Are the thought police coming?

You may not have heard of Fiona Wilson, but she used to be an executive in the company Origin Energy1, one of the big players in coal-seam gas in eastern Australia. Wilson worked on a wellsite integrity audit in 2014, and this audit identified major gas leaks. She was asked to remove statements noting integrity and non-compliance issues from her report. She also saw evidence of unregistered pipelines, lapsed tenures negating compensation liability and government reporting requirements, and unlicensed water extraction, among other issues. After raising these issues, she was made redundant by Origin Energy2.

E-mails and documents relating to her work and subsequent redundancy began disappearing from her work computer. However, she had backed up her files and had retained copies. All up, a thousand e-mails had been deleted and Origin later hacked into her personal devices to delete copies of the same e-mails and documents. Despite this she still retained copies of them. On top of this, when she applied to the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission for a review of her employment termination, it was apparent that some 170 pages of evidence had been removed from her employment file2.

Wilson sent three e-mails, over three months, to Grace Grace the Queensland Employment Minister, to ask for a meeting so she could provide evidence about the fiddling with evidence from Origin Energy. She received no reply to her e-mails. Finally, in frustration, she turned to Facebook.

Wilson’s post on Facebook was addressed to Grace Grace, and said “I had made 3 requests to your office since 29 Jun 17 in order to provide you with clear documentation of the evidence tampering as part of your investigation. These requests have all been ignored and you have further issued a written statement on 12 Sep 17 advising ‘there is no evidence documents have been removed from your file or tampered with’. An extract has been included for your ease of reference. Further attached is clear examples of the evidence tampering…..” Below this, Wilson included several photographs of original evidence accompanied by photographs of the same pages, on which evidence had been modified3.

The mistake Wilson made was to have posted that given above, immediately on top of several photographs of her doing some target shooting with a .22 rifle from several years beforehand in Thailand and on the anniversary of that back in Brisbane. She accompanied those photographs with the comment “getting sharper on the .22”, in reference to her improved marksmanship3.

This association of posts, caused, or provided the opportunity for, Grace, or possibly someone in her office, to refer Wilson to the Queensland Fixated Threat Assessment Centre (QFTAC). This is a joint mental health/police agency. It is staffed by police from the Security Operations Unit (SOU) and clinicians from the Queensland Forensic Mental Health Service. The SOU is a protective intelligence service for public office holders. They state their fundamental aim is to facilitate care for individuals with a serious mental illness to minimise the harm they potentially pose. They can receive referrals from the police (especially Dignitary Protection), the Australian Federal Police, other law enforcement agencies, the judiciary, some embassies, mental health services and disturbingly, Ministerial and Electoral offices (i.e. politicians or their staffers).

Wilson was taken away by QFTAC police, not charged with anything, but was detained and involuntarily injected with an antipsychotic drug, aripiprazole (brand name: Abilify Maintena), which is commonly used in the treatment of schizophrenia. The side effects of the drug are numerous and the more serious include: fainting; trouble swallowing; leg restlessness; seizures; fever; persistent sore throat; increased blood-sugar levels5. QFTAC claimed Wilson was delusional, but in the opinion of an independent clinical consulting psychologist she is suffering post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) following the ordeal of her whistleblowing, and is not delusional. Wilson had merely been trying to contact the relevant Minister about evidence of alleged wrongdoing, but instead of acting on the evidence, the minister or her office referred her to QFTAC6.

There is a current climate of corruption in politics, with politicians being beholden to their party’s donors to the exclusion of most other considerations. While it may not be true in this case; hypothetically, if someone was a donor to a political party, they could perhaps put pressure on a politician or party to silence a whistleblower. The experiences of Commonwealth Bank whistleblower Jeff Morris demonstrates the pressure that can be exerted on someone like that, seemingly as a matter of course. He lost his job, had death threats, his wife had stress-related visits to hospital, and finally, his marriage broke down, and this was all followed by a diagnosis of PTSD7. Imagine how easy it would have been to silence someone like Jeff Morris who, under a great deal of stress, could have been referred to something like the QFTAC and drugged, so he could cause no further problems. It makes you wonder if such a referral of a whistleblower like Fiona Wilson signifies the coming of the thought police to Australia? Are we to experience the corruption of psychology and psychiatry as happened in the Soviet Union, where dissent was diagnosed as a mental illness8. If this happens now with whistleblowers, and we acquiesce, then how long will it be before they come for those of us who dissent from the government line.

Sources

  1. https://www.smh.com.au/opinion/gender-equality-it-takes-a-troubled-woman-to-change-a-troubled-world-20180125-h0oip9.html
  2. https://danielbrummitt.com/2018/04/18/more-information-about-fiona-wilsons-case-appeared-in-the-fossil-fuel-bulletin-sponsored-by-the-knitting-nannas-against-gas-in-november-2017-whistleblower-whistleblowers-auspol-qldpol-csg/
  3. https://www.facebook.com/GeorgeBender68/posts/1607788959337427?comment_id=1721443484638640&reply_comment_id=1721457881303867&notif_id=1525582766257901&notif_t=feed_comment_reply&ref=notif
  4. https://www.mhrt.qld.gov.au/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/QFTAC-brochure-original.pdf
  5. https://www.rxlist.com/abilify-maintena-side-effects-drug-center.htm
  6. https://onthehillgilayjun.blogspot.com.au/2018/02/fixated-persons-law-asphyxiate-fixated.html
  7. https://www.smh.com.au/business/death-threats-and-smear-campaigns-the-lot-of-a-whistleblower-20170331-gvax60.html
  8. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_abuse_of_psychiatry_in_the_Soviet_Union

 

23 Comments

  • Jon says:

    That an outfit such a QFTAC could exist and operate in this country without proper judicial approval and oversight is a bloody disgrace. That a Labor state minister could be associated with such a monstrosity isn’t surprising, but it is deplorable. That Grace would ignore Fiona Wilson’s evidence is likewise a disgrace.

    Rusted on Labor supporters who accept such things are no better than the conservative rabble they attack.

    • admin says:

      Jon,
      Most definitely. Politicians are such a devalued group of people, you cannot trust any of them. They will always do what is in their interests and nobody else’s.

  • Ellie says:

    You ask some pertinent questions. It’s damn scary!

  • Jennifer says:

    Totally agree. If this is legit, it needs it’s own independent investigation. And heads need to roll.

    • admin says:

      Jennifer,
      I think it definitely worthy of a judicial investigation and politicians should be unable to refer any cases directly. There MUST be some judicial oversight.

  • Jim says:

    This whole business is a serious worry. As Jon stated the fact that such an organisation as QFTAC even exists is an absolute disgrace. It is all very intimidating for any whistle blower or someone contemplating being one–no doubt this is one of the aims of such a group.

    • admin says:

      Jim,
      I can understand why they want something like that, because there are some loonies out there. However, I’d suggest that a politician should never be able to refer a person without some sort of judicial oversight, and that all psychologists/psychiatrists be independent and on a roster system so their employment is not dependent on the result of their assessment.

  • It is possible to start a petition requesting a full investigation.

    The antu-CSG movement is large enough to get plenty of support.

    ABC (if we still it) 7:30 Report ??

    • admin says:

      Craig,
      As it is a state politician and a state fixated persons unit, it should be dealt with by the Queensland anti-corruption body. You’d have to find out how to make that body investigate. That is something I do not know how to do. If it is possible, as private citizens in Queensland, to do so, then I’d suggest you or others do so.

      • Yes Minister says:

        The most recent annual report to parliament by the Crime Cover-up Commission showed that organization investigated 0.4% of complaints

        • admin says:

          Yes Minister,
          While there are certain to be a proportion of vexatious or pointless complaints, 0.4% seems inordinately low. However, the problem is that politicians hate having their deals and schemes checked, especially these days as they become more corrupt. The Obeid scandal in NSW is just the tip of the iceberg.

          • Yes Minister says:

            The 0.4% was disclosed in a leaked report to parliament a couple of years ago. I understand that a more recent report which I haven’t seen personally shows a slightly better result, reportedly 0.8%. Other Queensland watchdogs are only marginally better with the Ombudsman at just over 1%. By comparison, the commonwealth ombudsman manages a still pathetic 22%.

            Official excuses for the Crime Cover-up Commission state that rejected complaints go back to the official entity about which the complaint was made. Obviously Caesar has always done a superb job of investigating Caesar !!!! That however isn’t the end of it. All official entities / departments / quangos / etc ar required by the Public Service Act to have an internal complaints review facility. Interestingly there is no provision for recourse in situations where an entity does not have an internal complaint review facility, or has one that is totally farcical (eg Local Government Department, kangaroo tribunal / Adult Guardian / Public Trustee)

            I’ve noted that lack of recourse provisions is endemic in legislation ostensibly controlling officialdom, but exactly the opposite situation applies in legislation intended to regulate the masses. To add insult to injury, watchdogs cannot / will not investigate malpractice by official entities ie the Ombudsman, Discrimination Commission and Privacy Commission will not investigate any official entity, and the Legal Affairs Commission will nt accept complaints against public sector lawyers. On the other hand, the kangaroo tribunal which does not consider rules of evidence, can and does remove the licence of lawyers and barristers who challenge it, with no evidence of malpractice. The big brother of the Medical Ombudsman (a federal body) does the same to medical and allied health practitioners who rock the boat, again without evidence. A colleague of mine (who has ruffled quite a few feathers of official scum) has been threatened several times with being disbarred when the issue is that of offending officialdom rather than any hint of professional malpractice.

  • Mish says:

    The QFTAC was established by the Newman LNP govt in 2013.

  • Yes Minister says:

    The Crime Cover-up Commission was conceived to be totally farcical. Its legislation effectively defines corruption as non-existent. Furthermore, the chairman refuses to allow more than the token matter to be investigated. This is proven by the utterly miserable 0.4% of complaints investigated as detailed in CCC reports to parliament. Even more laughable is the Parliamentary Crime and Corruption Committee which is the next port of call after the Crime Cover-up Commission. I’m not aware of even one matter in which the parliamentary tribe found fault with the entity they are empowered to regulate. We are all aware that CCC chairman Macsporran decided that whilst most Queensland councils are corrupt, it is beyond him to do anything about it. Watchdogs generally are entities to defuse and hide official malpractice rather than deal with it, but then cover-up has always been an obsession with the Australian legislature, bureaucracy and judiciary. Numerous issues are taboo, including discrimination matters involving a queer discriminating against a straight, an alien discriminating against a citizen, a woman discriminating against a man, judicial corruption, and bureaucratic corruption, especially on the part of the Local Government Association, Adult Guardian and Public Trustee. All states have non-constitutional and totally unaccountable kangaroo tribunals which do not observe rules of evidence, which ignore legislation save that which they create on the fly, and which specialize in denying human rights, and facilitating Public Trustee plundering of victims estates. In theory, a genuinely ‘independent’ media would expose a lot of official corruption, but unfortunately the media (and I don’t mean Murdoch exclusively) panders to the interests of the establishment (legislature, bureaucracy, judiciary and big business). A canadian film ‘All Governments Lie’ sheds a lot of light on the shenanigans of media and government.

  • Roger says:

    This is the best coverage I have seen, ABC seam ( get it) not to give a flying CSG executive.
    They fill her with mind altering drugs again soon if a barrister and witnesses not funded. http://www.news.rosettamoon.com/breaking-news/fixated-folk-and-the-case-of-csg-whisteblower-fiona-wilson/

  • yes minister says:

    I have for some time believed that Australia is the most corrupt country in the world. In view if the fixated persons legislation and the anti-dissident legislation, it seems those who objected to my assertion will need to eat their words.

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