Updated: Jul 27
It's quite the challenge to attempt to write about a multi-generational crime family. It is even more difficult to talk about intelligence assets conducting sexual blackmail operations (Honey traps) to get kompromat on powerful players. And yet, I'm here to talk about The Maxwells.
Every so often, in the course of the #GreatAwakening, I come upon a story that I don't want to write. "Why should I stick my hand in this beehive?" I ask myself.
Because, believe me: even with the Patriarch long gone, buried in Jerusalem, and his younger daughter locked up facing decades in prison, the power of this family is long from totally faded, as we will see.
I'm here to talk about The Maxwells. But first, we have to understand what "Sexpionage" is, and the concepts of a "honey trap" and "kompromat".
Sexpionage is espionage conducted using sexual activity, intimacy, romance, or seduction. It's as old as the Bible, where Delilah used her beauty to find out Samson's source of power, and fleece him.
Sex can be used as a distraction, incentive, cover story, or unintended part of any intelligence operation.
The term kompromat comes from the Russian KGB slang term компромат, which is short for "compromising material".
It's disparaging information collected about a target, that can be stored, traded, or used strategically.
The people victim to these operations are politicians, officials, lawyers, professionals, judges, people in media and entertainment, and business leaders.
One aspect of kompromat that stands the test of time is that the compromising information is often sexual in nature.
Honey trapping is the use of romantic or sexual relationships to collect evidence on the subject of the honey trap.
It involves contacting a subject who has information or resources required by the operators. The target is led into a false relationship so they can gather information or gain influence over him/her.
Ian Robert Maxwell was born Ján Ludvík Hyman Binyamin Hoch in Czechoslovakia. He fled to the UK and fought the Germans, earning The Military Cross (MC).
Maxwell was known to have links to the British Secret Intelligence Service (MI6), to the Soviet KGB, and to the Israeli intelligence service Mossad.
In the light of today's anti-Semitic left in the UK, it's rather amusing to see Maxwell was a KGB-Mossad-MI6 spy that always supported the Labour party, the Communist Dictatorships and the State of Israel.
Maxwell's contacts with Czechoslovak communist leaders in 1948 were crucial to the Czech decision to arm Israel in the Arab–Israeli War. Maxwell's covert help in smuggling aircraft parts into Israel led to the Israeli air superiority during their War of Independence.
Back in the UK, he started his media empire associated to the experienced scientific editor (and spy) Paul Rosbaud, at Pergamon Press. He became Britain’s biggest printer, a successful investor and a global powerbroker, moving between the White House, the Kremlin, Downing Street and the leaders of France, Germany and Israel.
During the Swinging Sixties, Maxwell served two terms as a Labour Member of Parliament (MP) for Buckingham. He led a multimillionaire lifestyle, and was the host of star-studded parties at Headington Hall, his Oxford mansion.
Those lavish parties have long been rumored to have served as honey traps to get compromising information for powerful people in the UK.
He fell in disgrace in the late 60's, and lost control of Pergamon. The British Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), in 1971: "[Maxwell] is not in our opinion a person who can be relied on to exercise proper stewardship of a publicly quoted company."
In a reversal of fortune, in 1984 Maxwell acquired Mirror Group Newspapers. It soon expanded into a huge corporation: Nimbus Records, Maxwell Directories, Prentice Hall Information Services, the Berlitz language schools, Macmillan Publishers.
All the while, Maxwell published ridiculous hagiographies of Eastern European totalitarian regime leaders that made him a target of much ridicule. Maxwell infamously asked Romania's Nicolae Ceaucescu "How do you account for your enormous popularity with the Romanian people?".
Maxwell was also the chairman of Oxford United. He took Oxford into the top flight of English football in 1985 and the team won the League Cup a year later.
Towards the end of his life, he had become very toxic. The Foreign Office suspected him to be a secret agent of a foreign government, possibly a double or even a triple agent, "a thoroughly bad character and almost certainly financed by Russia."
A former Israel Military Intelligence operative, Ari Ben-Menashe, came forward with allegations that Maxwell was a long-time agent for Mossad.
Ben-Menashe also accused Maxwell of having told the Israeli Embassy in London about Mordechai Vanunu. Vanunu was a nuclear whistleblower who had supplied information about Israel's nuclear capability to The Sunday Times and to Maxwell's Daily Mirror.
The Mossad proceeded to use Sexpionage to lure him into a Honey Trap.
A female Mossad officer, code-named “Cindy”, seduced Vanunu into travelling to Italy with her, where he was promptly seized, forcibly drugged, and smuggled out of Italy by ship to Israel for a trial for treason, where he was sentenced to 18 years in jail, 11 years of it in solitary confinement.
On 1991, Maxwell missed a meeting with the Bank of England about his 50 million pound default in his loans. Instead, he boarded his yacht, Lady Ghislaine, and went to the Canary Islands.
On 5 November, Maxwell lost contact with the crew of the boat and was found to be missing. Maxwell was presumed to have fallen overboard from the yacht. His naked body was recovered from the Atlantic Ocean and taken to Las Palmas. Besides a “graze to his left shoulder,” there were no noticeable wounds on Maxwell's body.
The official ruling at an inquest held was death by a heart attack combined with accidental drowning, but, at the inquest, three pathologists were unable to agree on the cause of his death. Autopsy showed he had been suffering from serious heart and lung conditions.
Maxwell had state funeral in Israel, attended by PM Yitzhak Shamir, President Chaim Herzog, and "no less than six serving and former heads of Israeli intelligence".
Yitzhak Shamir: “He has done more for Israel than can today be said."
Maxwell's death triggered a flood of instability, with banks frantically calling in their massive loans leading to the collapse of his empire.
It also surfaced that Maxwell had swindled hundreds of millions of pounds from his companies' pension funds to save his companies from bankruptcy.
So much for Labor politicians caring for the working class!
Maxwell's younger daughter, Ghislaine, was born on Christmas Day, 1961, in Maisons-Laffitte, France. She became a British socialite known for her association with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, and accused of luring, enticement of minors and sex trafficking of children.
Ghislaine had a privileged but hard childhood. She lost a brother in a tragic car accident, and according to her mother was suffering from anorexia while still a toddler - we will come back to that later.
Growing up, she endured Robert's bullying over Sunday lunch. He would quiz his children about world affairs. In the event of a mistake, he erupted in a rage and even physically beat the child in front of everyone, including any visitors.
What a prince, right?
If a school report was not perfect, Maxwell caned the child. He insisted: “Remember the three Cs — Concentration, Consideration and Conciseness.”
All the Maxwell children were brought up (nominally) as Anglicans.
Ghislaine grew up fascinated by power, wealth, celebrity, and - it can be argued - cruelty. Maxwell’s biographer Tom Bower, who has known Ghislaine since she was 11, said that all her life she has “worshipped rich, domineering men”.
She was intelligent, good-looking and charming, but never could thrive for herself. She was nicknamed “The Shopper” because of her wild spending funded by Robert's millions. He also bankrolled her corporate gifts business that ended in disaster.
Maxwell had a VERY close relationship with her father and was widely credited with being her father's favorite child. The Times reported that Robert Maxwell did not even permit Ghislaine to bring a boyfriend home.
Nothing about the closeness of Ghislaine's relationship with her father needed to be seen a suspicious. But add to that the eating disorders as a small child, and, furthermore, her later alleged criminal behavior as a pedophile and sex trafficker, we have reason to suspect that the sexual abusive behavior began with her as a victim.
In Oxford, she led a student life of wealth and privilege. Her father would send Filipino servants to the college house she shared to clean, arrange the table and cook, in the event of a party.
Her career depended on her father's businesses. She was made a director of the Oxford United, and later, she was put in charge of “special projects” of the New York Daily News.
With her father’s money she bought her way into society, especially in New York — a haven where she could escape his complete control.
While she did not have Robert's gift for business, she did have a lot of charm and was able to efficiently navigate the High Society both in Europe and the US.
In 1986, Robert invited her to visit his new yacht in a shipyard in Holland: the Lady Ghislaine. She spent a lot of time there, in the Jacuzzi, the sauna, the gym and disco.
In November 1991, Robert Maxwell's body was found floating in the sea near the Canary Islands and the Lady Ghislaine.
The death was ruled to be an accidental drowning, but Ghislaine has since stated her father was murdered: "He did not commit suicide. That was just not consistent with his character. I think he was murdered."
Maxwell moved to the United States just after her father's death. Her photograph boarding a Concorde to cross the Atlantic caused outrage - her father had just defrauded pensioners out of Hundreds of Millions of Sterling Pounds.
A trust fund provided her with an income $145,000 a year. A far cry from her previous seemingly unending wealth. She “never, ever had any cash. Lots of credit, of course, but no cash”, one friend recalled to the press.
And yet, she lived the high life. She was known in New York as the “female Gatsby” for her lavish entertaining. Had a "reputation for being charming and funny, and a glittering lifestyle straight out of the pages of a society magazine".
Maxwell had a romantic relationship with Jeffrey Epstein for several years in the early 1990s, and remained closely associated with him for decades afterwards.
Spawning from this undeniable association, are persistent and horrendous allegations of procuring and sexually trafficking underage girls for Epstein and others.
She continues to deny all charges - but has settled some Civil Lawsuits with victims.
It has been suggested that Ghislaine was in love with Epstein much in the same way she was in love with her father. But many see her, instead, as the real power behind the throne.
An intelligence operative, a puppet-master to Epstein's criminal antics.
She was certainly raised to respect only the highest status and wealth. As a fixer, confidante and perhaps spy handler, Ghislaine mixed with presidents, movie stars and moguls. Royalty was specially prized, which is why her friendship with Prince Andrew became so treasured.
Having known the Duke of York casually since she was a student, when Sarah Ferguson reintroduced him to her, Andrew became a regular at the parties at Epstein’s New York home. She notoriously escorted him to a "hookers and pimps" social function in New York.
In 2000, Maxwell and Epstein attended a Prince Andrew's party at the Queen's Sandringham House estate in Norfolk, England, it has been reported that the event was for Maxwell's 39th birthday.
She was seen as Epstein's "main girlfriend" who also hired, fired, and supervised his staff starting around 1992, referred to as the "Lady of the House". In a 2003 Vanity Fair profile, Epstein referred to Maxwell as "my best friend" who seemed to organize much of his life.
“My job included hiring many people,” she said in court deposition in 2017. “There were six homes. I hired assistants, architects, decorators, cooks, cleaners, gardeners, pool people, pilots. I hired all sorts of people. A very small part of my job was to find adult professional massage therapists for Jeffrey. As far as I’m concerned, everyone who came to his house was an adult professional person.”
Epstein and Maxwell seemed to have a "perfect arrangement" - except, of course, for the trafficked girls and the blackmailed marks.
It has recently surfaced that ALL of Epstein's properties - his NY Townhouse, his many compounds in the Island, his New Mexico Ranch, his Paris apartment - were rigged for cameras in every room. All that imagery was being recorded and stored.
Everything their marks did there was kompromat, and was/is stored for usage when the need arise.
Over a decade of activities. Years and years of leverage over the super rich and famous.
In 2005, under-age girls started accusing Jeffrey Epstein of paying them to perform sexual acts. In 2008, he pleaded guilty to felony prostitution charges.
It was a scandalous sweetheart plea bargain where co-conspirators were given immunity from prosecution and the court papers were sealed.
He was sentenced to 18 months in a private wing of the Palm Beach County Stockade. After that, Ghislaine and Epstein were no longer seen together, and she withdrew from society.
Fast forward to 2015: Virginia Giuffre filed an affidavit in court alleging Ghislaine Maxwell had worked as Epstein’s procurer and that they both had trafficked her to Prince Andrew. Giuffre also provided the now infamous photograph of her with Andrew and Ghislaine in Maxwell’s Belgravia home. Giuffre said the photo had been taken by Epstein.
Ghislaine made a knee-jerk bad move, and called her a liar to the press. Giuffre then proceeded to sue her for defamation in federal court. The matter was settled in 2017 for a hefty sum. But not before substantial discovery took place.
The Trump administration's relentless impetus towards curbing sex trafficking and pedophilia started to take a toll: on July 2 2019, federal authorities in Manhattan ruled that any sweetheart deal made in Florida did not apply in New York.
Four days later, Epstein was arrested.
Ghislaine tried to hard keep the court papers from the 2017 Virginia Giuffre defamation case sealed — but failed. On August 9th, 2019, the first batch of those documents was released.
The following day, Epstein was found dead in his jail cell, having allegedly committed suicide.
First her father - now her partner.
History seemed to be repeating itself, on her life. She had every good reason to make herself scarce.
Since Epstein's arrest, Maxwell had been in hiding, with a history of being unreachable during legal proceedings. It surfaced in December 2019 that Maxwell was among the people under FBI investigation for facilitating Epstein's crimes.
According to recent reports, she had moved 36 times in the year since Epstein killed himself in jail out of fear for her safety.
She was periodically said to have been spotted around the world, sometimes in places where she was not. Reporters scoured the globe. Some said she was in Russia trying to get a Oligarch to protect her. Others pointed to Israel or Brazil.
On August 2019, she was apparently photographed eating a burger and fries in Los Angeles, although her friends said Ghislaine was on a permanent diet and would not be seen eating fast food.
By now, the cat was out of the bag, and the reality of her crimes was now common knowledge.
People started talking to the press non-stop. A source close to her said in a Vanity Fair article: “When I asked what she thought of the underage girls, she looked at me and said, ‘They’re nothing, these girls. They are trash’.”
Also on August 2019, reports surfaced that Maxwell had been living in Massachusetts, in the home of Scott Borgerson, the CEO of CargoMetrics, a hedge fund investment company involved in maritime data analytics.
Maxwell is accused of grooming girls as young as 14 for Jeffrey Epstein to abuse between 1994 and 1997, a period when she was his girlfriend. If found guilty she faces up to 35 years in jail.
Audrey Strauss, acting US Attorney for the SDNY: “As alleged, Ghislaine Maxwell facilitated, aided, and participated in acts of sexual abuse of minors. Maxwell enticed minor girls, got them to trust her, and then delivered them into the trap that she and Jeffrey Epstein had set … All the while, she was setting them up to be abused sexually by Epstein and, in some cases, Maxwell herself.”
In the press, conflicting views on BIG issues, now: will she flip on her powerful friends? What kind of Kompromat material she has on people? Who was she blackmailing, and what agency was behind the effort?
A woman named Laura Goldman claimed in UK press to be close to Ghislaine, and stated that Maxwell and Andrew once had a “fling” and that, for this reason, she would “never sell him out”.
“The only way she can walk is if she gives someone up, but that definitely won’t be Andrew,” she said. “She is so appreciative that when she first came to New York, the Duke helped to launch her into high society. She always talks about what a true friend he is. She doesn’t see any reason to speak about him to the authorities.”
The problem with this version arose when it became clear she was a mere distant Maxwell's acquaintance. ‘She is a fraudster and a fantasist,’ a source close to Maxwell said. ‘Ghislaine doesn’t know this woman.’
Christina Oxenberg, on the other hand, who knows Maxwell since the 1990's and is a cousin to Prince Andrew, has a totally different view: "If Ghislaine goes down, she's going to take the whole damn lot of them with her."
"Ghislaine has always been as cunning as they come. She wasn't going to be with Epstein all those years and not have some insurance," she told the Daily Mail.
"She has copies of everything Epstein had. They could implicate some twisted movers and shakers." She says Epstein "liked to film himself with young girls, as well as others who had underage sex."
[What she describes as 'Epstein likes to film' is - as we know - the description of a "honey trap" - purposefully staged to get 'kompromat' on powerful people.]
“I'll bet anything that once it comes out that Ghislaine has those tapes these men will be quaking in their Italian leather boots." Oxenberg said. "Ghislaine made sure that she socked away thumb drives of it all. She knows where all the bodies are buried and she'll use whatever she had to save her own ass.”
Christina Oxenberg also said Maxwell once 'boasted' to her about procuring women for the monster (Epstein) and recording their pals. Oxenberg stated she's willing to testify about this in court.
As importantly, Oxenberg suspects that Ghislaine may throw Prince Andrew under the bus by handing over 'secret video footage', she claimed.
"He is one of many Johns, all of whom were video-taped by Ghislaine," she claims, after she allegedly told her in 1997 they secretly kept tabs on their friends.
"He is not a victim here, but Ghislaine was never his friend, she was taping him," Christina said. "Friends don't tape friends".
Friends may not tape friends, but that's exactly what intelligence operatives gathering kompromat on powerful people do.
Meanwhile, it surfaces that Ghislaine Maxwell has pleaded not guilty to the sex trafficking charges brought against her.
She was denied bail, and will await trial next year while currently being held in the fortress-like Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn. She is under unprecedented security measures - and, at one point, she was wearing paper clothes to ensure she doesn't kill herself.
New York prosecutors alerted the court Maxwell was 'skilled at living in hiding' has 'few if any' community ties and therefore should be denied bail because she is the 'very definition of a flight risk'.
Due to her holding both French and British passports, she has the ability to "live beyond the reach of extradition indefinitely. She is good at living under an assumed identity. There really can be no question that she can live in hiding".
The events of the 8.30am raid on July 2nd, at Maxwell's 'Tuckedaway' property in rural New Hampshire, began to come to light in a court filing.
When the FBI arrived, they forced their way through a locked gate.
"As the agents approached the front door to the main house, they announced themselves as FBI agents and directed the defendant to open the door."
"The agents saw the defendant ignore the direction to open the door and, instead, try to flee to another room in the house, quickly shutting a door behind her. Agents were ultimately forced to breach the door in order to enter the house to arrest the defendant, who was found in an interior room in the house."
In a security sweep of the house, agents found a cell phone "wrapped in tin foil" on top of a desk, "a seemingly misguided effort to evade detection by law enforcement".
The security guard who worked on the property said that her brother had hired him from a company staffed with former British military soldiers.
"The guard informed the FBI that the defendant had not left the property during his time working there, and that instead, the guard was sent to make purchases for the property using the credit card. As these facts make plain, there should be no question that the defendant is skilled at living in hiding'.
The case against Ghislaine Maxwell is very strong, and multiple victims have provided "detailed, credible evidence of the defendant's criminal conduct" - with more women coming forward after she was arrested.
"The recollections of the victims bear striking resemblances that corroborate each other and provide compelling proof of the defendant's active participation in a disturbing scheme to groom and sexually abuse minor girls".
So, there you have it. Talking about the Maxwells.
Ghislaine lost her father and her partner to foul play.
She is a living archive of many powerful people's heinous crimes. And she has the tapes to prove it.
She has the potential to send dozens of members of the super elites to jail forever.
During the year until her trial, DOJ will bring superseding indictments to increase jail time prospects, break the will of the defendant, and lead her to plead guilty.
Will she flip? Will she survive to stand trial and testify?
If you think this long article does more than scratch the surface of this saga, or even that it covers the whole family, wait until you hear about her two powerful sisters Christine and Isabel Maxwell. Tech business women, closely tied to the CIA. But hey! that - as they say - is another story.
July 17th, 2020