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While writing this article, our hands were continually connecting with our foreheads rather forcefully, in utter disbelief. The amount of distortion that occurred in Phil Pringle’s three minute at the C3 Presence Conference 2012 was mind-boggling. The more we examined the video, the more stunned we became in how deceiving this video really was. This is part 1 of a series of 3 articles, addressing the brilliant con artistry of Phil Pringle and the C3 Movement. And when we say con artistry, we really mean it. If anyone can show us how any of this was accidental, we would love to know. E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org or feel free to discuss this article below.
C3 PITTING MEDIA & FLANNERY AGAINST PRINGLE’S PROPHECY
At the C3 Presence Conference 2012, Phil Pringle had a video made of himself about a ‘prophecy’ he spluttered on the 15th of June, 2008. In the video, C3 pitted Phil Pringle against the ‘voice of the media’ and Tim Flannery. However, the way they presented the information made it look as though Tim Flannery made the majority of the comments in support of the media. Here is a picture from the video:
We will be looking at the transcript, each snippet (from 1-5) to see if C3 Church gave a correct view of the information they presented and finally looking at a number of sources and a timeline of the prophecy that Pringle gave.
First off, C3 said this about Tim Flannery (3:00):
“In 2005, [Snippet 4B background of 'article' appears behind Flannery] Professor Tim Flannery predicted that [snippet 1] Sydney’s dams could be empty in as little as two years due to global warming. [Snippet 2]
Audio excerpt: “Mr Flannery has warned that Sydney will soon be facing extreme difficulties with water.”
[Snippet 3] Climate change expert Tim Flannery has sad that even the rain that falls isn’t actually going to fill [Snippet 4A] Sydney’s dams and river systems. He’s also stated that we are running out of water [Snippet 5]– and time.”
By reading the above transcript, we will demonstrate not only what is wrong with the 6 snippets but what is also untrue with the audio statements. Flannery did not say, “we are running out of water – and time”. Paul Sheehan did. Read ‘Snippet 1′ for more information.
Flannery did not say that, “even the rain that falls isn’t actually going to fill Sydney’s dams and river systems”. While he said something like it – Flannery did not specify that these dams and river system were either Sydney’s dams and river systems or specifically Warragamba Dam. What’s even worse is that this is a quote taken out of context, which will be addressed in ‘Snippet 5′. At best, C3 misrepresented Tim Flannery (Chief Commissioner of the Government’s new Climate Commission), in front of thousands of Christians. Watch the video below at 2:57 to see the ‘prophecy’.
C3 had the snippet alongside the face of Tim Flannery,
“Running out of water – and time
April 25, 2005″
This was the shock-jock title of an article by Paul Sheehan from the Sydney Morning Herald. If there was anything C3 could have used, it could have been Sheehan’s article. This article quotes Flannery saying,
“There’s only two years’ water supply in Warragamba Dam,” says Flannery, “yet Frank Sartor [NSW Minister for Energy and Utilities] is talking about the situation being stable … If the computer models are right then drought conditions will become permanent in eastern Australia.” - Paul Sheehan, Running out of water – and time, http://www.smh.com.au/news/Opinion/Running-out-of-water–and-time/2005/04/24/1114281450815.html, 25/04/2005.
They could have quoted Flannery saying the above. However, C3 didn’t. It was also Sheehan that made the claim,
“The water restrictions now in force in Sydney are never going to be lifted, except after a run of freak conditions, just as Warragamba Dam is never again going to be full unless there is a freak period of high rainfall unlikely to be sustained.” - Paul Sheehan, Running out of water – and time, http://www.smh.com.au/news/Opinion/Running-out-of-water–and-time/2005/04/24/1114281450815.html, 25/04/2005.
Observe how Sheehan used the word ‘unless’ in the above quote. This article is speculative at best. This article did NOT say that the Warragamba dam will be empty. C3 simply grabbed the shock jock title to push their agenda for ‘Prophet’ Pringle’s sake. They distorted information for their gain.
