Cyber-Bully Charlie Flowers Makes New Threat

Pseudo-activist Charlie Flowers is at it again, dispensing threats and abuse in the middle of the night on his “NiceOnesUK” Facebook page for the amusement of his various hangers-on:

You’re going to love this guys- apparently the communist lowlife filth “Richard Bartholomew” has been writing letters to our members, trying to get them to “disassociate” themselves from us. No dice.

Bartholomew, you are utter scum, and a pimp for the internet bully and stalker “Tim Ireland”. And now you’re going to reap the whirlwind, you fat, anti-religious gimp.

This somewhat “tired and emotional”-sounding outburst comes just a couple of weeks after Flowers left a late-might comment on my blog under the pseudonym “Righteous Death Angel”.

As I’ve blogged numerous times over the past year, Flowers is himself actually a stalker and a bully, and more than once he’s complained bitterly that I’ve had the effrontery to make people aware of what he’s done. He’s insinuated himself into various groups, such as British Muslims for Secular Democracy, and I have let certain people know what he’s like, but I really don’t know what’s set him off this time: perhaps some associate has fallen out with him and he thinks it must be my fault. He certainly appears to have a remarkable capacity for self-delusion. The preposterous accusation of “Communism” is an attempt to make his rather self-debasing way of carrying-on look like some sort of a political activism rather than the vicious rantings of a middle-aged phony in a tantrum because a teenage James Bond fantasy turned to ashes.

For those who are interested, here’s the background: Flowers first contacted me – under a pseudonym – on Christmas Day 2008, by leaving a comment on an old blog entry I had written about the VIGIL Network, a self-described “terror-tracker” organisation:

Richard- maybe you’d like an update from someone who works with them? (i.e. me)

drop us a line at the email I sent you and I’ll fill you in on the latest.

A few weeks later, Tim Ireland exposed how Glen Jenvey, who was also associated with VIGIL, had made postings to an Islamic discussion board under a fake name, which he then used as evidence of a terrorist threat against Alan Sugar; this had formed the basis for a Sun front-page splash (later withdrawn). Following Jenvey’s initial exposure, Tim and and I were contacted by Dominic Wightman, who had run VIGIL. Wightman told us a story about how VIGIL had collapsed due to the machinations of Jenvey and a university lecturer, whom he urged us to expose. He also passed to us an audio recording of an interview with Jenvey; he told us that Flowers had made the recording while posing as a journalist. Meanwhile, Flowers and his “Cheerleader” accomplices were being generally creepy: an attempt was made to befriend my Facebook contacts to fish for personal information; a package of printouts from an Islamic webforum were delivered by hand to a former workplace, and Tim received “I know where you live” type comments. Various links for all this can be found here.

In the summer of 2009, a supposed interview was posted on-line between Jenvey and a US-based journalist named Jeremy Reynalds, containing information which could only have come from someone who had physically walked along Tim’s street. Reynalds and Jenvey both confirmed they had had nothing to do with it, and Wightman exhorted us to believe that the university lecturer had done it. However, this turned out to have been a lie: the police traced the document back to Wightman. It turned out that this lecturer had had some involvement with VIGIL, but had become convinced that Wightman lacked personal integrity; Wightman was in fact a failed and bankrupt businessman, and an employee of VIGIL was just one of his many creditors. It seems that Wightman had been been hoping to use Tim and me to get revenge on the university lecturer.

At this point, Flowers and his “Cheerleaders” turned nasty: they published Tim Ireland’s home address on-line in the stated intention that hostile parties would know where he lives, and that he would be forced to leave the country. There were also threats of violence and a distasteful expression of malice against Tim’s family. What was Flowers’ goal? One possibility is that he was acting on behalf of Wightman, despite denials from Wightman and expressions of contempt for Wightman from Flowers: a contentless blog was created in Wightman’s name and made to look as though it had been hacked by Flowers’ “Cheerleader” accomplices. However, it’s more likely that the penny dropped and Flowers realised that he had been wasting his time with VIGIL. The only way to retain his self-image was to lash out against those who had burst his bubble: primarily Tim.

In the year that has followed, Flowers has been attempting to build a reputation as an activist against Islamic extremism: he became closely associated with various English Defence League activists, and he held the megaphone for Guramit Singh during the EDL rally in support of Geert Wilders; he also, as noted above, became associated with British Muslims for Secular Democracy. However, he appears to be genuinely affronted that his campaign of harassment against an innocent man should continue to be raised against him.

