Anti-Trafficking Group With Long History of False Claims Gets Its Hollywood Moment - 2023-07-06

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F0.png Anti-Trafficking Group With Long History of False Claims Gets Its Hollywood Moment July 6, 2023, Anna Merlan, Vice News

At an August 2019 meeting, Tim Ballard laid out his vision for the future. On a whiteboard, a diagram showed how he'd build his empire as a public speaker, anti- trafficking advocate, and proselytizer for his Mormon faith. "Take sizzle of the Rescue," it read, amid a thicket of arrows connecting his for-profit and nonprofit entities to one another. "Lead them to the Covenant."

Ballard is the founder and CEO of Operation Underground Railroad, a group which claims a long history of heroic, daring, and often unprovable rescues in foreign countries. These operations, which have supposedly liberated thousands of trafficked women and children, have led to an ever-increasing public profile for Ballard, a former appointee of the Trump administration who's long been believed to be interested in elected office. Now, a major piece of his vision is falling into place: A new film, years in the making, which mythologizes OUR's rescues and could fix Ballard—who styles himself an anti-slavery activist, has in the past been featured in a painting depicting Harriet Tubman and other abolitionists bowing to him, and in the film is played by the same actor who played Jesus in The Passion of the Christ—more firmly in the right-wing media spotlight he's already been seeking.

Wikipedia cite:
{{cite news | first = Anna | last = Merlan | title = Anti-Trafficking Group With Long History of False Claims Gets Its Hollywood Moment | url = https://www.vice.com/en/article/4a3apm/anti-trafficking-group-with-long-history-of-false-claims-gets-its-hollywood-moment | work = Vice News | date = July 6, 2023 | accessdate = July 16, 2023 }}