Whatever happened to… Chris Morris?

March 26, 2010

By Trevor Ruth.

Chris Morris’ colourful career as a young writer, broadcaster, internet entrepreneur, political consultant, gay activist, and hypnotherapist spans over a decade. Not to be confused with the Channel Four broadcaster of the same name, Chris is better known for his criticism of the Gay Mafia old-boys club and more recently as a high-profile practitioner of neuro-linguistic programming.

First recruited into the establishment by former Chief Executive of Stonewall when he was just sixteen years old, Chris was asked to front the gay and lesbian lobby group’s attempt to take the British government to the European Court of Human Rights over the unequal age of consent for gay men. Like the majority of those who’ve sought refugee from the glare of the public eye, Chris appears to now live a private but comfortable existence.

It didn’t take young Mr Morris long to figure out who the genuine people were.

The Rise and Fall of YouthSpeak

Those close to him at the time felt Chris was beginning to be exploited by the alpha-gay charities such as Stonewall and their political allies. Chris was uncomfortable being a voiceless show-piece, carted around from function to function. He claimed that his involvement with Stonewall had “really messed with his head” and had become nothing but “Angela Mason’s Poster-Boy”. As he began distancing himself from Stonewall, in 1998 Chris Morris and other younger activists set-up a new (yet short-lived) gay rights group named “YouthSpeak”.

The group was accused of being “a front” for Stonewall to lobby behind to dismiss assumptions from homophobic opponents (notably Baroness Janet Young). The main accusation was that older gay lobbyists were wishing to change the age of consent laws purely so they could legally engage in sexual intercourse with younger-men.

More radical activists accused YouthSpeak was grooming talented alpha-gay types, many of it’s former members certainly went on to great things. Chris was the face of YouthSpeak but he wasn’t the only person who began their adventures with them.

Colm Howard-Lloyd is now an associate director of Pride London, Marketing Director of the European Pride Organizers Association and Manager of Research and Consultations at the Greater London Development Agency.

The group’s original aim focussed on that one goal of equalising the age of consent for gay men. Sir Ian Mckellen’s (Gay Mafia head-boy) financial support came with strings attached, meaning those who wished to expand YouthSpeak’s objectives were blocked by influential figures. Others felt the group had achieved it’s main objective and were in favour of disbanding. It wasn’t long before internal disputes and money-problems contributed to the the group’s demise.

Stonewall’s main focus at the time was the campaign to repeal Section 28. They appealed to YouthSpeak to consider abandoning it’s independence and rejoining with their increasingly powerful mother-ship. But as it’s Chair and leading light Chris Morris was still feeling bruised from his experiences with them. Most of it’s members still advocating the continuation of YouthSpeak and proceeded to leave and explore alternatives as it became clear there was no future in it for them.

With nobody left to carry the torch or to continue the fight against Section 28 in schools, the final blow came as McKellen pulled the plug on the group’s funding. No-doubt a result of Chris Morris so publicly falling out of favour with McKellen’s beloved Stonewall Lobby Group.

Half-way through YouthSpeak’s short existence in 1999 Chris was invited to contribute to the New Statesman. Morris chose to use the opportunity to exposing “The Real Gay Mafia” that had treated him so badly. He wasn’t the first person to do this, but the specific details he published in the national magazine of just how, and precisely who was responsible for the corruption and hypocrisy within the country’s Gay Mafia elite rattled a great many cages.

Coincidently it was one of the last radical queer articles ever published by Chris Morris in the mainstream, leading him to set up his own radical, and undoubtedly controversial queer magazine “OutCast”.

The Rise and Fall of OutCast Magazine

The Gay Mafia never forgave Chris for demonising their precious Pink Pound empires. The launch of OutCast worried the publishers of existing rival gay magazines. Although OutCast was significantly different and posed no real commercial threat to the profit margins of Gay Times, The Pink Paper, Boyz, Attitude etc. After speaking out against their owners exploitative tactics and then switching allegiance from the liberalism of Angela Mason’s Stonewall (which continues to rely on financially backing from Gay Mafia types) to the edgy radicalism of Peter Tatchell’s OutRage! turned Morris into public enemy number one.

Like most young men of his age Chris had other priorities in his life which full-time gay activism caused him to neglect. Having moved from rural Norfolk to Central London he had bills to pay. Selflessly campaigning for civil rights doesn’t pay – a penny. Fellow activists accused Chris of abandoning critical campaigns at a critical time to focus on his own “Empire Building” by capitalising on his high-profile to fuel his own private business affairs. In reality all he really can be accused of is moving on and turning his back on the often divided world of grass-roots gay activism.

It was the Gay Mafia who eventually brought OutCast down, and subsequently his online venture 4D Media which hosted the magazine’s website.

The Rise and Fall of 4D Media

Alongside OutCast (which was a non-profit project which lost far more money than it ever made) was another entrepreneurial set-up , 4D Media which described itself as a “web development company”. 4D presented a lucrative business model at a time when it wasn’t easy for anyone to just set up a website. When you’re an individual with a phonebook packed with rich and powerful contacts all wanting a slice of the internet gold-rush then success was a certainty.

At it’s prime 4D had over 300 commercial clients consisting of a number of multinational corporations such as Virgin, BT, Honda and Umbro to name but a few, as well as a number of senior public figures including Peter Mandleson (another Gay Mafia head-boy). The company also ran a small number of adult porn sites which Chris never denied being connected to nor expressed the need to feel ashamed of what he called having a few fingers in “naughty pies”. But the company also provided free websites to a whole range of non-profit groups such as the Equality Alliance, and for a short time became a major player in offering web hosting services to the full diversity of the gay community.

You’d have thought 4D Media was a Gay Mafia-type empire in itself, boasting a plush Mayfair address on New Bond Street. In reality was a virtual office and a relatively small, but successful operation. One day for now apparent reason it simply disappeared. Clients tried to contact the company via phone and email but heard nothing.

From Activism to Hypnotism

Successful long-term activism requires a talent for entrepreneurship, something Chris Morris has in abundance. But to be successful in business many activists have to make a choice between their ethical ideals and the very capitalist methodology they often oppose.

Those who have succeeded in bringing about significant social-change often go on to channelling their knowledge, passion and initiative into projects that put bread on their tables. If your passion stems from the desire to improve the lives of others – and you do something about it, no matter what it takes – you are activist.

