I wouldn't have the courage to write this without the support and reassurance given by Suzie Dawson, who has endured far worse than this but took the time to reassure me that I'm not going crazy. For that, I am most grateful.
Until recently, I believed that I lived in a democracy. Sure, it was tattered around the edges and there were some disturbing instances of rules not applying to sections of the upper classes, but by and large, I believed that we as Australians had the right to form and voice our own opinions.
I was naive, which is quite an achievement for someone who is viewed by those closest to him as cynical, sceptical and at times just a tad sarcastic.
I've been writing about various taboo subjects on and off for about eighteen months. By taboo, I mean CIA, Deep state, the incarceration of Julian Assange, the influence of America over Australian policy, Pine Gap, the coup of 1975, banking cartels and anything else that gets up my nose on a given day.
For most of that time, I've flown under the radar. My audience has been minimal. I've used the writing as a pressure valve release, while I worked as freelance writer providing content for small business owners. I didn't think I was worth noticing.
I probably wasn't.
Then, I accepted a challenge to write a piece about Julian Assange on Australia Day.
It wasn't my best piece of work, not by a long stretch - but it hit a nerve.
I had never seen website traffic like that article got.
My audience grew, as a result. I'm still no heavy hitter and don't expect to ever be, but my articles started to get traction and were being shared by some pretty influential and, it has to be said, subversive people.
That's when those weird little things started to happen. In isolation, they seem to be nothing, but when I put them together, I don't feel comfortable. Most of these instances seem trivial. Some of them are probably coincidental. But even so, I feel compelled to record everything.
The Telstra Guy
This stuck in my mind as being a little odd. It was a week or so after writing that first Assange article. I was sitting on the front steps talking to a tradesman who was doing some work for me. There is a telecom "pit" right outside our fence line. It's hardly ever used. The main nodes are a little way up the street. A van with Telstra emblazoned on the side pulled up and a technician jumped out. He looked directly at us and seemed surprised to see me sitting there.
"How fast is your Internet,"he asked.
I told him it was pretty quick.
"It will be quicker when I'm finished," he replied and set to work.
I would not have given this a second thought, if it weren't for subsequent events and the fact that my Internet if anything is a little slower.
Shortly after this, my wife and I made a day trip to Melbourne, some three hours drive away. We returned home after dark and discovered that the front doors were wide open. We never use the front doors and yet here they were wide open. My wife freaked. We went through the house and could find nothing missing.
I have been keeping a paper record of social media accounts in a spiral binder. The binder is kept by my laptop. I went shopping and returned to find the spiral binder left open and overturned on my desk. I couldn't remember leaving it like that, but presumed I must have. When I went to access the list of social media accounts, it was gone. There is no reason why I would tear that page out. It is not there. It s gone.
I spent several days in a state of disbelief. I went through that notebook repeatedly, thinking that I must have overlooked the page. I went through rubbish bins. I searched the house high and low. Slowly, I started to realize that someone had taken it. It meant nothing, but it was screwing with my head.
Lost Computer Work
I was struggling to meet a deadline for some work I had been engaged to do. I took a break and took the dog for his daily walk, before doing so, I put my laptop in sleep mode, hoping to return refreshed and with the energy to get the job done. When I returned, I switched on the computer. All the windows that were previously open were open - except all of my word documents (I had 5 separate documents open). They had been closed down. They weren't saved and they weren't recoverable. They were gone.
I needed those documents. I had spent hours on them. They had disappeared.
There was no way I could meet the deadline. I lost a day and a job. I needed the money, if I'm totally honest. I scraped together a vastly inferior document and submitted it three hours late. The clients are not happy.
I don't think so. These happenings are eerily similar to other people.
I've been encouraged to make this post as a permanent record of what has happened. Future "coincidences will also be recorded.
I won't be promoting this page widely. I just want a record.
Thanks once again to Suzie Dawson for believing me.
I'm not crazy and I'm not stupid and I find it bizarre to write this down.