On today's episode of Let's Start A Cult we will be talking about The Freedomites also called The Sons of Freedom, and their fight to save their children from the government. The Freedomites were a religious, extremist cult that used nudity, arson, and bombing as shocking forms of protest. The self-proclaimed “God’s People” opposed everything from materialism to compulsory education. The Canadian government, in turn, opposed them.
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Sources for this episode include Globe and Mail, CBC Digital Archives, Maclean’s, Canada’s History, Project Gutenberg Self-Publishing Press, The University of Manitoba, and the British Columbia online news archive.
Research by: lauratownsend
Cover Image By: Adam Wilson
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Hi, my name is Josh show host of the let's surgical podcast, the only podcast that uses its advertising money to build a secluded compound in an undisclosed location. Now, with that out of the way, let me introduce to my guest this episode. That's right, we only have one guest this episode because all the other guests are obviously building the compound. So my guest today is the host of the jury room podcast, an incredible True Crime podcast that focuses on serial killers, missing persons and so much more. Please welcome Kevin Cooke. Kevin, how are you doing today? I'm great, Josh. Thanks for having me. Awesome, man. Awesome. So could you give our listeners maybe a little bit of a taste of what they can expect going into the jury room podcast? Absolutely. So our very first episode, we covered Ed Kemper himself, which I took inspiration if anybody listens to it, there's a part where I kind of pause that he used to hang out with officers and drink at a bar in Santa Barbara, California, at the jury room. So that's kind of where I got my name from the inspiration to take that, you know, considering that I was going to cover true crime. Now, I don't cover just serial killers. A few episodes later, I covered a few unsolved cases, the icebox murders, ice covered an unsolved case out of the UK. And then just a couple of episodes later, I interviewed a detective who was retired from somewhere in Florida. I interviewed her and she was a great, you know, a great interview, she really focused on the mental health aspect of, you know, the first responders and such, you know, and then my most recent episode that just released I interviewed a Scotland Yard undercover detective. And that was interesting that the guy has got a lot to say. And if you just sit and let him talk, he'll talk your ear off. So that's always the best, right? It's kind of where it's going. I want to mix it up. I've got some upcoming episodes that I feel like are gonna really be good. I got JonBenet Ramsey that I'm going to do next week. Oh, four. I don't want to necessarily call it a Christmas episode. But it did happen during Christmas time. It's like diehard. Right? Right, exactly. So but those are the kind of the things that they can expect when they come to listen to the jury room. That's awesome. And is your goal of the jury room to learn what these criminals did wrong so that you can perform the perfect crime? Absolutely. I mean, why wouldn't we want to right? I'm already you know, joining the call. So I might as well add serial killer to the resume to read. I mean, pretty soon, there'll be a podcast on me and
well, there'll be some there'll be a copycat who does a podcast on you and then does the same thing and Right, exactly, but they can't do it the same because it's a copycat, you know, they'll have their own mark. Right, exactly. Well, that's awesome. On today's episode of letzter called we will be discussing the freedom mites, also called the sons of freedom and their fight to save their children from the government. The freedom mites were a religious extremist called that use nudity, arson and bombing as a shocking form of protest. The self proclaimed God's people oppose everything from materialism to compulsory education that Canadian government in turn oppose them. Now, Kevin, have you heard of the freedom rights? I have not, but it sounds like a good time anything with nakedness and bombs? I mean, how could you go wrong? and Canada?
Well, let's not get ahead of ourselves. Here in America, we have a song It's called blame Canada. I mean, Oh, do you actually write you have never seen South Park? Oh, yeah. Yeah, okay. Okay. Yeah, blame Canada In Canada. Right. It's a whole thing, man. Come on. You know what, Josh, I'm taking your Canadian card away now that you don't even know No, Canada song, not my social insurance guy.
So I figured, you know, I've done America. I've done Japan, Mexico. I figured Canada's turn you know, absolute time, we've gotten off scot free.
