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Archive for the ‘csis’ Category

From Darkness to Light: How a Neo-Nazi found her Jewish roots and shut down the Heritage Front

Posted by E on January 11, 2021

Elisa Hategan, sharing her story at a Toronto synagogue in 2019

Today I am happy to announce the release of my new documentary film FROM DARKNESS TO LIGHT. At age 16 I was recruited into Canada’s most dangerous neo-Nazi group, the Heritage Front. At 18 I defected, testified against leaders & helped shut it down. After discovering my Jewish roots, I converted to Judaism.

Some of you will notice that the first half of this film incorporates segments featured in a previous video I released last fall. However, this is a new documentary film that focuses exclusively on my story, and the 2nd half (approx. 9 minutes) are NEW and never-before-seen. Please watch – I hope you find it informative and inspiring.

At age 16, Romanian immigrant Elisa Hategan was recruited by Canada’s white supremacist Heritage Front and groomed to be a leader of the neo-Nazi movement by Holocaust denier Ernst Zundel. At 18, her court testimony was instrumental in shutting down the Heritage Front, ultimately leading to criminal convictions against three group leaders and exposing Canadian Intelligence’s role in the creation of a white supremacist terrorist organization.

In her film, Hategan tells the powerful story of how she became a teenage neo-Nazi, then discovered her father was Jewish and subsequently converted to Judaism.

By sharing her journey from hate to hope and exploring her family’s painful past, she tells a story of suffering, loss and courage, and shows how one individual can make a real difference in a divided world where love is needed more than ever.

Posted in canada, csis, deaf, deafness, grant bristow, hate, heritage front, history, identity, jewish, journalism, judaism, news, perseverence, politics, terrorism, violence | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Operation Governor: The True Story of Canadian Intelligence’s Greatest Cover-Up

Posted by E on October 4, 2015

Hategan documentary VisionTV

“We’ll tear her to shreds.”

CSIS Toronto Region Investigator speaking of eighteen-year old Elisse Hategan, whose affidavits implicated CSIS agent Grant Bristow in criminal activity. CBC’s The Fifth Estate, October 1994

Elisa backcover

My name is Elisa Hategan and I’m a Canadian writer and freelance journalist. Today I’ve decided that I can no longer be silent about the upcoming Canadian Federal election and the vital importance of choosing a leader who will repeal Bill C-51, which has now become law and gives Canada’s spy agency CSIS unparalleled powers to spy on its citizens.

If you scroll down to the end of this page, you will be able to download a free excerpt of some of the most explosive parts of my 2014 memoir Race Traitor: The True Story of Canadian Intelligence’s Greatest Cover-Up.

When I was sixteen years old, I was recruited by a Canadian domestic terrorist group calling itself the Heritage Front – an extremist right-wing, white supremacist group with strong ties to Neo-Nazi Holocaust revisionists, the American Ku Klux Klan and even Muammar Khadafi. They became the family I never had. Two years later, after I witnessed the targeting of innocent people for harassment and violence, I realized I had to find a way to shut them down.

At first, I couldn’t see a way out. After I found support from a few courageous anti-racist activists, I spied on the Heritage Front for four months. In March of 1994 I took the stand and testified against a handful of group leaders in a contempt of court case that led to convictions and jail sentences. Within months, it was revealed that one of the three founders of the group was a paid agent of CSIS, Canada’s intelligence service. To put it bluntly, the Heritage Front had been created and partially-funded with the help of Canada’s own Security and Intelligence Service.

Despite the fact that I possessed a significant amount of information related to criminal activity within the Heritage Front, authorities showed no interest in taking any kind of action against the group. After repeated appeals to the OPP (Ontario Provincial Police) and the RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) were ignored, I was officially denied admission into the Witness Protection Program.

All my affidavits (detailing names and addresses of Heritage Front members who owned various weaponry and explosives, as well as detailed accounts of verifiable stalking, threats and harassment of community activists) were dismissed by police without as much as a single attempt to verify their authenticity.

I would later find out from an insider (as broadcast in a 1994 episode of CBC’s The Fifth Estate that featured evidenceGrant Bristow CSIS obtained from anonymous, highly-placed police and intelligence sources) that a CSIS mandate had circulated advising police forces to deny me protection and ignore my information, even at the risk of Canadian taxpayers and the threat to my own life. Over a period of five years, CSIS had sunk a huge amount of money into Operation Governor, which involved the creation of a neo-Nazi organization in Canada and escalating its levels of violence and armament. They couldn’t risk their house of cards to fall apart on the testimony of a teenage girl.

When details of CSIS’ Operation Governor did come out in the press, after an exposé authored by Toronto Sun reporter Bill Dunphy in August 1994, the operation was terminated. The agent who had co-created the Heritage Front, Grant Bristow, was quickly whisked away into Witness Protection, given a payoff totalling hundreds of thousands of dollars, two new cars and a four-bedroom, three-car garage home in another Canadian province.

No testimony or information from Grant Bristow EVER resulted in any arrests and convictions.

In the spring of 2015, Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper (who in the 1980s was a member of the extreme right-wing Northern Foundation, which had Heritage Front and Reform Party members, along with skinheads, anti-abortionists, Holocaust-deniers and Conrad Black) has announced a new bill that essentially duplicates the NSA laws of arrest without warrant under the pretext of “terrorism”.

Bill C-51 is extremely troubling, considering that they will be giving CSIS far greater powers than ever before, turning it into what many have called a “Secret Police” with far-reaching powers. However, it has now become LAW.

THIS IS WHY I HAVE DECIDED TO GIVE AWAY AN EXCERPT OF MY BOOK Race Traitor: The True Story of Canadian Intelligence’s Greatest Cover-Up – RACE-TRAITOR Excerpt by ELISA HATEGAN 

CSIS rapeThis excerpt includes Chapters 16 and 19 of my memoir, which reveal information I also included in my 1993 sworn affidavits. They reveal disturbing information about the It Campaign – Grant Bristow’s involvement in encouraging criminal behaviour and activity in dangerous white supremacists and neo-Nazi skinheads. After you read this, you might get a better idea of why CSIS’s new mandate includes the provision that civilians are not to be raped or murdered.

Given the context of Bill C-51, it didn’t surprise either myself or the numerous activists, anti-racists and aboriginal protesters I’ve communicated with, that we cannot get any mainstream press coverage in Canadian media. Telling the story of how Canada’s own intelligence agency formed a domestic terrorist group that stalked, harassed and assaulted several left-wing activists in the 1990s would be in direct conflict with what Stephen Harper’s government has passed into law – a law whose definition is so broad, so undefined, that anyone in direct opposition to our government’s interests (such as Aboriginal protesters and the Idle No More movement) would fall into the category of “terrorist.”

Under C-51, CSIS will have the power to: 1) detain people without charges for up to 7 days; 2) interfere with bank transactions and seize bank accounts if they are “suspected” of potential terror activity; 3) order the seizure of “terrorist propaganda” or order it deleted from an online source; 4) stop any passengers “suspected” of travelling overseas to commit a terror offence to be removed from a flight; 5) seal court proceedings; 6) make it illegal to “promote” or “counsel” terrorist activity – the definition of what this constitutes is, of course, left up to CSIS’ interpretation. Using “disruption warrants,” Canada’s spies will do just about anything: “enter any place or open or obtain access to any thing,” to copy or obtain any document, “to install, maintain, or remove any thing,” and, most importantly, “to do any other thing that is reasonably necessary to take those measures.”

Hategan articleC-51 MUST be stopped, or at the very least re-examined. The repeated violations and more violations on the part of the former intelligence unit of the RCMP, which became CSIS, which evolved into CSEC, cannot be overlooked. Neither is Harper’s ongoing use of CSIS as his personal domain pet whenever he wants to keep tabs on anti-fracking protesters, Green Party members, or whoever is opposed to the Conservative Party’s mandate. Such collusion between government and intelligence agencies is insidious at best, and will be used politically to defeat (or even imprison) political opponents.

History has already showed us what can happen when agents run amok: Grant Bristow’s handlers had been inherited from the same RCMP department which preceded CSIS’s inception. Back in the 1970s they were burning barns in Quebec while blaming it on the FLQ. After that scandal ensued and RCMP intelligence was disbanded, they moved over to the newly-minted CSIS and taught neo-Nazis and violent skinheads (some of whom were part of the now-disbanded Airborne Regiment) intelligence techniques, thus contributing to assaults, stalking, harassment and worse. Since they got away with all of the above, I cannot imagine what will happen when they gain autonomy.

memeAt the end of this PDF sample you will find a brief media library with photos, links to newspaper articles, blog links and videos that cover the events described in Race Traitor. This is only a starting point, and consists of articles myself and other activists managed to collect during that time. All these articles are still in the public domain and easily accessible via archival libraries and microfiches.

I also included direct links to sites where you can purchase the book.

I am grateful to all who buy a copy or offer a donation for this free PDF. Without the support of wonderful people and community activists who believed in me, I would never have made it through my teenage years – I am deeply thankful for your help.

Elisa

RACE-TRAITOR Excerpt by ELISA HATEGAN

RaceTraitor FINAL COVER

Posted in canada, csis, media, news, truth | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Gagging the Messenger: An Open Letter to Walrus Magazine

Posted by E on September 28, 2015

girl-gagged

This afternoon I read with open-eyed wonder as your magazine trashed Bill C51 and argued passionately against this bill, which you called “a mistake.” A bill which rapidly morphed into a law that gives CSIS untold new powers and is effectively the end of civil rights and privacy as we know it.

What a joke, for a publication that lauded and exonerated a CSIS agent who was directly responsible for the harassment, assault and rape of so many activists and members of the community.

walrus 2004_09In September 2004, just 11 years ago, you were in bed with CSIS. You know exactly what I’m talking about – you published an extremely biased piece by Andrew Mitrovica that essentially exonerated and justified much of CSIS agent Grant Bristow’s actions in what became known as Operation Governor – the creation and funding of a powerful white supremacist, neo-Nazi organization called the Heritage Front.

Your decision to publish this piece of garbage at a time when popular opinion was that CSIS had acted erroneously, resulted in a steep rise of positive publicity for both CSIS and a man who had illegally encouraged skinheads and violent criminals to harass, assault and rape community and anti-racist activists.

Ironic, given the fact that you’ve now jumped on the bandwagon of C-51 critics. Ironic, given that you strive to portray yourself as a high-brow piece of Canadian journalism on the same level as The New Yorker or Atlantic Monthly. One who publishes only the “best writers” Canada has to offer, and claims to be politically fair and impartial.

Yeah, right.

Hategan articleLast year I published a memoir about what I witnessed as a teenager – namely the illegal acts committed by Grant Bristow, along with the illegal acts he encouraged me as a minor (a 17-year old) to commit.

Did you guys even attempt to speak with me? Did your editorial board give a shit? Did Andrew Mitrovica reach out to me and ask me what happened, or make the slightest semblance of an apology, given the preponderance of evidence that the article was a sham? Given the overwhelming evidence from mainstream media that showed how wrong you were to celebrate CSIS?

Wouldn’t it have been good journalism for Mitrovica and/or your editors to contact me or other Bristow victims at any point in time, before or after writing your pro-CSIS piece, given the fact that my testimony was credible both in the court of law (leading to convictions and prison terms for 3 top Heritage Front leaders), and also good enough for me to testify about Bristow’s illegal acts in front of a Parliamentary Subcommittee in the House of Commons? Given the fact that based on a dozen or so affidavits I signed back in 1993 (which you’re welcome to look at upon request), police attempted to open a criminal investigation into Bristow’s activities – but were thwarted by CSIS. (Why don’t you go ask Clayton Ruby and Paul Copeland, both prestigious Canadian human rights lawyers, how hard they tried to get Bristow in for questioning).

No, of course not.

Why? Because your magazine – like most other elitist, cultural literati publications – were not actually concerned with the truth. You had already had your positive spin on Bristow and had already made your sales for the Bristow edition, and that was that. You didn’t really care about the implications of having covered up for a criminal who was responsible for the harassment, threats, assaults and violent rapes that occurred as a direct result of his actions and directions.

Grant Bristow CSISWhy stir the pot after you sold the target amount of issues in your target market? Especially after you’d already set the bar in terms of whitewashing the Bristow affair?

Why reduce yourself to speak with an insignificant, literary nobody? I’m not a male author penning books on political shit-disturbing phenomenon. I’m not one of your prestigious guest authors – hell, you won’t even consider my submissions because I have no names to drop and I’m not second cousins with Margaret Atwood. I didn’t attend that overpriced MFA program one of your staffers was invited to teach at last summer.

I’m a nobody who told the truth.

