Persecution of the WTM for
Exposing the Human Condition
Compiled by WTM Patrons Jeremy Griffith and Tim Macartney-Snape AM OAM, Sept. 2011
Thank goodness light clears up darkness, but when we are used to the dark it can be a shock!
The ultimate enlightenment that the human race has needed has been understanding of our less-than-ideal, ‘good-and-evil’-stricken human condition—but this ultimate enlightenment was always going to meet with the greatest resistance because it brings us into contact with that dark, underlying subjective dimension to life of the issue of ‘self’; it brings us into contact with the ‘personal unspeakable’, the ‘black box inside of humans’, as some have described the overwhelmingly depressing issue of the human condition.
What it does is confront us with the, until now, unanswerable and thus unbearable question of are we humans good or are we possibly the terrible mistake that all the evidence seems to unequivocally indicate we might be! We humans are afraid that if we go there—go near the subject of the human condition—we are going to be scorched; in fact, immolated. The famous psychoanalyst Carl Jung was referring to this terrifying subject of the human condition when he wrote that ‘When our shadow appears…it is quite within the possibility for a man to recognise the relative evil in his nature, but it is a rare and shattering experience for him to gaze into the face of absolute evil.’ Yes, the ‘face of absolute evil’ is the ‘shattering’ possibility that we humans might indeed be a terrible mistake.
So while biological explanation of the human condition is the ultimate dignifying, redeeming, relieving, liberating and thus TRANSFORMING insight that the human race has been desperately seeking, when it does finally arrive, as it now has, there is an inevitable initial stage of overwhelming shock and thus resistance—basically there is initially a difficult adjustment stage. Having coped thus far with the unbearable issue of the human condition by hiding in the dark as it were, when the all-redeeming and ameliorating light of understanding of it is finally found it is a great shock, but one we must manage responsibly.
While this stage of resistance—at times the resistance has been so extreme it has resulted in vicious and malicious persecution—has mostly passed, it does still occur. However, if you listen to only a few minutes of the Introductory Videos or read only a few pages of FREEDOM: The End Of The Human Condition you can know for yourself the integrity and accountability of the information being presented and therefore the dishonesty of any remaining attacks.
Our stunning victory over persecution
As is described and evidenced under the next sub-heading, ‘The Journey of New Ideas in Science’, all new ideas in science have typically been resisted by those who have become attached to the prevailing way of thinking. However, dealing as it does with the confronting subject of ‘self’, and also being the realm of enquiry where religion and science, faith and reason, finally overlap, no new idea in science was likely to be as resisted by the orthodoxy as the arrival of understanding of the human condition. Clearly then, when this most valuable new idea of all of the all-liberating and all-transforming biological understanding of the human condition emerges, a crisis point in the human journey occurs where we all have to be scrupulously conscientious in maintaining the democratic principles of freedom of expression, or this greatest of all breakthroughs will likely be obliterated by persecution.
In fact, it wasn’t long after the launch of these, now desperately needed, psychologically relieving understandings of the human condition that resistance to them began in earnest.
To briefly summarise what happened, Jeremy Griffith’s first book Free: The End Of The Human Condition was published in 1988 and by the early 1990s a vicious campaign of persecution, vilification and misrepresentation was underway against him, those supporting his work and the WORLD TRANSFORMATION MOVEMENT (formerly the Foundation for Humanity’s Adulthood). In 1995 this campaign went public with a defamatory television program and a defamatory Sydney Morning Herald newspaper feature article about us, published by Australia’s two biggest, left wing (dogmatic, pseudo-idealistic, ‘let’s pretend there’s no human condition and the world should just be ideal’, dishonest) media organisations, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) and Fairfax Media respectively. Produced by a minister of the Uniting Church, both these publications sought to stigmatise the WTM as a dangerous anti-social organisation and Jeremy as its deluded, megalomaniac leader. Ultimately, both publications were completely discredited by a series of official rulings and public apologies (summarised below) culminating in a 2010 New South Wales Court of Appeal judgment that overturned an earlier ruling in a lower court which had found that Jeremy’s work was of ‘such a poor standard that it has no support at all from the scientific community’. The Court of Appeal found that the lower court did ‘not adequately consider’ ‘the nature and scale of its subject matter’, in particular ‘that the work was a grand narrative explanation from a holistic approach, involving teleological elements’.
This ruling was highly significant because it recognised that Jeremy’s work is real, albeit heretical, ‘teleological’ science, and not the mindless dogma that characterises mind-controlling sects or cυlts, which was how the defamatory publications sought to portray Jeremy’s work. What everyone in the WTM is responding to is knowledge, understanding, accountable explanation—brain food, the very opposite of brain anaesthetic. Science literally means ‘knowledge’, coming from the Latin word scientia which means ‘knowledge’ (Encyclopedia World Dictionary), and the whole purpose of the human journey, and the purpose of its vehicle for inquiry, which is science, is to replace mindless dogma, superstition and mysticism with mindful understanding, ultimately with understanding of ourselves, understanding of the human condition no less. To accuse us of being involved in mindlessness was an absolute reverse-of-the-truth lie.
In fact, the real problem was precisely that we were daring to address the historically forbidden subject of the human condition—that we were daring to think, and think very deeply, not not think. Indeed, the three judges in the Court of Appeal, led by Justice David Hodgson, recognised that the real problem was the confronting nature of Jeremy’s work when they unanimously found that important submissions ‘were not adequately considered by the primary judge’, including that the work can make ‘those who take the trouble to grapple with it uncomfortable’ because it ‘involves reflections on subject-matter including the purpose of human existence which may, of its nature, cause an adverse reaction as it touches upon issues which some would regard as threatening to their ideals, values or even world views’! As Tim Macartney-Snape explained in the nationwide, prominent, page 7, full-page advertisement we ran in The Australian newspaper after our major court victory, it was an extremely hard-won and an incalculably precious victory against those who wanted to destroy us for daring to address the issue of the human condition—the one issue that had to be addressed and solved for there to be a future for the human race.
