Friday, September 30, 2016

The Mafia, The CIA, & The Vatican's Intelligence Apparatus

In its zeal to stamp out communism, the Vatican set up alliances during World War II with various secret societies, fascist groups and spying agencies and has maintained these networks ever since.

Albert Vincent Carone
Albert Vincent Carone is one of those people who spent his life dancing between raindrops and turning invisible wherever a shadow lingered. He existed and also didn't exist. Al Carone - unlike his near namesake, Al Capone - truly was a paradox wrapped in a mystery concealed behind an enigma.

Carone was a detective in the New York Police Department, but this didn't stop him from becoming a "made" man in the Genovese crime family. He knew all the leading Mafiosi of his day, including Vito Genovese, Sam Giancana, Santos Trafficante, Joe Colombo and Pauley Castellano amongst others. To Carone's daughter, Dee, they were all known as "Uncle".

When she got married, her father arranged two different reception rooms to separate the Mob guests from the NYPD guests. But this was more window-dressing than anything else.

One of Carone's principal functions in the NYPD was to act as the "bagman" in protecting shipments of CIA drugs to the various Mafia families.

Carone died in 1990 under mysterious circumstances. This followed a period of great personal disenchantment with his life, following a secretive mission to Mexico in 1985 when a large number of innocent women and children died unnecessarily. His death was horrific, reports Mike Ruppert, editor of From The Wilderness newsletter, who has investigated Carone's life story and written a special report on it  (more...)

Supporting material:

An Evangelical, a NeoCatholic, and a Social Conservative Met in a Bar

Frozen out by PC leader Patrick Brown, social conservatives are putting the squeeze on prominent Tory MPP Monte McNaughton over the party’s sex-education flip-flop.

Parent activists are turning on one-time ally McNaughton because they feel let down by Brown after his office secretly negotiated — and then reneged on — a pledge to “scrap” the health curriculum during the recent Scarborough-Rouge River byelection.

The Lambton-Kent-Middlesex MPP, a champion of social conservative causes, sent in the final weekend of the Sept. 1 byelection campaign a fundraising appeal tied to eliminating the sex-education lesson plan.

For his trouble, McNaughton on Thursday received a blistering letter from Tanya Granic Allen, president of Parents As First Educators (PAFE), which opposes curriculum implemented by Premier Kathleen Wynne’s Liberals.

“The last time I heard from you was via a mass emailer you sent out on Saturday, Aug. 27 entitled ‘A PC Government would scrap Kathleen Wynne’s sex-ed changes,’” wrote Granic Allen.

“In that email, you told the recipients that ‘earlier this week, Ontario PC Leader Patrick Brown circulated a letter to parents across Ontario’ and you further explained that ‘in this letter, Patrick firmly committed to scrapping the Wynne-Liberals’ new sex-ed curriculum upon the election of a PC government,’ ” the activist continued.

“You also asked us to make a financial donation to Raymond Cho’s campaign, the candidate in the Scarborough-Rouge River byelection.

“Of course, since then, Patrick Brown has ‘scrapped’ this very commitment to Ontario parents and he now essentially supports Kathleen Wynne and her sex-ed agenda.”  (more...)

OK, this is a Red Star story, but they can't spin it any worse than it actually is. When Christian culture has left the society, you can hear the jackboots marching in the distance. My Polish nose smells Nazis.

Getting tired of that joke?

Reliable Bay Street Minion

Thursday, September 29, 2016

The Economic and Social Cost of the Panama Papers

Death. Taxes. The endless, seemingly unholy awfulness of the Toronto Maple Leafs. For decades, these were the things Canadians could firmly believe in, the trifecta of issues that neither gods nor masters could hope to affect. But times change. Doctors find life-saving drugs. The Leafs find new management. And the overtaxed—some of them find lawyers.

Expensive ones, most of whom live on exotic islands with an abundance of blue water, white sand, and lax financial regulations. For the right price, you too can hire a gaggle of them to shuffle your money into and out of a web of offshore bank accounts, shell companies, and trusts so that the Canada Revenue Agency will be able to neither follow nor find it.

That’s the big take-away from the Panama Papers, a package of over 11 million e-mails, contracts, scanned documents, and other financial files leaked from Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca last year. The first news stories were published on April 3, 2016. Taken together, the Papers function as a kind of master class in avoidance and evasion, outlining how some of the world’s wealthiest politicians, entrepreneurs, sports stars, entertainers, and others (including 625 or so Canadians) use the laws of far-off lands to hide hundreds of millions of dollars from ex-spouses, tax authorities, Interpol, or sometimes all of the above.  (more...)


