I've got a Connie earworm gnawing away at, and stuck on a repeating loop in my mind. If it isn't that song then it's an obscure 1970s hymn, "Everybodys' Building". Both must have had a profound impact at a young age on at least one of the Connie leadership; they're certainly having an effect on me! I picked them up while viewing some covert video taken inside a private inner meeting of a local Consensus group. We've been wanting to find what goes on behind those closed doors for a long time, but it's only now we've been able to get someone who has become disillusioned with the movement to covertly vid one of their sessions. What I see is indeed stranger than the speculation.
The general public are encouraged to get involved in the organised community bonding singalongs, and just like any other religious service, one or two may be curious enough to want to find out more. Free food and ComCred grants whet their interest further. Once they are vetted, indoctrinated, and considered to be committed enough to the cause; only then they are allowed into the private rallies.
All the rumours we've heard about these gatherings are true, and then some! Imagine if you can a surreal combination of a motivational sales conference, but held in the atmosphere of a Communist Party meeting from the Mao era. Add to it the fervency of a religious cult service blended with an exercise class and self-help therapy group, and that barely comes close to describing all of what goes on. It seems scarcely believable consenting adults of sound mind would put themselves through this sort of bizarre spectacle and willingly return for more; yet they do. It just goes to prove how effective the conditioning is.
This footage will be a boon to the NRP. Everything, from the impassioned pseudo-sermon by the neighbourhood leader on the redemptive qualities of work and the sin of idleness; to the self-criticism session - where blubbing members stand in front of their fellows and confess they've not been able to do enough for the movement recently, but stammeringly promise to make amends in the future to rapturous applause - is ready made for ridicule.
The team-building exercises involving playground clapping games couldn't have been dreamt up in even the most imaginative flights of fancy of our campaign group. There's also a venting session where, in true Orwellian style, members of the group express their loathing for those they see as the villains of the moment; I'm so pleased it is we in IMS who feature so prominently this time.
But the highlight has to be the exultant close to the meeting marked by the singing of a karaoke version of 'The Family Of Man'; their adopted anthem. The lyrics of the old 1960s pop-folk standard have been slightly adapted to reflect our times; for no-one now would refer to "the miner in the Rhonda, the coolie in Peking", no matter how well meant the sentiment. Those words were changed to "the miner underground and the worker in Beijing".
It's open to question what The Spinners would have thought of their tune being used as a Connie hymn and sung with such glazed-eyed gusto by blissed-out congregations; assuming they could ever have imagined such a deranged organisation could ever exist outside of a drug addled nightmare. Might they have cringed at the misuse of their song? I hope so.
As the introductory notes begin the lyrics are displayed on a large filmscreen, though they are largely redundant; Connies take particular pride in learning their songs by heart. Watching the joyful tears running down the faces of hundreds of our would-be saviours as they recharge their vigour for the missionary quest to save us from ourselves, I know these images will do us no end of good, especially those of the rhythmic clapping along and synchronised clumping of flacks in time with the music lending an air of barely restrained fanaticism to the proceedings.
I wondered if this wasn't just too good to be true. I suspected a deliberate attempt by them to pull a fast one on us, and so discredit our newsgathering reputation. But having met the source - while wearing covert 'cording gear just in case, so we could turn any attempt by the Connies to dupe us back against them - I'm convinced he's genuine.
He wouldn't be the first person to be hoodwinked by them; back then we were all only too willing to give them a chance to sort out the mess we were in. Like him, those of us who understand what is really happening are much wiser and bitterly cynical now. He wants to get away from the group as quickly as possible, fearing his disloyalty may be found out.
I had a tough job persuading him he'd be able to do more for our cause by remaining within the movement for the time being. Ideally I'd like a vid of one of their rumoured glutton parties; now that would make some explosive copy! He's heard of them, but hasn't advanced enough within the organisation to be invited to one yet, though he'll do what he can to try to gain access as a server. A few goodies from the Zone helped win him over to my way of thinking. It's amazing what people will do for a little luxury these days. But I still can't get that bloody song out of my head!
It isn't all evangelistic workism, insistent tambourines, and charismatic tough love though. Judith Hall can testify to that: Or at least she could before her stroke.
Up until the time of her arrest she had led a blameless life. She was a model citizen; a devoted wife to Laurie until he passed on, and a good mother to Lindsey. She'd contributed to society through her career as a doctor's receptionist, then latterly an administrator before her retirement. She weathered the storms of life and even faced her failing sight with uncomplaining stoicism. She adapted as best she could to it, in part by using a powerful light to read by; and that's when she fell foul of Mark Lowe's Young Communitarian group and the law.
