Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Wiki-Sneaks

Written by

There’s a shadowy presence behind the new government and it’s not the IPA, nor is it News Corp. Our intrepid investigative reporter Ben Pobjie goes searching for the malevolent, secretive organisation that may be not just pulling the strings, but defining them [citation needed].

We like to believe that democracy truly does equate to rule by the people, that the hands on the levers of power ultimately answer to us. But any democracy is vulnerable to malign forces, to special interests who seek to seize control of those levers for their own levering needs. Ominously, our current government, elected in a frenzy of hope for a better, less wacko future, seems to have already fallen prey to one of these interests. At least we found out about it early – knowledge is power, and it seemed to be to our advantage that Greg Hunt’s slip of the tongue has alerted us to the sinister influence over the government being exerted by the shadowy organisation known as “Wikipedia”.

What is “Wikipedia”? Who is behind it? And just how far have its tentacles extended into the corridors of Australian power? Is its control limited to Hunt’s Department of Environment, or does it also exercise power over areas like Defence, Immigration, Health, or even Treasury? Does Wikipedia’s grasp reach all the way to the prime minister? The King’s Tribune set out to find the answers. What we discovered was more horrifying than anyone could have guessed.

We began by placing a call to Minister Hunt’s office, to ask just what Mr Hunt’s relationship with the Wikipedia organisation, or cartel, was. There were few answers here: his staff seemed determined to stonewall. “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” says a receptionist, the sound of terror obvious in her voice. Staff are clearly under strict instructions not to reveal details of how Wikipedia has infiltrated the department. Further enquiries by email, fax and Facebook post about whether Mr Hunt has met with Wikipedia in the last month receive no reply. A 24-hour watch is put on Mr Hunt’s office to see whether any Wikipedia representatives visit, but nobody goes in or out except for Mr Hunt’s staff, parliamentary colleagues and bespoke tailor. It’s apparent other avenues must be explored.

Some deep digging reveals that Wikipedia is a more brazen organisation than could possibly have been imagined – it actually has its own website! Rarely does a group which is secretly working behind the scenes to direct government policy to its own ends place itself so openly in the public eye, but like Auguste Dupin’s purloined letter, clearly this dubious collective feels that it can best hide itself in plain sight. And any information about the operations of Wikipedia and its intentions for Australian democracy are indeed well-hidden – the website contains a cornucopia of information, but little of interest to an investigative reporter. A few basic facts are established:

The figurehead of Wikipedia is a certain “Jimmy Wales”. This Wales seems to have never held public office in any Australian parliament, nor has he worked in the public service. It seems likely that he is simply the public face of Wikipedia – the real power is almost certainly behind the curtain.

Wikipedia claims to be “operated by volunteers”: like many totalitarian organisations, it relies on the zeal of devoted fanatics rather than potentially disengaged salaried workers.

The word “Wikipedia” is similar to the word “encyclopaedia”, which means a big book with facts in it. Could this be some kind of clue?

George Herriman (1880–1944) was an American cartoonist best known for the comic strip Krazy Kat (1913–44). He started as a newspaper cartoonist in 1897 and introduced Krazy Kat in the strip The Dingbat Family in 1910 (citation needed).

Where to from here? Could this “George Herriman”, who died in what some might call mysterious circumstances in 1944 – by “coincidence” the same year that Robert Menzies outlined his vision for what would become the Liberal Party, the current party of government in Australia – provide any answers? Inquiries to the Department of Finance regarding Herriman’s whereabouts prove fruitless – have they been captured by Wikipedia’s agenda?

Another lead suggests itself – what of the “pedia” suffix? Could this hint at the dark purpose behind Wikipedia? Encyclopaedia salesmen, once upon a time, roamed the land bothering people in their homes – does Wikipedia hope to enter our very houses, using the might of the Federal government to do so? But what of that “Wiki”? What could that mean? A trip to Hawaii gives me no new information. I’m almost ready to give up, until by purest chance I happen to read the letters in the word “Wiki” and see it bears a startling resemblance to the word “Wiki”, as in “Wikileaks”. I quickly board a flight to London and head to the Ecuadorean embassy to ask Julian Assange what he knows about Wikipedia.

Once in London, I find that Assange is refusing to speak to me. Good God, have they even gotten to him? What kind of enormous tendrils have these people coiled around the globe? I ask the operator at the embassy what Assange’s reasons are. “He thinks you’re an idiot,” she replies, the quaver in her voice betraying the truth: Assange has been threatened by Wikipedian henchmen. Obviously Wikileaks and Wikipedia are linked – perhaps Wikileaks is an attempt by Wikipedia insiders to bring the truth about Jimmy Wales’s dark empire to light. I feel that I am on the trail, my suspicions that this is a big story only confirmed when a London taxi passes close by and splashes my ankles. This was no accident – it was a warning.

Back in Australia I call the prime minister and demand answers. “To what?” he asks and I realise I’ve forgotten to ask any questions. In embarrassment I hang up, and call back two minutes later, changing my voice so he doesn’t realise I’m the same person because that would be awkward. “What do you know about Wikipedia, Mr Abbott?” I bark.

“I think it’s on computers,” he says, and I rejoice inwardly. Finally, a confession! He’s admitted he’s aware of its existence. This will be dynamite.

I press him further. “What has Wikipedia got on you, PM? What are they asking you to do?”

He pauses a moment. “They’re asking me for a donation.”

I understand. Clearly Wikipedia’s goons are in the PM’s office and he is not free to talk. I quickly hiss instructions for him to meet me behind the Tiger Moth at the War Memorial at 3pm, and hang up. Finally we will get to the bottom of what Wikipedia wants from us. Is it lucrative arms contracts? Relaxation of corporate pollution regulations? Legalisation of heroin? My reporter’s nose tells me that all of these are almost definitely true.

At 4.30pm I begin to worry: the PM has not shown up and I’ve had no word. I can’t deny the truth: obviously Wikipedia has had him eliminated. I fall to the War Memorial floor and begin to weep: our democracy is in tatters, our government fully under the spell of this evil conglomerate, hellbent on putting the Australian people to work for its own repellent corporate interests. What’s more, there’s no stopping them – the death of Abbott shows just how flexy their muscles can get. Any who stand in their way will be ruthlessly swept aside, and that, no doubt, includes nosy reporters. I think of that splash in London and my blood runs cold. I rush to the airport and book a one-way flight to Haiti. Hopefully there I’ll be free from Wikipedia’s avaricious claws. But I leave this for the brave folk at the King’s Tribune to publish at their discretion, so that one day, the people can know The Truth, and god willing, they will rise up in revolt against this all-consuming demon. This “Wikipedia”.

Ben  Pobjie

Ben has not one but TWO hilarious books out now. Surveying the Wreckage and Superchef.

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www.benpobjie.blogspot.com