The anti-slavery activist whose story was turned into the hit film Sound of Freedom has been accused of sexual misconduct by at least seven women.
Tim Ballard, a Utah-born former CIA agent who founded the non-profit Operation Underground Railroad in 2013, is accused of pressuring women while on missions to rescue children.
Ballard allegedly pushed the women into sharing a bed with him or showering together, telling them it was necessary to convince traffickers they were married.
Sources told Vice News Ballard, who resigned from O.U.R. in June, sent at least one woman a photo of himself in his underwear, covered in fake tattoos.
The married father-of-nine allegedly asked another woman ‘how far she was willing to go’ to save children.
Tim Ballard (pictured in a video on social media earlier this week), a Utah-born former CIA agent who founded the non-profit Operation Underground Railroad in 2013 , is accused of pressuring women while on missions to rescue children
Former CIA agent Tim Ballard – who inspired the film Sound of Freedom – has been accused by at least seven women of sexual misconduct, Vice News reported on Monday
The film has been the subject of much political division, with some raising questions of factual accuracy and others criticizing it for its supposed QAnon links
Following its initial US release, the film hit UK and Irish cinemas on September 1
A letter from O.U.R., sent to donors this summer, reads: ‘It was ultimately revealed through disturbingly specific and parallel accounts, that Tim has been deceitfully and extensively grooming and manipulating multiple women for the past few years with the ultimate intent of coercing them to participate in sexual acts with him, under the premise of going where it takes and doing ‘whatever it takes’ to save a child.’
Ballard, who is considering a run for the Senate to replace the retiring Mitt Romney, told a rally in Boston over the weekend: ‘It’s not true, nothing you hear is true.’
Ballard has been approached by DailyMail.com for comment.
In the film of his work, Ballard is played by Jim Caviezel, the staunchly Catholic star of Mel Gibson’s ‘The Passion of Christ’, who is known for promoting QAnon conspiracy theories. His wife Katherine is played by Mira Sorvino.
Ballard is shown working to rescue young girls from a Colombian sex-trafficking ring, in a plot loosely based on his own exploits – but which Ballard freely admits has been embellished.
Sound of Freedom’s themes have struck a chord in particular with conservatives, including mainstream Republicans interested in education and other children’s issues, and evangelicals who have responded to the movie’s religious overtones.
It also resonated with far-right QAnon believers who have for years spread alarmist fears of child endangerment, such as the idea that a child sex-trafficking ring was being run out of a Washington DC pizza parlor, with involvement of Hillary Clinton and other senior Democrats.
The was shunned by big studios and released independently, going on to become one of the most successful independent films in history.
Released on July 4, it was supported by Donald Trump – who held a screening at his Bedminster golf club, and spoke to Ballard for his podcast.
Yet on June 22, Operation Underground Railroad severed ties with Ballard, without explanation.
A letter from O.U.R., sent to donors, was obtained by journalist Lynn Kenneth Packer.
‘Several weeks ago, an OUR employee who accompanied Tim on an undercover operation filed a sexual harassment complaint against him with OUR’s HR department,’ the letter reads.
‘This resulted in an extensive internal investigation into Tim and his individual operational tactics and led to more women speaking up as part of the investigation process.
‘It was ultimately revealed through disturbingly specific and parallel accounts, that Tim has been deceitfully and extensively grooming and manipulating multiple women for the past few years with the ultimate intent of coercing them to participate in sexual acts with him, under the premise of going where it takes and doing ‘whatever it takes’ to save a child.’
The letter said OUR’s board and lawyers had made agreements preventing executives from discussing the circumstances of Ballard’s exit from the organization.
They said the agreement had made it ‘virtually impossible for them to defend the organization against Tim’s false narratives.’
Sound of Freedom has been the surprise box office hit of the summer, but its success hasn’t come without controversy
Over the weekend, the Mormon church – of which Ballard is a part – issued a rare rebuke, condemning in a statement ‘activity regarded as morally unacceptable’.
They did not specify what they meant.
The letter from the Church of Latter Day Saints also accused Ballard of using the name of their president, M. Russell Ballard, who is no relation.
