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.

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.


Blood Money

December 1, 2008

lgf_freddieYou might be forgiven for thinking this advert was about raising funds for those affected by HIV/AIDS – Wrong!

It’s World AIDS Day, and to celebrate the Lesbian and Gay Foundation have decided to throw in some free advertising for gay escort websites that promote bareback porn worshiping unsafe sex acts. – You just couldn’t make it up if you tried!

So just what exactly is one of Britain’s biggest, most well funded biggest gay health charities playing at this time?


Are they raising funds for HIV/AIDS?

No, infact the advert doesn’t even mention the issue despite the connotations and the black and red silhouette photo of Queen front-man Freddie Mercury. The Mercury Phoenix Trust might have something to say on the matter considering they also use this iconic image but unlike the LGF they have the rights to use Mercury’s name and image for the purposes of raising funds for HIV/AIDS related causes as it was established by Mercury’s fellow band members after his death.


So why have they specifically chosen this iconic image to raise funds?


The hidden implication of this fundraising campaign by the cash-strapped Lesbian and Gay Foundation suggests that if you are facing an early death from AIDS (as Freddie Mercury sadly did) and you’ve got a bit of spare cash set aside that could infact still be sitting in the bank once you’re dead and buried then you might be wise to give it to them in the hope it’s a worthy cause.

What’s so wrong with that you? -might be right to ask.

Well nothing, but there are plenty of other more worthy causes out there you might wish to consider Read here about how they fleeced the public by redirecting money raised from Manchester Pride.

Eric is a volunteer at Body Positive, another charity in Manchester that supports people living with HIV. After seeing the above advert in this month’s OutNorthWest magazine produced by the LGF he contacted GayMafiaWatch to inform us he was making a complaint.


“I’m disgusted the LGF have gone straight for the blood on this one, they are already ramming home the message for people to give them money as it is whilst they are still alive – now they want it even when we’re dead!” “they are taking advantage of the fact many of their readers may be facing an early death from HIV and want to cash in on their life savings,  it’s grotesque. This is a new low for them, many of us didn’t think they could actually get
any lower. I will be complaining to the highest authority”

– Eric, Volunteer Body Positive North West for nearly 10 years.


But don’t they pay for all the free condoms and lube in Manchester’s Gay Village?

No. Manchester’s LGBT Community has infact been held to ransom and now pays for the “free” condom and lube distribution scheme itself through wristband sales at Manchester Pride. Around 25% of ticket sales go towards funding the LGF’s involvement in this initiative.

But they produce lots of information on sexual health for gay men, don’t they?

Sort of. The sexual health literature they produce is actually funded publicly through the NHS via Manchester Primary Care Trust’s Public Health Development Service. This cosy relationship isn’t just professional either. Curiously it’s Senior Public Health Development Advisor is married to (well Civil Partnered anyway!) the Chief Executive of the NHS. They have a lovely four bed semi in the leafy outer-outer London district of Chorlton, South Manchester

So what are they raising money for?

It’s hard to say as their annual accounts are vague to say the least. What they do reveal however between the glossy pie charts and colourful lack of detail is the startling fact that the Lesbian and Gay Foundation spends more on raising funds than it actually generates.


Shockingly last year the charity’s accounts showed this had lumped them with a major deficit. No wonder they are pushing so hard from every possible angle using as much emotive language to get people to donate. If these figures add up as they appear to it looks as if the LGF actually lost around £22,000 in 2007.

    £55,000 (income received from fundraising activities)
    £77,000 (income spent on fundraising activities

    (Source: LGF Annual Review 2007)

Over the past year it’s no wonder various rumors have begun circulating suggesting the LGF are now facing a serious financial deficit. Pleading with the public in the covering page of it’s 2007 annual review the LGF’s Chief Executive Paul Martin stated:

“it is becoming increasingly more difficult to gain funding for the work that we are doing” – “The LGF has never made a direct request for financial support before.”

