10/27/09 – TG: Rain dampens [Alamo members] protesters’ effort ***COMMENTS***

Texarkana Gazette
October 27, 2009
By: Lynn LaRowe

Rain dampens protesters’ effort

As the rain steadily came Monday, the number of sign-carrying protesters outside custody hearings concerning children with parents loyal to Tony Alamo dwindled to just a few.

Contrary to promises made on Internet blogs the last several days, an indignant mob of anti-child welfare agency, parent advocates did not appear at Monday’s custody hearings.

Instead, just a few stood with signs that said, “Stop the inquisition” and “Free Pastor Alamo,” still legible even though the ink upon them ran and smeared with the October precipitation.

Inside the Miller County Juvenile Justice Center in downtown Texarkana, Circuit Judge Joe Griffin considered arguments in closed hearings set this week to address the permanent residential status of kids from five families. Some of the parents have refused to comply with court directives to find employment and housing independent of the controversial ministry.

Griffin said he could not comment on what was decided for families whose cases were addressed Monday. The hearings continue today.

Their names are being withheld to protect the identities of the juveniles.

Arkansas Department of Human Services spokeswoman Julie Munsell said she couldn’t comment specifically about the cases but that termination of parental rights could be recommended in cases where families refuse to follow reunification plans approved by the courts.

Circuit judges have previously told the parents they don’t have to quit attending services at Alamo Ministries but that they must find employment and housing independent of the group.

Most longtime Alamo loyalists “volunteer” their time and labor in exchange for food, housing and basic necessities. Court documents show at least some of the children of church members were enrolled in taxpayer-funded Medicaid health plans before state intervention by child welfare officials began.

The members with children in state care claim giving up their current lifestyle to satisfy the juvenile courts amounts to being forced to choose between their children and their church.

Arkansas law requires “permanency hearings” be conducted after a child has spent 12 months in state custody. If DHS recommends a termination of parental rights or adoption for a child, a hearing to address that must occur within 30 days of the permanency hearing, according to Arkansas law.

DHS officials began taking children following a raid by law enforcement in September 2008 amid allegations of neglect and abuse.

In July, Tony Alamo was convicted of all 10 counts in a federal indictment accusing him of bringing young girls he’d wed as children across state lines for sex.

During Alamo’s trial, in court documents and in hearings held for related cases, assertions that Alamo loyalists abdicated their parenting decisions to Alamo, allowed their children to be beaten with boards and permitted the cessation of schooling when laborers were needed, repeatedly surfaced.

But those who remain devoted members dispute the allegations that have resulted in the removal of 36 children. They describe life on an Alamo compound as idyllic and free from negative outside influences like sexually oriented television and drugs.

Twenty-eight of the children remain in state care, Munsell said. The whereabouts of around 90 children listed on removal orders signed by Arkansas judges in November 2008 remain unknown.

During a hearing last week to address a civil lawsuit seeking damages from John Kolbek, a ministry member accused of beating children and adults at Alamo’s bidding, the foster mother of a girl removed from Alamo’s house in Fouke, Ark., Sept. 20, 2008, testified the girl asked her parents at a recent meeting why they wouldn’t do what it would take to get her back.

“The mother told her daughter she’d been in the ministry for 39 years, I think, and that if she quit now, it would all be for nothing,” the foster mother said. “(The girl) broke down. She was sobbing. She laid her head on her dad’s shoulder and he comforted her.”

In: 2009 - (Trial year)

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3 Posts

  1. Tom A Says:

    How sad. Wen did this madness take hold? Why can’t they just love their daughter?

    Do they actually believe that if they move off a certain piece of property and get a job, that they would lose their salvation?

    They lost their salvation when they put flesh, (Tony), above God and above the law of charity.

  2. Thomas Richards Says:

    “They describe life on an Alamo compound as idyllic and free from negative outside influences like sexually oriented television and drugs.”

    Instead the young girls there could be taken out of school (if they go), given to marraige at any time (usually 12 and over), and told “it’s of God” to marry whoever (possibly some creep fresh out of the gutter).

    So what’s worse? Being in public schools where, yeah, there’s a good chance of the kids hearing something certain parents may not approve of, or being at Alamo ministries where at any time, a convicted pedophile who they call a pastor could give the order that they should marry who he see’s fit?

    Also, the TV is something parents should control anyway. Now there are settings parents can use to keep kids from watching content that is inappropriate.

    Beside that. Life is NOT “Idyllic” there and the people there know it. Reports to Tony Alamo are constantly flying around to where people are scurrying writing “counter” reports to protect themselves from whatever punishment Tony alamo chooses. Whether Fasting, no bucks, moving out of your home to live with the “single brothers”, being kicked out of the ministry without your family, or having your whole family tossed out without anything after you’ve given everything to the church for years.

    Life is miserable at that cult. You should see the turnover rate there. NO ONE STAYED. I was there a few years and left three times. The only reason why I wanted to stay at all was because there were a few decent people there and I thought some of the literature Tony wrote (most of which was probably Plagerized) was good.

    Tony also always stated he could stop the rain if he prayed to God. And that he did do it once. Notice the weather on the day of the protests though. But I guess Tony didnt know it was raining though .. otherwise he would have… right?

  3. Sue B Says:

    The rain was NEVER stopped because Tony Alamo “Prayed”. TA is so full of himself. Tony Alamo self anointed himself as “World Pastor or Prophet”. Tony Alamo’s mind is turned over to believe a lie.
    If his prayers are so powerful, or if he is “GOD’S man on earth (as he self anointed himself with that title) – then TA should pray to be delivered from prison. God surely will deliver His “world pastor and prophet”.
    God is the same yesterday, today and forever! Peter was delivered from prison and he was chained to a wall with 2 guards watching him.

    His protesters were RAINED out! Tony why didn’t you “PRAY” and stop the rain??????? You made sure to alert the press days in advance to your picketing, your followers made signs and went out to proclaim your innocence??

    Did you forget God is a God of truth! God hates a lying tongue. Tony Alamo, you know you are lying about what you did to the children. God knows you are lying and HE rained on your big plans!!!

    God said he is not “MOCKED”. You will never be delivered from prison. God does NOT deliver evil, perverted liars who pervert the Gospel to fulfill their own lusts! Using the Gospel as a weapon against people who gave their hearts to the Lord.

    Remember Jesus said,”Whatsoever you have done unto the LEAST of mine, so you have done unto ME”!! So now TA reap what you have sowed – “DESTRUCTION”

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