Updating the FAQ: Promoters of the hoax

In our continuing quest to integrate evidence from Sabine McNeill’s 2018 trial into this blog’s FAQ, yesterday we began to revise and update the page where we introduce those who helped to promote the Hampstead SRA hoax.

Today we’ll look at those who became involved prior to the release of the videos on 2 February 2015. In our next instalment, we’ll examine those who promoted the hoax once it was under way.

As always, if readers find we’ve been unclear or have left anything important out, please let us know!

Frequently asked questions:
Early Hampstead hoax promoters

For an overview of how the hoax began, please see Frequently asked questions: The hoax timeline.

The Hampstead SRA hoax was originally conceived by Ella Gareeva Draper and Abraham Jemal Christie during the summer of 2014. This section of the FAQ will look at the main players who helped promote the hoax during its first few weeks online; the next will look at some of those who helped to keep it in the public eye.

If you are looking for further information about Draper and Christie, check out Frequently asked questions: The mother and her boyfriend.

1.    Who was involved in the hoax before it went public?

Bill Maloney, Brian Gerrish, and Araya Soma

In the earliest stages of the hoax, Draper and Christie attempted to interest Brian Gerrish of UK Column and Bill Maloney, co-owner with his wife of Pie’n’Mash Films, a small online video company.

Christie’s friend Araya Soma (real name: Laurence Lavie), a conspiracy-minded faux-hippy from Glastonbury, attempted to facilitate meetings with Maloney and Gerrish, and was only partially successful: while she complained that Maloney ducked her overtures, Gerrish has since confirmed that he spoke to the young boy on the phone at some length.

On 11 September 2014, Draper and Christie emailed Gerrish with a “laundry list” of allegations of sexual abuse, murder, and cannibalism. Gerrish forwarded the email to Maloney, who sent it to his friend Jonathan Wedger, a London police officer with ties to the conspiracy community, who sent it to one of his police contacts. The email ended up on the desk of DC Steve Martin, and helped confirm police suspicions that Draper and Christie were planning to use the children’s forced allegations as a publicity gimmick of some sort.

Gerrish would only really jump on the Hampstead hoax bandwagon in February 2015, after Sabine had leaked the videos and list of alleged cult members. By that time, it had become the story of the moment on the conspiracy internet circuit. If Gerrish had ignored it at that point, he would have looked woefully out of touch.

Maloney, for his part, did show up at one of the protests outside Christ Church in March 2015, but his interest in the case seemed to fade quickly, and he has said little about it since then.

Finn Hagan

Another person with Glastonbury connections, Finnbarr Hagan, visited Christie, Draper, and the children in Hampstead in September 2014. Christie would later identify Hagan as an envoy for Gerrish.

On 8 September, Hagan recorded conversations with the children. He also recorded an audio conversation with Christie in which Christie was clearly agitated because one of the police officers involved in investigating the children’s stories knew that he had previously assaulted his own son. That officer was DC Steve Martin.

Somehow, Hagan’s videos made their way to Christie and Draper, who would give copies to Sabine McNeill. She would ultimately ensure that they were posted online, where, as she predicted, they went viral.

Sabine McNeill

In November 2014, having received a phone call from Draper asking for her help since she had sacked her legal team, Sabine McNeill became involved as Draper’s McKenzie friend.

McNeill is currently serving a nine-year prison sentence for four counts of stalking and six counts of breaching a restraining order.

A former computer programmer who holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and computing, McNeill is a prolific blogger—with more than 30 blogs to her name—and expert in the uses of social media.

Testifying at her November–December 2018 trial, she claimed that she did not recall the exact date of her first meeting with Draper about the Hampstead matter, but she has previously stated that she first heard from Draper on 14 November 2014.

Following Draper’s call, McNeill invited Draper to come and see her. McNeill has previously stated that she knew Draper prior to May 2014, though the context for their acquaintance is unclear.

Draper said she wanted her children returned from protective custody, where they had been place after admitting to police that Christie had been beating them.

McNeill and her colleague Belinda McKenzie (the surname is coincidental) ran an organisation called The Association of McKenzie Friends, and had been involved in previous attempts to have other children returned by the courts to their abusive, neglectful, or mentally ill parents. They had never won a case, a fact which they continue to blame on the evil “secret family courts”.

McNeill and McKenzie became involved in Draper’s case, accompanying her to hearings and helping her file paperwork.

On 14 November 2014—the same day she claims to have first heard from Draper—McNeill created a Dropbox file in which she posted her own edited version of Draper’s original “witness statement” naming the children, parents, teachers, clergy, and businesses. During McNeill’s trial, it emerged that this list had not come from the two children, as claimed, but was a direct copy of the previous year’s class list, complete with identical errors.

