California's missions were death camps for the thousands of native peoples who faced slavery and genocide within their walls. Elias Castillo joined descendants of those Indians fighting for recognition of this terrible history and the price it exacts even today.
Deport Millions of Mexicans?: Done That
Under a policy begun by President Herbert Hoover in 1928, two million Mexican residents of the U.S. - more than half of them either U.S. citizens or in the country legally - were "repatriated" to Mexico to allow their jobs to be filled by "real Americans." Read Castillo's essay in the San Jose Mercury News.
Busting the Myths of California's Missions Mission Local, San Francisco, Oct. 7, 2016
Who was Junipero Serra and why is Pope Francis Canonizing Him in Washington DC? From The Guardian UK, Sept. 22, 2015
The Pope Should Not Grant Sainthood To a Brutal Missionary by Rose Aguilar, The Guardian, Sept. 22, 2015
How Tarnished is Serra's Halo? by Vinnie Rotondaro, National Catholic Reporter, Sept. 15, 2015
The Enslavement of California's Indians by the Spanish Missions By Edd Doerr, Americans for Religious Liberty Journal, Sept. 7, 2015
Is America's New Saint More of a Sinner? Monica Campbell, PRI's The World, Sept. 8, 2015
California's Saint, and a Church's Sins By Lawrence Downes, New York Times, Aug. 18, 2015
The Emerging Truth about Junipero Serra and the California Missions By Rev. Dr. Mattew Fox, Tikkun Daily, July 2015
"Cross of Thorns" details brutality of California's missions San Francisco Examiner, May 18, 2015
Elias Castillo's "Cross of Thorns" presents a bleak picture of California history Santa Cruz Sentinel, March 16, 2015
Is going gangsta on natives any way to make a saint? If Pope Francis has his way, maybe. MetroAction, San Jose, CA., Feb. 11, 2015
Amah Mutsun Letter to Pope Francis Regarding the Canonization of Junipero Serra Letter from Tribal Chairman Valentine Lopez opposing canonization of Serra, sent February, 2015 to the Vatican.
Sainthood for California Missionary Angers Native Americans,London Daily Mail, Feb. 19, 2015 (Agence France Presse story)
A New Book, A Cross of Thorns, Says Junipero Serra was No Saint MetroActive, San Jose, CA., Feb. 11, 2015
Elias Castillo: Junipero Serra Sainthood Belies Cruel History San Jose Mercury News, Jan. 23, 2015
Pope Francis announces sainthood for California Mission founder San Jose Mercury News, Jan. 16, 2015
Junipero Serra: Debunking the Mission Myth Washington Square, Alumni Magazine of San Jose State University, December, 2014
Misery at the Missions by Barney Brantingham Santa Barbara Independent, Nov. 27, 2014
Chicano Journalist’s new book will shatter California’s missions image LaPrensa, SanDiego, CA., Oct. 10, 2014
New book attacks historical image of California's missions,San Jose Mercury News/Santa Cruz Sentinel, May 12, 2014
The Dark, Terrible Secret of California's Missions, San Francisco Chronicle, Nov. 8, 2004
Castillo addressed classes at Oklahoma State, Stanford, UC Berkeley, UC Santa Cruz, and other academic institutions.
The book has been welcomed by Indian leaders as a source to help describe their history in California
Readers praise the book for giving them an unvarnished view of what life was like during California's mission period.