Although the issue of the human condition is naturally contentious that doesn’t justify throwing out the rule book on democratic, fair behaviour. One day the human condition had to be addressed and explained, and the door to the possibility of that occurring always had to be kept open. The legal proceedings the WTM and its members brought against the two biggest, left-wing media organisations in Australia, including its national public broadcaster, resulting in what legal experts described at the time as the biggest defamation case in Australia’s history—expensive and exhausting as they were for such a tiny group of people—were the manifestation of the critical fight against prejudice attempting to block the emergence of the liberating understanding of the human condition that the whole of the human race has been struggling for millennia to bring about.
Yes, the unanimous ruling made by the three Appeal Court judges was of incalculable importance in the history of the human journey from ignorance to enlightenment. Humanity’s—and our little group’s—gratitude to them is immense; especially to Justice Hodgson, a Rhodes Scholar who was, according to a former Chief Justice of the Federal Court of Australia, ‘one of the finest judges who ever graced a court in this country’ (www.wtmsources.com/256) and who ‘from an early age…had been fascinated by what went on inside the [human] head’ and had written a number of books on the study of ‘consciousness’, and was said to be ‘blessed with flawless logic’ and to ‘fit the description of Plato’s “philosopher king”’ (Obituary, The Sydney Morning Herald, 4 Sep. 2012; see www.wtmsources.com/184).
Note, for further description of the malicious and outrageously dishonest cυlt accusation that we were subjected to, see Freedom Essay 56.
Summary of our journey to liberation from persecution
The following list summarises the major events in our 16-year journey to our stunning, all-important and heroic victory over persecution, which each one of us in the WTM is immensely proud of:
- In 1995 a highly defamatory ABC Four Corners program and feature article in the Sydney Morning Herald—both produced by Reverend Millikan—were published about the FHA/WTM and its then directors Jeremy Griffith and Tim Macartney-Snape.
- In 1998 the Australian Broadcasting Authority (ABA), Australia’s then official media watchdog, found the Four Corners program to be ‘inaccurate, unbalanced and partial’ and took the unprecedented step of recommending to the ABC that it would be ‘appropriate to apologise’ to the FHA/WTM. At the time this was the strongest ruling ever made by the ABA against the public broadcaster.
- When the ABC refused to apologise, defamation actions were taken against the ABC and the Herald and in 2003 and 2005 respectively both reports were found to be defamatory by NSW Supreme Court juries.
- In 2009 the Herald published this apology to the FHA/WTM as part of a confidential settlement of those proceedings: ‘On 22 April 1995, the Sydney Morning Herald published an article by Reverend Doctor David Millikan which implied that the Foundation for Humanity’s Adulthood placed demands on its members which tore families apart. The Herald withdraws such inference and apologises to the Foundation for the harm caused by the publication.’
- In 2008 two of the three defamatory imputations found to arise from the Four Corners program resulted in the NSW Supreme Court awarding a payout of $700,000 plus costs for the loss and damage caused by the broadcast.
- In 2010 the key finding in relation to the truth of the third imputation concerning the standard of, and scientific support for, Jeremy’s work—specifically his biological treatise on the human condition as presented in his 1991 book Beyond the Human Condition—was successfully overturned on appeal. As mentioned, after an initial court judgment found that Jeremy’s work was of ‘such a poor standard that it has no support at all from the scientific community’, the three judges in the New South Wales Court of Appeal unanimously found that the earlier lower court ruling did ‘not adequately consider’ ‘the nature and scale of its subject matter’, in particular ‘that the work was a grand narrative explanation from a holistic approach, involving teleological elements’, and that other important submissions ‘were not adequately considered by the primary judge’, including that the work can make ‘those who take the trouble to grapple with it uncomfortable’ because it ‘involves reflections on subject-matter including the purpose of human existence which may, of its nature, cause an adverse reaction as it touches upon issues which some would regard as threatening to their ideals, values or even world views’! Essentially, what the program said about Jeremy’s work was found to be untrue, the court recognising his work as being serious, albeit as mentioned, heretical, ‘teleological’ science. As Tim Macartney-Snape explained in some detail in The Australian newspaper advertisement that we ran, the idea that there is teleological, goal-directed change is an anathema to all but the most progressive scientists because it confronts humans with the historically unbearable issue of the human condition.
The journey of new ideas in science
The history of the emergence of new ideas in science is replete with examples of how prejudice towards new insights—most especially towards profound ideas that relate to our human situation—has threatened to derail the human journey to enlightenment.
John Stuart Mill, in his 1859 essay On Liberty—a document considered a philosophical pillar of Western civilisation—emphasised that ‘the dictum that truth always triumphs over persecution is one of those pleasant falsehoods which men repeat after one another till they pass into commonplaces, but which all experience refutes. History teems with instances of truth put down by persecution. If not suppressed for ever, it may be thrown back for centuries.’ Recognising this danger of persecution, the science historian Thomas Kuhn emphasised how important it is that new ideas in science be defended when he wrote, ‘In science…ideas do not change simply because new facts win out over outmoded ones…Since the facts can’t speak for themselves, it is their human advocates who win or lose the day’ (Shirley C. Strum, Almost Human, 1987—Strum’s references are to Thomas Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, second edn, 1970).
The philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer summarised the journey that new ideas in science have historically had to undergo when he ‘said that the reception of any successful new scientific hypothesis goes through predictable phases before being accepted’. First, ‘it is ridiculed’ and ‘violently opposed’. Second, after support begins to accumulate, ‘it is stated that it may be true but it’s not particularly relevant’. Third, ‘after it has clearly influenced the field [including members of the establishment quickly remodelling/plagiarising the ideas as their own discoveries, which unfortunately is something the WTM has experienced and had to redress] it is admitted to be true and relevant but the same critics assert that the idea is not original’. Finally, ‘it is accepted as being self-evident’ (compiled from two references to Schopenhauer’s quote—New Scientist, 15 Nov. 1984 and PlanetHood, Ferencz & Keyes, 1988).
