Times Colonist

June 3, 1964: Brother XII island sold, to have resort


Stories from our pages over the last 150 years. Ruxton Island in the DeCourcey Islands, where the religious fanatic and swindler named Brother XII had his stamping grounds, will become the home of a 230-acre playground resort.

Frank Ney of Nanaimo Realty announced yesterday the island, about 10 miles south of Nanaimo, has been sold by Mr. and Mrs. William Naylor, its owners for the last 23 years. They are retiring to Australia. Mr. Ney said the island will be developed into a $600,000 summer resort playground area.

Brother XII was an Englishman named Julian Churton Skottowe, alias Arthur Edward Wilson, alias Amiel de Valdes. He was in Genoa, Italy, in 1925 and dead broke when he conceived a “religion” based on his written “Three Truths,” which indicated he had journeyed to the spirit world to mingle with the great minds of history.

He wound up in the Cedar district and in 1927 met a North Carolina woman who gave him thousands of dollars.

Brother XII set up a “foundation” on various islands near Nanaimo and affluent disciples came a-running. But he treated many of them so badly — some like slaves — that the cult broke up in the early ’30s. A legal judgment for $66,000 was awarded against Brother XII, but he was gone with a rumored $500,000. Other rumors claimed there were killings among unwilling “slaves,” but there was never any proof. Brother XII died in Switzerlan­d in 1934.

— The Daily Colonist

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