The Hard Truth about the Crime called Canada

Margaret Sepass was raped and then beaten to death by an Anglican priest named John Warner on December 5, 1969, at St. Michael’s Indian school in Alert Bay, British Columbia. Margaret was nine years old. Her burial site is unknown and John Warner was never charged.

On January 5, 1938, Albert Gray was beaten to death by Reverend Alfred Caldwell of the United Church of Canada when Albert took a prune from a jar without permission. Albert was eleven years old. His body was buried in secret behind the Ahousat Indian school and Alfred Caldwell was never charged.

On April 3, 1964, Richard Thomas was sodomized and then strangled to death by Catholic priest Terence McNamara at the Kuper Island Indian school. Richard was buried in secret in an orchard south of the school, and Terence McNamara, who is still alive, was never charged.

Elaine Dick, age 6, kicked to death by a nun, 1964;

Daniel Kangetok, age 4, infected with tuberculosis and left to die, 1971;

David Sepass, age 8, pushed down stairs and left to die, 1958;

A newborn Cree baby, burned alive by a priest at the Catholic Muscowegan Indian school, in May of 1944;

Susan Ball, age 5, starved to death in a closet, 1959;

Agnes Bernard, age 6, gang raped to death at the Shubanacadie school, 1958;

Pauline Frank, age 8, died from medical experimentation, Nanaimo Indian Hospital, 1972;

Albert Baptiste, age 9, died from electric shocks from a cattle prod wielded by a catholic priest, Christmas 1951;

Nancy Joe, age 14, died from involuntary drug testing, Nanaimo Indian hospital, 1967;

John Charlie, age 8, died from a blow to the head by a chain wielded by a catholic priest, 1964;

Lorraine white, teenager, gang raped by United Church school staff and left to die, Port Alberni, 1971;

Eighteen Mohawk children, all under the age of sixteen, shot to death by Canadian soldiers outside Brantford, Ontario, summer of 1943;

Johnny Bingo Dawson, eyewitness to some of these crimes, died of injuries from police beating, Vancouver, December 2009;

Ricky Lavallee, witness to Bingo’s murder, died of a blow to the chest, January 2012;

William Combes, eyewitness to the abduction of ten children by Queen Elizabeth from Kamloops Indian school, killed by lethal injection, St. Paul’s hospital, Vancouver, February 2011;

Harriett Nahanee, first witness to a residential school murder to go public, died after mistreatment in a Vancouver jail, February, 2007;

Nora Bernard, the first aboriginal in Canada to sue the catholic church for residential school crimes, murdered December 2007.

And more than 50,000 others, all of them children.

No-one has ever been charged or tried under Canadian law for any these killings. And the criminal government and churches responsible for this mass murder have been legally absolved of any responsibility for them under Canadian law.

Nothing has been healed. Nothing has been reconciled. Justice has been exterminated as completely as these innocent victims.

Stop the criminal conspiracy known as Canada! Join the Republic of Kanata and bring these genocidal institutions down! Simply, for justice. /

In the Asylum, all you can do is Laugh: Preparing for the Great Debate, or Some Such Thing

Decades ago, during my first sojourn to the Emerald Isle, my backpack and I ended up on the steps of a strange establishment called “The Walnut House”, on the outskirts of Limerick. I was exhausted and broke, and not especially picky about where I’d rest my head, so I ignored the odd look in the proprietor’s eyes and paid for a night.

I should have known better, especially after an especially impudent Irishman, clearly some local wag with inside knowledge, guffawed at us through the open front door,

“Is this the Nuthouse?”

It was, indeed.

The owner of the place, Peter Fitzgerald, was a complete lunatic, even by Gaelic standards. When he wasn’t talking my ear off about his latest ecstatic vision of a virgin, Pete somehow was able to hang images of the latest pope and various papist martyrs every foot or so on every wall in his humble inn of five cluttered rooms. And I’ll spare you the details of what he served me for breakfast the next day on a cracked ceramic platter bearing the curious words,

“I’ve been to Carlsbad Caverns, New Mexico”

Peter Fitzgerald is shuffling up from my memory these days as I prepare to travel to the land he hated so to engage in a public debate whose title, I kid you not, is this:

“Be it resolved that the Roman Catholic church is a force for good in the world.”

Welcome to the Nuthouse.

I trust that all my gentle readers will know on what side of that proposition I will fall, when on April 24 I stand up at the oldest debating society in England and in the world, the Cambridge Union, and wrestle with that mad suggestion, face to face with some pious wanker of an opponent who thinks he can buy insurance in heaven with enough payments to the papacy.

