Wrote this on June 14, 2004 (with further editing since), but the events took place in November 2003, so am posting here, as well.
Attended conference on Racism and National Consciousness
, University of Toronto (Oct 25-26, 2003). Keynote speaker: Ward Churchill
, well-known Aboriginal activist and academic from the U.S.
[Note: Ward Churchill has been shot at (purportedly by the FBI), was fired from his university post, is often slammed by corporate media, and his wife died in a car accident, where the brakes failed. Besides his own struggles for Native rights, restoration, and autonomy, he also had ties to the Black Panthers, back in the day.]
Being outspoken, I posed questions to nearly all speakers. Met a woman named Beverley on first day; we left at the same time. She wanted to stay in touch, but would not give her phone number, and asked for mine, instead. She started saying things that made me suspicious. (I’ve encountered many people who have known things about me that they couldn’t possibly have guessed – more below.)
Three days later, on Tues Oct 28, I distributed an email about surveillance, race, social power, capitalism, and socio-environmental activism. I explained why I think hierarchies make sense – especially given current population imbalances – yet I also feel social harmony is desired by many, and certain changes are needed. Being critical is only half the battle: healing and action are also necessary.
My mentally-handicapped Uncle Joseph suddenly takes ill five days later, on Sunday, November 2. I had had an incident with a nursing home staff the year before and had long predicted my uncle would be the first target, if authorities wished to suppress my outspoken socio-environmental concerns and attempts at activism. By this point, I’d already been experiencing harassment for several years; I often predict events before they happen.
During the week of November 3 – 9, I received a higher number of wrong number calls. This often happens, after I send out one of my email diatribes – or if I try to tell people about my surveillance concerns.
Got several calls from one number: turns out to be Beverley’s. She leaves no message, so I assume it’s yet another crank caller. (Hear some calls.
NOTE: These audioposts no longer work.)
On Friday, November 7, after five days in Scarborough Grace Hospital’s Emergency Ward, and after much loving attention from the nursing home staff, who seemed to treat my uncle as if he might be on his death bed (despite his having been in hospital on previous occasions), my uncle goes home. But, by the next day, he’s apparently contracted pneumonia and is back in hospital. At this point, I know my uncle will die.
On Sunday, November 9, I receive two calls, which I ignore. Just as I’m leaving to meet relatives for a family lunch, I get a third call. I answer, thinking it’s my mother — but it’s Beverley. (Message below is her earlier call.) She asks if I’m all right, saying how worried she’s been after trying to reach me ‘all week’ (the period my uncle is in hospital); she stresses this point.
We speak briefly, as I have to leave. Later that evening, my uncle dies. It is the 9th of November — 9/11.
(NOTE: ABOVE AUDIO FILE NO LONGER ACTIVE.)
Questions About Beverley:
1. I’ve only met Beverley once; we had never spoken by phone before.
2. Why call all week just to tell me you’re worried about me? (5 calls, no messages)
3. Why didn’t she leave a message, if she wanted to reach me?
4. Calling twice within an hour on Sunday suggests urgency – yet, after a brief conversation, we make no plans and I never hear from her again.
Analysis of Phone Message:
1. Message is contradictory. She says she’s concerned that she hasn’t been able to reach me all week – yet in her first and ONLY message, she uncannily assumes I am:
ii) not picking up my phone;
iii) awake (in order to get her message);
iv) willing, able, and likely to answer her 2nd follow-up call an hour later.
2. We met two weeks before at a conference. She should have no clue what my habits are, or what I’m doing, yet she sounds pretty firm: ‘Be there‘ and ‘Answer your phone,’ as she will be ‘calling back at 1 o’clock‘.
3. How worried is she? She assumes I’m able to answer, but what if I was sleeping and am pissed off that she’s calling back? If she were genuinely concerned, the polite thing would be to leave a message, asking me to call when I’m able.
4. It’s true, I often don’t answer the phone (see why). Yet Beverley, again, correctly guesses I’ll be answering her second call. I only did so because I thought it was my mother calling with last-minute meeting changes.
5. None of this makes sense – especially coming from a total stranger. My own mother would not assume so much about me – ie, my whereabouts (am I even home?), am I likely to retrieve my voice messages right away, my ability to answer a follow-up call (maybe I’m asleep, or the ringer’s off, or both).
Day After My Uncle’s Death: Another Strange Call
(emphasis and name edits are mine)
What: Email from my aunt to the family re: my uncle Joseph’s death.
Date: Monday, November 10, 2003
After [my sister] called me last night about Jo’s passing, I immediately called my boys. As DaDa was busy on the regular tel with someone, I called his cell phone.
“Hello.” he answered the phone.
“Uncle Joseph just died.” I informed him.
“Uncle Joseph just died.” He repeated after me word for word, totally devoid of emotion or feeling. [emphasis mine]
“Yea.” I said.
“………” total silence from him.
I thought it’s really strange of his reaction and response.
“Who is this?” I then asked.
“I think you got the wrong number.” He said.
What’s so funny about it was this stranger repeating what I said, trying to figure out who the heck was Uncle Joseph.
[Edit: So thankful my aunt posted this incident. Mirrors exactly the odd phone calls I’ve been getting for years, always at specific times (eg, caller’s tone, timing, seeming/possible line interception). Authorities can easily *intercept* and redirect calls – even if you’ve dialed the right number. I’ve had many such incidents – but again, hard to demonstrate/prove to others. Please see ‘Technology glitches continue’ and ‘Big Brother – It’s all in yer head’. 01/10/10]
The night of my uncle’s funeral, I was deliberately struck on the head, while sobbing into a payphone at Pape subway station. A strapping young fellow fumbled with the payphone next to me (and seemingly pretends to dial). Then, holding the receiver in his hand, he whacked me on the side of the head with his hard knuckles. Stunned, then angry, tears streaming down my face, I asked why he hit me, and why he hasn’t bothered apologizing. Turning to his buddy, he says: ‘Oh, we thought you were a guy. Didn’t we?’ (har-har)
I just happened to be calling my M-to-F transgendered friend Carl (pretty much my only friend during those dark years). If I was a guy, is that a reason to hit me? I was wearing a baseball cap and was hunched over, half-kneeling, crying over my uncle’s death and 2.5 years of sheer stress. I’ve never bawled like that in my life. This guy’s deliberate assault and mocking comment, along with my friend’s cold response in a time of need – literally on the saddest day of my life, while feeling responsible for my uncle’s death – were a devastating psychological blow. Something changed in me after that night.
Incidents happen to me on a near-daily basis.
As shown above, it takes a lot of explaining to analyze ONE of thousands of interactions and incidents I am constantly having – never mind vandalism in my home, people approaching me in the street, well-timed computer glitches, website errors, power failures, phone problems, and so on. Over the course of several years, stress also takes a toll.
The Real 9/11 – Do you value your FREEDOM
Within days of the horrific World Trade Centre attacks, I had started collecting and distributing investigative news articles that questioned basic facts around 9/11 (as it came to be known).
- President George W. Bush’s 23-min. delayed response (he was notified 3x);
- Failings of a trillion-dollar military system;
- The perfectly imploding buildings;
- Destruction of a 3rd building (former FBI building, WTC7);
Note: “Explosions occurred in WTC 7 before it sustained any damage from the twin towers’ collapses.” (source)
- Plausibility of the Pentagon attack;
- The resulting war on Afghanistan, one of the world’s poorest countries, which happens to be in sightlines to oil resources.
And finally – if America was ‘under attack,’ with the World Trade Centre being the U.S. economic hub, and the Pentagon being the U.S. defense headquarters, why in heaven’s name was there never a moment of concern for President Bush’s safety, since he is Head of State. Considering the number of assassination attempts on U.S. Presidents throughout history, is this not a glaring oversight?
Anyway, see Loose Change, or read Citizens’ Inquiry into 9/11 or watch GreatConspiracy.ca for intelligent, investigative journalism around 9/11 and the unnecessary deaths of nearly 3,000 people, the aftermath and global implications.