The Case against the Crown, the Vatican and other Agents of Genocide: Common Law Courts, Indictments and Juries to be Established by September 15, 2012

Posted on July 23, 2012 by itccs

A Call for Citizen Participation

ITCCS Communique 23 July 2012: Brussels, London, Ottawa

The Legal Advisory Group of the ITCCS Central Office has completed a list of specifications, indictments and defendants in a global class action lawsuit to be brought against the institutions responsible for centuries of genocide, torture and human trafficking.

The material will be submitted on September 15, 2012 to de jure Common Law courts which shall be officially convened on the same day to receive the application for proceedings.

These courts shall convene on traditional territories under Natural Land Law jurisdiction. An initial roster of confirmed judges for these courts has been approved.

September 15 is also the deadline issued by the ITCCS to the Vatican and Crown of England by which time they must respond to a program of ten measures or face prosecution and permanent disruption.

Today, the ITCCS Council of Elders is issuing a public call for all citizens to participate in these proceedings as witnesses and jurors.

Citizen Jury members will be duly sworn in and given instructions by the judges of these courts, and will be expected to serve on a free, volunteer basis for an indefinite period of time.

Witnesses to crimes against humanity are encouraged to come forward with their affidavits and testimonies, and be duly sworn as witnesses at the court proceedings.

The common law courts will be initially established in Canada, the United States, Ireland, England and Australia, in some cases in conjunction with sponsoring tribal elders.

The Court will be presented the indictments and evidence by trained Citizen Prosecutors, and arrest warrants and summonses against the named defendants will be issued and enforced by duly sworn Common Law Peace Officers employed by the Court.

“The Court is going ahead” said ITCCS field worker and public spokesman Kevin D. Annett today.

“We are proceeding with the public prosecution of the churches and states responsible for centuries of slaughter. The time for talk has ended. This is the first step in our dismantling of the worst criminals in human history.”

The complete identity of the Common Law court judges as well as the Elders of the ITCCS will be made public on the opening day of the court proceedings at a global media conference.

To volunteer for one of the Common Law juries in your country, or to submit a deposition to the Court, contact the ITCCS at this email:

ITCCS Communique 23 July 2012
Issued by the ITCCS Elders Council
Brussels – London – Ottawa

Towards a Genuine Legal Attack on Genocidal and Criminal Institutions: A Statement regarding the Bowman-ITCCS Lawsuit against Church and State

Posted on July 19, 2012 by itccs

Issued by the Council of Elders of The International Tribunal into Crimes of Church and State (ITCCS International Office)
Brussels, Belgium

9 pm GMT , Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Council of Elders of the International Tribunal into Crimes of Church and State (ITCCS) has unanimously decided to withdraw from the alleged lawsuit in the Federal Court of Canada (FCC) brought by Jason Bowman on behalf of our Tribunal and our representative, Rev. Kevin Annett – Eagle Strong Voice.

This withdrawal includes Rev. Annett, and is effective immediately, as of 9 pm GMT or 4 pm Eastern Standard Time.

We have terminated our involvement in this alleged lawsuit after learning from FCC officials in Toronto, Canada that no such case has in fact been filed with them by Mr. Bowman.

This decision of our ITCCS Council arises from our resolve to bring about a genuine, competent and effective legal assault on the Crown and the Vatican, and other institutions, for Crimes against Humanity.

Our nine-nation Tribunal represents the hopes and efforts of thousands of victims of crimes by Church and State to bring these institutions to trial and ultimate dis-establishment for their ongoing Crimes against Humanity. Our first obligation is to these victims, and we will let nothing and no-one impede their goal of genuine recovery and justice.

Our Tribunal has decided to withdraw from the Jason Bowman action for three reasons:

1. The failure of Mr. Bowman to file the case in the Federal Court of Canada (FCC) or to exercise proper care and professional diligence, after his public announcement of the case at a press conference held by Mr. Bowman in Toronto on July 4, 2012;

2. Mr. Bowman’s failure to respond to our concerns or to communicate his reasons for not filing the case, or to explain his strategy or actions either to our Tribunal or to his co-plaintiff, Rev. Kevin Annett, and

3. The fact that to proceed with a case in the Federal Court of Canada is to operate within a court that is not of competent jurisdiction to address the matter of crimes against humanity by the Crown itself.

That is, to pursue an action in the FCC would be to recognize the jurisdiction and legitimacy of the very institution we are confronting and naming as an agent of Crimes against Humanity, and  would thereby negate and sabotage our own case, specifically by violating Article 25 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, which is a foundation of our case.

Our Tribunal wishes first of all to reassure all victims of crimes by Church and State that, rather than representing a step backwards, our disaffiliation from the Bowman action is a step towards a genuine and professionally competent attack on the church, state and corporate agents of genocide and other crimes.

That is, the ITCCS and Rev. Kevin Annett intend to proceed now with many other plaintiffs to take the same evidence and case against the Crown, the Vatican, the government and churches of Canada, and pharmaceutical companies to jurisdictionally competent courts of law not under the authority of the Crown of England or so-called “canon law”. These courts will include those based in other nations as well as de jure Common Law courts within Canada.

We are already working with legal teams in several nations to commence proceedings in such courts.

To clarify, our original aim in supporting the Bowman action in the Federal Court of Canada (FCC) was compelled by the requirement under International Law to “exhaust all domestic legal remedies” before bringing a case into a non-domestic court of law such as the International Criminal Court. We saw Bowman’s efforts as a way to do so.

However, this aim has been irretrievably compromised by Mr. Bowman’s behavior and the fact that proceeding in the FCC will violate Article 25 of the Rome Statute, which compels all citizens to refrain from supporting or colluding with agencies of regimes guilty of Crimes against Humanity – such as, in this case, the government and churches of Canada and the Vatican.

Let us also clarify that, ever since May of 2012, when Mr. Bowman first approached our Canadian representative, Rev. Kevin Annett, and offered to launch a lawsuit with Rev. Annett as a co-plaintiff, the entire process of proceeding with this lawsuit has been completely in Jason Bowman’s hands.

Our Tribunal and Kevin Annett have been forced to rely entirely on Bowman, his word and his judgement, in this matter. We proceeded to do so in good faith, despite having had no previous contact with or knowledge of Bowman or his organization, the Association of Citizen Prosecutors, which after inquiry appears to have no identifiable history.

Neither Kevin Annett nor any member of the ITCCS has been in a position to affect Mr. Bowman’s actions or the process of filing this case in the Federal Court, and we have consistently been kept in the dark by Mr. Bowman about his daily actions and ultimate legal strategy. Such a defective modus operandi by Bowman is self-destructive and bodes poorly for the success of any joint legal action with him against our wealthy corporate opposition.

Clearly, Mr. Bowman’s negligence and unexplained delay in filing the case has provided great aid and ammunition to our powerful opponents. They, and various misinformation agencies and internet operatives, have used and are using Bowman’s delay in filing the case to attack and destroy our credibility, and undermine the legitimacy of our years-long campaign against genocide and crimes committed by Church and State. We cannot allow this destructiveness to carry on.

In closing, we wish to make it clear that:

1. By this statement and our withdrawal from the alleged Bowman lawsuit, we are not implying anything about the motives or personal character of Jason Bowman; and

2. At no point did our Tribunal or Rev. Kevin Annett aid or conspire with Jason Bowman or any other party to mislead or defraud the public or the court in this matter, but at all times we acted only in good faith, and with trust in Mr. Bowman and his declared efforts.

We regret that our trust and faith was, in this case, misplaced.

Despite these events, we remain even more committed to pursuing the legal prosecution and eventual dis-establishment of the Crown, the Vatican, and the other named defendants as conspirators in Crimes against Humanity, in de jure common law courts and other public arenas. We will not be deterred in this effort by any momentary delay or unprofessional disruption.

We call upon concerned citizens everywhere, and all survivors of church, state and corporate terror, to rally behind our efforts and to contact our office or Rev. Kevin Annett at to join our legal campaign.

Issued respectfully as a Public and Media Statement
by the Council of Elders, ITCCS International Office, Brussels
17 July, 2012

Rev. Kevin Annett: ITCCS de jure Common Law Courts and the Republic of Kanata

Historic Lawsuit to be Filed in Federal Court Against Church and Crown

Posted on June 29, 2012 by itccs
Toronto, Canada:

A joint media release by The Association of Citizen Prosecutors (ACP) and The International Tribunal into Crimes of Church and State (ITCCS) is to be released on “Canada Day”, July 1, 2012.

It announces the first class action lawsuit in Canadian history to name as co-defendants the Vatican, the Crown of England, Canada and its churches, and big pharmaceutical companies, all of which are accused of crimes against humanity and criminal conspiracy.

The lawsuit is brought by Jason Bowman of the ACP and Rev. Kevin Annett of the ITCCS, on behalf of a group of many others.

The lawsuit will be explained in detail at a press conference held on the date of filing at the Federal Court Building, on Wednesday, July 4 at 1 pm EST at 180 Queen Street West in Toronto.

A copy of the July 1 press statement is attached.

“Victims of church, state and big pharma are finally uniting to put an end to their terror” said Kevin Annett today.

“Among other plaintiffs in our class action will be survivors of Canada’s genocide against native people, who have never had their day in court. The whitewash is over. More than 50,000 murdered children will finally be confronting Canada and the Catholic, Anglican and United Church, and placing them all on trial”.

For information contact Jason Bowman at 705-250-0221 and Kevin Annett at 250-591-4573.
ACP Main Branch: 140 Victoria Street East, Alliston, ON L9R 1K6 | tel. / fax (705) 250-0221
E-mail: | Website:

ACP/ITCCS Joint Press Release July 1st 2012


press release
press release 2

The Mass Graves at Brantford: An Update from the ITCCS Indigenous Elders Advisory Council and Kevin Annett

Posted on June 05, 2012 by itccs

Sifting for evidence

ITCCS International Communique, 5 June 2012

The first successful uncovering of apparent mass graves at a former Indian residential school in Canada began in October, 2011 at the “Mush Hole” Mohawk Institute: the former Church of England (Anglican) facility in Brantford, Ontario.

After being formally authorized by Mohawk elders to begin the inquiry, two teams associated with the ITCCS successfully surveyed the grounds of the Mush Hole with Ground Penetrating Radar. This survey revealed massive soil dislocation in areas where eyewitnesses describe seeing burials of children who died in the Mush Hole.

Based on this discovery, the ITCCS teams sunk two small test digs which revealed positive evidence of burials. These included remains of clothing and buttons positively identified as coming from school uniforms, as well as bone samples which turned out to be primarily animal mixed with probable human remains of small children.

The very success of this dig, and its kindling of similar independent excavations at two other former residential schools during 2012, has sparked a counter-attack by the government of Canada and the Anglican Church which has caused the Brantford inquiry to be put on temporary hold.

This counter-attack has followed the usual pattern of divide and conquer tactics utilizing the already factionalized atmosphere in the Six Nations community in Brantford.

Early in 2012 after the test digs had uncovered the first bone samples, a government-funded operative named Jan Longboat recruited and paid one of the tribal members who had authorized the ITCCS inquiry, Frank Miller, to begin criticizing the inquiry and calling for the expulsion of ITCCS field worker Kevin Annett from the Mohawk community.

Miller successfully factionalized the original group of authorizing Mohawks by stoking fear and spreading state-sponsored smears about Kevin Annett in the community, despite Kevin having been adopted into the Mohawk Nation and given a name.

