It's a working paper titled 'TSAS WP17-02: Broadening our Understanding of Anti-Authority Movements in Canada' and prepared for TSAS (Canadian Network for Research on Terrorism, Security and Society);
TSAS engages in policy-relevant research and dissemination in terrorism, security and society. The TSAS Network is designed to foster: communication and collaboration between academic researchers working on these topics in Canada; communication and collaboration between academic researchers and policy officials in these subject fields; and links with research on these topics in other countries. TSAS aims to cultivate a new generation of scholars. As TSAS matures it will create an institutional foundation for the development of Canada’s terrorism, counter-terrorism, and security knowledge base and will constitute a uniquely Canadian response to terrorism and its social consequences, producing research that is both academically meritorious and relevant to policy.
I don't know Barbara Perry however I've heard of her. I understand she's a well respected author in the area of hate crimes and Islamophobia;
Dr. Barbara Perry has written extensively in the area of hate crime. Her books include:
· In the Name of Hate: Understanding Hate Crimes
· Hate and Bias Crime: A Reader
· The Silent Victims: Hate Crimes Against Native Americans
She is also General Editor of a five-volume set on hate crime (Praeger), and Editor of Volume 3: The Victims of Hate Crime, which is part of that set.
Dr. Perry has also written on policing diverse communities, including work on social control in Native American communities. She has made substantial contributions to the limited scholarship on hate crime in Canada. Most recently, she has contributed to a scholarly understanding of anti-Muslim violence, hate crime against LGBTQ communities, and the community impacts of hate crime
You can find out about David Hoffman here;
Keep in mind reading this that the paper is not about Canadian anti-authority groups being terrorists. That's in there to some extent, it's inevitable in a study of anti-authority fringe players, but the focus of the paper is understanding who they are, what they believe, and what motivates them. Actual identified terrorist groups are excluded from the study.
Quatloos is noted a few times as citations. The main academic sources of information for the study are the Meads v Meads judgment;
Meads v. Meads
2012 ABQB 571
and academic papers. The paper had this to say about Meads;
The most systematic analysis grounded in primary data to date is a ground-breaking legal decision penned by Associate Chief Justice Rooke’s decision in Meads v. Meads (2012), which he wrote in response to his experience with loose collections of individuals and small cells known as “vexatious litigants”: members of movements who employ “Organized Pseudo-legal Commercial Arguments” (OPCA).2
The study refers mainly to two papers written by Donald Netolitzky, legal counsel for the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench, the same court that released the Meads decision. These are;
Netolitzky, D. J. The history of the Organized Pseudolegal Commercial Argument phenomenon in Canada. Alberta Law Review
Netolitzky, D. J. Organized Pseudolegal Commercial Arguments (OPCA) in Canada: An attack on the legal system. Journal of Parliamentary and Political Law
There is apparently no freely available copy of this paper online.
One thing the study found, which we've pretty much known all along here on Quatloos, is that there is no longer anything that can be called a Freeman on the Land (FOTL) movement. A movement would require an organized, structured group with a shared set of at least minimal core beliefs. The Canadian anti-authority subculture has been too shattered by court losses and dissent to coalesce around an agreed set of organized beliefs. With a few noted exceptions like the Tacit Supreme in Law Courts it's largely now every man for himself. As the study noted 'Freemen on the Land' was a phrase coined by Robert Menard and survived as a specific identifier while he was Canada's main Freeman/sovereign guru.
The study went into the issue of past and present gurus. None of the identified individuals are strangers to Quatloos and the main three, Robert Menard, Dean Clifford, and Robin Belanger, have been extensively covered here.
The study identified five variants of antiauthority adherents in Canada:
3. Sovereign Citizens
5. Indigenous groups
All, again, covered in Quatloos although the detaxers have been only marginally discussed since their peak was in the late 1990's early 2000's.
