An Open Letter to Haymarket and the British Podcast Awards

Dear Mr Costello, 

The purpose of this email, which we will publish as an open letter, is to request that the nomination of ‘A Very British Cult’ and its producers, Natalie Truswell and Catrin Nye, be withdrawn from the British Podcast Awards with immediate effect. Anything less would be condoning and propagating a libellous and slanderous smear campaign the BBC broadcast has conspired in and the malicious intent of a group of individuals hellbent on destroying our lives, our families, and our business through malicious falsehoods. All of this can and will be proven through facts, backed up by categoric material and contextual evidence, along with sound reasoning. 

In addition to the above, we would greatly appreciate your support in championing our right to reply, live and in real-time, to the same reach of audience, as well as invite you to be a part of a groundbreaking opportunity that is truly in the public interest; “The David & Goliath Showdown” series. 

Malicious Falsehoods

The BBC has purposely and knowingly lied in order to deceive the public by stating that Mr Paul Waugh, Mr Jai Singh, and Lighthouse all refused to be interviewed by the BBC in order to present our side of the story. This is an outright and provable lie! In fact, we had asked numerous times to be investigated by the BBC, right from the early inception stages of their programme, but we were instead point-blank refused by producer Natalie Truswell. Furthermore, the BBC claimed in their podcast that they ‘broke cover’ with their investigation in February 2023. Once again this is a flagrant and categorically provable lie and we can prove that any ‘cover’ they had was in fact broken by ourselves when we approached the BBC about the planned broadcast asking to contribute, NOT when the BBC approached us, as they claim. 

Such is the vast extent of falsehoods paraded as fact by the BBC that Ofcom is currently investigating the more than 120 falsehoods, misinformation, and disinformation contained in the programme that represents a direct defamatory attack on our lives and business. The bottom line here is that we asked several times for the right to reply live and in real-time, away from the chop-and-cheat propaganda cutting room floor (BBC editing suite), with the same level of audience reach given to our accusers, but we were denied. You have to question this very crucial point, WHY are Paul Waugh and Lighthouse being censored? 

We are now fighting for this right to reply, LIVE ​and in real-time and we ask for your support in this! Given that integrity is one of Haymarket’s core values, we believe that not only is this a matter of importance to you but we believe you will stand for truth and that this is something you will support. To ignore this in light of the categoric evidence that is undoubtedly to come extensively to light and public knowledge very soon, it will represent a catastrophic reputational failure and highly embarrassing stain on Haymarket and its genuine commitment to its values, to be found in the future to have ignored this request. 

The Burden of Proof is on The BBC

Furthermore, the burden of proof is on the BBC to back up these accusations and allegations directed at Paul Waugh and Lighthouse in the light of the extensive and categoric counter-evidence we hold and plan to bring to light. The reason why they can’t meet this burden is because they can’t prove what is not true. The BBC has, wittingly or unwittingly, bought into the dark mythical stories of a few colluding and maliciously vindictive individuals and produced a completely fabricated programme full of falsehoods. This has meant hijacking our characters, our names, our business, and our work as a result. 

This is not a documentary, if anything it’s a documythry aimed at the same type of audience as a soap opera, like East Enders, and written by scriptwriters with a predetermined fictional narrative. We will extensively show, through a full and fair disclosure of the facts in the David vs Goliath Showdown, how the BBC has deceived the public and thereby grossly abused their position to produce a provably false and maliciously libellous programme, all at our expense. We will hold the BBC and everyone who is aiding the BBC and their sources in this programme accountable for their unlawful and criminal behaviour. 

 

The BBC Sources Are Being Legally Held Accountable

Three different BBC sources are currently in the process of being held legally accountable in three separate cases of harassment against Lighthouse Associate Partners.

This includes Rani Singh, a BBC journalist who is the mother of two Lighthouse Associate Partners and a major protagonist against Paul Waugh and Lighthouse. Despite being instrumental in providing falsehoods and provable lies to the BBC, the BBC chose not to feature her in the broadcast in question. This is because we provided the BBC with irrefutable evidence and facts in relation to her lies that included : 

(a) Her own written testimony where she admitted the abuse and neglect of her children and included her agreeing with the assessment of her therapist who stated that if social services had known of her neglect, that she would have lost custody of her children when they were boys.

(b) An upheld complaint by Ofcom in relation to a breach of their code of conduct relating to fairness and accuracy where Rani Singh made 54 false, defamatory, and deliberately misleading comments on River Radio. River Radio subsequently lost its broadcasting license. 

(c) Information on how she used her media influence to pursue her personal agenda, which is immoral, unethical, and in breach of the National Union of Journalists’ code of conduct. 