'Arrogant' top lawyer suspended from child sex abuse inquiry in latest crisis to hit £100m investigation

The senior lawyer to the national child abuse inquiry has been suspended from his £400,000-a-year post,  plunging the investigation into its worst  crisis yet.

Ben Emmerson QC was removed over concerns about his leadership, the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) said in a statement. He later said he learned of his suspension from the investigation via the internet.

Mr Emmerson had been reported to be on the verge of resigning as counsel to the inquiry following an alleged clash with its new chairman, Professor Alexis Jay.

Insiders loyal to Prof Jay had described Mr Emmerson as “arrogant” ahead of the announcement.  (more...)

More coverage:

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Hitler was on cocaine and his troops were on meth: Author reveals deep influence of drugs in Nazi Germany

By late 1944, Nazi Germany was facing Allied armies to the west and six million Soviets to the east. Overhead, Allied planes were hitting Germany with near-constant city-leveling bombing raids.

But at grim military briefings, generals found German dictator Adolf Hitler upbeat, optimistic — euphoric even.

“I call it the Fuhrer-high; it makes you feel on top of the world even if the world is collapsing around you,” said German author Norman Ohler, speaking to the National Post by phone.

Ohler’s book, Blitzed, will be released in Canada on October 6. Published in the original German as The Total Rush, it tells the story of how Nazi Germany fought a surprising amount of the Second World War in a drug-fueled haze.

“It’s tough out here … today I’m writing you mainly to ask for some Pervitin,” wrote German soldier Heinrich Böll in a 1939 letter home from occupied Poland. It was one of at least three letters that Böll, a future Nobel Prize-winning author, would write home requesting a top-up of his Pervitin stash.

Pervitin, a popular over-the-counter drug in Nazi Germany, was a close cousin of modern-day crystal meth. Methamphetamines originated in Germany in the late 1800s, and Pervitin first hit the market as a “wakefulness pill.”  (more..)



Red tape keeps teachers accused of abusing students in classroom for years

Teachers who have been accused of sexually assaulting students may remain in the classroom for several years due to an arduous and convoluted disciplinary process.

CityNews has learned it can takes years for the regulatory body in charge of teachers to punish members who behave inappropriately in the classroom or with students, even those who have been found guilty of sexual assault.

“If it is found that a teacher has done something unprofessional, then you could have that teacher continue in the profession during that time (between when the misconduct occurred and a decision is made by the Ontario College of Teachers) depending on what the school board decides,” said Sachin Maharaj, a teacher with the Toronto school board who is doing his PhD in educational policy.

“What happens is the teacher is removed from the school in which the incident occurred, so it looks like something is being done but then they’re placed in another school oftentimes unbeknownst to the parents and students of that school, and so unless you’re someone that looks up your child’s teacher regularly, you may have no idea they may have been found guilty of some sort of misconduct.”  (more...)


Narcissism: Understanding Michael Voris

Dr. E. Michael Jones just wrote an eBook on Michael Voris and his homosexual past. The unhealed wounds from this past push Voris to scapegoat his self-loathing onto those holding authority in the Catholic Church. Jones explains how the notion of cheap grace picked up maybe from Lutheran/Protestant theology blinds many Christians to the possible necessity of first enduring a painful penitential healing process before venturing out into a public ministry. Narcissism is a possible result of unhealed wounds caused by sin.


This isn't only about Voris. It's endemic in neoCatholicism and its manifestations -- charismaticism, pro-life-ism, Medjugorism, Catholic Zionism, and unhinged anti-clericalism -- which have reinforced and magnified Voris's problems. Long-suffering and exiled grownups must be good parents and protect the young and experienced from exploitation by these controlling manipulators. We need sober and legitimate leadership, not self-affirming cults of personality.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

IMF targets Scottish tax haven firms behind child abuse websites

The International Monetary Fund has warned of the risk posed by Scotland's controversial 'limited partnerships' to the fight against global money-laundering and organised crime.

The IMF singled out the Scottish firms - which are widely used as tax avoidance and secrecy vehicles by Eastern European organised crime gangs - as it flagged up wider reforms it wants to see in the UK.

The Sunday Herald has exposed how Scottish limited partnerships or SLPs have acted as fronts for websites peddling child abuse images, and revealed that they have been part of major corruption cases in Ukraine, Uzbekistan and Latvia, including in the arms industry.

IMF officials said SLPs - which can be used to open bank accounts for anonymous owners - should be subject to anti money-laundering measures, such as rules which force other UK companies to name their ultimate owners.

The IMF remarks, in a new report on Britain's progress against money-laundering and terrorism financing, echoes concerns raised by Britain's own Home Office.  (more...)

Know any housewives on Caribbean islands?


