Poulson: Conspiracy Theory “X”
- an “In My View” article by NIGEL WARD, exploring a fascinating new hypothesis regarding an unsolved historical mystery that may be more closely connected to present-day paedophilia investigations than meets the eye.
IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST
The name John POULSON has appeared in the Enquirer on numerous occasions.
For those unfamiliar with the name John Garlick Llewellyn POULSON, the opening paragraph of his Wikipedia entry will serve as an introduction:
- John Garlick Llewellyn Poulson (14 April 1910 – 31 January 1993) was a British architectural designer and businessman who caused a major political scandal when his use of bribery was disclosed in 1972. The highest-ranking figure to be forced out was Conservative Home Secretary Reginald Maudling. Poulson served a prison sentence, but continued to protest his innocence, claiming that he was “a man more sinned against than sinning”.
The POULSON bribery scandal, involving a web of corruption embracing many local authorities in Yorkshire and the North East, resulted in prison sentences for POULSON and his co-conspirators T. Dan SMITH, George POTTINGER and others. In all, twenty-one people were convicted. But a number of highly influential civil servants and elected representatives who had been instrumental in the early successes of the central conspiracy escaped – among them Sir Bernard KENYON, whose lengthy tenure (from 1948) as Clerk to the West Riding of Yorkshire County Council (in today’s terminology, Chief Executive Officer) made him an invaluable ally to POULSON. Like POULSON, Sir Bernard KENYON was a prominent Freemason.
As a direct consequence of the work of investigative-journalists, notably at the Private Eye, Sir Bernard KENYON was forced to resign on grounds of his undisclosed pecuniary interest as one of a number of paid public servants compromised by holding company directorships in POULSON’s carefully constructed business empire. Remarkably, Sir Bernard KENYON escaped a custodial sentence. How?
Contemporaries have long maintained that Sir Bernard KENYON slipped the noose because a ‘deal’ was struck with the Security Service – MI5. This article pursues that hypothesis.
POULSON’s most elevated recruit Reginald MAUDLING, was, in his position as Home Secretary, notionally in charge of the Police. He was forced to resign his Cabinet position when the extent of his close personal and business involvement with John POULSON became known to the Metropolitan, Police who were investigating POULSON.
Reginald MAUDLING held directorships in five POULSON companies. He had also parlayed a directorship and a managerial post for his favoured elder son, Martin MAUDLING.
Clearly, he could not continue as Home Secretary, notionally in charge of the Police, while they were investigating matters in which he was personally involved.
On 25th January 2014, whilst browsing the National Archives web-site following a tip-off, I encountered this rather intriguing file entry:
Having researched POULSON and his close associates SMITH, POTTINGER, BRAITHWAITE, BUTCHER, CORDLE, CUNNINGHAM, TUNBRIDGE, KENYON and MAUDLING (pater et filius) in some depth, I was astonished to learn that there was a sexual violence element to the POULSON scandal not mentioned in any of the books and articles that I have studied, though there have been references to POULSON – publicly a devout Methodist, privately a dedicated Freemason – providing ‘hostess’ services to ‘sweeten’ deals. But sex is sex, and sexual violence is something very much darker.
The file title “POULSON, JGL and others: Conspiracy to corrupt, indecent assault and rape” is repeated in the pre-amble. At the foot of the listing, next to the category “Subjects”, the entry “Sex Crime | and gender” leaves no doubt as to the sexual nature of the case.
At the time of making these enquiries (as now), I was deeply involved in the on-going Jimmy SAVILE/Peter JACONELLI paedophile-ring, regularly passing information to Det. Supt. Steve SMITH at Operation Hibiscus.
My thoughts turned immediately to reports passed to me via social-media connections in the West Riding, claiming that John POULSON always “had time for children” and regularly entertained kids from a local children’s home, in and around the swimming-pool of his luxury dream home Manasseh, set in several acres of parkland at Carleton, near Pontefract, where both SAVILE and JACONELLI are alleged to have been regular visitors; likewise Cyril SMITH.
(Manasseh is an ancient Hebrew word meaning “God has made me forget all my hardship and my father’s house”, after the twelve-year-old son of Hezekiah who defiled the Temple during the reign of Nebuchadnezzer. It is not known what gave POULSON the inspiration for the name Manasseh. The house won the ‘Ideal Homes’ House of the Year competition in 1958).
So who could have been the alleged rapist?
And who was the victim?
Female, presumably – but perhaps male. Perhaps a minor. The age of consent for homosexual males was set at twenty-one by the Sexual Offences Act 1967, later reduced to eighteen under the Criminal Justice & Public Order Act 1994.
Could this incident be connected with SAVILE, JACONELLI and/or any other member of their paedophile-ring, or indeed any of the other POULSON associates who frequented Manasseh?
On 28th January 2014, I made a Freedom of Information request to the National Archives in pursuit of a copy of the J 82/2956 file covering “conspiracy to corrupt, indecent assault and rape”.
