Saturday, April 09, 2011

Radio-Canada's indepth news story on Faytene and her allies

[Posted at Bene Diction Blogs On, Feb. 11, 2011]

I hope that Faytene Kryskow, after that damning story that ran last night on the Radio-Canada news program Enquete, has her Laroussse's at hand.

If she was hoping to build support amongst francophones for her work, she may now be hard pressed to do so, as the Radio-Canada story was pointed and critical.

An apology in advance. I'm not fluent in french, but happily, I was remembering some of what I learned in high school as I watched. But, I went over the tape again and tried to take careful notes. So, what I will be doing is lots of summarizing, except when the anglos are talking, and I can make out what they originally said.

You can find the story "A la droite de Harper" ("To the Right of Harper") here at the Enquete website. It was the second of two segments on their Feb.10th broadcast.

The segment reminded Bene D of Marci McDonald's book from last year. Me too, as it seemed that the Radio-Canada program also argued that "as in the United States" the Christian right is working to have increased influence in Ottawa.

After flashing a series of names and logos of various so-con groups in Canada, Enquete then zeroed in on Faytene Kryskow and people who work closely with her.

Bene D makes a fine point in a comment on yesterday's post. Namely, that the mostly Quebec audience of Enquete (which translates as investigation or inquiry) would think of Roman Catholicism when they think of Christianity. Protestantism is uncommon. Evangelical protestantism more so, and Charismatics thin on the ground in comparison to English Canada.

So, when Enquete introduces Faytene Kyskow, in a church doing very charismatic things like speaking in tongues, and then having people collapse as she lays hands on them to heal them, I wondered if the Quebec viewers of the show started to have their jaws drop in amazement.

The entire segment makes heavy use of video taken from various free Internet sources. After she prays in tongues, another clip has Faytene saying to The Cry Vancouver's audience, also praying: "Father, in the name of Jesus, we declare that you will have dominion, God, across this nation, Jesus...."

This leads Enquete to look at the significance of Psalms 72:8 in the minds of Faytene and her allies. Alain Caron, a French-speaking Gatineau minister who is first shown praying at a public charismatic event, lends an explanation.

Then, some historical background. The program argues that the 2005 legalization of gay marriage in Canada activated the Christian right. Then, Harper was elected--with a clip of him using his traditional speech ending of "God bless Canada"--leading to "born agains from Western-Canada" seeking more influence.

Two clips of Faytene are used to make this point, the latter of Faytene, on 100 Huntley Street, where she says, "God began to speak to me about the state of Canada."

Then, we see former Tory cabinet minister Garth Turner, who has written of his fears of excessively religious MPs in the party. On Enquete, he argues that Harper's caucus was made up of MPs who were "right wing, very conservative, very socially conservative from the start."

Faytene is then shown, mentioning to an audience that her lobbying group members have seen 400-450 MPs and Senators--"more members than any other group in the entire nation".

"Our objective is stop abortion", Faytene says in yet another clip--this from The Cry Vancouver--which leads Enqeuete to look at her pro-lfe efforts. Faytene has allies to help with this, which leads to a clip of Tory pro-life MP Rod Bruinooge at The Cry Vancouver. Bruinooge's compliment of Faytene is shown: "She's led so many politicians to the right path." Faytene then leads prayer for Bruinooge: "Father we says that anyone who tries to touch him goes through our shield of prayers..."

The progress of Roxanne's Law--the main prolife bill last year--is shown. Bruinooge is seen talking in the House, in french, about the law. Faytene urges video viewers to write their MPs about the law. Nicole Demers, a Bloc MP, is shown attacking the law in the House in French (I am guessing on the grounds that the bill would deny women their full reproductive rights.)

Then, a few minutes into the item, we see Faytene directly responding to a question from someone with a microphone. This is once of only twice this happens in the piece, and she is commenting on Roxanne's Law before it was voted down in the House.

Her sound bite is: "For me, as a young woman, you know, I'm excited for an opportunity to support a piece of legislation to protect women, women's rights to choose life."

Bloc MP Richard Nadeau (Gatineau) then comments, but I couldn't catch what he was saying in French.

He may have been commenting on Faytene's influence, as Enquete then shows a picture of Faytene and some of her interns, posing with Stephen Harper. "Madame"--not mademoiselle--Kryskow and Harper are highlighted in the picture.

The report then moves to the vote that defeated Roxanne's Law, making the point that Harper allowed a free vote on the bill. [As far as I can tell, however, Enquete does not note--as I did in a post--that Harper ordered his cabinet members to vote against the law and most of them did as he asked.]

Following the vote, Enquete had a sit down interview with Rod Bruinooge, which we see parts of. "I think the unborn should be considered to have value," Bruinooge says.

The reporter asks him about a giant piece of art on his office wall, with what I believe is Jesus and a giant quote of Psalm 72:8--which the program earlier addressed.

Bruinooge replies, "There is a lot of great artwork in my office, and this is one of them."

As you know, Faytene retains a never-say-die attitude about Roxanne's law, which is reflected in what Enquete quotes next. They show a video of her saying that "Every single prayer that was prayed will have effect..."

