Dec 4, 2015

EXCLUSIVE: Truth about the polygamist pastor, 60, with pregnant bride, 19: four furious ex-wives he forgot to mention, 12 children by six women, a 35-year search for a sister wife (and he STILL owes $100,000 in child support)

LAURA COLLINS IN MANSFIELD, OHIO, FOR DAILYMAIL.COM
Daily Mail
December 4, 2015 

  • Pastor Thomas Miller revealed this week how his 'first wife' Belinda, 44, was happy with him 'marrying' sister wife Reba Kerfoot, 19
  • He said polygamy was part of his 'Christian lifestyle' and that he had found God 20 years ago in prison 
  • But Daily Mail Online has unraveled his real past - 12 children by six women, four wives and a $100,000 bill for unpaid child support
  • His children call him 'bio-dad', the FBI raided him for suspected drug dealing and he has two children called Thomas
  • First attempt to find a 'sister wife' was 35 years ago, long before he had 'found God' while in prison for felony assault 
  • One son says: 'He's cheated and he's gone through multiple wives and I don't buy into his change of heart and his religiousness.'

The full extraordinary story of the 60-year-old pastor who 'married' his pregnant teenage girlfriend with - he said - the support of his wife is revealed today.

When he presented his domestic arrangements to the world this week Pastor Thomas Miller, 60, described everyone as happy. He presented himself as a man of God and referred to his polygamous set up as a 'Christian lifestyle.'

Belinda, 44, was described as his first wife making 19-year-old Reba Kerfoot his second. Belinda described Thom as 'the love of her life' and Reba as 'the blessing of her life.'

It was all, Miller implied, an extension of the changed and devout man the former mafia enforcer had become since finding God during a spell in prison some twenty years ago: a neat if unconventional set up.

But the truth is far messier and more complicated.

Far from being his first wife as he has claimed, Daily Mail Online has discovered that Belinda is wife number five and Reba 'wife' number six for Miller who has left a trail of furious women and abandoned children in his wake.

Miller has 12 children who refer to him as 'bio-dad' and hold him in a mixture of disdain and disgust mingled with the draining dregs of filial loyalty.

According to his ex-wives and abandoned children Miller is a manipulative charmer who has lied and faked his way through life. And he is not, they say, a changed man.

Miller owes more than $100,000 in child support to one former wife alone and, though he has presented his sister-wife search as a recent, post conversion deal, the truth is his search has spanned more than 35 years – eclipsing his 'finding God' by more than a decade.

Miller, from Cleveland, Ohio had two children, Thomas and Renee, by his first wife Phyllis whom he divorced in 1976 - the year before he married his second, Mary Higgins.

Speaking to Daily Mail Online Mary, 56, who had four children with Miller before he abandoned her and them said: 'I think it's kind of disgusting. He's got grandchildren the same age as Reba so I don't know where his head's at.

THE WIVES AND WOMEN OF THE POLYGAMIST PASTOR


FIRST WIFE

Phyllis - 1972 to 1976

Her age at marriage: 16 or 17

Children: Thomas, 43 and Renee, 41

SECOND WIFE

Mary - 1977 to 1982

Her age at marriage: 17

Children: Michael, 38, Angelina, 35, Leah, 34, Dana, 33

MISTRESS

Jamie, mother of Tom, 31

MISTRESS

Ann, mother of Nick, now 30

THIRD WIFE

Norma Jean Daffner - 1986 to 1993

Her age at marriage: 19

Children: Joseph, 28, and Robert, 27

MISTRESS

Ann Chipuk, mother of Ryan, 24

MISTRESS

Mary Spinelli, mother of a 22-year-old

FOURTH WIFE

Julia - 1999 to January 2009

Her age at marriage: 42

FIFTH WIFE

Belinda - March 2009 - present

Her age at marriage:38

SIXTH 'WIFE'

Reba Kerfoot

Her age at marriage: 19

Children: One due next year


'I guess I shouldn't be surprised. Thom's done a lot of things out of the ordinary.'

