False Accusers Against Tony Alamo

International Coalition for Religious Freedom

2020 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Suite 963 Washington, DC 20006 (202) 298-6600





October 1, 1997


"Congress only exposed the tip of the iceberg," said Pastor Tony Alamo. "I am in prison because the IRS lied about me and my church, relied on preposterous and fabricated tales from a notorious anti-religious group, the Cult Awareness Network (CAN), withheld material from my attorneys that they were legally bound to reveal, offered rewards to get witnesses to cooperate, threatened several witnesses, and lied under oath in a court of law in order to cover up these abuses."

Pastor Alamo continued, "The government relied on false information from the Cult Awareness Network to murder innocent men, women and children in Waco, and they relied on these same liars to falsify charges against me. The IRS used the Cult Awareness Network, a professional fabrication company, to prosecute innocent churches. And their chief fabricator was Peter Georgiades, a Pittsburgh lawyer. The government even allowed this scurrilous organization to literally write my pre-sentence investigation report (PSI). Worse, the Parole Board adopted CAN's anti-religious fabrications causing me not to get parole or to go to a minimum security facility. No one I ever spoke with has ever heard of an outside organization being able to influence a PSI, but the so-called Justice Department allowed CAN to load my PSI with blatant lies. CAN made their money by trying to destroy churches and God-fearing people.

We all cheered when a jury found them guilty of kidnapping and religious persecution, and they were forced into bankruptcy and finally closed."

"Now, we all watched this past week as Acting Commissioner Michael Dolan and other IRS agents admitted in Congress that they bald-faced lied and fabricated evidence that ruined people's lives, their reputations and businesses." said Pastor Alamo. "One IRS agent even admitted that the IRS is responsible for numerous suicides of innocent Americans. I am an innocent victim of the IRS. President Clinton should grant me an immediate pardon, and if the government wants to right the wrongs, they should restore the church's stolen properties and make restitution on the businesses that were destroyed."

The hearings provided a wealth of IRS horror stories. For example, the IRS went after a church in Conklin, NY after it had warned citizens in an ad that voting for Clinton would be a sin. "The same thing happened to me," said Pastor Alamo. "A 20-year now-retired veteran of the IRS made clear in the hearings that all the agents knew what organizations to go after. They didn't need a call from the president. After I did an exposé on President Bush, our church's tax-exempt status was taken away, our properties and businesses stolen," said Alamo. "What is more, I was living in Los Angeles when I was falsely arrested. I was transferred to Memphis, Tenn., an area I had no relationship to, where Bush-appointed Judge McCalla presided over my trial."

IRS agents confessed that they went after high profile cases as trophies to bag. "I was such a high-profile case. The Lord, through my wife Susan and I, built a highly-anointed of the Holy Spirit Christian world-wide ministry, which the IRS made controversial by using CAN's fabrication of us and what we were doing in the Lord's service," said Alamo. "The government constantly relies on their fairy tales and nightmarish interpretations of us. And these days it seems it's easier to sell fiction to the public than the truth. But the truth is, we had won many souls to the Lord, and I continued the Lord's work after Susan's death. We built homes for our parishioners, opened schools, and taught young people skills. The IRS took this away because some opportunistic agents decided I was a good high-profile publicity prize. The lives of thousands of good Christians were meaningless to these people. The following are just a few examples of how the IRS used threats and lies to falsely convict me."

• The IRS accepted on face value the false information and testimony from the Miller brothers who stole $100,000 from the church. When they were discovered, the Millers deserted their wives and children and ran to the Cult Awareness Network who then provided them with legal assistance. The Millers and CAN were the IRS' main source of the lies told about Pastor Alamo.

• False allegations and anti-religious attacks on the church made by the Millers and their CAN attorney Peter Georgiades dominated a trial during which neither Pastor Alamo nor any church member was present. The judge believed CAN's lies and rendered a default judgement against Pastor Alamo. This verdict was used by the IRS as an excuse to seize church properties that did not even belong to Pastor Alamo. Hundreds of men, women and children were thrown off their properties at gunpoint in the middle of winter. Their vehicles and cash were stolen, phone lines cut, the cafeteria closed, and food was confiscated. This same tactic was used at Waco with deadlier results. At the same time, all the church's books, records and receipts were stolen, depriving Pastor Alamo of his own records to substantiate his defense. Indeed, the IRS conducted several prior investigations of Pastor Alamo in which he was exonerated after they audited his books and records. It wasn't until after the records were confiscated that the IRS was able to bring charges.