Nevertheless, to solidify the ITCCS inquiry, in late March, 2012, a new group of ten Mohawk elders and Mush Hole survivors issued a new statement authorizing Kevin Annett and ITCCS to proceed with the Mush Hole inquiry and excavation.

To counter further disruptions and rally native supporters, ITCCS has also established a seven-member Indigenous Elders Advisory Council with representatives from the Cree, Anishnabe, Haudenosaunee, Squamish, Mohawk, Wyandotte, and Maliseet Nations.

The Mush Hole inquiry will be proceeding under the authority of the ten authorizing Mohawk elders, along with a new international team of archaeological and forensic specialists who will seek to recover and identify the remains of children who died at the Mush Hole, for analysis and traditional re-burial.

This inquiry is now joined by similar independent excavations on Cree and Squamish territory, authorized by survivors at the site of residential schools in Ontario and British Columbia.

Obviously, this initiative is a direct challenge to the present state and church-funded whitewash known as Canada’s “truth and reconciliation commission”, which has no mandate to lay criminal charges or search for the remains or cause of death of the 50,000 and more children who died in these schools.

We can therefore expect further efforts by Canada and its guilty churches to disrupt and discredit the independent search for the missing children at the Mush Hole, and elsewhere. And so we urge all people of conscience and all survivors of Canada’s genocide to rally behind our efforts, and to launch similar digs in their own communities.

Mohawk adption

Mohawk adption
Kevin Annett (left) is adopted into Mohawk Nation, Brantford, 2011

When Seeing Leads to More than Believing

Posted on May 17, 2012 by itccs

What I held in my hand yesterday caused me to flee from the University of British Columbia library, and seek solace in the deep forest that surrounds the campus where I grew up, and where I have discovered the unimaginable.

It was an unusual reaction, for I had encountered much worse over the years. But after seeing the document, something snapped in me and made nothing else possible than to rush to the woods, fall to the bountiful soil behind a hidden tree tangled in moss, and dig my hands desperately into mother earth and sob like I had not done since I was a child.

I lay there for some time, after the tears were spent, and gradually the quiet bird song and sunlight merged with a perfect aroma I had not breathed for so long: the forest loam itself, and its rich, musky decomposition so alive and sweet.

I hugged the ground and buried my face in our good earth, and felt suddenly that my own corrosion from the long and hard years could be the source of something more than personal agony. For I turned over just then and scribbled on a piece of paper,

My pain and suffering is the nursing log out of which so many and so much will grow.

I lay on my back, wonderfully calm and spent, and looked again at the photocopied document I had unearthed that morning from the government archives in Koerner Library’s microfilm section.

Extracted teeth

It read,

“Department of Indian Affairs, Dental Report: St. Paul’s Catholic Indian School, Squamish Mission Reservation, May 1924”.

And beneath that title was listed the names of fifty-six children who had had their teeth extracted without painkiller by Dr. E. Fraser Allen of Vancouver.

No anesthesia.

Matilda Miranda was seven years old, and six of her teeth were yanked from her jaw without anesthesia. Theresa George was eight, and five of her teeth were similarly pulled. Leonard Rodrigues, age 10, Ralph Atkins, age nine, Doreen Thomas, age nine: all denied painkiller. Over 80% of the group of fifty-six “students” at St. Paul’s Indian school were tortured thus.

Dr. Allen was paid $20.54 for his efforts, including the cost of $1.50 for his tools and amalgam dressing. It took him about a half hour to yank out all those little teeth, according to the good doctor’s report of May 7, sent to C. C. Perry, the local Indian Agent.

That meant he yanked out a tooth, on average, every ten seconds: non stop.

Harry Wilson never opened his mouth much when he first spoke to me, in the fall of 1997, because his teeth were such a mess.

“Naw, I never go to a dentist” he explained sadly. “They never gave us painkiller at residential school, when they pulled our teeth”.

Harry’s teeth were yanked over forty years after the same torture was performed by Dr. Allen on the St. Paul’s children: a different school, and a Catholic one, but identical to the practice inflicted on Harry at a United Church Indian residential school in Port Alberni in 1967.

Harriett Nahanee had the same story, at the same school in 1946. So did Vera Little, at the Anglican school in Alert Bay in 1953. And the husband of Alia MacKenzie-Point at the Chehalis reservation in 1969.
I can’t hate Dr. Allen, or any of the other specialists who have ripped the teeth and the innocence from children with the full sanction of church and state for so many years. For like you and I, these torturers learned quickly how to numb themselves to the screams and the blood in order to get on with their job.

That struck me with a sudden clarity, alone in the forest, after my own tears had washed away my numbness, and I began, as always, to grapple with how to share this new evidence with the world in a way that would make others do something more than believe that the crimes did happen, and still happen. And yet I knew that, as with all the other evidence of these grisly acts done to aboriginal children, very few people would want to know the horrible truth, let alone dare to do anything about it.

Tempted by the old despair, I stared just then at what I had scribbled moments before: My pain and suffering is the nursing log out of which so many and so much will grow. And then an answer echoed in me, from something Alice Miller had written once:

We can never find empathy for the suffering of others until we have faced and embraced the pain done to ourselves.

I’ve often noticed how the church goers who trudge past our offered leaflets on a Sunday morning bear the same look, when confronted by what their church did, and what their collection money helps to cover up: people who are resigned. Batter someone enough, and they become that way.

We are all so weary of the battering we have each endured since infancy, and yet are so incapable of feeling we can do anything to stop it. Even the very life-giving sky above seems to mock life itself these days, stained by vile chemical trails spewed by corporate and military madmen far beyond our reach. What can even our best integrity and courage do in the face of the enormity of the violence we face?

Torture survivor Harry Wilson (left) and Kevin Annett, 1997, Vancouver
Torture survivor Harry Wilson (left) and Kevin Annett, 1997, Vancouver

Harry Wilson, and his counterparts Matilda and Theresa and all the other helpless little victims, knew the same despair, and some of them found a way to endure. And like Harry, who was able to tell what happened to him, when my own tears freely flowed the other day I found it easier to face the truth and find a light where there shouldn’t have been one. So Alice Miller must be on to something.

When we see our lives and our worlds for what they are, and can say so, we gain a power over what seemed like fate or irresistible injustice: sort of like naming a demon and calling it to leave a possessed soul. That’s the power of knowing our true history, individually and as a whole, and not denying the darkest moments, but describing them out loud, for what they are.

Rising up from the forested earth, I felt like a demon had indeed left me, and a warm surge of love filled me for those long dead and violated Indian children who still wait for justice. That kind of love doesn’t allow apathy or timid excuses: it does not rest until right is done. It was blessing beyond expression that day to feel the old flame arise in me again, born from my own grief, and theirs.

I ran joyfully from the woods on the sunlit path towards the bus stop, armed again with my being and the documented truth in my bag, and I knew that the time to act is always present in us. And from somewhere, the words of Rabbi Hillel sounded then:

If I am not for myself, then who will be?
If I am only for myself, then what am I?
If not now, when?

An Update on the Investigation of Bones Unearthed at Canada’s oldest Indian residential school – and a Response to Fear Mongering by the APTN

Posted on February 05, 2012 by itccs

Rumor Control Department Memo:

By Kevin D. Annett of the ITCCS, acting under the protection of the Turtle Clan of the Onkwehonwe (Mohawk) Nation of the Grand River

Sifting for Evidence on Mohawk Sovereign Territory

Yesterday, a misleading, inaccurate and inflammatory report was aired by the state-funded “Aboriginal People’s Television Network” (APTN) across Canada, concerning the status of our inquiry into the buried remains of children who died at the Church of England’s Mohawk Institute Indian residential school.

Since the purpose of the APTN telecast appears to be to cast doubt on our inquiry, distract viewers from the crimes of church and state, and generate a fear that the bones we have unearthed have “mysteriously gone missing”, we are compelled to both issue this clarification, and state categorically that all of the bone samples we have sent away for analysis are safely in the hands of competent specialists.

We therefore challenge APTN to stick to accurate journalism, and assist rather than impede the uncovering of the truth about the fate of the many children who died in the Mohawk school.

The State of our Inquiry

As is known by both APTN reporter Donna Smith and archaeologist Kris Nahrgang, who colluded in the APTN report’s obfuscation of the truth, our inquiry is temporarily on hold for the cold winter months while the bones we have uncovered in Brantford are being analyzed at an American research facility.

Between October 5 and November 28, 2011, our research team surveyed lands and conducted a shallow test dig on grounds adjacent to the former Mohawk school. We did so under the authority and with the permission of nine elders of the Mohawk Nation of the Grand River. A total of twenty eight separate bone samples were unearthed, along with considerable pieces of charcoal and buttons which were positively identified as coming from uniforms worn by children at the school.

Kris Nahrgang of Trent University and Greg Olson, an Ontario Fire Marshal, examined some of these bones in late November in the presence of Mohawk elders and myself. Mr. Olson claimed then “with ninety percent certainty” that one of the bones was human, and Mr. Nahrgang said that this was possible. However, both men agreed that an analysis of the bones by a forensic specialist was required to be sure, and they were both subsequently informed that the bone samples were in fact sent to such experts.

The bones were initially mailed to a forensic anthropologist in British Columbia, but his role as an advisor to the RCMP and his aversion to proceeding with tests without first consulting that agency caused us to seek a more neutral individual who was not associated with the very police agency responsible for the crimes we are investigating. Accordingly, the bones were re-issued to a leading forensic specialist at an American research facility during late December.

Because of the considerable rumor mongering surrounding our work, the authorizing elders have decided since then to maintain tighter control over press statements and information relating to the dig. For that reason, we are refraining from sharing the results of the forensic examination of these bones until a definitive report can be issued by experts who all concur in the findings. We expect this will occur by March, 2012.

Misinformation and Scare Mongering by the APTN: A Big Distraction?

The recent broadcast by APTN concerning our work claimed without proof that the bones we unearthed have “mysteriously gone missing”, and features Kris Nahrgang questioning the integrity of our work and suggesting that we have an ulterior motive. Since both Nahrgang and reporter Donna Smith know where and when the bones were sent for examination, their claim is deliberately misleading, and designed to mislead.

What is mysterious is not the fate of these bone samples, but why Nahrgang and Smith are choosing to create such a red herring in order to distract from the real issue, which is that the Anglican Church and Crown of England are the ones causing key evidence to go missing, by locking away documents and other evidence related to the death of children at the Mohawk school. This cover up by the church was never mentioned in the APTN report.

Donna Smith has been notified on several occasions since November that local Anglican Bishop Bob Bennett ordered the silencing of clergy and church researchers with a ten year “gag order”, and has locked away from all scrutiny an official Crown document from 1870 which Leona Moses, one of the researchers, has called “a smoking gun” because of its authorization of a deliberate plan to exterminate the Mohawk Nation by means of the Brantford Indian residential school.

One would assume that such an explosive revelation would have been the chief item of any credible news report looking into the Mohawk school inquiry. And yet the APTN continues to ignore such evidence of church cover up of planned genocide.

Equally questionable is the fact that it was Kris Nahrgang on his own initiative who invited APTN reporter Donna Smith to the November meeting where we met he and Olson to examine the bone samples, without the knowledge or permission of the Mohawk elders. Such apparent collusion by Nahrgang and Smith has yet to be explained by either of them.

