Jasper has two newspapers. The weekly is called the Fitzhugh, and regular readers of this blog will already know that the Fitzhugh staff have been very hostile towards me in their coverage of the controversy surrounding my video called “Sorry Mom, I was wrong about the holocaust“.
The other paper is called The Jasper Local, and comes out twice per month. The publisher/editor Bob Covey has been much more level-headed, and definitely never hostile. This does not mean he agrees with my conclusions – quite the contrary – but he is not blindly reactionary. In an editorial last summer (link here, scroll down to Aug 15, 2016), he wrote this:
These days it seems people are so keen to be outraged. It seems that it doesn’t take much for folks to fly off the handle, to get up in arms. Admittedly, when a community member decrees the Holocaust a lie, it’s a tough pill to swallow, but still: the leap from questioning the stories we’ve been told to promoting hate-speech is a large one. Based on the evidence at hand, it’s not one I’m willing to take.
After I made a presentation to Town Council in February about the irrelevance of a person’s views in relation to the question of acquiring a busking licence, hostilities in the town rose once again. Apparently those who feel threatened by the historical truths that I am speaking openly about did not like it that I appeared to be getting a leg up. (I wrote about the presentation here.) Bob Covey wrote about the meeting in his February 15th newspaper, pictured below, the article entitled Council gets an earful on busking. He chose, from his archives, a friendly picture of me with a big smile, twirling a hoolahoop around my waste, and holding a “save the trees” sign high above my head. I cannot find the article on the website or I would link it here. He did a fair reportage of the meeting.
The next two editions of The Jasper Local carried letters in reaction. Here are some excerpts from Vancouverite Paul Brooke’s March 1st poisonous letter:
I’m writing in response to your soppy sympathetic editorial supporting Monika Schaefer. I deeply resent the way in which you support Schaefer’s “right to her opinion.” It’s blatantly obvious that the two of you just don’t get it. [….] People like you live in some kind of bubble, thinking that “poor Monika” should have the right to spew her objectionable nonsense [….] Yes, free speech is a part of our democracy, but criminal hate speech is not. Schaefer talks about the “thought police” on Jasper town council who stand up to her. [….] I don’t need her disgusting Alternative Facts disguised as enlightenment for the masses. It’s nothing but hateful garbage. ~Paul Brooke~ North Vancouver, B.C.
Next edition, on March 15, came a slightly more polite letter entitled “Horrors of war” by Harry Home. I cannot find Home’s letter on The Jasper Local website, but a similar one was published in the Fitzhugh. Unlike the Fitzhugh publisher Craig Gilbert, Bob Covey did give me the right of response. My letter was published April 1, 2017 in The Jasper Local.
RE: Horrors of war
Debate is forbidden in a totalitarian society. Evidence becomes irrelevant. Books are burned.
I agree with Harry Home’s sentiments (The Jasper Local, March 15, 2017) about most people being loving and peaceful. I also agree that wars are horrible. That is why I am putting so much on the line. A world of lies and deceptions is a world of war and turmoil. I am motivated by love and I am working for peace.
I disagree with Home’s statement that “there is definite evidence of the murder of millions of Jews, and that the death camps did exist…” People keep repeating that statement like a mantra, but where is the evidence? The Toronto Holocaust Trials of the 1980s showed plenty of evidence to the contrary, and holocaust trials have been avoided ever since.
Many people, including Jews, died in the work camps. Most deaths occurred as a result of starvation and disease during the last few months of the war, as supply lines were cut due to Allied bombing.
Amazon just engaged in a massive modern-day book burning, when scores of titles disappeared from their site. These books put into question the orthodox holocaust narrative. Many scholarly works containing archival primary source material have been thrown down the memory hole. Perhaps we can interpret this as a ringing endorsement of those books. It is best to vaporize them when one cannot refute what is written in them.
Even the act of erasing the books is itself erased, as mainstream media outlets either ignore it, or claim that only 3 book titles were eliminated. I personally own more than 3 of the disappeared books. But again, facts are irrelevant in George Orwell’s world.
Why is hatred and scorn levelled at those who peacefully express dissent? Those who question the orthodoxy are criminalized by way of “hate speech” laws. Everything is turned on its head by criminalizing truth revealers and calling them the haters.
Is this event called “the holocaust” really so cut and dried?
Surely the reaction alone should be enough to alert thinking people everywhere that there might be some flaws in the prevailing narrative. If I was so wrong about the conclusions I have reached about WW2 history, nobody would feel threatened by what I am saying. They could simply present the evidence.
Truth does not fear investigation.
Monika Schaefer, Jasper
Predictably, pushback came in the next edition April 15th
It could be called Hate times 13
I counted the word “hate” or “hatred” thirteen times in this letter! hmmmm… who is hating whom? I have reproduced the letter here, interspersed with my commentaries.
Hate Begins With Words
by Jessica Gomes, Jasper
Re: Monika Schaefer’s April 1st Letter
Holocaust denial must be confronted. Not because there is a truth to be hidden or a secret “orthodox” conspiracy, but because hate begins with words. Hate began with words before the holocaust when millions of Jews, Roma, Christians, Communists, homosexuals and disabled people were dehumanized, criminalized, discriminated against, and murdered. We see this same hate continue today with words and actions of holocaust deniers.
