This is the oldest case I have found showing Cullen for the man he really is. It is the story of a Swiss gentleman called Hans Rudolf von Ballmoos. His life was ruined by Cullen, heinous charges were filed against him. A German TV station was implicit in this case, was eventually sued and had to publicly apologize. When Mr. Von Ballmoos left the Philippines, the then Secretary of the Department of Justice, Teofisto Guingona, personally apologized on behalf of the Philippine Judicial System for the things that had happened to him. The facts of the case were related by Mr. Harry Joost to a Mr. Hartmut Heller.
Mr. Joost had been a strong supporter of Cullen and Preda until he realized what Cullen was really all about. Mr. Joost is dead now but he fought Cullen for years. Cullen referred to Mr. Joost as head of a “sex-ring”. A lot of the information I have on Cullen and his behavior in the Philippines comes from the files of Mr. Joost. After reading so much of what Cullen has done to people, I had no choice but to leave the country that had been my home for so many years. Someone had to get out and let the world and the Catholic church know what this Irish Missionary Priest is really doing.
Mr. Joost and Hartmut Heller, I believe, were both German nationals and though this may be a little difficult to follow, it makes for a very interesting read.
THE “ALPENBLICK” CASE
- Hartmut Heller
Feb 25, 2001
THE ‘ALPENBLICK” CASE
During the time Harry E. Joost tried to support Fr. Shay Cullen in his work, he received a telephone call from the German television company PRO 7 sometimes in August / September 1995. The caller, a certain Michael Schedl told Mr. Joost that he got his telephone number from Fr. Shay Cullen and asked for assistance by producing a reportage about the activities of German pedophiles in the Philippines or better at Olongapo City. Harry E. Joost informed him that he did not know any pedophile at Olongapo City but that he knew two known pedophiles at other places than Olongapo City.
Harry E. Joost and Mr. Michael Schedl communicated almost every night and Mr. Joost told him about the newly elected Mayor Kate Gordon closing one establishment (mostly bars and discos) after the other, about the problem to travel through San Fernando, Pampanga during the night at that time (Lahar Flow).
Mr. Schedl asked Mr. Joost if he had connections to arrange some interviews with some higher ups like the Secretary of Justice, the Vice President, the Mayor of Manila and some others.
Mr. Michael Schedl told Mr. Harry E. Joost that the reportage was scheduled to be shown on October 17, 1995. He told Mr. Joost too, that one of his co-reporters, actually the leader, had an accident in Spain and the time became short for the production.
Finally during the first days of October 1995 Michael Schedl asked Mr. Harry E. Joost for some names of German bars or disco’s in Olongapo City where they could find pedophiles or minor prostitutes. Mr. Joost told him that there was none but told him about a club in Subic, Zambales. When Harry E. Joost told him that a Filipino owned this club, Mr. Schedl was not interested anymore. He demanded a German owned club and said clear that a Filipino owned club would not make any story in Germany.
Later on that night Harry E. Joost received a fax from Michael Schedl, demanding at least a name of a German club or restaurant with or without pedophile or child prostitutes. He declared clear that they were running out of time and they had already taken in consideration to make a fictive reportage because they ran out of time. Just the name of the place and they would know how to do it to get their story. Harry E. Joost called up Mr. Schedl and told him that he would not allow doing any fictive story at Olongapo City or even anywhere in the Philippines, framing up people with his knowledge. Harry E. Joost informed Fr. Shay Cullen about the intention of Mr. Schedl right away and asked Fr. Shay Cullen to distance himself from that people too.
The next day Mr. Michael Schedl called up Harry E. Joost to tell him that they changed their program and planning. Harry E. Joost’s role would be the arrangement of the interviews with the higher ups only.
Mr. Schedl told Harry E. Joost too that they found something with the help of Fr. Shay Cullen already at another place. The shooting was planned at another place now. Harry E. Joost relaxed and thought that Fr. Shay Cullen had done a good job by not allowing a fictive story too.
Michael Schedl called up Harry E. Joost and told him that they would arrive at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila on October 10, 1995 at 04.15 P.M. and he should wait for them at the SWAGMAN Hotel in Ermita, Manila. The offer to fetch them at the airport was rejected for some reason.
