Thursday, January 08, 2009

 

Diversion. Distraction. Delay. The Bedrooms of Bountiful.

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When I heard yesterday that the Honourable Attorney General for B.C. had decided to lay (sorry) charges against the two Big Hamsters at Bountiful B.C., I thought "Aha, right on cue, the perfect distraction just as the Basi-Virk trial is beginning to heat up." Even so, I could hardly believe it when I opened the morning's Globe and Mail and found the front page covered in a huge colour photo of Winston Blackmore and about 2% of his family.
With a story + 79 comments. And it was still early morning.

As well as an editorial with an additional 24 comments.

And a Photo Gallery.
Plus an August 2, 2007 item explaining that no charges of sexual assault will be laid

Plus the names of the 3 Special Prosecutors who have been appointed so far ... the first two having been booted because Stonewally didn't agree with their assessment of the case (!!!!) ... and the 3rd (Terrance Robertson) who Stonewally approves of ... which sure as God made little green apples, is an infringement of the Spec Pros' vaunted independence, isn't it?
Plus -- no, we're not finished with The Globe and Mail yet -- a side-bar describing how Texas had handled their half of this same religious sect. Yeah, Texas. Yeah, Same-Sect Marriages.

As one of the commentors to The Legislature Raids said, "Isn't Oppal the guy who can't mention anything about a case which is before the courts?" Yep, that's the guy. But today, our Stonewally is rattling on about The Bountiful Bust. He talks and talks (see Globe story below). The story's got everything. Not only SEX and human rights, politics, religion, and did I mention SEX, but also our B.C. specialty: Diversion. Distraction. Delay. Non-Disclosure.

So if allowed to, this Polygamy issue will grip people's minds the way Capital Punishment once did, the way Abortion Rights and Same Sex Marriage do ... as another debate without end.
Diversion. Distraction. Delay. Deceit. Another political football. But it's a sure crowd-control tool without having to use tear gas.

2 leaders charged with polygamy

Winston Blackmore and James Oler released on four bail conditions

BY SUZANNE FOURNIER
THE PROVINCE - JANUARY 8, 2009


B.C. Attorney-General Wally Oppal and RCMP Sgt. Tim Shields talk to the media in Vancouver after two members of a Canadian polygamist group were arrested yesterday. Winston Blackmore and James Oler, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, were arrested without incident.

The two warring male leaders of the splintered polygamous community of Bountiful have been charged under the criminal code with the practice of polygamy.

Winston Blackmore, 52, the self-styled "bishop of Bountiful," and his bitter rival, James Oler, 44, were each charged with one count that they "practised a form of polygamy . . . or conjugal union." RCMP Sgt. Tim Shields and Attorney-General Wally Oppal teamed up to announce in Vancouver that the two avowed polygamists were arrested "without incident" yesterday at the commune near Creston, handcuffed and taken to the RCMP lockup in Cranbrook.

Both were released late yesterday on four bail conditions, including that they stay in B.C., surrender their passports, report to police regularly and not practise "celestial marriage" or polygamy.

Oppal believes the polygamy charges are the first of their kind to be laid in Canada.

"This issue has been with us for many, many years and it has been a very complex issue," said Oppal.

Oppal noted that the defence of "freedom of religion" has always been raised as a reason for not launching a prosecution against polygamy, but added: "I've always disagreed with that.

"Section 293 of the criminal code of Canada, which prohibits the practise of polygamy, is there to prevent the exploitation of women. As far as we're concerned, that is valid law." Oppal said he believes the polygamy charges will withstand any Charter of Rights challenge, but added: "My view is that if that section is invalid due to a freedom of religion argument we should let a court decide." RCMP officers entered the Bountiful commune in unmarked cars, in what Shields said was a deliberately "sensitive" approach.

No Bountiful children were apprehended, said Shields, unlike the aggressive seizures last April -- and subsequent return -- of some of the 439 children taken by U.S. police from the polygamous Yearning for Zion community in Texas.

Shields said the B.C. Child and Family Development Ministry has focused on "building bridges" with Bountiful.

Oler and Blackmore are slated to appear in court on Jan. 21.

Bountiful, with about 1,200 people, has been the focus of police and child welfare probes for decades, with allegations of rampant child sexual abuse, incest, fraud and trafficking of teenage brides across the Canada-U.S. border.

The Bountiful community split bitterly in 2002 into followers of Blackmore, who claims about 700 adherents, and those of Oler, who has about 500 followers who also are loyal to jailed U.S. polygamist Warren Jeffs, convicted last year of sex-exploitation charges.

Jeffs, who made the FBI's Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list while on the lam for two years, faces more charges of incest and sex with minors.

Blackmore was deposed by Jeffs supporter Oler as Canadian head of Bountiful, but has refused to step down.

The indictment against Blackmore names 20 women, although he is believed to have had at least 26 wives and about 150 biological children. The indictment against Oler names only two women.

Oppal defended the decision to proceed with polygamy charges rather than address the sexual exploitation of women and children alleged by Bountiful critics.

"Historically, it's been extremely difficult to get witnesses to come forward and testify, particularly on sexual exploitation charges," said Oppal, although he praised the efforts of RCMP Sgt. Terry Jacklin in providing a full case on both polygamy and sexual exploitation charges.

Police recommended charges of sex exploitation and polygamy in September 2006, but no charges were laid.

The third special prosecutor appointed by Oppal, Terrence Robertson, got fresh evidence on Nov. 25, 2008, and decided on Dec. 9, 2008, to proceed with the polygamy charges against Oler and Blackmore, said Shields.

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I think Stonewally has blundered by launching a raid on the Bountiful community this week, looking to arrest the two "spiritual leaders". People are way too smart for these tactics now. They're saying "Why now, after 20, 30, 40 years?" People are thinking something else is going on ... something iffy ... something Stonewally doesn't want us knowing too much about. People are thinking that maybe The Bountiful Bust is merely a distraction. If so, it's a good distraction. It's got everything.

There's the blatant naughtiness. One old fat guy (Blackmore, 52, not Oppal, 68) bedding very young girls, with a whole community applauding. The obedient media can be counted upon to create a bonanza of salacious glimpses into what polygamy means (Blackmore has 20 wives, the other guy has 2). Much talk about Religious Freedom, Human Rights, Religious Persecution. The furious debate will last only long enough to draw attention away from the trials and tribulations of Basi, Virk, and Basi ... and the people of BC who once owned a proud railway.

People will recognize Stonewally's raid on Bountiful as distraction ... knowing there's a head of steam building up at the Vancouver Law Courts these days. It's been over 5 years since the RCMP raided the BC Legislature and the Cone of Official Silence is becoming stressed, trying to delay that trial.

The Bedrooms of Bountiful might help shield the next BC Rail pre-trial hearings (Jan. 19) ... the launch of Dave Basi's ALR trial (Jan 12) ... and the special hearing in Supreme Court of Canada begging for more secrecy (Apr. 22). Tempers are heating up, patience is running out, and we may at long last begin to hear what caused BCRail to slide from public ownership into private pockets.

Only the bedrooms of Bountiful could prevent that ... for a few days. - BC Mary.


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The Province. January 9, 2009. And there are TWENTY (20) related news stories listed alongside today's big story on the Big Hamster Himself, who smells a rat. Ugh.

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The Province. Michael Smyth. Jan. 9/09. Polygamy charges may backfire on A-G Oppal

Smyth writes:
Somewhere, right now, Winston Blackmore is probably smiling {Snip} ... There's a reason nobody has been charged with polygamy in this country for more than a century. It's because the lawyers themselves know the charges won't stick. The experts in Oppal's own ministry have said for years the criminal code section outlawing polygamy is outdated and unenforceable.

{Snip} ... even if they buck the odds and the Crown can prove polygamy is still illegal in Canada, Blackmore would probably get a slap on the wrist. And the whole legal circus will cost taxpayers a fortune. So what's the point here? ... Oppal is proceeding with the flimsiest case possible. And the ramifications of losing are serious ...


