They are a law unto themselves, Judge, Jury and Executioner is the STUFF Newspaper!
Back in 2010 I had a disgruntled customer who felt justified in telephoning my clients on one Saturday morning, trying to defame me and my business after feeling my actions were unjustified. The issue was co-existing with a messy divorce which was fuelled by two ladies ganging up on me to tarnish my business.
In fairness to the STUFF newspaper they did call me to get my side of the story, if they didn’t, then it would’ve been a lot worse than the story they were about to publish. One thing I did learn, once they had started investing time in a story, they want to publish it anyway. I was a bit dumfounded by the information they had been fed and to the Editor’s credit, he did listen to me and did give me a chance to speak.
10 years later I decided to contact STUFF and see whether they would be willing to remove the article, three long emails later, basically they don’t care and they won’t back down.
10 years later I now have a much stronger presence on the Internet and I can now publish my own content. So when you search for peoples names, my content can be in the search results for years as well. I cannot publish any part of Roeland van den Bergh’s email replies to me, due to his copyright on the bottom of his emails, so I will summarise his replies.
Subject: Act of kindness to Danny de Hek
I’m asking for a favour…
I had this article written about me about 10 years ago, at the time I was going through a messy divorce and my wife was out to get me. One of her beloved friends was Sharon Jones of Canterbury Equestrian, the information is inaccurate and certainly not fair to my character or my nature.
The reason why I would respectfully like the information removed, is as every time you search for my name, “Danny de Hek” up comes this article. It has cost me a lot of explaining and embarrassment because people don’t read, they just see that I was talked about in the STUFF newspaper.
It’s been 10 years and it still affects me! The information is not accurate and doesn’t do anything but harm my reputation. Is it possible to have it removed?
So you get a better picture of who I am and what I do check out my website:
To understand a bit about my character, check out my YouTube channel:
Sometimes when I’m talking to people I feel like I’m talking Japanese, I do find it hard to communicate and express what I mean. Living with dyslexia is difficult and I’m continuously getting misinterpreted. I’m not making excuses, but I don’t need any false information holding me back and I think 10 years of poorly researched information is enough.
Happy to talk to anyone on the phone 021 961 652
Danny de Hek
Roeland van den Bergh
Basically stuff doesn’t remove content and wanted to know why I hadn’t done something about it sooner. If the information was inaccurate, give them more content and they will edit if necessary.
Thank you for replying, I really appreciate it.
I did have a pretty good chat with a guy on the phone and at the time I was going through a very messy divorce. I wasn’t long out of hospital, so it wasn’t a high priority at the time.
The part that I don’t agree with, is that it sounds like I purchased domain names on her behalf and she wasn’t aware of the fact. Also, I didn’t take over the administration of the old website, I built a new website into my existing network as explained in my letter of understanding. At the time I owned about 150+ different domain names and I leased them to clients for a monthly fee. One example of this is, I used to market 45 different rental car brands and when one left me (for whatever reason) I would use the traffic to market a likeminded client, kind of like billboard advertising when you advertise on the billboard, you don’t get to own the billboard.
My recommendation to any client was to continue to have their own domain name and not to rely on my advertising network. So I encouraged Sharon to keep her existing website and not to bring her domain name canterburyequestrian.co.nz over to my Network. This meant that they would get new leads and I would be able to gauge how effective my marketing strategies were, however she wanted to bring it all over and put all her eggs in one basket.
The problem that Sharon had at the time, was that she thought she had the right to the domain name (equestrian-products.co.nz) that I was using to market the products within my network. If you look at my letter of understanding, this was discussed with the client before I did any work so they had a clear understanding.
Sharron decided to start phoning my clients and this all happened on a Saturday morning. I had 15 to 20 phone calls from different clients saying they’ve had this lady ring up complaining that she wasn’t happy with my service. These clients understood my services and had no problems with them. I couldn’t stop her from phoning my customers so I redirected the domain name (equestrian-products.co.nz) that was mine, to a site selling adult toys for males, in the hope that the embarrassment would stop her phoning my clients. Not the cleverest idea, however I’m pretty transparent in all the things that I do. At the time it wasn’t a big issue, and honestly I think it was that way for about four hours. As I was very clear on how the search engines worked, it was only viewable by my clients, hindsight is a wonderful thing. Ironically the site that sold fleshlights (selling adult sex aids) was the business my ex-wife used to run.
This wasn’t anything to do with Canterbury equestrian or Sharon, this was about my ex-wife and her friend ganging up on me. If you want to know the full story you’re welcome to a phone call. My ex-wife thought I was worth $2 million and she wanted half the money so she could keep our house in the country and all the horsey stuff. She even suggested to one of my clients to purchase the other half of our business. My business was valued at $37,000! She was very upset that there was going to be no million dollar payout so she went after me and what was left of my business.
I’ve had hundreds of clients and if I was not running good ethical business practices, I’m pretty sure I would have had more STUFF articles online about me.
I’ve had lots of tongue in cheek articles printed about me simply because I’m dyslexic and claim to be a professional. Apparently you’re not allowed to be a professional if you can’t read and write properly. I don’t hide any of this, in fact the articles are all on my website https://www.dehek.com/archive/
New Zealand’s Information Network was taken off-line about five months ago. In 2004 this business sold around about half a million worth of advertising and at one point I’m proud to say, we had 25,000 IP visits per day! That site had a real grass roots beginning. I used to hitchhike around New Zealand telling people I was New Zealand’s leading Internet consultant. I built-up an amazing portfolio and worked with some leading companies, which is pretty good for someone who left school at the age of 14. I am not saying I did it 100% right, the other alternative for my life was to go work in a supermarket.
My story is really a good Kiwiana story, I’m proud of who I am and I’m proud of what I do. When I read this article it does not read the truth, it reads half-truths and it’s not factual, it’s another victory for the ex-wife. I used voice recognition to compose this and it’s hard for me to express in words. Changing the article probably won’t make much of a difference, removing it would give me a break.
My story is unique https://www.dehek.com/about/
Danny de Hek
Roeland van den Bergh
Talked a lot about how Sharon Jones felt about it and it was more of an educational piece for others so they don’t get burnt by the ownership of who owns a domain name. And basically any of the information I supplied will not result in any any editing it is factual and they got it right the first time.
Do you know people like me find it hard to live life, I always have to prove myself. I left school at 14, I had nothing going for me and I used to get beaten up by school bullies.
My first job was walking around the neighbourhood knocking on people’s doors asking them if they be interested in hiring me. They would say, “What do you do?” I said “I have a lawnmowing business, would you be interested in hiring me to mow your lawns?”. They would ask me how much I charge and I would say “$10 an hour”. They would agree to hire me and then my next words out of my mouth were, “Could I use your lawnmower?”
In my life I was brought up as a Jehovah’s Witness which was like a cult. At the age of 23 I got kicked out of the religion and I had to start life from scratch. At that time I had a painting and decorating business which I had to give up because my business partner was still a Jehovah’s Witness. When I left my original painting and decorating Boss, (Ray Martin Limited) he gave me a digital diary which was the first bit of technology I ever owned. It was a great gift, I finally learnt how to retain information. I purchased myself a computer in 1995 and I struggled to install Windows 95. I thought if I struggle to install Windows 95 other people must be in the same boat.
I started offering my services as a installer of Windows 95. Once I learnt enough to make myself dangerous with computers, I helped people get on the Internet. Such as, Jason Gun, Richard Hadley and James Daniels were all clients of mine. They looked to me for direction when wanting to learn more about the Internet.
I’ve had one hell of a hard life trying to make a success of myself, always proving that I’m not stupid. I made enough money to prove I wasn’t stupid and at that time I met a lovely lady to share my life with and we got married. Four years later she decided she didn’t want to be married any more and wanted a divorce. It was a shock, however I had to get on with it. I remember saying to her once, we are so lucky to be able to live in the country like this and live the lifestyle that we have. If we wanted to maintain it, (at the time) we would have to sell the business for at least $2 million. From that, she thought my business was worth $2 million. Once I showed her our finances and explained a few home truths, she realised she was going to lose everything we owned. At the time, I was a competitive target shooter doing quite well in the sport, she decided that she would make a false claim that I had threatened to shoot and kill her! Basically, she thought that she was going to lose her horse property. Therefore she wanted me to to lose my passion (I was a competitive target shooter, I even had my own indoor target shooting range on my property). She filed charges and therefore I had to surrender my shooting gear.
I went along to the court to dispute the claim and I still remember the judge telling me she didn’t feel I was a threat to anybody (she literally gave me the thumbs up) and gave me my shooting gear back. She told me to shoot well for New Zealand at the Australian Nationals. I’m not sure if you’ve ever tried target shooting shortly after an operation from a burst appendix, however that’s what I did and I shot like crap for New Zealand.
24 hours after my wife told me she wanted a divorce I had a burst appendix. I spent two weeks of my life fighting to stay alive. At that time my wife was trying to find a flatmate, coming up with a cunning financial plan to keep her dream property and push me out of the business that I started back in 1995. I lost my house in the country and I had to come up with $20,000 to keep the business that I started. I walked out of the lawyers office with $5 dollars in my back pocket and I had to start life over once again.
Roeland, can you imagine living life with a reading writing level of a 9.3-year-old? Constantly defending my actions like a blind man in a room trying to find the exit. At the age of seven my stepfather committed suicide, then I watched my sister spiral down in life as a full on drug user trying to smother her children. She eventually hung herself, this was on 15 minute suicide watch in Sunnyside hospital in Christchurch. I have a half-brother that is nine years older than myself and he doesn’t talk to me because he is still part of the Jehovah’s Witness religion. I have a 77 year-old mother who doesn’t talk to me because I have no part in the religion. I went through the school system and I used to get beaten up just about every week by some person who thought they had the right to hammer my face or body.
Now my ex-wife who is no longer in my life, manages to get one of her friends to write about me and it’s not true. For some reason the people at STUFF feel justified keeping an article on their website that does not help me in any which way or form. As I said previously, I don’t have any secrets, I’m just trying to stay alive in this world. I haven’t got time to criticise or judge you for your actions but if you want to show a little bit of compassion to somebody then why not remove an article that means nothing to you. I’ve never had my hand out for anything, I’ve never asked for any favours but for goodness sake why would you leave an article on the Internet that makes someone feel like life isn’t worth living.
Your article cuts like a knife. I don’t know why my words don’t seem to have any impact. Has the world really got that sad that we can’t find goodness? Does it really make a difference? Does it really matter? Just imagine putting yourself in my shoes and reading an article that vindicates someone that you are not.
If you want to know more about me and really do care… 10 years ago I was incredibly lonely and I thought if there’s other lonely people out there we need to do some positive stuff. I started organising social groups getting people together doing “good things in the community” as thats what it was all about. I put together a group of social butterflies and I organised events to get lonely people together, hiking, biking and lots of social networking dinners. I’ve done a lot of good in the community but every time I look at that article, it is the only negative thing that I can find about me on the Internet and it’s totally untrue, it’s not fair to slander me.
Maybe it’s not the done thing in your industry, why doesn’t anyone ever publicise the good stuff I’ve done? If you do a search for “Danny de Hek” you don’t find bad stuff you just find one article of a lady who obviously was pissed off about the reaction she got from someone who was trying to stop her from being mean and acting like a bully. I got treated like shit at school and this lady thought she could use the same tactics and the bullies win once again.
Right now in my life I would really value having that article removed. It’s not true’, not factual and at the end of the day it is one person’s opinion over another’s. I’m sure you get many requests from people. I’m not a criminal, I’m not a bad person and to me it looks like you are judge and executioner. Is it really worth the risk that it makes me feel about myself and my life? Is my life really worthwhile? Does it make you feel good that you’ve done the right thing? Can you appreciate the words cut like a knife? Is it going make a difference to your newspaper after 10 years? It’s like a sentence, do you have the right to make that judgement call?
Danny de Hek
Roeland van den Bergh
We’re not gonna do anything about removing the article and if you are struggling in life, get professional help.
Yes, my last email was pretty raw! However if “Roeland van den Bergh” read between the lines he must’ve thought it’s worth taking a gamble or risk of upsetting somebody’s mental health for a few words on the website that are 10 years old and I think this is appalling. Personally, I don’t actually think the article is too bad. If you know my nature, I don’t do passive marketing, I get the results, this is why I had lots of satisfied clients at the time. My point to this is, how come newspapers can be Judge, Jury and Executioner? This has definitely harmed my business, no one needs anything that holds them back. I’ve been working on my personal brand and every time I search for my own name, this inaccurate story comes up in the top 10.
Sure I could’ve done things better, but isn’t that what the court system is for? If Miss Jones had a problem or a case, why not use the legal system? She decided to feed hungry reporters a handful of half truths until she got her own way. How come newspapers and people like Roeland van den Bergh have power over my business? I’m a lot stronger on the Internet these days and when you search for Roeland van den Bergh, you may not want to do business with him because he doesn’t have a heart. He lacks empathy and kindness. He doesn’t embrace change. Why don’t the newspapers publish good news stories? Why don’t they find the good things I’ve done in my career?
David and Goliath comes to mind. I don’t have an air-conditioned office to work from in Wellington. I am streetwise, I have to embrace change and I rely on my reputation to survive. One article does make a difference. STUFF policy on removing content can go and get STUFFED!
P.S. If you like this podcast please click “like” or provide comment, as that will motivate me to publish more. Would you like the opportunity to be featured on the WHAT : DE HEK Podcast? You are welcome to INVITE YOURSELF to be a guest.