What if you slept? And what if, in your sleep, you dreamed? And what if, in your dream, you went to heaven and there plucked a strange and beautiful flower? And what if, when you awoke, you had the flower in your hand? Ah, what then?
Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Biographia Literaria
Our ability to live together in physical reality depends on the fact that we all perceive reality in somewhat the same way. We have, for example, agreed that the sky is blue on a clear day; if someone insisted that it was red and green checked, we should not believe him or her and longer. S/he takes us out into the yard, eager to show us that it is just as s/he says. We see only the ordinary blue sky, but s/he insists it is red and green checked. A doctor is consulted and concludes that s/he is experiencing a sensory illusion, in this case a visual illusion, more precisely a visual hallucination. A hallucination is the brain’s reception of a false sensory input. This essentially means that the person having a hallucination is experiencing an event through one of their senses that is not occurring in the real world.
Obviously we could not have a cohesive society if all manner of people were experiencing ‘reality’ in a personal way with no consensus as to what reality actually is. This point was driven home to me in a very forceful way recently. I decided to take a breather from ‘reality’ and attend a Shaman’s course. The course itself is not what drove the point of reality home, as Shamans traditionally ‘walk between the worlds’, rather it was the mix of people who attended along with me that caused me to think about the reality of ‘reality’.
The participants on this rather quixotic course included a well-known female lawyer (who has sworn me to secrecy regarding her identity on pain of castration with a blunt knife) a surgeon, two school teachers, a stay at home mum and an interstate truck driver and of course me. Excepting me, all the participants on this Shamans course were representatives of middle Australia, the Australia that our political and business leaders insist we all should aspire to. The reality however is very different; all were in search of their own reality, as a means of filtering our shared reality.
Each participant had their own and very personal reasons for embarking on this rather quixotic quest, what brought us all together was our desire to make sense of the lie our ‘leaders’ insist is reality. It’s the lie we call reality that is the point of this post.
When I began speaking with the other participants, I learned that the aforementioned lawyer with the blunt knife was there trying to make sense of this thing we call justice or ‘just-us’ if you’re an Indigenous Australian brought before White Man’s ‘law’. The surgeon was trying to make sense of the suffering he was confronted with when trying to ‘fix’ the physical trauma inflicted on a young girl in a vicious attack. The mum was trying to make sense of why; living with her husband, two sons, and a male cat she the only female in the house was also the only one capable of meeting the morning demands of each – her sons and cat for food, her husband for sex and food! The teachers, well, they’re teachers, what more need be said. The truckie, well he holds a Master’s Degree in Philosophy and just wanted to see what it would be like to ‘walk between the worlds.’ However on closer examination of his personal quest, he witnessed what he could only interpret as Australian Federal Police (“AFP”) corruption in an Irish bar in Pattaya, where according to my truckie companion the:
AFP officers stationed in Pattaya seemed more interested in lining their own pockets than doing their jobs. They seemed intent on recruiting Thai women to work in the sex trade in Australia…
A long-time friend and frequenter of the aforementioned bar in Pattaya has said the same thing to me on a number of separate occasions. This could help explain why there are so many Thai women in Australia working in sexual bondage, which the Australian authorities seem ‘powerless’ to eradicate.
AFP corruption and the peddling of lies as truth
My personal and no doubt quixotic quest was ultimately otiose. My quest was to try and understand why the Australian people will accept as fact, and accept as fact on a regular basis, the lies the AFP and the Australian Labor Party (“ALP”) continually pedal. After returning from my sojourn with the gods I received a call from Captain Fred Martens, who was ‘livid’ to say the least. Captain Martens had just received an e-mail from a Sydney based journalist. Attached to that e-mail was a copy of the report from the 2008 Pacific Islands Law Officers’ Annual Meeting.
Most of page 20 of the Australian Country report is dedicated to Captain Martens and his now discredited, politically and racially motivated prosecution by Australia’s finest, the AFP. The aforementioned report bears the official logo of the Australian Attorney-General’s Department and is an official Australian document. On page 20, the report states that:
The matter was referred to the AFP by the PNG police. The defendant pleaded not guilty and required full evidence from all witnesses, including a number of witnesses from PNG, at both the committal and the Supreme Court trial. He denied having sexual intercourse with the girl.
