For a conspiracy to spread, important people need to be listening. Alexi discovers that the perpetrators of the Hampstead hoax have friends in high places, while he and the team close in on Abraham’s location
Alexi Mostrous, narrating: Just a quick note before we start, the following episode contains descriptions of sexual and physical abuse of children as well as strong language and graphic violence.
John Wedger: We’re going live. Hi, uh, John wedger here I’m an ex Scotland Yard Detective and now I dedicate my time really sort of exposing organized child abuse, coverups, and giving people the platform to speak out about their abuse.
Alexi Mostrous, narrating: When my producer, Gemma, and I started looking into the Hampstead Hoax we watched a lot of videos like this one.
John Wedger: I’m with a guy that I’ve known for a while, and someone who’s been highly recommended even before I knew him for me to speak to. He’s an ex-military guy, He’s from the far east, and he’s dedicated decades now to investigating and exposing something which is turned SRA, which is Satanic Ritual Abuse.
Alexi, narrating: Conspiracy theorists – interviewing each other about Hampstead, about Satanic Ritual Abuse, about how it’s all being covered up by a powerful elite.
John Wedger: Now, we had recently these 2 children that came forward and mentioned about abuse that was going on in the Hampstead area. And anyone who seems to be on the path to support these children have found themselves before a court.
Wilfred Wong: I have no doubt that these groups are controlled and dominated by Satanists.
John Wedger: And I was even warned, you know speak about anything, but you talk about SRA, you’re in a world of trouble.
Alexi, narrating: I’ve got to confess, we both got a bit sidetracked. Spending hours watching these guys, clicking on one link after another, bingeing on the craziness of it all.
Wong: They believe that they are pleasing the Devil by torturing their victims, they believe they will get more power because at the core of Satanism is the ruthless pursuit of power.
Alexi, narrating: It probably wasn’t that healthy…being sucked into this twilight zone, where all people talk about are horrific crimes, murders, torture, sacrifice.
Wedger: We’ve just been through interviewing some prostitutes, uh, back in the nineties who were selling their babies for 2000 pounds.
Alexi, narrating: But it was all relevant.
Because, as well as trying to understand Ella Draper and Abraham Christie, and why they’d concocted the Hampstead hoax, I wanted to know why so many other people believed it too.
And I had a theory.
It’s called “the proximity to respectability.”
You won’t find this in an academic paper, it’s Alexi’s unscientific, two-pronged theory on conspiracies and why they spread.
And the first part of the theory is, it’s not just about the story, it’s about the person telling it
Take the video I just played you. It’s hosted by a guy called John Wedger, a former senior policeman. He’s worked in vice, on the drugs squad, he was on the front line for years.
And he’s talking to a man called Wilfred Wong, a Human Rights Barrister from North London; educated, urbane, professional.
On the face of it, these are respectable people. People that you’d believe, that you’d trust.
And the second prong of Alexi’s totally-not-peer-reviewed theory on how conspiracies spread is this:
A successful hoax needs important people to listen.
Wong: I’ve been covering the issue of Satanist Ritual Abuse for 26 years. And I organized at least four meetings so far on SRA at the House of Commons, starting with one in 1994.
Alexi, narrating: From Tortoise, I’m Alexi Mostrous and this is Hoaxed. Episode 4, Infiltration.
Alexi, narrating: When Ella Draper was looking for someone to represent her in her family court case in 2014, she came across Sabine McNeill and Belinda McKenzie
and their organisation The Association of McKenzie Friends.
And this must have seemed kosher – because right there on the website – and on its business cards – was the name of its patron
A British politician called John Hemming.
Sabine: He was always very, very, uh, pro our issues.
Alexi, narrating: For ten years, John Hemming was an outspoken member of the British Parliament.
His position gave him a badge of authority, something that Sabine knew would be very useful to her.
Sabine: I asked him in the end, whether he would be, become our sponsor. And so, John Hemming agreed, and the other MP was Austin Mitchell.
Alexi, narrating: I wanted to understand the nature of Hemming’s relationship with Sabine… and just how far his patronage had helped her to promote the Hampstead Hoax
Alexi Mostrous: Right, let’s call John Hemming… Are we rolling? Okay.
John Hemming: John Hemming
Alexi: Hello, my name’s Alexi Mostrous, I’m a journalist at Tortoise Media.
I wanted to ask John Hemming about Sabine, how he’d met her, how a member of parliament like him had got involved with these people
So now, we are trying to do a kind of proper deep dive into it, and we’ve interviewed Sabine McNeil, as part of our investigation and she mentioned that, um, she mentioned her work with you.
Hemming: “She set up a thing called the Association of McKenzie Friends. People set up these things and they ask various Parliamentarians to be patrons of these organisations. Potentially if they want a meeting in the House of Commons, I might let them have a meeting with me or Austin Mitchell there and you go to the meeting and you hear what’s going on at the meeting.
