On Saturday, 10 February, the Church of England’s 2018 General Synod in central London was attended by a group of survivors of sexual abuse within the Anglican Church. The protesters were joined by bishops, including the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Bishop of York, and the Bishop-Elect of London, who all paused outside Church House for two minutes to reflect on the issue of survivors within the Church.
Since Saturday, we’ve been contacted by several of the protestors, all of whom are angry that their peaceful demonstration was marred and co-opted by two people who were handing out leaflets regarding “baby-eating and Satanists and paedophiles” in Hampstead.
The interlopers were identified as Sabine McNeill—who was pressing her business card on all and sundry—and a young man with dark hair, who stood in the public gallery at one point during Synod and shouted at the bishops about “Satanic abuse”.
Both Sabine and the young man, who matches the description of Jake Clarke, were passing out leaflets to Synod attendees. Sabine and Jake were described as “loudly and aggressively” pushing the Hampstead hoax, which many of the protestors had never heard of. Those who contacted us were offended that their legitimate, peaceful event, which had been months in the planning, had been hijacked by the pair.
“Before we do a demonstration,” one protester said, “we always ring the place to make sure that we’re going to be welcomed….We’ve done this so often, and in such a way, that they bring us out tea and coffee. We’re probably the most civilised and polite protesters they’ve ever seen”.
By contrast, the Hoaxtead promoters’ confrontational approach, and the fact that they appeared to blend in with the legitimate group of protesters, showed the group in a bad light, our informants all said.
“Clearly, they came to disrupt us and put their own crazy message across”, said one. “We’ve been trying to meet Archbishop Welby for years, and he finally meets us…and he sees them instead”.
Of course we know that this is in keeping with the Hoaxtead mobsters’ tactics of disrupting and co-opting the work of genuine survivors in favour of their own conspiranoid beliefs, but for Saturday’s protesters it came as a most unwelcome surprise.
It also raises questions, of course, as to whether Sabine might have been violating either her bail terms or her lifetime restraining order, and if so, what consequences may occur as a result. Only time will tell on that front, but we’ll keep our ears to the ground.