User talk:MPLX/2004

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By choice, as of December 2004, I am no longer participating on Wikipedia in any topic related to Rough Tower. Instead I have chosen to publish my material elsewhere and in this instance I am retaining all rights. Further enquiries about this matter should be sent to and not posted here. My previous comments will, however, remain here for the time being to serve as an archive. Return to my current Talk page here: User_talk:MPLX

My interest in the Rough Tower ("Sealand") controversy:[edit]

My interest in this subject is both long and deep. Rather than enter into further disputed claims about a so-called "Principality of Sealand", I will now state what I now know for a fact about the location that is identified by UK Ordinance Survey as Rough Tower that is located on Rough Sands within the territorial waters of the United Kingdom.

The twin tower structure that can be seen above the shallow waterline from the UK coastline of southeast England is in fact all that remains of the superstructure built into the hold of the Royal Navy sea barge or pontoon known as HM Fort Roughs. This vessel was intentionally submerged by the UK Ministry of War (now Ministry of Defence) during World War II. It is a military wreck.

There is no public right to occupy a military wreck unless that wreck has been decomissioned and sold to a new buyer. Rough Tower was never sold, but instead UK staff were evacuated and Ministry of Defence sea buoys were placed around it for identification purposes and as a warning to other vessels in the area.

Members of the Bates family presently on Rough Tower are squatters and it makes no difference what they call themselves. They are British citizens by birth and by law. The land upon which the sea barge is squatting has been owned since 1987 by the UK Crown Estate and managed by their Marine Estate, Coastal Division. Prior to 1987 the sea barge was in international waters. The legal owners of the sea barge have never sold the vessel nor have the squatters ever entered any court of law in order to make a legal claim upon the vessel so as to enable a legal transfer of ownership.

Because the squatters did not press for a legal resolution of a right to possess the sea barge they have no legal standing in British law, or in US law where a case was heard in 1990, when it was brought by the USA with cooperation from the UK.

Since 1987 the squatters have found themselves upon Crown Estate land. Crown Estate are not charging the squatters rent because the Ministry of Defence has not transferred its legal ownership which is proven by the continuing establishment of the marker buoys surrounding Rough Tower. It is for the squatters to either demand title to Rough Tower in a court of law, or for the Ministry of Defence to act in order to remove squatters from their property.

Crown Estate as the legal owners of the land (sandbank) can only charge rent to the owner, if the owner is a private entity and not another UK government department. However, the legal owner is another UK government department and consequently Crown Estate has not taken any action to collect rent. Since Crown Estate do not claim ownership of the sea barge they have made no move to remove the squatters. Only the Ministry of Defence can remove the squatters and the Ministry of Defence has no further use for Rough Tower at this time.

The legal situation as described above is accurate as of Novemeber 2004 and it is the official position of the UK government regarding Rough Tower in November 2004.

The judge in the 1968 Firearms Case which was brought in a local Chelmsford court, acted upon the misinformation that Rough Tower was not a ship of some type. Had that court acted upon information that it was a ship then the court would have acted under different laws concerning Admiralty matters. However, that case did not change the legal ownership status of Rough Tower, it merely tried to enforce the Firearm Act of 1937 which had not been extended beyond the territorial limit of that day.

The case in 1990-1991 which took place in Washington, DC confirmed that Rough Tower had been built in WWII as a UK military installation and no transfer of ownership had taken place and that no sovereign rights had been created. That decision arose over the question of whether the squatters could register a ship. The court found that they could not. That decision has not been challenged by the squatters.

The squatters are British citizens who are subject to British law. The leader of these squatters is Roy Bates who at one time operated a pirate radio station on a similar vessel located within British territorial waters. He was taken into a British court of law on two occasions and was fined on both occaisions. He then removed his transmission equipment to Rough Tower and found that he could not restart transmissions because of the Marine Offences Act which extended the Wireless Telegraphy Act. Those laws have both been tested in court many times and never undermined. The Firearms Act under which Roy Bates had been taken to court in Chelmsford lacked a similar extension.

The origin of the claim to creating a sovereign nation on a UK WWII sea fort installation seems to have originated with persons associated with a venture called CNBC, who later formed yet another venture called K.I.N.G. Alan Crawford who commenced Radio Atlanta in 1964, also proposed building an artificial island using old cars filled with concrete to form a ring upon a sand bank and then filling the interior with concrete landfill. Finally the idea was picked up again by supporters of Ronan O'Rahilly who controlled Radio Caroline. They occupied Rough Tower during the passage of the Marine Offences Act and attempted to turn it into a supply base from which to service the MV Mi Amigo. O'Rahilly's people were forced off Rough Tower by people representing Roy Bates and that is how his own occupation began.