Michael Smyth sees Oppal's action as purely political, connected to the provincial election on May 12, 2009. Read Smyth's full column here. Special thanks to commentor secondlook who alerted us to this story. And to the book, Snakes in Suits. - BC Mary.

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Comments:
And then there is the John Les affair...... anniversary coming up on April Fools Day.. how fitting.
 
Yes, BC Mary, right you are: there were a lot of rats scurrying around the front pages of the MSM today, with attempts to distract and decoy, including a front page header in the Province where Mike Smyth is informs the world that the Zalm is writing a book of excuses for whom to blame for the carnage he left in his wake as he was forced to resign as Premier, in a disgrace. I almost mistook the paper for the National Enquirer.

Ah yes, a Canwest breaking news story - any wonder their stock has hit the gutter?

Perhaps Mike could interview Dr. Hare who wrote the book Snakes in Suits for a followup column.

BTW, has Mike Smyth ever attended the BC Rail court room - just asking?
 
In today's Vancouver Sun columnist writer Ian Mulgrew lays out the latest pet project that the BC Liberals are using to take the heat away from the BC Rail Breach of Trust charges against insiders Basi/Virk/Basi.

"A precarious prosecution that is bound for failure" - By Ian Mulgrew, Vancouver SunJanuary 9, 2009

"Polygamy charges against 52-year-old Winston Kaye Blackmore and 44-year-old James Marion Oler, rival leaders among B.C.'s breakaway Mormons, are doomed."


Now, when it comes to the AG and his fellow Ministers constantly telling the public NO COMMENT how about this (highlighting words not by Mulgrew):

"Oppal obviously appreciates the precariousness of this prosecution.

He was keen to emphasize the new charges would be pursued by Robertson (Special Prosecutor), not the Crown prosecutor's office. As if that makes a difference.

It doesn't.

The only power Robertson (William Berardino) enjoys is derived directly from the attorney-general and Oppal is responsible no matter what he might plead: The buck stops with him.

And he may have embarked on a process that will end with the Supreme Court of Canada (WE ARE HERE NOW) striking down the law, legitimizing polygamy (TRADING INFO FOR CUSHY JOBS WITH FEDS).

That Oppal went shopping for a prosecutor to bring these charges also raises concerns about abuse of process."


Yeah .... abuse of process......
 
My sentiments exactly Mary. Smoke and mirrors. I'm not so sure it is to cover the stench arising over the Basi-Virk trial. It could be a distraction to the lead up to the next election.
In any case we all know it's just another Campbell dog and pony show. Let's just see how fast this goes to trial. We are already seeing that Stonewally selects the cases he can't comment on. I wonder if he knows just how ridiculous this looks?
 
If Oppal had actually wanted to address this situation he should have done it by reference to the Supreme Court of Canada.

The fundamental question on which the case rests is a Charter argument. As Attorney General he could have requested a reference on the point and saved months, years of court time and legal fees before he 'charged' anyone.

The mess that will follow should rebound on him - one hopes it does before he's de-elected from the Legislature.
 
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Big Media seems to be united in their ridicule of BC Attorney General's latest innovative move to clean things up in Beautiful British Columbia.

Many thanks for your tip, secondlook.


G West, what a splendid idea ... "if Oppal had actually wanted to address this situation ..."

What you say, sounds exactly right to me.

I wonder if we all wrote a note to Stonewally suggesting he seek the reference from SCOC NOW (is it too late???) ... would Stonewally pay attention?

I think I'll try that myself. Thanks again, G.

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Hi Mary,

Paul Willcocks has put together his thoughts on the state of the basi –virk trial.

A good read.

http://willcocks.blogspot.com/
 
Meanwhile.....

If you care about RailGate you are now, at least according to the Ledgie Boys, officially a cult member".



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And I can only imagine how many PAB-staffers started high-fivin' when they heard about that!

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Hi Anon 10:33,

I wouldn't want anybody to think I hadn't read Paul Willcocks' blog, "Paying Attention", because I do read it regularly and appreciate it.

Sometimes I reprint Paul's thoughts, and he always generously gives me permission.

