Joelle Norris AKA Indie Rose Oliver is a Queensland (surprise surprise) based far right activist. Oliver is known almost exclusively for her online activism through Facebook, publishing anti Islamic material from a “woman’s perspective”. She operated a FB account, which she called the Great Australian Matriarch, in which she has set out to be the (sole) female face and representative for the United Patriots Front, which she would also act as treasurer for. She also played a significant role in the organisation of the UPF’s merchandising and played a crucial behind the scenes role in the groups organising.
It must be hard to be the female leader of such a macho and misogynist fascist group. Well, i guess its not if you don’t give a shit about women’s rights, go about victim blaming and implying that men like her fearless leader Blair Cottrell are entitled to hit women.
This one time leading figure in the UPF inner circle has since fallen from grace with her former mates. After being romantically involved with UPF Perth based leader Dennis Huts (horror), she became disillusioned with the group and decided to defect. She wrote the below statement:
EXPOSING THE LIES – PRESENTING THE TRUTH
My name is Indie Norris. I’ve been deeply involved in the Australian patriot movement for almost a year now. It’s a movement that sprang from legitimate fears about the spread and infiltration of extremist Islamic terrorism and violence. Many people involved got involved to oppose what they perceived as a threat to our safety, and adjacent to that, a threat to the Australian way of life. I became completely caught up in my loyalties to certain individuals at the top of the “hierarchy”. So much so that I was blind to the wrong we were doing – in fact, I defended, justified and excused it.
I’ve never attended a “patriot” rally. I’ve never met any of these people in real life. However, strong relationships of a very close nature developed quickly online and over the phone with many of them. I considered these people my friends, my allies; I trusted them and they me. I assisted a great deal from behind the scenes, volunteering many hours, putting my face out in the line of fire, knowing full well I would be subject to humiliation, harassment and ridicule from our opponents. Our opponents were “Islamists” and “lefties”. The language used to divide people on the basis of religious or political belief was working. Quickly, the perception within the patriot movement developed to view anyone who identified as “left wing” as the enemy, even more so in many cases than the extremist Islamists we were originally against. Eventually, anyone left of extreme right was considered a “leftie” and labelled as a traitor to our nation. Why? How did this happen? Because I, and many others like me were lead to believe that what we were doing was doing what was right and patriotic. We were defending our beautiful nation, its values and culture against an onslaught of what I saw as a foreign and dangerous culture and a whole political ideology that supported it. I was convinced I was doing what was in the best interests of our country and its people. I couldn’t understand how anyone could be opposed to that, so I saw “the left” as the enemy.
I was heavily involved in the United Patriots Front (UPF) and had very close connections with associated high profile people:
– Ralph Cerminara – former self-appointed president of the anti-Islam “Australian Defence League” and administrator of the Facebook page and website “Left Wing Bigots and Extremists Exposed”. A man who repeatedly concocts lies and posts them on his Facebook page.
– Shermon Burgess – the self styled “Great Aussie Patriot”; founder and former leader of the UPF, who had a Facebook following of over 40,000 people until his page was removed by Facebook for repeated contraventions of their mysterious “Community Standards”.
– Dennis Huts – “The Thinking Patriot” and current leader of UPF – Perth.
There are others, but I won’t go on. You get the idea.
Towards the end of 2015, I started to realise that the direction and focus of the particular branch of the movement I was heavily involved with had taken a gradual turn – so gradual that it was imperceptible to most of us. Many of us didn’t notice, and most have still fail to notice, how far things have come from our original intentions. When I opened my eyes to the reality of what I was involved in, I decided to walk away. This was not patriotism, this was not Australian and this wasn’t what I had bargained for. I wanted to do so honourably, without compromising confidences, without compromising promises of loyalty to people I saw as friends.
Much like a cult, or like some branches of Islam, this decision is frowned upon in the broader patriot movement. The old adage “You’re either with us, or against us” is a core belief for many of the senior members of the movement. Once you’re in, you can’t leave. For if you do choose to become an apostate of patriotism, you are fully aware that you will be punished as a traitor with the full force of unbridled online and real life harassment unleashed upon you. If you choose to walk away, you will be exposed publicly as a traitor of the worst kind, whether or not your core beliefs remain unchanged. You will be slandered, bullied, intimidated, defamed, discredited in every way imaginable. I have been repeatedly called slut, liar, traitor, dog, a “leftie plant”. I’ve been threatened. To me there is no difference between the treatment I’ve been subject to in the last week, and the treatment that patriots accuse Muslim people of inflicting upon apostates of Islam. There is no difference, except that as an Australian, I have the protection of the law from their threats of blackmail and violence, which they fully believe I deserve. For what? Because I walked away?
This is what I, and others who walked away, have experienced in the past week.
I left the movement at the same time as my friend Jason. He had attended rallies. He is a devoted father to his children, a man on a journey of learning about his country with a deep passion for it. Like me, in the time since he left, he has been subject to the most extreme forms of harassment from Shermon Burgess and Ralph Cerminara in particular, through their respective Facebook pages. Ralph Cerminara has posted videos where he states that Jason left his ex-wife with two children when she had cancer. He said that there were protection orders and that he knew this information because he had spoken to Jason’s ex-wife. He said Jason harassed women and was sleazy.
Ralph Cerminara and Shermon Burgess have posted several videos on Facebook where they accuse me of “trying to bang every patriot”, of being an alcoholic, of being a bad mother.
Dennis Huts posted a ten-minute tirade of misogyny and abuse directed towards me. He spoke about how I was an alcoholic, how unattractive he found me, how I had tried to have sex with him and how I had threatened him.
None of this is true.
I have never met any of the patriot men. I have never slept with any of the patriot men. With the exception of one man who I thought was a trustworthy, mature, respectful and wise gentleman (I now stand corrected on that judgement), I have not had a romantic relationship with any of the patriot men. I am not a “groupie slut”. I always made sure that I, as the only female within the UPF inner-circle, “friend zoned” these men. I made very clear that I wished to be treated as “one of the boys”; always calling them “mate”, “dude”, “bro”, always supportive of their relationships with women. Always, always, a loyal and genuine friend.
I have never made a fake Facebook profile or page defaming or making fun of any of them or their families. I’ve always been the first to jump online and report such content immediately, whether I like the person involved or not.
I am not an alcoholic. I am against illegal drugs of any form. My children are happy; well nurtured, well educated, well fed, loved, protected and shown nothing less than my utmost affection and attention.
Recently, a friend of mine who was formerly in a romantic relationship with Shermon Burgess, Chontelle, became pregnant by him. Before she’d even had a chance to discuss the situation properly with Shermon, he’d broken up with her via text message then got one of his friends to tell Chontelle to “get rid of it”. Only days later, he posted a video on an on-again-off-again UPF member’s Facebook page condemning women who had abortions and saying it was always wrong to abort unless the child was conceived as a result of rape. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. This is one of the incidents that caused me and a few others to question the character and integrity of the people at the head of the movement. Jason was outraged. Shermon Burgess is no role model. He did the wrong thing and continues to do the wrong thing and hasn’t shown an ounce of empathy or remorse.
Knowing that rumours of Chontelle’s situation were running rife in the patriot movement and in the opposing movement, Jason and I decided to approach several “left” pages and plead with them, human to human, Australian to Australian, not to publish details of this very personal and unfortunate incident, for Chontelle’s sake. We didn’t want this to be used as ammunition in their fight against what they perceived as a racist and xenophobic movement. Their response was kind and sympathetic. They had no interest in using the tragic circumstances Chontelle found herself in to fight their battle. Let me highlight here: even our greatest opponents, people who have jumped on anything they can to humiliate us, prove us wrong, discredit our leaders, showed us kindness they did not have to show.
We found ourselves “talking to the enemy” in a group chat on Facebook. We were finding some common ground, building bridges, dispelling common myths and misconceptions about most patriots and mending hurt. Having a laugh together and forgiving past wrongs. This is what being Australian is about. Of course, the “lefties” in the chat immediately became targets also. Joshua Chamberlain, who runs a Facebook page called “The REAL Great Aussie Patriot”, which lambasts the videos released by the right wing leaders, was publicly accused of being a rapist, a woman-basher, a granny basher and a child-basher. Let me be clear: He is none of those things. There is no evidence to support those claims because they are entirely untrue. Josh has no history of domestic/family violence nor does he have a history involving sex crimes of any nature – These false allegations are disgusting and outrageous.
When Ralph Cerminara, Shermon Burgess and Dennis Huts got wind of this conversation, not one of them contacted me, regardless the fact that we’d been in close contact on an almost daily basis for the past ten months. They made an assumption that I had switched teams, that I was a traitor and that I must be “sharing patriot’s personal information with the left”. This is where they immediately started to hang me out to dry. They published false and ridiculous accusations. They deleted the factual responses that Jason and I posted and blocked us from commenting further. They allowed comments from others of a threatening, defamatory and violent nature to remain, whilst we had no opportunity to explain our actions.