Worse yet, I’m a woman writing political discourse who cannot get published in Canada – while everywhere around me men (who didn’t witness first-hand what I did) are getting book deals from major publishers – including the men whose excerpts you chose to feature in your September 25, 2015 issue.

I’m sorry I don’t have a penis. Perhaps if I did, I might have captured your attention. Even though you still chose to publish Andrew Mitrovica’s piece on Grant Bristow – despite the fact that unlike Mitrovica, I actually knew the man in person and he counselled me to commit crimes while I was still a teenager. Despite the fact that nobody bothered to fact-check the truth. Why would you, when you could just take Bristow’s word for it?

meme

Back in the 1990s, I possessed enough information to send at least ten Heritage Front and Northern Hammerskins individuals to jail – including Grant Bristow. Probably more, but it hurts too much to start thinking about all the What Ifs. Aside from learning how to hack into telephone systems and how to push people to the brink of suicide, I was taught another important lesson by CSIS – that the weight of truth depends on the perceived worth of those who speak it.

The intrinsic value of my evidence was judged by my worth as a human being – and as an abused, impoverished teenage girl with no education, family or powerful clique of good old CSIS boys to back me up, what I had to say meant absolutely nothing.

Thanks to Canada’s Security and Intelligence Service, millions of dollars were sank into ugly, bottomless pit that was Operation Governor. Falsehoods were spun to assert that Bristow had somehow “prevented” crime from happening, though the fabrications included in the SIRC Report tell us just how much their words are worth. And when I brought real, concrete evidence forth to prosecute dangerous individuals, they buried it.

And yet, being that it is 2014 and I am a university-graduate and professional writer, I never expected this treatment from the supposedly-liberal, “bleeding-hearted” media. From journalists who work at Walrus Magazine. Or from the former head of the Canadian Jewish Congress, who organized a forum in a Toronto synagogue where Grant Bristow was invited to speak and got a standing ovation, despite the crimes he had encouraged against members of the Jewish community. Despite the firebombings of Jewish activist homes, synagogues and the Native-Canadian Centre on Spadina Road.

These days C51 is in the headlines and, like any bleeding-hearted liberal publication worth its salt, The Walrus rushed to jump on the bandwagon of why this intrusive, unconstitutional law should be scrapped. Hey, I don’t begrudge your move because anybody with a modicum of intelligence could poke holes in the unconstitutionality and sickening unlawfulness written into the very fabric of C51. But let’s face it – if you were honestly concerned about CSIS’s reach into every aspect of our personal lives, you wouldn’t have condoned, much less published, what amounts to an exoneration – and downright glorification – of Grant Bristow.

MURDER AND RAPE: What You Covered Up

There are things I didn’t include in my memoir. Events so explosive that to this day I’ve feared the repercussions of CSIS and Bristow.  As a teenager I was threatened at knifepoint, told I would be killed if I spoke about what they did. But now that C51 is law, I can’t stay silent any longer.

Because of CSIS’s Operation Governor, people were attacked and murdered. Concert halls paid for with CSIS money resulted in vile hate concerts after which skinheads went looking for targets to beat up and attack – and in the summer of 1993, three Sri Lankan men were beaten in the streets of Toronto: two of them died, including 32-year old Gunalan Muthulingam. A third one, a 41-year old Sri Lankan Tamil immigrant, former science teacher and father of three by the name of Sivarajah Vinasithamby was punched and kicked in the head so violently that he became brain damaged and paralyzed.

Two women were raped – one violent assault took place in Vancouver, British Columbia and was orchestrated by Operation Governor’s star agent. The other sexual assault took place in Toronto, where a black woman was violently raped by an unknown white supremacist because she had been a social worker in a group home that had recently expelled a 14-year old female member of the Heritage Front.

Instead of investigating the attack, the white police officer charged the victim with mischief. The charges were dropped after I contacted her attorney, famous human rights attorney Clayton Ruby, and volunteered to testify on the victim’s behalf. (Public Mischief Charges Dropped – Toronto Star Mar 8, 1994, Page A6).

CSIS was behind the illegal smuggling of violent White Aryan Resistance (W.A.R.) white supremacists Tom and John Metzger into Canada in 1992, who were smuggled over the border dressed as rabbis (the idea of their star agent Bristow – who you lauded in your Walrus issue). CSIS brought them in, and then got praised for sweeping in to arrest them in the parking lot of the Latvian Hall.

Your boy Grant Bristow, after his heroic depiction in the Walrus by Andrew Mitrovica, went on to harass Jewish Edmonton mayor Stephen Mendel in an attempt to alter the mayoral election, as summarized in this media coverage.

I’m not saying that you are guilty of covering up crimes which you didn’t know existed. But – as a publication that strives to represent the Canadian public – the very least you could have done is allow me to tell my side of the story. If you truly cared about justice, you could have started a new investigation, which – even if you insisted that a male journalist write it – would allow me to share my side of the story.

Instead, as always, you sided with the men – the CSIS agents, the male authors who penned your political pieces, the men in your editorial board who were confronted with the truth and looked away.

By doing so, you became complicit in the CSIS cover-up of Operation Governor.

So please don’t insult my intelligence. Don’t sit here and pay lip service to why C-51 should be scrapped, when you have implicitly cooperated with the criminals in covering up the truth of what really took place in the 1990s. Because, in truth, elitist literati like yourself don’t give a shit about the activists who actually make things happen.

You only give a shit about the status quo, and what’s “hot” in the moment. If you did, you would recognize the error you made in whitewashing the Bristow Affair and Operation Governor, and take a modicum of personal responsibility.

You don’t represent the average Canadian, and you don’t actually give a shit about anything other than your own fiscal bottom line.

You don’t actually care about the truth, or you wouldn’t have made sure to cover it up.

Elisa Hategan is the author of the bestselling memoir Race Traitor: The True Story of Canadian Intelligence’s Greatest Cover-up, which can be purchased at Amazon and select retailers.

 

Posted in canada, csis, politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Protected: White Lies: A Pack of Lies, or How the CBC Ripped Off My Story

Posted by E on February 23, 2015

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

Posted in activism, anonymous, canada, cbc, crime, csis, dennis foon, grant bristow, heritage front, media, politics, press, zundel | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Enter your password to view comments.

