Summary of Investigative Journal Radio Program with Greg Anthony on First Amendment Radio

October 6, 2014

Today I want to concentrate on some of the legal proceedings of the Tony Alamo Ministry case, and what I’ve been doing over the months is reporting on this case. One reason is that many people haven’t heard about it. If they did hear about it, it was years ago when the government did a SWAT raid on this Christian ministry and alerted 50 news media outlets about the impending arrest of Tony Alamo on violations of the Mann Act, which means the government was saying that he transported minors across state lines for sexual purposes, and it was trumpeted all across the country that he was basically guilty before he was even given a trial. If you look at the articles and what went on right after that and, of course, Oprah Winfrey got involved. It was an orchestrated effort to convict him in the public’s eye. I’ve talked a lot about the public proceedings, and I’ve talked a lot about some of the evidence and testimony regarding the 5 girls who testified against Tony Alamo, and I’ve tried to piece through their testimony showing that it was flimsy and showing that it was coerced by the government. When I say those things, I don’t say them lightly. I want to go over the legal proceedings in this case, and it is extensive. It’s going to take me awhile and I’m going to do it over a period of time so that people can get an idea of what really went on here.

I said earlier that I believe that this man was framed and this ministry was torn apart because there was a two-fold thing going on here. They charged him with these crimes, and then the government tried to round up every kid that was ever involved in this ministry, and a lot of the parents headed for the hills to protect their kids. They started in Fouke, AR, when they raided this ministry and took 6 girls who were playing on the grounds away from their parents, and then the judge put out an order that any child involved in the Alamo Ministry should be picked up and taken into custody that were in any of the Alamo Ministry churches around the country. They eventually rounded up at least 36 children, and also what went on with the custody hearings is also a good part of this case. This is not only about Tony Alamo. It is a three-fold case here. We have the legal proceedings in the criminal case against Tony, then we have the legal proceedings in the custody cases which is unbelievable here. You’re going to hear government employees lying; you’re going to hear things that just rocked the foundation of what our country was built on, the Constitution allowing freedom of speech first.

I believe this all began because Tony and his ministry were very outspoken against the Vatican’s control of our foreign and domestic policy, their rewritings of the Bible, their basic infiltration of churches throughout the country, and he was doing this for 40 years. I believe this is why this happened. However, when you see irregularities in his legal proceedings in his criminal case, then you see illegal irregularities in the custody cases which was a big part of this, then you see the illegal irregularities in the civil cases, then came the third prong in the three-fold attempt to dismantle this ministry, and that is it was to get their assets, to get their money, and to get their property which is extensive. In Arkansas alone in the civil case there was a judgment of $525 million against this ministry, which was the largest in Arkansas history. This goes deeper than that; it goes into California; it goes into their other holdings, and this was a concerted effort to destroy a Christian ministry that talked against the Vatican, and that was quite successful, and it was an effort to hit Tony below the belt, and to take the kids, then to take their assets, and to dismantle this Christian ministry which served as an example for any other Christian ministry that doesn’t get in lockstep with the Vatican, that this can happen to them.

Tony’s appeal was filed in November of 2012, and it is still sitting on a judge’s desk. Let’s look at some of the Constitutional protections we’re supposed to have in this country that we don’t have if you speak up against the Vatican. If you look at the charges against Tony, and then you look at the way they’ve handled these Catholic abuse cases, you will see a double standard here. The fundamental principle of Rome is that they dole out who goes to jail and who doesn’t. And if you look at the abuse cases of the church of Rome all around the world and in our country and those that have been covered up, and the way the government has handled those compared to the way they handled this case, and the way they would handle you if you talked against them, the difference is night and day. The government in our country protects these people even if they violated the law. I’ve seen a long string of this ever since Cardinal Spellman who was the Cardinal of New York and the chaplain of our military during the Vietnam War, and he was protected when he was caught red-handed abusing children.

The liberty of conscience is proclaimed by the U.S., the most sacred principle which every citizen must uphold even at the price of his blood, but liberty of conscience is declared by all the councils and popes of Rome to be a most godless, unholy, and diabolical thing which every good Catholic must abhor and destroy at any cost. The good Catholic might not be the woman that goes to church every Sunday, but it is the leaders of our country who work for this group. The American Constitution leaves every man free to serve God according to the dictates of his conscience, but the Church of Rome declares that no man has ever had such a right, and that the pope alone must know and say what man must believe and do, and that’s why they came down on this ministry. The Constitution denies the right for anybody to punish any other who differs from him in religion, but the Church of Rome says that she has the right to punish with the confiscation of their goods or the penalty of death those who differ from the pope. This ministry differed in faith from the pope, expressed it openly for 40 years in a manner that was enlightening a lot of people, and for that the Church of Rome says that she has a right to punish with the confiscation of their goods, and that’s exactly what they’re doing here.

Let’s look at the criminal case against Tony Alamo. In 2008, they storm-trooped this ministry in a big public display. Later on at his trial, there were so many witnesses who wanted to testify on Tony’s behalf, including John Peeler, at least 20 people that never got to say anything. Why weren’t they allowed to testify on his behalf? Now how can you get a fair trial when this goes on? I don’t know if his original attorneys were on the take or what, or if they were working together with the government. Who knows what goes on behind the scenes.