Note that each stage of recognition is achieved in a way that protects the ego of the onlookers. Clearly, because the ego or sense of self worth of each generation becomes attached to its view of the world, paradigm shifts typically have to be introduced by new generations. Thomas Kuhn recognised the need for younger people to take up new ideas in science when he pointed out that ‘the old scientists who became established within the dominant paradigm have to die off first: they will virtually never accept the new paradigm. Only the younger generation of scientists, who don’t have the emotional attachment to the old paradigm, will be willing to change their minds’ (a reference to the work of Kuhn by Marilyn Ferguson, New Age mag. Aug. 1982). The generation gap that new ideas in science can cause and the resulting need for tolerance by older generations was summarised by the physicist Max Planck when he said that ‘science progresses funeral by funeral’ (see his Scientific Autobiography, 1948).
George Bernard Shaw gave this succinct warning about the true nature of progress in science when he said that ‘All great truths begin as blasphemies’ (from his play Annajanska, 1919).
To look at some salient examples of the great danger of resistance to new ideas in science stalling the human journey to enlightenment: The Greek philosopher Socrates pioneered the development of the whole concept of science when he resolutely stood by the need for logical explanation to replace superstition, mysticism and dogma. Ultimately, for daring to promote the need to question, analyse, explain and understand—to replace nonsense, non-science with science—Socrates was, in 399 , forced to kill himself by drinking poison! This is a description of what happened to him: ‘Socrates was the evangelist of clear thinking. He went about the streets of Athens preaching logic…To his young and progressive friends he seemed the mildest of men, but he must have been regarded as a trouble-maker by thousands of old fogies and even by many thoughtful, moderate persons. There were two formal charges against Socrates: he did not believe in the gods recognized by the city, and he “corrupted the young.”…certainly young people loved this old man. The lure of new ideas, the invitation to think for themselves drew them to him, but their parents feared they were learning revolutionary doctrines…Socrates was tried by a jury…and condemned to death’ (Great Lives, Great Deeds, Reader’s Digest, 1966, p.33-34 of 448).
The Italian philosopher and astronomer Giordano Bruno was charged with ‘blasphemy, immoral conduct, and heresy’ (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giordano_Bruno) by the religious leaders of his day and in 1600 was burnt at the stake for propounding the Copernican principle that the Earth wasn’t the centre of the universe. When Galileo upheld the same belief some 10 years after Bruno’s incineration he was viciously persecuted and sentenced to live under house arrest for the remainder of his life. This is a description of what happened to Galileo: Born in 1564 he grew up in Florence and ‘at his father’s insistence he went on to the University of Pisa to study medicine and become a doctor…overhearing a geometry class stimulated his interest [in mathematics] and he started to study both mathematics and science. This change displeased his father…[and] he was forced to leave the university, degree-less, when his father refused to continue to support him…[Years later] he…published a series of letters supporting the Copernican theory…This created a tidal wave of anger among the Aristotelian professors, [who saw their theories being made redundant]…They quickly involved the Dominican [religious] order, who preached against this wave of new mathematics, and soon Galileo was denounced to the Inquisition for…[putting forward ideas that were said to be] contrary to all religious teaching of the day that claimed that the Earth was the fixed centre of the universe as stated by the bible…[Galileo] tried to contain the problem by contacting some of his powerful supporters, and even went to Rome to beg the authorities to open their eyes to change…but the chief theologian had a closed mind and supported the long-standing theories. The Copernican theory was declared “false and erroneous” and Galileo’s book was banned by decree…[Eventually his work was] to pass the official censors and to become acclaimed as a philosophical and literary masterpiece…[However] The Jesuits maintained the licence was obtained by false pretences and should be revoked. This allowed the church to charge Galileo with heresy and despite his age and failing health, he was forced to travel to Rome to stand trial…Under the threat of torture, and after intense interrogation, he finally agreed to recant…His recantment, coupled with powerful connections within the church, saved him from being thrown into prison or burned at the stake for heresy, but he was placed under house arrest for the last eight years of his life…376 years [later], the Catholic Church admitted it was wrong and posthumously pardoned him’ (quotes from an article titled How Galileo Rocked the Church and Scientists from News Corporation’s file stories on influential people).
In the case of Charles Darwin, he so feared his theory that showed humans descended from animals would be seen as offensive that he avoided publishing his ideas for eight years, and when it was published in 1859 his concept of natural selection was ‘greeted with violent and malicious criticism’ (The Origin of Species, title page, 1968 Penguin edn). If it wasn’t for Thomas Huxley’s staunch defence of Darwin in the great debate that took place at Oxford in 1860 Bishop Wilberforce’s bitter denigration of natural selection may well have prevented any serious consideration of Darwin’s idea, as this description of the debate reveals: ‘Bishop [Wilberforce, the Bishop of Oxford] spoke for full half-an-hour with inimitable spirit, emptiness and unfairness…He ridiculed Darwin badly, and Huxley savagely, but all in such dulcet tones, so persuasive a manner, and in such well-turned periods, that I [an observer in the audience] who had been inclined to blame the President for allowing a discussion that could serve no scientific purpose, now forgave him from the bottom of my heart…[Bishop Wilberforce asserted that] Darwin’s views were contrary to the revelations of God in the Scriptures’ (Charles Darwin, ed. Francis Darwin, 1902, p.236). ‘Darwin’s fiery young champion [was] the biologist Thomas Huxley…As a final crushing blow [Bishop Wilberforce] turned to Huxley. “Is the gentleman,” he asked, “related by his grandfather’s or grandmother’s side to an ape?” Springing to his feet, young Huxley retorted: “I would far rather be descended from a monkey on both my parents’ sides than from a man who uses his brilliant talents for arousing religious prejudice”. A roar of rage went up from the clergy, yells of delight from the Oxford students. The day was Huxley’s—and Darwin’s. All this time Darwin was living a recluse life at his country home in Kent…[where] work poured from his study…[leaving his] critics shuddering in dread of another “ungodly attack” upon the divinity of man…In vain was Darwin’s life scrutinized for the moral weakness that his enemies were sure must underlie his free thinking. All they could discover was a gentle old fellow who passed his days amid flowers and with children—his two greatest delights. Never by any word of his was God denied, nor the soul of man’ (Great Lives, Great Deeds, Reader’s Digest, 1966, p.335, 336). The resistance from the establishment was such that Darwin eventually concluded: ‘I have got fairly sick of hostile reviews…I can pretty plainly see that, if my view is ever to be generally adopted, it will be by young men growing up and replacing the old workers’ (Charles Darwin, ed. Francis Darwin, 1902, p.244). The stresses from having to withstand extreme resistance to his work were actually so great for Darwin that one of the reasons he was forced into ‘living a recluse life at his country home in Kent’ is without doubt that he suffered from chronic fatigue. In fact, there is even some recent discussion about renaming the debilitating ‘Chronic Fatigue Syndrome’ the ‘Charles Darwin Syndrome’ (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Changing the Name, by Roger Burns. Accessed 14 Apr. 2007 at: www.wtmsources.com/123).
