It’s the kind of story involving wealthy elites and claims of global paedophilia that most right-thinking people would have considered a conspiracy theory but with each day it seems there’s more murky details concerning Prince Andrew’s long friendship with the now-dead convicted child sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein, writes Gary Johnston.
Some years ago, as a Probation and Parole Officer in the confected idyllic surroundings of Byron Bay, I had the dubious pleasure of ‘supervising’ a bloke by the name of Des*.
Obviously, Des was involved in criminal activity. He wouldn’t have had to see me on a regular basis if he hadn’t been. But as far as I, and most of the other denizens of the internationally renowned seaside town were concerned, far more vexing was Des’s intractable belief in conspiracy theories.
If you listened to Des – I had to since it was my job – he’d tell you everything that happened in the world was part of a grand plan, masterminded and evoked by The Illuminati, an organisation consisting of various individuals and groups who conspired to use their influence and authority to establish a New World Order.
Des wasn’t usually the sort of fellow to listen to other people’s opinions but he did accept wholeheartedly the musings of self-proclaimed mystic and ‘Son of the Godhead’, David Icke: a man purporting the existence of a race of reptilian beings called the Archons who commandeered earth in order that the ‘elite’, aka The Illuminati, could manipulate global events.
Now, this may not surprise you, but a major part of Des’s adherence to this hypothesis had its genesis in the undoubted capability of mind altering substances. Like a lot of stoners, Des considered himself a visionary but was, in fact, far from an original thinker, evidenced by the fact that he regularly expounded on the benefits of the Mullumbimby marrow, a 12 skin joint he claimed to have personally invented, despite the fact that everything about it, including the name and its provenance was a blatant rip-off from the movie Withnail and I: “The joint I am about to roll requires a craftsman and can utilise up to twelve spliffs. It is called a Camberwell carrot”.
Presumably Des thought I’d never seen it, but this was typical of the man; he thought there were quite a lot of things I didn’t know. I told him I believed in cock-ups rather than conspiracy theories, but to Des this was further and irrefutable evidence that I simply didn’t get it.
Thus, he’d bang on about who the lizard-like Archons actually were, making especial reference to the British Royal Family, including, naturally, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth 2nd, Prince Phillip and their collective offspring, who, according to Icke, headed up a group known as the Black Nobility.
Essentially, it seems, The Black Nobility were typified by their utter lack of moral conscience, having, through the ages, employed murder, rape, robbery and any manner of abject criminality to attain their current positions of power, influence and wealth.
In other words, it’s not all bollocks.
There is, however a major difference between a conspiracy and a cover up.
As Queen Elizabeth’s second son Prince Andrew – royal bloodlines invariably celebrate two male births as ‘an heir and a spare’ – continues to desperately deny he was an intimate of disgraced, deceased pimp and financier Jeffrey Epstein, it is now becoming apparent that he was even more intimate with some of Epstein’s underage hirelings.
Predictably, Buckingham Palace, which Des would probably refer to as the Reptile Enclosure, has denied any suggestion of ‘impropriety’ – a clever choice of word, since the correct tag is actually ‘criminality’ – a repudiation becoming increasingly desperate given the fact that Andrew’s association with Epstein has been comprehensively documented, as has his proximity to a young woman called Virginia Roberts, photographed in 2001 with the Prince’s arm draped proprietarily, and somewhat suggestively, around her waist.
Now aged 35 and living in Australia under the name Virginia Giuffre, at the time of the photograph Roberts was only 17-years-old. She claims she was recruited into a sex trafficking cult allegedly operated by dubious billionare financier Jeffrey Epstein after being headhunted by the well-connected social butterfly, Ghislaine Maxwell, at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida. Roberts has repeatedly claimed over a number of years that she was forced to engage in sexual encounters with wealthy and powerful friends of Epstein, including with the erstwhile Prince on more than one occasion in various locations around the world.
The now infamous photo of Prince Andrew with a 17-year-old Virginia Roberts and Jeffrey Epstein’s long term former girlfriend, the alleged sex trafficking madam and paedophile rapist, Ghislaine Maxwell (Image: Daily Mail / Supplied)
Risibly, and rather pathetically, the Prince’s representatives have attempted to call the authenticity of the photograph into question, claiming that Andrew’s fingers are ‘pudgy’, unlike those shown in the snap. Despite this derisory denial, Ms Roberts has subsequently claimed she was forced to have sex with the Prince on three occasions between 1999 and 2002, when she was under-age, according to Florida state law.
This, of course, would be bad enough on any number of levels, not least the illegality, coercion and the fact that the porcine-faced Prince was many years Ms Roberts’s senior, but factoring in the possibility that he may well be an actual reptile, surely ups the ante to an outrageous degree.
Sexual assault – because that is what it is – is of course no laughing matter, but the fact that the beleaguered Prince appears to be calling on the protection of his undoubted influence and position is merely one aspect of the situation.
