After giving the matter much thought, it seems the time is right for me to take a short break from blogging. There is much going on in our lives at present, such as Robin’s discernment process and the imminent arrival of our next child, both of which require all of my spiritual and emotional attention.
In some ways this should prove a great lesson in personal self-control and spiritual humility, there have been many topics of late, that I would have relished the opportunity to disseminate in detail, not least the recent abortion, teen pregnancy and STI statistics, as well as various liturgical and spiritual reflections, but as fellow bloggers will be aware, blogging takes a certain amount of emotional investment and energy, which could be put to better use at the current time.
Those who have been regular readers, will be aware that for some time now I have been subjected to an online hate campaign, which has terrified me in terms of its intensity and spite. For those who say ‘it’s just the internet’, what has happened has spilled over into real-life. The ever-perceptive Joseph Shaw demonstrated an awareness of the impact that cyber-bullying can have. I would like to offer my thanks and appreciation to him, a relative stranger who reached out a hand of comfort and support in a spirit of true Christian caritas, identifying a person experiencing very real suffering and distress, not just a cyber-nemesis or faceless online persona. I also owe Fr Ray Blake and anyone else who offered prayers and support my sincere thanks.
A Catholic colleague and friend and to whom I owe an enormous debt of gratitude, was one of the first to be contacted in relation to this matter and who like many others, watched the furious feeding frenzy unfold with increasing horror, took a lot of time and painstaking effort to unravel what had been occurring and get to the bottom of matters. He has written a very long and very detailed 80 page, 42,000 word document that forensically deconstructs and disproves every single claim and allegation that has been made. If anyone who has been party to any of this nonsense would like to read a copy of it, please contact me, and I will send you the .pdf document in its entirety. The main protagonists will be offered a copy and an opportunity to publically apologise, so in order to offer them the natural justice that was denied to me, I shall resist the temptation to name names in the event that retractions and apologies are forthcoming.
In the meantime, I’ll quote from the executive summary and conclusion, to give a general flavour.
Since March 2012, Caroline Farrow has been the victim of online mobbing, supposedly justified because Caroline herself allegedly engaged in online bullying, abuse, and gossip with a view to damaging the reputations of others. Having examined all allegations and evidence presented to me, I believe the claims made about Caroline to be baseless. Even had there been some truth to those allegations, I do not believe that would genuinely justify how she has been treated over recent months.
Over the past two months, those who have supported Caroline or even due process and basic principles of justice have themselves been subject to scurrilous abuse and angry accusations.
The thesis that Caroline has engaged in sockpuppetry, notably via the @stopanticath account, is frankly absurd. Aside from @stopanticath being different from Caroline in tone, content, and approach, he, she, or they have tweeted while Caroline has been live on air on both television and the radio, and while she’s been sitting talking to friends over dinner or in the pub.
In real terms, the worst that can be said about Caroline in connection with these matters is that she’s a fine case study in how not to respond to online bullying, but it’s far easier as a spectator to talk of how one ought to respond than it is to handle things well when being bullied.
There is no shortage of apologies due here.
It makes no difference to me whether one person, or several thousand read it, but for me, part of the healing process involves an attempt to clear my name, although I am well aware that what is written will not convince anyone who wishes to believe the worst, despite compelling evidence to the contrary.
For now I need to walk away but on my own terms, in order to let the dust settle on this affair, to regroup, re-charge and concentrate my energies upon my spiritual life and my family, in a spirit of genuine humility, uniting and offering up my pain, anguish, sense of injustice and loss to Our Lord on the cross.
It is my hope that there shall be a glorious resurrection, I shall return, but with a more pronounced focus on pro-life affairs in particular and able to rise above all of the inevitable online backbiting, none of which does anything to extol Gospel virtues.
In the meantime, if anyone would like to avail themselves of my services, not least in terms of some of the data and graphs I have been collating, please drop me a line. I am also still available for any writing commissions or opportunities that may present themselves, but only in a format that does not leave myself open for abuse.
It’s time to draw a line.