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A little while back, Amie Beth Shaver wrote a column for us here at 1819 News about the courage of Albert Patterson.
This was one of the most powerful pieces of content we have put out at 1819 News. When I heard the story of a man who was so dead set on stopping the corruption in his town that he was willing to die to stop it, it lit a fire in my soul, the likes of which I have never felt before. He ran for Alabama Attorney General with the sole purpose of putting an end to the rampant corruption that plagued Phenix City once and for all.
When Patterson spoke to some folks at his church before the election, he said that if he won, the odds of him actually being sworn in were against him 100-1. He knew the stakes were high and that he would likely be killed for making this stand, but he also knew it was a stand that needed to be made, and God was calling him to make it.
As Amie Beth explained in her column, Patterson was murdered in front of his office. The assassin placed a gun in his mouth and fired three shots, tragically ending this hero's life. However, to the dismay of those responsible for the assassination, it did not end Albert Patterson's mission.
Within weeks of his death, the governor declared martial law and gave the Alabama National Guard law enforcement capabilities in the county and city. Special prosecutors were sent from Montgomery to replace the local ones, and within six months of his death, then-Gov. Gordon Persons put the rampant organized crime in Phenix City to an end. A total of 734 indictments against local law enforcement officers, elected officials and others were handed down by a special grand jury in Birmingham.
Chief Deputy Albert Fuller was indicted and found guilty of the murder of Albert Patterson and sentenced to life in prison, and though he got out after 10 years, he died the same year he was released.
At least two statues have been erected in honor of Albert Patterson, one in Phenix City and the other on the grounds of our State Capitol.
My favorite part of this story is that his son would become the attorney general in 1955 and work to end political corruption and organized crime. That would be his platform when he ran for governor of the great state of Alabama. In 1958, John Malcolm Patterson became the governor and continued his father's legacy of ending corruption in this state.
As a mentor of mine says when talking of the great Albert Patterson and how his son lived out his legacy: "By God's grace, let's be the man and raise the son."
Why am I writing all this since Amie Beth did such an excellent job covering it not long ago?
Well, it is because another Alabama native is displaying tremendous courage at the risk of his life and freedom — so much so that he was jailed on October 31 for not providing a judge in Houston, Texas, with the name of an informant.
That man is Gregg Phillips.
Gregg Phillips and Catherine Engelbrecht of True the Vote have been in the fight of their lives, working to expose corruption as it relates to the security of our elections in America. Very powerful people and organizations want to silence them, and it makes sense why. Suppose what they are claiming is accurate, and they certainly seem to have ample evidence it is. In that case, it means we have serious questions about the 2020 election and, very likely, all of our elections across the country, including the ones coming up in November.
For much of his career, Gregg operated behind the scenes, and very few knew about him or saw his work. Then, he played a significant role in producing the wildly successful film, "2000 Mules," in which Gregg and Catherine made the case that using even the most conservative estimates, enough ballot stuffing took place to change the election.
True to form, all the left-leaning mainstream media outlets began working to discredit the movie's claims. Reuters, NPR, AP and the other usual suspects have relentlessly attacked Gregg and Catherine in an effort to make them out to be conspiracy theorists.
In my opinion, the concerted efforts by these left-leaning media behemoths to discredit Gregg and Catherine actually lend more legitimacy to them. Look at how these outlets treated Nicholas Sandmann and Kyle Rittenhouse.
Sandmann won a major defamation suit, and Rittenhouse was acquitted when all was said and done.
I do not believe these mainstream media outlets are out for truth. Instead, it appears they are out to push a narrative and, in many cases, destroy people on the other side of the narrative.
I have had the pleasure of getting to know Gregg, and I can attest that he is a man dedicated to preserving this nation, even at the cost of his own life. He has had friends tell him that he will likely end up dead working to expose these things, and it has not fazed him.
One of the things that I believe proves the gospel account of Jesus Christ to be true is the fact that the apostles would not recant their story of Christ's life, death, resurrection and ascension even though they were tortured and eventually killed.
In the same vein, why would someone go to jail for something they didn't believe and risk their lives and livelihoods to tell the truth about something if it wasn't true?
In a day where a former President of the United States can have his home raided by the FBI for no apparent reason, and a pro-life minister can be arrested in front of his children by federal agents, do we really think Mr. Phillips' claims are that far-fetched?
Think of the Russia collusion claims that were made and repeated like a broken record for over a year that turned out to not only be false, but it appears Trump's political opponents created them.
How about the narrative forced down our throats for six months that COVID came from a bat in a wet market, and anyone saying otherwise was a tin foil hat-wearing conspiracy theorist? Then all of a sudden, they admitted the virus likely came from a lab in Wuhan, China, and these same people did not apologize to those who suggested that it might have been the case in the first place (like Jon Stewart in this video).
The people of this country have zero trust in their institutions, and it is because their institutions have lied to them constantly for years now. It will take more than left-leaning mainstream media outlets hurling insults at the skeptical citizens of this country to earn the trust back. And it will obviously take more than a jail cell to get Gregg to abandon his mission.
Having spent time with Gregg the last few months, I am willing to put him in the same category as the great Albert Patterson–an Alabama man dead set on exposing corruption at the expense of his life, freedom, and livelihood. One can’t help but hear the last line of the Declaration of Independence, where the founders of this great nation mutually pledged to one another their lives, fortunes and sacred honor. The spirit of our founders was with Albert Patterson, and it is with Gregg Phillips and Catherine Engelbrecht as they are sitting in a jail cell, unwilling to compromise.
As an Alabama resident, I am proud to live in a place where this kind of courage was grown, and I know that Albert Patterson and Gregg Phillips aren't the only ones.
The saying that is prominently placed at the top of our website says, "Rise to the Moment of Truth."
Gregg is rising to the moment that God has put before him.
We are all living in this dystopian time, seeing unthinkable things take place. I would encourage everyone to seek out what God is asking of them in this cultural moment and act on it.
Courage is the great need of the hour, and thankfully we have shining examples to look to that are from right here in Alabama.
Bryan Dawson is the president and CEO of 1819 News
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