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Four Corners

INTERNATIONAL EDITION

2021

The Great Awakening:
a family divided by QAnon

49 mins 47 secs

 

 

 

 

©2021

ABC Ultimo Centre

700 Harris Street Ultimo

NSW 2007 Australia

 

GPO Box 9994

Sydney

NSW 2001 Australia

Phone : 61 2 8333 3314

e-mail :  kimpton.scott@abc.net.au

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Precis

“QAnon is …first and foremost a conspiracy theory…(about) a global satanic paedophile cult, who have infiltrated the highest levels of government, the media, Hollywood.”

The extreme political movement QAnon has mobilised a committed band of believers dedicated to fighting what they claim is a war against corrupt, child abusing elites. 

There are vocal devotees here in Australia.  

“Tim believes that the world has really been taken over by… Luciferian paedophiles and that is represented by the left, the radical left.”  Sister of QAnon follower

One QAnon adherent has attracted attention because of his long friendship with the Prime Minister of Australia, Scott Morrison.

The Prime Minister’s old friend is an enthusiastic exponent of QAnon’s bizarre conspiracy theory. 

Now his family are speaking out on Four Corners about his descent into this extreme world view and their fears for him.

“I’m his mum…we’ve watched the change over these last years be quite dramatic.”  Mother

What emerges is a portrait of a family in distress, divided by politics and extremist beliefs and a growing sense of alarm.

“I think almost all of us have broken down on the phone trying to explain…grieving the loss of someone who’s still alive and it’s a very confusing emotion.”   Sister

In this dramatic episode of Four Corners, family members detail their growing awakening to the powerful hold this extremist movement now has.

“At that point we recognised, there’s a level of radicalisation that is very different to even a year prior to that.”

Those with experience of QAnon at the highest levels say the conspiracy theory movement needs to be watched very carefully.

This episode of Four Corners has already sparked a political furore and an angry rebuke from the Prime Minister.

“I find it deeply offensive that there would be any suggestion that I would have any involvement or support for such a dangerous organisation.”  Prime Minister Scott Morrison

 

QAnon video montage:
Q
The Plan to Save the World

QANON VOICE OVER:  "Have you ever wondered why we go to war or why you never seem to be able to get out of debt? Why there is poverty, division and crime? What if I told you there was a reason for it all? Fellow slaves, it’s time to buckle your seatbelt….

00:10

 

LOUISE MILLIGAN, REPORTER: The QAnon conspiracy theory has taken off around the world. The bizarre ideology has attracted millions of believers worldwide, including a large number in Australia, fuelled by the lockdowns during COVID-19.

QANON VOICE OVER: "…to achieve this victory against the greatest force of evil the world has ever known."

00:30

Q Anon title:
Q
Trust the Plan

JITARTH JADEJA, FMR QANON BELIEVER & SUPPORT GROUP MODERATOR: I really look at it as like a force of nature.

00:53

Jitarth 100%

It's like a Corona virus of the mind.

00:56

Capitol riots

LOUISE MILLIGAN, REPORTER: In America, QAnon’s dark and divisive politics have fuelled ugly conflict.

00:58

Canberra tower and GVs

In Australia, it has led to families being split apart.

VAL STEWART, TIM STEWART’S MOTHER: We’ve watched the change over these last years be quite dramatic.

01:08

Val Stewart 100%

That’s what raises our concern, that we do have family members who are involved.

01:18

Sydney suburban street/Stewart family at table

LOUISE MILLIGAN, REPORTER: The Stewart family in Sydney are among those deeply concerned over QAnon’s spread, as they’ve watched their son and brother

01:26

Photos. Tim Stewart

Tim Stewart become immersed in its beliefs.

KAREN STEWART, TIM STEWART’S SISTER: Tim believes that the world has really been taken over by Satanic paedophiles or Luciferian paedophiles, they call them, and that that is represented by the left – so the radical left –

01:35

Karen 100%

and if you don’t believe in the QAnon perspectives then you’re a paedophile enabler.

01:51

Photos. Tim Stewart, Time and Morrison

LOUISE MILLIGAN, REPORTER: Tim Stewart has been a close family friend of Prime Minister Scott Morrison, and has reportedly boasted about his access to the PM.

01:56

Prime Minister's residence, Australia

Music

02:07

 

MILES TAYLOR, CHIEF OF STAFF, US DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY: I would think that someone in a position like Prime Minister Morrison would want to condemn those views and indicate strongly to the public that they have no bearing

02:10

Taylor 100%

on his official actions, on his responsibilities, nor on his world view.

02:20

Scott Morrison

SCOTT MORRISON, PRIME MINISTER: I find it deeply offensive that there would be any suggestion that I would have any involvement or support for such a dangerous organisation. I clearly do not.

02:24

Milligan to camera. Start-up
LOUISE MILLIGAN

LOUISE MILLIGAN, REPORTER: Tonight, on Four Corners, we hear for the first time from a family who have watched with alarm as their son has descended into an extremist political conspiracy, and they share their concerns about his relationship with the Prime Minister of Australia.

02:36

GFX Title:
THE GREAT AWAKENING: A family divided by QAnon.

Music

02:53

Stewart family dinner

LOUISE MILLIGAN, REPORTER: On Sydney’s suburban fringe, the Stewart clan sits down to dinner.  

VAL STEWART, TIM STEWART’S MOTHER: First toast of the evening. Here's to life's journey, still going on. And we're all in it. It's good to be together.

 

 

03:04

 

LOUISE MILLIGAN, REPORTER: Over recent years, the conversation during these family gatherings has often been tainted by a dark topic – the apocalyptic ideology of the far-right conspiracy theory, QAnon, which has split this family.  

VAL STEWART, TIM STEWART’S MOTHER: We’ve watched the change over these last years be quite dramatic and a lot of that was to do with QAnon.

03:19

Val 100%

LOUISE MILLIGAN, REPORTER: You are a mother who still loves her son.

VAL STEWART: Yes.

LOUISE MILLIGAN, REPORTER: And would like to maintain a relationship with him. How is it, as a mum, watching this?

03:44

Super:
VAL STEWART
Tim Stewart's mother

VAL STEWART, TIM STEWART’S MOTHER: It’s not pleasant and, you know, the relationship has become quite strained over this last year.

03:58

Karen 100%. Super:
KAREN STEWART
Tim Stewart's sister

KAREN STEWART, TIM STEWART’S SISTER: It’s like a conversion and there is that religious undertone to QAnon, and so constantly donning the armour of God and things like that because they are out there having to fight against the Satanists that have taken over the world.

04:04

Stewart family dinner

LOUISE MILLIGAN, REPORTER: Val and Brian Stewart and their daughter Karen have decided to speak out as a warning to others.

04:21

Photo. Tim

What has prompted them is witnessing 51-year-old Tim Stewart descend into the world of QAnon.

04:31

 

KAREN STEWART, TIM STEWART’S SISTER: Tim believes that the world has really been taken over by satanic paedophiles, or Luciferian paedophiles, they call them,

04:40

Karen 100%

and that that is represented by the left, so the radical left.

