Discover more from Webworm with David Farrier
"Farrier Is Wanted On Serious Criminal Activity"
Not the phrase I was expecting to read on my first day back in New Zealand, but here we are. Plus - a new Webworm feature: Chat.
I just got back to Aotearoa, New Zealand. The thing that hit me first was the smell (fresh, crisp, alive) and the bird calls I’d missed.
I’ve also arrived back to a kind of chaos.
I was half expecting this anyway, as I am here to do a sold out Webworm event tonight about warped megachurches (doors from 6.30pm, get on the waitlist in case anything frees up), and then tour my documentary Mister Organ around the country as it opens in about 60 New Zealand cinemas from November 10.
But the chaos started on Twitter.
We have a Tucker Carlson / Alex Jones-esque broadcaster here called Sean Plunket who’s engaging on some kind of Twitter rampage against me — and one that’s quite serious, and quite distressing.
He’s been posting a series of court documents that seem to indicate to his 15,000 followers I’ve been committing acts of violence:
Part of the reason appeared to be an attempt to get a documentary about conspiracy theory culture that I was involved in pulled off air.
Plunket was unsuccessful, as Web of Chaos went to air — and is available online now if you’re in New Zealand or have a VPN.
I took to Twitter to state the obvious:
i haven’t been served any court documents. all i have seen is pages of what looks like a family court document that sean plunket apparently has a copy of.
i certainly haven’t committed any family violence on anybody so the situation is quite bizarre.
I also tweeted this:
although i hear there’s a film opening on november 10 in cinemas up & down new zealand — could be cool to watch it, free ticket for plunko.
no actually fuck it he can buy one.
Of course his thousands of online followers — many somewhat unhinged — didn’t really care what I said, and took what Sean had stated as cold, hard fact.
And so since arriving back to visit the place that I truly love, and have missed, my social media has been flooded with stuff like this:
Sean Plunket tweets, and a certain part of the New Zealand population now thinks I am wanted on serious criminal activity. It’s like all of New Zealand’s worst people are assembling into a kind of lame Suicide Squad — here is Destiny Church’s Hannah Tamaki joining in:
Also — my phone number is now out there, apparently:
A bunch of people asked if they could contribute to a legal fund. As I always tell people, my legal fund is paying Webworm supporters (less than two cups of coffee a month, and the entire reason I can do what I do) or those that gift subscriptions to others.
To those who have the means and choose to help — thanks.
I am considering the options, but right now I have a Webworm event to put on tonight about megachurches (proof enough I am in New Zealand, I think?) and then a film to get out there as I try and convince people to see Mister Organ (Black Panther 2 is out at the same time, so I have my work cut out for me).
And as people scream and yell at me on Twitter, I’m announcing a brand new addition to Webworm: Webworm Chat.
This is a conversation space in the Webworm app that I’ve set up for any of Webworm’s paying subscribers. Instead of tweeting, increasingly I’ll be posting in this space where readers are smart, diverse, kind and curious.
Chatting in a thread in the app won’t be for everyone, and that’s okay. The newsletters are still my focus — but this is a way for me to hang out and talk about more immediate things that aren’t worthy of a whole newsletter. Maybe I’ll dedicate a thread to cats if I see a nice cat. Or just have a chat group going about Mister Organ.
If you wanna try this with me, you’ll need to download the Substack app (messages are sent via the app, not email):
Download the app by clicking this link or the button below. Chat is only on iOS for now, but is coming to the Android app soon.
Open the app and tap the Chat icon. It looks like two bubbles in the bottom bar, and you’ll see a row for my chat inside.
That’s it. Easy.
I’ve already started my first chat thread — basically just checking in as the Webworm, Arise event unfolds today. I will check in as we do final setup as the venue, and see how you’re all doing.
Stray Thoughts from Down Under:
For Flightless Bird podcast listeners — don’t worry, weekly episodes will keep coming while I’m in NZ. Just to peek behind the curtain for a moment… to keep up the pace of a weekly podcast, I record about 10 episodes in advance of what you’re listening to now. So with that in mind, in about 10 weeks, you’ll get a Flightless Bird: New Zealand edition.
In the meantime we just released our very controversial Is it “Maths” or “Math” episode. I feel really happy with how it turned out.
See you at Mister Organ, New Zealand. November 10. Tickets on sale now.
And for those subscribers that grabbed a ticket for Webworm, Arise! tonight — see you there. Podcast version incoming for paying subs in other parts of the world.
I love and appreciate you for allowing me to do this.