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A Word about Standards of Proof at Gumshoe News, and the Question of Hoaxes


newton and comic

by Mary W Maxwell

Both science and the law get involved in “proving” things. In science one may want to prove a fact or a whole theory. A stated fact such as “Tomatoes ripen after they are picked” can be proved or disproved by observation and measurement. A theory such as “Pregnant women are happier than normal because their estrogen level is raised” – takes more effort to prove; it requires that other explanations be ruled out.

In law, we want to prove whether or not the accused person really did commit the crime. “No, Your Honor, here’s my alibi.” Or, in civil cases, the litigants may try to prove that the other’s claim is undeserving. “My car-repair shop cannot have given her a guarantee 18 months ago as my shop has existed for only 12 months.”

People lie all the time, both to get out of punishment, and to improve their chance of getting a financial benefit. The law takes that into consideration and registers skepticism, by asking for proof.  The jury then looks at physical evidence and witness testimony — and since witnesses are only human, with a temptation to lie, skepticism is relevant here, too.

Gumshoe’s Standards

Gumshoe News is a news outlet, not a place where we are expected to do scientific experiments and come up with proof. And we don’t adjudicate legal disputes. Still, we may present articles that are critical of a particular scientific claim, such as about vaccines. And we often analyze court cases, especially those of Martin Bryant and Jahar Tsarnaev. (Hardly a week goes by….)

A real problem for us is the fact that “Science” nowadays does a lot of cheating, and “Law” can’t be trusted.  Sure, they both have highly developed standards of proof, but who is available to uphold those standards?  Um. I think journalists have an established role here.

Let’s air this question: what “standards” should Gumshoe be living up to? There is such a thing as “standards of good journalism” – that have been developing for decades. Its rules include such things as: Observe and report what is really happening; Give any person we criticize about a chance to rebut; and Act without fear or favor — for example try not to let a payer-piper call the journalist’s tune.

At Gumshoe we’re not having trouble with those rules, but we are having trouble with the “standards of proof of reality.” As I will ask below: Did Sandy Hook really happen? — and who are we to say whether it did or didn’t.

Is the Earth Flat?

In the last few months I was flabbergasted when three friends told me they believe the earth is flat.  In fact one of them fully expected me to support that position, since I am a conspiracy theorist!

Indeed I am a conspiracy theorist. I theorize that powerful people, in a concealed manner, are doing bad things. I am proud to talk about the theory that – say – the FBI did the Oklahoma City bombing. (Defo they did.) But I don’t theorize that centuries of hard-won science are a joke. Surely the earth is spherical, not flat. That is easily proved.

How did these persons, age 20 to 40, come to think it’s flat? Probably by making a deduction from two premises. Premise #1: We have learned, by reading alternative websites, that government and media lie to us on a regular basis. Premise #2: Many earnest writers at alternative websites spew forth the real story (Gumshoe, I hope). Deduction: What we read on alternative websites must be true. Ergo, if they say the earth is flat it must be flat.

That is truly pathetic.

What about Hoaxes?

As recently as 48 hours ago I read, on two separate websites, that the 1996 Port Arthur massacre never took place, and that the 1996 Dunblane massacre never happened either. It’s my guess that the writers who wrote that (in each case) are not dumbbells, they are liars.  I go further: I say they are paid liars.

“Who am I to judge”? Well, everybody must make a judgment. You can only do your best, trying to put two and two together. A glance at those two articles told me that the writer did not even bother to present anything to counteract the many pieces of evidence that have accepted in both those 1996 cases.

I’m not saying we should never hold “established” evidence up to re-analysis. (We should!) I’m saying those particular writers didn’t bother to do even that. How insulting can you get? The two offending websites assume that a reader can be persuaded to the idea that Dunblane and Port Arthur are “myths” — merely by assertion.

It can easily be proven that the Port Arthur massacre and the Dunblane massacre did take place. (As for 9-11 having “taken place,” anyone can see how the skyline of Manhattan changed in that year. If 9-11 did not take place you’ve got a lotta splainin’ to do, Lucy.)

Gumshoe’s Policy

The editor of GumshoeNews.com, Dee McLachlan, refuses to go down the hoax trail, as a general policy. This has to do with protecting our reputation as serious writers, and also as a way of keeping trolls out of the comments section. Many blogs get swamped with troll-fights.

There is also the matter of not letting the Disinformation troops win (some of them are literally troops, you know).  In a video linked below, the star of Truther Girls makes the important point that as soon as you get down to saying “No one got hurt” you will soon be using the videos of the paid-hoax theorists.

Surely their mission is to make people reach the point where they say “We can’t judge anything anymore. There is no way to reason it out.”  You will indeed become powerless if you feel there is no use thinking anymore.

There is a strategy that has developed at Gumshoe under the influence of myself and Josée Lépine. You will have noted that it is possible, in regard to many of the controversial cases, to examine the transcripts and see what each player is getting up to. (Many articles at this website, by Cheryl Dean, “go for the judgegular”; Dean also enjoys outing the Prosecutor.)  In other words Gumshoe’s policy is to ransack the court cases for data.

Also, you can often get truths right from the horse’s mouth — albeit not in the way the horse intended. Consider, for example, what John-Avery horse said in an interview with Mike Willessee about having tricked Martin Bryant into pleading guilty (“Neighhh”).

Consider what Police Superintendent Bob-Fielding horse revealed to the media when he said “We were right in forcing the gunman [by fire] to come to us.” In other words, it was the police that set the Seascape cottage alight (Neighhh”).

Killer Bees, Bella Vista, and Maybe the Royal Show

Now I hear you asking, Where to draw the line? Aren’t there some occasions when government or media make up a story that did not happen at all? Didn’t the BBC once show a documentary on “harvesting the spaghetti crop from trees”? Wasn’t there a killer bee story in the Murdoch press many years ago?

Yes, the BBC hoaxed us about the spaghetti tree (in 1957) but soon admitted it, saying it was an April Fool’s joke. And apparently a Murdoch newspaper in Texas made up ta frightening story about the imminent arrival of killer bees.

In Australia last year there were reports – false reports I think – that violence had been threatened against venues scheduled to host Dr Sherri Tenpenny, a doctor who has criticized vaccinations. It was a killer-bee write up. Its purpose most likely was to put an end to Dr Sherri’s planned visit — as indeed it did!

I suspect that the story of a Malaysian tourist named Adelene Leung, age 8, who fell from the Airmax 360 ride at the Adelaide Royal Show in 2014, is likewise fictional. I haven’t got time to look into it. (Why would media make that up? Perhaps to augur the closing of the Show in a few years. There is amazing real estate potential in the showgrounds land.)

It can’t be Gumshoe’s job to record every killer-bee case. Dee McLachlan proved that the Bella Vista case was a hoax: the reported sailor did not get injured. And Dee – effectively – “proved” why the story was made up: to get new anti-terrorism laws passed.

What about Sandy Hook?

My belief is that the Sandy Hook School massacre of first-grade kids in New Town, Connecticut (OMG, OMG, same name of town that Martin Bryant hails from in Tasmania, OMG!!) did take place. I think it was government-organized — but that’s a matter than can be investigated separately from the question of whether it happened or not.

The Gumshoe policy on Sandy Hook was more or less set by me in several articles, including one about William Shanley’s lawsuit against the New York Times, which I consider to be a piece of disinformation in itself. (That suit has now been dismissed.)

Of course I could be wrong for ignoring the Sandy Hook hoax theory. One day I may “come around to it.” I know of two men whose research record is entirely admirable on other subjects who have declared, without any if’s and’s or maybe’s, that no children died at Sandy Hook.

One of the things they point to is the rather abnormal look on the face of a Dad of a deceased child. Such things are important clues. But the psy-op geniuses (or jerks if you prefer) are really getting good at messing up our thinking processes. They provide most of the Youtube videos intended to prove Sandy Hook a hoax.

Or the Marathon Bombing…

They may have “planted” the whole issue of a Dad who did not look like he was grieving. They may also have planted many of the videos of the Boston Marathon that seem to show fake blood poured on Boylston Street.