These facts strongly suggest that the recent APTN “report” on our inquiry was simply a staged smear of our work, designed to discredit it and cause fear and division among the Mohawk elders who are authorizing the investigation.

None of this will stop our efforts to return for a proper burial the remains of children murdered at the Mohawk school, and to determine how and why they died. It simply casts doubt on the credibility of so-called “aboriginal” media like the APTN, which is in reality a funded arm of the Canadian government, which is itself liable for the crimes at the Mohawk school.

The full results of our analyses of the bone samples and other evidence will be released in March, and the excavations at the Brantford school will continue, as part of a wider campaign to indict the Crown of England, the Anglican Church and the Vatican for crimes against humanity.

Stay tuned to for updates.

‘Tis the Season to be Brain Dead, but Listen up Anyway: A Holiday Message and an Invitation to Anglican Bishop Bob (“The Shredder”) Bennett and other assorted Scrooges

Posted on December 14, 2011 by itccs
By Kevin D. Annett

Dear Bob,

I hear you’ve told all your staff they’ll be fired if they talk to anyone about the documents you’re sitting on, concerning your Mush Hole Indian residential school where we’ve been unearthing tiny bones that are likely human.

That’s pretty harsh, Bob. It is Christmas, after all. And it’s not as if your secret is at risk, or anything. Even if somebody in your church developed a conscience and started spilling their guts about the Mush Hole, who are people going to believe: one disgruntled employee, or the entire Church of England?

So take a valium and some egg nog, Bob. Figure heads like you are supposed to remain calm at all times, and keep control of the narrative – in this case, concerning those missing 50,000 Indian children who passed through the tender mercies of your system on their one way trip to the bone yard. They all died of natural causes, don’t forget. They ran away. Maybe their records can’t be found. Hell, maybe they were even abducted by aliens.

Meanwhile, don’t forget, you have the best public relations boys in the business to rely on, and their sure-fire method called the Inoculation. It got started just yesterday on the CBC, which ran a big program on national television about the mass graves of children in Canada.

Now don’t shit yourself, Bob, they weren’t referring to the Indian residential schools, but the kids struck down by the Spanish flu in 1919. That was long, long ago. So don’t worry – our fellow pale Canadians got the message, loud and clear: massive numbers of dead kids in Canada is the result of an act of nature, and disease – not deliberate killing.

We’ve been inoculated now: prepared, conditioned, and molded in our responses. So the Mush Hole bones won’t seem so bad when they fully surface: “Mass graves? Oh yeah, I heard about that … probably the flu …”

It always works. Surely you of all people should know that, Bob. Besides, our November 21 public announcement of the discovery of probable children’s bones at your Anglican residential school in Brantford didn’t exactly cause a ripple of shock or protest anywhere here in lovely Canada. But still, you and your friends in government must be worried, to shoot us full of scandal-prevention serum like that, and just before Christmas.

After all, those little bones are exposed now, Bob, slip ups do happen, and not all of us are immunized to the bullshit. So I really do get why you’re perched these days so fretfully in your London, Ontario office astride those piles of documents about the Mush Hole. I hope you’re getting out for air, occasionally.

But I do know the score, Bob, and I realize that as a Bishop, you can conceal any evidence you like of a crime scene, and even shred it to your heart’s delight. Fred Hiltz, your big boss in Toronto, even said so the other day, when he declared that even he, the Primate (I love that term) for all Anglicans in Canada, couldn’t order you to release those documents. Fred answers to Lizzie Brit herself, Bob, and she is the Crown, after all. So that means you’re above and beyond the law.

So what is all the worry about?

I’ll tell you what. Leona Moses spilled the beans to me last month when I sat down in her home in Oshweken, on the scrap of land you guys have left her and her fellow Mohawks.

You remember Leona, Bob. She worked for your Huron Diocese as a researcher in 1999, until she and her co-worker, Wendy Fletcher, were both gagged for ten years by your church after they started talking about what they uncovered. Leona was told never to talk about what she’d seen in your archives: especially one particular document she found.

It seems that, back in 1870, your church signed a formal agreement with the puppet chiefs set up by your Crown to wipe out all the Mohawks by incarcerating their children in the Mush Hole residential school. It’s signed and sealed, in a document issued by the Crown and the New England Company, who set up the school. And it’s accompanied by a whack of letters proving that you guys and the Crown knew that children were dying en masse in the place, and you did nothing about it.

Of course, why would you? That was all in the game plan.

Now that’s what I’d call a smoking gun. But that particular document vanished, according to Leona, and ended up in something you call “the G 20 black box”.

So, Bob, the whole world wonders: where is this black box? And what else is tucked away in there?

In my teenage years, I got a real kick watching on TV former US President Big Dick Nixon sweat and lie to Congress about all the incriminating tapes and evidence he didn’t have in his possession. I like to think you’re closeted away in your drab office in the same manner, scowling and paranoid like old Dick, barking at subordinates and telling them to find a way to fix everything. But I know that’s just wishful thinking on my part.

Instead, I’m sure you’re preaching to your flock this Sunday on reconciliation and healing, or whatever.

But that black box is still in your sanctum sanctorum somewhere, Bob, just itching to be explored. And I bet that even part of you is wanting it aired. Nobody, after all, is completely iniquitous. Isn’t that what you guys teach?

Old Scrooge’s delight that glorious Christmas morning when he had found himself again, and reveled like the child we all are inside once he found it so easy to do the right thing, always struck me to the core, whenever it expressed itself in old movies or from the faded pages of my father’s Dickens collection. I laughed and I cried with Scrooge, when he discovered the real joy of the season. Just like I will laugh and will cry with you, one day, Bob.

It was Tiny Tim who said it all, in the Dickens tale. And I hear his words whisper up through the grounds of the Mush Hole, where so many other innocents lie, mangled and forgotten, almost lost to us.

You can help revive them, Bob. You can do the right thing. All you need to do is to come outside, and open all the locked and forbidden places, and secrets, and beg all those little ones for forgiveness – by telling the truth, and awaiting history’s judgment on you, and those like you.

But you’ll likely need a midnight visit by three ghosts, first. Or even 50,000 of them.

Season’s salutations,

Kevin Annett interviewed on ThatChannel about human remains at Brantford Residential School

Real Health 2011-11n-28 – Kevin Annett on Brantford Residential School

Children’s Bones Identified at Canada’s Oldest Indian Residential School

An International Media Release

A child’s remains and other human bones have been identified at Canada’s oldest Indian residential school in Brantford, Ontario:

A Statement from the Kanien’keha’:ka (Mohawk) Nation of the Grand River

Archaeological surveys and test digs authorized by we, elders of the Kanien’keha:ka Nation, have been conducted at the former Mohawk Institute Indian residential school since October 1.

This past week, while on the grounds of the school, our researchers along with Kevin Annett -Rawennatshani, who acts with our approval, have unearthed what has been described as human remains. One bone among sixteen uncovered has been identified, through preliminary visual examination by a competent archaeologist, as that of a young child. This bone sample is described by the same archaeologist as “definitely human”.

bone fragment

A test dig in a twenty square foot area on grounds adjoining the former Mohawk Institute have revealed a considerable number of bones, as well as buttons which have been confirmed to be part of the children’s school uniforms. Large deposits of coal were also found associated with these remains, all at a depth of barely two feet. Several of the bones have also been cut up, suggesting that the bodies may have been deliberately dismembered, while other bones were broken.

We declare the area on and near the former Mohawk Institute to be a crime site under our jurisdiction, and we will not allow representatives of the Crown or Church of England, or the government of Canada, access to these excavations because of their complicity in this crime.

These institutions have consistently refused to disclose the evidence they possess regarding the Mohawk Institute and the deaths of children under their legal care, and therefore, we are proceeding to charge these bodies with crimes against humanity in international courts of justice, based in part on the forensic evidence we have uncovered.

We now call upon our community and the world to rally behind our efforts to bring recognition to the remains of children buried on the Mohawk Institute grounds, and our work to excavate this site. Prior to any possible repatriation of these remains, and because these remains may include children from other indigenous nations, we look to those nations to participate with us in this work and welcome their input, and we urge them to begin their own excavations at local Indian residential schools.

We appeal to other nations to send archaeological and forensic specialists and international observers and peacekeepers to our territory to operate under our Mohawk jurisdiction, to assist with our inquiry and protect the burial sites until the remains can be accorded a proper burial according to our diverse traditions. Until these experts arrive to conduct a professional archeological excavation of these graves, we are temporarily suspending our excavations.

As our investigation continues, the bone samples will be subjected to further forensic tests, and this data about the human remains uncovered at the Mohawk Institute will be prepared in a final report to be delivered in the spring of 2012 to human rights courts and Parliamentarians in Europe, as part of a campaign to bring charges of genocide against the Crown of England, the government of Canada, the Anglican Church in Canada and other guilty parties.

The Mohawk Institute inquiry is held under the auspices of the Onkwehon:we (Mohawk) Nation and Kevin Annett (Rawennatshani) of the International Tribunal into Crimes of Church and State, who has our full authority and protection.

Mohawk Nation

Report on the Expulsion of United Church Minister Reverend Kevin Annett from his Ministry and Livelihood

An Independent Assessment Based on Eyewitness Testimony and other Evidence

August 29, 1996 – March 7, 1997 in Vancouver, B.C.

Eyewitness to Coverup of Genocide in Canada


This report was composed in response to the glaring bias and misrepresentation of facts and events displayed in the “official” account of the “de-listing” of Reverend Kevin Annett published by the United Church of Canada in the summer of 1997, and publicly disseminated by the church since then.

The incompleteness and apparent duplicity of the church’s account of this hearing prompted more than two dozen observers of this event to provide the information contained in this “Counter Report”, which aims at presenting the complete facts and events as they unfolded in a fair and accurate manner. Our purpose is simply to reveal the entire truth.

The enclosed report is based on numerous sources, including the notes and recollection of participants in the hearing, including Rev. Kevin Annett, Rev. Bruce Gunn, Margaret Annett, Dr. Jennifer Wade, Rev. Margaret Roberts, Dr. Adrian Wade, Her Honor the Mayor of Delta, Beth Johnson, journalists, retired policemen, and twenty two independent observers who sat through all or part of the entire hearing, and who kept their own record of the proceedings and submitted letters of concern about the hearing and its outcome to the Attorney General of B.C., Ujjal Dosanjh, during 1997.

This report also relies on newspaper accounts of the hearing, including those contained in Macleans magazine and the Globe and Mail newspaper, statements made and letters issued by church officials including Brian Thorpe, Jon Jessiman and Presbytery lawyer Iain Benson, and an official transcript of segments of the hearing obtained through the Vancouver Court Reporters, Inc., which was the official court record keeper of the entire hearing.

We publish this account of Kevin Annett’s mistreatment and expulsion by the United Church of Canada in the hope that he will be personally vindicated and his name cleared publicly, and that those responsible for the ruination of his livelihood, family, employability and public reputation will be held accountable for their actions.

This report may be reproduced and quoted in full or in part. The letters and documents which substantiate this report are contained in a separate file that will be published, and is obtainable upon request, including all of the thirty eight unsolicited letters of support for Rev. Annett which the United Church excluded from its final report of the de-listing hearing. The sheer volume of these documents precluded their inclusion in this summary report.


