Friday, April 10, 2009

The Role Of The Australian Establishment

Having learned the actual facts of the Schapelle Corby case, and examined the clear complicity from within Australia itself, people sometimes ask "How could they do that?". To understand the drivers for such inhumane behavior though, it is necessary to examine the underlying nature of the Australian establishment itself (not that this is unique to Australia I might add).

"The Establishment is a term used to refer to the traditional ruling class elite and the structures of society that they control. The term can be used to describe specific entrenched elite structures in specific institutions, but is usually informal in application."

This is the Wikipedian definition of 'the establishment'. It is not far off the mark, although I would perhaps define it more along the lines of: a privileged section of society bonded together through self interest and shared values to the exclusion of the majority.

One of the most obvious manifestations of its existence is that most fundamental policies do not actually change with a change of government: the establishment remains in control of the political and social machinery, and radical change is never on the agenda. Nor is this unique to a particular form of government: ruling elite are evident in most systems, from communism to fascism to capitalism. Within each, the vast majority of the population have little idea that any manipulation of power is occurring, and are at best only vaguely aware of the inbuilt structural mechanisms to retain the status quo and exclude them from the feast.

The establishment broadly looks after its own: its own class, its own people and its own structures. It scorns outsiders, and ruthlessly protects itself from large scale intrusion or threat.

In Australia the establishment, from its own perspective, scorns Schapelle Corby, her family, and all families like them: broadly for what they stand for and represent. The Corby family are not wealthy or powerful in any way, and critically, have entirely different values and backgrounds to those who actually comprise the establishment. Their outlook and even cultural roots are almost alien to that particular minority subset of the population.

Like the vast majority of people, Schapelle Corby and her family are 'outsiders' as far as the establishment is concerned, in that they are able to consider them as sufficiently different to themselves to distance them from any sort of bond or cultural affinity. There is simply no social, emotional or human kinship in the sense that one would expect to exist within a given community or population.

This almost complete emotional detachment from the interests of outsiders as human beings, enables them to take decisions and act on a macro generic level. Outsiders thus become dispensable, because they are viewed as fundamentally disparate: there is simply insufficient commonality or similarity for any consideration of their interests or well being as people. There is no empathy.

But it goes further. Because of this lack of affinity and empathy, if they dare to threaten the interests of the establishment in any way at all, they are ruthlessly castigated and dealt with by one means or another, although usually quite subtly. There is no guilt or emotion associated with this, because their is so little cultural or human bond in play. The victim subconsciously ceases to be seen as an actual person who suffers acute pain.

This process is not a new revelation. Indeed, many atrocities throughout history have in fact been enacted largely due to the propensity of the human psyche to detach itself from the interests and suffering of others, either individually or collectively. Perpetrators of crimes against humanity, and those implementing them on their behalf, have psychologically wholly detached themselves from their victims. This regrettable human tendency is also evident to this very day. It is how politicians can push buttons knowing that countless thousands will die, usually in a foreign territory, as a result of their decision. They have emotionally and culturally detached themselves from the actual victims and their real human situation, in much the same way as the establishment has from Schapelle Corby and all those Australians like her.

Unfortunately, Schapelle Corby threatened the interests of the establishment in 2005. Of course, she attracted massive sympathy from the vast majority of Australians, who naturally related to her, as they were of similar class and shared common values. But as discussed, she was an outsider to the establishment, and was creating political instability with respect to the government's strategic relationship with Indonesia.

Even worse, at the extreme end of their social simulation models at the time, she was a potential catalyst for widespread exposure, subsequent distrust of, and thus opposition to the establishment itself. She was emerging as a vehicle through which the majority might actually see the disparity between how the establishment's own were protected, yet how commoners were often dispensed with as worthless, and were systematically disadvantaged within society as a whole.

She was thus a prime target for the unrelenting wrath of the establishment through its supporting social and political machinery.

This is why little or nothing has been done to help her, despite the shocking human rights abuses and the political sentence. Had Schapelle Corby been part the establishment, perhaps the daughter of a politician, senior ranking lawyer, major industry figure, or senior police officer, the organs of government would have been used to bring her home. But she wasn't. She was an outsider: a working class girl with nothing in common with those individuals comprising the establishment. And she was creating significant issues of unpredictability for the establishment itself.

There are so many examples to cite from over the years that it is difficult to know where to actually start. I will therefore take those that have emerged just in the last couple of weeks or so. These focus upon the establishment's use of government organs, the media and the legal system.

1. The Government
The story in the media this week, about the government's bewildering refusal to donate Schapelle's book royalties to a cancer charity, as she requested, brought to mind again this whole disgraceful case.

Readers will recall that despite the patent abuses of her human rights, the illegalities of the show trial, and the political sentence, the Australian government launched legal action to seize the royalties from her book on the basis that they were the 'proceeds of crime'. Essentially, they were seeking to prevent her from having the funds to pay her enormous legal costs, or even fly her mother over to visit her. It was the first time ever that prosecutors in Australia had sought to recoup proceeds of crime from the publication of a book.

The ruthlessness and brutality of this is simply staggering, but it is a fine example of how the establishment have little or no empathy with those outside their own, and consequently no compassion whatsoever. To initiate such a spiteful and vindictive action against someone suffering in such appalling conditions beggars belief for most thinking people, but it illustrates well what the public are actually up against.

2. The Legal System
Also hot off the press is the case of the "senior Perth lawyer", Mark Trowell, who had infamously made PUBLIC statements regarding bribe money during the show trial itself: one can imagine the impact this might have had on the judiciary in Indonesia, and its possible contribution to the barbaric sentence. The case of this clear and particularly appalling breach of client confidentiality reached the final stage at the 'State Administrative Tribunal' last week.

The tribunal said that a breach of a client's confidentiality would usually result in a serious penalty, and Trowell faced the possibility of a suspension or disbarment.

The actual outcome regarding this particularly nasty breach? Wait for it: he was 'reprimanded'. No, seriously. That really IS it!

It would be funny if it wasn't so shockingly serious. They blathered about it being a `most unusual' case, how 'remorseful' he was, and laughably in the context of this article, even referred to "high regard by the profession" and his "impressive array of references". Yes, we get it: it has the word 'establishment' indelibly stamped all over it. But they insisted on spelling it out.

3. The Media
It emerged last week that a Channel 9 documentary about Schapelle Corby, The Hidden Truth' (THT), has been nominated for a 'Logie' award (a major TV circus award in Australia). That production was basically a re-hash of the original film 'Ganja Queen', released previously in the United States, and which was NOT a Channel 9 production. But THT was not JUST a re-hash, it was a shocking hatchet job: censorship of material that might invoke sympathy for Schapelle Corby, and blatant insertion of the most stilted and distorted of representations of Schapelle Corby's family.

But wait. The Logies are supposed to recognize works of creativity, craftsmanship, and TV production skills! Why on earth is a re-hash and censor of existing material, with crude propagandic inserts, even being considered for the reward of a nomination? I think we know the answer to that by now, don't we.

Whilst discussing the establishment's ongoing use of the media, it would be remiss not to mention the investigation currently being conducted by JournOz, the ethical journalist portal. Earlier this month they published a major item explaining the actual process used by the government/establishment to manipulate public opinion via the media, and ABC in particular. It is essential reading for anyone who has any doubts regarding the degree to which this has occurred: And let's not even START discussing the recent crude censorship of the global protest and UN delivery!

So it has been a busy month thus far, with the tentacles of the establishment active across a significant number of social control systems.

The moral of this post though is that rather than seeing the hand of government in the countless examples of complicity and manipulation, observers would be better advised to recognize the foul prints of the establishment all over the most sordid aspects of this case, from the sale of Schapelle Corby's human rights, through to the blatant use of the media to smear her and hide the truth.

Identifying those responsible and calling them to account is obviously not the easiest mission in the world, but it is one which anyone with a soul and an ounce of compassion for humanity, cannot refuse.

Note that this entry is also available as a PDF


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Tuesday, October 7, 2008

International Politics and Schapelle Corby

In the latest Schapelle video I have used the phrase "Australia's strategic relationship with Indonesia trumps Schapelle Corby's human rights". Perhaps this is a good time to elaborate a little on this.

Australian-Indonesian relations are of enormous importance on the world stage. Why? Broadly speaking, because Indonesia is a Muslim majority country of over 220 million people which is not currently under the control of religious fundamentalists. It is thus relatively closer to the West than a number of other similar cultures. It is therefore seen as strategically important that its political stance with respect to the West remains stable, particularly regarding issues such as terrorism. Australia, through its proximity, is clearly instrumental in maintaining this equilibrium.

None of this is particularly contentious. It is fairly obvious. It has been the case for many years.

And then came the Schapelle Corby case. I am sure that Australians will recall the events of 2004/5 reasonably clearly. The show trial, the barbaric sentence, and the clear breaches of Schapelle's human and legal rights caused uproar.

