Half Truth about Y2K suicide

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Alan Simpson brought the posting by Richard Maltup concerning a suicide to avoid being interviewed by my production company to my attention this morning and I must respond.

Like a good many things reported regarding Y2K, it has a measure of truth to it but lacks the full story. There was an incident during the filming where an engineer with a utility did commit suicide on the morning that he was scheduled to be interviewed but we later learned that he had left a note indicating that the event was triggered by problems he had been having with his wife.

And not only did his company provide an interview but also did extensive follow up with us to document their Y2K compliance.

As for comments about providing the documentary on our web site for free...I hope that everyone will understand that we have a significant investment in the production of this documentary and cannot simply "give it away".

I hope that it will be judged on it's own merits and not by sensational stories that may be circulated on discussion groups. It was a serious undertaking with months of research and hard work by a great many people.

We produced this documentary with the sincere intention of telling the whole story without prejudice. As I have stated before, I entered into this expecting to make an "expose" of the entire thing. Only to discover that the truth was much more serious.

While we appreciate those who have liked the program and encourage debate and dicussion about it contents, it is also only fair that people question ANYONE who stands to profit from Y2K, including myself or Ed Yourdon for that matter.

This video is an attempt at a producing a serious work devoid of the whole "UFO" mentality that seems to be a large part of the Y2K awareness movement. It certainly does not deserve to be lumped in with the "black helicopters" of this world.

If further clarification is needed or if you have questions, please feel free to bring them directly to my attention. Thanks to everyone who sent this posting to me.

Les Rayburn, director Millennium Factor: The Truth About Y2K

-- Les Rayburn (les@vazda.com), February 15, 1999


Les: Thanks for your clarification. It is appreciated even though I have a problem with the following statement:

This video is an attempt at a producing a serious work devoid of the whole "UFO" mentality that seems to be a large part of the Y2K awareness movement. It certainly does not deserve to be lumped in with the "black helicopters" of this world.

While I agree that firm conclusions must be based on hard evidence, I believe that your statement tends to use the fringe elements of Y2K as a way to discount the concerned 'center' on this issue. I doubt this was your intention. From the comments I've seen on your video, I believe that your intentions are to paint a unbiased picture and for that, I commend you. FWIW, I've recently ordered a copy of your video so that I may judge for myself. For the record, I believe that where huge sums of money are at stake, there are people who would stop at nothing to achieve their goals.

That aside, perhaps a deeper look into this matter is in order. Are you old enough to remember Karen Silkwood? I'm not a huge fan of conspiracy theories but sometimes, where there is smoke there is fire. Had Woodward and Bernstein not 'followed the money', the world might never have known of the shenanigans of the Nixon administration.

Perhaps though, you personally have investigated this enough that you are satified that there is no fire.

Regards and thank you your work on Y2K.

-- Arnie Rimmer (arnie_rimmer@usa.net), February 15, 1999.

Yes, please allow me to clarify my own personal view on Y2K. My attempt was to produce a documentary that would present the issue in a unbiased manner and allow folks to make up their own minds. Let me tell you after doing six months of research, pre-interiews and acutal interviews in Washington, New York, Nevada, etc. with some of the top people in the field, I AM CONVINCED that Y2K is a real issue that Americans should be preparing for. My wife and I now have a small closet in our basement that is filled with food, camping gear, etc. We have invested in small solar power for my ham radios and other communication needs, and yes, I even purchased a firearm.

I do not consider myself to be "fringe" at all. As a rule, I do not subscribe to conspiracy claims, or anything like that. But how any sane person could listen to folks like Bob Alloway, Irene Dec, and others talk about this problem and not believe it's real is beyond me.

I too am beginning to question if the true extent of this is being withheld from us. When we were shooting the transportation hearings before the Senate, there were only two video cameras in the room and the other one was shooting for CONUS (A feed organization). I expected the heated discussion between Jane Garvey and Sen. Dodd to be on the Nightly News but there wasn't so much as a line of print or a sound bite in the national media. I don't think thats a conspiracy, but I do think that the media is GROSSLY uneducated about this issue.

I welcome any rational discussion about our documentary and only object to postings like the one by Mr. Maltup which attempt to lump it into the more sensational aspects of this story.

My motto is to question the motives of anyone involved in Y2K and if that person has a motive that involves profit then you should question it twice. That includes myself as I clearly stand to profit from "Y2K Hype".

However, that food locker in my basement is for real. I didn't buy all that because I thought this was a bunch of nonsense. Quite the contrary.

Les Rayburn, director Millennium Factor

-- Les Rayburn (les@vazda.com), February 15, 1999.

Les, thanks for clarifying Maltups' post. Sensationalism like this, intended or not, hurt the image of Y2K awareness.

You sound quite rational and motivated to seek the facts and truth about Y2K, much like Yourdon himself. It's inevitable that you stand to make money on your video, as making and researching for it costs money. I don't expect anyone to go broke to help me out.

People who scoff at people like yourself and Yourdon for selling their information are the same ones who buy newspapers and news magazines everyday, and don't question the motive of those news/info outlet. Let alone questioning the t.v. news/info hype.

-- Chris (catsy@pond.com), February 15, 1999.

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