How is it that one after another Society which purports to be about culture or environment becomes subverted into becoming an agency of thought control? First the Alberta Society of Fiddlers, then the Jasper Environmental Association, and now it is the Yellowhead Regional Arts Festival (YRAF) Society board which finds this writer too hot to touch, too dangerous to be associated with, only because I have reached different conclusions about what happened during WWII.

If I was so mistaken, would anybody care? My thoughts on those topics would simply be ignored and life would go on as usual. But evidently there is something to be feared from a person who questions the prevailing narrative and reaches different conclusions. Dissent is not permitted.

Here is the second letter this month which I have written to the YRAF board in response to their action against me. Below this one is the first letter, for background.

September 19, 2017

Dear Board members of the Yellowhead Regional Arts Festival Society,

Your action of declaring me “not the correct fit” for your September 29th event goes much further than just a single one-time event. You have done something very consequential. You are affecting my livelihood and my reputation. You are signalling to the wider community that I am dangerous and untouchable, and you are signalling to current and potential students that Monika Schaefer should be avoided. You have also subverted your society’s role as a cultural organization to that of a thought-policing agency. 

If you think you can do this from a position of anonymity and zero accountability, with all due respect, that is simply not the way it works. Hiding behind a cloak of anonymity while taking this serious action is completely unethical and arguably illegal. The board of a Society must, by definition, be open, transparent and accountable to the public. By your nameless signing-off as a generic board, you demonstrate a profound contempt for civil society. If board-member names are kept secret, then it is not unreasonable for the public to assume that decisions can be dictated by just one person, and in this case someone who has a vendetta against me because they don’t like my thoughts. 

It is impossible to know if letters sent to your generic society email address are reaching all the board members. I have been on copy from many concerned people who have sent letters to you in which they genuinely support my right to free speech, and they profoundly disagree with your misguided actions. I wonder if those letters are being disseminated to all board members, or are they being seen by only one person, possibly the person(s) who has strong-armed the rest of the board into taking this drastic action against me. 

It has also come to my attention, through the grapevine, that you have been receiving some threatening and vile letters from people who pose as my “supporters”. I have been told that this is now your reason for not disclosing the names of board members, allegedly because there is concern for their safety. It is certainly not the original reason for hiding your identities, because that would have meant you had the power to predict the future.

In my truth-seeking quest, I have learnt many things about the tactics used by those who endeavour to shut down open discussion, investigation and disclosure of any nonconformist information about what may or may not have happened during WW2. There are many methods being employed to destroy, defame, and shun those who try to point out the inconsistencies in the victors’ version of history. 

If it is true that you have received threatening letters, then you need to know that those letters are unequivocally NOT coming from my “supporters”. That is a deliberate tactic, a psychological warfare tactic, to smear me by association. Those letters are coming from people who are actively engaged in “shooting the messenger” and thereby undermining and distracting away from the message. They are agents of deception. I have now seen this numerous times, whereby people exclaim to me your supporters have threatened me!” or your supporters have sent profanities!” or other similar statements. Who are those people sending vile messages, and why do they not also send those letters to me? They are definitively NOT supporters of me, my message, or of truth or decency.

By subverting the YRAF Society’s role as a cultural organization to that of a thought-policing agency, you are directly responsible for the messy situation you find yourselves in now. This is not of my making.

You have taken a drastic action against me without having the courtesy (or the courage?) to talk to me face to face. I am now calling for a fair and open hearing in front of your board. I am asking to attend your next board meeting (or please call a special meeting), so that we may have a frank discussion about these matters. I am eager and willing to answer any questions you have, and to address your concerns. 

I await your early response,
Monika Schaefer

I have not received an answer to either of my letters to the Yellowhead Regional Arts Festival (YRAF) Society. As their name implies, this cultural festival encompasses the wider geographical region, and is centred in Hinton, the next town over from Jasper where I live. I have long been involved in the musical scene in Hinton as well as in my home town, so this latest move is an extension of the process of ritual defamation, of which I have been the target in Jasper for over a year now.

A Hinton-based music ensemble that I am part of had been invited to participate in the fall fundraiser concert for YRAF. Much to my surprise came the following letter by email. First a dimished screenshot, then a more legible version of their original letter to me.

Screen Shot 2017-09-08:YRAF

 

from: yrafsociety@gmail.com
September 5, 2017

Dear Monika,

The Yellowhead Regional Arts Festival Society is a non for profit organization that promotes a safe learning environment for members within the communities of the Yellowhead Region.

After careful consideration the board thinks that your presence at our event would not be the correct fit for our organization at this time. [highlight emphases mine]

We wish you all the best with your future musical endeavours.

Yours truly,

The Yellowhead Regional Arts Festival Society Board

My response on September 8, 2017:

Dear YRAF Society Board,

Please explain to me exactly how my presence would not be the correct fit for your organization. Are you implying that my presence with my violin on the stage in Hinton would somehow be dangerous to the audience members? Are you suggesting that I might lose control of my violin bow and poke someone in the eye?

I wonder if your fear stems from any of the numerous fundraisers in the past at which I have donated my time and music (and gas) for the benefit of the Yellowhead Rotary Arts Festival (as it used to be called). What safety concerns were there when so many of my violin students entered the festival in past years, thereby helping to make the festival viable? 

Why are you hiding behind the anonymity of “YRAF Society Board”? Who is pressuring you to make such a decision? Who among your board is doing this? What are your names please? And did you tell my fellow musicians with whom I was to perform that they, by association, are also not the “correct fit”?

You have the audacity to then wish me all the best in my future musical endeavours, after seeking to destroy my current musical endeavours.

Your letter smacks of Orwellian Double-Speak, “…promotes a safe learning environment…”. The level of cowardice in shrouding your identity is astounding.

The people on my extensive bcc list will be very interested in your explanation of why I should not be allowed to volunteer my time and modest talent at your fundraiser show on September 29th, 2017, for which I was willing to spend my money to get there, all for your Society’s benefit.

I await your early response.

Monika Schaefer
Jasper, in the Yellowhead Region

So, there you have it, dear readers. It is a tyranny of thought control. Dissent is not allowed. Cultural or environmental organizations which have nothing to do with history or politics are being subverted and highjacked into becoming enforcers of “doublethink”. How do we know that 2 plus 2 equals 4? George Orwell was trying to give us a warning with his masterpiece 1984. Doing nothing is not an option. Resistance is obligatory.

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