Dare speak about the goings on in Pala and you are taking the chance of being the subject of dire consequences. It is this imposed silence that has allowed ROBERT SMITH and his cronies to secure complete control over the tribe. To the outside world they address him as the honorable Robert Smith. To those that know him, really know him, fear addressing him at all.
Pala is a community now suffering from various syndromes:
Child Abuse Syndrome:
Mental health professionals may testify about behavioral characteristics of a particular child that are "typical" of sexually abused children. Such behavioral indicators include a wide variety of symptoms such as regression, withdrawal, aggression, nightmares, bed wetting, fears, masturbation, and tantrums but are completely nonspecific (Wakefield and Underwager, 1991b). They appear in many different situations, including conflict between parents, divorce, economic stress, wartime separations, father absence, natural disaster, and physical, emotional, but nonsexual abuse (Emery, 1982; Hughes and Barad, 1983; Jaffe et al., 1986; Porter and O'Leary, 1980; Wallerstein and Kelly, 1980; Wolman, 1983). There are no behaviors that occur only in victims of sexual abuse. With the exception of sexualized behavior, the majority of symptoms shown in sexually abused children characterize child clinical samples in general (Beitchman et al., 1991).
Stockholm syndrome is considered a complex reaction to a frightening situation, and experts do not agree completely on all of its characteristic features or on the factors that make some people more susceptible than others to developing it. Many researchers believe that Stockholm syndrome helps to explain certain behaviors of survivors of World War II concentration camps; members of religious cults; battered wives; incest survivors; and physically or emotionally abused children as well as persons taken hostage by criminals or terrorists.
Robert Smith cannot be considered responsible for all of the madness that is Pala. The United States is the one that planted the seed. All Robert Smith did was ripen the fruit of oppression. Now that oppression is protected by the United States under the United States endowed term of “Tribal Sovereignty”. In the old days, a leader such as Robert Smith would have just been thrown off a cliff as was “Custom and Tradition”. Now he is a protected servant of the United States. You don’t need to control everyone. You only need to control enough people to satisfy the requirements of the United States to convince the BIA that you are the rightful leader of the tribe.
The act of evicting and removing the people of Warner’s Ranch and Rancho San Felipe is more than likely the point of conception of the true dire conditions at Pala. The removal of people from their homelands and placing them in a fixed area with boundaries is no different than removing thousands of people from their homes and placing them in concentration camps. Placing those same people in living conditions with their historical enemies only compounded the situation at Pala.
The practice of placing more than one tribe on one reservation has never been successful. There is always tension, resentment and oppression. There is one reservation with four distinct tribes but the majority of leaders came from one tribe. When that particular tribe wanted full control they would and do simply conduct the meeting in their language so no one else can understand. It is even better when the BIA is in attendance.
It cannot go unnoticed that there are many negative comments about Robert Smith and some of his actions appearing on this blogs comment section. It would be easy for any knowledgeable psychologist to see that there are many symptoms of oppression expressed in these comments. Probably helplessness to do anything against their captor, Robert Smith, is the most prominent.
Many of the comments refer to some very serious crimes such as murder, kidnapping, rape, drug trafficking and various types of theft on a grand scale. Many of the comments express despair and hopelessness. The BIA will not help. The FBI will not help. The State of California with its Public Law 280 authority will not help. The County District Attorney will not help. There is no help. What the people do know is that if they acted in accordance with custom and tradition and just threw Robert Smith off the cliff there would be hell to pay. Those same officials that refuse to help the people of Pala would unleash every garrison of power within their might to prosecute/persecute the people of Pala.
The County of San Diego, District Attorney, has already demonstrated that she is quite willing to send, and has sent, an army of Sheriffs to quell any threat to crooked and despicable tribal leaders. Millions of County dollars were spent to protect Robert Smith from a peaceful group of concerned tribal members expressing a need to have Robert Smith’s actions investigated. The BIA only threw gasoline on the County’s fire when they refused to acknowledge a tribally sanctioned action as provided within Robert Smith’s, Amy Dutschke approved illegal constitution. This only added and confirmed the oppression within Pala.
OP: This is oral history, according to some Pala people......
So what is this often spoken of murder that Robert Smith and his brother Andrew Smith are supposed to have committed? It is known around the Village (Pala) as the campground murder. A man known by many of the tribal members had been allowed to live for an extended period of time at the then Pala Campground. One night he was being harassed by a couple of tribal members so he, the man who was eventually murdered, called Pala Security for assistance. The call drew much attention from Robert Smith and his cronies so they along with Pala Security went to the scene of the disturbance.
Once at the scene the situation escalated and got out of control. The man was restrained and as the story is told Andrew Smith shoved a flash light down his throat and killed him. Once he was dead Robert Smith took the flashlight to conceal the evidence. Some witnesses say he threw the flashlight in the sand and gravel pond. Others say he kept as a means to control his brother. Stories say that as many as nine people were present during the murder and an unknown number of people hiding in nearby bushes watching as the murder occurred.
