Before I get started here, I should just say that the title is not a typo, the actual legal term is, ‘with malice aforethought’. The term has simply been altered to make it self-explanatory, to apply a little less legalese and to be oriented more for the lay person. Malice aforethought is a plan, thought out or premeditated, with the deliberate intent of causing serious harm to the intended victim, usually physical death. But there are worse deaths, emotional death and the death of hope and the soul.
All of the characters in this book are real, as is the story. Unfortunately, for legal reasons the names in the second half (concerning Canada) have been changed. Any name in the book is to be considered incidental to the story. In addition, I am writing under a “nom de plume” in order to provide a little obfuscation towards the events in Canada, to meet with the legal requirements levied upon me by the Supreme Court of Canada. I can write a book and publish it, I just can’t provide all the real names.
Of note, I should say, that I have tried to humanize this work. In the case where I have changed names in the second half, the names used might imply an attitude or behavior of a particular character’s part. In some cases, they may even be a little comical, in the way Hugh Gass might sound or a lawyer named Jack Meoff (it’s so fitting), but that is only in the second half of the book which applies to Canada.
Enough about the title and naming motives, now a little about me and the story..
What is a person? Are they the culmination of their experiences? Is it what they know? Is it what is in their heart? What they feel? What they think? Is it what is contained in the well of their imagination? I would like to believe, that it’s all of those attributes and more.
What follows is my past, one which is full of both hope and regret. The story is so strange that it might be considered fiction, a distraction or a weaving of unrelated events, but it is not. I can’t say with any certainty at this point, what may happen in the future, that will be reserved for the Epilogue. This story can be examined two ways, one might be as an exposť of situations involving the military, governments, universities, companies, ethics and principles, the other possibly as a timeline of events. There are warning signs to watch for and to be aware of, if you are a partner in any company.
I have tried to be as detached and objective as possible in bulk of this story, but we live in a subjective world. I’ve tried to look at my life as if I were someone else looking in and have attempted to make most of this book about all of the situations in which I was involved and the people connected. Hopefully, this story is more about the people I’ve encountered, centering on their actions, the consequences and how we all appeared to change the future. In writing this book, I’ve performed the task in some cases from a narrative perspective, in others directly involved with commentary and conversation.
The story is a simple one really. It’s about a man who leaves his country to start a new life halfway around the globe in South Africa, possibly to test himself or to have an adventure or maybe just to examine his capabilities in a different environment. After many years living overseas he then returns to his country of origin, Canada, to find that it had become a far worse place than the one he had originally left behind.
Writing this novel was not a simple job, but not overly complex either, I have after all lived practically each and every moment. The record of events surrounding other people where I was not a direct participant is either drawn from my notes and diaries or involves some abstract deduction. Poetic license has been taken with the character of Natalia in this book to embellish rather than detract and to improve the overall flow of the story in those areas. In many cases, the names have been changed to protect both the innocent and the guilty, ‘Only in Canada you say? Pity’.
At the apex of my life’s complexity, I recall two things. One of which is from ‘Frank Herbert’s’ books in the ‘Dune’ series.
‘The sleeper must awaken’, spoken by Duke Leto Atreides to his son, Paul. Along with the Bene Gesserit rite ‘Fear is the mind killer. Fear is the little death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me and when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone, there will be nothing. Only I will remain’. Paul prays this during his testing by the Bene Gesserit Mother. She controls a pain amplifier that uses nerve induction, a test to see if Paul is human or animal.
The sleeper did awaken, of course though, not with all the glory, pomp and ceremony of ‘Dune’. I just grew up, out of my childhood and innocence, in South Africa. The list and types of agencies, governments and corporations who have wanted my ass in a sling due to my ‘education’ there are well, interesting to say the least. I suppose I knew too much about their business, their ‘under the table dealings’ and their ‘technology’ and in the case of my recent business adventures, all of the illegal and unethical activities of my partners ‘playing’ the government and SEC. I can hear the voice of Mr. Greenjeans in the background, ‘Can you say tax fraud, sure, knew ya could’. But because of my past and ‘education’, well, I guess I don’t fear much and I don’t panic under stress. Actually, I work better.
