Update On Amaruk
It was billed by the CBC as an “exclusive” investigation: a sweet, young B.C. girl named Bethany Paquette had applied for a job as a guide with an adventure tourism company called Amaruk.
Bethany didn’t get the job. But what she did get was a tirade of anti-Christian vitriol from the company. A series of e-mails purportedly sent from the company’s Canadian and Norwegian managers attacked Bethany because her resume indicated she had graduated from Trinity Western University, a B.C. school that promotes Christian values.
A series of fabulously named Amaruk managers – Olaf Amundsen, Christopher Fragassi-Bjornsen, and Arkyn Borg – took turns e-mailing Bethany, all in perfect English, about how much they hated her, Christians and Trinity Western.
She would not be welcome at Amaruk, they said, because TWU believes marriage is between a man and a woman. By contrast, “the Norse background of most of the guys at the management level means that we are not a Christian organization, and most of us actually see Christianity as having destroyed our culture, tradition, and way of life,” Amundsen wrote.
The e-mails soon degenerated into profanity; when Bethany wrote back, and ended with the phrase, “God Bless”, Amundsen went into a rage. “God Bless is very offensive to me, and yet another sign of your attempts to impose your religious views on me. I do not want to be blessed by some guy who was conceived by a whore, outside of marriage, and whom has been the very reason for the most horrendous abuses and human rights violations in the history of the human race. If I was to meet the guy, I’d actually f-ck him.”
This was all on Amaruk letterhead. It was shocking and vicious. And under B.C. human rights law, it’s illegal – you can’t discriminate in hiring based on religion. Bethany retained a lawyer, Geoffrey Trotter, and they filed a legal complaint against Amaruk.
It was a spectacular story, and other news media followed up. I did a TV show on the subject, crediting the CBC for finally reporting on anti-Christian bigotry, and railing against Amaruk. The National Post newspaper made it their front-page story. The story was huge news across B.C.
Except Amaruk isn’t real. They have a grandiose website, with beautiful images of the great outdoors. But they’re fake photos – ripped off from the Internet. The website boasts of being a massive, multi-national tourism company. But no actual trips or tours are listed. The location of the outdoor fantasy photos, or their “40,000-sheep ranch” are never identified.
The website is affiliated with other websites that have a homo-erotic feeling – idolizing the “Viking” lifestyle – bearded hipsters with great abs, out in the woods.
The CBC’s investigative reporter, Natalie Clancy, got her story half-right. Bethany was the subject of an anti-Christian tirade. But she didn’t lose a job over it – there was no job to be had. It was an elaborate hoax.
We all make mistakes. Bethany was real, as were the hateful e-mails. And Amaruk’s elaborate website seemed real enough, at first glance.
The CBC was just as much a victim of a hoax as was Bethany. But the CBC shouldn’t abandon the story now. They should find out who has been impersonating a tourism company – and even filing fake reports on an Industry Canada website. Amaruk’s Twitter feed has just one entry on it – but follows a host of B.C.-based environmental extremist groups and gay activists. It could be that Amaruk is a bizarre secret project of a public B.C. leftist activist. Will the CBC follow up?
It’s too bad that the first time the CBC took a serious interest in anti-Christian bigotry, they were duped. I hope that doesn’t turn them off the subject. There are plenty of real anti-Christian bigots in Canada, who attack Trinity Western all the time. Right now, law societies across Canada are debating banning TWU’s graduates from practicing law. That’s just as vicious as the fake trolls at Amaruk. But they’re real, and unafraid to use their real names.
It is disappointing that for once the CBC took an interest in anti-Christian bigotry, and it was part of a hoax.
You gotta wonder why someone would do that.
The anti-Christian bigotry, however, was real.
I do hope the CBC follows up on these guys. They've duped so many people, they really should be exposed, whatever their motive.
UPDATE March 3, 2016: BC Human Rights Tribunal Sides with Christian . It does appear that Amaruk was a legit company.