CHAPTER 45 - FROM THE BOOK
POLICE CORRUPTION – 2.
Blowing The Lid
on Corruption, Beating Attacks By The Corrupt And Avoiding The Pitfalls
IMPORTANT NOTICE: - THIS DOCUMENT USUALLY RUNS ABOUT 50 TO 80 PAGES - IF YOU ARE LIKELY TO FIND IT OF USE WE ADVISE YOU TO EITHER DOWNLOAD IT AND/OR PRINT IN FULL OR PURCHASE THE FIVE CORRUPTION BOOKS REFERRED TO IN THIS CHAPTER (SEE BANNER AD AT TOP OR BOTTOM) - WHEREBY THE FOLLOWING TEXT WILL BE OF EVEN GREATER USE TO YOU.
(Please also read the legal statement linked here.)
Most people are not corruption whistleblowers by choice. Likewise it is rare for a corruption whistleblower to willingly
attend court. Most commonly a person attends court as a result of an unwanted
charge, summons or related matter.
While it is routine for people to insure
their houses and cars against unforeseen calamities like, theft and fire,
it is relatively rare for people to take similar steps to prevent or mitigate
the effects of corruption. The following chapter has been written here
as a response to the thousands of requests for information I receive about
how to insure oneself against the adverse affects of corruption and/or
improper prosecution by government authorities and Police. Much of the
information here is written from the point of view of a single person or
small group pitted against a larger and more powerful adversary, that is
for the purposes of this account presumed to be corrupt and/or potentially
Readers should note that the advice
is given in the context of given situations and not as general advice for
managing day-to-day life and normal interactions with non-threatening people,
A common misconception is that one
has to be a whistleblower or corruption fighter, to come a cropper against
corrupt government officials. Nothing could be further from the truth.
All that is needed is to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. This
can happen to anyone. Take for example the cases of Mick Skrijel, who was
minding his own business as a fisherman, when he inadvertently got drawn
into the Australian drug trade, National Crime Authority (NCA) and Police
corruption and a whole series of serious trumped up charges after he’d
merely made it known he didn’t want to be a part of it.
Or what about the innocent motorist,
Paul Frederick Johnson, who on 12 May 1995 was minding his own business.
It was on a Friday night in the outer Eastern (Melbourne) suburb of Knox
when a car load of six drunken coppers ran through a busy intersection
and smashed into his car. For simply being in the wrong place at the wrong
time, he was carted off to hospital sustaining severe chest, knee and back
injuries. To add insult to injury the Police who were at fault, by going
through a red light, were all drunk (over legal limit) and driving an overloaded
car, charged him with a traffic offence in a (failed) attempt to cover-up
their own wrongdoing. You see the Victoria Police can never be seen to
be wrong, can they?
If you think that these sorts of problems
are restricted to the Victorian side of the border, then think again. What
about the case of Eddie Azzopardi from Sydney NSW.
While none of these (or most other)
initial encounters with misconduct and corruption are foreseen; likewise
for their consequences; the effects (losses) that may be experienced, can
often be mitigated substantially by taking out some ‘insurance’. Just as
a person does not insure their house expecting it to be burgled, common
sense dictates that most people take out policies. The stories related
in this and the other corruption books are common to many people in Australia
and yet it remains relatively uncommon for people to take out insurance
against it happening to them. The assumption that it will always be someone
else who suffers is too often wrong.
In my meetings with whistleblowers,
corruption fighters and others, I am constantly asked the best ways to
combat the problem at a grass roots level and how to guard against the
inevitable lies, deception, and dirty tactics employed by the corrupt government
officials and their allies. Nowadays, I spend hundreds of hours a year
explaining to people the best methods to combat corruption at the coal-face.
Those who ignore advice based on experience, do so at their own peril.
What follows is a summary of the methods myself and others have used over
the last twenty years with some success along with the pitfalls likely
to be encountered.
The first rule of thumb is that any
government official with the power to put you in trouble may do so. In
other words trust none, even those that say they are your friends. A typical
scenario is that of the Police officer who interviews someone and tells
them that they are on the interviewee’s side. More often than not, it seems,
the Police officer may be surreptitiously gathering evidence, against the
person even though they don’t know it.
Let me put it another way. Let’s say
you have done no wrong and for some reason you are being questioned by
Police. This sort of thing happens all the time. Innocent bystanders to
all sorts of events are routinely questioned by Police. Would you be satisfied
with being charged with an offence you haven’t done? The logical reply
would be no.
What about the question, would you
like to take a one in ten punt that you’ll be charged with an offence after
being questioned, even though you’ve done no wrong? I suppose you’d probably
say no again. I’m sure you would say no, if I told you you’d have to take
a one in ten punt fifteen times! Of course that would mean a virtual certainty
that at some stage you’d be charged.
While I’ve drawn these numbers out
of my head, they do in fact have a marked resemblance to real life for
much of Australia’s population. The fact is, most people are interviewed
by Police (and other government officials) over law enforcement matters
at some stages during their lives, and as a result of these interviews
and other matters many are charged. Whether it be Police matters, Social
Security, tax, health, wildlife, local bylaws such as dogs and cats, motor
vehicles, etc., the result may be the same.
Anyone who has been charged and gone
before a court in Australia soon learns a few sobering facts. The odds
of the truth coming out in court are remote and that almost regardless
of outcome, the defendant will end up losing one way or another. If they
beat the fines, the lawyers will still take their cut.
Even discounting the effects of corruption,
even well-meaning bureaucrats can get things wrong and sometimes horribly
wrong. For example in an everyday incident, such as a traffic accident,
government officials may become involved. In this case it’s the Police.
If there is conflicting evidence from two sides, the official will invariably
take sides. All things being equal, they have a one in two chance of getting
it wrong. That makes my one in ten odds quoted above seem far too conservative
Therefore much of the advice that follows
is advisable even if corruption or misconduct are not the primary fears.
The following relates to all dealings with potentially hostile government
law enforcement officials, based on the assumption you are in the right
and as much as humanly possible abiding by the law.
As virtually all punitive actions by
government officials (including Police) are designed to end up in court,
and once there the odds are stacked against you, regardless of how innocent,
the aim should be to avoid this scenario. Second best the aim should be
to be able to prove your innocence (and if possible the guilt of those
who may make false accusations) in a court, if and when such case occurs.
Anybody who believes that truth always
comes out in court, should either go back to reading fairy tales, or spend
a day in any city court, by which time their illusions will be shattered.
Perjury is the rule of the day for corrupt officials and jails have heaps
of people who've been framed and convicted for things that they never did.
In my encounters with (relatively naive)
people, I am constantly told of how a falsely accused went to court and
went down due to the lies of the person who charged them. Typical of the
statements are ‘he denied he ever said ...’, or ‘he stated I’d said...when
I never did’. Following these are the inevitable, ‘the Magistrate didn’t
believe a word I said’.
All things being equal, I can assure
readers that it is unlikely any Australian Judge or Magistrate will accept
the word of a civilian witness (usually the accused) over that of a government
official (usually the prosecutor), even when there are more than one witness
for the accused. The sooner these facts are realized the better for those
caught up in the mess.
In terms of my earlier assertion not
to trust government officials and similar, I add to this list virtually
all other people in all other circumstances. Before sounding overly paranoid,
I should explain how I mean this. You may be having an in confidence discussion
with your long trusted wife over the telephone. You know that your wife
would never sell you out. However are you certain that your phone is not
being tapped? Police and other agencies tap telephones more often than
many people have breakfasts.
What about storing documents in safe
places? For example with a trusted friend. There is nothing to stop the
enemy from raiding their place is there? And that’s before you consider
things like an honest mistake by the friend or the possibility of their
house burning down. If all this seems far-fetched I remind you that thousands
of people take out fire insurance annually. Unfortunately fire insurance
rarely if ever covers documents that mean the difference between jail or
freedom in an upcoming court case.
In all my advice, I am making the immediate
assumption that the person taking the advice is ‘the good guy’ and that
this advice is to be used to protect against and expose ‘the bad guys’.
While this advice may be used by ‘the enemy’, it generally won’t be, because
it is all designed to enable the truth to be revealed, and the only people
who usually seek the truth are ‘the good guys’.
For example, those who’ve read The
Hoser Files will be well aware of how taped court cases only ever
helped ‘the good guys’ (in these cases me). Thus ‘the bad guys’, (the Police/Vicroads)
always did everything they could to prevent taping of cases, because the
last thing they wanted was for the public to get to know the truth.
Some of the key rules I have found
that ensure success run roughly along the lines as follows:-
1. Always assume the worst and hope
for the best.
2. Get everything recorded, either
in writing, by tape recording or both.
3. If taping another person, don’t
tell them you are doing so.
4. Copy everything and store in
safe places, the number of copies being dictated by importance, (but usually
at least 3).
5. Ensure all letters sent or faxed
are received by the other party and that they acknowledge so in an indisputable
form (preferably in writing, otherwise by tape recording).
6. Never believe a word a government
official tells you (likewise for what is in the media).
7. Always go through the motions
of using the government’s own system of ‘investigating’ corruption (e.g.
Ombudsman, Members of Parliament, ICAC, etc.), even though the odds of
success are remote.
8. Treat government ‘watchdogs’
(e.g. Ombudsman, ICAC), as if they are as corrupt as any other government
department or officials. (They usually are and/or the result is as if they
9. Always dot your ‘i’s and cross
your ‘t’s. If you don’t do things properly, don’t bother at all. You can’t
be half pregnant. Like childbirth, exposing and defending against corruption
is not easy. I never said it was. I don’t set the rules, I’m just outlining
10. Never give up. Time may be your
11. Many battles are won and lost
by the media. An intractable situation involving corruption may well resolve
itself overnight if the media get onto the bandwagon.
12. Try all options (provided they
are legal and ethical).
13. Always adopt the moral high
ground, regardless of how low the corrupt enemy may go (and you’ll never
ceased to be amazed at how low they go).
14. When overwhelmed by the tasks
ahead, always prioritize and do tasks by urgency and importance. This does
not mean procrastinate.
15. Don’t spread yourself too thinly.
1. Always assume the worst and hope
for the best
In terms of assuming the worst and
hoping for the best, that is common sense. By now the examples seen in
The Hoser Files and this book, should serve as enough warning to
most people. Putting it in a perspective that most readers will understand,
I cite the example of being pulled up by a booze bus on the Eastern Freeway
at Kew when driving a taxi. This is supposedly a random breath test, nothing
else. I don’t drink and drive, so in theory had nothing to fear. A Policeman
recognized me and decided to put my cab off the road as being unroadworthy.
Although I wasn’t criminally liable, I lost a few hundred dollars in earnings.
The moral to the story is that if I’d avoided the booze bus, I would have
been a few hundred dollars richer.
Perhaps this example also gives rise
to another vital piece of advice. The best way to win a fight is not to
have one. Before getting embroiled in a battle with bureaucracy, it is
worth working out if it is easier to avoid the battle and save a lot of
hassle. For example is it easier to cough up on a wrongly issued $165 Police
fine, rather than take it to court. It may end up costing you $594 and
five days in Court to defend the fine. And that’s after you prove your
innocence and have the charges dismissed outright, (see The
Hoser Files pp. 247-252 for details). Of course that’s also before
you factor in things like getting up the noses of the Police who may then
target you for even more harassment.
