On today’s Mormon Stories Podcast episode legendary Utah journalist and investigator Lynn Packer discusses his recent investigation into possible fraud perpetrated by Utah Mormon Tim Ballard and Utah Mormon Attorney General Sean Reyes – as part of Operation Underground Railroad (OUR), which has raised over $30 million claiming to rescue children from sex trafficking.

Packer has raised concerns about Tim Ballard and Sean Reyes being involved in the following:

  • Stockpiling $30M in donations that are not being used to save children.
  • Excessive compensation to Tim Ballard (over $300k/year). – Unethical accounting that now is likely hiding Tim Ballard’s total compensation.
  • Lavish expenditures (e.g., first class flights, 5 star hotels, dramatic helicopter appearances) with no financial accountability about how funds are used.
  • Using false statistics to over-state the prevalence of child sex trafficking worldwide to lure donors.
  • Using excessive emotion and religious manipulation to lure donors, including claims to be called of God, and to be protected by God in OUR’s work.
  • Using affinity with Mormon celebrities like Mormon apostle M. Russell Ballard, Glenn Beck, and Elizabeth/Ed Smart to lure donors.
  • Claiming credit for raids that they were not involved with. – Engaging in illegal and unsafe raids (jump teams) that often yield no positive results.
  • Alleged unsavory behavior of jump team members, including illegal drug use during raids, sexual assault, etc.
  • Drawing money and attention away from legitimate charities who are meaningfully providing solutions to the problems OUR decries.
  • Victimizing and politicizing the suffering of children for political gain (Sean Reyes).
  • Associating with and taking advantage of known false conspiracy theories like QAnon.
  • Using the LDS Church’s law firm (Kirton & McConkie) to intimidate and silence whistleblowers.
  • In summary, manipulating wealthy donors through religious and patriotic emotion and misusing or misallocating funds, all on the backs of a very vulnerable population.

Lynn Packer is best know for accurately exposing Mormon General Authority Paul H. Dunn for lying to Mormon church members about made-up World War II heroics and about playing professional baseball, all of which led to Elder Dunn being prematurely fired as a General Authority (and which the Mormon church tried to cover up through intimidation).

Please join us if you have comments or questions for Lynn.

NOTE: This podcast is not asserting that any of these allegations are true. Only that Lynn is claiming to have gathered evidence in support of these positions.

Download MP3


  1. Lump December 9, 2020 at 9:21 pm - Reply

    I think Lynn undersells the cleverness of the Wayfair conspiracy theory and perhaps shows his political bias too much, inasmuch as he’s ascribing a base stupidity to people who believed it and tying them to conservative Republicans. The theory wasn’t as brashly stupid as shipping trafficked kids in furniture boxes. It had elements of credibility like, items that shared names with missing children being sold for extremely high prices without product details and descriptions warranting those price points. It doesn’t take a lot of Google-fu to find those details. Not quite Fair Mormon level investigative bias, but I think he loses a bit of credibility on this one.

    • Jeff Fetz December 12, 2020 at 10:24 am - Reply

      Well what Lynn stated is 100% fact, and facts don’t care about your feelings. If you don’t like being tied to ignorance and stupidity, fix it. It’s no secret that the GOP has been attacking higher education since the 90’s as being ran by “rich Jews” and not to believe the media for being ran by “rich Jews”. If you want to see the results of what “conservatism” has to offer and the result of Reaganomics and his destruction of conservatism, look at states like Mississippi, Kentucky, Alabama, Georgia, Arkansas, etc. Children in these states are five and six grades behind children in the worse schools out of California, New York and Illinois. The rank the lowest in education, highest in poverty and much worse, the leech off the states that contribute to the economy. Kentucky has had a net negative economic contribution for 30 years. They have received nearly $500 billion in welfare benefits since 1976. Owsley County, the poorest county in the US, 70% of the population is on some form of welfare and 50% survive on Welfare alone, but vote 90% republican each and every election. The south also has the lowest age of consent laws and the highest concentration of child sex offenders. 95% of all children that will be sexually abused, molested or exploited- it will be done inside the home by a family member.