Jeffrey Epstein himself, who it would appear, took the ultimate ‘one for the team’ by apparently hanging himself in his cell in New York’s Metropolitan Correctional Center – an event conspiracy theorists, and in these warped times even most sane people, would obviously dispute – was by any standard, very well connected.
Amongst his cohort, most of whom are now desperately attempting to repudiate the extent of their shared friendship, are Donald Trump and Bill Clinton, both reputed ‘swordsmen’ who, you’d imagine, wouldn’t be averse to accepting invitations to parties populated by attractive young women.
The question is of course, how young? And the second question might be, knowing what we know about their self-proclaimed proclivities, would they care?
Also mentioned in dispatches is Epstein’s erstwhile girlfriend, Ghislaine Maxwell, daughter of the late media baron, Robert Maxwell. Maxwell senior was another to have belonged of that ilk – a ‘disgraced businessman’ – whose apparent suicide is also questionable, given that it occurred, in 1991, a mere few days before he was due to be apprehended by the Plod, the Po-Po – the police, if you will – on numerous allegations of large scale financial fraud. In the intervening years, there have been claims of the involvement of the fearsome Russian Mafia, or the even more fearsome spying arm and hit squad of Israel, Mossad.
Dead men tell no tales: The convicted paedophile pimp and dubiously wealthy Jeffrey Epstein somehow apparently committed suicide in a New York prison last month despite being its most infamous inmate (Image: Wiki Commons)
What is known and undeniable is that Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell were among a star-studded guest list at a party hosted by the Queen in June 2000 at Windsor Castle, to celebrate Prince Andrew’s 40th birthday. Epstein was also in attendance at Windsor Castle in 2006, just days before his arrest for child sex trafficking charges, ostensibly to celebrate the 18th birthday of Prince Andrew’s daughter, Princess Beatrice. The sleazy billionare would end up serving time, but mostly on his terms; allowed to run his business and leave the dark environs of prison for a private office for the majority of his days while supposedly imprisoned.
It is also a proven fact that Sarah ‘Fergie’ Ferguson, the Prince’s ex-wife, admitted in 2011 having accepted £15,000 from Epstein, to help pay off her many debts following a lifetime of frivolity on the public purse.
All of this, in addition to numerous photographs of Epstein in Andrew’s company, and incontrovertible stories of parties and assignations on Little St James, the deceased financier’s private island, makes the Prince’s denials that the links between the pair have been exaggerated ever more absurd.
Then there’s the creepy video released earlier this year of Prince Andrew sneakily peering from inside the door of Epstein’s New York mansion after seeing off Katherine Keating, the daughter of former Labor Prime Minister Paul Keating.
“During the time I knew him, I saw him infrequently and probably no more than only once or twice a year,” the embattled royal claimed in a recent statement.
“I have stayed in a number of his residences. At no stage during the limited time I spent with him did I see, witness or suspect any behavior of the sort that subsequently led to his arrest and conviction.”
Conspiracy or cock up? Of course, the two are not mutually exclusive, but more likely, as is becoming apparent, there exists a clear and obvious attempt at a cover up, something which the British royal family, with their level of influence, aided and abetted by centuries of a biddable and acquiescent press, has no small measure of expertise.
However, the story goes, it’s not only the media who seek to protect the interests of the rich and famous, no matter their views and pecadilloes.
Fingers too chubby apparently to engage in any sexual impropriety with underage girls: Prince Andrew (Image: Wiki Commons)
In recent times, a number of far right commentators have been allowed to visit Australia, ‘the last vestige of masculinity’ according to Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes. It case you didn’t know, The Proud Boys are a far-right, neo-fascist, men only organisation who actively promote political violence. Admittedly, McInnes himself has been denied a visa but this veto has not been extended to other perpetrators of hateful invective such as the Dutch anti-Muslim politician Geert Wilders, Milo Yiannopoulos and Canadian ‘white nationalist’ Lauren Southern.
More recently, the welcome to Australia mat was also extended to the preposterous Brexiteering Ballbag Nigel Farage – come in Nigel, the water’s lovely, if you have a go, you’ll get a go etc …
Not invited to the party however was, guess who, the ‘Son of the Godhead’ himself, David Icke, refused a visa on what were euphemistically called ‘character grounds’, presumably meaning that whilst we’ll tolerate racists and agitators, we do draw the line on ex-soccer goalkeepers who believe the world is run by a coterie of giant, shape-shifting lizards.
According to recent reports, Prince Andrew and his advisors appear to be mounting a backs to the wall PR defence, hoping against hope that the current fascination with the celebrity culture, amongst which the Royal Family most definitely feature, will result in these most serious of allegations eventually dissipating.
In an age where the power of the mainstream media is diminishing however, it may well be the case that no amount of toadying will be able to save the Queen’s third child from a criminal investigation.
After all, toads are amphibians, not reptiles and Andrew, it would appear, had everything, including his pudgy little fingers at the very least, in Epstein’s grimy little pie.
Somewhere, in a smoke-filled bedroom in the surrounds of Byron Bay, I bet Des is absolutely loving it.
*Not his real name (Actually, it is).