Mary, who now lives in Colorado and suffers from MS, was just 16 years old when she met Thom, then 21, on a blind date. To this day she doesn't know if he was still married to Phyllis at the beginning of their relationship but now she wonders.

The couple married in March 1977 when she was just 17 and four months pregnant with their first child, Michael, who was born in August that year.

Mary said: 'We were actually supposed to get married on three occasions.

'The first time my mother had sown my white dress, the church was all booked and I got a call from Phyllis on the day of the wedding saying Thom wouldn't be showing up.'

The second time he failed to take his blood test, then a requirement by law, and the third time finally they married, though this time Mary said, 'the white dress was long gone.'

Mary had four children in five years with Thom – after Michael came Angelina, then Leah and finally Dana.

At first Miller worked as a maintenance guy in an apartment building so the family had a place to stay but, Mary said, she always knew that he was into illegal things.

She said: 'When Michael was a baby there was a bedroom that under the carpet there were bricks of hash and I know for a fact he was dealing cocaine when Dana was a baby.'

On two occasions law enforcement smashed their way into her home – once the FBI – looking for stolen credit cards, drugs and guns.

She reflected: 'I was so young and impressionable. I knew Thom was into some things but I really didn't know the details.'

What she did find out was that her husband was being unfaithful to her with a woman called Jamie.

It was an affair that heralded Miller's supposedly recent search for a 'sister-wife' as Mary recalled an extraordinary conversation she had with the other woman.

She said: 'She called me up and said could we share Michael? I had no interest in any way, shape or form in that lifestyle.'

When her youngest was just five months the family moved to Florida where Miller claimed to have found work – though to this day Mary is vague on exactly what her then husband was doing.

The marriage was not, she now admits, a happy one. Miller spent some time in jail during their marriage and she said: 'He only once laid hands on me when he pushed me up against a wall in Florida but he was verbally and mentally abusive.'

Then, one day Miller told his wife he was going to the store to get some cigarettes. He never came back.

That was 1982. Just like that he walked out on his four children the eldest of whom was four, the youngest just six months, and never looked back.

Mary tried to pursue him for child support to no avail and moved her family to Colorado, where they still live, to be close to her own parents.

Mary later learned that Thom had impregnated his lover, Jamie, who had a son, Tom by him (he already had a son called Thomas).

Today she said: 'I don't think he's changed honestly. I think he's still the same person just in a different persona.

'I think he's always been very manipulative, very charming. My mother used to say Thom could fall into s*** and come out smelling like roses.

'He's that type of personality, that type of charmer.'

After Jamie, Miller moved onto another woman - Ann - by whom he had another child, Nick, born in 1984.

In 1986 he married Norma Jean Daffner by whom he had two sons, Joseph and Robert.

During his marriage to Norma, Miller was once again unfaithful and fathered a son, Ryan, by Ann Chipuk (his second mistress of the same name) who worked in a nightclub he briefly ran.

In 1991 Miller was incarcerated for stabbing a man in a bar fight and ultimately spent eight years in jail for felony assault.

While her husband was inside Norma met somebody else and sued for divorce.

Papers seen by Daily Mail Online show that Miller fought her every step of the way – refusing to agree to the divorce and subsequently fighting bitterly for visitation and contact with his children.

The divorce was finalized in 1993.

During his time in prison it seems that he met the woman who would become his fourth wife – Julia.

She already had two children, Janelle and Joshua, from a previous relationship when they married in April 1999, just one month after his release.

His marriage to Julia ended in divorce in January 2009 and by March he was married to Belinda, his current wife.

But it was with Julia that he set up his ministry – Special Visit Ministry - visiting prisoners and feeding children in Africa.

The children whom he has neglected back in the States have always found it a bit rich that their father should have devoted time and money to children overseas while never paying a dime in child support for the ones he fathered here.

