7/30/09 – Exclusive Interview: Alamo says courtroom was ‘rigged’

Texarkana Gazette
July 30, 2009
By: Lynn LaRowe

Alamo says courtroom was ‘rigged’

In exclusive interview, evangelist says he’s an innocent prophet

EDITOR’S NOTE: Tony Alamo spoke with the Texarkana Gazette through the “bean hole” in his cell door Tuesday. The opening allows guards to pass food trays to prisoners and to cuff inmates before disengaging the door lock. Alamo is being held in the administrative segregation wing at the Bowie County Correctional Center in downtown Texarkana until sentencing. The room in which the convicted child sex abuser spends 23 hours a day is only large enough to allow pacing, reading and sleeping.

Alamo’s bunk was made though mussed. On a metal shelf sat his reading machine with an open copy of the Bible perched upon it. Alamo wore a denim jail jacket and kept a clean, white thermal shirt wrapped around his neck while he spoke. Instead of the darkly tinted shades in which he is nearly always seen, Alamo wore ebony framed glasses with clear lenses that magnified his brown eyes.

The reporter sat in a green plastic chair, eye level with the bean hole. Alamo squatted, a hand braced on the opening’s edge for balance. During the interview, Alamo rose and got a pillow to kneel on to make himself more comfortable.

Initially, Alamo’s body language conveyed anger. Later he vacillated between condemnation and condescension, a conversational tone and witnessing and sermonizing.

After a momentary introduction he was asked: “How are you feeling, Mr. Alamo?”

As he thrust his hands out of the space in the door, palms up, fingers splayed, Alamo’s voice boomed, “I feel with my hands.”

Tony Alamo said he is “rejoicing” because he belongs to “an exclusive club” of “prophets” who’ve been convicted.

“I’ve been in and out of jail for 45 years for the gospel, not for any wrongdoing,” Alamo said. “We’re all jailbirds, we prophets. We real Christians are in here. I’m not bitter.”

Early in the interview, Alamo glared as he swiped his hand out of his cell and said, “What if I reach out of here right now and touch you?” His hand came within inches of the reporter.

“The jury lied, OK?” Alamo said. “They sent a note to the judge saying we did not find sex. All of the trips he took were for business. Can we still convict?”

The jury asked three undisclosed questions during its deliberations.

Alamo was convicted on 10 counts of bringing minors across state lines for sex and will be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Harry Barnes in six to eight weeks.

“I don’t give a rat’s posterior if it’s 200 years or 2,000 years,” Alamo said of the punishment he faces. “I know the judge is going to throw the book at me. So is the IRS.”

Alamo was reluctant to give his impression of Barnes but said the courtroom was “rigged.”

Alamo said the FBI is after him because he’s been telling the truth about the 1993 Branch Davidian tragedy near Waco.

“They murdered all those good Christians in Waco,” Alamo said. “I was supposed to be in Waco but the Lord spoke to me and said, ‘Get off the Ridge.’ That’s why I opened up several churches in different areas—so they couldn’t kill us all at once.”

Alamo once operated a compound on Georgia Ridge in Dyer, Ark. It was seized by the IRS as recompense for unpaid taxes in 1991.

“The government is trying to take all of our property,” Alamo said. “You’re all a bunch of stinking devils.”

Alamo reconciled his Waco statements with anti-government ones predating the fire that killed many of David Koresh’s followers by referring to religious text.

“The Bible forbids being in league with the government,” Alamo said, mentioning the Jane Doe who testified this month in the sexual assault trial that she was the first to be interviewed by the FBI.

She also testified she was 8 when she exchanged vows with Alamo.

“She sold her soul. She’s like a betrayer, a Judas …” Alamo said. “She also said there was pornography and no porn was ever found.”

Alamo denied he’d destroyed explicit Polaroid photos of young girls he’d married. He scoffed when asked if he’d had any of the pictures with him in California when the Fouke, Ark., compound was raided Sept. 20, 2008. Alamo was arrested several days later.

Alamo said the government’s witnesses were sent to “deprogrammers” and gave FBI “coached” statements.

“All those girls who testified against me I had put out of the church, you see,” Alamo said.

Alamo denied he considered the Jane Does and other women wives.

“Puberty is the end of childhood. Check Webster’s Dictionary,” Alamo said. “Young women are supposed to marry. I don’t know any 18-year-old girl that’s still a virgin. The Bible says you’re only supposed to marry virgins.”

When asked about a woman who testified Alamo took her as a bride at 17 after she’d already been married to and had children with another man, Alamo explained.

