First Known Minister to Warn Focus on the Family about Tom Papania

Letter from Mr. Catania to Mr. Fisher


I retrieved this letter from Rocky Scarfone's old web pages before he took them down after reaching an agreement with Tom Papania in late 2002.  In 1997 when I was still an employee with Focus on the Family I was covertly told by another employee that there was a (unnamed) minister who had warned the Focus leaders about problems concerning this Tom Papania character (who Focus leaders had been promoting).  In the summer of 2002 when I finally found this letter on one of Scarfone's pages I was not too surprised (but definitely intrigued) to read what I found below.

The letter is addressed to Herb Fisher, who it is my understanding is a close associate and friend of Dr. James Dobson:

Executive Director


P.O. [edited]

November 19, 1997

Mr. Herb Fisher
Fisher Management Company

Dear Herb,

Pursuant to our conversation I am sending you information that I know first hand and information gathered regarding Tom Papania. I know you are aware of my motivation but since this is in writing I want to express it again. My concern is two fold, one for the reputation of Mr. James Dobson and the integrity of his radio program and for Tom Papania as an individual who needs to be confronted and corrected in love.

As I shared with you Herb on the phone, I was sent a tape of Tom Papania and immediately knew something was wrong, having met him about ten years ago in Atlanta.

Ted Baehr (who has been a guest on James Dobson's broadcast is a friend of mine) invited me to be a guest on his radio program and to speak at the church he attended in Atlanta. After speaking at the church, I was asked by someone in the congregation if I would go to their home to meet with a man in the church that had a similar background as I had. The person who I met that night was Tom Papania, Tom told me about his background that night, which was nothing like that which I heard on the tape of his testimony.

I was asked by an International Prison Fellowship of which I am a member, if I would contact Tom Papania and ask him about some of the things that he said on the tape which didn't make sense. With that, I called Tom and re-introduced myself and he remembered our meeting. He was upset when I started to ask him questions then calmed down when I told him it was not personal but that I was asked to call him. He then told me if I wanted to check out his story I should call Ted Baehr, because he told me that Ted knew of his background from when Ted worked as a lawyer in New York. Ted had moved from Atlanta to Los Angeles since I had seen him last, I contacted Ted and explained the situation to which Ted Baehr said he knew nothing of Tom Papania from New York. At this point I knew he had lied about a few things but still had no proof.

I was later contacted by a Mr. Mark Abraham in Louisiana, who was part of a committee that was planning on having Tom speak at a meeting in Louisiana [National Day Of Prayer], Mark said he had heard some things about Tom Papania and had made some calls to people who are involved in prison ministry and was given my phone number. Mark and I talked and he said he would pursue his inquires about Tom Papania.

Mark later got back with me and said that there was an F.B.I. chock done on Tom Papania and that it came back with a different story then what he told on the James Dobson broadcast. Mark told me that Tom Papania never did time for what he said. Mark then went on to tell me that they contacted Tom and gently confronted Tom with the situation and Mark told me that Tom blew up and started cursing, at which point, the meeting in Louisiana was canceled.

I have talked with Mark and he is willing for anyone to contact him, his phone number is [edited] or at work [edited] his address is [edited].

While all this was going on, a friend of mine contacted me about an author that writes books on the Mafia as well as a journalist in New York who both sent E mail responses of which I have enclosed.

Herb, I hope this information will be helpful in the right hands to do what would please the Lord Jesus and turn around what the devil meant for evil for a greater good. If anyone needs to know any further information, feel free to give my address as listed and phone number: [edited].

Because Of Jesus
Frank Catania
Executive Director
Brothers Keepers Ministries


According to EZnewsTV, after sending this letter Mr. Catania attended a meeting with Mr. Fisher where this situation was discussed.  It was told to EZnewsTV that the answer to this letter at that meeting was: "We cannot do anything, we may be held liable."

[Despite knowing that Papania was and is a fraud, Focus on the Family continued to promote the man until a lawsuit was filed against that organization by Rocky Scarfone in Dec. 1999.]

From what I've heard, Mr. Catania paid a heavy price for his stand for the truth.  He was badmouthed and blacklisted afterwards.  As the very last person currently writing publicly about Tom Papania's fraud I think I can understand some of his pain.  [Everyone else was either bought off, scared away, or otherwise quit.]

Yes, none of these visible public "Christian" leaders did anything to stop the fraud, preferring instead to make the messenger the scape-goat.


-- BJK

The Deceit of James Dobson's Focus on the Family

The Investigation of Tom Papania

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