You may remember that, a while back, there was a blog set up by a homeless (possibly) woman who called herself Wandering Scribe. As noted here on 27 June, not everyone was convinced that the lady really was homeless. Some suspected that the blog was an elaborate stunt to get a book contract, or that the contract was already signed, and that the blog was advance publicity.
So suspicious and annoyed, in fact, were some people that they set up a counter-blog, specifically to debate the issue of whether or not Wandering Scribe was genuine.
If you visit the two Wandering Scribe blogs today, pro and anti, you will see that our homeless friend now updates us on her life rather irregularly. You will also see that the the counter-blog has widened out to consider the whole question of unreliable memoirs, including those of Norma Khouri, Helen Darville, Laura Albert, et al. And now, of course, Kathy O'Beirne.
In relation to the famous Kathy O'Beirne, what we find now is that there is a newish and, I suspect, important blog set up by Honora Hemple, who says that she has 'a low tolorance (sic) for doing nothing when annoyed'. This blog is called, quite plainly, Kathy's Story Scam.
Note: the Kathy's Story Scam blog does not display correctly in IE6. It does work OK in Mozilla. So, if you're using IE6, you need to jump down to the bottom of a very long page to find Honora's details in the right-hand panel. She claims a background in journalism, but it has not, I fear, inculcated any great proof-reading skills -- we get two versions of her name in the first few lines -- and her spelling is dodgy too.
But let us concentrate upon content. The content of Kathy's Story Scam is not complimentary of Ms O'Beirne. Rather the reverse. And there's a lot of it. Much of it is reprints of newspaper articles (umm... ever heard of copyright, Honora?). But there's also some original stuff, including copies of letters to the publisher.
It's only when you read the transcripts of some of O'Beirne's radio interviews, for example, that you begin to realise why some of this stuff is the cause of outrage in certain quarters. You also realise that, if her story is not true, then this woman is one of the champion bare-faced liars of all time.
The principal point, I think, is that there are some people around who have suffered genuine abuse as children; and while some such victims want nothing more than to forget the past, some of them are very angry indeed that a third party is (apparently) 'borrowing', so to speak, their childhood suffering and using it to make money.
It would be a serious mistake to underestimate the strength of feeling involved; and it would also be a mistake, I think, to assume that the opposition to Kathy O'Beirne is coming from a small group of cranks.
This is a very messy business and it's getting worse by the week.