Sprung – damaging attack tactics of Marc Spring

Many years of attacks against Matt Blomfield have been detailed in the book Whale Oil launched last week. Most focus was on Cameron Slater, but it also shows how involved Marc Spring was in a sustained campaign against Blomfield.

Two days before a hearing in the defamation trial Blomfield versus Slater last October, Spring sent an email to Blomfield’s lawyer, Felix Geiringer:

Perhaps a thought: when it goes to trial, the reporters will be there all day, every day, as the scores of witnesses give evidence against your client, so your client will be able to read all about himself for weeks on end in the mainstream media. That should leave a great footprint for all to see for the rest of his days. That will end any chance of a job or company ever being successful for your client. Oh the notoreity!!!

That brazenness is typical of Spring. And his obsession with trying to destroy Blomfield’s life. The book details how the campaign against Blomfield included extensive efforts to destroy any businesses, business relationships and employment opportunities.

Obsessed with attack that Spring and Slater thought they could use the trial to continue their attacks on Blomfield. But they put so much of their focus on attack they missed the boat on defence.

The trial judge ruled that Slater had no defence. All the attacks and claims and accusations he and Spring had made against Blomfield were distortions, misinformation and lies.  The judge saw through their tactics, refused to allow them to attack, and threw out Slater’s hapless and hopeless defence.

In social media, especially when there is a huge power imbalance like what they had with Whale Oil, attack can work in lieu of a defence. But when it came to the crunch in court the attack tactics failed. As they should have. Slater initiated an appeal of the decision, but after spinning the courts along for a few more months he withdrew the appeal as his lawyers deserted him.

In the years before this, despite a court agreement not to attack Blomfield, despite a restraining order, Spring kept attacking Blomfield wherever he could find an outlet. The worst of these attacks were on the Lauda Finem website. Last year Dermot Nottingham was convicted of five counts of criminal harassment and two of breach of suppression (a representative tip of an attack iceberg) and was found to be the principal participant in Lauda Finem, which in court he maintained was outside new Zealand law.

A lot of the attacks on Blomfield there, via posts and comments, look to me like they have at least the input of Spring. Multiple identities support each other in comments – and this looks suspiciously like Spring’s style and tactics, and he has proven motives.

He tried similar here at Your NZ. See: The many identities of Marc Spring and The many identities of Marc Spring

THE TYRANT (Spring) 8 May 2015:

Its just days away until another Blomfield scam gets made public. The guy is a recidivist criminal with no thought for any of his actions, or the consequences he leaves for people. Someone close to me just got taken for a ride – post his bankruptcy he just continues on and on, telling lies, acting like a thug, bragging about being a gang associate, and just being a general piece of shit. How many of his lawyers have complaints against them???? i was told 2 from one firm have multiple issues they face from working for this scum bag – i am betting soon multiple people will face multiple charges. The guy i was introduced to seemed pretty straight up, and a “take no shit” person. If more like him stood up to scammers like Blomfield the place would be all the better for it. Luckily my mate has met up with this person and he is going to facilitate the story becoming public.

Now we know that Blomfield has been vindicated, and Spring is totally discredited. This is typical of him – he repeatedly accuses others of doing what he has himself been doing.

Shagger (Spring) 5 May 2015 referring to Lauda Finem:

Posts are long, informative, pull no punches, and link often with legal speak of a well versed lawyer, or knowledge of the local laws. Or in some cases our lack of law. They are neither left nor right, but in my view slightly left at times. They have also been HIGHLY critical of Cameron Slater at times and certainly seem to not share much he says – with the exception of the Blomfield issue. Blomfield has unwittingly become the man who has opened up the rules surrounding the blog space. His case of defamation against Slater is also doomed to failure. I would not be surprised if Blomfield is the whipping boy for Prentice and co as they are using him to get to Slater.

– “link often with legal speak of a well versed lawyer, or knowledge of the local laws” is laughable. A long line of failures in court show how poorly versed Nottingham is in law. An attempted diversion from involvement for Slater, he was criticised in some posts but he was also complicit at Lauda Finem.

THE TYRANT (Spring) 8 May 2015:

@shagger – funny you mention the Thompson / Torensen dicks. I read the “Pet Detective” post at Lauda Finem today – the picture showing the dad with that ape had me in fits of laughter and tears rolling down my face with the “Reverse Darwinism” line. Great humour to say the least and actually quite uncanny the resemblance

I found that often here Spring was responding to his own comments under different identities to try to make it appear there was support for his accusations.

THE TYRANT (Spring) in reply to Hustler (Spring) 8 May 2015:

he sure is well known as a scamming fraudster – just ask ANYONE who has done business with him. i see back in the day Slater was using Blomfields own emails as evidence – that being the case then if its your own emails it can only be what Slater wrote. Blomfield could always provide a different set if they existed or provide his side of the story – but alas i guess what Slater said was in fact 100% true so now Blomfield continues to further his lies to try and make it go away. does anyone know what happened to the guy who attacked Blomfield in his home? something tells me it was a set up and that the DNA on the mask worn was not actually meant to be there

Slater misused Blomfield’s emails, he cherry picked them, he misrepresented them, he embellished meanings to a ridiculous degree. There are a number of examples in the book. At trial the judge rejected them. All of them.

THE TYRANT (Spring) in reply to Shagger (Spring) 15 May 2015:

oh how great that would be! Blomfield could turn up and serve another baseless defamation tort and waste 3 more years going round in circles trying to clear his dogshit name. Oh wait he ain’t got the nads for that. I suppose Blomfield will be at [deleted] 10 year orgy. A wankfest of epic proportions! [deleted], Blomfield, [deleted] and all the dodgy gaggle of layers – [deleted], [deleted], [deleted], [deleted], [deleted] – what a gang! bang !

THE TYRANT (Spring) in reply to BUCK WIT (Spring) 23 May 2015:

Pretty sad state of affairs by the Parole Board and the NZ Police force. This guy needs Preventative Detention. When reading the report thats attached to that link even the writer seems to be having some difficulty in defining the subject as to who he might prey on next. Appears to not just be little kids.

