Wednesday, 2 January 2008

Who are Drug Free Australia (DFA)?





About DFA (In their own words)

Drug Free Australia is a peak body, representing organizations and individuals who value the health and wellbeing of our nation. It plays a key role as a community voice, staying in touch with every day Australians -  families and young people - via newsletters, community forums and the media, to ensure a clear message of healthy, drug free lifestyles is assured for generations to come.

It sounds very noble that this organisation is 'dealing with everyday Australians' and keeping us free from a life of drugs and pain. There is a feeling of warmth in this family orientated organisation with pictures of smiling, healthy teenagers and messages of a 'free lifestyle without drugs'. But under the facade, there lies an agenda. An agenda by religious extremists and political lobbyists to implement a cruel and unrealistic policy called Harm Prevention (HP).
Harm prevention is how a modern westernised nation would apply a harsh drug policy from strictly religious countries. The difference being, Australia can't be seen to have religion dictate a medical/scientific issue so HP is modified to trick the public into thinking that more humane policies like Harm Minimisation (HM) are 'soft on drugs'. Yes, you recall the comment, 'soft on drugs' being made by politicians trying to slam their opposition. HP forces drug use into the realm of law & order to keep up the rhetoric of the U.S. style 'War on Drugs'. 
Harm Minimisation has been a successful policy in Australia since 1985 and put us at the forefront to fighting the spread of HIV/AIDS. Needle exchanges and the push to use condoms was fairly radical when introduced but it is now common practice for most western countries. HM uses common sense practices based on real world situations to protect drug users from harm. It accepts that drug use is part of society regardless of legality and it is better to acknowledge this than to ignore it. If someone is going to use drugs, then it's better to do it safely than to force them into sharing needles or other dangerous situations. HM is a realistic policy based on research and science rather than opinion or religious views.
I sometimes visit the site, DFA Watch and read about DFA's latest efforts to spread dis-information. This got me thinking recently ... who actually is DFA? Who are the board members? Who heads it up? I did some simple research via Google and as I already knew, most of the board are religious. Actually, some members are extremely religious including evangelists and other crackpots. Most members are extremely homophobic and some members are hate mongers. They are the last bunch of freaks you would want to care for you. 
For your amusement, here they are (In no particular order of wackiness):
Margaret Court
DFA Patron
Margaret Court, the famous tennis champ, turned Pastor is the new patron replacing MP Ann Bressington. She has her own ministry and is a TV evangelist with a show called Margaret Court Television
Margaret Court Television is an evangelistic program to establish the Word of God in the lives of millions of people. Margaret Court is passionate about: Seeing people's lives changed and helping people reach their full potential by the power of the message of Jesus Christ.
Highlights
  • Healing the faithful on stage
  • Not healing the faithful on stage
Quotes:
"lesbian tennis players 'snared' their counterparts into homosexuality."
-2002
"Mohammed didn't die for you. Buddha didn't die for you. Only Jesus died for you."
-August 2005
Books:
Our Winning Position - In this book you'll learn about all the rest He has done for you. You will learn about your winning position in Jesus. In Him, God has already made you pure and holy. In Him, you already have everything that pertains to life. In Him, you already have the keys to the Kingdom. Do you want to walk in the fullness of everything god has for you? Of course you do! Who wouldn't. - Price: $11.00
Winning Faith - This is the eagerly awaited book of Margaret Court's climb to fame as possibly the greatest ladies tennis player of all time having won 64 Grand Slam titles during her brilliant career. After her conversion to Christianity the same zeal and commitment that took her to the top in tennis is now evidenced in her desire to help the needy and spread the Gospel of Christ. She ministers throughout Australia and many countries around the world. - Price: $14.25
Other:
An extract from one persons experience at a CityLife Christian event with Margaret Court.
By: Adam Fenderson
...she channels that anger inward for the climax of the whole show: the healing. It operates at first like a demented game of bingo. Margaret calls out a lucky ailment and uses what presumably are her God-okayed psychic powers to detect the pain. 'I feel...' she says as she looks around the audience, 'I feel there's some people out there with pain in their hip ... right hip ... put your hand up ...' Some people put their hands up. 'OK, come on down to the front.' This time people rise. Neck pain gets lucky too.      The sore and wounded line up, with a row of people behind them. After some quiet talk to each patient off-mic, Margaret puts her hand on their heads meaningfully, as if banishing a bad spirit. The believer, shaking, falls back into the arms behind them. It's like electroconvulsive therapy except the current is God's love channeled through an ex-tennis player from Perth. Not everyone seems to feel it though, and despite the burst of Godvolts, some remain standing, not looking at all convinced that they feel as better as Margaret insists. 
Craig Thompson
National President
Highlights:
Member of Festival of Light Christian Ministries. From their website: Festival of Light: Who are we? - Festival of Light Australia is a Christian ministry to our nation promoting true family values in the light of the wisdom of God.
Quotes:
