Seeing Red

Source:  “Seeing Red,” Maisonneuve, A Quarterly of Arts, Opinions & Ideas
Author:  John Woodside, April 23, 2019


Seeing Red

One man convinced Canadians that Russia was dangerous, and they’ve believed it ever since.

By John Woodside

Seeing Red

In the wake of the Soviet Union’s collapse in 1991, a woman named Svetlana sat down at her dining room table in a Toronto suburb and wrote a letter to a young Vladimir Putin. At the time, Putin, thirty-nine, was working in the office of St. Petersburg’s mayor, where he was heading the external relations committee. Svetlana, who had arrived in Canada from the Soviet Union nearly fifty years earlier, believed that put him in a position to address what she saw as a grave injustice.

For the entire Cold War, Svetlana and her husband had been labelled by the Kremlin as vrag naroda, enemies of the people. The Soviets had good reason to feel this way: Svetlana’s husband, named Igor Gouzenko, had worked at the Soviet embassy in Ottawa before stealing classified documents and defecting, together with his wife, in 1945.

Those papers did nothing less than launch Canada into the Cold War. They revealed an active Soviet spy ring working in Canada, its supposed ally at the time, and stoked fears of a Kremlin-engineered fifth column designed to subvert and undermine democracy.

Were those fears really well-founded? It’s hard to say. Gouzenko’s defection was an opening salvo of the Cold War, but espionage between countries was hardly new. And if the Soviet syndicate he exposed had gone undetected, would it have posed a serious threat to Canada?

In fact, maybe it’s time to see Gouzenko’s bigger legacy as just that: a reminder of just how little we understand about Russia. It’s always been unclear whether Soviet threats were overblown. Today, Russia has been accused of helping elect Donald Trump and engineering the Brexit vote. Canadians have again been voicing their own worries about Russian threats, too. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has begun warning of possible Russian interference in the upcoming election, and many journalists seem to share this view, with one prominent Canadian writer, Justin Ling, claiming that Russia has the power to “bend the zeitgeist to its needs.”

This could all be true. A recent CBC investigation claimed that many trolls on Twitter—shadowy users who exist purely to heighten conflict—had links to Russia.

But the same investigation also found that a mere 0.2 percent of the 9.6 million provocative tweets referenced Canada at all, and that the trolls behind them rarely, if ever, garnered more than a handful of retweets for their nefarious work. Perhaps imagining Putin as a geopolitical puppetmaster, hand-delivering victories to the right wing of Western countries, is a fantasy that says as much about Western insecurities as it does about Russian power. If Russia has returned to its mantle of international boogeyman, feeding a collective paranoia about the source of this unstable world, the West has adopted a familiar posture too.

The Gouzenko Affair, as his revelations came to be known, was a key moment propelling Canada into this narrow and rigid view of Russia. Just one year before Gouzenko defected, the National Film Board of Canada released a movie called Our Northern Neighbour that cast Stalin’s USSR in a positive light by playing up its similarities to Canada. After Gouzenko defected and Cold War tensions hardened, Gouzenko was—depending on who you asked—the first brave hero of the Cold War or just a self-important opportunist. But ultimately, for most of Gouzenko’s life, he and his wife Svetlana were distrusted by both sides, seen by the USSR as traitors and by many Canadians as suspicious.

The couple went on to write memoirs and do countless interviews to explain their historic decision. And, when the Soviet Union fell, Svetlana believed the time had come for an official re-evaluation of her husband’s legacy—for her family to be recognized as courageous. In the letter she wrote to Putin, she made the case that the real enemy had become clear. “The ‘true end’ of the Cold War,” she wrote, “would be marked by a formal apology to all defectors who had tried to save the Russian people from tyranny.”

It is the couple’s daughter, Evelyn, who vividly remembers all this. Now seventy-three, she has outlived her parents and is carrying on their battle to have their story remembered heroically. It’s always been an unforgiving effort.

On a sweltering day in July 2017, I drove along a country road near the Niagara Escarpment, finding my way to Evelyn’s home, which is up a winding driveway, hidden from the street. Inside, it’s bright, crowded with potted plants and porcelain elephants. The walls are decorated with acrylic landscapes of autumn trees on the shores of Lake Ontario, painted long ago by her parents. Evelyn occasionally shares her place with tourists in order to help pay the bills, but today her German guests were away, giving us hours to speak about her strange life, caught in the forces of history.

By now there have been enough competing articles, books and films about Gouzenko to fill a gallery. On the night of September 5, 1945, weeks after atomic bombs were dropped on Japan and three days after the Second World War formally ended, Igor Gouzenko strode out of the Soviet embassy in Ottawa, where he’d served for two years as a cipher clerk. The embassy was trying to learn atomic secrets and he was alarmed, he later said, by the idea that Joseph Stalin might acquire nuclear weapons. He took with him a thick stack of documents and a determination never to go back.

Gouzenko’s first stop was the Ottawa Journal. He had intended to go public with his story, but when he arrived at the newspaper’s offices, he froze. “I was trembling like a leaf,” he later wrote. Just as he was about to knock on the door of the editor, “grim doubts filled my mind,” he recalled, and, panicked, he turned back to the elevator.

Gouzenko rushed home to the apartment on Somerset Street he shared with Svetlana, then twenty-one. She was six months pregnant and at home with their two-year-old son Andrei. But the couple had together decided to defect and she was determined to see it through. “Go right back to the newspaper office,” she told him.

It was Svetlana, after all, who had made this moment seem inevitable the year before, when Gouzenko received orders to return to the Soviet Union for “reasons unstated.” The couple agonized over what awaited them back home—at best the dreary deprivation of post-war Russia, at worst a drawn-out death in a Siberian gulag. Then came word they had been granted a reprieve after Gouzenko’s supervisor convinced Moscow that the clerk was essential to their mission. Upon hearing this, Svetlana responded that they would “still have to face the crisis one day. What then?”

Gouzenko returned to the Journal’s office that night and spoke with Chester Frowde, the city editor on duty. In Gouzenko’s memoir he says he took out the stolen documents, spread them across the desk and “explained… that these were proof that Soviet agents in Canada were seeking data on the atomic bomb.” Nonetheless, “I could see from the man’s expression that he thought I was crazy.”

Gouzenko recalled Frowde saying “this is out of our field,” suggesting he talk to the RCMP before sending him away. In an interview with the journalist John Sawatsky years later, for a book about Gouzenko, Frowde claimed the man’s bizarre manner made him impossible to understand, much less believe, though he regretted not spending more time with him.

He spouted, “It’s war. It’s war. It’s Russia,” Frowde recalled. “Well, that didn’t ring a bell with me because we were not at war with Russia—World War Two was over—and I didn’t get the connection. I plied him with questions… and he just stood there, apparently paralysed with fright, and refused to answer.” Gouzenko returned home for a restless night, with Svetlana reassuring him they would have better luck at the Ministry of Justice in the morning.

They didn’t. The justice minister (and future prime minister) Louis St. Laurent refused to take a meeting with the couple. And so they tried their luck at the Ottawa Journal again. This time Gouzenko spoke with reporter Elizabeth Fraser, and Svetlana’s reassurance got him talking. But he still couldn’t quite communicate the gravity of what he wanted to say. “His story was unbelievable at the time,” Fraser told Sawatsky. “I became convinced he was paranoid and had not only delusions of persecution but of grandeur.” Fraser suggested the couple go to authorities to try to get naturalization papers.

“This man and his very pregnant wife came in,” recalled Fernande Coulson, a secretary at the Crown Attorney’s office. “He said… ‘I have papers inside this jacket to show.’” But it was only when Coulson noticed Svetlana’s black purse, bulging with papers, that she began to believe they were serious. Coulson frantically called everyone who might help, eventually even calling Prime Minister Mackenzie King’s private office. “Somebody has got to protect these people or else they will be killed by the Russians,” she pleaded.

After scheduling a next-day meeting with the RCMP’s deputy chief of intelligence, Coulson convinced them they were in good hands, though inwardly, she recalled, “As I watched him [leave] I said to myself, ‘That man may not be alive tomorrow.’”

She wasn’t alone. Suspecting that Soviets were by now crawling the quiet Ottawa streets looking for him, Gouzenko anticipated being caught at any moment. At home, “Every noise was bothering me,” he later wrote. “After a short time, I got up and walked to one of the front windows. As I looked down, my heart skipped a beat! Two men were seated on a bench in the park directly opposite, and both were looking up at my window!” Gouzenko told a neighbouring couple that his life was in danger, and they set up their pull-out couch to let the Gouzenkos stay the night.

Around midnight, four Russian agents, at least one carrying a revolver, approached the apartment building. Another neighbour described them as having “a Russian-movie sleaze look,” as they peered through the ground floor windows looking for Gouzenko.

What these Russians didn’t know was that Coulson’s earlier frantic calls had caused a stir; the two men on the bench across the street were in fact RCMP officers sent to make sure Gouzenko wouldn’t commit suicide. They watched as tensions appeared to come to a head: the Russians entered the building, followed by two Ottawa policemen who had been alerted to the situation. The two Ottawa officers found Gouzenko’s door smashed open.

“I walked in with the gun in my hand and had the whole four of them in the parlour,” said one of them, Constable McCulloch. The Russian agents explained who they were and said Gouzenko had some papers they needed, and embassy staff had the right to enter, but they had mislaid the key. After the confrontation, though, they quickly left.

If just one of the Russians had knocked on the neighbours’ door they might have caught Gouzenko that night. He had watched the whole scene from the keyhole across the hall.

The morning after their close call, the Ministry of Justice was interested in hearing what Gouzenko had to say. By then, virtually everyone in the Canadian government had heard rumours of a Russian defector; the question was what to do.

With Soviet agents fanning across the city, two RCMP officers spirited the Gouzenkos to a cabin in Smiths Falls, Ontario. The officers in charge told Sawatsky that Gouzenko’s nerves were fraying. He would dive under tables when startled. Around midnight, an unfamiliar man went into the next-door cabin with a typewriter. Soon, “here was Gouzenko standing outside of the cabin completely naked, both arms raised over his head, hollering ‘Help! Help!’” recalled one officer, John Batza. The man with a typewriter turned out to be a schoolteacher looking for solitude as he worked on a thesis. Nonetheless, they left two days later in search of somewhere Gouzenko could relax.

The family was moved to “Camp X,” a decommissioned base on the northwestern shore of Lake Ontario. A lone fifty-year-old farmhouse was flanked by fields full of cows; it had been set up a few years earlier as a training ground for British and American spies to learn sabotage, lock-picking and code-breaking. For the next two years this would be the Gouzenkos’ home, along with a handful of RCMP officers stationed there with them.

