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Alberto Magno Romero Rivera (1935—1997) was a Spanish-American scammer, fraudster, felon and crank who found a calling as fundamentalist Christian evangelist and became popular in the extreme anti-Catholic wing of Protestantism.
Alberto Rivera was born in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Canary Islands. He claims to have been born a Catholic, however an investigative report by Cornerstone Magazine (a Baptist Publication) found that his parents were Protestants. According to his claim he began studying to be a priest at the age of seven. In an interview provided, his older sister revealed that he did not attend parochial school of any kind nor did he graduate High School.
According to his friend Bonilla, he began a common law relationship with his first wife in the 1950s while working with the Methodist church in Costa Rica. On November 25, 1963 he married Carmen Lydia Torres. Their first son Juan was born in Hoboken NY in 1964 while working for the Christian Reformed Church. His supervisor Rev. Edson Lewis indicated that while in New York Rivera was physically abusive to his wife and child. Rivera had to flee New York to El Paso Texas after writing bad checks. Juan died within a year of his birth.
Rivera claimed to have numerous degrees which include N.D., D.D., Th.D., Ph.D, and a masters in physiology. According to Rev. Plutarco Bonilla (a respected Christian leader in Central America) who had accompanied him from Las Palmas, Alberto enrolled in the protestant Seminario Biblico Latinoamericano (now Universidad Bíblica Latinoamericana) in San Jose Costa Rica in a program designed for those students who had not graduated High School. He was expelled from the seminary for lying and defiance of authority. He later admitted that he had obtained these degrees from a diploma mill in Colorado.
Rivera claimed to have been a former Catholic priest, until he learned of the Vatican's plans for world domination. The story goes like this: Alberto Rivera attended Catholic seminary, where the Jesuits trained him to infiltrate Protestant churches to destroy them. He also learned the Vatican was responsible for, among other things, the Nazis, Communism, Freemasonry, the assassinations of John F. Kennedy and Abraham Lincoln, and the Holocaust, that nuns who got pregnant secretly sacrificed their newborns to Mary, and other bizarre beliefs. Upon learning these things he denounced the Catholic Church, and was forcibly placed in a mental institution by the Jesuits for doing so. Near death from abuse in the mental facility, he escaped from Spain to London to rescue his sister from a convent, also near death from self-flagellation (supposedly practiced in the nunnery), and they fled to the United States.
Unfortunately for Alberto, some not-so-gullible Protestant pastors investigated his claims, and found that he fabricated the whole thing.
Rivera's claims to have been a Catholic priest and his other claims have been thoroughly disproven. Indeed, those who checked out his claims found instead that he had a long history of swindling, was wanted in Spain on those charges, and, while in the U.S., had collected money for a Spanish college which never received it. Nonetheless, in the U.S. he started a "ministry" called the Antichrist Information Center to expose the Catholic Church. His sister was not a nun, but was working in London as a live-in maid. He also blamed the Vatican for things that happened after he allegedly left the Catholic Church, such as the Jonestown mass suicide.
- Double Cross
- The Godfathers
- The Force
- Four Horsemen
- The Prophet
Rivera was a King James Only advocate, and claimed all other Bible translations were created by the Jesuits to deceive Protestants or were translated from manuscripts corrupted by the Vatican. He (along with John Todd, who claimed modern translations were funded by the Illuminati) appear to be the sources of Jack Chick's own conversion to King James Onlyism. Rivera and Chick also promoted a conspiracy theory linking the Catholic Church to the creation of Islam.
- Walter Veith, who has been repeating several of Rivera's anti-Catholic claims and cites him by name in his videos
- Kurt Goedelman, The Alberto Phenomenon, in The Journal of Pastoral Practice 5:2, 1981.
- "Dr" Alberto Magno Romero Rivera at findagrave.com.
- Metz, Gary Alberto Rivera's False Anti-Catholic Story, Cornerstone Magazine Issue #53. Republished by Conspiracy School, a Conspiracy watchdog website
- Riquelme, Victor Rey Entrevista a Plutarco Bonilla; LUPA Protestante Jan. 18, 2011
- Frequently Asked Questions About Alberto's Message. chick.com.
- Alberto Series Comic Pack. chick.com. For good measure, the Alberto Series Comic Pack also includes two additional anti-Catholic comics, including Jesuits "like so many things in this world, they are not what they appear to be" and The Big Betrayal "It will break your heart as you learn how Catholics are being deceived into following a false religion."
- Alberto. chick.com. Alberto Part 1. As a Jesuit, Alberto helped destroy churches and ministries. But as he read the Scriptures, he saw that Catholicism couldn't save.
- Double-Cross. chick.com. Alberto Part 2. After his salvation, Alberto is a hunted man. No Jesuit can leave his order alive! He reveals the infiltration of Protestant organizations, and warns of false "brethren" in our midst.
- The Godfathers. chick.com. Alberto Part 3. Here's how the Roman Catholic Institution, as the "Mother of Abominations" (Rev. 17), caused many wars. This is the book the Catholic press is afraid to mention.
- The Force. chick.com. Alberto Part 4. This comic reveals how the Vatican is using its occult force to deceive millions. It's the "habitation of devils" described in Rev. 18:2.
- Four Horseman. chick.com. Alberto Part 5. Here's a clear description of how the papacy fulfills Bible prophecies of the antichrist.
- The Prophet. chick.com. Alberto Part 6. Learn how the papacy helped start Islam, only to have this new daughter rebel against her. You'll understand the Arab's place in Bible prophecy. Muslims have been saved by reading this book.
- Gary Dale Cearley, Thou Shalt Not Bear False Witness: The Truth About the Vatican and the Birth of Islam. ISBN 9781847287311.