I am sympathetic to how the media attention could be draining, but I do think Bell is trying to have it both ways. In the book and other interviews he is clearly trying to be illusive. This is to create tension and change the conversation, something I think that is very intentional on his part. When the publicity was just starting I thought Bell was prepared for the reaction, clearly I was wrong.
Not sure I would call all of this slander. If he does start to engage his critics on this sort of level, I don’t think he is going to find any resolution with his critics.