Relatives of children taken from Alamo Ministries speak out

KSLA News, Shreveport, Louisiana/January 12, 2009

Texarkana, Arkansas - Family members of the children taken during last year's raid of the Tony Alamo ministries are finally talking.

Many of them arrived for the final custody hearings Monday for 23 of the children taken into custody by the Arkansas Department of Human Services, and they're speaking out against the government for the first time.

Miriam Krantz, along with several other proclaimed members of the Tony Alamo Ministries, protested outside the Miller County Courthouse on Monday.

"In a Nazi military style, they have taken our kids away," said Alamo Supporter Carol Broderick.

Another supporter, Bren Broderick, said, "People (were) coming on the property with ski masks on. They were going to take down hardened criminals, and it was because they were going to kidnap six children.

As Miriam showed off a picture of her and her six children in an Alamo Ministries newsletter, she said her children were unjustly taken from her.

"My 12, five, and seven- year-old are in a shelter for abused kids," she said. "My two babies are 15 months and two-and-a-half. They separated them and my nine-year-old is by herself."

DHS officials say the group has the right to protest, but the government still stands by the action taken in this situation.

"It was a well thought out process and we felt we did what was in the best interest of these children," said Arkansas DHS Spokesperson Julie Munsell.

The hearings are being held before Circuit Court Judge Joe Griffen. He says he expects the hearing to last at least two weeks.

Judge Griffen has also issued a gag order on the case. He says it was requested by lawyers representing the state of Arkansas. It comes after videotaped interviews with six of the children now in custody were leaked on the internet.

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