According to Sabine’s own “timeline”, as posted on Ken Adachi’s website, Educate Yourself, Sabine originally identified 14 November as the date on which she was

(c)ontacted by Russian mother of two, then 8 and 9-year-old children, taken into care by Barnet Police on September 11, 2014 allowing contact with father whom they accused of being the leader of a ‘strange culture’ at a church and school in Hampstead, London.

Also on 14 November, a witness has stated that McNeill convened a meeting of people with whom she’d worked in the past, including Meirion Bowen, Yolande Lindridge, and Mary Rooney. They met at the London offices of solicitor Caroline Newman, and according to one person who attended, “[Sabine] excitedly broke the news that she had met up with Ella Draper and that she had taken on Ella’s case”. Also invited to that meeting were Belinda McKenzie and Ian Josephs, though it is not clear whether they attended.

Belinda McKenzie

McKenzie has a long history of involvement in conspiracy-related activities, and at one time her home in Highgate was known as the “Highgate hub”, as it was a well-known meeting place (and sometimes refuge) for those involved in various fringe beliefs. Her involvement in a now-dissolved charity, Iran Aid, left more questions than answers, and her “Knight Foundation”, named for the registered sex offender involved in its inception, turned out not to be a charity at all.

McKenzie’s early involvement in the Hampstead hoax seems to have revolved around her acting as Draper’s McKenzie friend, but once the hoax went public, she would take a more active role.

Charlotte Ward

Both McNeill and McKenzie have cultivated many contacts in the online conspiracy community over the years. One such woman, Charlotte Alton Ward, was a tenant in Belinda’s house in Highgate at least until 2012, and played a supporting role in some of their campaigns, including the Hollie Greig hoax in Scotland and the Musa child abuse trial.

Ward previously ran a blog called Conspirituality, based upon a word she and university professor Dr David Voas invented. Roughly translated, it conflates conspiracy theories and spirituality. They wrote a paper about it in 2011, of which Ward was inordinately proud; she and Dr Voas made a presentation on the topic of ‘conspirituality’ at a conference on religious studies in 2012.

Despite her evident pride in her ‘academic’ work, in November 2014, Ward unceremoniously removed her Conspirituality blog from the internet. There is no obvious reason for this decision, as the blog’s domain name was paid up until November 2015, according to DNS records.

On 14 November 2014, Ward adopted the online name ‘Jacqui Farmer’ (a play on her boyfriend Jacco De Boer’s name). On that date, ‘Jacqui Farmer’ self-published an e-book, Illuminati Party, allegedly an autobiographical work. She used the book to cement her bona fides within the conspiracy community, while keeping her identity hidden.

In all her online material, Ward/Farmer would disclaim any relationship to any of the parties involved in the hoax, including McNeill and McKenzie. This was quite clearly a lie.

To be continued….

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

28 thoughts on “Updating the FAQ: Promoters of the hoax

  1. The very notion that grown adults with no knowledge of the accused listen to recordings of small children discussing sex is disturbing. I admit I began to view one video some years ago of one of the children being interviewed but quickly turned off and never returned as it felt like a terrible invasion of their privacy. As for non-professionals “interviewing” children about their alleged sex abuse, this is just sick.

    And I had no idea Wedger was involved at such an early stage which puts his attacks on this website very suspect.


  2. The very notion that grown adults with no knowledge of the accused listen to recordings of small children discussing sex is disturbing. I admit I began to view one video some years ago of one of the children being interviewed but quickly turned off and never returned as it felt like a terrible invasion of their privacy. As for non-professionals “interviewing” children about their alleged sex abuse, this is just sick.

    And I had no idea Wedger was involved at such an early stage which puts his attacks on this website very suspect.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, we’ve talked about Wedger’s early involvement before, but there’s so much information on this blog it can be hard to keep it all in mind. From time to time even I have to be reminded of stuff I’ve previously covered! That’s why I think it’s so crucial to have an up-to-date FAQ where people can go to review the basics of the case.


    • Me too.
      This is of course the building where I have worked in since 1953 where I started as a very humble Broom Assistant (Second Class) and rose over the decades to the lofty heights of Mop & Broom Manageress, Executive Floor.
      Along the way, as is well known, I was also able to finally decipher Germany’s Enigma Machine (captured by my close friend Cate Blanchett who posed as a Hollywood actress in a movie) when I finally convinced 47 of Britain’s greatest scientific minds that the Quantum Language of the Universe was the trick here ( readers may recall this was revealed in the popular documentary Quantum of Solace).