04:49

QAnon video

 

04:54

 

KAREN STEWART, TIM STEWART’S SISTER: They believe there is a spiritual warfare being waged and that they have knowledge of this, and so that they’re on a crusade to make sure that the Satanists are overthrown and things like that.

04:58

 

QANON VOICE OVER: "The world is currently experiencing a dramatic covert war of biblical proportions, literally the fight for earth between the forces of good and evil."

05:11

 

MILES TAYLOR, CHIEF OF STAFF, US DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY 2018-19: QAnon really came onto the radar screen in October of 2017 on a website called 4chan where individuals propagated this

05:20

Taylor 100%. Super:
MILES TAYLOR
Chief of Staff, US Department of Homeland Security 2018-19

conspiracy theory that the United States government was secretly being run by a cabal of Satan worshipping cannibalistic child predators who were running a global sex trafficking ring and were hell bent on undermining Donald Trump while he was in office. Now, this conspiracy theory was not only untrue, it was in my view, indiscriminately crazy.

05:37

QAnon video

QANON VOICE OVER:  "That’s why we have Q."

LOUISE MILLIGAN, REPORTER: The conspiracy theory was started by an anonymous online figure known as Q – who has never been identified.

ELISE THOMAS, OPEN-SOURCE INTELLIGENCE ANALYST, THE INSTITUTE FOR STRATEGIC DIALOGUE: Someone started posting as a secret insider in the US Government,

06:03

Photo: Bush, Obama, Bush Clinton

calling themselves “Q”, as a reference to the Q-Level security clearance, which doesn’t actually exist outside of the Department of Energy

06:20

Thomas 100%. Super:
ELISE THOMAS
Open-source intelligence analyst, Institute for Strategic Dialogue

and in the initial Q drop, saying that Hillary Clinton would be arrested the next day, which obviously did not happen.

06:27

 

But over time, this individual, or group of individuals, and it’s still not clear who exactly it was, continued to post and continued to gather a following.

06:33

Capitol building

Music

06:42

 

LOUISE MILLIGAN, REPORTER: Miles Taylor was the Chief of Staff at the US Department of Homeland Security in the Trump administration.

06:46

Photos. Taylor during Homeland Security

MILES TAYLOR, CHIEF OF STAFF, US DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY 2018-19: It was clear to me in late 2018 and early 2019, that these conspiracy theory trends like QAnon were a danger to the country

06:53

Taylor 100%

and that the vitriolic rhetoric on some of these message boards could jump the tracks into violence very, very easily.

07:04

 

We were worried about that, and it wasn't just a law enforcement concern, we started to view it as a real national security threat.

07:12

Razor wire surrounding Capitol

LOUISE MILLIGAN, REPORTER: In the United States, the FBI has declared QAnon a potential domestic terrorism threat, but that hasn’t happened in Australia.

07:19

Canberra. Early morning GVs

According to the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, Australia is the fourth largest country for QAnon-related activity online.

07:30

 

ELISE THOMAS, OPEN-SOURCE INTELLIGENCE ANALYST, INSTITUTE FOR STRATEGIC DIALOGUE: In March 2020 we had, obviously, the outbreak of COVID-19 and along with that became a lot of associated mental health pressures, and

07:42

Thomas 100%

we know that belief in conspiracy theories is quite closely linked to various mental health stressors and so we saw an explosion of conspiracy activity around the world, including in Australia and as part of that, we did see QAnon come to Australia in a more significant way than it had been before.

07:50

Sunrise. Rowers on lake

JITARTH JADEJA, FMR QANON BELIEVER & SUPPORT GROUP MODERATOR: I think people forget that coronavirus, initially, when it first came out, it was very traumatic for a lot of people. No one knew where this virus had really come from, right?

08:06

Jitarth 100%. Super:
JITARTH JADEJA
Fmr QAnon believer & support group moderator

There was very little information. It came on so fast governments were shutting down. People were scared, it was traumatic,

08:17

Jitarth at computer

and they go searching for answers.

LOUISE MILLIGAN, REPORTER: Recent university graduate, Jitarth Jadeja is a moderator of an online forum for people who’ve lost family members to what they call the ‘Qult’.

08:23

CU Computer screen. Reddit posts

The QAnon Casualties reddit group has about 160,000 members, including in Australia.

 

08:37

Jitarth at computer

JITARTH JADEJA, FMR QANON BELIEVER & SUPPORT GROUP MODERATOR: The power of QAnon is not even really about the beliefs.  The power is the behavioural change that it causes in a believer, it's destructive to the person themselves and their relationships, their family and friends. Every day I see stories of families being ripped apart; people's children being kicked out of the house by their parents. People having to call off marriages after decades.

08:44

Jitarth 100%

People's parents, you know, accusing them of wanting their children to die. So, it is the saddest place in the internet.

09:10

Jitarth at computer

LOUISE MILLIGAN, REPORTER: Jitarth was completely engrossed in the conspiracy theory for a year and a half. One of his biggest regrets is that he got one of his relatives involved.

JITARTH JADEJA, FMR QANON BELIEVER & SUPPORT GROUP MODERATOR: We would talk for hours,

09:21

Jitarth 100%

four or five hours just sitting, standing in front of the, standing in the kitchen, just talking. The moment I got out, I realised like, what have I done? What have I done? And I tried, I've tried to talk to him. I've tried to get him out. It doesn't work.

09:34

Photo. Tim Stewart

Music

09:49

 

LOUISE MILLIGAN, REPORTER: Tim Stewart, a town planner and former bankrupt, was an early follower of QAnon in Australia.

09:51

CU blog page Sideways Step

Around 2017, he started a blog called Sideways Step for “expansive thinkers and spiritual explorers”.

10:00

 

One of the posts is titled ‘The Reason for the Treason, a conversation for the Great Awakening’.

10:10

On screen text:
“The Great Awakening is revealing that dark forces have found their way into the highest levels of influence…”

VOICE OVER: “The Great Awakening is revealing that dark forces have found their way into the highest levels of influence…”

10:10

Thomas 100%. Super:
ELISE THOMAS
Open-source intelligence analyst, Institute for Strategic Dialogue

ELISE THOMAS, OPEN-SOURCE INTELLIGENCE ANALYST, INSTITUTE FOR STRATEGIC DIALOGUE: So the idea of the Great Awakening and also of the Storm, is sort of linked to the idea that there will be some sort of cataclysmic awakening of all the people around the world as sort of the scales drop from their eyes and they see this global satanic paedophile cabal for what they truly are, and the idea is that Donald Trump, in some way, was going to bring on the Storm, which would lead to the Great Awakening.

10:27

CU Blog page. On screen text:
WW3 – The fight for human consciousness

LOUISE MILLIGAN, REPORTER: Tim Stewart’s blog lays out a central belief of QAnon - that leftist elites are running a paedophile ring that harvests children’s blood.

10:48

On screen text:
“The true nature of these crimes shows that humans are being treated as a commodity and human energy is being harvested without permission. Furthermore, it is focussed on children, who are more innocent and unaware.”

VOICE OVER: “The true nature of these crimes shows that humans are being treated as a commodity and human energy is being harvested without permission. Furthermore, it is focussed on children, who are more innocent and unaware.”

