Monday, August 15, 2005

Tom Papania's Mafia Ministry

A couple of nights ago I was invited to go along to hear the testimony of Tom Papania who claims to have been a member of the mafia before becoming a Christian. He had been invited to speak at two different schools where children I knew attended. In both cases he was described to me as an inspirational speaker. I wasn't able to attend the presentation. But I decided to do some research on this evangelist and discovered that he is considered to be a fraud. Here are some web sites that you might like to check out in regard to Tom Papania:

Websites critical of Tom Papania

Websites supportive of Tom Papania


  1. Hey ,

    I think that no one has the right to judge someone...

    I recently had friends who gave their heart to Lord after Tom Papania's testimony.

    I have personally seen Tom - 3 times now- and he is truly an amazing guy-who sincerely has a love for GOD!

    instead of gossip-lets build up and encourage...

    I am truly disapointed how people find things about others - and not take a good look at themselves.

    I pray that God will encourage people that read this - That Tom Papania has a true love for God-forgiveness is what its all about- and Christ was the perfect example.

    Im just a guy from Melbourne Australia----saying- This guy Tom Papania is a great guy who passionatly loves Christ-

    Thanks Tom - for encouraging my close friends to God!

    Glory to God


    1. Your post is a contradiction. You said; “I think that no one has the right to judge someone...” yet you made a judgment that you cannot support when you said; “This guy Tom Papania is a great guy who passionately loves Christ-“. That is a judgment that you cannot support and if this guy is a fraud, your judgment of him being great is a bad judgment.

  2. I agree.
    Tom Papania is the real thing.
    Check out his video on YOUTUBE and judge for yourself.
    You can also see what people are saying on

    Pray about God giving you wisom to discern. There is a guy called Brian Karjala who after being fired from Focus on the family, created 5 websites to try discredit
    James Dobson, Tom Papania etc.
    Karjala's boss who he worked closely with went to jail for 12 years for theft. Karjala stood outside the Focus on the family dressed in a devil's costume and shouting at the colorado springs staff office. Truly cuckoo. He calls himself a " minister of discernment". Beware his lies!

  3. Hi Everyone,
    Tom Papania is without a doubt a fraud. I have done extensive research on him in the past and know this for a fact. There are many sources of information about him on the internet and elsewhere which clearly proove it. If anyone has been saved by his preaching thats fantastic, but the gospel message told by a normal person should be adequate for them -- if they are ready. Let us also remember that just because a preacher has a Biblically sound message it does not mean they are themselves genuine in thier motives and who they say they are. The minister at my church would have over 100 LONG TERM friends, acquaintances and family testifying as to who he is, where he has come from and what he stands for. How many does Tom Papania have?

  4. To the liar trying to defend Tom Papania (most likely Tom Papania): Brian Karjala was not fired from Focus on the Family. Contact Focus directly and they must confirm that he self-terminated (after discovering fraud). Brian owns two websites, not five. Brian never dressed in a devil costume to protest Focus on the Family (a person by the name of Brian Cooper did). But Tom P. continues to lie about Brian because Brian has obviously had a major effect in warning people away from Tom's deceit.

  5. This is a tough call, although there's quite a bit of court documents, and other people in New York City , that seem to contradict Toms version.

    I heard Tom when he came through Houston Texas in December of 1996.
    It was an incredibly moving testimony.

    Time will tell.

  6. "...I think that no one has the right to judge someone..."

    By the same person:
    "...This guy Tom Papania is a great guy who passionatly loves Christ..."

    Think again.

  7. Hey Alex, you think wrong. In 1 Cor., we are given authority, as a Church, to judge matters concerning the church. If there is someone giving false testimony, than they should be called on it. God doesn't need people to lie so that a few may be won to the Kingdom.