Robert Smith’s counter story was that the man was armed with a golf club and attempted to strike Andrew Smith with it. Andrew Smith took control of the golf club and struck the man killing him on the spot. Robert Smith then tells of how the Sheriff was called and they determined that Andrew Smith acted in self-defense. The only problem with this story is that the Sheriff was never called. This has been confirmed by private investigators and the FBI.
Robert Smith and Andrew Smith have never denied that the man died that night. They stick with their version of the story. So they did it. They got away with murder and they have used this murder to further oppress the people of Pala. Yes you better keep your mouth shut or we will do you just like we did that man at the campground. What’s more, we will get away with it and no one will care. Words, when necessary that still echo in the village and intimidate the people of Pala.
There is another story about the murder of three Mexican Nationals. Many people have reported witnessing this event only they never reported it to the authorities. Instead they choose to remain quiet and safe and will only speak of the event from behind dark shadows.
The story goes that Robert Smith observed three men swimming in the pond where the Pala Casino is now located. People said that Robert Smith became enraged and ordered some of his cronies to go and get his Sea-doo. He then took his Sea-doo and speeded around the pond striking the three men. It is said that two of the men sank and never re-surfaced. The third man floated on the surface. Again, the Sheriff was called and this time the death of the man that floated was reported as an accident. Robert Smith was cleared of any wrong doing. It has not been confirmed that the Sheriff was contacted.
Then there is the story of the disappearance of Joe Scott. This story affects many people of Pala in so many different ways. Joe Scott was an innocuous likeable individual. He was friend to many. Yes he was a character of his own choosing but he was so subtle that he commanded kindness. He was a lackey for the Smith family. It was said that he would wash their vehicles and perform other tasks for them. So what went wrong? Who would want to kidnap or even murder Joe Scott? It was simply not a perceived notion within the village.
The Village story (gossip network) remains very consistent. Usually truth can survive the test of being distorted by gossip. The consistency of the story seems to lend credence to the truth about the disappearance of Joe Scott.
As the story goes, Joe Scott was accused of being inappropriate with the daughter of Andrew Smith. Andrew Smith, upset with the situation consulted with his brother, Robert Smith. Robert Smith concurred with his brother and gave his permission to end the life of Joe Scott. Robert Smith turned on the green light. A term used when someone is approved for killing.
The last person to see Joe Scott alive, other than his assailants, was a trained security guard. She did not think anything about it at the time when she saw Joe Scott being loaded in to the back of truck with a camper shell by two men. They were seen loading his bicycle as well. That was the last time Joe Scott was seen alive.
The story then goes that Joe Scott was taken to the home of Andrew Smith where he was shot and killed by Andrew Smith. Joe Scott was then buried in proximity of Andrew Smith’s home because they knew there would be a new home foundation poured over the sight. It is believed that Joe Scott is buried beneath Andrew Smith’s new home. That is the accepted story throughout the Village.
The disappearance of Joe Scott has taken a very twisted turn. One private investigator abandoned his search for Joe Scott when witnesses reported that Joe Scott moved to Mexico. Another investigator was brought in by Robert Smith and he reported that he had found Joe Scott living in a cardboard box in Tijuana. He said that Joe Scott had no desire to return to Pala. It was the opinion of the investigator that Joe Scott was suffering from mental illness and incompetent.
So why go through all of this trouble to find Joe Scott and not return him to his family? As the story goes there is a pot of gold in the name of Joe Scott. Remember he has only been reported as missing. His per-capital has been accruing for all the years that he has been missing. If Joe Scott were declared dead all that money would go away. Declare Joe Scott found and incompetent then Joe Scott’s money can be distributed to a court appointed guardian.
There has to be at least $500,000 in Joe Scott’s account. That is enough to attract the attention of any thief. Did it attract the attention of Robert Smith? As the story goes it did. Robert Smith had no concern when he stole the millions of dollars owed to the minor children disenrollees. His theft of those moneys was covered up by the BIA’s Office of Special Trust. So Joe Scott’s money was/is easy pickings.
Are these stories believable? Yes they are. There are eyewitnesses to these events. These same eyewitnesses are victims of the oppression that is the real spirit of Pala.
Pala is the place where Nahachish, a spiritual entity of the Luiseno People was murdered. The people of Pala (Old Pala) were cursed from that day. Joe Scott was Old Pala. Most of the people of Old Pala were scattered to the wind by the BIA. There is a BIA report that states that as many as 56 additional people were eligible for allotment of lands at Old Pala. Only 15 people received allotments. The rest were simply told to go away.
The ground is red at Pala. It is red from the bloodletting of Nahachish. It is where he cut his stomach open hoping to let out the poison fed to him by the Pala Luiseno. The poison is in the ground and in the spirit and minds of the people. In addition, the People of Old Pala lost their homeland to Warner Ranch Evictees. Thanks again BIA. The curse continues and Robert Smith controls every aspect of that curse. Robert Smith is the living curse of Pala.