Coons 0696, Coons Roy D

The following is Michael Coren’s June 19th column in the Toronto Sun.

“The Zundel Affair: Much ado about nobody”

Let me begin with a question. What constitutes a national security threat
to this country?

Well, international espionage would be one, foreign invasion another.
Certainly the internal peace and order of the nation is challenged by
union thugs who try to bring down elected governments [a reference to a
recent disturbance outside the Ontario legislature] and by drug dealers
and murderers who now seem to be invading our inner cities. But the
country will, I am sure, win the day. Unless, apparently, one man is
allowed to remain in Canada.

The man of whom I speak became a permanent resident in 1958. He applied
for citizenship in 1968 and 1993 but was rejected because he was thought
by the Canadian Security Intelligence Service to be a threat to our
national security. Believe it or not, this ostensibly terrifying
individual is he of the soft brain under a hard hat, the porky
Holocaust-denier Ernst Zundel.

It sounds ridiculous, but it’s true. The intelligence service believes
Zundel to be so dangerous there may be moves afoot to deport him back to
Germany. He is now arguing his defence in front of the Federal Court.

Zundel has never been convicted of a crime, although he has, of course,
smashed his way through the moral law for years. His ideas are rotten and
repugnant, his friends are nasty and dumb. He denies the Holocaust and is
an important player in the revisionist movement. So what!

There are Marxists with links to international communism and dangerous
perverts with links to international pedophilia in this country, a few of
them with a certain degree of power. Some are citizens, some are not. Yet
nobody is trying to deport them and nobody has described them as threats
to our stability as a country.

Ernst Zundel is only a threat to Canada’s national security in the minds
of two extreme groups–his most zealous enemies, and his most zealous

The intelligence service claims Zundel may have links to fascist groups in
the U.S. and Europe and that those groups may have employed violence in
the past. But there are Canadians who have links with armed fighters in
Sri Lanka, Croatia, Serbia, Afghanistan and the rest. These groups are far
more effective and far better armed. No, what this seems to come down to
is a hatred and a fear of Zundel’s ideas. The former is justified, the
latter is not. We must not, dare not, fear a lie.

Not only is the whole attack on Zundel an embarrassment to our dignity, it
is also a colossal waste of time and money. If we want to deport national
enemies, let us invest cash and hours into catching and deporting drug
dealers and murderers, such as the one who killed a young policeman [in
Toronto last year], and tried to kill another, and was supposed to have
been deported to Jamaica long before. He managed to evade authorities with
some ease–or perhaps they managed to evade him.

Hysteria will, of course, be heard, will be used and will be exploited.

We will hear phrases such as “They laughed at Hitler” and “They didn’t
take the Nazis seriously” all chanted as reasons for deporting Zundel from

But the point is, this is Canada and not 1930s Germany. And Ernst Zundel
is not Adolf Hitler.

If our state is so fragile and if the minds and hearts of our citizens so
addled and dark the buffoon Zundel is a national threat, then it will take
more than one deportation to save us.

If we are stronger and more sane than some would have us believe, Zundel
is no more of a danger than the man who says he is a poached egg. We
should treat Mr Zundel and Mr Yolk in the same way, with a contemptuous

Let me conclude by making what really should be an unnecessary statement.
I am the son of a father whose Polish-Jewish family was devastated in and
by the Holocaust. I have more reason than most to disagree with Ernst
Zundel but I also have reason to speak up for a better grasp of political

In the words of my 6-year old daughter, “Get real.”

From [email protected] Mon Jun 24 12:09:28 PDT 1996
Article: 45440 of alt.revisionism
From: “Duncan Coons” <[email protected]>
Newsgroups: alt.revisionism
Subject: Re: British Columbia Thought Police Handed Clubs
Date: Sun, 23 Jun 1996 00:36:54 -0500
Organization: —–
Lines: 29
Message-ID: <01bb60c7.d40cfd00$55cfd3c6@default>
X-NETCOM-Date: Sun Jun 23 12:53:41 AM EDT 1996
X-Newsreader: Microsoft Internet News 4.70.1085

> [email protected] (Orest Slepokura) wrote in article

> This bizarre tale starts back in June 1993, when the provincial
> made seemingly minor amendments to the Human Rights Act, changes that
> alarmed newspapers because it looked like the government was trying to
> sneak in press controls through the Human Rights Council’s back door.
> “No, no,” said the government, from Premier Mike Harcourt on down,
> got it all wrong.”
> But two years later it appeared we didn’t.
> In June 1995, the government passed Bill 32, another Human Rights
> amendment, which gave Draconian powers to a beefed-up Human Rights
> Commission and established the tribunal to wield them.

“Any law that requires the citizens be assured the law does not mean what
the citizens fear, means exactly what the citizens fear”

That vile troll Giwer must be pretty smart.

