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AFL vs NRL - Wrongdoings of Australian Members of Parliament Hoax

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Message that lists the number of people in a particular group accused of various criminal or immoral activities claims that the group actually represents the 535 members of the Australian Parliament.

False Information

Brief Analysis

The claims in the message are utter nonsense. The hoax is a revamped version of an earlier US based message that claimed that the list represented members of the US Congress. And, while the US Congress does have 535 members, the Australian Parliament does not. None of the claims in the message are in any way accurate. Forwarding this message serves only to spread false and misleading information.



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Subject: Fw: AFL vs NRL...This will open your eyes... - read to the end

AFL vs NRL...This will open your eyes...

36 have been accused of spouse abuse
7 have been arrested for fr au d
19 have been accused of writing bad cheques
117 have directly or indirectly bankrupted at least 2 businesses
3 have done time for ass au lt
71, repeat 71 cannot get a credit card due to bad credit
14 have been arrested on drug-related charges
8 have been arrested for shoplifting
21 currently are defendants in lawsuits and
84 have been arrested for drunk driving in the last year

Can you guess which organization this is? AFL? NRL?

Give up yet? . . .. . Scroll down

Neither, it's the 535 members of the AUSTRALIAN PARLIAMENT
in CANBERRA The same group of Idiots that crank out hundreds of new laws each year, designed to keep the rest of us in line.
You've got to pass this one on!

Detailed Analysis

At first take, this widely circulated message appears to list the various nefarious activities of members of Australian football codes, AFL or NRL. The message, which asks readers to guess if the organization being discussed is the either AFL or the NRL, lists the number of members accused of or arrested for various crimes. Other supposed members are identified as having bad credit ratings or being involved in business bankruptcies, or current lawsuits. The message finally reveals that the organization is in fact neither the AFL or the NRL but rather the 535 members of the Australian Parliament in Canberra. How can it be, decries the message, that such a nefarious "group of idiots" are in a position to crank out new laws designed to keep ordinary Australian citizens in line.

If the claims listed in the message were true, then Australians would certainly have good reason to be concerned. But, the claims in the message are total nonsense. The quoted figures have no basis in fact and no relevance whatsoever to any members of the Australian Parliament. In fact, the entire message has been lifted almost verbatim from the following much earlier US based email forward:
36 Have been accused of spousal abuse
7 Have been arrested for fraud
19 Have been accused of writing bad checks
117 Have directly or indirectly Bankrupted at least 2 businesses
3 Have done time for assault
71, Repeat…71,Cannot Get a credit card due to bad credit
14 Have been arrested on drug-related charges
8 Have been arrested for shoplifting
21Currently are defendants in lawsuits, and
84 Have been arrested for drunk driving in the last year
Can you guess which organization this is?
Give up yet? . . Scroll down,


Neither, it's the 535 members of the United States Congress
The Same group of Idiots that crank out Hundreds of new laws each year Designed to keep the rest of us in line.

You Gotta pass this one on!
It is clear that some artless prankster with an axe to grind has simply taken the American version as a template and implemented some minor changes to make the message suitable for an Australian audience. "AFL" and "NRL" replace "NBA" and"NFL". "Australian Parliament" replaces "United States Congress". Otherwise, the two versions are pretty much identical. Amazingly, the instigator of the Australian version has not even bothered to change the number of members to fit the Australian reality. The United States Congress does have 535 members. However, the Parliament of Australia has a current total of 226 members consisting of 150 in the House of Representatives and 76 in the Senate.

Other virtually identical - and equally false - versions of the same email have targeted political leaders in the UK, Canada and India.

The same message has now been circulating in Australia for several years and has remained almost unchanged through several shifts in leadership. Despite significant changes in the makeup of the Australian Parliament, the list of apparent member misdeeds has remained the same. And, of course, it is simply laughable to suggest that the mainstream Australian media would not have reported on such a list of member misdoings. 84 drink driving arrests of members of parliament in the last year? And nary a squeak from a scandal-loving media that reports breathlessly on even the vaguest hint of an indiscretion from one of our political leaders? This lack of media attention is by itself enough to render the statistics quoted in the message as fanciful at best.

Resending such ill-conceived nonsense will do nothing more than spread misinformation. There are many important issues facing contemporary Australia and muddying the water with nonsensical statistics about our leaders exported from another nation is entirely counterproductive.

And, for the record, even the original US version, which began circulating back in 1999, greatly lacked credibility and the statistics it quoted have never been substantiated in an meaningful way.

Last updated: March 28, 2015
First published: August 10, 2012
By Brett M. Christensen
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