Gumshoe News’ featured conspiracy purveyors (from left) Dee McLachlan and Mary Maxwell
The Melbourne-based website Gumshoe News is a one stop shop for wild conspiracies, including a sizeable amount of Israel-hatred, classical antisemitism and Holocaust denial. The website claims that “We provide the public and government factual information and knowledge to assist in explaining what is happening in the world today. And that is what our many contributors do: INFORM with FACTS, history, and logic.” My investigation demonstrates that nothing could be further from the truth. This first part in a series of articles to be published in the AIR will focus primarily on Gumshoe News’ content that promotes Holocaust denial.
The Editors and Contributors
The Gumshoe team of editors and contributors appears to be comprised of fans of various anti-establishment conspiracies. Those conspiracies prominently include claims that the coronavirus was invented by an evil global government to reduce the population, amass profits and control humanity through “fake” vaccination.
The founder of Gumshoe News is Dee McLachlan, South African born, now residing in Victoria. She is a filmmaker and author of several children’s books with names such as The Big Fat Bank, The Three Tall Buildings – about 9/11 – and The People Who Refused to Be Sheeple.
McLachlan asserts that “The Victorian Govt, headed by Deep State Daniel Andrews (and his hidden WHO Vaccine Mafia bosses), are using fake, and highly paid Nursing Home ‘Covid’ deaths to enhance the Emotive Propaganda in this PsyOp that’s leading to an imminent Vaccine agenda, and a huge reduction in our collective freedoms & long-term social liberties.”
Another Gumshoe team member, “Barrister at Law and geopolitical analyst” James O’Neill, peddles conspiracies surrounding the 9/11 terror attacks and the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight WH17 over Ukraine in 2014. A fervent anti-Zionist, O’Neill labels Israel “the regime in Tel Aviv” and “the world’s second greatest lawbreaker (after the United States).” He also quotes from Philip Giraldi’s toxic anti-Israeli article “Welcome to Greater Israel” (2016), talking about “a particularly noxious version of Israeli fascism.” He supports a one-state solution that would effectively erase Israel as a Jewish state, asserting that only “a single, preferably secular State in which all Palestinians and Israeli Jews have equal rights” is acceptable. However, he says, Israel will reject such a solution because “A country that builds a massive apartheid wall (never shown on Australian TV), murders women and children on flimsy pretexts, and completely ignores international law is never going to voluntarily share power.”
Sydneysider Phil Hingston’s content on Gumshoe News argues, for example, that the coronavirus is a made-up disease manipulated by the “Deep State Cabal” to administer “crook” vaccines in order to take control of Earth’s peoples and resources. Promoting the QAnon conspiracy framework, Hingston brings the Jewish Rothschild family into his conspiratorial worldview – “Financial and monetary corruption has been achieved courtesy of the Central Banking system. We can thank the Rothschilds and the Rockefellers for that.”
Another important Gumshoe News contributor is US-born Adelaide resident Mary W Maxwell LLB, a political activist who ran for US Congress in 2006, and the author of several books promoting conspiracy theories, as well as a play performed at the Adelaide Fringe Festival in 2019 titled Crikey! Australian Conspiracies. She was jailed for a short period in 2019 in Adelaide for breaching Section 121 of the Family Law Act, which restricts the publication of any accounts of any proceedings, or parts of any proceedings, that identify the parties or others involved in a case. Conspiracy theories promoted by Maxwell include, for example, that the Bush Administration was behind the 9/11 attacks and that vaccinations are “a big fat, hoax.” She filed a suit against various US agencies arguing that the Boston Marathon bombing (2013) was a “psychological operation … on the people of Boston via a terrorist incident” organised by the US administration. In December 2020, she filed a suit in the US seeking a restraining order against mandatory vaccination for coronavirus.
In her writings, Maxwell does not shy away from antisemitic sources. In one of her books, Grass Court: How To Use Law To Deal with the Pandemic she quotes (p. 56-57) from the infamous antisemitic forgery the Protocols of the Elders of Zion to ‘prove’ that the coronavirus is used by an evil world government to control humanity. On Gumshoe News, she claimed in August 2017 regarding the Protocols that “The majority opinion is that the protocols are minutes of a meeting held in 1897 by members of the then-new Zionist movement. My opinion is that they were published with the name ‘Zion’ in order to deceive readers. As to who wrote them, it must have been someone who knew of the plan for control of the world. That control nearly exists today.”