A "magistrate" was cited in The Australian (newspaper) last week, as authority that jailing more marijuana users would somehow "tackle psychosis".  Denouncing "the decriminalisation of marijuana" and "harm minimisation," stories of classic amphetamine psychosis were cited as reasons to jail users of cannabis all the more.  
-People's Drug Summit, Adelaide 2005
Acting magistrate Craig Thompson called on governments to wind back the decriminalisation of marijuana and impose "coercive rehabilitation" based on abstinence for people addicted to drugs. 
-People's Drug Summit, Adelaide 2005
Books:
Heroin: the new epidemic by Athol Moffitt, John Malouf and Craig Thompson 
Drug Precipice By Athol Moffitt, John Malouf & Craig Thompson
Both are sold through Festival of Light Christian Ministries.
Gary Christian
Honorary Secretary
Highlights:
  • Gary Christian is high up in the Seventh Day Adventist Church
  • A well known Creationist
  • Speaker for Drug Free Ambassadors, an initiative started by the Church of Scientology
Quotes:
"High overdose rates at the centre were due to drug users experimenting with higher doses, knowing nurses would be on hand to help them"
-September 2003. Spreading lies to gather support for the closure of Sydney's Safe Injecting Room
"Mrs McKay can be naive on the facts of drugs,"
-February 2002
"I still support her in her fight against drugs but I have been told that she upset people at the Drug Summit with her attacks on the harm-minimisation policy." 
-February 2002
Science was a "belief system", Biblical fables were "Scientific evidence", and "Civil Rights are a metaphysical illusion",
Books:
The Kings Cross Injecting Room - Case for Closure written by Gary Christian
(Over the past 4 years, the MSIC and a range of respected health professionals working in the addiction medicine field have pointed out the errors in Gary Christian’s various calculations and extrapolations).
Josephine Baxter
Executive Officer
Highlights:
  • Multiple DFA statements blurring evidence and facts
  • Vocal supporter of drug testing for students
Quotes:
"The Australian Medical Association has issued warnings on the health risks associated with smoking marijuana. Risks of cannabis use include memory loss, psychosis, impaired driving, hallucinations, asthma, and even lung cancer. Moreover, warned the AMA, one third to one half of detained patients admitted to psychiatric units in Australia are there because marijuana use has precipitated a relapse"
-A quote she stole from Christian extremist, Bill Muehlenberg 
"If the good doctor could provide his evidence-base to show that open distribution of cannabis would actually decrease use, reduce psychosis and related violence, he may have a credible voice. However, right now he has only dug himself further into disrepute."
-In response to Dr. Wodak’s suggestion of a regulated market for cannabis. Dr Alex Wodak is a world renown expert on drug treatment. Jo is ... well, a... nothing, really.
"Research now shows just how complex and dangerous this drug is" 
-In reference to cannabis.
“Anything that is a promotional campaign or gives information without making clear the harm of drugs is not useful”
-On the Melbourne Museum's exhibition - Drugs: A Social History
“Given that the US is making better headway than Australia, in both binge drinking and illicit drug use among its young people, we should be looking more closely at what is working there”
-The Age. March 27, 2008
Peter R. Phillips
Director
Highlights:
  • Member, Advisory Group, Catholic Bishops' Committee on Migration and Refugees
  • Chairman, Finance Council, Catholic Military Diocese
  • Supported these so called "facts": 
    -90% of gay men finding "contact with human feces pleasurable"
    -that one-fourth of gay men have had sex with at least 1,000 partners
    -that "Homosexuals invite rejection and unfortunately occasional violent retaliation by deliberately engaging in          public conduct which offends the sensibilities of many Australians"
    -that lesbians are 19 times more likely than heterosexual women to have syphilis
    -that gay food handlers spread hepatitis
   -that HIV can be spread by water
    -that gay teachers are seven times more likely than heterosexual teachers to molest children
    -that gay men prey on adolescent boys in public restrooms
    -that there has been no genocide against gays even under the Nazis
    -that gays and lesbians do not experience discrimination but are in fact a wealthy elite.
Major Brian Watters
Director
The hard-liners hero or as some call him, the Australian Drug Czar. Watters has been on nearly every drug committee that allows moralists including Howard's own, ANCD. With a reputation as the great abstainer from anything scientific, his reputation got the attention of the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) who made him Australia's representative.
Highlights: 
  • Major in the Salvation Army. 
  • Qualified psychiatric chaplain
  • Responsible for pushing Howard's agenda that stopped the ACT heroin trials in 1997.
  • Converted the ANCD into Howard's personal anti-drug committee alienating Australia's top experts on drug addiction.
  • Member of several Australian government committees, including the national "Tough on Drugs" reference group.
  • Keynote speaker at the hard line conservative conference: European Cities against Drugs in Stockholm.
  • Organised Summit 2000 to promote alternatives to government policy. Summit 2000 tried to claim legitimacy by being held in NSW Parliament House, yet it was not organised by the government, and was far from representative of the full spectrum of views in the drug debate. Rather, it was sponsored by a group of like-minded conservatives, including the Festival of Light's Rev Fred Nile, various church groups and some conservative state Liberal politicians.
Quotes:
"drug addiction is a sin"
- as Chairman of ANCD.
"heroin addiction is a fate worse then death"
- as Chairman of ANCD.
Major Watters said he was tired of hearing people say it was their "right" to decide what they did with their bodies when the same people were often the first in the queue to grab social security benefits. "It's pure selfishness," he said. "They just don't feel they need to contribute anything to society, just take from it."