      Today right wing populism is just Fascism. That is the part of Trump. AOC and “the squad” is closer the conservatives than anyone in the GOP today. Barry Goldwater is rolling in his grave and a full blown socialist by your standards. Let’s go over the facts.

      Barry Goldwater denounced the GOP because of Reagan and said “the moment these right wing fundamentalists take over the government we are doomed”. Goldwater believed in absolute separation of church and state and anyone who even mildly professed religious nonsense was clearly unfit for service.

      Conservatism by Barry Goldwater –

      1) Abortion was a right and an absolute necessity. Even Nixon supported most abortions. In fact, in the Billy Graham and Nixon tapes, they though abortion should be legal because ya know of “the black and white thing” (white women having black babies).

      2) Goldwater supported gays in the military and gay marriage. Maximum liberty for all.

      3) Goldwater was a staunch environmentalist. He hated the idea a company could pollute our air and water and believed the government should be able to confiscate the corporation’s assets and prosecute the officers of the company.

      4) His biggest regret in life was NOT voting for the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which he did so to get support of the Dixiecrat south. He felt he paved the path or the GOP to execute the “Southern Strategy” that Nixon and Reagan followed the blueprint. Lee Atwater bragged about it.

      5) Goldwater hated religious fundamentalists as did the founding fathers. The Founding Fathers hated them so such, they wouldn’t let Massachusetts ratify the Constitution until it dropped all it’s mentions of God from it’s laws. Just a few mentions of God and Washington (who was a staunch Christian) accused the Governor of trying to run a theocracy.

      The GOP today is nothing but radical religious fundamentalists and the party of white nationalists. Nothing conservative about it. You’d call Barry Goldwater “far left”.

      • Waldo Rizzo February 6, 2021 at 8:09 am - Reply

        The Wayfair conspiracy may have been as simple that people at wayfair were lazy and increased furniture prices to very high amounts as place holders. Much like Amazon sellers do the say thing. You can find general low price items sold at very high prices to not only prevent the seller from having to make a new post as he waits for the item to come in stock to re-sell BUT to also discourage someone from buying the item. Did that happen at wayfair? Don’t know, I don’t work there and nor do you. Was it odd? yes. 4chan / 8 chan groups may even have cooped their own websites or photoschopped things and created some fake piece of the puzzle to put furniture description to a child’s name. Something was an elaborate fake / dis-info for the amusement of whomever gets a kick out of it.

        Abortion today is used as birth control and is the #1 killer of human life in America. Had those kids lived the U.S. would be pushing towards 500+ Million.
        Abortion is legal today because de-population movement is alive and well and STILL a national security threat and signed memo by Henry Kissenger and the state department. Population growth from foreign countries is a threat in that the migrants can be steered towards rich western countries and really destroy things like support for more socialist programs such as welfare and NGOs all funded by significantly by U.S. Taxpayers. For some reason, the Government always steers billions of dollars out of this country to foreign Governements and projects when the money needs to stay here. No Tax payer ever decided the billions paid to Uncle SAM should leave the country and make other people’s life better. It is supposed to make AMERICA better.

        Foreign Governments are really going to fear the might of U.S Army with Transgenders on the front lines with a lifelong medical issues even while in the service. If they can use their minds to fight wars so be it. Gays in the military is just fine. Straight and Gays have fought in militaries for 1000s of years.

        U.S. Environment is the best it has ever been today. Right now. Are there still some issues… sure. Is going green the solution? No. To make Green products requires carbon output. There is no getting around that. Never.

        5) Globalism and diversity are the fundamentalist cults that will be the death of the nation. U.S. doesn’t need anymore diversity. It is not making this country any better. If anything, it has allowed those that weld power to continue to put people in boxes and divide. Diversity is a total psy-op and only steers tax payer money to grifters and causes that only help one select group of people and is not inclusive. It only divides other the guise that things are better with diversity. Total fabricated lie. Look up what Coke-Cola is doing with their outside lawyer council lawfirms demanding that these firms hire diverse candidates otherwise pay fines or only get paid decrease rates if they don’t comply. WTH is that? Not good business.

