• First published in 2004 as Bartholomew’s Notes on Religion (BNOR).

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Antivax “Eco Community Group” In Derbyshire

From the Buxton Advertiser:

There is a new vision for part of the land owned by Stanton Estate at Cressbrook Dale after an eco community group took on the responsibility for the site.

Rachel Enlaugh from the new group is excited about the new venture… Last week they signed the contract for the land in Cressbrook Dale after crowdfunding to raise the first instalment of money. The group now have a year to raise the second half to pay to the Stanton Estate.

Rachel said: “A lot of people are seeing what is happening in the world and want to be independent of the system…”

The person quoted there is actually named “Rachel Elnaugh”; she has a media profile already, having formerly been an investor on the BBC reality business show Dragon’s Den. In September there was controversy when she Tweeted that England’s Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty “will hang” for advising the vaccination of children against Covid.

The Buxton Advertiser makes no mention of her antivax views, but it is clear they motivate her “eco community” plan, along with a mix of New Age and “alternative” beliefs. The land for the project is owned by the Davie-Thornhill family, and in a video, in which Elnaugh presents herself as “Rachel of Cressbrook”, she thanks “the son of the lord of the manor”, who she says is “fully awake to the programme, and jabs, and what’s going on, and very consciously aware and enlightened”.

Elnaugh envisions a number of what she calls “Inner Sanctum” communities across the country: in February 2021 she held a conference call with fellow enthusiasts including Ray Savage, who owns land in Alfriston in East Sussex. In 2015 Savage was one of the protestors alleging Satanic Ritual Abuse at Hampstead; in the video (speaking at 54 minutes) he claims to have been involved with “some quantum nuclear physicists” who “have a way of getting the RFID chips out of the body and nullify the impact of the vaccine if they get to people fairly quickly”.

Vice Notes Antivax Music Festival Coming to Sussex

From Vice:

As hordes of music fans descend on Glastonbury, hardcore COVID conspiracy theorists are preparing their own festival in the UK, with a lineup drawn exclusively from artists in the “truther” movement.

The three-day “Freedom Music Festival,” will be held in a field near Battle, Sussex, next month, with early-bird tickets selling for £99. The organisers, HOPE Sussex – a hybrid homeschooling and events hub for the COVID conspiracist movement – are billing the concert as a “red-pill event” featuring “performers that aren’t afraid to spread the truth and haven’t let any lure of fame and fortune bend their integrity.”

The event is being headlined by Danny Rampling, “a pioneering DJ in the UK rave scene”, and the main stage will be hosted by Right Said Fred, recently described by Mark Dolan of GB News as “pop icons”. Mark Devlin, “another well-known DJ in the UK dance scene”, is also involved, as well as “Jam for Freedom”, founded by Cambel McLaughlin.

The article states that it is being held “on the grounds of HOPE Sussex”; it appears that the group has relocated from Horsham over the border in West Sussex (1). The home education group was profiled in the Daily Mail in January, which noted that it was “being promoted by the paramilitary antivax group Alpha Men Assemble (AMA) as a way children can avoid ‘state indoctrination’.” The report (oddly only available on Pressreader but on the paper’s website) was an un-bylined spin-off from a longer article about AMA, which appeared a few days after Vice also covered the group.

Two HOPE Sussex tutors – Matt Single and Sadie Single – were previously in the news in 2008 after they were suspected of leaking the BNP’s membership list in defiance of data protection law; Matt was eventually fined, although charges against Sadie (at the time known as Sadie Graham) were dropped. According to the Mail, Sadie Single “has been pictured” with David Icke, whatever that means. Matt Single also made an appearence in the Evening Argus in December 2020 (described as “from Hailsham” rather than Horsham, presumably an error), when he was arrested while dressed as Santa Claus at a Save Our Rights UK anti-lockdown protest in London. (3) The Vice report incorporates a Tweet from Mohammed Shafiq that shows Sadie at a protest in September 2021.

One detail Vice overlooks is the involvement of the “newsroom cosplay” (3) conspiracy website UK Column, which over the years has endorsed various allegations including the Hampstead Satanic Ritual Abuse hoax. The UK Column logo appears prominently on flyers and at the head of a list of “collaborators” on the festival’s website, where a blurb announces that the site “is going to be broadcasting coverage of this Freedom Music Festival and exclusive interviews with it’s [sic] artists!”

Anyone signing up for the event is asked how they came to hear of it – the drop-down menu includes Alpha Men Assemble, “David Adleman – People’s Lawyer”, Ickonic Show (blogged here), Light Newspaper, Stand in the Park, UpRise and Shine Event, and UK Column Interview.

Notes

(1) The festival is advertised as being at “Upper Hook Field”, which is actually on the outskirts of the East Sussex village of Netherfield northwest of Battle. Last month HOPE used the same venue for an “UpRise & Shine” conference, and in August it will be hosting a New Agey “Spirit Fest” involving “the usual sacred music, dance, visionary art, healing circle, and the usual, fab food, kirtan, yoga, stalls, and children’s activities”.

