Not Living for Ourselves

Hi friends. The following is an excerpt from a book I’m writing called “Fallen”, about four of the aboriginal members of our movement in Vancouver who were killed: Bingo, Harry, William and Ricky. I know you’d all relate:

One night a year after Harry Wilson had died I was speaking to a gathering of stricken people in Liverpool. After the meeting one of them approached me. She was a woman my age but seemingly older, a local resident who’d hung on my every word. She had been visibly moved when I spoke about my persecuted and imprisoned free-thinker ancestor Peter Annett who was Liverpool-born and raised.

She and I chatted over coffee as people came and went, and she kept staring at me like one draws the best water from the deepest part of the well. Finally the woman said to me quietly,

“I’ve been trying to figure you out for years. Now I think I finally understand you”

“Oh yeah?” I replied, feeling awkward.

She nodded, wide-eyed, and said,

“You were sent here to uproot and tear down the old so the new can grow. You’re a Systems Smasher.”

I smiled at the simple truth she had so precisely nailed.

“Thank you” I answered.”Thank you for seeing me”

She took my hand and whispered tearfully,

“And your Indian mates, they saw that in you too. That’s why they stood by you”

At that moment, a flood of appreciation for my fallen friends filled me, and a profound gratitude for who they really were. All five of us had together stumbled over the secret: that our lives are ultimately not our own.

Another survivor put it this way,

“The true meaning of life is to be discovered in the world rather than within man or his psyche. For being human always points and is directed to something or someone other than oneself. The more a man forgets himself – by giving himself to a cause to serve or to others to love – the more human he is and the more he actualizes himself. Self-actualization is not attainable in itself, but is possible only as a side-effect of self-transcendence.” (Victor Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning)

People not privy to the secret continually ask me why I don’t worry about myself more, admonishing me with the cure-all incantation “Stay safe!”. The same kind of people used to relate to my four friends as broken objects to be fixed rather than a work in progress.

Bingo and Harry and the others certainly never spent any time fretting about their own personal “healing”: that’s a Pale watchword, not one of theirs. Like me, their days were directed towards who we had to help and what we had to overcome in a world trying to stomp us into nothing. Forgetting about ourselves, we ended up moving mountains. Narcissists never move anything.

Smashing whole systems is the prerogative of those who are no longer the center of their own universe, but revolve around a higher fixed point.

One of Bingo’s buddies was Maggie, an older Nishga woman who seemed like any other stumbling and struggling street resident. But one night I saw her single handedly drag a police barrier to block off Main street as part of a spontaneous protest to free a homeless guy named Trevor who was being worked over in the cop shop. Maggie was completely unmindful of the risk to herself, even though twenty fully-armed riot cops were but a dozen paces away. She turned and started screaming at the goons who could break her head in an instant. Maggie was fearless in that moment, because her mind was on Trevor and her spirit had risen above herself.

The riot cops didn’t seem to know what to do when faced down by Maggie. And barely a half hour later, Trevor was released.

I always remember that night and Maggie’s stand whenever fear starts tugging at me and I forget myself by collapsing back into self-concern. For her selfless courage is a microcosm of the power we hold in our hands once we depart from ourselves and live for a new society and a new humanity. Being thus consecrated allows our souls to soar and makes the obstacles we face surmountable, and what we are birthing indestructible.

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Harry Wilson and Kevin Annett, Vancouver, spring 1997

Loving what we know: William and me

by Kevin D. Annett

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Wandering into the outback of one’s sixties invariably leaves me, at least, with a persisting sense of exile. Perhaps I’m not alone, if the strained and semi-confused demeanor of other folks my age means anything. The lot of us came of age during the 1960′s, after all, when the tyrants were toppling; so today’s droll, narcissistic nuthouse that passes for Civilization is doing its damnedest to bludgeon our dreams into early retirement. 