Alexi, narrating: Austin Mitchell was another MP who agreed to be a patron of the Association of Mckenzie Friends. He’s dead now.
Hemming: I agreed to have meetings in parliament. When you are a patron of an organisation, you’re not reviewing everything in detail.
Alexi, narrating: According to John Hemming, his involvement was limited to letting Sabine hold a few meetings in the house of commons.
But I think his patronage offered Sabine much more than that.
His name gave her instant authority. It opened doors. And it helped Sabine gain access to some really surprising places.
Places like the European Parliament
Sabine: I went to Brussels about a dozen times. I was also invited to give a seminar once
Alexi: At the European parliament?
Sabine: Yeah. But the petitions committee, not the parliament as a whole, but the petitions committee is a very impressive, uh, I mean, I can send you the link to the video it’s an impressive space.
Alexi, narrating: She didn’t send me a link.
But that’s okay, cos I already had it.
Sabine addressed European Politicians at least twice, once in 2014 and again two years later.
When I discovered this, it slightly took my breath away. Here was a woman who was jailed for nine years for horrific stalking and harassment, in part for hacking into a mother’s computer, stealing a photo of her nine-year daughter and labelling her the star of a sex show
At the same time as she was committing those offences, Sabine was given a platform to speak to some of Europe’s most powerful figures, addressing them in a smart black trouser suit, looking more like a Diplomat than a Conspiracy Theorist.
And how had she got into this elevated position?
She’d petitioned the parliament in Brussels for an audience, and she’d used John Hemming’s name as currency.
Sabine: I am speaking on behalf of 1000 children taken a month in the UK
That’s why we are here today. We are here crying for help. There are children screaming to be heard. If you don’t hear those children scream, who will.
John Hemming is the only MP who stands up regularly.
Alexi, narrating: Sabine initially talked to the politicians about Britain’s family courts and how, in her view, they were stealing children.
But as soon as she got behind the podium, she couldn’t help speaking about her other obsession: Satanic Ritual Abuse.
Sabine: This is just once again, the evidence that I’m not the alone, that Satanic abuse is an, a, um, phenomenon that cannot be denied.
The big questions are, what next? Where do we go from here?
Alexi, narrating: When I think about how someone like Sabine could gain the support of senior politicians,
I think about a type of scam called the Bait and Switch.
It’s an old one: the scammer advertises a nice new product to the customer, and then at the last-minute switches it out for a dodgier model.
Sabine and Belinda were the scammers, and John Hemming appears to have been the mark.
They knew they couldn’t get political support by openly complaining about Satanic Abuse.
So, they approached politicians around less contentious issues.
And it helped that John Hemming, like Sabine, thought that Britain’s family courts needed wholesale reform.
But it’s still surprising that he didn’t look further – didn’t ask what else Sabine and Belinda were up to, because the 2 women were controversial way before Hampstead
Belinda especially had a history of supporting contentious organisations.
Alexi: Did you ever meet or work with a woman called Belinda McKenzie?
Hemming: She was also associated with Sabine McNeil. I think she might have a really checkered history, I’m not sure. I talk to loads of people. If I employ someone, for instance, or if I pay somebody, then I obviously need to check things out. But I’m talking to you without checking you out. One day I dealt with 140 odd different media inquiries, and you don’t check everybody out.
Alexi, narrating: In January 2015 – John Hemming left the Association of McKenzie Friends…he was concerned at the direction it was heading.
Hemming: I warned Sabine that basically what was going on was fabricated by the mother, but Sabine took no notice.
Alexi, narrating: John Hemming may have parted ways with Sabine but, arguably, the damage had already been done. By giving Sabine McNeil his support in the first place, he had enabled her.
And Sabine wasn’t the only conspiracy theorist who’d been helped along by a politician.
Brian Garish: Hello, and welcome to UK column live. I’m your host, Brian Garish. And I’ve got with me in the studio. Wilfred Wong. Hello? Hello. And Wilfred is a very experienced child protection campaigner. Some 22 years’ experience. He was originally trained as a barrister, but his particular, uh, expertise is Satanic Ritual Abuse.
Alexi, narrating: Do you remember Wilfred Wong, he was one of the two guys talking at the beginning of this episode.
The human rights barrister from North London
Wong is a legend amongst the members of Conspiracy Inc, he’s been talking about satanic abuse since the 1990s.
And he was a really important pusher of the Hampstead Hoax
Wong: “Yeah. We need to publicise the facts of the Hampstead case to keep the case alive and to expose the cover up because until we expose what’s really going on, publicly and extensively, the Satanists will continue to grow from strength to strength.
Alexi, narrating: Wilfred Wong is pretty extreme, even for a satanic conspiracy theorist.
He’s gone on stakeouts across the country looking for Satanists on Halloween.