From [email protected] Mon Jun 24 12:09:29 PDT 1996
Article: 45532 of alt.revisionism
From: “Duncan Coons” <[email protected]>
Newsgroups: alt.revisionism
Subject: Re: Ernst Zundel’s crocodile tears
Date: Sat, 22 Jun 1996 09:29:14 -0500
Organization: —–
Lines: 105
Message-ID: <01bb604f.f3c557a0$8ecfd3c6@default>
References: <01bb5b46.1b1945a0$aeded3c6@default>
<01bb5ce7.f33a36e0$88ded3c6@default> <[email protected]>
<01bb5fc3.d199ce40$8dded3c6@default> <[email protected]>
X-NETCOM-Date: Sat Jun 22 10:35:35 AM EDT 1996
X-Newsreader: Microsoft Internet News 4.70.1085

>> [email protected] (Ken McVay OBC) wrote in article
> ><[email protected]>…
> At the time of Mr. Zundel’s arrest, the “publishing false
> news” statute was legal – stupid, but legal. Therefore, his
> arrest was justified.
> It was legal at the time of his arrest, thus it was legally
> justified _at_the_time_ – ergo, it was not persecution. The
> law of the day said that it was illegal to knowingly publish
> lies, Zundel knowingly published lies. That seems to confuse
> you.
I hate to labour the point too much further, especially since it strikes
me as fairly obvious, but the confusion is all on your side. Such laws
are, in my view, wrong and pernicious regardless of any court decision,
but the Supreme Court did in fact strike down the law as unconstitutional
and as a violation of rights guaranteed by the charter. That means that
the archaic false news law, selectively dredged out of the law books and
directed at one unpopular man, should never have been a law in the first
place. It was not, to state what ought to be obvious but apparently isn’t,
legal at the time of Zundel’s arrest, or at any other time for that
matter, and it was therefore unconstitutional and legally unjustified for
the Crown to charge Zundel or anyone else with spreading false news. The
Court may have hated Zundel as passionately as you do, but it concluded
both that he was convicted under an illegal law (there is such a thing, by
the way) and that his charter rights were violated.

The false news law was also unjustified according to the admirable
principles of Ken McVay–which, believe it or not, I consider more
important–namely, that the state should not decide “what’s correct and
what’s not.” That’s your stated conviction, not Ernst Zundel’s, not even
the Supreme Court’s, but yours. Your “ergo” thus introduces a non sequitur
according to your own beliefs, as well as the legal principles that guided
the Supreme Court of Canada.

> Bernie Farber will have to speak for himself – forgive me, but
> the Zundelistas on the net have not established a record as
> paragons of honest virtue.
I can only assume that this rather elliptical remark is meant to imply
that I, as a Zundelista, might be lying. I had assumed Farber’s plans were
common knowledge. I hope I misunderstood the sentence, but if I didn’t, I
quote from a letter he wrote to the Toronto “Sun”: “Holocaust denial is
anti-Semitic hate speech subject to the laws of our land” (quoted in Peter
Worthington’s column of 9 Feb 1995). He enlarged on this conclusion on the
CBC Newsworld programme “Face Off” a couple of months later (16 May to be
exact), leading your supporter K.K. Campbell, his opponent for the
evening, to rightly conclude that “Farber and his ilk are the moral
descendents of book burners” (“Eye,” 25 May 1995).

> … so much for “feigned opposition.”
> Your continuing attempts to demonstrate that I do not
> believe my public statements is deliberately misleading, and
> patently false.

“Feigned opposition” was a very poor choice of words, for which I

The point, inadequately expressed, was that you misunderstand the
implications of what you profess. You cannot support free speech, on the
internet and elsewhere, and still support hate laws that criminalize
speech, ban books and shut down phone lines, and that, furthermore, permit
the investigation of university professors (Rushton), journalists
(Collins), and even apolitical theatrical producers (Drabinsky).

If you have, as you say, “mixed feelings about the hate-speech laws,”
perhaps Nizkor should revise its position (as it appears, for example, on
your Zundel and censorship page) and declare that you believe in free
speech, except for a special category of speech whose contours we shall
leave it to the discretion of the state to determine. Or perhaps you could
say that you have no objection in principle to such restrictions, but that
you have concluded that they are likely for technological reasons to prove
ineffectual, at least on the internet. That would be a less ringing
profession of principles than you might wish, but it would at least have
the virtue of being consistent with your hesitation on the issue.

> I have made that point in workshops with Canadian government
> officials in Foreign Affairs, Justice, Heritage, the RCMP,
> CSIS, and the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs. What have
> _you_ done, other than bellow on the net about poor Mr.
> Zundel?
Bellow? That does hurt. I thought I was the sweet voice of reason.

> [David Irving] is not fit to enter this country, and his deportation was
> completely justified.

My reference to Irving, incidentally, was to the banning of a book
defending him, not to his being barred from Canada. It’s fairly clear by
now that Nizkor will defend any legal device exploited to target those it
dislikes, whether it be Zundel’s false news charge, his impending
deportation, or the barring of a world-famous historian from the country.
I naively assumed that you would at least share my shock at the mere
thought that a book could be prohibited entry into this country. Guess I
was wrong.

My understanding of the Irving case is based largely on the account in
Frank Miele’s article in the “Skeptic,” vol. 2, no. 4, pp. 65-66. It was a
pretty appalling sequence of events, which no-one should bother defending.

From [email protected] Mon Jun 24 12:09:29 PDT 1996
Article: 45727 of alt.revisionism
From: “Duncan Coons” <[email protected]>
Newsgroups: alt.revisionism
Subject: Re: Revisionism as a framework
Date: Sun, 23 Jun 1996 02:04:33 -0500
Organization: —–
Lines: 18
Message-ID: <01bb60d3.4d37f760$55cfd3c6@default>
References: <[email protected]> <[email protected]>
<[email protected]>
X-NETCOM-Date: Sun Jun 23 2:15:48 AM EDT 1996
X-Newsreader: Microsoft Internet News 4.70.1085

