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Posts Tagged ‘walrus magazine’

Gagging the Messenger: An Open Letter to Walrus Magazine

Posted by E on September 28, 2015

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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?

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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.

 

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Old Habits Die Hard – the dubious adventures of Grant Bristow, or how CSIS taught me everything I know about phone hacking

Posted by E on November 17, 2011

I’ve just recently been informed of a 2010 scandal involving ex-CSIS superstar Grant Bristow, who everyone these days knows better as Nathan Black. The story is convoluted and pathetic, and involves Grant Nathan pretending to be a phony reporter in order to conduct some mock aggressive interviews with Edmonton mayor Stephen Mendel. In other words, a déjà vu throwback to Bristow’s good old times – a dirty tricks campaign (in this case, against a Jewish person). Of course, the prank went terribly wrong since nobody quite “got” Bristow’s sense of humour and he was subsequently hit with a libel charge. Anyway, you can read more of the tawdry affair here.

Reflecting back on my own personal encounters with Grant Bristow, it now dawns on me how wrong I was about him. How that poor man must have suffered. After I provided information on the Heritage Front, my life in hiding was absolutely nothing in comparison to the suffering Grant must have endured: the abrupt cessation of those few things that gave his life such joy and meaning – telephoning people under the guise of interviewing them, donning alternate personas only to mock and scare those on the other line. Breaking into answering machines to lift information that he would pass out to Heritage Front skinheads. Oh, how he’d miss his perennial favourites – putting skinheads up to crank call individuals on his target list, individuals who would end up being followed, harassed and terrorized 24 hours a day.

Today’s media have only half the story right: yes, Grant Bristow undoubtedly did his duty as agent provocateur extraordinaire to build up a racist empire in Canada. The part where the Bristow myth falls apart is in the fact that, no matter which way you spin things, Grant Bristow did NOT take down the Heritage Front.

That task befell a number of tireless activists, a sleuthing journalist for the Toronto Sun, Bill Dunphy, and as a result of the brave actions of a House of Commons staff member, Brian McInnis, who leaked an internal report to the Attorney General which warned of possible problems involving the activities of a CSIS agent in the field.

In the several years in which Bristow moulded and partially-funded the Heritage Front and their subsequent criminal activities, NOT ONE CRIMINAL CHARGE was laid against any Canadian white supremacist as a result of his actions. But it gets even better — Bristow was even busted by Metro Police with a trunk full of smuggled guns – but the police were promptly told “from above” to let him go and not pursue the matter.

Following Bill Dunphy’s front page exposé of Bristow in the Toronto Sun, our boy was promptly plucked out of the Toronto area by his handlers and placed into the Witness Protection Program. He was given a large home in Edmonton equipped with a three-car garage and an allowance of several thousand dollars per month. I have to ask myself, For what, exactly?

Let’s first start with the definition of hero: according to Oxford Dictionary, this is “a person, especially a man, who is admired by many people for doing something brave or good.” (Uh, as in instigate terror campaigns against people because of their differing political beliefs and sexual orientation? Because that’s what Bristow did. But I’m getting ahead of myself here).

How is Bristow a hero of the people? Well, let’s go down the list:

  1. Did any criminal charges get laid against any HF white supremacists as a direct result of his information? No.
  2. Did he testify in any proceedings against any Heritage Front members? Nope.
  3. Did he ever supplant police with any affidavits that were ultimately used to prosecute anybody? I mean, given the hundreds of thousands (likely millions) of taxpayer dollars that went into this operation, did anything concrete come out of Grant Bristow? Or are we only left with a bunch of hate speeches on YouTube and a bad taste in our mouths? Nada. Ugh, I’m starting to see a pattern here.
  4. Were either himself or his handlers charged with criminal harassment over the It Campaign, over possession of illegal weapons, or instigating a riot (as in what happened in June 1993)? No again. No criminal charges were ever laid (though rumour is, the handler was either demoted or fired, though I cannot confirm this).

What makes a hero in the eyes of Canadian media? Somehow I doubt it involves such dubiously-heroic acts as teaching underage girls like myself how to break into answering machines and how to “fuck with people’s heads” until they “shit their pants and have a total breakdown.” Though that is precisely what he did.

However, such heroic acts are deemed to merit exposure in press arenas such as Walrus Magazine, or worth standing ovations from synagogue audiences who blissfully had no clue about the character of the man who they were thanking, and what they were really giving applause for.

In contrast to Bristow, I’m not as full of myself as to claim that I acted heroically. However, I can answer yes to the first 3 of the above questions.

  1. YES, white supremacists were charged as a result of my information. And not just anybody, but Wolfgang Droege himself and a couple of his cronies went to jail.
  2. YES, my testimony resulted in convictions. And if CSIS hadn’t told the OPP and RCMP to back off my affidavits in order to protect their operative, many MORE convictions might have resulted.
  3. YES, my information was used to weed out a KKK-attending, Heritage Front member who just happened to be a police officer and gun-totting member of the Toronto Police Services.
  4. NO, I wasn’t given a three-car garage mansion in the suburbs, or an allowance of $3000 a month for years and years afterwards. Hell, I wasn’t even given a change of ID.

I panhandled on the streets of Ottawa and Halifax to feed myself. I dumpster-dived for food between court appearances and lived in shelters. After I did my part to take down the Heritage Front, I had nothing, couldn’t use my ID, and was on the run for my life. I received absolutely nothing, not even protection, from this government.

But I ain’t a hero, and unlike Bristow, I wouldn’t feel comfortable making such a claim. I’m just a nobody, someone who did what they had to in order to dismantle a vicious organization and take those bastards down.

And no, I’m not only talking about the Heritage Front here.

UPDATE: For a comprehensive media library of what took place in the 1990s, please start by checking out this blog entry (Race Traitor: The Media Library) and the mainstream media articles and documentary footage listed.

Also – here is a free PDF excerpt of my book, which includes affidavit-backed details of Bristow’s criminal activity within the Heritage Front: RACE-TRAITOR Excerpt by ELISA HATEGAN

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