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When the FBI arrested me for rescuing babies (book excerpt)

A pedestrian walks past a seal reading 'Department of Justice Federal Bureau of Investigation,' displayed on the J. Edgar Hoover FBI building, in Washington, D.C., on Aug. 15, 2022.
A pedestrian walks past a seal reading "Department of Justice Federal Bureau of Investigation," displayed on the J. Edgar Hoover FBI building, in Washington, D.C., on Aug. 15, 2022. | MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images

September 23, 2022, began like any other Friday. I was up first. While my wife and seven children slept upstairs, I padded around the kitchen fixing breakfast and preparing for a family day at our local homeschool co-op. 

Suddenly, just before 7:00 I heard a violent banging on the front door over and over again. The doorbell was ringing, and the entire house was lit up with noise. The person behind the door yelled, “Open up.” They did not identify themselves – as I later learned they were required to by protocol.

They just kept yelling, “Open up!” At this point, my wife and children were terrified, pouring down the stairs in their pajamas and clinging to each other. 

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I approached the door with them behind me and asked, “Who is it?”  

“It’s the FBI, open up.”  

I opened the door peacefully — we have no guns in my house, or I probably would have tried to defend myself — and suddenly was facing five federal agents with long guns pointed at me and my seven children. 

I said, “Please stay calm, I’m going to open up the door. Please stay calm. I have seven babies in here.” I opened the door and showed them my hands. As they came at me with M16 guns pointed, I could not believe the circus that was my front yard – lights, guns, full ballistics, a battering ram, and vehicles everywhere. 

“What are you doing here?” I asked. 

“You know why we’re here,” said the man who was clearly in charge. 

I really had no idea — months earlier I’d received notice that I was under investigation. But my — and my lawyers’ — attempts to reach out to the FBI and Department of Justice to come in peacefully for questioning had been met with total silence.  

Then I realized.  

“You’re here because I rescue babies,” I replied. “You wouldn’t be here if the Trump administration was in the White House.” 

They didn’t reply, but they continued to hold me and my family behind me at gunpoint. My wife — who has the heart of a lion — asked, “Do you have a warrant for his arrest?”  

They said, “We’re taking him with or without a warrant.”  

She answered, “You can’t do that, that’s kidnapping.” 

But behind them stood ten unmarked and marked units, state troopers, and federal law enforcement personnel. Clearly, they were taking me.


By God’s grace, I was acquitted. In less than an hour of jury deliberation, I was a free man — free to return to my wife, my children, and of course, the battle for the lives of the unborn. Best of all, we had sent a message to the Department of Justice and the FBI: we will not back down even in the face of extreme treatment and intimidation.  

The coming storm 

So, what does my story mean for you, the American Catholic voter trying to live an honest and righteous life in our fractured, but still beautiful country? First, I’m not a special case. Many Catholic pro-lifers, doctors, nurses, pharmacists, teachers, and professors are today facing persecution for their faith. Catholics are at the top of the list in terms of groups that the government perceives as threats. 

What happened to me could happen to anyone. Hopefully, not everyone will face FBI agents at their door. But eventually, someone will, and we have to be thinking about him. That’s why we couldn’t take that plea deal.  

But here’s what I learned. 

We can’t live in fear. Not as Americans. Not as Catholics.  

We must be “all in,” we must not back down, and we must not walk away. The only way to stop the bullies running the police state is to say, “No deal.” 

And what if the worst happens? What if you end up in the white cell like I did?  

Well, here’s the good news. For me, in that moment, I experienced profound joy. I called upon all the saints I ever knew — St. Maximilian Kolbe, Saints Peter and Paul, the early martyrs, the archangels and my guardian angel. They never seemed so real to me as in that cell. Those six hours were an intense period of devotion and prayer at the foot of Calvary.  

My word to anyone frightened by my story so far: at the foot of the Cross, I have never been so close to Jesus.  Had I reached out, I would have got a splinter on my hand.  

You don’t get the grace for martyrdom — red or white — until the moment of the martyrdom. I experienced a small white martyrdom, dying to myself and my liberty. Even if we are put in jail, we claim our own freedom. If we are truly free in our hearts through the cross of Christ, nothing can take that away.  

We were made for this time in American history, in the history of the Church. For such a time as this, the Catholics of this generation are being formed. We’re being summoned to proclaim Christ and His truth no matter the cost. 

Remember that grace comes in the moment. If we stay close to our Lord in prayer and fasting, close to the grace of the sacraments, we can be confident that God is pouring out an abundance of grace upon us. 

He’s fighting for you.  

Excerpt taken from For God, Country, & Sanity: How Catholics Can Save America chapter entitled “Arrested by the FBI.” 

Mark Houck is the founder and president of The King’s Men, Inc. He is an author and motivational speaker who developed in 2004 a ministry to help men become better leaders, protectors, and providers. A former All-American collegiate athlete and high school football coach, Mark has drawn on his personal pursuit of excellence in sports to encourage and mentor thousands across North America and Europe. He holds a B.A. in Human Resource Management from the Catholic University of America and a master’s degree in education from Holy Family University. He and his wife, Ryan-Marie live in Pennsylvania with their seven children.  

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