Almost 42 years ago in October of 1980 my brother my brother and I were sent for psychological review just after we had arrived at our new school on Canadian Forces base Griesbach. This was done after our teachers had noted our “odd behaviour” when we arrived at the new school.
Our father was also interviewed by the psychiatrist.
This is one of the observations of the psychiatrist “Robert sees his environment as being harsh, threatening and fearful, His world seems unstable and is full of aggressive, frightening events. Major concern and anger is directed toward his grandmother who he sees as authoritarian and oppressive. Robert indicated a strong coalition between he and his father directed toward the removal of his grandmother from the household.”
Further the psychiatrist noted “He indicates a feeling of helplessness and frustration as indicated by his comments , “my nerves are disintegrating, my mind tells me I’m going to kill myself, people are grouchy and mean, I’m best when no one is around me, I’m going to have a nervous breakdown if granny doesn’t leave our home soon”.
When interviewed by the psychiatrist, my father was found to not be surprised by what my brother and I had said. My father acknowledged and confirmed many of the family problems that my brother and I had indicated. Very little commitment was received from my father, so my family’s file was handed over to Canadian Armed forces officer Captain Terry Totzke, the military social worked from Canadian Forces base Edmonton.
When I saw Terry as a child, I only knew him as Terry. I wouldn’t discover until 2011 that Terry was a captain in the Canadian Forces.
When I was involved with Terry, he was very concerned that I had been caught having sex with another boy (P.S., my then 15 year old babysitter). Terry told me that he had the base military police watching me and that if they ever reported to Terry that I kissed or touched another boy that I would be going to the Alberta Hospital for treatment.
Terry had told me that what I had done on CFB Namao indicated that I was a homosexual and that homosexuality was a mental illness.
Looking back on things, I don’t think Terry had ever been concerned with how bonkers things were in the Gill household. Terry must have been absolutely certain that my issues were related to the homosexuality I had exhibited on CFB Namao
This explains why in November of 1981 our teachers at school called in Alberta Social Services to deal with my brother and I. This came as a result of the teachers and principal at Major General Greisbach School becoming frustrated with the inaction of Captain Totzke.
I went for another psychological review. This time I was found to be beyond despair and beyond depression. I was found to be terrified of my father and I was convinced that my father was going to kill me. The psychiatrist conducting the interview wondered if I had ever had a day free from extreme anxiety in my life.
By the spring of 1982 yet another exam had found that I had become sufficiently emotionally disturbed that it was recommended that I be placed into a psychiatric hospital for care.
And in the winter of 1983 just after Alberta Social Services tried to remove me from the home, both my father and Terry promised that I would be institutionalized at the Sick Kids hospital in Toronto.
I was caught between people who legitimately wanted to help me and people who wanted to help the Canadian Armed Forces keep a lid on the 1980 Captain Father Angus McRae child sexual abuse sex scandal that occurred on Canadian Forces Base Namao from October of 1978 until May of 1980.
At this point in time I’ll never know who was calling the shots back then. And at this point I really don’t care. I know that my father was a lowly cog in the wheel, a master corporal that was bound to follow his orders. Captain Terry Totzke would have been superior to my father and my father would have had no option but to obey Captain Totzke’s directives. And in turn Captain Totzke would have been following his orders from somewhere up the chain of command
The Canadian Armed Forces cannot find my records from the time I was involved with Captain Totzke. For comparison I have all of my civilian social service records and all of my hospital records from my childhood. If it wasn’t for my civilian social service records, I would never have known that I had been involved with military social workers on two different Canadian Forces Bases.
What upsets me the most about all of this is that it was known as far back that I was beyond depressed and dealing with severe anxiety.
I’d like to think that I’ve done a decent job of living my life the best I could with the demons of despair, depression, and anxiety living in my head.
Then along came COVID-19.
Where I work, I was put under an extreme amount of stress due to the age of the facility and the neglect of the facility and the need to have the facility cope with the requirements of COVID-19. And this was the straw that broke the camel’s back.
About a month ago, after a couple of emergency consults with my family doctor I ended up with a prescription of escitaloprám otherwise known as Lexapro or Cipralex. I was started off on 5mg as a test run. I was then bumped up to 10mg. I’ve been on 10mg for a few weeks now. We’ll have to play it by ear, but the the length of time that I’ve had untreated depression and anxiety I’ll probably be on this for the rest of my life.
