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“I am going to ruin you.”

That is a chilling message.

What can we do when we receive a message like that?

What can we do when we receive a message like any of the messages on this track?

Not much.

I have learned that.

This campaign started in the year 2000.

I did not know at first that if we save these messages on our phones the number of the caller is given to us.

Once I realized that I posted this online.

That stopped this.

Once the callers realized their anonymity was gone the messages stopped.

You might think the authorities will help.

Nope.

We’re on our own.

Well, not entirely.

In 2012 when the streets of the city were first littered with posters smearing myself on every utility pole, construction site and available surface all over the city I took pictures, went to the police, contacted our city councillors, our mayor, our MPPS, our MPS, our premier, our Prime Minister, journalists and everyone else I could think of I got the same reply.

That reply was: There is nothing we can do.

When I asked what could be done I was told this is a civil not a criminal matter. You can sue the person behind this.

There’s the crux.

First we have to have the money to pay a lawyer.

Secondly we have to have rock solid proof as to who is behind this.

Third we have to pray the person behind this has tangible assets as otherwise we are stuck with the legal costs.

This is true of each of us.

Now I’m not naming the author of this mischief?

Why?

Because to do so leaves us open to being sued ourselves.

I am learning just how vulnerable we all are, just how little protection our justice system gives us.

We are completely vulnerable.

We have zero protection.

Strangely, help did come. For that I am intensely grateful.

A man new to Toronto who saw all this stuff posted everywhere called me.

His name was Oliver Moore. He said he had just arrived from England, was a journalist for THE GLOBE AND MAIL (Canada’s national paper), had seen the posters, had researched myself and wanted to do a story.

I said, “I’d rather you not.”

He said, “Trust me.”

I said, “This has been going on for a long time. Other people have been attacked by the same person. If you include them I will speak with you.”

He said, “I will.”

This is his story: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/toronto/toronto-alternative-theatre-founder-stands-up-to-bullying-threats/article549053/ .

Did it accomplish anything?

Well, it did not stop the hate. That has continued unabated.

It did and does provide a completely independent, unbiased testimony.

There have been other pieces written.

All were and are uniformed opinions.

THE GLOBE AND MAIL story is informed fact. It is not an opinion. It is fact.

So what can be done?

Nothing.

We are, you and I, absolutely without power.

Well, not absolutely.

When I was a boy my father regularly put me over his knee and beat me. He did to me what his father had done to him.

Native American folk teach that when a person is beaten the badness is pounded in.

Our Justice System is about nothing if it is not about pounding the badness in.

I wanted to put an end to my father’s beatings but I knew that if I struck him I would become what I hated. I was 13.

Then by chance I learned of the power of laughter to kill pain.

I engineered the biggest beating my poor father ever gave me.

He put me over his knee. Then he beat, beat, beat and beat until he could beat no more.

Before his hand struck my butt I started to laugh. I laughed, laughed, laughed, laughed, laughed.

When exhausted he finally stopped I learned that I had felt no pain. I had not a mark on my body.

More importantly, my father never beat me again.

Now do not imagine I hated my father. He did what he thought right. He did what fathers have been doing to their sons for generations. I can not fault him for that.

I love my father.

He was a mess. I learned he had gone through many shocks each one of which was enough to kill a person. My dad, like you and I, like the author of this mischief, was damaged goods.

Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Worse than the words of our enemies is the silence of our friends.”

He’s right.

Nonetheless, that’s how it is.

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” ― Edmund Burke.

Good men seem always to do nothing.

The problem is there is nothing that can be done because everythig we do makes the problem worse.

Twenty years has taught me that.

So what is the answer?

Forgiveness.

Not for the sake of the persons we forgive.

For our sake. Finally, for my sake.

I have been studying the Chinese Oracle THE I CHING since 1970. It has stood me well.

There is an online version that I use now.

When I used it this week it gave me the best possible advice for this situation.

Jesus taught us to love our enemies, to do good to those who persecute us, to pray for those who do evil to us.

That understanding of Jesus not the malarkey posted by this anonymous caller has saved and continues to save me.

That understanding keeps me from hating.

Hating is drilling a hole into the bottom of our boat. So long as our boat is whole we are safe. If we drill a hole into the bottom we will sink.

Jane Jacobs, the author of the most important book on cities we have, was my friend from her arrival in Toronto in 1968 up to her passing in 2006.

Who is Jane Jacobs? Look here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jane_Jacobs .

She taught not with words but by example.

St. Francis said, “Preach Christ constantly. Use words if you must.”

I very much like that.

Jane Jacobs taught me that when we see something wrong being done and do nothing not only do we become responsible for the wrong thing but we also kill a part of our soul.

Now Jane did not believe in God.

When she used the word “soul” she used it not with the meaning it has come to have but with the meaning it had when Socrates used it. The idea of soul came not from the Jews but from the Greeks. It means “self,” “personality.”

When we see something wrong being done and do nothing we kill a part of our self, our personality.

So what can you do to help?

Frankly no more than can my councillors, my mayor, my MPPS, my MPS, my premier, my prime minister or the police.

In other words nothing.

I can’t blame you for that. I can’t fault you for that.

Well, someone could kill the person behind it but that would make that person worse than the person behind this.

I don’t want anyone harmed.

When I first went to the police with this I was told, “It’s not a criminal matter.”

I asked, “How would you feel if someone did this to you?”

The police replied, “Then it would become a criminal matter.”

There we have it. Crime begets crime.

It has to stop somewhere.

My father’s beatings stopped with me.

Only with me.

He beat my brothers. He beat my sisters. He beat my mother.