The Editors,
July 1, 2009
Vancouver, Canada

Part A: The Relevant and Uncontested Background Facts

1. Kevin Annett was ordained as a minister in good standing with the United Church of Canada on May 6, 1990, at Naramata, B.C, within the British Columbia Conference. He initially served a three point pastoral charge in Pierson, Manitoba and then was hired from a field of over a dozen other applicants to the position of Chaplain and Urban Ministry Development Worker at the largest United Church urban mission in Canada: Fred Victor Mission in Toronto, Ontario.

2. Rev. Kevin Annett was hired unanimously as minister of St. Andrew’s United Church in Port Alberni, B.C. in March of 1992, and commenced that position on July 15, 1992. Within one year, Annett had tripled the size of his congregation to over ninety people: a size that continued to the day he was summarily removed from his position on January 23, 1995 by United Church officials Art Anderson and Cameron Reid.

3. On October 17, 1994, Rev. Kevin Annett wrote a letter of concern to his employer, Comox-Nanaimo Presbytery of the United Church of Canada, concerning their sale of Lot 363 on Flores Island, part of the hereditary land of the Ahousaht First Nation, to a corporate benefactor of the church, MacMillan-Bloedel, against the wishes of the Ahousaht people, and in clear and direct violation of United Church policy on native land claims. His letter was never answered.

4. On October 30, 1994, a St. Andrew’s congregational retreat at Moorecroft Camp voted to endorse Rev. Annett and his ministry by a vote of 55 to 6.

5. On November 5, 1994, three Presbytery officers, Cameron Reid, Foster Freed and Phil Spencer, began secret meetings with a small faction in Annett’s congregation to arrange his removal as minister. Annett was never notified of these meetings. Those who met with the Presbytery officials were ordered by them “not to tell Kevin” that he was to be fired. (Letter of Gerry Walerius, August 28, 1996).

6. On January 23, 1995, Rev. Kevin Annett was summarily removed as the minister of St. Andrew’s United Church in Port Alberni by Art Anderson, Personnel officer for B.C. Conference of the United Church, and Cameron Reid, representing Comox-Nanaimo Presbytery Executive.

7. Annett was removed without cause, notice or review.

8. Annett’s dismissal was authorized by an Executive committee of his employer, Comox-Nanaimo Presbytery of the United Church, through a letter signed by Presbytery Executive Secretary Phil Spencer that was handed to Annett by Art Anderson.

9. This letter required that Annett agree to unpaid and unspecified “pastoral retraining” for one year, and to an unspecified “psychiatric evaluation”, or face permanent expulsion from ministry.

10. At no point prior to his dismissal had Annett been notified of Presbytery’s intent to remove him.

11. The decision by Comox-Nanaimo Presbytery Executive to remove Annett from his pulpit had never been discussed, debated or put to a vote within the wider church court of the Presbytery, as required under the United Church Manual. In the words of Presbytery delegate, Rev. Bruce Gunn, “The Presbytery Executive acted arbitrarily and in a completely unrestrained manner in its removal of Kevin Annett, and in this way had set itself up as a separate and unaccountable body in relation to the Presbytery as a whole.” (Letter to the De-listing Panel dated August 30, 1996)

12. Two days after his summary removal, on January 25, 1995, Annett was threatened with expulsion from his profession altogether, that is, “de-listing”, in a letter issued by Cameron Reid for the Comox-Nanaimo Presbytery. As with Annett’s removal from his pulpit, no cause was given for this threat of expulsion.

13. Cameron Reid’s letter to Annett dated January 25 required that Annett agree to the demands imposed on him by the January 23 dismissal letter no later than February 9, 1995, after which Annett would face possible “de-listing”, that is, permanent expulsion from his profession. February 9 was the day that the Alberni detachment of the RCMP was scheduled to open its first public hearings into crimes at the United Church’s Alberni Indian Residential school, which Annett had helped to identify.

14. The legal counsel for both the Comox-Nanaimo Presbytery and the B.C. Conference of the United Church at this time was lawyer Jon Jessiman, who would also later head the Appeal Board and the De-listing Panel that would expel Annett from United Church ministry.

15. Despite being in a clear conflict of interest as defined by legal Rules of Evidence, Jon Jessiman engineered all of the negotiations between Annett and his employer, Comox-Nanaimo Presbytery, which occurred between January 25, 1995 and June 13, 1995, when these negotiations formally ended on the advice of Jessiman.

16. During these negotiations, the following facts were established and agreed upon by both Annett and the Comox-Nanaimo Presbytery:

a) Annett had been removed without cause, notice or review;

b) There were no charges against him and he was not under discipline;

c) Annett had acknowledged the authority of Presbytery by approaching that body for assistance in mediation in October of 1994, after three members of his congregation had raised objections to his ministry;

d) Annett had worked reasonably and fairly to resolve these differences, even allowing those critical of his work to speak from his pulpit on Sundays;

e) Despite this, Presbytery had decided to remove Annett “for the peace and welfare of his congregation” on the basis of the undocumented complaints of these three church members;

f) Presbytery was unable to produce any evidence of these complaints, and no evidence of the complaints was found in Annett’s Personnel file;

g) On the basis of these alleged, unsubstantiated complaints, Presbytery expected Annett to agree to “a program of pastoral retraining and psychiatric evaluation” for a year, on an unpaid basis, despite Annett’s need to support a family of four. If he refused to do so, Annett would be recommended for permanent de-listing.

h) The official who removed Annett from his pulpit, Art Anderson, described Annett’s ministry and approach to issues as “admirable, impeccable and above reproach.” (February 12, 1995)

i) Despite the arbitrary and unfair nature of this request, Annett agreed to all of Presbytery’s demands on him except one, namely that of a psychiatric evaluation, on the basis of legal advice to him that i) agreeing to such a measure would prejudice his good name and wrongfully incriminate himself, and ii) Presbytery was not competent to make such a demand.

j) Despite this refusal, the Presbytery was willing to forego the demand for a psychiatric evaluation, referring to it as “just a formality we needed to invoke to remove him so quickly” (Rev. Win Stokes, October 3, 1996).

17. At this point in the negotiations, on the eve of a resolution of the differences between Presbytery and Rev. Annett, church legal counsel Jon Jessiman, through the medium of Art Anderson, intervened and suspended the negotiations without cause, as he acknowledged in a subsequent letter. Jessiman then ordered Presbytery to refuse to release Annett to seek employment as a minister in other Presbyteries, rendering him destitute and unemployable.

18. As a result, Annett and his family were compelled to move to Vancouver that same month (June, 1995) where Annett enrolled in the University of B.C. in a doctoral program, to retrain and find new employment. Annett commenced his Ph.D. in the Department of Educational Studies in September, 1995.

19. On December 18, 1995, Annett held a public protest in Vancouver where a survivor of the United Church Alberni Indian Residential School , Harriett Nahanee, was quoted in the Vancouver Sun as having witnessed a little girl, Maisie Shaw, kicked to her death down a flight of stairs by school Principal Alfred Caldwell. A second witness to the murder of a child by Caldwell, Archie Frank, was quoted two days later in the Vancouver Sun.

20. On December 22, 1995, the Chief Executive Officer for the church’s B.C. Conference, Brian Thorpe, met with Annett’s wife Anne McNamee and encouraged her to commence a divorce against Annett.

21. On December 24, McNamee informed Annett in front of their children that she was leaving him and wanted a divorce.

22. On January 3, 1996, Annett was served divorce papers by agents for McNamee’s lawyer, Run Huinink, after McNamee had left the matrimonial home to an undisclosed location with both of Annett’s children.

23. On January 17, 1996, on the same day that Annett and McNamee appeared in divorce court, the Vancouver Sun published an article by reporter Doug Todd entitled “Fired Minister Ordered to Take Psychiatric Test”. Todd had been approached by his friend, church official Brian Thorpe, and encouraged to write the article. Thorpe provided information to Todd that gave the impression that the church was still demanding a psychiatric evaluation by Annett, despite Presbytery’s dropping of such a demand.

24. On February 1, 1996, the first class action lawsuit against the United Church was launched in the B.C. Supreme Court by fifteen survivors of the Alberni Indian residential school.

25. On February 3, the Executive of Comox-Nanaimo Presbytery voted to recommend that Rev. Annett be permanently “de-listed” as a minister, that is, denied employability and standing within the United Church.

26. On February 17, 1996, Comox-Nanaimo Presbytery treasurer Colin Forbes described in session how their lawyers, Iain Benson and Jon Jessiman, had met with Kevin Annett’s wife on several occasions to plan her divorce against Annett.

27. On April 4, 1996, Annett lost custody of both his children in divorce court, and was ordered to vacate his family home.

28. On April 19, 1996, Annett’s appeal of his firing to the B.C. Conference Appeal Panel, headed by lawyer Jon Jessiman, was denied.

29. On May 4, 1996, B.C. Conference established a De-listing Panel to decide whether Annett would remain a United Church minister. Annett immediately requested of this body the cause of his removal, a list of charges against him, and the names of his accusers, as was his right under common law. In the name of the Panel, church official Brian Thorpe refused to provide this information, and stated in writing, “There are no charges against you.”

30. Brian Thorpe chose the three members of the De-listing Panel from a list drafted by lawyer Jon Jessiman, without any input from Rev. Annett, despite a request by him to nominate one of the Panel members, and despite an offer by Rev. Bruce Gunn, who was well acquainted with Annett’s case, to be a member of the Panel.

31. On August 29, 1996, the three person De-listing Panel convened at St. Stephen’s United Church in Vancouver , under the authority of the B.C. Conference of the United Church and Brian Thorpe. Jon Jessiman acted as “Head Judicial Officer” and Adjudicator, and chaired all of the proceedings. Presbytery was legally represented by Iain Benson, a professional paid lawyer. Kevin Annett had no legal representation and appeared voluntarily and on an unpaid basis; all Panel members, Jessiman, and Benson, were paid, including expenses. The Panel consisted of friends and associates of both Thorpe and Jessiman: Chairperson Mollie Williams, a close personal friend of the hearing’s adjudicator, Jon Jessiman, who had helped nominate Jessiman for church Moderator in 1982; Jeff Wilkinson, and Eleanor O’Neill. The proceedings were recorded by the Independent Court Reporters Inc. of Vancouver .

Part B: The Delisting Hearing
(from notes taken during the proceedings and provided by observers including Sheila Paterson and Dr. Jennifer Wade, and from The Vancouver Court Reporters, Inc.)

The hearing that resulted in the permanent removal of Rev. Kevin Annett from the “Active Service List” of United Church clergy was unique and unprecedented in that church’s history, in that it constituted the only public expulsion of a minister from the United Church since its inception in 1925. The proceeding cost the church over $260,000 and was initially open to the public, but was eventually closed to observers and to the media by the unilateral decision of Jon Jessiman.

The hearing spanned nearly seven months and comprised sixteen separate sessions. At every venue, its layout was the same: a front table of three Panel judges, flanked by Judicial officer Jessiman, a court reporter, and lawyer Benson. No table or facilities were provided for Rev. Annett or his advisers, nor was legal assistance offered. Rev. Annett was unrepresented by a lawyer and appeared each day of the hearing without pay and at his own expense.

During the proceedings, the hearing moved from its initial location at St. Stephen’s United Church in south Vancouver to St. John’s United Church in the west end of Vancouver , where the majority of its sessions were held and where it concluded. St. John’s minister at the time was Rev. Brad Newcombe, another personal friend of Brian Thorpe, who convened the hearing.

