The Investigation of Tom Papania

Karjala vs. Papania

Shortly after going public with my expose' revealing the lying nature of Focus on the Family and their unwise decision to promote a man by the name of Tom Papania I received two e-mails from someone objecting to the report.  Who objected?  Tom Papania!

The two e-mails I was sent were from an AOL account bearing Tom's name.  For a number of years the e-mail contact information for Tom's ministry "God's Saving Grace" was also an AOL account ("").  I have confirmed these e-mails as being real and will keep them on file to forward to others if there are ever requests made for me to prove the authenticity of the letters.  (Tom brought copies of my responses to his e-mails to his October 2002 settlement meeting with Rocky Scarfone.)

These two letters reveal the actions of a man who is compelled to lie and smear the names of others in order to defend his ministry.  My responses to the letters were written on the same day each of them was received:

Date: Monday, 26 August 2002 19:30:58 EDT
Subject: website

Brian, you are making statements that have not been proven in a court of law. Your information is coming from a website and not legal documents. You should pray before you publish rumors and gossip. I have never deceived Focus or anyone else for that matter regarding the airing of my testimony. I will be praying for you for the root of bitterness you have allowed to enter into your heart. Go in peace, my brother.


My information is coming from credible news reports which reveal established COURTROOM facts about the life of Tom Papania (and thus confirm the authenticity of the EZnewsTV website).  These facts about your life differ from the testimony contained on the "From Mafia to Ministry" Focus broadcast tape.  You have deceived Focus on the Family by allowing them to air an inaccurate account of what you claim is a truthful personal story.  The fact that Focus on the Family has refused to reair the broadcast or even acknowledge publicly [via their website] that Tom Papania was at one time a part of their ministry indicates a serious problem.  In your opinion, why do you think they've stopped offering the tape?

I do not rely on rumors and gossip.  If you believe that slanderous accusations have been leveled against you then you can provide a statement on your website answering each of the points made by David Reyna concerning the problems he has outlined regarding your testimony.  You can start by explaining why your so-called Christian testimony is in parts identical in detail to the events recorded in the book "House of Cards" by Rocky Scarfone.  You couldn't invent a story of your own?  You lose points for originality.  You're going to lose even more for lying.

I'm doing the right thing by exposing this issue.  I have prayed about this matter and my conscious is clear.  How's yours?  Do you still have one?

Brian Karjala

Date: Tuesday, 27 August 2002 03:35:33 EDT
Subject: Re: website

Brian, I'm truly sorry that you feel the way you do. I can see now it is pointless to try to prove my innocence to you. For your information: It was I who asked Focus to stop selling the tapes as that is my only means of income. Focus agreed to do so and now refers people to me for the tapes. As for David Reyna, well, he and Rocky Scarfone (not even his real name) are partners. Scarfones book was published in 1997 when he claims he was saved. I was saved in 1984 and Focus aired my testimony in Dec. of 1996. You can't copy something before it is written, Brian. But, it seems your mind is made up about me. I forgive you, and may God bless you in all you do.


You're playing loose with the facts (an old habit with you).  I am a former employee at Focus on the Family and I was told by another Focus employee why the tape was pulled from the rebroadcast schedule.  Focus on the Family does NOT continue to refer people to your ministry.  This can be confirmed by anyone who contacts Focus on the Family directly.  Who do you think you're playing here?

Rocky Scarfone's book ("House of Cards") was published in November, 1996 and was based on an earlier manuscript (I have confirmed this as fact).  So the book was in circulation BEFORE the December 1996 Focus broadcast.

These are the facts.  Now, do you want to explain why there is such a similarity between your "testimony" and the content of that book?  Why not release a statement on your website explaining this?


After I sent that last message the conversation ended.  Tom will not discuss the issues of his life story because he can't argue against the facts.  He tried to redirect the conversation from the issue of his credibility by casting doubt on the credibility of others.  Stating that David Reyna and Rocky Scarfone are partners does not imply a sinister motive as he would like it to.  My motive was also denounced (Tom is in no position to judge my heart).  That the name Rocky Scarfone is an alias for Joe Baffa is also a non-issue.  But when Tom tried to knock the salvation story of Scarfone he made a major mistake (the mistake being his deliberate attempt to spread disinformation).  "House of Cards" was published before 1997!  I have confirmed this using a couple of different sources, one of which is through the company (check the publishing date under the "Product Details" section).

[Rocky Scarfone's response to the above Tom Papania letters]

It does make sense that Tom would ask Focus on the Family to stop selling the Focus produced Tom Papania tape because the Focus tape cut into his profits (Tom sells his own tape/CD).  This man is all about money so for him to make that request would be consistent with his character.  However, it appears that Focus never answered that kind of request and only stopped selling the tape after Tom's copyright violation was reported to them by Rock.  I can't believe Tom's explanation because I know he lied to me when he stated that Focus continues to refer people to his ministry.  According to a Focus letter sent to an individual in July of 2001 I know that this has not been true for some time.  (In 2002 I wrote to Focus and was sent an almost exact carbon copy of that letter.  I was sent what they refer to "in house" as a c-text explanation which is a form letter kept on file in their database retrieved to address a given subject.  Unfortunately, this Focus letter neglects to answer the question I asked the ministry regarding the exact date they stopped selling the tape nor does it express any regret or sorrow for the trouble the tape has caused me and countless others.)

In one of my letters to Tom I mentioned that Focus on the Family had no comments about him on their website.  In early 2005 the ministry finally posted an online statement about Tom saying only that they no longer offer their broadcast tape of his testimony.  But the statement doesn't give any warning about his fraud.  For years people who contacted Focus over the phone and through the mail were given a general warning about Tom.  Is this website statement an indication that Focus has abandoned their warning?  Since that website statement became public I had heard from people who have called Focus on the Family asking about Tom.  They were being told only that the tape "From Mafia To Ministry" is no longer available and were not being given any additional information.  Yet, a woman wrote me who claims that she called Focus at the beginning of 2007 and was told that Papania is not credible.  So the Focus phone response has been inconsistent over the years.  The ministry is still issuing a general warning about Tom through the mail.  But in their letter about Tom the ministry neglects to tell us specifically what is wrong with his testimony.  Finding out the specifics of Tom's fraud is a job left to us.

We the public can utilize a variety of different sources to disprove the testimony Tom offered on the "From Mafia to Ministry" Focus on the Family tape.  Court documents and newspaper accounts show that the man publicly admitted during his 1987 Atlanta trial that he never had anything more than "informal ties" to the Gambino crime family (directly contradicting what he had stated on the Focus tape and elsewhere about being a top man in the family).  There are marriage and divorce certificates Tom does not want his supporters to find out about (Tom's most recent divorce).  The videotaped testimony of mob expert Jerry Capeci denouncing Tom's mafia claims is in itself a major blow to Tom's story (see YouTube's 2001 New York NBC reports).  You'll notice from the television reports that Tom never gives anyone a straight answer.  All he does is vilify those who have uncovered his fraud without addressing the evidence against him.  If you warn others about his false testimony be prepared to be labeled as bitter and hateful (projecting his own condition onto his critics).

Over the years there have been changes to Tom Papania's website (and mirror sites).  There was a time when Tom placed a lot of emphasis upon himself and on his works.  The criticism he received for doing this is most likely what contributed to him taking on a more humble appearance (but don't be fooled by it).  At one time on the home page of his website a statement was made that "Entire cities and nations have been impacted by Papanias presence and message."  (archived year 2002 version of his website)  Apparently the man does not understand that a sinner who is truly saved by the grace of God will never boast about the presence of anyone other than God (and Tom was very arrogant to make the false and outlandish claim that his own presence and message have changed entire cities and nations!).  A delusional egomaniac!  Tom is also very dishonest in the way that he reveals his past associations with organizations that no longer promote him.  His website serves only as a promotion vehicle with the ultimate objective of gaining him revenue.  Tom's ministry is devoid of any real substance and exhibits a superficiality similar to what can be seen on TBN's site, an organization which, by the way, for many years promoted the man in their online address book (2009 archived copy).  But when you consider TBN's legacy of promoting deception for them to list Tom Papania in their address book makes complete sense.  Fittingly enough, TBN's endorsement of Papania contradicts another one of their endorsements given some time ago.  Years back TBN co-founder Jan Crouch gave an endorsement of Rocky Scarfone that appears on the back cover of his book "House of Cards"!

