Jan Hamilton's Eulogy for Ken Dyers
Delivered July 2007 at Ken's funeral
I loved and admired Ken so much, and was so proud of his life, and what he had done. To me, he was the essence of manliness. And yet, I have never met a man who would respect women and demand that they saw themselves as spirits first, and not become fodder for the life of a man. That is why all the executives in Kenja are women. And why the guys are so strong – to stand up to the women!
To me, Ken was a walking essence of the true Australian: something to admire; someone who would stand up for decency, treasure his mates, honour them, and demand that they operated under the same honour code. Men understood and loved Ken. They loved his company; they loved how he made them feel about themselves – as a natural manliness they had was validated.
We write so much about the true Aussie, and yet here was a living, breathing one. Here was a real member of the world’s best shock troops – the Aussie soldier, first to defeat Rommel at El Alamein.
But, when off duty, refusing to salute the English officers. Here was a real one. Ken, still first in the line to stand up to tackle suppression, but refusing to salute those who would wield power for suppression. As our Australian war time Prime Minister during World War II, John Curtin, had the beingness to defy Churchill and brought our troops back to defend this country, there was Ken, in one of those unprotected troop ships – Churchill had denied protection to the ships as they returned to Australia. There was Ken, with all the other guys. While Curtin did not sleep until our troops were home. Then those same men, exhausted, and with depleted numbers, went off to hold New Guinea. How’s that for history? Why, it’s the sort of stuff that makes you feel good about this family of Aussies. A national character, admired, and leaving us with a role model that is worthy, and will leave us feeling good about ourselves.
I loved that. I loved and admired that this is what I saw operate in him every day. He was fearless. Every person he met was a challenge, to find the joy in the interchange.
Ken mentioned only once to me: that at the end of some horrific interchange during the war, many of his mates that he must have known had died. He was looking through the bodies. Was he the only one of his mates to survive? Suddenly he heard someone say “Hello Ken!” and the overwhelming joy that someone he knew was still alive, cracked him. That human contact, in the midst of non-human atrocities, broke him. He never lost the opportunity to say “hello” again, from one human to acknowledge the existence of another. Ken never let me use that story before publicly – sorry Ken!
A guy came up to our house over the last couple of days. I was not there, but he said to the ladies there, “Oh yeah, I knew Ken! I only ever met him once, eight years ago, at the local garage, when we were buying petrol. We had a chat – he invited me up to the house for a cup of coffee, and I really felt welcome.” Everyone he met left better, happier, in the state of their condition. And that was what Ken did, that instant human rapport was there, it was just good to talk to him.
He never blamed God for anything. He trusted implicitly in the spiritual universe, but took responsibility for his own actions, as he demanded and taught all those around him to do. He used to say “we had church parades before battle. A minister would get up and tell us God was on our side, and that it was OK to go and kill if necessary – God wanted it”. Ken said “What a lie. No, if I had to kill, it was my responsibility, not God’s. I had to live with it, not God. This is war. This is the creation of man, not God.”
You would never want to be in a position, to have to suggest to Ken that a lecture he was about to give should be curbed, or tamed down. That perhaps he shouldn’t address a particular topic during the lecture, because he always would. And leave us spellbound, because of course, he was right. He had spoken what had to be said at the time. We just didn’t realise that he was motivated by the right thing – what should be said, and what should be done, because it was true, and it was right. And if that meant putting his life in danger, that meant nothing to him if the principle was important.
After the war, one of the first jobs he tried was as a salesman. He was selling his first pitch to a shopkeeper. Being a new ex-soldier, Ken simply put the proposition for the sale to him, and expected him to say either “yes” or “no”. But the shopkeeper embarked on a not-uncommon peacetime game, of stringing Ken along, playing with him covertly, playing the peacetime game of “oh, maybe I’ll buy your product but let me put you through the mincer first”. Ken lent over the counter, pulled the man by his collar off his feet, and said “look – do want to buy the ***** thing or not?”. The man bought it. And Ken made his first sale. But he realised he would have to do some retraining now.
Ken would help anyone, anywhere. The very last trial, when we had won, and the prosecution had lost badly, and many dishonesties had been exposed, Ken, as we left the courtroom, went over to the Prosecutor, sitting in his loss. Ken went over to him, and spoke to him genuinely, concerned that the man had had a loss. He was trying to console him! I don’t think I will ever forget the shocked look on the prosecutor’s face.
