Marcel Hofmans: Sex Clubs, Sex Cults and Morgues; More "Beyond Dutroux" documents from Belgium
Although this article can be read on its own, it really is a continuation of previous ISGP articles, most notably Beyond the Dutroux Affair (2007) and La Nebuleuse (2008).
|1.||Stanley Club protected by Brussels police|
|2.||Orgies with children... always possible|
|3.||Bhagwans, Raeliens and morgues|
Christmas is already over, but I've received a number of new documents from one of my southern neighbors. Then again, they will probably not put anyone in a Christmas mood. Let's dive right into them.
The first document to discuss here dates back to 1997, right after the Dutroux affair broke. It basically constitutes a death bed testimony from an old woman named Jacqueline Smolders to the Schaarbeek police. She began her testimony with:
"I am gravely ill and don't see myself living much longer, and that's why I still want to testify in relation to the murdered and missing children of which the investigation is ongoing at the District Attorney's Office and the examining magistrate in Neufchateau." 
She spoke about Le Stanley, a club in Brussels that organized sex orgies. The club existed in the 1960s and closed down somewhere in 1971 or 1972. She was a member at the time and knew the owner, a certain Marcel Hofmans. Some of the other members of the club included Belgian executives of U.S. corporations as IBM and Union Carbide. Hofmans and his colleague in Le Stanley both worked for IBM at the time.
Smolders had noticed that a lot of things went on in and around the club that were illegal. Le Stanley had a first floor where porn movies were shot, which sometimes included dogs. A warning system had been installed behind the counter in case the police or gendarmerie showed up. Behind this counter was a young black girl that Smolders thought could well have been Virginie Baranyanka, the lawyer of Nihoul who decades later was responsible for ousting examining magistrate Connerotte over the Spaghetti incident. She was also virtually certain that the father of the murderer of Loubna Benaissa (a controversial case, see Beyond the Dutroux Affair) was an ex-colonialist and used to be a member of Le Stanley.
Smolders suspected that at least several members of club Le Stanley must have known Nihoul at the time and that is why she testified. Her testimony contains several interesting sections that give insight in how criminal networks - whether they are into child abuse or not - can be protected by friendly higher ups. Here's an example:
"In the club was a member whom I didn't know by name but who was in the possession of a private airplane. He flew to Switzerland to get these films for LE STANLEY. Ik know these films were flown from Sweden to Switzerland where the member in question went to pick them up.
"One day, in 1969, this plane crashed over the province of Namur with all the pornographic material onboard. The police intervened and all the pornographic material was confiscated. That evening, however, Marcel HOFMANS had all the copies of the movies in his possession, because of the intervention of apparently influential persons in the judicial sphere of Namur." 
After 1972, the club was relocated to several other locations within the Brussels area. According to Smolders, this happened because Hofmans only enjoyed protection from part of the police force. He did had some concerns over the Gendarmerie, from which he didn't receive the same amount of protection. Smolders:
"I don't remember the name of the club at that place and I've never been there. He himself (Marcel Hofmans) told that something had changed in the protection of himself and his club and that Etterbeek again would be much easier. I don't know the names of the persons who constantly protected him. I do know that it always involved very important persons, by their background, their wealth or social position. I'm talking about politicians, top-level army and police officers, judges and district attorneys." 
Mary Porsont, who used to work at La Piscine, one of the clubs owned by Marcel Hofmans in the early 1990s, has also given a testimony that appears in the Dutroux files. In the 1993-1994 period she worked for the labor union SETca (Syndicat des employés, techniciens et cadres) and the Socialist Party. Among the individuals she got to know was a certain Richard de Groot. De Groot soon introduced her to Roger Labarbe, the national chairman of the SETCa. They offered her to come with them to sex orgies, for which she would receive considerable compensation. Needing the money, she accepted. The three of them subsequently went to swing club Hoeve Bornedries, which, according to de Groot and Labarbe, belonged to former Belgian defense minister Guy Coeme (implicated in the Agusta scandal). More frequently they would go to the private club La Lune des Pirates - later renamed to La Piscine. Porsont eventually ended up working at La Piscine for a relatively brief period. About La Piscine she testified:
"In the club that was run by a certain Eric I met magistrates, lawyers from the Court of Assisen, gendarmes, police officers, officers from the District Attorney's police, but also surgeons and other people with money. Sex orgies were regularly organized. But without participation of minors. The owner was Marcel [Hofmans] and he worked with a certain Yvan, a beer producer. I started at the club in March 1996. The ground floor was just a regular cafe, the club was on the first floor. You became a member for 1000 francs [25 euros] per year and you paid 2000 francs [50 euros] every time you visited. Four drinks, sauna, swimming pool and the rest. Mattresses could be found everywhere to have fun with anyone available. I worked there for approximately two months. ...
"In the half year I worked at La Piscine I did not see any pedophile activity. But I did hear enough about the bizarre sexual preferences of socalled higher ups and that there were possibilities to organize orgies with children. A certain Eric and Nina asked me to approach those higher ups who came to us at La Piscine and left their phone number with offers of special evenings. Especially Nottebaert [small-time socialist politician who liked SM] but also quite a few ministers turned out to be very interested in those kind of evenings. At the union and the Socialist Party I learned a lot about their sexual preferences. [Deputy prime minister] Elio di Rupo, for example, who had a relationship with [Guy] Spitaels' son [both independently accused of pedophilia]." 
So just as Smolders, Porsont paints a similar picture of Marcel Hofmans's clubs: orgies, semi-illegal activity and protection by higher ups. ISGP has already discussed Elio di Rupo and Guy Spitaels and their links to child abuse scandals, so this is not an entirely different venue. And since the club was located in Etterbeek, Antwerp, it is not surprising to learn that Nihoul came here over the floor also.  After all, Les Atrebates and The Dolo, both protected by the local police, were also located in Etterbeek.
There exists another police report related to the activities of Marcel Hofmans that is very interesting, if not disturbing. Hofmans apparently also set up a Belgian branch of the Bhagwan Tantric Cult which shared headquarters with La Piscine. 
The Bhagwan cult, once led by Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh (or later Osho) was a bizarre movement with hundreds of thousands of followers, mainly in the United States and India. Supposedly Rajneesh was an enlightened master, but his enduring health problems, 93 Rolls Royces, and the continuous links of his cult to criminal activity indicate otherwise. Probably what Hofmans found the most appealing aspect of this cult is that members practiced free sexual relations amongst each other.
A little further in this document detailing Hofmans's activities, the following isolated sentence appears: "The Etterbeek police doesn't know the "Raelien Movement"." That's an interesting comment. Did Hofmans play a role in this cult also? It shouldn't surprise anyone, considering that this even more bizarre UFO cult was set up by a Frenchman and like the Bhagwan cult, promotes open sexual relationships and sees marriage as unnecessary. The cult denounces pedophilia, but the leader, when in his forties, married the daughter of two cult members the day she became 16 years old...
Going back to the Bhagwans, in April 1994, the Belgian address of this cult was changed to the Kammenstraat 29, 2000 Antwerp. About a year later, on November 27, 1995, police conducted a search at this very same address. They were looking for a person named Eric Mattheeussen, who had been accused of taking illegal photographs at a morgue in the aftermath of a rather tragic traffic accident. Mattheussen used this semi-abandoned building as a storage or working place. When police looked around and went to the first floor they found many boxes. Here's a brief description of what was inside those boxes:
"In these boxes we find amongst other things thousands of photos of children. These appear to be regular photos, usually taken up front... In other boxes we find hundreds of pictures of corpses of children, often in the most hideous poses. Many of the pictures have been made by himself; other pictures were made on order by other photographers. ... In several boxes we find child pornography. ... Hundreds of magazines. ... The lecture shows penetrations of often very young children by grown ups, and also some very unusual pedophile fantasies. ... Pictures of deceased children in concentration camps... newspaper clippings of prominent disappearances." 
Whether or not the La Piscine manager, "a certain Eric", in the testimony of Porsont is Eric Mattheussen is hard to say. It's also not known if any judicial steps have been taken against Hofmans and-or Mattheussen. But one expects that any punishment was probably not too severe.
There seems to be no end to all the depressing child abuse reports that are contained in the leaked Dutroux dossier and everything related to it. Just before finishing this article I stumbled across reports about former Charleroi mayor and Walloon prime minister Jean-Claude van Cauwenbergh (who in this last position succeeded the more widely-known Elio di Rupo) and his apparent ties to child abuse networks, just as one more testimony about the activity of Satanic sects and the involvement of mid- to higher level members of society in it.  The accusations, from many different sources, just go on, and on, and on, and on. It just doesn't stop. It's all a little odd.
Schaarbeek Police, Jacqueline Smolders interview (March 18, 1997)
Kleintje Muurkrant, Leugens in België serie (Lies in Belgium series) (2004)
Don't have the Dutroux dossiers myself anymore, so no hard copies. But Stelling has been citing from all the same sources over the years and I've never caught them making anything up. So I have no reason to doubt their citations from Mary Porsont's testimonies.
2004, Herwig Lerouge (used to be editor-in-chief of the weekly magazine Solidair), 'Het Dossier Nihoul: De knoop in het proces-Dutroux' ('The Nihoul Dossier: The knot in the Dutroux trial'), H7, online edition: "Just as Nihoul this inspector also comes at La Piscine, the other sex club in Etterbeek." (PV A1190, September 26, 1996, Police Etterbeek. )
Parquet du Procureur du Roi, Brussels, PJ 301, No. 37117 (September 2, 1996)
Gendarmerie, Antwerp Brigade, PV 113181/95 (November 27, 1995)
Kleintje Muurkrant, Leugens in België serie (Lies in Belgium series) (2004)
www.stelling.nl/followup/leugens.html (scroll up)