Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Monday, July 16, 2012

PACT:Catherine Meyer - Chanel Clad - lost her job and had to sell her flat, her jewellery and her possessions.

To judge by appearances, Catherine Meyer leads an enviable life.
She is well-off, titled, happily married, glamorous, and lives in an immaculate Chelsea townhouse with her husband, Sir Christopher, the former British ambassador to the US.
The neat sitting room is adorned with photos of the Meyers partying with President Clinton, Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta Jones. Altogether, Lady Meyer, an elegant 57, has the untouchable air of someone to whom bad things simply don't happen. Unhappily for her, this is an illusion.
In 1994, her sons Alexander and Constantin, then aged nine and seven, were abducted by their German father, although she had been awarded custody.

Over the next nine years, she saw them for only a few hours; her seemingly endless court applications achieved nothing and cost her all her money and peace of mind.

 And even now that her sons are in their twenties and they have all, with some difficulty, re-established a relationship, she is unable to discuss what happened without her voice trembling. 'In those days, people were entirely unaware of parental abduction,' she says. 'They always assumed that I must have done something wrong or that my lawyer must have been an idiot. It was a very little thing to cope with on top of everything else, but it didn't help.'

We have met to talk about Parents & Abducted Children Together (PACT), the charity she launched in 1999 to help other parents in the same situation as herself, recruiting Hillary Clinton as honorary chair and Cherie Blair to launch it at the British Embassy in Washington.

This year, to mark International Missing Children's Day on 25 May, Lady Meyer filleted her address book and sent out cards in the shape of balloons for her celebrity friends to decorate.

Roger Moore, Whoopi Goldberg, Ralph Fiennes, Michael Caine and Robert Pattinson did their artistic best; David Cameron and Nick Clegg took time off from their political duties to draw for her, though, rather tellingly, Gordon Brown simply sent a Number 10 Biro.

When we met, Lady Meyer was still hoping to receive balloons from Clinton and Kofi Annan.

The results are being auctioned online over the coming week, and all the profits will go to PACT, which has expanded its remit to embrace all missing children, working with the police to rescue them and helping to counsel parents on their legal rights.

(She has been in contact with Kate McCann, for instance.) And it's a growing problem: PACT estimates that a child goes missing every five minutes in the UK alone – some run away, some are abducted by parents and a few are taken by strangers.

'Awareness is incredibly important for people when they get married,' she says. 'Say you go to Greece, fall in love with someone, get married and have children, and after two years you find that you don't enjoy living on a small island. If you come home with your child, that's abduction. It's illegal, and people don't know that.'

A lot of venerable institutions are in her firing line: the children's charities for their piecemeal approach and the courts for encouraging confrontation between parents, and for lack of awareness of international law. 'I get a lot of letters from parents about Germany – the German courts hide behind their constitution, and have this quite incredible belief that a child is always better off in Germany.

And here, in the High Court, a judgment was recently made based on the views of a five-year-old, which is absolute insanity. Asking a child to choose between its parents is really unfair and they don't understand the consequences of what they say. Judges have a lot to answer for,' she concludes bitterly.

Ironically, Lady Meyer was born in Germany. 'A complete coincidence,' she says. 'I'm definitely not German.' Her mother Olga is Russian-born but was brought up in China; her father, Maurice Laylle, who died recently, was a French naval officer who sub-sequently worked for Mobil.

Her parents moved to Africa, then settled in London when Catherine was 12 and sent her to the French Lycée – which is why she still has an unmistakable French accent.

Catherine graduated in Slavonic and East European studies at London University, then became a broker at Merrill Lynch.

 When she was 29, on holiday in Brittany, she met Hans-Peter Volkmann, then a 27-year-old medical student.

A year after they met, they married in the Russian Orthodox Church, and their first son Alexander was born in 1985. He was only a few months old when Volkmann announced that they were moving to Germany; a month after Constantin was born, Volkmann decided to leave his job, and the family were reduced to living in one room in his brother's house until he found work again six months later. When he decided to leave another job, Catherine realised she no longer loved him.

The divorce was, as far as she thought, civilised.

They were legally separated in 1992 and the agreement was that the children would spend holidays with their father. It was after one of these visits, in August 1994, that she received a 21-page letter from her ex-husband refusing to return his sons. He claimed that they felt they were German and wanted to go to school in Germany. 'My whole world crumbled in an instant,' she recalls. 'I started to panic. I was phoning and phoning, and nobody was answering, and I didn't know where they were for weeks.

So my lawyer sent a fax saying Volkmann was in breach of the custody agreement and that we'd have to take legal proceedings if they weren't back when they were supposed to be. And they weren't.'

Why does she think he did it? 'A lot of people do it because of anger,' she says uncomfortably. 'It's a way to pay someone back. You know, "She left me, and she shouldn't have left me." In general, people don't behave like that for clever reasons. If you love your children in a deep, unselfish way, you know that they want their mummy and daddy.'