Roy Bates originally called his occupation "Sealand" and the project later became known as the "Principality of Sealand" due to inspiration from publicity surrounding Prince Charles, who at the time was made Prince of Wales (a principality of England.)

That is the story in brief as of November 2004. I find it both pointless and silly to keep debating this issue with contributors who are unaware of the facts but who insist upon allowing a Wikipedia article to be presented in such a way that other contributors such as myself, have to then address the matter from the standpoint of trying to disprove a myth. A logical and rational approach would be to present the facts as they are known.

Unless other contributors want my assistance in resolving this matter, as of the date (November 15, 2004) of this entry, this will be my final word, unless I receive additional UK government information which I will then add to this entry. MPLX/MH 17:17, 15 Nov 2004 (UTC)

2004 legal status (Updated on November 20)[edit]

As of November 16, 2004, UK Crown Estate, Marine Estates Department, Coastal Section claims ownership of the sea bed beneath the sea barge upon which the superstructure of Rough Tower was built, but Crown Estate do not seek rent from the squatters on board the vessel because Crown Estate claims that the Ministry of Defence is the lawful owner of the former Royal Navy sea fort. The standoff exists because the Ministry of Defence have no use at the present time for the vessel and Roy Bates has not attempted to gain legal control by taking his claim of squatter's rights into a British court of law.

In reply to both telephonic communications and a written letter of formal enquiry on behalf of Dr. Eric Gilder of the University of Sibiu, Romania, the Coastal Manager of Marine Estates Department of Crown Estate in consultation with all appropriate legal departments of the United Kingdom, issued a formal written statement on November 16, 2004:

" The tower is situated on Crown Estate seabed, our ownership of the seabed around the UK having been extended to the 12 nm limit under the Territorial Sea Act 1987. The Crown Estate is a land management body set up by statute divorced from the operation of government and we have no interest in the tower itself. The occupation of the tower and the claims of the occupants to having established a separate sovereign state is a matter for the appropriate department of Her Majesty's Government ... As the landowner we would, of course assist HMG where necessary in any action to resolve the stituation but we have no responsibility for taking unilateral action and it would not be appropriate for us to do so. "

Dr. Gilder and his associates are now resuming contact they had originally entered into many years ago with the referenced "appropriate department of Her Majesty's Government" in order to finally resolve this matter.

The Crown Estate is the outgrowth of an institution that dates back to the Act of Settlement of 1688 under which the Crown, which the monarchy represents, was put under the authority of Parliament itself. Beginning with the accession of George III in 1738 the monarch began to surrender all revenue from Crown land to Parliament in return for fixed payments by the Treasury to the monarch as a part of the civil list. However, in addition to existing Crown lands derived under this arrangement, The Crown Estate has added to its portfolio through legislation such as the Territorial Sea Act 1968 which made Rough Sands a part of the United Kingdom. In 2004 the financial management of The Crown Estate and specifically Rough Sands upon which Rough Tower is located, is now under the management of the Treasury Accountant, which is an office within HM Treasury.

Since the "tower" was created as a Royal Navy sea barge on land and towed to its position by three tugboats, the owner was the former HMG Ministry of War, now known as the Ministry of Defence. However, although the Ministry of Defence warns shipping of the danger of its sunken sea craft on Rough Sands by maintaining buoys around Rough Tower, Lord Henley representing the Ministry of Defence previously wrote to Simon Burns, MP, on behalf of his constituent and associate of Dr. Gilder, that Rough Tower was no longer a part of its estate.

Therefore until the Treasury Accountant decides to evict the squatters placed on Rough Tower by Roy Bates, or until Roy Bates enters a British court of law to claim squatter's rights to Rough Tower itself (not the seabed under Rough Tower which is owned by Crown Estate), then the legal status of Roy Bates and associates remains that of an unlawful tenant in possession. However, since the question of the status of the squatters was decided in a joint USA court action with UK participation during 1990-1991 (which has never been challenged), then Roy Bates has no power to register ships or anything else in his own right except under and in accordance with British law. (Roy Bates was and is a British citizen.) It was discovery of the 1990-1991 USA court case by US citizen Ryan Lackey (who assisted in the creation of the HavenCo project in 2000), that led to his departure from that project and public accusation that Roy Bates had lied to him and as a result he had lost his investment in the HavenCo project, since Ryan Lackey believed that no court of law would hear his case for redress in a cost effective manner (for the investment losses that he believes that he has already sustained.)


