The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

The Heritage Front Affair
Report to the Solicitor General of Canada
Security Intelligence Review Committee
December 9, 1994


5.10 Harrassment and Contact with Jewish Groups

When the media stories about CSIS and the Heritage Front first aired in mid-August 1994, they significantly increased the already high level of fear in Jewish communities, particularly in Toronto which has Canada's biggest Jewish population.[90] Jewish Communities around the world were still reeling from the bombing of a Jewish community centre in Buenos Aires. Of particular concern were the allegations that Grant Bristow might have passed on the names of Jewish community leaders to the white supremacist movement.

A representative of B'nai Brith said that he felt a sense of betrayal, that CSIS "may have turned into an instrument which has helped to promote hatred and racism in this countzy", [91] With these concerns in mind, the Review Committee investigated the allegations pertaining to the Jewish-community.

5.10.1 Strategy Towards Jewish Groups

We asked the Source about the Heritage Front's strategy towards Jewish groups. He said that the Heritage Front had no general position regarding Jewish groups. Wolfgang Droege perceived the Jewish Lobby to be too big an opponent for him to confront. Droege, said the Source, knew that he did not have enough resources to fight the Jewish groups.[92]

The Source believed that Droege's personal feelings were that the Jewish groups represented an enemy lobby, and that they fere responsible for multi-racial schools and race mixing. He would monitor them through the Jewish community newspapers such as the "Covenant", the "Canadian Jewish News", and "Forward".

Droege's aim was to get back at the Jews through political lobbying. Others in the movement, however, did not understand his strategy. The Aryan Nations believed, for example, that they were the last tribe of the real Jews and they pushed Droege to take physical action. Gerry Lincoln, closely associated with Ernst Zundel, would constantly defend the message of Holocaust denial.[93]

We asked the Source about his dealings with Bernie Farber, the National Director of Community Relations with the Canadian Jewish Congress. The Source never talked much to Farber, but saw him in Court.

The Church of the Creator, Droege, and the skinheads all believed, said the Source, that Farber was the major enemy of the Heritage Front, and he was certainly the most reviled of all their "enemies". There was a major effort to find Farber's residence, but the Source did not help, and the HF never succeeded. The Source said that he could have found it easily if he had wanted to.[94]

5.10.2 1993 Mayor's Committee Meeting

On April 4, 1993, B'nai Brith lawyer Marvin Kurz, a member of the Toronto Mayor's Committee on Community and Race Relations attended an orientation for new members of the group. There, he told the Review Committee, a person who he thought might have been Grant Bristow tried to intimidate him by looming over him, implying that he knew where he lived, and staring at the lawyer.[95]

Prior to the meeting, Kurz had written a letter, with his address in the heading, to Droege threatening to sue for libel based on Front hateline statements about the B'nai Brith staff. The Front had offered a retraction.

At the Mayor's meeting, Kurz said, Droege pulled him over and another person, who Kurz thought might be Bristow, stood over Kurz saying, "we thought you lived in Brampton", Kurz wondered if they would follow him home. He said that Janice Dembo, Coordinator of the Mayor's Committee, saw him standing there with another person and Droege, and she took Kurz out the back way.[96]

Janice Dembo recalls that Burdi, Lemire, Barker and Droege tried to disrupt the meeting, assuming it was the same one that Kurz referred to. Kurz came up to Dembo and said that the HF was "hassling him and he kept going on about Droege and Barker." He was in an agitated state, and she had others escort him out of the building. She does not specifically remember extricating him, although she says it is possible.[97]

Kurz was not positive that Bristow was involved and, indeed, his memory was only jogged in the wake of the press allegations in 1994, when Wolfgang Droege called him. Droege offered to help Kurz lay a complaint against Bristow based on the incident.[98]

Wolfgang Droege would later tell the Review Committee that, for him, it was important to keep in touch with his opponents, and to be able to discuss differences. He alleged that he was having a peaceful conversation when Bristow showed up on the scene, "got into the man's (Kurz's) face", and was generally menacing. Kurz was a small man, and he sought protection.[99]

According to Bristow, he said to Droege, "don't talk with that low life, let's get out of here." At that point, Metro Toronto Police officers were standing at Grant Bristow's shoulder and he was not about to make a commotion. Droege then said that "Marvin Kurz is not a bad guy", and went and had his picture taken with Michael Lublin (see Chapter V, section 5.6.1).

