The Great Aussie Patriot
|And a dirty dozen more|
The Great Aussie Patriot (real name Shermon "Showman Bogus" Burgess) is an Australian far-right Muslim who was a former Islamophobe[note 1] and former Neo-Nazi activist and former civic nationalist internet personality. Burgess was committed to the prevention of the "Islamisation of Australia", the prevention of supposed "white genocide", and was also strongly opposed to the political left, whom he views as traitors supporting Islam and white genocide.
He was the main spokesman for Reclaim Australia from mid 2014 to April 2015, before leaving to establish the United Patriots Front with Neil Erikson and Blair Cottrell, before leaving the party and leaving the mainstream far-right completely.
Alongside Islam, Burgess opposes communism and anarchism. He believed that the left is supportive of the Islamic doctrine and an Islamic takeover of the world. He has specifically condemned the leftist collective Antifa and the Socialist Alliance, accusing them of supporting Islamist extremism. This claim is untenable considering the ideological differences between leftists and Islamists; Burgess seems unable to grasp that it is possible to defend an alienated community from discrimination while opposing their beliefs.
Burgess has also displayed a limited understanding of political philosophy. He has denounced the Rupert Murdoch-owned press in Australia as "left wing" simply because he didn't think that their anti-Islamic stance was hard enough. He claims to be a conservative, yet has rarely publicly explicated any of his political beliefs beyond being anti-Islam and anti-leftist (or anti-whatever he slaps the "leftist" label on). Furthermore, despite his opposition to anarchism (specifically anarcho-communism), he has no clear understanding as to what the doctrine is about, claiming that it is simply about chaos and disorder.
Early in his activist days, Burgess denounced Australia's Aboriginal community, accusing them of being drug-addicted, alcoholic slackers who blamed the present generation for what took place over two hundred years ago and argued that decent Aboriginals were "few and far between". His views later changed, and shortly before the initial Reclaim Australia rally in April 2015 Burgess apologised to the Indigenous community for his remarks and called for Aboriginals to join the Reclaim movement, claiming that they have as much reason to oppose Islam as the rest of Australia does.
Burgess has also engaged in practices that his critics have regarded as dishonest attempts to acquire attention. He claimed to have received an abusive letter from a leftist, and read it out in a broadcast. Apart from an attack on Burgess, the letter also stated that Australian soldiers were barbarians, rapists and Nazis, and was signed anonymously with a call for "Left wing pride". While Burgess's followers were outraged and convinced of its authenticity, a conversation Burgess had on his personal Facebook page revealed that he claimed he would write and publicize "fake message from a leftie" to stoke up anti-leftist sentiment among his followers.
Long before the emergence of his wingnut persona, Burgess was active on atheist forums and openly denounced the Bible, claiming that it was "bullshit". He also regarded Christian homophobia as hypocritical, arguing that Jesus was most likely gay. Burgess identifies himself as a Nordic pagan.
Burgess has also promoted a conspiracy theory concerning Agenda 21 and mass depopulation, arguing that a "global elite" created Islam to somehow serve as a tool in this grand conspiracy. He has also shared content from Alex Jones' Infowars on his Facebook page. He viewed the removal of conservative Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott and his replacement with the supposed 'far left' Malcolm Turnbull as crucial in this conspiracy to transform Australia into a communist Islamist state (because we all know that communists love religion!) in accordance with the 'globalist agenda'. The left, according to Burgess, are useful idiots helping support this conspiracy, without even knowing it.
Burgess has also expressed support for Donald Trump, primarily because of his anti-Muslim stance.
On October 15, 2015, Burgess announced that he would be leaving the United Patriots Front and would be handing full leadership of the group to Blair Cottrell. Cottrell acted as leader of the UPF until the group split in 2017.
Since leaving the patriot movement in 2017, Burgess abandoned his former civic nationalist beliefs, dropped his pseudonym and became a Neo-Nazi, though we suspect he always was one. Burgess has since denounced the patriot movement for being hypocrites in regard to race mixing, and for caring too much about the negative impacts of Islam instead of wanting to preserve the white race. He also accused Blair Cottrell of being a fake white nationalist for allegedly being in a relationship with Hispanic fundamentalist Christian right wing activist Dia Beltran. Which is somewhat ironic considering that during his civic nationalist period, he denounced Cottrell for being a Nazi and regarded Neo-Nazis as detrimental to Australia's patriot movement.
Even more ironically, Burgess eventually converted to Islam in the early 2020s, after meeting radical Muslims in the anti-vaccination movement, where they shared conspiratorial, anti-government viewpoints, proving the Horseshoe theory right again. Burgess claimed that he wishes to "fight against these Zionist and Freemason oppressors who are ruling over us" with other Islamists, and represent a growing trend of far-right activists and conservative Muslims finding a common cause in fighting against feminism, LGBT rights, communism, and "wokeness", now that Islamophobia is no longer in vogue.
- Yes, really.