If you spend a lot of time on YouTube and are interested in crime, conspiracies, controversies, that sort of thing, you might have happened upon Shaun Attwood whose channel currently has over 390 thousand subscribers and over fourteen hundred videos. How best to describe the former illegal drug trafficker and dealer? His strongest suit is undoubtedly his charisma, he simply oozes it, in short he is a man who is impossible to dislike. The author of many books, he has an interesting and informative tale to tell, one that deserves to be told when he is talking about his own experiences.
Many if not most autobiographies contain large tranches of fiction or even outright lies. Shaun’s personal reminiscences do not; we can be sure of that because there are no victim narratives. Shaun has made mistakes, and takes ownership of them. There is no whining about how he was sexually abused or bullied as a kid, no passing the buck to criminal associates, no blaming his downfall on addiction…Shaun graduated in business studies from a north of England university, and at some point decided to seek his fortune in the Promised Land. The business he chose was drug smuggling and distribution, mostly ecstasy. The party lasted for around five years, but in May 2002, he was arrested at his Arizona home and spent two years on remand in the Maricopa County Jail which has been home to two of the most notorious female criminals in Twenty-First Century America: MarissaDeVault and Jodi Arias.
Like them Shaun may have been notorious, but unlike them, no reasonable person could call him toxic. He ended up with a nine year sentence, served six, was deported and banned for life from the United States. And since, in addition to carving out a legal career, he has visited schools to warn the young of following in his footsteps. Although he is staunchly against recreational drugs, he is one of a growing number of people – including judges and police officers – who realise the war on drugs is too heavy a price to pay for attempting to eradicate something which while unquestionably a social evil is also something in which people from all walks of life readily engage.
Alas, while his own story may be true, his YouTube channel and website has seen a regular stream of cranks, liars and con artists peddling all manner of lurid, exaggerated and at times fabricated tales with Shaun failing to ask a single critical question. Some of the claims these people make are dangerous. If you don’t understand why, here are a few examples from elsewhere.
In August 2005, Australian tourist Newton Thompson was murdered in his London hotel room. The police believed this was a case of mistaken identity; Mr Thompson bore a striking resemblance to the convicted paedophile Robert Excell who was kicked out of Australia about the same time.
In January 2006, American naval officer Cooper Jackson murdered Justin Huff, a man he had never met. Jackson had been told by Ashley Elrod – a woman he had never met – that Huff had raped her, a claim she would later admit was a lie.
In May 2016, at Bacchus Marsh, Australia, Paul Hogan (not the famous actor) was murdered after being falsely accused of raping Yu Tung Lo.
False allegations can and do ruin lives, especially false allegations of paedophilia, and one of the cranks to whom Shaun has given uncritical coverage is Sonia Poulton. In 2018, Poulton released the low budget documentary Paedophiles In Parliament. Low budget and low on facts. After I published a review of this piece of trash on IMDb, rather amusingly two glowing reviews appeared in short order. Neither of the reviewers has contributed anything to IMDb before or since, obviously because they don’t exist, and just as obviously because the reviews were both written by Sonia Poulton. Poulton is an associate of the extremely plausible former police officer Jon Wedger, and the outright nutter Bill Maloney.
Like Sonia Poulton, Anna Brees is a former mainstream journalist who is long on speculation and nonsense but short on facts. Shaun has given her space to sound off on the same type of nonsense. Brees is a 9/11 Truth crank who has been taken in by inter alia the “mysterious” collapse of Building Seven, a mystery that is so transparent it has even been debunked by a comedian. Sadly, Shaun had bought into all this 9/11 garbage even before meeting Brees.
Space does not permit a detailed rebuttal of all the rubbish Shaun endorses, but the claims about Edward Heath and the VIP paedophile ring are easy to deconstruct. The thing the reader needs to bear in mind most of all is that the dead are unable to defend themselves. For those not familiar with him, Edward Heath, who died in 2005, was one of our more forgettable prime ministers. The most significant thing about him from the conspiratard perspective is that he never married. Ninety-eight men have become Prime Minister of England, only four of them never married, and Heath appears to have been the only one who never showed any real interest at all in women. For the conspiratards that could mean only one thing, but Heath became leader of the Conservative Party in 1965 when homosexuality was still illegal in Britain, and it is inconceivable that he would have become Party Leader much less Prime Minister had there been a nanogramme of truth in such a claim.
In fact, Heath had three great passions in his life: politics, music, and yachting, in that order. He was an extremely talented musician, and under other circumstances might have become a professional. He was Prime Minister for one term only, ousting his great rival Harold Wilson, and being ousted by him in turn. Then he was eclipsed by Margaret Thatcher, something he took very badly, but remained in Parliament until 2001, by which time he was Father of the House. In the 1970s, no one had heard of Islamist terrorism, but the Provisional IRA loomed large from its founding in 1969, and from then until the end of his life, Edward Heath never went to the bathroom without police protection.
Heath was first accused of sexual impropriety in print in 1984, by a serial rapist named O’Dowd. When this odious individual stood trial, part of his defence was that his victim had posed for indecent photographs with children, and that Heath was involved. Again, if there had been a nanogramme of truth in this claim, he would have been finished.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.