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The Truth about White Lies

Posted by E on February 2, 2020

Elisa WhiteLies collage edited

In 1995, a young woman named Elizabeth Moore was featured in a Macleans article. Her story of endangerment and defection from a white supremacist group caught the eye of two CBC film producers, Dennis Foon and Phil Savath. Right away, they contacted Moore through Canadian Jewish Congress Executive Director Bernie Farber, who had been quoted in the same article – and offered to option her life rights.

In 1996, Moore signed a contract for $12,500 to sell her life rights – “The Life Story of Elizabeth Moore” – to the CBC. The contract stipulates that Moore was selling “her life from her childhood to 1995, and surrounding her involvement with the organization known as ‘The Heritage Front’”. Paragraph 12 (b) reads “The information [Moore] provides in connection with the Life Story is accurate and factual to the best of her knowledge”.

Elizabeth Moore White Lies Contract

In 1998, a movie titled “White Lies” was broadcast on national television and publicized widely as “A True Story” that was based on “the life of Elizabeth Moore” – character names and events were changed but according to the press, the film was based on Moore’s experiences in the Heritage Front and was only “nominally fiction”. 

The media blitz that accompanied the film’s release lavished the filmmakers with praise. An Emmy nomination soon followed. The Globe and Mail printed an effusive review of the film, featuring side-by-side photos of Polley and Moore, with the caption reading “Polley (left) plays a young neo-Nazi in a movie based on the real-life experiences of Elizabeth Moore (right).”

Journalist Doug Saunders quoted Elizabeth as saying the film “accurately” represents her real-life experiences:

“Although the film is nominally fiction, Moore has found it an unnervingly accurate portrayal of her experience. “I’ve watched the film now about six times and I’ve never gotten through it without crying,” she said.”  

IMG_1739

The trouble is, the “True Story” depicted in the film that was released in 1998 does not belong to the woman whose name is on the contract. 

 

white-lies-uk-cover TRUE STORY

In 1993 I was a teenager recruited into the ranks of Canada’s most dangerous white supremacist group, the Heritage Front. I was the only girl in the core of the movement, and was groomed for a leadership position. I wrote articles for their magazine Up Front, gave speeches at rallies and spoke to the press on their behalf, including representing the organization on the Montel Williams Show.

I was sixteen years old when I met my new father figure, Front leader Wolfgang Droege, and was introduced to notorious Holocaust-denier Ernst Zundel, who welcomed me into his townhouse on Carlton Street in Toronto. As an abused, poor, runaway teenager who emigrated from communist Romania five years earlier and whose father died two years after that, I didn’t have a safe family to look out for me.

This is when Zundel stepped in and became a grandfatherly figure, teaching me that Jews controlled the world, the Holocaust never happened, and Hitler (whose portraits hung from his townhouse walls) was right to eliminate the mentally and physically handicapped, the homosexuals, and of course the Jews.

By the time I turned 17, Heritage Front co-founder and second-in-command leader Grant Bristow (later revealed to be a CSIS mole) started what would become known as the It Campaign – a campaign of terror waged against anti-racist activists and indigenous leader Rodney Bobiwash, who organized protests against the Heritage Front.

Bristow single-handedly instructed dangerous white supremacists tricks of the Intelligence community – how to break into answering machines, impersonate reporters, stalk your victims and terrorize them, disguise oneself to avoid arrest. Those emboldened skinheads embarked on a harassment campaign with street attacks, beatings, car tires slashes, spray-painting and fire-bombings of an aboriginal centre, synagogue, bookstores, the Morgentaler abortion clinic, a Jewish Kitchener woman’s home and Runnymede House, a Children’s Aid group home for young girls.

I knew I had to get away from the Front’s escalation of terror. This realization came on the heels of me admitting to myself that I was gay. As a core insider I had a lot of information I could access, and had earned the trust of HF leaders as well as Zundel himself, for whom I worked as an assistant and errand-girl.

At age 18, I spied on my former friends for four months, handing off my information to Martin Theriault of Montreal’s Canadian Centre on Racism and Prejudice. I stole Zundel’s international mailing list, turned whatever information I could to police, and defected. In March 1994 I appeared as the star witness against Wolfgang Droege and 2 other white supremacists at a trial that resulted in convictions and jail sentences

While I was in hiding and going by a different name in Ottawa (they knew me as Kat), the CBC released White Lies, advertising it as a “TRUE STORY” – the story of another ex-Heritage Front member who joined the group after I defected, Elizabeth Moore.

However, the TRUE STORY advertised by the CBC did not belong to the person whose name was on their contract. 

 

THE EVOLUTION OF A LIE 

A significant portion of White Lies is made up of my lived experiences – proven experiences that were documented in the media at the time, in court transcripts of my sworn testimony at the Heritage Front trial, and a 1994 documentary made for a television show called “It’s About Time.” I would later find out (from Moore herself, no less) that a CBC producer had scoured public records and interviewed people who knew me, in order to fabricate a movie purportedly about Moore.

For the record, I did not consent to any of this. Nor did anyone involved in the production bother to ask permission.

Several scenes in White Lies are derived from this documentary, which was part of a Vision TV series called “It’s About Time”. It was filmed in 1994, shortly after I testified against Heritage Front leaders. I had just turned 19 and was wearing a cheap $20 wig I’d picked up in Halifax to disguise myself, right before I flew back to Toronto for the trial.

This documentary proved critical in Moore’s decision to leave the group. Two decades later, she told me that she still owned a VHS copy.

During a 1995 interview with the Canadian Anti-racism Education and Research Society (CAERS), Moore credits watching it during a Heritage Front Thanksgiving party in October 1994, before “something in [her] snapped” and she decided that she wanted to say the same things I did.

Here’s a clip from that lengthy interview, where Moore talks about that crucial moment and tells how she met with Bernie Farber (coincidentally, also for four months) before parting with the group without any incidents or threats – an interesting admission for someone who just told Macleans that she was “a marked woman” worried about getting “a letter bomb in the mail.” 