My father Bill is nearly ninety, although you wouldn’t know it. He’s just published a sheaf of his writings over seventy years called Letters from my Gin Mill: An Octogenarian Odyssey (Amazon, 2017) which brims with his usual slashing wit and levity, undiminished by all the wear and tear. Perusing his fifty selections, it struck me how the sense of exile runs like a vein through anyone who sifts through the strata of their own life with something more than remembrance. Whether situated in the dust-bowl prairies that he knew as a child or in the surreal world of high finance, Dad’s stories echo a sort of heart filled longing for that which he never found during his own kick at the can.

Dad’s a Yankee who ended up in Canada at a tender age about the same time that Wall Street went under. Now he’s returned to the Land of the Fee to live out his final time in a Daytona Beach flat with his little dog Princess. And so while not strictly an expatriate, Bill Annett seems to be in that set-apart zone reserved for the artist who is looking for summation. He’s still got a lot to teach me, especially about accepting ourselves.

 I find myself digressing more with the passing years, which comes I suppose from lots of memories and battle hardedness as well as possible early onset dementia. I recall scenes from my own child hood more vividly these days, especially concerning my Dad and my mother Marg. They couldn’t have been more different.

As kids some unspoken pneuma wafts us in the direction of one parent or the other. In my case it was towards Dad, which of course frustrated Marg to no end. One reason I viscerally identified with my father was because he saw bullshit for what it was, in the crowd or in himself. He had an innate self-acceptance that didn’t require that he thirst after other peoples’ approval. I guess you could call him the ultimate realist. Marg of course was the polar opposite.

I can’t say I wasn’t touched by my mother at all, for although I wasn’t strictly birthed by her but lifted, or hijacked perhaps, out of her sliced belly, Marg left some of her mark on me. In my early years I hankered after some great achievement, a stunning public recognition that would give me the friendship and love that always seemed to elude me. But more than that – and here’s where Dad came in – I too saw through the oceans of crap around me. And yet unlike Dad I had a burning need to do something about it all. I was permanently restless, and already in my teens I was in exile from the need to fit in somewhere. I was compelled to do something new, and so I could already sense the long loneliness that would be my life.

Unlike my mother, Dad always accepted me, which to a son is like oxygen. He and I would go years without speaking, but I knew he was out there somewhere rooting for me. Now it’s different, and when we meet up we’re like two guys batching it together and swilling our thoughts around the way war vets do with their vodkas and tonics. Being with Dad has been like a home coming in a way, or maybe an oasis.

At the end of the day I love my father not only for who he is and what he’s given me but for that peculiar Annett gift of exposition and clear sightedness that I’ve inherited from him. And knowing who we are and loving what we know is at least one of the higher qualities of the true man.

In one of his recollections of his deceased brother Ron, Dad writes of their deathbed farewell,

“By the time I reached Florida three or four days later, he had already told them to pull the plug. I found I had no tears left, nor regrets over a brother who never made the headlines but in some strange way for me will always be one of the true riders in the chariot.”

And so too my father.


Order Letters from My Gin Mill: An Octogenarian Odyssey by William Annett through or at this link:























What is this Thing called Trump? The Little Man Syndrome in all of us

by Kevin D. Annett

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You’re afraid to look at yourself, little man, afraid of criticism, and afraid to be free, to be candid rather than scheming, to be capable of loving, not like a thief in the night but in broad daylight. You despise yourself, little man, and so you must despise everyone around you. - Wilhelm Reich, Listen, Little Man!

Our enemies marvel at our success. It is really no secret. We won the heart of the anonymous man in the crowd by showing him that, while insignificant and mortal, he is nevertheless part of something that is great and eternal. - Adolf Hitler, 1934

Modern society is dominated at every level of its economy, religion, government and law by a medieval paradigm of the dualistic separation of light from darkness and their projection onto either an external savior or enemy. Only by repossessing their own minds and learning inner freedom can a people actually be free. - Erich Fromm


Like all projections, we either hate him or love him. For a third of Americans he’s everything they’ve always wanted to be: filthy rich, on the top of the heap, answerable to no-one. To another third he’s an even more horrid version of Two Tonque Richard Nixon, risen from the nation’s worst nightmare to corrupt and destroy the Republic once and for all. Regardless, neither camp seems capable of ignoring Donald Trump for the simple reason that he is a mirror.

In 1857, America’s bard Walt Whitman reminded us,

O I see flashing that this America is only you and me,

Its power, weapons, testimony are you and me,

Its crimes, lies, thefts, defections are you and me,

Its Congress and President are you and me …

Past, present, future, are you and me.

Whatever he is, Donald and what he represents has emerged from out of America and some unrelieved longing among the often poor and struggling people who gave to him their vote and their authority. I call him Donald because behind his mask of wealth and pretense that is all who he is, a man not a mask, and a desperate man who has become lost in his own psychosis the higher he climbs in the world. Donald: the compulsively deceptive little guy who has to be the big boss over everyone, who can never be wrong about anything, and who bears all the behavioral signs of an untreated narcissistic sociopath.

Insanity in high office, of course, is not unique to Donald Trump but is rather engendered and required by the job. Pathological liars are the ones who are the best adapted people to run corporations, churches and governments. And so Donald’s sickness is really the sickness of the entire system.

In short, the issue is not really about Donald or whatever other latest figurehead embodies for us our unresolved longings and torments. The issue is about us, and why we keep handing over our power and even our identities to our own oppressors.

Some psychologists have called the problem the “Little Man (and Woman) Syndrome”. But I prefer not to hang the plant of theory too far above the soil of experience. Whatever its appellation, we all witness the syndrome every day in those around us and in ourselves. It’s the principle of Deferred Identity that – or so we are told – prevents a complex society from collapsing under the stress of millions of unrestrained egos. We become, to quote a street buddy of mine, “Prisoners in somebody else’s mind”.

To live together in society we must suppress all of our natural inclinations and become molded into people we are not. This makes every citizen a functional neurotic: a frustrated but trapped slave who is estranged from his own nature. And what relief can such neurosis seek except through the medium of another person who does not seem to be as trapped: a “great man” who is mistakenly believed to have the power to express and achieve what the slave cannot and dare not.

I run smack dab into that slave whenever anyone writes to me about our freedom campaign and the common law court movement, and meekly asks me, “What can I do to help?”. Instead of telling them what to do I’ve started writing back to such people, “I don’t know, what can you do to help?”.

In a way, my Socratic response is a pointless question, since if the inquirers knew the answer they wouldn’t be asking me to tell them what to do. But by denying them my own answer I hope to prod them into looking at their own words and inclinations: to gaze into the mirror that holds much more than simply an answer to their plea.

The trouble with slaves, as the ex-bondsman Frederick Douglas pointed out, is that they have surrendered all moral responsibility. They are responsible for nothing, really, except to obey someone else. And with that loss of the capacity to judge and decide things for oneself comes an even more abject mental servitude that defies all reason and proof presented to it. The slave cannot logically reason, for thinking for oneself requires the inner freedom to do so. The slave can think only habitually and irrationally, according to fear, prejudice and the superstitions foisted on him by his masters.

The kind of massive unreasoning of the Little Man who is cut off from himself and his inborn capacity to be free is rampant everywhere on the political scene. It remains the basis of party politics and what is euphemistically called “democracy”. And nowhere is it more abjectly expressed than in relation to Donald’s government, which is not so much a government as a cozy coterie of billionaire CEO’s.

To the mental dependents who equate unthinking loyalty to Donald as the mark of a righteous American, the proof of that coterie’s astounding corruption is denied with a knee jerk absolutism that makes even devout Pope-lovers pale in comparison.