You can of course make a career out of activism, but it is hard to make the leap. De-radicalising is often crucial to engaging with the establishment. Liberalism is tolerated but radicalism is viewed as destructive and eccentric. There are exceptions, but in general most former activists choose to “tone it down” as much as they can.

There is some merit to the saying “if you’re always shouting eventually people will stop listening”. Morris never stopped speaking out, he simply reinvented his way of getting his message across, and he’s achieved that by putting the days of being used as a human billboard for the gay rights movement far behind him.

Shortly after announcing his activist retirement, Chris’ personal homepage displayed the message ”Chris Morris is no longer involved in gay activism”, a statement that carried no further explanation. The message stayed up for a number of years, until he eventually re-launched a new blog at the same domain in June 2009.

Who brainwashed Chris Morris?

There is a peculiar belief out there that Chris’ sudden departure from anything politically gay could have been the result of a well-planned and successful attempt to silence him or buy him off.

Is it merely a coincidence one of Britain’s most high-profile queer campaigners suddenly vanished from the gay rights scene just as he was beginning to uncover it’s dirty secrets? His disappearance occurred at a time when it was clear he certainly knew far too much, and wasn’t afraid to say so.

His later involvement with a controversial form of hypnotherapy (N.L.P) popular with senior politicians (many of whom Chris had initially met through his campaigns) raised yet more eyebrows. Some friends even claimed Chris had somehow been “re-programmed” by powerful members of the New Labour establishment.

Although it is far more likely he simply gave up campaigning – from the heart. He was after all dragged into gay rights by Angela Mason because he’d put his name down on Stonewall mailing list. It was she who had approached him. In retrospect today Chris will tell you he was “never really ready for it” and even expresses a degree of regret and bitter resentment for naively taking up the offers of free trips to London in exchange for the charm of his youth.

What Chris Morris did next…

Questions have been raised as to why Chris no longer discusses the LGBT issues or the status of Gay Mafia in public. Although a lot of what he’s said on the subject in the past remains true today. Behind closed doors he’s spent the last decade either distancing himself or in a few cases befriending many of his former adversaries.

During the days when Chris was shadowing government ministers and celebrities at champagne receptions Chris was befriended by television hypnotist Paul McKenna who introduced him to the mysterious world of Neuro Linguistic Programming (N.L.P), a controversial form of psychotherapy.

Chris Morris had obvserved N.L.P techniques being deployed by politicians and other high profile activists, it instantly stirred his curiousity and openined up a whole world of new opportunities to further his independent entrepreneurship. Since then he’s become a respected player within the UK’s N.L.P community.

Today Chris Morris is the CEO of a company named NLP Connections.

There is signficant controversy surrounding the practice of N.L.P as a form of therapy, but there’s no evidence that N.L.P Connections run by Chris Morris is deserving of the critism levelled at other N.L.P related enterprises that have tainted N.L.P’s overall reputation within the scientific community. The very nature of N.L.P itself, being relativley new, predmoninatly unregulated and ideologicaly fragmented does leave it somewhat open to abuse from unscrupilous and greedy individuals. In relation to Chris Morris – his track record doesn’t indicate he’s one of those people.

His talent for spotting the fakers and exploiters never left him. Since joining the N.L.P movement Chris has encountered some very creepy people indeed, .It isn’t like him to keep this kind of information underwraps, and now nearly a decade after his departure from gay rights, he’s speaking out again.

Doing so has recently caused problems for Chris personally. He and his family have been targetted by some very disturbed sections of the N.L.P community including a few worrying influencial as well as wreckless figures.

Chris’ achievements have made him the target for bitter rivals in the past. Some have become so obsessed with destroying his efforts over the past few years that a smear campaign appears to be running against him.

Smear Campaign

Gay Mafia Watch has been investigating an internet-based smear campaign against Chris Morris. He claims the leading individual responsible is a former N.L.P colleague named Nick Kemp. Chris has written about the saga in his blog:

http://www.chrismorris.com/blog/2009/08/nick-kemp/

Defamatory comments smearing Chris Morris also appeared on Gay Mafia Watch last month when we announced we’d be writing about N.L.P. Clearly someone out there is Googling the web for any mention of Chris Morris looking for an opportunity to blacken his name. The majority of these comments (which are present all over the internet) appear to be to be malicious posts under different names but with identical I.P addresses, mostly posting defamatory and unsubstantiated statements about Mr Morris.

Whether you choose to believe the various conspiracies theories he had unknowingly been brainwashed into his silence, or you favour the possibility he came to the decision entirely by himself, there’s no denying the LGBT community has a great deal to be thankful for Chris Morris’ remarkable achievements, wherever he may be now.

  • Gay Mafia Watch will be going into more detail about how Social Control, Crowd Conditioning and Neuro-Linguistic-Programming is used on a regular basis to control our community in forthcoming articles.

Pink Paper goes BUST!.. again

June 20, 2009

EXCLUSIVE: Flagship Gay Mafia Gutter Rag Sinks

GayMafiaWatch can exclusively reveal, after a troubled 20 year history the UK’s only national “gay newspaper” (The Pink Paper) has gone bust.

The last ever issue will be out in time for London Pride.

This is not the first time the publication has folded. It has struggled to stay afloat over the past ten years having eventually reverted to a fortnightly tabloid broadsheet. Despite claims by the paper’s owners Millivres Prowler Group that the company is suffering from a loss in advertising revenues like much of the media sector, GayMafiaWatch believes that is only part of the story. Last year the company dropped top shelf-gay mens mag AXM explaining it would continue to be available online. Only a few months later the company (which also owns Prowler storesused the Pink Paper to attack rival sex-shop firm Clone Zone (which owed them £100’s thousands in unpaid bills).

Last Thursday (18th June 2009) we called the Advertising desk at the Pink Paper to find out the next copy deadline – to which we were told would be 4th July. The following day a source at the distribution company that delivers the publication all over the country told us they had not received any orders to distribute the title outside of London for the next issue – confirming the news.

Farewell Pink Paper. You have served us well over the years, even if in the end you will be remembered as just another slain soldier in the ongoing pink pound war.


Sex Wars: Attack of the Clone Zone

April 21, 2009

Just when you thought it was safe to come out of the bunker we find ourselves on the bring of yet another Pink Pound war.

