Captain Totzke and Me….

A warning, this will be a bit of a long one.

In the aftermath of me having been found being buggered by the babysitter in his bedroom in the early spring of 1980, I became a social pariah on CFB Namao. I couldn’t even make it the distance between the babysitter’s family PMQ and my family PMQ without getting beaten up by about 5 or 6 of the teenaged boys that were in the group of 10 to 12 kids who appeared on the lawn of the babysitter’s family PMQ after someone discovered the two of us together in his bedroom.

Again, for the record, at the time I would have been 8 at the time, and the babysitter would have been just weeks shy of his 15th birthday.

And unlike what the Alberta Crown stated in November of 2011, a 14 year 11 month old boy having forced anal intercourse with an 8 year old boy is not a simple matter of “sexual curiosity and experimentation”.

From the office of the Alberta Crown Prosecutor
The Crown couldn’t even be bothered to spell my name correctly.

It should be noted that it is not uncommon at all for victims of childhood sexual abuse to remain quiet for great periods of time before coming forward. And, had the CFNIS not failed to take my Alberta Social Service records into account, the CFNIS would have informed the Crown that there in fact was no one at home that I could have told.

School turned into an absolute nightmare as everyone at school knew what had happened. And unbeknownst to me at the time, the base military police were investigating the babysitter, and as a result of the babysitter’s confessions to the base military police the Canadian Forces Special Investigation Unit called in to investigate Canadian Armed Forces officer Captain Father Angus McRae for committing “Acts of Homosexuality” with teenage boys on the base.

Fred R. Cunningham was the acting section commander of the CFSIU at the time. When I spoke to Fred in November of 2011 he stated that what Mr. P.S. had been doing with younger children on the base was well known. Fred said that many families had complained to the base military police about the actions of Mr. P.S.. Fred told me that the base military police had interrogated Mr. P.S. in his family’s PMQ and that Mr. P.S. broke down and started crying and then named Captain Father Angus McRae as having been the adult that had shown him what to do. What Fred didn’t tell me during our telephone conversation is that he was with the CFSIU and that he had been tasked with investigating McRae. I’ll have more about my conversation with Mr. Cunningham in another post.

In July of 2015 I spoke with Jack, the father of Mr. P.S.. Jack stated pretty well much the same that Fred Cunningham had stated to me, that the base military police cam to his house and questions his son. Jack said that he told his son that “you can’t keep doing this” and that his son named Captain Father Angus McRae.

Yes, Captain McRae did face a court martial to answer to Criminal Code of Canada charges. This was well within the scope of military prosecutorial jurisdiction. Sections 155, 156, and 157 were not considered to be “Rape” so therefore they were not excluded from the military’s mandate.

However, according to both Fred Cunningham and Jack, the number of charges brought against Captain McRae had been dropped substantially to only the charges involving the sexual acts between McRae and Mr. P.S..

Cunningham stated that it was a decision of the “Brass”.

Jack stated that he never understood why out of 25 children involved that his son was the only one required to testify against Captain McRae.

So yeah, this turned into a massive fiasco on CFB Namao. No wonder the Canadian Forces “threw a wall of secrecy” over the court martial and sealed the evidence records.

“Under orders from superiors”
They all are, aren’t they?
“in-camera trial and none of the evidence needs to be made public”
What were they trying to hide?
The true number of children abused, that’s what.

The summer of 1980 was probably the loneliest summer of my life. I spent the entire summer hiding out from the other kids. I’d leave home early in the morning and go play in the woods. I wouldn’t return home until late in the evening.

When school started up in September, it was just as bad as it was at the end of the previous school year. The beatings, the taunting, and the teasing were relentless.

Just after my birthday in late September of 1980, my family was moved from Canadian Forces Base Namao to Canadian Forces Base Greisbach. This was a total distance of 10km. I thought that things would get better at my new school, Major General Greisbach School, but they didn’t. The kids at Major General Greisbach knew who I was even before I started there. The kids on CFB Namao knew the kids on CFB Greisbach, they played hockey together at the base rink on CFB Namao, they went to movies together at the theatre on CFB Namao. Some of the older kids from CFB Namao and from CFB Greisbach even attended M.E. Lazerte High School as neither school on CFB Namao or CFB Greisbach went beyond grade 9.

