Another way to tell the story - all the names, facts and events are true, within a conversation between two fictional characters

Reverend Kevin D Annett, host of Here We Stand
Another way to tell the story - all the names, facts and events are true, within a conversation between two fictional characters
Summary: 
Ministerial Briefing: In the Matter of Kevin D. Annett Issued by the Domestic Intelligence Branch, Federal Ministry of Justice, Ottawa to the Deputy Minister by Special Agent (name deleted), DIB liaison officer with the Canadian Security Intelligence Service and the RCMP Transcript commencing 10:07:03 hrs. 02/02/2018

Ministerial Briefing: In the Matter of Kevin D. Annett

Issued by the Domestic Intelligence Branch, Federal Ministry of Justice, Ottawa

to the Deputy Minister by Special Agent (name deleted),

DIB liaison officer with the Canadian Security Intelligence Service and the RCMP

Transcript commencing 10:07:03 hrs.

02/02/2018

 

Deputy Minister: Before we begin Inspector, would you do me a favor and spare me the usual agency baffelgag? Just give me the straight facts on the man.

Special Agent (name deleted): Yes sir. (pause) There's a lot here ...

Minister: Give me the highlights.

Agent: Yes sir. Well, Annett has a real history, going back over forty years. A student radical in Vancouver back in the seventies, then a diehard marxist. The usual causes. But he sat on a provincial government task force when he was just seventeen ...

Minister: In B.C.?

Agent: Yes sir. The Bremer Commission on Reforms in Education. Under the first NDP government there ...

Minister: Oh, that explains it. Go on.

Agent: Okay. So after the NDP got tossed out Annett moved east. He joined a communist group called the International Socialists. Organized for them in Hamilton, working in the steel mills there. That lasted four years, then he got married and moved back to Vancouver to go to university.

Minister: Still married?

Agent: Uh, no sir, that was the first of three marriages. He's a professional diehard. Never lets anyone get in the way of the cause.

Minister: Obviously.

Agent: He got three degrees at UBC. Anthropology, Political Science, then his Theology degree when he got ordained. Oh, and a year of law too.

Minister: Dropped out?

Agent: Not sure about that, sir. Anyway, by 1990 he was a United Church minister ...

Minister: That's what's strange. A devout Communist goes Christian?

Agent: We're not sure what his motives were. His sermons were consistently socialistic. Anyway, after his ordination Annett had two postings before he ended up on the west coast, where all the trouble began.

Minister: What postings?

Agent: His first charge was in rural Manitoba, a tiny place called Pierson. Then he worked out of the big United Church street mission in Toronto, Fred Victor Mission ...

Minister: Are you serious? There?

Agent: Yes sir. In 1991. He was the chaplain and head of urban ministry, for six months. Then he started making waves. Claimed the mission staff were dealing drugs and laundering money.

Minister: Were they?

Agent: Apparently so. But I'd have to dig up the Mountie's report on that.

Minister: I'd be interested. Fred Victor is no small kettle of fish.

Agent. Yes sir. (pause) So at that point, Annett's on the outs with the church brass. He and his family have to move back to the west coast.

Minister: What family?

Agent: Oh, I'm sorry sir. By then he was on to his second marriage, that would be with Anne McNamee. You have the separate file on her, I believe. (pause) They had two children by the time he was hired at St. Andrew's in Port Alberni. That would be in the summer of 1992.

Minister: If he was on the outs with the church, as you put it, how did he get the Port Alberni posting?

Agent: From what the church tells me, it was a decision of their B.C. Conference office. A fellow named Art Anderson, the west coast personnel officer. Anderson's dead now, but he figured prominently in Annett's subsequent removal and blacklisting.

Minister: That's right. I remember the name. He did work for you people, I believe.

Agent: Not us sir. CSIS. But yes, he was a long term asset.

Minister: So our boy ends up in Port Alberni. Of all places!

Agent: Well, it was strange, I think more than coincidental, that he ended up there just before the whole residential school scandal broke.

Minister: You have it backwards, Constable. Annett provoked the whole bloody thing! No coincidence involved.