Canada: A New Tax Haven: How the Country That Shaped Caribbean Tax Havens Is Becoming One Itself

 Canada: A New Tax Haven

In Canada: A New Tax Haven, Alain Deneault traces Canada’s relationship with Commonwealth Caribbean nations back through the last half of the twentieth century, arguing that the involvement of Canadian financiers in establishing and maintaining Caribbean tax havens has predisposed Canada to become a tax haven itself – a metamorphosis well under way.

Canada was linked to Caribbean nations long before they became tax havens. In the 1950s, an ex-governor of Canada’s central bank attempted to establish a low taxation regime in Jamaica. In the 1960s, the transformation of the Bahamas into a tax haven characterized by impenetrable banking secrecy was shaped by a minister of finance who sat on the Royal Bank of Canada’s board of directors. A Calgary lawyer and former Conservative Party heavyweight drew up the clauses that transformed the Cayman Islands into an opaque offshore jurisdiction. For years, Canadian politicians have debated annexing tax havens such as the Turks and Caicos Islands, making them part of Canadian territory. Canada has signed a free-trade agreement with Panama and is currently seeking a wider agreement with countries in CARICOM, the Caribbean economic community. And, notably, Canada currently shares its seat at the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund with a group of Caribbean tax havens.

These exercises in fostering fiscal and banking leniency have predisposed Canada to become one of the most attractive tax havens to foreign interests. Not only does Canada offer one of the lowest corporate tax rates in the world, but a number of loopholes encourage companies to relocate to Canada as if it were Barbados or Bermuda.

Canada: A New Tax Haven is an attempt to analyze the situation and address its implications for Canadians.  (source...)


Offshore Tax Havens and the Rule of Global Crime


“Daily financial transactions around the world are now calculated in trillions of dollars. Half the world’s money supply passes through or is kept in tax havens. This means that colossal volumes of trade are beyond the control of any national laws.” —from Offshore
A 2009 Government Accounting Office report revealed that two-thirds of the one hundred largest U.S. publicly traded corporations and largest contractors for the U.S. federal government had subsidiaries in countries generally considered tax havens. According to some estimates, fully half of the world’s wealth is held in offshore accounts, where it is largely beyond the scrutiny or control of governments or laws.

Offshore reveals how a vast network of unregulated financial centers—from Luxembourg to the Cayman islands to the tiny Pacific haven of Nauru—has evolved into an enormous nether realm of drug and arms trading ungoverned by national laws. Delving into the scandals, the financial structure, and the history of this hidden side of globalization, sociologist Alain Deneault depicts something larger and more ominous than simple “tax havens” where financial elites and corporations must reside to protect their earnings. Instead, Offshore describes a global base of operations from which massive criminal enterprises and corrupt corporations operate freely and with impunity, menacing developing nations and advanced democracies alike.

Published at a time when the world is fed up with financial shenanigans, Offshore is a fascinating and timely new book that presents a startling revisionist account of how the global economy actually functions today.  (source...)


Sunday, September 25, 2016

Sextortion of children on the rise

Canadian cases of online sex-related extortion — “sextortion” — against children are increasing, following trends in the United States.

U.S. federal officials and advocates are urging educators and parents to help raise awareness at school events.

In sextortion cases, preying adults typically pose on social media as someone younger to coerce victims into sending inappropriate photos or video clips. Once initial images are delivered, the adult threatens to expose them publicly unless the victim sends more explicit pictures.

The Canadian Centre for Child Protection reported that in 2012, the organization received three cases of sextortion cases a month through its line. Now, it receives upwards of 15 a month.

Last September, the centre said it saw a spike of 40% in teen sextortion tips in a six-month period.  (more...)

Victims of paedophile Bill Kenneally want Fianna Fail, the Catholic church and Gardai to be investigated over the abuse

Bill Kenneally pleaded guilty to ten sample charges of abusing ten boys
Victims of paedophile Bill Kenneally have described the outcome of the case taken against him as a form of “window dressing”.

Six have said they now believe senior gardai, members of Fianna Fail, the Catholic Church and staff at the South Eastern Health Board were told about the abuse but failed to act.

They are now pushing for a Commission of Investigation into who knew and “turned a blind eye”.

Belfast-based human rights lawyer Darragh Mackin is representing them.

In the past week Mr Mackin has written to Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald to bring the case to her attention.

Victim Jason Clancy said: “I don’t know what’s more hurtful, the abuse or the fact that people in authority knew that I was being abused and
did nothing.

“They could have taken me out of my misery at any stage but they chose not to.”  (more...)


The scale of historical sexual abuse in the UK is a catastrophe

Lowell Goddard
Lowell Goddard has told us what we know – that sexual crimes against children are too big, too tolerated and altogether too much. Goddard, the New Zealand judge who resigned from the inquiry into historical child abuse last month, said in a memo to MPs that there was “an inherent problem in the sheer scale and size of the inquiry”.