While talking of advice re exposing
corruption, I now make the assumption that the advice below is usually
intended for those who are in a situation whereby a potential battle may
not be avoided, or the person has a genuine altruistic desire to get rid
of corruption (the latter are extremely rare).
A further point of important note here
is that you may not be aware of the full consequences of an encounter with
Police or other bureaucrat until long after the meeting, which is why it
becomes wise to fear any possibility.
On 7 March 1988, I attended St. Kilda
Police Station. I thought I was being interviewed in order to have fare
evader Phillipa O’Shannessy formally charged. I’d done nothing wrong so
in theory had nothing to fear. What could have been more innocuous than
Had I not been worded up by "NAME SUPPRESSED"
to take a tape recorder into the meeting, it is highly likely that the
falsified record of interview that Police officer Ross Allen Bingley did
to falsely convict me would have been accepted in the County Court and
I may have ended up spending six weeks in Pentridge Jail.
I’ve lost count of the people I’ve
met over the years who’ve had their houses burgled, reported the thefts
to the Police and then been charged themselves by Police, even when it
was patently obvious that they couldn’t have done it.
Bureaucrats have a nasty habit of making
the simplest of things messy and usually against your interests. Unfortunately
this is often their job! Remember, if they don’t get ‘runs on the board’
their superiors may start asking questions.
2. Get everything recorded, either
in writing by tape recording or both
This part should be so obvious by now
that it needs no further elaboration. If I’d never taped Bingley admitting
to paying off Magistrate Hugh Francis Adams in order to wrongly convict
me, that ‘conviction’ would still be a part of my criminal record. If,
I’d never taped Milner and Walsh in Swanston Street Melbourne on 8/11/92,
then I’d certainly have been convicted of another traffic offence I never
committed. If I’d never taped Steven Talbot in July 1995 stating that he’d
fabricate a whole host of charges against me (which he did), then I may
have got another raft of convictions and more time in jail. All this for
the sake of a few dollars worth of micro tapes.
What does need discussing is how to
go about taping the other side. Firstly make sure that the taping equipment
is concealed from the other party and that they don’t know they’re being
taped. Over the telephone this isn’t too difficult.
For person to person encounters, I
usually use a micro-cassette recorder. There are many models ranging in
price (in 1997, from about $80 to $800), the main determinant being quality
of the unit. Extra ‘bells and whistles’ like ‘voice activated recording’,
recording light, counter, etc, I find either not useful, a liability or
not worth the extra expense. For example Sony make the ‘M’ series of recorders
starting at a basic model for about $80 to a ‘bells and whistles’ version
for about double that. The recorder itself is effectively the same.
In my experience ‘voice activation’
is a liability not an asset and should not be used. It often seems to miss
important things said and has other complicating factors.
In spite of the above, price is often
an important determinant in quality of the unit used. One of the best models
I’ve found was the National RNZ-36 (see photo on page 285). It’s advantages
were the particularly small size and it's ability to pick up voices some
The small size of the RNZ-36 meant
that it was particularly easy to conceal as it was a far smaller model
than most others on the market (av. Size of about 52 mm X 85 mm X 13 mm
thick versus about 120mm X 55 mm X 20 mm thick in the Sony ‘M’ series which
also typifies most other common models). It’s tough metal construction
allowed the machine to tape in incredibly adverse situations, including
the Ashton assault of 7/11/89 and the bashing of myself by Police on 21/5/89.
On that occasion, the machine was even stamped on by Constable Richard
George Valentine and kept taping!
When Ron Kirner (Joan Kirner’s husband)
attacked me after taking his photo when he left Melbourne Magistrate’s
Court, the Sony ‘M’ series I was wearing stopped recording after it was
belted by Kirner. It had a less rugged casing than the RNZ-36.
Perhaps one of the greatest (and unforeseen)
advantages of the National RNZ-36 was that it didn’t have a built in speaker
like most units, (it was sold with a separate speaker, that plugs in).
This meant that if the machine was grabbed by a strip-searching Policeman
or similar and played then no sound would come from the machine. More often
than not this would lead to a false assumption that nothing had been recorded
(even when something had been recorded), and so often the machine and tape
inside were handed back to me intact.
Few Police had the intelligence to
realise that the RNZ-36 didn’t have a speaker and thus this apparent ‘defect’
was actually a major asset.
By taking the RNZ-36 home and plugging
it into the separate speaker (sold with the unit in the same box), tapes
recorded could be played back. It was soon found that a standard jack from
the RNZ-36 running to a standard ghetto blaster and played through it’s
speakers reproduced sounds in a superior manner. This set up could also
be used to transcribe micro-tapes to larger tapes for use in court proceedings
and to guard against thefts of originals by storing duplicate (standard
It was by this method, I was able to
copy and store the tapes stolen by Police on the raid on my house on 18th
February 1994. The copied tapes enabled me to win several major court cases
and expose further Police corruption.
Finally the RNZ-36 had unusually good
sound pick up. Many micro-cassette recorders (particularly cheaper ones)
have poor quality sound pick up (recording) and/or seem to amplify background
(white) noise over and above spoken and other essential recordings. It
is important to avoid these recorders.
The RNZ-36 was also able to pick up
spoken words from across a room, unlike most other units. This aided me
on several occasions, including a conversation with Noel Granger on 28/12/88,
which would probably not have come out on most other recorders.
An important point to note is that
the quality of a machine’s recording and that of it’s playing are two totally
different things. Once something is recorded onto a micro-tape, it can
be replayed either through the unit (assuming it has a speaker), or through
any other compatible unit. It is therefore possible to have machine that
records well but has poor playback ability. The playback ability of the
unit is NOT important due the ability to play back through another machine
at a later stage. This is particularly as I found that micro-tapes were
usually more difficult to hear when played through micro-tape units than
when played through ghetto-blasters and other hi-fi systems. My preferred
method when dealing with micro-tapes for the purposes of copying and transcribing
was to dub to large (standard sized) cassettes, and then work with these.
The sound quality is superior and can be played through superior units.
Furthermore in the event of tapes being chewed or broken, the original
I am not saying the RNZ-36 is the best
on the market. "NAME SUPPRESSED" bought and used a number of other units, many of
which he thought were comparable. Like myself, he had the problem of Police
taking them from him. In order to find the ‘best’ unit, I suggest allowing
as much money as possible for the purpose and then testing as many units
as you can BEFORE buying. I have found shop assistants willing to allow
testing of their stock before buying. For most people, a micro-cassette
recorder is a one-off purchase, so there is really little need to penny
pinch at this stage. To do say may be regretted later on.
Commonly sold with micro-cassette recorders
are microphones attached to the unit by a cord. The theory is that these
can be concealed under the shirt, while the unit can be held in a pocket.
I’ve found these undesirable, due to the fact that there is usually one
or two ‘connections’ that can be severed relatively easily and this often
happens, just in the normal activity of walking around.
The best way to get a recording is
from the unit itself, without leads or separately anchored microphones.
In order to get the highest quality
recording, it is necessary to have the microphone as close to the target
person’s mouth as possible. This is easier said than done. You see, there
is the ever competing objective of concealing the recording device. These
are the two golden rules of success in covertly taping potentially corrupt
If the machine is to be concealed in
a pocket, the microphone must always be directed towards the target. This
must always be remembered when positioning the unit. Failure to do so,
may easily mean the difference between a quality recording and nothing
at all! Most micro-cassette recorders are very limited as to their recording
ability and therefore the guidelines I give here may be critically important.
The biggest pitfall encountered by
those who seek to covertly tape corrupt government officials, is that the
recordings don’t work.
Invariably this is because the taping
person has never tested their methods until the all important meeting.
By this stage it is too late. I have lost count of the times a person has
gone into an all important meeting with a micro-tape player (often borrowed
- which I advise against), only to emerge to tell me of all the great things
said, but no recordings. ‘I don’t know why, but it didn’t work’. The reason
is usually something stupid, like a flat battery, misdirected speaker or
The only way to (nearly) guarantee
success is the test run several times. This is best done by (test) covertly
taping friendly persons in varying circumstances making sure they don’t
know what is going on and asking them after the taping, what if anything,
they noticed, as well as by checking the quality of the various recordings.
By trial and error the best taping methods soon become known. Usually a
quick test before a known encounter to be taped is a further way to ensure
Furthermore it should be noted that
for person to person tape recordings, it isn’t necessary for the unit to
be on your person. The unit may be concealed on a third person, inside
furniture, bag or whatever.
Usually when going to meetings, I put
my documents and other belongings, inside a large camera bag. The outside
pockets are an excellent place to put a recorder and by placing the bag
on a table with pocket facing the target person an excellent recording
can be usually gained. I’ve used this method frequently to obtain recordings
in court cases, by plonking the bag on the bar table between myself and
the other party, with the recorder (speaker) facing Magistrate, witness
and opposing lawyers.
Remember, it is the other person’s
voices you are after, NOT your own. As a rule, what you say is usually
irrelevant. What comes out of the target person’s mouth is what will make
or break you in a later court case and what is most likely to be denied
at a later stage.
A quirk to watch for is when the machine
turns itself off, when a tape runs out. The machine may click off. If this
happens on your unit, ensure that the other side don’t hear it. There are
several ways to guard against this, including by going to the toilet (and
then flipping over tape while flushing the chain), etc. Wearing a watch
on your wrist (synchronized with the recording device) can give you accurate
indication of when the tape will run out.
Some machine’s have a red light on
them which comes on at the time the machine is recording. This is often
a liability and should be watched for. Often the red light may be seen
by the target person, who then becomes aware that they are being taped,
sometimes resulting in the machine being grabbed. This scenario is to be
avoided at all costs.
On 25 May 1989 when outside Melbourne
Magistrate’s Court, Vicroads official Ian Roy realised Alan "NAME SUPPRESSED" was
taping him. He’d noticed the red light shining through his shirt pocket.
Basically it stood out like dog’s balls!
In the taxi situation, I usually had
my recorder positioned above the folded up sun visor. It was easy for me
to activate the machine by hand without arousing the attention of passengers.
Passengers would immediately notice the red light on the machine, so to
combat this I put black tape over the light. After this, few if any passengers
ever realised they were being taped. The recorder was activated whenever
I had fears for my safety, passenger initiated complaints, fare evasions,
etc. After I bought my first unit in 1987, it became effectively impossible
for unruly passengers and Vicroads officers to falsify charges against
me on the basis of my (alleged) conduct as a taxi driver. No such charges
were ever again sustained against me over the following ten years. On these
tapes I may have spent about $7 per year (insurance), taping the equivalent
of 7 hours a year. To put it into perspective, this is out of about 2,400
hours of passengers in taxi, meaning it was only a very small minority
of passengers that I had concerns about. However, knowing the track record
of Vicroads officers in their attempts to falsify charges against me and
convict me of the same, this $70 investment over a decade, almost certainly
saved me many thousands of dollars in fines.
In terms of taping other persons who
may be a threat, the most important thing to do is tape pre-emptively.
In other words turn the machine on BEFORE the encounter, NOT during it.