  8. Hi everybody!!!!!!!!!!!! My name is Wayne and I and a friend run We both live in Sydney Australia We spent lots of time and money obtaining all the US Gov Documents to ensure we were not just presenting second hand information. We gave Papania numerous opportunites to answer simple questions. Many of his replies were down outright rude. I have offered to challenge him in an open forum and he refused. So he left us no choice other then to post our website. We have offered US$50,000.00 to him or anyone else that can produce just one certified government document confirming his stupid mafia stories. No one to date has ever made claim to this offer. Why doesnt Tom produce his FBI record which would clearly indicate his association with the Gambino family? Why doesn''t he you may ask? Because he cant that way. So for all you people who believe his story, I would ask this very simple question. Other then what he spoke, what other evidence have you ever obtained to back up your belief? If you have such information please come forward and collect our $50K and we will shut down our site at once. We will also post an international appology to the Mafia Man Tom Paporky Teller himself.

    Are you aware that twice his both wives have divorced him. I wonder why that is. One minute he is asking for money to help his dying wife and her cancer then the next thing she had gone and given him the flick.

    Are you aware that we obtained his full criminal record from various US government departments and yes he has one. But the worst thing he was ever caught and charged for was breaking and entering with thieft of a rifle and some electrical goods. There is no mention of going interstate to shoot two men for the Mafia and doing 5 years in jail as he claims in his stupid story. You know what folks, when we asked him why there was no record of jail term his answer was "Oh the judge did a deal with me and said if I did 5 years in the Airforce he would let me off the jail term and the judge then burnt the records. Hahaha so now we have the US Air Force allowing convicted Mafia Men into the service and federal court judges burning court records. This can all be verified as we have saved all the emails from Tom.

    On our website we have the actual court transcript where under oath he states 3 times he has never had anything to do with the Gambino family or the mafia. Now that we have exposed him on that one, he now says his laywer advised him to lie. At the time he was in court he was claiming to be a christian and outside of the court telling everyone he was in the mafia but in the court as a christian he was lying under oath. We folks the facts are he was in deed telling the truth about the mafia as he was never ever associated with or in the mafia the whole story of his life is a con to make money and over the years he has conned many many churches along the way. But in recent times more people became aware of the real Papania. So before you say he is for real please get the facts and not go by your feelings. As this is how he has survied all this time Thanks for reading my posting. If you would like to make contaqct just go to our site and you will see our email address.

    You know most of us enjoy a Sci Fi story better then the news. Why because its more exciting then the truth. Truth can oblt be obtained from cold hard fact. Not emotional feelings now vision as you fall over out the front of your church but from the reality that is there for anyone who searches for the truth like we did

    Regards Wayne

  9. Wayne the Conbuster10 April, 2009 11:58

    Wayne again. I would like you folk to actually read the stupid reponse we got from Papania once we exposed him and the fact he never went to jail for shooting two men. Now here is the story he tried to use to get himself off the hook.

    Funny how he never tells anyone else this version. So for all you blind Tommy followers out there in God Talk Land please don't just attack my postings with feeling from your hearts. Do it with cold hard facts like we have done.

    NOW TOM'S BULLDUST STORY TO TRY AND GET AWAY FROM THE TRUTH We also checked this story out and guess what?? It came up bulldust as well

    ----- Original Message -----
    Sent: Tuesday, September 14, 2004 11:40 PM
    Subject: Re: Doubt

    I was actually arrested in 1963 for the 2 shootings. Because I had no previous record, the Judge gave me the option of joining the military or going to jail. He said I would have to serve 4 years in the military. I naturally joined the military and after only 2 years I was arrested for a burglary. The Judge thought I would have completed the 4 years and destroyed the records.So, he could only use the burglary charge. The sentences was (1) 5 to 10 yr sentence and (1) 1 to 5 year sentence. He allowed the 2 years I spent in the military to count against the jail sentences. The State was Kansas, the town, Wichita, and the county Sedgewick. The prison was called K.S.I.R. in Hutchinson, Kansas. I'm not sure what month it was, but I believe it was during the Summer which would be June or July of 1965. This was almost 40 years ago so I'm not absolutely sure on the dates. I pray this will end your doubts once and for all now that I have answered your questions.

    Tom Papania

  10. Hi Everyone,

    I have researched organized crime for over 20 years and have published articles on early Mafia figures in journals specializing in crime. During my research I have been in contact with living relatives of different Mafia bosses, as well as ex-Cosa Nostra members such as Bill Bonanno and Michael Franzese. I have traveled throughout the USA researching, and have assisted other authors with their own books on organized crime.

    One of the people I spoke with was the grandson of Giuseppe "Joe the Boss" Masseria, the early New York Mafia boss killed in 1931. During our many conversations we worked on a family tree that included Masseria. When asked if he had ever heard of a Tom Papania, he said that he had not. Nor were there any Papanias (or Pappaniers) in the Masseria family tree.

    Moreover, several years ago I assisted with the apologetics ministry of Bob and Gretchen Passantino (Answers in Action). It was at that time that I first heard of Mr. Papania. When I reviewed a VHS tape I immediately knew that he was a fraud.

    I have never met Wayne, but everything he wrote is true. Tom Papania is a fraud.

    Richard Warner

  11. Concerning those who believe that Tom Papania in the real thing, have they bothered to research this man? Have they read the court transcript? Either Tom was telling lies in court, or he is telling lies in his testimony, Which?
    There appears to be too much evidence against Tom Papania, if that is his name.

  12. "Some, to be sure, are preaching Christ even from envy and strife, but some also from good will; the latter do it out of love, knowing that I am appointed for the defense of the gospel; the former proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition rather than from pure motives, thinking to cause me distress in my imprisonment. What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed; and in this I rejoice. Yes, and I will rejoice.."
    Php 1:15-18

  13. I was taken in by Tom Papania, I tried to get in touch with him by email to thank him for his ministry, but instead I found myself reading the transcripts from his trial. When my research was finished, my eyes had been well and truly opened to Tom’s scam. I wrote to him, and spoke of my disappointment, Tom was not very gracious. TOM IS A LIAR, Don't be taken in by him, I am surprised that the Mafia have not muscled in on his racket.

  14. Some posters have defended this wolf in sheeps clothing by saying that people have been saved under his ministry so what! God will save people in spite of the person on the platform, God will not penilise his elect because of a scammer like Tom Papania, Salvation belongs to God not Tom Papania. People have been saved under other money preachers, but is was God who gave the increase not then. Beside GoD in the Bible used an ass to save a mans life... Ballam...Mat: 7:22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
    23And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity

  15. I agree that Tom Papania is a fraud when he is still in the Gambino Family, but now Rev. Tom Papania is not a fraud anymore, by God grace he is speaking the truth and reaching out to people, I meet Rev. Tom once and heard him preach in Singapore. I believe everyone deserve a second chance.

  16. I've read the comments back and forth on this site, and just wanted to say the following...

    According to the United States Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit. - 955 F.2d 688, Tom was involved with Jilly's Restaurant in Giorgia (as mentioned in his testimony). Papania, along with several other Mafia connected individuals (Forgione,Coppola & Biscuiti - some members of a Chicago based crime family) all had interests in the restaurants. This same court document says, and I quote "Papanier was apparently using his ties to New York organized crime to represent Coppola". This same document describes the kidnapping of Jilly's owner, and I quote "In the aftermath of the kidnapping, fearing that Cam and Pilara remained a threat to him, his family, and his assets, Coppola did two things: First, he approached Forgione, a Miami-area union official with ties to organized crime, to assure his protection, and second, he recruited a bodyguard, Papanier, from New York". The Gambino family recv'd $100,000 for saving Coppola's life; an undisclosed Chicago family recv'd $500,000. This court document also describes the contract on Tom's life with failed/aborted bombing attempts which Tom mentions in his testimony. Don't take my word for it, contact the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia directly with questions pertaining to my information listed.

  17. Sorry, but I'm confused! I bought Tom's dvd testimony For myself & others from Focus on the family. All these negative comments are concerning to me. I wish I knew the truth. If someone could just show proof?

  18. I'm confused now. I bought some of Tom's testimony from Focus on the Family. Wish I knew for sure. Where's proof? Tom seems to be truthful & his testimony seems to be inspiring. I will not judge either way. That's God's job.