The repercussions of this were also political. For example: John Howard, the Australian Prime Minister writing to the judge; the Indonesian president again breaching Schapelle's human rights by urging the court to 'send a signal' to Australians;.... the case was rocking the strategic relationship between those two nations. At the time many Australians were also urging a direct response to free her. This was suddenly a significant political issue.

And politicians are politicians. Howard was in a corner: the people of Australia wanted her to be freed, but to the West, and to politicians, the international relationship was vital. No prizes therefore for guessing which took precedence.

But how? How could the Australian government extract itself from the hook of public opinion?

Again, no prizes for guessing: the media.

The media are of course expert at influencing opinion. This happens in every nation: the press are never neutral. In this situation though they quickly saw a win-win scenario.

Media proprietors are not stupid. They understood all of the above. They will also have had high level contact with the government. They will have known the reasons for the government's back tracking, and will have believed this to be in the national interest. Politically alone, they will have decided to support Howard on this issue.

But they also saw years of revenue spinning headlines, through smears, insinuation, and gutter journalism. They eagerly grabbed the winning hand. The loser was Schapelle. The loser was human dignity, and human worth.

This is the REAL hidden truth, but it is not really hidden. It is obvious to those who see the world objectively and are not naive enough to simply believe the sound bites they are fed by those who always have an ulterior motive (either commercial or political).

It is cruel, and it is vile. But it is reality.

So take your pick: choose human dignity and compassion and support Schapelle, or go for political expediency and walk away.

The video explains the crude implementation of this media agenda, via a six step process. There is nothing clever or unique about this procedure: it is a process which has been used often in the past, most regularly under regimes of a dubious nature. It outlines each step, and explains the intended impact in terms of public perception.

It can be viewed directly here:

Creating a video of this nature is emotionally draining, so I will take a short break before working on the next. Rest assured though: there will be a next.


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Friday, August 1, 2008

Destruction of Evidence and Indonesia's Shame

There were so many breaches of Schapelle Corby's legal and human rights during her harrowing show trial that it is difficult to know where to start when referencing them. Whilst many of these are listed in our case assessment, I intend to examine some of them in more detail, via occasional log entries.

The first port of call will be the core evidence itself: the marijuana.

It is fairly well known that the police and regime:
- refused to forensically test the drugs for country of origin
- refused to fingerprint or DNA them
... despite Schapelle Corby's desperate pleas.

Even with familiarity with these facts though, they are still staggering. They are a stain on an entire nation's integrity.

Testing marijuana for country of origin is a straight forward procedure. Pollen and other territorial dependent material is always present, which makes it quite simple to pin-point the source.

So.... if that source was Indonesia.... the case collapses, instantly. Schapelle Corby could not have imported it. Indonesia loses its high profile drugs case, which would have hindered its attempts to procure a fortune in external funding.

Her begging for those tests to be conducted was simply ignored.

If Schapelle Corby had ever touched those drugs or their wrapping, she would have left DNA or fingerprints behind: a fantastic opportunity for the prosecution to nail her beyond any doubt. Hang on... they didn't perform those checks. Not only did they not perform these BASIC elementary checks, they REFUSED Schapelle Corby's formal requests to perform them! Yes: refused.

Why? The obvious answer is that Schapelle's DNA and fingerprints were not there... and they knew it.... or at least they couldn't risk it. They couldn't risk it because, again, the case against her would be exposed, along with that external funding.

Her begging for due investigation was again completely ignored.

We know the outcome.... incredibly, they convicted her... and shamefully sentenced her to a barbaric 20 year term (yes, more than rapists and murderers can often expect). She is still there now, suffering terribly because of it.

But it doesn't even end here! What does a criminal do to evidence to cover his tracks? To ensure that his actions can never be exposed?

He destroys it, of course.

The Indonesian regime is no different. Those drugs were a risk: testing them for country of origin, or DNS/fingerprinting them, could clear Schapelle Corby at any stage. They had to go.

They were therefore gleefully burned... again despite Schapelle Corby's desperate pleas to retain them.

Incredible, isn't it. Here is a so-called court willfully destroying the evidence which could clear the defendant of a crime. Rather than testing it, they burned it, with the defendant in tears. I can't even begin to imagine how she must have felt.

Is anybody happy with this? Can anyone even attempt to justify any of it, in any way at all? It is frankly, inhuman.