C3 also had up next to Tim Flannery the quote,
“Sydney’s dams dry in just two years.”
This may have been something Tim Flannery said. But once again lets look at the context,
“Leading environmentalist Professor Tim Flannery has warned that Australia is now entering long-term climate change, which could cause longer and more frequent droughts.
He also predicts that the ongoing drought could leave Sydney’s dams dry in just two years.
Professor Flannery, who is the director of the South Australian Museum, has told ABC TV’s Latelinethat global warming is threatening Australia’s chance of returning to a regular rainfall pattern.
“Three major phenomena are depriving Australia of its rainfall,” he said.
“One of them is just simply the shifting weather patterns as the planet warms up, so the tropics are expanding southwards and the winter rainfall zone is sort of dropping off the southern edge of the continent.”
He says the second phenomena is disturbances in the ozone layer.
“That is causing wind speeds around Antarctica to increase and, again, drawing that winter rainfall to the south,” he said.
The third phenomena, which Professor Flannery says is the most worrying, is the recurring El Nino weather pattern.
“That’s occurring as the Pacific Ocean warms up, and we’re seeing much longer El Ninos than we’ve seen before and often now back-to-back el Ninos with very little of the La Nina cycle, the flood cycle, in between,” he said.
Professor Flannery says that all adds up to back-to-back droughts, and if he had a say he would ration water use.
“If you think there’s only a 10 per cent chance that this rainfall deficit’s going to continue for another few years, you’d be pulling out all stops to preserve water,” he said.
“Because every litre you use now on your car, or your garden or whatever else, you might want to drink in a year’s time.” - ABC News Online, http://web.archive.org/web/20050620075136/http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200506/s1389858.htm, Climate change ‘will prolong’ drought conditions, 11/06/2005. (Emphasis mine. Accessed 16/05/2012).
The ABC reported Flannery supposedly saying, “ongoing drought could leave Sydney’s dams dry in just two years.” This could be ABC referring to Flannery’s out-of-context claim made on Lateline (read Snippet 3). Or it could be that ABC could be referring too Sheehan’s article. Flannery explains in this article, just like in Landline the importance of the ‘if’.
“If you think there’s only a 10 per cent chance that this rainfall deficit’s going to continue for another few years.”
“Professor Flannery says that if Sydney’s dams dry up, the city’s ground water supply would last just 10 days.”
There is nothing wrong with Flannery giving listeners a probability on drought conditions and hinging possibilities on an ‘if’. If Australia does’t behave resourcefully towards water, we naturally should expect water shortages. After examining the way the interview is conducted – the article comes across as speculative at best, especially with Flannery exploring, “the worst case scenario for Sydney”. Speculation after speculation.
At least with this article, C3 could have possibly claim one news article explored the option that the drought could be prolonged because of global warming. The article however, did not say that the Warragamba Dam would not be filled again. Global warming or not, C3 misquoted an article again. This article was not saying Warragamba Dam was never going to be full again. Once again, they distorted information for their gain. Strike 2.
C3 then published another quote, this time not from Tim Flannery but from the Herald Sun:
“In 2005, Flannery predicted Sydney’s dams could be dry in as little as two years because global warming was drying up the rains, leaving the city “facing extreme difficulties with water””
Here is the context:
“Small problem, though: after so many years of hearing Flannery’s predictions, we’re now able to see if some of the scariest have actually panned out.
“And we’re also able to see if people who bet real money on his advice have cleaned up or been cleaned out.
So before we buy a great green tax from Flannery, whose real expertise is actually in mammology, it may pay to check his record. Ready?
In 2005, Flannery predicted Sydney’s dams could be dry in as little as two years because global warming was drying up the rains, leaving the city “facing extreme difficulties with water”.
Check Sydney’s dam levels today: 73 per cent. Hmm. Not a good start.” - Andrew Bolt, It pays to check out Tim Flannery’s predictions about climate change, http://www.heraldsun.com.au/opinion/it-pays-to-check-out-flannerys-predictions-about-climate-change-says-andrew-bolt/story-e6frfhqf-1226004644818, Herald Sun, 12/02/2011. (Emphasis added. Accessed 16/05/2012)
Andrew Bolt possibly misquoted Flannery from Lateline. McKew posed a hypothetical question to Flannery:
“MAXINE McKEW: Well, I’m not asking you to be alarmist, but in fact, what would you say is a plausible worst-case scenario that you and, say, other scientists in the Wentworth Group have come to agree on?
TIM FLANNERY: Well, the worst-case scenario for Sydney is that the climate that’s existed for the last seven years continues for another two years. In that case, Sydney will be facing extreme difficulties with water, and of course, large cities are the most vulnerable of all structures to water deficit because you’ve got 4 million people there who need water just for everyday survival, and in the case of Sydney, there’s very few back-up reserves. Sydney’s ground water supplies are only about 13 gigalitres, which is about 10 days’ worth of supply. So there are not many options for Sydney and, of course, without water you can’t make power, you can’t wash, you can’t clean your food, you can’t have industry. So there are some quite severe problems if the current trend continues. I really do hope that that doesn’t happen, but as I say, something will have to change in order for Sydney to get out of that predicted future.” - Landline, Flannery warns on global warming, http://www.abc.net.au/lateline/content/2005/s1389827.htm, 10/06/2005. (Accessed 29/05/2012, Emphasis mine).
Flannery answers the hypothetical. He is speculative in this piece. C3 also ‘reported’ that Flannery said, “Sydney will be facing extreme difficulties with water”. They too, like Bolt, took Flannery out of context.
As you can see, Andrew Bolt from the Herald Sun was also taken out of context by C3 Church. Bolt’s article was criticising Flannery’s ‘prediction’. C3 misquoted Andrew Bolt’s misquote. It’s also worth noting that Bolt’s article was not written between 2005 and 2007. It was written in 2011.
Bolt’s did not write to promote Flannery, rather to criticise him and his prediction. C3 took this critics criticisms against Flannery by misquoting Bolt AND gave the impression that the was written in 2005. C3 used this visual aid along with the other misquotes to mislead Christians to believe their outstanding ‘prophet’ Phil Pringle is powerful against the oppositional media.
Fancy C3 Church twisting the words of a critic to validate Pringle’s office of ‘prophet’. AGAIN, C3 distorted information for their gain. Strike 3.
C3 also used this snippet,
Professor Tim Flannery in 2007 said we’d never again get dam-filling rain
Below is a thumbnail to the site that C3 got this information from.
The context was as follows:
“Professor Tim Flannery in 2007 said we’d never again get dam-filling rain, and Brisbane, Sydney and Adelaide could need desalination plants by as early as 2009. Now, with the country awash, dams near full and desalination plants left idle, Flannery has fled:” - Can we have Our Money Back Please?, http://justmeint.wordpress.com/2012/03/02/can-we-have-our-money-back-please/, 02/03/2012. (Accessed 25/05/2012).
You’ll notice straight away that C3 grabbed this segment from a blog. The blog is JustMEinT’s General Blog.
We know they grabbed their quote from this blog because it is the same font, same italics, same linkage.
SNIPPET 4B (B for Background)
C3 Church not only twisted the article for their gain, they also used JustMEinT’s General blog article for the background of their portrayal of Tim Flannery and the five snippets in their video. In the below picture, you can see the segment of text C3 used for the background of their video on Pringle’s Warragamba Dam prophecy. The body of text that makes up the background is the following:
“He was chosen for this $3,000 a week (3 days a week) job for his expertise, his communication skills, and his track record in the competitive business of sounding alarms about the dire consequences of our “carbon polluting” ways. His alarms, he claims, are based on an anthropogenic global warming theory that has been confirmed by an overwhelming consensus of scientists to be ninety per cent probable – the implication being that there is only one chance in ten of him being wrong.
