How 'Satanic sex cult' hoax started by one woman terrorized parents and children at primary school

'Mothers told me they slept on the floors of their children’s bedrooms to protect them,' investigative reporter Alexi Mostrous revealed

How 'Satanic sex cult' hoax started by one woman terrorized parents and children at primary school
(Representational Image: Getty Images/ Klaus Vedfelt)
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HAMPSTEAD, LONDON: An investigative reporter, Alexi Mostrous, has revealed in his piece for The Daily Mail about how a beautiful little primary school in Hampstead became the center of a vicious fake campaign against a supposed Satanix sex cult. It was all because one woman went crazy because of a custody battle with her ex. The journalist has not revealed the name of the school in his write up but noted that things began to go south in early 2015.

Citing a parent called "Sam," Mostrous said that she was informed by another parent that “the class list . . . it’s been put online”. The editor at Tortoise Media then went on to explain what that list was actually about. He wrote: “The list included the names, contact details, addresses and mobile numbers of dozens of the parents, teachers, school staff and pupils. All had been posted on the internet. That breach of privacy was bad enough — but to her horror, Sam saw that vile accusations had been placed next to each of those named.”

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“It was claimed the people on the list were Satanists who had sex with children and practised child sacrifice. They drank their victims’ blood and danced around with babies’ skulls. Sam was only one of about 175 innocent people whose names appeared on the list — victims of arguably the most serious British conspiracy theory in years,” he stated.

Mostrous, who claimed to have been working on this story for months for his new podcast series ‘Hoaxed’, said that “mothers told me they slept on the floors of their children’s bedrooms to protect them. Some had to move home, others had businesses ruined as a result of being unable to have an online profile because their names were already out there in the most horrible way.”

However, the most shocking thing about this story is as Mostrous says, that “this satanic conspiracy theory wasn’t conjured up by some internet crank, but by a middle-class mother whose children also attended that little primary school in Hampstead.” He named a 49-year-old woman called Ella Draper, who was the 'mastermind' behind the hoax.

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Though Draper was raised in the Russian city of Rostov-on-Don, she shifted to Hampstead after marrying a wealthy English banker in the 1990s. But eventually that marriage reportedly ended. Draper, however, did not leave London and got into a relationship with an actor named Ricky, with whom she had children.

But that relationship also did not continue for long and lead to an ugly custody battle. “Ella started dating a new man — Abraham Christie — whom she met at a vegan chocolate-tasting. Abraham, now 65, believed hemp, the herb from which cannabis is derived, to be the elixir of life. He made Ella’s children drink hemp smoothies and asked them to call him ‘Papa-hemp’. The coming together of these two alternative minds seems to have proved fatal,” Mostrous penned for The Daily Mail.

The woman, Christie and the children went for a vacation in 2014 to Morocco and upon returning, the two adults started claiming that the children “had started to make horrific allegations. They said they were being abused by their father Ricky, by teachers at their school and by fellow parents.” 

“They claimed the adults were part of a satanic cult — operating in the heart of Hampstead. The couple consulted Abraham’s brother-in-law, a special constable, who passed the allegations on to the police. I’ve seen video tapes of police officers interviewing Ella’s children. They are harrowing,” Mostrous said but noted that when the children were questioned again by the cops, they “recanted."

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"They told the police the truth — that they’d been pressured into lying by Ella and Abraham,” revealed Mostrous in his article. The reporter shared that the conspiracy theory could have been stopped then and there but “the police quickly closed the investigation. Inexplicably to me, they didn’t even question Abraham about the children’s allegations, let alone arrest him on suspicion of child abuse. The custody case with Ricky, Ella’s former partner, moved over to the family courts, where Ella chose to represent herself. 

“That meant she was given access to all the evidence in the case, including the confidential videos of her children being interviewed by the police and other sensitive material like their medical reports. Fighting a court case alone isn’t easy, so she sought help from Sabine McNeill, an informal legal adviser. In late 2014, Ella handed over all her evidence.”

But instead of putting an end to the legal battle between Draper and Ricky, the German-born Sabine “lit the fuse on the Hampstead hoax. She took all Ella’s confidential material — the videos of the children’s interviews, other home videos showing the children alleging satanic abuse, their medical reports — and, with Ella’s blessing, put it all online. She also published an 11-page-document called Mass Child Sex Abuse In Satanic Ritual Abuse And Sacrifice Cult. This was the corrupted list of the personal details of the 175 people supposedly involved in abuse. Sabine and Ella had filled it with lurid allegations, identifying specific parents and teachers who they said were the ringleaders,” Mostrous’ article read.

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“Unsurprisingly, the Internet lapped it up. This was the first time I’m aware of where two children appeared to confirm satanic abuse — on tape. Soon, the videos were trending on conspiracy blogs across the US and Britain. This information all appeared online during Ella’s case with her ex-husband Ricky in the family law courts. The judge was furious — and sent police officers to her house to get an explanation,” but “she fled to Spain, with Abraham following a day later.”

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In the meantime, “the hoax continued to accelerate. Sabine whipped up her online followers, encouraging them to converge on Hampstead and confront the ‘Satanists’ she claimed were hiding there. Dozens of angry protesters travelled to the primary school, shouting ‘paedophile’ and ‘murderers’ at the parents and teachers.”

However, soon a “band of ‘internet warriors’” reportedly emerged to fight this nonsense. “Their de facto leader was a 64-year-old mystery writer called Karen Irving, who lived 3,000 miles away in Ottawa, Canada. In May 2015, Karen and her internet squadron founded a blog called Hoaxtead — a pun on ‘hoax’ and ‘Hampstead’. It had two main objectives: to get social media giants to remove links to the children’s videos and to gather evidence against the hoaxers that could eventually be used to prosecute them. The group reported thousands of links to Google and other platforms — asking them to remove videos of the children as well as other violent or sensitive content posted by people like Sabine,” Mostrous said.

After a lot of relentless efforts, “Sabine was put on trial in November 2018 for stalking, harassment and breaching a restraining order. Sabine was sentenced to nine years imprisonment — the longest sentence handed down in UK courts "for harassment and stalking" in 2019. Mostrous also pointed out that “online conspiracy theories can easily bleed over into real-world violence. The evidence suggests our institutions need to catch up.”

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