Bullies: Right Wing Extremism & Zionist conspiracy theory; A personal account
This article will be brief and to the point, and will not contain a fulsome account of the topic. However, it will outline and explain, in summary, a question I often get asked:
‘what drew you to the white supremacist movement?’
I believe the answer to this is likely true for others as well, at least it seems that way.
The Back Story
When I was a boy, from I attended eleven schools across Canada prior to grade eight. I also suffered physical and sexual abuse from parents, which included multiple step dads. I was an angry child and young man, with just cause.
I struggled in school, because I never had been provided with enough stability to make friends as a result of moving around so much. One of the ways I coped with my life circumstance was that I lashed out at others, usually against people who were mean and bullies. When we would move and I attended new schools, I usually beat up the bullies and kept to myself. It got me into a lot of trouble.
The only comic book I read was The Punisher. I felt the world needed people like Frank Castle (the character known as The Punisher) because the system did not help people in trouble, in my experience. I aspired to have principles like Castle, who had lost his family to violence associated with the drug trade. This was a story that I could relate to, as I had grown up in a household filled with drug/alcohol addiction and abuse. The Punisher was my hero.
I left home at age twelve. I travelled from Toronto to BC to escape my family home. By fifteen I ended up being given a two-year juvenile detention sentence. In juvy, I also targeted bullies. I did not tolerate people abusing myself or others. I saw myself as somewhat of a vigilante at times. I took matters into my own hands and dished out street justice where I believed it was right to do so. I was angry and lacked education, and direction.
Historically, my non-aboriginal family were the abusers. My safe haven was the Indian Reserve. My kohkum’s (Cree for Grandma) house was free from drugs, booze and abuse. No one even fought at her home. Indigenous culture (law), demanded that kohkum’s space was to be given the utmost respect. She often smudged and prayed in the morning and afternoon, but never in the dark. She was also always busy cooking soup, drying meat and tanning hides. This was my safe space, but at one point kohkum left town, and my father (one of the men believed to be my father), was drinking while she was gone. He and his mates began picking on me, so I left; one of the men had beat me up because I was white. I never came back to kohkum’s house, nor did I ever tell her what happened. I felt like I was the problem, because everywhere I went, drunk men beat me up.
I sought refuge in town on an old Metis Settlement called Moccasin Flats, which was re-named Sesame Street (proper road name is Wabi Crescent). I stayed with friends. I slept in basements and yards. Our group stuck together. The white guys in town, the hockey pucks, often targeted aboriginal kids. They chased us down and beat us up. They ganged up on us. So we fought back, in numbers. We attacked seven-fold.
For awhile, it became a small town warzone, literally. We literally had giant gang fights, up to about forty people. It was a volatile environment. We won. We ruled, because we were in the right as we fought back against racism and abuse. We were self-empowered by taking the law into our own hands.
After sometime, our group’s reputation became known as a gang. We were selling drugs, set up a chop shop and other organized un-speakables. After sometime, I was sentenced to juvvy.
On the streets, it was much like my home life in some regards; either you are predator or prey. I had chosen to be a predator of sorts. I attacked people that were pedophiles, child abusers, woman beaters and ‘assholes’. I felt justified in my actions to such a point that vigilantism became my vent. In the pits and traps of my psyche, I justified my actions by seeing my role as a karma balancer; dishing out punishment upon those who targeted the vulnerable.
The white power movement
Most of my life, I was associated with friends and family who were aboriginal; primarily Cree. One of my best mates was convicted of a sexual assault charge, after that happened I distanced myself from all of my friends and family who were aboriginal. My safe spaces were all affected by abuse. I had no where to turn.
One day I met two boneheads (nazi skinheads). While I was talking with them, I saw a man walk by who I had fought with in the past. He was a known pimp, of young girls; as young as twelve. He was a gang banger. We had hurt him pretty bad in the past. His gang tried to pull off a home invasion at my apartment, but it did not work out well for them. I disarmed the one guy of a gun, and they ended up with broken bones and shot up. When I saw him walk by, as I stood there talking with these boneheads, I grabbed him and beat him until the ambulance came.