It was set up in 2014 after a tsunami of scandal: the deaths of prolific but protected abusers, BBC DJ Jimmy Savile and Liberal politician Cyril Smith, and longstanding suspicions about other Westminster politicians. Speculation about organised networks of men sexually exploiting children amplified the clamour to do something. The inquiry announced 13 initial investigations. Goddard is the third chair to step down, after the previous two appointees resigned. Her memo, drawing attention to the unmanageable scale of the problem, has encouraged cynicism and scepticism, but scale should be no deterrent. Nor should the shame that suffocates survivors of sexual assault.

Victims and survivors don’t expect and don’t get justice. The great American specialist in crimes of sexual domination, Judith Lewis Herman, warns that the perpetrator’s goal is to maintain domination by terrorising and shaming. It is this “dishonouring” of victims, she argues, that makes sexual abuse “so impervious to the formal remedies of the law”.

What Goddard and her inquiry have not been able to do, we as a society haven’t been able to do either: sexual crimes against children are ubiquitous and abusers act with virtual impunity.  (more...)


Saturday, September 24, 2016

Operation Gladio

Dr. Daniele Ganser discusses his seminal book NATO's Secret Armies: Operation GLADIO and Terrorism in Western Europe. We talk about how for over 40 years a NATO-backed network of secret soldiers operated inside Western Europe and carried out a string of false flag terror attacks.

 Operation Gladio

Forced into his cult-like Ontario church as a teen and abused, woman spent years exposing ‘The Prophet’

Following in the footsteps of his father, Fred King led a church near Owen Sound where members were beaten and humiliated by the man they called the prophet. The law finally caught up with King last week, but it was a hollow victory for the woman who blew the whistle on his abusive practices.

In the end, the decision whether to accept a plea bargain for the abusive leader of a Southwestern Ontario church was put in the hands of the woman who suffered some of his cruellest blows.

Carol Christie contends she was forced into the Church of Jesus Christ Restored as a teenager by her mother, forced to be intimate as a minor with church founder Stan King, and later, his son Fred King and forced to endure beatings that ripped the fabric from her body and the spirit from her soul — claims that King denied in defending the lawsuit before settling out of court.  (more...)



Is Canada a Tax Haven and is Halifax Part of its Offshore System?

Canada has historically not only given wealthy Canadians and companies the possibility to benefit from offshore regimes in the British Overseas Territories in the Caribbean via loopholes in its own jurisdiction, it has also actively shaped policies and laws in these Territories. Canadians such as a former Minister of Finance, a former Governor of the Bank of Canada, and an influential lawyer from the Conservative Party in Alberta all shaped the practices of Caribbean British dependencies in the 1960s by writing offshore laws and creating secret policies to foster tax havens. Inspired by their success, Canada has turned itself into a secrecy state, with the government of Nova Scotia playing an instrumental role in the transformation.

What Tax Avoidance Costs Us (For One, Pharmacare)

Canadians sometimes make strange choices about how we want government to spend the tax money we hand over every year. A recent poll from the Angus Reid Institute is a startling illustration of that.

When the polling firm asked Canadians if they would like to have a pharmacare system, they got a resounding “yes.” Then they asked Canadians how they would like to pay for that. The choices included increasing the GST, restoring the corporate tax rate to 18 per cent, increasing the basic income tax rate, or charging a pharmacare premium. While restoring the corporate tax rate seemed like a good idea to more than half the respondents, the idea of any kind of tax increase wasn’t particularly popular. And that’s understandable.

But an important option was missing — and that’s where Angus Reid seemed to miss the point.

Eliminating tax haven use could save Canada almost $8 billion a year. That’s enough to cover universal public prescription coverage almost eight times over.

Time after time, budget after budget, poll after poll, those in charge make it sound as if we’re too poor as a country to afford the programs that would really improve Canadians’ lives. The fact that revenues are lost to poor policy on tax havens and loopholes is often conveniently ignored.

Shifting money to tax havens is the purview of wealthy Canadians and corporations who don’t want to follow the spirit of the law. And they spend a lot of time and money trying to convince the rest of us that it is their right to play that game.

That may have worked for decades — but change is afoot. Although it may still be legal, there is increasing awareness of the widespread damage tax-avoidance inflicts and the potential that it thwarts.  (more...)


'You no longer own me,' victim tells convicted Brockville teacher in impact statement

“Mr. Rancourt, you no longer own me.”

The victim in a local case of sexual exploitation and sexual assault delivered an victim impact statement on Friday at the Brockville courthouse, leaving many in the room in tears.

