A Matter of Opinion

A selection of readers' comments: to add your own, e-mail me on whitehound@madasafish.com stating that your comment may be reproduced on the website (subject to editorial discretion!).

N.B. I originally included an example of an abusive hate-mail about Eric (one of only two or three I've received over the years - it's not a common occurrence), because the writer was such an obvious looney that I thought it was a hoot. But some of Eric's other friends found it distressing, so I've taken it off - and after all, I guess it wasn't very nice of me to mock the afflicted    ;)

The Theatre of Cruelty is beautifully designed - the masks and the yellow roses are particularly nice touches.

Although you had told me a lot of the story, I was still deeply shocked - perhaps most of all that the abuse had started up again in his life...

As an editor, I have to say that parts are too long - Eric in his own words is fine, nothing else should be as long.

Dr B K Gröger, 18th August 1999
(who is a close friend of mine, so possibly a biased source!)

...that is a horrific story. It's terrible to think there are people all over this world who do the worst things imaginable to their fellow humans. And that goes not only for all the abusers out there, but for the people in positions of power in governments and legal systems. It's a very nicely put together site though, and a good tribute someone who was treated so very badly.

Sarah I Rumage, 23rd October 1999

...the site about Eric Cullen... is, admittedly, strange, but it's also _kind_ and beautiful.

a poet, 8th December 1999
(who gave his name, but doesn't want it broadcast on the Net)

... Very disturbing and thought provoking stuff. As a Yank I am completely unaware of either the content or context of this story, but your Web site does bring out many important topics of universal importance and relevance. Clearly, a labor of love on your part.

... Eric Cullen had to have been far more than his TV or court appearances could possibly reveal, not to mention the questionable objectivity of the press. Your Web pages reveal another perspective that is all too often ignored in sensationalistic tastes of TV and the papers, and to those who rely on them exclusively for information: Eric Cullen was a unique and special individual.

Robert W Cunningham, 28th February 2000

…nothing on your site leaves me with the impression Eric was a pervert or a child abuser. I know you're likely to be biased but you've presented what was said and what was supposedly so according to the prosecution and the tabloids. I can excise your comments and consider those accusations clearly enough I think. What a load of shite. I've spent a large part of the last decade learning about and discussing child abuse with victims, researchers, clinicians and offenders... Everything about the situation rings true for Eric's version.

Grrrr. Yes, it pisses me off. The tabloids especially. Then again I haven't read all the stuff about the police. I am really not eager to jump to the defence of people accused of molestation, I do find myself thinking "Yeah, but what if they really did do something, I would hate to be mistaken and defend or free someone who might do the same again". But I _hate_ people being punished for things they haven't done. I _hate_ people being made out as villains because they're different or available targets. I _hate_ the way molesters do things to their victims to make recovering and escaping even more difficult after the already hellful difficulty of just coping with being molested. Eric's story just doesn't add up the way it's been presented by the tabloid [i.e. the Sunday Mail] - a few handy quotes and a lot of speculation, and I would trust a tabloid quote about as much as I would back myself to outdrink its editor.

…It's sadly not at all rare for molesters to force victims to do things to incriminate themselves. What to make of that is sometimes difficult because we can't know to what extent the victim has fought against it but if Eric co-operated with police and tried to get Currens and others investigated and imprisoned then any foregoing incriminating evidence, however bad it might have looked, must have been something his conscience told him he could cope with others' finding out about. It would be surprising if a victim felt that way about something they had actually enjoyed or participated in very freely.

...I think Eric was an extraordinary human being irrespective of the abuse or dwarfism or acting or anything, his spirit in anyone would have been marvelous. Even though he had most of the stereotypical bad effects of being abused he kept getting up again and he got 'up' higher than most people will ever get. Some people would say that he was 'broken' because he didn't escape the abusers - he could have jumped on a ship or run off to Brazil, for instance. Others would say he _wasn't_ broken specifically because he _didn't_ run away from the abuse but managed to make a very successful career and also to shield his adoptive parents from it. Values and politics here - there are people who would say Eric was clearly weak and cowardly because he acquiesced to threats. I see him as immensely strong because I know what the threat of being killed feels like when you know the threatener can do it and they've just proved they're willing to by raping you unconscious and I know that living with that and not backing away from life and in fact pouring your energy into making your life a success is indicative of incredible depth of character.

Mick, Australia, December 2000


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