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The Alamo Christian Foundation was a cult similar to others of its kind based on what it taught. God was the forefront, though the leaders had a different idea of what it meant to serve God and live a fulfilling life. Tony and Susan Alamo were charismatic speakers and grand presences, according to their once-followers in Sundance TV’s Ministry of Evil. The messages they gave their members may never be forgotten.
Like many religious organizations, the Alamo Christian Foundation did their recruiting on the streets. Some were saved when they met foundation members handing out pamphlets on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Others, however, found the cult much differently. The Alamos also hosted a religious television show, where they preached their message, brought on those they’ve saved to give testimonies, and taught the public how to live their best lives. The Alamos also strengthened their case to join their church by bringing on non-members each week to see the workings of their faith and positively testify for the group.
One of the largest talking points in the Alamo Christian Foundation was the fear of God. Religious music, ceremonies and beliefs were staples in the religious group. One former member spoke of his first day in the cult on Ministry of Evil. He was shocked by the intensity of each individual’s religious celebration. Like many other religious cults, see Wild Wild Country on Netflix, members would lose themselves in the praise services.
The Alamo Christian Foundation had controversial teachings on disciplining children. Susan widely taught that when children were too big to be spanked, they should be slapped. She preached physical discipline was the only way to save one’s children from hell. Even Susan’s own daughter left the group with her children, despite threats and a physical beating before leaving the property.
The Alamo Christian Foundation provided jobs for their workers, but no one got paid. Susan and Tony operated a non-profit, though they were profiting from the labor of their members. The members had a handful of jobs, but the most notable was the Alamo Jacket company, which produced graphic denim jackets. Even today, the jackets can be spotted on celebrities. The company found fame in the 1980s when country stars were spotted wearing the jackets regularly. Newsweek online article 27 February 2019
The imprisoned Evangelist preacher Tony Alamo, who sexually abused young girls he considered to be his wives, has died after serving more than seven years of a 175-year prison sentence, authorities said.
Alamo, who was born Bernie Lazar Hoffman, died Tuesday at the age of 82 while in custody at a federal prison hospital in Butner, NC, the Bureau of Prisons said, according to the Associated Press. Specific details about his death were not immediately known, though he reportedly suffered from a number of health problems, including diabetes and a 2011 heart attack.
Alamo was convicted in 2009 on 10 counts for taking young girls, including a 9-year-old, across Arkansas state lines to have sex with them, the AP reports. Some were forced to become his ‘wives’ throughout the 1990s.
Alamo began preaching in Los Angeles in the 1960s on a platform of anti-Catholicism, homophobia and polygamy with young women, according to the AP. He eventually moved his headquarters to Arkansas with his wife, Susan, where he held secret ceremonies at his compound to authorize his marriage to girls as young as 15-years-old. Time magazine online article 3 May 2017, ‘Christian Cult Leader and Child Sex Abuser Tony Alamo Dies in Federal Custody’
Behind the closed doors of an all-consuming cult, Tony imposed his will on his followers through violence fuelled by rage. People Magazine Investigates: The Alamo Christian Foundation, ID 2018
In 2008 self-styled evangelist Tony Alamo is arrested for horrendous crimes including repeated sexual abuse of young girls. ibid.
The Alamo cult begins almost forty years earlier when a young evangelical couple named Tony and Susan Alamo start a street ministry in Hollywood, California. ibid.
Tony Alamo’s appetite for violence and perversion continues to grow. ibid.
The predatory cult leader has finally been stopped … Child brides are witnesses against Alamo … Tony Alamo is sentenced to a total of 175 years in prison. ibid.