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Naming Names

Put it all online!

On Canada-A.M. the other morning (January, 1999) was a snippet about a couple of southern U.S. states (Texas and Virginia) who now post criminal records on-line. Deirdre and Dan discussed whether they thought it was an invasion of privacy and speculated about whether it would happen here.

inJusticebusters hopes that it does happen here, and the sooner the better! These records are not secret now so why not put them on line? Anything which makes public information easier to get is a step forward. Deirdre and Dan discussed problems arising from people checking on their neighbours. So? As things stand right now, people are all too willing to express their suspicions about almost anything at all. Along with molestation, vicious gossip is a provincial sport! If we were able to check our facts on the Internet, truth might get into the gossip and some of the filth might get cleaned up.

Don't worry. inJusticebusters is not joining a witchhunt campaign. Anyone would have the opportunity to challenge false material which is up there! It would tend to stop witchhunting. The cloak of secrecy has always been the garment of inquisitors.The internet is the perfect medium to remove that cloak and let us see who is underneath. While we are on this topic, maybe the RCMP and CSIS could publish all the information they gather about citizens and save us the effort of filling out those endless forms under the freedom of information act!


The Public's right to know and our right to inform them

One of the first items we posted when we launched inJusticebusters' website in June, 1998 was a profile of Michael Ross who we named as a dangerous sex offender.

Michael Ross

Since the police, social services and Sask. Justice were well aware of Michael and seemed to be hiding him, we had no confidence that the public was safe. We took the only step we saw open to us: to make the public aware of this dangerous criminal in our midst by posting him on the net.

We are well aware that this controversial move is related to Sympatico pulling the plug on us, although we are not sure who was pulling the strings on Sympatico. Sgt. Brian Dueck certainly seems to be more interested in keeping the lie alive than he is in Michael's safety. The entire Saskatchewan government apparatus and justice system have a clear vested interest in keeping the lie alive.

The lie is simple: they have, for more than six years, said and continue to say that the vicious and malicious charges of sex crimes against the Klassen and Kvello families were stayed because the children were too traumatized to continue the court proceedings. In so saying, they have clearly led the public to believe that the accused persons were guilty of at least some of the crimes! In the same vein, there is the vicious rumour that the DNA evidence which exonerated David Milgaard proved only that he didn't rape Gail Miller, even though it has never been suggested that more than one perepetrator was involved in the brutal rape-slaying. These lies spill out of the Saskatoon Police Department like swill onto Saskatchewan streets and we have become a province where far too many people tolerate a high level of injustice!

inJusticebusters received e-mail charging us with witchhunting and saying we had chosen a dangerous path by publishing Michael's name. We publish this letter and injusticebusters' reply, where we ignored the implicit threat, followed by a letter by John Lucas. The original writer's response reveals they are from Saskatchewan and are closely connected to this case. We close this part of the discussion with the observation that Michael's esteem issues are not likely to be helped by anyone who is inflaming him against us. Until those who damaged him are called to account for their crime in doing so, and until he fully accounts for what he did, no one can be free of the damage. We applaud him in his first steps in telling the truth, and encourage him to set himself free by continuing on this path. We are not backing down on anything we have done or said.

inJusticebusters point out that we did not create the dangeous situation. Everything that we have done has been in the direction of resecuring public safety and bringing to justice a reckless cop and all those who would enable and encourage Michael in his dangerous ways.

On a radio talkshow in North Battleford in 1994, then Justice Minister Bob Mitchell inadvertantly blurted out the name of a young offender -- who the Supreme Court eventually established was not an offender at all in the Martensville fiasco. He resigned for a couple weeks, was reassured that no harm had been done, and resumed his portfolio. The child complainants in the Martensville charges are protected by court-sponsored anonymity.

Protecting them as liars is somewhat different from protecting them as victims. The public should be informed of their identities as well, if for no better reason than to know they are more likely than the average citizen to tell damaging lies.


Discussion: Have inJusticebusters damaged Michael by releasing his name?

On October 4, inJusticebusters received the following email, shortly after Michael was seen in the building where Sheila Steele lives:
>
> > how can you say that Michael is a dangerous offender when socail
> > services took Michael and the two girls out of there real home because
> > of sexual abuse...stuck them in a foster home where there was more
> > sexual abuse...then they introduced them to another family then they
> > all took there turns on them????...i think that the klassens and the
> > kevellos are the dangerous offenders not Michael or the 2 girls....
> >
> > sincerely,
> > a concered citizen..