11:01

On screen text:
“Why do evil people wish to rob a young child of their virginity?... Why do they drink blood? Why do they need to sacrifice humans?”

“Why do evil people wish to rob a young child of their virginity?... Why do they drink blood? Why do they need to sacrifice humans?”

11:14

Stewarts Twitter account

In Australia, Tim Stewart rose to prominence in local QAnon circles when his Twitter account, @BurnedSpy34, was included in a post by Q known as a “Q-drop”, that users have to decode.

11:23

Thomas

ELISE THOMAS, OPEN-SOURCE INTELLIGENCE ANALYST, THE INSTITUTE OF STRATEGIC DIALOGUE:  That’s how a lot of these QAnon influencers got their start and first came to the attention of the rest of the QAnon community.

11:41

 

So we know from archived versions of the BurnedSpy Twitter account, that in early 2019 he had around 1700 followers, and by late 2019, had you know, 20000-odd followers.

11:47

Photo. Tim

LOUISE MILLIGAN, REPORTER: The Stewart family watched in alarm as Tim’s beliefs became an obsession.

12:03

Karen Stewart 100%. Super:
KAREN STEWART
Tim Stewart's sister

KAREN STEWART, TIM STEWART’S SISTER: It’s really outlandish and we’ve heard things from the Queen being a shape-shifting lizard, to all sorts of things where a being might come down and do some training and astral projection and time-travelling and things like that.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

12:10

Val Stewart 100%

LOUISE MILLIGAN, REPORTER: Your son believes that Donald Trump is saving the world from leftist paedophiles?

VAL STEWART, TIM STEWART’S MOTHER: Yes, that is so.

LOUISE MILLIGAN, REPORTER: And your son believes, and has said to you that he believes, that both Jacinda Ardern, the New Zealand Prime Minister, and Michelle Obama, the former First Lady, are actually men?

VAL STEWART, TIM STEWART’S MOTHER:  Yes, that has been said to me, yes.

12:24

Karen 100%

KAREN STEWART, TIM STEWART’S SISTER: If people wear red shoes, then they’re wearing red, so that when babies are slaughtered and the blood falls on the ground that no-one will see the blood spatter, and there’s been tweets from them that say if you don’t believe in the QAnon perspectives then you’re a paedophile enabler.

12:49

Ocean shots. Sunrise

Music

13:08

 

LOUISE MILLIGAN, REPORTER: At the same time that Tim Stewart was descending into QAnon, one of his old friends ascended to the highest office in the land.

13:23

Photo. Scott Morrison

Scott Morrison became Prime Minister in August 2018.

13:32

Photos. Lynelle/Jenny and Scott Morrison

Tim Stewart’s wife Lynelle has been best friends with Scott Morrison’s wife Jenny for decades.

13:38

Photos. Tim and Lynelle/Scott and Jenny

The two couples cemented their friendships at their local Baptist Church in the early 1990s.

13:46

Church exterior

BRIAN STEWART, TIM STEWART’S FATHER: Well, it’s a close one, there’s no doubt about that. The two girls, in particular,

13:55

Photo. Lynelle and Jenny

have known each other from high school onwards,

14:03

Brian Stewart 100%. Super:
BRIAN STEWART
Tim Stewart's father

and the two men who married the two girls became friends as well along the way.

14:07

Photo. Lynelle and Jenny

VAL STEWART, TIM STEWART’S MOTHER: They’ve had a lifelong friendship together.

14:12

Val Stewart 100%

LOUISE MILLIGAN, REPORTER: Would you say best friends?

VAL STEWART, TIM STEWART’S MOTHER: Oh yes, I would say best friends. Yes.

14:16

Lynelle and Tim wedding photo

Jenny was Lynelle’s maid of honour,

14:19

Jenny wedding photo with bridesmaids

and Lynelle was Jenny and Scott’s bridesmaid.

14:24

Photos. Lynelle and Jenny

LOUISE MILLIGAN, REPORTER: Jenny Morrison describes Lynelle Stewart on her Facebook page as her “dear old friend”, Lynelle says Jenny is a “precious treasure” and a “forever friend”.

14:29

Parliament House, Canberra. GVs

When Mr Morrison entered parliament, the Stewarts were delighted.

BRIAN STEWART, TIM STEWART’S FATHER: Tim was invited to attend Scott’s maiden speech. He was excited;

14:45

Brian Stewart 100%

so was I, when Scott was elected.

 

14:58

Parliament recording. Super:
14 February 2008. Morrison maiden speech

HOUSE SPEAKER: "The member for Cook."

SCOTT MORRISON, FEDERAL MEMBER FOR COOK: "Mr Speaker, it is with humility..."

BRIAN STEWART, TIM STEWART’S FATHER: I thought it was rather a privilege that Tim was one of those who received the invitation. I would

15:03

Brian Stewart 100%

imagine that any incumbent speaking for the first time would ask people to attend who were in some way special to him.

15:14

Photo. Tim and Lynelle wedding. Lynelle's Facebook profile

LOUISE MILLIGAN, REPORTER: When Tim and Lynelle Stewart celebrated their 24th wedding anniversary in August 2017, then-Treasurer Scott Morrison sent his congratulations on Lynelle’s Facebook page.

15:22

Text of Facebook message from Morrison

"Happy Anniversary guys – still remember you telling Jen and I a very long time ago in our little flat in Bronte that you had an amazing guy – you were right."

15:39

Photos. Morrisons and Stewarts holiday

LOUISE MILLIGAN, REPORTER: These photos, which they shared on Facebook, are from the following year, when the Morrison family holidayed with the Stewarts on the NSW south coast.

15:50

Kirribilli House exteriors

When the Morrisons moved into the Prime Minister’s residence in Sydney, Kirribilli House,

16:01

Photos. Lynelle Stewart

Lynelle Stewart was hired to work as household attendant.

16:07

 

KAREN STEWART, TIM STEWART’S SISTER: Lynelle was looking after the children and the dog, even before she was employed. So certainly, was helping out.

16:13

Karen Stewart 100%

She’s technically employed by Prime Minister and Cabinet and her role has been to assist in looking after the children and things like that.

16:22

Lynelle's Facebook page

LOUISE MILLIGAN, REPORTER: Lynelle Stewart has frequently posted photographs from Kirribilli on her social media, including

16:31

Photo. Lynelle and Tim, Kirribilli

this one of her and her husband Tim Stewart in 2018.

16:41

Photo. Sydney fireworks

The families even celebrated New Year’s Eve together

16:47

Photo. Morrison

at the Prime Minister’s residence. In January 2019,

16:50

Photos. Tim's photos at Kirribilli

Tim Stewart shared these photos from Kirribilli, saying he was house sitting. The little boy is his son.

KAREN STEWART, TIM STEWART’S SISTER: I don’t think it was an uncommon thing for them to be there, not at all.

16:54

Karen 100%

I can see there’s photos from New Year’s Eve there, and things like that, we’ve seen that, yep.

17:07

Beach shots

Music

17:13

 

LOUISE MILLIGAN, REPORTER: Tim Stewart liked to boast about his friendship with Scott Morrison.

