about the far right
by Doug Collins
A BOOK is out that makes one wonder why reputable
publishers are suckers for fibs and fiction posing as
of Hate, Inside Canada's Far Right by a
liberal lackey in Ottawa called Warren
You might think the author had penetrated sinister
groups and was now telling all. Not so. The stuff is a
mishmash of stale news and nonsense designed to persuade
people that the Nazis are about to take over. Reds under
the beds in reverse.
The book's cover displays the obligatory swastika, and
Kinsella likes conspiracy theories. There's this big
network that goes goose-stepping across farmland in
Alberta, you see. Or threatening the peace in Ontario and
That the loony right exists is true. But it has about
as much influence as a bunch of Russian royalists in a
Toronto basement plotting the return of the Tsars.
When Kinsella gets down to numbers one sees only a
puff of smoke. He puts the number of skinheads in Canada
at 2,000, for instance. Even if he's right, and I
wouldn't bet on it, that hardly makes an army. Besides,
most skinheads are simply mixed-up kids whose daddies let
them stay out to late.
As for the daft "Aryan Nations", they have fewer than
200 members. Again, not exactly enough for a march on
The book is thick with errors. A Toronto Sun reporter
who specializes in "racist" news wrote that he counted 19
errors of fact in a single chapter.
Kinsella teaches journalism when he's not writing
speeches for the Liberals. Lucky students!
I gave up counting its mistakes. Kinsella makes
several references to "Adolf van Thadden", leader of the
"pro-Nazi National Party in Germany". That should read
Adolf von Thadden, not "van".
I knew von Thadden and many other politicians when I
worked in Germany after the war, and he was no Nazi. He
was a right-wing aristocrat whose family opposed the
Nazis. His uncle was in the July 20 plot against Hitler
and was executed.
I get a one-line mention in the book but he couldn't
even get that right. He refers to "Doug Collins, a weekly
newspaper columnist". We come out thrice weekly, old
Joe McCarthy could have taken lessons from this
guy. Anyone who ever spoke to a right-winger is guilty by
association. Even John Diefenbaker is mentioned as
having joined "powerful Klan barrister J.G. Bryant
onstage" in the 1920s.
If the book is so bad, why do I bother with it?
Because the uninformed might believe it and because it is
a superb example of the ridiculous.
Roger Rocan of Vancouver Island has initiated a
Ottawa, Mrs. Anne Hartmann of the Northern
Foundation is considering similar action. (Kinsella got
her name wrong, too.)
He says Mrs. Hartmann has close connections with
neo-Nazis and claims she is involved with R.E.A.L. Women,
the group that stands for family values. She provided
them with legal advice, he says.
The idea, of course, was to smear them, too. But
R.E.A.L. Women, spokeswoman Gwen Landolt says that
although the lady was once a member she never gave any
legal advice and "never opened her mouth on racial and
Tom Flanagan, political scientist at the
University of Alberta, has called
Web of Hate a piece of
shady, dishonest writing. It is also a piece of
repetitious, boring writing and gives the false
impression that Kinsella has been everywhere and
He claims to have interviewed Doug Christie.
Christie says he was not interviewed. He says he
interviewed Mrs. Eileen Pressler of Salmon Arm.
Mrs. Pressler says she refused to be interviewed.
He states that Mr. Christie had a bodyguard called
Edgar Foth, member of a neo-Nazi terrorist group
in the U.S. Christie says he never had anything to do
There are some laughs in the book, though. Leonard
Saunders "of Penticton" is said to head his own
"neo-Nazi group, the Canadian Resistance Movement." In
fact, the 89-year-old Saunders lives in Salmon Arm and
his "Resistance Movement" is nothing more than a
letterhead he uses when writing angry letters to the
papers, which he does frequently.
Another joke is that the far right is described as a
"formidable force" and that "every single Fascist,
Klansman, Jew-hater and Hitler freak in B.C. was
hell-bent on stopping the Charlottetown
Now we know why it went down the drain.
Parts of the book read like handouts from the
Jewish Congress, which statement probably makes me a
neo-Nazi, too. Nazis are everywhere, you know. Ask