January 02, 2012 by
by Kevin Annett
Exorcism at the Vatican, 2009
New Year’s Eve in Nanaimo, as the rain falls quietly on a year’s memories, and on an unhurried dawn.
The old adage is true, it seems: that as we age, the years come and go more quickly, but so do the lessons of our life. Tonight, they crowd me as I gaze out at the night, and at the faces of those who died and that which was revealed.
William Combes, Eyewitness, 1952-2011
Billie Combes was killed in a Vancouver hospital on February 26, having spoken too readily of the royal Thing that abducted forever ten children from a Christian internment camp in Kamloops.
Billie was a stumbling man of fifty seven, long lived for a street Indian, and he cried so easily whenever he remembered his internment, and the little ones he could never save. The last time I ever saw him, he actually smiled, and told me that I was his friend.
The crowned Thing Billie named barred me from England on May 29 with the kind of cold efficiency that once made it ruler of our planet. It gazed at me through the thick, banal lenses of a Border Agency cop who didn’t even smile at the jokes I cracked.
The African woman and her baby who shared my immigration prison cell weren’t laughing that night, either. Both of them were quietly crying. The world ends like this, says the poet T.S. Eliot: not with a bang, but a whimper.
Equally muffled cries arose from the hardened soil that I turned on November 21, near to the death house called the Mush Hole Indian residential school, built by the crowned Thing in 1832. I held in my hands the bones of unknown children on that day as one world ended, and another began.
Those three moments – the truth, the silencing, and the lonely vindication – blaze at me as this year ends, and we all wonder what 2012 will bring: not so much to remind me of the way things are, as to mark the termination of that whole trapped arrangement.
The lesson that it is all over has been yelping at me for some years now, and not because of a Mayan calendar. Frankly, I’ve been too intent on gnawing at the bare bones of injustice to notice what the lesson has been saying. Perhaps it was Billie’s death that paused my efforts, and made me able to recognize what finally came to rest in my hands – and what it all means.
I’ve done a lot of funerals over the years, and I’ve enjoyed most of them because of their inescapable honesty. The official mourners often seem mildly ashamed at their secret joy, of breathing while another lies dead in front of them, but what matters is that not one of them can deny what has happened. They all know the truth, and have to deal with it, somehow. Such are birthing moments.
The corpse makes them realize life, and its fragile perfection. Something is enlargened in them by facing death, and that awareness denies fear a place to enter, for in their mourning, there is vanquished the illusory hope that permits lies to take root.
Endings are what we mortals live for, because they define us. They are our most sacred encounters, for they sum up everything.
My Gaelic ancestors have a word for this summing up: Caoineadh, “the beautiful song”, which was traditionally sung at a chieftain’s funeral by hereditary mourners known as “keeners”.
The public wailing of these women was in fact the telling of the chieftain’s life story: his victories and his defeats, his character, and the purpose of his being. As his life was recounted, the soul – which was said to hover over its corpse for three days – took comfort and strength from the lessons of this latest life, for its next journey to another incarnation.
The stereotypical Irish wake – a happy drunk fest, according to British Imperial detractors – was in truth the pinnacle of community joy, for in their shared lament, everyone played a part in the completion of the cosmic cycle of one life, in the re-birthing of a soul imbued with wisdom and grace.
Their mourning was in fact the first gasping breath of a new existence.
That’s how I see our situation as 2012 dawns.
Typically, our attention as a people has been on everything but ourselves: on the Mayan cycle, or other people’s prophecies, and not on our own. Yet everything in us speaks a simple truth, known to us away from the clatter of life and our own worry, and that is this: we cannot be born into the new world awaiting us, because we have not yet learned that we have already died.
Our modern western world is like a wandering spirit that knows not that is has passed on, and is trapped and terrified in an illusory limbo world. It is small wonder that the Nuu-chah-nulth people where I live first called us Europeans the “mu multh nees”: ghost people.
We have been such a people for some time – but in our deep fear and denial of death, of what we have become, we have been blind to ourselves.
It’s hardly an accident that as our Christian culture became more psychotic and blood soaked over the centuries, its fear of death multiplied, for we see the world not as it is, but as we are.
Much as modern America’s terrorist-obsessed mind has no escape but in more violence because it sees everyone as a reflection of its own terror, the western world spawned by a “catholic” church that tried to murder Christ and his way can no longer know the life that comes after death. And so we can only fear and deny the fact that we have already died.
I’m not mistaken that we as a people are not simply dying, but are already dead. And here’s the simple proof.
A people who are alive respond with outrage, and action, when the lives of their children are threatened. They rush to protect the future generation. They cannot live alongside that which murders or rapes them.
Similarly, a people who are alive defend their natural world and its sacred bounty and health, for their very existence depends on their doing so.
On the other hand, a people who have died do not respond to any of these threats, for they feel nothing. They cannot perform the most basic steps of self-preservation. They simply function, like parts of an unthinking machine, just as we are doing: but in our case, our actions as a culture all seem designed to actually ensure our own final destruction.
That is who and what we have become: denizens of Necropolis – the City of the Dead, which sucks the vitality out of all life on our planet. And the more we impact our world, the quicker the death we embody spreads, toxifying and radiating our world. And what we do to ourselves in the material world is an expression of a spiritual death that long preceded it.
How can we awaken our collective self – our higher mind – to our own death? By lamenting. We can sing to ourselves our own Caoineadh, the beautiful recounting of who we were and what we did in our life as a people – and how we came to die. And then our hovering soul will know it is time to release, and move on.
Tonight, I awakened to the fact that this is precisely what I’ve been doing since 1995: counseling my own people through their death agony by telling the tale of how something called European Christendom caused its own destruction, and those it conquered.
I called it an exorcism when I stood outside the Vatican on two occasions and compelled a dead spirit to depart from there. But then, as now, I was simply singing the same requiem ritual to that which is finally awakening to its own demise.
So what does all this mean for us now, on the first day of a momentous new year?
For nearly twenty years, I have described and documented the crimes of my people, and brought them to the world. And yet ultimately, all of these efforts have fallen on deaf hearts and ears: those of the dead.
There is no public reaction to all the evidence of murder and torture of children by church and state, because there can be no response that actually stops the crime from happening again. We have finally recognized what we are a part of: soulless institutions of the Lie, that have no heart or purpose save self-perpetuation. And so now, to quote one of my friends, it is time to “Leave the dead to bury the dead”.
It is time to let go of everything, and allow our collective self to dream its being into a new life, and begin all over again.
So I’m not worrying anymore about proving to the world that Mohawk children were murdered and buried on the grounds of the Brantford Anglican school. We know it happened. So does the Crown and Church of England, who caused the slaughter.
Instead, I am resolved to dismantle both of those institutions, and all those like them, so that they can do no more harm. Only thus can we awaken their inhabitants to their dead condition, and allow their souls to move on.
To do so, we don’t need another Tribunal, or an Inquiry into the obvious. For even with such an inquiry and its final proof that those who rule this society are mass killers, who would impose on these guilty groups any sentence? How can we enforce our verdict on the Genocide, without wielding our own force to make justice real?
We are faced, ultimately, with a question of power, and who wields it. We need therefore a spiritual and a political revolution, from the bottom up, to reinvent society so that the City of Death is no more.
To replenish itself, the land lies fallow every few years. So too must we now let go of a murderous social disorder to allow ourselves to regenerate, and build a culture based on the Great Law of peace and equality.
Thus, at the same time as we stop paying taxes and voting away our autonomy, and sever our economic involvement with society, we reclaim that stolen by a few, beginning with the land and our families. From the ground up, we fashion a republic of spiritual and social Equals in harmony with the earth.
So I turn my back on Canada, and its churches, and its corporate oligarchy, as I call you to do too, and on the City of Death wherever you encounter it.
I pledge myself in this year of 2012 to help begin our new life as a people whose allegiance is the Natural Law, by reclaiming our minds, our land, and our people from the death they have dwelt in for too long.
Now is the time for poets and bards to sing our captive hearts into a new reality, and for our true warriors to overthrow Necropolis and establish justice in the land, and the Natural Order.
We have sought fruitlessly for humanity from institutions that have none. Their time is over, and they will fall at our hands.
As Chippewa native elder Del Riley said recently,
“These churches that killed our people will not be allowed to legally operate on our territories anymore.”
The spiritual reclamation, and the material, has begun. And as that unfolds, the children who died, and those like Billie Combes who died in their defense, will begin to rest. But not before.
“Your wound is incurable, your injury beyond healing … But I will restore you to health, and heal your wounds’, says the Lord your God” – Jeremiah 30
Two Row Wampum Treaty of Peace and Equality