THE TYRANT (Spring) in reply to THE GRIM RAPER (Spring) 23 May 2015:

Busy allowing the Court, Cops and Parole Board time to come up with a story to cover their arses for allowing what happened to happened. Heads need to roll.

There are many more like this. I think that anyone familiar with comments and posts at Lauda Finem will recognise this style and content, especially some of the latter posts that suggest someone with an altered or ill mind is involved.

These are more extreme examples, but I think that it’s Fair to suspect that Spring used these same multi-personality tactics at Whale Oil, Kiwiblog, and elsewhere – I believe there is evidence he was also active in the comments sections of news sites.

The book Whale Oil shows that the attacks on Blomfield over many years were defamatory, deplorable, false and often extreme. The obsession with ‘fucking over’, and the tactics Marc Spring used, were a major factor in causing Blomfield and his family (and others) significant hardship – and from what I have experienced and heard this is continuing, albeit with much more limited opportunities.

He has complained here about his own life being adversely affected. He has blamed me and others for what are self inflicted problems.

It’s not just those who he has targeted who have suffered – this dire situations Nottingham and Slater now find themselves are in part self inflicted, but Spring has contributed sign to their predicaments.

I hope Spring seeks and gets help before he does more damage.


See also: Statement from Matt Blomfield on ‘Whale Oil’ book

Statement from Matt Blomfield on ‘Whale Oil’ book

Statement from Matt Blomfield (posted on Facebook):


On Tuesday last week we had the launch for the book Whale Oil by Margie Thomson. It was an incredible and humbling experience. About three hundred people turned up. My wife and kids attended and afterwards they talked about what an amazing night they had with other friends and family.

This weekend with the dust starting to settle I looked back at the week that followed the launch and I felt uncomfortable. It was a busy week with media appearances and messages of support, and naturally there was a big focus on the details of my protracted battle against Cameron Slater. What got me thinking, though, was a book review on Newsroom by Finlay Macdonald – not his words but the image at the top of the page: Cameron Slater knocked out in the first round of his boxing match with Jesse Rider. He looks broken. I needed to beat Cameron in court in order to win back my reputation. It was never my intention to break the man.

Cameron Slater has had his struggles in life. He’s had business failures. He struggled with mental illness; he lost his home. More recently he has had health issues. It follows that my mind takes me to a place of sympathy for Slater. He has a wife and kids just like me; he has tried to succeed, just like me. I feel increasingly concerned at the tone of some of the comments about him that are appearing online. I know what it’s like first hand to be ridiculed online, to be bullied and it affects more than just the individual. It flows through to that person’s friends and family.
Slater is not well. His attacks against me are not the actions of a right thinking individual. He needs help.
I’m concerned that some of the coverage given to the publication of Margie’s book gives the impression this book is a tit-for-tat exercise. It’s not, and that’s clear to anyone reading it. Yes, it’s the story of my long struggle to rescue my reputation and get justice, but
it’s about much more than a fight between two individuals. It is about our changing world and a system that needs to change so that our children are protected. It introduces readers to some incredible individuals and shows that even during the hardest of times good people will stand up and be counted. It’s about never giving up, and that sometimes the decision to fight can come from a place of love, compassion and family. Finally, it’s about people as a whole and how we choose to live not only on the internet but as a society.

The people who have read the book have all had the same reaction; a feeling of surprise. It follows that those same people have expressed to me what an important book this is and how much it impacted them as individuals.

I am now going to focus on my family, my health, my education and hopefully move past this. My story has been told.

I hope that people will move past attacking what can be only be described as a damaged individual. Let’s put him where he belongs, in the footnote of history, and move on to talking about the important issues he only symbolizes.

 

Newsroom review: Whale Oil

Finlay Macdonald has a very good review of the Maggie Thomson written book on Matt Blomfield book, Whale Oil – Where only trolls and the spiritually misshapen go

Many readers will feel like a shower after a session with this book, and Thomson is to be applauded for her willingness to go where only trolls and the spiritually misshapen could feel at home. As she explains early on, her book was born from a footnote to Nicky Hager’s 2014 bestseller Dirty Politics, arguably the book that marked the beginning of the end for Slater by laying bare his methods and the scabrous demi-monde he inhabited.

Calling their vendetta “Operation Bumslide” (a lexicon of vulgar and puerile Slaterisms would make a short book in its own right), these detractors harnessed the then-popular Whale Oil machine to depict Blomfield as a fraudster, a thief, a liar, a pornographer and a lunatic. Strange and sinister things happened along the way, including a violent home invasion and assault, which was at the very least worthy of far greater scrutiny in the context of Blomfield’s other travails than the police gave it.

Being from the same publisher and with an admiring foreword by Hager, you could be forgiven for thinking Whale Oil might represent one dip too many into the same dank well of character assassination, paid hit jobs and vicious mockery of undeserving victims. It’s not. Rather, Thomson has constructed an elegant psychological study of both main protagonists, equally obsessional in their own ways, locked in a kind of death-embrace from which only one can emerge the winner, but which will leave neither unscathed.

The term Kafkaesque is over-used and mis-used, but Blomfield’s predicament surely meets the criteria. Defamed, denigrated and physically attacked, he was nevertheless incapable of defending himself through any normal channel. The police, the courts, the media, the bureaucracy all live down to Kafka’s vision of a system designed to serve only itself and its own absurd purpose. The more Blomfield struggles to extricate himself from this web of perfidy and stupidity, the more he appears fixated and vexatious to indifferent observers. The more he professes his sanity, the more insane he appears.

It really is a wonder that Blomfield didn’t go completely raving mad – or just give up, as so many of Slater’s targets did.

I think that many of Slater’s targets will be grateful that Blomfield had the determination and tenacity to see this through, as far as it has come at least – a successful defamation after over six years of delays and attempts at avoidance by Slater, and of course the book detailing it all.

But this shouldn’t be the end of it. It would be worth following through with more holding to account. There are serious unanswered questions about inaction by the police on a number of occasions, including doing nothing about attack death treats that came very close to a murder being committed.

