O'Brien . . . My Long Road Back

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Television One


The Gibson Film Group’s
3-Part Documentary

Funded by New Zealand On Air


 Trailer:   Corruption


The adrenalin that one has or experiences working as an undercover agent is very difficult to reproduce or recreate in a normal, civilised society.’

‘So, the agent tries lots of legal means, such as skydiving which is something I tried — but often, I suspect, or, certainly as it was in my case and many of the agents I knew, that, we just behaved badly; put ourselves in risky situations to try and recreate the potential risks of being caught and so adding that little bit of fizz to a normal life.’

‘And therein lay the corruption, because, as a working policeman in a uniform, some of the things we did were unacceptable — just totally unacceptable that a police man should do such things — and was one of the motivating reasons why I resigned because, basically, I was a corrupt policeman; I had no right to be wearing that uniform and I certainly had no right to be holding the office of a policeman when I was behaving as I was.” ~ Patrick O’Brien


Trailer:   Telling Lies


My main reason for agreeing to talk to you was that I felt your viewers should have an appreciation of the fact that the greatest . . . the worst thing about the (undercover) programme, in my view, is not the drug use or the criminal activity, but it is actually the lies.’

‘In the early days of the programme, the Police Department was opposed to the establishment of the Section and the work we did — and it was very simple: the Commissioner of the day’s words were “policemen don’t tell lies” and he was opposed to the programme on those grounds.’

‘But, unfortunately for him and that cadre of officers, the results we were producing were quite persuasive and settled any argument with regards what the bean-counters thought of what we were doing; the fact we were telling lies was basically ignored.’

‘The damage to the individuals involved in the programme . . . in my view it’s the lies that cause the problems and those old-fashioned, fuddy-duddy Commissioners in the early days were, in fact, correct.’

‘What the lying did, it introduced honest men to the advantages of lying and we learnt very quickly that by lying we could achieve results and we could avoid getting into trouble by lying — and, I suspect that, the lies and deceit that are a part of the current ways of doing things in the Establishment, were born from the early days of the modern undercover programme when we learnt to lie.’

‘I know that, when I joined the police, when a policeman told you something — that was the truth and there was never a question.’

‘Now, if a policeman was to tell me something, I would always be cognisant that it may not be exactly the truth.” ~ Patrick O’Brien


Review:   The Listener

Free review available here in PDF ~ “Secrets & Lies”


Preview:   Radio New Zealand



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