It’s how I’ve decided, for now anyway, to approach Jeremy Mackenzie.
Two Things Can Be True At Once #1
Jeremy Mackenzie deserves our respect and gratitude for his service in the Canadian military, particularly on his tour in Afghanistan. Regardless of your opinion of the validity of that conflict, Mackenzie was prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice for an institution integral to Canadian national security.
Jeremy Mackenzie poses a severe threat to Canadian national security. More reasonably, he poses a severe threat to those around him and himself.
Two Things Can Be True At Once #2
Am I trained to diagnose mental illness? Of course not. But I feel like anyone with a beating heart, and reasonably developed cognitive skills can assume Jeremy Mackenzie suffers PTSD from his time in the Canadian military, particularly in Afghanistan. Perhaps even severely. My understanding is he’s publicly referenced it himself in the past.
Jeremy Mackenzie’s actions are willful and deliberate, and he is fully aware of their past and potential future consequence. He is intelligent, a good communicator and wildly manipulative.
Mackenzie is enjoying some downtime in the Saskatoon Correctional Centre, where he’s being held until he reappears in provincial court Friday morning for a bail hearing.
At some point over the weekend of September 24, 2022, on one of his many live-streamed platforms, Mackenzie threatened Pierre Poilievre’s wife.
“Let’s rape her,” MacKenzie said. “It’s not a sex thing. It’s like we want to show people that we can do things to you if we want to. It’s a power move.”
A day later, Pierre Poilievre condemned Mackenzie’s statements and requested an RCMP investigation.
Read Poilievre's comments about his friend Jeremy Mackenzie. pic.twitter.com/1oWi33ewwE
— Tee Jay Bee 🇨🇦 🇺🇦ORANGE for the Indigenous (@tomjbrenner) October 3, 2022
Ten days after threatening Poilievre’s wife on a Livestream, Mackenzie was behind the glass in a prisoner’s box in Saskatoon.
The case against Mackenzie appears to hinge on the witness statement of someone with a history of extremist behaviour who was once loyal to Mackenzie but turned on him, both privately and publicly, at some point after the weapons training camp. That witness will struggle with both public and courtroom credibility.
We don’t know what’s happening here, but it doesn’t feel like this is about four charges. None of it is adding up – we’ll talk more about that today on Dean’s show.
There are a ton of questions:
- Why did the RCMP ask Saskatchewan’s Minister of Justice to fly Mackenzie from Nova Scotia just hours before his first hearing instead of linking him by teleconference?
- Why is he being held for five days on remand in Saskatoon before his bail hearing? Why do they need him held that long?
- Can we come back to weapons training camp? WTF?
I didn’t know much about Jeremy Mackenzie or his true character until yesterday. After researching him extensively, I still don’t.
I feel more strongly about the character of so-called leaders like Pierre Poilievre, who stoke and use guys like Jeremy as a means to grip power. When things inevitably go too far, and those leaders get burned, they pretend to draw a blank and toss people aside like used Kleenex.
— Dean Blundell🇨🇦 (@ItsDeanBlundell) August 28, 2022
Two Things Can Be True At Once #3
On some levels, Jeremy Mackenzie is a more effective leader of a like-minded group than those at the top of today’s federal and provincial parties.
Everything’s gone way too far, and this moment feels like a TSN Turning Point for Mackenzie if it’s not too late. Maybe he can still turn this around before somebody gets killed in his name, not because he predicted their violent end but because he inspired it.
I’m aware I won’t make friends writing about Jeremy Mackenzie, Diagolon or any of the extensive, potentially dangerous yet admittedly fascinating characters that make up his mission. The Canadian government’s Integrated Terrorism Assessment Centre has deemed them ideologically motivated violent extremists.
I’m probably putting a much bigger target than I already have. If I’m perceived as too easy on Jeremy, his haters will tear me apart. His fans will tear me apart if I’m perceived as too hard on him.
I hope they’ll leave me alone and understand I am making an effort to consider them as human beings, not faceless “others.” If they come for me anyway, oh well. I think this is important.
I’ve never really travelled down the convoy-conservative-conspiracy rabbit hole. When I did, what blew my mind the most was not Jeremy Mackenzie or Diagalon but the sheer number of connections both have to the Sask Party’s government’s recent decisions and messaging.
For example, consider effervescent Saskatchewan Corrections Minister Christine Tell blasting the Canadian government over their proposed buy-back program of assault rifles from residents of totally stable western Canada.
Not under her watch.
Why would anyone in Saskatchewan want an assault rifle?
One of the world’s leading experts on counter-terrorism told me that if he assigned ISIS a ten on the scale of terror rings, he’d put Diagalon at a six or a seven on the same scale.
Pure hatred for the Prime Minister.
Anti-federal government sentiments.
Liberal government climate cops poisoning or tainting rural water supplies.
The narratives or issues that have accelerated the rise of the Plaid Army, Diagalon, Jeremy Mackenzie et al. over the last two years can be bridged directly to prominent Conservative Party of Canada leadership issues as well as Sask Party and UCP local government decision-making and propaganda pushed out over the same period.
No matter what, it’s impossible to properly consider the copious, complex factors that result in a Jeremy Mackenzie.
Two Things Can Be True At Once #4
During various periods of his life, Jeremy Mackenzie has behaved like a good person.
Over others, he has not. He’s a mess who did the things he’s been accused of, and there are receipts for all of it. He deserves the scrutiny because he’s been dumb enough to live stream most of it. But how did he get here?
What goes into making a man who put his life on the line for his country want to burn that same country down with the people in it? Canada has a former military extremist issue for valid reasons, and those reasons need to be part of this conversation.
I appreciate this isn’t precisely wildly entertaining, soul-searing commentary today. There’s plenty of time for that. For now, I’m just easing real slow into this water because I’m pretty sure it’s full of sharks.
Not sure what easing slowly into shark-infested waters would accomplish, come to think of it, other than less time to bleed out, but it’s late, so it stays.