This blog was created as an informal research diary or “commonplace book”. Typically, I provide extra context to a story or claim in the news, juxtaposing different sources and giving my opinion. I try to note connections and details that others may have missed, rather than focusing on “big” stories where extensive commentary can probably be found elsewhere. For the most part the blog is curiosity driven, meaning that the process of writing the posts is also often a learning experience for me. My hope is that some readers will find it a useful repository.

Initially, my focus was on stories relating to religion, with a particular emphasis on the American Christian Right and its global context – a subject that is now covered comprehensively by others. As the years went on I found myself moving into other areas, such as parapolitics and media criticism, and discussions of policing in relation to moral panics.

My posts often contain rebuttals to disinformation, and as such my efforts are not universally appreciated. I have received legal threats and faced online smearing, and in an age where “harassment is the new libel” I have even had to contend with police complaints. I do not claim infallibility, but everything on this website is published in good faith in the public interest, and with due regard for the importance of accuracy and reasonable standards of discourse. This is a matter both of ethics and of personal dignity – concepts alien to several bad actors who have defamed me over the period I have been running this site.

In recent years, blogs have been overshadowed by Twitter. However, as a form of expression blogging still has some value and I continue to post when I see there is a “gap” in the discussion that I think needs filling.

For a short period I ran a spin-off blog about Reverend Moon and the Universal Peace Federation – this can be seen here.