She kept her sons' rooms as they were for as long as she could. 'As a mother, you can't accept that you won't see your children again. I believed they would come back,' she says.

But the legal proceedings ate up all her money, she lost her job and had to sell her flat, her jewellery and her possessions.

Meanwhile, the children she fought so hard to keep were becoming hostile strangers.

She's reluctant to go into it all now because she has re-established contact with her sons – 'they get very embarrassed' – but when she saw Alexander for the first time and told him, 'I've been trying to see you. I love you,' he called her a liar. 'Papa told me that you could come and see us whenever you wanted and you never did.' On another occasion, when Meyer approached them at school, Alexander said, 'Our [paternal] grandmother told us if we ever see you we should run and scream.' And when she was eventually allowed to visit her sons, it was in a locked room with someone else present.

During her ten-year campaign to get her children back, she met Britain's new ambassador to Germany, Christopher Meyer, then separated from his first wife. 'There was a queue of women outside, all keen to meet the ambassador, but I was completely uninterested,' she recalls. 'The last thing on my mind was men and a relationship. As he says, "This poor mother came to see me and I wanted to help her but there was nothing else I could do, so I married her." That was the silver lining in the very black cloud,' she says, smiling affectionately.

They married a few months after they met, in 1997, because Sir Christopher had been appointed to Washington and had been advised that the strait-laced society there wouldn't accept him arriving with his girlfriend. 'I was a bit shell-shocked, and my father was completely worried about his vulnerable daughter and if I was doing the right thing.

I didn't know Christopher well and I didn't know what an ambassador's wife was supposed to be, but it was very exciting.' From a lonely existence she was catapulted, Cinderella-like, into a glamorous society where every evening took her to another party in another dress.

They had 14,000 people through their house every year. 'Every night, we were going out and meeting people and shaking hands.

We were there for Monica Lewinsky, the elections, the recounts, 9/11 which was indescribably awful, Saddam Hussein – it was an incredible time.'

Naturally, it didn't take long before her custody battle, which had been in the British press, made the newspapers in America. She began to receive letters from other parents in similar situations.

The letter that inspired her to found PACT came from an American father whose German wife had taken their children away on holiday and then announced that she wasn't coming back and he would never see them again.

Two years later, the ex-wife returned to the States, having put her children up for adoption. 'The children didn't even have German passports, and for two years they'd been living with strangers,' she says. 'He tracked the children down to a foster family and said he was coming to pick them up, and the foster family refused to give them up. That story really started my lobbying. He was all-American, in the army, he was just perfect, and that was what was happening to him.'

Campaigning also proved an emotional release for Lady Meyer. 'I could never relax on a beach, I could never have time out,' she says. 'Kate McCann is the same. As long as I was fighting, I was passing on the message to my children that I hadn't abandoned them.' And did they get it? 'They never found out. But they can now if they Google.' After six years in Washington, she and Sir Christopher came back to London. These days, she says, they hardly entertain at all. 'We're still digesting. I do miss it, but at the same time I don't. It was a chapter in my life. It was nice to be called Lady Meyer and have people opening doors, and my own car, but now I can go anywhere and people don't stop me.'

You sense also that now that she has re-established contact with her sons, part of her would like to move on from PACT, too. 'Christopher complains I'm a workaholic, mainly on PACT,' she says. 'I've been doing it for ten years and it so absorbs me, and I'm so passionate about it.

But I feel it would be nice to relax and do something else and not pick the scab all the time.' If she continues to campaign it's in the hope that she can prevent other parents and children going through what she and her sons have suffered.

'Everyone discusses money before they get married,' she says, 'but if you're marrying someone from a different nationality you need at least to think about what might happen to your children if you split up.

Pakistan and India are quite complicated countries, and if your child is abducted to Japan, it's bye-bye. My advice is to marry the boy next door.'

For more information on the PACT celebrity art auction and how you can help raise money for missing children in the UK, visit pact-online.org


Missing People:Missing Chef ' Seen In Amsterdam'

Claudia Lawrence went missing in March 2009
Claudia Lawrence went missing in March 2009

The father of missing university chef Claudia Lawrence has welcomed the "first sighting we've had for ages" as a sign his daughter has not been forgotten.

Miss Lawrence, who would now be 38, has not been seen since she failed to turn up for work at York University in March 2009.

Martin Dales, the spokesman for Miss Lawrence's father, Peter, said a former private detective has contacted him to say he spotted someone with a striking resemblance to her a week ago in Amsterdam.

Mr Dales said the information has been passed on to North Yorkshire Police for following-up with their Dutch counterparts.

In a statement, Mr Dales said: "We are very grateful to all members of the public who remain vigilant in supporting both the Police and the family's attempts to find out what has happened to Claudia. We don't know if this is a sighting of Claudia or not but we trust that it will be fully checked out."

Mr Dales told ITV Calendar News: "The fact that the gentleman in question phoned me up to tell me about this and then followed it up with an email with the detail of the timings, where he was and the fact that his work had been in investigative sort of things means that people are aware."

