Thursday, October 2, 2008

Remember Tony Alamo

Recently, on one of the rare days when I went to catch the bus (and train, and another train, and another bus) to get to work, I saw something tucked into the windshield wiper of our motorcar on the street in front of Haus Jansen.

So before walking the block to the bus stop, and wanting to assure myself it wasn't a ticket, I went to see what it was.

It was a booklet, on the cover of which was a picture of a fellow who looked not entirely unlike Elvis Presley.

At the top, the masthead read, "Tony Alamo Ministries", so I assumed the fellow who looked somewhat like Elvis was one Tony Alamo, and that same runs some sort of Protestant ministry.

As it turns out, of course, it was, and he does.

I'd not theretofore heard of Tony Alamo, and glancing quickly at the other motorcars parked on our street, I was curious why ours appeared to be the only one on which some Tony Alamo devotee in our neighborhood had seen fit to place one of his publications.

So I took it with me to browse on the bus ride, and I soon realized why our vehicle was singled out: we have a Rosary hanging from our rear-view mirror. (And, as The Dutchman has pointed out, the Rosary has a habit of offending the right people.)

Tony Alamo, you see, is quite the anti-Catholic. Much of his long, rambling publication seemed to warn of either the Vatican's or the U.S. government's (or both) intent to tunnel under your house or something.

This article from a 1990 issue of This Rock offers a glimpse into Alamo's rather shady history. A few years later, he was arrested and convicted on tax-related charges.

And, just a few weeks ago, his Arkansas compound was raided by FBI agents and state police as part of a child pornography investigation.

Not the kind of the guy I'd want to want to place my trust in.


The Dutchman said...

And let's not forget the wackyness about his wife Susan's body.

Susan Alamo died of cancer in 1982. Tony Alamo said Susan would be resurrected and he kept Susan Alamo’s body on display for six months.

Tony Alamo refused to bury his wife. Mrs. Alamo’s daughter, Christihaon Coie, of LA, went to court to get legal aid to get her mother, Susan Alamo, buried in Van Buren. Coie won her case and Susan Alamo was finally laid to rest in 1998, after 16 years.

sunnyday said...

Hmm doesn't sound trustworthy indeed.

I found your mention of the rosary hanging from your car's rear-view mirror! I thought this was done only in the Philippines =)

John Jansen said...


Funny you should mention --here in the U.S., it certainly seems this custom is practiced mostly by Filipinos and Hispanics.

The Dutchman said...

Lapsed Catholics often do it for "good luck," thus reducing a sacremental to mere hoodoo and superstition.

Matt said...

Check out The Jesuit Oath from Mr. Alamo's site. Priceless!

The Dutchman said...

Way cool oath!

Strangely, though, it's very close to the KGB oath I took back in my Communist days ...