  • Dr. Eric Gilder, University of Sibiu, Romania. Author of Mass Media Moments in the United Kingdom, the USSR and the USA. 2003 ISBN 973-851-596-6 (With particular reference to Chapter II: London: My Hometown - an adaptation of an audio-visual presentation to The International Conference "Infinite Londons", sponsored by the British Council at Sibiu, Romania during October, 2001.)

Footnote: Dr. Gilder is an associate of Wikipedian User MPLX/MH. Further historical information concerning his professional interest in matters related to broadcasting and press freedoms is to be found under the entry of Four Freedoms Federation.

November 19: Update on "Sealand"[edit]

As of November 19, 2004 I have written by name and title to the person identified by my contact at The Crown Estate as having the power and authority to coordinate all HMG response to any and all activities on Rough Tower. I have asked for a statement on behalf of HMG regarding the present situation in view of the response by The Crown Estate. I will post further updates upon receipt of further authoritative information on this matter. MPLX/MH 15:27, 19 Nov 2004 (UTC)

November 21: My work has been vandalized by User:Rhobite[edit]

I do not appreciate your actions. HOURS of research has gone into the article Sealand: A Legal History - which is NOT the legal history of Sealand! This is a work of LAW not a work of hot head POV. By simply destroying hours of work you make editors like me furious with people like you and you encourage me to walk away from Wikipedia.

What you have done is vandalism on a massive scale. You have added nothing but sought to destroy original work which is thoroughly documented.

You mention the links and they show a photo essay by someone who has been on Rough Tower and who is generally held in high regard by all sides for his own effort which no one else has undertaken. My work was not complete because I was attempting to resolve disputes not create more of them.

I am so angry right now that I am not certain if I want to participate in Wikipedia knowing that at any given moment someone such as yourself will take it upon yourself without any reason to destroy original work which YOU cannot and have not produced.

Not only am I well qualified to write this article called Sealand: A Legal History which is NOT a legal history of Sealand, but I am also in direct contact with the British Government by phone and by letter attempting to get a final answer on this entire matter.

It is obvious to anyone who takes time to read the LAW that I have been posting WITH sources, that Roy Bates NEVER had any claim and that everyone has been conned. The law to which I refer dates back to a time BEFORE he ever set foot on the barge!

You should be ashamed of yourself because you are a vandal in much the same way that the burners of books are vandals. I suggest that you leave well alone and view the completed article, the progress of which I have been documenting on the talk page. MPLX/MH 05:55, 22 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Retrieved from ""

Please take a deep breath and realize the very minor scope of my edits, which consist of rewriting a couple paragraphs, renaming an article in accordance with our naming conventions, and adding an NPOV tag. This is not vandalism. Rhobite 06:39, Nov 22, 2004 (UTC)

Please add your comments here:[edit]

Source for material added to Sealand[edit]

Hi, in order to be truly NPOV in a disputed article it is best to have valid sources for claims made. Can you provide sources to back up what you added? With sources backing up the information it will be much easier to defend it from those trying to claim POV. Thanks - Taxman 22:52, Nov 16, 2004 (UTC)

How about me? Personally on Tuesday, 9th November, 2004. Since 1989 I have had personal knowledge of this subject. I have spoken with Roy, Joan and Michael and I probably still have some of them on tape - including Roy going off the deep end over the USA court case of 1990. As for the latest information I have had many contacts with HM Treasury Solicitor, DTI, several UK courts of law, police in Essex and Suffolk and communications with Crown Estates and the Ministry of Defence over many years and all about the activities on Rough Tower. The latest information was to my ear - personally pn November 9. I am not willing to name a person at this moment since I am also awaiting a follow-up answer to a letter which I wrote to this person on November 9. I really don't care if the fans want to listen because they are quite hysterical and treat the subject like a religion, but what I have stated are the facts. (You have to understand who I am and at the moment I am not prepared to bare all in public.) This message will be removed after you have acknowledged receipt by posting a reply here. (By the way, if your question is in regards to any of the material above this message, I can state that my father and me went into business with Alan Crawford in another venture. Crawford told both my father and myself his dreams of creating an artificial island linked to the mainland by monorail. Other details I also have source material for and what I have stated has not been challenged by any reputable source.) MPLX/MH 00:08, 17 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Sealand fork[edit]

It was simply deleted, as that seemed to be the overwhelming majority. If you'd like a copy of it for your own use, I can provide you with one. -- Cyrius| 20:44, 26 Nov 2004 (UTC)

