Senate Committee recommends “every action necessary” to combat “residential school denialism”

Senate Committee recommends “every action necessary” to combat “residential school denialism”

By Lindsay Shepherd – August 3, 2023 FacebookTwitterPinterestWhatsAppLinkedin

The former justice minister, a federally-appointed “special interlocutor,” an NDP MP, and now a Senate committee are all desperately trying to stop Canadians from questioning the narrative that thousands of indigenous children are missing in “unmarked graves” at former residential schools.

In May 2021, the Tk’emlúps First Nation of Kamloops, BC sensationally announced they discovered the remains of 215 children in unmarked graves. 

In reality, their ground-penetrating radar found 200 soil disturbances which were possibly caused by septic field drainage tiles. 

No remains have been uncovered.

Reliable evidence pointing to thousands of unmarked graves at residential schools is still lacking, yet the Standing Senate Committee on Indigenous Peoples has recommended that “the Government of Canada take every action necessary to combat the rise of residential school denialism.”

The committee’s July 2023 report, “Honouring the children who never came home: Truth, education and reconciliation,” states, “Denialism serves to distract people from the horrific consequences of residential schools, and the realities of missing children, burials and unmarked graves.” 

“Of real concern to the committee is the small group of vocal individuals who try to undermine Survivors’ accounts of the hardships and abuse they experienced during residential schools.”

Special Interlocutor for Missing Children and Unmarked Graves Kimberly Murray was one of the committee’s witnesses. 

Murray has previously written in her own report that “Urgent consideration should be given to legal mechanisms to address denialism, including the implementation of both civil and criminal sanctions.”

In her report, Murray also claimed that grave-diggers were showing up to the Kamloops site in the night with shovels, hoping to dig up childrens’ bodies. The local RCMP detachment told True North they had no reports of such incidents.

In response to Murray, Liberal MP and former Justice Minister David Lametti said he is open to “a legal solution” to “outlaw” questioning the residential school narrative.

According to Hymie Rubenstein of the Indian Residential Schools Research Group, this is an attempt to criminalize debate on important indigenous issues.

“This might be legally unprecedented if enacted and probably easily challenged as an infringement of the Charter’s free speech provision,” said Rubenstein.

“It may also be redundant given existing hate law legislation.” 

The Senate committee did not respond to a request for comment.

True North also reached out to newly-appointed Justice Minister Arif Virani to ask if he would continue David Lametti’s project of outlawing “residential school denialism,” but his office offered no response.


Anti-Freedom Goons Try to Disrupt Victoria “Hands off our Children” Rally: Hallowe’en Came Early at the Precinct of the B. C. Legislature

Anti-Freedom Goons Try to Disrupt Victoria “Hands off our Children” Rally: Hallowe’en Came Early at the Precinct of the B. C. Legislature

The Apostle Paul said “I speak as a fool speaks”.  Thus, sarcastically I say >  the anti-SOGI rally was a win-win-win for all participants.  The parental rights faction did have their say  –  for 45 minutes – ‘til menace from the trans-activists became palpable.  At which point Sgt. Lucas told the rally’s organizers to turn off the microphone, declaring “we cannot guarantee everyone’s safety”    The collection of weirdos and lewd fellows of the baser sort were delighted they manifested pan-demon-ium at the very ‘gates of the City’ =  the grounds of the Legislature in Victoria.   The cops could congratulate demselves that, at least, no blood was spilled.

You couldn’t ask for a nicer day in quaint prosperous peaceful little Victoria. On the lawn at 11 am Wednesday 20 police officers in uniform moved around in good humor.  But as they congregated,  the trans-activists were in the mood for trouble. By the time the speakers started at noon it was obvious that twenty police wouldn’t be enough to keep the Peace and Dignity of His Majesty the King.   As well as the cops, there were eight private security guys in the speakers’ enclosure.

Main theme of the Event, was ; rights of parents to moral instruction of our children supercedes what is being taught in provincial public schools called SOGI*.   The weren’t expecting such a large contingent of opposition, with signs and flags and banners saying  : “SOGI saves lives”. ie. that ‘society must acknowledge gender dysphoria as normal or else children will commit suicide’.  

By noon I counted 300 fairly-normal looking people around the speakers’ enclosure. Plus 1000 warm bodies plenty obviously there for no good reason but to shout down the speakers. The mob soon pressed in on the line of police standing firm around the speakers. Of course, scuffling started. Trans-activists purposefully got past the police. Exactly as called for by the union leaders,  the goon squad fomented assaults,  so the organizers were genuinely in danger.   Just before the cops pulled the plug, I was 10 yards from Megan Murphy at the microphone.  The decibel level of noise from the mob was as high as a rock concert.   Particularly disgusting,  was,  chants of profanity … a hallmark of the communists.  Which always reminds me of what my Grade 3 teacher taught us : ‘people resort to profanity when they run out of intelligent things to say’. 

In a ZOOM call a few days before,  leaders of trade and industrial unions had called for “flying squads’ to confront parental rights rallies which were scheduled in 22 cities across Canada.      Only reason the scene in Victoria didn’t qualify as a “riot” is because the cops called it off, timely.  

It can be seen as a teachable moment.  A lesson lacking in Christian circles these days … darkness is not just the absence of light. There is real Evil in the world. Those crazies in full throat demonstrated what happens when the mask of civility slips.  And that is no euphemism.  Many of them were demon-possessed.  Particularly ominous is the fad of masking their lower face with bandanas.  Wearing sunglasses with hoodies dressed all in black. Symptoms of mental disease playing out in public.   Serious trouble in the offing.

Having been through more than a few of these scenes for 3 decades, I know that the rang-i-tangs don’t show up spontaneously,  all on their own. No,  “street theatre / agit-prop”  is done by goons literally trained in communist schools.   The newspaper of record in British Columbia’s capital city = the Times Colonist = is a pathetic rag …  nothing but a propaganda outfall for the New Democratic Party.  The next day, its article about the Breach of the Peace had a full color photo of a sign with the clenched fist icon.  No mere accident … that’s the commies gloating at having done what they boasted they’d do  =  Disrupt Demoralize Destroy

It was telling that the thing had started out advertised as a project organized by the Muslims. Yet the lame-stream media said not a syllable about the 50 or so there.

On September 20th, those engaging in moral blackmail …  whose propaganda uses the word “safety” every other paragraph …  were the ones whom police identified as threatening public safety.  Old Polish joke: “They laugh. They have yet to hear the bad news’..” Or in modern parlance … what goes around, comes around.   After what played out at the Leg. I look forward with glee to when the soyboys start whinging and snivelling as their asses get kicked.   And I don’t mean,  figuratively. 

I go back so far, I recall the Maoists at UBC, ( 1968 ) holding up their little red books  chanting “Fascists have no right to speak”  ….shouting down someone warning what was going on in Red China with The Great Leap Forward.    The way their intellectual **heirs disgraced the gates of the City identifies who the Red Fascisti are these days.   Now an old codger at this sport, I think of Elvis Costello singing  “I used to be disgusted. Now I just try to be amused”.       [ ** I use that word loosely ] 

* SOGI stands for Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity. The main concept of which is, that a human being may be born in the wrong body. So he or she can supposedly “transition” to become the opposite sex.  Of course, this is absurd.    But such Insanity is a fundamental part of the curriculum in the public fool system lately.  Most parents who become aware that their children are being programmed with this non-sense, get angry.  Two generations of Christians failed to pay attention to how the public fool system had been taken over by Marxists.  Wakening from stupor,   they thrash-around. The lesson learned at the Leg. was only Round One.  Beginners found out how it goes with serious political activism.    

There is a simple remedy to the power struggle for the lives of our children > take them out of the clutches of socalled ‘professional educators’  better described as minions of the Devil. The socalled ‘school system’ does more harm than good.     Christians, especially, ought to separate themselves from the world.    Since that institution was infiltrated and overwhelmed by the antichrists, it’s up to us to do what is necessary to take back our children from pedophiles-in-power.  Home schooling is how to go about it =   the sooner the better.

Gordon S Watson Metchosin
September 22nd 2023 A. D.

Freedom Pledge from Penticton4FreedomFreedom Pledge from Penticton4Freedom

Freedom Pledge
Humanity is at a critical juncture because collectively we have failed to grasp the significance of the events
unfolding around us and to respond appropriately.
There is little argument that governments globally are exceeding their delegated authority.
To permit this unfettered abuse of power is to risk losing the natural rights and freedoms that is the
heritage of all people and the foundation of free and just societies.
History shows that humanity has often been exploited by the machinations of tyrants, opportunists,
oligarchs, and oppressors.
History further reveals that rights and freedoms are never returned willingly. Rather, it is the oppressed
themselves who ultimately reclaim and preserve human rights that benefit humanity.
One of the consequences of tyranny is that we individually and collectively affirm what we are willing to
accept from those to whom we delegate power. Tyranny also clarifies what we are willing to fight for and
perhaps even die for.
It is the duty of every human to ensure that fundamental human rights are upheld. The consequence of
failing to stand up and curtail tyranny is to risk losing all that we hold precious and to condemn future
generations to lives of servitude.
In all of the above, I pledge to stand with all those in the freedom community in resistance to oppression.
Before my Creator, my family and my community, I declare:
• I will rise up, speak up and disobey harmful and tyrannical orders, whether they come
from a domestic or foreign entity.
• I will stand in my power and authority and reclaim my innate rights and what has been
unlawfully and immorally taken from me, my family and my community.
• I will resist any attempt, by government or otherwise, to divide people or communites
from each other, or to subjugate any people to discriminate�on or harassment based on
ethnicity, faith, bodily autonomy, or freedom of choice.
• If the enemies of freedom come for anyone’s children, my neighbors, my community, or
my naton, I will resist.

I will not surrender my rights, nor those of my children and community.

(signature) (date)

CONVOY TRIAL DIARY: A Citizen’s Personal Confession By Trish Wood

CONVOY TRIAL DIARY: A Citizen’s Personal Confession

After an Emotional Day in Court

Trish WoodSep 19, 2023

Alex Honnold — on a rock face climbing without ropes

Like Alex Honnold in Free Solo, hanging onto rock walls with only his fingertips, we’ve all traversed danger and darkness without a net over the past three years. But we’ve come out the other side – almost. I’m proud I stood tall and refused the vaccine even though the isolation was debilitating and there were days it cost me my sanity. I look back on it now and wonder how I did it.

One thing I do know is that it got easier once the truckers hit the road. The Freedom Convoy brought us together, pulled us out of the shadows and reminded us that Canada is actually a good place, full of pioneering spirit and generosity. I often say that feeling of connectedness reminded me of how we came together to grieve for those sixteen kids and their support staff from the Humboldt Broncos hockey team bus who died in pursuit of the ultimate Canadian cultural event — small-town, prairie hockey.

I had nightmares about the scene at that intersection, near Tisdale, Saskatchewan and when the call went out to place hockey sticks on our front porches, my husband did it at his business and we even put one outside our door in the hallway of our apartment building. I loved that our country understood the moment.

Hockey Sticks in Toronto

I was again thinking about this story yesterday in trucker court, sitting just behind Chris Barber and Tamara Lich on trial for various charges that are not connected to any violence. They had already been arrested and yet the Crown lead evidence from February 19th — a day the Sûreté du Québec and other police forces, some dressed in black-bloc were aggressively trying to clear the streets. What I am about to say should disqualify me from reporting on the trial — but I am declaring my bias here and let the chips fall where they may.

Trish Wood is Critical is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.

The scenes were surreal. Convoy protestors, sometimes nose to nose with police chanted love over fear and peace, despite the militaristic threat they faced. I believe I heard a couple of hold the line comments as well. What I saw was a study in thoughtful civil disobedience — the kind we usually applaud from historical figures. The protestors were mostly men, some of them military age and during a another era, they might have been soldiers deployed overseas. Watching them keep their cool in the face of overwhelming police power felt miraculous.

Police and convoy protestors from an unknown date.

Here is my live tweet from court:

So my confession is that I felt deeply yesterday that I should have been there, standing with those people. I supported the convoy — that’s no secret but I wonder if that was enough.

Every time video clips are lead by the Crown, I have the same reaction — how calm and in control of themselves the protestors seemed to be. That was underscored by the SQ officer on the witness stand admitting that his Green Squad broke in the midst of it to go for lunch – a moment highlighted by Tamara’s lawyer, Lawrence Greenspon.

In the meantime it’s being reported on social media that some of this country’s biggest unions are planning to disrupt tomorrow’s protests against schoolboards, teachers and ideological medicine working to indoctrinate our kids. If you ever doubted that the lone and distant Nazi flag at the trucker protest was a product of the same thinking, here is more evidence they don’t tolerate debate or opinions different from their own.

Stay critical.

CAFE Supporters Attend Hands-Off-Our-Children Rallies in Toronto, Hamilton & London

CAFE Supporters Attend Hands-Off-Our-Children Rallies in Toronto, Hamilton & London

Hands-Off-Our-Children pro-family rallies occurred today (September 20) across Canada. The Ontario Federation of Labour called out its “comrades” — their words, not ours to disrupt. They were joined by Antifa and the LGBTQ crowd. However, the forces favouring parental rights and protection of children from radical teachers and others who would impose a radical sex ed course in the schools and keep parents in the dark if their confused or mixed up kid decides she/he is a different agenda prevailed.

Under the banner “No Space for Hate”, the wacko OFL equated protection of one’s children and parental rights with “hate.” They proclaimed: “In response, the Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL) made efforts to mobilize “No Space for Hate!” counter-protests across Ontario to show support for and stand in solidarity with the 2SLGBTQIA+ community. The OFL is one of many groups that organized events throughout the country, some of which are still ongoing.”

From Hamilton, a CAFE supporter reported: “The Antifa turds were in large supply, but were outnumbered by the pro-family crowd. Lots of cops, including some on horseback. Big traffic jams due to the massive rally. A few thousand in attendance. Lots of support from motorists for the pro-family side, including some City employees in their marked vehicles.”

In London, hundreds gathered outside the London District School Board and the Red Ensign, the flag of the Real Canada, the Canada of John Diefenbaker’s Bill of Rights — protection of real rights, especially free of expression, unlike Pierre Trudeau’s phony, weasel clause riddled Charter — flew pround.

In Toronto, CAFE supporters had interesting talks with Moslems who are also worried about parental rights and keeping their children safe from woke debauchery pushed in the schools.

Canada Sentences Pastor to Prison for Speech in Which He Called Freedom Convoy Truckers ‘Heroes’

Canada Sentences Pastor to Prison for Speech in Which He Called Freedom Convoy Truckers ‘Heroes’


Artur Pawlowski in Calgary, Alberta
Facebook/March for Jesus

Frances Martel19 Sep 2023294 6:48

A court in Alberta, Canada, sentenced Pastor Artur Pawlowski on Monday to 60 days in prison for a speech to Freedom Convoy truckers in February 2022 in which he supported their protests against repressive lockdown, vaccine, and other mandates related to the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic.

Pawlowski, who first rose to prominence for expelling Canadian police from his church for trying to shut down an Easter service in 2021, faced multiple charges, including “mischief,” a crime in Canada, and violating the Critical Infrastructure Defense Act (CIDA). The latter charge suggested that Pawlowski’s speaking to protesters on the Alberta-Montana border was an attack on the province’s road infrastructure, as he encouraged them to continue an ongoing blockade demanding the lifting of coronavirus-related mandates. Prosecutors were demanding up to ten months in prison for the pastor on the grounds that he has publicly and repeatedly denied having any remorse for his vocal opposition to lockdowns.

“I’m not ashamed of what I did. If I had a chance to do it again, I would do it again, gladly,” Pawlowski told a crowd of supporters after his conviction on Monday.

Judge Gordon Krinke reserved a conviction on the charges of attacking infrastructure, as Pawlowski’s defense had challenged the CIDA as unconstitutional, and proceedings regarding that law are ongoing. He found Pawlowski guilty of “mischief” and breaching a release order in May. The 60-day sentence handed down on Monday includes time served, so Pawlowski walked out of the court free – but with a criminal conviction on his record.

“A period of incarceration is required in order to achieve the objectives of denunciation and deterrence,” Krinke said at the sentencing, according to the CBC.

Prior to the sentencing, prosecutor Steven Johnston argued that the case, in which Pawlowski faced charges for delivering a sermon, was “not about freedom of religion and it is not about free speech.”

“In this case, the accused comes before the court with no sense of remorse,” Johnston said. “The lack of remorse, the lack of introspection is important in this case because of the fact he is likely a high risk to redo this.”

Pawlowski appeared to agree in remarks to the 200 supporters who convened to celebrate his release on Monday.

“For the past 18 months they’ve done everything in their power to force me to say that I am guilty, that I am sorry. They were forcing me to apologize, but I have nothing to apologize for,” the pastor said.

“I hope that my oppressors are listening because this is not over. This is just the beginning,” Pawlowski added, also stating that he would “gladly” repeat the actions that resulted in his arrest if he deemed it necessary:

Hundreds of supporters similarly rallied in support of the pastor following his initial conviction in May.

Canada faced a wave of protests in early 2022 that later came to be known as the “Freedom Convoy” due to the large presence of truckers using their vehicles to occupy space throughout the country in protest. Many convened in Ottawa, the nation’s capital, where they blocked the streets with their trucks, honked loudly for extended periods of time, and built a peaceful tent camp with a festival atmosphere to which many brought their children.Robert Kraychik / Breitbart News Robert Kraychik / Breitbart News

The objective of the Freedom Convoy protests was to pressure radical leftist Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the provincial governments to end vaccine mandates – which disproportionately hurt truckers attempting to regularly travel between provinces – as well as the suspension of freedoms of assembly and religion. Protesters also demanded the full reopening of all schools, an end to mask mandates, and other restrictions.

Pawlowski was charged with criminal actions for his speech to a Freedom Convoy group that convened on the border between Alberta and Montana in early 2022, causing major disruptions in regional commerce by shutting down the road. Alberta Premier Jason Kenney ended the vaccine passport system and mask mandate for schoolchildren in place at the time during the ongoing blockade.

Pawlowski told the protesters during a sermon at the local Smuggler’s Saloon in February 2022 that they were “heroes” and encouraged them not to “go breaking the line.”

“I believe that the eyes of the world are fixed on this place right here. That’s right — this little pitiful piece of land,” Pawlowski said. “The eyes of the world are fixed right here on you guys. You are the heroes. Don’t you dare go breaking the line. … For the first time in two years, you have the power. You pack your stuff, you go to Edmonton and you will be lost.”

Pawlowski posted an extended recording of his speech on Rumble on Monday.

Pawlowski has faced a barrage of other criminal charges for his opposition to restrictions on freedom of assembly and other civil rights violations by the Trudeau government during the pandemic.

Pawlowski first faced police trouble for holding an “illegal” Easter service in April 2021, attracting six police officers who tried to shut it down. Pawlowski forced them out of his church, disparaging them as “Gestapo Nazi communist fascists” and “psychopaths,” and continued his service. Police arrested him a month later for continuing to serve his faithful, contrary to the religious restrictions imposed by Canadian officials:

In addition to fines, travel restrictions, and imprisonment, the Canadian government attempted to force Pawlowski to read a government statement every time he condemned civil rights violations in the name of the pandemic, which stated in part, “The majority of medical experts favour social distancing, mask wearing, and avoiding large crowds to reduce the spread of COVID-19 [sic].”

Pawlowski appealed the many charges against him for performing the responsibilities of a pastor, and in July 2022, an Alberta court of appeals agreed, ruling that his arrest and many fines and other punishments were illegal.

Trudeau, who memorably confessed in 2019 that he had worn blackface so often he did not remember every instance in which he did so, has condemned those who opposed his civil rights violations, calling them “racist, misogynistic … anti-vaxxer mobs,” accusing Freedom Convoy supporters of “hateful rhetoric” and mocking them as “tinfoil hat”-wearers and “a few people shouting and waving swastikas.”

Maxime Bernier Announces a Busy Week Opposing Gender Ideology

We have a big week ahead of us in the fight against gender ideology.

There are two major protests opposing gender ideology in schools.

On Wednesday, September 20 there will be the 1 Million March 4 Children with demonstrations taking place across the country.

Parents will be pulling their kids out of school and assembling at City Halls and Legislature buildings to show that the sexualization of children is unacceptable.

A couple days later on Friday, September 22, my friends Billboard Chris and Josh Alexander will be hosting an Education Over Indoctrination protest in Toronto.

I expect these protests are going to be massive. The biggest we’ve ever seen in opposition to gender ideology.

And the Radical Left has taken notice.

This weekend we learned that the Radical Left is mobilizing across the country in counter protests.

And they have shocking institutional support.

Footage leaked from a “rapid response” meeting held by the Ontario Labour Federation with over 100 representatives of major labour unions across Canada’s largest province. You can watch the footage by clicking here.

The rhetoric they use is disturbing. They proudly refer to each other as “comrades”. They describe parents concerned about what is being taught to their children as fascists.

They believe anyone who doesn’t agree with childhood transition is “fundamentally racist, fundamentally anti-immigrant, and fundamentally queer and transphobic”. Ironically, the lead organizers of the 1 Million March 4 Children are first and second generation Muslims…

They discussed intimidation tactics to scare reasonable Canadians from participating, or to make sure they regret that they did.

Unions across Canada also made public statements, including the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU), Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), and the British Columbia Federation of Labour.

OPSEU described concerned parents as “hate groups”, CUPE Ontario described them as “the ultra-conservative right”.

Let that sink in…

In 2023, believing that children shouldn’t be taught that they are “born in the wrong body” and that the solution is pharmaceuticals and unnecessary surgeries makes you part of a hate group or the “ultra-conservative right”.

These people are unhinged!

They do not believe in parents’ rights. They believe the state knows best and should be able to raise your children with their modern, hyper-progressive values, and everyone who disagrees is a bigot or a fascist.

Since when is it the role of unions to intervene with peaceful protests? This has nothing to do with labour rights, or collective bargaining.

They do not stand for workers, they are nothing more than the foot soldiers of the morally depraved elites. Whether they realize it or not.

In fact they are the extremists! They are the ones imposing a harmful and radical ideology on a generation of our children. They are the ones confusing our children and offering permanent life altering pharmaceuticals and surgical procedures as the solution.

It is crucial that as many people attend these protests as possible.

It is not enough to be vocal on social media. We must take to the streets and demonstrate that the silent majority stands against this child abuse.

We will expose these people as the extremists they are.

On Wednesday, I will be taking part in the 1 Million March 4 Children in Ottawa. Please join me if you can, if you’re not in the area you can click this link to find details on the march in your area.

On Friday, I will be with Josh and Chris in Toronto. Details on the poster below.

Please share these posters, and attend a protest in an area near you.

Charges dropped against former MP Derek Sloan and MPP Randy Hillier

Charges dropped against former MP Derek Sloan and MPP Randy Hillier

Posted On: July 12, 2023FeaturedNews Releases

STRATFORD, ON: The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms is pleased to announce that charges against Mr. Derek Sloan and Mr. Randy Hillier were dropped on Thursday, June 29, 2023.  Both men allegedly attended a rally against Covid-19 lockdown measures in April 2021.

