Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Is Rachel Landers the Hilton bomber?

A PDF copy of the new Rachel Landers book, Who Bombed The Hilton? (published by NewSouth Publishing), has been acquired. And if Rachel Landers did not bomb the Hilton Hotel back in 1978, then she certainly did it now (metaphorically speaking). A cursory glance at the content of Rachel's book reveals it to be highly noxious and peppered with obscenities. The only definite conclusions to be reached from the book are about the author herself. Rachel Landers is clearly a troubled person, both delusional and obsessed.

Who Bombed The Hilton? is an opportunistic, bottom-feeding book. It is based almost entirely on double or triple hearsay and feckless conjecture. Someone may or may not have said something to the police. The police filed a report to the government that may or may not be an accurate representation of the testimony (if any). The government stored in some archives that report, after someone in the government may have redacted it (or even tampered with it). Then, almost 40 years later, Rachel comes along and inspects those archives, selectively extracting and interpreting what suits her fancy (and the fancy of her sponsors). With such flimsy context, on the rare occasions when Rachel admits that something she says is "potential hearsay" or "pure speculation", we know that it is very tenuous indeed. But just scroll down a few paragraphs, and soon you will find Rachel repeating that preposterous fabrication as if it had probative value.

In her epilogue, Rachel tries to compensate for her lazy style of yellow journalism, devoid of human decency. However, in the very first paragraph of that epilogue, wherein she attempts to rationalize her unethical conduct, she only exposes her hypocrisy and ignorance instead. Rachel declares: "When I made the decision to explore the Hilton bombing archive I also made a vow not to trust the living." One can only wonder what source Rachel imagines all of the information in the archive would have emanated from (several decades and several layers of hearsay ago). Were the Special Branch and ASIO using Ouija boards? And one can only wonder what makes those moldy documents more appealing to Rachel than the living people who generated them and, even more important, the living people who were given no voice, no representation, in those documents. What makes those moldy documents more appealing to Rachel than the people still living today, the people whose privacy Rachel blithely violates, the people whom Rachel nonchalantly defames, not even taking the trouble to speak with them and hear their side of the story?

There is good reason why legal systems around the world stand on the fundamental human right to a presumption of innocence. Sadly, Rachel did not consider ethics before she reopened this scar on the psyche of Australia. Rachel tells us that former Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser advised her that this is "a stupid topic to research and instead of wasting [her] time trying to winnow out the truth of the bombing [she] should be focusing on the contemporary plight of refugees". The honorable Mr. Fraser had it right. The plight of refugees is indeed horrific, and Australia's treatment of refugees is utterly deplorable. Furthermore, as it turned out, the Landers book is little more than a regurgitation of unsubstantiated opinions and a shameless exhibition of bigotry.

At the very end of Rachel's book, just before her smarmy epilogue, Rachel tries to buttress her ridiculously weak (in truth, non-existent) case by misrepresenting the content of a 2003 newspaper article in The Weekend Australian of February 8-9. Of course, a newspaper article is hardly evidence; and a misrepresented newspaper article is just a lie. But this final and false assertion made by Rachel epitomizes her book: shallow and biased research distorted by perverted imagination.

Who Bombed the Hilton? is a deceitful hate crime. This travesty of history was released by NewSouth Publishing, the publishing arm of the University of New South Wales Press. That in itself raises a disturbing question as to the standard maintained by the University of New South Wales and ultimately the Government of New South Wales, which commissioned Rachel's shabby work. Shame, shame, shame!

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Australia's defamation laws

Last week I had cause to look into Australia's defamation laws. A book was just published in Australia that was undoubtedly defamatory of me (and numerous others).  By the way, my advice to everyone would be not to waste your money on this tripe. There is already a PDF of the complete book circulating on the Internet.

In various interviews subsequent to the publication of the book, the author (Rachel Landers) amplified her attacks on me and eventually, like a Muslim cleric, effectively issued a fatwa against me (when, for the few pieces of silver she would get from selling her piece of fiction as a movie, she advocates my eradication). But I will say more about that book in my next posting. Our topic here is Australia's defamation laws, probably little different from what exists in most or all developed, capitalist countries.

I began my research on the subject at a forum called, which bills itself as "Australia's #1 Legal Community". I posted my question there and was pleased to get a very helpful response soon thereafter. But then things quickly started to go downhill. A fellow by the name of Tim W followed up with a rather useless and non-constructive response, saying little more than that I could hire a lawyer. He later admitted that his advice to me was worth exactly what I paid for it, and I promptly agreed. That is when I found that my postings to the forum were being censored (deleted and ultimately blocked in advance). I said nothing rude or untoward, but - apparently - it is unacceptable on that forum to not appreciate Tim W's shallow words. But I digress. What did I discover about the defamation laws in Australia? Quite simply, they are only congenial to greedy bottom-feeders and wealthy victims who can demonstrate substantial financial loss.

In a case like mine, the author and the publisher might well have dismissed any concern about a defamation lawsuit simply because the cost of losing would be minimal compared to the profits they expected to amass from the defamation. So, if indeed the author or the publisher consulted a lawyer before publishing, their main concern might well have been only how much they would have to pay out if a defamation suit be brought. Once they knew that paltry sum, they probably had all of the information that mattered to them. After all, if they had had any concern for human rights, human dignity, human decency, privacy, justice, or even mere accuracy or factuality, then surely they would have at least contacted me soon after publishing, if not - and much more sensibly - before publishing.