George Mackay, one of those RCMP guards, described Gouzenko as “thoroughly frightened.” But he didn’t just fear that Soviet agents might show up and put a bullet through his head. He felt a deep guilt, knowing the repercussions his family members likely faced in Russia. He was right: Svetlana’s parents and sister would all be imprisoned for five years. Her niece, Tatiana, would be taken from her mother and sent to a grim orphanage. Gouzenko’s mother would be interrogated until her death inside Moscow’s notorious Lubyanka prison.

Gouzenko was clearly still suffering from traumatic stress, a worry for Ottawa. When the RCMP interviewed Gouzenko about the documents he stole, his distracted state made the interrogations long and difficult. Then a new security concern emerged: Svetlana’s pregnancy.

No one else in Canada has had a birth like Evelyn’s. Gouzenko figured that Soviets may be patrolling hospitals to catch them, so to minimize the risks, or at least quell his worries, the RCMP agents cooked up a careful scheme. At dawn on December 8, 1945, Mackay posed as a taxi driver and drove Svetlana to an Oshawa hospital while another agent posed as her husband. To get around administrative questions, the agent explained in broken English that he was a Polish farmer and flashed a wad of cash “that would choke a horse” to make clear who was going to pay for the delivery.

Gouzenko and Svetlana wanted to name the new baby Avi, but as the family would soon be given cover names and encouraged to blend in, they were told the name Avi was too Russian. So they chose Evelyn, thinking they could always call her Evy.

Back at the farmhouse, Svetlana filled the rooms with papier-mâché Christmas ornaments, and Gouzenko began to find a kind of peace painting the lakeshore. But Gouzenko still had bouts of paranoia, at one point hushing Svetlana so they could press their ears to the wall. They heard paper rustling in Mackay’s room. “What are they preparing in there?” Gouzenko nervously asked her. On Christmas Day they learned the answer. The agents had been wrapping presents for them.

As Gouzenko settled in, the importance of his revelations became clearer to the agents interviewing him. The documents he stole from the embassy revealed a far-reaching, though generally ineffective, Soviet espionage network in Canada. They showed that Fred Rose, a Member of Parliament with the Labour-Progressive Party (formerly the Communist Party of Canada), was working with Russian agents, and that the Soviets’ key source for atomic espionage in Canada was Alan Nunn May, a British physicist who was later arrested.

But to Ottawa, the most important revelation was that there was a Soviet spy ring in Canada at all. Sensing a unique opportunity to strengthen Canada’s hand in the post-war era, Prime Minister Mackenzie King travelled to Washington to warn President Truman that the Soviets not only had spies in Canada, but also in the United States.

But this was mere months after the United States had dropped a nuclear bomb on Japan, and geopolitics were shifting. The Soviet Union had thought it would exit the war as a global power on equal footing with the United States, but after the bomb, foreign-policy hawks in both countries pushed a binary choice for the USSR: either accept its position as a secondary power or enter an arms race. A third, briefly pursued option was to use international control of the atomic bomb as a starting point for cooperation.

Truman feared that exposing the Soviet spy ring prematurely would jeopardize such an international nuclear agreement, and Mackenzie King was similarly reluctant to start a confrontation, says historian Amy Knight. Enter then-FBI director J. Edgar Hoover, who couldn’t accept the leaders’ reticence; he believed Truman was soft on communists, and he wanted to turn the power of his agency on leftists across the United States. Hoover had been briefed on Gouzenko’s defection from the earliest days, and the Gouzenko Affair appeared to him as the perfect opportunity to expose the supposed communist threat. After reading an internal FBI memo about Gouzenko in December 1945, Hoover scrawled across the bottom of the page, “Same spineless policy as pursued here.”

But Hoover knew how to manipulate. He had a long history of cultivating journalists, including Drew Pearson, an NBC radio reporter. By February 1946, Hoover had apparently had enough, because that month Pearson announced to his NBC audience that a Soviet spy had revealed “a series of agents planted inside the American and Canadian governments,” a “gigantic Russian espionage network.”

Mackenzie King’s hand had been forced. Nonetheless, when he publicly acknowledged Gouzenko’s revelations on February 15, 1946, the West’s fragile relationship with the Soviet Union immediately collapsed; the multilateral talks to control the bomb were upended in favour of an aggressive Western military supremacy.

In Canada, an investigative committee was formed and Mackenzie King used draconian powers granted to him under the War Measures Act—believed until then to be expired with the end of the war—to detain people named in Gouzenko’s documents, stripping them of their right to a lawyer. Ultimately, about three dozen people were tried and nearly half of them convicted.

These so-called spy trials were front-page news, and Mackenzie King now saw himself as a key figure in the righteous fight against communism, writing in his diary that “it can honestly be [said] that few more courageous acts have ever been performed by leaders of the government than my own in the Russian intrigue against the Christian world and the manner in which I have fearlessly taken up and have begun to expose the whole of it.”

His self-satisfaction was intimately tied to his anti-semitic belief in a Jewish-Russian conspiracy—a frequent theme during the Red Scare. In another entry, Mackenzie King wrote of “the Russian method to control the continent.”

By March 1946, King’s public claims had shifted Canadians’ perception of Gouzenko’s revelations. He told the House of Commons that Gouzenko had risked his life in service of Canada and said that the country “was being made a base to secure information on matters of… grave concern to the United States.” Gouzenko found himself assigned the role of the man who warned the West.

The Canadian government acted fast. The investigative committee launched by King concluded that “there exists in Canada a fifth-column organised and directed by Russian agents.” By 1950, the Canadian government had secretly launched harsh measures meant to spot these potential communists that Moscow was supposedly cultivating. It listed approximately sixteen thousand suspected communists and another fifty thousand sympathizers to be watched by the RCMP or detained if necessary. The program only ended in 1983.

Anti-communist messaging flooded newspapers. “Everywhere are evidences of the continuous underground, cancerous movements of Communism,” read one typical ad by Canadair. “Only eternal vigilance can protect us against Communism and its infiltration into our way of life.” Gouzenko had known that his actions might alter history, but it’s impossible to say whether he had expected such an utter souring of opinion against his home country.

In her dining room, Evelyn filled my teacup and began describing her latest frustration in the long, unending battle to see history written the way Gouzenko wanted it, the way Svetlana told it. She showed me a book about Soviet intelligence she had recently read, a historical work called Near and Distant Neighbours—a useful volume, she said, if written by someone “utterly naïve,” at least in his casual attitude about Russia’s efforts to build a fifth column.

Evelyn carries her fight to wherever it must be waged. To celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary, the Canadian Museum of History showcased defining moments that had shaped the country, and Evelyn used this occasion to lobby the museum to change the description of her father on its website.

One sentence of the paragraph-long writeup said that Gouzenko, upon learning he would be sent home, “stole a number of documents and defected. His evidence of a Soviet spy ring in Canada during the Second World War was shocking to a country that had been sympathetic to its wartime Russian ally.” One word here bothered Evelyn, and she wouldn’t let it slide unchallenged. She wrote to the museum’s president and proposed an alternative that emphasized the Soviet threat while omitting “defect” or “defector.”

“When you look it up, defectors are put in the same category as traitors,” she told me, “and you can’t be a traitor to tyranny; it’s impossible.” She paused. “That was my dad’s phrase.”

In the family’s first years at Camp X, Canadians were clamouring to know more about the mysterious man who revealed the spy ring, so Gouzenko spent much of his time writing a memoir, first as a series of magazine articles, then as a book called This Was My Choice, published in 1948. In his writing he described his motivation for defecting as purely ideological. He feared Joseph Stalin getting his hands on the atomic bomb and worried another war was on the horizon. He wrote glowingly of democracy and warned that “there is no use treating these Communists merely as members of another political party. They live and lurk in the shelter of your hospitality as enemies of everything you hold sacred.”

He seemed happy to play the role assigned, writing that on the night he left the embassy, “during the long walk from Somerset Street to Range Road, I came as close to becoming a hero as I ever will.” And over time, he polished his story. His writing quickly served as the basis for a Hollywood movie called The Iron Curtain. He frequently appeared on television for interviews with a cloth bag over his head, eye holes cut out. For a man who first seemed so intensely afraid of being caught, he was revelling in his new life as a media darling.

While Gouzenko’s public image grew rosier, his defection was triggering not just a Red Scare at home, but a widening rift in the international order. The West and the Soviet Union had two brewing battles, says Knight, the historian. “One was that Stalin and the Kremlin wanted to exert as much possible control over countries in Eastern Europe,” she says. The other was the atomic bomb. The overriding need to win the war had meant that the West had turned a blind eye to Stalin’s monstrous regime and was only now taking stock of it.

That still doesn’t mean the spy ring was a dire threat. If left unchecked, perhaps it would have grown into the Soviet’s fifth column, but as it failed to collect actionable intelligence, the problem was more about “malign intent,” says Knight.

It’s clear now that that intent, trying to interfere in democracies, has been a trademark of the Russian state over the years. Knowing that, says Knight, “we could wind the clock back… and say that maybe if people had been more realistic about the nature of the Soviet government and who Stalin was, maybe we wouldn’t have been so surprised that they were trying to steal our atomic secrets.”

As for Gouzenko himself, “it could be that his motives were mixed,” says Knight. He was only twenty-six, with his life ahead of him and a family to support. If he was even partially motivated by finding a permanent home in Canada, exaggerating the gravity of the spy ring couldn’t hurt.

“Once he actually had defected and the reality hit, he’s living under an assumed name, he’s scared to death that he’s going to be killed by the Soviets.” Given those circumstances, “it shouldn’t actually surprise us that… he started trying to prove how important he was, and he got very grandiose and narcissistic,” she says.

Once things were set in motion, it seemed beyond any individual’s control how the scandal grew, changed and ultimately crystallized.

After two years, the family had outgrown the cramped farmhouse. They were settled on the outskirts of Toronto, where Gouzenko and Svetlana struggled to adjust. They spent the rest of their lives posing as Czech immigrants, living under a cover name given to them by the Canadian government—a name that, oddly, is a Czech word for “traitor.” Evelyn asked that the name not be published to preserve the privacy of her extended family. Though she can’t say for sure how the family got the name, she fears it was no coincidence, showing that there was always some distrust lurking under the initial hero worship.“We were labelled from the get-go,” she told me.

In their new neighbourhood, Gouzenko and Svetlana tried their best to cloak their Russianness from their own children. Still, the kids in Evelyn’s school would whisper and taunt. Did the children know anything other than that her parents spoke with a Russian accent in the era of the Red Scare? Evelyn isn’t sure. She grew up knowing some people were hostile towards her family for reasons she couldn’t fathom.

She remembers, in grade three, being strapped by the teacher for being late in a way that felt “beyond anything logical,” discriminatory. The next time she was late, she simply didn’t go to class. Police were called, and Gouzenko and Svetlana feared Evelyn had been abducted. Later, they sat her and her siblings down and asked them to be more cautious. They were confused. “All of our friends weren’t careful,” Evelyn says.

Evelyn was twelve the day she heard a loud bang outside of her home. She rushed out with her camera and saw the family’s mangled mailbox lying at the foot of the driveway. The mailbox was blown out and its metal flap had a single hole in it, the inside covered with black soot. She snapped a photo and raced to tell her parents, but found their answer unsatisfying: “Just some pranksters shooting mailboxes.” Impossible, she insisted. The way the hole blossomed outwards made it clear that something had exploded inside the mailbox.

“I had to find out the truth. I had to find out what happened,” says Evelyn. So that night she crept down the hall and tried to listen in on her parents’ hushed, panicked conversation. But she couldn’t understand what they were saying. “They would talk to each other in their own language, which we were not permitted to know,” she says. Until then she never questioned why her parents spoke an entirely different, private language.

Rumours continued to swirl at school that they were Soviet spies, and at sixteen, after being bullied yet again, Evelyn went home to confront her mother in the kitchen. With a sigh, Svetlana explained that neither she nor her husband were Czechoslovakian immigrants, that Evelyn’s father was the famous Igor Gouzenko. She must never tell anyone, her mother said.

Evelyn felt the truth rapidly pulling into focus as she reflected on the strangeness that seemed to follow her family around. Reeling from the news, all she wanted was to “not be from an immigrant family,” she says. “It’s a horrible thing to feel. I mean, my parents were beautiful.”

It took her a long time to come to those terms. A few months later, she met a man named Brian, six years her senior, who had just returned from the air force. She became pregnant, and “everything just collapsed,” she says. “That wasn’t an acceptable thing for girls to do.” She moved in with Brian in Toronto and left her father in the dark. Svetlana wouldn’t tell her husband, either, not wanting to hurt him.

Weeks after she turned seventeen, Evelyn married Brian in Buffalo, New York, and gave birth to a boy later that year. Eventually Gouzenko found out about both the marriage and the pregnancy. But the messy truth did not, after all, crumble him and the life he had built in Canada. He “embraced it,” Evelyn says.

Evelyn had glimpsed an escape from her extraordinary reality. Brian was her passport to Anglo-Canadian, middle-class life, even as he would laugh at her parents’ accents. “It was hard to take,” she says. After nearly a decade and two children, Brian abandoned the family, remarrying several times. For Evelyn it was her last marriage. She focused on her kids and her career as a meteorologist, eventually working for Environment Canada, investigating acid rain and atmospheric pollutants. She then left Ontario and her parents behind, and it would be seven years before she returned home and rekindled her relationship with them.

Igor Gouzenko was once asked on CBC’s This Hour Has Seven Days about his experience as a spy. He snapped back, “Don’t use such horrible words. Don’t forget, I exposed [the] Soviet spy ring.” The truth is, though, he had played a central role in the very same spy ring he revealed.

This sort of exchange was typical for Gouzenko, sensitive as he was about his place in history. “Gouzenko always had a theory that before the Russians would kill him, they had to destroy his credibility,” his lawyer, Nelles Starr, explained to Sawatsky years later.

In 1964, Gouzenko sued both Newsweek and Maclean’s. Newsweek’s sin was calling him a defector and implying that defectors suffered from psychological trouble. Gouzenko refused to settle after the magazine’s offer of $1,000 in damages. The case proceeded and he ended up with nothing. After all, he had defected.

Maclean’s, on the other hand, portrayed Gouzenko as ungrateful to Canada, terrible with money and having delusions of great wealth. It implied his life wasn’t in danger anymore. This case went to court, and this time the court ruled in Gouzenko’s favour. The court agreed he had been libeled and he was awarded the grand sum of one dollar in damages.

The last lawsuit Gouzenko launched was against John Sawatsky. In 1980, Sawatsky published the book Men in the Shadows, which included a chapter on Gouzenko that portrayed him as an opportunist rather than a courageous ideologue. Sawatsky considered Gouzenko, with his multiple libel suits, “a legal bounty hunter.” Sawatsky told me “there’s just no way I was going to concede anything to him. I had to mount a defence and so I did a lot of research.”

As part of this defence, Sawatsky interviewed nearly 150 people who knew Gouzenko, from RCMP officers to neighbours to journalists and even Svetlana. These interviews would later be compiled in the book Gouzenko: The Untold Story. Sawatsky maintains the book “is where the true picture of Gouzenko really came out and just how much he craved publicity. I mean, he absolutely needed it.”

In 1982, Gouzenko came down with a terrible flu. He had gone blind from diabetes in the preceding years and, one night, stood in his home listening to the radio, the pastime that had replaced painting. As he conducted an imagined orchestra, seeming at peace, he collapsed onto a nearby table; Svetlana couldn’t resuscitate him. Gouzenko died on June 25, 1982, thirty-nine years to the day after his arrival in Canada. He’d always feared he would die by a Soviet bullet, a martyr’s death. Instead he lay killed by a burst blood vessel.

When Gouzenko died, his libel suits died with him. For Sawatsky this meant that all of the interviews he had conducted could finally be published. And because Evelyn was unmarried, working full time and able to support her mother, she committed herself to doing so. That also meant spending the last nineteen years of Svetlana’s life coming to terms with the couple’s legacy and how to defend it.

“I understood how much difficulty there was in her life,” Evelyn told me. “I didn’t understand the full scope of it, but I certainly found out later, through all those years with her.” That’s something few people have, “that opportunity to get to know our parents,” she says. “I got to know at least one parent really well.”

Any challenges to Gouzenko’s narrative poked at his insecurities about his place in history. And as the inheritor of the family’s history, Evelyn finds those critiques sit heavily on her shoulders, too. Today, it often feels like history is repeating itself. Last year, Christopher Wylie exposed the illicit data-gathering of the political consulting group Cambridge Analytica, which “harvested”millions of Facebook users’ personal information to conduct “psychological warfare” on behalf of the Trump and Brexit campaigns—information ­that was then allegedly shared with Russian intelligence. Though it’s too early to gauge the lasting impact of those revelations, the parallels are striking. Wylie played a significant role in the nefarious effort, and by exposing it, has both contributed to a greater understanding of an important issue and helped fuel fears about it.

“If Winston Churchill said that Russia is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma, then Canada’s approach to Russia today is one of hysteria wrapped in a frenzy inside a more general incoherence,” wrote University of Toronto political scientist Irvin Studin in an op-ed last year. This is not to say genuine threats shouldn’t be taken seriously, but Canada also has a pattern of exaggerating its fears to a point that could weaken our understanding of important issues. Gouzenko’s revelations led to a database of thousands of leftists the Canadian government was prepared to imprison at a moment’s notice; what sort of policies might we turn to now if Russia were caught putting its thumb on the scale in a Canadian election?

I visited the Mississauga cemetery where the Gouzenkos are buried, side by side—one of the only places where their story is told as they wanted. Their tombstone was unmarked until Svetlana died in 2001. After, it read, “On September 5th, 1945 in Ottawa, Canada, Igor, Svetlana and their young son Andrei escaped from the Soviet Embassy and tyranny.” Escaped, not defected.

The two may have been driven by their belief in the moral supremacy of democracy, or perhaps a taste for the comforts of well-stocked grocery stores. Gouzenko may have believed his destiny reached beyond that of a low-level cipher clerk, or maybe he feared he’d be dragged back to the Soviet Union to waste away in a work camp. For Evelyn, though, their motives are still succinct enough to fit on a book jacket or movie poster: “They wanted to warn the West.”

History continues to repeat itself, but in new, strange configurations. Just as Svetlana wrote to Putin to have the family’s name cleared, Evelyn has written to President Donald Trump for help, thinking he could get in touch with Putin on her behalf. In that letter she echoed her mother, saying that to mark the true end of the Cold War, all Soviet defectors would have to be exonerated in the eyes of the Russian people. She doubts Trump would do this favour, but still, a new era brings new hope. 

– 30 –

Agent of Influence — Film Suggests CIA Out to Destroy Lester Pearson and his Liberal Government

Source: Calgary Herald / CanWest News Service
Date: March 29, 2003
By Jamie Portman


CIA was out to get Pearson, film says:

Plot centres on mysterious death of diplomat

The CTV network is about to unveil a controversial new movie that suggests the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency was prepared to go to any lengths — even murder — four decades ago to destroy Canadian Prime Minister Lester Pearson and bring down his Liberal government.

Pearson’s offence?  He offended Washington by pursuing an independent foreign policy and by being too friendly toward the Soviets when the Cold War was at its peak.

The movie, Agent of Influence, is scheduled to premiere April 13 on CTV (Ch. 3) and threatens to lob another grenade into the already troubled terrain of Canada-U.S. relationships.

Ian Adams, who wrote the original 1999 book on which the film is based and co-authored the script with his son Riley, admits it contains parallels to the present situation, which sees Prime Minister Jean Chrétien in trouble with the Americans for refusing to bring Canada into the war against Iraq.

“They hoped to get Pearson because they were convinced he was a KGB agent himself,”

Adam told CanWest News Service.

“They saw his diplomatic activities in the United Nations and his opposition to the war in Vietnam as the activities of someone who was a Soviet agent or acting in the interests of the Soviet Union.  It’s exactly the same kind of thinking that’s going on today — and it’s somewhat eerie.”

The Alberta-Quebec co-production focuses on a troubling event in Cold War history — the mysterious 1964 death of Canadian diplomat John Watkins in a Montreal hotel room.  Watkins, a close friend of Pearson and former Canadian ambassador to Moscow, was picked up by RCMP special agents in Montreal and taken to a hotel room for interrogation.  A few days later, he was dead.

The official story was that he had died of a heart attack during a farewell dinner with friends in a Montreal restaurant before returning to Europe.

Adams thinks otherwise.  His thesis is that Watkins, who is portrayed in the movie by Christopher Plummer, became an innocent pawn in a plot to discredit Pearson.  Watkins himself was deemed a security risk by the Americans because of his homosexuality 1 and his access to the Kremlin’s inner circles, and the film speculates that the aim of his interrogation was to force a confession that he had been recruited by the KGB to influence Canadian foreign policy.