 

It must be stated very clearly, we are not discouraging people from watching the BBC programme or listening to its podcasts whatsoever, in fact, the opposite. We want people to watch and listen to it, along with our right to reply live and in real-time as part of a full and fair disclosure of the facts. As mentioned previously, we will be primarily doing this through the David vs Goliath Showdown programme and we would love your support and involvement in this groundbreaking programme. 

 

The David vs Goliath Showdown: An Invitation to Support and Partake in a Powerful and Reformative Global Opportunity 

Our primary aim here is to set the record absolutely straight and to ensure the public receives a full and fair disclosure of the facts, presented live and in real-time. The opportunity to reach the same mass audience with damning evidence and sound reasoning is something the BBC has denied Paul Waugh and Lighthouse. In order to do so, we are inviting Catrin Nye, her full team, and all the relevant executives at the BBC, along with all of their sources and experts that were featured in ‘A Very British Cult’, to a live and prime-time public showdown. The imperative for this being a live and real-time broadcast is to absolutely deny any opportunity for manipulative and/or deceptive editing practices that can come through the chop-and-cheat editing (propaganda) room floor. 

In this live and raw real-time debate, the BBC, its sources, Mr Waugh and Lighthouse will have a platform to answer key questions, and present any and all concrete and tangible evidence, along with its provable context, in front of the worldwide court of public opinion. Such an opportunity to respond fully, fairly, and properly to the public, having been requested multiple times by Mr Waugh and fellow Lighthouse partners, but outright denied by the BBC in an act of deliberate censorship, is most certainly in the public interest. This is even more so the case, given the stark and prolific levels of deception through lies, falsehoods, misinformation, and/or disinformation that the BBC has committed, which will be categorically proven through this planned pay-per-view event. This is an event that will go ahead in front of a global audience whether Ms Nye and her colleagues at the BBC, their sources, and experts agree to take part or not.   

I am sure, Mr Costello, that you can imagine the kind of attention and interest that will be generated by such a planned event, given the level of reach and size of audience that ‘A Very British Cult’ has already achieved. There is a wonderful opportunity here for Haymarket to be involved in this inaugural David & Goliath Showdown production by Lighthouse Global Media, which will be an ongoing series that will feature many other cases and situations. It will give ordinary people and companies/organisations that require a large-scale public platform and sufficient reach for them to set the record straight in other matters to do so; whether dealing with the legacy media, the government, corporates, or whoever it may be, who are suppressing the truth and abusing their responsibility. 

We would therefore like to invite you and your fellow directors to learn more about how Haymarket may be involved in this series on a win-win basis. We have created a full advance prospectus for the event itself, which I will be able to share with you shortly. This will help lay out in very clear detail, the nature and substance of what will be covered in the series and the evidence, facts and true context that will be presented in response to the BBC’s production, along with our petition. This is a global petition we are launching that will enable us to gather and quantify a groundswell of worldwide public support calling for Mr Waugh and Lighthouse to be given this LIVE, real-time right-to-reply, in front of the same or larger size audience as that of ‘A Very British Cult’. 

We have a significant amount of evidence and facts to provide a full and fair disclosure. If you want access to this evidence, I would be happy to oblige and share it with you, but under the assurance of a non-disclosure Agreement where it is sensitive to some people and/or data protected. Where our evidence is not sensitive to anyone and not data protected, we are happy to share selected items with you which would include copies of some of our relevant pre-broadcast email correspondence with the BBC, that are 100% evidential and compelling. This will help make it very clear as to where your moral and ethical options stand in relation to this. The advance prospectus that I will be able to share with you shortly will contain over 120 factual falsehoods, but to give you an idea of what to expect, the first 11 of these facts are listed below which will be on page 4 of the prospectus:

Fact 1: We initially did not know about this documentary at all until after a year of its production. We found out by pure chance when a family member (he was shocked we did not know), mistakenly revealed this information to Warren Vaughan, Lighthouse Director, in a meeting, 24th September 2022.

This is an excerpt from Warren Vaughan’s email written to the BBC’s Broadcast Journalist Natalie Truswell as well as the BBC’s Director-General (Tim Davie), Head of BBC Current Affairs (Joanna Carr) 

Dear Natalie,

My name is Warren Vaughan. I am a Senior Partner and co-founder of Lighthouse International Group.

It has come to my attention that you plan to do a story on Lighthouse International Group and have been in touch with a few individuals asking for them to take part in your investigation? If this is indeed the case our Chairman and Founder, Paul Waugh, would relish the opportunity to sit with you and help you in your investigations.

Paul Waugh publicly tweeted about this in October 2022:

Long before any confirmed news of a BBC investigation into Lighthouse reached us though, we had directly contacted BBC reporter, Mike Cowan, asking him for an interview. This was after he had posted on Reddit in late 2021 and had received comments from anti-Lighthouse Reddit users. James Mills wrote to him in February 2022. There was no reply. Here are some key excerpts from that email asking for a BBC interview with Paul personally on 17th February 2022 (Over a 13 months before the BBC Podcast aired). 