Interestingly, one of the conclusions of Thomas Kuhn’s study of what happens to new ideas in science was ‘that revolutions in science are often initiated by an outsider—someone not locked into the current model, which hampers vision almost as much as blinders would’ (Shirley C. Strum, Almost Human, 1987, pp.164-165 of 294—Strum’s references are to Thomas Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, second edn, 1970), and to a degree this freedom and resulting ‘free thinking’ applied to Darwin, who has been described as ‘a lone genius, working from his country home without any official academic position’ (Geoffrey Miller, The Mating Mind, 2000, p.33 of 538). Obviously working on the effectively forbidden issue of the human condition meant Jeremy has had to work alone, even establish an organisation for the study of the human condition, which is fundamentally what the FHA/WTM is. While this independence meant Jeremy was not ‘hamper[ed]’ by ‘the current model’, the danger of not being part of the establishment was that it made him an easy, undefended target for those in the establishment who felt threatened by his heretical science. Thankfully there were a number of leading scientists who were prepared to come to Australia and defend his work at our trial, and thankfully there have also been other progressive scientists, such as eminent biologists John Morton and Charles Birch, physicists Stephen Hawking and Nobel Laureate Charles Townes, and renowned anthropologist Richard Leakey who have commended Jeremy’s ideas.
That was a brief analysis and description of the resistance new ideas in science have typically encountered. (Read the long history of efforts to seek support for—and the subsequent rejections, vilification and lack of acknowledgment of—Jeremy’s biological explanations for the human condition.)
What Actually Happened to Us, How True the Predictions Were!
As initially pointed out, prejudice against new ideas in science was especially likely to occur towards insights that demystified our human situation—basically towards ideas that threaten our sense of self worth, that trigger the underlying insecurity of our human condition. Socrates was persecuted for advocating the need for clear, logical, first-principle-based explanation to replace relatively non-threatening, often extremely abstract, even mystical, superstitions and beliefs. Bruno and Galileo were persecuted for revealing that our world is not the centre of the universe, while Darwin was persecuted for demystifying humans to the point of relating us to animals. Clearly, if these demystifications that only indirectly brought the issue of our insecure human condition into focus were determinedly resisted, then the actual demystification of the human condition itself, which is what we at the WTM are presenting, was likely to be extremely, even brutally resisted—and therefore the chances of the insight surviving were likely to be negligible, unless, as science historian Thomas Kuhn said, the ‘human advocates’ for it make such a valiant stand that they are able to ‘win…the day’!
Astonishing as it may seem, way back in approximately 360 the great Greek philosopher Plato actually described in detail the extreme resistance that the arrival of understanding of the human condition would encounter. Referring directly to the human condition, and using an analogy of a cave to describe how we humans have had to hide in fearful denial of the issue of the human condition, Plato wrote: ‘I want you to go on to picture the enlightenment or ignorance of our human conditions somewhat as follows. Imagine an underground chamber, like a cave with an entrance open to the daylight and running a long way underground. In this chamber are men who have been prisoners there’ (The Republic, tr. H.D.P. Lee, 1955, or you can view all these quotes from The Republic that appear in this and subsequent paragraphs highlighted at www.wtmsources.com/227). Plato then described how between the all-visible, sunlit world and humans’ ‘cave’ existence stands a ‘fire’ that prevents humans from leaving the cave. The allegory makes clear that while ‘the light of the fire in the [cave] prison [corresponds] to the power of the sun’, with ‘the sun…mak[ing] the things we see visible’ such that without it humans can only ‘see dimly and appear to be almost blind’, having to hide in the ‘cave’ of ‘illusion’ and endure ‘almost blind’ alienation was infinitely preferable to facing the ‘painful’ light of the ‘fire’/‘sun’ that would make ‘visible’ the unbearably depressing issue of ‘the imperfections of human life’, which is the issue of the human condition.
