gregrparker
Feb 27, 2018

The reporting of the circus school child abuse allegations.

54 comments

Edited: May 7, 2018

It was recently pointed out to me that the spiraling down in the quality of reporting can at least partially be laid at the feet of the introduction of the GST (Goods and Services Tax) in 2000. From that time on, the sole measure of success has been revenue as most major media outlets were taken over by bean counters, with quality investigative reporting being the first and biggest casualty.

 

The growth of the internet and the nature of the news cycle has only quickened our rush to Salem. The Shouting of "witch" is all the evidence anyone needs. Post-truth meets the Inquisition. The balance between protecting alleged victims and protecting the rights of the accused is one that must be set at the right level. We are in danger of going from too far one way to going too far the other.

 

Early this year, an alarming story broke that highlights the issue.

 

It was widely reported, and picked up internationally, that a circus training school in the Blue Mountains had been involved in kidnaps, rapes, tortures, exploitation and ritual abuse of 3 boys aged from 3 to 7. This all allegedly happened between 2014 and 2016 and involved 4 members of the one family and 3 others who at the time of the alleged offenses, were still under 18.

 

The mass media lapped it up and printed anything and everything it could get on the story. By and large, reports seemed to be based on the assumption of guilt, even when using the essential qualifiers. Social media lapped it up, with whole groups ready to grab pitch forks to mete out justice on the by now named adults who had been arrested (and who are still behind bars awaiting bail hearings). It was simply click-worthy, and that means dollars! And the more bizarre, evil and depraved the allegations, the better. Come and get yer daily does of righteous anger!

 

Here is just one sample of what was being published in early February.

 

Police said the seven alleged offenders were involved in a New South Wales circus training school called The Arcade Circus that catered to children with and without disabilities.
The charges include rape, kidnapping and assault occasioning actual bodily harm. It is alleged that members of the group also used the young boys to produce child pornography material.
Some trainers are accused of performing sadistic "blood rituals" on the young boys, the Daily Telegraph reported.
The circus school owner and carer, Therese Ann Cook, 58, is listed to appear in Penrith Local Court on Tuesday.
Cook has been charged with 43 offences, including aggravated sexual assault of a child under 10, sexual intercourse with a child under 10 and aggravated kidnapping

More at https://www.stuff.co.nz/world/australia/101199910/blood-rituals-child-pornography-aussie-circus-school-allegedly-tortured-young-kids

 

The allegations had a familiar ring - think Pizzagate and the VIP pedophile ring in England. Neither true - both stories filled with horror and depravity.

 

But it was also reminiscent of something more local - in fact a 2012 story from the very same Blue Mountains.

 

It involved an adult female in 2012 who was taken in by a religious cult which specialized in bringing out alleged suppressed childhood memories. Or put another way, they used typical cult techniques to induce what is known as False Memory Syndrome.

 

Written by a variety of people, the papers are at once bizarre, comic and sinister. Some appear to document Kylie's "treatment" - regression sessions, mainly, where she would relive childhood traumas and write in an infantile scrawl details of unimaginable abuse, including being showered in a purée of human body parts, being sexually assaulted and forced to drink blood.
The documents also indicate that the group believed themselves to be engaged in spiritual warfare with witches - both in the Blue Mountains and in Sydney - some of whom are identified by their name, age, employment and "coven status". "One of them is my aunt, who lives in Harbord," says Nathan.
The documents also confirm the group's involvement with a man named John Darnell, who is the pastor of a church in Canberra called Shepherd's Heart. Darnell is the author of Satanic Strategies in the 21st Century, which explains how Satanic cults have infiltrated the "highest echelons" of government and mainstream churches. On a US Christian radio station last year, Darnell said he believed it was possible that the British royal family were actually shape-shifting reptiles.

More at https://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/spirited-away-20120312-1utb6.html

 

The stories do have certain similarities, for example, in the above, the "victim" is forced to drink blood. In this latest case, the kids were allegedly forced to drink their own blood in hints of the Satanic practices the cult claimed to be at war with. Here, we have a free-living circus family. Perfect if you are looking to point and shout "witch" and "find" the work of Satan.