In the times before the Crises and the advent of the Consensus, people such as Lowe would be found dressed in hi-viz tabards, pointing hairdryers or police supplied cameras at motorists driving through '20 is Plenty' zones in an attempt to intimidate them into slowing to a crawl despite the road conditions being perfectly safe for higher speeds. Or they might have been old-style Neighbourhood Watch coordinators; now renamed as Street Wardens and given enhanced powers.
After the Crises Lowe and his ilk acquired even greater authority - and the ability to abuse it - than they ever would have been granted in more rational times. Now these busybodies are to be found leading local YC groups on activities such as rubbish rummages. It was on such a patrol the heinous crime was discovered.
One of the indoctrinated youngsters - they didn't realise what they were doing - discovered a box from an outlawed incandescent light bulb in Judith Hart's recycling box. Further examination of her non-recyclable waste revealed a used bulb with a broken filament. If only she'd had thought to mix her rubbish in with the community bin, or just thrown the offending articles away somewhere else she might not have been discovered. But she didn't, and even if the bulb had been disposed of in the community waste the chances are the rummage would have continued anyway until some offence had been detected. The communal bins would have been checked and the whole street have fallen under suspicion.
A ComPol search of her home revealed that out of sight of the street and any patrolling wardens she had obviously been in possession of, and using a non-compliant bulb in defiance of the Energy Act. She was arrested, and under severe questioning admitted she'd more bulbs stockpiled; kept since before their sale had been prohibited in 2012, and the later retrospective law that made it an offence to even possess an incandescent bulb.
The investigation didn't end there. An examination of the gooseneck lamp revealed it would have been nearly impossible for Judith to remove the broken bulb and replace it with her arthritis-weakened hands. Someone else must have done it for her. Suspicion fell on her daughter Lindsey, who was also arrested.
The case was dealt with in the usual brusque manner. Both mother and daughter were brought before the Community Court the next day. Judith Hall was charged with Possession of an illegal item; Failure to surrender the aforementioned Item; and Failure to inform the Police an Offence had been committed - Namely her daughter had installed a Device prohibited under the Energy Act.
Lindsey Barnes was charged with Installing a item prohibited under the Energy Act; and Failure to inform the Police an offence had been committed - Namely her mother had been in possession of articles prohibited under the Energy Act. As the bulbs in question had obviously been stored there for a considerable time the prosecutors couldn't prove any complicity to traffic them, or intent to supply others with prohibited items. Though they would have loved to add those indictments to the list there was no chance of getting those charges to stick even in these times of rough justice. In any case, the prosecution as rested would be more than sufficient.
In the hour they were allotted with the duty defence advocate before their hearing they were advised that given the facts of the case there was no chance of them defending themselves so they shouldn't contest the charges, but hope the tribunal would show leniency given Judith's disability as a mitigating factor. It was a forlorn hope.
The hearing didn't take long, it being more of an administrative process than an inquiry into the facts of the case or the culpability or otherwise of the defendants. In summing up and passing sentence the chairman of the tribunal said they had taken Judith's disability into account and concluded that her motive for using a banned light bulb wasn't criminally minded, but it could not be used as an excuse for breaking the law. There were other ways of having books spoken to her despite her difficulty in using modern technology, so her refusal to use alternative means of reading and continuing as she had was evidence of a stubbornness that could not go unpunished.
Judith was sentenced to six months living in supervised accommodation, a fine of two thousand New Pounds plus court costs, a Lifestyle Audit, and a two year Lifestyle Control Order. Lindsey received six months Rehabilitation, a one year Community Supervision Order to run consecutively, a two year Lifestyle Control Order, and was ordered to pay her court costs.
Word of the case didn't reach us until a week afterward. Lindsey's distraught husband was bound by the same standard injunction that applies to everyone, prohibiting them from revealing the fact that a hearing has taken place, or its verdict for a week after the event. The official reason given is to prevent protests from being organised and to preserve the 'integrity' of the court process. As with so many other aspects of the Connie system that is an utter lie.
The reason reporting of the secretive Community Courts is delayed is so all those involved in the injustice factory can be well distanced from their acts when the truth finally emerges. By the time we heard about the case both Judith and Lindsey had disappeared into the rehabilitation system, not to be seen or heard from again until they had been sufficiently conditioned to be trusted to write and say the right things about their incarceration; if they had behaved well enough to earn the privilege of communicating, or a rare family visit.