Expecting to spot bodies hanging from trees, a sign he says, of satanic activity.
And in 2020, he did something truly awful.
But before I tell you about that – I just need to pause for a moment and talk about what Wilfred Wong was doing a few years before that point.
Because at the same time as Wong was promoting Satanic Conspiracy Theories like Hampstead, he was working as a Parliamentary Lobbyist in Westminster.
A position he held for almost two decades, working for a lobbying group that promoted Christian values. One was a Westminster insider, he had an office in parliament, a security pass…he had the power to host meetings – and he had a direct line to MPs.
Xavier Greenwood: I suppose if there’s, if there are kind of three things which, which kind of come to mind when I’m thinking about Wilfred Wong and why his story’s so shocking.
Alexi, narrating: My colleague, Xavier Greenwood has been looking into Wilfred Wong.
Xavier: I think one of them is the fact that he was introduced to Satanic ritual abuse by a sitting MP Jeffrey Dickens, he was fairly openly, as far as I could see, organizing meetings on Satan Ritual Abuse in Parliaments
They were attended by politicians. One of them was even chaired by an MP who ended up in the House of Lords. And then I suppose a kind of third strand of what, what shocked me about Wilfred Wong, is the fact that he was, he was being fairly publicly praised for his work. You know, there are several mentions in the House of Commons records of Wilfred Wong, and you can even find a clip of Sir Edward Lee, the, you know, longstanding Tory MP, talking about Wong’s great work in Parliamentary TV.
Sir Edward Lee: I pay tribute to Mr Wilfred Wong, who for 20 years has helped MPs to raise the plight of persecuted Christians in numerous letters to the Foreign Office”
Alexi, narrating: Xavier told me that Sir Edward was really close to Wilfred Wong. So close, in fact, that he gave Wong a character reference just last year.
When Wilfred Wong was on trial for kidnapping.
On a cold Wednesday afternoon in early November 2020, Wilfred Wong and a woman called Dr Anke Hill waited on a cul de sac in Anglesey, Wales for a boy to arrive home from school.
They’d been planning this for months. They’d got burner phones, a hire car, false number plates and had prepared to communicate with each other in code.
As the child’s foster mum pulled up outside her house, Wilfred Wong and Anke Hill struck.
She wrestled the child from his car seat while he held a knife to the foster carer’s throat until “screaming and hysterical”, she let the boy go and the pair bundled him into a waiting car.
Wong slashed one of the foster carer’s tires to stop her from chasing them and the pair drove off.
They’d planned to smuggle the boy out of the country but were picked up by armed police four hours away from his home.
At their trial last year, a court heard that Wilfred Wong and Anke Hill wanted to snatch the boy because they believed he was being abused by a Satanic Cult that supposedly included the child’s father. The police established that no cult existed – but that didn’t matter.
Last year, Wilfred Wong was sentenced to 17 years in prison for kidnapping, Anke Hill got 14 years – the judge found that they had caused ‘unspeakable misery and harm’ to the child.
The facts of the case are chillingly similar to Hampstead. For years the Hampstead parents had been terrified that a conspiracy theorist would come and kidnap their children. And Wilfred Wong had shown how easily it could have happened to them.
Wilfred Wong and Sabine McNeill had shown just me how far the Hampstead Hoax had gone beyond the internet, right into the corridors of power.
But it didn’t really get me much closer to answering the question I’d become slightly obsessed with.
Why did this whole thing happen in the first place? Why did Ella Draper, the mother of the Hampstead children, and her partner Abraham, make up the hoax?
At this point, I couldn’t ask Ella, she wasn’t even opening my emails, let alone responding to them, so I decided to shift focus to Abraham.
I wanted to know everything about him.
We track down a former friend. An ex-partner, Stepchildren. We review all his social media messages to get a sense of what he was up to, and where he might be.
I even ask Daniel Maki, a specialist in open-source intelligence, that’s someone who can extract hard to get information from the internet, for help.
Daniel Maki: I found a 2017 record on this cash money for silver.com website listing Abraham Christie as the registrant with an email address **23 as in the number **firstname.lastname@example.org.
So, I checked to see if there’s anything else linked to that, when I ran it through a different tool that I have, I found a Skype profile that was registered to that email address using the alias name, Aaron Skywalker.
Alexi, narrating: One of the first things we discover is that Hampstead was not Abraham’s first rodeo.
He has been a conspiracy theorist for years.
Abraham: I’ll tell you who else is involved?
Tony Blair is involved in the fraud in the Finchley Road fraud. Who else is involved? Prince Andrew, he’s involved in Hamstead coverup
Alexi, narrating: And the second? That he’s almost certainly living in Morocco.
Remember, Morocco is significant in this story. It’s where Ella and Abraham took Ella’s children in the summer of 2014.
After a few weeks, we narrow down his location to three places.