Agent: That's true sir. But we can't ignore any possibility.

Minister: Such as?

Agent: He's a lifelong politco, sir. A radical left winger from his teenage years. He may have chosen the spot, knowing more than we may realize.

Minister: Is there any evidence he knew people there beforehand? Like Indians? Did Annett ever show interest in the issue before he got there?

Agent: No sir. None of the above.

Minister: Then hold off on the wild speculations. Let's stick to the facts. I want the whole pattern.

Agent: Okay. You've no doubt seen the RCMP file on his Port Alberni years. That's when he went on their radar.

Minister: It's a big file, Inspector. Why don't you hit the key points, for brevity's sake.

Agent: Yes sir. He got well known pretty soon as a local champion of the poor and the Indians. Opened his church to them, ran a food bank and set up some housing projects. He gave residential school survivors a platform, right from his own pulpit every Sunday.

Minister: (chortles) That went over well, I'm sure.

Agent: Yes and no, sir. His congregation tripled in size. But his letting in the Indians touched off the opposition group in his congregation who proved an asset later on. Fred Bishop for one. The chairman of the church board, former town mayor. Family was deeply involved in the local residential school. He's the one who approached the local Mounties when Annett let the native survivors speak in church.

Minister: Ah. That makes sense. That Bishop fellow also ran interference over the land deals or something, too, didn't he?

Agent: Well yes, that's the straw that finished Annett in Alberni. His letter about the church's Ahousaht land deal with Weyerhauser. Fred Bishop worked with them and the NDP government Minister responsible to have Annett fired.

Minister: Which minister?

Agent: John Cashore. Headed the environment portfolio, also a United Church clergyman. He set up the Ahousaht deal then shielded his church from the fallout. But I'm getting ahead of myself ...

Minister: Well, it's pretty germaine, Inspector. Anything of importance before then?

Agent: I suppose not, sir. It's the Ahousaht letter that sealed Annett's fate. But it wasn't an easy thing to get rid of him, according to the church. He was known and admired all over town. He was about to run in the city elections. He'd formed alliances with the Indians and the unions. He was becoming a threat to the local power structure, sir.

Minister: How so?

Agent: Well, his big profile later on over the residential schools overshadows his impact in Port Alberni. Annett had the company and the local money people very worried.

Minister: What do you mean?

Agent: Sir, his election platform called for nationalizing the company's tree farm licenses and distributing the land to the Indians and the unemployed. He wanted taxes on the corporations and no more clearcutting. And despite that he had the backing of lots of the pulp union people.

Minister: And the NDP?

Agent: Well, initially they liked him, he had been a party member off and on. But then when he blew the whistle on the NDP government's deal with the United Church and Weyerhauser over the Ahousaht land, that's when they turned on him.

Minister: Naturally.

Agent: It's pretty obvious that Annett had made a hell of a lot of powerful enemies by the time they fired him. But he had just as much support. Before Cashore and the church brass finally moved on him they had to expel a dozen or more of Annett's backers on the church board and read the riot act to the whole congregation.

Minister: We're getting bogged down in details.

Agent: Alright, sorry sir. So Annett's unilaterally fired in January '95, right after he blows the lid off the Ahousaht land deal. He refuses the church's demands on him, the psych exam, the retraining and usual mea culpas. So then he's put on ice and not allowed to work anywhere else in the church. But to cover themselves the church boys go to Annett's wife and offer to pay her, including funding her divorce and making sure she gets the kids.

Minister: Hold on. That's a part that's unclear. Was it a bluff?

Agent: Oh no sir. The family court judges were lined up pretty quickly through the old boys' church network. Also, Judge Esson had a personal stake in slam dunking Annett.

Minister: You'll make no mention of Justice Esson in any of your reports, Inspector. I've told your CSIS and Mountie colleagues the same thing.

Agent: Right sir. But confidentially, the Vancouver Club link is important, especially later on when Annett broadened his campaign into the child trafficking thing.

Minister: I'm aware of that. Go on.

Agent: So Annett's wife went for the deal. She divorced him using church money and backup ...

