2 former members of Tony Alamo cult awarded $33 million each in civil suit

Two former members of Tony Alamo Christian Ministries have been awarded $33 million each after they sued Alamo for ordering them to be beaten.

The two men testified that evangelist Tony Alamo ordered his enforcer, John Kolbek, to beat them.

In October 2009 they were each were awarded $1.5 million from Kolbek after he failed to respond to their lawsuit.

Kolbeck died in January this year of a heart attack while on the run from law enforcement.

The Associated Press reports:

A jury in federal court in Texarkana deliberated for a few hours Thursday before finding Alamo liable for civil damages.

Seth Calagna and Spencer Ondirsek were awarded $30 million each in punitive damages, plus another $3 million each to compensate them for past injuries.

Cult leader Tony Alamo is serving a 175-year prison sentence for taking young girls across state lines for sex.

He was not present at the trial because it would cost too much to bring him from federal prison in Terre Haute, Indiana.

Theologically Tony Alamo Christian Ministries is a cult of Christianity. Sociologically the group has cult-like characteristics as well.

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This post was last updated: Thursday, June 2, 2011 at 11:51 PM, Central European Time (CET)