Following are the six titles in a series of Crusaders comic books published by Chick Publications, which are based on information that was submitted by ex-Jesuit priest, Alberto Rivera:
As a result of the numerous accusations that were made against the Catholic church in these comics, the supposed Christian periodical, Christianity Today, unleashed a scathing character assassination of Alberto Rivera. Since they could not refute the facts he presented, they did the only thing they could; discredit his testimony by attacking him personally.
To determine if the charges against Dr. Rivera that were printed in Christianity Today were valid or not, the Canadian Protestant League (which is not affiliated with Alberto Rivera or Jack Chick in any way) conducted their own investigation of these accusations. They printed their findings in the September, 1983 issue of its official organ, The Protestant Challenge.
We have reproduced a portion of that report here to further substantiate the fact that Alberto Rivera is in fact for real:
"Booklets produced in comic form by Chick Publications in cooperation with Dr. Alberto M. R. Rivera (viz.: ALBERTO, DOUBLE-CROSS, THE GODFATHERS, SABOTAGE, THE BIG BETRAYAL, and more recently, THE FORCE) have excited angry responses from the Roman Catholic hierarchy across this continent. The said publications have been called hate propaganda, and demands have been made that they be banned. These are familiar demands, used for generations against those who have dared to expose and oppose the false claims, doctrines and practices of Roman Catholicism.
"The books have been described by papal representatives (as well as by those duped by Jesuit propaganda) as 'absurd, bigoted, a comedy of errors, condemning out of hatred, dangerous to the cause of Christ, disgusting, distortion of truth, evil spirit inspired, false, filthy, hatred, hogwash, lewd, lies, malicious, playing fast and loose with truth, Satan possessed, shameful, spiritual pornography, trash, stupidity, ugly,' as well as 'working for the Devil and not Jesus, immoral and indecent!'
"Christian bookstores have been coaxed, awed and threatened into discontinuing sales of the Crusaders series, and every other piece of material published by Chick - even its Gospel tracts.
"At the head office of the Canadian Protestant League, we have attracted a little more than our share of attention, innuendo and threat by legal and other means. (We only started to handle the material when we became aware of the aggressive campaign to remove it from the scene.) Two of the books were banned from entry into Canada on instructions by a Director of Canada Customs and Excise on the grounds of 'immorality and indecency.' We challenged that outrageous action in Court and the order was rescinded.
"Efforts have been made in other areas to deny the use of the Post Offices to those who continued to send the material through the mails. We were warned that a report to the R.C.M.P. was being made against us.
"We are threatened by the appointment of a study committee, responsible to the Attorney-General of Ontario, at the urging of the office of the R.C. Archbishop of Toronto, to determine whether ALBERTO and DOUBLE-CROSS should be designated as 'Hate Literature,' and appropriate charges laid. We have been visited by two inspectors of Metropolitan Toronto Police, enquiring about our involvement, and speaking of the possibility of action against us.
"We made no effort to hide any of our activity, but admitted freely that we were selling the items they were asking about. We repeated to them what we had told others: we would welcome a charge being laid against us under the Hate Propaganda Section of Canada's criminal code.
"We believe that when any pressure group can successfully intimidate all Christian booksellers across Canada into refraining to sell certain literature because it is OFFENSIVE to some, then surely someone ought to be ready to focus attention on such a threat to faith and freedom in this land of ours.
"We are prepared to take that action.
"We have been reminded of the possibility of a $6,000.00 fine or a two year prison sentence. We have insisted, if and when this should take place, that no one will pay the fine! Perhaps this will arouse apathetic Canadians - and apathetic Christians.
"One would expect Roman Catholics (feeling their own institutions were assailed) to rally every effort to offset the most effective, fruitful harvest the said literature is able to report, but the more tragic form of attack from those who glory in the label of 'evangelical Christians' makes sad reading indeed!
"Christian Reader, Cornerstone and Our Sunday Visitor, published an article authored by Gary Metz entitled, 'The Uncomical Alberto Rivera,' a prominent article in Christianity Today.
"More recently, an effort by Brian Onken in Forward, the official organ of Christian Research Institute, appeared under the title, 'Alberto: The Truth About His Story.' In this 'study,' Dr. Rivera, the converted Jesuit priest, is represented as being a dishonest fraud. Areas are named in the United States wherein Alberto was allegedly being sought for questioning.
"The articles demand a response from those who are jealous in contending for the faith and to conserve our freedom. Concerned Christians wish to hear answers to several questions:
"Is Jack Chick a totally irresponsible publisher?
"Is Alberto Rivera the lying sensationalist he is caricatured as being?
"Is Alberto truly God's instrument for our day to bring about the longed-for reawakening among duped Roman Catholics, so that they can be truly won to Jesus Christ as Lord, Saviour, Mediator and Advocate; to the Bible as the Word of God, authoritative, free from error, inspired, and reliable to judge all other authorities; and directing people to come out of an organization that is anti-Christian?
"Why the terrible abuse and attack upon these two brethren?
"Why has someone not followed up on some of the charges made? Can we not analyze the charges? Can we not forensically analyze the charges made?
"Will the men and magazines, hailed by many as authoritative in the field of evangelism, allow us to examine their charges? We want to know if they have a case at all!
"If their charges can be logically and evidentially supported, so that we must see Dr. Rivera as guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, then we must re-examine our own position and alter our stance of supporting Chick and Rivera.
"Now - what is contained in the expose, coming to us in these articles? Alas, they are being accepted by those who have never taken the trouble to thoughtfully and thoroughly investigate the charges against the brethren.
"Are these criticisms dependent upon hearsay evidence, rumour, reported information, charges of fraud, usually reliable sources, deception, controversy, disturbance, questioned reliability, untruths, continual lying, defiance, contradictory testimony and ingenuity in attempts to validate his own story? This is the sort of language of those who sit in judgment upon Dr. Rivera.
"Can it be that the wish is the parent of the thought? Do these accusers want the stories to be true? These are the questions calling for definitely stated answers; and that is what we are seeking.
Examine The Charges!
"These magazines - upon which so many people rely - make statements concerning Dr. Rivera with no presentation of supportive evidence. This is so obvious, it is difficult to assess the writings accusing the man.
"Now, imagine we are sitting in a Court of Law and serious charges are laid against Alberto Rivera. The Prosecution does its utmost presenting its charges and its testimony supporting those charges.
"The Defence Attorney, if he considers that evidence weak, will move that no case has been established, and ask the Magistrate to dismiss the charges. Should the Judge agree, the Accused is released. He is assumed to be innocent!
"We want to observe the charges, and consider how well those making the charges substantiate them. Should they not be properly supported in the presentations, then we ask that they be dismissed, and that apologies be made to the brethren charged. The Bible tells us as Christians:
'Do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely. Prove all things, hold fast that which is good. Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses. In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.'
"Did the critics read Alberto's outline of the Basic Steps followed by the Roman Hierarchy to discredit and destroy any who left their ranks? Did they endeavour to expose Romanism's errors and evil practices? Did they insist that Jesuitism is not, by any means Christian?
"In his defence against what he describes as slanders levelled by friend and foe alike, Rivera calls attention to...unchristian and anti-biblical charges and accusations by the head of the Christian Research Center (which carefully avoids research into the crimes and massacres of the Roman Catholic institution) through the instrumentality of articles appearing in...Cornerstone and Christianity Today ...
"An honest, decent person, even a non-Christian, will recognize the validity and credibility of Dr. Rivera as a Roman Catholic priest! Why have these critics consistently attacked Alberto Rivera instead of the doctrines he espouses and proclaims?
"Mr. Metz says: Alberto says he worked with notable Jesuit spies such as Kathryn Kuhlman and Jim Jones; yet nowhere and at no time has Rivera said he had worked with either one!
"The critics tell us that the story of Alberto was banned by the Christian Reformed Church, Zondervan Publishers and The Southern Baptist Sunday School Board; yet failed to admit that many of the congregations associated with these three bodies continue to sell the Crusaders Comics in question.
"The critics failed to ask the Roman Catholic hierarchy why they were upset because the articles were true, for because of them thousands of former Roman Catholics had found Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, and were coming out of Rome's religion.
"Why else should a priest on an Indian Reservation in New Brunswick order a faith missionary to stay off the Reserve, if it were not that many young native adults were reading of Alberto through the comics and were coming to Christ? This has been true in Western Canada and in some places in Ontario.
"Why did not the critics ask the representatives of the Roman Church why these demands they currently make to ban from entry, etc., unless it is for fear of an acceleration of many of their people in this exodus from Rome?
"Why, specifically, are the mentioned publishers trying to abolish the ALBERTO series from all of their outlets? Have they been asked? Have they been asked whether the local Roman Church representatives have not appealed for this because they are offensive to them? (This was the reason given by the office of the Toronto R.C. Archbishop.) We are told by the critics: Our investigation reveals (Rivera's) police record, his investment schemes, his bad cheque-writing, his contradictory testimony, his fabricated education record, and his reported family abuse. Yet the author of these words must have forgotten something! He neglected to quote from any court records (indeed does not mention any single Court record location, any dates, any case numbers, and charges filed, whether or not an arrest was made, and the final outcome of the levelled charges allegedly made).
"Reported abuse, newspaper clippings, magazine articles, several article writers (each quoting the others), never must be understood to be valid, factual evidence credible of anything at all! Critical mention is made of a college in Spain for which Rivera (as a Jesuit priest) was authorized to collect funds, when he was not properly authorized to do so.
"The articles claim that Rivera was never a priest. No mention is made of the name of the college, or the source of the information to support the conclusions. It was officially agreed from Roman Catholic sources that Dr. Rivera had indeed been appointed to act in the collection of funds for one month, and surely he would have not been so used without his priestly credentials being checked!
'We are told that a minister of The Church of God of Prophecy, had experienced embarrassment when Rivera allegedly had written a cheque on an already closed account.
"Yet no mention is made of the location of the minister, of the banks concerned, of the locality of the airline desk complaining, whether the writers had ever seen a copy of the cheque, whether the closed account had previously existed, or to which office of which Department the said minister had written a complaint. (True, the accusers give us the name of the minister, but nothing else.)
"Charges are made of a history of legal entanglements, court actions, accusations of fraud, warrants issued for arrest, writing of bad cheques; yet no specifies regarding complaints, vital details, police records, places, hearings. No results are reported at all.
"Indeed, enquiries have been made by the Canadian Protestant League of every one of the police jurisdictions mentioned by the accusers, and consistently the response has been, we have never heard of this man!
"We hear of alleged inconsistencies, contradictions, impossibly conflicting dates; yet we have never been given the sources of such information - letters, tapes, photo-copies, individuals, interviews, etc. - not even a newspaper clipping!
"We are told: Alberto's claim to have been a Jesuit priest and bishop is denied by Roman Catholic spokesmen. They state the documents he exhibits as proof of this priesthood are little more than form letters giving permission to travel abroad.
"What else would one expect? Surely we would not expect Roman Catholic officialdom to admit that Alberto Rivera is telling the truth about them or their Jesuitical practices! How naive are we expected to be?"
This thorough and honest report, which was produced by a source completely separate from both Alberto and Chick, strips away the facade and reveals the facts behind the smokescreen.
Alberto Rivera is exactly what he says he is, a former Jesuit priest who was converted to Christ. The vicious character assassination attempts made against him only go to prove the veracity of his statements about Rome.