But the column you mention, I did read it and had already decided that such a general summary wouldn't suit The Legislature Raids because most of my readers are long familiar with the general details of Basi Virk / BC Rail.

Plus there's another factor. Paul headlined his column " ... a failure" and I'm not willing to let go of BC Rail quite so easily.

In my view, we cannot give up by letting this trial fail. We must finish this trial. And finish a public inquiry if need be. It's not good enough to just quit before we've done everything we can do.

There's a rotten stench from even the little we do know about BCRail sliding from public ownership into private pockets. There's a disgusting stench from knowing all details are still secret.

These glimpses of an unscrupulous tyranny should get us marching in the streets. It has taken some very devious minds to extend our concerns into a 5-year march ... and many have stayed the course: but we can't reward the bastards by quitting now.

In fact, I believe that the most critical days (i.e., right now) demand that we work harder to create the breakthrough we need ("we" as in "we the people").

I'm not suggesting that Paul is wrong. I'm sure he has worked through logically to his final opinion ... just as I have.

And my opinion of the Basi Virk trial is different.

I say the trial ain't over until it's over. I say it makes me nervous and suspicious when Big Media suddenly forms a choir to sing in perfect harmony that the BCRail trial is done.

Because, like I say, it ain't. OK?

OK, Paul?

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Esteemed Gazetteer,

If we're a cult, I think I just got steamed enough that I wrote (one comment up) the Constitution for it.

I mean, for cryin' out loud, when the AG can't utter a single solitary syllable of clarification or comfort about the BCRail Case because "it's before the courts" but then rolls out a SEX scandal about two guys almost as old and ugly as himself, and can't seem to shut up about it, I get nervous.

And when Baldrey, Palmer, and even our esteemed friend Paul Willcocks seem to have joined a Celestial Choir singing in perfect harmony ... telling us that the BCRail Trial is a failure, and is all over, I get nervous and a bit steamed.

Getting lippy goes with that. Not sure if I ever told you this, but I'm born-and-raised, and LAML* as a British Columbian. It can be a curse (weather, scenery, Chinese food, lack of roads). It can be a magic wand (no matter where I am, I'm always in BC). But it also means as a British Columbian, I am lippy when nervous. I'd apologize in advance if it did any good, but it doesn't.


DRAFT CONSTITUTION FOR THE CULT OF RAILGATE

Railgate Cult Law #1 is: Members must resist the urge to give up trying to save BC Rail, They must also vow to punish True Evildoers, no matter how sweet the harmonious choir of their minions.

Railgate Cult Law #2: Stitch the SFU motto on your singlets: Tu um est, which I think means you are ready ... or if you aren't, you should be.

No, wait! the SFU motto is Nous Somme Prets, We are ready! Ha! Almost forgot!

Railgate Cult Law #3: when the going gets tough (like now), True Cult Followers will try harder, read more blogs and newspapers, listen to CKNW, watch CBC Newsworld, and write many, many Letters to Editors explaining the one perfect resolution for a True Railgater. In case you didn't know: that's the return of BCRail Freight Division and all its rolling stock in mint condition to the rightful owners, namely, us lippy British Columbians.

[And hey, did you hear of the mutiny in CN's Winnipeg Wheel Shop? Seems theWheel Shop had big Canadian Flags hanging from their rafters. The U.S. owners removed them. Workers protested. U.S. owners refused to hang the Canadian Flags again. Currently: a stand-off, with small Canadian flags popping up all over the place now. Go, CANADIANS!!]

Railgate Cult Law #4: A dedicated Railgater will never become bemused or bedazzled by the SEX scandal the BC AG has premiered (so to speak). The true dedicated Railgater will have too much pride for salacious details about elderly polygamy.

Just remember that the AG's actors are 68 (Stonewally), 52 (Blackmore) and 47 (Oper) and these images will keep your eyes glued to the straight-and-narrow railroad tracks which mercifully don't go anywhere near Bountiful, or Victoria, BC.

This is a work-in-progress.

Help wanted.


* LAML = Lived All My Life

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I dunno Mary....

Sounds like a Citizen's Cult.

(and I like Law #3 very much)

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DRAFT CONSTITUTION FOR THE CULT OF CITIZEN RAILGAITERS (Revised)


Law #1. All Citizen-Taxpayers of British Columbia are the cult members.

Not a question of privilege. It's a birthright. OK?

Law #2. The Citizen-Taxpayer-Members acknowledge W.A.C. Bennett as the cult's Patron Saint and First Socialist in Sheep's Clothing.

etc.

Thank you, Gazetteer.

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Should anyone be interested Voice of BC rerun the review of the BB&V and delays , this Thursday with reruns this weekend.It was one year old but still worth watching, especially the bit when Gordo was asked what he knew about the events
 
Mary, the "lippier" the better, and I loved the intro to the "Sex and the Bountiful Community" post.

I'm still paying attention when I can, but feel confident you are keeping things on the stove. I worry that enough British Columbians, dependent as they are on Canned Waste for disinformation, will be aware enough come may to send Campbell and his Crime Family where they belong, preferably gaol, but at least out of Victoria. I'm thinking near where Gordo likes to be, the island that used to be leper colony surrounded by sharks would be suitable in my estimation.

" Diversion. Distraction. Delay."

Kinda sums up the whole mess, don't it?
 
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Hi Koot,

You've been missed, but whatever you're working on these days I hope it goes well.

I guess we're in Election 2009 mode, all right. Saw an announcement this morning which warned all citizens including bloggers to beware of the new Campbell legislation which can penalize anybody "advertising" (i.e., mentioning) election topics in the near future.

Then I read about the new Mayor of Vancouver (Gregor Robertson) discovering the enormous debts piling up for the 2010 Olympics preparations ... almost $1Billion for the Olympic Village alone.

And so I've been wondering: is it a good idea to get a clever young guy as Mayor of Vancouver job and then dump a pre-arranged and wholly unworkable situation in his lap?

I mean, maybe we should insist that Gordo el Capo should fix ALL the pre-arranged, unworkable messes he has created in BC before he's allowed to shuffle off to Maui.

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Mary, as to:

"And so I've been wondering: is it a good idea to get a clever young guy as Mayor of Vancouver job and then dump a pre-arranged and wholly unworkable situation in his lap?"

I wouldn't want Gordo and Gang to clean up their mess anymore than I would want to allow Bu$hCo/Cheney to clean up their's. I would like to see Bu$h, Cheney, Gordo, Rich Coleman, John Les, et. al. held accountable for their transgressions against the public trust and moral standards. But we need clever and HONEST people of any age to "clean up the mess" and chart a new and morally ruddered course.

We have a clever young guy on the job in Vancouver, and will have one in eight days in Washington DC. Now we need clean up crews in Victoria and Ottawa and we will be on our way.

Alberta could use someone with a brain and moral compass in charge as well, but I could believe Stockwell Day's stories about his grandmom's pet dinosaur before I would believe an intelligent human with any sense of social justice could get elected dog-catcher in Alberta. Perhaps some places are doomed to become environmentally ravaged failed states - which future generations can use as object lessons - study and view for the lessons they provide in the future to help prevent more failed states.

- Kootcoot
 
This comment has been removed by the author.
 
I should have included the very specific lede to the National Post item (above) dated Jan. 12/09:

"As if economic armageddon wasn't enough, Chris Selley explores the coming calamity of the Olympic Village, timed to land smack in the middle of The Recession That Ate Canada." OK?

Got it?

This, Koot, from The National Post, Conrad Black's personal invention, which never saw an early phase boondoggle with U.S. financial connections, it didn't love. If even the National Post is ready to start the drop-kicking ... heaven forbid that this belated anger should fail to turn on the perps who created this BC boondoggle.

That's why I think I'd like to see the Campbell Gang re-elected with a majority of ONE ...

... and the Opposition ridings ALL held by the party of that nice lady, what's her name again? You know, they call her "everybody's favourite aunt". Her. With serious instructions to stay on Gordo's case (spurs, burrs, the works) until he repairs everything. Everything.

You got a better idea?

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