mercredi 18 décembre 2013
Pedophile scandal at Saint Joseph Home for Boys : Radio interview (Translation and Transcript)
Interviewer: We have with us today Destin Jean-Baptiste and Sean Lubins Jean-Sacra. Today, we have a case that has brought us to Port Au Prince. It's a very important case that concerns the Saint Joseph house for boys, that was established 29 years ago. We have an interview with Jean-Sacra, and he told us that he came to the project when he was 7 years old and he was in the Welcome house located in Carrefours. That's where the director of the project used to pick him up and take him to the Saint Joseph House for boys. Now, after the individual interviews that we conducted with each victim, we finally feel that we've gathered enough information to interview all 3 of them together, because this incident includes sexual abuse against minors, but also physical and emotional abuse because, you Jean-Sacra, you told me that this foreigner, Michael Geilenfeld, used to turn his dog loose on you. (To Jean-Sacra) Can you describe to us the living conditions in the project?
Jean-Sacra: When I was living in the Center for Boys, it wasn't an easy place for boys to live. Often, when [Mr. Geilenfeld] had problems with us (you could say we were doing something wrong or we might have been rebelling) he would sometimes grab us by the neck and stick our heads between his legs. Then he would hit us across the back with a closed fist. Or, he may slap us in the face. After that, he would drag us either by our clothes, or by our legs or hands, and kick us out. He had a dog named Micky, and I still have a picture of that dog, while he was dragging us, he would taunt the dog and get the dog to nip at us.
Interviewer: So, this was the type of physical abuse that you endured. Now tell us about the sexual abuse.
Jean-Sacra: He started to sexually abuse me between the ages of 10 and 12 or 13. At that time he started to call me to his room. At that time I was in the dance school in Delmas. That school was run by Mrs. Bazin, a member of the Bazin family. Mrs. Bazin doesn't live here anymore. That's where I used to go to dance for a number of years. When I would return from dancing I would always earn an allowance of $200, which was given to me each Saturday. This money was given to me for food, and also for transportation to dance school. When I would return in the afternoon for English class, and he would always call on me. English class was every evening at 6:00pm. That was after prayer. Prayer was at 5:00pm, before English class. At 6:00, during English class was the time that he reserved for me to spend time with him in his bedroom. Very often when I got to his room he would press himself against me and I could feel his penis against me. Sometimes I tried to run but he would grab me. It's by the grace of God that he never got to a place where he could penetrate me. But anything that you can imagine a man would do in order to have sex with a woman; he attempted those things with me.
Interviewer: Do you have knowledge that he penetrated other boys?
Interviewer: The ones he penetrated, were they boys? Were they children? What age were they at the time?
Jean-Sacra: By the time they turned 16, 17, or 18, he would have certainly already had his way with them. Only God could have protected them from being sexually assaulted by him.
Interviewer: He never tried to molest younger boys?
Jean-Baptiste (interjects): He never explained the things that he would do. But you knew by his actions what he was trying to do. He would pinch your nipples, press himself against you, and touch your genitals. And that's when you realized what his intentions were. Yes, just like Sean says. If you weren't old enough for him, we would prep you by giving you candy, and being nice to you.
Interviewer: Do you know other youths that were victimized?
Jean-Baptiste: Yes, I know many young men that were victimized, because I was in the Saint Joseph House for boys as well. They picked me up from the Welcome house too. I came to the Saint Joseph House from the Welcome House. I came in a group of 6, me and 5 others. One was older than me. His name was Maya. Maya became a director at the house. When I first arrived there, two or three days after I arrived, I was sleeping. While I was sleeping a guy named Robert, that used to be abused by Geilenfeld, he became an abuser too. While I was sleeping, Robert came to my room and asked me to take my pants down. If it weren't for the grace of God and prayer he would have penetrated me. I told him I was sick with a stomachache, so I cannot do this. When I talked to him and explained that I was sick, he left me alone. When he left me he went to Maya. There was a lady there named Carol. In the morning Carol went to wake Maya, and I guess Maya used to sleep naked. When Carol woke him she came to find that Maya had all kinds of white stuff in his butt. I was in the same room with Maya, so I lived through this moment.
Interviewer: The person that did this was Robert?
Jean-Baptiste: Yes. Robert lives in England now. Geilenfeld was aware of Robert did. But he didn't have a problem with it. In the morning, Geilenfeld gave Maya a croissant to keep him from complaining. At that time Maya was 13 or 14 years old. After that happened, Maya became one of the biggest directors at Geilenfeld's house, Wings of Hope.
Interviewer: So once you joined the religion, you get promoted?
Jean-Baptiste: Yes. Geilenfeld, would say we have to make sacrifices. If we want to travel, if we want promotions, we have to make sacrifices. If you want nice tennis shoes, nice clothing, you have to make sacrifices. He always said I can make you guys little kings.
Interviewer: Are there other children or young men that claim to be victims of Michael Geilenfeld?
Jean-Baptiste: Me, I know other youth that were victims, and I had a brother that lived in the same room as me. His name is Michelet Lormitus. And there was another guy named Jean Charles. Jean Charles was from Cap-Haitien, but he was living in Michael's house (Wings of Hope). At that time we were living in Delmas 83. Jean Charles put his penis in Michelet's mouth. Michelet complained to Geilenfeld. Geilenfeld pacified him by feeding him a patty. It was at that time I realized what kind of house I was living in. I spent a few months observing the activities of the house. My goal was to survive. They used to send us out into the streets to sell patties. We were supposed to bring the money back. We sold each patty for [.50] profit. They told us if you didn't bring back the money, you would have to sleep on the street. Those were the miserable conditions that I lived under in that house. What time I came back and began to eat before I paid the patty money. Geilenfeld came to me and asked for the money, and they asked me to leave. They sent the dog after me, and forced me out. The gatekeeper, Mr. Sunday, let me back in the house. When Geilenfeld found that he had let me back in the house he demanded that he send me back out. Geilenfeld told me that if I didn't leave he would send the dog after me again. I told Geilenfeld that if he sent the dog after me, that I would kick the dog.
Interviewer: How many houses do they own?
Jean-Sacra: There are 3 orphanages. Saint Joseph, Wings of Hope, and Trinity House. Before the Trinity House they had the house at Delmas 83 (Wings of Hope) and Saint Joseph.
Interviewer: Okay, so Jean-Sacra—your nickname is Serge, right?
Jean-Sacra: Yes, my nickname was Serge. They gave me that name.
Interviewer: These 3 houses, what do they do at each home?
Jean-Sacra: The first house is the Saint Joseph house. It was established in 1984 or 1985. At that time they were taking kids from the Welcome House and bringing them to the Saint Joseph House. In 1993, things began to get more difficult. There was no money coming in, political problems, President Aristide was exiled. There was an embargo. So at that time, Geilenfeld didn't know what to do to raise money. At that time Wings of Hope was located in an area called Pelerin. That home was originally the place where they took care of disabled orphans. There were some French people that supported this orphanage, but the Embargo prevented money from coming in. The donors stopped giving money because they weren't able to see what was going on at the orphanage. At that time, myself and another guy named Sedano volunteered to go to that orphanage and take care of the disabled children. Sedano and I decided to help care for the kids until they could find money to take care of the children. In 1995, we went on a tour of the United States. We went to Detroit and Chicago. When we arrived to Detroit, that's when the scandal truly began. There were 3 men, Gilbert, Maxo, and Jethro. Two of them played the drums, and the other was a dancer. Gilbert was one of the ones that they used to have sex with. All 3 of them were already 18 (or older) at that time.
Interviewer: Did they start having sex with them when they were 18?
Jean-Sacra: No, they had sex with them before they were 18, but at the time that we were in the U.S. they were all either 18 or older. At the time, I wasn't 18 yet. They called me, and had a meeting with me. There was another guy named Benoit. At the time his name wasn't Benoit, it was Lafelio Lupe. We told Gilbert at the meeting that we know that Geilenfeld has had sex with you. We understand that we're trying to raise money on this tour for the disabled kids, but we don't even know if the money will actually benefit those children. Even if it does, we can't afford to stay in these conditions, and allow this man to sexually abuse us.
Interviewer: Were any of the disable kids there with you?
Jean-Sacra: No, they weren't there, but the tour was to raise money for them. At the time, we had raised $90,000. When we arrived in Chicago—when we left Chicago and arrived in Detroit we had raised more money. I don't remember how much, but the people that were in Detroit, they kept the money for us. So when we arrived there, we agreed amongst us that we wouldn't allow this man to continue to abuse children any longer. We have to let the people here know what's happening in Haiti. They see us here, we can't allow them to think that we're just fine. It can't continue. Then, they called some professors at Detroit Michigan University—wait, that's not what it was called…Saint Mary's University. Something like that. It was in Detroit. So anyway, we spoke to them and they called the police. I gave my testimony and so did others. The ugliest thing that I can never get out of my mind is that they sent a doctor to examine each of us,
Interviewer: With his fingers?
Jean-Sacra: With his fingers, to see if what we were saying was true. Why did we have to go through this process—for a man to penetrate his finger into my anus? I didn't know this doctor. I have a letter written by Benoit—that they forced Benoit to write, that we lied.
Jean-Baptiste: They paid Benoit.
Jean-Sacra: He signed for me. I never signed the letter.
Interviewer: Which one was Benoit?
Jean-Sacra: Benoit, who was Lafelio Lupe. He was with me in 1995—1992. He changed his name to Benoit Floristal.
Interviewer: He was someone that was also abused?
Jean-Sacra: Yes he was in it too.
Interviewer: Was Benoit Haitian?
Jean-Sacra: Yes he's Haitian.
Jean-Baptiste: Then he became a big director. He did what he was asked to do. Those are the conditions. He played his role, and he was compensated. He was given power. And once they realize they can no longer abuse you, they bring in someone new. They replaced Benoit with a new guy.
Jean-Sacra: Now he's on retreat, and he still earns money from them.
Interviewer: Okay, so you guys have a list. Emile Milien—
Jean-Sacra: Emile Milien is a Haitian. He's one of the guys that was with him. One of the first homeless children.
Interviewer: (Reading from the list) There's also DeGrand?
Jean-Baptiste: Yes, DeGrand. He was a small one in the house whose brother was a victim. He used to ask for money to go visit his family. So he knew he had his brother on the inside, he was a victim. He knew if he had a problem his brother would support him. Like Jean-Sacra said, another person came and abused him. They tried to force him to participate in the dance troupe. He used the dancing to support DeGrand, but then he passed away.
Interviewer: Milien died?
Both: No, Dieuliphet died. Dieuliphet was DeGrand's brother.
Interviewer: What about Emile Milien? Were they all in the dance troupe?
Jean-Sacra: No, Emile didn't dance. But they started the project with Emile.
Both: Emile, Marc, Jean-Julme (Translator : Other names I can't understand because they're speaking at the same time, but last name the mention is another man named Marc).
Jean-Sacra: Marc was a professor. Marc was a professor studying law. He had some difficulty paying for school, he also had difficulty paying for food. He had a woman living with him. All these difficulties occurred all at once for him. So he began to ask us how he could get a job from the foreigner Geilenfeld? We saw that he was a professor. He was competent. He used to help us with our Math, French, History, etc. So we told the foreigner Geilenfeld. At the time we had another person that use to tutor us, who wasn't very cordial, and wasn't very good. So we said to the foreigner Geilenfeld, here's this guy, why don't we have him tutor us? So, he tutored us until he also joined Geilenfeld.
Interviewer: So he betrayed you?
Interviewer: So you can say that he sought accomplices to aid in the things he did to the young people that were in the dance troupe at the Saint Joseph House. He also had a John Duarte? Another foreign person?
Jean-Baptiste: Yes, John Duarte.
Interviewer: John Duarte was a Canadian right? He was convicted in his country, Canada, for pedophilic activities against haitian children? Who else did he has with him? He had Emile Milien, Marc Louis, John Liacos. He was also white?
Jean-Baptiste: Yes, he was also with him. [John] used to support him. He was actually the one that persuaded us to go on national television?
Interviewer: So he didn't agree with what was happening?
Jean-Baptiste: He pushed us away. He wanted us as children to defend him?
Interviewer: Oh because there were two groups?
Both: Yes, there were two groups.
Jean-Baptiste: There was the 83 group and—
Interviewer: And the 83 group, they began to protest?
Jean-Baptiste: No, the 91 group protested against him.
Jean-Baptiste: For the same homosexual abuse of children.
Interviewer: And "he" is who?
Jean-Baptiste: Michael Geilenfeld. They stood up to Michael Geilenfeld, who was having sex with the children in the home. There were also some strangers in the house that would support the children in difficult moments. What kept us from fighting…now I see it was our fault.
Interviewer: So there was a group of the children—
Jean-Baptiste: Yes, there were some of us that were very young, and we didn't understand. Even when they were explaining to us we didn't see it. What we saw was our food, clothes, shoes, things. So, the 91 group rose up against him. There were a few people in 91 that came down to 83 to stand with him. When they couldn't find enough signatures they included his name.
Jean-Sacra: But he wasn't even there.
Jean-Baptiste: He wasn't even in the country. He was in the states with the dance group.
Interviewer: So he already fled?
Jean-Baptiste: That's when John approached me to support him. He said you have to come. If you don't the others will be in trouble. He said the white man had fled, and he needed us to prove—
Interviewer: That it wasn't true. So John, pitted you all against each other. What year was this?
Jean-Sacra: 1990 or 1991
Interviewer: So the victims began to revolt in 1990/1991. So those of you that were young. You said you were about 8 at that time?
Jean-Sacra: 8 or 9 years old.
Interviewer: So those of you that were young at that time, when John asked for you to support Michael Geilenfeld, you all became his victims as well.
Jean-Baptiste: So we saw ourselves becoming victims again, and we were forced to open our eyes.
Interviewer: How old are you now?
Jean-Baptiste: I'm 34.
Interviewer: And how old were you when you were there?
Jean-Baptiste: I was 8 years old when I first arrived, and I left when I was 15. Because I started to see how they were mistreating us. The way they treated Michelet motivated me to leave, and I encouraged him to leave with me. I didn't know where we would go, but I knew we couldn't stay here.
Interviewer: Where is Michelet now?
Jean-Baptiste: He was with us for a long time fighting to change things there. Eventually he saw that things wouldn't change, so I don't know where he is now.
Interviewer: But if he knew that there was renewed effort to bring justice he would be on your side?
Jean-Baptiste: Do you have his email, do you know how to reach him?
Jean-Sacra: Yes, we have his contact information.
Interviewer: You mentioned to me that there were two young men that nearly killed themselves as a result of this situation.
Jean-Sacra: Yes, Marc Louis was one of the boys that was with me when we went to the American embassy to complain of the abuse. Not the embassy, the consulate. Before he was in Haiti, he was there. He became very traumatized by what happened and I think he drank a half gallon of Clorox. They took him to the hospital, and he was saved.
Interviewer: While you all were still in the US?
Jean-Sacra: Yes, in the US. Let me explain exactly. There was Marc, Emile, Fednor, Robert, another guy his name was…
Jean-Baptiste: Jean Dume
Jean-Sacra: Jean Dume
Jean-Sacra: Yes, Arnold, but we'll put him to the side. I'm talking about the main guys that left because they couldn't bear what was happening anymore. They started slapping him, punching him (Marc Louis?).
Interviewer: Oh, they started beating him?
Jean-Sacra: Yes, they beat him. And there was another one. His name was Jeffor [Jeff Basile]. Jeffor would slam his head into the TV right in front of me.
Interviewer: Who? The white man?
[Jeffor would slam Geilenfeld's head in to the TV]
Jean-Sacra: Yes. Jeffor would say to him, "I'm a man. I can't be a man and allow you to play with my mind and convince me I'm a woman." He would grabbed him just like this, and slammed his head into the TV. So then Geilenfeld didn't know what to do with him. Finally he decided he needed to find a way to get rid of these guys. But it was these guys, one by one, that didn't return anymore. The ones that began to present a problem for him, like Emile, he would get rid of them. So he found a way to get rid of Emile.
[It sounds like Geilenfeld would send kids like Emile to the US to silence them]
Interviewer: So those guys are over there, they could be a solid group for the fight.
Interviewer: Because, I can put them in touch with someone who can help them fight.
Jean-Baptiste: But those guys won't fight for us.
Interviewer: No, I mean that we can help the cause from two sides. I can put the guys over there in touch with a white person I know, who helped me with the Douglas [Perlitz] case. He can help them fight from there, and the three of us can lead the battle from here.
[One of them]: Yes
Interviewer: You understand? So these 2 battles will give our case more power. Because when this spreads—this interview that we're doing here will have consequences. When this spreads, there will be a battle over there and over here. There will be those that support [Geilenfeld]. Because when I see what he has done already, he was with the Brotherhood of Mother Teresa. It seems he has a cover—
Jean-Baptiste: Yes, the brotherhood made him leave because they became aware of the things that he was doing. That's why he created his own institution so he could continue—
Interviewer: You're speaking of Geilenfeld?
Jean-Baptiste: Yes, Michael Geilenfeld. He was part of the brotherhood, but when they saw him abusing young boys they put him out. He was with the brotherhood of Mother Teresa, but they removed him. That's when he started his own institution so he could continue to do the things we've told you.
Interviewer: Okay. So now, you guys identified a group of men that live in the U.S. that are also victims. The project still exists, correct?
Interviewer: So do you know any children that live in the houses now that are victims?
Jean-Sacra: Well, I know one named Bill Nathan (to Jean-Baptiste) What was he called before? Everyone always have different names…
Jean-Baptiste: Bill Obas
Jean-Sacra: Bill Obas
Interviewer: (Laughing) That's how it is in Cap Haitian too. The guys have a street name, a proper name, sometimes their artist name.
Jean-Sacra: Well Bill, man, he has suffered quite a bit there. There's also Walnès Canga. As far as I can tell he's in the same movement…
Interviewer: So when you say he's in the same movement, you mean that he's abusing people too?
Jean-Sacra: No, he's a victim.
Interviewer: Oh he's a victim too. If you say he's in the same movement that sounds like you're saying he's abusing people too, no?
Jean-Sacra: No, no. He's a victim.
Jean-Sacra: They bought some land for a guy and built him a house. His name was Roland. Roland had a young child. A boy. He was Geilenfeld's close friend. They were both always in his room together. I was told that the 3 of them sleep in a hotel together. Meaning, the small boy, Roland, and Michael Geilenfeld.
Interviewer: And where do these kids come from? Populated cities?
Jean-Sacra: Yes, well there was one from Cite Soleil. All the kids from Cite Soleil seem to rebel. From what I've seen, it seems they never stay. You can try to force them to do things, but they think they already know how to do it. Probably because there's so much rebellion where they come from…
Interviewer: No, I'm not asking which kids comply with the abuse. I'm asking where they come from.
Jean-Sacra: Oh, Cite Soleil, Cap Haitian, Jeremie, Jacmel—
Interviewer: So the popular cities.
Jean-Baptiste: Also, I think Bien-Etre Social Institute Social [a type of welfare program of the State] also sends kids to the program.
Interviewer: So Bien-Etre Social also sends kids to the program?
Interviewer: And they've never filed a case on this?
Jean-Baptiste: No, never. They can't do anything for you.
Interviewer: Ok, so we'll come back to this. Let's go back to where the kids are coming from. So popular cities and provinces, correct? These areas tend to be areas with a lot of problems.
Interviewer: So Sean…You have a lot of names too Jean-Sacra, Sean, Lubin, Serge. I guess I should call you Serge, so people don't think I'm talking about Candidate—(he starts laughing)
Jean-Sacra: Candidate Sean (He laughs). So, there was a time when I was in charge of handling Bien-Etre Social Institute and the kids coming into the house. I was the liaison between Bien-Etre Social and the Saint Joseph House.
Interviewer: Oh, right, because you said before that you were in the Welcome Home.
Jean-Sacra: Yes, I was, and I knew Mrs. LeJean who was down there, and Paula who was a director. She isn't anymore.
Interviewer: Paula worked at the social office?
Jean-Sacra: She was a director.
Interviewer: Do you know her last name?
Jean-Sacra: I don't remember.
Jean-Baptiste: Paula Theybulle (sp.)
Interviewer: Paula Theybulle, ok.
Jean-Sacra: Ok, she was there too. I worked with Mrs. LeJean. I had a little office there. It was a big deal.
Interviewer: You had your own office?
Jean-Sacra: Yeah, it was a big deal. I wasn't working for the social office, I was working for Michael Geilenfeld, and they didn't mind because the money was coming in.
Interviewer: Because of Geilenfeld's influence.
Jean-Sacra: Yes. So, I was responsible for those functions. I registered the children, handled the paperwork, and then the children would be a part of the program. I don't think Bien-Etre Social did their job, really. Because the last time I was there, I went there 3 or 4 times, the lady told me not to tell anyone about this situation.
Interviewer: What situation?
Jean-Sacra: The sexual abuse of the children by Michael Gielenfeld. She admitted it. She told me, "Serge, I've heard this for a long time. I'm tired of hearing the same thing over and over again, but this man will not stop". I told her, "Well you know why". Then she said, "Serge, you know how things are in this country…Have you spoken to others about this?" I said, "No, I've only spoken with you. You're responsible for me. You're the one that brought me up here. You signed the papers, so I you're the one I should talk to if I need to talk" So then, we talked more—you know I was young at that time, so she couldn't just tell me to leave. She talked and talked and talked to me—
Interviewer: (Interrupts) So you felt like she was getting tired of you?
Jean-Sacra: She was tired. She told me this business could cause my death, and I shouldn't discuss it with others.
Interviewer: So she warned you not to talk about it.
Jean-Sacra: Yes. She said "money makes dogs dance", or something like that… [Some kind of Haitian proverb]
Interviewer: Money makes dogs dance?
Interviewer: (Laughs) And who's the dog, her?
Jean-Sacra: I don't know. Maybe she meant that one of the people inside (IBERS - Bien-Etre Social) is the dog. Well, I guess she was the dog too, because very often when the situation was discussed too much she would give visits upstairs.
Interviewer: She never made any reports?
Jean-Sacra: Nothing. No reports were ever made.
Interviewer: And who else discussed the situation, other than you? Who did she tell you discussed it?
Jean-Sacra: She never confirmed with me who.
Interviewer: But that means you weren't the only one discussing it.
Jean-Sacra: It wasn't just me.
Jean-Baptiste: So this situation… There were nights, if you didn't know and you went into the areas where the houses were located, Delmas 91, or Wings, or Trinity—
Interviewer: (Interrupts) Where was Wings?
Jean-Baptiste: In Jacmel. When you go to those places, my brother, the moment you enter those places, you can hear the people whisper… "there are the homosexuals, there are the homosexuals, a homosexual team". It's like that. You hear them saying that. They don't agree with homosexuals here….
Interviewer: Can you guys take me to see these things?
Jean-Baptiste: That's not a problem.
Interviewer: Would it take long…by car?
Jean-Sacra: Not a problem.
Interviewer: I would just look around and take some photographs.
Jean-Sacra: No, not a problem.
Interviewer: But what if they say you can't come in?
Jean-Sacra: They can say I can't come in, but I'll get in.
Jean-Sacra: Well I have a new job as a journalist now, so if they tell me I can't come in, it's not a problem…
Interviewer: Yeah, you did say that before. You're working as a journalist now?
Jean-Sacra: I work for CDC and ZDF
Interviewer: ZDF is German right?
Jean-Sacra: Yes. Sometimes I also work for CNN. I work for many different companies
Interviewer: So you're freelance?
Interviewer: So, the people at the social office heard all these things and they never did anything? In fact, they're still sending kids from the Welcome Home to Saint-Joseph?
Jean-Sacra: Well the Welcome Home doesn't really exist anymore.
Interviewer: Did these things happen at the Welcome Home?
Jean-Sacra: The homosexuality? It existed, but minimally.
Interviewer: But not the same way?
Both: It wasn't the same.
Interviewer: So when you say it wasn't the same, was it the people that were in charge?
Jean-Sacra: The people that were in charge might have tried something with those that they thought were weak, but most of the kids were from the streets or orphans. It used to be that IBERS- Institut Bien-Etre Social would find wayward children on the streets, pick them up, and take them to the Welcome Home.
Interviewer: So basically we can conclude that the state ruined IBERS- Institut Bien-Etre Social, and now IBERS- Institut Bien-Etre Social delivers children to Michael Geilenfeld who abuses them. And now with the aftermath of the earthquake, there are many children that have lost their parents. It's a grave situation.
Jean-Sacra: Oh yeah. It's an advantage for people who own these types of institutions. They make more money from the children, they abuse them, and the poor state, that can't do anything…that can't counteract any of these things happening in our country. It's just more misery for the children. It's an advantage for them to do whatever they want.
Interviewer: Especially for the kids that live in popular cities.
Jean-Sacra: There was one little partner called Mackendy. I don't know if you remember him (to Jean-Baptiste). They abused him. After that, I learned. I was small. They kicked him out. He was a young child. They kicked him out because he got hold of a gun, and was plotting to kill Michael Geilenfeld. So with the gun, he used it to rob people on the streets. He was shot dead.
Interviewer: So if I'm understanding this correctly, this kind of exploitation has a way of trapping the children.
Jean-Sacra: It's a psychological and mental prison for the children. For me sometimes it made me reclusive. I didn't want to be around people, especially men. But you're my brother in God.
Interviewer: I see this hurts you a lot. I see that speaking of your friend that was killed brings tears to your eyes.
Jean-Baptiste: Let me tell you… Even poison. If Geilenfeld learned that you were discussing this with others or with another white, he would pay someone to poison you.
Jean-Sacra: We had another dear friend of ours. He was a joker. He made us laugh. They killed him. Geilenfeld took one of the kids upstairs, and James [Brown] spoke of it, and somehow it reached all the way up to a big church in Raleigh, NC, that was a huge supporter. So the church called Geilenfeld and questioned him. So James, who caused this, not only did he tell them, he also told a friend of mine ….
Jean-Sacra: … So then, he called them and another lady who was married to a guy who worked as security of hight level of State officer. So, he began to discuss the situation. At that point it really began to spread. People became aware. [Geilenfeld] began to realize that he would lose a lot of money so this is what he did. That night I participated in a dance performance on the roof of the home. There were a lot of people there. When the performance was over we all held hands to sing together and celebrate, then break everything down and wrap up the party. It was at that moment that James went to hold Michael's hand. Michael snatched his hand away. I was looking on from a far, and I could see him pull his hand away. It was odd because James was a guy who had always been in Michael's good graces. Anything Michael needed, James would give to him. The secret was out. When the secret was out, James fell to the floor and cried like a baby. He said to Michael, "I'll never say it again. I'll never do it again." Michael responded, "You don't have to do anything. What's done is done." Then he turned and walked away. After that two weeks had passed. In the final week before he died Michael returned to being a good friend to him. So then he went up to Fermathe (a small town) where he does security. He gave him some juice earlier that day. He was renting a house from a friend of mine—
Interviewer: (Interrupts) Juice?
Jean-Sacra: Yes, Juice. He was renting a house from a friend of mine. The next morning he wasn't feeling well. My friend asked him, "James, what's wrong?" He said, "My stomach feels like there are things crawling inside. I feel bad." My friend asked, "What did you drink?" "Juice." "Where?" "Fermathe."
Interviewer: (Confused) So James did security at the house?
Jean-Sacra: Yes. So anyway, before that they made James a director. He can't read. He can't write. Listen now. He couldn't read and he couldn't write. He couldn't even write his own name, and he's the director of an institution. He had the job for a week then he died.
Interviewer: He died?
Jean-Sacra: He died by poison. He was bloated. His feet were bloated.
Interviewer: So this happened a week after he spoke?
Jean-Sacra: Yes, one (1) week after he spoke—no, two (2) weeks after he spoke. The first week was like hell for him, but then the second week they were friends again. That's when he died. So when he was about to die, he came to St. Jospeh's. I was there—
Jean-Baptiste: Inside St. Joseph's
Jean-Sacra: Inside St. Joseph's. I was there that night. He confronted Michael and he said, "It's for you that I'm dying Michael. I'm dying for you. [That's the literal translation but I think what he's saying is I'm dying BECAUSE of you]" Michael heard him. Because I was there, and because his wife was there, and there was security there—
Interviewer: (Interrupts) He has a wife?
Jean-Sacra: He had a woman that he was living with.
Jean-Baptiste: James' wife.
Interviewer: Oh, James' wife, not Michael's wife.
Jean-Baptiste: The guys were [Geilenfeld]'s wife.
Jean-Sacra: Yes, the guys were [Geilenfeld]'s wife. So anyway, since James' wife was there, I was there, security was there he had to write something to discredit what James was saying. He said James was dying for him because James loved him.
Interviewer: So he wrote this?
Jean-Sacra: Yes, he wrote it. I have it somewhere. I have it. He wrote it upon his death to give to the board.
Interviewer: Are you guys not afraid? To be sharing these things?
Jean-Sacra: Me? Let me tell you something. For me it's really hard. My faith isn't in humans. My faith is only in God. I'm on this Earth, not by the grace of any human. I was born through a human, but God will decide if on the day that I die, will I continue to live. And I don't believe it will be a bad thing when I go. It's better this way, because I have to live. I have to live again.
Jean-Baptiste: For me… If I tell you this, you might think it's a lie, but I'm the person that Michael is most afraid of. So, he might be able to see him [assuming he means Jean-Sacra] in the streets and talk to him, but he wouldn't be able to do that with me. Because they know I'm not afraid of anything. What I have to do or say I will do it in front of them.
Interviewer: So are you guys determined? This is a huge fight that—(he doesn't finish his thought) I know that the fight has already been difficult. I've noticed that this discussion has been very difficult for you Serge. Tears have come to your eyes a couple times, especially when we've talked about the people who have died. I can tell you that though this may be dangerous, I'm not afraid. This will be a battle, but you can count on me. Just like I told the boys in Cap Haitian they could count on me and we were successful. We can only win this battle with intelligence and tactics and with your knowledge. Understand?
Interviewer: So the way you've described this to me, it sounds like he has a large Mafia with him.
One of them: Yes
Interviewer: He seems to be very well connected in the new government.
Jean-Sacra: There was something else he did… We went to the U.S. to dance to raise money for some land in Vivi Michel (a neighborhood in the capital of Haiti). He (Jean-Baptiste) and I lived on the land. There was another friend of ours named Arnold who also lived on the land. Arnold is deceased.
Jean-Baptiste: Everyone says Arnold died of AIDS that he contracted from Michael, but Michael takes medication that keeps him alive. That's why I can't stand to see this continue. Everyone we talk to tells us they'll do this and they'll do that, but nothing ever happens. All these children are getting sick, but he takes medication. He's spreading the disease, but no one understands what's really happening.
Jean-Sacra: Arnold vomited and experienced diarrhea for one week. When I went down to explain what happened to him, the state was with him (Geilenfeld). When he was getting ready to kick us out, he told us he had power now to deal with us.
Interviewer: When did he kick you out?
Jean-Sacra: In 2006. He kicked us out from land that he acquired through our sweat and hard work. That land was there to build another orphanage and a clinic for the kids.
Interviewer: So the money you made—
Jean-Baptiste: The money we made dancing we took it and bought a huge piece of land in Vivi Michel. The land was to be used for another orphanage and a clinic. So like Jean-Sacra told you, those of us that were on the land…he paid off the state to get us off the land. So we were forced to take the matter to a lawyer, to try to find some justice. But then the lawyer he took money—
Jean-Sacra: (Interrupts) He took the little car…
Jean-Baptiste: He took the little car from him [Geilenfeld?] and then he left us.
Jean-Sacra: Our lawyers name was Evel Fanfan. I worked with him and other journalists on other jobs before, but come to find out he was scamming many people. The last day they came to seize our land, I called the lawyer, but he was nowhere to be found.
Interviewer: Oh, they came to take the land?
Jean-Sacra: Oh? (Sarcastically)
Interviewer: So he just turned his phone off.
Jean-Sacra: No, he had his phone, but when I called he didn't answer. He made off with $21,000.
Interviewer: From the white man? (Geilenfeld)
Jean-Sacra: No, from us.
Interviewer: Oh? (Shocked) Where did you get that much money?
Jean-Sacra: At that time I had a very good job. At that time I was interpreting with—
Jean-Baptiste: [Unintelligible - Speaking at the same time that Jean-Sacra is speaking]—they put all our stuff on the streets.
Interviewer: Oh, they put your stuff on the streets?
Jean-Baptiste: They paid like 18 armed men to come and take all our belongings and put them on the street. All our stuff on the street… So we had nowhere to go. No money. The lawyer already has our money. And he's not the only lawyer that did this to us…
Jean-Sacra: Ever since (President) Preval took power...And I think there are certain people in the palace, big lawyers, that's he's paid off too.
Interviewer: So he has plenty of cash at hand.
Jean-Sacra: He's full of money. He made plans to get 8 million US dollars to rebuild the 3 homes. But now he's saying he can only get 6 million. He already has 2 million.
Interviewer: So because of this the story has never reached over there (the US).
Jean-Sacra: The story? It's gone and come back, gone and come back, but I don't understand why he can't fall. I won't tell a false story. I won't tell lies about him.
Interviewer: That's actually something I was going to ask. Do you worry that he can tell people that you guys are saying these things because you have a personal problem with him or economic problems?
Jean-Sacra: For me… I don't know about him… Well actually, I can't say that I don't know about him, because we grew up in the same situation—
Interviewer: You're talking about Destin
Jean-Sacra: Yes, Destin. Economic problems aren't a big deal. Even when we're broke we have opportunities. I have opportunities. I'm working. When I'm not doing freelance, I work in energy as an Aerobics Instructor. Whatever I get into, I get into it. Thank God.
Jean-Sacra: Energy Club in Petion-ville.
Interviewer: Oh for dancing?
Jean-Sacra: Yes, I've been doing it for 5 years. It keeps the body strong
Interviewer: Good exercise.
Jean-Sacra: Yes. It's not a money situation. For me, if they convict him they can give me my money, and if they were to offer any money for damages, they can give that to the children in the homes. The money isn't a problem at all. The problem is him abusing the children. Don't ask God if he's sick, and he's spreading it to them. But these children, they're God children too. If you abuse a child like that, they'll keep that with them, and then they'll go and abuse another. I've seen it right before my eyes already. Why do we need to say it again? Why are we waiting for it to be said again?
Jean-Baptiste: To me it's like he has his own school. A school to teach people how to abuse others. When he takes the older children and gives them power, he employs them, He mistreats them, then that's what they have to do to others. It's like he always says, "If you don't work, we won't be able to give you any aid in this house. It's people that work, people that make sacrifices, that we will in turn make sacrifices for."
Interviewer: What kind of sacrifices?
Jean-Baptiste: To allow him to do things to you. So you can become a little king.
Jean-Sacra: That's what he says. "I can make you a little king." If you see the "Little Kings" there, they have their own separate rooms apart from everyone else. TV in their rooms. Inverters in their rooms (for clean water).
Jean-Baptiste: If you go out and bring back culligan (water), you worked hard and carried it all back, you might get a big slap across the ear. You're a thief. You can't do that. Because you won't allow—
Interviewer: (Interrupts) They can't drink treated water?
Jean-Sacra: There were a bunch of kids, I think 2 years ago… Or was it 1 year? Before the earthquake... So 2 years. No wait, 1 year. 2 years.
[They go back and forth for a while on whether it's 1 year ago or 2, then they finally agree it's 2.]
Jean-Sacra: (continued) the children were drinking dirty water from the basin, and they began to get sick and grow boils on their skin. The only ones that didn't get sick were the ones that had access to the treated water. They were the only ones that didn't have little boils on their skin. And how do you say it in English? Scabies. (he explains what Scabies is to them) The kids started to come down with this sickness. Not all the kids had access to treated water. When I was there, what they call treated water—
[Evidently Destin is doing something distracting in the background]
Interviewer: Destin, Destin. Yes, as you were saying (to Jean-Sacra).
Jean-Sacra: Yes, the children that are living there, not all of them have access to treated water. When I was there, I didn't have access to treated water. Basically I would just wait and steal some from the refrigerator. They said that was the visitor's water. The visitor's and me, aren't we the same?
Interviewer: So gentlemen, in conclusion, what are you waiting to see?
Jean-Baptiste: For me, I'm just waiting on God, because he's the only one that can offer a solution to this…because we've tried hard already, but we're taking one last chance together with you. We've done this interview, but we don't know if there will truly—(he changes thoughts) we're not asking to destroy his institution, but we have to find other victims. We need to find out if we will continue to be victims or if there will be a change.
Interviewer: So you don't want to see the institution destroyed, you would prefer a reorganization of the institution?
Jean-Baptiste: Yes, I would like to see reorganization, but he can't be a part of it at all. He has to answer to justice, but he can't be integrated in these kinds of things anymore.
Interviewer: And what about you, Serge?
Jean-Sacra: I'll say it again, justice. If we get reparations, thank you God. But I'm truly not interested in that. I can't go anywhere with that. But justice, it will bring me much joy to see him stand before a judge…in Haiti. Well, if it can't happen here, because I see that things are very difficult here… Money makes dogs dance, like the IBERS' people told me.
Interviewer: What was that lady's name again?
Jean-Sacra: Mrs. LeJean.
Interviewer: You don't remember her first name?
Jean-Sacra: I don't remember, but I can look it up. (continues) …just like she said, if money makes little black dogs dance, go send it to the white dogs. Maybe they'll dance better there. [No idea what that means] But for me, I want to see him pay for all the people he hurt. There must be justice for what he's done to the children. And he can't be here any longer to continue to do the things he's done. I'm sure there's someone more competent that can do a better job.
Interviewer: Are you guys aware of any other orphanages that operate this way other than his 3 houses?
Jean-Sacra: There was another one run by a guy named Mike Brewer. The embassy asked me about him because they're after him too. I recognize him, but he's more elusive. Once people realize he's in a neighborhood he leaves.
Interviewer: So he doesn't run anymore projects?
Jean-Baptiste: Yes, he still runs projects.
Interviewer: He does?
Interviewer: Where are they located?
Jean-Baptiste: In Petion-ville. Like all the small ones in Petion-ville. He actually came in stayed in an area pretty close to where I live. He knows I know him. He saw me and he ran away.
Interviewer: His name is Mike Brewer?
Both: Mike Brook.
Interviewer: Michael Brewer?
Jean-Baptiste: Yes, he went after any kids he saw in the streets. That's how you know his roots were based in Geilenfeld's organization.
Interviewer: Oh, so he was with Geilenfeld as well?
Interviewer: So it seems Geilenfeld's operation has a huge niche.
Jean-Sacra: There was another guy named Phillip Morris. Phillip Morris—
Interviewer: (Interrupts) Here in Haiti?
Jean-Sacra: Yes, he would come to Haiti. He's married to a Haitian. A boy.
Jean-Baptiste: Listen carefully now. A boy who lived nearby one of Geilenfeld's homes.
Interviewer: They couldn't have been married. They're not married.
Jean-Baptiste: They're married.
Interviewer: Well they lived together.
Jean-Baptiste: Okay, they lived together.
Jean-Sacra: But the marriage was official in England. He bought 2 cars, one for the boy and his mother. He also bought them a house. I think they have 2 houses here.
Interviewer: Is he involved inactivity with children as well.
Jean-Baptiste: He has an orphanage too.
Interviewer: A big orphanage?
Jean-Baptiste: Yes, Bonnie told me. Bonnie said some people he knows crossed paths with him, and he has an orphanage here too.
Jean-Sacra: He's been here a long time.
Jean-Baptiste: These guys pretend to be pastors. They pretend to be here to spread the word of God, but that's how they find you, and do what they want to do. These men are very dangerous. All these guys were telling you about…I can't tell you about other institutions, but the ones we've told you about, they're all tied to Michael Geilenfeld.
Interviewer: Michael Brewer—
Jean-Baptiste: Phillip Morris… These guys are all students of Michael Geilenfeld.
Jean-Sacra: Before they take the field, they go to him. They receive a lot of instruction from him on how to direct the orphanages. I was the one that Geilenfeld asked to keep Michael Brewer from returning to the house.
Interviewer: He kicked him out?
Jean-Sacra: He said he didn't want him returning to the home ever again. I actually put him out. Brewer went to jail here.
Jean-Sacra: Yes. They beat him. Brewer went to a penitentiary. They released him. The guys smashed his head with sticks.
Jean-Baptiste: There's another guy. His name is Tony. Another major player. Tony experienced similar treatment. His wife was handicapped (from an attack?). They got a gold of him, and chased him out.
Jean-Sacra: He fled to the Dominican Republic, and from there he went back to the United States. He was from the same home as Michael Geilenfeld.
Interviewer: So the Haitian Police chased him out?
Jean-Sacra: Yes. I've actually been to Tony's house in the United States.
Interviewer: So it seems it might be impossible to catch all these guys. I mean, obviously we're going to start with your case—
Jean-Baptiste: The day that God gives me power, all these people that have committed these crimes—even if you are unsuccessful, or the other people you're recruiting to help are unsuccessful—when I finally have that authorization I will get every single one of them.
Interviewer: I will get it done. You don't have to worry. I will make it happen.
Jean-Baptiste: I'll pray for God to give you strength.
Interviewer: We worked on a case in Cap-Haitien that went very well. We fought for 3 years. I guess I didn't tell you guys about the Douglas situation? It took us 3 years. So it will be difficult. Especially given how big and powerful he is. It will require a lot of mobilization, but that's why I tell you we have to mobilize the other guys. I have people that helped my fight on the Douglas situation. I will mobilize them too. We will form an alliance with other whites that were there and saw the things that happened and denounced them too. We will form a true and solid team there meanwhile we will also continue to fight here.
Interviewer: So have you guys taken this story to the press? Have you brought it to the radio?
Jean-Baptiste: Yes, we did go to the press. We mentioned that we had a lawyer. The lawyer put us in touch with a radio host on Nouvelle Generation (New Generation), but none of these people are serious.
Jean-Sacra: Like Geneus. He was trying to make money off Geilenfeld.
Jean-Sacra: Geneus was another lawyer. I think he was a good lawyer, but he went to Michael. Things were going smoothly. He sent a letter to Michael. Michael got the letter. After that, a week passed and we didn't hear from him. We called him, and we couldn't find him.
(They all laugh)
Jean-Baptiste: So he got the money and he split.
(They speak of another experience with an attorney that took their case pretty far but gave up before they could find justice as things became difficult. Evidently he made off with their money too. This was a difficult passage to understand. They're speaking at the same time.)
Interviewer: So, I think that we've discussed everything we can on this case. I'd like for you guys to put me in touch with the other victims.
Jean-Sacra: Not a problem.
Interviewer: Yes, especially the victim who's name you guys want to keep secret. You guys can keep that name to yourself. But I also want to meet the victims that attempted suicide. Do they live here?
Jean-Baptiste: Yes, he could meet us here today.
Interviewer: The one who almost killed himself?
One of them: Yes.
Interviewer: The other guy, you can keep him a secret between yourselves. So the one who tried to kill himself lives here?
Jean-Sacra: The one who drank Clorox does live here. The one who stabbed himself doesn't live here. The two that were abused when we went to the embassy in America, one lives here and the other lives there.
Interviewer: I appreciate you guys doing this interview with me. I came from Cap-Haitien here to do this interview with you guys, for this particular case. The person called so I came. So I'm here and available until tomorrow morning till about 11am. Ok? So, I have some people over there that have helped me fight in the past. I have one guy named Kendrick. He lives in the United States. This is all he does. He's been doing it for 25 years. When I was fighting on the Douglas case I got his support, and he also mobilized others in the United States. That's why I feel confident in telling you guys that you can be sure that there will be another approach at resolving this matter. These types of situations require a certain level of experience. I was lucky to have the support of Kendrick, other whites in the US, and Haitians that live in the US. This situation requires a battle, but we also have to mobilize our efforts here. I must also say that I'm a journalist, and a journalist must advance the efforts of the case without trying to take money from the victims. I can make that guarantee to you because I didn't seek financial gain in the Douglas case, and I took it to the end. So from my side, I can guarantee that this case will advance till the end. So you guys mobilize efforts here. I'll get your telephone numbers so we can stay in contact. Protect yourselves, get security, mobilize others, and we will form a strong team for this battle. You guys speak English, which is a great advantage. I will put you in direct contact with my contact over there, Paul. So everyone will do their part. For the lawyer situation, I can tell you that in the Cap-Haitien situation (the Douglas situation), they were able to find lawyers that would work the case for free. When I say free, I mean that the lawyers would take the case with anticipation of being paid on the back end, once they win the case. That's what they lawyers here aren't used to doing. When you're dealing with someone that doesn't have money, but you find in your estimation that they are in the right, you can form a contract with that person to take their case, win their justice, then benefit financially afterwards. The victim is compensated and so are you. I must also say that the lawyer that worked on the case for the boys in Cap-Haitien doesn't ask for a lot of money. What he asked for was less than the normal percentage, on top of the fact that he technically took the case for free. The normal percentage is between 5% and 20%. The Cap-Haitien case was very interesting. Once this case is over we will also pursue a civil suit.
Jean-Sacra: So for those kids, is there another organization that takes care of them now?
Interviewer: There was an organization called Kids Alive that came and took their case. But what's important, is that the people that are helping on this end are prepared to act if we bring Geilenfeld to justice. Well, not if but when. Because I'm sure we will bring him to justice. But when we bring him down we must have the capacity to replace him. Because in the Cap-Haitien case we were unable to find a quick replacement, and there were children that suffered as a result. So gentlemen, it was a pleasure to have you both as guests, Destin and
Both: Thank you.
[Some Haitian music starts playing]
Interviewer: So they say you were also in the project?
Unidentified: Yes, I was also in the project.
[Cuts to a different segment]
Jean-Sacra: So now Emile… At that time we were down there we use to call him La Justice (The Justice). Emile came to us and Emile said he went to Jacmel and he met an officer. It was an officer that we know.
Interviewer: Who is Emile?
Jean-Sacra: Emile Milien. He's one of the ones that [Geilenfeld] slept with when he was young. But he's over there (USA) now. He was one of the ones that went to the embassy with me. At that time he was with us.
Interviewer: What did the police officer say?
Jean-Sacra: He asked, "What did you guys do? Michael Geilenfeld paid me to destroy these two guys on the field at Vivi Michel. He said these two guys came onto the field, the stole the field, and he doesn't know them. And they don't want to leave. Then he said, "What did these two guys do to Michael in the final moments that would make him want to destroy them?" Emile told him, don't worry about Michael. These two are children of Michael. They came from his house. He has no reason to do anything to them. He's just mad at them. That's why the police didn't come over there to take me in the middle of the night.
Interviewer: Over where?
Jean-Sacra: At Vivi Michel. At the field.
Interviewer: And he has a police officer that's always around him right?
Jean-Baptiste: Yes he has a police officer named Lindor
Jean-Sacra: But the police office in Petion-ville said that Michael is a bad man and he won't work for him.