The main questions the study wanted to address were;
1. What are the core elements of FOTL ideologies and beliefs in Canada?
2. What personal, professional or legal conditions draw individuals to the movement?
3. How deep/strong are adherents’ connections to the movement?
4. What activities are likely to follow from adherence to FOTL credos?
5. How likely is it that FOTL ideologies will shape violent extremism?
You can get the answers to these by reading the paper yourselves. Not surprisingly they found that a key source of information was social media, particularly Facebook and Youtube. In fact Facebook was the study's author's main entry into the world of alternate beliefs since they attempted to interview as many FOTL types as possible and utilized their Facebook accounts as the first point of contact.
However, one of the lawyers interviewed during our study suggested that we reach out to Canadian adherents through an informal means of communications, and one in which they were especially active: Facebook. Our attempts to connect with and recruit interview participant through Facebook was met with a surprisingly high level of success. Whether (or not) adherents ultimately chose to participate in our study, the vast majority were at the very least comfortable communicating with us on Facebook. The familiarity of this platform was less intrusive and more informal in comparison to emails or telephone calls, and gave us unprecedented access to movement adherents.
The history of the Anti-Authority Community in Canada starts on page 14 of the study. A section well worth reading. The authors largely credit Menard for kick-starting the movement;
He (Netolitzsky) notes that the movement was the sole creation of a British Columbian street comedian, Robert Arthur Menard, who cobbled together the ideological basis for the Canadian Freemen by borrowing from previous antigovernment thinkers like Mary Elizabeth Croft (2007) and from the core teachings of the Canadian Detaxer movement. Although the Canadian Freemen emerged from the far-left of the political spectrum, they are also indelibly influenced by the core tenets of American right-wing antigovernment ideology – especially the Sovereign Citizens, as noted above – that “trickled up” into Canada via the Internet and seminars offered by American anti-government ideologues.
It is important to highlight the role of Robert Menard in “establishing” a temporarily viable presence for the FOTL in Canada specifically. He became widely recognized as the face of the movement, until his proposed – and largely unsuccessful - strategies began to lose credibility.
They noted how he was an early and very profligate user of Youtube. But, on page 17, dark clouds gather with this heading;
3.4 - The Rise and Fall of Dean Clifford and “Muscular Freemanism” (2010-2015)
Essentially Menard's failures left an opening for Dean to promote a more forceful variant of Freemanism. Which, for a while, was quite successful, or at least Dean was successful. But we all know how that ended up. The authors noted how Dean's fall resulted in the final fracturing of the movement.
Section 4 on page 19 attempts to estimate how many anti-authority adherents there are in Canada and comes to the conclusion that nobody knows but best guess is 5,000 to 10,000. As far as their political leanings go they have an inverse bell-curve ranging from far left to far right with the fewest adherents in the middle.
The quote below is is the extent of the racism and anti-Semitism they found.
Because many Canadian anti-authority movements can trace their lineage, in part, to American far-right movements, some vestiges of racism and anti-Semitism remain embedded. Interestingly, this did not arise much in our interviews with anti-authority adherents and sympathizers. However, our open source analyses did yield some evidence of a bigoted or racist worldview.
. . . .
Dean Clifford was allegedly an active member of a white supremacist group before transitioning first to the Sovereign Citizens movement, then to FOTL. He maintains a relationship, at least online, with Canadian white supremacist Bill Noble, a fixture on racist social media venues. . . So, too, is one of the emerging gurus, Mike Rasila (see section 7.9), known for his racist and anti-Semitic posts on Facebook.
They also mentioned Norman Raddatz who shot and killed an Edmonton police officer but he seemed, at least to me, to have been a crazed loner and not reflective of any focused freeman/sovereign belief system. Just a total loser angry at the world and lashing out. If anything he was more akin to the American sovereign movement rather than Canadian Freemen. I also seem to recall that a couple of posters on World Freeman Society had anti-Semitic rants from time to time but that's about it.
Page 26 starts into the various beliefs that have driven Freemanism in the past, the strawman, joinder (really big with the Poriskyite tax evaders) and common law (again really big with Michael Millar, a Poriskyite convicted of tax evasion and counseling fraud). Then it moves on to the differences between Freemen and sovereigns by discussing, as a classic sovereign, Glenn Fearn, a ranting second amendment American nutcase with, unfortunately, Canadian citizenship. We've considered Glenn in some depth here;
As our esteemed ex-poster Hilfskreuzer Möwe Commented;
Glenn Winningham of the House of Fearn was arrested on Oct. 11, 2013 attempting to enter into Canada with a collection of illegal weapons items.
Glenn has gained a certain degree of notoriety in Canada as being the archetypical Sovereign Citizen in the Meads v. Meads, 2012 ABQB 571 decision. In particular, he sued Associate Chief Justice Rooke even before it was popular to do so!
Fearn's solution to the problem of judges disagreeing with him was to, literally, hang them all. His enthusiasm for this seemed to move past judicial reasoning to almost a fetish. As I wrote in his discussion;
Then a wrap-up in an "As for Me" section. He wrote on this slide that "If I am really lucky, I will get to see them do that little dance they do at the end of a common law rope". He can't let go of this image and repeats it in the next, otherwise unrelated, slide. This hanging obsession is disturbing. Is this a perverse fetish he practices at home with store dummies robed as Albertan court judges? He's probably a big fan of the hanging scene in Blazing Saddles.
Here is his claim for redress in a lawsuit he once filed in Texas;
1 - All the defendants suffer death by hanging and the dissolusion (sic) and bankruptcy of Wells Fargo. I've already mentioned Fearn's hanging obsession. It's still going strong. This is his preferred relief but if it is not available he demands, in the alternate;
2 - The defendants pay him 2.4 trillion dollars.
So I wouldn't think Fearn is a good example in an academic paper about alternate belief systems because, at least in my opinion, the individuals holding the beliefs should be at least reasonably sane. As I wrote about Fearn in the linked discussion
My conclusions. First the most obvious, Fearn is a totally repulsive individual, possibly insane, certainly seriously mentally unbalanced. He is overwhelmingly narcissistic with a massive sense of grievance that the corrupt Canadian whore PIG judges and the Canada Border Services thugs have thwarted his right to do whatever the hell he wants without regards to Canadian laws. The injustice of his criminal conviction is consuming him.
Overall the paper concludes that the sovereigns play a small part in Canadian alternate belief systems. We tend to be more leftist, non-violent freeman types.
Page 35 starts a long discussion of the types of personalities or character traits that make up our alternate belief gang. Classifications like conspiracy theorists, fighters, fanatic fighter, cheerleaders (I'll hold your coat and watch from a safe distance) and the ones I often run across, mercenary types who want the cash and free benefits that gurus promise them.
Page 44 gets us to emergent and established gurus. The paper contradicts itself in discussing Menard and Clifford as established gurus. They define an established guru as;
We distinguish between two different “types” of gurus within Canadian anti-authority movements. The first are established gurus, who have at some point managed to gain a measure of credibility among the larger anti-authority community in Canada. As a result, they wield a measure of authority, and their opinions are valued and consulted by dabblers, sympathizers, and the committed followers.
The most prominent examples of established gurus are Robert Menard and Dean Clifford, who are discussed in detail in sections 3.2, 3.3. and 3.4 of this report.
Yet they also say;
In the wake of a leadership vacuum caused by the repeated failures of Menard’s pseudo-legal
tactics and Clifford’s arrest in 2013, a number of emergent gurus have sprung up on the Internet.
As I see it if there is a 'leadership vacuum' because of Menard and Clifford's total failure to find anything that works to their followers satisfaction then they can't be considered established gurus. I'd propose making a third classification called 'failed gurus' to relegate Menard, Clifford, and Belanger.
The best the study can come up with in identifying possible emerging gurus is John Spirit and Mika Rasila. Fair enough, those are all I see on the horizon at the moment too. However John Spirit has already been shuttled over to the failed gurus category by the abject court defeat of his main money-for-nothing scheme in this judgment from Alberta's Queen's Bench;
Pomerleau v Canada (Revenue Agency)
2017 ABQB 123
Written up here along with an explanation of John's idiotic free money scheme.
