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Paul Schäfer Schneider, also spelled variously as Paul Schäfer or Paul Schaefer (December 4, 1921 – April 24, 2010), was the founder and former leader of a sect and agricultural commune of German immigrants called Colonia Dignidad ("Dignity Colony")—later renamed Villa Baviera—located in the south of Chile, about 340 km south of Santiago, where many sexual abuses against minors were performed. Investigations by Amnesty International and the Chilean National Commission for Truth and Reconciliation Report have verified that Colonia Dignidad was used by DINA, the Chilean secret police, as a torture and detention center during Augusto Pinochet's military dictatorship.
Reuters tied William Branham to Paul Schafer in a news report in 2012 which stated:
- Schaefer followed the teachings of American preacher William M. Branham, one of the founders of the "faith healing" movement in the 1940s and ‘50s. Born in a log cabin in Kentucky, Branham said he had been visited by angels and attracted tens of thousands of followers with sermons that advocated a strict adherence to the Bible, a woman's duty to obey her husband and apocalyptic visions, such as Los Angeles sinking beneath the ocean.
The story of Paul Schafer has been made into a movie:
William Branham knew Paul Schafer and said this about him:
- And I heard a Baptist preacher say the other day, which is a good friend of mine, Dr. Schafer, a dear, godly, beloved brother. And I'm not just saying about the Baptist, the Methodists has got that kind, too. My associate pastor of my church is a Methodist from Asbury College. He's a godly, borned again, Holy Ghost filled man. Yes, sir. And old Mordecai F. Hamm, and many of those old Baptists was filled with the Holy Ghost.
- Reuters.com, Insight: German sect victims seek escape from Chilean nightmare past, KREFELD, GERMANY, STEPHEN BROWN AND OLIVER ELLRODT, May 9, 2012
- William Branham, 53-1129A - The Faith That Was Once Delivered To The Saints, para. 88