Having described humans as being imprisoned in a blind, alienated, cave-like state of denial of the issue of the human condition, Plato went on to actually describe what would happen when understanding of the human condition was found. To quote from a summary of the cave allegory from the Encarta Encyclopedia: ‘Breaking free, one of the individuals escapes from the cave into the light of day. With the aid of the sun [living free of denial], that person sees for the first time the real world and returns to the cave with the message that the only things they have seen heretofore are shadows and appearances and that the real world awaits them if they are willing to struggle free of their bonds. The shadowy environment of the cave symbolizes for Plato the physical world of appearances. Escape into the sun-filled setting outside the cave symbolizes the transition to the real world, the world of full and perfect being, the world of Forms, which is the proper object of knowledge’ (you can see this quote from Encarta Encyclopedia highlighted at www.wtmsources.com/101). To return to Plato’s actual words, he warned that ‘if he [the cave prisoner] were forcibly dragged up the steep and rocky ascent [out of the cave of denial by the person who has broken free of the cave] and not let go till he had been dragged out into the sunlight [shown the truthful all-liberating, ‘transition[ing]’ / TRANSFORMING, but at the same time exposing and confronting explanation of the human condition], the process would be a painful one, to which he would much object, and when he emerged into the light his eyes would be so overwhelmed by the brightness of it that he wouldn’t be able to see a single one of the things he was now told were real [this inability to absorb discussion of the human condition is what we in the WTM term the ‘deaf effect’]’. Plato didn’t stop there, going on to say, ‘they would say that his [the person who tries to deliver understanding of the human condition] visit to the upper world had ruined his sight [they would treat him as if he was mad, which is how Jeremy has been treated], and [they would say] that the ascent [out of the cave of denial] was not worth even attempting. And if anyone tried to release them and lead them up, they would kill him if they could lay hands on him’. In fact, Jeremy’s persecutors have done everything they can, short of physical attack, to ‘kill’ him.
The main ‘kill[ing]’ device employed against Jeremy and the WTM was to try to portray the WTM as one of those terrifying anti-social sects and Jeremy as its deluded, megalomaniac leader. However, as emphasised, the real motivation for the attacks upon us was not at all because we are one of those dangerous, mind-controlling organisations that prey on human vulnerability, but because we are daring to address the issue of the human condition. This was clearly revealed when the orchestrator of the attacks (who, as in the case of Bruno, Galileo and Darwin, was a minister of the church), Reverend Millikan, said to Jeremy, ‘You realise you are attempting the impossible, you will be fighting to have this material accepted right down to the last person on the planet’ (WTM records, 16 Feb. 1995), and, in the case of the other main architect of the attacks upon us, one of a very few intolerant parents of WTM members, and the only parent, other than his wife, to appear in the TV program criticising the WTM, Charles Belfield, similarly said to Jeremy, ‘You know you are encroaching on the personal unspeakable inside people and you won’t succeed’ (WTM records, 12 Feb. 1995), and similarly to his son Sam, ‘You are trying to rattle the black box inside people and you just can’t do that’ (WTM records, 18 Mar. 1995). But how could Jeremy be so unsound as to be a deluded, megalomaniac leader of a dangerous anti-social organisation and at the same time be sound enough to look into the human condition—which these statements by these architects of the completely dishonest, megalomaniac-leader-of-a-dangerous-sect attacks upon us clearly recognise he is doing? Quite simply, as Christ pointed out when he was accused of being ‘possessed by…the prince of demons’ (Mark 3:22) for his honest, human condition confronting and penetrating words, ‘How can Satan drive out Satan?’ (Mark 3:23). He was making the same point when he said that ‘A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit’ (Matt. 7:18).
Note also that these comments by these architects of the attacks upon us, that ‘you are attempting the impossible’, ‘you won’t succeed’ and ‘you just can’t do that’, bear out Plato’s prediction that ‘they would say…the ascent [out of the cave of denial] was not worth even attempting’. The real motivation for the attacks was clearly prejudice against addressing the issue of the human condition.
As has been summarised, this malicious fear campaign against us, especially the accusation that we are a dangerous anti-social organisation, has also been completely discredited by the numerous rulings and apologies we eventually obtained, culminating in the 2010 NSW Court of Appeal finding. As Tim Macartney-Snape explained in our advertisement in The Australian, for the Court of Appeal to have recognised Jeremy’s work as serious science, albeit, as mentioned, ‘teleological’, heretical science, was most significant because it was vitally important to our detractors to be able to assert that Jeremy’s work really wasn’t science at all (which is what they attempted to achieve by alleging that Jeremy’s work is of ‘such a poor standard that it has no support at all from the scientific community’) because the public could then be led to believe that support for his work must be due to the kind of meaningless, mind-controlling dogma that so characterises dangerously deluded sects. Note that Socrates, Bruno, Galileo and Darwin were each also persecuted specifically because they were seen as committing ‘heresy’, challenging the ‘Gods’ of the day.
Just as with Socrates, Jeremy was also in effect accused of ‘corrupting the young’ by the unsubstantiated allegation published in the defamatory Sydney Morning Herald article that the WTM destroys families, which the Herald subsequently withdrew in 2009 when it published the following apology to the FHA/WTM as part of a confidential settlement: ‘On 22 April 1995, the Sydney Morning Herald published an article by Reverend Doctor David Millikan which implied that the Foundation for Humanity’s Adulthood placed demands on its members which tore families apart. The Herald withdraws such inference and apologises to the Foundation for the harm caused by the publication.’
While the great majority of parents of WTM members and active supporters have been tolerant of their offspring’s (and adult, mature-aged offspring at that) involvement in the WTM, over the last twenty years there have been five cases out of more than one hundred families where parental intolerance has led to family division. The situation in 2011 is that of the five intolerant sets of parents, four have since either apologised or made apologetic overtures for their conduct. Only the parents of Sam Belfield (now 38 years old)—the parents who publicly attacked the WTM on the defamatory Four Corners program—have made no attempt to apologise and remain vehemently opposed to the WTM. At the Supreme Court hearing in 2007, Sam gave detailed evidence about how the division in his family came about, including how his father made Sam sign away his inheritance because of his support of the WTM—basically disowning Sam on the basis that he is incapable of thinking effectively and responsibly, despite Sam having an honours degree in Rural Science and being one of the most impressive and talented people in the WTM, so much so that Sam served as the CEO of the WTM for a number of years before taking up other important roles. The extent of Sam’s father’s intolerance was revealed when, as recorded in the evidence Sam gave in court, he told Sam that ‘he was going to sell his soul to destroy the Foundation [WTM]’. Tragically, Sam’s father’s extreme intolerance of Sam’s choices in life continues to this day, even in the face of all the official rulings condemning the defamatory publications about the WTM. Galileo’s similar experience with his father—‘This change displeased his [Galileo’s] father…[and] he was forced to leave the university, degree-less, when his father refused to continue to support him’—shows just how great the generation gap can be when new ideas emerge in science.