Shortly afterwards, the following email showed up:


From: Jack P Fehr <friendsinrecovery@shaw.ca> 9/27/99 10:39 PM

Subject: Re: This message is from Jack P. Fehr
To: injusticebusters@xxxxx

The message you received on Wed,15 1999.01:12-000 was not written by me.
Michael wrote this message himself. At the present time Michael is not
permitted to use my computer. The proscator office in Saskatoon has
advice me not to let Michael use my computer. I operate an Approved Care
Home under the guidance of Mental Health. I can be reached at
xxxxxx in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. or E-mail me at
friendsinrecovery@home.com. To tell you the truth I don't know the whole
story nor do I care you.


From: <RM> Wed 3:00 PM, April 21, 1999

Subject: Your WebSite To: injusticebusters@xxxxx

I am a private citizen with certain rights provided by the Charter of Rights, as well as basic HUMAN rights. These rights are most sacred to me, and from some of the literature on your site, I would guess that you claim to hold such ideals in high esteem as well, but I find your web site to be apocryphal. I have never seen such blatant disreguard for another human's right to privacy in all my life. The listing of the names, D.O.B's and other information of individuals, such as Mr. Ross, is disgusting.

Are there any other private citizens' names you would parade on your mock-gallows? Anyone else whom you would humiliate? The ego- centric megalo-mania that fuels this kind of political witch hunting, where innocent people are paraded infront of the masses, and in this case, the entire globe <through the internet> is not better than the auta de fays of the inquisitionary time period.

Yes, it is right to take action to combat injustices that you may see, or find in the governement, such is our right in a free and democratic society, but there are lines of respect, and basic human dignity that should not be crossed. This is one of those lines.

Hubris is the condition of pride in which one feels he is above all others. What right have you to parade these people, one of which is a minor, before a world of unknown morals, and indistinct predatory nature?!

You may seek to be a helping hand, or saviour, but the line between vigilante and predator is thin. Be carefull that you do not cross it, lest someone place you on a site such as your own.

I am open to rebuttal;

<name>


Sheila Steele responded:

Thank you for the email regarding the publication of information about Michael Ross. I would like to publish your letter and answer the very valid objections you raise as well as explaining exactly why we did this. I don't think of this as a rebuttal so much as a conversation or discussion.

I certainly take very seriously the charge of witchhunting. I assure you, inJusticebusters is not on a witchhunt.

Regarding the line between what should be public and what should be private, there are laws against defamation which, if properly used protect us from hysterical allegations and the spreading of lies. There are other laws which protect us from having our lives or welfare put in danger.

Those of us who have had our privacy invaded with illegal police searches understand clearly that having our personal lives exposed to public scrutiny can be uncomfortable and embarrassing. We have no choice but to get over it. We understand perfectly that our own personal lives could be exploited. The upside of having lost our privacy is that there are no secrets to disclose. If someone tells lies about us or defames us, we can sue them.

Michael is a victim himself, as we clearly state. He was submitted to what amounts to brainwashing by the police and social services when he was eleven years old. He was a prematurely sexualized boy when he arrived in their hands. Instead of receiving treatment, he was encouraged to carry on with his aggressive sex acts against others. By this, I mean that the mixed messages he received, and which we have full documentation about, served to add to his confusion rather than help him in any way. The system used Michael's vulnerability to manipulate him into making up lies about innocent people. They allowed him to continue molesting his sisters while they molested his mind.

Michael remained a ward of the state until he was eighteen. For at least seven years, Social Services has had an opportunity to further coerce him and possibly threaten him. He was provided with a lawyer who also acted for Social Services. His life was totally controlled by social workers and justice guards. By publishing his name we offer him a hand out of his mess. He certainly is entitled to compensation for what has been done to him. Instead, it seems he has been abandoned to the revolving door of adult corrections. We also warn the public about the danger of a state-created monster, at the same time that we offer the monster his only real hope at reclaiming a life worth living.

This is more or less what I would say in a discussion.

Thank you for taking the time to write.

Sheila Steele for www.injusticebusters.com


"MacLir's" final word (with Steele's letter in green):

From: "Rhohan MacLir" <rhohan@hotmail.com> To: injusticebusters@xxxxx Subject: Re: Your WebSite Date: Thu, 22 Apr 1999 20:36:22 PDT

Sheila wrote...