There are a number of problems with this statement. Firstly, Captain Martens, the innocent victim of AFP mendacious informs me that “the matter was never referred to the AFP by the PNG police; rather the AFP went looking for someone to ‘fix-up’ to cement their treaty with PNG.” Captain Martens most certainly pleaded not guilty, which he was, and was subsequently proven to be, however the lie is that he “required full evidence from all witnesses, including a number of witnesses from PNG.” Captain Martens informs me that the AFP and Commonwealth Department of Public Prosecutions (“CDPP”) refused and/or frustrated his attempts to secure and bring in witnesses from PNG, so much for truth and honesty from out government officials. The report, using tones that at best can be described as condescending toward Captain Martens, carries on with “He denied having sexual intercourse with the girl” He denied it, and he was telling the truth, the actual lie was perpetrated by the AFP and CDPP.
While on the point of the CDPP and lies masquerading as truth, on Monday I received a series of interesting e-mails from Captain Martens. Attached to these e-mails was an exchange of correspondence between Captain Martens’ lawyers and the Australian Government Solicitors Office (“AGS”) who are representing the AFP and Commonwealth of Australia in the legal action Captain Martens instigated following his exoneration by the Queensland Court of Appeal.
What is of interest is that the AGS appears increasingly desperate to convince Captain Martens’ legal team to agree to release the CDPP as third defendants in Captain Martens claim for damages. What is so significant about having the CDPP as just another defendant? It all comes down to the lie we, the Australian public, are asked to accept as truth. The government asks us to accept as truth and fact the proposition that the AFP as a law enforcement body is above reproach. The government further asks that we accept as truth and fact the proposition that the CDPP as an institution will never deviate from Australia’s ‘rule of law’ for political or other reasons. The stakes are high in this tug-of-war between truth and lie. The evidence that the CDPP colluded with the AFP to pervert the course of justice in Captain Martens case seems compelling and worthy of being tested in open court. The sole purpose of the AGS application is to prevent the evidence being tested, for fear it may reveal an uncomfortable truth – the truth that our reality is indeed a lie and the sky may yet prove to be blue rather than the red and green checked the AFP and CDPP seem intent on proving it to be.
If the truth we are asked to believe about the AFP and CDPP is exposed for the lie it really is, what then? If officers from the CDPP are placed on the stand and asked questions about the conduct of that institution during Captain Martens trial and are compelled by the court to respond to questions about certain documents and facts, the truth, against all the odds might just come to the surface. Apparently the AGS sees the risk of the truth being exposed as a lie as being too great to chance to the trials of open court and public scrutiny. If the truth were exposed for the lie it is, where would this leave law enforcement in Australia? In a problematic position at best.
What if, when you awoke, you had the flower in your hand? Ah, what then?
The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to hold in higher esteem those who think alike than those who think differently
One of the many problems that have come with the politicisation of the Australian Public Service under the Prime Ministership of John Howard is that it has now almost entirely ceased to recruit those of a divergent view. Those with divergent views, who were recruited in the past, it is now trying to disgorge. What the modern Australian beaurocrate seeks is a mirror image of him or her. What an ego boost it must be to sit around a board room table a gaze at a room reflecting nothing but you.
In an environment where each reflects the other, there can be no real argument or debate, consensus follows as a matter of course. In this type of environment, if one is corrupt the consensus becomes, we all must be corrupt as the system cannot and will not tolerate dissent. This problem is compounded by the fact that education, imagination, striving to better ones self is all anathema in an environment where each reflects the other. As I mentioned in my post The bureaucratic state – a destructive philosophy one of the, if not the, overarching problem with the modern bureaucratic state is its insistence on bringing everything down to the lowest possible common denominator. When I last worked in the public service in Australia, I was approached by a subordinate who glibly informed me that “under the departments Australian Workplace Agreement, academic qualifications could not be taken into account when deciding suitability for a job” The lowest common denominator in this department then became that of the uneducated, unenlightened Neanderthal. Neanderthal’s like the rest of us will always seek their like, their like in an environment where each reflects the other will be fellow Neanderthal’s. It is these Neanderthal’s who create the policy and laws under which we live. Is it any wonder that the AGS doesn’t want anyone probing what goes on behind the closed doors of the CDPP?
While many of the participants on the Shaman’s course did indeed manage to pick a strange and beautiful flower in their personal heavens, none were able to withstand the putrid breath of the Neanderthal’s lie on returning to our shared reality.
I can’t speak for anyone else, but for me, in the words of Mahatma Gandhi:
I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet