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Friday, September 19, 2008

The Man Who Shot Santa Claus

posted by on September 19 at 10:33 AM

The cover of this month’s American Scholar reads: “Meet the World’s Most Evil Man.” Which sounds like dumb hyperbole until you actually read the article—it makes a pretty good case.

I can’t exactly recommend you read it too, because it’s deeply depressing—about an evil German Evangelical named Paul Schaefer who founded a lil’ utopia (32,000 acres) in Chile where he could terrorize, torture, and rape its inhabitants into submission.

In exchange for being left alone, Schaefer did lots of Pinochet’s dirty work—tortured and executed political dissidents, mostly, who were brought to Schaefer’s small kingdom of terror, up in the Chilean mountains.

Here is probably the gentlest, kindest thing Schaefer ever did:

All challengers to Schaefer’s authority—real or imagined—were rooted out and destroyed. No one inspired greater love and admiration among the children of the Colonia than Santa Claus. It is said that in the days shortly before Christmas one year in the mid-1970s, Schaefer gathered the Colonia’s children, loaded them onto a bus, and drove them out to a nearby river, where, he told them, Santa was coming to visit.

The boys and girls stood excitedly along the riverbank, while an older colono in a fake beard and a red and white suit floated towards them on a raft. Schaefer pulled a pistol from his belt and fired, seeming to wound Santa, who tumbled into the water, where he thrashed about before disappearing below the surface. It was a charade, but Schaefer turned to the children assembled before him and said that Santa was dead. From that day forward, Schaefer’s birthday was the only holiday celebrated inside Colonia Dignidad.

Schaefer was finally arrested in 2005. He lives in jail now.

The rest of the horrible story is here.

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This may have ruined "International Talk Like a Pirate Day" for me.

Posted by Little Red Ryan Hood | September 19, 2008 10:46 AM

This sounds like the plot for a Herzog/Kinski movie

Posted by Bellevue Ave | September 19, 2008 10:52 AM

Oh come on, like you've never thought about doing it?

Posted by flamingbanjo | September 19, 2008 11:02 AM

That's actually pretty funny, for being completely horrible.

Posted by laterite | September 19, 2008 11:05 AM

I can't believe David Letterman would hire him after this! I'm boycotting CBS.

Posted by ReverendZ | September 19, 2008 11:06 AM

The horror...the horror.

Posted by Banna | September 19, 2008 11:12 AM

My dad shot the Easter Bunny when I was four.

Well, really, he shot a rabbit in our backyard (we lived in a rural area) the day before Easter. And I just happened to be watching from the window and had it in my little head that that particular rabbit was the Easter Bunny. I went running sobbing to my mom “Daddy killed the Easter Bunny!”…

That is one of my parents favorite stories from when I was a kid. It’s a lot less depressing than the world’s most evil man, so I thought I would share.

Posted by Julie in Chicago | September 19, 2008 11:12 AM

@2: That is what I was thinking!!!

Posted by Mikki | September 19, 2008 11:12 AM

that's totally how i want to live my life. my hero!

Posted by adrian | September 19, 2008 11:18 AM

He's like Hitler II.

Posted by Gloria | September 19, 2008 11:20 AM

He "lives" in jail. The fucker should be ripped apart by pitbulls dressed as elves.

Posted by elswinger | September 19, 2008 11:26 AM

I'm sure this guy must be a slog commenter.

Posted by Mike in Olympia | September 19, 2008 12:34 PM

Why settle for the lesser of two evils?

Posted by Schaefer / Palin '08 | September 19, 2008 1:12 PM

I read the whole article. This guy is a classic case of a cult leader- using his charisma to gather a following and then abusing his followers for his own personal gain. Other examples of this are L. Ron Hubbard (the founder of Scientology), Charles Manson, the leader of those Branch Davidians who were smoked out in Waco, and the guy who had all his followers commit group suicide by drinking poisoned Kool-Aid. It's one of the nastiest and most complicated kinds of crimes.

Posted by east coaster | September 19, 2008 3:29 PM

I read it too. Seems like a pretty classic case of cult or personality. zzz.

Posted by rgr that | September 20, 2008 1:47 PM

Thanks for the link, I heard about that guy a couple of years ago, but there wasn't much information about him on-line.

Posted by Robot | September 21, 2008 8:44 PM

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