At best, White Lies is a gross conflation of two very different young women’s experiences inside a white supremacist organization, with one woman being singularly rewarded and credited as the film’s inspiration, while the other one’s lived experiences are scavenged for profit. 

At worst, it’s an egregious case of exploitation where one impoverished, immigrant teenager’s lived experiences were appropriated by a well-connected middle-class woman who – for the next 22 years – marketed and monetized the movie as exclusively her own story, gaining numerous speaking engagements, jobs in the film & television sector, and even a secondary film role. 

As the years went by, Moore’s appropriations extended beyond the conflations portrayed in White Lies. In September 2017 she appeared on The Agenda with Steve Paikin, accompanied by Bernie Farber, when Farber falsely communicated that she – along with me – had SHUT DOWN THE HERITAGE FRONT, despite no evidence whatsoever to back up such a significant lie. It was the first time either Moore or Farber ever stated such a thing – yet once the lie was communicated, they stuck to it.

Since 2018, Moore has posted photos of her appearance on The Agenda as promotional material across her social media sites. This episode is also the flash opening of Moore’s website; as of today’s date, every visitor to her site is greeted by an automatic replay of the show and its fraudulent statements, paving the way for more speaking engagements and consulting gigs obtained under false premises. 

In January 2019, Moore appeared on CTV’s The Social and represented herself as a “disenfranchised teen” from a “troubled family”, despite multiple interviews over the previous 20+ years in which she had never made such a claim. In fact, the most consistent statement in ALL of Moore’s videotaped interviews and newspaper articles between 1995-2019, is her description of loving parents who paid for her university education and were very supportive and concerned. 

After analyzing White Lies frame-by-frame and comparing it with evidence from public record, court files and recorded interviews of both myself and Moore, I’ve come to believe that as much as 75% of the film consists of events that can be linked back to me. An in-depth breakdown of the most significant scenes is posted in the next section of this article.

Less than 50% of White Lies can be attributed to Moore herself, and consists primarily of her relationship with nice, middle-class parents, fellow university students, and a romantic relationship with a skinhead (being closeted, I never had a boyfriend while in the HF).

Despite all the incontrovertible evidence I’ve compiled – even Moore’s own words – that shows how my life served as inspiration for White Lies, the Canadian press has remained silent, with one notable exception:

In April 2019, the Canadian Jewish News published a misleading article titled “Reformed Heritage Front Members involved in Lawsuit authored by Ron Csillag, a Facebook friend of Bernie Farber. Nowhere in the article does Csillag acknowledge his preexisting relationship with Farber.

Ron Csillag friends with Bernie Farber - Edited

Csillag’s article strives to create a false equivalency between me and Moore, with Csillag reporting that my lawsuit is about “a fictional movie about a fictional young woman who falls in with a fictional hate group.”

Although he didn’t interview me prior to publication, Csillag already had a copy of my Statement of Claim. If he’d bothered to read it front-to-end, he would have realized that my claim does not focus on White Lies itself; rather, it involves fraudulent appropriations made repeatedly since 2017 – well within the Limitations Act. White Lies serves only as the principal conduit that kick-started and enabled a 20+ year appropriation of my identity. 

As of today’s date, producer Dennis Foon’s website continues to allege that White Lies is inspired by “a high school girl, Elizabeth Moore” – and no one else. Despite Moore’s email admission in which she states that Foon researched my life for OVER A YEAR, and despite evidence that he recreated several of my lived experiences, the CBC has done absolutely nothing to address or correct this blatant exploitation of my life. 

Since 2015 I have made repeated attempts to contact Foon. Other than blocking me on Twitter, he has refused to acknowledge that I exist – much less add a single line to credit me for also inspiring his derivative film, or apologize for the fact that my life was scavenged for his script.

His fellow White Lies director Kari Skogland has also ignored my messages – something I didn’t expect from the female director of the acclaimed adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s bestseller The Handmaid’s Tale – ironically, a story about impoverished, powerless young women being exploited.

Dennis Foon IMG_1692

In the ‘Bonus Feature’ of the White Lies DVD, Foon gushes about how excited he was by the prospect of making a film about a “normal”, “educated”, regular, “middle-class” white girl from the suburbs, with “nothing particularly deviant or crazy about her” (i.e. not abused, poor, gay or particularly vulnerable, as I was) who attended university being caught up in the white supremacist movement.

Before I forget – Dennis Foon is also a Facebook friend of Bernie Farber’s, whose name shows up in the film credits. 

Dennis Foon Farber friendship

For a long time I was upset with the producers who participated in what I view as a blatant exploitation of my life – the life of a girl who did something brave but had no prospects, protection or legal representatives to ensure that her life would not be cannibalized and used to profit others, while she herself lived in abject poverty.

Only in the last couple of years, as I started digging into Elizabeth’s inconsistent narrative in anticipation of my lawsuit, did I realize that her attempt to deflect all blame onto Foon had been a lie.

Early in 2019 I was given a copy of the 1995 CAERS interview with Moore, a nearly 2 hour-long recording. After watching it, I came to believe that Elizabeth’s appropriations started 3 years before the film’s release. This discovery suggests that from the start, Elizabeth provided the filmmakers with a fraudulent depiction of her life inside the Heritage Front – not an accurate representation of her lived experiences but rather a conflation of my unique story with her own. 

In sum, White Lies is not a fictional story. While some characters and events have been conflated or fictionalized, it is heavily inspired by what took place in Toronto in the early to mid-1990s – enough to have the label “A TRUE STORY” printed on the VHS cover.

A STOLEN LIFE – Breakdown of Appropriated Scenes 

The majority of scenes in White Lies are derived from my lived experiences as a teenage girl who rose up the ranks of a white supremacist organization, turned against them, spied on its leaders, and defected.

1. The opening scene is based on a 1993 incident at Riverdale Collegiate which generated HUGE publicity in Toronto at the time. The high school auditorium was filled with youth attending an anti-racist event where Martin Theriault, the man who eventually helped me defect from the group, was the headlining speaker.

Howard Gotlib, the former principal of Riverdale Collegiate, remembers that I was present at this meeting. Janice Dembo, a former employee with the Toronto Mayor’s Committee on Race Relations, also remembers me walking up to the microphone to ask Theriault a question. 

