"Polar Jesus": how sectarians staged the worst massacre in the history of Canada

"Polar Jesus": how sectarians staged the worst massacre in the history of Canada

Categories: Nations | North America

History knows many cases when a person called himself the Messiah and tried to decide the fate of people. It almost always ended in tragedies, sometimes on a national scale. Such stories are typical for the "banana" republics, but one day "Jesus" appeared in a prosperous Canada, however, in one of its most northern Arctic regions. In 1941, an Inuit shaman, after reading the Bible, declared himself the son of God and began to exterminate his fellow tribesmen in the name of his crazy ideas.

"Polar Jesus": how sectarians staged the worst massacre in the history of Canada

This story happened in 1941 on the polar archipelago of Belcher, located on the vast expanses of Hudson Bay. More than 1,500 islands included in the archipelago were inhabited by several dozen Inuit Eskimos who had no connection with civilization for years and lived the same way as their ancestors centuries ago.

Belcher Archipelago on the map of Canada

The inhabitants of the Belcher Islands used to rely only on their own strength in everything — everything that was needed for food, clothing, housing and tools was given to the Inuit by the tundra and the sea. But in 1941, nature played a cruel joke with these people — marine animals and Arctic hares disappeared somewhere, the fish catch became very scarce, and the birds left the islands inhabited by people.

They had to rely only on their own strength — the white people were very far away, and none of the islanders could tell where to look for them. Therefore, all hope was on the mercy of the gods, with whom the local shaman Charlie Ouerak communicated. He was an energetic 27-year-old man who sincerely wanted to help his fellow tribesmen.

The shaman dived into the ocean to persuade the Mother of the Animals Takanakapsaluk to return the seals, arranged rituals in honor of the heavenly lord Silla, so that he would make the birds and hares appear, but everything was unsuccessful. The winter worsened the suffering of the Inuit-it turned out to be extremely cold and snowy.

Once the gods answered the desperate Ouerak right during the ritual. A fantastic meteor shower passed over the Arctic and it was definitely a sign. The Inuit were numb with horror, and the shaman himself fell into a trance and stopped reacting to the events of the surrounding world.

"Polar Jesus": how sectarians staged the worst massacre in the history of Canada

Inuit Shaman

But the most amazing and terrible event happened when the shaman came to himself. Charlie said that the gods familiar to many generations of Inuit have all died and will no longer be able to help people. This was a blow to the entire small population of the archipelago, but There was also some good news about Oueraka.

It should be mentioned that in the 40s, all the Eskimos of Canada were already considered Christians, although many continued to believe in the old, traditional gods. The new religion came to the Belcher Archipelago in the bag of the same Peter Sal in the form of a single copy of the Bible. The hunter was the only one who knew English and communicated with white people living on the"mainland".

"Polar Jesus": how sectarians staged the worst massacre in the history of Canada

Inuit Hunter

For some time, Sala read the book in a chant to Oueraku and he fell into prostration from these mantras. In general, it was easy to bring a shaman to hysteria or religious ecstasy — for his profession, this was more a plus than a disadvantage. Scientist and traveler Lawrence Millman, who visited the Belcher Archipelago in the 90s, assumed that Charlie was not a shaman, but an ordinary impostor who was considered a magician because of his eccentric behavior.

The fact is that there was no one to teach the shamanic craft to the spiritual leader, since the inhabitants of the archipelago were always as isolated as possible, even from their fellow Inuit. Perhaps, the Ouerak complex associated with" professional insolvency " became one of the important causes of the tragedy.

"Polar Jesus": how sectarians staged the worst massacre in the history of Canada

Ouerak and Sala adapted this ritual for the needs of their new cult. The first ritual of repentance to" Jesus " led to a tragedy. 13-year-old Sarah Alaukok, repenting of her sins, suddenly declared that she considered Ouerak and Salu by impostors. "You're not Jesus, and you are not God, you are liars, " the child said, pointing his finger at the new deities.

This infuriated not only the shaman and his assistant,but also many people present. Sarah was immediately declared Satan and began to be mercilessly beaten. It all ended with the fact that the girl's own older brother pulled her out of the crowd and, under the cheers of the "believers", crushed her skull with the butt of a rifle.

The cult of "Jesus" Ouerak demanded the introduction of new and new rules. The shaman killed all the sled dogs of the camp, as he was "told from above". Now the small tribe of the Belcher archipelago was completely cut off from the world and its members were at the mercy of crazed cultists.

"Polar Jesus": how sectarians staged the worst massacre in the history of Canada

The cruelty of Charlie Ouerak sobered Peter Sala, who, although he bore the title of "God", did not approve of cruel and senseless reprisals. The hunter realized that he was not dealing with a shaman acting for the benefit of the tribe, but with a bloodthirsty, unpredictable psychopath.

But the influence of "Jesus" in the tribe was already so strong that Sala did not dare to openly oppose him. Peter acted cowardly, but it was thanks to him that they managed to stop the sectarians. One night, the " God "escaped from" Jesus " and crossed a huge distance on foot to the nearest village, where there were official representatives of the Canadian authorities.

There, Peter told about what was happening in his camp and confessed that, although indirectly, he was involved in three murders. To arrest the bloodthirsty monster, a detachment of mounted police was allocated, the road to which was shown by a sincerely repentant Sala.

"Polar Jesus": how sectarians staged the worst massacre in the history of Canada

Officer of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police

But while the hunter went for help, a lot of time passed and a new religious figure appeared in the tribe. Charlie Ouerak's sister Mina declared herself "Mary" and demanded that she be worshipped in the same way as her brother. She developed a new concept related to the flight of Peter Sala. Mina declared that the " God " had disappeared, but was about to appear in sparkling vestments and then the Last Judgment would come.

To speed up the appearance of "God", the woman gathered nine old people and children on an ice floe. She made them strip naked and sit motionless waiting for the new coming. By the time Sala revealed himself along with a detachment of mounted police, six unfortunate people froze to death. Almost all of the victims were children and teenagers.

"Polar Jesus": how sectarians staged the worst massacre in the history of Canada

Charlie Ouerak (center) and Peter Sala (left)

Some time later, missionaries appeared on the Belcher Islands, baptizing the Inuit and telling them about the true love of God for people. But the Eskimos who survived the tragedy of the winter of 1941 did not become good Christians — after the bloody services of Ouerak, they were skeptical of the white man's religion and even considered it evil. Until now, Belchertsy are considered Christians only formally — they do not go to church and do not want to talk about Jesus with anyone.

Keywords: Archipelago | Hudson | Jesus | Canada | Cult | Police | North | Tundra | Murder | Christians

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