Inspiration behind 'Sound of Freedom' blames 'spiritual warfare' for mainstream media backlash

Tim Ballard during an appearance on the 'Relatable' podcast.
Tim Ballard during an appearance on the "Relatable" podcast. | Screenshot/YouTube

The founder of the organization that inspired the box-office hit "Sound of Freedom" says the media backlash to the film may be a sign of "spiritual warfare."

Tim Ballard, founder of Operation Underground Railroad, which rescues children from sex trafficking rings around the world and inspired the hit film, said he "can't explain" why so many media outlets and personalities have ridiculed the movie as a "QAnon-adjacent conspiracy theory."

In an appearance on Fox News' "Fox and Friends" Monday evening, Ballard said the media's monolithic effort to link the true story of a U.S. Department of Homeland Security agent rescuing two young children from human traffickers in South America is inexplicable.

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"I can't explain, and neither can they. Every show I've seen, they just like to throw the word out, 'QAnon,'" he said. "They make zero connection to the actual story. It's very difficult to make that connection when it's actually based on a true story."

Ballard, who formerly worked as an investigator for DHS, reacted to reviews of "Sound of Freedom" from Rolling Stone, The Guardian and other outlets, which linked the film's plot to "QAnon."

In one clip, CNN's Mike Rothschild said the film was made in response to a "moral panic," which he claimed was based on "bogus statistics … and fear."

Ballard called such claims not only baseless but ignorant of the facts.

"I think of the children that are really depicted in that film. I know what happened to them. Those children were the subjects of child rape videos. Those children were being sold for sex. In total, you see over 120 kids actually are rescued.

"It's embarrassing and frankly, grotesque for this guy who knows nothing to start throwing out terms like QAnon and connecting it to a real story," he said, adding such responses make him question whether "there's some other agenda, because why do this?"

In an appearance on "Relatable" with Allie Beth Stuckey, Ballard said journalists are largely unable to say what QAnon actually is.

"I don't even know if any of us can accurately define what QAnon is," he said.

Meanwhile, Ballard argued, the media seems less than eager to report on the estimated $150 billion global human trafficking trade.

When asked why a Washington Post fact-checker was unable to corroborate Ballard's claim that 10,000 children are smuggled into the United States annually, Ballard responded, "Are you kidding me?"

"Look, the United States, we are the No. 1 consumer of child rape videos in the world, OK, so that's the I call that the 'economy of pedophilia,'" he replied. "And now we have over the last two years alone 85,000 unaccompanied minors that show up at our Southern border."

He explained that, according to statistics from the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, when these young children — often no older than 3 or 4 years of age — show up at the border unaccompanied by an adult, the Department of Health and Human Service is required to contact their sponsor. That person would then be required to come to the border and physically pick up the child.

Not anymore, says Ballard.

"Now our taxpayer dollars are putting those kids on buses and planes and sending them to what I think is likely completing the final leg of a child trafficking experience," he said.

Shown in only 2,600 theaters, "Sound of Freedom" beat out Disney's "Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny" for the top spot over the Fourth of July holiday with a bold message: "God's children are not for sale."

So when media outlets like The Guardian or Rolling Stone attempt to demean the film's real-life content or its message of hope for those victims of human trafficking, Ballard says such a backlash takes on a more spiritual dimension.

"When you connect it all together, you see why someone doesn't want the truth coming out because there's a movement right now," he said. "I think a lot of it, Ali, is spiritual warfare."

"I think when people act so insane, sometimes I can only chalk it up to that we're we're playing with powers beyond our mortality."

Ian M. Giatti is a reporter for The Christian Post and the author of BACKWARDS DAD: a children's book for grownups. He can be reached at:

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