Of course, Flowers wants this to be about politics rather than character. His “Cheerleader” gang (consisting of an accomplice named Matthew Edwards and one or more other individuals) see themselves as cyber activists monitoring and exposing Islamic extremism, although, as with most vigilantes, a kind of self-righteous thrill-seeking is the main motivation. Flowers has a music band called the Fighting Cocks (although several the members split from him a few months ago when his activities come to light); on his website there, he boasts that his group does “bad things to bad people” (the line is taken from a character in a book by thriller author Tom Cain. Cain – actually a showbiz hack for the Daily Mail named David Thomas – is a personal friend of Flowers, although I’m sure he wouldn’t approve of Flowers’ activities). Flowers claims credit for discovering titbits about Islamists that have reached the media, in particular a 2008 comment by Asghar Bukhari of MPACUK about how Muslims who fight Israel will go to paradise; this was publicised by Policy Exchange.

Flowers’ predictable riposte has been to suggest that because what he’s done was against Islamic extremists, anyone who holds him to account must therefore be in league with Islamic extremists, and this is a familiar refrain on his “NiceOnesUK” Facebook page and on various anonymous attack blogs he’s set up. It seems that Flowers had hoped to expose extremism on a couple of other Islamic forums, but that the bad publicity around Jenvey had spoilt things somewhat. Of course we all know that Islamic extremists do post on-line, but the question is whether anything of significance had been discovered; and posting in the guise of an extremist to elicit evidence and entrap real extremists had been shown to be a rather foolish and problematic activity.

I’ve tried to investigate the extent to which Flowers and others have been making “undercover” postings to Islamic websites to manipulate discussions – for example, it’s obvious that when Jenvey temporarily converted to Islam last summer, it was Flowers or an accomplice who made postings “outing” Jenvey as gay in the hope that Jenvey might come to harm. Some bogus postings had also formerly been made to MPACUK, and I asked for IP information about these. There was no secret here, but at the time I shared the email with Wightman. Wightman then forwarded the email to Flowers, who then concocted a Glenn Beck-esque chart supposedly showing how I “share information” with extremists; Wightman tried to explain away his dishonesty with the same excuse. Flowers extrapolates from this to claim that I’m a friend and ally of Bukhari (I’m not), and, noting that Bukhari once offered to donate money to David Irving (as I blogged here), he suggests that I am in fact a “Nazi”.

Flowers also incorrectly asserts that I either am or was a member of the SWP, which is where his 1950’s-style “Communist” jibe comes from. It’s true that I did, long before I started this blog, have some association with some SWP members, but a look around this blog shows that the idea of me sharing the SWP’s perspective or agenda is utterly absurd (e.g. this blog entry, which drew hostile comment from SWP blogger Richard Seymour). However, as I’ve pointed out previously, it doesn’t really matter who I am or what my shortcomings might be: I’m just a guy with a blog, I’m not associated with any sort of activist organisation. Some of Flowers’ Islamist opponents throw around accusations of “racism” and “Islamophobia”, which miss the mark and which of course Flowers can easily dispatch. That’s not my complaint; my problem with him is that he didn’t like scrutiny, and so he decided to publish Tim’s home address in an attempt to intimidate him by making him fearful for his family’s safety. That remains true even if I really am “Communist pondlife filth”, and it obviously affects the credibility of any group he links himself to.

The key to all this is psychology rather than politics. The real underlying reason that Flowers published Tim’s home address is that if he can make a man worried for his family’s safety, it means he has “dominated” him in some way. The lie that Tim is a “stalker” has borrowed some one of Tim’s other opponents – Nadine Dorries MP – and Flowers has made constant use of this excuse. That was always flaky, and now that Dorries has been publicly discredited his claim looks utterly risible. Tim puts the whole “stalker” lie to bed here, with evidence.

Here are the facts: I don’t share information with extremists, but Flowers has (“outing” Jenvey as gay to Islamists, and passing Tim’s home address to “everyone he’s ever pissed off”, which if he’s true to his word included the BNP); I’m not involved with groups links to extremism, but Flowers is (the EDL); neither Tim nor I have used personal information to harass or bully on-line, but Flowers has. Neither Tim nor I have “stalked” women, but Flowers has (he sent a warning to a woman writer – unconnected to any political activity – that he was “watching” her). Neither Tim nor I have been investigated by the police, but Flowers has (and boasted at the “lack of evidence” they found). All Tim and I have ever wanted is that the truth should be known. The greatest weapons against Islamic extremism, as with everything else that is malign in our society, are the truth and open discussion – games with false identities and threats are a distraction. We might forgive teenagers for not realising this, but not mature adults the wrong side of forty.

The question remains as to why Flowers manages to retain so many hangers-on. Perhaps it’s the chance for middle-aged men to get in touch with their inner playground bully; one such associate is a man named Iain Westland, who calls me a Nazi and who posts to MPACUK accusing me of posting there under anonymously (again, untrue). He knows exactly what Flowers is like: he recently made a posting to NiceOnesUK decrying the publication of a Islamist’s home address by someone else, and Flowers made it quite clear that he considered there was nothing wrong with such a thing. This did not apparently give Westland pause to consider whether he needed to reassess the situation.

Incidentally, the notion that I am “anti-religious” is apparently based on the fact that I don’t like the idea of children being accused of witchcraft by evangelists. That’s the extent of Flowers’ hypocrisy and lack of good faith. He stinks, not of extremism or racism, but of phoniness. It’s time he grew up.

UPDATE: Flowers deleted his threat some time this morning, before my own post was published. One wonders what other threats and abuse he puts up and then takes down. I know that some months ago he created a fake Facebook thread in my name and placed it on the NiceOnesUK page for his cronies to giggle over; he also thought better of that after a few hours.

UPDATE 2: On 3 December I encountered Westland on a discussion forum and drew his attention to the above. Westland, who is a middle-aged mature student, promised me “an answer” that night, which failed materialise. Instead, he summoned Flowers onto the thread to provide further late-night abuse, followed by his own taunt that I am “fat boy”. He then deleted the discussion.

20 Responses

  1. He’s a thug. Thanks for flagging this up.

  2. […] publishing home addresses to intimidate when it suits him – the full background is laid out here. The only question is whether his motivation is ultimately rooted in a political project or whether […]

  3. […] exaggerated allegations have had unhappy repercussions; here’s the EDL-linked cyberthug Charlie Flowers boasting about why he and his friends decided to publish Tim’s home address on-line last […]

  4. […] Lake is also friendly with the cyber-thug Charlie Flowers; Flowers affects to believe that I’m part of a Communist conspiracy because I’ve […]

  5. […] speech had been conveyed with the help of cyber-thug Charlie Flowers, who held his […]

  6. […] The Iain Dale post that Charlie Flowers cites above has since been deleted; the “Black-Eyed Girls” refers to Flowers and one or two associates, who see themselves as cyber-vigilantes. Flowers, who first contacted me on Christmas Day 2008 to boast that he had worked for VIGIL, turned on Tim (and, to a lesser extent, me) after we wrote about our experiences with the director of VIGIL. The full background is here. […]

  7. […] taunt for some other opponents, ranging from certain Conservative-aligned bloggers through to unhinged cyber-bullies who get off on real harassment (one of whom Dorries has endorsed on her blog and apparently […]

  8. […] a paedophile, but that was eventually sorted out). The harassment has mostly been targeted at Tim, although I’ve also been on the receiving end of some abusive attacks and […]

  9. […] of MPs (here and here), through to certain on-line commentators, and on to some particularly vicious cyber-bullies. The full background (including why this subject is of interest to me) is […]

  10. […] UPDATE: Apparently cyber-vigilante Charlie Flowers of “NiceOnesUK” and the “Cheerleaders” is claiming to know the name and address of the person responsible the stickers, although no evidence is forthcoming. Doubtless he’s in full self-righteous thrill mode as he harasses some hapless Islamist, whether the right one or the wrong one, and tries to spin his supposed inside information into proof that he’s not someone who also harasses innocent people. […]

  11. […] been made by the cyber-bully Charlie Flowers on his “NiceOnesUK” Facebook group (see here), including the bizarre claim (which Flowers made back in February) that I am in correspondence […]

  12. […] but he has pressed on independently to save face rather than do the decent thing (Flowers has since turned on me for daring to […]

  13. […] of emails from a sockpuppet account controlled by Charlie Flowers or an associate; as I’ve blogged previously, Flowers had formerly worked with Wightman, although they fell out when Flowers eventually realised […]

  14. […] as I noted here and here. Naturally, for daring to point this out I’ve also become a target: Flowers uses the “Nice Ones” Facebook page to denounce me as a “Communist” and as a […]

  15. […] On-line harassment and abuse have been ongoing ever since: last summer, an anonymous site was created targeting Tim’s family, and recently around ten anonymous hit-and-run one-post smear blogs were created to abuse me and spread falsehoods. In April, Flowers accused me of “aiding and abetting” Tim’s supposed stalking, and he warned that someone would “slap” me “upside the cheek” as a consequence (there have also been other threats). […]

  16. […] Flowers hates Tim and me, and, like Wightman, he sees the internet as being a place to act out a fantasy of self-empowerment by seeking to harm or distress […]

  17. […] on this, despite the fact that Dorries has in the meantime been discredited (The full background is here). Flowers’ need to find a self-justification for acts of cyber-harassment is pathological: […]

  18. […] is, though, a bully and a thug who uses the internet to smear people and to make threats of violence: his boasts include the claim […]

  19. […] and Burns are both close to Charlie Flowers, the abusive cyber-thug who has threatened to have his friends “slap” me “upside the cheek” (I got […]

  20. […] Flowers first left a comment on my site on Christmas Day 2008, when he introduced himself as someone involved with Dominic Wightman’s VIGIL Network, which purported to track on-line extremists and which had the endorsement of Patrick Mercer MP. In late 2009, he began a campaign of abuse and threats against Tim at Wightman’s behest, although won’t admit this was the reason (he instead claims he was motivated by Nadine Dorries’ stalker-smears against Tim); he’s also targeted me for condemning his behaviour. The full background is here. […]

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