Even though Judith was given a more leniently 'soft' punishment than the norm for this sort of offence it proved too much for a confused seventy eight year-old. It was Russell; Lindsey's husband, who learned that Judith had been admitted to the basic Rehab area hospital suffering from the symptoms of a stroke via an impersonally terse message. In no uncertain terms he was informed visitors were not permitted.
It wasn't clear whether Lindsey had been informed of her mother's illness. In any case there would be no chance of her being granted compassionate leave to visit her mother. Prompted by this callous treatment Russell wrote to the King begging Him to grant a pardon for his wife and mother-in-law, taking into account their current circumstances. There was little point in applying for mercy using the token appeal mechanism; the process would often take longer than the remaining sentence to be served - a deliberate policy - and would invariably be rejected: The System did not make errors. When he received no reply Russell contacted our office and cried for help.
Realising we could have a major story on our hands and one that would need careful handling as well as expert legal advice, we brought our London office in on it; they took over. The King was asked to grant a Royal Pardon on compassionate grounds, but it was unlikely the petition got further than a junior member of staff in the Office of the Regency before being passed back to the Department of Rehabilitation. Russell received a stern reply from the DOR, scolding the appeals procedure and the existing legal mechanisms should be exhausted before a petition to Their Majesties could even be considered. It seemed no matter how heartfelt the pleas the implacable system wouldn't be releasing its grip on Judith and Lindsey any time soon.
But the furore hadn't been entirely in vain; it had caught the attention of the insurgents. They judged the Connies had overstepped themselves and the time was long overdue for those responsible for this miscarriage of justice to be taught a harsh lesson.
It isn't known how the insurgents were able to breach the security of the Community Court database and use it to trace the personal details of the tribunal members; the hardcore insurgents are a very professional operation who cover their tracks well. They chose the chairman of the tribunal on the day of the womens' trial - Ron Holloway - to be their unfortunate victim.
Believing himself to be safely shielded from any reprisal by the anonymity of the system he was picked up by a prebooked taxituk to take him to a meeting. He never arrived at his destination. Instead his life was to change dramatically from that point onward.
A 999 call alerting the emergency services to a fire on the Farlington marshes resulted in himself and the still sedated taxi driver being found near to the burning 'tuk. The driver was unable to tell the police anything about what happened; nor was Ron Holloway. But an anonymous, untraceable blurt 'cast from a disposable address soon after the discovery explained everything in graphic detail.
We can only imagine how Holloway must have felt as he regained consciousness to find himself gagged and tightly bound to a metal bed frame above a large plastic sheet in some poorly lit anonymous place; a small lock-up garage or warehouse by the look of it. As none of his mask wearing abductors speaks on the blurt we can only guess at his initial confusion, then terror as two of the the gang hold his head still while another pulls back his eyelid with a protectively gloved hand and drips liquid from a glass bottle into his eye. A helpful subtitle explains the liquid is industrial strength sulphuric acid.
Ron's screams are muffled by his gag as first one eye, then his other are dissolved by the stinging acid; but his ordeal is far from over. The captions go on to say that in order to ensure he is never able to pass another judgement again he must be rendered incapable of both reading testimony, and hearing it. His head is roughly twisted to one side and the acid dripped into his auditory canal; then the process repeated with the other ear.
By now Ron's thrashing subsides due to shock and exhaustion. He's shit and pissed himself - the camera zooms in triumphantly to show it - and he has screamed himself hoarse; but just to be absolutely sure he is made completely incommunicado a wooden chock is used to force his mouth open and with a crude sawing motion his tongue is cut out. After being proudly displayed to the camera the severed organ is thrust back into his mouth in order not to leave any forensic traces at the scene. The final caption informs us this completes his punishment for picking on a defenceless, disabled pensioner, and it should serve as a warning to anyone else who thinks they can impose harsh punishments with impunity on anyone who breaks an unjust law. There is no escaping the retribution of the insurgents. His torture concluded Holloway is repeatedly punched in the head until he is unconscious again. The blurt ends. The insurgents returned to the shadows of obscurity, covered by their usual high standard of frazzling to defeat any attempts to trace them.
Once it was realised what had happened Jeffery Wilson and Katherine Brown, the two other members of the tribunal; as well as Mark Lowe were taken into the witness protection programme. They and their families were moved out of the area; first to safe houses, then to new out of area addresses. They were provided with new identities, but still they would spend the rest of their lives in a perpetual state of anxiety; wondering if a system which had been hacked once could ever be considered secure again; their new aliases exposed once more, and they to suffer a flidding as well.