 

If this family is innocent, then the media has sacrificed them in search of revenue by providing the trial by media the police seemed eager to produce by leaking the case to reporters like a sieve - including the now denied (and at this stage, seemingly false) allegation that some of this abuse was filmed for child porn. In fact, the evidence may be nothing more than the statements of the alleged victims. Police do not encourage trial by media unless the case they have is not strong.

 

If these people turn out to be guilty, even of a single one of the over 100 charges laid, they deserve everything the criminal justice system can throw at them. But if they are innocent, heads should roll for those involved in the police investigation and their media assets. No amount of money could possibly compensate them, so any payout should be huge.

 

There are as yet some unanswered questions, such as why, if these very young boys were kidnapped 2 to 4 years ago, there was no media coverage at the time? Child kidnap cases are always big stories. That it was not in the media suggests there is something about this particular allegation that is being withheld. I also await some news on the background of these very young boys. Were they by any chance, children of members a certain secretive religious group looking for witches to burn? If so, maybe they will claim the shape-shifting alien lizards told them to do it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

gregrparker
May 6, 2018Edited: May 6, 2018

The ABC yesterday reported that bail applications had been refused by magistrate Susan McIntyre. This refusal somewhat surprised me given the paucity (or perhaps non-existence) of physical evidence for the alleged offences.

 

A quick look at the background of the magistrate seemed to indicate she is determined to single-handedly turn around the oft-heard political cry of magistrates being soft.

 

But was it a wrong decision here?

 

She was put on the bench by John Hatzistergos who had been a Labor Attorney General. Hatzistergos himself would in 2014, make recommendations for changes to the way bail is granted due to media and political outcries over certain cases. His recommendations were all accepted. One of those recommendations was that "for serious offences, the onus will be on the accused to 'show cause' that their detention in custody is not justified. A serious offence will be defined as including the sexual assault of a child."

 

These changes were heavily criticized at the time by the legal fraternity - and for good reason; the original purposes of bail have been twisted and contorted mainly because of the confected outrage of politicians and radio shock jocks and their friends in the Murdoch empire.

 

It seems to be the case here that the defence team tried to "show cause" through demonstrating community ties and through the poor quality of the case. It appears that the magistrate did not agree on the latter point - something that does not bode well, though at this stage of the game her review of evidence would not exactly qualify as deep.

 

As for the police, what can be said? Their case and their actions are a delicate dance between illusion and delusion - as amply demonstrated yesterday, by on the one hand, claiming to have a strong case, while on the other, stating without a hint of coyness, that their case in entirely based on word-on-word.

 

For good measure, the prosecution also claimed that exculpatory evidence presented in the form of video showing the alleged victims in an entirely innocent and caring relationship with the accused, was actually evidence in the prosecution's favor!

 

Kafka couldn't have written a better script.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-05-04/trio-accused-of-child-abuse-refused-bail/9726652

Bea Moynahen
May 7, 2018

So the magistrate herself said `THERE IS NO EVIDENCE` at all. The DPP says "We have videos showing the accused where at the locations on the alleged dates". This is circumstantial not evidential! (These videos where willingly supplied and freely given). Forensic clinical reports clearly state there is no evidence suggestive or indicative of injury. Where is the clear indication that suggests a flight risk or threat to public safety that requires the accused to be detained in custody? (Unlawful detention compromises mental state and increases the risk to individuals). The magistrate said,in cases of this kind it is often on `word only` that a case proceeds.Where is the evidence to support the claims of the accusers? This is a GROSS miscarriage of justice and reprehensible abuse of legal process. The damage to a family and community is beyond comprehension. Individual and community support is vital and respected.

gregrparker
May 7, 2018Edited: May 7, 2018

Hi Bea,

 

Thanks for the comments.

 

There is evidence. Witness and victim statements are evidence. What has been admitted to is a lack of physical evidence. Because of the nature of child sexual abuse and the sometimes lengthy delay in victims coming forward, victim and witness statement are indeed often the only evidence to go forward with. If this was not the case, there could be few, if any prosecutions against "men of the cloth". I think we can all agree that not being able to try those people would be adding more cruelty onto the victims.

 

But that is where the similarities to those cases ends. The media coverage has been markedly different. Back in February, it was a feeding frenzy with certain tabloids trying to outdo each other in publishing salacious allegations. By contrast, the reporting on priests under investigation has been almost respectful.

