Ben Weerheym, a neo-Nazi formerly of Perth, has recently decided to close his blog, avoiceofdissent — for a long period of time known as ‘Patriot Alliance Down Under’ in reflection of its author’s rather grandiose imagination (there being no other members of the ‘Alliance’). avoiceofdissent was established approximately nine months after Ben pled guilty on August 3, 2004, to nine counts of wilful damage for his part in a racist spree of vandalism in Perth, and for which he received a sentence of six months and one day, suspended for 12 months (and for which his fellow neo-Nazis — Damon Paul Blaxall, Daniel Tyrone Klavins, Frank James Lemin and Shannon Mark Post — received custodial sentences).
In addition to the racist fringe attracted to the 57 varieties of nonsense Ben published, during its two-year existence, from May 2005 to May 2007, his blog also managed to come to the attention of a number of other, slightly different audiences; including WA police and the Director of Public Prosecutions. In March 2006, both The West Australian and The Australian carried reports of investigations by these agencies into avoiceofdissent and another one of Ben’s blogs, Leftywatch, for alleged racial villification. Thus according to Dan Box (The Australian):
The Patriot Alliance Down-under blog site… has been used by members of Australia’s “White Nationalist” group to threaten physical violence and single out targets for intimidation by publishing their photographs, telephone numbers and addresses. Posts include a detailed fantasy of rounding up Lebanese men in a bus, then filling the interior with poisonous exhaust fumes. “Imagine the sight, if you will, of all those oily dune coons gasping for air and clawing vainly at the windows,” the post reads.
While Fran Spencer (The West Australian) writes:
While posts on the Patriot Alliance Down-under blog have included references to “oily dune coons”, “sandniggers” and “the Asian invasion”, the Leftywatch blog focuses on publishing pictures and personal details of individuals it claims oppose patriotic activists. Yesterday, the site contained personal details on four Perth individuals including home suburbs, email addresses and places of work along with calls for further information or photos for publication.
Despite protests from a number of the individuals profiled, church groups, ethnic groups, and others, WA police and the DPP took no action. In fact, the racial vilification legislation — introduced in explicit response to a previous outbreak of racial violence orchestrated by Jack Van Tongeren‘s Australian Nationalists Movement, penalties for which were strengthened following Weerheym & Co.’s spree — was not tested by authorities until they had the opportunity to do so by prosecuting, unsuccessfully, an Aboriginal teenager. Nevertheless, partly as a result of this kind of attention, Ben ceased publishing Leftywatch, while the profiles previously contained on this blog were reproduced, slightly altered, on ‘Patriot Alliance Down Under’.
- Those featured on Ben’s blog included journalists Jehan Casinader, Mark Dunn, Joe Hildebrand, Gavin King, Luke McIlveen, Lisa Pryor and Terry Sweetman, academics Karen Brooks and Jamila Hussain, refugee advocate Eddie Whitham, Muslim leaders Sheikh Taj al-Din al-Hilali, Sheik Mohammed Omran and Keysar Trad and Port Macquarie local councillors Rob Drew and Cameron Price. One commenter congratulated Ben for his efforts, stating: “this is excellent information, i hate these fuckers for what they are doing to australia, i would love to torture each and every one of them, especially the imams, and then shoot them in the forehead point blank, filthy muslim scum… arseholes like howard and every other muslim loving politician and politically correct bastard need to have their heads kicked in, and i would do it all for free…”
Of course, since mid-2005, Ben’s activities have also been monitored by FightDemBack!, a number of members of which — including the author — were, until very recently, profiled on his site. Or as Ben puts it: “For years now I have been under repeated attack”, subjected to “ongoing torment” by “hatemongers”. In fact, Ben makes a number of rather dubious claims in the single blog post in which he announces his decision to withdraw from his online ‘Alliance’ with himself, and these claims are worth examining, chewing up, and spitting out.
To begin with, the reasons for Ben’s recent decision are not that difficult to fathom, as he himself outlines: recently, Ben has moved from Perth to another town in WA, and enrolled in a new course of study. His main educator is of African-American descent, and a number of his fellow students are Aboriginal.
- The Wit & Wisdom of Weerheym:
“Listen here you fuckin’ ugly rock ape. I meant if you were born in NZ or born in a slum somewhere in Africa where your relatives still are — where you should still be. Go back to Africa and die of AIDS, just like the rest of you are! Hahahaha.”
“Shut the fuck up nigger, you have no right to speak. Get back outside and clean out the chook house before you get lynched boy!”
(Following a picture of two African-Americans being lynched): “Say hello to your relatives tar boy!”