Adams, who has written several books on covert intelligence activities, was researching an earlier book when he began hearing

“whispers that Watkins had not died according to the official story.  These whispers came from former RCMP intelligence officers and a couple of people at the deputy minister level in the bureaucracy.”

Adams went to Quebec’s provincial archives to examine Watkins’s death certificate and recognized one of the witness signatures as that of an RCMP security officer.

“I recognized right away that he had not died among friends.  John Watkins was not the kind of man to spend his last day in Canada with RCMP officers.”

Adams then checked with the provincial coroner, who told him that the men who signed the certificate had not revealed their police connections.

“When you die in this country in police custody, you immediately get an inquest and an autopsy, and Watkins was denied both,” Adams points out.

After Adams published his initial findings in 1980, the Parti Québécois government swiftly ordered an inquest into Watkins’s 1964 death.  The RCMP refused to hand over the full report, claiming it would damage national security, but finally admitted Watkins had died under police interrogation in the Montreal hotel room and that he had not given in to Soviet blackmailing tactics and was not a traitor.  But Adams wasn’t satisfied, sensing Canadians had only heard part of the truth.  Watkins’s fate continued to haunt him.

“I carried the story around in my head for 20 years, gradually piecing it together.  It’s a fascinating story.  I couldn’t understand why they wanted to get to Watkins, and it was only after more digging and talking to more people that I realized they were really after Pearson and wanted to extract a confession from Watkins that would incriminate Pearson in some way.”

Adams concedes that portions of the story are speculative and stresses that apart from Watkins, all the characters are “fictional composites.”  But he says everything that happens in the movie is consistent with what he knows about the Central Intelligence Agency.

Among the more inflammatory ingredients: a vicious, homophobic CIA agent (Ted Whitthall) — who controls the interrogation and refuses medication to the angina-stricken Watkins; a Paris sequence involving the torture and murder of one of Watkins’s closest male friends.

“I’ve seen enough documentation about the way the CIA works around the world in various situations like that,” Adams says bluntly.

“Look at CIA activities around the world and this is the least of things you would accuse the CIA of doing.”

GRAPHIC: Photo: Courtesy, CTV; Christopher Plummer stars in Agent of Influence as Canadian diplomat John Watkins, who died mysteriously in a Montreal hotel room in 1964.
 
_____

[Ed. NSIM] It was known by the FBI and indeed by the Un-American Activities Committee of the U.S. Congress, that Lester (aka “Mike”) Pearson was in fact a Soviet agent.  He was denounced in the U.S. McCarran hearings by former GRU (Soviet military intelligence) Elizabeth Bentley, well before the CIA (in this film portrayal) took a dislike to Pearson.

One wonders whether the FBI and the CIA were communicating.  One also wonders if the RCMP and the Crown were com­mu­ni­cat­ing at the time the FBI wrote to Canada’s national police to warn about Pearson, with a copy attached of Bentley’s testimony.

The FBI letter is reproduced in an FOI release of part of the anti-communist investigations into the Silvermaster file:

Lester B. Pearson, Soviet Espionage (File Description: HQ, Pearson L.; Subject: Silvermaster; File No. 65-56402; Vol. No. 151; Serials 3897-3945) Excerpt (1951)

OUTSIDE LINK:  http://www.telefilm.ca/en/catalogues/production/agent-influence

– 30 –
 

U.S. Press in USSR Tricked Into False Impressions, 1970 Soviet Defector Says

Category:  Historical Reprints
SourceThe Deseret News, June 17th, 1986


U.S. Press in USSR Tricked
Into False Impressions,
1970 Soviet Defector Says

By David Moneypenny
Deseret News staff writer

 
Dressed as an American hippie, Tomas Schuman defected to the West in 1970 after serving the Soviet govern­ment as a dis­in­for­ma­tion specialist for the KGB-controlled Novosti Press Agency.  He brought with him a mes­sage:  Don’t believe everything you read about the Soviet Union in the American press.

Schuman, born under the name Yuri Bezmenov in Moscow in 1939, said in an interview with The Deseret News his job in the Soviet Union was to manipulate the American press and to give it a false impression of his country.

Schuman spoke at the Sheraton Hotel in Salt Lake City Saturday.

“The methods we use are very primitive, nothing new.  In the United States we call it public relations.  We give them good rooms, good booze and pretty translators,” Schuman said.

“We try to isolate foreign correspondents from the people for at least two months, then we let them talk to preselected people.”

Schuman said journalists are isolated from Soviet society and all interviews are prearranged.

“The correspondent from the New York Times does not notice the difference between the Soviet system and the American system because he never gets near the Soviet system,” he said.

While many of the reporters who go to the Soviet Union are tricked into sending a false impression back to the United States, Schuman said, Americans are skeptical about the reports.

“The trouble is with the big media, not the American people.  The truck driver and the farmer don’t trust the Soviets as much as the media do.  They know the American system is working better than the Soviet system, because they are a part of it.”

Being skeptical is the best way to deal with any information com­ing from the Soviet Union, Schuman said.

Schuman also said American investors in the Soviet Union are con­tributing to the military buildup in that country.  He said American companies help the Soviets to develop new military technologies.

“America is the only country in the history of mankind that feeds and pays its enemy,” he said.  “Every dollar of profit they (the Soviets) make from American investors is used to kill American soldiers in places such as Lebanon.”

Schuman supports the Reagan administration’s strong stance with the Soviet Union and said the Soviets respect it.

“They respect force — it’s the only language they understand.”

Schuman favors an even more aggressive approach.

“The United States has the moral right to invade Nicaragua, Cuba and Granada.  The Soviet Union does not have the right, not moral or economic.”

– 30 –

* Admin:  Unknown to Mr. Schuman (Yuri Bezmenov), the Reagan administration was working hand-in-glove with the USSR and Red China, signing joint education agreements (this per American whistleblower Charlotte Iserbyt, who has the documents to prove it in her database at AmericanDeception.com).

Also unknown to Mr. Schuman, Reagan was a protege of David Rockefeller, and a “Red Star over Hollywood”. Reagan’s name appeared on the letterhead of the World Federalists for many years (This per Gary Richard Arnold who calls Reagan “Red Ronny”).

Reagan was a Red globalist in disguise who put his Hollywood talent for acting to use in the White House for David Rockefeller.  In 1979, Reagan helped Rockefeller launch the Leninist regional union in North America by calling for a free flow of goods, people and money across the borders of North America.  He then re­spon­ded to an “invitation” from the Reds embedded in Canada to advance the continental merger under the guise of Canada-USA free trade, and on to NAFTA.

– 30 –

 

Propaganda – The Concealed Weapon of the Cold War

Propaganda – The Concealed Weapon of the Cold War

Category: Historical Reprints.
Source: Straight Talk! The Official Bulletin Of The Edmund Burke Society.
Editor: F. Paul Fromm
Associate Editor: Jeff Goodall
Volume II Number 6, March 1970

What is The Edmund Burke Society? The E.B.S. is a conservative organization unaffiliated with any political party. We are dedicated to the principles of individual freedom and responsibility, free enterprise, and firm ACTION against all tyrannies, especially Communism and all its manifestations in Canada and abroad. The E.B.S. is financed mainly through small donations from generous Canadians. Straight Talk! is produced by voluntary labour.


Propaganda – The Concealed Weapon
of the Cold War

In its December 13th, 1939 issue, the London Times had this to say:

“People and newspapers regard German propaganda with amused astonishment. Since so many of its statements are without effect, they regard it as wasted effort.”

In a few short months, the flower of British young manhood was being sacrificed to this naive, myopic egotism by being shot out of the sky in the Battle of Britain. Was Britain warned? Of course it was! A.L. Mackenzie wrote thusly in 1938, in ‘Propaganda Boom’:

“Propaganda is at work, unchecked among the most impressionable subjects, moulding young minds until they are simply incapable of grasping unorthodox ideas. In this stranglehold lies the Nazis’ greatest insurance against a successful revolt.”

Here he is referring to Germany; but he carries the subject further into the world context when he says:

“Propaganda is an attempt, either consciously or as part of a systematic campaign, by an individual or group holding certain beliefs or desiring certain ends, to influence others to adopt identical attitudes.”

Then, again:

“The rise of the great dictatorships has meant that their subjects by the hundred million have forfeited the right to think for themselves. The men in power keep the dominant group small and loyal by periodic purges.”

That is the history of Communism. And yet, in looking back down the long dismal aisles of time since the last great war, we find that people only believe what they want to believe, or what is fed to them with subtlety. In those seemingly far-off days before the second Great War, it was Communist propaganda which was working overtime during the smoke screen of the Nazi menace. People who would not think of being identified with the Communist party were definitely influenced by such bodies as International Peace Council, the National Peace Council, the Peace Pledge Union, the British Anti-war Movement, the Union of Democratic Control, the League Against Imperialism, and such like organisations, which were Communist fronts. Dimitrov in 1935 advised members of the Young Communist International that it was their duty to find ways, forms and methods of work which will help to create a new type of mass organisation of youth in capitalist countries, organisations which, without imitating the Communist Party, will concern themselves with all the interests of toiling youth and train them in the spirit of class struggle.

Pre-1939, Red propaganda was elementary compared to today’s: consisting in either psychologically-planned infiltration, or in literary or geographical coverage. Twenty years ago, it was definitely anti-Capitalist and notoriously anti-religious. Today, while it is absolutely the same in its goal, it has changed its tactics. It has successfully infiltrated and influenced capitalists like Cyrus Eaton and many others, and won the unswerving allegiance of ministers of all faiths; College professors, teachers at all education levels; and the shallow-pated peace-niks who pollute our land.

Mr. Average just won’t accept that Communism has not changed. To him, it is not the one-time menace. He says it has softened, that we rightists are witch-hunting, looking for Commies behind every bush. Yes, and there is often a snarl when he says it, too. He simply won’t listen to those who have suffered under its subhuman cruelties. Those who died trying to escape from this Utopia, are too far beyond the horizon of his thinking. It’s too disturbing to his interests. The funnies, sport and dollars are his consuming interests. His TV is the be-all and end-all of his mental existence.

Sounds like exaggeration, does it? Well, just watch your fellow-passengers on the morning or evening bus. Take note of what they are reading. Just what we said: the comics, sport and finance. If you see someone reading the international news, you can almost bet it’s one of those fellows we call ‘foreigners’, (we apologize for the term). And so, the Communists have correctly assessed our peanut-minded world, feeding it sugar-coated pills.