 

The real issues here are:

  1. the actual source of the allegations (the kids certainly did go to the police on their own)

  2. the actual motivations of those who went to the police

  3. why the police ran a trial by media which included discussion of non-existent evidence (e.g porn films)

  4. why there was no media coverage of any child abductions during the time period in question

  5. why the police decided to press charges in a situation where some of the allegations are obviously physically impossible

  6. who on the force made the decision to press charges

  7. who in the prosecutor's office decided to proceed to court

Those last two points may go a long way to answering why such a farcical case has gotten this far through the system.

 

The bail situation is another issue altogether. The bail regime I laid out in my previous post has reversed the long-standing principle of the burden of proof resting with the accuser. For the charges laid, that burden here rests with the accused. Since we now know that the court considers the case "strong", other issues such as not being flight risks etc carry less weight than they normally might. It almost seems like the only way they will get bail is by proving the case is not strong. How do you do that when statements alone are considered "strong", and it is just word against word? Moreover, how do you prove your innocence in a bail hearing? You can't.

 

Despite my pessimism on the bail situation, I will be glad to be wrong if bail is granted via the appeal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Peter Cook
May 10, 2018

2018 and this is what is called our Justice System , 7 INNOCENT

people i will repeat that 7 INNOCENT people are in jail waiting for our Justice System to take its course , but of course their ve already had their trail by the media with an outcome that was wanted by a particular department and an organization needless to say the public sucked it all up and there's a public outcry. What the ilinformed public dont realise is, that those people who made those sickening and horrid allegations are still roaming our streets free to mingle with anyone they choose.

Something to think about, if any one of those allegations have occurred lets just hope these children are safe and not still in the hands of the perpetrator/s.

Welcome to the Australian Justice System 2018

gregrparker
May 10, 2018

Hi Peter,

 

I can understand your anger and frustration. The problem is that without allowing cases to proceed just on the say-so of a child or a parent, then none of the allegations uncovered by the Royal Commission could be pursued. Unfortunately some will abuse such a system to cause havoc for those they don't like or want revenge against.

 

When the truth is out, let's hope that justice finds and deals severely with those behind this. It is the only way to deter false allegations ruining the lives of others.

 

I have been doing some digging on religions, cults and quasi-religions in the mountains. Scary stuff. At least 2 have kids in their sights as core to their business and religious models.

 

I will continue to follow the case and comment where I think I can add anything.

Peter Cook
May 10, 2018

Thankyou for any help you can give the truth desperately needs to come out

sandyinkatoomba
May 10, 2018

Thank-you for investigating The Truth and assisting in the pursuit of true justice. No child molester should be allowed to roam the streets. No innocent human should be behind bars. I truly hope this is the beginning of "The End of False Religion".

gregrparker
May 10, 2018

A grab from one of the FB lynch mobs I encountered back in Feb

 

 

 

gregrparker
May 29, 2018

Not sure how I missed it until now, but I see bail was finally granted, albeit under strict conditions, about a week ago.

 

Does anyone have any more details? Did the police again oppose it?

 

Hope they are all bearing up okay.

sandyinkatoomba
May 29, 2018

Curious eh, that the ABC was virtually the only news source to report on the successful supreme court bail hearing. Even from the adult bail hearing earlier in May, Magistrate Susan McIntyre said "given the gravity and often bizarre nature" of the allegations, one would expect some physical evidence". Allegations that the accused had stuck needles in the eyes of the boys, bitten their tongues, whipped them and cut them had NO medical evidence backing them up. The allegation that one of the accused lifted a boy up by his penis was deemed to be impossible in one of the expert reports.

"The crown accepts these cases of course are word on word, but nearly all allegations of sexual abuse are word on word," said the prosecutor. I concur entirely,that sexual abuse is most often word-on-word, however allegations of severe physical abuse, the kind that would leave a child with blatant physical injuries, surely those sort of crimes would have concrete physical evidence? Didn't the parents notice these injuries? Wouldn't any parent immediately respond and seek medical help & legal help for their children, if they had needles stuck in their eyeballs or been whipped?

 

I have noticed that the "trial by media circus" has been significantly reduced since the February atrocities. Whatever happened to this supposed video evidence of the kids being abused? It's like it never existed :/

.http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-05-23/performing-arts-school-alleged-sexual-abuse-bail/9790616

gregrparker
May 29, 2018Edited: Jun 12, 2018

Thanks for the Update Sandy.