Ken spoke up against injustice everywhere. He did not know how to turn his head away from someone in need of help. He stood up against non-human and indecent behaviour everywhere. To go out for just a cup of coffee with him was to risk coming across some small demonstration of man’s inhumanity to man that he simply couldn’t let pass him by and go unresolved. And he didn’t.
To be with Ken was to find no peace from the affront on suppression of the human spirit – be it in others, or be it in ourselves. And I loved, admired and cherished it. He never submitted to blackmail, on the largest or smallest scale. His life was not of concern to him. The values of respect, of decency and a consciousness of the spiritual universe and the human viewpoint were. I never once saw him sell out the viewpoint of the spiritual universe. I’ve seen him secretly, at the Salvos op-shop, hand money over the counter to cover the purchase of someone in need of financial help at the front of the queue. I’ve seen him stand up and challenge the personal honesty of those who would appear to have his life in their hands. We’ve all seen him challenge the suppression of the state itself.
Fancy trying to bargain with your solicitor about his fees! And win!
I was always in amazement that – while small sections of the police force, the media, or the courts were unrelenting in their determination to destroy what he stood for, by trying to destroy him – he would publicly and privately defend the integrity and the purposes of those in those institutions, under false attacks. He was constantly concerned that the group attacking us was using the same emotive power of child sexual abuse allegations to attack leaders in the Church, in the Defence Forces, police, and many forms of public office. For when we lose faith in those institutions meant to represent us, we become cynical and hopeless, and we feel there is no fairness, or there is no justice. We then become weak, and become open to control by those that would wield power for their own agenda, and not the good of the people, individually and nationally. As a man, who had, with many others, put his life on the line for his country, he was deeply upset to see the slow erosion of people’s trust in these institutions, to a point where people felt they could do nothing to correct what was apparently an essentially corrupt system.
So we were left then with the apparency of the emotive power of the tabloids. Holding sway with their supposed power, open to those with personal agendas, be it money or other. But you see, they don’t wield power. Ken stood for truth, and for a truth that the spiritual universe exists. Like it or not, it is total cause over the physical universe. And what we had found on our journey, and that was something that Ken knew, was that we are all part of the spiritual universe, and that there are decent men and women all over the place. In government, in the police force, and the armed forces, and we would always meet them!
The genesis and persistence of the attack against Ken was a local politician (now ex-politician). But we met other politicians, dedicated and seeing the abuse of privilege and inhumanity towards Ken. There were decent people all over, many of them with the will and understanding to speak out, and speak up for humanity. One true Aussie politician – a real one – Judith Walker, outraged at what was going on, stood up. Judith was a real pollie. You wouldn’t see her name in the papers much; she wasn’t after fame. She just cared about people, and did what she could to right wrongs. A real politician.
Judith, on a number of occasions, invited Ken, myself, and then others from Kenja, to a meal in that famous New South Wales State Parliament restaurant for pollies. I’ll never forget the first time she had invited a number of us there. Apparently, the politician trying to attack us came into the room, saw us, froze, and ran from the room, screaming, ‘They’re here! They’re here! They’re all here! And they’re wearing badges!’ Well, we’re still all here! And we’re wearing badges! And I’m wearing two!
‘The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.’ (Edmund Burk). So the famous saying goes. And when the emotive power of the misuse of child sexual abuse charges silences people through fear of the smear, very simply ‘evil will triumph’.
I remember at the beginning of the first charges, which were resoundingly disproved in court, I sat down with our then barrister, having read the content of the charges. I said to him, ‘What do we do? The content in these allegations is so emotive, one just bounces off them. It’s almost impossible
to investigate the truth; they’re so emotive.’ Henry said, ‘Just go very still, and we’ll go through these again, brick by brick. We’ll expose the lies until the whole structure falls down.’ We went still, and within 15 minutes, I was exclaiming, ‘Hang on. That particular thing is just physically impossible. Oh! Look, that is totally contradicting what she says here. Oh, and how can that happen there, when she says she was over here?’ We had exposed the fabrication. The lies were exposed, and the structure fell. But, if through fear and emotive content, we don’t go still, and we don’t look, we are in the power of those who would wield emotive power publicly and privately. ‘Evil triumphs’.
Like a child, Ken believed if you could only let people see the truth, all would be OK. He trusted the spiritual universe implicitly, and when we let him have his way he was always right; he achieved impossible things. As he got older and wiser, and even more at one with the spiritual universe, he welcomed placing himself in positions of great vulnerability. He loved throwing his hat back in the lion’s den. The last police officer that took a personal interest in downing him could not be helped but be moved by him as Ken spoke to this man, about how he, Ken, understood the position the police officer was in, doing things he didn’t really want to do because it was his job. He had summed this police officer up very well. It moved him, and I saw the wavering in the man’s eyes when his superiors insisted on charging Ken. But he was just a man making decisions to sell one’s soul. It’s a shame to have blood on one’s hands.
Ken challenged, every moment of his life, that personal dishonesty that we all at times pull in to lie to ourselves and to not confront that we are at that time simply behaving in a cowardly and non-humane fashion. If you spoke to Ken and you confronted it in yourself, you won. If you did not, that confront he did on you became your nemesis. For that, people everywhere loved him and sought his company. Those frightened by the honest gaze of Ken who could see their destructive actions against humanity and themselves, covered by the façade of sociability, ran or tried to destroy him. I’ve seen him, 84 at the time, stand up to a guy bullying the local café lady. We’ve seen him challenge the suppression of the State.
He was so proud of the Dyers Direction that Harland mentioned. The Dyers Direction, as Harland says, stands at the moment as a beacon to the basic democratic principle that a man is innocent until proven guilty. The prosecution must prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, the guilt of the accused. Some judges had at that time been veering away from this principle, putting the onus of proof on the accused. If people are locked away on accusations before they are allowed to be judged in court, we are no better than any suppressive state anywhere. This ate at Ken, over and over. He had seen his mates die for an ideal called Democracy, and when he should naturally feel: ‘well surely it’s OK, someone somewhere in the system or the State, will stop and look rationally at what’s happening here’, it all failed him.
How we will miss his great skill, his ability to get to the essence of a situation with wit and humour. He would make us confront cowardly and destructive behaviour we chose to not know about that we had with each other, and make us laugh and forgive ourselves at the same time. How we will miss his lectures, making the seemingly unfathomable within reach. How we will miss that individual contact he had with so many of us. My grief and despair is intolerable. But for so many of you, who loved and joyed in his friendship, I know it is the same. It was as if he was the better part in all of us. Being with him made us feel good about ourselves. Even if being with him could be an unsettling experience, when his honest gaze focused upon our own dishonesty with ourselves.
Over the atrocities of the past few years, there was strain on many of us. I would never have to speak; Ken would always know when I’d had enough. He’d say, ‘OK, that’s it; attention on you now.’ No matter what his condition was, he would insist on this. My personal hell is that at a time of sudden trauma, when he needed strength from me, I was looking for it in him and so failed to help him through the terrible shock of that morning.
Ken had not been allowed to Kenja functions for almost two years. Even on application, he was refused again and again permission to attend even the simplest ballroom dancing competition in Kenja. He was not allowed to speak; he was not allowed to lecture; he was not allowed to attend even 25th anniversary celebration functions in Kenja. This was his life. He did not live for himself; he lived for the work he had begun, and for the betterment of people. Like his lifeblood it was cut off – and someone can justify that, in an 85-year-old World War II vet? He was unable to drive his car; was portrayed in some sections of the media as a monster, when he and his life’s work were the opposite of that. People who had never met him, and never wanted to hear the opposite side of the story, accused him of impossible things.
He felt so deeply, as only that generation of World War II vets can, that his name should be honoured. And when he saw those false allegations, he saw them as a dishonourable smear on his name. Local gossips, in a very small minority, attempted to cause effects locally, which he weathered with great dignity. Why, the anti-cult movement tried to falsify his war record and then publicly promote that falsification.
I will read you, Ken’s last words. Some weeks ago, he wrote this –
“I have experienced and not agreed to man’s inhumanity to man during the war at Alamein and New Guinea. After the war, I postulated I would use my creative abilities as much as I could to create an agreement amongst a group of people which we call ‘Kenja’, to combat the fact that man’s aggression is instinctual. Man has “not evolved any ritualised aggression-inhibiting mechanisms to ensure the survival of the species. For this reason, man should be considered a very dangerous animal.”
Every attempt by individuals who are dedicated to resisting any change to this condition of man have been validated by a corrupt element in the police, the DPP, politics, the media and the judicial system. In fact, whenever it has been possible, they create a reality with young and older Australians that will destroy the morale of youth and therefore the future of Australia’s chances of avoiding destroying itself from within, making it a future target for outside aggression.
My attempts to create a group of people that can be in touch with their human viewpoint and sanity, has resulted in a great deal of resistance. When I was younger, I could handle it, but at 85 I am tired, and my tolerance of pain is diminished, and I feel that I am close to the end of the life of this body.”
