While the basics of the hoax are relatively straightforward—an embittered and angry mother and her new boyfriend decide to cut her children’s father out of their lives forever by alleging that he sexually abused the children.
While they’re at it they decide to trash a school community they felt had offended them.
What makes this hoax different is the way in which it was conceived, constructed, and marketed to a particular audience. In this FAQ we’ll attempt to reconstruct what happened, who was involved, and why it played out as it did.
1. Aside from Abraham Christie and Ella Draper, who was involved in promoting the hoax?
In the beginning, the core team consisted of Belinda McKenzie and Sabine McNeill, who run an organisation called the Association of McKenzie Friends. They had worked together in the past on various other projects involving the family courts, but most recently before the Hampstead SRA hoax began they had both been involved in promoting the Hollie Greig hoax in Scotland.
Sabine herself has admitted that she knew Ella prior to May 2014, through their shared interest in yoga and nutrition. We know that Ella met her new boyfriend, Abe, at a raw foods event in that month. There has been speculation that Ella was introduced to Abe by Sabine, but we have been unable to find any evidence to confirm this.
Both Sabine and Belinda have cultivated many contacts in the online ‘truther’ community over the years. One such woman, Charlotte Alton Ward, had been a tenant in Belinda’s house in Highgate. She claims to have witnessed (and wished to help with) the eviction of Declan and Lola Heavey in March 2013. Lola has detailed their experiences with Belinda elsewhere.
Charlotte 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 Charlotte 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, Charlotte 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.
In November 2014, Charlotte Ward adopted the online name ‘Jacqui Farmer’ (a play on her boyfriend Jacco De Boer’s name). During that month, ‘Jacqui Farmer’ self-published her (really badly written) e-book, Illuminati Party, allegedly an autobiographical work. In effect, Charlotte completely changed her online identity, and used the book to cement her bona fides within the ‘truther’ community.
We believe that Belinda recruited Charlotte to help publicise the Hampstead SRA hoax, and that this shift in identity was done deliberately, enabling Charlotte to operate under cover of her new name.
On her three YouTube channels, Charlotte had released multiple videos on the topic of ‘conspirituality’ and how it is taking over the world (she makes this astounding leap of logic based on Google search statistics about the term ‘conspiracy’). We think it’s likely that she needed to change her name, and electronically disguise her voice, in order to avoid identification—and to keep people from discovering her long-standing relationship with Belinda and Sabine.
2. The videos of the children were released in February 2015. Is that when the hoax started?
We would argue that it began much earlier than that.
On 11 September 2014, the day the children became subjects of a Police Protection Order and were removed from Ella’s care, Abe and Ella emailed Brian Gerrish of the UK Column, in hopes that he would pick up the case and help them with publicity:Abe also tried to pull his friend Bill Maloney into the hoax at this point, but apparently this didn’t work out as planned. Abe expressed indignation that Maloney wouldn’t play along, and later turned on both Gerrish and Maloney, denouncing them as “shills”.
It seems odd that at a time when the children have been taken into protective custody, Abe and Ella are thinking more about how to publicise their case online than about how to have the children returned to them. While their efforts to involve Gerrish and Maloney failed, we think it was the first attempt to put the hoax into operation.
Remember, remember, 14 November!
The next steps occurred on 14 November 2014.
That was the date when Sabine created a Dropbox file in which she posted Ella’s original “witness statement” naming the children, parents, teachers, clergy, and businesses in Hampstead that she and Abe wished to target:
Oddly enough, Ella did not actually fire her legal team until December 2014, which makes Sabine’s Dropbox post look premature. Why would Sabine bother doing all this prep work, unless she knew she was about to take over the case?
In fact, if you look at 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 [custody] 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;
We find it very strange that on the same day she was first contacted by Ella, Sabine would have her detailed “witness statement” ready to post to her Dropbox.
14 November is also the date when Charlotte Ward self-published her Illuminati Party e-book, officially beginning her new life as “Jacqui Farmer”:
Hoax planning started much earlier
However, there is reason to suspect that the hoax had been in the planning stages since May/June 2014.
On 8 June, 2014, Belinda McKenzie published the following call to arms on her blog:
After hitting a low point last month, financially that is to say I’m happy to report that I’m back in the saddle, thanks to the great generosity of a dozen supporters who between them have enabled me to continue to make trips up to Scotland in the coming few weeks – YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE and I’m exceedingly grateful to you, you’ll certainly be on the Roll of Honour when this fight is concluded and hopefully successful!
Not a moment too soon as the really active part of the Battle, what I call my ‘Special Operation’ is about to commence. I mentioned this a few weeks back and asked for volunteers willing to allow me to inform you & hopefully enlist you VIA YOUR POSTAL ADDRESS – maybe that was the problem, I didn’t at the time give my my postal address? so here it is 83 PRIORY GARDENS LONDON N6 5QU.
