August 9 2005
I would bring a complaint against The Australian newspaper.
The complaint concerns two inter-related articles published on July 20 and July 21 2005.
The articles were entitled "Top Academic Accused Of Neo-Nazi Links" (July 20) and "Racist Professor Cautioned But Launches New Attack" (July 21).
Both articles were written by Greg Roberts who is employed by the newspaper’s Brisbane office. Copies are provided herewith (Folio A).
Since the material objected to is essentially the same in each article, I am filing a single complaint.
Avowedly and in various ways, I object as untrue the statement (confusedly not given as an ‘opinion’ of the author, but rather presented as a fact) - that I am a "prominent neo-nazi".
Necessary Steps Taken.
I read the July 20 article on that day and took immediate objection to the description of myself as a "prominent neo-Nazi".
I drafted a letter to the editor and despatched it via e-mail. A copy is duly provided (Folio B).
On the same day, I telephoned the letters’ editor who informed me that the letter was "being considered", but had first been referred to the "lawyers".
The letter did not appear on July 21. Rather a second article appeared and the description of me as a "prominent neo-nazi" was re-stated.
I directed a second letter to the editor. A copy is duly provided (Folio B).
I also forwarded a special letter to the Editor of The Australian, to the manager of its’ Brisbane office and to the legal office of Nationwide News Pty Ltd. A copy is duly provided (Folio C).
On July 22, I received a reply from the Editorial Legal Adviser. I was told that the newspaper "stands by the contents of the articles" and "declines to publish" a letter from me (Folio C).
Since I have exhausted all reasonable means to have either a letter published (or some other action taken), I must complain to the Australian Press Council.
In making this complaint I shall identify the sections of the Statement of Principles breached as principles one, two, five and eight.
The Australian is bound by high responsibility. To brand someone a "neo-nazi" in a mass circulation newspaper is as onerous as saying that he is a paedophile or other sexual criminal. Although my criticisms of neo-nazism are rather different (as I would most definitely expect) to those of The Australian newspaper, I take their comment as ‘fighting words’, highly offensive and a possible incitement to violence. That the newspaper stands by its’ words must mean it has access to some resource or file (undoubtedly of commentary by my most extreme critics who are themselves often propagandists and / or disinformationists) which in its’ collective consideration implies I am beyond the pale of polite discourse. Because I am in this sense an outsider to the openly espoused liberal-globalist politics of the newspaper, the aggressive denunciation is considered moral and fair. This shows in operation Australia’s partitioned political-discourse: all which upholds liberal-globalist values and ideology is morally good; whatever mobilises against it is evil, racist – and in the case of certain activists, neo-nazism.
The Competency Of The Journalist, Editorial Responsibility And A Personal Question Of Professional Integrity Towards The Complainant.
The material contained in the articles concerned issues and events arising from matters occurring in Sydney. Mr. Roberts is attached to The Australian’s Brisbane office. Whilst the state of modern technology hardly precludes a writer in Brisbane composing articles about Sydney affairs, the choice of Mr. Roberts was hardly accidental. The editorial directive could only really have been to locate a person with expertise (sic) in the areas of racism, putative neo-nazi organisations and anti-racist groups. The choice of Mr. Roberts was reasonably made because of his knowledge gained in these subjects in 1999 – 2000 when he authored a series of pieces for the Sydney Morning Herald on neo-nazis and "Ku Klux Klansmen" who were supposedly operating inside the Pauline Hanson One Nation party (PHON). He also wrote further articles over time on potential "Y2K terrorism" and anti-Aboriginal activism, likely to be carried out or being carried out, by the same persons.
I do not believe The Australian will claim other than that Mr. Roberts has professional expertise in this area. I do not believe Mr. Roberts can assert anything less.
The competency of Mr. Roberts in this field has been publicly challenged by me. In 1999 when his stories about the neo-nazis appeared (the neo-nazis were dressed as KKK activists on this occasion), I set out to expose his stories as fraudulent both on his part and on the part of the neo-nazis. In that regard, I have published against Mr. Roberts. In 2001, I posted printed material to Mr. Roberts (Folio D) which included material composed against his position.
