The discussion has gotten very vague and abstract, losing sight of the subject of the OP: polygamous pedophile preacher Tony Alamo. I recognize that the State of Texas recently bungled its raid on a pedophile polygamous cult, but do any of you really believe Alamo and his girls are just engaging in a matter of freedom of choice and a natural, healthy lifestyle?
Seems more like a wacko con man preying on vulnerable children to me.
[quote]These days, he can be heard regularly defending the breakaway Mormon sect in Texas. . . During an April broadcast, the pastor proclaimed that the government had no right to take 10-year-old wives away from their rightful “husbands”: “[color=#FF0000]What I’m doing is fighting for these people that they, the ungodly beast, is throwing into prison for marrying someone 16, 15, 14, 13, 12, 11-10[/color], if they’ve reached puberty.”
. . . [color=#FF0000]The IRS eventually revoked the church’s tax-exempt status [/color]in 1985 after determining that it was really a profit-making entity meant to fund Alamo’s luxurious lifestyle. However, the pastor continued to ignore his taxes, and the [color=#FF0000]IRS eventually seized millions of dollars in Alamo’s church property [/color]and business interests and put him behind bars. After [color=#FF0000]Alamo served four years of a six-year sentence[/color], all of his properties, businesses, and nonprofits were registered under the names of his followers. Since his release in 1998, he’s been trying to make a comeback and has targeted New York/New Jersey as one of several areas for growth-and for his polygamous radio message. . .
[color=#FF0000]Ondrisek says his sister began taking “field trips” to Alamo’s house with other girls when she was just 10[/color]. “She would come back with, like, new clothes,” he says. “By the time I was old enough to realize what was happening-it was just disgusting.” Now, he says, she is 19 years old and lives full-time at Alamo’s house as one of his “wives.”
. . . [color=#FF0000]Sarah, the youngest, was only six years old when she says she first realized that something strange was going on between Pastor Alamo and some of the girls [/color]in the church. “It was just totally obvious. I went to go visit Tony in prison, and he kissed all the women,” she says. It was her first indication that Alamo had multiple wives, many of whom, ex-members say, he married when they were still children. A naturally rebellious and skeptical kid, she says she was beaten and confined for her many infractions, which included talking back to a teacher and listening to music not approved by Alamo.
. . . Alamo eventually ordered Sarah and Angie, the two youngest, to live at his house for months at a time while their mother remained in another of the church compounds five hours away-Sarah because she needed to be watched, and Angie because she was being groomed to be Alamo’s next wife. Phoebe and Sarah say that [color=#FF0000]Angie went to live at Alamo’s house permanently when she was 12. By 13, she was wearing a wedding ring, and, at 14, she was spending the night in Alamo’s bedroom.[/color] Eventually, Sarah was kicked out at age 15 for kissing a young man that Alamo didn’t approve of;
. . . Alamo waxed poetic about menstruation: “The Bible is filled with stories where God commanded young women to get married. When they start their periods, they are women, according to God’s word. [color=#FF0000]They should be able to be married at 13, 14, 15 years old, and in cases if they’ve menstruated already, 12 years old[/color].” He also contends that Mary was as young as six at the time she conceived Jesus, and sarcastically asks if God could be considered a pedophile
. . . While Alamo publicly says he’s not a polygamist, and challenges outsiders to “find marriage licenses about me being married to anybody,” [color=#FF0000]ex-members say he has unofficially “married” at least eight girls as young as eight years old[/color][/quote]
[quote]children, and in some cases adults, being violently paddled for what Alamo deemed as bad behavior.
“There were a number of boys who got spanked. They’d hold them up, spread-eagle, then one of the big brothers would just take the board and let them have it over and over and over,” she said. “I couldn’t tell how or why they held it together. Many of them fell apart, screaming bloody murder.”
Not unlike [color=#FF0000]11-year-old Justin Miller, who at the Saugus, California church in 1988, received more than 100 swats on the orders of Alamo by phone. . . . In 1990, U.S. Circuit Judge Morris Arnold awarded Miller’s family almost $1.5 million in Fort Smith federal court for the beating[/color]
[quote] Six minors have been temporarily placed in state custody as part of a child porn investigation after a raid on a ministry run by a man who says “consent is puberty” when it comes to sex. . .
an e-mail that authorities inadvertently sent to media members last week referred to 12-, 13- and 14-year-old girls.