So drop me a line and all will be revealed, as long as I’m satisfied that is that you’re not a McKenzie Enemy (I’ve a good idea who all of those are by now!)
Even without any ‘volunteers’ I will still be able to carry out the Operation but it will certainly help to have a few people assisting – but NB it can be done from home and will not take much of your time at all.
In usual Belinda style, it combines a not-very-subtle hint that her finances are at a low ebb, and a promise of great things to come, for those willing to pitch in and help with her ‘Special Operation’. She ends this post with a hint:
But I’m more and more of the mind that to beat this enemy I call Paedophilia UK…shouting on the street is not going to achieve very much, in fact in Scotland it will just get me locked up, as I’ve already been warned will happen – “McKenzie is next!” has appeared on certain blogs and forums recently….
How to do, how to do? has been churning in my mind all year, on ever-dwindling resources, with only a relatively few faithful supporters (not so much of me but of the cause) when an army is needed! Where, how and when to strike when there may only be one chance to do so?? Etc., round and round, day and night – people have been telling me I look a bit ‘spaced out’ these days, no wonder, if they realised what’s going on inside my head!
Well happy to say I now have the answer to all the questions so it’s just a case of rolling out the rest of the programme and reassuring everyone this really is entirely doable.
While this could have referred to another project she had up her sleeve, so far as we can tell, her dance card was filled with Hoaxtead for the latter part of 2014 and the majority of 2015.
Apologies for the long lapse in sending out ‘Battle News’ and the less said about why I ‘dried up’ for 5 months the better.
Fortunately the mainstream press & media are really onto the issue of Child Sexual Abuse (CSA) these days and there’s been no shortage of articles and reports to read on the subject, has there, plus innumerable videos online. Which is absolutely great, public awareness cannot fail to be growing! Yet there’s still nowhere near enough real ACTION to get at the core of the problem and a lot of fiddling about at the edges, for example, the string of white-haired old men hauled up before the courts charged with abusing teenagers decades ago….
Now, one of the reasons I’ve been out of communication (although have given the odd ‘sign of life’ here and there so no one would be worried – I assume most on this mailing list approve of me?! Big Hi here to McKenzie Enemies, love you!) is that I’ve been battling all year with a) BT, Microsoft & Amazon aka ’internet connectivity’ and b) the damned finances, having taken on 4 more ‘dependents’, all victims of/fugitives from the skewed British so-called justice system struggling to get children back and urgently needing help with accommodation, travel, legal fees etc.
This is the first outright mention of Belinda’s involvement with Ella that we’re aware of.
She follows up with a zinger:
I find money largely boring and am not remotely interested in it, apart from it’s being an indicator of the ebb-and-flow of human psychological compulsion which is a fascinating whole area. But as I’ve discovered painfully this year, lack of money is a serious impediment to being able to help people, especially children, or even being able to move around, hence my public activity has more or less ground to a stop, despite a few friends momentarily pitching in to help, god bless you, your names are inscribed in gold on my heart.
The obvious solution is to SET UP A CHARITY which is what I’m now in the process of doing. After a few months dithering around trying to decide whether I really do want to run a charity? yet another children’s charity, on top of the hundreds already registered with the Charity Commission? I’m going to take the plunge so THE KNIGHT FOUNDATION which is going to be a charity with a difference! will be launched at long last on 30th November this month in Camden London (see below details of venue & time).
This is the first public mention of Belinda’s infamous non-charity, the Knight Foundation. It was originally set up to receive donations in support of Belinda’s latest cause: the Hampstead Hoax.
If Abe and Ella’s real goal was to have the case properly investigated, and the children’s stories vindicated, sending the story to Brian Gerrish was an unutterably foolish choice. They must have known that doing so would foul the police investigation, and put them both in a very bad light. It would make it harder, not easier, for Ella to get the children back.
3. Who is Finnbarr, and why did he secretly record himself interviewing the children?
On Tuesday, 8 Sept 2014, a man named Finnbarr visited Abe, Ella, and the children. He made several recordings, apparently unbeknownst to Abe and Ella. He recorded interviews between himself and both of RD’s children, but while he was recording the girl, they were interrupted. Finnbarr jumped up and shoved the phone into a pocket while it was still recording. This accounts for the terrible audio quality of the following. We have managed to transcribe most of it, however.
Finnbarr whispers, “Yeah, yeah, good, good…” as though to himself.
Abe says, “Just keep your mouth shut…” then mumbles something inaudible.
A child’s voice (G?) asks, “Is it really bad?” and both men hasten to reassure him.
“No, no, it’s not bad,” Finnbarr says.