(2) Larry O’Hara wrote about Sadie Graham/Single in Notes from the Borderland magazine during her BNP period (issue 5 [2003], p. 62 and issue 7 [2006], p. 32). He described her as having “surfaced in the mid-1990s hunt-sabbing and anarcho-punk scene” and as having worked for a Brighton law firm specialising in animal rights and briefly even the GANDALF case. Her BNP activism brought her some attention, but Larry noted an odd lack of media interest in her unusual history (including at Searchlight magazine). In 2008 it was claimed that “she was one half of an anti-Nick Griffin split last year”. Matt Single was expelled from the BNP in 2007; he told the Mail he had been “naive” to have joined in 2001, and they have both since repudiated the far right.

(3) H/T Hoaxtead for this apt characterisation.

When Anti-Vax Prophecy Fails: Charity for “the Vaccine Injured”

A blurb on JustGiving:

Weʼre raising £1,000,000 to Help fund the setting up of the “Charity Organisation for the Vaccine InjureD”

I am raising money to finance the setting up and running of a charity to help those who have been injured by vaccinations. My proposal is for the Charity to set up a call-centre to refer enquiries to qualified medical personnel who can advise and help and ultimately to help those in financial difficulty because of their adverse effects. It is known that adverse effects and death are afflicting approximately 3% of the Covid vaccinated. So far. Approximately 5 billion people have been vaccinated worldwide. 3% extrapolates to almost the poulation of the UK. So far. Help me set up this Charity. We should help these people. With your help we can.

The blurb was uploaded by John Bowe, a former actor now associated with Laurence Fox‘s Reform Party.

As a “proposal” this is all quite thin. Where has the million quid figure come from? On Twitter, Bowe has assembled anecdotes from people who claim they have been permanently injuried by Covid vaccination; but few or any of their claims appear to be properly documented, and medically recognised “adverse effects” (presumably the basis for his “3%” figure) are overwhelmingly transitory. We know, of course, that very rarely the AstraZeneca vaccine can cause blood clots, but what kind of “help and advice” is currently missing that Bowe intends to provide? In the UK, patient advocacy organisations already exist for anyone who believes they have suffered harm due to NHS treatment.

Despite the lack of credible detail, Bowe was invited onto GBNews to discuss his plan in a softball interview with Mark Steyn, where he said that he was inspired following a “three-month sabbatical”. On Twitter, he has further announced two trustees: sometime TV archaeologist Neil Oliver, and Dr Tess Lawrie, a pregnancy and childbirth specialist who has found fame as an invermectin enthusiast and Covid vaccination alarmist.

Vaccine conspiricists have for months been predicting an apocalyptic day of reckoning when the vaccinated will suddenly sicken and start dying in large numbers; significantly, the white-bearded Bowe told Steyn that the charity will be an example of the unvaccinated being “big enough” to help the vaccinated, implying that everyone aside from the unvaccinated elect will be afflicted.

In this context, Bowe’s grandiose proposal looks to me to be messianic cope in the wake of a failed prophecy; the predicted harm is not self-evident, and so members of the public will be invited to come forward and identify with the victim narrative on offer. As with therapists specialising in Satanic Ritual Abuse, the strategy will likely generate some apparently confirmatory anecdotes that will serve as data.

While Bowe is attempting to raise funds for his charity, another page on JustGiving in the meantime is raising funds for the man himself:

Weʼre raising £50,000 to help the British actor and campaigner, John Bowe.

John Bowe – a man of principle
Over the last two and a half years, due to circumstances beyond his control, the great actor and campaigner, John Bowe, has lost his income and his house.

This is our way of thanking John for all he has sacrificed.

This campaign, set up by a comedian named Abi Roberts (although originally using the name “Cathy Crunt”), has been endorsed by Fox, the narrative being that Bowe “has lost everything for speaking out”. However, the man is in his seventies, and he announced last year that he had decided to “quit acting” to focus on activism. At his time of life this was a retirement, and although actors’ finances can be precarious, he enjoyed professional success in a number of televison roles and his career included steady and lucrative work on two prime-time soap operas. It’s not clear why he should now be so hard up (despite owning a house in Italy), much less why he should be taken seriously as the visionary figurehead for a million pound project.

UPDATE (17 June): Bowe has been invited back onto GBNews for a segment hosted by Mark Dolan billed as “The Big Question – is the Covid 19 vaccine safe?”. Don’t expect much debate: Bowe will be in conservation with Lawrie and all-purpose conspiracy crank Naomi Wolf.

UPDATE 2 (19 June): His trustees now include a menopause specialist named Dr Tina Peers and (perhaps inevitably) James Melville.

UPDATE 3 (29 August): Another trustee: Neil Oliver.

UPDATE 4 (29 August): A social psychologist named Carol Jasper tried out the service and posted her account to Twitter. Here is what she wrote (slightly edited) for ease of reading:

Just called the C.O.V.I.D helpline with a genuine query. My husband had a month long headache at the same time as his first Pfizer injection. I asked what would their advice be regarding a subsequent booster.