> [email protected] (Ken McVay OBC) wrote in article
<[email protected]>…
> In article <[email protected]>,
> Jean-Francois Beaulieu wrote:
> > Revisionnist conceed that there was at least a million of Jews
> > who perished during WWll, accounting for the poor hygienic
> David Irving “concedes” that at least 4 million died. Do try
> and get your stories straight.
If David Irving–that vile pseudo-historian, currently banned from
Canada–“concedes” at least four million victims, and Gerald Reitlinger,
the author of “The Final Solution,” says 4.6 million, is Reitlinger a vile

From [email protected] Wed Jun 26 16:43:38 PDT 1996
Article: 46121 of alt.revisionism
From: “Duncan Coons” <[email protected]>
Newsgroups: alt.revisionism
Subject: Re: 960624: When a fellow says,
“It ain’t the money but the principle of the thing”-it’s the money!
Date: Wed, 26 Jun 1996 00:30:40 -0500
Organization: —–
Lines: 84
Message-ID: <01bb632a.29918700$50cfd3c6@default>
References: <[email protected]>
<[email protected]> <01bb623a.d7d36040$95cfd3c6@default>
<[email protected]> <[email protected]>
X-NETCOM-Date: Wed Jun 26 1:42:43 AM EDT 1996
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> [email protected] (Bernie Farber) wrote in article
<[email protected]>…

> 1. I have NEVER campaigned to shut down the net.

No-one has ever suggested that you aim to demolish, say, alt.golfing. You
aim instead to punish anyone who, from this country at least, says
anything on the internet (or elsewhere) that falls under our authoritarian
anti-hate laws. Since, as you routinely trumpet, “holocaust denial is
anti-Semitic hate speech subject to the laws of our land” (quoted in Peter
Worthington’s Toronto “Sun” column of 9 Feb 1995), it follows as night
does day that you plan to shut down this particular news group, along with
all groups and all websites subsumed by that ever-expanding category
“hate.” Any “holocaust denier” (or “hate monger” or “net-nazi”) with the
temerity to post a message to this group will, if Bernie Farber has his
way, be in violation of the law and thus liable to fine or imprisonment.
This will become a forum wherein quite literally historical truth is
determined by government fiat. Rumblings from the Wiesenthal Centre
suggest a similar scheme is afoot south of the border, though I suspect
with much less chance of success.
> Please document where I or CJC has at any time publicly called for such

>Canadian law applies to the net-users in Canada as it applies to every
other Canadian resident. As such, >where evidence allows, violations of
law be it libel, hate promotion etc should be prosecuted.
As far as I’m concerned, you were in fact kind enough to provide the
documentation in your own post, but here’s some more:

“There’s a myth and a fallacy out there that for some reason . . . the
internet is sacrosanct, that somehow Canadian [hate] law doesn’t apply to
Canadians using the internet. In fact, that’s dead wrong. As a matter of
fact, at the CJC [Canadian Jewish Congress] plenary . . . it was made very
clear by a lawyer with the Canadian Human Rights Commission that section
13, which deals with telephonic hate, [also] deals with the internet. If
there are hate messages put on the internet, and they can determine who it
is or what site it comes from within Canada, they will apply the law”
(Bernie Farber on CBC Newsworld’s “Face Off,” 16 May 1995).
> For the record it is CJC’s position that service providers should
operate within a voluntary
> set of guidelines. They need not take as clients hate-mongers, child
ponographers etc.
> Such is the beauty of capitalism.

Here’s how this delightful plan would work: “I’m looking at some kind of
international agreement . . . where some of the larger service providers .
. . have some sort of self-regulation [in place], so that if a Ernst
Zundel, for example, wants to get on, people know who he is, what he’s
about–then they yank him” (ibid). Comment would be superfluous.

And a special favourite of mine, a touching testament to Bernie Farber’s
faith in the powers of human ingenuity: “We have a major problem in terms
of technology. There’s no question about that. The law is probably years
behind the technology. However, we shouldn’t say it can’t ever be done . .
. There’s certainly the possibility that we can find a way to regulate”
(ibid). Translation: I think I can convince (Justice Minister) Alan Rock
to penalize speech I don’t like, either through existing law or new law
coined for the occasion, and we’ll work out the technical details later.
And if I can’t convince him, I’ll badger the ISPs until they comply.

> We all may vigorously debate such laws, but we do not have the right to
knowingly violalte these laws.
> Such action as the above poster well knows constitutes anarchy. Exactly
what net-nazis dream of.

Of course the exact opposite is the case. The term “nazi” has, through its
frequent misuse, almost entirely lost any meaningful content; but if there
is an authentic “nazi” position here you are occupying it, and the
“anarchists” who reject regulation of speech are the “anti-nazis.”

But you pose a false dichotomy. The dispute is really between those who
believe in democracy, and hence believe that consumers of ideas will
ultimately make the right choices, and those who mistrust the public and
seek to regulate what they read and speak and thus ultimately think. On
this issue we should not be having a “vigorous debate,” but a bantering
about of free-speech truisms. Here’s my contribution: neither you, nor
Alan Rock, nor Max Yalden has any right to tell me what ideas I can put
into my own mind, and I resent your attempt to do so.