Riverdale collegiate anti-racism rally 1993

One World Week - Riverdale Collegiate recreation

2. Scene where teenage “Catherine” submits an essay to her teacher and is given a failing mark is taken from an incident I was questioned about in my 1994 trial cross-examination, where I spoke of an essay about Anne Frank that I submitted for my ninth-grade class at Jarvis Collegiate Institute, which had upset my teacher.  

1994 trial transcript page25

  1. The scene where teenage “Catherine” sends an essay titled “Christmas is Dead” to the neo-Nazi group “NIM”, short for National Identity Movement, (a composite amalgamation of the Heritage Front and Ernst Zundel) is taken directly from the essay I wrote for Up Front magazine’s inaugural December 1991 issue. I was sixteen years old when I wrote it under the alias “Elisse Deschner” and it was called “A Politically-Correct Santa?”  

White Lies Christmas Santa collage

4. Scene where teenage girl “Catherine” is introduced to the Mrs. K, NIM’s German-born leader who is modelled after Ernst Zundel and played by Lynn Redgrave. “Catherine” quickly becomes Mrs. K’s protégé and begins to work at her house, recording videos and eventually becoming the fresh, young face of the group. – I worked for Zundel as an assistant and even stayed at his place a few times when my home life was unsafe. I helped him with mail-outs, donors correspondence, folding booklets and newsletters, and organizing his books and videos.

Screenshot 2020-01-31 at 12.17.37 AM

5. Teenage “Catherine” quickly rises up the ranks and becomes an official spokesperson.

I represented the Heritage Front in multiple interviews to the press – both in Canadian media and internationally. Here are photos of me at 17 speaking to the CBC and appearing on The Montel Williams Show, as well as a photo of me, age 18, standing side-by-side with my mentor Wolfgang Droege, in a 1992 Globe & Mail article that describes me as the Heritage Front’s softer, female face.

Hategan interview CBC

Elisa on Montel Williams Show

Elisa and HF leader Wolfgang Droege

image2 - Copy

  1. “Catherine” records messages for the group and distributes flyers – aside from also distributing flyers (everyone did), I am the only woman who ever recorded messages on the official Heritage Front hotline. Elizabeth Moore never did. All the messages she wrote/recorded were on a separate, proxy hotline called the “Euro-Canadian Freedom Front” based in Kingston, ON, but not on the actual Heritage Front line.

  2. “Catherine” attends rock concerts and rallies – this scene is derived from the Roma Restaurant concert on November 13, 1992 where the band RaHoWa played. I was videotaped giving a speech that night, right before the concert started – you can see the band equipment and drum set in this photo.Elisa Heritage Front talk 1992 Roma Restaurant

Elisa Heritage Front June1992

Elisa HeritageFront rally2

8. “Catherine” attends KKK rallies – I attended 3 such rallies between 1992-1993, two in London, ON area on Martin Weiche’s property (including the one pictured below) and one in Michigan, USA, at the memorial of Pastor Bob Miles – closest to the experience depicted in White Lies. At the Michigan compound, I witnessed white supremacists selling guns illegally, firing them, and one of the Heritage Front men I drove with smuggled an illegal gun back into Canada. This incident is described in one of the 1993 affidavits I gave to the Ontario Provincial Police.

cross-burning 1993

9. “Catherine” gets trained to fire weapons – at age 17 I was trained to fire a shotgun and used a .22-calibre rifle I received from another HF member (mentioned in a 1993 affidavit), a similar rifle to the one Sarah Polley fires in the movie. Moreover, I owned a registered Firearms Acquisition Certificate (FAC) which I was forced to relinquish as a bail condition after my 1993 arrest on charges that were dismissed in 1994. My weapons training is discussed in my 1994 “It’s About Time” documentary – scroll up for it. 

Sarah Polley shotgun White Lies

10. “Catherine” gives speeches and is filmed for publicity campaigns. Later, as “the new public face” of NIM, she participates in a TV interview in which she discusses the issue of repatriating immigrants back to their homelands and mentions Louis Farrakhan in her answer to justify racial separation – reenacting nearly verbatim my answer to Montel Williams’ question in November 1992, at age 17 – five years before White Lies was made.

While under the careful watch of NIM’s male leader (a character based on Wolfgang Droege), Sarah Polley parrots my answer while wearing a grey top and white shirt, the same outfit and hairstyle I wore on The Montel Williams Show.  Even the background set, with its three panels divided by black columns with tiny horizontal lines, appears to have been replicated in White Lies.

Elisa Sarah Polley White Lies collage

11. “Catherine” visits a member of NIM in prison: I believe this scene is inspired by my conversations with Zvonimir Lelas, a member who spent a year in prison for spray-painting synagogues, and told me how the movement had betrayed him. I also joined Front leader Wolfgang Droege when we tried to visit the Metzgers of White Aryan Resistance while they were incarcerated at the Don Jail. Here’s a photo of me protesting outside the jail on that day, filmed by a local news crew. IMG_1743

12. NIM’s leader is involved in courthouse battles – these scenes are derived directly from Wolfgang Droege’s Toronto court appearances and clashes with Anti-Racist Action, where I was filmed accompanying him. 

Screenshot 2020-01-31 at 12.23.52 AM

Wolfgang Droege and Elisse courthouse1Wolfgang Droege and Elisse courthouse2

13. “Catherine” witnesses and takes part in a beating, and her group is involved in fire bombings. In “It’s About Time”, I talked about an incident in which a man was almost beaten. Also, while I did not witness the firebombing of Mona Zentner’s home in Kitchener, I was quoted in articles and on CTV National News in relation to my belief that the Heritage Front was responsible – this is part of my 1994 trial testimony.

The firebombing of NIM’s headquarters was inspired by the 1995 firebombing of Ernst Zundel’s Carlton Street townhouse, known as The Bunker. 

