On June 20, 2023 The Current published an editorial entitled “Seat of Wisdom’s fingerprints all over rejected anti-Pride Petition.” (Click HERE to read.) It referred readers to an earlier article we had published reporting on an exposé by the Canadian Anti-Hate Network (CAHN) about the conduct of Seat of Wisdom College (SWC) and its links to conspiracy theorists. Our editorial ended with the following statement: “However, what should be of concern to residents is the growing pervasiveness in the Valley of SWC-linked, alt-right, conspiracy-fuelled rhetoric. The widespread notoriety that MV is now getting because of this for being a hotbed of hate and discrimination may hopefully persuade residents to wake up and smell the coffee.”
CAHN has not stopped its investigation of SWC and on January 16, 2024 published a further article entitled “Traditionalist Catholic college hires Dean alleged to have ‘psychologically abused’ students.” The article discloses that SWC has hired Dennis Buonafede as Interim Dean of Students replacing Kenton Biffert. Buonafede is a retired teacher awaiting two Ontario College of Teachers Disciplinary Committee hearings for allegations of professional misconduct including abusing students verbally and psychologically. The Notices of Hearing accuse Buonafede of targeting Black people, women, Asian people, SLGBTQ+ people, and also urging students to pray that Donald Trump wins the election.
It is also reported that he has claimed “Women have an expiry date” and that they should delay “their education in order to have babies.” In addition to praising Trump, CAHN reports that Buonafede subscribes to the beliefs of QAnon and has promoted a QAnon Telegram channel on his personal social media page. Additionally, he is alleged to have told students that the coronavirus is fake.
CAHN, referring to its earlier reporting, repeats that there is a significant overlap both in personnel and ideology between SWC and far-right, ultra-traditionalist media outlet LifeSite News whose co-founder John Henry Westen lives in Barry’s Bay and is considered a “friend of the College.”
We recommend that MV residents read the entire CAHN article by following this link: Traditionalist Catholic college hires Dean alleged to have ‘psychologically abused’ students
So far as The Current is aware, the disclosures about this seat of hate in our midst has provoked little, if any, reaction from the majority of MV residents. Hopefully these latest revelations by CAHN may spur more residents to take a public stand. Also, given the widespread reputational impact on this small community, our elected officials should perhaps consider whether their responsibilities include taking steps to help bring about a hate-free environment for their residents.
Image at top: Chris Roberts on Unsplash