False allegations destroy lives

At the heart of the Hampstead hoax is the fact that two children were forced by their mother and her boyfriend to make multiple false allegations: against their father, their school, their teachers, their friends’ parents, and members of their extended community. Even though these people have all been definitively cleared of any wrongdoing, their names have continued to be bandied about on the internet by those who believe the hoax to be true.

But what’s it really like to wake up one morning and discover that you’ve been accused of some of the most horrific crimes imaginable—murder, child sexual abuse, cannibalism, child trafficking—all on an industrial scale?

Yesterday one of our commentators reminded us of the 1993 Shieldfield nursery scandal, another alleged ‘paedophile ring’ which turned out to be a complete fabrication, but which had a profound, lifelong impact upon the lives of those accused.

In brief, a mother whose child attended a nursery in Shieldfield, Newcastle, became spooked by reports of child sex abuse at another Newcastle nursery, and set off a panic that eventually resulted in 53 children being subjected to medical examinations by one Dr Camille de San Lazaro, who interpreted minor inconsequential findings as evidence of abuse, and suggested to children that they had been ‘hurt’ by someone, even though they had never alleged such a thing.

Arguably, those children were victims of false allegation, but so were two adults: Dawn Reed and Chris Lillie, both of whom were accused of running a paedophile ring. They were cleared in court, and ultimately won maximum payouts in their libel action to clear their names, but as of 11 years after the fact, the emotional scars remained.

In a 2005 article in The Telegraph, Ms Reed said, “Whenever I am reminded of it, I get flashbacks of absolute panic”.

In 1993, Reed was 22 years old, and enjoying her work at the Shieldfield nursery. But a mother, who had read that a worker at another Newcastle nursery had pleaded guilty to abuse, became concerned about her child. In the panic that ensued, 53 children were subjected to examinations that led to the court case, although charges against Reed and Lillie were dropped for lack of evidence.

None the less, Newcastle City Council held an inquiry and the four-member panel, briefed by Lazaro, concluded in 1998 that paedophile activity of a lurid nature had taken place in nearby flats, with rapists dressed as clowns or animals and so on. The Sun invited readers to ring in if they sighted “these fiends”.

Throughout those years, Reed – and Lillie – led the life of the hunted. In prison, on remand for her own safety, she was persecuted. “Someone thrust a lighted cigarette in my face and mop water was thrown in my bath.” She lost her home, her job and her marriage. At one point, she drove to the top of a cliff and contemplated suicide. “It was awful for my family. Can you imagine what it is like for a mother to see her daughter’s face all over the front page?”

For the past year, to a greater or lesser extent, the victims of the Hampstead hoax have lived with the fallout from false allegations—death threats, fears for their children’s safety, online and in-person harassment, and the pervasive sense of dread that comes from not knowing when or where the next attack will occur.

In the Kafkaesque world of the falsely accused, the sense of helplessness that comes from feeling under constant scrutiny for a crime not committed can be overwhelming. In fact, we know that at least one of the accused in Hampstead suffered a complete breakdown, while many others have been fearful of going out in public.

Those who’ve promoted Hoaxtead claim they do so ‘for the children’, despite all the evidence that’s shown the children were victims of their emotionally dead mother and her sadistic boyfriend. While the vast majority of Hoaxtead pushers have quietly drifted away, a small but determined core group of online vigilantes continues to scapegoat their victims, whom they see as ‘over-privileged’ and therefore fair game for attack.