Bristow does not think there was another incident in which he might have intimidated Kurz. According to Bristow, he had every opportunity to harass Kurz if he had wanted to; he lived near to Kurz at the time and knew his address from his letterhead.[100]

5.10.3 The Jewish Studant Network Incident

On May 6, 1993, Grant Bristow approached the President of the Jewish Students' Network (JSN) who was participating in a demonstration outside the Ontario Attorney General's office in Toronto. The protest by the Jewish Student Network concerned the provincial government not moving quickly enough on hate crimes prosecution/legislation. She said that she recognized Wolfgang Droege and Peter Mitrevski in the crowd.[101]

The President was handing out her business card to the media and gave one to a "Trevor Graham", who, she said represented himself as a reporter for the "Ottawa Citizen" and a writer for the "Canadian Press". Trevor Graham was Grant Bristow.[102]

The next day, on May 7, 1993, "Graham" called her, identified himself and, in the course of the discussion, said that he had had a conversation with Wolfgang Droege. He described the conversation in such a friendly way "with the Nazi" that she became suspicious. She pretended, nevertheless, to be friendly despite her Suspicions.[103]

During her conversation with him, Graham (Bristow) did not ask about information the Network possessed on white supremacists. He did ask about how the group was organized and the names of the students who worked there. She felt these were not appropriate questions.[104]

She was not sure how her conversation with "Graham" ended; she telephoned the "Ottawa Citizen" and the "Canadian Press" that day and they both indicated that they had never heard of "Graham". She then spoke to the B'nai Brith and the Canadian Jewish Congress. Several days later, she went to Bernie Farber's office at the Canadian Jewish Congress, where she looked through an album of photos of racists. She recognized Bristow from his photo in a Toronto Sun story.[105]

Bernie Farber called author Warren Kinsella to find out if Trevor Graham was associated with him.[106] Warren Kinsella said he had no connection with Graham and complained to the Ottawa Police that Grant Bristow had been using his name to seek information from Jewish groups. The Ottawa Police informed Kinsella that the incident was in the Metro Toronto Police Force's jurisdiction. Approximately two weeks later, the Ottawa Police checked with their Toronto counterparts and learned that Kinsella had filed a complaint. The basis for the complaint was that:

"Bristow had claimed to be working for Kinsella in researching Kinsella's latest book; enquiring about the organization's knowledge of skinheads and the White Supremacist movements. Bristow also requested access to their files."

The Metro Toronto Police Force received a FAX from Warren Kinsella about the incident and, on review, concluded that no criminal offense had been committed; the Crown could not establish prima facie case. No report was filed as there was no offense in the Criminal Code to cover it: Trevor Graham did not exist.

When "The Heritage Front Affair" became public knowledge, the Metro Toronto Police Intelligence Unit resubmitted the information to the Crown. The feedback they received was that there was no "personation" because there was no such person as Graham. No formal complaint had been submitted by a Jewish group.

According to Bristow's account, he volunteered to collect information on the periphery of the demonstration. Members of the Church of the Creator and the Heritage Front had been starting to merge and Bristow did not want to be on the front lines as there was a good chance the media would be there. He asked Droege, "why don't I wander around the crowd to find out who is here."[108]

Droege's version is that Bristow "felt it was important or us to find out as to what information they possessed. So he's going to try to infiltrate them or at least try to gather information from them."[109]

Bristow said that he approached a woman who identified rself as the President of the Jewish Student's Network. Bristow does not remember the name he gave. During the brief discussion, Bristow received a business card with the Network's address and a telephone number. He said that he had no reason to ask for it, but he did not object to providing it.[110]

Bristow said to the Review Committee that he had no desire to pursue the matter further, but Droege said that he should find out more about the group, for example how many members they had. He told Bristow to call her to learn more of this kind of information. Droege also wanted to know what others knew about him and the right wing, as he was facing numerous tribunals.[111]

From the business card, they realized that the Student Network office was located in close promimity to other Jewish organizations, and Droege thought that maybe Bernie Farber was secretly controlling the group. Droege thought that Farber was capable of using "cutouts". Droege believed that the President of the Jewish Students' Network was, in fact, an agent of Bernie Farber, because he had seen them together on other occasions.[112]

Bristow said that he called the President of the Jewish Students' Network but not for the purpose of obtaining information to target people. He purposely gave her good reason to be suspicious by saying that "Droege was not such a bad guy." She gave him no information. He then went back to Droege and said, "I think they are suspicious, Wolfgang."[113]

The Source said that he was sure that he had told the Investigator of Bristow's meeting and telephone call to the President of the Jewish Students' Network.

