- Wally (noun)
1) a stupid, foolish person
2) a person that keeps making mistakes
3) a silly and inept person; someone who is regarded as stupid
4) one coming from Wally World. Wally World is brick and tile suburbia, proud of Christmas decorations along their streets: Penguin shirt, shorts, and a look of complete incomprehension; ‘what a Wally’
World of white supremacists
The West Australian
July 9, 2007
A confessed racist reveals the dark side of the Australian Nationalist Movement…
A former right-hand man of Jack van Tongeren has given a rare insight into the white supremacist Australian Nationalist Movement, describing it as a misunderstood and unfairly portrayed political organisation despite its involvement in countless racist attacks.
Benjamin Weerheym said that for the most part the ANM was nothing more than a social club where members enjoyed playing pool, watching football and sharing a drink.
But the 30-year-old admitted there was a darker side that ranged from walking the streets in packs on recruitment drives and putting up political and racist posters to planning fire bombings and talk of shipping all non-Caucasians out of the country. Mr Weerheym believed the ANM ended up going too far in its “patriotic efforts”, prompting him to cut all ties with his life as a foot soldier on the streets of Perth during its resurgence from 2002 to 2004.
In June 2004, an ANM firebombing plot was uncovered, leading to the arrest of key ANM members including Mr van Tongeren, who spent more than two years in jail before being released last November on the understanding he would move interstate and end all political and criminal activities. He is believed to be pursuing life as an artist in country NSW.
Mr Van Tongeren’s deputy, John Van Blitterswyk, also declared that his involvement with the white supremacist movement was over when he was jailed earlier this year.
Mr Weerheym said the loss of Mr van Tongeren, who founded the ANM in 1985, was the death knell and he would be surprised if the organisation was still operating.
He, along with police, believed the ANM was not involved in a racially motivated arson attack last weekend on an East Victoria Park deli. “If people were still pushing the ANM thing they would have to be stupid because it’s the most well-known extremist organisation in WA and it has alienated anyone or any message of Australian patriotism,” he said.
Mr Weerheym admitted he still held what could be described as extreme Right views on issues such as immigration, refugees and multiculturalism but said his days of getting involved in illegal and questionable activities were over.
He denied being involved in the June 2004 firebombing plot, despite accompanying Mr van Tongeren, Van Blitterswyk and two other ANM members on a trip to Dwellingup where the plan evolved. He said he only made the trip as part of his job of filming the group’s activities for a never-completed propaganda movie.
But Mr Weerheym did receive a six-month suspended jail sentence two months later for his role in racist graffiti attacks in Perth. He was the driver.
“I’m thankful in a way that I got arrested when that all happened because my state of mind by that stage I’d fully immersed myself in that lifestyle and train of thought, this extremist train of thought and because I was reckless and didn’t give a damn I could have done something worse,” he said.
Mr Weerheym said he joined the ANM in 2002 “as an angry young man” struggling to come to terms with the death of his father to cancer and his mother’s long-running and eventually unsuccessful battle with the same disease. Frustrated by media reports about “criminals and refugees coming into the country under the guise of immigration”, Mr Weerheym wrote to Mr van Tongeren on his release from prison in July 2002.
It was people such as Mr Weerheym who helped Mr van Tongeren quickly rebuild the ANM after spending 12 years behind bars for an 18-month terror campaign of fire bombings, racist posters and burglaries aimed at driving Asians from WA.
Mr Weerheym said his main role was the propaganda movie. He also put up posters and got involved in recruitment. He claims he never witnessed or was involved in violence. “Most of the time it was like being in any club, it was one big party,” he said. “We played pool, watched footy and drank.” Mr Weerheym said there were also regular meetings involving some of the ANM’s hundreds of members and supporters across the State.
“Jack had some pretty radical ideas but a lot of them I thought were pretty pie in the sky, like a revolution where the central parliament would be in Alice Springs and that ’s where he’d move us all to, and totally impractical things that would never happen, like shipping all people of non-Caucasian heritage out,” he recalled.
Soon after, he moved to Albany, changed his name to Benedict Williams and started a new health and fitness career in a bid to escape his past, which he said was proving difficult.
Fightdemback, an Australia-New Zealand internet-based group that monitors the activities of white supremacists, alerted authorities in Albany to Mr Weerheym’s whereabouts. It led to him being charged and ordered to do 120 hours of community work for attempting to obtain a driver’s licence under his new name while under suspension.
Fightdemback Sydney-based spokesman Mat Henderson-Hau said while Mr Weerheym deserved a second chance and the ANM appeared to be defunct, his group would continue to closely monitor racist activities, given they tended to be cyclical.