The Truth About
(The following article consists of two previous articles, published in 1989-1990 and 1997. Although many years have elapsed since then and Alberto Rivera died in 1997, the comic books purporting to be based on his life story continue to be published and circulated worldwide in their millions. Thus the need to maintain a witness against the lies and deceptions of this man, a false Christian and one of history’s most successful religious frauds, remains as great now as it did then; and for as long as the false “life story” of Albert Rivera remains in print and continues to deceive multitudes, it will be necessary to expose him. On this the Bible is very clear: 1 Tim. 1:19,20; 2 Tim. 4:14,15; 3 Jn. 9,10; Rom. 16:17,18; 2 Cor. 11:26; Eph. 5:11; etc.)
Alberto Rivera: a False Brother
(The following article was first published in the Bible Based Ministries Newsletter, No. 44, December 1989 – January 1990. At the time of publication, although it was clear from the evidence that Rivera was not a true Christian, it was still considered possible that he may have once been a Jesuit priest as he claimed. In the years that followed, however, even this claim of his was conclusively proved to be fraudulent, notably by British author Roy Livesey; and the second article below states that Rivera was never a Jesuit priest.)
Alberto Rivera is known to many worldwide as “an ex-Jesuit priest converted to Christ”, particularly through the comic books that have been published by Chick Publications, the most well-known being Alberto. Bible Based Ministries, like many other ministries around the world, used to support his stand against Rome, because he did reveal many true things about the Roman Catholic institution.
However, as the years have gone by since Alberto was first published, evidence has mounted that Alberto Rivera’s behaviour is not that of a truly converted man. Those who know him personally, having even been members of his church at one time, have documented evidence of his sinful lifestyle, for which he refuses to repent. Whether or not he was ever a Jesuit is now irrelevant, as is the fact that he has certainly revealed many true things about the Roman Catholic system; his conduct has brought reproach to the name of Christ, he has ill-treated many Christians, and “given great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme” (2 Sam. 12:14). In the light of his consistently sinful lifestyle, he cannot be accepted as a brother in Christ. While all true believers commit sin, and have need for repentance, this is a different matter entirely to a man who walks in sin, and has no remorse for it (1 John 1:6,7). A tape is now available entitled Alberto Rivera: a False Brother, by Shaun Willcock, which examines this matter biblically [this message, originally recorded on cassette tape, is now available on CD from Bible Based Ministries].
- Alberto Rivera preaches against the Charismatic Movement; and yet he has permitted charismatics to work for him. He believes Seventh-Day Adventists are brethren. In a number of areas, he says one thing, yet does another.
- Many, many people who have sent him money for materials, have never received their orders – nor their money back! This is theft.
- When men have parted from him because they cannot agree with him, he has labelled them “infiltrators” – with absolutely no proof.
- He has got men to loan him large amounts of money, promising to repay them – but has never done so.
- His own church dismissed him from the pastorate, due to his ungodly lifestyle and theft.
- He has even claimed infallibility.
All the above information is documented. He has become a danger to the Church of Christ, and must be exposed.
Let it be stated categorically: unlike those who have said that Rivera’s claims about Rome are false, we have no problem with the historical facts contained in his material. It did not take Alberto Rivera to reveal these things – the proof is found in many sources. The issue is not the historical facts; the issue is the ungodly conduct and false doctrine of the man himself. True believers should not support such a man, regardless of the many true things he has said. Rather, they should pray for his salvation.
Alberto Rivera: a Con-Man, Not a Converted Ex-Jesuit
(The following article was first published The Bible Based Ministries Magazine, No. 84, April-November 1997)
Alberto Rivera, the man who claimed to be an ex-Jesuit priest converted to Jesus Christ, and whose supposed life-story was published as a series of comic books by Chick Publications, died in the United States in June this year . I was in the United States at the time. We heard the news from Roy Livesey, the British Christian author who has done extensive research into the life and claims of Rivera. According to one version, he died of food poisoning; according to another, he died of cancer. Apparently (and not at all surprisingly) Rivera himself claimed to have been poisoned, stating that the poison caused the cancer. Certainly his widow, Nury, makes that claim, in the first newsletter she published after his death.
