Extortion charges against Wiebo Ludwig dropped by RCMP!
A RadicalPress Exclusive Report
By Arthur Topham
January 9, 2010
RadicalPress.com editor and publisher Arthur Topham, in a short interview with Ben Ludwig, son of Wiebo Ludwig, on Saturday morning, January 9th, 2010 was informed that Wiebo Ludwig, contrary to reports in the mainstream media, has not been formally charged by the RCMP with “extortion” as reported in the msm on Friday, January 8th.
The RCMP have a time limit of 24 hours in which to lay formal charges and according to Ben Ludwig they didn’t do so. At the time of the conversation, Ben told Topham that his Mother, Mamie Ludwig, had gone to pick her husband up from the police station in Grande Prairie.
In a subsequent call only minutes after the interview Ben informed RadicalPress.com that his father was now safely home and the charges against him were not forthcoming.
Close to a decade has passed since the Radical Press last covered the grotesque tale of the harassment and victimization of the Ludwig Christian Community known as Trickle Creek farm as a reporter for the now defunct alternative newspaper, The Radical.
Editor’s note: It was in my January, 2001 edition of the newspaper that I ran a feature length article on the Ludwig story and manner in which the RCMP, the media and the vigilante groups in the area had acted throughout the course of the investigation leading up to the arrest, trial and subsequent imprisonment of Wiebo Ludwig. It’s not a pretty picture but a vivid example of how the state and its complicit media, aided and abetted by the corporate interests involved, conspire to create scapegoats out of decent, innocent people in order to cover up for their own ineptitude and crimes committed against the environment and people who become victims of industrial pollution and poisoning.
In the interests of telling the truth about Wiebo Ludwig and the Trickle Creek Christian Community I am again publishing this important article. It has never seen the light of day on the Internet prior to now. Please feel free to pass this document on to any interested party.
from The Radical VOL.3 NO.5 JANUARY 2001
CANADA’S JUSTICE SYSTEM €œ SANCTUARY OR TYRANNY
The Case of Wiebo Ludwig and the Trickle Creek Christian Community
I see my light come shining from the West unto the East
Any day now, any day now I shall be released.
-Bob Dylan, I Shall Be Released, 1967
By Arthur Topham
There is a belief held by the native American Sioux people that at the beginning of each new cycle of Creation a buffalo is placed in the West in order to hold back the waters. With each passing year one hair falls out of the buffalo and with each passing Age one of the buffalo’s legs falls off. When all the hair and the four legs have fallen off the cycle will be complete and the waters will again rush in and signal the end. Strangely enough there is a similar belief contained within the Hindu mythology. What is also of interest is the fact that both the American Indian and the Hindu believe that in our present age the buffalo is now standing on only one leg and is pretty much bald.
To say therefore that we’re living in an apocalyptic period of increasing social injustice may soon prove to be an understatement. The longstanding notion that our hard-won democratic institutions are shielding us from foreign threat is no longer valid as we witness our emergence into the 21st Century and, along with it, an increasingly unprecedented and unabashed assault on our basic human rights and economic freedoms. What makes it striking though is not that it’s sources stem from international financial and corporate interests, but more importantly and much closer to home it seems, from within the very institutions of our own domestic governments; entities ostensibly created to prevent just such occurrences from ever manifesting.
Aided and abetted by megalithic media monopolies, domestic (and soon to be foreign U.N.) military and police units, and a select assortment of traitorous citizens who’ve succumbed to the overt financial pressures of greed and survival, thus making them willing pawns in the game of power-over those who resist their efforts, Canadian citizens are now finding themselves strangers in a strange land whenever and wherever they insist that justice be meted out in a fair and equable manner.
The ways and means of achieving such an overall, suppressive system of slavery is not new, only the tactics have changed due to the increased development and use of more sophisticated mind-control techniques, surveillance systems and high-tech gadgetry. Of fundamental importance to the successful completion of their nefarious plan though is the maintenance of a vehicle or medium for disseminating the Orwellian Newspeak that comprises the daily dispensation of media deceit called news.
Legitimate dissent, it appears, has now become illegitimate – a bastard child of a once virgin system of justice and a naive and complacent populace no longer deemed expedient in a New World Order of corporate philistines out to conquer the globe. Peaceful protest is no longer considered an acceptable form of political expression by the corporate business sector, nor, as the following article will hopefully show, is it deemed such by our governments or our courts. Instead of having the rights and freedoms that are supposedly guaranteed under our suspect Constitution, an increasing number of politically aware citizens are being subjected to a new, raw, unexpurgated version of growing police harassment and violence often attended by a treasonous and surreptitious forgery of fact by both media representatives and a lackey police force. Such overt behaviour is quickly becoming a growing threat to all who still believe in the principles of justice, liberty and freedom and the ensuing thought of a corporate-controlled government combined with a partial judiciary acting at the behest of financial interests, rather than a dedication to upholding the sovereignty of one law for all, is most abhorrent.
Still, for all the subterfuge within the mainstream media, the alternative, independent media is rife with growing reports of these sorts of terrorist tactics that western governments are inflicting upon their own citizens in order to quell dissent. A prime example of such corporate, police and government parole-perpetrated propaganda against protesters involves one of the leading figures within the environmental movement in Canada – the Reverend Wiebo Ludwig – along with the extended family who comprise the Christian Community known as Trickle Creek Farm located in the northwestern region of Alberta’s Peace River district near the towns of Hythe and Beaverlodge.
The community of Trickle Creek (numbering 35 at the moment) [Editor’s note: This figure is likely much higher today ten years later.] has been carrying on a protracted and bitter struggle with the giant Alberta oil & gas industry over the poisoning of their air, water and soil for over a decade. Flaring of toxic gases from oil and gas wells that surround their farmlands became an urgent, life-threatening concern when the community suddenly began experiencing the negative effects that such practices were having on their unborn children and livestock. Mother’s were aborting or giving birth to abnormal, still-born babies and animals were dying and aborting. Children and adults began suffering from a litany of skin rashes and flu-like symptoms that eventually forced this peaceful, God-fearing community to seek out the cause of their ill-fortune. It didn’t take too long for them to realize what and who was responsible for their sickness but that in itself turned out to be only the first step in what later became a long and arduous battle to seek redress.
Young Women and Mothers from Trickle Creek Christian Community circa 1998
After years of struggling to have the problem of oil and gas pollution recognized as a legitimate threat to all life-forms and in dire need of stringent safety regulations, the bubble of blacked-out information finally burst when a growing wave of protest culminated in a series of attacks upon oil and gas installations in the areas affected by the toxic emissions. The RCMP ended up launching an investigation and in the process of attempting to come up with a suspect they themselves fell prey to using illegal means such as faking a phony explosion of a well-site in order to incite fear and uncertainty into a region where levels of paranoia were already rampant. The numbers of incidents of police collusion with the corporate oil and gas sector and governmental bodies associated with the Alberta government must unfortunately, because of space restraints, remain a separate issue for another time.