Kitchener Mona Zentner house firebombing

14. Teenage “Catherine” infiltrates left-wing organizations – In my House of Commons testimony on June 13, 1995, I testify about Bristow pushing me to spy on left-wing organizations. “I was directed by Grant Bristow to obtain information on legitimate organizations in Toronto such as the Irish Freedom Association, North American black nationalist groups and others. Bristow told me he wanted to build a file on these groups.” […] “He also knew that I was a supporter of the Irish nationalist movement and that I had gone to a meeting of this organization called the Irish Freedom Association. He was very curious about that, so I provided him with written documentation of names, addresses and things I had researched. He wanted me to continue that as well. It was just intelligence-gathering.”  

15. Teenage girl is horrified at the escalation of violence against innocent people and decides to approach an anti-racist activist for help – This is based on experiences detailed in my 1993 affidavits involving the It Campaign spearheaded by Bristow, repeated in my 1994 trial testimony and “It’s About Time” documentary, and 1995 House of Commons testimony:  

“Starting in the winter of 1992, I first became aware of a massive terror campaign on our group’s part, targeting anti-racist groups and individuals. It was launched by the head of the Heritage Front intelligence, Grant Bristow. Front members and supporters were approached and encouraged to go after designated targets. I was one of those approached by Grant Bristow. In the first weeks of January 1993 several individuals would get phone calls day and night from supporters or members of the Front in order to make their life miserable and create a climate of tension and fear. Such a climate was used to stir up a potential confrontation with members of anti-racist groups.” […]  Grant Bristow was the coach and the designer of the campaign, which lasted until my public defection to the Canadian Centre on Racism and Prejudice in November of that same year.” 

Terrorism Heritage Front

16. A conversation between NIM leader and “Catherine” in a diner, where he hints that NIM had something to do with recent terror attacks – This reflects my conversation with Wolfgang Droege, which made me believe they were behind the recent fire-bombings in Toronto and Kitchener, and is part of my 1993 affidavits and my 1994 interview with CTV National.

17. Teenage “Catherine” works with anti-racist activists and “proves herself” by turning over a membership list she downloads from Mrs. K’s computer – I stole a partial membership list while stuffing envelopes at Ernst Zundel’s house and turned it over to Martin Theriault. My spying and stealing of membership lists from the HF and Zundel was mentioned in my court testimony, as well as touched upon in the 1994 “It’s About Time” documentary.

Reenactment of Hategan stealing Zundel files

18. Teenage girl defects –> I was 18 when I defected; Elizabeth left uneventfully at age 21, deciding to leave on the very night she watched the “It’s About Time” documentary about me.

Moore experienced no threats or harassment as a result of leaving the Front. Her self-described “defection”, along with her claims of endangerment and being a “marked woman” in the 1995 Macleans article that caught the eye of CBC producers and led to the White Lies movie deal, are a fraudulent appropriation of my lived experiences.

IMG_1761

Hategan spies on the Heritage Front

HF leaders convictions after Hategan testimony

19. There is a secondary, fictitious character named Erina who ultimately commits suicide – another instance where something that happened to me is ripped from the headlines and rolled into the film. News about my suicide attempt at age 18 came out during my cross-examination at the trial of Heritage Front members; articles describing it were published in the Toronto Sun and other newspapers. White Lies, of course, exploited it.

Elisa ToSun suicide attempt

If White Lies contains a SINGLE scene that is derived from my lived experiences and not Elizabeth Moore’s, the film should not have been mass-marketed as “The true story of Elizabeth Moore” or “Based on the real-life experiences of Elizabeth Moore” – either by the film producers, the CBC, or Moore herself for the last 25 years. In my view, such advertising and profiting from my experiences is fraudulent and morally unethical. 

However, this is exactly what happened. As you can see in this breakdown, it wasn’t just one scene but more than a dozen, which encapsulate well over 50% of the film.

White Lies was viewed by millions of people across Canada; I have no way of knowing how much was earned through VHS and DVD sales (or spinoff speaking engagements), or if Moore received any royalties.

Even after cross-examining Moore in September 2019 as part of the lawsuit, she was unable to produce a single photograph of herself in the company of Heritage Front members, or any proof that she had been an official member – much less authenticate that White Lies represents her experiences. Outside of her brief appearance in Hearts of Hate, a documentary that featured dozens of white supremacists, there is no proof that she ever did more than write a handful of articles and operate a Kingston, ON telephone hotline before selling the rights to “her life story”.

CONFRONTING MOORE — “THE TRUTH” EMAIL 

In January 2013, I received an email from Elizabeth. She had read one of my books and wanted to connect. We had never actually met inside the Front because she joined their ranks around November 1993, right after I defected and went into hiding. We were both excited to meet each other. Over the next couple of years, we became good friends and talked about each other’s experiences within the Heritage Front at length. Elizabeth read my 2014 memoir Race Traitor and praised it, telling me that after my defection she had not been brought into the leaders’ confidence as I was, “because they didn’t want to trust another girl with sensitive info”. 

Moore FB convoFor two years, I didn’t have any reason to question Elizabeth’s motives or suspect that White Lies was not based on her life. That is, until February 2015 – when a conversation I’d had with her days earlier prompted me to google and find the film on YouTube. Just minutes in, I was struck by the horrific realization that the scenes playing out before my eyes were not renditions of Elizabeth’s experiences, but my own. 

It was a devastating blow – in one night, I came to understand that my story had been abhorrently exploited by the CBC and Moore herself, the woman I’d come to regard as my best friend.

When I confronted Elizabeth in an email she did not deny it, instead heaping all blame onto CBC producer and scriptwriter Dennis Foon: “What Dennis learned about you came from legit sources like court records, newspaper articles and talking to many people who knew you then. He did over a year of research on this and it certainly went far above and beyond me, my story, and what I could share.”

Elizabeth Moore confession White Lies

I was in shock. Not only had I just seen some of my most painful teenage experiences reenacted on screen, but the woman I’d considered a best friend actually ADMITTED that my life HAD inspired the movie – the movie that was credited exclusively as Moore’s life story, the movie she’d made $12,500 from (in today’s economy, close to $19K according to Bank of Canada’s inflation calculator) and which had earned her follow-up projects and speaking gigs. 

The years passed, but I refused to stop speaking about it. It was all I could do to bring awareness to the situation, since the statute of limitations to sue the CBC had passed. Moore started cyber-stalking me relentlessly; some days I’d see her IP on my blog 5 or more times a day. I called her a stalker, and that’s when she started telling people I was harassing her. Unsure if she planned to use White Lies to market herself in the future, I bought a bunch of previously-unregistered domains I thought she might use for a website, which stoked the animosity between us.

But then Charlottesville happened. Seemingly overnight, the press latched on to the reality of white supremacy posing a threat (something I’d written about since 2011), and governments started doling out huge grants to pretty much any organization that could slap together a decent proposal to show they were tackling white nationalism and hate. Predictably, a new speakers market was created, replete with income opportunities for former extremists with a story to sell. 

Within days of Charlottesville, Moore appeared on the front page of the Ottawa Citizen, represented as “The pretty, public face” of the Heritage Front, its female spokeswoman (she never represented the HF as a spokesperson) and that White Lies represented her experiences. Bernie Farber, ever the kingmaker, had connected her to Blair Crawford, author of this error-ridden endorsement, with the wildly hyperbolic statement “Her story his (sic) unique and a huge lesson for humanity.”

Moore also told the Citizen that she had been “the only white student” in her class, a falsehood she would repeat between 2017-2019, both to the press and during speaking engagements. Incidentally, after 2 years of investigating her backstory, I’ve found no records of Moore ever making this claim prior to 2017, and her high school yearbook shows several other Caucasian students in her cohort. She lifted this line verbatim from my 1994 court testimony (which she attended, taking notes) and my 2014 memoir Race Traitor, where the line is repeated.

White kid line court testimony

Farber endorsement

One month later, Moore and Farber appeared on The Agenda with Steve Paikin, where Farber made the stunningly fraudulent claim that Moore had been “The Face” of the HF, and that she (along with me) had “SHUT DOWN the Heritage Front”. At no time in the last 25 years had that statement ever been said about Moore, but they doubled down and ran with it. 

Within months, Moore created a website where her biographical section appropriated my experiences in the Heritage Front. For her website banner, she uploaded the September 2017 episode of The Agenda and set it to auto-play, ensuring that all visitors would hear Farber’s lies and believe she was responsible for shutting down the group I risked my life to dismantle.

She followed the bulk of my Twitter journalist contacts, Jewish community and synagogue friends, as well as my criminology and extremism-related followers and tried to immerse herself in the field. She described herself as “The verifiable inspiration for White Lies” across several social media platforms – going so far as to tell one Reddit user that White Lies was “100%” her own story and implied that I had been “a troubled young person” who identified with her experiences, rather than the other way around.

Within a year, she launched full-steam ahead into a new career as a public speaker, consultant and “expert educator” on far-right extremism, despite the fact that unlike me, she had never studied criminology and terrorism or worked/volunteered inside the criminal justice system.

Just like in the 1990s, this newly-resurrected career was established on a foundation of fraud and appropriation. And while she was featured in several high-profile interviews that led to paid speaking engagements, not a single journalist questioned her narrative. 

IMG_1749

In December 2018 I initiated legal proceedings against Moore, and in February 2019 my lawsuit was amended to add Bernie Farber, the man who facilitated and endorsed her career over the last 25 years, the man who invited her to join the Canadian Anti-Hate Network’s Board of Advisors as an “expert” on the far right, who promoted her to journalists, secured the majority of her speaking engagements, and lied for her on The Agenda with Steve Paikin.

(BTW, Steve Paikin also happens to be a friend of Farber’s. In an email Paikin sent me in June 2019, he admits he’s known Farber for 25 years.)

Moore Farber CAHNA CAREER BUILT ON A FOUNDATION OF FRAUD

Why did I sue Farber? I believe Bernie Farber was integral in maintaining the fraud. He provided Moore with important recommendations, connections to journalists, and the full endorsement of the Canadian Jewish Congress during the time he was Executive Director. Just as he is doing today as the Chair of the Canadian Anti-Hate Network, Farber used his credentials and the Jewish Congress’ reputation to promote Moore and involved her in several CJC initiatives spanning a decade which generated publicity for both of them, thereby ensuring that Moore’s fraud remained unquestioned until I commenced litigation.

Elizabeth Moore couldn’t have done what she did for as long as she did it without the assistance of somebody like Bernie Farber or fellow CJC director Len Rudner (currently a Board member of CAHN), who were tasked to represent the Jewish community and – either unknowingly, negligently or intentionally – used their reputations to endorse a fraud (who also happened to be Rudner’s mistress at the time). Farber is as culpable, in my judgement, as Moore herself is in the unauthorized exploitation and monetization of my lived experiences.

Farber did not submit an affidavit in his defence, and therefore could not be cross-examined. I have no idea if he was paid for his participation in White Lies, but his name appears in the film credits and he profited from the publicity blitz that followed its release. 

Farber White Lies credits

Since 2015 I’ve researched Moore’s narrative in depth and I can state with utmost confidence that her involvement with the Heritage Front – during the time she claims she was a member – was NEVER documented in any news articles or media, with the singular exception of Hearts of Hate, a documentary that also featured me and dozens of other neo-Nazis. She never represented the Front as a spokeswoman. There is absolutely zero evidence that Moore “rose up the ranks” to become the Heritage Front’s “pretty, public face” and “mouthpiece”, as she claims. 

Moore also alleges that she was a teenager when she joined the Front (in one article she told a journalist she was 16, in others 17 or 18). These statements are false and plainly contradicted in her first article in Up Front magazine, a letter-to-the-editor that she mailed to the Front’s PO Box in 1993, prior to meeting any members in person. Using her middle name initial as an alias, Moore writes “I have yet to join the Heritage Front” because she perceived them to be sexist. She was 19.6 years old.  

IMG_1740

By the time Moore met any Heritage Front members in person, she was 20 years old. She herself admits this in an essay that has since been scrubbed from the internet but is published in at least one textbook – a 1997 essay titled “From Marches to Modems” which she wrote for a Bernie Farber-published report for the City of Toronto. “Elisse defected from the Heritage Front about the time I became active,” she writes.

I defected in November 1993, the month Moore turned 20 years old.

In a 2011 documentary titled “In God’s Keeping produced for her Ryerson University MFA in Documentary Film, Moore is captured on film saying she became a neo-Nazi not as a teen girl, but “in my early 20s“.

Moore Marches to Modems 1997

Excerpt from Moore’s 1997 essay “From Marches to Modems”, published by Farber

Moore was never a speaker at rallies – I was. All Heritage Front rallies were filmed, with the videotapes sold through a mail-form and at meetings. Moore does not appear on any archival tapes, because she never made a speech. She also never had access to Ernst Zundel’s data and I doubt she was in his townhouse more than once or twice. 

Even after being asked for material evidence as part of this lawsuit, Moore has not produced a single photograph of herself in the company of Front members, any corroborating affidavits, videotapes or evidence of herself either speaking at rallies or a single instance where she represents the HF as a spokeswoman. Farber himself has not provided a sworn affidavit to even attempt to corroborate her story.

Moore cannot even produce a Heritage Front membership card, despite claiming in her 2018 Macleans op-ed that she was “a card-carrying member” within months of being age 17 – in sharp contrast to her 1994 Up Front article where, at age 19 and six months, she confesses that she “has yet to join” the group.

What Moore does have in her possession, however, is a VHS copy of my “It’s About Time” documentary. I have no idea how many times she has watched it.

Facts don’t lie – throughout the year Moore was actively involved with the Heritage Front (approx. November 1993 – October 1994), she lived in Kingston, ON and attended Queen’s University. She was a 20-year old woman, and not the teenager depicted in White Lies. Although she wrote a handful of articles for Up Front, she never recorded telephone messages on the Heritage Front’s official hotline. Instead, she operated at arm’s length in Kingston, running a backup, alternate phone line called the “Euro-Canadian Freedom Front.” 

Over a period of 20+ years, Elizabeth Moore systematically changed the backstory of her time in the Heritage Front to align more closely with my experiences. Across the years, there have been dozens of inconsistencies and contradictions in Moore’s narrative about WHEN she joined, WHY she joined, WHAT SHE DID in the Heritage Front and WHY SHE LEFT, in her attempt to conflate her story with mine.

I believe that her most recent appropriation – the 2019 claim she was a “disenfranchised” and “troubled teenager” – is an attempt to elicit sympathy and add mitigating factors to her story, because the idea of a privileged, adult woman who suffered no beatings or abuse, and whose loving parents paid for her university education, is not as palatable to an audience that seeks to understand why youth are drawn to extremist organizations. 

In order to gain fame, enhanced credentials and portray what would otherwise be an insignificant role and non-dramatic experience, Moore appropriated sensational aspects of my life and build a platform where she profited from speaking engagements, a movie dramatization, documentary roles and other forms of monetization and publicity.  

WHAT IS A LIFE WORTH?

What would you do if someone stole your name and SIN number, and took out credit cards in your name? What if this individual built a business and career from your name and reputation? 

This would be identity fraud. You’d go to the police, and chances are you’d get assistance.

But what if someone did this for 25 years, and nobody cared? And you couldn’t fight back because you didn’t have the money to seek justice, or because the justice that could help your case has not been written yet?  Because he didn’t actually steal your name, per se. He stole everything else that makes up your identity: your lived experiences, the worst years of your life, the terrible things that defined you.

What if this identity thief built a veneer of respectability and authority in the community, and nobody believed you? What effect would this have on your psyche? On your view of justice and fairness in this country? 

What if, one day you watched a movie and saw YOURSELF reenacted on screen, but another individual credited as the film’s sole inspiration? 

What if you saw your identity thief get paid projects, media attention and praise after claiming to shut down a group they were barely affiliated with – a group that you actually risked your life to dismantle?

What would you do if you were denied publication in an academic textbook, but the person who stole your identity was included? 

What would you do if all the articles you wrote for a popular blog over a 4-year span were deleted after the man running it became financially supported by the same network of individuals who endorsed your identity thief?

What would you do if you didn’t have the money to fight back, and all the lawyers you contacted told you that there’s no precedent for your case because as long as someone doesn’t use your actual name, there are no laws on the books to prevent someone from stealing the unique events and personal characteristics that define your identity (down to your religion and sexual orientation) and passing them them off as their own, for profit? 

What would you do if the public believed that those who exploited your identity are the good guys, and you are the liar?

What would you do if you were being countersued for defamation by the person who stole your identity in the first place? 

Would you have any faith left in the justice system? Or would you share your story with every breath in the hope that someone, somehow, someday would just look at the evidence? 

An artist’s song or a writer’s book is their intellectual property; I could not, for example, take CBC’s “White Lies” and sell it as my own product because it would violate copyright law. And yet the film producers took my life from public record, reenacted it and sold it legally as their own product. By working with those producers, and representing herself as the exclusive source of the “true story” it was inspired by, Elizabeth Moore was effectively able to steal my life.  

What would YOU do if another individual stole your life story, sold it as her own “life story” and marketed it for the following 25 years?

I’ll tell you what would happen: 

You would lose hope. Hope in justice, in the legal profession, in this country where you tried to do the right thing but were exploited, over and over again. 

After having lived through all of this, you would feel that shouting your story from the rooftops is an act as crucial as breathing. 

I have nothing left but the truth – and I won’t have them steal that from me. Not anymore.

A WRETCHED LITTLE IMMIGRANT GIRL

IMG_1738

In this 1994 jealous diatribe published in Up Front magazine, Moore calls me a “Wretched Little Immigrant Girl” and ridicules me for testifying against HF leader Wolfgang Droege and two other members – a testimony that resulted in convictions and jail sentences, and contributed directly to dismantling the Heritage Front.

How ironic that in 2017 – 23 years after writing that article – Moore and Farber rewrote history by telling Steve Paikin and the Canadian public (for the first time ever) that Moore herself shut down the Heritage Front.  

