Frame-up: how security forces bombed the Hilton and pinned it on the Ananda Marga

The question is why would Australian security forces want to blow up a visiting Indian Prime Minister Desai at a Commonwealth Heads of Government Conference and try to pin is on an obscure religious sect the Ananda Marga. An Indian friend told me that security forces over their try to accuse the AM of similar terrorist activity, but could prove nothing.

Queensland Police Chaplain speaking with Special Branch Officers: Barry Krosch, Les Hogan (former Head of Special Branch), Don Lane (corrupt  LNP politician & Special Branch), Leo Ochausen and others.

CHAPLAIN: Morning, Barry, Les, Don, Leo… others. Now I know some of you have expressed qualms about the moral aspects of these files you’re fattening, but I’m here to tell you not to be concerned. I’ve just checked with the Leader and don’t you worry about that. Whatever it takes, he says. And remember, there’s only one way to secure preferment…

LES: But Padre, is it true that our subjects will never be able to get a job in the public service on account of these files, even though they’ve done no criminal activity?

CHAPLAIN: Les, don’t worry. It’s not you who’s making sure they never get a government job. Anyway, you wouldn’t want people like these unwashed animals working in the same public service as you, would you? There’s a higher authority who has all the moral concerns under control. He’s prepared to take full responsibility.

DON: Phew, thanks, Padre, that’s a load off my mind.

BARRY: Me too. I don’t fancy being in the firing line when all this is revealed…

LEO: What do you mean “revealed”? This stuff will never be revealed.

BARRY: No, I mean, what if somebody starts asking uncomfortable questions on a website or something, long after we shred the files just hours before the imminent arrival of the Goss government (assuming they will have more than a passing interest in such files)?
(the Chaplain and the Special Branch men all look at Barry)

LES: What’s a website, Barry?

CHAPLAIN: Barry, have you been time-travelling again?

BARRY: Well, I just wanted to check if we’d be okay on this…

CHAPLAIN: Lack of faith, Barry. I told you before, just do your work and you’ll never have anything to fear. It’s God’s work, after all.

LES: Yes, you’ve explained that, Padre. These people are commos, ratbags, subversives. They think it’s all right to read books, discuss philosophy, and imagine a better world. I mean, that’s pretty depraved, isn’t it?

DON: They don’t deserve civil liberties.

LEO: Too good for ‘em. They shouldn’t even have been taught to read in the first place.

CHAPLAIN: You see, Barry, it’s not worrying your comrades, why should it worry you?

LES: Er, Padre…

CHAPLAIN: What, Les? Oh, you’re concerned about my use of the word “comrade”. Yes, I know, it’s a bit risqué, isn’t it? After all, it’s the word they use among themselves. I guess I picked it up when I was doing that undercover work on campus a couple of years ago. Now, Barry, hand over the keys to the time machine.

BARRY: Ok, Padre, here they are. I’m sorry. I won’t doubt in the future. And even if it all goes bad, which it won’t, I know I can make a career out of research.

CHAPLAIN: Now, men, don’t let the innocent faces of the enemy trick you. Behind those fresh young smiles and idealistic dispositions there is an evil reality. Just imagine what Queensland would be like if we ever let any of them emerge out of this era with credibility. Now I want you to take out your combined National Party DLP hymn books and sing with me…

ERROL: Yes, Barry, while I probably will never have a coffee with you, I think you owe some of us a bit more of an explanation, even though you are probably taking umbrage at this reckless and possibly “undergraduate” lampooning from someone with little respect for the work of one small section of Bjelke’s army during the war.

Errol O’Neill on Qld’s Special Branch

Frame-up cover

Poster “Frame-up – Who Bombed the Hilton?” Pam DEBENHAM TIN SHEDS POSTERS 1984 (Click to see original).

In Brisbane, in the late 1970s  the religious sect Ananda Marga were active in helping unemployed, including organising soup kitchens for aboriginal people.

One of their members, Evan Pederick, had been arrested with thousands of people marching for democratic rights and opposing uranium mining and export.