Yet this is just one illustration of how she never had a chance... none at all. She didn't have a trial: only a pre-ordained show trial. Schapelle Corby was a resource to be used in a much bigger game. Her terror and continued suffering were not, and are still not, even on the radar.

All the innuendo and false reporting in the world will not change these facts. They will continue to haunt the Indonesian regime, and their apologists, until the day Schapelle Corby is released from her living hell.

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Monday, June 23, 2008

Burying The Truth and Schapelle Corby

I debated recently the evolution of a news story. Time and time again a story begins with the truth. However, if it is a big story, as it runs its course, the media become ever more desperate to report further developments. To find new angles. To find spin-off stories. To present 'exclusives'.

As time passes, the latter become more detached from the actual story itself. Frequently, they also become more detached from reality. Stories appear based upon the most ludicrous of leads - stories which are clearly preposterous. But they make a good headline: they sell newspapers or generate viewers.

Schapelle Corby is a case in point. The desperation for 'exclusive' led some media rags to FABRICATE stories which were of a nature to make her release from a foreign hell hole more unlikely. Think about the implications of that. The invention of a story buys a significant circulation surge, which they apparently view as more important than a human being.

Schapelle's sister, Mercedes, dared to bite back to try to protect her, and took legal action. She WON. The above allegation of fabrication is consequently PROVEN in a court of law to be true.

So where is the great media huzzah which should be front page reporting a mega story which discredits and EXPOSES the industry with the sword of truth? The proof of the nature of much of the media is officially laid out: how they have systematically harmed Schapelle Corby because they made money out of it.

THAT is the NEWS.... but the news will not report it.

They will not report it because it exposes the repulsive inner workings of the media industry itself. Note here that as a bi-product, reporting it would significantly help Schapelle, so they are now yet again implicated in harming her.

Even more obscene, not only will they not report it, they instead create a whole new set of anti-Schapelle propaganda and fire it out to the world. What mightily impressive people they are.

So the Corbys are torpedoed by the barons for daring to stand up and tell the truth (ratified by the courts). Mercedes Corby blows away the invented stories, so instead of now helping her desperate family as they try to assist Schapelle, they manufacture another bullet and fire it at them!

As a result the family are in turmoil... again, as Schapelle lies in a hospital bed suffering from serious clinical depression and related conditions.

I certainly hope readers of this entry are as disgusted as I am. The media (certainly large sections of it) are burying the truth for profit: they are burying Schapelle Corby for profit.

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Monday, June 16, 2008

No More Tomorrows Published

Schapelle's book, 'No More Tomorrows', has finally been published in the UK and US.

For anyone unaware of this terrible story, it is essential, but heartbreaking, reading. It can be obtained via the links on the Schapelle.Net book page.

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The Media, The McCanns and the Corbys

I used to believe that the the gutter press here in the UK were about as low as it was possible for the media to be. It appears that I was wrong: the Australian media is even more immoral and blood thirsty in their ruthless pursuit of circulation. The media in both countries do, however, share many similarities, above and beyond significant common ownership.

One similarity relates to the evolution of a news story. Time and time again a story begins with the truth. If it is a big story, as it runs its course, the media become ever more desperate to report further developments. To find new angles. To find spin-off stories. To present 'exclusives'.

As time passes, the latter become more detached from the actual story itself. Frequently, they also become more detached from reality. Stories appear based upon the most ludicrous of leads - stories which are clearly preposterous. But they make a good headline. They sell papers or generate viewers.

The problem is that as a result REAL people often get hurt, and sometimes very badly hurt. Yet the dregs of the journalist profession carry on remorselessly.

Over here in the UK, as in Australia, the media have a long and shameful record of reporting events relating to a person, and then seeking to destroy them through the above route. There are countless examples of this, but a (relatively) recent one relates to the McCanns.

If anyone is unaware, in 2007, a 4 year old British child, Madeleine McCann, was kidnapped in Portugal whilst on holiday with her parents, Kate and Gerry. There was massive media coverage of this, and naturally, substantial national sympathy for her parents. The story ran for months. After a while, as there was actually no new information or real news to report, the stories became more ridiculous. So-called 'sightings' of Madeleine were common. Of course, they were by and large absurd, but running the stories served a purpose in terms of circulation and sales.

As the police got desperate, they also made the parents "arguidas", or suspects, presumably because they had been so unsuccessful in tracking exactly what had happened. This of course opened the door for the media hounds: and a character assasination period ensued. Of course, there was no evidence against the McCanns, but from the immmoral and unethical stance of simply selling newspapers, this was clearly not an impediment.