Harry E. Joost went to the SWAGMAN Hotel at around 4.00 P.M. and waited until 07.00 P.M., considering the time of the TV Team they needed to pass the immigration, the custom etc. and to take a taxi ride to Ermita. At 7.00 P.M. Harry E. Joost called up Fr. Shay Cullen to be informed that the TV – Team was already on its way to Preda, Inc. at Olongapo City and was expected to arrive any moment at that time.
Harry E. Joost realized that something was wrong but could not imagine what. Sure that the lahar flow which was rampant at that time at San Fernando, Pampanga would not allow him to travel to Olongapo City, he stayed in Ermita, Manila overnight.
At about 07.00 A.M. on October 11, 1995 Harry E. Joost called again at Preda, Inc. to get information and to talk to the TV – Team. Fr. Shay Cullen sounded very angry to Harry E. Joost and the latter told him to come to Olongapo City right away and to take the TV – Team out of Preda. He told Mr. Joost that the team came “home” to Preda at about 02.00 a.m. He said they were drunk and the youngest among them even brought a girl with him. When asked where the girl was at this time Fr. Shay Cullen told Harry E. Joost that the girl was still sleeping with the youngest among the three reporters. When Harry E.
Joost called at 10.00 A.M. of the same morning, the reporter Schmidt (the chief) told Harry E. Joost to wait in Manila they would be there early that afternoon. They needed Harry E. Joost to wait for them to push through with the interviews he had arranged.
When Harry E. Joost found out that the reporters were still at Olongapo City after they did not arrive, with the help of a friend’s car he made his way back to Olongapo City where he arrived just before midnight. Upon his arrival at Baloy Long Beach Resort, Mr. Harry E. Joost heard about a raid on the Restaurant and Disco “Alpenblick”. According to the information the raid was conducted by the Philippine National Police accompanied by a German TV – Team.
At about 02.00 A.M. on October 12, 1995 the reporter Michael Schedl called up Harry E. Joost from Quezon City, scolding him and demanding his presence in Manila as soon as possible. Harry E. Joost, who had all the interviews postponed for October 12, 1995 at the afternoon anyway rushed to Manila and arrived there just on time for the first interview arranged at the Department of Justice at 02.00 P.M.
Harry E. Joost asked the reporters right away about the happenings at “Alpenblick” Restaurant. They denied knowledge about it and even blamed another TV – Team for it, if it happened at all as they said.
The interview at the Department of Justice pushed through by interviewing Secretary Guingona. All other interviews arranged by Harry E. Joost were cancelled without any given reason. Harry E. Joost realized the nervousness of the reporters and did not stay long with them anymore. Without even getting paid for his services or at least the expenses being paid, Harry E. Joost went back to Olongapo City.
After arriving at Olongapo City Harry E. Joost called Fr. Shay Cullen who told him about the raid on “Alpenblick” and that he was theone to provide his car to the reporters after being informed that the police “had smelled” something and moved out to look for the reporter later on that night after the raid. Fearing for their cameras or the films they escaped to Quezon City right after the raid.
On Thursday, October 13, 1995 at the morning Harry E. Joost was called by a neighbor and asked for help. A certain Bruno Meier was hiding at the house of the neighbor, fearing for his freedom because he was brought in connection with the raid on “Alpenblick” and it was claimed that he was part owner of the place. The rumor was that a warrant for his arrest was issued already.
Harry E. Joost called up Fr. Shay Cullen and asked him about Bruno Meier. Fr. Shay Cullen told him that this Bruno Meier was indeed wanted being a pedophile and in connection with “Alpenblick”. Harry E. Joost, who knew Bruno Meier well and who was sure that that information was wrong, tried to explain this to Fr. Shay Cullen without positive result. Fr. Shay Cullen told him that Meier should have to clear his name at the Office of the Prosecutor Dorentino Floresta. Harry E. Joost went then to the Olongapo City Police Headquarters to find out more about the accusations against Meier. He even offered to surrender Meier to the police provided that Meier would not be placed behind bars and would have ample time to clear his name. Harry E. Joost was surprised that the police were not interested in Meier anymore.