The hearing had the semblance of a court of law, yet operated according to the internal rules of a United Church disciplinary hearing, despite the fact that Rev. Annett faced no charges and was repeatedly told that he was guilty of no offense and was not under discipline. In the words of one observer, who was present for the duration of the hearing,

The whole thing had the appearance but not the content of a civil court … It was mostly a failed attempt at cosmetics.” (Glenda Leznoff, April 5, 1997)

According to the opening statement of the Panel chair, Rev. Mollie Williams, made on August 29, 1996, the hearing was called to “consider a request by Comox-Nanaimo Presbytery to have the name of Reverend Kevin McNamee-Annett placed on the discontinued service list of the United Church of Canada”. As such, any and all evidence related to the ministry and person of Annett could be introduced. The hearing would operate under “the rules of evidence and due process of the province of British Columbia ”. As such, no hearsay evidence would be allowed.

In short, the onus was on the Presbytery and its lawyer to prove beyond any doubt that Annett was unfit to function as an ordained minister, based on firsthand, direct, and verifiable evidence. If they did not prove this, Annett would retain his ordination, according to the very rules laid down by Ms. Williams and her Panel.

In response to this statement, Reverend Annett immediately asked the Panel to present him with that which he had been repeatedly requesting for over a year, and which was his right under the very Rules of Evidence the Panel had claimed it was operating under: the cause of his removal, the charges against him, and the names of those who had accused him. Annett also asked the Panel to define what the grounds were for the de-listing of a United Church minister, to allow him to prepare his defense.

The Judicial Officer, Jon Jessiman, replied that this request was out of order and not relevant to the proceedings. Annett asked how a request for due process could be “out of order”, and received no answer from Jessiman. Annett then asked the Panel chair, Ms. Williams, to rule on his request, and Ms. Williams upheld Mr. Jessiman’s statement.

Rev. Annett then challenged the ruling of the chair, and the Panel took a short break. After fifteen minutes, the Panel reconvened, and Ms. Williams made the following, quite extraordinary statement for the record:

“In the matter concerning Reverend Annett’s request for the cause of his removal as minister at St. Andrew’s, it is decided that this issue is not relevant to these proceedings. Furthermore, his request to know the basis and terms for delisting a clergyman are also not relevant, in that there are no stated grounds for such de-listing. This Panel will establish what those grounds are at the end of this hearing.” (our emphasis)

An audible disturbance went through the audience as Ms. Williams concluded, and she called for order. Annett asked Ms. Williams how he could prepare any kind of defense, if he couldn’t know what the terms of the hearing were. Ms. Williams ruled his question out of order and adjourned the session.

On September 3, the hearing resumed, and Panel chair Ms. Williams asked the Presbytery lawyer, Iain Benson, to begin his case. Benson then called the first of four witnesses to testify against Kevin Annett: Rev. Win Stokes, the chair of Comox-Nanaimo Presbytery’s Negotiating Committee with Rev. Annett following his removal from his pulpit in January, 1995.

(Note: It is important to emphasize here that none of the witnesses called by Iain Benson had any firsthand evidence of Annett or of the claims they were alleging about him. By their own admission given under oath, none of these “witnesses” had ever heard one of Annett’s sermons, attended any of his church meetings or seen him in action as a minister. One of the witnesses, Rev. Kathleen Hogman, had never even met Rev. Annett until she appeared at the hearing. Yet this inherently hearsay “evidence” by the Presbytery’s only witnesses was allowed by Jon Jessiman to be heard by the Panel and then entered into the hearing’s record as bona fide evidence, in direct contravention of the very Rules of Evidence and Procedure adopted by the Panel and enunciated by Ms. Williams.

In fact, this hearsay that posed as genuine evidence against Rev.. Annett constituted the Presbytery’s only case against him, and yet was the basis of the Panel’s eventual decision to de-list Annett, despite the fact that it did not constitute legitimate evidence either under the law or the supposed rules governing the hearing.

This fact alone casts serious doubt on the legitimacy and lawfulness of the entire de-listing procedure against Kevin Annett, and at a minimum necessitated an independent administrative review of the entire hearing by a genuine court of law.

Presbytery Witness #1: Comox-Nanaimo Presbytery official and negotiator Rev. Win Stokes (Sessions of September 3, 5, 6, 12, 13, 1996)

The first witness called by Counsel Benson was Rev. Win Stokes, the Presbytery official who had chaired the negotiations with Rev. Annett from the period following his dismissal in January, 1995, to the suspension of those negotiations by Jon Jessiman in June, 1995.

Stokes set forth the position of the Presbytery Executive regarding Rev. Annett, namely that he “failed to work” with the Presbytery and pursued his “own agenda” in ministry involving native people, to the neglect of his congregation.. Stokes did not provide any evidence to support this claim. Although he was appointed to chair the Presbytery body that negotiated with Rev. Annett after his dismissal, Stokes acted very uninformed and claimed that he “might not be totally accurate” in some of his recollections. Stokes stated thirty two times in a two day period “I can’t remember”.

Under cross-examination by Rev. Annett and Rev. Bruce Gunn, Stokes was extremely evasive and on several occasions refused to answer questions. But in the course of the five days he was on the witness stand, Stokes made the following admissions:

1. No vote was ever taken in the Presbytery to remove Rev. Annett from his pulpit, which was done by the Executive acting alone and without directions from the Presbytery.

(transcript September 12, 9:31 a.m.)

Annett: Was there at any time a debate in Presbytery about my removal from my pulpit?
Stokes: No.
Annett: Was it put to a vote?
Stokes: No.
Annett: So there was nowhere that I or another member of Presbytery could address the issue?
Stokes: Not directly, no.
Annett: Do you think this is democratic?
Stokes: Yes.

2. Rev. Annett recognized the authority of Presbytery, even after his firing, by negotiating with its committee cooperatively and in good faith.

(Transcript September 12, 10:38 a.m.)

Stokes: A lot of work went into coming to a tentative agreement with you after February …..
Annett: So it is true that I negotiated in good faith …
Stokes: Yes, that was never in question.
Annett: And it was me who had invited Presbytery to intervene in my congregation for pastoral oversight when the dispute first arose in December?
Stokes: Yes.

3. There were no charges brought against Rev. Annett by the Presbytery at any point.

(Transcript September 12, 1:37 p.m.)

Stokes: I was assured by Mr. Thorpe that all our meetings would be guided by natural justice.
Annett: But I was never told what the charges were against me, why I was fired …
Lawyer Iain Benson: (interrupting) This statement by Reverend Annett is entirely a fabrication. These are all old questions. There were no charges against him. There are none. Why does he keep asking the question?
Annett: If I can continue … Win, do you know of any charges against me?
Stokes: No.

Stokes’ statement was corroborated by letters written during 1995 and 1996 by both Presbytery Secretary Phil Spencer and Conference official Brian Thorpe, submitted as evidence to the Panel, both of which state that there are no charges against Rev. Kevin Annett.

These statements made under oath by Win Stokes, and the corroborating letters signed by Phil Spencer and Brian Thorpe, invalidated the basic case of the church against Annett, namely, that he failed to recognize the authority of Presbytery, and that he had been removed according to due process, neither of which was true, according to Stokes.

However, an equally explosive revelation was made by Stokes while being questioned by his own lawyer, Iain Benson, during his final day on the witness stand. Stokes admitted that a provincial government official – probably United Church clergyman and Aboriginal Affairs minister John Cashore – had played a role in Annett’s removal from his pulpit because of the letter Annett wrote about the Ahousaht land deal.

(transcript, September 13, 10:48 a.m)

Stokes: I can’t recall. Like I said, I didn’t know Kevin that well. I never met him before the negotiations. It wasn’t me who flagged this issue to Presbytery.

Benson: Then …

Stokes: It’s just that … well, a senior politician had told me, we can’t have Kevin upset the applecart over Lot 363. There was too much at stake. So something had to be done.

Jessiman: This is not a relevant line of questioning.

Judge Jessiman immediately ordered a recess and the Panel was subsequently told the panel to disregard Stokes’ statement about the Ahousat land deal (Lot 363). Rev. Annett then attempted to cross-examine Stokes over his statement about Lot 363 and was prevented from doing so by Jessiman.

Equally significant is the fact that, in the same session, Win Stokes also admitted that Comox-Nanaimo Presbytery had had no concerns about Annett until he wrote his letter about the Ahousat land deal on October 17, 1994, and that in effect, Annett had been removed because of writing that letter.

(September 13, 1:51 p.m.)

Benson: And what can you say about Reverend Annett’s behaviour during that period?

Stokes: Nothing, really. Like I said, I had never met him before our sessions and his name had never come up. You have to understand that he had not come to our attention at all before his letter about Lot 363, the Ahousat thing. We’d had no concerns about him at all before he wrote that letter.

We find these statements by Win Stokes and the action of the Judicial Officer, Jon Jessiman, in suppressing Stokes’ statements and in preventing legitimate cross-examination of Stokes, to be concrete evidence regarding not only the real purpose behind the removal and de-listing of Rev. Annett by the United Church, but the subsequent concealment of that purpose by church officers and indeed, by the entire United Church of Canada.

It is clear from this evidence that Rev. Annett’s letter regarding the Lot 363 deal prompted Comox-Nanaimo Presbytery to move against him, in collusion with and possibly under the direction of government minister John Cashore; and that if Annett had not written his October 17, 1994 letter about Lot 363 to Presbytery, he would not have been removed from his position as minister at St. Andrew’s United Church.

It is also evident that the unnamed government official – most likely Rev. John Cashore – who played a direct role in initiating Presbytery’s removal of Annett from his pulpit, did so as part of a wider campaign involving the corporate takeover of MacMillan-Bloedel by Weyerhauser Inc.: a takeover being facilitated by Cashore’s own government and United Church of Canada. Apparently, Kevin Annett threatened this takeover by his raising of the Lot 363 scandal, and was accordingly removed.

These facts suggest that Rev. Annett was the victim of a clear conspiracy to impoverish and silence him because of his exposure of the Ahousaht land deal involving the government of B.C., the United Church of Canada , and MacMillan-Bloedel Ltd – Weyerhauser Inc.

Presbytery Witness #2: Former Chair of Comox-Nanaimo Presbytery Rev. Bob Stiven (Sessions of October 7, 23, 28, 29)

Win Stokes’ admission concerning the original cause of Rev. Annett’s firing from his pulpit and the apparently wider conspiracy behind his removal prompted Judge Jessiman and the De-listing Panel to impose an extended recess on the Hearing proceedings, as well as new restrictions on attendance and media coverage.

The hearing did not reconvene for three weeks, and began with a long statement read by Panel chair Mollie Williams that outlined the following new rules governing the Hearing:

- no statements would be allowed into the court record that related to issues of the Lot 363 Ahousaht land deal or aboriginal land claims issues;

- all questions posed to witnesses had to be restricted solely to the issue of Kevin Annett’s ministry in Port Alberni; Annett’s work with native people was not considered part of that ministry and was not relevant to the hearing

- a media blackout was in effect, and no observer or participant in the hearing was allowed to make statements to the press regarding the hearing

- anyone passing notes to Reverend Annett or trying to communicate to him during the hearing would be asked to leave.

Williams’ statement caused an uproar in the hearing room among the several dozen observers gathered there, and from Rev. Annett and his advisers, including Rev. Bruce Gunn and Annett’s mother Margaret, both of whom had participated in the questioning of Presbytery witnesses.

Annett asked the Panel under what authority they were attempting to deprive him and others of their constitutionally protected freedom of speech, and restrict his line of questioning and the proceedings of the hearing in clear and direct violation of the terms and rules outlined by Panel chair Ms. Williams at the commencement of the hearing.

Ms. Williams did not answer Annett’s question but deferred to Judge Jessiman, who stated that, being an internal review body of an ecclesiastical organization, the Panel had absolute authority to set down whatever rules it deemed necessary, and was “not bound by civil law”.

Annett then asked Jessiman if this meant that the United Church and this hearing stood outside the laws of Canada , and Jessiman did not reply. When Annett persisted in his questioning of Jessiman, Ms. Williams attempted to silence him, and Jessiman stated to her, after winking at Presbytery lawyer Iain Benson,

“That’s alright, we’ve come to expect this sort of thing from Kevin.”

Annett’s advisor, Rev. Bruce Gunn, immediately conferred with Annett and then made a motion that Judge Jessiman step down as Judicial Officer because of a “perception of bias and conflict of interest” by him. Panel chair Williams quickly stated that Jessiman was not in a conflict of interest and ruled the motion out of order.

Jessiman then said that the hearing had to proceed with its business and would not tolerate any more “disruptions”. He then called upon Presbytery lawyer Iain Benson to call his second witness.

Although in the words of Benson, Rev. Stiven was being called as an “expert witness” on Rev. Annett, Stiven, by his own admission, had only spoken to Annett on two occasions before the hearing and only seen him “six or seven times” over three years, and entirely at Presbytery meetings.

Accordingly, most of Stiven’s comments about Annett were impressionistic and not factually based. For example, Stiven was asked by Benson what he knew about Annett’s performance as a minister. Stiven answered,

“Not much. It’s not that we, uh, I never was there on a Sunday, if that’s what you mean. But I know a lot of people in the pews were upset with the changes he was introducing so fast.” (transcript, October 7, 1996 10:03 am)

Benson asked Stiven how he knew this, and Stiven replied,

“People talk, you know. I just heard things.”

At this point, Annett spoke up and asked Jon Jessiman if such a hearsay statement would be allowed to stand, and Jessiman declared that the statement was not hearsay. Annett replied that it was indeed hearsay, and shouldn’t be allowed into the court record. Jessiman then asked the Panel chair, Rev. Williams, to make a ruling, and Williams immediately stated,

“The Panel concurs with Mr. Jessiman.”

This is a significant exchange, in that it highlights that the de-listing hearing intentionally did not follow its own Rules of Evidence or Procedure when it came to statements made by Presbytery’s witnesses about Rev. Annett.

This was not an isolated occurrence. Rev. Annett, the twenty two observers at the hearing who were present, and three observers who kept notes, and the Panel chair herself, estimated that statements made by Presbytery witnesses about Annett that were not based on firsthand knowledge were allowed to stand as legitimate evidence on fifty four separate occasions during the course of the hearing.

Counsel Benson proceeded to ask Stiven what his personal relationship was with Annett and how he came to be concerned about him. Stiven replied,

“I can’t say I really knew the man … But he couldn’t have expected much of a hearing after he started going on about all his social justice stuff, not in our Presbytery. It’s just that … well, he never learned how to placate the white haired English grannies who are the backbone of our church.”

Benson appeared flustered by Stiven’s remark, possibly because of its biased and openly prejudicial nature, and quickly asked him, in a leading manner,

“But surely you’d say that Rev. Annett wasn’t the victim of a plot to remove him, as he lets on?”

Stiven replied, excitedly,

“Well, in my rage, I can’t say that he would have gotten justice in our Presbytery, no, not after he started going on about dead children in the residential school!”

At this point, Rev. Annett asked permission to pose a question to Rev. Stiven regarding the Ahousaht native people and the Lot 363 deal. Judge Jessiman refused, but Counsel Benson said he would agree to the question being posed, to “clear the air once and for all”.

(transcript, October 7, 10:41 am)

Annett: I need to clarify a few things. You and Win have both said that the national church is responsible for native land claims …
Stiven: It’s your ministry that’s the issue here, not land claims.
Annett: Why did our Presbytery table a report from Oliver Howard about the Lot 363 negotiations ….
Stiven: What report?
Annett: At the October 1994 Presbytery meeting in Gold River. I was there. So were you.
Stiven: I know a national church officer said there are things happening in Ahousat, they say a piece of land, and Oliver was sent to do something about it.
Annett: So Oliver was delegated by the national office? Then why did he report to our Presbytery?
Stiven: No, by us, I mean … He may have been.
Annett: Do you remember his report?
Stiven: No.
Annett: Oliver told me that he had met with you, as Presbytery chair, and told you all about the report.
Stiven: No, he never did.
Annett: So why would Oliver lie?
Stiven: I’m not going there.
Annett: Bob, in his report, Oliver claimed that the Ahousat chiefs wouldn’t meet with us, but they say the opposite. They say the land was never ours to sell, that our church stole it from them …
Benson: Madam chair, we’ve heard enough here …
Annett: Bob, our land claims policy says we can’t keep stolen native land … that’s what I wrote in my letter …
Jessiman: I believe this cross-examination is complete.

At this point in the record, Jon Jessiman declared a fifteen minute recess, and Jessiman, Benson and the Panel apparently gathered and consulted one another in an adjoining room. This itself was a clear breach of court room protocol and Rules of Procedure, and normally would have nullified the proceedings in any genuine court of law, or impartial hearing. And yet, to quote Amnesty International co-founder Dr. Jennifer Wade, who witnessed the entire hearing,

“That was the norm. I regularly witnessed Jessiman, Benson and the entire panel and even some of the witnesses going to lunch together, laughing and exchanging pleasantries in the church lobby.” (March 9, 1997)

Upon the Panel’s return, Jessiman announced that Stiven’s entire cross-examination by Rev. Annett would be stricken from the hearing’s record.

(Note: this session of October 7 was of particular interest to the United Church, which subsequently secured from the Vancouver Court Reporters a full transcript of that day’s proceedings along with the censored segment of Annett’s cross-examination of Stiven.)

During the fourth and final session when Stiven was on the witness stand, he was cross-examined again by Rev. Annett, who focused on Stiven’s lack of firsthand or even correct knowledge of him and his work.

(transcript October 29, 1996, 9:58 am)

Annett: “Did you have any first hand experience of my ministry in Port Alberni ?”

Stiven: “I heard reports from people … I saw the effect you were having, all that talk about putting God first.”

Annett: “Pardon me?”

Stiven: “When you said you had to put God first, you were being pastorally incompetent!”

Annett: “So you heard me say that …”

Stiven: “I didn’t need to! I didn’t need to see for myself when people were telling me how you were upsetting them and causing such conflict.”

Annett: “What people? Whites or natives?”

Stiven: “You were not called to minister to Indians!”

Annett: “Bob, did you know that my congregation had a long history of discord and factionalism, of fighting among themselves and with their minister, long before I ever arrived?”

Stiven: “I’m not aware of that, no.”

Annett: “Well, you must have been, since a conflict resolution mediator from the Vancouver School of Theology met with my congregation in the fall of 1993 and issued a report to this effect to me and to our Presbytery. Did you never see a copy of her report?”

Stiven remains silent.

Annett: “Did you know that three of the previous four ministers who preceded me at St. Andrew’s had been forced from their pulpit by factions in the congregation?”.

Stiven remains silent.

Annett: “Can you tell me then why I was scapegoated and blamed by your Presbytery for this conflict when it didn’t originate with me? Why I was removed on a false pretext?”

Stiven remains silent.

When Stiven was asked by Rev. Annett to answer his last question, Judge Jessiman immediately intervened and declared Stiven’s testimony to be concluded. Annett objected but was overruled by the Panel chair. Stiven then left the witness chair and the session for that day was adjourned.

Presbytery Witness #3: Chief Executive Officer for the B.C. Conference of the United Church of Canada, Rev. Brian Thorpe (Sessions November 6, 7, 19, 1996)

After a week’s adjournment, the hearing reconvened and Judge Jessiman asked Presbytery counsel Benson to call his next witness. Benson asked B.C. Conference Secretary Rev. Brian Thorpe to take the stand.

Thorpe’s presence caused Rev. Gunn to immediately challenge his credibility, and the propriety of the person who had chosen the Hearing Panel to then sit as a witness against Rev. Annett. Gunn stated that Thorpe was in a clear conflict of interest and should not be a witness.

Jessiman responded by asking counsel Benson for his opinion, that is, remarkably, deferring as the supposed judge and referring a procedural question to the prosecuting attorney! Benson replied that Thorpe’s statement was essential to Presbytery’s case and he was not in a conflict of interest. Having let one of the parties in a dispute decide a judicial issue, Jessiman asked Benson to proceed with his questioning of Thorpe.

Benson asked Thorpe to describe his knowledge of Rev. Annett and his role in Annett’s removal, and Thorpe stated that he had played no role in it “whatsoever”.

Rev. Gunn immediately replied,

“That’s a bald faced lie, Brian.”
(transcript November 6, 9:30 am)

Jessiman asked Gunn to retract his remark, and Gunn replied that he would reword it. Jessiman stated that Gunn could not do so until cross-examination.

Benson asked Thorpe if he had played any role in Annett’s removal, and Thorpe contradicted his previous statement by saying,

“Initially I did, yes. I liaised between Conference and Presbytery. But then everything was in Presbytery’s hands.”

Benson asked Thorpe to describe his impression of Rev. Annett.

“I found him not unlike many of our ministers who have a passion for social justice. What Kevin did wasn’t that unusual. Kevin’s problem, if he has one, is that he isn’t willing to make the compromises we all have had to do to survive in this institution.”

Further in Thorpe’s testimony, he admitted that he had never seen Rev. Annett preach a sermon or conduct his ministry, and had never been in Port Alberni during Annett’s time there.

On the final day of Thorpe’s testimony, Rev Gunn on behalf of Rev. Annett asked Thorpe if he remembered the offer he made to Thorpe in February 1995, to intervene as a mediator after Annett was fired.

(transcript November 19, 9:20 am)

Thorpe: Yes, I recall something about that.
Gunn: I told you over the phone that Kevin wanted to resolve the situation but that he wouldn’t agree to a psychiatric exam, which was unwarranted.
Thorpe: That’s correct. There was no basis for the Presbytery to request a psychiatric assessment.
Gunn: No basis. And yet that was the one and only issue preventing a resolution. So why did Presbytery stand firm on that demand?
Thorpe: I can’t answer that.
Gunn: But Bob Stiven told me that Presbytery was taking directions from you.
Thorpe: No, I was simply the administrator.
Gunn: You’re the Chief Executive officer for the church in B.C. (pause) Are you the person who prevented a resolution?
Thorpe: No.
Jessiman: I believe this line of questioning is not relevant.

Judge Jessiman’s interruption is significant, in that, subsequently, evidence introduced inadvertently by Iain Benson indicated that it was Jon Jessiman himself who halted all negotiations between Presbytery and Kevin Annett, and prevented a resolution, in early June of 1995.

The hearing adjourned immediately following Thorpe’s statement. Jessiman announced that the hearing would reconvene sometime in the new year.

Interregnum: Crucial Evidence by Rev. Bruce Gunn regarding the removal of Rev. Annett

During the Christmas break and January, 1997, Rev. Bruce Gunn shared with Rev. Annett, Margaret Annett and Dr. Jennifer Wade the following statement that he attempted unsuccessfully to have included in the hearing’s official record.

