Tasmanian Times

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

Article

Ron Christie’s Support of Queensland’s Far Right Christians?


Above:
Sticker found on Murray Street, Hobart (Photo: Sam Mazur)

Last Sunday, as I was passing through the Hobart CBD, I came across a sticker posted on a streetlight that targeted Hobart’s Lord Mayor Ron Christie for his alleged support of far-right Christians in Queensland.

This sticker seems to have been mass produced, and contains the following text:

“Sack Ron Christie. His support of the views of Far Right Christians of Queensland over and above the people of Hobart crosses a line. This mayor needs to go. Now.”

I honestly do not know who has made these stickers, or what specific issue they are trying to draw attention to. There is no supporting information provided, and while the author has been specific enough to highlight an alleged connection to far-right Christians in Queensland, they have not at all explained what this connection actually is.

I had assumed that anyone who was willing to put this much effort into the production of these stickers would have made at least some attempt to explain their concerns online.

However, I have so far been unable to find any such online material, or even so much as a passing reference to Ron Christie’s support of far-right Christians in Queensland.

The general assumption so far is that these stickers were put up in response to Ron Christie’s criticism of Dark Mofo’s Winter Festival, specifically Leigh Carmichael’s inverted crucifix art-installation at Hobart’s waterfront.

Last June, the ACL organised a mass bombardment of emails to the Hobart City Council via its website, demanding the Hobart City Council remove Leigh Carmichael’s art-installation from the Hobart Waterfront.

According to Hobart’s Dark Mofo’s Dark and Downward Trajectory, posted on the ACL’s website last June, Tasmanian ACL Director Mark Brown encourages readers to contact Tasmanian State Liberal Politicians specifically, and even provided email addresses for:

will.hodgman@parliament.tas.gov.au; jacquie.petrusma@parliament.tas.gov.au; jeremy.rockliff@parliament.tas.gov.au; peter.gutwein@parliament.tas.gov.au; rene.hidding@parliament.tas.gov.au; adam.brooks@parliament.tas.gov.au; elise.archer@parliament.tas.gov.au; michael.ferguson@parliament.tas.gov.au; mark.shelton@parliament.tas.gov.au; sarah.courtney@parliament.tas.gov.au; sue.hickey@parliament.tas.gov.au; guy.barnett@parliament.tas.gov.au; roger.jaensch@parliament.tas.gov.au; leonie.hiscutt@parliament.tas.gov.au; jane.howlett@parliament.tas.gov.au

As well as an email address for all Hobart City Alderman:

AldermenGroupContactsPublic@hobartcity.com.au

I was able to speak with Hobart City Council Alderman Bill Harvey, who described the nature of these emails from June as “having an undercurrent of allowing evil into the world” and that the Hobart City Council & Dark Mofo were “supporting Satan and demonic forces“.

More recently, the ACL have started a new petition demanding that the State Government cease to provide funding for Dark Mofo.

Labor Leader Rebecca White has not confirmed if MP’s had received any emails from concerned residents.

However, I was fortunate enough to speak with Liberal MP Sue Hickey, who was able to confirm that she has indeed received numerous emails criticizing the state funding of Dark Mofo.

“I have received numerous complaints from Christian lobbyists protesting the Government Funding of Mona, and in each case I have forwarded each complaint to the Premier for the Government to response. We’ve received these complaints en masse, basically.”

In my previous article Satanic Hysteria & Tasmanian Politics I have already done my best to highlight the political and even supernatural hysteria that surrounded Leigh Carmichael’s controversial art-installation last June.

I heavily emphasized the hypocrisy of Mark Brown, the Tasmanian director of the ACL, when it came to his own views on the “limits of free speech” and the ACL’s petition to have the crosses removed from Hobart’s waterfront.

I also briefly mentioned Ron Christie’s efforts to raise awareness of a Tasmanian-based “Alchemist” cult several years ago. This cult was alleged to have been attempting to sell miracle cures to the terminally ill in the Hobart Royal Hospital, through members who worked there as nurses.

With the current level of frustration being directed towards the Lord Mayor from both sides of this Dark Mofo argument, I still feel it is important to remember Ron Christie speaking out against this particular cult, especially within the context of the current “religious freedoms” debate.

Make no mistake, I am not implying that this grants Ron Christie a free-pass from criticism.

Far from it.

Personally I believe that, through his own experience with religious cults, Ron Christie is in a better position than most to be able to speak out against the impact that extreme religious groups and fundamentalists can have on our community.

Not everyone is able to speak out from such a position, and Ron Christie’s personal experience in this area is not only invaluable, it is also being entirely wasted.

I would encourage whoever created those stickers (and anyone else for that matter) to consider taking a page from the ACL’s own playbook and to contact members of the Hobart City Council and Tasmanian MP’s in order to express their concerns calmly, clearly, and in considerably more detail than they have so far.

I would ask that they remember that things are not always as simple as they seem, and perhaps instead of calling for Ron Christie to be “fired” from his position as Lord Mayor, they instead appeal to his better nature, and attempt to engage him in respectful dialogue.

I believe a quiet reminder from history can help put this debate into a clearer perspective.