And yet the battle is not lost. We have men and women who are willing to spend and be spent. For instance, we have, on the home front, the Edmund Burke Society, the Canadian Intelligence Service, the Canadian Loyalist Movement, and the Friends of Rhodesia Association. These have been brought into being by men and women of vision who dared to blaze a trail as heralds of freedom. Theirs has been the limit of dedication. Their reward has too often been vilification by those who labelled them ‘extremists’; but forthright and sacrificial missionary enterprise by all these groups is beginning to make an impact on apathetic thinking. Their combined efforts, however, good as they are, in no way match the volume of Communist propaganda barraging the entire world at this moment.

Ian Greig in his matchless work published in 1968, THE ASSAULT ON THE WEST, is a must for anybody really wishing to assess the present world situation. He quotes a French authority as saying that in 1960 the Communist bloc was spending the equivalent of 170 million pounds sterling per annum on propaganda directed at non-Communist countries. An American Government Sub-Committee has estimated that propaganda of the U.S.S.R. alone is approximately one hundred times greater than the rest of the world put together. To further quote Ian Greig:

“The mammoth campaign to propagate the gospel of Communism is carried on by the dissemination on an unsurpassed scale of printed material, an ever-increasing use of radio broadcasting and an energetic cultural offensive involving the adroit use of films, cultural missions, exchanges and exhibitions. An additional facet of the campaign is the selective use of economic aid and the provision of educational facilities for students from the developing countries.”

The direct barrage alone employs about 350,000 people. That was some years ago. It has grown tremendously since then. In addition to this, over 90 foreign-language periodicals are published in the U.S.S.R. and China for the non-Communist world. Yet over 40,000,000 books are exported annually in foreign languages by Soviet Russia. Cuba is in the game now, annually exporting to the United States thousands of packages of magazines.

The above is merely scratching the surface of the situation that faces us today.

What is happening is that Canada has developed a false criterion of the Cold War. It is this false criterion on the part of our Federal government which could lead to our ultimate defeat by our enemy, Communism. The powers-that-be are burying their heads in the sand rather than face up to obvious but unpleasant facts. The Communists have declared war against what is left of the free world. They are constantly extending their bases. Asia is practically theirs. They have most of Europe, by treaty and otherwise. North America is brainwashed, and South America is toppling. Cuba is theirs.

The challenge is great, but character grows with the challenge in life. Please God, we shall face up to the challenge before it is too late.

— Herbert Dawes

– 30 –

Only Pawns in their Game

Category: Historical Reprints.
Source: Straight Talk! The Official Bulletin Of The Edmund Burke Society.
Editor: F. Paul Fromm
Associate Editor: Jeff Goodall
Writers: E.B.S. members and friends
Directors: The Council of the E.B.S.
Volume III, Number 1, September 1970

The Edmund Burke Society is a conservative organization unaffiliated with any political party. We are dedicated to the principles of individual freedom and responsibility, free enterprise, and firm ACTION against all tyrannies, especially Communism and all its manifestations in Canada and abroad.

The E.B.S. is financed mainly through small donations from generous Canadians. Straight Talk! is produced by voluntary labour.


Only Pawns in their Game

By F. Paul Fromm, B.A.

 
One of the cardinal principles adopted by the EDMUND BURKE SOCIETY from its very foundation was that we would co-operate with other conservative and anti-communist groups. We might feel that other groups might be too wishy-washy, too outspoken, poorly informed, or participating in dead-end causes or activities. We vowed that we would seek to co-operate with such groups in areas of common interest. We would not spend our time in fratricidal bickering and hair-splitting. The fight against our strong and common enemy is far more important than petty differences as to method or personality. It is, therefore, with deep regret that I am writing this article.

On August 20, the EDMUND BURKE SOCIETY was officially invited to participate and to provide a speaker at a rally outside the legislative buildings in Queen’s Park. The rally was organized by a small group of “Czech democrats” and the occasion was the sorrowful commemoration of the second anniversary of the Soviet re-invasion of Czechoslovakia.

Several hundred people representing a half-dozen nationalities were present. As we waited for the proceedings to begin, we noted with shock that two people, who had no ideological right to be there, were very thick and friendly with the organizers. Standing puffing serenely on his pipe was provincial N.D.P. leader, Donald MacDonald — the centre of attraction. Also hovering in the wings was Toronto’s far-left alderman, Karl Jaffary. On spotting our thirty members with their bright green, black, and white banners, one N.D.P. official muttered that that local Gestapo was here. Hurried consultations between MacDonald and the obviously flattered organizers resulted in an ultimatum — either the N.D.P. or us. The brave advocates of participatory democracy refused to share the same platform as us. The smooth-talking, slickly attired master-of-ceremonies turned out to be a law partner of Karl Jaffary; so, it came as no surprise that E.B.S. was told thanks but no thanks regarding a speaker.

Ironically, the speech that was to be made by our E.B.S. spokesman dealt with traps and pitfalls which we wished to warn the various ethnic leaders to avoid. We wanted to warn them against being taken in by selfish politicians, who will smile and sympathize with them to harvest the ethnic vote, and who will fulfill none of their promises. The N.D.P. had completely taken over the rally. The Czech leaders seemed positively mesmerized at the casual attention being paid to them by the N.D.P. politicos. In their speeches, the N.D.P. twosome allowed as how they opposed communism. They warned that freedom suffered at the hands of both the left and the right. (Dig! Dig!) Alderman Jaffary lost no time in criticizing the conservative government of Greece. (I thought we were there to talk about Czechoslovakia.) Jaffary had been involved with a far-left group and its efforts to beam radio broadcasts at Greece from an off-shore yacht.

When all the false tears were shed, the N.D.P. leaders urged that little could be done about Czechoslovakia. They bemoaned the fact that men could not live in peace — almost implying that the Czechs were somehow guilty for the Soviet invasion of their country. The purpose of their remarks was obvious — to steer young ethnics away from an active involvement in anti-communism by portraying the liberation of their homelands as a hopeless cause, and to placate the ethnic old-folks with sympathetic words about their country’s fate.

Alderman Jaffary claimed that when he heard the news that the U.S.S.R. had invaded Czechoslovakia, he went down to the Canada-U.S.S.R. Association and painted black SWASTIKAS ( ? ) on their property. Jaffary doesn’t seem to realize that the leader of the Canadian Nazi Party drew a six-month sentence for a similar escapade against a synagogue. However, if you are waiting to see what sort of punishment the courts will mete out to Jaffary for his self-confessed act of vandalism, you haven’t yet learned that there is one law for . . . and another law for . . . .

Unsuccessful mayoralty candidate, Margaret Campbell, gave a mercifully short speech which consisted of a list of the various ethnic groups that she sympathized with. She ended with a yawn after six [minutes] and showed her deep concern for the importance of the commemoration by leaving the park immediately.

The N.D.P. is the party that opposes just about every anti-communist government in the world. It opposes our NATO role. It opposes the Allied war against communism in South-East Asia. It has been a constant supporter of the U.S. draft-dodgers and as recently as May 9, showed their continuing support for the Red rabble in the streets by contributing $2,000.00 to the bail fund of the leftists arrested. The money ended up in the hands of the violent May 4 Movement and much of it was used to pay off previous printing expenses. The question remains, why were the N.D.P. invited in the first place?  They can no more call themselves anti-communists than the Black Panthers can pretend that they are soft, furry kitty-cats.

The leadership of this small faction of “Czech democrats” has fallen under the influence of the N.D.P., which is seeking ways to co-opt the ethnic vote in the big urban areas. The E.B.S. en masse, before the T.V. cameras, turned its collective back on the N.D.P. speakers.

One of our associates, speaking on the invitation of the organizers for the Latvian community, repudiated the sell-out politics of the liberals and the N.D.P.  In the months to come, we will be carrying to our various ethnic friends the message — beware of the politicians. Watch their record before you listen to their words. Only in this way can the ethnic anti-communists use their numerical strength to wring meaningful action from the politicians. The approach of the Czech democrats will only make anti-communists pawns in the game of their avowed enemies.

– 30 –
 

Canadian Background of Current Polish Communist Spy Ring in U.K.

Source:  Arcand Papers at Concordia University
Date:  Ottawa, January 16, 1961
Author:  Pat Walsh, (“Former RCMP Special Branch Agent”)
Archive:  1096-1103 Pat Walsh (Ottawa) date 16-01-1961, Text on spy ring, Adrien Arcand Collection, Special Collections, Concordia University, Adrien Arcand Collection.


Canadian Background of Current Polish
Communist Spy Ring in U.K.

By Pat Walsh

1096

[Handwriting: “Not for translation P.W.]

Canadian Anti-Communist Secretariat
P.O. Box 551 – Station B – Ottawa – Ont.

Pat Walsh,
General Secretary, CAS.
Ottawa, Jan. 16, 1961.

– Canadian Background of Current Polish
Communist Spy Ring in U.K. –

At various times in 1947-48 a group of Polish-Canadians from Toronto, Welland, Hamilton, Regina, Winnipeg & Vancouver set out for Poland.  All of these persons were known Communists, most of them had been active in Commie controlled trade-unions like the United Electrical Workers Union (US), the Mine-Mill & Smelter Workers Union, the Canadian Seamens’ Union (CSU) and in various other unions under Red domination.  This group of 16 repatriates told the press at the time of their departure that they were going back to Poland “to spend their old age there and to help the new Polish government build up a Communist Poland”.  Not much attention was paid to this departure at the time and the “case of the 16 Polish repatriates” was soon forgotten.  Another Communist who had been born in Lublin, Poland of Jewish-Russian parentage, Fred Rosenberg, and who was now known as “Fred Rose”, was not forgotten, however.  This Fred Rose turned out to be the famous “Dabouz” of the Gouzenko “papers” and after his trial in 1947 was convicted as a Soviet espionage agent and condemned to the penitentiary.

Fred Rose, Soviet spy (code named Dabouz)

Fred Rose, Soviet spy (code named Dabouz)

“repatriate” by the name of Leopold Infold, a former Professor at the University of Toronto, and a trusted “researcher” at the National Research Centre in Ottawa during the 1943-45 war-time years, suddenly “disappeared” in 1947 and then turned up in Communist Poland.  This Leopold Infold was on the editorial board of a Communist magazine called TO-DAY and had as a co-editor a certain Jean-Louis Gagnon, another old-time Communist and intimate friend of Fred Rose.

1097

– 2 –

– Polish Espionage Ring Unmasked in France –

IN NOVEMBER 1960, an extensive Communist Polish spy organization working for Warsaw & Moscow was unmasked in France.  The final clue to the discovery was provided in connection with French police investigations that had been concerned with the murder of a Pole.  It was found that this man had been killed by his accomplices upon instructions from the directing center of the espionage activities because he did no longer want to comply with its orders.

