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Tim Tate on the making of the Franklin Scandal documentary Conspiracy of Silence
12-04-2013, 11:17 AM,
Tim Tate on the making of the Franklin Scandal documentary Conspiracy of Silence
Many of you may be aware of the explosive documentary 'Conspiracy of Silence', which was produced by a prestigious British television company in the mid 1990s but was subsequently squashed a few days before it was to air on the Discovery Channel. If you have not seen it, I highly recommend it.

The documentary is about a pedophile ring based out of Lincoln, Nebraska that was run out of a boy's orphanage and which pandered underage boys to rich and influential businessmen and politicians - including reputable Republicans. Senator John DeCamp represented a few of the victims of the ring in court and accumulated vast amounts of evidence. At the behest of DeCamp's best friend, former CIA director William Colby, Senator DeCamp wrote and published an account of the best of the evidence, all of which could be proven in a court of law, in a book called 'The Franklin Cover-Up'. William Colby was in a position to know personally about the in-depth aspects of the pedophile ring, since there were even more covert operations associated with it - up to and including sexual blackmail and mind control experiments by the military and intelligence agencies.

Needless to say, a lot of power and effort has gone into covering this story up. The court investigation into all of this itself was manipulated, and to this day people wishing to discredit the conspiracy cite the findings of the jury that the allegations of sexual abuse by the many victims were all "a carefully crafted hoax". You will come to believe beyond a shadow of a doubt that there is a much larger conspiracy by reading Senator DeCamp's book 'The Franklin Cover-Up' and/or watching the 'Conspiracy of Silence' documentary (which had to be leaked onto the internet by the director using a rough draft copy, since the master tapes were destroyed).

In late spring of 2013, the director of this documentary, Tim Tate, broke his own silence on what happened with the film which he thought he would win awards for. He published a tell-all account of 'Conspiracy of Silence' on a blog:

Tim Tate on the making of 'Conspiracy of Silence'

Quote:The commissioning editor for Discovery was a sharp and highly-focussed woman called Tomi Landis. She met with the team at Yorkshire TV’s Leeds studios in mid-1993: each of us was to pitch her an idea which would be good for the new strand. I pitched Conspiracy of Silence.

I had been alerted to the story by a freelance journalist in Los Angeles who I had met on an independent documentary I had previously made (for Channel 4) about the assassination of Bobby Kennedy. Andy Boehm had done some work on that story and we had struck up a friendship during the Kennedy filming. He had also written about the abuse and prostitution of children in – and from – Boys Town in Nebraska all the way to the steps of the Capitol in Washington DC. One key fact stood out: a young woman, Alisha Owens, had recently been sentenced to a jail terms of between 9 and 27 years for naming her alleged abuser in court. Andy thought it merited further investigation: so did I.

Tomi Landis’ reaction to my pitch was electric and immediate. “it’s got everything – it’s got politics, it’s got pedophilia – it’s just perfect.” The film was commissioned immediately – the only one to be given the green-light in that first meeting.

In the summer of 1993, Andy Boehm (hired as a researcher), YTV director Nick Gray and I arrived in Lincoln, Nebraska. We spent weeks tracking down and talking to all those with knowledge of the story. Lawyer John De Camp was the first and key port of call; abuse victim (also De Camp’s client) Paul Bonacci was vital. But the vital missing piece of the jigsaw was Troy Boner.

We need – for those who don’t know the story – to back track a moment.

Boys Town – situated in the heart of Nebraska, itself the heart of the United States – has been America’s favourite (Catholic) charity since it was immortalised in a Hollywood movie starring Spencer Tracy. The oft-played pop hit “He Ain’t Heavy” owes its title to a statue in the centre of Boys Town: it shows a boy carrying another on his shoulders with the carved legend “He ain’t heavy, Father, he’s m’brother”. It’s not just a home for deprived or at risk youth, but an incorporated town and indeed a diocese in its own right.

In the late 1980s young boys and girls in Boys Town tried to disclose that they were being sexually abused and prostituted by one of Nebraska’s most prominent figures. Larry King was, in fact, the rising black star in the Republic Party nationwide. Ostensibly the manager of a relatively small credit union in Omaha, Nebraska, he was the Republicans’ answer to the (then) perceived Democratic threat of black politicians like Andrew Jackson. King was handed the high-profile slot singing the National Anthem at the Republican National Convention in 1988.

But according to teenagers in Boys Town (where he was a frequent visitor) King was also a sexual predator who abused and pimped them at parties to which they were taken. More troubling still (as if that wasn’t enough) some of these boys and girls had reported being flown to Washington DC and prostituted at parties held in King’s house on the city’s exclusive ‘Embassy Row’. They had claimed that politicians from both parties had been present.

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