Scott Morrison apology house of representatives liberal party
Prime Minister Scott Morrison makes his 'sorry' speech in October 2018

For more on the relationship between Scott Morrison and QAnon proponent Tim Stewart, go here.

August 24, 2018: a new beginning for Scott Morrison — and Tim Stewart

Scott Morrison is appointed prime minister. Tim Stewart marks the occasion by launching a Twitter account in the name of Burn Notice, a fictional spy hero, giving his address as Miami, USA.

Stewart’s first tweet cryptically announces “a fresh start. Rebuilding a new identity”.

Far from a daring espionage figure, Stewart is a 50-year-old suburban Sydney man who had been bankrupt after a failed business venture. He is also on his way to becoming a major Twitter influencer among Australia’s QAnon followers, as well as building a reputation as a sage on the coming “Awakening” — a moment which accompanies “the Storm”, which will see the end of a cabal of Satan-worshipping paedophiles which, according to QAnon, has been running the world.

October 22, 2018: influence on Morrison’s ‘sorry’ speech

Within months of becoming PM, Morrison is handed the job of delivering a national apology to those who had been sexually abused in church- and state-run institutions. In federal Parliament Morrison uses the term “ritual” abuse. This is seen by Stewart as embracing the QAnon preoccupation with satanic paedophilia and he hails it as evidence of Morrison commencing “phase 1 of our restoration”. In the hours before Morrison speaks, Stewart sends a text to a colleague foretelling it would happen: “I think Scott is going to do it!!

Morrison’s office tells Inq that the term “ritual” was suggested by an advisory committee of experts set up to advise on the form of the national apology. Inq subsequently establishes that the term was not discussed by the committee. Nor did it appear in any of the reports of the royal commission.

October 23, 2018: ‘Straight to Scott’

In text exchanges with a former online fellow traveller, Peter “Eliahi” Priest, Stewart is told that 13-year-olds will be taught about anal intercourse under Victoria’s schools curriculum. “I am in shock,” Stewart responded. “This is going straight to Scott.”

It is one of 50 mentions of Morrison and Stewart’s alleged influence in text exchanges collected by Priest, a jeweller and online political agitator.

September 3, 2019: Stewart lauds Morrison for tough on paedophile laws

Morrison announces the federal government will legislate for the mandatory sentencing of convicted sex offenders, covering federal offences such as internet grooming or downloading child pornography (most paedophilia offences are covered by state laws).

Stewart endorses the announcement with his own tweet saying: “Light is finally being shone on this issue.”

September-October 2020: social media bans

Twitter suspends Stewart a second time under its “ban evasion policy’’ which applies to those who attempt to get around previous bans.

His previous account had been permanently suspended because of “coordinated harmful activity’’. It was disabled as part of a large-scale purge of QAnon sites by social media platforms including Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram.

Parliamentary hearings also raise questions about security clearances for Tim Stewart’s wife, Lynelle, who has been employed by the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet to assist Morrison’s wife, Jenny.

January 2021: far gone

Tim Stewart tweets in support of the storming of the US Capitol — and then claims the far-left Antifa movement was responsible.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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