Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Victory Outreach Church Expose Part 2

Continuing our Expose on Victory Outreach Church Part 2



Our organization, Families Against Cult Teachings, Inc. (FACT), received complaints about the nondenominational Victory Outreach Christian Church located in Santa Rosa, CA. The church is a branch of theVictory Outreach International Church started by Sonny Arguinzoni in 1967 that has an estimated overall membership currently of about 30,000 congregants worldwide. Our expose focuses primarily on the church branch located at 4042 Sebastopol Rd, Santa Rosa, CA 95407, headed by Pastor Jose Guadarrama with the website address: www.vosr.org, but will include relevant information pertaining to the organization as a whole.

This report details our research, investigation and analysis of the complaints received in an effort to educate and potentially warn others about what we believe is a destructive cultic church (based upon the information wereceived and the numerous complaints published online).

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).

MORE EXPLOITATION AND ABUSE CLAIMS

Our online research discovered numerous complaints about various Victory Outreach rehab home
ministry branches in the U.S. and the U.K., leading us to believe that the alleged deception, manipulation and exploitation is not isolated to the Santa Rosa, CA branch.

Source: http://spiritualabusesurvivors.blogspot.com/2008/04/victory-outreach-abuse.html

“Hi my name is Zach Ive been to three VO mens homes in the past three years four times on and off. I live in Northern California and let me tell you its corrupt. These people are not of Christ more like the anti-Christ. Where do I even begin. They strip you of everything they take your welfare and use it how they want (food stamps etc.). Sometimes they use your food stamps on themselves and give you whatever table scraps are left. They work you like a dog but insure that no employment opportunities are ever available to you,lest you leave there homes and become employed by whomever they had you working for in their "Christian recovery home". These guys are professional con artists. They'll throw an unending guilt trip at you,shove their tradition down your throat. What can I say these people are highly deceptive and I haven't even begun.”

“Victory Outreach Abuse... BE CAREFUL of Victory Outreach. Before you join in on their "Vision" understand that you will be stripped of all the visions God has shown you in your life. You will be made to let go of all freethinking and the visions God has given to you. You will lose who you are and what you stand for. You will be criticized, cursed and made to serve, serve, serve. Even at the expense of your own family. Please do not get conned into this system of spiritual abuse. It is a cult. A cult is : great devotion to a person, idea, object, movement, or work ... Sony Arganzoni, the great leader is mentioned more in the messages than Jesus Christ himself.”

“They use mind control techniques to control the weak-minded. Recovery homes are very authoritarian, and the directors are very abusive, working their slaves on 16 hour labor jobs, fixing the pastors homes, or church, etc.”

“All of the abuses and injustices perpetrated upon me and others at Victory Outreach are too numerous to list here. So I will only mention one particularly un-Christian incident that flies in the face of drug recovery practices. Each morning all of the guys are sent out on jobs with a sack lunch consisting of one peanut butter sandwich and a 25 cents bag of chips (no drinks). On this particular day, I worked alone at this job (menial work). I began the day at 6am, and my workday was over at 4pm. Victory Outreach left me there until 11pm that night, standing outside of the business waiting to be picked up, hungry, penniless, drug-addicted, and in an unfamiliar area. It was the true power of God that prevented me from chasing my addiction that night. No real recovery program would leave an addict alone for that amount of time, if they left them alone at all. The living arrangements are similar to what is seen in the movie, Midnight Express. They accept anyone because it is about
cheap labor, that's all.”

“Lived at a VO (san Jose CA) for a while and I believe it is a cult!! When you are told when to pray and for how long every day, when you are deprived food for weeks at a time and not allowed sleep for days. Something is wrong!! I have acute asthma and was told it was a sin to take my meds because it meant I didn't believe God could heal me.”

“We would be dropped off at grocery stores in the morning and not picked up until very late and many times not given any food. One night I was sexually assaulted by a man in the parking lot during one of those nights, and when I reported to it the VO leader, I was told "well God protects his children, so if you were attacked it must be your fault" I would recommend you stay as far away from VO as possible!”

“My name is Gia. I attended the Oakland Church 07-09, then briefly in 2013. I was not in their homes but have definitely witnessed spiritual abuse,MAJOR dysfunction within Leadership, etc.., which hindered my spiritual growth.”

“Ive been involved with the Victory Outreach of Las Vegas for over 8 years and it has been terrible........Ive been physically assaulted numerous times.....verbally intimidated year after year.....reputation degraded, profiled, slandered, and now that my son is involved the same things are happening to him as well.....He is 12 a was punched 3 times by an adult who was attending a youth service and I wasn’t notified......When I arrived no one in charge made any attempted to contact me.......and they have been using my 12 year old son to do manual labor in the church late nights......straightening chairs and cleaning sometimes till almost 10pm at night......I went
inside to confront the personnel as to why and immediately I was approached violently by young adults to the point where I was being threatened to be assaulted…”

“the recovery home is dilapidated and unkept....years ago money was donated to remodel but wasn’t
professionally......now the house is even worse with unsanitary plumbing human sewage spilling outside the living quarters......10+ men living in a make shift room built outside out of scrap donated lumber with the roof caving in.....Once saw an unskilled man fall through the roof trying to repair it......the entire property is INFESTED with bed bugs…Its terrible at Victory Outreach Las Vegas......through the years I've been told by leaders that I had emotional/mental problems......that I was bipolar so much to the point where I believed them.....I was so concerned about it that I check myself into a local mental hospital for an entire week of evaluating...over $3000 in bills.....The doctors told me there was nothing wrong with me…”

“They are looking for homeless drug addicts and GANG bangers that get welfare checks, so they can get them into their home, and feed them beans and rice.”