Fortunately, the McCanns did have contacts, and understood the need for active and professional media management from the very start. They were able to reel this back in, and re-focus attention back on to the case itself, and back on to their missing daughter and investigation.

Not so fortunate was Schapelle Corby. Apart from being held in a cage, she did not have the benefit of such advisors and expertise. When the lower life forms of the media industry began to seek ludicrous spin-off stories, she was totally exposed to them. There was no re-focus on the case itself, just the impact of lies and distortion upon public perception.

Working in a media related industry myself, this was hard to take. To watch the media embark on the same old trusted path, and then seeing that the victim of this innuendo was already suffering horribly, added to my frustration and anger.

The vile people who do this sort of thing really do need to take a good look at themselves. They need to understand that their actions can hurt and kill. They need to accept their responsibilities, not just as journalists, but as human beings. When someone can suffer so badly as a result of distortion and spin, they need to report truth with absolute diligence.

Yes... I know... it is pointless appealling to their conscience. However, I will certainly not refrain from exposing individual 'journalists' in future posts and press releases should the opportunity arise. Morpheus is watching.

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The Beginning: Morpheus Meets Schapelle Corby

Until March 2008 I had never heard of Schapelle Corby. I am a busy guy: I run an internet business and have a wife and family to occupy any surplus time beyond that. I am also a Brit, and live on the other side of the planet to the locale of these events. The whole harrowing story had therefore escaped my attention completely.

Then it happened, the fateful search on 'Google Images'. I recall it quite vividly. I was seeking an image or design for one of our less than exciting legal web portals, and searched on something like 'law court', 'legal case' or similar. Amongst the myriad of search returns, which largely comprised thumbnails of grainy old judges and gavels, was the following:

It stood out like a sore thumb: a disturbing picture of innocence in distress. Like a fool I clicked it, totally unaware of the horror of I would subsequently uncover.

The text in the accompanying news article was stark and brutal. This young woman had been sentenced to 20 years in an Indonesian prison cell for apparently (yes, we'll come back to that) smugging cannabis into that country. STOP THERE! I certainly did. I stopped and re-read it. 20 YEARS? Surely not. Surely in any realistic scenario it will have been quashed or dramatically reduced on appeal?

Even from that first article it was also very clear that this was no ordinary 'trial'. There were scattered references to aspects which were quite simply outrageous. Off the top of my head I recall the refusal by police to forensically test the cannabis for origin, the refusal to fingerprint it, as well as some of the less than objective comments by the 'judge' during the trial itself. Yes, right from the off it had the pungent whiff of a show trial, transplanted to the modern era from the middle ages.

I felt a little sick as I rapidly searched Google on the term 'Schapelle Corby', half hoping and half expecting balance and sanity to be restored during the rest of the legal process. It quickly became apparent that this was not to be: other forces were at work. At the same pace, it became apparent that the issues above were just the tip of a very murky iceberg. Researching the trial and the circus around it revealed that the process had nothing whatsoever to do with seeking truth and justice, and everything to do with politics, corruption, and misplaced nationalist vengeance.

As with everyone who has scratched the surface of this, a host of questions entered my mind:
- Why was this allowed to happen?
- What the hell have the Aussie's been doing during the last 4 years?
- Why is no-one screaming at Indonesia that they have to respect human rights and release her?
- Can I do anything?

The former questions I will discuss in later posts: the answers reflect badly on just about everyone except Schapelle and her family. The last question though was the most frustrating in the immediate term: I really really HATE feeling utterly powerless, especially with respect to something important. But what could I possibly do? I thought 'nothing', so bookmarked the original page, and got on with running the company.

Well... that was the plan anyway. In reality I couldn't let it go. It was like a splinter in my mind. The vision of this poor woman suffering in a cage, and the barbarity of the sentence, returned frequently during the rest of the day. I even had difficulty sleeping.

The next day, back to the legal portal and thus the immediate trigger to put Schapelle back on the agenda for my thought processes. I delegated the portal development and spent some time conducting a more formal and detailed research exercise. The more I dug, the more unjust and hideously cruel it became. I therefore knew that I had to at least do SOMETHING to try to help.... however little help that might actually be.

Retrospectively, my journey was apparently exactly the same route as that embarked upon by most other decent folks: initial distress, anger at and hatred of those responsible, more distress, then frustration. I wanted to go to Bali and break her out personally.

But rationale and reality clearly has to prevail in the end, so I settled for using my skills and assets from here in the UK. The first manifestation of this was the development of this website, which the next post will cover.

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