For additional articles covering O.U.R., please go to ACJ Investigates: Derailed: Operation Underground Railroad
Editor’s Note: Lynn Packer is an award-winning investigative reporter, legal consultant and author of “Lying for the Lord: The Paul H. Dunn Stories“. Lynn graduated from Utah State University with a degree in broadcast journalism. He served in the United States Army from ’68 through ’70 in Vietnam, as a television news anchor and producer for the Armed Forces Vietnam Network (AFVN) Quang Tri detachment. Lynn was awarded the Bronze Star. For 15 years Mr. Packer reported for KSL Television News in Salt Lake City. For ten years Lynn was an adjunct professor teaching journalism at Brigham Young University and the University of Dortmund.
This is the story of how attorneys for the Utah anti-child-sex-slavery nonprofit—Operation Underground Railroad (OUR)—were able to kill a federal grand jury criminal investigation that was probing the organization and its founder, Tim Ballard. Ballard’s attorneys were paid more than two million dollars from donor funds to stop the probe even before FBI agents had completed their work.
In the meantime, the Utah film distribution company Angel Studios bought the rights to Ballard’s movie Sound of Freedom. Angel premiered the film in sold-out theaters across the United States over the July 4th holiday.
The film’s main storyline portrays Ballard’s dramatic rescue of Honduran girl who had been kidnapped and sold to a Colombian pedophile drug lord.
However, as detailed in this report, the Sound of Freedom’s key plot is bogus. No girl was kidnapped and sold into sex slavery. Ballard never risked his life freeing the girl from the clutches of her captor.
Ballard, the movie’s producer Eduardo Verastegui and the actor who plays Ballard, Jim Caviezel, ran a publicity campaign running up to the film’s premiere, a campaign targeted to MAGA and QAnon moviegoers. Caviezel used the marketing blitz opportunity to rehash his adrenochrome conspiracy theory while Ballard repurposed the kitty-litter-boxes-in-schools hoax as a right-wing response to schools that adopted protections for transgender students.