Update: Still Processing

I haven’t posted to PROFUNC for over a month, this is mostly my fault for not being able to keep up with such an ambitious endevour.  I did receive the PROFUNC files from the Library and Archives Canada, and they are available for download, however I haven’t written up summaries of all the documents because I simply haven’t had the time to do so. What I want to do with these is a bit different than what I did in the past.  The fact is that we need to be able to do a rich text search of the documents, since there are over 6000 pages, and the current open source OCR software is absolutely awful, especially when it comes to completely illegible cursive written by a Mountie.

I personally feel that this is a very important part of History, and while I’ve had an interest and a talent for history, I prefer Software Development, and hacking on stuff, so this has been sitting here waiting for someone to do the boring work of transcribing it.  I’m tempted to try an experiment where people who want to transcribe this into markdown can do so on GitHub, then we go and store the documents in a database and run sphinx on it, or we do some semantic web stuff on it or something to make the documents more useful than the giant wall of text they are now.

If you are interested, please feel free to e-mail admin@profunc.ca for more info on how to contribute.

PROFUNC File 12 to 20 – THE END of the PCO stash

File 12 appears to be more of the same thing, except that this time we have liner notes. The notes seem to underline all the important bits and have question marks over the things that don’t make sense, such as recent uncited amendments. However, this is just a repeat of a letter that was published earlier.

File 13, it discusses the PROFUNC program once again, and about how it’s becoming more unfeasible and the fact that the RCMP Security Service felt the need to include groups not directly aligned with Communism to this list. The document cites the Regina Riots, which pre-date the PROFUNC program as evidence for the dismantlement of PROFUNC, which is rather poor logic, but that’s what you get from the RCMP SS. This does have evidence that as of 1974, there were 84 other radicals who were not strict communists who were in the PROFUNC system. It does appear that the head of the RCMP SS did succeed in convincing the government at the time to proceed with the Special Identification Program which would have been a modified PROFUNC. Included in the file is the proposed manual for the Special Identification Program. This has the criteria of internment, and unlike modern intelligence gathering, it appears that to be on the SIP list, there has to be actual facts backed by sources.

File 14 is where things start to get interesting. The letters that follow go to a Mr. T.D. Finn. T.D. Finn is also known as Ted Finn, who was the first head of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), however on April 25, 1979 he was the Assistant Secretary to the Cabinet on Security, Intelligence and Emergency Planning. The irony is that the future spymaster is asking about the safeguards in the SIP program. You can see the arguments between Dare and his successor Mr Finn over the rights of Canadians, with Finn missing the point that if the SIP program isn’t activated that the RCMP PROFUNC program would still be in place.

File 15 is mostly the same, with copies of the same letters to the PCO of various burecrats agreeing with the RCMP Security Service. File 16 has a list of people who received a copy of the Memorandum regarding the “Advisory Committee on Internment”, but is mostly the same information as well. Files 17 to 20 also are copies of the same information with numerous recommendations to abandon, discontinue or otherwise stop the PROFUNC program.

This brings us to the end of the PROFUNC files from the PCO. I was hoping for more recent documentation about this, or perhaps staffers trying to figure out how to deal with this becoming public, but instead I ended up with history. I don’t mind history, since that’s why this blog exists, but it would have been more reassuring to find out that the GoC would try to right past wrongs. Of course, I’m way too optimistic, since this IS the Harper Government after all.

The Ted Finn writings at the end are the most interesting, partly due to the fact that he later becomes head of CSIS and the fact that he appears to be actually respecting fundamental rights, something that CSIS has never known to do. Of course, according to his obituary, he was the one who prepared the report for the McDonald Commission that shut down the RCMP Security Service and created CSIS. Hopefully we will see why Finn kept PROFUNC files running, and whether internment was ever back on the table.

Update: New files from the Library and Archives Canada: 6000 more pages

When investigated the Special Identification Program, I found that the LAC had PROFUNC files that went from 1970 to 1989, which is five years after the PROFUNC program was thought to have been suspended. Luckily, someone else has already ordered these files, so I managed to hop on their request and a CD with the documents is being sent up. This means that we should be able to have more documents on PROFUNC on the site.

