was on first name terms with the notorious racist, Israel Shamir, Large Blue Footballs has more.

Not forgetting this wonderful post from March 2009 at Engage, If I was Stephen Sizer, Christian Antizionist – James Mendelsohn.

Good old Barbra Streisand, an Internet marvel.

Update 1: The following sites have a post covering Rev. Sizer’s antics: Judeosphere, We Are All Seismic Shock at Z-word blog, at the Echurch Christian Blog, Solomonia, Have Me Cautioned If You Can, You Anti-Judaic Twunks! at efrafan days, We Will Not Be Silenced from CiF Watch,

If I have missed anyone off, please just leave a comment and I’ll add you.

Update 2: Shiraz Socialist is as subtle as ever, Simply Jews puts it as We are all Seismic Shock or Rev. Sizer and Big Brother, Zionism Israel see it as Reverend Stephen Sizer and his anti-Zionist Anglican thought police, HP and Rosie’s finely worded Plod and Blogs.

Update 3: Jonathan Hoffman at the JC, and it’s even made it down under, Deadman Turner says “I am Spartacus and so is my wife.”

Update 4: Edmund’s there too. Not forgetting the Anglican Samizdat.

Update 5: Richard Wilson is supportive, as you’d expect. Bob’s on the case,

Update 5: In Spanish from Fabian, Francis is very good, I liked this comment “Sizer is a typical crypto-Baptist Anglican priest.”

Update 6: Francis argues:

“Why, then, does Sizer, who with a doctorate is obviously an intelligent man, think it acceptable to threaten a critical blogger with legal action? For that is what the priest has done in the case of the Christian blogger known as “Seismic Shock”. I shall not repeat the details, but simply explain that Sizer made a complaint to the police about Seismic Shock, following which the boys in blue paid a visit to the blogger’s home in Horsforth, to have an “informal chat”, to use their words.

Libel is a matter for civil and not criminal law, and it is a gross misuse of police resources to have officers intervene as they have in the case of Seismic Shock. I would recommend to the blogger that he make formal complaints to the Chief Constables of West Yorkshire and Surrey, and also discuss the matter with Christopher Hill, the Bishop of Guildford.”

Update 7: David Schraub says “I, too, am Seismic Shock”

Update 8: The Echurches web sites is faster than me and contains a list of supporting blogs. Not forgetting Seismic Shock’s recent posts.

Update 9: Red Maria has a nice way of putting it:

“Reverend Stephen Sizer (pictured below) the incumbent at Christ Church, an Anglican parish in stockbroker-belt Virginia Water, Surrey, is a man with strong feelings about Israel/Palestine. Ok, fine, lots of people have too. But what’s not so fine is the way he seems to have reacted to blogger, Seismic Shock’s online polemics.

Seismic shock, who has very different views on Middle Eastern politics to Sizer and has openly expressed his view that Sizer is a disreputable person on his blog, got a seismic shock when he was paid a visit by PC Plod,

Update 10: Not forgetting the Poor Mouth, who always has such wonderful selection of photos.

Update 11: El Nuevo Pantano says:

“The odious Stephen Sizer is an Anglican priest and is happy to share platforms with Holocaust deniers and mouth off about the evils of Zionism on Iranian TV. He is now attempting to intimidate Seismic Shock.”

Update 12: Possibly more alarming than a visit by the police, is the assertion by Rev. Sizer that an innocuous blogger was monitored by the British police? But why?

I assume that Rev. Sizer instigated such monitoring, as anyone else would naturally see that Seismic Shock’s mild criticism is always backed up with facts and evidence, and not abusive or criminal.

And even if there were dispute, it would be a civil one and not a criminal one.

It is obvious even to the cursory reader that Seismic Shock does not articulate any criminal action or intent.

The plot is thickening, quite frankly I wonder if Rev. Sizer is playing with a full pack of cards?

To deliberately involve the police, as he has, in what is clearly a political dispute is unheard of, outside of China, the USSR and other dictatorial states.

It is certainly not something that should happen in modern Britain, where police have many other pressing matters to investigate and pandering to the ego of a petulant clergyman shouldn’t be one of them.

Update 13: Pub Philosopher argues:

“Seismic Shock has been the victim of censorship by intimidation. Worse still, this was done using the taxpayer-funded forces of the state rather than the civil law. Regardless of where you stand on the Zionist vs Anti-Zionist conflict, or the various Jewish-Christian-Muslim arguments, this is a vicious attack on free speech.”

Update 14: Soccer Dad is supportive.

Update 15: Support is coming from Canada too, Terry Gavin.

Update 16: Flesh is Grass has posted on it too.

Update 17: Adam Holland, one of my favourite Stateside bloggers, covers it as well.

Whilst there you might look in at his informative posts on Limbaugh’s view of Jews and Gilad Atzmon supports rise in anti-Semitism.

Update 18: Mustn’t forget Vee from Living journey, who suffered from Rev. Sizer bullying.

Update 19: Trawling the Google cache provided more questions in the form of Ex-National Front Leader And Rev. Stephen Sizer.

Update 20: Weggis posts:

“It seems that a UK Vicar has got all hot and bothered under his Cassocks and has engaged the UK Police to pay a visit to a Blogger who exposed that Vicar’s credentials.”

Update 21: The Texas Scribbler is showing Blogger solidarity.

Update 22: Minnie is in a fury about it. Martin’s direct with his condemnation, Rev. Stephen Sizer: enemy of free speech.

Update 23: The New Centrist is on board.

Update 24: Weggis makes an excellent comparison:

“Let’s see now. There is a difference between “being” an anti-Semitic holocaust denier and giving credence to or associating with anti-Semitic holocaust deniers. I understand it is the latter that our Vicar stands accused of. But I may be wrong.

There was a case recently where one of ours, Peter Tatchell, was libelled in a book. He did not issue threats or engage the Police or the Lawyers. He stood up for himself and argued his case.

The point here is that if our Vicar has a case he should be able to articulate and argue the point, not issue threats via the Police.”

Update 25: Al Jahom’s Final Word spots support from the Index on Censorship:

“Blogger Seismic Shock, a Yorkshire-based student, received an alarming visit from local police late last year. Seismic, a Christian, had been heavily critical of Anglican vicar Stephen Sizer on his blog, alleging that Sizer associated with Holocaust deniers and anti-Semites.

On 29 November, he received a visit from local police, who advised him to remove certain posts from his blog. The police officers maintained that this was an “informal chat”, but the blogger, understandably intimidated, agreed to remove his original Blogger site, while maintaining his WordPress blog.

Index on Censorship has made numerous attempts to contact West Yorkshire Police in order to clarify a) under what authority the blogger was visited by police and b) what potential breach of law had been commited by the blogger that warranted such a visit.

So far, no explanation has been offered.”

Update 26: The Index on Censorship has managed to get a statement from the West Yorkshire Police:

“UPDATE: This just in: “A West Yorkshire Police spokesman said: “As a result of a report of harassment, which was referred to us by Surrey Police, two officers from West Yorkshire Police visited the author of the blog concerned. The feelings of the complainant were relayed to the author who voluntarily removed the blog. No formal action was taken.”

