Thursday, March 29, 2018

Part 3 of our Expose on Victory Outreach Church

Continuation of our Expose on Victory Outreach Church.



Please note: Our intention at FACT is never to libel or damage anyone’s reputation. The purpose of our work is primarily to educate the public, but also for Victory Outreach leadership to understand the severity of the allegations against them. Moreover, please know that all statements made in this expose are according to our opinion at FACT based upon signed affidavits, complaints and evidence we received from alleged victims of Victory Outreach and witnesses, and through our analysis of this information according to the B.I.T.E. model (developed by cult expert Steven Hassan).

This complaint, published on the Cult Education Institute’s website, is from an ex-pastor who was
involved with Victory Outreach for approximately 11 years:

Source: https://www.culteducation.com/group/1216-victory-outreach/21743-victory-outreach-founded-bysonny-arguinzoni.html

“I was a Pastor in what I believe is an authoritarian and abusive organization. I was with this group for approximately 11 years. I was one of those who tried to stick it out and bring about change in the organization—a big mistake, you know how the story goes. I became a rebel and disloyal etc., in their eyes and I was finally so hurt, wounded, and fed up with what I experienced that that along with the full support of the leadership in our church we pulled our church out of the organization and found out their even deeper abusive character. I was undermined and discredited by them to the point that I knew that I could no longer continue to minister (I will explain that a little later) I moved myself and family to get away and rest. The ministry in question is Victory Outreach Ministries International, founded by Sonny Arguinzoni in 1967 in Los Angeles California. He is an ordained minister of the Assemblies of God. Victory Outreach is a ministry that exclusively reaches out to drug addicts and gang members. Of all the street type ministries I would say that Victory Outreach appears to be the most legitimate on the outside. which I believe makes them the most dangerous.”

“People are being used and not served in this organization. People are seen as commodities to promote their vision through the giving of their FINANCES and their TOTAL COMMITMENT to Pastor Sonny’s cause.”

“The financial pressure that the Pastor’s of Victory Outreach are put under is unbearable. Let me quote to you a portion of my letter of resignation (which I have enclosed) to Pastor Sonny:

"In regards to the financial pressure that is put on the Pastor’s of Victory Outreach I would like to show you by using my own church how out of balance this is using figures from my 1995 budget:

◦ $6,057.00 - Tithes to corp. Office - mandatory
◦ $5,000.00 - Corp. Building fund - mandatory
◦ $4,000.00 - 1995 world conference - mandatory
◦ $1,500.00 - U.W.C. - not mandatory but expected
◦ $1,200.00 - Yr. Ministers license fees - mandatory
◦ $1,200.00 - Men’s rehab. home fees - mandatory
◦ $635.00 - Misc. - mandatory
◦ $625.00 - 1995 youth conference - mandatory
◦ $450.00 - Women’s rehab. Fees - mandatory
◦ TOTAL = $21,467.00 - from our 1995 budget went to the Victory Outreach Corp. offices
Mandatory required giving that I believe is wrong!”

“It is not clear and is deceptive how the corporate structure of Victory Outreach and its local churches fit into that structure. All of the local Victory Outreach churches that I know of are under the umbrella of the Victory Outreach Ministries International Corporation (they are not incorporated at the local level as say with the Calvary Chapels), but they are considered separate entities under that corporate structure and they are each financially independent and are responsible for their own liabilities. The Corporation is set up in such a way as to protect itself from any liabilities at the local church level. The Victory Outreach Corporation had never at any time invested even one cent into the church that I pastored but they did pull thousands of dollars out of it as with the other churches as well. While with Victory Outreach I was never given a copy of the Corporate bylaws nor did I ever hear it even discussed at any time. They seem to know their corporate structure well—but we sure didn’t. I suggested in a conversation after I had left, to Pastor Sonny’s second in command Elder Saul Garcia (who runs the Victory Outreach Corporate offices), that maybe it would be a good idea to inform their Pastors of the Corporate Bylaws and structure—so that Pastors who are considering leaving the organization would know and understand the very structure that they are under. This was not well-received and Mr. Garcia’s only defense was—that he had never read all the Corporate Bylaws himself. He then tried to convince me that because I was hurt I was imagining things and that I couldn’t see things in proper perspective. He then proceeded to vent his full anger at me. The Victory Outreach Leadership and Corporate Structure is abusive and knows how to take advantage of people in situations such as mine. They know very well what they are doing and how to play the game—but you don’t. We were always told that we were "free to leave the organization at any time". However, if you do leave the Victory Outreach organization, they [may], without your knowledge, lay claim to all properties, assets, and equipment that you have acquired. I mean this literally—they will contact your landlords, leaseholders, banks etc. and claim everything as their property and discredit you to your business associates.”

The numerous independent complaints online seem to corroborate some of the allegations being made against Victory Outreach of Santa Rosa, CA, and as such we believe that the negative issues regarding this church seem to be systemic throughout the entire organization and not isolated to this one church branch. If you have ever been manipulated, exploited and/or abused during your involvement in a Victory Outreach church, or know someone who has, please contact FACT with your story. https://www.familiesagainstcultteachings.org/cult-help/contact.html

We will continue our Expose tomorrow in Part 4.

Thank you,

The FACT Team

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