Here’s a quick brain-teaser for you: if Crime A were committed in your neighbourhood—let’s say, a group of people decided to form a child sexual abuse ring and sport identifying tattoos—and then, a few years later someone claimed that Crime B, which bore superficial similarities to Crime A, was taking place several miles away in another neighbourhood, would Crime A prove that Crime B had in fact occurred?
To put it more simply, does the existence of one crime prove that the other was true?
If you answered “No! Only an idiot would fall for the association fallacy—and I’m no fool!” then congratulations, you cannot qualify to be a member of the Hoaxtead mob.
Now, could someone please explain this basic logical fallacy to Deborah Mahmoudieh?
Apparently she was browsing through back issues of the Daily Mail and ran across the terrible story of Colin Batley, a disgusting person by all accounts, who decided to found his very own ‘cult’ involving the sexual abuse of children. He started his activities in Shoreditch, but later moved to Kidwelly, a seaside town in Wales, where he and his wife, friends, and neighbours preyed on the young and vulnerable for more than a decade.
In March 2011, Mr Batley was finally convicted of 35 charges of sex offences against children and young adults. His wife Elaine and one of their female followers were each found guilty of five counts including sexual activity and indecency towards children; another female follower was found guilty of two similar charges.
The entire story is sickening.
It’s hard to accept that such people can live amongst us, and worse, that young children can suffer at the hands of these people, sometimes for years, without any authority stepping in and putting an end to their abuse.
However, the story of Mr Batley and his ‘sex-abuse cult’ does not in any way ‘prove’ or even ‘validate’ the Hampstead SRA hoax.
Quite aside from the logical fallacy involved—one event cannot prove the validity of another—there’s the issue of the courts. You see, in the Batley case, the courts found the ‘cult members’ (read: common-or-garden sex abusers) guilty as charged; in Hampstead, the opposite occurred.
The allegations made by RD’s children were quickly discovered to have been fabricated, and as soon as the children felt safe in doing so, they retracted them and said they’d been tortured by Abe Christie into lying about their father, their teachers, their friends and schoolmates, and other community members.
The police conducted an investigation, later validated by the IPCC, which found that none of the persons named were guilty of any of the offences described. A High Court fact-finding hearing reiterated this finding.
And most recently, in the trial of two of the hoax’s most vocal supporters, the defendants’ barristers agreed that the alleged cult in Hampstead had never existed, and that those who had promoted it were “irrational, obsessive, delusional, and odd”. Restraining orders have been issued to prevent the defendants from continuing to harass any of their victims, including RD and his children, any of the students or teachers at the schools named, and any of the four witnesses they’d been accused of intimidating.
So…sorry, Debs. Nice try but no cigar.
The case in Wales was a tragic one. And it had absolutely nothing to do with the hoax in Hampstead, no matter how hard you wish it did.