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2005 Controversies

In 2005, Daryl Melham (ALP), Member for Banks, asked the Minister representing the Minister of Defence, De-Anne Kelly (Nats), Minister of Veterans Affairs and Member for Dawson, a number of questions about the Resistance to Interrogation training.

30th November
(2004)

Mr Melham asks (in writing) the following 6 questions:

1. Can the Minister confirm that the Australian Defence Force (ADF) conducts training to prepare ADF personnel to resist interrogation in the event they are captured by hostile forces.

2. Can the Minister confirm that resistance to interrogation training is conducted at the Defence Intelligence Training Centre at Canungra, Queensland.

3. Does resistance to interrogation training involve exposure of ADF personnel to interrogation techniques that would not be permitted by the 1949 Geneva Conventions.

4. Can the Minister confirm that in the course of resistance to interrogation training ADF personnel may be stripped naked, hooded, bound in severely restrictive positions, subjected to sleep deprivation, denied food and/or water, subjected to threats of physical and/or sexual abuse, possibly suffer actual assault, or be subjected to other inhumane practices.

5. Can the Minister confirm that participation in resistance to interrogation courses gives Australian
interrogators experience in techniques that would be against ADF rules if practised in the course of actual hostilities.

6. Has the participation of ADF personnel in resistance to interrogation courses over the past five years given rise to any investigation or legal proceedings in relation to possible offences under the Defence Force Discipline Act 1992; if so, what was the outcome of any investigation and/or legal proceedings.

8th of February

Mrs De-Anne Kelly responds to the questions:

1. Yes.

2. Yes.

3. Yes. Techniques that would not be permitted by the 1949 Geneva Conventions include personal verbal attack to lower morale and weaken the will to resist, and the employment of ploys and tricks such as impersonation, fake documents, and threat (only) of dire punishment.

4. Participants are not hooded, but may wear blackened ski goggles or airline sleeping masks. They are not bound in severely restrictive positions but may be handcuffed and seated, cross-legged, but are made to stand and move at least every 20 minutes. Water is always available on demand and some food is provided. Participants will be threatened with physical and/or sexual abuse as a purely psychological ploy. There is no physical contact between interrogator and participant (except to lead a participant for safety reasons). A participant may be naked during advanced practical training to allow a search of clothing, and to weaken the will of the individual to resist interrogation. Sleep deprivation may be employed, but a Medical Officer will ensure sleep is taken if an adverse affect on the individual occurs.

5. The ADF strictly enforces the separation of ADF interrogators who conduct interrogation in the course of actual hostilities and ADF Resistance to Interrogation trainers. Individuals that are employed as ADF interrogators are not permitted to attend the Resistance Trainers Course or be employed in Resistance to Interrogation activities. In this way, the ADF ensures that ADF interrogators are not exposed to methods, techniques and ploys that are not authorised under the Geneva Conventions.

6. No.

Source

News Reports

The ABC, The Age, and the Sydney Morning Herald report on the story. Seven News interviewed Cameron Murphy, then President of the NSW Council for Civil Liberties.

Murphy reportedly said, "The Government simply shouldn't be subjecting anybody to this type of treatment, whether it's part of a training program... These people are people who ultimately may have to look after prisoners of war and this is not the example that should be set... It's not a fair enough argument to say that they should be trained by being tortured... The effect could be that we have soldiers on the front-line who are mentally unstable as a result of government-sanctioned torture."

I can't find a source for Seven News interview except for the excerpts from the other articles.  

11th of May

Mr Melham asks more questions about the regulations, safeguards, other techniques that may have been used, and if there have been any injuries or complaints made by former participants. The following are the questions he asks about techniques, complaints and injuries:

(the questions omitted can be found at the source)

 

8. In respect of the Minister’s advice concerning the practice of making RTI participants wear blacked ski goggles or airline sleeping masks, for how long may a RTI participant be vision deprived.

9. In respect of the Minister’s advice concerning the practice of stripping participants naked during “advanced practical training”, for how long have RTI participants been left naked and what is the maximum permissible time that they may be deprived of clothing.

10. In respect of the Minister’s advice that there is no physical contact between RTI interrogators and participants (except to lead a participant for safety reasons), is there physical contact between RTI participants and other persons involved in RTI exercises (eg Military Police or other persons responsible for the custody of RTI participants).

11. In respect of the Minister’s advice concerning sleep deprivation, (a) what is the maximum time an RTI participant has been deprived of sleep, (b) what is the maximum permitted period of sleep deprivation, and (c) what means are employed to deprive RTI participants of sleep.

