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People have asked why I show this program. It’s because I am witnessing. November is Remembrance Day. It is one thing to wear a poppy. It is another to remind people of the importance of standing up.

We are not victims. Far from it. We are witnesses.

“A 2014 police complaint report obtained by the Star details allegations from a man who used to live at Hartt’s home — the two men knew each other for 25 years — who moved out “after he began receiving information that Reg was recording video of young boys,” it alleges.”

https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2019/01/26/toronto-vintage-film-expert-denying-child-pornography-charges.html

I reported to THE STAR that the man who authored the police complaint lived with me briefly in the 1990s. He moved from here to a house a few doors down where he took over the first floor. At the time he lived with me I did not own a video camera.

I made that clear repeatedly on this site, to the police and to THE STAR.

THE STAR chose not to include that information. That is on THE STAR.

I did not own a video camera until the streets of Toronto from Bloor down to Front and from Bathurst over to Church Street (that is a big area) were covered with posters declaring that a former employee of the man was a rat, a police informant.

I then posted the video on the web. After doing so I got in contact with everyone I could think of in the media, on Toronto City Council, MPs, MPPS, the police in an effort to keep the subject of the posters from being killed. That video is here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=an6wuSoPjlc  .

After hearing from people that there was nothing they could do I finally got word from a woman in then Mayor David Miller’s office. She said she would act to have the posters stopped. They were.

In February 2012 NOW magazine did a feature on street postering in Toronto: https://nowtoronto.com/news/papering-over-postering-rights/  . In the comments to the article anonymous posts appeared stating I was sexually abusing people who come to my programs.

A couple of weeks later those comments were printed up as street flyers. The attacks on myself began:

Cineforum folding?

Operator of beloved movie house target of vicious personal attacks

https://nowtoronto.com/news/cineforum-folding/ .

At the same time posters appeared all over the city targeting a former employee of the man behind this as a person who was secretly filming women up their skirts and recording drug deals.

I was contacted by Oliver Moore, a writer for THE GLOBE AND MAIL, who was new to Toronto. He had seen the posters he said, had done research and wanted to do a story. I said I would rather he not. He said, “Trust me.” I said, “Only if you include the other people who have been and are being smeared in this fashion. People are writing this is a feud between myself and the person behind this. It isn’t. He has a long standing record of doing this.”

Moore said he would. His piece can be found here:

Toronto alternative-theatre founder stands up to bullying threats

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

Moore’s piece remains the best and most authoritative account of this up to that date.

At that point former City of Toronto Councillor Adam Vaughan’s office stepped in. Through their efforts the smear campaign stopped.

It resumed again in 2014 when Adam Vaughan ran in the federal election.

Posters appeared saying Vaughan was connected to Reg Hartt’s Kiddie Porn Cineforum.

Those attacks continued unabated. I received anonymous messages threatening my life and warning me that unless I accepted Jesus I was going to burn in Hell: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bXB6p2pdk0U    .

That same year a police complaint against myself was found on the street. It was passed on to me.

I called the police who were surprised I had it.

I spoke with a Detective Trish Bayliss at 54 Division. I gave her a complete digital copy of the poster attacks on myself and others. I thought that the end of it until I was contacted in 2016 by Detective Constable Michael Kiproff.

When Detective Kiproff became aware of the history of this he asked what I wanted done. I said, “I just want this to stop.”

He said he was called constantly by the author of the complaint demanding I be charged as well as denying that he was posting material smearing myself and others. Detective Kiproff stated, “This is ‘he said/he said.’ I need proof he is posting the material. You have to get pictures and videos.”

In April 2017 I was able to film the man posting flyers smearing myself on Queen Street West in Toronto between Spadina and University. I posted the video on the web. It is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JJw6xFdCae0   .

“Now we can act,” said Detective Kiproff, adding, “What do you want done?”

I said, “I just want this to stop.”

It did not stop.

In September 2017 during The Toronto International Film Festival posters once again went up on the streets of the city smearing myself.

I contacted the police. Detective Constable Victoria Adams of 14 Division responded. We went up to Bloor and Bathurst where I showed her some of the posters. Driving down Bathurst I saw the author of this mischief at Lennox and Bathurst. I identified him to her.