On April 8, 2021, the Ontario government declared a state of emergency over increasing cases of Covid-19. The government then implemented its most draconian measures yet by instituting an outdoor gathering ban which effectively made peaceful political protest illegal in Ontario. Mr. Sloan was a former MP, and Mr. Hillier was a sitting MPP at the time. Both believed that these lockdowns were harmful and attended these gatherings to protest the measures.  

On April 25, 2021, there was a “No More Lockdowns” protest in Stratford, which the 2 men attended. At the time, the Ontario government’s regulations stated that zero persons were allowed to gather outdoors, which was a complete ban on the freedom of assembly. The Ontario government did this despite the fact most experts agree that spread of respiratory viruses at short duration, outdoor events are extremely limited. Mr. Sloan and Mr. Hillier each faced a maximum fine of $100,000 for attending this protest. 

The prosecutor agreed to drop the charges in exchange for a modest charitable donation or volunteer work.  Mr. Sloan made the charitable donation and Mr. Hillier volunteered at a food bank in Lanark County. 

“The Ontario government’s lockdowns, which effectively banned any political protesting whatsoever, were a grave threat to our freedom in Canada. Restrictions may be over for now, but there was no indication how long they would last at the time. 2 weeks became 2 months which became almost 2 years of failed COVID policies.”, says Mr. Sloan. “I am proud to have stood against this tyranny with many other brave Canadians. The Stratford Prosecutor made the right choice, and it is now up to other prosecutors in other districts to drop these meaningless charges. One day, history, and the courts, will concur that these lockdowns were unwarranted and a serious and unnecessary interference with Canadian’s basic freedoms,” he continued.

Both Mr. Hillier and Mr. Sloan have similar outstanding charges in Ontario. Mr. Hillier has launched a Charter challenge against the lockdowns that banned all outdoor protests, and will argue that they were an unjustifiable infringement of his rights. The hearing is set for July 27-28, 2023.  

The Canadian Anti-Hate Network Exposed


[CAUTION TO READERS: There is a lot of important research and information in this document. However, Elise (now Elisa?) Hategan’s account of her Heritage Front days is highly unreliable according to people who were involved. — Paul Fromm]
Unmasking Canada’s Hate Industry
Caryma Sa’d & Elisa Hategan
© Copyright 2023 by Caryma Sa’d and Elisa Hategan – All rights reserved.
In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer.
Albert Camus
Prologue ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 6
Introduction …………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 7
Diagolon is Not a Violent Extremist Group ………………………………………………………… 8
Caryma’s Story ……………………………………………………………………………………………………. 10
Jeremy’s Story……………………………………………………………………………………………………… 12
Jeremy’s Sacrifice …………………………………………………………………………………………….. 12
A Podcasting Journey ………………………………………………………………………………………. 13
The Smear Campaign Begins …………………………………………………………………………… 14
Enter Diagolon………………………………………………………………………………………………… 15
Freedom Convoy …………………………………………………………………………………………….. 18
Public Order Emergency Commission…………………………………………………………….. 20
The Prosecution of Jeremy MacKenzie …………………………………………………………… 22
From Hero to Terrorist …………………………………………………………………………………… 24
The FOIPOP and What We Discovered ……………………………………………………………. 27
Inconsistencies and Speculations …………………………………………………………………….. 28
Elisa’s Story ………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 31
Taking Down the Heritage Front…………………………………………………………………….. 31
Behind the Scenes at ARC Collective ………………………………………………………………. 32
The Canadian Anti-Hate Network is Born ………………………………………………………. 35
The “Dark Arts” behind Anti-Hate …………………………………………………………………. 36
The Business of Hate ………………………………………………………………………………………. 40
Bias on Their Sleeves ………………………………………………………………………………………… 45
Proximity to State Power …………………………………………………………………………………… 45
Civilian Undercover Operations…………………………………………………………………………… 46
The Spy Who Got Left Out in the Cold ………………………………………………………….. 47
Top Shocking FOIPOP Revelations …………………………………………………………………… 53
Information-Sharing with Five Eyes………………………………………………………………… 53
Copy-and-Paste Policing: The 15-Minute Report…………………………………………….. 57
The Mendicino Scandal……………………………………………………………………………………. 58
Overreliance on Media by Law Enforcement ………………………………………………….. 61
A Filtered Version of Truth …………………………………………………………………………….. 62
Who Gave CAHN the Right? …………………………………………………………………………….. 68
Cowardice …………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 70
The Courage to Have Second Thoughts ………………………………………………………….. 73
The Courage to Speak ……………………………………………………………………………………… 74
An Unholy Alliance …………………………………………………………………………………………….. 76
The Social Colosseum ……………………………………………………………………………………… 79
Our Stories Merge ………………………………………………………………………………………………. 81
Conclusion ………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 85
A public safety minister makes false and alarmist comments in a press conference;
when pressed for details, he directs media to law enforcement, who scramble to
produce evidence where there is none. An officer is tasked to produce a key briefing
for top officials to help government decision-making, in only fifteen minutes.
Intelligence Analysts taking cues from anonymous Twitter trolls involved in criminal
harassment. Citizens’ personal information is eagerly shared with international spy
agencies, even as internal reports circulate acknowledging there is no evidence of
terrorist activity.
An entire country’s intelligence departments relying on a single source—a source
that banks on the questionable judgement calls of inexperienced, ideologically-
motivated activists cosplaying online as Nazis and Russian models to gather data and
donations. A source that cloaks its researchers in anonymity and refuses to disclose
their credentials, conflicts of interest, or track record, even as they are widely quoted
in the media as subject matter experts.
Welcome to Canada.
This story is a horror, tragedy, and farce, rolled into one.
Its ending as yet unwritten.
The only thing we can control is whether to tell the truth. And we do.
Democratic countries distinguish themselves from totalitarian dictatorships through
the process of fair elections and by putting the power in the hands of the people.
But what if a democratic government wants to stack the deck in their favour? They
can’t cart people off into the night, imprison them without cause, execute them at
dawn. That would violate human rights by any standard. And it wouldn’t look good
for a leader who prides himself on being a nice guy.
The layer of insulation that buffers democratic governments from accusations of
authoritarian rule is the pretense of deferral to experts, think tanks, consultants and
academics who can provide perfunctory recommendations to rubber-stamp what
the government plans to do in the first place. Oftentimes, the expertise is paid for
by government money through military defence contracts, public safety and
emergency funds, and other sources.
If the public resists any proposed policy or legislation, the state can magnanimously
defer to the vast knowledge of experts who all concur in unison that, unless the bill
passes, “harm” will occur. Danger. Terrorism. Destruction. The loss of your way of
life as you know it. And if you still do not comply, stronger measures may become
required. Those who resist are vilified through state-sponsored broadcast media and
social media smear campaigns—these tactics serve the dual purpose of securing the
public’s acceptance, or at least acquiescence, and making examples out of dissenters
in order to frighten critics into silence.
Democratic countries gain the public’s compliance with buy-ins and manufactured
consent, rather than bullets. A more evolved and civil approach, to be sure. But one
that carries its own risks. What happens when you run out of villains to justify an
escalation to emergency measures? When you want to spook the public into
acquiescence, but your well of horrors has run dry?
You make them up.
This is the story of what can go wrong when such a strategy spirals out of control,
and all levels of government and media are complicit in ruining innocent lives.
Diagolon is Not a Violent Extremist Group
“Does not pose a criminal or national security threat.”
▪ Royal Canadian Mounted Police
“The channels are REMVE + Conspiracy theorist in nature but not
accelerationist and you’re right no incitement of violence. Some of the
usernames have racist references/photos in them but no criminality.”
▪ Kristen Little to Ashley Chen, July 14, 2021, subject “Diagolon”
“Based on the source material and evidence I have personally viewed, we would
have a hard time refuting the contents thereof despite how “Diagolon” is being
portrayed in the media and the House of Commons. Just another example of why
our direction to investigators is to be evidence focused and not caught up in
the hype of the media surrounding this matter.”
▪ Simon Pillay, Inspector, OIC Ops1, Federal Policing National Security,
February 2022
“We generally agree with the Key Assessments, 1) DIAGOLON is led by
MACKENZIE, 2) based on current information, DIAGOLON does not meet
dictionary definitions of a group.”
• Matthew Desjardins, March 16, 2022
“I’ve looped in Insp. Simon Pillay and A.Insp J-S Grenier who are the project
Team OICs to assist with any discussions your NZ LO may wish to have on
Diagolon. We do not consider it a right wing militia group at this time
however assessment is ongoing as I understand it.”
• Eliane Caron, Director of Ops Team 2, Federal Policing National Security
(FNPS), April 8, 2022
“Based on available open source information, IMCIT assesses that DIAGOLON
is an ideological community which meets the majority, but not all, of the CSIS
parameters used to define a group. […] Although DIAGOLON is based on a set of
satirical ideas, the community does not appear to have any coherent ideological
purpose, objective, or cause. […] It appears that DIAGOLON as a distinct entity
does not pose a criminal or national security threat at this time.”
▪ Submitted by: Ideologically Motivated Criminal Intelligence Team /
Approved by: A/Director General, Federal Policing National Intelligence”,
May 19, 2022
“Based on available open source information it is exceedingly difficult to ascertain
the extent to which Diagolon is a distinct group, with common ideology, a political
agenda, and the cohesion necessary to advance such an agenda.
The Canadian Anti-Hate Network (CAHN) is cited as the main authority
on the group by all mainstream media outlets; due to the fact that all
information traces back to one source, triangulation and the verification of
facts is almost impossible at the current time.
Based on the information that is publicly available, it is difficult to
understand how CAHN can confidently assert that Diagolon is an
‘accelerationist movement that believes a revolution is inevitable and
necessary to collapse the current government system’… Due to a lack of
substantive open source material, operational information would be needed to
supplement the profile.
▪ RCMP “Diagolon Profile” 2022
Caryma’s Story
From an early age, my parents nurtured in me a sense of curiosity. They encouraged
me to ask questions. I spent a lot of time immersed in books and learning. The first
revelation given to the Prophet Muhammad was a command from Angel Gabriel to
“Read!” That origin story always stuck with me, even as my personal religiosity has
waxed and waned over the years.
My father was a charismatic imam (religious leader) in the community, whose duruus
(lessons) were spirited and sometimes subversive in nature. He was a natural
storyteller with a wicked sense of humour. He instilled the importance of striving
for excellence: “This country will chew you up and spit you out, if you let it. You
must be the best and have courage.”
This is me trying.
Mom was born Catholic and grew up in Jhansi, India. Dad lived in a Palestinian
refugee camp until his family resettled in Jordan. He decided to pursue his studies in
India, which is where they met– by his telling, he shoehorned himself into a date
that was already in progress. I guess he won out.
Mom immigrated to Canada as a twenty-year-old orphan with almost no money. My
father followed her across the ocean. They were married in 1974. My mom converted
to Islam. They had my sisters in Toronto and moved to Mississauga as a young
family. I was a near-fatal surprise over a decade later. I have been running on my
own schedule ever since.
Identity was always a touchy subject in our household. My parents came from two
different cultures and moved to a third culture. I belonged everywhere and nowhere
at once.
I learned the word “terrorist” at around eight
years of age. Police came knocking at our door
to speak with my father. Apparently, someone
threatened to blow up the nearby Tim Horton’s
and signed the letter using his name. He was
framed for words he never uttered. The
situation was resolved after brief questioning,
and the police left on good terms after
concluding my dad did not pose any threat. This
was before the Afghanistan and Iraq wars.
A few weeks after the 9/11 attacks, I was walking from the bus stop after school
when a stranger yelled at me to “Go home!” I confusedly retorted, “I am going
home”, not realizing that I was being singled out as un-Canadian for my hijab or
skin colour. That naïveté was sadly short-lived.
The next two decades were rough for Muslims. Islam was widely treated as a
monolith, despite the wide variety of denominations, languages, and cultures across
the globe. Unfair expectations were placed on individual Muslims to apologize or
account for other people’s criminal behaviour. Muslims were consistently targeted
for surveillance, particularly at airports. Moral panic over misconceptions about
Sharia led to proposals such as the Barbaric Cultural Practices Hotline. There were
hate-motivated mass murders against Muslims, or anyone mistaken as Muslim. A
“Muslim Ban” was upheld in the United States, prohibiting travel and refugee
resettlement from predominantly Muslim countries. Western democracies banned
hijabs, niqabs, and minarets. The list goes on.
Underlying all this was the erosion of civil liberties, and the development of a brutal
state apparatus inimical to human rights.
It is no coincidence that another Muslim lawyer and I were predisposed to see
Jeremy MacKenzie’s situation through the lens of public hysteria and state
overreach. Or that Elisa and I recognized a smear campaign carried out by some of
the same perpetrators who maligned her. Our paths intersect in unexpected ways.
Recently, I lamented the state of journalism: “Journalists are not supposed to be
stenographers. Why aren’t they asking questions? They are not doing real journalism
like they used to.” It was pointed out that I was longing for fearless and honest
reporting that was always the exception, never the rule. It was false nostalgia– the
fact is, mainstream media has lied to us about big things for my entire living memory.
Hasty, thoughtless articles—sometimes the result of erroneous information fed to
gullible journalists by intelligence agents – have started wars and provided distorted
justification for hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of (mostly brown) deaths
around the world. There has been no acknowledgment, accountability, let alone
apology, for leading us into bloody battlefields for no discernible reason. And despite
tacit awareness of atrocities, authorities never said, “We lied, and repeated the lies,
and this caused people to die.”
Is it any wonder a combat veteran deployed to Afghanistan might distrust the
government, the media, and especially the two seemingly working together?
Jeremy’s Story
In the early 2000s, seventeen-year-old Old Stock Canadian Jeremy MacKenzie joined
the army. He was an infantry non-commissioned officer and did a stint with the elite
Canadian Special Operations Forces Command. He was deployed to combat in
Afghanistan, trained soldiers in Jamaica, did exchange programs with US Marines,
and was stationed in Germany and the United Arab Emirates. He retired as Master
Corporal after fourteen and a half years, decorated with a sacrifice medal (Canadian
Purple Heart), a general campaign star from the Afghanistan war, and a Canadian
Forces decoration for over twelve years of service with an unblemished record.
From a young age, Jeremy was fascinated by military history and culture. He was
drawn to understand the human condition in extreme circumstances. He felt
compelled to test his mettle.
He also felt weak. He was soft, small, sheltered. A tiny kid who got bullied a lot, but
was determined to prove people wrong. Jeremy had a vision in his mind of the man
he wanted to be, and knew that could not happen if he stayed in small-town Nova
Scotia. And so, he set off in search of his future self.
Jeremy’s Sacrifice
On September 11, 2001, Jeremy was a sophomore with a morning period spare. He
watched the second tower come down live on television from the comfort of his
home. That night at dinner he remembers his mom musing about a draft, “Thank
god you’re too young to go, and your father is too old.” She was only half right.
Jeremy spent his early adult years fighting in Afghanistan to protect poppy fields and
oil wells. He witnessed or was party to a range of extreme violence, killings, war
crimes, and other horrors at twenty years old.
For many Canadians, the war in Afghanistan was barely more than an abstract
thought, at best, even at the height of media frenzy. Unlike the Second World War,
there was no collective sacrifice or solidarity. Losses were borne by resident Afghans
and the diaspora, as well as NATO soldiers and their families: opposite sides of the
same tragic coin.
27 men were killed on Jeremy’s deployment, with seven of them being close friends.
He has lost count of how many suicides, but knows it is at minimum fifteen or
Jeremy is legally deaf in his left ear from an
incoming rocket-propelled grenade, an anti-armour
weapon meant to destroy tanks and personnel
carriers. An RPG-7, specifically. He had half a
second to hit the deck and was saved by an olive
tree that took the brunt of the explosion.
In July 2007, Jeremy and his fireteam spent hours
administering first aid to wounded Taliban and
Afghan security forces after an engagement. One of
the injured was roughly thirteen years old. The boy’s
legs had been shattered and blasted apart like used
firecrackers. His left foot rested under his own head in a twisted, mangled, bloody
mess.There were splintered bones everywhere, and the burned flesh looked like slabs
of cooked meat. (It took Jeremy a while before he could eat roast beef again.)
The boy had deep wounds in his abdomen and chest, but the gashes seemed to be
cauterized shut – likely by the blast of a NATO soldier’s 25 mm gun. The translator
said the boy was begging to be fixed; nothing could be done.
Jeremy sat helplessly with this child and watched him die slowly and painfully under
the hot sun, waiting for a helicopter that came too late. He has wondered about the
boy’s name, and whether his parents knew where he was or what had happened to
him. He wondered if they would ever know, or whether they were dead, too.
This is only one of Jeremy’s many traumatic experiences.
And for what? The war in Afghanistan was based on pretenses and lies. Canada’s
abrupt and messy withdrawal saw citizens and allies left behind to die. As much as
Jeremy blamed the Taliban, he also blamed his own government.
A Podcasting Journey
Jeremy is charismatic, with a knack for hyperbole, dark humour, and silly voices. He
started experimenting with podcasting and vignettes in 2016.
From the outset, Jeremy was interested in examining conspiracy theories. He started
with a deep dive into 9/11. Fighting in Afghanistan profoundly impacted Jeremy’s
worldview. He became disillusioned by politicians and mainstream media beating
the drums of war under the guise of freedom and democracy. The corruption and
absurdity was almost too much to bear – he wondered, what else are we being lied
to about? And so, he set off in search of truth and laughter.
His first livestream had a modest seventeen viewers. That gradually increased to
hundreds of thousands of downloads per episode. He went from sporadic streaming
to regularly scheduled shows. Over time, he started paying for graphics and overlays,
and upgraded his equipment. He placed emphasis on engagement, developing inside
jokes with his audience and building rapport by reacting to comments. What started
as a side hobby evolved into a full-time gig. He covers a range of topics, including
politics and current events. He is highly critical of the Canadian Armed Forces, and
speaks candidly about his experience in combat and the treatment of veterans. One
of his most-watched videos is a scathing critique of the RCMP response to the
Portapique mass shooting; his take was largely validated three years later by the Mass
Casualty Commission.
There is a method to the madness. An individual episode is meant to be taken in its
entirety. Each performance consists of roughly three parts and is meant to end on a
positive note. Despite tackling heated or bleak subjects in a high intensity stream of
consciousness format, Jeremy strives to portray hopeful messaging. He is keenly
aware of high suicide rates among veterans, and wants his viewers to leave
entertained and reassured. The softness of this approach is sometimes camouflaged
by the bluntness of military culture.
He jokes that listeners need to be fucked up to truly appreciate his work.
The Smear Campaign Begins
In February 2020, Jeremy protested a lecture featuring Omar Khadr. He considered
it a travesty for Dalhousie University to promote an enemy combatant in any
circumstance. The ferry he took to Halifax was named after Christopher Stannix, his
former roommate who was killed in Afghanistan. Freelance videographer Peter
MacIsaac was covering the event. Jeremy provided a passionate two-minute
I have to be here to say this because many of the people in my platoon
who were killed by Omar Khadr’s little club aren’t here to say that
anymore. They’re all dead… So I guess I’m the bad guy now. If that’s
how it’s gonna be, then that’s how it’s gonna be.
That video garnered over five million views on YouTube.
Gavin McInnes saw the clip and reached out for an interview. McInnes is the co-
founder of Vice Media, former Rebel Media correspondent, and Proud Boys
founder (listed as a “terrorist entity” in Canada). He was the only media figure willing
to talk. Jeremy seized the opportunity to share his message with a wider audience.
Within a few days, an account with the username Yellow Vests Canada Exposed
published a detailed ARC Collective blog post titled Jeremy Mackenzie: Nova Scotia-
Based Extremist YouTuber Spreads Hate. He was described as having extreme views,
including that he “regularly espouses antisemitic conspiracies, parrots Holocaust
denial lines, and disparages Jews and Muslims.” There were multiple references and
comparisons to “accelerationists.” There was no clear evidence backing up these
claims, just leaps and innuendos. The hit piece included over a dozen short, undated
clips from various livestreams; it seemed he had been on someone’s radar for a while,
even though his YouTube channel had under a thousand followers at the time. He
was stunned.
Little did he know, the worst was yet to come.
Enter Diagolon
Stemming from Jeremy’s vivid imagination, Diagolon is a fictional country in a
parallel universe based on a geographical divide he observed as far as the political
response to COVID-19.
Again, there was a method to the madness.
The Diagolon flag (a white diagonal line
against a black background) worked as a
branding mechanism. It allowed members of
the fanbase to identify one another with the
display of stickers and other merchandise.
And the concept took on a life of its own as
fans collaborated to develop a rich and absurd
lore: the head of state is an evil, cocaine-
addicted, time-traveling goat named King
Phillip; the nation is at war with the fictional
country of Circulon; there is a militant force
of bees bred to terrorize Diagolon’s enemies, and one bee (Jeffrey) died in a
kamikaze mission when he was swallowed by Doug Ford during a press conference.
Satirical political commentary allows Jeremy to cope with civilian life through self-
expression and connecting with other veterans. Humour is a way to work through
heavy emotions. An outlet not unlike Kurt Cobain writing songs about suicide, or
Francisco Goya painting scenes of brutal violence.
Case in point: Diagolon permits capital punishment, and Jeremy turned hypothetical
executions into a game show. There’s “Dumpster Toss” which involves being tossed
from a tall building into a dumpster; “Torn Apart by Wolves,” where the target is
sent off on an ice floe with hungry wolves; and “Gun or Rope,” which gives the
audience a choice between a firing squad or the gallows. A bit gruesome, but
“Probation or Public Apology” does not quite have the same gut punch effect.
Jeremy does callbacks to old episodes but moves quickly from one joke to the next.
The game show phase was short-lived. On the internet, out-of-context “Gun or
Rope” sound bites last forever; they are used as evidence that violence is a core
element to Diagolon.
Throughout 2021, Jeremy attended a few regional meet-and-greets with his fans
across Canada. In his words, “It struck me… a lot of people feel very isolated and
depressed. A lot of them expressed to me how much this meant for them to feel as
though they had some kind of connection and kinship with other people that felt
the same way as they did about the future and shared their fears and concerns.” This
revelation led to the “Find Your Friends” campaign, intended to give people an
opportunity to have face-to-face interactions and detox from screen time. This
networking and community building initiative is the closest Diagolon has come to
being a real thing.
Lacking membership, hierarchy, rank system, code of conduct, uniforms, or
ideological cohesion, Diagolon is a podcast fan club, not a militia. Even the RCMP
experts struggled with defining Diagolon: In an email dated March 9, 2022, with the
subject line “Rejigging of my paper”, Kandi Piamonte asks Andrew Warden whether
there is any specific quantifier or qualifier to define a terrorist “group.”
Even if Diagolon could be considered a “group,” there was never any prospect of
violent insurrection to establish its borders. That would require overthrowing two
provinces and defeating the United States in a land battle– they could no sooner
colonize the moon or drain the ocean.
Jeremy thought it was self-evident that the whole thing was a joke.
But not everyone shares his sense of humour. The Canadian Anti-Hate Network
(CAHN) misconstrued Diagolon to place it in a false, nefarious light as a “far-right
separatist”, “anti-government”, “neo-fascist”, and “militant accelerationist group.”
In the absence of evidence, CAHN relied heavily on negative association and
innuendo. The constant repetition of misleading or false information produces the
illusory truth effect; repeat a lie often enough and people will believe it.
CAHN described Diagolon as wanting to establish a white ethnostate, although this
idea was never articulated in hundreds of hours of livestreams. Jeremy’s fanbase was
called “militia-like”—at some point the qualifier was dropped, then added back. In
fact, there is no evidence of an organized group of armed civilians outside of
CAHN’s imagination. An affinity for gun culture (which appeals generally to
military-inclined people) cannot be conflated with the definition of militia. It may
warrant law enforcement keeping an eye on things, but essential to consider context
and intent when assessing risk.
The more CAHN vilified a stubborn and defiant Jeremy, the more he doubled down
with sarcasm. The joke became people not getting the joke, in a meta way.
Community members began referring to themselves as “bigots,” intending to dilute
the sting of a word carelessly misapplied. This was interpreted as an admission of
intolerance. In November 2021, Jeremy circulated a group photo taken at a family
barbeque gathering in Viscount, Saskatchewan. The ominous image depicted
masked men with hunting rifles and the Diagolon flag. This was interpreted as proof
of a weapons training camp.
The media started echoing CAHN’s far-fetched conclusions, despite unequivocal
statements from Jeremy about his satirical intent. Poe’s Law, a prominent adage in
internet culture, posits that parodies or sarcastic portrayals of extreme perspectives
may be misconstrued as genuine expressions of those beliefs. This principle can be
manipulated by individuals who genuinely hold extreme views, using it as a shield
when confronted with substantial criticism, and claiming that their statements were
merely satirical in nature. When in doubt, consider the evidence, or lack thereof.
There was a degree of separation or less between CAHN and every news article
about Diagolon. CAHN’s “Elizabeth Simons” was the primary spokesperson,
making a range of speculative and unsourced claims about Jeremy and his fanbase.
Jeremy corresponded by Twitter direct message with CAHN Board member Kurt
Phillips in the hopes of clearing up misconceptions about his podcast. The
conversations were casual in nature, touching on surface level things like beer
preferences. Jeremy tried conveying that CAHN’s approach isolates people who are
already in precarious situations, and oftentimes severs any remaining connections to
regular society. This only pushes people further into dangerous echo chambers. It
becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. CAHN either manufactures hate by inventing it,
or by driving vulnerable people down that path. Rarely, if ever, do they stumble upon
actual Nazis.
Hysteria about Diagolon reached fever pitch during the Freedom Convoy,
particularly after a homemade patch was spotted on a tactical vest purportedly seized
in relation to an attempted murder plot in Coutts, Alberta.
Jeremy had never been to Coutts, nor was he in communication with any of the
accused leading up to their arrest. He was nonetheless repeatedly connected to the
weapons cache by media outlets citing CAHN. Documents obtained from the
RCMP reveal heavy reliance on open source intelligence, including news articles.
Government officials took their cues from both the media and law enforcement.
And the media reported on statements from law enforcement and government
A veritable circle jerk.
Under oath at the Public Order Emergency Commission, Jeremy provided the
following analysis:
It’s my opinion that the foundation work by the Canadian Anti-Hate
Network as pertains to targeting me as a previously government-funded
— has enjoyed a fair amount of government funding, to target and smear
people that they, you know, consider perhaps politically inconvenient or
people they just want to shut up, they regularly engage in defamatory
statements… out-of-context statements, they’ll take a clip here, a
sentence there and stitch it together and make it appear as something
that it is not…
From there, some media outlets, legacy media outlets, lazily—
unfortunately, it appears—took it at face value, copy/paste, print the
story then which is consumed by police officers, which again,
unfortunately, rather than doing any digging themselves or investigating
or asking me a single question, take these things at face value and
compile these reports and up the network it goes until it lands on the
desk of the public safety minister or you know, perhaps even the prime
minister’s office, where they’re faced with these scenarios that have no
basis in reality. I consider this entire situation entirely avoidable. This—
none of this needed to happen, and it’s absurd, and I consider the single
most embarrassing and grotesque intelligence failure in national history.
For his part, Jeremy made numerous overtures to speak with law enforcement and
try to shed light on the community everyone seemed so concerned about. Nobody
ever took him up on the offer.
Freedom Convoy
Jeremy learned about the Freedom Convoy through social media hype. He saw aerial
drone footage of trucks driving from Western Canada, and concluded this would be
a big deal. Plus, he considered it an opportunity to get together with friends and
escape the monotony of lockdowns. He encouraged his followers to be on their best
behaviour, mindful the Diagolon fan base would be under a microscope.
Jeremy knew that he would be talking about the
convoy on his show regardless and decided to
attend in person. He drove back and forth from
Nova Scotia twice. The distance was not daunting
because he made the twelve-hour drive to
Petawawa dozens of times while in the military.
He mostly stayed on a goat farm outside the city.
(King Phillip predated the goat farm. The location
was a fluke.) It felt like a multi-week house party,
until the Emergencies Act was invoked. From that
point onward, Jeremy stayed out of the Red Zone
and watched the news like everyone else.
There was no doubt that Jeremy was flagged. He remembers seeing reconnaissance
posts on the rural road outside Ottawa. They were parked for hours, even days at a
time. One night, the farm dogs were barking uncontrollably. Jeremy figured there
were probably cops surveilling the building. In the morning, sure enough, he found
foot traffic in the snow, and empty coffee cups and cigarette butts. Jeremy knew that
everything he said was being watched, but worried that only sarcasm was taken at
face value and earnest statements disregarded as red herrings. He was not paranoid,
but rather genuinely concerned for his safety. The escalations were scary– in his
mind, the intense focus on his podcast by police should not have happened in any
sane or rational world, so it was not a leap to imagine physical danger.
From law enforcement’s perspective, they were following a militia and perhaps
assumed Jeremy was a mastermind trying to throw them off and cover his tracks to
conceal the secret Nazis and weapons caches. From his perspective, “I’m literally a
guy in sweatpants with a laptop— are you surrounding the property with guns? What
are you doing?”
True to form, Jeremy did not make things easy for himself. He sarcastically captioned
videos “Canadian Nazi Takeover of Ottawa”, “Urgent: Statement from Neo-Nazi
Militia Commander”, and “Bury Me with My Boots On.” He also wrote a formal
letter titled “Diagolon’s List of Demands to the Canadian Senate” while the
Emergencies Act was in force, with a view towards explaining that he is not a security
threat. When Alex Vriend was arrested and released he posted, “Diagolon will not
forgive this! You’ve gone too far now, pigs!”
One night, Jeremy and a few others were in a basement, laying on the floor in
sleeping bags. Evan Balgord and Bernie Farber appeared on television singling out
Diagolon as a potential source of violence, and the Fifth Estate was set to release an
episode with a segment on Diagolon that week. The media attention had ramped up
and nobody knew what to do. It was like a boy’s sleepover, with Jeremy and his
friends scheming over candy bars in the dark.
Here is the plan they almost executed: There were two other guys approximately the
same size and build as Jeremy and Derek Harrison. They planned to switch clothes
and cell phones, send their body doubles into the crowd, and position themselves
across the street with walkie talkies to see what happened. The cops would realize
what happened too late and declare, “Oh damn! The switcheroo!”
In the end, Jeremy and Derek decided not to go downtown.
Jeremy laughingly imagines the fallout if they had gone ahead with it: “Marco
Mendicino might have appeared on television describing Diagolon as ‘masters of
disguise’ and ‘stealth experts.’” He recalls eating cereal on a milkcrate dumbfounded
the morning the Minister of Public Safety declared that “Several individuals at Coutts
have strong ties to a far-right extreme organization with leaders who are in Ottawa.”
As much as Jeremy may not be a fan of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, he believes
the Emergencies Act was an institutional failure. The role of law enforcement
agencies and the Minister of Public Safety is to identify and triage national security
threats and inform the Prime Minister accordingly so he can make proper decisions.
If Trudeau is fed bad intelligence (such as portraying Diagolon as a militia that poses
a genuine threat to public safety), what is he supposed to do? Indeed, the responsible
course of action is to be prepared and look foolish if nothing happens, rather than
do nothing and risk people being hurt.
Jeremy finds it terrifying that law enforcement cannot discern comedy or trolling
from terrorism. It is either blatant incompetence, or an attempt to crush political
Either way, the ones watching the gate cannot be trusted.
Public Order Emergency Commission
Jeremy was summoned to the Public Order Emergency Commission. The penalty
for refusing to appear was only a $400 fine, but Jeremy was eager to share his
His lawyer, Sherif Foda, made an application to Commissioner Paul Rouleau
requesting an order to testify in camera, meaning without media coverage or access.
The rationale was that Jeremy would likely be facing jury trials in the near future,
and there was a risk of tainting public opinion. Several parties with standing objected
to the application, claiming (among other things) that media coverage was important
and necessary in the public interest.
The application to testify in private chambers was
denied, but Jeremy decided to participate
regardless. He defied everyone’s low
expectations, appearing dapper and clean-shaven
despite his drab setting. He was the only witness
who testified from jail; this did not impact his
ability to speak cogently. He was thoughtful and
eloquent in his testimony, and unshaken in cross-
examination. At the end, Commissioner Rouleau
wished him luck with his upcoming trials.
Jeremy’s testimony painted a picture of an
ordinary person caught up in extraordinary
circumstances with no playbook. Although he
was not a convoy organizer, he recognized that
his platform could be used constructively. He
implored his followers:
“If there’s a speed limit on walking for some
reason, then you will walk slower than that.
Don’t even litter. Don’t spit. Don’t even throw a
snowball. Don’t give anyone any excuse to point
at you and say, ‘Look what you’ve done. Look
what you’ve incited,’ or created or fomented, and so on because that [would
undermine] the entire purpose of… everything everyone was trying to achieve.”
Much of his testimony focused on the alleged connection between himself and the
Coutts weapons cache based on his alleged connection to arrestee Chris Lysak, and
the presence of Diagolon patches on a tactical vest seized by the RCMP.
Jeremy testified that Lysak was a long-time fan of the podcast, and someone he met
personally at meet and greet get-togethers in Saskatchewan. They took a photo
together. Jeremy jokingly appointed him Head of Security for Diagolon, which was
a nod to his physical stature and otherwise a meaningless honorific. Apart from these
encounters, there was never one-on-one conversation, though Lysak may have been
in some larger online group chats for the fanbase. Lysak called Jeremy a couple of
times since being arrested, and he offered words of encouragement. Jeremy did not
know any of the other people arrested in Coutts, and no evidence was provided to
contradict this assertion.
As far as the Diagolon patches, Jeremy testified that they appeared to be homemade
rather than purchased from his provisional supplier. Moreover, he personally had
never travelled to Coutts, nor was he communicating with anyone in Coutts. He
testified that the use of Diagolon imagery was about self-identifying as a fan or
member of the community, akin to identifying as a Toronto Maple Leafs fan by
putting a sticker on one’s truck.
Jeremy also described receiving leaked screenshots from law enforcement group
chats, including the RCMP celebrating violence against civilians. He explained, “At
the time, and still presently, I’m very skeptical of law enforcement, especially
considering the political nature in which there appears to be a lot of interference
going on in the country.”
The final five-volume Report of the Public Inquiry into the 2022 Public Order
Emergency is marred by certain shortcomings. First, the Commissioner consistently
took law enforcement at face value, despite issues with methodology and reasoning
that have since been uncovered. Second, the inquiry’s truth-seeking function was
limited by procedural issues. Jeremy MacKenzie was unable to question any of the
countless witnesses who made statements about himself or Diagolon, meaning
potentially false or misleading statements were left unchallenged. Jeremy’s lawyer
was not even informed that CAHN’s Evan Balgord submitted an affidavit
contradicting his client’s testimony and had no chance to test its accuracy through
cross-examination. The evidentiary value of such an affidavit would be next-to-
useless in court, if not inadmissible altogether.
It was convenient for federal policing agencies that Jeremy happened to be detained
on an RCMP-sourced Canada-wide warrant as the POEC unfolded, and worth
noting that the underlying charges have since been stayed.
Still, Jeremy’s POEC testimony marked a turning point in media coverage. His name
went from being smeared for clickbait to barely being uttered. Despite submitting
30-page legal submissions about why it was so important for the media to inform
the public about Jeremy’s testimony, its substance was hardly addressed. No
mainstream media outlets provided an in-depth summary or analysis. It was silent.
“On the battlefield, silence is the sound of victory. You know, because your enemies
are dead,” jokes MacKenzie. He hastily adds, “Metaphorically.”
The Prosecution of Jeremy MacKenzie
In January 2022, Jeremy MacKenzie was arrested in Port Hawkesbury, Nova Scotia
with charges including careless use of a firearm. The alleged incident was the basis
for a search warrant for his home in Pictou, Nova Scotia. The raid resulted in
additional firearm-related offences. That matter is set for trial in September 2024.
In March 2022, MacKenzie was charged in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia in relation to
protests outside the residence of Dr. Strang, the provincial Chief Medical Officer of
Health. He spent four nights in custody before being released on bail. His release
order included unusually strict terms limiting his ability to engage in certain forms
of protest and speech against Premier Tim Houston’s government. The presiding
judge ruled in his favour on a motion in August 2023, ordering the disclosure of
records of a meeting held immediately before his release that raises the specter of
political interference. He is raising several Charter
issues, including violation of his right to counsel,
improper search and seizure, and abuse of
On July 18, 2022, an information was sworn
against MacKenzie in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan in
relation to offences that allegedly occurred in

  1. The RCMP did not provide MacKenzie or
    his counsel an opportunity to surrender, which
    would be best practice where a party is
    represented and facing charges in another
    jurisdiction. In fact, MacKenzie only learned
    about the warrant in late August, when he was contacted for comment by journalist
    Stephen Maher from iPolitics—Maher’s source on the warrant appeared to be
    extremism and national security commentator, Toronto 18 informant Mubin Shaikh.
    The warrant was extended Canada-wide and enforced in September 2022.
    In September 2022, MacKenzie made drunken, vulgar comments about Pierre
    Poilievre’s wife, Anaida. The federal Conservative Party leader called for the RCMP
    to investigate. Days later, MacKenzie was arrested. The RCMP denied that
    Poilievre’s complaint had any influence on the sequence of events. Still, they made
    a spectacle of hauling MacKenzie from Nova Scotia to Saskatchewan on a Canada-
    wide warrant. MacKenzie was denied bail, left to sit indefinitely in a jail cell
    thousands of kilometres from home. Additional charges were laid against him by
    Quebec RCMP for allegedly uttering threats and criminal harassment.
    MacKenzie spent over two months in pre-trial custody at the Saskatoon Correctional
    Centre. He narrowly escaped being stabbed by a group of men who mistook him for
    a white supremacist based on unfavourable news coverage that repeated CAHN
    talking points. There was no escaping the smear campaign, not even behind bars.
    Prosecutors in Saskatchewan and Quebec both relied on the same open source
    intelligence material from CAHN to justify MacKenzie’s detention – this, despite
    the presumption of innocence, and his spotless criminal record.
    MacKenzie connected with counsel willing and prepared to tackle his charges
    spanning three provinces. Lawyer Sherif Foda filed a bail review application in
    Saskatchewan, which was granted on consent at the eleventh hour. He also
    successfully obtained bail in Quebec after a day-long hotly contested hearing.
    Getting out of jail was a significant turning point; after months of spiraling
    downward, Jeremy started to bounce back. His original charges from Port
    Hawkesbury have been stayed. The Saskatchewan charges have also been stayed.
    Jeremy entered into two peace bonds with no admission or finding of criminal
    liability on his part. As his lawyer told SaskToday, “Mr. MacKenzie is eager to
    proceed” on his outstanding charges.
    There is curious overlap between characters popping up in his cases across multiple
    jurisdictions. The identities of complainants are protected by publication bans.
    From Hero to Terrorist
    What happened to Jeremy is breathtakingly unfair, but he takes it in stride. “People
    think, ‘As long as I do everything right, if I don’t make any mistakes, I will survive.’
    Like it’s a science. But war is not science, it is chaos. Nothing is fair. Nothing makes
    sense. You could be the best operator in the world and get killed without ever firing
    a shot. It’s hard to cope with. You have to accept, there’s things out of your control.
    This can end with you going home in a box, or not at all.”
    One of Jeremy’s platoon members was vaporized by an IED, leaving behind only a
    boot (with his foot still in it), and the upper half of his rifle. Jeremy had eaten
    breakfast with him that morning. In a separate incident, Jeremy’s favourite sergeant
    was launched 100 ft into the air when the vehicle hit
    a bomb, and possibly had 5-6 seconds of airtime
    before he hit the ground, likely knowing he was going
    to die. His body was retrieved intact. The other six or
    seven soldiers who died in the vehicle were mangled;
    it took nine stretchers to remove all the body parts,
    not knowing for sure whose are whose.
    Jeremy had a moment in the bathroom towards the
    end of his career, literally looking at his reflection in
    the mirror, sighing: “What did you do? Great, I’m the
    Empire. I’m a stormtrooper in the Imperial Empire.
    That is what I am. Holy shit.”
    What were his sacrifices for? How did we get there? Why?
    The reality is bleak: “You never get an answer,
    nothing makes sense. We move onto the next
    thing. Then, years later, we just walk away.
    You watch it all unravel on television. And not
    even an apology.”
    By the time Jeremy retired as a veteran, he was
    training kids who were born after 9/11. They
    were joining a war that has been going on
    longer than they’ve been alive.
    Many cannot fathom what it’s like to live
    through such trauma, only to face the ordeal
    of being vilified by the country you fought for. For Jeremy, there was no other option
    but to keep going:
    You just have to continue. It won’t kill you, but it’s really gonna hurt and
    be uncomfortable. You’re not gonna die, this just really sucks… And
    once you figure that out, what’s the worst that can happen? I am going
    to have a horribly shitty day, but eventually it has to end at some point.
    He recalls how during Special Forces selection, informally known as “Hell Week”,
    soldiers are tested to the limits of their abilities. There are no time limits, no way to
    know what to expect from one moment to the next. One day, he was instructed to
    face the wall and await further instructions. Nobody came back for sixteen hours.
    There was unknown distance marching, with a hundred pounds on your back and
    having to go until they said stop, for kilometres at a time. They made to pick up
    bricks and weights while submerged in water. Sometimes people drowned – he
    recalls one guy had to be resuscitated. There was never any reprieve or end in sight.
    He learned perseverance from those experiences, how to mentally switch off: “The
    only way out is to continue until it ends, and when it ends it ends. You just can’t
    stop. Left foot, right foot, keep going. One day after the next.”
    The mental battle he is going through now is reminiscent of those times. “They just
    kept piling it on. It started with that ARC Collective blog and Kurt Phillips. Then
    the arrests. The RCMP took me to Saskatchewan. Denied me bail. Stacked on the
    Quebec charges. And then I got debanked, and they screwed with my pension
    money. And they just keep piling it on, and I refuse to stop. Sooner or later,
    somebody is going to break. I know I’m not a criminal, so I’m just gonna keep doing
    what I’m doing.”
    Against all odds, his sense of humour remains intact.
    Jeremy believes he was being followed by law enforcement as early as summer 2021.
    Based on emails disclosed in a Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy
    (FOIPOP) request, there is evidence that he was on their radar during the federal
    election. Ever unserious, Jeremy started making fun of the RCMP officers he
    correctly presumed to be tasked with monitoring his podcast: “In case they’re
    listening, they have to hear this, and endure me – like, just making fun of them and
    mocking them. Constantly. All the time. And there’s nothing they can do about it.
    That’s probably what contributed to their enthusiasm.”
    The FOIPOP and What We Discovered
    The Canadian constitution divides power
    between three branches of governance: the
    legislative branch (Parliament and the
    provincial legislatures); the executive branch,
    which is responsible to the legislature (the
    Prime Minister and Cabinet); and the judiciary.
    The legislative branch is foundational to
    democracy, as it is premised on the notion that
    power flows from the citizens to their elected
    representatives who are empowered to make
    laws that govern the populational. The
    executive branch is also dependent on the will
    of the people as expressed in the ballot box– the Prime Minister and the cabinet are
    chosen from elected members of the legislature, and enjoy power only so long as
    they have Parliament’s assent to critical legislation. The judiciary is independent of
    the legislative and executive branches. Its role is to decide disputes and ensure, when
    called upon, that these bodies exercise power in accordance with the constitution.
    This roughly outlines Canada’s democracy. For it to function well, two rights must
    be safeguarded: the right to access information and the right to privacy.
    Access to information is essential to informed debate, and acts as a check on abuse
    of powers. In the words of Pierre Trudeau, “the democratic process requires the
    ready availability of true and complete information. In this way people can
    objectively evaluate the government’s policies. To act otherwise is to give way to
    despotic secrecy.”
    Privacy is linked to individual liberty. Section 7 of the Canadian Charter requires
    respect for the individual’s right to be free from arbitrary government restraint. The
    government collects a lot of data and personal details about its population, on a
    spectrum of sensitivity. The improper use of information, or even a fear of such
    misuse, can stifle political dissent as individuals fear reprisal by government actors.
    In 1983, Canada adopted a twin set of quasi-constitutional laws to protect access to
    information and privacy. Under the Access to Information Act, any Canadian citizen
    or permanent resident may, for a nominal fee, apply to an applicable federal
    institution and request disclosure of information.The Privacy Act restricts the right
    of access, by prohibiting the disclosure of personal information to third parties. It
    also grants individuals the right to access, correct, and monitor the use of any
    personal information in the government’s possession.
    National security concerns may limit the extent of disclosure of information to an
    individual and may permit intrusions into individuals’ privacy. However, the courts
    require measures to ensure that people are treated with procedural fairness.
    On September 1, 2023, Jeremy MacKenzie received the results of a Freedom of
    Information and Protection of Privacy (FOIPOP) request to Federal Policing:
    Any and All records, files (etc), documents, memos, e-mails,
    communication records, and reports on the subject of “Diagolon” or in
    relation or reference to the subject of Diagolon. Search term: Diagolon
    Also referred to as the Diagolon Network or Diagolon Militia.
    Timeframe: January 01 2021 to August 15 2022.
    The request was submitted over a year ago, but a series of external consultations
    delayed the release of documents. It was worth the wait. The information validates
    Jeremy’s apprehension about copy-and-paste police work, in which law enforcement
    accepts open source intelligence at face value without scrutiny or asking questions.
    Every falsehood and misrepresentation seems to lead back to the Canadian Anti-
    Hate Network.
    What you see here is only half the story. We are still in the process of sifting through
    over a thousand pages of information that require careful analysis, and plan to release
    other findings and relevant material as we go along.
    The FOIPOP packages reveal several outrageous blunders and oversights, which
    will be covered in the coming pages. But when it’s all said and done, the lingering
    sentiments we are left with are a mixture of shock and disappointment over the sheer
    incompetence, displayed in full view. The magnitude of it. How it could have gotten
    this far without anyone stopping it.
    Two years of inconsistency and ineptitude. A death by a thousand cuts.
    Inconsistencies and Speculations
    Our most consistent finding was the inconsistency—the casualness with which
    falsehoods were repeated without a second thought. The abject carelessness, coupled
    with a remarkable intolerance for ambiguity. Wherever there was confusion, holes
    in the narrative were patched with rumours, innuendos, and speculation.
    The obsequious desire to be helpful, to impress one’s colleagues, led people to offer
    opinions that were flat-out wrong. A hypothesis became a foregone conclusion.
    Nobody rolled it back. Words like “could”, “might have”, “could have happened”,
    replaced actual proof. As a last resort, clickbaity articles and tweets by CAHN and
    its constellation of anonymous twitter accounts, were offered up in lieu of proof by
    people with “Intelligence Analyst” in their signature line.
    To see how painfully some law enforcement officers and researchers struggled to fit
    a square peg into a round hole, brings to mind Hanlon’s Razor: “Never attribute to
    malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.”
    Conversely, Jeremy was considered a wily mastermind. The absence of any proof
    that Diagolon is a violent extremist group rather than a make-believe concept, was
    not viewed as an exoneration or lack of culpability, but proof that further scrutiny
    was necessary. The idea of presumed innocence was not brought up once, in over a
    thousand pages. At every turn, we saw lazy conflations of Diagolon with ethno-
    nationalism, white supremacy, and ideologically-motivated violent extremism.
    A curious escalation of commitment happened. People who pride themselves on
    their intellect and objectivity refused to believe they were duped, or that they fell
    prey to their own biases. Instead, they strained to redefine Jeremy and Diagolon as
    nefarious in some way, perhaps to save face.
    People who thought themselves impartial did not exhibit a shred of good faith as
    they bent over themselves trying to define Diagolon as a “group”, while at the same
    time referring to it as a “movement”, “accelerationist group”, “militia”, and even a
    “neo-fascist violent militia”—treating them as interchangeable terms.
    These are not synonyms. In law enforcement, language must be precise for good
    reason. Definitions make all the difference in ensuring everyone is held to the same
    standards. The fact that after such extraordinary efforts, there still is no reliable,
    consistent assessment of Diagolon or how violent they think Jeremy MacKenzie is,
    should be proof enough of his innocence.
    Even when they concede that “Diagolon ‘doesn’t fit the definition’ of a terrorist
    entity according to Canada’s Anti-Terrorism Act,” researchers like Amarnath
    Amarasingham, whose work brings him into CAHN’s radius, are averse to admit
    they might have been wrong. “The danger with Diagolon, rather, lies with how its
    viewers might internalize the cynical worldview Mackenzie and other affiliated
    broadcasters present,” he wrote.
    We would argue the true danger lies in the speculation that an artist, author, or
    comedian, should be held responsible for what fringe elements of their fanbase
    might do.
    Slippery slope fallacies are how we end up throwing books into bonfires. And yet
    there is a real possibility that groundwork is being laid out, through the efforts of
    state-funded academics, smarmy consultants, and think tanks powered by defence
    contracts, to make the case for holding influencers and content creators responsible
    for the actions of third parties. This, of course, has less to do with “harm prevention”
    and more about censoring someone at will. What better way to kill artistic expression
    than hold an artist responsible for the actions of thousands of strangers.
    Cultural and generational differences were overlooked by those who were
    surveilling, rather than understanding, the Diagolon fanbase. As external observers,
    rather than participants, they hadn’t been initiated into the subculture. Imagine
    dropping in on a roomful of hardcore “Risk” players talking about armed conflict
    and conquests, and thinking they’re for real. Or taking a Dungeons and Dragons
    session at face value. Or going to a Civil War reenactment where everyone stays in
    character, and interpreting cosplay fantasies as genuine plans for insurrection.
    How could Jeremy Mackenzie become the founder of a not quite-ideologically
    motivated, almost-violent, could-be extremist group, not really-fascist, maybe-militia
    that doesn’t meet RCMP and CSIS definitions of a “group”, yet is still deemed
    dangerous enough to warrant special communiques going out to intelligence
    agencies across the globe?
    Because nobody took the lack of evidence at face value.
    Yes, sometimes it really is that simple.
    Popularized in the blockbuster movie Minority Report, the idea of intercepting crime
    before it happens emerged from the eponymous sci-fi story by Philip K Dick, which
    was preceded by George Orwell’s dystopian masterpiece Nineteen Eighty-Four. Both
    serve as cautionary tales of an omnipotent authoritarian state marked by mass
    surveillance, social repression, and criminal profiling. If they think you’re guilty,
    they’ll take you out before a crime is committed. The State’s word is Supreme Law,
    and no judgment can be appealed.
    As laws crack down on freedom of expression, humour—often a person’s primary
    defence mechanism when it comes to releasing tension, concealing pain, or speaking
    inconvenient truths—is the first to be sacrificed and reframed as wrongthink.
    Historically, those writers, poets, comedians who didn’t censor their exuberance
    were the first to discover that satire comes with a heavy price.
    What was once science fiction is fast becoming reality, and nowhere more obviously
    than in the context of counterterrorism. Those cognizant of the effect of self-
    fulfilling prophecies have argued that, far from preventing crime, such measures
    produce the outcomes they profess to prevent. A crime prevention model might
    work well in theory. But if you’re going to take strong measures to prevent crime
    from happening, you’d better be damn sure you have the right suspect.
    Elisa’s Story
    Taking Down the Heritage Front
    In the early 90s, sixteen-year-old Romanian immigrant Elisa Hategan (then Elisse)
    was held up as the innocent young face of an Ontario neo-Nazi, white supremacist
    group known as the Heritage Front. With over 200 members, including violent
    skinheads with convictions for aggravated assault, kidnapping and attempted
    murder, and implicated in firebombings, it was considered the most dangerous white
    supremacist group in modern Canadian history. Elisa was groomed as a media
    spokesperson to soften the image of violent skinheads, even appearing on The
    Montel Williams Show at age seventeen to repeat scripted talking points that
    concealed the group’s hateful ideology.
    It was a cynical, yet effective strategy. But the adult
    puppeteers failed to account for personal agency, nor
    for Elisa’s identity as a closeted lesbian with Jewish
    roots, later confirmed through DNA tests. Elisa began
    to secretly provide information to anti-racist activists, at
    great personal risk, revealing details about illegal
    weapons and the identity of a Toronto police officer
    who was a group member. At age eighteen, she defected
    from the group, stealing part of Holocaust denier Ernst
    Zundel’s membership list. Months later, her courtroom
    testimony was instrumental in securing the convictions
    of three Heritage Front leaders—a fatal blow that
    triggered the group’s decline and eventual demise.
    While the leaders were serving jail time, co-founder and second-in-command leader
    Grant Bristow was exposed as an undercover CSIS operative by Toronto Sun
    reporter Bill Dunphy, in part due to scrutiny that arose after Hategan’s affidavits and
    testimony pointed to Bristow being an agent provocateur who directed criminal activity
    such as the It Campaign, a brutal harassment campaign directing Indigenous
    community leaders and anti-racist activists.
    Despite having incurred serious death threats, including being questioned at
    knifepoint by Front members the day before her defection, Elisa was inexplicably
    denied entry into the RCMP’s Witness Protection Program. Grant Bristow, however,
    was promptly relocated to Alberta, given a home, cars and a generous monthly
    paycheck for years afterwards, despite the fact that his five years of work in
    Operation Governor had not led to the arrest and conviction of a single Canadian
    Forced to live in hiding across Canada for more than two years, relying on kind
    strangers, homeless shelters, and dumpster-diving to survive, Elisa, a ninth-grade
    high-school dropout with a history of familial abuse and foster care, managed to
    earn a Nova Scotia GED and was accepted into the University of Ottawa’s
    prestigious criminology program.
    Motivated to understand how extremists target youth for radicalization, Elisa made
    the best of her second chance, engaging in volunteer work inside prison and youth
    detention centres, while working two jobs and relying on student loans to stay afloat.
    In 1999, aged 25, she graduated magna cum laude with a double major in criminology
    and psychology.
    Behind the Scenes at ARC Collective
    It was 2011, long after Elisa had returned to Toronto following a stint as an ESL
    teacher in Seoul, South Korea, when a Google search for figures from her past led
    her to a blogspot site called Anti-Racist Canada (ARC). ARC featured articles about
    Canada’s far right and exposés of people the author characterized as extremists.
    Recognizing an individual ARC was trying to identify in an old Ernst Zundel photo,
    she left a comment. A correspondence with the webmaster, who called himself
    “Nosferatu200”, followed, growing into a fast friendship.
    The website was operated by Kurt Phillips, a Drumheller, Alberta high school
    teacher two years Elisa’s junior, who had created ARC in 2008 as a hobby project to
    keep track of “Nazis.” In an early email, Kurt called himself her “fan boy” and
    gushed about recognizing her name: “You, more than anyone else, took down one
    of the nastiest hate groups that had existed in Canada in years.” He then invited her
    to join the ARC Collective and write for the blog, confessing it was mostly a one-
    man operation. Auxiliary support came from one other person, a female volunteer
    from Quebec.
    Elisa’s first article was prefaced by Kurt’s unreserved endorsement:
    Hategan, who did more to take down the Front than any Canadian
    government agency ever could (and, really, in spite of some government
    agencies). Despite the efforts from 2001 to 2005 to revive the group,
    Elisse’s testimony essentially killed the HF as a viable movement in
    Canada and exposed the activities of CSIS to public examination.
    The blurb was accompanied by a hyperlink to Elisa’s testimony before the Senate
    Parliamentary Committee that investigated the Bristow Affair.
    Kurt visited Elisa in Toronto in 2013. They spent two days hanging out and she took
    him to all the Heritage Front old haunts, such as Zundel’s townhouse on Carlton
    Street, where she had worked and sometimes sought refuge when homelife turned
    violent, and the building where leader Wolfgang Droege was shot dead in 2005.
    Photos taken by Elisa during the visit ended up on ARC’s website; with all her blog
    entries now deleted by Kurt, they are the only visible reminder of her contributions
    to the Collective.
    Although platonic, the two were close friends. Their phone calls and Facebook
    Messenger interactions were marked by affectionate exchanges and Elisa’s
    confessions of severe childhood abuse, chronic depression, and history of suicide
    attempts. Kurt called himself “family” and assured her that if she ever needed him,
    he would drop everything and fly to Toronto. He sent her several gift packages and
    contributed hundreds of dollars to her book fundraising campaigns, enlisting his
    mother to also donate.
    With Phillips’ encouragement, Hategan published her memoir Race Traitor: The True
    Story of Canadian Intelligence’s Greatest Cover-up, in 2014. Phillips promptly wrote a 5-
    star Amazon review under the handle “John Smith”, citing Hategan as “the key
    figure in taking down the leadership.”
    Their friendship allowed Elisa exclusive and unfiltered access to Kurt’s sleuthing
    tactics, which included LARPing as a Russian model named Anya and cosplaying as
    a Nazi to extract what at times seemed rather dubious intel, such as hardcore erotica
    “Anya” was one of Kurt Phillips’ alter egos –
    a hot, blonde Russian model who lurked in
    white nationalist chatrooms. Conversations
    with neo-Nazi Paul Fromm, also a (former)
    high school teacher, elicited erotic images and
    stories from Fromm, including a fanfic
    starring Rasputin which included the
    protagonist (bearing a passing resemblance to
    the imaginary Anya) fondly reminiscing about
    having anal sex as a child.
    Kurt boasted about such conquests and
    disseminated screenshots like trophies to Elisa and the other female ARC Collective
    member. He talked about saving the information to be publicly exposed at the right
    moment, but nothing meaningful appears to have been accomplished – not even
    when Fromm sought to run for public office.
    The shady research tactics didn’t stop with the honeypot traps. Once, when someone
    threatened Elisa on Facebook, Kurt gallantly volunteered to “make some calls” and
    “give him a reason to be frightened”. Elisa hadn’t
    seen that side of Kurt, but hints appeared when he
    shared plans to buy a silicone skinhead mask to
    cosplay a skinhead in online forums.
    In 2015, Elisa’s depression spiraled into despair after
    abruptly discovering that, while she’d been in hiding,
    the CBC had culled lived experiences from her 1994
    trial testimony and interviews with people who knew
    her, and released a 1998 movie titled White Lies,
    starring Sarah Polley. Approximately 75% of the
    scenes can be traced to snapshots of Elisa’s life as
    described in print media, trial transcripts, and a 1994 Vision TV documentary.
    Hategan was never credited or paid. Instead, the CBC misattributed the story’s
    inspiration, with Bernie Farber being thanked in the end credits. The film earned
    producers Gemini and Emmy awards; Elisa was picking for food through garbage
    cans while life rights were being sold to the CBC behind her back.
    The shock of seeing traumatic events reenacted without her permission, coupled
    with her mother’s death within months of that discovery, pushed Elisa over the edge.
    The “family” support she had come to expect from Kurt never materialized. When
    she posted on Facebook that her only relative in Canada was dying, she recalls that
    his response was a sad face emoji. Suicidal and under the influence of alcohol, she
    wrote him an angry, abrasive letter accusing him of being no better than the Nazis
    he claimed to fight. She CC’d it to the other female ARC member (who Kurt was
    infatuated with at the time, and who subsequently left ARC), before blocking him
    on social media.
    Within months of CAHN’s inception in 2018, Kurt scrubbed all of Elisa’s
    contributions from ARC, including a link to her memoir’s Amazon page, which he
    had assured her would never be removed. In Elisa’s view, the sanitization coincided
    with a new narrative being disseminated, one that clashed with historical facts as she
    describes in the memoir both Kurt and Bernie Farber once praised. She made several
    attempts to communicate with him, with no avail.
    Soon after, Elisa sued two CAHN Board members, including Chair Bernie Farber,
    after Farber made comments on TVO’s The Agenda with Steve Paikin that, in her
    view, misattributed her singular role in the “takedown of the Heritage Front” in
    order to advance a narrative she believed was more profitable and favourable to
    Farber’s interests. She also sued TVO; the case was settled out of court, with the
    terms of the settlement bound by a confidentiality clause.
    In December 2019, Elisa uploaded a 171-page affidavit to Scribd, which referenced
    her work with Kurt in ARC. Three weeks later, following an appearance on CBC’s
    Fifth Estate where his face was inadequately blurred, Phillips’ identity was revealed
    on KiwiFarms by Bryan Trottier. Trottier had sourced the name from Elisa’s
    affidavit, but it was not until he saw Kurt’s face and distinct glasses on CBC, that he
    was able to match them to photos of Phillips available online.
    Instead of assigning any blame to either the CBC or Trottier, Kurt placed all the
    responsibility for his “doxx” squarely on Elisa’s shoulders. It was the beginning of a
    vicious online harassment campaign by trolls associated with CAHN that continues
    to today, turning a once-lauded heroine into a villain, while elevating someone who
    Elisa refers to as an “armchair activist”, into a hero.
    After his identity was revealed, Kurt was featured in high-profile media interviews,
    gained thousands of Twitter followers, and was praised as a CAHN board member.
    He also incurred threats and harassment, as did Elisa, but there was no one to
    insulate her from the fallout.
    As Kurt’s fame and popularity grew, he—a man who never shut down any hate
    groups or formally studied criminology and terrorism—was touted as an “expert”
    on the far-right, while the Jewish woman with formal training who had risked her
    life to shut down a hate group was smeared as a Nazi.
    The Canadian Anti-Hate Network is Born
    The Canadian Anti-Hate Network (CAHN) was incorporated in Toronto on March