Following on from our recent article “Gay Dating Wars” we have stumbled upon an emerging row between two of the UK’s largest gay retailers.

The use of the word “Exclusive!” in the title of the story the Pink Paper (owned by the dark lord Prowler group) suggests they are relying on sources that may stem from gossip, rumour and pure speculation. The emphasis on this particular story is interesting as there is a clear motive behind it’s publication, and Clone Zone have quite fairly bashed back.

Decent Journalists and those who know some of the basics of media headline creation will see red when they read phrase “an anonymous member of the public” – tried and tested classic way of deceiving people into thinking the facts have been investigated and the anonymity is because what they are saying is true but want to protect their identity. Even so, it’s also a media excuse for making things up.

As it happens, the Pink Paper’s publishers Millivres Prowler Group are among the list of those owed significant amount of money which the Pink Paper estimate totals at least of £500,000 (according to an unnamed “insider”). Although most people in the same position as Millivres Prowler Group are right to be annoyed at not being paid but don’t be fooled into thinking this is news. The Pink Paper’s report on Clone Zone is nothing but a cleverly constructed case of commercial smear.

On the recently revamped Pink Paper website they recently introduced a commenting feature. Since it was launched it is rarely used, either few people are commenting on their articles or they are choosing to exercise some level of editorial control over public feedback so it is again surprising to see a flood of vicious comments making a range of plain nasty statements about the individuals involved.

The most obvious example of “self-trolling” in order to support the article is this one:

“use your pink pound elsewhere now – shop at prowler and any other decent trading company”

The weekly readers poll in the same issue, also run via the Pink Paper’s website apparently posted by “anonymous”  the day before the paper’s regular weekly publication date asks:

“Should directors whose firms go bust be allowed to run a business again?” – “If your bosses made your company go bust and made you redundant in the process, should they be allowed to side-step into another directorial role?”

You’d expect a “registered newspaper” to have more than 16 people voting in a poll nearly a week after it was created. This could be due to the fact that the relatively poor volume of traffic the site receives compared to it’s biggest rivals which are relatively small operations, many of them non-profit or social-enterprises run by one or two people from home.


In an unepected twist, those who have a clear interest in this particular fight have stepped into the ring and stood up for Clone Zone and have pledged to publish an official statement from the former directors. Manchester based charity the Lesbian and Gay Foundation who also publish a monthly regional gay health and lifestyle magazine “OutNorthWest” have today placed an article on their website under the headline “Clone Zone Bosses Upset at Pink Paper Headline“.

It should be noted that the LGF provide content to the Pink Paper but also rely on significant advertising revenue from Clone Zone. The LGF seem to be attempting to juggle a conflict of neutrality and may be attempting to balance the fuss or perhaps they are making a moral objection to Millivres Prowler’s bully-boy reporting around the situation of a business that has it’s roots in the same community they do.

Previous issues of OutNorthWest have seen several advert placements plugging the adult retailer over the years, the magazine’s editor claims they rely entirely on advertising revenue in order to produce the publication which has a readership of over 60,000. This month (February 2009) contains no advertising for Clone Zone. Although one advert for their more profitable arm “H20 Sauna” remains.

Gossip is an essential part of any community, it allows us to communicate and allows us to inquire about the status of our peers with our peers. The LGF may be quite right in giving so much space on it’s website to a story which airs the dirty laundry of two major players in the country’s gay business community despite this having implications on their own future.

Perhaps the LGF may now consider extending that same opportunity to the wider community, instead of giving so much airspace to rich sponsors even if they vanish tomorrow.

Even if you are a minority of one, the truth is the truth.
– Mohandas Gandhi

GayMafiaWatch asks…

To the Editor of the Pink Paper:
Are you so naive to think the public won’t see right through this story you’ve obviously generated to serve the direct financial interests of your parent company? What do you say to Clone Zone’s response that your article about that is unfair and upsetting?

To the Directors of Clone Zone:
What do you think about your alleged creditors using one of their national gay publications as a way of attacking you? and will you continue to stock the (free) weekly Pink Paper as a result? do you feel the change in the formulation of poppers and their resulting unpopularity due to new legislation have contributed to Clone Zone’s problems?

To the Lesbian and Gay Foundation:
Will the new owners of Clone Zone honor existing advertising deals made with yourselves? they appear to have removed all their adverts in your latest issue of OutNorthWest so what impact will this have on the magazine’s future? oh and one last question, who’s your daddy?

You! – tell us what you think, post your comments below:


Ticket to pRide: another wristband rip-off!

April 12, 2009

Last year GayMafiaWatch published an article about Manchester Pride 2007 exposing “The truth about where your wristband money really went” – and how less than 1% of the charity’s income went to LGBT community groups.

Shocked at what we had uncovered, a number of people printed the article off and began handing it out outside the ticket offices to the dismay of festival organisers. Less than a week later, Chair of the Village Business Association Phil Burke resigned from the Board of Manchester Pride claiming the event was “run by dictators” and is “just about making money”.

Phil Burke’s resignation made the front page of the Manchester Evening News and sent shockwaves throughout the gay community causing many others to speak out, although he wasn’t the first despite being the most notable.

Fully aware of the articles published right here on GayMafiaWatch and over on a number of other websites over six months later neither Manchester Pride or its partners (all of whom keep scamming the public) have made no attempt to dispute or explain their deplorable actions. In fact they’ve continued to break their own rules and have once again distributed funding to a number of false community projects and dodgy enterprises in 2008.

Favoritism, cronyism, nepotism, downright self-serving greed is alive and kicking amongst the more influential members of Manchester gay community at the expense of everyone else they claim to serve.

Once again Manchester City Council’s flagship “Lesbian and Gay” charity – the Lesbian and Gay Foundation have been at the centre of the storm. In terms of the number of staff it employs the LGF is the BIGGEST gay charity in the UK.

In the terms and conditions on the application forms for Pride funding it clearly states:

“Multiple applications from the same organisation will not be accepted due to the large number of applications we receive”

Obviously the Lesbian and Gay Foundation feel they are EXEMPT this rule and have again submitted numerous application for their “core services” disguised as independent groups (which clearly they are not).