We saw how Socrates was supported by ‘young people’, and Darwin warned that it ‘will be by young men growing up and replacing the old workers’ that his ideas would be adopted, and what did Max Planck say: ‘science progresses funeral by funeral’. There has to be generational tolerance for new ideas to emerge in science. As emphasised at the outset, the whole point of democracy, which our forebears fought and died for in two world wars, was to preserve freedom of expression—with the most serious act of oppression of human thought possible in the whole of humanity’s journey to enlightenment being the one that can occur at the very moment when insight into the human condition is finally being put forward. As Plato’s cave allegory emphasised, the ‘enlightenment…of our human condition’ that leads to humanity’s ‘transition to the real world’ ‘is the proper object of knowledge’—an objective reiterated by renowned biologist E.O. Wilson when he said, ‘The human condition is the most important frontier of the natural sciences’ (Consilience, 1998, p.298 of 374). If blatant intolerance and prejudice is practiced, condoned and tolerated in the realm of inquiry where the issue of the human condition resides then humanity could never hope to free itself from that devastating condition: it would perish.
We should also mention at this point the malicious misrepresentation still being circulated about the WTM that its members aren’t allowed to marry or have children, which again is an attempt to portray WTM members as victims of some kind of dogmatic control. WTM members are free to do whatever they choose and we have members who are married and members who have children, however, it should be clear from what has already been documented that the opposition to our work has been so immense, and our dedication to match it has had to be so great, that the great majority of our core members were not responsibly able to have and take care of young children through these two decades of persecution. Trying to address the issue of the human condition when humanity’s historical, age-old way of coping with the issue has been to determinedly avoid it, has meant that we, like Socrates, Bruno, Galileo and Darwin, have been committing a very great heresy, and to do that has required extraordinary courage, tenacity, endurance, dedication, commitment, self-sacrifice and self-sufficiency. Again, as Thomas Kuhn emphasised, when new ideas in science are put forward it is the ‘human advocates who win or lose the day’.
With regard to how self-sufficient we have had to be, it has to be remembered that science, as it has been practiced, has been dedicated to totally avoiding the subject of the human condition. It is a truly bizarre situation where pretty well any and all subjects have been researched and studied at universities and other institutions except the most important subject of all, and the most important by light years: the subject of the human condition. So not one cent of funding has been made available from universities, or from any other institution on Earth for that matter, to support the enormous amount of original work Jeremy and the WTM have done for many years and continue to do on understanding and ameliorating the human condition. All the work has been provided and funded by our own initiative and enterprise. Not only that, all this work has had to be carried out under a barrage of vicious attacks from powerful sections of our community—in fact, until this momentous ruling by the Appeal court, we have had to live as virtual pariahs in our community. For years after the 1995 media attack we were having to live with being referred to as the ‘Waco mob’, after that deranged sect in America, and we were dealing with such a constant succession of crises resulting from public fear of our organisation that many of us still suffer anxiety attacks when the phone rings. The problem is the realm of the human condition that we are daring to address is the realm where the whole of human insecurity resides and it is therefore the realm where all manner of charlatans have operated, and so it was relatively easy for Reverend Millikan, the producer of Four Corners, to employ voice-over suggestions, use selective editing, and fabricate and twist evidence—such as infer members are subjected to barrages of irrational, mind-controlling monologues while being fed beer to lower their resistance to indoctrination!, etc, etc—to make us appear to be one of those terrifyingly deluded sects. Also, it’s easy to forget now that the 1990s was a period when fear of deluded megalomaniac-led sects was very high in the community after the recent horror of Waco, and Jonestown in 1978. Indeed, an article in Time magazine about the history of paranoias in America, such as fear of the Ku Klux Klan in 1915, listed the ‘1970s’ as the period ‘spawning fear of cυlts’ (30 Aug. 2010). The psychological difficulty of enduring this situation, together with the practical and financial burden of our litigation to fight back against the oppression, and fight back successfully, has been immense, and yet our small band of some 50 Founding Members of the WTM has triumphed over all these problems. Our project has certainly required extraordinary courage, tenacity, endurance, dedication, commitment, self-sacrifice and self-sufficiency.
In relation to the number of Founding Members in the WTM, we would also like to point out that since the early 1990s until the present, 2011, the founding membership of the WTM has consistently numbered around 50 individuals, the great majority long-standing. Fifty is about the limit of the number of people one individual can get to know and personally explain their ideas to, especially ideas that are as confronting as these explanations of the human condition are. Socrates had only a small band of supporters when he was laying the foundations for Western civilisation with his teaching that ‘the only good is knowledge and the only evil is ignorance’ (Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Eminent Philosophers, c.225 AD), and of course Christianity was built from a very small foundation group of supporters. The examples go on of instances of ‘Dunbar’s number’, the number of individuals with whom a stable inter-personal relationship can be maintained. While this project will remain in some jeopardy until substantial support for it builds, thankfully we feel that the horrifically difficult pioneering stage (Schopenhauer described this First Stage in the reception of new ideas in science as the time when the idea is ‘ridiculed’ and ‘violently opposed’) is largely over and that great self-sacrifices, such as not having children, aren’t necessary for subsequent members. Having succeeded in establishing our right to exist—laying the foundation for humanity’s adulthood—as our name change to the WORLD TRANSFORMATION MOVEMENT reflects, we can now focus on promoting these fabulously TRANSFORMING understandings of the human condition and sharing with a larger membership the opportunity that these understandings alone have of saving the world.