Ultimately, though, those who’ve been attacked will recover and carry on with their lives. And those who continue to attack will have to live with whatever inner demons—envy, paranoia, greed, a compulsive need for attention—motivated them to want to destroy other people’s lives in the first place.hoaxtead bubble

63 thoughts on “False allegations destroy lives

      • Yes, brilliant stuff as usual, EC ! Sadly, I can’t work out how to post direct links on this blog from my mobile, but I recently found an excellent article on this very topic. It’s confined to ludicrous SRA hoaxes that have devastated American lives, largely due to a combination of lunatic fringe psychotherapists and their crucial roles in generating satanic panics among the unbearably deluded over the years. Ellen Lacter and Colin Ross are two of the most notorious offenders. A few wrongfully convicted child care workers have JUST been released from prison(after 2 decades), while others STILL suffer behind bars. Some prominent legal scholars/activists are strongly considering efforts to help exonerate them – really hope they actually follow through. Anyway, if you haven’t yet read it, the excellent online Pacific Standard is called “Conviction of Things Not Seen: The Uniquely American Myth of Satanic Cults” (how quack psychology helped pundits invent the Satanic Panic of the 80s/90s). Well worth the google/ read. I do take issue with its title (I’d replace ‘Uniquely American’ with ‘Uniquely Anglo-Saxon’), and really wish they’d cover examples of the calamitous trend in the UK, Canada, Australia, etc. as well…

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  1. I’ve been reading about the doctor involved in the Shieldfield nursery shenanigans. Makes you wonder how far a doctor would have to go to be ‘struck off’ doesn’t it.

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    • Fascinating article, DG–it sounds like the paedo-hunters in these cases are determined to prove their prey’s guilt no matter what, and if that involves lying, so be it. It’s simply mob justice, and that’s never worked out well.

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  2. It’s one of the things I find so appalling about these cultist abusers- McNeill, Belinda McKenzie, Angela Power Disney, Neelu Berry (who arguably needs psychiatric help) etc. They take the high moral ground yet falsely accuse innocents in the most vicious nasty fashion destroying lives in the process.

    I do hope I live long enough for these children to become young adults and watch them drag these creeps into court for the shocking way they have exposed their images to the world. We can only imagine what sort of humiliations they will receive in the future. Hopefully they are now protected from the media but they will see all this stuff in the future.

    It’s why I am also so angry about the Oz Satan hunter creature now falsely accusing all & sundry including former respected political figures. i know for a fact the grandson of one she has relentlessly attacked aided by all the internet names we know of who promote this stuff – was bullied and harassed by his school mates who mocked him as the ‘grandson of a pedo’. The family have moved him form the school he was formerly so happy at.

    These disgusting false accusers demonstrate not a scintilla of thought for the consequences of their actions, just bask in their admirer’s compliments. And the law has been very slack at catching up with the new way of destroying lives on the Internet. How many politicians must be accused before they react?

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    • Yes, the families and friends of the falsely accused can suffer just as much as the accused. False accusation is like a cancer that spreads and grows, and its effects are felt by many.

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  3. McNeill has dubious standards, when it suits her she will happily associate and communicate with anyone. That is irrespective of their proven history or proven associations with others who have a history of sex crimes.

    By “proven” I refer to people who have been convicted in court of sex crimes, rather than conviction just by hearsay or rumour (or worse than that – because Sabine said someone did something then they must have done it as she always is right)

    Sadly the likes of Mcneill and McKenzie only ever think of what they can get out any situation, rather than really helping people

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    • And this, SV, is EXACTLY why both the law and professional ethics prevent the naming of children that are involved in a court case AND the naming of any person alleged to have been the victim of a sex crime.

      Those ethics extend across journalism, advocacy, social work, care and support services etc. – It’s not a question of personal belief anymore than some random individual has the right to dictate to others what they must eat or break into a stranger’s house and redecorate because they don’t like the wallpaper. – It’s a question of victim protection, victim’s rights.

      Ignorance is no defence to stealing that protection. And not even a reason where those who lay false claim to expertise are concerned.

      My stomach churns at the sheer hypocrisy of this raggle-taggle crew of crones, failures. and con-artists. They inflict their evil on others, yet watch them squirm when they’re brought to book.

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      • I find it ironic that Belinda, Sabine, Angela, et al. are so obsessed with the ‘secrecy’ of the family courts, as though this is either a new, or a negative, development. As you say, this confidentiality has been put in place to protect the rights of those who cannot defend themselves.