Abe interjects, “It’s what we expected”.
“Exactly”, says Finnbarr, “it’s why I’m here and he’s here”.
Abe repeats, “It’s what we expected”.
The child asks, “So one of them are…” but is drowned out by the two men: “Ahhhh!”
Finnbarr yells, “Rock and roll!” and then he and Abe both shout, “We know! We know!”
“Ha. All right?” asks Abe.
“He’s all right,” Finnbarr responds.
Abe says, “And they were telling him all about M.E., M.E., M.E.”
Finnbarr asks, “What’s M.E.?” and Abe shouts, “Me!”
With a chuckle, Finnbarr says, “Well, they can have me too”. At this point Ella enters the room, and she and Finnbarr greet one another.
What’s this all about?
It sounds to us as though Abe (and Finnbarr?) had started off with a plan, and are now concerned that something has come up to derail it. They shout excitedly, as though trying to convince themselves that all will be well.
Abe sounds nervous as he says, “They want to talk to me. I wonder why they want to talk to me”, and then “It’s him. It’s him, who we suspected, S.T….” The child exclaims, “Steve!” and Abe confirms, muttering, “It’s him, it’s him, it’s him.”
Ella interjects, “They were really pressurising me today”.
But Abe is on his own track: “It’s him. We know it’s him.” The child says, “I think I know what, it’s both of them. Fat lady and Steve…” but Abe goes on: “He likes, he doesn’t like babies. He likes boys. Steve, Steve likes boys. He came for F******” (referring to Abe’s teenage son).
Finnbarr says, “Who’s that, the cop?”
Abe replies, “Yeah, he came for F*****”. And he didn’t get him because of me, right, he didn’t get him because of me…and now, he sees I’m here again, another child case. Well, I keep turning up. He keeps turning up”.
“Strange”, says Finnbarr.
This refers to the fact that DC Steve Martin, the policeman who’d been doing the children’s ABE interviews, had asked to speak with Abe. Abe is clearly nervous about this, since it turns out that he and DC Martin had already met—when Abe was charged with assaulting his own son, F******.
Abe says: “…and now, he sees I’m here again, another child case. Well, I keep turning up. He keeps turning up”.
“So he knows everything?” asks Ella.
“Oh, he knows, yeah”, Abe says.
Ella and Finnbarr actually discuss whether Ella and Abe should flee the country, and it seems she and Abe have already discussed this:
Finnbarr says, “It might be a good idea if you get somewhere else”, to which Ella responds, “Sorry?” He repeats: “If you could try and move somewhere else….”
Ella asks, “Meaning where?”
“Anywhere”, says Finnbarr.
“Out of the country?”
“This place isn’t safe. It’s the country…it’s in the institutions…it’s…away”.
Ella responds, “We knew that. We knew that. We were discussing this yesterday, just we were really like…yesterday. I am going to pack a bag”.
Finnbarr says, “And then ask Abraham, he’ll say the same.”
Ella continues, “…away, in about two, three days…yesterday…we talked about it”.
In October 2015, we were able to grab a few very blurry images of Finnbarr from his own videos. In April 2017, thanks to an alert reader, we were able to identify him as Finn Hagan, an associate of Brian Gerrish of the UK Column. Finn Hagan may have been the person who Abe and Ella took the children to visit in Glastonbury, the day after they returned from Morocco.
We do know that Abraham linked Finnbarr with Gerrish, so it’s entirely possible that Finnbarr was meant to act as a scout for Gerrish. This would help confirm the theory that Abe and Ella had never planned to take their story to the police, but had hoped to shop it around to various “alt media” types in hopes of creating enough momentum online to keep donations flowing in from gullible troofers.
3a. How the police became involved
One prevalent myth about the Hampstead hoax is that Ella went straight to the police with the children’s story. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Immediately upon returning to London, Abe took the children to Jean-Clement’s house. Ella returned to her own home for a shower, and joined them later. Jean-Clement recorded the entire conversation. Alarmed about what he heard, Jean-Clement called Scotland Yard the following morning. He also gave the audio recording to a friend for safe-keeping. This friend, upon listening to the recording, recognised the name of one of the parents who was being accused of belonging to the ‘cult’.
According to Detective Inspector Cannon, who testified during the fact-finding hearing, “This friend had looked at the video and recognised one of the parents when they had said the name of one of the parents that they were talking about, and he called up this chap who then took a copy of this video and contacted us. He also contacted, I’m not sure if it was his lawyer or someone, but then we got the copy of that from him”.
In fact, having the police involved had thrown a real spanner in the works; and by 11 September, the police had removed the children from Ella’s care.