So in the 17th and 18th century, Russia, a group of Christians known as dhoka Bohr or spirit wrestlers began to separate from the Russian Orthodox Church. dhoka Boers believe that
religion should extend past the Bible. They practice looking inward believing that they would find Christ within themselves. Interesting, pretty nice. gesture. I guess that God's always within though, right? Yeah, exactly. And I mean, this is how every cold starts they break away from the church and it's right. They can do it better even though this church has been around for centuries. Yeah, they're only gonna be around for maybe 50 years, but they could do it better. Right? They can do it way back.
In 1826, Star Alexander of Russia issued a decree that would force the assimilation of devorah
Doak burrs into the Russian Orthodox Church using military conscription. Anyone who refused to abandon their radical beliefs and rejoin the church would be sent to the army, as danger mounted for the docu bore. were rated beaten under the order of the Empire, Russia finally decided to rid themselves of the group entirely. So they're not being treated very nicely, obviously. I mean, Russia? I don't know. I mean, how well could they be treated? Yeah, and it's poor Russia to like it before they became a superpower. Right? So in 1897, the Russian government granted docu boars permission to emigrate from Russia. They were forced to do so at their own expense, and were forbidden to ever return to their home country. Get them out of here. We don't want them anymore. Basically exiled. Guinea Yes. Yeah. Which is always a weird thing. Like, I've never understood countries doing that. Hey, you, you can't be here anymore. You have to go. You believe in a different kind of religion than me that's very similar, but just a little bit too far.
Yeah, wine, tiptoed over it. Now. You gotta go. You've crossed the line here, buddy.
So Canada, you know, of course, offered religious refugees aid and lanta salon. So they're just like, Hey, you guys can come here. We got land. We got tons of land. No one's using it. Come in here. And by 1899 600 doca. Boers had made the trek to the great white north. And by 19 38,780 members of the religious group had arrived there. So like, I mean, Saskatchewan is not very big. So that's a big, big chunk of the population. Is that close to you? Or no? So this guy's going is not close to me. No, that's
Yeah, it's like in the middle. Okay. Can I guess kind of, it's the prairies. It's not much going on there. It's a lot of farm very flat land. So farms. I thought it's snow 20 473 165 days a year.
That does not.
It does get cold there, though. Saskatchewan is cold. It's like minus 40 with the Windchill and is that minus 40 Fahrenheit or is that minus 40? Celsius, which I have no idea what translates to Fahrenheit. It's ungodly. It's like I think it's like two and a half or three to one or something like that. I don't know. Cuz it's like, when you guys are like 27 degrees Celsius. I think it's like 95 degrees are in Fahrenheit. Okay. Right. Oh, no Celsius, for sure. Because I think they'd be dying if it was
fair. So these, these dokubo were built 42 villages in the Saskatchewan community of Swan River. The Villages had comfortable homes, horses, cattle and even telephones. Most of these people had been peasants in Russia, and their new lifestyle felt luxurious and exciting. They believe that they had moved to a country of total acceptance, or they could live in peace without government control. They worked as lumbermen farmers and carpenters. And they even sent their children to school and often they simply never had in Russia. Pretty good life so far. No, good. Right. But I mean, if if their life was good, we wouldn't be talking about them, right? Yeah, they lived happily ever after that was
over. Thanks for coming in. Joshua gray. Let's go. Let's pack it on. Give your shout out a plug.
Still, the docu Boers new home wasn't a paradise to everyone. Many were disturbed by and disgusted by their people's new draw to affluence. They feared that materialism would corrupt their values. These people led by Peter virgin or Lordy as his followers called him, of course, set up their set their animals free abandon their telephones and set off to warm their own entirely separate community on agricultural compounds. This marked the beginning of a cult stubborn and extremist protest would lead to one of the darkest and cruelest periods in Canadian history. Grown dark. Right? Well, I mean, it's it's always somebody who has to either be called God, Jesus, or the almighty Alpha Omega. I mean, john Froome, right. I mean, it's got to be something out there that way they can be you know, portray themselves to be God, right. Yeah. And actually, the childish part of my brain saw Peter Virgin and thought it was hilarious. That is
His name is a euphemism for like dick virgin. Oh my god.