Note: the agencies that do this, in collusion with media, would probably do it along with some actual reality. Let’s say a certain percentage of the Marathon casualties are genuine and many are but hired actors. Now that’s a good mess-up!

If you can get absolute proof – say by a confession – from one amputee that he had been an amputee before 2013 and was hired to perform, what good would it do?  As I said, Dee McLachlan proved that we were hoaxed here in Australia about the assault on a uniformed sailor in Bella Vista — and we have paid the consequences of it, via tyrannical new laws. Nevertheless, citizens don’t seem moved to take any action.

Many tricks that the Powers That Be committed on 9-11 are also proven, without this leading to apprehension of the miscreants.  For instance someone falsely told the media that he or she found the passport of a hijacker Satam al Suqami, on the street near the World Trade center. No one has been called on the carpet about this.

So, to reiterate where Gumshoe News stands on the matter of hoaxes, I already said the editor wants to stay off that tack in order to maintain our reputation and to keep trolls out of the comments section. I now add a third reason: the staff of Gumshoe is very small and we need to put our effort into articles that can be positively useful, not just debunking the lies.

That said, if someone wants to contribute an article of high-quality reasoning and research, showing that “no child died at Sandy Hook,” please thrust it into Gumshoe’s letterbox. We will most likely publish it.

And now please watch this entertaining video:


— Mary W Maxwell and Dee McLachlan are co-authors of two books: Truth in Journalism, and Port Arthur: Enough Is Enough. The latter is a free download.



Photo credits:  Newton – unrealfacts.com

judge -- digitaljournal.com










  1. Son of a gun. Just yesterday I was in O’Connell’s Used Bookstore and got, for one Aussie dollar (.72 USD), a beautifully bound copy of “Advancement of Learning” by Francis Bacon (1561-1626). Right on target for Gumshoe he says: There are but four kinds of demonstrations: by the immediate consent of the mind or sense, by induction, by syllogism, and by congruity which is that which Aristotle calleth demonstration in orb or circle….

    Elsewhere Frank notes: This is excellently handled by Plato in example, not only in the person of the Sophists, but even in Socrates himself, who professed to affirm nothing, but to infirm that which was affirmed by another [wow], hath exactly expressed all the forms of objection, fallace, and redargution.

    Redargution — is that like argie-bargie?

      It was good to see the line being drawn between a wrongful conviction and unsubstantiated allegations in your article of 27 April.

      As every 1996 report on the event was presented in the usual entertainment format I didn’t pay much attention. I first got wind of the idea that it had been orchestrated as a means of cementing the NFA later that year. I didn’t know anything about guns and I had never heard of the NFA, but as the previous 5 years of my life had been dominated by a range of government and judicial abuses re a bid to gain absolute control of education, it didn’t strike me as being that far fetched.

      I was one of a number of individuals who had been landed with truancy convictions as a consequence of a school exemption certificate being unlawfully canceled . Those at the helm were, needless to say, in the process of replacing the Act that proved the point. *

      As time wore on I became uncomfortably aware that the situation had been created by exemption cert holders who weren’t focused on anything more than their own short term security and that a system of “home-ed” deals based on extra-legal demands had been established accordingly.

      During the following decade I witnessed the same scenario re firearms licensing*
      It soon became very obvious that, bar said “cooperation”, an article such as the NFA would never have come into being.

      In my view that’s the only way that the screws ever get tightened re any matter. There’s simply no need to follow any other course in a country such as Australia.

      The rolling out of any prohibition is invariably a shambles; the antithesis of a conspiracy. What took place in the Broad-Arrow cafe is more likely to have been based on an underworld assassination that required as many witnesses as possible to be taken out than some government plot. A faction of the local Police force may well have been involved(it does appear as though Martin Bryant was set up via an invitation to participate in a quasi “lets pretend” operation) but, whatever the case, anyone whose ever dialed 000 re a shooting could tell you that there was nothing unusual about the response to Wendy Scurr’s call*

      Either way, all that anyone needs to know is that, in an armed society, such an event would, at very least, have been stopped short, that the fatality count was well beyond anyone whose routine didn’t include rigorous target training, and that the respective stitch-up was far from unique.