Let’s start with Tony’s motion to get a new trial. On June 11, 2009, a 10 count second superceding indictment was returned against Mr. Hoffman (Tony Alamo) charging him with 9 counts of transportation of a minor with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity, aided and abetted by others, 18 USC 2423; and one count of transportation of a minor with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity aided and abetted by others; attempted conspiracy, 18 USC 2423; AE counts 1 through 10. Movant (Tony Alamo) pled not guilty to all these counts. There’s a law on the books called the Mann Act which says that if you transport a minor from one state to another with the intention of having sex, you can be arrested and charged with these crimes. You have to remember in this case that Tony had a number of churches around the country from Arkansas to Los Angeles and New York, and he traveled a lot on tours and on different business. I don’t believe there was ever any intent proved in this case, and in the beginning I believe that’s what the people in the ministry and the people close to Tony felt. They were taking trips all the time on buses doing different things, traveling, and there was never any intent to commit sexual acts, but they used this Mann Act against him. Tony went to trial and had a 10-day jury trial in which he was convicted on 10 counts. My God! That’s a short trial! I’ve seen trials for petty larceny go on for longer than 10 days, but when you’ve got a guy, he’s facing 175 years, and you’ve got 4 or 5 defendants, and when you look at all the people that never were allowed to testify on his behalf; a 10-day trial and he’s jailed for 175 years! He was convicted on July 24th, 2009. On November 13, 2009, he was sentenced to 2100 months in prison. A fine of $250,000 was imposed, and on January 13, 2010, a restitution hearing was held and Tony was sentenced to $2.5 million in restitution to the 5 defendants. They since then have been granted $525 million more. Mr. Hoffman appealed his conviction to the 8th circuit, and in direct appeal his counsel raised two grounds for relief: insufficiency of evidence and abuse of discretion in statements made by the court at sentencing. What his original appeal was based on is insufficient evidence to support the verdicts in each of the 10 counts because the government failed to show the dominant purpose or intent of the interstate travel was for sex with a minor. The district court abused its discretion and violated due process by giving the appearance of factoring in an improper or irrelevant factor: its own sense of religiosity in imposing this 2100 month sentence. Pretty heavy-duty sentence! When you look at the evidence in this case, it seems incredible to me. He went to the Supreme Court. The dominant purpose of the trip in the Mann Act prosecution must be unlawful sex, which was never proven. The Court of Appeals unconstitutionally permits prosecution if sex ever happened regardless of proof of purpose. His case was denied to be heard by the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court has discretion of hearing these cases. They don’t have to hear every case that comes before them. He had timely filed everything, which is very important.

In the beginning of his case, in good faith Tony paid a good deal of money to an attorney, Danny Davis, who charged a $350,000 retainer fee. Mr. Davis insisted that John Hall, Tony’s original counsel, be dismissed. Davis was hired as lead counsel to handle the bulk of trial preparation. Mr. Davis indicated that he had an open schedule and would be blocking out the majority of his time to work on this case. Despite this representation, Mr. Davis was largely unavailable during the weeks before the trial date. He tried other cases, went on vacation, and scheduled surgeries for a sports injury. At this point he should have had a team working, digging deeply into all these charges. We’re dealing with the Mann act with intent. If this attorney, Danny Davis, was acting in this manner, something was up in Denmark. Then on May 5, 2009, attorney Jeffrey Harrelson filed a motion to continue in this case on behalf of Mr. Davis requesting a 120-day continuance of the trial date. In his motion Mr. Davis noted that minimal or no investigation had been conducted to date by counsel. Mr. Hall, because of his delays in receiving notice of the identities of the complaining witnesses as well as delays in his receiving discovery in this case, and other attorneys entered on the case, was unprepared to go to trial. So one attorney is shoving it off on the other when in fact Danny Davis collected $350,000 and probably did nothing. So now they’re asking for more time. In his affidavit Mr. Davis confirmed that he and Mr. Hoffman’s other counsel would be ineffective unless granted that 120-day continuance. Attorney Mr. Irvin later confirmed that Davis had accomplished little if anything in investigating Mr. Hoffman’s case or preparing it for trial. The court only gave them a 57-day continuance which was not enough time to prepare an effective assistance of counsel. During meetings at the time of the motion hearing on the motion to continue, Danny Davis conducted himself with an unprofessional, combative, and defeatist manner which in combination with his failure to devote his full attention to the case in the preceding months, ultimately led to his termination.

Looking at this, to me, it’s a travesty of justice that this man is sitting in prison for 2100 months, and only got a 10-day trial, and it all started out pretty sad, didn’t it? This gives you some idea of how our system can be manipulated to put somebody behind bars in a Christian ministry that’s talking against who I consider to be the enemy within our country, and this is what happens to you. We see our Constitution being subverted. We see a man not getting a fair trial and his property taken. The question you have to ask is, “Are you going to say something or are you going to be frightened that if you do say something against this organization, you may end up like him?”