Otherwise you will not get what may be most important. For example, on
21st December 1988, I had no idea what Ross Bingley would say when I spoke
to him. Likewise on 29th September 1989 (1st time he admitted to bribing
Magistrate Hugh Adams, 2nd time he admitted the Police had stolen my camera
and other equipment on 21st May 1989). Both times the RNZ-36 had been turned
On the second occasion (29/9/89), I
wasn’t even taping Bingley. The machine had been turned on in order to
tape record the clerk at the Magistrate’s Court, (the idea being to guard
against false allegations against myself, like making threats to kill,
etc). I only spoke to Bingley when I turned around and saw him. Had the
machine not have already been on (inside a bag), there is no way that I’d
have taped his confession.
On 7/11/89, I had my tape recorder
on when photographing Vicroads officials Ashton and others at a distance
(at the Flemington Racetrack) in the unlikely event that one may approach
me and make some comment. I could only have speculated as to what it was.
Had the machine not have been turned on pre-emptively, there is no way,
I’d ever have got a complete recording of the bashing of myself by Ashton
and about five of his drunken mates.
Most pre-emptive taping is a waste
of time. In 10 years of doing so in the taxi (70 hours total), not one
single second was ever used in court to defend myself against charges arising
from a passenger-initiated complaint. You see there were none. Ideally
that is what you want, never to use your tapes. However the loss to you
in doing this is effectively nothing. You can always re-use the tapes,
although I suggest you wait some years before deciding a tape is worthless.
It is for this reason (no cost), that pre-emptive taping is so useful and
important not to omit from your self defence strategy.
Besides using micro-cassette recorders
to tape face to face encounters with Police and other potentially corrupt
officials, there are other methods, (none of which I’ve used to date).
These include, using a mobile phone to call a pre-determined number, which
then takes the call and tapes it (often via programmed answering service).
This method is usually costly due to the costs of mobile phone calls. Some
Police officers are particularly paranoid about this one, so it is probable
that this method is often employed. Use of FM bugs is also common. These
small circular devices with string-like aerials, transmit an FM signal
some distance, commonly up to 1 km, that is usually listened to by another
person and recorded on a standard radio-cassette recorder.
A number of Sydney whistleblowers I
know use this method. I’ve tested it and it works, although never actually
used it on the coalface. On 4/3/91, Vicroads officials used an FM bug (thought
to be on their lawyer’s tie) to illegally listen to court evidence they
weren’t supposed to be privy to. I personally don’t support perverting
the course of justice like this, but in Victoria the Police and Vicroads
don’t always seem to share these morals.
It is often suggested that taping another
person in conversation (to which you are a party) is illegal. It is not.
The Victorian Listening Devices Act states that you can tape-record conversations
to protect your lawful interests. This also covers phone conversations
taped, provided you are a direct party to the conversation (not intercepting
other people’s conversations). There is a vast amount of case law to support
this and anybody who tells you otherwise is simply lying. In short, you
will never go to jail for taping a conversation you are a party to (see
references to the laws below).
While Police may try to allege that
everything I do is illegal, I simply draw your attention to their own actions
in regards tape recording. They have admitted to covertly taping face to
face encounters and phone conversations with me in writing and in court.
(e.g. Police officers Bailey, Brown and others). The only reason these
officers failed to use these tapes as evidence against me, is that in spite
of Police provocation, I failed to commit any offences and the tapes tended
to incriminate Police rather than myself. They key fact however, is that
there was no permission granted by myself to allow them to tape me, I was
unaware of the covert taping of myself and there was no court or other
official/legal approval of such. In other words I again stress covert taping
is 100% legal and in many cases you’d be foolish not to protect yourself
by doing so.
(Sergeant Geoffrey Bailey stated on
oath to the AAT, that he’d been advised that I’d complained to IID about
Police mistreatment. He stated that in order to protect himself from ‘vexatious’
complaints from myself about his conduct, he covertly taped me on 5/8/89
when arresting me at my house. As Bailey conducted himself properly and
within the law, no complaint was made - you see I don’t vexatiously complain.
However in fairness to Bailey, who had never met me prior to 5/8/89 and
therefore had no direct knowledge of my manner or integrity he was wise
to tape the encounter for his own possible protection).
Taping phone calls covertly in a way
to get high quality recordings, is so easy as to be obscene. I say this
(obscene), noting how few people actually do it. A small suction cap device
that sells for about $5 at most electronic stores does the trick (see photos
on page 749). The sucker attaches to the phone ear piece and an attached
cord runs straight into a ghetto blaster, which tapes the call. The quality
of the recording is usually so good as if to be superior to that obtained
by two people standing next to one another.
Recordings obtained in such a way have
won me many court cases, after crooked government officials have denied
(on oath) the contents of past phone conversations (or even the calls),
refused to acknowledge receipt of letters and faxes, and similar.
Before further discussion of tape recording
‘the enemy’ (as part of the method of recording everything), I should stress
here that this is NOT the preferred method of documenting corruption, cover-ups,
etc. Experience shows corrupt bureaucrats to have a number of nasty habits
including violence. My own experiences with Police and Vicroads bears this
out. I’ve lost count as to how many times I’ve been bashed. Some who’ve
dealt with Police, wildlife departments, etc, in face-to-face contacts
have lost their lives. Of course the murderer’s are effectively guaranteed
that they won’t be charged.
Therefore the preferred method of dealing
with corrupt bureaucrats and their allies is in writing. Many people advise
to put as much in writing as possible. There is merit in this approach.
When government officials put statements in writing, they (usually) find
it far more difficult to later deny it, although the case of the fax that
Vicroads falsely claimed I forged is a notable exception to that trend.
Perhaps I should mention here that in every case where I’ve been falsely
accused of forging documents (about ten to date (mid 1997)), I’ve been
able to prove emphatically that I hadn’t done so and that the allegedly
tainted documents were from the sources I indicated. Although I lost the
case of the ‘tainted fax’, it is fair to say that by rules of evidence
and common sense, I’d proved my innocence and only lost the case due to
it being ‘fixed’ rather than any defect on my part or the methods used
to elicit the fax from Vicroads. Therefore getting information in writing
from officials is still the preferred option.
Over the years I’ve been able to destroy
the credibility of many people by sending and receiving letters from them.
Examples include, Bob Falconer (Victoria Police), Terry Puton (Victoria
Police), Rod Lambert (Victoria Police), Bob Costello (National Parks and
Wildlife Service of New South Wales), Barry Perry (Victorian Ombudsman’s
Department), all of whom I’ve never met, but can now state emphatically
have actively aided and abetted corruption, based solely on the rubbish
they put in their letters. By getting things in writing from the bureaucrats,
the occupational hazards of tape recording, including the inherent risk
that the recording won’t come out are eliminated.
In the real world, a composite of methods
must be used to document the truth and here I am merely attempting to stress
that although covertly taping is often a spectacular means of documenting
wrongdoing, it should never be relied upon exclusively, but rather as one
of a number of available methods, the best being dictated by the immediate
circumstances, conditions and options.
3. If taping another person, don’t
tell them you are doing so
Although it may be suggested by some
(usually dishonest people) that covertly taping a conversation is in some
way ‘unfair’, this assertion must be rejected. In the normal course of
events, such tapes can only be useful in the event of a later denial by
a person of what they said or did. Furthermore such denials are only likely
in the event of a court case. If the targeted officials (or others) don’t
lie in court, then they never have anything to fear from any tape. The
tape recording becomes totally redundant. After all it should match their
evidence! However any veteran corruption fighter or victim of corrupt officials
will tell you, that time and time again crooked Police and others will
lie in court. In fact this is the rule, NOT the exception. It is for that
reason that covertly made tapes are so valuable in the court situation
and why Police and others fight so hard to prevent them being made in the
The idea that a potentially corrupt
official should be warned or told that they are being tape recorded is
ludicrous. If a person is told they are being taped, then as a reflex action,
they will be extremely guarded in what they say and make sure they give
nothing away. It’s when they are unaware that such is going on, that they
will most likely get cocky and let the cat out of the bag. It was precisely
because Policeman Bingley assumed I was not taping him on 29/9/89, that
he blurted out the fact that he knew all about how I was bashed by his
mates at Kew and that these same Police had stolen my goods and there was
no way I’d get them back.
For several years, "NAME SUPPRESSED" used to thrust
his recording device in front of the target and tell them they were being
taped. Common sense eventually prevailed and now he no longer does this.
Once again, I must stress, that all
this advice is of little use to the enemy, the dishonest bureaucrat. I’ll
give a few examples as to why. On 5/8/89 Sergeant Geoffrey James Bailey
and associate David Bowle arrested me at my house. I was taken to the Hawthorn
Police station and charged with ten serious offences. The charges were
later proven to be fabricated. At the time of arrest and unbeknown to myself,
Bailey was covertly tape recording me. He never advised me of the fact,
nor was he legally obliged to do so. I don’t believe in double standards.
A second motive (as later stated on
oath to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal on 2/11/90), was to use the
tape recording as evidence against me in the event that I said or did anything
that in any way incriminated me of any offence. Now bearing in mind the
amount of provocation I received and of course the huge number of things
a Policeman could decide to charge me with, my odds of avoiding a new charge
may not have been good. However, as usual, I did my best to be courteous
and within the law. As a result, not only did the tape recording have no
benefit to the Police, but it later turned out to be in my favor. You see
in later court cases, Bailey and I agreed as to what transpired at time
of arrest and later interview. However by Bailey later admitting he had
such a tape recording, I was able to successfully get the tape from him
through FOI laws. The tape recording presented an accurate record of my
conduct to Police in situations of extreme adversity and showed my conduct
to be exemplary. In other words, any false accusations by Police to the
contrary on this or other occasions could be shown to be false on the basis
of this tape (or at least likely to be false).
In other words, taping or any other
method used to document the truth, will never aid the corrupt (usually
meaning those who seek to hide the truth) and therefore all my advice to
aid documentation of the truth will tend to be useless to them.
On 18 February 1994, Police raided
my house at gunpoint and again taped me covertly. On this occasion and
again in spite of extreme provocation, I did no wrong. During the raid,
the Police themselves, made a number of highly self incriminating statements,
assaulted me and did a whole host of other illegal actions all of which
would have been documented by the Police’s own covert tape recording.
As a result, not only couldn’t the
Police use the tape recording to aid their (perjured) evidence against
me in court, but it’s contents would clearly have assisted my case in any
charges arising from the raid. As a result the Police had to make sure
that I never found out that they’d covertly taped me. I was charged after
the raid and the case came to court several times (Magistrates Court several
times, before going to the County Court). At no stage did Police tell me
that they had this covertly made tape recording.
It was only some way during the County
Court trial, that I subpoenaed a file from Police Internal Investigations
about the raid, that the existence of the tape became known to me. Playing
of the tape showed a number of illegal activities by the Police and this
was after they’d deleted over 19 minutes from the recording!
In other words, those who don’t lie,
have nothing to fear from covert face-to-face taping, regardless of whether
they are doing it or at the receiving end. It remains one of the most potent
weapons against the corrupt and those who don’t engage in this practice,
do so at their own peril.
