A Decade of #TeamTroll Abuse
This page is an introduction to each of the major Aster trolls - Pete Geary, Melanie Coutts, Michelle Stewart (Howie), Jody Ashton, and John Hans Anderson.
Peter Anthony ('Baldy Pete') Geary
It's mid-2009. Faced with the embarrassment of having made an outrageously untrue allegation about John Aster in relation to a child pornography ring, and with that allegation now making the rounds very publicly, Pete Geary decided that it would behove him to double down rather than apologise and retract it. His honour as a biker was at stake, along with the harsh way that others might view him if it were established that he had accused an innocent man of such an horrendous crime as pedophilia and downloading child porn. And so double down he did. For ten years.
Ten years later in 2019, Geary, along with Jody Ashton, eventually reached a point in their ever-increasing unbelievable stories where they elaborated on Aster's alleged crime, as shown in this post by Jody:
"Mr Fake (Aster) arrested and charged for his involvement in Russian kiddie snuff videos!! Pleaded guilty and got a non conviction for his testimony against the other guy."
According to this post, Aster had not been arrested and convicted of downloading 15,000 child porn images after all - rather, he had been found guilty of making Rusian snuff movies with children. Geary and Ashton, desperate to silence John Aster, had just driven themselves deeply into the realm of the unbelievable. For a start, there has never been a case of child snuff movies being proven to exist. In fact, they appear to be an urban legend. The FBI's chief researcher into child pornography (Supervisory Special Agent Kenneth V. Lanning) was quoted as saying: "In 20 years I have not seen any hard evidence that they have commercially produced sexually explicit films of murders for the gratification of other people. Simulated snuff movies using special effects are so realistic there is no point in risking life in jail."
Jody Ashton was clearly lying. Rather than expose John Aster, she has exposed herself instead. One would have to wonder why Jody, a a woman with a career to concern herself with, would be so hate-filled that she would take part in a ten-year campaign of terror against John Aster. Why indeed. The answer lies in a line from the 1697 play The Mourning Bride by William Congreve: "Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned, Nor hell a fury like a woman scorned". Jody Ashton, by her own admission, had been head over heels in love with John Aster. He was married, and he rejected her. For some women, that is all it takes. And Jody was one of those women.
An important part of proving something to be true is hard evidence, is it not? And that's the one thing Ashton and Geary have always lacked. Not that they haven't worked very hard over the years to use every trick of technology to produce it. Using regular programs like Photoshop and Windows Movie Maker, and after creating a whole host of fake profiles that appear to be in conversation with one another, Team (Aussie) Troll have enthusiastically produced all manner of fake reports about Aster's alleged activities. Jody herself in an off-the-wall crazy Facebook rant admits she has planted 'evidence' all over the internet to condemn John Aster. She was also proven to have deliberately created websites about Aster, with a view to soliciting money for Pete Geary's BUACA.
Michelle's beginnings with #TeamTroll are outlined here. Michelle was purely toxic. Worse, once she starts a line of untruths, she just continues to travel that road even when it is clearly leading to a cliff edge that she will eventually walk over. It was Michelle's lies that Geary and Jody latched onto, and initially Michelle was part of the tag team. Of course, Michelle can't get along with anyone for long, and she would over the years turn on everyone singly or collectively. Unfortunately for them, they weren't often smart enough to realise that she was also sociopathically manipulative, and they were easy enough to coax back by simply inventing more false information about John Aster. Michelle's first go-to with someone she doesn't like is always to start inventing stories.
The Brisbane 'Underbelly' Journals
Reading the allegations made by this trolling tag team of misfits, one could be forgiven for thinking John Aster was some sort of criminal underworld boss with the luck of the coyote in the Road Runner series. Too fantastic to be true, the ongoing allegations that he had somehow managed to accumulate a substantial wealth in numerous internet scams is equally laughable. John Aster picks up a disability pension. To the thinking man, it seems fairly obvious that someone who pleads guilty to making child snuff movies is not going to be able to walk free to wander the suburbs of Brisbane, Australia with impunity. Even if they do give evidence against a co-killer. And at some point, such a person would be scrutinised by the authorities sufficiently for his wealth to be discovered and independantly investigated, leading to certain incarceration. Such an Underbelly story is just too incredible, and in the absence of hard evidence of convictions for fraud and child sex offences one can only conclude that all of the allegations made by this group against John Aster must be equally false.
