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Four Winds

Four Winds/Lucille Poulin
Commune Leader Convicted of Assault
Louise Poulin, the 78-year-old former nun who runs the Four Winds religious commune on Prince Edward Island, has been convicted of assault. She disciplined children by beating them with a wooden paddle. The children said that the discipline left them bruised and even unconscious.[csr 1.3 2002]

“It’s not easy [the beatings]” Poulin testified, “But God says to do it.” The children were isolated from society and treated as virtual slaves as they worked long hours in the organization’s restaurant. Some of the adults who once lived there called life at the religious retreat brutal. [csr 1.3 2002]

The Canadian Supreme Court is currently reviewing the “spanking law,” which allows teachers, parents, and other caregivers to discipline with physical force as long as the force is “reasonable under the circumstances.” (CBC News, Internet, 10/25/02) [csr 1.3 2002]

Four Winds
Commune Up for Sale
The Prince Edward Island Four Winds commune, formerly headed by nun Lucille Poulin, who was convicted of the “scripturally sanctioned” beating of children in the group she led, is up for sale at $500,000. The property includes a home, a farm house, and a fully-equipped restaurant. (Charlottetown Guardian, Internet, 6/11/03) [csr 2.3 2003]

Lucille Poulin
Alberta “Failed” The Children in Poulin’s Group in 1995

Officials in Alberta failed in 1995 to act in a timely fashion on suspicion of abuse in a group run by Lucille Poulin, who was recently convicted in Prince Edward Island (PEI) of abuse in connection with a small commune she ran there. [csr 2.1 2003]

Westlock, Alberta welfare workers began an investigation after a teen-age girl ran away from the sect and reported that she and the other children had suffered extreme physical and emotional abuse. But the social workers’ appeal for a temporary guardianship over the children was refused. And when the court gave them the right to visit and observe, they found that Poulin, who later reported having a vision of Jesus directing her, had moved the operation in the middle of the night to P.E.I. (Paula Simons, Edmonton Journal, Internet, 10/28/02) [csr 2.1 2003]