I can refer to several mentions of Mr. Roberts in my writing:
(a) Swastika Briefing. This pamphlet was circulated by me in 2000 and up until the present. A copy is provided (Folio D). Trenchant criticism is made of Mr. Roberts. Although he may choose to deny it, this was one of the documents posted to him.
(b) In a section of the Internet pamphlet, Inside The Kangaroo Reich: Australian Neo-Nazis Under The Microscope 1986 – 2000 (in part nine, sub-part three, dealing with Roberts’s ‘KKK in One Nation’ fairytale).
The text is available at: www.alphalink.com.au/~radnat/kangarooreich/partone.html
(c) At the Inverell Forum in March 2001, I spoke against Mr. Roberts. The text of this speech is available at: www.alphalink.com.au/~radnat/kangarooreich/partfive.html
I submit to the Australian Press Council that Mr. Roberts is reasonably aware of the criticism offered of him by me. It is unlikely he told his editor – at least at first.
To sum up these documents, I have said Mr. Roberts’s journalism is constructed falsely and was designed in the earlier years to create an issue of neo-nazi activism vis a vis a Right group (PHON) where in fact the neo-nazis had contrived the supposed issue such that ‘links’ could be found and destabilising propaganda created. I have said that Mr. Roberts must have appreciated that all the ‘evidence’ essentially rested upon the ‘word’ of a few peculiar people about whose falsehoods extensive documentation – already existed. No reasonable journalist carrying out an interview with such persons could have gone away believing in their truthfulness whether he had read contrary material or not. It is disingenuous in the extreme to argue that their words were ‘reported’ because they said what they said. Of course, both Mr. Roberts and the newspaper might also say that much of the counter-material was material issued by, or written by, me - and any editor was entitled to ignore it at any point. The problem is that it is extensive, cogent, documented, rational and widely disseminated. It is not the issue here whether the material engendered against Mr. Roberts was true (although I say it was), but rather that it was published and acted upon by me in recent years and that Mr. Roberts knew this.
For Mr. Roberts to write about me with any objectivity in any area is highly problematical; the editor failed to exercise proper supervision over his writer in the first article. Any reply now made by the newspaper for Mr. Roberts should address the obvious truth that there is an unfriendly ‘relationship’ between us. To believe that a journalist would necessarily refuse to exercise the impulse to ‘get square’ cannot be accepted. The journalist would necessarily attest to his editor that the articles were true, and he must have done so after the first one was published and my protest was made. Since no reasonable editor would carry on with the "prominent neo-nazi" angle once the ‘relationship’ between me and Mr. Roberts was established, the editor must have accepted his explanation of this relationship and per the accuracy of his material. He must also have consulted the newspaper’s general file on me with materials composed by said propagandists and disinformationists. There could be no negotiation.
Breach: Principle One.
The newspaper should have known of the relationship between myself and Mr. Roberts at the first instance and when it failed to check the accuracy of his material against me, it breached the code. Once the relationship was established, the newspaper carried on, making it then culpable for the various breaches as follow. Essentially, the newspaper does not care for the truth.
Breaches Per ‘Prominent Neo-Nazi’.
The newspaper says two things in its’ statement that I am a "prominent neo-nazi". First it says I am a "neo-nazi" and second that I am "prominent" in that regard.
I say that I am not a neo-nazi and therefore can hardly be prominent in the profession of this ideology and politics. I say (as below) that the overwhelming balance of the material supports my statement.
In making this claim, the newspaper did not interview me. Although it would most certainly have been the case I would have refused to speak to Mr. Roberts, it was still possible to have the matter put to me by another journalist in some way. Obviously, the newspaper (and Mr. Roberts) did not wish to confer with me. I was given no right to reply to some assertion of fact that is read by hundreds of thousands of Australians. In not allowing me to object in any way to the claim, the newspaper has denied me any right of reply. It was not simply it refused to publish either of the two letters sent but it failed also to offer to print an edited version of either. It considers its’ allegation as a ‘fact’ to which I have no right or reply.
