Try free for 30 days

Non-member price: $0.00 or 1 Credit

Sale price: $0.00 or 1 Credit

Buy Now for $0.00

Buy Now for $0.00

By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions Of Use and Privacy Notice and authorise Audible to charge your designated credit card or another available credit card on file.

Publisher's Summary

Winner of The Walkley Foundation’s Media Diversity Australia Award 2022

Gold winner in the Social Justice Podcast category, and awarded Bronze in the Serialized Podcast and Narrative/Documentary Podcast categories at the 2022 New York Festivals Radio Award

The Greatest Menace is free for Audible members and free for non-members for a limited time in Australia.

Please note: Contains strong language and adult content. 

Tucked away amongst snow-covered mountains is a tiny Australian town with a dark secret. Journalist Patrick Abboud hears whispers that it was once home to the world’s only 'gay prison'. A prison that specifically incarcerated gay men. His investigation into what happened inside reveals the full story for the first time. This queer true-crime journey takes you from underground nightclubs to hidden sex haunts, to remote parts of New Zealand and England. You’ll find yourself entangled in a police cover up, a case of wrongful conviction and a human experiment that didn’t go to plan. At the centre of it all was a covert government operation to eradicate 'the greatest menace to society': homosexuality. 

Researched, written and produced by Patrick Abboud and Simon Cunich. 

Presented by Patrick Abboud. This Audible Original is produced by Lockdown Productions Pty Ltd. 

Patrick Abboud was the Jesse Cox Audio Fellow 2020, with support from its founding sponsor Audible, its production partner Unison Sound and its festival partners Third Coast International Audio Festival and Audiocraft Podcast Festival.

Reporting was also supported by The Walkley Public Fund.  

©2022 Lockdown Productions Pty Ltd. (P)2022 Audible Australia Pty Ltd.
0:00

What listeners say about The Greatest Menace

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    366
  • 4 Stars
    32
  • 3 Stars
    6
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Performance
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    328
  • 4 Stars
    30
  • 3 Stars
    3
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    328
  • 4 Stars
    29
  • 3 Stars
    5
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

An amazing interplay of history, reporting and personal reflection

Wow. I was shocked at what Patrick uncovers and thrilled at the professionalism of the narrative. He weaves re-enactments from historical documents with interviews of people who experienced physical and psychological torture ordained by the New South Wales government. As he delved deeper and develops more contacts and detail, the tension ramps up like good drama. But it’s not drama. It’s our hidden history. Characters range from inspirational to unrepentant vile examples of Australian men at the time. And overlaying this is Patrick’s complex but ultimately life affirming relationship with his family history, played out with conversations with his mum, Mary. She, more than many of the others, shows personal growth and true humanity. Just before Patrick reads out the credits, there is a wordless interaction between Mary and a (very) young family member that allows an at-times bleak narrative to sour with hope and joy. Dr Pól Miles-McCann, psychotherapist.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

An important read

Thank you to Patrick Abboud and Simon Cunich for their insightful research and sympathetic story telling. This was an emotional rollercoaster with wonderful characters.
The only shame that should ever have been felt, is the fact that our Country could treat it's citizens in such a cruel and inhumane manner.
Pity it took so long for love to finally win.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Just amazing

Thank you so much for this. I smiled and cried in equal measure. Holding all those impacted directly in my heart.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

An important story that needed to be found and told

This is a must listen to story researched and told so beautifully by Patrick Abboud and Simon Cunich. The world is changing and there are parts of this programme that recognise some of the amazing people who helped make the change Australia needed to have.
Thank you for bringing to life this important
part of Australia’s history.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Informative and addictive

I thought that this was a very interesting series and very informative, I loved that we got to hear from lots of people from all different backgrounds and experiences. For younger LGBTQI+ community I think it is very eye opening of what our elders went through, and how systematic prejudice and abuse of our community was, these old prevailing ideas about homosexuality put many of our current experiences into context of old ideas and upbringings and we see hope…of people changing their perspective when they get to know and understand love within the LGBTQI+ community. I found myself very attached to Patrick Abboud by the end because he made this very personal and related to the stories he was telling in his own way. I was moved and proud of our people for all they have over come. Thank you telling these stories.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Horrific, Appalling, and Captivating

Pat has dug deep to get information on this horrendous part of gay history

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Very compelling

Very compelling and shocking narrative mixing the historical, the present and the extremely personal. Highly recommended.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Engrossing!

What a story! How is this part of Australian history not more well known? Beautifully written and delivered. Look forward to more from these authors.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Fascinating

A fascinating look at Australia’s dark past and the beginning of the fight for Gay Rights. 10/10 👍

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

eye opening

I loved it. I found it informative and enjoyed the personal touches of the investigative journey.

