Paranormal Review A Proper Reply to Brutons Interview +

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Paranormal Review A Proper Reply to Brutons Interview +

Post by Admin on Mon Jan 23, 2012 1:55 am

Good article covering the launch and responding to the Two Worlds Interview by Bruton. Roy's comments are quite correct, the questions he poses and the issues he raised should have been asked by Tony Ortzen instead it was almost a white wash. All done at the time of the relaunch of Psychic News it really smacked of doing as much damage as both parties could. Oh well get right behind Psychic News everyone.

http://www.paranormalreview.com/articles/20120120
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Re: Paranormal Review A Proper Reply to Brutons Interview +

Post by zerdini on Mon Jan 23, 2012 2:38 pm

Admin wrote:Good article covering the launch and responding to the Two Worlds Interview by Bruton. Roy's comments are quite correct, the questions he poses and the issues he raised should have been asked by Tony Ortzen instead it was almost a white wash. All done at the time of the relaunch of Psychic News it really smacked of doing as much damage as both parties could. Oh well get right behind Psychic News everyone.

http://www.paranormalreview.com/articles/20120120

Regarding comments about Tony Ortzen’s interview with David Bruton, I cannot think of many editors who would print critical comments about themselves, but this letter appears in February’s Two Worlds:

"ALTHOUGH I am not a member of the Spiritualists’ National Union, I thoroughly enjoyed the interview with its president David Bruton (January) and would congratulate him for his in-depth and very interesting replies. These were well thought out and expressed extremely well.

"However, what did not impress me at all was the seemingly hostile, belligerent and hectoring tone in Tony Ortzen’s questions to Mr Bruton. Frankly, I am surprised that the president did not mark the envelope “Return to sender,” as it were.

"In his editorials, Mr Ortzen always comes across as pleasant, mild mannered and often amusing. I can only surmise that when he thought up the questions, Mr Ortzen was in a less than charitable mood for whatever reason.

"Next time this happens, perhaps he should take a herbal tranquilliser or two and retire to a darkened room for a few hours until he recovers his usual equilibrium – Ken Morgan, by e-mail."

Although they have already appeared on this forum, here are the questions which Tony Ortzen put to David Bruton in the first part of his interview. I, for one, would not describe them as a “whitewash.”

As anyone who followed it on internet sites knows, were it not so tragic, the union’s liquidation of Psychic Press (1995) Ltd, which owned “Psychic News,” was a complete and utter farce. How would you answer this charge?

It’s often hard to say, “I’m sorry,” but do you think any apologies are due? If so, to whom?

There are plans to upgrade the Arthur Findlay College to something like a four or five-star hotel, with wet rooms, etc. How is the average Spiritualist, many of whom are on fixed incomes or very modest wages, going to afford courses at the college?

Still with money, the SNU’s Trust, which is, in effect, a building society, recently paid £1 million for a property in Edinburgh. How can you possibly justify this massive amount when many of your churches must be struggling, with the average church treasurer counting 5 and 10p pieces, let alone foreign currency, slot machine coins and various worthless tokens, in the collection plate?

Fairly frequently, I hear of petty squabbles within union churches, sometimes with entire committees or several members resigning. How’s that for spiritual behaviour?

I heard a rumour, which may be wrong, that the union has started another crusade against its churches displaying orthodox trappings, like pictures of Jesus or a crucifix. Hasn’t the SNU got bigger and better things to worry about like getting out there to promote Spiritualism?


All done at the time of the relaunch of Psychic News it really smacked of doing as much damage as both parties could.

Not at all, Jim. That comment smacks of a conspiracy theory!

You probably don't realise that a monthly magazine like Two Worlds is prepared well in advance of the publication date.

For example the questions put to David Bruton were prepared in October 2011 well before the announced launch date of PN.

The January 2012 issue of Two Worlds was issued before Christmas to avoid the printers' holidays.

The February issue is available now.

The March issue is being proof-read as I write.

It doesn't help to insinuate that Psychic News and Two Worlds are at loggerheads when the reality is quite different.

I was unable, due to a hospital commitment, to attend the relaunch of PN but Tony Ortzen, in his capacity as editor, did attend and he assures me that the atmosphere was extremely pleasant.

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Re: Paranormal Review A Proper Reply to Brutons Interview +

Post by Admin on Tue Jan 24, 2012 4:06 am

It doesn't help to insinuate that Psychic News and Two Worlds are at loggerheads when the reality is quite different.

I was unable, due to a hospital commitment, to attend the relaunch of PN but Tony Ortzen, in his capacity as editor, did attend and he assures me that the atmosphere was extremely pleasant.