 

I think the tabloids have dropped off since the release of more sensational details has dried up - and worse still for them - the penny has probably dropped that there is zero substance to them anyway. But that just brings me back to why they were ever charged to start with. The lack of physical evidence THAT SHOULD BE THERE to support the bizarre stories of torture and sex might just lead a cautious person to conclude that the worst of the allegations appear to have been made up, and therefore so too might everything else be.

 

Whatever happened to the allegations of kidnapping for example?

 

I could almost believe that the kids bear medical evidence of having been abused, but that does not tell us by whom. In any case, physical evidence (no matter how non-specific) of abuse, combined with the statements of the kids and their adult carers, may have been enough for the charges. The allegations alone, surely could not have been sufficient for the reasons you state.

 

This is different to the historical cases before the royal commission now, where witness/victim statements are all that survive. And those allegations are not tarnished by physically impossible stories of abuse straight from Grimm's Fairy Tales for Sick Adults.

Peter Cook
May 29, 2018

Good evening ,

 

I would like to comment on a few of the questions raised , why were they charged ? I believe its to do with my sister being so vocal about how evil and sickening a particular cult is ,the allegations are just sickening and then to put a whole family through this is just so evil , these people are very dangerous as we now see and people in high places are pushing this case.

The video evidence , this one is a cracker ,the prosecutor said perhaps it was deleted or maybe he was pretending to video these scenes , some really strong evidence there what an absolute joke.

I also believe most people would laugh this out of court if they knew all the facts of this tragic story.

The Truth Will Come Out .

 

gregrparker
May 29, 2018

 

Good evening ,
I would like to comment on a few of the questions raised , why were they charged ? I believe its to do with my sister being so vocal about how evil and sickening a particular cult is ,the allegations are just sickening and then to put a whole family through this is just so evil , these people are very dangerous as we now see and people in high places are pushing this case.
The video evidence , this one is a cracker ,the prosecutor said perhaps it was deleted or maybe he was pretending to video these scenes , some really strong evidence there what an absolute joke.
I also believe most people would laugh this out of court if they knew all the facts of this tragic story.
The Truth Will Come Out .

 

Peter, deleted? Nothing is ever really deleted. There are people who specialise in retrieving deleted files. There are also numerous software packages that allow you to do it yourself. His "deleted" comment is absurd. That leaves "pretending to video these scenes". Wow? How can you defend against that????

 

If that is brought up at trial, I would be demanding to see the pretend evidence of any pretend videoing.

 

I agree - the truth will come out. What worries me is how long it will take. Hopefully at trial, but if this is being driven by anything other than the normal turning of the wheels of justice, it may take a bit longer - and more than a bit or persistence and commitment.

gregrparker
May 29, 2018
Here's a link to another Australian case that is not dissimilar to the circumstances surrounding the Innocent 7

 

Sandy, gold.

 

This actually shows why I asked you if the cult you refer to in this case was a splinter group. Kenja is a splinter from Scientology -- there were at least two other splinters in the 60s and 70s that may have been responsible for a hell of a lot of mayhem and murder in the US. One of them was known as The Process Church of the Final Judgement. One of the leaders in the US was actually an Australian named... Ken... (see the book "Ultimate Evil" by Terry Mauro). I don't recall Ken's name ever being revealed so at this stage, I couldn't say it's not the same guy. His commencing of Kenja kind of fits the timeline of when the US group started to break up.

sandyinkatoomba
May 29, 2018

The cult I suspect to be involved is a global one; one that has a very damaged reputation that they desperately hope to salvage. When cults shun family and disfellowship their own on supposition and gossip, whilst protecting insider pedophiles under a 2 Witness Rule, I don't believe this is an organisation that has the true wellbeing of its membership at heart. They are dangerous, dishonest and the followers are as brainwashed as any other cult follower. (Nuff sed? ;) )

gregrparker
May 29, 2018Edited: May 29, 2018

Sandy, I was talking about my suspicions prior to finding out which "church" you refer to here. It (the "church" involved here) is a group I have always been polite to when when encountering them at the front door. Not too sure how polite I will be in future...

