Brainduck’s Weblog
Psychology geek tries to explain a few things.

‘Cartoon Church’ blog target of legal bullying

This post isn’t anything to do with Psychology, it’s just a quick note to help out a fellow blogger whose work I like. For those of you who haven’t realised, I’m one of those annoying God-botherers, of the quieter Quaker variety. Grumpier atheist readers may wish to restrict themselves to looking at the pretty picture – not much to do with the topic, just one of my favourites from Cartoon Church.
Ultimate Gadget
Dave Walker, Cartoon Church.

Dave Walker of the Cartoon Church has been sent legal threats by ‘St Stephen the Great Trust’, a rather unpleasant organisation which has overseen the sad and messy demise of the SPCK bookshops. Basically, SPCK used to sell the more interesting, argumentative, thoughtful, and controversial sort of Christian books. What with the Internet and everything, such a specialist resource wasn’t getting so many sales. SPCK bookshops were brought up by SSGT, an American organisation with a much more evangelical leaning and a tendency to say stupid things about Muslims, and to get UK Orthodox Christians quite annoyed. SSGT screwed around with the staff in a variety of unpleasant ways, which were described on Cartoon Church ’till SSGT threatened Cartoon Church.

I would stick up some links on the background to this, but Cartoon Church has already been bullied into taking their stuff down, and they have provided the most through and detailed coverage so far. Anyway, have a look at this forum thread where several of those involved have posted.

As regular readers will know, I do not approve of using legal threats to shut down an argument, particularly as in this case when it’s just the fact of legal action rather than the merits of the case which appear to be deciding things. It’s a sign of a weak argument if you can’t defend it by arguing back better, and if SSGT would rather what they were doing wasn’t common knowledge then they shouldn’t have been doing it. Going for lawyers is just ducking the issue in a rather pathetic manner.

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14 Responses to “‘Cartoon Church’ blog target of legal bullying”

  1. I am from Worcester originally and knew SPCK well, my Godmother working in their for some time.What has happened to Mr Jeynes and others is unbelievably sad and utterly sickening. If these people call themselves Christians then I’m not sure which reigion I’ve been practicing for the last 30 years!

  2. Agreed – the harder you look the weirder the situation gets. Hopefully if lots of people pick this up the Brewers will realise that lawyers are a really really stupid and counterproductive way to conduct debate, as well as being the wrong thing to do.

    Further info:
    Cached versions of the deleted posts: http://www.google.co.uk/search?&q=site:www.cartoonchurch.com/blog+spck
    This blog is ex-SPCK staff: http://spckssg.wordpress.com/
    Join the Facebook group: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=40107747008

    Round-up of coverage of the deletions: http://www.mattwardman.com/blog/2008/07/23/my-name-is-dave-walker-people-posting-about-mark-brewers-cease-and-desist-notice/#comment-9119

    For added Google-fu, here’s the whole list so far:
    1. St Aidan to Abbey Manor – David Keen – Vicar (Yeovil)
    2. The Wardman Wire – Matt Wardman (audio of BBC interview from 12/2007)
    3. Gentle Wisdom – Peter Kirk
    4. Bishop Alan’s Blog – Alan Wilson, Area Bishop of Buckingham
    5. Blogula-Rasa – Ginny (detailed – worth a read)
    6. Metacatholic – Doug Chaplin – Vicar (West Midlands)
    7. Of course, I could be wrong – Madpriest – Priest (somewhere in England)
    8. Seven whole days – Scott Gunn – Parish Priest (Rhode Island) and Lambeth Conference.
    9. Thinking Anglicans – Simon Kershaw – Cambridge, England (likely to follow further press coverage)
    10. The Jewish Blog Network – How to recover deleted pages. Firefox Resurrect Pages add-on.
    11. Lingamish – Blogger Bludgeoned by Bozos – David Ker – Mozambique. Kudos for the cartoon above.
    12. [Update: 23/07/2008] SPCK Watch – Gagging attempts by Mark Brewer – SPCK Watch. (Somewhere in Europe). Whole blog devoted to SPCK saga.
    13. [Update: 23/07/2008] Elizaphanian – We are all Dave Walkers now – Sam Norton, Rector of West Mersea, Essex.
    Suggests that we reposts Dave’s ex-posts from Google cache.
    14. [Update: 23/07/2008]Mad Hare – Solidarity post – SPCK/SSG and Dave Walker (New Mexico : United States).

