Behringer, Midifan and the MUSIC Tribe City factory strike: Uli takes to Facebook
A couple of days ago we reported on the story that Chinese music technology website Midifan were being sued by Behringer/Music Group for using words such as “Shameless” and “Copycat” when referring to Behringer’s synthesizer clones. After sharing the article on social media a bit of a debate ensued over the language use, Chinese translations (which vary from “copycat” to “plagiarism in dogs”), and how much people love or hate what Behringer are doing.
Much of the discussion centred around Midifan’s reporting of a strike at the MUSIC Tribe City factory which, Midifan claims, is the reason why they’ve been targeted by Behringer for legal action. Obviously, we all have first-hand experience of Chinese business practices and workplace health and safety and so everyone had an opinion. It’s difficult to know what’s true in these sorts of situations. From this outsider’s point of view, it appeared to be very heavy-handed of Behringer to take a swipe at a news site for sharing an opinion when the internet is already full of this sort of view and far worse language. Uli Behringer has actually handled most of the negativity directed at their cloning of synthesizers with a certain amount of aplomb. He gets stuck in, responds to criticism directly on forums and other places, and it does him and his company a lot of credit.
Now Uli has responded with a post to the Synthesizer Freaks Facebook group. I’ll copy the full contents of the post below as only members of that group can access it, but here are some of the highlights.
Uli says that they’ve had a “rather ambivalent relationship with some publishers and magazines simply because we’ve chosen not to advertise”. He doesn’t believe in a “dishonest “pay to play” scheme, where favourable reviews are granted in return for placing ads.” And he cites this as the reason why some magazines would publish “unfavourable articles and reviews.” That’s a pretty cynical attitude right there. I’m a freelance writer and creator of music technology content. I’ve written for Sound On Sound, Computer Music and many other magazines and outlets and have never once found any hint of bias. And I’ve been critical of some pretty big advertisers.
He also made it clear that no one had reached out to him or his head office for comment “despite the fact that each of them claimed to do so”. My article, the one that kicked off the discussion on Synthesizer Freaks, made no such claim.
Uli says he’s not familiar with the libel case against Midifan and he’ll do some digging and report back. That begs the question as to who authorised the legal proceedings. Maybe we’ll find out.
Then he goes on to talk about his MUSIC Tribe City factory and the strike that Midifan reported. Here’s the story according to Uli: One of the engineers was diagnosed with leukemia shortly after moving to the new factory. Then a rumour spread that it was something to do with the air in the factory (which is not how leukemia works), panic ensued which resulted in the strike. Music Group sent everyone home while they carried out tests for formaldehyde and other hazardous materials – none were found, Uli says. They also footed the medical bills of the sick engineer who is now recovering.
The report on the Midifan website has a slightly different view. Taking it through the lens of Google Translate, there are reports of “half the workers felt dizzy after entering the new factory”. The leukemia case is mentioned but is not the focus of the article. Instead, it revolves around the fact that they were not allowed to open windows and that the environmental testing equipment approval had expired and the testing companies qualifications had been revoked. There’s an email containing a message from Uli to “PLEASE KEEP OFFICE WINDOW CLOSED” as the building has air conditioning and a filtering system which is going to work far better than opening windows which will let dust and noise in. That sounds completely reasonable to me, but you can understand the very human need to open a window if your workplace smells and makes you feel dizzy.
Of course, Uli wants to play down the strike and we can choose to take him at his word when he says, “only a safe, well-treated and engaged workforce will care about your company and deliver outstanding results” and, “we believe in making a difference when it comes to how our workforce is treated and the way we manufacture our products.” But the report from Midifan is detailed and troubling. What I hope is that this increased scrutiny, whichever side of the argument you want to take, pushes Music Group to ensure they live up to the ideals put forward by their CEO.
Uli then points with relish to an independent job portal Jobui.com who ranks MUSIC Tribe City as the:
– No 1 most popular electronics factory
– No 1 most popular recruiting company
– No 1 most employee caring company
Reading via Google Translate, the third one appears to be “most watched company” rather than “most employee caring company” – but what do I know? It also has a review rating of 42.3% and 3 out of 5 stars. So there appears to be room for improvement.
Lastly, Uli invites all of us to go and visit his factory in Zhongshan and they’d be happy to show us around. “Drop by any time,” he says. He then points us to some colleagues and praises the heck out of his workers: “We are certainly not perfect and never will be, but I can tell you that we are damn proud of our people and our engagement with them.”
