Tuesday August 09, 2016

ENCORE: Searching for Brother XII—the story of Nanaimo's infamous cult leader

Nanaimo Harbour, British Columbia ca.1906.

Nanaimo Harbour, British Columbia ca.1906. (Canadian Press)

Listen to Full Episode 27:29

An isolated community in British Columbia, a dominatrix, and a strange cult leader who believes he's the reincarnation of an Egyptian god. What could possibly go wrong?

This story starts in the 1920s on an isolated island off the coast of B.C. A farm, communal living, and a breathtaking natural landscape: from the outside, it's a back­-to-the­-landers dream. But then, enter Brother XII. 

The charismatic leader would control this idealistic community but underneath the charm are stories of abuse, manipulation and fraud. So how did this mysterious man manage to build a following of thousands? Who was Brother XII? Documentary producer Jen Moss probes the disturbing and remarkable tale of Nanaimo's infamous cult leader.

 

About the producer

Jennifer Moss is a Vancouver­-based freelancer and long­-time CBC Radio contributor. She's a Webster­ Award-winning producer who has spent much of her 15­-year career focusing on community­-based storytelling.