Media Stories

The Wasted Civil Servant

Reader's feedback and comment.  Thanks for all your messages of support.

I'm very impressed by your honesty and commitment in standing up to these corporate tw*ts, I suspect if I found my self attacked by tabloid sleaze I would just throw up my hands in disgust...


I just checked your site for updates and saw your latest news about that piece of crap they wrote in the Mail. Reading the article I found myself disappointed and angry, it is truly sad when these lies are spread. I can't imagine how annoyed you must feel, not only to be lied to by a phoney customer but then to see the most inaccurate and unbalanced story written about you and your plants.

I have just written a letter to Mr Silvester explaining my disappointment at his deceitful article, I'm sure many more will do the same.

I am sure that there are laws to protect you against such lies, but I think following them may produce unwanted and unbalanced publicity since you will be fighting the media, the masters of twisting the truth.


I'm shocked! they've decked you out in Aleister Crowley "wickedest man in the world" style. All I can say is, these people are scum.

And "Drugs expert Paul Sketts" ?! pfft.

The article is purposefully vindictive and malicious. Only a real sociopath could get off on such distortion [...] he'll get his just desserts someday, nothing's surer.


Thought I'd send N.Silvester a quick e-mail. Hopefully adding to more he may of got telling him what an ars* he is.

Re. The Wasted Civil Servant
What absolute rubbish!
'Wasted paper and a wasted ink' would have been a better headline.

In future please bear in mind that bad information is worse than no information
- or was this your intent?

And his reply...

Dear A, Thanks for taking the time to read the article. - Norman Silvester.


It reads almost like a parody of the same-old-drugs-story. I guess what would really bother me is that you only sell plants - but that's not the story he was sent to get
your job OK?
well done for getting all that responsible harm minimisation stuff up on your site - you are a positive influence on the world.


I have to say this is one of the most p* poor examples of shoddy, inaccurate and plain awful "journalism" I've come across in a while. You must be mortified. I recall during my earliest efforts to research Salvia how I came across real resistance from users to having any involvement with the media, and it's not hard to see why. I think you've addressed the inaccuracies really well in your rebuttal, but I have to say I suspect their drug expert doctor may have had no idea of the context in which his comments were to be printed. They probably just rang him up and asked what legal highs were; a lot of them are indeed made up of the substances he describes.
[...] I'd love to know where they found the evidence linking Salvia with depression and schizophrenia, though... I certainly didn't come across any when I researched it.


Paul Sketts is NOT an expert on SD. He has never taken SD and knows nothing of its effects. What he believes and what he knows are two different things. “There are dangers because no real research has been done into the side effects of SD”. A vacuous statement implying that because “no real research” has been done there must be dangers? What type of scientist is this expert, clearly one who works on belief rather than evidence, in the absence of evidence, suspect the worst.

As for the statement “scientific acknowledgement of mind-bending powers”, why scientific? Drugs affect cognition; you don’t need to be a scientist to acknowledge this.

In fact, the way Mr. investigative journalist could have actually found anything about the effects of this drug was to take some. But, strangely, given he was supposed to be investigating the drug, he “declined” to “have a puff”. Of course, this did not stop him pontificating and speculating about its effects; quality investigating Mr. Silvester. [...]

To imply SD is any more dangerous than, say, alcohol [...] without any evidence is just shoddy [...]  In truth, what we actually have is an investigative journalist wasting everyone’s time.


That paper article is such a load of crap, and to be honest I think you'd have a strong case of libel.  There are just too many lies and you could argue strongly in court that this has damaged your reputation.


I thought I would send an email of support and my disgust at the attempt to sensationalise this sacred experience - it is as you say quite unlike anything else and a most profound teacher. As I said I have recommended it to several friends, with the strongest caveat that the experience was very powerful, and most definitely NOT a *party drug*. This is also the advice I got from EVERY source I came across while thoroughly researching Salvia PRIOR to taking it.


Loved the bit at the end from the expert who reckoned Salvia was just a con!! Wonder what his imaginative life is like - not!


...dunno quite what the Sunday Mail were hoping to achieve...


...maybe you should have sent the reporter down the garden centre, and suggested he try some solanacea spp. (datura). think of the panic and horror then! (it still makes me shudder). full on chinstraps and truncheon raids on allotments all over the country. lol. prisons full of geriatric gardeners...


Isn't it a shame that those blinded by our society feel the need to write and speak the way they do. About something they quite possibly will never understand. I notice in the article there was no talk of the reporter asking the plant for its opinion, and such it was an extremely one sided argument. No frame of reference.


Sorry to hear about your trouble with the gutter press, freedom of expression is a double edged sword, and get's rusty & bent & poisoned when appropriated by commercial interests and political ambitions.


I saw the piece on the website about the Sunday mail article. I can't say it surprises me - luckily the general low standard of accuracy and integrity with this paper will mean many readers will take the whole article with more than a pinch of salt, hope it doesn't cause you too much problems; the link to the brick testament article made me laugh; it's a shame some folk will have their views on things shaped by reading their narrow minded scaremongering propaganda every week.