        You may think the GOP is religious fundamentalist well you may want to include the Democrat and hard left as fundamentalist for de-population, decrease business by forcing Climate B.S. agendas fake from the 1970s and the goal is to PUSH YOU down, the leftie along with righties to be boot licker, boot on the neck and to never let you down. Middle class America is destroyed and you will either be born or allowed to make millions and be successful or become a forever slave worker. Tax payer money funding near everything but America Greatness. On yeah, libbies invented the whole 1619 project and continue to want to divide countries over issues settled finally have the dismantle of Jim Crow laws in the south.

        Globalists and Climate folks are ruining the economy, jobs, and love immigrating cheap labor to infect the population, displace workers, and further push people into poverty while the leftie billionaires continue to thrive. This county is gone.

        • Waldo Rizzo February 6, 2021 at 8:16 am - Reply

          National Security Study Memorandum -NSSM 200
          Implications of Worldwide Population Growth
          For U.S. Security and Overseas Interests
          December 10, 1974

          Memo is still in play and has never been cancelled.

      • Rozlyn July 16, 2021 at 11:35 pm - Reply

        WoW… Your Long Rant is so incorrect… starting with your first sentence… Packer and his “opinions” are Hardly 100% Correct. Most of what Packer shared IS BS!!!
        And he’s Politically biased!

        WE ARE IN A WAR! Within our Govt.!!
        Both far left/socialists, fascists, marxists Commi Loving Wacko-Evil-Greedy Dems & Rhinos…. and also within Many of Our Institutions & Corporations…. AND the same is in other countries around the World!!

        SO MUCH EVIL ACTS HAVE BEEN GOING ON…Millions of us have Seen Plenty, Its been in our Own Life Experience or Live Camera and Videos.

        I can GiVe solid EVIDENCE and FACTS
        But this already has probably been a waste of my time.
        However, I’ll probably get around to sending some Questions to Lynn Parker via email…
        I’m curious to hear/read his answers/opinions.
        AND I WaNT the Real FACTS & EVIDENCE that
        Tim Ballard is a Liar, Fraud and Running a Bogus Financial Theft Organization!!???

      • Lana July 9, 2023 at 8:45 pm - Reply

        Understand that many if not all anti trafficking etc..resources are bait and switch. The key is to look into registry. Swapping sex offenders for labs ie person vs property. Under lab reg. Political contributes are listed..look up each and note pedestrian..there is the answer no one sees

      • Charn July 10, 2023 at 8:38 pm - Reply

        What on earth does any of that have to do with the topic at hand. I think you accidentally got on the wrong thread! Hummm….I wonder which party you affiliated with? The truth is – there is little difference between the two parties these days! The acting skills on both sides are impeccable and they state their lines with emotion. At the end of the day – this country is in trouble! It takes two to tango and they both dance nicely with each other. Now, what do you think about the comments regard OUT?

    • Jeannie July 1, 2023 at 1:26 am - Reply

      Very astute of you to point this out. The average Joe Mormon is not going to question this podcast segment at all. They will just swallow it whole without doing their own research. 10’s of $1000’s for a chair? That’s why it’s kids. All it would have taken was a witness intercepting a Wayfair delivery? How was that supposed to happen? Because no one intercepted a delivery that means this is not happening? Down playing child trafficking is what’s heinous! And the pizza gate story was completely misrepresented, simplified and mocked by these people. Those code words are recognized by the FBI. Not that the current FBI is doing anything about it. Sickening!
      But it’s been 2.5 years since this podcast. So I should calm down and see if it really had any effect. The Sound of Freedom movie is coming out in theaters in 3 days. :)

    • Jan Pitts April 17, 2024 at 12:22 pm - Reply

      I heard that Bill Clinton was a large contributer. Is this true?