He added: "Whether or not it'll lead to anything I don't know, but it's the first sighting we've had for ages."

The chef was last seen on March 18, 2009 near her home in Heworth, York. She never turned up for work the next morning in the university kitchen.

North Yorkshire Police launched a huge inquiry which has subsequently been scaled back. Detectives have said repeatedly they believe Miss Lawrence has been murdered.

A police spokeswoman said: "The investigation to discover what has happened to Claudia remains ongoing and this latest information shows that Claudia is still in the forefront of people's minds."


I ONLY hope sooner or later the Lawrence family realize they are being used by someone they 'thought' of as a friend.

Missing Maddie ' seen in Amsterdam'

The encounter between the girl and a Dutch woman in Amsterdam was reported to the Portuguese police in June last year but only disclosed to the public in files released on Monday.
The McCanns were never told about the sighting, despite going to the city last June to raise awareness about their missing daughter.
They have no idea if the lead was followed up by Portuguese police and their private investigators are now looking into the lead.
The couple's spokesman Clarence Mitchell said: "If it was Madeleine, it was a disgrace that it was not passed on. We need to know what happened with this.
"It is one of the mysteries of the whole thing and it is tragic that it should come this late on."
Anna Maria Stam, 41, was working in a shop which sold balloons and fancy dress at the beginning of May last year – before she heard the news about Madeleine.
She saw a Portuguese looking man and woman with a French accent walk in with a boy aged six and an eight-year-old girl.
Watching the seemingly happy group, she spotted another little girl, aged about three with shoulder length brown hair, standing nearby.
Her witness statement said: "The little girl stood before me and asked me in English: 'Do you know where my Mummy is?'
"I answered that her mother was a little bit further back in the shop and she answered: 'She is not my Mummy.'
"I asked her who the woman was, and she said: 'She is a stranger, she took me from my Mummy.' I noticed the little girl spoke good English without an accent.
"Next I asked the little girl what her name was and she said: 'My name is Maggie.'
"When I repeated it, the little girl said, 'No, my name is Maddy'. I still remember that because I thought it was a rare name which you didn't often hear.
"I then asked her where she had last seen her mother and she answered: 'They took me from my holiday.'"
The little girl then left with the woman. When Miss Stam saw Madeleine's picture on the internet, she said: "We thought it was very much like the little girl except the colour of the hair."
She spoke to Dutch police on June 18 but it is not known whether the lead was followed up.
Mr Mitchell said: "It is shocking, it is harrowing to read this account, whether it was Madeleine or not. It is harrowing to hear a child saying that.
"We need to know if it was followed up properly by the police. If that hasn't been done, that is exactly the kind of information that the private investigators are going to follow up.
"It is frustrating beyond words and the worst thing is that all this time Madeleine has been let down by this lack of apparent co-ordination."
Other possible sightings have also emerged in the files. Several CCTV images of a little girl are among the dossier.
The first, take in a petrol station near Praia da Luz on May 4, shows a young girl holding hands with a woman, but the image was shown to the McCanns that night and quickly ruled out.
A second image shows a girl at a Repsol petrol station in Vale Paraiso, Albufeira, also on May 4.
This image was not shown to the McCanns, but the owner of the car was traced and thought to be eliminated from the investigation.


Ernie Allen:National Center for Missing and Exploited Children -- Defrauds the Public And Makes Millions.

Mr. Ernie Allen is the President and CEO of both the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children Inc. (NCMEC USA) and the International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children Inc. (ICMEC), two American companies based in Virginia that have received more than half a billion dollars in non-competitive federal funding
since 1984.

Mr. Allen has been President and CEO of these two companies since their inception.
His privately-held companies have released almost no records, financial or otherwise, that would permit public oversight of their activities. The self-styled National Center was first awarded $3.3 million dollars by the Department of Justice in 1984. Despite more than 25 years of public funding, they have never been held to account for their expenditures, much less for their corporate policies and initiatives.

What little is known indicates that their top executives are richly rewarded. The St. Petersburg Times of Florida recently ran a critical article originally titled Is salary too high for Chief of powerful Center for missing kids?. The article's title was changed to Quasi-governmental missing kids center enjoys key exemptions from federal rules before its publication in the newspaper's print edition. The exposé correctly notes that Mr. Allen himself was compensated in 2008 to the tune of $1.3 MILLION.


That's just in money that we know about. Adding in all the other typical executive "perks" from such things as travel expenses, cronyism and related kickbacks, the value of Mr. Allen's compensation must surely surpass TWO MILLION dollars.

Mr. Allen is running two cash cows, one of which even dares to masquerade as an "international" entity without any recognition of its claimed status from the United Nations or any other multinational body.

In countries around the world, the ICMEC presents itself as a multinational entity. Foreign officials and citizens alike are regularly duped into thinking that its publications reflect a collaborative, deliberative process, as would the publications of a truly international agency like the World Health Organisation. Yet, the notion that the ICMEC is international in anything but the scope of its target is entirely divorced from reality.