Here’s a break-down of their scam:

Icebreakers – Ongoing core costs to run the group over the next year

Carousel Group – Ongoing core costs to run the group over the year

Gay Married Men’s Group – Further development of the website – plus contribution towards venue hire and resources

Black North West – Costs towards developing a BME photo library plus venue hire & resource costs.

40+ Gay & Bisexual Men’s Group – Ongoing core costs to run the group over the year & costs towards workshops

Stepping Stones –  Ongoing core costs & money to buy a laptop for the group

Art Class – The Manchester Pride website simply calls this group “Art Class” – but the LGF’s own website lists at as “the LGF Art Class” and the logo has their logo imposed on top of it – as do all of the other groups listed above.

These groups are ALL facilitated by staff and volunteers of the Lesbian & Gay Foundation and meets at their offices.

They also enjoy large amounts of free publicity in LGF publications and access to resources such a free internet, phones and stationary (which other groups are denied). Even more sneakily they are using their funding to pay for room hire in their OWN building – already funded by Manchester City Council and other local authorities.

Maximum grants are around £1,000 (we hear they’ve all applied for the maximum) meaning that approximately £7,000 of extra funding has been skimmed off the Pride Community fund by the LGF in the guide of non-related groups – this is in addition to at least £25,000 they already get from Manchester Pride and the undisclosed sum they also get in return for managing the distribution of funds to other groups.

The Lesbian and Gay Foundation’s own board members also sit on the grants panel that decides who and who doesn’t get the funding – this is a breach of good practice and something the charity commission have vowed to investigate since we brought it to their attention last week following complaints from other groups.

So where is all this money going?

Other than the Lesbian and Gay Foundation…and a small selection of others? Manchester Pride’s Community Fund is meant to be for all “LGBT Community groups” – but the majority of those go to either groups that provide services exclusively to gay men or lesbians. Only two groups serving the transgender community received funding this year. The only dedicated bisexual group to receive funds from Manchester Pride (BiPhoria) have asked for costs pay for room hire costs, and also money towards their Pride stall (this used to be free).

So let’s get this straight – groups like BiPhoria apply to Pride only to hand to back to Pride for the privilege of having a (previously free) stall at the so called “Community Expo”?

  • Less than £3,000 went to Bisexual and Transgender groups.
  • The Lesbian and Gay Foundation claimed at least £7,000 more than it was allowed.
  • Less than £2,000 went to young people’s services.
  • An undisclosed sum was paid to the Lesbian and Gay Foundation for distributing the grants.
  • Only preselected HIV/AIDS organisations received funding from the HIV Fund – sums not published.

What about other groups they’ve funded? With only a very vague description for a group no-one seems to have heard of a group called “Gay in the UK” have been given funding to cover the cost of “practitioners and tutors”.

Considering they are intending to use their grant to pay for professionals (instead of bringing in volunteers with the same skills) for their project (whatever it is!) is it going to be value for money? or is this yet another bogus project set up to line the pockets of someone close to those dishing out the pennies?

Beyond the LGF’s clever little scheme of hoarding even more funding is what Manchester Pride’s website vaguely describes as funding to “set up a new voluntary LGBT photographic group”. Run by a group of professional village photographers known as “Exposure” who have asked or “initial set up costs of new voluntary LGBT photographic group” run by Paul Jones – one of Manchester Pride’s official photographers.

Exposure’s “Profile Page” on Flickr

Jones has also been paid by the Lesbian and Gay Foundation to take photos for their publications in the past. The majority of the photos posted by the group online appear to be professional, promotional photos for Manchester Pride as well as the Pride Games (well their black-tie dinner anyway!). Many of the photos taken by the group appear in various publications including the Manchester Pride website as well as corporate materials used by Pride’s three biggest beneficiaries – Body Positive, the George House Trust and the Lesbian and Gay Foundation in numerous publications and regularly in OutNorthWest. The majority of photos are also taken at commercial events at a number of bars and clubs in the gay village including Vanilla, Cruz 101, Queer, Essential and Federation.

At the time of going to press GayMafiaWatch tried to find out more about “Exposure” and how ordinary members of the public could get involved but we got no reply. Even Manchester Pride themselves couldn’t give us an answer.

We original posed the question… is Exposure a dodgy operation or is it a genuine “community photography project”? Thanks to the vague and slightly misleading way Manchester Pride’s website has presented who and what gets funded when this article was first written we couldn’t be sure what it was until we began asking, got no response and then did our own bit of digging… so now we’ve got to the bottom of it it would be great to hear the same from others who wish to put their side of the story across… although silence is often the best indicator of guilt.

Update 22/04/09 –

Further Details regarding “Exposure”
Since this article was originally published we would like to thank Paul Jones for contacting us directly who to clarify for himself what Manchester Pride could not. You can read his response to our questions in the comments section at the bottom article. We have had to omit some personal details from his response along with an accusation claiming everything on GayMafiaWatch should be regarded as fiction – clearly this is not true! As if it were we’d be forever updating all our contributions and so far this is the most we’ve ever been asked to amend.

Out of respect to Exposure and Paul Jones and in the interest of maintaining the overall integrity of what is otherwise quite a detailed article that has provoked a mostly positive response we have retracted our statement that Exposure appears to be a “shady operation”. From what we know, Manchester’s gay community is rather close-knit and unlike London it does not have an infinite supply of community champions such as Paul Jones. That leads us to conclude that it is conceivable Exposure’s main activities which amongst other things include providing a free professional service run not for profit to commercial companies run for personal gain such as the bars and clubs on Canal Street is merely down to the cosy nature of the scene in Manchester or an admirable kindness of heart. Perhaps a bit of both? You answered our questions, we corrected our assumptions and you have requested an apology and here you have it. We apologise for any distress caused personally to those invovled.

There are times when public figures feel they are so far beyond the realms of accountability that there can be room for satire, and on occasion even humorous ridicule. Although the original article was very careful not make any direct personal attack on the character on Paul Jones as an individual as he has made clear he and Exposure are clearly one and the same, we do in fact owe Paul Jones a public apology for suggesting Exposure appears to be a fake project.  How valuable it’s services are to the community at large and who looses out if you are of the opinion that Exposure’s work is not worthy remains to be seen. People will at least be able to come to their own conclusions next time they see one of their pictures in another glossy brochure somewhere out on Canal Street knowing that’s where some of their wristband money went.