There was nothing that could be done for Ron Holloway. Surgery has advanced a lot but by nowhere near enough to be able to repair the horrific injuries inflicted on him. He has some vestigial hearing in his left ear, but only enough for him to make it clear that he has heard something. Apart from that he will serve the brutal sentence of traumatic sensory deprivation for the rest of his natural life without any hope of remission.
In a high profile case such as this the NatPol Special Investigation Unit came charging in with typical armoured thuggishness; raiding, arresting, interrogating anyone they thought may be even remotely involved. Even we at IMS were paid a visit by some thickset gorillas in suits who weren't best pleased by my protestations we received our information on this case from the same sources as everyone else. They were convinced we had a dark contact to the perpetrators, and hence a possible means of tracing them.
I invited them to bring in experts to examine our systems, confident as I was they wouldn't find anything. (We do have a contact, who knows someone else, who may be able to get a message through to the insurgents; but we don't dare use it than on those very rare occasions when we feel impelled to communicate for fear of being detected despite our security and cutouts. If there is a message to be passed; and then only when we have to make contact; the process is initiated by them. We do the minimum we must to reply, and are only too pleased not to hear any more from them. We'd never be stupid enough to have the details stored on any of our registered gear.)
After an hour of being grilled in my own office they decided they weren't going to learn any more and left; promising a very unpleasant return visit if they found I'd been holding out on them. Despite their bluster I felt they were just going through the motions; the trail had long gone cold and they wouldn't pick it up again.
After making themselves as obnoxious as possible for a few days the NatPol returned to London, leaving the CityPol to get on with the random reprisals. They don't like being shown up on their own patch so someone had to pay for their embarrassment; even if those arrested had nothing to do with the original crime. Lessons had to be taught and learned: It was as simple as that.
Then things quietened again. The vague, carefully phrased, OMS compliant reports hinted at Holloway's "injuries"' without going into specific details, or mentioning the link to the Light Bulb Case; instead playing up the appeals for witnesses. The blurt was never mentioned of course; but it remains available on DarkTube for anyone who wants to see it. The casual inhumanity which is shown, even to a Connie bastard like Holloway leaves me feeling cold and sick inside watching it.
We don't know how far the news of the attack affected the closed society of Community Court judges and if it has made any difference to their verdicts or sentencing. That is just another thing we in the media are not allowed to know, speculate upon, or report. Now Connie functionaries won't use taxituks, prebooked or otherwise, and they never travel alone: Instead they travel in private transport, armed and in pairs at least; better still accompanied by trusted bodyguards.
No one is expecting the early release
of Judith and Lindsey. They remain incarcerated in Rehabilitation; the effects of it upon them will be as permanent as the maiming of Ron Holloway, or the lifetime of unending worry in prospect for the other protagonists in the case.
Even when they are released they won't ever be free of the system. Judith will need full-time care in a supported home: Bizarrely that may well be the best thing for her, as she won't be able to return to her previous address having forfeited her tenancy rights upon her conviction and her flat already being reoccupied. Lindsey and her family will face even greater challenges. In addition to having to comply with the strict conditions of the non-custodial part of her sentence she'll struggle to be reassigned as a teaching assistant again given her conviction. She'll also find herself coming under the indefinite scrutiny of the local Social Support Service, and we all know how keen they are to separate children from 'problem' parents. Even Russell might find himself tainted by association. The chances are at the very least they'll fail their next housing assessment on the grounds of social delinquency, and be forcibly moved on to the downgraded accommodation they are then deemed to deserve.
All of those lives so adversely affected for the foreseeable future; and all for something that wouldn't have been considered a crime not that many years ago: Such have times changed.
If there is a small mercy it is the insurgents didn't hold the children in the Young Communitarian group as responsible as the adults. They made it clear that as long as that particular group was disbanded and the children withdrawn from all other YC activities, no further action would be taken against them. Despite the difficulties and repercussions involved in not participating in the YC all the parents complied. They knew they were being watched from afar. An invisible area of influence has altered slightly in one place; one of many unreported shifts of power in the rare skirmishes that the civil war has wound down to these days.
That local YC group may be no more, but the children are still exposed to the conditioning of the Connieformed education system. Lenin once said "Give me just one generation of youth, and I'll transform the whole world." It's a message the Connies have taken to heart.
They have often made it it clear the changes they have enacted so far - even though they have been so profound and achieved over such a remarkably short time - are only the start of a transformative process they see continuing for generations. Already, and despite the historic examples which are a sinister portent; a generation of children are being brainwashed into becoming emotionally detached from their parents, even to the point of informing on them. I dread to think of the society that those children will create as they grow older.