Tony and Susan Alamo Christian Foundation abduct 2 children

1988-02-13 CAN News - Ex-Alamo member continues 5 and a half year search for children
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CAN (Cult Awareness Network) News
February 13, 1988

Ex-Alamo member continues 5-1/2-year search for children

It has been 5-1/2 years since Judy Shapiro has seen her two daughters, Abigail Robin, 11, and Joanna Beth, 10. Shapiro bitterly feels that a group that she viewed as her friends, the members of the Tony and Susan Alamo Christian Foundation, has been keeping her children from her since 1982 on the orders of Tony Alamo.

Shapiro joined the church in 1970. Her mother and stepfather, who were attending the church in Hollywood, Calif., encouraged her to join. In April, 1971, she began living with other church members at Saugus, Calif. She quit her job with an insurance company and spent her time reading the Bible and praying, attending nightly meetings and witnessing in Hollywood for the cult.

In 1972, Shapiro’s parents became disillusioned with Tony and Susan Alamo’s lavish lifestyle and left the church, but were unable to persuade Shapiro to quit also,

In 1975 Shapiro was so convinced her future was with the church, she wrote Susan Alamo that she thought she was in love with Daniel Shapiro, another church member she barely knew.

On Sept. 20, 1975, Daniel Shapiro, contrary to his personal wishes, married her because Susan Alamo believed it was God’s will.

The rigid life style of the church allowed the couple to see each other less than 24 hours a week. During the week they lived apart. Both worked 7 days a week for church-run businesses for no wages.

On Aug. 11, 1976, Shapiro gave birth to
Abigail Robin, In November her husband was sent to Dyer, Ark., to live with other church members. Shapiro and Abigail were allowed to follow in January, but Shapiro was, again, not allowed to live with her husband.

On Dec. 15, 1977, she gave birth to Joanna Beth, Susan Alamo also tried to have Shapiro and her children live apart, but Shapiro refused.

As her children grew older, Shapiro became discouraged with life in the Church. The lack of family life, the control of her time, and the prohibition against contact with the outside world, including her family, caused her to question the church’s lifestyle.

In November, 1981, at the church’s suggestion, her husband told her she should consider leaving the Alamo Foundation because of her dissident attitude,

Shapiro visited her family in California to think about her commitment to the cult. After three weeks, she called her husband to tell him she wanted to return, but he told her she was not welcome back,
Shapiro filed for divorce and returned to Arkansas, hoping to take her children back to California with her.

She began divorce proceedings in July, 1982, and her husband (on the orders of the Chancery Court of Crawford County, Ark.) brought the girls to see her on two occasions–the last time she would see her children.

On July 20, 1982, Shapiro was awarded temporary custody of the children and granted permission to take them to California for 10 days. However, her husband’s attorney announced in court that Dan Shapiro had taken the children and supposedly fled to Kentucky.

Ex-Alamo member searches for children

Although on Aug. 3 she was granted permanent custody, the children have never been located. Shapiro is certain her husband is still working for the Alamo Foundation. Susan Alamo died in 1982, but Shapiro feels that on Tony Alamo’s orders, church members are helping to raise her children.

Shapiro, now working in California, says the FBI will follow any leads that may surface concerning her children; she is hopeful that someone will leave the Tony and Susan Alamo Christian Foundation and come forward regarding the whereabouts of her children, or will contact the Adam Walsh Child Resource Center, at 714-740-2660, with this information.

In: 1980-1989

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