After my arrival at CFB Greisbach in October of 1980, I started going to see a man named Terry. Terry was different from the other adults that I knew at the time as he insisted that I call him by his first name. I probably did know Terry’s last name back then, but becuase I used it so infrequently I more than likely forgot about it. It wouldn’t be until August of 2011 that I would be reminded of Terry’s last name. I would also discover who his employer was.

Whenever I met with Terry, he was always dressed in suits.

At first, my visits with Terry were quite frequent, something around three times a week, right after school. Sometimes Terry would see me in a private room at the school, but mostly Terry would see me in an office over by the base administration offices.

Terry seemed to know what had happened on CFB Namao. Terry knew that I had been involved in with the babysitter and that it had been going on for a while. Terry was upset that I had apparently encouraged the babysitter to touch my younger brother. For the record, my father would often parrot this. Terry never mentioned anything about Captain Father Angus McRae, and I don’t honestly know if he knew anything about my visits to the chapel with the babysitter. But then again, after the “sickly sweet grape juice” I honestly can’t remember anything. The fact that I never remember how I got home after the visits to the chapel is always caused me concern. I know my grandmother caught me once while I was intoxicated. She was furious. She wanted to know which of the older kids on base had gotten me drunk. It wasn’t just any older kid on base. It was Mr. P.S. and Captain McRae.

There is one thing that has always stuck out in my mind. I can’t remember who said it to me. It was either Terry or my father. I was being driven over to Terry’s office by the base admin building. As we drove past the detention barracks on CFB Greisbach one of those two told me that if I didn’t smarten up, that I would end up in prison like the padre from CFB Namao as they pointed at the detention barracks.

Terry told me that he was convinced that I was showing signs of a mental illness as I had been caught having sex with another boy. Terry would often say that boys aren’t supposed to have sex with other boys. Terry would say that boys are supposed to have sex with girls.

Terry would frequently remind me that he had the military police watching me, and if the military police ever saw me kiss or touch another boy on base, that he’d send me off to the Alberta Hospital.

I’m almost certain that Terry is the reason why my bedroom door was taken off. My father told me just after we moved into the PMQ on CFB Greisbach that what I had done on CFB Namao proved that I couldn’t be trusted alone in my bedroom.

My grandmother, who was still living with us at the time, was very angry with my father for taking my bedroom door off. It’s too bad that my grandmother died back in 1986 because I’d sure love to know what she knew McRae fiasco.

I do know that it was Terry’s idea that I be kept away from sports as there would be a risk of me possibly seeing other boys in the change room. Once, my school sent home a permission slip for a field trip to the swimming pools at the Kinsmen Sports Centre in Edmonton. My father said that he wasn’t going to sign the permission slip as there would be other naked boys in the change room and that I wouldn’t be able to control myself.

This freaked me out because I was actually attracted to another boy. He was my age. He lived in PMQ #68, I lived in PMQ #79. We were quite attracted to one another. But I was quite conflicted back then. We were both 11 years old. He was a little older than me. On one hand I really liked him, but on the other hand both Terry and my father were telling me that what I had been caught doing (being buggered by a boy 2x my age) was a sign of mental illness. And then there was another issue. His father was a Sgt. in the army, quite possibly the Canadian Airborne Regiment. My father was a master corporal in the air force. When his father found out about the two of us, that was the end of our relationship. My father was beyond furious. He wanted to know what the fuck was so wrong with me that I couldn’t listen to what Terry was trying to help me with. My father told me that if another father on base ever complained about me being involved with their son that he’d break my fucking neck.

And no, I don’t believe that my abuse at the hands of McRae / Mr. P.S. made me attracted to other males. I think that predators like McRae search out children from dysfunctional homes. And like it or not, but there were a lot of dysfunctional families living on the PMQ patches back then. I also think that predators like McRae search out boys who may be different as they’re more likely to keep their mouths shut out of fear of others discovering the child’s “difference”.

My father was a lowly master corporal at the time. I would learn in 2011 why my father treated Terry’s words like gospel.

Around the start of the ’81 – ’82 school year, I started seeing more adults. There was Pat and Wayne and a few other adults. Sometimes we’d go for meetings where my father, Terry, Pat, and Wayne were all in attendance. Sometimes even my younger brother and my stepmother would attend.