Race Traitor – the media library

Posted by E on November 3, 2014

Hategan article

Hey guys,

after twenty years of telling people what happened in our own country, I’m tired of the BS I occasionally encounter from people who are so shocked by my story that they would rather deny it happened instead of doing due diligence and actually researching what is freely in the public domain. See how the denial haunts me to this day and parallels my experience as a victim of sexual assault: https://incognitopress.wordpress.com/2014/10/30/i-know-what-its-like-not-to-be-believed/

Yeah, I know that the info is out there, but in this day of anonymous derogatory quips and an attention span that makes a fruit fly’s seem genius, I doubt the naysayers will actually take the time to investigate the facts and realize that everything I wrote in my book Race Traitor: The True Story of Canadian Intelligence’s Greatest Cover-up is rooted in hard, undeniable fact.

The denial ends today.

You will also find this list in the References section of my book. Please note that this is by no means a comprehensive list of resources, but it should suffice to convince even the most ardent nay-sayer that all this actually took place in a free and democratic country.

I have quite a few affidavits made public in 1993 that I can provide upon request to anyone who is interested in further documentation of what is without a doubt one of the most ruthless and insidious, yet well-documented cases of an intelligence agent gone rogue.

Not included in this list is a transcript of my testimony against three notorious leaders of the Heritage Front, a testimony which resulted in convictions and prison sentences. Also not included (though mentioned in the articles below) is a transcript of my testimony in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in 1994, where I spoke to a Senate Subcommittee on National Defence about the illegal actions of CSIS agent and group co-founder Grant Bristow – actions that I witnessed first-hand while being a teenager inside the domestic terrorist group that was the Heritage Front.

If interested in further research, there are also quite a number of articles in the press regarding the shocking treatment received by Brian MacInnis, a Parliamentary aide who leaked a secret CSIS report to the prime minister detailing the controversial actions of a spy gone rogue. For his effort to expose the cover-up, (this was in the days before the Julian Assanges and Edward Snowdens of the world made leaking documents cool) MacInnis was charged under Canada’s insidious Official Secrets Act and his career was permanently ruined.

Furthermore, there is extensive coverage of the more-RECENT (as in 2010!) illegal actions of Bristow’s new persona, “Nathan Black” in targeting the Jewish former mayor of Edmonton Stephen Mendel for harassment using his old spy tricks. I’ve compiled some of those articles in this post: https://incognitopress.wordpress.com/2011/11/17/old-habits-die-hard-the-dubious-adventures-of-grant-bristow-or-how-csis-taught-me-everything-i-know-about-phone-hacking/

 

VIDEOS

CBC, The Fifth Estate, October 4, 1994.

Excerpt from the Toronto Star, October 5, 1994, describing the content:

The government-appointed CSIS watchdog, called the Security Intelligence Review Committee, wrote a top-secret 1992 report to Mr. Gray’s Conservative predecessor, Douglas Lewis, warning that Mr. Bristow was involved in ‘unlawful activities’ that could ‘generate controversy.’”

“CSIS is scared Grant will blow his lid,” one police source tells The Fifth Estate.

“What they’re scared of is Grant’s going to say: ‘Yeah, we desecrated Jewish synagogues. We threatened people’s lives. We were throwing rocks through windows and we were manufacturing (violent) incidents and we were doing all of this on the instructions of CSIS’.”

The program says CSIS not only did nothing to prevent these incidents but allowed Bristow’s handler, whom it identified as Al Treddenick, to get Bristow out of trouble with police on several occasions.

It says Treddenick is a former officer of the discredited RCMP security service, disbanded in the early 1980s after it was found to have committed illegal acts against Quebec separatists and other domestic dissidents in the 1970s and 1980s. CSIS was created to replace the RCMP security service.”

FIFTH ESTATE QUOTE: “When Elisse came out and said she was going to tell the truth, CSIS was saying they were going to get out and discredit her because at least Hategan was pointing the finger at Grant Bristow… we’ll tear her to shreds”.

White Pine Pictures, “Hearts Of Hate: The Battle For Young Minds”. Peter Raymont, 1995.

It’s About Time, VISION TV. “Racism, Sexism and Belonging.” Sadia Zaman, 1994.

 

ARTICLES

Dunphy, Bill. ” STIR IT UP. Spy Unmasked: CSIS Informant ‘Founding Father’ of white racist group,” Toronto Sun, 14 Aug. 1994.

Dunphy, Bill. “Turncoat spied on racist group,” Toronto Sun, 16 March 1994.

Dunphy, Bill. “Ex-racist’s despair,” Toronto Sun, 17 March 1994.

Dunphy, Bill. “We’ll Squash ‘Em! Manning fears plot behind racist infiltration of the Reform Party”, Toronto Sun, Feb. 29, 1992

Dunphy, Bill. “Reformers boot out ‘infiltrators'”, Toronto Sun, March 11, 1992

Dunphy, Bill. “Top racist in welfare scam,” Toronto Sun, Nov. 29, 1992.

Dunphy, Bill. “White rights groups readying for racial war.” Toronto Sun, 1992-11-29. Includes description of HF leader Grant ‘Briston’

Dunphy, Bill. “Canada’s Neo-Nazis”, Toronto Sunday Sun, November 29, 1992 Includes description of HF leader Grant ‘Briston’

Swanson, Gail. “Fire guts rights activist’s house”. Toronto Star, 92-11-09. involving arson of Jewish community leader’s home

Deverell, John. “Metro constable facing charges”. Toronto Star, December 17, 1993. involving metro Toronto cop member of HF

Mascoll, Philip. “Public mischief charge dropped”, Toronto Star, March 8, 1994 – involving an HF sexual assault on a black woman

Platiel, Rudy. “Front played dirty, court told.” Globe and Mail, 17 March 1994.

Platiel, Rudy. “Front tried to thwart agency, court told,” Globe and Mail, 16 March 1994.

Oakes, Gary “Woman’s hate-crime charges withdrawn,” Toronto Star, 24 Jun 1994.

Salot, Jeff, Henry Hess. “Memo leaker questions CSIS conduct,” Globe and Mail, 27 Aug. 1994.

Swainson, Gail. “Elite soldiers members of racist group, leader says,” Toronto Star, 6 May 1993.

Speirs, Rosemary, David Vienneau, “Commons panel to probe CSIS,” Toronto Star, 25 Aug. 1994.

Speirs, Rosemary. “CSIS told to ‘clear its name’ publicly,” Toronto Star, 24 Aug. 1994.

Speirs, Rosemary, David Vienneau. “Who’s watching whom?,” Toronto Star, 27 Aug. 1994.

Vienneau, David. “Spy agency kept watch on CBC,” Toronto Star, 19 Aug. 1994.

