Let ’em Go by Paul Leonard

Whilst out and about enjoying the Christmas cheer, a friend came up with an idea and asked for my technical know how in making this possible. How could I possibly turn down the challenge?! So in true Tree House spirit, the day was well and truly seized albeit adding my own twist!

This video we hope will help to lift everyone’s spirits and make you smile for “A smile is free and does wonders” – to quote the founder, Sara.

On behalf of The Tree House, we would like to present our parody of “Let it go” from the film, Frozen; “Let ’em go”

Enjoy!

Please help The Tree House to stamp out any form of online abuse by not condoning it in any sense. Many thanks.

“Let ’em go” because The Tree House is positively moving onwards and upwards.

~PAL

Evidence Speaks For Itself

As I began setting up the Tree House and laying its foundations, I invited two other old school friends to join me and they both happily agreed. Robin McMeekin, bless his soul, voluntarily left after he realised his actions could have been quite damaging onto himself and the TH. He is very much a free spirit, doing as he pleases whilst being very outspoken with his views – some of which, other people thought were a bit extreme even though he was entitled to his own opinions. So the three of us became the two of us. Robin and his sense of humour are missed, by more than he realises.

The TH then continued to bloom and grow with all the nurturing each and every one put into it.

One day, when most of the admin team did not get their way and walked out like spoilt brats – one of whom went as far as to mimick her house mate’s tendancy to put themselves into hospital. Kirsty Vessey (nee McMullan) then stepped in and tried to make me think we could not do without them. This was the first warning sign I had that things were not going to be plain sailing any more.

Of course, we could do without them, especially if they were going to be so self-centred / absorbed / power mad – so let them go and make way for other team members instead who might do even better (who knows?) To their demands they had made via Kirsty, I made my own of which soon transpired were not relayed but swept under the rug to appease them, just so they would come back. This was the first mistake she made.

Therefore, it was inevitable that there would be a next time that they wanted their own way once again, except I would not let anyone manipulate me this time around. They could not understand my position as the legal founder and owner, that I had the last say in how I wanted to protect the TH and see it performing. I wrote a blog called “Stop Online Abuse” to speak out as it had been going on for far too long in the deaf world across social media, far too many others also behave in this manipulative way in order to achieve what they want. By trying to provide a platform to try to bridge the gaps between and unite both the deaf and hearing worlds, the last thing I would tolerate was people from within my own community turning on their own.

They took over another group belonging to the Tree House and renamed it. Only then to set up their own when people realised what they had done. I was not going to take this second or third attempted takeover bid laying down – I reported them with hard evidence to make them stop harassing, bullying and manipulating me, also via my friends. They predictably went around mutual friends in a bid to get them to leave the TH, to abandon and to turn them against me. I had several witnesses who could vouch what was happening and these witnesses made me feel slightly vindicated. They were telling everyone (confirmed by Michelle Hedley) that I was doing all this and that when I had not – I had learnt a very, very, long time ago not to allow anyone to use anything against me… Yet still, I was wronged and being wronged. For what? Doing the right things as the legal owner. Even when I publicly thanked everyone for their time, patience and contributions which made the TH what it is, I was still being given grief.

One of them, Richard Turner, had the nerve to turn it all against me by using the famous animal farm quote when he was potentially the engineer behind it all as the team was more or less made up of who he wanted on the team and what events he wanted or did not want to do which was also under his influence. And because of that, I decided it was no longer necessary to have a dedicated events team as the members themselves could be encouraged and empowered to create and do events as they wished.

quote-all-animals-are-equal-but-some-animals-are-more-equal-than-others-george-orwell-139688

My mother saw this very quote he posted that was directed at me so she relatively slammed him right back down, accusing him of bullying me and clarified that the animal farm quote, was actually who “they” were being.

I am going to attach some of the evidence which will speak for itself, how they behaved so you can see for yourself just how despicable they were being as I am tired and have had quite enough, of being browbeaten. Tired of seeing my friends suffering too at the hands of their unreasoning and logic(!).

My friends were being unfriended / blocked for not taking his/their sides and for quite simply, being friends with me. Their rightful choice?

blocked4

blocked1 blocked3blocked2

harassment with intentions
Not having permission? Total bollocks to that as any writer knows they are automatically giving permission when they hit publish – not only that, I have his actual written permission. So obviously bent on publicly harassing me to make me look bad..
One of the few witnesses.

Even stooped as low to go down the route, using a form of monstering to make me look like the “baddie”.

A form of monstering.