It was after the first couple of meetings with Pat and Wayne that my bedroom door went back on, however, I was never to close the door. The only time the door was to be closed was if I was being punished.

The odd thing about these meetings with Pat and Wayne is that Terry never once brought up my “mental illness” or my attraction to other boys. And after I started seeing Pat and Wayne, both Terry and my father would caution me ahead of time to be very careful with what I said to Pat and Wayne as they’d twist my words.

Around xmas of ’82, Pat and Wayne would often pick me up from school and take me to a facility where there were other kids living in “pods”. They’d often ask me if I liked the idea of living in a pod with other kids and having kids my age that I could make friends with.

The Yellowhead Youth Centre – formerly Westfield.

Pat and Wayne at this time would also ask me if there was any family member that I possibly wanted to go live with.

None of this made any sense to me at the time.

Sometime in the new year of 1983, Pat, Wayne, and Terry took me out of class and had a talk with me. Pat did most of the talking, but when she said that they were going to take me away from my father, I freaked out.

The first mention of me being placed into foster care.

At the time I thought that it was my fault. My mother had left a few years prior, and my father had told me it was because I was so bad that it drove her crazy and she left. My grandmother had just recently left. And now Pat, Wayne, and Terry wanted to take me away from my father. I was pretty sure that Terry was going to send me to the Alberta Hospital. I ran out of the room and I barricaded myself in the boys washroom.

Pat and Wayne were trying to get me to calm down. Terry had other ideas. He kicked the partition door open, grabbed me by the arm, and dragged me through the school back to the room we had been in. He then forced me into the chair, restrained me, and told me to shut up and do as I was told.

My reaction to learning that I was about to be removed from the home.

I remember looking at Pat and Wayne for help, and they seemed just as shocked as I was.

The day after.

Shortly after this, I never went to school again.

When I asked my father why I wasn’t allowed to go back to school, he said that my teachers had complained that I was still attracted to boys and therefore I had been expelled.

Shortly after this, we moved to Canadian Forces Base Downsview in Ontario.

We drove from CFB Greisbach to CFB Downsview in a small Datsun B210. Once we had crossed over the Saskatchewan border and were staying at our first motel I asked my father why we were moving. My father said that because I was still attracted to boys, my counselors wanted to give me drugs to stop me from liking boys. He said that he didn’t want me taking these drugs and that he was saving me from my counselors.

In August of 2011, I would learn the truth about what was going on back then. To help build my case against the babysitter, I started tracking down my school records from back then. I wanted to show the CFNIS that the abused I endured on CFB Namao had caused me some issues.

I made two startling discoveries in August of 2011.
First, I discovered that I had been in foster care.

Second, I discovered that Terry wasn’t just some guy in a suit.

Terry was Canadian Armed Forces Officer Captain Terry Totzke. Captain Totzke was a military social worker.

My name used to be Robert Gill

Pat and Wayne were child care workers with Alberta Social Services.

According to the Alberta Social Service records, Captain Totzke had been called in by both mine and my brother’s school teachers just right after we had arrived on CFB Greisbach for the odd behaviour that we were exhibiting. I guess that 1-1/2 years of depraved sexual abuse will make children do odd things.

Somehow, Captain Totzke was aware of what had happened to me on CFB Namao, he was convinced that I just needed to stop being attracted to other boys and that everything would be fine. That’s why Captain Totzke had no concern whatsoever about the dysfunction in my household.

Totzke, being a military social worker, would have been involved with the enforcement of CFAO 19-20, which was the military’s policy for the “Sexual Abnormality, investigation, medical examination, and disposal”. Apparently homosexuals back then were less than trash and should simply be disposed of.

“Counselling and rehabilitation”
a fancy term for “Conversion Therapy”

And again yes, I was not a member of the Canadian Forces, and CFAO 19-20 shouldn’t have applied to me. But CFAO 19-20 did set the attitude of military members towards “homosexuals”, and as Section 10 of CFAO 19-20 shows, the Canadian Forces believed that homosexuals could be “rehabilitated”, in other words the Canadian Armed Forces believed in “Conversion Therapy”

In November of 1981 our teachers and our school principal grew weary of Captain Totzke’s lack of action and called in Alberta Social Services. Alberta Social Services started doing home visits. These visits would correspond with my bedroom door being put back on my room.

