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All in a family: John the Baptist, Suco the chimp, and the largest false-claims tax-fraud case in Missouri history

The Oyer family's connection to John the Baptist, Suco the chimp, and tax fraud.



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Feds say Oyer received $2,862.20 in fees and deposited the money in the bank account of her family's business, a local ABC Seamless Siding franchise. She is facing one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States and five counts of filing false claims for tax refunds.

Oyer declined The Pitch's interview requests. However, she is credited with a chapter in her son Christopher's 2011 book, The Newest Testament: One Nation Under God, in which she explains how she came to believe that her son is the second coming of John the Baptist. She also outlines her views on organized religion.

"[N]one of the various interpretations of the Bible that I had access to made sense," she writes. "To me they seemed illogical and irrational. God seemed very loving, but unfortunately, very confused, too."

In the book, she writes of visions and dreams that answered her questions about the Bible. She also writes of witnessing and hearing things no one else could. Through these apparitions, she pieced together her view of Christianity.

Shirley's chapter says, "My doctors told me that I could not have any more children. My dreams and visions led me to believe otherwise, but my doctors kept insisting I was unable to have any more children. Then I had a vision from John the Baptist informing me of his return through me."

In 1976, she and her husband — the couple had three children aged 10, 12 and 14 — went on a trip to Italy. She returned feeling ill and took antibiotics. Her doctor wanted to perform a cancer screening. Oyer insisted on taking a pregnancy test first, which came back positive.

She recalls in the book that before a trip that summer to Las Vegas, she was exposed "to some bad fumes that might affect a pregnancy," and her body attempted "to abort the fetus."

"Thank goodness I was in Las Vegas, as the doctors in Kansas City would not have saved this baby," she writes.

Christopher Oyer was born August 12, 1976. He weighed, the book says, 3 pounds, 2 ounces.

"My opinion in Las Vegas was that everything was in divine order," Oyer concludes. And the world had a new John the Baptist.

Christopher, whose calm, thoughtful demeanor is the antithesis of a fire-and-brimstone preacher, would answer The Pitch's questions only through e-mail. He says his life's mission is to bring people together, which he's doing through his United World Church.

"I have returned to make things right and to help humanity cut its ties from primitive thinking," he writes to The Pitch. "My goal is to unite. We are all one people that have become separated by oppressive and confused governments and religions."

United World Church began as a movement without a brick-and-mortar headquarters. That is soon to change. Oyer tells The Pitch that his church is ready for a physical space.

"I am happy to announce that the United World Church is opening an AWAKEN: Higher Brain Living Center located in Overland Park," he writes. "We are going to rock the metro! There will be things going on in our building that you won't believe even when you first see it."

Oyer says his mother didn't indoctrinate him with political or religious teachings when he was a child. She raised him "with unconditional love to be a free thinker," he says.

"She already knew who I was, so she let me be me," he says. "I chose the best parents for myself in this life. I have been preprogrammed before I was born. Sharing my inner knowledge with my mom and family has been a very rewarding experience."

Unsurprisingly, Christopher Oyer says his mother is not guilty of tax fraud.

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