New Tribes Mission Vianopolis

For information about IHART see here

IHART -- Independent Historical Abuse Review Team VIANOPOLIS INVESTIGATIVE SUMMARY

Date: January 15, 2014
From: Pat Hendrix, IHART coordinator
RE: Investigation of historical allegations of abuse occurring at the NTM Boarding School at Vianopolis, Brazil


Brief Introductory Statement about the investigative agency and its history

The independent Historical Abuse Response Team (IHART) was established in February 2011, in response to allegations by survivors in countries where New Tribes Missions operated. IHART is charged with receiving and investigating allegations of sexual, physical, and emotional abuse.

The diverse IHART investigative team was comprised of retired law enforcement personnel, ordained pastors, and a psychologist with a combined total of over 250 years of criminal investigative experience, pastoral care, and counseling. This report is the result of a lengthy and comprehensive investigation. Information developed was the result of tireless communication with survivors to gain their knowledge and description of abuse endured by them and their fellow students. This report was only possible through their unselfish courage and desire to be heard.

Briefly Describe the scope of the investigation

In May, 2011 IHART was tasked with investigating allegations of abuse in East Brazil. Abuse is alleged to have occurred from 1983 until 1998. The investigation was broadened to include leadership issued as recently as 2009. The majority of interviews

were conducted in the USA either by phone or in person. To gain a better understanding, the members of the investigative team traveled to East Brazil to conduct some interview

Briefly describe the necessary background information about mission life in this location

The New Tribes Mission school at Vianopolis, Brazil, was opened in the spring of 1952 in the City Hall of Vianopolis, Brazil. In 1953, another building in town housed the school. The "Land," as it was known, was purchased in 1954 with personal funds by Clayton Templeton and Ralph Hovland. The land and buildings were registered and given to "MissaoNovasTribos do Brasil" (MNTB), and was never New Tribes Mission USA (NTM USA) property. The school was officially opened on the land in 1955, and classes were held in a room at the end of the shop, as missionaries on the field pooled their money for various building projects.

There have been a total of 204 graduates since 1966. Prior to that time, students were

required to go elsewhere to receive their diplomas. The smallest graduating class were comprised of one student each, and were graduated in 1968 and 2006. The largest classes comprised of 8 students each were graduated in 1984, 1990, and 2001. Classes ended at the school in May 2011.

Identify the investigative team membersAn investigative team was appointed by Pat Hendrix, IHART coordinator, consisting of lead investigator, Richard Ramirez, and investigators Jim Richter, Randy Coffman, Doug Mills, Susan Roegner, Joe Pirone, and psychologist Kristen Ramirez.

Identify the number and types of people interviewed

The investigative team interviewed or received statements from 60 people including survivors, witnesses, parents, perpetrators, staff, and former members of the Vianopolis Board and Field Committee.


Identify by name and offense those offenders who were investigated:

Frank Sidney Parker (sexual, physical, and emotional abuse)- deceased Stephen Richard Armour (sexual and emotional abuse)- dismissed

Samuel Roger Bailey III (sexual abuse [voyeurism])- ineligible for future NTM service
Dawn Leslie Canright (sexual and emotional abuse)- dismissed
Jerome Peter Wnuk (physical and emotional abuse)- dismissed

Paul Allen (Bucky) Nageli (emotional abuse)- not dismissed- actions did not rise to the level of a dismissible offense.

Report to Authorities

The result of the investigation, pertaining to the above named individuals, have been reported to the local, state, and Federal authorities for any action they deem appropriate.

Briefly describe lesser outcomes being administered

Individuals listed above will have Statements of Findings placed in their files and sent to survivors of their abuse. Some individuals will also be asked to contribute specified

amounts to the MK Counseling Fund. NTM will send letters to Sending Churches where those churches are on record. Statements of Findings and other appropriate documents will be sent to the current leadership of East Brazil.

Survivors will receive letters of apology from NTM and may also be offered other letters of apology. NTM USA will contribute ongoing help toward the survivors' healing process and will continue to review its policy manual in several areas.

General observations about the field during the time frame investigated

During the course of this investigation it was determined that prior to the year 2000 there were very few protocols in place to address complaints of misconduct toward children or inappropriate behavior now identified as child abuse. Leadership relied on a "Philosophy of Conduct" and members were expected to live in obedience to God and in submission to His Word, taking responsibility for their choices and consequences of their choices.

In the U.S., child abuse began to receive national attention in the mid to late 1960's when mandatory reporting laws came into effect for certain professionals. In the mid- 1980s that was extended to other occupations including teachers and school staff.

These laws were only enforceable in the USA, but it is noted that NTM did not immediately create comparable policies for overseas schools. During this time period, complaints that were received overseas, and sent to NTM Headquarters in Sanford, were stored in either one large file for the field, or in a personell file if an action was taken.

The investigation confirmed that in the early 1980s, allegations of suspicious and inappropriate behavior by a dorm parent toward children in his care began to be reported. An attempt was made to address this behavior but a lack of follow-up allowed these actions to continue and escalate to a level that the investigators determined to be abusive.

Some staffing decisions regarding dorm parents and teachers were indicative of shortage of staff, rather than overall welfare of children. Accusations made by children were not taken seriously or rebuffed entirely. The attempts to substantiate allegations by children were insufficient. Reports were not always passed on to the Executive Committee. This resulted in occurrences of alleged offenders remaining in

close proximity to the children they had been accused of abusing, creating an atmosphere of distrust.

Following the development of protocols, there was some significant improvement in the processing of allegations of abuse, however problems continued to exist. Although policies in place allowed for prompt responses to allegations, procedures were not always followed.
Some autonomous actions and decisions at the field level required actions by the Executive Committee to ensure the removal of some offenders.

Interviews- Due to the desire to protect those who were abused, identities, dates and locations of interviews are not listed here. The survivors who were interviewed were given a code name to be used in the report and statement of findings. The IHART Coordinator and Lead Investigator are the only people who know the code. All information concerning this investigation is being kept by Gammon & Grange, P.C. of Washington, DC.

Evidentiary requirements for Findings- the basis for evaluating the findings is the evidentiary standard of "preponderance of evidence" (fact finder has determined that it is more likely [51% or more] than not it happened.)