We worked with Rod V. in Quebec to prepare this letter and strongly urged request for a public inquiry into the MKUltra abuses and other abhorrent abuses, that occurred in these orphanages (1930′s – 1960′s +). Please view this letter on our mutual and vital concerns. We will get there.
Kelb, Board, Members, Writers, Editors
Re: DuPlessis Orphans, of the DuPlessis Orphanages,
of the Catholic Church: “Decree”
Dear Ministre de la Justice du Quebec, Monsieur Bertrand St. Arnaud:
Our organization, Kelb, Keep The Ethical Light Burning, Inc., has become aware of “The Duplessis Orphans Committee and the Programme Nationale de Reconciliation avec Les Orphelins de DuPlessis signed Decree # 1153-2001”, concerning the plight of the DuPlessis Orphans and other orphans placed into the care of the Catholic Church in Quebec (1930′ – 60′s +). Our organization deals with non-consensual experimentation, it’s abuses and some of the programs, which occurred both in Canada and the U.S., during the above named years.
From the “Quebec Ombudsman’s Report” of 1997, in which Ombudsman Daniel Jacoby produced an official report, in which the Orphans’ complaints were documented. He found evidence of such abuses as psychosurgery, electroshock, ice baths, beatings, straitjacketing, torture, sodomy and “unjustified confinement to a cell — sometimes for months or even years.”However, the Quebec attorney general announced in February 1995 that no charges would be brought. Mr. Jacoby stated, in reponse, “In almost all cases, the reasons invoked by the attorney general did nothing to deny the existence of the facts. Neither the statute of limitations nor the death of a suspect or complainant threw the alleged acts into question.”
And similarly, Dr. Hubert Wallot, a psychiatrist at the Saint Michel Archange psychiatric hospital at Beauport, (near Quebec City) found enough information to support the orphans’ case in his 1979 biography. When “Actualite-Medicale” reporter Michel Dongois asked about the Duplessis Orphans Dr. Wallot said, he supported the Orphans’ cause, and felt that a public inquiry was necessary.
Wallot wrote: “In 1948, two hospital workers tending for the sick patients ordered a young patient to wash the floor. The young boy refused, the two hospital workers killed the young boy.” This is in Dr. Hubert Wallot’s book, “La Danse autour du fou”, page 109).
There is much law on the legal abuses, concerning these “experiments”. Experimentation without informed consent, is illegal, nationally and internationally. U.S. Case law on this, goes back at least as far as 1923, with a decision by then Justice Cardozo (NY), on the illegality of this kind of “experimentation”. The Nuremberg Code is an accepted norm of practice, in Canada, in the U.S. and internationally.
The Declaration for Children’s Rights, proclaimed by the General Assembly of The United Nations Organisation 20 November 1959, (resolution 1386(XIV) Considering the necessity of a special protection for children (from 1929 Geneva Declaration on Children’s Rights): and adopted in the Declaration of Human Rights – one principal reads:
Children must be protected from all forms of negligence, cruelty, and exploitation, and Black Market of babies (selling). Children must not be used for cheap labour that could jeopardize the children’s health, his or hers education, and put in danger his or hers physical development, mental and moral.
This law was clearly violated and abused with these young, vulnerable Duplessis and Huberdeau orphans, housed by the Catholic church, who had already suffered great loss. These heinous, egregious abuses, must be addressed, whenever their inception. And rightfully, there is no statute of limitations, for crimes as egregious, as these. We applaud the government of Quebec for its actions, its understanding of human rights, the Declaration of Human Rights and its intentions in its work on the “Decree” for these survivors of the orphanages.
However, certain very glaring problems have appeared, with many of the involved professionals and their work (and intentions) on this decree, which are causing great legal concern. The problems are glaring enough and causing such concern, that an independent public inquiry, seems the best method to both obtain justice for the survivors and keep the outcome free from the taint of corruption and conflicts of interests This would show Quebec’s strong interest in inquiries into criminal behaviour (especially concerning children) which are free from taint, corruption and conflicts of interests.
The surviving DuPlessis orphans feel that only an independent public inquiry can effectively deal with these abuses, and their now historic intertwining in the politics of state, church and intelligence community activities in those years. It seems almost impossible to separate the good honest public officials from those with some connection to the Catholic Church, either then or now. Any lawyer will tell you that that in this situation, a “conflict of interest” is created, with resulting, “justice denied.” We don’t want to work from that position. We need to close this horrific chapter in Canada’s, the U.S.’s and other countries’ histories, as we work for an appropriate justice for the survivors of these atrocities.
An independent public inquiry may be the only way to get at the truth and give the victims, the justice, reparations and being “made whole” that they so sorely deserve.
On the concerns and glaring problems: the first, is the position Bruno Roy held, in the processing of this Decree, as President of The Orphanage Committee, a prime member with influence and “final say”. In a 11/3/01 issue of La Presse, Roy stated publicly that he had a conflict of interest in the Orphans case; because he was once in the priesthood, himself with the Catholic order, Clercs Saint Viateur between 1964-1970 He had not disclosed this involvement and association to the Orphans and the public. The Clercs Saint Viateurs kept numerous Duplessis Orphans at the St. George Orphanage in Joliette, Quebec. The question is clearly raised and perhaps answered: “how Roy could be an impartial representative when it came to exposing actions of Catholic church personnel and in particular, this group.”
