Maggie Oliver Appears on Richie Allen Show Conspiracy Podcast

A blurb for a recent episode of the Richie Allen Show:

Richie is joined by former Detective Chief Constable [sic – should be “Detective Constable”] Maggie Oliver and former barrister and immigration judge Michael Shrimpton. Former detective Maggie Oliver joins Richie to chat about her outstanding memoir “Survivors – Fighting For Justice.” When detective Maggie Oliver first discovered that children as young as 10 were being groomed, abused and trafficked for sex by gangs of men in the Rochdale area, she felt like a lonely voice calling for people to act. Banging on closed doors, it seemed that nobody was able or willing to help her save these vulnerable girls, but she couldn’t just sit back while countless lives were being destroyed forever in plain sight. Instead, she launched a one-woman campaign to bring down these sickening gangs. It’s a heart-breaking and shocking story of how the actions of one determined detective secured convictions in what is now one of the most notorious grooming cases in the UK.

A convicted paedophile has been found guilty of making false allegations of murder and child sexual abuse against a string of public figures. Carl Beech, 51, from Gloucester, was found guilty of 12 counts of perverting the course of justice and one of fraud. His lies led to a £2m Metropolitan Police investigation which ended in no arrests or charges being made. Former barrister and intelligence expert Michael Shrimpton tells Richie why he believes Car Beech was a “put up job” meaning, that he is a smokescreen being used to protect real VIP pedophiles.

There has been a flurry of news reports about Oliver in recent weeks, due both to her memoir and the recent creation of her Maggie Oliver Foundation. Her public stock is high – she is not just a household name and respected public figure but a “national treasure”, recently described in the Daily Mail as “the real angel of the north”.

So why is she lending her time and her credibility to Richie Allen, the host of a conspiracy podcast whose guests have included anti-vaccine activist Andrew Wakefield, Sabine McNeill (since imprisoned over her role in the Hampstead Satanic Ritual Abuse hoax, in which she targeted innocent parents), Liz Crokin (who used her appearance to denounce “rampant” Jewish paedophilia) and the far-right activist Mark Collett (who was invited on “to talk about the EU Parliamentary election results”)? Allen believes in all-powerful “Rothschild Zionists” as an explanation for developments in world affairs (a concept I previously discussed here), and one episode of his show comes with the title “The Rothschilds and Their Subsidiaries Own Literally Everything On Planet Earth”. Marlon Solomon has noted that Allen chose 27 January, which is Holocaust Memorial Day, to invite the Holocaust denier Nicholas Kollerstrom onto his programme.

Perhaps Oliver takes the view that she should accept any interview request that comes along to promote her book and her cause, but Allen is going to get far more out of this than she will, and the effect is to mainstream poisonous conspiracy thinking. Pairing her on the show with the absurd Michael Shrimpton (who, incidentally, has a recent conviction for possessing indecent images of boys) adds to the degradation of her work. There is nothing in the Carl Beech case that suddenly makes more sense if a “put up job” is posited, and this convergence between concerns about “grooming gangs” and “VIP abuse rings” conspiracy mongering may yet take society into new and even darker territory, despite Beech’s conviction (I discussed how the conspiracy milieu reacted to the verdict here).

Oliver has referred to her appearance on the show via a Re-Tweet of one Richard Willett, whose Brick in the Wall Media company is making a documentary about her and apparently provides video services for her foundation. It seems likely that Willett facilitated her appearance – Willett was himself recently a Richie Allen guest, and someone else he has made a documentary about (Alex Smith, aka the hypnotist Jonathan Royle) was on just yesterday. Willett is a self-described conspiracy theorist, and he also has his own podcast, called Glitch in the Code. A recent guest was Henry Makow, author of Illuminati: The Cult that Hijacked the World (“Masonic and Jewish bankers who finagled a monopoly over government credit”). On Twitter, Willett claims that Apple and Google apps contain Masonic and occult symbolism; he also argues that the US presidency is a “puppet of the banking families… Rothschild zionism”, and that JFK was shot because he resisted this.

This is not the first time I have raised concerns about Oliver’s association with the conspiracy fringe – last summer she was filmed by Anna Brees expressing her enthusiasm for Jon Wedger. This hasn’t been any obvious interaction in recent months, and I had hoped that she had thought better of being linked with someone who promotes wild Satanic Ritual Abuse allegations.

Excurcus: Maggie Oliver and the tabloids

Oliver’s recent timeline also shows a willingness to promote tabloid talking-points without much reflection. For example, the Sun recently mocked up a cover of Vogue to feature Oliver and some other women in public life, as a rebuke to the choices made by Meghan, Duchess of Sussex for her guest editorship of the magazine. Oliver promoted this, and the Sun‘s blurb appears pinned on her timeline as if in her own words: “Meghan Markle put leftie pals on Vogue cover, here’s who she should have picked instead”.

Meanwhile, the Sunday Mirror has returned to its Telford campaign, which I previously discussed here. A new report claims that in 2010 the Conservative-run council at Telford had turned down a grant from “the Daphne project [= the Daphne II Funding Programme], a European initiative aimed at combating violence against women and children”, over supplemental costs that the council would have had to provide. The paper claims that accepting the grant would have saved “hundreds” of girls in the town, and it includes the detail:

Others feared the council was scared to upset minority groups, as a large number of perpetrators came from the Pakistani heritage community.

We don’t know who these “others” are, and the phrase “the council was scared to upset minority groups, as a large number of perpetrators came from the Pakistani heritage community” was presented to Oliver by a user on Twitter as if this has been positively established as the reason why the grant was declined. Oliver took this at face value, RTing the partial quote and declaring “Political correctness has a lot to answer for. What happened to the law of the land?” This willingness to shoot from the hip with a damning judgement before the facts have been established is likely to have been noted by various bad actors.

Therapists Warn Against “Anger” aimed at Tom Watson, Police and Carl Beech

Signers include author of “The Satanist Cult of Ted Heath”

In a letter to the Guardian, a group of “therapists, psychologists and counsellors” – with Valerie Sinason as lead author – has a bold rebuke for those appalled at the full story of Operation Midland fiasco, which came out at the trial of “VIP abuse and murder” hoaxer Carl Beech:

Trauma and abuse evoke powerful feelings. As therapists, psychologists and counsellors we are concerned that the extra anger being aimed at Tom Watson MP, the police and Carl Beech is missing adequate reflection. Tom Watson suggested, in parliament in 2012, that evidence from the paedophile Peter Righton’s conviction pointed to a “powerful paedophile network linked to parliament and No 10”. This was prior to speaking to Beech, and he was right. National figures such as Jimmy Savile and Cyril Smith MP were unmasked as prolific child abusers.