And accomplices of Slater should be nervous about being held to account for their actions too.

When truth finally does arrive, albeit on crutches and with a bandaged head, it’s almost an anticlimax. Having gamed the courts for years, delaying and prevaricating (for much of the time continuing to gleefully defame and otherwise harass Blomfield), Slater has nothing to offer; no proof whatsoever that anything he posted was true, fair or reasonable. So he loses. But the outcome is less than our aforementioned primitive instincts for story might demand. Slater is a bankrupted wretch, those who conspired with him are untouched by the verdict.

Some are untouched, like Warren Powell, who (the book claims) probably paid Slater at least in part for the protracted attacks on Blomfield, and also Amanda Easterbrook, who has kept a low profile.

Others have been affected to an extent. Dermot Nottingham is now bankrupt as a result of court costs incurred after multiple unsuccessful private prosecutions, some related to the Blomfield saga. He is also currently serving a home detention sentence which includes a ban on him using the internet, but remarkably Blomfield wasn’t included in the prosecution of him on five charges of criminal harassment.

Marc Spring has been at least as involved in abuse, false claims, defamation and harassment as Slater and so far has avoided court action against him – more due to police inaction than anything. He continues to attack Blomfield, although his major online options are now limited. He conducted sustained attacks against Blomfield in 2015-2016 when Blomfield had a restraining order against him, but the police decided not to take action.

But Spring has been affected. His credibility, his employment, his business affairs and his family have all been victims of his obsession with trying to destroy others, this has become more a self destruction.

What animates the likes of Slater and the haters he attracts remains a mystery, other than that they lack normal empathy and a sense of decency.

This whole affair is bad enough on it’s own, but there are very important wider issues.

That they are enabled by the failings in our systems and our souls is more the point, and this necessary but unpleasant book should be required reading for anyone interested in reforming the media-legal nexus for the realities of the attention economy. That will be too late for Matt Blomfield, but at least he’s finally out of the shit, while those he wrestled are still in it.

Blomfield’s long fight has finally managed to prove his attackers were malicious and almost totally wrong, and he himself has won back some of what was taken from him. The book has resulted in almost universal sympathy, admiration and respect – as far as I have seen the only exception being a small number of Slater apologists at Kiwiblog (I was accused of hate speech there yesterday for being critical of Slater and his accomplices).

Things should get better now for Blomfield. He will never get back everything that was taken from him, he and his family will bear the scars of vicious attacks online and physically,

The same can’t be said for the trolls and the spiritually misshapen, who still claim to be victims (as bullies do when someone stands up to them), have shown no remorse, and show no sign of recovering from their self inflicted miserable situations.

The many identities of Marc Spring include…

Here are some pseudonyms that I believe have been identified as being used by Marc Spring in various media and social media forums.

  • ThreeMonkeys
  • SHAFT
  • The Ape
  • NOT MIKE
  • 4077th
  • Gweg pwesland
  • pimp
  • phillip
  • DaveG
  • slicedcheesesandwich
  • Justice4Matt
  • BLOMFIELDS EX BIZ PARTNER
  • Harry ‘Gold Star’ Stottle
  • Harry Stottle
  • to HELL in a handbasket
  • The Assasin
  • David Jessop
  • CHEEKY DARKY
  • the MONKEYS RAINCOAT
  • Elton
  • Samantha Hays
  • The Barber
  • They Walk, they talk, they harm
  • THE PRIEST
  • Hannibal Lecters Psychologist
  • Inspector Clouseau
  • Rod
  • I HAVE THE HARD DRIVE
  • MARC NEVER FORGETS CUNT
  • I AM OWED TOO
  • THE WORST NIGHTMARE
  • When dies Bankrupt = Businessman
  • Jean
  • Bus Driver
  • LORD DONKEY
  • Harvey Specter
  • TYRANT/THE TYRANT
  • HUSTLER
  • BUCK WIT
  • Shagger
  • Gimp of Greenhithe
  • Spiderman wants his mask back
  • RAMBONE OF RAMBONIA
  • Reaper Crew
  • Gay Mo
  • Rolf Harris
  • Bill Brown
  • Reaper Crew

I expect there have been many more.

A number of those are familiar to me.

An H Stottle commented on Lauda Finem on 3 March 2017. On the same thread there is also a Cock Goblin comment.

Cock Goblin also comments on a post on 8 January 2017 – that’s on a post that sounds to me like it was also written by Spring.

Reaper Crew rang a bell, and sure enough, on Lauda Finem:

SHAFT (aka Spring) also comments on that thread.

This is very familiar to me. The rest of that latter comment published an article from NZ Herald that Dermot Nottingham, aided by Marc Spring, Cameron Slater and Earle McKinney went on to run a private prosecution against the Herald (sort of, they charged the wrong company), Allied Press, myself and Lynn Prentice. They also demanded that the article was taken down, claiming it could prevent  fair trial that Nottingham was facing, while it remained on Lauda Finem right through to his trial (and is still online).

The following comment:

Charges were indeed filed within 4 months, but the prosecution was a vexatious mess and costs awarded against Nottingham contributed to him being declared bankrupt.

Background to the APN/Prentice charges is detailed in a failed appeal: NOTTINGHAM v APN NEWS & MEDIA LTD [2018] NZHC 596 [29 March 2018]

As well as being bankrupt Nottingham is currently serving home detention after being convicted of criminal harassment and suppression breaches where he was found to be the main force behind Lauda Finem (an appeal will be heard against the sentence and also for a stronger sentence later this month).

Slater has also fallen foul of court costs after a length defamation proceeding with Matthew Blomfield and has also now bankrupt.

Earle McKinney has managed to escape most consequences, but put his company Advantage Associates Limited into liquidation last year. Nottingham had been his sole employee until he had an accident in April 2016.

Spring has also escaped major consequences – so far.

Spring was still active under different pseudonyms this week. One he has been using at Your NZ for several months is Bill Brown.