In the process of trying to expose the toxic practices of a obscenely bloated and arrogant oil industry that’s been habitually trampling over citizens’ rights for generations the members of Trickle Creek found themselves victims in new and wondrous ways. Some residents of the surrounding municipalities, consisting mainly of farmers and oil workers directly or indirectly dependent upon the oil and gas industry for their livelihood, turned on the Trickle Creek community with a vengeance. After the unfortunate shooting of Karman Willis during a trespassing incident in June of 1999, they formed an ad hoc group of self-appointed vigilantes who dubbed themselves the West County Concerned Citizens (WCCC) led by spokesman Brian Peterson. Once up this organization began a smear and disinformation campaign against the Ludwig and Boonsta families that is ongoing to this day. As one reads through the various assessments carried out by Corrections Canada after Wiebo Ludwig’s imprisonment, it becomes readily apparent that the negative effects of these smear tactics permeate much of what is accepted as truth and fact by the RCMP, the parole board, and the general public. All of this deception ultimately played a crucial role in prohibiting the early release of Wiebo Ludwig.
When Wiebo Ludwig and Richard Boonstra’s controversial trial ended both men were sentenced on April 26, 2000 to prison terms based on circumstantial evidence that they had participated in the blowing up of a Suncor oil well north of Hinton, Alberta. Richard Boonstra was given a short jail sentence but Wiebo Ludwig, pumped up by the prosecution, police and the media as the prime instigator of all the bombings, received a sentence of 2 years 4 months in federal prison. He is currently serving time in a minimum security jail known as the Grande Cache Institution located about a hundred miles north of Hinton, Alberta. I went to visit Wiebo Ludwig on Saturday, October 21 to discuss his situation, in particular, the refusal by Corrections Canada to allow him out on accelerated parole. While I was there I also met his wife Mamie Lou, two of their children and grandchildren and their close friends and in-laws Richard and Lois Boonstra.
Richard Boonsra and the younger men of Trickle Creek farm outstanding in their field
During the course of our amicable meeting I was presented with a number of official documents and letters related to the subject of Wiebo’s parole. After returning home I read through the lengthy Intake and Community assessments that were recorded by Corrections Canada parole officers only to discover that they had been liberally seasoned with a large amount of police and community (read WCCC) input. Taken at face value the accusations contained in these documents portrayed a rather frightening picture of Wiebo Ludwig and the community of which he is a father, grandfather and spiritual Elder. Had I only these government documents as a reference it would have been virtually impossible to come up with a reasonable and unbiased sense of who Wiebo Ludwig really was. I say this in retrospect though because it was only after reading through the equally lengthy rebuttals to these government assessments, later submitted to the parole board by both the Reverend Ludwig and the rest of the resident members, that it became glaringly obvious that the Trickle Creek community was confronting yet another head on the Hydra of Corporate Globalization, this latest menace taking on the shape-shifting form of none other than Corrections Canada itself.
It’s not easy to perceive just how the parole board fashions its assessment data in order to achieve a preconceived agenda but it must be borne in mind that the mainstream press gets much of its information from police and parole officer reports and then adds its own sinister twist to the supposed facts that appear in official documents thus projecting an image to the general public that, upon closer examination, reveals an almost unbelievable bias toward the institutions and values of which it too is an integral part. In doing so the media becomes a willing agent, both complicit in and guilty of, forging lies and half-truths in order to assist its counter-parts in the global scheme for world domination.
The oil and gas industry wants Wiebo Ludwig in jail. The West County Concerned Citizens (known locally as the WKKK because of their overt, antagonistic actions against Trickle Creek) want Wiebo Ludwig in jail. The Alberta government, which draws its economic breath from out of the black, porous, subterranean lungs of oil and gas lying beneath its troubled landscape, also wants Wiebo Ludwig locked up and silent, a grim and sphinx-like reminder of what lies in store for those who dare to challenge an industry that feeds the voracious belly of an antiquated industrial system long overdue for radical change.
Once in the clutches of Correction Canada the agents of persecution aligned with the oil industry knew that it was essential to portray to the public and the parole board a picture of Wiebo Ludwig that was in keeping with the RCMP’s and the WCCC’s preconceived and concocted image of a man who they wanted the public to view as an egotistical, domineering, violent, sexist, tyrant. It therefore became necessary to paint such a picture into the framework of Corrections Canada’s bureaucrat assessment process. That is what was done using unsubstantiated allegations, half-truths, twisted logic, gossip and out and out lies. Once the maligning by parole assessors was complete, the media was given this distorted palate containing a potpourri of darkly-coloured images depicting a man wholly out of keeping with his basic persona. They then proceeded to use these false images with willing intent, malice and premeditated editorial malediction. That is what this article is all about: the subversion of truth for the sake of greed, power and injustice.
(Editor’s Note: In order for the reader to fully comprehend the subtlety and scope of what Corrections Canada and the RCMP do when they choose to defame an inmate for the purposes of preventing early parole and also to gain an insight into the way in which the mainstream media exacerbates this deception, it’s imperative to pass through the smoke and mirrors of indecent innuendo and outrageous design that created the original illusion. It’s the only way in which a clear understanding of what has happened to Wiebo Ludwig will be detectable. The article is lengthy but without going into the nitty gritty of the reports (and even there I’ve had to leave much out) the underlying theme would not become apparent and the purpose of the exercise would ultimately be in vain. I would ask therefore, dear reader, that you give your patient attention to this protracted dissertation for a good man has been defamed and jailed and his family and his spiritual community have been maligned and viciously condemned; all in order that the underlying raison d’etre which caused their protestations might be obscured, overlooked and finally forgotten. Collusion has clearly shown itself to be present within the police investigation and the immediate health threats of the oil and gas industry thwarted in favour of victimizing the messengers. In short there has been a cover-up of the truth – one that exposes all the colluding parties: the various levels of government, industry, the RCMP, the courts and Corrections Canada. They all stand accused of complicity in forging a lie and attempting to whitewash over a cruel and evil deceit – the deliberate poisoning of Canada’s citizens for the sake of a fierce and unqualified desire for monetary gain.)
After Wiebo Ludwig’s incarceration at Grande Cache Institution members of the Trickle Creek community were put in the position of having to go through what Corrections Canada refers to as a Community Assessment. This exercise is carried out ostensibly to access suitability for Private Family Visits, to identify issues for the offender to address during his sentence, and to address issues to be addressed in preparation for his return to the community. At the same time Wiebo also went through an Intake Assessment during the month of July 2000 which amounted to 33 typewritten legal sized pages. That assessment was recorded by Ms. Lisa Ling, Parole Officer. For the purposes of this article I will mainly focus on the Community Assessment document with some additional quotes from Wiebo Ludwig taken from his rebuttal to Ms. Ling’s Intake Assessment and to the National Parole board.
From the onset of the Community Assessment and scattered throughout the 14 legal-length pages that make it up there is a serious and detectable bias present in the manner in which Wiebo’s relationship with his wife and family and his extended family are described. The writer, Parole Officer Paul Plant, through his use of unsubstantiated police reports, heresay allegations from telephone conversations that were never recorded and the direct testimony of one hostile, local resident, pieces together a slipshod, jigsaw puzzle of innuendo and half-truths that smears everyone from the children on up to the grandparents and then tries to create the appearance of Wiebo Ludwig as a potentially violent and aggressive cult leader strikingly similar to the scenario fabricated by the FBI and the U.S. media during the Waco, Texas incident which, in the latter case, ended tragically in the massacre of scores of innocent men, women and children.
The Community Assessment report is divided into a number of sections each containing commentaries related to both Wiebo Ludwig and the residents of Trickle Creek. These sections or categories will be headlined for ease of reference. All bold text is in keeping with the original documents.