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        • Well it’s really not secrecy at all – it’s privacy. And these courts are no-less accountable than any other. All that is required to understand the need for this is a little study. The same goes for the wider standing reporting restrictions that exist. – Even where these are not mandatory they are almost-never disregarded for the simple reason they are understood by those with a legitimate interest in these matters.

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  4. I wonder if McNeill will feel her own nightmare when she realises that the various videos that have been posted over the years on the internet contain a lot of evidence that demonstrates that her claim for DLA was fraudulent – she clearly had much greater mobility than she claimed.

    No doubt the videos will start to be deleted, but at least there are many copies!!

    To have continued to get DLA after 65 (Mckenzie claimed McNeils DLA was stopped last year) she would have been claiming DLA for at least 6 years. If we assume that she got approximately £25 per week (the lower rate of mobility) over that period she would have received at least £7800

    From the CPS guidelines (Sentencing)

    Fraudulent from the outset, and either fraud carried out over a significant period of time or multiple frauds

    £5-20K SP £20K – Start Point (SP): 12 weeks. Range: CO (High) – 12 months

    So potentially at least 12 weeks prison for such a benefits fraud – with her being “disabled” that would seem to rule out a community work order.

    Also she would be paying back the overpayment – presumably just a few pounds per week – but she would have to pay it back.

    Now of course it could be that she was not really getting DLA and it was just something designed to elicit sympathy (and presumably “donations”)

    Sabine has caused a lot of innocent people to suffer – including (as SV says) P and Q, potentially for the rest of their lives due to her actions and the frenzy she helped stir on the internet

    In essence she acted as Judge, jury and sentencer

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  5. Another one who gives false information on his Web site is Chris Wittwer. I’ve looked at his Web site and it’s full of lies and miss information. He has also made dubious claimes he was abused as a child, he gives false information about the Elms Guest House, and Dolphin Square. There is a story on there about a woman and a baby on a bus. Who the he’ll is he to judge, if this woman is an abuser or if she’s mentally ill. He has convictions for violence. He is also a proven liar.

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    • You might be interested in this article by Keelan Balderson of WideShut: http://wideshut.co.uk/the-story-of-chris-a-critique-of-naming-and-shaming-paedophiles/

      I don’t know Mr Wittwer, but I’d offer the same caution that I’d offer anyone who presumes to become a vigilante ‘paedo-hunter’: What if you’re wrong? What if you’re destroying someone’s life based on incorrect information?

      As Danielle George points out in the article she links above, this is more common than one might think.

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      • Yes, EC. Chris Wittwer once named a convicted paedophile and posted his address online. The paedophile’s wife had completely disowned her husband and he was no longer at that address. Her windows were being smashed, the family car parked outside her house vandalized etc., yet when she contacted Chris Wittwer to tell him that she had nothing to do with her husband now and inform him he no longer lived at that address and request he remove her address from his site, Chris Wittwer refused and told her he would only remove the address if she provided her husband’s new address (which she didn’t know.) That’s tantamount to blackmail. The poor woman had suffered enough but Mr Wittwer didn’t seem to care.

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  6. One thing which seems apparent is that his site seems to only name those who HAVE BEEN CONVICTED in a Court of law or CAUTIONED, to be eligible for a caution they would have signed to confirm that they were guilty of the offence..

    I could not see any who are simply accused and then suffer trial by Internet.

    http://theukdatabase.com/

    I can understand those in his list not being happy with him, but that’s to be expected.

    What evidence is there of him being a liar? And as Babs says – what lies has he told?

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    • He’s a vigilante. They are always dangerous & highly suspect as to their motives. Vigilantes fixated on pedophilia are not to be trusted under any circumstances.

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    • It could be argued that keeping a record of the names of convicted people is legitimate; but I believe there have been problems with the addresses in the database i.e. people who buy the property after the offender has left have had to deal with hate mail and vandalism.