You want more irony?  In early 1999 Tom Papania was interviewed on The 700 Club where he was lauded by Pat Robertson.  Some years ago Pat, like Jan, gave an endorsement of Rocky's book that can also be seen on its back cover!  One needs to wonder why, after promoting Rocky Scarfone, Pat Robertson (who's supposedly gifted in the area of discernment) was unable to see through the man who's life was praised on his program.  Where was Pat's famed so-called "word of knowledge" to alert him to the fraud of Tom Papania?  If Pat truly has the gift of revelation knowledge what better time for the gift to manifest?

[Pat Robertson flashing a masonic sign:  TIME Magazine.]

Do you know what the real meaning of the Tom Papania issue is?  Do you know what it is that God is showing us through this man?  Papania can be seen as a kind of spiritual barometer revealing to us the condition of our spiritual health.  That a thief and a liar is able to mix in so well with the top religious leaders of our day indicates a significant problem.  Sadly, through this man and others like him we now have conclusive proof showing us that the meter measuring apostasy in our society is reading at a dangerously high level.

I very much regret the part I at one time played in promoting the man (incidentally, why haven't James Dobson and Pat Robertson made this confession?).  I trusted the leadership at Focus on the Family and believed that they knew best about who to promote.  How wrong I was.  Their failure to do a thorough background check on Tom's story was a mistake.  Refusing to account for the mistake reveals a level of deceit.  It says a lot about our society when the respected "Christian" ministries of our day refuse to account for their sin.  These are the same ministries that exist for the purpose of telling you and me how we should live our lives who even after becoming aware of their blatant error deny their problems and have the audacity to make us believe that they remain our leaders.  They are allowed to remain in their positions because an apathetic society permits them to do so.

Some Focus supporters have tried to silence me by making the outrageous claim that the issue is minor and that the (alleged) overall good of Focus outweighs the bad (this is the false scale and balances theology which denies the need for each sin to be addressed and then confessed).  Do these people not know what a little leaven does to the whole lump of dough (1 Corinthians 5:6)?  Understand that the Tom Papania issue is about more than just Tom Papania's fraud.  The Focus sanctioned Papania cover-up reveals to us a character problem with the Focus leadership.  Focus leaders have yet to apologize for promoting Tom and have not issued any warnings about him through their website, radio programs, magazines or newsletters.  The only way a person can find out that the ministry no longer promotes him is to ask them directly.  The ministry does not volunteer the information.  Focus on the Family is registered as a non-profit ministry that is supposed to be accountable to the very public from which it draws its support.  We have every right to demand full disclosure on this issue and nothing less than that should be accepted.  Ask the ministry to address the issue publicly through their radio broadcast.  That's the same venue from which they first made the mistake of giving Tom a voice.  Of course, the leaders of Focus would then have to explain why they have not previously used their radio program to report the news of Tom's fraud.

If you would like to help me and others fight this battle for truth and accountability then PLEASE make your voice heard.  You can call Focus on the Family at:

1-800-A-FAMILY (232-6459)

If you would like, let them know who sent you.  If you are interested in knowing how to correctly pronounce my last name listen to how a TV announcer addressed my mother:

1988 Wheel of Fortune Promo Commercial (26 seconds; YesVideo)

If you would like to write to the ministry you can address your letter to:

Focus on the Family
8605 Explorer Drive
Colorado Springs, CO 80920

By writing the ministry you will receive a written reply offering you documented proof on how they presently view Tom Papania.  If you receive any strange comments from them (whether over the phone or through the mail) please let me know.  (I will protect your privacy.)

Ask the ministry why they have no warning about Tom on their website.  When they refuse to give you an answer you'll understand the character of this ministry (if you don't already).

I think you can understand why I quit my Focus job.

Getting a straight answer from these people is next to impossible.  Some of them have already ignored me.  Let me give an example.  In September 2002 Dr. James Dobson appeared as a guest on CNN's "Larry King Live" (one of his many appearances on the show).  On the morning before the broadcast (9/18/02) I e-mailed Dobson lieutenant Paul Hetrick (Vice President of Media Relations) and asked him if Dobson would use the opportunity to come clean on the issues of his son's divorce, his involvement with the elusive Council for National Policy and the truth about Tom Papania.  All relevant concerns but the man never answered the e-mail.