      By the way anowlcalledsage, I doubt you ever realized that “Doris” was actually Sir Roderick Upton Snodsbury who retired as GCHQ Director in 1968 and so-loved the place he returned each day to wheel that tea trolley in his late wife’s wardrobe which we always said was one of the most touching tributes a lover could display although some unkind souls claimed Mrs Upton Snodsbury was actually still alive and had run of with a Spanish waiter she met when she & Sir Roderick were on assignment in Puerto Rico and Sir Roderick attended a rather dubious nightclub called The Lion’s Den on secret business and held numerous “interviews” with a lot of very manly Latin men in his separate hotel suite. Well who could blame Lady Upton Snodsbury?. All work and no play etc.

      Mind you it was never “GCHQ” to me, rather “Broadmoor Hospital high-security psychiatric hospital” was our cover story but I still can’t understand why I haven’t been able to leave even though I retired over 20 years ago. And is it normal to handcuff a Housemaid ( Class One) when she has visitors?

      Liked by 3 people

  3. I wonder if ole Laurence Lavie ever got taken to court for that drugs offence she was wanted for? Nothing in the news so p’raps it got dropped.

    Excellent post EC. Thanks for the memories.

    Liked by 1 person

    • After originally being reported in the Central Somerset Gazette, it all went silent. I’m assuming the charges were reduced or dropped. She was keeping a low profile until recently when she started attending our local council meetings here in Glastonbury and annoying all and sundry about 5g phones and smart meters. Local councillors have been informed about her vile anti-semitic and anti-LGBT views. Flat earth, 5g, and smart meters are her latest bandwagon, I think she’s had her fingers burned on Hampstead.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. It’s good to have everything updated for anybody looking for the truth instead of the lies & sly innuendos from people who have their own twisted agendas.

    I sometimes refer back here to find the facts, (yes facts, not fiction Andy Scamedy). I still find posts that I have missed & enjoy Scarlett’s early responses, more, more! 😀

    The meeting at RJC should be funny today, exam cheater & a deluded follower were to meet with Neelu, Lee Cant, some strange bloke that seems to love woodchippers, who incidentally Devine defends for the strange & violent ‘sayings’. Then again, from a bloke that cheated on his exams, stole a friend’s work & put it in as his & laughs about it in a live, what can one expect!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Must have been an Application Without Notice. I can’t find anything on Courtserve that features these clowns.

      Liked by 2 people

      • From looking at his lives it was an informal meeting between some of them. Neelu went in to file something. Lee Cant decided that the UK does not know it’s been immigration laws & spoke a whole load of bunkum about why Wanoa was refused entry. Andy Devine assured his live audience that Lee Cant will be able to do something but I don’t know what. Spiderman came late, Edward Ellis was a no show & nobody mentioned Woody Woodpecker. A great waste of a day for them all.

        Liked by 1 person

        • He said it ! He said it ! :
          “you can’t force a fiction onto a fact so to say..when you become a..the larger the fact the more it will expose the fiction”.
          No idea what it means but it sort of made my day.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Undoubtedly! The ‘flag’ that gives a free pass everywhere in the World was hung on the railings outside the court while Devine furtively filmed it from the other side of the road, (it must not be activated yet with Devine once again forking out for Wanoa’s travels & luggage last week).

            He wondered how long it would stay up, I think he is looking for volunteers to check it each day & keep it clean. Don’t everyone volunteer at once now, but get in quick! Think of the benefits! It could be turned into britches, a dress or even a curtain which one faithful/deluded follower is doing with hers…….


  5. Judging by Cat Scot’s Twitter page today, she has a strange interpretation of “I completely ignore Hoaxtead”. Still, at least trolling us has given her something interesting to do whilst on holiday with her children 🙄

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Have I misunderstood this or is Fake King John claiming that all knife crime is committed by Pakistanis? The feckin’ eejit…

    Liked by 1 person

      • He does realise that to the ‘white fellas’ like the so called ‘Tommy Robinson’ that would love to deport the ‘pakis’ and every other non white from the UK, he looks suspiciously like one of those that should be deported right?

        Liked by 2 people

    • Sorry dude, a foreign fraudster who was refused entry to the UK does not get to have an opinion on the UK “deporting” its own citizens.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Some of the lives are short, after listening to them I now realise that when I go looking for flat stones it’s not so strange after all. I graduated from looking for hair on the palms of my hands. Hey ho, keep smiling!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Pingback: Promoters of the hoax, part 2 | HOAXTEAD RESEARCH

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