Chick Promotes New History
By 1988, because of the Chick picture books, Rivera is widely known in Christian circles throughout the world. His passports to ever more speaking engagements have been the Chick books. The later ones have progressively given less space to Rivera’s personal story and more to the new history Rivera supposedly learned when given access as a Jesuit Priest to the secret archives of the Vatican. It seems likely that among all the publications against Roman Catholicism, nothing has ever had a circulation as large as these picture books. They oppose Rome with startling examples of false history. We are told Roman Catholics were responsible for founding Islam. Such dangerous deceptions are also promoted through 22-page picture tracts. Chick Publications, with a range which includes some good material, are almost certainly the largest Christian tract publishers in the world, claiming a production of 100,000 per day. One of their latest, “The Deceived,” relates how Vatican spies were on the lookout for a potential leader of the new religion. The fantasy is that at long last they found a brilliant youth named Mohammed. The source of it all is Alberto Rivera, a man identified with forty years of fraud.
1991 – The Tightening of the Net
This year sees a turning of the tide against Rivera. It is time for him to be stopped. The research into Rivera’s life and background is substantially completed. There is material enough for several books and several films. On 21st August 1991, Carlos Orea*, a former elder of Rivera’s church, interviewed outside Los Angeles Municipal Court, was heard by millions on the main KABC-TV News: “I discover he’s an impostor. He’s a liar. He’s in the church because – money.” Ismael Guerrero*, a medical doctor and former elder who served Rivera for three years, gave evidence at Rivera’s trial, and was also heard by the TV viewers. He said Rivera was “…getting a lot of Christians that are in a vulnerable state. And he will draw money from you because you think you’re helping this super cause.” Carlos Orea and Donald Blanton*, another former member, were the plaintiffs. The photographs were taken when Rivera conducted Donald Blanton’s wedding. Ismael Guerrero was best man. Three years later the men were photographed outside the court room at Rivera’s trial. The question before the court was “money” – a key in the Alberto Rivera story. The judge found against Rivera. He said Rivera hides behind high-sounding titles to take money from people who believe in his cause.
Picture No 1:
Rivera’s Members – 1988; L to R: Mrs Nury Rivera (Rivera’s wife); a guest; Grace (bride); Donald Blanton; Albertito (Rivera’s son); Mrs Bertha Guerrero; Ismael Guerrero, MD; Alberto Rivera.
Picture No 2:
Rivera's Plaintiffs – 1991; L to R: Ismael Guerrero, MD; Donald Blanton; Carlos Orea; Dr Dino Badaracco (C.E.L.E.M. – Latin American Ministers' Committee on Ethics)