This Polish Communist spy-ring also included as one of its members the so far highly respected mayor of a larger French town who is of Polish descent, too.

Ties also were being maintained with Red Spanish elements engaged in pro-Soviet espionage activities against the country by which they had been granted political asylum.  The ramifications of this Polish spy ring [were] so far-flung that all counter-espionage authorities in the Free World were alerted.  This ring extended from Communist China to Havana, Cuba and comprised about sixty well-trained international Communists from all countries, most of whom had seen action in the INTERNATIONAL BRIGADE in the Spanish Civil war of 1936-39.  Strangely enough INTERPOL (international police) had some of these names in their files as suspects in a new efficient narcotics ring extending from Red China to Havana, Cuba.  Stranger still, most of those persons seemed to be in possession of Canadian passports.

ENTER DETECTIVE-SUPERINTENDENT SMITH OF SCOTLAND YARD ….

“Smith of Special Branch” is the dreaded name given by Communists to Detective-Superintendent George Gordon Smith of the Scotland Yard Special Branch.  The real head of Special Branch is now believed to be in Canada, working closely with the RCMP Special Branch into the Canadian aspects of this Polish Communist spy-ring.  For some time, newspapers in Great Britain have known that this high official “was abroad” on something “big”.  However,

1098

– 3 –

it was “Smith of Special Branch” that astounded the British public during the week-end of January 8th, 1961, by arresting two women and three men, including two British Admiralty civil servants, on charges under the Official Secrets Act.  The five people include a Canadian couple, PETER JOHN KROGER, 50, a bookseller, and his wife HELEN JOYCE KROGER, another person who had once lived in Vancouver in 1955, GORDON ARNOLD LONSDALE, 37, who gave his profession as “company director”.  The two others were MISS STEEL ELIZABETH GEE, 46, a civil servant, and HENRY FREDERICK HOUGHTON, 55, also a civil servant.  Both these civil servants were employed at the top-secret British Admiralty’s underwater warfare establishment in Portland, Dorset, where HMS Osprey is situated.

– DETECTION OF SUBMARINES AT 50 MILES – TARGET OF SOVIET SPIES –

SOVIET AND POLISH NAVAL INTELLIGENCE have been trying for some time to get information on a Canadian device known as the VARIABLE DEPTH ASDJC, said to increase by many times the possibility of detecting submerged submarines.  Some reports said that in conditions favorable for underwater “listening” it worked at a range of 50 miles.  In June, 1959, the British Navy, in “streamlining” its activities, decided to concentrate underwater research and development at HMS Osprey and merged a number of establishments at Portland.

Among them were the Torpedo Experimental Establishment at Greenock; the RN Torpedo Dept. at Weymouth; the Underwater Counter Measures & Weapons Establishment at Havant; and the Underwater Launching Establishment at Bournsmouth.  There are 3,000 civilians, including scientific workers, at Portland.  The Soviets also “streamlined” their naval espionage ring accordingly.  They “concentrated” their Polish spy ring at the merged establishments.

1099

– 4 –

– TIE-UP BETWEEN KROGER’S “RARE BOOKS COLLECTION” AND ROY DAVIS IN CANADA –

Our Intelligence contacts in the U.K. report this week that Peter Kroger was in close contact with the “Davis bookstore in Montreal”.  This bookstore in Montreal is owned by one Raymond Arthur Davis, alias Roy Davis, whose real name is Shogan.  This is the same Davis who was arrested by the RCMP a few years ago on a passport fraud charge, was convicted & sentenced to jail.  He is an old-time “apparatchik” of the Soviets.  In 1934-35 he was active in the YOUNG COMMUNIST LEAGUE across Canada.  In August, 1936, he was one of the delegates of the Communist-dominated CANADIAN YOUTH CONGRESS to the First World Youth Congress held in Geneva, Switzerland.  The chairman of this delegation was none other than PAUL MARTIN, M.P., later to become a Federal cabinet minister.  Others in this delegation were WILLIAM KASHTON (now the Communist Trade-Union Commission Director), KENNETH WOODSWORTH, an old-time Commie fellow-traveller who infiltrated Canadian Intelligence during World War II, T.C. DOUGLAS, M.P., the present CCF Premier of Saskatchewam, NORMAN LEVY, Chairman of the CANADIAN YOUTH CONGRESS and other assorted “united front” socialists of the CCF who collaborated with the Commies in the Thirties.

Roy Davis became known as Raymond Arthur Davis during World War II when he was a full-time employee of the CBC and a frequent visitor to the Soviet Union.  These frequent trips to the USSR roused RCMP suspicions and after close surveillance Davis was caught red-handed in fraudulent passport practices.  After his release from prison he “disappeared” for a while, then surfaced in Montreal as owner or the DAVIS BOOK STORE.  This bookstore is, of course, only a “front” for Soviet espionage activities.  The “defection” on January 14, 1961 of Dr. Rysard Zialinski, former commercial consul at the Polish consulate-general in Sydney, Australia, has given rise to speculation whether Zielinski might be able to give information to help track down the Warsaw-based Soviet spy ring uncovered in the U.K.

1100

– 5 –

HOW DID “LA PRESSE” GET INSIDE INFORMATION ON POLISH TREASURES “TRANSFER” TO POLISH SHIP VIA A USA PORT?

SEVERAL CANADIAN NEWSPAPERS have raised the question recently about the top-secret “transfer” of the famed “Polish treasures” which were moved secretly from the Provincial museum to a Polish ship across the Canadian-USA border.  It is significant that only “LA PRESSE” of Montreal was able to have a newspaperman present during the whole secret “transfer”.  Here again we come across the sinister JEAN-LOUIS GAGNON, the personal friend of Fred Rose and Leopold Infold.  This Jean-Louis Gagnon is now the “boss” of “LA PRESSE” in the capacity of managing editor.  His wife, Helena (nee Jobidon) is also an old-time fellow traveller of the Communist Party.  She makes frequent trips to Iron Curtain countries, speaks at international Communist conferences in Bucharest, Prague, Warsaw and Peking.  She spent four months recently in Red China as the guest of the Chinese Communists.

It was Helena Gagnon who arranged the Canadian tour of the so-called PEKING OPERA COMPANY.  The fact that Jean-Louis Gagnon and Raymond Arthur Davis were both CBC employees together, were both involved in Soviet espionage (Jean-Louis Gagnon’s name came out in early references to the “papers” in 1946 but this was hushed up subsequently and Gagnon had to leave Canada for a few years until the adverse publicity was over) and the fact that both Gagnon & Infold were on the editorial board of TO-DAY in 1946 adds up to too many facts to be just co-incidences.

Another friend of Davis, one PAUL ALTERSON, 58, of 2330 Oxford Avenue in Montreal has also been involved in the illegal shipment of strategic materials to Communist countries.  The material was borax, a vital ingredient of missile fuel, which was confiscated from a ship bound for Gdynia, POLAND!  This deal was made in a round-about way, being shipped from Argentina.  Once again we see the Latin-American network of the Communists linked to Red Poland.

1101

– 6 –

– NEW SOVIET RING WORKING WITH RED CHINESE & LATIN-AMERICAN RED AGENTS –

Approximately 100,000 Chinese live in Latin-America, 30,000 of them in Cuba.  This is one of the reasons the Red Chinese regime has been wooing them.  Peking has been sending “technicians” to Cuba, purchasing Cuban goods and providing “aid”.  What is not so well known, however, except to INTERPOL, is the fact that Red China has been trying to enrich itself and poison its Latin-American markets by the production and export of narcotic drugs.  Already last week one Cuban smuggler was arrested in the USA in possession of drugs which he had brought from Mexico in a cleverly-hidden secret place in his car.

– RED CHINA’S NARCOTICS TRAFFICE – A THREAT TO AMERICA –

The Chinese Red government is seeking recognition and the status of a civilized country, as a member of the United Nations, yet at the same time the Red Chinese have established a well-knit smuggling organization all over Latin-America that has three purposes: –

  • (1) to obtain foreign exchange (especially USA & Canadian dollars);

  • (2) to finance subversive activities in various Latin-American countries;

  • (3) to sabotage opponents and prospective victims by creating drug addicts among their population.

These are not just off-hand statements.  They were made by Mr. Harry J. Anslinger, the USA Federal Narcotics Commissioner.  For many years now the Red Chinese “Operation Poison” has been spreading its foul tentacles wider and wider over Latin-America after having poisoned the Pacific area.  The sum total of misery and human destruction caused by this operation is enormous.

1102

– 7 –

– VANCOUVER – ONE OF THE CHIEF TARGETS OF SOVIET-RED CHINESE ESPIONAGE –

Now that the Polish ship BATORY (of Gerhardt Sisler fame) has inaugurated a run that will link Montreal & Quebec ports to Leningrad, we see a concentration of Soviet-Red Chinese espionage activities being centered on the vital port of Vancouver.  Here are some disturbing facts: –

(1) PRO-SOVIET I.P.R. MOVES TO VANCOUVER.

Effective January 1961, the pro-Soviet Institute of Pacific Relations (IPR) has moved from New York to Vancouver.  This is the same IPR that supplied personnel to the US State Department that practically gave China to the Communists via such officials as Owen Lattimore and Alger Hiss.

(2) RED-CHINESE CHARTERED SHIP NOW GOING TO VANCOUVER.

The NORTH PACIFIC SHIPPING COMPANY, agents for SINOFRACHT, Red China’s chartering and shipbroking corporation in Peking, announced last month that three Danish vessels, under charter to SINOFRACHT, arrived at Vancouver for “trading purposes”.  A spokesman for the ALUMINUM COMPANY OF CANADA said, “our Company wants Chinese business, and we will be willing to sell any quantity of aluminum at market price”.

(3) COMMUNISTS HAVE STRANGLEHOLD ON B.C. TRADE-UNIONS.

The Communists have a stranglehold on all B.C. trade-unions and the CLC unions are infiltrated from top to bottom by old-time Communist hard-core elements.  Harry Bridges’ union controls the Vancouver & Victoria waterfronts, the shipyards, smelters, forestry & fishing industries are hog-tied with Communist-controlled unions.  These Reds can paralyze Vancouver in the event of war with the Soviet Union.

