Keep Talking is a conspiracy theory and Holocaust denial discussion group in the United Kingdom that includes far-left and far-right activists.[1] It was founded before 2010[2] by Holocaust denier Nicholas Kollerstrom and 9/11 truther Ian Fantom,[3][4] who was inspired to start the group because he thought that 9/11 truth groups had been "sabotaged from within".[2] The group meets once a month in North London.[2][5]

Topics

The group has discussed a wide variety of conspiracy theories, particularly those relating to 9/11, the London terror attacks, assassinations, antisemitic conspiracy theories, including Holocaust denial, and the White Helmets. One frequent theme is claims that various terror attacks are false flag attacks.[2] In 2017, Gilad Atzmon gave a talk to the group, in which he advanced the argument that the Balfour Declaration was intended to "conceal a century of Jewish political hegemony in Britain".[2][5] Vanessa Beeley, a conspiracy theorist focused on the Syrian Civil War, has also spoken at the group's events, in 2019,[6] as has Piers Corbyn (the older brother of Jeremy Corbyn). In 2020, the group has engaged in COVID-19 conspiracy theories.[7]

History

In 2018, its events at Conway Hall in London were cancelled after the involvement of Holocaust deniers was revealed.[8][9] In 2019, St Anne's Church, Soho apologized for allowing the group to have a meeting at its premises, during which Miko Peled gave a speech.[4]

In 2020, the Community Security Trust and Hope Not Hate published a report on Keeping Talking, the results of their researchers Dave Rich and Joe Mulhall's joint three-year investigation into the group.[1][3]

Attendees

The discussion group includes both far-left and far-right activists. According to Rich and Mulhall, "The deeper we looked into the ‘Keep Talking’ group, the harder it became to know whether it was far-right, far-left, a mixture of the two, or something else entirely".[1] People involved in the group include expelled Labour Party member Elleanne Green; Gill Kaffash, a Holocaust denier and former Palestine Solidarity Campaign activist; and Alison Chabloz, fined for an antisemitic song.[2][3][10] During one meeting in 2019, former Labour Party and GMB activist Peter Gregson[11][12] was ridiculed by members of the group for saying that the Holocaust did happen and James Thring, a regular attendee with links to former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke,[8] claimed that there were no recorded deaths at Auschwitz concentration camp.[2][3] Stead Steadman, an organizer of the far-right group London Forum, has for periods regularly videotaped Keep Talking meetings.[2]

Black Lives Matter photograph

During 2020 Black Lives Matter demonstrations in the UK, a photograph was taken of a young black woman having a conversation with an older white man, Jim Curran, who was wearing a sign that said, "Racism is a virus, we are the vaccine". The photograph was considered heartwarming and went viral; they were interviewed by ITV News, which described Curran as "a veteran of human rights campaigns dating back to the 1960s". Best for Britain retweeted the photograph, but later deleted the post and apologized, while ITV News retracted the story, after it was revealed that Curran had regularly attended Keep Talking events.[5][13][14]

See also