How tales of posh mothers drinking baby blood became Britain’s most dangerous conspiracy – and it’s still ruining lives
“I AM Ella Gareeva Draper,” says the woman, speaking directly into the camera.
“I fight for my own children. That has never stopped in the last seven years.”
Ella sounds educated and sensible. What the striking 50-year-old says about videos on social media sounds all the more shocking.
Her two children, she claims, were cruelly abused by a satanic cult while they were still at primary school in Hampstead, north London, where celebrities such as actress Helena Bonham Carter lived.
Instead of investigating the sect, the police covered it up, claims Ella.
She says: “Organized child abusers are above the suspicion of law enforcement agencies.
“It’s time for humanity to put an end to this industry.”
It’s hard not to feel empathy for Ella.
She says police corruption forced her to flee Britain in 2015, leaving her children in the hands of the cult.
She hasn’t seen her since then.
But as I discovered while researching this story for my podcast, Hoaxed, almost nothing that comes out of Ella’s mouth is the truth.
She is at the heart of what I believe to be the UK’s most serious online conspiracy.
A modern satanic panic that shows how quickly lies can spread online – and the failure of both police and social media giants to crack down on them.
The Hampstead hoax left a trail of devastation and is still hurting people.
The children’s father has been forced into hiding after being falsely targeted as a pedophile, and internet trolls have targeted dozens of other Hampstead families after their names came to 175 on a “list” compiled and posted online by Ella suspected cult members had appeared.
skulls of babies
It contains the names, contact details, addresses and mobile numbers of the parents, teachers and pupils who attend Ella’s children at the lovely Hampstead school.
Abominable allegations had been leveled against some of the names, claiming they were Satanists who had sex with children and practiced child sacrifice, drank their victims’ blood and danced with babies’ skulls.
One of the mothers mentioned was so stressed that she struggled to sleep for four years.
Another said of her daughter: “On many occasions she has woken up in the middle of the night in tears.
“We have received death threats by phone, email and on social media.
“We had to tell our daughter not to answer the phone.”
So how did this point come about?
Ella’s story begins in the 1990s when the Russian-born art historian and later yoga teacher married a wealthy English banker and moved to Hampstead.
After splitting up a few years later, Ella began a relationship with an actor named David* and they had two children.
But in 2014, they were embroiled in an ugly custody battle, with allegations of violence on both sides.
Ella started dating a new man, Abraham Christie.
Abraham, now 66, believed hemp, the herb from which cannabis is derived, to be a life-giver.
He made Ella’s kids drink hemp smoothies and asked them to call him “daddy hemp.”
In July 2014, the family vacationed in Morocco.
Ella and Abraham claim that the children – both under ten at the time – told them there that they had been abused by their father David, teachers at their school and other parents.
When they returned to London, the children repeated the allegations to the police.
I saw video of their interviews describing how the cult perpetrated terror including baby sacrifices at the local church.
Police searched the church but, perhaps unsurprisingly, could not find a shred of evidence.
In mid-September, the police questioned the children again – and this time they changed their story.
They told the police the truth that they had been pressured into lying by Ella and Abraham, that Abraham had kicked them, hit them on the head with a metal spoon, and poured water over their heads so they couldn’t breathe until they said exactly what he wanted.
The police closed the investigation.
But, exceptionally, they did not take Abraham for questioning, let alone arrest him on suspicion of child molestation.
The case then went to the family courts, where a judge had to decide who would have custody of Ella and David’s children.
Ella chose to represent herself, which meant she was given access to all the evidence, including videos of her children being questioned by police and other sensitive material like their medical reports.
It was at this point that Ella sought the help of Sabine McNeill, an informal legal counsel known as the McKenzie girlfriend – a person who attends a court proceeding as a non-professional aide or counsel to a litigant who has no legal representation in court.
Sabine had long believed that family courts were corrupt.
She was convinced that they “stole” thousands of children every year.
When Sabine thought the judge in Ella’s case would take her children away from her, she decided to do something drastic.
In January 2015, she took Ella’s confidential material – the videos of the children’s police interviews, their medical reports – and put it all online.
She also released a list of alleged cult members named by Ella and personal details of the 175 people she said were involved in the abuse.
The videos of the children initially telling police there was a cult were soon trending on conspiracy blogs in the US and UK.
The family court judge was furious and sent the police to Ella’s house for an explanation as to why such sensitive information is now in the public domain.
After Ella faltered, she ran into her back garden, climbed over the fence, and ran. The next day she fled to Spain, Abraham followed a day later.
She has not been to the UK since then.
Their children were taken into care and later returned to their father.
A few days after the court case concluded, thanks to Sabine’s encouragement, dozens of angry protesters traveled to Hampstead Primary School shouting, “Pedophiles!” and “Murderers!” with parents and teachers.
A US blogger even flew to London and angrily threatened to “kick down doors”.
It didn’t matter that in March 2015 the family judge issued a ruling specifically stating that there was no cult of Satan. The joke grew and grew.
It was frightening for the targets.
Luckily, there was one group willing to fight back.
They included a parent on Ella’s list, a teacher from Birmingham and 64-year-old crime writer Karen Irving, who lived 3,000 miles away in Ottawa, Canada.
In May 2015, this group started the blog Hoaxtead, a pun on Hampstead.
This had two main goals – getting the social media giants to remove links to the children’s videos and collecting evidence against the scammers that could eventually be used to prosecute them in court.
The group reported thousands of links to Google and other platforms, asking them to remove videos of the children.
They also collected evidence, which they turned over to the police.
Nine years imprisonment
Thanks to those efforts, Sabine was put on trial in November 2018 for years of stalking and molesting Hampstead’s parents.
In her 2019 sentencing observations, Judge Sally Cahill KC said the case against Sabine was “one of the most serious cases of stalking and restraining order violations that can exist.”
Sabine was sentenced to nine years in prison for molestation and stalking, the longest prison sentence handed down in British courts.
This all happened before I started investigating the case last year.
By then, Sabine had served four years and been deported to her native Germany.
But neither Ella nor Abraham, the perpetrators of the scam, faced any consequences for what they allegedly did to Ella’s children. The police seemed to have given up.
I felt like that had to change, so I spent weeks tracking down Ella and Abraham and digging into their past.
My research revealed that Abraham was now living in Marrakech, the main tourist city in Morocco.
When I went there to find him, he wasn’t home.
Two sources said he flew back to the UK.
When British police learned that Abraham could be in London, they issued a new statement.
A spokesman said: “After new information emerged in August 2022, officers have reopened an investigation into child abuse that reportedly took place in Hampstead in 2014.”
It seemed that after eight years of inactivity, at least something was happening now.
And Ella? After contacting her through another conspiracy theorist, I spoke to her for hours over a Zoom call.
At first she was friendly.
But the more I pushed her, the colder she got.
In the end, she cut off contact and threatened to take legal action against me.
After I reached out to the social media companies for comments, they deleted Ella and Abraham’s main accounts and cut off much of their support.
But Ella still posts videos under new identities and is asking people to contribute to her “legal fund.”
And Abraham managed to fly back to Marrakesh and avoid arrest in Britain.
On one level, my efforts to hold victims accountable have failed.
And yet, for some of the hoax’s victims, the situation isn’t as grim as it used to be.
One told me: “Finally the social media companies have acted and the police seem interested again.
“Finally I can sleep at night now.”
*Name has been changed
https://www.the-sun.com/news/7236303/hoax-mums-drinking-babies-blood-uk/ How tales of posh mothers drinking baby blood became Britain’s most dangerous conspiracy – and it’s still ruining lives