When shown how the Secretary of State’s personal billion dollar investments in Russian oil fields is an obvious factor in his campaign to lift America’s trade embargo on that country, the dependents say it’s all a lie. When Donald Trump fires anyone who gets near to exposing his own crooked inside deals, it’s called an act of wise statesmanship against a mysterious enemy called “the liberal media”. Even when the Secretary of Commerce operates hand in glove with the Cypriot banks laundering Russian Mafia money, and when Donald himself, as the “President”, works openly as an agent of a foreign power, the Donald lovers cling all that more to their chosen hero. Shades of Richard Nixon? No, children: something far, far worse.

Beyond any partisan interpretation of these treasonable shenanigans is the stunning realization that these days, the moral rot has become so extreme that there is no explosion of revulsion or political action to put an end to these things, as there was during the 1970′s. Perhaps a more accurate and basic description is that the capacity to be free has vanished, as in the latter days of any toppling system of power.

To stretch an analogy, the Little Man has become completely unhinged and has gone berserk. At a personal level this is an indication of a total psychotic break, a fleeing from any semblance of provable reality into a dissociated state of permanent detachment. That at least seems to be the major current these days in America, which of course is merely symptomatic of every other “modern” nation.

Of course, not every American is an angry little slave gone crazy. Rather, the others are bewildered slaves wondering why everything is breaking down around them. The latter understand themselves no more clearly than does the berserk Donald Lover, and so must blame their political opponents or the evil man in the White House for the problem. But the mirror is presented to them as well,and indeed to every one of us.

In one sense it is pointless to look for alternatives to the present madness. As Walt Whitman so keenly observed, we are all ultimately responsible for what we have become, as unacceptable as such a notion is to the untreated Dependent. If our world collapses it will be because of We the People, not the wrong people “in power”. Accepting such a responsibility is the first free act of a slave, and can begin to deflate the delusion that some external power is the cause of either our ills or our hopes. That entire world view is a dark age legacy that still determines our approach to everything, and nothing is emerging to suggest that we are collectively escaping this substitutionist mindset. We are, after all, denizens of a post-industrial and post-meaning global culture in collapse, when even the possibility of genuine change is dissipated on the storms of continual crisis and fear.

Time, in other words, to prepare for and endure the collapse. For after the time of famine and fallow comes new life: but not from out of a dead plant.

Perhaps a handful of new seeds are groping upwards out of the present psychic darkness that has all of us enchained. Instead of projecting away our existence we must begin to reclaim our own fears, thoughts and freedom, as the first step towards inner and outer regeneration. But as with anything having to do with our actual and not imagined selves, the dream must precede the deed before anything life giving can emerge.

In the meantime, Donald will carry on, as unmindful of what moves him as are his opponents and his devotees. Our projections matter not. Better instead for each of us to stand alone tonight under the endless night sky and remember ​the eternity of who we are, and why we are alive. And then to be different.

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Missing People, Fake Inquiries and the China Connection: What Price this Profit?

by Kevin D. Annett

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Our women and children have been going missing for centuries. It’s called genocide. - Wilf Price, Haida Nation, 2011

Charging somebody with murder out here is like handing out speeding tickets at the Indy 500. - Captain Willard, Apocalypse Now

Marion Buller is accustomed to being a token, I suppose, but even her flabby grimace for the TV cameras couldn’t mask the fear in her eyes this past week. An unusually daring Canadian reporter had just asked her why after nearly two years her $64 million “Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women” inquiry has yet to uncover a single body or a genuine lead.

Well, we’re not meant to, Marion might have frankly replied, if she hadn’t first learned the score as a sitting ab-original judge on Canada’s west coast, a chief killing ground of Indians. But Marion is an inside player, and she told the reporter that, you know, these things take time.

Fogging a crime is no doubt a time-consuming activity, especially when the criminals aren’t cooperating in the cover-up. The RCMP officers and their contract killers who routinely shove native women in the ground have been oddly unforthcoming. Equally mute are the Chinese resource companies that are funding the killings and the ethnic cleansing of northern British Columbia’s aboriginal heart land. Of course, Marion Buller isn’t asking any of those folks anything, presumably because she doesn’t relish taking up permanent residence in the lower reaches of Burrard Inlet.

Life is never easy for a paid minion.

In truth, the killers have their hands full these days keeping Beijing satisfied. China’s direct investment in British Columbia’s resources and infrastructure has more than quadrupled since 2002, and the three biggest Chinese oil companies (PetroChina, Sinepec and Nexen) have until the spring of 2020 to sign contracts to secure B.C.’s vast Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) cornucopia. Unfortunately for the foreign devils, barely a tenth of the aboriginal nations that occupy these lands have shown a willingness to make such deals. And China, as we know, has a special knack for dealing with opposition.

Irene Mack, a freelance journalist near Smithers, has spent years documenting where aboriginal people go missing. According to her research, the heaviest concentration of disappearances is in the LNG – rich regions of the province.

“It’s undeniable when you map this thing. The three main LNG pipelines run straight through the Highway of Tears, from west to east through the biggest killing zones. Pacific Northern Gas Company, Prince Rupert Gas Transportation and West Coast Gas Transportation connect the coastal ports to Tumbler Ridge and Fort St. John. All of it is on lands still occupied by native groups that have resisted signing deals with the companies.”

And to quote a local white politician from the Terrace region,

“We’ve been telling the Mounties for years that the disappearances of the native families are targeted killings by professionals. In the Carrier-Sekani region it’s common place that anyone who speaks out against the backroom corporate deals with the Chinese gets a one way trip to the lake. But I stopped going to the Mounties when I realized they were the ones taking people to the lake.”

Significantly, one of the first murdered native women to make the headlines, Wendy Poole of Moberley Lake, was the daughter of political activist Chief Art Napolean who led the fight to stop the surrender of his Saulteaux Cree lands to multinationals. Wendy Poole’s body was found dismembered and missing body parts and organs. The RCMP refused to investigate her death.

Wendy’s organs were missing for a reason. For the profit-led assault that killed her also involves the Chinese military: specifically, the same Generals who operate China’s infamous organ-trafficking industry and have exterminated large swaths of China’s own indigenous tribes, the Uyghur Muslims.

One of the most notorious of these officers, former Chinese security chief General Zhou Yongkang, is a major share holder in the hundreds of army-run hospitals across China where prisoners and political dissidents are killed and their organs transplanted into paying recipients. This same consortium of hospitals is now investing heavily in the British Columbia retirement home and health care industries, led by the Beijing-based Anbang Insurance Group.

The holding company of this entire operation, Cedar Tree Investments, owns big sections of downtown Vancouver and is described by one business journalist as “a thinly cloaked Triad (Chinese Mafia) operation that is grabbing up real estate and LNG deposits all over the province and especially up north.”

To say that the British Columbia and federal governments are holding the coats of these criminal conglomerates is to understate things. Prime Minister Trudeau just recently lifted restrictions on Chinese takeover investment in the health care field, while Bejing operates “special advisory groups” directly out of B.C. Premier Christy Clark’s government office. Clark is even jokingly but not inaccurately referred to by one Chinese lobbyist as “our local office manager”.

Over forty years ago when I first learned of how easily people go missing in Vancouver, a worldly-wise TV journalist named Jack Webster warned me, “Don’t ever expect to find out who’s responsible because nobody wants you to know”. Jack might have added, “especially the rich boys who are responsible.”

General Zhou Yongkang and his friends need have no such fear. Canada’s latest whitewash of its own domestic war crimes known as the Missing Womens Inquiry is ensuring that no names will ever be named and no mass grave sites ever unearthed. And Canadians, with their peculiar talent to blithely look past the evidence of their own backyard malfeasance, are giving their usual blessing to the whole charade.

 Business is business, after all.



See this background report on the Disappeared of B.C.

AND for more information tune in this Sunday May 21 and every Sunday on Radio Free Kanata (3 pm pacific, 6 pm eastern) .