The only freedom we have in the west is the freedom to go shopping: Dr. Fredrick Töben
Interview by Kourosh Ziabari
Dr. Fredrick Töben is a unique man. You can find a certain tranquility and serenity in his words and actions which make him an unparalleled academician, author and political analyst. While talking to him, you can make sure that you enjoy a fruitful, comprehensive and informative conversation. He always speaks as if he is in a university classroom and wants to teach something to his students. This is the prominent aspect of his personality. He wants to teach and to learn, as well. He loves sharing new experiences with you, and this is another feature of his personality. He has scientifically denied Holocaust and paid the cost: five times in prison in five countries.
He was born on 2 June 1944, Jaderberg, north Germany, into a farming family, which immigrated to Australia in 1954. His father and mother farmed in Australia. His father died in 2003 and his mother passed away in 2008 while he was serving a three-month prison term for 'contempt of court'. His parents were married for 63 years.
Töben received his tertiary education in Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Rhodesia-Zimbabwe and he taught secondary and tertiary level German, English, sociology and philosophy in all these countries and Nigeria, as well.
He had a major policy difference with the Victorian Education Department in Melbourne, Australia, which dismissed him from his teaching post on grounds if incompetence and disobedience, and for almost ten years he fought the case and had his dismissal declared invalid.
In 1994, Fredrick Töben founded the Adelaide Institute and became its director. The aim was to research matters relating to 'Holocaust-Shoah' and other related 'taboo topics' that mainstream research institutes did not dare investigate for fear of financial and social sanction. In 1998 Adelaide Institute held the first-ever Revisionist Symposium in Australia. In 1997 and 1999 he went on a world revisionist fact-finding tour that took him to Eastern Europe in particular to Auschwitz where allegedly millions of Jews were gassed. He found that the technicality of the gassing assertion could not be sustained.
Since 1999, Töben made visits to Iran on a regular basis to attend scientific congresses and news conferences on various social and political issues.
Fredrick Töben joined me in an exclusive interview and talked to me about his viewpoints regarding Iran, the Persian culture, the Islamic solidarity, the impacts of Iran's Islamic Revolution on the global order and the current position of Iran in the international community.
Here is the complete text of interview with the Australian-German philosopher, Fredrick Töben.
Kourosh Ziabari: You've been to Iran several times. What aspect of Iranian culture has attracted you the most? What's the most striking element of Persian culture in your view?
Fredrick Töben: The first impression is that emotionally I can understand the Iranians. For example, on my first visit to Iran I saw former president Rafsanjani addressing an audience and he was silently crying within as he spoke. I could not understand a word of what he was saying but his words moved me to tears. I felt at home - and on my last day in Tehran on 10 February I walked for an hour looking for a postcard shop, which I found by asking Iranians who did not speak English - somehow I managed to explain what I was looking for. On my way back to the hotel I was walking along the street and a man and woman stopped me. He was holding a large envelope with an address on it. He asked whether I knew where this address was to be found - he asked this in Farsi thinking I was a local Iranian. I then knew I was at home in Iran!
From the feeling world the Iranians move effortlessly into the thinking world and here I recall that the chess game was invented by the Persians, though some say it came from India. Watching Iranian politics of the past decade, I would think the Persians invented the game, something forgotten by the USA that attempts to stop Iranian aspirations for nuclear energy - something that is a natural part of development from oil-based industry to nuclear-electromagnetic industry.
The Iranian people are idealists and this brings them closer to the German mindset that is also idealistic as opposed to the materialistic-based Anglo-American-Zionist international predatory financial mindset, which is currently driving world politics through incessant wars for material resources. It all comes down to a matter of values that flow into a society's make-up, and Iran still values the basic extended family unit from which the western democracies have been far removed, thereby making individuals vulnerable for personal exploitation.
The basic Iranian hospitality is legendary and I always go on a diet before visiting Iran because eating is such a large part of socializing - and I am getting used to sitting on the floor with my legs crossed, which indicates that flexibility of body is diminished in those who sit on chairs.
Traditional music - instrumental and voice - that develops, merges into contemporary music is so refreshing when compared to what is happening in Western music with its emphasis on noisy rap music. The arts generally are not influenced by the decadent western modern art movement, something that however needs to be watched. Generally, though, most structures are functional and basic without any specific style, though Azadi Tower is a uniquely designed structure.
