I have decided to share a brief overview of a long-buried true story on Stage 32 because it’s such a supportive, inspiring platform for creative souls, especially writers.
And given the increasing number of well-meaning writers and journalists being gagged, imprisoned, threatened and killed across the globe these days, instincts tell me it’s a good idea to let the cat out of the bag now rather than later. Being far more comfortable as a behind-the-scenes person, it’s a big step to do this but the truth heals, and I need to finish healing from this shattering experience so I can get back to writing about happier things and bring some joy to this world.
So here goes.
In recent years I found my way back to my destined screenwriting writing path which was rudely interrupted during my television and radio days in the late 1980s by a terrifying chain of events that can only be described as a thriller/horror/comedy all rolled into one.
I have settled for the Black Comedy genre.
Set in the modern-day cult city of Adelaide, South Australia, 1988, the riotous, local media industry forms an entertaining backdrop. Enter a naïve, 26-year-old fledgling writer who decides to research her late Estonian father’s controversial history as a teenage freedom fighter blacklisted by the Russian Government. Her book concept uncannily coincides with the emergence of the Baltic Independence Movement and peaceful revolution that freed them from the illegal shackles of the notorious 1939 Molotov/Ribbentrop pact. The writer becomes an unwitting activist and all hell breaks loose on several levels.
Her rapid descent into a terrifying world of bullets, espionage and near-imprisonment on false charges becomes too crazy to comprehend and easier to bury.
The descent is triggered by the actions of key perpetrator John Lamb - one of Australia’s richest, most secretive men and owner of television station Channel 9. He attempts to have her arrested and imprisoned on false charges when his ‘golden girl’ payroll officer is busted for embezzling Channel 9. Lamb’s criminal collaborators include South Australian Police and law firm Johnson & Johnson. Fortunately, the payroll officer was tougher than most and wouldn’t be broken. But the shock broke the writer - regardless.
Turns out Lamb needed a scapegoat to deflect potential investigations away from his corporate misdemeanours - as all rich criminals do.
The writer was accused of leading the golden girl astray, masterminding the entire embezzlement scheme and running a major mafia-style heroin and theft racket (she did smoke weed back then, as did most of her friends and colleagues - but a big-time thief and heroin dealer?)
She was working in radio when the embezzlement scandal broke, and to this day, is still mystified by the source of the overnight gunshot blasts that shattered her workplace window. The massive silver bullets lodged in the stairwell still haunt her, as does the production manager’s fury toward her - he blamed her for being the cause of the bullets but she was too naïve to ‘get it’. This incident was never reported or investigated. She took immediate leave and resigned during her 'holiday.'
Running parallel to her unfolding, personal hell, was a spate of sickening ‘Family’ cult murders and daily media headlines dragging the once vibrant city of Adelaide into a quagmire of extreme horror. (Think ‘Spotlight’ - but significantly worse.)
The paedophile cult got away with it because South Australian authorities chose to protect the murderers instead of the victims. Even today, they will do whatever they can to keep the ugly 80’s under a rotting carpet which is ripe to explode.
I intend to protect the privacy of everybody I knew and loved back in those days, except the high-level perpetrators. Unfortunately, Australian defamation laws tend to protect perpetrators, so I am taking a risk by doing this.
But things will never change for the better we live in fear of retribution for telling the truth.
Also worth mentioning is that I visited my father’s childhood farm in Estonia for the first time in 1992. My sister visited dad's farm in 2018 and met the owner. He said he remembered my visit because KGB agents were in his house filming me.
I’m still processing that disturbing information and am grateful to the Estonian man for being brave enough to share the truth. I also intend to request a copy of the KGB film footage and call a truce.
In closing, I believe that #MeToo should broaden its scope to decent men and women who have been smashed by high-level criminals.Thanks for reading. I look forward to pitching my black comedy via Stage 32 in the near future.