Perhaps I should also draw readers
attention to the covert taping of NSW Police Inspector, Graeme (Chook)
Fowler by the NSW Police Royal Commission in 1995. Had there not been a
tape recording of him taking bribes, it is doubtful if he’d ever have been
busted for taking bribes. That was something he’d been getting away with
While talking taping of crooked officials,
Victor Perton told Alan "NAME SUPPRESSED" at Liberal Party conference that he’d ‘ban
Hoser from taping me and anyone else’ (see above). In early 1999, Perton’s
friend and colleague, Attorney General Jan Wade announced that the State
Government intended repealing the 30 year old Listening Devices Act. In
tandem with the move was a new law specifically banning private people
from taping conversations, which Wade noted wasn’t illegal at present.
This could mean that if you tape record Police who later lie in court,
you could find yourself proving your innocence of the charges faced at
the time, but then face jail for generating the tape that proved your innocence!
Then again, the government and legal system has never placed much emphasis
on the truth, have they.
4. Copy everything and store in
safe places, the number of copies being dictated by importance, (but usually
at least 3)
Those who are corrupt fight dirty.
As a hardened corruption fighter, I have never ceased to be amazed at how
dirty the enemy fight. If you tackle corruption in any sizeable government
department, it is likely that the corruption you initially attack will
only be the tip of a far larger amount. This is true for Police, law courts,
wildlife departments or whatever. Usually corruption uncovered by a person
like you, myself, a journalist, Politician and so on is only that which
is accidentally stumbled upon. It is effectively guaranteed that there
are other (as yet unknown) rackets going on. I have yet to find a corrupt
Police force putting ads in the papers stating the next time a given Policeman
is due to collect his or her bribe. It just doesn’t happen like this.
Although every case of corruption and
misconduct is different, it is as sure as night follows day, that once
you dig too deep, the enemy will fight back. The easiest way to do this
by stealing your evidence. One of the few reliable facts of my life is
that I’ve been routinely raided by the corrupt officials I’ve attempted
to expose. This is true in every major case, including Police, Vicroads
and National Parks and Wildlife. In every raid there are certain trends:-
a/ The corrupt officials take all
evidence that incriminates them,
b/ They don’t return it,
c/ They deny the content of what
they take (that it in any way incriminates them),
d/ They will destroy the evidence
rather than return it,
e/ Not only will you not be warned
of the theft or raid, but the theft will always be timed to maximize results
for them and damage to you.
Now noting the propensity of corrupt
officials to falsify criminal charges against those who are against them,
it is almost reckless not to copy and store elsewhere key files, tapes,
etc, that may a/ Prove corruption in the targeted organization and b/ Help
prove your innocence of potentially false allegations or charges.
Had I not copied files prior to the
18 February 1994 raid by Police, it is guaranteed that I would by now have
had several more serious convictions against my name, including the two
‘Drive Whilst Disqualified’ charges (laid by corrupt Vicroads officials,
Robby and Goodson on 7/4/94) and assault, by dishonest and corrupt Policewoman
Nicole Warner, who issued the summons to me as a birthday present in 1994.
In that case you may recall that the file had been stolen by Police and
passed on to other Police who not only failed to return the tape until
after they erased it, but also went and harassed my witness whose address
was contained in the file.
Over the years, I’ve lost count of
the number of people who have been charged with offences by Police, wildlife
officers and others, who tell me that the same officials stole the proof
of their innocence during raids. An extremely common scenario is for wildlife
officials to raid a person’s house, take the person’s wildlife keeping
licence and then charge them with keeping snakes or birds without a licence.
Unless the accused has got a copy elsewhere it is almost guaranteed that
they’ll go down in court.
This whole scenario seems ridiculous
beyond belief, but I know of this exact stunt being pulled over thirty
times in NSW and Queensland and only a handful of defendants have had duplicates
Every case could have been won by the
defendant if they’d simply made a single copy of the relevant permit/s
and stored them away from their home!
Because this stunt is usually so successful,
it is repeated time and time again. This brings me to the second part of
this and other stunts that are also repeated time and time again by those
who are corrupt. That is lying on oath in court. The NSW Police Royal Commission
was told by serving Police officers, that ‘scrum downs’ and perjury were
routine practices for almost all court cases involving Police. Things are
no different in Victoria and elsewhere in Australia. You’d be a fool to
think they are.
While the cost of copying documents,
tapes and other evidence can be expensive, especially when a ‘professional’
whistleblower like myself, I can assure you that the likely potential cost
of not doing so can be far, far greater.
5. Ensure all letters sent or faxed
are received by the other party and that they acknowledge so in an indisputable
form (preferably in writing, otherwise by tape recording)
Common in court cases are bureaucrats
lying about not receiving a given letter from a defendant. The lack of
receipt of the letter is very often sufficient grounds to enable a conviction
to be gained.
We all know that in the real world,
99% of letters and faxes get to their intended recipient. We also know
that in the real world of corrupt bureaucracies, statistically less than
half of mail received is actually formally acknowledged, even though it
is law in most states that it must be all acknowledged.
Because of the critically important
need to bridge this gap, a number of methods can and may be used. An example
of how important this is can be gauged from the case of when the Vicroads
officers, David Robby and Geoffrey Goodson illegally accessed a County
Court file and then caused to be doctored an old ‘Abandonment of Appeal’
form and then fraudulently generated a series of other documents in a (failed)
bid to convict me of serious criminal offences.
In the later County Court hearing,
my defence relied strongly on a series of letters sent by myself to County
Court Clerk Ms. Glynnis Jackson and her replies.
Her replies were useful only in establishing
some of the key facts of the case. My outgoing letters were critical in
proving my innocence of the charges, as they accurately and unequivocally
established the date of the document that became the key of the case. Knowing
this to be the case, Jackson perjured herself and said ‘I’ve never seen
those letters before, never in my life’, when I tendered them to the Court
and asked her to corroborate them.
She knew that her denial would be accepted
by the Judge in favor of my verbal evidence that I’d sent them. After all
how could a Judge not accept the evidence of a fellow staff member whom
they worked with on a day-to-day basis over that of a lowly taxi driver
Regrettably for her, she’d filled in
with her own handwriting an ‘Acknowledgment of receipt’ form (shown on
page 358) when she received the letters. As the case was a long time after
the actual letters had been sent, she’d failed to remember this relatively
minor part of the transaction. When this form was tendered to the court,
her earlier lies were shown for what they were and my outgoing letters
became a key plank towards my eventual acquittal. One photocopied sheet
of paper sent along with a letter, ended up saving me $2,000 in fines.
Unfortunately ignoring documents, denying
their receipt at a later date and so on are well worn methods used by corrupt
officials to hide corruption and convict innocent persons, so a number
of methods to beat this must be engaged.
Personal delivery of letters, while
guaranteeing their receipt, does not in itself solve the problem as the
recipient can still easily deny receipt (in court), unless it is signed
for. Even when signed for, the recipient can easily deny the content of
what is received.
For this reason postage, whereby the
recipient signs for it is not usually recommended. Usually the postmaster
demands and gets a signature and when dealing with government, the signature
on the return slip is rarely that of the actual person the letter is addressed
to. Also registered/certified mail tends to be expensive, particularly
when done on a routine basis to many recipients.
Instead I use a standard ‘Acknowledgment
of receipt’ form. This goes with the outgoing letter. The form effectively
directs the recipient to sign enough details to both confirm receipt and
accurately detail the contents of what is received. Furthermore the added
cost of sending this form is next to nothing.
The form can be used for posted letters,
hand delivered mail (at which time it is easiest to get filled in and therefore
most effective at a later date) and even faxes. When sending faxes, a slightly
altered form is used by myself called a ‘Fax return sheet’. The ‘Fax return
sheet’ is not to be confused with a fax cover sheet, or first page sent,
which explains the content of the fax. I don’t often use these.
Instead a ‘Fax return sheet’ is like
the ‘Acknowledgment of receipt’ form in that it is a standardised form
(customised for the sender, such as myself) whereby the recipient must
write in the fact that they have received the mail/fax item and then they
write it’s contents.
For faxes, a single sheet of paper
(sent as the last page of a fax), may be used time and time again. For
letters, a single master copy can be photocopied as many times as it’s
needed, the best method being to have a ready stock of forms to use.
If and when the officials later deny
having received the material in court, you’ve got them cold. They have
no way out of it. In spite of the fact that I’ve been using these forms
for several years now (since at least 1990), and am well known for doing
so, it is still fairly common for me to pull up Victorian Police and other
corrupt officials in court, after they deny receipt of letters or faxes
I must stress here that filled in ‘Acknowledgment
of receipt’ forms and ‘Fax return sheets’ are as important as other correspondence
and these too must be copied and stored elsewhere. On 18/2/97, Police stole
from my house a copy of Jackson’s filled in ‘Acknowledgment of receipt’
form but unfortunately for them and their mates at Vicroads I had copies
Potentially corrupt government officials
aren’t stupid however and most treat signing ‘Acknowledgment of receipt’
forms as if they are signing their lives away. After all, they know you
may use these against them at a later date, should they decide to lie in
court. However if you allow the bureaucrats to get away with not properly
filling in these forms, you do so at your own peril (and they know it).
In order to have success here, you will need a degree of ruthlessness.
When hand delivering mail, it is fairly
easy to get material signed for in the appropriate way by someone at the
correct department, even if it isn’t the intended recipient themself. You
just refuse to leave until the job is done.
Posted material is always the trickiest
as the bureaucrats simply ignore the incoming mail and/or the enclosed
‘Acknowledgment of receipt’ form. You are not physically there to harass
them to fill it in and they can ignore it without any interruption to their
day to day activities.
As a result of the (above described)
inherent difficulty of postal transmission, my preferred method of dealing
with bureaucrats is via the fax machine. This method also has the added
advantage of speed. The other side get the letter within seconds rather
There is still the problem of getting
the other side to fill in the ‘Fax return sheet’. However this is quite
easy to overcome by several means. If the sheet does not come back within
an acceptable period, you simply phone the target bureaucrat or department
to confirm that they got it. Nothing else should be discussed as all else
is usually in the fax. That is unless they choose to say something, in
which case, they often put their foot in their mouth and assist your cause.
The main purpose of the call is a/
To confirm that the fax has been received and b/ To get an undertaking
that they will fill in and fax back the fax return sheet.
The first part is straightforward and
even if that is all you get, you’ve won this little battle. You see as
a matter of course the phone call is taped using the $5 suction cap device
and a $2 cassette. Later denials in court will get the other side nowhere.
That is (perhaps falsely) assuming the judge or magistrate isn't bent.
For the second part, insist on a return
of the ‘Fax return sheet’ and don’t take no for an answer. The number of
reasons needed for the sheet to be properly filled in and returned are
many, but most importantly it is to protect you against false allegations
later. Tell the bureaucrats, if they don’t fax back the ‘Fax return sheet’
then you’ll fax the letter again and again until they do.
In the event that the bureaucrats don’t
play ball (which is likely), then you have to adopt a sort of legal guerilla
warfare against them.
Making a phone call to check on the
receipt of the fax, while giving you indisputable proof of receipt of the
fax, is still messy in that a/ You still have nothing in writing, which
is in many ways preferable (particularly in court, when about 50% of Judges
and Magistrates still refuse to allow legally obtained phone tapes to be
played in court), and b/ Doing this on a routine basis costs you double
as you’re paying for a fax call and the later phone call.
In my position, I deal with huge numbers
of bureaucrats and I must stress, not all are bad, although I often have
to act as if all are, as it is often hard to tell the good from the bad.
The costs of faxing and phoning them are huge and therefore need controlling.
Unlike government in Australia, I do not have limitless funds, so an alternate
and superior method is employed to help ‘force’ the other side into sending
back properly filled in ‘Fax return sheets’.
(I also believe that it is most expedient
to give fundamentally evil people the same respect as good people anyway).
The following method is used routinely
with departments that have a history of systematic corruption (e.g. Police,
Ombudsman, Victoria Legal Aid, Vicroads), and who are loathe to fill in
‘Fax return sheets’ and whom I deal with on a fairly regular basis.
After the above phone call method has
been used a few times (and without success) the next step follows. It is
a practice I’ve been using with huge success since mid 1996, when I upgraded
my computer and simultaneously bought a scanner (not that a scanner is
With the original outgoing fax and
between the final page of the letter and the ‘Fax return sheet’, I send
a standard letter which states that if the following ‘Fax return sheet’
is not filled in properly and faxed back then, more copies of the same
will be sent until properly acknowledged.
Typically if I haven’t got my ‘Fax
return sheet’ properly filled in returned to me by fax within 2 full working
days, I then send the same fax to the same department again. This time
however I send it in the middle of the night and fax them multiple copies.
If again no properly filled in ‘Fax return sheet’ comes back within another
48 hours, the same process is repeated, this time sending up to 200 copies.
By doing this in the middle of the
night, you are assured that no bureaucrat will be there to see the repeat
faxes come through their machine, thus meaning all will go through (unless
they run out of paper). Furthermore, they cannot complain they hadn’t been
warned of this as you’d told them both in writing (which they could still
theoretically deny), and by the phone (which you’d taped!).
Experience shows that 9 out of 10 times
after the target department or officials have been hit like this a few
times, they reluctantly tow the line and send back the ‘Fax return sheets’
as soon as you send them the first fax. Once this happens, you have the
target bureaucrats eating out of your hand in as much as they can never
deny having received your mail. A major part of your battle has been won.
After initial reluctance by Vicroads
and the Magistrates Courts to fill in and return the sheets, followed by
the almost inevitable faxing back of improperly filled in forms which are
often little better then a form not filled in, I was able to get most staff
from both departments to properly return these forms. In a case in early
1997, I was able to rely on correspondence from myself to Prahran Court
and their replies (written at the bottom of the properly filled in ‘Fax
return sheets’ to successfully entice Magistrate McLeod to allow me to
tape record a case. Once the Magistrate went against Police opposition
to allow me to tape the case (still at my cost), my beating the trumped
up charges became a mere formality.
Furthermore by using the above method,
there is now no need to post the same letter to the target bureaucrats,
because they have already acknowledged receipt in writing. Why waste time
and money on postage. The cost of dealing by fax, then becomes about half
that of postage (25 cents versus 45 cents in 1999). If any person tells
you that you are legally obliged to follow a fax with a hard copy, then
they are lying.
Some enemy bureaucrats view the idea
of filling in and faxing back ‘Fax return sheets’ on the same level as
suicide. Those within the Victorian Police Internal Investigations Department,
Ethical Standards Department or whatever they’ve changed their name to
this week, typify this bunch.
After I’d sent them a repeat fax (about
50 pages), someone from the department faxed the whole lot back to me the
same number of times. While the ‘Fax return sheet’ was not filled in at
all, it was nonetheless faxed back to me several times! As a result I had
a pile of near useless faxes left on office floor.
This (so far) has only happened once.
You see, since then I decided to run all incoming faxes through my computer,
using the well-known program ‘Winfax’. Using this program, or similar ones,
(which can be run on almost any computer of post 1994 vintage), provided
you have a modem (which costs about $100 (1999)), faxes can be received
or sent from a computer. Repeat faxes, like the above, simply go into the
hard drive and can be deleted at the click of a mouse button. In other
words, the repeat fax trick by the bureaucrats wont work in reverse.
I’ve had plenty of repeat faxes since
mid 1996, but they’ve simply had the ‘junk’ pages wiped and no paper has
been wasted. Fortunately, although the Government seems to have no shortage
of money or computers, they don’t seem to have taken to running incoming
faxes through computers. It is probably not a viable proposition in their
Which gets me to a final point in relation
to sending multiple copies of the same fax. Using a normal fax machine,
you’d have to stand next to the machine and feed the pages through (all
of which takes time). Using a program like Winfax, you can simply set and
forget. The computer does the rest. In other words, you can send the faxes
before you go to bed, let the computer do it’s stuff, wake up in the morning
and the job’s done. A few hours later a belligerent bureaucrat will find
multiple faxes at their office. Even the fact that these have to be gathered
up and thrown out, will usually be enough to get them to fill in and return
‘Fax return sheets’ from then on.
The Legal Aid Commission of Victoria
and Jack Gaffney’s office at the Supreme Court seemed to be waging all
out war against me and there is no way that I could get either of them
to fill in and return ‘Fax return sheets’. After I’d gone through the above
motions of hitting them with repeat faxes overnight, they adopted a new
strategy. This one I could not beat.
At the time they closed their offices,
(this usually starts at about 4 PM), they’d turn off their fax machines
so that nobody could send them faxes while no one was in the office. When
they’d remember, they’d turn the machines back on again, the following
morning when they came in to work.
While this tactic effectively blocked
out my overnight repeat faxes, it also successfully blocked out everyone
else’s incoming faxes as well. Thus for a while in 1996-7 it seemed nobody
could get faxes into either department.
This above situation also summed up
the difference between the public sector and the private sector. If a private
company were to close it’s fax lines off for upwards of 16 hours a day,
they’d soon go bankrupt. For government departments on the other hand,
this doesn’t happen. They simply tell people to go to hell and the person
is still forced (by law) to deal with the ratbags. Failure to do so, may
land you in jail!
One can only speculate as to how many
people failed to get Legal Aid or lost cases in the Supreme Court of Victoria
due to their idiot policy of turning off their fax machines. Remember the
reason for this was simply because they didn’t want to acknowledge in writing
that they’d received someone’s fax!
For the ‘toughies’ like the Legal Aid
Commission, the phone call to check receipt of the fax is still a viable
option, that I used with success.
However in 1997, and following untold
numbers of complaints by irate members of the public, local MP’s and others
who simply couldn’t get their faxes through, the Legal Aid Commission were
forced to turn their fax machines on again.
I again hit them with repeat faxes
and since about March 1997 they now seem to be filling in and returning
‘Fax return sheets’ within seconds of my outgoing faxes being sent.
Finally, there is a widespread misconception
that faxes are not proper legal documents, not acceptable in Court and
so on. This is not so. May I refer you to how Police in VIctoria routinely
obtain search warrants. That is by fax. Both Magistrates and Police accept
faxes and copies of faxes as binding legal documents for the purposes of
executing search warrants on a daily basis. Similarly faxes are recognized
as legal documents in Courts of law daily for a whole variety of matters.
In spite of my regular use of the Internet
since mid 1996, I avoid sending letters to bureaucrats via the internet
due to the ease with which incoming text files can be altered, either to
incriminate the sender or make reply by the recipient that much easier.
After all, I’m not in the business of giving corrupt bureaucrats free kicks.
For those unfamiliar with the internet,
incoming files are imported to receiving computers as editable text. That
is the form they come in. This means anyone can change anything and then
just as easily attribute it to almost anyone else. This does in fact happen
all the time. For crooked government officials who forge and alter documents,
an e-mail from a targeted whistleblower is like manna from heaven.
The same applies to those officials
who may falsely accuse you of altering their documents. They simply send
you an e-mail, which you copy and tender to the court. They in turn alter
their copy on their computer and generate one with different words, which
they falsely claim to be the original. The next thing you know is that
a bent Judge like Thomas Neesham may be sending you to prison for four
months for allegedly forging something!
Alternatively, the enemy can type up
their own e-mail and put your address in the 'from' field. They then claim
they got it from you. A message like 'I will kill you' falsely alleged
to have come from you is an easy one. Meanwhile it could send you to jail
for up to ten years. The whole scam is so easy!
Now you know why I avoid using the
internet to deal with bureaucrats and others that I may not trust.
Furthermore, in terms of how easy it
is to reply to e-mails, I suggest those unfamiliar with e-mails see how
discussions are run on internet ‘Newsgroups’ or ‘List-servers’. The respondent
merely types their response between the comments of the sender. To address
and send a reply, requires a single mouse click! Why make it easy for the
Another idiosyncrasy of the internet
is the sheer number and volume of e-mails that move through it. With many
subscribers, including bureaucrats on things called ‘List-servers’, it
is not uncommon for hundreds of e-mails to be received by a given person
on a single day. Most of this is regarded as ‘junk’ and therefore immediately
‘deleted’ (erased). In other words, if you want your correspondence acted
upon, then the internet is probably the last place you should send it.
In other words if dealing with government,
don’t recognize correspondence via the internet and always insist on faxes
or hard copies.
Use of websites to spread information
about corruption is a different matter and is a highly useful means of
getting a message across and seeking information. However it is totally
different from actually dealing with government via the internet.
6. Never believe a word a government
official tells you (likewise for what is in the media)
This may sound obvious, but I’ve lost
track of how many times myself and others have come unstuck with this one.
Chris Dane (QC), gave me a watertight
guarantee he’d win the case of the falsified fax charge. He didn’t deliver
the goods and I lost thousands of dollars as well as went to jail for a
crime I never committed.
Smuggled-2 (pp. 109-111), documents
another example of this point. Snake keeper Paul Woolf, was falsely charged
with keeping reptiles without a licence and prosecuted by corrupt officials
of the New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS). Although
in theory he would have had no difficulty in winning the charge through
the courts, NPWS officials induced him to plead guilty by promising him
that they would cease harassing him in future. In other words, they offered
Woolf a short-term loss (in court) in return for a long term gain (no harassment).
The offer appeared irresistible and Woolf went along with it.
After he went down in Court, the NPWS
officials reneged on their deal and harassed him so much he decided to
move out of New South Wales to Queensland!
While at Loddon Prison in 1997, I lost
count of the inmates there who’d done deals with officials and lawyers,
on the basis that they’d be kept out of jail (i.e. plead guilty, save lawyer’s
fees and get a lesser penalty). They did as they were told and got ‘the
hamburger with the lot’.
Most commonly government officials
will tell you that they want to help you (that in itself is usually a contradiction
in terms). You then provide them with information which instead of being
used to attack the guilty (your adversary) is instead twisted and used
An example of this was in 1987, when
corrupt Policeman, Ross Bingley came to my house on 6 March and told me
he wanted to help me and charge habitual fare evader Phillipa O’Shannessy
with theft. I went along with his suggestion and attended the St. Kilda
Police Station the next day.
Once he had me where he wanted he then
reversed his tack and decided to frame me for a whole series of charges
and then went so far as to falsify a ‘record of interview’ in my presence.
These are not isolated incidents. They
occur every day. In other words, if you accept the word of a government
official (and act accordingly), you do so at your own peril!
In relation to the media, very little
of what they report is news. Most is correctly termed propaganda. It is
usually distributed to journalists in the form of one or two page press
releases, faxed to journalists or written by journalists ‘friendly’ to
a particular cause.
In Melbourne, all the major newspapers
have their Police rounds offices next door to the Victoria Police media
unit. Media releases are simply generated by the Police and passed to the
reporters who re-write them and then place them in the next day’s papers.