You said that and I was like, there has to be something funny about that. Right? And I was more or less just laughing because his last name was virgin virgin.
just tickled my like four year old mind. I was like, oh god, that's funny. That's hilarious. You're a virgin. How does that feel? Oh, lordy. Oh lordy, that's, that's the same for this entire episode. Oh, lordy. Speaking of Lordy, not long after Lord his followers set off on their own. The Canadian government forced the radicalize dhoka bore to register their public land and to own it on an individual basis, destroying their harmonious communal living style. During this time 5000 doca Boers lost their land so that huge chunk, no longer own land, which sucks I mean, I guess it is Christopher Columbus leading this cold that's going to kind of sounds like Loki, Canada was a terrible place. For anyone who was also was not like Catholic, Christian white, right? Further, the government required them to swear an oath of allegiance to Canada, they were wary of pledging allegiances to a country that so far wasn't as accepting of them as they anticipated. Also, they worried that the oath of patriotism might lead to services in the military, which makes sense coming from where, like where that came from, was kind of what they were experiencing. So it'd be just common sense to be a little bit wary of that, right? Oh, no, about you. Yeah, I had land and you took it away.
Right? Why would I pledge allegiance to that land that you took from me?
Anyone who refused to obey the government's order was relocated to kootenay, British Columbia and separated from the community. Most dokubo was unwilling to uproot their lives yet again relented and and just you know, swore the oath. So they pretty much fought them just to say yes, so there was a quite a few that did I mean, they were just like, they don't want to move again right. However, those who did not relocate called themselves the freedom mites. And yeah, here we go. There we go. Freedom I did everything they could to separate themselves from their new country's culture. They believe in community over independence and vehemently opposed materialism including landowning freedom mites were perhaps most famous for organizing nude protests.
With that, Peter mergency with the theater virgin, because they believed clothing was offensive to God would built the human body from his own image. And it was blasphemous to cover up what the Lord Almighty had created. Alright, that's that checks out I mean, it's got cults have to check some kind of weird box right? This is starting to make sense now. This is their weird box. Yeah.
So they would like parade through the streets nude just to bring attention to their cars, which I'm sure they got quite a bit of attention during. It was like one of those hashtag free the nipples kind of movement, or, like, just they're just like, fuck it. We're taking our clothes off. Yeah, I think it was probably more of a movement where they're like, people shouldn't wear clothes because God this is God what God looks like so you should pull up.
For some reason, I weather Gods out there, man. I don't think he looks like a naked human body. But that's just me though. Yeah, he's always portrayed in robes and stuff like that. He's probably got something underneath. I mean, it's probably gonna like chafe with that robe rubbing up against them, right? I mean, yeah, gets a little breezy. You know.
The outbreak of World War One meant military training was being introduced in public schools, something that horrified the pacifist freedom Knights. In response, they pulled their children from the schools sitting religious reasons, they were exempt from joining the military. This was much to the dismay of the soldiers who had put their lives at risk fighting for the country. In 1917. The Russian Revolution sparked a paranoia throughout Canada, that the freedom mites and docu bores might be communist spies. That's like a common theme during that time, though, right? Like, everybody thought everybody was a communist. Was this was it a big thing back then, like 1917, though? He said, 1917 1970s. Right. Okay. Well, from like, it was like the 20s which is pretty close to 1970. I don't know if you know, a lot about like film history here in America or not. But back in the day, there was that fear of communism, that fear that everybody was like, you know, trying to praise China and you know, these big communist nations, right, like the dictatorship and stuff like that. I don't know if that was something that was also, you know, prevalent in Canada at the same time. You know, what I mean? I would imagine so, because, I mean, throughout history Canada's kind of been tied to America. We're like, why it's not like we share a border or anything or like
Like military alliances and PACs and right, yeah, I think the paranoia was kind of weird though, because these people have lived there for decades. And Russia, Russia revolutions happening now. Why would you be
people are the spies or whatever you think they are. Plus they're overthrowing the Russian government. Why wouldn't the Canadian government Yeah, why would they even bother with it? I didn't understand that part. But this is just a show that things are heating up between the government and this group. And it actually goes another step forward because that same year either Lordy virgin or Jen. Oh lordy virgin here, Lordy virgin. He died in an explosion that same year. So freedom is obviously suspected that the government was involved in the explosion that eliminated their leader. So they were furious. And they started setting fires to a number of schools in the area, protesting not only Lord's death, but also the public education that they believe would corrupt their children into conformity. Oh, well, things are heating up literally because they're fucking lighting things on fire. So
it's getting hot in here. It's getting hot in here. Take off all your clothes see in a full circle. That's where the song comes from.