They have set up a Facebook group 'Biological Children of Thom Miller' to reach out to each other.

Several of his children from his second marriage spoke with Daily Mail Online.

According to Michael, now 38 and married with one child: 'My take on my father is that he doesn't know how to be with one woman and never has throughout the course of his life.

'He's cheated and he's gone through multiple wives and I don't buy into his change of heart and his religiousness.

'I think it's a means to an end. It think he wanted to be with another woman and I don't know how he convinced Belinda to agree to it but she did.

'He's been looking for a sister-wife for years. He even advertised online for one.

'I don't believe for one second that it's one big happy family. I think this is my father's way of controlling another woman and I just don't think it's what he's putting it out to the media to be.'

Miller attempted to have some sort of relationship with Michael when, eight years ago, he reached out to his children from his second marriage but for Michael it was much too little too late. He rejected his father's overtures.

His sisters, Dana and Angelina however did try to have some sort of contact – and were left deeply disappointed as a result.

Dana explained: 'I have zero memories of my dad. He left my mother with four children when I was six months old so I didn't know my biological father.

'I believe when I was 13 years old he contacted my mother through his mom and for a while I remember exchanging letters with him then he disappeared off the face of the earth again.

'Then eight years ago he came out here [to Colorado] with his then wife, Julia, and we met him for the first time.

'That visit was filled with promises of 'I'm a changed man and I want to have a relationship with you and that didn't happen – he dropped off the face of the earth again.'

A few years ago, she said, they renewed contact. She explained: 'I still had this longing to have a relationship with my biological father and unfortunately he just proved to me that he's the pathetic human being that he always has been.'

Dana, a registered nurse, has been happily in a relationship with a woman for the past nine years – they are raising two children together. And it was this lifestyle of which her father, she said, deeply disapproved.

'He had some very nasty things to say about my lifestyle and my homosexuality,' she said.

Just this week Miller said publicly that he had 'nothing against homosexuality' when arguing that polygamy should be legal just like gay marriage.

He was not at home to answer questions about his past, and attempts to reach him were unsuccessful. Reba Kerfoot declined to comment.

Today Dana admits that she was, 'absolutely floored' by the recent stories regarding her father.

As for his religious conversion she said: 'I believe initially it was genuine and that when he was in prison he really did 'find God.' But I think that as time when on he saw it as a way to make money and I feel like it started with specialvisit.org ministry. I think as time has gone on it's become his cash cow.

'I believe Reba has been duped. I believe she's a 19-year-old kid who, I'm sorry, has no idea at 19 years old what she's got herself into.'

It is a view shared by her sister, Angelina, known as Angie, now 37 and married with two children. She said: 'He absolutely disgusts me. It makes me sick to know I'm related to him. It's that simple. I mean what 60-year-old man has sex with a 19-year-old? She's younger than his grandchild.

'He doesn't care about anyone but himself and he will do whatever it takes to make himself look that way he wants to look.'

She added: 'I grew up telling people I don't have a dad. That was what we said when we were kids.

'I tried to have a relationship with him but he would disappear and then reappear years later. It was impossible. I went my whole life not having a father so it wasn't really a big deal to me not having him around.

'Now I thank God that Thom Miller left my mom because I can't imagine what we would have been like if we'd been raised by him.'

She said: 'The way he's making himself look now, it's not right. It's not the real Thom Miller.

'He does stuff as if no repercussions will ever come to him – coming out with half truths and lies all the time

'We call him "bio-dad", we never call him dad or father because he never earned that title. He disappeared for years and we didn't know if he was alive or dead.

'I guess he just thinks he can do whatever he wants, but it's time people told the truth and saw the truth about Thom Miller.

'And I don't think he's ever really been honest about anything his whole life.'

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3345050/Truth-polygamist-pastor-60-pregnant-bride-19-four-furious-ex-wives-forgot-mention-12-children-six-women-35-year-search-sister-wife-s-never-paid-dime-child-support.html
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