August 02, 2006.
Page one of three:
James P. Bateman to Cornwall Public Inquiry:
In my previous correspondences to firstname.lastname@example.org, I have avoided using the words conciliation and reconciliation, in my efforts to provoke or stimulate a reply from anyone who wished to be critical of my opinions. With exception of a “form letter” received months ago, I have received no replies. It is apparent to me, the Inquiry has concluded my correspondences do not warrant a reply, even though I lived and worked in Cornwall and Area from 1989-1999. In addition to other factors, I continue to visit the area often and I have nuclear and extended family members living in and around the City of Cornwall.
On several occasions, while I lived in the Cornwall area and since I moved from the Cornwall Area, I have been contacted by Cornwall residents stating, “the only way Project Truth issues and now the Inquiry issues can be confronted, is from people living and working outside the community.” My previous correspondences discuss my opinion, listing some of the factors perpetuating the aforementioned belief, by many citizens.
I believe, The Cornwall Public Inquiry, the Advisors and Gale Kaneb, acting as “change agents” or “change catalysts”, represent “one” academic perspective, which professes, “peaceful resolution to social problems by means other than conflict or war”.
This perspective for intervening in social systems, for problem solving and “seeking solutions”, gained more prominence in the 1980’s, 1990’s and now into the 2000’s. Depts. Of, Sociology, Applied Social Sciences, Social Work, Public Administration and similar, in most Community Colleges, Universities and Religious Colleges, were the central catalysts, for the, “peaceful resolution to social problems by means other than conflict or war” model.
In addition, I believe, this “model” encourages, in part; all-inclusion, empowerment, mediation, negotiation, conciliation, reconciliation and shared responsibilities. I believe this “model” is designed to exclude, the assigning of, individual or systemic responsibility, accountability or consequences, for deviant and/or delinquent behaviours, relating to the “social problem” being addressed. (*there are other academic perspectives which may be used by “change agents”, when intervening in social systems to solve problems.)
I ask, where does reconciliation, as defined, fit in, with this Inquiry or with community healing, in this case? Are there really victims or are there only alleged victims? Are there really offenders or are they alleged offenders? Do they want reconciliation? Who? What? Where? Why? When? How?
The aforementioned Advisors, Gail Kaneb, and the “peaceful resolution with no assignment of responsibility, accountability or consequences” model, combined by the “controversial” actions or inactions, demonstrated so far in Phase I, reinforces that The Inquiry is interested only in, the reconciliation model.
Do all applicants, who were granted standing and funding, clearly understand the mandate of this inquiry or what intervention model is being utilized? Are self-serving factors or oppressive behaviours by lawyers, clouding the “Applicants’” understandings, motivations and perspectives? Do the citizen’s clearly understand? Why not? Maybe this explains why there is little or no community action/reaction. Do the “alleged victims” want to reconciliate with the “alleged offenders?” Does the Inquiry expect to fix “the system” and as a result of representing to the public that, “the system” is supposedly fixed, everyone will reconciliate?
Genuine community healing does not suddenly emerge as a result of a, so-called, “fix” or coercive, reconciliation, that the “Applicants Granted Standing” for whatever motivation, have been “lulled” into accepting. The community knows better.
The social problem being addressed by The Inquiry must be clearly defined. Has the definition changed? Read news articles from months ago when everyone was announcing, “Project Truth” Inquiry. Now, officials are doing their best to avoid references to “Project Truth” or “specific” victims. This Inquiry, is now a research project, that the public may comment on, but only when the final paper is submitted.
Genuine reconciliation can only be achieved when all parties to the social problem, clearly and unambiguously, understand the social problem and accept their responsibilities in the social problem. Furthermore, there must be accountability and consequences for related, deviant and/or delinquent behaviours. Thereafter, healing begins to “take root” and reconciliation MAY be possible….if all parties are interested in reconciliation.
Coercive, mandated reconciliation will be a mistake. Also, if, in an effort to form public opinion, “officials” announce to the world that reconciliation has occurred; this will also be a mistake and will be interpreted as betrayal and bogus.
This “Act” of betrayal, within a “Play” replete with betrayals, will only further alienate the populous and will ultimately, only serve those, self-serving individuals and organizations, wishing to attain notoriety, bury the Inquiry, bury Project Truth and everything to do with them.
Reconciliation does not occur at the beginning of an intervention process or in the middle of one. Reconciliation may be considered part of “forgiveness.” However, you cannot forgive someone for something, if there is nothing to forgive; therefore, is the objective of the Inquiry clearly defined and is the current Mandate appropriate?
Believe me, most of the citizens of Cornwall and Area know the whole truth and nothing but the truth. For various reasons, some are supportive of “others getting the truth out” and some are supportive of keeping the truth hidden; both are signs/symptoms of abuse and a “closed system.”
Many citizens began to step into the light, as witnessed by a petition signed by over twenty-thousand local, area citizens, but, then they all quickly withdrew into hiding, when they witnessed “the system” attack, vilify and ostracize, their hero, Perry Dunlop.
In addition, since in or before 1992, Cornwall and Area citizen’s have been publicly chastised by prominent members of the community, had their opinions suppressed by local news media, been directly or indirectly threatened by civil litigations, have been told that a person is innocent until proven guilty only to see Judges state, “guilty, but not guilty enough.” In addition, I it is my opinion, current, retired and recently employed municipal, provincial and federal politicians, including their representatives or associates, attained and/or experienced significant information surrounding Project Truth et al and other social problems in Cornwall and Area, are more interested in behaving like enthusiastic trained seals (see CPAC), actually missing their “queue”, conducting, pre-emptive “clapping and cheering”, in camera. I have witnessed in news media reports whereas, some of these same “Politicians”, themselves have remained silent and appear apathetic about the “Inquiry”; and finally, citizens have watched the “Inquiry” and the lawyers do what they do best…….
Anyone wondering why Cornwall and Area citizens are silent or complacent, should take a serious look in the mirror.
James P. Bateman
CANADA. XXX XXX
P.S. Please be advised that this correspondence is being distributed to various domestic and international recipients.