Evangelical minister Tony Alamo blames the Catholics. But, police insist that they had evidence of child abuse and pornography at his headquarters in Fouke, Arkansas. Critics have long called Alamo’s massive church a cult, but he insists that it is “true Christianity.”
Social workers have interviewed children over two years and the FBI alleges “[c]hildren living at the facility may have been sexually and physically abused.”
Alamo was previously accused of child abuse and is a convicted tax evader. One of the children, Justin Miller, 11, previously told police that Alamo directed four men to strike him 140 times with a wooden paddle as punishment for minor offenses. Alamo was charged with child abuse but was cleared on that charge.
He defended his ministry: “We don’t go into pornography; nobody in the church is into that,” Alamo said. “Where do these allegations stem from? The anti-Christ government. The Catholics don’t like me because I have cut their congregation in half. They hate true Christianity.”
It appears that true Christianity demands some pretty curious things. When his wife and co-founder of the church, Susan Alamo died in 1982 of cancer, Alamo insisted that she would be resurrected and kept her on display for six months.
Alamo was successfully sued by former members who made designer jackets — they won $1.8 million. The tax evasion conviction was based on the failure to pay $7.9 million. It is unclear whether Alamo has located a biblical passage showing Jesus had continual tax problems. A census problem yes, but Jesus was known to render onto Caesar what is Caesar’s.