From [email protected] Fri Jun 28 10:39:47 PDT 1996
Article: 46483 of alt.revisionism
From: “Duncan Coons” <[email protected]>
Newsgroups: alt.revisionism
Subject: Re: Now you know why
Date: Mon, 24 Jun 1996 01:30:00 -0500
Organization: —–
Lines: 32
Message-ID: <01bb619b.41a9e8e0$51ded3c6@default>
References: <[email protected]> <[email protected]>
<[email protected]> <[email protected]>
X-NETCOM-Date: Mon Jun 24 2:07:12 AM EDT 1996
X-Newsreader: Microsoft Internet News 4.70.1085

> [email protected] (Richard Schultz) wrote in article
<[email protected]>…
> Prince Myshkin ([email protected]) wrote:
> : [email protected] (Richard Schultz) wrote:
> : >Prince Myshkin ([email protected]) wrote:
> [> Why don’t you go back and reread the story? According to Vidal, the
> recognition of Israel was “rushed through so fast” *after* Truman had
> begun to campaign for President, at a time when he had been “abandoned
> everybody.” If the recognition of Israel in May was a quid pro quo for
> campaign contribution, why was the contribution not made until
> Do you have any evidence that the Truman campaign was short of funds in
> September 1948? Do you have any evidence that Truman had begun to
> campaign for reelection in May 1948? (The newspapers at the time make
> no mention of such a campaign that I can see.)
Richard Schultz is right. Gore Vidal has the sequence of events reversed.
The contributions American Jews (specifically, Abe Feinburg) raised for
Truman’s campaign were a reward for his early recognition of the state of
Israel; they were not an illicit bribe or shady quid pro quo. He didn’t
recognize Israel because of Jewish contributions, but received the
contributions afterward because he had recognized and supported Israel.
For an accurate account see Seymore Hersh, _The Sampson Option_ (New York:
Random House, 1991), 93-95.

From [email protected] Fri Jun 28 13:24:02 PDT 1996
Article: 46508 of alt.revisionism
From: “Duncan Coons” <[email protected]>
Newsgroups: alt.revisionism
Subject: Re: Irving’s ‘Goebbels’ book now available
Date: Sun, 23 Jun 1996 13:40:28 -0500
Organization: —–
Lines: 40
Message-ID: <01bb6135.06658ca0$82cfd3c6@default>
References: <[email protected]> <[email protected]>
<01bb6046.b0ac9c20$8ecfd3c6@default> <[email protected]>
X-NETCOM-Date: Sun Jun 23 1:55:22 PM EDT 1996
X-Newsreader: Microsoft Internet News 4.70.1085

> [email protected] (Hilary Ostrov) wrote in article
<[email protected]>…
> In <01bb6046.b0ac9c20$8ecfd3c6@default>, “Duncan Coons”
> <[email protected]> wrote:

> Mr. Coons, I think both you and Mr. Hitchens have missed the key point
> of St. Martin’s decision. Specifically, as Mr. Graves noted, “the
> book did not meet their standards” and St. Martin’s exercised their
> right not to publish.
> Would you deny a publisher the right to have “standards”, Mr. Coons?
> Is it your contention that _all_ publishers are obliged to publish
> that which is submitted to them, Mr. Coons? Or that such standards
> constitute “censorship”? Perhaps if you were to remove your “free
> speech absolutist spectacles”, Mr. Coons, you would recognize that
> this issue – as well as others on which you have commented – is not
> quite as black or white as you would like to believe.
> Perhaps St. Martin’s had initially judged the content of this book by
> its “cover”, but then on further reading found, as Robert Fulford did,
> that [Irving distorts evidence].
Sorry, but I’m afraid the delayed-quality-control argument won’t wash:

“I have now read the exchange of correspondence between Irving and St.
Martin’s. For a long time, everything was hunky-dory. The manuscript was
read seven times in 15 months . . . The Military Book Club chose it as a
main selection. Sales representatives made enthusiastic noises. And then,
after a few hysterical and old-maidish articles in the press (“Eeek–a
Nazi”), Irving is told that his contract is void. He is told this not by
the publishers but by members of the press telephoning him for his
reaction” (Christopher Hitchens in the June “Vanity Fair”).

I think, Miss Ostrov, you really should consider the kind of irritation
this kind of incident provokes.

From [email protected] Sat Jun 29 07:30:31 PDT 1996
Article: 46672 of alt.revisionism
From: “Duncan Coons” <[email protected]>
Newsgroups: alt.revisionism
Subject: Re: 960624: When a fellow says,
“It ain’t the money but the principle of the thing”-it’s the money!
Date: Thu, 27 Jun 1996 15:41:13 -0500
Organization: —–
Lines: 96
Message-ID: <01bb6472.54a88440$89b75ccf@default>
References: <01bb623a.d7d36040$95cfd3c6@default>
<[email protected]> <[email protected]>
<01bb632a.29918700$50cfd3c6@default> <[email protected]>
X-NETCOM-Date: Thu Jun 27 4:51:52 PM EDT 1996
X-Newsreader: Microsoft Internet News 4.70.1085

>> >> [email protected] (Bernie Farber) wrote in article
> ><[email protected]>…
> >
> Bernie Farber responds:
> What simplistic crap! This is your evidence; claims BY YOU, that “
nignt follows
> day…” please I gave you more credit than you obviously deserve. Yes, I
am, like
> most Canadians a law abiding citizen. You may not like this
“authoritarian” law, but
> it is still the law! Because I and most other law abiding citizens
prefer the rule of
> law to anarchy, does not mean we want to shut down this NG. Try and be
> a little more analytical. You know what they say about people who
Your sense of being analytical must differ from mine. I’ll elaborate
slightly, though the point should have been clear enough. If holocaust
denial/revisionism is a species of hate speech, as you frequently claim it
is, and if hate speech is illegal and subject to penalty, which is
(unfortunately) the case in this country, then it follows “as night does
day” that you hope, through our hate laws, to penalize any
revisionist/holocaust denier who participates in this newsgroup, along
with a host of other groups and websites. Your inability to follow a very
elementary argument suggests an unwillingness even to listen to others,
which must fit a would-be censor’s psychological profile, should such a
thing exist.