This is a complete Lie.

lgf_montage1
Since it’s conception the LGF has collected public donations in and around Manchester’s Gay Village and through various events including World AIDS Day and Manchester Pride. Before it came into existence after a merger between Healthy Gay Manchester (a council and NHS run initiative) with Manchester Lesbian and Gay Switchboard both organisations had dozens of collection tins in bars all over the village, after the merger they replaced them with LGF branded collection tins. Funds raised by one of Manchester Pride’s previous incarnations have nearly always gone into the LGF’s fat purse.


In 2001 “Manchester GayFest” granted the LGF a sum of over £30,000 which it decided to spend on upgrading it’s former premises on Charles Street with a wheelchair ramp. Several months later the LGF moved up the road to Princess House deeming the entire idea a complete waste of money.


“You do have the potential to end homophobia by please financially supporting the LGF.” – Paul Martin confidently declares.


Really Paul? – Maybe money really can solve everything! However, in response to the controversy over the LGF’s involvement in Manchester Pride local Councillor Iain Lindley rubbished Martin’s suggestion in his blog by stating:

“I wasn’t aware that you have to pay a £20 entry fee in order to be against homophobia, bigotry and hatred… – what nonsense.”Cllr Iain Lindley, Salford Walkden South

In the proceeding comments one member of the community also made an even stronger accusation about the LGF’s alleged abuse of funding and further confirming the bullying tactics we reported on back in May:

“As someone who is active in the womens/lesbian community in Greater Manchester I am sick and tired of the Manchester-centric, village obsessed Lesbian and Gay Foundation claiming to represent me and somehow by producing a never ending supply of pointless and wasteful literature about “ending homophobia”, a cause they cannot be expected to defeat alone or within our lifetimes.

I am very frustrated about how they constantly manipulate members of the community unto thinking they are the champions for equality and safer lifestyles when a great deal many of other individuals and groups have the same intentions yet are blocked from having the opportunity to do so because of their domination and monopolisation of the funding and the opportunity to promote the good work of voluntary groups other than themselves. They are not accountable to anyone, they
purposely duck and dive and keep their meetings in secret, they carryout no consultation whatsoever with the wider community and arrogantly claim to represent the voices and needs of anyone who cares as much as they claim to.”
– Laura

The charity’s dubious relationship with commercial sponsors who profit from the “Pink Pound” in Manchester’s gay village recently prompted us to investigate how the manufacturers of the popular recreational drugs marketed as “Poppers” (or “Room Odorisers”!) were using the LGF’s “community health and lifestyle” magazine “OutNorthWest” to direct their advertising at gay men – “Poppers the Sweet Smell of Hypocrisy“.

The use of Poppers have been scientifically proven to lower the body’s immune system (not good for anyone with HIV!).

After which there came an angry response causing the LGF to remove most of the adverts for poppers in the next issue. We also received a number of comments including this one from a worried teacher:

“I am a teacher at a large comprehensive school in East Manchester I am also a member of the Lesbian community I was astonished to read your article regarding poppers adverts combined with subliminal messages promoting their use in the LGF’s magazine. The following day we had a visit from a group who were running a workshop on homophobic bullying and they left behind (along with some excellent resources on how to combat homophobia in their defence) several copies of the LGF magazine. Worried that I may become blamed for distributing this type of dangerous advertising to my pupils I quickly informed the Deputy Headteacher who advised me to promptly bin the publication.

Amanda  (Teacher)


In the latest issue of OutNorthWest (December 2008), right next to the aforementioned full page glossy appeal for money direct from the death beds of AIDS sufferers there appeared a peculiar article on “Sex Workers” which was also promoted on the contents page under the full on face shot of a rather photogenic young man under the title “Sex Bomb – HIV explodes amongst young gay men” with the slightly smaller title “A three page special on gay men and lesbians who sell sex.

Alongside the Sex Workers article they were kind enough to provide listings to other organisations who could offer support and advice (a rare thing for the LGF unless of course they are run by their friends or by themselves under different names!). However they also felt it appropriate to also list a well known gay escorts website manchesterlads.com apparently because it has pages with “advice for anyone selling sex“. This may be true but they also list other more suitable sources of information, so how is it the LGF is providing free advertising accompanying such an article in this context for manchesterlads, which is a purely commercial website which (although it claims not to be an escort agency) that makes money from escorts by charging them to host a listing.