cuz me and Nellie are twins, right? Yeah, totally sounded like absolutely perfectly like her.
So it's around this time that Lordy son was sent from Russia to Canada to lead the freedom rights. So I guess he was still in Russia for some reason. 100% sure why, but he comes there to Canada and begins to lead the freedom mines. But the new leader is a little bit greedy and apathetic and mortgages, his his followers assets and kicked any family that could not pay to the curb. In response, freedom might set bridges and railways ablaze. They tore their clothes off to symbolize that all of that had been taken from them. And the Canadian government obviously not taking this well. The nude protests were lighting their cities on fire. So over 600 freedom rights were arrested and sent to Oh, call a prison farm on piers Island. The children of the prisoners were institutionalized or taken to orphanages, so entire families were just torn apart, never to be reunited again, so almost not that I'm relating this call to anywhere close to Nazis, but basically like a concentration camp in a way where they're just kind of ripping people out of their their homes for their benefit. Yeah. And I mean, it's definitely not to the scale of the Nazis, nor Of course, not the same brutality. Yeah. And they weren't killed. They were alive. They're just Oh, no prison. Well, that's good. At least they made that at least.
But it does seem like a an overcorrection. You know, it's like, well, we can't figure out who burned them down. So all 600 of you, well, everybody's going where instead of, I don't know, trying to resolve the like, work with the group to figure out some sort of solution their jail. Sounds like America. Oh, that's right. America got it from we taught you. By the 1950s, the children of the prisoners had grown into angry, resentful and heartbroken adults in retaliation for the pain that the government had caused them. They refused to pay taxes and send their kids to school and failed to register any births or deaths in their community. They continue to strip off their clothes and set fires to everything from private homes to schools to bridges, over 400 of these traumatized adults were sent to prison for nudism and arson. So they have an mo and they love to stick to.
But my whole thing is it's kind of like cooking naked. Right? Like, everybody knows. It's just not something that you like, you don't do a spark flies off. It's gonna land on Yeah.
But I feel like setting a fire and naked being naked at the same time as it's kind of like the same thing. Yeah, no, I would agree. Yeah, I mean, I guess they're cold. Maybe they want to be warmed up.
Well, if they put clothes on, then they'd be warm, right? I mean, it's kind of like, that's crazy, man. I don't understand why they why people go to such extremes for certain things like that. Yeah. And you got to feel bad for them because they're, they are like, they're the orphan children basically, of their parents who got just locked up. And I mean, this is a example of like, like black people in America, their ancestors were locked up treated poorly. And you can still see the waves of of what happened today. And this is just a very obviously smaller version of that but right in some way. Well, reality of it is it's all bad. The same regardless of the scale. Whether it be one person to 5 million people, it doesn't matter like yeah, human beings shouldn't be enslaved by other human beings or ripped away from their homes for no reason. Yeah, whatever the case is, whatever the races doesn't matter, white, brown, pink, blue to purple. Doesn't matter. Nobody should go. Purple people.
