The Old Melbourne Gaol school holiday summer program : an Anonymous Review

The National Trust have focused on Ned Kelly for this year’s summer school holiday program (22 December 2018 to 29 January 2019), and I went along on opening day to have a look. It was a rare opportunity to check out the Law Courts building’s main court, which is not normally open, but is open Saturdays during the holidays. This is not the building in which Ned Kelly was tried. He was tried in the old Criminal Court building on the same site, that was fire damaged in the 1890s and was demolished in 1910. The present gothic style building was built in 1914, and long postdates Ned Kelly. Nevertheless, I thought it well worth a look. The Old Melbourne Gaol has been turned into a Kelly showcase for the holidays, with Ned souvenirs aplenty in the gift shop. There are even Ned Kelly mask socks – “one size fits all”, just like the hangman’s rope.

 

 

There are three school holiday activities about Ned.

 

 

First, for little bushrangers (5 years up), there is “A WORD FROM NED, a code-breaking hunt activity”. The blub says, “Ned Kelly is remembered as many things. But what about his own memories? Get a deeper glimpse of the man beneath the armour with a code-breaking activity that will send you and your friends on the hunt through every nook and cranny of the Old Melbourne Gaol. An important message in Ned’s words awaits those who keep their wits sharp.” I had a look at the activity sheet, and judging by the illustrations without doing the activity myself, my guess is that it told the story of a sadly misunderstood horse thief whose catchphrase was “gender equality”. But I could be wrong.

 

 

Second, there is the “Think You Know Me?” Ned Kelly virtual reality experience. This was my first encounter with VR. You sit on a stool in an otherwise empty cell, don an Oculus VR headset and earphones, and spend about 4 minutes experiencing a 3D recording of Kelly sitting in and walking around the cell speaking directly to you. It is set on 29 October 1880, just after the trial. The image is a little hazy at the edges at times, but quite impressive. The best bit was when Kelly walked across the cell and drank from a mug on a side table – all in VR; there is no actual table or props, and it was superb technically.

 

 

The problem is the recorded narrative. We get Kelly with a strong Irish accent (wrong), a warder’s voice calling him “bog Irish” (a result of the wrong accent); his complaining about being locked in his cell 23 hours a day (outrageous); his calling his barrister “that idiot Bindon” while whinging about his 7 guinea lawyer (which the taxpayers paid for), the “most inexperienced barrister in the colony”. We get the claim that he killed in self-defence at Stringybark Creek; the boast that “if I could speak” (which he could have, if he had made an unsworn statement); a laughably stupid line that “the common man’s tongue is a dangerous weapon in this land of wigs and [I didn’t catch the last word, but I think it was lords]”; the boast that “had I examined the witnesses myself I would have brought a different conclusion”, or words to that effect, ending with some of the famous lines penned by his solicitor Gaunson when Ned was in the Beechworth Gaol in August 1880 (the “blameless life” speech) and claimed by him as the words of Kelly: “let the hand of the law strike me down if it will”, etc. So the content was mostly historical rubbish, but well worth extra the $5 just to experience the VR.

 

 

The third holiday activity is a twice a day, half hour performance on Saturdays, by two actors called “Such is life”, free with your admission ticket. It is series of short episodes telling a potted Kelly gang story, and not just about Ned and his mum in gaol. On the good side, the actors were excellent, playing several changes of roles with quick costume changes, and some interactively including three audience members nabbed as volunteers during the portrayal of the Fitzpatrick incident. They were whispered a couple of short lines each and carried it off well, much to the delight of the audience. The scene of Mrs Kelly saying goodbye to Ned was the last episode in the series.