Peter Cook
May 30, 2018

Hey Greg just wondering if i could discuss something with you but not on an open forum

gregrparker
May 30, 2018

Peter, have sent an email to the address you used to join here.

gregrparker
Jun 4, 2018Edited: Jun 4, 2018

Most of you have probably already seen it, but if not, here is the story of the bail hearing by the Blue Mountains Gazette https://www.bluemountainsgazette.com.au/story/5446987/bail-in-circus-case/

 

I believe it is reasonably balanced, and uses none of the less than flattering images of dwellings and individuals in question. Understand I use the term "less than flattering" only through the eyes of the publishers who seem to believe no make-up and long hair on middle-aged women makes them look "evil" or witch-like, while costumed young women are like-wise, "evil". And that's not even going into the photos of various buildings... which I am sure the publishers believe could only be inhabited by an inbred family of cannibals.

 

We're not in the Blue Mountains anymore, Dorothy. We've been blown over to the Appalachians.

 

Contrast the Gazette with the Daily Mail http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5794597/Former-cop-accused-member-circus-school-child-abuse-ring-abused-boys-granted-bail.html

 

I'm still reeling from this:

 

"In the past he had boasted of helping 'at risk' and 'vulnerable' children as a youth worker for Caretakers College and the Ted Noffs Foundation in the 1990s."

Boasted??? How loaded a word is that? Unbelievably biased. Unbelievably stupid.

 

The only - and I do mean ONLY saving grace in the story is that they published some positive comments from parents of kids who had attended the school.

 