The boneheads were impressed and instantly embraced me. They gave me a sense of brotherhood, and offered me an entire library of information that explained who was to blame for the state of the world; and the state of my life.
I was not equipped to fend off the logical fallacies within the white supremacist literature that stated there was a Jewish conspiracy, which intended to control the world and destroy the white race. This half-baked conspiracy theory proclaimed Jews were the enemy of the white race due to their Zionist conspiracy that was essentially setting out to destroy the white race. Sadly, I fell for it; just as all of those in my social circle had.
The movement gave me a sense of purpose. I would be able to play a role to overcome an enemy with a deliberate agenda to abuse me, and society. I became a soldier in a war against a fictional enemy. The fight, I believed, was righteous. Unfortunately I had not been equipped to identify or see through the logical fallacies, and other issues that trap people into extremist narratives.
In my mind, I was still acting as a vigilante against the darkness of a bully; it just so happened that I believed that the enemy was a religious, ethnic and racialized group that was at fault for the state of my life. I was fighting against everything I hated about my own life. I targeted the bully; rather, who I believed to be the bully. I was misled by volumes of books written by people who did not have sufficient insight or education to effectively test logic.
The movement’s literature and teachings explicitly indicated that those who were brainwashed by the Zionist conspiracy were enemies of our movement. That meant, in my mind, that normal citizens became a target in our war against the biggest bully of all bullies; the Zionists. I hurt too many people, and I believed in my heart that I was engaged in a righteous war to protect society. I was right about one thing, abuse sucks; however, it took many years to realize the logical fallacy that I became one of the abusers.
My Healing and Transformation
It took me many years to overcome my own indoctrination into the white supremacist movement. I was a true believer. I acted upon my duty as a soldier in a war against society. I recruited and taught people how to become good soldiers engaged in a racial holy war. I even recruited a Canadian bomber into the movement.
Through education and healing circles within the community, I was able to overcome and transform. I became educated, and learned what a logical fallacy was. I gained a skillset of how to test logic, and to remain teachable enough to see where I was grossly incorrect in belief structure. I also learned to accept my own nature. Lastly, I learned the value of non-violence and exercise of lawful expressions of countering bullies.
Today, one thing has not changed, I do not like bullies and abusers. In my role as an advocate and as a social worker and future lawyer, I maintain reputation with integrity that I will stand up in the face of wrong doings and speak out. I am far from perfect, but when people are abusing people, or myself, I will stand tall with my new skillset and do what is right; to the best of my ability.
I learned that fighting bullies was not necessarily the problem; bullies need to be confronted. It was how I was fighting, and the process in which I arrived to the fight, was deeply flawed. Today I do what I can to make the world a better place by adhering to principles of law and culture that both emphasize human rights.
Those who abuse children, vulnerable persons and identifiable groups are simply bullies.
Here is a list of published interviews and articles written in heavy metal magazines as a result of my work over the last several years.
I am putting them in chronological order for your reference…but first, here is a summary of the background story to go along with my interview [which you can view here, but I recommend you read them all to understand context].
…I had posted blog articles about several black metal bands who have affiliation with right wing extremists and terrorist individuals and or groups. I did however remove the articles a little over a year ago. I removed them because of the amount of energy I exerted in countering the blow back and threats I was receiving during my Masters Thesis writing on the topic of counter terrorism.
Since that time I have started to do research for a book I am currently writing. I have been doing interviews with band members and others who have experience with right wing extremism, anti-Semitism and racism within the metal scene. I will be revealing facts about the emergence of the heavy metal scene and white supremacist movement that has become fairly prevalent in Western Canada. The networks seem to be centralized in Alberta, more specifically in Edmonton.
I have been researching public activity of several bands and their members for several years. In several instances, I have had past affiliations with many of these individuals while I was a white supremacist. I was acquaintances and or friends with many of these people. Me and another individual had initiated a network that bridged both the white supremacist movement and black metal community in Edmonton. Shortly after this time I had left the white power movement.
As my life continued to transform people began to ask me to do public speaking events. I continued with my educational path and became increasingly more articulate. I started to hone my critical thinking skills through a combination of lived experience and education. Through my professional career as a social service manager, counsellor and researcher my voice has been amplified through media sources and other forms of public engagement, via my writing. Throughout all of the work I have done on the existing links between right wing extremists, along with their sympathizers, and black metal’rs within the metal scene. The mainstream media has refused to address this issue, until recently.
In the last week the heavy metal community in North America has been conversing about this topic. I am sure these discussions are not yet over. The black metal band Inquisition was on the Metal Alliance tour bill. To play on this bill with more mainstream bands was a major break for Inquisition. However, with a mainstream presence the lingering connections Inquisition boasted of has come to bite them in the ass. Jason (aka Dagon) claims his music is artistic and metaphoric, but with other considerations such as symbolism, music lyrics, personal connections, statements and online activity it is very clear there is more than just artistic representation of Nazism. I will throw Dagon a bone though, perhaps his who life is centred around being an artistic and therefore he feels he can say and do what he pleases, no matter the cost of how it impacts and harms others. Surely the dissemination of hatred does in fact hurt others, surely Jason ‘Dagon’ must understand this.
A fellow blogger read my comments on a mutual friend’s facebook status. This mutual friend understands the depths of racism within the metal scene from lived experience. It seems most people do not support her perspective, I would suggest that is because the metal scene is predominantly white males; angry white males. My dear friend is a courageous woman who promotes diversity within the metal scene. She has even wrote a book about this topic. My fellow blogger then wrote this article on his blog. There are people whom I love and care for within the metal scene who continue to face racism, discrimination and right wing extremists. These right wingers do not care about the feelings of those they are harming. As I was a vehement white supremacist I understand these dynamics and will step forward to speak directly to those that are disseminating hatred and deliberately hurting people, or at minimum seemingly apathetic to causing discomfort to others.
The above blog article then resulted in this heavy metal article that conferred that Inquisition were probably Nazi.
I then received a tweet from Decibel Magazine. Decibel challenged me to ‘go on record.’
Before Decibel would confirm a time to interview me they interviewed Jason, front man of Inquisition. Jason claims he is not a Nazi. Perhaps his right wing leanings and promotion of violence is not Nazism by definition, but then again maybe that is just semantics to deter from the point. In all fairness to the band and me, both, I never did call them Nazis.
Even Jason Dagon’s fans begin to berate him as a result of his double talk, lack of integrity, and his obvious self-contradictions. There are hundreds of comments within the online pool I have waded through. Here are a few samples.
One of Inquisition’s fans posted this claiming it was Jason aka Dagon (who goes by 88MM as his black metal forum handle on FMP666) who posted this comment:
Then this online magazine picked up the story.
Then, this one.
Then, the blogger who first broke this story last week posted this follow up article.
Then, online magazine MetalSucks offered this analysis.
Then the first magazine that broke the story into the mainstream wrote this follow up.
Last but not least Decibel Magazine interviewed me and was published Monday May 5, 2014. I find it quite interesting that I was interviewed by a reputable heavy metal magazine, and I do not play any instruments. That is the comedic part, but none of this stuff is actually humorous. It is sad and disturbing.
Then there was another follow-up article here.
Lastly, the first metal magazine to publish an article on this matter posted this story.
This poem was not previously published. This blog article is written intentionally with poor grammar and references.
As I return to the city I was homeless in, where we filmed the documentary piece for Global’s 16×9 Brotherhood of Hate.
I remember the security I felt in a Scarved Embrace when recalling the realities of God is Dead. I recall that my Letter to Matthew was inspired by the same aspect of myself that allowed my Mirrored Child to come forth. As I step forth in this city I am Bleeding Tears Pores Sting thick while battling the truth about how Gossip is Personal. Blue Life brings me to My Daughter Loves to Joke in a way that makes Totalitarians Scurry. I have Prism Tears remembering She Danced with Ancients Fade.
She was As Real As I, but she stays clad in the Iron Forest where she recalls that the Minus the One on a Cryptic Night. I am left fraught with What to do with a small fox who carries an albatross. i hope to tear down Cold Brick Walls, which cannot be achieved without Existential Liberation from Emotional Rape. I feel Stiff as the Beat and Rape and Pound sows Rape’s Seed deep in my work, as Await(s), She…the Bee.