 

 

Now to my historical critique: it was complete rubbish almost from start to finish, based heavily on Ian Jones’ erroneous mythology. It is presented as “the real story” as told by Mrs Kelly, and kicks off with the old tale of the police always looking to put the Irish down. If that were true, why do we hear no claims of such bias around the rest of Victoria? We are told that Ned’s father was proud as punch when Ned saved Richard Shelton and was given the green sash. Jones “Short Life” 2003: 18 dates the rescue to late May 1865. Graham Jones in “Ned Kelly the larrikin years” says that Red (Ned’s father) died in December 1866, and that it was after Red’s death the rescue event took place. This is supported by a 1973 letter from descendant Mrs Shelton in the Benalla Museum which places the rescue on a hot summer’s day in 1867 and so after Red’s death; but the fiction is a popular one. Following Ian Jones, we have Ned becoming “the man of the house” at 12 after the death of his father. We then get an appearance from Harry Power, who “taught Ned things you’d pay guineas to learn”, which I think draws directly on a couple of lines from Jones’ Last Outlaw mini-series in its Harry power section. Similarly, we get Power saying that he taught Ned to carry a gun but never to use it, and to respect women, etc.

 

 

Next comes Kate Kelly talking about Fitzpatrick’s advances to her even thought she was only 14 at the time; that he smelled of brandy when he arrived; that he had a telegram but no warrant; Fitzpatrick making a grab at Kate as she passed him; Dan leaps to her defence; Ned comes in and shoots at Fitzpatrick and misses; Fitzpatrick cuts a wound in his own wrist to falsely blame Ned; the boys then go bush (gold panning), and Ned writes offering to surrender himself if Mrs Kelly is released, presented as a realistic offer that should have been accepted. Ned come back on stage and we get Jones’ Stringybark Creek body straps myth. Ned says McIntyre surrendered, but “Lonigan was a fool”; then the other two came back to fight (so the fair fight myth); “We were compelled to kill them”; that there was a lot of sympathy for the wrongly persecuted gang in the north east, and that “We were not cold-blooded killers; it was circumstances that pushed us to what we became”. The word ‘republic’ is never spoken, but the dialogue implies it several times – “It was our country”; they had a plan; they began to collect plough shares to make armour. “We will take this country and make it ring with the name of Kelly”. Next we get Ann Jones from the Glenrowan Inn, who says the gang came to Glenrowan “to kill a lot of police”. 60 people were held, but some were sympathetic. There was dancing, singing, cards and whiskey, and even a jumping contest in the back paddock. (All at gunpoint…) Then the police arrived: at least the play has the Kellys firing first with the police returning fire. People were injured in the shooting and the police bullets “shattered the mantelpiece clock”. We are told, “the battle went on for 12 hours, until the hotel burned to the ground”. This unhistorical implies a more or less continuous 12 hour gunfight, which is ridiculous nonsense. Ann leaves us with the drivel that “they say” Barry rushed Ned Kelly’s trial so he could get to the Melbourne Cup.

 

 

The last segment enacts the meeting of Ned and his mother in gaol. “It’s to be tomorrow.” We are told that there were 50,000 signatures collected on the reprieve petition, a considerable increase on the actual 30,000 odd, which itself was at least double the real number as can be seen from whole pages in the same handwriting and with multiple surnames at identical addresses. We are told that on the Glenrowan hill there were 50 armed men, but Ned dismissed their help, i.e. the Ian Jones republic myth, and another indirect reference to the republic claim. We are told Tom Lloyd had told Mrs Kelly how he “nursed Ned in the bushes at Glenrowan” before the last stand. Ned tells his mum that he could have got away at Glenrowan, a claim we now know is rubbish. Then we get more from Gaunson’s fanciful August 1880 “blameless life” letter, often misrepresented as a condemned cell letter by Ned of 1 November: “If my life makes men see that men are made mad by bad treatment, and if the police are taught that they may exasperate to madness men they persecute and ill-treat, my life will not entirely be thrown away”, etc. Finally Ned walks across to stand on the gallows giving both sets of claimed last words – “Ah well, I suppose it had to come to this. Such is life” – exactly as Jones had it in his Last Outlaw movie. And as analysed and completely dismantled as nonsense in Stuart Dawsons free short article, “Ned Kelly’s Last Words: ‘Ah, well, I suppose’.” So a great play, great acting and role changes, and a terrific feel for audience presentation – but unfortunately more riddled with historical errors than the Glenrowan Inn was with bullets.