Vienneau, David, Rosemary Speirs, and Shawn McCarthy. Ex-aide admits leaking spy note,” Toronto Star, 26 Aug. 1994.

Cal Millar and Dale Brazao, Parliament set to probe secret actions of CSIS spy Committee to see if Grant Bristow was a spy or racist. Toronto Star, September 12, 1994.

Derek Ferguson, “Report ‘whitewash’ of spy agency mole. Toronto Star, June 14, 1995

Toronto Sun, October 1995 MPs rip Bristow spying scandal: CSIS broke the law, leaked report says”

Clayton Ruby, Fighting racism going out of fashion. Toronto Star, December 13, 1995

Toronto Star, September 10, 1994. “Exclusive: CSIS spy snapped in Libya: Portrait of the vanishing spy: Grant Bristow was a man with great contacts and plenty of money to spend.”

Dale Brazao, “Star finds Grant Bristow”, Toronto Star, Apr 20, 1995.

ONLINE ARTICLE that also discusses what I covered in my book regarding Stephen Harper’s roots in the Northern Foundation, a radical far-right group whose members included skinheads, neo-Nazis, Holocaust deniers, Airborne Regiment soldiers, radical anti-abortionists and Reform Party members: Agora Cosmopolitan

BLOGS

Anti-Racist Canada Collective, A History of Violence, 1989-2011.

http://anti-racistcanada.blogspot.ca/2011/10/history-of-violence-1989-2011.html

Elisa Hategan, Incognito Press. Old Habits Die Hard: The Dubious Adventures of Grant Bristow, or How CSIS Taught Me Everything I Know About Phone Hacking

https://incognitopress.wordpress.com/2011/11/17/old-habits-die-hard-the-dubious-adventures-of-grant-bristow-or-how-csis-taught-me-everything-i-know-about-phone-hacking/

 

UPDATED APRIL 2017 – From my website: http://elisahategan.com/press_clips 

Documentary / Television Media

The Montel Williams show, Season 2, Episode 62: “I’m a Racist”. Nov 3, 1992. Appeared on Montel along with White Aryan Resistance leader John Metzger. Represented the new, young female face of Canada’s Heritage Front.

White Pine Pictures, “Hearts Of Hate: The Battle For Young Minds”. Peter Raymont, 1995.

It’s About Time, VISION TV. “Racism, Sexism and Belonging.” Sadia Zaman, October 5, 1994.

CBC, The Fifth Estate, October 4, 1994.

CTV National – dozens of footage clips across 1993-1995, including a 3-part series that aired on CTV National News in 1994.

CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) – assorted interviews and footage clips between 1993-1995.

CityTV news – assorted interviews and footage clips between 1993-1995.

CTV Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal – assorted interviews and footage clips between 1993-1995.

Books / Journals / Periodicals / Government Publications

Kinsella, Warren. “Web of Hate: Inside Canada’s Far-Right Network.” Harper Collins 1994.

Hategan, Elisa. “Race Traitor: The True Story of Canadian Intelligence’s Greatest Cover-Up.” Incognito Press, 2014.

Parliamentary Evidence transcript, House of Commons 1995 – transcript of Elisa Hategan’s testimony in the House of Commons to a Senate Subcommittee on National Defence about the illegal actions of CSIS agent and Heritage Front co-founder Grant Bristow.

Newspapers / Magazines / Assorted Media Coverage 1992 – 2017

Mendleson, Rachel. “Former white supremacist probes the personal roots of hatred.” Toronto Star, May 5, 2015.

Mendleson, Rachel. “Timeline: Elisa Hategan’s Journey” Toronto Star, 2015.

Hategan, Elisa. “Confessions of a Teenage Neo-Nazi: How I Became a Heritage Front Poster Girl.” Canadian Jewish News, July 21, 2016.

Brean, Joseph. “How Neo-Nazis are using attractive young women to boost their movement.” National Post, DailyMirror.uk. December 22, 2016.

News Staff, CityNews. “Alleged Toronto neo-Nazi publication expands west, pestering downtowners.” CityTV, March 16, 2016.

Stirile ProTV. “Povestea necunoscuta a romancei care i-a invins pe neo-nazistii din Canada.” [in Romanian]

One People’s Project. Interview: ‘Race Traitor’ author Elisa Hategan. Wednesday, 18 March 2015.

Anti-Racist Canada. “A History of Violence, 1989-2011“.

Incognito Press. “Journey to Judaism: The Day I Became A Jew“. Aug 10, 2015

Incognito Press. “Old Habits Die HardThe Dubious Adventures of Grant Bristow, or How CSIS Taught Me Everything I Know About Phone Hacking

Scholars from the Underground, “Book Review: Race Traitor“. April 2014.

Samita Sarkar. “Race Traitor Author Elisa Hategan Talks Gov. Conspiracies, Forgiveness and Her Next Memoir.” Blossoms Writing, Nov. 2016.

Sarkar, Samita. “Self-Publishing: An Insult to the Written Word or a Boon to the Industry?” Huffington Post, January 3, 2017.

Sarick, Lila. “Limmud 2017 Highlights Programming for Young People“. Canadian Jewish News, March 6, 2017.

Lungen, Paul. “Indigo Pulls Pro-Hitler and Holocaust-Denial Books from Virtual Shelf.” Canadian Jewish News, March 10, 2017.

On the Prowl Magazine – insert clippings / links here.

The Globe and Mail, “Hotlines to Homelands: A Trip Through the Far Right.” February 8, 1993. 

Small, Peter. “Charges Laid after Leaflets Called Racist Distributed.” Toronto Star, February 1993.

Dunphy, Bill. “Hate Group Teen Boss Out on Bail.” February 1993.

Dunphy, Bill. “Racist to Fight Hate Charge.” Toronto Sun, Aug. 12, 1993.

Dunphy, Bill. “Neo-Nazi Member Defects.” Toronto Sun, Nov 1993.

Canadian Press. “Racists Burned House, Defector Says.” Kitchener-Waterloo Record, December 13, 1993.

Dunphy, Bill. “Turncoat spied on racist group,” Toronto Sun, 16 March 1994.

Dunphy, Bill. “Ex-racist’s despair,” Toronto Sun, 17 March 1994.

Platiel, Rudy. “Front Lawyers Seeking to Testify at Hearing.” Globe and Mail, March 19, 1994.

