The emergence of the Reclaim movement in early 2015, following the Lindt café siege continues to be of great concern to a loosely aligned group of progressive activists, hacktivists and random entities like Anonykatz.
This story isn’t about that grouping. This is about a shadowy figure that we believe might be one of the men pulling the levers in the background.
A political entrepreneur that is willing to exploit the burgeoning xenophobia of groups like Reclaim Australia and their militant offshoot, the United Patriot’s Front, for his own personal political gain; a man, with the necessary intent, sophistication and psychological skills to keep this assorted bag of egotistical tip-rats in line by manipulating and guiding them towards his own political ends.
You can get all sorts of Chinese boxes; some are just simple nests of camphor wood chests. Others are far more elaborate, fitted with secret panels and hidden drawers. Purpose built puzzles that allow you to hide your most valuable trinkets. There were certainly a few hidden treasures found in the hours and days ahead for the Katz as we pushed buttons and swiped the screens. The Katz first became aware of Hugh Pearson in early May, 2015. It was around then, that we saw an odd thing that he had posted on one of those extremist pages, associated with the Reclaim movement. To us it stood out because it was so different to the usual vindictive moaning and hate filled scrawls attacking unwashed lefties and moslums (sic), which feature so prominently on those pages.
We Katz wondered if we had found an entity in possession of something akin to intelligence that was not only engaging with the movement, but also providing it with some direction.
As we often do, we opened his profile to have a look at the person behind those words. Some might call this stalking; we Katz prefer to think of it as inter species research. Such interesting research it is too, and in this case we saw some odd things straight off the mark.
First Box: Tall Nordic Man
Our browser showed that Hugh Pearson’s profile was operating under the URL of Hugh Martel. Inconsistencies like this will always get our attention. Then we saw another link to a page (now deactivated) called The Great Aussie Patriarch. That’s where we got our first glimpse of the big fellow himself:
Second Box: The AIU
We noted the page profile picture behind that image was of a large banner with the acronym AIU printed on it. So we began a search for that and soon pounced onto a page called Aussie Infidels United. Note: the URL address at the top is actually Aussie Defence League. This seemed odd to us, since like so many other people tracking the rise of the Patriot movement, we were of the opinion, at that time, along with many others, that the ADL had curled up and died following factional splits and a great deal of the bad publicity involving the actions of Ralph Cerminara.
Another point of retrospective interest is the logo of the AIU, which features the red eyed boxing kangaroo. Not an uncommon icon for patriots, but it’s worth noting that the UPF, which was forming around the same time, also began using a very similar image.
At this point we went back to the Great Aussie Patriarch page. It didn’t take us long to find another link to a blog called rebuildaustralia.blogspot.com.au.
This one still causes us Katz to shudder.
Because here was something comparable to Pol Pot’s strategic approach to Cambodian nation building with a bit of Plato’s Republic thrown in. Neatly set out in dot points, and authored by someone called John Sobieski. Some notable examples follow:
So here we have a man with great big plans. A plan to sweep away human rubbish, eliminate unions and purge the leftists from the ABC. And of course, ensure that the dreaded gays are excluded from the office of the PM.
Fourth Box: A Polish King
It only took a few moments for our paws to google that oddly familiar Polish name. John Sobieski was the Polish King who fought off the Ottomans in the 16th century. However, we soon also worked out that Mr Sobieski was also a rampant blogger on another page called Koala732 with the URL australiandefenseleague.blogspot.com. So once again we see a clear link to the supposedly defunct ADL.
Fifth Box: Confirming the Legend
At this point, we were able to confirm that Hugh Pearson and John Sobieski were in fact the same person. Pearson had been posting links back to Koala732 in various Facebook, Blog and YouTube comment threads:
Stall Point: As is often the case in our inter species research. Things stalled here. We’d located a mass of information on Hugh Pearson, thousands of words and many images, but no real idea of who this Huge Person (lolz) was.
We knew he wasn’t Hugh Pearson or John Sobieski. We did know he was an extensive blogger and a fundamentalist Christian, with the usual hard right attributes of homophobia, conservatism and Islamophobia. Plus he had plans to rip apart the country and install his vision over the populace. He claimed to have some experience in psychology and he possessed a bent for history. And above all, he was long winded and full of himself. There is also a point of interest here in the pseudonyms our mystery man uses. Hugh – Meaning heart, mind, spirit Hugh Pearson – Possibly based on the English cleric, noted for his 1820 sermon on The Union Of Civil and Religious Obedience. Hugh Martel – Possibly based on Charles “the Hammer” Martel, who won the battle of Tours in 732, against the moors. Grandfather of Charlemagne. (Note link to Koala732 Blog) John Sobieski – Polish King who fought off the Ottomans in the 16th century. There is also Hugh’s alleged experience and skills in psychology. In several comments and blog posts, we have seen, he claims to have studied psych at Yale. This is interesting when you consider the various psychological tricks that have been employed by the main spokespersons in the Reclaim movement.
