The Friends of Michel Thomas

Since word of the attack by the Los Angeles Times on Michel Thomas has spread, a number of people who know Michel have got in touch to express their distress, sadness and anger at what happened. Together we have formed a disparate band, made up of family and friends, ex-students, veterans and colleagues drawn from a long and varied life. We are neither young nor old, of the left or the right, Jewish or non-Jewish. We simply call ourselves The Friends of Michel Thomas, although we have no charter, very little money, and no clear idea of how to proceed. We are united by our shared commitment to defend Michel and see that his reputation is fully restored in his lifetime.

We believe that a grave offence has been committed against a brave and honest person whom we believe has done remarkable deeds that have improved the world in which we live. We earnestly hope that the Los Angeles Times will recognise the wrong that it has been done to Michel, and apologise to him unreservedly and without further delay or dishonour to itself. But one thing is clear, whatever the outcome of Michel's lawsuit. This wrong must be righted where it occurred, in the court of public opinion.

So as to set the record straight, The Friends of Michel Thomas have organised a public campaign to deny the denier, and tell the true story of Michel's life. On this website, we publish a mountain of documentary and testimonial evidence from outstanding individuals who have participated in various episodes in Michel's life, the opinions of expert witnesses and the full texts of the legal documents in this case. Much of this is new material that has never been published before, and will be of great interest to biographers and historians of World War II. This evidence was made available to the reporter Rivenburg before he wrote his article. We have provided brief summaries of most of the key documents and if these contain any mistakes they are wholly unintentional and our fault alone.

Copyright law prohibits us from publishing on our site the full text of Rivenburg's article, only those parts - and there are many - that are clearly defamatory. We regret this because it is only by reading the whole text and comparing it with the truth that the true dishonesty of Rivenburg's endeavour becomes apparent. If you would like to read the full, unabridged text of the article please visit the archive of the Los Angeles Times. The article, which is called "Larger Than Life", was published on 15th April 2001 and may be found at

We hope that our public assertion of Michel's honesty and integrity will encourage editors and journalists, commentators, historians and the general public to visit this website and read his story for themselves. Then, perhaps, others will consider writing a few words of their own about the remarkable story of Michel Thomas. This is the only way we know to right the wrong that has been done to Michel.

So we ask for your support. For Michel's sake. When you have read this pamphlet please visit the Campaign & Media section of our website, sign Michel's letter and join the Friends. But at the very least, please send the URL of our website to as many friends and family as you can, and sign yourself up for the email alerts so as to receive our campaign updates.

Help by spreading the truth. A Friend does not need to know Michel, or even the details of his case, but only agree that he at least deserves the legal right to clear his name.