Finally, while the Court of Appeal judgment regarding the third imputation about the standard of and scientific support for Jeremy’s work vindicated our fundamental complaint that what the 1995 Four Corners program said about his work was untrue, the Court upheld the unimportant (in terms of clearing our name) defences of ‘comment’ and ‘qualified privilege’. As Tim Macartney-Snape pointed out in his commentary on this ruling, these matters of ‘comment’ and ‘qualified privilege’ relate not to our behaviour but to the ABC’s conduct and to Millikan’s motives. As emphasised, in terms of our behaviour our name was cleared, and with regard to the so-called ‘comment’ and ‘qualified privilege’ defences that relate to the ABC’s and Millikan’s behaviour, we maintain that because of many other findings made by the Court—including findings that Millikan misled us; that damaging allegations in the program were not made in good faith; and that Millikan said he’d ‘relish’ the opportunity to ‘harass’ Jeremy, that those defences should not have been allowed because the underlying assertions were untrue, unfair and made maliciously.
Our belief that the appeal judges should have found that the program was actuated by malice is supported by a review of the Court of Appeal finding that appeared in the highly regarded Quadrant magazine. In a story written by the investigative journalist Geoffrey Luck called ‘The Hubris of Four Corners’ (Nov. 2012, www.wtmsources.com/245), Luck wrote that ‘While the three judges agreed that the program had not been justified in claiming Griffith’s book was of such poor scientific standard that it had no support at all from the scientific community, Four Corners avoided liability when the Court upheld a defence of comment…[which] was an unusual outcome…Evidently the appeal judges failed to understand the motivations of some investigative journalism projects, which from time to time clearly attempt…to exert social and political influence’, in this case, ‘to set back [Griffith’s] activities’, which was why ‘Rev. Millikan had also engaged in misrepresentation to obtain Griffith’s co-operation in making the broadcast.’
Although our name had been cleared, in the public interest of holding our national broadcaster fully accountable, we decided to seek special leave to appeal these two residual matters to the High Court of Australia. However, on 8 April 2011 our application for special leave to make the appeal was declined, as the great majority of special leave applications to the High Court are, meaning the substance of our appeal to the High Court on these residual issues was never determined and the Court of Appeal’s judgment stands. The intricacies of the ABC litigation are quite complex and vary across the differing defamation laws of each Australian state in which the Four Corners program was broadcast, however, it should be explained that in general terms to technically win the Appeal across all states, all three defences pleaded by the ABC of ‘truth’, ‘comment’ and ‘qualified privilege’ in relation to the third imputation needed to be overturned by the Court of Appeal. So while technically it can be said that we ‘lost’ the appeal because the Court of Appeal upheld the more technical defences of ‘comment’ and ‘qualified privilege’, most significantly, as described, the key defence of ‘truth’ was overturned, with the Court of Appeal recognising that what the ABC said about Jeremy’s work was not true and that his work is a variety of science that is heretical, rather than being the equivalent of meaningless non-science.
So overall, these long running proceedings were a fabulous success for this project and the future of the world, and full vindication was ultimately achieved. In relation to the ABC case, we succeeded completely in two out of the three defamatory imputations—and proved the third imputation to be untrue—resulting in a $700,000 payout and an order for costs against the ABC. Furthermore, as part of a confidential settlement of those proceedings the Sydney Morning Herald published, in 2009, the aforementioned public apology to the FHA/WTM for the harm it caused.
As our full-page advertisement in The Australian on 16 December 2010 made clear, after 16 years of seeking redress, for the ABC—the Australian public’s official media representative—to publish and then stubbornly stand behind an obvious hatchet job and now utterly discredited program on work of the utmost importance to the future of the human race was appallingly irresponsible. We await its apology to us, to the Australian people, to science and to the whole of humankind.
The Outcome—The Birth of a New Human-Condition-Ameliorated World
Sixteen years may seem a long time to achieve redress, but since all new ideas are initially resisted by the established order—as George Bernard Shaw observed, ‘All great truths begin as blasphemies’—and given the stupendous scale of the paradigm shift involved in what we are presenting, namely reconciling understanding of the human condition, with the human condition being the issue that the whole human race has been living in near total denial of, it is not surprising. Rather, given the overwhelming resistance to analysis of the human condition the fact that we finally managed to achieve redress is a truly extraordinary and wonderful—in fact, stunning—achievement.
We want to emphasise that achieving vindication was an absolute bonus because our primary responsibility (as Jeremy has emphasised from the outset of our struggle, including in his essay Crisis Point in the Human Journey, which is one of the documents we have drawn on to compile this presentation) was to defend these all-important ideas irrespective of whether or not we ‘won’, because it is the resolve displayed in such defences that ultimately lets the world know that something precious is being put forward. When Socrates was forced to commit suicide he had seemingly lost the battle to defend his heretical idea that logic should replace superstition and dogma, yet the resolve that he exhibited in refusing to recant so inspired others that he succeeded in laying the foundations for free thinking in the world. When Christ was crucified he too had seemingly lost his battle to establish a home for denial-free truth in the world, but his refusal to disown what he stood for was so impressive it enabled Christianity to survive and become the great redeeming religion it has been for the human race. Thankfully, we live in somewhat more civilised times, but the principle is clear: when introducing a new paradigm the progenitors of it cannot not stand by it—they cannot, in effect, disown it when it is inevitably subjected to persecution. [See more analysis of the resolve required to defend denial-free truth in F. Essay 54: The accusation of hubris.]
We should say that even though we have understood how critical it was that we defend these ideas, from the beginning everyone else was telling us to take the easy way out—‘why waste your energy and money’, ‘there are always going to be those who hate what you are doing’, ‘you can’t defeat these people’, ‘forgive and forget, we’ll understand’, ‘just get on with your important work’, etc, etc. We very much empathise with a scene in Inherit the Wind—a movie about the so-called Monkey Trial in Tennessee, USA in 1925, where a school master named John Scopes was prosecuted for promoting Darwin’s theory of Natural Selection—where Scopes’s attorney said to Scopes: ‘I know what you are going through. It’s the loneliest feeling in the world. It’s like walking down an empty street listening to your own footsteps. But all you have to do is to knock on any door and say “if you’ll let me in I’ll live the way you want me to live and I’ll think the way you want me to think” and all the blinds will go up and all the doors will open and you will never be lonely ever again.’ This further quote from John Stuart Mill’s great essay On Liberty emphasises just how important it is not to give in to oppression: ‘We have now recognised the necessity to the mental well-being of mankind (on which all their other well-being depends) of freedom of opinion, and freedom of the expression of opinion’, summarising that ‘the price paid for intellectual pacification, is the sacrifice of the entire moral courage of the human mind’.