The ICMEC is nothing more than a tool to broadcast American political and social interests abroad. Its primary but unstated goal -- to remove children from their established residences in other countries so that they might be raised in the United States, where all contact with their foreign relations would be impossible -- derives from the ethnocentric and conceited notion that the United States alone knows what is best for the children of its citizens.

Meantime, the Mr. Allen's other company, NCMEC USA, issues entire barrages of overinflated, misleading or outright false statistics, not just about missing children, but also about the prevalence of child pornography on the Internet, the true extent of "stranger danger", the number of unaccounted-for registered sex offenders in the US, and even the number of children who are found as a result of the Amber Alert system.

Mr. Allen and his businesses have been pulling the wool over the eyes of both the American taxpayer and the international community for way too many years.

The proof is in the pudding, goes a saying, and so it is here. Many cases of missing child fraud have already been exposed through the work of an international cadre of private volunteers at the National Centre for Missing in Europe Children. You are welcome to flip through the cases posted there, which represent only a small fraction of known cases of missing child fraud worldwide.....read more


Missing People: Leave A Gift In Your Will.

Leave money to a charity headed by the main suspect in her OWN daughters disappearance ?

Leave money to a charity  where the main suspect and her freinds tried to frame Robert Murat for the abduction of her child ?

Leave money to a charity where the main suspect sues anyone who dares to question her version of events.

Leave money to a charity where the main suspect has refused to help the police investigation and told blatant lies ?

Leave money to a charity headed by a woman who confessed she did not search for her child.

Make a lasting difference with a gift to Missing People in your Will. A legacy gift will help to ensure that missing children are found and families given hope.

How do I leave a legacy for Missing People in my Will?

Including Missing People in a Will is a straightforward, easy and cost-effective way to support our work. It simply involves adding a short clause (paragraph) to your Will. We would always suggest that you use a qualified solicitorregistered charity number and the type and amount of gift you wish to leave to Missing People:

Missing People
Roebuck House,
284 Upper Richmond Road West.
London SW14 7JE
United Kingdom

Registered charity number: 1020419

Further information

If you have any further questions, please contact us on:
Email: supporters@missingpeople.org.uk This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Telephone: 0208 392 4521

We'll be happy to answer your questions.
 to assist you with this.

In order to leave a gift in your Will, the most important bits of information to include are our name, our address and our


PACT Charity Scandal : Update.

Regular readers might recall that last year I wrote a blog post highly critical of the payments made by the registered charity Parents & Abducted Children Together (PACT) to Lady Meyer. My main point was that when people donate money to a charity, they do so often with good intentions and with the belief that their money is to go to a worthy cause to assist the needy or those worthy of assistance. One thing that people do not expect is that their donations will be used to finance the Chanel-clad lifestyles of the so-called great and good who head up the charities. In this instance, a substantial proportion of funds raised by PACT were being paid to Lady Meyer, the wife of Sir Christopher Meyer, former British Ambassador to the United States.

I noted that Cherie Blair, wife of the former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, was a patron of the charity.  Following my blog post I wrote a letter to the Daily Telegraph which was fortunately published. In this letter I stated:
A list of a charity’s patrons could be deemed sufficient evidence by possible donors that the organisation is a worthy cause. It is for this reason that Mrs Blair should make a statement – not one in support of the payments made to Lady Meyer, but one criticising them.
Patrons of charities must take action at times like this, as it gives meaning to the presence of their names on the charity’s letterhead. Remaining silent is not good enough.
On Monday, the Daily Telegraph published an update:
Without any fanfare, Cherie Blair has stepped down as a patron of the charity Pact which is presided over by Lady Meyer, the wife of Sir Christopher Meyer, formerly Our Man in Washington.
Cherie Blair has not stated exactly why she has stepped down from the charity, but the fact she has done so is a statement enough. I am sure there are plenty of other charities where the money raised is being used for good causes that would be delighted to have someone as high-profile as Cherie Blair as a patron.


Sunday, July 15, 2012

Missing People : Why Claudia Lawrence?

Kate McCann has weazled her way into the lives of the Lawrence family for quite some time now, her motives sinister and to put it bluntly, evil. Self serving Kate.

The police were able to do a thorough investigation on missing Claudia , unlike the McCann's who had political protection. The most we heard about Healy, she was known as 'hotlips' and enjoyed a good drink.

Claudia's parents were horrified when the police investigation revealed their daughters secret life ( I am not going to go into details, it is all there on the internet) and concluded that their daughters lifestyle had led to her murder. Lacking evidence they readily admit they have no proof she is dead but they do believe they have spoken with her killer and even tried to put pressure on him. Does this imply they know who he is, if so they are keeping their cards very close to their chest and waiting for a break in the case, a confession or for someone to come forward .

However, no sooner was 'child neglector alibi Kate' in her rightful place in life heading Missing People when there appeared the very same day an amazing breakthough after three long years of silence, we had a 'Claudia' sighting in Amsterdam (google McCann Amsterdam for connections).