Donald Blanton, my friend and brother in Christ who lives in California, and I visited Chick Publications in California to find out whatever details we could about his death. We were unable to meet with Jack Chick, but we spoke with Donna Eubanks, an ex-Superior of a Roman Catholic convent who now works at Chick Publications. As we suspected, Chick Publications appeared to prefer the food poisoning story; this would fit right in with all the other sensational claims Rivera made, including the many supposed attempts on his life by Jesuit agents. Donna Eubanks said that he had been poisoned. And yet, in describing the symptoms Rivera exhibited, it sounded to us like cancer!
Significantly perhaps, Jack Chick himself made no mention of death by poisoning when he related the death of his friend in the Chick Publications magazine, Battle Cry.
I first heard of Alberto Rivera, like so many thousands of others, when, way back in the early 1980s, I read the comic books published by Chick Publications. There are at present six in the series. The first is entitled Alberto, and this and the sequel, Double-Cross, claim to be based on the true story of a man who was a Roman Catholic Jesuit priest, an undercover agent of the Vatican who infiltrated Protestant churches, and who was eventually converted to Jesus Christ and left the Roman Catholic system, becoming a Christian minister. The other comics, entitled The Godfathers, The Force, Four Horsemen, and The Prophet, contain information about the supposed intrigues of the Vatican which Rivera gave to Chick to publish. Some of the information is certainly historically accurate, and has been documented in other sources (from which, no doubt, Rivera himself gleaned it); but there is also much in these comics which is utterly inaccurate, yet which we are supposed to believe merely on Rivera’s say-so.
Back in those days, I did not know this. And, finding myself in a position to travel to the United States, I decided to do just that, and to meet Alberto Rivera personally. I wrote to A.I.C. Ministries (Rivera’s outfit) in Upland, California, and received a positive response. I flew to Los Angeles in April 1985. I spent three weeks with Rivera and his co-workers – more so with his co-workers than with him. While there were a few things which concerned me, I gave him the benefit of the doubt, believing in general that he was who he claimed to be. I was later invited by A.I.C. Ministries to handle all their correspondence from Africa. I never joined A.I.C., but I agreed to do this for them. In this way, a great number of letters, which African people had written to Rivera, were passed on to me, and this was surely in the Lord’s purposes, for in this way many of them ceased dealing with him and began to deal directly with Bible Based Ministries.
In this way things continued for a few years. All that we ever knew of Alberto Rivera, we knew from my brief visit, and from his literature and tapes. And then, in 1988 and 1989, the Lord began to expose the ungodly conduct of Rivera as never before. One of the men in Rivera’s church was Donald Blanton. We had been corresponding. A series of events occurred, too detailed to go into here, which resulted in Donald leaving Rivera’s church; and Rivera himself was excommunicated from his own church for his ungodly conduct. The details of these events are given in a lecture I delivered entitled, Alberto Rivera: a False Brother. This is available from Donald Blanton, who is our distributor. In addition, he himself can provide further information about all these things [this message is today available on CD from Bible Based Ministries; as is a package of photocopied documentation, compiled by Donald Blanton, providing solid evidence that Rivera was a fraud and deceiver].
Rivera’s conduct revealed that he was by no means a truly converted man. And he was not to be trusted.
Some time later, Roy Livesey from England (who had also, initially, been intrigued by the Alberto story), began to extensively research the history of Alberto Rivera, visiting the Canary Islands (where Alberto grew up), the United States, etc. And what he discovered proved, conclusively, that not only was Alberto Rivera not a true Christian, but in addition, he had never been a Jesuit priest either! Roy Livesey uncovered a life of deceit and fraud going back decades. He has written a detailed book exposing Rivera, but as yet has been unable to find a publisher [Livesey did, however, write a booklet entitled “Alberto” – Comic Book Con-Man, published by Bury House Christian Books, Kidderminster, UK, in 2005].
The “Alberto” comic books are not to be trusted as reliable sources of information about the Roman Catholic system, nor are they the true story of Alberto Rivera. The true story of Alberto Rivera is that of an extremely clever con-man. He has fooled many, and his story will continue to do so even now that he is dead.