Now, as for the copyright on them, it’s all Crown Copyright. I want to make it clear that all materials that I ATIP are free for anyone to read or use as long as they don’t try to profit from them. This is how federal crown copyright works according to Wikipedia. I haven’t found anything specifying that this is under any special copyright other than crown copyright, so I’m pretty much safe. This is also why both profunc.ca and paroxysms.ca are ad-free and are hosted at a Canadian ISP.

The goal of PROFUNC in particular is to allow people the tools necessary to provide closure to a part of their lives. While I personally have been a subject of surveillance, as far as I know, I am not on any internment list, and while I suspect that I’m under surveillance by certain government agencies, due to my associations with other well-known individuals, the amount of state repression that I’ve been under has most likely have been nothing compared to the victims of PROFUNC. I don’t know of anyone who has died because of this, but like the Red Scare in the US where people committed suicide after the accusation of communism, I’m sure some RCMP officer has ruined the career of someone who was associated to communism, even if that association was simply something they were born with.

At any rate, the goal is to post the documents and go through them. I haven’t been able to do so as of late due to circumstances beyond my control. I hope to finish the write-ups on the remainder of the PCO files soon so I can move on to the next batch. I’m hoping that they aren’t identical to the CBC files, otherwise we’re at a dead end.

Also, if you know of any persons who have been targeted by PROFUNC, I would definitely like to talk to them for this research, please contact bowserj@paroxysms.ca.

PROFUNC: Files starting at File 8, ending at 11

File 8 of 20:

This file seems to contain more information about changing the criteria of PROFUNC Approved persons based on Health and Age. It also refers to certain PROFUNC briefs, including information from the Communist Party of Canada, the League for Socialist Action, the Progressive Workers Movement, and the Canada-China Friendship Association. This also appears to be a repeat of earlier files regarding other aspects on Internment. There isn’t a lot to be learned from this.

File 9 of 20:

This has the requirements again, and this includes more redactions. It also shows that the PROFUNC list was catching a lot of old and dying communists at the time, and that this was a real problem for the RCMP, since this was the age before personal computers and managing a large list was a labour-intensive task. In 1965, there is a document showing the concern of having these old and dying members of the communist party still on the list, even though there would be no threat. It seems that this sort of analog bit rot that was occuring was ignored which led to the assessment by the RCMP during the FLQ crisis that the lists were worthless, since many people who had nothing to do with the FLQ were imprisoned.

File 10 of 20:

More descriptions of the PROFUNC program. The photocopies are of very poor quality. This file seems to have a memo pertaining to a Stephen Morozko who lived in Sault St. Marie, Ontario in June 9, 1961. If anyone has any information regarding this person, whether he is still alive, or knows whether they’d be willing to be interviewed, that would be greatly appreciated. Google is currently showing nothing for this person.

File 11 of 20:

This file is virtually unreadable. It does contain information about the Labour Progressive Party, which was a front for the Communist Party of Canada between 1943 and 1959. This memo is from 1948, right when the PROFUNC program was first formulated. It then shows the blurry table of the individuals on the list with their names redacted. There are also other memos from this time period in this file. It seems that the reasoning behind PROFUNC was the RCMP’s inabiltiy to find Soviet spies.

There is then a full list of the PROFUNC statistics from 1948 to 1952, indicating how many people were added or maintained on PROFUNC. At its height in 1959, it appears that 2844 persons were added or on the PROFUNC approved list, with as many as 6000 individuals reviewed. Now, I have no idea whether this is a total or if this is strictly per year, but by 1978 the numbers dwindle down to 52 remaining on PROFUNC. This would correspond to the fall of the Communist Party in Canada.

This then also includes the PROFUNC manual once again, which is starting to become very commonplace, and that wraps things up.

We will have more summaries up soon of the files. In other news, I did get a response back from the Library and Archives Canada, and they indicate that the PROFUNC files actually go as far as 1989, which is actually very disturbing since the program was supposed to be cancelled in 1983. It’s not terribly surprising, since this is CSIS that we are talking about.