- Daily Telegraph 2004.
"The addicts in their iniquitous soul-destroying world of substance abuse don't understand the love and hope we have invested in them." 
- Daily Telegraph 2004.
"bringing together all of the latest research in a balanced, non-ideological way"
-Explaining the contents of a new booklet from the Howard Government's drug taskforce that aims to "tell the truth" and combat the "trivialisation" of the drug's dangers.
Graeme Rule
Director
Highlights: 
  • Executive Director - COADE Inc. COADE is a Christian not for profit non govermnment organisation assisting everybody regardless of race, religion and capacity to pay.
  • Graeme Rule is a lifelong total abstainer and one of five children. His father was a country Methodist parson with an unswerving hostility towards the liquor trade. All the five children have moved into significant Christian service. 
  • He campaigned in the Ashburton suburban area of Melbourne where he lives, for a dry area poll. A Camberwell restaurant is seeking a liquor licence where for 82 years there has been an absence of alcohol. 
Quotes:
"Christ came to make people whole, yet the total abstinence message is the truth that some Christians do not want to hear!"
- Quarterly Supporters Rally of the Christian Democratic Party, Richmond Church of Christ, Victoria 13 June 2003
Graeme posed the often asked question, Did Jesus turn water into intoxicating liquor at the marriage reception in Cana, with the guests staggering home afterwards? In our Lords day alcoholic wine, as drunk by the Jews, was greatly diluted, public drinking water often being contaminated. Also the wine which Paul recommended as a therapy for Timothys gastric complaint was probably a thick syrup of grape juice. Alcoholic wine would only irritate any stomach condition. 
- Quarterly Supporters Rally of the Christian Democratic Party, Richmond Church of Christ, Victoria 13 June 2003
John Bariach
Director
Highlights:
  • A member of this highly Christian activist groups -President of the WA Branch of the Australian Family Association -Family Council of WA -State Council of the Parents and Friends Federation -Family and Children’s Advisory Council -Knights of the Southern Cross (KSC)
  • He is a lay apostolate.
  • 2001: Advertised that proposed law changes in W.A. that brought the age of consent for homosexuals in line with heterosexuals would "promote homosexual seduction of teenage boys" and attempted to link homosexuality and child abuse.
  • In 2001, the Western Australian (WA) Government introduced homosexual law reform. In an effort to prevent the changes, the Australian Family Association took out an advertisement in a daily newspaper arguing against them. WA Senator, Brian Greig, complained to the Advertising Standards Board, which upheld his complaint, ruling that it breached industry ethics. Greig then allegedly sent out messages from his parliamentary e-mail address urging gay activists to send as much unsolicited mail as possible to the association's ...
  • At the Cardinal Mindszenty Foundation Conference John Barich emphasized the importance of finding out who the official government delegates to UN meetings are, and on lobbying them in advance so that no anti-life, anti-family - or ambiguous - recommendations are adopted. Official Australian government appointed delegates to UN (August 2004)
Quotes:
Allowing the couple to adopt was an "obscene" social experiment. He was glad the couple were still on a waiting list.
-PerthNow May 2007. THE first homosexual couple in WA approved an adoption are still waiting because no birth mother has wanted her child to have "two dads".
Inconsistencies in delegate selection had flawed Western Australia's (WA) drug summit in August 2001. John Barich, convener of the WA Family Council said there had been an unfair representation in the selection of delegates. There had not been enough schools, parent groups and church representatives, and too many representing drug users. The council had called its own summit because it believed the official government one had failed, Barich said. More than 100 health professionals and members of the community attended the ...
-October 2001
What a perverse idea of fairness is it to decide that a little boy or girl shall never be able to call anyone "Mummy" because the next couple in the adoption queue is a pair of male homosexuals?
-September 2005. Putting his case forward on the issue of allowing gay couples to adopt.
Millennia of human experience, common sense and weighty research support the presumption that the best interest of the child is served by entrusting him or her to a mother and father in a stable marriage. The advocates of adoption by homosexual couples cannot meet the burden of proof required to rebut this presumption.
-September 2005. Putting his case forward on the issue of allowing gay couples to adopt.
"The funding decision was disgraceful and devalued Christmas." "I'm in shock, it's ridiculous," "the Pride parade should be banned because homosexuals had achieved their law-reform aims and the march was used merely to flaunt their lifestyle and mock the church."
-October 2006. Accusing the City of Perth of snubbing Christmas after it allocated more funding to Saturday's gay and lesbian Pride parade than the Christmas Pageant through the same streets.
Herschel Mills Baker
Director
Highlights:
  • President - Australian Parents for Drug Free Youth
  • Listed prohibitionists on the Drugwatch website
Quotes:
"only coma and death are left for the cannabis smoker"
Betty Robert
Director
Highlights:
National Social Issues Convenor for the Catholic Women’s League of Australia 2006-2007
Isobel Gawle
Director
Quotes:
"The Government must not aid and abet the prostitution industry to camouflage its activities by simply moving such activities to designated areas, or into brothels … such harm minimisation efforts are doomed to failure."
-Attorney-General’s Street Prostitution Advisory Group Final Report 2002