I was not actually suggesting they were at loggerheads, I noted that Tony was at the party and believed relationships were still good. I also note that the first edition of Psychic News had a very complementary about the SNU's new venture. So I can see there would be little point in relationships not being maintained.

Maybe smacked was the wrong word maybe very unfortunate timing, even allowing for the timing of publication.

I am astonisghed an SNU member could have been upset about the questions asked given the fact most of them were around many forums and websites. They actually gave Bruton the perfect platform to state his side. Sadly there could not be futher questions based upon the responses he gave which may have drawn more information out.

Were there any letters commenting like I did Z? If there are will they subsequently be published?
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Re: Paranormal Review A Proper Reply to Brutons Interview +

Post by zerdini on Tue Jan 24, 2012 6:19 pm

I am astonisghed an SNU member could have been upset about the questions asked given the fact most of them were around many forums and websites.

The writer of the letter stated that he was NOT a SNU member.

Were there any letters commenting like I did Z? If there are will they subsequently be published?

I wasn't aware that you had written a letter, Jim. I can't say whether any letter will or will not be published. That is the prerogative of the editor. Due to space limitations letters are often shortened and/or edited.

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Re: Paranormal Review A Proper Reply to Brutons Interview +

Post by Dan on Tue Jan 24, 2012 7:29 pm

I have a friend who has written to the editor of 2 Worlds I don't think he was very complimentary about the editors attempt at an interview. I bet that one won't be published. No

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Re: Paranormal Review A Proper Reply to Brutons Interview +

Post by zerdini on Tue Jan 24, 2012 7:52 pm

Dan wrote:I have a friend who has written to the editor of 2 Worlds I don't think he was very complimentary about the editors attempt at an interview. I bet that one won't be published. No

I should have added that rude or abusive letters will definitely not be published.

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Re: Paranormal Review A Proper Reply to Brutons Interview +

Post by mac on Tue Jan 24, 2012 8:15 pm

Dan wrote:I have a friend who has written to the editor of 2 Worlds I don't think he was very complimentary about the editors attempt at an interview. I bet that one won't be published. No

hardly surprising if he didn't.... But you never know. Wink

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Re: Paranormal Review A Proper Reply to Brutons Interview +

Post by Admin on Tue Jan 24, 2012 10:38 pm

zerdini wrote:
Dan wrote:I have a friend who has written to the editor of 2 Worlds I don't think he was very complimentary about the editors attempt at an interview. I bet that one won't be published. No

I should have added that rude or abusive letters will definitely not be published.

Strange Z why would you assume that Dan would write such a letter, or would any letter raising issue with the softness of the interview be of that type? Surely you are prejudging them.

I have not written a letter Z there seems little point, the interview is over and the real questions such as how their actions have cost the SNU so much money have not been asked. There were a whole raft of major issues and problems with the way the SNU acted. However, I am aware that had Tony indicated his willingness to approach such matters no interview would have taken place. However, all the questions asked really achieved was to make Brutal look better than he deserved to do. I would imagine that he will be more than happy to be interviewed again by Tony.

We have subscribed to Two Worlds for 12 months so it will be interesting to see how we find it. We have also subscribed to Psychic News for 12 months obviously.


Last edited by Admin on Thu Jan 26, 2012 1:26 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Paranormal Review A Proper Reply to Brutons Interview +

Post by Lis on Tue Jan 24, 2012 11:43 pm

It appears that Dan stated that their friend's letter to the editor of Two Worlds was not "very complimentary about the editor's attempt at an interview."

I don't see why a letter that is not very complimentary should be interpreted as "rude or abusive."

I think the real issue is that the editor's questions to Bruton elicited responses that really fail to provide the readers with a true, fair, or honest explanation of what had actually occurred, and conveyed an attitude, for example, about the editor of Psychic News, that was derogatory to say the least, when in reality, as Roy Stedman has pointed out, Bruton was known to have stated views significantly more positive about the Psychic News editor prior to putting Psychic Press (1995) into liquidation.

The real problem, from my perspective, is not what Tony Orton did ask. It was what he did not ask. There was an opportunity for some real cutting edge journalism, and it was not taken up. Perhaps the President of the SNU would not have agreed to be interviewed, if the real, nitty-gritty questions were on the agenda. But then again, had the questions been asked, and refused, that in itself would have been a very interesting editorial in Two Worlds.

As it stands, the Two Worlds interview amounts to nothing less than a white-wash of what occurred.

An opportunity was missed for the true circumstances of PN's untimely demise - the motivations of the President and his men, the costs incurred by their decision, and why they required two liquidators, and significant legal advice, and financial expenditure - to end up selling PN to the organisation that offered to buy it before it ever went into liquidation - to be made clear to SNU members, and non-SNU members who were subscribers and supporters of Psychic News.


Last edited by Lis on Wed Jan 25, 2012 12:02 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Paranormal Review A Proper Reply to Brutons Interview +

Post by Admin on Tue Jan 24, 2012 11:45 pm

Very well said Lis
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Re: Paranormal Review A Proper Reply to Brutons Interview +

Post by zerdini on Wed Jan 25, 2012 12:03 am

Were there any letters commenting like I did Z?

I simply stated that I wasn't aware that you had written any letters to "Two Worlds", Jim.

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Re: Paranormal Review A Proper Reply to Brutons Interview +

Post by zerdini on Wed Jan 25, 2012 12:08 am

Strange Z why would you assume that Dan would write such a letter, or would any letter raising issue with teh softness of the interview be of that type? Surely tyou are prejudging them.

I didn't assume that Dan had written a letter, Jim. He stated quite clearly that a friend had written a letter that was not 'very complimentary'. I didn't prejudge it at all. I just said that rude or abusive letters would not be published.

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Re: Paranormal Review A Proper Reply to Brutons Interview +

Post by zerdini on Wed Jan 25, 2012 12:11 am

the real questions such as how their actions have cost the SNU so much money have not been asked.

Those questions are for members of the SNU in the AGM to ask, surely, but they don't seem willing to, for one reason or another.

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Re: Paranormal Review A Proper Reply to Brutons Interview +

Post by Admin on Wed Jan 25, 2012 12:22 am

zerdini wrote:
the real questions such as how their actions have cost the SNU so much money have not been asked.

Those questions are for members of the SNU in the AGM to ask, surely, but they don't seem willing to, for one reason or another.

True Z but many people will be unaware of all those events and a top quality investigative piece by a leading Spiritualist newspaper may have informed their minds to see the questions were asked at the AGM.

Certainly I will use the thread about Psychic News and the SNU plus the details from the liquidator to pose my own questions and try to draw some attention onto the material facts. Given the sheer volume of hits in that area it may at least get some of the more active SNU members to get the right questions submitted for presentation at the AGM (I believe members are not allowed to ask questions off the floor). Somehow I suspect those questions will never appear on the agenda.

I can understand that such investigative, hard hitting journalism is probably not in the remit of the Spiritualist Press. It is rather unfortunate that the whole dire affair never made it into the National Press.
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Re: Paranormal Review A Proper Reply to Brutons Interview +

Post by zerdini on Wed Jan 25, 2012 12:23 am

Lis, the questions which Tony Ortzen put to David Bruton and which were published in the Jan/Feb "Two Worlds" were not specifically about PN but rather reflected the questions that people in the churches were asking.

The answers that Mr Bruton gave have not been commented on by anyone in any detail on this or any other forum.

I have no axe to grind on behalf of the SNU as I resigned from that organisation many years ago but "Two Worlds" has been fiercely independent since it was founded in 1887 and still is.

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Re: Paranormal Review A Proper Reply to Brutons Interview +

Post by zerdini on Wed Jan 25, 2012 12:30 am

Admin wrote:
zerdini wrote:
the real questions such as how their actions have cost the SNU so much money have not been asked.

Those questions are for members of the SNU in the AGM to ask, surely, but they don't seem willing to, for one reason or another.

True Z but many people will be unaware of all those events and a top quality investigative piece by a leading Spiritualist newspaper may have informed their minds to see the questions were asked at the AGM.

Certainly I will use the thread about Psychic News and the SNU plus the details from the liquidator to pose my own questions and try to draw some attention onto the material facts. Given the sheer volume of hits in that area it may at least get some of the more active SNU members to get the right questions submitted for presentation at the AGM (I believe members are not allowed to ask questions off the floor). Somehow I suspect those questions will never appear on the agenda.

I can understand that such investigative, hard hitting journalism is probably not in the remit of the Spiritualist Press. It is rather unfortunate that the whole dire affair never made it into the National Press.

Jim, I should point out that "Two Worlds" is a magazine not a newspaper and is more concerned with the philosphy of Spiritualism.

"Psychic News" has historically always published psychic news and events and in Barbanell's day was quite vociferous in its criticism of the SNU.

I can quite clearly recall Barbanell's presence at SNU AGMs when he didn't hesitate to criticise the Executive when he felt it necessary.

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Re: Paranormal Review A Proper Reply to Brutons Interview +

Post by Wes on Wed Jan 25, 2012 2:25 am

Was the interview conducted by email or verbally?
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Re: Paranormal Review A Proper Reply to Brutons Interview +

Post by zerdini on Wed Jan 25, 2012 8:32 am

Wes wrote:Was the interview conducted by email or verbally?

By email, Wes, as all TW interviews are.

"Two Worlds" does not have the backing of a charity with millions of pounds. It is run by two people, one of whom is part-time.

Under the circumstances I believe it does very well.

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Re: Paranormal Review A Proper Reply to Brutons Interview +

Post by Admin on Wed Jan 25, 2012 9:14 am

Sadly Wes as you must understand a list of questions is sent and a list of replies received. Then the editor puts the article together, I believe that is pretty standard practice.
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Re: Paranormal Review A Proper Reply to Brutons Interview +

Post by Admin on Wed Jan 25, 2012 9:16 am

However, when that method is used I believe that any editor should state that so no one ever believes it is a true interview. I believe that should be the case in any publication that chooses to use this approach so that all readers understand that this is a simple form of "interview" not an investigative one.
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Re: Paranormal Review A Proper Reply to Brutons Interview +

Post by zerdini on Wed Jan 25, 2012 9:19 am

Admin wrote:However, when that method is used I believe that any editor should state that so no one ever believes it is a true interview. I believe that should be the case in any publication.

This morning, I received an e-mail from Tony Ortzen. Part of it reads:

"I am never above criticism, but reject the claim that my interview with David Bruton was a "whitewash." However, the matter is very easily solved. If anyone at Psychic News feels that the interview with Mr Bruton was unfair in any way and too pro-SNU, let Psychic News conduct its own e-mail interview with him..."

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Re: Paranormal Review A Proper Reply to Brutons Interview +

Post by zerdini on Wed Jan 25, 2012 9:28 am

Admin wrote:However, when that method is used I believe that any editor should state that so no one ever believes it is a true interview. I believe that should be the case in any publication that chooses to use this approach so that all readers understand that this is a simple form of "interview" not an investigative one.

All the interviews with mediums in "Two Worlds" over the years have followed the same pattern. No-one is in any doubt that they are not "investigative" ones. TW does not have a band of roving reporters to conduct personal interviews as I stated earlier.


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Re: Paranormal Review A Proper Reply to Brutons Interview +

Post by Admin on Wed Jan 25, 2012 9:30 am

It is interesting that in the interview, although David Bruton said he did not believe a blame game, he made it quite clear that Sue
"took the decision to move the paper away from the tabloid-like presentation of Tony Ortzen’s time and moved the focus to a more serious journalistic bias, taking the paper, as she saw it, back to its roots under founding editor Maurice Barbanell. I have to say that as executive director, I supported this editorial policy, but clearly it did not find favour with the wider readership.”"
Clearly exonerating Mr Ortzen and blaming Sue.

He also damns Tony with faint praise making it clear that he had an approach which was
tabloid-like presentation of Tony Ortzen’s
Having purchased a subscription to Two Worlds I can understand his point.
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Re: Paranormal Review A Proper Reply to Brutons Interview +

Post by Admin on Wed Jan 25, 2012 9:39 am

Of course those of you who have the digital images of Two Worlds when Emma Hardinge Britten edited it would understand the huge difference between the current version and the hugely challenging weekly paper that Emma produced. I am sure Z would understand that.
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Re: Paranormal Review A Proper Reply to Brutons Interview +

Post by zerdini on Wed Jan 25, 2012 9:40 am

Admin wrote:It is interesting that in the interview, although David Bruton said he did not believe a blame game, he made it quite clear that Sue
"took the decision to move the paper away from the tabloid-like presentation of Tony Ortzen’s time and moved the focus to a more serious journalistic bias, taking the paper, as she saw it, back to its roots under founding editor Maurice Barbanell. I have to say that as executive director, I supported this editorial policy, but clearly it did not find favour with the wider readership.”"
Clearly exonerating Mr Ortzen and blaming Sue.

He also damns Tony with faint praise making it clear that he had an approach which was
tabloid-like presentation of Tony Ortzen’s
Having purchased a subscription to Two Worlds I can understand his point.

I am unclear what point you are trying to make here, Jim.

There is a difference between editing a newspaper and a magazine with totally different remits.

If you read the "Psychic News" under the editorship of Maurice Barbanell from its inception in 1932 you will note its 'tabloid-like presentation' which was totally different from other Spiritualist periodicals of its time.

It's worth checking it out.

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