One of my earliest memories is sitting on the floor as a toddler while my father chased my terrorized mother.

Don’t feel pity for me.

Too many of us have these memories. Our fathers who terrorize us have these memories.

Contrary to what the anonymous caller states accepting Jesus into our heart is not going to do a damned thing. The caller himself is proof of that.

But doing what Jesus taught, loving our enemies, doing good to those who do evil to us, praying for those who harm us, that is going to save us from becoming what we hate.

In the end I am actually grateful for all this.

As the man said, that which does not kill us makes us stronger.

What can you do to help?

Well, the truth, the plain truth is I don’t need your help. You don’t need mine.

When we do what Jesus taught, what The Buddha taught, what Moses taught, what THE I CHING teaches we don’t need help.

It may be that we are reduced to absolute poverty.

The Buddha began as the son of a king. He left all that. He became dirt poor.

Jesus was a dirt poor carpenter from Galilee (the boonies) who dropped his aitches when he spoke (that was a Galilean accent).

It helps to know the real history not the movie history.

We don’t need money to love our enemies.

If we choose to fight we need money.

We become poor while those who fight for us become rich.

Worse, if we run out of money those who fight for us will stop fighting.

Rome fell because Rome could not pay the armies that fought for Rome. Rome exhausted itself.

America will fall because the cost of paying its armies will exhaust it.

So let those who choose to fight exhaust themselves in the fight they choose.

What do I intend to do?

What I have always done.

I intend to do the hardest thing possible.

I mean to love those who are mean to me.

Native wise men looked at the rapacious white folk who drove them from their lands. The wise men counselled against war. Unfortunately, less wise men prevailed.  As a result many died. Too many died.

The best, like Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce, said, “From where the sun now stands I will fight no more forever.”

From where the sun now stands I will fight no more forever.

Join me.

Why did people attack Rome?

Because they were hungry, thirsty, homeless, naked, sick, strangers in a strange land.

It costs less to take care of these people than it does to kill them. Doing that we win their love.

Building walls to keep them out has never worked.

What will work, what does work is welcoming them in.

Which is what Jesus is all about.

At the Last Judgment he will say to us, “You saw me hungry, thirsty, homeless, naked, sick, in prison, a stranger and you helped me.”

We will say, “When did we help you?”

He will reply, “What you did to the least you did to me.”

Or, conversely we will hear, “You saw me hungry, thirsty, homeless, naked, sick, in prison, a stranger and you passed me by.”

When we say, “When did we pass you by,” he will reply, “What you did to the least you did to me.”

Lawyers have told me that unless I can pay them they can’t help me.

I can’t pay them now.

Is that a problem for me?

No.

It is a problem for those without faith, hope, love.

I pray they never hear those words, “What you did to the least you did to me.”

Proud to be numbered among the least.

Join me.

Those Native Wise Folk said, “Let them have the earth. They will burn themselves out. They will burn the earth out. They will exhaust themselves. They will die. We will suffer, yes, but we will not by fighting them become them. In time the earth will heal itself. It will be returned to us. We will miss our white brothers.”

Let the enemy defeat himself.

Berthold Brecht said, “Those who see the enemy are the enemy.”

He’s right.

Paul wrote, “Three things are important: Faith, Hope, Love. The greatest of these is Love.”

Faith is not faith in Jesus.

It is Faith that we will get through the straits, the hard path we find ourself compelled to walk.

Hope is not hope in Salvation or something like that that means nothing.

It is Hope that id we are calm, patient, understanding, willing to share we will find our way.

Love is not only forgiving those who have armed or are trying to harm us it is also discovering there are others who love.

We are not alone.

Boy, have I been made aware that I am not alone.

Faith, hope, love gives us the strength to continue where others fall victim to despair.

Forgiveness keep us from wasting time on anger.

Until One Is Committed

Until one is committed there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back,  always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have  come his way. I have learned a deep respect for one of Goethe’s couplets:

Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it.
Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.

–W. H. Murray, THE SCOTTISH HIMALYAN EXPEDITION.

Providence brought me a damn fine lawyer.

Always trust in Providence (God).

I do.

–Reg Hartt 2019–08–14.

Addendum: Before Christmas 2017 a street person I had helped said, “I was offered $75 a week to tear down your posters, $100 to break your legs and $1,000.00 to kill you. The thing is, if I have been offered this others have.”

I reflected that he had not accepted the offer. I wondered what I could do the help him. He said, “I need a home.”

I gave him one.

One day that fellow saw my flyers being torn down by the person behind this. He said, “Why are you doing this?” The man said, “He’s a fag.”

The street person kicked his ass.

Sounds good doesn’t it.

Well, it isn’t.

The street person got charged with assault. He’s now in danger of going to prison.

So, please, if you see my flyers being trashed do nothing.

I am strong enough to handle this. Handling it has made me stronger.

Despite all this people continue to come to my programs, they continue to thank me, to ask to become my friend.

We can’t experience our resurrection until first we die.

Thanks to this my reputation in this country is dead.

One writer wrote, “Sorry to hear about the death of Reg Hartt.”

Well, I was dead. Now I’m rising.

It’s a new day dawning.

In THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES Peter when invited to go to the home of a gentile states, “I have been taught to see no man as common or unclean.”

Those who state God hates fags are not Christians.

When Peter gets to the house of the Gentile before he says a word everyone there gets the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Peter then says, “I see God is not a respecter of persons but in all lands those who loved God and do good are loved by God.

So, no, we do not have to accept Jesus in our hearts to be saved.

Jesus has already saved us. It’s a done deal.

It helps to know the word.

–Thank you.

 

 

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