The deplatforming from social media of those with patriotic and nationalist views is a constant occurrence. This has now infected financial institutions; it began with PayPal and soon moved to commercial banks.

PayPal, the world’s most popular online payment facilitator, has deplatformed Alex Jones, the Proud Boys, Blair Cottrell, Tommy Robinson, Faith Goldy, Politicalite, Gab and Subscribestar. PayPal does not pay out its users’ balances when closing their accounts, but freezes the funds for 90 days at least.

Commercial Bank Deplaformings

Commercial banks for centuries have provided day-to-day essential financial services for citizens, a much more critical service than processing only online payments. But their crucialness didn’t stop them beginning politically motivated deplatforming this year.

The first target was the newly elected Chairman of the Proud Boys in the United States, Enrique Tarrio. He had his Chase Bank personal account closed in February with Chase giving as its reason that it could no longer support his banking after careful consideration.

The first Australian patriot to have his bank account closed for undisclosed reasons was Blair Cottrell. Westpac informed him in June it was closing his account due to commercial imperatives.

Cottrell is currently appealing his blasphemy conviction under Victoria’s Racial and Religious Tolerance Act for the 2015 United Patriots Front mock beheading stunt. He had been using PayPal to accept donations for his appeal; after his PayPal was frozen in December 2018, he had been using his personal bank account instead.

Another Patriot’s Account Closed

Now another Australian patriot has been notified that his bank account is to be closed. Thomas Brasher was a member of the Lads Society in 2018 and was one of the club members who joined the New South Wales Young Nationals during that time.

The ABC, NewsCorp and the White Rose Society doxxed these Lads Society members in the National Party, including Brasher, and they were expelled with all members of Lads Society and two other nationalist groups banned from ever becoming members of the party.

Brasher told the Unshackled in January this year about the impact the doxxing of his personal information had and the treatment by the media and National Party he received.

He is now just a private citizen and has largely withdrawn from social media. But 20-year-old Brasher has strangely been informed by his ANZ bank that it intends to close his personal bank account with the decision not open to any reconsideration.

ANZ quotes Section 4.3 of its Savings and Transactions Products Terms and Conditions as giving ANZ the authority to close his account without his consent. The only plausible reason under this Section by which ANZ could unilaterally decide to close Brasher’s account is that ANZ thinks he has not been using his account appropriately.

Brasher advises he cannot think of any use of his personal account outside his normal everyday undertaking of legal financial transactions. ANZ believes it does not have to specify a reason to Brasher as to why it is closing his account. The only explanation can be is that ANZ does not approve of his nationalist views or membership of the Lads Society.

PayPal and Child Pornography

The deplaforming of patriots and nationalists from these financial institutions is intended to be a virtue-signal by them that they will not do business with hate merchants.

But it appears that PayPal, while it’s been banning alleged extremists, has allegedly been facilitating child pornography payments. Child abuse and pedophilia should be considered the most heinous crimes in the world. But apparently, those who express too-far-right views appear to be committing the greater crime according to some.

The Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC), which investigates potential illegal financial activities, has announced it is investigating PayPal’s compliance with international funds transfer obligations into and from Australia.

AUSTRAC chief executive Nicole Rose told ABC Radio’s ‘The World Today’ program, “Online child abuse material can be ordered from Australia to areas such as the Philippines in quite often small amounts that are repeated often, and PayPal, unfortunately, is one of the areas that they can use to do that,” and what aroused suspicion is “Not a great deal of money to Australians but a great deal of money to Filipino families”.

AUSTRAC has ordered PayPal Australia to appoint an external auditor to probe these suspect payments; it has 120 days to report back to AUSTRAC which will determine if further regulatory action against PayPal is taken.

PayPal Response

PayPal Australia said in response it was “not correct” to suggest that child sex exploitation connections had been discovered. PayPal claims, “The audit requested by AUSTRAC of PayPal’s Australian business primarily relates to compliance with international funds transfer instruction reporting obligations… [which] are important protections in the international fight against financial crime and the misuse of payment platforms, which PayPal takes very seriously”.

You would think that if PayPal, despite the volumes of transactions it facilitates every hour of every day, can identify payments to “fascists”, then it could apply the same rigour to identifying child pornography payments, no?

AUSTRAC recently fined foreign-currency operator Compass Global $252,000. This was for failing to report international money transfers that could leave Compass exposed to being a facilitator of money-laundering and terror-financing. AUSTRAC also fined the Commonwealth Bank a record $700 million for an incredible 53,700 breaches of anti-money-laundering and counter-terror-financing laws.

It sounds like financial institutions should focus on preventing their merchant facilities being used by actual criminals and terrorists, not those committing thought crimes.

UPDATE 16/09/2019

In the past few days ANZ Bank has sent out other letters to patriot activists or those associated with the nationalist movement informing them ANZ is closing their bank accounts for unspecified reasons.

This represents an sinister escalation in banking deplatforming. It is unknown whether this is the banks themselves taking these actions, or outside pressure is being applied to them. No other media will report this, if was occurring to Antifa, Marxist or environmental groups you would certainly hear about it.

Blair Cottrell who was the first target of the banking deplaforming push shared his thoughts in a Gab post earlier today.

Blair Cottrell’s thoughts on banking deplatforming

Part of the just passed WilmsFront episode was dedicated to addressing this matter.

Author Details
Tim Wilms is the Founder and Editor in Chief of the Host of Tim’s News Explosion, the WilmsFront interview program and The Theorists with Andy Nolch. He based in Melbourne, Australia where he also conducts field reports.
Tim Wilms is the Founder and Editor in Chief of the Host of Tim’s News Explosion, the WilmsFront interview program and The Theorists with Andy Nolch. He based in Melbourne, Australia where he also conducts field reports.