M.S. I am a little confused. So the murder of all these people took place before the holocaust??? Well let’s see how all this is explained. An awful lot of “hate” so far… I wonder if Gomes realizes that Judea declared war against Germany in 1933.
Although Monika Schaefer and other deniers may mimic and mirror the practices of historians and legitimate scholars, their pantomimed “research” is a misleading and thinly veiled farce designed to propagate anti-Semitism and hate. It is true that “truth does not fear investigation,” and to its credit, (“to its credit”? whose credit?) the Holocaust is one of the most well documented and investigated events in human history. The evidence is irrefutable, undeniable, overwhelming, and it is not a “prevailing narrative.” It’s what happened.
M.S. Lots of hot air here to smear me, but not much substance so far. About that meme, “..most well documented and investigated….” that’s what they say. But where is the evidence please? They sure couldn’t show it in court! And where is all that documentation? In all the tons of German government documents and archives seized at the end of the war, not a single piece of paper was ever found that said anything about a plan or intention to kill the Jews. Even the leading Jewish holocaust historian Raul Hilberg had to concede during the Great Holocaust Trial in 1985 that there must have been an “incredible meeting of minds”. You can read about it here.
Hate begins with words. Monika Schaefer’s letter to the editor is perforated with hate and anti-Semitism: some obvious, some slyly inserted with conspiracy theorist code words and nonsense. We have a duty to call out Monika Schaefer’s words for what they are: hate masqueradingt as innocent questioning and dissent.
M.S. Oh my! “perforated with hate”, “slyly inserted”, “conspiracy theorist code words” (yikes!), “hate masquerading as innocent questioning…”. Such intelligent debating! Please, Jessica, could you at least give me some substance, maybe just one piece of evidence?
Holocaust deniers are thirsty for attention, and any quick Google search yields a plethora of results for holocaust denial across the dark corners of the Internet. We cannot in good conscience give them yet another platform, especially a legitimate media platform, on which to spew hate, lies, and anti-Semitism. No mainstream newspaper would publish hate filled diatribes arguing for the reinstatement of segregation, the repeal of LGBTQ rights, or the repeal of the right to vote for women. All of these opinions may be protected by free speech, and their proprietors are welcome to them, but they cannot be shocked or offended when those opinions are not welcome in the classroom, on the evening news, or in this very newspaper. Free speech is not absolute in Canada.
M.S. More tactics, attacking the messenger – “thirsty for attention” – where have I heard that before? People who question the official story about 19 Arabs with boxcutters bringing down 3 modern skyscrapers with 2 airplanes on 9/11 get those same accusations.
In those “dark corners of the Internet”, oh that scary place, heaven forbid you should dare to go there and think for yourself and try to sort out the facts from the disinformation. Better to get your information from the “legitimate” mainstream media, the same media that dutifully reported Sadam Hussein tossing premature babies out of hospital incubators, as well as all those weapons of mass destruction which inconveniently failed to materialize, nevertheless were the justification for waging war.
Amazon and other publishers are not legally prohibited or censored by the government from selling this sort of content, and if they choose not to host hate filled publications or holocaust denial, it’s their choice, not totalitarianism. Amazon’s guidelines state that their publications cannot “promote or glorify hatred, violence, racial, sexual or religious intolerance.” It is not a reflection of the state of free speech, but of a free market. Holocaust deniers are more than welcome to publish their own works and create their own platforms, many of whom already have.
M.S. When the information in the books cannot be refuted, then the powers-that-be destroy or remove them, and vilify anyone who dares to speak about this information.
Fighting holocaust denial is not a question of barring debate or limiting free speech. Those that seek to perpetuate denial can do so freely with their voices, on the Internet, and in their own circles. But we must guard against this kind of hate, and deny it a home or the cloak of legitimacy in our academia and our media.
M.S. It is a complete contradiction to say that it is “not a question of barring debate or limiting free speech”, while at the same time supporting the criminalization of dissent and using weaponized language in order to shut down critical thought and debate.
There are absolute certainties in life and history. These are irrevocable facts we know and have proven to be true with evidence and careful study: the earth is not flat, the sun does not revolve around the Earth, and the holocaust happened.
~Jessica Gomes, Jasper
ED’S NOTE: THIS IS THE LAST LETTER THE JASPER LOCAL WILL PUBLISH ON THIS SUBJECT UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE
(that’s okay Bob, I don’t blame you, I know you were under a lot of pressure!~M.S.)
This “absolute certainty… the holocaust happened” that Jessica Gomes finishes her letter with, is somewhat like the Doctrine of Judicial Notice. That doctrine allows the courts to recognize as “fact” matters that are “common knowledge”. Evidence is not required because the holocaust is self-evident. This is a circular argument, and makes absolutely no sense. Just as Gomes is unable and unwilling to provide a shred of evidence to back up her declaration that the holocaust happened. But then again, when judges declare that the truth is no defence, and evidence is not required, then what can we expect?
Gomes uses every trick in the book in her attempt to discredit me. She distracts from the topic by coupling it with unrelated subjects, she personally insults me, she repeats the claim that it is the most studied and documented event in our history without telling us what that evidence might be, she uses lots of weaponized trigger words, and she repeatedly slings mud my way. She does not present arguments in response to any of my points. Instead she labels me a hater. She personifies, in her letter, the very thing she accuses me of.