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Malcolm Roberts: defining his nonsense

By Dr Meredith Doig

New One Nation Senator Malcolm Roberts has been known to sign legal documents as ‘Malcolm-Ieuan: Roberts., the living soul’, representing a corporate entity known as MALCOLM IEUAN ROBERTS.

In a document entitled ‘FIAT JUSTITIA, RUAT COELUM’, addressed to the then Prime Minister Julia Gillard, Roberts demanded to be exempted from the ‘carbon tax’ and compensated $280,000 if the Prime Minister did not provide full and accurate disclosure in relation to 28 points explaining why he should not be liable to the tax. He addressed Gillard as ‘The Woman, Julia-Eileen: Gillard., acting as The Honourable JULIA EILEEN GILLARD’, Prime Minister of Australia.

Where does this rubbish come from?

Apparently it’s not as rarefied as you may think.

A Canadian judge, JD Rooke, has waded his way through voluminous documents generated by litigants like Malcolm Roberts and written a definitive ‘Guide to the Organized Pseudolegal Commercial Argument’ (OPCA).

It may come as no surprise that most of this stuff comes from the United States, but Canada and now Australia have their fair share.

Rooke says in his introduction to the Guide that he has developed a new awareness and understanding of a category of vexatious litigant, variously called Detaxers, Freemen, Sovereign Citizens, the Church of the Ecumenical Redemption International, Moorish Law and other labels. Litigants use a range of techniques promoted and sold by certain ‘gurus’ to disrupt court operations and attempt to frustrate the legal rights of governments, corporations, and individuals.

Freemen on the land believe they can opt out of being governed; that what people understand to be laws are merely a form of contract that applies only if people agree to it. Sovereign citizens believe that natural citizens are not subject to any US Federal law; many believe only white men have rights because they don’t accept the validity of amendments to the US Constitution, in particular the thirteenth, which abolished slavery, and the nineteenth, which gave women the vote.

Drawing on a particular case study (Meads v Meads), Rooke documents these OPCA techniques. He concludes that persons using the techniques ‘often hold highly conspiratorial perspectives’, believe that ordinary people have been ‘unfairly cheated, or deceived as to their rights’ and that they have the right to try to break ‘the system’ and retaliate against ‘their oppressors’.

How do people get to know about these techniques? The answer is that they buy them; from the equivalent of modern snake-oil conmen, who take advantage of naive, angry men (and they are usually men), convincing them their anger is justified and if they would only buy the package on offer, they could reassert control of their lives.

Rooke lists the main North American perpetrators: Russell Porisky, David Kevin Lindsay, John Ruiz Dempsey, Robert Arthur Menard, Eldon Gerald Warman, David J Lavigne, Edward Jay Robin Belanger, David Wynn Miller.

It seems Malcolm Roberts had at least a couple of gurus: Lavigne and Miller. Lavigne promotes the argument that a person need not pay tax on a moral or conscience basis. Miller advocates a bizarre form of ‘legal grammar’ which is legally incomprehensible.

Neither is Australia immune. Sydney-based Frank O’Collins is an OPCA guru, promoting a new code of law he calls ‘Divine Canon Law’ which he claims trumps both common law and statute law. His ‘Unique Collective Awareness of DIA’ (UCADIA) represents a ‘spiritual and legal presence, a structure of knowledge and a language of pure meaning’. He refers to his critics as ‘skeptics, disinformation agents and mentally ill supporters of the parasitoids’.

While Rooke concludes that all OPCA strategies are invalid, being vexatious, he warns that ‘members of the OPCA community have proven violent’, particularly those from the sovereign citizen movement. A 2014 survey of perceived terrorism threats in the US listed sovereign citizens ahead of Islamic extremists and racist skinheads.

What the hell goes on in these people’s minds?

 

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37 comments

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  1. Pilot

    Dunning-Kruger……. Stone the bloody crows!!!

  2. Kaye Lee

    “‘Divine Canon Law‘ which he claims trumps both common law and statute law.”

    And Roberts is worried about Sharia?

    In 2014, Roberts wrote a letter to Greg Hunt saying (in part….it’s really long)

    “It is beyond doubt through documented evidence that both CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) have no empirical scientific evidence of human CO2 as causation of global warming that ended in 1995 / 1998.

    Unless you can specify clearly the location of specific empirical scientific evidence and explain to me with structured scientific logic that evidence’s significance in causal mechanisms proving human CO2 catastrophically warms our planet your claim remains unfounded and false.

    Your position on human causation of cyclical global warming is untenable.

    Your misleading statements on climate support Agenda 21 to undermine national sovereignty and governance.