Minister: What sort of backup?

Agent: Oh, their black ops department and the usual third party contractors. They worked with the RCMP "E" division in Vancouver through Constable Gerry Peters. Made a mess of Annett's reputation, got him blocked at UBC where he tried to retrain. And he lost his kids of course.

Minister: Well it didn't seem to faze him much.

Agent: No sir. The same year he was leading protests outside the church's Vancouver office. That's when he got the first press coverage along with that Indian woman ...

Minister: Harriett Nahannee. The witness to the Alberni school killing.

Agent: Right you are, sir. That media exposure triggered the church's slam-dunking of Annett. By 1997 Annett's been defrocked by the church but he's working full time with residential school survivors all over Vancouver and up and down the coast. He starts getting even more press coverage with eyewitness accounts of killings of kids in the residential schools. Then he convenes the first public conference of survivors that year, and of course the IHRAAM Tribunal the following year.

Minister: The Mounties are deliberately vague about that Tribunal, which is strange, considering how it blew everything wide open.

Agent: Not that strange, Minister. They ran agents into the Tribunal and funded two of its judges. Later they took out some of the key witnesses who gave testimony there about the MKULTRA experiments and sterilizations. And of course the false media releases and the smear jobs they began on Annett and his best supporters. Naturally, "E" division deliberately left out any mention of their black operations against Annett in their official reports, but they all started at about that time.

Minister: I still want a briefing from them. My requests seem to vanish into the ether.

Agent: Yes sir. I'll mention it to them. (pause) May I continue? (pause) Thank you. Well as you mentioned, the IHRAAM Tribunal opened things up, it put the residential school issue into the international press. The Tribunal's report to the UN Human Rights Commission in Geneva was shelved after our intervention, but not before sparking interest by some of the indigenous groups. The Mayans sent a denunicatory letter to the UN about our residential schools. That of course prompted our government's first public clean up efforts.

Minister: I remember only too well, Inspector. I helped arrange them.

Agent: Yes sir. By then the main aboriginal leaders were on board with us, which made it a lot easier. With the Aboriginal Healing Fund and the payoffs to the chiefs we started closing off information leaks and shutting down most of the native support for Annett.

Minister: You exaggerate that. Indians continued to back him for years. They were featured in all his books, his documentary film ...

Agent: Yes sir, but they were inconsequential. Off reserve natives, poor mostly, not the kind of Indians the media or the public are interested in.

Minister: Alright, true enough.

Agent: So once again, Annett was shut down. After the Tribunal it was hoped he'd blow away and be forgotten. But this guy invented tenacity. A year later he published all of the Tribunal evidence in his first book, Hidden from History. And he launched his own Truth Commission ...

Minister: So what, in '99?

Agent: The spring of 2000 sir. He's broke at that point, living off welfare and random jobs, seeing his kids a few times a week. But he keeps at it. He publishes a few more books. Then in 2001 he launches his own weekly program on Vancouver Co-op Radio. Calls it Hidden from History. That started rallying the survivors again and it got Annett back a media presence. By 2002 he's holding protests at Vancouver churches with more and more Indians. Well, with all the native chiefs bought off and silenced there's lots of discontent among survivors and their families. They're drawn to Annett. He's the only voice speaking about genocide and the deaths in the residential schools.

Minister: So your opinion is he filled a power vacuum? That's why he succeeded so well?

Agent: Well it was a big factor, for sure. It kept him going and kept him popular. It also allowed everything that followed to happen. And of course more of the witnesses were coming forward by then, even with the lawsuits and the gag orders. They became a hot media commodity.

Minister: For awhile, Inspector.

Agent: Well yes sir, but long enough for Annett to build a national movement. By 2005 he's got groups of survivors organized in Toronto and Winnipeg along with Vancouver. They form the Friends and Relatives of the Disappeared. They get more press coverage with their talk of suing Canada and the churches for genocide in international courts. Then in 2007 they started occupying the Catholic and Anglican churches as well as the United churches. That set off a real panic, as you know, sir.

Minister: Only too well.