In a further sickening twist, the site also carries numerous bold advertisements for explicit gay DVD’s that glorify unsafe-sex and “Bug-Chasing” or “Breeding” (the practice of purposely seeking to become infected with HIV) including “Council Trash”, “Bare Huge Dicks #9, “London Cum Pigs 2”, “Fuck Me Raw”, “Breeding Season” and “I’m Gonna Fuck You Hard and Bareback“amongst many others.


Interestingly some of the same escorts listed on manchesterlads also appear in a number of the videos advertised on the site.

Although they mostly go under pseudonymous on the escort listings page, many of these (mostly young) men are well known faces in Manchester’s gay village, and many of them also happen to be from low-income families, have left school with few if any qualifications and possibly also vulnerable.

We caught up with a “Liam” – a male sex worker from Wythenshawe, one the poorest council estates in Britain located in the south of Manchester. This is what he had to say about his own experiences:


“I had just dropped out of college and a bit stuck really, I would have stayed on the course but since I just about passed for 18 I had started going out nearly every night into the (gay) village and was taking a lot of “K” (Ketamine) and pills so my head was really too messed up to focus. After clubbing some nights we used to go to B******* Sauna mostly only because the night buses around here are rubbish so we’d hang out there, get wasted, sometimes have a shag with some random guy then get the first bus home and sleep off the come-down!

After people started to get know me around the village I got friendly with a group of young guys I’d met in the Sauna who suggested I try escorting to earn a bit of extra cash. They’d signed up to manchesterlads already and one night at the sauna we logged onto the website and they got me signed up to it as well. Being skint all the time I jumped at the chance. I was already really used to going with anyone in the dark room just ‘cos I was mashed and horny so getting paid to do it never seemed like a bad thing. I don’t use manchesterlads now as they charge quite a bit to keep your listing online (amounting to £240 a year) and now I’ve got a few regular clients I don’t need to pay manchesterlads to get me new business. I live right near the airport so it’s quite handy for most of the guys I meet and it suits me for now but I do regret dropping out of college and don’t think I will ever go back now. My life is too centered on scene”
Liam, 19, Escort


Ultimately the Lesbian and Gay Foundation may exist as a force for good, even though it appears the continuing influence of a small number of corrupt, self-important, greedy vampires has warped them from their original objectives.


Unfortunately they are making matters so much worse thanks to their tendency to blend dodgy advertising that contradicts their sexual health message in their flagship publication time after time, dubiously siphoning away funding from other smaller charities (as Laura has claimed) into their own ghost projects and then finishing it all off with a never ending slurry of  explosive “sex-sells” imagery that is a main cause of why many gay men of all ages continue to experience serious issue of low self-esteem, responsible for individuals engaging in wreckless, self-destructive behaviour, recreational drug use, abusing steroids to get a better body, engaging in risky sexual encounters (like bug-chasing), selling their body over the internet and possibly contracting HIV as a result.


You could say that the Lesbian and Gay Foundation are part of a vicious circle when it comes to sexual health prevention and promotion.


First they came for your blood, and now they’re after your money!


Media Tactics launched against Stonewall Awards Protest

November 4, 2008

gay_media_trust1 Just two days before their annual awards ceremony at the Victoria and Albert Museum is set to be besieged by coach loads of angry trans activists, “gay lobby group” Stonewall are once again up to their dirty tricks and have enlisted the former Gay Times editor and henchwoman of the “Soho Gay Mafia”in an attempt to distract the more independent gay and mainstream press away from Thursday’s demonstrations.

At 11am on Tuesday 4th November 2008 “Head Lesbian” Vicky Powell rushed out the following news release from Stonewall’s London office with the headline “Lesbians find sexism a bigger barrier to work success than homophobia” – a news release which GayMafiaWatch believes is the start of a “damage limitation” exercise orchestrated by Stonewall bosses with the assistance of their gay media monopoly friends.