Neil Erikson’s Nationalist Republican Guard (NRG/NRGVID) video productions often borrow well known techniques designed to trigger emotional responses in the viewer. This is especially apparent in the soundtracks that are used to deliver a specific political or emotional message. Shermon Burgess (AKA The Great Aussie Patriot) has on two occasions to date, deliberately manufactured attacks upon a chair and a cat to focus the attention of his support base onto perceived enemies.
Blair Cottrell’s well scripted diatribes on the forces of good and evil, relentlessly delivered in an oratory style with marked similarities to a certain Austrian dictator. These are always packaged in a manner that is simple to comprehend with a limited number of key points and the strategic use of either-or fallacies.
The Sixth and Final Box:
We contacted our networks to see if they had come across Hugh Pearson or John Sobieski before. Some had seen the Koala732 blog and thought it was the work of some grumpy old bear living in a tree house somewhere. Then something really interesting happened with another of our research projects.
Numbers are everything. Matthew James. AKA Matty Jay, Matthew Caligari, DJ Silva etc. Was a rising star in the Reclaim movement around May 2015, and continues to be a speaker at the UPF rallies. He had begun to post links to videos that he was making about the dangers of Islam, produced in a similar style to those the Great Aussie Patriot makes. These were proving popular with the Reclaim supporters. One of our network found the following comment posted on May 10, by Hugh Pearson on Matthew’s Facebook Page.
(We’ve blurred the phone number.)
Once we had that number, we of course had everything we needed to track down the real identity of Hugh Pearson. However, it’s worth noting a point of interest here.
Matthew James subsequently went on to give a speech at the UPF Richmond Rally on 31 May. Also at that same rally, our very own Hugh Pearson was sighted meeting with Blair Cottrell just prior to the speech making and stood just to the rear of the speakers, within the cordoned off security area. Our man was starting to look less like a grumpy old bear in a tree house, and more like the zoo keeper.
Numbers are everything these days, and Hugh made a big mistake posting his on a public forum. Within minutes we had matched them to a business in the Eastern suburbs of Melbourne and then to an ABN and then we found his real name.
That’s how easy it is to undo a legend.
Hugh Pearson was in fact a man called Julian de Ross. At this point we paused and did some high fours with the other Katz.
Because, good old JDR isn’t just a small businessman from Monbulk. He is actually a leading figure in the Australian Defence League. Such a leading figure, that when the Federal Government ran the Joint Standing Committee on Migration in 2012, guess who fronted up as the spokesperson for the ADL?
From what we’ve been able to cobble together, Julian de Ross has a rather interesting set of skills and background history.
• Eight years as a Christian missionary in Asia, with the Overseas Missionary Fellowship. (Note: the 19th century cleric Hugh Pearson was also famous for his dissertation on the propagation of Christianity in Asia, Published 1808.)
• Offers intense street preaching missions for students.
• Speaks four languages and claims to have studied at Wisconsin University, Yale, Berkeley, MIT and the Melbourne Bible Institute, 1973. (Note: it’s only the last one he actually provides any reference to, via a date). We doubt many of these, as de Ross was actually an apprentice Radio Technician for the RAAF in the 60s.
• Offers a special Martin Luther King – I have a dream – lecture re-enactment.
• Offers consultancies providing legal and planning advice for Christian groups, with special emphasis on planning matters. • Set up a website, Julian4Monbulk.com prior to the 2014 Victorian elections. On the website, which we assume he set up to contest the seat of Monbulk. He promoted policies such as a Government of National Unity and the provision Gas and Sewerage services to South Kilsyth. However, we can find no trace of him actually registering as a candidate for the election. Perhaps he spent too long obsessively writing about debt and missed the cut off date?
Claiming that Julian de Ross is the shadowy figure providing guidance behind the rise of the right wing extremist movements of Reclaim/UPF grouping is of course a controversial one. There are other candidates with higher and lower public profiles that we also consider may be actors in this drama.
However, when you consider the following, there is little room for doubt in our minds that he is one of the prime candidates for the role. His mentoring of Blair Cottrell, his public speaking skills and his knowledge of psychology, which we believe is evidenced in techniques used by the three main spokespersons of the Reclaim/UPF grouping.
All these match the profile we’ve established of the person directing this movement. Plus, he is one of the few people that we know of who has the fervent hard right Christian and extremist right wing credentials to bring together groups like the ADL and Danny Nalliah’s Catch the Fires ministry in this unlikely coalition of hateriots.
But, if you don’t believe us Katz, that’s cool. Who really cares if some grumpy old bear was posting invitations like this in YouTube threads back in 2013 [Ref: Here].
Anonykatz & ReclaimWhat.