The Australian Government Created A Bizarre And Very Bleak Horoscope Chart To Scare Asylum Seekers
Exclusive: The chart warns Sagittarian asylum seekers they will be in debt forever, and tells Leos they will be filled with regret.
Are you a Sagittarius? You'll be in debt forever.
Leo? You'll be filled with regret.
And if you're a Taurus, you will be ashamed of your actions.
That's according to a set of horoscopes the Australian government created for distribution in Sri Lanka, to deter people from seeking asylum in Australia.
"If you illegally travel to Australia by boat you will be returned. Everything you risked to get there will be in vain and you will end up owing everyone," says the Sagittarius horoscope.
The Gemini horoscope warns "You will lose your wife's jewellery", while Taurian asylum seekers are told "If you illegally travel to Australia by boat, expect to be returned home where you will face the humiliation of failure in your community".
Each star sign on the government-branded poster, titled "Horoscope", has a similarly grim forecast.
Australia has a strict border protection regime and a zero-tolerance approach to seeking asylum by boat.
In recent years, the country has spent millions of dollars on advertising campaigns in countries from which people regularly attempt to flee to Australia, creating stern videos, graphic novels and social media posts.
United States president Donald Trump approvingly tweeted about Australian immigration posters earlier this year.
The horoscope poster was released under a freedom of information application for copies of printed advertising material in English to dissuade people smugglers and asylum seekers trying to reach Australia between 2013 and 2019.
The Department of Home Affairs did not respond to questions about when and where the horoscope poster was displayed.
However, the poster itself gives a few clues, suggesting it was distributed in Sri Lanka within the last few years.
"It is almost four years since any Sri Lankan person reached Australia on an illegal boat voyage," the poster says. "During this period, Australian authorities have stopped and returned more than 160 Sri Lankans who tried to go to Australia illegally by boat."
As part of the Operation Sovereign Borders policy, Australian immigration officers turn back any boats with asylum seekers on board to its country of origin without hearing their refugee claims.
In May 2019, Australian Border Force said Australia had returned 186 people to Sri Lanka since September 2013. By September 2019, that number was 204. Before 2019, the last boat to reach Australian shores arrived in 2014.
The poster threatens that anyone who tries to reach Australia will be returned to Sri Lanka, and directs readers to a website with the same message.
Astrology is popular in Sri Lanka, where it can determine who you marry and when to start a new job.
In the midst of the recent debate on medical evacuations of refugees from offshore detention to Australia, the Australian newspaper reported that Australian Border Force had stopped a boat coming from Sri Lanka to Australia in August.
Here are the horoscopes in full.
ARIES: Criminals will rip you off
If you attempt to illegally travel to Australia by boat, expect people smugglers to take advantage of you. These criminals will take your money and you will be returned to Sri Lanka with nothing.
AQUARIUS: You and your family will lose everything
If you risk everything you and your family have built together to pay for an illegal boat voyage to Australia, you will be stopped and returned to Sri Lanka. You will suffer hardship and have nothing but bad luck.
SAGITTARIUS: You will be in debt forever
If you illegally travel to Australia by boat you will be returned. Everything you risked to get there will be in vain and you will end up owing everyone.
TAURUS: You will be ashamed of your actions
If you illegally travel to Australia by boat, expect to be returned home where you will face the humiliation of failure in your community. Bad luck will strike you if you try to perform this illegal deed.
VIRGO: You will have legal problems
If you illegally travel to Australia by boat you will be stopped and returned to face the legal consequences. Going through with this illegal act will bring you nothing but bad luck and regret for your actions.
CAPRICORN: You will put your life at risk
Deciding to risk your life on dangerous seas and unpredictable weather will be in vain. If you travel illegally to Australia, you will be returned to Sri Lanka and encounter a storm of bad luck.
GEMINI: You will lose your wife's jewellery
Bad luck will come your way if you travel illegally to Australia by boat. Expect to lose everything you've pawned to pay for this pointless enterprise.
LIBRA: You will flush your money down the drain
Your luck is bad. You cannot illegally travel to Australia by boat as you will be stopped and returned, and all the money you spent getting there will be wasted.
CANCER: Family problems will occur
Luck is not in the cards for you. Do not try to travel illegally to Australia by boat, as you will be stopped and returned. You will lose everything your family owes to debt, and face family problems.
SCORPIO: You will waste your money
If you naively trust people smugglers' lies and attempt illegal travel to Australia by boat, you will be returned to Sri Lanka and lose everything you put on the line to get there.
LEO: You will be filled with regret
If you attempt illegal travel to Australia by boat, you will be returned to face legal consequences for your illegal travel. Commit such a crime and expect nothing but bad luck.
PISCES: You will lose your family's land
If you travel illegally to Australia by boat you will be returned. The money you got from mortgaging your family's land will be wasted right before your eyes.