    Let’s meet again as I’m available to assist you pro bono. There is something to learn here and I am willing to support your learning

    Greg, I’ve done everything I can to assist you. It’s more than would be reasonably expected of a citizen supporting you. Since 2007 it’s cost me and my family millions of dollars in foregone income and sale of assets we had set aside for future retirement. I will though maintain my integrity and continue to protect my family and our nation.

    Yours sincerely,

    Malcolm-Ieuan: Roberts.

    http://www.climate.conscious.com.au/docs/letters/20140321/GregHunt,March2014.pdf

    If you want to get an idea of what a nut job this guy is, have a look at a history of his years as a serial pest on his website. he has been harrassing polticians and journalists for years with his “horse shit”.

    http://www.climate.conscious.com.au/

  3. Max Gross

    Crazy dingbat muthaf*cka! And somebody voted for this drongo and made him a SENATOR???

  4. Pingback: Malcolm Roberts: defining his nonsense | Rationalist Society of Australia

  5. brickbob

    The US Govt has put this nutjob and his organisation ahead of ISIS and skinheads as the more dangerous and he’s worried about Muslims and same sex folk who just want to get married! He should be placed in a padded cell for his own and our protection.

  6. Peter F

    All this to give Malcomb ‘security’ in the Senate.

  7. Kaye Lee

    It should also be pointed out that Roberts travelled to the US to attend the Heartland Institute’s climate skeptics conference in New York in 2008, co-sponsored by Australian free market think-tank the Institute of Public Affairs.

    George Christensen also addressed the Heartland Insitute in 2014. Read his speech…it’s embarrassing.

    George Christensen’s Climate Change Speech To The Heartland Institute

    No wonder these two get along.

  8. ace Jones

    Sadly there is no Empirical evidence to prove Roberts is sane.
    Then why do we allow mental-defective people like Roberts in parliament?
    Time has come to ‘vet’ people who aspire to political office.
    Or end up with lunatics running the ‘Australian Asylum’ ….. formerly known as the Australian Parliament

  9. Andreas

    You call that “a mind”?
    Oh, never mind…

  10. Harquebus

    Kaye Lee

    Thanks for that link.

    “I would prefer to talk about my constituents” — George Christensen MP.
    They were never mentioned again.

  11. Keitha Granville

    What was he thinking?? Surely the whole point is he didn’t and cannot think. I agree with vetting potential politicians, it should be mandatory. Whilst everyone is entitled to his or her opinion, that should NOT include flat earth believers. Their potential to influence policy, and affect legislation is truly frightening. Next they will have schools teaching the creation stories where man existed alongside dinosaurs.

  12. townsvilleblog

    Kaye LeeOctober 4, 2016 at 8:50 am, Kaye, he is talking ooblygook do you understand what he is saying, because I certainly don’t? I’d ask him for his triannawologong proving that Co2 was NOT causing Climate Change?

  13. townsvilleblog

    Kaye your second post includes a link that proves that they are dumb and dumber I will always regret not standing as a Labor Independent in the 2016 DD election. If they will vote these two numbskulls into the Senate why not me, I’m more “people” friendly.

  14. Keith

    Many people in communities obtain awards for their exploits; perhaps Roberts could be presented with a tin foil hat being an inaugural award which might be titled “The Pseudo Scientist of the Year”, “Flat Earther’s Award”, or something similar.

  15. Troy Prideaux

    If you were tasked with the challenge of building an AI software module to replicate the human consciousness, thought process, creativity, emotion and mind in general; surely you would pick Roberts as a starting point. Coupla doz lines of code and voila!

  16. win

    I did a years post grad, training to become a secondary teacher, then another year with a mentor. These nutters get voted in on the basis of being citizens ( born not even made ) no matter how bizarre or self important or even plain loony. and their power over our lives is so much greater than a mere teacher. We have to start forgetting about individual rights and consider community rights and responsibilities from primary school up, with teaching about citizenship again. Now I note that a Lib staffer has behaved like a schoolie overseas, shaming himself and our nation,with drunken, childish bad manners. God help us is he in line to be a future politician?

  17. Kaye Lee

    Keith, I think Roberts has rolled Abbott for the Colossal Fossil Award.

    The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt – Bertrand Russell

  18. Gangey1959

    Malcolm turdbott, you f*ckhead. You enabled this. In your quest for absolute control you handed the rudder to the nutters.
    For SIX EFFING YEARS. (Half senate elections notwithstanding)
    Radiohead have a perfect Anthem for the new parliament.
    However, there is a light on the horizon. Rule 303 trumps all.
    ”We caught them, we tried them, we threw them under the bus. Sir”. Or words to that effect.
    Do dickheads like roberts, who believe that they exist outside the laws of the common people, physics, nature, reality, disney and looney tunes etc actually live within the legal system?
    Because if they don’t, ”vexatious” might be redefined.
    @Troy. The monkeys and great apes have disowned him and fat georgie and donald t already. ”Please explain” is on the block next.

  19. diannaart

    Kaye Lee “And Roberts is worried about Sharia?

    It’s all about projection, whatever they perceive in themselves (whether it is desirable or not).

    They cheat on tax – therefore everyone else must be cheats

    They make up any old shit – everyone else is a liar

    Then there’s the “threat” of difference.

    They hold to precious ideals – threatened by anything they perceive as contrary to their imagined state of being.

    They are easily challenged – they fight back – but to exterminate not communicate – therefore they must hit harder, faster, louder no matter that’s it’s crap, just keep on repeating it – till rebuttals are silenced.

  20. Kim Southwood

    This article does not solve the problem, but it does satisfy a niggling, back-of-mind thought that Malcolm Roberts was either a cocaine addict or possessed by some Messianic fervour. It’s the starry passion in his eyes, the staunch confidence in his vacuous judgements, his patronising partiality for Pauline. Yes, you’re all right!!!

  21. Jaquix

    A clear case of a “delusion of grandeur”. Delivered to us by that other Malcolm, whose touch is not that of Midas, but one whereby everything he touches turns to horsedroppings.

  22. Anomander

    “If you were tasked with the challenge of building an AI software module to replicate the human consciousness, thought process, creativity, emotion and mind in general; surely you would pick Roberts as a starting point.”

    Remember how well Westworld ended?

  23. Carol Taylor

    Reading about Malcolm Roberts, it reminded me of a time when a crowd gathered on a beach near Byron Bay at dawn waiting for the spaceships to land. I believe that it was the moment that The Ascended Masters were to return to earth, a moment indicated by the fact that the Earth’s grids were in alignment. Fortunately none who were in the crowd became Senators, at least none that I know of.

  24. Harquebus

    M.R. is part of a growing cult.
    Something from today’s reading list.

    “If this wave of “post-fact” thinking triumphs, the world will face a future dominated by pure ideology.”
    “all the big challenges of our time are being mixed in disturbing ways: The crisis of the scientific method, the crisis of nature, and the crisis of humanism become one.”
    http://e360.yale.edu/feature/how_the_attack_on_science_is_becoming_global_contagion/3039/

  25. Ian Parfrey

    One thing the US constituancy are only now beginning to ‘get’, is that whatever a Headline-Hunter ( insert Trump here ) gets as airtime, means more exposure to potential folk of Robert’s ilk and that is a bad thing.
    Same should go for Australia, but apparantly all it takes to give these Tinfoil Hatter Nutjobs exposure is to allow them a public venue and off they go garnering more like thinkers who are dissatisfied with the system but have no effective outlet for that disatisfaction.

    So, along comes a Ferret-headed nutter who ( almost guaranteed to mention the words “Freedom Of Speech” ) starts to pile bile on anything it seems is fair game and also SOMETHING THAT CANNOT BE ‘PROVEN’ TO BE INCORRECT.

    This is the mechanism Roberts uses during his verbals during interviews – always using the term ‘Emprical Evidence’ as if Excalibur had been freshly drawn from the Stone – and usually aimed at learned establishments such as CSIRO.

    Ok, so Roberts want Empirical Evidence?

    So why isn’t anyone asking HIM where HIS Empirical Evidence is to DISPROVE CSIRO findings? Or any of that nutjob’s ideals for that matter.

    THIS is how to neuture idiots. Use their own Illogic against them thus making them looking completely gormless to even their own followers, and there is no reason as to why it would not work on our Ferret-headed friend Malcolm Roberts.

    They cannot be reasoned with, and to try and do so just gives their ideologies airplay.

  26. silkworm

    Delusional, paranoid narcissists. Unfortunately their condition is untreatable.

  27. Matters Not

    Ian Parfrey re Roberts and his tactics. The concept of the ‘Gish Gallop’ seems appropriate.

    Named for the debate tactic created by creationist shill Duane Gish, a Gish Gallop involves spewing so much bullshit in such a short span on that your opponent can’t address let alone counter all of it. To make matters worse a Gish Gallop will often have one or more ‘talking points’ that has a tiny core of truth to it, making the person rebutting it spend even more time debunking it in order to explain that, yes, it’s not totally false but the Galloper is distorting/misusing/misstating the actual situation. A true Gish Gallop generally has two traits.

    1) The factual and logical content of the Gish Gallop is pure bullshit and anybody knowledgeable and informed on the subject would recognize it as such almost instantly. That is, the Gish Gallop is designed to appeal to and deceive precisely those sorts of people who are most in need of honest factual education.

    2) The points are all ones that the Galloper either knows, or damn well should know, are totally bullshit. With the slimier users of the Gish Gallop, like Gish himself, its a near certainty that the points are chosen not just because the Galloper knows that they’re bullshit, but because the Galloper is deliberately trying to shovel as much bullshit into as small a space as possible in order to overwhelm his opponent with sheer volume and bamboozle any audience members with a facade of scholarly acumen and factual knowledge

    http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Gish%20Gallop

    But let’s face it, the Gish Gallop tactic isn’t confined to Roberts, it’s the strategy du jour . And why not? Because It works!

  28. silkworm

    I heard Duane Gish at the Evangelical Union at Sydney University back in the 70s. It was a worry because the EU was the largest student group on campus and that so many intelligent people could get sucked in by so much rubbish.

    Actually it was Ian Plimer, famous home grown climate change denier, who made a study of Gish’s tactics and who coined the term “Gish gallop.” This was well before he became famous as a climate change denier. Although Plimer was against Gish’s creationism, he later adopted Gish’s amoral tactics for his climate change denial.

    Although Plimer was not himself a creationist, a lot of climate changer deniers are. Climate change denialism and creationism, or religious nuttiness, tend to go together, and I think Roberts is a perfect example of this.

  29. Matters Not

    Thanks silkworm I wasn’t aware that Plimer

    coined the term “Gish gallop.”

    But I was aware that Plimer was ordered to pay his own and Roberts’ (a different one) legal costs estimated at over 500,000 Australian dollars.

    In my tiny mind, I think that was crucial in understanding as to why Plimer decided to go with the flow and make some real money, that only vested interests could provide. And have.

    But I guess, that’s the power of the dollar.

  30. Gazza boy

    Thank God we have people who are willing to challenge the system.
    Mr.Roberts has a large following and so he should. We need a second opinion from time to time. He is that second opinion.

  31. Kaye Lee

    Gazza boy,

    Science is not a matter of opinion, as Mr Roberts is so fond of pointing out. ALL the scientific data shows he is wrong and the consequences of him being wrong could be catastrophic. Mr Roberts refuses to look at the evidence. He suggests that all of the world’s climate scientists, scientific bodies, and governments are lying. Seriously?

    Businesses are devising risk assessments about impact on their supply chain, and insurance companies are also changing risk assessments. Are they all in on the lie?

  32. Ian Parfrey

    Thanks for the heads up, Matters.

    I was unaware of the ‘Gish Gallop’ but the links you make gell the whole concept very well.

    Plimer and Roberts – our very own Dumb and Dumber.

  33. Douglas Evans

    Roberts is nuts. Briefly, some years ago he tried to recruit me to his crazy cause with samples of his insane emails so I have first hand experience of just how mad he is. He is however a distraction, a sideshow. He will have very little impact on the retarded development of climate change policy in this country. The collection of ‘sceptics’ on the right of both our major parties is more than ample to ensure that we continue to lag well behind the rest of the world in this critical regard. They don’t need Roberts to achieve this.

    The world is now moving to a carbon restricted economy. The latest nation to sign up to the extraordinarily ambitious Paris agreement to limit warming to !.5ºC is India. Now all the world’s major emitters the US, China, India and the EU have signed up. Australia has also signed up. However we know that with the exception of various State and Federal Renewable Energy Targets (which are permanently under attack from the political right) little is happening in this policy space in Australia. Can we have any confidence that, irrespective of their commitment to the ambitious Paris target there will be a credible policy response from the US and especially India consistent with halting warming at 1.5ºC? Probably not.

    Kaye Lee is correct – Science is not a matter of opinion. So what does climate science tell us? Over a decade ago (well before we had clocked up 1ºC of warming) it told us that at 2ºC of warming we have a 50/50 chance of avoiding uncontrolled ‘run away’ global warming courtesy the enormous carbon stores locked up in permafrost and tropical peat bogs. These are not great odds (50/50) of avoiding climate catastrophe. This process has irrefutably already begun at 1ºC of warming, our current state. Climate science has told us that there is already enough CO2 (and associated greenhouse gases) in the atmosphere to guarantee warming beyond 1.5ºC. Projection after projection tells us that irrespective of the treaties nations sign up to, we are on course for 3ºC – 3.5ºC by around mid century. The odds of avoiding runaway warming at these temperatures are vanishingly small. Science has told us that by 2020 (4 years away) the emissions from the world’s most carbon intensive economies must peak and thereafter quickly begin to nosedive by an improbable, economy wrecking 9% p. a. to (hopefully) stabilize temperatures at 2ºC of warming by mid century. Global emissions are still rising steadily despite some variation in the rate of increase, and we can say with some certainty that they will not stabilize by 2020.