The many identities of Marc Spring

The launch this week of the book Whale Oil understandably put Cameron Slater and his dirty blogging at the centre of attention. But he has been in some cases paid and aided, abetted and used by a number of accomplices.

Someone who has been closely associated with Slater in his sustained attacks on Matt Blomfield is an ex-business associate of Blomfield’s, Marc Spring. If anything he has done more for longer than Slater.

One way Spring has kept attacks going against Blomfield (and others including myself) is his use of many identities (pseudonyms) in his online activities.

How many identities? That’s hard to quantify, but it’s many. my guess is well over a hundred identities, if not many more.

Spring has used multiple identities to make it appear as if there is wider support for his claims, his false and misleading information, and his mistruths or lies.

From Whale Oil (the book):

..,an increasing number of nasty and inflammatory statements about Matt started  appearing on news sites and blogs, under many different names, this giving the appearance of many people hating Matt and saying he was dangerous and damaging.

It was at this point Dunedin blogger Pete George inadvertently poked the bear. Noticing a number of nasty comments about matt on his blog he allowed Matt – with whom he had no previous contact – a right of reply.

As a result George found himself targeted on Twitter, tagged on @laudafinem and @marcspring…

Things got much worse for George, who found himself embroiled in a length and expensive legal action taken against him by Dermot Nottingham. Marc Spring also served documents on him, as well as suggesting to George that he could be ‘fucked over’ as someone else had been on Whale Oil.

Following a few clues, George ‘began’ to think about things that could be related’.

In September 2015 he wrote to Matt to let him know what he’d discovered: a list of 47 aliases, all emanating from digital addresses related to Marc Spring.

(Excerpts from the book)

That number of identities astonished me (but it isn’t that many names, it was also included many email address identifications). They had started in January 2015, so over about eight months.

He used more since then, especially over the next few months when there was a major attempt to disrupt and discredit Your NZ. He continues too use multiple pseudonyms here. How many in all? I haven’t counted. Fifty, sixty, seventy perhaps. And that’s just here.

One common technique is posting a comment under one pseudonym, and then replying under one or more other pseudonyms that agree with or add to the original comment, trying to give an appearance of wider support and agreement for his accusations and attacks.

I’ve also seen similar methods used at Lauda Finem. It’s quite possible most comments there are by Spring and associates trying to give the appearance of credibility and support for the outlandish posts there. I believe that Spring has also either written or at least contributed to posts at Lauda Finem. Some of the later ones sounded deranged.

Spring has close associations with Dermot Nottingham, who was found last year by a jury and a judge to have been the main person behind Lauda Finem (Slater also has links to that website).

I also believe that Spring has probably been using multiple identities at Whale Oil, and I believe at Kiwiblog – there was a comment there this week that sounded very Spring-like to me.

It is likely he has used other identities elsewhere in social media.

Spring was blatantly and openly active on Twitter, often associating with @laudafinem in harassment of me, but has now tried to scrub that. But he has mostly acted anonymously.

It is hard to know whether Spring operated all these identities himself, or whether he had help. I know that Nottingham also used multiple identities, but they were identifiably different.

This use and abuse of pseudonyms has not only been a means of attack, abuse, harassment and defamation, they have also at times been done in breach of court orders.

It’s hard to imagine how Spring managed to manage so many identities, but to an extent that gave him away – he often tried to disguise himself when establishing a new identity, but eventually revealed the same old style and tricks. It became a giveaway when he inevitably attacked Blomfield. The manner in which he does this has become very familiar.

In ways Spring’s deception has been quite sophisticated, either carefully planned or from a lot of experience. But he couldn’t keep disguising his motives, which were to attack Blomfield, and anyone he considered a threat to his campaign of harassment.

This multi-identity deception is an abuse of the use of pseudonyms, and it makes things more awkward for the many people who legitimately and reasonable use pseudonyms (or more to the point, a pseudonym).

It means one has to be sceptical of online claims and campaigns. With experience it becomes easier to spot the pseudonym abusers, but only if you’re looking for it.

The use of multiple pseudonyms or switched pseudonyms is largely under control here at Your NZ. It happens, but I usually know when it happens.

Whale Oil in particular cannot be trusted. While I think it’s likely Spring has used multiple identities there it also looks to me like it is a common practice there – not of ordinary users, but of blog management. A few years ago Pete Belt was sprung giving a favourable review to  book Slater had published using an alias. Slater and Spring have worked together so it is not a surprise that they might use the same sort of deceptions.

From my experience and observations Spring has to be the king of fake online identities. And he is still at it.

Accusations of bullying for posting about Slater

The ‘Whale Oil’ book about the attacks on Matthew Blomfield by Cameron Slater and others over many years was all over the news yesterday – online, in newspapers, on TV and radio.

I posted bout it here, and also posted a comment about it at Kiwiblog.

David Garrett dumped on me in a number of comments, before eventually admitting:

PG: Thank you, I was unaware of all this…and for the record I wasn’t playing dumb; I had never heard of this Matt Blomfield before this morning (my participation in social media is strictly limited to this blog).

So he jumped on me without knowing anything about the topic, informed only by Kiwiblog. Good grief. This sort of attack the messenger stuff is common at Kiwiblog (and on blogs and social media generally).

Tony Stuart joined the messenger attack with this comment:

Pete – have you ever stopped to consider that your own long-running campaign against Slater is in itself a form of bullying?

Two wrongs don’t make a right.

My Slater/WO posts have sometimes been questioned here as well.

I have often considered what to post about Slater and how often to post about him. I don’t do them often, usually when there is something in the news or the courts related to him or Whale Oil.

I find it quite ironic that Tony has suggested I may be bullying Slater, by posting about something prominent in the news, about a book that details arguably the worse case of online bullying in New Zealand history.

So is it bullying to post and comment about bullying?

Perhaps it depends on what your definition of bullying is. It seems to be like the ‘hate speech’ argument doing the rounds. It is claimed that labelling something as hate speech is a way of trying to shut down free speech. If you hate the misuse of ‘hate speech is it hate speech to talk about it?

I not that Tony was only critical of me for talking about Slater’s bullying, His only comment on Slater was:

Am I defending Slater? No. He made his bed, and now has to lie in it.

He seems to want the covers pulled up over Slater’s bed.

This is despite the fact that Slater has attacked and bullied extensively over the past decade. He often bragged about being a bully.

Slater used to relentlessly post about targets of his bullying.

Whale Oil still repeatedly attacks and criticises politicians and journalists – they include attacks on journalists in their ‘dictionary’, and also groups of people like Muslims, lefties, media.

Is it bullying to post about bullies and bullying?

This isn’t the first time Tony has attacked me for posting about Slater at Kiwiblog. Is he bullying me? He certainly seems to be trying to get me to shut up about Slater.

Tony, Whale Oil continues to criticise and attack (some may call that bullying). While Slater no longer posts or comments under his own name his obvious and input is obvious.

He has bullied hundreds of people, many of them to a serious degree – Blomfield is probably the worst example, as detailed in the ‘Whale Oil’ book, but that’s debatable. Slater has deliberately tried to destroy political careers. I think he is a proven liar – the court ruling he had no defence in the Blomfield defamation case supports this.

There are unresolved issues. Slater appears to unremorseful and unrepentant, despite the damage he has done to people’s lives.

He filed for bankruptcy, but Whale Oil continues (it shifted sideways onto a new web address), presumably the Whale Oil revenue continues. Slater promoted the Whale Meat business as his enterprise – that has also been shifted sideways and continues to advertise in Whale Oil. These are ongoing issues.

Tony seems to think that mentioning things like this is bullying. Perhaps he should try telling that to Blomfield and his family. To Len Brown. To Bill English. To Simon Bridges. To Jacinda Ardern. To Golriz Ghahraman (actually Tony tells things to Ghaharam a bit but I presume he doesn’t see that as bullying).

Slater got away with a mass of massive bullying for years, in part because people like Tony supported him, and continue to support him indirectly by trying to shut down any criticism of Slater.

This is how bullies keep getting away with bullying. People aid and abet, they make excuses, they play diversion.

If Tony thinks it is bullying to point things like this out then so be it.

Media coverage of ‘Whale Oil’ the book

The Spinoff: The 10 most shocking moments in the blistering new book ‘Whale Oil’

The book, we can now reveal, is by Margie Thomson, and its title is spare and clear: Whale Oil. It tells the story of businessman Matt Blomfield’s long-running struggle against blogger Cameron Slater, who, of course, was at the centre of Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics. The saga, told principally from the perspective of Matt Blomfield, covers the extensive legal battle between Blomfield and Slater, as well as examining the way our justice system works, and the way the media has shifted (and shifted again) to allow and then disavow someone like Slater. Blomfield believes that Slater’s attacks led to an attempt on his life at his home in the North Shore of Auckland.

It’s a page-turner – thoughtful and with remarkable attention to detail.

RNZ: New book looks at battle between Slater and Blomfield

Whale Oil is a remarkable piece of investigative writing by Margie Thomson, who has painstakingly researched and documented this unbelievable story.

“It is a chilling account of how inadequate our protection is in the face of a digital attack, and a depressing exposé of police indifference to a citizen’s dire predicament,” the book’s promotional material said.

The book’s foreword is written by Nicky Hager, who said it’s a story of right and wrong, standing up to bullies, and a sobering story of how few protections there are against online attacks.

NZ Herald – Revealed: Book exposes how Whaleoil blogger’s campaign spilled from internet into the real world and took a heavy toll

A new book has revealed how an extraordinary online campaign of harassment and humiliation spilled into the real world and alleges the long-running plan may have been linked to a brutal home invasion.

A conspiracy under the name “Operation Bumslide” saw the former business partner Warren Powell supply Slater and others with a decade of Blomfield’s personal and financial records which were then used in an attempt to destroy his reputation.

The blog posts were then backed up by complaints from “Operation Bumslide” members to a host of government enforcement agencies, leading to Blomfield being described as “one of New Zealand’s most investigated people”.

Eventually Blomfield was cleared of any wrongdoing and Slater lost a High Court defamation case and Human Rights Tribunal case in which one of his articles about Blomfield was described as nothing more than “character assassination”.

The Whaleoil book, by journalist Margie Thomson, is presented as a detailed, behind-the-scenes investigation into years of alleged bullying and threats against Blomfield, including claims that after he launched his seven-year defamation action his computer was hacked and Slater approached one of his daughters over social media.

Along with the personal and financial cost, the book speculates a 2014 attack at their Greenhithe home might be linked to “Operation Bumslide” and the Whaleoil blog posts.

According to the book, Blomfield received odd and frightening text messages forecasting physical harm ahead of a home invasion by gang associate Ned Paraha, who was sent to prison for the armed assault.

The book is highly critical of police handling of complaints, which was conceded by a senior officer who carried out an internal investigation in the way they were handled.

It includes an appendix from barrister and media law specialist Steven Price in which he proposes the creation of a criminal offence for intentional harm caused by posting of online content.

Stuff: New book lifts lid on Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater’s dirty tactics

It took nearly eight years, hundreds of thousands of dollars, and a few mental and physical scars, but Matthew Blomfield believes he may have finally harpooned the big one with the release of Whale Oil.

The book, written by Margie Thomson, tells the story of Blomfield’s lengthy defamation battle with and ultimate victory over Whale Oil blogger Slater and was released amid secrecy at a launch on Tuesday night.

It had gained notoriety even before its release, as Blomfield’s lawyer Felix Geiringer claimed a family was detained by NZ Customs while entering the country and questioned about the name of the book.

Geiringer said the family, who were carrying a copy of the manuscript, had been stopped at an undisclosed airport, and questioned for several hours, and Customs officers threatened ‘dire consequences’ if they didn’t inform the officers what the book was called.

Note in the NZH report “complaints from “Operation Bumslide” members to a host of government enforcement agencies” – may be just coincidental.

The book details the devastating effect that Slater’s smear campaign had on Blomfield’s life, and how he and his family had to go into hiding after an intruder in a Spiderman mask showed up at his Auckland home and tried to shoot at him while his wife and two young children were present.

The book can be ordered online, eg: https://www.whitcoulls.co.nz/product/whale-oil-6462218

But bookstores should have copies.

So what is the ‘Whale Oil’ book about?

A book called ‘Whale Oil’ by author Margie Thomson was launched by Nicky Hager last night in Auckland to a large receptive crowd. I now have a copy of the book, and have been able to have a quick look through it.

The book has been very well researched and well written. It is very readable, and should be of interest to a much wider audience than people involved in blogging.

Disclosure: I was interviewed by Margie, and feature in a very minor way in the book, due to the fact that I was dragged into a campaign of harassment and was myself harassed when I put a stop to attacks here on Your NZ.

Obviously the book is about the Whale Oil blog and about Cameron Slater aka ‘Whale Oil’ the blogger (or sort of ex blogger). But it is about much more than that.

Primarily the book is about Matt Blomfield and his partner Rebecca and daughters Rosalie and Bella, and the extreme harassment they have been subjected to for about a decade. The worst of this was a home invasion attack on Blomfield in which a shotgun was used and Matt was seriously assaulted in front of his family, who were also targeted, But there was much more attacking and harassment, ranging from extensive attacks on Matt’s business operations, threats to family, and even an attempt by someone called Cam Slater trying to friend a 10 year old daughter on Snapchat.

The handling of the assault and a number of other complaints made to the police, in particular the lack of police action, feature prominently through the book. These issues are still under scrutiny.

The six year defamation case that Matt pursued against Slater also features. This shows that claims by Slater and associates on Whale Oil that lead to the defamation, throughout the proceedings, were largely a big pile of whale shit. Finally last October a judge ruled that after years of deliberate delays and stalling and incompetence, Slater had no credible defence.

Damages may take another year to be determined, but as Slater declared himself bankrupt it could be a hollow victory for Matt, unless some of the company and asset ownerships that have been ‘rearranged are unraveled.

Also under scrutiny in the book is ‘Operation Bumslide’, a campaign of harassment by Slater and ex business associates of Matt’s – Warren Powell, Marc Spring and Amanda Easterbrook, plus the close association with the notorious Dermot Nottingham.

Matt’s challenging but determined efforts to shut down Lauda Finem and their notorious website are also covered. However there is still a lot of material still online, despite a jury and judge finding that Nottingham was largely responsible. Spring and Slater were also implicated in using Lauda Finem to harass and attack people, including myself (and many others).

Things have caught up on Slater and Nottingham, both now bankrupt and both suffering health problems – although it is apparent that Whale Oil overstated the effects of the stroke suffered by Slater last October, and Slater tried to avoid and delay court proceedings claiming he was incapacitated, while showing he was far more capable than he was claiming.

But what about the others? It is claimed that Powell paid Slater, which has implications of the campaign against Matt being a paid hit job. But Powell moved overseas.

Easterbrook is put under scrutiny for her involvement. She seems to have avoided consequences so far, but will be uneasy about what is written about her.

And Spring, in my opinion, still looks like a loose cannon, unrepentant and intent on continuing his harassing activities. The book claims that evidence shows that both Spring and Slater discussed the attack on Matt before it happened as well as immediately afterwards. Lack of police action in that respect looks odd, but Spring seems to have been dealt with leniently by police over the years of harassment. Perhaps an attempt at justice will finally be seen to be done.


The book also looks at the wider and very topical issue of bullying and online harassment, and the failure of the police and court system to adequately protect people.

Nottingham has been convicted of five counts of criminal harassment, in which he harassed people over periods of several years. The sentencing judge said that the five charges were the worst of many found on the Lauda Finem website. I disagree with the judge on this.

Matt Blomfield and Rebecca and Rosalie and Bella have, I believe, been subjected to far worse, over a longer period of time, than any of the victims for which Nottingham alone has been convicted. I am amazed and concerned that the police have not addressed this adequately, or addressed those working with Nottingham, in particular Slater and Spring.

Perhaps the book will prompt some more holding to account for the worst case of harassment by a big margin.

These are nasty people who seem to enjoy trying to destroy people’s lives (they have called it fucking over’ – and possibly in one case, take lives. They seem unremorseful, unrepentant, and Spring at least seems intent on continuing with this behaviour, while claiming to be a victim (something Slater and Nottingham have also done). This is typical of bullies.

Matt Blomfield has done something huge for the many victims of abuse from this group of people, he has stood up to them, he has had significant successes, and through this book has highlighted a number of things that should be of concern to the public.

‘Whale Oil’ is about far more than a blog. It is about a pod of pricks.

This has been online bullying at it’s worst. At least it has now been confronted and serious questions have been asked. However more answers are needed, and as a society we need to be looking at how we can prevent this sort of thing from happening, at least to this extent.


Margie has done a great job with this book. Please read it. Copies have been distributed to book shops around the country.

Those of you who have followed things here over the past few years will recognise a lot of what is detailed in the book, but there will be things that will (or should) shock you.

It should also have wider appeal. It details real dangers of harassment online, and how the tentacles of that can spread into the real world, doing real harm.

The book can be ordered online, eg: https://www.whitcoulls.co.nz/product/whale-oil-6462218

But bookstores should have copies.

Slater active recovering from stroke

Cameron Slater seems to have made a rapid recovery from what was claimed to be a severely debilitating stroke.

He stopped posting at Whale Oil when he had the stroke in later October 2018. Soon afterwards he continued commenting occasionally, but there seemed to be a blackout of any mention of the stroke or why he had stopped posting for several months, until an announcement on 21 January – ‘Where the hell is Cam?’

Cam suffered a serious stroke that left him partially paralysed down his right side and totally paralysed in his right arm including his hand and fingers as well as severe impairment in higher order functioning and moderate speech impairment.

Now that more than two months have passed, we have decided it is time to let you, our loyal audience, know what has been going on behind the scenes.

Progress is being made, but it is very long and very hard. Cam cannot concentrate, read or take phone calls for more than ten or fifteen minutes a day. He cannot cope with loud noises, background noises or being interrupted and he certainly does not have the ability to form complex thought structures. The vision in Cam’s right eye has also been affected.

However, it would be untrue to pretend that we don’t need your help. Much as it pains us to ask others for help, we have concluded that we must ask for your assistance in helping Cam pay the huge legal bills he has incurred as a result of having to defend himself from the lawfare of his enemies.

That coincided with ongoing legal challenges, which raised questions about how incapacitated Slater actually was. Anyone would be stressed by the legal and financial holes he had dug himself into. Unrepentant and continuing to claim to be the victim didn’t help his cause.

Slater filed for bankruptcy in February, citing legal bills.

The company in which Slater was a shareholder and director that operated Whale Oil until some ownership switches in February went into liquidation in March.

Yesterday on Whale Oil:

Having just spent a bit of time with the boss I can tell you a couple of things.

He’ll be back if he chooses to be.

The mans grit and fortitude are unbelievable.
We had a reasonably active weekend and he stayed the course and even after he’d already told me he was knackered he then walked another kilometer.

Then the bloke that had lost all use of his right arm a few short months ago and has only regained a portion of its use and is in constant pain, picks up his shotgun, takes 3 practice swings and then proceeds to blow 9 out of 10 clay pigeons out of the air using the 2nd barrel only once.
If I hadn’t seen it (and scored it) I wouldn’t have believed it.

Bloody amazing man.
I hope Fisher sees this and chokes on his lactose free vegan soup.

So it sounds like Slater has made a rapid recovery. That’s good.

And according to this he is choosing not to go back to posting at Whale Oil at this stage.

 

 

Police re-investigating home invasion assault after complaint by Blomfield

Police are re-investigating a 2014 home invasion in which Matthew Blomfield was seriously assaulted, including being shot at in front of his family. The assailant was caught through  a DNA match, convicted and imprisoned, but the motive was never disclosed. Blomfield has complained to the police that others may have been involved, but until recently they have not done much to investigate.

This is detailed in David Fisher’s latest Big Read:  The blogger and the businessman – how the police failed, and new inquiries into a vicious home invasion

I’m familiar with a lot of the history covered in this. I have posted here about the attacks against Blomfield on Whale Oil, the long defamation case that resulted in Cameron Slater being found in October 2018 by a judge to have no defence (Slater recently withdrew an appeal), the illegal use of private data when a hard drive was supplied to Blomfield, and a number of other related things.

I have also posted about the assault on Blomfield. What is new are the claims of police inaction in investigating, and the current re-investigating.

Remember how quickly the police investigated Nicky Hager after a complaint by Slater that he had been hacked? The police overstepped in their raid on Hager’s home and obtaining bank information, for which they have since apologised for and paid compensation.

Remember how the police investigated and prosecuted Ben Rachinger after a complaint by Slater? And how, when Slater was prosecuted for trying procure a hack of The Standard, the police gave him diversion after Slater accepted guilt (but soon after posted that his contrition was not genuine).

Blomfield seems to have had a lot more difficulty getting the police to investigate for him, on complicity in the assault, and in how Slater got thehard drive. This has ended up resulting in a complaint to Independent Police Conduct Authority, and the re-opening of an investigation.

Blomfield’s complaints to police began in April 2012 when he told police Slater had obtained a hard drive with his personal and business information. Slater used the material as the basis of a series of blog posts over the next six months which led to the seven-year defamation action.

Blomfield’s interaction with police over the next four years included complaints about the hard drive, being interviewed as the victim of a home invasion which took place in April 2014 and a further complaint after his computer was hacked – possibly on more than one occasion.

Blomfield complained to the Independent Police Conduct Authority over police handling of complaints, leading to a review of police files identified areas that “warrant further police investigation”.

Detective Inspector Hayden Mander followed with a letter in December 2017 in which he said there had been multiple failures by police investigating a range of complaints.

On the hard drive:

He said there was “little comprehension” the first complaint about the hard drive could be seen as a possible crime involving the use of the data.

“Having reviewed the file, I believe there was a failure from the outset in comprehending the complexity of this investigation; in that it might be something other than a theft or burglary.

“Once computer crime was considered, there are gaps in the investigation and there was a lack of comprehensive assessment of the criminal culpability of the persons of interest that were identified during the inquiry.”

Mander, who has since left the police, said a specific complaint of “computer crime” had been made by Blomfield at the time. He said there was no evidence it had been investigated and no victim statement had been taken.

He said there needed to be a new investigation into the use of the hard drive and whether it was a “computer crime”.

There is an irony over Slater using the hard drive data to post a series of attacks on Blomfield on Whale Oil – Slater has long claimed bitterly about being hacked and data obtained being used to discredit him.

Mander also said police had not properly investigated a complaint by Blomfield made in 2014 after emails of his post-dating the hard drive were published online. The emails were from a password-protected cloud service, leading Blomfield to complain his information had been hacked.

On the assault:

Mander’s letter said there were further failures by police, including around a terrifying assault on Blomfield at his Greenhithe home in April 2014.

The incident saw Ned Tehuru Paraha, now 41, enter the home where Blomfield and his family live, face covered with a Spiderman mask and carrying a shotgun.

During the assault which followed, Paraha fired a shotgun at Blomfield on at least two occasions. One of Blomfield’s young daughters hid inside while the other saw her father – and for a period, her mother – fight back against the invader until he was forced to flee.

Blomfield was left seriously injured as a result of the assault, and has since testified as to the lasting damage the attack had on his and his family’s feeling of safety and security in their own home.

Paraha was caught a month later and pleaded guilty to wounding with intent to injure, aggravated burglary and assault with intent to injure. He was sentenced to 5 years and 10 months in prison.

Mander said the “front end” of the investigation – Paraha’s identification through DNA and conviction – was carried out properly.

No reason or motive was disclosed.

“However, it was acknowledged from those conducting the police investigation and from yourself that others were likely responsible for the planning of this offending.

“To date, no-one else has been held to account for this offending.

“Despite you advising police of your suspicions that specific people were involved in the planning of this offending, these avenues of inquiry have never been followed up. Further, you have provided police with other lines of inquiry that remain on the file but have not been completed.”

Mander said there was a “clear need” to investigate parts of the incident.

He states that the police did obtain phone records that at least indicated others had prior knowledge of the home invasion, but didn’t act on this information.

In the recording, Mander said a production order had been used during the earlier investigation to access an individual’s phone records.

He told Blomfield police “didn’t really do a very good job of examining the data it produced”.

Mander said he had examined the phone traffic and seen contact the days before, the day of and the day after the assault which needed further investigation.

Blomfield claims that Slater knew about the attack and thinks the police should have south information from him (he doesn’t allege that Slater was directly involved).

Blomfield said he believed there was reason for police to speak with Slater in relation to the attack and had previously provided information which should have been acted on.

He said a comment made by Slater in the High Court precinct at Auckland, prior to a June 2016 judicial settlement conference, suggested Slater had knowledge as to where Paraha had obtained the shotgun used in the attack.

Blomfield said it was confirmation Slater had received information about the attack and the email was passed to police. He received a response saying: “Your email is noted and has been added to the file.”

A file that seems to have had more cobwebs than police attention.

Blomfield said he since received information anonymously from someone describing themselves as the hacker Rawshark, the identity used by the person who hacked Slater’s computer in 2014 then passed the contents to journalist Nicky Hager. The hacked material was used as the basis for the book Dirty Politics.

He said the information provided to him – which matches information supplied to and printed by the Herald in 2014 – gave him cause for concern over Slater’s attitude towards him.

The Rawshark files included social media correspondence between Slater and contacts developed through the blog. Some of the content from late 2013 reflected the defamation action was placing Slater under increased pressure.

In other messages in November 2013, Slater told the contact he believed gang members were looking for Blomfield in relation to money owed on behalf of a family member. It is unknown if there was any basis for this belief.

In the message, Slater says: “they are now looking for him … I know where he is and where he works if they want to find him … name is Matthew Blomfield”.

In another message, previously unreported, Slater tells the same contact: “Can you find out who wants to bash blomfield … I can help them find him.”

Slater has testified since he embellished claims made in conversations obtained by Rawshark. There is no evidence in the Rawshark material Slater’s conversation turned into actions in the real world.

The month after the messages, on December 14 2013, Slater posted to his blog a copy of a district court decision from the defamation case which included a cover letter with Blomfield’s home address.

In a blog post which has since been deleted, the blog’s administrator wrote: “I wouldn’t want to be Mr Blomfield for the next 10 years. The other side of Karma is coming.”

It seems that Karma has been catching up on Slater, with a series of losses in defamation proceedings, bankruptcy and a stroke (a common cause being stress).

Blomfield has said he believed the attack was somehow connected to the Whaleoil blog posts, although is definite in saying there is no evidence directly linking it to Slater.

On the Whaleoil blog, Slater has rejected any connection between his website and the attack. In a post, since deleted, he pointed to Paraha’s gang connections and said he doubted any of his readers mixed in such circles.

It was claimed in a comment here on Your NZ last October that gang members were present outside the court on the day of a hearing  on the Blomfield v Slater defamation. A name other than Slater’s (but in his circle) was associated with this.

Blomfield told the Herald there were lines of inquiry police should have pursue in relation to most complaints, yet did not.

He said the home invasion in 2014, during which he was shot at least two times, was never properly investigated.

“Someone sent this guy to do this.” Blomfield said the delay in the investigation meant evidence would have decayed. “It now seems that (information) is going to be lost.”

He said there was no sensible reason for a Tribesman-affiliated gang member from Manukau, to whom he had no links or connection, to come to his Greenhithe home firing a loaded shotgun.

“It would be totally reasonable to ask the Police why it is taking so long and when that investigation will be completed.”

But Blomfield and his lawyer claims that the police have continued to do little to investigate.

Barrister Felix Geiringer, who was Blomfield’s lawyer in the defamation case, said the lack of action by police was shocking yet even more so given the police review appeared to show an officer had acted in a way which prevented a proper investigation taking place.

He said the home invasion offending was criminal behaviour at the most serious end of the scale and it was “terrifying” police could “so easily decide not to take basic investigative steps”.

Geiringer said there was a clear lack of urgency which included delays with the fresh investigation.

“Six months after informing Matt that they had never properly investigated the attempt on his life, a newly appointed investigator informed Matt that he had not yet read the file.

“Over 18 months later, and the Police have still not decided what further action, if any, they intend to take.

“Matt and his family have never felt safe since the attack. They don’t feel that the New Zealand police have any interest in protecting them. Who could blame them?”

I for one can’t blame them. I was dragged into this long running feud and attacks via blog posts and the courts.

I have had what could be construed as implied death threats. I have had my address and photo of my home posted on a website that ran a series of attacks on me, and incorrectly linked me with Blomfield. I believe that people in Slater’s circle of associates were involved (they and Slater were definitely involved in vexatious legal actions against me).

Emails on the court file show the meeting, with former business associates of Blomfield, saw discussion focused on targeting Blomfield in a scheme called “Operation Bumslide”.

In the chain of emails between the conspirators, there was a joke about Blomfield being raped and one in which an associate of Slater’s made disparaging sexual remarks about Blomfield’s wife.

So far Slater has borne the brunt of Blomfield’s fight back via the defamation, and he is the only one named in Fisher’s article.

The impression I get from this latest ‘big read’ from Fisher is that Slater may be able to help the police with their inquiries, if they ever make proper inquiries. Perhaps ‘an associate of Slater’s’ (or more) could also warrant some investigation. So far they have managed to leave Slater to cop most of the fallout. It looks to me like Slater may have been used as a ‘useful idiot’ in what started as a business feud against Blomfield.

Things can hardly get much worse for Slater, but others who have so far escaped being held to account may find things getting awkward for them if the police start doing their job properly.