Thank you for the email regarding the publication of information about Michael Ross. I would like to publish your letter and answer the very valid objections you raise as well as explaining exactly why we did this. I don't think of this as a rebuttal so much as a conversation or discussion.

I am certain that you would like to publish my letter, however, I do NOT give any form of permission for such use of my words. Being that it is incredibly easy for one to distort, or remove key phrases.

I certainly take very seriously the charge of witchhunting. I assure you, injusticebusters is not on a witchhunt.

I have seen nothing to the contrary, I will explain why later in this message.

Regarding the line between what should be public and what should be private, there are laws against defamation which, if properly used protect us from hysterical allegations and the spreading of lies. There are other laws which protect us from having our lives or welfare put in danger.

There are also laws, as well as basic morality and human respect that should keep us from putting other people in danger to, madam, but these don't seem to figure too strongly into your website.

There are people out there, some of which I know, especially, Mr. Ross, who did NOT in any way, shape, or form give their concent to having their private life scattered all over the Web, and to the four winds. Such is a violation of basic rights granted us in the charter of rights! That is why your listing of his information is against the law, and why you have been shut down in the past.

Those of us who have had our privacy invaded with illegal police searches understand clearly that having our personal lives exposed to public scrutiny can be uncomfortable and embarrassing. We have no choice but to get over it. We understand perfectly that our own personal lives could be exploited. The upside of having lost our privacy is that there are no secrets to disclose. If someone tells lies about us or defames us, we can sue them.

I, personally, have as much love for the current state of our society as fire has for water, but this is no excuse for blatant violations of other people's rights! This is not YOUR life we are talking about here either! You can feel free, absolutely free, to run naked through the street screaming your story to the highest clouds for all I care, but, using these children in your little 'crusade' is a form of EXPLOITATION! You are utilizing their life's story in an attempt to bend public opinion to your desires, but what you have to realize is that unless these youth wish to tell their story, it is not yours to rally around. This is very real to these youth, and you have a more lasting effect on them than you are abviously aware of. Have you ever once sat down with these individuals and asked them how your exploiting their names makes them feel? I can answer for you. No. I know this because I have been watching this silly dance for a while now, and am getting sick of seeing this young man hurt by you people any more. You are HURTING these youth. What price does your little personal war come at, and is it acceptable losses if you are not the one who pays? I have spoken with Mike on MANY occaisions, and he does NOT want this crap. Now I know that some of the members of Injusticebusters were his foster parents, and that is just fine and dandy and all, but what THEY have to realize is that:

1) Mike is an adult now, and very capable, as a private citizen, to file charges or a civil suit, and to make decisions for himself.

2) He, and his two sisters do NOT want thier story on the web.

Michael is a victim himself, as we clearly state. He was submitted to what amounts to brainwashing by the police and social services when he was eleven years old. He was a prematurely sexualized boy when he arrived in their hands. Instead of receiving treatment, he was encouraged to carry on with his aggressive sex acts against others.

Precisely something which is a PRIVATE matter. In any kind of sexual abuse, especialy when done to a minor, there are feelings of guilt, and shame, and you know what? You can tell him it's alright as much as you want, but you are humiliating, dehumanizing, and leaving very real psychological trauma in your careless wake.

By this, I mean that the mixed messages he received, and which we have full documentation about, served to add to his confusion rather than help him in any way. The system used Michael's vulnerability to manipulate him into making up lies about innocent people. They allowed him to continue molesting his sisters while they molested his mind.

So what matters more to you, Ma'am, this paper that 'prooves' your point, or the life of a young man. Think before you answer this to yourself.

Michael remained a ward of the state until he was eighteen. For at least seven years, Social Services has had an opportunity to further coerce him and possibly threaten him. He was provided with a lawyer who also acted for Social Services. His life was totally controlled by social workers and justice guards. By publishing his name we offer him a hand out of his mess. He certainly is entitled to compensation for what has been done to him. Instead, it seems he has been abandoned to the revolving door of adult corrections. We also warn the public about the danger of a state-created monster, at the same time that we offer the monster his only real hope at reclaiming a life worth living.

No, by publishing his name YOU brand him as a 'monster', YOU belittle his self esteem, forcing him to relive those events, unable to escape them... That's interesting... All these random guesses at his attitudes and adjustments, and you haven't even bothered to talk to him. You see things the way you want to in this instance. YES he was incarcerated, but you have no idea how that effected him. Did you know that a large chunk of his current depression, and what is bothering him the most right now is the fact that you just won't leave him be? When you cut yourself badly, the wound will heal, but only if taken care of, whereas a wound on an active part of the body, always being jostled, may heal, but will be weaker, and mostly scar tissue. It is no different with him. How can he heal, if you are constantly throwing him to the wolves, as it were, and using him as a battering ram to get your point across?! To heal, one must identify the problem, then take actions to relearn the unwanted behavior, very much relearning their world, and how they relate. All that you throwing him about is doing, is causing constant self doubt about his own nature. I spend alot of time, trying to get him to realize that he is a good person deep down, but he feels like some kind of beast, like there is no hope for him to change, and relearn. What gets me mad is that YOU PEOPLE ARE REINFORCING THAT THOUGHT IN HIS HEAD! How can he think he is a good person when you are doing the equivilant of dashing about telling everyone what has happened?!

Things would be different, if he had managed to work through some of the issues, or if he had managed to build his self esteem and image to the point that he could look back on what transpired through his life, and know that he could be different, and capable of assisting in the fight. You don't wade into war while wounded, but still you expect him to allow you to push him unwillingly into this conflict... Still wounded, still bleeding.

I get so frustrated when I see the aftermath of your actions. There are laws, and regulations put into place to protect victims, and these laws are good, and you are breaking them. He was just victimized by the system his whole life, and now he's getting victimized again... This time by you. And the foster parents he was supposed to trust.

Now do you understand his position? Now can you see what you are doing to him? I don't give a rat's ass about whether or not his story will help you win your battle right now. You claim to be worried about, and wanting the best for the boy. Then help him. Let him heal. You will do lasting damage to this boy, who will one day be a man. It's not right to take what little safety he has away from him.

"As I have loved you, love one another."

Remember that. Instead of trying to take them onto the war front, focus on helping them heal behind the scenes. And then, when they are feeling better, it will not just be your voice screaming against what was done to them, but I know that if Mike was given the freedom to heal, and the love that he needs to do so, that he would, one day, stand beside you, raising his fists, struggling with all his might against the system that essentially raped him emotionally, and mentaly. This message really is not about me, or you, or anyone, the issue here are the lives of these youth. Don't do more hurt to them. Please, just give them their time, and they will heal. It takes time for the snow to melt, it takes time for the grass to grow, it will take time for them to heal. Please give them that time.

Thank you for taking the time to write.

You are welcome. I appologise, if, at times, I came across as hostile, or argumentative. I was victimized throughout most of my life, and time after time, I was not given the space to heal. I see Mike in a position not unlike the one which I endured, and get very hot under the collar when I see someone unknowingly hurting someone for some personal crusade.

I know that you are fighting for all of our rights, but in so doing you must be carefull not to disrespect his. Lest you become no better than that which you fight against.

In closing, I would like to say that I do NOT in any way, shape or form give concent to print, or use my e-mails to you in part or in whole, for any reason. You may NOT use my name, my situation, or my words in part or in whole for any reason relating to the organization of Injusticebusters, or your associated website. This correspondance was meant to save Mike alot of suffering as low profile as possible, and to hopefully, give him the feeling of just fading out of the lime light. If any of this or my previous e- mail to you is used in reference to the Ross case, I WILL take legal action, and press charges. Please just let him breathe, a year from now, we will still be fighting for the rights of the people, and maybe then, he will join you, instead of struggling against you.

Rhohan MacLir


The threat to charge us suggests police are involved. We will leave the discussion here and pass all the correspondence on to the proper authorities and the media for further investigation.

Meanwhile it is important to remember that Michael Ross was given a licence by the province, Sgt. Brian Dueck and Social Services to carry on his raping of his sisters for 43 months while they knew it was going on. Michael's weaknesses were exploited to allow the Crown and Brian Dueck to build a case against others they were manufacturing a malicious case against. At the age of 20, Michael realized that the terrible things he did were not entirely his own fault. He set about to make things right. Some of his correspondence with inJusticebusters was part of that process. Michael is not proud of the acts he committed between the ages of ten and fourteen. But he realizes that he cannot live with the threat of being "exposed" by Dueck or Diane Ens or the minister of justice hanging over his head for the rest of his life. On November 19, 2000, the whole country saw Michael on the fifth estate admitting to his actions and apologizing to those he had wronged.

inJusticebusters open letter to Michael