      Having been personally involved in six other court cases since the education episode* I’m ever mindful that one unchecked foul will inevitably beget another, another, and so on. The orbit might have the same impact as a consciously instigated political directive; treating it as such just imputes undue credit.

      So far as pursuing justice in any matter it needs to be acknowledged is that:
      1) The Country was founded as a stopgap prison in a crumbling empire; it’s constitution was formed accordingly.
      2) Every law firm, judicial office and government agency was instituted on the basis of keeping a degenerate aristocracy on the throne.
      3) The package was never intended to be of any benefit to anyone beyond the magic circle.
      4) “Binding” legislation and procedural rules can therefore be violated with impunity
      5) Representation in certain matters, both civil and criminal, is therefore virtually unobtainable.
      6) Fudged up and/or vendetta based prosecutions are an integral part of the system.
      7) No corresponding conviction has ever been overturned save on a PR basis.

      * Backed by court records and/or correspondence with Western Australia’s State Ministry

      • I like number 5. It’s pretty shocking isn’t it.
        And when you do see a lawyer who is willing to take “certain” cases, you had better wonder what he/she is getting up to.

  2. >> “What about Sandy Hook?” <<

    Once you get familiar with the names and faces of the "victim" family members – and observe their actions – the answer is obvious. Sandy Hook was fiction.

    A brief example…

    • Dear Nallie,
      Is this item on Youtube so we can see it full screen?

      Who filmed this? He or she must be a local in order to have got to the parking lot at that moment?

      Does she want personal credit? (Maybe her name is there in the vimeo but I am ignorant of how vimeo works.)

      The narrator — via subtitles — tells us that the parents have just seen that the (media) camera has stopped or started. Is there a way for us to know this? I can’t see the camera.

  3. Sorry. My fault. I should not have mentioned Sandy Hook. We do not want to go to that subject. Please do not ask us to. I won’t be able to monitor it and Dee is “out of range” (known in the trade as “filming on location” — till July).

    I hope persons who care about the fact that strange things happen will be sufficiently served by our efforts to keep the Port Arthur case and the Tsarnaev trial in our sights. On those two issues we have collected data that can be used by all.

    (Indeed I withdraw the remark in my article that we would publish a good article on Sandy Hook.)

  4. Your “Flat-earthers” brought to mind one of the essentials of disinformation Mary, and that is the concept of “poisoning the well”. We saw this perfected after 911 with assorted unprovable claims of holograms, plane-switching etc lumped in with real information, with the idea that all the information, not just the nonsense, is discredited and those who take up the disinfo in total are rendered as fools and conspiracy nuts who shouldn’t be listened to. Baby goes out with the bathwater and so on…

  5. This country was and is built on immigration. Working class people have come from all over the world to make this society what it is today. As our anthem implies “the fair go”. These days this is not the case. The regional areas are becoming poorer and in the cities the middle class is becoming extinct. How can people on $20 per hour ever buy or rent in our cities. This bubble would have burst together with the GFC because even then it was out of reach for many people. The CCP changed the roadmap for OZ and other colonies of the crown. Why ? Because there are nearly 100 million cashed up party officials in China. They have raped their country of wealth and now they are doing it here. Communism is a two class society that is the connected 5% and the 95% poor.

  6. We are living in a big country, with a small population (half of it in 3 cities), at the bottom of Asia. Our history of isolation is truly over. The invasion cannot be altered. But it does not have to be based on inequality (where only the rich benefit). A two class system is pagan in origin. This nation was once great because it had the biggest middle class in the world. Look at us now taken over by a cartel of deviants hiding in the shadows. When I was a young man my late father called them the collectors.

  7. “Our society and culture are a fraud based on one central fraud, the monopoly over government credit in the hands of private bankers”. On the flip side, everything created in the world has infinite beauty. Most people are good no matter what colour. We all love our children and want a fair future for them. Positivity can change everything for the better. We all have skills that can make this world much more enjoyable. For this to happen there is no room for the military industrial complex and fractional reserve lending that sucks the blood from our toils.

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