Physical description of environment
Whether Paul Plant is talking about the actual physical property that composes the Trickle Creek Farm, the people who dwell there, the manner in which they choose to educate their children, how they live their lives or their religious beliefs, inevitably assertions are stated that lead the reader to conclude that this Rev. Wiebo Ludwig and his cult of misguided religious adherents are one mean, nasty and dangerous lot.
Trickle Creek Farm, within the scope of the assessment, is not merely a family farm but a compound, a term highly loaded with negative connotations. The older male children of Wiebo & Mamie Lou (they have 11 children of their own) married the daughters of Richard & Lois Boonstra and as if that wasn’t controversial enough in the eyes of the police they told Paul Plant that no registry of the marriages had been found which in their eyes suggested that, they have not participated in society by registering their marriage. This went into the assessment and remained there leaving the impression that the children were somehow living either common law or in some other sin in the eyes of a morally upstanding public. Even though the Trickle Creek residence provided certificates of marriage to show that the allegations were untrue the report remained unchanged. Then to add further insult to the injury already committed the police report goes on to say, A further anomaly is that one of Harmony’s children [Harmony being Wiebo and Mamie Lou’s eldest daughter. Ed.] appears to have been conceived while Trevor [her husband. Ed.] was out of the province. LUDWIG is listed as legal guardian on the child’s birth certificate. Now, I needn’t dwell on what accusations such as these imply to a reading public jaded into complacency and fed daily on a diet of sensationalism and perverted sexual fantasies. In their response to the assessment the community of Trickle Creek wrote: One wonders about the relevance and purpose of this false and therefore slanderous information from the police. Even though this should be a private matter, the truth is Trevor was only absent during the birth not conception. Furthermore, Rev. Ludwig does not appear as the legal guardian on any certificate. In his own rebuttal in the Intake Assessment Wiebo adds the following comments to the police-induced smut campaign to defame his daughter: What amazing and perverse invasive interest as to what goes on in the bedroom privacy of people’s lives at Trickle Creek. It boggles the mind and gives one the creeps. Certainly it makes Orwell’s 1984 look like child’s play….How low can the RCMP stoop? And to what end does Corrections Canada wish to involve itself in such bureaucratic abuse and indecency?
So, after Paul Plant, via the police report, intimates that Harmony Schilthuis is a harlot because her husband was absent while she conceived of child, he goes on to make subjective, moral judgments as to the nature of how the community is run. Major themes of this community’s operation include strict obedience to the Bible…. Authority is another theme of their community dynamics where the Chief Elder (LUDWIG) is honoured as the leader and final decision maker due to his more advanced knowledge and interpretive skills with the Bible. In their rebuttal to these statements the community says, Authority is not, as Plant incorrectly reports, honoured…due to [Rev. Ludwig’s] more advanced knowledge and interpretive skills of the Bible.’ This misrepresentation is typical of the Middle Age Roman Catholic Church method of denying the masses the right to read the Bible for themselves and so keep control of the masses’ religious thinking. Instead, authority is honoured because of calling, one of which is natural in the form of grandfather, father, and the other as God-ordained minister. The difference in Plant’s report is that he implies incorrectly that Ludwig’s knowledge intimidates people into a blind following and therefore is the basis for his authority. Also on the same topic is the relevant comment by Richard Boonstra which states, The term strict obedience’ is an extremely loaded’ term in its modern usage with at least two distinct and implied meanings: a) zealotry, narrow-mindedness, etc. and b) something not done out of free volition, especially when used in a group or cult setting. It should also be noted that this is Mr. Plant’s terminology, not ours. We would simply say that we have made it our aim to obey the Scriptures in order to give meaning to our individual and familial lives here and have become a community around those aims and goals. As an elder I have seldom been inspired with the strict’ nature of obedience to the Scriptures in this regard; if anything, we would generally discourage strict obedience’ to any rule since Christ Himself came to fulfill the law, not create more slavery to it.
On the topic of Criminal History Plant notes that everything connected with Wiebo Ludwig’s conviction revolves around the family’s battle with the oil and gas industry and that, the Industry’s practices of flaring’ (burning off gasses from the well) and venting’ (releasing gas into the air to relieve pressure) causes toxic chemicals to settle and collect on their property resulting in sickness and rashes for their children. Wiebo Jr. and Renee had a son still born at full term because he had Anacephaly (a lack of skull development). They noted that the point of his gestation where skull development occurs corresponded to a period of venting’ of a nearby pipeline, and feel that this practice caused the death of their son. In their response to this statement the Trickle Creek community says, The truthful account is: They noted that the point of his gestation where skull development occurs corresponded to a period of industry documented, deliberate venting and flaring of a gas well during its production testing phase, shortly after pumping fracing fluid down the well. They simply realized that this practice is the most reasonable and likely explanation for the unusual deformation and death of their son especially since the Material Safety Data Sheet for chemicals used in the fracing fluid warn of effects like anacephaly.’ Subsequent research further underscores the reasonableness of their suspicions and fears.
Note: Plant fails to mention deaths of animals (many) in association with toxic fumigations, and oilfield associated deaths of 5 other children at Trickle Creek besides Renee and Bo’s son.
In this category, with respect to the community’s treatment of their children, Plant goes on to cast more seeds of doubt in people’s minds by suggesting that because the community declined to comment on matters of family discipline and also because Wiebo supposedly had eight wives then, This is an area that should be monitored due to reports of harsh discipline of members of the Trickle Creek Farm community. Being little more than another cheap shot based on rumour and conjecture the community responded by saying, Unless reports of (uncalled for) harsh discipline’ are substantiated in fact, people’s lives should not be monitored or their privacy invaded in any fashion. It is a known fact that much gossip has been spread by severe vigilante bigotry about the Trickle Creek families because of their religious stance and their stand against pollution. They should not be victimized further by invasive inquisition and programs based upon such malicious gossip as Plant recommends in this paragraph, as elsewhere throughout his report.
Wiebo also comments on this matter in his rebuttal of accusations made in his Intake Assessment by remarking, I reiterate that I am still shocked and offended by the amount of unabashed reliance upon malicious gossip (collateral information’) in this evaluation generally, but especially here, since those whom I love are implicated as much by it as I. It seems to me a sorry way to deal with people’s lives, lives that are, in my considered opinion, already under more than enough stress from the frightening impacts of gasfield fumigations and the attending struggle to have that responsibility addressed. Also, the fact that we practice the biblical teachings regarding headship’ and submission,’ so crucial to wholesome family living, etc., may be considerably varied from contemporary practices but does not, ipso facto, have to imply abuse, except perhaps for those who have neither regard for multicultural tolerance nor for the right to practice religious freedom.’ In a society with such an unprecedented amount of marriage and family breakdown the sheer wholesomeness of our marriage and family life at Trickle Creek stands as a beacon of encouragement and should not, as gossip (or: collateral information’) would have it, be held suspect of dysfunctionality across the board, including spousal assault’ both sexual’ and physical,’ as here affirmed. Much less should shaky and unwarranted suspicions be grounds upon which a course in parenting’ is now proposed and an entire family disturbed. A government of worth ought rather to praise and protect such accomplishment in family living today – especially today! At the risk of sounding supercilious, our extensive experience and singular accomplishments in family living, alone, would more than qualify our familial community to both structure and teach such a course to the considerable benefit of those who have been overcome my marital and familial defeats…. Most all who have spent time with us and know us would, I believe, confirm that our family life is exceptionally wholesome and appealing even to those who do not particularly understand or share our Christian values or orientation.