But how can his teachings and preaching ever be tested? Most of his apocalyptic prophesies are projected far enough into the future for him to be well and truly beyond accountability when they are proved right or wrong.
When it came to Australia’s rainfall, however, Flannery threw caution to the wind and declared that the apocalypse is now.
In 2004 Flannery said:” - Can we have Our Money Back Please?, http://justmeint.wordpress.com/2012/03/02/can-we-have-our-money-back-please/, 02/03/2012. (Accessed 25/05/2012).
To make matters worse, the hyperlink on the snippet C3 took, takes you to Andrew Bolt’s article, ‘An excuse from Flannery and his dud prediction’, (written on the 01/03/2012). The link on the snippet takes you to Bolt’s article that is ridiculing Flannery. Strike 3 and 4.
This blog article was also published on the 2nd of March, 2012. This article was NOT written between 2005-2007. This contradicts the C3 report that Flannery (and others?) in 2005, were saying that the Warragamba Dam will never be full again. This article is NOT saying that the Dam will be empty. It is ridiculing Tim Flannery. They visually misrepresented the quote and the slab of text that made up the background.
C3 has no excuse for their distortion and misrepresentation of the facts. They are not afraid to mock, criticise and condemn bloggers and critics. So why are they now stooping lower then those they condemn, twisting their words and articles to elevate the prophetic status of their leader, Phil Pringle? AGAIN, C3 distorted information for their gain.
Who knew C3 Church would twist the words of a blogger and the bloggers article to validate Pringle’s office of ‘prophet’? Strike 5.
“even the rain that falls isn’t actually going to fill our dams and our river systems…”
This is a quote from statement C3 used was taken from the ABC show Landline. The transcript reads:
“SALLY SARA: What will it mean for Australian farmers if the predictions of climate change are correct and little is done to stop it? What will that mean for a farmer?
PROFESSOR TIM FLANNERY: We’re already seeing the initial impacts and they include a decline in the winter rainfall zone across southern Australia, which is clearly an impact of climate change, but also a decrease in run-off. Although we’re getting say a 20 per cent decrease in rainfall in some areas of Australia, that’s translating to a 60 per cent decrease in the run-off into the dams and rivers. That’s because the soil is warmer because of global warming and the plants are under more stress and therefore using more moisture. So even the rain that falls isn’t actually going to fill our dams and our river systems, and that’s a real worry for the people in the bush. If that trend continues then I think we’re going to have serious problems, particularly for irrigation.” - Sally Sara, Landline, Interview with Professor Tim Flannery, http://www.abc.net.au/landline/content/2006/s1844398.htm, First published 11/02/2007. (Emphasis added. Accessed 20/04/2012)
An article that C3 could have used could have been the following:
Like the Gobi desert, Sydney Morning Herald. (Published: 14/06/2005.)
Instead, we are given distortion after distortion for their gain. Strike 6.
Visual imagery is powerful when handled either correctly or incorrectly. How C3 and Pringle presented the information was deviant at best. Each media snippet was NOT saying (as the video suggested), that the Warragamba dam will never be full again.
Could this be an accident? If it was an accident somehow, C3 and Phil Pringle failed spectacularly. If anyone can prove this was an accident, we would be very keen to hear your take on this. It’s hard to fathom this was an accident at all. It seems more than reasonable to say this was deliberate. (Would C3 honestly think someone would record this video, go through their claims individually with all the hype going on and critically examine the snippets presented?)
We think it is personally safe to say that Phil Pringle and the C3 Movement went out of their way to handle these articles FALSELY to exalt the prophetic office of Phil Pringle.
They disregarded the dates these articles were published and took material out of context for convenience-sake to elevate Pringle before other churches. They wanted to parade their prophet. Instead – they paraded an amazing series of distortions before other church denominations on Presence Conference 2012 open night. But it get’s worse (and more absurd). Get ready for part 2.