“I was outsmarted and manipulated by a person I trusted,” the victim said, adding she has been diagnosed with depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder in the aftermath of the abuse.

“I can’t walk down the street. I live each and every day in fear of being hit, of being yelled at, of being used as a sexual tool.”

Dave Rancourt, a former teacher at St. Mary Catholic High School, was found guilty on one count of sexual exploitation and one count of sexual assault in July.

Rancourt, 45, was originally charged in 2014 when the victim, then a 22-year-old woman, came forward to Brockville Police with a number of allegations of physical and sexual abuse.

Police said they learned through interviews the abuse allegedly began in 2005 and continued until recently. On Friday the Crown prosecutor described Rancourt’s abuse as “psychological manipulation in the highest order.”

“My virginity was stolen by my high school teacher,” the victim said, adding she was robbed of her innocence and had many milestone moments in her life stolen from her.

“I’m learning how to live again,” she said, adding her “whole sense of self has been warped.”  (more...)

Friday, September 23, 2016

Child pornography investigation leads to two arrests

NIAGARA – An investigation by the Niagara Regional Police Internet child exploitation unit, which started with information from Hamilton police, has led to the arrest of a man from St. Catharines and another from Kitchener.

In August, the Hamilton Police Service gave Niagara police some information, prompting them to begin an investigation into the exploitation of children on the Internet.

In early September, police searched an address in St. Catharines and arrested a St. Catharines man, charging him with making agreement or arrangement to commit sexual interference and possession of child pornography.

Police say they will not be releasing the man's name because they want to protect the integrity of the ongoing investigation.

However, police said that as a result of the search, they were able to identify an additional suspect involved in the exploitation of children on the Internet.

On Sept. 16, Niagara police, with the assistance of police from Hamilton and Waterloo, arrested Geoffrey Burnet, 48, of Kitchener. He was charged with making child pornography and transmitting child pornography.

Burnet, it turns out, had been under investigation by Hamilton police since May. The investigation was looking into child abuse allegation and expanded to online child exploitation.

On Sept. 20, Hamilton police arrested and charged Burnet again, this time with the additional offences of sexual assault, sexual interference and invitation to sexual touching.  (more...)


Thursday, September 22, 2016

EU slammed for not knowing of key official's offshore firm

Neelie Kroes
The European Union's executive body was accused Thursday of failing to properly check the business interests of its top officials after leaked documents showed its former competition chief was a director of an offshore company based in the Bahamas.

Critics pounced on the revelation that Neelie Kroes, who led the European Commission's powerful anti-trust unit between 2004 and 2010 and is now a paid adviser to Uber and Bank of America, had an undisclosed interest in a company in the Bahamas as further evidence of the EU Commission's lax approach to vetting.

As a result, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker is facing calls to tighten up the rules on potential conflicts of interest. Juncker was already under pressure to do so following the news this summer that his predecessor, Jose Manuel Barroso, had taken a top job at investment bank Goldman Sachs.

Kroes' name was one of the most high-profile to emerge in a cache of documents of the Bahamas' corporate registry that was leaked Wednesday by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and media partners.  (more...)


Teacher in Hamilton charged with child sexual assault

A teacher who police say worked at Columbia International College is facing child sexual abuse charges after a lengthy investigation by police.

Geoffrey Burnet, 48, of Kitchener is charged with sexual assault, sexual interference and invitation to sexual touching.

Burnet is charged in relation to what police call a "historical child exploitation investigation" around incidents they say are alleged to have occurred in Hamilton between January 2007 and December 2008.

Steven Saunders, principal at Columbia International College, said Thursday that Burnet was hired on a contract basis in 2014 following "a clean police and vulnerable sector screening report." The allegations do not relate to Columbia students, he said.

Columbia terminated Burnet's employment on Sept. 20 — the same day Burnet was arrested and charged.

"Columbia International College is cooperating with local police forces in their investigation of Mr. Burnet," Saunders said in a statement. "Columbia International College has been advised by local police that the charges against Mr. Burnet are not related to any Columbia International College students, or the college itself."

Burnet has also worked in the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board, the Upper Grand District School Board and the Toronto District School Board.  (more...)

Kitchener public school teacher who had sex with girl, 15, getting sent to penitentiary

KITCHENER — A Kitchener public school teacher who had sexual intercourse multiple times with a 15-year-old girl will be sentenced to a penitentiary term.

Michael Sperling, 35, pleaded guilty on Wednesday to sexual interference and luring a child. Justice Craig Parry said he will hand out a two-year sentence, as recommended by the prosecution and defence.

Sperling, who taught at Sandhills Public School in Kitchener, was suspended after the charges were laid, court was told.

A court order bans publication of any information that could identify the victim. The girl was not a student at Sandhills.

Sperling knew the girl was 15, below the age of consent, court was told.  (more...)

Anti-corruption watchdog seeks EU help after Bahamas leaks

BRUSSELS -- Anti-corruption watchdog Transparency International has urged the European Union to take the lead in efforts to expose those who represent, or profit, from businesses with secretive links to the world's biggest tax havens, as criticism mounted Thursday of a former top EU official caught up in a wide-ranging document leak from the Bahamas.

Neelie Kroes, who used to lead the European Commission's powerful anti-trust unit between 2004 and 2010, was one of the most high-profile names that emerged in a cache of documents of the Bahama's corporate registry leaked Wednesday by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and media partners.

The leak revealed the names of directors and owners of more than 175,000 Bahamian companies, trusts and foundations, ranging from prime ministers and princes to convicted felons. The disclosures follow the international uproar over the leak of the so-called "Panama Papers" earlier this year that revealed details on offshore accounts that helped foreigners shelter their wealth.

In the Bahamas leak, Kroes was revealed as director of one company -- Mint Holdings -- that she had not declared when she became the EU's Commissioner for Competition in 2004. Mint Holdings had been allegedly set up from the United Arab Emirates, with the aim of helping to acquire the assets of energy giant Enron, which subsequently collapsed following a massive accounting scandal.  (more...)

1 tax haven, 3 of Canada’s biggest banks, 2,000 offshore companies

Three of Canada’s big banks have registered nearly 2,000 offshore companies and private foundations in the Caribbean tax haven of the Bahamas, according to newly leaked corporate records obtained exclusively in Canada by the Star and CBC/Radio-Canada.

RBC, CIBC and Scotiabank appear conspicuously throughout the database of 175,500 corporate registrations on the island nation, which has earned an international reputation as one of the most secretive financial jurisdictions in the world.

According to the data, RBC registered 847 companies, CIBC registered 632 and Scotiabank registered 481 in the Bahamas between 1990 and this past May.

The leaked records provide never-before-seen details behind the intimate relationship Canada’s banks have forged with island tax havens over the past five decades. Some experts even credit Canada’s banking industry with helping pioneer offshore wealth movement to no-tax and low-tax jurisdictions in the Caribbean.  (more...)

 Offshore Treasure Islands

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Canadian ties exposed in leaked Bahamas tax-haven data

Records on tens of thousands of largely secrecy-clad companies registered in the Bahamas, including thousands with ties to Canada, have been divulged en masse as one of the world's premier tax havens becomes the first to suffer a mass data leak since the Panama Papers.

The leaked data exposes the holdings of a number of current and former global cabinet ministers, and represents a black eye for a Caribbean country that, despite its modest size and population, has become a major magnet for international money flows and enjoys a cozy financial relationship with Canada.

The documents were leaked to the German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung — the same media outlet that received the massive Panama Papers leak — and shared with the Washington-based International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), whose exclusive Canadian partners are CBC/Radio-Canada and the Toronto Star.

The records consist of ground-level data on offshore companies registered in the Bahamas: the names, creation dates, addresses and, in some cases, directors and owners of nearly 175,000 corporations, trusts and foundations set up between 1990 and this year. While those records could previously be accessed one at a time by paying a $10 fee each, the ICIJ has now made them freely available in bulk in a publicly searchable online database — a step that global transparency and anti-corruption advocates have long said is essential to pull back the curtain on the shadowy world of offshore finance.  (more...)

Former teacher accused of sexually assaulting two children

A former teacher and convicted sex offender is facing new charges of sexually abusing two children in the 1980s.

Ottawa police charged Gerald Rene Levert with three counts of sexual assault and one count of gross indecency last week in the alleged sexual abuse that occurred in Ottawa between 1983 and 1989. At the time, Levert was a teacher with the now defunct Ottawa-Carleton Catholic School Board.

Police said they did not initially release that the 67-year-old Levert was a teacher when they announced the charges because the allegations did not involve any of his students. Police laid the charges after a complainant came forward in February.

It is just the latest legal trouble for the former teacher, who once taught at St. Matthew Catholic High School in Orleans and later at St. Leonard Elementary School in Manotick from 1992 to 1998. Levert had also taught at École intermédiaire Léo-D-Côté  in Orléans in 1975, and started working with the Ottawa-Carleton Catholic School Board in 1982.  (more...)

Go-Betweens for Hitler

Despite all the charms of Downton Abbey, real-life aristocrats played a much darker role in the 1930s. With the British empire under threat and Bolshevism on the rise, many decided to support authoritarian and fascist regimes. Aristocratic women in particular were attracted to Mussolini and Horthy. Some fell in with Hitler and tried to negotiate peace well into 1940. Their long-hidden stories will be at the center of this Friends Talk by Karina Urbach, Visitor in the School of Historical Studies and author of Go-Betweens for Hitler (Oxford University Press, 2015).

 Go-Betweens for Hitler

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

"O'Duffys Men"-Irish Blueshirts Documentary

Maurice Manning traces the history of the Blueshirts in Ireland, an organization formed out of a wing of the Pro-Treaty side of the Irish Civil War and led by Free State General Eoin O'Duffy.Grounded more so in civil war politics rather than ideology the Blueshirts played a significant role in the formation of one of Ireland's major parties (Fine Gael) and had in its ethos elements of Catholic corporatism and European Fascism.

The Blueshirts

The Blueshirts were a quasi-fascist organization founded in 1932 following de Valera's first election victory. They adopted the style and some of the substance of European fascist movements. Although relatively short-lived, they were one of the founding strands in what became the Fine Gael party. Maurice Manning's definitive history chronicles the rise and fall of the Blueshirts against the social and political background of Ireland in the late 1920s and 1930s. ""In many ways this book is a model. [The author's] account is clear, detailed and fully documented, his analysis of the conflicting interests and emotions dispassionate and perceptive, his conclusions balanced and sound. This is the way Irish history should be written.""-The Irish Times. ""An admirably lucid and well documented book [that] describes the rise and fall of the Blueshirt movement which figured so dramatically on the public stage during the turbulent thirties.""-Irish Independent. ""Manning's book is a worthy and welcome addition to a small but growing body of serious work on personalities, issues and institutions in the modern Irish state.""-Journal of Modern History.

Know any corporatist Irishmen? Of course you do.

This history is interesting for voters trying to make sense of Catholic-in-name-only politicians like Patrick Brown and Dalton McGuinty who answer only to Bay Street and hold their grassroots constituencies in contempt. Ontario is essentially run like Ireland, which is totally in the pocket of Apple Corporation and serves as its private money-launderer and tax haven. Queen's Park, Bay Street, and Dublin dance to the same tune.

The Aryan Circle: Dangerous white supremacist prison gang creates havoc as it moves rapidly across U.S.

A billboard rising along Interstate 10 near Baytown, Texas, recently solicited thousands of passing motorists for help finding Robert J. Ring, an ex-convict and alleged white supremacist prison gang member who disappeared earlier this year while on parole.

“Wanted,” it read beside the giant mug shot of Ring, taken by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

A few months earlier, a similar billboard was used to solicit tips on the whereabouts of Danny Ray Ferguson Jr., another alleged member of the Aryan Circle prison gang.

Only two other Aryan Circle members have been the target of such a publicity push since 2012, when law enforcement agencies launched the Houston’s Most Wanted Gang Fugitive program.

The billboards cast a new spotlight on the Texas-born white supremacist prison gang, which has stayed in the shadows the last few years but hasn’t gone away, experts say. And it has a hefty presence in Houston.

“They are large, they are dangerous, and they are in your neighbourhood,”  (more...)


Opus Dei: An Investigation into the Secret Society Struggling for Power Within the Roman Catholic Church

 Opus Dei

Michael Walsh has written what I believe to be the best critical book on Opus Dei. It methodically and accurately describes the religious ideology of Opus Dei, and then, using a critical framework that draws on important aspects of Roman Catholic understanding and practice, shows how this ideology is actually or potentially defective. Thus Walsh effectively identifies the problematic aspects of the spirit of Opus Dei, even citing the very basis by which it is justified. In this respect, the book is outstanding.

The primary documents by which Walsh delineates the spirit of Opus Dei are the Constitutions of 1950 and 1982 and The Way. Additional sources include Cronica and the personal testimony of former numeraries. With the exception of The Way, these sources represent information that is relatively inaccessible.

The book begins by constructing the history of Opus Dei with the startling insight that Opus Dei itself lacks a history. This characteristic is already accounted for very well by Joan Estruch et al., Saints and Schemers (1995), by demonstrating that Opus Dei delusively cultivates a mythic self-image.

Then, starting with the 1950 Constitutions, Walsh maps out the distinctive features of this organization, highlighting the objectionable: its specific bias against women; its devotion to hierarchy; its elitist aspirations; its subversion of the institutional church; and its legalistic predilection.

Moving on to The Way, the author adds revealing details to this portrait: the authoritarian clericalism; the Fascist affinities; the spiritual simplism; the Jansenist undertones; the institutional avarice; the doctrinal reductionism; the dubious profession of divine perfection.  (more...)