According to the Toronto Region Investigator, he was informed about the Jewish Students' Network event immediately after it occurred. CSIS had issued a threat assessment concerning the Heritage Front visit to Marianne Boyd's office. The Source called the Investigator and said that Bristow had talked to the President of the Jewish Students' Network using the name Trevor Graham. Bristow did not directly say he was working for Kinsella.

5.10.4 Two Incidents

Two incidents were described to the Committee which involved community events in Toronto, and about which we received contradictory information regarding the presence of Grant Bristow and the Jewish Students' Network.

On June 8, 1993, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre organized a presentation at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education.[114] The event featured a lecture by Yarom Svoray on his infiltration of neo-Nazi groups in Germany. The President of the Jewish Students' Network said that she was certain that she saw George Burdi and Joe Talic of the Church of the Creator there and that the security personnel were informed. [115]

She thought that Bristow was also present, but she could not be absolutely certain that it was him as she had seen him only once before. Talic was asked to present his identification, and the group was asked to leave.[116] Bristow told the Review Committee that he does not believe he was there.[117]

The second incident took place in May 1993, and involved the harrassment of B'nai Brith officials. During that month, a public "anti-hate" symposium took place at Harbourfront in Toronto.

B'nai Brith officials stated that the ARA and the Heritage Front were both present, and confronted one another. Droege and Burdi asked some abusive questions implying that Jews were racist. Wolfgang Droege asked most of the questions.[118]

An anti-fascist demonstration started, and the B'nai Brith participants found themselves in between the two sides. Police had to separate the potential combatants. According to the B'nai Brith, Bristow was present at the encounter and was using the name Trevor Graham, but they did not remember if he stayed for the remainder of the meeting after the HF people left.[119]

According to Bristow, he had met the Heritage Front group at Union Station prior to entering the Harbourfront Symposium. When he entered, he said, he saw that the President of the Jewish Students' Network was there. He left after about three or four minutes, as he did not want her to see him with the Heritage Front group.[120] Bristow thinks that he left by himself. The President of the Jewish Students' Network has informed the Review Committee that she did not attend the Harbourfront Symposium.

5.10.5 Other 1993 Incidents

B'nai Brith. The Source said that he had no knowledge of the telephone harassment campaign against Karen Mock which took place after the May 1993 Harbourfront Symposium.[121] He said that Schipper was the one who initiated, wrote, and dictated most of the messages on the hotline. The actual message concerning Mock and the B'nai Brith used on the hate line was written by Schipper, but the Source did not know who instructed him to do so. Droege, and to a lesser extent, Lincoln[122], were the main influences on Gary Schipper. The Source stayed away from dealing with the hotline.[123]

Vancouver Leader. The allegation was made in 1992 that Front members circulated the unlisted telephone number and address of a prominent Vancouver Canadian Jewish Congress leader, Dr. Michael Elterman.

Bernie Farber of the Canadian Jewish Congress referred to the media stories about Elterman's name being circulated among the extreme right. Whereas the name was not listed in the public telephone directory, it was published in the Vancouver Jewish community telephone book, which was not difficult to obtain. Farber said that Elterman was concerned about a large bloodstain that appeared on his porch around the time that Bristow was supposed to have met McAleer in Vancouver.[124]

Bristow said that he knew absolutely nothing about Elterman. His statement is supported by Droege's testimony before the Review Committee.