Murdoch's Sun ran a story today asking ' Is Claudia kept a prisoner in Amsterdam' ?...very much like another story we are familiar with ' Is Maddie in a secret lair' ?

Now here's the rub, cadaver dogs in the early stages of Claudia's disappearance were part of the investigation, with negative results. There were no 'hits' from the dogs to indicate Claudia had died in her apartment. Had the dogs indicated to the death of Claudia, the Lawrence family would not have seen Kate McCann for dust.

Murdoch's SUN now have Claudia in their sight and the McCann spin has begun. Missing People will soon be too toxic to touch when parents start to understand that 'sightings' of their loved ones not seen or heard from for years start popping up in foreign lands to sell Rupert Murdoch's gutter rag. Time is on our side.


Claudia Lawrence:Detectives Try To Increase Pessure On Killer.

Missing chef's murderer may already have spoken to police, says head of inquiry team as father appeals to killer's conscience

Claudia Lawrence’s father, Peter, with her best friend, Suzy Cooper, at the University of York as her friends and family marked the second anniversary of her disappearance. Photograph: Anna Gowthorpe/PA
Police and relatives have made a new attempt to increase pressure on the presumed killer of Claudia Lawrence, the university chef who disappeared two years ago.

The murder inquiry has been scaled down after repeated frustrations over the fate of the 37-year-old, but detectives believe their quarry may retain links with York, where she vanished on her usual walk to work, and could be among hundreds of people already interviewed.

The head of the investigation, Detective Superintendent Ray Galloway, said on Friday that there was "a real potential" that he and his team might have spoken to the killer. The North Yorkshire force believes that Lawrence's "complex and mysterious" connections to a number of male friends hold the answer to the riddle.

"I have a knowledge and understanding and context of Claudia's life and her relationships," said Galloway. "I just need somebody to make sense of elements of that information. There are certain people in particular that I need further information about."

Suggestions that some of these may be married men unwilling to give information about any friendship with Lawrence have been part of the inquiry's frustrations. But Galloway said he was encouraged by unflagging public interest in the case.

"I think about the investigation day in, day out. I think people expect me to continue working on it, on behalf of Claudia's family and the wider community," he said. "Until Claudia's killer is brought to justice there is a danger and we need to resolve it."

The original inquiry team is no longer working full-time on the case but Galloway said officers could be recalled at short notice to deal with fresh developments.

Meanwhile, Lawrence's father appealed to the conscience of both the presumed killer and anyone who might be shielding them.

Speaking at the University of York, where Lawrence failed to arrive at her college kitchen on 19 March 2009, after being seen the previous evening close to her home in the suburb of Heworth, Peter Lawrence said the family was "distraught" at the continuing failure to resolve the case.

"I have said continuously throughout the past two years there is someone out there who does know what happened to Claudia," he said. "There's someone who knows a member of their family or a neighbour or a workmate or a friend who they know has some information about Claudia's disappearance.

"If they have any conscience at all, they must come forward. They must know what we are going through and we really do need to be put out of this anguish which has plagued the family for the past two years."

Lawrence's mother, Joan, who is divorced from Peter Lawrence, said this week that she believed her daughter was alive, and dismissed talk of multiple boyfriends as "not the Claudia I know".

Galloway said that if Claudia walked through the door it would be "the best birthday present ever" but admitted that finding her alive was unlikely.


PACT Fact Sheet.

Who we arePACT is an international, non-profit organisation registered both in the US and the UK. The charity was founded in 2000 by Lady Meyer, wife of the then British Ambassador to the United States. Its patrons are Cherie Blair, wife of the former British Prime Minister, and Laura Bush, the First Lady of the United States.

Our missionPACT’s mission is to fight parental child abduction across borders, and to help the police locate and retrieve missing children.

Why we existEvery year, hundreds of thousands of children around the world go missing or are abducted. Some of these children are forcibly separated from one parent by the other; some are abused, exploited or murdered; others simply disappear, never to be found. PACT was created to help ensure the protection of these children.

What we are doing and what we have achieved

Stamping out parental child abduction across borders

PACT has succeeded in raising significant international awareness of the urgent need for better laws to protect children. As a result, PACT has played a role in drawing up new legislation in the EU, the UK and the US. It has participated in several Congressional hearings in the US; initiated Parliamentary debates in the UK; and enrolled the support of key politicians, including two US Presidents and the British Prime Minister. PACT continues to press governments to recognise that parental child abduction raises issues of public policy and human rights, and to act accordingly.

Finding missing children

PACT works closely with the British Police and is a member of the Steering Oversight Group which devises and coordinates policies related to missing adults and children. We were invited to sit on the Steering Group, which drew up the Guidance on the Management, Recording, and Investigation of Missing Persons. Other examples of PACT’s partnership with the police in the drive to find missing children are:
  • Promotion of the police Missingkids Website http://uk.missingkids.com.
  • Funding of poster campaigns, in which photographs of missing children, downloaded from the Website, are displayed across the UK in supermarkets, bus shelters, and car parks, thanks to the help of several partners from the private sector.
  • Explaining, and advocating the increased use of, the Child Rescue Alert, which instantly disseminates across the media details of a missing child.
Funding projects

PACT has funded several important projects to establish more precisely the scale of the problem of missing children; the long-term effects of abduction on children; and how these should be treated.


The McCann Spin Has Begun : Is Claudia Lawrence A Prisoner In Amsterdam ?


We have moved on from.... is Madeleine McCann held in a lair to is Claudia a prisoner in Amsterdam ?

Pretty clear Murdoch and Healy are still working together.


'Speaking to persons of interest' by Himself at The McCann Gallery

The Great Charity Scam.


Most people when faced with the word charity attached to an institution are inclined to be well disposed to the organisation regardless of what the charity is supposed to do. 

 If it is a popular area of work, such as medical research or the provision of services to disabled children, rationality goes out of the window. 

Hardly anyone questions how the money is spent or how much of it actually goes to the people the charity are supposedly helping.

Even fewer ask where charities get their money from, the public commonly  subscribing to the benign but erroneous assumption that it is collected largely from money put into collecting boxes or donations made by the living or the dead directly to charities.

There is a further commonly believed  fantasy that those collecting for charities are  unpaid volunteers cheerfully giving their time out of  pure altruism, a fantasy which quite incredibly often extends to  that  persistent nuisance known as  “chuggers”  who aggressively buttonhole people in the street.

The truth is a great deal more complex and murkier than the general public imagines. 

The most dramatic subversion of charities comes in the form of national and local governments directing taxpayers’ money to charities to perform work which would otherwise be undertaken either directly by the public body or through the employment of a private enterprise contractor. 

The charities who accept  public money – and the vast majority of the larger ones do – become no more than subcontractors  to  government.

The extent of  public funding is massive:  In 2010 the Charities Commission (which oversees charities in England and Wales) concluded  “that almost a quarter of the large charities consider public sector funding to be their most important source of income.

( http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/government-cutbacks-could-wipe-out-25-per-cent-of-charities-1926155.html).

 In February 2010 ‘ Cardiff University’s school of social sciences on behalf of the public services union Unison predicted that many charities will go bust” [because of coalition cuts in funding]’ and concluded  that ‘More than half of charities’ income now comes from government contracts to deliver public services.’  (ibid).

The use of charities to provide public services  fits in with the Coalition Government’s  drive to subcontract public provision. This means that all three major British political parties officially support the use of charities as government subcontractors, albeit  half-heartedly by the LibDems. Whoever is in power for the foreseeable future, it is a fair bet that the relationship between charities and the Government will broaden and deepen.

As for fundraising from the public, “chuggers”  are paid, a basic and sometimes  bonuses. 

 They work for fundraising firms who receive payments from a charity for every recruited donor.


Many of the larger charities run regular raffles.

My experience of these is that once a raffle a raffle has been entered  they will not only send  details of all future raffles but in many cases send out second letters urging entry into the raffle if an entry has not been received a few weeks before the closing date. I  have also been positively bombarded with requests, both by letter and email, for  donations not only from charities to which  I have donated , but also from  charities to  which I have never contributed .  

This can only mean charities sell on donors details to other charities and quite probably to private business.

The other prime problem with  charities, even large ones, is the fact that they are often very inefficient.

The poorly run ones spend a great deal on administration. 

They spend inordinate  amounts  on advertising.

They hoard money rather than spend it.

They manage their money poorly.

They fail to modernise their services.

Their accounts are inadequate.

The idea that charities will be more efficient than direct public provision  is simply laughable.

Not only do they suffer from the structural ills of public service they lack any proper  public accountability.

Charities are audited each year, but that audit is much less demanding than the audit required of large public companies.

Moreover, their frequent failure to keep adequate records makes  any audit of the use of public money very difficult.

It would also be a very  expensive job to monitor their spending of public  money meaningfully.....read more


Ernie Allen : Missing Child Fraud.

Ernie Allen, one of Gerry McCann's first contacts in August 2007 , his interest, child sex abuse.