People who read this page should wonder why Dr. Dobson thinks he is qualified to speak on moral issues when he is not willing to speak out against one of the most infamous guests ever to appear on his broadcast.  And what right does Dr. Dobson's son have to teach on family related issues when we consider the fact that he was recently divorced?  Ryan Dobson has continued to serve in leadership positions for Focus on the Family which raises the issue of whether or not this public figure should continue to lead others.  Is it right for Dr. Dobson to keep the divorce a secret?  What other secrets is he keeping from us?  These are fair questions.  Why was I not told about their involvement with the CNP while I was an employee with Focus?  They may never answer me.  Focus on the Family has a history of secrecy and they're not about to come clean.

[The Council for National Policy (or CNP) is a semi-secretive psuedo-Christian political group with documented ties to individuals / organizations favorable to the New World Order.]

It's not easy to get these people and their supporters to focus on the issues because so many of them prefer to attack the messenger.  Many people have been conditioned to believe that criticism of Focus on the Family and ministries like it translates to an attack on the Christian faith itself.  This is an erroneous belief.  Focus on the Family and the Gospel of Jesus Christ are two separate and distinctly opposing entities.  The Gospel will stand the test of time.  Ministries like Focus on the Family with all of their lies and false doctrines will soon pass away.  This is what needs to be understood so that people do not make the mistake of thinking that I am making war on "The Church".  Much of what passes today as "The Church" is nothing more than a conglomeration of lukewarm religious institutions who are themselves largely responsible for perpetrating deception.  Tom Papania would not be allowed to continue to deceive people throughout the world if Focus on the Family, CBN, TBN, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, Charisma magazine and a host of other major ministries who once promoted the man would take a stand against him and put a stop to his fraud once and for all.  In this task these organizations have failed.  It is now a battle of the individual.  Only the individual moved by the Spirit of God is strong enough to overcome the opposition.

So just what kind of opposition have I encountered?

In January 2005 I received a threatening letter from Tom Papania's attorney accusing me of defamation.  I was instructed to retract and remove all of the negative material I've published about his client by January 15, 2005, or I would be subject to legal action seeking punitive damages, attorney's fees, and costs of litigation.  I was not the least bit intimidated (obviously, as this website has not backed away from reporting Tom's fraud).

It is not defamation to reveal what is true.  Probably the easiest way to prove Tom's fraud is to search the online archives of the Atlanta Journal Constitution.  Do a search on that site using Tom's original last name, Papanier, and you will bring up news articles about his 1987 Atlanta criminal trial (which lasted 14 weeks and not 11 months as Tom falsely claims).  One of the articles listed is titled:

"Coppola co-defendant [Papanier] denies crime family ties"

The first sentence of the article reads:

"Tommy Papanier, a co-defendant in the trial of accused racketeer Carl Coppola, took the witness stand Thursday and disputed previous testimony that he was connected to New York's Gambino organized crime family."

There you have it!  The foundation of Tom's "Christian" testimony is his claim that he was a high ranking member of the Gambino family.  Yet at his criminal trial he denied under oath that he was ever a member of the family.

The greatest witness against Tom Papania is Tom Papania!

Court records reveal that Tom denied any past or present association with the Gambino family.  He did in fact tell the truth (on this one issue he told the truth... there is doubt as to whether he told the truth about other issues of his trial).  On an Internet forum one supporter of Tom made the claim that when Tom denied being a Gambino member he was doing so for reasons of secrecy -- to protect the Gambino family.  This supporter is apparently unfamiliar with Tom's present-day "Christian" testimony.  Tom today claims that he told the complete truth at his 1987 criminal trial (without telling people exactly what he said), a trial which, by the way, took place three years after Tom says he became a Christian.  Tom says that the truth set him free.  If supporters of Tom want to believe that Tom lied in 1987 they will have to contend with the belief that Tom lied under oath as a professing Christian -- a belief contrary to what Tom claims today!  [UPDATE: Tom now claims that at his 1987 trial when he denied being a member of the mob he had lied in order to avoid a life sentence in prison.  This newest revelation in his ever-evolving life testimony poses a new problem for him.  For years Tom has testified to church groups and on audio and video productions that the truth set him free at his trial.  Now he says he lied at that trial (he tells this newest lie in order to maintain the earlier lie that he was a high ranking member of the Gambino family).  In actuality, Tom was friends with a bodyguard of Gambino boss Paul Castellano and that is how Tom secured his job as a bodyguard for the Atlanta restaurant owner and drug dealer Carl Coppola (who eventually fired Papania).  A high ranking Gambino enforcer and close associate of Castellano would never be dispatched as a lowly bodyguard for a drug dealer and smut peddler.]