See also:

 Saints and Schemers

Monday, September 19, 2016

Beyond the Threshold: A Life in Opus Dei

 Beyond the Threshold

Book Summary and Review by Tammy DiNicola

As soon as the book arrived, I eagerly began reading Beyond the Threshold, knowing that its words would be relevant to my own life as a former numerary member of Opus Dei.  Absorbingly written, Maria del Carmen Tapia’s Beyond the Threshold captivated me with the frightful picture it painted of Opus Dei.

Even though I had been involved with Opus Dei for nearly four years, I was still shocked by much of what I read in Tapia’s book.  In particular, the personality of the Founder which Tapia described was more abusive than I had ever imagined.

Though I was a member of Opus Dei much later than Tapia, I can verify that much of what happened behind closed doors during Tapia’s time in Opus Dei, still goes on to this day.  Tapia was an Opus Dei member from 1946 to 1966; I was a member from 1988 to 1990.  Amazingly, the book does not reflect bitterness or revenge; rather, it is filled with careful reflections and the wisdom acquired when many years lessen the pain of wounds inflicted years before.  (more...)


Sunday, September 18, 2016

Leopards in the Temple: Opus Dei, Escriva, and John Paul's Rome

Leopards break into the temple and drink the sacrificial chalices dry. This happens again and again, repeatedly. Finally it can be counted on beforehand and becomes part of the ceremony.

--Franz Kafka, Parables

In a packed St. Peter's Square on October 6, barring fire, flood, crocodiles in the Tiber, or the remake of Ben-Hur, the late Monsignor Josemaria Escriva de Balaguer, the controversial founder and guiding spirit of Opus Dei, will be declared a saint -- a certified, bona fide, and prayer-answering citizen of Heaven. While this swift and improbable canonization will no doubt exhilarate Escriva's followers, it will just as certainly exasperate his foes, set a vexing precedent, and raise fresh questions about papal infallibility. With apologies to Shakespeare, even if the graves don't stand tenantless while the sheeted dead squeak and gibber in the Roman streets, the shock waves will be felt from Michelangelo's dome to the crypt of Athanasius.

It's not simply that Escriva and Opus Dei have a legion of critics and a history of dubious practices, it's the startling pace John Paul II has followed in exalting this mysterious shepherd and his multinational flock through a series of breathtakingly honorific 10-year milestones -- granting Opus Dei personal prelature status (1982), beatifying Escriva (1992), and now (2002) declaring this dynamic but disturbing son of Spain worthy to rub elbows with such giants as John the Baptist, Peter and Paul, Joan of Arc, Thomas More, Therese of Lisieux, and Christina the Astonishing. And truly, if there's anything more astonishing than St. Christina, who climbed trees, hid in ovens, and even flew into the rafters of a church to avoid sinful human contamination, it's the record speed with which Escriva (1902-1975) will have won his heavenly spurs: a mere 27 years from coffin to choir. But there it is -- Roma locuta est and no angry letters, please. Advocates of the old-fashioned wait and see, devil's advocate school of saint-anointing may stage massive protests and submit petitions swarming with signatures, but nothing short of divine intervention is likely to head off what promises to be the most audacious canonization of modern times.  (more...)


Saturday, September 17, 2016

Donald Trump and How He Is Going to Make America Great Again

With the supposed “outsider” Donald Trump having locked up the Republican nomination, we take a look at the underbelly of Trump’s business career. Noted for his supposed business acumen, Trump has benefited from financial dealings with organized crime figures and people with longstanding intelligence connections. Underlying his associations are relationships stretching back to the secreting of Axis loot during, and after, World War II.

Do not fail to note that real estate projects and gambling casinos are major vehicles for laundering money – the available evidence suggests that Trump’s business dealings may well have been money laundering operations.

Program Highlights Include:

*Trump’s flipping of a Palm Beach luxury home to Russian mobster Dimitry Rybobolev.
*Imelda Marcos’s association with Trump associate Adnan Khashoggi.
*Trump’s links to Joseph McCarthy attorney Roy Cohn, and the latter’s links to mob figures.
*Louis Lesser’s association with the Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan milieux.


And, Canadians get their piece of pie:

Your winnings, sir!

Glen Murray, reality denier

Ontario's chief ecofascist
Climate Change Minister Glen Murray can always be relied upon to portray those who disagree with him as “climate deniers."

Of course the phrase is repugnant, evoking Holocaust denial.

While Murray would no doubt say that is not his intent, for example when he tweeted earlier this year that “Climate denier Patrick Brown discovers climate change” — after the Ontario PC leader said he supported revenue neutral carbon pricing — many others have made the link explicitly. has compiled a useful but by no means exhaustive list of prominent individuals who it says have deliberately made the link between climate change denial and Holocaust denial  (more...)

On inverted, hypocritical analogies: