'I'm not afraid': Family of controversial Aylmer, Ont. pastor reacts to unsettling video
AYLMER, ONT. -- It is an ominous 'V for Vendetta'-style YouTube video directed at Aylmer, Ont. natives Pastor Henry Hildebrandt and Kimberly Neudorf.
"This is our message to the plague pastor and his fellow conspirator the plague princess," says the person dressed in black with florescent mask covering their face, and foil as a backdrop.
The six minute and 38 second long video was created by a group called 'We Are One, We Are All' (WAOWAA).
It calls out Church of God Pastor Henry Hildebrandt and anit-COVID-19 protocol rally organizer Kimberly Neudorf and talks of a “reckoning.”
The group's organizer tells CTV News they are not one individual, but many Aylmer area residents.
"We have watched the plague pastor use his influence and position to intimidate the people of Aylmer for decades," the anonymous organizer told CTV via Facebook Messenger.
"Now he is travelling to other communities to intimidate their citizens as well. We will do what we can to prevent his tyranny from spreading."
The Hildebrandt family is aware of the video.
"It was a little unsettling because we don't know how serious are people about this," says Herbert Hildebrandt, the pastor's son, who watched the video late Tuesday night.
"At the same time I'm not afraid. I'm assuming this is intimidation and venting a bit."
The group acknowledges their appearance and demeanor may cause discomfort for some viewers, but say they mean no physical harm.
"We have no intentions of breaking any of our country's laws," says WAOWAA. "We are not criminals and we have no need to be unlawful to succeed in our plans. The plague pastor and his associates have built their own tombs. We are just going to make ensure they are incumbent for it. We are one, we are all, we are always watching."
Aylmer police Chief Zvonko Horvat received the video, and says they have opened an investigation.
"We have been in touch with Mr. Hildebrandt this morning and have looked at safety planning, and we have attempted to get in touch with Kimberly (Neudorf) as well," says Horvat.
"What we are doing, we are reviewing the video and looking at the source of the video and trying to identify the individual that is responsible for it. We want to speak to that individual with what their intent is with it."
The group says their message serves more than one purpose.
"It informs our neighbours that their strife is heard and shared by many. We have all suffered due to the actions of the plague pastor. As there seems to be a lack of anyone in authority willing to openly condemn his tyranny and unlawful actions, we, as the citizens of Aylmer, must unite to expose him ourselves."
The video comes at the same time the Southwestern Public Health Unit issued an open letter to the community, asking Elgin County residents to focus on fighting COVID-19, not each other.
Henry Hildebrandt and Neudorf have both been associated with numerous 'Freedom Rallies' in recent months.
Henry and Herbert Hildebrandt are both facing charges under Reopening Ontario Act, and Neudorf, 43, has been charged with four counts of failing to comply under the same act.
Over the past month, Herbert says his family has received numerous attacks on social media and via text messages. People have driven by his house yelling profanities at him and his kids, and his father recently received pounding on the windows of his home in the middle of the night.
However his family won't live in fear or doubt.
"Keyboard warriors are brave people until you get them face-to-face, it's easy to say something behind a screen," he says.
"I think fundamentally people are having a difficult time that we can respect various viewpoints and still get along fine."