My interpretation of the discussion differs from yours. I've offered to give you a copy for your own use. I don't see what else I can do. If you really wish to press the issue, you can list the page on Wikipedia:Votes for undeletion. -- Cyrius| 02:19, 27 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Comments about other articles[edit]

Bobby Fischer[edit]

Thanks for your note about Bobby Fischer. I have no desire to turn him into a cardboard figure, and I agree that the WCG was an important influence in his life and deserves mentioning. I had these disagreements with your version of it, though:

  • Fischer is notable because he was a chess superstar, not because of his religious beliefs. I don't think his association with the church is important enough to be in the lead section.
  • We don't need to give the same information twice, such as that Armstrong's prophecies failed to come true or that Fischer made $200,000 in 1972. I left those facts in, deleting only their repetition. This also removes the juxtaposition that you introduced with "However", as if the statement that the total prize fund for the big match was $250,000 is inconsistent with Fischer's statement that his income that year was $200,000. I don't see it as inconsistent because it wouldn't be at all surprising for the prize fund to include a share for the loser.
  • As I commented on Talk:Bobby Fischer before I saw your note to me, linking his general eccentricity to his disillusionment with the church is quite a stretch. Fischer was known for odd behavior before February of 1972. There was, for example, his boycotting of the 1969 U.S. Championship, which meant that he wasn't even qualified for the 1972 FIDE championship cycle until Edmondson brokered a deal. In general, Fischer's obstinacy about match conditions in 1972 was consistent with his attitude throughout his career (stretching from the match with Reshevsky to the 1975 FIDE championship cyle). If there's some knowledgeable source for the suggestion that the church's affairs (no pun intended) affected Fischer's conduct in 1972, then I have no problem with including that idea, attributed to that source.
  • I see no point to including this article in the "Religion" category. From a quick glance at that category, I get the impression that it's not the general practice to include the categorization in an individual bio article. In fact, it looks like the two you added are the only ones. There are subcategories for religious leaders and religious workers, but Fischer wouldn't qualify as either of those.
  • Speaking of the two individuals you added, I don't think that Fischer's and Rohan's membership in the same church is enough to warrant mentioning either of them in the other's article.

Finally, I'm answering on your talk page because that seemed to be your preference, but if you want to copy your note and this response to the article's talk page, that would probably be better. I might well be misguided on some of these points, and getting other people involved would help expose such errors. Besides, they could revert anything you and I agreed to, anyway! JamesMLane 06:41, 9 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Addendum: You wrote, "I think that you must have just posted your comments when I originally replied over on your page." Yep, and then you posted your comments on Talk:Bobby Fischer while I was answering here.  :) OK, let's try to coordinate a little better. I'll recap my response on Talk:Bobby Fischer and we'll keep the discussion there instead of on our talk pages. JamesMLane 06:44, 9 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Article Licensing[edit]

Hi, I've started a drive to get users to multi-license all of their contributions that they've made to either (1) all U.S. state, county, and city articles or (2) all articles, using the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike (CC-by-sa) v1.0 and v2.0 Licenses or into the public domain if they prefer. The CC-by-sa license is a true free documentation license that is similar to Wikipedia's license, the GFDL, but it allows other projects, such as WikiTravel, to use our articles. Since you are among the top 2000 Wikipedians by edits, I was wondering if you would be willing to multi-license all of your contributions or at minimum those on the geographic articles. Over 90% of people asked have agreed. For More Information:

To allow us to track those users who muli-license their contributions, many users copy and paste the "{{DualLicenseWithCC-BySA-Dual}}" template into their user page, but there are other options at Template messages/User namespace. The following examples could also copied and pasted into your user page:

Option 1
I agree to [[Wikipedia:Multi-licensing|multi-license]] all my contributions, with the exception of my user pages, as described below:


Option 2
I agree to [[Wikipedia:Multi-licensing|multi-license]] all my contributions to any [[U.S. state]], county, or city article as described below:

Or if you wanted to place your work into the public domain, you could replace "{{DualLicenseWithCC-BySA-Dual}}" with "{{MultiLicensePD}}". If you only prefer using the GFDL, I would like to know that too. Please let me know what you think at my talk page. It's important to know either way so no one keeps asking. -- Ram-Man (comment| talk)


For what its worth, not all admins are scary :) There are a few bad eggs, but in general they are just trying to maintain order. People sometimes take things overly seriously because they are addicted to Wikipedia. I've found that to be the case personally sometimes. Ram-Man (comment) (talk)[[]] 23:39, Dec 10, 2004 (UTC)

