Philip Young

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Philip Young (1954–)[1] is a New Zealand conspiracy theorist and self-proclaimed Christian leader. He is the author of several books, most notably, Save Our Democracy,[2] which he self-published in 1988, whose main theme is that New Zealand was the subject of a deliberate set of actions by "Jewish international bankers" aimed at impoverishing and destroying the farming sector. This was followed by two further books on the same general theme, The Great Secret,[3] and Jesus Says Go but the Pharisees Say "No!", [4]

He is better known in recent times for spruiking trashy videos which claim, inter alia, that the Moon is populated by aliens, the 9-11 terrorist attacks were really part of an elaborate conspiracy involving the US government and UFOs under that government's control. This type of nonsense may be viewed on his YouTube channel, "NewsNotShownonTV",[5] together with other outlandish claims.

Young was a provincial accountant who worked in Te Awamutu for several years in the 1980s. He aspired to become a partner in the firm, but they had doubts about him[6] During his time, supposedly as an employee of the firm, he had been writing Save Our Democracy.

The content of Save Our Democracy and its successors follows a familiar theme. Quoting other writers who espoused a conspiracy, Young claimed that the world political scene was controlled by unseen hands and a host of secret societies including the Illuminati, the Bilderbergers and the Council of Foreign Relations. He claimed that news coverage of these organisations was circumscribed, their tentacles reached into every segment of society, and the Freemasons were a Satanic cult. There was also a theme of general moral panic, as he included excerpts about such themes as "backward masking", commenting as though these were scientifically proven facts.

The general theme which ran through all three books was that New Zealand, particularly the rural sector, had been deliberately attacked and impoverished by a cabal of insiders comprising "Jewish international bankers". This was not an unpopular theme in some circles in the late 1980s and early 1990s as New Zealand had transitioned from a closed, protectionist economy under the National Party government of Sir Robert Muldoon to an open, market driven economy under "Rogernomics" a free market philosophy pioneered by the Fourth Labour Government in New Zealand.The transition had been painful, especially in the rural sector.

These books had a decidedly anti-semitic flavour, although Young did not espouse Holocaust denial, in the manner of revisionist historian, David Irving.

For a person who claimed to be a Christian leader, Young's own life was in considerable disarray. His employment with the rural accountancy firm ended with his dismissal, which he fought for years through two proceedings in the New Zealand High Court, alleging wrongful dismissal. Having been dismissed in 1988, the wrongful dismissal claim came on for hearing in the High Court but two days into an expected five day hearing, Young elected a non-suit, a procedural tactic then available to a plaintiff who realises that the case is doomed but wishes to preserve his rights. Had the matter proceeded to a judgment, he could not have relitigated it, as the decision would have constituted a cause of action estoppel.

As he had encountered severe financial problems and lost his farmlet to a mortgagee sale, he was in receipt of legal aid for the proceedings against his former employers. This insulated him from the costs award that would normally have been made in favour of the successful defendants. Undeterred by his failure the first time, he reissued the proceedings and they came on for hearing in 2000, the result being that his claim was dismissed.

This was not his only legal trouble. After a delay he had managed to persuade the New Zealand Society of Accountants (as it was then known) to issue him with a certificate enabling him to practise as a chartered accountant. It was not long until he was in trouble, seeking public investments in a finance company he had set up. Under New Zealand law, a registered prospectus was required and in several important ways he had failed to comply with the Securities Act 1978. He was subsequently convicted of a number of criminal offences in relation to this as well as assault, in respect of his unruly behaviour in the courtroom. Specifically, during a depositions hearing (a type of preliminary hearing in a criminal prosecution, no longer used in the New Zealand system of criminal procedure), Young shouted down the judicial officer and resisted arrest when held in contempt of court. He assaulted the security officer and was later sentenced to 80 hours community work, a sentence undisturbed on appeal.[7]

During 2003 he was adjudicated bankrupt[8] following disciplinary proceedings by the Institute of Accountants for sustained negligence and incompetence.[9] NOtwithstanding the fact that he was struck from the roll of chartered accountants, he continues to promote himself as an "accountant" although he avoids using the word "chartered". These days he operates as Progressive Accountants Ltd, a company based at his home in Hamilton. The company's websites promotes his 30 years of experience in accounting, but carefully avoids reference to his time as a bankrupt, his criminal convictions or the decision of the disciplinary tribunal of the New Zealand Society of Accountants which struck him off.

It is against this background that he started hawking videos from sovbooks.com from 2007-2014,[1][10] and later through YouTube. The organisation he established for this purpose was subsequently placed in liquidation over a tax debt.[11]

It is against this background that the conspiracy theories have been promoted. The background of the promoters of these ideas is relevant, as one might think a personal record of probity in business dealings and a record of careful research would at least suggest a person has advanced well-considered ideas. Conversely a person who merely quotes other conspiracy theorists and who has a chequered history may have difficulty in separating fact from fiction in his own mind.

References[edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Sovereign Books (archived from April 29, 2007).
  2. Save Our Democracy: The New Zealand Story by Phil Young (1988). Sovereign Books.
  3. The Great Secret, by Phil Young (1990). Sovereign Books Ltd
  4. Jesus Says Go but the Pharisees Say "No!" by Phil Young (1992). Sovereign Books Ltd.
  5. Philip Young's YouTube channel "NewsNotShownonTV"
  6. Young v Oliver (24 August 2000) HC Hamilton CP 154/92 Smellie J para 13.
  7. Young v Police (21 November 2006) HC Hamilton CRI 2006-419-114 Allan J.
  8. https://gazette.govt.nz/notice/id/2003-ba6947
  9. https://gazette.govt.nz/notice/id/2003-gn5161
  10. Sovereign Books (archived from December 18, 2014).
  11. Sovereign Books Limited, New Zealand Company Office