On 11 November, the eve of the 1977 Queensland state elections, I shared a cell with about 25 people, including Evan Pederick. There were 197 people crushed into the South Brisbane watchouse after yet another day of mass arrests by police acting on the orders of the Bjelke-Petersen government.

Also in the cell was Matt Foley who was later to become the attorney-general in the  Goss Labor government. These were extraordinary times.

After more mass arrests at the next big demonstration for the right to march on 3 December 1977, Evan Pederick, then only 22 years of age, etched his name on the concrete cell wall.

In the watchouse, Inspector Harris charged Evan Pederick with wilful damage. He was later convicted in the Magistrate’s Court for disobey direction, unlawful procession and wilful destruction. After a later arrest for marching, I read the short protest he scrawled beneath his name on the cell wall. Police hadn’t bothered to erase this ‘wilful damage’ – his memory or his protest – even though he was convicted and fined $120, a lot of money in those days especially if you were unemployed and had just had twin baby boys.


Garbage Truck destroyed outside the Hilton Hotel Sydney, 1978.Two garbage workers and a policeman died at the scene. Photo: Sun Herald

It was during this time that the Hilton Hotel was bombed and the ‘Margies’ (the special branch’s corruption of this term was ‘Maggots’) Alister, Dunn and Anderson were arrested for something they didn’t do. Two council workers and a policeman died when a gelignite bomb exploded in the early hours of February 13, 1978, as the bin it had been placed in was emptied into a garbage truck. Everything pointed to the Australian security forces.

Evan became active in the unemployed workers union in Brisbane. In July 1978 Joh Bjelke-Peterson, then premier of Queensland, claimed that a direct threat have been made against his life by Amanda Marga and that he was on a death list provided to him by Queensland police. Queensland police denied that they had such death list.

flying with the crows.jpg

Qld Premier Bjelke-Petersen speaking at a meeting in Blackall, 1,000 kilometres north-west of Brisbane, when the Miss Australia of 1968, Mrs Helen Bonner, then Miss Helen Newton, began asking questions about civil liberties in Queensland. “If you fly with the crows you get shot with the crows”, Mr Bjelke-Petersen told her. Cartoon: John Hague in Guilt by Association KW Vista (LeftPress).

Strangely, in May 1989, Pederick made admissions to Queensland detectives (including Det Sgt Barry Cornelius O’Brien) that he had participated in the bombing outside the Hilton hotel along with Tim Anderson. This was despite the fact that police had no record of Pederick taking part in any of the earlier actions involving Alister, Anderson and Dunn. At the time of the Hilton bombing, Pederick’s activist activities had been confined to Brisbane where he participated in the non-violent democratic rights movement. He was a member of the Unemployed Workers Union which was located in the old Trades Hall in Upper Edward Street, hardly a place from which to carry out a terrorist attack. Pederick had voiced his concerns about violence against innocent people. Yet he was duly convicted on unsound evidence based entirely on confessions given to police implicating himself and Anderson. Was he motivated to get Anderson and the only way he could do that was by implicating himself?  Why he would do that is unclear. Perhaps Anderson had shunned him as a friend? Despite no real evidence Pederick was sentenced to 20 years jail for the murder of innocent garbage workers and a policeman. He soon recanted his admission of guilt and was discharged after 6 years.

Meanwhile, at trial, Tim Anderson was acquitted because of the unreliability of evidence given by Evan Pederick. One of the Detectives who arrested Pederick was Det Sgt Barry Cornelius O’Brien, later a private investigator, who was to vet Joh’s jury on behalf of his defence team when Joh went to trial on lying to the Fitzgerald Inquiry about taking bribes from developers and miners. A national party member was allowed into the jury based on information supplied by O’Brien to Bjelke-Petersen’s lawyers and the jury was unable to come to a verdict because he held out against the rest. Crown law chief ‘Bulldog’ Drummond later entered a nolle prosequi against Petersen freeing him from any further charges.

Evan Pederick later gave this curious explanation for his admissions of guilt (in a News Ltd report):

“Is it possible that in 1978, dominated by the influence of the Ananda Marga and yet in conflict with the demands of the sect, I had acquired a deep sense of guilt which expressed itself in an obsession with the cataclysmic events for which Ananda Marga was held responsible at the time? I do not know.”