So, not defending these humanity-saving insights into the human condition was not an option for us, and, as a result, our small group of 50 Founding Members of the WTM has had to make very great personal sacrifices, commit so much of our resources and endure immense emotional suffering for 16 years. In Jeremy’s case, he, just like Charles Darwin, was so overwhelmed by the responsibility and effort involved that his body finally collapsed with the debilitating illness of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Although, like Darwin, Jeremy kept working throughout the illness—largely due to the loving care Jeremy received from his partner of 30 years, Annie Williams—the illness was to last from 1999 to 2009, which was 10 of what should have been the most productive years of Jeremy’s life. Defending these understandings of the human condition was our primary and necessary task in order to give birth to a new human-condition-ameliorated world, and we are all extremely proud that we fulfilled it by resolutely defending the understandings at all times, at all costs and right to the end against immense and ferocious opposition from not only Australia’s two biggest, left-wing (dogmatic, pseudo-idealistic, ‘let’s pretend there’s no human condition and the world should just be ideal’, dishonest) media institutions in the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and the Fairfax Media group, but many other powerful and influential people, organisations and factions in our community—including, of course, Reverend Doctor David Millikan, who we in the WTM have experienced to be the sadistic Bishop Bonner of our time!
So, to have won the battle against our oppressors, in addition to succeeding in our primary task of resolutely never disowning and never failing to fully support these all-precious ideas, was a truly wonderful and incredible achievement.
Overall, by succeeding completely in defending these human-race-redeeming-and-thus-world-saving understandings of the human condition through their most difficult, fragile and tenuous early pioneer stage, our small group of 50 Founding Members of the WTM has succeeded in giving birth to a new human-condition-ameliorated world.
One day the story will be told across the world of the courage of this small band of people in defying enormous odds—not only against persecution from without but also the ‘Mexican Standoff’ struggles that pioneering the TRANSFORMED WAY OF LIVING entailed in themselves—to save their species from extinction. Just as when the early Athenians won their great, heroic battle at Marathon against overwhelming odds to save their civilisation and, by so doing, created such a foundation culture and mythology of pride and belief that the Western world was able to grow from it, so our achievement lays the foundations for a whole new world for all humans. To quote this Wikipedia reference on the effects of the boldness and courage of the Athenians at Marathon: ‘Since the following two hundred years saw the rise of the Classical Greek civilization, which has been enduringly influential in western society, the Battle of Marathon is often seen as a pivotal moment in European history. For instance, John Stuart Mill famously suggested that “the Battle of Marathon, even as an event in British history, is more important than the Battle of Hastings”’ (Accessed Aug. 2011 at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Marathon).
After our momentous victory in the Court of Appeal on the critical issue of the truth about Jeremy’s work, the WTM held a party at which our own band, ‘The Denialators’, played. Some of our immense pride, happiness and excitement is captured in the video of that party, which you are invited to watch.
In closing, we at the WTM want to express our profound gratitude for the outstanding commitment and support of our legal team during our long-running litigation—our senior counsel Kieran Smark SC, our solicitor Fiona Henderson and her firm Schweizer Kobras, and our junior counsel, Sue Chrysanthou. We also want to acknowledge the immense contribution to our litigation success by our own membership’s talented legal team of Sam Belfield, Jοhn Bіggs (a lawyer), James Press, Genevieve Salter, Damon Isherwood, Susan Armstrong, Tess Watson—and of course Jeremy and Tim.
Read an Expanded History of the Persecution
of the WTM’s work of bringing understanding to
the all-important issue of the human condition
Court of Appeal vindicates
biologist Jeremy Griffith’s treatise
on the origins of the human condition
On 7 October 2010, the NSW Court of Appeal unanimously overturned an earlier Supreme Court finding concerning a defamatory 1995 Four Corners program about the WORLD TRANSFORMATION MOVEMENT. In a momentous judgment for our project, for science and for the future of the human race, the Court of Appeal recognised the unorthodox nature of Jeremy Griffith’s explanation of the origins and amelioration of the human condition, finding that the lower Court did ‘not adequately consider’ ‘the nature and scale of its subject matter’, in particular ‘that the work was a grand narrative explanation from a holistic approach, involving teleological elements’.
See our full-page advertisement in The Australian newspaper containing Tim Macartney-Snape’s commentary on this momentous ruling.
For an elaboration on the resistance to new ideas in science, we recommend you read the following two short presentations:
Crisis Point in the Human Journey
By Jeremy Griffith
At no time in the human journey to enlightenment is the temptation to abandon the all-important democratic principle of freedom of expression greater than when understanding of the human condition is finally found. Read/Print essay at www.humancondition.com/crisis.
Sir James Darling’s Vision of Fostering the Ability to
Undertake the ‘Paramount’ Task of Solving the
Human Condition in Order to ‘Save the World’
To affirm the crucial importance of the WTM’s work of addressing the human condition we present an essay about Sir James Darling, former Chairman of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, the organisation that has since so lost its way that it has done all it could to misrepresent, vilify and destroy this all-important work of addressing the human condition. Sir James Darling was also headmaster of Geelong Grammar School for 32 years until 1961, the school that a number of WTM members attended, including WTM/FHA founding directors, Jeremy Griffith, his brother Simon Griffith, Tim Macartney-Snape AM OAM and Christopher Stephen. Read/Print essay at www.humancondition.com/darling.
Read the long history of efforts to seek support for—and the subsequent rejections, vilification and lack of acknowledgment of—Jeremy’s biological explanations for the human condition, for the origins of our moral soul and conscious mind, and for the truth of the integrative meaning of existence.