Since about late 1996, more journalists have taken to downloading these
releases from ‘bookmarked’ Police sites on the world wide web and with
their PC terminals re-wording these releases, which is even easier than
retyping the wanted parts of the whole document.
If the Police reporters don’t do this,
then they are shut out from other stories. Likewise if they report any
stories deemed to be anti-Police. Gerard Ryle of the Age, steadfastly
refused to report a word about The Hoser Files and related matters,
because he said his own sources in the Police would black-ban him if he
were to do so.
Other government departments and large
corporations, such as banks, Telephone companies, etc, are able to control
media in relation to themselves by their ever present threat of withdrawing
advertising. The hundreds of millions of dollars spent annually by these
outfits, ensures that effectively all media about these groups is positive.
The corruption and rackets are rarely if ever reported.
The media is useful for getting a handle
on what goes on. However it is critically important to read between the
lines, accept that even stories written by known competent journalists
can be screwed by sub-editors (also known as 'The censors') and others
in the newspaper bureaucracy, so that facts can be totally reversed, (sometimes
inadvertently). It is also critical to remember that most telling in terms
of the Australian media is not what they report, but rather what they don't.
7. Always go through the motions
of using the government’s own system of ‘investigation’ of corruption (e.g.
Ombudsman, Members of Parliament, ICAC, etc.), even though the odds of
success are remote
There are three main reasons for this
Firstly because success in exposing
(widely) corruption and/or having any positive action taken against it
is at best highly unlikely, regardless of what is done, all feasible options
should be taken. The odds of having useful action against corruption being
taken by someone like a State Ombudsman’s Office is about one in a thousand
(at best). However even at these odds, it is a gamble worth taking, noting
that the most likely loss at your end is time.
Secondly, more likely is that a so-called
watchdog, like the Ombudsman’s Office may inadvertently (on their part),
provide you with material that further proves corruption in the target
bureaucracy or the Ombudsman’s Office itself. It was a complaint lodged
by myself against the Police raid on my house on 18th February 1994, to
the Police Internal Investigations Section (IID), that ultimately led to
their reluctant disclosure in court that the Police had covertly taped
the raid. That tape recording assisted in further proving Police misconduct
in the raid and other illegal activities. Had no complaint been laid to
IID, then I would have never found out about the existence of the tape.
In 1989, IID, confirmed in writing
that my taping of Corrupt Policeman Ross Bingley’s admitting to paying
off Magistrate Hugh Adams, was correct and accurate. While I knew this
to be the case, the fact that IID later confirmed this in writing made
it effectively impossible for Bingley to deny the action in later court
hearings, including the appeal hearing in front of Judge Mervyn Kim on
27/2/90 which I won.
Thirdly, if you don’t go through the
motions of complaining to so-called watchdogs, like the Ombudsman’s Office,
ICAC or other relevant body, then that fact may become a sort of roadblock
in making further progress from your side. For example if you later approach
someone like a member of Parliament, media or whatever, the target bureaucracy
can easily respond by saying something like ‘this is the first we’ve heard
about it...no complaint’s been lodged’, and ‘If a complaint is lodged,
we’ll investigate it properly’, etc. Now although we know these responses
are usually an excuse for a cover-up, there is little point in giving the
enemy such an easy free kick.
Once the other side has ran it’s sham
investigation and cleared their own (as they invariably always do), then
it becomes easier to take your investigations/attempts to expose corruption
the next step, whatever that is. In New South Wales, it was over 20 years
of whitewashes of Police corruption allegations by the state Ombudsman’s
office that finally led to the formation of the Independent Corruption
Against Corruption (ICAC) which was briefed to investigate Police corruption.
Several years of whitewashes, by the ICAC, finally led to political agitation
for a Royal Commission. It happened and it was headed by Justice James
While that Royal Commission had many
defects, it was perhaps one of the most successful efforts yet in removing
at least some of the entrenched Police Corruption in New South Wales.
8. Treat Government ‘watchdogs’,
(e.g. Ombudsman, ICAC), as if they are as corrupt as any other government
department or officials. (They usually are AND/OR THE RESULT IS AS IF THEY
As a rule, if you complain to a ‘watchdog’
the information you give will be used for two purposes. The first is to
enable the target persons to work out an alibi to fit your evidence against
them. This is usually quite easy. The ‘watchdog’ seeks (and usually gets)
all your evidence against the target bureaucrat. Then the whole lot is
put to the target bureaucrat and they ‘fill in the holes’ to give them
either a watertight alibi, or one that cannot be contested beyond the fact
that it becomes your word against theirs.
For example, a common scenario is a
complaint against Police of assault. The Ombudsman’s office seeks all the
evidence, including medical evidence of injuries. This is then passed to
the Police and their medical people, who are then able to concoct a story
that fits the complainant’s story, other than the ‘new’ explanation that
the wounds on the complainant were either self inflicted or by the Police
in defence for an attack. That this strategy works is seen by the annual
statistics in Victoria. Thousands of people are routinely bashed by Police
each year, and yet the Police ever charged with assault can be counted
on one hand! Even when the facts become so indisputable and public, that
Police have assaulted people (such as the Kew bashing of myself on 21/5/89)(see
The Hoser Files pp. 90-104, 180-205), Police will not be charged.
In that case, Police were shown by their own County Court Judge to have
illegally assaulted me, but neither D.P.P., Ombudsman’s Office or the Police
would charge any of the half-dozen officers involved.
Former Victorian Policewoman, Barbara
Oldfield, summed up another key reason for IID (and by extension other
‘watchdogs’) to exist. She stated it was to help set people up, bash them,
etc. While this is perhaps an extreme interpretation of them, she was nonetheless
correct in her assertion that they often work against your interests and
not for them.
In my own experiences, I’ve gone to
court and had barrister’s and staff from the Victorian Ombudsman’s office
attempt to sabotage court cases. In one case it was where I had been wrongly
charged by Police with assault. They clearly aligned themselves with Police
and attempted to alter evidence given during the case.
Although I won the above case, it showed
emphatically whose side the Ombudsman’s department was on. It wasn’t mine!
‘Watchdogs’ and the results of their
so-called investigations will be routinely used by themselves and other
target bureaucracies (those subject of initial complaint) to discredit
the complainant (you). They all know what side their bread is buttered
In New South Wales, the NPWS organized
a series of media releases stating that my books Smuggled and Smuggled-2,
had been investigated by ICAC and found to be a load of garbage. NPWS claimed
they’d been cleared, my allegations them were false and baseless, etc.
It was a classic case of a watchdog being used against me. In this case
however, NPWS had taken things one step too far. You see, although ICAC
were aware of Smuggled and Smuggled-2, and repeatedly been
invited to look at them, they had repeatedly said in writing to thousands
of people (including myself) that they were not investigating the two Smuggled
books at any stage.
So in this case, I was able to force
the papers to retract the false and defamatory NPWS media releases and
now have a defamation case afoot. More telling however, is that the NPWS
officials who lied to the public in these media releases and the others
who assisted in the scam, have all been identified and yet all remain in
their well-paid jobs!
While I advocate dealing with the so-called
watchdogs, this does not mean I advise giving them their job on a platter.
In dealing with these bodies, it is best to assume they will work against
you at every opportunity and then try to turn these negatives into a positive.
The following examples explain what I mean.
After initially poor results with IID
and the Ombudsman’s Office, resulting from complaints I made giving them
tapes of incidents, I adopted a different approach. Rather than giving
them all my evidence, I’d only give them some. I’d give them some of the
main ‘allegations’ and then let them attempt to plug in the holes.
After I was bashed by corrupt Vicroads
officers Ashton, Olsen, Bowman, Hodgens and others at Flemington racetrack
on 7/11/89, I lodged a complaint about the incident. I stated that I had
a tape and witnesses and that the bashing was not the only illegal activity
by these men on that day.
I however refused to tender the tape,
or provide details of the witnesses. The officers then attempted to seize
my tape from me (without success) and were then forced into filling in
the holes of my accusations, without the benefit of an accurate tape recording.
Had I provided them with the tape,
they may have been able to concoct some sort of story to cover their brutal
bashing. Without the tape and witness details, they decided to make out
that only Ashton bashed me and that the rest were trying to pull him off.
Although their story was ridiculous (and proven so by the tape), the story
did represent a compromise from the usual ‘no fault’ position.
Using the statements of the Vicroads
officers themselves, I had a watertight case against Ashton.
The other illegal activity by the officers
I’d noted was the unroadworthy car they’d driven to the racetrack. I had
no substantive concern over this, but had merely noted it in the letter
(without identifying it).
Although the officers had been on a
booze up the day of the attack, I hadn’t noted it because of the fact that
a simple denial by all 11 officers would have resulted in their side of
the story being accepted over mine.
My deliberate with-holding of evidence
(tape and witnesses) from the Vicroads ‘investigation’ led them to panic
and then try to talk down the extent of their drunken behavior. The only
problem, was that they couldn’t get their lies straight and the extent
of the booze-up became apparent through the cross-matching of their statements.
On other occasions, I made allegations
against Police and Vicroads officers, failing to mention I had tape recordings.
The IID and Ombudsman’s Office’s would routinely respond with an alibi,
denying the officer had make specific statements, going on to finish with
their usual line of ‘your complaint was not upheld’ or similar, (which
translates in human terms as you’re a liar).
By then sending the tape recordings
proving the Police or Vicroads officer’s statements to be lies, and the
earlier statements by the watchdog as wrong, you then put all in a pickle
and force them to show their true colors. In Victoria at least, every time
I’ve done this, the watchdog has, while usually conceding they were in
the wrong, (but even then, not always), the watchdog has gone on to say
they will do nothing because ‘the complaint is now too old’, ‘the offence
on the part of the official was minor’, ‘first time known to have done
this’, or whatever. It shows the whole ‘watchdog’ thing to be a racket.
In other words, while going through
the correct motions of going to watchdogs with complaints, play it like
a game of chess and attempt to a/ play defensively, b/ anticipate the move
of the other party, c/ try to check-mate the opponent.
9. Always dot your ‘i’s and your
‘t’s. If you don’t do things properly, don’t bother at all. You can’t be
half pregnant. Like childbirth, exposing and defending against corruption
is not easy. I never said it was. I don’t set the rules, I’m just outlining
Exposing corruption and misconduct
involves exposing faults and imperfections in the other side. Part of the
defence used by corrupt bureaucracies is the charade that they are inhumanely
perfect and never make mistakes. They run this charade to the point of
paranoia. You see Governments are constantly worried that by admitting
any fault, no matter how minor, may leave them open to the floodgates of
compensation claims. There is nothing the government hates more. Government
will spend a million dollars in order to avoid paying a whistleblower a
thousand dollars. That is their mentality.
However in attempting to expose wrongdoing
in government, corrupt bureaucrats will as a matter of course use all methods
to attempt to attack your credibility. Although it is fair to expect them
to concoct evidence against you if they can’t find it, there is no point
in making it easy for them.
When you write letters of complaint,
do it properly and use all commonly accepted conventions. If you write
ratbag letters, their contents will be used against you time and time again.
A person I know addressed a letter to Victorian Supreme Court Clerk Jack
Gaffney, ‘Dear Old Fart’. Although the opening may have been factually
true, this did little to get him on side with others in the bureaucracy.
