As a general rule, you should never do business with a company that makes you agree not to publically discuss your dealings with it. Winepress has a “No Gossip” policy in its publishing contracts, that makes it a breach of contract for unhappy authors to voice any greviences online. What don’t they want you to discuss?
Well, apparently, a lot. As the veil of self-righteousness is being stripped away by facts, Winepress is finding it harder and harder to hide behind the Bible and/or use Bible verses to intimidate people.
So, what does a Jew from Minneapolis know about being threatened with Bible verses by Winepress? You may remember that after I rated Winepress Publishing as a “Publisher to Avoid” in the 2008 version of The Fine Print of Self-Publishing, I was first threatened by Winepress’s lawyer, Tom Oshinski, and Executive Officer, Malcolm Fraser in a series of long rambling letters citing scripture and how my pointing out Winepress’s huge printing markups was somehow blasphemy. The threats kept coming and I kept telling these guys to crawl back under the rock from which they came. In a final attempt to intimidate me, Winepress sued me for defamation and interference with its business (yes, I’m sure letting people know that a company was marking up printing by 100% might interfere with that company’s business prospects).
Winepress did force me to spend $20,000 to get this ridiculous case thrown out. In its ruling, the court called Winepress’s actions “baffling”. The court’s entire decision can be found here. Also, thanks to The Passive Voice, for its great blog entry about the case.
I stood up to these bad people. And, now, others have followed. The founder of Winepress, Athena Dean, despite threats and intimidation by “Minister” and church leader, Timothy Williams and “Assistant Minister” / Executive Office of Winepress, Malcolm Fraser, has started blogging about what Williams, Fraser and the Sound Doctrine did to her.
Now that the onion is being peeled back, it’s easy to see why Winepress wants to keep people silent. It’s not working. They tried to intimidate a literary agent, Chip Macgregor, for making a comment on Facebook about Athena Dean’s blog. Foiled again.
See, Winepress is really just a front for the Sound Doctrine church. To call it a “church” is generous. One former member described it as “the most dangerous cult“.
I was interviewed by an investigative journalist who has been researching this cult for five years. More than 40 former members, authors, and people who’ve been sued by Winepress for no reason have all spoken to her. It turns out that what I went through was nothing compared to what’s been going on. Here’s a great summation by Bene Diction Blogs On.
Just a few days ago, “Assistant Minister” Malcolm Fraser was arrested and charged with first degree rape of a child for allegedly sexually assaulting a 10 year girl more than 20 times. Here’s the full story from Seattle’s Fox station: http://www.q13fox.com/news/kcpq-enumclaw-pastor-rape-charges-20120323,0,680715.story . Obviously, Mr. Fraser is innocent at this point.
I was able to stand up and fight the Sound Doctrine Church / Winepress Publishing. Children cannot. If you’re considering using Winepress Publishing, make sure you understand exactly what you might be getting into.