CANNABIS CULTURE MAGAZINE

Issue # 10 - November/December 1997

 

The Canadian Inquisition:

The Creation of Hempire Village

Church of the Universe

 

(Part II the 1990's)

By Daniel Loehndorf

 

Inquisition Part I Beliefs and Part II History of the Church

 

Feature Article: Dreams of a Hemp Based Community

 

THE CREATION OF A HEMPIRE VILLAGE  

   In 1994, Ontario politician John Long 
donated thirteen acres of abandoned IMICO foundry lands in Guelph to the Church. The church still hadn't regained Clearwater Abbey, but the IMIC0 lands would become the site of a newer vision. 
   It was a cold night when , puffing a cloud of sweet smoke over the property deed and intoning "Bless this," Reverend Tucker accepted ownership of the site on behalf of the church. The media exploded in a pyrotechnic display of picture flashes. CSIS agents slid in the flashes' shadows as Reverend Tucker renamed the site "Hempire Village". 
   On the site, Reverend Tucker intends to build a sustainable community based on the growth of hemp and the manufacture of hemp products. 
   A church videotape shows Reverend Tucker pointing in various directions, suggesting ideal locations for a swimming pool for the elderly, a refuge for youth, a topnotch sports complex. "A place for the community that's what I see," said Tucker. 
   There were, and continue to be, a few problems with the site, however. Local governments hired an environmental consultant, who declared the site "leachate toxic with regards to lead" and claimed it would cost 6 million to clean up. There is also a city tax debt of 2.1 million dollars attached to the site. The estimated value of the site, however, is under 1 million, and only after the 6 million dollar environmental clean-up. 
   It would seem reasonable that the city should welcome Reverend Tucker, who promises to do the clean-up himself. Even if the city cleans up the site itself and sells it, it will lose 5 million dollars, according to the city's own figures. And wouldn't a sustainable community be far better than the kind of business run by John Cooke, the previous owner, who polluted the land for so many years? 
   However, on October 19, 1994, the Guelph Tribune reported that the city had initiated a process to take over the land for unpaid taxes. Was the mayor of the City of Guelph unable to operate an adding machine? Or was he hiding something? 
   In an interview with Reverend Tucker and John Long, former candidate for the leadership of the Provincial Liberal Party and the donator of the land, I was given a very convincing explanation. 

A 1994 Interview with Reverend Tucker and John Long 

   Rev Tucker: "A deal was made to declare this property polluted until interested parties could get their hands on it. I've had people come here and offer to take everything off the property. Buildings, everything. At no cost to me. That's how much scrap metal there is." 
   Interviewer: But there's no pollution here? 
   Rev. Tucker: "No." 
   John Long: "How they got it was they seeded a sample, one sample, in order to get this place declared 'leachate toxic'. In the back corner is a dry well where they washed zinc and lead off machinery parts. The zinc and lead would then wash out to the city sewer system. But some remained behind in the dry-well, because the zinc and lead were heavy." 
   "They went down the dry well and took the sample out of there. Right from the bottom. The sample they took was thirteen percent over the amount needed to declare the property leachate toxic with regards to lead." 
   Interviewer: Why? 
   John Long: "This guy John Cooke was a colossal empire builder. He wanted to get something going like the Hagersville tire-fire cleanup. The Ministry  of the Environment and everyone else running around in white suits, a big show. 
   "Cooke was gunning for the job of decommissioning the property and he thought he could get the feds and the province to go along with it. And if he could be the boss, he could make a lot of money. He had everyone, including the Mayor of Guelph, mesmerized that this place could be declared an orphan site. He would be paying people to take valuable scrap metal off the site. 
   ?The feds told me that the property would never qualify for decommissioning, as it was not polluted enough. There were plenty of sites more polluted that the feds could put their money into if they had it. But they don't have any money, and neither does the province. 
   "So Cooke had the silly old Mayor led around by the nose. And the silly old Mayor was silly enough to think he could get the IMICO site for nothing." 
   Walter: They had to make this thing look bad so no one wanted to touch it. The city knows there is no pollution here. Someone should launch a suit against these bastards for lying, and for destroying property value."