This begs a question; was any attempt made in the investigation to establish whether any material posted on Seismic Shock could conceivably be construed as harassment? And was any consideration given to free expression and critical debate?

Those latter questions need answering.

Update 27: Ye Gods, even Little Green Footballs is covering it too. Now I heard they are “under management” so here’s the link. Thanks SocRep.

Update 28: Support is coming in from Ireland, The Skanger ably picks apart the police’s involvement:

“Let’s be clear – we have no idea what views the Rev. Stephen Sizer actually holds or whether there is any basis at all for the position taken by Seismic Shock, but we can take it from his reported comments that Sizer completely refutes the accusations made about him.

That is beside the point that we’re making here.

If Seismic Shock has defamed Sizer then that is a civil matter and not a criminal matter. Why the police are involved is consequently baffling. The statement issued by West Yorkshire Police refers to a complaint of harassment. This presumably means that they had in mind the Protection from Harassment Act (1997), which defines harassment as a course of conduct that causes alarm or distress.

Even that doesn’t make it any less baffling.

Does this mean that any course of conduct (i.e., doing something more than once) that causes anyone alarm or distress is going to result in a visit from the police? Not if it’s a course of conduct reasonable in the circumstances – see the Act (1 (3) (c) – emphases added below) for that:”

Read more.

Update 28: Kenneth Hynek in Canada has some interesting comments.

Update 29: The Blogspotting Anglican Episcopalian is rather questioning.

Update 30: The Online Journalism Blog asks some simple but pertinent questions:

“Forget about the specifics. Here are the questions:

Why are police getting involved in a libel issue ? Update: West Yorks police say it was a claim of “harassment”. Is that all it takes?

Why are they ‘paying a visit’?

Why are they approaching an educational institution to gather information on that person?

Why does that educational institution then get involved?

Extremely worrying. Watch this one.”

Update 31: Support even coming in from non-religious types, the New Humanist blog. [btw, I am an atheist.]

Update 32: For the sake of balance, Roger Pearse admits “I could still be wrong. But I have this bad feeling…” The problem, however, is that Mr. Pearse does not really engage with the evidence, or provide any cogent answers to the obvious questions

1) Shouldn’t a member of the clergy be alarmed when neofascists in Europe use his work?
2) Isn’t that a legitimate question to ask?
3) Why is Rev. Sizer apparently on first name terms with a well-known anti-Jewish racist, Israel Shamir?
4) Why is the ex-National Front leader, Martin Webster so complimentary to Rev. Sizer.

They are just four questions and I haven’t even bothered to hunt around for more, yet.

I think if someone was as obviously intelligent as Reverend Sizer then they should be sensitive to these issues and avoid **any** association with semiprofessional antisemites, either directly or indirectly.

Update 33: Tony Hatfield’s Retired Ramblings sizing things up.

Update 34: VirtueOnline – The Voice for Global Orthodox Anglicanism is covering the issue as well.

Update 35: Mike’s Musings exchange with Rev. Sizer is revealing, I’d even say in many extraordinary, read Seismic’s cut on it.

Update 36: The famous Derren Brown has posted on it too.

Update 37: The Church of Jesus Christ blog is debating the issue.

Update 38: I would like to thank Barbra Streisand and the readers, it certainly has worked. WordPress informs me that the blog had some 3,943 unique visitors yesterday, up from its normal couple of hundred.

I would remind new readers that all posts are available at Odiogo as MP3 files or can be listened to on-line here.

The Itunes feed is here.

The open source Juice feed is here.

Thanks Babs! This is her singing Ave Maria on YouTube.

Update 39: Over at New Appeal to Reason, Stuart argues:

“Seismic Shock is a valuable UK-based site by a theology student which has featured well-informed critiques of anti-semitic tendencies about certain Christian theologians. Now, it seems that one of those he criticized has retaliated by apparently using his position as a pastor to get the police to intimidate the young blogger into removing his blog.

The minister in question is Rev. Stephen Sizer, a prominent critic not only of “Christian Zionism, “but of Jewish self-determination. Like many other critics of “Christian Zionism,” Sizer has a pre-Holocaust theology, which revives many of the age-old anti-Semitic memes of Christian theology.”

Update 40: Paul Bradshaw at the Online Journalism Blog has more.

Update 41: Seismic Shock comes out of the closet at HP.

Update 42: The BBC’s Rory Cellan-Jones has picked up the incident and covers it in typically moderate language:

“But the whole incident raises interesting questions about the limits of free expression on the web, and the role of the police in pursuing complaints about the contents of a website.”

Update 43: Matt Wardman makes some excellent points:

” I don’t think that a published author and controversialist will cover himself in glory by complaining to the police about hostile articles by somebody else. I hope that authors would pay more attention to the principle of freedom of expression. If material is defamatory, then the action should be for defamation. If it is a vigorous argument, then argue back. Note: I have not of course – since it has been deleted – seen all the original content of the Seismic blog.

I think we have a problem with a nebulous definition of harassment, which is being assessed too heavily on the basis of the statements of the victim; some reform is needed.

And, I’m reluctant to say it, but I think that there are so many petty interferences and use of laws to intimidate individuals by different varieties of policemen – the most topical example is photographers – that I think we need to make it almost a principle not to give in to “a quiet word from a Constable”; we need to make our police justify their actions at every point.

I think that it is important to keep the principles of law at stake here separate from the arguments about Middle East politics and religion.”

Update 44: Kellie sees it as The priest, the policeman, and the blogger.

Update 45: Mystical Politics comments:

“I’ve tried to read Sizer’s blog and his other online writings, but since everything he pens is smothered in a thick flannel of ostentatious piety, it’s rather hard to get through.”

Update 46: Simon Rock at the JC comments.

Update 47: Not forgetting Carl in Jerusalem.

Update 48: Paul Lewis at the Guardian discusses Sizergate.

Update 49: Sergey Romanov at Holocaust Controversies says:

“I guess it’s a “sleep with dogs, wake up with fleas” situation.”

Update 50: Rather appropriately Calvin L. Smith comments:

“However, leaving aside the manner in which he has gone about expressing his views (to the detriment of Christian unity), nonetheless Sizer has every right to express those views as he pleases. Likewise, given how and where he has chosen to express them, he must be prepared for and expect his foes to react and respond equally forcefully and brusquely. “

“And neither will it end there, I suspect, because the issue goes to heart of a debate already taking place in this country concerning diminishing freedoms and police powers.

People are already asking why the police became involved in what appears to be a civil issue. Is criticism of someone’s views a crime?

Can it really be considered harassment?

Also, did this issue progress through the police’s proper complaints chain, and on what basis? Meanwhile, given how Sizer has blogged about his involvement and relationship with the police, I wouldn’t be surprised if at some stage someone will want to know if this has had any bearing at all on how the complaint was handled.

For his part, one wonders why Sizer is not prepared to take on his critics in the very arena he has himself entered and subsequently been challenged – the blogosphere – or else simply ignore the issue, which is what politicians, academics and others debating in the public square do on a daily basis. “

[My emphasis]

Dr. Smith’s contribution is measured, lucid and brings up pertinent questions, please do read it in full.