Will defining revisionism as hate speech shut alt.revisionism down?
Obviously not for, say, Americans or Argentineans, though local Bernie
Farbers may have their own agendas in those countries. It will, however,
plainly shut it down in any meaningful sense for Canadians, since
revisionist arguments, or holocaust denial lies, will have been
criminalized. We will, perhaps, still be able to read alt.revisionism and
the like–absent any “voluntary” measures on the part of the ISPs, such
being the beauty of capitalism–but as global democratic media, in which
anyone is free to express his opinions (or lies) on the topic of his
choice, Usenet and WWW will have ceased to exist in this country.

I doubt, should this occur, that learning and debate would immediately
suffer a grievous loss, since I don’t, for what little it’s worth, number
Ernst Zundel or Arthur Butz among the great minds of our age; but my
personal liberty and yours will have been severely circumscribed in the
process. Historical truth, if you have your way, will become subject to
government decree. That’s not some polemical exaggeration, but a simple
statement of fact. We will have conceded to the State the right to define
the truths of history, as well as the right to protect the sensitivities
of those who feel themselves injured by unpleasant speech. Feel free to
defend that concession, but don’t pretend that it is not an inevitable
consequence (as night follows day) of first, enforcing hate laws that
regulate speech and second, broadening the category of hate to include,
inter alia, opinions/lies about history.

A minor point: you should look up the “rule of law” somewhere. It has a
more specific sense than what you apparently imagine. I’ll give you a
hint: it doesn’t mean that citizens are compelled to obey unjust laws.

>Your ridiculous attempts to “translate” my comments is
> a clear example of lacking any proof. Therefore in order to create
“proof” you
> put words into my mouth, shame on you.

You object to my translation. Feel free to provide another, though your
remarks were hardly cryptic. For the record, do you and the CJC agitate
federal and provincial politicians to apply hate law to holocaust denial?
If you do, as is plainly the case, then your outrage at the very obvious
consequences of such an application of law is mystifying. And do you still
fondly contemplate the moment when, through “some kind of international
agreement,” service providers will “yank” an Ernst Zundel? If you do,
> I repeat, please provide DOCUMENTATION to support your allegation that
CJC or I
> want to shut down the net. Your documentation to date suggesting that we
want net-users
> to obey the law is no proof at all. Speculation and accusations based on
such speculation
> is not acceptable proof. Failing this I believe you owe me an apology.
You weren’t paying attention. My mock outrage was over “Bernie Farber
participating in a democratic forum that he campaigns to shut down,” the
particular forum in question being the newsgroup to which you had just
posted your message, a group that, if you are successful, will cease to
have any meaningful existence for everyone in this country. Keep in mind
that it is precisely holocaust revisionism that you seek to criminalize,
and it shouldn’t really be necessary to point out the name of this group.
I did not accuse you of trying to shut down the entire Internet, nor would
I imagine that you have either the power or even the inclination to do so.
Yet for those who understand the Internet (or newspapers or books for that
matter) as a democratic medium, in the sense specified above, you are in
fact agitating to shut it down in Canada. And by the way, if you re-read
my original comment, you may even notice a compliment buried therein.

From [email protected] Sat Jun 29 15:46:24 PDT 1996
Article: 46821 of alt.revisionism
From: “Duncan Coons” <[email protected]>
Newsgroups: alt.revisionism
Subject: Re: 960624: When a fellow says,
“It ain’t the money but the principle of the thing”-it’s the money!
Date: Mon, 24 Jun 1996 20:52:38 -0500
Organization: —–
Lines: 17
Message-ID: <01bb623a.d7d36040$95cfd3c6@default>
References: <[email protected]>
<[email protected]>
X-NETCOM-Date: Mon Jun 24 9:09:33 PM EDT 1996
X-Newsreader: Microsoft Internet News 4.70.1085

> [email protected] (Bernie Farber) wrote in article
<[email protected]>…
> [email protected] (E. Zundel Repost) wrote:
> Bernie Farber responds:
> Who could blame you for not betting more than a dime.
Please tell me this isn’t true. Bernie Farber participating in a
democratic forum that he campaigns to shut down. Exercising his right to
ridicule those whom he despises. Actually conversing with a purveyor of
illegal hate speech. There must be some law being broken here somewhere.
I’m shocked and dismayed. Where’s Attorney General Harnick when we need

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Date: Mon, 15 Jul 1996 05:34:51 -0400
From: “Roy D. Coons” <[email protected]>
Subject: coons.0696
To: “Kenneth McVay OBC”
Message-ID: <[email protected]>
Status: RO

From: “Duncan Coons” <[email protected]>
Newsgroups: alt.revisionism
Subject: Re: Ernst Zundel’s crocodile tears
Date: Fri, 21 Jun 1996 16:06:30 -0500
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References: <01bb5b46.1b1945a0$aeded3c6@default> <[email protected]>
<01bb5ce7.f33a36e0$88ded3c6@default> <[email protected]>
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> [email protected] (Ken McVay OBC) wrote in article
<[email protected]>…

> In the first case – the “publishing false news” case,
> [Zundel] was clearly guilty – two juries said so. That the law was
> later thrown out does not change the jury findings. In short,
> he was not “persecuted,” he really _did_ publish lies, and
> under existing law of the day, his arrest was justified. That
> the law was arcane, and ineffectual, I readily agree.