Even Meier was not really wanted anymore, he went over all his papers during that weekend and provided enough documents to prove that he indeed had no connection with “Alpenblick” and was secretly filmed on October 11, 1995 over there while he played cards with some friends in this establishment. Harry E. Joost accompanied Meier to the Office of the Prosecutor Dorentino Floresta to present the papers. Prosecutor Floresta realized right away that Meier really was not involved in that establishment “Alpenblick” and told Joost and Meier that he was convinced about Meier being innocent.
Harry E. Joost accompanied Meier to Fr. Shay Cullen too after setting an appointment with him, to submit a copy of the papers to Fr. Shay Cullen, who did not show up during this appointment for more than two hours of waiting even he was in Preda as Harry E. Joost found out. He was apparently afraid of the appearance of Bruno Meier, being big with more than 300 pounds body weight. Meier left the papers at Preda and they left.
When Harry E. Joost found out many discrepancies in connection with the case of “Alpenblick” and confronted Fr. Shay Cullen with his knowledge, he realized that Fr. Shay Cullen knew about a lot of these discrepancies and ignored to act on it. Asked by Harry E. Joost about it he brushed even massive evidences against the raid aside and told Harry E. Joost to stay out of it. Fr. Shay Cullen told Joost that he apparently did not know about that kind of work and told him that that was a kind of business he should not mind. Approached with the facts, that the existence of some individuals was going to be
destroyed Fr. Shay Cullen just answered: “And so, what?”
This was the time Harry E. Joost realized that he backed up the wrong man and that Fr. Shay Cullen was not what he tried to make to believe:
A HONEST PRIEST
What happened before, during and after the raid on “Alpenblick”?
When the TV – Team arrived at Olongapo City on the evening of October10, 1995 they were provided a vehicle by Preda, Inc. and went around Olongapo City and Bo. Barretto to look for a place where they could put “their hook”, a German owned place if possible. They found “Alpenblick” and went inside where they found a group of old men playing cards.
The TV – Team introduced itself as computer specialists who came to the Philippines to make some child porn movies. According to the secretly taken video tapes they talked nasty about it and tried to
intimidated the old men to do the same. With the help of some alcohol they offered in quantities they loosened up the tongue of at least Bruno Meier who “played” their game and was filmed unknown to him.
Present during this drinking spree was Maricel Nicodemus who worked at “Alpenblick”. Maricel was 19 years old with a valid working permit issued to her by the Office of the City Mayor of Olongapo City.
When the reporters did not find anything that they could use for their fictive reportage, they proceeded to another place, the Swiss owned “Swiss Taverne”. While continuing to drink and to spend drinks over there they realized that in this place there was absolutely nothing to film. Suddenly they claimed that it was the birthday of Michael Schedl and asked somebody to go back to “Alpenblick”, to bring Pesos 1,000 to Maricel Nicodemus and invite her to join them for a barhopping tour. Maricel came and went with them.
According to Maricel Nicodemus they went around different bars in Olongapo City and Subic, Zambales. While going around Michael Schedl played “in love” with Maricel and promise her to take her to Germany and to marry her. Maricel of course, was happy. Then they offered US Dollars 200 to Maricel Nicodemus and asked her to make an interview which would be used for some fun only back in Germany. Maricel agreed. She was told to say in front of the microphone that she was 14 years old, sold to “Alpenblick” as a prostitute by her parents and forced by the “owner” Hans Rudolf von Ballmoos to go out with foreigners every night etc.. Maricel was then taken to Preda where she slept with Michael Schedl and where she later in the morning repeated for an additional US Dollar 100.—the same interview in front of a video camera. After this interview they told her to go home to Manila.
This interview with Maricel Nicodemus was then used by Fr. Shay Cullen and the TV – Team to convince the Prosecutor and later the City Director of the Philippine National Police to arrange a raid on “Alpenblick”. The City Director, who was not aware that Fr. Shay Cullen was part of the plot, ordered his men to arrange this raid in cooperation with the TV- Team. It was claimed that Hans Rudolf von Ballmoos was selling minors for prostitution and pornographic movies. Money was marked by the City Director and given to the TV – Team which was supposed to act as a “buyer” for children. A password was given which was supposed to be transmitted by hidden radio equipments after the “deal” was closed.
