Director and producer Jonathan Kerr Smith discusses the making of the film
'He's blown it with the Movement'
On 17th July 2013, I found myself at an alfresco dinner party in Highgate, North London with not one but two Christ claimants. At that meal, I agreed to undertake a project which ended up taking more than five years of my life. I hadn’t seen much of Dave since his falling out with the 9/11 Truth Movement and his public claim to be the Son of God, although I had interviewed him in 2009 at Kew Bridge Eco Village.
At the dinner in Highgate, Dave was sticking to his claim that he was the Chosen One. He also expounded on the issues that had caused him to part company with first Annie and then the Truth Movement, ‘no planes’ and Zionism in 2007. It had been at that point that I had originally come in to the picture — to film a documentary about William Rodriguez, the last man out of the World Trade Centre before it collapsed on 9/11.
On the way to an event on Willie’s Last Man Out Tour, I found myself in a car with Annie and other truth activists. The talk was whether Dave would raise the ‘no planes’ issue on BBC Radio 2’s Jeremy Vine Show, in defiance of the wishes of the truth movement. When asked about ‘no planes’, he answered instead of saying ‘no comment. ‘He’s blown it with the Movement’, Annie said.
Back in Highgate, I asked Dave why he had so obviously blown his support with the then rapidly growing network of truth activists and why he alienated people with his claim to be Jesus. (After the Kew Bridge interview, he had come out as a tranny in the mainstream media!) It could, I pointed out, look like he was genuinely engaged in sabotage, sabotage principally of his own success!
‘Everything I say is based on experience, evidence and sound analysis and I’m very happy to be cross-examined on any of it’, he replied before once again stating the evidence that — contrary to just about everyone — planes did not go into any of the buildings attacked on 9/11. Given that this was still a raw issue to the former truth activists present at the supper, people were unwilling to reopen old wounds.
With not one but two Christ claimants at the table on the terrace in Highgate that summer evening, you would think the conversation would have turned to that. But that was still a thorny issue between Dave and Annie, who were otherwise being cordial to each other rather than friendly. At one point, he was relating how the ‘Signs of God’ had brought him to this dinner at short notice.
repeatedly seeing the figures ’17/7′, 17 the 7th prime number, the date of the supper; multiplying to 119 or 9/11 backwards and
drawing the High Priestess Tarot card, which he said represented and looked like Annie
I don’t know whether it was because I had drunk too much or whether I just felt it was the right thing to do. But when Dave once again complained that everyone thought he was nuts but would never listen to his evidence and analysis or learn from his experience, I offered to interview him on camera in the style of a debrief of an agent coming in from the field, like Ricki Tarr in Tinker, Sailor, Soldier, Sailor, John Le Carre’s Cold War espionage epic.
Since first meeting Dave in 2007, I had always been interested in what he had to say, His story had only become more interesting and whacky with his announcement he was the Christ a few months later. I’m one of the few people to have stayed in touch with him after this awakening.
By the end of the meal, I had vaguely agreed to make some sort of documentary about Dave’s disclosures, probably to be uploaded to You Tube or Vimeo.
So four months after the First Supper, I sat him down in a cell known as ‘The Tank’ to 9/11 Truth activists — in the same back garden in Highgate — and filmed ‘The Debrief’, as it is now titled in the film. I stress at this point, I thought I would be making a straight forward You Tube documentary, consisting of an edited version of the debrief.
Dave had so much to say that filming actually took three days, although to be fair the day quizzing Dave’s tranny alter ego, Dolores Kane, was largely a repeat of the first day. At times, it was challenging. Dave, as they say, ‘gives great interview’, partly because you don’t know what he’s going to say next. He does answer your questions but then leaps off into vaguely related tangents. When he segued into ‘No Planes on 9/11’, I replied: ‘I can’t hear it, Dave. I can’t hear it’ partly because I’d heard it so often before, six years earlier.
That didn’t stop Dave of course from going through the detailed evidence, which appears in Part 2: the Awakening.
The ‘cross examination’ covered all the usual stuff from Dave’s case but obviously focussed on the well—known highlights:
the MI6/Al Qaeda conspiracy to assassinate Colonel Gaddafi in Libya in 1996
MI5’s failure to prevent terrorist attacks in Britain even when in possession of reliable and detailed intelligence, even allowing a known Libya/IRA operative into the UK, who then set up a terrorist network
the conspiracy theories about Lockerbie
the dossiers on public figures ranging from Mohammed Al Fayed to Peter Mandelson
MI6 manipulation of the media or ‘IOPs’, Information Operations
the ‘assassination’ of Princess Diana the week after he blew the whistle in August 1997
the 9/11 No Planes theory
In the Tank we covered absolutely everything from Dave’s childhood to his latest mission, teaching the Law of ‘love your neighbour’ via:
his early career as a journalist
his recruitment into the secret world
his work countering the Provisional IRA, or the ‘RA’, as he calls it, and the Libyans
why he really resigned from MI5 in the first place and how he blew the whistle in August 17 with the help of two journalists on the Mail on Sunday
We also talked about what it was like to one day up sticks and go on the run from the British state; his life in hiding; arrest and imprisonment then his life in Paris; conversations with Carlos the Jackal; his relationship with Annie Machon, who he met in MI5 and went out with for 14 years; his return to the UK and show trial two years later; his disillusionment with British justice and politics; the attempts on his life; and his spiritual awakening after a journey through the esoteric and another spell in prison.
I could go on but then there’d be no point in watching the doc!
'I can't hear it, Dave. I can't hear it'
'Mother on the run after being helped to flee by cross-dressing ex-MI5 spy '
Once filmed, I had to set about gathering the three days of footage into some sort of form, into some sort of understandable story. The trouble was no interview can truly give insight into a man’s life.
When I heard Dave was once again living without money in a caravan, this time by Runnymede Eco Village, I went to film him in his natural surroundings. After all, some people were still insisting that Dave had pulled the wool over my eyes; that all his Jesus stuff was just a joke he was playing to either get attention or avoid being assassinated by the New World Order.
I wanted not just to investigate his whistleblowing but to find out if the real man I’d known a decade before was still there behind the public persona. And above all, was he really a modern prophet? So I decided to make The Life of Dave, a low budget, high production—value documentary focussing on the man the mainstream wanted to forget and who was curiously never mentioned in the context of Assange, Snowden or Manning.
Over the following five years, I filmed Dave whenever I had the chance as he was at times an elusive character, flitting around the country, seemingly incapable of staying anywhere longer than three months (including a three week spell sleeping on my kitchen floor).
Occasionally, I would lose touch with him for months then learn of his exploits via the Daily Mail, as happened when a friend alerted to me to the following headline:
Mother on the run with her two daughters ‘is hiding in the woods with hippies after being helped to flee by cross-dressing ex-MI5 spy David Shayler’.
One day, a mutual friend phoned to say that the police had been looking for Dave and they had a psychiatrist in tow! Dave laid low in the North and the Midlands for a couple of months to avoid their unwanted attentions. Mind you, he had just declared he was the Sovereign via sworn affidavit to the Queen and done a You Tube presentation linking his case to the Paris ‘bombings’ on 13th November 2015.
It seemed that every time I thought I managed to somehow marshal the interview material; the evidence from intelligence documents and extensive media coverage of Dave’s case; and his whistleblowing into some sort of coherent narrative, the story would move on before I could finish the edit. When Dave published his book Law: the truth about its source, principles and primacy and how it can be used to save the world in January 2017, I thought I finally had a natural ending.
Then, one night in May 2017, I got a frantic phone call from him. He told me that TUNWORTH, the agent MI6 had paid to kill Gaddafi in 1996 and the group he represented, the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, was connected to the terrorist attack which had killed 22 people at the Manchester Arena, the second biggest terrorist attack on British soil, after 7/7. So Dave was once again dragged into the public fray. And the documentary now had a natural denouement, even if it meant more filming and re—editing. (It’s remarkable how Dave’s life is interwoven with major events, like Lockerbie, the death of Diana and 9/11 and 7/7).
So I once again sat Dave down in The Tank in Highgate, where our odyssey had begun and debriefed him on what he knew and his efforts to get the authorities to investigate the bomber’s relationship with the British intelligence services, including a number of appearances on the Richie Allen Show. Developments in the story even continued as I struggled with the final edit, endless technical difficulties and even a setback to my business, which Dave insists was the ‘dark elite’ playing games with us!
Eventually, I decided to put the film out in three parts:
The Debrief, from childhood to imprisonment in France
The Awakening, disillusionment to becoming ‘The Chosen One of God’
The Mission, the day to day life of a modern prophet and his attempts to get his message to humanity, which includes The Denouement, as Dave is ‘called back for one last mission’, the popular cliche of the spy movie, although in his case it was to once again blow the whistle
What I finished up with was The Life of Dave, my portrait of David Shayler, the Man, the Whistleblower, the Tranny, the Prophet.