Friday, December 3, 2010

Julian Assange Had A Very Strange Upbringing

With such a childhood, it is little surprise that Julian Assange's behavior and judgement is so bizarre.

By Dan Riehl
December 1, 2010

While Wikileaks’ Julian Assange is much in the news, there’s been very little written about the individual and the forces that likely played a role in shaping him. Certainly he’s bright enough and claims to embrace some new form of Internet-enabled informational freedom. But I’d argue one need look no further than American post-sixties culture to realize that freedom without responsibility can produce anarchy, or worse. Far from some master of the informational universe, in some ways, Assange looks weak and dependent upon others to sustain and guide him through the real world.

In private, however, Assange is often bemused and energetic. He can concentrate intensely, in binges, but he is also the kind of person who will forget to reserve a plane ticket, or reserve a plane ticket and forget to pay for it, or pay for the ticket and forget to go to the airport. People around him seem to want to care for him; they make sure that he is where he needs to be, and that he has not left all his clothes in the dryer before moving on. At such times, he can seem innocent of the considerable influence that he has acquired.

This may be a telling bit, if one digs just a bit deeper.

Assange’s parents ran a touring theatre company. In 1979, his mother, Christine, remarried; her new husband was a musician who belonged to a controversial New Age group led by Anne Hamilton-Byrne. The couple had a son, but broke up in 1982 and engaged in a custody struggle for Assange’s half-brother. His mother then took both children into hiding for the next five years. Assange moved several dozen times during his childhood, attending many schools, sometimes being home schooled, and later attending several universities at various times in Australia.

The Family and The Great White Brotherhood, is a controversial New Age group formed in Australia under the leadership of the Yoga teacher Anne Hamilton-Byrne.

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