While ‘analysing’ (Apr 2017) the connection between “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and 9/11”, Maxwell concluded that “Theodore Herzl, the leader of the Zionists at that time [of the Protocols], did not go around preaching anything about world control. I doubt he had the brains for it. I doubt he was sufficiently sociopathic.”
“Protecting my Jewish comrades”
Maxwell is a central figure tied to most of the Holocaust denial on Gumshoe News. Explaining in a December 2015 post her motivation to deal with this topic, she mused that: “To me it looks almost certain that this Holocaust denial thing is a big set-up, scheduled mainly to harm Jewish people. Honest, I can smell it… My interest in the matter today has to do with protecting my Jewish comrades. Furthermore, we need the famous Jewish drive for justice, which seems somehow stuck in a quagmire. (Perhaps owing to the outrageous bombing of Gaza?).”
Maxwell attacked laws forbidding Holocaust denial because “Jews are victims of this stupid law. Surely Jews today do not want there to be any such law, but they perhaps do not know how to fight it. When I say ‘Jews’ here I mean Mom and Pop, not the leaders of this or that organization, or [former French President Nicolas] Sarkozy, etc.”
Maxwell says that she is questioning the Holocaust’s history “to protect my Jewish friends. It looks to me that this crackdown on revisionist historians has a long-term aim of stoking the flames against every Jew!”. Discussing how “Jews are fond of pointing out that ever since the Middle Ages they have been shunted around,” she rhetorically asks: “Had the Jews (or their leaders) done something to deserve this treatment? Possibly they did, in some instances.” Commenting on one of her articles, Maxwell points at the ‘real victims’ when it comes Holocaust denial: “I am on record saying that I think the brouhaha re Holocaust denial laws is intended (by the Powers The Be) [sic] to stir up trouble AGAINST any and all Jewish people … Although it looks like the ‘deniers’ are the victims – no doubt their lives have been greatly disturbed; they have been persecuted and impoverished by it – it could well be that there is a divide-and-rule agenda here.” Maxwell then expresses support for challenging accepted histories of the Holocaust by arguing that doing so had “maybe done a huge favor to Jews into the bargain. Yay Children of Abraham!”
An eight part “Holocaust revisionism” series
From mid-2017 until March 2020 Gumshoe News ran a series of eight articles written or edited by Maxwell titled “Holocaust Revisionism” – a euphemism for Holocaust denial. These articles justify, promote and defend the work of ‘celebrity’ Holocaust deniers such as Ernst Zundel, Robert Faurisson, Fredrick Toben (Maxwell ‘boasted‘ that the latter, who died last year, was her friend) and Ursula Haverbeck – described fondly by Maxwell as “very intelligent, elegant German lady … who has worked hard to restore the good name of her country.”
In the series opener, “Thirteen Reasons Why I Am a Holocaust Revisionist” (November 2017) Maxwell talks about her decision to take a “critical look at the 7-decade old narrative of the Nazi killing of Jews en masse.” Touting the right to free speech, Maxwell says that she became curious because “there are also many tidbits of research showing that the standard depiction of the Holocaust has real problems.” For example, she claims that “Professional, paid witnesses at the 1945-1949 Nuremberg trials [for Nazi war criminals] were relied upon for data about the Holocaust.”
Rejecting the official estimate of Jewish Holocaust victims, Maxwell argues that “In numerous publications of the 1920s and 1930s it was claimed that 6 million Jews were killed in the first World War” – repeating a similar false claim she made on Gumshoe News in December 2015.
That same month, Maxwell echoed Fredrick Toben’s claims, arguing that the number of six million Jews who perished in the Holocaust should be revised because the Auschwitz museum reduced the number of Jews who were murdered there from four million to “only 1.5 million”. “Anyone could calculate (if there were no taboo on doing so) that the 2.5 million error had to be subtracted, resulting in 4.5. But no, the 6 million figure was to be held sacred.” The reason for the refusal to reduce the Jewish Holocaust victim count, says Maxwell, is clear: “One thing led to another, and Toben and European revisionist historians figured out that there had been a massive and deceitful propaganda campaign. We now know such a thing to be routine in politics.” In the next edition of AIR, I will address more antisemitism and anti-Israel extremism featured on Gumshoe News.