Dear Mike

My name is James Mills, Associate Partner of Lighthouse International Group. I picked up your details from a post on Reddit back in October/November when you put a call out for information on cults and groups of concern …

…our Chairman Paul Waugh himself came out of a cult, the Jehovah’s Witnesses and has helped many people do the same and would be happy for you to interview him on this and anything else…

…We have an incredible story to share and encourage yourself and any of your colleagues to be part of sharing it far and wide… 

…Often the friends and family members of our clients become jealous of the time invested in developing themselves and being around a different group of people… so immediately we are branded as a dangerous cult! If there is anything about us that is at all cult-like we want to know about it and we want to change it! …

…I value your work on investigating dangerous cults Mike, it is so needed to protect vulnerable people. I and we want to help in any way we can with this…

…These people who have a destructive agenda towards us would love for you to do an investigation into us and frankly speaking, we would too… but only if based on reason and fact!…

…We want the truth out there as soon as and as comprehensively as possible. 

Fact 2: The BBC did not want us to know about this production or for us to be involved for that matter. November 2021 – February 2023

The BBC’s Catrin Nye deceived their podcast audience by stating that Lighthouse was unaware of their investigation when Natalie Truswell wrote to Paul Waugh and Jai Singh on 13th February 2023 to ‘break cover’. This is a transcripted quote from A Very British Cult Podcast, Episode 7 (Time: 16:47)

Catrin Nye: “It’s now been 18 months since that first call with Jeff’s girlfriend Dawn, the call when I first heard about Lighthouse. We’ve now gathered enough evidence to break cover and contact Paul Waugh himself and ask for an interview. We want his side of the story. It’s always a nerve-wracking moment because it’s the moment that people you’re investigating realise you’re looking into them.”

Fact 3: Natalie Truswell of the BBC sent us an email rejecting our request, (Warren Vaughan’s request to be part of the BBC production and to offer a response). 3rd October 2022

Following a follow-up email from Warren Vaughan on 28th September 2022, the BBC’s Natalie Truswell provided a blunt one-line reply.

To Warren Vaughan,

It is not BBC practice to respond to enquires of this kind.

Best wishes,

Natalie

Fact 4: We challenged the decision for Lighthouse to not be involved. 3rd October 2022 – 24th January 2023

Fellow Lighthouse Director, Shaun Cooper, followed up with an update to the BBC that highlighted the character of the BBC’s sources as well as how the Daily Mail had been weaponised by them against Lighthouse. Here is an excerpt from his email on 3.10.22:

Dear Natalie,

I was just about to send you the below before my Business Partner Warren Vaughan shared your brief response with me. In light of that I believe it is even more important that you read this. 

It has come to our attention that you are looking into doing a story in relation to Lighthouse International Group and, if you are, it’s prudent that you know that many of your sources are currently being investigated by the police for harassment and hate speech (including racist and religious hate speech) against us…. We advise if you do go ahead that you don’t give a one-sided story like the Daily Mail has done through its coverage of us. 

Paul Waugh later tweeted that same month:

 

Fact 5: The BBC changed their tune and backtracked saying they now wanted an interview with Paul Waugh and Jai Singh. 13th February 2023

Below is the covering comments from a short email sent by Natalie Truswell attaching the invitation to interview on 13.2.23:

Dear Paul Waugh, 

Please find attached an invitation to interview. 

Yours sincerely,

Natalie

Natalie Truswell

Producer – BBC NEWS

Fact 6: We accepted on the condition that we can present evidence. 13th February 2023 – 18th February 2023

Paul Waugh replied to Natalie Truswell’s invitation on the 13.2.23 

Fantastic. Look forward to it. Will confirm date. 

Paul Waugh 

He followed up and responded to this again later, on 18.2.23. Here is an excerpt from that email:

Dear Natalie, 

Before I confirm a date with you for the interview and to give credence to the investigation you say you are conducting, I will require two things to ensure this isn’t a tabloid-esque he-said / she-said report…

Firstly, I request that you ask your sources (in direct relation to the questions you have prepared for myself and Jai Singh) to give us permission in writing legally allowing us to bring our and the relevant and appropriate evidence to the table. This is so we are able to demonstrate to you and potentially your viewers the reality based, solid facts in evidence that we have in our possession…

Secondly, I’ll need the questions you’re going to ask us so I can present such evidence to you in relation to your questions directly where possible.  

Fact 7: Natalie Truswell rejects the request to present evidence with the written permission of their sources. Ms Truswell still wants the interview to proceed. 18th February 2023

Natalie Truswell writes back on the same day (18th February) to say that the BBC will not provide the information in advance needed by Paul Waugh to provide evidence in an interview.