• The government waited 254 days past the Statute of Limitations to indict Pastor Alamo. Despite an initial recommendation by Memphis Magistrate Brown that the felony count against Pastor Alamo be dismissed, Judge McCalla, a Bush appointee, denied the recommendation.

• Birgitta Gyllenhammer, a government witness, an heiress to the Volvo Automobile Company and a princess of Sweden, who had been close to the church at one point, was threatened by the IRS that if she didn't cooperate and testify against Pastor Alamo she would be audited and they would impose fines on her, thus forcing her to lose her $3 million home and her multi-million dollar fashion business. She falsely testified in court that Pastor Alamo was giving her $45,000 a month for one year. No receipts or cancelled checks were ever produced.

• On the day Alamo properties were being auctioned (February 6, 1991), some church volunteers went to one of the church's properties. As they were pulling into the driveway, federal agents came out of hiding, and at gunpoint, screamed at them to get out of the car. The agents then threatened them (according to court testimony of a volunteer) "that if they kept following Tony Alamo, they would be as full of bullet holes as Alamo was going to be." The agents proceeded to mock the volunteers for, in their words, "pretending to follow God."

• Elizabeth Caldwell, Pastor Alamo's former wife, was told by IRS agents that unless she was willing to divorce Alamo and publicly malign his character, she would never see her two children again or gain their custody. Caldwell testified falsely against Pastor Alamo, and admitted to working with the FBI to help prosecute him.

• While IRS agents testified in court that Pastor Alamo impeded their investigation by refusing to provide them with any of his financial ledgers and records, recently disclosed IRS material gotten through FOIA, proves that IRS agents lied on the stand. The IRS' own records reveal that they confiscated and placed in IRS storage all of Pastor Alamo's financial ledgers and journals, a fact that Alamo contended from the beginning of the investigation.

• Nonetheless, Judge McCalla used the IRS' false testimony fabricated for them by CAN to sentence Alamo to the maximum term possible.

• IRS agents did not disclose to the defense favorable statements from witnesses that they interviewed. The IRS withheld interviews with certified public accountants and attorneys, which would have substantiated Pastor Alamo's good faith belief that he had complied with all tax obligations. This evidence would have impeached testimony by government witnesses.

• FOIA documents further reveal that IRS agents used threats to intimidate witnesses. In one IRS memorandum, agents Howlett and Beauregard told a witness that if he did not cooperate with them, they would go after him rather than Pastor Alamo. They threatened him a second time, telling him that unless he cooperated they would prepare tax returns on him individually.

During Pastor Alamo's trial, IRS Agents Howlett and Beauregard lied on direct examination by IRS prosecutor Chris Belcher, testifying that they did not offer any witnesses immunity. However, IRS papers show that Belcher and the IRS agents had granted witnesses immunity and did not reveal this prior to the trial.

• The IRS began an examination of Music Square Church in December, 1989. The IRS has a two-year legal time limit to complete any examination. However, it waited nearly seven years, until April, 1996, to issue a Final Adverse Determination Letter retroactively revoking the church's tax-exempt status. The church is challenging the IRS' unlawful decision, and the case is presently pending in the US Federal Claims Court.

In response, Pastor Alamo noted, "It seems that the IRS changes the government's rules whenever they please, and their own rules as well. It is on record that the IRS tax book is five times larger than the Bible, and it's filled with countless loopholes. It's hard for any citizen to understand — it shouldn't be this complicated."

• Unbeknownst to Pastor Alamo, his attorney, Jeffrey Dickstein, was under possible indictment from the IRS as a tax protestor. The IRS granted Dickstein immunity during the trial, rendering his defense less than effective. Even so, the jury was hung for three days after hearing Pastor Alamo testify, before issuing a verdict.

"I pray that Congress will not only investigate the IRS, but prosecute the guilty as well. No one is above the law — not Congress, not the Senate, not the President, no one. I am currently in prison for the gospel by frauds committed by the IRS, framed for them by the Cult Awareness Network. (Now I'm released for about 9 years.) I ask all my fellow Christians to demand that Congress end this fraud committed by the IRS, investigate my case, and seek an immediate presidential pardon. Let's hope Congress takes strong action against IRS abuses for it's obvious that the taxpayers, the voters, have had enough," concluded Pastor Alamo.