In yesterday’s post about Angela Power-Disney’s “interview” with Joe van Tonder, we attempted to illustrate the ways in which Angela failed to uphold even the most basic tenets of journalistic technique, not to mention integrity—a strange thing indeed for someone who has claimed that she was once voted “Young Journalist of the Year”.
This is not exactly new behaviour for Angie: long-time readers will no doubt recall various past interviews in which she has promised the interviewee that she wouldn’t publish…and then went ahead and published anyway. She also has a nasty habit of putting words in people’s mouths, making it appear that they agree with her, and then cutting them off summarily when they don’t play along.
She doesn’t just embellish the truth, she makes up bizarre stories to suit her own purposes; she claims to have received “intel” about Ella Draper’s involvement in strictest confidence, and then turns around and reveals the identities of her “informants”, without a care for their well-being.
Not to mention that time she created havoc in a family court case by sharing in camera court material in a series of Facebook videos. We don’t know whether Angela’s grandiose need for attention contributed to the tragic outcome in that case, but we’re quite certain her behaviour did not help.
Whether one agrees with her
victims interviewees or not, Angela’s video shenanigans bear out what several of our commenters have stated: she is a chronic and pathological liar who uses people for her own ends, then tosses them aside when they’re no longer of use to her.
So when we reviewed the videos Angela had made of her interview with Mr van Tonder, we were not at all surprised to see Angela up to her old tricks: rather than letting him speak for himself, she told the story in her own inimitable way, complete with “child porn”, snuff films, Russian mafia deals gone wrong, and all the usual palaver she has somehow managed to insert into the Hampstead SRA hoax.
When we wrote yesterday’s post, our intention was not to smear Mr van Tonder. We know little about him, other than the fact that he seems to be involved in assisting litigants in person, and that he has an interest in the area of parental alienation.
By the end of the four videos we knew little more. In her usual style, Angela managed to grab all the airtime; when Mr van Tonder disagreed with her, she talked over him or simply contradicted him and inserted her own version of the story. In our coverage yesterday, we tried to make this clear, but it seems we missed the mark.
Setting the record straight
In the interest of setting the record straight, we would like to emphasise that nowhere in the four videos does Mr van Tonder state that he believes in the Hampstead SRA hoax. In fact, when the story broke three years ago, he posted the following on his Facebook page:
He was clearly looking at the hoax through the lens of parental alienation, and what he saw was a “pathogenic” mother doing her best to alienate her children from her ex-partner. In the interview with Angela, nothing he says contradicts this first impression.
During the interview, in fact, he makes the point that Angela’s fairy-tale about the tunnels between the school and the church in Hampstead cannot be true, as it would require the use of 200-year-old techniques and materials, an impossibility today. He also implies that the children were coached by Abraham and Ella, though again, Angela takes issue and attempts to drown him out.
While Angela goes on at some length about alleged child sexual abuse videos featuring RD’s children having been released on the dark web, Mr van Tonder says nothing about having seen such a thing. It later comes out that much of what he states about the case, he has gleaned from documentation he’s received.
He does state that Ella’s first legal team sacked her (and not vice versa) because they could “see through her”—that is, they could see that she was making false allegations against her ex-partner. However, as with everything he says which Angela dislikes, she quickly changes the subject and moves along.
We’re not really sure what to make of the assertion that the children’s fingernail lengths indicate that their abuse at the hands of Abe and Ella went on longer than originally believed, but again, Mr van Tonder is not stating that anyone in Hampstead abused the children; he lays the blame squarely where it belongs, with Abraham and Ella.
Why the pile-on?
When we published yesterday’s post, our intent was not to smear Mr van Tonder. Frankly, we see him as one of Angela’s many victims.
While it’s obvious to anyone who’s followed the Hampstead hoax for any length of time that Angela is, as Rupert stated in court, a “dangerous” and “not nice” person, many of our readers have also noted her ability to use honeyed words and false sympathy to lure the unsuspecting into her bizarre web of fantasy and delusion. It’s something of a speciality with her.
And while not everyone might agree with everything Mr van Tonder says or does—it is, after all, every person’s right to hold an opinion—we think it’s a bit unfair to blame him for Angela’s sins. Granted, he could have looked into her background a bit more carefully before agreeing to be interviewed. It’s fairly clear by the end of the fourth video that he realises she’s put him into an untenable position:
Angie: Something didn’t add up. So you asked for clarification and it was not satisfactory. So then you recommended and passed it on to three other experts.
Angie: Are you at liberty to give me their names?
Joe: Uuuuuuhm, I’m…uh, preferably not….
Angie: Will you do it for me off the record? Because I’d like to meet them…
Joe: Uhhh, off, um…
Angie: Will you try to facilitate for me to talk to them?
Joe: Preferably not, I’ll tell you why. Because these people are permanently in court, they work with…
Angie: So they’re ongoing international experts…
Angie: But you said to me…
Joe: One of their names has just been published [unintelligible] which there will be a big conference in London where she will be speaking.
Angie: Right, so my question to you…[interrupts]…we’ll finish now, because I’m so grateful. My request to you is that off the record, you facilitate connecting me with those people.
Angie: Okay, thank you so much.
He stonewalls, and she ends the interview in a bit of a huff.
To us, it’s clear that Mr van Tonder has sussed out the sort of person he’s dealing with, and has decided not to play along…and frankly, more power to him.
So in yesterday’s Comments section, we were somewhat taken aback at the approach many of our readers took toward him. In our opinion, Mr van Tonder is more sinned against than sinning: throughout the interview, he attempted to put forth his view that Ella and Abraham abused the children, that the children were coached, and that Ella was attempting to alienate them from their father.
Yesterday’s comments became quite heated, and while we think it perfectly appropriate for our readers to ask Mr van Tonder for explanations of certain things, we don’t see any reason to have engaged in the group pile-on which occurred.
Yes, it was probably a mistake for him to allow himself to be interviewed by Angela. As most people who engage with her find, she rarely has a positive impact on others’ lives.
But perhaps he had his own reasons for doing the interview; it’s even possible that he believed he could bring her round to his viewpoint on the Hampstead hoax. It’s quite likely, as Maureen Martin pointed out, that he was not aware he was being recorded. Even if he was aware and objected to her publishing it, we’ve all seen Angela flout her interviewees’ wishes in that respect.
Mr van Tonder’s mistake, it seems, was in assuming that Angela was sincerely asking for his expertise, rather than attempting to use him as yet another pawn in her nasty game of self-aggrandisement.
In any case, it’s a pity that the conversation turned sour yesterday, as it might have been interesting to hear Mr van Tonder’s side of things. We regret that this opportunity now seems to have been lost.