Dunphy, Bill. “Some Time Spent with Hatred: She was a Rising Star in the RacistHeritage Front.” March 19, 1994.

Dunphy, Bill. “Cop Faces Charge.” Toronto Sun, December 16, 1993. 

Winsor, Hugh. “Toronto Police Officer Linked to Neo-Nazis,” Globe and Mail, June 14, 1995.

Deverell, John. “Metro Constable Facing Charges“. Toronto Star, December 17, 1993. involving metro Toronto cop member of HF

Swanson, Gail. “Fire guts rights activist’s house”. Toronto Star, 92-11-09. involving arson of Jewish community leader’s home

Salot, Jeff, Henry Hess. “Memo leaker questions CSIS conduct,” Globe and Mail, 27 Aug. 1994.

Platiel, Rudy. “Front Played Dirty, Court Told.” Globe and Mail, 17 March 1994.

Platiel, Rudy. “Front Tried to Thwart Agency, Court Told,” Globe and Mail, 16 March 1994.

Platiel, Rudy. “Commission to Oppose Testimony.” Globe and Mail, March 22, 1994.

Pazzano, Sam. “Racist Quick Switch Described.” Toronto Sun, March 22, 1994.

Platiel, Rudy. “Heritage Front Founder Convicted.” The Globe and Mail, June 1994.

Gombu, Phinjo. “Heritage Hotline ‘Fanatics’ Convicted.” Toronto Star, 1994.

Dunphy, Bill. “Guilty of Contempt: Racists Set for Jail Time.” Toronto Sun, 1994.

Wilkes, Jim. “Heritage Front leader, Two Members Jailed.” Toronto Star, June 23, 1994.

Platiel, Rudy. “Three White Supremacists Jailed,” The Globe and Mail, June 23, 1994.

Oakes, Gary “Woman’s hate-crime charges withdrawn,” Toronto Star, 24 Jun 1994.

Dunphy, Bill. “Teen’s Hate Charges Dropped.” Toronto Sun, June 24, 1994.

Globe and Mail. “Crown Withdraws Hatred Charges.” June 24, 1994.

Sattin, Amy. “Neo-Nazi Leader, Followers to Spend Summer in Jail.” Canadian Jewish News, June 30, 1994.

Dunphy, Bill. ” STIR IT UP. Spy Unmasked: CSIS Informant ‘Founding Father’ of White Racist Group,” Toronto Sun, 14 Aug. 1994.

Pelletier, James. “Ex neo-Nazi Comes Out: Elisse Hategan” Now Magazine, 

Cal Millar and Dale Brazao. “Parliament set to probe secret actions of CSIS spy, Committee to see if Grant Bristow was a spy or racist.” Toronto Star, September 12, 1994.

Derek Ferguson, “Report ‘whitewash’ of spy agency mole.” Toronto Star, June 14, 1995

Dunphy, Bill. “CSIS Mole Fuelled Hate.” Toronto Sun, June 1995.

The Canadian press. “Heritage Front Defector Accuses CSIS of CoverUp.” Ottawa Citizen, June 14, 1995. 

Toronto Sun, October 1995 MPs rip Bristow spying scandal: CSIS broke the law, leaked report says”

Clayton Ruby, Fighting racism going out of fashion. Toronto Star, December 13, 1995

Toronto Star, September 10, 1994. “Exclusive: CSIS spy snapped in Libya: Portrait of the vanishing spy: Grant Bristow was a man with great contacts and plenty of money to spend.”

Dale Brazao, “Star finds Grant Bristow”, Toronto Star, Apr 20, 1995.

Grant Bristow’s hit list of people to be targeted for stalking and harassment:

hit list grant bristow

Posted in activism, canada, cbc, csis, history, media, news, ontario, politics, press, racism, truth, writer, writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments »

I Know What It’s Like Not To Be Believed

Posted by E on October 30, 2014

woman-gagged

In light of the Jian Ghomeshi sex scandal and the burgeoning public epiphany that sometimes women don’t speak of abuse not because they’re not truthful, but because they fear ridicule, public mockery, further abuse and being disbelieved in the court of public opinion (as well as actual courts), I must write this.

Over the last six months I put aside my blog and focused on generating media interest in my book, which is based on my experiences as a teenage girl inside a domestic terrorist group spear-headed by a CSIS (Canadian Intelligence and Security Service) agent, Grant Bristow.

After releasing my book at the end of March, there was a flurry of interest, but none from traditional media outlets. I quickly discovered that if you are not published by a large press, i.e. Random House or Penguin (who I walked away from back in 2011 for various reasons), nobody will believe you.

My experiences cruelly paralleled what happened to me back in 1993 – upon a secret mandate issued by CSIS to all provincial police forces to dismiss all my signed affidavits and eyewitness evidence (discussed in a 1993 episode of The Fifth Estate), I was denied entry into the RCMP Witness Protection program and forced to go on the run for my life.

It didn’t matter then that everybody knew a CSIS agent had gone rogue and established the violent paramilitary white supremacist group you might remember as the Heritage Front.

It didn’t matter that Brian McInnis, a cabinet aide to the Attorney General who leaked an internal confidential CSIS report about said rogue agent, was dismissed from his job and charged under Canada’s insidious Official Secrets Act.

It didn’t matter that assaults, hate-mongering and even two particularly vicious sexual assaults had been connected to the Heritage Front (and many believe, to the leadership).

It didn’t matter that said rogue agent encouraged others to join the conservative Reform Party (and served as bodyguard at Reform conventions), thereby leading to the destruction of this political party when the Toronto Sun broke that violent HF members were encouraged to join Preston Manning’s Reform party as a way to sway them to the far right.

No investigation was to take place.

The rogue agent would be cleared – because to clear him was to ensure CSIS’s good name, along with the name of the agent’s handler, one connected to the RCMP intelligence unit that preceded the inception of CSIS – the same RCMP unit responsible for dirty tricks against the FLQ that included breaking into offices and blowing up barns under the guise of being “French separatists”.

Grant Bristow CSISIt didn’t matter that neo-Nazis with criminal histories were taught by this CSIS agent how to stalk and gather information against political opponents, how to harass and threaten them over the telephone and even in person with impunity, while at the same time gathering a seemingly-endless cache of weapons to be used in what they believed was an impending Race War.

It didn’t matter that my credibility on the witness stand had already been established after my testimony was crucial to the convictions of three prominent Heritage Front leaders back in 1993.

In the end, I was just an impoverished, homeless, abused eighteen-year old girl and they….well, they were CSIS.

