2 October 1941 - 31 July 2006
4 August 2006
Dear Helen, dear Relatives and Friends of Geoffrey Muirden
Although no one is indispensable and we all inexorably undertake this final life’s journey, Geoff’s departure strikes me hard because he was just entering his mature phase of life, having just become a senior citizen where reflective contemplation – the unhurried and objective evaluation of one’s life’s work – begins.
I have known Geoff for almost a quarter of a century and throughout this time very much valued his personal engagement, first as a teacher, then, freed from classroom constraints, as a vigorous and empathetic concerned citizen who would not passively see injustices done to the numerous individuals who hit the proverbial establishment brick wall.
Geoff, indeed, was a courageous and tenacious fighter for free expression, truth in history, and for the adoption of a sensible approach to multiculturalism, and to the most recent issue – that of terrorism. Geoff often argued that the threat to terrorism had been overstated and that enacted terrorism laws were a threat to our democracy.
Thankfully Geoff’s written legacy is preserved in large parts on the Internet. He published his thoughts widely – Adelaide Institute, Australian Civil Liberties Union, Independent Australian,Neil Baird's Newsletter, The Barnes Review, the Herald Sun, among others.
When in 1999 I was otherwise indisposed in 1999 Geoff took over the running of Adelaide Institute, on whose website appear some of Geoff’s most brilliant written pieces, the latest of which was a research paper on Florence Nightingale that he originally presented at the Melbourne Unitarian Church. He also in detail debunked The Da Vinci Code and the ‘Holocaust’.
Together with John Bennett of the Australian Civil Liberties Union, Geoff researched and developed numerous Law reform submissions that were subsequently published in Your Rights and on ACLU’s website.
Geoff was always a welcomed and sought-after speaker by patriotic organizations such as The League of Rights, and his pioneering origin eminently qualified him for such an important task. His ancestors arrived on the South Australian mainland during the middle 1800s and to this day in Adelaide the Muirden College remains a private learning institution.
One of Geoff’s delights was his cat Annabelle – and when she died he grieved for her in no uncertain terms.
Many a times I spent with Geoff where his innate sense of justice was tested to the limits – to the point where he would invoke the Phantom – the Ghost who walks – and we would break out laughing at the silliness of it all. His sense of humour always enabled us to contextualise our work and to bring some balance into it.
As you are all aware, Geoff liked his food – but it was of secondary importance to what was going on in his mind. Forever the gentleman and scholar, Geoff was also deeply religious. He had planned on formalising his religious interests by completing a Ph D, and he shrugged off initial opposition to this plan that came from a member of a university’s philosophy faculty. The academic had advised Geoff that most members of staff were atheists and thus Geoff, as a theist, would have problems finding a supervisor. Geoff knew that atheists who claimed to believe in ‘nothing’ contradicted the very essence of their own existence – which is physical proof that an act of creation has taken place.
Geoff did not fear death – but he would have been angry with himself that there was still so much work waiting for him to be done. There was just not enough time to research, to reflect and to write on the many issues that moved him.
I think I may safely assume that Geoff is now at rest and at peace with himself – and that his spirit fills many of us with that urgency which was Geoff’s hallmark – a sincerity befitting a beautiful mind.
Geoff, I’ll miss you.
A sad incident after the funeral service
Owing to the usual Melbourne peak-hours traffic chaos that occurs on a Friday afternoon, we decided not to stay for tea and coffee. Before setting off in the car a Nordic-looking, tall, blond young man approached me. Softly he introduced himself as Geoff's nephew. He said he appreciated what I had said about Geoff, and he has had a look at Adelaide Institute's website. Then his tone altered and an urgency flowed into his still soft voice: " I am deeply offended by your comments."
I said that what I had stated about Geoff's work is a fact. He then continued to repeat the matter of being offended by what I had said, stating among other things that he lost family members in the 'Holocaust'.
Fortunately Mr Mohammed Hegazi had also come along to pay his last respects to Geoff. The young man continued to state that he had seen the numbers on the arms, that family members had died in the 'Holocaust'. Mr Hegazi challenged him directly by responding: "It's a lie."
The young man became more agitated and I stated that perhaps this was not the right time to get into a lengthy discussion about matters 'Holocaust', and that he should feel free to contact us via Email so that we could resolve the issue by thrashing it out in writing. Without responding he walked off.
Mohammed Hegazi comments:
I could not help thinking about the Jew at the funeral: Was he really a nephew of Geoff? If so, is it possible that he wasn't aware of his uncle's work?
What amazes me is that his statement was an exact replica of that of the Jew at scrabble; "I lost X members of my family in the Holocaust…", to the extent that I couldn’t help completing it for him by mentioning the tattooed numbers on their wrists.
Now, add to the repertoire this response in future similar encounters: When they reach the part that says, "I am offended by your denial of the Holocaust", one should reply, "and we are not offended by your strong belief in a myth. What is offensive is your attempt to impose your belief on us."
Fredrick Töben responds
Geoff Muirden's brother married a Jew, and now this ancient Scottish family name has a Jewish branch. This is how it is done - wherever pure non-Jewish names exist the attempt is made to incorporate a Jewish factor into it. The most blatant example of such method of claiming/absorbing something for themselves is the way in which Adolf Hitler, still the unique evil for some Jews, is then insulted by claiming there is 'Jewish blood' in him.
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