The letter was always referred to when describing him as an idiot.
Again it boils down to don’t give the
other side a free kick at your expense. Another way of putting it is, don’t
make it easy for your enemies.
10. Never give up. Time may be your
The fall of Communism in the former
Soviet Union and Eastern Europe is perhaps one of the best examples of
how a seemingly invincible situation (the Communist government) can crumble
Closer to home a single ABC Four
Corners program, was the final straw that started the process leading
to the Fitzgerald Police Royal Commission in Queensland and the eventual
overthrow of the seemingly invincible Bjelke Peterson government.
Blowing the whistle on Police corruption
in Victoria may not be fashionable now, but that is not to say this will
always be the case. Even in our tightly controlled society, centres of
power shift and change. Some of these shifts may occur on a daily basis.
Success in exposing corruption, sometimes
doesn’t so much involve time as timing. Unfortunately it may take some
time to get the timing opportunities you may seek.
Since the mid 1980’s I’ve been effectively
black-banned by huge sections of the media in terms of reporting on my
anti-corruption activities, books, etc.
In the period 1992-3, journalist Fia
Cumming was attempting to publish in the Melbourne Sunday-Herald-Sun
newspaper a story about corruption involving NPWS officials Jack Giles,
Don Johnstone and others, Kangaroo meat processors, Sydney Mafia identities,
politicians, Judges and others. The editor of the paper had been leant
on to ensure the story never ran.
When the editor took a holiday, Cumming
sneaked it in and it got a three-page spread before the enemy had any idea
what had happened. We’d waited over 12 months to get the story in print!
NPWS officer Clive Bennett had unsuccessfully
attempted to expose the corruption in his department for nearly 20 years.
He’d attempted to go to the media but was black-banned, made long submissions
to ICAC and others but got nowhere. After hours and hours of tirelessly
documenting the rackets and getting nowhere a break came.
In 1993-5, Bennett gathered all the
documents and other proof of NPWS corruption that he had accumulated over
the previous 20 years. He put it together for someone to look at for the
At the end of 1996, much of this material
appeared in the book Smuggled-2. Murders, drug trafficking, wildlife
smuggling, court fixing and more! Although the guilty officials still haven’t
been prosecuted for what they did (nor are they likely to), at least for
the first time ever their rackets have been exposed to the public at large.
Merely exposing a corruption problem
is usually the first and necessary step towards ending it.
11. Many battles are won and lost
by the media. An intractable situation involving corruption may well resolve
itself overnight if the media get onto the bandwagon
This is unpleasant but true. Smuggled
was banned by NPWS when it was first released in 1993. The ban was illegal.
That fact had nothing to do with NPWS eventually being forced to lift the
ban. Instead it was widespread media coverage of the ban, that led the
government to lift the ban under duress.
In 1950-51 author Frank Hardy was charged
by the Victorian Government with criminal defamation over his book Power
without Glory, which gave a truthful account of corruption in this
state in the first half of this century. It is almost a certainty that
he would have been railroaded by the corrupt legal system had it not been
for the immense media publicity surrounding his case, making such an action
Some 43 years later, I was falsely
charged over the allegedly forged fax. Like the Hardy case, it was a blatant
attempt to railroad me via the corrupt Victorian legal system. Unlike the
Hardy case, I was unable to get any media publicity over the matter. As
a result I was wrongly declared guilty and went to jail (the matter is
under appeal to the High Court and at the time of writing there remains
a media black-ban on reporting the matter).
There was a time (and not so long ago),
that you could get a story (almost any story) into the newspapers, simply
by phoning them.
In the late 1970’s and early 1980’s
I was able to get front page stories in all major Sydney newspapers, simply
by making a phone call. This includes the Sydney Morning Herald,
the Daily Telegraph and the Australian. All stories were
about NPWS corruption, and in hindsight, although the material I gave them
was true and correct, I had little in the way of ‘hard evidence’ to back
up most of what I said. (It has long since been confirmed as fact elsewhere).
To do this sort of thing now, is effectively
impossible. The mainstream Australian media is perhaps more tightly controlled
now, than was the media in the former eastern Bloc countries. The means
by which this occurs is just slightly different. The mere fact we are told
that we have a free press, does not mean we have one.
Among the reasons why commercial media
generally shies away from reporting corruption is the ever present threat
that the government may choose to put them out of business. This can be
done by legislative means, withdrawing advertising or the notorious defamation
writs. These writs, also known as SLAPP writs are not even designed to
end up being heard in court. The overwhelming majority don’t get that far.
Rather the plaintiff aims to bankrupt the publisher, long before they go
to court. The tactic is extremely successful. The few times it works, serves
as sufficient warning to newspapers, TV and others, not to dare attempt
reporting corruption. Once an individual known to be corrupt has successfully
used the SLAPP method once to silence media inquiries into their corruption,
the person is usually left alone for the rest of their lives.
Police Commissioners are among the
best at using the threat of defamation to cover-up corruption. In Queensland,
Sir Terrence Lewis, successfully sued for defamation and got a large pay
out. How dare anyone even think he was corrupt? The later Fitzgerald Inquiry
proved he was corrupt and Lewis has since gone to jail on corruption charges.
He was also stripped of his knighthood which he’d ‘bought’.
Occasionally victims of government
misconduct and corruption are able to get (proper) and sometimes substantial
compensation payouts. Invariably these follow major media publicity. Many
people have served many years in jail for crimes they have never committed.
Most never get a cent in compensation.
In other words, if trying to expose
corruption, aim to get as much media as possible, even though the work
may sometimes appear to be hard slog. The enemy work hard to suppress and
control the media, simply because they know how powerful it is.
From my point of view, the more copies
of my corruption books get sold, the more the corruption is exposed (the
necessary first step to stopping it). I therefore door-knocked to sell
as many books as I could.
A common response from doubting customers
was ‘I’ve never heard about it in the papers, or seen it on TV...I’ll buy
it once I’ve read about it in the papers’. In other words these people
think that unless it’s reported in the media, it isn’t true.
These are often the same people who
will later swear black and blue that they don’t believe what they read
in the papers! However the first perception is true. Most people believe
what’s in the papers, regardless of what they say. Furthermore these is
no better way to sell a book than through media publicity.
The fact is, the best book (or anything
else) in the world wont sell unless people know about it. Mark Brandon
(Chopper) Read’s books have sold over 250,000 copies in Australia. They
are all time best sellers! A major part of this is the fact that the papers
repeatedly give his books triple page spreads and other promotion.
Virtually all best sellers have similar
‘form’. The enemy know this and that’s why they work so hard in controlling
the flow of publicity.
Besides selling books, anti-corruption
publicity is very dangerous for the corrupt because it brings other victims
into contact with one another.
In the case of the Smuggling
books, it seems that following every major piece of publicity I get, someone
from somewhere comes to me with new evidence of corruption in state wildlife
departments. In 1993, following publicity over the banning and unbanning
of Smuggled, over a dozen insiders (NPWS officers) came forward
with thousands of documents detailing corruption in their department.
Publicity in Adelaide in 1993-4 led
to a swag of new case material coming to me from that state, while similar
situations occurred elsewhere.
In 1996, following newspaper publicity,
TV and radio resulting from Smuggled-2 becoming ‘unbanned’ I was
contacted by 480 land holders in the Snowy Mountains who had effectively
been robbed and put out of business by corrupt officials from NPWS. Had
I not had the publicity, then I’d never have made contact with these people.
Contacts of these landholders later led to the uncovering of further NPWS
corruption as far afield as East Roseville in Sydney, Wallis Lakes and
elsewhere in New South Wales.
Considering that by government standards
NPWS is not terribly large, it is truly amazing how much corruption can
go on within a single department. This fact is instructive for those who
may wonder about how much corruption is elsewhere.
The above is but one example of how
the media is so powerful and useful a tool in combating corruption.
While the 'enemy' (such as bent Police),
appear to have virtually open access to the media, the corruption whistleblower
is against a brick wall most of the time. Persistence is perhaps the best
answer. Quite often a small story in an obscure place will lead to the
story being taken up by mainstream media at a later stage.
For widest reach, whistleblowers will
rely upon ‘media releases’ faxed to as many media as possible. A friendly
journalist is also useful, but quite often may be of little use, due to
problems higher in the newspaper bureaucracy. In the media there are a
number of ‘checks and balances’ to ensure that ‘hot’ stories don’t get
reported. Because of the uncertainty of it all, and the strong element
of luck at times, persistence is a key ingredient of success in the long
One of the great scams involving newspapers
is the letters to the editor. Most print these. For the uninitiated, many
newspapers often have these written by staff members under assumed names
and then printed in the papers as if readers had written them. For them
this is just another part of their manufacturing of public opinion. Papers
are well aware that making public opinion is one of their key roles. Whether
it be softening up the public for a new tax, new law or whatever, the methods
Without making accusations, I suggest
you look at the strong differences between the letters pages in The Age
and The Herald-Sun, to see how the letters
printed strongly reflect each paper’s editorial line.
However contrary to what newspaper
staff like the public to think, not many people actually write letters
to the newspapers, making the odds of having a letter to the editor published
fairly high. Now if you’re the Commissioner of Police or similar and you
write a letter to the newspaper, you can guarantee that they will print
it and print it in full without altering a single word. For the rest of
us mere mortals, things are not as good.
Statistically speaking if you send
a letter to the editor, you’ll have a one in three chance of it being printed
(in some form). I say some form, because many newspaper editors take it
upon themselves to butcher perfectly legible and coherent letters and turn
them into unintelligible muck, while most take to letters with some form
of scalpel. One in three is the crude average I’ve achieved for over 200
letters published over the last 15 years. Now to boost this rate, there
is nothing to stop you sending the same or similar letter to several papers,
and with modern computers this is a really simple task. Typically I’ll
send a given letter to about 7 papers and it is typical for it to show
up in 2-3.
As a rule, smaller outlets, like local
papers, have a higher publication rate than major metropolitan papers,
but even they have close to a one in three strike rate. I’ve found that
if you send too many letters to a given paper they’ll get sick of you and
not print your letters, so an easy way out is to write under assumed names
(usually a friends), so the editors don’t get wind that all the letters
are from the same place. You are best to use a friends name because some
papers make a phone check of authors to check that they are in fact bona-fide.
By doing this, I’ve been able to get
three or four letters printed on the same page of a given newspaper on
a given day and no one was wiser for it. I did this during the I.D. card
debate, when the newspapers were backing my line opposing the cards and
printing all my letters. There was one letter I had printed in the Australian
three times! I just recycled it every few months and they kept printing
An unfortunate thing I’ve also learnt
about letters to newspapers is that the more stupid and idiotic the letter
is, the higher it’s chances of being printed. So those of you who wonder
why it seems that only idiots write to papers, I can assure you that this
is not the case. It’s just that the decent letters aren’t printed!
In the past decade I sent a series
of letters to the Herald-Sun under the assumed name of Wayne Kerr
(Wanker), and on one occasion the letters editor for the paper rang the
phone number (my home number) and confirmed the name. (When he asked for
Wayne Kerr, I said ‘speaking’ and the rest was history).
