Reply to Keith Skinner from MELVIN HARRIS.
I'm happy that Keith Skinner is using my accolade 'paid henchman' but he should have told you why I dubbed him so. I wanted to quote his assessment of Paul Feldman which ran: "...he may roar and bellow and have strange ideas , but his belief in the genuiness of this journal- and that James Maybrick was Jack The Ripper- is absolute. In his mind, he is right, everybody else, including myself, is wrong...
Now if I had written that I would have been accused of being abusive, but coming from a paid henchman it has the ring of truth. And, as it matches the conclusions reached by others, it is welcome.
Since a henchman is a right arm-man, I too am a paid henchman, but for Arthur C Clarke. Yet there is a difference. If Arthur was under fire for anything he had written he would answer for himself; he would never dream of asking me to answer for him.
I am amazed to learn that Paul Feldman has been cited as the brains behind the Diary hoax. This is news to me and to everyone else known to me. My view has always been that he was duped by it. Indeed I wrote to him twice and advised him to ask for his money back from Robert Smith. Then I realised that he had developed such an unhealthy obsession with being right that the paths of persuasion were closed.
I have no objection to anyone having weird ideas providing they don't twist the truth in pushing these ideas.
My work on the Will has in fact taken up very little time, it is simply an example of the type of report that any professional investigator should aim for. The type of report I've been writing for many years. That report is essential to an understanding of this affair, since we know that the Will was examined by the Diary camp as early as 6 July 1992; that was a year before I became involved. Everything I have since written about that document could have been discovered by them, back in 1992. The neglect speaks for itself, and raises legitimate doubts about the quality of the research. And there is, of course, the question of the distortions used to denigrate this Will. Where were the cautioning voices?
As for the forgers,let me emphasise that they are in a cosy position. Even if they came forward and confessed, nothing would happen, unless someone complained. And that complainant would have to show loss or damage caused by this forgery. So who is willing to complain? Certainly not Smith, Harrison or Feldman; they've each done well out of marketing the Diary. So the rogues are in the clear!
As for their identities I've already dealt with that in my reply to Mrs Harrison which ran as follows:-
"Mrs Harrison's 'challenge' to me to name the forgers of the Diary is sheer hogwash and an excuse for yet more evasions. (Now there's a chance to yell 'abuse') She already knows my answer. There are good legal and logical reasons why I choose to stay silent; I have ,in fact, taken legal advice on this score. But I am quite willing to present my papers to any neutral solicitor, and he, or she, will confirm that there are sound and honourable reasons for my silence. But this is a petty diversion. My case against the Diary rests on the text and the handwriting of that document and is independent of the identities of the forgers. Thus anyone can review this evidence, here and now, and see just where the jiggery-pokery lies. This is exactly in line with my case against the forged Abberline Diary used by Melvyn Fairclough in his book. There we are not sure of the identity of the forger, but it is a certainty that the document is faked; the text and handwriting betray it. And that's what really counts."