1 person found this helpful

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for David P
  • David P
  • 11-03-2022

Fascinating and Vitally Important

This podcast is fantastic. Completely gripping, deeply moving, filled with compelling individuals you'll never forget. Abboud adds the right amount of his own story to give it more heart, but never tips into self-indulgence. What an extraordinary reminder this is of how recently the LGBT community was targeted by the police and the legal and medical establishment in countries we think of as open and enlightened. An amazing accomplishment by Abboud. I hope this receives the wide listenership it deserves. Highly recommended.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for tim jarden-ross
  • tim jarden-ross
  • 08-03-2022

Amazing

Just amazing I can’t believe what I have just finished listening too. A listen for all that’s for sure

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Drew
  • Drew
  • 20-02-2022

They must never be allowed to forget what they did

A rollercoaster of emotions that good Australians must take, and then decide if they can still stay quiet.
A great listen.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Lewis Teeter
  • Lewis Teeter
  • 20-02-2022

Hits Every Emotion

Terrifying that this took place in my lifetime. I mourn for the lost and stolen lives. Stolen though ignorance. Stolen in the name of religion. Stolen though the vanity projects of unqualified 'psychologists' and 'scientists'. The book's shocking examples of man's cruelty to others is balanced perfectly with funny anecdotes and interviews with brave people that stood up to forces that held far more power than they. Well researched and presented with a perfect conclusion that gives hope for a brighter future.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for MacInOhio
  • MacInOhio
  • 15-03-2022

Brilliant investigation and reporting!

Patrick Abboud and Simon Cunich brilliantly performed a life saving service for those who been targeted by weaponized shaming. Thank you, Patrick, for introducing me to heroes like Jacquie Grant. The Greatest Menace is a masterpiece.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 04-03-2022

Shame was weaponised

What an incredibly disturbing story yet weaved with multiple uplifting stories of strength within it including that of the narrator. What struck and has stayed with me is as was stated in the podcast “shame was weaponised” . As an avid follower of Brene Brown and her research on shame I hope she listens to this. This story needs to be heard wider so the shame land in the hand of where it belongs, the people who made and enforced these laws and conducted these experiments.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for M.E. Eccles
  • M.E. Eccles
  • 15-06-2022

A must listen!

Brilliant! Fascinating! This is a very important piece of LGBTQ+ history that is presented flawlessly.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Allan
  • Allan
  • 26-05-2022

Captivating story

I’m a gay man in America but to learn about a gay prison anywhere in the world was a shock this story is full of Mystery and secrets lots of twists and some truly amazing people it captivated me

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for TheZee
  • TheZee
  • 20-02-2022

And the truth wins

I listened to this podcast with bated breath and optimism even though I knew there would be difficult facts to unfold.

This notorious idea of a prison just for gay men is abhorrent and so far from the mind of those who believe in inclusion.

I am glad that this podcast exists so that many shamed people can find solace in their truth for the better.

Patrick and Simon have given the world a gift worth every pain to bring it forth.

Human evolution is slow and yet in our time it's time to accept that different doesn't mean bad. This podcast is proof the truth wins and no laws can control it.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Zsolt Kutyik
  • Zsolt Kutyik
  • 15-05-2022

Great quality audiobook

Very well produced audiobook. It's like you're there with the author when he conducts the interviews.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Mahseer
  • Mahseer
  • 07-05-2022

Fascinating Story

Great research, well narrated and an extraordinary story. Opens a veil on past attitudes and warns us to be vigilant in protecting human rights in the future.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Amazon Customer
  • Amazon Customer
  • 29-04-2022

A fascinating story

For all heterosexuals who lived through the 50s and 60s this is required listening.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Kindle Customer
  • Kindle Customer
  • 25-04-2022

Impressive writing & narration.

Some scandals should be balked at. The researchers deserve awards for exposing the corruption within their own government & those who turned a blind eye to a generation of innocent human beings. The law on homosexuality has been relatively overturned with paltry apologies to this community. A recommended read to all who seek freedom from injustice wherever they find it.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Eleonora
  • Eleonora
  • 05-03-2022

Definitely worth listening to

Short but thorough podcast telling the story of author's research for Australian government's report on tests on gay inmates at Cooma's male prison in the 60s and 70s. I was horrified while listening to some of the victims' stories but also happy to learn about the movement leading to the recognition of gay people's rights.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Graham G.
  • Graham G.
  • 21-02-2022

Australia

I had no idea that Australia was such an intolerant and hateful society. Such shame.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Mrs. Z. J. Wilson
  • Mrs. Z. J. Wilson
  • 21-02-2022

Subject matter interesting

Although the subject matter is interesting the narrator is lack lustre and irritating. The occasional music detracts from the story. Very long winded poorly done. If I had bought it I would have returned it.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Strawberry Thief
  • Strawberry Thief
  • 21-02-2022

Incredible story

Very well researched and produced podcast into a horrifying part of Australia's history. Essential listening.

In the spirit of reconciliation, Audible Australia acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.