Hoaxtead in The Sun: ‘Their mum’s mental torture destroyed a community’

We were as surprised as anyone yesterday when readers told us that The Sun had published a feature on ‘Satanism in the Suburbs’, profiling the Hampstead hoax along with another tragedy wrought by SRA true believers, the Carol Felstead story.

The common thread between the two stories, of course, is that certain people who are all too eager to believe in the myth of the ‘Satanist paedophile cult’ set out to prove its existence. As a result, a lovely young woman died, her family was devastated, and a community is struggling to come to terms with a seemingly never-ending assault by people they don’t know, for crimes they didn’t commit.

According to Nick Harding, the article’s author, belief in the myth of the child-raping Satanist cult is endemic:

Ella’s accusations were totally untrue, yet allegations of organised satanic ritual abuse (SRA) have surfaced periodically in the UK since the 1980s. In 1994, Jean La Fontaine, a retired professor of social anthropology at the London School of Economics, investigated the phenomenon. Her subsequent report to the Department of Health found that in the 84 cases in England and Wales that were the basis of her research, there was no evidence for the existence of any satanic cults.

Even so, hundreds of self-proclaimed victims come forward every year and thousands believe them when they tell their stories. But why?

“The myth of satanic abuse cults is on the same level as moon landing conspiracy theories,” says sociologist Dr David V Barrett. “People can’t help but be fascinated by it, as it brings the trappings of horror films into real life. What makes it even more appealing in cases like the Drapers’ is the idea that behind net curtains something bad is going on. People are always shocked when it’s respectable middle-class people.”

We would add that class plays an important role in the Hoaxtead case. This reflects the widening gap between rich and poor in David Cameron’s England, and plays on the general public’s growing dislike and mistrust of ‘élites’, whom they perceive as hogging all the country’s resources for themselves. This makes it easy to think of Hampstead residents as ‘other’, and therefore as legitimate targets. It’s almost impossible to find a Hoaxtead pusher who fails to note that the community is well-heeled, wealthy, or ‘full of VIPs’. (Oddly, they never seem to point the same thing out about Belinda McKenzie, who has promoted the hoax from the beginning.)

Harding continues:

The internet also offers the perfect environment for conspiracies to grow. “Although it’s incredibly useful, the web is also a channel for absolute rubbish,” says David. “Once you start following the trail of anything, you can end up deep in a maze of utter twaddle and conspiracy theories. The arguments appear convincing, but they’re just make-believe. What’s worrying is that children are being abused, but that fact gets lost when people start wailing about satanic cults. That’s what’s really horrific.”

We’ve been saying this all along: the more people waste their time and energy trying to ‘join the dots’ and uncover make-believe Satanic baby-murder cults, the less attention they pay to the very real and painful problem of child abuse.

It’s all too easy to get swept up with spine-tingling stories of secret child-eating cults, and pseudo-scientific notions such as ‘repressed memories’:

Professor Chris French of the Anomalistic Psychology Research Unit at Goldsmiths University adds that unfortunately, the existence of satanic abuse and the basic notion of repressed memories is widely believed by members of the public.

“We’ve all seen it in films: the trauma that comes back over time,” he says. “It’s a great plot device, but in reality there isn’t a shred of forensic evidence to support claims of SRA.

“Cases such as the one in Hampstead get taken seriously initially because we know childhood sexual abuse happens. But in terms of satanic ritual abuse, it’s an ongoing battle to educate people. In some ways, people like to believe the stories because they are almost exciting – it’s the classic battle between good and evil.”

It’s a fascinating article, well worth a read—we’ll be interested in your comments!

Abe & Ella-2016-02-28

65 thoughts on “Hoaxtead in The Sun: ‘Their mum’s mental torture destroyed a community’

  1. Excellent report on The Sun’s article which was spot on. I think one day people will start to believe the Hammer Horror Films were documentaries.

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  2. I never thought I’d see the day when I’d be bigging up a Sun article but I have to say they’re spot-on on this. And it’s good that the scamming child-torturers Abe & Ella continue to be exposed in the mainstream media. I hope that people will treat that creepy photo of them as a wanted poster and contact the Police if they spot them.

    I must admit that the Carol Felstead story is a new one on me. It really drives home the potential consequences of the actions of people like Belinda, Sabine, Kris DaCosta, Kane Slater, Tina Kachina and Angela Dizzy-Powder, who are so wrapped up in the sick perverted pleasure they apparently derive from pushing this crap that they lose sight of the wrecked lives they potentially leave in their wake (including, as in Carol’s case, the people they purport to be protecting).

    So thanks to Mr. Harding for this insightful article. If I have one minor niggle, it’s that he didn’t mention the children’s retractions, which to the uninitiated would have added additional credence to his statements about the SRA claims having been disproven. But I’m nit-picking.