On 25th February 2014, (the twentieth and last of the 20 working-days in which a response must be provided) I received an acknowledgement in the following terms:
Freedom of Information Request: Reference F0037426
Thank you for your enquiry of 28 January 2014 regarding a review of:
J 82/2956 – POULSON, J G L and others: Conspiracy to corrupt, indecent assault and rape.
I am pleased to tell you that in consultation with the Ministry of Justice it has been decided that a redacted version of this document will be made available for public viewing at The National Archives, Kew by 4 March 2014. We have outlined your options for accessing the document at the end of this response.
. . . followed by the usual information regarding exemption clauses, etc, and the various ways in which the material could be accessed.
One other section of the same email is worthy of reproduction here:
In this case the exemption applies because the document contains sensitive personal information on identified third parties assumed still to be living, including medical information and family background. This information is considered to be the private and personal information of these individuals, who can be considered to still be living and who would have no expectation that it would be released into the public domain during their lifetime. To do so would be to risk causing them distress and would furthermore be in contravention of the first Data Protection principle, which is concerned with the fair and lawful processing of information of this kind.
Whilst reviewing the document I noticed that the catalogue description was incorrect, and have asked that it be updated to the following:
J 82/2956 – POULSON, J G L: Corruption and conspiracy to corrupt.
It is simply not conceivable that the court file of a case forming part of the biggest corruption scandal in British political history could have been misnamed – turning it from a corruption conspiracy into a rape case – and then, when prompted by my prying eyes, turning it back again.
It is interesting to note that, at a stroke, the charges of “indecent assault and rape” have been expunged from the record – a fact confirmed in the listing as now displayed on the NA web-site. And the “and others” has also inexplicably disappeared from the file title. POULSON’s accomplices have simply disappeared.
Why would all reference to charges of “indecent assault and rape” suddenly, after forty-two years, disappear from a “closed or retained” public record document – as soon as I expressed an interest?
It is also interesting to note that the National Archives felt it necessary to consult the Ministry of Justice regarding a case some forty-two years in the past – and eight years beyond its ‘closed until’ date – before dealing with my request. All of the leading protagonists in the POULSON scandal are long dead.
And was it strictly true that “the document contains sensitive personal information on identified third parties assumed still to be living …”?
In due course, the NA offered to provide me with such as remained of the J 82/2956 file for a fee of £264; however, a very careful scrutiny of all 71 documents assures me that the file makes no reference whatsoever to “indecent assault and rape”. It is as though these crimes were never committed, never a part of the POULSON affair and never came to court at all.
Nor is there any reference to “identified third parties assumed still to be living” – that particular assumption appears to have been quite mistaken.
And what bearing might the redacted “medical information and family background” have on charges of “Corruption and conspiracy to corrupt”? Surely, this is medical information pertinent to the original charges of “indecent assault and rape”?
To recap: let us recall that the original file title – J 82/2956 – POULSON, J G L and others: Conspiracy to corrupt, indecent assault and rape – made specific reference to “and others” (underlined by me above), to a “conspiracy to corrupt” and to at least one case of “rape” (also underlined).
The ‘revised’ version reads significantly differently – J 82/2956 – POULSON, J G L: Corruption and conspiracy to corrupt – which is to say the “others” involved together with John POULSON in the “conspiracy to corrupt”, and at least one case of “indecent assault” and of “rape” have mysteriously ‘disappeared’ into thin air.
Astonishingly, in addition to facing the remaining corruption charge alone, POULSON has been left to answer charges that he engaged in a “conspiracy to corrupt” with no-one else at all – a conspiracy of one! That is a legal impossibility – it takes two or more to commit conspiracy.
Yet the reference to “medical information and family background” remains – as though by oversight.
And remember that there is more than one type of corruption; there is also the offence commonly known as “Corruption of a Minor” (Statutory Rape) – one of many crimes with which SAVILE and JACONELLI would almost certainly have been charged, had they lived, now subsumed under the generic term “Paedophilia”.
It is certainly easier to connect “medical information and family background” with sexual offences, perhaps involving a minor, than with industrial-scale corporate bribery.
All this seems strongly to suggest that the alleged rapist(s) belonged to a relatively small pool of people including John POULSON who had allegedly together conspired to corrupt. Did the victim share “family background” with either the alleged rapist(s) or the other victim(s) – if any?
Of that small pool, only John Garlyck Llewellyn POULSON remains in the file; the rest have been ‘disappeared’.
So the hunt is on to identify the ‘disappeared’ victim(s), corruptor(s) and rapist(s) – those about whom the National Archives stated “in consultation with the Ministry of Justice it has been decided that a redacted version of this document will be made available for public viewing“.
For ‘redacted’, read ‘disappeared’ – as in the case of the 114 files that disappeared from the Home Office concerning the allegations made by the late Geoffrey DICKENS MP, which may have included information relating to SAVILE, JACONELLI, and other of POULSON’s Manasseh ‘guests’.
Can the ‘disappeared’ be identified?
Who, amongst those mentioned in the original file (J 82/2956 – POULSON, J G L and others: Conspiracy to corrupt, indecent assault and rape) could have been the alleged victim(s)?