Unable to cope with the demand on their press office flooded with complaints and faced with a very large public protest outside the event after they controversially nominated a Transphobia Lesbian Feminist for their “Journalist of the Year” award – it seems Stonewall’s plan of action includes promoting sexism as a bigger issue than homophobia and no doubt any other specific oppression against the LGBT community. This press release has been sent out for no other purpose but a direct attempt to sabotage and divert attention away from the protests in a few days time and possibly win over as many lesbians and women to their array of invented and false projects this press release talks of.

vicky_powel

Then there’s Vicky Powell herself who left Gay Times in October 2006 to join Stonewall and has since very rarely (if ever) sent out a press release on behalf of Stonewall (it is virtually always Gary Nunn). So professional is dear Vicky that she fatally (not for the first time!) forgot to “blind copy” the recipients of the press release email, revealing every single one of their press contacts, a serious breach of confidentiality and privacy to say the least!

How cynical this appears, just because this story is about women it gets sent out by a woman. It seems like poor Vicky is a victim of Stonewall’s own sexist attitudes as she only gets to have her name on something if it relates to Lesbians otherwise it’s left to Nunn. She hasn’t released anything from Stonewall since January 2007, Garry Nunn sends stuff out on an almost weekly basis.

“It’s no surprise therefore that Britain’s two million lesbians remain almost invisible at work.” Interviewees pointed to a lack of openly gay women in the workplace” – commented Ruth Hunt, Stonewall’s head of policy. – Maybe that’s because they all work for Stonewall!



Stonewall and the Illuminati

October 14, 2008
Gay Mafia Worldwide - Stonewall, New Labour, the Democrats and the Gill Action Fund

In February 1999 former Stonewall activist and member of UK gay youth group “YouthSpeak” Chris Morris wrote an article in “New Statesman” called “Now Meet the Real Gay Mafia” – the article that first drew public attention to the activities of Stonewall and it’s associates who “make money out of keeping homosexuals in a ghetto”. Nearly ten years later, American gay mag “The Advocate” ran a cover story by Kerry Eleveld in July 2008 entitled “The Gay Goodfellas: The Real Gay Mafia“. She talked aboutan eerily similar plot in the United States described the gay mafia as “the most effective pro-gay political weapon you never heard of.”
The mysterious emblem of The Fabian Society – the people running Stonewall, and now most of Britain. Tony Blair and Gordon Brown are both members. Ben Summerskill’s Grandmother other was one too, yet it boasts fewer than 6,000 members.

This stained glass window designed in 1910 by George Bernard Shaw commemorating Fabian Society members “building the new world”. It was unveiled by Tony Blair at the London School of Econmics in 2006.

Stonewall of the West” is a book written by Craig L. Symonds about the gay Freemason army general hailed as one of the key heroes of the American Civil War. He is also mentioned extensively in another book by Jonathan Katz – “Gay American History: Lesbians and Gay Men in the U.S.A” in which he talks about Cleburne’s sexuality.

During Pride London 2008 a select number of Stonewall UK staff called in at 10 Downing Street to meet Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Later that day the group led by  gay actor (Gandalf) Sir Ian McKellen were heckled by Transgendered rights activists in the crowds as well as the trans contingent within the parade itself in an organised protest with signs that read “Stonewall Was a Riot” and “Say No to Stonewall Transphobia”.
What links the UK’s most criticised and most respected gay group to the world’s biggest international conspiracy?

Information is beginning to be unearthed by a number of bloggers and gay activists linking the gay rights group Stonewall, who GayMafiaWatch believes runs the British “Gay Mafia” to the much speculated and often feared “Illuminati” – or at least a part of it. If you’ve never heard of the Illuminati before then go and find out, otherwise keep on reading….

As you will have heard, the more believable elements of the various outrageous Illuminati conspiracy theories relate to their relationship with various dubious groups and secret societies including the Freemasons.

So how is Stonewall’s thinking and inevitable practice connected to this exclusive and often rather secretive political group that merely describes itself these days as a political “think tank”?

Without mentioning the obvious “New World Order” connections to Stonewall due to its financial donors and board members who have their fingers in numerous big multinationals, there is a clearly identifiable political influence behind the organisation.

