The X, Y and Z Files - by Alan Owen


A lot has been written recently about the X,Y and Z files on Social Media, from Mr John McDade, trustee of the British Nuclear Test Veterans Association.


This blog has been produced to tell the true story of how the X,Y and Z files came into production and to dismiss the accusations that are being pushed around Social Media at this time.


Unfortunately, Mr McDade does not have all of the correct information that he requires and his accusations of deception and dishonesty and completely untrue.


Read through this blog and you will find out the true story. This blog can be verified by 8 members of the BNTVA board from 2018.



The Concept


The concept for the X,Y and Z files is not mine, the story of a Civil Servant who wants to tell his story, but cannot was told to me by a veteran, I do not know the origination of the original story. This was a private conversation between me and him.


The Story


The story was written using the information from the veteran, Wikipedia entries, information from the NRPB and actual stories from another veteran. The manuscript was completed in the summer of 2018. I compiled the stories together into the one book, ready for distribution to the trustees.


The Manuscript


The manuscript was read in August 2018 by 5 members of the BNTVA trustee board, who gave positive reaction to the story. At no point was the author name withheld, the trustees who read the manuscript were aware that I had compiled the story.


Trustee Meeting - September 2018


At the All Tests Reunion in 2018, a trustee meeting was held. The following members of the trustee board were present. Myself, Sandie Hern, Doug Hern, Ron Watson, Susan Musselwhite, Alison Walker, Eric Barton and Robert McCann. (Shelly Grigg was absent)


The meeting discussed the book and full agreement from the trustees present at the meeting was given to publish it and give 50% of the profits to the BNTVA. Full disclosure of the author, the use of an alias (which is not unusual in literary circles) was also discussed. No money from the BNTVA was to be used to produce this book. Any one of the trustees present will verify this. In fact a recording was made of the meeting. (All meeting were recorded to allow for the production of the minutes. I do not have access to these recordings as I do not have access to any BNTVA systems)


Book Production


The book was produced and proof read by a professional proof reader at a cost of £406.50 which was paid for by myself personally. No BNTVA funds were used. The book was offered for sale on the Amazon platform in paperback and kindle format.


Audiobook Production


The book was also translated into an audiobook by a professional actor at a cost of $465.30, which equates to approximately £350.00 for sale on Audible and Apple. This was again paid for by me personally.


Book Sales


The book did not sell in the numbers expected. These are the figures from kdp.amazon.com which are the official figures for the book:


This is a total of £575.32 in royalties.


As an author, you can buy author copies at a discounted rate, these are available so that you can use them as promotion. 3 orders of a total of 45 books were placed from 02/10/2008 until 27/07/2019 at a cost of £119.65, again purchased by myself. These were donated to the BNTVA to sell in their online shop at full price. I cannot tell you how many were sold as I no longer have access to that information, but the paper orders were given to the Chairman when I left, all documented and in Lever Arch folders.


Finances


Adding up the finances, we get the following:


Costs

Book production and publication - £406.50

Audiobook production - £350.00

Author Copies - £119.65


TOTAL - £876.15


Income


Royalties earned - £575.32


Leaving a deficit of £300.83, so the book never broke even.


I made a decision to give 100% of the royalties earned, even though there was no profit being made. This continued until I was threatened with Legal Action by the BNTVA, these payments are as follows:


03/12/2018 - £148.44

04/02/2019 - £99.08

04/03/2019 - £72.68

29/03/2019 - £27.35

07/05/2019 - £12.36

04/06/2019 - £41.19

02/09/2019 - £15.02


TOTAL ROYALTIES TO BNTVA - £416.12


These are documented in the accounts transactions by the Treasurer Mr Ron Watson and had their own income stream code.


So in effect, I have lost £1292.27. This was my choice. I did not need to pay the royalties, but I decided to, the Charity had helped with the promotion and it was the right thing to do.


Dishonesty and Deception


I have been falsely accused of dishonesty and deception by certain individuals who were not party to the board decision, have not investigated the matter or spoken to any of the individuals who read the manuscript or were part of the decision to publish the book, just jumped to a conclusion that they wanted based on incomplete evidence.


There was no deception, no fraud, no profiteering, the figures do not lie.


I am still to this day, unaware of where the concept of the book came from originally, the veteran never told me, I admit that I compiled it from various sources and helped get it into production and that it was under an alias (which is in fact my Dungeons and Dragons character from when I was a kid) as we needed an author name, but the veteran did not want his name mentioned. It was produced in good faith to highlight the issues faced by the veterans. It was never published as a factual book, it was always in the fiction section, I do not know if the story was ever true.


Unfortunately, this is just another chapter in the false accusations and attacks made on the previous board by the current BNTVA Board. In fact, all of the members of the old board who are no longer on the board have been attacked or accused in some way, apart from Mr McCann, who has been ignored. Other members of the community have also had threats, abusive emails and verbal abuse. I will leave it to those people to tell their stories if they so wish, it is not for me.


The board of the BNTVA work to a code of conduct, this includes a confidentiality clause which means that the meetings remain confidential, as well as emails and other BNTVA business. I do not understand why this has been made public by Mr McDade, I don't know why he feels that he has to raise it now, but he has, so hence this blog with the full facts and figures.


If Mr McDade had spoken to the previous members of the board and myself, he would have been given the evidence in this blog.


Conclusion


If you need any further clarification on this matter, speak to anyone of the people involved, they will confirm that this is the truth. I have invoices, payment schedules and bank transactions to back all of this up. Email me at info@labrats.international.


If I have offended anyone with the publication of the book, then I apologise, but it was a board level decision and if the board had not voted on it and passed it, it would never had been published. It was never intended to upset anyone, it was just a story.


I state again, the origins of the story are still unknown and the veteran who told me the story has now passed away.


I gave the BNTVA 4 years of my life, over 4,000 hours a year, donated thousands of pounds in revenue from myself and my company. Travelled the world promoting the charity at my own expense. I gave free IT services, free training, free data protection services, but this is now history and seems to be forgotten by the current BNTVA board.


I would do it all again, the Nuclear veterans and their families are the most important factor in all of this, the recognition campaign, the injustice. This is why we formed LABRATS. It is just a shame that the people now in charge of the charities in the UK, have decided not to work together for the greater cause, due to personalities and vendettas. So sad.

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