He Kept His Children Hostage

While America has been fixated on the Palins, the new issue of Outside magazine has a chilling story from the Alaskan wilderness. When Robert Hale (aka, Papa Pilgrim) first arrived in McCarthy, a town of 50, he presented his 15 children as the picture of wholesomeness. The children bathed clothed because, Hale boasted, they had never seen a naked body. By the time writer Mark Kirby arrived in 2005, however, “Alaska state troopers arrested Robert Hale on 30 counts of physical and sexual assault, coercion, and incest.” His alleged abuses included raping and beating his daughter and then forcing her to wear a ski mask to hide her wounds; he banned his children from even talking to anyone he thought might undercut his authority. Kirby writes of the children’s escape and Papa’s meeting with the law.