Well might you ask why I’ll even debating such a ridiculous notion that the biggest criminal racket on our planet is “doing good”. Wading though the muck and mire of other peoples’ fallacies like that is about as pleasant a prospect to me as sitting with Peter Fitzgerald for another hour.

But naturally, I’m going to do it. I am part Irish, after all.

Far be it from me to spill the beans of what I’ll be arguing in Cambridge in a few weeks, but to employ one of Carol’s appellations for me, being pretty impudent and “cheeky monkeyish” myself , I can’t resist shooting a few of my arrows at the advancing enemy, even if it does give away some of my position.

Bumpy Johnson was a compassionate sort of killer who had this penchant to feed the hungry kids in Harlem with free turkeys every Christmas, back in the seventies.

The corpulent mobster would personally hand out the big stuffed birds to all his poor and adoring fans from the back of a flat truck off Lexington Avenue. Of course, Bumpy was able to garner the loot for such charitable works by first wiping out all the local drug dealers – his preferred method being to burn offenders alive with kerosene – and cornering their heroin trade in that part of the Bronx. But most people didn’t want to talk about that, even when their own relatives were overdosing and dying from Bumpy’s trade.

For New York City loved Bumpy Johnson with the adulation of True Believers, and the hordes of politicians and judges and media moguls who no doubt also drank from Bumpy’s trough mourned him greatly when he finally left this mortal coil.

Was Bumpy Johnson a force for good in the world?

Or how about Pablo Escobar, the Medellin drug cartel’s “robin hood” gangster who routinely funded housing projects and free medical clinics for Colombia’s poor families? Was Pablo a good guy? Is Monsanto Corporation a positive power on earth because it constructs schools for the kids of the third world farmers whose lands they’re adulterating?

The Mafia hoods are all good catholics who give routinely to charity and make all those church-sponsored charities happen, when they’re not whacking someone or laundering their stolen wealth through the ever-compliant Vatican Bank. And the Mob really must be good guys, after all, since “Pope Francis” himself hung out with them recently in Rome and taught them how to be nicer people. Or something.

Of course, you can engage in any degree of lies and hypocrisy when you’re a “pope” and your business pulls in a few trillion bucks a year. You can even traffic and kill kids and have Presidents have tea with you.

During my first year as a clergyman in Port Alberni, I learned quickly who was the worst child sex offender in town, mostly from his victims or their families. The bastard was an elder at the nearby Anglican church. He was also the head of the local Rotary Club and led their charitable fund raising campaign every year. He was the buddy of the Mayor and a “good Christian”. Nobody wanted to hear about what he did at night.

Yes indeed, this world is such a Two Faced Janus that it’s hardly surprising when the top worldly power, the Vatican Incorporated, embodies the madness of benificient monstrosity to such an ultimate degree that all one can do, apparently, is laugh.

Now, I assume that just smirking at my Cambridge debating opponent and tossing poignant barbs of irony and ridicule at him, or her, will not cut the mustard on April 24. The university crowd will want a good show that day, and being scholars, will clearly need to dissect and discuss and minutiae their moral substance out of existence. And yet some basic, disgusted part of me feels that there is little else to be done in the face of the organized mass insanity we are confronting, than to guffaw at it all.

Another mick, the writer George Bernard Shaw, prescribed exactly such a course a century ago, when he was asked for his reaction to the outbreak of another lunacy known as the Great War to “end all wars”. (Remember?)

George calmly said to the reporter,

“Soldiers on both sides should shoot their officers and go home”.

Later, the cheeky Irishman commented that the best way to bring down the rich and mighty was to laugh at them. For it is undeniable that something is shaken loose by doing so: not just the stupid and unwarranted air of legitimacy surrounding the psychopaths who rule us and tell us what to believe, but that thing within ourselves that plays along with the great dissociation and believes that yes, might must make right, and the butchers do have a good side, after all.

The next time someone insists that “There are also good people in the church, you know”, I plan to shove a ripe melon in their face. Or something worse.

“As sick as a plane to Lourdes”: Memories of Reverend Bud, or Why we need not fear rulers

He was an odious little creep, even by church standards. But in his immaculate suit and “I can sell you anything” smile, he obviously had just the right stuff to head a seminary: specifically, as Principal of my Alma Mater, the Vancouver School of Theology (VST).

His name was Bud Phillips, and he dropped among all the pious bunnies a year after I had enrolled there.

VST’s gaggle of resident theologians were enamoured with Bud, for some reason, despite the fact that the guy’s background was in chartered accountancy and public relations. Conveniently, however, a Master of Divinity degree had found its way onto Bud’s curriculum vitae, much in the same way that the hand picked Medici or Borgia popes of the middle ages were given honorary ordination into the priesthood the day before their bought and paid for elevation into the spot of Top Papal Gun.

Alas, things are more banal, if no less corrupt, in these, humanity’s final days. For with barely a by your leave, The Reverend Bud kicked off his tenure among we, his erstwhile flock, by sacking several long time VST staff members in order to free up the cash needed to redecorate his fancy residence next to the school.

I knew one of the sacrificial lambs who had to face the knife so that Bud could lounge in a sauna: a single mom with two kids named Hanne who worked as a secretary in the school’s Development office. She was in fact the friend and co-worker of my wife back then, Anne McNamee, so from both of them I got all the gory details of what had come down.

Hanne elaborated,

“That bastard called all of us into his office and told us that two of us had to be laid off for fiscal reasons, but he wouldn’t say who. Then he tortured us by waiting a week before doing it.”

“Yeah” said Anne. “Then we heard confidentially from Jessie in Accounting that Bud had been told right when he got here that there wasn’t available the $100,000 to fund the renovations he wanted on his house.”

“Well, I guess he’s found the money” I remarked.

Hanne burst into tears at that point, and Anne turned her “Well Kev, what are you going to do about this?” look on me.

Anne generally didn’t like me causing a stink over something that might affect her personally, as she demonstrated with deadly effect some years later; but at the time, she was about to quit her job at VST anyway, so I guess she figured she could afford to have me fight for Hanne’s job – which I did, of course. And in the process, I nearly got bounced from the church even earlier than I eventually was.

Out of that experience, I learned a lot about the fibre, or rather lack of it, of my fellow clergy-in-training, and the whole church crowd. A more circumspect fellow might have grown cautious from the conflict. But all I could see at the time were Hanne’s inconsolable tears – and Bud’s swanky new abode.

So I put out a leaflet, naturally. It was dispatched anonymously, which was unusual for me. It laid out the facts of the debacle and asked, naively, where the justice of Jesus was. And as it appeared like an unwanted mustard seed plant on the walls and tables of VST, the effect my epistle had was comparable to my depositing a pile of excrement on the chapel’s communion table.

The school exploded.

It was fun to watch the normally austere and pretentious veneer of all the god-groupies fall apart as a sort of paranoid McCarthyism swept the school. And Reverend Bud was furious. Within a day of the leaflet’s appearance, he called an assembly and demanded, before the gathered, cowed crowd of all the holy folk, to know the identity of the leaflet’s author.

Bud wanted blood.

It was understandable, from a realpolitick point of view. After all, in his greed, Bud had made himself look like a complete ass hole in front of his entire, new constituency: the kind of guy who would (to quote my Irish relations) “take the eye outta your head and come back for the eyelashes”. And so, like any Emperor caught with his pants down, Bud Phillips needed a scapegoat – you know, like, to distract everybody. And so the witch hunt was on.

Fortunately for my future and short lived career as a clerical caretaker for the United Church of Canada, no-one but Anne and Hanne knew that I had written the offending tract. Yet my visible lack of ecstasy for our new Principal made me an immediate and prime suspect to Bud and his gang of saintly sycophants, which by then included most of the VST faculty and students.

And so, gentle readers, in a not-so-oddly-similar scenario to what would come later, when I broadcast even greater crimes and hypocrisies by the church, the general consensus among the local Christians was that Kevin Annett was clearly to blame.

They had no proof, of course, but that’s never bothered the church officialdom all that much. Overnight, I became a seminarian to avoid: a condition not helped by my tendency to regale anyone within earshot with hitting quotes from Monty Python’s Life of Brian – my favourite one being, of course, “Alright, I AM the Messiah. Now fuck off!”.

Hanne never did get her job back. And oddly enough, two years later, I graduated from VST into the comfy ranks of the United Church clergy.

I suppose the church overlooked my little “indiscretion”, and Bud’s bigger one, for the same reason: the institution had to carry on. Now as then, they have a deficit of clergy people, and practically anyone will do. Besides, the Temple money changers probably didn’t imagine that I would be back again for an even more impressive table-overturning performance, at a little place called Port Alberni.