Update 51: A final few additions, one from the JC Police question blogger over anti-Zionist ‘harassment’

Update 52: Dr. McRoy has replied and here’s Seismic Shock’s response.

Update 53:Richard Silverstein has managed to get the wrong end of the stick, which is a shame. He often comes over as an intelligent articulate man, but in this instance is using unnecessarily inflammatory and inaccurate language.

For example:

“The point is that Joseph Weissman does not have the right to engage in acts that may be illegal against anyone including Stephen Sizer. “</blockquote"

They were not illegal, they were probably rather annoying but not illegal, which is why the Police's involvement was wrong.

Update 54: Again, Richard Silverstein confuses himself with another obsessive post attacking Seismic Shock, WEISSMAN: HITLER ‘HEARTS’ SIZER:

“And here are some other choice steaming bits of hyperventilation served up by Mr. Weissman:”

The only problem is it wasn’t written by Mr. Weissman, and anyone with the ability to click on the mouse about three times would find that out. I feel sorry for Richard Silverstein he seems to be fighting shadows and hyperventilating at the same time. Poor man.

Written by modernityblog

24/01/2010 at 15:28

101 Responses

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  1. [...] Read Post Filed under: Ahmadinejad's Christian soldiers? — seismicshock @ 3:15 pm Modernity on what may have troubled Rev Sizer about my blog. Leave a [...]

  2. Good work!!

    Stuart

    24/01/2010 at 17:33

  3. [...] of intimidation for shining a spotlight on the anti-Zionist theology of Reverend Stephen Sizer.Stephen Sizer, The Police And The Barbra Streisand Effect « ModernityBlog on Anglican Minister Reverend Stephen Sizer uses Police To Intimidate Seismic Shock Bloggerfred [...]

  4. Thanks for the heads up in your comment Mod. I have posted something about this disgraceful action.

    jams O'Donnell

    24/01/2010 at 18:19

  5. [...] – Modernity speaks of the Barbara Streisand effect as this story is picked-up across the blogsphere. Bit unfortunate [...]

  6. [...] Stephen Sizer article appears in Holocaust-denying newsletter Filed under: censorship — seismicshock @ 12:55 am From Modernity: [...]

  7. [...] have been coming across the term “The Streisand Effect”. Having no idea how this related to the Leeds Student and Sizer I wanted to know what this was about. So… here tis: The Streisand effect is a primarily online [...]

  8. Martin @ martininthemargins.blogspot.com has posted about this also. Me, I can’t write for fury and disgust – only to say ‘thank you’ to all blogging in support of Seismic Shock.

    Minnie

    25/01/2010 at 12:50

  9. [...] Barbra Streisand Effect January 25, 2010 — Richard Gold More details from Modernity here. Posted in Israel, anti-Zionism, free expression. Leave a Comment [...]

  10. From p. 8 of Rev Sizer’s 2007 book “Zion’s Christian Soldiers”:

    “The battle over intellectual freedom is waged in universities on both sides of the Atlantic. Organisations such as Campus Watch and the Union of Jewish Students monitor staff and students and put pressure on the authorities to censure them.”

    You couldn’t make it up!!!

    Ohtheirony

    25/01/2010 at 13:51

  11. Hi Minnie,

    Thanks, you don’t have to write just link to Seismic’s blog. http://seismicshock.wordpress.com/

    modernityblog

    25/01/2010 at 15:08

  12. Thanks, Modernity: job done.

    Minnie

    25/01/2010 at 17:35

  13. Even little green soccarballs has it on

    socialrepublican

    25/01/2010 at 21:01

  14. Thanks for your links, just nicked a couple from you for my list, which has grown big:-

    I am so thrilled, that so many folks have taken this up and blogged and now one of the largest Anglican websites in the US is about to do a piece on this.

    We wish to show our solidarity with Seismic Shock who has been the victim of intimidation for shining a spotlight on the anti-Zionist theology of Reverend Stephen Sizer.,/a>

    Stuart

    25/01/2010 at 22:19

  15. Stuart,

    You’re a whizz and keep tracking of them far quicker than I ever so, credit where it is due.

    modernityblog

    25/01/2010 at 22:25

  16. Many thanks for your note. But it looked as if it confirmed my concern that the “free speech” agitation had little to do with free speech at all.

    You wrote:

    “The problem, however, is that Mr. Pearse does not really engage with the evidence, or provide any cogent answers to the obvious questions

    1) Shouldn’t a member of the clergy be alarmed when neofascists in Europe use his work?” (further political questions along the same lines)

    Well, I don’t know the answer to that (and I don’t know all the facts, that I know right now). But then I don’t feel I care either. I’m not a combatant in that political issue.

    I’m interested in free speech, not in deciding who is allowed to say what. That’s the point, surely? And this seems to be being ignored.

    The claim is that Mr Sizer is acting to stifle free speech. But… the suggestion is that his action is unreasonable, NOT because it infringes free speech but because you don’t like his politics, or people he knows, or who like him, or some other feeble excuse? But at that point, surely the question of free speech disappears? We don’t object to stifling discussion; we just want to do it to him, rather him to us? Yuk!

    You may not mean that; but that is what it seemed to say.

    Of course once we do have political censorship in this country, you don’t suppose you or I will be the ones to say what can, and cannot be said? I suspect most of those bawling about “fascism” and eagerly hoping to lock up their opponents have forgotten how the Left was blown to nothing by Mrs Thatcher. Let us not delude ourselves; when the police come, they will come for us.

    This is what I want: no censorship on political or religious grounds; no intimidation of free speech, governmental or otherwise.

    Roger Pearse

    25/01/2010 at 23:38

  17. Mr. Pearse,

    I appreciate your candour in admitting that you don’t know the answers, but the evidence is there to you to see.

    You have access to Google, I have provided a summery of the post, you can find a copy of the original in the Google cache.

    All the links are available, it is up to you to review them and make your mind up, I don’t object to you disagreeing with me or anyone else, but I would prefer if you could provide a plausible answer or 2.

    I think it’s only fair.

    Self-evidently, Reverend Sizer did try to stifle legitimate criticism.

    The Police should be only involved in criminal matters, legitimate criticism on a blog is not a criminal offence, outside of China, Syria and other nasty dictatorships. Therefore, to involve the Police was to cross a line, surely that is obvious?

    For me, it is the involvement of the Police that is the issue, at the very worst (which clearly it isn’t as Francis Sedgemore ably points out) it is a civil matter.

    An intelligent man of the cloth would realise there is a distinction between criminal matters (someone hacking his wife to death with an axe, or the theft of a car, etc etc) and civil (disputes between people over words), I don’t think it is that complex really.

    Unless I didn’t make it clear, I do not want **any** blogger (including those who might be my supposed political opponents, Conservatives, Tories, etc) visited by the Police when they make legitimate political criticisms.

    I do not believe that legitimate political criticism comes within the purview of the Police, ***whoever*** makes it.

    Just in case you didn’t get that, I wouldn’t like Rev. Sizer himself visited or intimidated by the Police if he criticised others legitimately, if it isn’t a criminal matter then the Police should not be involved.

    I hope that’s clear?