Ernie Allen Testifies Before U.S. Congress,

Admits to Four Hundred Cases of Missing Child Fraud
Dateline: Washington, DC, 2 December 2009
Mr. Ernie Allen, President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (USA) and its wholly owned affiliate, the International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children, dropped a bombshell today before the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission of the United States Congress.
But don't expect to see it on the Commission's official web site any time soon; it appears that their web site hasn't been updated since April of 2009. How much do Congressman James P. McGovern and Congressman Frank R. Wolf, co-Chairmen of the Commission, really care about securing human rights when they cannot even be bothered to ensure that their own Commission's web site is updated?
After presenting the usual boilerplate about the American organisations and missing children, Mr. Allen shares some current statistics deriving from his corporate database, in order to "help illustrate the scope of the problem of international child abduction". According to Mr. Allen:
NCMEC is currently working cases involving 1,214 children who were abducted by a non-custodial parent from the United States to a foreign country. The majority of these children were taken to the following countries: Mexico (533 children); Japan (54 children); India (32 children); Egypt (30 children); the United Kingdom (24 children); and Canada (23 children).
These are interesting statistics, and not just because they exist at all. They are interesting because they demonstrate that the American Center's database contains information that is not exposed to the public through their search engine. While there is a field (called abductedCountry) that is supposed to indicate the "possible location" of a "missing" child in a particular country, our search today for all children possibly in Mexico returned a measley twenty-two (22) records, for the United Kingdom one (1) record, and for all three of Romania, Bulgaria and Greece no records whatsoever. Notably we have verified the location of children advertised as "missing" by the American organisations in all four of the above mentioned European Member States. None of these children were identified in the results of our search of the American database as even possibly located in their actual countries of residence!
Now consider Mexico. It is possible that Mr. Allen was being literal in stating that 533 children "were taken to" Mexico, while only 22 are possibly now located there. Logically this would imply that Mexico would have to be primarily a transit country for these children, with only a fraction of them (~5%) likely to remain there following their removal from the United States. It seems unlikely, but it could happen.
Does it, though?
Our concern isn't addressed, but let us courteously suspend our disbelief while we continue to parse Mr. Allen's statement. He starts making recommendations to the Tom Lantos Commission on page 5 of his testimony. The first four recommendations are vacuous generalities that can be pithly abbreviated to "everyone should do a better job". Then comes the bombshell, which we quote in full:
Finally, I believe we should amend the federal definition of ‘missing child’ that was established by the Missing Children’s Assistance Act of 1984 and codified at 42 U.S.C. §5772. In parental abduction cases, law enforcement may be hesitant to classify the child as ‘missing’ since the child does not technically fit within the current federal definition of ‘missing child’: a child whose whereabouts are unknown to the child’s legal custodian. Parental abduction cases are unique -- the left-behind parent may know the exact whereabouts of the ‘missing’ child but is unable to bring the child home. This problem can be solved by adding the description “or who was removed from the control of such individual's legal custodian in violation of law or judicial order” to the federal definition of ‘missing child.’ This not only reinforces law enforcement’s jurisdiction over these criminal cases, it also ensures that they will be given the same resources and support as non-family abductions. In addition, clarifying the definition of ‘missing child’ to include family-abducted children ensures that law enforcement will enter these cases into the FBI’s National Crime Information Center (NCIC) database. NCIC entry of these children is critical to ensuring that law enforcement resources are dedicated to these abductions. Approximately one-third of NCMEC’s current international abductions have not been entered into NCIC.
This official testimony appears to contain the first ever admission by any representative of the American center that a full one-third of its current cases are probable if not certain cases of missing child fraud.
That is four hundred (400) children being falsely advertised by the American center, right now, as though they were "missing".
Thanks to the efforts of the members of our committee, Mr. Allen sees the writing on the wall, but he hasn't yet gotten the message. The real issue is not that law enforcement is "hesitant" to classify a child as "missing" when the child's whereabouts are in fact known. It's that capable law enforcement officers know better than to lie to the very public whose diligence is needed to find genuinely missing children.
Mr. Allen is personally raking in nearly one million U.S. Dollars ($1.000.000,00) annually courtesy of the United States taxpayer. On the basis of his Center's missing children statistics, Congress rewarded the American Center with a huge budget that must be the envy of every NGO on the planet, without any oversight or preconditions. Yet, were it not for the pressure being placed on Mr. Allen by members of this committee, in both civil and criminal proceedings, the American public and the world community would still be entirely unaware that they were being misled.
The December 2, 2009 testimony of Mr. Ernie Allen before the Tom Lantos Commission demonstrates that the American organisations are hiding from the public their real knowledge about the children they advertise as "missing". Mr. Allen's recommendation to modify the federal definition of ‘missing child’ is self-serving and does nothing for the little victims of missing child fraud.

PACT: Lady Myer's Dearest Friend PM David Cameron - The Telegraph Are The Governments Mouthpiece ....So....I Think You get The Picture.

PACT: Matthew Steeples Exposes PACT - LADY MYER And Her Charity - Nothing More Than A Sham.

Posted on Joana Morais Blog.

I also know Matthew on twitter.

Published BY Matthew Steeples. 2011

I am Matthew Steeples and having seen this I thought I should explain how I came to be involved with a charity that turns out to be a sham. I met Lady Meyer with mutual friends in 2004. She was charming and polite and I had no reason to doubt her or her motives. She had just returned from Washington, where her husband had been an ambassador at a most interesting time in history. She was a good conversationalist and well versed. He had interesting tales to tell. She told of the problems she’d had “recovering” her children. When she explained what, she claimed, happened, I thought “how awful” and felt her plight. She mentioned she was having a fundraising ball at The Dorchester and asked if I would like to come. I attended along with friends. Between us we spent £1500 on a table.

