Is it not a bit over the top that a social media protest could lead to a book being banned from the stores? Yet that is exactly what has happened to “Breaking the Silence” the latest book of investigative journalist and best selling author Ian Wishart.
Republished with permission from Ian Wishart.
A PERSONAL MESSAGE FROM IAN WISHART
“BREAKING SILENCE: THE KAHUI CASE”
As you may be well aware, I have written a book on the Kahui twins case called “BREAKING SILENCE”. Its release is now imminent, but I cannot give you an exact date for obvious reasons.
(to read today’s special news release and some extracts, visit http://briefingroom.typepad.com/the_briefing_room/2011/07/breaking-silence-news-release.html)
Normally we alert our customers well in advance of publication so they can get a guaranteed pre-order, but we didn’t because at that stage the Inquest was still holding hearings.
Unfortunately, we were required to give bookshops a month’s notice in advance of the new title, and one of those shops told a journalist at TVNZ and the rest, as they say, is history.
The end result is that major bookstores have chosen to ban this book from their shelves in response to a hastily organised internet protest and misinformation campaign organised via Facebook. It is not hard to see why when you see messages threatening to burn bookstores down.
YOU HAVE A RIGHT TO MAKE UP YOUR OWN MIND ABOUT THIS BOOK.
Some of you reading this have known and read my work dating right back to The Paradise Conspiracy on the Winebox frauds, 16 years ago. Most of you will be familiar with the kind of investigative work I do and my meticulous attention to detail. This book is no different. It does not “exonerate” or wipe clean Macsyna King’s past, instead it paints a very grim picture of lives far worse than Alan Duff’s Once Were Warriors. It shows you, by following Macsyna King and Chris Kahui’s life journeys, how intergenerational child abuse can manifest.
It also contains fresh information on the case, which I have now formally provided to Counsel Assisting the Coronial Inquest.
Most bookshops are not stocking this book, and to get it you will need to buy direct from our website, http://www.investigatemagazine.com/newshop/contents/en-us/d21.html
The “answers” that the Facebook protestors claim to want are in BREAKING SILENCE, yet by their actions they have prevented ordinary New Zealanders from easily exercising their right to read this book – you cannot just walk into your nearest PaperPlus, Take Note, Warehouse or other retailer and buy this book.
We are printing $20,000 worth of books and giving them away in low decile areas, as a way of making them more accessible to those who can’t afford them. A portion of the proceeds will also go to charity. These initiatives were planned before Christmas when we began this project, and are not a response to the publicity. But for all these things to happen we actually need people to buy the book, and read it, discuss it with their friends and family.
We need your support, more than ever, to break through this boycott and make sure the information in this book is heard. The revelations in BREAKING SILENCE are too important to be brushed under the carpet because of an ill-conceived Facebook protest.
Again, the website for a guaranteed pre-order is http://www.investigatemagazine.com/newshop/contents/en-us/d21.html
FINALLY, have a look at what media commentators have said about BREAKING SILENCE:
“I am curious to read Macsyna’s story. In my work I have read the stories of men and women who have killed children, although admittedly not in a book published by a seasoned journalist. Usually court transcripts and other official reports and the most interesting have always been when the accused themselves ‘find their voice’.” – Merepeka Raukawa-Tait
“At the risk of becoming the second most hated woman in the country, I will say that when Breaking Silence: The Kahui Case is published, I intend to buy it and read it. I, for one, want to hear what the Kahui twins’ mother Macsyna King has to say. Why would I not?
To suggest, as some in the media have, that Wishart should have turned his back on the chance to gain some insight into a case that, five years down the track, continues to generate such strong public interest and emotion, is frankly hypocritical. Telling stories in the hope of illuminating an issue is what we do. I would have done the same thing in his place.
“I’m inclined to the old-fashioned view that you need to read a book before you can decide if it’s rubbish. There’s a chance we might actually learn something, which I would have thought would be a good thing given our horrifying child abuse statistics” – Tapu Misa, NZ Herald
“Boycotting the Macsyna King book sets a dangerous precedent…Information, written and spoken, is vital for us to understand our society. We learn nothing about how to stop or reduce child abuse by not listening to what Macsyna King has to say. We can make our own decision as to whether we agree with her or not, Trying to ban this book is equivalent to burying our problems like a dog’s bone – saving them up for later. We should man-up and face them head on.
“We should read the book before we judge it – and then voice our own criticism.” – James Murray, TV3
“As the wilder reaches of the boycott campaign site reveal – allegedly extending even to death threats against Ms King – it can also be a rallying point for the angry mob who seem to derive self-worth and importance by seeing their own often strident and often barely coherent views validated in ‘print’. In this milieu, indignation and gossip tend to be the currency of the day. Gut reactions and rumours spread like wildfire. Facts and measured logical response matter little.” – Otago Daily Times
“I think he’s got an ulterior motive in writing this book and I do believe it’s to tell New Zealanders to get them to understand what actually happens in these families. I need to read it just as other New Zealanders need to read it because this is a major problem in our country.” – Christine Rankin
“Banning books is an extreme step that seems more in keeping with the Middle Ages when churches and the state controlled the public mind with fire and torture.” – Nelson Mail
“They become censors. Who, I suspect, haven’t read the book yet. What’s next to be pulled from the shelf because 40,000 people join a social media protest?” – Ashburton Guardian
Please support our efforts to get this book well and truly into the public domain by purchasing a copy, http://www.investigatemagazine.com/newshop/contents/en-us/d21.html
(You can also post a cheque if you prefer for $38.99 to
HATM Magazines Ltd
PO Box 188
With major chains refusing to stock it, however, the only way this story will be told is with your direct support. If each of you reading this buys a copy, and you find it informative and important, as we believe you will, then your reviews to others, your comments on talkback or in letters to papers, will help form a critical mass that gets this book back into bookstores. If you think this book is rubbish after you’ve read it, you are free to say that as well. I will take it on the chin.
All I ask is that you give this book – labelled by one critic as the most controversial book in NZ history – a fair chance. Read it, then judge it, then judge me.
Ian Wishart, Friday 22 July 2011
Now go and order your copy.