Since then, I have asked Dennis Huts to publicly right the wrongs and tell the truth. No, I am not a traitor. Yes, my friends can trust me. And no, I was not some groupie slut trying to sleaze onto a bunch of 24-year-old men within the UPF. Dennis Huts, afraid of the repercussions of doing so (no doubt having witnessed the treatment I was receiving), refused to do so. He let this go on, he actively participated in it and allowed it to spiral out of control. He understood that speaking out against the actions of those high up in the movement is a big “no no” and let it continue.
I have no doubt that they will all deny the things I’m saying here. That they’ll laugh off any comparisons drawn between their movement and a cult. Let me say this: due to much of the communication about this stuff happening online or via text message, I have records of it all.
Today I have had a friend contact me. He has seen what’s been happening over the last week and contacted me concerned about it all. He does not agree that women should be mistreated like this; that ANYONE should be mistreated like this. He is a respectful and fair man who quite obviously isn’t bound to this ridiculous unwritten patriot version of Sharia law. A man from whom these three criminals could learn a thing or two. He negotiated with Dennis Huts to remove his defamatory videos from Facebook. He also directed Dennis to remove a comment he’d made on Facebook about me which stated that I “scrape leftover jizz from my face and plate it up for my children for dinner” and that my 5 year old daughter “will have AIDS by the time she turns 12”. Dennis agreed to do so…but not without spitting one last little dose of venom at me. Dennis Huts sent me a text message claiming he intended to contact my parents, my brothers and my sister. He said he would be sending them intimate photos of me that I’d sent to him when we were romantically involved. He also threatened to publish a story I’d told him in confidence where I’d revealed details of an incident in which I was a victim of sexual assault at age 23.
All of this…WHY?
Because in this free country, where these men are preaching that they do not want Sharia law, that Islam oppresses women, that it impinges on rights to freedom of speech and expression, they had decided I was an apostate of an online patriot movement. And so they have treated me accordingly. Don’t be fooled. This could have been any one of you: your wives, your daughters or your mother. If they get away with this this time, it WILL happen again.
Please, do not buy into the cult. Support your country, have pride in your nation and your flag, sing your anthem loud and proud, condemn extremism of any nature. BUT, do not think for one second that you owe ANY individual or group ANYTHING. I can tell you right now: they WILL be the first to come after you, isolate you, threaten you, hurt you, and possibly kill you. What these men have done to me in one week far exceeds anything “the left” have done to me in a whole year. They have shown their true colours. They are cult like: brainwashing, black mailing and perverting the truth. They are no better (if not worse) than these “Muslims” they say they are so dead against. Do they really have a problem with oppression and violence against women? How can they display such blatant misogyny and claim to stand for women’s rights? Or are they just afraid that they might have the power and control they currently exercise over “their women” taken from them? You decide.
Question EVERYTHING. Confirm FACTS. Seek TRUTH. ALWAYS do what is RIGHT and not what they TELL you is RIGHT FOR THEM. And most of all TRUST NO ONE.
To: Ralph Cerminara
You have each knowingly lied and published false and defamatory information about Jason Millward, Joshua Chamberlain and me.
You have twisted information to suit your ends, combined it with assumption and imagination and published it as fact. You have exploited your reach and provided a platform for extreme and dangerous people to threaten us with violence. You have done nothing to moderate those comments and you have actively encouraged people to spread your defamatory lies as far as possible.
I am allowing 24 hours for each of you to remove all articles, posts, videos and comments about Joshua Chamberlain, Jason Millward and me (Indie Norris/Joelle Norris) from all and any of the pages you administrate.
I am allowing 24 hours (expiring at 11pm tomorrow night) to publish, publicly, a retraction of all false allegations against us and an apology.
If you fail to do so, I will avail myself of the legal services already offered to me. I will be reporting this entire saga to police. Cyber bullying is a crime. Stalking and harassment is illegal. Defamation gives rise to a civil claim. I will seek the highest damages available to me.
In addition, I have persons in the mainstream media to whom I am willing to provide all the information I have been privy to in my dealings with all of you. This includes criminal histories, family histories, details of infidelity, details of fraudulent fundraising. I will be passing all of this information to the relevant authorities where appropriate and I will hand it to my contacts in the media. All of this information is held by myself and by a third party, should anything happen to me.
My motivation is NOT personal. I just do not want to see anymore innocent people be put through this. I want to ensure nobody else EVER falls victim to the blackmail, slander, cyberbullying and abuse of these UNAUSTRALIAN men. 24 hours. Remove > Retract > Apologise. SIMPLE. The ball is in your court.
I LOVE AUSTRALIA! And this behaviour does NOT represent the country I adore!