12. In respect of the Minister’s advice concerning threats of physical and/or sexual abuse as a psychological ploy, what forms of physical or sexual abuse may be threatened by RTI interrogators and are any types of threat not permitted.

13. Can the Minister confirm that guard dogs have been used to intimidate and harass RTI participants: if so, are guard dogs employed in the presence of naked RTI participants.

(4 more questions are omitted)

11th of August

Mrs De-Anne Kelly replied to the selected questions:

8. A RTI participant is vision deprived for the duration of a RTI practical activity, with the exception of simulated enemy interrogation sessions or when consulting with a Medical Officer, psychological personnel or the Neutral Umpire.

9. Trainees may be requested to strip naked for the purpose of searching. Nudity only occurs in advanced practical RTI training. Participants in basic practical training are only stripped to their underwear. In no circumstances are RTI trainees kept naked for a period longer than three hours in aggregate during the RTI exercise.

10. Physical contact by guards is only permitted during searching, as part of an exercise ploy or for safety reasons, such as guiding a trainee who is blindfolded.

11. In respect of sleep deprivation:
      (a) Defence is not able to devote the considerable time and resources required to search individual service records to determine this information. Medical Officers closely supervise sleep deprivation of a trainee during practical RTI training.
      (b) Trainees receive a limited amount of sleep during an RTI exercise under medical supervision.
      (c) Trainees stand and move at least every 20 minutes.

12. The Conducting Officer, in consultation with the Medical Officer and Neutral Umpire, must approve any specific ploy concerning threats of physical and/or sexual abuse proposed by a simulated enemy interrogator.

13. When approved by the Exercise Director, working military dogs that are muzzled and short-leashed may be used during advanced RTI training, in the presence of RTI trainees (including naked trainees), in order to create realism.

Final Questions

Mr Melham asks 2 questions about what role Army Psychologists play in the Resistance to Interrogation Course and Mrs De-Anne Kelly answers them on the 1st of November. Source

Evan Donaldson's Complaint

Evan Donaldson.jfif
" Evan and his family have been treated appallingly by the Australian Army. They are going through hell right now. It is likely that senior members of the Australian Army have behaved in a criminal manner in order to deliberately cause harm to Trooper Donaldson and his family. " - Senator Jacqui Lambie (2016)

Evan Donaldson's Service

Evan joined the Australian Army in January 2004. He served with the 3rd Battalion Royal Australian Regiment and deployed to the Solomon Islands in 2005 on Operation Anode. In March 2006, Evan passed SAS selection and was badged by then Governor-General Michael Jeffery in September the same year. In 2007, Evan deployed with the SAS to the Middle East area of operations with 1 Squadron SASR, serving in Afghanistan and Iraq. Later in 2007, Evan deployed to Timor-Leste on Operation Astute.

Resistance to Interrogation (RTI) Course

Evan claims he was sexually assaulted, physically assaulted, exposed to the "five techniques" (hooded, subjected to noise, sleep deprived, deprived of food, and placed in stress positions), and made to strip naked. This treatment went for 96 hours.

He was physically injured with an anal fissure after being assaulted and suffered psychological injuries including PTSD.

His treatment was retold by Monty Lyman in his book, "The Painful Truth". You can read the excerpt here.

The Cover Up

Evan was found to be a victim of 'defective administration' by the Commonwealth Ombudsman when members of Defence illegally altered his military records to strip him of his rank and job role, and then forged documents to cover up this alteration. The alteration came after Evan Donaldson reported to his superior about his deteriorating mental health from the RTI course and the superior refused to give him sick leave but put him on leave without pay. The full story of this cover-up is not directly related to the RTI/CAC course but I would encourage you to read the whole story as it is incredibly shocking. You can find a good account of the story here.

Evan Donaldson's complaint made it to the Federal Parliament where Senator Jacqui Lambie called for a Senate Inquiry into the course in 2016.

2016/17 Senate Inquiry

The Senate Inquiry received 10 submissions, 2 are confidential and are unavailable to the public, 3 are from former participants and the other 5 are from various organisations. They also received in-camera hearings which I have been unable to find publically. All public submissions can be found here.

Dr Steven Scally

Dr Scally was a participant and medical officer for the Resistance to Interrogation (RTI) courses. He was an involuntary participant in 1991 and oversaw three RTI courses in 2005 as a medical officer. While significant parts of his testimony have been redacted, he has made many complaints about the conduct of the RTI course. 

