An open letter from Monty regarding the Citizens for Justice website and J. Bartell follows:

Visitors to my website homepage should know that there are negative websites available which are dedicated to destroy me. They have been in existence for approximately seven years now. They were created by J. Bartell and a small group of his followers. The public should know that in 1998-1999 Mr. Bartell actively pursued payment from me to cause these sites to disappear. The Santa Barabara County Sheriff’s Department equipped my phone with a audio taping device. Mr. Bartell overtly stated that he thought my work was good but he just wanted to extort money. At that time he demanded $90,000.

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department issued a warrant and opened the case #98081128 dated 10/26/98. The district attorney decided not to prosecute Mr. Bartell citing that there were complications regarding jurisdiction on the internet.

I welcome you to visit the sites as I believe it is crystal clear that they are collections of statements that sit clearly outside the truth. One negative site even goes so far as to call itself “Horse Whisperers and Lies” and believe you me, it is nothing but lies.

It is a shame that our society allows this abuse of decency but I strongly support freedom of speech and I believe that the internet does far more good than harm.

There are those in our society who would seek out writings such as these and who choose to believe them. I say that’s fine, you have that right and opportunity. Decent folk, however, might choose to sort out the transparent venom of sites such as these and eliminate them.

It is my hope that you will not be inconvenienced by people with an agenda to hold decency for ransom. I will never pay one cent to these blackmailers so you may see their handywork for a long time to come.

I would ask you to allow the horses to do the talking; to believe Equus, as there can be no agenda to lie within the horses’ makeup.

I feel sorry for those people who have nothing better to do with their lives than to seek to destroy. I am, however, more sorry for those who might come to believe this trash. It is such a disservice to the horses we love if purveyors of untruths guide others away from a good and just cause.

– Monty