My full response to the Echo during the Ballina Shire Council elections

Hello Hans,

It may state the obvious but you haven’t given me much time to respond in what is an article that names me directly. While I appreciate the courtesy you have extended to me to comment on the article I would imagine placing a pressure like this on anyone would either see them make no comment or make a comment that would not be quite what they intended. As you are aware I am running for Ballina Shire Mayor and Council as well as running businesses in Ballina among other things. Not that this is your problem or should you see it as that but more give you an understanding that I am a person and in that while you may see this as a normal request to ask for comment with a deadline like this, it is certainly not normal in the world I live and further wouldn’t be a supportive way for me to engage anyone in business. 

I will leave the main body of the article for Serge and Gail to respond to and I would seek to add to the paragraph below, my addition is at the end.

Ray Karam’s website says that he has worked with the team creating the ‘Facts about Universal Medicine’ website to catalogue ‘the many ways in which our communications platforms continue to be exploited to carry out personally motivated agendas at the expense of the wider community’, and his own site contains many references to his support of Benhayon and involvement in UM, a business that he attributes to “a greater sense of wellbeing in my life and a huge support with my PTSD after leaving the Police.” 

I would further state:

Never in all my years both working in the Police and in business have I seen the effects of communication crimes as rampant and instantly destructive as they are today. I have seen the real life impacts on people of crime in an increased level from my years in the Police in inner Sydney. I have watched the destructive impact of domestic violence and other ongoing crime and the impacts of cyber abuse in my opinion go beyond this. Never before have we seen a medium by which you can impact so frequently, wide spread and instantly as we do have now with the internet. 

If we don’t take a stand in our local communities, how will we ever see a cultural shift in the levels of cyber abuse across the internet? 

The website is not just about the harassment of people in the Universal Medicine community, it is about the fact that this kind of cyber abuse is happening to people everywhere in all communities. 

This is not just an issue that effects youth– women and men are constantly harassed and abused on the web, businesses are targeted by anti-competitive behaviour and as yet we have not made the internet a safe space or even taken steps for people to be able to freely report the many crimes that impact them in this ‘new’ public place. As a community we all have to come together to make a change, as from what I’ve seen, the laws and society are out of step with the levels of use and abuse of the Internet happening today. You only need look at the papers to see this fact.

These websites http://www.acupuncturebyronbay.com and are sites I openly put my name to as they give a voice to people who have been cyber abused and currently have no other avenue to tell the truth of what is actually occurring. The abuse I will continue to call to account includes incitement to vilification towards others and completely fabricated claims of a malicious nature. I use the Internet as the public place it is. I don’t go onto it anonymously or create something on it that is not reflective of how I am face to face. For me there is no difference between cyber space or public place, they are one and the same. 

I would also question the timing of this article. Given you appear to be focused on just one part of my life. As you would see there are many many parts to my website. I would draw you attention to my continuous years of dedication in business in Ballina, the Chamber of Commerce as well as my previous 13 years experience of dedicated service to the Police. My extended family have over 80 years experience in business in the local area in a variety of areas. I am also a father of 5 school aged children. These are other parts of why I am standing for Mayor and Councillor of the Ballina Shire.

It’s a step I take with great respect for all that is past and what can be done in the future. I would hope this article by focussing on one part isn’t meant to pull away or detract from the significant contributions I have had in the local community as many residents of all ages would attest to.

Warm regards,

Ray Karam