The Observer included only one and a half sentences from our statement.
While the article in the Observer made mention of the fact that we gave them a statement for publication, the author and/or editors included only one and a half sentences from our statement. Here is our statement in its entirety, including the email within which it was sent. The portion quoted in the Observer is highlighted:
Dan Lancaster <******@gmail.com> Wed, Feb 1, 2012 at 8:53 AM
To: Alex Hannaford <******@nofiction.co.uk>
Given that I’ve received no response to the email I sent you Monday, and given that you told me last Saturday night (for the first time) that your deadline was this past Monday afternoon, and given that you have stated clearly that you will “absolutely not” meet with us as we offered, I’m writing this email as our final communication with you. Please forward it in its entirety to your editor.
We’ve been given every reason to believe [your story] will portray a false and misleading characterization of our community, our history, our families, our mission, our faith, and everything we stand for.
In light of everything we’ve learned about your story and your methods of pursuing your story, both from my direct contact with you, as well as from several friendly ex-members that you’ve given much detail to, we have decided that we will not be involved any further with you or your story. We’ve been given every reason to believe it will portray a false and misleading characterization of our community, our history, our families, our mission, our faith, and everything we stand for. If you and your editors choose to publish this story in spite of our concerns about its defamatory content and the manner in which it was pursued, then we offer the statement below for publication in your story, and we ask that you use it over and above any other materials that you might intend to use to represent us, and that you use it unedited and in its entirety.
For Homestead Heritage
Statement by Homestead Heritage for the Texas Observer
Though we at Homestead Heritage have given dozens of media interviews in the past on all facets of our community, including our beliefs, our way of life, and even answering criticisms from former members, we chose not to grant an interview for this story. Our decision was due in part to the manner in which we were treated by the journalist, who did not contact us until a few days before his deadline, and then refused to meet with us to discuss our concerns about the story.
Furthermore, we’ve become very familiar with the character and agenda of the former members behind these slanderous and inflammatory, yet typically subjective and unverifiable, accusations against us. Their storyline as a whole presents a blatantly false and misleading characterization of our nonviolent, peace-loving Christian community, and thus we didn’t think it right to lend credibility to it by participating in it directly. Therefore, we have chosen instead to present our side of the story on our website at: www.response.homesteadheritage.com
We also encourage readers to come visit us, ask questions, and see for themselves. We’ve been open to the public for over 20 years, and we now have over 50,000 visitors annually. See our website for details.
Though we disagree that this story is appropriate media material, we thank the editors of the Observer for including this statement.