The last straw was when the Ward-McLaughlans involved my daughter.

chickenshed1

kirsty1
When Kirsty was removed for her conduct unbecoming. 1/3
kirsty2
2/3
kirsty3
3/3

Everyone that knows me knows I will say it like it is – which is nothing but the truth….. Shame on those who run around destroying people, (and those who condoned their actions) it makes them out to be a psycho or perhaps more appropriately sociopaths.

Why It Pays To Report

If you experience any kind of manipulation, oppression or bullying in any sense at all – always report them especially with hard evidence. I have had qualms in the past about reporting people but it is the only way to get them to reflect upon their behaviour by exposing them. And sometimes reporting them will actually make them stop misbehaving and improvements being made to their code of conduct and policies – one example (of several) follows;

“Dear Sara Jae,

 RE: Complaint of Harassment and Bullying Behaviour (Reference number: withheld for privacy)

 Thank you for bringing to our attention your concerns with regard to our recently elected Trustee and long term volunteer Mr Richard Turner and a new volunteer with Action on Hearing Loss, Eloise Garland.

 I have investigated your complaint in depth in accordance with our complaints policy and I have examined the relevant documents supplied and these have been discussed and reviewed with Richard and Eloise as part of my investigation.

 My investigation considered two specific areas:-

 

  1. The actions of Richard and Eloise as volunteers of Action on Hearing Loss including that of Trustee in Richard’s case.

 

  1. Whether or not it is appropriate for Action on Hearing Loss to comment on discussions within a social media context over which we have no authority and where people comment within a personal capacity.

 

Before advising of the outcome of my investigation it is appropriate to provide information regarding our Trustee Board.

 Our Trustee Board comprises nominated and elected Trustees. An elected Trustee is a person who puts forward their name, is then nominated by a member and is then subject to election by our membership. The election is overseen by the Electoral Reform Service and the person with a majority of votes is duly elected to the vacant position. Provided the person meets standards outlined by the Charity Commission and Companies House they are appointed. Action on Hearing Loss and the Board of Trustees have no right of veto over an elected Trustee. One of our strengths as a charity is having a mix of nominated professionals and elected supporters as Trustees. Richard is one of our newly elected Trustees.

 With regard to both points therefore I have concluded the following:-

 

  1. Action on Hearing Loss has noted with concern the distress caused by various comments made by RT. However these comments were not made in a capacity as a volunteer for Action on Hearing Loss they were the comments of RT and EG as private individuals. Therefore we do not consider it is appropriate to take any formal action at this stage. RT has not breached any rules as a trustee (which is also a volunteer role in Action on Hearing Loss). However it is apparent that the language used at times in these communications could be seen as inflammatory and misleading. We therefore recognise the need to emphasise to RT and EG along with all our volunteers the requirement to separate any personal comments and any indication that these are the views of Action on Hearing Loss.  I shall also follow up with advice to RT and EG and all volunteers the need to be aware that language used in Social Media should be constructed in a way that demonstrates respect to people at all times. To this end we will review and update the following documents and policies:-

 

–          Our Volunteer Handbook

–          Our Induction Training for Trustees

–          Our Social Media Policy

–          Our Bullying and Harassment Policy

 

  1. As a national charity with over 1400 volunteers, on this occasion we do not consider it appropriate to comment on whether inappropriate behaviour has taken place on an independent forum. For example people do sometimes use social networking sites and forums and other forms of social media to air their grievances which appears to have been the case on both sides in these instances.  People also see social media as a channel for free speech and there can be confusion over what is acceptable behaviour in the use of social media. Both parties have had disagreements about things relating to the Tree House site and related activities and have aired these disagreements publicly on this site and forum which has caused further disagreement and distress between parties.

I know from your correspondence with me that you have been upset and distressed and I very much appreciate you having raised your concerns with us and will take the actions identified above to safeguard against a repetition of this nature. We are also pleased to note that you will continue to support the Charity and the work of Action on Hearing Loss. Finally I would like to reassure you that we will continue to deal with complaints with the utmost seriousness and investigate fully in accordance with our policies.

 Yours sincerely

(name kept anonymous for privacy)

Action on Hearing Loss (Formerly RNID)”

 

As for NADP?? Well, I am not going to hold my breath for sure since they elected themselves in and ran it to the ground. Any bets on when I will hear from them? 😛

lidia NADP

Stop The Online Abuse.