My father, being the idiot that he often was, unwittingly signed the paperwork that admitted me into the foster care system in Alberta. I was at the first stage in which the child to be apprehended is allowed to remain in the household until a determination of risk can be made.

That determination came on January 26th, 1983. This was the day that Alberta Social Services warned Captain Terry Totzke that my removal from my father’s house was imminent and depended solely on my father attending family counselling as Alberta Social Services had determined that the dysfunction in my household was due to my father’s emotional issues and my father’s inability to control his anger.

I hadn’t been expelled from school.

The school I was attending was run by Westfield. It was a school for emotionally disturbed children. The children in this program often came from “at risk” dysfunctional homes. For me to attend this school, my father was required to sign the foster care admission paperwork. And if Alberta Social Services wanted to apprehend me, they could at anytime while I was at school.

Once I stepped foot back on base, that was a different story. Being that I lived on a Defence Establishment access to my house was subject to the Defence Establishment Trespass Regulations. This meant that anyone who wasn’t subject to the Code of Service Discipline who wanted to step foot on the base technically needed the permission of someone within the Canadian Forces. And I’d be willing to bet you that Captain Totzke was not about to give Alberta Social Services permission to step foot on base to apprehend me.

I spoke with one of my child care workers around 2015. She remembered me. She also remembered Captain Totzke. She also remembered that Captain Totzke had a different agenda from what Alberta Social Services had.

Going through my social service records, my civilian child care workers and case workers never once voiced any concerns about my apparent homosexuality. They were more concerned with my father and his issues.

When Captain Totzke first became involved with my family, he sent my father, my brother, and I for psychological evaluations with a psychologist. I was found to be extremely fearful of men, I was convinced that my father was going to kill me, I absolutely did not like physical contact, I preferred to be left alone, and I loved to read. My I.Q. was evaluated to be 136 +/-6.

My father was found to not accept responsibility for his family, blamed others for problems with his family, blamed others for his problems, blamed his mother for the problems his sons were exhibiting,

Richard had no shame what so ever.

and he blamed his mother for hiding problems from him,.

The Gill family put the “fun” in dysfunctional .

After Alberta Social Services became involved with my family, my child care workers noted that my father’s anger was out of control, that he needed to learn how to direct his anger in a useful manner,

Richard’s anger issues were legendary.

and that he often used his frequent absences as excuses for not attending family counselling. He also often told conflicting stories.

Richard would often promise one thing one day and then renege on that promise the very next day.

I wasn’t the only boy from CFB Namao that had been messed with by Captain Terry Totzke. There was another family of boys that had become involved with Totzke in the days after the McRae fiasco. The eldest brother appears to have been dealt with the hardest by Totzke. This boy ended up committing suicide years later. This boy’s younger brother blames the treatment they received in the days after the McRae fiasco as being something the older brother never recovered from and it was something that haunted the older brother.

There was also another family from CFB Namao. Two older boys and one girl. Both of the older boys had apparently been involved with Captain McRae. Both of the boys ended up seeing a military social worker. The boys ended up sexually assaulting the young sister in an apparent attempt to show that they obviously weren’t homosexuals.

Due to the 3-year time bar that existed in the National Defence Act prior to 1998, Captain Terry Totzke could never be investigated by a modern day investigation in order to ascertain exactly what it was that he was doing with the boys from CFB Namao who had been caught up in the Captain McRae / Mr. P.S. child sex abuse scandal.

And I have severe doubts that the Canadian Armed Forces have any appetite to ask the Canadian Forces Ombudsman to investigate how many male military dependants were forced to undergo “conversion therapy” at the hands of the military social workers.

And then there’s the matter of records. If it wasn’t for my civilian social service records, I would never have known that Terry was actually an officer in the Canadian Armed Forces. Soon after I received my Alberta Social Service records, I submitted a request to DND for the military’s records of my involvement with Captain Totzke.

Obviously I have no idea who has these records. It is virtually impossible for me to know where these records are being held.

This means that anyone who had their brain messed with by a military social worker when they were young faces an uphill battle to prove that they were in fact involved with the military social workers. And if you can’t prove that you had involvement, then DND doesn’t have to apologize for any mistreatment that you had received.

I can only wonder how many former military dependants took their own lives as a result of this.

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