I quote a leading Canadian civil libertarian on the subject: “Free speech
is free speech. It may be distasteful, but where do you draw the line?” “I
did at [the] time approve Canadian actions against Zundel [and] against
Keegstra. It was sort of a gut reaction because they offended me so
deeply. I said, ‘good, shut them up, put them in jail, do whatever it
takes. No free speech.’ Four years on the internet has changed my thinking
on that issue totally.” “Once you let the government start deciding what’s
correct and what’s not correct, they may decide it’s your turn next month
and tell you that what you’re saying is unacceptable.” (Ken McVay saying
all the right things on the National News.)

Please explain the difference between your benighted wish, prior to the
enlightenment that your internet experience allegedly brought about, that
Zundel be put in jail for publishing a book and your current position that
the attempt to put him in jail for publishing a book was “justified.” And
if it wasn’t legally justified–as the Supreme Court thankfully
concluded–then don’t you think that the decade or so of court battles,
along with the expense, the frequent physical assaults outside the
courtroom, and some actual prison time, might just possibly constitute
persecution? I’ll play mind reader again. You can’t bring yourself to say
that a man whom you so despise could ever be persecuted. Only nice people
are persecuted, bad people get what they deserve.

> Yes – as Jamie McCarthy pointed out, he was found guilty of
> lying, and of _knowingly_ lying. The law under which two
> juries found him thus was later thrown out by the Supreme
> Court of Canada as being contrary to the Canadian Charter of
> Rights and Freedoms. In short, a proven liar received justice,
> and walked. He is still a proven liar, and still peddles the
> same lie for money.

Actually, in the second case the judge took judicial notice that “mass
murder and extermination of the Jews of Europe by the Nazi regime during
the Second World War is so notorious as not to be the subject of dispute
among reasonable persons.” The corollary is obvious: Zundel was already
guilty of spreading false news before the false news trial even began.
This judicial notice, as well as the notion of a false news trial itself,
violates the principle you alluded to on the CBC, so you can only cite the
court’s decision as evidence that Zundel is a judicially certified liar if
you accept that a court can determine what’s historically correct and
what’s not. Have you now changed your position, or did you never
understand its implications in the first place?

> He was quite serious [about banning “Schindler’s List”],
> as his flyer plainly demonstrates. He is a hypocrite of the first order.
(That is
> not the only time Mr. Zundel called for censorship – he has no
> problem demanding that movies or television shows be banned
> when he finds them distasteful.)

Fine. Let’s stipulate that Zundel is a contemptible hypocrite, he peddles
lies for money, he sells heroin to pre-schoolers, he irritates Bernie
Farber. But how much greater than nil was the likelihood that Ernst
Zundel, perhaps the most despised man still outside of a jail cell in
Canada, would convince the Ontario government to declare “Schindler’s
List” hate speech? And how much more likely is it that Zundel’s enemies,
should he stave off the current attempt to deport (=imprison) him, will
have his opinions (or “lies” if you prefer) declared hate? Mr Farber has
made it abundantly clear that the majesty of our hate laws has been
scandalously slighted by the Ontario Attorney General’s neglect. I fear
whichever of the two is more likely to succeed in criminalizing speech he
doesn’t like, and I regard a man who has not the remotest possibility of
succeeding as at best a minor irritant. That’s why this “Schindler’s List”
nonissue is pure obfuscation on your part, Zundel’s hypocrisy

> All nations have curbs on unrestricted speech, Canada among
> them. Are you suggesting they should not?
Of course. Once upon a time I imagined you did too. Cf. the comments of
the civil libertarian quoted above. Do you now defend our hate laws? If
you do, then you might as well drop your feigned opposition to censorship.

> I find it ludicrous that his supporters make the claim that he will be
> deported for his “views” regarding the Holocaust, when there
> is absolutely no evidence whatsover to support that claim.

Your assertion that the current CIRC circus is not plainly, obviously,
self-evidently, etc a piece of legal chicanery designed to succeed where
the false news travesty failed, is surely either disingenuous or
self-delusional. And by the way I am not one of Zundel’s supporters. Your
inability to distinguish defending speech from defending someone’s right
to speak is telling.

> Les Griswold denies the Holocaust and calls it the
> “hollow-cause.” He hasn’t been arrested, and neither has any
> other Canadian.

Unless of course Mr Griswold were to publish a book or start up a phone
line. People have been put in jail for both. Do you think in that case he
might just find the full weight of our enlightened hate laws falling down
upon him? With all due respect to both your internet activities and my
interest in them, this little forum in which we are all presently
conversing is not yet considered serious enough for the censorship,
coercion and punishment that hate speech and holocaust denial legally
merit, though Max Yalden, gauleiter of our human rights, has kindly
offered to repair that deficiency. At that point, which is fast
approaching, you might as well trash your computer, unless you really do
enjoy debates without opponents.

The Zundel persecution/prosecution/deportation/firebombing is only the
most prominent instance of the gathering cloud of authoritarian thought
control in this country and elsewhere. David Irving, whose deportation you
support, cannot enter Canada, nor can a book defending him (“The Case for
David Irving”). We are to be so infantalized that not only can we not hear
Irving speak, we can’t even read a book defending his right to speak. Lest
the gravity of this be too depressing, Garth Drabinsky, joining the
company of Professor Phillipe Rushton and Ernst Zundel, was comically
investigated by the police last year on suspicion of promoting hatred.
Yes, that Garth Drabinsky, whose acclaimed production of “Showboat”
angered some local malcontents.

