CYBER: Operation Underground Railroad, Psychic Intelligence, and ‘Sound of Freedom’

CYBER: Operation Underground Railroad, Psychic Intelligence, and ‘Sound of Freedom’
MEXICO CITY, MEXICO - AUGUST 29: Activist Tim Ballard poses during the
red carpet for the movie 'Sound of Freedom' at Cinemex Antara Polanco on
August 29, 2023 in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by Alan Espinosa/Getty
Screen Shot 2021-02-24 at 3
Hacking. Disinformation. Surveillance. CYBER is Motherboard's podcast and reporting on the dark underbelly of the internet.

This summer, a movie called Sound of Freedom took America by storm. The hero was Tim Ballard, the founder of an organization called Operation Underground Railroad. The movie depicted Ballard as an avenging hero who rescued trafficked children from a life of slavery. The truth, we’re all finding out, is something more complicated and a lot less heroic.

Ballard left the organization around the time Sound of Freedom premiered, following an investigation into his sexual misconduct. It’s a wild story involving the The Church of Latter Day Saints, a psychic channeling the Prophet Nephi, and serious criminal investigations.


Here to tell us about it are Vice’s own Anna Merlan and Tim Marchman.

Stories discussed in this episode:

Mormon Church Denounces Tim Ballard’s “Morally Unacceptable” Activities

Tim Ballard’s Departure From Operation Underground Railroad Followed Sexual Misconduct Investigation

‘Sound of Freedom’ Producer Felt the Naked Breasts of Apparently Underage Trafficking Victim

Operation Underground Railroad Child-Rescue Missions Were Based on Psychic Intelligence

We’re recording CYBER live on Twitch. Watch live during the week. Follow us there to get alerts when we go live. We take questions from the audience and yours might just end up on the show. 

Subscribe to CYBER on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen to your podcasts.