What’s actually wretched is my experience of the justice system in this country. As a teenager, I risked my life to testify against three dangerous white supremacists. Despite the threats on my life and being responsible for 3 convictions, I wasn’t admitted into the Witness Protection Program; at only 18, Canadian authorities didn’t give a hoot whether I lived or died.

Conversely, Grant Bristow – who counselled many Heritage Front members to commit crimes and himself engaged in criminal activity, whose 5 years of well-paid undercover work resulted in NO arrests and convictions of any Canadian white supremacists – got away with it. In fact, he was given a house, 2 cars and a $3000-per-month stipend for several years after being relocated into the Witness Protection Program.

And yet, despite all the anti-racist community activists who were terrorized by Bristow’s harassment campaign, Bernie Farber invited him to participate in a 2011 speaking engagement where he received a standing ovation, and referred to Bristow as “a friend” in a 2017 Toronto Star article.

Farber Bristow endorsement TOStar 2017

As an adult, I witnessed a privileged woman and her well-connected friend profit from my lived experiences through a movie deal, speaking engagements and endless publicity – while I suffered the psychological and economic effects of the life she marketed as her own.

By stealing my teenage experiences, by taking credit for and appropriating my painful past, Moore took the only thing I ever did right, the one thing that made my whole wretched miserable life worthwhile — the knowledge that, despite everything I ever endured in my life — the abuse, the danger and threats against me by the neo-Nazi family who had groomed and exploited me — that I made a difference.

She took the only thing in my life that I felt the most proud of and turned it into a monetizing ploy to advance a false narrative because she didn’t have a marketable story of her own.

WHAT IS THE MEANING OF EVERYTHING?

A suicide attempt early in 2016 left me hopeless that I would ever see justice. I started to wonder why this struggle to bring awareness of my exploitation had become EVERYTHING to me. What was my life lesson? Why fight so hard for something nobody else cares about, at the cost of my health? 

Then, in December 2019, it finally hit me. Awake in bed, crying myself to sleep, hopeless and exhausted, I suddenly understood why.

All my life I wanted to push mine away, to repress everything that happened. For forty years I pushed away from the shores of my identity, while the real me watched from a darkened coastline, not knowing whether I’d return.

For forty years I was the little matchstick girl, standing on tiptoes in the snow outside a beautiful mansion, peeking into a world where I’ve never belonged. No parent helped me do my homework, packed my lunch or ironed my school uniform. No one celebrated my small victories or wept over my petty defeats, over the courtyard bullying or the horrible names kids love to call outsiders. If I was hit or called names, surely it was my fault. 

All my life, I ran away from my epigenetic hurts. I hid from life the way my deaf father Iosif, a brilliant painter whose work was never recognized by the hearing community, let his broken dreams turn into rage. Just like his mother Ana before him, cast off at age 19 with a baby because she wasn’t ethnically Hungarian – because speaking perfect Magyar and going to an Austro-Hungarian finishing school couldn’t scrub the Romanian from her blood, the barbed wire, the Jew from the coarseness of her hair. They changed their name, lied about their Jewish identity the way I hid my identity when I was a teenager on the run. 

Sometimes it’s easier to become the Other, the one who would otherwise break you. When you have no more skin left to grow another scab, healing becomes impossible. Sometimes it’s easier NOT to heal – because healing or forgiveness means acknowledging you are a victim.

For some, this acknowledgement has the power to take your breath away and crush you right back into the dirt you came from. Deep inside, you know that if you faced the truth of your victimization, you might never get off your knees. Sometimes it’s easier to become the enemy. That’s what happened to me as a teenager – a half-Jewish girl who became a neo-Nazi.

It was a surefire way to run from my past and feign the brutality of the aggressor, to go from powerless to powerful in a world where, for the first time in my life, I was the bully instead of the bullied – a strong and vengeful Athena instead of the wounded little girl I saw every time I looked in a mirror. 

So I dyed my curly dark hair red in an effort to look more “Aryan”. I tried blue contacts to cover up my brown eyes. I hated my nose and Romanian accent, the predictable “Where you from?” that seemed to follow me. But the Heritage Front still accepted me, because they fed on my pain – because the more I hated, the more my racist family loved me. 

The years I spent in hiding did nothing to improve my faith in justice. In 1994, while living at Adsum house, a homeless women’s shelter in Halifax, I signed up for a two-day intensive GED exam. I was nineteen years old, a ninth-grade dropout with no prospects, no family and no protection, living on the run after testifying against three high-profile neo-Nazis. At night, I still remembered the coldness of the knife held against my throat when Front leaders had questioned me about being a rat. 

A month later, my high school equivalency diploma, conferred by the Nova Scotia Board of Education, arrived in the mail. Less than a year later I would be accepted as a mature student into both Carleton and the University of Ottawa, and I’d choose the latter for its prestigious criminology program. By studying the psychology of crime and youth/women’s involvement in gangs and extremism, I hoped to get a better perspective on what had happened to me.

The hardest part of my university application wasn’t the arduous student loan application I had to complete, figuring out what my next meal would be, or starting a new life in a new city, using yet another alias and hoping that I wouldn’t be tracked down by the men who threatened my life – but coming up with two required reference letters. I was too ashamed to ask for help – scared of disappointing others if I failed, and wondering if anybody would see a modicum of potential in me, enough to vouch for my academic aptitude. 

Even with the help of student loans, I worked two jobs between classes – one under the table at a souvenir shop on Sparks Street, the other at Mags & Fags, a magazine & tobacco shop on Elgin. I was a regular at the Bank Street food bank and an occasional dumpster-diver. During this exact time, the CBC was making a movie based on the painful memories I was struggling so hard to repress. 

White Lies came out in the year of my second suicide attempt, the year I was first prescribed Prozac and could finally get through a night without PTSD-induced nightmares. While Moore was basking in a publicity blitz and CBC producers were attending Emmy and Gemini galas and getting nominations for a film that wouldn’t have existed without me, I did my best to block out my teenage years and pretended I was a different, normal girl. It was the key to my survival.

In 1998 I was living in a student rooming house and didn’t own a television set. I’d heard that the CBC had made a movie about Moore, but I don’t remember seeing the whole thing. Nor did I want to see it. It is entirely possible that I may have seen parts of it or a commercial, and blanked it out. 