 

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21 Replies to “The Old Melbourne Gaol school holiday summer program : an Anonymous Review”

  1. Hi Dee,

    I recently discovered where the common but incorrect belief that the “Blameless Life” letter was dictated by Ned Kelly in his Condemned Cell in November 1880 comes from. It is another Ian Jones error, published in his paper, “Kelly- The Folk Hero”, in Colin Cave (ed.), “Ned Kelly: Man & Myth” (1968), page 98. No wonder so many people get it wrong. The letter was actually written by his solicitor, David Gaunson, while Ned Kelly was in the Beechworth Gaol in August 1880. I detailed the news[paper source details for this my article, ““Ned Kelly’s Last Words: ‘Ah, well, I suppose’”’ which you mentioned above – thanks! It can be downloaded free by googling the title. One of the more interesting things that was discovered in the research was how many people watched the hanging, and who they were. With considerable collaboration and effort it was possible to trace most of them. No-one had done that before.

  2. What about where in Ned Kelly after a Century of Acrimony it prints that letter and says on page 80 “Her Majesty’s Gaol Melbourne. Dictated to David Gaunson. 1 November 1880.”? It says “After his capture Ned Kelly dictated several long statements of his case which were taken down for David Gaunson, his solicitor, by an Age reporter. The foregoing is one of them”.

  3. Hi Anonymous, that is a good example of how errors creep into “history”. In the Herald of Saturday 30 October 1880, page 3, it says that just after his trial, “The prisoner also said that he would like to give Mr W. Gaunson a statement, which that gentleman said he would see was forwarded to the Government.” The link is here, https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/244694640
    You can see how the wording is similar to what Meredith and Scott have said in their “Ned Kelly” book. But see also how they say the statements were dictated to an Age reporter. If you read my “Last Words” article, you will see that the “Blameless Life” letter was written by Gaunson and claimed by him to be dictated to an Age reporter, and published in the Age as such, back on 9 August 1880, page 3. The “Blameless Life” letter was not dictated in the November Condemned Cell, but written by Gaunson 4 months earlier.
    As I detailed in my “Ned Kelly and the myth of a republic” book, there were three November condemned cell letters, all dictated to warders, and this as not one of them. Ned Kelly did not have access to a journalist either in Beechworth Gaol or in the old Melbourne Gaol during these periods. It is a longstanding myth, often repeated, and completely wrong.

  4. Sharon Hollingsworth says: Reply

    David, on your facebook page about this blog post you say “On a lighter note, this weeks Blog post is not written by me but a resident of Melbourne who visited the latest Kelly offering from the OMG.” But, here on the blog page, it does not say that and kind of looks like you are the one who wrote it (though it is not in your style of writing and you do not live in Melbourne) so maybe the Anonymous contributor should be mentioned as writing it. Might want to fix that, or maybe folks just seeing this will now know. I figure some may not go to both the blog and facebook page. Anyway, I want to thank your anonymous contributor, and you for uploading it, as this was a very interesting and lively piece. I had been curious as to what the whole thing was about and I have not seen a review elsewhere yet. When I got to the end I wanted to read more, so that is always a compliment. Looks like we get the storyline that everyone, well, nearly everyone, is comfortable and familiar with. Maybe it will prompt some of them to research further for the real go and they can make their own minds up as to the veracity of it all. Interesting about the virtual reality part. I have never experienced VR, either, so that was kinda cool to read about. Makes me wonder what VR type things they will come up with for that proposed Glenrowan viewing tower if it ever gets built. That is a big IF. Sometimes technology is good and sometimes you just want to kick it old school. Case in point, while in the waiting room of my chiropractor’s office the other day everybody had a device in their hand they were scrolling through, be it smartphone, kindle, or tablet. I was the only one who actually picked up a book of quotations and started reading. That speaks volumes (no pun intended).