The original idea had been to take the video evidence to Family Court, where Ella had always dealt with RD in the past. They would present their ‘incontrovertible evidence’ that the kids had been abused, RD would be banished from their lives forever, and the families and teachers they named would have to undergo the indignity of a social services investigation—revenge for the slights Abe and Ella felt they’d endured during their time in Hampstead.
Once all that was accomplished, they could work with Belinda and Sabine, who had the contacts to spread the story of ‘ritual abuse’ across the internet.
Once people saw the images of two adorable children describing the most foul abuse possible, all they’d have to do was sit back and watch the donations start pouring in.
Instead, Jean-Clement had taken his covertly recorded audio to the police, and Abe’s old nemesis, DC Steve Martin, who knew him from his past child abuse charges, had come into the picture. And now, instead of RD losing his children forever, they’d been taken from Ella.
The whole plan was going pear-shaped in a hurry, and Abe and Ella realised that if they wanted to salvage anything from it, they needed to act, and fast.
So on 11 September, they sent another piece of bait to Gerrish, hoping he’d jump on it and start getting the story out onto the troofer airwaves. However, it seems that rather than jump on the story of a lifetime, Gerrish passed on the story:
U got this email 11.9.14 – the day children were snatched, U said nothing then. WHY
This is just part of the original email sent by ella to Brian Gerrish on the night Xxxxx and Xxxxxxx were UNLAWFULLY snatched by police & Barnet Social Services. Gerrish kept his mouth shut and just passed the email to fellow SHILL, Bill Maloney – who passed it to a police informer named Nathan Wedger. Wedger passed it back to police, and thence to DC Steve Martin – one of a gang of corrupt officers who were busy scapegoating the children, and covering up the rapes and murders. Gerrish said nothing publicly until the case exploded on the internet six months later.
Gerrish would only jump on the 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 troofer internet circuit. If Gerrish had ignored it at that point, he would have looked woefully out of touch.
Bill Maloney, for his part, did show up at one of the church protests in March 2015, but his interest in the case seemed to fade quickly.
4. But why would anyone bother creating a hoax like this? What would the motive be?
The simplest explanation is money. However, we don’t think this tells the whole story.
A slightly more complex way of looking at it would be that Ella’s interest in keeping the children from seeing their father again, Abe’s interest in paedophilia and cult practices, Sabine’s interest in promoting the idea that the child protection system is corrupt, and Belinda’s interest in collecting money from gullible people coincided to create a ‘perfect storm’.
The original plan seems to have been for Abe and Ella to “collect evidence” that the children had been abused; this happened while they were all in Morocco during August 2014.
The phone videos, which were long enough to offer tantalising glimpses of what had happened, but short enough to leave the watcher wanting more, were created as part of the marketing plan. This was done in much the same way that a company might produce a series of similar-but-different adverts, which they would roll out to boost and maintain interest over a number of months.
They were designed to appeal to the ‘truther community’ online, and they succeeded at that: by the time Mrs Justice Pauffley handed down her judgement on 19 March 2015, it was estimated that at least 2 million people had viewed the videos. That figure has probably doubled or quadrupled since then.
These kind of viewing figures can lead to massive donation figures, which Belinda anticipated when she created the Knight Foundation.
5. If all this is true, why are none of the original Hampstead hoax promoters speaking to one another now?
Things began to go south when Abe and Ella rushed to Abe’s brother-in-law’s house the night they arrived home from Morocco. Abe just couldn’t wait to put the children through their paces in front of Jean-Clement; he lacked the judgement to realise that his brother-in-law, like any normal person, would feel compelled to take his evidence to the police.
The police investigation concluded with the children being removed from Ella’s custody, which threw the entire plan into a tailspin: now, the focus had to switch to getting the kids back under their mother’s control.
Sabine “accidentally on purpose” released the videos, along with Ella’s witness statement, to Henry Curteis of The Tap Blog in February 2015; this infuriated Ella and Abe, who had planned to dole the videos out one at a time, but now found that the hoax had blown up in their faces.
Belinda and Sabine tried to put a good face on it, turning the retrieval of the children into one of their “cases” and parading in front of the Royal Courts of Justice…until Sabine discovered that both she and Ella were wanted by the police. Both fled the country—Sabine to Germany, and Ella to Spain—leaving Abe and Belinda to fight the battle on their behalf.
Ultimately, Abe would turn on the Association of McKenzie Friends, feeling that they had undermined his and Ella’s strategy; Sabine was arrested when she returned to the UK; Belinda was served with an injunction preventing her from discussing the the case; and Charlotte Ward’s Hampstead Research blog was beset with problems, culminating in Abe and Ella claiming that she, too, was a shill.
Clashes of personality were inevitable with this volatile pack of psychopaths and narcissists; the wonder is probably that the entire hoax didn’t go south sooner than it did.