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For nearly twenty years one man has been telling big lies about myself and others. When he told that lie to the police they had to act. They did right. He did and does wrong.

Question: How do you feel about the piece in THE TORONTO SUN? That headline is damning.

Reg Hartt: Yes, it is. THE SUN, however (and not intentionally) did me a favor.

Question: How so?

Reg Hartt: When James Gillis posted thousands of anonymous flyers around Toronto in 2012 smearing me I shut down for three days. During that time I thought about what to do. It once was that simply posting flyers or anonymously spreading the rumor that a man or woman is homosexual was enough to get a lynch mob after them. That, thankfully, is no longer the case.

The smears against me first appeared anonymously in the comments section of an article on street postering published in 2012 (  ). The next week those comments appeared as anonymous street posters.

They were followed by the much more incendiary posters documented in THE GLOBE AND MAIL by Oliver More. At the same time posters went up smearing a former employee of Gillis’ as a police informant and more.

Toronto alternative-theatre founder stands up to bullying threats: .

I realized that the only way to survive this fire was to pass through it.

Once I had made that decision a friend told me about how the Duke of Wellington had handled a similar situation. Threatened with blackmail forty years after the Battle Of Waterloo Wellington said, “Publish and be damned.”

I then posted pictures of the posters on my web site. Some, of course, believed them. People who knew me knew they were untrue.

Question: That must have been hard. Did you get support?

Reg Hartt: Yes, but not from the people whose job it is to support us. Those smear posters continued from 2012 into 2017. Then they were stopped.

Question: What stopped them?

Reg Hartt: James Gillis had filed a complaint with the police in 2014. In it he states that he once lived with me which he did. When asked why he moved out Gillis said it was because he was uncomfortable with me making videos of young boys. In fact, when he lived with me I did not have a video camera. I bought my first video camera in 2010 to document the posters he was putting up around Toronto smearing one of his former employees, Terry Ross, as a police informant. That video is still up:    .

Question: Buying a video camera would have cost you a fair dollar. Why be so concerned over Terry Ross? What was he to you?

Reg Hartt: Terry was nothing to me. He handed out flyers for various businesses on Queen Street at Spadina. One day he asked if I would put him to work posting flyers. I gave him a chance. When Gillis saw Terry posting my flyers he offered him more money. One of the conditions of his employment was that Terry was to tear down other people’s flyers including mine. Terry, of course, justified it by saying that was what he was being paid to do. He said, “I’m sorry, man, but it’s my job.”

Question: Why did Gillis attack him?

Reg Hartt: Gillis has a long history of putting street people to work and not paying them. He owed Terry a lot of money. Rather than pay him he posted flyers stating Terry was a rat, a police informant. Gillis played to the paranoia of the crack heads who pan handle on Queen Street.

Question: So if he had done you wrong why help Terry? Why spend money on a video camera?

Reg Hartt: THE I CHING, Jane Jacobs, Judith Merril, Jesus, The Last Judgement.

Question: How so?

Reg Hartt: THE I CHING is an ancient Chinese oracle. It was old when Confucius was young. It teaches the the worst people are always found in places of authority (although not all people in authority are the worst people) and that the best of us are always on the side of the lowly and downtrodden. Judith Merril was the mother of modern science fiction. Jane Jacobs was the author of THE DEATH AND LIFE OF GREAT AMERICAN CITIES. I discovered THE I CHING in 1968, the same year I met and became friends with Judith Merril and Jane Jacobs. Judy and Jane both said that when we see something wrong being done and do not act to stop it we are worse than the wrong doer, which is true. Jesus I discovered on a bus trip to Hollywood in 1970 when I first read THE NEW TESTAMENT through cover to cover five times. Anyone who thinks them self a Christian and turns their back on The Last Judgement (Matthew 25) is lying to them self.

Question: Why?

Reg Hartt: Because when we pass by someone who needs our help we are passing by Jesus.

Question: Are you religious?

Reg Hartt: No. I don’t waste time in churches, either.

Question: Then why accept these ideas.

Reg Hartt: Because they are true. They are the finest ideas we have. What does Cain say after he has murdered Abel? He says, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” Cain’s children ask, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” The best know we are our brother’s keeper. We also don’t expect others to stand up for us. Einstein, Martin Luther King Jr., Keith Haring, many, many others have said, “Worse than the words of our enemies is the silence of our friends.” Our true friends are never silent. False friends always are.

Question: What happened as a result of you posting the video of Terry Ross?

Reg Hartt: Everyone I contacted said there was nothing they could do. The media, council members, politicians, journalists looked at the video and said there was nothing they could do. They passed him by. One woman in then Mayor David Miler’s office acted. She said, “I will stop this.” She did. As a result Terry’s life was saved.

Question: Was he grateful?

Reg Hartt: I did not need that he be grateful, but, yes, he was. He had been driven to consider killing himself.

Question: That’s awful. What happened next?

Reg Hartt: Next came the posters smearing me. Then came anonymous death threats and hate phone calls: .

Question: Those calls are awful. You mean to tell me people have ignored those calls? Who’s the musician? How did you get the phone numbers of the callers if they were anonymous?

Reg Hartt: The musician is my friend Petunia. I didn’t know it at first but when we leave messages on our phone after a few days we get a message stating, “Our call from…..will be deleted.” After I posted the calls and the people behind them realized I had their number I stopped getting them. Posting them ended them.

As for those who pass on by ignoring the need to help they are on the left hand of God. It is their nature to pass by.

Question: Do you hate them?

Reg Hartt: No. Why hate a being for being true to their nature? I prefer honest hate to dishonest love.

Question: You said THE SUN did you a favor? How can you say that?

Reg Hartt: You did not understand the Duke of Wellington’s response: Publish and be damned. When I was in my teens people said I was queer. Anyone with half a brain is queer to those who have none. Did I like sex with my own sex? Yes. Did I like sex with the opposite sex, yes. No one, however, will kill us for being straight. I realized that to deny is the coward’s path. I chose the hero’s path. The hero always stands alone. I looked at past lives. The big danger in being queer in secret is that we open ourselves to blackmail. At 17 I realized the only way to kill that threat was to be open.

If I am convicted my name goes on a Sex Offenders registry. I will be ruined. Well, thanks to THE SUN I already have had as much damage done to me as can be done. Miyamoto Musashi, author of THE BOOK OF FIVE RINGS and Japan’s greatest Samurai, when asked what was the secret of his success as a Samurai replied, “To see myself as one already dead.” Thanks to THE SUN I am already dead.

Question: How do you feel about THE SUN as a newspaper?

Reg Hartt: I like it. The paper has many good writers. William Randolph Hearst was a person friend of Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle. Hearst said, “I knew Roscoe was innocent but we sold more papers over that scandal than over anything else.”

I don’t think THE SUN sold many papers because my name appeared in it. What the story did lead to was the piece in THE STAR which establishes that there is more going on here than meets the eye:   .

For example, just before Christmas 2017 a street person I had helped told me he had been offered $30 a week to tear down my flyers, “$100 to break my legs and $1,000 to kill me. He said, “The thing is, if I have been offered this others have.”

That’s true.

Daniel Goggin, who is staying here as my guest for his protection has been told there is an open contract on his life.

Question: I did not know that. No one talks about that?

Reg Hartt: No, they don’t/

To be continued.

Bill Williams 2/7/2019.






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