We would like to wish Exposure and Paul Jones the best of luck with their work and look forward to seeing them making a positive and continued contribution to their communities.

For details on how we conduct our investigations fairly visit our Feedback page.

What’s changed since last year?

Groups not giving funding directly back to pride or which are not run by members of Pride’s board and partner agencies is in the minority – although due to the addition of a few extra groups it is slightly more than last year.

In response to criticism and in a a U-turn to previous ways of doing things, Manchester Pride decided to open a surprise round of funding called the “Events Fund” but again their intentions are questionable. Events “must take place during the 10-day pride festival” and funding is limited to £500 per group. Details of successful applicants will be announced sometime in April – no doubt we’ll also see a number of dodgy projects that are run by people linked to Pride showing more evidence of nepotism and conflicts of professional interest.

The “events fund” only came about because they couldn’t get rid of all the funding in the first round and only totals £7,000 altogether out of the total Pride income over nearly £1 Million. Many groups have decided to boycott the grants scheme in protests at events in 2008 and the way money has been collected and distributed). If you are aware of the diverse number of LGBT community groups in Greater Manchester you will no doubt notice a number of names missing from the list of who they funded out of 2008’s funding.

This full list can be found here. Perseverly lots of the smaller community projects which remain (for now!) independent of Manchester Pride and it’s partners end up giving their grants BACK to Manchester Pride. They have to use their funding to pay for the privilege of a stall at the “Lifestyle Expo”, for the cost of an entry and licenses into the Pride Parade and also to hire meeting space at the offices of the Lesbian and Gay Foundation. Ludicrous when you consider Pride would be NOTHING without the contributions to pride from these groups over the years.

Smaller community groups and charities were noticeably missing from last year’s “Lifestyle Expo” stall area and many chose to boycott the space in protest at the recently introduced stall charges. It’s ludicrous to think they are so unwilling to back down considering all the extravagances Manchester Pride splashes out on in terms of promotions – giving large sums of money to marketing companies such as Oz Promotions and free advertising for media giants (such the Gaydar and the Pink Paper) and public sector sponsors seems to be top priority. Showcasing the grassroots LGBT community and giving them a genuine platform is not a priority.

The illusion of the event being about making money for charity has been well and truly shattered once again.

What is Manchester Pride really about?


We’re not disputing that there are many hard-working, selfless people who work and volunteer for Manchester Pride. However there are other, more ruthless people who wish to capitalise on the festival.

In 2007 the Charity Commission launched an investigation into Manchester Pride and concluded that what happens during the August Bank Holiday weekend in Manchester’s fenced off gay village are “not charitable fund-raising events – they are events organised by Marketing Manchester”.

welcome to vulgariaMarketing what?! Marketing Manchester – paid for by tax-payers in Greater Manchester, Marketing Manchester as been described by many as being “a well-oiled PR machine” that has a number of objectives, the first being to make money for a small but powerful elite of business people by increasing tourism and investment.

Led by Andrew Stokes (aka “Drew”) who also happens to be the Chairman of Manchester Pride, this “arms length” management company resides in a swish converted warehouse in Manchester’s Northern Quarter.

They even have a Yacht harbored in the luxury French resort of Cannes where Mr Stokes entertains rich Saudi businessmen. We hear Mr Stokes is currently in Dubai at a property fair “selling Manchester” just as he’s committed to “selling pride”. Bon Voyage!…

Further reading on this subject:

Reclaiming Pride in Manchester
Tips on how you can do your part in reclaiming Manchester’s Pride festival by supporting alternative events and links to different bodies that provide funding and support to community groups.

Where your wristband money really went in 2007
Our article dissecting how the money raised for charity was really spent from money raised by sales of wristbands for Manchester Pride in 2007 and distributed to projects in 2008.

External Links: (not by GayMafiaWatch just in case you were wondering)

Manchester Pride Investigation
Gary Seven has been researching the web of spin, PR and false information that surrounds Manchester Pride which the organisers seems to think the public has no right to know. He puts the facts to the speculation surrounding how raising money for charity has become a secondary consideration and little more than a convenient fig-leaf to cover huge profit-making by businesses.

Manchester Evening News: Pride festival ‘just about money’
Festival accused of betraying its gay and lesbian roots by a leading Gay Village businessman. Phil Burke, chairman of the Village Business Association, says the annual event is no longer a celebration of lesbian and gay life, but a cynical money-making operation.


Taking Libertas

February 11, 2009

York based Lesbian bookshop “Libertas” was once known as a beacon of light in a sea of isolation.

Sadly the day of the specialist bookstore has come and gone. Even the the big high-street chains have had several years of trouble seeing a string of mass mergers between the mainstream book and multimedia retailers, companies that have established links and distribution contracts with one of the main gay mafia “families” also in the same business.

Dillons was bought by HMV, Ottakers was taken over by Waterstones which became a subsidiary of HMV. The group proceeded to take over a number of stores from struggling rivals including Fopp and 8 Books etc stores from rival Borders UK. The market now consists of three key players – Virgin, WHSmith and HMV (HMV have been poised to take WHSmith over).

Despite being a relatively small, local operation based in a small shop in York,  it’s owners quick thinking and success in mastering the mail-order market had paid off. Only 4 years after it was founded the company became “Europe’s Number 1 Lesbian Bookstore”. Sadly the actual bookshop itself which also sold gifts, greetings cards and specialist Lesbian products and local merchandise operated at a loss but stayed open despite facing an uphill battle.

The founders of Libertas are now retired and approaching their 70’s. It’s obvious they cared a great deal about their romantic little lesbian bookshop and must have been heartbroken to be forced to close shop for the last time in 2004. The actual bookshop itself wasn’t just a shop, it was a meeting place for Lesbians and other Women from all over the country. Something that to this day is missing although that does continue to some extent through the York Lesbian Arts Festival that was founded by a group of Women who used to meet at the shop. Various other Women’s groups, reading clubs and small businesses also used the premises including the once independent “DykeLife” newsletter, a free community alternative to the mainstream women’s mags such as DIVA.

The famous Lesbian colonies that still exist throughout the small villages of Yorkshire such as Hebden Bridge weren’t the only people who saw Libertas as refreshing. As the country’s only Lesbian bookshop it also offered gay, bisexual and trans women a national alternative to the male dominated gay lifestyle stores like Clone Zone and Prowler.

When it was announced the shop may be forced to close various reports and letters appeared in the gay press from it’s supporters expressing their shock and dismay. This is a slightly different story than the one portrayed by the Millivres Prowler Group – owners of rival online book store “DIVA Direct”, DIVA magazine (as well as many other titles including GayTimes, AXM, the Pink Paper as well as owning their own chain of gay lifestyle shops and publishing houses) which claimed they were stepping in as the bookshop’s saviors and would keep it alive through the established Libertas online store.

As a result, Millivres Prowler completely took the operation over and moved operations to it’s London office. Two years later the group relaunched DykeLife as a glossy magazine and filled it with targeted advertising and placements for it’s own products, capitalising on the acquisition of the 7,000 strong subscriber base built on the bones of the grassroots alternative it once was.

Despite the claims by the Millivres Prowler Group that the spirit of the bookshop would continue through the continued existence of the Libertas online store at http://www.libertas.co.uk which now redirects to “DIVA Direct”. It’s final remnants exist as the “Libertas forum” – a message board for reviewing titles available through DIVA Direct.

Today it appears Libertas is well and truly dead, although spinning in her grave – May she rest in peace.

Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend.  Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read.
~Groucho Marx

“What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world an loses his own soul?”
~Robert Fulghum


DIVA editor attacks Peter Tatchell

January 29, 2009

Editor of Lesbian lifestyle magazine DIVA Jane Czyzselska (who has also written for the Horse and Hound!) with help from fellow pen pusher Ben Summerskill of “gay equality group” Stonewall have dedicated an entire page in the Guardian’s Comment is Free to launching a rather scathing and hollow attack on fellow trooper Peter Tatchell entitled “Take Pride in Gay Respectability”.

She has decided to compare the likes of money-mad Stonewall to the legendary American gay rights personality and the subject of a new Hollywood film – Harvey Milk.  She believes “if he were alive now he’d be rooting for more “smug marrieds” – meaning complacent gays and lesbians who sit on the fence when it comes to the rights.

In reality, if Harvey Milk were alive today he would notice how different the world is. He won’t be sitting smug in a swanky office on London’s Southbank. He’d be wondering why married doesn’t mean civil partnered and why police still spend vast resources on persecuting gay men who have sex in the woods. He’d be questioning why an organisation named Stonewall, has consistently alienated so many marginalised groups he spent his life (and eventually was killed fighting for both within the LGBT Community on it’s fringe such as sex workers.

Harvey Milk was heavily involved in the founding of many frontline, radicalised activist movements including the San Francisco Coalition on Prostitution, one of the first such “sex-workers unions” in the world. Yet it’s European cousin which still exists today was protesting in unison with angry transgender people outside the Stonewall Awards only last November in protest at the nomination of Julie Bindel (another controversial Guardian Comment is Free journalist).

He’d be asking why the annual turnover of the LGBT voluntary sector in Britain is just £10 million – with about 20% of that going into Stonewall’s wallet with the remaining estimated 1,500 other LGBT groups left to fight for the rest. This may sound like a lot of money the size of the pot available to LGBT community groups – the type of organisations pioneered by queer activists such as Harvey Milk in the 1960’s and 70’s equates to just 0.03% of the income of the entire charitable sector.

It’s also worth pointing out that Czyzelska’s employers Millivres Prowler Group are one of Stonewall’s biggest private sponsors. According to it’s chairman, Chris Graham Bell the company “has historic roots in gay and lesbian rights campaigning and has strong values and beliefs regarding the support of civil rights for our community.”Offering more proof of private business interfering with an apparently independent lobby group.

Even though Summerskill already has his own regular column in the same newspaper, in which he often makes similar attacks on Peter Tatchell and grassroots campaigning this week Stonewall’s highest paid member of staff was given another opportunity to dismiss the work of pretty much anyone who isn’t in the gay rights game for the money. As Jane Czyzelska’s article starts off it quickly descends into appearing to be a platform for Stonewall’s work and yet another outlet for Summerskill and his gay mafia friends to make false claims about the success of their work.

The picture Summerskill paints of his “radicalism” is a fraud. What he describes isn’t radicalism, it’s fraud. Note his nod to the “radicalism”of companies in the FTSE 100. Many of these big players in the stock-market along with a number of institutionally homophobic institutions recently did paid Stonewall in excess of £1,500 in exchange for a place in the group’s own prestigious “stock-market of inequality”.

Stonewall’s work with young people around homophobic bullying gets a regular cash boost from it’s annual “Equality Dinner” where wealthy members of the public make donations in return for spending an evening with celebrities at the Dorchester Hotel. What a shame this cash isn’t reaching the places that really need it.

In August 2008 Stonewall received criticism from the gay community in Liverpool after it failed to speak out after the homophobic murder of gay teenager Michael Causer. In October a planned recruitment day in Liverpool run by Stonewall for the youth volunteering project mentioned in Czyzelska’s article had to be canceled because hardly anyone had registered. The local gay youth group “GYRO” which recently launched it’s own homophobic bullying resources complained they weren’t even told about the event. Another questionable claim made in the article is that Stonewall has seen it’s “active” supporters double and them under 30 is higher than ever causing Czyzelska to blindly state “this is hardly a sign of apathy and complacency”. The truth is – lending one’s support to an organisation like the Stonewall of today is exactly that – apathy and a sign of being complacent. Czyzelska her self describes Stonewall of representing “apathetic conformity” at the start of her article.

Summerskill has a rather contorted view of what activism is. According to Summerskill activism is either “politicised” (the camp he places the likes of Peter Tatchell firmly in) or “smug” (much like himself) – but argues both are equally as radical.

He may well be right, but the terminology is wrong, and it’s designed to confuse people.

Most people will hear the word “political” in this way and instantly assume he’s talking about smiley politicians and out of touch political parties – boring, moaning, infighting and lacking in integrity. But in truth Stonewall itself and those who founded it (Labour Party activists) are no less political, and probably more so.

“Politics” is close to Stonewall’s heart. It courts with representatives of all parties inviting them to debate gay issues whilst leaving fringe activists standing out in the cold like it did at it’s recent Awards ceremony at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum.

Tony Blair was the guest of honour at last year’s Stonewall Equality fund-raiser. Ben Summerskill himself used to be a Labour politician. His predecessor, Angela Mason now works for the Labour government as the Director of the Women and Equality Unit. It is Stonewall who are in the politicised camp that has a narrow agenda not set by the community they work for but political think tanks and business men with lots of opinions.

Most of the “radicals” he tries so hard to tarnish through his use of clever wording are grassroots campaigners who focus on thorny issues Stonewall itself finds hard to grasp (and it’s financial backers wouldn’t touch with a barge pole) such as transphobia, laws around sexual offenses and international human rights abuses (which Stonewall’s funders such as Barclays Bank and Lloyds TSB have been accused of providing finance to).

While Stonewall are leaving by the back door of Lloyds TSB with a nice fat suitcase of money, the real Human Rights activists are banging down the front door in anger at the bank’s decision to block money going to humanitarian charities based in Gaza. This year Stonewall decided to put Lloyds TSB at the very top of it’s “Diversity Champions” index.

No wonder Ben Summerskill just loves brandishing his knife at the real activists like Peter Tatchell who not only tackle domestic issues without asking for the world on the plate, but also around the world. OutRage! has stood up for the human rights of LGBT people in Palestine. Whilst Stonewall smug in to bed with the perpetrators of human rights abuses., happily taking the cash and doing whatever their master tells them – there’s a name for that.

Although she makes many valid points and even provides some balance in her padding of yet another out of touch Summerskill rant, as Czyzelska implies in the title and as the 80’s pop duo once Mel and Kim once sung, – “we ain’t never gonna be respectable”

– well Jane we don’t need your respect any more than Harvey Milk need buy your trashy magazine.


Seeing Red: Corrupt AIDS Charities

January 28, 2009

body_positive_article3

When it comes to the AIDS debate, battle lines were drawn long ago.

Arguments around the ethical behaviour of drug companies, governments and even non-for-profit AIDS charities have split the gay community down the middle.

Critics of lethal medications prescribed to fight a mystery virus that many are told will one day make them sick and die have been chased out of the very community organisations they founded in order to support their loved ones during the peak of the “AIDS crisis”.

Those with first hand experience of the heavy handed, self-righteous behaviour of their once-loved HIV/AIDS support groups have been fighting back against a propaganda war of smear, misinformation, censorship, and commercial and charitable fraud on an international scale.

During the the late 1980’s and early 1990’s a vast number of HIV charities were set up around the UK by the families and friends of AIDS sufferers in order to provide better services for those suffering from the condition. But in recent times these organisations have been infiltrated by a small and impenetrable clique of NHS bully-boys and faceless men in suits – the representatives pharmaceutical giants who now sponsor these mammoth exercises in public charity fraud.

Around three years ago an anonymous blogger who goes by the name of “plusman” has been consistently exposing in precision detail just how this has happened to one such charity in Manchester, England named “Body Positive”.

Now it appears these big boys of the drug making world are so in bed with the likes of Body Positive they are sponsoring their everyday operations. In October 2008 the charity announced via Body Positive’s website and newsletter it was proud to be launching a “photographic competition” to celebrate GlaxoSmithKline’s 21st anniversary of providing HIV treatment. Treatments which have included the controversial AZT amongst many others which activists argue are even more toxic than the HIV virus itself. The prize for the winner of this competition?

The eventual winner was awarded £5,000 cash – although the winner must then donate the money to an “HIV charity of their choice” courtesy of GlaxoSmithKline. The lucky charity turned out to be GMFA (gay men fighting AIDS). Along with over a dozen other major drug manufacturers who all supply HIV medications to the NHS at the highest price paid by any country in the western world most of these companies also provide significant funds to the majority of the charities. So you can understand why staff are reluctant to stamp out the slightest utterance of criticism leveled at the hand which feeds them.

Despite all the lawsuits against GlaxoSmithKline and the predecessor companies it eventually swallowed up in relation to the ongoing scandal that is AZT, decades of evidence continue to mount up– and “AIDS Charities” which include Gay Men Fighting AIDS and Body Positive plus dozens of others continue to censor public discussion on the issue even from their own service users, the same people they have blindly convinced taking AZT (and still are) could save their lives which in turn leads to their death as a result of it’s deadly side affects.

Today, most HIV-positive people receiving treatment on the NHS are prescribed combination therapy of anti-retroviral drugs.

The most common mixture consists of three medications one of which is AZT and the other drugs are close relatives with similar properties. People are STILL taking these drugs despite the warning issued to doctors in 1999 by GlaxoSmithKline and which is still included in very small print on the warning leaflet which reads:

“PROLONGED USE OF RETROVIR (AZT) HAS ALSO BEEN ASSOCIATED WITH SYMPTOMATIC MYOPATHY (AIDS) SIMILAR TO THAT PRODUCED BY HUMAN IMMUNODEFICIENCY VIRUS.”

Although they may have been modified to have slower, slightly less toxic affects over the years when compared to the original formulation of AZT, these drugs themselves can and do cause AIDS. Drug companies urge the public to report any side effects as a matter of priority (via the AIDS charities) so in effect what we are seeing is the evolution of the same type of mass human guinea pig experiment that continues to be unleashed on the public, particularly on gay men. The relatives of those who die even though their loved ones had been taking HIV medications and felt perfectly healthy are told the death is AIDS related, not as a result of “advanced HIV infection”. Any attribution of blame to the possible side-effects (as the warning above describes) is dismissed.

Service users held a protest outside Body Positive North West in Manchester on 16th Jan 2009 in anger at the way the charity is run

Service users held a protest outside
Body Positive North West in Manchester
on 16th Jan 2009 in anger at the way
the charity is currently being run.
Two weeks earlier the charity began offering
a controversial instant HIV testing service.

Unfortunately the plot thickens even 15 years after AZT was introduced. Body Positive recently began offering free “one minute instant HIV testing” at a number of bars in Manchester’s Gay Village, primarily targeting gay men.

Only six months earlier over the pond in New York City half of those who took an almost identical “rapid mouth swab test” received false-positive results. Needless to say, those who manufactured and sold these instant tests for public use pocketed the money and continue to market similar “instant HIV tests” under new branding.

So why are groups like Body Positive so keen to guilt-trip the public into getting an HIV test in this dubious manner?

  • When adequate counseling is not provided to help people deal with the consequences of having an HIV test.
  • When those they target are likely to be intoxicated at the time.
  • Despite many “instant” testing procedures are riddled with failures still requires a visit in person to a fully equipped clinic in order to confirm and then reconfirm the result anyway.

By offering instant tests and counseling, this odious bunch can instantly capture new service users, when they’re at their most vulnerable, and thereby secure additional funding.” One former service user offers a valid explanation over on Plusman’s blog (Beware! Think twice before having an HIV test at Body Positive North West).

If having the infamous red AIDS ribbon an integral part of it’s corporate branding wasn’t enough for them, as an further insult to those who challenge the current HIV dogma they perpetuate and the memory of those who have died as a direct result from the toxic side effects of HIV medications, Body Positive have adopted the “Green Ribbon” (also the symbol of Rethinking AIDS Day on April 23rd) as their symbol for this new fraudulent testing service.

Body Positive aren’t alone in this dubious practice. The Lesbian and Gay Foundation regularly visit gay saunas in the North West of England offering HIV and Sexual Health testing and their London-based counterparts the Terrance Higgins Trust also offer a similar “outreach service”. Their argument is that if gay and bisexual men don’t access their services in these types of settings such as saunas and bars where men are known to meet for sex then they never will.

If you’ve had yourself a cheeky sniff of Poppers or a few Ecstasy pills and a maybe few pints earlier that evening then chances are your immune system has already taken a battering, and your mental state may also be a little wobbly to say the least. Are these really the most ethical and responsible (let alone hygienic!) places to be literally begging vulnerable people to take an HIV test?

Labour MP Harriet Harman poses for a photo opportunity at Body Positive, the target of protests by angry service users. Around the world similar protests have taken place by people seeking to raise publicawareness of similar unethical practices.

Labour MP Harriet Harman poses for a photo opportunity at Body Positive, the
target of protests by angry service users.
Similar protests against corrupt AIDS
charities and their stance on
pushing toxic treatments and ineffective testing
practices continue around the world.

Here at GayMafiaWatch, we recently exposed how the Lesbian and Gay Foundation along with their friends at the George House Trust have been colluding with the manufacturers of “Poppers” and the producers of “Bareback” porn that glorifies unsafe sex. Down at your local sauna where (somewhere between the sling, the glory hole and the sewage strewn steam room) once a month you may find the occasional “LGF Sexual Health Outreach Clinic”.

Even though their efforts are failing considering the “dramatic rise in gay men diagnosed with HIV” – often in the same areas they concentrate their work, these organisations are swamping the gay community with similar guilt inducing “testing is not a choice” propaganda yet they all fail to take into account the consequences and situational context which can have a drastic affect on the emotional well-being of the participant and even the outcome of the actual test itself.

Public health professionals and poorly-informed, under-trained volunteers are behaving like zombies, urging HIV positive people to “commence treatment as soon as possible” even if they aren’t sick despite the indisputable possibility that HIV treatments are part responsible for unnecessary-like deaths. This helps to increase the funds they receive from the Drug Companies and in turn their profit margins. Having such a powerful influence on our community is having an effect, you can see it everywhere. AIDS-related profiteering scandals, cover-ups and censorship are at the heart of the corruption that is ravaging the entire gay community, just like AIDS there’s no cure in sight, just yet.

Even if you don’t really care about asking critical questions yourself and you’re not yet convinced by the arguments you’ve read here today, it’s hard to deny that there is an active assault on the intelligence and dignity of those of us who do. People who question the current AIDS doctrine are branded as dangerous extremists, assumed to be HIV positive in denial and even threatened with the prospect of dying a painful threatened with the prospect of dying a painful death.

One vicious anti-dissident blog even appeals to members of the public for information so that it can smear those who write articles such as this one which reads:

“If you know any outstanding warrants or actual criminal reports about our infamous AIDS dissidents, please post it here! Please post the URL where you discovered the “dirt”.” (posted as AIDS Dissidents are Convicted Criminals – even though they haven’t yet any evidence explain why).

The impartiality of this particular blogger becomes shakier when you notice how the site is littered in adverts for various dating sites such as HivDate.com, commercial enterprises that profit from HIV directly by offering to connect positive people with other positive people. Similarly, various blogs attempting to deny the link between the use of Poppers proceed to explain their argument shortly whilst at the same time providing advertising space for the products. For the record, you won’t see any such advertising here on GayMafiaWatch.

Remember, the truth always comes out. Those concerned with finding out the truth about AIDS (rather than spending masses amounts of money and time smearing and silencing them) are convinced more research and unbiased education will ensure it does sooner rather than later.

“We do not ‘err’ because truth is difficult to see.
It is visible at a glance. – We ‘err’ because this is more comfortable.

–Alexander Solzhenitsyn

Recommended Reading
‘AIDS; The HIV myth’ – Jad Adams, Macmillan London UK, St. Martin’s Press New York USA (1989)
‘Positively False; Exposing the myths around HIV and AIDS’ – Joan Shenton, I.B. Tauris, London (1998)
‘The Origin, Persistence and Failings of HIV/AIDS Theory’ – Dr. Henry Bauer (2007)
‘Ten Lies about AIDS’ – Etienne De Harven, M.D, Trafford Publishing 2008

Useful Websites
ReThinking AIDS
The Group for the Scientific Reappraisal of the HIV/AIDS Hypothesis
AidsMyth
Exploring Myths about the HIV Virus
Alt Heal
Global views of current criticism of International AIDS policy
Heal London
For those questioning the orthodox version of HIV/AIDS

Related articles by GayMafiaWatch
Elton John: Libel Queen
Plenty of other gay men are dropping dead, but unfortunately this talentless piano strummer known as Elton John is still standing right next to his “AIDS Foundation”. After the charity was recently critisised by a national newspaper we explore how Elton mounted and then failed miserable in his attempt to silence the truth about what’s really going on at his little enterprise set up to profit from the AIDS scam.
Stonewalled?
Inventing Homophobia, Manipulating the Media and Masonic Connections
Series of ongoing articles about the UK-based gay rights group “Stonewall”.
Blood Money
what exactly is one of Britain’s biggest, most well funded biggest gay health charities decided to throw in some free advertising for gay escort websites that promote bareback porn worshiping unsafe sex acts via their monthly magazine. – You just couldn’t make it up if you tried!