Escitaloprám is an SSRI. An SSRI is a Selective Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitor. Basically escitaloprám prevents the neural transmitters in my brain from reabsorbing serotonin. This means that it’s easier for the neural transmitters in my brain to send signals. And somehow this helps with major depression and general anxiety disorders.
What’s it like being on escitaloprám?
Well, I can think clearly for the first time in my life.
I’m not euphoric. I’m not exactly emotionally numb. I don’t have the depression and despair hanging around my neck anymore. But I’m not exactly doing cartwheels down the street either.
For the first time ever in my life I can actually go to bed, sleep through the night, and wake up in the morning before the alarms go off.
I don’t have to take three or four naps through the day.
Dreams. I’m actually having vivid dreams, not horrifying nightmares. The nightmares were typically replays of CFB Namao and CFB Griesbach.
The only thing that I have to watch out for at this point is if my body builds up a tolerance to the SSRIs. Apparently within 2 years, 25% of patients prescribed SSRIs no longer respond to the medications.
And having had a taste of “normal” for the first time in my life, I really don’t want to go back to the way things were.
What caused my depression and anxiety?
The typical belief is that 40% of persons with major depression had it passed to them through their genes. The other 60% received their depression through environmental and other factors.
I’m thinking that some of my depression came down via my father’s genes. He was a severe insomniac. He was also an alcoholic. Research has shown that the same genes that make a person prone to alcoholism will also predispose that person to major depression.
Drinking for me amplified the dark thoughts. I haven’t had a drink since 2011. And even before that I can count the number of times I drank on both hands. Seeing my grandmother drunk and seeing my father drunk and then dealing with the two of them when they were dealing with their hangovers wasn’t pleasant.
Growing up in Richard’s house was anything put peaceful.
Between his drinking, his anger, and his complete indifference.
According to Pat Longmore, when my father was stationed at Canadian Forces Base Shearwater in Nova Scotia, my mother and my brother and I would sometimes take advantage of the “battered wives club” and we’d go stay at friendly safe houses when Richard was dealing with one of his anger outbursts.
My mother left when I was 5. This was a very abrupt departure. When I talked with her in 2013 it seems that she may not have had much say in the matter. It seems that there were very specific rules that applied to civilians living in the PMQs.
When I was 7 in the summer of 1979, my father started dating the woman who would become my stepmother. She was only 13 years older than I was. She was honestly like the older sister I never had and yeah, we could fight like brother and sister at times.
I was sexually abused by both P.S. and Captain Father Angus McRae along with an older male that P.S. took me to see in the men’s sauna at the base pool.
After I was caught being sexually abused by P.S. I was frequently beat up by the older kids on CFB Namao. This led to my family being moved to CFB Greisbach.
At CFB Namao I was put in the care of Captain Terry Totzke, whose primary concern seemed to be giving me “conversion” therapy to cure me of the “homosexuality ” that I had exhibited by being sexually abused on CFB Namao.
When my father was forced to move to Ontario to skip out on my apprehension by Alberta Social Services, he used to unload on me for “fucking with his military career”. A lot of the beatings that I took from him on Canadian Forces Base Downsview were no doubt due to his frustration at losing his career as a CH-147 Chinook Mechanic that he had been specially trained for.
As a kid, school was a complete disaster. Richard only had a grade 8 education. To him school was nothing more than a glorified daycare centre.
The there was the sexual abuse at the hands of Earl Ray Stevens at the Denison Armouries when I was in cadets.
So yeah, I guess you could say that I’ve had a lot of episodes in my life that would account for my major depression and anxiety disorder.
So, we’ll see where escitaloprám can take me. I’m dealing with one of the side effects. And honestly I can handle this one with all of the peace and quiet that escitaloprám has brought to me. When I tell you that the war war in my mind has reached a cease fire, I mean that the war has stopped. And I’m hoping that the escitaloprám will work for years to come because I’m terrified of going back.
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”.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I remember looking at Pat and Wayne for help, and they seemed just as shocked as I was.
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.
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.
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,
and he blamed his mother for hiding problems from him,.
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,
and that he often used his frequent absences as excuses for not attending family counselling. He also often told conflicting stories.
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.