Tuesday 26 February 2019

Brain Drain

Now here's a thing - the latest accounts for the Brain Trust, Ray Keene's fake charity, are out. They're late, but they're out.

What do they tell us? Not much we didn't know already, so if you were expecting all the large donations to have gone to Ray, Tony Buzan and their mates, there is nothing here to disappoint you.

If you look at the notes carefully, you'll be doing more than anybody was when they wrote them, or for that matter when they signed them off, since UK Schools Memory Initiative seems to have become UK Memory Sports Council between the list of grants and the notes to that list. Nevertheless, they were "approved by the Board of Trustees on 20 December 2018" and signed off by Ray, as well as the charity's Independent Examiner, Ray's old business partner David Massey.

I'm not actually sure that anything called the UK Schools Memory Initiative exists at all but no matter, the accounts themselves cite Ray and Tony as having an involvement in these two entities, organisations, bank accounts, whatever they may actually be. They don't suggest the same for the Chinese Memory Championship, perhaps surprisingly as the World Memory Statistics webpage, not updated for a while, trumpets the then-upcoming World Memory Championships, to be held in China, in December 2017

where they duly took place, with Ray and Tony visible in many of the photos.

The other major payment is to Professor Michael Crawford, Ray's old friend and Dean of the similarly specious Gifted Academy. As there is a dash next to Professor Crawford's name you might wonder where his handout is, unless you've read the relevant footnote from my Kingpin piece, which I hope is sufficiently explanatory.

Still, only six grand is a bit of a comedown after last year's jackpot of more than four times that figure. Never mind, there are other members of the circle to be catered for, like for instance APS Keene, who is Ray's son, Alex

which is curious because the Brain Trust website (down as I write, so I am accessing it through the Wayback Machine) assures us

but hey, maybe just because you're a Trustee and a Director doesn't actually mean you're a member.

Other curiosities in the accounts include a chunky thirty-eight thousand for office costs

which does rather raise the question of where this office is, given that the Brain Trust claims to be located at Ray's house on Clapham Common.

All questions that could no doubt be answered, if anybody at the Brain Trust ever answered any questions. But pending that particular day of the Greek Kalends, it may seem to you, as it seems to me, that the conduct on view here is the sort of thing that Trustees are there to stop. But who will stop the Trustees?

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