We learned that on August 25, 1994, Tony McAleer told Droege that he had the address of Elterman, and could say that Bristow gave it to him, but McAleer speculated that they could get into trouble if Bristow ever surfaced and spoke up. Droege told McAleer that no-one would believe Bristow. [125]

Voice Hate Mail. Bernie Farber said that he was called at the Canadian Jewish Congress on June 22, 1993. A caller with a heavily muffled, deep voice said, "you fucking Jew", "I'm gonna fucking kill you", "fucking goof" . We asked the Source about the call. He said that it probably came from a younger member.[126] We were unable to determine, definitively, who in the Front was most likely to have used the expression "fucking goof". One member certainly used the expression often, but others sometimes did as well.

Parking Lot Camping. We were informed that the media were going to allege that Bristow had camped out in the Canadian Jewish Congress parking lot, and that he copied licence plate numbers which he then processed.

We have learned that Droege provided false information about Bristow to the reporter involved.

Grant Bristow stated that he never recorded licence numbers, and there was only one incident in which he stopped near the Canadian Jewish Congress parking lot. Furthermore, if anyone else had collected that information, they would have given the plate numbers to Bristow to process, but Bristow said that he never received any.[127]

The Source said that on one occasion, James Scott Dawson parked his car, went into the CJC building, and bluffed his way into Farber's office.[128]

The Threat. In one instance, the CSIS Source learned of a possible threat of serious physical violence to leaders of the Jewish community in October 26, 1993. Droege confided to the Source that Barker had told him that a Heritage Front member had been planning to walk into the CJC offices at 4600 Bathurst Street, Toronto and 'take out some people'.

It was the Source's opinion that the primary target was to be Bernie Farber. He also stated that Droege was concerned about this type of plan but he was laughing about it. The Source said that he was shocked by this revelation, but he did not pursue the subject with Droege. Droege also mentioned to the Source that he would like to see a couple of high profile Jews assassinated as that would act as a deterrent to others who are constantly harassing the Heritage Front (HF).129

The member was associating with the "French Cruller" gang; Ken Barker, Phil Grech, and, peripherally, Marc Lemire (The Donut Shop Gang). An associate of the Heritage Front, the member had secretly aligned himself with the Church of Aryan Nations Jesus Christ. He had also set up a telephone line with hate messages. The Source created hurdles in the planning for violence by saying that more people were needed to carry it out, that it wasn't a good idea, that it would take a long time, and other reasons designed to dissuade the Heritage Front member.[130]

CSIS passed the information about the Heritage Front member's plan to the Metro Toronto Police on October 29, 1993.

According to the Source, the member appeared to be unstable. Instead of attacking the CJC, he and his associates subsequently held up a donut shop and stole a small amount of money.

5.10.6 Information on Jewish Groups

Droege, in his testimony to the Review Committee, said:

"My problem with the Jewish community is sometimes its leadership. They constantly go on about persecution. I don't feel that anyone owes anyone anything."[132]

Wolfgang Droege told the Committee that Bristow was the person who collected information on Jewish groups:

"more or less names, addresses, who is who within an organization, where some of the funding may come from, that type of information."[133]

Droege said that most of the information that he received the B'nai Brith, for example, was from public records, and he was not sure if Bristow ever obtained any big secrets. The information was mainly someone's home address, position, travel plans and source of funds (e.g. government funds). Droege said that knew how to dig up information.[134]

We found very little information about specific individuals. In one case, we learned that Grant Bristow told Droege that an anti-racist was possibly harassing Ken Barker's line. Barker had given Bristow a telephone number that had appeared on his Maestro, and Bristow traced it back to the activist.

The Review Committee learned that the Source, using the pseudonym Jeff Taylor, a journalist, talked with Michael Lublin. The Source learned that the Kahane Chai organization, which is headed by Benny Kahane, is growing around the world. Lublin said the group seems to be responsible for a lot of activity which was formally carried out by the JDL. According to Lublin, Benny Kahane's organization was thinking of opening a chapter in Toronto and he would be in Toronto the following week.

We asked the Source about the kinds of information collected on Jewish groups and their leaders. The Source stated that Zundel tasked [sic] Bristow to obtain specific information about the names, work places, home addresses, telephone numbers, and profiles of pmominent Jewish individuals and groups.[135]

Zundel said that he needed the addresses of members of the Jewish community so that he could serve subpoenas, but the Source said that Bristow did not believe this. Bristow told Zundel that he might be able to get the information but that it would cost money. As a result, Zundel said he would accept simply the work addresses.