In brief, I neither believe in nor practice spousal abuse’ be that physical’ or sexual’ even though we have undoubtedly had our differences and an occasional serious quarrel during our 36+ years of a very interesting marriage and love affair to date – not many dull moments to be sure. Statistically, our familial community is blessed aggregately with close to l00′ years of marriage and 0′ years of divorce, an encouraging record.
Here Parole Officer Plant first describes how the family sees Wiebo Ludwig as tolerant and gracious of other person’s religious perspectives and that he, focuses on who a person is rather than on what he believes, and that rather than being an anti type he endeavours to look for the positive in relationships. They also told Plant that Wiebo doesn’t discriminate against groups and is very conciliatory.
Not to be outdone by anything so positive and praiseworthy Plant then goes on to document what the police and the West County Concerned Citizens have to say. Reports from the police and the community [read WCCC. Ed] indicate that LUDWIG believes in the use of Instrumental Violence to achieve his goals. He and members of his family have used veiled threats while armed with firearms or machetes to encourage people to comply with their wishes. They have tried to control the section of the county road that runs between their two quarter sections in this way and even installed a gate across it on one occasion and had the women chained to the gate in protest. The young children were wearing fanny packs and wandering around. During a subsequent search of their property fanny packs were found to contain ammunition. The police report that LUDWIG fired his rifle onto his neighbour’s property in the direction of the neighbour’s dog with the owners and their children present. He claimed that this was done because the dog had acted aggressively toward him on an earlier visit to the residence. LUDWIG is suspected of being involved in two other shooting incidents also although it cannot be proven. There is also the incident of the shooting death of the youth, Carmen Willis, and the injury of her companion on the Ludwig property. Police report that the Trickle Creek residents have refused to cooperate with their investigation in order to bring closure to the incident. The family counters that they offered to be fully cooperative on the first day of the investigation by showing the evidence of the youths’ reckless driving through their property and endangering the lives of their children camping on the lawn but the police didn’t cooperate. In the one current conviction (the Suncor site bombing) the police believed this should have been recognized as endangerment of human life.
Taken at face value these reports from the police and members of the WCCC are quite damming with respect to Wiebo and the Trickle Creek community. Instrumental Violence, veiled threats, firearms & machetes, fanny packs full of ammunition and the shooting off of a rifle in the direction of one’s neighbour and their children all sound like pretty serious stuff for a good Christian community to be involved in and they are, at least until one hears the other side of the story, the side that somehow doesn’t make it into the mainstream press. Responding to this list of allegations the Trickle Creek residents had this to say: Contrary to what police or community may believe or say re: instrumental violence,’ Rev. Ludwig has repeatedly stated, also to the media, that he does not believe in any form of violence’ but only in justified use of force’ such as in the case of self-defense’ (see Criminal Code of Canada).
Further, here, the incident involving so-called machetes’ and rifles’ is misconstrued and exaggerated and was, in fact, a friendly discussion with 2 surveyors that ended in a handshake. A few members of Trickle Creek met these two men on the way back from a casual Sunday walk carrying one machete and one .22′ rifle since they were in the bush at the time. Plant’s report insinuates not only that there was more than one gun and machete but it also fails to mention that those tools (machete and firearm) are both common and quite legitimate when taking a walk through the bush – for brush clearing, defense against wild animals (e.g. bear) and for small game hunting (e.g. grouse, rabbit), etc.
On the subject of the gate that was erected the community had this response: After much reckless drunken driving and a life-threatening experience for a young child on the road where an industry backhoe recklessly nearly ran over him, the residents at Trickle Creek contacted the affected landowners for approval to put in a gate on the last half-mile of the dead end road which runs between the two Trickle Creek properties. The affected (absentee) landowner gave his approval. Furthermore, industry had promised that they would use the other access anyway. However, once the gate was erected, the County’ came and threatened to tear it down. Several persons, including women, volunteered to appear chained to the gate – although they were not – in protest for the safety of the children at Trickle Creek. The residents arranged and agreed to leave the gate open until the County’ could give approval but the County’ unexpectedly came back and tore the gate down before a hearing could take place, as if out of spite.
Note: that gate would most likely have prevented Karman Willis and her boozing buddies from trespassing etc., as well as her death.
On the subject of the fanny packs: the insinuation in Plant’s report that children were wearing fanny packs full of ammunition is in error. Only 2 fanny packs have ever been owned by the Trickle Creek families. Plant’s report incorrectly conjures in one’s mind an army of children wandering around’ with fanny packs full of ammunition. Contrary to Plant’s report, only one fanny pack (not the plural fanny packs’) was (months later) found with ammunition stored in it for use by the community butcher (not the children). The so-called subsequent search’ (which again conjures in the mind that it was soon after and related to the gate incident) occurred almost a year later in an unrelated incident. Such stretches of association do not meet the rules of evidence but turn out to be maliciously harmful gossip.
As for Wiebo Ludwig firing his rifle in the direction of his neighbour and his kids that is also in error according to Trickle Creek residents: Contrary to Plant’s report, Mamie Ludwig – a witness of the incident – says the dog had shown aggression, was on the road and approaching them; no bullets were actually fired at the dog, let alone on the neighbour’s property. Carrying a firearm in such a remote area for protection from wildlife and for hunting small game etc. (especially persons interested in self sufficiency) is common.
As for the accusation by police that the residents refused to cooperate with the investigation the community says, Not only did the police not cooperate concerning the investigation, they deceived and detained the resident men away from the women and children by stating they wanted the men to come to a predetermined spot to arrange for show and tell’ of the crime scene. However when the resident men came to the agreed spot, the officer in charge, Cpl. Cox (now Sgt. Cox) said, we don’t need your help, we are professionals.’ The RCMP then ordered the men into a locked prisoner van and transported them about 70 km away to Grande Prairie. They resisted the residents’ pleas towards the RCMP to return them to their wives and children at the farm. The RCMP initially refused, stating it was for their own safety because of the local hostility towards them. The police said they were making preparations to house all the Trickle Creek residents into a school or church in Hythe or Beaverlodge for the time being – which was obviously more dangerous to their safety, leaving the farm animals without caretakers!
While this was happening, the women and children were, in effect, ambushed and held at gunpoint at home by camouflaged SWAT team members carrying automatic weapons….
Contained within this category we find further slanderous statements by the police that are not backed up with evidence. For example, The police note that theft and vandalism of Oil and Gas installations has dramatically decreased since LUDWIG’S incarceration. In response the community of Trickle Creek calls such statements, speculative and misleading. According to their appraisal of this situation, Mr. Bob Wraight’s [Bob Wraight was the police informant. Ed.] leaving the area is just as likely a reason for the alleged decrease in oilfield sabotage. Moreover, sabotage has, in fact, continued in the area. That it may appear to have lessened could be due to the fact that police and locals simply feel they’ve gotten their man and therefore are no longer that concerned about the issue which has been an issue in the oilfields for decades [emphasis added. Ed.]. There are any number of additional explanations. Why continue to pick on Ludwig as a target at the exclusion of so many other explanations even as the trial itself revealed about the police investigation? Moreover, what will history’s judgment be when it is finally acknowledged that we and so many others, also in our immediate area and throughout the world, were suffering sentinels of industrial sickness and death, especially infanticide? Will history favour those who dismissed, maligned and even imprisoned them?
Assessment of Impact on Victim
Moving on to this category parole officer Plant includes in his assessment the following comments by Brian Peterson who Plant notes is, speaking on behalf of the West County Community Council. Having suddenly given this group a different name with a different connotation i.e. changing it from concerned citizens to community council Plant then quotes a number of misleading statements by Mr. Peterson. According to Peterson Wiebo Ludwig can only bring peace to the community by ceasing to condone violence, showing remorse for the effect on other people of his actions and recognizing that he has used threats of violence and instilled fear in other people. As Plant goes on to state, Mr. Peterson doesn’t believe there is much risk of violence from the community toward LUDWIG or his family. The people he represents are angry and grieving over the events that have occurred but they recognize that more violence will not solve anything. They have perspective. If violence does occur it will not be from or endorsed by their group.
In response to these remarks the residents of Trickle Creek had the following comments to make: Plant’s report refers to Brian Peterson as spokesperson for the community council. Instead, Brian Peterson does not speak for the Community Council’ but only for a local citizen’s group labeled West County Concerned Citizens’ which had its origination at the time Karman Willis died after she and her friends trespassed on Trickle Creek property. The group was started (according to media reports) to counter Wiebo Ludwig’s side of the story which was getting apparent publicity and favour in the media and the general public.
On the subject of Brian Peterson’s statement regarding violence from his group not being endorsed the Trickle Creek residents have this comment. In reality, according to the media at least, the violent actions of the teens and young adults who almost drove over the Ludwig girls camping on their own lawn, by recklessly driving drunk before dawn, trespassing with two pickups, on two occasions within 15 minutes, HAS NEVER BEEN DENOUNCED AS VIOLENCE BY BRIAN PETERSON, HIS GROUP, OR THE RCMP, BUT INSTEAD HAS BEEN IGNORED AS SOMETHING KIDS JUST DO NOWADAYS’ AND JUST JOYRIDING’ AND A NORMAL THING’.
Some of those in the groups of young persons who trespassed and terrorized the Trickle Creek community that morning, etc., have admitted to heavy drinking and partying that night, previously stealing flags off the property, and damaging and attempting to pull down a sign protesting the gas industry’s practices. (Jennifer Peterson (Brian’s daughter) is a member of that group of youth and has been convicted of underage drinking.) Nonetheless, no charges have been laid against those who trespassed.
Wiebo’s comments are also particularly telling regarding the possible true source of violent accusations: To date I have not been able to get access to any of the so-called victim statements’ nor the complete police report. I say so-called’ because, if what I am led to believe, they are statements from local agitators headed up by the WCCC which the Crown would not qualify or accept as impact statements at trial toward sentencing. Also, on a change of venue,’ which the court granted, it was successfully argued that the prospect of any unbiased jury from the immediate area was unlikely because of isolated but vehement local prejudice propagated by the WCCC.
As to the claims cited here, I can forthrightly say that we have never ever threatened our neighbors or their children nor victimized any of them. Nor have we ever said anything to the effect of what is alleged here to be said by one of us on tape, namely: if a neighbour gets in your way, shoot him.’ Only the police informant was recorded as saying things to that effect on the tapes submitted to trial. Even though we tested Mr. Wraight during this period and therefore often pretended to be on side, we never ever suggested shooting anybody – abhor the thought! It was his proposal of such things that made us leery of him even though he appears at times to be only kidding when he spoke so roughly.
On the contrary, it was we who were being threatened. It was our van that was bombed, our home and the home of a Beaverlodge environmentalist [Allan Johnstone. Ed.] that were repeatedly vandalized, our phone that received threatening calls, our children and we, ourselves, who were being accosted and maligned out on the street and in our own homes, not vice versa, to which the police have both actively contributed and been indifferent in addressing, as revealed also on CBC television: The National’.
Allan H. Johnstone, former Alberta oil&gas pollution whistle-blower (now diseased)
Police or Other Information
Throughout the whole of Plant’s report it’s within this particular segment of the overall assessment that we witness some of the most atrocious accusations, obviously designed to portray a negative image of both Wiebo and the rest of the community as a bunch if violent, ignorant and deranged misfits. The first of this series of slanderous and misinformed statements concerns the education of the children at Trickle Creek who are home-schooled. Plant writes in his report, It is believed that the children under the age of 10 are illiterate. Police searches have revealed no material that would indicate that formal education is being conducted. If the government takes action on this issue, they believe that LUDWIG would become a high escape risk. In their rebuttal of this statement the community of Trickle Creeks says: A) Police are reported to believe this but, as usual throughout Plant’s report, no substantiation is given. See attached handwritten letters to Wiebo in prison by children under 10. [not shown in this article. Ed.]
B) The statement: Police searches have revealed no material that would indicate that formal education is being conducted…’ is in error. The police were not authorized by search warrant to search for nor to seize such items, but were there on other business. Furthermore, they should look at their own videotape which reveals bookshelves and boxes full of reading and math school textbooks, atlases, dictionaries, encyclopedias and writing notebooks and blackboards. Furthermore, Mamie Ludwig used to be a teacher and Rev. Ludwig a principal in Iowa; Mr. Boonstra was a child welfare officer in Ontario; besides being the parents and grandparents of these children they are very qualified to teach them. They even have had accreditation as bonafide teachers in the U.S.
In other words, one could say that the RCMP base their (unsubstantiated) fears that Ludwig could be an escape risk if the government acts on such an issue. This issue’ is improperly based on the fact that the RCMP didn’t notice the educational material during the execution of a search warrant which was totally unrelated to the issue.’ The point is, the RCMP weren’t looking for educational material, and such an investigation was not part of their mandate as outlined in the warrant. Furthermore, according to Plant’s report, D. Carter (child welfare officer) said there has been no investigation into such an issue’, which furthers the point that the RCMP have not done any real investigation but are only making trouble. One wonders how much the local RCMP are conspiring with the local vocal minority – and pulling at straws’ – in an effort to find a scapegoat and keep an (innocent) man behind bars.
In Richard Boonstra’s separate rebuttal regarding this same issue he says, I find it personally baffling to see in this section that the police believe’ that the children under the age of 10 are illiterate. As a teacher in this community I can say that this is blatantly untrue. It should also be noted here that a highly sophisticated system of education and curriculum is in place in this community as was also evidenced to a superintendent of the Board of Education during a visit from him early on in our history at Trickle Creek.
Can the police ever say anything positive about Trickle Creek? Does their apparent inability to ever think or speak well of Trickle Creek not belie their so-called neutral’ professional attitude?
Further on, under this same category, we come to more damaging pseudo evidence reputed to be cold, hard facts. Plant reports that, Police searches have seized restricted weapons including a sawed off rifle and home made silencers. All weapons with the exception of the 30-30 rifle (suspected in the shooting death of Carmen Willis) were loaded at the time of seizure. None of the firearms, some of recent manufacture, were purchases with a firearm acquisition permit, although the law has required one since the late 1970’s. Police believe there are still weapons on the property because purchases of ammunition have been made for hand guns (44 Magnum) and shotguns subsequent to the seizures. In addition no 7-mm weapon has been found to correspond to ammunition found in a wall. LUDWIG has claimed that this ammunition was to be used for gopher traps, yet gophers are not found in that area.
…One weapon was located in a secret compartment in a work bench that was accessed by pressing a button concealed in the work bench.
Anyone reading statements such as this, in the absence of further information, would naturally assume that there were a bunch of maniacs on the loose obviously gearing up for some sort of uprising or insurrection. The reality of what the police actually found and the truth behind this ongoing veil of RCMP deception only begins to become clear after hearing (as the saying goes) the rest of the story. In their response to these defamatory accusations the community says, re: so-called silencers and restricted weapons’ is misleading and in error. Police seized a .22 rifle that was reported broken and had the last 6 inches of the cracked barrel sawed off to remain operative while a replacement barrel was on back order at the local gunsmith. The gun was in repair, hardly a case of a restricted weapon!
The other firearm the police called restricted’ was a modified .22 rifle used for butchering, allowable by the Criminal Code, an obscure clause perhaps not familiar to the RCMP. Loaded weapons, too, have traditionally been allowed for predator control on rural farms though, in our case, they were also there for our protection from death threats.
re: homemade silencers’ is in error. The police publicly called a piece of plastic pipe with holes a silencer’, but their own lab said it didn’t work as a silencer when they tested it. The RCMP returned the item to Trickle Creek with documentation that indicated it was not an illegal item to have! The second so-called silencer was just a heavy metal pipe about 14 inches long. This too, although proclaimed publicly as a silencer’, is documented as merely a piece of pipe and was returned to the farm’s welding shop where there is a considerable assortment of such pipe.
Note that such public defamation of character(s) has been a normal occurrence against Trickle Creek residents throughout the RCMP investigation’. Throughout this investigation’ which ended in a sentence against Rev. W.A. Ludwig, the RCMP refused to interview Ludwig or the Trickle Creek residents because they said it would be fruitless etc.! For months, the RCMP gathered evidence’ against Ludwig from sources like the Alberta Energy Company, who at the time were in conflict with Trickle Creek and especially peeved by Rev. Ludwig’s exposure of their reckless actions in the media, and in numerous meetings that AEC pollution was killing vegetation, livestock, and the unborn – as well generally degrading the quality of life for people trying to live totally off their own land at Trickle Creek. AEC hired security who initially gathered information’, which they eventually passed on to the RCMP, at which time the RCMP took over’ and built their case against Rev. Ludwig… those AEC security persons were led by high ranking ex-RCMP officers!!! One wonders at the objectivity and purity of such an investigation’. It seems the local oil and gas industry has pulled the puppet strings’ of the RCMP once again…by getting them to do their biased bidding.
Carrying on with their rebuttal of the police report the residents say that, By the time that the investigation into Karman Willis’ death occurred, the RCMP were breaking the law openly in regards to publicly naming persons and location of a search warrant before laying any charges and trespassing on private property without a warrant. Interestingly, days later, the police drummed up unrelated charges in a seeming effort to justify their illegal actions in regards to what was defaming Rev. Ludwig, et al. Note that the one drummed up charge was dropped by the Crown Prosecutor before it got to court and the other was immediately dismissed by the presiding Judge!
Note also that a larger lawsuit including these points and others against the RCMP etc. is still being considered!
re: firearm purchases is in error. The report again insinuates that a law was broken. Police could not have known if a permit was used to buy the guns, because at the time of their purchase, it was not required to document the permit with the seller (that has changed recently). The police also failed to mention that a couple of residents have had permits to obtain firearms in the recent past.
re: gopher traps’ is in error. The insinuation is that Ludwig was lying and trying to be deceitful in saying that the ammunition not matching any firearms was to be used for gopher traps while there are no gophers in the area. However, Rev. Ludwig is clearly documented in court transcripts to have said that 12 gauge shotgun shells were for coyote traps (a constant menace) not the alleged gophers that Plant reports from RCMP information.
Then again, as for the secret hide-out in the workbench the Trickle Creek residents’ response was, There was/is no button-controlled’ concealed space anywhere at Trickle Creek including the workbench.’
And as if all the preceding information wasn’t enough the police then list a number of books which were found on the Trickle Creek Farm property which they maintain promoted the use of violence. As Plant puts it, Police believe their discovery on the LUDWIG property is significant because they have seen some of these techniques used by LUDWIG and are concerned that he may be escalating toward an ultimate showdown scenario.
In response to these misleading assumptions Trickle Creek residents replied, Note that none of these books are illegal to possess, and that the RCMP keep such books on hand also in their fight against crime i.e. to know the enemy’ (which is a good example that there are other reasons in possessing such books other than ill intent). The report’s statement that the book Poor Man’s James Bond lists for $600.00 at Amazon.com insinuates that it is a black market book; this is misleading: the book is listed in Calgary (at Spy City) for $49.95. Most all of this reading material was unsolicited and given to Trickle Creek by friends in the environmental movement. Moreover, The Field Guide Manual to Monkey Wrenching’ actually disclaims the use of violence.’
Furthermore, none of these books were found among Ludwig’s personals or in his possession. They were found in another resident’s house who ironically was not charged but instead the books are used to frame and defame Rev. Ludwig!
As for the police statement saying that they’d seen some of these techniques used by LUDWIG Trickle Creek replies that this is yet another error on the part of the police because in reality, police suspect Ludwig, but have not seen him use these techniques’. The comment escalation towards an ultimate showdown scenario’ is purely speculative and nonsense and smells of Salem witch trial tactics.
Moving right along we come to another of Plant’s reported police statements that displays open bias. As Plant puts it, Police advised that lies and deception are a standard strategy [of] LUDWIG and his followers and that LUDWIG has said this himself. Police advise that if you assume that everything is a lie, then what was confusing and contradictory about the case suddenly makes perfect sense….
In their response the Trickle Creek residents write, Note the significance of the word assume’ in Plant’s report that the RCMP advise that if you assume that every thing is a lie, then what was confusing and contradictory about the case suddenly makes perfect sense…’ One sees in this statement evidence of severe bias and lack of objectivity. What kind of police investigation is that indicative of? It is bizarre to make serious conclusions on such a wholesale assumption. Again, more of Salem afoot here.
Resocialization measures proposed
Nearing the end of the assessment this category continues in the same vein as the preceding comments with an emphasis on accenting the supposed violent nature of Wiebo Ludwig. In Plant’s judgement, based on a medley of unsubstantiated police statements and the one-sided, biased comments by the leader of the oil industry advocates Brian Peterson, Any release decision made concerning LUDWIG must take into consideration his history of intimidation and his possession of restricted weapons in connection with his endorsement of civil disobedience involving violence. If he is deemed to qualify for Accelerated Parole Review this matter will be an important consideration in this decision.
LUDWIG must meaningfully address his attitudes toward the use of Instrumental Violence and his poor conflict resolution skills before and during his release in order for his reintegration to be safe.
To these judgements the Trickle Creek community replied, 1st sentence under Resocialization Measures Proposed’ is in error: A respectful submission regarding this sentence is that the words the validity of reports concerning his history’ should be added so that the sentence reads: Any release decision made concerning Ludwig must take into consideration the validity of reports concerning his history of intimidation and his possession of restricted weapons…’
Ludwig has never been even charged with possession of restricted weapons, let alone convicted. In fact, nobody on the property has ever been! Furthermore, it has not been proven, otherwise or in court, that there were any unlawful or restricted weapons on the property!
On this same topic they go on to say, The allegation that Ludwig endorses civil disobedience involving violence was a rumour started and maintained by a self-serving sensational media which is interested in selling papers by polarizing an already controversial issue.
And again Plant brings up statements by Brian Peterson and his infamously incorrect group called the West County Community Council and refers to said group as a representative body of this community to which Trickle Creek residents reply that Plant is again in error because, Plant never met with such a council, he met only with a local citizens’ group called West County Concerned Citizens, whose present existence is now even in doubt since they no longer even have a website.
Being merely a rump citizens’ group, it is [was] not a representative body of this community.’ This group is only representative of relatives and friends of Karman Willis or those related to her friends who terrorized and trespassed on Trickle Creek property and are, as a pro-industry faction, opposed to Wiebo Ludwig for his stand against oil and gas pollution i.e. a very biased lobby group.
Overall assessment risk assessment
Plant’s judgment of Wiebo Ludwig concludes that, Unfortunately it appears that LUDWIG’s conflict with the law has arisen from the integration of civil disobedience into his values. The larger community lives in fear [of] him and his potential for further violence and he and his family in turn fear them.
Commenting on Plant’s assertion regarding Wiebo’s conflict the residents of Trickle Creek say that it didn’t arise here, from Ludwig’s integration of civil disobedience into his values’ but from the desperation of being polluted to death without recourse to redress and from speaking out about this against the press of petro-chemical politics as everyone knows. Even the Crown and Court conceded that much.
As for the larger community living in fear of Wiebo they have this to say: Certain members of the local community who have had little or no contact with Ludwig, those of Hythe and Beaverlodge, claim to fear him – others and the larger community’ with whom he does associate do not! A local senior woman who has lived here all of her life spoke to Mrs. Ludwig senior (Mamie) recently and told Mamie she addressed Brian Peterson personally and told Brian in no uncertain terms that his so-called fear of Rev. Ludwig was a bunch of bullshit’. She has known Brian since he was born and knew of all his wild ways.
One of the more astounding and cruel aspects to this whole report by parole officer Plant has got to be his intentional exclusion, from his assessment, of the many positive statements made in favour of Wiebo Ludwig’s character by friends and associates who personally know him. Such a transparent attempt at purporting to present a fair and impartial assessment without including vital and relevant information which would obviously counter the bad press that Plant was continually piling up against Wiebo is tantamount to creating a fraudulent and one-sided document.
Apart from the voices of the RCMP and a vindicative, suspicious group known as the West County Concerned Citizens the report falls far short of a overall assessment that would give voice to opposing opinions, especially considering that in the end opinions and unsubstantiated accusations are ultimately what make up the substance of the overall report. In his own words Plant acknowledges that his investigation was difficult due to the disparity of impressions that he received. Then, when he realized that there were a number of possible contacts to interview on the subject he cops out and decides to make the assignment manageable by limiting his investigation to just the statements of the RCMP and the vigilante group led by Brian Peterson. As Plant goes on to say, This necessarily excludes the many supporters of the Ludwigs from outside of their immediate group. They may wish to invite select members of their supporters to write letters of support on their behalf to provide them a voice in the process.
Hello???!!! Here we have the reputation of a righteous man being slandered and maligned by a corporate media who’ve been pursuing him like the proverbial hounds from hell. At the same time, hiding behind their tar-stained corporate masks, a vile and cruel oil and gas industry, delirious with greed and overcome with arrogance of power, continues to influence and pull the strings of the RCMP. Then, on top of all that, there’s the boisterous little oil-soaked, pack of WCCC hyenas screeching for vengeance and still our status quo hero, parole officer Paul Plant, has the unmitigated gall to dismiss the only credible evidence of good character from his assessment because he’s either too damned shortsighted and lazy to finish his job properly (which I doubt) or else he’s dancing to the tune of a different drummer that no one else in the public arena is privy to!
Assessment of community support and reintegration potential
In this final, yet relevant category of Plant’s report, he again makes mistaken reference to what he calls the West County Community Council and attributes their biased remarks to the general community at large when he suggests that there is a …widely held belief in the community that the Justice System was too lenient on LUDWIG. As the Trickle Creek residents rightly point out making such a statement again is in error because, This comment contradicts the fact. As Plant reports, he only talked to one WCCC person and 2 local police officers and excluded the many supporters of the Ludwigs from outside their immediate group.’ Therefore, how can the report truthfully say it is a widely held belief’? Moreover, the belief’ is not grounded but slanderous and fuel for more vigilante injustice.
In their final rebuttal the residents of Trickle Creek refute and denounce the credibility of Paul Plant with the following statement: Does the Parole Board take into account that Plant makes a point that Ludwig may invite supporters to write in order to provide them a voice in the process’, whereas the group West County Concerned Citizens has vigorously pursued persons unacquainted with Rev. Ludwig’s person to write the Parole Board opposing Wiebo Ludwig’s early release. Note: Brian Peterson’s pressure comment to those in attendance at the West County Concerned Citizens (WCCC) organized meeting – in Paul Plant’s presence: If you don’t all write a letter, and Wiebo gets out, it will be your fault’.
Note also his publicly displayed poster reminding those persons to write the parole board. These bright posters were displayed at locally selected locations and not in places frequented by those who know Ludwig.
It is unfortunate that Plant’s presence along with the area parole supervisor at the WCCC rally has been manipulated by the local lobby group to lend stature to pressuring locals into opposing Ludwig’s early release’ by writing to the parole board, while the many Ludwig supporters’ are not even notified or invited to such a meeting by Plant as were the locals associated with the WCCC. No one pushed the many supporters’ to write like the WCCC has pushed against the idea of Ludwig’s release with their local one-sided campaign.
As mentioned earlier there were other assessments taken of Wiebo after he entered Grande Cache Institution which basically follow a similar format and attempt on the surface to delve deeply into his family history and his psyche. In the end they too come out looking awkward, contrived and inept. Also, the overall relevancy of both Paul Plant’s Community Assessment along with Ms. Ling’s Intake Assessment, with respect to Wiebo Ludwig qualifying for Accelerated Parole cannot be overstated.
When the time for review of Wiebo’s case finally arrived the various factors had already been set in place. On August 24th, 2000 Edmonton Area Parole Officer Dave Noland in his Assessment for Decision on the subject of whether or not Wiebo should be recommended for Accelerated Day Parole states in his Appraisal: There are reasonable grounds to believe that Wiebo Ludwig is likely to commit an offense involving violence before the expiration of his sentence according to law.
The date of October 5th, 2000 was set for a Parole Board hearing. Prior to that Wiebo was given a letter on September 25th which listed numerous individuals who would be in attendance at the hearing, including a number of observers from the WCCC and the media. In a reply to Ms. Cherkewich of the National Parole Board Wiebo states, My family and I have serious objections to the presence of persons listed as #’s 16-23, all of who are members of the WCCC. This self-appointed elite pro-oil and gas industry group, also dubbed as the West County KKK by citizens of Hythe and Beaverlodge because of various oppressive tactics they have and continue to use against the families at Trickle Creek, are the very people we have cause to believe responsible for stirring up strife and hatred. They have promoted and pushed relentlessly for extensive business boycotts against all the people at Trickle Creek and certain close friends who continue to associate with us. Many businesses prefer to do business with us but felt intimidated and threatened by them.
This same group also continues to point the finger at Trickle Creek, insisting that we know who shot Karman Willis even though there is no evidence to support their claim that we know or that anyone from Trickle Creek is responsible for the death of Karman. They have even erected a 4’x8′ sign at the end of our road to badger us into a confession of guilt for her death.
They have repeatedly also slandered us in the news and do not represent the interests of the bulk of the people in the Hythe-Beaverlodge area, as such, who they claim to represent and speak for.
In the same letter, referring again to Brian Peterson of the WCCC, Wiebo says, The daughter of Mr. Peterson, leader of this group, was a close friend of Karman Willis. She and Karman were regularly involved with up to as many as 150 other, mostly young people, in raucous drinking parties till the wee hours of the morning at Red Willow Park. These parties have been so wild at times that even the local RCMP was afraid to intervene. Recently Mr. Peterson’s daughter has been charged for liquor violations and tried in the Grande Prairie law courts.
There is much for Mr. Peterson to cover up and transfer here onto Trickle Creek which we believe he is doing ever since he has openly slandered and otherwise publicly misrepresented the concerns and the people at Trickle Creek, also in the media. Since our young people at Trickle Creek do not engage in these reckless and lawless social activities they stand out in painful contrast to the likes of Mr. Peterson’s daughter and her raucous companions. Hence their efforts, we believe, to degrade us in the public as religious extremists, slandering us with outlandish charges of polygamy, incest and the like, in which the local police have also played an all too willing part.
For the calm and safety of my family and the negative fall-out of their very presence, I respectfully request that the members of the very dangerous vigilante group not attend my hearing of October 5, 2000. My family members, who will be present, are intimidated by them and afraid of their motives. You should also know that the Crown would not grant these people victim impact status at trial and thus the court refused the impact statements they submitted. Also, because of their action the court changed the venue from Grande Prairie to Edmonton.
As to your media list, I respectfully request that Mr. David Staples (#7) not be granted observer status on behalf of the Edmonton Journal. He has done me and the families at Trickle Creek great uncalled for harm by disseminating slanderous misinformation concerning us of which I have additional hard evidence even in his most recent coverage of this case in the Journal. There are plenty of journalists at the Edmonton Journal not maliciously disposed toward us whom I welcome in his stead.
Well, as you might readily imagine, this request went unheeded by the parole board and as such Wiebo decided to waive the hearing. In a subsequent letter to the National Parole Board’s Regional Communications Officer, Elaine Cherkewich in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan dated October 10, 2000 Wiebo offers a further personal explanation for his decision: Given the shocking amount of distorted information and sheer conjecture on file (concerning which you received some extensive rebuttal from us) and the decision of this institution (the Grande Cache Institution) as well as that of the single National Parole Board member not to direct for Early Release’ – decisions seriously tainted by misinformation and speculation – prospects for any positive outcome at the scheduled parole hearing of October 5, 2000 were already dim, at best!
And what was the National Parole Board’s esteemed decision? In their Decision Sheet they stated, You have not met criteria for accelerated release given the potentially lethal violence your activities posed to the community. Your radical conduct and obsession with environmental issues [emphasis added. Ed.]that you believe have impacted your family negatively, causes concern with regard to potential for future violence within the community.
In responding to this NPB decision Wiebo again stresses in his letter to Ms. Cherkewich that, there is absolutely no reason to believe that I would commit a violent offense or any offense before the end of my sentence or afterward. We, as the record and our lifestyle will show, are not criminal types but peace-loving folk. Together we have laboured hard to create a uniquely peaceful pastoral self-sufficient lifestyle in keeping also with God’s
ordinances to love and be generous to others….
Moreover, I was let free on bail for almost a full year before trial, after the alleged offenses took place, on the assumption that I was not likely to do any violence and indeed I did not. Subsequently, violence was also struck from the charges against me at trial. The Crown even indicated to the court that not in his life time’ would he be able to prove violence’. The Crown also assured the court that he did not see us (Mr. Boonstra and myself) as terrorists’ i.e. as violent men.
Somehow these findings of the court have been altogether obscured by Corrections Canada due to speculative reasoning on the basis of much misinformation and hearsay. The court also declared that there was not a scintilla’ of evidence that either of the accused were involved in other incidents of vandalism that the Crown had the court consider, acts of vandalism for which we had not even been charged.
I pray that the great amount of misleading information on my file can yet be cleared up in order that so much needless suffering can be cut short.
Wiebo Ludwig did not receive a reply to his October 10 letter sent to Ms. Elaine Cherkewich or even a confirmation that it had been received and so again on December 1, 2000 he sent another more comprehensive package of materials to her written in the 3rd person. In that information Wiebo again makes reference to Corrections Canada’s mistaken assumption that he somehow poses a violent threat to his community. With respect to the falsity of said reports Wiebo comments, a) It is very unfortunate that the police (the RCMP) have superimposed their view of the charges, of which Rev. Ludwig was convicted, into the information, namely, as involving violence’ even though the court (inclusive of Judge, Crown and Defense) rejected any suggestion of violence,’ of endangering life’ and, even, discounted the label of terrorism.’ It is apparent from this action that the RCMP are not ready to submit to the authority of the court in this judgement. b) It is doubly unfortunate that this labeling of violence’ by the RCMP found its way into the initial assessments (i.e. the intake and CA) and was then further exploited in subsequent reports that are now also on file…. c) It is regretful that the Board adopted this arrogant position of the RCMP. d) There is no mention of either violence’ or endangerment of life’ in the 5 counts of the indictment. e) The court spoke very definitively on the matter of violence’ and endangerment of life’ both in its Reasons for Judgment’ and in Speaking to Sentence.
And so to conclude this epic of injustice let me repeat once again, in the most vehement manner, that after all the hours spent sifting through the piles of collateral rubble now scattered across the darkened political landscape of Canada’s most unctuous of prairie provinces, the negative effects of this mountain of misguided and mean-spirited invective must be exposed. And hopefully, in doing so, it will be cleansed and removed from Canada’s ailing justice system forever.
There is so much more that could be said regarding this wholesale miscarriage of justice but time and space forbid further elucidation. What has been presented here though should be evidence enough to alert readers to the magnitude of this cruel and terrible hoax that’s been perpetrated upon Wiebo Ludwig and the Christian community of Trickle Creek. It’s this writer’s hope that somehow the public will become more conscious of the raw deal that’s been meted out to these people and that an outcry of support for immediate redress will be forthcoming and that Wiebo will in fact gain the parole which he rightfully deserves under Canadian law.
The trend though, as it appears to be developing throughout the global community, is one in which acts of treacherous (and treasonous) malfeasance such as those perpetrated by the police and Corrections Canada, are becoming all too common. Another frightening aspect of this growing phenomenon is that they are not being openly challenged because of the immediate and direct complicity of the elitist-controlled media structure which obstructs all attempts at exposure.
If, as a sovereign country and as a community within the wider community of mankind, we hesitate too long in resisting such fascist intrusions into our judicial system such as what we’re seeing here in Wiebo Ludwig’s case then we are heading down a perilous pathway that can only lead to further abuse by the very guardians we’ve elected to protect our civil rights.
In the final analysis it is the collective will of the people that is being usurped here and this must inevitably lead to the dismantling of our civic institutions and the freedom and democracy with which they are assoicated. As a nation we must stand up and make our voices heard over and above the din and the glare of corporate globalization.
Ultimately, through freeing Wiebo Ludwig, we will free ourselves.