    Yes, it is a freedom of speech issue, but you have to read what was written to assess why the Police should not have been involved, in the first place.

    modernityblog

    26/01/2010 at 00:02

  18. @ ModernityBlog

    Well said.

    Stuart

    26/01/2010 at 00:07

  19. Just to add to that, Mr. Pearse, so you are utterly clear about my views and why getting the police involved with blogging is wrong on so many levels.

    I am an atheist, a rather belligerent one, a profound secularist, yet I would defend **any** religious blog against police involvement, as long as there are no criminal matters connected to it.

    It is plain enough, that legitimate discourse on blogs must never come under the purview of the state unless there is a direct criminal issue.

    I would refer you to update 24 above and Peter Tatchell’s exemplary conduct on freedom of speech, and how criticism should be dealt with, not rev. Sizer’s approach, which is to bring in the Police.

    Again, the Police should not be involved.

    modernityblog

    26/01/2010 at 00:27

  20. [...] Stephen Sizer, The Police And The Barbra Streisand Effect [This post is sticky for a while, I will try to update below as things develop, time permitting.] I believe that [...] [...]

  21. [...] a comment » After my exchange with Roger Pearse I began to think that people looking in from the outside might not see the issues [...]

  22. [...] Filed under: censorship — seismicshock @ 1:27 am Remember to follow Modernity and eChurch Websites. Leave a [...]

  23. Sorry about that, Ohtheirony,

    I didn’t see it stuck in the moderation queue. That only happens once when you initially comment, you’ll be ok from now on.

    modernityblog

    26/01/2010 at 04:13

  24. [...] on the blogger http://seismicshock.wordpress.com/ and the rather disgraceful contact of a certain http://modernityblog.wordpress.com/2010/01/24/stephen-sizer-the-police-and-the-barbra-streisand-effe… , the conclusion has been come to that a blog of some description could be in order. Free speech [...]

  25. thanks

    modernityblog

    26/01/2010 at 14:31

  26. it seems (at least according to Google ;-) …), that Sizer is so far totally unknown in the German speaking area, his actual antics aren’t mentioned anywhere

    entdinglichung

    26/01/2010 at 14:32

  27. ent,

    Unknown, just now! I am sure that once Rev. Sizer’s “anti-Zionist” views become known that he’ll have lots of invites, mostly from the wrong type of people :)

    modernityblog

    26/01/2010 at 14:53

  28. Hi,

    Yes, I agree entirely that we do not want opinion vetted by the police, under any pretext whatever. I don’t agree with Stephen Sizer’s politics (not if I understand them correctly), but if he wants to promote an anti-Israel agenda, by all means let him. Likewise if Seismic wants to promote a pro-Israel agenda, let him.

    Do any of us want people telling us what we are allowed to say on the web (as we already do in real life)? I don’t. I’d be prepared to give quite a lot of latitude to nature’s scumbags, precisely because I know that those who would rush to “protect” me would quickly “protect” me out of my right to speak my mind.

    Where I am less confident about all this is that we’re hearing one side, and one only. I can see that an anonymous blogger, drip-dripping poison, could be genuinely injuring people. No-one else seems to recognise that so doing is wrong; but it is. It can wreck lives. We’re talking about real people here. There is a reason why we have a law of libel (although ours needs abolishing, because it’s only open to the rich and used to censor criticism). People can get hurt.

    Some of the criticism is bad. As I understand it, Anthony McRoy is forced to go and talk to people like Hezbollah, because he is a scholar of Islam. To do so, he has to pay lip service to irrelevant things that matter to them. They wouldn’t let him through the door otherwise. I believe that he’s doing a good job of showing that some of what Moslems say in the West is not what they say at home, for instance. This means field-trips. That means flattering some of the despots. Yet I saw Seismic demonise him by quote-mining a lecture he gave on some abtruse points of Islam to some conference in Lebanon. I didn’t feel, frankly, after reading the full thing, that it was much better than character assassination. You see why I feel nervous about this? It’s not black and white.

    We need to be fair about all this, and I don’t feel confident that the way this is being spun is true. Yes, let us oppose any interference with free speech — that is crucial. But there is a point beyond which it isn’t free speech, but intimidation of an ordinary guy.

    Yesterday I was certain that this was a free speech issue. Today I really don’t know.

    Roger Pearse

    26/01/2010 at 14:55

  29. ” I can see that an anonymous blogger, drip-dripping poison, could be genuinely injuring people.”

    Sorry Roger, but that is NOT the case.

    Each of seismic shock’s criticisms are backed up by evidence, each criticism is factual.

    Many times he merely asks questions, so no it cannot be characterised as poison.

    Put it another way, I would be happy for you to criticise my blog daily, hourly, if the criticism is based on what I write and what I do.

    That is the situation with Rev. Sizer, he is consciously promoting his ideas, he is pushing his agenda, and as with politicians, agendas are there to be criticised.

    Again I returned to my original point, which you haven’t answered.

    If as you say there are libel laws, then why is it necessary to involve the police?

    Why the police?

    modernityblog

    26/01/2010 at 15:30

  30. The past couple of days are an indication of exactly the intimedatory nature of the blog postings against Stephen Sizer are like. Try to empathise, to the outsider, the needlessly aggressive tone of SeismicShock’s (and your) attacks look very much like harrassment. I’ve seen blogs encouraging people to spam him.

    Take a look at yourselves please.

    Anon

    26/01/2010 at 19:39

  31. Anon, how do blog postings that criticize what Sizer has said and done intimidate him? We aren’t threatening him with anything (check out my blog – you’ll see that I’m criticizing his theology). We’re saying we disagree with him and think he’s done some things we consider wrong. Haven’t you heard of the right to free speech?

    Rebecca Lesses

    26/01/2010 at 20:52

  32. Hi Anon,

    Sorry, there’s nothing intimidatory in those words.

    I’m sure that men of the cloth, like politicians, don’t like their views being picked apart, but they are in the public domain and pushing an agenda and so legitimate criticism is acceptable in modern democracies, includng Britain & the US, etc

    Obviously, in dictatorships and Fascist States the knock at the door from the policeman, questioning your views, is a common occurrence, but that it’s not something that modern western democracies like Britain should want to emulate.

    There is no harassment here, it goes along with the old saying “sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me.”

    There is, however, legitimate criticism of the actions and policies of an individual, in fact if I were to looking to one of my favourite magazines, the Economist, I would see criticism of politicians and world leaders on a weekly basis.

    I would see stories of Americans comparing President Obama to Adolf Hitler, and heightened political fury over his moderate health-care reforms. Yet no one has been arrested, as far as I know, in America. Personally, I think the criticism of Obama is over the top, but I wouldn’t want anyone arrested for it, as long as no criminal intent or activity is involved.

    That is the key part, there is no criminal intent or activity, therefore, the police should not be involved.

    These issues should be debated in the public domain and not subject to the heavy-handed arm of the law or State involvement.

    As I said, I would even defend Rev. Sizer if the police tried to intimidate him for his views, as much as I might disagree with him on these issues.

    modernityblog

    26/01/2010 at 21:34

  33. [...] story are the BBC, @bengoldacre, Index on Censorship and, with typical gusto, Melanie Phillips. Loads of others are weighing in, [...]

