Friday, March 01, 2019

Why the complainant in Cardinal Pell’s trial was so compelling

ABC journalist Louise Milligan does not know what she is talking about.  She says the accuser is highly believable ("compelling").  But there are two reasons why he might be  believable but not truthful

1). He could be a paranoid schizophrenic. Many paranoids seem perfectly normal except for the focus of their delusion. And they can sound very reasonable about their delusion. Psychiatric nurses sometimes remark that some of their patients make more sense than a lot of people "outside". And religion is often the focus of schizophrenia. Older Brisbane people might remember soapbox orator Ted Wixted (1927-2001) and his arguments against the Virgin Birth. Ted had a good day job as a museum curator but did admit that angels appeared to him.

Ted Wixted

2). He could be a fantasist.  Fantasists too can be very believable. One of the world's most cynical bodies of men would have to be the London Metropolitan Police.  And yet they believed the child sex allegations of "Nick" for months -- until nothing in his story worked out.  And some innocent men were ruined in the process.

"Nick" (Carl Beech)

Fantasists often continue to believe in the reality of their fantasy even when shown it cannot be true.  Nick is at the moment being prosecuted for his lies but he still entered a firm "Not Guilty" at the beginning of his trial

An ABC journalist would be very easy to fool by either type of liar.  If they can swallow global warming and the "patriarchy" they could swallow anything.

Many people can’t believe Cardinal George Pell is guilty of child sex offences but it was this key piece of evidence that sealed his fate.

Cardinal George Pell, a man who rose to become, not just Australia’s most senior Catholic, but one of the most powerful men in the Vatican, had been found to be a paedophile.

When the news broke yesterday that Pell was found guilty in December of child sex offences, many expressed disbelief but others just couldn’t accept the verdict.

In an opinion piece, Herald Sun columnist Andrew Bolt said he believed Pell had been “falsely convicted”. The Daily Telegraphcolumnist Miranda Devine also said: “I don’t believe that Pell, who I know slightly and admire greatly, could be guilty of assaulting two choirboys in a busy cathedral.”

Yesterday, the 77-year-old disgraced cardinal was taken into custody and spent his first night behind bars before being sentenced on March 13. However, his legal team is pushing for a retrial and intend to appeal his child sex convictions with the Court of Appeal.

Speaking on his Sky News show on Tuesday night, Bolt said he had “serious misgivings” about Pell’s guilty verdict. “I just can’t accept it, based on what I consider is the overwhelming evidence of this trial,” he said. “And I base that opinion also on how many times Pell has been accused of crimes and sins he clearly did not do.

“Pell could well be an innocent man who is being made to pay for the sins of his church and made to pay after an astonishing campaign of media vilification.”

ABC investigative journalist Louise Milligan is one of the few people in Australia who knows the identity of Pell’s complainant. She tracked him down while researching her book Cardinal: The Rise and Fall of George Pell, for which she won a Walkley Book Award.

She acknowledged on 7.30 on Tuesday night there had been a “lot of doubters” about the case but something she’s always said to people through the years was: “I defy anyone to meet this man and not think that he is telling the truth.

“He has absolutely nothing to gain from this and everything to lose.”

In her book Milligan calls Pell’s complainant The Kid and described him as an ideal witness from a police point of view.

“The Kid has not led a chequered life,” Milligan notes in her book. “He’s university-educated, he hasn’t had trouble with the law. He has a lovely young girlfriend, lots of friends, he’s a pillar of his community in a sort of understated, slightly ironic way, and in that part of his life, he is, he told me, very happy.

“He’s managed, just, to keep it together. He’s been able to compartmentalise. He’s the sort of complainant you’d want as a Victoria Police detective alleging historic crime.”

Both Bolt and Devine have pointed to the improbability of the scenario put forward in court.

The two boys were abused by Pell after he found them in the sacristy, a room used by priests to get dressed, where they were swigging sacramental wine after a Sunday Mass.

Both Bolt and Devine point out the attack is meant to have happened after Mass, when Pell would usually have spent time speaking to worshippers and that it happened in the sacristy, which is a busy room that someone could have walked into.

They also note Pell was normally accompanied everywhere he went by the master of ceremonies, Monsignor Charles Portelli. Their views echo an article written by Father Frank Brennan who also pointed out his concerns with some of the evidence presented.

“Anyone familiar with the conduct of a solemn Cathedral Mass with full choir would find it most unlikely that a bishop would, without grave reason, leave a recessional procession and retreat to the sacristy unaccompanied,” he wrote in Eureka Street.

He also noted that the priest’s garments could not have been pushed aside in the way described and it was “impossible to produce an erect penis through a seamless alb”.

“The police never inspected the vestments during their investigations, nor did the prosecution show that the vestments could be parted or moved to the side as the complainant had alleged.”

Father Brenann said the idea that the offences were committed right after Mass by a fully robbed archbishop in the sacristy with an open door and in full view of the corridor “seemed incredible to my mind”.

The public have not been allowed to see the complainant’s testimony but it was the key piece of evidence that decided the case.

The complainant did not appear in person at the trial but footage of his testimony and cross-examination from an earlier trial, which resulted in a hung jury, was shown instead.

“Although the complainant got all sorts of facts wrong, the jury must have believed that Pell did something dreadful to him,” Father Brennan acknowledged in his article.


Tanya Plibersek dismisses 'confected' claims of university free speech crisis

Leftist denial at work.  Freud identified denial of reality as a maladaptive response associated with neuroticism.  Leftists make great use of such defence mechanisms

Deputy Opposition Leader Tanya Plibersek has rejected concerns about a free speech crisis at Australian universities, arguing the claims are a deliberate attempt to bring on a culture war.