I was a nobody, and Grant Bristow was deemed enough of a hero to receive a standing ovation at a Toronto synagogue after an event hosted by the Canadian Jewish Congress – albeit they were among the same people who were targeted for attacks by violent skinheads and neo-Nazis who looked up to Grant Bristow, who worshipped him as their hero.

Although I was a lesbian, although my father was Jewish, although I sent three neo-Nazis to prison, I was not credible enough for ANY police division in Canada to open an investigation.

I was worthless.

I was a nobody.

Scores of weapons ranging from automatic rifles to M16s are still on the street because nobody bothered to sign off on a warrant to raid premises that stored illegal weapons intended for future terrorist actions.

But here we are, exactly twenty years later, and I have a book in my hands that details everything I saw and accounted for in my affidavits.

Hategan articleI thought the media were my friends. Upon the advice of my former lawyer Paul Copeland, I contacted various prominent members of the media, including Linden MacIntyre (before his retirement) – who I presume didn’t think much of my heartfelt plea to discuss the events I had witnessed, because he didn’t grace me with a single acknowledgement message.

I sent a message to a woman who had filmed a documentary about me for It’s About Time, a Vision TV program where she had worked before she climbed up the media ladder and eventually became DIRECTOR OF PROGRAMMING AT THE CBC. She had been one of the few people concerned about me, back in the day. Or so I thought, because of the care she took during my interview in the 1990s. Then again, back then she was a hungry, inquisitive recent film school grad with a vested interest in doing the right thing, not Director of Programming at the CBC. She hadn’t rubbed elbows with the elites yet, she hadn’t had a taste of what Canadian media is really like.

She assured me that she would send my manuscript and story throughout the ranks of the CBC – Canada’s taxpayer-funded Broadcasting Corporation. Surely someone there might be interested in speaking with me, even for a mere sound bite, in light of all the controversial CSIS operations in the Muslim community (where people with questionable guilt and motives are pushed into illegal actions by people who cannot, in good conscience, be described by any words other than agent provocateurs).

NOBODY bothered to contact me again.

FINALLY, I heard from a journalist at the Globe & Mail who is very familiar with political columns and often writes articles about the over-reaching grasp of our country’s shadowy intelligence agency.

We met for coffee in the Annex and had a conversation which lasted over an hour. He was interested, even flabbergasted, by what I had seen. And then came the punchline – when he asked me if the book was self-published. When I told him it was, it was clear that his mood had shifted.

Somehow, by the sheer fact that someone like Random House wasn’t behind me, he was never going to cover the story. In fact, it seemed like he lost interest and questioned whether what I had told him was in fact, factual.

I am used to being disbelieved by the police, but it was a first – to encounter this from people who are entrusted with impartiality.

It was in that moment when I experienced a visceral sense of deja-vu – the sensation of feeling like no matter what I said, or did, that nobody would believe me. That I was worthless. That I was a whore who was doing this for attention.

I felt dirty. I felt ashamed. I felt exactly as I did when Wolfgang Droege, leader of the Heritage Front and best buddy of Grant Bristow, hit on me when I was sixteen, and when a knife was held up to my neck and I was threatened with death on suspicions of turning against them.

Yes, I know what it’s like to be treated like a rape victim. I know what rape feels like, and I know what it’s like to be alone in the world, to feel ashamed and dirty when everybody around you prefers to look the other way.

Back in the 1990s, I possessed enough information to send at least ten Heritage Front and Northern Hammerskins individuals to jail. Probably more, but it hurts too much to start thinking about all the What Ifs. Aside from learning how to hack into telephone systems and how to push people to the brink of suicide, I was taught another important lesson by CSIS – that the weight of truth depends on the perceived worth of those who speak it.

To the OPP and RCMP officers who had been advised by CSIS to disregard my statements, the intrinsic value of my evidence was judged by my worth as a human being – and as an abused, impoverished teenage girl with no education, family or powerful clique of good old CSIS boys to back me up, what I had to say meant absolutely nothing.

Thanks to Canada’s Security and Intelligence Service, millions of dollars were sank into ugly, bottomless pit that was Operation Governor. Falsehoods were spun to assert that Bristow had somehow “prevented” crime from happening, though the fabrications included in the SIRC Report tell us just how much their words are worth. And when I brought real, concrete evidence forth to prosecute dangerous individuals, they buried it.

And yet somehow, being that it is 2014 and I am a university-graduate and professional writer, I never expected this treatment from the supposedly-liberal, “bleeding-hearted” media. From journalists who work for the CBC and Globe & Mail. From people who are not supposed to make you feel like garbage for TELLING THE TRUTH.

But then I think, they too must be scared. Scared to offend, to push the wrong buttons, to stick up for someone who was victimized.

Not when the men in question are powerful. Not when the victim is a teenager, a piece of trash. Not when our government has bought an agent’s silence with a quarter million dollars.

And not when a book is self-published.

 

For further research, I have an extensive media library and traditional press documentation available to anyone interested in what really happened in Canada during the early 1990s: https://incognitopress.wordpress.com/2014/11/03/race-traitor-reference-media-library/ 

http://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B00JA05FYM

Posted in abuse, canada, cbc, crime, csis, globe & mail, jewish, racism, rape, terrorism, truth, victim | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

RACE TRAITOR: The True Story of CSIS’ Greatest Cover-up – Official Press Release

Posted by E on March 28, 2014

Image

Available in e-book format only at Kobo and Amazon.

RACE TRAITOR:The True Story of Canadian Intelligence Service’s Greatest Cover-Up is the visceral true story of a teenage girl who becomes entangled in Canada’s most powerful white supremacist group, the Heritage Front – a domestic terrorist group later revealed to have been created and funded with the assistance of Canada’s spy agency, Canadian Security and Intelligence Service (CSIS).

To sixteen-year old runaway Elisse, the new friends she encounters in the secretive Heritage Front are the family she’s never had. They feed her when she’s hungry, watch her back, and Wolfgang Droege, one of the group’s charismatic leaders, introduces her to a trusted friend, notorious Holocaust denier Ernst Zundel, who provides her with shelter and work.

In less than a year, Elisse evolves into an extremist groomed for a leadership role in the far-right movement. Her loyalty earns her the attention and tutelage of Grant Bristow, co-founder of the Heritage Front, who is training a secret faction of skinheads and neo-Nazis in information-gathering and terror tactics targeting political opponents. Rapidly drawn into their web of hatred, Elisse witnesses an escalating campaign of terror from which there seems no way out.

