John Bennett

John Bennett (1936-2013) was for decades well known in Australia as a vigorous and outspoken defender of civil liberties and freedom of speech and inquiry. He is also known as a Australia's leading revisionist writer and publicist, and was vilified by Jewish-Zionist groups as a "Holocaust denier."

John Tuson Bennett was an honors graduate of the University of Melbourne in both law (1958) and arts (1966). For more than 20 years -- 1974 to 1996 -- he worked for the Victorian Legal Aid Commission and its predecessors. He served as secretary of the Victorian Council for Civil Liberties (now Liberty Victoria) from its founding in 1966 until 1980. From 1980 onwards he served as president of the Australian Civil Liberties Union.

Bennett was the author of Your Rights, a widely-circulated citizens' rights guide to handling the most often encountered legal problems. The popular handbook appeared in more than 25 editions, regularly revised and updated since the first in 1974. Over the years, more than 500,000 copies were sold or otherwise distributed.

"Your Rights 1999 is an extraordinary publication – a must read for just about everyone," commented the prestigious Law Institute Journal. Sir Walter Crocker, former Australian diplomat and author of several books, said: "Your Rights 2002 is well up to the high standards of earlier editions. The material is well chosen, well arranged and highly useful to a wide variety of people. Excellent value at $6.50."

Over the years, and especially during the 1980s and 1990s, Bennett was a leading voice in Australia for Holocaust revisionism. In numerous interviews, in pamphlets mailed to thousands around the country, and in successive editions of Your Rights, he vigorously encouraged a skeptical view of the orthodox Holocaust story.

Bennett addressed several conferences of the Institute for Historical Review, including the first in September 1979 and the 13th in May 2000. For years he was a member of the Editorial Advisory Committee of the IHR's Journal of Historical Review.

His contributions to the IHR's Journal included "Orwell's 1984: Was Orwell Right?" and "Revisionism and Censorship Down Under".

Harry Elmer Barnes

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