Evangelist Tony Alamo is back in Arkansas, and making news again.
Once based in Alma, Arkansas, Tony Alamo Ministries essentially went out of business when its leader went to prison in 1994 for tax evasion. After his release in 1998, he set up shop again, this time in the town of Fouke, near Texarkana.
Now, the church is officially listed as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors such organizations.
SPLC spokesman Mark Potok says Alamo’s hate is largely directed at one target: the Catholic church, which he blames for everything from communism and Nazism to pornography and the Jonestown Massacre.
But it’s not just the anti-Catholic rhetoric. Potok says dozens of women have accused Alamo of engaging in polygamy and sex with underage girls.
Local residents in Fouke have been alarmed in recent months by the church’s posting of armed guards on public streets leading to the Alamo compound.
The SPLC released a lengthy report on Alamo’s recent activities this month.