PROFUNC: The PCO Release: File 7 of 20

When we left off, we were reading through File 6 of 20, which were the minutes of the Advisory Committee on Internment. The first page of File 7 indicates that the RCMP did attempt to use the PROFUNC lists during the FLQ crisis and that the RCMP later deemed these lists unworkable. The next page has a list of points that were made in the discussions. One of these points were as follows:

The PROFUNC program should be considered in close relationship with the Vital Points program.

Hold on, what the hell is the Vital Points program? A quick google search turns up a brochure from Competitive Insights, a security company that offers a Physical Security Training Program. It seems to indicate that the Vital Points program is just as it says, a national security program that is designed to protect places that are vital to Canadian National Security. The other points were points that we’ve heard before with respect to replacing the PROFUNC program, namely that the RCMP was more concerned with “violence-prone groups”.

The following letters after this fact to the Assistant Deputy Minister Bourne also talk about how the RCMP did not follow the PROFUNC protocol during the FLQ crisis because the protocol was completely unworkable. We then once again get another summary of the PROFUNC program, a list of the people on the Advisory Committee, and a list of the organizations that were targets of PROFUNC. Again, we see a call from July 6, 1973 where the Deputy Director General is asked once again to discontinue the PROFUNC program, because of the fact that it was completely unworkable. It turns out that the reason PROFUNC wasn’t canned was the fact that this would require updating the Government War Book.

The next few pages are not noteworth, or are simply just unreadable. However, when we reach Page 33 of File 7, we see that there is a letter pre-dating the October Crisis. This letter sent September 9, 1970 discusses the internment of subversives. The main concern isn’t the internment of the subversives itself, but the fact that the Department of Justice would be in charge of both detaining the subversives, and handling the complaints of the subversives. Of course, the Solicitor General burecrat rightly determines that a certain segment of the public would be unhappy with such a state of affairs, and suggests that another group handle the complaint for the illusion of fairness.

I’m glad to see that File 7 appears to have more information in it than previous files that I’ve scanned. That stretch from File 3 to File 6 was rather painful, since I try to make sure that I have a narrative, and enough words to merit a blog post. Also, I apologize for not updating this blog more often, I hope to get back to it shortly, as other requests have been slow to come back.

Hello CSIS

Just to let you know, CSIS does read profunc.ca! Hey CSIS, intelligence matters!

PROFUNC: Files 3 through 6

We start the Third file with the cover page of PROFUNC MATERIAL, Book #1. Apparently, the RCMP handed Mr. Claude Morin in the Solicitor General’s office a report on PROFUNC. This includes the War Measures Act, which has since been changed with the Emergencies Act. It’s interesting to note that the Emergencies Act has the Charter of Rights and Freedoms applied to it, which means that it has to be defined as “Reasonable and Justified”.

The problem with this file is that it is the text of old laws, laws that may or may not be on the books today. There are more excerpts of the old War Measures Act, but overall this is a rather boring file with no real relevance beyond the historic.

Now, the next file has information on the Advisory Committee on Internment as they discussed a replacement for the PROFUNC system. This is the Special Identification Program. Unlike PROFUNC, which revolved around the Communist Party, and had a relatively rigid system, this new program would allow for anyone to be added to the list based on the intelligence at hand. There is also infomration about assessing organizations as well as individuals. Once again, we see the same descriptions of the program that we’ve seen in File 1.

The following file continues with the description of the replacement program, which talks about the evidence gathered. Unlike incidents later where people discuss how intelligence may not be evidence, this doesn’t exist with the RCMP at this period. Later it refers to the need to crack down on non-communist violence prone activists. It should be noted that in 1976, that members of the RCMP Security Service themselves recommended that PROFUNC be discontinued because it was not useful, and that the existing criminal records system had more than enough information on the criminals that they were after.

More of the files keep re-iterating the same thing, namely that the only people covered in this system were Prominent Functionaries of the Communist Party and its Front Organizations were covered. The thing is that many of these “Front Organizations” are the problem.

The important thing with File 6 is that it has a list of who was on the Advisory Committee on Internment. These committees appear to consist of three burecrats and a legal advisor.