      Personally I think it does risk encouraging vigilantism. You also have to think that offenders often have families whose names get dragged into these reports.

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    • Your use of capitals is telling. Apparently you haven’t heard of the European Right to be Forgotten. All people who have been convicted and served their sentence are entitled to re-enter society having done their penance without knuckle dragging sociopath football hooligans indulging in their sick fantasies of being a vigilante. .

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  7. Sabine McNeil seems to fail to promote any legitimate drive to rid child abuse. If she did then she would have tweeted this today

    But then that charity provides no money to her or Belinder

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  8. Oh dear some C.W. Supporters, like the time he beat up an innocent man and told everyone the innocent man was a paedophile, like the money he scammed off people, like putting innocent survivor’s on his page, like stealing his abuse story from some one else, and like I said putting false information on his site about the Elms Guest House and Dolphin Square. And you see naming and shaming paedophiles, well they have families, they have kids, who go to school with other kids, and the story of the woman on the bus, who tried to take another woman’s baby, is mentally ill, she doesn’t need her name and picture all over the place, she needs help. There is a he’ll of a lot of misinformation on his site.

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    • Yes the families of the accused or convicted are forgotten in all this. We have courts and the law to deal with miscreants. People like Wittwer are child abusers just as Sabine McNeil and Belinda McKenzie are child abusers. They abuse the children of convicted people without a thought of the repercussions

      The law does not set-up databases about the accused for public viewing. The law very deliberately confidentially monitors those who are on sex offender databases for very good policing reasons.

      Personally I would tar & feather the likes of Chris Wittwer & Sabine McNeill and his supporters and probably take a horse whip to them as I ran them out of town. At the very least I’d like a team of shrinks to delve into their minds to uncover why they are so fixated on child abuse. But then I’m old fashioned.

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  9. I’m not a CW supporter, just a few observations after looking at his site

    Who was the innocent man he beat up – was he charged with it, if not why not? Any news articles about it?

    What money has he scammed off people? Is their any evidence that someone like myself (who does not know him from adam) can look at – a newspaper report perhaps?

    What is the Elms Guest House and Dolphin Square. What exactly is the story of “The lady on the bus”

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    • Thanks for the links (or rather a lack of them) – I do see CW has been convicted of violence (I found that for myself), but the rest seems speculative, I struggle to find hard evidence to support what you have stated.. You have made statements with regards him (lets just get one thing very straight – I don’t know CW, so I’m not specifically defending him) What I asked for in my reply comment to your post, was something to support what you had claimed. If we can’t quantify or support with documentary evidence whats claimed then anyone of us is in danger of .being guilty of the very thing that most on this site try to achieve – that is stopping false allegations.

      I do keep an open mind and would not judge the motives behind his websites one way or the other. The title of this thread is FALSE ALLEGATIONS DESTROY LIVES, if anyone does not stop and examine hard evidence then surely that is no better than people.such as Mcneill and McKenzie.

      Lets be blunt – the hoax which is behind the very reason that this site came into existence was not supported by any evidence. This site has done a good job in exposing that hoax as what it is. I have no doubt that the hoax did in fact do a great deal of harm to a number of people.

      Hopefully certain elements will be examined in a Court and the damage recognised and responded to by both the Criminal Justice system and Civil litigation

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  10. If Belinda and Sabine did have to serve a prison sentence, does anyone think that would be enough to stop them from carrying out more scams in the future or are they in this for the long haul?

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    • Good question, AF: I tend to think that if Sabine were sent to prison, she’d continue squealing and squawking about how hard done by she was, and how she happens to be in chronic pain, etc., etc., etc….and she’d have supporters on the outside, at least for a while, until the next bright and shiny thing came along. (Oh, except Ed De Boer, who seems to have a deep and abiding passion for her.)

      As for Belinda, she hasn’t been charged with any offence that I know of, She’s very scrupulously kept herself about an inch to the right of the law, to avoid any unpleasantness. However, given her performance when Sabine was actually arrested, I’d tend to think she’d simply smile and move on if her ‘best friend’ were imprisoned.

      Arrest of the Teuton Woman

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    • Sabine McNeill and Belinda McKenzie will never stop whilst they think there is money to be made. They will need to be monitored on a permanent basis so they have no chance to create another Hampstead.

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  11. I don’t think Robert Green ever made any money, from what he did, bit it never shut him up, or doing what he did, until he was threatened with another prison sentence or plead guilty, so he pled guilty and slipped quietly away.

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    • No – Robert Green didn’t get the payday he expected. That’s only because he was legally ‘shut down’ at his last trial. And that, in turn, is because the courts were wise to him manipulating the system so that he would become a ‘martyr’ on the conspiritainment circuit. At that point he became of no further use to McKenzie, who had run his campaign. And she stopped fluttering her eyelashes at him! However his ego was – and continues to be – well fed.

      The more dishonest and disturbed of his ‘crew’ though continue on their demented pace, having turned the ‘story’ towards political goals. – And are quite happy to lie through their teeth in their desperate attempts to discredit certain individuals who they couldn’t get to tow the party line. This includes but is not limited to spreading baseless lies about their family situation, attacking their businesses and those of their children etc. What is interesting is that they seem to have no reservations about shielding paedophiles and those who have defended them. – Malcolm Konrad Ogilvy’s demented wittering for instance is HIGHLY selective about what it reports and what it doesn’t. – Even though its entire purpose is to regurgitate reports of paedophilia to ‘excite’ his target audience and, it would seem, themselves. Something similar seems to be true of Wittwer.

      A fair question has already been hinted at – why are people like Ogilvy, Wittwer and others so obscessed with paedophillia? Obviously they have no real input to bringing paedophiles to book. They simply seem to enjoy drooling over the material and revelling in the attention. A common thread with these people being their obsession viewing stats and promoting a ‘my blog’s bigger than your blog’ mentality. – Are they perhaps simply trying to direct the spotlight away from themselves? Or does the attention ‘validate’ their otherwise worthless and unproductive lives? – Convicted drug abusers, people who are banned from contact with their own children, bankrupts, psychiatric cases, football hooligans. Clearly, these are people on the edge of society tilting at others who lead normal, healthy lives. And I’m certainly aware of instances where they are simply projecting their own life-failings onto other people.

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  12. I feel sorry for the other children of Hampstead that have also had there picture’s put online and in video’s by those disgusting people… my heart goes out to all the Hampstead parent’s that are now having to protect there children from this online abuse.

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    • I absolutely agree JW. – The matter is made all the worse by the fact that all those other children should have been protected by the law too. – The mere allegation that someone is the victim of a sex crime, whether baseless or not, is what triggers the right to anonymity. – I’d like to see each and every individual who has broken that law face the consequences.

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  13. Inchambers – yet another well written and very accurate portrayal of the reality of those people. The common denominator seems to be greed, that is either financial or a greedy ego which needs feeding.

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    • Thank you. – In the case of McKenzie, Christie and a the various other ‘feeders’ it does seem to be very much about the money. – It seems to be a feature of these things that the others who obsess over and promote these fanciful tales are without exception very damaged people. And damaged people do tend to crave validation.

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  15. I watched all 20 videos taken by the mother and partner and those of the police. I also read the medical report which confirmed the children’s allegations of sexual abuse. They made for compelling reading and watching. The children continued to repeat the allegations even when they were in foster care – to the extent that the foster carer couldn’t cope and asked the children to be moved. They are now back with their allegedly abusive father, and undoubtedly the abuse will continue. They are not the first and probably not the last to make such allegations.

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    • Hi Sucheta

      Thanks for taking a break from your “Arab-bashing” on Facebook to share your insights into this complex case.