But I suppose none of this bothers you, since hate laws apparently don’t
register in your mind as infringements of civil liberties.

From!104670.3420 Mon Jul 15 02:39:26 1996
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Date: Mon, 15 Jul 1996 05:33:34 -0400
From: “Roy D. Coons” <[email protected]>
Subject: coons.0696
To: “Kenneth McVay OBC”
Message-ID: <[email protected]>
Status: RO

From: “Duncan Coons” <[email protected]>
Newsgroups: alt.revisionism
Subject: Re: To Bucky McVay, Censors’ Best Friend
Date: Tue, 18 Jun 1996 01:18:46 -0500
Organization: —–
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> [email protected] (Hilary Ostrov) wrote in article
<[email protected]>…
> In <01bb5b46.1b1945a0$aeded3c6@default>, “Duncan Coons”
> <[email protected]>:
>> … his claim that he is being “persecuted” does not
> make it true.

Ernst Zundel (I’ll bow to the prevailing spelling) has been tried twice,
and convicted on both occasions, under an arcane law practically conjured
out of the law books for the purpose; he has been imprisoned in Germany
and the German government, true to its anti-liberal past, has repeatedly
agitated for an involuntary return visit, five years being his expected
sentence; his home, uninsured owing to earlier anti-revisionist violence,
has been destroyed by firebomb and the police evidently have no plans to
apprehend the arsonist; there have been several other attempts on his
life, including a vicious mail bomb, and local anti-racist activists have
recently circulated leaflets with instructions for making Molotov
cocktails and directions to his address; for over a decade the local
Toronto papers have regaled us with various legal manoeuvres, too numerous
to recall let alone cite, directed against him by crusading lawyers and
zealous Jewish organizations. Are these mere “claims” of persecution? For
the sake of argument I concede everything you say about him, but he is
clearly not lying or posturing when he says he is a victim of persecution,
both the polite judicial variety and not-so-polite acts of criminal
violence. I ask you to be objective here. And I would ask for some
soul-searching honesty, too. Were you not just a little bit pleased when
his house went up in flames? And if you were, perhaps you might concede
that emotion is clouding devotion to abstract principle.
> Ernst Zundel, who called for the movie _Schindler’s List_ to be
> banned, is a human rights activist?

I’ve seen Ken McVay make this same obfuscation. I have no idea whether
Zundel was serious when he suggested the film should be banned as
anti-German hate, and it hardly matters. On the best construction Zundel
was childishly, without the tiniest possibility of success, trying to use
against his enemies a weapon hitherto wielded against himself. Which
raises the question whether the weapon should be available to anyone. On
the worst he is a sinister charlatan, as you suggest, claiming a right he
proposes to deny others. But are you saying that only those who understand
free speech is an inalienable right and extend it to their enemies will be
accorded its exercise? That would, I’m afraid, exclude everyone at Nizkor,
as well as Bernie Farber and his misguided gang of censors.
> To characterize his vitriolic publications and posturing as “dissent”
> is a travesty which debases the coinage of civilized discourse.

A nice sounding sentence. But with all due respect, do you really have the
vaguest notion what the word “dissent” actually means? At the risk of
playing mind reader, I think I can reconstruct your reasoning. Dissenters,
you suppose, are men like Solzhenitsyn and Timmerman who oppose regimes
whose principles you and I do not share; that is, we will admire dissent
in other countries that govern themselves by standards we reject, so that
the dissenter actually confirms by his dissent our own views and our own
standards, but in our country dissent will be denied to those whose
opinions we dislike. Only popular dissenters will be allowed to dissent in
Canada. All in the name of tolerance, as you candidly admit.

Or to be more precise: as a nation we will collectively, as Nizkor does
individually, convince ourselves of such truly comical nonsense as “free
speech has never been seriously curtailed” in Canada, and we will loudly
proclaim our devotion to this right, even enshrining it in our pitiful
constitution; but in this one very very special case, and perhaps a few
others, we will quietly make an exception, expecting that no-one will draw
attention to the deceit. That, I’m sorry to tell you, is not tolerance for
dissent, nor is it support for free speech, which cannot exist globally if
it is excluded specifically. It’s a truism but nevertheless true: speech
is either free or it is restricted. There is no other alternative. And a
dissenter whom everyone admires is a contradiction in terms, and should
any such strange beast miraculously arise, he would hardly be in need of
any defenders, or even any rights for that matter.

> I would venture to guess that by far the majority of informed Canadians
> would shed no tears if [Zundel were deported and jailed for his
I’ll go you one better and include uninformed Canadians as well. Which is
of course precisely the point. Does Zundel have the right to express
unpopular opinions in Canada. The preponderance of public opinion against
a set of beliefs is completely irrelevant to its right to be expressed.
And, of course, if the deportation trick, like its false news predecessor,
doesn’t work–well, there’s always a crowd-pleasing hate crimes charge
waiting in the wings.

> It really is not a question of Canada’s “hate laws” or of “censorship”
> or of “persecution”. And if Mr. Zundel were a less unsavoury and
> dishonest person, he would acknowledge this – instead of avoiding
> debate and engaging in shameless promotion of myths and lies about
> himself and others.
I am again really struck by the oddity of Nizkor’s demand that Zundel
debate, given the legal consequences of anything he might say in his
defence. A few letters to the editor from McVay & Company deploring the
current round of legal chicanery might demonstrate your sincerity. Perhaps
Zundel avoids debate for exactly the reasons you suggest: he’s a coward,
he knows he’s lying, etc. That he avoids debate is immaterial. The crucial
point to be acknowledged is that any debate on his part, as I mentioned
above, is illegal in Canada, and it is for the expression of the same
views which you now angrily urge him to ventilate that he risks
deportation and imprisonment. It is the illegality of unpopular speech
that concerns me, as it should concern Nizkor, not Zundel’s cowardice,
bravery, whatever.