"The concept of consent to such training is extremely questionable."

 

Dr Scally makes the point that the Army trains soldiers to be disciplined and obedient which seems to limit their ability to make a free choice. This follows into what he discusses later with the role of Medical Officers and Psychologists.

"I do not recall during any exercises a ‘friendly’ psychologist being on staff, who would advocate for the captive. Had such a psychologist been present, he or she would likely have been a junior uniformed officer, well trained in mandates of obedience over morality. Challenging the wants of command is an audacious, if not career-ending, prospect. The military has many implicit sanctions for the non-conforming, and this includes the lowly-ranked psychology or medical officer."

This was one of the major complaints made by Dr Scally. He felt that the Medical Officers and Psychologists didn't have the agency to actually pull participants out if they were in any danger. This lack of agency was due to the obedience demanded by the Army.

Submission 9 (Name Withheld)

He was a SAS soldier who did the RTI course as part of his selection in the mid-1990s. Significant sections of his submission were redacted. 

"...had I known what it entailed (ie the extent of the psychologically damaging and criminal behaviour), I would never have consented to such an activity."

"I submit that the activities I experienced during the R2I process would be stressful to the point of being psychologically dangerous and damaging for anyone under any circumstances. Add to that, the state of physical and emotional fragility that we were in after 18 days of food and sleep
deprivation and mental exhaustion, and I consider that the R2I process I experienced was an act of gross negligence, possibly criminal negligence.
"

The 18 days of food and sleep deprivation and mental exhaustion Submission 9 is talking about is the SAS selection course where he says he lost 14kg, had slept about 10 hours and ate a few handfuls of food in the week leading up to the RTI training.

"I believe there was a complete abrogation of the employer’s Duty of Care under the Commonwealth OHS Act 1991, which was in force at the time:
• There was no debrief after the ‘Resistance to Interrogation’ exercise
• There was no counselling or psychological support provided
• There was no medical health check or psychological health assessment conducted
• There was nothing to help us “de-role” after this extreme activity
• There was no follow-up health check in the ensuing weeks or months
"

"Furthermore, this exercise also doubled as a training exercise for army interrogators, using SAS
applicants as targets, again without informed consent. It placed SAS participants in a position where they were part of abusive, unethical and illegal behaviour, which, once it started, they had no capacity to stop or extricate themselves from. I personally have complete moral and ethical objection to the Australian Army practicing or training
[redacted] interrogation techniques [redacted] [redacted] under any circumstances, and yet I became an unwilling participant in such an exercise."

Submission 9 makes a significant complaint about how the training doubled as training for army interrogators. This allegation was repeated by Evan Donaldson and a few others. Unfortunately, parts of this paragraph were redacted and so we don't know what specific interrogation techniques Submission 9 found morally objectionable.

"As a result of the R2I activity that I experienced, I have been diagnosed with PTSD and co-morbid depression by three separate and independent psychiatrists. Dealing with the PTSD and depression over 20 years since this R2I activity has seriously damaged my marriage, family life, career, earning capacity and general health and well-being. It has resulted in periods of hospitalisation and a need for ongoing counselling and psychiatric support. It has cost me many life and career opportunities, enormous medical expenses and significant loss of income."

Submission 2 (Name Withheld)

He was a SAS soldier who did the RTI course as part of his selection in the mid-1990s. Some sections of his submission were redacted. This submission was much more sympathetic to the course and he didn't offer many complaints. 

"...I have no ongoing psychological concerns as a result of RTI."

"I suffered [large redaction] after RTI and for years after this to this day I have similar but acute and frequently reoccurring [redacted] pain that I believe is as a direct result of the [redacted] positions I was exposed to. I consider [redacted] [redacted] [redacted] those things demanded or directed by the conducting staff of the RTI to be 'mild to moderate' on the scale of torture, atrocities or humiliation that could be inflicted on a fellow human being."

Despite saying that he has no ongoing psychological concerns because of the RTI training, he was obviously injured by the (redacted but probably stress) positions he was exposed to. Even though his entire submission is quite sympathetic to the course he still considers the treatment to be a form of torture.

In-Camera hearings (multiple anonymous participants)

"I am not able to control it. I am still impacted on a weekly or daily basis when my physiology is triggered by the levels of physical distress that they
put on us."

"I went to see this psychologist to deal with this imprinting and, with her help, we managed to stop that. But what happened then was other symptoms started to manifest themselves: sleeplessness and restlessness, mild shaking in the hands, problems with short-term memory."