While I initially thought that each document would be worthy of its own blog post, it seems that much of the information is repeated over and over again. It seems that the RCMP Security Service was determined to try and kill the PROFUNC program in the 1970s, however the program kept proceeding.

Analysis: PROFUNC PCO Release: 2 of 20

This file begins with a modern authorization by Jim Judd, the former head of CSIS. After a couple letters about the Emergency Program we start heading into PROFUNC, which specifies details about PROFUNC, starting with the three categories

  • PROFUNC (Approved) – The actual pick-up list for PROFUNC. As of December 5, 1978, it appears that the last time anyone was added to the PROFUNC Approved list was in 1970.
  • PROFUNC (Not Approved) – This list has individuals who were nominated by the RCMP to be added to the list. These people are persons of interest, and like the PROFUNC Approved people, will have been targeted for surveillance. People were most recently added to the list in 1973
  • PROFUNC (Special Case) – People who are considered to be subversives but do not meet the criteria of PROFUNC. This means people who are members of groups who aren’t on the approved advisory list that I mentioned earlier. This would most likely be any new groups founded, groups such as the Yippies or any other Anarchist group at this time.

The next part of the PROFUNC file refers to the Trotskyists and their practice of “entrism”, which is where the Trots go and engage in mainstream politics such as joining the New Democratic Party (NDP) and trying to bring it closer to the revolutionary politics. Without getting into my personal opinion of the Trots, the documents pretty much consist of eye-rolling inaccuracies and outright lies of the intentions of the Trots. The funny language of how the Trots use violence in forceful confrontational on the picket line is hilarious, since this wouldn’t even be a big deal today. Even though the Trots aren’t a threat, the RCMP advised that the Government should watch out for them since they seek the state’s destruction.

The report then follows and discusses the Waffle. The Waffle was a radical faction in the NDP which sought to keep the NDP to the left. The RCMP appeared to target the Waffle because the Waffle was a target of the Trots. Given the fact that the Waffle was one of the many factions of the NDP to appear, other factions that appeared to steer more to the left (i.e. NPI) may have been investigated by RCMP and its successor CSIS.

The next question is about a paper that is called “Black Nationalism and Black Extremism in Canada” Apparently the paper was written in 1972 and most likely targeted the Black Panther Party and the activities of the FBI which sought to destroy the Black Panther Party. I will be filing a new ATIP regarding the Black Panthers Party if my next couple of requests with Library and Archives Canada is successful. The question is whether the RCMP explicitly engaged in COINTELPRO tactics like the FBI in the US, or whether they made up their dirty tricks as they went along. This is something that we still don’t know.

Following that is a question about Nazi War Criminal files. This is a shock, since the RCMP Security Service ended up destroying their list of Nazi War Criminal Suspects in 1977. The one list that could have actually been useful from all their surveillance and they destroy that list. This clearly shows the fact that the RCMP are more sympathetic with Nazis and right wing forces as opposed to those of social change.

The next question asks about bombings that may or may not have happened in 1976. I do not know of any bombings other than the ones in Wikipedia at that time, but there’s a report by the RCMP talking about potential bombings. The RCMP apparently didn’t know of any bombings either, and there’s a report asking about possible bombings. The next question is about the RCMP Security Service no longer screening the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). There’s a standard article about the RCMP Security Service trying to not embarass the government when they find waste in CIDA.

There are more questions about requiring people to register as agents of a foreign power, questions about the Definition of Terrorism with respect to the Australian Security Intelligence Organization Bill, which sounds like it is a consultation with the RCMP about a new Canadian Terrorism bill to clarify the role of the Security Service. We know later that the role is for the RCMP Security Service to be disbanded after their activities are investigated and the Security Service dossier being handed over to CSIS with SIRC reviewing its activities.

The RCMP then provides its working definition of terrorism, referencing CIA documents of the time, The American Journal of International Law, The New Republic, and documents from the FBI. It’s very strange document as that it’s a document about terrorism without mention of Al Queda or Islam, and instead mentioning leftist guerilla groups. It appears that religious or ethnic violence and terrorism was completely forgotten, even though it shouldn’t have been given the fact that the attacks of the Black September Terrorist Group already happened at that time.