It’s the sort of post that the hard-working people of MUSIC Tribe City deserve. A CEO that defends his company and is open enough to offer up explanations for their conduct and support for their staff. Let’s hope the talk is backed up by the reality. Uli Behringer, whichever way you spin it, is a remarkable man. And with this sort of openness they shouldn’t have any need to threaten legal action against a news outlet. That action does nothing but harm to themselves and makes Uli’s projection of himself and his company slightly less believable.
My view is that it’s very difficult to criticise the practices of a factory on the other side of the world operating under a different culture and system to our own. And you’ve only got to glance around you to find goods that were probably produced in worse conditions. My opinion of the Behringer synthesizers is based upon hearing the enthusiasm and passion of the Midas engineers talking about their development. They are recreating and building upon some classic synthesizer heritage that’ll enable a much wider audience to enjoy them. And although that seems crazy at times, it’s got to be a good thing. I’m not expecting any free synthesizers to come my way so I’ll just keep reporting on interesting stories as they arise and sharing my thoughts on them.
Meanwhile, Behringer has just posted another teasing PCB on their Facebook page to distract us back into talking about gear and stuff. Looks like some sort of 303 style sequencer to me!
- Our original article about the legal action.
- Midifan article on the strike (via Google Translate).
- MUSIC Tribe City Facebook page.
Uli’s post in full:
since the media has picked up on the Chinese Media legal case plus the factory labor strike last year, please allow me to respond.
In the spirit of transparency, I believe it is important to address and correct some of the misconceptions associated with these topics.
It is also worth mentioning that none of the media outlets has ever contacted our head office nor myself for comments despite the fact that each of them claimed to have done so. As you are aware, I am all always reachable through social media channels and never shy away from sensitive topics.
Over the past 30 years that we have been in business, we’ve had a rather ambivalent relationship with some publishers and magazines simply because we have chosen not to advertise. The reason is simple – we don’t believe in the common and dishonest “pay to play” scheme, where favorable reviews are granted in return for placing ads.
As you can easily see, some magazines choose to retaliate and do publish very biased and unfavourable articles and reviews. I guess we have to live with it. However I have always believed that people are smart enough to see through this behavior.
We believe that our customers deserve unbiased, honest and independent reviews from real users and those can easily be found on many trusted retailers’ websites. However there are also honest publishers whom we have incredible respect for as the have chosen integrity over commerce.
Since I am not yet familiar with the Chinese media case in question, I will need to first gather all facts, especially as complex foreign language is involved. Please give me a bit more time and hence allow me to first address the factory labor strike that happened last year.
First of all, let me be very clear that our factory called MUSIC Tribe City has passed all environmental tests executed by a government certified lab as part of the stringent occupancy permit process. Over 3,000 air samples were taken from all areas of the factory, comprehensive results were published and made available to all our factory people.
When we moved into our new factory this year, the environmental tests had not yet been completed and a few weeks after our move, one of our engineering colleagues was unfortunately diagnosed with leukemia.
While it is easier for more medically educated people to understand that cancer won’t develop within a few weeks, panic spread among the people who believed that the person’s illness had to do with the new factory environment and people decided to strike.
During the environmental testing period, our people were allowed to stay at home while receiving full pay and after the results were published, operations immediately resumed. Neither were formaldehyde nor other hazardous chemicals found as suggested by the media. While not mandated by law and contrary to what was published, we certainly covered the person’s medical bills.
Most importantly we’re extremely happy that our colleague is now recovering and will hopefully soon return.
Who in today’s world would not consider employee health and wellbeing to be the highest priority? Only a safe, well-treated and engaged workforce will care about your company and deliver outstanding results. We’re taking employee health, safety and environmental aspects extremely seriously and hence we have been implementing many “green” projects such as electric buses, waste water and dust collection and recycling systems, etc.
In fact, this is the exact reason why we built our own factory so we don’t have to rely on third party contractors like our competitors. We believe in making a difference when it comes to how our workforce is treated and the way we manufacture our products.
We are very proud that we have been ranked the No. 1 employer by the leading and independent job portal (http://www.jobui.com/company/35895/)
Our factory MUSIC Tribe City is ranked in Zhongshan:
– No 1 most popular electronics factory
– No 1 most popular recruiting company
– No 1 most employee caring company
Special thanks goes to all our factory leaders who work extremely hard to make a difference for our people.