This totalitarian mindset is typical of the very Nazi ethos it would decry elsewhere.
Breaches: Principle One, Principle Two, Principle Eight.
Breach: The Falsely Crafted Words Around Mr. Luke Connors’s Interview (July 20)
The newspaper says in the July 20 article: "Mr. Connors admitted the League
was influenced by prominent neo-Nazi Jim Saleam who was ……"
I do not complain specifically that Mr. Roberts has falsified his conversation with Mr. Connors. But I call in aid Mr. Connors’s denial that the conversation was accurately recorded. At no point did Mr. Connors agree that he was "influenced by prominent neo-Nazi Jim Saleam…". He does agree that he was asked about me but at no point was the matter of whether I was a neo-nazi discussed. Mr. Connors has supplied a letter to me about that. (Folio E)
It follows that Mr. Roberts misrepresented the interview with Mr. Connors. I would expect nothing better from him. It was Mr. Roberts’s opinion as expressed in the article that I was a "prominent neo-nazi". Mr. Roberts has used the conversation with Mr. Connors to suggest obliquely that it is he who said the words. I say that is a reasonable inference, but even if this is not accepted by the Australian Press Council, the style is ambiguous. This is a proof of his method. If he said to the editor that Mr. Connors said the words then he was deceiving the newspaper. I do not labour that. I would argue that it shows merely (sic) that the newspaper did not exercise proper editorial control. Further, I am not sure exactly why Mr. Roberts decided to feature me at all – unless it is part of the "links" game he invariably offers as proof of substantive connections between particular ‘right-wing’ political figures..
(If I may enter an aside to demonstrate the method, Mr. Roberts could author: "Jim Saleam In Saddam Hussein Connection"; after all I have met the former Iraqi charge d’affaires - who has met President Hussein.)
Breach: Principle Five: fact and opinion was not distinguishable ; relevant facts (my knowing Mr. Connors and our inter-relationship) was misrepresented. This material was offered to collaterally sustain the "prominent neo-nazi charge" which it cannot do.
The Essential Issue Is A Matter Of Fact. What Is Neo-Nazism? Is The Complainant A Neo-Nazi?
Neo-nazism is a specific thing. I aver that this term is used sloppily and as a term of derision usually from the Trotskyite Left and also from journalists. Proof that it is used improperly comes from Mr. Roberts himself. In an article in The Weekend Australian (July 23 - 24), entitled "Neo-Nazis In Bid To Drive Out Africa Refugees", he plays a game of semantics.
He says in the very first paragraph, "Right-wing extremists in Australia with strong ties to the international neo-nazi movement …." - are doing certain actions. Obviously, he uses the terms somewhat interchangeably. (Folio F) One wonders why these particular persons would bother with the neo-nazis, who they are, what this ‘international neo-nazi movement’ really is, how he knows – and so forth. If pressed, I am sure Mr. Roberts will fold. This is all ‘opinion’ with no proof. If these people are neo-nazis, it should be said that this is what they are. To invent further ideological categories serves no purpose.
This is not accurate or proper but it shows either the disorderly nature of Mr. Roberts’s thought on the Right in Australia – or his wish to deceive readers into some script best understood by him. The newspaper is at fault in not disciplining its’ writer – but that another issue. I call this point in aid merely to show Mr. Roberts is neither professional nor expert in the subject of the neo-nazis in Australia. Basically, he is not really sure what they are; but then too, he is not really desirous of finding out.
There are reasonably three ways the newspaper could define neo-nazism (as below). The Council should ask them to do so because to a large extent, this case rests on this question of fact. I understand completely that the Council is not a tribunal that regulates historical fact or compiles data on the personal histories of complainants etc to issue judgements on matters of pure fact. However, the Statement of Principles canvasses the matter of accuracy, falsity, harmful damage and opinion. I would suggest that its’ processes should be commonsense ones.
Further, I would submit to the Australian Press Council that the only one valid method in a matter-of-fact-dispute must be the one which is based upon objective forensic fact, upon the scientific historical method applied through the prism of commonsense..
I say that I am not a neo-nazi, neither prominent nor otherwise. Whilst the onus is on the newspaper to explain itself, not on the victim to prove the contrary, I happily provide the following expansive detail. But first,: definitions.
The newspaper could say all or any of the following:
Saleam is a neo-nazi because he is some sort of "right-wing extremist" (for the current purposes I will not deny the "right-wing extremist" construct), who is concerned with matters of race and immigration and is militant (and has been militant) in the profession of his position.
Saleam is a neo-nazi because certain of his enemies say he is one and they ‘understand’ him that way and they have said this for a long time. This gives him a ‘reputation’.
Saleam is a neo-nazi because he matches the academic standards that might be imposed in finding that established.
The first has a high degree of elasticity and is so imprecise it could fit too many persons. The second is a circular argument based on the substantive needs of the self-interested and motivated campaigners. The third would be an utterly false conclusion once we review this literature.
I accept the newspaper might say I am putting up a straw-man representation of their views. Then clearly, the newspaper must say what a neo-nazi is, or the term could be applied unfairly, inaccurately and in a damaging way to anyone everyday. Obviously, the newspaper does not wish to be seen this way. Since they say I am one, I want to rightly know how this conclusion was arrived at.
(i) Self-Presentation At The Australian Press Council
As the Council is aware from its’ records, I have appeared several times before it and have made numerous complaints. It is within the knowledge of the Council that many of these complaints concerned neo-nazis in Australia. The Council knows that I have alleged that many newspapers have ran false stories, that the neo-nazis are frauds and political non-entities as must be reasonably known to the writers involved, that there were and are security services’ links and Liberal Party connections, that they have harassed me personally – and necessarily that I do not sympathise with them ideologically or politically. On occasion I have complained against newspapers which have tried to link me, or organizations I have been active in, with these neo-nazis.
While self-corroboration is hardly the best test, it is in this case, suggestive. For Mr. Roberts to assert that I am a "prominent neo-nazi" is a claim in contradiction to conduct witnessed by the Council. It follows then that Mr. Roberts must have evidence which the Council has not ‘viewed’. It must also follow that I am a remarkable actor who says and acts against something for years, but secretly embraces it. I am sure the newspaper does not argue that its’ staff can read my mind. The application of commonsense principles must follow: it must be clear that I have a publicly expressed aversion to organised (sic) neo-nazism in Australia and have argued I have contrary views and have performed contrary actions.
The newspaper should reasonably know this. It is its’ business to know this and if this sort of material detail was not held by the newspaper, then it was remiss. It should not be accepted that neither Mr. Roberts nor The Australian were unaware of these circumstances.
(b) My Academic Writing
I have composed material in three major University supervised primary documents concerning (amongst many other matters of ‘Right-wing’ politics) neo-nazism.
These documents should have been consulted by Mr. Roberts. If he consulted them and wrote what he did, he has distorted the facts. If he did not consult them, then he was remiss.
I would maintain that I am ‘expert’ in the matter of defining neo-nazism. My doctoral thesis does that in The Other Radicalism: An Inquiry Into Contemporary Australian Extreme Right Ideology Politics And Organization 1975 – 1995 at Chapter Six.
A Master’s thesis, American Nazism In The Context Of The American Extreme Right 1960 – 1975 provides ideological assessment of the ‘ideology’ at several points; one argument was persuasive enough to have been adopted by Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke in his Black Sun: Aryan Cults, Esoteric Nazism And The Politics Of Identity at pp. 28-29 (Folio G).
British Neo-Fascist Politics 1960 – 1975 also defines neo-nazism at a couple of places in Chapter Two.
These three documents are on the Internet at www.alphalink.com.au/~radnat
Essentially, I say: neo-nazism is a doctrine with a core composed of a neo-ariosophical or occult racism which extols a perfect ‘Aryan’ race of light and order, born into a racial-dream-time-civilization but thereafter assailed by evil and corruption. It has a set of typological special concerns spun around that core: a white race internationalism which precludes a national application on issues of race with a superior white race being itself a universal-nation; a Hitler cult with Hitler a racial-messiah; a Jewish conspiracy theory; a particular revisionist approach in the history of the Second World War that extols the pure virtue of the Axis, the ‘Holocaust’ is factually ‘denied’; a cult of the martyr Rudolf Hess has him a ‘witness’ to the Hitlerian truth; an anti-Christian pagan fascination with Indo-Aryan pre-history develops pseudo-warrior values. Given that neo-nazism’s core is an occult-racist idea, its’ forms express themselves with rabid formulae not really applied to the problems of political mobilisation.
In various ways, this analytical position is assumed by Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke. As my doctoral thesis in particular reveals, I have built in some places upon other scholarship. Hence my views do not drop from heaven. My academic views are part of a corpus of inquiry.
The Australian is obliged to say that I am these things. If I am not – then I am not a neo-nazi.
It cannot be accepted that a cobbled together use of buzz-words like ‘White Australia’ or ‘race’ from anything written by me may echo something authored by a local neo-nazi. An odd echo of some singular point similarly argued would place Jonestown theology on the same plane as the thought of the Orthodox Patriarch, or Fabianism on the same wavelength as communism, or Catholic Social Thought on the same level as fascism etc.
Obviously, neo-nazism is a very particular thing. I say that I do not believe in occult-racism; I do not revere Hitler; I do not believe in racial superiority doctrine. I do not believe Jews are running a monolithic conspiracy. I do not believe that the Axis powers in the Second World War were benign. I do not have any doubt that the occultism of Nazism led to the idea that Jews and the Slavic section of the white race should be either eliminated or decimated and I can see that steps were taken to do these things. I do not believe that Indo-Aryan pre-history is relevant to modernity other than as folk history. And I note that Nazism was allied to Japanese imperialism whose claims on Australia, Hitler condoned. If The Australian can show otherwise to any of my assertions, they are welcome to present their case.
I say that I do believe any number of things around these subjects (as a student of history) and hold non-liberal views on some of this subject matter. However, I have written comments in various texts dissecting the ‘opinions’ of the neo-nazis on these historical questions. Nothing I have written has ever justified these opinions. If The Australian can show otherwise, they are welcome to present their case
My doctoral thesis also created a typological definition of the ‘Australian Extreme Right’: radical-nationalism, neo-nazism, populist-monarchism, radical populism. I discussed myself in the first category. The examiners considered this proper. Surely The Australian is not saying that it knows better?
(c) An Academic Places Me In A ‘Right-wing Category’ Which Excludes Neo-Nazism
I call in aid sections of a doctoral thesis A History Of The Australian Extreme Right 1950 – 2000, authored by Peter Charles Henderson. This thesis is available on the Internet.
Mr. Henderson had provided typological descriptions of the "Extreme Right". This thesis did not locate that I was a neo-nazi.
If Mr. Roberts consulted it and wrote what he did, he has distorted the facts. If he did not consult it, then he was remiss.
Again, Mr. Henderson’s argument was accepted by his examiners and The Australian must argue that their judgement was wrong.
(d) Polemical Writing Defines And Criticises Neo-Nazis In Australia
I call in aid the contents of the Web page, Inside The Kangaroo Reich. The Web address is www.alphalink.com.au/~radnat/kangarooreich/index.html
This material at innumerable points explains what the different factions in the micro-world of the neo-nazis do and think in Australia and it encourages ‘Australian nationalists’ to organise against them.
All this effort is at contradiction to my status as a prominent neo-nazi.
This material is available on the Internet. If Mr. Roberts consulted it and wrote what he did, he has distorted the facts. If he did not consult it, then he was remiss. The newspaper failed in its’ responsibilities.
(e) The British-Israel Fraud Case And Neo-Nazism
I supply herewith a letter from Mr. Leon Gregor of the British-Israel World Federation In New South Wales Limited (Folio H).
He refers to the attempt of Mr. Roberts’s pocket neo-nazis to take over and loot his religious movement.
Mr. Gregor became acquainted with these neo-nazis who infiltrated his movement to steal over $500,000 in money and property. He says that I rendered him and his colleagues some assistance in ridding his movement of these neo-nazis.
This behaviour on my part is at contradiction to my status as a prominent neo-nazi. Mr. Gregor notes that at all points of time in our relationship I have condemned the neo-nazi movement in every way.
Much of the background to this information is available on the Internet and could have been checked. If Mr. Roberts consulted it and wrote what he did, he has distorted the facts. If he did not consult it, then he was remiss. And the newspaper failed its’ responsibilities.
(f) My Dealings With Paige Taylor Of The Australian (Perth)
In 2004 – 2005, I have had extensive dealings with Ms. Paige Taylor of The Australian’s Perth office.
Much of this correspondence is provided (Folio I).
Seemingly, Ms. Taylor had no difficulty accepting that I was not a "prominent neo-nazi".
The Australian on this material alone should reconsider its’ position on this complaint.
(g) Other Dealings With The Australian
In 2004, I had other dealings with The Australian newspaper. I forwarded a letter to the editor of the newspaper (unpublished) (Folio J) and was quoted as an expert in the matters of Australian neo-nazism, albeit of an earlier 1960’s/1970’s manifestation of the ideology (Folio J).
It follows that The Australian has, in certain ways, been in dialogue with me. The Roberts’s article was a break in that dialogue.
The Australian on this material should reconsider its’ position on this complaint.
(g) The Radical-Nationalist Tradition In Australia.
For over 25 years, I have moved in an ideology/politics called ‘radical-nationalism’. I became publicly known for being an exponent of this politics in 1980 when I was a candidate for an organization called ‘Australian National Alliance’. This radical-nationalism was derived from the traditions of historical Australian nationalism, republicanism and labour. The Henderson PhD is already referred to because it placed me there. I also call in aid Andrew Moore’s earlier work The Right Road?: A History Of Right-Wing Politics In Australia ( pp. 120-123) which placed me there also.
There is no evidence that I am a prominent neo-nazi. There is only evidence that I am involved in a movement that is exclusive of the neo-nazis and which has been targeted by them on certain occasions. There is only data that shows a very sour relationship with the neo-nazis, including those individuals uncritically reported in the past by Mr. Roberts. There is evidence that I hold views that The Australian newspaper and its’ journalist do not approve of and these views include a commitment to the defence of Australia’s identity as a European one. That is obviously why the newspaper wants to connect me with neo-nazism.
Summation Of The Breaches
This is a special case. It is a special case because it confronts the politics of smear and misrepresentation carried on by a journalist with the sanction of a newspaper. It is a case where objective fact confronts distortion and inaccuracy.
The Council should ask of The Australian how it determined that the complainant was a neo-nazi and then how was that I was a "prominent" one. This will establish the spurious nature of the newspaper’s position.
The Council should view for itself as much of the material cited above on neo-nazism as it reasonably can (albeit with the time constraints the members endure). It should establish that the material exists and does say what it says. This can be balanced against the newspaper’s evidence.
The Council should then address the breaches. It is clear that fact and opinion were not differentiated in the main offending text and that the journalist distorted his conversation with Mr. Connors to gain (sic) corroboration. It is demonstrable that that I was not permitted to reply to the charge either before it was published – or after. The allegation is not sustained on the totality of the evidence and this was material the newspaper either knew about or should have known about. The newspaper simply did not check; checking its’ dirt-file was not enough.
The Council can only conclude that the newspaper refused to alter its’ position thereby misrepresenting the complainant absolutely.
I look forward to the urgent intervention of the Australian Press Council and the speedy resolution of this complaint.