Regardless of whether you accept this explanation or not, it is unlikely Pederick had any involvement in the Hilton Bombing in Sydney because he was in Brisbane at the time (See The Incredible Exploding Man by John Jiggens). Also Pederick did not confess to police until 1989, 11 years after the bombing took place.

Infiltration & Entrapment
The NSW Special Branch applied age old tactics of infiltration and entrapment to repress the political wing of Ananda Marga called POUT. In 1985, a member of the Unemployed Workers Union put together these documents published here to explain how the Ananda Marga were framed on charges of conspiracy, murder and terrorism by Australian security forces.

Police verbals played a very big role in conviction of the Tim Anderson, Ross Dunn and Paul Alister on these charges. Infiltration and entrapment was not always quite so covert here in Queensland. Police dressed as demonstrators hade been filmed urging people to march into the waiting arms of police. Provocateurs have been planted in the midst of demonstrations to incite a violent response to normally peaceful demonstrators. Nevertheless violence on the part of demonstrators was rare.

11nov1977 (2)

Plain clothes police marked with circles infiltrating ‘Joh Must Go’ demonstration on election day 12 November 1977 in King George Square Brisabane (renamed Fred Patterson Square after only elected Communist in Australia’s history )

This process of infiltration and entrapment has gone on for so long in Australia that it has become an acceptable political tool even in the ranks of the ALP. Wendy Bacon reported on the SBS program Dateline later confirmed on the ABC’s Four Corners) revealed covert action  in the metal and building trade unions. So extensive was the influence of certain right-wing figures that they were alleged to have used US finances to orchestrate a military coup in Fiji. These allegations were never refuted convincingly.

In 1985 the Committee for the acquittal of Alister, Anderson and Dunn (CAADA) in Brisbane published a compilation of documents arguing to free the three Ananda Marga members jailed in the Cameron conspiracy case as a result of the Hilton Bombing in 1978.

Based on all available evidence it seems that Australian security forces planted the bomb in the garbage bin outside the Hilton in the same way Special Branch’s Richard Seary planted the ‘bomb’ on the Ananda Margas to get them on the conspiracy charge of attempting to murder Nazi Robert Cameron. All the security forces including ASIO and state Special Branches got extra funding after the bombing of the Hilton.

Ian Curr
Workers BushTelegraph
4 May 2016

Postscript: Tim Anderson went on to become a professor of political economy at Western Sydney University and he is the author of The Dirty War in Syria.



Frame-Up: who bombed the Hilton?

Prepared by CAADA  (Campaign for the acquittal of Alister, Dunn and Anderson in February, 1984)


Since Tim Anderson, Ross Dunn and Paul Alister were arrested on June 16 1978, there has been a great deal of controversy surrounding both their imprisonment and the legal proceedings they Initiated in ·an attempt to gain justice through the Australian judicial system.

On February 13 1984 the High Court 0£ Australia dismissed an appeal by the three men against their convictions for conspiracy to murder Robert Cameron , and by Dunn and Alister against their convictions ‘for attempted murder. With this decision , all legal avenues of appeal have been exhausted.

Failing to secure any justice through the legal system, CAADA (Campaign for the Acquittal of Alister, Dunn and Anderson) now calls on the NSW Premier, Mr. Wran, and the NSW Attorney General , Mr. Landa, to intervene in the case and make a political decision to free the three men.

The central argument of this submission is that Tim Anderson, Ross Dunn and Paul Alister should immediately be granted a full pardon and released . from jail.

The main reasons why this is the only acceptable course of action and why a political decision is required to free the three men

They are as follows:

  • The three men have now appeared in a committal hearing, two trials, a Supreme Court appeal, the Hilton Inquest arid a High Court In none of these legal proceedings has all the relevant material, including new ·evidence from the Hilton Inquest, been put together and examined in its entirety. In fact, given the nature of the case – the role of an agent provocateur, inconsistencies in police evidence, the prejudicial cross­-examination, the prejudicial climate in which the trial was conducted, and unsubstantiated allegations about the Hilton bombing – and the limitations of the legal system, it is extremely doubtful whether any court could reach a just and impartial decision.
  • Transcripts from all the litigation, as well as over 1,000 pages of submissions and documentation prepared by defence lawyers and CAADA (see Appendix) – most of which has never been produced in court – are in the possession of the NSW Attorney General’ s.  This material, when examined thoroughly and system­atically, establishes the innocence of the three men beyond any shadow of a doubt.
  • A Judicial Inquiry could not be expected to produce any further evidence or shed any new light on the case, especially when the above legal proceedings have failed to satisfactorily cover all the different aspects of the case or resolve many of the contradictions in the evidence. Besides, the Attorney-General’ s department already has everything it needs to take action in the case.

The new evidence which came out of the Hilton inquest, proving that Richard Seary (Special Branch) had fabricated significant sections of his testimony, completely destroys his credibility and is a sufficient ground alone to overturn the conviction.

During the High court appeal, Justice Murphy was the only judge to address himself to the merits of the case, and he repeatedly called for the men’s appeal against their convictions to be upheld.

Tim Anderson, Ross Dunn and Paul Alister have already been in jail for nearly six years, and any further delay in their release only compounds the injustice done to them.

Mr. Walker, the former Attorney General in a letter dated 14 April 1982, indicated that a departmental review of the case had been instituted to assess whether an inquiry under · Section 475 of the Crimes Act was justified. Subsequently, however, legal officers of the Attorney General’ s department advised CAADA that no judicial inquiry could be sought until the appellate process had been exhausted.

Two year later, after an unsuccessful High Court appeal, CAADA is of the opinion that a judicial inquiry is of no value in securing justice for Anderson, Dunn and Alister.

Mr. Landa , in a letter dated 13 December 1983, indicated that an application for a No Bill of Indictment for  Ross Dunn and Paul Alister arising out of the Hilton Inquest would not be finalized until after the High Court appeal had been completed and a final judgment handed down. Now that the appellate process has been exhausted, CAADA submits that the NSW Attorney General should not only accept the No Bill application, but immediately act to secure the release of Anderson, Dunn and Alister.

Tim Anderson, Ross Dunn and Paul Alister are political prisoners, and only a political decision taken by the NSW Government can secure their immediate release and only a political decision to secure their immediate release.

February 1984


Editors Note: The Story of the Frame-up is published below:



One response to “Frame-up: how security forces bombed the Hilton and pinned it on the Ananda Marga

  1. Democratic Rights March 11 Nov 1977

    A rally for the right to march and organise is held in the City square at 4.30pm with 2,000 people in attendance. An open forum is held until a proposal to march is put and carried at approximately 7.30pm. The march is cut off and besieged in Albert Street by about 700 police and 197 marchers are arrested. There is a debate inside the watchouse whether to accept bail or to wait till the next day (Queensland State election day 12 November 1977) to front the magistrate. Most accept bail but return to a forum at 10am in King George square.

    Following several mock inflammatory speeches marchers proceed around the fountain in the centre of the square which declared a liberated area and renamed Fred Patterson Square after the CPA MLA who was badly bashed by police on St. Pat’s Day march during the 1948 Railways Strike. Police move in during the afternoon and confiscate the speaking equipment and arrest another 5 people.

    – Qld state state elections are held with a 10% swing against the government in the Brisbane Metropolitan area and a 7% swing to Labor statewide. For example Terry Macenroth (later Police Minister) wins the Liberal seat of Chatsworth.

    – In Sydney 50 people demonstrate in Mrtin Place in support of democratic and trade union rights in Q’ld. They move to the Government Tourist Bureau where a large poster of Bjelke-Petersen is burned. An agent provocateur infiltrates the crowd and police arrest a number of people including Mitch Thompson an activist from the 1967 Civil Liberties march where 126 people were arrested in Roma Street.
    – In Melbourne 70 people attend a rally with speakers in City (now Federation) Square where a motion of support is telegrammed to the Brisbane Rally including a motion demanding the dropping of all charges and the rescinding of the ban on street marches.

    Here is original film of the 11 November 1977 Rally and march in Brisbane:

    Ian Curr
    May 2016


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