    30, 2018, as a not-for-profit organization that purports to be an antifascist and
    antiracist advocacy group. Its stated mission is to “monitor, research, and counter
    hate groups by providing education and information on hate groups to the public,
    media, researchers, courts, law enforcement, and community groups.” As part of its
    mandate, CAHN publishes articles and toolkits about identifying and confronting
    the nebulous “far-right” and is frequently cited
    on mainstream media platforms as a de facto
    source of information on “hate” and
    CAHN’s founding members are Bernie
    Farber, former CEO of the now-defunct
    Canadian Jewish Congress (CJC), lawyer
    Richard Warman, journalist Amira
    Elghawaby, and Evan Balgord, former vice-
    president of the Canadian Association of
    At present, Balgord serves as Executive Director, Farber is Chair, Kurt Phillips, high
    school teacher and operator of the ARC Collective is on the board of directors, and
    “Elizabeth Simons,” an individual whose identity or credentials cannot be verified,
    is “deputy director”. The board of directors also include Nigel Barriffe and Sue
    There is also an Advisory Board that consists of Ontario Tech University professor
    Barbara Perry, ex-CJC director Len Rudner, and has included political pundit Warren
    Kinsella, and others. Its structure and purpose is unclear, as are the identities of most
    of its members. CAHN’s sphere of influence extends beyond the entity itself to
    include associated journalists or quasi-journalists, whether named, pseudonymized,
    or anonymous.
    Armed with $25,000 in seed funding from the Southern
    Poverty Law Center, CAHN quickly outpaced other
    fledgling non-profits by raking in sizeable donations, a
    significant grant from the Bank of Montreal, and a
    $268,400 grant from the Liberal government’s Anti-
    Racism Action Program. It certainly helped that two of
    the men at its helm, Farber and Balgord, had extensive
    media connections, which ensured that CAHN would
    receive the kind of widespread press coverage other
    human rights organizations with established track
    records could only dream of.
    It might have been a new organization, but the ARC Collective’s modus operandi
    continued. A chimera of sorts, CAHN absorbed the blog archive, arbitrary targets,
    and questionable cybersleuthing tactics Kurt had relied on for over a decade, and
    transplanted them into a new incarnation – one that arguably turned the word
    “leverage” into a business plan.
    Whatever CAHN lacked in terms of experience, expertise or credentials, they made
    up for by collaborating with academics and assorted journalists, riding on credentials
    and accolades that existed long before the concept took root in the mind of one
    ambitious, well-connected opportunist.
    The “Dark Arts” behind Anti-Hate
    To gain a rudimentary understanding of how ARC and CAHN’s roads intersected,
    you need look no further than the explosive allegations contained in the Twitter
    threads of Toronto journalist and antifascist activist Kevin Metcalf. Although
    incomplete, his recollections offer a bird’s eye glimpse of the obscure origins of the
    Canadian Anti-Hate Network.
    Metcalf first met Evan Balgord in 2013, at Chrystia Freeland’s victory party. As he
    recalls it, some time later, Balgord – who is rumoured to be Toronto ex-mayor John
    Tory’s nephew – invited him for a beer at a bar “around the corner from the
    downtown condo his US banker parents’ money was paying for,” for a discussion
    centered around the “dark arts of politics”.
    According to Metcalf, Balgord “had a specific interest in twitter disinformation,
    sock-puppetry and media manipulation.” After the beers, they went back to
    Balgord’s place. That’s when Metcalf claims that Balgord behaved in a way that made
    him uncomfortable, prompting his hasty exit. Save for a sporadic email exchange,
    they would not meet again until 2016.
    One week after Metcalf was hired by the Canadian Journalists for Free Expression,
    Balgord, out of the blue, invited him to socialize. “He was suddenly my new best
    friend.” Metcalf slowly warmed to Balgord, despite feeling that his communications
    suggested “a cavalier attitude towards the truth.” He passed on scoops garnered
    from his work with CJFE, a move he now regrets.
    Metcalf’s bitterness is palpable, radiating caustically through his posts. Pointing to a
    screenshot of Balgord’s Muck Rack page, he asserts, “80% of his early work was
    cribbed directly from my notes, activism, scoops, sources (even leaks) I gave him. A
    lot of that can be proved from chat logs. Only one of us ever got credit for the work.
    I did the legwork, provided the consulting, referred sources, vouched etc. Despite
    that it had almost all been my own work, nobody made me “Vice President of the
    @caj”. In fact, I got blacklisted.”
    In the beginning, Balgord seemed more interested in Metcalf’s work against Bill C-
    51, the federal surveillance bill that became the Anti-Terrorism Act, than his
    antifascist work. That all changed after Trump’s 2016 election.
    Metcalf claims he provided advice and feedback on how to start a nonprofit, which
    depended on Balgord’s ability to acquire Kurt Phillips Anti-Racist Canada website,
    which came complete with a decade-long archive and antifascist street cred.
    “Balgord told me straight-up this hinged on co-opting (sorry, professionalizing)
    ARC.” To give credence to his statements, Metcalf’s tweet is accompanied by a
    screenshot of an email where Balgord, if he authored the email, does indeed appear
    intent on continuing ARC, by morphing it into a Canadian rendition of the Southern
    Poverty Law Center.
    In Metcalf’s view, Balgord didn’t intend to build an “antifascist” group, so much as
    co-opt other antifascists’ work “to produce partisan “opposition research” targeting
    conservative political organizing in support of shady electioneering efforts.”
    In private conversation, Metcalf claims that Balgord traveled to either Alberta or
    Saskatchewan to meet with Kurt Phillips on several occasions in late 2017 – early
    2018; we have no way to confirm when exactly Phillips and Balgord first met and
    under what circumstances.
    He also claims that Warren Kinsella, Bernie Farber’s long-time friend and self-
    admitted “brother from another mother”, was the one to initially connect Balgord
    to Richard Warman by email, after being looped into an email thread related to
    Metcalf’s assault by the JDL. Afterwards, Warman allegedly suggested Balgord reach
    out to Farber in order to build social license to start CAHN.
    “I was there for their meeting,” Metcalf says. “It was at a bar in Ottawa. But then I
    had to leave the room.” At the time, he shrugged off the snub. “I just figured I was
    too activist or whatever.” What seemed weirder to him was that Warman’s office
    was ostensibly located in the Department of Defence building, and he was
    introduced as a “DND Lawyer.”
    “On the way home from Ottawa [Evan] told me that he needed to reach out to
    Bernie. That was two months before Charlottesville. I think Bernie just brought the
    license of the Jewish community. That’s when Evan stopped trying to doxx the
    There is no way to independently confirm the accuracy of Metcalf’s account.Evan
    Balgord did not respond to our request for comment.
    Things between Metcalf and Balgord soured after Metcalf was fired from CJFE for
    releasing a public statement that condemned Israel for the deaths of Gaza journalists.
    Metcalf believes he was blacklisted by the CBC and other mainstream press after
    that. CAHN stopped mentioning Metcalf in their articles, which prompted him to
    declare he “was going to criticize them for being co-optive.”
    He was swiftly blocked. “And that’s when the coordinated, malicious defamation
    started, with an attempt to brand me a “Russiagate conspiracy theorist” by a
    prominent network contributor,” Metcalf shares in his Twitter thread. “Over several
    months in early 2021, nearly anyone who liked my tweets received a message from
    various members/employees/affiliates of CAHN. The whisperers whispered in the
    ears of anyone with open DM’s. It’s called “Badjacketing”. My follower
    count/engagement plummeted.
    “When I tried to address some of the people spreading allegations about me, other
    affiliates accused me of “doxxing” for naming the individuals engaged in the active
    defamation. Others asserted I was an “anti-semite […] They also widely circulated a
    false claim I was working with fascists, throughout their network, urging dozens or
    hundreds of users to block me here, some going as far as to reach out to anyone
    who’d ever published me.”
    Metcalf’s ordeal rings painfully true to the authors of this article, because we have
    both lived through it. Although he declares that he dislikes me, which is his
    prerogative, he is forthright to relate a conversation where Morgan Yew, the author
    of a defamatory article about me published by CAHN, told him that “the reason he
    picked a fight with Caryma Sa’d over the Chris Sky event was that she was
    competition getting in the way of his selling content to @VICE. I don’t like Caryma
    but CAHN did run an article written by a self-admitted competitor, attacking
    Caryma over the 2021 Chris Sky event, an event that same contributor helped
    organize a counter-protest to. That’s a clear ethical breach/conflict of interest.”
    To this day, Metcalf remains unequivocal in his characterization of CAHN: “This
    “network” is a malicious hivemind which turns friends into enemies in a bid to
    maintain its hegemony over Canadian antifascist spaces. That which will not be co-
    opted (or which lacks ongoing utility) must be marginalized and defamed.
    “They’re not JUST an anti-hate nonprofit, they’re an unaccountable nonprofit spy
    agency and I say with some authority that I believe this was always the goal. I’ve tried
    to broach this subject in the past few months, and have been subjected to a campaign
    of harassment.”
    The conflict of interest that Metcalf describes doesn’t end with me. In fact, it’s just
    the beginning.
    The Business of Hate
    Consulting gigs. Training seminars. Educational toolkits. There’s big money in the
    business of hate. Groups whose livelihood hinges on monitoring and fighting “hate”
    would be rendered obsolete if hate disappeared overnight.
    If all you need to establish a “hate group” is a couple of antisocial misfits exchanging
    racist memes in a discord chat, it’s easy to see how Canada could have 300, 500, even
    a thousand hate groups. If you set your filters wide enough, that number is
    surprisingly easy to reach. Especially if a “hate group” can consist of only “three or
    four members”.
    In a 2021 op-ed, journalist Jon Kay takes issue with CAHN Advisory Board member
    Barbara Perry’s estimation that 300 hate groups operate in Canada. He requests to
    see the list, and suggests creating a public database where all 300 groups can be
    logged for easy reference. Moreover, he expresses dismay at how mainstream media
    regurgitates such numbers to buttress the idea that “Canada is on the cusp of some
    kind of full-on white supremacist apocalypse.”
    In May 2023, journalist Cosmin Dzsurdzsa reached out to Ontario Tech University
    and requested documentation of the 300 figure. OTU refused to release the list,
    sending an email saying that Perry’s “research” was not in their custody and citing
    the Privacy Act. Dzsurdzsa had already written about his attempts to access the list.
    Frustrated, he tweeted, “Perry’s extraordinary claims have been cited by the Liberal
    government, in committees and is informing lawmaking. It’s been years and she’s
    never produced a single shred of evidence. Effectively, without releasing the list, Dr.
    Perry’s research serves as a carte blanche for lawmakers to fearmonger and clamp
    down on dissent under the guise of fighting hate. If these groups are indeed a threat,
    the public has a right to know who they are.”
    Inflated numbers. Dubious metrics. Smearing the competition.
    Anonymous “experts” who refuse to provide credentials or evidence to
    back up their expertise. Using others’ work without permission. False or
    unsubstantiated claims. Shady research tactics. Ignoring vicious
    harassment campaigns by supporters against critics and competitors.
    Backdoor influence from intelligence agencies.
    These are all accusations that have been levelled at CAHN. Quite the
    impressive tally for an organization only established in 2018. And yet,
    despite mounting criticism, both this country’s mainstream media and
    its law enforcement organizations continue to unquestioningly take for
    granted, what we consider questionable expertise.
    The Canadian military is still haunted by the shameful spectre of the Canadian
    Airborne Regiment, an elite faction that was disbanded in 1995 following the torture
    and beating death of Somalian teenager Shidane Arone at the hands of two Canadian
    soldiers who took trophy photos with the battered, dying boy. The brutality sparked
    outrage and triggered the Somalia Affair, which uncovered pervasive racism in the
    regiment and led directly to its disbandment.
    There is no question that people with extremist mindsets are drawn to outlets where
    they can learn combat skills to put into practice in the event of widespread
    insurrections. Elisa remembers that Heritage Front leaders encouraged members to
    engage in paramilitary training, urging them to join the Canadian Armed Forces
    (CAF) to gain knowledge about munitions and firearms that would be useful in a
    future Race War scenario. Two brothers who were HF members and part of the
    Airborne Regiment, offered to pass on their skillset to small cadres of hotheaded
    skinheads: they would get together on weekends to run drills and go shooting. The
    same brothers were later arrested and charged with the kidnapping and torture of a
    fellow HF member whom they suspected was a “rat”.
    If you were around in the 90s, the graphic images of Shidane Arone’s bloody face
    are seared in your memory. When the words “racists” and “army” are paired, that’s
    what you flash to – acts of extreme brutality, confederate and swastika flags hung up
    in barracks, the top brass determined to cover up an embarrassing scandal before it
    became impossible to deny it. Not the mundane – yet more prevalent – racism that
    lingers and may never be fully eradicated: crude banter, offensive stereotypes, the
    kind of crass humour you don’t hear in polite company.
    But the military learned their lessons all too well. Nobody wants to be caught with
    their pants down again. Their eagerness to prevent the recurrence of another Somalia
    Affair leaves them prone to overcorrect. If a similar scandal ever broke out, they
    won’t be accused of ignoring racist behaviour – just look at what we’ve invested in
    sensitivity training and toolkits on how to deal with Nazis.
    Clearly, detecting and preventing ideological extremism
    among its ranks is an ongoing concern for any armed
    forces. But it also opens the door for unscrupulous
    opportunists vying to sell snake oil solutions to a problem
    whose parameters they themselves defined.
    If you’re in the business of “preventing hate”, nothing
    beats a country’s defense budget. The big bucks are in the
    military, and those who establish themselves as experts on
    the boogeymen du jour stand to make a pretty penny. If
    you’re clever enough, you can pitch just about anything:
    developing informational manuals, staff training programs, research protocols,
    monitoring software—the sky’s the limit. The top commanders who sign the
    cheques probably know less than those who purport expertise. They simply want to
    show that something’s been done, boxes were checked off, the issue taken care of.
    Setting aside the brutality that is inherent to the military, dangerous violent
    extremists are outliers within the CAF. But upholding an alarmist narrative is more
    lucrative. It also keeps the pressure on the top brass to continue bankrolling training
    seminars that ensure your cup keeps overflowing.
    In such a competitive field, CAHN broke out of the gates early. One of their earliest
    collaborative pieces involved a Vice story about an ex-member of the Reserves
    accused of belonging to an armed neo-Nazi collective called The Base. The focus on
    the military continued, with CAHN appearing to seize every opportunity to be
    critical of how the CAF dealt with hate-related incidents. CAHN co-founder Bernie
    Farber seldom missed a chance to point his critiques at CAF’s Twitter accounts. His
    hyperbolic tweets accused the CAF of “fraternizing with known neo-Nazis”,
    attempting to “cover it up”, and “offering up a proverbial slap on the wrist” to
    soldiers “belonging to the most violent hate groups on the continent”.
    Even as Farber’s complaints mounted, a June 2020 article publicized that CAHN
    Advisory Board member Barbara Perry, Director of the Centre on Hate, Bias and
    Extremism at Ontario Tech University, had received $800,000 in funding from the
    Department of National Defence, to “develop a research-based network for
    exploration of the far right and hateful conduct in the armed services.” Her co-lead
    on the project was David Hofmann from the University of New Brunswick, who
    was widely quoted by CTV and other networks on Diagolon. (The RCMP found it
    “difficult to understand” how Hofmann could assuredly purport that Diagolon is
    “an American-style militia movement.)
    This was one of several grants Perry was awarded since hitching her wagon to
    CAHN: $500,000 from Facebook to research “violent extremism”, not long after a
    2019 press release announced that Perry / OIT “received $366,985 over three years
    from the Government of Canada to examine the right-wing extremism movement
    through interviews with law enforcement, community anti-hate activists, and former
    and current extremists.” The OIT Centre was created in 2018 – coincidentally, the
    same year CAHN was born. By the fall of 2022, Perry was appointed UNESCO’s
    Research Chair in Hate Studies. Not bad for someone who already earns an annual
    salary of $203,859, according to Ontario’s 2022 Sunshine list.
    Along with the grants come paid speaking engagements, prestigious conferences,
    fancy club invitations, townhalls, academic publications, and opportunities to garner
    media publicity, such as meeting with the Prime Minister, which often leads to more
    consulting contracts.
    With such significant funds pouring in from different sources to research “far right
    extremism”, a cynic might speculate as to whether researchers could be getting paid
    for what might be viewed, at least in part, as overlapping work. A cynic might also
    question the narrative of full-service providers who get to define a problem and
    supply the solutions to the same problem. But when it comes to the business of hate,
    cynicism is in short supply.
    The Public Safety grant was in partnership with the London, UK-based Institute for
    Strategic Dialogue. Although the press release does not indicate if ISD received
    additional funding, Elisa Hategan remembers a conversation over lunch with a
    former inner-city gang member whom she’d met during her stint as a consultant
    with Against Violent Extremism (AVE), an ISD initiative involving former
    extremists. This colleague claimed he’d connected Perry with ISD, and shared details
    of the proposal before it was submitted to Public Safety. From what Elisa recalls,
    ISD was going for $7.5 million and had pitched, among other things, the creation of
    learning modules on the far-right, but they needed a Canadian partner to access those
    kinds of funds from Canadian taxpayers.
    Elisa’s AVE colleague then shared explosive details involving a high-profile
    Canadian government official who had allegedly traveled to meet with ISD the
    month before the grant was approved. “We were having a transatlantic conference
    call, and that’s when I heard [REDACTED] talking—he was right there in their
    London office, he flew all the way there to meet with them,” her colleague had raved.
    They’d looked at each other in shock, and in that moment they both fell silent,
    knowing exactly what that meant: there were very powerful forces at play.
    That information could not be independently corroborated, but the news spurred
    Elisa to also put together a team, complete with academic and law enforcement
    experts from Ontario’s Hate Crime Unit and submit a proposal for the same Public
    Safety Community Resilience Fund. Knowing she was sure to lose if her bid went
    up against Perry’s, Elisa focused her proposal not on “far-right extremism”, but on
    LGBT youth and homophobic violence prevention in rural communities. It ticked
    all the right boxes and her team’s credentials seemed impeccable, but Elisa’s proposal
    was declined. She was perhaps too ahead of the curve.
    When the Department of National Defence finally announced, in June 2021, the
    creation of a panel that would address systemic racism and “focus on anti-
    Indigenous and anti-Black racism, LGBTQ2 prejudice, gender bias and white
    supremacy”, Farber wasn’t satisfied. After meeting with advisory panel officials who
    informed him that antisemitism was not part of the focus, he was featured in an
    Ottawa Citizen article where he complained it was “a major oversight in the battle
    against the far right.” The article was followed by an indignant tweet: “it baffles the
    mind that antisemitism training would not even be considered.”
    In an increasingly polarized world that has seen a revival of century-old conspiracy
    theories about Jewish cabals and blood sacrifices, antisemitism training is crucial to
    combat hatred and stem violence. However, when there are huge sums of money at
    play, it becomes equally necessary to have transparent procurement processes in
    place, to ensure training budgets are allocated equitably.
    In November 2022, a York Region District School Board purchase order was leaked,
    which showed that Farber was awarded a YRDSB contract for $40,000 to conduct
    a total of “10 Antisemitism Professional Sessions” – three in person, seven on Zoom.
    There was no indication of duration; the sessions could have been an hour, or a half-
    day. Bernie Farber did not respond to our request for comment.
    When Elisa Hategan asked whether there had been a contractor bidding process, so
    that consultants working in the same field (who could provide similar training at a
    reduced rate) had the chance to bid, YRDSB ignored her. The Board’s silence—at a
    time when they were cutting staff and eliminating student extracurricular activities—
    flew in the face of the YRDSB Purchase Services mandate, which promised they
    were “accountable, ethical and fiscally responsible in protecting public funds.”
    Elisa has a right to be upset. In February 2019, in a phone call with Cecil Roach,
    YRDSB Associate Director of the Schools, Programs and Equitable Outcomes,
    Roach acknowledged that Farber was someone he’d known, and at times worked
    with, since Farber’s CJC days. Roach also admitted that Farber had been contracted
    by their Equity & Inclusion office on many occasions over the years He would not
    say why the YRDSB didn’t appear to open bids to other consultants who could offer
    similar training for far less. Elisa followed up with an email outlining her concerns
    over cronyism; her email went unanswered.
    The irony was not lost on her. Back in 2015, when she was still on good terms with
    Farber, Elisa—who formally converted to Judaism in 2013—pleaded with him to
    help her fundraise for a book project that involved traveling to Romania to dig into
    her deceased father’s Jewish past. “Sorry to be begging for money, but I wouldn’t
    ask if it wasn’t absolutely necessary,” she wrote on Facebook Messenger. “Even a
    single dollar will help. Even a share of my link on your wall. Please consider it.”
    Farber’s reply: “Elisa I have made it a rule not to allow my social media to be used
    for fundraising other than registered charities. If I break the rules for one I d (sic)
    must do so for all. I hope you understand”. Elisa was hurt: “I understand very well.
    I think I understand you more now than I ever have before.”
    She was wrong on that count. The trip to eastern Europe, paid for with borrowed
    money and a $12,000 Ontario Arts Council writing grant, uncovered new familial
    connections. But it was not until December 2020 when, after uploading her family
    tree to genealogical website Geni’s ancestry network, the final jigsaw piece fell into
    place: she and Farber were distantly related.
    Bias on Their Sleeves
    In April 2022, as he and fellow CAHN Board member Barbara Perry appeared
    before a House of Commons Standing Committee on Public Safety and National
    Security, CAHN Executive Director Evan Balgord was asked what seemed, on the
    surface, a simple question:
    “Mr. Balgord, would you say that your organization is an objective organization?”
    “We wear our biases on our sleeves,” Balgord replied. “We are very proudly anti-
    fascist, and we focus on the far right.”
    While some might take issue with CAHN’s single-minded obsession with the far
    right and argue that a group calling itself “anti-hate” should track hatred from all
    sides, choosing to focus exclusively on one extreme end of the political spectrum
    isn’t the problem. It’s how one defines “far right” that’s being contested.
    CAHN Chair Bernie Farber is assumed to be an untainted resource of information
    on what constitutes “hate”, yet he often makes negative or inflammatory comments
    about political candidates to the right of the Liberal party. His adversarial
    relationship with the Conservative Party poses another possible conflict of interest.
    Farber’s connection to the Liberal Party goes back decades and is no secret. In 2011,
    he ran a failed campaign for a Liberal seat in his home riding of Thornhill, and was
    defeated by PC Candidate Peter Shurman.
    Proximity to State Power
    The fact that Farber has been repeatedly contracted to train police officers across
    the province about extremism in North America, shows how easily CAHN is able
    to shape not only public sentiment, but also law enforcement targeting.
    Bernie Farber has had meetings with Public Safety ministers Ralph Goodale and
    Marco Mendicino, as well as other influential figures.
    A November 19, 2021, tweet by Farber reveals that CAHN prides itself on being
    able to “guide public discourse on the state of hate in the country.” Given that such
    a position carries with it the risk that it could be used for unethical purposes, one
    hopes that persons with half the authority Farber commands would be more closely
    scrutinized. However, despite financial conflicts of interest in the sector, accusations
    of misinformation, friendships with former CSIS employees, and the inclusion of an
    individual with a history of running election war rooms and disinformation
    campaigns for hire into CAHN’s Advisory board, this has not been the case.
    Like the saying goes, with great power comes great responsibility.
    When you have what could be considered a monopoly on the mainstream media’s
    understanding of far-right extremism and the very definition of hate, you gain the
    keys to a kingdom.
    You hold the power to shape the prevalent narrative
    and manipulate said media to report your version of
    truth, with very little, if any, scrutiny of allegations
    made, or opposition.
    But without scrutiny, it can be incredibly tempting
    to abuse that authority and legitimacy. One way you
    can eliminate all obstacles standing between you
    and a pedestal is to discredit anyone who questions
    your legitimacy. Tearing others down from hard-
    won pedestals and inserting yourself in their place,
    is another.
    Civilian Undercover Operations
    Here is an actual CAHN job description / casting call for people to play neo-Nazis
    “under assumed identities”:
    Whose bright idea was it to advertise an undercover operation?
    Fun fact: recruiting people to cosplay as Nazis for a salary of $55,000 per year is
    more than Grant Bristow was paid annually for his agent provocateur work, even
    when adjusting for inflation.
    It is also $5,000 more per year than Jeremy earned in Afghanistan, risking his life for
    his country.
    CAHN founder Richard Warman is perhaps best known for going undercover using
    anonymous accounts to infiltrate far-right corners of the internet. He made prolific
    use of the now-repealed Section 13(1) of the Canada Human Rights Act, winning ten
    cases before the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal (CHRT).
    The Supreme Court of Canada endorsed the “hallmarks of hate” enumerated
    in Warman v. Kouba as examples of the types of “extreme and egregious” expressions
    and speech devices that reach the contemplated threshold of “hatred”.
    However, in Warman v Ouwendyk, the CHRT ruled that Warman’s posts, which he
