Author: Kevin John Braid
My my, what a week it has been for der Führer of CLEAR, Cannabis Law Reform, James Clay, sorry I mean Peter Reynolds.
What with impersonating a journalist, being dumb enough to get easily caught out impersonating a journalist, getting critical comments about him on Facebook deleted, and threatening to sue anybody who so much as dares to whispers an unflattering comment about him. Even threatening to sue the admin of the respected Politics UK Facebook page.
One of the mods of Politics UK took Reynolds’ email to his lawyer, I’ve kindly been sent a quote of her reaction to Peter Reynolds’ email threatening legal action:
“The lawyer laughed at me. She said she hasn’t seen anything like this for a long time. Forget about it Alan, Reynolds is pulling your chain … badly”
You might remember last year, Peter Reynolds, wrote to the Icelandic hosts of this web site, demanding they shut down Peter Reynolds Watch. The hosts quite clearly told Reynolds they would even oblige his request if he could provide them with evidence the material on this web site was untrue. Needless to say they never heard from the twat again. One wonders if he couldn’t even be bothered to write to a hosting company who said they were willing to take down a blog if he could prove it was libellous, how the hell he is going to convince a High Court in London? Reynolds needs to google ‘defamation law’ and ‘honest comment’.
Well, following the uproar, or should I say comedy, surrounding Reynolds’ impersonation of investigative reporter, James Clay, I received a PM from Chris, who I had been with in previous correspondence with about Reynolds and CLEAR, and had previously supported them and was critical of my exposes. Here is the text …
I owe you an apology Kevin. After signing up to CLEAR membership, I finally did a bit of research. I was suspicious after CLEAR was touting for membership, citing a “members only facebook group” as a perk. When I was finally allowed access, I saw that it had been out of use for a long time. I then discovered who the Maharg Smith character is. I had naively thought that he was simply a foreign chap who was “liking” my posts. Not Peter’s second in command!
I posted my story, regarding my medicinal cannabis use. A lengthy post, explaining how it helps with my depression and anxiety, how I was seeking changes to the law to remove the stigma etc. Now you would expect some sort of comment from the leader of the group/party, hell, even a “like”. But no, Peter has commented on other things in the “secret group”, but totally ignored my post. Then I see other members who have never received items that they have paid for, or the membership cards they were promised.
I’m subscribed to him, so can see who he interacts with. He’s posting comments on young girl’s pictures (well late teens/early 20’s) certainly too young for a man of his age. Pretty inappropriate for someone who claims to be a legitimate politico. Then I notice that my membership fee is a recurring fee. Yes it’s only a fiver once a year, but that’s not really the point! So yes, am really sorry I foolishly didn’t take your warning on board last year. I was hoodwinked by believing the hype. I’m now worried about how to try to get CLEAR to cancel this fee. I don’t want to be threatened to be sued or informed on. I’ll understand if you tell me “tough luck” or to “bugger off” given my reluctance to do the research last year. But wanted to apologise for not believing you, and being hoodwinked by what certainly appears to be a scam!
Of course, I welcomed this change of heart and accepted the apology. We got chatting and I asked him if he would write a few words for our site with a few juicy screenies, since he was still in a secret CLEAR Facebook group.
He accepted, though he asked if I could not publish his full name. I’ve also blocked out names and faces of other CLEAR members. Here is what the disgruntled CLEAR member had to say:
Peter Reynolds likes to present himself as the forerunner of the Cannabis Law Movement, as leader of CLEAR. He fosters the idea that his way is the only route to successfully changing Cannabis Legislation in the U.K. Adopting a more professional approach to the campaign, is integral to what he says he stands for.
Recent events have shown that this is not the case. In fact, it is CLEAR, that Peter Reynolds and his CLEAR acolytes are far from professional. I recently became a paid up member of CLEAR, after the Facebook page had posted outlining the benefits of membership. See the screenshots below:
I had joined immediately, before the comments shown on the screengrabs from other members still waiting for what they had been promised. I hadn’t realised that there was no option to make anything other than a recurring payment through Paypal. I shall come back to this later.
I was granted access to the CLEAR “members only Facebook page” as that was something which had appealed to me. I looked forward to a vibrant community. It was when I looked on the group, that alarm bells began to ring for me. Other than Peter Reynolds changing the setting in December 2012, the last activity on the page was from February 2nd 2012.
This seemed very strange, as it had been offered as a “perk”, yet hadn’t been used in nearly a year. I then noticed something else which seemed odd. Why were there so few members of this group if all CLEAR members were allowed this perk? As it stands now there are only 44 members, 25 of which are new. Peter Reynolds likes to boast of how CLEAR has many thousands of members. Surely he isn’t counting all the people who have “liked” CLEAR’s Facebook page? Seemingly so.
I then began to get cold feet about having joined. I noticed that messages were popping up from other CLEAR members who had not received their membership cards. Not exactly a good sign, and hardly representative of the image of CLEAR that Peter Reynolds likes to portray.
Seeking some answers, I found the Peter Reynolds Watch site. It certainly did make a few things about Peter Reynolds clear. I shan’t repeat information elsewhere on the site, but showed that I was right to be concerned, and to not want to trust CLEAR with my details.
Seeking some sort of clarification, I messaged Peter Reynolds directly (see screenshots below) outlining my concerns regarding the recurring payment made to CLEAR. When he didn’t respond to explain that I could actually cancel the recurring payment, or indeed offer any reassurance, I messaged him stating I had cancelled it and was requesting a refund from CLEAR via Paypal, for the amount I had paid. As you can see below, Peter Reynolds’ response was rather brusque and sarcastic. Not exactly a good way to either reassure a vulnerable member, or a new member. No offer to investigate, just a fob off, answering a question with a question. I chose not to respond there, but I shall give a response in the following paragraph.
No Peter, it’s not “the same as returning something to a shop”. When you make a purchase from a shop, you are supplied with a tangible product. If something goes wrong, a shop will endeavour to resolve the issue. If the customer has simply changed their mind, the shop can sell whatever item that has been returned to another customer incurring no real cost to either party. What have you and CLEAR supplied me with? False promises and misrepresentation is what. Like a shop, you can go on to sell your false promises and misrepresentation to somebody else; to the next person to be hoodwinked by Peter Reynolds and CLEAR, as I have.
I’d like to say thank you to Chris for his most revealing expose on the inner circles of what’s left of CLEAR.
For your convenience, I’m going to publish once again this handy guide to the somewhat complicated process of cancelling your CLEAR membership subscription with Paypal.