  3. Drat, it’s late… hopefully this list of blogs which have picked this up so far will be live:

    Who’s Posted about Mark Brewer’s Cease and Desist Notice to Dave Walker

    St Aidan to Abbey Manor – David Keen – Vicar (Yeovil)
    The Wardman Wire – Matt Wardman (audio of BBC interview from 12/2007)
    Gentle Wisdom – Peter Kirk
    Bishop Alan’s Blog – Alan Wilson, Area Bishop of Buckingham
    Blogula-Rasa – Ginny (detailed – worth a read)
    Metacatholic – Doug Chaplin – Vicar (West Midlands)
    Of course, I could be wrong – Madpriest – Priest (somewhere in England)
    Seven whole days – Scott Gunn – Parish Priest (Rhode Island) and Lambeth Conference.
    Thinking Anglicans – Simon Kershaw – Cambridge, England (likely to follow further press coverage)
    The Jewish Blog Network – How to recover deleted pages. Firefox Resurrect Pages add-on.
    Lingamish – Blogger Bludgeoned by Bozos – David Ker – Mozambique. Kudos for the cartoon above.
    [Update: 23/07/2008] SPCK Watch – Gagging attempts by Mark Brewer – SPCK Watch. (Somewhere in Europe). Whole blog devoted to SPCK saga.
    [Update: 23/07/2008] Elizaphanian – We are all Dave Walkers now – Sam Norton, Rector of West Mersea, Essex.
    Suggests that we reposts Dave’s ex-posts from Google cache.
    [Update: 23/07/2008]Mad Hare – Solidarity post – SPCK/SSG and Dave Walker (New Mexico : United States).

    Any more for any more?

  4. Thanks for the link and the post.

    List now up to 27 (excluding you – will add with today’s update).

    Matt

  5. […] [Update:25/07/2008 AM]Brainducks Weblog – Cartoon Church blog target of legal bullying […]

  6. […] [Update:25/07/2008 AM]Brainducks Weblog – Cartoon Church blog target of legal bullying […]

  7. Just to add sympathy. It’s a shame that just the threat of legal action can scare people into stopping work; glad to see that t’interweb remains a good place to cache people’s work.

  8. All 81 of Dave’s missing posts can now be read here: http://opendebatenotlibelthreats.blogspot.com/

  9. I miss SPCK. 😦 My local shop managed to pass into SSG’s ownership without me paying much attention, so the first I knew of any sinister changes came upon my discovery of a virulent anti-Muslim paperback in a lurid jacket. Then I got even more confused by the preponderance of Orthodox books and materials, and thought perhaps that SPCK was having some kind of awareness month dedicated to Orthodox spirituality. Then I heard the name ‘Brewer’ for the first time (in connection with the suicide of a shop manager) and it all went downhill from there…

    (I’ve just been ordering some Christian books of Amazon. Whenever I have to do that I mourn for SPCK all over again.)

  10. It’s sad indeed – I was in SPCK York last week (it’s open a few hours a few times a week, only one member of staff present) & there were bare shelves with a meagre display of Orthodox items, almost no stock. Amazon really isn’t the same, I’d not end up with a rather tatty 1980s paperback on theology of revolution in Latin America without actually wandering round and nosing through shelves.

  11. […] [Update:25/07/2008 AM]Brainducks Weblog – Cartoon Church blog target of legal bullying […]

  12. […] [Update:25/07/2008 AM]Brainducks Weblog – Cartoon Church blog target of legal bullying […]

  13. I appreciate TO SSGT to taking a good steps for SPCK bookshops.

  14. […] – sorry HJHOP!) – HJHOP on Legal Chill. Here’s a link I forgot to make earlier: Brainduck on legal bullying and here’s the blog it refers to: http://www.cartoonchurch.com/blog/ (see the ‘page […]


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