Next in the piece is so-con Tory MP Joy Smith, who is shown (at, I believe The Cry Vancouver) professing her faith and saying there "We're going to take back our nation."

The narrator notes that Smith has a Bible in her office--with a camera closeup of said Bible. Smith also gets a sit-down interview with the Enquete reporter, and is quoted in a brief sound-bite about one of her priorities--human trafficking legislation aimed to combat prostitution. "Our nation has lost its morality," she says to the viewers.

Enquete has earlier mentioned that Faytene has "privileged access" to Parliament Hill. [This is something that she discusses--Faytene tells her audiences that she has a "volunteer pass" that she got for doing volunteer work for an MP.]

The program, I am guessing, wants to emphasize this point, as Faytene is shown by the camera leaving Parliament.

Bruinooge is asked about Faytene's pass. "She stuffs envelopes, that sort of thing," he says.

Cut to a shot of boots, from behind, walking through Parliament, as a narrator talks. They may actually be Faytene's.

The program then breaks for commercials.

After the break, Enquete addresses the issue of how Faytene and her allies may be influencing Canadian policy towards Israel. As is well known, Stephen Harper is personally pro-Israel, and in this part of the story Enquete shows French clips of Harper talking about Israel in positive terms--that its existence is a "miracle" and that--in his opinion Israel's foes can be described in terms of "good" and "evil".

Faytene, in the second of two brief clips in this story where she is directly responding to a reporter's question, then has this to say: ""We are really supportive of the Prime Minister's stance in supporting Israel's democratic right to defend themselves."

Former Tory MP Garth Turner returns with an amazing comment. He says that at a Tory caucus meeting he attended, the topic of friendlier policy towards Israel came up. Three Tory MPs wanted to speak against the policy change, Turner says, but were not allowed to do so. This, he said, had never happened before in a Tory caucus meeting.

The story then turns to why Faytene and her friends believe as they do about Israel, and what they have been trying to do.

A follower of Faytene is shown, in a video, saying that she believes that the Bible says that "Those who bless Isreal will be blessed."

After a brief comment by Alain Caron, David Demian, the pro-Israel preacher from Watchmen for the Nations is introduced as "a mentor to Faytene Kryskow" decrying, in a video clip an "anti-Semitic spirit" in Canada's past.

Alain Caron goes on to explain. He talks to the viwers about the St. Louis--the pre World War 2 ship of Jewish refugees commemorated in the book and film Voyage of the Damned. The ship was refused entry to Canada, and the refugees were forced to return to Europe. Many died in the Holocaust.

The tale of the refugee ship has in recent years, compelled evangelicals to express their regret and seek to be kinder to the Jewish community. Enquete shows footage of a national meeting, organized by David Demian, to repent of the church's wrongs towards Jews.

The story next shows various overtly pro-Israel MPs--such as prominernt Tory MP James Lunney--at a meeting. Enquete then mentions that David Demian was asked to act as a consultant to the government on one occasion.

After a brief quote from Faytene, from when she spoke at Northgate Foursquare Church, the report then turns to a critique of the pro-Israel position taken by the Tories, Faytene, and their allies.

Bloc MP Menard certainly speaks to this, but he spoke a bit too quickly for me, sorry.

Terry Greenberg, of the group Independent Jewish Voices was next. He is worried about Stepher Harper's tendency to look at the Middle East in loaded, moral terms. Harper, he tells viewers, should put the interests of Canada first in setting foreign policy, and not that of a foreign country.

Now it is time for Enquete to sum up. And they found a doozy of a Faytene Kryskow quote from an Internet video for her last word in the program, one that I don't recall seeing before.

Faytene is speaking to an audience at Northgate Foursquare Church. She says: "The truth is, we're winning. The truth is one day Canada's gonna wake and just be 'what happened, we're different'"

Garth Turner is again quoted, saying that social conservatives who think like Faytene in politics are "very dangerous." Psalm 72:8 is again cited, accompanied by music which Faytene and her friends might see as ominous sounding.

The story proper finished, Enquete then says that it tried to talk to Stephen Harper, or a high level spokesman, for the story. The Tory brains trust said no, and their letter, written by Dimitri Soudas, says in part:
"Canadians from all walks have the right to visit representatives from their government.Why every year the government hosts thousands of Canadians from various sectors, whether corporate, academic, nonprofit groups or religious organizations. Because of the Federal Accountability Act by our Conservative government, there is now a public record of these meetings. Canadians need not rely on programs such as Enquete to know [about] their government meeting, they just use the Internet to see all the facts. Contrary to the insinuations of Brigitte Bureau of Radio-Canada, the government does not consider people of faith as undesirable, and continues to meet with people of all faiths. "

Two things seem clear after watching the story.

There is definitely evidence to consider Faytene and her allies' activities newsworthy.

Secondly, as this general story gets not much play in the English press, I would hazard a guess that this would be a bolt out of the blue in the French-language press. I also guess this is something totally new to French-Canadian journalists.

"C'est incroyable!" may be something that both Enquete's reporters and viewers may justifiably say.

Radio-Canada online - Enquete February 10, 2011. To the right of Harper