5 comments:

Gledwood said...

Hey I have a friend who went to Melbourne about 18 months ago, said it was really well organized re junkiedom ie sinbins in toilets and everything.
Here you just get the stupid blue light that has never stopped me having a hit.

ps can I ask you something: the gear in Australia. Is it still white or do you get that Afghan brown stuff you have to add citric acid/vitamin C to break down.

Ours is brown

Terry Wright said...

Thanks Gledwood for your reply.
Australia has been fairly good in providing services for users. I have never seen a 'sinbin' but I have seen the blue light. You're right, it doesn't work.
Sydney has an actual injection facility where you can legally shoot up with clean equipment and supervision from a nurse if needed. It's saved a lot of lives but the DFA are dead against it ... of course.

Heroin in Australia usually comes from SE Asia, especially Burma. It's almost always white. I have never had to add anything and I have only seen slightly brown gear once or twice.

To make heroin white (higher quality and more injectable), an extra process is needed that requires a skilled chemist. I think Afghan heroin might skip this process. Australian heroin is not as pure as it may seem. It comes here in as a pure white brick and is cut repeatedly until we get it on the street. By then it's less potent than US or UK heroin.

It's also more expensive here ... DOH!

Anonymous said...

I think you mean that DFA is in favour of Harm Prevention rather than Harm Reduction. Harm Reduction is actually one of the three prongs of Australia's Harm Minimisation strategy. The three prongs are: Supply Reduction, Harm Reduction and Demand Reduction.

Terry Wright said...

Thanks for pointing that out to me, anonymous.
You're right, my mistake and I have fixed it.

Salene said...

People should read this.