Yet still, to everyone that would meet him, he demonstrated that he was above all this, and he would keep helping them with their own life.
It is absurd to say we will carry on, because we won’t. Who could ever achieve what he has done? It is ridiculous to say we will continue his work, because we won’t. Which of us here is evolved enough to get the constant results that he did, and to take the stands and principles that he did? We should confront the enormity of the loss here: we have not just lost a friend who showed us courage, determination and hope and joy; we have lost a consciousness such that I have never encountered before. His perception of the spirit, its traps, its evolution, its reality, I have never encountered or known of before. The reality of the human spirit, its purposes, its function, I have never encountered or known of before. His understanding of the entirety of the human and spirit condition, the genetic and the mind, I have never encountered or heard of before. His ability to mastermind a game to be played for the creative betterment of all around, I have simply never encountered or heard of before.
All of this was very real to me the very first time I met Ken, and I have simply watched him grow and evolve more and more over the years, as he joyed in the skill of helping each individual he met overcome their negative reasons why they could not achieve a happy and successful life for themselves. Just because the Kenja vehicle is a home-grown town product, do not deny the enormity of the reality under which it has operated, which are understandings and perceptions originated and stabilised by Ken.
Let others, convoluted and obsessed with the unrealities of the mind, argue and criticise; the reality is that the successes of those who have used for themselves consciousnesses and perceptions originated and stabilised for common consumption by Ken, speaks for itself. There is not one of those people here today who have come across Kenja at some time in their life and used it for themselves in a small or large way, who would not agree.
The uniqueness and the originality of Kenja was Ken. No-one ever came close to his consciousness of love, of strength, of what could be done. It is not just the children who will grow up without his validation, understanding and insight. It is not just the potentially thousands more people, inspired by his communication and perception. No, it is the graphic realisation of what could have been done had he still had his body.
Perhaps we may just evolve enough to understand that a spirit does not need a body. And should we align ourselves honestly and truthfully to the values of the spiritual universe, we will receive help. No one is alone; no one can operate or carry on alone. The help we relied on so much is gone, and it’s only with help that we’ll march on into the future. But it is within the reach of each one of us to gain hope in ourselves and the ability to seek and find that help. I know that only if we are prepared to tackle the suppression of the human spirit and corruption to the degree that he did, to ruffle the poisoned feathers of those that he did; only then is there worth or purpose to our existence; only then are we worthy of the help he offered.
We cannot run away from the existence and the perpetuation of the suppressive forces that would have us bitter, cynical, losing the magic of living, and hating each other and ultimately ourselves. It is those traces of those forces within ourselves which are our first address. And if we are not prepared to confront them in ourselves, we will not confront them anywhere else.
We who have lived with Ken throughout the decades of abuse against Ken and Kenja have seen a small number of happy, balanced, successful adults and children, who joyed in their relationship with Ken and Kenja, turn into nightmarish, ‘evil’ monsters in an attempt to hide some criminal action they had undertaken which had been exposed in Kenja. Then they lied to themselves and others to hide it. They then become fodder to be used by forces that feel threatened by the existence of sanity, the spiritual universe, and the freedom of the human spirit.
Only with this understanding of the initial fragility of the emergence of the human spirit and an understanding of the manipulative forces opposed to the expansion of the human viewpoint can we truly honour his work and life and begin to persist in the trail that he blazed.
Ken stood for truth, individual freedom, and the right of the individual to create for himself a happy and successful life. And if a wretch such as I, with my own trespasses against humanity, and my contribution with my not-know to his death, can even raise my head from the dirt to commit to this stand, then every one of you here can. And so Kenja and all it stands for, and normal, decent, humane behaviour towards each other, will survive. And to those foes who spread the word that Kenja will now fold, watch out! It won’t! And watch out for Ken!
I said to Ken once, ‘You’re like a light. You shine a light on things that I don’t see other people do. It would be a tragedy of immense proportions to lose you’. Ken laughed; he said ‘when I drop my body, a thousand lights will light up all over the planet’. Let them light here now! And let our commitment to travel deeper into the trail he blazed begin right now.
Ladies and gentlemen, when you look around, and you look here, there and finally everywhere, be careful – you might come across Ken!
Ladies and gentlemen, for the final word of today’s proceedings, I give you Mr Ken Dyers.
To finish the service, a DVD was played of scenes from Mr Dyers’ public lectures.