A Ghost of our Christmas Past, Present and Future: What Maisie Reveals
A Ghost of our Christmas Past, Present and Future: What Maisie Reveals
By Kevin D. Annett
“There are some upon this earth of yours who lay claim to know us, and who do their deeds of passion, pride, ill-will, hatred, envy, bigotry, and selfishness in our name; who are as strange to us and all our kith and kin, as if they had never lived. Remember that, and charge their doings on themselves, not us.”
― The Christ Spirit to Scrooge, from A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
“This boy is Ignorance and this girl is Want. Beware them both, and all of their degree, but most of all beware this boy, for on his brow I see that written which is Doom, unless the writing be erased.”
― A Christmas Carol
Every yuletide for the past quarter century I think especially long on Maisie Shaw and offer whatever can pass as prayers for her.
Maisie would have been 85 years old by now. Instead, she was murdered on Christmas Eve while still a child. A United Church clergyman named Alfred Caldwell kicked her to her death on a cold basement stairwell as yuletide carols were being sung upstairs in the chapel. Maisie was crying for her mother when she died.
Yet another death in the slaughterhouse known as the Alberni Indian Residential School was hardly unusual. But Maisie’s fate was different. Her bones did not stay secretly buried. Maisie Shaw’s slaying has been the unforeseen mustard seed that has grown and spread and changed me and our nation forever, ever since I learned of the crime from the one who witnessed it and spoke of it to the world. But doing so caused me to share Maisie’s fate. For I too had my life snuffed out violently by the same men who caused and concealed her murder. But I too have risen from the grave with more than a story to share with the fearful Scrooge unable to face himself otherwise known as Canada.
As this strange year of 2020 ends, it may seem that our world is caught in a mass hysteria that fell on us from out of nowhere. In fact, the covid police state is nothing new. Our society has become a single enormous Indian “residential school”.
The trauma many of us are experiencing these days is like what happened to the children on the day of their arrival at these internment camps. We too are being assaulted, terrorized, and stripped of freedom after being kidnapped from all that we knew. We too are facing arbitrary regimentation, mandatory vaccinations and dehumanizing regulations, imprisonment, and even random killings.
In short, and in accordance with the Natural Law of Return, our own crimes have blown back on us. The hell we created to grab this land is consuming us. And like Maisie Shaw and many like her, most of us are too frightened to resist the Moloch State, even when our obedience only worsens our captivity and hastens our end.
Harriett Nahanee, who witnessed the murder of Maisie Shaw, told me once, “Only two kinds of people survived residential school: slaves and sellouts.” I was troubled at the time that she did not list a third category, namely those who resisted. But Harriett was right. No-one survives a death camp intact. Those who will not surrender to their oppressors are the first to die and be forgotten, and the survivors write the history that is approved by the killers. That is why the dead are the only reliable witnesses to what happened, and can touch and transform the hearts of all of us who are caught Scrooge-like in our complicity and fear.
All during my disastrous years, as my livelihood and children and future were all stripped from me, I always read Charles Dickens’ Christmas Carol aloud to my two young daughters during our brief times together, as yuletide and thoughts of Maisie Shaw returned. I remember their anxious looks and their own tears whenever I broke down, especially when I reached the part where Scrooge was changed. Something in my own crippled heart shared his rebirth when his life was thrown open to the wondrous humanity through whom he had stumbled so blindly. I always cried then for the loss and death I had known and for the seemingly unconquerable corruption and criminality of official society. But my tears also sprang from an undying hope in the possibility that all of it could change.
In keeping with my life, I have acted from that same worn hope throughout this past year as our home-grown Moloch has stretched out its claws to claim our lives too. Yet almost everywhere, that hope has been dashed.
In a banal replay of my campaigns over the past quarter century, sworn friends and fighters have fallen away in fear as months-long labor to establish sovereign Assemblies has been destroyed in a day by lies, sabotage and betrayal. And yet something of what I have sown in good faith has miraculously endured, like the whisper of a dead girl’s story amidst a cacophony of Official Lies.
The same miracle occurred years ago when even the killing of our eyewitnesses to the Canadian Genocide and a massive Church-State coverup did not stop the criminal conviction of Christian Canada and its accomplices, and bring into being the necessity of the Republic of Kanata. The best part of us always survives catastrophe, but only because it is unseen and not owned by this world: like an unsuspected spirit that appears unannounced to expel a possessing entity from its human host.
Over the years, my work seems to have become a collective exorcism of the blood soaked entity that is eating my people alive. It has dulled their hearts and ruled their thoughts for generations and compelled them to commit or fund or tolerate unspeakable crimes against the innocent, all so that the Thing can feed off the agony of their dying souls and the suffering of their victims.
Naming this entity for what it is has lessened its hold on us. But as Jesus himself observed, “Some evil spirits cannot be expelled without the hand of God.” Whenever I speak of Maisie Shaw and the church and culture that caused her slaughter, most Canadians still turn away in denial, or spout the officially benign line of how and why it happened. In their response I see nothing other than parts of a Group Mind rallying against a threat to itself. That Mind does not allow its trapped individuals to see its bestiality for what it is, and to break from it in disgust and horror.
My buddy Frank Ermineskin knows that I’m talking about. I checked in with him the other day at his perch on Hastings street where he survives by dealing cigarettes and other stuff to all the other homeless Indians. Frank took one look at me and remarked how surprised and happy he was that I was still alive. Then he asked me,
“You still occupyin’ churches, Kev?”
When I told him I’d sure like to again, Frank grimaced and replied,
“What the fuck for, man? They’re the walking dead!”
Exorcisms don’t work when there’s nothing left to revive. Then all we can do is conduct a funeral service for the entity and its host alike: in this case, for what is called Canada and the global corporatocracy it represents. Ultimately that’s what I have been doing for a quarter century, as I’ve made my lonely progress through this Land of No One after being shaken from death by a little girl named Maisie who died at our hands but who is more alive now than many who claim to be.
Another murdered innocent advises us to leave the dead to bury their dead, and to go with him and his kind to a new reality. I feel some of that eternal realm come alive when I remember Maisie Shaw and all that she has given me and overturned in our world. May your hidden heart be transformed by forgotten ghosts as this year dies, so that the new world may overcome death and come into being among us. Or as Charles Dickens summed up so well,
“I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach … God bless us, everyone!”