Seeking Sister Wife Becky Ryan’s dad is Tony Alamo, cult leader married to girls as young as 8

Seeking Sister Wife Seeking Sister Wife Becky Ryan's dad is cult leader Tony Alamo

During the intros for Seeking Sister Wife Season 5 couple Becky and Justin Ryan, Becky reveals that her dad was a pastor at a church where polygamy was accepted. “Growing up in a polygamous household, to me, was never a negative,” Becky said.

That statement is shocking considering Becky’s dad (stepdad actually) was Tony Alamo, a cult leader who married multiple underage girls as young as 8 years old. Tony Alamo (born Bernie Lazar Hoffman) was sentenced to 175 years in prison in 2009 after being found guilty of transporting five girls across state lines for sex.

“Being in high school and being married was actually kind of normal where I was,” Becky says in her intro, after revealing she was 16 when she married 19-year-old Justin Cunneen.

“We weren’t the first teens to get married young,” Becky continues. “Our church believed in polygamy as an option. My dad was the pastor of the church, and he studied the Bible a lot. He got other wives as he was finding all the scriptures that prove that it is OK to do.”

Becky then made the statement about there being nothing negative about her upbringing. “Growing up in a polygamous household, to me was never a negative. I guess, sometimes, I might have felt like, ‘Oh, my dad doesn’t really have much time for me now.’ But then I also got other people to talk to.”

There was one aspect of being raised in a polygamous household that Becky says wasn’t ideal — her mom wasn’t close with her sister wives. “My mom’s kind of a loner, typically, so she didn’t have the great bonding experience that I know I’ll have,” Becky says.

Becky Ryan and Tony Alamo connection

Becky Ryan is actually Rebecca Cunneen, born Rebecca Kroopf. Rebecca’s mom is Sharon Kroopf, who later changed her name to Sharon Alamo after marrying Tony Alamo in 1989.

Becky was born in October of 1981 and would have been either 7 or 8 years old at the time her mother married Tony Alamo.

Becky’s biological dad, David Kroopf, was a member of the Alamo Christian Foundation and was married to Sharon from 1980 to 1988. The couple moved into a Dyer, Arkansas house owned by the Foundation in 1988. Things went south quickly for David after that.

Here’s an article from the Southwest Times Record:

Seeking Sister Wife Becky Ryan's biological dad David Kroopf says Sharon Alamo and Tony Alamo took Becky

Tony Alamo and Sharon Alamo’s marriage

During Tony Alamo’s trial, Sharon Alamo testified that she and Tony weren’t legally married. However, she did exchange vows with Tony and used the name Sharon Alamo for multiple church properties. She also used the name Sharon Hoffman. (Tony Alamo’s birth name was Bernie Hoffman.)

From Tony Alamo News:

In 1989 Alamo married Sharon Kroopf (now Sharon Miriam Hoffman), in her late 30’s at the time. She married Tony, who at the time was a fugitive, in hiding from charges of felony child abuse in California.

Tony and Sharon had a son, Sion, together in the summer of 1991, while Tony was in jail awaiting trial for threatening Federal Judge Morris Arnold.

TLC shared a photo of Becky, her mom Sharon, and a young boy during Becky’s intro:

Seeking Sister Wife Rebecca Cunneen (Becky Ryan) with her mom Sharon Alamo and brother Sion

I assume that is Becky’s brother Sion.

During her testimony during Tony Alamo’s trial, Sharon revealed that she was aware of the young girls living in the house. However, she testified that she was unaware of the marriages or any sexual interactions between them and Tony.

For her support of Tony Alamo, The Press Democrat awarded Sharon Alamo the Tammy Wynette Prize in 2009:

Many political wives vied for the Tammy Wynette Prize for standing by their wandering man. But the hands-down winner is the common-law wife of convicted child sex abuser and evangelist Tony Alamo.

Sharon Alamo swore in court that she didn’t notice how young his girl-brides were, thought their wedding bands were gifts to the ministry, and let Alamo call her a ‘weasel, a rotten bastard and a liar’ to help him get his anger out.

His anger may be out but his body is in . . . jail. That’s our gift to Sharon.

Seeking Sister Wife Becky and Justin Ryan wedding photo

Was Justin Ryan Cunneen part of Tony Alamo’s church?

Becky and Justin Cunneen’s intro on Seeking Sister Wife seems to indicate they went to high school together. It’s unclear if Justin has/had ties to the Alamo Christian Foundation.

There was a letter to the Editor of the Southwest Times Record published in October of 2008 and written by a Mark Cunneen. The letter claimed that Satan was behind the allegations being made against Tony Alamo at the time.

Tony Alamo News shared the letter to the Editor and added this information:

Mark Cunneen claims he is not a member of Alamo’s cult but fails to mention that he WAS a member for over 35 years and currently is still a sympathizer. He also neglected to mention that his son Justin Cunneen married Tony Alamo’s step- daughter Becky Kroopf-Alamo (Sharon’s daughter) when she was fifteen and they now have many children together.

As far as the discrepancy in regards to Becky’s age when she was married, the article with her dad states she was born in October of 1981. Based on their Facebook posts, Becky and Justin were married in April of 1997. That would mean that she was 16 when she got married, as she stated in her Seeking Sister Wife intro.

I should point out that Becky and Justin are the first couple to be featured on Seeking Sister Wife who are going by a fake last name. (That I am aware of.) Justin’s middle name is Ryan, so I assume that is why they went with Ryan as a last name.

It’s unclear if Becky Ryan’s connection to Tony Alamo and his cult will be brought up on Seeking Sister Wife Season 5. To find out, be sure to tune in for new episodes airing Monday nights at 9/8c on TLC.

Tony Alamo documentary and interviews

If you want to know more about Tony Alamo and his cult, Sundance TV released a four-part series titled Ministry of Evil: The Twisted Cult of Tony Alamo in 2019.

Below is the trailer, followed by the last episode detailing the child abuse allegations and trial:

I will also include a VERY revealing interview with Tony Alamo in which he defends his stance that the Bible says women can be married as soon as they hit puberty. That is followed by another interview with Tony Alamo just prior to the sexual abuse charges.

Asa Hawks is a writer and editor for Starcasm. You can contact Asa via Twitter, Facebook, or email at starcasmtips(at)

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