"It can take me three to five days to come back down from where I am not quite incapacitated but pretty well impaired in my thinking and my capacity for self-care. I can go from being a normal, highly-functioning person with a well-paid job to being someone who really is in dire straits for a few days."

"I know that the common human way of coping is to dissociate in those situations, and the stress involved can have permanent effects upon the brain in a similar way to what PTSD does, so there can be long-term damage that can occur from a process that has no proven benefit. Even if it were voluntary, it still will not offset those risks."

"Particularly in the context of SAS selection, you have got a bunch of people who are trying to prove that they can handle whatever is thrown at them. Certainly I was just trying to prove I could handle whatever was thrown at me, and it would have been shameful amongst my peers to put my hand up and say, 'I can't handle this' or, 'I think this is wrong' or, 'I'm not prepared to go on'. "

"I am not confident that anybody who went through the training in my era, as undergoing interrogation, got anything out of it. The crux is that it is actually a misnomer to call it 'training', because no instruction was given, there was no feedback, there was no evaluation and there was no coaching…what the objectives of the training are, what they are going to take you through, what the key techniques are that you need to understand are. None of that was there. "

The Recommendations and Gov. Response

Source

Recommendation 1

The committee recommends that participants in Conduct after Capture training are provided with all the relevant information on the nature of the training activity before they sign a volunteer declaration form.

Government response: Agree

Recommendation 2

The committee recommends that Conduct after Capture Level B briefings be revised to include information on the risk of physical and psychological injury that may occur as a result of participation in Level C training activities.

Government response: Agree

Recommendation 3

The committee recommends that the Department of Defence implement independent screening of individuals who have participated in Level C activities to identify and treat psychological injuries.

Government response: Agree

Recommendation 4

The committee recommends that the Department of Defence conduct an
audit of its records to identify all former RTI and CAC training participants and provide information on avenues available to treat physical and psychological injuries arising from training.

Government response: Agree in part

Due to there being no known record of Resistance to Interrogation participants, pre-2000, Defence is unable to fully achieve this recommendation.

Recommendation 5

The committee recommends that the Department of Defence retain medical and service records of individuals' involvement in Level C activities and ensure this information is accessible by the Department of Veterans' Affairs.

Government response: Agree

Additional Recommendation 1

That future Conduct after Capture (CAC) training by the Department of Defence does not serve as a dual purpose for training interrogators.

Government response: Agree

Additional Recommendation 2

That the thousands of hours of Department of Defence CCTV video recordings made of RTI and/or CAC be made available to the Commonwealth Ombudsman for an independent assessment as to whether any United Nations or Geneva Convention principles on human rights were violated in order to ensure that Australia has upheld, and continues to uphold, its international obligations with respect to any treaties it has entered into.

Government response: Disagree

Unless legally compelled, the bulk release of Conduct After Capture and Resistance to Interrogation recordings held by the Defence Force School of Intelligence would require consent to be obtained from all participants who were recorded in this training. It would not be practical, given the number of individuals who have been exposed to this training and the quantity of footage obtained, to obtain this consent.


While the Commonwealth Ombudsman may legally be able to obtain these recordings, this recommendation does not take into account the security implications of such a release, the possible impact on Defence capability and the safety of Australian Defence Force members, or provide any basis as to why the Commonwealth Ombudsman should do so.

Damien de Pyle's Complaint

Damien went through the Conduct After Capture (CAC) course in March 2019. He was put through a 72-hour version of the course but was sleep deprived for 81 hours by the end of it.

Damien went through the Conduct After Capture (CAC) course in March 2019. He was put through a 72-hour version of the course but was sleep deprived for 81 hours by the end of it. He alleges that he and the other participants were subject to the Five Techniques (hooding, stress positions including wall standing, loud sounds on repeat such as babies crying, sleep deprivation, and food/water deprivation). He also alleges that he was personally coerced into simulating rape on a child's doll with a dildo, using a dildo to simulate ejaculating onto a Bible, and coerced into renouncing his religion.

Damien was diagnosed with PTSD and Depression in 2020, and subsequently developed quasi-psychotic episodes due to his deteriorating mental health.

ADFIS Complaint

Screenshot from original ADFIS Complaint footage - 26 August 2020

After being diagnosed with PTSD and Depression, Damien lodged a formal complaint with the Australian Defence Force Investigative Service (ADFIS) about the mistreatment he received. He was told by the investigator that he wouldn't find out about the results of the investigation, instead, the report would be sent to his Commanding Officer. He never found out about the result while he was in the Army and had no ability to appeal the decision if he disagreed with it.