17:16

Photo. Tim and Eliahi

One associate who says he heard these boasts was Eliahi Priest, a self-styled

17:21

Remembrance Party website

online anti-corruption crusader who was questioned by counter terrorism police after social media posts where he said he’d successfully

17:28

Photo. Priest, Tim and others

hacked the Prime Minister’s office. Priest, who met Tim Stewart once in 2018, claims Stewart said he could pass information to the PM.

ELIAHI PRIEST: Tim had said that he

17:36

Eliahi Priest 100%. Super:
ELIAHI PRIEST

could make evidence I had about government corruption available to the Prime Minister and have the Prime Minister of Australia act on that evidence.

17:53

Priest looks at photo of Morrison and Tim on phone

LOUISE MILLIGAN, REPORTER: Priest says Tim Stewart sent him this picture of Tim and Scott Morrison together.

18:00

CU of photo

ELIAHI PRIEST: I can’t emphasise enough how close Tim said the families were, which was why

18:06

Eliahi Priest 100%

he said there was a way, due to that closeness, that he could influence the Prime Minister.

18:13

Canberra freeway/Parliament House

LOUISE MILLIGAN, REPORTER: At the time, Scott Morrison was preparing for one of his first acts as Prime Minister, a national apology to survivors of institutional child sexual abuse.

18:21

Eliahi at computer. Zoom meeting participants

Eliahi Priest set up a meeting with Tim Stewart and others. The group wanted the phrase “ritual sexual abuse” included in the national apology.

18:35

Salter 100%. Super:
DR MICHAEL SALTER
Criminologist and child protection specialist, UNSW

DR MICHAEL SALTER, CRIMINOLOGIST AND CHILD PROTECTION SPECIALIST, UNSW: So, when the QAnon conspiracy is using the term 'ritual abuse', they're using it as synonymous with child torture, cannibalism, really the most gross and vivid and graphic allegations of child abuse that you can imagine.

18:50

 

It has been folded into a set of beliefs about the United States Government, in which there are high powered, high profile individuals who secretly engage in these strange satanic ceremonies.

19:06

Eliahi at computer

LOUISE MILLIGAN, REPORTER: Eliahi Priest showed Four Corners messages he says Tim Stewart sent him referring to his attempts to get the words “ritual abuse” into the apology.

 

 

19:19

CU Message from Tim to Eliahi

VOICE OVER: “I am organising an intimate strategy for the PM re the Ritual phrase. Ok mate, I am just preparing a message to Scott now re Monday… Once he is awake mate he will kick ass…”

19:31

Kirribilli house exteriors

LOUISE MILLIGAN, REPORTER: Priest says he also received a text message Tim Stewart said he had sent to his wife Lynelle.

19:45

On screen text of message:
VOICE OVER: "An army of victims and therapists would specifically love it if Scott’s apology referenced “ritual abuse victims”. This exact wording is a key phrase for victims. Think of this like a code that sends a direct and clear message that they have been heard by Scott specifically…"

VOICE OVER: "An army of victims and therapists would specifically love it if Scott’s apology referenced “ritual abuse victims”. This exact wording is a key phrase for victims. Think of this like a code that sends a direct and clear message that they have been heard by Scott specifically…"

19:53

Canberra GVs. Sunrise

Music

20:11

Super:
22 October 2018

RADIO AUDIO: "Hundreds of survivors of child sexual abuse in the nation’s institutions will gather at Parliament House in Canberra this morning for an apology from the Prime Minister."

20:21

 

LOUISE MILLIGAN, REPORTER: On the 22nd of October 2018,

20:30

Guests at Parliament House for apology. Survivors hug.

Parliament House opened its doors to abuse survivors and their supporters for the apology by Scott Morrison.

HETTY JOHNSTON, BRAVEHEARTS FOUNDER: There was a lot of people waiting for a long time for this apology. We felt like we were a part of history. We wanted it to be the moment of change.

20:34

Hetty 100%. Super:
HETTY JOHNSTON AM
Founder, Bravehearts

We really believed that this was the turning around of the tragedy of sexual assault against children in the nation.

20:54

Flag flies over Parliament House

LOUISE MILLIGAN, REPORTER: That morning, Tim Stewart’s texts to Eliahi Priest suggested he was feeling confident.

21:03

CU Text messages.
“Good morning mate, I think Scott is going to do it!

“Good morning mate, I think Scott is going to do it!

21:10

"Pretty sure speech is at 11am. I hope he says it."

"Pretty sure speech is at 11am. I hope he says it."

21:14

"Scott is very aware of the enormity of today!”

"Scott is very aware of the enormity of today!”

21:18

House of Reps chamber

PARLIAMENTARY CLERK: "Government business notice number one, motion relating to national apology to victims and survivors of institutional child sexual abuse."

21:21

Morrison delivers apology speech

LOUISE MILLIGAN, REPORTER: At 11am, the Prime Minister rose to deliver the historic speech.

SCOTT MORRISON, PRIME MINISTER: "I move that the House apologise to the victims and survivors of institutional child sexual abuse.

21:30

Survivors watch apology speech

It happened anywhere a predator thought they could get away with it.

21:44

 

And the systems within these organisations allowed it to happen and turned a blind eye.

 

 

21:49

 

It happened day after day, week after week, month after month, decade after decade, unrelenting torment."

DR MICHAEL SALTER, CRIMINOLOGIST AND CHILD PROTECTION SPECIALIST: The speech was received, I think, tremendously well. It was taken in the spirit that it was offered, which was,

21:57

Salter 100%. Super:
DR MICHAEL SALTER
Criminologist and child protection specialist, UNSW

I think, a spirit of generosity, a spirit of repentance and regret, and that's something that survivors of sexual abuse don't often get. They don't often get someone saying, "I'm sorry that this has happened to you. I regret that this has happened to you."

22:15

Morrison delivers apology speech

SCOTT MORRISON, PRIME MINISTER: "The crimes of ritual sexual abuse happened in schools, churches, youth groups, Scout troops, orphanages, foster homes."

22:28

 

LOUISE MILLIGAN, REPORTER: But close observers of the process were taken aback by the use of the phrase “ritual sexual abuse”.

DR MICHAEL SALTER, CRIMINOLOGIST AND CHILD PROTECTION SPECIALIST, UNSW: Ritual child sexual abuse wasn't a focus of the Royal Commission. It wasn't evident in the reports or in the recommendations and so,

22:42

Slater 100%

certainly, there were questions about, where did this phrase come from? How did it arise? How did it come to be in the Prime Minister's speech in the manner that it was?

 

 

 

22:58

 

I'm in contact with international networks of mental health workers particularly, who treat children and adults who have been subject to sexual exploitation, and I was contacted, I was emailed. People reached out about this phrase. It is a phrase that we're aware of. It's a very sensitive phrase.

23:07

Thomas 100%. Super:
ELISE THOMAS
Open-source intelligence analyst, Institute for Strategic Dialogue

ELISE THOMAS, OPEN-SOURCE INTELLIGENCE ANALYST, INSTITUTE FOR STRATEGIC DIALOGUE: The use of the phrase ritual sex abuse, would have been taken as validation of the conspiracy theory by QAnon followers, because it's a person in authority, using this phrase, which appears to directly reference the conspiracy theory.