You got to include everybody. Josh, this is 2020 it's inclusive, man. I mean, the article takes in everyday anyone I mean, podcasts are pod
As long as you have money we take you exactly. Yeah. So it was around this time that the government decided to take drastic measures. I'm not sure what before was it wasn't drastic, I guess, already ripped from your home and locked you up. But now we're taking measures crankin. Right. They were called Canada's most troubled minority by reporters. semia Holt, pressure was mounting on the government to do something to stop the dangerous cult in its tracks. In 1953, the British Columbia school act made state run education mandatory for children between the ages of seven and 15. They attempted to get freedom is to voluntarily send their children to schools, sending school buses to the villages, issuing invitations and then warnings in protest nearly 200 freedom rights paraded naked in front of their school, and that was the last straw for the authorities. Every protester was sent to prison, and four of their children were forced to internment camps, all new Denver dormitories, and so that's another it's like that.
What's the word I'm looking for? Like? They're re educating right? Like, it's almost like a not necessarily brainwashing them, but they're, you know, trying to change their mentality. Right? Well, and a big thing actually, that Canada was doing at this time was residential schools for Native Americans.
I don't know how much you know about them. But Canada was worse than what America for what they were doing. They were just kidnapping kids, forcing them into these religious schools, right? And just abusing sexually physically, mentally. Okay, that was awful. So this is very much on that same vein of, Hey, we don't know how to deal with you. So we're gonna make you like us. Yeah, exactly. We're gonna make you conform one way or the other, and it's just sad. So that's just goes back to that. You know that nobody? No one should have had to ever go through something like that. No, exactly. And no one should, right. So diving into the new Denver dormitories, they were described in 1957 McLean's article, quote, The New Denver dormitories consists of a converted sanctuary, annex and gymnasium. The buildings are on a lot 200 yard square surrounded on all sides by steel wire fences. The fourth side faces beautiful slocan lake with magnificent mountains towering up from the opposite bank. The approach to the dormitory is guarded by two sets of gates with Signs Announcing closed area and trespassers will be prosecuted. from Friday to Monday, guards patrol the floodlit gate area 24 hours a day. Other days they're on duty only at night. guards on night duty are armed as a precaution against incendiary. incendiary isn't sure I think that's like them trying to break out right? That's like kind of what I'm guessing. Okay. I was thinking fire but
the sun building that houses older children although spotless is dreary. The Sleeping section is cold and barn like each occupant has a white metal bed to cupboard drawers and a steel locker. The dining hall is an unattractive frame roof where children eat at long tables. The atmosphere is impersonal and it's in constitutional or institutional sorry, it was also probably unconstitutional. I would definitely go that it's going against some constitution somewhere. I would almost guarantee it Yeah. That's how Maclean's article describes it. Not a pleasing site other than the mountains mountain so nice. I mean, hey, go to prison with your Mountain View. That's Canada.
ln Canada see it Josh remember something blame Canada.
Life for children in the new Denver dormitory was bleak. at best. The thought of the Canadian government was that the children there would be conformed to modern society. And after their stay, which would last until they turn 15 might abandon their unconventional beliefs altogether. School instructor Nielsen Allen said quote, when the children leave after eight years, they'll no longer be sons of freedom. There'll be Canadians, unquote. Instead the dormitory traumatized children and their parents and push them further away from any shred of allegiance to Canada as what the fuck do you expect?
I'd almost rather go back to fucking Russia at that point and be like, I've never even been there, but I'm going there. Yeah, you're like, at least I can go to fucking I can go to the war. Like I can go join
three hot meals a day shit. Yeah, exactly. On January 18 1955, the government performed their biggest raid known as Operation hristova 70 police officers raided the village of christoval. In the middle of the night while families were sleeping. They successfully removed 40 children from their homes. They wanted to take more but the Department of Health only approved a maximum of 50 children. So they're also bad math. They got 40 and they're like, we can only do 50. It's like yeah, that's a bigger number. You can take more
Don't take more than 10 plus for 40 is 5010 plus four is 50. That makes sense, right? Also, it's kind of weird. The Department of Health is like 5050 is your limit.
What the fuck are you guys doing that 51 to come up with?
The raids were harrowing for freedom white families, the parents and children did not separate without a fight. According to McLean's, quote at the eat akov home 12 year old Johnny ran out the back door half clad, pursued through the snow by two policemen. He escaped. Later his father found him under a tree shivering and crying, he carried him to his neighbor's home where the police picked him up, unquote. In another instance, a mother disrobed in protest. When the police tried to take her daughter, she fainted. By the time she woke, her daughter had been taken to the dormitory in the back of a police car. I mean, they're gonna think that these people that keep taking their clothes off around their children, I mean, they gotta be fuckin scarred, right? Like, not only are they getting ripped from their house, but they have to watch their parents get naked all the time. That's, that's their last image of their parents being by mom, and those are Teddy's interface or something stupid. God's terrible. I didn't even think of that.
No, it's still nothing I want to be a part of now. No, no, absolutely not. Oh.
So the freedom mites lamented that quote, in some rates, police have manhandled grandfathers and grandmothers called the woman whores abused the children and dragged them off without allowing their mothers to say goodbye to them. Unquote. The long days and years spent at the new Denver dormitory were joyless and scary to the children who lived there. They saw their parents once a month through the high wire fence. According to McLane, quote, the parents stand on the other side of the fence, the children begin singing prayers and songs of welcome, often with tears in their eyes. After 20 minutes, the singing ends. And both groups range themselves along the fence. Some are trying to kiss through the fence through the wire mesh, others look silently at each other, tears running down their cheeks, bundles of food and clothes are passed over the fence to children, while half a dozen RCMP officers look on, unquote, pretty bleak, right? For the parents, it's got to be like, could you imagine like being a parent and your kids basically in jail? Right? For no reason thing? Well, I guess in this, like, it's, it's from your lifestyle from your choices, like your kids are being punished for it, which is not fair to you, either. Because I mean, it's obviously not their fault, right? Or believing in what they believe in and what what they've been taught from the time that they were born, right. It's not like they actually, you know, walked out, you know, saying, Oh, I'm Lordy, right. Like, they've got this, you know, over the generations. Yeah. And I mean, if the Canadian government had let them live their life, like their communal lifestyle, whether they were bothering anyone they're pacifist, or most like, what they were pacifist, they burned things now, but
were they were just new, just pacifist. I think I think they would have been fine. Like, they would have been like, they would have just been their own community inside of Canada now would have been okay, right. I mean, you guys would probably be running around naked by now because it would have just spread throughout the country, but a lot, right. I mean, I would not be cuz it would be way too cold. But
it's not small. I swear it's just cold.
Besides those bizarre and heart wrenching monthly visits, children never saw their families. They receive no holidays and were not allowed to visit people in new Denver. In one instance, a desperate father sent word to the dormitory that his children's mother was going into life threatening surgery. He asked if the children could come home to visit with her. The head of the school refused saying we're not going to let these children go running home for nothing. Oh, oh, all right. Your mother dying is nothing. But these people. Yeah, that doesn't mean shit doesn't matter. And from 1956 to 1959, the directors monthly notes reported that common consequences for misbehavior was lost family visits and switches. Well, switches it also back in like the old old time was like a whip. So that's what I'm thinking it might be. Yeah, that so so yeah. So they would just punish them by taking away family visits or whipping them probably. Yeah. I mean, even if it's wrong, it still sounds right. Because I mean, they're already locking the kids up for their beliefs anyways, yeah, it tracks which is not, which is the point of this. Yeah. Right. Parents finally agreed to take an oath promising to send their children to school. And with that the children were released and reunited with their families on August 2 1959. I guess we're all happy go lucky. We're good again. Yeah, we make an arsonist snow Yay.
And actually in the following years, the freedom Knights suffering from trauma from the years past continue to fight against the government. Their protests grew more violent bombings were more commonplace. And in the early 60s, the group bombed the Canadian Pacific Railway. They destroyed public property and burn buildings to the ground. members were arrested in the hundreds 1963 one freedom I died in an explosion of his own bomb. Oh, lordy. Well,
to be fair, he might have died from his own bomb Who knows? Well, didn't he though it didn't I thought he died like in a fire or an explosion but it wasn't clear the circumstances Oh, so the freedom it's just blame the government blame Canada
blame can't see that's you need to have that's that's your background music for this episode. just blame Canada.
