Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Odonists and the Western Guard

A CULTURE OF DEFIANCE: History of the Reform-Conservative Party of Canada

In Bryan Palmer's latest book; Canadas 1960s: The Ironies of Identity in a Rebellious Era*, he discusses the rise of the "New Left" that brought about social change, engineered primarily by Canada's youth.

This youth surge of course was fuelled as the post-War baby boomers poured into the workforce, universities, and even swelled the ranks of the unemployed.

The predominant issues at the time were Nuclear Disarmament, Peace, which included an end to the Vietnam War; and Canadian nationalism, with a desire to break away from what was deemed too much American influence. One group of young intelligentsia even started the Waffle Movement within the NDP, in an attempt to move the party further left.

Another movement that was not created in the 60's, but found renewed strength was Feminism, with demands for daycare, equal pay for work of equal value, equality in the workplace and other institutions, education around birth control and a campaign against the antiquated abortion laws. This organized women’s movement won some of their demands and influenced many institutions. They were also strong in the Waffle Movement of the NDP, and greatly influenced the party as a whole.

The election of the Liberal Pierre Trudeau, (which became a catalyst to the right) was seen as a positive sign to the left, as he represented social change, and indeed changed the country's social structure tremendously. But we have to remember, that is what the majority of Canadians then demanded.

And just as there was a "New Left" demanding social change, there was also a "New Right" challenging these changes.

The Extremes

Though most on the left and right were moderate, both sides had their radical branches, with some on the left promoting Communism and some on the right, Fascism; the old struggles that helped to create war in Europe.

Indeed Adolf Hitler's Fascist Brown Shirts were created to counter what Hitler and other radicals at the time, deemed to be a rise in socialism and communism, which like the Neo-Nazi groups of later years, they blamed on the Jews and Liberalism.

Two of the most extreme movements in Canada at the time were the Maoists on the left and the Odonists on the right. The first of course were followers of the Chinese Communist leader Mao Zedong, but the Odonists were white supremacists who followed the belief in a true Nordic race, similar to the Aryans of the Thule Society. They followed the Pagan god Odon, and would eventually culminate into a branch of the Canadian KKK.

But one evening in downtown Toronto, in the 1960's, the leader of the Odonists, a tall Norwegian named Paul Hartmann, was walking with his girlfriend and another female, when a group of Maoists, carrying lead pipes wrapped in newspapers for concealment, crossed the street and confronted Paul and the women. They first hit the girlfriend, then pushed the other female acquaintance through a large plate glass window. When Paul tried to defend the women, he was surrounded and hit on the head, rendering him unconscious.

The original story was that the Maoists were defending themselves, but an amateur photographer captured the scene and got a clear image of Paul being hit and the girls being attacked. In the court case that followed, the lawyer for the Maoists argued that since Paul was an Odinist and Odinists believe in "always attacking superior numbers of foes", to explain how he was outnumbered, his clients should be let off. And in fact they were.

However, this was probably part of a bigger picture. On the day this happened there was a Maoist parade on Yonge Street, and perhaps seeing the future leader of the Toronto KKK approaching, they sensed trouble, so went on the offensive.

Neither side was right, but assault is assault, and I'm sure the court's decision only inflamed the group even more.

White nationalist and fellow Odonist, Eric Thomson wrote a story for Paul, called The Awakening, about a young Jewish man who is offered as sacrifice to the pagan god.

The Western Guard and the KKK

Paul Hartmann would go on to join the Western Guard, along with men like Donald Andrews, Alex McQuirter, Armand Siksna and Wolfgang Droege. Originally the Edmund Burke Society, they had changed their name in February of 1972, and expanded their list of enemies from Communists and Liberals, to include Jews and non-whites.

They were also virulently anti-feminist, including opposition to abortion (that would result in a decline of the white race) and anti-homosexual.

When Don Andrews, then head of the Western Guard, was arrested for plotting to launch a terrorist bomb attack on the Israeli soccer team during an exhibition match at Varsity Stadium, Droege and McQuirter did not sit idle. The group had already become interested in the American KKK movement, under it's charismatic leader, David Duke, and after attending a rally and cross burning outside New Orleans, where Duke led his troops in chants "White Power", they approached Duke and told him that they would like to be his men in Canada.
Duke, in turn, provided McQuirter and Droege with the names and addresses of a few dozen Canadians who had contacted him to seek information about the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. Rejuvenated, Droege and McQuirter returned to Canada. During the days, McQuirter busied himself with the Canadian militia, while Droege continued his work as a printer; in evenings and on weekends, however, the pair organized on behalf of David Duke. They contacted the men and women on Duke's lists, and held small, secretive meetings at homes around Toronto. In April 1977, the Canadian Knights of the Ku Klux Klan secured some media coverage when Droege persuaded Duke, who was then visiting a group of Klansmen in Buffalo, New York, to tour through Toronto. As expected, the resulting news coverage attracted more recruits. (1)
They were becoming a formidable force and even enjoying a level of legitimacy.
In January 1978, a teacher at Cardinal Newman Roman Catholic High School, in Toronto's suburbs, invited the Klan to speak to his American Civil War class. Recalls Droege: "At that point, we had done a little bit of literature distribution, we had set up a post office box, we had done a few things that had gotten attention behind the scenes. But when we were invited to go to the Catholic high school, it attracted a lot of attention. When we got there, of course, the invitation had been cancelled on us. So we held a demonstration." Among those who participated in the demonstration was Toronto Klansman Paul Hartmann. (1)
Rita Anne Kelly

Paul Hartmann would meet and marry a young woman named Rita Anne Kelly, a University of Toronto Law student, who became a member of the Upper Canada Law Society in 1975. Her brother was also a lawyer and partner in the firm Walton Brigham Kelly**.

Paul, who went from Odonist to Western Guard to the KKK, no doubt had acquired enemies, and died in 1986 "under mysterious circumstances" in the hallway of his Toronto home. His wife, Rita Anne would move to Ottawa the following year, and go on to dabble in far right causes.
The Hartmann family lived in a huge home at 25 Delaware Avenue, in the well-to-do Golden Triangle neighborhood. From there, Hartmann maintained connections with neo-Nazi groups across North America. In March 1990, for example, she wrote to the ultra-violent Confederate Hammerskins of Tulsa, Oklahoma, using an alias she favors, Eleanor Cameron. Out of the same address, Ann Hartmann busied herself with REAL WOMEN OF CANADA. Hartmann, who has a law degree from the University of Toronto, provides legal advice to REAL WOMEN. In April 1989, for example, she gave an anti-abortion speech to a Real women conference at the Radisson Hotel in Ottawa. (2)
Enter the Reform Party

The Reform Party adopted a motion at it's inception, to allow right-wing fringe groups to join them, including Doug Christie's Western Canada Concept***, a separatist party. "In short the party leadership was trying to broaden it's right-wing support while not entirely surrendering it's attraction to fringe elements, at least some of whom were present at the Winnipeg Convention." (3)

This included groups like the Alliance for the Preservation of English in Canada**** and REAL Women. (Rita) Anne Hartmann joined the Reform Party seeing them as a good right-wing option, but she would also become a founding member of another more notorious group.

The Northern Foundation
"... the Northern Foundation was the creation of a number of generally extreme right-wing conservatives, including Anne Hartmann (a director of REAL Women), Geoffrey Wasteneys (A long-standing member of the Alliance for the Preservation of English in Canada), George Potter (also a member of the Alliance for the Preservation of English in Canada), author Peter Brimelow, Link Byfield (son of Ted Byfield and himself publisher/president of Alberta Report), and Stephen Harper [now prime minister of Canada]." (4)
According to Kinsella:
The Northern Foundation's president was Ann Hartmann, widow of former Western Guard activist Paul Hartmann. Hartmann had moved to Ottawa in 1987 with her six children, two of whom were skinheads who would go on to recruit on behalf of the Heritage Front in the national capital. (2)
The NF was to be a vanguard for the extreme right, and the Heritage Front was a group co-founded by Wolfgang Droege, that fell under their umbrella:
"Back home, Droege held low-key meetings with his new group in his apartment. They discussed their plans for their new group, and they discussed a name: the Heritage Front. One man, James Scott Dawson, registered the name; another Gerry Lincoln, designed a logo and some letterhead. Then, in November 1989, the Heritage Front went public. Droege, Lincoln and a few others travelled to Ottawa for the founding conference of the Northern Foundation. Droege had chosen a good place for his coming-out party." (5)
As Kinsella notes "not all of the Northern Foundation's members were neo-Nazis", including Harper, but members of the Heritage front would go on to join the Reform Party. In fact, Wolfgang Droege would become the Ontario Policy chair.
The next month, on June 12, 1991, the Reform Party of Canada held a massive rally in Mississauga, Ontario. The event, which drew some 6,000 people to hear Preston Manning, marked the first high profile event for the security group directed by Droege's employer, Alan Overfield. ... On June 13, 1991, several Heritage Front members attended a meeting of Paul Fromm's Canadians for Foreign Aid Reform (C-FAR) where Overfield from the Reform Party set up a table to sign people up for the Party. The dates on the membership forms for Droege, Polinuk, Dawson and Mitrevski, however, show that they had joined the Party before that meeting. (6)
Preston Manning would eventually expel them all, including Anne Hartmann.
"The expulsion enraged the Heritage Front, which saw the Reform Party's policies as very similar to, if not indistinguishable from, its own. How could a party that went on record opposing immigration policies that "radically alter" Canada's ethnic make-up turn around and shun a group like the Heritage Front,
Droege asked, when the Heritage Front supports the very same approach? Privately, spokesmen for B'nai Brith and the Canadian Jewish Congress admitted that Droege had a good point." (7 )
Rita Anne Hartmann would eventually move to Eugene Oregon, and now runs a chain of successful holistic clinics. She seems to have turned her life around and it wouldn't be fair to assume that she still shares these beliefs. However, when her past was discovered in Eugene it did create a stir:
Rita "Ann" Hartmann (alias Elinor Cameron), owner of Rejuvenation Spa in Eugene is the president of the Northern Foundation and the director of Real Women of Canada. Her husband, Paul Hartmann was a member of Cornerstone Alliance (he is now deceased). Her son, Eric Hartmann, is a member of the Heritage Front. All of the above named groups are nazi, white supremacy groups. In 1974, Paul was treasurer of the openly neo-Nazi Western Guard. In those years Paul was known as the "High Priest" of the Revolutionary Odinist Movement, which he described as an "Aryan" religion and a "New Order for our White People". He is also reported to have worked with the Ku Klux Klan at that time.

Rejuvenation Spa, at the very least, should be boycotted. Eric Hartmann is a well known and respected herbalist (maybe not anymore!) in the community. I was shocked to find all this out, but unfortunately it is true. Seeing his name and his mothers name in the neo-right directory (see below) was enough to convince me to stay far far away from Rejuvenation Spa and make sure everyone I know does too. It's crazy that this business, supposedly a welcoming, healthy and healing environment, is run by nazi's. (8)
Rita responded with "I was active in a movement to impeach a former Canadian Prime Minister. The Canadian Government smeared me, my late husband, and even my children - and many other people in the impeachment movement - and continues to do so. End of story. Rita Anne Hartmann." (8)

If they were indeed involved in trying to impeach a prime minister it would have been Brian Mulroney. But they were also involved in trying to protect apartheid in South Africa.


*Canadas 1960s: The Ironies of Identity in a Rebellious Era, By Bryan D. Palmer, University of Toronto Press, 2009, ISBN: 13-9780802096593

**Rita Anne Hartmann would recently be in trouble with the Law Society over a trust account of her brother's firm.

***Stockwell Day's father was also a member of the WCC

****One of Stephen Harper's latest patronage senate appointments, Bob Runciman, was then a member of APEC.


1. Web of Hate: Inside Canada's Far Right Network, By Warren Kinsella, Harper Collins, 1994, Pg. 214-215

2. Kinsella, 1994, Pg. 224

3. Of Passionate Intensity: Right-Wing Populism and the Reform Party of Canada, By Trevor Harrison, University of Toronto Press, 1995, ISBN: 0-8020-7204-6 3, Pg. 115-116

4. Harrison, 1995, Pg. 121

5. Kinsella, 1994, pg 263-264

6. The Heritage Front Affair Report to the Solicitor General of Canada Security Intelligence Review Committee December 9, 1994

7. Kinsella, 1994, Pg. 243-44

8. Eugene business, Rejuvenation Spa, operated by White Supremacists, Portland Independent Media Centre, September 2, 2002


  1. Will we learn from history or are we doomed to repeat

  2. Beautiful video. I'll share that.

    We can only hope to learn from our mistakes but sadly rarely do.