Its all too easy these days to forgot about the legacy that the sinister Madeleine Foundation has left upon the internet and the Madeleine McCann investigation. It has never been a stranger to controversial activity but what has been somewhat glossed over is the inextricable link between the group and violent threats towards the McCann family and others.
The origins of the Foundation change drastically depending on who you ask. For example Ms Butler, former chair person and branded by the UK Express as the “McCann Stalker” will tell anyone that it was her idea to form the Foundation. Whereas should you ask the cult leader figure that is Anthony Bennett then you are likely to hear that is was his progeny after his failed campaign to get Michael Barrymore investigated. How the Foundation was formed and by who is likely never to be agreed upon but what is crystal clear is that the mainstay of the Foundation activists and a large proportion of their “research” was in fact gleaned from the now deleted 3 Arguidos site.
Following the very public condemnation of the Foundation leafleting Rothley with their “Sixty Reasons why Madeleine McCann was not abducted” the group went through a very bitter and public split. Ms Butler although defiant in the face of a legal order effectively ending the leaflet campaign fell out with Anthony Bennett which ended in the Madeleine Foundation website being hijacked by the former administrator Stephen Marsden. Butler and Marsden then used the website to accuse Bennett of embezzlement and fraud, an accusation that was investigated and finally dropped following lack of evidence.
Prior to this spectacular division in the Foundation, Bennett was now spending the majority of his time “researching” ignorant opinion and wild false speculation that was the mainstay of the 3 Arguidos. Many of the well established false rumors about the case can trace their inception to the 3 Arguidos. Whether it be the abandoned shack with the fridge door, blue bag or empty shallow grave right up to and including the unbelievable rumor of hollowed out volcanoes, ex-filtration death squads carpet bombing Belgium in a commando raid and Nazi death camp Dr Mengele clone experiments.
Whatever your conspiracy, the 3 Arguidos and ultimately Bennett and his Foundation catered for it. Out of this thick and heady soup of ignorance came the “alleged facts” that finally made it into the various “Reasons” books and pamphlets that the Foundation later went onto to litter across the country.
Even before the mighty fall of the 3 Arguidos following infighting among the moderators, threats were beginning to bubble to the surface of the site. Suggestions of wanting to kidnap the McCann twins in an effort to make “Kate talk”. Another suggestion was to have someone do surveillance on Gerry McCann to identify the best place he could be confronted out of public view and assaulted.
It was from these very dangerous glimpses of extreme violence towards the McCann family that the self appointed ‘McCann Assasin’ (sic) rose to prominence along with his motley crew. By this time, it wasn’t just the McCann family that were being targeted, Clarence Mitchell, the family spokesman and his children were now to come under the scrutiny of the Assasins and singled out for retribution. Meanwhile the moderators of the site quietly sat back and did nothing to stop the escalating threats of violence.
Despite very public condemnation of the Foundation and it’s activities at this early stage, Bennett it seems was already in league with the Assasins, if not the entity itself, certainly Sean Hyland.
Long after the 3 Arguidos had been pulled, the site administrator lamented that the original essence of the Arguidos had been ripped apart by the right wing thugs that had infiltrated the site. It was no longer about Madeleine but about the massive egos.
It is a matter of public record now that the Assasins funded in part the Foundation. In fact it was one of these secret communications on the 3 Arguidos that finally named the ‘McCann Assasin’ as being Sean Hyland. Once Hyland could no longer threaten from the safety of anonymity, his cohorts on the site including one Dr Vanessa Sluming of Liverpool University began to turn their attention to the Foundation and especially Bennett.
What took place behind the public threatening and fighting will remain a mystery. What is public record is that Sluming was caught red handed trolling her way through Bennett and a website in order discredit and fuel rumor of financial impropriety. An accusation that was later picked up and used by Ms Butler. There is also no doubt that the Assasins, although without a website with which to issue their demands and threats, they remained the Foundation enforcers.
Payments to the Foundation coffers prove that Hyland was still paying off Bennett to the amount of £400 that was traceable through the books. There could have been a lot more. Hyland claims that the figure was closer to £1000. If this is true then where did the rest of the money go, and the obvious question is why the Assasins were funneling such large amounts of “donation” transfers into the Foundation accounts when they claim their expenses only ran to printing costs.
Bennett was very quick to call Butler and Sluming out on their accusations. By the time the investigation had concluded Bennett was apparently taking on an entire website and its members who fired daily fresh accusations at him and defending Ms Butler who they had offered sanctuary to.
