All readers of this periodical will by now have heard about the US Army Reserve Equal Opportunity training brief which lumps Catholicism with Hamas, with Al-Qaeda, with the Klan, and with whichever telephone booth now houses the Aryan Brotherhood. By now, readers might also be aware of the fact that Australia is facing its next general election on September 14.
It is in connection with this latter event that there has emerged a website of a mysterious organisation called the Mainstream Party (www. mainstream.org.au), based at Indooropilly, Queensland, and run on its own admission by one Geoff Bird. Ordinarily such a minuscule outfit might not warrant attention.
The Mainstream Party does warrant it, principally for a level of barking-insane anti-Catholic malice largely unknown in Australia since the knuckle-dragging 1950s heyday of Protestant scandal-sheets like The Rock.
No indication can be found on the website as to who is subsidising Geoff Bird, or how many members – if any – the Mainstream Party has. There is also no indication that the party was ever registered with the Australian Electoral Commission, as would be required by law if its membership list exceeded 500 persons.
While on the top-right-hand corner of every page is an unmistakable Masonic symbol, no formal Masonic affiliation is supplied anywhere. Not the smallest hint has emerged that any existing Masonic group within Australia even knows of the website, let alone supports it.
Yet whatever the site lacks in legal rigour, it compensates for in sheer spittle-flecked entertainment value. After four more or less coherent, if predominantly malign, paragraphs on the home page, we arrive at the following assertions:
"Under Labor, the proportion of Catholics in government employment has steadily risen. Now, in any government agency that you care to look at, nine out of every ten public servants are Catholics. In the general population, six out of every ten people are Protestant. Clearly the Labor Party are engaging in unlawful discrimination against the Protestant majority.
"Suppose you are not from a Catholic background, and you want a career in the Australian military. If you apply in the normal way, you will be knocked back as not having enough 'merit'. To the recruiting officers, Catholics have more 'merit' than Protestants. The only way you will be able to join is by becoming a tradesman first, since the military have a hard time finding tradesmen, and so they will not be able to discriminate against you. So if you want to become a general, you may have to become a plumber first."
But wait, there's more:
"The Catholic Church has marketed itself as being an ordinary church like the Baptist Church or the Mormon Church [sic]. In reality the Catholic Church is not a church, but is a subversive organisation like al-Qaeda. The Catholic Church gets its power from its school system. It brainwashes students to do the bidding of the clergy.
"The majority of Australian elected representatives, whether they are members of Parliament, or local councillors, were educated at Catholic schools. The Catholic Church had ample opportunity when these people were at school to get them to believe whatever the Church wanted, as children will do ... Our party was set up to represent the majority of Australians who are not Catholics. Accordingly, we represent Australians of English, Welsh and Scottish ancestry, as opposed to people from minority groups. If we are elected, we will not govern for the benefit of all Australians. We will govern for the benefit of the people we represent, just as the Labor, Liberal and National parties have been governing only for the benefit of Irish Catholics for the past 20 years or so."
Very considerately, Mr Bird explains what will be in store for us papists when the Mainstream Party, presumably no later than September 14, barrels into power:
"We will pass legislation setting up a Roman Catholic Church of the State or Territory, which will take over the property previously owned by the trustees. This church will be run by a General Assembly elected by all residents of the State or Territory who were christened as Catholics. The General Assembly will appoint all clerics, including clerics who the Vatican does not want them [ sic] to appoint. ...
"We will set up a 'Truth and Reconciliation Commission' as a standing Royal Commission type inquiry into hate-crimes committed by Catholics, and especially Labor politicians, against mainstream Australians. Most Labor Party policies count as hate-crimes under international law. For example, employing mainly Catholic public servants in a Protestant country technically amounts to apartheid, and apartheid is a hate-crime. ...
" We would particularly like to make an agreement with the Philippines whereby they would accept all our Catholics. In practice, most Catholics may well end up staying in Australia. They cause so much trouble that it is unlikely that any other country would want them. Catholics who remain in Australia will no lon ger be eligible for Australian Passports ..."
" We will issue all Australian residents and visitors with identity cards that will double as driver's licences. There will be three types of cards:
• blue cards for mainstream people
• red cards for Catholic and Jewish people and
• green cards for everyone else.
"We cannot have the high qua lity of life that we deserve if we have Catholics living in our neighbourhoods. Our aim is to segregate Catholics into their own suburbs so they cannot cause trouble for us. Australian cities already have no-go areas such as Cabramatta with high concentrations of Catholics. The difference will be that we will put walls around the no-go areas to stop the scumbags getting out."
There are plenty of other complaints in the same vein, every line of them proscribed under existing Australian anti-vilification statutes at both federal and state level but readers could well conclude that they have had enough already.
Even the most jaded observer, though, might raise an eyebrow at the party platform's censorship clauses, from which we discover not only that Rupert Murdoch is a Catholic (!?!?), but also that the party has in mind actually increasing the current levels of local dirigisme until we arrive at something like a wombat-controlled Pyongyang. Good luck trying to read, er, The Remnant from an Australian computer:
" State Governments will have a similar system for approving books, movies, newspapers and magazines. Journalists and publishers will need licences from the State Department of Information. Catholics need not apply. Newspapers and television stations will be State Owned Enterprises. Media magnates have had too much power for hundreds of years, and it is about time we got rid of them. But it is acceptable for a privately owned company to make films and television shows.
" The Internet in Australia will be run by a state-owned enterprise. Overseas web pages will only be visible in Australia if they have been approved by the censors. The Australian arms of social media companies such as Google, Bing, Wikipedia, Facebook, Twitter and Ebay will be nationalised."
Until a very few years ago it would have been tempting to conclude that the whole enchilada was probably an elaborate hoax (perhaps, as one Sydney Catholic priest has conjectured, one carried out by under-occupied sociology sophomores): and, if not a hoax, then still incapable of being taken seriously.
This sanguine approach is no longer tenable at a time when an Irish-style national commission to investigate clerical sex abuse is already afoot when, if American-type duty of care legislation applied here, every single Australian bishop would be certainly in court and probably in jail and when the theologically illiterate "Catholic" Premier of New South Wales, Barry O'Farrell, has both demanded the legalisation of same-sex "marriage" ( The Sydney Morning Herald, 18 April 2013) and called for the abolition of priests' rights to keep confessions secret ( The Age, November 14, 2012).
In short: the Mainstream Party, although it might have no more inherent appeal than any other nest of cockroaches, will – above all in an election year – bear watching by the Catholic laity. Elie Wiesel once commented, with the authority of a man who had survived incarceration in both Buchenwald and Auschwitz: "If anyone says that he wants to kill you, believe him."
Should this dictum not apply also to those who merely want to herd you into slums and rob you of your citizenship?
R.J. Stove is a Catholic convert based in Melbourne. This article originally appeared in The Remnant (Minnesota) on 30 April, in a slightly longer version which included explanations for an American audience of Australia's current parliamentary system.