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The Australian Ministry of Utmost Fear

By Lyn Bender - posted Tuesday, 8 August 2017

  • Muslims
  • Jews
  • Asylum seekers
  • Asians .
  • Wind turbines.
  • Head scarves
  • Halal
  • Meat grinders

During the world wars thousands of citizens of German and Japanese ancestry were interred in camps despite being law abiding loyal residents of Britain, the United States and Australia. They were classified as enemy aliens.

In Australia people from over thirty nations were interred, but most were of German Japanese or Italian ancestry.


Incredible as it seems - Indigenous people were also interred.

Many innocents were accused of sending signals to the enemy due to something as spurious as turning lights on and off in a home photography dark room. The logic went something like this.

We are at war with Italy.

This man is Italian.

He switches lights on and off.

He might be signalling the enemy.


Fear has the capacity to undermine rational thought.

Once aroused, fear can dominate.

This is illustrated humorously by Woody Allen's character in the film Hannah and Her Sisters. His feared brain tumour diagnosis is cleared; but the fear remains.

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About the Author

Lyn Bender is a psychologist in private practice. She is a former manager of Lifeline Melbourne and is working on her first novel.

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