AUSTRALIA—When it comes to porn in the military, the Australians deserve an award for hubris, deceit and Star Wars references, but it won’t be coming from the brass. Instead, news reports from Down Under indicate that the army is actively purging the ranks of the "Knights of the Jedi Council,” a network (as we reported in June) of Army officers and non-commissioned soldiers, both enlisted and reservists, who have been engaged in the dissemination of “hundreds of emails” containing homemade videos of soldiers filming themselves having sex with women who were unaware they were being recorded.
Adding insult to injury, the emails were “distributed on a Defense communications system,” according to The Australian, which elaborated, “At the center of the scandal was a group of army officers who visited nightclubs, including those in the inner-Sydney suburbs of Darlinghurst and Paddington, to meet women for consensual sex. Among the nightclubs the men are believed to have visited was ARQ Sydney.”
Reportedly co-founded by “a former commando reservist officer who allegedly sent explicit footage of himself and women to 60 other personnel,” the group had also devised its own code to escape detection, using terms such as "mole" to refer to women who had been secretly taped. The clever ruse didn't work.
“Last night,” reported The Australian, “Lieutenant General Morrison said the service of the six ringleaders had been terminated in relation to the production or distribution of highly inappropriate material demeaning women, across both Defense computer systems and the public internet… A further 11 officers and NCOs were identified in the Jedi Council investigation. The army is considering sacking seven more of them.”
These latest sackings are among “122 regular army and army reserve members whose service was ended as a result of serious misconduct or unacceptable behavior, the taking of prohibited substances and other civilian offences,” said the general.
Putting the size of the “Jedi Council” into some context, the Australian Army is comprised of 44,000 individuals.