Right. So they're still not happy? Obviously. Well, I don't know why the government would think hey, we've just enslaved right in a way these people for years on end these kids from their, from their parents, the parents from their children. They release them and everybody's just supposed to be a big happy family. I don't see that get along, right, like us now. In the early 1980s. following four decades of violent protests, British Columbia officials organized the expanded coatney Committee on intergroup relations. The mission of this group is to bring together representatives of various doca board groups, governmental departments, and police to come up with a way for freedom whites and Canadians to peacefully coexist, which is the irony is if they had done this in the goddamn first place, none of this would have happened. Right? We wouldn't be having a podcast about the freedom night right now. Exactly. Today, only a few people identify as freedom mites. There are nearly 20,000 active docu bores in Canada. 2500 are descendants of the sons of freedom. The children of new Denver dormitory now adults formed an organization called the new Denver survivor collective. members of the group spoke to British Columbia legislature in 2004, asking for an official apology from the government. Instead, Attorney General Jeff Plante delivered a statement of regret on behalf of British Columbia. I'm sure that went over well, right. I'm sorry. Oh, it's okay. But you hit me and then you're gonna hit me tomorrow. But we're good today. I actually have the statement right here, and I'm gonna read it for you.
Quote, we've recognized that a chapter in this provinces history needs to be acknowledged more than 50 years ago, 104 sons of freedom dhoka bore children were removed from their parents during a period of protest in the West kootenays. These children who were not allowed to return home during Christmas or summer breaks for the years that they were living in the new Denver dormitories visited by parents were restricted to two weekends a month, I have no doubt that the new Denver experience affected these children and their families in profound ways since they were kept from their parents for lengthy periods of time, unquote. So he's basically like, a knowledge that that probably sucked.
And there's probably going to be lasting effects, but maybe not at the same time. Yeah. And the statement also failed to recognize that there were around 175 children in the dormitories, not 104. Also, there were no mention of the abuse or terrible conditions the kids were in, or like, forced to injure. There were no mentions of the violence, separation of the sobbing children in the back of police cars, or the mothers who didn't get to see their kids grow up. So basically a blanket I'm sorry, statement, right? Hey, I'm sorry, I kicked you in the face. But you're not gonna say that I kicked you in the face. I'm just gonna say that. It's like, Dan. It's good. We're good. Everything's good. Not even apologize. Because it's not even really an apology. It's kind of just acknowledging that it happened, which is right, which is not the same as apologizing. Yeah. And this is, this is a whole rant I've got I've never understood why governments or people of a country are opposed to apologizing for something that, like, it might not have been you directly. Because, right, like, you can just say, Hey, I'm sorry, my ancestors did this. It was really shitty. How can I help like, right? How is it? How is it that hard to be like, Hey, I acknowledge that, and I apologize for these terrible things that we've done, how can we help improve going forward and make mega change? Like, I've never understood why that was? So what would you call it like a like, against your core being or like somehow it's saying you're terrible, Greg. I think it's kind of one of those things that they would have to acknowledge their faults, right. It's kind of like, you can almost equate it to like the legalization of marijuana or a lake in a way. Like I know Canada, right is finally, you know, completely 100% legal, right? Yeah. Well, obviously here in the States, it's not and it's still a schedule one, which means that you can still go to federal prison right for it.