Everyone is invited to visit us in Zhongshan and we’re happy to show you around for you to meet our people.
Our head of operations at MUSIC Tribe City is Paul Coates, a British individual and the head of HR and People Development is Dominik Klett who originates from Germany.
Both are exceptional and caring individuals who enjoy my full trust to look after our people and the factory.
My colleagues and I will be more than happy to show you around – drop by any time. And if you like to speak to any of our people here on our MUSIC Tribe Facebook page, just contact them.
We are certainly not perfect and never will be, but I can tell you that we are damn proud of our people and our engagement with them.
And finally, I too live and work in MUSIC Tribe City – hence we all breathe the same air.
Thanks for listening and your great support.
- Behringer PCB tease: Behringer
Since you have waded in to this ruckus I’ll throw my couple of bits on the fire. First, it is best never to try to wade into internal Chinese business disputes in China unless you are on the ground and know all the parties involved AND all the other parties that are involved with the parties in question. There are invariably schemes within schemes within schemes going on and often it goes beyond the business realm and into the political sphere which is definitely not a good place to go. Second, you may have not encountered “pay to play” but as someone who has been (past tense) involved in the music industry I can assure you that at least here in the States it’s still quite prevalent and I have remarked to your guitar guy Jeff that you rarely see the point/counterpoint-positive/negative type of reviews in the US music media that I have seen here on Gearnews , almost to the point that most reviewers seem to go out of their way to frame a negative remark in a way that doesn’t discourage a potential buyer. The “pay to play” may be subtle as opposed to blatant, but I can assure you it’s still a ongoing factor.
I didn’t mean to “wade” in, I just wanted to share my thoughts on the situation and report on Uli’s response – because it’s important to hear all sides. I pretty clearly state exactly what you say about not being on the ground. All i can do here is report and reflect on what we’ve read. It’s not possible to interview every protagonist in every story before writing up blog post. I try to present what i’ve seen and give a balanced opinion – i do my best to at least.
I think you mistook the way I phrased the intro to my comments for far more than they were so if you think they were somehow supposed to cast a negative on you, you are in error so no reason to for you to think you have explain or perform any act of contrition or whatever. Saying “you waded into this mess'” doesn’t assign anything negative on the source over here in the States. I guess I tend to forget that you guys over there on the other side of the pond seem to be a bit more circumspect on how you phrase/approach things than us Yanks, eh? Don’t worry about it Robin, we’re good.
When I first read the original CDM report about the Midifan cease and desist letter I immediately felt there was something wrong. I questioned Midifan’s motives contacting CDM about the issue and I also felt that CDM wasn’t stating all the facts. In your article you used the phrase “CDM has a long article that says all the important facts.”
The thing is CDM doesn’t have the facts at all. All Peter Kirn did was repeat what he was told by Midifan. And Midifan started off by lying to CDM about Behringer writing to them using the words “copycat” and “shameless.” If you look at the Google translations of their website you’ll see Midifan had used much more defamatory language like “shameless dogs” and “plagiarist dogs.” And there’s more to it than just the words Midifan used in their articles.
If you read the Google tranlations of the articles Midifan wrote about Behringer it becomes immediately clear they appear to have an axe to grind against Behringer. For one thing they suggest a formaldehyde smell in the Behringer factory was responsible for a person contracting leukemia which is absurd. And that false report prompted a strike by the factory workers.
I emailed Peter Kirn to let him know he was getting the facts wrong. In his article he claims he tried to contact Uli Behringer. But in his emails to me told me he doesn’t have any contact information for ANYONE at Behringer. So he never tried to contact them as he falsely states in his article. Uli Behringer confirmed that he had not been in contact by Peter Kirn as he claims.
The point I made with Peter Kirn is that it’s not about the words “copycat” and “shameless” as CDM reports. It’s about the fact that Midifan appeared to be trying to smear Behringer using defamatory language and also reporting stories about conditions at Behringer factory when they don’t have the facts straight. And Behringer were trying to defend themselves against that. If Midifan had simply stated their opinion about Behringer copying synths I don’t think there would have been a cease and desist letter sent.
Peter Kirn also told me he felt that his reporting, regardless of it being incomplete and non-factual, would “force” Behringer to reply which eventually they did. That’s not ethical conduct. My issue with Peter Kirn and CDM is he couldn’t care less about the truth or being balanced in his reports. I won’t be reading anymore articles from that site. And I think it’s a mistake for any other media site, like yourself, to be writing up reports based solely on “facts” obtained from CDM. It’s like taking stories from The National Inquirer as fact.
The whole thing has an “off” feel to it. The facts of a dispute in China are hard to ascertain. If you check out the lengthy facebook discussion over my original article you’ll see plenty of differing Google Translate interpretations of the language – which is what i alluded to in this article. Midifan definitely has an axe to grind, but also Uli offers simplistic replies and seems unaware of the legal threats. I don’t believe either side particularly. My original headline for this article was “Uli invites us to his place for a tour of the factory” and that’s really the vibe i wanted to give – that he’s open and trying to do his best for his company – but his company can also be heavy handed and wrong. Check out the recent court case against DSI and GearSlutz forum members. And for me i’m doing my best to report on interesting things that i find, and that I think people are interested in – and they are certainly interested in this. I’d much rather be writing about a cool new piece of gear, but hey.
Robin, a big part of the problem now with these inter-business disputes is that now, with everything about everybody being splashed across the internet, they are being adjudicated in the media instead of being handled relatively privately within the industry. Back when I was in the business (72-97), the only people that heard about stuff like this were folks in the business and even then it was mostly communicated in an informal manner and the vast bulk of the buying public had no idea what was going on between companies. And in previous times, at least in the musical instrument industry, most companies handled their disputes informally (if Gibson, say, had a dispute with Gretsch, the heads of each company would get together and sort it out privately and usually without resulting to lawsuits as these guys in spite of being competitors were friendly with each other socially-in recent interviews Ted McCarty who ran Gibson for years said one of his main beefs with Leo Fender back in those days was that Leo stayed aloof and wouldn’t interact with anyone else and was always suing everybody. It is not surprising then that when companies now, when they are faced with criticism, feel they have to punch back hard because it’s all being played out before the buying public.
Robin, you said you feel Behringer can be heavy-handed and wrong. You site the DSI/GearSlutz court case as an example. In the case of Midifan, having looked into it, I don’t think they were wrong sending a cease and desist letter. In that case you have the combination of Midifan writing articles making it sound like Behringer doesn’t care about their worker’s health which resulted in people being scared to work there. That episode was expensive for Behringer. They were posting other articles calling Behringer “shameless plagiarist” and “copycat dogs.” That is the definition of defamation and Behringer have a right to defend themselves against that.
Then Midifan sent a factually inaccurate report to CDM and other sites with an incorrect Google translation that changed the language of the examples Behringer cited from “shameless plagiarist” and “copycat dogs” to “copycats” and “shameless.” It was clear to me they were still at it trying to smear Behringer. And it worked because sites like CDM didn’t look into the details and they posted the story making it look like all it was about was those two simple words when it was much more than that. Midifan were downright devious in that respect. They knew what they were doing. And they successfully used CDM and others as pawns. William Paxton alluded to that behavior on the part of the Chinese in his post.
Then other cites like Gearnews picked up the story from CDM and did even less fact checking. You, Robin, posted the original story which says at it’s most basic level “Behringer threatened to sue Midifan over the use of the words “copycats” and “shameless.” But that was not true and accurate. And you don’t appear to have felt it had an “off” feel to it when you posted that.
I haven’t looked into the DSI thing in depth. But again it looks like Behringer took action in a very specific case where an individual from DSI was going to a forum posting defamatory and factually incorrect statements disparaging to Behringer. Here’s the critical detail: They made the decision to take action in a specific case. So you have to ask yourself why.
Behringer had to know they were taking the risk of getting some bad publicity in those cases. But in the end they seem to have decided it was a risk worth taking when they considered the damage that could be done letting the conduct in question go on. And that’s what defamation cases are all about.
There are several other points I made in emails with Peter Kirn that went right over his head. The way he responded actually made me wonder if I was talking to a 16 year old. The first was that there is a high “burden of proof” hurdle when it comes to defamation cases. They’re extremely difficult to win. The attorneys for Behringer wouldn’t have sent those cease and desist letters if they didn’t feel they had a case. Because, as I said, there are risks involved taking legal action when the issue of free speech can come into play. Attorneys don’t like to take cases they think they might lose no matter how much they’re getting paid because it damages their own reputation.
The other important point is I made to Peter Kirn is that cease and desist letters are sent to media sites on a regular basis. But you rarely hear about them. It’s not an actual lawsuit. It’s simply a warning shot. The sites just make the corrections or retractions and quietly go on about their business. In the case of Midifan I believe they sent their partial details to any and all sites they hoped would report it in a further effort to make Behringer look bad.
In the case of CDM, Peter Kirn didn’t look any further into the details. He just posted the story as Midifan passed it to him and that was it. He didn’t try to contact anyone as he claims. He didn’t even go to the trouble of getting Google translations from the Midifan site. All he did was post one side of the story from Midifan which focused, incorrectly, on Behringer threatening to sue over the words “copycat” and “shameless.” Then other sites picked up the story based on the CDM report. And now Behringer is looking bad. So mission accomplished for Midifan.
Another point I made with Peter Kirn, which he also completely ignored, is that it would be bad business for Behringer to show so little concern for their factory workers as Midifan was trying to make it appear. Uli Behringer said that exact same thing in his letter. It would be just stupid of them to do that. It would ultimately effect the quality of their products. People at the factories wouldn’t care if the products they produced were defective or poorly made etc.
So again it points to a smear campaign on the part of Midifan. They appeared to be trying to get people scared to work for Behringer. If Behringer can’t get people to work at their factories it would do them great financial harm. And THAT is what Behringer are clearly defending themselves against. And they seem to have been willing to take the risk of getting some bad publicity in so doing. The idea of their reputation being dragged through the mud seems to be the issue with the DSI/GearSlutz case as well.
Heavy handed? Maybe yes, maybe no. But as Uli Behringer stated it’s a highly competitive market and they can’t afford to have individuals going around actively smearing them. Uli Behringer also said he understands there are always going to be people that complain about their products or who just won’t buy from them. There’s a clear distinction being made between people’s right not to like Behringer and their products and people trying to smear them. So it appears in certain instances they make the decision to take action. Can you blame them? My problem is that detail was completely ignored in the original story that came out from CDM.
Reggie, what’s your full name? Do you have any business or employment relationship with Behringer or any companies owned by or associated with Behringer?
Dan, I have no relationship with Behringer whatsoever. If they were to file for bankruptcy tomorrow I couldn’t care less. If you’re suggesting I’m “pro Behringer” you couldn’t be more wrong. My only point was that the original story was reported basically by Midifan themselves, who have demonstrated clearly they have an axe to grind with Behringer, and that Peter Kirn at CDM did absolutely no fact checking before posting the story on his site. He also falsely claimed he attempted to contact Behringer when he didn’t even have any contact info for them. I also expressed some annoyance that Gearnews picked up the story and simply mirrored CDM’s focus on the words “copycat” and “shameless” when the issue went much deeper than that.
Reggie – seems like you need to do more research on the DSI case (which seems surprising, since you are apparently spending a lot of time on this issue). Your summary is directly contradicted by the court’s findings (https://cdm.link/2018/06/behringer-have-sued-dave-smith-instruments-forum-posters-for-defamation/). So, when you write, contrary to the court’s opinion, that an “individual from DSI was going to a forum posting defamatory and factually incorrect statements disparaging to Behringer” you might wish to be careful, in order to avoid any danger of committing libel yourself.
Dan, I don’t know how I could have stated more clearly that I didn’t look into the DSI thing very deeply. I’m not interested in looking further into the details. All I said was what it “appeared like at a glance” as to why Behringer originally decided to take action in that matter. And I mentioned them taking a risk of negative publicity over the case. But I couldn’t care less about the court’s opinion. I was aware Behringer lost. Whatever. That’s all I need to know. I do feel Behringer have a right to at least attempt to defend themselves against people attacking them in specific cases and under certain circumstances. There are laws protecting free speech. And there are laws protecting against defamation when people take that freedom too far. If you have a problem with with my personal opinions I frankly don’t care. You seem awful distraught over my posts. You wouldn’t happen to be a Peter Kirn groupie would you? You’re not Peter Kirn are you?
Reggie – methinks thou doth protest too much. Still waiting for a full name, btw. For someone who “couldn’t care less,” you sure are spending a lot of time on your pro-Behringer propaganda, and are obviously not particularly willing to examine (much less admit!) your factual errors.. Good luck with your PR business; I’d encourage you to be more subtle next time, since this take is (pro tip!) just a little too obvious.
Reggie, I’m sure you’re right about everything… except, if i may be so bold, you are also spreading disinformation. You say that Midifan were writing articles to scare people who worked there, when in fact they were simply reporting on events that had already occurred:
“Although Midifan did not personally go to the scene to investigate, this article was all based on reports from the Guangdong Public Channel Television Station and interviews with workers at the Music Group group’s new factory in Zhongshan Nanke Town Zhongshan Ouke Electronics Co., Ltd., WeChat interview, survey by the Zhongshan City Government. The rectification documents and hospital diagnosis report are the basis of facts.”
So, i don’t believe Midifan was the cause of the problems at the factory, they simply had the nerve to report on it. I have no doubt that they have an axe to grind with Behringer, which is why I did my best to report on both sides, and share a balanced view. A tech website shouldn’t talk like that about a manufacturer, but a manufacturer needs to be wiser about how they deal with it. I was surprised at Behringer’s approach when they have done such good work on social media improving their image. They’ve now put themselves back a few years and I don’t think that’s all Midifans fault.
And please remember that this is a blog about gear run by normal people with a passion for music technology, we’re not writing for the Independent or the Times and I’m not trying to change the world with the depth of my research and undercover work. This is news and opinion 🙂
Robin, you’re really one to claim I’m spreading disinformation. You didn’t fact check before posting the original article. I at least looked into it much deeper. I at least took the time to get Google translation of the articles at Midifan. You STILL don’t have it right. The Midifan article about the Behringer factory took facts and turned then into fiction. A perfect example was when they suggested the guy contracted leukemia within a few weeks working at Behringer’s new factory. They also falsely stated that Behringer ORDERED and DEMANDED that people keep the windows closed when the management had simply asked that they keep the windows closed so the HVAC system could work properly ventilating the building. They tried to make it look like Behringer doesn’t care about their workers. Then in other articles they were using much more defamatory language than just “shameless” and “copycat” as the word were used in THEIR translation they passed on to CDM and which CDM posted without looking into the matter deeper.
You’re doing a bit of a flip-flop now. On the one hand you say Midifan have an axe to grind against Behringer. Now you’re saying I’m spreading disinformation when you still haven’t even gotten yourself informed about the matter. Which is it?
Whoever said Midifan was the cause of the problem at the factory? But they didn’t simply report. They drew utterly false conclusions. It’s as plain as the nose on your face if you actually read the articles. They also didn’t just use the words “shameless” and “copycats.” Every time they referred to Behringer they were calling them “plagiarist dogs” etc. I believe Midifan intentionally misdirected the story when they passed it on to CDM. And I believe they have an axe to grind against Behringer and I believe Behringer have a right to defend themselves against that. Those are my opinions.
“Which is why I did my best to report on both sides, and share a balanced view” – You didn’t do that when you originally reported the story. I don’t care what you say.
“I was surprised at Behringer’s approach” – For you to say this tells me you STILL haven’t looked into the facts here. You couldn’t have read the articles at the Midifan site. They’ve changed their wording at the site so you’re not going to see the really harsh wording they used originally. But you need to go to the site yourself and get a translation of the articles and actually read them. They were attacking Behringer plain and simple. And I could see why Behringer felt the need to defend themselves. Whether they were right or wrong I don’t know. I do know when the original article from CDM was posted it improperly focused on the words “shameless” and “copycat” when the issue was much deeper than that. At the same time I believe Behringer made a serious miscalculation sending the cease and desist letter because of how this whole thing has been twisted into a pretzel and people are taking things as fact that aren’t even close to the truth. It’s just stupid how this has all unfolded.
“I’m not trying to change the world with the depth of my research and undercover work.” – That much is absolutely certain. You didn’t look into the story at all. All you appear to have posted so far is hearsay and secondhand everything from start to finish.
“This is news and opinion” – Actually from what I’ve seen it’s actually just opinion. Getting news right takes a bit more work and research than you seem to be willing to invest.
Btw, Robin, don’t get me wrong about one point. In your response you’ve shown yourself to actually be concerned about getting down to the truth in spite of the fact that you originally took the story at face value from CDM. In contrast, Peter Kirn’s response to my emails demonstrated he has absolutely no interest in the truth whatsoever. All he was interested in was getting attention and sensationalizing the story in true Enquirer fashion. And as I said I began to suspect I was communicating with a teenager.