It is commonly known that rape victims – but not rapists – have a right of anonymity in court proceedings, where they are generally referred to as “Miss X”, or “Mister Y”, or “Child Z”.
Of course, if the victim were to have been a child or a young adult in the late nineteen-sixties or early nineteen-seventies, he or she (or they) could easily still be living; in which case, the National Archives could quite properly and correctly have redacted the name(s) – replacing them with “Miss X”, or “Mister Y”, or “Child Z” – or simply obscuring any names completely using the standard black-box masking technique, instead of making them ‘disappear’ altogether. Such are the requirements of the relevant statutes; why would they been circumvented?
All we can say with certainty is that we should not be remotely surprised to encounter a rape victim identified only as “Miss X”, “Mister Y” or “Child Z”.
But who could have been the rapist(s)?
Examining the main protagonists amongst the POULSON circle of close associates – “and others”, as the file refers to them – we find that John POULSON himself died in 1993; T. Dan SMITH died in 1993; George POTTINGER died in 1988; George BRAITHWAITE died in 2011; Herbert BUTCHER died in 1966; John CORDLE died in 2004; Andrew CUNNINGHAM died in 2010 (aged 100); Graham TUNBRIDGE died in 1986; Sir Bernard KENYON died in 1978, and Reginald MAUDLING died in 1979.
It follows that those “identified third parties assumed still to be living” can be none of these; they are all dead.
If the alleged rapist(s) did number amongst these, then there should be no impediment to the disclosure of his/their identity(ies) – unless, of course, we speak of someone so prominent in public life as to enjoy the same impermeable shield of protection in relation to sex allegations that is now widely believed to have been accorded to Jimmy SAVILE, Peter JACONELLI, Cyril SMITH and others, as a matter of routine.
Only Reginald MAUDLING, the Conservative Deputy Leader, Home Secretary and putative future Prime Minister, occupied a station in life so exalted as to support the belief that a prosecution on charges of “indecent assault and rape” could be regarded by ‘the establishment’ as “unthinkable” – in the same sense that widespread allegations that Leon BRITTAN (another former Home Secretary) was a paedophile were once regarded as “unthinkable”.
Reginald MAUDLING was famously besotted with his wife Beryl, whom he adored. They had a daughter (Caroline) and three sons (Edward, William and Martin) – only the last named of whom had any direct involvement with POULSON and the other corruption conspirators.
- Edward MAUDLING was something of a young rebel. He had no involvement in his father’s business affairs and no known connection with the West Riding of Yorkshire.
- William MAUDLING, a heroin addict, threw himself from a 16th-story balcony, having reportedly never recovered from the shame of his father’s fall from grace. William MAUDLING died in 1999.
- Martin MAUDLING who, having attended Oxford without obtaining a degree, became something of a family embarrassment due to his dissolute lifestyle – fast cars and slow horses. In an attempt to set Martin on the right track, father Reginald MAUDLING persuaded POULSON to grant Martin a directorship in Open System Building Ltd, John POULSON’s ‘pet’ project, for which Sir Bernard KENYON was Chairman of the Board. Both visited Manasseh with some frequency. Martin MAUDLING died in 1988.
But returning to the “indecent assault and rape” charges – how might a prosecution for rape that was already on the record and intimately bound up with the bribery and corruption “Trial of the Century” be made to ‘disappear’ – short of presenting the victim with an offer simply too good to refuse? And what would prevent the victim politely accepting the offer – then running to the highest Fleet Street bidder? Who was the victim?
Reginald MAUDLING’s successor as Home Secretary was Robert CARR [Con.] from18th July 1972 to 4th March 1974. The date range of both the original and the revised National Archives files spans 1st January 1974 to 31st December 1975.
Following Prime Minister Edward HEATH’s defeat in the first ballot for the Conservative leadership in 1975, HEATH asked CARR to “take over the functions of leader” until a new leader could be elected. CARR was rewarded with a life peerage on 15th January 1976, slipping quietly into relative obscurity during the second Harold WILSON [Lab.] government. He died in 2012.
Robert CARR was succeeded as Home Secretary (from 5th March 1974 until 16th September 1976) by Roy JENKINS [Lab.], who had served as Home Secretary previously (between ’65 and ’67) in the Harold WILSON government, when the POULSON empire was at its zenith.
The Director General of MI5 from 1972 to 1978 was Sir Michael HANLEY (24th February 1918 – 1st January 2001); it is difficult to imagine how the “indecent assault and rape” could have been a national security issue, though Sir Michael HANLEY may yet feature in the Cyril SMITH cover-up, as reported already here on the Enquirer.
Was Robert CARR the Home Secretary who presided over the ‘disappearance’ of the “indecent assault and rape” charges against POULSON “and others”? (No D-Notices were issued on the topic). Was it on his watch that the victim was made an offer not to be refused? An offer included within which, perhaps, it might be arranged that one of the POULSON co-conspirators should escape justice in exchange for preserving the reputation of the rapist(s)? An offer that conferred a high degree of immunity from future prosecution upon “Miss X”, “Mister Y”, or “Child Z” – whom it is not my present intention to identify?
Onwards and downwards . . .