The next document talks about the different sources of information the RCMP Security Service had in its disposal in 1978. Remember that in 1978, the telephone system was still mechanically switched, and calling long distance was still extremely expensive. While these records may seem totally antiquated, back then they would have been all encompassing.

There are definitely a lot of questions that should be asked about these documents, I just wish I had the money to ask those questions. We’ll see what happens with the ATIP requests that I sent the Library and Archives Canada about the Special Identification Program, RCMP Security Service activity during Habitat 76 and information about the RCMP actions during the Yippie Invasion of Blaine to see if the Yippies manage to end up in the special cases file, or in the Special ID program itself. I’m going to use the acronym SIDP to describe that program since SIP is very overloaded it’s almost meaningless.

McDonald Commission: Notes from the past – PROFUNC

After reading the first PROFUNC file, I started reading the McDonald Commission notes, and if you read first part of the second report, you can see that on Page 62 the PROFUNC program is described. However, it is not described by name, here’s the excerpt from the report:

54 . Another government security programme in the post-war years, which
added to the security intelligence mandate of the R .C .M .P ., was aimed at
preparing lists of persons to be interned in the event of an emergency . This
programme was originally based on the Defence of Canada regulations passed
pursuant to the War Measures Act during World War ÎI . These regulations
were revised in 1959-61 and replaced by the draft Internal Security Regula-
tions . The draft regulations are designed to be used if a proclamation is issued
invoking the War Measures Act . They provide that the Minister of Justice may
order an individual or group of individuals to be interned and the Governor in
Council may declare a group to be an illegal organization . The R .C .M .P .’s role
in the preparation for internment has been to provide information on individu-
als and groups to an Advisory Committee on Internment which was appointed
by the Department of Justice . The Committee, on the basis of established
criteria, decided which names to put on the internment list . In the atmosphere
of the Cold War, the focus was on the Communist Party and Communist front
organizations . This programme was given a high priority by the R .C .M .P . until
the mid-1960s .

The fact is that since there were so few people who sifted through the McDonald Report, the PROFUNC program wasn’t known about until 2001. It seems that there may be many more of these programs that may have existed and still exist today, such as the proposed Special Identification Program. I hope to find more information in the McDonald Commission report.

Analysis: PROFUNC PCO Relelase: File 1 of 20

The first letter in the PROFUNC file is form 1980 and comes from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to the Commission of Inquiry Concerning Certain Activities of the RCMP. This is known as the McDonald Commission and was created to strip the RCMP of the job of National Security Intelligence Gathering and to create the Canadian Security Intelligence Service to deal with this file. I haven’t read the entire document, since it weighs in at over 1000 pages for the first report alone, but it does go into detail into what led to the RCMP losing this responsibility.

The documents that they were sent appear to talk about the Interdepartmental Committee of Defectors, formed after the Igor Gouzenko affair. This committee was composed of representatives of the followng people:

  • Department of External Affairs (Defence Liaison (2) Division – Chairman
  • Immigration Branch
  • The Joint Intelligence Bureau
  • RCMP

This appears to be strange, since the Joint Intelligence Bureau is something that is separate from the RCMP, but given the fact that the top secret document is from 1976, and not later when CSIS exists and this would have made more sense. At any rate, the document itself talks about the defectors policy. It appears that they are discussing whether a potential candidate is a defector or not. The following document is from the Department of External Affairs, and discusses defectors and states that the information copies should be sent to something called MANDIOTT/R&S. It then says that there is no need for RCMP or MANDI at the post to report seperately to their headquarters, indicating that these groups are separate. If anyone knows what MANDI was, and if MANDI still exists today, that’d help to make sense of this document. I’d guess this was the diplomatic service, but I’m not certain.

Apparently much of the document regarding how people defect to Canada from another country is still relevant and as such is being redacted. Of course, the enemies now are different than the Soviet or Sattelite Defectors of the time, but this is mostly the same.

It’s strange that the information on defectors is in the PROFUNC file and is at the beginning, although given the Gouzenko case that isn’t totally surprising. We will have another blog post tomorrow discussing file number 2. The files can be found on the source material page.