When the reporters approached “Alpenblick” they saw Maricel Nicodemus coming out of the restaurant to greet them happily. Their plan was in danger and they said the password by entering “Alpenblick” already. When they approached Hans Rudolf von Ballmoos who was sitting at a table and who was under the influence of liquor already, they said something about a “deal” and actually pushed the marked money into the pocket on his shirt. The policemen who were following already grabbed Hans Rudolf von Ballmoos before he even realized that money was stuffed into his pocket and pulled the money out.
The police headquarters alarmed with the information that Fr. Shay Cullen was involved moved out to find the reporters for further investigation. The reporters, fearing for the films were able to flee to Manila with the help of Fr. Shay Cullen already.
The City Mayor closed “Alpenblick” on the spot to wait for the outcome of the investigation. During the closure it was looted and never opened again.
Hans Rudolf von Ballmoos was arrested and brought to the police headquarters. So was Maricel Nicodemus who right away made a statement about the happenings the night before and she surrendered the US Dollar 300. —she received for that mock interview. The fiscal who later handled the cases against Von Ballmoos subscribed the statement of Maricel Nicodemus. Maricel was placed under the custody of the Lingap Center of the DSWD of Olongapo City for almost two weeks (illegal detained) and insulated from any visitor but her father. Her father got a runaround until the fiscal was satisfied
with the papers presented by her father and she was released.
At the meantime a case for Child Prostitution was filed against Hans Rudolf von Ballmoos. Long after Maricel Nicodemus was released for not being a minor anymore, the fiscal dismissed the case that was filed in court already.
Right after the dismissal of the case Fr. Shay Cullen filed a new case against Hans Rudolf von Ballmoos for “White Slavery” which was dismissed some weeks later for lack of evidences.
Hans Rudolf von Ballmoos, who lost all his belonging and his money during this time thought that everything was over and he could go home to Switzerland. A mistake!
Fr. Shay Cullen this time filed a case against Bruno Meier who was secretly filmed and allegedly said: “If you want minors by all means you better go to Subic, Zambales, there is a club with the name SWEET SIXTEEN, there is a 16 years old girl, you can have her”. Fr. Shay Cullen considered this as “Promoting of Child Prostitution”. Hans Rudolf von Ballmoos who stood 5 meters beside Bruno Meier during this conversation was taped by nodding his head. Fr. Shay Cullen considered this head nodding as agreement to that conversation and so for Hans Rudolf von Ballmoos was also guilty for “Promoting of Child Prostitution”.
This new case was filed in court in haste and by violating all rules for preliminary investigation and then it was dragged on and on for more than 1 ½ year. Hans Rudolf von Ballmoos was placed on Hold Order and could not leave the Philippines, his name and picture published all around the world, named pedophile and others.
The Petition for Review filed by Hans Rudolf von Ballmoos was granted by then Secretary Teofisto Guingona of the Department of Justice who personally called on Hans Rudolf Von Ballmoos the day he left for Switzerland and apologized in behalf of the Philippine Judicial System for the things happened to him. Hans Rudolf von Ballmoos left the Philippines as a broken man; he was not able to see his father anymore who died on his sickbed for grief about what Fr. Shay Cullen had done to his son.
Hans Rudolf von Ballmoos filed a case against the television team of PRO 7 and even had Maricel Nicodemus flown to Germany on February 17, 2000 to testify in the court in Munich. Justice was finally done. Hans Rudolf von Ballmoos won the case. The remarks the court made about the happenings were disastrous for the TV – Team, and should have been disastrous for Fr. Shay Cullen.
The TV – Station was ordered to air a public apology and to declare that they intentionally framed up Hans Rudolf von Ballmoos and conspired with Shay Cullen to do so. Hans Rudolf von Ballmoos was finally rehabilitated but his reputation, his career and actually his life was destroyed.
This case was considered the entry into the Television World for Fr. Shay Cullen who made an enormous advertising campaign out of it. How it turned out at the expense of the poor man Hans Rudolf von Ballmoos who lost his job the third time back in Switzerland because the negative advertisement Fr. Shay Cullen is still doing until now. His companies cannot afford to hire this branded man, considering the effect on its customers.