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The Tony Alamo cult

Posted by Perry on November 06, 2007 at 16:15:10

You might interested in an article from the Southern Poverty Law Center, The Ravening Wolf, on the Tony Alamo cult that I've just posted on my blog at The article is rather long so here's a few excerpts for those in a hurry:

"Alamo, who has three children by three different, current "wives," also has been justifying sex with underage girls over the radio waves in recent years. It's hard not to be reminded of similar attitudes among other cult leaders, from Warren Jeffs, the jailed leader of the polygamist Fundamentalist Latter-Day Saints, to David Koresh, the late apocalyptic chief of the Branch Davidian sect in Waco, Texas, and a man Alamo says was "like a brother to me." Both Jeffs and Koresh have been accused of having sex with children."

"Alamo argues that girls should marry once they start menstruating even if they are as young as 10. In one September 2006 broadcast, he put it like this: "God impregnated Mary when she was about 11 years old. So the government idiots, the people that don't know the Bible, what you're going to have to do is get a hold of God now, you're going to have to get up there and 'cuff him and send him to prison for statutory rape."

"They informed their first handful of converts and the thousands who came later that anyone who left the church would burn in hell. Without the holy protection of the Alamos, the devil would kill them, turn them into homosexuals or make them insane."

"We were taught, and we taught our kids, that this is Papa Tony, he's a prophet of God," recalled Sue Balsley, a member from 1971 through 1989. "You were taught to shut off what you felt and believe what they said."

"He believed he and Susan to be the two witnesses of the Book of Revelation immortal prophets and was convinced Susan would rise from the dead." [she didn't]

"Alamo didn't spoil the children of his cult and he didn't spare the rod. Stories of brutal beatings are commonplace, according to ex-cultists' online accounts and interviews with the Intelligence Report.

"At the Saugus, Calif., compound in January 1988, for instance, 11-year-old Justin Miller wore a leather scarf without permission and asked a science question during history class two infractions promptly reported to Alamo. The punishment Alamo dictated via speakerphone was 140 blows with the heavy perforated paddle that Alamo had designed and named "the board of education," while his classmates looked on.

"He said I was a goat among sheep and he was going to have to beat the devil out of me," Justin testified later. The boy was held down by four men and walloped until his buttocks bled.

'Alamo took several more "wives" while he was "married" to Jael, she says, including a 9- and a 10-year-old girl."

"Alamo was calculated and adept when he began to groom young girls, Jael says."