. . . News of the raid brought Anthony Justin Lane, 34, into Fouke from his job roofing in nearby Texarkana, hoping for some word about his family.
Lane said he has been [color=#FF0000]trying for 10 years to reunite with his children, who belong to Alamo’s ministry. Lane said he saw a 13-year-old girl marry a man of about 40 [/color]just before he was kicked out of the church for asking too many questions.
Lane hired a lawyer and said that he is trying to subpoena his girlfriend, but that it remains difficult as she moves among Alamo’s churches in Arkansas and California.
Lane said he last saw his oldest daughter, who would now be 13, in 2005. She offered him a pamphlet as he sat in his car reading a newspaper outside Alamo’s church in Fort Smith in 2005. When Lane told her he was her father, he said, she ran off.
He has received only a few photos since then of the 13-year-old, an 11-year-old daughter and a 9-year-old son from a relative. His longtime girlfriend was pregnant with the boy when Lane said he was expelled from the church for questioning its practices. [/quote]
[quote] If only she prayed hard enough, she could make Susan Alamo rise from the dead.
[color=#FF0000]At age 12, having not set foot outside a religious compound in Arkansas since she was 4,[/color] Elishah Franckiewicz believed it was possible.
Day after day, she lay down beside the corpse, dressed in a wedding gown, for Susan Alamo was “the bride of God.” And day after day, she endured beatings by church elders because the dead woman – wife to sect founder Tony Alamo – did not open her eyes.
“We prayed over her open coffin for months,” said Franckiewicz, now 37 and an English teacher at an area community college. “When she didn’t come back to life, Tony (Alamo) started losing his mind. He believed that it was because the devil was in the children, because we had weak souls.”
On Sunday, the morning after federal investigators raided the Arkansas headquarters of Alamo’s ministry as part of a child pornography investigation, Franckiewicz, for a brief moment, became that 12-year-old again.
In a resolute voice, [color=#FF0000]she made clear how she and others in the greater Portland area endured and escaped unspeakable abuses at the compound. Franckiewicz fled in 1985 at age 15. [/color]
. . . Franckiewicz says she was the first baby born at Alamo’s first compound in California. Years after her escape, [color=#FF0000]she testified against Tony Alamo, now 74, whom she describes as a “seriously dangerous man[/color],” in his tax evasion trial in 1994.
. . . Franckiewicz said Sunday she decided to tell her story because she worries that the public will be swayed by Alamo’s arguments that his group is being persecuted. At one time, she says, [color=#FF0000]Alamo was married to 10 girls ages 15 and younger[/color], including her two nieces
. . . Followers were expected to get jobs out in the world, Franckiewicz said, but were ordered to give their entire paychecks to the Alamos’ foundation. . . .
bonds between parents in the compound and their children were often broken and the Alamos made all decisions.
“Whatever the leader says to do, happens,” Franckiewicz said. “The parents of children in the compound are not what we understand as parents. They’re not protectors. They’re not nurturers. They do whatever Tony tells them to do to their children.”
Children were taught in a school on-site and rarely if ever permitted to leave.
Nearly everything - including playing house - was considered “evil,” Franckiewicz said. . .
[color=#FF0000]“We didn’t know that wasn’t normal,” she recalls. “We only knew what they told us.” [/color]
. . . Week after week, she recalls attending prayer vigils, and even lying down and curling up next to Susan Alamo’s rotting corpse. “She smelled,” Franckiewicz said. “She was cold and really, really hard. She was dead.”
Soon, children were being subjected to horrible beatings for every day Susan Alamo remained dead. “That’s my worst memory,” she said. “The beatings were severe. We were hit with 2-by-6 boards drilled with holes.” [/quote]
Would you argue it is all perfectly decent and natural if your daughter was one of his “wives”, had been held captive in the compound for years, and was cut off from the outside world?
Aren’t most sexual relationships between men over age 40 and girls under age 16 also coercive and predatory and statements to the contrary by the man are simply rationalization for his illegal acts and desires?