I won’t bother with the CIRC issues you touch on. I’m sure everyone
understands what’s really happening and knows it has nothing to do with
Canadian security.

Nevertheless, thank you for the restrained response. I suppose you’ve
heard the relevant Chomsky line, but I’ll conclude with it anyway: “it is
a poor service to the memory of the victims of the holocaust to adopt a
central doctrine of their murderers.”

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Date: Mon, 15 Jul 1996 05:32:30 -0400
From: “Roy D. Coons” <[email protected]>
Subject: coons.0696
To: “Kenneth McVay OBC”
Message-ID: <[email protected]>
Status: RO

From: “Duncan Coons” <[email protected]>
Newsgroups: alt.revisionism
Subject: To Bucky McVay, Censors’ Best Friend
Date: Sun, 16 Jun 1996 00:38:54 -0500
Organization: —–
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Mr McVay, you cannot simultaneously be in favour of free speech and
support the persecution of those who exercise it. Consider the context in
which you operate. In a Canadian context, with our pitifully anaemic civil
liberties tradition, to accuse Ernst Zuendel of spreading “hatred” is not
simply to characterize his message, as anyone is free to do, but to
declare it both illegal and punishable. In all your award-winning
cyberwarrior activities you seem entirely oblivious to that plain,
unmistakable truth. In Canada, accusing someone of spreading “hate” is no
different in kind from accusing him of theft or child molestation, which
is to say that charges of the sort you make daily are implicit calls for
the imposition of the relevant penalty.

This, keep in mind, is the country where, in eager anticipation of the
Ayatollah’s fatwa, the “Satanic Verses” was impounded at the border; where
the historian David Irving was, disgracefully, led off in handcuffs and
deported, an action you evidently approve of; where dozens of books are
rountinely denied entry into the country as hate literature and shipments
of gay bookstores maliciously targeted for postal inspection as sexually
deviant; where a Moncton teacher can be fired for writing a book and a
Toronto publisher jailed and shamelessly hounded for publishing one. If
any of this bothers you, I would suggest that your joy at Zuendel’s
impending deportation, as (let us all smile) a threat to national
security, is appalling: “Have a nice trip back to Berlin, bucky. We won’t
miss you–not even a little bit. Have a bloody delightful trip.”

Translation is hardly necessary. “Back to Berlin” means, of course,
imprisonment for thought crimes in a country with even less respect for
free speech than our own. So much for Ken McVay, civil libertarian. I
won’t ask for the $100 you’re offering to anyone providing proof you
support censorship, but logically, taking account of the plain meaning of
this savage, unprincipled remark, you now owe it. If applauding
deportation for the expression of unpopular opinions doesn’t constitute
advocacy of censorship, it would be a challenge to imagine anything that

Consider further: you repeatedly invite Zuendel to debate on Usenet, and
vilify him for failing to do so, but any defence of his views would of
course be a hate crime. And it is precisely for such crimes that he is
currently at risk of losing his legal status in Canada and, with your fond
farewell ringing in his ears, ending up in a German jail. As your fan
Bernie Farber is fond of pointing out, exoneration from a false news
charge doesn’t preclude a hate-crime charge, and it apparently doesn’t
preclude deportation either. Do you not see the glaring inconsistency
here? The real issue now is freedom of speech, and the real enemy is not
Ernst Zuendel, but the apparatus of persecution/prosecution that has been
directed against him for well over a decade, an apparatus in which you are
a tacit participant.

For the sake of form, I will state the requisite disavowal of any taint of
heresy. I believe there were gassings at Auschwitz, I believe millions of
Jews were brutally murdered, I am not an admirer of Adolf Hitler. I do not
believe, however, that anyone should be bombed and persecuted for
believing otherwise, nor do I accept (as you do) the existence of any
officially sanctioned Truth the rejection of which constitutes a crime
worthy of jail, deportation, loss of employment, or even a judicial slap
on the wrist. No-one can assassinate memory, and crimes in the past should
not be used to sanction violations of principle in the present.

It is, moreover, well past the time when revisionism or–if you insist on
theological language–“holocaust denial” should be the relevant issue for
Canadians who still value freedom. Zuendel’s right to speak, regardless of
the substance of his speech, should have been vigorously defended way back
in 1985 with his first conviction under the embarrassing and fascistic
“false news” law. In any event, after years of additional persecution,
legal and otherwise, and after numerous mail bombings and the terrorist
attack on his home, which Metro’s Finest clearly have no intention of
solving, witty and/or vulgar insults of the sort Ken McVay & Company
specialize in, though doubtless emotionally satisfying, are no longer
intellectually legitimate.

Get rid of the hate laws and the persecution and then we can all vilify
and insult one another to our hearts’ content; but until that blessed time
arrives Ernst Zuendel is, like it or not, exactly what he says he is: both
a human rights activist and a test case for Canada’s tolerance for

From [email protected] Mon Jun 24 12:08:15 PDT 1996
Article: 44695 of alt.revisionism
From: “Duncan Coons” <[email protected]>
Newsgroups: alt.revisionism
Subject: Coren defends free speech
Date: Wed, 19 Jun 1996 14:41:46 -0500
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