This page was intended to be a single post investigating a private sector funded “Institute” that appeared to be more a propaganda front than an educative body. It has instead unearthed so many links and threads that it started to look like a book. I have decided to break it up into a living series of posts with I hope some feedback and input from you on bogus front groups you have encountered. J2 


ABC Provides Platform for Propaganda and Misinformation

The Australian Broadcasting Commission has become a willing partner in the spreading of propaganda and misinformation for a sinister and malevolent organisation with an agenda to undermine democratic representation and to crush the political influence of Australian based NGO’s.

This organisation is funded by Phillip Morris, now known as Altria, and GM food companies, big polluters and not surprisingly, News Limited. It wields extraordinary influence on the ABC and other Australian media organisations and through them the Government.

In a speech justifying going to war against Iraq in 2003 John Howard praised the organisation commenting that they had “played a role in shaping, as well as articulating, our nation’s values.”

The organisation has only 45 members and by any measure cannot be said to be representative of the Australian community, yet its’ spokespersons get regular slots on ABC talkback and current affairs programs like the Drum and Q&A.  On many occasions they push tobacco and gambling issues into their debates to emphasise the evils of the “nanny state”, the primacy of individual rights, and to call for less regulation.

This organisation works hard to undermine legislation on smoking, on measures to curb excessive gambling and particularly on legislative measures to reduce carbon emissions.

To achieve this they have assembled a group of “retired experts”, most with strong links to mining interests. These “experts” flood the airways and newspapers with claims that the science used to establish human induced climate change is wrong.

Despite being proven to be factually incorrect and being sprung altering graphs to distort the actual climate impacts, and despite being made aware they are using data that has been proven to be wrong there is no apology or corrections made to their distortions of science. Instead they increase their propagation of this misleading material through the shock jocks and the onside newspapers owned by News Limited. Most recently this sorry group of fakes appeared together on the Bolt Show pushing their disproved and discredited theories.

Another one of their methods devised by the masters of manipulation Phillip Morris/Altria, is to create fake community groups to give the impression that there is community support for their views. The Australian Environment Foundation, which sounds like an environment group, is in fact an anti-environment group set up to support timber interests logging in native forest. Despite this agenda the organisation fraudulently applied to the former Liberal Government for Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) Status which is awarded to not for profit charities who’s purpose is to help save the environment. This status was awarded.

Two other front groups are the Independent Contractors of Australia – which according to Source Watch, “campaigns for an end to workplace safety laws and a general deregulation of the labour market, and the ironically named Owner Drivers Australia, which campaigns against safety and work standards for truck drivers.”

What is very worrying about this so called Institute is that much of its agenda is driven on behalf of foreign corporations and in many cases is against the best interest of Australian citizens. Some of the corporations funding the institution have histories of anti-social and even criminal behaviour including convictions for racketeering. They also have histories of lying to regulatory authorities and providing the authorities with fraudulent research.

So what is this organisation and who are its operatives and financiers? What are its’ methodologies and which overseas persons and organisations is it working with?

The organisation is of course the Institute for Public Affairs (IPA). You are likely to have read articles by their staff in the Australian, the Age and many other newspapers and watched their performances on numerous television current affairs and news programs.

The IPA has morphed into an Australian version of the US corporate funded “think-tank”, the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) which has the same basic structure and is carrying out an almost identical program as the IPA including front groups to carry out attacks on NGO’s.

The ubiquitous tobacco loving IPA spokesperson Tim Wilson uses the CEI front group Consumers Alliance for Global Prosperity (CAGP) propaganda to bag worthy  projects and organisations like Oxfam.

“It certainly has been the experience of Australian and US businesses targeted over the products they stock. A report, Empires of Collusion, by a US-based consumer group, last year found bad cop NGOs, including Greenpeace, targeted office-stationery retailers through the media and political action about the paper they stocked for sale and its origins.”

What Wilson does not reveal is that CAGP is not a consumer group. In fact the spokesman for CAGP is Andrew Langer, who is the founder and president of the Institute for Liberty (IFL), one of two listed supporters of CAGP. The other supporter is Frontiers of Freedom, a right wing front group funded by Exxon, the Koch brothers, and Phillip Morris.

Note the Phillip Morris connection with both the IPA and CEI. Could it be that the IPA and the CEI and even the Tea Party and the Liberal Party are much more closely related than they are letting on?

The ABC is failing to discriminate between blatant cash for comment PR and genuine debate and in the process is giving these anti-democratic phonies credibility and status they do not deserve.

My next posts will look at IPA and Liberal party  links with  American Legislative Executive Council (ALEC) how the same suspects are involved in the resignation of UK Defence Minister Liam Fox.