 

 
A Question Remains 
 
   What did Reverend Tucker and other 
church members do to arouse the ire of our big brothers, those government agents who work so arduously to protect us all from ourselves? The answer is deceptively simple: Tucker and other church members practice their religion. In Canada, if a religion is not approved of by the authorities, it is illegal. 
   When I think of all the persecution that Tucker has suffered since the "good old days" at Clearwater Abbey, I am reminded of what he said to me during the summer of 1994. I had asked him if he wanted to save people, to give them a new life. 
   "No," he said, "how can I be responsible for somebody else's life? If you have to ask my permission for something, you should kill me." 
   What Reverend Tucker said didn't seem to fit with the many actions he and Baldasaro have taken in court, not only for themselves, but for others. Perhaps it was Reverend Tucker's experience with society's "permission-givers" - those who staff our legal system - that shaped Tucker's attitude. Whatever the cause, Reverend Tucker is no longer just a marijuana missionary, he's also a freedom fighter. 
   Meanwhile, persecuted church members like Archbishop Baldasaro pray for a day when they can reconsecrate the holy land of Clearwater Abbey. A day when they can break the ice of the quarry, and open a hole through which marijuana smokers everywhere might escape into freedom. 
 
  

 

BROTHERS IN ARMS!

Brother Walter and Brother William Tucker

Clearwater Abbey

Nude Universe Olympics 1984

 



 
THE CHURCH ATTACKS
UNLEGISLATED OPPRESSION

“City of Guelph sued for Breach of
Fiduciary Duty”

   Reverend Tucker is indeed suing the City of Guelph, for breach of fiduciary duty in failing to collect taxes from those who were responsible for generating them in the first place, namely the bank which took possession of the property after John Cooke left. Not only did the bank fail to pay  the taxes, it arranged to have the site stripped of valuable materials and machinery, which it sold for its own profit. 
   A final twist in the case was the church's discovery that the two million dollar tax bill was fraudulently inflated by the City of Guelph. "The tax arrears illegally included Workers' Compensation arrears and Hydro bills. During our dealing with the city to define the bills we found that the true tax arrears are only approximately $400,000," revealed Baldasaro. 
   Meanwhile, healthy locals who worked at the foundry all of their lives still recall how they hauled buckets of the supposedly "polluted" soil home to fertilize their gardens - gardens from which they fed their families, who also remain healthy.

 

 Police, School Boards, and Attorney General

Sued for Searching Students

 

   Through his many court battles, rights and freedoms have become Baldasaro's specialty. Now he also seeks to guarantee the rights and freedoms of others. 

   Most recent in a growing number of court cases was a class action suit filed by Reverends Tucker and Baldasaro against the Ontario Provincial Police, the public and private school boards, and the Provincial and Federal Attorney Generals, for conducting warrant less locker searches in high schools. 

   Lockers were searched while students were detained under the guise of an "emergency response drill". When the search took longer than expected, and students needed to be detained after the drill, many of the young people became suspicious and angry. 
   The Guelph Mercury reported that "When Superintendent Clark was told that about five per cent of the students at one of the schools were remarkably 'upset' by the search, he said, 'Good. Lets hope they get the message.' 

   Reverend Michael Baldasaro doesn’t agree with Clark's attitude. "These students are our tomorrow and we're subjecting them to Big Brother," said Reverend Baldasaro, "Do as you're told and don't ask any questions."     Tucker and Baldasaro argued that the parties involved failed to inform detained students that they were under arrest and had the right to contact legal counsel. Tucker and Baldasaro are asking for $1,000.00 in reparation for each student illegally detained, a Binding Declaration of Right declaring the searches unconstitutional, and a Writ of Prohibition against further searches. 

   Their Notice of Application states that if they do not "express their repugnance, revulsion and opposition to the violations of student's charter rights, the same violations might be used against them and/or other Canadians." 

   On May 2nd, 1997 the court responded by dismissing the Church's application. Writs Baldasaro, "The court ruled that we did not have standing to challenge the alleged illegal search and detention of the students without being a party to the infringement and/or with a complainant student to bring the claim." 
   Archbishop Baldasaro's next step is to contact the Attorney General, who has the jurisdiction to challenge the decision on behalf of the students.