For additional articles covering O.U.R., please go to ACJ Investigates: Derailed: Operation Underground Railroad
In August 2019, Tim Ballard summoned 10 or so of his most trusted Operation Underground Railroad (OUR) associates to a clandestine meeting at home of OUR “rainmaker”- Paul Hutchinson. Portrayed by Eduardo Versategui in Sound of Freedom; Hutchinson was imperative to OUR’s early success. Hutchinson was a multi-millionaire and one of Tim Ballard’s most loyal lieutenants. When he reflect back OUR’s formative years with Ballard, Hutchinson speaks of Tim Ballard with glowing adoration. It’s almost as if Ballard was more than a man in Hutchinson’s eyes, but divine. It would be this meeting that Ballard became another man entirely to many of those in attendance.
Also present was OUR Operations Team Leader Dave Lopez. Like Hutchinson, Lopez admired Tim Ballard, though a bit more grounded in reality. That would all erode before their very eyes this August night.
The meeting was so secret, that each individual was required to sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) before anything would be discussed or questions answered. It was at this very meeting that Ballard laid out a secret plan to both monetize and proselytize his child sex slave rescue nonprofit, Operation Underground Railroad.
On the surface, the plan was to help grow The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (better known as the LDS or Mormon church) financially and in membership. Underneath, Ballard’s goal was not only to make himself millions of dollars, but to raise his profile and popularity among the Mormon elite.
Not only would Ballard and his team be funneling donor money into his for-profit ventures, but to the LDS church. They would also start converting employees, volunteers and vulnerable children that Operation Underground Railroad is supposed to aid and rescue into the Mormon church. Ballard believed that he would quickly gain the favor of church leadership and the Mormon elite, eventually securing a coveted lifetime appointment on the LDS church’s highest governing body, the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
What is “The Whiteboard Meeting”
After each individual signed Ballard’s Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs), they assembled in the meeting room in Paul Hutchinson’s luxurious home.
On a whiteboard (also known as a dry-erase board), Tim Ballard presented the overall strategy of what he called his “master plan”. Each member’s role and how each of their respective organizations would funnel donor money into his for-profit business, Slave Stealer’s, LLC.
Tim Ballard believed that he could funnel and launder donor money through his non-profits into his for profit businesses, which he called “sizzle”. Both the non-profits and for-profits would then pay substantial tithes to the LDS Church- despite the fact that money from those funds had already been diverted to church coffers.
Lynn Packer reconstructed the diagram that Ballard drew:
What did the Whiteboard Show?
- Multiple Ballard controlled for-profit and non-profits entities.
- Several paths for donor money to flow directly from Tim Ballard’s non-profit entities into his main for-profit company, Slave Stealers, LLC.
- How OUR would bring more converts into the Mormon faith
- Deep involvement by acting president of the LDS church M. Russel Ballard (no relation)
- Operation Underground Railroad’s takeover of orphanage in Haiti, Foyer de Sion in an apparent attempt to monetize adoptions.
Ballard’s Slave Stealers, LLC, (for profit) and Three Partners
At the top of the diagram was Ballard’s for-profit business Slave Stealer’s, LLC, with three partners:
- Brian Norton
- Tim Ballard
- M. Russell Ballard (silent partner)
An outside non-profit owned by Paul Hutchinson; Child Liberation Foundation was envisioned to donate to multiple non-profit entities owned by Tim Ballard.
Child Liberation Foundation
- Brad Damon (CEO)
- Hada Vanessa (Executive)
- Kahea (advisor)
The Ballard Controlled Non-profits
- Operation Underground Railroad (sizzle)
- The Nazarene Fund (sizzle)
- Children Need Families (owned by Katherine Ballard- sizzle)
- Liberty and Light Equity Trust
- Mercury One (owned by Glenn Beck)
- Orphanage in Haiti
Ballard’s use of the word “sizzle” was taken to mean that the non-profits would attract donors by way of “dynamic humanitarian missions“- such as “rescuing child sex slaves”
The money would in up in Ballard’s own company http://www.timothyballard.com
It would make more money with Ballard media engagements, starting with the Sound of Freedom, speaking fees and upcoming books-
- Sound of Freedom (first film)
- Speaking engagements ($50 to $100k)
- Upcoming books (3 to 5 new books coming out)
Some of these funds would end up going to Slave Stealer’s, LLC,
Tim Ballard’s non-profit Operation Underground Railroad has millions of dollars in liquidity. Legitimate non-profit entities typically has two to three years of annual expenses in reserve. OUR on average, had ten to twenty years of operating expenses in reserve. It’s just one of many reasons why CharityWatch downgraded their rating to a question mark and issued multiple cautions about the non-profit.
In reality, Ballard could not simply write checks to himself without risking his tax exempt status and . According to OUR’s Form 990 in 2018, Ballard’s salary at OUR was over $300,000. In 2021, it was over $500,000.
What was Ballard’s solution according to two for OUR executives in attendance?
Surround Operation Underground Railroad with other non-profits and for-profits, creating a complex labyrinth of entities where the money would eventually flow into his personal bank account.
Ballard pointed out an added bonus, he told those in attendance at the clandestine that the, “same sizzle (excitement and publicity) that generates profits could bring masses of people into the Mormon church”.
It was his “capitalism begets church converts” plan.
Ballard was perpetuating that this was some “divine plan”. As if god wanted millions-of-dollars of donor money to flow through a labyrinth of entities to la directly into Ballard’s pockets.