Dear Paul, 

Thanks for getting back to me. This is the basis on which we can proceed. 

the BBC does not send specific questions to any interviewee in accordance with the BBC’s editorial guidelines. However, we can send you broad areas of questioning we would follow in the interview. 

Within the interview we would provide enough information and detail about the arguments and allegations for you to understand them and give an informed response. This is again in accordance with the BBC’s editorial guidelines. 

We are keen to interview you so that you can represent your position in person. Please do confirm whether you would like to go ahead.

Best, 

Natalie

Fact 8: We reject all interviews without being allowed to submit and show their audience the full evidence and disclosure of the facts, to the public, and that being included in the documentary. 22nd February – 15th March 2023

Paul Waugh repeats his requests to Natalie Truswell and warns of the consequences of a biased and prejudiced broadcast by the BBC. Here are some excerpts from his email on 22.2.23:

Dear Natalie,

You have ignored the majority of what is my main condition and request to be part of the interview completely. This can only be deliberate. Why?… 

I do appreciate that your sources will not want to grant us permission to bring data protected evidence for obvious reasons. It would completely discredit them and their lies in their own words with what their actual experience was while at Lighthouse over a period of years…

We would also be potentially (subject to counsel) willing to provide data protected evidence… for your perusal without your sources permission under the safeguards of an NDA. At least then you would know where you stand legally, morally and ethically even though you would not be able to use it…

If you should go ahead anyway and defame, slander and misrepresent us given we have given you every opportunity to get the truth and facts with evidence then we will litigate…

Paul Waugh tweeted the same day:

Paul Waugh later wrote again to Natalie Truswell and Tim Davie (BBC Director-General) on the 15th March 2023, making the BBC’s continued ignorance and side stepping of offers to receive compelling counter evidence from Lighthouse clear, whilst warning them that their decisions will make them complicit in a smear campaign. He tweeted the full contents of this response on the same day, included below:

Fact 9: Paul Waugh and partners make both a public and private request to appear live in their studio to be interviewed in real time. 4th & 5th April 2023

Paul Waugh publicly tweets Catrin Nye and the BBC multiple times asking to conduct a live interview in real-time on prime-time BBC TV, below being one example of this:

As well as direct tweets to Catrin Nye and all of her team, messages were also sent to other BBC existing and ex journalists.. 

In line with the above Tweet from Paul Waugh, Lighthouse Associate James Mills contacted Mr Meirion Jones, asking him to help arrange a live interview Between Paul and Catrin Nye, who he knows personally.

Senior BBC TV Producer and Journalist, Pádraig Prendergast, who interestingly describes himself on his twitter profile as “one of the good ones, promise”, was in direct contact with Catrin Nye about the ‘A Very British Cult’ production. Knowing this, he was also privately contacted by James Mills asking for a LIVE interview and debate, as seen below..

Catrin Nye also appeared on the BBC Radio 4 Feedback programme on 14.4.23, which is a programme described as holding the BBC to account on behalf of the radio audience. Catrin Nye was interviewed about her experience of making ‘A Very British Cult’ and Associate James Mills tweeted them requesting a live, prime-time interview with no reply. 

Fact 10: All requests are ignored, not even a response from the BBC in this regard. 4th April 2023 to date.

Paul Waugh publicly tweeted the BBC’s attempts to sidestep both his offer of evidence and a live, real-time and prime-time interview.

Fact 11: The BBC presents the lie to the public that Paul Waugh and Jai Singh did not want to be part of the ‘A Very British Cult’ production at all, giving the public the misled understanding that we were avoiding exposure because of our guilt and shame. This is just one of the many lies of the BBC that they know to be a lie. 5th April 2023, 14th April 2023.

In a follow-up interview on Radio 4 on the 14th April 2023, Catrin Nye stated that the BBC did not get a response to the allegations about Lighthouse:

Catrin Nye: “We sent our allegations in writing in the form of what’s called a right of reply, which is basically, when we offer someone that we’re investigating the opportunity to reply to everything that we’ve found, and we sent more than 120 allegations to Lighthouse. I mean, the short version is that we didn’t get a response to all those allegations. And we extended the deadline three times in order to allow them to reply, but we didn’t get that. And that’s why what you hear at the end of the documentary is an interview in the street, which is kind of, I guess, you describe it as your last resort. Like you want someone to have the opportunity to reply.” 

Informing the Sponsors and Judges

We will be sharing this communication with your sponsors and the judges of the British Podcast Awards. In addition, we will be sending this communication via recorded post. 

I look forward to hearing from you and Haymarket’s response to the situation. Should you require more information and insight, please advise and I would gladly do so under the advice of my legal counsel. 

Kind regards,

Shaun Cooper

Lighthouse Global