      And wow, what a cliché-ridden slice of selective reading! You’ve jumped back over a year to when the claims you make were de rigueur among the Hoaxtead Fruitcake Brigade, you’ve ignored all the evidence that doesn’t suit your questionable agenda, you’ve seen what you want to see and you’ve publicly libelled an innocent man and loving father whose life has already been turned upside down by your beloved hate group.

      “I also read the medical report which confirmed the children’s allegations of sexual abuse. They made for compelling reading and watching…”

      Really? Which part confirmed that? Dr. Hodes stated that it was a possibility and was later discredited by both Justice Pauffley and independent medical experts. Moreover, Hodes did not attribute any possible abuse to specific perpetrators. In fact, the prevailing evidence is that Abraham Christie (with his 37 previous convictions that you’ve inexplicably elected to overlook) was the main abuser. The children said so themselves in the part of the videos you decided to ignore and it’s why Abe is wanted by the Police (as is Ella) and currently hiding out abroad. Even the majority of people who believe/promote this hoax have turned their back on Abraham and admitted there is something very wrong with him. Quite why you didn’t mention him in your rant isn’t clear.

      “…to the extent that the foster carer couldn’t cope and asked the children to be moved…The children continued to repeat the allegations even when they were in foster care”

      Really?! You have proof of this? Not even your fellow hoaxers have made such claims! Come on, buddy – what do you know that the rest of us don’t? We’re all ears. Oh and pssst: the children actually retracted their allegations prior to being put into care. They categorically stated that they’d been forced to lie to the Police by convicted criminal Abraham and described in vivid detail how he repeatedly beat, tortured and threatened them and forced them to lie. You did say you watched the videos, right? I guess you fell asleep during those bits, huh? Oh and by the way, Abraham has repeatedly admitted to beating the children, in case you were wondering.

      “They are now back with their allegedly abusive father…”

      Quack quack oops! Wrong on two levels.

      Firstly, you don’t know where or with whom the children are currently residing. This is a closely guarded secret to protect them from your fellow hoaxers (some of whom were caught planning to abduct them). You really do think you have psychic powers, don’t you? Well, maybe you could put them to good use by helping the Police to track down the child-abusing fugitives Abe and Ella.

      And secondly, you have absolutely no evidence whatsoever that the father has abused the children in any way, shape or form. There is no more evidence against him than there is against you! Actually, now I come to think about it, you do look a bit shifty. It’s all in the eyes, apparently. Seriously, ask your fellow hoaxers. Besides, a retired police officer mate of mine has just conducted a water-dowsing reading and he’s confirmed that you’re definitely guilty😀

      “…and undoubtedly the abuse will continue.”

      Translation: you HOPE the abuse will continue, as that feeds your twisted sexual fantasies and gives you a nice juicy conspiracy to scream about on the ‘interweb’ (as outlined by Justice Pauffley). By contrast, the good folk at Hoaxtead Research are pleased that the children are now safe from their abusers (Abe & Ella).

      “They are not the first and probably not the last to make such allegations.”

      And yet not one person has ever been convicted of satanic ritual abuse in this country. Interesting, huh? Oh wait – it’s not about SRA abuse any more – it’s about MK Ultra mind control carried out by Jews, Masons, MI5 and the Tavistock Institute. Just ask the same proven fraudsters (Abe, Sabine, Belinda, Charlotte et al) whom you’ve happily believed up until now😉

      Anyway, please do come back and show us the proof of your amazing claims, buddy. I look forward to perusing a summary of your research and being proved wrong. Thanks in advance🙂

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    • “They made for compelling reading and watching…”

      SERIOUSLY? “compelling”? – There is, firstly the matter of the material in question being released for the entertainment of the likes of YOU being an absolute abuse of the children’s human rights AND highly illegal! – That you were clearly entertained by the display renders you no different from any other consumer of child pornography. Because that’s EXACTLY what this material amounts to. As does your and others abuse of the medical report to titilate your own sad sick appetites.

      The rest of the rubbish you wrote is not just factually incorrect but derranged to the extent it warrants no further address.

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