Friday, July 25, 2008

A matter of reprehensible injustice

(You can order this here.)

Most of you who read this blog will have absolutely no idea what I'm talking about here but I will try to summarize briefly.

When I lived "across the pond" I came to love a very special group of book shops run by the SPCK (Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge). They carried a wonderful variety of theologically and spiritually related books that represented the full spectrum of view points within Christianity. In 2006 the shops came under a different management (run by Mark Brewer and his brother) that is quite fundamentalist and the character of the shops was considerably changed. As a result, their popularity suffered and, last month, that management filed for bankruptcy. Many people lost their jobs and one, Steve Jeynes (who was greatly loved by many) committed suicide. (Even before the bankruptcy, shop workers were truly mistreated by the new management. It's a horror story.)

Dave Walker (whose work I respect) reported on this situation on his blog and was critical of the new management of the shops. He has since been legally threatened and forced to take down his posts regarding the series of events.

Today, over at Mad Priest's Place the following was posted:

Those who are not up to speed on this matter of blogger welfare should read the following post first:


It is absolutely certain that Mark Brewer is now threatening other bloggers. Without prejudice legal advice indicates that he doesn't have a leg to stand on. Also he is sending the threats out personally and not via a solicitor.

However, I think it is time for PLAN B.

This is Mark Brewer's email address:

I would like friends of Dave Walker, and those interested in stopping bloggers from being bullied by people with money, to cut and paste this post onto their own blogs,


send an email to Mark Brewer with nothing more than the campaign words:


And if you're a little scared by all this just remember a very good man died because SPCK failed after it had been taken over by Mark Brewer's business venture.

So I said I'd do both.

If any of you want to join the email campaign, that would be wonderful.

UPDATE: Here's a comment over on Mad Priest's post:

UK libel laws don't apply in the United States, MP.

Brewer can't do a damned thing about this here.

E-mail going out now...

I had forgotten about libel laws in the UK (which are quite severe.) That's undoubtedly the reason Mad Priest referred to people possibly being "scared" to participate in this Plan B. But to all my American friends, the commenter above is right. There's no risk at all to us.


  1. Hi Ellie - thanks for this; have only just found it. Appreciate your support.

    Here in the UK the fight for justice for the ex-SPCK booksellers goes on, and anything you can do to raise the profile of the story in the USA and expose the truth about Mark Brewer's misdemeanours would be great.

  2. Hello, Phil, and welcome.

    You know, I haven't come across an update on this situation for some time. Can you send me a link and/or do you have time to catch me up a little bit?

    You can find a link to my personal email on my "Complete Profile" page. (I don't want to put it here in the comments because those automatic spam crawlers might pick it up.)

    Blessings to you. The whole SPCK situation is utterly appalling.

  3. PS.

    I just clicked on your name, Phil, and found the update that way! I will peruse it with interest.


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