The long-awaited release of Chris Masters’s Alan Jones biography Jonestown has sparked allegations of homophobia from some unexpected sources.

Conservative columnist Andrew Bolt called Jonestown, and the subsequent response from ABC and Fairfax journalists, the most savage poofter bashing he’s seen, in the Herald Sun yesterday.

Of particular concern to Bolt were links Masters made between Jones’s homosexuality and his alleged habit of showering affection on favourites when he was a teacher.

Jones was not just outed as gay to destroy his credibility, he wrote. Worse, he was accused of having problems as a teacher with young boys because of his homosexuality -“ an allegation that is not only baseless but draws a link that vilifies all gays.

Bolt’s Daily Telegraph counterpart Piers Ackerman expressed similar sentiments in a column published Tuesday.

Ackerman suggested David Marr, the cultural commissar of the Fairfax flagship [The Sydney Morning Herald] was supporting the outing of Jones because of professional rivalry and Jones’s conservative political beliefs.

Could it be possible that those whose politics veer to the left are so decidedly unprincipled that they believe it is perfectly permissible to smear nature’s gentlemen with whom they don’t agree? Ackerman asked.

Both Masters and Marr stated this week the subject of Jones’s sexuality was unavoidable in a comprehensive study of his life.

Masters told the ABC’s The World Today program the subject was an elephant in the room.

I think I’ve dealt with it sensibly and responsibly, and I don’t know how you could’ve written the book and not dealt with it, he said.

Meantime, the Aurora Group announced this week Jonestown author Chris Masters was confirmed to speak at their next event, Plucked In Jonestown at Bilson’s Restaurant.

Chairperson Jane Marsden said Masters would make for an interesting guest.

Masters’s theory about Jones’s hidden homosexuality being -˜a defining feature of the Jones persona’ is interesting, Marsden said.

Given [Aurora’s] focus on organisations which assist gay men and lesbians to explore their sexuality in a safe environment and to accept their sexual identity in a positive and healthy way, we hope for a time when no gay man or lesbian feels the need to keep their sexuality in a -˜closet’.

Tickets for the Monday 13 November event go on sale this weekend. Bookings can be made online at www.auroragroup.com.au, by phoning 9331 5276 or by emailing admin@auroragroup.com.au.

A full review of Chris Masters’s Jonestown will appear in the next issue of Sydney Star Observer.

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