Long before inJusticebusters were doing it, the Church of the Universe was advocating legal self defence. They have fought many battles and helped keep the criminal absurdity of laws against marijuana in the public eye. They suffered the loss of Brother Daniel in Hamilton a few years ago, target of a reckless police sting using a hard-drug using rat (Shades of the recent Flotilla sting in Saskatchewan).
We look to the Brothers for spiritual guidance as once again they refuse to let the cops get away with pushing them around. With grace and style they continue to show that Justice should not be Just-Us (Them). Be sure and visit their website and prepare to spend some time looking into the history of the Church of the Universe and the plans for a celebration this summer at Clearwater Abbey. During these troubled times, the Brothers always give us something to celebrate.
The videograbs are from CBC's Man Alive hosted by R.H. Thompson
AFFIDAVIT OF COMPLAINT - May 25th 1999
PUBLIC COMPLAINTS BUREAU Toronto Police Service 951 Wilson Avenue - Unit #5 Toronto, Ontario
B E T W E E N :
REVEREND BROTHER WALTER A. TUCKER and REVEREND BROTHER MICHAEL J. BALDASARO Complainants
TORONTO POLICE SERVICE, 20-30 UNIDENTIFIED MEMBERS OF THE TORONTO POLICE SERVICE and FRED ELLARBY Staff Sergeant (7122) Defendants
AFFIDAVIT IN SUPPORT OF COMPLAINT OF REVEREND BROTHER WALTER A. TUCKER and REVEREND BROTHER MICHAEL J. BALDASARO
I, REVEREND BROTHER MICHAEL J. BALDASARO of the City of Hamilton, in the Regional Municipality of Hamilton-Wentworth am an applicant herein and as such have knowledge of the matters to which I hereinafter depose, AFFIRM AND SAY:
1. On Friday, May 21st 1999 at approximately 1:30 - 1:45 p.m.,at Radio Station Q-107, 5255 Younge Street, Toronto, Ontario, Reverend Brother Walter A. Tucker and myself notified an unidentified Officer that we were in attendance, acting within our rights in our legal capacity as agents/officers of the Federal Court serving a legal process, a Notice of Application, issued May 20th 1999 upon the respondent THE HONOURABLE MICHAEL D. HARRIS pursuant to the provisions of Rule 128.(1)(a) of the Federal Court Rules which we showed him and he read the aforesaid Notice of Application. Shortly thereafter, the Officer went away to report to the Officer in his charge, whom we met later and found that he was Sergeant Fred Ellarby, Badge No. (7122) of the Toronto Police Service, Public Safety Unit. The unidentified Officer then returned and promised that the police would assist us. We waited.
A copy of the Notice of Application, issued May 20th 1999 is attached hereto this my affidavit and is marked as EXHIBIT "A".
2. At approximately 2 - 2:09 p.m. a news reporter who identified himself to us as being from The National Post, informed us that "Mr. Harris was already inside the building" that he had "spoken with Mr. Harris" and had "shown him a copy of the Notice of Application which we were making an effort to serve" and that "Mr. Harris was aware of who we were".
3. We then proceeded into the building along with 20 or 30 other people. On our way to the elevators we were, without provocation, notice or rights on arrest and detention and/or warning of any kind, jumped upon from behind, assaulted and falsely arrested in the elevator lobby of the said building by a squad of the Metropolitan Toronto Police, over our protests and with injury to Reverend Brother Walter A. Tucker in the form of a hurt wrist and cut hand and Reverend Brother Michael J. Baldasaro with an injured lower back. We were forcibly whisked off our feet into mid-air, from behind, without any warning or notice, dragged from within the building and imprisoned as we were forced to remain outside, notwithstanding that members of the general public were allowed to come and go freely.4. We immediately complained of the assault etc., to a policeman who insisted that we speak with him about our objections and that we desist in speaking with the 20 or so members of the police gang we were demanding demonstrate their authority and reason to act against us, who assaulted us, then pushed us and kept us out-side. The said Officer then identified himself to us as Staff Sergeant Fred Ellarby, Badge No. (7122) and the Officer in Charge. He then refused to take our complaints, Statements and to investigate our Criminal Complaints of assault, false arrest and imprisonment and obstruction of justice against the officers responsible and to identify those officers etc.
5. After the Radio Talk Show was over, the police again assisted Mr. Harris to sneak past us and when we made an effort to get within serving distance of Mr. Harris, they accosted us, assaulted us and illegally arrested and imprisoned us once again and obstructed justice by keeping us from pursuing our lawful duty and thereby effectively blocking service of the aforesaid documents upon Mr. Harris as he stood beside his Bus.
Affirmed before me at the City of Hamilton in the Regional Municipality of Hamilton-Wentworth on May 25th 1999
___________________________ REVEREND BROTHER MICHAEL J. BALDASARO (Deponent/Complainant)
Reverend Brother Walter A. Tucker Complainant and Commissioner for Taking Affidavits etc. of The Assembly of the Church of the Universe
Re: Letter and Affidavit of Complaint, May 25, 1999 to Public Complaints Bureau - Toronto Police Service
LETTER OF COMPLAINT - May 25th 1999
The Assembly of the Church of the Universe Phoenix Mission of God 535 Barton Street, East Hamilton, Ontario, Canada L8L 2Y9 Telephone 905-522-3247
May 25th 1999
David J. Boothby, Chief of Police Hand delivered Toronto Police Service 40 College Street Toronto, Ontario M5G 2J3
PUBLIC COMPLAINTS BUREAU Hand delivered Toronto Police Service 951 Wilson Avenue - Unit #5 Toronto, Ontario M3K 2A7
Re: COMPLAINT AND NOTICE OF COMPLAINT IN THE MATTER OF: REVEREND BROTHER WALTER A. TUCKER and REVEREND BROTHER MICHAEL J. BALDASARO, Complainants and TORONTO POLICE SERVICE, 20-30 UNIDENTIFIED MEMBERS OF THE TORONTO POLICE SERVICE and FRED ELLARBY Staff Sergeant (7122,) Defendants
Based upon the evidence in the Affidavit of Reverend Brother Michael J. Baldasaro, Affirmed, May 25th 1999, (Copy attached) the complainants herein, hereby make complaint that on May 21st 1999 at 5255 Younge Street, Toronto, Ontario, Staff Sergeant Fred Ellarby, Badge No. 7122 of the Toronto Police Service, did refuse to take our complaints, statements and to investigate our Criminal Complaints of assault, false arrest and imprisonment and the obstruction of justice against the officers responsible and refused to identify those officers to us.
We ask that an investigation be undertaken of the aforesaid assault etc. and that charges be laid against all of our attackers and their superiors of assault, false arrest and imprisonment and obstruction of justice. We ask that the police produce a copy of their video record of their attack against us.
We ask that the police order the preservation of the video's and pictures taken by the reporters at the scene, before, during and after the attack upon us and that the originals be introduced into evidence in support of our complaint.
We ask for the names of the 20-30 Officers who attacked us and for a copy of their notes and memorandum and those of their Commanding Officers including notes from Mr. Mike Harris to the Police and/or statements etc.
Thank you in advance for your immediate response to our complaints and report to us of your findings and action.
Be well and prosper. In peace, bless you, bless us all. Reverend Brother Walter A. Tucker Reverend Brother Michael J. Baldasaro
Because of the persecution being suffered by Reverend Brother Richard and his son who can not be named under the Young Offenders Act over the wearing of headgear during court appearances in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada where he is helping to defend his son on charges of possession of marijuana after he was illegally searched at school and some medicinal marijuana was found on him we find it necessary to issue the following statement.
It has come to the attention of the Council that it is not well known that all church members are mandated to wear head gear such as (yarmulka or turban) as much as is physically possible and especially in any association with government agencies or the government itself. Instances are, in court, for drivers licenses, any other official government picture, any picture identification of any kind and in all other cases that have not been mentioned but might arise.
In peace, bless you, bless us all! Be well and prosper! Reverend Brother Walter A. Tucker Reverend Brother Michael J. Baldasaro Church
They have the experience.
The federal government officially unveiled its plan for clinical trials of marijuana only yesterday, but Allan Rock, the Health Minister, has already received one intriguing application from a group seeking the contract to supply researchers with medical-grade pot.
The reverend brothers Michael Baldasaro and Walter Tucker, of the Church of the Universe, a Hamilton, Ont.-based denomination that practises nudity and uses marijuana as a sacrament, want to turn a soon-to-be closed provincial jail into the country's most secure farm.
"It would be the same security system. Everything is in place," Brother Tucker said yesterday, of the church's proposal to find a new use for the Guelph Correctional Centre. "You move the people out, bring in the plants, put in a few more lights and you've got a grow-room that can't be compared anywhere in Canada."
The 88-year-old facility, formerly known as the Ontario Reformatory, is slated to be shut down later this year.
Under the plan Mr. Rock tabled in the House of Commons yesterday, the federal government will spend $3.5-million to study marijuana's effectiveness in helping AIDS and cancer patients stimulate their appetites and control nausea and vomiting, relieving muscle pain and spasms in multiple sclerosis patients, and glaucoma sufferers' eye pain.
The three-phase project will look at the relative benefits of pot smoke, extracts and chemically synthesized THC -- the active component in the drug. The plan also calls on Health Canada to secure a dependable source of high-quality marijuana.
The Church of the Universe strongly supports the medical use of marijuana and already donates some of its own supply of the plant to the clubs that have sprung up across the country to provide sick people with access to the illicit drug.
The bearded brothers Baldasaro and Tucker, abbot and archbishop of the church respectively, have had their own brushes with the courts over the last 30 years because of Canada's prohibition on marijuana. But they say the trafficking and possession charges simply prove the church has the necessary expertise the government and private industry lacks.
"Of course they can't get the quality," scoffed Brother Baldasaro, who waged an unsuccessful campaign for the leadership of the federal Progressive Conservative party last summer. "They keep breaking down the doors and stealing the grow equipment from the poor farmers."
Brother Baldasaro said the church wants to be involved in the clinical trials to ensure that the research is conducted with top-grade bud. He fears the federal government will endeavour to skew the results by using inferior pot.
And, as serendipity would have it, the church already has an expert standing by on site ready to implement their proposal. Brother Korneleis Klevering will be a guest of the jail until October, following his conviction for cultivating a field of some 300 plants.
"He's our man. He's our main grower. He has degrees from the University of Guelph in agriculture," said Brother Baldasaro. "The man is eminently qualified for anything to do with the hemp plant."
A spokesman for Mr. Rock declined to comment on the church's proposal, but suggested it might be a bit premature. Health Canada is currently working on a business plan, said Derek Kent, and won't be calling for applications until later this year.
The brothers, however, are perfectly willing to wait for an official response.
"We don't mind if they set the criteria," said Brother Tucker. "All they have to do is give us the OK. We've got the seeds. We're ready to go."