Agent: Frankly Minister, it's at that point when the government knew that a major step was needed. I understand you were present at those first meetings with the church leaders sir, so I don't have to tell you ...

Minister: That's another thing you're never to discuss officially. I hope I don't have to elaborate.

Agent: It's not my place to ask, sir. But later on, when the Vatican got drawn in, the church's backroom involvement in the cover up came out anyway, so it's hardly a secret anymore.

Minister: Under the law, concealing a crime is as serious as committing it, as you very well know. If the public ever knew the extent of Rome's involvement in all that there would be a backlash, Inspector, and certainly at the polls. That's why this phase of the story is so important.

Agent: Yes sir, understood.

Minister: I want to know how much Annett knew of Clean Sweep.

Agent: You mean the Chretien cabinet directive? That was before my time.

Minister: That's irrelevant, Inspector. You've seen the files. Annett made continual references to matters related to Clean Sweep. Was he just guessing or did he have a source inside?

Agent: We believe there was a definite leak, yes sir.

Minister: Not from the cabinet?

Agent: Or someone close to them, yes sir.

Minister: A back channel leak or directly?

Agent: We don't know. But Annett knew about the document destruction teams and he seemed to anticipate everything coming out of Ottawa before it happened, including the official apology in 2008 and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Minister: Like you say, Inspector, Annett's an old politico. And a superb strategist. I only wish he worked for us. (pause) All that said, the TRC era did seem to shrink his impact.

Agent: Definitely, Minister. At least in Canada. After the 2008 protocol was signed with the chiefs and the churches, and the media were all brought on board, well, Annett's name pretty much vanished from the national scene. We made sure of that. But once again, we mistakenly thought he'd disappear. But of course he just shifted his focus.

Minister: That's right, over to Europe. And to even more exposure. That bloody ITCCS!

Agent: Sir, that's what I meant earlier about how uncanny his timing and his moves are. There's more going on here than meets the eye. It's like he has other support and guidance, the kind that isn't so obvious.

Minister: I hope you're not getting religious on me, Inspector.

Agent: No sir.

Minister: Then stick to what you know. Annett's shift to Europe was calculated. He had media coverage there and lots of Catholic church victims champing at the bit. What he did over here was widely known and it inspired other survivors. And it made Rome sit up and take notice, especially after he publicly indicted Pope Benedict.

Agent: Precisely sir. All we did by shutting Annett down here was to elevate him to international celebrity status. Did you know that the provincial government of Genoa in Italy officially sponsored him to lecture there in the fall of 2009? And the town's mayor gave him an award and endorsed his efforts to bring Canada before an international court for genocide?

Minister: No, I missed that, but it doesn't surprise me. I saw some of the European media accounts of his lecture tours. All of that led to the ITCCS. So let's move on.

Agent: Yes sir. Our informants showed that the ITCCS wasn't really a Tribunal at first but just a loose network of different rape survivors' organizations. Annett and a few others pulled them together in June of 2010 in Dublin. After that it took on its own momentum. Jurists and lawyers got on board, and more eyewitnesses. And then some governments established discreet contact with Annett ...

Minister: Which ones?

Agent: Spain, definitely, but unofficially. There were politicians in Ireland, England, Belgium, even Italy. In fact, Annett was invited to speak before an all-party Senate committee in Rome in 2010. Reports say that he had a few of the Senators in tears. He documented the residential school crimes in detail to them, sir, as well as the cover up. The Radical Party endorsed him. Of course we nipped all that in the bud.

Minister: But not before the damage was done.

Agent: No sir. By 2012 with all that backing the ITCCS convened its first common law court trial with Canada, the Crown and the Vatican in the docket. Annett was their Prosecutor's special advisor and naturally, he had impeccable evidence, nearly twenty years' worth.

Minister: I want to know how the Mohawk residential school dig factored into all of this.

Agent: Oh, very strongly sir. Again, it was a case of Annett turning adversity into advantage. After our people among the Mohawk chiefs shut down the dig, Annett took the forensic evidence to the Tribunal. The Smithsonian study of those bones figured as primary evidence in the final verdict that found us guilty of genocide.