My heart is heavy and my hair is tangled.
This is a list of articles and profiles for public reference.
Global National, 16×9, Feb. 2013
Edmonton Journal, January 6 2006
by Graham Andrews
Prince George Citizen, Feb. 9 2011
by Frank Peebles
Prince George Citizen, Letter to the Editor, Feb. 11 2011
by Sam Wright
Prince George Citizen, Letter to the Editor, Feb. 18 2011
by Leah Coghlan
Prince George Citizen, March 9 2011
by Frank Peebles
Prince George Citizen, March 20 2011
by Frank Peebles
Prince George Citizen, March 21 2011
by Arthur Williams
Free Press, March 22 2011
by Joe Fries
Prince George Citizen, March 22 2011
by Frank Peebles
Prince George Citizen, June 27 2012
by Ted Clarke
Windspeaker, V. 31 Issue 33, 2013
by Deborah Steel
Prince George Citizen, May 16 2013
by Frank Peebles
Prince George Citizen, May 31 2013
by Citizen Staff
Prince George Citizen, June 5 2013
by Frank Peebles
Outwords: queer views, news, issues, July 2013
by Danielle Cloutier
Prince George Citizen, Nov. 4 2013
by Frank Peebles
Prince George Citizen, May 23 2014
by Citizen Staff
Thompson Rivers University: Paper Trails Magazine, On campus racism and vandalism, 2013
Decibel Magazine Blog, May 5 2014
by Justin M. Norton
Decibel Magazine (In-Print), July 2013 Issue #113
Interview with Daniel Gallant
by Justin M. Norton
AVE [Against Violent Extremism], Feb. 2013
University of Norther British Columbia, First Nations Studies Newsletter, Fall 2013
FNST Graduate Invited to Speak at Google Ideas Summit
AVE [Against Violent Extremism], May 28 2014
Formers & Survivors take centre stage in Far Right workshop
2004: CBC Radio: Edmonton: White Supremacist Bombings
2010: CBC Radio: Edmonton: Hate Group Activity
2011: CBC Radio: Edmonton: Recent Hate Crimes
2011: CBC Radio: Calgary: Recent Hate Crimes
2012: CBC Radio: Prince George: Healing from Hate through Writing
Daniel and Inquisition:
This piece was previously published in the life-after-hate journal (www.lifeafterhate.org), 2012:
My life of hate began as a boy. From incidents of child abuse, to life on the streets. The east side of Vancouver was a breeding ground for violence and hate. Hate which I carried for many years to come.
I left the street life behind while an organized crime group, which led me to a darker path, employed me. In the mid-nineties, I moved away from Vancouver after nearly becoming the first person charged with a hate crime in British Columbia (BC). I retreated to northeast BC, the beautiful Peace River district, I carried a network of hate and violence with me. Bridging western hate networks from the south, to the east, and to the north.
I had introduced many youth to extremist groups, and doctrine, contributing to fueling their hearts with hatred. Including a northern BC man who is now in prison after multiple convictions for explosives. Peter Houston. All in the name of hate. Extreme hatred. There were three major events in my life that transpired and initiated my process of liberation—freedom from the life of hate.
First, was the birth of my last child, my son. All of my previous children were girls. Though I tried to love each and every one of them, I was unable to reach inside of myself to a depth that permitted true love and humanistic connection: the girls were fatherless.
I was detached with anger, hate, and rage.
The day my son was born, August 11, 2001, a profound realization came; I had been creating a world filled with pain and violence for my children. This boy, my saviour son, was born into my reality. I wanted to protect him from the pain ahead. He was not going to endure a childhood of abuse, like I did. His tiny body was a reflection of my being. He was my mirrored child, representative of my rebirth. I wanted to protect him. I wanted to protect myself.
If I did not change my hateful ways and my addiction to drugs, alcohol, and violence; then my son would surely be led down a similar path. I did not want to be responsible for destroying a little boy, as had been done to me. I felt like I was damaged and destroyed. Worthless. I did not want to live in an abusive world any longer. I hated life and all of the pain I endured. I had dreamed of a good life for my children, but the path to achieve these dreams was not apparent. Surely my path would destroy my son, and daughters.