“I was at Victory Temple Ministries in Ft Worth TX, and Im so glad to be done with that place. It was when the assistant pastor reached over to North Korea for an example of authority & devotion to ones leader that was the last straw for me. “

“You have to give them all of your wages or government benefits if you receive them. And the men's home living conditions that many churches have are absolutely deplorable. And yes woman are treated as second class citizens this made my blood boil.”

“so what do we do if we want to take our money back..i have invested a lot in this so called ministry...they have collected $1000 pledge and have asked us to pay $200 a month on top of our 10% and we don’t even have a church building so where’s all that money going?”

“VO is full of child molesters and fornicators of every kind, married & single. I know this personally as I attended this church as a young teen. I was not a drug user or gang member, I was just homeless. The fact that this church is full of ex drug addicts and ex convicts is the least of their problems. The pastors and leaders are worshiped at this church and everyone does as they are told by the church leaders, without question. They get away with the worst kind of sin here. Taking advantage of innocent youth and children. Trust me I know.”

“Victory Outreach is brainwashing people to believe they can't make it without them Sonny is getting richer every day can't you see what's going on here the private jet all his luxuries wake up “

“ABUSIVE 'wolves in sheep's clothing' I came away in a much more traumatized state than before I got mixed up with VO in Salford, Manchester. Disgraceful bunch.”

Source: https://forum.culteducation.com/read.php?14,12068,page=1

“Victory outreach is pretty scandalous. I have lived in a rehab home of theirs and it is all about using people from the homes to make them MONEY MONEY MONEY. They lie like it is their second nature when it comesto anything having to do with money. It is not just the broken people who are in their rehab homes, they also try and pry into the wallets of their gullible flock. It was such a great honor for me one time to witness their mucho greedy founder Sunny Argunzizzi make a visit to the San Jose, California church. It was kind of like when the Emperor visited the Death Star for the first time. Anyway the San Jose pastor is a guy named Ed or Fred I can't remember his name, I'll just call him Freddie and what Freddie preached about one night when Argunzizzi was visiting was how their church needed its members to sell their houses on an act of faith and give the money to Freddie and Argunzizzi so they could purchase some General Electric property they desired so badly. I couldn't
believe it and I still can't to this day how greedy those two guys were.”

“Victory outreach has a cultic structure. I have been involved with getting people out of them in the past. This married couple sold all they had and made themselves the slaves of the pastor. They lived in the "church home" worked in the pastor's business and were not paid. They use heavy handed discipleship or Shepherding Movement control over their people. This couple left the group with only the clothes on their back and nothing but spiritual confusion after 2 plus years of "service.””

“Yes it is. I gave 6 years of my life to that ministry. I was a leader in the church and worked in the church office. They manipulate and coerce people to follow their vision. In return tons of people give lots of money just to fill the pockets of the those that are greedy leaders. There is a lot of spiritual abuse that goes on and lots of misuse of spiritual authority. That is what a cult does.”

“Sonny" and the VO pastors have no meaningful accountability or financial transparency. That is, there are no democratically elected boards voted in by the general membership that can discipline and if necessary fire a pastor. No constitution or bylaws provide for this. There is no meaningful financial transparency through independently audited published financial statements that detail all salaries, compensation and expenses paid from ministry funds. Without that kind of accountability VO is little more than a dictatorship where pastors can essentially do whatever they want. If you wish to support such a system that's your choice, but most Protestant churches are not run that way and have the previously cited safeguards to protect members and church funds from abuse.”

“I have been a member of VO for over three years and my friends all tell me that what they are doing to me is "Cult" like behavior. At first I didn’t believe it but once I started to make a few changes in my walk with them I noticed the "Cult" style response. I started dating someone in the church but didn't ask permission to date them and I was nearly kicked out of the city. Even the person that I was dating was pushed out too. they took it harder than me because they have been with the church for more years than me. He was over used for his skills and talents as a labor of construction. Working for free for many years. Never being paid for his hard labor, and even thought they had pushed us out it didn’t stop them from asking more of him and his talents. so like a sucker he helped them out for free for more than two weeks, building the Pastor another room on his house, just to be kicked to the curb when he was done. He even paid out his pocket some of the cost for the new room.”

“I was told that I couldn't have friends from the world in my life because they are of the world and would drag me down…Always have to ask permission to do things with other people from the church.”

“Money in Victory Outreach is a major issue. In the Victory Outreach I attended, they a would dedicate a whole month every year on tithing. I agree that tithing is something every believer should do as an act of obedience and worship to the Lord. However, in Victory Outreach they would literally try to guilt you into giving “above and beyond.” The pastor would parade the highest giver in the church every month, to throw it in the faces of those who didn’t give as much. It would later spark up a “giving” competition with those trying to “win their pastor’s heart.” I remember one time Ed Morales came to the church and fed the congregation this story of how people in his church were giving “above and beyond” to further the “vision.” Even to the extent that they were selling their
homes and cars etc. I knew exactly what he was doing, trying to manipulate our church to do the same.”

Tomorrow we will delve more into the allegations in Part 3 of our expose.

If you believe you have been harmed by a Chapter of Victory Outreach Church in any way, please contact our office and tell us your story please. https://www.familiesagainstcultteachings.org/cult-help/contact.html

Please share this Expose with others to help raise awareness. 

Thank you,

The FACT Team
Families Against Cult Teachings and Abuses 

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