‘President Ballard and Tim Ballard (no relation) established a friendship a number of years ago,’ the statement reads.
‘That friendship was built on a shared interest in looking after God’s children wherever they are and without regard to their circumstance. However, that relationship is in the past.
‘For many months, President Ballard has had no contact with the founder of Operation Underground Railroad (OUR). The nature of that relationship was always in support of vulnerable children being abused, trafficked, and otherwise neglected.
‘Once it became clear Tim Ballard had betrayed their friendship, through the unauthorized use of President Ballard’s name for Tim Ballard’s personal advantage and activity regarded as morally unacceptable, President Ballard withdrew his association.
‘President Ballard never authorized his name, or the name of the Church, to be used for Tim’s personal or financial interests.
‘In addition, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints never endorsed, supported, or represented OUR, Tim Ballard, or any projects associated with them.
‘President Ballard loves children, all over the world. It has been his mission and life’s work to look after them, care for them, and point them to their Savior.’
The drama comes as Ballard says he is seriously considering a run for the U.S. Senate.
Ballard told Sean Spicer on ‘The Sean Spicer Show’ this week in the video first obtained by DailyMail.com that he was asked ‘several weeks ago’ to look at running for the seat by ‘very influential people.’
Romney, 76, sent shockwaves through Congress with a surprise announcement Thursday that he would not be running for a second term.
He also fired parting shots at the disarray within the Republican Party, and said Biden and Trump, like himself, were too old to serve in office.
‘At the end of another term, I’d be in my mid-80s,’ he said. ‘Frankly, it’s time for a new generation of leaders’
When Ballard was approached to run for the seat even before Romney publicly announced his Senate departure, he said: ‘I was very seriously considering it.’
And now that Romney announced he will be stepping down, Ballard said it is ‘easier’ for himself to potentially stage a run for the seat.
He said he will enter the race after he prayerfully considers the position and if his wife Katherine supports the decision.
The former agent currently lives in Utah with his wife and their nine children, two of whom they adopted from Haiti.
He said based on his work, there has to be ‘something done more none at the federal level’ and the momentum keeps building for his potential Senate run.
‘I keep getting phone calls from people,’ he expressed.
Ballard said the success of the film has barred him from ever working as an operator again, because his face is now recognized by traffickers and bad actors, so becoming a senator could be a good next step.
The ex-agent who inspired the renowned film Sound of Freedom has become a leading voice for anti-trafficking efforts across the world.
On July 4, Sound of Freedom brought in $14 million, while the newest Indiana Jones film earned only $11.5 million, according to the Post Millennial. It is now the number one movie in Latin America.
As for the continued success of the Sound of Freedom film, Ballard told DailyMail.com in an exclusive interview this week that he’s still ‘shocked by it.’
But he’s grateful for the success because he’s now getting audiences with Latin America leaders who are helping to enact change.
‘And it’s forcing a conversation that I think the American people have wanted to have, but didn’t know how to start it,’ he added.
Ballard said the film wasn’t intended to ‘make a statement about border policy’ but it came out just when it was most needed.
He said the success of the film has barred him from ever working as an agent operator again, because his face is now recognized by traffickers and bad actors.
Ballard was on Capitol Hill this week to meet with lawmakers and testify about child sex trafficking.
Ballard told Sean Spicer on ‘The Sean Spicer Show’ this week in the video first obtained by DailyMail.com that he was asked ‘several weeks ago’ to look at running for the seat by ‘very influential people’
He told DailyMail.com in an exclusive interview ahead of his testimony before the House that Biden’s open borders policy is perpetuating human trafficking in the U.S. and abroad.
The Biden administration has lost track of over 85,000 unaccompanied minors that have come across the border into the U.S. over the last several years, he said.
The children become easy ‘prey for the traffickers’ creating an ‘alarming predicament’ that he says is being largely ignored by the Biden administration.
Republicans are heading toward a ‘potential’ impeachment of DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas as they expose the horrific human impact of the southern border crisis – including rampant sex trafficking and fentanyl poisonings.
Source of data and images: dailymail