    1. Thanks Sharon and good to know you feel free to contribute here. Ive changed the title to make it clear I didnt write that – its not so easy for me to visit Melbourne. The actual author said if I would like to publish it I could do so but without naming the source, so thats what Ive done. I now know several people who have said that they feel threatened by the bullying and intimidation that the Kelly fanatics engage in to try to prevent people from expressing views they disagree with, so by doing it anonymously they can make their point but not feel compromised. It remains to be seen if the fact that the new NKS group has turned its collective back on these thugs will cause them to reflect on and alter their behaviour – but if past performance is anything to go on, they wont.

  5. Regarding Lawyer David Gaunson, his brother William, was Chairman of the Australian Natives Association (ANA) Number 1 branch in Melbourne. No doubt the brothers supported a type of home rule for native born Australians, the very reason ANA was created. One of its foundation members was Sam Winter who with his brother Joseph owned the Herald and The Advocate newspapers, and Joseph organised Irish Nationalists to come to Australia to spread the word for land reform- giving the settlers on small acreages a better chance of survival against the powerful squatter class who were running the state. Another ANA connection to Ned Kelly was active member Isaacs Alfred Isaacs who would become our first Australian born Attorney General and even though he was as despised by the ruling parties of parliament, he forced land reform changes. Isaacs went to school with Joe Byrne and James Wallace who helped keep the Kelly gang hidden for the twenty months while outlawed in the hills behind the school where he was the local teacher.
    This is a paragraph from a book I have been putting together to better explain the Politics of Ned.

    Attachment

  6. Bill, who is the guy in the Photo? (Isn’t it good we can post pictures again?)

  7. Yes, David, like they say a picture is worth a thousand words. They also say one look is worth a thousand pictures. Sorry, the image is of Alfred Isaacs. ( I first put in picture of James Wallace, then followed by the above, but the latter got uploaded instead)
    Here attached is only picture of James Wallace some many years after he was accused of playing double agent to the police but protecting the Kelly gang. This expelled him out of teaching, his wife left him and his life was ruined by association to those considered undesirable up in the North East. We have evidence Wallace helped write the Jerilderie letter, and, but not yet positively proven, Wallace’s grandfather had come out as a convict as was his friend Joe Burne’s GG, who was transported for being members of resistance movements like the Whiteboys in Scotland and Ireland.

    Attachment

  8. Hi Bill, I copied this sentence from an old Kelly forum years ago in relation to the Whiteboys; I don’t have the old URL or source details, but it was “There were three major outbreaks of Whiteboyism: 1761–64; 1770–76; and 1784–86, long before Ned was born and the last outbreak ended when Ned’s great grandfather was 11 years old.” It is a good point. I remember the historian on the “Lawless” series was trying to draw some link between the Kelly outbreak and Whiteboyism. My suspicion is that it is drawing a very long bow, whether for Ned Kelly or for Joe Byrne. I don’t think people generally react to political situations by reconstructing political movements from their great-grandfather’s days. It would be like me trying to restart the ANA now. Of course there may be some historical connection that you can uncover, but that is different from showing that a particular movement actually existed and took some identifiable political action. As far as I could see the “Lawless” episode didn’t establish anything in regard to the Whiteboys, and it got no further than a bright idea with no concrete evidence to support it. I’m not saying you won’t find any Wallace etc connections, just that there need to be some meat and potatoes to back the speculation up. I have read the claim that 150 Whiteboys were ready to charge over to Glenrowan to aid the Kelly rebellion. That was maybe worth a paragraph before I did the Republic myth book that showed from abundant source material that there never was any political Kelly rebellion at Glenrowan, and the all the “evidence” collected to support the idea of a sympathiser army showed, when examined, that only one armed man was seen anywhere by anyone at any time during the entire Glenrowan siege. It was all speculative creative fiction with serious misreading of the source documents, plus some wild oral history that was long ago retracted, plus ignoring a whole bunch of source documents that directly contradicted the sympathiser republic theory. So at this point I am being a Whiteboy grinch.