All the letters were printed, as were
follow-up letters under the names Isaac Hunt (I’s-a-cunt) and Sidney Best
(Sydney is best). The contents of all these letters were rubbish. They
bagged Melbourne saying the place was a hole, had crappy weather, Sydney
was better and so on. The paper also printed those letters from Melbournians
in reply stating that Melbourne was a great place to do things like ‘have
a coffee on South-bank’ and so on.
At the same time, the letters editors
were refusing to print a series of letters from myself and others with
legitimate and constructive comments about Police corruption!
It is commonly said that no one ever
went bankrupt under-estimating peoples intelligence. This applies to the
newspapers. Bums, tits and smut, tends to sell more than in-depth corruption
stories. So even before worrying about the suppression problems, getting
these stories up in the media is a hard ask.
Besides newspapers and other mainstream
media, non-mainstream media should not be ignored. You’d be amazed at how
many people read little-known magazines and specialist publications. To
get an idea of the scale, just check on the contents of a few letterboxes
in your street, or look at all the people browsing magazines in your local
newsagent. Smaller (non-mainstream) publications are always easier to get
a story up in (so long as it’s appropriate) than the major publications
like metropolitan newspapers.
While I struggle to get accurate wildlife
smuggling and corruption stories printed in mainstream media, ‘industry
publications’ such as those printed by reptile and bird organisations now
actively seek such articles from me. They also push my smuggling books
like there is no tomorrow!
Radio and TV, are substantially different
media to deal with from the print media, but on the whole, do not tend
to deal with corruption-type material as often. The bums, tits and smut
factor is even worse here. When they do report on corruption, their reports
are usually so sanitised and mixed up so as to be effectively worthless.
For TV, this defect is largely compensated for in terms of it’s huge audience
Finally, not all journalists are on
your side. I’ve lost count of how many times people have been bled dry
by journalists, only to have all their evidence handed to the enemy for
their use and then if and when a story is printed a negative spin is put
onto the corruption whistleblower.
Another problem with journalists is
that there are a lot of time wasters among them. It is not uncommon to
find one who pretends to be interested in your story and seems to have
a never ending demand for documents and other material. But in the end
nothing is printed.
When a story is butchered, the blame
is most often with the journalist, not the subeditors or company lawyers,
even though these latter two are usually blamed. You see they are the faceless
ones who can be blamed for everything. As an outsider, it is often almost
impossible to identify the culprit. Furthermore, trying to do so is usually
a waste of time and a distraction from the main game.
The most common excuse for not printing
corruption stories if the excuse that the company lawyers wont allow it,
for fear of defamation writs or similar. While this is sometimes a very
real threat, the excuse is more often just that, a lame excuse not to print
something that upsets the status quo.
Corruption whistleblowers often approach
newspapers when a charge or charges is pending against them. Almost routinely
an uncooperative newspaper will use the excuse of ‘subjudicae’ (before
the courts) not to print anything. The claim is that it would be illegal
to print material as it may prejudice a court case.
In the real world, we know that Judges
and Magistrates are very, very concerned with what appears in the papers
about cases involving them and what they may or may not do. However in
the eyes of the law, Judges and Magistrates are perfect and their judgement
will never be affected by rubbish printed in papers or on TV. Therefore
for them the subjudicae laws don’t apply. As over 99% of court cases are
in front of Judges and Magistrates only, the subjudicie excuse not to print
material is usually a lie. Furthermore you’ll find that most journalists
know this fact and yet many still peddle the excuse whenever it suits them.
The internet is becoming an increasingly
important form of media. It is now a part of the media battleground. Government
officials know this and actively attempt to monitor and censor views they
find objectionable. This is code for anything that exposes their corruption.
Detailing how to best spread information
(usually via websites with many incoming links and priority on major search
engines) is beyond the scope of this book. However they are an effective
means to get your message across and at relatively little cost. Like with
mainstream media, you are competing with the bad guys in terms of reaching
your audience, etc., and the government, corrupt, etc., will always have
more resources than you.
Most government departments now employ
staff to do nothing else other than write internet propaganda for them
to be posted on their websites, while the same or other staff do nothing
much else other than spend their working day surfing the net for material
they wish to have wiped/censored, responded to in other ways and so on.
12. Try all options (provided they
are legal and ethical)
There is an old saying ‘nothing ventured
nothing gained’. Even the most unlikely means of exposing corruption may
ultimately be the one that works.
Lateral thinking will often do wonders.
To expose Police corruption selling
The Hoser Files, I adopted all ‘usual’ book selling procedures.
I tried to get the papers and TV to report on the book, but the Police
stopped that. They stopped my book distributor from getting it into the
bookshops in Victoria. In short they had me beat. By selling the books
door to door, I was able to pay my bills and at the same time sell books
on a scale I had only previously dreamed of. So far at least, the Police
have been relatively powerless to stop me. On a state level, the book is
now technically a best-seller.
Smuggled-2 are now being sold in the same way.
The internet (as a means of publicity)
is also useful. It is yet another form of media. Using the idea of try
all options, I attempted to sell my books (expose corruption), via the
world wide web. Within a matter of weeks, solely via the internet, a Canadian
publisher I’d met via my website commenced negotiations to sell all my
books in North America, using books reprinted there.
One thing that will often make the
Australian government act quickly is pressure from other countries. If
appropriate, exposing Australia’s corruption elsewhere may ultimately assist
in solving the problem locally.
Publicity I generated in Singapore,
through their mainstream papers over a series of falsified charges by corrupt
Victorian Police against "NAME SUPPRESSED" led to pressure being applied to ‘back
off’. How much this influenced his ultimate acquittal of all the charges
is hard to determine. (I also collected a load of death threats over the
In terms of trying all alternatives,
this also applies to how to get media interest. ‘Events’ are an excellent
way to get publicity for a cause, because when the media report the event,
the cause invariably becomes part of the report.
In Sydney, the local branch of Whistleblower’s
Australia blocked off a road in inner suburban Balmain and held a huge
street party. The result was widespread media publicity, hundreds of new
members and supporters and much higher profile for the fight against government
corruption. No faxed press release could have generated the same response.
13. Always adopt the moral high
ground, regardless of how low the corrupt enemy may go (and you’ll never
ceased to be amazed at how low they go)
In stating the above, I am advising
you to often go against your instincts. If a Policeman bashes you, don’t
fight back, (by all means run away if that’s an option). Two wrongs won’t
make a right.
I’ve lost count of how many times a
Policeman has bashed someone, the person fights back and then is charged
with assault. Although in fairness it’s common to be charged by Police
in Victoria for assault for doing nothing more than breathing!
Legally there are plenty of means to
expose corruption and defend yourself against wrong. If you drop your guard
for one moment and break a law, it is as sure as night follows day, you’ll
be picked up for it by the enemy. This is upsetting but true.
While it is impossible to be 100% within
the law for every day of your life (you probably wouldn’t even know half
the laws that exist!), it is desirable you remain as lawful as you can
be. Furthermore by doing things the ‘correct way’ at all times, particularly
when in the act of exposing corruption, the target bureaucrats will find
it that much harder to discredit you or your arguments. Furthermore your
proper conduct will further act to highlight and contrast the improper
conduct of the target bureaucrats.
For example when bashed by about half
a dozen odd Vicroads officers on 7/11/89, I never so much as raised a hand
against the men. This made it effectively impossible for them to counter
sue me with assault. There is no doubt the men would have taken that option
if they could have. Furthermore, the tape recording (that I escaped with)
made their unprovoked assault that much worse, in view of my refusal to
take part in the attack.
14. When overwhelmed by the tasks
ahead, always prioritize and do tasks by urgency and importance. this does
not mean procrastinate
This is essentially a common sense
piece of advice. However I find most people do not adopt it and suffer
as a consequence. Self discipline is the answer.
I find most people are good at wasting
time but not at getting things done. I’ve lost count of how many people
I know who claim to be too busy to get things done and then I find out
they spent a whole week doing nothing other than watching TV!
In order to get things done, including
fighting corruption, I suggest making lists and then sticking to them.
By also adopting good work practices, including filing methods, information
retrieval systems and so on, a bit of extra work up front can result in
massive time savings down line.
For example, after I have had an adverse
encounter with Police, a file is created and all relevant materials are
placed in it. If and when a summons arrives, it can be matched with the
other material and a case file is already virtually completed. If a summons
doesn’t come, the file can be either be archived or thrown out. Note here
that I rarely if ever throw out corruption related material.
A person who simply dumps such material
anywhere, may waste a huge amount of time simply looking for it, if and
when a case comes up.
All this gets even more involved when
there are up to 50 cases on at once (mine and other people’s), with large
numbers needing to be cross-referenced with one another, the same individuals
in each case, etc.
Although everyone needs time to relax,
it is easier to relax, when you know your most pressing tasks are done.
Therefore, when I have a break of a few days, rather than relax first and
do my tasks at the end of the break, I do the tasks first and then relax
after. In other words, don’t procrastinate.
Such simple habits can make a massive
difference to my work performance in terms of getting tasks done and fighting
A final thing to watch for is doing
unnecessary work. This for example includes unnecessary preparation for
Say for example you have a hostile
encounter with Police and expect to be charged with something. There is
no point in going to great lengths preparing for a case (other than routine
filing of materials), until the summons is actually received. Otherwise
if a summons is not received a whole lot of work may have been done for
Another scenario is that charges are
laid and then later dropped. This has happened to me many times. Therefore
I find it sensible to delay the detailed preparatory work for a court case
until fairly close to the hearing date. In my case, I have a constant backlog
of things to do in terms of publishing projects and similar. That is not
to say I am constantly running behind, just that I never run out of things
to get done. Thus if time can be saved by not doing a task, then this is
a route worth taking. Nobody likes doing unnecessary work for nothing,
so besides prioritizing work in terms of importance, prioritizing in terms
of timing is also worth doing.
15. Don’t spread yourself too thinly
This is the most common downfall for
corruption fighters. If they don’t do this to themselves, then their enemies
will usually help them.
Too often people will take on too many
tasks and then fail at all. You will not be able to save the world, so
don’t bother trying. Best you only concentrate on a part of your part.
Then you’ve got a chance. This will involve you having to say no to other
people when they ask for help and so on. Many people have difficulty in
saying no and I am one of them.
Corrupt bureaucrats, who are often
paid to do nothing other than harass whistleblowers will also help to ensure
you get bogged down with many battles on many fronts. In my case, the Police
went bezerk and booked me for falsified traffic offences at every opportunity.
The idea, was that I’d get bogged down defending them in the courts and
therefore have less time to direct my attacks towards them.
When it was feasible, I paid the fines
and avoided a fight, even though I was legally in the right. The problem
is, that if you take on all the injustices that affect you, you’ll not
be able to concentrate properly on the most important ones.
Perhaps the biggest mistake I ever
made was attempting to pursue the perjury of Police officers Keating and
Daffy through the courts. My failed attempt to beat a traffic charge, not
only cost me a lot of extra time and money, but also got me imprisoned
for four months. Sometimes, when it comes to corruption and injustices,
it is better to cut your losses on one front in order to be able to concentrate
on others. Right now, I can state for a fact, that if I’d abandoned the
County Court appeal for the Blashki case at the same time that I abandoned
the other four in late 1993, I’d be at least $60,000 richer!.
Be warned -
fighting corruption does not come cheap!
Are you a whistleblower? - Legal Statement for would-be whistleblowers or those who wish to claim such a title.