The Plain Truth[edit]

Firstly, you didn't "create" that article to my knowledge, but edited an article that has existed for a while. Secondly, if by non-POV, you mean saying that Armstrong's magazine "turned Bobby Fischer's life upside down", that's hardly NPOV. If you think that removing that constitutes "vandalism", well, you have that right, but that is your own POV. "Turning X's life upside down" is not a term that would be used in a reputable, mainstream encyclopedia, IMO. I think that your article reflected a negative outlook toward Armstrong far more than previous versions; if you don't feel that it does, sorry, but I disagree. Admittedly, unless one is/was one of his followers, it is pretty easy to see him in a negative light; what we're trying to do here is to record, accurately, what he and his magazine taught and allow the reader to judge it for its merits or lack of them. Since it is not POV to say that his predicitions for 1972 were not fulfilled, that belongs in the article as you had it. I think that you have read the magazine; I have too, and my father was a regular listener to The World Tomorrow, although he didn't accept all that was said or taught by any means, therefore I was exposed to the WCOG growing up without ever being a member; don't know what your case is or its relevance; you apparently have a deep and abiding interest in Biblical prophecy. You are probably totally correct in that Armstoring was never self-identified as a "reverend", although this would be the mainstream Protestant perception of him. Actually I don't think that you reverted as much as reedited, that's the whole idea behind this project and the article is now largely improved over past versions. Let's continue the dialog on this as needed. Rlquall 06:05, 12 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Firstly, an apology. The article history shows that you did, in fact, originate the article on The Plain Truth, although it has certainly had input from many others. (I originated the article on The World Tomorrow in roughly the same time frame.)

Secondly, a note of empathy – I, too, have had to deal with a tenant's water heater before. :-( Thirdly, a second apology of sorts. I have not been ignoring your invitation to collaberate, but rather have been too busy the last week to have time to make a detailed or even a sensible reply. Fourthly, I think that there is potential for a template and also for a category of Armstrong topics. I don't feel totally adequate to develop it, though. I find it somewhat amazing that someone who only about two decades ago was a hugely influential figure (the major figure in the lives of thousands of people and the largest purchaser of broadcast air time, by some accounts at least, in the world) has already become so obscure and largely forgotten, perhaps because despite his seeming desires he never really broke through into the mainstream. I still remember Garner Ted's "Year in Review" TV show (about 1970, I think), and its extensive coverage of the Lt. Calley incident, which made any Iraqi prisoner abuse look like a walk in the park. He was still referring to it by the name it had first been publicized under, Song My. One would have thought that the many cracks around the foundation of the Armstrong organization would have been more apparent to the outside observer by then than they were, since it was becoming apparent, even presumably to some on the inside, that the Herbert W. Armstrong version of future world events would not be happening according to his schedule. Fifthly, you are to my way of thinking correct in leaving any allegations of pedophillia, etc., outside the body of the Armstrong-related articles. I have always felt that Wikipedia:No personal attacks should apply to the subjects of the articles as well as each other. For example, I have either written or contributed to articles about several persons who were widely rumoured to be alcoholics, but this added nothing to the article and would make it sound gossipy and unencyclopedic. Same here – to my understanding, there were never anything beyond allegations, never any trial or even an indictment, and anything, as you know, can be "alledged" about anyone. You can "alledge" that I have conspired to fix the price of tea in China, and I could never satisfactorily disprove it, since you can't prove a negative, but your allegation would not belong in my biography, were there ever to be such. I will be happily to stay in touch on this topic perodically should you choose to do so, but don't know just how much that I can contribute.

Rlquall 03:50, 20 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Four Freedoms[edit]

Please see my question at Talk:Four_Freedoms#Orwell. -- Jmabel | Talk 23:59, Dec 19, 2004 (UTC)


Hi MPLX: Thanks for the feed-back. Let us keep our discussion/s in one place at my discussion page to keep track. I will give you my views. IZAK 06:16, 26 Dec 2004 (UTC)

  • Hi again MPLX:I have moved the discussions about the Lost Ten Tribes article to Talk:Lost Ten Tribes as our discussion/s concern/s that article and it would allow some other editors that I want to involve to read what has been discussed so far. All discussion should now be on the Talk:Lost Ten Tribes page please. Thanks again. IZAK 06:26, 28 Dec 2004 (UTC)

WCOG/Armstrong template[edit]

You are very much on the right track. Don't know exactly what there is to add, but sure that there is something. Good work! Look forward to following up. Rlquall 01:46, 28 Dec 2004 (UTC)