Minister: I know that, Inspector. Just back up. I want to know what pull Annett had in Brantford. How did we allow that dig to ever take place?

Agent: Well, it was off the radar most of the time, sir. Annett had spoken in Brantford a few times over the years but early in 2011, ten Mohawk elders wrote to him privately and invited him for a talk. They asked him to help them find their relatives buried in those mass graves east of the old school.

Minister: And none of the council chiefs knew about it?

Agent: Of course they knew sir, nothing stays secret on Indian reserves for long. But politically they couldn't block the dig, not at that point at least. They waited for the right moment to shut it down. Chief Bill Montour was called to Ottawa in December ...

Minister: I know. I was in the meeting. He didn't tell us much, but he sure carried the ball for us.

Agent: Montour's own relatives were backing the dig at that point. He was quoted in the local newspapers as saying that all those children needed a proper burial.

Minister: Annett's very own slogan.

Agent: Yeah, it had its own momentum. Once those first bones and buttons were unearthed and the Smithsonian guy identified them as human, then we had to move quickly, as you know, sir.

Minister: Speaking of which, I was never clear who dealt with that forensic pathologist. Was it us or the Americans?

Agent: The latter sir, through their usual contractors, after a request from us.

Minister: That's a relief. Funny that Annett didn't mention his death ...

Agent: Oh but he did, sir. He claimed outright that Dr. Ortner had been killed. He also drew the connection between the day of his death and the decision of eight of the ten sponsoring Mohawk elders to pull their support for the dig.

Minister: Well, they obviously got the message. And the remains that were unearthed?

Agent: Dealt with, sir. Kris Nahrgang made sure of that.

Minister: Now he was ...

Agent: The Trent University archaeologist, Minister. He'd initially viewed the bones and confirmed they included bits of childrens' femurs and skulls. He convinced Annett to surrender them to his keeping and then he disposed of them.

Minister: From Trent University, eh?

Agent: Yes sir. Nahrgang is a good friend of Professor John Milloy, who as you know wrote the TRC report. Or the whitewash, as Annett would say. It's why Nahrgang was detailed by us to offer his services at the dig.

Minister: Smart, Inspector. But enough of the forensic material was given to that Tribunal's court to stand up as bona evidence?

Agent: Unfortunately, yes sir. The ITCCS court had seasoned jurists as judges and they followed strict rules of evidence. In that sense it didn't go well for us when we ignored their Public Summons ...

Minister: Well how could we do anything else, Inspector? How could Rome or London, either? With what went on in that place? (pause) It was always a sore point for me, that dig. I didn't hear the end of it from Archbishop Hiltz! By God, he wanted Annett put out of the way for good! He even offered to do it for us!

Agent: I didn't know that, sir. Normally we'd be informed of such an offer ...

Minister: Oh, my family are all loyal Anglicans, Inspector. It was a tete a tete spoken over drinks one night.

Agent: I didn't know he was so concerned, sir.

Minister: My God, man! You talk of the Vancouver Club! What they did to those children at the Mohawk school makes it pale in comparison! (pause) I wish I could show you some of my own files. And what the Anglicans have. It would curl your hair.

Agent: I know of their closed Huron Diocese records, Minister. But not really what they contain.

 

Minister: No, it's heavily classified. By Royal decree, no less. Anyway, you should be glad you haven't seen what's in them, Inspector. I doubt if you'd be able to sleep at night.

Agent: So anyway sir, there's a separate RCMP report on the Mohawk dig and its aftermath, and their follow up shut down of the Mohawks ...

Minister: I'll go to it if I need to, thanks. But continue. We were at 2012 I believe.

Agent: Yes, the ITCCS common law trial. What specifically were you interested in?

Minister: Their funding. Who the judges were. Their support and logistics. Especially their ties to governments and INTERPOL. I've heard conjecture mostly.

Agent: It was organized very professionally. They kept the judges' identity hidden, naturally. They obviously had some serious backing. Funding was from two private sources but we can't find out who. Former Swiss and German military provided security. Spain, Ireland, Italy lent their services.

Minister: Italy? That's surprising.