23:24

Flag flies over Parliament House

LOUISE MILLIGAN, REPORTER: Despite being asked repeatedly, the Prime Minister has not answered Four Corners’ questions on the record about whether Tim Stewart passed on information to him about the wording of the apology.

23:38

CU Stewart's Twitter account

Immediately after the apology, Tim Stewart began tweeting triumphantly using his Twitter account @BurnedSpy34.

23:54

 

“What a great speech, @ScottMorrisonMP acknowledging the victims of ritual abuse. A new conversation began today in Australia. It was a stepping stone to be sure, but we took the step. @ScottMorrisonMP took control of the narrative powerfully and commenced phase 1 of our restoration."

LOUISE MILLIGAN, REPORTER: Tim Stewart’s son Jesse,

24:05

Jesse Stewart's Twitter account

who is also a QAnon follower, celebrated on Twitter using QAnon codes and hashtags.

24:27

 

VOICE OVER: "You know #TheGreatAwakening is in full swing when the Australian Prime Minister @ScottMorrisonMP mentions #RitualAbuse.

24:35

 

Scott is a patriot."

JITARTH JADEJA, FMR QANON BELIEVER & SUPPORT GROUP MODERATOR: So within the QAnon community, when

24:43

Jitarth 100%. Super:
JITARTH JADEJA
Fmr QAnon believer & support group moderator

it was first reported that BurnedSpy and Scott Morrison had some kind of relationship or moved in the same social cycles, that was taken as a tacit approval or tacit proof of this plan of the conspiracy of the Great Awakening, of where the good guys will take over, that maybe Scott Morrison's on board, you know, and as much as I wish I didn't have to say this, but it's true, that the lack of condemnation and the lack of response to that relationship by Scott Morrison – and I don't like saying that because I actually like him – like people just thought that it was, it was low key approval, that's it and it, and it boosted the authenticity of the movement.

24:49

Eliahi at computer

LOUISE MILLIGAN, REPORTER: Eliahi Priest texted Tim Stewart about other issues he wanted Stewart to raise with the Prime Minister, such as his claim that school students were being taught about homosexual sex.

25:35

Tim's message to Eliahi

Tim Stewart replied: I am in shock. This is going straight to Scott.”

25:47

Photo. Parliament House

The Prime Minister did not respond on the record to Four Corners’ questions about why the words ‘ritual abuse’ were included in the apology. 

25:55

 

A spokesperson for the Prime Minister has previously said:

26:05

On screen text:
“The term ‘ritual’ is one that the Prime Minister heard directly from the abuse survivors and the National Apology to Victims and Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse Reference Group he met with in the lead up to the Apology and refers not just to the ritualised way or patterns in which so many crimes were committed but also to the frequency and repetition of them”.

“The term ‘ritual’ is one that the Prime Minister heard directly from the abuse survivors and the National Apology to Victims and Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse Reference Group he met with in the lead up to the Apology, and refers not just to the ritualised way or patterns in which so many crimes were committed but also to the frequency and repetition of them.”

LOUISE MILLIGAN, REPORTER: Four Corners has spoken to most of the members of the reference group and seen their formal written advice.  

26:08

 

The phrase “ritual abuse” is not mentioned.

26:38

Morrison apology speech

SCOTT MORRISON, PRIME MINISTER: "We honour every survivor in this country,

26:43

Stewart family watch apology speech

we love you, we hear you and we honour you."

LOUISE MILLIGAN, REPORTER: Watching Scott Morrison’s apology speech at home was Tim Stewart’s sister Karen, who had their parents, Val and Brian, by her side. 

KAREN STEWART, TIM STEWART’S SISTER: When I heard the word ritual in that speech,

26:46

Karen 100%

my phone next to me buzzed and it was a family member saying did you hear that, did you hear that, that’s the first time that’s ever been said in the Australian Parliament.

27:04

Ocean shots

 

 

27:14

Photos. Karen as child

LOUISE MILLIGAN, REPORTER: The apology had particular significance for Karen Stewart, who says she was sexually assaulted when she was a child.

KAREN STEWART, TIM STEWART’S SISTER: A speech that was to

27:21

Karen watches apology speech

empower us, to make us feel like we had been heard, to take us seriously, we achieved all of that. So, in the one

27:31

Karen 100%

speech, I received that and then the word “ritual” pops in there and I felt that that snatched it away, because it was a signal to another group of people that are not there for my healing.

27:38

Reconstruction. Karen abuse sequence

LOUISE MILLIGAN, REPORTER: Karen Stewart’s experience echoes that of so many survivors, in both the abuse and how the institution responded. Karen was 14 when she says she was repeatedly sexually assaulted by two young men from her church community. She told her parents and her brother Tim, who supported her through the aftermath.

VAL STEWART, KAREN STEWART’S MOTHER: Even though we didn't know the details, the details at the time didn't matter to us,

27:51

Val Stewart 100%. Super:
VAL STEWART
Karen Stewart's mother

what mattered was something horrible had happened that was emotionally destroying.

28:26

Photo. Karen as teenager, with parents

BRIAN STEWART, KAREN STEWART’S FATHER: I noticed a girl who had lost a softness of character that had previously been there. Somebody who had become hard, somebody who sought

28:32

Brian Stewart 100%. Super:
BRIAN STEWART
Karen Stewart's father

values that were not those that we had instilled within her. There was a change that took place.  

28:43

Karen 100%

LOUISE MILLIGAN, REPORTER: And looking back on it now as an adult who sort of knows a lot more about the world, what do you think that young girl was going through?

KAREN STEWART: Trauma. Trauma that I didn’t understand. Sorry, I’m doing what I didn’t want to do, so just give me a moment.

28:47

Karen at home. CU

LOUISE MILLIGAN, REPORTER: The pastor of the church eventually conceded that a “serious crime was committed” against Karen. In 2011, Karen reported the assaults to police. They decided there was insufficient evidence to proceed.

VAL STEWART, KAREN STEWART’S MOTHER: The emotional effect and the trauma, we have since learned, is never out of her mind,

29:08

Val Stewart 100%

and for us as a whole family, we’ve had now 30 years of what has been trauma and traumatic. It’s huge, it doesn’t go away, ever.

29:35

Fade up from black. Sunrise by ocean

Music

29:48

 

LOUISE MILLIGAN, REPORTER: Karen Stewart’s experience

30:04

CU flowers on table/Karen at computer

as a survivor has amplified her distress over her brother’s obsession with QAnon and its discredited theory about ritual sexual abuse.

30:06

 

KAREN STEWART, TIM STEWART’S SISTER: They talk about saving the children.

30:17

Karen 100%

But I was that child, I was once the child that they claim they’re saving. My life is the worse for having QAnon in it.

30:23

 

That was one of the moments where I recognised that my brother cared more about QAnon than about the healing of people in relation to their own child sexual abuse.

30:33

Trees

DR MICHAEL SALTER, CRIMINOLOGIST AND CHILD PROTECTION SPECIALIST, UNSW: QAnon hasn't made the world a better place for survivors. It hasn't made the world a better place for children. We can't point to one positive development or advancement that has been driven by QAnon,

30:47

Salter 100%. Super:
DR MICHAEL SALTER
Criminologist and child protection specialist, UNSW

and it risks submerging legitimate issues, legitimate disclosures within a conspiracy culture.

31:00

 

Music

31:07

 

LOUISE MILLIGAN, REPORTER: In the past couple of years, Karen Stewart has become estranged from her brother Tim and their political beliefs have become even more polarised.

31:17

View through door of Karen at computer

Karen ran as a state candidate for the Greens, while Tim Stewart’s views became extreme and sometimes bizarre.

31:29

Val Stewart 100%. Super:
VAL STEWART
Tim Stewart's mother

VAL STEWART, TIM STEWART’S MOTHER: Tim would be in a place that I knew I couldn’t follow and so, that’s what began to create a division between us, because I couldn’t go to the same places that he would consider he was in and believe what he believed and support what he supports.

31:42

Jitarth at computer

LOUISE MILLIGAN, REPORTER: For families affected by QAnon, it’s a common experience.

 

31:59

 

JITARTH JADEJA FMR QANON BELIEVER & SUPPORT GROUP MODERATOR: When I was deep into QAnon it destroyed beyond repair a lot, if not most of my relationships, because at some point you can't not talk about QAnon; you are like this homeless guy on the street shouting about judgement day

32:06

Jitarth 100%. Super:
JITARTH JADEJA
Fmr QAnon believer & support group moderator

and even then, it's not a discussion. You're not talking to the person; you're talking at them and they're standing there and sitting there, and you can see the disinterest in their eyes. You can see this almost disdain and the pity, but you cannot stop yourself.

32:22

QAnon video. Super:
November 2020

LOUISE MILLIGAN, REPORTER: Tim Stewart and his son Jesse have become increasingly well-known in the QAnon world.

32:38

 

In November, they were interviewed on a Youtube QAnon talk show. Both appeared using their online personas – Burn Notice for Tim and Negan HQ for Jesse. The hosts applauded the father and son duo.

32:47

YouTube QAnon talk show excerpt

TIM (BURN NOTICE): "It was actually kind of good we could really start, start doing, looking at things together and exploring stuff together once, uh, once we knew who we were."

YOUTUBE HOST:  "What a great bond. I mean, that's just a great thing. You're both like separate patriots that found out you are patriots in the same war, in the same troop, in the same battalion."

TIM (BURN NOTICE): "Yeah, yeah."

33:07

Photo. Tim

YOUTUBE HOST: "You didn’t answer her question Burn, who Q was. Who do you think Q is?"

 

 

33:28

Super: Voice of Tim Stewart

BURN NOTICE: "Whether it's a cosmic social experiment on humanity or a really clever person from the NSA that's just, you know, gone out on their own and gone rogue. Whatever the case is, it's worth keeping an eye on."

33:35

Washington GVs/Trump rally

Music

33:51

 

LOUISE MILLIGAN, REPORTER: Before the US election, Tim Stewart reposted a comment on the far-right social media platform Gab, saying:

34:07

Social media post:
“It is our obligation to overthrow the tyrannical ruling class”.

VOICE OVER: “It is our obligation to overthrow the tyrannical ruling class”.

34:15

Biden victory

LOUISE MILLIGAN, REPORTER: After Joe Biden won the election, Tim Stewart posted:

34:19

Tim Stewart social media post:
“The Deep State… have committed open electoral fraud in full view of the world… Things are about to get very messy for those who commit treason and for those who aid and abet those committing treason.”

VOICE OVER: “The Deep State… have committed open electoral fraud in full view of the world. Things are about to get very messy for those who commit treason and for those who aid and abet those committing treason.”

34:24

Jesse Stewart social media post:
“We shall go on to the end, we shall fight on a global scale … we shall fight in the fields and in the streets … we shall never surrender… our movement beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the QAnon Fleet, would carry on the struggle...”

LOUISE MILLIGAN, REPORTER:  Jesse Stewart wrote:
VOICE OVER: “We shall go on to the end, we shall fight on a global scale, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets … we shall never surrender… our movement beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the QAnon Fleet, would carry on the struggle...”

34:36

Parliament House, Canberra

LOUISE MILLIGAN, REPORTER: The subject of Tim Stewart’s beliefs and his relationship with the Prime Minister, has been raised in the Senate three times.

34:55

Senate Committee hearing

SENATOR PENNY WONG: "Please don't make assertions about what I'm doing…"

LOUISE MILLIGAN, REPORTER: In Oct 2019, Labor Senator, Penny Wong, raised questions about Lynelle Stewart’s employment at Kirribilli House.

SENATOR PENNY WONG: Is a close friend of the Prime Minister one of Australia's leading proponents of the QAnon conspiracy theory?

SENATOR MATHIAS CORMANN: I'll take that on notice.

35:05

 

SENATOR PENNY WONG: Is the partner of that person on the Prime Minister's staff? Has a QAnon conspiracist been invited to either Kirribilli or the Lodge? Another assertion in the story is that information from this person has been passed directly to the Prime Minister.

SENATOR MATHIAS CORMANN: I'm taking all of these questions on notice, just for clarity.

SENATOR PENNY WONG: Yes, I understood that.

35:24

Parliament House

LOUISE MILLIGAN, REPORTER: The Prime Minister’s department later responded saying that the personal relationships of the PM’s staff were not a matter for the department and that it had no knowledge of the other issues raised.

35:46

Morrison post on Stewart's Facebook page

Soon after the Senate hearing, Scott Morrison posted a jovial comment on Tim Stewart’s Facebook page. "Happy birthday Tim Stewart – nice to see the mullet out of the time capsule." Tim replied: Thanks mate.

36:01

Photo. Tim Stewart

KAREN STEWART, TIM STEWART’S SISTER: I don’t understand why the Prime Minister would want to be seen to be with someone who has such radical beliefs.

36:18

Karen 100%. Super:
KAREN STEWART
Tim Stewart's sister

That’s not who I would want any Prime Minister, regardless of who they are, hanging around with, hearing the sorts of things that come out of Tim’s mouth in relation to QAnon.

36:28

 

LOUISE MILLIGAN, REPORTER: The Stewart family recall how that year Tim and Lynelle Stewart told them that they were hoping to holiday in Hawaii with the Morrisons over summer.

36:40

 

VAL STEWART, TIM STEWART’S MOTHER: Tim and Lynelle were just sharing that there was a holiday planned in Hawaii and

36:53

Val Stewart 100%. Super:
VAL STEWART
Tim Stewart's mother

my impression was it was going to be a heap-up of quite a few families, which would include many who’ve been going to Hawaii for years.

36:58

 

They would have all been involved, Scott and Jenny were going to go as well, that was, that was mentioned. 

37:05

Australia 2019 bushfires

Music

37:11

 

LOUISE MILLIGAN, REPORTER: In Dec 2019, during the Black Summer bushfires, the Prime Minister went on leave and flew to Honolulu.

37:23

Hawaii GVs

RADIO NEWS AUDIO: Prime Minister Scott Morrison has attracted criticism for holidaying in Hawaii as blazes continue to burn across the country.

37:33

Photos. Morrison in Hawaii

LOUISE MILLIGAN, REPORTER: After photographs emerged on social media, Mr Morrison rang into a radio station.

37:39

GFX Morrison radio call. Super:
Radio 2GB
20 December 2019

SCOTT MORRISON, PRIME MINISTER, 2GB: "The girls and Jen, they love holidaying in Hawaii and so we’ve had a few nice days here."

37:46

Honolulu beach GV

LOUISE MILLIGAN, REPORTER: Mr Morrison was forced to cut short his trip,

37:53

Social media posts. Man walks along beach/Stewart family in Hawaii

the same day as Tim Stewart’s family flew to Hawaii.

37:56

GFX Morrison radio call. Super:
Radio 2GB
20 December 2019

SCOTT MORRISON, PRIME MINISTER, 2GB: "The girls and Jen will stay on and stay out the rest of the time we had booked here. But I know Australians understand this. They’ll be pleased I’m coming back, I’m sure, they know I don’t hold a hose mate, and I don’t sit in the control room."

LOUISE MILLIGAN, REPORTER: The Prime Minister did not respond on the record to Four Corners’ questions about the Hawaii trip.

38:02

 

Music

38:23

 

LOUISE MILLIGAN, REPORTER: In the past year as part of a global crackdown on QAnon accounts, Twitter has permanently suspended Tim and Jesse Stewart’s accounts for “engaging in coordinated harmful activity”.

38:27

Senate Committee hearing. Senators Wong and Cormann

In October last year, the concerns about Tim Stewart were again raised in the Senate.

38:41

 

SENATOR PENNY WONG: "Are you aware that the Prime Minister’s close friend has been banned from Twitter for what the social media platform describes as a coordinated harmful activity?"

38:48

Super:
SENATOR MATHIAS CORMANN
Leader of the Government in the Senate 2017-2020

SENATOR MATHIAS CORMANN: "I mean, I’m not sure that you can characterise that person, whom I don’t know, based on the fact that the wife is employed, having gone through all of the relevant checks, I mean, I don’t know that that’s reasonable.

38:57

 

The only thing I am aware of, as has been confirmed by Ms Foster, is that the woman concerned has been employed. There doesn't seem to be any suggestion that there is anything concerning."

LOUISE MILLIGAN, REPORTER: The Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet was also asked about the inclusion of the phrase ‘ritual abuse’ in the 2018 apology.

39:16

 

SENATOR PENNY WONG: "So there is an allegation that there were changes to the speech, including – and this seems far-fetched – but I think it would be useful to put it to you to make sure it is refuted – that this close associate had urged a change to the Prime Minister's speech to use a different word, the word being 'ritual'. So I’m just thinking, I'm asking: can we use this opportunity to make clear that isn’t the case."

39:41

Stephanie Foster in hearing. Super:
STEPHANIE FOSTER
Department of the Prime Minister & Cabinet

STEPHANIE FOSTER, DEPARTMENT OF PRIME MINISTER & CABINET: So Senator, I don't know. I have just asked all of my staff openly if anyone has any information. It would appear that the answer is no, so the best I can do is take that on notice."

SENATOR PENNY WONG: "Okay, that's fine."

LOUISE MILLIGAN, REPORTER: No answer to that question was provided.

40:10

Plane landing

Jesse Stewart blamed members of his family for the twitter ban and sent them threatening text messages.

40:26

Text message from Jesse Stewart:
“You better tread lightly also…Wanna play with fire and you will get burned. Watch yourself buddy."

“You better tread lightly also…Wanna play with fire and you will get burned. Watch yourself buddy."

40:34

I will make you lot famous … all of you. FUCK AROUND AND FIND OUT.”

"I will make you lot famous… all of you. FUCK AROUND AND FIND OUT.”

40:41

Val Stewart 100%

LOUSE MILLIGAN: Your grandson, Jesse, has sent threatening messages to the rest of your family?

VAL STEWART, TIM STEWART’S MOTHER: Yes, very much so. Yeah, that’s, that’s been for a period of just over a year, that that’s been happening. Yes, things escalated. 

KAREN STEWART, TIM STEWART’S SISTER: My mother,

40:47

Karen 100%

a lovely woman, was – I don’t know if I can swear on this – but called a cowardly motherfucker. So, these are not your standard responses to a grandmother. And so, they were quite concerning, and at that point we recognised, all right, there’s a level of radicalisation that is very different to even a year prior to that.

41:05

Stewart family dinner

LOUISE MILLIGAN, REPORTER: Late last year, the Stewart family became so concerned they took the extraordinary step of reporting Tim and Jesse Stewart to the national security hotline several times.

 

 

41:29

 

KAREN STEWART, TIM STEWART’S SISTER: So it was at that moment that we decided we can make excuses for lots of things, but if we’re under threat and our safety is a concern, we have to legitimately inform somebody, because we no longer know these people.

41:43

Photo. Tim

So we did make a report to the authorities to ensure that we were doing the right thing as community members.

VAL STEWART, TIM STEWART’S MOTHER: I don’t know what might happen in Australia,

41:58

Val 100%

but that’s what raises our concern; that we do have family members who are involved in something that could finish up being a threat to Australia.

42:08

Sydney Harbour GV

LOUISE MILLIGAN, REPORTER: The Director-General of ASIO, Australia’s top spy chief, has also been informed about the activities of Tim and Jesse Stewart.

42:17

Kirribilli House exterior

Tim Stewart told Four Corners:

42:30

On screen text:
“I am too busy to read questions relating to the nonsense that’s been put out there, which are just hit pieces ... I don’t promote or support any kind of violence.”

“I am too busy to read questions relating to the nonsense that’s been put out there, which are just hit pieces... I don’t promote or support any kind of violence.”

42:33

Kirribilli House exteriors

Four Corners has learned that Lynelle Stewart stopped working at Kirribilli House at the end of last year. Scott Morrison did not respond on the record to Four Corners’ questions about whether he and Tim Stewart are still friends.

 

42:45

Taylor 100%. Super:
MILES TAYLOR
Chief of Staff, US Department of Homeland Security 2018-19

MILES TAYLOR, CHIEF OF STAFF, US DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY 2018-19:  I think it's important for the Prime Minister and any other national leader to disavow individuals, either within their orbit or outside of their orbit, who harbor these types of extremist views. That's really important. And look, I understand, again, we all have friends and family members that have unorthodox views, but when you're put in a position of public trust you have to maintain the public's trust.

43:04

Social media post. Trump statement

LOUISE MILLIGAN, REPORTER: In recent months, Tim Stewart has shared posts of Donald Trump calling the US election “The Big Lie” and has reposted conspiracies equating vaccines with Nazism.

43:28

Morrison receives COVID vaccine

 

43:45

Social media post from Jesse Stewart

Jesse Stewart has started criticising Scott Morrison online.

43:48

“If [governments] start going the route of vaccine coercion, mandates, restrictions for those who refuse, vaccine passport or any other draconian idea, then motherfuckers are gettin' lynched. Call me extreme, crazy -IDGAF! Fuck around and find out, Australian Government!”

