Hidden from History:
The Canadian Holocaust
New evidence that United Church destroyed documents proving its crimes: 'Operation Clean Sweep'
- for public circulation and reprinting -
Vancouver, April 4, 2003:
A highly placed, confidential source within the British Columbia Conference of the United Church of Canada has confirmed the existence of a program to systematically destroy documents related to crimes committed against native people in that church's Indian residential schools and hospitals.
These crimes include rape, torture, murder, sexual sterilization, and an organized pedophile and sex slavery network involving senior church officials, politicians, judges and RCMP officers across B.C.
According to the source, the program to destroy these documents was entitled "Operation Clean Sweep", and was initiated in February, 1996 as a result of a confidential directive from the General Council of the United Church in Toronto.
The directive was issued by United Church General Secretary Virginia Coleman in the wake of the commencing (on February 3, 1996) of the first class action lawsuit against the same church by native survivors of the notorious Alberni residential school, run by the United Church.
The directive was labelled "Strictly Confidential", and was sent to church officials in B.C. It was prompted as well by the public statements of former United Church minister Rev. Kevin Annett and an eyewitness to murder at the Alberni school, Harriett Nahanee, both of whom had been quoted in the Vancouver Sun the previous December as saying that native children were killed and secretly buried behind the Alberni residential school.
According to the church source,
"Ginny Coleman wanted the whole thing buried quickly, which is why she also came out to Port Alberni in May of that year to square things with the local Indian chiefs and get them on side. She made it clear that all documents related to these allegations had to be destroyed."
Operation Clean Sweep resulted in the destruction of medical records concerning the organized and involuntary sterilization of non-Christian Indian men and women at the church's R.W. Large Memorial Hospital in Bella Bella, B.C., between 1929 and 1975, and possibly later.
"A hospital administrator named Barb Brown arranged to have the sterilization records dumped in the ocean during March, 1996, and then again in July. All of the records contained annotated payment receipts from the Department of Indian Affairs in Ottawa, which was helping to fund the sterilizations. But it was church missionary doctors like George Darby who did the procedure, whose aim was simply to stop pagan Indians from breeding."
According to the source, this destruction of evidence was not confined to the sterilization evidence.
"It covered the whole gamut. Any correspondence that referred to the deaths of children while in church custody had to go. Any record of pedophilia by ministers - there was lots of that - it all had to be destroyed no later than April 30, 1996."
By far the most disturbing revelation of this source is his confirmation of the official cover-up of a native-run pedophile network involving church and government officials in B.C..
"What really got Ginny and others scared was the kiddy sex ring shit coming out. Everyone in the old boys' network of B.C. Conference knows about it, since a lot of them are gay and pedophiles themselves. But the link to the Alberni residential school is what really prompted Clean Sweep, since there were living eyewitnesses suddenly suing the church who could testify that the pedophile ring got started out of that residential school in the 1940's, after the church was made legal guardian of the students there by the feds.
"The point is, this shit is still going on, not just at the Vancouver Club. It pervades the whole system, and the church is just one cover for it."
While confirming previous allegations made by native eyewitnesses themselves, the source in question is the first non-native person, and United Church official, to explain the reason for the sustained cover-up campaign engineered by the United Church since the spring of 1996 in regard to its residential school crimes.
B.C. Conference official Debra Bowman has refused to comment on the allegations of this source. No official of the national church has responded to our phone calls or e-mails.
The source of these latest allegations is a senior United Church minister who retired several years ago and whose "extremely troubled conscience" prompted him to contact members of The Truth Commission into Genocide in Canada.
This new evidence has been forwarded to international police and human rights bodies, and to the world press.
Issued by The Executive,
The Truth Commission into Genocide in Canada
4 April, 2003