The name Julian Assange first came to the fore when he began posting a quarter-of-a-million public and low-grade classified documents on his whistle-blowing website, WikiLeaks (no relation to Wikipedia).
These contained the un-spun thoughts of a large number of political public figures and thus were bound to cause embarrassment and controversy – the American System collectively FREAKED.
But then things took a bizarre turn. In Sweden – a country noted for its sexual liberalism – an arrest warrant was issued for Mr Assange, relating to encounters he had had, with a couple of women.
The charges were strange in themselves. Things have come to pretty poor pass when ADULTS have to take their LAWYERS to bed with them, anytime they fancy getting frisky. But Sweden was adamant – they wanted a WORD or three with Julian.
At this point, Assange was in Britain. And Britain, being part of Europe, is bound to take seriously the demands of any other European country.
However, it is also well-known as being America’s Bitch – and The States wanted a few words with Julian as well.
And so the British authorities GRABBED Julian. But then things took ANOTHER weird turn.
The judge announced that Mr Assange would be remanded in CUSTODY, while they decided what to do with him. The reasons given were that he was being incarcerated “for his own safety” and because he was considered “a flight risk”.
This last, despite the fact that Assange had freely SUBMITTED himself to the authorities.
As for the first consideration – just who did the judge think was AFTER Julian? And why would he consider him to be SAFE in JAIL? It makes no sense.
And nor does Assange’s willingness to allow himself to be GRABBED by The System in the first place – he’d ample opportunity to go underground and no-one would have thought any the less of him if he had.
At this point, the Julian Assange story begins to parallel two other famous people’s stories – Lenny Bruce and Jesus of Nazareth. Let us first look at Mr Bruce.
Lenny Bruce is the Grandfather of Modern Standup Comedy. In Late-’50s America, institutionalised racism and sexual hypocrisy ruled – and Lenny used humour to highlight these failings in its society.
But this made him enemies. And Lenny played right into their hands by using colourful language in his act, at a time before it was permitted. Thus every time he said a naughty word, he would get BUSTED.
Now if he had paid his fines and moderated his language, he could have simply continued. But Mr Bruce made a cardinal error – he thought the American System was STRAIGHT. Thus he FOUGHT his cases in court.
And slowly, his act began to feature him solely reading extracts from transcripts of his latest cases. He became OBSESSED with Free Speech. Unfortunately, he LOST his cases – and that and drugs KILLED him.
However, his sufferings were not in vain. Within ten years of his death, a climate developed where a standup could say ANYTHING on stage – and only their AUDIENCE would judge them.
Then there is Jesus of Nazareth. His preachings pissed off the Romans BIG time. And this lead to their capturing, torturing and executing him.
But he too had plenty of opportunities to escape – the Romans did not WANT another martyr.
However, Jesus wanted to BE one – and enlisted Judas to help make it happen.
And it worked. His body having been taken by grave-robbers, his followers declared him having risen from the dead and his Disciples went on to continue his work. Two THOUSAND years on – his legend persists.
(One cannot help but wonder if in his wildest imaginings, Jesus could have envisaged he would become an INTEGRAL PART of a religion that would endure for two millennia – and counting).
But returning to our whistle-blowing hero – could it BE that he sees himself as a MARTYR for the cause of Freedom of Information?
It may sound absurd (but then again, the truth often IS) however the parallels are unavoidable. His “revelations” are echoing around the World. His “disciples” are carrying on releasing those 250,000 documents. And he has an ENORMOUS “following”.
Is Julian Assange the Second Coming?