I now cannot comprehend why I then continued to believe this lady and her nonsense for six years, but sadly I did. I supported Lady Meyer’s events initially just by attending, but invited her to a dinner I gave above the Ferragamo showroom in 2005 and at this point she persuaded me that I should become more involved.

She asked me to get involved in fund raising for PACT. I should have asked to see PACT’s accounts. I did not and there is no excuse for that. It is a lesson I will take forward with me and I urge others to do the same. Do NOT donate to a charity without knowing that the majority of funds raised actually goes to the cause rather than on salaries. Over the following years I, without charging the charity a single penny and believing that Lady Meyer did the same, I helped organise:

PACT with STARS, Ralph Lauren, 25th May 2010; PACT Barbecue, Firehouse, 10th July 2010; PACT Emilia Wickstead Fashion Show, Papillon, 23rd April 2009; PACT Speed Dating, Firehouse, 20th November 2008; PACT Speed Dating, Stanza, 7th February 2008

At most of these events, the majority of attendees came from my address book and those of my friends and so to did the majority of donations. My friends were also duped by the supposedly charming Lady Meyer and her infectiously enthusiastic manner. They handed over cash, paintings, prizes and gave time to create drawings for another fundraiser. They gave up their time, they wrote letters supporting PACT and most of all they believed in Lady Meyer and her cause. They, like me, wanted to support missing children. In addition, Lady Meyer took advantage of my personal connections to help her in other ways. She was determined to forge herself a new career and I involved her in a project I had been approached about. Strangely the people who I was dealing with pulled out after meeting her. I think I now know why. Though she now states “I used to earn a whole lot more in the city”, in relation to her charitable salary, this successful company didn’t want anything to do with her.

At Christmas in 2009, the Meyer pair had nowhere to go as the Eurostar was cancelled and their planned trip to Paris couldn’t happen. I invited them into my home for the day. In the six years I knew them, never did they invite me to dinner in their home and I can only think of a couple of occasions where I was a guest at a lunch or dinner – and I wonder now who really picked up the bill.
The first cracks came in April 2009 when a good friend had a very public row with Lady Meyer. Letters were exchanged and I told this individual how wrong he was. It was me that got it wrong though and for that I again apologise to my friend.


I helped come up with the idea for the “PACT with Stars” event for International Missing Children’s Day in May 2010. I became so heavily involved in this matter and probably spent two-three days a week on it for over 7 months. I did not charge a penny for this work. The majority of the committee were friends of mine. The majority of the personalities who contributed drawings were friends or contacts of mine. The majority of donated prizes were given by my friends. Some were worth hundreds of pounds, some were worth many thousands of pounds. All were given to support missing children and given in good faith. Our time and donations were not given to support salaries. I apologise to all who I asked to support this.

During the weeks running up to the launch of “PACT with Stars” at Ralph Lauren’s Fulham Road store, I became increasingly suspicious of the motives of the Meyers. The event went from being about charity to being one about the Meyers. The press interviews were about Catherine Meyer in the main rather than focusing on the charity. Ralph Lauren, who seem so generous to the “Chanel-clad” one, took precedence over all other participants. “We cannot offend them,” Lady Meyer said. We now know why.

As the day of the launch grew ever closer, Sir Christopher’s focus was exposed when asked about one particular interview. He said “We must do the interview, Catherine. It’s good for OUR profile.” At this point I finally realised what this “charity” was about. In one sentence he summed it up perfectly. PACT was a vehicle for the profile of the Meyers and now we know it was also a source of income for them too. How stupid I had been not to realise I’d been hoodwinked for so long. I did not, at that stage, though, know where the funds raised would end up.

A year has passed since the “PACT with Stars” event and during that year, though I told all who asked about what went wrong, I did not talk to the press. It is Richard Eden of the Telegraph’s Mandrake who is to be credited in exposing this story. He is the one who generated a story that has run for over a month in both his paper and the Independent and in both of their letter columns. The one thing, though, that really exposed the scandal of a charity that pays some 50% of income to its founder and her assistant and considerably more in expenses were that charity’s very own accounts.

A common misapprehension, however, is that I gave Richard the story and this must be corrected. I did not do this. If I had done such, I would openly admit it as I am incensed about what has been exposed. I did, however, give a comment in the Telegraph’s second piece and it is indeed me and my friends who have written many of the letters about the scandal. For the Meyers now to go about having their stooges attack me and Twitter barbed remarks that are extremely offensive only shows what an own goal they’ve truly scored.

I am sad that the efforts of so many to raise funds for missing children, encouraged by me, have been exposed for having not benefitted them. This is a charity that brings charity in general into disrepute in a most shocking manner. I stupidly fell into the trap of believing that just because they had what seemed like a good background, Lady Meyer and her husband had a good motive in all they did. I am a fool for believing such.
I unreservedly apologise to my friends for having involved them with this sham.

Matthew Steeples (@daSteepsSpeaks) gives background to his meeting Lady Catherine Meyer and subsequent involvement with PACT