This new reality, then, only adds to Ben’s sense of upset, especially at the alleged fact — according to Ben anyway — that the local press has expressed an interest in further documenting his vida loca — and even crazier politics — for the benefit of its readers; including, presumably, staff and students. But even prior to this point, it was obvious that Ben was becoming tired of fulfilling the role of a fascist jackass. (I mean, he certainly complains often enough about the burdens this has placed on his poor sore head to make one inclined to believe it.) Thus according to Ben: “I have been punished for my actions many times over yet to this day I am attacked by people who would have [you believe] that they are decent… members of society. The truth is… they are the most hate-filled, malicious people I could imagine”.
Why won’t anyone understand that Ben is the victim?, in other words. The typical reaction of a bully whose bullying ways have been forced to stop. Nevertheless, in order to add credence to his claims of having been subjected to unfair victimisation, Ben proceeds to outline some of his recent family history which, in brief, consists of, from the age of 14, having to contend with a mother suffering from — and eventually succumbing — to cancer, followed shortly thereafter by the death of his father, as a result of a similar illness, when Ben was in his mid-20s. This, and drug abuse, is Ben’s story, and the story of a middle class Dutch immigrant family in decline. As for his involvement in neo-Nazi politics, already a racist bigot, in 2003, Ben the Angry Young Man saw ‘Java’ Jack Van Tongeren, the Angry Middle-Aged Man, on the TV, and the budding racist came to bloom in the ANM / Australian Nationalist Workers Union.
ANM / ANWU leader, Van Tongeren was released from prison in September 2002, after having served a thirteen-year sentence for conspiracy, arson, theft, assault and fraud, the result of a terrorist campaign directed at the Asian population of Perth in the late 1980s. Shortly after his release, Matthew Collins (The Tale of Jack and Jim, The Review, November 2002) wrote the following about Jack and the ANM:
Van Tongeren’s ANM is little more now than a fan club for the fifty-three year old. It produces low grade and low maintenance material on the internet, where a large type face is used to fill the blank pages. Even for Nazis, their material is worse than inept. Pointless, childish and heavy on jingoism, of course, but also high in back-biting, racism, conspiracy theories (dreamt up by Jack while in his prison cell) as well as illiterate.
As part of the “White Pride Coalition” of Australia, the ANM has lost its website on Freeserve and moved to a US internet provider as Van Tongeren once more prepares to launch himself into a bitter campaign against the tolerant majority. Writing soon after his release, Van Tongeren launched an appeal for the $500,000 he feels the ANM needs to relaunch itself back onto the political landscape. The likelihood of this eventuating, other than by his tried and tested methods of robbery and violence is of course, zero. The ANM and their fellow coalitionists’ who believe Jack can lead them towards glory or at least a sizeable entity, are hopelessly out of touch with political reality on the far-right, not just in Australia, but also overseas. Van Tongeren’s former deputy in ANM, Peter Coleman, turned up two years ago in a Sydney garage wearing a white sheet over his head claiming he was the Grand Cyclops of the Ku Klux Klan. That was shortly after he was asked to leave One Nation.
And it was to this political wreckage that a mournful Weerheym was apparently drawn, and on whose behalf he — and a small group of other twenty-something fascists, organising themselves as ‘The White Devils’ — sprayed racist slogans on a synagogue, an Asian restaurant, and the home of a Perth anti-racist in July 2004. They also graffitied a war widows’ retirement village — the only crime for which Ben has expressed genuine regret.
According to Ben, he first wrote Uncle Jack in July 2003 — less than a year after Jack’s release from prison. He then proceeded to join the ANM/ANWU, and to play an active role in its activities. At least, Ben freely admits to this now, but when some of these (illegal) activities landed him in court, Ben swore that it wasn’t true, Your Honour. And his lawyer, Michael Tudori, told the Perth Magistrates’ Court that Weerheym was not interested in the ANM, and had not wanted to take part in the graffiti. It was on this basis, and on the basis of his lesser role in the commital of the crimes (Ben was The Getaway Driver) that he avoided a custodial sentence. Note that Ben’s perjury was brought to the attention of authorities in WA, but just as they chose not to pursue racial vilification charges against Ben, they also chose not to pursue Ben for perjury.
Not that Ben Weerheym is a liar. And neither is Benedict Williams. No, Benjamin / Benedict is now a positive person, who reacts positively to other positive people in positive situations, has a great sense of humour, and loves to joke about.
One last thing.
If you see Ben walking down the street when you’re out and about and you have something to say to him or any questions to ask, don’t be shy, go and speak to him: his bark is a lot worse than his bite.
To be continued…