A Private Island, Downloads From God, and the 'Couples Ruse': Inside the Dangerous World of Tim Ballard's Operation Underground Railroad - 2023-11-16

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F0.png A Private Island, Downloads From God, and the 'Couples Ruse': Inside the Dangerous World of Tim Ballard's Operation Underground Railroad November 16, 2023, Tim Marchman, Vice News

On a sunny day in late October two years ago, a man twice her size drove his knee into Alison's face, destroying her orbital bone and knocking her eye out of alignment. As she lay on the ground, bleeding and vomiting and urinating and having it explained to her that there was no bone supporting her eye anymore, she heard Tim Ballard say, "Well, we can't call an ambulance."

It was the third day of a selection being held by Operation Underground Railroad, the anti-sex trafficking group Ballard founded in 2012 after, he has claimed, being told to do so by God. OUR had invited about 60 people who had previously worked for it as operators on what it portrayed to the public as undercover paramilitary missions abroad aimed at rescuing women and children from sexual slavery. These people had paid their own way for training, which largely involved sitting through slideshows on topics such as how to get information from someone without them knowing you're doing so. The draw was clear: OUR leaders responsible for distinct geographical regions would be choosing members for their teams from among the participants.

Alison, who had worked one mission on Ballard's ops team in the Caribbean, was hoping to be recruited to the Thailand team. She had heard that it had operating protocols and arrangements with the government, and it was often held up as OUR's most functional and effective region. Just as important, to her, was that Ballard had nothing to do with it.

Wikipedia cite:
{{cite news | first = Tim | last = Marchman | title = A Private Island, Downloads From God, and the 'Couples Ruse': Inside the Dangerous World of Tim Ballard's Operation Underground Railroad | url = https://www.vice.com/en/article/n7ekzx/tim-ballard-sound-of-freedom-grooming-sexual-abuse-undercover-couples-ruse-operation-underground-railroad | work = Vice News | date = November 16, 2023 | accessdate = December 31, 2023 }}