The Fight for His Financial Health
As opposing information about Monty Roberts, his life and business practices comes to light, Monty Roberts has taken to defending himself full-time. And, of course, he would, his very life - or at least his financial good health, depends upon it.
Monty Roberts has filed a ten million dollar lawsuit against Horse & Rider Magazine which printed a very interesting article about him in February '99. Consequently, his website is now filled with 50 or more pages, defending himself against that article as well as accusations against him with regard to the film "The Horse Whisperer". He has painted relatives: aunt, brother, cousin as vicious loonies out to discredit him.
It is interesting to note that Monty's defense comes at a time when his relatives' book is about to be published. It is his way of squashing the competition as well as keeping his God-like image rust free. It is even more interesting to note that his article on mustangs comes at a time when Monty is being sued by the owners of a mustang that Monty was supposed to have trained and did not train because, he said, mustangs could not be trained. Suddenly, Monty has a whole new perspective on the issue of mustangs - a very long one at that.
Monty Roberts has worked with horses, touted that they should be treated well and respected, has alerted other people to his good deeds all around. All well and good. What Monty fails to understand is that while everyone believes his message is an admirable one, it is the callousness with which he operates toward others, the hubris, the threats to bring people down that has turned people against him. What happened to that gentler, kindlier approach we previously heard about? All the people now opposed to Monty were his biggest supporters and fans. They did not do a sudden turn-around just for the hell of it. They did it because Monty's message took a dark turn itself. Monty abused their trust for the sake of his own glory. And that is where the biggest shame is.
A psychologist from Chicago named Jonathan Radcliffe has pinpointed Monty's hold on people. It is a cult effect, he says, and Monty is the leader. "There are those people who need and want a father or God-like figure in their lives to lead them to the promised land. Monty's story, as outlined in his book, depicts him as just such a person. His message is clear and worthy; his rhetoric is smooth, his look fresh and spirited. Lead on, Monty, and we shall follow." But, Radcliffe continues, "Monty has betrayed certain people in his faction and now he must fight them tooth and nail otherwise they might turn the others against him and tumble the empire. So Monty has fashioned a furious campaign to destroy them first. It's very Biblical in nature. We see it all the time." Unfortunately, in our society, Radcliffe says, "might really is right rather than the other way around, and Monty will always have his supporters because people are often too eager to look the other way when their heroes are found to be unworthy of the pedestal that they've put them on. Besides, Monty, with all his money can turn his opposition into mincemeat and he knows it. That's where the 10-million dollar lawsuit against that magazine and young lady author comes into play."
Monty is also being sued by the owners of Big Red Fox, a saddle horse that Monty used in his capture of the mustang he named Shy Boy, identified in the book and on the BBC video. He is being sued for threats, animal abuse, fraudulent business practices and a slew of related causes. Monty fails to realize that the ends do not justify the means. And that's why some people will always be against him and he will spend the rest of his life having to defending himself.