  9. Hello Stuart, Why would a perfectly good citizen like Wallace sacrifice his whole career to help some drongo trouble makers like Ned and his school friend Joe. Wallace knew what was happening to his student families of which he had 43 working two school shifts. Mrs Wallace was the post mistress at Bobinawarrah so she also knew what the locals were saying. I do not say Ned was the man behind a republic. There was an undercurrent in the community that Wallace had decided todo something about, and he did. He wrote many letters to the local papers under pseudonyms about land issues, one name and text we have record of. Your reply is typical of the position taken by only what’s recoded in black and white and cleaned up to make it palatable to the winners who recorded everything to make themselves look good. The authorities were very worried about the political scene during those times, and they used the Kelly gang as scapegoats to make an example of. If you and David cant see that, there is no point me trying to put the case for those pioneers families that had genuine difficulties and many axes to grind.

    1. Bill as I see it you have two seperate elements to deal with : the first is whether or not there was some sort of independence /seperatist/republican movement advocating for change in the North east, perhaps involving Gaunson and Isaacs and so on. The second element is what involvement did Ned Kelly have, if any , in this movement. You might have noticed on the Guide to Australian bush ranging site they are having a Q&A session in response to questions submitted about the planned SBC and Glenrowan movies. I have asked them to explain what is meant in the “Synopsis” of the Glenrowan movie by their claim that the purpose of Glenrowan was to ‘start a revolution ” – which is what you seem to be suggesting as well. I am looking forward to their explanation because they’ve been maintaining all along that their movie will be based on historical facts and evidence not opinion. As we both Know Stuart Dawson made a comprehensive and microscopic search for evidence for the much promoted Republic movement and found nothing, so I am curious to know what evidence and facts Aidan Phelan, Matthew Holmes and historical consultant Steve Jager will be relying on to make a case for a ‘revolution’. Are they talking to you about this perhaps?

      1. Hi Dee/David and Bill, the most significant thing is that as McQuilton said, the Kelly republic myth entirely rests on oral history. There is no documentary evidence whatsoever, as I showed when I looked at every claim and bit of documentation that has ever been put forward as evidence. The oral history rests in turn on two specific things: Bill Beatty’s “Believe it or not” 1940’s resuscitation of a 1900 Bulletin spoof story, and ex-policeman Tom Patrick Lloyd’s contradictory deliberate leg-pulling tales to Jones and Molony. Lloyd twice retracted his tales and said he had told them to make Kelly researchers look stupid: first, he fessed up to Doug Morrissey, quoted in his “Lawless Life” book, and second, on a totally different occasion, to Leo Kennedy’s father with Leo present, quoted in his “Black Snake” book. The oral history claim was built on an elaborate leg-pulling hoax, and it has at long last been exposed.

        McQuilton’s other claim was that there was a movement for NE independence due to the railway having not being extended to Beechworth; in this situation, some Beechworthians lobbied to have part of the north-east separate from Victoria so as to re-join the original colony of New South Wales! Nothing republican or independent or separatist at all. Needless to say that “separatism” was stupid idea and got nowhere. And it was totally unconnected with anything to do with Kelly.

        Now it may be that people can find traces of a push for federation, or even some other kind of political separatist sentiment. That would be reasonable, as the push for federation didn’t come from nowhere. But there is no evident connection with anything to do with the Kelly gang that anyone had produced so far, and it has been looked at intensively and in detail by Jones, McQuilton, Molony and others. None of them found a single shred of evidence that stands up to rigorous scrutiny. Further, I found that at various points there had been selective use of evidence and the ignoring of other bits of evidence that contradicted the Kelly Republic theory, as detailed in my Republic myth debunking book. We are left with a fantasy that many have believed every bit as firmly as people believed in Apollo and the gods in the ancient world. Sure, there may be other interesting things to find about other related issues, but anyone wanting to claim a Kelly republic will have to explain away all the evidence I gathered that outright contradicts it, and the whole rubbish about a sympathiser army along with it. That simply ain’t going to happen, as half a dozen highly skilled academic historians, including people sympathetic to the Kelly myth (Innes, Davison) who endorsed my book, agreed.