The dogmatism and intense training of priests in the Catholic Church is well-known, world wide. To push aside these beliefs, held since childhood (and through a form of torture, Bruno Roy, himself, must have been exposed to), and work as an impartial member of such an important outcome for the victims of these abuses, is not only difficult, in the legal sense, it seems necessarily a recusable “conflict of interest”. He should have recused himself, very early on. He did not and became a prime player in the outcome of this “Decree” for the victims. This seems a clear, problematic and disturbing “conflict of interest” in the interest of justice, for these abused children (now adults).
One member of the orphanage committee notes: “The Decree stated that about 1,200 psychiatric Orphans having the false label of mental illness were registered. In 1999, the government of Quebec, entrusted to Bruno Roy’s committee the task of determining who was considered a Duplessis Orphan. This was odd. As the government was the body that had locked up the Orphans, certainly they would have had records of those whom they locked up. Yet, Roy agreed to work with the government to determine who was an Orphan and who was not.
If Roy had pushed to force the government to produce the records of those whom they had locked up, (in the orphanages) he would have had written proof of the illegal incarceration and fraudulent psychiatric labeling of the children. Yet another example of failing to respond in a way that would have best made a case for the Orphans. . .” .
So, something as important as identifying members of the group, in the mediation, was not effectively accomplished. Similarly the exclusion of the Huberdeau orphans, also housed by the Catholic nuns, priests and church, seems another example of both flawed reasoning and “conflict of interest”. This is our second problematic point causing legal concern.
These children were similarly placed in orphanages run by the Catholic Church in the same years. They experienced the same abuse and illegal medical experimentation, through those programs, as those in the Catholic DuPlessis Orphanages.
By legal reasoning, two people burned by the same person, in law, have the same perpetrator. Their claims, by definition and similarity (which is never “identical”, as we are taught in law classes) can create a “class”. These same tenets needed to hold true for both of these groups of abused orphans. To separate them, had the effect of watering down and minimizing the very valid and actionable claims of the Duplessis orphans. Again, this decision and its advocacy were made by a former priest, acting in a position of authority, on an issue, which to him would be controversial, one would think. This seems most clearly a misuse of the legal process, possibly based on a very strong conflict of interest. This separation of similar groups, with the same claims, is in need of remediation
A third point, very worthy of legal consideration, is the fact that many of these now adult DuPlessis orphans did not have access to the same educational benefits, many non-orphans did, in those years (due to the abuses and lifestyles they suffered). Therefore, with little education, their understanding of the legal process, and how the wrongs done to them could be addressed, were minimal at best.
To borrow from the tenets from a very pertinent code, and accepted norm of practice on this issue: “The Nuremberg Code”, in which it is firmly stated, that those addressed for experimentation must, by law, have a full and personal understanding of what they are about to experience.
If this has not occurred, the experimentation is then illegal, and unauthorized.
As these rights (of understanding what was happening to them in the years of experimentation and abuse) were denied, to these young vulnerable children, they should not again to be denied to them, now, in their later work for justice.
They have a lower educational level than most Canadians, due to what they experienced. They should not be denied the full process of law, because they may not understand certain facets of the law. There was not full explanation to them at the time, of what they were agreeing to, with this initial “Decree”. This also, would seem to be a major impediment to the justice offered and promised, by the offer of this mediative “Decree”. We would allege that justice is not served, when those seeking it, do not understand – what they are agreeing to.
For these very important legal points, we would allege that this Decree is seriously flawed and there is a strong need to move on to a better vehicle for justice, an independent public inquiry.
An independent public inquiry seems the best vehicle to more accurately, and effectively give the justice, these abused children (who experienced a most heinous non-consensual experimentation) deserve. And of course, this “more just” justice, always works for the the public good, as a deterrent. And also at the very least, a it serves as a ‘warning’ on the dangers of experimentation. As our former President William Clinton, noted (concerning the U.S.’s illegal radiation experiments exposure) : (paraphrasing) the advance of science is fast and breathless, yet we always need to “Keep our ethical light burning.” (his quote).
We sincerely, steadfastly agree with former President Clinton’s admonition. We believe an independent public inquiry is very much in order. And internationally, we will applaud you on your insistence on justice for vulnerable citizens.
Thank you for your attention to this very important matter.
Lynn Bowne Weed
NYC, U.S. Paralegal
Co-President, Kelb, Inc.
Keep The Ethical Light Burning, Inc.
15th Generation member of the “John Bowne” Quaker family, NY
Flushing Remonstrance (1657), Forerunner to the U.S. Bill of Rights
Mr. Rod Vienneau
Commission pour les Victimes de
Crimes contre Humanité (CVCCH)
Dossier des Orphelins de Duplessis
Président du Comité les Enfants
de la Grande Noirceur (C.E.G.N.)
Auteur du Livre “Les Enfants de la Grande Noirceur”
Auteur, Compositeur, Interprète Album “Grand Pré”
Joliette, Qc J6E 2M8
Mr. Ben Chaney,
Director of the James Earle Chaney Org., Inc.,
“Freedom Riders”, Civil Rights Movement, U.S.
Mr. Allen Hornblum, author Acres of Skin, Holmesburg, PA,
illegal prison experimentation
Vietnam Veterans of America, et al. v. CIA, et al.
Guatemalan Non-consensual syphillis
Researcher Expose, Susan Reverby
United Nations Quaker Peace Movement