The operator said, and I quote, you could look online to see what [1] other people are saying about this?

I replied – seriously?

She said – er no, I’ll get a colleague to call you back within half an hour.

I asked who that would be; she said she didn’t know. She hadn’t worked that out yet.

She did say it was a charity set up to help [2] the vaccine injured and that they would be able to give me advice from a medical professional. I await their return call. [3]

…Received a call back from Lucy. She did not ask if I had permission to speak for my husband. She said they could redirect me to people who could advise about future vaccination options and recommended I look at [4] some websites including the Peoples Health Alliance and one called, I think, Covid Family Support. She confirmed she was not a medical professional. That they had no medical professionals and that they could offer nothing more than redirect people to websites [5].

My experience was of a very amateur service with unqualified and unprofessional staff with no medical knowledge or expertise. They did not ask ascertain permissions or offer anything helpful.

I’ll leave you to draw your own conclusions as to the efficacy of the ‘service’ [6].

Neither did they make clear that headache could be caused by many factors: Exhaustion, eye strain, poor lighting, underlying medical issue

I wasn’t expecting this to be properly investigated but it was assumed it was a vaccine related event purely because I said he’d had [7], which is surely a HUGE red flag.

Jasper ended with some screenshots of material RTed by Bowe, including a Tweet in which Dolores Cahill is quoted as saying that “Everyone who has had an MRNA injection dies within 3 to 5 years!” and Tweets promoting Ivermectin. She writes:

Here are some ‘clues’ to the possible motivation behind this helpline.

There’s no credible scientific evidence for any of these assertions.

Creating fear and uncertainty and then providing a ‘solution’ by directing to a paid for service is a recognised function of AV agents.

Matt Hancock’s Half Hour with James Melville

From a podcast blurb:

Isabel and James are joined by the Rt Hon Matt Hancock MP, who as Health Secretary led the UK’s response to the covid pandemic until his resignation in June 2021. One of the highest profile politicians in the UK, Hancock was an economist at the Bank of England and was an adviser and chief of staff to George Osborne, who would go on to become Chancellor. As a backbencher, he has become a champion of cryptocurrency.

“James” here is James Melville, who has one foot in the conspiracy milieu and his other in more mainstream media networks – sometimes co-hosting online discussions with David Icke’s sidekick Leilani Dowding, but here sitting alongside Isabel Oakeshott, a former political editor of the Sunday Times whose oeuvre includes books co-written with Lord Ashcroft.

Presumably it was Oakeshott rather than Melville who managed to persuade Hancock to appear on their new podcast series The Speakeasy, which describes itself thus:

News just in. Prohibition is back! Governments around the world are clamping down on a dangerous new drug called “free speech” in an effort to stop the spread of common sense. But, like before, there is growing resistance from people who call themselves “freedom fighters”. Investigative journalist Isabel Oakeshott and communications expert James Melville are among their number…

It is not clear how the podcast is being funded. Hancock was probably also unaware that Melville had previously repeatedly insulted him online, describing him as “bascially a candidate from The Apprentice who got fired on week one and somehow ended up running the company” (H/T @turts_).

Melville is best-known for extrapolating malign and dystopian intentions behind public health measures, repeatedly intoning on Twitter that “once you have seen it you can’t unsee it”. He has also recently expressed concern about chemtrails, and in March he suggested that the Western media was refusing to run a story about the Russian army providing humanitarian aid to Ukrainians because this “act of compassion… doesn’t fit the narrative” (he later deleted that one, without explanation).

However, Melville’s willingness to have a friendly chat with Hancock has not been well received by by the conspiracy crowd. Right Said Fred are of the view that Hancock “would only turn up to pre-agreed questions asked by controlled interviewers”, whereas Bev Turner’s assessment is that “If I had @MattHancock in an interview chair and didn’t hold his feet so close to the fire that he wanted to bolt for the door, I couldn’t look myself in the mirror” (a view apparently supported by Dowding, despite working with Melville herself). Former Telegraph cartoonist Bob Moran, meanwhile, complains that “the only time and place it’s ok for [Hancock] to be interviewed is in a police station following his arrest.”

UPDATE: Bev Turner’s assessment has also been endorsed by Neil Oliver, while James Delingpole has compared the interview with a puff piece for Hitler. Boris Johnson’s former lover Jennifer Arcuri meanwhile has suggested that the interview with a “globalist traitor” indicates that Melville is a “sell out”.

On the plus side, though, the interview has been promoted by Hancock himself on his own Twitter feed.

Meanwhile, as an attempt at damage control Oakeshott has announced that “For a grilling over lockdown, ⁦@JamesMelville and I have invited ⁦@MattHancock back to ⁦@TheSpeakeasyFM ! Rest assured we won’t hold back”. Melville’s explanation is that a “round two” was “the whole point of this”, despite the fact that no second interview has been secured and that the original interview was advertised as encompassing lockdown already.