The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: people/g/gostick.ron/bigotrys-fellow-travellers


Archive/File: people/p/prutschi.manuel/bigotrys-fellow-travellers
Last-Modified: 1996/05/10

Source: Currents, Vol. 6, No. 2. October 1990, pg. 8.
Published by the Urban Alliance on Race Relations, Toronto.

Hate Groups and Bigotry's Fellow Travellers
By Manuel Prutschi

Last summer, on Canada Day, John Beattie held a "whites
only" rally in Minden. The staging of such a rally should
not have surprised us; rather than constituting a new
phenomenon, it formed part of a continuum in the activity of
organized hate groups in this country.

John Beattie, in his own personal history, illustrates how
the rally did not surface suddenly, in a vacuum; Beattie,
after all, is not a newly emergent hate group leader. Though
he has been quiescent for a number of years, he was
prominent in the 1960's when Toronto was going through a
noticeable phase of neo-nazi activism.

Hate groups and what I have chosen to call "bigotry's fellow
travellers" fall into one or another of five general
categories:

Nazi/Neo-Nazi  Groups

To those that fall under this category, Adolf Hitler was the
archetypal leader and the Nazi Third Reich the ultimate
utopia. John Beattie is of this type, but the person who
perhaps epitomizes it is John Ross Taylor.

Taylor began his career in association with Adrian Arcand
who, in the 1920's, founded an out-and-out Nazi party in
Quebec. He also tried to create a trans-Canadian Nazi party,
and Taylor played an important organizational role in
furthering such initiatives. Taylor subsequently broke with
Arcand, switching to the Canadian Union of Fascists.

More recently Taylor is best known for having operated a
dial-a-racist-message telephone service for the white
supremacist Western Guard. The recordings, which ran for
years since 1973, attacked Jews, blacks, and other
minorities.

Also aptly belonging in this category is Ernst Zundel, who
became notorious as a holocaust denial propagandist. Zundel
denies that the holocaust ever took place, characterizing it
as a Jewish politco-financial swindle. Zundel's purpose in
denying the holocaust is to whitewash the Nazis, the Third
Reich, and Hitler. It should therefore not surprise us to
learn that Zundel is the co-author of a book called _The
Hitler We Loved and Why_. Apart from being anti-Jewish, the
book is anti-black in particular, and anti-non-white in
general. In his praise of Hitler, Zundel is simply echoing
the sentiment of Arcand at whose feet he learned. Arcand the
Nazi leads right into Zundel the neo-Nazi.

White Supremacists

In the ideology of white supremacy the world revolves
entirely around race. Race is the prism through which the
world in its entirety is viewed. Society is to be ordered in
accordance with the dictates and the needs of the
white/Aryan race, and note that skin pigmentation does not
in and of itself define white Aryans. Jews, whatever their
colour, are seen as part of the racial enemy.

The Ku Klux Klan is an organization which very much comes to
mind when one speaks of white supremacy, but if one wants to
look at white supremacy in more detail, especially as it has
manifested itself in Toronto, no better example can be
provided than the activity of Donald Clarke Andrews.

Andrews first surfaced in the later 1960's as a member in
the small "c" conservative Edmund Burke Society. Though it
quickly degenerated into a racist organization, it was not
sufficiently extremist for Andrews. Leading a secessionist
group in the early 1970's Andrews organized the Western
Guard.

The Western Guard defaced synagogues and other Jewish and
non-Jewish institutions, and distributed hate literature. A
United church was smeared with graffiti because United
Church headquarters had "collaborated" with communists.
Bethune College, at York University, was defaced because it
honoured Norman Bethune, whose politics the Guard did not
like. Members of the Western Guard also set fire to the
house of a librarian who was living with a black man.

Subsequent to the Western Guard, Andrews founded the
Nationalist party. Under his leadership the party pursued a
white supremacist program as articulated in its on-going
publication, _The Nationalist Report_.

