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The light-fingered ways Pilgrim employed in New Mexico followed him to Alaska, says Kizzia, as did the poaching. Despite several warnings from the NPS, Pilgrim resolutely did whatever he wanted to do on federal land. That bothered a lot of people. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.


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Pilgrim's Wilderness by Tom Kizzia | Penguin Random House Canada

Film Executive. Foreign Publisher. Literary Agent. Elias National Park in Alaska.

The Devil of the Mother Lode Valley

The story of Papa Pilgrim arrives in bookstores next month in a fascinating, and disturbing, book by Tom Kizzia. Both Ruby Ridge in and the siege at Waco in , instances in which state and federal authorities clashed, fatally, with anti-government families and religious groups, cast undercurrents in the story.


  1. Bravo Charli.
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But while there are definite tensions between Papa Pilgrim and the Park Service, they never manifest to the degree of those at Ruby Ridge or Waco. In the end, many of those who initially sided with Papa Pilgrim in his rage against the Park Service realized how he had deceived them. Through numerous interviews and research going back to Mr. Kizzia lays bare an alarming story of how one man can brainwash his family under the guise of religion.

Hale fathered 15 children and kept them in line by twisting the words of the Bible and with beatings administered via a leather thong.

Staff Picks - Pilgrim's Wilderness by Tom Kizzia

We learn that Mr. Hale and his growing family first found seclusion in the mountains above Taos, New Mexico, where they lived as caretakers of sorts on land owned by actor Jack Nicholson, who fell in love with the area while filming Easy Rider.

But when the locals became suspicious of their ways, the family set out in for Alaska, where Papa Pilgrim eventually figured they could blend further into the wilderness on a acre inholding within Wrangell-St.