The letter is revisionist, in a number of ways.

First, as the link (presumably inserted by the Guardian editors) shows, Watson made his speech in late October 2012 – this was three weeks after the ITV Exposure documentary about Jimmy Savile. Watson did not “unmask” Savile or Smith, who was also already the subject of allegations.

Second, Watson specifically claimed that

The evidence file used to convict paedophile Peter Righton, if it still exists, contains clear intelligence of a widespread paedophile ring. One of its members boasts of his links to a senior aide of a former Prime Minister, who says he could smuggle indecent images of children from abroad.

Watson could have been clearer about what he meant here, and his placement of “who” in particular creates ambiguity about who was responsible for the alleged smuggling of images. It eventually transpired that the “group” was the notorious Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE), and that the “member” was Charles Napier. The vague “links to a senior aide” was a reference to Napier’s half-brother, who is 12 years his junior and whose career has always been based in the UK. There is no reason to believe that this half-brother knew about or assisted Napier in any way, and indeed strong positive reasons to reject the idea as false.

When Watson addressed parliament, Napier already had two convictions for child abuse, and he had been denounced in the media as a serial offender (particularly by the journalist Francis Wheen, who had encountered him at school). Watson’s efforts led to new charges and convictions, but given this background it seems that the reason police had failed to act on the Righton evidence was inertia rather than a “cover up”. Along with his previous convictions, Napier was known to have been the treasurer of PIE, so this was low-hanging fruit. For a time he had worked for the British Council in Cairo, and according to 2014 reports he “boasted” about having access to boys. It’s not clear where this leaves the “smuggling” claim – as far as I know, working as a language teacher for the British Council does not make one a diplomat, and Napier’s new convictions did not relate to smuggling images. Perhaps Watson was here conflating Napier with the diplomat Peter Hayman, and Napier’s “boast” about access to boys was garbled into a “boast” about having a half-brother in public life. (1)

Third, the letter to the Guardian ignores the actual reason for criticism of Watson in the wake of Beech’s conviction: namely, his amplification and endorsement of Beech’s claim that Leon Brittan was “as close to evil as any human being could get”. Watson has actually apologised for this.

The letter continues:

The outcry culminated in the then home secretary, Theresa May, announcing an independent inquiry, and the 2014 pressuring on police to be believing – now rescinded. The scenarios Carl Beech describes, and his complex mixture of untreated victim and perpetrator, are familiar. People need to understand “fantasists” and “liars”. To ignore that subject risks not hearing vulnerable children. Children with dissociative identity disorder from trauma, for example, are often accused of being liars when one state of mind is amnesic to what another has said or done. To be wrongly accused is abuse.

The “scenarios Carl Beech describes” were actually extravagant in scope and bizarre in nature. Perhaps they are “familiar” to the the signatories of the letter, but that probably says more about their therapeutic method of eliciting supposed memories than than anything else – in particular, Beech’s constant emphasis on bizarre and exotic forms of sadism ignores the reality of “grooming” and the self-delusion among many child sex offenders that the child they are preying on has given consent and is not suffering harm. Beech’s claims amounted to Satanic Ritual Abuse in all but name, re-purposed for a secular age that has dispensed with the need to imagine mockeries of Christian ritual as the ultimate inversion of virtue and morality.

It is perhaps telling that that the therapists avoid using the phrase “recovered memories”, when this is heavily implied in the terms “dissociative identity disorder” and “amnesic” – any reference to “recovered memories” is likely to raise the question of “false memories“. I explored an example of this here.

It’s also unclear what is meant by Beech as “untreated victim”. We know that Beech’s step-father was violent, and there is reason to suppose that as a conflicted gay teenager or young man he got into some unhappy situations, but this vague formulation appears to imply that at at least some of his claims are true. This is also a straw that the journalist Mark Watts has grasped at.

Finally:

We must provide justice for all, while acknowledging the number of innocent people named is very small compared with the one in 65 survivors who gain justice.

This “one in 65” figure is presumably taken from a recent Guardian report, which states that “only one in 65 rape cases reported to police result in suspects being summonsed or charged, a Guardian analysis of the latest crime figures [for England and Wales] has revealed.” That figure is troubling, although it should be noted that while it represents an overall decline compared to previous years, the figure includes a a larger percentage of cases that were still ongoing at the end of 2018 than was the case the year before, and and a lesser percentage of cases that were dropped over problems with evidence. However, it should be noted that the letter-writers appear to have conflated being charged with being convicted. But how is this relevant to the matter at hand? It is pure “whattaboutery” in the face of the denouement of a discrediting moral panic,

The signatories are as follows – some names may be familiar:

Valerie Sinason, Sue Richardson, Kathryn Livingston, Melanie Goodwin, Rémy Aquarone, Nancy Borrett, Jaclyn Everitt, Andrew Baxter, Penny Johnson, Paula Fenn, Dena Sanger, Ruth Alborough, Kay Luck, Maire Fitzmaurice, Michelle Jowett, Winja Lutz, Sandra Buck, Judy Williams, Lindsay Schofield, Kate Forbes Pitt, Dehra Mitchell, Eimir McGrath, Andrea Aldridge, Liz Hall, Mandy Coghill, Ronete Cohen, Giles Lascelle, Abbie O’Connor, Jane Blackhurst, Cathie Wright, Ruth Leaper, Patricia Bahs, Katia Kohler, Loraine Newbold, Paula Biles, Rainer Kurtz, Judith Marlow, Heather Bacon.

Sinason in particular is well-known for promoting the idea of Satanic Ritual Abuse, while Richardson was Cleveland’s “child abuse consultant” during the “anal dilation” fiasco. Several of the figures are involved with the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation (ISSTD). “Rainer Kurtz” here is obviously Rainer Kurz, author of works such as “The Satanist Cult of Ted Heath” and a supporter of the Hampstead Satanic cult hoax. I previously discussed him here.

It is also worth noting who is not associated with the letter: Beech’s own therapist Vicki Paterson and the police adviser Dr Elly Hanson (who spoke at one or more “Wall of Silence” events involving Beech) were either not invited to sign or declined to do so. I discussed their involvement with Beech here.

Footnote

(1) Watson’s intervention also created broader speculation, and when BBC Newsnight ran a piece on abuse at a children’s home in North Wales a few weeks later the floodgates opened – lists of names were bandied around on social media, and one was even presented to Prime Minister David Cameron by the presenter Phillip Schofield on live television, much to Cameron’s irritation. Much of the attention focused on the entirely innocent Lord McAlpine, but despite subsequent mea culpas from many people who ought to have known better, absolutely no lessons were learnt. It proved to be a false start to the panic that followed, rather than a cautionary tale.

After the Conviction: Some Carl Beech Media Clippings

Numerous articles, comment pieces and “long reads” have appeared in the wake of the conviction of the “VIP sex abuse” hoaxer Carl Beech. In the years ahead, I expect there will be books and perhaps even dramatisations. Here are just a few items that I have found of particular interest.

The Many Lies of Carl Beech“, by Matthew Scott in Quillette. Matthew was perhaps the first person to publicly urge caution with Beech’s allegations, in a piece he wrote back in November 2014, so this is article is something of a vindication. Matthew overviews Beech’s story and notes how he was promoted by various politicians and sections of the media.

Carl Beech – The Plausibility of Liars and the Paucity of Proof“, also by Matthew Scott and published in the Guardian. He writes:

There are wider, and rather uncomfortable, lessons for the criminal justice system as a whole. Criminal trials depend on the premise that magistrates and jurors can safely spot liars. Yet it is often impossible to tell whether someone is telling the truth simply by listening to them. Those, such as top detectives and investigative journalists, who might seem likely to be well practised in spotting liars can be taken in just as easily as anyone else.

R v Beech: Into A Heart of Darkness” is an insightful piece by Barbara Hewson based primarily on her observations of the trial. The piece, published on her blog, includes a character assessment:

It is fair to describe [Beech] as a person displaying psychopathic traits: in particular grandiosity, lack of remorse, and glibness…. Carl Beech later claimed that he deliberately stopped his mother having a relationship with anyone else, by acting up and misbehaving. Whilst to a degree this is understandable [due to his former step-father’s violence], one is left with a disturbing picture of a manipulative son who could dominate his mother’s life, to the extent of denying her a satisfactory relationship with a new partner. Beech’s career as a life-wrecker had begun.

…How did Beech’s fantasies of brutal assaults begin to germinate? In his “achieving best evidence” (ABE) recorded interviews with the police, a possible alternative “backstory” seemed to lurk, involving a deeply conflicted gay man, unable to admit his orientation to his deeply religious mother (who subsequently became a vicar), who may have been picked up by strangers for casual sex during his teens, and who may even have experienced serious and humiliating assaults.

Like Matthew, Barbara saw through Beech early on, and her “#ToxicNick” Twitter hashtag (referring to the “Nick” pseudonym Beech hid behind) was not universally appreciated.

Carl Beech: He Didn’t Do It Alone“, by Simon Warr and published on his blog. Like Barbara, Simon attended some of the trial. His post considers in turn the “you will be believed” context, the involvement of various politicians and social media activists, and how institutions that Beech was involved with professionally – the NHS, the Quality Care Commission, the NSPCC and NAPAC – may have been compromised. On this last point, Simon calls for an inquiry, given Beech’s access to children over several years during which he was accessing child abuse images and fantasising about children being abused and murdered.

Simon has also been in contact with some of those who in turn were in contact with Beech:

 He made contact with those who claimed to have had experience of childhood sexual abuse. In some cases, he even misappropriated excerpts from the real life testimony of genuine victims in order to bolster his own fabricated tales… Several people who had been genuinely sexually abused also began to suspect that Beech might be a fraud. I’ve had communications from some individuals who’ve told me how they found him creepy and disturbing. They say that they tried to warn others about Beech at a time when he was being supported – even lionised – by others within the wider support community for abuse victims. However, their warnings seem to have gone unheeded and Beech became increasingly vocal with his extravagant allegations of sex, torture and murder. 

One of those whose account was stolen by Beech was that of Andi Lavery, as discussed in the Telegraph last week.

Abuse of Office“, by Alistair Jackson in the Tortoise. Jackson was the producer of the 2015 episode of the BBC Panorama news series “The VIP Paedophile Ring: What’s the Truth?“, which did much to expose the inadequacies of the Metropolitan Police’s Operation Midland and the broader Operation Fairbank that preceded and ran alongside it. In his article, Jackson ponders the question “Why did anyone ever believe Carl Beech?” and he explores how the case demonstrates “the often-unhealthy relationship between the police, the press and politicians in the UK”:

The notion of Britain’s establishment protecting a VIP paedophile ring has been a kind of journalistic Holy Grail for decades. Early in their careers, investigative reporters are told tales of dark events at places like Elm Guest House and Dolphin Square. Knowledge of these stories, and an interest in pursuing them, was part of what some of the investigative crowd felt marked them out from run-of-the-mill news reporters. These locations, whispered about for years, were to become the centre of two police investigations, thanks largely to the efforts of a news organisation few people had ever heard of, Exaro News.

While on the political angle:

At the point when he met Carl Beech, Watson was one of the most powerful, crusading politicians in the country. He told me that his uncovering of the phone-hacking scandal had made it easier for him to believe police forces could suppress evidence of serious crime. And this time it wasn’t only the police who were in the frame for allegedly turning a blind eye to, or covering up, evidence of a paedophile ring; senior Conservatives were there too. The prospect of political gain would have done nothing to make Carl Beech’s story less attractive to Tom Watson.

If Watson had earned a reputation as a crusader, other MPs represented a separate, more nihilistic strand of political thought. After phone-hacking and the scandal of MPs expenses, a belief seemed to have taken root in some quarters that the establishment was capable of anything…

Here, Jackson names the MPs Zac Goldsmith and John Mann, who are also discussed in Simon’s blog; unlike Simon, though, he overlooks the involvement of the absurd former MP Simon Danczuk – this perhaps reflects Danczuk’s welcome retreat from celebrity politician to obscurity.

