To whom it may concern:
I, Don Thorne, a proud member of Tony Alamo Christian Ministries since February 19, 1974, want to reveal things that happened to me and other brothers and sisters at our church.
While I was on the job driving, the federal government raided our church and began taking our children. They ended up snatching one of my sons and four of my grandchildren. At this raid, there were helicopters, multitudes of policemen, the FBI, the AR Department of Human Services, and many other government agencies. They pulled over church vans which were traveling on a busy freeway and took the children from these vehicles. The major and local news media were also there as they were in on it too. I had two other children who didn’t get taken in this raid, a teenage daughter and a son.
I later went to court in Texarkana, Arkansas, before the late Judge Joe Griffin, who ordered me to be put in jail for contempt of court because I would not tell the government where my wife and other two children were hiding. They locked me up for 203 days. Of course, I wouldn’t tell them. What kind of man would? Off to jail I went without bail, indefinitely.
One day, when I was in court, at recess, an FBI agent named Randall Harris came to me and served me papers. They wanted me to be a witness for them against Pastor Alamo. I thought, “Great! They got the right guy” because my testimony for Pastor Alamo would be truthful and good. Later on in jail, I was called out of my cell. I had a visit from a new lawyer, one from the FBI, regarding Pastor Alamo. The visit lasted about an hour. There was a lot of fear of being locked up for a long, long time thrown at me. He told me the government spent millions of dollars to take Tony down, and if they didn’t take him down, they’d get me. I knew before God I had to do the right thing. I couldn’t betray my pastor by being a false witness to save my own skin. I wouldn’t give in to them; I had to trust the Lord.
When I was first booked into jail and locked up, I knew I wasn’t alone, that Jesus was with me. Many souls were saved there. I had over 100 pieces of Pastor Alamo’s gospel literature with me, set out for any inmate who would want to read them. Many did, and when the nightly news came on with Pastor Alamo’s case, those inmates who read his gospel literature did not believe the fake news about him. They said that the man writing these gospel tracts was not the same man on the fake news. They weren’t taken in with the slanderous lies on TV.
At first, there was a lot of prejudice against me, but before it was over, guards would come up to me and say, “Thorne, you don’t belong here.” The night shift guard asked me if I would talk to an inmate who was in for murder and was suicidal. I did talk to him about the Lord, and he received Jesus as his Savior.
It was so unfair, so unjust, a scam, a smear campaign against my pastor, Tony Alamo, and the whole ministry. I was innocent of any wrong doing. There was nothing illegal or corrupt going on in my church, yet the government treated us so cruelly and took away everything we had built for ourselves and our families including our homes, schools, church buildings—everything. Our pastor was railroaded into prison on made-up false charges and given a life sentence after a mock, kangaroo court trial and sentencing.
After 203 days of being incarcerated, the Lord let me walk out a free man. I had appealed for a trial by jury. Of course, Judge Griffin did not want my case to be transparent for the public to see, so he wrote it off as time served.
Pastor Alamo is a good pastor. He is innocent of all false charges and needs to come home. Pray with us; fight with us.
Brother Don Thorne