Being in the public eye for the past two years has subjected me to many forms of online abuse be it indirectly or directly. I have witnessed the “mob mentality” escalate appallingly fast when someone may have a different school of thought, or by simply being different. Take the time for example when I was attacked for choosing to speak instead of sign in my BBC interview. I naturally speak when I am with hearing people as I am more comfortable doing so yet my choice to speak was not respected by those who demanded that I signed just because I come from a deaf family. I was put between a rock and a hard place and I was damned if I did sign and damned if I didn’t. The sheer number of sheep flocking was astonishing – thank God I am not a sheep! These days, too many people take advantage of peer pressure to manipulate and dictate others what to do.

“Hate, it has caused a lot of problems in the world, but has not solved one yet.” – Maya Angelou.

There will always be someone who can put forwards different perspectives on issues and situations due to their experiences in life and knowledge, making the impact for change greater – surely everyone deserves to be respected with kindness just as much as the next person regardless? It is extremely healthy to have variations of viewpoints so one can be educated and decide – especially for themselves.

When having a different opinion one tends to be singled out as a “Troll” yet to single that person out as a troll must be another form of abuse in itself.

The World Wide Web.
The World Wide Web.

However I have recently experienced a new form of online abuse and I have been left saddened by it. This experience has made me want to retreat, have nothing at all to do with the world-wide web to distance myself from all the negativity and to restrain myself from reacting. Life is far too short.

To go onto social media and post potentially libellous material which names a person, persons and so on when they cannot defend themselves surely must be another form of online abuse? Especially when there is no evidence that the named party has attacked or done anything wrong yet people feel the urge to personally attack the named party? And what’s worse, people adopting the “mob mentality” by joining in and adding fuel to the fire. No one is born with hatred – it is instilled and mimicked. If only respect worked in the same sense.

Seeing that occur from a distance opened my eyes and I soon realised I had been in the very same position numerous times now. Unfortunately I know I am not alone in this experience for a friend of mine was personally attacked recently by someone posting a video onto social media publicly naming him and criticising him. If only he had sorted his dispute out privately with the named person – he would not be now known as a bully within our circle of mutual friends.

I will not tolerate or condone any form of online abuse around me especially bullying. I made it clear that I would not stand for this within the Tree House in the form of personal attacks (or when we are named outside the safety perimeters of the Tree House which subsequently is inviting us to take action) or be associated with those seen to be contributing to the very public online form of abuse. Yet making it clear, I was inevitably set upon. My position as founder in trying to protect the Tree House from any potential damage was questioned, undermined. oppressed and criticised. Being unbiased and diplomatic sets myself apart from others and this helps me to look outside the box – as always I will do as I deem just, adapting to each situation based on my experience. Was my being criticised and slated another form of online abuse? Maybe not in their eyes but it certainly felt like it to me.

To have thick skin is very important and deaf people are extremely vulnerable to the various forms of abuse, be it online, within society, at school, at work and unfortunately at home. In all walks of life, there will always be that someone who will try to drag others down no matter who they may be, for being different. My scars have healed over many times now hence why my skin has grown thicker and if I can refuse to be manipulated, so can you. Positivity rules!

Do not encourage any form of online abuse because these emotions which are associated with being bullied will exhibit themselves within the victim(s).

◾Depression

◾Shame

◾Low self-esteem

◾Sadness

◾Difficulty trusting others

◾Anger

◾Anxiety

◾Frustration

◾Fear

The offenders’ hatred should not dictate your time and you would only be lowering yourself to their level if you join in or encourage it. Rise above it because people who show their true colours in this manner deserve to be reported to the police so keep a record of all the evidence and present it in order to take action. I have done this in the past being a victim and they have listened – they issued warnings to the offending parties. With actions comes consequences – if they can dish it out, they can certainly take it.

Please, don’t have one rule for yourself and another for others – put yourself in the victim’s shoes and walk hundreds of miles in it first, taking a look in the mirror before passing any judgement or criticism.

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” – Martin Luther King Jnr.

It is about time online abuse in its various forms is stopped. Help by being a part of that change in stopping personal attacks, cyber bullying and all forms of online harassment. Fight back – especially for justice.

Thank you, for your time and patience.

~ SJ (Sara Jae)

Some useful links for your reference:

Internet Safety

Bully Online

Crown Prosecution Service

Taking action about Harassment.

Harassment Act 1997

and last but not least,

I would like to applaud Dr Taylor.

Update: Defamatory gossip is now being spread about The Tree House and myself which is once again another form of abuse – Please keep evidence of this as we have built up a case which we have taken action on with positive results.