anarchy, death, spooks

HAROLD THOMPSON (April 9, 1942–October 11, 2008)

Anarchist’s ashes lough scattering
June 23, 2009

There was a hint on anarchy on the breeze over the waters of Lough Neagh recently with the scattering of the ashes of an American man. They belonged to Harold Thompson, who died in jail last October at the age of 66 after being sentenced to life plus 50 years for murder and robbery in 1979. His parents were from Ireland and had emigrated to the United States after the troubles of the first half of the 20th century. After a stint in Vietnam he became involved in anti-war protests and anarchism, notching up run-ins with the authorities before the killing that would see him spend the rest of his life behind bars. His supporters describe the man he was convicted of killing as a police informer who had killed the mother of one of Mr Thompson’s children and threatened the life of another. His robberies are described as “expropriation activities” on an anarchist support website…

I am an anti-authoritarian, anti-racist, anti-sexist, anarchist revolutionary of proud Irish heritage. I am also a vegetarian and strongly support the animal liberation movement. I stand for civil/human rights and will not break, bend nor be intimidated. I stand in solidarity with all people struggling against oppression but most particularly with my brothers and sisters in the anarchist movement. ~ Harold Thompson


Greek anarchist held over British diplomat’s guard murder, Reuters, June 23, 2009 [?] Nikos Kountardas to be released on Thursday morning, Occupied London, June 18, 2009 [?] So… Nikos was released on bail (after being charged with setting a bank on fire in Thrace on October 4, 2007)… then a few days later confessed to police he was responsible for the murder in December 2004 of Haralambos Amanatidis? Hmmm. Ekatherimini (June 23, 2009): “…police are said to be questioning the credibility of another claim of responsibility, by known anarchist Nikos Kountardas, regarding the fatal shooting of a special guard outside the British attache’s residence in 2004. Officers are said to be skeptical about Kountardas’s claim to have killed Haralambos Amanatidis with the help of an accomplice who is now dead. Police are looking into cases of recently deceased anarchists to see whether they shed any further light on Kountardas’s claims.” Very odd.

See also : 325, an insurgent anti-prison zine of social war & anarchy.


Harold Thompson died at the age of 66, of a heart attack, and only a few years after having been almost beaten to death by neo-Nazis in prison, an assault which not only left him with permanent damage, but which took place with the collusion of prison authorities.

On Sunday, the Sunday Herald Sun reported that Thomas Shepherd — “AKA Ian Johnson, Timothy Shearer, Rory Thomas etc” — at the age of 66, has announced that he spent two decades of his life as an ASIO spook spying on leftists — a thoroughly routine and completely normal activity for an ASIO employee. The only odd aspect of the article — apart from the fact that a former operative has gone public, contrary to laws pertaining to ASIO — is that Shepherd nominates two of the VIPs he spied on as being union boss Jennie George and academic Marcia Langton; the compilation of dossiers on ‘persons of interest’ and the infiltration of leftist groups — Shepherd names the Communist Party of Australia (RIP) and the Socialist Workers Party (now known as the DSP) — is standard practice, and dates back to the early twentieth century.

In the spying game, the more things change, the more they stay the same… although now ASIO has an absolutely massive budget in comparison to when Timothy was assessing Jennie George’s culinary skillz.

Again, I don’t get it. (I didn’t realise spooks were also named ‘sparrows’ but!) Actually, now that I think about it, I could’ve sworn I’ve come across this story before…

I spied on top Aussies
Laurie Nowell
Sunday Herald Sun
June 21, 2009

A FORMER ASIO spy has revealed he was made to snoop on prominent Australians, including former ACTU chief Jennie George.

Thomas Shepherd said he believed that in the 1970s and ’80s, ASIO compiled dossiers on hundreds of leading Australians, including Bob Hawke, Gough Whitlam and Peter Garrett.

He said the list of those being watched included judges, entertainers and business figures.

Mr Shepherd, 66, risks prison for revealing details of his life as a spy, but said his life had been destroyed by his experiences and he felt betrayed by the agency.

“It was an age of paranoia. Anyone slightly left of centre was viewed with suspicion by ASIO,” Mr Shepherd said.

Mr Shepherd was recruited by ASIO as an 18-year-old student in the 1960s and worked for it for 20 years, spying on Left-wing organisations within Australia.

He said life as a spy cost him his marriage and his peace of mind and threatened his sanity.

He said he was a regular visitor to Ms George’s home, having meals there.

“ASIO wanted to know everything about her, personal details, the lot, right down to what was served for dinner,” Mr Shepherd said.

“The important thing was I never discovered anything about her that could damage her in any way,” he said.

Mr Shepherd said he also spied on one of Australia’s most renowned Aboriginal leaders, Marcia Langton, in the mid-1970s.

He became a member of the Communist Party and the Socialist Workers Party of Australia in the 1970s in order to gather information and pass it to ASIO.

“Lies and deceit became my way of life. Vigilance was required at all times. This was stressful and socially alienating,” Mr Shepherd said.

After he left ASIO he was given little or no assistance to rebuild his life, despite the post-traumatic stress disorder he was suffering.