1103

– 8 –

– RCMP FORMS POLICE CORPS FOR ALL CANADIAN AIRPORTS –

If all this information should give cause for alarm, there are positive counter-measures which are being taken by the RCMP which will certainly spike Soviet-Red Chinese-Castro Cuban espionage attempts in Canada.  The announcememt by CUBANA AIRLINES of two “special” plane flights between Montreal-Havana and Havana-Prague caused growing concern, especially since the arrival in Cuba of Comrade SERGEI KOUDRIAVTZEV, who once masterminded a Soviet spy ring in Canada and who was exposed by Gouzenko in 1946.

The RCMP moved in fast at Dorval Montreal airport recently and took charge of the Department of Transport police detachment.  The RCMP will assume full police duties at all Canadian airports as soon as possible.  This move will prevent the Cubans from utilizing CUBANA AIRLINES as a “courier” transmission belt from its agents in Montreal to the Soviet “bosses” in Prague, Warsaw and Moscow.  This will also put a stop to the possible circulation of counterfeit money now believed to be printed by experts of the Soviet Embassy in Ottawa & Havana.  Both KOUDRIAVTZEV and VICTOR MININ worked together in East Germany & Moscow in 1955-56 in a counterfeit ring of USA ten and twenty-dollar bills which flooded West Germany for a while.

This RCMP move will also close a serious gap through which Red China could easily have smuggled in narcotics.

In conclusion, I would strongly recommend the reading of the TESTIMONY OF CAPTAIN NIKOLAI PEDOROVICH ARTANONOV (a former Soviet Naval officer) before the COMMITTEE ON UN-AMERICAN ACTIVITIES on Sept. 14, 1960.  This confirms articles written by the undersigned in THE VOICE OF FREEDOM in July & August 1955 on Soviet espionage activities off the Newfoundland Grand Banks.  Perhaps, for the know-it-alls, it might serve a purpose of taking these articles more seriously in the future.

– 30 –

Pat Walsh. [Typed under Signature]

Simon Reisman (FTA negotiator) Suspected Communist Subversive: RCMP

Exclusive to
“No Snow in Moscow”

I have obtained an authentic copy of an old draft article by noted journalist Peter Worthington (born February 16, 1927) which contains names of suspected Communists in the federal government of Canada, as revealed in the RCMP’s now-quashed “Featherbed File”.

Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau squelched the Featherbed file with an Order-in-Council before he left office.  Trudeau himself was named in it as a suspected Communist subversive.

Many headlines could be drawn from this article. However, the one that comes to my mind first is that Sol Simon Reisman, who negotiated the Canada-US Free Trade Agreement (FTA), was a suspected Communist subversive. RCMP Featherbed investigators objected in vain to the renewal of Reisman’s high-level security clearance with the federal government of Canada.

In 1982, Trudeau ordered a royal commission convened:  the Royal Commission on the Economic Union and Development Prospects for Canada, known as the Macdonald Commission, and chaired by Trudeau’s friend and co-Bilderberger, Liberal Minister of Finance, Donald Stovel Macdonald.

The Macdonald Commission reported to Conservative Prime Minister Brian Mulroney in 1985.  It recommended free trade with the USA, and the conversion of Canada to a socialist welfare state.

Sol Simon Reisman, Free Trade negotiator

Sol Simon Reisman, Free Trade negotiator, and RCMP suspected communist subversive

In May of 1986, Canadian and American negotiators began to work out a so-called trade deal, known as the Canada-US Free Trade Agreement (FTA).  The Canadian team was led by former deputy Minister of Finance Simon Reisman and the American side by Peter O. Murphy, former deputy United States trade representative in Geneva.

The FTA was deepened by the coming into force on January 1, 1994 of NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement involving Canada, the USA and Mexico, and spanning the continent.

A number of informed and well placed observers have identified the NAFTA and the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America (SPP) which followed it on the pretext of so-called terrorist attacks of September 2001, as the building blocks of a North American Union modeled on the European Union.  Today, The European Union is called both Marxist and “post-democratic” by some members of the press and intellectuals such as Professor John Fonte.

American Charlotte Iserbyt has warned of an impending North American Soviet Union, citing Mikhail Gorbachev who in 2002 called the European Union the “New European Soviet”.

American-Lithuanian Vilius Bražėnas viewed the series of trade deals on this continent in a similar light.  Bražėnas, a survivor of Communism, died on October 3, 2010 at the age of 97.  In his final passionate articles, he warned against the FTA, NAFTA, the FTAA and related trade-zone accords as tantamount to a multiple coup-d’état which in the end would impose a Communist regional union in North America.

Former Soviet dissident, Vladimir Bukovsky, who survived over a decade as a prisoner of Soviet mental hospitals, has warned on video and in print that the European Union is “the old Soviet model in western guise.”

Is anyone listening? I know I am.

U.S. Congressman Lawrence Patton McDonald

U.S. Congressman Lawrence Patton McDonald, April 1 1935 to September 1, 1983

In particular because U.S. Congressman Lawrence Patton McDonald in 1983 publicly warned America that the Marxist Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) and the Marxist Trilateral Commission and other related non-governmental entities were pushing for a Communist regional union through a series of apparently harmless trade deals.

In the words of Congressman McDonald himself on Crossfire, speaking of the CFR and related circles of elites:
 

“[T]heir objective is to try to bring about a gradual transition in our society -– a dissolving of sovereignty -– and a moving steadily to the left on the political spectrum.”

Canada’s FTA under Reisman certainly shifts Canada to the left while initiating the North American merger process.

Speaking specifically of the CFR during an interview with Larry McDonald on the television program Crossfire, McDonald said:
Council on Foreign Relations (CFR)[Y]ou are looking at a group (the CFR et als) that has worked to bring about a dissolution of national sovereignties on the road to world government.”

McDonald then quotes Arthur Schlesinger in the May-June 1947 issue of the Partisan Review:

”He [Schlesinger] said that the objective -– the secret policy of which we can’t tell the American public because they’re not sophisticated enough to see the value — is that through a steady result of erosion of NEW DEALS, we bring the American society steadily to the left, and through a signed concept of benign containment, we merge into the vital center of the socialist left.  Those were his words, not mine.”

Congressman McDonald continues further on replying to Crossfire host Pat Buchanan’s question whether the concept of the UN as the basis of a world government is not passé:

”Well, I think there are those who realize that moving straight from a prototype of the United Nations into world government perhaps is tactically impossible.  But phasing out increasingly national sovereignty into REGIONAL GOVERNMENT and phasing out sovereignties into international treaties ….” is the order of the day.

Today, with these warnings in mind, I invite you to read Peter Worthington’s old draft article exposing the chief negotiator of the FTA — which forms the initial basis of a clearly incoming REGIONAL UNION in North America — as someone the RCMP had warned the federal government not to trust because he likely was a Communist subversive.

However, the warnings fell on deaf ears, no doubt because the very Prime Minister’s Office the RCMP attempted to alert was itself already infested with one-world government types and suspected Communist subversives such as Soviet agent Lester B. Pearson, and Soviet mole Pierre Elliott Trudeau.

As a consequence, the very basis of Communist regional union in North America was negotiated by someone Canada’s national police and security apparatus long believed to be a Communist subversive.

Following is an exclusive typed transcript made by me from Worthington’s own typed, draft article, which he hand-edited.

For ease of reading, i am retyping the draft clean, without indicating Mr. Worthington’s deletions and insertions.  Images and captions have been added by me.

TRANSCRIPT — DRAFT — THE FEATHERBED FILE
by Peter Worthington (circa 1979)

(Scan of actual draft article is embedded below)

Operation Featherbed, a 14-year RCMP investigation into suspected subversives in high places, tried to warn the federal government it was being systematically infiltrated.

Trudeau, Pearson, Diefenbaker ignore RCMP warnings of high-level communist penetration of Canada

Trudeau, Pearson, Diefenbaker ignore RCMP warnings of high-level communist penetration of Canada

But the governments of John Diefenbaker, Lester Pearson, and Pierre Trudeau dismissed the Featherbed warnings as unsubstantiated Communist witch-hunting.

Besides, it would have been too embarrassing to repudiate people their governments had promoted to positions of influence.

Featherbed suspected that Communist infiltration of the federal bureaucracy had been set in train in 1923 with the co-option of O.D. Skelton, renowned as the “father of the civil service”.

The Featherbed analysts concluded that over the years, any promising “agents of influence” were talent-spotted at Communist study clubs in universities and brought into the civil service.

Inside, a shadowy network promoted “birds of a feather,” which gave the operation its code-name.

Robert Bryce (1984)

Robert Bryce (1984)

Among the more prominent (civil servant) subjects of Featherbed investigation were Robert Bryce, who rose from the Finance Ministry to the top post as cabinet secretary; his successor as deputy minister of finance, Sol Simon Reisman; and the husband-and-wife team of Bernard and Sylvia Ostry.1


Bernard Ostry, suspected by RCMP as being a Communist subversive

Bernard Ostry, suspected by RCMP as being a Communist subversive

Bernard Ostry became deputy minister of communications despite RCMP objections.  He was recently appoint(ed) at $65,000 a year as government special adviser on culture and communications based in Paris.


Sylvia Ostry, suspected by the RCMP as being a Communist subversive

Sylvia Ostry, suspected by the RCMP as being a Communist subversive

Sylvia Ostry, former chief of Statistics Canada, the Economic Council of Canada, and deputy minister of consumer and corporate affairs, was appointed last fall to head the economics and statistics branch of the Organization of Economic Co-operation and Development in Paris.

Soviet mole Pierre Trudeau and Soviet espionage agent Lester Pearson

Soviet mole Pierre Trudeau and Soviet espionage agent Lester Pearson

Operation Featherbed also plumbed the pasts of prime ministers Lester Pearson and Pierre Trudeau — Trudeau for his travels to Warsaw, Moscow, Peking and Havana, Pearson for allegedly having supplied information while a diplomat, that was transmitted to Moscow by a U.S. spy ring.

(Trudeau once called for his Featherbed file, “chuckled” as he read the report about his travels, associations and indiscretions, and sent it back to RCMP files).

Featherbed began as a search for suspected Communist subversives in the hierarchy of the civil service, branched out delving into university professors, lawyers, the media and trade unions.

It involved extensive surveillance, wiretapping and bugging under the code-name Operation Mercury (Featherbed was the analytical side).  The winnowed-down conclusions were summarized in a thick, black-edged book that held the names of 245 “professional” people as members of the Communist Party secret underground in Canada.

Not all the subjects of initial investigation found their way into the wrap-up black book.

Featherbed opened files on 87 CBC staffers as suspected subversives but there was no evidence of any operating network and only a handful were named in the final summation.

Tim Buck, head of the Communist Party in Canada

Tim Buck, head of the Communist Party in Canada

And Featherbed never learned the identity of “our agent in Canadian Press” that Communist Party of Canada chief Tim Buck frequently boasted about to his mistress, Bess Nascolo.  A bug in Nascolo’s house on Jones Ave., Toronto, picked up the drunken boasts after a shipment of Russian embassy vodka.

Featherbed believed that Lewis Rasminsky, former governor of the Bank of Canada, was only flirting with Communism when he attended party cell meetings in the Depression, as many disillusioned people did, and that he had rejected the ideology.

After a Featherbed investigation, the RCMP Security Service blocked the intended 1969 appointment of Grace Hartman to the government’s national commission on the status of women.  She became head of the Canadian Union of Public Employees.

Featherbed also conducted an investigation of Shirley Carr, vice-president of the Canadian Labor Congress.

What prompted Featherbed’s start in 1958 was an accusation by the U.S. Senate Internal Sub-Committee that Robert Bryce had been a member of a Communist closed party cell at Harvard university in 1935-37.

Herbert Norman, a known Communist, killed himself rather than expose 70 or more other Soviet agents

Herbert Norman, a known Communist, killed himself rather than expose 70 or more other Soviet agents

The subcommittee the previous year had cited Herbert Norman, then ambassador to Cairo, as a Communist.

Norman leaped to his death in Cairo a day after he told his doctor that if he were called to testify in a royal commission, he would to identify 60 to 70 Canadians as Communists.

Norman was a good friend of Lester Pearson and Robert Bryce and Pearson’s denunciation of U.S. interference in Canadian affairs caused the jittery RCMP brass to sever relations with the FBI.

When they were resumed, the FBI handed the information about the Silvermaster spy ring to the RCMP.  The ring’s courier, Elizabeth Bentley, told the FBI that Norman was a source of information sent to Moscow.

John Grierson, suspected but not charged with Soviet espionage (his secretary, Freida Linton, was charged)

John Grierson, suspected but not charged with Soviet espionage (his secretary, Freida Linton, was charged)

She also said that she had reported to her Soviet at spy handlers that Pearson also had been a source of information, along with John Grierson, head of the National Film Board, and his secretary, Freda Linton.

Featherbed was launched with the concept that the Silvermaster ring — which led to the indictments of Alger Hiss, assistant to the U.S. Secretary of State, and Harry Dexter White, a senior official in the U.S. Treasury Department — had its counterpart in Ottawa.

The initial investigation turned up 12 suspected equivalents in the Ottawa civil service hierarchy.  The files on the dozen were taken away by W. H. Kelly, director of RCMP Security and Intelligence, and never returned to Featherbed investigators.

After the U.S. subcommittees naming Bryce, he voluntarily went to RCMP headquarters to explain.

He admitted having attended Communist party study cells at Harvard and contended to his RCMP questioners that “you’re making too much of it.  I was only flirting with the Communists.”

Featherbed with the help of the FBI investigated his claim but concluded that Bryce had played a greater role in the study cells than he owned up to.

Harold "Kim" Philby, British Secret Service (MI6), in a 1955 file photo

Harold “Kim” Philby, British Secret Service (MI6), in a 1955 file photo

The delving also turned up a class parade photo taken at Trinity College, Cambridge, in the early 1930s. [Sitting] in the front row were Bryce, Lester Pearson, Herbert Norman and Kim Philby.

Philby went on to penetrate and sell out British Intelligence as a Soviet KGB master agent and now lives in Moscow.  The picture raised questions but answered none.

RCMP of Operation Mercury put Bryce under surveillance for many months but found nothing incriminating.

The Mercury Mounties wiretapped Simon Reisman for a long time and intercepted phone calls from a Russian embassy military attache identified as “A. Lobatchev.”

The RCMP Watching Service glued on to Reisman but never found him meeting with Lobatchev.  However, Featherbed found that Reisman’s wife had attended a Communist party training school in Port Hope, Ont., in 1954.

When Reisman’s top security clearance came up for renewal, the RCMP put in a report that it shouldn’t be renewed.  But the government’s security screening panel disagreed.

Bernard Ostry was the subject of RCMP surveillance under the code-name “Apache.”  That came after British Intelligence reported in 1962 that Ostry had attended a meeting of the Communist Party of Britain.

The Watching Service reported that Ostry had met Russian Intelligence Service agent Rem Krassilnikov at the Green Gables restaurant in Ottawa.

The RCMP took Bernard Ostry’s file to Trudeau but he dismissed their objections to his promotion to deputy minister of communications, the department that includes intercepting Soviet communications and bugging of embassies.

“I don’t want to hear any more about the Ostrys,” Trudeau said. “I would work with the devil if necessary.  Don’t bother me any more about the Ostrys.”

The RCMP had filed objections to Sylvia Ostry’s promotions on the basis of her Communist associations.  Trudeau dismissed that, too.

The RCMP could never reveal, even to Trudeau, the source for their objections to the Ostrys.

With Trudeau’s disinterest, Featherbed ground to a listless effort in 1972 and died completely by 1975.

A stroke of luck had uncovered secret Communist party memberships of several higher-ups in the trade union movement and in the civil service.

An RCMP “garbage patrol” picked up the membership list of secret section number seven of the United Jewish People’s Order in Montreal.  Section seven was the UJPO’s underground party apparatus for professional people.

Tom Kent, Queen's University: suspected by RCMP as being a Communist subversive

Tom Kent, Queen’s University: suspected by RCMP as being a Communist subversive *


The subject of one Featherbed file, Tom Kent, complained to Pearson that it was unfair.  Kent was a policy advisor to the prime minister and assistant deputy minister of immigration.*

Featherbed’s file on Kent outlined his connections with Communist front groups while he was managing editor of the Winnipeg Free Press.

Professor C. B. Macpherson: suspected by the RCMP of being a Communist subversive

Professor C. B. Macpherson: suspected by the RCMP of being a Communist subversive

Of the many university professors in Featherbed’s files, the most important was deemed to be Prof. C. B. MacPherson of University of Toronto.

The RCMP bugged MacPherson’s island cottage near Gananoque for the regular visits by two Russian Intelligence Service officers from the Ottawa embassy.

Kay MacPherson:: suspected by the RCMP of being a Communist subversive

Kay MacPherson:: suspected by the RCMP of being a Communist subversive

MacPherson’s wife, Kay, was leader of the Voice of Women movement that paraded for rejection of nuclear weapons by Canada.

Twenty years after Igor Gouzenko defected, Featherbed analysts got around to poring through the neglected kit-bags full of papers seized in the spy-ring roundup.

In the yellowing notebooks and memo pads, they found names and phone numbers of calls made in wartime.  Tracing the numbers back to wartime government phone books, they traced calls made to civil servants who by then (1965) had risen high in the bureaucracy.

They also found evidence implicating a wartime RCAF wing commander and an army colonel in the Soviet spy rings.  But by then, the trail had gotten too cold.  Ironically, the colonel was by then dealing with Soviet trade missions for the government.

Another trail too late to pick up was a curious coincidence that went unexplained.

That was the belated discovery that Col. Nicolai Zabotin’s spy ring had used an electronics shop in Rideau St., Ottawa, as a “live letter drop.”

A card was put in the shop window to signal that a letter was waiting to be picked up.  The card’s appearance usually coincided with the visit to the manager’s office at the rear by two middle-rank civil servants.

The pair rose high in the bureaucracy and retired with honors and indexed pensions.

Operation Featherbed folded for lack of government interest.

– 30 –

_____
 
1 Trudeau himself was feared by the RCMP to be a Communist agent.  (Trudeau undoubtedly was one.  At Moscow in 1952, Trudeau led a Communist delegation organized by the Canadian Communist Party.  The Moscow meeting was an “economic summit” organized by Soviet intelligence.  See my exclusive English translations of a 7-part series on the summit, “I’m Back From Moscow,” penned by Trudeau for the leftist daily, Le Devoir.  Lester Pearson absolutely was a Soviet agent, denounced by defecting Soviet military intelligence, Elizabeth Bentley to the FBI.  However, Worthington soft-pedals the grave accusations of Elizabeth Bentley against Pearson in the McCarran hearings.  (In 2012, Worthington, still kicking and alive, soft-pedaled his own accusations against Communist Trudeau of the 1970s and 80s, thus bleaching Pierre’s reputation when Red offspring Justin was running for the “Liberal” leadership.  Police suspected Bernard and Sylvia Ostry, as well.  Now, grasp this, if you can.  According to Don Newman, in his autobiography, xxxxxx, Trudeau routinely held his federal Cabinet meetings at the private palatial home of none other than suspected Communists, Bernard and Sylvia Ostry, straddling the border between Hull, Quebec and Ontario.  Also at those meetings was private citizen and Canadian RIIA member, Paul Desmarais Senior of Power Corporation.  On the downtown Montreal business premises of Power Corporation in the 1960s, 1967 to be precise in this case, a “Secret Committee” of Reds posing as Liberals in the federal cabinet of Soviet Agent Lester Pearson, came up with a plan to create a “separatist” party.  Communist René Lévesque was instructed by them to organize and lead it.

The party;s name?  The Parti Québécois.  Its 1972 manifesto in French only, written to appease the extreme left members who swelled its ranks in 1968, flowing in from the Communist RIN party that had been disbanded, calls for a Communist independent state of Quebec.  (See Free download page for my exclusive English translation of the 1972 manifesto.)

We thus find a major multinational corporation embracing, hosting and harboring obvious Communist infiltrators of the Liberal Party of Canada, setting up plans for a Communist party and a Communist State of Quebec on Power Corporation premises.  Power Corporation is also a major presence at the Canadian branch of the Royal Institute of International Affairs (the RIIA in London, an international banker front for a secret society whose object still is the infiltration of national governments to subvert national sovereignty on the road to world government).

 
Scan of Worthington’s draft article from which
the above transcript was prepared:

http://en.calameo.com/books/000111790cf331953e601

______
 
* I have come up with a good piece of evidence that Tom Kent was/is indeed a Communist subversive. In March 2007, the Caledon Institute published in pdf format a booklet authored by Kent entitled Federalism Renewed.  The section of it entitled “City Limits” declares the Provinces of Canada (Provincial Legislatures) as defunct institutions of the previous Century.  Kent recommends replacing our Provincial Legislatures with a new form of “federalism” which bears a strong resemblance to the Communist expanded administrative municipal regions documented in Moscow in 1975 by Maurice (Morris) Zeitlin writing in Communist Workers’ World.  I can tell from the same article that Kent also knows why Stephen Harper declared Quebec “a nation” in 2006:  precisely to disintegrate Canada to use Quebec to “negotiate” Kent’s “new federalism”.