#TeamTroll loses supporters
This is where Team (Aussie) Troll let themselves down so badly. The claims they made were simply so outrageous they were not believable. Pete Geary's rants in desperation that thousands of parents had been victims of Aster, that he had drugged and raped a 17 year old, that he had Brisbane Police assisting him in his pedophile ring (if anything it was Geary who was using his connections through friends to get information he was not entitled to from Police), and that he was spraying acid on the cars of his victims to silence them were just getting too much for the followers who had once believed Pete and his co-conspirators. They smelled a rat, and it was rotting. And so #TeamTroll began to lose credibility as fast as water runs out of a sieve. BUACA was leaking members just as quickly, until it became all but defunct. All that is left of BUACA today is Pete, Jody, Geornette James (Wisper Firefly), Michelle Stewart, and a couple of groupie hangers-on.
Anyone that #TeamTroll thought had attempted to help John Aster prove his innocence was drawn into their own nightmare of abuse and defamation on the internet. Fake profiles set up page after page on the internet trying to discredit, defame, shame, and silence Aster's support networks. Abuses were prolific and explicit. The more people who suffered the same fate as John Aster however, the more they came to realise that what had been said about him was likely to be similar to their own story - nothing more than the maniacal obsessive ranting of a few people who were desperate to hide the truth of their own conduct online over the years.
Enter the Stalk Show Host
Realising they were losing the battle and desperately needing a lot more help, and because they needed someone outside Australia to attack in order to avoid prosecution themselves, Team (Aussie) Troll needed a new approach. So in 2009, they entered into partnership with Canada's Stalk Show Host, John Hans Anderson, making #TeamTroll a truly international cyberstalking nightmare. John Anderson's input to the game has been nothing if not relentless. Over the years, in tandem with Team (Aussie) Troll, so-called 'dark lists' of Anderson's victims were made, and allegations of child abuse were levelled at them. Their employers were contacted, their local Police were notified that a "pedo ring" was operating in the neighbourhood, and the victim's families and friends were targeted with misinformation and further abuse. In creating an exponentially increasing circle of victims, John Anderson, suffering from Narcissistic Personality Disorder and overusing medicinal marijuana, could not quit until he had 'exposed' every last pro-pedo (his term for anyone who questioned his authority or pointed out that he had no evidence against his victims). Anderson continued his cycle of cyber-terrorism for a decade until he was finally brought to justice by a team of his victims banding together to bring his behaviour to the attention of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
By April 2010, #TeamTroll were joined by another very experienced internet stalker, Michelle Stewart's good friend Melanie Coutts, AKA Annabelle Jones, Melanie Shambat, Melanie Smith, Anonymums, Melanie Hamilton (m.). Posing as a writer, Coutts helped to legitimise #TeamTroll's assertions about John Aster by producing 'independant' blogs reiterating their false allegations as she used them to strengthen her own self-serving arguments about Family Law Reform. Interestingly, although Melanie (Samantha) writes: "how the court allowed him to enter a plea bargain where he received no jail time" (the non-conviction theory), she does not provide any evidence of it in her post. Over the years this 'misinformation merry-go-round' has formed the basis of the 'illusion of truth effect' relied upon by #TeamTroll in their constant encouragement of others to "Google John Aster convicted pedophile to find the truth".