That I see more often Iranian women with a sticky-tape over their nose indicates a silly vanity is becoming more common place. Also, some women and some men wear too much make-up and dress shabbily in jeans - especially with special-purpose rips at the knee level that is a direct import from the west. This distorts their innate beauty as accentuated through headscarves and hijab where the eyes speak of intelligence rather than superficial beauty. After all, the concept of beauty is more than just skin-deep because it is the soul that creates a person's beauty. That Iran still has public modesty as a legal term is to be appreciated. The beauty of motherhood and of generational thinking is thereby destroyed and the 'me' and 'I want it know' generation of consumerism begins as it is operational in the western 'free and democratic world'. The only freedom we have in the west is the freedom to go shopping.
KZ: As a foreign observer who can take a general look at the lifestyle, culture and the course of daily life in Iran, what's your overall estimation of the Iranian society? How do you find the Iranian people, their culture, their attitudes and behavior?
FT: Iranians still operate on the generational imperative: if young people have personal problems, which is a normal part of growing up, they can consult with an uncle, an aunt, a cousin, a grandparent, etc. In the west they go to a psychiatrist or psychologist and pay a stranger money for listening to their problems.
KZ: You may admit that the mainstream media, specially the mass media in the United States have so far depicted a lopsided, unfair and unrealistic portrayal of Iran and are incessantly trying to distort the public image of Iran by clinging to stereotypes which are sensitive for the Western citizens, such as Iran's nuclear program or 1979 hostage crisis. What do you think about the misrepresentation of Iran in the world's mass media? How is it possible to change this image and introduce the realities of Iran to the world?
FT: Iranians should not worry about what others in the world think of them because that in some sense is a schoolboy reaction, as Arthur Schopenhauer stated: If an enemy criticizes me, I go and see my friends. Iranian politics does have friends and individual Iranians do have friends in the entire world. All too often Iranians leave their country in search of material comforts in the West - in Los Angeles, in Sydney, for example. Many have a lavish lifestyle but because of the idealistic mindset Iranians when they get older find the materialism superficial and not satisfying their spiritual needs that cannot be satisfied through consumer goods - and alcohol and other drugs can only block out this spiritual need. It is a problem in the west because the secular nature of the consumer society conflicts with Islam because this religion is a comprehensive religion offering a realistic and factual worldview that satisfies basic and spiritual needs.
Politically this expresses itself in the west being controlled by Jewish thinkers who offer atheism to the non-Jews but then they themselves claim to belong to that long Jewish religious tradition. I noted this in my presentation at the 2nd Bioethics conference when I stated that two prominent Bioethicists, Jeremy Rifkin and Peter Singer both claim to be atheists and Jewish who are both set on establishing a materialistic-hedonistic mindset for the non-Jews, basing the premise of their argument on the Holocaust. This makes their whole argument suspect and superficial - and purely subjective where hatred of the German people is the driving force, not any fundamental ethical consideration based on sound philosophical, universal, considerations as made for example by philosopher Immanuel Kant.
KZ: You're familiar with the Iranian-Islamic concept of the perfection of God. Iranians believe that nothing and nobody is perfect and complete but the Almighty God. What's your viewpoint in this regard? Does the Western secular society which has long departed from the spiritual and divine values accept this notion?
FT: As above - it is a perpetual human quest for perfection but in the west imperfections are regarded as deficiencies, for example, the beauty industry thrives on suggestions that it is a shame to be getting old, that old age is shameful. This is also evident in the Iranian cosmetic industry where surgery is used. Especially in the USA men and women will subject themselves to surgery for reducing wrinkles in their faces, something that indicates a fear of growing old and of dying. Death in Islam is an accepted notion, as is the ideas of martyrdom, something the west rejects. But in the west countless teenagers suicide because they have no belief in anything except in themselves and in acquiring consumer goods.
The freedom we have in the west is the freedom to self-destruct but not criticize our political system. Pauline Hanson during the 1990s was critical of Australia's political establishment and founded ONE NATION - and won a number of seats in federal parliament. This threatened the existence of the two-party system, and a pretext was found to have her charged with fraud and imprisoned and this in a democracy!
KZ: Once we were talking together, you mentioned that you admire the sense of decency and modesty which is observable in the Iranian society. What are the features of this decency and is it possible for the Western world to realize it within its current intellectual framework? What makes Iran a modest and decent society that attracts you?
FT: Basic hospitality can be expressed by individuals who feel they are at home within their own country, that they own their country and where patriotism, nationalism is a part of their cultural make-up. In the west we cannot express such ideals because of what happened during World War II when national Socialist Germany lost the war against the 'freedom and democracy' advocates of atheistic predatory capitalism. Australia and other western countries are now registered in the USA as a business – nation states now have a business number!
Personal modesty, as expressed within Iranian society, gives the individual much more room to be attuned to another person because it requires sensitivity - empathetic understanding to communicate within such delicate process. I always find that I at times lock this sensitivity because in the west it is the pushy person who gets things done, etc.
The bedrock on which my enquiring actions rests is an aim to get to the truth of a matter. It is a weaving action that in time produces wonderful carpets of truth. In the west the younger generation does not have the patience for this because the profit-driven consumer society requires that instant gratification be pursued so that consumption continues to grow. This is a physical thing that does not accept the truth that the mind develops and unfolds and only slowly develops at its own pace.
To date it has not been possible to enhance mind functions but western consumerism aims to find a pill that will solve every human problem - I call this the search for the comprehensive happiness pill: it is invisible and you take it every morning! Of course, such thinking about happiness is merely a search for finding a home within one's own mind, something a belief in God makes superfluous, and Islam does this comprehensively by offering a universal approach to 'happiness' without swallowing pills!
The trouble at the moment with sanctions is that Iranians are excluded from cutting-edge scientific research. But I still think Iranians will manage, as indicated by the fact that petroleum production is now satisfying the local markets. To think that Iran did not have its own refineries until recent times is a shameful legacy of colonialism where a ruling elite permits such exploitation of his own people. The Egyptian uprising, hopefully and God willing, will see an end to Egyptian exploitation – and perhaps they can learn something from Iran. After all, the Egyptian president abdicated during the 32nd Iran Revolution Anniversary celebrations, which is significant.
So, softly-softly politics is an Iranian hallmark, but I hasten to add that is only possible because someone is physically protecting the people from external aggressors that want to dismantle Iranian progress. Were it not for the Revolutionary Guard, for example, then the external influence would have easily seen a return to violence and foreign corruption operating within Iranian society. The Moussavi movement, though well-meaning and convincing was still funded by the US which managed to pour millions of dollars - openly - into Iranian society. It is now a trying time for all Iranians because the dialectic set by the US on 11 September 2001 that declared the Islamic world a terrorist world, religion is not holding up because it is based on a lie. The western world operates on a freedom and democracy where criminal gangs have a free reign and where the police and the criminal world manage society, and where sensitive individuals have a hard time protecting their cultural endeavors and ideals.
KZ: In our previous discussions, you mentioned that Iran shouldn't rely on the foreign tourists to come here, see the realities on the ground and return to their homeland and change the prevailing mindset of the Western society about Iran. You mentioned that what the others say about us is not important. Would you please elaborate on this?
FT: I meant that too many countries rely on tourism as an industry of their own economy as is the case, for example, in a number of South East Asian countries. This tourism is often blatant sex-based tourism, which destroys the cultural heritage of a people.
It is important for a citizen to feel at home first, and that can be done by the young Iranians traveling overseas, exposing themselves to the world, then returning home. This is what I did as a young man when I traveled the world and wherever I stopped I also continued my studies. It is in this way that I, with a German background, stumbled on to the Holocaust lies and found that Iranians had an open mind in this matter. This meant that Iran was also not afraid of Jewish pressure and so do its own thing.
The nuclear development issue is merely highlighting the western world's hypocrisy in this matter, especially because the Zionist regime in Israel has a highly developed program of constructing especially mini-nuclear weapons that have been used in a number of 'false-flag' operations around the world.
It means nothing to receive praise/acceptance from countries where predatory capitalism has destroyed the lives of millions, for example in the USA where 20 million hopes are empty because of the mortgage crisis. Such anti-Iran sentiments are media generated and the world media is in few hands, and they are mostly Jewish-owned. In fact, if you analyze the anti-Iran push in the world, at the US you find it is always done by proxy for Israel: Isra-hell!
KZ: Iran has just celebrated the 32nd anniversary of its Islamic Revolution. What are in your view, the social and political impacts of this revolution on the international community? How did it change the political equations and orders of the world? What was the message of this revolution to the Western and Eastern superpowers?
FT: The basic message is one that the western peoples are so degenerate that it is impossible to have a people uprising. Sex, drugs, rock'n roll is the message.
The recent financial breakdown of western global institutions has caused untold misery to millions of individuals who have lost their job, their home and their families. The suggestion is always that it is the individual's fault that such a catastrophe has come about and the financial system's inherent flaws are not corrected. That is what I personally fight against - and that is what Adolf Hitler and the National Socialists fought against. The Jewish Holocaust issue is a story designed to deflect from this predatory capitalist phenomenon. Iran is at this stage now in its development and is thus a threat to this international capitalist system, as is Zimbabwe and other nations that refuse to be enslaved to the IMF and World Bank in this never-ending cycle of debt finance.
The concept is Autarky where self-sufficiency for a nation is the goal. This stands in stark contrast to the many multinational corporations who hate nothing more than a national sovereign state, as is the Islamic Republic of Iran. Many of these multinationals are pharmaceutical firms whose budget is larger than some of the media-sized countries. The USA has been buying influence for decades and we saw this in Egypt that received billions of grants annually from the USA - and what happened to this money? The ruling elite placed it into Swiss bank accounts, etc.
Iran has been successful in its endeavors and now has also brought Turkey on-side, thereby swinging it away from Europe. But the largest problem is faced with the existence of the Zionist military state of Israel that seeks to dominate the Middle East without any dissent. Here Iran can make the Middle East a safe haven by working towards the dismantling of this racist state - and if it does not succeed, then the Middle East will be dominated by Jewish interests - and such interests are based on TALMUD values, and that is a horrifying prospect for all peoples.
KZ: Following the 1979 revolution which ousted the U.S.-backed Shah of Iran, the Western countries, led by the United States, entered an altercation with Iran and directed spates of psychological operations and financial sanctions against it. How did Iran succeed in surviving these threats? What are the results of the crippling sanctions which have been imposed on Iran so far?
FT: My contacts in Iran assure me that sanctions have helped economic self-sufficiency in Iran. In any case everything is available but it all costs more - everything except the super computer!
Iranian diplomacy is delicate and so Iran has many friends in the world - more than Israel has!
Iran has also through various conferences looked at and invited dissenting voices from around the world and gathered information from diverse peoples - then matched this information with what is at home. For example during the recent Philosophy Congress it became evident that Holy Quran can easily stand against the opinions expressed in psychology texts, hermeneutics, etc.
One effect that is creating a false consciousness within Iranians is that the west is better and that we have more freedom. This is why it is a good idea to send young Iranians overseas so that they can evaluate for themselves what they find. Many will fall into the traps set by consumerism and fail to resist hedonistic inversion tendencies, for example. But such matters have also run their course in the western democracies where now homosexual couples, male and female, want to set up families, thereby giving lie to the fact that their life-style is a better and more fulfilling one.
KZ: You have traveled to several countries around the world and experienced different cultures and civilizations firsthand. What's the most remarkable difference of Iranian culture with the other cultures in the world? What separates Iran from the other countries and cultures?
FT: Iranian's still have a modesty concept and family values that have not been destroyed by the so-called post-modernity value system where there is no home for a God, where sense-gratification is the order of the day, where money rules supreme and no other values find in-depth expression.
Of course I relate to the Iranian people because they still have an emotional openness and are idealistic in their value system, much like the German people and unlike the peoples coming from countries influenced by empiricism and capitalistic consumerism and driven by class thinking, which is an expression of false consciousness at its best!
KZ: Iran is ethnically a diverse society. Several ethnic groups live all around Iran with distinctive languages, cultures, rituals and customs. We have Azeri, Turk, Baluch, Gilak, Kurd, Lor and Turkmen in Iran and this is a miracle. What do you think about this ethnic diversity in Iran?
FT: Multicultural societies operate on a fraudulent principle of equality. Any viable society must have a dominant cultural framework. In Australia we have multiculturalism but because 70% is still Anglo-Australian there is no danger of disintegration. Germany and France turned their mono-culture into multicultural states and it has now been accepted that it has been a failure for the Germans and the French.
I say multiculturalism is a fraud because in Australia various ethnic groups are supported through government grants and elaborate multicultural structures are developed. But once an ethnic person reaches the top of the multicultural tree, he has to begin anew when joining mainstream society.
Iranians are fortunate in that they have a unifying principle in the form of Islam that enables them to keep expressing their ethnic diversity without threatening the unity of Iran. In Australia we have a secular state where that unifying principle is not developed and then is often labeled 'racist' by the ethnics, especially when Jewish interests in Australia are threatened. As former Prime minister of Malaysia, Tun Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad, noted, the Jews run the world by proxy, and it is in their interest to continue to advocate multiculturalism wherever they have an influence - except, of course, in Israel!
Kourosh Ziabari is Iranian media correspondent, freelance journalist and the author of Book 7+1. He is a contributing writer for websites and magazines in the Netherlands, Canada, Italy, Hong Kong, Bulgaria, South Korea, Belgium, Germany, the U.K. and the U.S. He was once a member of Stony Brook University Publications’ editorial team and Media Left magazine’s contributing writer, as well as a contributing writer for Finland’s Award-winning Ovi Magazine. As a young Iranian journalist, he has been interviewed and quoted by several mainstream media, including BBC World Service, PBS Media Shift, the Media Line network, Deutsch Financial Times and L.A. Times. Currently, he works for the Foreign Policy Journal as a media correspondent. He is a member of Tlaxcala Translators Network for Linguistic Diversity and World Student Community for Sustainable Development. You can write to Kourosh Ziabari at: firstname.lastname@example.org [Info from salemnews.com and mycatbirdseat.com]