As recently as last April, ASIO took out an order against him and threatened him with a lengthy prison sentence if he co-operated in the writing of this article.

The Sunday Herald Sun attempted to contact ASIO for comment, but the organisation did not return calls.



I was a dedicated ASIO Operative (spy) for almost 20 years and now I [have] been thrown to the wolves.

I was an Arts student at Sydney University in 1961 when I was approached by an ASIO Officer and Handler, —–. I was asked to serve God, Queen and Country during the rabid anti communist Cold War era. The Petrov affair was still reverberating and Prime Minister Menzies’s fantasies of Reds under the bed and the Red Invading Hand of communism coming from SE Asia was a popular political poster and integral to the politics of the time.

I was recruited as one of ASIO’s Operatives over a few beers with —– at the Rushcutters Bay Hotel under the name of Ian Johnson.

Under instruction from —–, the communist milieu was targeted. I was instructed to join the Earlwood Branch of the Communist Party of Australia. The objective was to infiltrate the Young Communist Movement and in particular observe the Flowers Family.

This was to be in association with the infiltration of the Teachers Federation and to target the supposed communist leadership. In particular people such as Jenny [sic] George who much later was to become Secretary of the ACTU and Marcia Langton Professor of Aboriginal Studies Melbourne University[.]

The then obligatory pilgrimage overseas, England, France, Italy and Greece to gain some experience of the International and the strengthening Socialist League was undertaken. Embassy contacts such as Bill in Rome, Tony in England were supplied by ASIO in case of need.

When I returned to Australia my target [was] changed to the Socialist Workers Party of Australia, in particular Jim and John Percy. Any international affiliates were of supreme importance as sources of finance, beginning of [sic] the tumultuous Arab world and the influence of Russia. This was permeated with the constant interest in the Socialist International Organisation[?]

This required my activities in such places as New Zealand, USA, UK, Belgium and France. This was all directed by various ASIO and overseas handlers.

There was fear, drama, tension and anxiety [aplenty], for example, with the Murphy “invasion” of the ASIO Offices in Canberra. Along with the everyday subterfuge, double identities and concealment here and overseas. Craft skills were taught in meagre sessions and basically one was left to one’s abilities.

I worked from 1962 to 1977 on a “payment for services” basis although later ASIO denied I was an employee. This was the case except for the period 1977 to 1979 where a contract was signed and an annual wage was determined.

In 1979 my cover was questioned. The SWP instituted a formal tribunal which included house arrest, abuse, supervision, and intensive search of all my possessions. My membership was terminated and delivered by John Percy on the grounds of suspect religious beliefs and appreciation of religious classical music. They were unable to establish any link to ASIO.

A period of extreme fear and rejection of both ASIO and SWP overwhelmed me and I fled my home. I then fled Australia with my future wife because of both fear and retribution.

Before departure and on return I rejected “debriefing sessions” from ASIO. (Debriefing is totally discredited by the international medical profession[.]) Previous sessions had always been farcical both here and in New Zealand.

I left Sydney in 1980 for Hillville and later Green Point to live in seclusion fearing to return to Sydney

In 2006 I appealed for medical assistance from ASIO after my wife divorced me as she could no longer support my erratic and irrational behaviour. I met with B– and L– at the Mercure Airport Hotel for a day’s assessment by L– an ASIO psychologist. She was never permitted to make her report available to me even after her assurances and promises. She expressed her deepest concern about my psychiatric state and recommended 3 Sydney psychiatrists. ASIO under pressure paid the Medicare gap for 3 visits.

I visited one of these psychiatrists for six months on a regular basis. Dr R Juratowitch has subsequently disappeared with his records.

I made a Comcare application as suggested by Mr I Carnell of IGIS and was referred to a psychiatrist whom they appointed and the conditions of PTSD, Anxiety Disorder, severe [d]epression, paranoia and constant resolve to suicide were confirmed. My current psychiatrist also confirms these conditions.

ASIO has delayed and hampered the assessments by Comcare and even after Mr I Carnell’s (IGIS) astonishment at my treatment by ASIO.

Comcare has rejected any help for my re insertion into society.

This matter is now before the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

See also : Jeff Sparrow adds to his ASIO file (May 29, 2008) | “Rob Gilchrist” — Kiwi spy outed by his former girlfriend in December 2008.

About @ndy

I live in Melbourne, Australia. I like anarchy. I don't like nazis. I enjoy eating pizza and drinking beer. I barrack for the greatest football team on Earth: Collingwood Magpies. The 2024 premiership's a cakewalk for the good old Collingwood.
This entry was posted in Anarchism, History, State / Politics, War on Terror and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to anarchy, death, spooks

  1. Dr. Cam says:

    P. Adams speaking to T. Shepherd on Late Night Live, 20/8/09:

    A bit of wank about Adams’ own ASIO file, but somewhat interesting, especially the way he was outed by the SWP.

  2. Dr. Cam says:

    Don’t thank me, thank my ASIO training. I fink there is going to be a thing about/by Shepherd in the next edition of Overland.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.