The Trials of Julian Assange.

A sort of an open letter to a fellow Anarchist

I was watching the 4-Corners documentary on Julian Assange’s troubles in Sweden the other night, when I was suddenly overwhelmed by a feeling of Hubris.

“Oh Julian, Julian, Julian,” I sighed, “why couldn’t you have just kept your dick in your pants? How much simpler life would have been. But no, you had to go tour Sweden and play the pop star.”

Perhaps I was being a bit harsh on the lad, but really, the case had all the hall-markings of a classic fit-up, the old “honey-trap” routine. Oh well, we’re all human.

Actually, Julian is a bit of a hero here in the Brisbane Anarchist community. He originated in this part of the world, and though he never really spent any time here, we sentimentally like to think of him as one of our own.

This connection has been strengthened by the activities of another “local-lad gone bad”, the ubiquitous Christian-Anarchist gadfly, Ciaron O’Reilly, who has recently been part of Julian’s entourage during the London media circus surrounding his extradition case. Apparently Ciaron’s role is part minder/part cheerleader at the picket line, but he’s most notorious as the pacifist who did more damage to American planes than the entire Iraqi Air force. And all he was armed with was a hammer. (Ciaron has always interpreted that bit in the bible about “beating your swords into ploughshares” literally.)


Anyhoo, Ciaron’s popped back home for a while to beat the drum and raise support amongst the tribes. There’s already been one U-Tubed event broadcast in your support Julian, (I’ll assume at this stage, that you have Internet access in the Embassy and that you’ll read this. What? You never Googled your own name?) and another such occasion is planned soon, to which Yours Truly has been invited.

I will of course attend, because Julian, I applaud your work & commitment to disrupting hierarchies. Now I don’t support every decision you’ve made lately (and I can’t imagine that Geoffrey advised you to duck into that Ecuadorian prison, whoops, sorry I meant embassy either) but I understand why you made them. Most of my colleagues feel you’ve been caught in a classic “honey-trap” and while it certainly looks that way, I’m more inclined to the idea of a sexual jealousy issue that spiralled out of control once the authorities got involved.

Even if the “honey-pot” scenario is correct, I’m not convinced the ultimate aim is necessarily to extradite you. They may just want to blacken your name and ruin your reputation forever. And you know how rigidly PC the Left can be about sex. We had a picket for you the other day, and some girl driving past yelled, “RAPIST” out the window.

That’s how the game is played Julian and when you ran you played straight into their hands.

Yes, they’re playing dirty, what did you expect?


Reality check to Julian ! Did you really expect to tweek the American Military-Industrial Complexes nose and not suffer any consequences? You publicly humiliated them and showed them to be two-faced liars & hypocrites, while several useful, if unsavoury, regimes have been overthrown and they’ve been forced to publicly disavow their former henchmen.. and you never thought they’d make you pay for it?

Listen, they never forget their enemies, they never let go of a grudge. Leary could climb prison walls like a rat and ran like a gazelle, but they still cornered him in distant Afghanistan. Presidents come and Presidents go, the decades pass and still they have not forgiven Castro. And they will not forgive you. As Hannibal discovered at the end of his career, there’s no escaping the reach of the Empire. “Carthago est Delende”, ey what?

As to the Swedish thing, personally, if it was me I would have gone back and cleared my name, whatever the consequences.

Because Julian, now is not the time to try and squirm out of your Fate. It just looks weak & cowardly. Its a matter of Honour. Not to contest these charges is to allow a shadow to fall across your work, a shadow that will ultimately destroy what you say you’ve laboured to achieve. Remember that girl calling “Rapist!”? That’s, how they’ll end up remembering you if you’re not careful, not as a Freedom Fighter but as a Pervert.

Bob Dylan put his finger on it best, perhaps, when he said,

“To live outside the law you must be honest”

If you’re innocent you should go back to Sweden and face them down. And if the Swedes play dirty and betray you, you will have the moral high ground and yours will be the Ultimate Victory.

Of course this will mean considerable sacrifice on your part,

incarceration certainly, possibly a certain amount of water-boarding,

but that’s the game you elected to play, comrade,

you elected to fight tyrants,

you can’t act surprised when they act tyrannically.


Julian, I can think of two precedents to your case which you might like to consider as possible strategic options.