It just goes to show you that rulers of whatever denomination tend to exchange not only their ethics but wisdom and reason itself for a new sauna and nicer wall panelling in their private studies.

There is No Cure in Gilead: Truth and Consequences in Canada

(composed at the finale of the Truth and Reconciliation performance, Vancouver, September 22, 2013)

The gang raping and torture of the little brown boys and girls stopped for one evening, and for that evening alone. Remarkably, the lean and anemic children were given a regular meal, and a change of clothes, and even a bath. For it was Christmas Eve, and the local pale church goers needed some entertainment.

All the Indian kids knew the score by then, it being a simple matter of unnatural selection, since anyone who didn’t play the game didn’t live very long at the Edmonton residential school. Only the obedient were still alive. And so they all donned their starched white uniforms and their frozen smiles with no fuss or bother, and they somehow limped and trudged to the waiting school bus.

At the front door of the cold stone building, Jim Ludford awaited them with his prescribed leather strap as the snow fell on good and evil alike. Ludford was the representative of the god that had brought the children to this place where half of them would die. Every Sunday in the United Church chapel, Ludford always concluded his sermon with the reminder to his little brown flock that “the only good Indian is a dead Indian”.

The boys and girls who filed carefully past him that night were all good little Indians, and therefore dead, or soon to be. But like the pale ones who waited for their yuletide performance, the kids knew how to imitate the living. And Reverend Jim Ludford looked out at his creation that Christmas Eve in the year 1963, and he knew that it was good.

The children sang well that night, for they knew what would happen to them otherwise. Their voices recalled Gitchi Manitou and the little baby Jesus, come to redeem the world of all of its sins. And when they ended their performance with a refrain of Silent Night, of all those present, only they understood the silence.

The wall of polite pale faces seemed to enjoy the savages’ performance, and beamed happily as Reverend Ludford spoke his lies to the congregation and invited them to give a special monetary offering that night to further their important work among these poor unfortunates. The parishioners did so, of course, for Canadians are very nice people. Some of them even gave the brown children specially wrapped Christmas gifts, and little boxes of sweets, and the Canadians felt good with themselves for it, which was the whole point.

The children did not stay for the entire service, of course, lest they embarrass the church folk by staying for the lavish Christmas dinner in the church hall. Ludford guided them sternly back onto the snow-entombed bus, collecting from them all of the special gifts they clutched in their cold little hands. And on the drive back to the residential school, the clergyman chose from among the children three boys to receive his special thanks, later, in his bedroom.

None of that mattered, ultimately, in Ludford’s world, and in the bright and empty United Church where the performance had come off without a hitch. The show had gone on, and that’s what counted.

Those things never change.


Fifty years later, one of the brown children whose body still moved even though his soul did not found himself among the same pale crowd of nice Canadians: the very same people, in fact, who had paid Reverend Ludford to rape him and beat some of his friends to death. The good pale people still gazed through the brown man while pretending to see him, and once more they welcomed him to perform for them. And knowing what awaited him if he didn’t, once again the dead Indian walking didn’t let them down.

The brown man drummed for them and pretended to know about the aboriginal songs that he had learned from his uncle, and the white Christians watched him for awhile and feigned respect until something else caught their attention. Some of them gave him the hugs and compliments that passed for specially wrapped gifts, and like a half century before, their offerings were collected back from him before the evening was over.

The Indian sat alone after his performance, in the huge and bustling auditorium filled with Official Reconciliation without any Truth, watching as the mostly-pale crowd drifted by and imagined themselves to be informed and on the right side of history, just as they had in Edmonton, decades before, and when their first smallpox-spreading missionaries had fallen on his ancestors.

The Indian knew better and he saw the big lie, but he would never say so, for he had learned when so very young that another moment of survival was all that mattered.

The truth is pointless, he’d told his own son before the boy had killed himself. The truth is like that one moment in the boys’ dorm when I defied Reverend Ludford and pushed him away from me, and he held my arm down on a hot stove top until I passed out to teach me what was actually true.

But even in his tortured remembrance, the brown man did not allow life to depart completely from him. Gazing about the bustling auditorium and its desperate effort to reassure the conquerors, the Indian knew what was true. For somewhere, he had once heard that reconciliation meant, at its root, not equanimity, but quite oppositely, the way that one person is made subordinate again to another.

The white clergymen behind the United Church display booth, he noticed, still wore their stiff white collars, and they smiled just the way that James Ludford had.