UPDATED: How I Occupied Toronto’s Church of the Holy Trinity (or, Bullied at the Pulpit!)

As God liveth, who hath taken away my right; and the Almighty, who hath vexed my soul; Job 27:2

I went out tonight expecting a gentle evening. A good friend, and fellow occupier, told me that Occupy Faith was having an event at the Anglican Church Of The Holy Trinity. So, I hopped onto a bus, threw-in a token and was off on my way…

I arrived to the outside of the church to find a number of friendly Occupiers who gave me warm OccuHugs. Also standing outside was Lee Ann McKenna, a woman who I met at the May Day event. She went running inside to talk to the Anglican priest as soon as I got near the door.

On paper, Lee Ann seems like a rather honourable person. She’s the director of The Gathering Of Baptists, a specialist in conflict resolution, Winner of the 2010 Toronto YMCA Peace Medallion, a Tar Sands Protester, and one of the Occupy Chaplains who was arrested on May 1st.

I first met Lee Ann on May 1st, in front of City Hall. It was a few minutes after I filed a police report about being assaulted by Dave Vasey & Octavian Cadabeschi. I was standing peacefully, filming the day’s activities when both Dave and Lee Ann swooped-in and tried to block my camera. It was a rather juvenile move- particularly considering there were at least a dozen other people (and three TV networks) filming the same event.

As usual, Dave made accusations against me, and refused to qualify any of them. But, I’m used to that, so it didn’t really phase me. But, I was shocked that Lee Ann, someone who I had never met was also so negative towards me- what did Dave say to her? I also asked Dave about the poor soul whose 13 year old brother Dave harassed on Facebook– rather than answer to that he finally walked away.

Oh, and just to make it clear Dave NOBODY has been asked to leave Occupy Vancouver. And, you know as well as I do that my being ‘banned’ from Occupy Toronto only passed because I was physically barred access (and assaulted) from a General Assembly by Judy Rebick’s brutish thug Alex Hundert!

There’s something seriously wrong with this picture…

Anyhow, back to today’s story. So I went into the church and saw Lee Ann talking with a couple of women. About a minute later, the two other women  approached me. Here’s the video:

The woman on the left is Rev. Alexa Gilmour of Windemere United Church– one of the Occupy Toronto Chaplains. The woman on the right is Maggie Helwig, an Anglican priest who works at Holy Trinity. It was a bizarre experience to have two women of god (both who I have never met) come forward and ask me to leave a church! They both left and got into a conversation with Sakura Saunders, and a couple of other people.

It Turns out that Maggie is quite an interesting person. She is an Activist priest, and a well-published author. She’s also the daughter of Order of Canada winner, and former Poet Laureate David Helwig. I guess I should have felt honoured to have the attention of such a distinguished woman! That said, my stomach was turning to see myself being bullied by a complete stranger. What did Lee Ann McKenna say to her?

So, for the first time in my life as an activist, I was ready to be carried-away and arrested by the police! I knew I was doing the right thing, and that the majority of the 99% would approve- because, if my own family’s church is going to behave this way, the world needs to know! I told some of my fellow occupiers and they told me it was good I was standing my ground.

I quietly sat down on one of the chairs. More occupiers came into the church, and I received some more hugs, handshakes and warm greetings. I love my fellow occupiers! (Even the ones who are so nasty to me, they can’t help themselves and I love them regardless.)

Then, the meeting began- and was I ever shocked at what came next! Have a look at the video. (sorry for the poor sound quality, church acoustics are not conducive to recording):

Wow! Rev. Alexa Gilmour actually started the meeting by attacking me! She told people that I am an unsafe person who makes others uncomfortable, and then spoke out my name and pointed directly at me. I felt like I was in some weird church movie, Never in my life could I had imagined such a thing would have happened!

Sakura Saunders posting on the Occupy/Decolonize TorontoFacebook pageThat said, never in my life would I imagine that an Anglican priest would throw any out of a church based on unstated allegations! I never expected this sort of discrimination from any place of worship to be honest. I’ve been to churches, mosques, temples, and synagogues in at least 50 countries and this is a first!

I was particularly shocked after having read this church’s mission:

The Church of the Holy Trinity is a community of people who seek to express Christian faith through lives of integrity, justice and compassion. We foster lay leadership, include the doubter and the marginalized, and challenge oppression wherever it may be found.

Both of my grandparent’s are resting at an Anglican church in Victoria, BC. The vicar of this church was the chaplain at my Sea Cadets detachment. And, I have never had a single negative incident with the church.

Holy Trinity Church in Victoria, BC where my grandparents are restingAs for Occupy, my only sin is my writing. That is, if one considers writing to be a sin. Everything I’ve written has been backed with well-researched facts- and, whenever someone has pointed out a mistake, I have quickly made a correction.  That said, my politics are somewhat different from many of my detractors– one key difference is that I am not a far-left member of the International Socialists.

There is another important, and highly-relevant, difference in my politics. It is that I don’t buy into the whole decolonize issue. That said, decolonization is a direct attack on the sovereignty of the Queen. I wouldn’t expect that to be an issue in an Anglican church- quite the opposite really.

If you look at the previous video though, you will see that Sakura Saunders was standing beside Alexa Gilmour. Sakura, and all of the people at OT who have been working so hard to attack me, are strong supporters of the Decolonize movement.

Sanctuary is not what this church was offering…So, in essence, Maggie Helwig tried to discriminate against and eject an Anglican Englishman based on lies told to her by someone who is working towards the goal of ending Her Majesty’s sovereignty over Canada. Wow, can you see how scandalous this situation is? Honestly, just thinking about it leaves me breathless!