This is the kind of information I have offered to people who have written to me seeking answers about Tom's credibility.  For this reason Tom does not want people making contact with me.  In the past he has told people with questions about his testimony not to write me, claiming that those who engage me in conversation are being abused and insulted with name calling and profanity.  What a blatant lie!  But we know that his words mean nothing.  Just look at what he wrote in his last letter to me (at the top of this page):

I forgive you, and may God bless you in all you do.

You forgive me Tom for telling people the truth about you?!  Sure you do.  That's why you continue to attack my Christian faith and tell lies about me.  That's why your attorney sent me the threatening letter.

In early 2008 Tom Papania authored a slanderous Wikipedia article about me (this Papania thug is a real nasty piece of work).  After the misrepresentation and lies about me were deleted he transferred the smear to one of his newer websites (  For years Tom has lied by claiming that I was fired from Focus on the Family.  The Focus on the Family Human Resources department will confirm that I self-terminated my employment there.  (I've never been fired from any job).  Tom also claims that I dressed up in a devil costume to protest Focus on the Family.  I never did any such thing.  Tom took information from a former Focus employee by the name of Brian Cooper and attributed his action to me (see an archived page of Cooper's writings where Cooper mentioned that he dressed in a devil costume to protest Focus on the Family's alliance with the Mormon church).

Tom wrote the Wikipedia article about me using the Wiki user name of "Myql".  He also posted videos of his false testimony throughout the Internet where in one of the comments sections a poster using an extension of the user name "Myql" wrote the comment "awesomely amazing."  So Tom was writing positive comments about his own videos (using multiple user names, I suspect).  (When some people posted truthful comments about his fraud Tom disabled the comments sections of the videos.)

I could give more examples of Tom's absurdity but I think you get the point.  If you have any questions about any of the false information Tom has posted about me be sure to contact me at my e-mail address for clarification.  Tom has a very low opinion of the public and doesn't believe you are smart enough to discover his fraud.

The aging low-level mobster is getting sloppy with his lies.  It's a sign of desperation.  Tom has also impersonated me by writing under my name (one of the past charges against him is identity theft by way of copyright infringement - remember, he stole part of Rocky Scarfone's life story for which he paid money to settle with Scarfone).  Tom is a cowardly demented creep who is on a road that will lead him straight into the lake of fire where all liars and thieves will spend eternity.

Tom has falsely accused me of defamation when he is the one who has slandered me (the ultimate hypocrite).  Tom and his attorney know they don't have a case against me.  They were hoping to scare me into removing my web pages (underestimating my intelligence and resolve).  So why would this attorney have an interest in helping Tom?  Is he a fan of Tom's "ministry" or is there another reason?  We need to ask ourselves this:  Who besides Tom Papania and his supporters would have an interest in making my web pages vanish?  Who has a history of concealing the truth?  The website of Tom's attorney, D. Kent Shelton, provides us with the answer.  Visit the archive of the Links page of this attorney's website to see what organizations he has promoted.

No surprise.

"There's gonna be some world-shakin'!" (Cool Hand Luke)

I was never sued.

Focus Leader Acknowledges My Writings to Correspondent; Refuses to Discuss the Facts I Raise and Dismisses Me as "Disgruntled"

Contract dispute:
Tom Papania vs. Joe Baffa (a.k.a. Rocky Scarfone)
Original source: Gwinnett Courts (Georgia)
Search the court site for Rocky Scarfone or Thomas Papania.  Tom doesn't want the public to know that he entered into a written contract with Rocky.
(I submitted an affidavit for this case in late 2005.  See the documents section.)

The Deceit of James Dobson's Focus on the Family

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Updated Mon Mar 28, 2016 12:05am MDT