The second prominent quote is from the movie ‘Bladerunner’. I feel a certain kinship with the situation of the character Roy Batti, a Nexus 6 genetically engineered pseudo human. Like him, "I’ve done questionable things... nothing that the God of Biomechanics wouldn't let me into heaven for?" Batti asked just prior to killing Tyrell, his creator and Sebastian, a Biomechanics and genetics engineer, the killing, possibly a metaphor for certain tribal practices. In some cases it was believed that the consumption of an enemy’s organs or blood would transfer their strength and knowledge. Like Batti, I have done ‘things’ for king and country, all of which were necessary evils that I must, for the sake of my conscience and sanity, chalk up to being socially responsible.
During the hunt for Batti, after the murder of Tyrell and Sebastian, Deckerd the Bladerunner, becomes the hunted. He tries to escape Batti by jumping across a gap which is far too wide, between two buildings. He misses and hangs from a parapet a thousand feet up. While Deckerd is about to fall to his death, Batti leaps gracefully across the chasm. He waits for Deckerd to tire and let go of his desperate grip, wanting Deckerd to know what it feels like, to be that afraid of death and to know it is so very very close. Maybe an attempt at imparting to Deckerd, some sense of what Batti is feeling, knowing he is only moments away from dying. A small amount of compassion can go a long way.
As Deckerd can hold no longer and lets go, Batti grabs his arm and saves Deckerd, pulling him to the roof.
Batti, just sits in the rain, knowing his time is over, that his genetic clock has run down. He speaks solemnly “I've seen things you people wouldn't believe . . . attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion . . . I watched C Beams, glitter in the dark, near the Teinhouser Gate, all those moments . . . will be lost . . . in time . . . like tears in . . . rain . . . time, to die,” while sitting, gently holding a dove. He expires, the dove escapes his hand and takes flight. I suppose, a visual metaphor of his soul (if he has one) reaching freedom.
The two main parts of these lines about sum it up for me. The second part, a metaphor of sorts, I feel personally. I have many regrets about a number of the things that I have done, and had to do. I imagine we all do. But sometimes one is forced to choose between the lesser of two, or sometimes three evils.
I began this book initially as an outline based on my notes and records and then started writing seriously, as possibly a form of therapy during my negotiations with Powermaster in June of 1997. This book began primarily as a summary of events and it was only about 40 pages long filled with short form points of the events I had to remember. Powermaster had threatened my wife and our daughter. Why you ask? Because I wouldn’t go along with what had all the appearances of being an illegal plan to restructure our company while duping the SEC and government. It appeared they wanted me to commit tax fraud. They also wanted me to agree to, and even assist in, ‘buying’ University professors. They said that this would apparently solidify our credibility and the company’s position in the technical community and of course it would assist in getting work done for free using professors who were given endowed chairs in our company’s name. They would after all ‘owe’ us a favour. Our lawyer, in a conflict of interest, finally oppressed my firm as a shareholder. A settlement was negotiated, albeit a bad one. But that is only part of the story. My writing unfolds with a little about me followed by my time in South Africa, in the ‘killing fields’. It gives background on who and what I am, what I am capable of doing, what I have been exposed to and how, and why it changed me.
As I write, I am still in court with Powermaster, suing them for breach of agreements and waiting for the courts to do the right thing. I had lost 32 million dollars through Powermaster’s deliberate war of attrition which was constructed by my partners and our lawyer, Jack Meoffs. The settlement was less than a million, which Powermaster breached in June of 1998. I am not prepared to discount the original settlement agreement, I have already taken the first hit (loss) of over 30 million dollars. Revenue Canada is investigating them now. The University through Dean Matthew James and Don Paddani are in a conflict of interest, investigating themselves and their own departments. It is quite the three ring circus and reminds me of the TRC in South Africa or using Judge Margo on the bench for the Rietbok, Samora Machel and the Helderberg crashes.
Correspondence to the Ministry of Energy, Science and Technology sent directly to the minister’s office has of course been compromised, mysteriously winding up in the hands of Powermaster. Skinner and Crooke, who wrote the tax evasion or tax fraud plan for Powermaster, are in the fray. Hal Woods Inc., Samuel Littleman’s company is at the centre of the entire mess. Dulsa, the firm which organized the PDQ Mutual Fund investment on a handshake and a modified document from a company in the United States is also under investigation. My wife even received death threats on the night of November 5, 1999 after sending a fax. A simple fax really, addressed to Samuel Littleman, with a single question attached to a copy of his original share certificate worth $30 million (made out to his trust company), she asked Samuel, “Is this important?”