        There may be people who knew the Kelly gang, who had ideas about political change, such as Wallace the school teacher may have done; but that is quite different from claiming to find him aligned with any kind of Kelly republicanism led by Ned Kelly. G.W Hall, publisher of the Mansfield pamphlet, had plenty to say about the Kelly gang, including when he sat on the Royal Commission board; but again, saw nothing whatsoever of any Kelly political aspirations anywhere in the entire Kelly outbreak. And not a word from anything Kelly ever said in any of his numerous public comments and rants. The Kelly republic always was a highly implausible idea that looked wrong from the word go. That’s why I investigated it, and that’s what I found.

  10. Hi Bill, it sounds like you are developing a different angle from what I was thinking when you mentioned the Whiteboys. I have only heard them mentioned in the context of possible aid to Ned Kelly at Glenrowan, as was done in the “Lawless” episode and in some other book that I can’t find just now, hence my scepticism. It sounds from your reply that you have unearthed some other background material not about Whiteboys but about broader Australian social issues which might be distinct and different to any claims about a Kelly republic. That is a completely different kettle of fish, so it will be interesting to see what you come up with. I am not dismissing any such possibilities at all, as we know (and I acknowledged) there was an active civic republican movement n NSW during that time; the reference is in my Republic myth book. My point there was that that was well documented, as were several legal and legitimate colonial separation movements including in Western Victoria and the Riverina, but there was no evidence of any such movement, interest or activity in NE Victoria during the Kelly outbreak. Fear of authorities doesn’t explain that, as the other contemporary movements were open, legitimate and public. Potentially what you are investigating may turn out to be strands of developing interest or support for ideas or activity that I think you may have foreshadowed as developing into the ANA? So that sounds like an interesting investigation. As to why Wallace might have in effect sacrificed his career to help Ned Kelly and Joe Byrne, perhaps he didn’t; or certainly no intentionally. Perhaps his childhood loyalty bound him to Joe (as distinct from Ned) as strongly as the friendship between Joe Byrne and Arron Sherritt – till death did they part. In other words, perhaps his part in sheltering the gang was to do with personal loyalty rather than politics. Jones’ book on that friendship is very interesting reading. I await further discoveries about Wallace with interest.

  11. No Bill, much as I understand what the narrative is that your are wanting to convince me of, I do not see any reason to think that the ‘authorities…used the Kelly Gang as scapegoats to make an example of”. A scapegoat is an innocent victim upon whom blame is laid for things they never did – but what thing was Kelly or the Kelly clan blamed for that they hadn’t done? And given the long catalogue of crimes and criminality we do know to be facts in rlelation to the clans behaviour how can you possibly maintain they were innocent?

    As I pointed out before even Ned Kelly himself couldn’t come up with anything substantial when asked to describe the persecution he complained of, other than when Lonigan applied the squirrel grip in a brawl Kelly himself initiated.

    So Bill I think the challenge for you is to provide some actual concrete and substantial evidence for your claim – which is rather a substantial one – and if you are going to resort to saying that the evidence has all been destroyed because the winners get to write the history – then maybe you can provide some reason for believing that the absence of evidence is as a result of some sort of cover-up rather than because there actually isn’t any.

    The thing is if theories are going to be manufactured out of an evidence-free environment then absolutely anything goes – you can make ups anything you like – but as I keep reminding everyone, Christopher Hitchens famously – and correctly – said that anything asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence. The ONLY way knowledge can be advanced is by basing it on the evidence.

  12. Sharon Hollingsworth says: Reply

    To add a bit of levity to some rather serious proceedings, I mentioned to a friend in the Kelly world that Bill Denheld said he was writing a book about Ned and politics. (the exact term Bill used was The Politics of Ned, but I put it in my own words). Anyway, this friend said “Will we be in it?” to which I replied, “No, is not THAT kind of politics!” I do have to say that would make for some interesting reading if it was. Heck, I could write that one…but I won’t!