    initially denied were his, could have precipitated further hate messages from forum
    members, describing this as “both disappointing and disturbing and it diminishes his
    credibility.” Warman maintains his posts helped him identify neo-Nazis, and says
    there was no “road map” for such investigations.
    “With hindsight, he told the Ottawa Citizen in 2009, “things might have been done
    differently today.”
    The Spy Who Got Left Out in the Cold
    Critics who distrust CAHN’s claim of expertise on far-right extremism will cite a
    noticeable double standard—the penchant to reserve the brunt of condemnations
    for political opponents, while overlooking and even forgiving misconduct by peers
    and members of their devoted fanbase. They point to situations where CAHN
    implies they are selective when choosing who gets publicly denounced as a bigot or
    extremist, and who is ignored.
    For instance, relative unknowns get spotlighted and called heroes, even when there
    is no evidence to suggest they did anything to earn the accolades. To our knowledge,
    none of the former white supremacists promotes by CAHN has provided evidence
    of assistance to law enforcement organizations while still inside their hate groups.
    None testified against former comrades to help secure convictions.
    There is arguably no better example to underscore concerns over CAHN’s personal
    biases affecting what is purported to be expert research, than the enduring friendship
    between Bernie Farber and Grant Bristow, the undisputed co-founder and self-
    appointed “Intelligence Chief” of the Heritage Front.
    Prior to her defection from the Heritage Front, Elisa Hategan submitted
    approximately 30 affidavits to the Ontario Provincial Police. Several involved
    situations where Bristow purportedly counseled Elisa—initially still a minor—to
    engage in criminal activity, such as giving her instructions on how to anonymously
    harass and intimidate left-wing activists, hack into answering machines to collect
    data, and spy on the Irish Freedom Association of Toronto.
    She, along with scores of neo-Nazi skinheads and white supremacists, were given
    names, addresses and telephone numbers and taught how to use voter registry
    information to gather details about individuals on the target list, such as the names
    of everyone residing at that domicile.
    Bristow also boasted about his intention to drive a lesbian Anti-Racist Action (ARA)
    activist to mental breakdown and suicide. “I want to pound Ruth’s head in. I want
    to give her a facial massage with a sledgehammer,” he is described as saying in one
    of Elisa’s 1994 affidavits. He enlisted Elisa specifically because he needed a woman’s
    voice for that particular job—to record messages on adult personal ads while passing
    as Ruth, and give out her address and telephone number.
    Reluctant to obey his instructions, Elisa had asked him why he was so invested in
    targeting Ruth and other young women in the ARA. Bristow looked at her and
    laughed. “Women are more emotional. They’re the first to break.”
    It was this specific targeting of an innocent woman who shared Elisa’s sexual
    orientation that marked a crucial turning point in her beginning to identify with “the
    other side” and starting to spy on the Front. After her defection, her four month-
    long sleuthing uncovered the identity of a Toronto Police Services officer who was
    a Front member and attended KKK rallies in Arkansas; this information led to
    discreditable conduct charges. She also exposed a scandal involving Heritage Front
    members infiltrating the Preston Manning’s Reform Party in the hopes of overtaking
    the leadership. Furthermore, she confirmed that the Front was involved in a
    Kitchener firebombing, although the specific details of the action had not been
    shared with her.
    Elisa also volunteered to appear as a witness for the defence in the case of a black
    woman who had been a staff member at Runnymede House, a Toronto group home
    for teen girls that was firebombed twice after a resident with ties to the HF was
    kicked out for displaying hate content in the home. After the staff member was
    stalked, then sexually assaulted by a possible Front member, she reported her assault
    only to be charged with mischief afterwards because Toronto police did not believe
    her. On the morning that her lawyer Clayton Ruby announced Elisa as a witness, the
    prosecution dropped the charges.
    After Bristow was unmasked as a CSIS operative,
    Clayton Ruby published an op-ed in the Toronto
    Star which cited Elisa, and criticized the Security
    Intelligence Review Committee (SIRC) for
    allowing Bristow to terrorize with impunity. He
    wrote a second column, specifically about Elisa,
    praising her courage and demanding to know why
    authorities had not prosecuted HF leader
    Wolfgang Droege based on her solid information.
    Clayton Ruby wrote: “What is Elisse Hategan?
    Chopped liver? Hategan is credible. She testified before Madame Tremblay-Lamer
    in the Federal Court of Canada in the course of a contempt hearing against Wolfgang
    Droege and Gary Schipper. Justice Tremblay-Lamer explicitly accepted her evidence
    as credible and ultimately sent these men to jail.”
    In 1995, Elisa testified in front of a House of Commons Senate committee
    investigating allegations that the SIRC Report had whitewashed Bristow’s criminal
    involvement. Her affidavits, which were subsequently shared with Farber, captured
    the explicit details of Bristow’s hands-on role in directing skinheads to target anti-
    racist activists for harassment and threats in what became known as the “It
    Campaign”. Some of the victims, including ARA leader Kevin Thomas, shared their
    harrowing experiences and how Bristow appeared to relish the abuse, in a 1994 Fifth
    Estate episode titled Good for Business.
    In private conversations with Elisa, Farber never disputed Grant Bristow’s actions
    within the Heritage Front. He called him a “schmuck” and openly praised Race
    Traitor, going so far as taking Elisa to lunch in 2014, soon after her book’s release.
    He also emailed an unreserved endorsement of the memoir to one of his
    connections, a senior editor at Random House, after Elisa suggested that if he could
    help her secure a print deal, he could write the Foreword.
    Their budding friendship would not last. In early 2015, soon after Elisa discovered
    that her lived experiences had been appropriated and reenacted without her consent
    to form the bulk of CBC’s White Lies, she confronted Farber. They had a terse
    meeting at his office. At the time, Farber was with Gemini Power Group, a company
    created by his friend, billionaire Michael Dan, that sought to partner with Indigenous
    communities to build power plants on reserves.
    “It’s been so long, what do you want? Money?” she recalls Farber asking as she
    walked in. Elisa didn’t want money—all she asked was that Farber reach out to White
    Lies scriptwriter and CBC producer Dennis Foon, a Facebook friend of his, to add
    a line to his website and the film’s IMDB page crediting her as an inspiration.
    A single line—to her, a gesture that she existed, that her trauma had not been
    exploited and monetized by others to make a movie that would not have existed
    without her, while she was homeless and dumpster-diving to survive.
    “I’ll get Dennis on the phone,” Farber reassured her. But nothing changed.
    In 2017, within one month of Elisa starting a speaking tour billed as “The True Story
    of Canadian Intelligence’s Greatest Cover-up”, the Toronto Star published a front-
    page article about Bristow by Jennifer Yang, a journalist who has interviewed Farber
    on multiple occasions. Yang’s piece significantly downplayed, and at times omitted,
    Bristow’s most egregious actions as Heritage Front co-leader, framing him as an
    imperfect hero. Bristow’s name had not appeared in the press for many years; for
    Elisa, the timing was too much of a coincidence.
    Although the Toronto Star’s IP was captured by tracking software on Elisa’s blog
    within two weeks of her fundraising talk for the international Jewish women’s
    organization Hadassah-WIZO, lingering repeatedly over several posts citing Bristow
    and criminal activity, no journalist reached out for comments. Instead, when the
    article came out, Bernie Farber’s endorsement of Bristow was front and center: “He
    was actually a man who wanted to do something real good for his country,” he said.
    Admitting he still considers Bristow “a friend”, Farber claimed that Bristow had
    averted a plot on his life. Elisa denies such a plot ever existed, and points to the fact
    that nobody was ever charged or prosecuted.
    But for the sake of playing devil’s advocate—even if there had been a nefarious plot
    against Farber, that does not in itself justify the glowing endorsement of a man who,
    according to the SIRC’s sanitized report, “tested the limits of what was acceptable.”
    Bristow’s unsubstantiated tip about a possible attack on Farber conveniently seemed
    to come to light after he had been outed and was already under fire for allegedly
    directing skinheads to commit illegal acts that fanned flames of hate in this country.
    And what about all the other people who came into Bristow’s crossfire? Are they all
    collateral damage? Is an “End justifies the means” strategy all that matters?
    How many others, like Jeremy Mackenzie, have been crucified by CAHN and its
    predecessor ARC, for far lesser sins than what Bristow got away with? How many
    have been unjustly smeared as “Nazis”, while CAHN’s Chair boasts openly of his
    friendship with a former leader of Canada’s most dangerous neo-Nazi domestic
    terrorist group in modern history? Why the double standard?
    After Farber’s comments on The Agenda with
    Steve Paikin downplaying her singular
    contributions to destroy the Heritage Front,
    Elisa felt she had no choice but to engage in
    litigation. In her mind, it was a battle for her
    life – for the integrity of her lived experiences
    and her right to be the only person to profit
    from her own traumatic past. Others saw a
    former neo-Nazi who had once been called a
    “wretched little immigrant girl” by one of the
    litigants, go up against the former CEO of the
    Canadian Jewish Congress, a well-connected
    man who had provided expert witness to the
    courts on countless occasions – and laughed.
    Elisa was outmatched financially in the protracted court battle, spending
    approximately $50,000 up against $300,000 according to legal documents. She lost
    her right to appeal (purportedly due to time delays), leaving in place a ruling that
    takes most of its verbiage directly from the defendants’ harshly worded written
    submissions with minimal accompanying analysis, and a permanent prohibition on
    speaking about the case, at risk of contempt.
    Forbidden from sharing what she considers incontrovertible evidence that would
    exonerate her, she silently faced an onslaught of harassment from taunting CAHN
    supporters who mocked her loss, her Romanian surname (calling her HateAgain),
    and characterized her as a “vexatious liar” and Nazi.
    Elisa then discovered that Farber, Bristow, and Bristow’s former CSIS handler, now
    operating a “Public Safety and Risk Consulting” group, were all mutual Twitter
    followers. Indeed, Bristow’s ex-handler was among the first to retweet celebratory
    posts about Elisa’s loss. It was a visceral gut punch for Elisa, who remembered CSIS
    sources shared with the Fifth Estate that after she told the truth about Bristow, his
    livid handler’s first reaction was, “We’ll tear her to shreds.”
    Thirty years later, CSIS’ narrative had won out.
    Top Shocking FOIPOP Revelations
    Information-Sharing with Five Eyes
    The Five Eyes (FVEY) is an intelligence alliance comprising Australia, Canada, New
    Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States. On April 7, 2022, an email
    lands in the inbox of Washington-based RCMP officer Sean Gordon. The subject
    line: “RESTRICTED Canadian Protests – eDiagolon.” The Sender’s name is
    redacted from the correspondence, but the domain is @Police.Govt.NZ. The
    message has been redacted as well; all that is visible is the greeting, “Hi Sean”.
    Seven minutes later, Sean sends it up the food chain to Guillaume Croisetiere.
    “Could you please reach out to FPNS for this? There must be an analyst with us (or
    maybe OPS?) that has looked into this group.”
    Sean’s reference to Diagolon as “this group” indicates some level of unfamiliarity.
    Still, New Zealand police wants intel for their files, so let’s give them what they need.
    A couple of minutes after that, Guillaume forwards it to Alvin Tang: “Would you
    be able to assist me with that? It’s from New Zealand. I’ll double back with FPNS
    once I hear from you.”
    Alvin’s reply comes promptly. “I reached out to our IMCIT team (Ideologically
    Motivated Criminal Intel) and they did not work that group during the convoy
    protests. It’s my understanding that FPNS had visibility on that group.”
    Shortly afterwards, Guillaume emails Eliane Caron, Director of Ops Team 2, Federal
    Policing National Security (FNPS), saying he was referred to her by Alvin. Parts of
    his message are redacted. Her reply, dated the morning of April 8, is as follows:
    Yes, all information sharing in relation to operations and NS-related
    groups nationally is covered by FNPS. I’ve looped in Insp. Simon Pillay
    and A.Insp J-S Grenier who are the project Team OICs to assist with any
    discussions your NZ LO may wish to have on Diagolon. We do not
    consider it a right wing militia group at this time however
    assessment is ongoing as I understand it. [Emphasis added]
    Also on April 8, Inspector Simon Pillay emails Lisa Ducharme to request a report
    that describes what is currently known about Diagolon.
    We understand your group has a Diagolon work up of some kind. Not
    the association chart but rather a report that describes what is currently
    known. The reason I ask is that due to the media attention this group
    has incurred, NZ authorities are asking if we have any information
    we can share. [Emphasis added]
    Let this sink in: CAHN’s fabrications about
    Diagolon, parroted by a gullible Canadian press, then
    get picked up by international intelligence agencies,
    who demanded access to the intel files. Trouble was,
    there was nothing the RCMP could provide other
    than perhaps a vague “association chart”.
    Inspector Simon Pillay’s statement makes it clear that
    Jeremy Mackenzie’s information ended up circulated
    to international police agencies because of
    mainstream media attention, and not because police
    had classified Diagolon as a “right wing militia”.
    Police took their cues from media who cited CAHN.
    As he’s waiting for Lisa to get back to him, Simon keeps Guillaume in the loop with
    a quick note on April 9: “As this is a fairly new matter we don’t have any products
    ready for international dissemination but I am making some inquiries elsewhere and
    will get back to you when I hear.”
    On April 11, Lisa Ducharme replies to Simon: “Yes our IMCIT team recently
    completed a written assessment on Diagolon for OA; it’s based on open source
    material so it should not be a problem to share with our FVEY partners. It’s in the
    final quality control stage – can we get it to you once completed? Should not take
    too much longer.”
    In case you didn’t catch that, “open source material” is whatever they scrap from
    the broadcast media news channels, newspapers, even dubious intel sourced from
    anonymous Twitter accounts. In other words, it is not intelligence derived from
    actual police investigations.
    On April 12, Guillaume writes back, undeterred. Reading between his words, it
    appears the New Zealanders are pushing for the information: “Who can I refer the
    NS LO to at FNPS to discuss? Or do you want to keep [Washington-based] Sean
    Gordon as the middle man?”
    A couple of email exchanges establish go-to contacts, then Guillaume emails Simon
    Pillay, Mike Saghbini, and Jean-Sebastien Grenier: “Gents. Hope all is well. As
    mentioned earlier last week The NZ LO in DC is asking (see below) for more
    information on the group a/n. I would need a contact at FNPS that I can pass on
    to my LO in DC (Sean GORDON).”
    On April 14, Mike Saghbini emails Simon and JS: “Hey boys. Have you replied to
    Guillaume? Will you be directing him in the right direction?” The following sentence
    is REDACTED, with Mike adding “My two cents” at the end.
    Clearly, those who directed Guillaume were under the impression that “the boys”
    had the intel NZ was itching to obtain. This does not appear to be the case.
    Everyone does the prudent thing: nothing. Until May 12, when Lisa Ducharme
    receives an email from Washington-based RCMP officer Sean Gordon, titled
    “RESTRICTED Canadian protests – Diagolon.”
    Hi Lisa,
    I’m finally catching up with some old emails from a bunch of
    I’m just curious whether the Diagolon product is finished? If so, can I get a copy
    that can be shared with a FVEY (New Zealand) partner?
    The next morning, Lisa emails Ashley Chen: “Would you know how the Diagolon
    paper is doing? Can I get an ETA for review? I’m hoping to see it Monday.”
    Ashley replies within the hour: “The DIAGOLON paper has been completed by
    Kandi’s side of IMCIT (please see attached). This version is Pro B and I will discuss
    with Garrett about making a FVEY shareable version for next week.”
    Eight days later, on the morning of May 20, 2022, an email from Ashley Chen went
    out to Eliane Caron, cc’ing Garrett Morawiec, containing an attached document.
    The subject line was “IMCIT DIAGOLON Assessment Paper.
    As was the case with most of the attachments contained in RCMP emails, the
    FOIPOP Package does not include the attachment.
    Good morning, Eliane, I hope you are doing well.
    Please find attached the Intelligence Assessment on DIAGOLON
    produced by IMCIT for FPNS. would you mind reviewing and
    confirming whether this product can be released to RCMP
    DCAS/DIOs as well as external partners in Public Safety, PCO, CSIS,
    ITAC, CBSA, DND/CAF, and CSE? IMCIT would also wish to share
    it with Five Eyes law enforcement partners.
    For the version shared outside of RCMP, IMCIT will remove the
    following sentence on Page 2 in the PURPOSE section: “This paper has
    been produced in response to a Federal Policing National Security
    (FPNS) request for an intelligence assessment on DIAGOLON.
    If you have any questions please feel free to reach out or give me a call.
    Thank you,
    Ashley Chen
    At 3:24 PM that same afternoon, Lisa Ducharme emails Ashley Chen:
    Hi Ashley,
    Have you heard anything back from Eliane on whether we can share the
    DIAGOLON product with the Divs, GoC, Five Eyes?
    Reason I ask is – Sean Gordon LO Washington is waiting to share it with
    the US.
    Ten minutes later, Ashley writes back:
    Hi Lisa,
    I have not heard back from Eliane or anyone from FPNS about the
    product. I can send a heads up to her to let her know LO Washington is
    waiting for the product.
    Exactly one minute later, Lisa replies: “Please – we’d like to at least get it out to the
    Five Eyes today as [REDACTED].”
    Just to reiterate the facts: as of April 8, 2022, according to a FNPS Director,
    Diagolon was not classified as a “right wing militia group.” Over a month later,
    RCMP was intent on sharing intelligence reports to international spy agencies,
    presumably including information about the purported leader who happens to be a
    Canadian citizen war veteran with no criminal record and no history of terrorism.
    Since the report was redacted, there is no way for us to know what was said. But if
    the repetition in other documents is any indication, the material shared may affect
    innocent Canadians as far as crossing international borders and prompting additional
    surveillance. This, based on salacious headlines and clickbait reporting.
    What if that was you?
    This is a chain of events that shows, in real time, how Canadian media’s hype about
    an imaginary nation posing an imaginary threat, ended up disseminated across the
    globe. And when international intelligence agencies came knocking for the intel they
    assumed was in the RCMP’s possession, the RCMP acquiesced and produced a
    report based on “open source” material they gleaned, in essence, from the Canadian
    Anti-Hate Network, with sycophants in Canadian media as their proxy.
    Privacy lawyer David Fraser (who did not review any documents related to this
    matter) says that any personal information related to a Canadian citizen in the hands
    of the federal government is protected by Canada’s Privacy Act, even where the data
    is collected through open source intelligence. However, he notes that police are
    generally unrestrained in sharing information with other law enforcement. There are
    formal mutual assistance treaties that may apply to cross-border information sharing,
    and more casual exchanges of information.
    “It is difficult to say whether it crossed any lines, or if there is an approval process,”
    Fraser says. He adds that information obtained with a warrant, such as wiretaps,
    would likely require additional diligence and scrutiny.
    Is ambiguity an acceptable standard for intelligence agencies? What could justify
    sharing prejudicial non-information with foreign spy agencies? Jeremy MacKenzie
    has no criminal record. Why did nobody approach him directly to investigate?
    Copy-and-Paste Policing: The 15-Minute Report
    An email thread dated February 14, 2022, titled “Urgent WHAT WE NEED”
    culminates in the RCMP compiling a key briefing for top officials in only fifteen
    minutes. The report was sent to Adriana Poloz, Executive Director, Intelligence and
    International Policing, RCMP, and lists Diagolon among Ideologically-Motivated
    Violent Extremists (IMVE) adherents, along with Three Percenters and Canada
    Short-turnaround projects are not uncommon in fast-paced, high stakes work
    environments. What makes this insidious is the incomplete analysis. Diagolon is
    described as a “meme-based and satirical movement.” Furthermore, it is said that
    Diagolon “adherents express desires to form a country based on right-leaning
    Canadian provinces and US states.” A high-level official reading this assessment
    might easily conclude that a real threat to territorial sovereignty exists and should be
    taken seriously because Diagolon operates “under the guise of humour” to conceal
    its real intentions. The perception of threat outpaces any actual danger. In this way,
    alarmism was passed up the chain of command amid the turbulence of the convoy.
    The response comes after a rush-order request from Poloz, which is not included in
    the FOI disclosure, to which Lisa Ducharme answers: “Will do our best but this is
    quite a lot of analysis and writing to do in 15 minutes.”
    Fortunately, Ashley Chen—with Ducharme providing auxiliary cut-and-paste
    assistance—saves the day and delivers one for the team. Ducharme rushes it over to
    Poloz, who responds by thanking everyone: “the effort and professionalism
    demonstrated by you and your team has been outstanding.”
    An email titled “Kudos to Ashley”, in which a gushing Lisa Ducharme commends
    Ashley on the huge impact the fifteen-minute hatchet job will have on top brass
    WELL DONE ASHLEY!! Talk about an amazing intelligence ‘pull it
    together in 15 minutes’ assessment! Thank you so much.
    Your work has been shared at the highest level over at PCO. This request
    originated from a pressing tasking from the National Security and
    Intelligence Advisor for such information to help inform senior
    government decision-making.
    Talk about work impact! Well done Ashley, and thank you again for the
    outstanding work.
    Best regards,
    The pressure to expedite such a significant assessment, one intended to inform
    senior government decision-making, is counterproductive. It virtually guarantees
    there is no time to review updates or fact-check new information.
    We have no doubt that the team did their best to meet the rushed deadline, under
    the circumstances. But to do so, they were forced to rely on the same old, erroneous
    content sourced through the broken telephone chain of broadcast media, from a
    single apparatus pumping out inaccurate and alarmist statements to maintain a
    foothold in the highly lucrative, competitive market of hate group expertise.
    The Mendicino Scandal
    Among the most egregious examples of overreach that we uncovered in the
    FOIPOP packages, the shocking incident described in an email thread dated
    February 16, 2022, stands out. Both for the gravity of what went transpired, and the
    heedless way in which a man’s reputation was judged expendable.
    Around 3:30 PM, an email from RCMP officer Lisa McDonald-Bourg landed in her
    colleague Leslie Sohm’s inbox. The subject line: “protests and far-right groups –
    Michael Talbot – CityNews. Importance: High.”
    Hi Leslie,
    We just received another request for the remarks made by Mendicino re:
    far-right extremism.
    Deadline: ASAP
    Again, I’m looking for your advice on this.
    During a news conference today, Minister of public safety Marco
    Mendicino said the following:
    “Several individuals at Coutts have strong ties to a far right
    organization with leaders who are in Ottawa”.
    When pressed further, he advised media to direct questions to
    law enforcement.
    A few questions then:
  • Can the RCMP confirm a link between the individuals arrested
    at Coutts and members of the Ottawa protests?
  • Does the far-right group the Minister referred to have a name?
    Can you provide any info on this group?
    Any other info on this statement made by the Minister would be
    A flurry of emails between RCMP officers followed. Leslie Sohm forwarded the
    request to Inspectors Mike Saghbini, Simon Pillay, and cc’d Lisa McDonald-Bourg.
    Hi guys,
    Media request related to the Minister’s recent statements about the
    I am not in a position to guide Lisa on the appropriate response to either
    of the questions posed by the reporter – if in fact we are even in a
    position to respond.
    Can you please assist and if these questions we are not in a position to
    respond to (as in we don’t have the knowledge) please advise.
    Thank you!
    Inspector Saghbini’s instinct was to leave the whole thing alone. He covered for the
    lack of knowledge by suggesting they ignore the query and get on with their day.
    Hi Leslie/Lisa,
    I don’t think we at FPNS should be responding to this. It’s an ongoing investigation.
    Undeterred, Leslie pressed Mike further, insisting some kind of response was
    necessary. Remember, other media requests had already come in, and the pressure
    was starting to weigh heavily.
    We have to provide a response – what it will say, still remains to be
    seen and this is where Lisa needs some assistance.
    Leslie offered Lisa a helpful hint as to where she can look to “find” the needed
    evidence to back up Mendicino.
    Lisa – if you want to start crafting from your standing “ongoing
    investigation” lines and the IMVE standing lines, that should give us
    something to work with.
    Give us something to work with. Let that sink in.
    Inspector Simon Pillay finally weighed in with a solution:
    “I […] think we could acknowledge what is already publicly available.
  • Adherents of ideologically motivated violent extremism often share
    terms, symbols and concepts including fluid and unspecific anti-
    government sentiments.
  • Symbols linked to the “Diagolon” ideology were found among exhibits
    in the Coutts file.
  • Already made public so this info is open source:
    He provides a hyperlink to a article that had come out just a day earlier,
    titled “Anti-hate experts concerned about possible neo-fascist involvement at
    Alberta trucker convoy”.
    The Global News article relies heavily on quotes from “anti-hate expert” and CAHN
    deputy director “Elizabeth Simons”, whose credentials cannot be verified. All we
    can say about Simons is that she is likely a female, going by the voice. We were not
    able to find any records of her appearing in person or on camera.
    We cannot verify that the moniker isn’t shared by multiple individuals in CAHN.
    Given Kurt Phillips’ predilection to adopt both male and female personas while
    cyber-sleuthing, is it really outside the realm of possibility that several CAHN
    employees are running “Elizabeth Simons” as another “Anya” – a disposable NPC-
    like character to be scrapped at the first whiff of a defamation lawsuit.
    You can’t serve someone if they don’t exist.
    Inspector Pillay added: “My two cents but nothing in the above could hurt a criminal
    investigation as long as don’t get into the weeds about the Coutts file.”
    He couldn’t be more wrong. He forgot that there was one other person in this
    equation – a man who had nothing to do with what happened in Coutts, but was
    about to be hurt. All because of the carelessness of a Public Safety Minister who
    made irresponsible comments during a press conference and, when pressed for
    details by reporters, directed media inquiries to the RCMP.
    Jeremy Mackenzie, Public Boogeyman Number One, is in the process of having his
    life destroyed by a repeated, reprehensible association to four men on the other side
    of the country, only one of whom he’d met in a group setting, and only twice. All
    because a patch that replicated his imaginary nation’s make-believe flag, but wasn’t
    manufactured or sold by him, had been stuck on body armour, along with other
    patches indicating affiliations with other groups.
    None of the other patches got media attention.
    Indeed, only one set of patches looked like it could be linked to someone who had
    been in Ottawa during the Freedom Convoy. So that’s who they pinned it on.
    Forced to scramble and invent a story to cover for Mendicino’s recklessness, a team
    of stressed RCMP staff googled news media articles to quote right back to news
    media, in order to cover for their own lack of knowledge in the matter. By doing so,
    they circulated a version of reality that might have been amplified by other journalists
    who continued this infernal game of broken telephone.
    A game of broken telephone that goes all the way back to 2008, to the shady tactics
    of an anonymous account created by an untrained, lonely, middle-aged school-
    teacher in a small Alberta town, who spent nearly all his spare time online cosplaying
    as an armchair Nazi-hunter.
    For this – for Marco Mendicino, for Kurt Phillips, for Bernie Farber, for the sake of
    saving their own face – the RCMP offered up Jeremy, a decorated combat veteran
    with no criminal record and no history of terrorist behaviour, as a sacrificial lamb.
    In a world where the weight of truth depends on the perceived worth of those who
    speak it, this is a tragic testament to how the lives of those most powerless and
    unconnected, can be destroyed on a dime.
    Overreliance on Media by Law Enforcement
    The FOIPOP documents heavily suggest that RCMP intelligence takes their cues
    from the press, relying on second-hand information rather than presenting as the
    originating source of information distributed to the press. One wonders how much
    of their “intel” simply consists of scouring daily news and disseminating it through
    regular “MEDIA SCAN” emails.
    The Canadian press, for their part, typically churn out reporting that fits into an
    exceedingly short time slot. That is the nature of their work. There is no time to
    inject nuance and qualifiers when the segment on “far right extremism” is only four-
    minutes long and the goal is to grab as many eyeballs as possible. Polarization sells;
    oversimplified platitudes are geared to the lowest denominator. Trading on pearl-
    clutching and scary speculations is how they pay the rent.
    You could be working for the most prestigious intelligence agency in Canada, with
    an ivy-league pedigree and a fancy job title in your signature line. But if you get the
    bulk of your intel from the six o’clock news, and the twentysomething intern tasked
    to line up interviews routinely taps a single source for “expert” soundbites because
    everybody else is doing it, what’s the point?
    The FOIPOP files we reviewed contained an email with an attached report on
    “Accelerationism”. The email sender was forwarding the report to an RCMP
    colleague, saying they’d received it from an academic who presented it at a “CSIS
    Expert Briefing” on the topic. The sender made the casual observation that the
    “expert” making the presentation had appeared “ill-informed”.
    To a cynic, the concept of “accelerationism” may sound like the kind academic
    gibberish slapped together to secure a million-dollar defence contract or garner
    positive peer-reviews for a publication. If the so-called expert CSIS hired to train
    agents on “accelerationism” can’t bluff their way through the concept without
    sounding “ill-informed” to people who don’t even know the subject, what hope is
    there for the future of “countering violent extremism?”
    A Filtered Version of Truth
    Media sources should never be considered standalone reliable open sources by
    intelligence services. What viewers get is not absolute truth, but information that
    may or may not be accurate, which has been filtered through an editorial lens. That
    lens is invariably primed to favour some stories, and some people, more than others.
    Especially if the editor in charge goes way back with a recurring guest and takes what
    they say for granted.
    When Elisa Hategan tried to reach out to TVO’s The Agenda to inform them that
    the program they planned to air contained what she believed to be a fraudulent
    narrative, producers ignored her. Later, internal emails revealed producers had
    dismissed her pleas while simultaneously fawning over their important guest and
    apologizing profusely for the inconvenience of having to ask for clarification.
    The clarification, of course, was simply asking if what Elisa was saying was true. The
    assertions were baldly denied. On that alone, producers declined Elisa’s offer to send
    them a motherload of evidence to the contrary.
    A lawsuit could have been avoided. Government-funded TVO could have saved
    thousands of taxpayer dollars in legal fees if producers unfamiliar with the subject
    matter had not made an instant judgement call in which one person was
    automatically dismissed, while the other greeted with a red-carpet rollout. It was a
    breathtaking display of bias in action.
    In a June 2019 email exchange with Steve Paikin, Paikin admitted to Elisa that he
    had known Farber for 25 years. Paikin expressed sympathy over Elisa’s predicament,
    going so far as offering to ask people he referred to as “the deciders” and “the top
    brass” if she could come on the show. As just the figurehead, he didn’t have the
    power to make that call. His request was declined. Paikin stopped answering Elisa’s
    emails; in her view, he was docile to speak up on her behalf.
    Was Bernie Farber automatically believed because of the power of his name brand?
    If so, there is no way to escape an insidious self-fulfilling prophecy – those who
    trade on the name recognition of the organization backing them up (such as the
    defunct CJC, and now CAHN) will always have an unfair advantage. Accolade builds
    on top of accolade, and before long there is an insurmountable chasm between the
    connection-havers and the have-nots.
    Everywhere Elisa turned, she hit a wall – and its name was Bernie Farber. On the
    power of his word, journalists published boldfaced lies that splashed the front pages
    of national newspapers.
    His reputation preceded him to such a degree that nobody flinched, even after Jewish
    journalist Jon Kay caught him in March 2022 tweeting the photo of an antisemitic
    flyer, supposedly taken by his “friend” at a freedom convoy event in Ottawa, which
    turned out (thanks to a reverse-image search) to originate from Miami Beach.
    In any other iteration of reality, the idea that someone appointed to Prime Minister
    Trudeau’s “expert advisory group” on online safety could possibly fabricate evidence
    to smear Liberal government critics as antisemites, would warrant scrutiny.
    Not in Canada.
    During the course of her lawsuit, Elisa Hategan contacted hundreds of Canadian
    journalists across the country. She emailed them documentation of what she
    considers irrefutable proof of a conspiracy to exploit and monetize her bravery as
    the only woman to shut down the Heritage Front. Less than a dozen people replied.
    Among them, two female journalists wanted to cover the story – one was with CBC
    Toronto, the other with CBC Ottawa. In both cases, higher-ups killed the story.
    She followed up with both reporters; neither wrote back. Going from friendly phone
    calls to being snubbed without explanation was jarring. She became convinced that
    they had been told she wasn’t credible – her, the woman whose testimony as a 19-
    year girl prompted a Human Rights Commision judge to write: “Based on the
    evidence of Ms. Hategan alone, I am convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that the
    defendants are guilty.”
    For the daughter of deaf Romanian immigrants, the silence was deafening. “At least
    Romanians KNEW we lived in a corrupt system where people were bribed/bought
    to rewrite history & silence dissent. Here, people choose to become deafmutes,” she
    tweeted in 2022.
    The mainstream media blackout served its purpose, censuring any hopes she had to
    generate outrage in the court of public opinion. But nobody came to her aid. A
    momentary flicker of hope emerged when actress Sarah Polley, who remembered
    Elisa’s name floating around on the set of White Lies, tweeted a public apology: “I
    am very sorry you were not consulted or paid for details of your life. It must have
    been awful and bruising and even though I was not aware of all this I am very sorry!”
    Sarah Polley’s apology made no difference. By the time she and Farber squared off
    in court, his narrative was the only one that counted.
    What you see on the news isn’t reality as it unfolds around us. It’s a filtered
    reinterpretation of reality after it has undergone editorial pasteurization and was
    marked “safe” for public consumption. By “safe”, we mean congruence with the
    partisan affiliations of the broadcasting corporation’s culture.
    What makes the front page is just as important as what doesn’t. “News” is
    manufactured through a process of selection that involves everyday judgment calls
    made by people under pressure to choose politically-fashionable talking points and
    discard anything that rocks the boat, thereby infusing journalistic biases and
    projections into what you think is accurate and impartial reporting.
    The fickleness of the industry’s changing tastes often mirrors the contemporary
    administration’s spin. The events of September 11, 2001, shifted the attention of
    media and law enforcement almost overnight from white nationalism to a tenacious
    focus on brown terrorism. Because it justified the horrors to come.
    The focus lasted nearly two decades, before Charlottesville turned the spotlight back
    to far-right extremism. Had neo-Nazis suddenly vanished on September 12, 2001?
    Of course not. But the instant pivot shows how selective reporting can generate a
    public’s buy-in and manufacture consent for atrocities faster than you can spell
    “Noam Chomsky.”
    If you want to get into journalism, you do as you’re told. You tell the stories that
    earn you a gold star, not ones that challenge your editor’s worldview. But in a world
    where growing numbers of people hunger for nuanced analysis and a diversity of
    viewpoints, mainstream media – which was built on the authority of government-
    funded information gatekeepers who reflected the politics of their masters – has lost
    its ability to command widespread attention. At times, it is indistinguishable from
    For a journalism student, the existential threat posed by legacy media’s evaporating
    viewership means there are less jobs to go around. You’re competing not only with
    your cohort, but with savvier, more experienced freelancers recently laid off across
    the Postmedia network. Any job positions that open up require experience, and how
    are you going to build up a portfolio of published work if you don’t already have it?
    Luckily, the Canadian Anti-Hate Network has thought of that, offering many
    budding journos the opportunity to get bylines and make a quick buck.
    Desperation breeds obedience, which might explain the curious case of Toronto
    Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson) hosting a panel discussion in November
    2022 about the online harassment of women journalists. The event advertised
    “Hazel Woodrow”, another one of CAHN’s experts whose credentials cannot be
    As a journalist who has been the victim of a two-year vicious harassment campaign
    waged against me by primarily anonymous online accounts, some of which appear
    affiliated with CAHN, I registered for the event and tweeted my concerns about
    CAHN’s pattern of obscuring the identity of its “experts” and dismissing requests
    for transparency as the work of bigots.
    For that, I was subjected to an immediate barrage of harassment that targeted my
    race, skin colour and gender. The journalist leading the pack was Erica Ifill, one of
    the panelists invited to discuss harassment against female reporters, who reacted to
    my query with the unequivocal declaration that I am “a plant for white supremacy”.
    The irony was lost on her. A brown, Muslim woman questioning the narrative of
    anonymous, white representatives of a state-funded organization headed by
    privileged white men who work with law enforcement, whose Chair boasts of being
    friends with the CSIS-salaried former leader of Canada’s most notorious white
    supremacist organization in recent history – a “plant for white supremacy”. The
    harassment prompted me to sue Ifill for defamation; the case is before the courts.
    When did we go from questioning authority, especially one that delivers its dictates
    from the shadows, to defending their right to conceal evidence and silence dissent?
    Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “The greatest purveyor of violence in the world is
    my own government.” In February 2023, Malcolm X’s family announced they would
    sue the CIA, FBI and the NYC Police among others, for $100 million, accusing them
    of playing a part in his 1965 assassination.
    With irrefutable historical records showing countless prominent civil rights leaders
    and activists under surveillance and subjects of intelligence dossiers, how can
    Canadian left-wing activists so rabidly defend the State? Are the sycophantic
    opportunities for photo-ops with CAHN’s leaders – maybe they’ll throw some
    scraps your way (a recommendation letter, a friendly word with an editor) – worth
    For all we know, “Elizabeth Simons” and “Hazel Woodrow” could be disbursing
    their pearls of wisdom about far-right insurgency from their offices in CSIS/DND’s
    Ottawa headquarters.
    There are no sacred cows in journalism. Fact-checking should be the Number One
    Rule for people who aspire to report news and guard against misinformation. Yet as
    the lines between government, intelligence agencies, and state-funded media
    broadcasters grow increasingly blurred, conflicts of interest are inevitable.
    When your editor tasks you to interview Bernie Farber about the antisemitic flyer he
    says his buddy saw in Ottawa during the Convoy, do you stop to reverse-search the
    image and risk annoying your boss (who’s tapped Farber for soundbites for 25 years),
    or do you simply do what you’re told? And when you don’t have a choice in the
    matter, do you really want to know the truth?
    The absolute, unquestioning deference to CAHN by TMU’s J-school students flies
    in the face of CAJ’s own guidelines, which instruct journalists to “make every effort
    to verify the identities and backgrounds of our sources, as well as “seek
    documentation to support the reliability of those sources and their stories” and
    “distinguish between assertions and facts.”
    What a fantastic coup for its Executive Director. Within 4 years of CAHN’s
    inception, despite being plagued with accusations of inflated numbers, shoddy
    methodology, and outright lying, and currently facing two lawsuits in federal court,
    the grasshopper had surpassed its master. Evan Balgord’s propaganda machine had
    overtaken the authority of the association that had once elected him as vice-
    president. In effect, the Canadian Association of Journalist’s mandate that “We do
    not allow our biases to impede fair and accurate reporting” had fallen to an
    organization that proudly “wore its biases on its sleeves”.
    In the weeks following Charlottesville, Elisa Hategan met for coffee with then-
    Macleans editor Q (formerly known as Andray Domise) to discuss his plans for a
    column on the re-emergence of the white supremacist right. Q related that after he’d
    joined Macleans, his editor told him to direct any questions he had about antiracism
    to Farber. The directive rubbed him the wrong way. Why should he defer to the so-
    called expertise of a white, privileged boomer who hadn’t lived through the
    indignities suffered by a person of colour growing up poor in the inner city? Because
    his equally-white, equally-privileged boomer editor always deferred to Farber? For a
    black man who’d experienced racism first-hand, “That’s how we do this” wasn’t
    going to fly.
    Q chose to cover antiracism in his own way, and Hategan respected him for it.
    Because, no matter what you think of anyone’s politics, it takes guts to have an
    original voice in a country where the unspoken marker of success is breathtaking
    Who Gave CAHN the Right?
    Who gave CAHN the right to declare themselves definitive arbiters of what is
    acceptable, vis-à-vis extremist, behaviour? And how did they pinpoint the meridian?
    What percentage of the population need to fly the Red Ensign flag from their pickup
    trucks and hold right-wing views, as opposed to those whose attachment stems out
    of its historical context, before it shifts from being the former flag of Canada, to a
    hate symbol? Who came up with the calculation, and does CAHN really know how
    to do the math?
    How can we take at face value, the declarations of someone who refuses to show
    their face?
    Who appointed CAHN ultimate arbiter, and judge of character and intent, when the
    identity of their “deputy director”, along with other staff, is kept anonymous due to
    unspecified concerns over unspecified threats from unspecified “Nazis”?
    Countless academics and journalists throughout the years have investigated fringe
    extremist movements and lived to tell the tale. When it comes down to something
    as serious as destroying reputations, is asking for transparency really tantamount to
    a “fascist” attempt to “doxx” the accuser?
    In a fair and democratic society, we have the right to know who our accuser is. As
    English jurist William Blackstone once said, “Better that ten guilty persons escape,
    than that one innocent suffer.” Surely erring on the side of innocence is worth
    something? On a balance of probabilities, is the risk of someone who claims to be a
    researcher (but offers no credentials to prove it) maybe experiencing something that
    has not even happened, worth more than a life that will permanently be stained by
    unverifiable accusations?
    Who gave CAHN or their rabid acolytes the right to arbitrarily shut down discourse
    under the pretext that it is “extremist”, even as the goalposts keep shifting? The right
    to suggest that engaging in conversation with a political adversary makes you “fash-
    adjacent”? The right to equate countering polarization through dialogue, with
    platforming hatred?
    Who gives anyone the power to browbeat you with reductive jingles and thought-
    terminating clichés? The power to shame you into staying silent, because speaking
    out against injustice committed by your side makes you a traitor…and therefore a
    You did.
    Every time you buy blindly into a narrative that you then repeat without examining
    the evidence behind the accusation, you empower those who stand to gain from
    your oblivion.
    It is difficult to fathom the profound sense of betrayal that Jeremy MacKenzie and
    Elisa Hategan must feel at how their country threw them to the wayside in favour
    of a more advantageous narrative.
    For Jeremy, the homeland he risked his life to fight for, framed him as a criminal.
    For Elisa, the adopted country that rallied around a CSIS agent provocateur, threw
    an eighteen-year-old girl trying to do the right thing, to the wolves.
    It is a testament to Jeremy and Elisa’s character that they have not allowed the
    extraordinary injustice they suffered to detract from how sincerely they carry
    themselves. No one would blame them if they turned irredeemably bitter and angry,
    which would have played into the hands of those who portrayed them as such, who
    would relish the opportunity to say they were right all along.
    But Jeremy and Elisa are not your average people. They could not be bullied into
    being ashamed or questioning their own reality. They were determined to survive
    through their ordeals, to do like Jeremy did as a young soldier—left foot, right foot,
    keep going, day after next—as they walked through the darkest nights of their lives.
    “Probably the only reason I didn’t kill myself is, I didn’t want to give them the
    satisfaction,” Elisa says. “Sometimes the only reason I got up in the morning was to
    spite them.”
    She finds irony in the fact that her parents thought they were escaping Romanian
    dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu’s communist authoritarian rule by emigrating to Canada
    when she was eleven, only for her life to be destroyed before it ever got started.
    “I was erased from history, erased from my own work, from my own articles, erased
    from a movie that monetized my hard-fraught experiences, erased by a world that
    rendered me inconvenient because I spoke the truth about government corruption
    that was deliberately suppressed for thirty years.”
    On her Substack blog, she writes:
    Just because they win, doesn’t mean you are a loser. Because what is loss,
    in such an artificial setting? Throughout our lives, we’ve seen people who
    win while losing their integrity, compromising their beliefs, ignoring their
    conscience, siding with liars and sycophants, sacrificing Truth for an
    illusion in order to please and appease powerful men from whom they
    hope to extract favours– an illusion that gets them success and accolades,
    things that this world considers indicators of what makes one human
    being better than another.
    From cradle to grave, we are pushed to bend, to become warped by
    categorizations of perceived value, a valuation of a human being’s worth
    filtered and imprinted into your psyche by the society and culture you’re
    born into.
    What kind of win is that? Winning the right to pass a lie as truth, will
    never make it true.
    There is a scene in the iconic film V for Vendetta, where a tortured, broken Evie
    emerges from the darkness of her prison to stand on a rooftop and lift her arms
    toward the sky as rain washes over her, symbolizing her rebirth. To Elisa, her ordeal
    has been a baptism by fire that led to a powerful awakening.
    Her career destroyed, her Amazon page hit with scores of 1-star reviews, countless
    journalists and academics unfollowing or blocking her without explanation, a
    Wikipedia page created in her name falsely stating she lost her lawsuit on the merits
    of an appeal, rather than procedural delay. But in the end, what did any of it matter?
    “If our society wasn’t structured around making a competition of such artificial
    rewards, if the measure of success wasn’t counted by the number of followers,
    retweets and clicks a story gets, our reality would be a whole lot more authentic. It’s
    about standing on that stage and speaking your truth, even if the theatre is empty.
    Your conscience is your audience.”
    When asked about being exploited, irreparably harmed, and discarded by the state,
    Elisa and Jeremy both point to the same loathsome characteristic of Canadian
    society: cowardice.
    Canadians are too cowardly to be outraged about things that matter. Like CSIS
    covering up a botched operation by rewarding the perpetrator while punishing the
    whistleblower. Or politicians pushing for immoral wars from behind the safety of
    their podiums. Or the symbiotic relationship between subsidized media corporations
    and the government that they depend upon for sustenance.
    For many, the idea of disloyalty to a cause or political party is a frightening prospect,
    backed by the assumption that if you’re not with us, you’re against us. Because we’ve
    all seen what happens when others strayed outside their lanes. The policing that goes
    on in activist circles, the ever-deepening purity spiral.
    The fear that if you challenge the central orthodoxy, you’ll be excommunicated.
    Worse yet, you might be called a Nazi. And the purging is always retroactive. You
    were never one of us. You never deserved a seat at the table. You’re a traitor. Your
    crime never has any mitigating factors, either—only pure malice can be attributable
    to the noncompliant.
    Is it any wonder then, that in a time when people are silently afraid of slipping up,
    laughing at the wrong joke, being accused of wrongthink, that it seems so much safer
    to outsource critical thinking to “experts”?
    But it is the countless tiny acts of cowardice by bureaucrats and journalists that allow
    bad behaviour to go unchecked: parroting false information, failing to ask critical
    questions, turning the other way to ignore inconvenient truths. Our institutions are
    only as strong as the people running them, and the checks and balances in place.
    Guess what happens when you see wrongdoing and choose to look the other way?
    You enable it. As most of the population cowers in fear and remains silent so as not
    to accidentally offend, the loudest voices left standing come from fringe extremists
    on both ends of the political spectrum.
    Canada is a unique country where huge scandals are ignored or buried due to
    cronyism and corruption. No place on earth is completely free from corruption, but
    at least citizens in most places know about it and demand change. Some make it a
    hobby to complain about crooked politicians to their neighbours or at the local cafe.
    Everyone knows how nepotism works. Here in Canada, we are too complacent and
    satisfied by scraps and distractions. Bread and circuses rule the day. But the worst
    part is the unshakable, endemic self-righteousness that we can do no wrong. “We’re
    too civilized, too polite. Things like that just don’t happen here”, accompanied by
    the unspoken belief that “We’re better than those people.”
    And like it or not, complacency leads to complicity.
    Indifference is the scum floating at the top of this cesspool. Deeper, there is actual
    complicity and coverups. It all goes back to cowardice, whether motivated by fear,
    insecurity, greed, or misplaced loyalty.
    Elisa believes the indifference masks a deeper problem:
    Believing the worst about those you don’t want to help allows you to
    walk away with a clean conscience—because the wounded animal in the
    road either isn’t really that hurt, or is beyond saving.
    The most sheltered tend to be the most inflexible and unforgiving.
    They’re the ones most likely to accuse the sufferer of exaggeration or
    manipulation. You must vilify the Other to justify why you won’t help,
    even if helping is within your means. The cruelty of indifference gives
    you peace of mind; it allows you to sleep at night.
    Conversely, those who’ve known hunger will always be the first to break
    bread. Those who have encountered trauma will most readily understand
    suffering and pain, because they’ve lived it. Some of the kindest, most
    selfless and forgiving people I’ve ever met – people I credit with saving
    my life, once upon a time – were poor themselves, were immigrants or
    visible minorities, were people who had experienced hardship and
    recognized it on my face before I ever had to ask for help.
    There’s a saying that goes, “When an honest man discovers he is mistaken, he will
    either cease being mistaken, or cease being honest.”
    Which of those do you count on being?
    The Courage to Have Second Thoughts
    It should not be up to the victims to correct grave errors made by powerful
    institutions. But a signature trait of being among cowards is that nobody ever admits
    they were wrong. Instead of an apology, we sweep our dirt under the carpet and
    pretend our living room is spotless. The “dirt” are the expendable ones; the “carpet”
    is our denial and sense of decorum.
    Kristen Little, RCMP Intelligence Analyst with the Ideologically Motivated Criminal
    Intelligence Team (IMCIT) gently raised concerns on February 14, 2022:
    I don’t mean to bother you… but I have some concerns which u may as
    well [sic] about including diagolon and Canada first in paragraphs using
    “imVE… Apologies if I am overstepping here. But maybe we shouldn’t
    rush on trying to put something out considering it appears our reports
    are going out to so many agencies… Just a suggestion, again..not trying
    to overstep but just trying to think of what our “value added” can be due
    to the numerous reports coming from rcmp as well as other agencies.
    Reading between the lines, it seems she was hesitant to rubber stamp a research
    document that lacked nuance:
    I know the content of the report is seeking to answer some higher
    questions and this isn’t a criticism at all of the hard work done by Ashley
    and James under what have no doubt been stressful circumstances but
    before our unit’s name is on something I want to be sure we are giving
    accurate historical context and a full picture.
    A very Canadian email, overladen with apologies. Still, a notable outlier among her
    colleagues considering the overall lack of pushback, and apparent willingness to
    adopt copy-and-paste as an investigative technique.
    A comprehensive 16-page RCMP report titled “Diagolon Profile January/February
    2022” states that it is “difficult to understand” how certain conclusions were reached
    with confidence despite the lack of substantive evidence:
    Based on available open source information it is exceedingly difficult to
    ascertain the extent to which Diagolon is a distinct group, with common
    ideology, a political agenda, and the cohesion necessary to advance such
    an agenda.
    The Canadian Anti-Hate Network (CAHN) is cited as the main authority
    on the group by all mainstream media outlets; due to the fact that all
    information traces back to one source, triangulation and the verification
    of facts is almost impossible at the current time. Based on the
    information that is publicly available, it is difficult to understand how
    CAHN can confidently assert that Diagolon is an “accelerationist
    movement that believes a revolution is inevitable and necessary to
    collapse the current government system… Due to a lack of substantive
    open source material, operational information would be needed to
    supplement the profile.
    If anyone else questioned or critiqued CAHN’s narrative, premised on dubious
    assertions, it is not apparent from over a thousand pages of documents reviewed in
    the FOIPOP.
    Abject cowardice is the reason why charlatans have been entrusted to define “hate.”
    The Courage to Speak
    As Elisa told me while we worked on this daunting project:
    The biggest lesson I learned over the last eight years is that nobody
    comes to your rescue when you live in a country of cowards. When you
    can’t offer anything in return. When you have no doors to open, names
    to drop, favours to trade on. You have to save yourself, because nobody
    else will do it for you. If not now, when? If not us, who?
    Cowardice is not having tried at all. Rolling over and giving up before trying to fight.
    Buttressed by its façade of moral superiority and banal platitudes, CAHN gives those
    who love to hate a powerful outlet to rage for a good cause. Within its radius,
    CAHN’s quest to purge “fascists” has attracted certain clusters of personalities
    looking to destroy others in good conscience, or as Aldous Huxley wrote, “to behave
    badly and excuse it as righteous indignation.”
    This is the antithesis of countering radicalization.
    If your policy is not to “engage with fascists”, all possibilities for understanding,
    conversation, even deradicalization, go out the door. The moment you determine
    someone is, in your eyes, a Nazi, then that person has lost all right to dispute that
    conclusion. Since you refuse to speak or listen, once the label has been cast, they
    have no hope for an appeal. You took away that opportunity when you prioritized
    your interpretation over their truth.
    Some might call such an inflexible mindset, totalitarian.
    Do you really believe that some people become more dangerous on others’ say-so?
    People and symbols are not that different from each other. We affix labels and
    meaning to everything we experience, as part of encoding memory. If you can label
    a flag a danger, you most certainly can, a human. As the world becomes more
    complex, everyone’s bandwidth cranks to capacity and it’s ever more tempting to
    reach for simplistic, black and white answers.
    Why risk blurting out the wrong opinion, when you can let the “experts” do the
    thinking for you?
    An Unholy Alliance
    Based on the work of renowned American psychologist Jennifer Freyd, DARVO is
    an acronym that stands for “Deny, Attack, and Reverse Victim and Offender.”
    According to Wikipedia’s definition:
  1. The abuser denies the abuse ever took place
  2. When confronted with evidence, the abuser then attacks the person that was
    abused (and/or the person’s family and/or friends) for attempting to hold the
    abuser accountable for their actions, and finally
  3. The abuser claims that they are actually the victim in the situation, thus
    reversing the positions of victim and offender. It often involves not just
    playing the victim but also victim blaming.”
    All three of us—Jeremy, Elisa and myself—have been the victims of DARVO
    campaigns, both on social media and in real life, to varying degrees. The most
    insidious effect of being forced to face an endless barrage of psychological attacks
    intended to break you down and make you doubt your own perception of reality, is
    the gaslighting. Its aim is to make a person feel defensive about fighting back against
    his or her own exploitation.
    And then there’s the tested and true formula of Anonymity. Among the shrewd
    arsenal of tactics used by proponents of anonymity to shut down requests for
    transparency is the accusation of “doxxing,” which carries the implication that you
    are putting the culprit in danger if by demanding to know who is behind a malicious
    accusation. In the age of character assassination by social media, any attempt to
    uncover and confront one’s maligner is inextricably entwined with the accusation of
    “doxxing”. When combined, they create a remarkably effective form of DARVO.
    The Oxford Dictionary defines doxxing as “search for and publish private or
    identifying information about (a particular individual) on the internet, typically with
    malicious intent.” Open-source intelligence (OSINT), on the other hand, is defined
    by Wikipedia as “the collection and analysis of data gathered from open sources
    (covert and publicly available sources)”.
    Over time, however, and largely the result of contrived accusations of misconduct
    advanced by anonymity proponents, a gray area has emerged between the two,
    rendering the charge arbitrary and frequently used as a tool to preemptively silence
    demands for transparency and accountability.
    Nowadays, an accusation of doxxing can mean anything from identifying the owner
    of a social account by their real name, to posting publicly available information about
    them, to sharing personal or private information such as an address or contact
    details. A great deal depends on who is targeted. Some so-called researchers take
    pride in OSINT, but claim the same tactics are harmful and inexcusable when used
    against them. It gets even murkier when anonymous accounts produce material
    about real people that itself becomes OSINT.
    Any discussion about doxxing and social media is apt to be intertwined with the
    debate over anonymity and its abuses. Nameless trolls regularly reach into their
    targets’ real lives for ammunition to use in a cyber battle, while themselves remaining
    anonymous. When they can’t fight a fair fight because they’re objectively wrong,
    many choose to launch a covert attack that is part distraction, part bullying, part
    intimidation into silence.
    How are anonymous accounts able to sway so many people to believe them over
    real-name accounts? Why do so many Twitter users seem to have a positive bias
    toward them, and judge real-name accounts with more cynicism and suspicion?
    A lot has to do with how we’re wired, and how incredibly difficult it can be to
    separate ourselves from our social programming. We have biases built into us by the
    society we’re born into, preconceptions that shape our responses and which can
    become ingrained reactions. Our brains constantly evaluate contradictory
    information flooding in from our environment and make split-second decisions that
    can impact our survival. But in a virtual ecosphere like Twitter, where you are not
    presented with the same amount of tangible information you’d encounter in real life,
    this evolutionary feature can be a downfall.
    The reality of online platforms is that it is nearly impossible to avoid the temptation
    of making assumptions about a stranger based on 280-character interactions stripped
    of context and other sensory data. It requires a fair bit of intellectual humility to
    recognize that the people with whom we interact, as well as ourselves, are not one-
    dimensional characters. Context and backstories matter. This doesn’t mean truth is
    relative, just that we must be cautious about leaping to conclusions.
    Anonymity holds the promise of something special, a treasure trove of exciting
    possibilities, and perhaps this is why we tend to give anonymous accounts the benefit
    of the doubt far more often than they deserve to be trusted. People project heroic
    attributes onto accounts purportedly fighting for good causes– since you don’t know
    who they are, your imagination makes up all sorts of stories about who they might
    be: an edgy hacker, an underground resistance fighter, a Guy Fawkes-masked hero.
    We respond positively to images that represent causes and ideals we already embrace.
    If you want to be noticed by a particular target demographic, all you need to do is
    upload a banner image and profile photo that conveys solidarity with a cause du jour,
    and you’ve primed your target audience to treat you like an in-group member, a
    fellow activist who shares their values and ideals.
    Most people believe themselves savvy enough to avoid being catfished by extremist
    ideologues and garden-variety trolls, but are they really? How do you know who is
    behind that rainbow flag, the BLM hashtag, the Antifa banner claiming solidarity
    with Indigenous causes? Could you tell if you were engaging with an incel LARPing
    as a knight in shining armour? Are they every bit the activist they claim to be?
    Social justice movements have a history of being infiltrated by agitators, saboteurs
    and government agents who seed division and incite criminal activity to derail
    progress. And yet, among many Twitter activists, anonymity is not just
    commonplace but encouraged and even expected.
    It is naïve to assume that law enforcement and intelligence agencies would not take
    advantage of the anonymity afforded by online platforms. Why are we not asking
    ourselves how the normalization of concealment in social justice groups plays into
    the hands of nefarious actors?
    For two years I battled bullies from all sides of the political spectrum, people who
    wielded anonymity like a shield as they tried to erase who I am and publicly
    disseminated an alternate version of me, a construct of their imagination. It was a
    crowd of people playing pretend, while seeking to redefine activism to suit their
    narrative and make themselves out to be greater heroes or greater victims. They
    claimed to fight for justice but harassed with impunity, assembling through Twitter
    flash mobs in pile-ons that often started with a single troll siccing the pack onto a
    particular target.
    The more they veiled themselves in anonymity, the more I pursued transparency–
    only to realize that accusations of “doxxing” are entrenched in an arsenal of tactics
    used by cyberbullies to gaslight their victims into not naming their harassers or
    demanding accountability, lest they be smeared as “doxxers”.
    There is something perverse about being forced to take relentless abuse and not seek
    to identify your abusers. It’s the epitome of gaslighting. The culture of secrecy in
    some circles appears at odds with a movement that claims to advocate for people’s
    intrinsic right to live without persecution and mistreatment.
    Why would any social justice activist be expected to abide by an Omertà code that
    commands everyone to keep silent and not discuss abuse “among our own”, or risk
    ostracization? Who decided this? And why does it seem like the worst abusers of
    anonymity are also the ones who wield the “doxxing” accusation most freely?
    I do not believe it is “doxxing” to identify by name someone who incites harmful or
    criminal activity. While there are valid reasons to keep one’s identity private, hiding
    behind anonymity while attacking real people is cowardly. I reject the premise that
    self-identified “antifascists” who make a hobby of online harassment are, in fact, the
    ultimate do-gooders. Their actions do not align with the basic principles of leftism,
    which advocates for justice and fair treatment of all human beings.
    People who claim to fight for justice yet harass and try to destroy others using shady
    tactics, are self-deputized gatekeepers who believe that rules of fairness and respect
    should apply to them, but not their foes. Benefit of the doubt only goes one way.
    They use buzzwords that elicit strong emotions (“Nazi”, “fascist”, “TERF”),
    sometimes for weeks and months on end, and repeat them until they stick, counting
    on the fact that most online users won’t be bothered to investigate the source and
    context surrounding the original accusation.
    In large part due to anonymity, social platforms have become caustic environments
    where smack talk, vicious comebacks and mockery are viewed as entertainment.
    Many users show up for a fight—either to fight it or to watch it—and whoever lands
    the best insult wins.
    The Social Colosseum
    In a virtual arena like Twitter everyone plays a part, and what you do is as important
    as what you don’t do. An audience that feeds off bloodshed and trauma, however
    passively, will invariably contribute to the antagonistic climate that sustains it.
    Remaining silent while you witness pile-ons and cyber-harassment is not a neutral
    stance—it is complicity. When you amplify an insulting tweet, you encourage and
    abet the account holder to keep behaving recklessly. Likewise, looking away without
    saying anything is a role in itself—the role of a cowardly spectator.
    If you would not tolerate the same comments if they were made by people “on the
    other side”, then you are part of the problem.
    Most people are afraid to stand out and voice unpopular opinions, so they get their
    carnage vicariously. Through likes and retweets, they can amplify things they don’t
    have the courage to speak aloud, even as they know, deep inside, that the content
    they choose to disseminate is malicious or nasty.
    In the Roman colosseum, no moral blameworthiness could be attributed to the lions
    or slaves. The emperor may have been cruel, and some warriors battled for sport,
    but ultimately the biggest culprits were the audience.
    Two thousand years have passed, but human nature is predictable. I suspect social
    media trolls would not behave as they do, were it not for the encouragement of an
    enabling crowd. Emboldened by the acceptance of silent onlookers, nefarious users
    project their rage and obsessions to an arena where the spectators are never held
    Any perception of fairness is an illusion, because nothing is fair about this fight. It’s
    torture and punishment disguised as public discourse. To fight against an onslaught
    of malicious trolls, acutely cognizant that every word you speak will be dissected,
    reinterpreted in bad faith and examined under a microscopic lens a thousand times
    over, is like being in the arena with a hand tied behind your back.
    Real-name accounts are scrutinized and held to a higher standard of perfection
    because people’s careers and reputations are at stake. Conversely, anonymous users
    lack that responsibility because they have no real names and reputations attached to
    disposable accounts. This endows them with a vast advantage—anonymity means
    bad actors can use deception to harass those whose real-name persona prohibits
    them from responding in kind.
    Progress happens when people come together to bring about positive change, not
    to destroy others in order to feel superior. This puts social media colosseums
    inherently at odds with peacebuilding. The combative nature of Twitter shapes its
    culture as much as it sabotages true discourse.
    Forgiveness and compassion are the antithesis of vicarious entertainment, and easily
    discarded in an arena where punches are thrown via slurs intended to pummel
    psychologically. Empathy, mercy, or mitigating factors are reserved only for “our”
    side, never our adversaries.
    Nothing I have ever done warrants the vicious attacks on my character or my right
    to exist in public. Nothing can justify my friends and supporters being scared on my
    behalf, and for themselves. The relentless surveillance, misrepresentation of my
    every move, the escalating harassment carried out physically and online by malicious
    or misguided individuals role-playing as revolutionaries, has irrevocably changed my
    perspective on anonymity.
    We cannot allow ourselves to be persuaded to accept secrecy as a legitimate practice.
    Doing so eschews accountability and any semblance of objectivity. Lies and
    misinformation spread by masked character assassins carry real-life consequences,
    both for those unfairly targeted by false accusations and those who are swayed by
    the lies. Pretending this is not happening is a disservice to the truth.
    Our Stories Merge
    I lost my father to COVID-19 in March 2021. He was a pandemic skeptic, but that
    was not something we talked about. The unexpected loss propelled me to want to
    connect with similar people on a human level— not to persuade, but to try and
    understand. I was also interested in the discussion around balancing individual
    constitutional rights with emergency measures imposed upon the population.
    I started becoming methodical about documenting “freedom” rallies, mostly as a fly
    on the wall. I posted on social media because it felt like a matter of public interest
    that was not being tackled meaningfully by mainstream media. I documented an
    emerging political subculture with boots on the ground. Over time, I grew creative
    with the gimmicks and vignettes. My videographer and I showed up, were polite,
    and never concealed the camera. Our footage, as well as my commentary, has been
    used by national and international major broadcasters.
    In April 2021, I produced a comic featuring Chris Sky. He took offense and
    encouraged hundreds of thousands of his followers to brigade my account. The
    hateful messages kept coming and would not stop. Being piled on every few seconds
    was a surreal experience. The constant one-star Google reviews. The non-stop
    barrage of hostility. In response, I made more comics. I am not one to be silenced.
    The Canadian Anti-Hate Network reached out to me privately after the first comic.
    At the time, I thought the organization did good work. I was asked about producing
    comics on a regular basis for their website. We discussed it over the course of about
    a week, before I ultimately declined to provide content as CAHN had invited.
    And then, a strange thing happened. Positive messages started being mixed in with
    the hate mail. My feed was bringing people out of their respective echo chambers,
    and encouraging the exchange of ideas—to me, it does not matter if we disagree,
    just that we talk. I challenge deep seeded assumptions simply by being myself.
    A disheartening phenomenon during the pandemic was the normalization of
    dehumanization. Dialogue and common ground can change minds. The accusation
    of “platforming” is premised on paternalistic assumptions of gatekeeping access to
    ideas because people cannot be trusted to think for themselves. There is value in
    trying to forge a dialogue across the political divide, so we might figure out ways to
    live together in peace.
    In July 2021, I invited Chris Sky to a live podcast recording to be held outside my
    rented commercial unit in my neighbourhood. I deliberately scheduled the show at
    the tail end of the lockdown, before restrictions loosened up the following week, so
    I could purposely limit the audience to 25 invited guests. I was prepared to
    accommodate uninvited spectators in the upstairs plaza overlooking the stage and
    hired private security as a precaution.
    What happened next changed the trajectory of my life. A group of masked strangers,
    dressed head to toe in black, blockaded the venue entrance. Their intention was to
    stop me from talking to Chris Sky. To stop me specifically—Sky had appeared at
    numerous rallies prior to my event, never with any resistance or counter protest. Nor
    was Chris Sky ever blockaded again in Toronto.
    Their target wasn’t the man they called a fascist, but the left-leaning, brown Muslim
    woman who dared to challenge him to an in-person interview. Me stepping outside
    the demarcation lines of my political affiliations was viewed as an existential threat
    to people I’d never engaged with before.
    What should have been a riveting and thought-provoking show quickly devolved
    into a street brawl. In the aftermath, I was blamed for two separate groups of adults
    cosplaying as revolutionaries on the street. This marked the beginning of a concerted
    smear campaign against me, justified by many as punishment for my audacity to host
    an unpopular event. Blockade participants soon retreated to mostly-anonymous
    Twitter accounts to misrepresent the situation.
    Within days, CAHN published an article chastising me for hosting the event,
    spotlighting an anonymous organizer who misrepresented the situation by
    exaggerating or inventing my missteps while downplaying their own contributions
    to violence. The article was authored by a man who had been surveilling and
    distributing photos of my unit. He was also part of the blockade. CAHN made some
    revisions to the article after I flagged serious issues, but the editor’s note lacks
    specifics. The article has been cited countless times to establish that I am a “danger
    to communities.” In other words, it was a hit piece.
    Things escalated from there. Over the next two years, the vitriol morphed into
    malicious attacks against my personal and professional reputation, amplified by other
    nameless accounts gleefully jumping on the bandwagon. I saw a lifetime of hard,
    honest work at risk of destruction by a handful of malevolent trolls using anonymity
    as a shield to harass and dehumanize me through derogatory lies and degrading
    memes and flyers targeting my race, my character, and my professional reputation.
    All arising from a single event that never actually took place.
    I don’t know how I made it through. There are battle scars, but I emerged stronger.
    If they had it their way, I would have quit documenting protests. I moved in the
    other direction, big time. Did I mention I hate being told what to do.
    It was a fluke that I was able to attend the duration of the Freedom Convoy; it was
    only made possible because the relentless harassment pushed me to spend a season
    outside of Toronto. Using Perth, Ontario as a homebase allowed me closer access
    to the Ottawa region. I was there to watch the police wave the first trucks into place,
    and there to see the last ones get towed away. I was willing to go where others dared
    not. And I did it with a smile, even when I felt afraid.
    I was interviewed on the Fifth Estate episode about the convoy to share my
    observations; the interviewer focusing on my comments about the interactions
    between protesters and law enforcement. Kurt Phillips was also tapped as an expert.
    One segment of the final product was about Jeremy MacKenzie.
    A subset of the population got fed up with what they perceived as too much
    indulgence towards the convoy movement and inched towards vigilantism. An
    institutional failure by police led to ordinary citizens exercising arbitrary power
    against other citizens. The creation of a “convite” class was used to justify
    concerning behaviour, including gang-stalking and gang-harassment coordinated
    over Discord, Facebook, Twitter, and Twitch.
    On my part, I continued to attend and document public protests and fringe social
    movements. I covered the emergence of counter protests, sometimes to the chagrin
    of counter protesters. I began using the term “antifaux” to refer to antifascists more
    interested in performative activism than upholding progressive values.
    After enduring nearly a year of harassment from CAHN-adjacent accounts and
    individuals in silence, I tweeted an invitation to anyone with similar experiences to
    contact me. That is how I initially connected with Jeremy MacKenzie.
    It was April 2022. Everything I knew about him came from second-hand online
    sources, so I was apprehensive about being in contact. But I pushed past my
    assumptions and reservations and took a couple of hours to listen to his experiences.
    I spotted patterns that gave me food for thought. After the call, we continued our
    separate ways. I watched what looked like a downward spiral from afar. I noted the
    heat Jeremy attracted first-hand after posting a couple of comics.
    In October 2022 I travelled to Saskatchewan on my own initiative to observe
    Jeremy’s bail hearing. Watching the proceeding unfold, I saw a man being railroaded.
    It did not sit well with me. However unpopular a person or their cause, everyone
    deserves a fair shake. I have followed his legal proceedings closely since then,
    including reporting on a disclosure motion as it happened.
    Public hysteria thrives on a boogeyman. Emotions take precedence over evidence,
    especially if the bad guy makes it easy to dislike them. The court of public opinion
    can interfere with the rule of law, particularly where institutions are complicit
    (wittingly or not) in spreading the smear and fomenting panic and outrage. Think of
    the Martensville Satanic Sex Scandal. Interestingly, the judge who denied Jeremy bail
    in Saskatchewan was one of the Martensville prosecutors.
    I have observed and documented people radicalize in real time, while others move
    in the opposite direction. Individual trajectories are influenced by personal life
    circumstances, mental health, loneliness, and the media they consume.
    Radicalization can happen at either end of the political spectrum.
    A 2022 ruling from Ontario’s Small Claims Court determined that CAHN has
    obtained financial support, assisted a violent political movement, used its financial
    support to influence a violent political movement, and that the violent political
    movement was “antifa”, so-named for its anti-fascist motivations.
    These findings came out of a defamation lawsuit filed by Richard Warman against
    journalists Jonathan and Barbara Kay over a handful of tweets that did not mention
    Warman by name. The judge characterized Warman as a controversial figure and
    accepted that he has used litigation to silence critics in the past. Ultimately, the
    statements were found not to be defamatory. The judge added that even if Warman
    had succeeded in his action, only nominal damages of $5,000 and $500 would have
    been awarded against Jonathan and Barbara Kay, respectively.
    The decision is being appealed.
    Although none of their writers seem to be on the ground to cover events as they
    unfold, CAHN published materials geared towards counter protesters, or self-
    appointed “community defenders” and “guardians.” CAHN specifically encouraged
    counter protesters to “ice out fake journalists” at events through noisemaking, and
    the use of banners and flags to create visual and physical barriers. I have been
    subjected to in-person harassment at rallies by counter protesters employing such
    tactics. I am suing CAHN in Federal Court for trade libel and unfair competition.
    The case is pending.
    Fundamentally, we are in a war of competing narratives. On one side, elites with
    connections to political leaders, mainstream media and law enforcement. On the
    other, people deemed expendable. A brash working-class man with conservative
    political views who criticizes the military and policing industrial complexes. A
    “wretched little immigrant girl” who destroyed an intelligence operation. A lawyer
    who refuses to play her assigned role.
    How can such an unbalanced battle result in truth or justice prevailing? It would take
    a miracle. But to Elisa, sometimes hope is all you have left. After they break you
    down and throw you in that gutter where they say you belong, all you have left is the
    choice to lift your head and look up at the stars:
    You know the truth because you lived it. Everything else you’ve heard
    about yourself and the world around you is a subjective interpretation
    filtered through someone else’s lens – which is shaped by their own
    biases, interests, (sub)conscious influences and value judgements, and
    the biases of those who, in turn, shaped them. The biggest fight is to not
    allow them to replace who you know you are, with their projections of
    who they think you are.
    The world is one gigantic courtroom – and everything is persuasion.
    Those who are born into privilege and can buy their way into positions
    of power and authority, most often get to decide the outcome of the
    external story. They can certify and endorse each other’s version of
    reality and impose it through brute force or majority-rule, but it does not
    make it the truth.
    Always trust yourself. You are the only first-person witness to your story.

Christian Decency Protest Leader Bubba Pollock Addresses CAFE & Alternative Forum, “Tactics & Strategies for Fighting Cancel Culture” Toronto, September 14, 2023

Christian Decency Protest Leader Bubba Pollock Addresses CAFE & Alternative Forum, “Tactics & Strategies for Fighting Cancel Culture” Toronto, September 14, 2023


• 34 year-old businessman, semi-retired
• Born in London, went to UWO and Duke University
• Got a degree in business
• Lived and worked in London for many years, worked several
different jobs
• Talk about experience with cancel culture (media articles, social
media comments, messages, getting banned from flag football
• Not “death punch” for me as it might be for realtor with 2 kids
and wife in a single-earner household or a small business owner
with their name on the business
• Today I want to talk about strategies we as a group and as
individuals, no matter your situation, can use to fight cancel

Tactics & Strategies for Fighting Cancel Culture

• Doxing is identifying who a person is, what their views are and any information about
them (workplace and organizations they’re a part of)
• Call to action to a bigger group to make the person’s life difficult
• Call to many people to reach out to these places and complain about the person,
demanding they be “cancelled”

How to Counter Doxing
• Use false statements people make to advantage, false negative statements made
publicly may be slanderous, SAVE THEM
• Legally, “To prevail in a defamation suit, whether for libel or slander, the plaintiff must show:
That the statements in dispute are defamatory. That the plaintiff was alluded to by the terms.
That the statements were spoken to at least one person other than the plaintiff”
• Protect yourself from doxing: know the policies & procedures of any organizations
you’re part of, regularly get a copy of your HR file, know organizational rules, and call
them out if they violate them

Taking the War to the Woke Crowd
• Take away the money, take away their platform, take away their power
• Find ways to hit their bottom line
• Protest businesses and organizations that support woke culture
• Hit the bottom line of individuals who are active in cancel culture
• Use misinformation to tax their resources for security and counter-protestors at events

Strategies Used Against Drag Story Time
• The goal is to make protests a big event, a big issue to tax their resources, create
supporter fatigue, and force them to pay for police and security
• Document any illegal activity by the other side, report it to police to justify our own
private security
• Show the average person who supports us that they don’t have to fear cancel culture,
get them to stand up and speak up
Get Average People to Become Active
• Step outside your circle, use a soft approach to get people on your side
• Police don’t have resources to watch most members, but protect yourself by keeping
everything legal