John's still around but very much a dead man walking since his free government handout theory failed to deliver. And Rasila is just a lightweight who's presence in this listing just shows how little talent there is left on the Freeman bench.
Then, from pages 46 to 63, the paper considers the potential for violence amongst our alternate belief types and makes some recommendation. The remaining 19 pages are references and appendices.
The overall conclusion in the violence section is that, while there have been some episodes of deadly and non-fatal violence, they are very few and far between and not predictable. The Freemen yammer and rant a lot but are not, as a group, violent or support violence. As for violence becoming more the norm the paper says;
In his assessment of the security threat posed by Canadian FOTL, Hofmann (forthcoming) noted two conditions that may precipitate some form of violence: (1) a credible charismatic leader, and (2) a precipitating event that galvanizes and invigorates some form of organized action.
Good luck finding that credible charismatic leader. Menard and particularly Clifford filled that bill and both failed. More than that they, or their followers, showed that all of the freeman beliefs they espoused also failed leaving Clifford jailed and Menard with just a shadow of his prior influence. So a new guru would have to come up with a new, and credible, song and dance. And I would think the total failure of all the past and emerging gurus to find even a single successful scheme means that a new 'charismatic' guru would have a hard time establishing the 'credible' part of Hofmann's conditions. The endless unbroken stream of past failures has poisoned the well for new gurus.
As for the 'precipitating event', maybe, but Canada isn't a country that lends itself to precipitating events. I can't see what single event, or related series of events, would galvanize organized action from an overall group of the most disorganized, independent, contrary people you could expect to meet. Unlike the United States guns won't do it, we don't have a fanatical gun culture. Most of the court cases I've attended and written up haven't been about abstract anti-government beliefs that Freemen have tried to force into effect. They've been all about money. Yankson and Holmes with their secret government funds. Wally Dove wanting John Spirit's adequate living. The Poriskyites wanting to evade tax. Russell Porisky said that his Paradigm Education course wasn't about tax at all, it was about human rights in Canada. But, oddly, the only part of his whole human rights agenda that he actually organized and promoted was his interpretation of tax laws which he said safely allowed you, for a very reasonable fee to Porisky, to evade income tax. Any other human right he may have considered fell by the wayside. Menard's 96 is your fix, his dine and dash, and his freeman debit card, were all about money. I'd suggest that any new guru who comes up with anything but a new, untried, and apparently at least somewhat credible money scheme is going to fail as badly as his predecessors.
As is inevitable in a paper of this size and complexity some errors or out of date information.
Menard has since toned down his online presence and now largely communicates to his followers from Twitter and the World Freeman Society website.
Menard, to the best of my knowledge hasn't participated at WFS in years. He may be on twitter, I don't follow that. However his Facebook page is still active.
And on page 55;
Another albeit extreme case involved the murder of a Chief Court of Canada Tax judge, whom Ian Bush held responsible for a failed tax fraud appeal from 2001. Later that same year, Bush sent a “summons” to Chief Judge Garon, demanding that he attend at an appeal of the case – at Bush’s home. Tragically, six years later, Garon, his wife and neighbor were killed, allegedly by Bush (Yogaretnam & McGregor, 2015).
There is no 'allegedly' about it. In May of this year Bush was convicted of all three murders and sent to jail with a minimum of 25 years before he's eligible for parole. If the judge's recommendation has any influence he won't get it;
"You killed three innocent people, nice people, good people that you didn't even know, and for what, fun, greed, attention," Cavanagh said, reading the statement.
"You are beyond rehabilitation. God forbid you should ever be free in society ever again. Justice has been served."
He didn't get much support from his family either;
At trial, Crown attorneys James Cavanagh and Tim Wightman called all three of Bush's children and his former common-law spouse to testify against Bush. They each identified Bush on some OC Transpo surveillance video, getting off a bus at Hurdman station and walking toward the victims' condo, then returning an hour later, the day of the murders.
His brother testified, too, saying Bush led on their mother about eventually being able to buy the house he was renting from her