"Psychic News" to Close

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Re: "Psychic News" to Close

Post by Lis on Mon Jul 19, 2010 12:58 pm

It is a curious situation. No doubt all will become clear as time goes by. On the 15th Z said that PN had been put into liquidation. I don't doubt that he got that information from a person in the SNU that wishes to remain anonymous. What is odd, though, is that as yet (today) that alleged "liquidation" has not yet been registered with Companies House. A liquidator does have a degree of leeway - 2 to 3 working days in which to register that the company has been put into liquidation but no more, so perhaps it will be registered today UK time.

What is clear from our investigation, if Psychic Press is put into liquidation only secured creditors will receive anything (if there is anything) while staff will not receive their entitlements (benefits, holiday pay, etc) nor will all those who have paid subscriptions to PN ever get their money back.

I don't know what happened at the AGM. I look forward to being enlightened.

I would like to think that the SNU did not in fact put PN into liquidation last week, though it intends to do so in the near future, but waited until after informing the membership of its intention. Otherwise the fact that both the Psychic Press website and the PN website are still apparently accepting money for the purchasing of books or subscriptions, even today, would be a very worrying matter given it is clear that they would not, could not honour those expenditures.


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Re: "Psychic News" to Close

Post by Wes on Mon Jul 19, 2010 9:31 pm

One thing to bear in mind is that when a failed paper's assets are sold off to meet some of its debt, one of it's assets is its masthead - in this case the name "psychic news", so this could be bought by people who want to resurrect the paper.

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Re: "Psychic News" to Close

Post by Lis on Mon Jul 19, 2010 11:05 pm

A good point Wes. In reality in that situation if someone wanted to 'resurrect' the paper they would also want to be buying the PN archives, the internet sites, the subscription and contributor lists, and presumably also would wish to take on the existing staff who have worked so hard to keep PN going.

My concern was to try and establish whether PN (and its parent company Psychic Press) had actually been put into liquidation or not, given no registration of liquidation had been made, despite it being claimed that this is what had happened.

As I have already said, in time I expect all will be revealed but it is frustrating having to wait to find out!

Lis
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Re: "Psychic News" to Close

Post by Admin on Mon Jul 19, 2010 11:49 pm

Interesting, here is the full text of the reply from Companies House

Dear Sir

If the company does go into liquidation it is highly unlikely that the liquidator will be able to realise sufficient assets to make refunds of all monies owed to creditors. It is more likely to be a certain percentage of the monies owed.

In some cases where the company owes money to HMRC and other secured creditors there is very little left to be paid out to creditors.

The whole subject of liquidation is something of an inexact science where only the liquidator would know the true answers.

Our records are not showing the company as being in liquidation yet. A liquidator once appointed , has seven days in which to notify us of his appointment.
I would suggest that you contact the company and ask the name and address of the liquidator Contact the liquidators and ask for a proof of debt form to be sent to you. Complete this and return to them quickly so that you will have registered your claim with them.

Alternatively, you can keep a check on the status of the company and for the notification of liquidator via our webcheck service on our website. This is provided free of charge.

I hope that this is of assistance.


Now if, as we hear, the filing was last week then it should appear on the Companies House records today. However, I cannot understand why the latest edition can be produced, it is adding no value to the mast head because the paper is then to be closed.

If there are insufficient assets to cover the HM government outstandings, secured creditors, then the employee entitlements and other outstanding unsecured creditors (including the prepaid subscriptions for future issues of PN and any monies received on the Psychic Press website for books not despatched) then the directors are likely to be asked to cover this weeks expenses personally.

As I have already said on top of the terrible, criminal damage done by the SNU in closing PN the failure to make good the employee benefits would be atrocious.

By the way almost everone who loses their future subscriptions is a creditor and can lodge claims nominating when they paid the subscription. It becomes clear the directors made this decision a while back and took no action to warn either creditors or subscibers thereby increasing their potential for loss. I believe everyone so affected should take time to claim as this is likely to add pressure on the liquidator to act.

Indeed you could, late yesterday go in and buy a book or subscription with no chance of getting your money back or receiving the goods.
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Re: "Psychic News" to Close

Post by Lis on Tue Jul 20, 2010 12:15 am

It seems that at Blackpool, the pleas of those who want PN to survive fell on deaf ears. It is hard to imagine why the SNU would be so determined to kill off such an important publication but this is indeed what they have done regardless of the cost to the Spiritualist movement.

Is such a publication really only about its ability to make a profit or to just cover its costs? Or should it be a vehicle that is supported regardless of whether it is making money - because it is an important means of keeping Spiritualists aware of what is happening in their movement.

Lis
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Robbers

Post by jock on Tue Jul 20, 2010 9:33 am

The Psychic News is being put into liquidation, formally on 31st however it is not clear if it is voluntery or secrestration in any event the liquidators will contact creditors with the payout if any. This is legalised fraud pre-determined and they shouild be hauled over the coals FOR IT. My church stand to lose a lot of money as we have prepaid for a years subsrciption for papers etc.

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Re: "Psychic News" to Close

Post by Lis on Tue Jul 20, 2010 12:00 pm

I am curious Almera as to why you suggest that PN will only formally be put into liquidation on the 31st of this month when it has been alleged that at the AGM in Blackpool it was announced that the SNU had filed for liquidation on the Monday preceeding the AGM - that is on Monday 12th July.
It would be helpful if you are able to clarify why you have suggested a somewhat different scenario.

I must admit though, based on what I have heard so far, I am not impressed with the SNU's handling of the situation and unless other information comes out that conveys a rather more positive picture of the SNU's conduct I can only concur with your attitude.

I have apparently lost my subscription, which was also only recently renewed, and I am more than a little unhappy to find that at the time I renewed there is little doubt that the SNU would have already decided to take the action it has. I consider that quite unscrupulous as well as unspiritual.

Lis
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Re: "Psychic News" to Close

Post by Admin on Tue Jul 20, 2010 12:12 pm

Hi Almera,

Robbers it is much worse than that.

This is an awful situation, I had forgotten that Churches paid in advance for bulk subscriptions to PN, to sell to members, which they will not now receive. The same with individuals too remember.

Sadly Almera it pails beside the fact a Spiritualist organisation is not willing to stand up and meet its financial obligations to its employees. This is not just any organisation but the SNU who's ego says its the greatest in the world.

There are major problems to be faced I believe all SNU members should and must maintain the rage and protest. What has happened is totally outside the acceptable limits.

By the way your information that the liquidation has not occured but will on the 31st July makes great sense.

I have already made the point that if they had filed for liquidation on Monday 12th July, as apparently stated last weekend on the Blackpool platform, then they are, as directors of Psychic Press, logically liable for the expenses of continuing operations to publish subsequent papers.

Your date is much more likely because they could argue they were trading for the good of the company. However, we now know that they already intended liquidation, so there are no excuses available. IF WE PROTEST TO THE LIQUIDATOR FOR OUR LOSSES THE FACT THEY KEPT TRADING, i.e. THE DIRECTORS OF PSYCHIC PRESS, even now with the pay portal open, they may have to face their personal obligations.

Every body protest, lodge your claim with the liquidators even if it is for one weeks subscription. If you have paid recently state that the Directors of Psychic Press had, since the moment closure was first mentioned, a duty to warn subscribers and creditors. Do not walk away, every claim will put pressure on the SNU and the directors of Psychic Press.
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Re: "Psychic News" to Close

Post by Admin on Tue Jul 20, 2010 12:23 pm

Of course as I am not an SNU member and after this fiasco am extremely unlikely to consider it I can do nothing in that organisation to protest. However, I already know the damage the SNU have done to themselves in Australia by doing this. The SNUI will not get a sympathetic reception now and I hope that is world wide.

Please MBA Bruton do not waste money on international expansion in the face of hostility from closing PN. I have been surprised at the hostile reaction from my USA friends also.

I believe all SNU members should lodge a protest, considering resigning over what has happened and more churches think about leaving. I know that will be difficult for those that have signed their deeds over to the SNU and I wish them the best.
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Re: "Psychic News" to Close

Post by jock on Tue Jul 20, 2010 12:46 pm

I had expected heads to roll when Mr Bruten had full control however I had hoped the paper would survive in some form or another even on line. All we can do is wait for the compensation if any.I have the benefit of a PC for info but our members do not to that end we might up our subscription to the Psychic World. At least they invoice every month with the delivery of the paper. It is run by Candy who could have walked away from it after her father passed to the other side of life it lets you see the young lady as more go in her than the SNU.

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Re: "Psychic News" to Close

Post by Admin on Wed Jul 21, 2010 6:13 am

Good point Almeera. Of course if the monies paid for goods not supplied, i.e books or future copies of the newspaper are repaid, then the employess entitlements are paid out and the creditors cleared the only creditor left would be the SNU.

This would allow a clean liquidation with nothing for the liquidator to hunt down or payout. Presumably there would be no need to sell the intellectual property PN masthead, book copyrighyts, archives, web technology. The SNU could take this over as part satisfaction for monies which I would expect are partly owed to them.

They would thereby be able to preclude anyone from resurrecting PN or even use the name for an internal publication.

We wait with interest. I hope that teh SNU do realise that the broad Spiritualist Community would hop they would try and assist actively in any attempt made to get PN running again.

By the way Almeera the contrasting dates, the SNU could well have identified and appointed the liquidator but not activated the liquidation until after all matters related to this weeks edition were finalised. This is much more likely where the debts are intended to be paid out. To continue trading after liquidation has been decided upon is a very risky business for Directors if the company is insolvent.

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Re: "Psychic News" to Close

Post by Admin on Wed Jul 21, 2010 6:17 am

Almeera,

Just as an afterthought. Reading Paranormal review it is clear that the liquidation is very much Mr Bruton's idea and a policy he had in mind to act upon as soon as he could. This can be seen by the fact the decision was made almost immediately he became de facto Chairman of Psychic Press and SNU President albeit he was not crowned until Blackpool.

Would he have been elected as President of the SNU if Members had understood this would be his first act?
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Re: "Psychic News" to Close

Post by Lis on Wed Jul 21, 2010 6:43 am

Can/should Mr Bruton's election to President of the SNU be challenged? That is, in failing to declare his position regarding PN, which he clearly held at the time the election process was happening, did this person fail to disclose an important matter which if known by the membership could well have seen him not be elected as the President?

Why was the membership of the SNU not informed of the situation and presumed financial difficulties of PN prior to any action being taken? Why was no action taken to try and resolve the difficulties before determining to close PN? Why were offers of money turned down, and why did the SNU not seek to find another organisation to take over PN if they didn't feel capable of continuing it rather than just closing it down?

Lis
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Re: "Psychic News" to Close

Post by Admin on Wed Jul 21, 2010 6:44 am

All very good questions Lis
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Re: "Psychic News" to Close

Post by obiwan on Wed Jul 21, 2010 8:49 am

Lis wrote:Can/should Mr Bruton's election to President of the SNU be challenged? That is, in failing to declare his position regarding PN, which he clearly held at the time the election process was happening, did this person fail to disclose an important matter which if known by the membership could well have seen him not be elected as the President?

Why was the membership of the SNU not informed of the situation and presumed financial difficulties of PN prior to any action being taken? Why was no action taken to try and resolve the difficulties before determining to close PN? Why were offers of money turned down, and why did the SNU not seek to find another organisation to take over PN if they didn't feel capable of continuing it rather than just closing it down?
I would have thought if enough SNU members were concerned about it they could call for an EGM and have the matter properly discussed/propose a vote of no confidence.

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Re: "Psychic News" to Close

Post by spiritualistmedium on Wed Jul 21, 2010 10:13 pm

This is the most sad news. It appears short-sighted since PN represented one of the best publicity avenues open to the SNU and Spiritualism. For many years, the SNU has been looking for ways to spread the truth about Spiritualism and the best way of reaching out to those both inside and on the edges of our movement. Yet closing down PN removes the tool so many of us have relied on to hear what is taking place within Spiritualism and will leave many thousands of Spiritualists in the dark. It saddens me.




Last edited by spiritualistmedium on Fri Oct 01, 2010 10:46 pm; edited 3 times in total

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Re: "Psychic News" to Close

Post by obiwan on Wed Jul 21, 2010 11:32 pm

spiritualistmedium wrote:

Incidentally, I would like to know how many Class B members of the Union would be needed to call an EGM? Perhaps a petition can be started against this action which might make the SNU sit up and take notice? What do people think?
The SNU is a charity (SNU Entry at Charity Commission). The Charity's constitution should say how many members are required to call a special meeting. It should be on the Charity Commission website, if not I would suggest contacting the Commissioners and asking for a copy of it.

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Re: "Psychic News" to Close

Post by Lis on Thu Jul 22, 2010 1:29 am

I have just read the final edition of Psychic News. As the tears fall, I still cannot comprehend why the SNU has done this to a paper that so many around the world have found of value. I know there are some on here who have criticised this publication. Some have found it of little interest to them, yet many others feel quite differently about it. For them it represented a link to Spiritualists wherever they lived. It kept us in touch with what was happening - the good and the bad. It gave voice to Spiritualists, whatever their affiliation.

It is one of the saddest days of my life. I have been a Spiritualist for over 44 years, and Psychic News has been a vital part of that Spiritualist journey from the beginning when I first read it when attending the Victorian Spiritualist Union in Melbourne at the age of 17. I despair for Spiritualism's future as a movement when an organization such as the SNU can kill off such an important icon of the broader Spiritualist movement.

While the SNU may have 'owned' PN in legal terms, it in reality should have known it held it in trust for ALL SPIRITUALISTS, not just themselves and their own interests. This is the day that the SNU put a nail in the coffin of Spiritualism and that organization will never again be seen by me, and many others, as a body that has the right to represent Spiritualists for it has failed, and failed miserably to protect PN and Spiritualism from its own small-mindedness.

For those who are interested, see Roy Stemmans article on the Murder of PN at: http://www.paranormalreview.com/articles/20100721


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Re: "Psychic News" to Close

Post by Admin on Thu Jul 22, 2010 2:42 am

I Totally agree with Lis it imay be the saddest day Spiritualism has seen .

In honesty Psychic news was far more relavant to all Spiritualists reaching all the independents, many countries and organisations. As a result it was probably of far more value to them than is the Spiritualist National Union. However, it always carried news of the SNU to keep us informed and maybe attract interest in that body.

It was a glue which helped to make sure we held together and could share our world. I wonder if the damage done to the reputation of the SNU and its new President can be overcome.

Maybe the Scottish members should seek to distance themselves from this and seperate the "four kingdoms" so they can blame the SNU of England

Spiritualistmedium you raised a very good point I would suspect there maybe enough Class B members to act and a few Churches that would feel the same.


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Re: "Psychic News" to Close

Post by zerdini on Mon Jul 26, 2010 9:36 pm

Rather than just complaining about the SNU and the forced closure of PN members have the remedy in their own hands.

Class B members can resign and SNU church members can refuse to pay the SNU affiliation fee to their church/ society/centre.

PN subscribers can make their feelings known by letter/fax/email/telephone to the SNU at "Redwoods", Stansted Hall, Stansted Mountfitchet, CM24 8UD, Tel: 01279 816363. Fax: 01279 812034.

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Re: "Psychic News" to Close

Post by Admin on Tue Jul 27, 2010 12:08 am

Well complaining is also one way and possibly the only way for non members to register a protest although there may be other ways.

From the way the SNU acted I think resigning may well be counter productive too. I just feel they will be pleased to see the back of potential trouble makers.

I am not sure not paying affiliation fees will work either. As I understand matters many churches have insurance cover through the SNU and have signed their church ownership to the SNU. Past history shows the NEC/Regional Councils would give them very short shrift.

SpiritualistMediums idea of trying to force an EGM is one of the most effective raections within the SNU, admittedly I suspect the "traitors" that try it will be taking on a hornets nest.

Subscribers should also complain, although so far there was no response to my emails, so do not hold your breath. Non SNU members are, at the moment, not their worry and it appears they could not care less about very much even their public reputation.

Additionally each individual and church that has lost subscriptions paid in advance has very little clout and I guess the liquidator and SNU will ignore us all. However, were one solicitor to act to collate and collect this debt (and that of the other unsecured creditors who go unpaid) they could be in a position to force the liquidation into a more open and accountable affair than it seems now to be.

To continue trading and incurring debts after announcing the liquidation (but not to subscribers, creditors and book purchasors) before it commences and the legal status of debts incurred after the board of Psychic Press made their decision creates some nice legal uncertainties which could be used to embarrass them.

However small the debt owed pursue it.......
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Re: "Psychic News" to Close

Post by Lis on Tue Jul 27, 2010 7:09 am

It seems to me that a vital question that needs to be answered is when exactly did the SNU decide that PN was to close down.

Did the SNU decide this just a few weeks ago or was it several months earlier that the real decision was made and since that time they have been merely waiting for the 'right' timing to do the dirty deed.

This is a very important question - for, if the decision was made some months ago, and I believe this is the case, then since that time the SNU has deliberately taken monies from people - for subscriptions, for book purchases and advance payments for other upcoming events, like the Alexander seminar - when they already knew they would not be honouring those purchases.

To do this is utterly disgraceful. There is no excuse for such dishonesty and unscrupulous behaviour.

The second vital question that needs to be answered is why the SNU decided to take this action. Was it a financial imperative or something else entirely that motivated the SNU?

In the last edition of PN Geoff Griffith's hinted that the SNU committee "thought they had a serious alternative in mind - but after they pulled the plug on PN, the story changed. They are now going to take a long time to think of what they are going to do."

Just what alternative did the SNU claim initially - at least to some - though not to the members or the subscribers of PN - might be possible? Were they wanting to get rid of PN so they could start their own version of PN in some internet - members only format - designed to inculcate into the minds of Spiritualists the SNU version of Spiritualism - and shut down the voice of any other branch of Spiritualism?

Given how inaccurate the SNU version of Spiritualism's history is in certain areas - important areas - for example, the origins of the Seven Principles or the 'Mr. Splitfoot' nonsense - it is a worrying thought if the SNU is going to push itself as the voice of Spiritualism in UK or around the world.

Perhaps the SNU were less concerned about truth, or accurate history, or even the needs of its own members, nevermind the many other non-SNU members who read PN, than desirous of controlling what could be said about Spiritualism. Independence - that is, a paper that could write about all the different groupings within the broader Spiritualist movement - might not really appeal to the hierachy of the SNU. Afterall they were footing the bill for a publication that did not have to toe the party line - at least not until the last edition was written. Perhaps there are some who believed that a paper owned by the SNU should only reflect news and values approved of by the SNU.

Of course a condition of PNs sale to the SNU was that it would remain editorially independant - so if you think about it - perhaps they figured the only way to go was to claim financial problems and close PN down so that they could start their own paper in some form.

The third vital question is who is really responsible for this decision to close PN but still continuing to take money long after the decision was made. Whoever it is needs to be called to account for their actions. They need to be exposed to public scrutiny and their reasons fully examined to establish what their motive really was. They should also be answerable to the membership of the SNU - not allowed to remain protected behind SNU doors.

This paper could have survived. It could have gone on informing Spiritualists around the world about Spiritualism. Some person, or perhaps more actually, a few people within the SNU, have determined otherwise - without being honest, and without behaving in an ethical or spiritual manner.

In destroying a vital voice of Spiritualism - they have, though they do not realise it yet - actually destroyed the SNU. They have destroyed the credibility of this organization. They have shown the SNU to be a body with no heart, with no ethics and no integrity. They have shown the SNU is not concerned, is indeed, quite heartless, towards all those who will have lost finacially by their action. It has shown that it acts only in its own interests. Interests that are not those of its members - but perhaps in the interests of the Executive or some on the executive who seem to hold the power. Too much power.

There are many people who will resign from the SNU. I can understand why they would choose to do so. If only ALL members and churches would do so - and put the SNU into liquidation - only then perhaps would the executive of the SNU begin to understand the depth and breadth of resentment and disapproval felt towards them for what has been done, and know how it feels for those who have been so hurt by their actions.

The reality is, some members will not care and do nothing. Others will care but not resign. They may stay members to ensure that the people responsible for this murderous act will ultimately be exposed and held accountable. I sincerely hope that happens.

Lis
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Re: "Psychic News" to Close

Post by Admin on Tue Jul 27, 2010 8:02 am

Alternatively instead of resigning they could force an exraordinary general meeting and act to change the executive. Maybe a clean sweep could help to generate new energy for the SNU
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Re: "Psychic News" to Close

Post by zerdini on Tue Jul 27, 2010 10:55 am

Admin wrote:Alternatively instead of resigning they could force an exraordinary general meeting and act to change the executive. Maybe a clean sweep could help to generate new energy for the SNU

My experience, over many years, of the SNU is that when action is required a wave of apathy runs through the membership.

Who will summon the call to arms? What will be the means of communication to the membership?

PN has been summarily dismissed.

The SNU know this and have acted accordingly.

I was told that many people heard, for the first time, of the closure of PN when they received their final copy.

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Re: "Psychic News" to Close

Post by Lis on Tue Jul 27, 2010 12:07 pm

I can only agree with you Z, there will be many SNU members who will be too apathetic to do anything, and calling for a united action to bring about a Extraordinary General Meeting might be exceedingly difficult to achieve. However, people resigning also gives rise to difficulties though it would make a point that privately the SNU executive might not like.

Unless there was an enormous groundswell reaction and a very significant majority of members resigned I fear that the SNU would just ignore it. While they still hold power there is little to prevent them from carrying on. Only a clear motion of censure against them - something that actually threatens their positions of power - is really likely to make them stop and think.


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Re: "Psychic News" to Close

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