The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.

Cult Evangelist Tony Alamo Convicted on Sex Charges

By Larry Keller on July 24, 2009 - 5:50 pm, Posted in Anti-Catholic, Anti-LGBT

Anti-Catholic, pro-polygamy evangelist Tony Alamo will likely be preaching from behind prison walls for the rest of his life, and perhaps nobody is happier than his stepdaughter, Christhiaon Coie.

“I started crying and screaming,” Coie told Hatewatch, upon hearing that Alamo was convicted today by a federal court jury in Texarkana, Ark., on all 10 counts of transporting underage girls across state lines for sex. Alamo, 74, faces up to 175 years in prison, plus fines that could total $2.5 million.

Coie says she was raped by Alamo when she was younger. “I’ve been in this fight, trying to stop him, for nearly 40 years.”

Alamo was charged last year with transporting girls to other states over a period of 14 years for sexual purposes. His lawyers argued that Alamo took the girls places on church business, not for sex. Alamo did not testify at his trial but did fall asleep a few times during closing arguments. “I’m just one of the prophets that went to jail for the Gospel,” he shouted to reporters as he was led out of the courthouse. He will be sentenced in six to eight weeks.

“I believe he will spend the rest of his natural life in prison,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Kyra Jenner, who prosecuted Alamo, told Hatewatch.

Alamo’s birth name is Bernie LaZar Hoffman. He met Coie’s mother, Susan, when Coie was in her teens. The couple began Tony Alamo Christian Ministries in 1969 in California. Followers say they were disciplined with beatings and food deprivation, and threatened with losing their spouses and children. His dogma included blaming the Catholic church for everything from communism and Nazism to the Jonestown massacre. He compared the Vatican to a prostitute. He also ranted about gays and the government.

The Alamos moved the cult’s headquarters to Arkansas in 1975, where they lived in a mansion with a heart-shaped pool. Susan Alamo died of cancer in 1982. Her husband oversaw a thriving designer jacket business in the 1980s that was popular with celebrities. But Tony Alamo served four years in prison in the 1990s for income tax evasion.

Alamo maintains that girls should marry when they begin menstruating. It’s that apparent predilection for young girls that prompted federal agents to raid his 15-acre compound last September in the town of Foulke, near the Texas state line. One girl told the FBI that Alamo repeatedly fondled her when she was 8, then “married” her in May 2000 when she was 9. She was still 9 when he took lewd photos of her and had intercourse with her, she said. He watched adult porn films with her in his bedroom, she added. A second girl said she was 12 when Alamo had intercourse with her. When she was 14, Alamo took her to California, where he had sex with her in motel rooms and at his California compound, she said. An informant told the FBI that she saw Alamo sometimes take more than one girl at a time to his bedroom, where he kept candy bars and a Barbie doll collection.

“The only woman he has ever respected is my mother. He feared and worshiped her,” said Coie, who lives in California. “I knew what he was doing. I can’t even begin to tell you how happy I am that somebody finally listened … and stopped him.”

  • kristen

    well, i just got a newsletter on my car about this “tony alamo” character, and am highly offended that someone would put it on my car. i hadn’t heard of him. and googled his name and this popped up.

    it’s sickening.

  • http://tinyurl.com/6zbf5ot Lawrence Kotun

    Who made you a judge? The only Judge that has the final say is the Almighty God. Personally, I am not convinced that Pastor Tony Alamo really committed the crimes he was convicted for. I have been following his messages and notice that he is not just a preacher or teacher, but a doer of the WORD. My best advice to everyone coming across this website is to sit down and make inner reflection, pray to God for oneself and other Christians to make heaven no metter the threats fromthe pit of hell. Let us stop critizising others if truly we are in the race together because no one has arrived.

    I will make reference to a case of Joseph in the Holy Bible. Did the crime he was sentence for not look real? Everybody believed then that he did it. But in the cause of time the truth surfaced.

    Another truth is this no individual humanbeing or christian has the mandate of judging his/her fellow human being, especially his anointed ministers. So we should be mindful of our speech. Do not forget that we will all stand one day to give an account of our deeds including words. Romams 14:12.

    Under my own personal microscope, I must confess and conclude that this is pure persecution which a true Church at any time especially in this endtime must face. An individual or a Church that does not compromise or dilute the WORD must surely be persecuted and it is better to be persecuted than to compromise. It is because most other churches are not preaching the TRUTH that is why they are comfortable with king self, the governments and the world.

    As for me I still recognize Pastor Alamo not only as a man of God, but as a Godly man, no matter what others may believe or purported to know about him; this is my conviction. Period!

    Let us therefore continue to fight the good fight of faith to he end without fear or favor.

  • Grace

    I was watching Oprah and was shock as I Learned about this horrific cult. Sadly this cult used the name Jesus Christ and twisted the biblical word to benefit him (Tony Alamo). I am so sorry to the person who wrote letter posted above, sorry that no one was there to rescue you as a child. I am Saddened that people use Jesus and Christianity as a way to sway others to their false prophecy. I believe in free speech and I am so glad to be an American, but as a Christian we should not preach Hate. We should emulate the goodness of Christ.