A town called Chefchaouen, famous for its blue painted houses; somewhere near Ketama, near the Riff mountains; and Marrakech, the main tourist city in Morocco.
Ketama is a protected region in Morocco where growing cannabis is basically legal. Since we know Abraham uses cannabis to make his smoothies, this makes a lot of sense.
But I know it’ll be almost impossible to find Abraham in Ketama. I’ve heard it’s a lawless region and we’ve got no real clues as to exactly where in the mountains he might be.
As for Chefchaouen, we’ve seen pictures of Abraham there but he could have just been passing through.
So, we concentrate on Marrakech.
We’ve been told that Abraham co-owns a house there with his ex-wife – someone who he’d been with for years before Ella.
This fits in with what we can see on Abraham’s Instagram, pictures of him exercising or making smoothies in a riad in Marrakech, a riad is what some houses in Morocco are called.
Our source says that the house this riad, is currently up for sale.
This is what we need to track down. So, I ask my colleague Xavier to see if he can find any more clues.
Xavier: So, you sent me through a few pictures of the riad, which had been posted on Abrahams, Instagram accounts. The first thing I did was look through Abraham’s close contacts and Instagram and through them, I was able to find a few more pictures.
Alexi, narrating: Xavier takes these pictures and starts cross checking them against property websites in Marrakech, to see if he can spot anything.
Eventually he finds the riad, it’s advertised on a small real estate website catering to expats looking to buy property in the city.
Xavier: It has the distinctive tree in the yard. It has these white railings. It has same kind of markings on the rooftop.
Alexi, narrating: Xav contacts the person behind the website, the guy selling the property, who happens to be British
House Representative: Good evening. Xavier sorry, I couldn’t take your call. I was in an important meeting, which went on longer than expected. Listen, I know, uh, ***** and I know Abraham, Ibrahim, whatever you wanna call him. I’ve known them both for years. They own the house. 50/50. So, I don’t really have anything to add to that. It’s a, it’s a messy divorce and you know, I don’t have any further comment really.
Alexi, narrating: This is a real result.
For the first time we know for sure that Abraham does own a specific property in Marrakech.
We know roughly which area of Marrakech it’s in – thanks to the description on the property website.
But we still don’t have an exact address.
The property website doesn’t give that level of detail and the British estate agent refuses to give any more information.
We know that if we’re going to find Abraham in Morocco, tracking down this riad is our best hope.
Gemma: I think we need to go and find Abraham
Alexi, narrating: We were going to Marrakesh. But a few days before we travel, I discover something else.
Something that makes me think it might be Abraham, not Ella, who was pulling the strings all along.
Something that makes me question even more why police failed to take any action against this guy back in 2014
Alexi: Hey, Gemma. Um, I know that you are just about to get on a flight, uh, I was just checking out Abraham Christie’s Instagram page, uh, and you know, as you do on a Sunday, uh, and normally it’s full of kind of boring posts. About like the nutritional value of hemp.
But, uh, today he’s posted an attack, a direct attack on his former partner. The main post is big picture of the former partner’s face and he’s accusing her of. Being satanic, being demonic, playing with Ouija boards and covering up sexual abuse involving her children. But then all of. Abraham’s former partners kids have like weighed in on the comment section and basically have kind of publicly accused Abraham of perpetrating, like 20 years of physical and mental abuse. against them. And some of the details are like stunningly similar to Hamstead.
Alexi, narrating: Next time on Hoaxed:
I hear allegations about Abraham’s murky past
Male Voice: ‘Just to confirm, the only person who ever abused me was you. The only person who held me down and beat me was you. The only abuser I lied for was you’
Alexi, narrating: We get help tracking down Abraham’s riad.
Female Voice: If we locate a door, we can try to get into another Riad rooftop, pretending to have lunch or something like this, and try to look for this roof from there.
Alexi: Yeah. That’s a good idea, to get high up.
Alexi, narrating: And discover that the Tottenham grifter has transformed himself into a guru.
Male Voice 2: Uh, he is one of the dealers that I’m getting like weed from it, but like, he is not, he’s saying that he is not a dealer. He’s a healer.
Alexi: Yeah. And you know, this guy by what name?
Male Voice 2: Abraham
Alexi, narrating: In a response to us, John Hemming denied that his support of the Association of McKenzie friends had any substantial effect. He said that it was important that people should be allowed to attend meetings in parliament about issues they’re concerned about.
Hoaxed was brought to you by me, Alexi Mostrous, Gemma Newby, Imy Harper, and Xavier Greenwood. Sound design is by Eloise Whitmore. Our executive producer is Basia Cummings.
Alexi Mostrous Reporter and host
Gemma Newby Producer
Xavier Greenwood Reporter
Imy Harper Assistant producer
Eloise Whitmore Sound designer
Tom Kinsella Sound designer
Basia Cummings Executive Producer