Matthew Trewhella and "Missionaries to the Pre Born"

News summary based upon: "Inside the Anti-abortion Underground: The FBI probes a ministry of fear" Newsweek Magazine/August 29, 1994 By Melinda Liu

The Rev. Matt Trewhella, co-founder of Missionaries to the Pre-Born, a Milwaukee anti-abortion group boasted to an audience in 1993 that his 16-month-old son, Jeremiah knew which finger was his "trigger finger."

The crowd of ultraconservatives also heard Trewhella say, "This Christmas, I want you to do the most loving thing. I want you to buy each of your children an SKS rifle and 500 rounds of ammunition."

Trewhella claims he won't kill doctors that perform abortions. But he is one of six anti-abortion leaders under investigation by the FBI.

The murder of Pensacola, Fla., Doctor John Britton has prompted law enforcement to watch the outspoken Pentecostal minister closely.

But Trewhella told Newsweek the FBI investigation is "a big joke."

However, Trewhella certainly helped turn Milwaukee into an abortion battleground.

Hundreds of anti abortion protesters have been arrested blockading clinics in Wisconsin. They trapped one doctor in his home and even picketed a child's soccer game because his father, a doctor, performed abortions.

Letter warned George Woodward, M.D., "If you continue [to perform abortions] I will hunt you down like any other wild beast and kill you." Woodward thinks he may be the next Dr. Britton.

When Wisconsin anti-abortion groups issued statements denouncing such murders, Trewhella chose instead to sign a statement declaring that such crimes were "justifiable homicide." Paul Hill the author of that statement later killed Britton and his security guard.

And a Newsweek investigation suggests that Trewhella apparently influenced one of his followers to become potentially violent.

"John" (real name not reported by Newsweek) a young army reservist from a staunch Catholic Midwestern family joined Missionaries to the Pre-Born in 1990. He later lived in the basement of Trewhella's home for almost five months. His reading there included stories about violence for a cause, such as abolitionist John Brown and convicted abortion-clinic bomber Michael Bray. John himself was arrested almost 70 times in anti-abortion protests.

John's family became alarmed by his "robotic" behavior. They read his journals, which included plans for a guerrilla campaign of abortion clinic bombings and the murder of doctors.

In January 1991 John's family hired cult ''deprogrammer'' Rick Ross, who once deprogrammed the Waco Davidian followers of David Koresh.

Ross said, "Trewhella had brainwashed John so that the young man could be wound up and sent out on auto-destroy." The intervention was successful. John went on to graduate school and never again associated with Trewhella.

When contacted by Newsweek Trewhella refused to accept any responsibility for John's behavior.


Copyright © 2002 Rick Ross.

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