Font Size
Credit: Blaine Harden
'Hillbilly Heaven': Hell on Earth July 03, 2014
The 15 children of the Pilgrim family grew up with only two books in the house, and one of them was the Bible. It was in the Bible that Papa Pilgrim, their cruel but charming father, found all the guidance he needed about how to run their lives. For him, it justified moving them all to the middle of Alaska to create a 'Hillbilly Heaven,' exacting frequent beatings (he called them "corrections"), and raping his eldest daughter for more than a decade. From November 2013.

Tom Kizzia, author of Pilgrim's Wilderness: A True Story of Faith and Madness on the Alaska Frontier

Watch a video of the drive into McCarthy, near where the Pilgrims lived.

Hear some songs from the family's 2004 CD, released under the name the Pilgrim Family Minstrels: