In late 1942, on the recommendation of 26-year-old Bob Santamaria, Australia's Catholic bishops took the first steps in creating a clandestine church organisation to smash the Communist Party's massive trade union base. Before long, The Movement, as it was kwn, developed into a sophisticated intelligence agency, with its tentacles reaching into every corner of politics and also working closely with official intelligence agencies, especially the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO). Santamaria based his Movement (also called The Show) completely on the Communist Party, copying its spectacularly successful union-organising machinery. Within a decade, it had defeated communist power in many major unions. He also adopted the communists' strategy of infiltrating the Labor Party, and embarked on an aggressive program to transform it into a Catholic political machine, helping spark the great Labor Split of the mid-1950s. Ironically, in modelling the Movement on his enemy, Santamaria imported its most odious characteristic- Stalinism. He rapidly embraced the characteristics of a Stalinist leader, actively cultivating his own 'cult of personality'. Over time, this infected The Movement, as it adopted authoritarian practices and imposed anti-democratic policies on the unions it controlled, mirroring the communists' modus operandi. As in the Communist Party, this inevitably caused internal battles and catastrophic splits that undermined and, eventually, destroyed The Movement. Weaving together a rich story from previously secret archives of both The Movement and the Communist Party, ASIO's massive files, and extensive oral history interviews, The Show exposes a previously unseen side of Santamaria's Catholic Movement. 'During the Cold War two tightly organised groups of ruthless idealists - one with their eyes on Moscow, the other with their eyes on Rome - fought each other in greatest secrecy for control of the Australian trade union movement and, ultimately, for control of the country. This scrupulously honest and scholarly history tells the inside story of one of the most significant struggles of Australia's post-war history, on the basis of the intimate kwledge and understanding of two former political insiders on either side of the barricade who became closest friends after the dust of battle had settled.' - Robert Manne, author of The Petrov Affair 'Communists, spies, and priests - dramatic new stories and insights from the front line of the Cold War in Australia.' - Lindsay Tanner, author of Sideshow and Politics with Purpose 'The Show is a major addition to the growing literature on Santamaria's anti-communist organisation and the labour movement in Australia.' - Bruce Duncan, author of Crusade or Conspiracy?
Mark Aarons (Author) Mark Aarons was an investigative reporter on ABC Radio National for 20 years, and was the founding executive producer of Background Briefing. He is the author or co-author of six books including investigations of war criminals in Australia and the Vatican's role in smuggling mass killers, and works on Israel, Western intelligence, and East Timor. His most recent book was The Family File, an account of four generations of the Aarons family (who were members of the Communist Party of Australia over seven decades), based on the largest single collection of ASIO files in history. John Grenville (Author) John Grenville joined the National Civic Council (NCC, also known as The Movement and The Show) in 1957, and operated as an influential but secret NCC member in the trade union movement for a decade. A committed Catholic, he was a senior official in the Victorian Trades Hall Council in the 1960s and 1970s, and federal secretary of the Federated Clerks' Union from 1973 to 1975. He resigned from the NCC and his union position in 1975, in the midst of a bitter faction fight that ultimately tore the organisation apart in the early 1980s.