VOICE OVER: “If governments start going the route of vaccine coercion, mandates, restrictions for those who refuse, vaccine passport or any other draconian idea, then motherfuckers are gettin' lynched. Call me extreme, crazy -I don’t give a fuck! Fuck around and find out, Australian Government!”

LOUISE MILLIGAN, REPORTER: On April 28, in response to a post about corrupt politicians,

43:53

“I’d pay 2 grand to see [certain people] hanged.”

Jesse Stewart said:

VOICE OVER:  “I’d pay 2 grand to see certain people hanged.”

 

44:16

 

LOUISE MILLIGAN, REPORTER: In an email to Four Corners, Jesse Stewart said he was referring to “traitors and paedophiles.” He described himself as a “shitposter … & satirist” and said, “I never have nor will participate in violence”.

44:23

Karen 100%

KAREN STEWART, TIM STEWART’S SISTER: The experience of watching someone become radicalised is the most unusual thing.

44:40

 

We know how we get to know a stranger and bit by bit with every conversation you become to either like them or not like them and you can start a long-term relationship with a friend because of how that’s panned out. But we never talk about what might happen if it goes in reverse. So the loving and caring brother and nephew it went in reverse. They became strangers.

44:48

Senate Committee hearing

LOUISE MILLIGAN, REPORTER: Three weeks ago, questions were again raised in Senate Estimates about the Prime Minister’s view of Tim Stewart’s beliefs.

45:12

Super:
SENATOR PENNY WONG
Leader of the Opposition in the Senate
25 May 2021

SENATOR PENNY WONG: "The questions relate to whether or not the prime minister had anything to say about comments by his friend and QAnon proponent, a Mr Tim Stewart, describing the day of the Capitol Hill attack as one of the greatest days on earth. Crikey also asked the PMO what measures if any were in place to prevent Mr Stewart having access to confidential information about the Prime Minister. What are the answers to those questions?"

45:23

Senator Birmingham. Super:
SENATOR SIMON BIRMINGHAM
Leader of the Government in the Senate

SENATOR SIMON BIRMINGHAM: "Senator Wong, in terms of if you want to pose those questions, I’ll happily take them on notice for you in terms of a response being provided."

45:51

 

SENATOR PENNY WONG: "Do you agree that a friend of Mr Morrison’s whom adheres to these theories is a possible vector for foreign interference?"

46:03

 

SENATOR SIMON BIRMINGHAM: "Senator, I’m not aware of the nature of the relationship, so in that sense, to some extent, it’s a hypothetical, but I can assure you that the Prime Minister takes his security obligations seriously and is alert to all threats that security agencies brief him on."

LOUISE MILLIGAN, REPORTER: There has still been no response to the questions taken on notice.

46:15

Canberra GVs

Four Corners contacted the Prime Minister with a detailed list of questions five weeks ago and followed up with his office more than 20 times.

46:50

Morrison press conference

On June the fourth, the Prime Minister was asked at a press conference about Four Corners’ story.

47:04

 

REPORTER: Are you concerned that the ABC is involved in so called vigilante journalism? Were the allegations put to you and what is your connection to the man at the centre of that story?

47:11

 

SCOTT MORRISON, PRIME MINISTER: I find it deeply offensive that there would be any suggestion that I would have any involvement or support for such a dangerous organisation. I clearly do not. It's also just so very disappointing that Four Corners in their inquiries would seek to cast this aspersion, not just against me but by members of my only family. I just think that is really poor form.

LOUISE MILLIGAN, REPORTER: Two days later, a spokesman for the Prime Minister provided a one paragraph statement on the record to the program:

47:19

GFX statement text:
“This is a personally motivated slur against the Prime Minister and his family by a Four Corners program that is already facing serious questions about the accuracy, bias and credibility of its journalism, that is now giving credence to irrational Twitter conspiracy theorists and raising the profile of what the Prime Minister clearly deems a discredited and dangerous fringe group.”

VOICE OVER: “This is a personally motivated slur against the Prime Minister and his family by a Four Corners program that is already facing serious questions about the accuracy, bias and credibility of its journalism, that is now giving credence to irrational Twitter conspiracy theorists and raising the profile of what the Prime Minister clearly deems a discredited and dangerous fringe group.”

47:53

 

Music

48:18

Stewart family dinner

VAL STEWART, TIM STEWART’S MOTHER: "You have to serve each other, pass it around."

48:29

 

We popped over to see them all the other day, so it was, it was quite lovely to get a few photos and feel part of that very extended family that we don't always get to see.

48:35

 

LOUISE MILLIGAN, REPORTER: The Stewart clan is deeply troubled by the breakdown of their family. They haven’t given up on Jesse and Tim.

48:46

 

VAL STEWART, TIM STEWART’S MOTHER: I’m not a psychologist, I’m his mum, and I hope that one day, some of this might be in the past, but I know that, there are just concerns that we would have in

48:57

Val 100%

hearing and watching some of what has happened over particularly this last year or so.

 

49:09

Val sits alone at home

KAREN STEWART, TIM STEWART’S SISTER: I think almost all of us have broken down on the phone trying to explain the loss of a family member, and I know my mother has viewed it, she’s described it as grieving, grieving the loss of someone

49:17

Karen 100%

who’s still alive and that’s, it’s a very confusing emotion, and I feel for her in that – and Dad.

49:33

Val sits alone at home

Music

49:41

Ends

 

49:47

 

CREDITS:

 

The Great Awakening: A family divided by QAnon

 

reporter

LOUISE MILLIGAN

 

producer

JEANAVIVE McGREGOR

 

researcher

LAUREN DAY

 

additional research

LYDIA CHU
ABC REFERENCE LIBRARY

 

editor

SIMON BRYNJOLFFSSEN

 

assistant editor

JAMES BRAYE
MARIAM ZAHR

 

camera

RYAN SHERIDAN

 

sound

ROBERT MACKAY

 

additional camera

MATHEW MARSIC

CHRIS ALBERT

LOUIE EROGLU ACS

CRAIG BERKMAN

 

additional sound

JAMES FISHER

OLIVER JUNKER

ANDREW TIMLIN

SPRIOS MAVRANGELOS

TOM STATON

ASH EDEN

 

archive producer
MICHELLE BADDILEY
MICHAEL OSMOND

designer

LINDSAY DUNBAR

 

digital producer

NICK WIGGINS

LAURA GARTRY

 

social media producer

HARRIET TATHAM

 

publicity

PAUL AKKERMANS

 

promotions

LAURA MURRAY

 

sound mixer

EVAN HORTON

 

colourist

SIMON BRAZZALOTTO

 

post production

JAMES BRAYE

 

additional vision

MILES TAYLOR

GETTY IMAGES

POND5

REUTERS

AP

BIT CHUTE/ REDPILL17

 

theme music

RICK TURK

 

titles

LODI KRAMER

 

production coordinator

LYDIA CHU

 

production manager

WENDY PURCHASE

 

supervising producer

MORAG RAMSAY

 

executive producer

SALLY NEIGHBOUR

© 2019 Journeyman Pictures
Journeyman Pictures Ltd. 4-6 High Street, Thames Ditton, Surrey, KT7 0RY, United Kingdom
Email: info@journeyman.tv

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