I’ve written this and allowed you to read it in the event of worst case scenario – something I don’t want to even consider right now as I type. If you’ve heard something and you’re concerned or shocked, please do me the favour of reading this.
At the end of September 2014, the school I taught at was contacted by an anonymous complainant wanting to point the finger at me for being an ‘intellectual pedophile’, ‘communist’ and a ‘psycho’. This is not the first time my place of employment has received complaints about me from unidentified members of the general public. As usual, this person used a fake name to make their complaint. Why is this continuing to happen? Around 8 years ago I was very active in the anti-discrimination activism scene. I organized rallies, spoke in forums, participated in protests, and wrote opinion pieces for left leaning publications and the like. I felt very strongly about the incredibly public mistreatment of people from other countries, religions and sexualities. Around 6 years ago I created a website called Ozstraya and created stickers and t-shirts with anti-discrimination slogans etc.
I gave these out and tried to lobby public support by attending public events to promote the cause. Around 5 years ago I created the online network ‘Australians Against Racism and Discrimination (AARD)’ and attracted around 10,000 followers. Four years ago I created the online blog www.theantibogan.wordpress.com because I was disillusioned at how online websites like Facebook and YouTube would allow users to post all manner of material such as death threats leveled at Indians, Aborigines and Muslims and vile and rampant sexism and homophobia. The website I created hosted screenshots that I would routinely take of people publishing inappropriate content. I would also post all publicly available material that I could find about the offenders which often resulted in public backlash and in some cases, termination of employment. e.g.:
From http://theantibogan.wordpress.com/2012/02/08/inciting-cronulla-style-riots-at-the-cricket/ As a result of my involvement in this form of activity and alignment with anti- discrimination anarchist groups such as FightDemBack and SlackBastard, I attracted the ire of neo Nazis and white supremacists as well as the public denouncement from lunatic fringe political parties such as The Australian Protectionist Party, Australia First and One Nation.
(Note: ’14 words website network’: The Fourteen Words is a phrase used predominantly by white nationalists. It most commonly refers to a 14-word slogan: “We must secure the existence of our people and a future for White Children.” It can also refer to another 14-word slogan: “Because the beauty of the White Aryan woman must not perish from the earth.“)
I was able to remain anonymous as the author of theantibogan until I gave a speech at an anti-racism forum hosted by AllTogetherNow and the NSW Reconciliation Council. It was at this forum that I was photographed and followed home by a neo nazi called Darryl Rock who lived in Chippendale and used the online pseudonym ‘Shockadelic’.
He posted all of my details including my car registration, residential address, photographs and names of my close friends and family to right wing anarchist websites such as Whitelaw Towers and Anti-Antifa. The owners of these websites published stories about me and posted all of my employment and contact details.
These are still online to this day. I was labeled ‘Zionist’, ‘Muslim’ and ‘anti freedom of speech’. Rock contacted the school I taught at and encouraged others to do likewise. In the 2-3 weeks following his discovery, my family and friends received death threats, dead rodents in the letterbox, late night phone calls and midnight knock and runs. It was at this time that my identity was stolen and the first of many fake Alex Gollans appeared on Facebook, joining pages (groups as they were then known) such as ‘Sydney Transsexuals’ and ‘Rape Enthusiasts’. Screenshots of my ‘involvement’ in these groups would be left in my letterbox and posted to my school.