Even after I clawed my way through university, winning scholarships, a place on my university’s fencing team, graduating magna cum laude (majored in criminology and psychology) – I didn’t feel I was enough. I hadn’t done it balletically, I didn’t glide through school with the flawless confidence of a girl whose achievements are celebrated by loving, devoted parents. No. I sweated, fought and bled for everything I earned.  

And so, as I lay in bed last month asking myself why I was fighting so hard to pursue a lawsuit with no precedents, despite the excruciating stress and the thousands of dollars it has already cost me – it came to me, an answer as luminous as the North star on that frozen December night:

For the first time in my life, I am fighting to be ME. Me – with all my scars, my accent, my shaking voice. I’m fighting for the truth, for my identity. No matter how ugly my past was, I am taking it back from those who appropriated it for profit. 

truth voice shakes meme

WHY I AM FIGHTING BACK

For $137, any Canadian can legally change their name – but the essence of your identity and likeness is not mutable or changeable because it is made up of unique lived experiences that compose the fabric of who you are.

I believe that human beings are more than a name – that, in fact, we are the product of our life experiences.  The sum total of who I am is not just my name – it is the combined sum of my lived experiences: my trauma, my courage, my fears, my faith and religious identity, my troubled youth and formative experiences, the events that I lived through and survived, the threats I endured and the challenges I’ve had to overcome. All of these experiences form my identity. 

So who am I? The hungry child on the streets of Bucharest? The scared teenager held at knifepoint? The young woman who tried to do the right thing only to see an agent provocateur’s crimes get covered up by CSIS, and unscrupulous filmmakers & profiteers exploit her life with impunity?

I am all of them. Like a dandelion bursting through the asphalt, I am defined by my survival, rendered courageous at the broken places. 

And now, the irony of fighting for my life – a life I hated, tried to end, depreciated for a lifetime; a life that had no worth for me beyond the pain that others sought to sensationalize.

Only then did my will to live kick in – to do this for the hopeless, the voiceless and unconnected, the underdogs whose stories go unheard, who can’t afford to fight back through the legal system. The poor and exploited who don’t have journalists in their back pockets and bands of cronies backing up a fraud. 

I am doing this for my dead deaf father – who didn’t think his artistic talent was good enough so he flawlessly reproduced the paintings of Impressionist masters; who grew embittered after being bullied by village boys, beaten by a world that doesn’t listen to deaf-mutes and immigrants, so he became the beater.

I am doing this for my dead deaf mother – raped as a young girl by villagers who thought she was an animal, who herded goats barefoot and slept in a barn, who was seen by her own mother as worthless, who never got justice so the anger coiled inside her breast and struck out at the world, passing its venom into her own child throughout a life entwined with misery and suffering.

I am doing this for me, despite the outrage and insults coming from activists who scorn me for suing people they consider worthier than me, above-reproach, whose character is never scrutinized while mine lays dissected, trampled in the mud. I am a wretched immigrant girl after all, and in this country the weight of truth depends on the perceived worth of those who speak it.

I am doing this for ME.   

All things and beings have their own, intrinsic, value – that is my lesson. 

Even the most “worthless” life, in the end, matters. 

Yes, even mine. 

 

5 Responses to “The Truth about White Lies”

  1. E said

    On June 14, 2020 – 22 years after White Lies was released, Sarah Polley apologized and acknowledged what happened to me.

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1apeNizCUPZaS4JdXfXkdW6V6KFbw89R4/view?usp=sharing
    and
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/19rLPImPcdWhFhErJSOxp7dB8xL7BIDVO/view?usp=sharing

    Sarah was only 18 when she starred in White Lies – the same age I was when I turned against my neo-Nazi family, gave info to police and testified against 3 leaders, securing their convictions and helping to shut down the most dangerous white supremacist group in modern Canadian history.

    NOBODY ELSE involved in the production has bothered to apologize or even acknowledge that I EXIST.

  2. Vicki Robinson said

    Wow. I felt pain, anger, frustration, I felt it all in reading your account. Your voice rings loud and true.

    • E said

      Thanks so much, Vicki – I’m very grateful you read all of it. It was a very emotional writeup for me…I was crying while writing the whole thing. It’s been a very painful journey – both to distill it into words, to bear through all the evidence (I have over 700 exhibit pages) and to assemble it all together by myself (while dealing with the trauma of revisiting these events) just to prove what was done to me. It was rough, and there is still a lot that I left out…but in the end, I came away empowered.

  3. Jes Carron said

    I wish I were a lawyer, so I could help you fight this.
    Your bravery matters. What you did likely saved lives. No one can take that from you.
    It is abhorrent how those with power and privilege will do as they please regardless of who is harmed.

    • E said

      Thank you so much for your comment, Jess – I know deep down that what you say is true. Others have told me the same in the past – many who were there in the 1990s are convinced that if I didn’t defect and help to shut down the group, and provide the affidavits that showed Bristow’s role as agent provocateur, that people would have died.

      There are also stories of violent criminal activity which still have not come out, and victims who are still too traumatized to speak out about it – particularly a Black social worker who worked at the Runnymede home, who was sexually assaulted, as well as a woman in Vancouver.

      I hope that I can get justice, but to be honest I am losing hope. It makes me angry that according to Canadian law this isn’t considered identity fraud because Elizabeth Moore didn’t steal my name – only all other significant elements of my story.
      So police can’t do anything and I am forced to use the Civil Courts system, which is exorbitantly expensive.

      It’s a system designed for the wealthy to succeed – most lawyers/legal system professionals know that when it comes to Civil law, the wealthiest party wins – because those who have the most money can keep up their fraud with endless motions and appeals after appeals, until they drain all your resources.

      And I have run out of money. With the COVID19 pandemic, I have gotten zero projects and my livelihood has been significantly affected.

      But I am literally fighting for my life – and the only way I can get my life back at this point is if everyone out there who reads about my case tells others – if there is public awareness. Maybe then I might find a lawyer to take on my case at a reduced rate, and maybe then justice will be done.

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