_The Nationalist Report_ contended that there was a
conspiracy aimed at overthrowing the white race through the
imposition on Aryan society of persons of black, Indian,
Pakistani, and Vietnamese origin. The way to counteract this
anti-white conspiracy, Nationalist party materials
suggested, was to keep non-whites separate from Aryans, to
stop the immigration of all Asians and blacks, and to
repatriate those already in Canada to their supposed areas
of origin. Blacks were the object of particular vitriol, and
the material was also anti-Semitic.

Theologians of Hate

Their ideology is thoroughly rooted in religion; they view
modern society as atheistic, secular, materialistic, and
immoral. In this they perhaps do not differ from certain
more mainstream religious critiques except that, for the
theologian of hate, the Jews (who are portrayed as
synonymous with Satan) are held responsible for all social
ills. The world is engaged in total war between good and
evil, Christianity and Judaism; though invariably Christian,
they have twisted Christian teaching to create their own
perverted and perverse conceptualization.

The two most notorious examples of Canadian theologians of
hate are James Keegstra in Alberta, and Malcolm Ross in New
Brunswick. It is valuable to know that Keegstra began his
hatemongering career as an anti-Catholic and anti-black. As
Professor Stanley R. Barrett has written in his book _Is God
a Racist?_ "the nature of Keegstra's message changed over
the years. Whereas anti-Catholicism originally informed his
teaching, he eventually began to introduce negative  views
about blacks, and finally became an overt anti-Semite."

Aryan Nations

Originating in the United States, Aryan Nations is an
umbrella organization for a number of groups of relatively
recent vintage. Ideologically it is a synthesis of the
theology of hate and white supremacy, decked out in the
trappings of Nazism. Referring to itself as the Church of
Jesus Christ Christian, it is part of what has become known
as the Identity Movement. It holds that the British, German,
Scandinavian, and American people, rather than the Jews, are
the real Israel, hence the term "identity" because they are
the ones truly identical with Israel. Contemporary Jews are
seen as impostors, in no way connected with the people of
Israel of Biblical times.

The aim of Aryan nations is to establish an independent, all-
white, all-Christian, Aryan-governed nation-state carved out
of the northwestern United States and western Canada. A
principle Ayran Nations connection in Canada is Terry Long,
who operates out of Alberta as Canada's "High Aryan Warrior
Priest."

Terry Long, emulating John Ross Taylor, set up a dial-a-
racist-message telephone service. The three-minute message
promoted white supremacy, was abusive towards blacks,
Pakistanis, Jews, and other minorities, and warned that an
immigration policy allowing non-whites was tantamount to
"national suicide."

Ultra Conservative Tending Towards Racist

These groups subscribe to an extreme chauvinism and
xenophobia; they have an automatic dislike for foreigners.
The nation which is the object of their patriotism is a
rather exclusive club made up of individuals who are
British, or northern European, preferably monarchist,
Christian (essentially Protestant Christian), and white.
Unlike the groups in the other categories, their racism is
not advanced as overtly; racism is more-or-less masked, and
promoted through their advocacy of issues which they put
forward as of national concern. They are bigotry's fellow
travellers.

The Canadian League of Rights, led by Ron Gostick, provides
the most durable, if not the primary example of an
organization falling under this category. It is from
headquarters (formerly in Flesherton, Ontario and now in
High River, Alberta) that all the League's material, much of
it offensive, is mailed to points across Canada. Jim
Keegstra got most of his reading material through his
membership in the League. The League also promotes the
writings of Malcolm Ross..

One of the strategies of groups in this category is to plug
themselves into issues which find a positive resonance in
certain segments of the broader community. The opposition to
bi-lingualism and the extension of French-language services
is one example. In Ontario we find the Canadian League of
Rights linking itself to such movements as the Alliance for
the Preservation of English in Canada (or A.P.E.C.).

Another individual who very much belongs in this category is
Paul Fromm. Fromm was a co-founder of the Edmund Burke
Society, and today he heads two institutes: the Canadian
Association for Free Expression (C.A.F.E.) and Citizens for
Foreign Aid Reform (C-FAR). Fromm has latched onto the
freedom of speech issue, defending the rights of hatemongers
to free expression, but not repudiating their views and
portraying them as martyrs, victims of a witch hunt.

C-FAR is opposed to most foreign aid and favours a
restrictive immigration policy. A few months ago in
Vancouver, as reported in a _Globe and Mail_ column, Fromm
told an audience "that a foreign invasion would be
preferable to the city's current influx of Asian
immigrants."

Another example of an organization which fits into this
category is the Canadian Freedom of Speech League. It lists
as general counsel none other than Doug Christie, the lawyer
acting for Keegstra, Zundel, Taylor,  and Ross. The editor
and publisher of its newsletter _Friends of Freedom_ is a
close Christie associate. Like Fromm's C.A.F.E., this
organization promotes an agenda aimed at undermining our
multicultural democracy under the cover of freedom of
expression.

Clearly the lines between the above categories are often
blurred, and there is a great deal of cross-fertilization
among individuals and groups. As well such groups rarely, if
ever, exclusively target a single minority, rather they make
victims of us all.

Members of hate groups, or those I have labeled "bigotry's
fellow travellers" are not merely content with carrying out
their activities on the periphery. They very consciously
involve themselves in our political process. Zundel ran for
the leadership of the federal Liberal party in 1968 (Pierre
Trudeau won that contest); Andrews has repeatedly vied for
municipal office, and Keegstra ran for Social Credit in the
1984 federal election. Fromm, in this last federal election
ran in Mississauga East for the Confederation of Regions
party; and Christie, a vigorous advocate of western
separatism, founded the Western Canada Concept party, and
has run twice in federal election contests as an
independent.

Apart from pursuing a conscious political course, a number
of those we have referred to have undertaken a program to
recruit youth to their cause. Obviously they have made some
inroads among certain skinhead youths. Andrews clearly has a
retinue of such youths around him, as does Fromm, and both
of them have publicly prided themselves in their role of
politically educating these young people. Beattie also seems
to have targeted such alienated youth for recruitment. A
number of these skinheads out of Ottawa have even begun to
put together a racist newsletter.

In 1982, on a sunny mild Sunday afternoon in May, hundreds
of people starting out of Greenwood Park paraded by the
Toronto Ku Klux Klan headquarters on Dundas Street near
Logan  Avenue. The parade was part of the all-day Riverdale
community festival against the Klan, organized by the
Riverdale Action Committee Against Racism. The co-ordinator
of the festival, in addressing participants, is reported as
"noting that the Klan's targets included Jews, Catholics,
blacks, Chinese, trade unionists, social reformers,
homosexuals, and women fighting for their rights."

Practically at the same time, some distance away, five
hundred members of the Jewish community, many of them
holocaust survivors, were protesting in front of the
headquarters of Ernst Zundel on Carlton Street. Their
protest was the culmination of a march that had started out
at Allen Gardens. Sixteen years earlier, almost to the day,
on May 30, 1965, Jewish activists successfully disrupted a
John Beattie-led neo-nazi rally at the same location.

What is surprising and startling is that two major anti-
racism rallies were taking place on the very same day, at
virtually the same time, not all that far from each other,
and yet each carried on separately. For whatever reason the
fight against racism in Toronto was not as sufficiently well
integrated as it might have been.

[Manuel Prutschi is National Director, Community Relations,
Canadian Jewish Congress.]


Home ·  Site Map ·  What's New? ·  Search Nizkor

© The Nizkor Project, 1991-2012

This site is intended for educational purposes to teach about the Holocaust and to combat hatred. Any statements or excerpts found on this site are for educational purposes only.

As part of these educational purposes, Nizkor may include on this website materials, such as excerpts from the writings of racists and antisemites. Far from approving these writings, Nizkor condemns them and provides them so that its readers can learn the nature and extent of hate and antisemitic discourse. Nizkor urges the readers of these pages to condemn racist and hate speech in all of its forms and manifestations.