Exhibition Notice at Welsh Assembly Hints at “VIP Paedophile” Claims

From the website of the National Assembly for Wales (emphasis added):

Calendar Event
EXHIBITION: Wall of Silence
Date: Monday 27 June 2016 to Sunday 3 July 2016

Location: Pierhead Main Hall

Description: The Wall of Silence is the inspiration of Carl. Carl grew up in Powys and is in recovery from child sexual abuse. He was abused by some powerful people and is now decades on seeking justice… He came up with the concept of the Wall of Silence which has seen a huge variety of photographs, poems, stories, paintings and other mediums sent to him by survivors and victims from across the UK…. The Survivors Trust Cymru has worked with Carl to bring this exhibition to Wales supporting Welsh survivors to have a voice…

An article about the display can be read on the website of the Cambrian News. The exhibition has been on tour since January; it started at Colston Hall in Bristol and subsequently travelled to City Hall in London (where it was part of Sexual Abuse and Sexual Awareness Week) and to Avon and Somerset Police HQ North Somerset.

The exhibition was organised by the Southmead Project, a Bristol-based therapy service, in collaboration with RAVSCA (Raising Awareness for Victims & Survivors of Child Abuse) – which was created by Carl himself – and the National Association for People Abused in Childhood (NAPAC). According to the Wall of Silence website: “Carl is in recovery from child sexual abuse: his story is one of extreme terror, mental turmoil, heartbreak, sadness and fear”. However, there is no specific reference there to “powerful people”.

The exhibition has certainly given a platform to individuals who have suffered childhood sexual abuse, and it will have done good if it encourages genuine victims to speak out, or at least to feel less isolated.

But this vague reference to “some powerful people” is problematic, it seems to me. Of course, a powerful person can be an abuser, but so can all sorts of people. What purpose does the phrase “abused by some powerful people” serve on the Assembly website, other than to imply that this was a particular aggravating factor in Carl’s abuse? And what can we conclude from that, other than that this is a vague reference to “VIP paedophiles”?

This impression is confirmed by the distinctive drawing used to represent Carl on the Wall of Silence website: a silhouette of a hunched and brooding boy, overlaid with red hand-prints. This was the well-known avatar on Twitter of “Carl Survivor”, who Tweeted for a period as @carl_survivor and as @ravsca1. Both accounts went offline a few months ago, but some of what he had to say can still be gleaned from his interactions with others; it can quickly be established that this was the same person, and that he did indeed claim to have been the victim of VIP paedophiles – including none other than Leon Brittan.

It seems to me that there is a odd disconnect between the sensational and specific claims made by Carl on Twitter and the the more generic way they have been presented by the “Wall of Silence”. There has also been no explanation for his sudden disappearance from social media earlier this year, despite the fact that at the time he was being lauded as a kind of inspirational role model and gaining a public profile as an advocate on the subject (although he chose to maintain his legal right to anonymity).

And now we find claims about being “abused by powerful people” appearing on a governmental website as a passing detail and without apparently attracting controversy or comment. Given the background context here, that’s a bit odd in itself.

UPDATE 2019: It can now be clarified that “Carl Survivor” is a man named Carl Beech, whose allegations against various VIPs were investigated by Operation Midland and who was usually referred to in the media as “Nick” before his exposure. His allegations have been comprehensively exposed as lies, and he has since been found guilty of perverting the course of justice and fraud. He was also found to be in possession of a collection of child-abuse images, and to have used a hidden camera to film the teenage friend of his son using a toilet. For more, see here.