The Chair of the Jasper Environmental Association informed me that it would be best if the JEA and I go our separate ways. In response I wrote a letter to the entire membership, posted below. But first, here are responses from two of the members, very happy that I have been expelled. Below my letter, a response from a former member who disagrees with the expulsion.
Ben Gadd surprises me the most. He was a draft dodger from the USA during the Vietnam war, and he always told us that we should question everything, don’t trust authority, and that governments lie to us all the time. So of all people, I would have thought he would be a little more open-minded. Even the 9-11 story was too much for him to see through when we had that debate a few years ago. He already labelled me a “conspiracy nut” back then.
Please know that we support the decision to expel Monika from the JEA. Allowing her to remain a member would reflect badly on the organization, and other members are bound to be uncomfortable with her presence at meetings.
This is not about free speech. Holocaust denial is just plain evil. It’s terribly insulting to survivors and their families, it’s a fraudulent attempt to rewrite history, and it’s a thin cover for antisemitism, which has a horrible record of injustice and human-rights violations going back many centuries.
For these reasons and others, holocaust denial is an indictable offense in many countries, especially in Europe, either directly or as hate speech.
In Canada, at least four people have been convicted of hate crimes (and the convictions upheld on appeal), including Eckville school teacher Jim Keegstra. German-born holocaust-denier Ernst Zundel, who spent four decades in Canada and whose writings Monika recommends to us, was deported to Germany as a security threat. He was promptly arrested there and imprisoned for five years. For a good article about hate crimes in Canada see http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/when-is-it-hate-speech-7-significant-canadian-cases-1.1036731.
Western democracies enshrine freedom of speech. But promulgating anti-Semitic lies is not allowed. Monika is risking federal prosecution for her public denial of the Holocaust. As long-time friends and admirers of Monika, we are saddened to see her take up this specious and dangerous cause. We hope that she will come to her senses. Until she does, we will have nothing further to do with her, and neither should the JEA.
— Cia and Ben Gadd
Then came this response from another member.
I know my soul……..no need to search. I, too, support the expulsion of Monika Schaefer from the JEA.
Monika appears to have no insight or understanding into the atrocious implications of her statements. I see her as an advocate for hate.
Having Monika in the group would only erode the credibility of the JEA.
I would not attend meetings if she were in attendance.