God told her to paddle children -- Testimony ends in trial of former nun accused of assaulting children
CBC News, October 2, 2002

CHARLOTTETOWN - Testimony has finished in the assault trial of a former nun accused of beating children at a commune on Prince Edward Island.

Lucille Poulin says God told her to use a wooden paddle to train the children to obey.

Lucille Poulin

The children and other witnesses have testified that the beatings were frequent. All of the children who were at the commune have been removed and are either in protective custody or with relatives.

The 78-year-old woman is accused of assaulting five children who lived at her religious commune in Hazel Grove, P.E.I.

Crown attorney Darrell Coombs suggested Poulin controlled everyone and everything on the commune, because the children lived in fear, and the adults thought she was a prophet.

Poulin replied she just speaks what she hears. She said, "I'm perfect as my Heavenly Father is perfect, because I don't want to sin."

Coombs also asked her why five children would call her a crazy woman, and say she beat them daily. Poulin called the children "liars, thieves, and delusional."

She said the children were born wicked, and "their father is the Devil until they're born again."

Poulin said as a former nurse, she was never concerned enough to check the children for injuries from receiving "the rod."

She said "God didn't tell me to go and inspect their buttocks. I wasn't going to run after them and mushy them."

The case will be back in court on Oct. 15, when lawyers will sum up their cases in closing arguments.

Written by CBC News Online staff

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