In an address to a key higher education conference in Canberra this week, Ms Plibersek is expected to play down the threats to academic freedoms on campuses and question the necessity of the Morrison government's inquiry into the issue.

Education Minister Dan Tehan, free speech advocates and right-wing think tank the Institute of Public Affairs have expressed fears that left-wing protesters, censorship and political correctness are increasingly stifling robust debate in academia.

At the Universities Australia conference this week, Ms Plibersek, Labor's education spokeswoman, will celebrate the role of universities in a liberal democracy and their tradition of academic freedom.

"And I don’t accept this confected argument that there’s some crisis of freedom at our universities. It’s nothing more than a sad attempt at culture war," she will tell the conference on Thursday.

"The Liberals and their allies in the hard right think tanks want it both ways. They’ll allege there’s some vast cultural Marxist conspiracy when some minor right wing academic claims their freedom of speech has been impinged and then personally veto Australian Research Council grants that don’t reflect the worldview of whoever happens to be education minister at the time."

It was revealed in December that former education minister Simon Birmingham vetoed funding grants for 11 research projects, a move that has fuelled frustration with the Coalition government among the university sector.

Ms Plibersek will contrast the penchant for "culture wars" with Labor's taskforce on "the very real problem" of sexual assault on university campuses.

People concerned about threats to free speech have focused on examples of protestors confronting controversial speakers, especially the treatment of author Bettina Arndt at the University of Sydney in late 2018.

Ms Arndt told The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age that the presence of student groups across the country trying to stop her speaking on campus was evidence of the problem.

"The people who are supposed to be the smartest people in the land — our vice-chancellors — are cowering in the face of these lunatics," she said. "It's a broader problem in that small, noisy minority groups can control our campuses."

She said it was an example of people believing they were entitled to shut down views they don't like. Ms Arndt has been targeted because she opposes the view that there is a "rape crisis" on campuses.

The government's inquiry — led by former High Court chief justice Robert French — is exploring a new framework to protect free expression, akin to a code of conduct that has been adopted at many US universities.

Ms Plibersek's intervention on campus free speech comes as Universities Australia hits out at the government's higher education policy, releasing polling that finds strong opposition to funding cuts.

In a speech to the National Press Club on Wednesday, Universities Australia chair Margaret Gardner will criticise research cuts of $328 million revealed in December and a freeze on student places announced in 2017.

"Australians correctly fear that cuts to university research funding will mean fewer university researchers able to pursue life-saving and environment-saving breakthroughs," Professor Gardner is expected to say.

"And they are right. This is a direct assault on our country’s clever capabilities."

The poll of 1500 people, conducted by JWS Research, found 66 per cent of people oppose cuts to university research and 62 per cent oppose cuts to university places.


Labor calls for national fuel reserve

The coalition should have done somenthing like this ages ago

Australia should have a government-owned national fuel reserve, in the interests of the country's economy and national security, says Labor.

Australian Associated PressFEBRUARY 28, 20193:53PM
A national fuel reserve should be set up to ensure Australia has enough in case of emergency, Labor leader Bill Shorten says.

Mr Shorten has pledged a Labor government would initiate talks with industry on a government-owned national fuel reserve, to ensure it does not drop below the international standard of 90 days' supply.

"According to the Department of Environment and Energy, Australia has just 19 days of automotive gasoline supply, 23 days of jet fuel supply, and 22 days of diesel supply," Mr Shorten said.


Law Council calls for ALRC review of suppression orders, uniformity across jurisdictions

This is in the news since Cardinal Pell's matter
The Law Council of Australia is calling for national uniformity of suppression orders and an examination of whether such laws need to be reviewed in the digital era.

Law Council President, Arthur Moses SC, said he will be asking Attorney-General Christian Porter to refer the matter to the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) for an inquiry.

“At its core, this issue involves striking the right balance between open justice including the public interest in court reporting, and the right of the individual to a fair trial,” Mr Moses said.

“In an age of digital communication and globalisation, uniformity of suppression orders across Australia should be considered and we need to recalibrate the balance.

“This is important in order to ensure that suppression laws are fit for purpose and promote open justice.

“Suppression orders should operate in a consistent manner across Australian jurisdictions – which does not currently happen – to ensure that the right balance is achieved between open justice and the need for suppression.

“Media reporting of cases that come before our courts is central to open justice – it means that not only is justice done, it is also seen to be done.

“Open justice is one of the fundamental attributes of a fair trial and this means wherever possible, media should be able to report on matters that come before our courts.

“While suppression orders and closed hearings are appropriate in particular cases, such as family court hearings and when hearing evidence from child witnesses, or where an accused may otherwise be unable to obtain a fair hearing, their need should always be balanced with the broader public interest in open justice.

“The internet has no borders, so something that is suppressed in Australia can be reported in other countries by journalists who have not been present in the court room.

“Our journalists are amongst the best trained and respected in the world and informed reporting of our legal system maintains public confidence in the judiciary and the courts.

“This is a matter that needs review – it was first put on the table 10 years ago and needs resolution. The time is now.

“This is why I will be writing to Attorney-General Christian Porter to request a referral of a review to the ALRC into suppression orders in the digital era and the standardisation of suppression orders in Australia,” Mr Moses said.

Media release: Patrick Pantano.

 Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).    For a daily critique of Leftist activities,  see DISSECTING LEFTISM.  To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup  of pro-environment but anti-Greenie  news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH .  Email me  here

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