20 December, 1996

After Kevin Annett wrote his letter of concern about our church’s sale of Ahousaht land (Lot 363) to non-native associates of our church, I intended to show a copy of his letter to United Church Moderator Marion Best, within a week of its submission to Comox-Nanaimo Presbytery Executive. This would have been at a meeting of the World Mission Division in Toronto on the first weekend of November, 1994, chaired by Ria Whitehead.

Before I could do so, Marion approached me with a copy of Kevin’s letter in her hand. She looked very concerned and she asked me if I knew about the letter. I said I did, and her look said it all. That same week, she had put John Siebert from the national office on the case.

Over the next few months, it was Siebert and Brian Thorpe who set about to neutralize Kevin and get the Ahousaht chiefs on side. They did so by going to Ahousaht and paying off the chiefs with a $14,000 bribe: $7000 directly to them and then by picking up a $7000 tab for research into their land claims. These same chiefs later were encouraged to disassociate themselves from Kevin.

The money was transmitted to the Ahousaht chiefs through the United Church’s Northern Native Group, led by Alvin Dixon.

I believe Kevin’s removal originated from the church’s head office. The church knew that over 1400 lawsuits were coming down the pipe over the residential schools. The fact that Marion Best sent Siebert and Thorpe to buy off the chiefs and rally them against Kevin was confirmed in person to me recently, at a secret meeting of the chiefs with the church head officers, including the Moderator, Marion Best.

The meeting happened at Kevin’s former church, St. Andrew’s, in Port Alberni, where Kathleen Hogman had taken over. It was in early May of of this year (1996). I was asked to attend the meeting. Virginia Coleman, the National Secretary, plus Marion was there. From the native side were Nelson Keitlah, Ron Hamilton and Charlie Thompson, from the Nuu-Chah-Nulth Tribal Council, and some of the Ahousaht chiefs like the Edgars and the Atleos.

At the meeting, I heard Virginia Coleman, speaking for the entire church, make an offer to the chiefs, saying the church would grant limited compensation to some of the Port Alberni residential school survivors, but only on two conditions: that the chiefs publicly disassociate themselves from Kevin Annett, and that they never support any investigation into deaths of children in their residential schools.

The chiefs all agreed to this deal.

This agreement, and the actions of the highest United Church officers, is I believe responsible for all of the church’s actions against Rev. Annett to date, including this present de-listing hearing. The issue before us is therefore not one of Kevin’s suitability for ministry, which has been amply proven, but rather the church’s efforts to silence an inconvenient whistleblower.

I want to add that the man who removed Kevin from his pulpit, the Personnel officer for B.C. Conference, Art Anderson, came up to me at a gathering in Kelowna in the summer of 1995, soon after he had helped stop the negotiations between Kevin and Presbytery, and said,

“Bruce, if you have any pull with Kevin tell him that he’ll never work in this province again if he doesn’t play ball with us. No-one will ever hire him after he’s being defrocked.”

These facts convince me that from start to finish, Rev. Kevin Annett has been the target of a definite conspiracy, and that this present hearing is merely the final stage in this deliberate professional and public destruction of him by the United Church of Canada and its top officers.

Rev. Bruce W.M. Gunn “

Rev. Gunn attempted to read this statement into the hearing’s record during the following session (February 6) but was prevented from doing so by Judge Jessiman.

Presbytery Witness #4: Rev. Kathleen Hogman, present minister and Annett’s replacement at St. Andrew’s United Church in Port Alberni (Sessions of February 6, 7, 1997)

After reconvening on February 6, and rebuffing Rev. Gunn’s statement, the hearing panel asked Iain Benson to call his final and most dubious witness, the present minister and Annett’s replacement at St. Andrew’s church, Kathleen Hogman.

Hogman, by her own admission, had, in her parlance, “been parachuted in” to Port Alberni “to do a job for the church”. Hogman stated that she had never met Kevin Annett before that day. She also said that she had not been hired by the congregation or appointed by Presbytery, as in normal pastoral positions, but had been directly placed in St. Andrew’s by the Conference office.

Asked why this unusual procedure had occurred, Hogman remarked,

“I had to clean up the mess Mr. Annett had made there.”

Asked by Benson to elaborate, Hogman said,

“He had everyone all upset and leaving the church.. I even began to get death threats from all the people Kevin had got so angry. I had to hang a rope outside my office window to get away because of the death threats I was getting.”

The audience began to guffaw and Judge Jessiman called for order.

Hogman continued, in a very agitated manner, glaring angrily at Annett.

“I heard a lot of bad things about him. Those weren’t idle threats.”

Rev. Annett then spoke up and asked Judge Jessiman to instruct the witness not to dwell in hearsay, which was disallowed under the Panel’s rules of procedure. Jessiman ignored Annett.

Hogman’s testimony was brief, undoubtedly because it was based entirely on hearsay when it came to her knowledge of Rev. Annett and his ministry. In response, before Annett had the chance to cross-examine Ms. Hogman, Presbytery Counsel Benson asked for permission to comment on the case, and Judge Jessiman allowed him to do so for the remaining session of February 7.

In the course of Benson’s commentary, he made mention of a letter that Art Anderson, the Personnel officer for the Conference office who had removed Rev. Annett from his pulpit, had received from Jon Jessiman, the Panel’s presiding judicial officer, as legal counsel for the United Church.

This letter, dated early June, 1995, contained a statement from Jessiman advising Anderson to inform Presbytery to break off all negotiations with Rev. Annett, despite the fact that Presbytery was on the verge of concluding an agreement with Annett that would have allowed him to retain his standing as a minister.

In effect, the church’s own counsel had admitted not only that an agreement with Annett had been deliberately sabotaged, but that Jon Jessiman himself had been the person to do so, and had prevented a peaceful resolution between the church and Rev. Annett and forced Annett’s de-listing.

Upon hearing this, Kevin Annett made a motion that Jon Jessiman immediately step down as judicial officer for the Panel, on the grounds of a “perceived bias and conflict of interest” on his part. The Panel, on Jessiman’s advice, adjourned to consider the motion.

The Panel did not reconvene for another month, on March 6, 1997. Panel chair Mollie Williams opened the session by reading a prepared statement that denied Annett’s request, expressed “complete confidence” in Jessiman’s “neutrality and integrity”, and declared that the proceedings would continue.

At this point, Rev. Annett asked for a recess to confer with his advisers. Upon reconvening, Annett asked Rev. Bruce Gunn to read a statement to the Panel on his behalf. The statement said, in part,

“In light of the Panel’s denial of our motion to have Mr. Jessiman step down as judge of these proceedings, since he is clearly in a grave and obvious conflict of interest, I have no choice but to withdraw from these proceedings because further participation in them may compromise any future legal action by me against the United Church. I do not wish to appear complicit in or in agreement with the fraudulent, unfair and biased nature of these proceedings. Under legal advice, I remove myself from this hearing, and will appeal its procedures to a civil court.”

Rev. Annett, Rev. Gunn and their supporters then left the hearing.

As they were exiting the church hall, the Panel chairperson, Mollie Williams, said very loudly,

Bruce, Kevin, if you leave this hearing now you’ll both face dire consequences!

The Hearing Continues, without the defendant present: Final Session, March 5-6, 1997

To the disbelief of several of the observers who remained, the Panel continued its proceedings without Rev. Annett present.

After the departure of Rev. Annett, Judge Jessiman asked the court reporter to leave the room, and then informed the Panel that he was exercising his authority to continue the proceedings “under Executive order” of the General Council of the United Church of Canada. Jessiman then invited the court reporter back into the proceedings.

Counsel Benson then asked the Panel for permission to read into the court record letters against Rev. Annett which, as it turned out, had been solicited in the course of the proceedings and never shown to the defendant, Rev. Annett – something strictly forbidden under natural justice or legal rules of procedure.

Four letters were entered into the record, three of them obtained from United Church officials in Toronto and one from an administrator at the Vancouver School of Theology, where Kevin had studied as a seminarian.

All of these Toronto officials – Paul Webb, Paul Mills, and Linda Davidson – had been named and strongly criticized by Rev. Annett in a letter he had written to the United Church Moderator in February of 1992, when Annett served as Chaplain at the Fred Victor Mission, the largest United Church urban mission in Canada .

Annett’s letter described evidence of drug trafficking, prostitution, financial embezzlement and other crimes at the Mission that involved staff and church personnel, including Webb, Mills and Davidson. Paul Mills, a church lawyer, had been the only official to reply to Annett’s letter, including with the statement,

We know all about those things. The only problem here is that you wrote a letter about it.” (quoted from Love and Death in the Valley by Kevin Annett, 2002)

Fred Victor Mission was the subject of a subsequent police investigation and successful lawsuit brought by Mission residents against the United Church of Canada in the Supreme Court of Ontario, in which these allegations of criminal acts were proven and the church was found guilty.

In the course of this lawsuit, and subsequently, one of the Mission residents and plaintiffs in the aforementioned lawsuit, Mike Waffel, informed Rev. Annett that “You were targeted by Webb, Mills and Davidson after you blew the whistle on their shady operations … They circulated lies about you and said you were stealing funds from the Mission. Then they spread that all over the United Church..” (Oral statement to Kevin Annett, May 12, 2009, Vancouver)

The letters of these same three church officials, which were obtained by Counsel Benson for the de-listing hearing, were entered into the hearing’s official record as bona fide evidence, despite the wrongful manner of their solicitation and the clearly biased agenda of the authors towards Rev. Annett.

On the basis of these letters, the Panel was instructed by Judge Jessiman to conclude their proceedings and render a verdict against Rev. Annett. The hearing was officially closed the same day.

The Panel’s Decision: Its Letter of March 7, 1997

The next day, the Panel wrote a letter to Rev. Annett that informed him that he had been officially expelled from United Church ministry and placed on its Discontinued Service List of ministers. Its decision was final and could not be appealed.

The letter was transmitted by a G.R. Schmitt for the Vancouver law firm of Ferguson Gifford that was acting for the United Church. In a separate letter, Annett was “instructed” by Schmitt on behalf of the United Church not to divulge or discuss any of the events of the de-listing hearing, or the issues or persons named, or any matter involving the United Church’s dealings with native people, its Indian residential schools or land transactions.

If Rev. Annett did not comply with these “instructions”, the letter stated, he would face possible legal action. Rev. Annett ignored the letter and has regularly spoken out publicly since then about the de-listing hearing, and has never faced legal action for doing so by the United Church.

That same week, (March 7-12, 1997) the de-listing Panel’s final report on Kevin Annett was placed on the national website of the United Church of Canada. The report is profoundly biased and unrepresentative both of the panel proceedings and of Rev. Annett and his ministry. This report is in our opinion a deliberate falsification of the hearing and of the evidence concerning Rev. Annett.

For example, not one of the thirty-eight unsolicited letters of recommendation for Rev. Annett received by the Panel from former congregants of Annett was entered into the final report, or even referred to, possibly because of their extremely positive and glowing support for Annett and his ministry; yet all four of the solicited letters against Annett obtained by Benson during the proceedings were reproduced in the report, and continue to pose as legitimate evidence.

This “report” still stands as the United Church’s official account of its de-listing of Rev. Annett and of his work and ministry, and has been disseminated to media and the public for the past twelve years.