Damien was medically discharged for PTSD and Depression and separated on 23 February 2021 after spending two months in a psychiatric hospital in Melbourne.

An FOI request revealed that through the investigation, the DFSI (Defence Force School of Intelligence) acknowledged that the techniques used against Damien were approved techniques and in line with Army Doctrine. 

 

 

AHRC Complaint

After Damien had been discharged from the ADF, he submitted two complaints to the Australian Human Rights Commission on the 18th of June 2021. The first complaint was about a breach of human rights, specifically articles 7, 10(1), and 18 of the ICCPR. The second complaint was about unlawful sexual harassment under sections 28A, 28B, and 106 of the SDA. The complaints were accepted on the 22nd of June 2021 and were assigned to an investigator on the 14th of October 2021. He received a response from the Australian Government Solicitor (AGS) on the 14th of January 2022.

The response purposely didn't discuss the content of the course and so never provided any direct evidence refuting Damien's claims but instead provided speculation as to whether his complaints could be breached by the course. They argue that the context of these actions happening within a course means that none of the complaints could be breached by the Australian Defence Force. 

 

For the alleged sexual harassment, The AGS argues that a reasonable person when considering the context of the course would not consider Damien to have been offended, humiliated or intimidated for the purposes of s 28A of the SDA.

For breaches of art 7, 10, and 18 of the ICCPR, the AGS argued that the context of the course means that these breaches could not happen during the CAC Level C course. 

Front page of the AGS Response - click the image to access the full document

Damien de Pyle's reply responded to the speculation with the following arguments:

 

For the alleged sexual harassment, the nature of the harassment explicitly targeted his religious beliefs and was so aggregous that it seems a reasonable person would find the actions offensive, humiliating, or intimidating.

 

For Art 7 of the ICCPR, Damien brought up legal prescedent for why the treatment he received would be considered torture and cruel, degrading and inhumane treatment.

 

For Art 10 of the ICCPR, Damien agreed that the treatment he received probably didn't meet the criteria for a breach of Art 10 since he wasn't strictly 'deprived of liberty' according to the UN's definition.

 

For Art 18 of the ICCPR, Damien argued that his religion was clearly targeted and would absolutely breach Art 18.  

Front page of the reply from Damien de Pyle - click the image to access the full document

Damien and personnel representing the Australian Government met on the 4th of July 2022 for a conciliation meeting to come to an agreement to settle the complaint. Damien made the following demands:

 

For the breach of human rights, my demands are:

  1. The government to accept the recommendation by Jacquie Lambie to allow the Commonwealth Ombudsman to independently review the thousands of hours of CCTV video recordings made of Resistance to Interrogation and/or Conduct After Capture for an independent assessment as to whether any United Nations or Geneva Convention principles on human rights were violated in order to ensure that Australia has upheld, and continues to uphold, its international obligations with respect to any treaties it has entered into.

  2. Immediately do the following: limit the amount of sleep deprivation on the course to 48 hours (starting from the time they wake up on that day, or reveille; whichever is earlier); allow the monitoring psychologists to act anonymously in recommending the withdrawal of participants; and to stop the use of any stressors that force or compel a participant to do anything sacrilegious, blasphemous or seriously objectionable by the standards of the participant’s faith.

  3. That monitoring psychologists on the course becomes a position chosen by the Australian Psychological Society, or The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists, subject to security vetting by AGSVA.

  4. The use of the ‘Five Techniques’ be made illegal in Australia and nationally recognised as a form of torture.

  5. That PTSD claims submitted to the Department of Veterans Affairs by any soldier who participated in this course be de facto accepted.

  6. An official apology by the Parliament for how it has treated soldiers during this course.

For the sexual harassment and assault, my demands are:

  1. A written apology for the treatment I received as part of my course.

  2. That my individual DVA claim for PTSD be accepted.

  3. Reasonable compensation for damages.

(taken from his opening statement at the meeting which can be found here)

The AGS didn't make any counter offers and at the meeting agreed that the AHRC case would remain open for 4 more weeks which would give AGS two weeks to provide a counteroffer, Damien a further week to accept or provide a counteroffer, and a final week to settle any details.

The AGS took 24 of the remaining 28 days to provide their initial counteroffer. They offered a lump sum and an apology to settle both of the complaints. They also discussed why they wouldn't commit to any changes to the course.