The Missing Madeleine website was now extremely hostile towards the Foundation in part because the Assasins had virtually taken over the site and its owner and in part because the website had leanings towards a Portuguese national called Joana Morais.
Morias, a hard line right winger posing as a libertarian has had many runs ins with Bennett, mostly surrounding the affection that Bennett and the Foundation lavishly bathed disgraced Portuguese cop, Snr Gonçalo Amaral in. At a final confrontation Morais rejected the Foundation following their announcement to raise funds for Amaral and his libel case against the McCanns. Morias believed she cornered the market in this and didn’t take too kindly at all to what she believed were “those cunts” getting involved in her business.
With Bennett eventually cleared due to lack of evidence, it was back to normal business for the Foundation. Then came the BBC program about the group. However you try to dress it up, a group of people going out of their way to attack, constantly question and barrage a family coming to terms with a missing child its always going to be portrayed exactly for what they are; a nasty group who relish in the misfortune of others.
During the program Ms Butler was interviewed and asked about her role in the Foundation, to reflect on what they had done and a general comment about the Foundation. Interestingly enough, Butler admitted that at the height of the dispute with Bennett she had received a phone call late at night and she had been threatened to be stabbed to death in front of her child. A very specific and detailed threat that matched exactly with the Assasins. In fact it was only months before that Hyland himself had threatened in public to stab someone using a prison shiv or stiletto blade.
It really doesn’t take a great leap of faith to conclude that the two apparent independent incidents could be linked. At the time Butler was extremely vocal through her own site in accusing Bennett and the Foundation of all manner of things, including infidelity. Bennett had his hands full with the national press fending off more accusations after it was revealed UKIP election hopefully Helene Green was involved with the Foundation and had handed out the “reasons” books. The Foundation was lurching from one crisis to another and Bennett’s personal life lay in ruins. The connection between the Foundation and the Assasins is there, so is it really that hard to consider that someone within the Foundation asked the Assasins to threaten Butler?
What can now be revealed is that the inclusion of Butler’s child in the threat is exactly the same threat as others received from Hyland or the Assasins. Jill Havern who is the suggested owner of a website that is now virtually run by the Foundation has been on the receiving end of the Assasins. For a period of many months, she and her family were contacted in a sustained threatening campaign that not only included her well being, but also her children.
Bennett vehemently denies ever utilizing the Assasins and has gone on record a number of times to condone the violent threats they have issued and strenuously denied that they could have originated within the Foundation. Having said that Bennett also claimed that there was no link between the Assasins and the Foundation, which the accounts clearly show is untrue. Either Bennett forgot about the substantial payments made by Hyland or he was covering up the association. Bennett has recently vowed on the BBC news he will no longer pursue the McCanns, something he has already broken by attempting to appeal his contempt of court sentencing.
When the evidence and prior activity of the Assasins is taken into account, there is great circumstantial evidence to link them not only with the Foundation but also the death threat made to Ms Butler.
However the Foundation remains linked to violence towards the McCanns. The widely reported “gun nut” Sheila Basher is a good example of how initially it just seems to be a lone nut, but if you dig a little deeper into her story then it comes to light that she is also linked to the Madeleine Foundation and Tony Bennett. So much of an apostle of the Foundation, Basher claims to have paid for a taxi up from the South coast and into the heart of London to attend the High Court sentencing of Bennett.
With the amount of threats on the increase and escalation in violence including threats to torture and rape Kate McCann it could well be only a matter of time before the actual reason for the Madeleine Foundation becomes apparent. That it has always been a front for the extremist and thuggish louts who have hijacked Madeleine’s name for their own nefarious ends. Even if one is to rule out their way of going about the systematic attack and atrocious campaigning against the McCanns, there is always the money trial.
The unanswered questions remains; what exactly were the Foundation funding? Why to this day will Bennett deny any dealings with Hyland or the Assasins?
As a postscript to this paper it has always intrigued me that a significant number of people have always accused Bennett of being pro McCann family and has used the Foundation to alienate the anti McCann groups in the public perception. Evidence to support this rather wild theory is based around the constant high profile adverse press coverage that the Foundation seems to have gone out of its way to caught.
As entertaining a theory this is to initially toy with, once you trace the origins of this theory is becomes clear that it is just more conspiracy and unsubstantiated rumour. Two places can be sourced back on this, one of them being the website that defended Butler and her increasingly incredible accusations against Bennett. The other was Antony Sharples, whose very existence is defined by getting everything wrong consistently.
Whether or not it is planned or a product of the group, threats of violence seem synonymous with Bennett and the Madeleine Foundation.