- Date published:
2:29 pm, August 9th, 2019 - 67 comments
Categories: blogs, books, crime, David Farrar, dpf, Media, police, Social issues, uncategorized - Tags: cameron slater, margie thomson, matt blomfield, matthew blomfield, regan cunliffe, whale oil, whaleoil
This fulfills a long held wish of, not only Matt, but a whole pile of people that this arsehole-run paid-for defamation lying site have damaged over the years. Chapter 27 of the Margie Thompson’s Whale Oil book is now available…
Back in one of our early interviews I asked Matt what he wanted to achieve from his court action against Cameron Slater. Even then, it was obvious he couldn’t be doing it for financial compensation. Matt talked for a bit about recouping his reputation, about not letting Slater get away with spreading lies. Justice, in a word. But then he said something audacious.
What he really wanted, he said, was to take control of whaleoil. ‘I want people to log on to whaleoil.co.nz and find themselves directed to this book.’
He reached for a cigarette, savouring what was then just a crazy idea. ‘That would feel really, really good,’ he said. We laughed, and the smoke danced. I didn’t really think such a thing was possible.
In August 2019, Matt Blomfield took control of the whaleoil blogsite.
And that is where you will find Chapter 27, currently on a redirect, but eventually with the name of whaleoil.co.nz after the UDAI transfers.
I’d particularly encourage the habitual readers of Whaleoil to buy the Whale oil book to find out what the kinds of damage the site caused. After all those readers are those ‘skeptics’ who for years believed almost all of the utter garbage that Cameron Slater spewed out about others, often for payment, and they kept trying to tell me was ‘true’.
Of course there are still the fearless supporters of Cameron Slater who are pretty damn deluded. For instance the completely gormless statement by David Farrar a few weeks ago at the end of a David Fisher article.
Slater’s 14-year run as a blogger was significant, said Farrar, as was winning a significant media award during its time and running the blog as a paying business. “As far as I know, Cameron was the only one … who has managed to make a living off blogs.”
Which really should make any investor in David Farrar’s business start to question both his business ethics and the safety of their investment. He appears to have a naive approach towards ethical business. Effectively he is saying that a owner and his business that is going down with at least 4.7 million dollars of claims against him and his company was a way of making a ‘living’.
Some of the recent events are traceable within the records of the Companies Register. There, the dry accumulation of company names, name changes, changes in shareholdings and directorships whispers of the sheer human drama and desperate planning that has gone on behind the scenes as Slater and his supporters seemed to do everything they could think of to rescue something from their sinking ship. Social Media Consultants, then-owner of the whaleoil blog, went into liquidation. A new company, Madas 114, was set up and then shortly after became WOBH; whaleoil.co.nz became whaleoil.net.nz before morphing, chameleon-like, into a completely new blogsite. Slater passed all his shareholdings and directorships to his wife, to his accountant, and then back to his wife.
A liquidator, Victoria Toon of Corporate Restructuring Ltd, was appointed at the end of March, and it transpired that Social Media Consultants owed creditors around $670,000.
Slater himself, now bankrupt, was shown in the insolvency report dated 15 June to have further total estimated claims against him of $4,032,167.14. This amount comprised costs associated with the Colin Craig and Matt Blomfield defamation cases including the $2.5 million Matt will seek in damages (but excluded any damages that may be won by the three health professionals who are also suing Slater for defamation), and the Human Rights Review Tribunal award to Matt for breaches of his privacy. The lawyers who acted for Slater in the various defamation actions brought against him – Brian Henry, and David Beard’s Legal Street — were shown to be out of pocket to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars.
In short, the estimated claims against Slater and his company so far total more than $4.7 million.
Unlike David Farrar with his questionable business ethics, to me this result was the inevitable result of an unsustainable business model. It reads more like a shameful and pretty deliberate scam eventually crashing to the ground under its own weight.
There was never a sustainable business model underlying Cameron Slaters operations. It relied on being able to avoid being pulled into court, usually by nefarious means of intimidation. That ranged from repeated defamation and lying at Whaleoil and by closely associated websites like Kiwiblog, Lauda Finem, Keeping Stock, and many others; through to the simple harassment and stalking by operators and supporters of those sites.
It still goes on as the deluded nutbars still seem to think this is a good idea.
Since this book was published at the end of May he has been subjected to a daily stream of anonymous phone calls from blocked numbers – his phone rings, he answers but no-one speaks. There’s breathing, background rustling, then the click as someone hangs up. This happens around ten times a day, sometimes more. As he sits in my office one afternoon to catch me up on events, it happens three times in just over an hour.
‘You might never be free of these people,’ I say, suddenly struck by the possible truth of that.
The remaining whaleoil community were been directed to go to a new site. But of course that has started in the traditional fashion – founded on simple theft.
The liquidator quickly took issue with what she identified as the illegal transfer of assets away from creditors and into new entities. Following a post written by Slater’s wife Juana Atkins at the beginning of August trumpeting a ‘new era’, directing subscribers to a new site to which all whaleoil content had been transferred, and promising to honour their subscriptions, Victoria Toon posted a warning on the original whaleoil site:
‘It is the liquidator’s opinion that the director of Social Media Consultants Limited, Juana Atkins or someone directed by her has illegally used the customer database for the benefit of another business entity.
‘This appears on the face of it to have been done for the purpose of misappropriating the company’s goodwill and causing the company loss, therefore breaching the duties as a director to preserve the assets of the company for the benefit of creditors.’
Juana Atkins did not reply to the liquidator; neither did she comply with demands to relinquish control of the assets. On August 5, the liquidator who, remember, is an officer of the Court, wrote to the police for assistance, citing six sections of the Crimes Act she believed Atkins may have breached. The police replied briefly, telling Toon she should take her complaint to the front desk of her nearest police station.
Personally I have absolutely no faith that the police will do anything effective. It isn’t something that they have been noticeable for when it comes to the many crimes that originated at Whaleoil.
And now for the ending on the whaleoil site. I’d advise Matt that as the new owner of the site:
The site will live on as a zombie for reasons that Margie Thompson writes (as usual) far better than I can.
And so we arrive back at this masterstroke – this takeover of the whaleoil blogsite. What’s in it for Matt? Why would he bother? The toxic stuff once written up here about him is long gone, thanks to Matt’s efforts through the courts. The whaleoil site itself is worth nothing now, but it’s also worth everything.
All those other people, the ones who like Matt were slandered, bullied and humiliated on that blog over all those years — the horrible stories about them are still out there, recurrent reminders of vicious attacks. People like the woman I interviewed who was still too shaky to tell me what had happened but who simply googled herself and silently showed me the result on her phone; people like Scott Poynting, who knows that anyone googling him runs immediately into the whaleoil accusations against him. There are many, many such people.
All of that will — after Matt’s won the required court orders — be gone. Because the internet never goes away they will never be completely destroyed, but they will be gone from casual searches.
All the nasty stories, the lies and the taunts, will be pulled down.
This site — whaleoil.co.nz — now serves as a perpetual memorial to the injustices inflicted on all those people, and to Matt’s long battle to curtail falsity, bullying and manipulation.
That is a very fine ending.