Monk accused of molesting boys dies

Author: Patrick George
Date Published: 09/18/2007
Samuel Greene had been charged with sexual assault.
Samuel Greene had been charged with sexual assault.

The leader of a Blanco County monastery racked with sexual abuse scandals died Sunday night on the same property where monks were accused of molesting young boys.

The body of Samuel Greene was found Monday morning by a fellow monk who was his caretaker, said Greene’s friend and former attorney Michael White. Greene was 63. He was found in his bed in a double-wide trailer near the closed Christ of the Hills monastery, White said.

The Blanco County sheriff’s office, which is investigating Greene’s death, could not be reached for comment.

“He was massively overweight, about 400 or 500 pounds,” White said. “He had digestive problems. He was limited in walking around.”

Greene also had heart problems.

Greene, a former boys home supervisor and real estate broker, founded Ecumenical Monks Inc. in 1972 for Christian clergy and laypeople seeking a monastic life. In 1981, the group created its hilltop sanctuary on 105 acres near Blanco and aligned with the Russian Orthodox Church, but the church broke its ties in 1999, after the monks were investigated on accusations that they sexually abused a 13-year-old novice monk who lived there.

Greene got 10 years’ probation for indecency charges. According to court documents, Greene told his probation officer in a 2006 taped interview that he had sexual contact with boys over a 30-year period starting in the 1970s, reopening the case to new charges. As a result, five monks, including Greene, were charged with sexual assault of a child and engaging in organized crime.

White said Greene was facing a probation hearing soon; if his probation were to have been revoked, he could have gotten up to 99 years in prison and could have stood trial for the sex charges.

In April, one of the five accused men said in a written statement to sheriff’s deputies that the Christ of the Hills monks had sex with one another, used illegal drugs and faked a weeping Virgin Mary that they said could cure cancer.

pgeorge@statesman.com; 445-3851