Conspiracy Theorist“, also by Jackson and focusing on Watson. Watson received regular briefings about the progress of the two police investigations, and Jackson writes that this “highly unusual” arrangement “had been signed off at the highest level” (1). As regards Elm Guest House, he writes:

Our source says the briefing given to Tom Watson made clear that the picture which was emerging was far less sensational than had been suggested. None of the claims of abuse involving prominent people or trafficking of children were standing up to scrutiny (although two managers at a nearby children’s home were eventually prosecuted for child abuse as a result of Fairbank’s work).

He also refers to Watson’s letter to the Director of Public Prosecutions about a separate allegation against the late Leon Brittain – this relates to the case of “Jane”, and I discussed the letter here. Jackson has further provided an item for the Mail on Sunday, headlined “Police Tried to Block TV Show that Told the Truth: BBC Panorama Producer Says all it Took to Expose Carl Beech’s Lurid Fantasy was a Single Phone Call“.

Times Letters: Political Opportunism and Carl Beech on Trial“. The Times published three letters on the subject on the day after Beech’s conviction. One is by Lord Macdonald, who was formerly Director of Public Prosecutions, in which he decries “strident political rhetoric” that has led to “demonising suspects”. He also argues that a “lesson” of the case

is that politicians should never use criminal justice, still less particular investigations, as a way of inserting themselves into a news cycle. This case, and the pain it has caused to so many innocents, is a tragic example of where such opportunism inevitably leads.

A number of articles refer to particular aspects of the case. As I noted yesterday, Richard Hoskins has written a piece criticising the involvement of psychotherapists, while the Telegraph has now reported “distress and anger in security circles” about the way allegations made by Beech against former head of MI5 Sir Michael Hanley and of MI6 Sir Maurice Oldfield were accepted. There is also an interesting Daily Mail spread in which Beech’s ex-wife Dawn Beech tells her story.

Meanwhile, Harvey Proctor has revealed that the Metropolitan Police are contesting his case against the force, and intend to pursue ruinous costs should they win; and Lord Bramall – in an interview piece with Dominic Lawson in the Sunday Times (paywalled, but there is a derivative piece in the Mail on Sunday) has reiterated his claim from 2016 that Met Chief Constable Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe had told him

“We knew almost at once that none of these appalling things applied to you – but we could not stop making you a suspect or take you out of the investigation for another 10 months because we, the Metropolitan police, would have been accused of not investigating properly and giving people in high places preferential treatment.”

Bramall describes this as “perverting the course of justice”.

The ins-and-outs of Beech’s social media activities – and the online support he received from various parties – are documented on Simon Just’s Spin vs Truth blog. Simon appears to have an extensive archive of relevant social media ephemera.

Footnote

(1) While Watson’s briefings were indeed “highly unusual”, they are not the only instance of this irregularity – in particular, the Conservative MP Andrew Bridgen was provided access to Wiltshire Police’s Operation Conifer investigation into Edward Heath, of which Bridgen was an enthusiastic supporter. This enthusiasm, and willingness to brief on behalf of Chief Constable Mike Veale in the media, seems to have been sufficient for Bridgen to have been designated a “stakeholder”.

A Note on Carl Beech and the Psychotherapists

From Richard Hoskins in the Mail on Sunday:

…for eight years [“VIP sex abuse” accuser Carl Beech] had managed to con two police forces, MPs such as Labour deputy leader Tom Watson and journalists from the BBC and online news service Exaro into believing his tissue of lies.

But there is another group of professionals whose role in this fiasco should be examined, and that is the psychotherapists who gave legitimacy to the whole farrago.

Without them, none of this might have happened. 

Hoskins became involved in the case when Wiltshire Police asked him to assess allegations against Edward Heath as part of their Operation Conifer. In particular, he was asked to give his opinion about claims made by someone he called “Lucy X” and her sisters, but there was also cross-over with Carl Beech and the Metropolitan Police’s Operation Midland. Hoskins was so alarmed by police credulity that he went public – I wrote about this here and here.

The therapists Hoskins refers to in his article are Vicki Paterson and Elly Hanson. He writes:

Newcastle Crown Court heard last week that between February 2012 and October 2016, Beech saw Ms Paterson for 121 sessions and they had exchanged numerous emails. During these sessions, Beech developed his story – I have seen the psychotherapy notes and drawings – and over those four and a half years, he embellished it.

Hoskins delved into Paterson’s method further by attending her practice as a client himself:

Ms Paterson told me that she employed a method called ‘deep stasis’. Although not actually hypnotism, it is close. Lying on her couch, it would be easy to allow fantastical imaginations to run riot.

Hoskins also notes that this “deep stasis” approach was also advocated by a Canadian therapist who had treated “a ringleader among the sisters” (i.e. “Lucy X”, although he doesn’t use the pseudonym in this article) – I discussed this further here.

In Beech’s case, we now know that he undertook internet research that he presented as memories, and that he concocted fake collaborating witnesses via email. Thus his allegations cannot be explained as”false memories“, unlike the case of Carol Felstead. It may be, though, that Beech’s therapy helped him to convince himself of some of his allegations, and gave him the confidence to go as far as he did. Certainly, the therapeutic encounter provided a sympathetic setting in which he could make his claims to professionals, with the notion of “recovered memory” providing a superficially plausible explanation for late disclosure and gradual embellishments.

As Hoskins writes:

As Ms Paterson tells her clients, she works by listening ‘in a non-directive, non-judgmental way understanding your world from your point of view’. The trouble is that unless the counsellor remains discerning, a cunning and manipulative liar such as Beech can make hay.

Paterson eventually sought advice from Dr Elly Hanson, and from this time the “non-judgmental” approach expanded from being a counselling methodology into forming the basis for public campaigning:

They became friends and set up a charity exhibition called The Wall Of Silence, which displayed child abuse survivors’ pictures, stories, poems and mementoes. It was backed by Tom Watson and Beech shared a platform with Dr Hanson, speaking straight after her.

Hoskins describes Hanson as “a distinguished and influential figure who advises police, the National Crime Agency and the NSPCC”. As such, her public endorsement of Beech would have been one more reason for the police to treat Beech uncritically – indeed, she was helping to make him into something of a figurehead for the cause of “historic abuse”, despite his official anonymity. The Wall of Silence exhibition blurb made special reference to “powerful people” supposedly being involved in child sex abuse, thus promoting the “VIP” conspiracy theory

Hanson was also an adviser on Operation Conifer, as I discussed here. She was paid to assess two accusers, after which she she joined a supposedly independent panel that was looking into the investigation. As Hoskins also notes,

It was Dr Hanson who declared she wouldn’t have ‘let her children near Ted Heath’ – while adding that she wasn’t presuming his guilt.

But how could she not be presuming his guilt when she was giving presentations alongside a man who accusing him?

Footnote on names

Richard Hoskins went public with his concerns during a period during which he had temporarily transitioned to “Rachel Hoskins”.

Carl Beech was formerly referred to in the media under the name “Nick”, although among activists he was “Carl Survivor” or just “Carl”.

Elly Hanson’s early professional work was published under her maiden name of “Elly Farmer”.

“VIP Sex Abuse” Conspiracy Theorists Assimilate Carl Beech Conviction

From the Irish “political and cultural magazine” Village:

Over the last three years Village has been warning that Nick [= Carl Beech] was probably a cog in a devious plot by the remnants of a VIP abuse network to distract the public from their repulsive  crimes by getting puppets like him to make  absurd claims that were so utterly irrational no one would believe them and thereby taint genuine VIP sex abuse survivors with the same brush… Already there is a renewed attempt to salvage the reputation of the former Tory PM, Ted Heath. This despite the careful, considered and credible report by the Wiltshire Police concerning the abuse of boys perpetrated by Heath.

This is one typical example of how the conspiracy milieu is attempting to assimilate the news of Carl Beech’s convictions for perverting the course of justice, fraud, possessing child abuse images and covertly filming a teenage boy urinating. In this version, Beech was either wittingly or unwittingly a “false flag”, although some voices on social media prefer to suggest that he was in fact telling the truth and has now been brought down by sinister forces. The Village contrasts Beech with Richard Kerr, who is supported by the site despite the fact that he was in prison in Northern Ireland at a time when he says he had been trafficked to London (I previously wrote about Kerr and the Village here).

A similar view has been endorsed by Richie Allen, a podcast host associated with David Icke who has a constant stream of conspiracy theorists and accusers on his show; thus on Twitter, Allen has praised and RTed Vicky Haigh’s (previously blogged here) assessment that

I can’t believe intelligent English people can believe this case wasn’t rigged to cover the deep dark paedophile ring that rules GB!!

One of Haigh’s online interlocutors is of the view that an “agent of the political Zionist elites” was involved. Allen also used Twitter to goad Daniel Janner, son of Greville Janner, over Janner’s view that the case was a vindication of his late father (1).

Meanwhile, media trainer Anna Brees says that she has accepted an invitation to talk about the case on (the Kremlin-backed) TV station RT, writing:

I’ll be happy to talk about the Westminster paedophile ring and the way the BBC have reported the #nicktrial #CarlBeech wondering why they haven’t spoken to victims and witnesses of Ted Heath like @MikeTarraga and @reeves3915.

The answer to this question of course is that the Edward Heath allegations have been flogged to death – the “careful, considered and credible report” as praised by the Village was unable to substantiate anything, and the allegations that received most attention have collapsed under scrutiny. The two men Brees cites similarly have given problematic accounts (more on Tarraga here and Reeves here). (2)

Meanwhile, there is also interest in a statement that Mark Watts uploaded at the end of Beech’s trial, which refers to details that he claims the media are “studiously trying to ignore”. He discusses these further on his FOIA Centre website, in particular complaining that the jury was not told about objects discovered during the raid on Proctor’s property. These details were excluded from the trial after the judge ruled that (as quoted on Watts’s website – edits in his version)

The issues in the case are those identified… [by the prosecution] above. The evidence of an interest in consensual sexual activity with young men, including the acting out of a fantasy of schoolboy punishment by a headmaster by beating is an interest and behaviour that is very far removed from the issues in this trial and has no substantial probative value in relation to any of them.

It is distasteful and intrusive to have to refer private items that have been seized by the police but then returned to their owner – and it would be foolish to take Watts’s descriptions at face value, given his remarkable ability to distort and insinuate. I therefore decline to go into much detail. In summary, though, Watts is unhappy that Beech’s trial did not become some sort of proxy trial of Proctor instead. This is grasping at straws – clearly, the police who investigated the matter did not regard these objects as evidence of a crime, or else they would have arrested him, and there is no reason to suppose that they undermine the case against Beech.

Proctor’s trial and conviction in 1987 on indecency charges were heavily publicised at the time, and his distinctive name has meant that those events have remained in the public consciousness as a bit of bawdy trivia ever since. That is sufficient explanation for why Beech chose to accuse him, although his knowledge was so limited that he ludicrously placed Proctor – a Powellite who was part of a radical political fringe – within an “Establishment” that supposedly also included Edward Heath. (3)

Footnotes

(1) There are of course other Janner accusers, which I discussed here (scroll down to footnote).

(2) It should be noted that Brees’s public profile has grown in the recent months: a couple of weeks ago, her view that the BBC faked footage of a chemical attack in Syria featured in the left-wing Canary website, and a “Brees Media” video on sexual harassment was recently RTed by the anti-grooming activist Sammy Woodhouse. Also, on 3 July a Tweet by Brees promoting her Heath conspiracy (to which she added a “QAnon2019” hashtag) prompted UKIP leader Gerard Batten to ask: “This aside, why is it that no journalist or MSM organ has ever (to my knowledge) investigated the source of Heath’s enormous wealth?” Presumably Batten wants to promote the idea that Britain’s entry into the European Economic Community was due to Heath being bribed.

(3) Also among those accused by Beech was Lord Bramall, the retired head of the British army – it seems likely that Beech targeted him as an extension of his grudge against his violent one-time step-father Ray Beech, who was a military man. One of the “VIP abuse” conspiracy mongers close to Watts (a man I previously discussed here) has recently made a great deal of a 2006 quote from Bramall, in which he stated that he was “very old friends” with Greville Janner and that they had “corresponded” since having an argument about Israel’s actions in Lebanon – Bramall had been asked to comment because of claims that he had assaulted Janner as part of their row.

However, Bramall more recently told the media that he only had “dealings” with Janner (I quote from memory), suggesting that they were not close, and it has now been reported that he told police he did not know him (as indirectly summarised by the prosecutor as summarised in turn by Watts). The most economical explanation for this apparent anomaly is that Bramall was acquainted with Janner as a colleague at the House of Lords, and that the “old friends” comment was an attempt to dampen the “assault” story and emphasise that civility between them had been restored.

Carl Beech: Drawing Some Threads Together

This has been a long time coming; from Sky News:

A former NHS manager has been convicted of lying to police and fooling Scotland Yard into launching a £2.5m investigation into a VIP paedophile ring that didn’t exist.

Carl Beech, 51, claimed he and others were tortured, raped and abused by senior politicians, military chiefs and the heads of MI5 and MI6 – and had witnessed the sadistic murder of three young boys.

He has been found guilty of fraud and 12 counts of perverting the course of justice,

There are now dozens of articles profiling Beech and summarising aspects of the trial, parts of which were live-tweeted tirelessly by a young Sky reporter named Jordan Milne, whose threads are available here.

The story of Carl Beech, aka Operation Midland’s “Nick” and “Carl Survivor”, is one that I have been following since 2014, when I first read about his claims in a prescient article (partially cross-posed to Harry’s Place) by the barrister Matthew Scott titled “Exaro News Is Playing A Dangerous Game With Its Paedophile Murder Story”. This was a couple of weeks after “Nick” had been showcased by the Sunday People in an article headlined “MPs and VIPs ‘child abuse ring’ at luxury flats near Parliament investigated by detectives” (still available on the Mirror website, which encompasses the Sunday People‘s web presence), by Keir Mudie, Nick Dorman and Mark Conrad. The article featured a photo of Nick, viewed from behind, sitting on a bench and talking Mark Watts, captioned as “reporter Mark” – it’s not clear if this is a misidentification of Conrad, or if for some reason Watts’ full name was deliberately left off. The story was branded with a Sunday People “investigation” logo and also that of Exaro, where Conrad and Watts were based. Two weeks later, the photo of the back of Beech’s head made its way onto the front page, as part of a splash titled “I saw MP throttle young boy to death”.

Matthew’s post was published in response to the story being picked up by the BBC’s World At One, which had run an interview with “Nick”. Matthew highlighted several reasons for caution which resonated with me: he referred to “rumours, which in truth have been flying around on the internet for years”; to the danger of contamination; to the possibility that the reports will “feed a monstrous hysteria”, with innocent people being unjustly accused; and to parallels with the case of Carol Felstead, who had made lurid false allegations against politicians following therapy. For my part, I was put in mind both of scurrilous stories published in Scallywag magazine in the 1990s and of the 1980s Satanic Ritual Abuse panic.

After expressing some cautious scepticism, in due course it was brought to my attention that “Nick” was actually a man named Carl Beech, who worked for the Care Quality Commission. Various NHS-related documents showed a portly but apparently cheerful figure, although there was also a critical website by some kind of alternative healer calling herself “Dr Cathar”, who had a grudge against him after he had apparently dispensed with her services as a hospital interpreter.

It also transpired that Beech had contributed a poem (a wretched piece, essentially a misery memoir blurb channelled through William McGonagall) to the October 2012 issue of the NAPAC Newsletter (NAPAC = the National Association for People Abused in Childhood), which had been published under his full name. The poem suggested a child-abuse ring (“They came in the night and they came in the day / Myself and my friend were always their prey”), but for some reason now that he was accusing public figures he was suddenly very keen to assert his legal right to anonymity.

This made it very difficult to piece the story together publicly. In particular, while Exaro were publishing about “Nick”, Beech was active on Twitter as Carl Survivor (@carl_survivor) and as Carl Chassereau (@carl_cassereau), producing lurid accounts of abuse on a related blog and on a website called This Tangled Web (to add to the confusion, his posts to this site were uploaded by a third party, and so were tagged “By Kate Swift”). Could these legally be cross-referenced, given that Carl was his real name? I did so in one post, but later out of an abundance of caution edited the connection out. However, some of the Tangled Web material made it into the media – in particular his story about being tortured with Remembrance Day poppies, which I discussed here. As “Carl Survivor”, Beech became the poster-boy for a “Wall of Silence” anti-abuse exhibition that was displayed in Bristol, at the National Assembly of Wales, and at City Hall in London – indeed, it was very nearly displayed in Parliament.

Beech had also previously used his middle name Stephen to appear in a documentary (with his face obscured) in which he claimed to have encountered Jimmy Savile at a child-abuse party. Why was this not mentioned in Exaro’s reporting? The fact that Beech was able to claim compensation for his supposed abuse by Savile with just a vague account raises questions about how many other people may have got away with fraudulent claims.

The wheels started to fall off in the summer of 2015, when Harvey Proctor gave a public statement about Beech’s allegations against him. He referred to several names that had been put to him, and one of these was Raymond Beech, who had been Beech’s step-father for a time (Carl’s birth name was Carl Gass). Proctor also revealed lurid details that Exaro had suppressed – I suspect because they were too incredible – such as that he had supposedly attempted to castrate Carl but had been prevented by fellow orgiast Edward Heath. A few months later, BBC Panorama ran an episode which raised doubts about Beech’s story and those of some other “VIP accusers”. The programme-makers were vilified for this, but vindication followed. The police “Operation Midland” closed down in ignominy; the Henriques Report made serious criticisms of how Scotland Yard had handled the matter; and then Beech himself came under investigation by Northumbria Police, brought in as an outside force.

We now know from the trial that there is overwhelming evidence that Beech fabricated his accounts of “VIP abuse” – he researched locations and details which he then presented to the police as memories, in one case describing the swimming pool at Dolphin Square based on a pop video which supposedly showed the location but which in fact had been filmed elsewhere. He created false collaborating witnesses via email. School friends and records disputed his accounts. Photos of him swimming and a selfie in his underwear fatally undermined his allegations of a phobia about being underwater or of looking at himself. Bodily injuries were not present. His computer yielded other versions of his story, and also reliance on books by an American named Timmy Fielding. The CPS has a round-up of the evidence here.

Meanwhile, it has also been revealed that Beech himself has been involved in crimes of a paedophilic nature – he downloaded images of child abuse, which he kept hidden on his computer, and he secretly filmed a teenage boy urinating. These are crimes he has admitted, and the secret filming in particular means we can discount any kind of “Chris Langham” defence that he accessed such images for some reason other than sexual gratification. Again, the law made it difficult to put the full story together – his arrest in Sweden after fleeing the UK last year was reported in Swedish media, but could not at first be referred to in the UK, and initial reports of his subsequent conviction for these offences could not be linked with his activities as “Nick” and “Carl Survivor”.

It used to be the case that previous convictions could not be mentioned during trials, but this is no longer always the case and following legal argument it was agreed that Beech’s sex offences could be disclosed as part of the fraud and perversion of justice case. This decision, although open to criticism, was reasonable in that the offences shed light on Beech’s motivations and obsessions when he made his false allegations. However, Mark Watts, who attended Beech’s trial every day (funded by whom?), now claims that the ruling “made it impossible for Carl Beech to have a fair trial” and that the convictions are “wholly unsafe”. Watts also suggests that the trial had “no insight into the possible effects of childhood trauma”. It’s not clear what is meant by this last point, but there are no grounds to doubt that Beech has mental capacity. Alternatively, perhaps he is arguing that true abuse may lead to false allegations, or even that false allegations are evidence of true abuse.

This is weak stuff. Clearly, Beech’s behaviour – his lies and manipulation, and also grandiose spending that resulted in large debts – was pathological, and perhaps can be explained by his experience of a violent step-father. We can’t disprove the possibility of sexual abuse as well, but that’s simply a truism and there is no good reason to depart from the principle of falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus. The jury’s verdict is supported by overwhelming evidence that anyone can assess for themselves. The nearest Watts comes to admitting this is when he concedes that “forensic examination of Carl Beech’s computers shows that police would have had no basis for referring to the Crown Prosecution Service his statements against anyone of child sexual abuse or homicide” – a rather opaque formulation that implies that some technical matter has created a bit of doubt, rather than that Beech’s whole story has been exposed as lies.

Despite everything, the conspiracy milieu – which is Watts’s primary readership – is unlikely to admit to a bad investment any time soon. Given the near omnipotence ascribed to dark forces (who for some reason were unable to suppress the story completely), Beech’s ruin and imprisonment can easily be assimilated into their narratives.

High-Profile CSE Charity Criticised by Rotherham Council Following Investigation

Sammy Woodhouse alleges she was “gagged” from speaking out, criticises Sarah Champion MP

From the Yorkshire Post:

Rotherham grooming scandal whistleblower Jayne Senior “let down” now-adult survivors of child sexual exploitation (CSE) who sought her help through a publicly-funded charity she runs, a three-year £60,000 independent investigation has concluded.

Mrs Senior, a former youth worker who was awarded an MBE in June 2016 for her work in exposing the nature and extent of CSE in the South Yorkshire town and was elected as a Labour councillor earlier that year, has been strongly criticised in a 124-page report investigating allegations against her by 12 complainants.

A second article in the paper specifies that six of the complainants had been service users, and that out of the total number of 12, three complaints had been upheld, four had been partially upheld, and two had not been upheld – oddly, this leaves a further three complaints unaccounted for.

The upheld allegations are that Senior had acted “beyond the professional boundaries of her official capacity” in directing individuals to her service and to a particular legal firm (Switalskis Solicitors), and that complainants’ stories had been “inappropriately shared” and “misrepresented”, including in Senior’s 2016 memoir Broken and Betrayed. Apparently, Senior has admitted that she “amalgamated” accounts, explaining that she did so to protect anonymity, but this was seen as “distorted representations of their abuse” by some of those involved. There is no suggestion that she gained financially from her actions.

Given Senior’s role in exposing the Rotherham scandal, this was a story of some delicacy, although it has been in the works for some time – the journalist concerned, Chris Burn, has described it on Twitter as “probably the hardest, most complicated and in many ways the saddest story I’ve ever covered”. In response to suggestions that this was Rotherham Council maliciously going after a whistleblower who had exposed the council’s failings, Burn replied that “Rotherham Council failed to listen to victims in the past – in this case they took concerns raised with them very seriously and ordered an investigation.”

Inevitably, some of the criticism has tipped over into wider allegations of wrongdoing, and the investigation has certainly been controversial – the Post notes that “in April 2018, Rotherham Council apologised to Mrs Senior for delays in informing her and the charity about the allegations made”, and this was reported at the time in the Guardian. The nature of these “delays” is concerning; as the Guardian reported:

During the visit the officials refused to tell either Senior or the charity’s trustees why they were being investigated, saying they had not finished interviewing the complainants.

But the ombudsman found that they had in fact completed the complainants’ interviews four days before the raid, and yet waited another eight months, until 16 August 2017, to tell Senior what claims had been made against her.

The same article also contained strong criticism of the investigation by Sarah Champion MP (previously blogged here) – Champion’s support is unsurprising, given that in 2014 she secured funding to “appoint” Senior as “a specialist in child sexual exploitation, specifically to support the 1400 victims from Rotherham and ensure they get the justice they deserve”.

One high-profile figure who supports the investigation and its outcome is the Rotherham anti-CSE activist Sammy Woodhouse. Woodhouse says that she has been “gagged” from talking about the subject for three years, and she alleges that harassment has occurred. She also argues that the Labour Party ought to take action against Senior, complaining that “Yet again Labour are exploiting people in Rotherham”, and she is particularly critical of Sarah Champion: “Myself and others have been disappointed with her from the moment we told her. She wasn’t interested. This is the reason I no longer support her.” [UPDATE: Woodhouse has since confirmed that she was the Yorkshire Post’s source for getting the report]

Among those supporting Senior is Esther Baker, who at one time lived locally. A few days before the Yorkshire Post article was published Senior announced on Twitter that she was “Just having coffee with @Esther9982 , reviewing information , throwing a few ideas around”; and after the report was published, Baker announced that “The person who made these complaints is a person who I saw kick the daylights out of a young girl in Rotherham bus station. The same person sent confidential info of mine to an abusive person putting me in danger.”

Baker made headlines a few years ago with allegations that she had been subjected to repeated ritualised abuse in woodland while growing up – she claims that police officers stood guard while the abuse took place, and that one perpetrator was addressed as “Lord”, indicating that he was a judge. Her claims have never been substantiated despite extensive police investigations, and she is now embroiled in civil legal action brought against her by the former MP John Hemming. Baker has frequently referred to VIP abuse conspiracies (in particular in support of claims made by Carl Beech), and like Senior she also enjoys the confidence of Sarah Champion.

ln 2018, Senior posed with Jon Wedger alongside a giant presentation cheque made out for £2000, which Wedger had raised through sponsored activities. Wedger is a high-profile promoter of “VIP abuse” conspiracy allegations, including claims of Satanic Ritual Abuse. More recently, he has branched out into anti-BBC activism, focusing on news coverage of Syria and Tommy Robinson.

UPDATE (August 2019): Apparently related to the above, Baker has now attacked Sammy Woodhouse on Twitter over a report in the Sunday Mirror that Woodhouse and her sister have opened café, described as “offering youngsters somewhere to go instead of hanging around on street corners” and as “a place which some families of sexual abuse victims have visited”. Baker’s interpretation of this was that the café was in fact “advertising that vulnerable teens are available on tap in a cafe”, and that Woodhouse was “using abuse & those who may be vulnerable” to promote a business.

Baker received some criticism for this, including from an account apparently run by Woodhouse’s sister, who replied with “Esther you don’t know us you are going on what Jayne Senior has told you which once again she shouldn’t be discussing.” Baker’s response, as with her abuse allegations, was to suggest that there is further context which she could provide but for some reason is choosing not to: “Well you should have seen the last 4 years of it that I’ve put up with from that bloody lot then” (here); “If people want me to get personal and drag up memories of what happened in those days then if this shite continues I’ll do just that” (here); and, via a meme image: “Very few know the story behind the story, so if you’re not one of them be quiet”.

The Sun Turns on Self-Described “Leading Criminal Profiler” Over False Claims

The Sun, December 2018:

WEIRDOS are pretending to be some of Britain’s most hated and vilified villains on Facebook including serial killers and paedophiles.

…Leading criminal profiler and former detective [Paul] Harrison said news that people are pretending to be the monsters was “disturbing” and “sinister” and he said there was a danger they could think they are that individual.

The Sun, May 2019:

THE Jeremy Kyle Show has been slammed for turning killer dad Mick Philpott into a ‘celebrity’ before he started a deadly blaze which took the lives of six of his kids.

…Leading criminologist and criminal profiler Paul Harrison said ITV had ’empowered’ the violent criminal and inflated his ego in a way which could have led to him committing more offences.

The Sun, July 2019 – erm…

A PHONEY serial killer expert exposed by The Sun yesterday apologised for deceiving his fans.

Paul Harrison, who has earned thousands from books and sell-out talks claiming to be an FBI profiler, said he was “weak and vulnerable”.

…a string of former FBI agents — and even the Yorkshire Ripper — branded him a liar and said he had made it all up.

It has also emerged he faked his own death to get out of a copyright court case which would have left him a huge legal bill if he had lost.

Harrison is the author of a number of true crime works. His most recent opus, Mind Games: Inside the Serial Killer Phenomenon, has now been withdrawn from sale by his publisher, Urbane Publications, just a few months after a book launch at the Soho Collective that featured an actor performing as Hercule Poirot and the floor decorated with a police-style “dead body” outline. As reports note, the book came with a blurb by Martina Cole.

Harrison was the subject of a gushing profile in the Mirror in 2018, which included grandiose claims about having been introduced to American serial killers:

Sutcliffe was one of ­nearly 80 of the world’s worst killers to face a grilling from Paul, who earned his Mindhunter tag for ­being one of the first British police officers to work at the FBI unit immortalised in the hit US telly drama.

His “client list” reads like a Who’s Who of history’s biggest monsters including Charles Manson, John Wayne Gacy, Donald “Black Panther” Neilson, Aileen Wuornos and real-life Hannibal Lecter Robert Maudsley.

According to that article,

Now considered one of Britain’s leading experts on serial killers and their psyche, he often acts as an adviser to other professionals as well as TV and film producers and directors.

I’ve previously expressed scepticism about the supposed expertise and claims of profilers here and here.

Alongside his crime output, Harrison has written books about footballers, and, more exotically, his oeuvre includes The Encyclopaedia of the Loch Ness Monster, which “includes everything you will ever want to know about the loch and its mysterious inhabitant.”

UPDATE: There is also a journalist named Paul Harrison, who has written a couple of true-crime books in collaboration with Professor David Wilson, a noted criminologist. This is a different person from the Paul Harrison discussed above.

Newspapers Amend Careless Phrases in “Rothschild” Reporting

Metro reports on the tragic accidental death of Iris Goldsmith:

Iris Annabel was an heir to both the Goldsmith and Rothschild dynasties.

They are two of the most powerful families in the world who have had great sway over the UK’s political and financial worlds.

The wording here comes across as a bit off. “Two of the most powerful families in the world” is a crude formulation, the meaning of which is vague. How does one measure such power, either against other dynasties or compared to other examples and kinds of “power” in the world? The expression “great sway” gives an impression of informal and behind-the-scenes influence, and one is alas immediately put in mind of “Rothschild” and more general “Jewish banker” conspiracy mongering.

The paper’s editors appear to have realised this, and the passage has now been amended:

Iris Annabel was an heir to both the Goldsmith and Rothschild dynasties – two powerful families who have had great influence in the world of politics and finance.

Similarly, the Sun thought better of the following:

The two families are worth billions of pounds and they have maintained a powerful influence over Britain’s financial and political systems for decades.

The text after “pounds” has now been deleted.

The original versions both appear to derive from a phrase that appears in several Daily Mail / Mail Online articles, which remain unamended. According to the reports there:

Iris was heir to two of Britain’s, and the world’s, most powerful dynasties, the Goldsmith and Rothschild families. Together the two society bloodlines are worth billions of pounds and have had a powerful influence over the UK’s financial and political systems for decades.

This appeared first in an item by “Daily Mail Reporter”, and was then re-used in follow-ups by James Fielding (previously blogged here) for Mail Online and then in a co-authored piece by Richard Eden and James Wood for both brands. Like “sway over”, the expression “influence over” (rather than “influence in”) evokes some sort of executive control that goes beyond any sensible historical or political-science interpretation.

Of course it’s true that the two families are indeed incredibly wealthy, and that members of both dynasties have been influential in British public life, both in politics and the financial sector. Obviously, this is part of the story here, but as with other kinds of reporting the history of prejudice means that journalists ought to be mindful of how their words could be used to the advantage of bad actors. Most people have a very limited understanding of the financial sector and the position of the Rothschild Group within it, nor do they know anything much about individual members of such dynasties and their motivations. Someone curious to know what is meant by “two of the most powerful families in the world” is much more likely to find anti-Semitic “Rothschild” conspiracy ideas than serious and measured sources.

H/T: The original extracts were screen-captured by the Jewish Chronicle‘s Daniel Sugarman – here, here and here.