Published on March 2nd, 2013 | by Rayne


Racism: Hoax emails as a beacon to find non-critical thinkers

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I have a distaste for a lot of things: bigotry, hiding behind religion, the music of One Direction and asparagus to name of few but nothing leaves a bad taste in my mouth like this shit:

racist crap

This vile piece of racist propaganda has been floating around Facebook for the last few weeks serving as a nice flare gun that illuminates either the secretly racist among your friends and/or those who cannot do basic research. It is the latest in a long line of racist propaganda using incorrect Government financial assistance figures as fuel for the racism fire that burns brightly in Australia. Sadly this has been reposted by several of my friends, some of which are either professionals in the human services field, university students studying science degrees or lawyers. What the hell? To obtain a university degree, one must first be able to research, human services degrees involved learning about how the refugee system in Australia works and science degrees should teach you critical thinking.


We live in the age of technology. The Age of Information, where Google is the brain 98% of the population will never have and the above picture is a testament to that. It astounds me that in the age of iPhone’s and Android smartphones, with Google literally at your fingertips, misinformation like this can continue to breed. I’m not surprised really, if people didn’t believe the first thing they are told without doing research – religion wouldn’t exist.

A quick Google search with the words “Robert Bretton Australian Government Assistance” brings up various blogs citing the photograph as a fraud who all link to this:

Australian Government assistance to refugees: fact v fiction

The photograph has done so much damage that the Australian Government has posted a rebuttal on their site for those who have an inability to do basic research .

I’m not going to replicate the entire thing here because I think it’s important that people learn to read and even though there isn’t a first grader around to assist you, at least give it a go! You can do it!

The one thing that jumped out at me with the photograph is the fact that we don’t have a Weekly Spouse Allowance in Australia and if you have a look on the Australian Government Centrelink website for the Aged Pension Payments – Aged Pensioners aren’t paid weekly, they are paid fortnightly (every two weeks) for a total of $712.00 (for a single person) which is $356 per week per person. A couple are paid $536.70 each or $1073.40 combined per fortnight and a couple separated due to ill health is paid $712.00 each per fortnight. So the numbers don’t even match up. While Centrelink assisstance tends to flacuate every few years or so another glaring red flag in this picture is that – Illegal Immigrants don’t get government assisstance. Only Australian Citizens do and holders of permenant visa’s do.

Not too mention that fact that Illegal immigrants are defined as people who come over legally on visa’s and just don’t go home once the visa has run out. Illegal immigrants are not refugees or aslyum seekers. Another indication the photo is a piss poor hoax from an individual who has swallowed the tripe about “boat people” – if you’re going to create a hoax, at least get the terminology correct.

From the Australian Government article:

Refugees—that is, people who have been granted a Protection visa—do not receive higher benefits than other social security recipients.

In general, Australian Government payments are only available to people who reside in Australia and are either Australian citizens or holders of permanent visas. When an asylum seeker is granted refugee status they become permanent residents of Australia. They have the same entitlements as all other permanent residents.[22] There are no special refugee payments or special rates of payments for refugees.

Most refugees are of working age. This means that the main form of assistance provided to refugees is the Department of Human Services (DHS) Newstart Allowance (commonly known as unemployment benefits). To qualify for Newstart Allowance a refugee needs to meet the same requirements as any other resident. This includes participation in activities designed to increase one’s chances of finding work and accepting work should it become available.[23] There are no special or extra rates of Newstart Allowance for refugees.

Another article that was posted at theantibogan recently has debunked most myths around refugees and asylum seekers in Australia which I believe to be a very important read as well. Read the article here.

Indeed the racism epidemic in Australia has gotten so bad that the Refugee Council of Australia has a section of their website dedicated to debunking the hoax emails/scams and blatant lies being spread by racists with a lack of photoshop skills.

The Centrelink benefits e-mail
The “border crossings” e-mail
The “win a free house” e-mail
The Scherger Immigration Detention Centre e-mail

If you want to be a racist tool – at least do your research first before you look like an uneducated baboon.

If you like some of the things I say – feel free to add me to your RSS feed, comment or email me: rayne@insufferableintolerance.com. I now have a facebook page! Feel free to like my page by clicking here!

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9 Responses to Racism: Hoax emails as a beacon to find non-critical thinkers

  1. R says:

    A ‘long lime’ huh? 😛

    I agree with people not being able to research – a lot of my friend group is non-uni-educated so I can understand why they don’t have tertiary research skills.

    • Rayne says:

      Lol. Lime.

      For me the people who have been posting this claptrap *are* university educated, have jobs in helping professions and who I know have taken classes on refugee issues.

  2. longanlon says:

    And xenophobia does not necessarily equal racism, although your moral indignation about baboons is kinda charming 🙂

  3. christie says:

    August 2013 and this fraudulent information on refugee payments is still circulated in spam mails. I’ve just received one and was asked to forward this mail to friends.

    I do think that a higher degree of education helps to see behind the intent of its message, which is to create hatred and racism.

    Yet a good education of the heart should still be enough to make someone prick up their ears and become wary!

    Best regards

    of German descent
    (lessons learnt from history…..)

    • Rayne says:

      Agreed. Rarely are people taught to do further research. The message behind the email is loud and clear, the senders are pandering to xenophobes to create an environment of hatred, fear mongering and racism.

  4. Rich says:

    Have you done much research on religion?

  5. Chris Nicholls says:

    From: http://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Parliamentary_Departments/Parliamentary_Library/pubs/BN/2012-2013/AustGovAssistRefugees

    Origins and veracity of the ‘refugee emails’

    A range of emails have been circulated in recent years that are critical of Australian Government assistance to refugees.[1] A common theme in such emails is the claim that refugees receive more generous social security entitlements than other Australian residents. This Background Note focuses on prominent recent example of such emails—those claiming that refugees in Australia receive substantially higher benefits than Australian age pensioners.

    The information in the emails appears to have originated from emails that began to circulate in Canada in 2004.[2] These were a response to a story in the Toronto Star in March 2004 about plans to settle hundreds of African refugees in smaller Canadian cities. The article had somewhat ambiguously described the amount of financial assistance that would be provided to the refugees by the Canadian Government. This led one reader to incorrectly assume that the refugees would be receiving benefits at twice the rate of Canadian age pensioners.

    Based on this misunderstanding the reader is thought to have then circulated an email condemning the level of benefits available to refugees in Canada compared to that available to pensioners. The claims made in this email were subsequently published as a letter to the editor in the Toronto Star and circulated widely by email throughout Canada. The claims then began to appear in emails and letters to the editor in other countries such as the United States and Australia, with the names of those countries used in substitute for Canada.[3]

    The important points to take from this are:

    the information in the emails is based on a misunderstanding of the support provided by the Canadian Government to refugees and
    as a result, the assistance referred to in the emails is based on Canadian social security payments, rather than Australian payments.
    On these grounds alone the information in the emails can be regarded as erroneous. In August 2007, the then Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Mal Brough, described the emails as ‘junk’ and urged people who receive them to ‘send them straight to the trash can’.[4]

  6. Mia says:

    If only racism was a lack of research, unfortunately its not that simple. Someone went to the trouble of creating this lie with the intent to do harm in the first place. The facebook photo started here:


    It is a photo of the email.

  7. Mia says:

    Also the photo above can be saved to anyones computer and then shared, with the intent of spreading this rumor to do more harm.

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