The impact on Aster
By the end of December 2010, the nature of the cyberattacks had become more frighteningly real than ever. When the cyber-stalking first began, John Aster was a fully functioning, well adjusted, and mentally well man. Over the years the untrue and unwarranted lies told about him, the death threats, the drive-bys, the gaslighting, the inflammatory posters distributed to his neighbourhood, and the ongoing harassment of him led to him being diagnosed with Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (C-PTSD). By 2013, Aster had a fulltime carer and was receiving treatment for his condition. The condition has significantly worsened over the ten years that Pete Geary et al have continued to disseminate the lies they told about him. John's attackers had posted his name, photograph and addresses on the internet in a bid to have members of the self-proclaimed 'paedophile hunter' community locate him and deal out their own brand of 'justice'. Pete Geary and Melanie Coutts were both leaders of their own circles, and they set about pointing the finger of false accusation at John Aster knowing only too well what could happen to him.
The Motivations of #TeamTroll
Given that Peter Geary had now been accused himself of inappropriate behaviour with Michelle Stewart's daughter, it would be greatly beneficial to Geary if John Aster were to disappear and stop his online expose of Geary. Similarly, Melanie Coutts would be pleased that a major fathers rights activist would be silenced. There was no doubt that Geary and Melanie were working together, and Michelle Stewart has confirmed this to be fact in one of her recorded admissions to Aster.
The #TeamTroll threats to kill
In April 2011, the threats from Pete Geary and BUACA (Bikers United Against Child Abuse) took an extremely sinister turn. Geary arrived at John Aster's home and took a photograph of his vehicle parked outside the property, taking care not to actually enter the property itself. Geary then uploaded the image to the internet, along with a post making explicit threats to Aster, saying "you are going to die ya ugly piece of shit... and alleging he intended to exteriminat (sic) the pedophile who lives at [REDACTED ADDRESS] make another video creep because I hear they are going to break all your fulngers ['fingers'] as well as drill ya knee caps...
Geary made it clear that he personally intended to ensure Aster’s death by whatever means possible. He set about taunting and intimidating Aster. Geary’s true violent nature emerged under pressure, and he could not hold back from exposing himself to be the man he’d tried to hide from the community while he played at being a kind and caring father figure to vulnerable children. A dangerously violent child abuser and rapist was let out of its cage to attack the one person who had collated enough information to expose him to the rest of the community.
Living off a lie
Incredibly, in 2011, Michelle Stewart took Pete Geary to court and obtained an AVO (Apprehended Violence Order) against him for stalking her. During the hearing, under oath, Pete admits knowing that the story about John Aster being a pedophile is a lie.
#TeamTroll have spent the last ten years deliberately and knowingly destroying John Aster's life. For a lie.
A lack of justice
Pete Geary brought an application for a peace and good behaviour order against Aster in the Beenleigh Magistrates Court in December 2011. His application was dismissed, and no order was made.
By June 2012, #TeamTroll had relentlessly pursued John Aster for two years with threats and visits to his home. It took it's toll. John had a fulltime carer and was described as "emotionally unstable with evidence of severe psychological overlay." He was seeing a psychologist on a regular basis to deal with the harm caused by the vindictive and unwarranted actions of #TeamTroll. He was afraid to go out during the daytime. He felt constantly harassed and set upon and denied the opportunity to pursue the things of value to him.
In March 2013, Aster brought an application for a peace and good behaviour order against Peter Geary in the Brisbane Magistrates Court. He unfortunately tried to present his case himself, and so again the application was dismissed with no order made.
Who is #TeamTroll now?
#TeamTroll (international) claims to be a group of "men and women, parents, grandparents, and associated advocates." Posing as such, they at first glance have a misty appearance of legitimacy. However, it should not be forgotten that Pete Geary is male, a parent, a grandparent, and has previously posed as an advocate under the BUACA banner. Jody Ashton is female. Between as little as two people, they could represent the 'group' that they claim to be. More so if Michelle, Melanie, and John Anderson and his wife Catherine join them. They would still be a rag-tag bunch of less than a dozen people even with the hangers-on, but it has the effect of making them sound like a coherent organisation. To an innocent man repeatedly accused over a ten year period of being a pedophile, the fear is real.
"#TeamTroll owes their target an apology. So do a lot of other people. This investigation has uncovered irrefutable proof that the 10-year-long criminal harassment and cyberstalking spree targeting an innocent Brisbane, Australia man was based on a lie. A fabrication. A 'made-up' accusation."