He was arrested and charged with Criminal Harassment. He was released on condition he neither possess nor post anything related to myself.  https://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/c-46/section-264.html

I thought that would be the end of it. I thought wrong.

Just before Christmas 2017 a street person I had helped told me he had been offered $75 a week to tear down my street posters, $100 to break my legs and $1,000 to kill me. He said, “If I have been offered this others have.”

I shut down my film programs for January and February 2018. I began them again Saturday and Sunday, March 17 & 18, 2018.

“Can I access the web to check my email,” said a man who came to the March 18, 2018 program.

Towards the end of May 2018 the police arrived at my door with a warrant that stated that on or about March 18, 2018 child pornography had been downloaded on the internet here.

I was taken into custody.

During interrogation at 14 Division I was informed by the police that their chief source of information was the man who has been doing his best to bring me harm.

After interrogation I was taken to jail.

While in jail I was able to contact lawyer Mitch Engel. He helped me with my bail. One of my oldest friends in the city stood bail for me. He arranged my bail conditions so that I would be able to use my computers for work and to find a lawyer.

After speaking with other lawyers I decided to stick with Mitch Engel.

The police after inspecting my computers found nothing except the one file I had shown them when they were here. That file relates to a child pornography case in Europe on which I was doing research for my ongoing programs. That same program includes documentary and feature films on the abuse of children. This is allowed under the law.

https://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/c-46/section-163.1.html

Defence

(6) No person shall be convicted of an offence under this section if the act that is alleged to constitute the offence

  • (a) has a legitimate purpose related to the administration of justice or to science, medicine, education or art; and
  • (b)does not pose an undue risk of harm to persons under the age of eighteen years.

THE STAR in its piece wrote: “A 2012, an anonymous poster campaign targeting Hartt claimed he had “possessed and displayed material of ‘children in sexual situations,’” and, in bold-type, read: ‘BOYS BEWARE.’ Another poster alleged Hartt watched ‘local school kids walking home.’”

That leaves readers with the impression the statement is true. It was not. It is not.

What is true is that for nearly twenty years I have been under sustained attack designed, in the words of THE GLOBE AND MAIL, “to bring violence upon me.”

I am still standing.

Last summer a fellow came up from behind me at Queen and University. He grabbed the street flyers I had in the basket on the front of my bicycle and ran off with them shouting, “I am tired of chasing you around the city to tear down your posters.”

I shrugged it off and continued along Queen Street with the flyers I had left.

At Queen and Spadina the same person came up from behind, grabbed my bike and rode off with it.

There was a police car parked beside. I reported the theft.

I later learned that the street person who had been offered money to cause me harm had been questioned by the police not to find out who had made the offer but to find out what he could tell them regarding the sex crimes issue. He told them there was nothing to tell.

My lawyer informed me that the police had found nothing on my hard drives and computers that showed an interest in child pornography. The only file they have is the one I showed them my use of which is legitimate under the law.

He said, “The court says if you plead guilty to possession of this material you can serve six months of week ends.”

Yes, and have that on my file.

No thank you.

It would be great of THE STAR, THE SUN and others were as ready to defend people against the harassment myself and others have endured.

It would be great if THE STAR, THE SUN and others were ready to help me defend myself against these charges.

But they are not.

People have been speaking evilly of me since I was six years old.

My father told me, “I have hated you from the moment you were born as in that instant I realized I had to die.”

We were drunk when he said that. I was grateful to hear it.

Henry Miller, in AN OPEN LETTER TO SURREALISTS EVERYWHERE, wrote, “When at last each man realizes that nothing is to be expected from God, or society, or friends, or benevolent tyrants, or demo­cratic governments, or saints, or saviours, or even from the holiest of holies, education, when each man realizes that he must work with his own hands to save himself, and that he need expect no mercy, perhaps then . . . Perhaps! ” (  http://reghartt.ca/cineforum/?p=24590  )

I have learned not to expect anything from anyone.

Miller is wrong in one regard. There are always people, not very many it is true, who help.

Mitch Engel was there for me in jail. So was my friend who went bail. So have been the people I share my house with. So have been strangers on the street. So have been the many good friends I have met through my programs.

One street person seeing me post flyers rose from where he was sitting. He said, “I have been hearing evil things about you.”

I replied, “People talk.”

He said, “I don’t believe them.”

Kurt Vonnegut was an atheist. Asked by President Richard Nixon why he cared for people so below his station in life Vonnegut relied, “The Sermon From The Mount.”

When giving talks to graduating students at colleges, schools and universities Vonnegut spoke of the twelve words of Jesus that are the antidote to the poison of “AN EYE FOR AN EYE, A TOOTH FOR A TOOTH” in The Hammurabi Code and Leviticus. Those twelve words are “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.”

Not many who call themselves Christians practice those words.

I don’t call myself a Christian. I am me.

I practice them.

Those words free me from the poison of anger,

Why am I interested in this boy Jesse Dumanch?

Because like him in my childhood I lived in Hell.

I lived in that Hell from over twenty years.

I am grateful for those fires. They refined me.

Jesus was known to his discredit as a friend of prostitutes.

I am proud to be known as a friend of prostitutes.

When I came to Toronto friendless, homeless and without money one stranger I met helped me. His mother had been a prostitute. When he was ten she put him to work giving blow jobs to her clients to bring in extra money.

With a mother like that we either kill our self or become a helluva human being.

It’s too bad the writers for THE STAR and THE SUN did not have mothers like that.

Last week another man took a picture of me posting flyers on the street. He said, “I have heard evil things about you.”

He’s not the only one. Nearly twenty years ago one man set out to make me hated. He has done his worst to destroy me.

I’m still standing.

Jane Jacobs is the author of THE DEATH AND LIFE OF GREAT AMERICAN CITIES, the most important book about cities. I met her and her family in September 1968 when they moved to Toronto from New York.

She taught that when we see evil being done and do nothing we are worse than the evil doers.

Her children when I meet them say to me, “Our mother loved you.”

I reply, “I love your mother.”

It is impossible not to.

She was not one to say, “This storm will blow over.”

What she would say was, “Come inside until this storm blows over.”

One day she invited me into her ho,me where after a few beers she said, “The best part of what you offer is what you have to say.”

Before her was a copy of a Toronto newspaper. She said, “I hate this paper.”

She was my friend. She taught me the importance of standing up.

Ed Keenan, of THE STAR, said to me, “Reg, you are the only person in this city who stands up.”

I said, “There are others.”

Drop by THE CINEFORUM.

So many are doing their best to destroy it.

Catch it while you can.

In THE DEATH AND LIFE OF GREAT AMERICAN CITIES Jane Jacobs wrote that one of the things used to discredit people who stand up to authority is a sex scandal.

In the days her book was published it was enough to suggest a person was an adulterer or a homosexual to get them destroyed.

Today that is not enough.

While I do not call myself a Christian to do believe in Jesus of Nazareth. At the end of Mark’s Gospel Jesus states that we will be given deadly poison and not to fear as it will not harm us. He states that deadly serpents (liars) will bite us. He says not to fear as their bite will not harm us.

How can we know this is true unless we are given the cup to drink, unless the deadly serpent does his worst?

Let them do their worst.

I have been standing witness against a man who for nearly twenty years has done his best to do the worst to myself and others.

Most, like the Pharisee and the Scribe in Jesus’s parable of The Good Samaritan, have crossed the road rather than stop and help.

Oliver Moore, a stranger, stopped.

THE GLOBE AND MAIL helped.

For that I am grateful.–Reg Hartt 2019–11-05.

https://www.ranker.com/list/famous-male-orators/reference

 

The function of the artist is to disturb. His duty is to arouse the sleeper, to shake the complacent killers of the world. He reminds the world of its dark ancestry, shows the world its present and points the way to its new birth. He is at once the product and preceptor of his time… In a world terrified of change, he preaches revolution – the principle of life. He is an agitator, a disturber of the peace – quick, impatient, positive, restless and disquieting. He is the creative spirit of life, working in the soul of men.”—Norman Bethune.

That, not selling paintings to rich folk or winning praise from critics, is what being an artist is all about.

 

 

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