First there is the case of “Big Bill” Haywood. Back in the early 20th C the anarcho-syndicalist IWW was at its height, and as its leader, Bill was one of the most powerful radicals in American politics. Framed on phony charges (espionage as I recall) his case became a cause celebre for the Left, and supporters rallied around and raised the enormous bail money demanded as surety by the State. Once freed however, despite pledging to stay and fight to clear his name, Bill succumbed to the Fear and jumped bail, escaping to revolutionary Russia. Naturally his supporters felt betrayed, the IWW never recovered and Bill spent the rest of his life as a despised and powerless exile. He died a lonely, bitter alcoholic in a seedy Moscow hotel. In the end he achieved nothing.

On the other hand there is the case of Socrates.

Now Socrates as you will recall, was put on trial by the Athenian State on charges of encouraging young people to question authority,or as his accusers put it, “atheism and corrupting the youth“. This being a political show trial, he was given the option of escaping with a warning, if he’d just play the repentant sinner and plead guilty. Oh, and of course promise to shut up after that and stop asking awkward questions.

Did Socrates crumble and grovel and recant? Did he repudiate his Life’s work?

No. He mocked them. He laughed at them and told them they should be paying him a reward for all his good work.

They sentenced him to death for that of course, but Socrates just laughed again. Thanked them for sparing him the aches and pains of Old Age while making sure his name would live forever. And he was right. His followers carried on his methods, and his name has been venerated for over two thousand years.


So for what its worth, here’s my advice.

Face them down Julian. Tell them your coming out and then walk out of there like a Gunslinger at High Noon, getting ready to face the corrupt marshal and his treacherous henchmen.

Note; this is not a call for a bloodbath. I’m not talking about real Guns of course, its a Mythic Metaphor. You know: The Lone Outsider facing the Corrupt Establishment.You have no option but to play this out like a hero. You may go down in the dust but the audience will be cheering you, and when they leave the theatre, they’ll carry you in their heart.

Remember, this is the Society of the Spectacle. All Politics is Theatre.

Seize control of the script and turn their myths upon them,

and if you hurry you’ll be back in Sweden in time for the Crayfish Festival, which, my calendar informs me, is coming up this Wednesday, 8th August, 2012.

stunned by the Reverends words, Julian stares into the Future



The Reverend Hellfire is a carbon based life-form & practising Performance Poet. As an ordained Minister of the Church of Spiritual Humanists AND the Church of the Universe, he believes in having a bet each way.


~ by reverendhellfire on August 5, 2012.


  1. An excellent essay. I agree with every word. If Assange was prepared to risk martyrdom, he would magnify his influence enormously.

  2. Best article about the situation in London yet. Mind you, Ecuador is a way ahead in the freedom stakes than any other country named. So what if a few offices of ultra right-wing CIA funded papers in Ecuador are shut. CIA acknowledged, albeit unofficially, assassinating Ecuadorian previous prez in 1983: this ones’s just letting himself be a sitting duck. Again – great article.

    • Thank you, its good to know others think likewise. And I do hope there’s someone in his inner circle who is advocating taking the “Moral Highroad”. I meant my advice sincerely.
      I might have cracked a few light-hearted jokes at young Julian’s expense along the way, (its a Fools job to make mock of the grim) but we’re on the same Team, and I admire the work he’s done and appreciate the risks he’s taken and I wish him well.
      But now is not the time to blink.
      Its easy for me to call out advice from the sideline, it is true. But we all face challenges in Life where we need all of our moral courage to to follow the path we know we should. And we should stand by those who are struggling likewise.
      “Life is mainly Froth & Bubble
      two things stand like stone,
      Kindness in anothers struggle,
      Courage in your own”
      I must confess I know nothing of Ecuadors government. Guess I’d better find out, I may need to go there myself someday.

      • Ha ha! Great last comment! Assange should be able to take a few pokes in the rib. I’m undecided whether he should go to Sweden now. He certainly plays right into their hands by not going and living in a cupboard. But to see those despicable twits in the British government and old-fashioned ‘feminists’ and leaking cops in Sweden crowing on his arrival is a waste of news space. He’ll need to take a back seat anyway and promote colleagues if he wants Wikileaks here to stay.

      • Exactly. Wikileaks is not just one person.

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