Who they think that can then give them some kind of pastoral and human response. And that pain is so palpable at that point. It's oozing out of them. They're breaking down right in front of you. Emily Shwain: After years of being a fixer, Patrick quit the church in disgust and switched sides. Now he works for a law firm in California as an advocate for victims of clergy sex abuse.
That's how he knows Elsie. And Elsie isn't Father Pool's only victim. There are at least 20 others according to her lawyer. James Pool never admitted to having sex with anyone. But another Alaskan native woman says he got her pregnant when she was a teenager. According to church documents and other records, Pool convinced her to have an abortion. Court documents also show he convinced his victim to accuse her own father of rape.
Her father went to prison, and Pool wasn't the only Jesuit priest accused of molesting Native kids and young women in Western Alaska. Patrick Wahl: The villages are basically isolated from months out of the year, before modern transportation. Those kids had nowhere to go. That's why we see a wholesale slaughter of generations by the Jesuits in Alaska.
Emily Shwain: That's really strong language.
Wholesale slaughter of children at the hands of the Catholic Church is incredibly strong language. Emily Shwain: Elsie's village, St. Mary's, only has about people, but between and , at least 15 priests accused of sexual abuse served there. Patrick says isolated Native communities in Alaska and Indian reservations in the Northwest were used as dumping grounds for problem Jesuits.
We found accused Jesuits in more than of those communities. Patrick Wahl: In my experience, both Yupik and Athabaskans are extremely welcoming. And that is a weakness that a perpetrator can exploit really easily. Because they're going to trust that person. There was no warning from the Jesuit provincials. There was no warning from the Jesuit bishops at Fairbanks. There was never any warning to them.
Emily Shwain: Some Jesuits didn't seem to view Native people as fully human.
I found a letter from a Jesuit leader that describes Alaska natives as simple minded. And another letter says they are people not advanced enough to give impartial and true testimony. Elsie Boudreau sees the sexual abuse as part of the Church's attempt to erase Native culture and spirituality.
Elsie Boudreau: The whole premise behind the Catholic Church and their mission with Native people, with indigenous people, was to strip them of their identity. And so sexual abuse was one way. I think it's intentional when you have an institution that is aware of problem priests, perpetrator priests, and move them to places where they believe the people are less than, where they believe the people there would not speak out.
Like I can forgive you know, one perpetrator. But to move to an understanding that it was the institution, the Catholic Church that operated in a way that devalued Urupik people, indigenous people. That's unforgivable. Al Letson: Elsie was the first Alaska native victim to go public with her identity and the identity of her abuser. In , she settled a lawsuit against the Jesuits for a million dollars.
Emily found letters that showed Church officials received complaints about James Pool's behavior at least eight years before Elsie Boudreau was even born. When we come back, how the Church responded to those complaints. Emily follows a paper trail that shows how James Pool and other accused priests were shuffled around for decades. That's next on Reveal. I'm Al Letson.
Sins of the Father | Star Trek
Today's show is about a topic that's not appropriate for everyone. It's the story of Jesuit priests accused of sexual abuse and how the Catholic Church shuffled them around.
He admitted it under oath. Emily, what happened to James Pool? Emily Shwain: Well the short story is not much. He wasn't tried in a criminal court and he didn't have to register as a sex offender. Decades of Church correspondence show very little response to concerns about his conduct while he was serving in Alaskan native communities. Al Letson: So it sounds like what you're saying is, people in leadership knew about James Pool? Emily Shwain: Yes. One of the first letters about Pool is from That's when another Jesuit priest, Segundo Lorente, raised questions about how Pool was behaving with girls at the school outside St.
Mary's village. That's where Elsie is from.
A.J. Johnson Calls TV One’s ‘Sins Of The Father’ Great
Part of Lorente's job was to watch over what was happening at St. Mary's, so he writes this letter to the priest in charge of finances for the Jesuit's Alaska missions. And here's what it says: "Some people have come to the conclusion that Father Pool has a fixation on sex. An obsession. Some sort of mental aberration that makes him see sex everywhere. Emily Shwain: He did. And many more letters tell the same story. And this is where it gets more graphic. The letters say James Pool spent hours sitting in his room alone with young girls asking them about sex and masturbation.
One letter details how he went into the girls' dormitory and moved their beds around in his own arrangement. And Segundo Lorente was writing these letters to higher up in the church. Eventually, the information in those letters made it to the superior general in Rome. The man in charge of the entire Jesuit order. Emily Shwain: Well, it tells us that knowledge of what James Pool was doing went all the way to the top, to Rome. But there's also something truly bizarre about all of this correspondence, Al. Emily Shwain: Segundo Lorente, he was also accused of sexual abuse and so was the priest in Alaska he sent that first letter to.
I found lots of cases of whistleblower letters exchanged between Jesuits who were also accused themselves.
Al Letson: So then, what happened to all these guys? Emily Shwain: Well, these same Jesuit letters gave me a few clues. I collected at least I found a memo from that said that Jesuits who'd committed sexual acts should be removed or resign. But that's not what happened. Other letters show that priests got moved from one native community to another. It's almost like a Jesuit version of a merry go round. After people in Elsie's village started complaining about James Pool, he was sent to an all boys high school in Portland, Oregon. But a year after that, he wen right back to another far removed Native community in Alaska.
And this happened over and over again with Jesuit priests for decades. Al Letson: And did they ever get off the merry go round?
follow site Emily Shwain: Well that's what I wanted to find out too. And to do that, I went to a library to flip through an official Catholic directory. It's this giant maroon book bigger than a shoebox and a lot heavier. It lists every priest in the United States. It lists out all the names of who lives there.
Emily Shwain: What I discovered is that when the merry go round finally stopped, James Pool wound up at a prominent Jesuit university with a well known law school and an even better known basketball team, Gonzaga University in downtown Spokane, Washington. Why would the church put a priest accused of sexual abusing young women so close to students? I went back to that deposition tape from Elsie Boudreau's civil case. Her lawyer had the same question for Father Pool. Speaker 9: So you can use facilities on the campus without problems, right?
Emily Shwain: When Father Pool was sent to Gonzaga, he was supposed to be constantly supervised and chaperoned.
Most Relevant Verses
That's according to the rules the Jesuits came up with to deal with priests accused of sexual abuse. But that constant monitoring didn't happen. Speaker 9: Have you been interviewed by any students who are doing research on Alaska since you got to Regis community?