Some have very foolishly said that any exposé of Rivera will only be playing into the Vatican’s hands. This is absolute nonsense. The fact that the Roman Catholic institution is the Great Whore of Bible prophecy does not stand or fall with Alberto Rivera! Yes, Alberto was a fraud: he was never a Jesuit priest. But this does not in any way alter the truth that the Jesuits are the most diabolical organisation to ever disgrace the face of the earth! There is ample evidence of this, the evidence of centuries of history. And they are just as diabolical today, for which (again) there is ample evidence. Alberto was a fraud; but let none think that the Jesuits are not a danger to the world, and to true Christians, merely because one man was found to have concocted a fanciful story! We will readily direct any interested reader to some of the literature available on the Jesuit Order. It is horrifying. They most certainly do infiltrate churches, and seek to destroy biblical Christianity, to overthrow governments, etc., etc. The truth is, we do not have to resort to Rivera’s fanciful tales: the real history of the Jesuit Order is terrible enough [a book entitled The Jesuits: the Secret Army of the Papacy, by Shaun Willcock, is available from Bible Based Ministries].
I believe that, now that Alberto Rivera is dead, Chick Publications will profit even more from his story than when he was alive. For the man must have become a major embarrassment to Chick himself, as more and more details of his swindles, deceit, fraud, lies, and other completely un-Christian conduct came to light. His was a record of ungodly conduct stretching back over many years, indeed over decades. Jack Chick stubbornly continued to support Rivera, and refused to heed the solid evidence of Rivera’s sinful conduct which was presented to him; but without doubt it all must have provided him with much embarrassment at times. Now, however, with Alberto Rivera having passed away, Chick is free to continue publishing the story, no longer saddled with having to ward off the constant stream of evidence relating to Rivera’s misconduct, and, furthermore, it is more than likely that Rivera will come to be viewed as a Christian martyr, a man who died for the cause of Christ at the hands of agents of the Vatican. If anything, one can expect the comic books to continue to sell for many years to come. Albert Rivera could ultimately prove to be more profitable to Chick Publications now that he is dead, than ever he was when he was alive!
Meanwhile, the Alberto “ministry” continues. It is now in the hands of his wife, Nury, and their son, Albert, and it is based in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Rivera’s work was called “A.I.C. International Christian Ministries,” the “A.I.C.” standing for “Antichrist Information Center.” Interestingly, although it is still called A.I.C., the first issue of the new newsletter published by his widow (Contending for the Faith, Volume 1, Issue 1, July-September 1997) states that it is now called “Assurance in Christ and Alberto Ministries.”
On p.2 of the newsletter, Nury Rivera wrote that her husband “was intentionally poisoned”, claiming: “Witnesses are everywhere.” She declared that she would, in the next issue, “show to the world” what happened. Rivera himself was always making extravagant claims, stating that he had solid “proof” for this or that. No solid evidence of poisoning has as yet been given, but there is solid evidence that Rivera was a fraud, a man who deliberately deceived millions, usually keeping just one step ahead of the law. Tragically, his story will continue to circulate throughout the world, and thus the deception will continue. We urge Christians to arm themselves with the true history of this man, and to do what they can to expose the false version which he so successfully promoted worldwide.
(The reader who would like to examine the evidence is urged to contact Bible Based Ministries, to obtain a copy of the CD entitled: Alberto Rivera: a False Brother, by Shaun Willcock; as well as a package of photocopied documentation, compiled by Donald R. Blanton, which provides solid evidence that Rivera was a fraud and deceiver. This evidence consists of firsthand accounts of people who worked with Rivera, copies of court records showing he made fraudulent loans and swindled money, etc.)
Photo on first page: property of author
Shaun Willcock is a minister of the Gospel. He runs Bible Based Ministries. For other articles (which may be downloaded and printed), as well as details about his books, audio messages, pamphlets, etc., please visit the Bible Based Ministries website; or write to the address below. If you would like to be on Bible Based Ministries’ email list, to receive all future articles, please send your details.
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