Mob hurls abuse at vicar and chase worshippers after conspiracy theories of baby-eating satanic cult spread online

12 March 2024, 13:19

A scene from the documentary shows a vicar being harassed at church
A scene from the documentary shows a vicar being harassed at church. Picture: Channel 4

By Asher McShane

An angry mob hurled abuse at a vicar in an affluent part of north London after conspiracy theories circulated over baseless claims of a baby-eating Satanic cult.

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Activists descended on a church in Hampstead to harass locals including a priest, pursuing him at his home. They also approached mothers with their children.

A new documentary on Channel 4 revealed how a group of vigilantes filmed themselves coming from the US to leafy Hampstead in north London to interrogate people they thought were involved.

One person can be heard saying as he films: “Here's the church, where the vicar lives - the paedo.”

A US-accented woman was also shown shouting outside the Hampstead, saying: “Listen to the children - don't tell the children to shut up.”

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Angry mob hurl abuse at vicar in Hampstead after conspiracy theories

And another man, when challenged by a parishioner about his filming, says: “I’m allowed to - it's a free world. Why are you eating babies?

“You laugh - it's all over the net, isn't it? It's all over the net.”

The documentary makers spoke to four mothers who were victims of the conspiracy theory that they were part of a ‘baby-eating satanic paedophile cult.”

The allegations were originally made in 2015 by two children aged eight and nine who accused parents and teachers at their school of being part of the cult.

Their mother shared the false claims online and conspiracy theorist Sabine McNeill, who has been dubbed ‘Britain’s worst online troll’ released videos of the children making the accusations online. Personal details of 175 people were also posted online.

The hoax went viral and people ended up being on the receiving end of death threats, harassment and abuse.

The documentary exposes how children who initially made the allegations were forced to lie.

Parents said conspiracy theorists set up a website where they shared ‘research’ about them - eventually posting leaflets around Hampstead and protesting outside the school.

Undercover police had to be deployed to stand guard.

Police investigated and found no evidence to back up any of the allegations which a judge later said the children had been forced to make.

Accused: The Hampstead Paedophile Hoax aired on Channel 4, 9pm, Monday March 11

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