The essential findings of the report, upon which the Panel voted to “de-list” Rev. Annett, revolve around two unproven assertions:

a) that Annett “alienated and disrupted” his congregation and “the harmony of the church”, and

b) that Annett failed to “follow the directives and recognize the authority of Comox-Nanaimo Presbytery”.

No evidence is offered in the church’s report to substantiate these claims, besides allegations of church officials, none of whom were in contact with Rev. Annett during the period when his so-called “offenses” occurred.

On the contrary, all of the actual evidence contradicts the report’s claims and these two findings. For example,

a) Rev. Annett maintained the size of his congregation until the day he was fired.

The Sunday worship attendance at his St. Andrew’s church averaged between ninety and one hundred persons, in a seating capacity of about one hundred, and did not begin to diminish until after Rev. Annett was fired in January, 1995. By 1997, in the wake of Annett’s dismissal, St. Andrew’s congregation had fallen to barely thirty persons, and the next year was forced to merge with First United church in the south end of Port Alberni because of its dwindling numbers.

Sunday attendance is the primary standard for measuring the health and vitality of a church congregation, according to the Alban Institute (1999).

By this standard, St. Andrew’s church congregation was not a “disrupted and alienated” group, as the church report claims.

b) Contrary to the report’s claim, Rev. Annett consistently recognized and worked with the delegated bodies of the church and followed its directives.

– In the spring of 1993, when a faction of six people in his congregation tried to have the church food bank closed and criticized Annett’s ministry with the poor and native people, Rev. Annett asked Presbytery officials for advice, and invited a conflict resolution mediator from the Vancouver School of Theology to hold workshops at his church.

– Similarly, when the same faction issued Annett an arbitrary ultimatum in December of 1994 to close the food bank and stop preaching about social justice, Annett approached Presbytery officials and asked their advice. Presbytery officials Bob Stiven and Colin Forbes then used this incident to intervene, side with the church faction, and force Annett’s removal from his pulpit.

– Even after this hostile action by Presbytery, Annett still followed Presbytery directives and attempted to negotiate with its officials to resolve the dispute. The correspondence involved in these negotiations is considerable. Between February 6 to June 13, 1995, Rev. Annett negotiated with two separate teams from the Presbytery executive, and had effectively resolved the dispute when Jon Jessiman and Conference officer Brian Thorpe intervened to halt the negotiations and force the de-listing process to begin.

In short, the church de-listing panel, in its final report, clearly ignored this evidence that disproved their claim against Rev. Annett, and fabricated a false and misleading account of Annett, his character and his ministry. There was therefore no basis in fact or in evidence to support their decision to expel Rev. Annett from United Church ministry.

Criticism of the De-listing Hearing by Observers

Following the conclusion of the de-listing hearing, twenty-two people who had sat as observers of the hearing wrote to B.C. Attorney-General Ujjal Dosanjh and petitioned him to review the procedure of the hearing, on the grounds that the process of expelling Rev. Annett from ministry was “prejudicial, arbitrary, and in violation of the normal acceptable standards of natural justice and due process”. (Letter of Dr. Wally Cottle dated April 3, 1997)

Attorney-General Dosanjh – a cabinet colleague and personal friend of United Church minister John Cashore, who probably helped have Annett fired – did not reply to most of the letters, but did so to two of the petitioners several months later.

In both letters, including in one to Dr. Jennifer Wade the following year, Dosanjh refused to intervene and review the hearing, on the grounds that “the internal disciplinary processes by churches and other religious organizations are outside the jurisdiction of this Ministry” – in short, that the United Church’s internal courts were not subject to the civil law of Canada. (Letter of Ujjal Dosanjh to Jennider Wade, February 13, 1998)

Despite this governmental condoning of the lack of due process by the United Church towards Rev. Annett, other politicians stepped forward to challenge the entire procedure.

The Mayor of Delta, B.C., Beth Johnson, was a regular observer of Annett’s de-listing and attended five days of the procedings. In her letter dated September 1, 1997, Mayor Johnson stated, in part,

“I can say that the tone of the proceedings that day was not, in my opinion, one of neutrality … I still find it hard to believe what I heard upon attending the hearing for my final time. When the Rev. Annett’s supporters told me early on that he was not allowed to be told of what he was ‘accused’, I thought that they were mistaken or misinformed … Essentially, what (they) were told was that they could not be told what the Rev. Annett was being accused of, exactly, until after the hearing was over.

“I am appalled that this answer would be considered by neutral counsel, the panel, or the United Church to be an acceptable one. How can one defend oneself in a hearing … without being allowed to know from the outset what the specific accusation is? Clearly, one cannot..”

As another observer commented,

“What was Kevin Annett’s crime, that caused the United Church to spend tens of thousands of dollars to expel him? None was ever stated. This man obviously stepped on some big toes and had to be got rid of. That the church spared no expense to do so, and blacken his name in the process, clearly indicates a hidden agenda at work.”(Letter of Glenda Leznoff, July 10, 1997)

Part C: Conclusions and Recommendations

Under its own terms and rules of procedure, the B.C. Conference De-listing Panel could only expel Rev. Kevin Annett from ministry once the Comox-Nanaimo Presbytery, which had brought the motion to de-list Annett, had proven beyond a doubt, and based on solid evidence, that Rev. Kevin Annett was not a “suitable” minister, because of his failure to recognize church authority and maintain the “peace and welfare” of his congregation.

By these terms, and by every standard of legal procedure and natural justice, Presbytery failed to prove its case against Rev. Annett. The Panel’s decision to de-list Annett and forever deny him his livelihood as a clergyman was therefore wrongful, unjust, and completely unrelated to the evidence, and lack of it, presented at the de-listing hearing. Rev. Kevin Annett should therefore not have been de-listed and denied his livelihood and profession.

This inquiry believes that Rev. Kevin Annett was the victim of not only an unfair dismissal and expulsion from his trained livelihood in Christian ministry, but of a clear and intentional criminal conspiracy to subvert justice, defraud him and the public, malign and destroy his good name and reputation, and his future employability, and conceal the evidence of crimes by United Church officials that he was revealing by his ministry.

The architects of this conspiracy and assault on Kevin Annett and his family were the highest officials of the United Church of Canada, aided and abetted by government, corporate, judicial and police officials, members of the media, and local church members. These actors even enlisted Kevin Annett’s former wife, Anne McNamee, and members of her family, to destroy Annett’s life and ministry.

We believe that the expulsion of Rev. Annett from the United Church and the subsequent smear and misinformation campaign conducted against him and his work by church officers consstitutes part of this criminal conspiracy against Annett that commenced on October 17, 1994, when Annett wrote his letter concerning the Ahousaht land deal to the church.

For this reason, any objective assessment of the expulsion of Kevin Annett from United Church ministry must come to the conclusion that the actions of the church, its lawyers, and its officers, constitute a crime under moral and natural law, as well as the law of Canada and international human rights conventions.

We believe that these actions must be investigated by the proper authorities so that those responsible can be named and brought to justice, and Kevin Annett can be publicly vindicated, his name cleared, and his life compensated for the horrible wrongs done to him by a church determined to hide its crimes and culpability by destroying the man who named those wrongs.

We look to and expect the government of Canada, its courts and law enforcement agencies to investigate this criminal conspiracy, and to publicly explain any failure or refusal on their part to do so. Failing such a domestic inquiry, we look to international human rights agencies to conduct such an investigation into the conspiracy and attacks made against Rev. Kevin Annett and his work.

Until then, we call upon United Church members and all concerned people to refuse to associate with that church or give it funding or attendance until justice is served.

We urge people to circulate this report, especially within the United Church of Canada, so that the truth of the attempted public destruction of Rev. Kevin Annett and his good name and work can be made known, in the face of the United Church’s concerted and ongoing campaign to misrepresent and distort that truth, and discredit and destroy his good name.


The Editors of the Counter Report of the De-listing Trial of Rev. Kevin Annett

July 1, 2009
Vancouver, B.C., Canada

Eyewitness to Coverup of Genocide in Canada

Interregnum: Crucial Evidence by Rev. Bruce Gunn regarding the removal of Rev. Annett

During the Christmas break and January, 1997, Rev. Bruce Gunn shared with Rev. Annett, Margaret Annett and Dr. Jennifer Wade the following statement that he attempted unsuccessfully to have included in the church hearing’s official record.

20 December, 1996

After Kevin Annett wrote his letter of concern about our church’s sale of Ahousaht land (Lot 363) to non-native associates of our church, I intended to show a copy of his letter to United Church Moderator Marion Best, within a week of its submission to Comox-Nanaimo Presbytery Executive. This would have been at a meeting of the World Mission Division in Toronto on the first weekend of November, 1994, chaired by Ria Whitehead.

Before I could do so, Marion approached me with a copy of Kevin’s letter in her hand. She looked very concerned and she asked me if I knew about the letter. I said I did, and her look said it all. That same week, she had put John Siebert from the national office on the case.

Over the next few months, it was Siebert and Brian Thorpe who set about to neutralize Kevin and get the Ahousaht chiefs on side. They did so by going to Ahousaht and paying off the chiefs with a $14,000 bribe: $7000 directly to them and then by picking up a $7000 tab for research into their land claims. These same chiefs later were encouraged to disassociate themselves from Kevin.

The money was transmitted to the Ahousaht chiefs through the United Church’s Northern Native Group, led by Alvin Dixon.

I believe Kevin’s removal originated from the church’s head office. The church knew that over 1400 lawsuits were coming down the pipe over the residential schools. The fact that Marion Best sent Siebert and Thorpe to buy off the chiefs and rally them against Kevin was confirmed in person to me recently, at a secret meeting of the chiefs with the church head officers, including the Moderator, Marion Best.

The meeting happened at Kevin’s former church, St. Andrew’s, in Port Alberni, where Kathleen Hogman had taken over. It was in early May of of this year (1996). I was asked to attend the meeting. Virginia Coleman, the National Secretary, plus Marion was there. From the native side were Nelson Keitlah, Ron Hamilton and Charlie Thompson, from the Nuu-Chah-Nulth Tribal Council, and some of the Ahousaht chiefs like the Edgars and the Atleos.

At the meeting, I heard Virginia Coleman, speaking for the entire church, make an offer to the chiefs, saying the church would grant limited compensation to some of the Port Alberni residential school survivors, but only on two conditions: that the chiefs publicly disassociate themselves from Kevin Annett, and that they never support any investigation into deaths of children in their residential schools.

The chiefs all agreed to this deal.

This agreement, and the actions of the highest United Church officers, is I believe responsible for all of the church’s actions against Rev. Annett to date, including this present de-listing hearing. The issue before us is therefore not one of Kevin’s suitability for ministry, which has been amply proven, but rather the church’s efforts to silence an inconvenient whistleblower.

I want to add that the man who removed Kevin from his pulpit, the Personnel officer for B.C. Conference, Art Anderson, came up to me at a gathering in Kelowna in the summer of 1995, soon after he had helped stop the negotiations between Kevin and Presbytery, and said,

“Bruce, if you have any pull with Kevin tell him that he’ll never work in this province again if he doesn’t play ball with us. No-one will ever hire him after he’s being defrocked.”

These facts convince me that from start to finish, Rev. Kevin Annett has been the target of a definite conspiracy, and that this present hearing is merely the final stage in this deliberate professional and public destruction of him by the United Church of Canada and its top officers.

Rev. Bruce W.M. Gunn “