Accountings for social phenomena produce partial representations that remain silent on many things, but the wilful intention to silence accounting itself is a curiosity requiring further attention. Accounting typically serves the motives of the powerful, silencing and marginalising the ‘Other’ (for racial, sexual, religious, power etc. reasons). Disempowerment and obscurity of Others is ubiquitous, possible through the lack of visibility ascribed when unaccounted for by accounting. Yet, when this accounting fails to legitimise the actions of the powerful, accounts become obfuscated. The purpose of this paper is to consider the mystification of accounting by an overarching commitment to inhumane and costly government policy, using the illustrative example of Australia’s offshore immigration detention for asylum seekers.