Forced to confront her sexual orientation and secret heritage, Elisse realizes that she must fight back. But when she attempts to shut down the vicious organization that had brainwashed her and terrorized innocent Canadians, she learns that a darker force is behind the façade of the Heritage Front: Canada’s own spy agency, backed by the government that was supposed to protect her.

A CSIS cover-up has just begun.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

At age 16, Elisa Hategan was an alienated runaway who became recruited into Canada’s most powerful white supremacist movement, the Heritage Front. She was groomed by top leaders to become a rising star of the extremist far-right movement. An errand girl for notorious Holocaust denier Ernst Zundel, she was a witness to the illicit activities of an undercover CSIS agent and co-founder of the Heritage Front. At age 18, she turned against the group and spied on them for several months before testifying in court and going into hiding.

Posted in activism, canada, crime, csis, news, politics, press, press release, racism, toronto | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Racists, neo-Nazis and white supremacists are the REAL threat

Posted by E on August 6, 2012

Newsflash: in light of the most recent act of domestic terrorism in Wisconsin, I have to say this: extremist white supremacists will kill, and kill again. Anybody who thinks they are, like Breivik in Norway, only “crazed lone gunmen” have no clue as to the weaponry and training white supremacist groups have accumulated. They are in the army. They are your neighbours. And ignoring these facts won’t make the inevitable go away.

Domestic terrorists ARE a real threat. In many ways, one much more significant than the notion of a foreign-born Muslim extremist. Trust me, I know.

They don’t have to cross borders, or smuggle weapons. They’re already here, and they already have them. They’ve already received military training, and are just waiting for the right time to strike.

As many of you probably know, I’m a subject matter expert on racism and white supremacy. As a teenager I had a very close insider look at one of the most prominent and violent white supremacist, neo-Nazi organizations in North America, the Heritage Front. I wrote a memoir about being recruited at age 16 in one such group, and then detailed my journey out (by way of spying against, then testifying in open court).  My memoir was rejected multiple times before gaining the attention of Penguin Canada. Ultimately I turned my memoir into a fictionalized political thriller which again I tried to sell to no avail.

Publishers were leery. We don’t have white supremacists anymore, they said. It’s not a subject that will appeal to people. It’s not Fifty Shades of Grey. It’s not Twilight. It deals with ugliness and distasteful things, and therefore we cannot accept it.

So I published it myself. It is, to my knowledge, the most comprehensive depiction of the recruitment process white supremacists use to enlist youngsters and naive individuals into their ranks. It depicts the mentality of racists and neo-Nazis, and how important music and comradeship is to brainwashing someone into hating to the point of murder.

SO – if you’re reading this and want to know how someone like Wade Michael Page destroyed lives before he went on his murderous rampage, take a look at my book. If you can’t afford it, let me know and I’ll put you on a list for a free copy. It’s very important to me to get the word out that this incident, unfortunately, will happen again. And knowledge is the first step in learning how to combat hate.

Posted in canada, csis, media, murder, news, race traitor, racism, shooting, wade michael page, white supremacy, wisconsin | Tagged: , , , | 7 Comments »

An open letter to Rita Atria

Posted by E on July 26, 2012

This is a love letter to the sister I never had.

On July 26, 2012, the twentieth anniversary of your death, I want to say that I will never forget you, Rita. I want to shout your name from the rooftops, and hope that somewhere in the echoes that bounce back, you are still there. I want to say that even though I never met you, I will always consider you a sister of my heart. You are my shadow self – a firefly in the darkest sky, a girl who never grew to be a woman.

We were born 3 months apart in the latter half of the same year, in the same part of the continent. We were both loud, vivacious, black-haired, brown-eyed girls endowed with a penchant for mischief. You were born into a small village of Mafiosos and I was a street urchin seeking out a family among a group of hateful extremists who envisioned that they would one day rule the country.

We were both seventeen years old when we saw our “family” for what it really was and tried to get out. We were both seventeen when we began to compile information on the men who we had once trusted, looked up to, even loved. We were little girls who wanted to pretend that we were soldiers in a war greater than ourselves.

In the greater scheme of things, we were little children. Disobedient children who spied on our families and turned against men who had once held us close to them and called us “daughters.” We sat in open court and pointed to such men, denouncing them for the vile criminals that they were. You testified against the Cosa Nostra, men responsible for murdering your father. I testified against the Heritage Front and helped shut down Canada’s largest white supremacist organization, bankrolled and condoned by Canada’s Security Intelligence Service (CSIS).

We both betrayed the only family that had ever embraced us.

I am you, Rita, and you are me. We are no more or less than any other teenage girl who wants to make a difference in her life, who wants a better world for her unborn children. We are every girl who lives in fear today, yet holds within her heart the flicker of hope that she will one day be counted. That someday she might make a difference.

We both know the seclusion of safe-houses, the anonymity of a new haircut and a bottle of scalp-burning dye. The unfamiliar utterance of a new name in our mouths. We know what it is like to have an entire world hate us and call us traitors. We know the words grown men have spoken after us, the threats and hits that were placed on our heads. And the truth, Rita, is that we were both children. We were idealists with hardly any concept in our minds of the ugliness of the world, of the seclusion and loneliness that would come.

When you’re in hiding the sky is always starless, muffled by an oppression of perpetually-low clouds. There’s only the stillness of empty apartments, where the silence of incalculable whitewashed walls closes in on you. After a while, the danger is no longer as relevant as walking to the window to tear apart the curtains, regardless of who might be lurking below. Because all you can say to yourself is, When the gunfire erupts I will not duck, I will not retreat.

I wish I’d met you, Rita. I wish that I could hold your hand and call you Sister. When you climbed over that balcony and flew down to your death, broken-hearted after the Mafia assassinated your only friend, magistrate Paolo Borsellino, convinced that nothing would ever change, a part of me was there with you. A part of me has always longed to take flight too.

Every year that passes since your passing, after the great snowfalls recede and give way to the delicate beauty of new growth in spring, I think of the shadows of us two – two teenage girls who wanted to make this ugly, senseless world a better place.

You live in me, Rita. And I will never forget you.

Posted in activism, beauty, cosa nostra, csis, family, freedom, history, identity, innocence, italy, letter, life, love, mafia, media, news, paolo borsellino, politics, revolution, rita atria, truth, Uncategorized, violence, war, women | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »