An Open E-Mail to the SNU

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An Open E-Mail to the SNU

Post by Peter Raggett on Sat Aug 28, 2010 6:17 pm

I have just e-mailed the following to the SNU presidents, past and present.

Messers Bruton and Gascoyne,

An Open E-Mail to the SNU Committee.

As a creditor of Psychic News I am expressing my disgust at the way the matter of its closure has been handled.

As reported in Psychic World you gave the reason for the closure as declining circulation and lack of income. Why then did you impose such terms as to make the acquisition as a going concern by a prospective purchaser virtually impossible? If you could not make a go of Psychic News with the masthead and archives why should you expect anyone else do so without them?

Surely it was your duty as responsible owners and employers to ensure the publication was sold as a going concern and that must have included all its assets, the masthead and archives being vital to this end.

You said you wanted to retain the masthead and archives as it was your intention to issue an alternative publication in the future. This would be in competition with any resurrected Psychic News under a different name. So, effectively you would be disadvantaging any new owner so that you could set up a rival publication and out compete them by having the advantage of the masthead and archives. What type of morality is that? Pragmatically, I canít see the point of trying to fragment a declining circulation anyway.

Not only did you make the acquisition of Psychic News as a going concern impossible, you knew your action would lead to the redundancy of the entire staff of Psychic News and you didnít even take steps to arrange for their redundancy payments. You praised them for their loyalty but it doesnít appear they received any loyalty from the SNU in return. I only hope that none of the staff concerned were the main bread winners for their families with mortgages to pay.

Now that Psychic News has no staff there would appear to be very little left for the liquidator to sell without the masthead and archives. Some ageing computers and printers with office rental maybe? I am no legal expert but I think that the liquidator could insist on accumulating all Psychic Newsís assets for sale and that would include the vital parts that you are laying claim to.

As for the alleged collection of monies after the decision to liquidate Psychic News had been made, I am not in a position comment other than to say that although you may have been legally in the right you do not appear to have been morally so. You are after all supposed to be spiritual in outlook. It must be up to someone with the precise details to unravel that tangled web and make a ruling as there are obviously legal implications involved.

Now that you have closed the only means of mass communication with the parties concerned I think you owe it to everyone to put your side of the story on a popular spiritualist forum such as http://www.spiritualismlink.com/ .

I may have missed something, but from where I am standing this sorry episode appears to have been engineered by certain members within the SNU for the sole benefit of the SNU, and to the detriment of all other interested parties (subscribers, staff, advertisers etc) and ethics have gone out the window.

If I am wrong and you can prove that the actions taken were unavoidable regarding blocking the sale of Psychic News or have benefited anyone other than the SNU, such as Spiritualism in general and the people mentioned above I will be happy to take back my comments. In the meantime I have posted a copy of this e-mail on the Spiritualism Link forum mentioned above under the title, ĎAn Open E-Mail to the SNU.í

I look forward to your comments with interest.

Regards

Peter Raggett


Peter Raggett


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Re: An Open E-Mail to the SNU

Post by Admin on Sun Aug 29, 2010 12:33 am

Brilliant Peter well done.

Now send it to Berley's the liquidators and to the Companies House CIB.

I am about to write directly to Berleys and copy in both of the Companies House contacts which are on the forum. It will include the full time line and the acts involved also questioning how Berley's were involved so early (ie April) and who has been paying them.

Jim
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Re: An Open E-Mail to the SNU

Post by Lis on Sun Aug 29, 2010 1:50 am

Well done Peter.

Sadly, however, I would not be surprised to learn that you never get a response to your letter. Nor, I suspect will David Bruton or Duncan Gascoyne ever willingly come onto this forum to give an open and honest response to your questions or ours, though I would be happy to be proved wrong about that.

Still, I would not be wrong in saying that there are people in the SNU already aware of this site, indeed, have visited it to see what has been said. Not that they have wanted anyone to know that, of course.

Lis
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Re: An Open E-Mail to the SNU

Post by Eilis on Sun Aug 29, 2010 2:38 pm

Many thanks Mr Raggett! I wish I could write letters putting across concisely so many good points so well linked and with such vehemence!

I hope what you have said puts fire in the guts of lots of small-amount creditors (such as yours truly) and sends us all writing speedily to Mr Mark West as Liquidator, to Companies House CIB, to Essex Trading Standards, and -- is there any other appropriate target for missives, while we're inspired?

I've just been reading for the first time Maurice Barbanell's account of how Psychic News began (thanks, by the way, to Psypioneer, and to Zerdini). I'm struck by what I hope might prove to be a parallel between 1932 and today. In 1932, the world was struggling in the aftermath of the Wall Street crash of 1929, the most inauspicious-seeming circumstances in which to start a new paper (which nonetheless did start, had a rocky few years, but then flourished). Here we are in 2010, struggling in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, and minus a punchy Spiritualist newspaper.

To complete the parallel, we need a team now of the calibre of the 1932 set-up: in spirit, the determination and planning skills of Red Cloud, White Hawk, W.T. Stead, and on this side of life the enterprise and good will of Mr Barbanell, Hannan Swaffer, and J Arthur Findlay. Red Cloud is still acting as a guide, I think, and "over there" now are Messrs Barbanell, Swaffer and Findlay (I hope with the same determination as their 1932 precursors): "over here" are Ms Farrow, and a lot of supporters of PN on the Internet, and one enterprising Internet communicator (can't remember who, alas) who suggested some weeks ago that if large enough numbers of PN readers were willing to subscribe comparatively small sums, it might be possible to revive the paper as an independent publication.

I'd be willing to shell out £100 (I'm a pensioner, but HM Revenue and Customs reimburses me a nice little lump sum of that order every year -- the income tax it has in its inscrutable wisdom chosen to deduct from my pension!)

Anybody else willing to try this?

Eilis


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Re: An Open E-Mail to the SNU

Post by Lis on Sun Aug 29, 2010 11:32 pm

I certainly agree with Eilis that all the small-amount creditors should write to the liquidator and all the other authorities that seem appropriate in this situation.

I also support the idea of re-creating Psychic News as an independent publication, while continuing to do all in our power to bring the SNU to account for what it has done with the original Psychic News.

The difficulty I see in setting up a new PN is gaining the awareness of those who previously subscribed to Psychic News, so that they may consider subscribing to a new publication. There are a number of ways that this might be possible, but many would involve significant expenditure - and money is what may be in short supply to begin with.

Perhaps it would be worth considering an internet version of the "New Psychic News' to begin with, in order to bring this attempt to revive the real Psychic News to peoples attention. Perhaps an internet publication could be set up relatively cheaply and the internet 'paper' be offered freely for a specified period of time before becoming a subscription only publication, or until sufficicient sponsorship is found for a paper version to be published.

I would be willing to support such a scheme and to also donate money towards the production of a new paper version of Psychic News.


Lis
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Re: An Open E-Mail to the SNU

Post by Wes on Mon Aug 30, 2010 1:41 am

Great Minds Lis and Ellis? Only yesterday I was thinking about how much I would be willing to donate towards starting a new paper. I would also be very keen to be a volunteer contributor as well, and I know I wouldn't be the only one Very Happy

To push this idea a bit further I've started a new topic on the matter:

http://www.spiritualismlink.com/psychic-news-under-threat-of-closure-f37/starting-a-new-psychic-news-t898.htm#4365

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