This is a concerns notice, under the NSW Defamation Act 2005. Several false statements are made about me, Shockadelic, and I want those statements removed. “It was at this forum that I was photographed and followed home by a neo nazi called Darryl Rock who lived in Chippendale and used the online pseudonym ‘Shockadelic’.” 1. I did not photograph you. Photographs of your appearance at the I’m Not Racist But forum were taken by its sponsors/organisers and published on their website. 2. I could not have followed you home, since I did not attend the event, nor knew if its occurrence until several days afterward. 3. I am not a neo-Nazi. I am a classical liberal. Your numerous files contain not one single instance of my advocacy of neo-Nazi Ideology, for no such instance has ever existed. 4. You are well aware that Shockadelic is not a pseudonym. It is my real legal name and you’ve known this for several years. “He posted all of my details including my car registration, residential address, photographs and names of my close friends and family to right wing anarchist websites.” 5. I did not publish any of these personal details online. “Rock contacted the school I taught at and encouraged others to do likewise.” 6. I never contacted your school nor “encouraged” others to do so. Your statements paint a false picture and also implicitly connect me to subsequent events I had nothing to do with and had no control over. If your false statements lead a suggestible person to harm me, you may be liable for damages. If you do not make a reasonable offer of amends, you may also be liable to pay the costs of any defamation proceedings. Please remove these defamatory references to myself within the next 28 days. Mr Shockadelic
Dear ‘Mr Shockadelic’,
1. Retracted, although there were photos of me appearing on right-wing nationalist websites that were not the same as those published on the NSW Reconciliation Council’s website;
2. I have strong reason to believe that you did;
4. Your real name was Darryl Stephen Rock at the time. http://abr.business.gov.au/SearchByAbnHistory.aspx?abn=59819296390
5. I have strong reason to believe that you did;
6. By creating a group called ‘Victims of the Antibogan’ and publishing my place of employment, you are encouraging people to make contact;
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
I spoke about this at length in a documentary I was in called ‘Sunshine and Shade’. I referred to the constant fear and threats and also the disgusting email contact and general harassment that I suffered through every day for close to a decade.
I contacted the police at Redfern LAC and provided them with screenshots and as much information as possible. After several follow up visits, they still hadn’t assisted me and I never heard from them. Because of my infamy, I was receiving abuse and threats from a plethora of online haters. Nevertheless, I denied my involvement and maintained theantibogan website as it was receiving 5000 hits per day and widespread support. The general public were emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and expressing their gratitude and support and were also sending examples of discrimination for publication. I always deleted the emails where the screenshots were of private conversations as I only ever published already public examples of extreme discrimination.
In 2011, my school received so many anonymous complaints about my ‘leftist/communist/propagandist/pedophile conduct as a teacher and also the safety of the students in my care that EPAC was forced to investigate my conduct. I don’t know exactly what that entailed but I believe my work email was accessed and monitored. I was cleared.
In Term 3 of 2011 while I was teaching a Year 4 class, one of the parents told me that there was an Alex Gollan on Facebook friending lots of Strathfield South Public School students including her son. Upon investigation it was evident that someone was behind yet another fake me and was adding students, sending them dirty private messages and saying suggestive things to them. As police had previously told me to do, I continued to screenshot absolutely everything that I came across and this was obviously no exception.
When Facebook refused to remove the fake profile, I was contacted by the Sydney Morning Herald and a story ran about me. Facebook responded to media pressure and pulled the profile but not before this had all been traumatizing students in my care and ensuring that rumours had spread about me. Immediately following the pulling of the fake profile came yet another anonymous complaint about me to the DET and EPAC once again investigated and subsequently cleared me of inappropriate behavior.
Note: Chris Merrett never blurred anything. This is my edit.
Read more about this disgusting attempt at defamation here:
I went to Redfern LAC and this time my complaints reached detective level but only because children had been affected. I believe police felt obliged to act but only because the safety of children had been breached. An ‘iASK’ was run to find who was behind the profile but the investigation went nowhere because Facebook servers are located in California and people generally utilized Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) which send their location overseas. The detective on my case apparently left Redfern LAC and I was told that he wasn’t replaced. I never received police assistance in this matter.
As theantibogan grew, so did public interest and opinion pieces were written and I was contacted by the Australian Federal Police and the Australian Defense Force to become an intelligence gatherer and informant on illegal neo nazi activity in society and within the ADF due to the coinciding online misdemeanors occurring within the force. I was on several occasions transported to the inner sanctums of each respective organization to provide assistance to investigators. I received no benefit or assistance in any of my matters in return.
It was around the middle of 2012 when I became aware that online discussions of me had moved to private online forums and that discussions taking place were largely centered on ways in which I could be made to lose my job. I have screenshots of many of these conversations as a result of friends of mine and I managing fake ‘honey-trap’ profiles which had been granted entry into these private forums. Because of my occupation, it was decided that I was incredibly vulnerable in what I could do physically and also in what I could do online.
The two main points of attack that were discussed the most were public protests outside my school about my ‘online behaviour’ which would prompt school community demands for investigation and also relentless lures of inappropriate online content couple with attempts to hack my email and Facebook accounts.
I have kept a lot of my evidence here. The more sensitive evidence was saved to USB, given to police and deleted.
The first threat of public protest outside my school was carried out by Paul Toohey, Nicholas Folkes and Darrin Hodges and a small group of similarly small-minded individuals who waved Australian flags and berated me as a pedophile outside my school. I sent Nicholas Folkes an email from theantibogan email account threatening him with the ‘Enclosed Lands Act’ and no further ‘protests’ were held again. (Side note: Nicholas Folkes appeared on SBS’ ‘Living With The Enemy’ and heads a small, far-right anti-immigration political party called ‘Party For Freedom’).
I have deliberately played certain things close to my chest because I fear assumptions and I have also harboured (for some time) a desire to make a variety of people pay for their actions. How I was to do that, I never quite figured out and never acted on because of the fear of getting it wrong. I still do not precisely know who was behind the John Harris profile but I know that I was not his/her only target. – – – – – -, – – – – – -, – – – – – -, – – – – – -, – – – – – – and others all received similar abuse. The Harris profile would regularly post pictures of their children and grandchildren, post their private details and stalk their residences. – – – – – – in particular has always CCd me in her continued attempts to garner police assistance and while I’ve deleted most of the content of my inboxes over time, I’ve still got that.
My interactions with children have always been appropriate and safe and for the better part of a decade I have exerted so much of my life into standing up to those who seek to harm innocent people. I have been around children for over a decade in various capacities and have never been in a position where I am one on one with them, nor have I ever faced any accusations. I am more than confident that any child from any context would confirm that while I am always trying to be funny, I have never ever done anything which would be considered inappropriate or illegal.
I feel as though my current predicament will strand me without a basis of context and for that, I am considerably stressed and concerned. I want to continue my career and at no point of my life have I ever considered myself to be a danger to children. This thought alone sickens me. To think that my computers are being raided is frustrating to say the least because while I’ve kept sickening details away from my wider group of friends and family, I’ve been upfront with police for the last several years, telling them absolutely everything that I’ve been faced with.
I blame myself largely for my predicament. I thought I had a plan to beat these arseholes at their own game but I never really had the time to really and truly consider how I’d go about it. I am so disappointed in the authorities for putting me in a position where I would have to consider vigilante justice and where I’d have to document every single instance of abuse. Instead of living my life in a happy and healthy way, I’ve invested so much mental energy into paying attention to every threat and attempt at defamation.
I’ve been to the police around 14 or 15 times over the past three years. Here is a list of event numbers that I have managed to keep a record of: 2009 E38861919 E37287946 2010 E43451135 E45101132 E45442026 E46666359 2012 E46307209 E48569628 E50212871 2013 E53061681 E54510587 Not once did I ever receive an update on how my case/s was/were being investigated. Not once did I ever receive a simple phone call to say that all had come to a dead end. Not once did I ever receive acknowledgement that the evidence I was providing amounted to abuse and an invasion of privacy coupled with an attempted highjacking of my character. I always had to be the one ringing and visiting police stations and the officer I was looking for was always ‘on holiday’ or ‘will ring me back when they return to shifts next fortnight’ etc. This was sent to a friend of mine who is in the exact same situation:
I have saved evidence along the way and placed it into a Dropbox. I saved more sensitive data onto a USB and handed it to police at Burwood LAC and Flemington LAC around 15 months ago. Unfortunately it now seems that each time I provided evidence I was in fact digging my own hole.
A copy of my blocked list on Facebook is here. What this list shows is the volume of people who have contacted me to abuse/threaten me over the past few years. What this list doesn’t show is the profiles of which I have blocked and have then been removed from Facebook, eg the plethora of ‘John Harris’. If I ever find who was/were behind ‘John Harris’ I simply cannot publish words here to suggest what I will do.
Chris Merrett is currently under investigation for doing exactly what he has done to me to other people who have come forward.
It appears that after attending police stations for so long and supplying officers with links to my Dropbox where I saved the majority of my evidence, it is now apparent that Dropbox cannot be accessed from police precincts and officers are not allowed to look at sensitive material at their homes. Therefore, I can assume that over the past 4 years, no officers have even taken the time to look at the evidence I’ve given to them.