And, regardless of the politics, what sort of priest asks someone who hasn’t caused any disruption to leave a church on behalf of ‘safe space’ politics? Never in my wildest imagination could I have imagined this sort of discrimination could happen!

Archbishop Fred HiltzTomorrow I will be writing a, very detailed, letter to The Primate of the Canadian church, Archbishop Fred Hiltz. Copies of this letter will be sent to The Archbishop of Canterbury (Rowan Williams, a man I have deep respect for) and also to Canada’s Governor General David Johnston. My letter will explain the situation that happened today, and the events that led up to it. I will then ask for his assistance in mediating this whole mess and solving the problem for once and for all.

As I’ve previously written, the people who have hijacked Occupy Toronto and hijacked Occupy Vancouver are in the process of, amongst other things, trying to create a native uprising and overthrow the Queen. This whole situation has gone too far already, and I’ve met very few members of the Canadian 99% who agree with this. It is time that this silliness is stopped…

Permanent link to this article: http://www.genuinewitty.com/2012/05/11/how-i-occupied-torontos-church-of-the-holy-trinity-or-bullied-at-the-pulpit/


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  1. you will see that saku …… ? hmmm… I’m confused it felt like I’d only read half an article at that point as a reader I am left wanting something more. Of course that isn’t knocking your writing ability just seems like this article needs a conclusion of some sort.

    1. There was a technical glitch- thank you for bringing this to my attention. Fixed now…

    • Occultpie Myass on May 11, 2012 at 11:00
    • Reply

    How shameful. And once again, not one single person is able to offer any evidence of these horrible lies and gossip that have been spread about you. What Would Jesus Do?

    1. Well, it appears that if Jesus were Anglican, Baptist or United, he would throw the writers out of the church! Lol

  2. I have no loyalty to that heinous queen to whom we allow ourselves to be enslaved and I have yet to examine a church and not find it devilishly corrupt. The Anglican church is particularly despicable. That said, it is always better when things are revealed on film so this cracked me up. Subtitles on the bad audio vid would be great, lol!


    • Occultpie Myass on May 11, 2012 at 17:23
    • Reply

    Hmm…I don’t know much about church politics, but I do know that if Jesus really ascribed to the ideals that he is said to have, then he would have been standing right beside Greg! They have made a mockery out of what Jesus is supposed to represent and are not true representatives of Christianity.

    • Seriously? on May 12, 2012 at 19:35
    • Reply

    For a bunch of media whores they sure get nervous when your camera is around. What’s up with that? lol

    • Cynthia Matthews on May 14, 2012 at 06:47
    • Reply

    The words that come to mind are martyr (perfect for a church), and confidential (as in confession), and unbiased… as a genuine media publication should be,

  3. “A poll by Ipsos-Reid, also in June 2010, found that the majority two-in-three Canadians agree the royal family should not have any formal role in Canadian society, and reported growing sentiment that Elizabeth II should be Canada’s last monarch. The majority 58% of Canadians want Canada to end ties to monarchy when Queen Elizabeth II’s reign ends, and the majority 62% of Canadians believe that Canada’s head of state should be the Governor General, not the Queen.”

    1. I’m sure this is true- that said, I don’t think it is the place of a Priest in the Anglican church to support that! lol

  4. A poll by Ipsos-Reid, also in June 2010, found that the majority two-in-three Canadians agree the royal family should not have any formal role in Canadian society, and reported growing sentiment that Elizabeth II should be Canada’s last monarch. The majority 58% of Canadians want Canada to end ties to monarchy when Queen Elizabeth II’s reign ends, and the majority 62% of Canadians believe that Canada’s head of state should be the Governor General, not the Queen.

  5. Would you like to share this with the Facebook communities? I have a group and page for Occupy Command, please contact me, I’d like to document and expose these “make believe consensus gathering human beings”.

    Solidarity dude!!

    1. I’ve shared with a number of them, but please feel free to share with others. I would appreciate your help!

  6. Reblogged this on Peace & Nonviolence Project and commented:
    This seems like a peaceful, nonviolent human being doing what is right. What do you guys think?

    • Tamara Dippel on May 24, 2012 at 04:13
    • Reply

    H*ly Sh*t! They actually said Greg needed consent to film??? No, he DOES NOT! WTF Bullcrap was that???? How DARE they tell ANYONE from the public they have no right to film?? Occupy Toronto is completely open to filming and encouraged to raise awareness!!! If he has no right then we have no right to film at those events or even to film the police when they attack us… but we do have that right! NONE of us NEEDS permission!!! HOW DARE THEY??? They just violated a sacred right that the general public holds! lksjdlkjdlkjsd!!!!!!!!! (ANGRY!!!)

    • F*CK Occulie on May 25, 2012 at 22:15
    • Reply

    Make no mistake about it, these people ARE the people they proclaim to be against. Many of them are narcissistic, spoiled and very power hungry. They are a very dangerous bunch.

  1. […] my incident at the Anglican church last Thursday, I have been busy compiling information and evidence to present to Archbishop Hiltz. […]

  2. […] to interrupt his visit. I figured there would be- but, now it seems like it is confirmed. I bet Maggie Helwig’s face is red […]

  3. […] the fact the incident at the Church of the Holy Trinity last week was deeply disturbing on a very personal level, I am trying to look at the positive side. Perhaps, […]

  4. […] daughter of former Poet Laureate David Helwig- the very same (confused) Anglican priest who asked me to leave the Queen’s church on-behalf of a group of people who are challenging Her Majesty’s sovereignty! I have a […]

  5. […] may remember I wrote a letter to Archbishop Hiltz of the Canadian Anglican church after Maggie Helwig tried to bully and get me to leave her church. I received a call from the Archbishop’s office a couple of weeks later, asking me if it was […]

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