New Posts
  • gregrparker
    Sep 15, 2018

    The following is from the Phoenix Times, Jan 2, 2018. My comments interspersed in italics. Normally, when the state charges somebody with first-degree murder, they rot in jail for a while awaiting trial. Not this time. Normally, when a grand jury clears prosecutors to charge first-degree murder, those prosecutors get an arrest warrant. Not this time. Normally, when a defendant fails to show up in court, even for a minor offense, the judge issues a bench warrant for the scofflaw’s arrest. Not this time. Normally, when pathologists suspect a child is murdered, the autopsy spells it out conclusively. Not this time. But then, nothing about the death of 7-year-old Sanaa Cunningham, the people accused of killing her, nor the case against them, has been normal. Most of the media blame the unusual aspects on cops looking out for one of their own, but Germayne Cunningham was no longer with the police force. He was working as a prison guard. He left the force during an investigation of it's operations and nothing should be concluded from that. He may have left to save being personally drawn into the investigation, or he may have left because of disgust over what was coming out of that investigation. Or the timing of his leaving may even be coincidental and had more to do with his challenging home life. Prison guards work regular shifts. Detectives, not so much. In short,he may or may not have been on good terms with former colleagues. But there is much more to this case. It’s unusual in many other ways. Very little information has been released. Prosecutors convinced the court to seal the police document that spells out the rationale for charging a crime. This is a routine public record, usually made available within days of an arrest or indictment. The Goodyear Police have yet to release its police report on Sanaa’s death. The state Department of Child Safety has not released any of four investigations of Sanaa’s treatment inside the Goodyear home. Which begs the question of what they are hiding. All are significant because Sanaa died in February, after DCS investigated three allegations of abuse at the hands of the Cunninghams. The first, alleging neglect, was launched on March 4, 2016. Child welfare agents ruled it “unsubstantiated” and closed the case. An October 27, 2016, allegation of sexual abuse remained open but was also ruled “unsubstantiated.” On December 21, 2016, state investigators opened up the third case, looking into allegations of neglect and abuse. It remained open when Sanaa died, and her death opened a fourth DCS case. But DCS didn’t report the death until December 12, exactly 10 months after she died, and two weeks after the state determined it was caused by abuse or neglect and a grand jury handed up an indictment. Here it looks a lot like Child Welfare have been working with police to put a case together against the couple. This may be no coincidence since the couple had laid the blame on Child Welfare for insisting that Sanaa be treated with anti-psychotic medications for her array of psychiatric and behavioral diagnoses. It and the autopsy read like a horror. Prosecutors allege the couple tied up Sanaa and left her to sleep outside, confined to a laundry room, garage or patio, with injuries that festered. This sounds terrible but it is without context. From http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/99/3/497 The Use of Physical Restraint Interventions for Children and Adolescents in the Acute Care Setting Committee on Pediatric Emergency Medicine Children and adolescents may need to be physically or chemically restrained for various procedures, because of disruptive behavior, or to prevent injury to themselves or others. The use of restraint for a child or adolescent requires clear indications, safe application, reassessment guidelines, and use only after the consideration of alternative methods. Seclusion refers to the involuntary confinement of a patient alone in a room, from which the patient is physically prevented from leaving, for any period of time. The use of seclusion or restraint on children and adolescents hospitalized for psychiatric disorders has been reviewed by several authors and is beyond the scope of this statement. 1-4 Restraints may be physical or chemical. Chemical restraint involves the use of psychotropic drugs or sedatives or paralytic agents. Physical restraint involves the use of physical or mechanical devices to restrain movement. Physical restraints may be cloth, leather, metal handcuffs or shackles, car seats, or seat belts. This statement is limited to the use of physical restraint in children and adolescents in the acute care or nonpsychiatric inpatient setting. END QUOTE The use of restrains in the above is in reference to specific children in acute care, not in the home. But other members of the family say that Sanaa was a threat to herself and to the other children and her age and array of issues would make her extremely difficult to manage in the home environment. Clearly, the parents wanted to try and manage without drugs. The autopsy noted scars on at least 60 locations on Sanaa’s body, about more than 100 cuts and bruises. She had multiple ulcers and abscesses on her nose, hands, legs, and feet. She died of septic shock, caused by a complication from bronchitis and pneumonia, the Maricopa County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled in October. The official report states the manner of death was “undetermined” and how the injuries occurred “unknown.” Forensic experts, in other words, did not medically rule it a homicide. This is from a Child and Youth Care Worker onilne discussion group: http://www.cyc-net.org/threads/self-harm.html I have just encountered a youth whom self mutilates as a way of getting staff attention in our home. When he is in the time out room he bangs his head into the wall and cuts his arms with his finger nails and tries to strangle himself with his hands and makes threats of killing himself. The way we have got him to level the behavior is we don't treat bumps and bruised knuckles from time out pounding right away and let the youth deal with his self inflicted pain. (Unless it warrants immediate medical attention). When the youth is in this space staff monitor him but ignore behaviors when it is an obvious play for attention. When the youth tries to harm himself by cutting or makes suicide threats, staff treat it as an attempt which means the youths entire room is stripped and he is placed on safety checks every ten minutes until our therapist assesses that he is no longer at risk. This has happened twice in the two months he has been with us and his behaviors have greatly calmed down as he has found that when he does this it buys him more attention then he bargained for. END QUOTE These are obviously complex issues regarding teens despite some no doubt having some potential for reasoning. But Sanaa was 7 and her array of issues in combination at that age, made her a highly unusual case and exponentially more difficult to manage. They noted there were no signs of sexual abuse. And they noted Sanaa had “a complicated medical history.” It took them five pages to summarize that history. It involved diagnoses of severe mental illness: unspecified schizophrenia, pica, mood disorders, and conditions that led her to urinate and defecate uncontrollably. She had a history of scratching, biting, and hitting herself. She would binge and purge food. Sometimes she would eat paper or the hair from her dolls. According to the autopsy, Sanaa slept in a locked laundry room to protect her from herself on a lawn chair. She would stay there naked, or in an oversize shirt, whose arms were tied like the straitjackets they used to use in old-time insane asylums. A camera watched her. Sometimes she wore a diaper, had gloves taped to her hands, and goggles put on her face. Goodyear police told pathologists that Germayne Cunningham acknowledged using zip-ties and handcuffs to restrain his daughter. Police had been to the house on December 21, 2016, but saw no reason to further investigate. The Cunninghams reported many of Sanaa’s maladies to medical and psychiatric experts. Germayne’s defense attorneys said he’d tapped out his retirement in part to care for his daughter. The complete story will not be known until the trial. On the basis of what I have read so far however, the prosecution has been driven by Child Welfare to deflect from their own failings and that of the medical profession generally. Welfare had conducted three investigations of abuse and neglect, including sexual abuse. The agency had found no basis for any of the complaints. Given the nature of the complaints and lack of foundation for them, it is likely they came from a disaffected family member. What is clear is that, given the nature of Sanaa's issues, the parents should have had access to better support services than is evident. In one news report, the agency stated that there are two people who have been charged - "neither of them employed by this agency." That to me, speaks of over-defensiveness masking guilt. Another issue that has arisen is the lack of support by our government to an Australian facing the death penalty (Lisa is from Adelaide). There is $500,000 available to help with legal expenses in such cases and this has been paid in the past to a woman accused of trafficking cocaine in Colombia, another woman convicted of smuggling marijuana in Indonesia, a convicted terrorist who trained with the Taliban and met Osama bin Laden, and two people convicted of heroin smuggling in Indonesia in a case made famous as the Bali Nine. What do all of those cases have in common? None were in the US. The lickspittle Australian government is too weak-kneed to do anything that might potentially upset their puppeteers in Washington.
  • gregrparker
    Mar 20, 2018

    alt.assassination.jfk This was the first group I ever posted to. That was back in the year 2000. It is run by arch WC apologist, John McAdams. It is a moderated forum where every post is subject to vetting before being put on the board. At times, there have been a mix of good posters in there, at other times, it is completely dominated by WC apologists intent on not debating the evidence, but on simply pouring sarcasm and scorn over anyone foolhardy enough to have an opposing view. I rarely go there anymore except to find old posts from past members. Here is a random sampling of current posts: How are you supposed to know that? Did you just identify the shooter on the grassy knoll? I thought you said it was Bigfoot or am I getting the kooks mixed up again? You guys should wear badges. ----------------------------------- He (Oswald) didn't bring a lunch nor did he order pizza from Domino's. ----------------------------------- I believe in conspiracies, and I believe a benignant conspiracy took place in this case controlled by the Kennedy family. If you like to go round and round in circles, then this the place for you. Alt.conspiracy.jfk Originally meant as an antidote to McAdams' group, this is an unmoderated free-for-all inhabited by anarchists, trolls and spammers with a sprinkling of sometime on-topic posters. Like it's sibling across the Google Pond, it has actually thrown up the occasional exceptional debate, but it seems like a very long time since that has occurred. Not for the thin-skinned. jfkassassinationforum.com This forum is run by a Scot named Duncan MacRae. MacRae has stated in the past that he runs numerous websites across a variety interests and subjects and that these sites are his sole source of income. MacRae's JFK site is very large and very confusingly organized - yet has by far the largest membership of all such sites. The site was recently hacked and taken down, yet despite having to start again from virtual scratch, the site was quickly back and looking like nothing had happened. MacRae claims to be open to the possibility of a conspiracy, however the site has a slight but definite Lone Nut bias brought about by sheer numbers on that site who support the official version vigorously, venomously and often, vilely. Despite numerous negatives, the site does produce the occasional nugget, but like digging for gold, you have to have a lot of patience and be prepared to leave empty-handed most of the time. Deep Politics Forum A lot can be learned about a forum from it's objectives. Here are the objectives of the Deep Politics Forum: An online community dedicated to shining light into the shadowy reaches of historical and contemporary deep political systems. We aim to expose deep political objectives, strategies, tactics, and operatives, and to understand their social, economic, and cultural impacts. Our mission transcends academic inquiry, which we accept as an invaluable tactic in a broader strategy to wield knowledge and truth as weapons in a coordinated assault on the manipulators who operate within deep political shadows. Curious language to say the least. How for example, does one " transcend academic inquiry "? And what is it that is being " accepted as an invaluable tactic ", academic inquiry itself, or the transcending of it? But it is the last declaration of war that takes the cake. "Weaponizing the truth" is a catchphrase used by one of the founders of this forum, Charles Drago. Mr. Drago was summarily evicted at some stage for questioning the bona fides and identity of a member using the name of Albert Doyle. The irony is that others eventually exposed Doyle's real identity, leading him into more and more bizarre rants and behaviors and one by one Mr. Doyle was banned at forum after forum, including the one in which he had established some sort of standing - the Deep Politics forum. We are still waiting for the weaponizing of the truth and its utilization in "a coordinated assault". It should be a sight to behold. The height of their "truth", is that the CIA ran an "Oswald Project" involving a double for Oswald and a double for his mother - Hungarian refugees from the early 1950s. The aim of the project was in merging the identities of the doubles with the real Oswalds and sending the fake Lee Oswald to the Soviet Union as a fake defector. The theory has been cobbled together in the manner of a parlor game where you are given half a dozen disparate pieces of information, none of them necessarily true, and you have to weave them together into a story. The inhabitants of this forum tend to see themselves as intellectuals, Zen Masters and revolutionary warriors. The reality is that some can barely construct a coherent sentence and have zero insight into how ridiculous their war declarations make them sound. forum.assassinationofjfk.net This site was started by California real estate salesman, Greg Burnham. Mr. Burnham is an eloquent writer, even when he has no idea what he is writing about. Prominent among those who helped get the forum up and running was the now excommunicated Deep Politics forum co-founder, Charles Drago. Mr. Drago is a Deep Thinker and even more eloquent in his musings than Mr. Burnham. The bromance was sparkling -- but fell apart over differing political views with the election of Donald Trump, and once again Drago was banished to the wilderness, his last refuge being Facebook. With Drago's departure, the door was opened for his former Deep Politics forum nemesis Brian ("Albert") Doyle. The irony is delicious. Everyone is now aware that Doyle has real issues, but Burnham's forum (known by some as "Der Morgue" because that is how deadly quiet it is) can ill-afford to turn any member away. Such is the need for content, Mr. Burnham even allows Doyle to rant about a topic otherwise banned for discussion in Der Morgue (despite all the bowing and scraping to the merits of free speech in his "welcome to the forum" message). That topic is Prayer Man. On the other hand, it does give Mr. Burnham and his one or two other posters the chance to conflate the Prayerman image with that of Lovelady in the Altgens6 pic. Let's call it "weaponizing the strawman". The assassinationofjfk forum takes silliness to a whole new level. According to this lot, the facilitators and sponsors of the assassination are not only unknown, they are unknowable. But apparently that is not an insurmountable setback - not when you have weaponized a truth you are unable to annunciate except with the broadest of brushes. The JFK Education Forum Most other forums currently operating can be considered splits from this forum. It started in 2004 and is currently operated by another Scot, James Gordon. It seems every few years, the "ed forum" (as it is widely called) goes through an existential crisis. It is going through one at the moment, and it follows a familiar pattern - complaints by and about members and moderators over real or perceived slights - then comes the hand-wringing and a threat to pull the plug as the headaches don't warrant ongoing financial commitment to stay afloat. Unlike the assassinationofjfk forum and the deep politics forum, which at least pretend to have some higher purpose, the theme that keeps coming back here as the most important purpose is civility. Good manners. That means not calling a liar a liar. That means putting up with all sorts of bullshit and baiting - all acceptable so long as it is done politely. Though there have been times when the forum has shone, it has become another protected haven for crackpot theories, predominately the Two Oswald nonsense so beloved at the Deep Politics forum. For many years, it has been impossible to conduct a discussion on Lee Harvey Oswald at this forum without it being taken over by this garbage. In 2015 while still a member there, I made the following observation to another poster : 'The goal of education is the advancement of knowledge and the dissemination of truth JFK once said. You make a mockery of it, and your enablers here are just as guilty for caring more about "foul" language than about the foul tactics you and others employ in your battle to thwart any chance of "education" through this site. ' Therein is the real issue. The site has no sense of purpose beyond some vague notion of being an educational resource for students. The JFK section is certainly educational. Unfortunately just not in the way that was envisaged. My advice fwiw, let it go, or change the culture and find a purpose beyond self-perpetuation. Style (here defined as "good manners") should never trump quality content in the pyramid of need. ReopenKennedyCase.org This is one of the smaller JFK assassination forums and yet the busiest in terms of new research. Although other sites occasionally present new data or insights, it is rare for them to do so. But that very thing is the whole reason for the existence of this forum. Creating new leads to spark a new investigation. It is also free of the issues that plague other forums, and that is largely down to a membership which takes the case seriously, but not themselves. It is more than a discussion group. It is actively looking for ways to progress the case toward closure. You may say this assessment is biased since I founded the site. And that's fair enough. Check it out for yourself. Check them all out. If you're thinking of joining a JFK discussion group, there is certainly something out there that will suit your own biases and ideas.
  • Greg R. Parker

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