On April 27, 2019 The Globe and Mail published an investigative article tilted “Canada’s new far right: A trove of private chat room messages reveals an extremist subculture.”
Here are excerpts from the article:
An analysis of 150,000 chat room messages paints a picture of a group that is actively recruiting new members, buying weapons and trying to influence political parties…
The discussions celebrate Nazism and joke about the Holocaust. They contain boasts of racist, sexist and homophobic behaviour on the part of participants. Many of the in-jokes and memes the members share resemble those propagated by the far right in the United States and Europe…
One member described himself as a graduate student and an active far-right recruiter with a keen interest in grassroots political organization… Yet another, who went by the online moniker Dank, described himself as a University of Toronto graduate who was now training at another institution to become a teacher…
Dank told the online group that he was using his position as a student teacher to influence young minds. He described one classroom scene in which the students were learning about the Second World War and the Holocaust. “In a moment where the actual teacher wasn’t in the room, I casually asked them their thoughts and opinions,” he wrote.
The children, he continued, generally saw the Holocaust as “really bad,” but one of them asked why it had happened. Dank asked the young girl, “What was the point of the train cars and the deportations if it was just to kill them all?” He then encouraged the students to look into it on their own if they were curious.
When I was in my placement in a small school back in the fall, the kids were given a book of holocaust fiction to read
in a moment where the actual teacher wasn’t in the room, i casually asked them their thoughts and opinions
there was a lot of casual ‘it seemed really bad’ kinda comments but with no real emotion to it, but one girl asked the “why” question and that apparently the book didnt explain it good enough
i just told her it was a really complicated issue that would ‘take hours of lecture’ to explain, but i asked her “what was the point of the train cars and the deportations if it was just to kill them all?”
she fucking froze in place and admitted she had no idea
but I gave a pretty basic “my guess is because of the forced labor for the war effort, since they were working in the camps, but I encourage you to look into it on your own if you’re curious”
that way I’m delegating research to her and not telling her anything
Dank told the online group that he hoped his charges would stumble upon the same sources that he did in his formative years. When he was in high school, he said, he had a history teacher who “always spoke about ‘the Jews’ and used a funny voice referencing them.” Such actions had persuaded Dank to research the Holocaust himself, which ultimately led him down a rabbit hole of Nazi-sympathetic websites.