UPDATE: Anthony J. Hall, from the Comments at Let Freedom Rain:
I attempt to put the whole Vancouver Club/Jack Cram/pedophilia/BC Indian title scandal in broader context in chapter 8 of my new book, Earth into Property: Colonization, Decolonization and Capitalism McGill-Queen’s University Press).
Where is the investigation into the police treatment meted out to Jack Cram and Renate Andres-Auger? The Vancouver Club’s hosting of Dick Cheney epitomizes the imagery of the place as one where those who are above the law can do their criminal business with impunity.
When socialite Leah Costello announced that Dick Cheney was to speak at the Vancouver Club, I thought nothing more of the venue, concentrating on the horror of a war criminal about to besmirch our fair city.
In my many walks around downtown Vancouver, I’d strolled by the building that houses the club countless times. The nondescript building doesn’t invite second looks. Its dated exterior evokes an era long gone.
Looking at the website for the club, that impression was only confirmed as the site’s photos and design bring to mind 30′s movies where the elite, adorned in smoking jackets and slippers, puffed on expensive cigars and ordered around nattily-dressed butlers.
But a funny thing happened while I was reading up on the Vancouver Club in prepping for Cheney’s visit. A disquieting odour began to waft around the place. The more I read up on it the more it took on the shadowy darkness of a film noir where heroes are impossible to find. Then I came upon this.
Turns out the Vancouver Club has an underbelly worthy of a Dashiell Hammett flick. As recently as the 90′s it was embroiled in a distasteful intrigue that only a Hollywood could produce. But this was Vancouver and this was the heart of the privileged class, not beholding to the inconvenient morals of everyday society.
It all begins with a lawyer named Jack Cram. A hard-working barrister in the 90′s, Cram and his erstwhile assistant Renate Andres-Auger attempted to bring chargesagainst two Vancouver judges for pedophilia, involving aboriginal children, with theVancouver Club at the centre of the scandal.
What unfolded borders on the unbelievable, even by Hollywood standards. And it sheds a whole new light on the darkened faces staring out from behind the glass and the furtive guests who passed through the doors of the Vancouver Club last night.
Both of them were disbarred, and Jack Cram was arrested, drugged and jailed, and the evidence he had on the Club and these judges was stolen.
Aboriginal children have been a prime target of the Vancouver Club pedophile ring, which involves senior judges, church lawyers, businessmen and politicians. To quote Jack Cram’s statement in the BC Supreme Court on April 26, 1994, “Indian children go into the Vancouver Club and are never seen again.” As recently as the summer of 2009, aboriginal children have been observed being taken against their will into the rear entrance of the Vancouver Club at 915 West Hastings street from the Squamish Indian reserve in North Vancouver, during the hours of 1 and 3 am.
An attempt by reporters with the Vancouver Province and the North Shore News to investigate these claims and the Cram evidence was stopped by a threatened lawsuit against these newspapers from the two Supreme Court judges named by Cram, during 1996 and 1997.
The more I read about this scandal I keep thinking the 90′s refers to the 1890′s not the recent decade. It’s stunning to think that pedophilia could be as close as a few years ago just down the street. But it is the sad fate of Cram and Andres-Auger that tells an even bigger story of what can happen to people who attempt to dig deep into privileged society.
In 1999, Jennifer Wade, a founder of Amnesty International in Vancouver, referred to this in a keynote presentation at the Global Conference on the Commercial Exploitation of Children and Youth. As part of her talk, Wade looked back at the experiences of Jack Cram and Renate Andres-Auger. Andres-Auger was the Cree lawyer in B.C. who brought forward allegations about the sexual exploitation of children.
In 1994, Andres-Auger hired Jack Cram to be her lawyer after she fell into difficulties. Wade explained this history as follows: “The sex trade in children is not a recent happening in Vancouver. While doing some research for this presentation, I came across the affidavit of a Cree lawyer named Renate Andres-Auger naming prominent legal personalities and the B.C. Law Society for destroying her legal practice and libeling and slandering her (I have a copy of that affidavit listing prominent plaintiffs with me). Renate Auger alleged this happened partly because of her knowledge of pedophile rings operating out of the Vancouver Club and out of resorts in Whistler. In a very bizarre scene as it was described in the papers I discovered, Ms. Auger and her lawyer, Jack Cram, were first not listened to in the court, and then were handcuffed and dragged out of the courtroom to a jail cell. When Jack Cram eventually did speak, he put before the judge some of his allegations involving cover-ups by the head officers of the Law Society and the judiciary to aid and abet pedophiles and drug dealers. When he insisted on giving more details on radio, Jack Cram was met by ten policemen upon his return from a radio station. He was then put into an ambulance and taken to the psychiatric ward of Vancouver General Hospital. He believes he was injected again and again with mind disorienting drugs.”
No public investigation into the treatment and accusations of Andres-Auger and Cram ever took place. We can only speculate, therefore, on the circumstances behind such a dramatic collapse of dignity and due process in the criminal-justice system. Certainly it is made to seem probable that some highly placed group or individual believed that he, she, or they had a great deal to lose if And-res-Auger and Cram had been able to press charges.
The good news is that this is far from over. The International Tribunal into Crimes of Church and State is on the case and will be producing a final report in this matter at the beginning of next year.
The ITCCS will be pursuing this investigation and will include its findings in its final report in January, 2012, and will seek an indictment against the Vancouver Club and Dick Cheney in international courts of justice.
Tip o’ the hat to Kim for alerting me to the Vancouver Club’s troubling history.