Zundel also asked for information on specific individuals. He told Bristow that he wanted information from 1989 through 1990 about what Meir Halevi's (Jewish Defense League) addresses were, his kids, family, cars driven, his real name, and business.[136]

The Source was asked to help Zundel to obtain the names and addresses of every Jewish leader from Quebec to Winnipeg. When told about this request from Zundel, the Toronto Region Investigator had said, "don't do it, stall." The handler then told the Source to find out what he could from open sources. He was to give Zundel only work addresses and telephone numbers that came from the telephone book or from dialling 411.

According to the Source, the day-to-day information on the Jewish lobby and other groups came from television shows, and subscriptions to Jewish publications which were collected daily. This type of information processing began long before the Source was on the scene. It was done by everybody and it was a standard operating procedure for Zundel, Lincoln, Droege, and Max French.

The Source said that Zundel gave Bristow a thick file on the Jewish Defence League in compensation for electronically sweeping Zundel's house.[137] The Source, in turn, gave the file to CSIS. It was all public information (mostly news clippings) but he did not pass it along to others in the organization.[138]

We asked the Source what actions he personally participated in regarding Jewish groups, and what knowledge he had of what others did. The Source said that he only provided open material, and that Zundel sometimes gave Bristow information.[139]

Zundel told the Review Committee that the information that he received was "publicly available" and it was only a matter of convenience that he obtained it from Bristow. He went on to say "it was nothing he couldn't have found himself."[140]

The Source was asked if he ever provided information on members of the Jewish community to White Supremacists in the United States. He said that he absolutely did not pass information on members of the Jewish community to white supremacists in the United States; and, specifically, that he absolutely did not provide information on any Heritage Front target groups or individuals to Tom Metzger He added that Gerry Lincoln sometimes gave information to Tom Metzger about Canadian Jews but as far as he knew, they usually received such information from Zundel.[141] He added that Grant Bristow never provided information to White Supremacists in the United States. Lincoln denied ever giving information about Canadian Jews to the Metzgers.

In regard to the Metzgers (see chapter IX, section 9.2.2), the Review Committee learned that Droege plotted with colleagues and associates to tell the media that Bristow also gave Metzger documents on Jewish groups in Canada and on Jews and on other leftist organizations. The statements reveal that this was part of a plot to manipulate the media. Droege would later tell the Committee, "At least Tom Metzger told me that Grant Bristow provided him information, but I don't have mny first hand knowledge of it."[142]

The Source was asked if he had ever given anyone information on the Jewish community which they then passed to other White Supremacists. He said that he definitely did not do so. He noted that Droege tried on many occasions to find out where Bernie Farber lived but he never succeeded and the Source did not help.[143]

We asked the Investigator about the overall information strategy. He said that the idea was for the Source to control (and obstruct) the collection of information and, if things went beyond his control, to be the funnel for that information, and, therefore, be in a position to advise the Service and ask for instructions.[144]

5.10.7 The Security Training School

When the Review Committee met with B'nai Brith officials, they said that they were concerned that Bristow had set up a training facility in a predominantly Jewish section of Toronto.

The concern was threefold:

* that the school was being used to teach security skills to racists;
* that the school might be used to recruit new Heritage Front members; and
* that the school would generate money for the Heritage Front.[145]

In November 1992, Grant Bristow was identified in the media as a Heritage Front leader. As a result of this publicity, he lost his regular employment. Shortly afterwards, he set up a course in security training.

Bristow said that he conducted only one security course. There were six students in the class: a Black, an East Indian, a Jew and three others. Among the six were a retired IBM programmer and troubleshooter, an individual who used to be in the securities area, two individuals in the transport business, and an employee of a large optical (binoculars) business. In the end, two of the six students completed the course and landed jobs.

At his school, which was advertised in a newspaper, Bristow taught his students a wide array of skills. For surveillance techniques, they practised near Dixie Road and the 401; a commercial district including truck yards. When people in the Heritage Front learned that he was running a course, they wanted to join, but he stalled them. In one instance, however, he used a few Front members as a decoy in a vehicle surveillance exercise.[146] This was the sole case, Bristow said, of Heritage Front participation in the course.

Continued

Footnotes


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