  • Rescued

    honestly i used to be a part of that church and me and a friend were able to run away and get help before any of that happened to us when we were 10 i lived at both the CA and AR compunds where we werent allowed to watch television, read newspapers, we were “spanked” brutally and were deprived of food for periods of time that they called “fasting” we worked in nurseries and clothing shops from the lowest age of 8 i know girls who were married at the age of 13 and were pregnent by 14 i had a very fucked up hildhood i’m just glad i got away and someone is being punished for the shit i went through as a kid and all the shit thats still going on

  • Wind

    Allexus — Do you see how crazed and out of control your post is? You’re cursing and hissing all the way through and then at the end, you’re praising Jesus. It is that type of attitude that turn stomachs of non-believers. Also, you will never make a believer out of anyone if Hoffman’s doctrine and pro child rape is at the core of your beliefs. Little girls do enter puberty at menstruation — however, the LAWS OF THE LAND (you remember that command, don’t you?) state that a girl is NOT legal until the age of 18 — in other words, HANDS OFF, HOFFMAN! No human being would survive violating MY daughters — they would be better off had they never been born — how any mother could encourage and count it a privilege for Hoffman to rape their young children, I’ll never know. Instinctively, they ALL knew better. And, according to the ACTUAL Word of God, one wife only.

  • Sylvia

    Hello….. Where are the stories on this site and soem others that are infomrative about the hate groups that are filled with black people? Where are the current and many articles and news about blacks who hate whites… It is too easy to find the opposite yet there are even larger amounts of Mexican gangs fighting black gangs yet where are these articles?

  • claudia

    allexus – reading what you wrote makes me sure of one thing, you lost your mind long ago. How very, very saddening that tony alamo has caused you such misery and confusion.

  • carrisima

    The perverted man is a creep getting way too much publicity. He should be jailed and ignored.

  • Donna Kegley

    The BIBLE said do not judge unless you be judged the same. And it does mention false prophets. Think about it.

  • Snorlax

    Blaming the Catholics “… for everything from communism and Nazism to the Jonestown massacre…” IS hate.

    You don’t like their dogma, fine. But bashing them with Chick-tract LIES is un-Christian to do.

  • Snorlax

    I wonder how many big Hollywood celebrities are going through their closets to quickly get rid of their expensive slave labor Tony Alamo coats. Someone should put together a montage of Hollywood stars showing off their pervertwear. Shame on them.

  • http://www.clottedcognition.com Liesl

    A child does not seduce an adult. Period.

    Go sell crazy somewhere else, “Allex.”

  • Cherokee Princess

    While Alamo preached a false gospel (salvation by works) and is clearly guilty of going after these girls, I want to make one thing clear: Being anti-CatholicISM is NOT hate.

    Being against homosexuality is not hate. Beating someone up for being gay IS hate (but we don’t need hate crimes laws, assault is already illegal). Are we clear on the difference now?

    Attempting to stifle free speech is anti-American. And it’s hate!

    Funny how the liberals complained about it during the Bush regime (and rightfully so)…but now they want to stifle free speech themselves! What gives?

    I am a fundamentalist Christian, and while I had no problem giving Alamo the benefit of the doubt (innocent until PROVEN guilty…remember?), now that it’s been proven, I’m not supporting him.

    I hope people will be “open-minded” enough to stop with the “guilt by association.” Just because I agree with a few things Alamo said, doesn’t mean I support him.

    Speaking of Catholicism…when is that church going to be held accountable for all those cases of child molestation…?

  • ALLEXUS8

    ALL YOU LIAR I DO NOT BELIEVE YO SAY ABOUT TONY HE SAVED MY SOUL THANK TO GOD HELP AND THOSE SOUL ON MANY WATERS, IS NOT THAT SUSAN ALAMO DAUGHTER THAT THAT WAS MARRY TO TONY THAT WICKED GIRL TRY TO SEDUCE HER OWN STEPFATHER WHEN SUSAN ALAMO WAS ALIVE HOW THE COLE DAUGHTER HATED TONY ALAMO, I AM PRETTY SURE SHE BEEN TO WELLSPRING AND SHE ALSO HAVE BLASPHEMY GOD NAME IN JESUS CHRIST NAME THEIR IS A PERFECT TORMENT IN HELL FOR ALL YOU DEVIL, MAY YOU GET YOUR SHOCK TREATMENT IN THE BOTTOMLESS PITS OF HELL FOR FRAMING THE GREATEST PROPHET IN THESE LAST DAYS TONY ALAMO WAS SET UP BY THE ONE WORLD GOVERNMENT NEW WORLD ORDER BEAST, THAT FALSE PROPHET POPE FROM HELL ,HELL HAS ENLARGE HERSELF FOR REPROBATE DEVILS LIKE YOU DEVIL, THE GLORY BE TO JESUS CHRIST WHOM WAS FIRST JAIL AND CRUCIFIED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Carter

    “Tony Alamo” has past on and the legacy that the man has left said a great deal about him.

    What did his works say about the man? What did his espousing anger & division do, to further the productive element of society? Here is where the final question of every person in middle age presents itself.
    It can be scary stuff for many! It’s reality that many die in their thirties & forties…..What did they leave?

  • Donna Kegley

    I am happy they have him behind bars. He is a very sick person. I am indaian so think about what I would love to see
    Him go through.

  • daemonesslisa

    I think they won’t; usually, they tend to stay away from cases of child molestation or thereabouts. That’s why they don’t rally around the Catholics or the FLDS.

  • http://exaggerator.blogdrive.com/ The Exaggerator

    Given Mr. Alamo’s claim to reporters that


    “I’m just one of the prophets that went to jail for the Gospel,”

    how much longer will it be before the Christian Right starts coming to Mr. Alamo’s defence, what with his playing along with the “Christian Persecution!” meme and trope (sung in the rather awful and grating key of “Ring around the collar!”) by implication?