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  3. Some people have failed to realise that the article at aimed at them and still insist on making themselves look an idiot.

    From the comments:

    “Firstly how did the boy know what semen was unless he has seen it.Secondly the thing I found odd and remains unexplained was in the video where the boy changes his story to ‘oh I was watching a zorro film and made it up’ The social worker said ‘ Yes you said that in the car didn’t you .’ What was the social worker doing in the car with the kid on the way to the interview ? Surely it should have been someone just there and neutral? People are allowed to worship who they want . However the satanic claims back up (not necessarily from this story) but it backs up how the wealthy who worship Satan then go and commit vile acts in children’s homes . the wealthy can do anything including buying silence. I find this report bizarre to be in a ‘fabulous’ mag on a Sunday as if it’s reporting something glam.”

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  4. The class features of the Hampstead case are interesting because the perceived wealth of the community dovetails almost perfectly with the conspiracy-nut belief that people who have money, positions of power or influence, or come from titled families are actually a different species from the rest of us. You just have to dip your toe in the usual forums (won’t mention them here, they’re easy enough to find).to see the absolute madness about bloodlines, aliens, lizards etc……

    This can be funny – eg. the Queen eats small children … but it does bring up one important feature of the nutters. Almost without exception they are pretty much failures…. I have known several of these people over the years, most of them are unemployed, uneducated, depressed and paranoid. I live in the same town as our dear Araya, who goes through the bins outside the local charity shops, and works (if you could call it that) for a few hours a week in a grotty second-hand clothes shop….. No wonder she dreams of being a super-hero saviour of small children. On the internet she’s somebody….. in Glastonbury she’s just another lunatic, and we already have plenty of those.

    She’s pretty typical of the rank and file of the conspiracy movement, she lives in a grotty flat, works in a shitty job (when she works at all), has no real prospects of ever being any better. Anyone who is rich and influential has obviously cheated in some way….. how could they possibly do it without some kind of illegal/occult activity? And this is the nub of it…. people like her never see the hard work that goes into being even moderately successful. The years at college, the crappy badly paid first jobs, the long hours with no overtime….that’s how all my lawyer/doctor/IT friends started out…….. and kept going. You don’t need to sacrifice babies to live in Hampstead – you need a good education, a bit of luck and lots of bloody hard work. If you spend your 20s pole dancing like Araya, and taking drugs it’s not likely that you’ll ever have much in your 50s except malice and envy towards those who do have the trappings of wealth.

    On the internet, everyone’s a hero🙂

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    • I think one needs to be careful to avoid stereotyping people, because for example Belinda McKenzie is educated, lives in a middle class area, and has had a middle class life and career in the civil service. McKenzie is one of the most notorious of conspiracy theorists bankrolling and organising numerous conspiracy campaigns.

      I think it is interesting to work out the psychology of these types, and it might have nothing to do with their class, status or area they live in. There is a personality type that loves to wallow in conspiracy nonsense, living their whole existence in a near religious experience fighting a fantasy enemy, playing a crusading hero in a fantasy narrative. These people lack something, they have no imagination except living the narrative of other people, they are empty people and they will die empty people regardless of what they do or say.

      I remember as a teen in Glastonbury area how I got lost; it was night, the moon was up, the Glastonbury tor in the distance, and I bumped into a family of badgers. I lost track of time and where I was, and got into serious trouble when I found my way back. I can say with total certainty that even though Araya might live in Glastonbury, she lacks no insight or connection to the magical landscape, history and spirituality of her environment, none of those witchfinders do. The witchfinder is an empty bucket, a ghoul that feeds off the happiness of others, they feel and experience nothing, even if something magical or spiritual bit them on the bum. One needs to be grounded in reality to experience the magical, and I was literally grounded after my little misadventure.

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    • Wisdom is what I would expect from Pallas Athene.

      It must be said that the people who really do engage in acts of depravity and murder in real life are usually losers too. The Wests, the Moors Murderers, the Yorkshire Ripper, John Christie – non of them were what you could call successful in their careers. Dr Harold Shipman was a very rare exception who managed to fit murder into a professional work schedule.

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      • Hmm. I’d be interested to look into this more deeply, as I think that mental illnesses like psychopathy can affect people across the spectrum of class and income.

        As far as conspiracy theorists go, my observation has been that those who are the most deeply involved seem to be those who feel the most disempowered in their daily lives. Conspiracy theories seem to fill some sort of void. They offer some sort of explanatory mythos that helps believers feel like their failures are not personal, but part of the larger system, which has been rigged against them by the lizard people or the Freemasons or the Jews or the Masodomitic cult or whatever.

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    • I think the key here is thinking of people different from ourselves as ‘the other’.

      I’ve been struck from the beginning by the fact that no one seems inclined to talk about ‘middle-class paedophile rings’ or ‘working-class cults’–it’s always ‘VIP paedo rings’ or ‘élite cults’. In other words, people whose lives and lifestyles most of us would have trouble imagining for ourselves.

      I’m fascinated with your portrayal of Araya though, and I agree: having a computer and internet access can turn the most unlikely people into superstars. **coughAngelacough**

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  5. At least the article points out all these SRA stories are made up just in case others were starting to think there is some truth to all this satanic abuse rubbish

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  6. Well, i’m actually shocked that The Sun wrote such a grounded article.

    I certainly think this debate over repressed memories v false memories requires further research. I watched a video that Abraham linked on their blog, about a ‘psychotherapist’ and her clients. The video features two of her clients who underwent ‘hypnosis’ and repressed memory therapy, and began to describe abuse.

    At one point the psychotherapist tells of a client who, under hypnosis, described feeling an itchy material against their skin and being in the Middle East learning to fire weapons. The client had no history of travelling to the Middle East, no military background or any training with weapons.
    Instead of the psychotherapist accepting that this is a false memory, she suggests that secret government technology is far beyond what we the public are allowed to know, and that they may have transporters (like in Star Trek). Implying that her client could have been transported to the Middle East, trained how to use weapons , returned home and had their memory wiped.

    The psychotherapist goes on to describe that some clients have areas on their body which satanic cult members can touch to trigger responses and control their client. That the psychotherapist can see auras and tell which body part is used for that purpose. She describes unravelling or untying the auras so that the body part cannot be used by cult members to control the client any longer.

    It is therefore clear to see how vulnerable people such as Carol can be convinced by their therapist that the abuse really did take place. I think part of the problem is people hear the term ‘psychotherapist’ and assume these therapists are highly qualified professionals who are almost telepathic. That because medical bodies such as the NHS offer treatment by psychiatrists, that all people calling themselves psychotherapists, must be highly trained, nationally regulated and reliable professionals. When in reality, there appears to be very little law or regulation regarding who can offer counselling or therapy.

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    • Memory is a very tricky thing indeed. Most of us think we remember things accurately, as if our minds were like video cameras that simply record events and play them back to us flawlessly on demand. In fact, Elizabeth Loftus, a psychologist and memory researcher, says that the mind reconstructs memories, putting pieces together as one might put together a jigsaw puzzle.

      There’s a great deal of experimental evidence showing that false memories can be created (though not in every person–some seem more susceptible than others). In one such experiment, participants were given 4 stories to read, recounting events in their own childhoods. Three of the stories were true, but one was invented, and involved some sort of traumatic event such as being lost in a strange place.

      After the stories had been read, participants were asked to write down what they remembered about the false story, including the option “I don’t remember this”. About one-third of the participants claimed to remember the events of the false story, and added further details to it. These memories remained intact in about one-quarter of the participants during two follow-up interviews.

      This sort of experiment is not unusual; nor are its results. I think it helps explain how some people can respond to certain psychotherapists who are fixated on things like SRA: a story might be hinted at initially, and then built upon, to the point where the patient fully believes it to be true, and begins contributing details voluntarily.

      As for the term ‘psychotherapist’, it’s pretty much meaningless as a professional designation. Sadly, most people are unaware of this, and think that all psychotherapists are highly trained professionals.

      Anyone who wishes to may call themselves a psychotherapist, no matter how little training or experience they might have. This is quite distinct from psychiatrists (medical doctors who have received training in the treatment of psychological ailments) and psychologists (people who have received their doctorates in psychology, and have been licenced to practice in treatment).

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      • I watched a few of the Loftus videos on YT and prefer her scientific and statistical research approach to psychology than the self reporting psychoanalysis of people such as Sandra Fecht. In fact, Fecht her.

        Memory is one of the most interesting aspects of human psychology. Each persons memories and the constructs determining our emotions/personality, is what separates us as individuals and makes us who we are.

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  7. I was a volunteer appropriate adult for nine years, just so you know, the rules are, a person who is independent, as far as possible, well I went to the police station so many times to see kids who got in trouble, I knew them all by name. What they really mean by independent is, they never witnessed the crime actually happening.

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  8. About the Carol Felstead tragedy.
    I estimate that at least 1000 adult persons – women and men – were “disappeared” from the lives of their families & friends, in North America and the UK, under similar circumstances between 1980 and 2000. At least ONE THOUSAND adults.
    Disturbingly, there have even been stories from Germany and other non-English speaking European countries, with disturbingly tell-tale elements. The young German woman who went missing, only to be found living under another name 30 years later, who didn’t want any of her family to be informed of where she was living or her current name…

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  9. good to see the debunking of SRA getting really very sensible coverage in mainstream media which will actually get widely read

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