Agent: No sir, there's more of an anti-papal sentiment there than the media lets on. It was some of the Radical party senators who backed the court and fed them some very good intel.

Minister: Concerning?

Agent: Well, for one thing, when the Spanish government issued the diplomatic note to the Vatican warning them of Ratzinger's possible arrest, just before the guy resigned as pope. The Spaniards had seen the court's evidence. The Italian senators have their own Vatican sources. They also warned the court about a planned Vatican hit on their judges and on Annett.

Minister: So that wasn't a rumor?

Agent: No sir. The Holy Alliance at it again. They had their death squads stalking the site of the court in Brussels. It had to be adjourned and reassembled for protection.

Minister: Where to?

Agent: Somewhere in Germany, sir. We still don't know where.

Minister: How many attempts does that make?

Agent: On the court or on Annett, sir?

Minister: Both.

Agent: That's the only one we know of on the court judges. Annett had an attempt made on him once in England, and twice we know of in Vancouver. Without wanting to sound religious sir, he does seem to have something watching out for him.

Minister: I said that I was an Anglican, Inspector. Not that I was a praying man. (pause) I've never read a good estimate of the fallout from that Brussels trial. And of everything since then regarding this man.

Agent: Well I do cover that sir. I can be brief.

Minister: Please do.

Agent: Sir, I'm a total realist. We've tended to be too dismissive of Kevin Annett. We've consistently underestimated his impact and his endurance. It's almost as if we've come to believe our own black ops propaganda about him, that he's irrelevant, a crazy, someone of no account. If any of that was true none of this would have happened, and he wouldn't have achieved what he has. The truth is that this one man has shaken the foundations of our country and even of the Vatican. He really began the whole global awareness of religious-sanctioned genocide and institutionalized child trafficking. He's the father of a movement that we don't even understand or appreciate yet.

Minister: What is that supposed to mean?

Agent: Well, look at the facts. Against every conceivable odd and virtually penniless, Annett not only exposed these crimes, rallied the survivors here and abroad and forced admissions of guilt, but he went on to begin a world-wide movement to disestablish – that's the word he uses – disestablish the institutions responsible. He may be one man but an idea can mobilize millions, sir. And the idea he has injected into the global body politic is that the existing systems of church and state must come down and be replaced by a new kind of authority, under the common law. He's launched a revolution, Minister.

Pause

Minister: You sound like he impresses you, Inspector.

Agent: I don't have to agree with him to respect him, Minister. But as for the fallout from this twenty five year campaign of his: in a word, it's inestimable.

Pause

Minister: That may be. But we're reaching a crisis time again, Inspector. I assume you people have read the Prime Minister's memo on the upcoming Bejing summit?

Agent: Yes sir.

Minister: It's why I called you in here for the low-down on Annett and his possible next moves. The Chinese have him in their sights now. They're concerned. They want all of this done with, once and for all.

Agent: The PM's not up to speed, if you don't mind me saying, sir. We've already met with the Chinese State Security officers and promised them our full cooperation ...

Minister: I thought I told you to spare me the bafflegab! Annett's pulling their chain big time with his new campaign about all the missing aboriginal families in B.C. He's publicly named the Chinese generals involved in the disappearances as well as their mining companies ...

Agent: We're aware of that, Minister.

Minister: Will you shut up! The political consequences of all of this could be fatal. Young Mr. Trudeau is out of his league. That asinine law of his giving the Chinks the right to station their troops on Canadian soil is like a gun pointed at our political head. What's next? Gun battles between west coast native activists and the PLA? And with that nutbar in the White House, Christ man! Anything can happen! You know what this is doing to investor confidence?

Agent: I've seen the reports, sir.

Minister: Then you know it's time to put an end to all of this.

Agent: (after pause) Are you speaking personally, sir? Or in a ministerial capacity?

Minister: This is coming from the Privy Council Office. Right from London. They want it done before the summer. Understood?

Agent: I can relay that to the Special Section, Minister, if that's your wish.

Minister: I think we understand each other, Inspector.

Agent: Yes sir.

End transcript.