He said the woman left with her husband when he ejected him from the group but that she later called asking for financial assistance.

“I told the girls to send him money. I mean women, not girls,” Alamo said. “Then she said she wanted to leave him … I remember her baby was crying so much everybody wanted me to make her leave to go back with her husband …”

Alamo said the woman finally left his ministry because he refused to have sex with her.

Alamo said he used to have sex with Sharon Alamo, a 50-year-old woman who remains loyal to him and is the mother of one of his sons.

“I haven’t had anything to do with her in 10 or 15 years. I used to love to have sex with her,” Alamo said.

From 1994 to 1998, Alamo served time in federal prison for tax evasion.

He said Sharon “thought I’d never get out, she gave some of my clothes away to the brothers. That ticked me off so bad I wouldn’t have anything to do with her to this day. I think she’s a sweetheart but she did what she did.”

Alamo said he’s “never really loved anybody but her,” when talking about Susan Alamo, his wife who died of cancer in 1982 who co-founded the first Alamo church.

Alamo denied he has ever had sex with a child.

“There’s nothing to be infatuated with,” he said when asked if he’s ever sexually touched 8-, 9- or 11-year-old girls. “I don’t even think of them.”

Alamo has an 8-year-old daughter who is in hiding with her mother.

“No. Would you?” Alamo replied when asked if he’d allow his daughter to marry at 9.

As he made a circular motion in the air near his ear while answering, Alamo added, “Cuckoo.”

Alamo said anyone who has sex with a pre-pubescent child is “going to be judged by the Lord.”

Alamo called “baloney” the science that ties maturity to brain development occurring after the body can reproduce.

“You people think you’re smarter than God. The media is the voice of Satan,” Alamo said. “Read the Bible. It says you’re going to burn in hell in the lake of fire. It’s incredible. The stupidity of people. You people make stuff up. You’re the ones that go to see ‘Pinnochio’ and ‘Bambi.’”

When asked about movies observed among a wall of shelved videos and DVDs in his Fouke bedroom during a tour earlier this month, Alamo espoused anti-Catholic sentiments.

“‘The Godfather’ shows how corrupt the Catholic cult is. The government is the mafia,” Alamo said. “That ‘Driving Miss Daisy,’ that wasn’t mine.”

Alamo said he was in an attorney’s office in California a couple of years after being saved when God appeared before his “open eyes.”

“You see, the Beatles wanted me to manage them and so did the Rolling Stones,” Alamo said. “The Lord said, ‘Stand up and tell about Jesus Christ or thou shalt surely die.’”

Alamo continued to reminisce.

“I’m a genius promoter. The whole Democratic Party wanted me to promote them. The president of the United States wanted me to redo his promotion,” Alamo said.

When asked what he thought of people who don’t believe he has been spoken to by God or have doubted some of his personal accounts, Alamo answered quickly.

“If you don’t believe Jesus, what’s the big deal? I get the same gospel whether you believe or not,” Alamo said. “My real name is Bernie LaZar Hoffman. I’m a Jew. We wrote the Bible.”

Alamo said he was raised in a small town in Montana.

“Why did God pick Jesus from a little ol’ town like Bethlehem?” Alamo said when asked why he thought God chose him.

Alamo said those who’ve chosen to remain loyal to his church “don’t want to go to hell.”

“I am the only one in the world that’s teaching the whole gospel,” Alamo said. “I’ve trained them for 45 years, some for 40, some 35.”

Alamo said being jailed has made running his church impossible.

“I only get two phone calls a day. How could I run a church with two phone calls a day?” Alamo mused.

Alamo said he doesn’t know how many letters he sends.

“I’ve never counted.”

Although he dismissed accusations he’s ordered beatings and physical punishments for his flock, Alamo said he advises parents regarding discipline.

“I tell them if your children are being unruly, spank them,” he said. “If they’re bigger, bend them over and give them a few swats.”

Alamo said if the punishment he receives from Barnes means he’ll die in prison, he’ll consider it “an honor.”

“I had five accusers and a few extras that were there. Jesus had thousands to crucify him. There was nothing he could do, either. He came to die here and that’s what I’ve come to do, too,” Alamo said. “If God wants to, he’ll get me outta here … If death takes me outta here, that’ll be cool.”

In: 2009 - (Trial year)

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4 Posts

  1. Child Advocate Says:

    Me thinks he may be insane

  2. Jael Sprinkle Says:

    It really annoys me that he retells the stories to his own liking- not reflecting the truth of what happened.

  3. Tropics Says:

    YA THINK….LOL…………

  4. E Says:

    He is even crazier than I thought he was.

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