In a way, I kind of look at it the same way as it's like, if they acknowledge that they made a mistake, then they have to go and fix their mistake, everything right, everything that was the cause of whatever they did, you know, up until that point that they acknowledge, you know, right. So I think it's one of those things that, you know, it's a priding of watts, obviously, it's a pride thing to, but if they've already, you know, put out these statements, and you know, saying no, no, no. And then all of a sudden, they're like, yes, we fucked up. Yeah, I'm sorry. You know, it's like one of those almost in a sense, where you would probably get a group of people that would try to take over the government because they're weak, right, even though the strongest position is being able to admit that you made a mistake, right, and moving forward, you know, and going forward a different direction, you got to think doubling down is definitely not the way to go. Because that just creates more of the issues. So that I guess it's passing the buck, right? You're just like, I don't get to it. Maybe some other government, like guy will do it, or girl will do it later on. Right? Yeah, it's shitty. And I mean, I do hope the government comes out with a better statement sometime soon, because this was like, When was this? This was 2004. So Oh, yeah. So it's still we're we're like way ahead of me so sad. Yep. So to bring it all to a conclusion. The freedom rights battle with the Canadian government remains controversial to this day. Well, violence committed by the supposedly pacifist group was certainly dangerous and wrong. It is hard to believe that the government could not come up with a better solution than to snatch children and place them in internment camps. Today, the children who suffered in their most formative years at the hands of strangers who detested them are just trying to live normal lives, and they're still waiting for an apology. So are they still around now then? Yeah, yeah. The dope. Yeah, there's still a community of not freedom Knights or sons of freedom, but do Toka Boers or Yeah, the dhoka Boers. They're still around. They're still a community of Dhokla boars pretty big. I think it said, yeah. 20,000 active back in 2004. So Oh, wow. Okay. So yeah, it's it's grown into quite a community of NBC and Saskatchewan and Alberta, I'm sure. Yeah. So very sad story. Very sad. Halt, I wouldn't. And it's hard to be like, on the cold side in most situations, but you gotta kind of think that the call isn't quite to blame here. I wouldn't even necessarily I know, this is just my opinion, right? Like, if you listen, you listen to the story and taken all the information like, in a way, I don't feel like it got a chance to become a cult necessarily. Right. Right. Like they absolutely had the the precursors to become a cult, you know, like a normal communal living and all that. But I mean, the reality of it is, how much of their violence and anger and everything came from the government. I mean, I'd be pissed off as fuck if you're coming into my house, messing my shut up and taking my kids like that's gonna piss me off. Yeah, of course, I'm gonna blow shit up and light your shit on fire. Maybe not naked. But um,
you know, like, if I have access to that stuff, that's what I'm doing. And there has to be like, there is a distinct difference between the docu boar and the freedom mites because there is like the free two mites came from the docu boar but the dokubo themselves were pretty much they're very pacifist, and they were just living in their communities. The freedom mites were a bit more pushy with their protest like they were the nudists in the street.
But you could easily just be like tell them hey, well I don't even know like why why do people care if someone else's nude in the street I get like right I get it if you're in like okay a major city or if you're you know your whole community has surrounded a school and you're all are flapping your dicks everywhere get like okay, I get that right but yeah, if they are living out literally in the middle of nowhere you know living off the land and they're choosing to teach they're their values and their values are we're going to be naked like cuz that's God then i don't i don't see a problem with that like because they're out in the middle of nowhere they're not messing with nobody they're not hurting anybody. Yep. Well, and I think they would have been probably for the most part fine if they like yeah, you had the freedom rights and you probably could have just dealt with them separately because they left anyway. So if they were if they became violent eventually dealt with them but you forced them to become violent and then dealt with them terribly. Including the docu Boers in their their our sin and stuff like that, and push the docu bores to become violent, and it's just it just spiraled into this big thing that could have been easily avoided by a allowing them to keep their land and be focusing on the right
Group instead of the entire group and just blaming them all right, right. So yeah, sad, sad story and a cult that. Yeah, like you said probably didn't develop into what it could have been. But it had it had the markings. I mean, like you said, they split off they became two separate groups. And you know, like you said they should have left cult light alone. Yeah, and just fucked with the people that were you know, that were creating the chaos. Exactly. Well, that's the freedom mites. I mean, I hope you enjoyed the episode. I know it was sad, but there's very few cold episodes that are happy so i don't i don't think you're ever gonna have a happy cold episode. The john Froome one I I would say wasn't sad necessarily. It was kinda it was fine. They were just kind of they believed in some American dude who premium cargo It was pretty awesome I guess. Pretty