  34. Rev Sizer might live to regret using the police to silence a blogger, but will Sir “Peter” Scott regret having used the police to silence similar exposure of anti-Semitism and other forms of wrongdoing at Kingston University? Perhaps someone should look into this? — http://www.sirpeterscott.com, http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/story.asp?sectioncode=26&storycode=409869 and http://westminsterjournal.com/content/view/241/30/.

    Howard

    27/01/2010 at 04:22

  35. Hi Modernity,

    An interesting comment has been left on my blog. It tells us why, after Seismic had been blogging for a year, Stephen Sizer called the police. Here it is:

    “You need to read this post Stephen Sizer wrote

    http://stephensizer.blogspot.com/2009/09/seismic-shock-one-year-on.html

    Then link to his open letter to Seismic Shock

    http://stephensizer.blogspot.com/2008/11/open-letter-to-mordechai-ben-emet.html

    Dear Mordechai,

    I promised to write one more time and offer to meet, as Jesus instructed us to do in Matthew 18, in response to your decision to use an anonymous blog to criticise me repeatedly since September.

    You also gained access to our church facebook account without revealing your identity and then wrote to many of our church family to warn them about me, including children who were, not surprisingly, disturbed as were their parents. You also wrote anonymously to the hosts of various conferences I was invited to, to urge them not to allow me to speak. You know from the responses you received, some from Messianic leaders, that they share the Apostle Paul’s disdain for your methods. (this is just the opening, not Sizer’s full open letter)

    I certainly wouldn’t call what Seismic Shock did acceptable. It is stalking and intimidation. Contacting members of his church and CHILDREN? This was what was turned over to police as well I assume.

    Look at the closing to the open letter:

    p.s. Why are you using the IP address of Agaf HaModin, the Israeli Military Intelligence Directorate?

    So I guess when he registered his blogspot that was what he registered to be his url.”

    I don’t know what your feelings are about this.

    Roger Pearse

    27/01/2010 at 09:52

  36. Is he accusing a member of the all-powerful Zionist lobby of hacking Facebook now? Sizer uses FB all to time to warn people of Zionists, Israel, Seismic, so what!

    Aslan

    27/01/2010 at 11:58

  37. Maybe he is!!! Some of the people that Stephen Sizer associates with are prone to crazy conspiracies. Hey, how do I know that YOU are not a Mossad agent? Everybody under the beds now.

    But actually I read it as suggesting that Seismic signed up to the group by assuming a false identity, and then used his access to post violent attacks on Sizer, visible to all the kiddies.

    Or am I misreading it?

    Roger Pearse

    27/01/2010 at 12:13

  38. “You also wrote anonymously to the hosts of various conferences I was invited to, to urge them not to allow me to speak.”

    So now no one is allowed to ask for a boycott? Oops sorry, is this the same Sizer who calls for boycotts of Israeli goods and academics.

    Are you seriously insinuating that members of Sizer’s church allow their kiddies to have FB accounts? Is that even allowed on FB, didn’t think so!

    Aslan

    27/01/2010 at 12:16

  39. “Violent attacks” Roger relax man!

    Yeah Mossad, right! Everyone who supports Seismic is now Mossad! He gonna tell us now that Seismic drinks Christian children’s blood at Passover

    Aslan

    27/01/2010 at 12:21

  40. Aslan, there’s no need to get polemical. He wasn’t accusing you of being Mossad, simply saying that people like us, who are using aliases or being anonymous – we could be anyone.

    Facebook is widely used by children, too. It’s perfectly possible that that’s the case.

    I know that you’re a longtime supporter of Seismic Shock, and you comment regularly, but try to take yourself out of the situation. Can’t you see why people might think he’s been out of line. If you had kids and someone wrote unsettling things to them wouldn’t you be upset?

    Anon

    27/01/2010 at 13:09

  41. Anon is right, I think. If Sizer was Gordon Brown or Call-me-Dave, that would be one thing. Guido Fawkes runs his blog and none of us see anything wrong with this campaign against “the accursed one-eyed son of the Manse”. Everyone knows that’s just politics.

    But even then, there are limits. If Guido started writing emails anonymously to hotels Brown stayed at, to the organisers of meetings he went to, he’d find himself being interviewed by Inspector Knacker very quickly. If Seismic really did infiltrate a church fb group used by children in order to “expose” Sizer to the church kids group, if he really did write to conferences to urge them not to invite him or allow him to speak — “free speech”, eh? — then he crossed a line. I suspect he did; and I suspect it can be proven; in which case, frankly, he’s lucky that he didn’t get more than a warning. That’s stalking, surely?

    And the purpose of all this? Is it to encourage Sizer to keep doing as he is doing? Or is it intimidation, designed to stop him? Surely the latter, if either.

    Come on Aslan, you’re a human being. Put yourself in Sizer’s place. You wouldn’t like it if someone did to you what Seismic did to Sizer. Hey, that’s why people (including you and anon and Seismic) are not using their own name! — so that people can’t target them offline. Well, if YOU wouldn’t like it, and you are posting anonymously so I presume you wouldn’t, why is it acceptable for Seismic to do it? “If you cut me, do I not bleed?” as Shylock asked.

    How can this be a simple “free speech” issue any more, as Seismic presented it? Now where the rights and wrongs are, I do not know. But I trust Seismic less, the more I investigate his account of what is happening. Possibly Sizer is lying. But … somehow his account makes more sense than Seismic’s. Why else would “harassment” be the charge? Why else would the police get involved?

    One other point. Aslan: you said that people have a right to arrange boycotts, to prevent people being heard. That tells me that you are NOT concerned about free speech, so much as about getting the views you agree with advanced. So you are really only writing as an apologist for Seismic, not as a champion of free speech. As such, I’m afraid that I don’t think we have much to say to each other.

    Roger Pearse

    27/01/2010 at 14:20

  42. That TES case … now THAT is horrifying.

    Roger Pearse

    27/01/2010 at 14:39

  43. Roger,

    It is perfectly possible for anyone to support Seismic Shocks for a variety of reasons:

    1) They don’t like the State being involved in blogging
    2) They don’t want Policeman to be knocking on the door of bloggers
    3) They agree with seismic shock’s views
    4) They disagree with Rev. Sizer’s views
    5) They find Reverend Sizer’s conduct reprehensible
    Or any other grounds and permutations there of

    There is not just a single reason why a person might support Seismic Shock, from being visited by the Police.

    Still less when Rev. Sizer uses that situation to intimidate another blogger (Vee on the living journey) and when he misrepresents what happened, that is wrong and you have not commented on that particular instance?

    As I’ve said and it is one issue, which is conspicuously avoided by Rev. Sizer’s apologists and excusers, there is civil law in Britain.

    If there was a dispute them that should have been the arena, not calling the Police to intimidate someone.

    Roger, please refresh my mind, what is the Christian expression of telling a fib? And do you think that a man of the cloth should be trying to intimidate another younger blogger like Vee?

    I would welcome your views on his exchange with Vee?

    modernityblog

    27/01/2010 at 14:54

  44. Yeah Roger, but you don’t comment on the implied action here, that Rev. Sizer has put the Police onto monitoring Seismic’s blog?

    “It is heartening to know that the various police authorities who have monitored his writings over the past year, do not share his assessment. Having now identified the author as a recent graduate of Leeds University, the authorities there confiscated his computer and have retrieved all his deleted files. Evidence of breaches to university internet regulations and the misuse of university computer equipment are clear and has, I believe, been passed on to the police.”

    modernityblog

    27/01/2010 at 15:09

  45. All this is nothing, tho. The only question is whether the claim of “free speech” is in danger is genuine, or being used as a smokescreen for a campaign of wrong doing. (As to whether Sizer or Seismic are right, politically, I couldn’t care less).

    If the former, then we must all defend Seismic. But if the latter, we must all execrate him as a liar and a scumbag, for cloaking his campaign in a mantle of principle that it does not deserve to evade a due punishment for wrongdoing.

    So we must ask ourselves:

    1. Did Seismic stalk Sizer, on Facebook, at conferences, as well as posting personal attacks on him for a year, and doing all this under a variety of false identities?

    2. Do we think that acceptable?

    I think it’s becoming clear that the answer to #1 is yes, on all sections.

    Unfortunately it’s beginning to look as if the answer to #2 for too many people here is “Yes, whatever it is, however nasty, so long as I agree with the person doing it and dislike the victim.”

    Anyone who takes that line, of course, discredits themselves as far as I am concerned. Once victory trumps principle, how precisely are we better than Nazi’s?

    Roger Pearse

    27/01/2010 at 15:21

  46. Roger,

    Are you or have you ever been an academic? Or ever been to university?

    If so, then you would know it is elementary politeness to engage with your interlocutor’s points.

    I have expressly made an effort to engage with your issues and address them.

    I even had a post on them

    However, you on the other hand, don’t engage with the issues that I have raised or acknowledged the bleeding obvious.

    Why?

    modernityblog

    27/01/2010 at 15:36

  47. PS: was it necessary, Roger, to bring the “Nazis” into this particular discussion?

    modernityblog

    27/01/2010 at 15:37

  48. Sorry that you didn’t like my refusal to go into those issues you raised. But I am uninterested in them. They had nothing to do with my concerns. I doubt anything I would say on them would be useful to anyone.

    As I have said all along, the only issue for sensible people here is whether there is a freedom of speech issue. Seismic claims there is, and that the claim of harassment is wrong. But there are circumstances where what we do, in life and online, means the police should be involved. Is this one? Or is that simply a pretext? So we have to look at what he has been doing.

    Seismic is beginning to look dirty to me, although I could be wrong. So do several of those posting to defend him, because they won’t engage with the issue but keep trying to “have a go” at Sizer. So …

    As to who is the good guy and who is the bad guy between the two… I don’t know. Not my bag. My politics are more with Seismic, I would guess; but that’s irrelevant here.

    Roger Pearse

    27/01/2010 at 15:50

  49. Roger is making a great point.

    MB, let’s ask plainly, if someone behaved towards you as Seismic Shock has behaved towards Sizer would you consider it harrassment? If someone tried to terrorise your children and the children of your employer, would you consider it harrassment?

    There is a distinct lack of empathy on this blog. Can’t you try to see it from someone else’s perspective? Roger is the only person I’ve seen so far to have put his thinking hat on in this entire debate. Good on you.

    Anon

    27/01/2010 at 16:00

  50. “But I am uninterested in them”

    Well Roger, you could have saved us both a lot of time by stating that up-front.

    I had wrongly assumed that you were honestly raising questions which you wanted answers to.

    But now I can see that, in fact, you are rather disingenuous and forgive me if I am no longer tolerant to your fatuous behaviour.

    I will let others deal with your deflections, obfuscations and false dichotomies.

    modernityblog

    27/01/2010 at 16:05

  51. anon,

    Sorry, but I’ve made a striking effort to address each point logically as best I can.

    I appreciate that those who wish to defend Rev. Sizer will accept nothing less than his own version, but that does not interest me.

    I have been upfront about my views, sadly Rev. Sizer’s would-be supporters haven’t.

    I am used to that in politics, but I had hoped, naively, to address these issues in a sensible fashion

    Still you can see from Roger’s inability to engage with the issues I find it a bit annoying.

    modernityblog

    27/01/2010 at 16:11

  52. Such a polite man. Do you talk to people in the same way in the offline world, too?

    Anon

    27/01/2010 at 16:11

  53. It’s very hard to see how writing critical comments about someone on a blog could be construed as “harrassment”. Is Seismic Shock any different to, for example, a conservative political blog dedicated to criticising Gordon Brown? No-one is above criticism, and we all have the right to express disagreement with someone else’e views or behaviour.

    I do wonder what Sizer told the police in order to get them to take action, but I think Joseph should make a formal complaint.

    Of course, if the allegations about Sizer were untrue and defamatory, he could sue for libel. The fact he hasn’t says a lot to me…

    anonymous

    27/01/2010 at 16:14

  54. Anon get real, Roger isn’t engaging with the issues and Mod has the right to talk plainly with him. Also, in case I’ve missed something, Seismic didn’t “terrorise children” or “stalk Sizer” at conferences, a touch of hyperbole methinks!

    Dooley

    27/01/2010 at 16:15

  55. Also Roger, please substantiate your claim that Seismic ever made “personal attacks” on Sizer, as opposed to legitimate criticisms based on well-researched and linked evidence. I have yet to find a “personal attack” on Seismic’s blog.

    Dooley

    27/01/2010 at 16:19

  56. Anon,

    Well, if people wish to take the piss, then they can’t expect a tremendous response.

    But I’m surprised that ex-University graduates and highly educated people, like you and Roger, don’t realise why in academia there are certain rules, conventions, etc on debate.

    For example, one of the reason that you engage with your interlocutor’s views is to show him or her a courtesy that you expect from him in return.

    Should that not happen, then there is no particular reason to be excessively polite, especially when people take the piss.

    And you and Roger should know better.

    I generally prefer politeness and an intelligent exchange, but I am not terribly fussed one way or the other, as I’ve run across the lot of piss takers in my time.

    modernityblog

    27/01/2010 at 16:22

  57. I think it’s a little far-fetched to equate this blog with academia!

    Still, in that case you haven’t answered the question I put up earlier: if someone behaved towards you as Seismic Shock has behaved towards Sizer would you consider it harrassment? If someone tried to terrorise your children and the children of your employer, would you consider it harrassment?

    And one more: in a case of harrassment do you think it’s ok to call the police?

    Anon

    27/01/2010 at 16:32

  58. What no one seems to understand here is that in Britain, all you have to do to “harass” someone is for you to cause them “embarrassment,” even if you do so by reporting patently true facts, and even if the facts are not about the individual, but rather about his employer/other staff. This has been shown to be the case in the matter of R v Fredrics 2009.

    Dr Howard Fredrics

    27/01/2010 at 16:36

  59. Anon,

    But surely you must have learnt those habits from University?

    Frankly, if I’m fairly courteous to people and I address their questions directly, then I expect that in return.

    modernityblog

    27/01/2010 at 16:37

  60. Indeed, Dr. Fredrics,

    But is it then necessarily a Police matter? And if so, on what evidence?

    I can see that Seismic has his own tale of harassment, from a “friend” of Rev. Sizer?

    Stephen Sizer hired ex-IDF soldier to harass me & set up blog about me

    http://seismicshock.wordpress.com/2010/01/27/stephen-sizer-hired-ex-idf-soldier-to-harass-me/and

    modernityblog

    27/01/2010 at 16:41

  61. Relax Anon, I don’t think anything Seismic may or may not have done is remotely akin to “terrorising children”!

    Dooley

    27/01/2010 at 16:42

  62. Hi Dr Frederics,

    What seems to have happened to you was appalling, and is precisely what we need to oppose. People in positions of authority need to expect scrutiny, even disrespectful scrutiny. I don’t want to see the police acting as the servants of the powerful to silence criticism, as seems to have happened in your case. What is happening about that?

    But there is some issue over whether what happened to Seismic was of the same kind. Sizer has accused him in public of what amounts to stalking (see above), which is probably why the police got involved. There may not be a free speech issue here, you see. I know that is what has been boomed around the web; but that is what Seismic is saying about himself. It may not be the whole story, or even the most important part of it. Sizer, after all, is a private individual, not the president of an institution.

    Roger Pearse

    27/01/2010 at 16:54

  63. Dr Frederics,

    I’m afraid that Roger is largely being disingenuous, as Reverend Sizer is a man on the public stage pushing an agenda.

    Secondly, he seems to have had some connection to an unsavoury individual, who may have been used to harass Seismic in the first place.

    I would take what Roger says with a handful of salt

    modernityblog

    27/01/2010 at 17:18

  64. Hi, Roger,

    I’m not in a position to judge every aspect of Seismic’s case (i.e. to know both sides of the story in their entirety), however, it does seem to me that the principle of police action to stop a blogger when the blogging has more to do with professional actions (i.e. statements made/written in one’s professional capacity as a clergyman), rather than private life (i.e. family life) is quite a dangerous precedent, the potential of which has been realized in my case (i.e. my conviction and current status as a wanted man), where the police investigation itself revealed no evidence of harassment whatsoever, and where the website had no personal information whatsoever.

    Dr Howard Fredrics

    27/01/2010 at 17:22

  65. It’s interesting to see that Seismic has come out with a “look, it’s really me who is being stalked” at:
    http://seismicshock.wordpress.com/2010/01/27/stephen-sizer-hired-ex-idf-soldier-to-harass-me/.

    It is a pity that he only remembered about this today, once stories had started to circulate about Seismic stalking Sizer outside from his blog.

    It is regrettable that he didn’t mention any of this when he was briefing the world on how the police knocked on the door purely because of his blog. Perhaps it slipped his mind.

    I was intrigued to see him use the highlighter again. You and I would highlight stuff to make it easier for people to grasp the substance of a mass of text. Is that what Seismic is doing, in that post?

    It reminded me of something, probably wrongly. There used to be a trick played by delivery companies on their customers. (Maybe they still do) They’d hand you a slip to sign on the doorstep, stuffed with small print that no-one could read with the wind in their eyes. You’d sign, and get your parcel; and then you’d find it was damaged. So you’d go back to the company and say so, and they’d say “Sorry guv, you signed to say it was OK”. You’d reply “No I didn’t; I’ll see you in court.” And they’d turn up with the slip you signed; but they’d first run a highlighter over the bit of wording hidden in the mass of tiny print saying “I agree with this signature that I have opened the parcel and it is fine”. Of course you hadn’t and couldn’t and never saw the words anyway.

    They’d produce that in court. Of course everyone’s eyes would drift to the bit highlighted, unlike in the situation on the doorstep. It would seem so obvious that this was what you signed. And so the company could say that you should have seen it. But of course in the real world, the wording was NOT highlighted.

    Probably this has nothing to do with what we see there. But I think Seismic would be wise to use his highlighter carefully.

    Roger Pearse

    27/01/2010 at 17:22

  66. Hello Dr Frederics,

    I agree 100%. What you were doing was holding a man in public office — for we pay for universities, after all — to account. When I was young, that was called “democracy”. The idea that this is “harassment” is farcical. As far as I can tell, you were doing your duty to the public.

    Would Private Eye take an interest in your case? Surely what you were doing is what they do?

    Roger Pearse

    27/01/2010 at 17:26

  67. It is a pity that Roger is deliberately selective and can’t actually see Rev. Sizer’s open threats:

    This is Dr. Sizer letter to another blogger:

    “Dear Vee,

    You must take a little more care who you brand as anti-semitic otherwise you too will be receiving a caution from the police as the young former student of Leeds did recently. One more reference to me and you will be reported.

    Blessings
    Stephen”

    That’s “One more reference to me and you will be reported.”

    A not too subtle threat from a man of the cloth?

    modernityblog

    27/01/2010 at 17:27

  68. “It is regrettable that he didn’t mention any of this when he was briefing the world on how the police knocked on the door purely because of his blog. Perhaps it slipped his mind.”

    It is regrettable Roger that you can’t see the woods for the trees.

    We should allow youngsters a bit of latitude, as they might not necessarily handle matters in the way we would.

    But you are incorrect, seismic did nothing for three months, only when Reverend Sizer threatens another blogger did he feel he should act and publicise this issue.

    Which paints a different picture, doesn’t it?

    modernityblog

    27/01/2010 at 17:30

  69. Hi Modernity,

    I’m sure that Mr Sizer has his politics to push. I don’t see any reason why he shouldn’t (even if I don’t agree with them). But … a public figure? Really?

    If he is, of course that changes things. But a google search reveals nothing that marks him out from hundreds of other clergymen, other than the fact that Seismic chose to run a blog attacking him.

    What do you know that I don’t?

    Roger Pearse

    27/01/2010 at 17:31

  70. Of course Roger, if you believe that political or public figures should not be criticised and that they can call on the police to intimidate people, then that is an entirely different matter.

    But that would not tally with your alleged preoccupation with freedom of speech.

    Self evidently, Rev. Sizer is a public figure, he makes an effort to push his views on all occasions, travels the world doing so, etc etc

    modernityblog

    27/01/2010 at 17:36

  71. (apart from “many things, obviously” :-) )

    Roger Pearse

    27/01/2010 at 17:41

  72. Roger

    What is “sneering” in Latin, you do it so well :)

    modernityblog

    27/01/2010 at 17:44

  73. “Of course Roger, if you believe that political or public figures should not be criticised and that they can call on the police to intimidate people, then that is an entirely different matter.”

    On the contrary; I believe the opposite! Have a read of the comments, and see. What I query is whether Sizer is such a figure. I looked to see, but I don’t see anything much. I’d never heard of him before all this.

    If he is a figure of importance, there must be SOMETHING about him online.

    Roger Pearse

    27/01/2010 at 17:45

  74. Anon, I am indeed a big fan of Seismic Shock and proud of it. But what did he write that was unsettling to children? Sounds very far fetched to me. I should imagine any that child (no age is specified in the accusation, are these teenagers?) in his congregation that did a google search of their minister’s name would find him in Iran, Hezbollah controlled parts of Lebanon, sharing platforms with all sorts of nasties and busy defaming a whole country whilst he is paid to be their minister, now if I were a memeber of his congregation, child, teenager or adult, I’d find that unsettling.

    Aslan

    27/01/2010 at 17:55

  75. well said Aslan

    Dooley

    27/01/2010 at 18:17

  76. Roger, I only WISH Private Eye would take an interest. They have been silent throughout the ordeal as it has unfolded, and notwithstanding my having sent them the key relevant info.

    I don’t wish to become a “conspiracy theorist” but it almost seems to me that the press near silence is as a result of some sort of untoward intimidation by someone connected with the matter. At any rate, I’ve done what I can to bring this matter to public light, and so far, it’s engendered limited interest.

    What interests and concerns me is that there seems to be so much interest in Seismic Shock’s case among the members of the press, when his case reached the level of police threat of action, whereas my case involved a full-blown prosecution and conviction in less than convincing circumstances (lack of evidence, denial of my right to representation, etc.). This is not at all to diminish the seriousness of Seismic’s experience, which to me, is appalling and frightening, but rather to express suprise and puzzlement over why there has not been at least an equal amount of outrage expressed in the media over my case, which appears to be the logical extension of what happened with Seismic Shock.

    Dr Howard Fredrics

    27/01/2010 at 18:46

  77. That troubles me too. I don’t know why there isn’t interest. Nor do I understand why everyone is excited about Seismic.

    The media do act in a concerted fashion sometimes. I’m not a conspiracy theorist, but the fact is that the UK media is a small pool of people who all know each other. They do sometimes act together, as might be expected. I can think of an example: When the National Lottery was proposed, there must have been a three-line whip. It was always described in stacatto terms as “the-National-lottery-to-raise-money-for-good-causes”. Literally that phrase was used at the start of every bulletin. Once you see that, it opens your eyes. They don’t happen all the time; but once in a while you can recognise a three-line-whip going out, as a story is discussed in some set phrase or other. I don’t know of one at the moment, tho.

    But I can’t believe Peter Scott is that influential.

    Roger Pearse

    27/01/2010 at 19:39

  78. Anthony McRoy has contacted me and emailed a statement which he asked me to post, concerning Seismic’s posting against him. It’s here:

    http://www.roger-pearse.com/weblog/?p=3461

    Basically it sounds as if Seismic misread McRoy (which I suspected), and so the latter got wound into the Seismic-Sizer battle.

    Roger Pearse

    27/01/2010 at 21:32

  79. We shall see.

    Have you taken the trouble to read any of McRoy’s work directly?

    Or are you merely acting as his agent?

    modernityblog

    27/01/2010 at 21:34

  80. I’ve seen the occasional article by McRoy in the press, so I had some idea of what he was doing. I read the article “The solace of the savior” and discussed it with Seismic, because his take on it didn’t fit with what I knew about the author. But I’m not acting as his agent, of course. McRoy emailed it to me, and asked me to post it since he didn’t have a blog of his own to do so.

    Roger Pearse

    27/01/2010 at 21:38

  81. [...] Technology has also proven that Rev. Sizer’s desire to intimidate bloggers has rebounded. [...]

  82. Yes, because if Weissman says that McRoy identifies with Al-Qaeda, then it must be true. Therefore, any defence by McRoy must be wrong. Therefore Roger Pearse must be his agent. QED.

    Have you taken the trouble to read McRoy’s work directly MD? Have you taken the trouble to read Sizer’s work directly? All of us here oppose anti-Semitism and terrorism. The issue is that we won’t accuse people of these things willy-nilly.

    Anon

    28/01/2010 at 11:14

  83. [...] Joseph Weissman) caused me to post here, and in the discussion at Index on Censorship, here, and here.  Seismic’s blog targeted mainly Stephen Sizer in his blog; but he also attacked Dr [...]

  84. Yeah Anon,

    You are an exponent of arguing in bad faith, I was jesting.

    I have read McRoy’s work recently and I shall be commenting, because I find some of the content rather disturbing.

    However, I suspect those quick to find excuses for them wouldn’t be too perturbed by the contents.

    modernityblog

    28/01/2010 at 12:28

  85. Sizer’s claim to oppose antisemitism is pure fantasy. If he did, he would have had more to say in response to this article than (guess what) threatening its writer with police action.

    http://engageonline.wordpress.com/2009/03/21/if-i-was-stephen-sizer-christian-antizionist-james-mendelsohn/

    Dooley

    28/01/2010 at 12:39

  86. If you were joking, then I apologise.

    Perhaps I am too quick to find excuses. Woudl you say that you’re too quick to judge? What I’ve read of McRoy suggests that he is someone who is trying to understand Islam. Is there anything wrong with that? Of course if you find anything in there that is anti-Semitic then by all means say so. Why not write to him or call him so that he can give his side before you write? Just please don’t quote-mine like Weissman did.

    Anon

    28/01/2010 at 14:56

  87. Anon,

    Wish I could find that smart little symbol, instead of a colon and bracket, to represent sarcasm but I am afraid that the inventors of the Internet didn’t included in.

    Best not to read all my post to literally, or you’ll continually get the wrong end of the stick.

    Well, I have left a message for Dr McRoy on Roger Pearse’s blog we shall see if he responds.

    modernityblog

    28/01/2010 at 15:01

  88. [...] This web Web phenomena, courtesy of the Streisand effect, was started to highlight how inappropriate it was for the British Police to visit a blogger and intimidate him into deleting one of his blogs. [...]

  89. [...] This web Web phenomena, courtesy of the Streisand effect, was started to highlight how inappropriate it was for the British Police to visit a blogger and intimidate him into deleting one of his blogs. [...]

  90. [...] Rev Sizer is a well-known, published critic of the State of Israel and of “Christian Zionism”. There are legal, religious and political aspects to the story; and related posts are being summarised and collated at Modernity Blog. [...]

  91. [...] indebted to Judeosphere for pointing out that Wiki has updated its page on Rev. Sizer, mentioning the Barbara Streisand effect along the [...]

  92. [...] story are the BBC, @bengoldacre, Index on Censorship and, with typical gusto, Melanie Phillips. Loads of others are weighing in, [...]

  93. [...] of Modernity Blog this video is intended to highlight how inappropriate it was for a blogger to be visited by the British Police and intimidate him into [...]

  94. [...] Rev Sizer is a well-known, published critic of the State of Israel and of “Christian Zionism”. There are legal, religious and political aspects to the story; and related posts are being summarised and collated at Modernity Blog. [...]

  95. [...] Blogger visited by police [...]

  96. [...] we know in the cyper-space world, such would seem like days.  Therefore, you can visit HERE and HERE, where all the linking has been done for you (well, up to a given point)!  However, one of these [...]

  97. [...] we know in the cyper-space world, such would seem like days.  Therefore, you can visit HERE and HERE, where all the linking has been done for you (well, up to a given point)!  However, one of these [...]

  98. [...] However, the advent of the Internet has changed all of that, stories can be published and taken up across the world. Geographical limitations and local political pressure count for very little as the unwanted story often accelerates around the globe courtesy of the Barbra Streisand effect. [...]

  99. [...] Stephen Sizer, The Police And The Barbra Streisand Effect [...]


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