(for Kieron Gallant)
familiar sadness spiraled inward
sneaking smiles index logical wit
freckled essence of ancestors splattered
chiseled features of a lively boy
demeanor displayed through daily interaction
ancient respect offers delicate soft requests
fervor anticipates emotional swells erupt
advice sought from fathers, grandfathers and men
you are soft surrounded by women
dimpled giggles with protective eyes
small toned Celtic warrior reminisces
pent energy needed direction
your natures images reflected
you stand mirrored in my eyes
After seeing myself reflected in my son’s tiny body, my last ultra-violent incident occurred. I beat an aboriginal man with a hatchet. For the first time I felt a guilt that I had never experienced before. There was no alternative but to turn myself in. Once again, for a moment, I knew this life of hate could not continue.
It was shortly after this that my second epiphany came to fruition. Presented with childhood flashbacks of repressed memories the term crisis became very apparent. I had never gone through something so torturous, as when I had experienced those memories that revealed horrific scenes from my childhood. In hindsight those memories were a metaphysical breath offered to my inner-being, awakening my spirit which had been drowned in hate. A breath that led to a path of redemption.
The third epiphany was the 9-11 tragedy. I was convinced that a race war was about to erupt, believing that the twin towers were the world’s most powerful financial institution, which was operated and controlled by Zionists. Engaging in preparation for the race war, I watched the towers crumble, I ensured that all the weapons I had cached in the hills were loaded and operational.
Gathering enough provisions and weaponry for a small army, I informed my trusted friends to prepare for the racial holy war also. As the information came out that 9-11 was not the work of white supremacists, my compatriots and I were horribly disappointed.
Discouraged, I began to question our collective dedication to a race war. I spoke with my peers in the network of hate leadership, and all seemed to be avoiding a prime opportunity for war. This was the first epiphany for my exit: the ‘movement’ was a fallacy.
For the next several years a process of change led to a pathway of liberation. But before freedom, there were feelings of being shattered and hopeless. I finally quit drugs and alcohol. After a few months of self-harm and fighting with others, while sober, a decision was made to seek help. I attended a men’s residential addiction treatment center.
After a couple of months I was prepared to leave the treatment program. A counselor made a suggestion to me for my continued path of hope and recovery from a life of hate. He informed me that he saw my intelligence, but there was still a problem. I was filled with hate and right-wing-extremist doctrine. He suggested a route to recovery that involved attending a social work school program. My counselor said that social work education could challenge my belief structure in a logical manner. I followed his suggestions, as there were no other viable options for my healing, then began college with a grade seven education. This initiated my life-after-hate.
In 2012, I graduated from the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC) with a degree in First Nations Studies (Indigenous Studies), then started working on a Master’s degree in social work. As a successful anti-racist activist, my work includes having initiated several interventions, including exposing a white supremacist bombing, preventing hate group recruitment, and facilitating presentations to youth, professionals, post-secondary institutions, law enforcement and public events that educate people about racism, hate groups, and the realistic threat of right wing extremism in western Canada. As well, the racism we see from extremists is merely a reflection from the larger social consciousness.
I have completed several manuscripts of poetry that outline aspects of my journey. Writing saved my life. Ever since the age of fourteen, my writing has been my lifeline. My first manuscript is offered to honor those who have helped me on my healing path: academics, professionals, community members, the red road, twelve step groups, and my fellow global citizens. My first publication has been done in an editing partnership with my writing mentor. Aboriginal poet Garry Gottfriedson, has helped me to sharpen my poetic voice, in order to tell my story.
In my professional life I have worked as an addictions counselor, group home manager, researcher, and child advocate. I have many more roles in the community that are fulfilled on this travelled path of social justice. I do this work to respect all human life in a network of hope, diversity, and compassion. I consider myself, and my path, a miracle to have the opportunity to live this life-after-hate.
In compassionate and creative solidarity,
 LifeAfterHate (LAH)