Sam Mazur is an atheist who has an interest in paranormal and supernatural claims and conspiracy theories, as well as alternative spiritual beliefs, cults and con-artists. Sam promotes critical-thinking and general awareness towards these subjects within the community.

Reference List:

Satanic Hysteria & Tasmanian Politics
Sam Mazur – July 26, 2018

Australian Christian Lobby wants to stop State Government funding of the Dark Mofo festival
The Mercury – October 3, 2018
https://www.themercury.com.au/entertainment/australian-christian-lobby-wants-to-stop-state-government-funding-of-the-dark-mofo-festival/news-story/84dcd25353c7d77e4f3aa52dda38d38f

‘Fly them in, shock them, fly them out’: Lord Mayor says Dark Mofo has no tourism benefits
The Mercury – October 5, 2018
https://www.themercury.com.au/news/politics/fly-them-in-shock-them-fly-them-out-hobart-mayor-says-dark-mofo-has-no-tourism-benefits/news-story/d90547f66fd6c53befd21f5d9bac8aff

Petition against Hobart’s Dark Mofo inverted crosses demands removal
ABC News – Updated 12 Jun 2018
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-06-11/petition-against-dark-mofo-upside-down-crosses/9857252

Hobart’s Dark Mofo’s dark and downward trajectory
Mark Brown – June 19, 2018
https://www.acl.org.au/hobart_s_dark_mofo_s_dark_and_downward_trajectory

Courage to Shine
Mark Brown – October 03, 2018
https://www.acl.org.au/courage_to_shine

Email your MP to stop public funding of Dark Mofo
https://www.acl.org.au/stop_dark_mofo

Hobart “Alchemist Cult” Information Archive:
https://culteducation.com/group/988-infinity-forms-of-yellow-remember.html

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Pat Gartlan

    October 8, 2018 at 11:39 am

    We would do well to reconsider support for Dark Mofo in its present form. With the organisers seeming to operate as a law unto themselves, the Hobart City Council and the State Government, could be said to have a tiger by the tail.
    This year, along with some good entertainment, and the popular Winterfest, it brought to our beautiful city the ugly, the degrading, the brutal, the occult and the blasphemous, like a cloud of unhealthy pollution.
    Strong words? How can I justify them?
    Well I could start with recollections of Brigid Delaney, published in The Guardian (June 8), who was here throughout the two weeks:
    “Big sprawling festivals – like Glastonbury and Burning Man … and we can add Hobart’s Dark Mofo to the list – appear chaotic and things are left to chance. But they are carefully designed and curated to bend our minds.”
    Ms Delaney refers to one performance by a woman described to her by a friend. This was of such depravity that it cannot be described in this newspaper and which her friend described as like “a particularly pervy dream, or a porno, but we knew it was real. Or almost real. Or real to him”
    Ms Delaney reports that “ Dark Mofo’s afterparties are called Night Mass and are the hottest ticket of the festival. They are where the really crazy stuff happens. One year my friend Marcus got kidnapped, blindfolded, driven around Hobart in the back of a van and taken to an abandoned gym where he was photographed tied to a chair. He showed me the picture on his phone. He looked unsettlingly vulnerable tied up under the strobe lights.
    Another year, a fake hens night (group) picked up random revellers off the street and took them out to a suburban field where the Glenorchy women’s football team performed some sort of weird dance on the oval and were then tackled by the fake hens who had taken off their clothes in homage to sporting arena streakers.”
    After attending events for several days, Ms Delaney describes having dreams full of violence, blood and death. “I wake up with a ringing in the ears and the stamps up my arm. BRUTAL.”
    She told the festival director, Leigh Carmichael, about the dreams. His response was: “The uneven surfaces, the lack of street light, the red crosses, the loud music and the lasers and lights at the gigs, the sonic bass, the darkness, all overload the mind, he says. The festival has an effect on the subconscious which feeds into dreams.”
    Remember that our taxes are being used to help fund this, to the tune of $2m a year. I believe that having a winter festival is a great innovation. We enjoy the fun, excitement and prosperity it brings. But do we need the ugly, the degrading, the brutal? Is it healthy for our city, for our youth, to see such things celebrated and normalised?
    In an interview on ABC radio, the Premier said he is concerned if laws are broken or boundaries crossed that shouldn’t be, but if no laws are broken there is no need to interfere.
    This sounds fair enough, but is it correct to say no laws are being broken and what are these boundaries? It should be acknowledged that our society operates in the presence of reasonable community standards and cultural norms, so even if something is not against the law, it is not necessarily OK. It is wrong that the Dark Mofo team should feel confident in believing that so far there seem to be no boundaries.
    It is also wrong for the State Government to continue to fund Dark Mofo and for the Hobart City Council to ignore the valid expressions of concern about its content from those of us who live here. It is time to reassess all this and to do so without delay since plans are no doubt already on track for 2019 and beyond.

  2. Cameron

    October 12, 2018 at 6:31 am

    The ACL can and should be safely ignored. For many reasons, mainly because of the inherent selfishness and hypocrisy in the way they reduce complex issues to simplistic ‘support us or you’ll burn in hell’ rhetoric. No one listens to that crap anymore; it’s kind of cute, but it’s of no value to the broader conversation. Not in this day and age.

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