It appears Stonewall is a sub-project of a relatively unheard movement known as “Fabians” and their UK based branch “The Fabian Society” – a somewhat secretive, self righteous and almost impenetrable collective now running our country.

In the beginning the Fabians were more about exploring spiritual, rather than political, alternatives to capitalism until a woman called Annie Besant brought Freemasonry to England in 1902 and joined the Fabians tea party. Her involvement massively influenced the Fabians and has shaped the organisation into what they stand for today. Leon Trotsky later
described Fabianism as “an attempt to save capitalism from the working class”.

On hearing the name for the first time you might be forgiven for confusing the Fabians with some eccentric religious cult with Aliens at the heart of their ideology (thats the Raelians) however this group of Capitalist Socialists most people have never heard of represent one of the most powerful circles of people in the country – if not the world.

The facts and figures behind the theory

The Fabians were one of the original founding groups of the original Labour Party in 1900 and despite their obvious connection they still exist as a separate, antonymous body today. Members include Tony Blair, Jack Straw, Stephen Twigg, Peter Mandleson, and the current Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Stonewall’s Ben Summerskill has used his position as Chief Executive of Stonewall to speak at a number of Fabian events all over the world, and his Grandmother, a notable feminist the late Baroness Summerskill was a notable member of this elite group.

For an organisation with less than 6,000 members, the number of highly influential members signed up is unusual to say the least.

One prominent link between the Fabians is Tom Happold – Chair of the Young Fabians between 1996-1997. He is the editor of Guardian Unlimited, previously Deputy Editor of “Comment is free”, of which Ben Summerskill and Julie Bindel are regular contributors to. Controversially, Julie Bindel (a radical feminist known within the LGBT community who opposes the rights of transsexuals) has been nominated for a Stonewall Award along with countless Fabian members and people with connections to the Fabian Society. Fabians take their name from the Roman General Quintus Fabius Maximus Verrucosus famous for keeping his enemies at bay not by fighting but by wearing down his army with “delaying tactics, endless maneuvering, and avoiding confrontation wherever possible”. Additionally Fabians believe in “gradual incremental change rather than revolutionary change” – is this sounding familiar?

The truth about Stonewall’s name…

It has often been asked “why would a British based Gay and Lesbian rights group choose to name itself after violent a riot against the police led by transsexuals?”

The gay liberation movement did not begin at the Stonewall Inn in New York as most people are led into believing, and many other groups exist and have been established in the United States that rather fairly use the name Stonewall. However the British group “Stonewall” takes it’s name from another source entirely…

It is a nod and a wink and possibly a peculiar masonic handshake to an Irish-born Major General of the British Army who served in the American Civil War. His name was Patrick Ronayne Cleburne, also known as “Stonewall of the West” and was granted the title over 100 years before the Stonewall Riots. Is this where the Stonewall Inn get’s it’s
name from? Either way there are undoubtibly a a number of connections.

Cleburne’s most historically notable and controversial act was a proposition to abolish slavery with the intention
of enlisting ex-slaves in the army to fight for the British. Cleburne’s hailed strategic manipulation of terrain, ability to hold ground where others failed, and his ability to use his smaller force to distract the movements of his enemies earned him the nickname.
In his later years, Cleburne delivered a keynote speech on the “Principles of the International Masonic Order” emphasising their belief in “
principles of the Masonic order, “Brotherly love, friendship, charity, and truth’…“. He was granted the title “Stonewall
of the West
” and as you may have guessed he
happened to be gay
.

Over a century later the great grandchildren of Cleburne’s generation inspired by his concept of recruiting an oppressed and exploited section of society to fight his battles by offering them emancipation unleashed the same concept
in the UK. Replicating his Masonic teachings combined with the ideology of the Fabian Society – “
thriving on capitalism but pushing communist ideals“. “Stonewall” was established in 1989 by influential Fabians in an attempt to get the Tories out of power and New Labour in. It worked.
To sum it all up… we have a gay rights group heavily influenced by and connected with what is effectively a branch of the Freemasons… and we have a decorated gay Freemason…with the same name doing with the gay community just what he is remembered for doing with former slaves.

What about Stonewall’s future?