  2. Anonymous December 11, 2020 at 4:14 am - Reply

    I couldn’t finish this one. Jeffrey Epstein was most definitely a child predator so that is where I lost interest. I don’t know if everything OUR does financially is on the up and up but I do know they do not make it seem that most children are abducted and sold into sex slavery by strangers. From what I have seen there is a great emphasis on the fact that it mostly stems from a family member. I also didn’t think comparing statistics from the UN in 2016 to numbers OUR is claiming now was very effective in showing they are inflating numbers. I was quite curious to hear his findings but felt it was not an unbiased critique. If all of our news was more objective it would serve us all well!

  3. George December 13, 2020 at 12:20 pm - Reply

    Lynn, John, thank you very much for all six episodes.

    Could you please share your sources? You say that there is a lot more Multi-Level Marketing, Investment Fraud, and Financial Fraud in Utah than in other states.

    What is a good place to get verified data on this?

    Best wishes.

  4. Justin January 24, 2021 at 7:06 pm - Reply

    A couple of years ago watched a video from OUR and one of Ballard’statements caused me to want to do something to contribute to the fight against slavery. I put on a fundraiser on my own and donated all of the proceeds to the fight against slavery. I decided not to donate to OUR because I believed their strategy, while sensational and exciting, was not the most effective way to end slavery. I could see that each raid or sting operation freed at most a few hundred people and likely far less. While what they were doing was exciting and sensational, I didn’t believe in their strategy.

    In the end I donated to a group who took a long term approach to getting at the root of slavery. That meant changing laws in foreign countries, educating people and governments, setting up micro-loans and working with law enforement world-wide. While these activities are not very sexy, in the long run, I believe they are what is needed to get at the root of slavery.

    Regarding the number of people in slavery…
    The UN just issued a news release where they stated that 40M people are currently in modern slavery. Here is the link to the news release.

    The difference here could be people involved human trafficking versus slavery. Either way, it sounds like OUR isn’t very careful in their terminology and use of statistics.
    I’m not trying to defend OUR, I just wanted to ensure people understand the magnitude of modern day slavery.

  5. Waldo Rizzo February 6, 2021 at 8:24 am - Reply

    I’ve heard Tim’s story. I wouldn’t put it pass his OUR group that the impact is probably just super low level child prostitution. It goes on all over the world. Sex slavery goes on all over the world and the issue will never go away.

    It’s a very lucrative degenerate business that continues for multiple reasons and the demand remains high. A tool used by intelligence and allows criminals to continue profit on a product again and again and have no moral guilt about actions leading to death. Millions of kids are born and aborted every year and the pipeline is never enough for the demand.

    Much like drugs demand in the U.S. is super high and overall the drugs make into this country [or allowed] and half a trillion dollars or more is made each year. Sometimes less. Drug networks have continued and allowed to exist much like the sex trade is allowed to exist because Governments and criminals see it as profitable and it will NEVER go away.

    OUR probably makes a drop in the ocean and are ineffective. Can they save the life a child sure. If that appeals to you then donate. Or donate to buy a cow for some poor Nigerian before it gets too hungry and kills the cow for great BBQ.

    It will be interesting to find out if anything is afoot at OUR but it sounds like it isn’t that organized and it is Shock and Awe and has very little impact. Of course it plays one mormons or christians that can be moved emotionally and think that is the holy ghost telling them to get involved and donate $100.

  6. Ellie March 2, 2021 at 12:39 pm - Reply

    I’ve been listening to ALL of Lynn Packer’s videos about Tim Ballard and OUR. I really want to know the truth about OUR, especially with the release of Song of Freedom, March 1. I know 1000s of people will see it and gladly (trustingly) send in their charitable donations. Is pedophilia ‘separate’ from trafficking? I know many abused children are abused by people they know. But if pedophilia is as huge as some media claims, the kids have to come from somewhere. How can it be ‘separate’ with so much in the media about it lately, including books like this? https://pedoempire.org/contents/ Have either of you read it? Is this author a scam artist as well?

    • Brooklyn July 2, 2021 at 11:24 pm - Reply

      Thank you Ellie. The link you provided is superb

  7. Susan April 24, 2021 at 10:37 am - Reply

    If y’all are so good at being reporters and looking into the facts why didn’t you look into Q anon because what you said it was it wrong. Why didn’t you tell the truth about Wayfair because I looked it up. Why didn’t you tell them about pizza gate and all the celebrities because they have pictures of them doing stuff! I think you only wanted to tell about what you wanted the People to know.

  8. mpzz December 16, 2021 at 7:33 am - Reply

    The main problem here is that before you are able to consider the truth of what people who want to make money off of you tell you, you must first have a modicum of intelligence and common sense. The people who fall for ridiculous Qanon garbage or Wayfair selling kids in furniture shipped on UPS trucks or Hillary Clinton running a child sex ring out of the non-existent basement of a DC pizza joint while at the same time running for president of the United States are people who possess neither.

  9. krystal May 29, 2022 at 3:14 am - Reply

    Dr Brian Neil Talarico, North Bay Psychiatrist Has been convicted of child molestation, and possession of child pornography on his computer. Sexually molesting a young boy. He had prior convictions for child molestation in 1990 and 2001. After his parole in 2006. Dr. Talarico Brian Works for North Bay Regional Health Centre, and elsewhere, despite his background, and numerous complaints against him of abuse, fraud, negligence, and imprisonment. he has a sexual preference for younger boys, feeds them antipsychotics, and fondles children… we’re so suck of the injustice.

  10. Neil August 30, 2022 at 12:33 pm - Reply

    I really liked this series with Lynn up until this episode. I am an independent and anything far left or right causes me doubts about the truthfulness of what is said. This was very partisan. I would just like the facts without the political views. Whatever happened with this case in Davis county?

  11. ellie May 22, 2023 at 5:02 pm - Reply

    Argh! Tim Ballard’s lie is getting a HUGE promotion throughout America with the release of Sound of Freedom documentary on July 4th. Oh please! How can we expose this guy? Joe Rogan? Twitter?

    • Jeannie July 2, 2023 at 12:52 am - Reply

      What is your beef with him? Do you know for a fact that O.U.R. is a scam?

      Some people try to defame others for their own purposes. Whatever Lynn’s purpose is I have no idea. But it’s a typical left-wing opinion writing it off as a conspiracy theory. Lynn didn’t have shred of evidence in this video. Just opinion, and he is obviously biased. Downplaying the pandemic nature of this issue and tying the believers to Republicans, Christians, QAnon and even anti-maskers… really low and sophomoric to boot..

      Talking about the QAnon belief that Comet Ping Pong and Pizza in D.C. is harboring pedophiles, he dismissed it as a C.T. But has he really done any research on his own? Other than hearing about the man who went there with a gun to take down the pedo’s and found nothing?

      I was not, and am not a daily delver into QAnon, but I did investigate it beginning with the original Q back in 2017.
      Q, who provided photos of inside Airforce One and other random items of interest, from what one would assume could only be accessed by a high level individual, that were not published elsewhere, went silent after Trump left the White House. And he, she, or they posted about future happenings that have happened or are actually happening now. This was most of the content by Q. So laugh it up, but I’m telling you everything is not always as it seems. It’s certainly possible that Q was just someone having fun with Americans who want justice, but you just can’t deny, they knew some stuff.

      Pizzagate started with John Podesta’s wikileaked emails in 2016 where he used language known by the FBI as language used by pedophiles. It isn’t a rumor started by Q or QAnon. It’s talked about among QAnon bc that is the only forum where it can be discussed without being censored. But there are tons of people that go there with the sole purpose of spreading wildly outrageous conspiracy theories just to discredit it. They even post porn and gore in order to make newcomers go away in disgust. You have to be discerning with the content.

      I would not doubt that this person who went to the Pizza Shop with a gun was sent there to do this by the very people he was supposedly going there to catch in the act. This widely reported, foolish mission certainly quelled the rumors, didn’t it. And did we ever hear what happened to him? Did he spend any significant time in jail? There may not be a basement onsite. But do the participants in this podcast know that James Alefantis, the owner had an Instagram account (now scrubbed) with a litany of interesting photos of random children with adults who don’t look like their parents, and comments alluding to pedophilia? There was a photo of what looked like an empty meat locker with a comment, “Kill Room”. Was that a joke do you think? This pizza shop owner has ties to Podesta and Clinton, the witch Marina Abramović and was listed as the 49th most powerful man in Washington DC in 2016. Why? A simple Pizzaria owner? You can look any of this up on Duck Duck Go. Don’t Google it. It won’t be there.

      Please don’t dismiss opportunities to find out truth by dismissing it and believing the narrative. This story won’t shed much light on Tim Ballard. There are laws in the US that prohibit him from operating here, but it may shed some light on Lynn Packer and his rhetoric.

      P.S. If the moderator’s decide that this content is not in line with their opinions or beliefs, then it may not see the light of day. But if you’re honest, you won’t censor opposition.

    • Anony July 8, 2023 at 8:50 am - Reply

      I’m with you Ellie. I can’t believe how gullible Christians are to jump on this bandwagon. I just started paying attention the past few days, and what I’ve found on him is ridiculous. Just watching him on video makes me cringe.

  12. karina June 18, 2023 at 3:35 pm - Reply

    Has any children been saved by this Tim Ballard with all the money he collected? Has any one FAMILY MEMBER, to any kids come forward to expose how their child was saved by Tim & his team? or even on a show? I’m skeptical about everyone that seems convincing to be a good guy & find out they were the opposite at the end, like David Lester Straight.

  13. Plato July 8, 2023 at 3:43 pm - Reply

    As someone who is directly involved with rescuing children from child trafficking and teens and young women from sex trafficking in Africa, Ballard’s claims are not credible and as one commenter noted, his tactics aren’t sound. The public, understandably, is unaware of the complexity of human trafficking and dealing with foreign countries. Ballard has no authority or jurisdiction to do what he does in any country, including the U.S., unless he has complete legal authorization from the government and that is very complicated, even if you collaborate with them.

    You simply cannot solve the child trafficking problem by rescuing children, arresting traffickers (which is a long and arduous legal process with few convictions given this often involves a transnational criminal organization), and providing for the children’s post rescue care when countries, including the U.S., let alone poor nations, have scant resources for their care (few shelters). And sex trafficking victims require unique services and shelters. The solution is to combat this hideous crime at the root cause, mainly poverty, and educating the vulnerable so they do not fall prey to traffickers and also providing them with economic opportunities while working to change laws that enable this crime (i.e. child marriage).

    Also, check out OUR’s 2022 Form 990. Salaries, other compensation and benefits were 50% of total revenues. Tim Ballard received total compensation of $546,458 (he works an average 40 hours/week per the Form 990). Mark Blake, Tim Ballard’s brother-in-law and board member, received $278,684, Tim Ballard’s wife, Katherine, received $118,283 and their child, Blain Ballard, received $47,918.

    In 2015, they publicly announced they were merging with the Elizabeth Smart Foundation and celebrated this union at a fundraiser. But then quietly, the Smarts broke off the merger but OUR never mentioned this.

    Davis County Attorney’s Office opened an investigation into OUR but later closed it, saying it was no longer prudent to pursue charges. That is not the same as they were exonerated of the charges. https://www.deseret.com/utah/2023/5/12/23717081/davis-county-attorneys-office-closes-investigation-into-operation-underground-railroad

  14. Nes July 20, 2023 at 7:53 pm - Reply

    Verifiable statistics and credible sources backing Mr. John Dehlin’s claims regarding the existence of “many bishops” convicted of abusing children and teenagers within the LDS Church were not offered during the program (See min. 30-36). Unsubstantiated declarations like these undermine the principles of investigative journalism that Mr. Lynn Packer appears to uphold in his examination of Tim Ballard and his alleged paramilitary endeavors and cause. To ensure the accuracy and integrity of discussions, it is essential to rely on well-substantiated evidence when addressing such sensitive matters.

  15. pamela allison April 29, 2024 at 4:55 pm - Reply

    dr alabi adedayo, north bay regional health centre claims rights to marry four year old children

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