Damien didn't accept the offer and said that since the AGS had taken so long to make their initial counteroffer, and that they weren't interested in changing the course that there was no point in him making a counteroffer.

The AHRC complaint was closed and as per AHRC policy, the sexual harassment complaint was terminated.

 

The breach of human rights complaint could have been investigated by AHRC and a report made to the Attorney General. It could also have been terminated for a lack of substance to the complaint. However, the AHRC, closed the case for there being no possibility of conciliation.

First two pages from the AHRC decision to close the complaints. - Click on either image to access the full document.

Damien is now taking the matter to the Federal Court and the United Nations. He also made a submission to the Royal Commission into Defence and Veterans Suicides about the CAC Level C course on the 24th of August 2022.

The Guardian reported on Damien's complaints as an article here, and as a podcast here.

Connection to alleged War Crimes

The concerns of this course being connected with the treatment of personnel by our soldiers were first raised in 2005 by Cameron Murphy AM when he said, "These people are people who ultimately may have to look after prisoners of war and this is not the example that should be set... The effect could be that we have soldiers on the front line who are mentally unstable as a result of government-sanctioned torture."

The 2020 Brereton Report or the 'Inspector-General of the Australian Defence Force Afghanistan Inquiry Report' was a report by the Inspector-General of the ADF into alleged war crimes by Australian soldiers during the war in Afghanistan. While most of the report into specific allegations is censored, the report found that techniques from the resistance to Interrogation course were used by, or seen to be used by, "witnesses who did not want to give a full and frank account". It seems that SAS soldiers were using these defensive techniques against those who were investigating these war crimes. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unfortunately, no unredacted material went any further into these allegations.

Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide

The Royal Commission announced on the 28th of November 2022 that they would be examining the Conduct After Capture training course. The announcement said,

 

Senior Counsel Assisting, Kevin Connor, SC, said the inquiry would hear evidence about a Conduct After Capture Course, which subjects trainees to mock interrogation for extended periods. "The Commission is interested in the physical and psychological risks of this training and Defence's management of the course to mitigate any adverse impact on trainees," Mr Connor said.

On the 30th of November, Colonel Simon Dowse who is posted to the Defence School of Intelligence was examined by Peter Singleton from the Counsel working for the Royal Commission. While the hearing went into many details about the course, this complaints section is not here to discuss how the course is run, but the history of the complaints around this course. Therefore, I will provide a summary of the issues that Peter Singleton brought up as part of his examination that are pertinent to complaints around this course.

Issues raised at Dowse hearing

The transcript of the complete hearing can be found here.

The hearing raised numerous concerns over the lack of independent studies on the course, the voluntariness of the course, the number of suicides that have happened since the course,  the effects the course has on trainees (or learners), and the effects the course has on trainers and other staff.

The hearing found that Col. Simon Dowse has no knowledge of there being any independent studies on:

1. The effectiveness of Conduct After Capture (CAC) Level C training

2. The adverse effects the training has on trainees

3. The adverse effects the training has on instructors

4. The balance of effectiveness of training to adverse effects

5. The effectiveness of being debriefed by an instructor that played the role of an adversary.

Peter Singleton also raised concerns about the voluntariness of the training considering that:

1. CAC Level C training is a pre-requisite for certain deployments. Deployments come with several benefits including pay, medals, and career progression.

2. CAC Level C training is a pre-requisite for certain job roles. In the CAC Level C brief, it says, "You are undergoing this training because it is a requirement of your trade".

3. The Volunteer declaration form doesn't provide the worst stressors that participants are signing up for.

Peter Singleton also showed that research done by the Commission found that from the trainees that had undergone CAC training, 45 had committed suicide. 5 of those had conducted Level C training and 40 had conducted either Level A or Level B.

Col. Simon Dowse also confirmed that in his experience he had seen/heard of trainees showing the following symptoms:

1. Talking in an incoherent manner as a sign of stress

2. Hallucinating

3. Having panic attacks

4. Having a breakdown

He denied that he had experienced participants experiencing delusions or becoming unconscious.

Other issues raised were:

1. Neutral observers have never intervened on the course to stop it.

2. Trainees and guards don't go through a volunteer process to start the course.

3. Col. Dowse said that he has never seen or heard of unauthorised behaviour happening on the course.

The hearing was reported on by the Guardian here.

On the 23rd of February 2023, ReformCAC made a submission to the Royal Commission that can be found here.

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