    The technological optimists claim that various options are on the horizon to suck Carbon out of the atmosphere. This would be necessary to achieve 1.5ºC of warming. A vast global infrastructure of giant machines deployed with improbable haste just might begin to draw down on greenhouse gases but this strategy runs up against the same brick wall that stymied ‘clean’ coal – how to store billions of tons of the stuff for a very long time. Apparently biomass crops or algae can be burned to produce electricity and this will aid the draw-down of carbon from the atmosphere. However apparently the area of agricultural land required to produce sufficient biofuel would seriously impact on the area required for food crops severely limiting this fix. No credible technological fix is currently available.

    The science tells us that we either teeter on the brink of a precipice or we are already in free fall to catastrophe and just haven’t yet noticed. We may well slide into a situation of runaway global warming irrespective of what we do, in terms of policy here in Australia. However as voters we have a choice and at least some slight capacity to influence climate and energy policy in this country. So what are the options? The Coalition has no policy to seriously address this issue. Labor has a policy which claims to acknowledge the science but it is not fit for purpose. By trying to chart a politically conventional course mid way between the positions and interests of stakeholders Labor’s climate and energy policies have us headed for climate catastrophe just as certainly, albeit slightly later than the head in the sand Coalition. The Greens have by far the strongest and most coherent set of climate and energy policies, though even their policies also look somewhat inadequate in light of our current situation. However the Greens vote seems locked at somewhere around 10% so it is only in coalition with Labor – a very unlikely scenario – that Greens policies are likely to have any influence. I see little hope of Australia facing up to its responsibilities in this matter and have little hope that the full global catastrophe will be avoided.

  34. Troy Prideaux

    “Remember how well Westworld ended?”

    My point was there’s not enough lines of code to provide any such capability 🙂

    If psychologists ever needed irrefutable “emperical evidence” that some mothers do have’em, I’m afraid that Mr Roberts would be their smoking gun.

  35. Kaye Lee

    Douglas,

    The Canadian prime minister, Justin Trudeau, said on Monday that Canada will impose a tax on carbon emissions starting in 2018 as part of its efforts to meet targets set by the Paris climate change accord.

    Trudeau made the announcement in parliament as debate started over whether Canada should ratify the Paris accord on climate change. The House of Commons is expected to approve the Paris accord in a vote on Wednesday.

    Trudeau said provinces and territories can either put a direct tax on carbon emissions of at least $10 Canadian ($7.60) a ton or adopt a cap-and-trade system. If a province fails to do either by 2018, the federal government will implement a basic carbon tax of $10 a ton, rising by $10 a ton per year until it reaches C$50 a ton by 2022.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/oct/03/canada-carbon-emissions-tax-paris-climate-agreement

    How long until they start imposing sanctions on us?

  36. Douglas Evans

    Kaye Lee
    Point taken. I’d forgotten about Canada and its ‘toxic tax’. Another move in the right direction. Sanctions? Dunno about that I’d guess that will take a while.

  37. Alan Baird

    Ian’s comments above are spot on but it’s very hard to beat these lunatics. They have that busy little coterie of organisations funded by coal and developers (and the media can be included) that amplify their thoughts no matter how whacko. The money speaks volumes. It even forces organisations like the ABC to give unwontedly disproportionate time to this fringe on the right so as to avoid an outburst of media-rage from the usual suspects. This has produced what has been called the ABC’s “pre-emptive buckle”, ie. deliberately produce piss-weak commentary on politics to avoid the strident accusation of the extremists on paper and radio. Oh, and in spite of including 17 IPA participants on panels to the ALP’s 5 then to be called “left wing biased” by shock jocks and Murdoch… (NB: The ALP ain’t exactly left wing!) All that and then to have ABC personnel make stupid comments that wind power generation (but not wind!) caused damage to electricity towers is doing the extreme right’s job for it. The ABC is getting perilously close to achieving the same culture as Murdoch’s, ie the punter journalist knows how the boss thinks and doesn’t have to be told what to write in the sure and certain knowledge that if he DOES have to be told… When the ABC does that, it’s time for what remains of the left in Canberra (a pitiful number) to gird their loins for the fray. Nah. I just can’t see that, can you?
    Just how far right do Australia’s institutions have to go when we can stand comparison with the Good ole US of A’s wilder gyrations? You mean we already can?

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