Dave Barrie supports covert surveillance.
In 1976, Dave Barrie contacted ITV to ask if he could have his name and address put on air after the final episode of that year's run of The Prisoner. Later that night, several Prisoner fans turned up on his doorstep and, thus, Six of One was born. Without Dave's enthusiasm, the Society many people used to love would not have ever been in existence, and many great friendships would not have been built. Dave had always seemed to us to be friendly, and good company, and his love of The Prisoner was plain for all to see.
However, the events of recent years have alienated Dave from many people who previously regarded him as a friend and in 2014 the same is true. In January 2002, Dave replied to a communication from concerned member Lew Stringer (now an ex-member) and asked him to post 2 letters on his behalf onto the internet (particularly the alt.tv.prisoner newsgroup), explaining his view of the immoral events of recent times. particularly the yellow document and the secret taping of Dave Healey.
What follows here are excerpts from these letters. After reading them, it is hard to believe Dave Barrie could have ever been so moved by The Prisoner and it's themes to have set up a Society dedicated to it, as he seems to have forgotten these ideals, and appears happy to witness, at close hand, his "baby" descend to the level to which it now operates rather than let go.
It is understood that Dave gave his permission for these letters to be posted on the internet in their full form. Whilst this page includes only excerpts, it is felt that Dave's wishes should not be ignored. If you wish to read Dave's 2 letters in full, click HERE.
"It's not the fact that Max recorded, it's what was said that is the real issue here. A parallel with Number Six, who resents ID cards and surveillance, only if one has something to hide do most people resent these. Lew, I invite you to secretly record me at any time................Now, whatever the rights or wrongs of going into someone's home with a tape recorder is not for me to say, and no-one on the team knew about this beforehand. I have asked Max about this. He said, "Well, I went along to find out why the mags were being held hostage. If Dave had given them up all people would have heard was the sound of me loading them into a van and driving off." However what he got was something different altogether and in your letter you seem to completely overlook Dave's comments, which I find extraordinary".
It is hard to understand how any conversation regarding the running of what is essentially a TV fan-club can justify the covert taping of someone in their own home. I'm sure we are not alone in feeling that this is particularly an issue when the TV show in question deals significantly with surveillance in Society. In his second letter to Lew, Dave Barrie elaborates further:
"My comment about 'covert surveillance'. I can understand the reaction over this. I guess it may not have been the wisest thing to say. Let's put it in context. As I travel round I see all these surveillance cameras and reflect how they have worked in a positive way. Walking through an underpass on a dark night, I always feel comforted by that camera on the wall. In this respect surveillance has been good."
If this camera was on Dave Barrie's living room wall, it is doubted if he would feel the same. There is a great difference between monitoring a City-centre crime spot and "Big Brother" type covert surveillance.
"I suspect, by this time in the letter, I was feeling
both tired and mentally dulled by the strong painkillers prescribed by the Doc.
that I had been taking . They had rather an effect on me, I couldn't think clearly
or focus my mind for any period of time. Anyway, I probably thought, 'I don't
mind if someone records me...'. I'd better explain this. I'm a non-judgmental
type, I understand people do what they do, and this, combined with having so
much going on in my life that I
don't have the time to sit back and reflect, well, I though no more of it."
It would be unfair to comment on the personal aspects of Dave Barrie's life, but to state "well, I though no more of it" is interesting. Dave Barrie signed a document sent to the entire membership of Six of One which condoned the secret taping of Dave Healey. He obviously felt strong enough to be so overtly in favour of the action that he signed that document, and remained a Society coordinator.
"So Max, and his recording. Given what I've said, it's not for me to judge him. I think I judge no-one. I was very saddened. I think my reaction was, 'Oh no, instead of moving on we are just getting in deeper and it's turning really nasty.' I realised we were sunk as far as Dave's involvement went. It was a black moment. On that fateful day, when Dave and I spoke at length, I had gone off to the meeting with high hopes. Then to learn that Dave had said some of the things he did, left me very depressed."
Again, Dave Barrie does not seem interested in addressing the fact that Max was secretly taping a conversation in which Dave Healey was pinned into a corner. Doubtless Dave Healey would have been less forthright at a formal meeting, but as he was having a private conversation with a guest in his own home he was entitled to give his opinions in a more open fashion.
"I imagine, if you went round to each one (person involved) in turn, heard what they had to say in the way they believe it to be, you would come away seeing all these different perspectives, and finding it hard to make a black and white judgement.........And all the time it was getting more difficult to understand because things weren't standing still. The origins are lost in the mist of years. Toward the end I spent hours on it every day. It dominated my life."
Dave Barrie has made a black judgment, preferring to sacrifice the themes of the TV series, the exact reason he founded the Society, to support an immoral coordination team. Although Dave is less "hands-on" than the other coordinators, and has not been found to have personally committed any immoral acts, he does support others who have done.
"As I say above, there always comes a time when people are ready to to sit down and talk, reasonably, openly, and with mutual respect and courtesy."
With respect and courtesy comes honesty and accountability. Two things not often seen coming from the Six of One leadership for some time.
Dave's letters are printed in full HERE, and make interesting reading in their entirety (although leave many questions unanswered). Many of the points he raises are dealt with on different pages of this website. It is understood that Dave's initial aim was to act as mediator. However, in the end, a decision had to be made. It is understood that, when it came to a choice, Dave Barrie did not feel it appropriate to support anyone other than Langley, and those who supported him (this is confirmed by his signing of the yellow document and his inclusion in the new coordination team).
Before it's launch, Dave Barrie was contacted with regards to this website, and this page in particular. Dave declined to comment.
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This page updated 6/2/14