Canadian Anti-Hate Network
The question of how an archive can responsibly make fascist and hateful historical materials available to researchers is a thorny one. Considerations about implicit legitimization through preservation and further dissemination of hate must be weighed against the benefits that making such documents accessible to the public provides. In general, it is better that legitimate archives house such materials in the service of both knowledge and anti-hate work.
That does not mean, however, that those historical materials should be approvingly translated and annotated.
The Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec (BAnQ) hold a number of documents related to the infamous Canadian fascist Adrien Arcand, founder of the Parti National Social Chretien and leader of the National Unity Party. Most are originals, but they also hold eleven translations produced in recent years by Adrien Arcand Books, an outlet that describes its output as “Canadian content on world government, communism, and the Jewish question.”
How did such conspiratorial, antisemitic filth make it into a public institution? And who is behind the translation and annotation effort?
Arcand Books is run by Kathleen Moore Pageot, who was a marginal figure in the Canadian poetry scene in the 1980s and, according to a CV from 2009 available online, is now a freelance secretary.
BAnQ appears to hold 11 translations by Adrien Arcand Books that were produced between 2018 and 2020. Below are a sample of the annotations and additions that Moore Pageot added prior to submission:
Moore Pageot’s translation of Heading for Ottawa! Canadian Corporatism is dedicated to “Adrien Arcand and his National Unity Party of Canada.” She dedicates another translation to the infamous Holocaust denier (and disciple of Arcand) Ernst Zundel, and in the foreword she credits Arcand with leaving “an ultimate legacy: his assurance that the Communist enemy will not prevail.”
Moore-Pageot is clearly enamoured with Arcand, and finds herself torn between celebrating his antisemitic actions and defending him. She concludes several translations with a short biography of Arcand, in which she writes positively about how he fought a Jewish school system in Quebec, framing it as “a political battle against this early demonstration of ‘multiculturalism.’” In her translation of Arcand’s 1963 pamphlet What is a French Canadian, Moore Pageot describes Arcand’s incredibly antisemitic, Julius Streicher-esque newspaper Le Goglu as “humorous and controversial” and frames Arcand’s internment during the Second World War, as being held in “concentration camps, under pressure from Jewry in America and England.” Elsewhere, she insists that Arcand’s antisemitism cannot be “reduced to ‘racism’” and that he was “quite favourable toward many Jews who became Catholic priests.”
In her annotations to A Short study of the Life of Adrien Arcand: biographical sketch, Moore-Pageot really turns up the antisemitism, claiming that at “the turn of the century, a flood of Jews under wealthy Rothschild aegis began to pour into Canada” who “stubbornly refused to integrate” or “adopt the culture of the founding ethnic majorities.” Dog whistles and blatant antisemitism abound, including “foreign money,” “Jewish cartels,” and of course the eternal “Liberal-Jewish-leftist alliance.” She concludes an extended footnote with the claim that “multiculturalism violates the rights of the founders; it dispossesses the founders of all their institutions, which they need to survive.”
Moore-Pageot also seeks to disseminate misinformation. She begins The Swastika: what it represents by defining the word “anachronism,” and goes on to claim that the Swastika had a different meaning when Arcand adopted it in 1933, and that we cannot allow the events of 1939-1945 to prejudice our view of him. That the Swastika was not hateful in 1933 would have been news to the Jewish Ontarians facing harassment around the province from Swastika Clubs and who reacted to a raised swastika at Christie Pits Park in Toronto with violence.
Arcand Books appears to have two Twitter accounts. The first, founded in February 2020, stopped posting in late March 2021. In October 2021 Moore-Pageot started a new Arcand Books account. Both appear to have served the same function -- tweeting anti-Chinese bile, COVID-conspiracies, and attempting to popularize Arcand’s work. In the bio of her first account, she brags “Our exclusive English translations of Arcand’s work are distributed online by the Quebec Archives.”
Moore-Pageot also runs several websites in which she pretends to be a Constitutional law expert and occasionally uploads content to YouTube and Bitchute, including Arcand’s texts set to music. On her Facebook page, she uploads videos claiming that “it is an incontestable fact that Jews own and control Hollywood, the media, and the world banks,” and that “even the big names of so-called ‘alternative media’ bow down to Israel and the Zionists.”
How did Moore-Pageot’s annotated translations end up in a provincial institution, and why is taxpayer money being used to platform and legitimize a two-bit fascist? Documents don’t just materialize in archives, and Arcand Books’ submissions begin in only 2018.
How did these annotated translations end up in the BAnQ? When accepting materials, archivists have a duty to thoroughly check for problems - the footnotes by Moore-Pageot should have been caught, but they have been enshrined and disseminated in the archive. How could this happen? The only possible answer is that archivists failed to vet the translations of a notorious Canadian fascist leader, which would be an egregious violation of duty, or that they were aware of Moore-Pageot’s antisemitic annotations and decided to accession the framed hate speech anyways, which is worse.
Adrien Arcand’s work has a place in public archives and are essential resources for those researching Canadian fascism and antisemitism. Whether archivists were aware or not of what they were accessioning, the introduction and inclusion Moore-Pageot’s work -- which includes glowing praise of Arcand’s fascist position -- is a violation of ethical and professional standards in every sense and is cause for an internal investigation.
The Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec and Kathleen Moore Pageot did not respond to requests for comment.