    1. Someone said of Australian politics – and its probably true everywhere – that the most bitter struggles are not between parties but inside them, and the same could also be said of the Kelly world. Think of the pro and anti Bill wars about the Two Huts site, the disputes that blew up the Ned Kelly Forum, the ongoing battle between Red Kelly descendants hostile to the George King Kelly descendants, think of the Sherritts and the Byrnes, and most recently the splits between factions within the ‘sympathiser’ groups about Dee! And before my time, as you would know Sharon there were splits and divisions that wrecked other Internet forums and Web sites, and drove people out who never returned.

      So yes a book could be written – but it would be a catalogue of childish pettiness and personal attacks – which wont ever stop, human nature being what it is.

  13. Sharon Hollingsworth says: Reply

    David, you make good points and before anyone thinks “the lady doth protest too much” I want to make clear to all that I have not even told you I was a member at the NKS FB group (though you probably suspected) much less carried tales out of school. I have told you nothing about the goings on over there and I hope that no one dare accuse me of doing so, because they would be dead wrong. You have your source(s) for info and it is definitely not me. Just wanted to make that clear to any and all who might want to lay it at my feet. I tire of the unrelenting struggle to spread knowledge tinged with a bit of kindness and humor only to be met with disdain and rudeness through the years. And I am not the only one by a long shot.

    1. Sharon, isn’t it a shame you even have to make that declaration? And that I am so hated by some within the Kelly world that you would be attacked if anyone thought you had told me you were an NKS Member, or about goings on inside the group?

      I know there are about 80 members in the NKS so I am guessing all the usual suspects are members – and I cant recall if you were a member when I was – maybe not? – but what I have gleaned since I left about divisions inside the NKS has been via the vile comments on the toads site that mentioned you. I also guessed from comments they’ve made that Devlin was kicked out, and Bob and the toad are not members but other than that, apart from the three Admins I have no idea.

      But if there are people in there who would attack you for communicating with me, I wonder how you are going to keep this forum from splitting into factions and the old internal hatreds destroy it from the inside out ? What the hell is the matter with some of these people that they want to control who other people talk to?

  14. Sharon Hollingsworth says: Reply

    I have completely stopped looking at the unmasking the kelly gang unmasked FB page that used to attack me so much. Should have done so years ago! So I have no idea of what has been said about me recently. I just didn’t want fitzy or his mates to say I am a spy or mole. Heck, they have said worse about me in the past. I await a higher court is all I can say! I make no comment or insinuation about the NKS or anyone there.

    1. A wise move Sharon. I should follow your advice and never look at it either. However, there has been some great news this past few days : I complained to Facebook about yet another of his tiresome posts attacking me in the usual disgusting way, and they agreed it was hate speech, removed it and he was banned from Facebook for 3 days! I think thats the first. time he has been slapped down, and its not before time. Sadly already he and his toadies are all failing to get the message, that unacceptable hate speech is what he indulges in, and have already posted their condolences to the poor fellow, blamed the victim for complaining and some surprising Kelly personalities have “liked” his whining ‘poor me’ post. If Ben Best, POK or Crichton are NKS supporters you better watch out! They support hate speech.

      But lets not dwell anymore on the toad and the toadies.

  15. Ian MacFarlane says: Reply

    Hhmn! Ten minutes in court would have the Shonk back-pedaling like mad.
    I have never experienced a more defamatory weirdo who has been attacking my BOOK for seven long years without a single result.

    He is a retired truck driver who knows next to nothing about the Kelly Gang story. He also knows next to nothing about defamation laws, copyright or basic human decency.

    He makes up false history as he goes along. He is the person who began all this. I have heaps of DVDs about his hate and meddling – including his contact with my first wife and stalking of of my granddaughter. Absolutely revolting stuff.

    His pathetic attacks on my book have been contemptible waffle. His attacks on Dr David depraved and criminally defamatory.

    Criminal defamation equals jail time. That’s where you belong.

    IAN MACFARLANE

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