All of the information is now in the hands of Revenue Canada along with the RCMP, the OSC, the SEC and the local police. I’ve been told that even the FBI has become involved in the United States. I am a patient man, but there comes a time when even I have had enough and the time comes to fight back. Knowing what they know about me, they must be stupid or truly and totally ignorant. Knowing what I know about them, they must be even more imbecilic than I ever knew or imagined, but of course later realized. In Littleman’s case, he’s stupid stubborn, an expression I had heard from my father. He used it when describing people who were so incredibly stubborn, so inane, they would blindly perform asinine acts in order to get their own way, and of course would do themselves damage in the process. I just call it Zen Idiocy, to be one with your inner fool.
Samuel is willing, it appears anyway, to give up everything and risk jail time for his vanity and pride, his wanting ‘his own way’. Samuel and Powermaster’s actions speak to that of a jilted girlfriend. There is no rational, no logic to follow in the way they operate or the things they do. They act like the injured party, trying to maintain silence, seemingly thinking if they do, this court case will just go away. But they do still play with the court system in Canada as if it were a toy, albeit a broken toy and one not soon to be fixed.
I am however just the messenger and another victim in this incredible mess. My policy now is simply ‘Scorched Earth’. Everyone burns and everyone dies. Not literally of course, even though I would not entirely disagree with that form of retaliation. There are three things Powermaster should remember about my ethic. The enemy of my enemy is not necessarily my friend, but they can be useful. The second, I don’t threaten, I act. Finally, when a man has nothing left to lose, he might do ‘anything’ and that single word encompasses a great deal of territory, especially in my case.
As far as myself personally, I am just a guy. Computers, engines, machines, wood, metal, explosives, weapons, they all work for me, they ‘like’ me for some reason. Maybe I inherited all of my skills from my grandfathers. Both of whom worked with tools, one a carpenter and house builder, the other a tool and die-maker in the fledgeling Canadian Aerospace Industry. My patience I possibly acquired from my Native American ancestors, hunting game. Even if I don’t appear to have much Indian in me, my lineage traces back, to ancestors in the Maritimes. One man in particular, who apparently impregnated one of the last Beothuk princesses. On the other side, my father’s side, my great-great grandfather was a Captain of the Queen’s Horsemen in England. He left England in 1912 and was meant to be on the Titanic. He missed that great ship by about 15 minutes and had to take the next. Many on my father’s side, are chronically and notoriously late for everything, sometimes to their advantage.
There has never been anything I couldn’t do, to which I set my mind. Sometimes operations took no time and came naturally, other times, I have had to work at them to succeed, but not very hard. Well maybe there are two things I can’t do, open my eyes under water and I don’t dive head first. Our daughter does those things for me, she allows me to live vicariously through her abilities. I am quite proud of my children, one artsy and the other academic. She plays keyboards and sings like an angel. Our son, has a tight analytical mind and an almost eerie natural comprehension that seems well beyond his age, maybe he’s an old soul in a new body.
Some people get on with me well, others not so well as they consider me intimidating. I have tried to live my life as honestly as I could and I never expected to end up in South Africa or do the kind of work that I did there.
In 1986 I joined the South African Defense Forces Security Team via Armscor through a military contractor. I saved people and I killed people. I helped people and I seriously fucked them up, sometimes with extreme prejudice. I designed and built devices and systems to protect the ‘general population’, a term used in prisons. Those devices and systems were also used to terminate the interlopers, the ANC terrorists breaching our borders.
I am a series of extremes and possibly an enigma of sorts. I have a conscience even if it appears that I don’t. I feel nothing and yet I feel everything, even if I don’t acknowledge the joys or the sorrows. I can shoot a man in the face or push a blade through his eye and not flinch, but a child’s pain and sobbing can reduce me to tears. I have no problem with blood, or the letting of it and I don’t break in a panic. There are many people I would take a bullet for, though, there are only a few people for whom I would die. But I would give up my life anyway, as long as there was a purpose and I could die well and for good reason. There is no middle-ground for me and I know my own limits.
(....it continues, but the prologue is fairly long)