Who knows if there are really dark forces at work at Stonewall, their real intentions may in fact be good but their means of achieving real change simply appear contradictory or confusing to the casual observer. In the mean time support for the gay rights group once loved by many appears to be waning, at least that’s the picture a Google search for blogs and social networking
groups
discussing Stonewall’s recent work seems to paint. Stonewall has been charged with the crime of selling it’s own people down the river, on discovering “Bummer Sells Kin” is an anagram of “Ben Summerskill” we went searching for more, here’s what we found…. (with no disrespect intended)

Oh how we laughed! Although it’s not all that funny… The letters of Chief Executive Ben Summerskill’s name can be rearranged into a startling number of connected if not simply hilarious phrases. Have a look for yourself at the anagrams Summerskill’s name can be transformed into, why not post a comment if you find anything of interest? “Bum
Men’s Killers
”, “Bull Semen Smirk” and “Bell Miner’s Musk” also made us chuckle.

Member in Skulls?

Another curious anagram of the Gay Mafia figure’s name…. “The Skulls” was a film directed by Rob Cohen and released in 2000 based on a fictional “Secret elitist college fraternity organization called the Skulls” staring Joshua Jackson closely based on the real life “Skull & Bones;” society based at Yale University of which many influential world leaders and directors of multinational organisations
have been members of including George Bush. The film is underpinned by a subtle homo-erotic subtext. We recommend you read “
America’s Secret Establishment: An Introduction to the Order of Skull & Bones” by Antony C. Sutton. Similar societies exist in the United Kingdom and membership involves similar Masonic customs and connections.

Whilst studying at Oxford University also attended by a number of individuals also named in this article including Ben Summerskill, the politician, businessman, scholar and Prime Minister of the British Cape Colony (South Africa) Cecil Rhodes became a Freemason. He was also a homosexual… Obviously GayMafiaWatch isn’t so naive to
believe this is anything but coincidence, however conspiracy mongering information like this will continue to spew it’s snake-eyed head at anyone in a position with the potential for it to be true allows it – Stonewall included unless they address the influx of criticism and sort out their image and attitude problem.

So what exactly is Stonewall today?

Whilst the ordinary Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered folk of Britain suffered for many under the Conservatives, we entrusted Stonewall with the responsibility of taking our rights forward. When their Fabian friends
led by Tony Blair came to power many thanks to our support in 1997 Stonewall kept a hold of that responsibility and are now firmly at one with the Government.

After going through a mountain of correspondence from a number of LGBT organisations and disenchanted members of the community addressed to the Mayor’s office (and previously shredded by Ken Livingstone) within weeks of being elected, Boris Johnson concluded for himself himself that a specially selected group chaired by Ben Summerskill was“not necessarily representative of the LGBT community” and so he dissolved the and ineffective unelected “Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Advisory Panel”.

If Labour loose the 2010 General Election, Stonewall could find themselves booted out of Downing Street along with their Fabian Mafia friends. Their cosy, secretive world as they know it could be about to come to an abrupt end,  unless of course Stonewall starts work on restoring the faith they’ve lost from the LGBT community at large they will soon need to ensure their continued survival.


Poppers – the Sweet Smell of Hypocrisy

September 29, 2008

Who’d ever thought a little glass bottle could cause so much damage? Originally developed to help people with serious heart conditions, these dangerous drugs are still being sold all over the country – and on the gay scene you can’t miss them.

GayMafiaWatch reports on one of today’s biggest and most controversial sexual health scandals which first emerged back in the early 1980’s when gay saunas, bathhouses and sex clubs in California stopped selling poppers in response to public health concerns at the height of the first AIDS crisis.

At the time little research had been conducted on the causes and affects of HIV/AIDS scientists and community figures agreed on one thing – poppers were in some way connected to an increase in unsafe sex amongst gay men, and inevitably HIV. Dozens of reputable studies exist that strongly suggest the direct inhalation of poppers can predispose the user to developing AIDS related illnesses including many types of cancer which gay men in particular tend to fall victim to such as Kaposi’s Sarcoma. Take a look at this comprehensive list of research published in the Lancet, the Journal of Toxicology-Clinical Toxicology, the British Medical Journal and the American Journal of Medicine to name just a few.

In 1990 the Anti-Drug Abuse Act came into force, effectively outlawing the commercial retail sale of poppers right across the United States and in 1996 the Medicines Act ruled that retailers selling poppers could be prosecuted in the United Kingdom. After escaping prosecution for many years through the abuse of a legal loophole which allowed poppers to be legally sold to the public as long as they are marketed as “Room odorisers” or ”Aromas” on the 24th August 2008 the most commonly sold formulation of these foul smelling, euphoria inducing gay glamour drugs (Isobutyl-Nitrate) finally became illegal.

The Government assumed the country would at last be free from the scourge of poppers once and for all but they assumed wrong. The manufacturers were already one step ahead of the game and simply sidestepped the move by altering the formula used from Isobutyl Nitrate to Isopropyl Nitrate . Many had already prepared the withdrawal and replacement of their existing brands with completely legal alternatives that are just as potent, just as profitable and just as dangerous.

50% of gay men admit to using poppers in the past 12 months”
Terrance Higgins Trust Gay Men’s Survey 2008

Cancer in a Bottle?

It’s well known that many gay men use poppers to relax whilst having anal sex, especially for the first time. Younger gay men or those just coming out are therefore much more likely to find a use for poppers, not only for the pleasurable and relaxing affects making anal sex more comfortable but also to allay fear and anxiety associated with their first gay sexual encounters. Unlike with alcohol and cigarettes, the relatively unregulated and discreet nature and convenience offered by by sex shops, saunas and internet mail order services ensures that any age restriction on the sale of poppers to under-age customers would be difficult to enforce. HIV is now at it’s highest rate ever, particularly amongst the current generation of young gay men in our big cities, many of whom failed to received adequate sexual health education at school due to Section 28 of the local government act which outlawed the “promotion of homosexuality” we are allowing our youth to dive head first into a minefield of risks, aware of the consequences.

Despite the massive amount of public resources being ploughed into safer-sex messages targeting Crystal-Meth users, binge drinkers and participants in other more well know high risk sexual behaviours, alarming research carried out by the Medical Research Council and the Terrance Higgins Trust has recently declared that poppers appear to be “the only drug associated with an increased risk of acquiring HIV” and concluded “if you sniff poppers there’s an increased risk of HIV transmission if you have unprotected sex”. In 2007 the Terrance Higgins Trust also released findings of a major new study which discovered 80% of HIV positive men used poppers compared to 58% who remained negative. The connection between HIV and poppers is indisputable.


Both human and animal studies indicate that poppers use significantly suppresses the immune system.” US Toxicology-Clinical Study

Flavour of the month?

Popular gay magazines, especially the free ones have numerous adverts promoting poppers from at least three separate retailers. None of these adverts state what they are intended to be used for, what the dangers are or what they contain. The current advertising campaign for Clone Zone’s relaunched brand of Ispoproyl Nitrates are covered with slogans such as “for your lifestyle” “extra strong aroma” and “new sensation”. One big gay nightclub in Manchester has even named a club night in honour of a popular brand of poppers and shamelessly used the bold imagery of poppers bottles in it’s promotional flyers and magazine adverts. They also sell poppers behind the bar. OutNorthWest regularly features similar prominent advertisements for poppers.

In it’s September 2008 pride special, timed to coincide with the complete Europe-wide ban on the sale Isobutyl-Nitrate, Clone Zone took out an entire half page advertisement dedicated to promoting their new “Xtreme Xtra Strong” brand of poppers. Directly beneath it on the same page is an advert for Cheshire’s gay and bisexual men only “Sauna Sauna” which also sells poppers. Despite featuring a very brief paragraph contained within an unrelated advertisement from the Terrance Higgins Trust on page 46 providing a very brief overview of the risks associated with poppers out the 87 pages in OutNorthWest, twelve of these pages promote outlets that sell poppers direct to the public. Despite the immense opportunity to do so in this free, glossy, popular publication which claims to have a readership of over 60,000 people – it’s publishers, the Lesbian and Gay Foundation (formerly Healthy Gay Manchester) failed to mention the news or the reasons behind the ban on Isobutyl-Nitrate. Given all the evidence and the fact that their main mission is to improve the health and well-being of the gay community surely they should be more concerned about the cost to our health than the revenues of their advertisers? The priorities of this NHS funded organisation are back to front to say the least.

Explicit adverts for new brands of poppers that remain legal due to a legal loophole. Adverts are often found places alongside adverts for gay saunas and escort services

Explicit adverts for new brands of poppers that remain legal due to a legal loophole. Adverts are often found places alongside adverts for gay saunas and escort services

Good for your night out? But how good for your health? Part of the above advert was printed in the September issue of OutNorthWest the official publication of the Lesbian and Gay Foundation, a charity which was established to promote sexual health within the North West’s gay community. The magazine makes most of it’s revenue from advertising. The magazine is available in libraries, colleges, universities, doctors surgeries, GUM clinics, clubs and bars where poppers are sold and GayMafiaWatch has had reports of the magazine including the adverts in several Manchester High Schools. The charity also receives funding from the local Primary Health Care trusts to develop health promotion initiatives for gay men whilst providing a platform for the dubious advertising of cancer causing brands of poppers. Is this a case of double standards or ethical bad practice? By accepting such advertising and placing it directly next to adverts for sexual services the Lesbian and Gay Foundation and Manchester NHS are directly advocating the use of poppers within the context of risky sex.

The Hard Sell?

An additional risk to ones health is also heightened through the co-use of poppers with drugs such as Viagra (stiffeners!). As both drugs cause the lowering of blood pressure, using them both together, particularly if someone already has a heart condition has proven fatal. One inevitable side effect of using poppers which occurs almost immediately after the rush wears off is the inability to maintain an erection, pretty bad news when you’re having a shag – and where you’re likely to find most people using poppers! To counteract this awkward side affect many guys are taking both without realising, or caring about the risks.

If that wasn’t worrying enough many saunas and mail order services that have made an undisclosed fortune through the sale of poppers over the years are also beginning to cash in on the market for prescription free alternatives to Viagra, and despite the lack of brand name or patent many of these readily available stiffeners now being peddled to the gay market through gay magazines and sex shops. One major sauna chain even has vending machines in the changing rooms selling packets for less than £10 right next to the poppers. Most of these hard-on inducing products contain a substance described as “herbal viagra” or “kamagra” with virtual the same effects as the real over-the-counter stuff and of course, the same risks. Those profiting from the sale of these dangerous drugs are well aware of the risks but will no doubt continue to sell them and earn a quick buck for as long as they can get away with it.

Popular gay club night glamourising imagery of a bottle of poppers to promote a club night on the same weekend the most popular brands became illegal

Popular gay club night glamorising imagery of a bottle of poppers to promote a club night on the same weekend the most popular brands became illegal. It's no wonder poppers are popular on the gay scene when clubbers and drinkers are bombarded with their normality.

Gay Gold Rush?

Combined with the rush, the desired psychological factor of decreased inhibitions, increased sexual libido and the placing of poppers for sale in venues where high risk behaviour is already prevalent such as clubs and saunas the question must once again be asked… Why are our bars, clubs, magazines, saunas, dating websites and sex shops found on gay scene so eager to continue promoting these dangerous substances despite the overwhelmingly strong evidence suggesting they are having a devastating effect on the gay community and the state of gay and bisexual men’s health?

The answer is pretty obvious, it’s all about the money, lots of it. The average bottle of poppers costs more than a pint of beer, more than a packet of cigarettes and certainly more than enough ecstasy pills to keep you dancing all weekend. Once opened the shelf life deteriorates and within a couple of weeks your once fragrant “room odoriser” begins to smell like the bottom of a footballers boot, and although there is still a small “rush” to be had from each sniff of your now binnable bottle of toxic chemicals, the headache, combined with the unbearable stench you’ll endure in pursuit of one last rush of euphoria just isn’t worth it. Keer-ching! Off you pop, down to the village for a new bottle. The profit margins are massive.

It’s time to ditch poppers once and for all.