Monday, April 2, 2018

Victory Outreach Expose Part 4

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).


RECRUITMENT, INDOCTRINATION, AND PRACTICES

As previously stated, we received a complaint stating that the local Sonoma County, CA court system is assigning those in need of substance abuse rehabilitation to the Victory Outreach rehabilitation home, which then goes on to state that these individuals are then indoctrinated into the ways of the church. In addition, according to an article published by the Press Democrat, members of the church regularly visit the Sonoma County court house “Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings to tell people they can overcome their problems,” which we believe is just another method of recruiting members into their organization. Members of this church are known to visit other public locations as well in order to spread the word about their church and invite people to services and other church
functions. Regarding church recruitment and indoctrination and practices with the Victory Outreach church in general, numerous complaints state the following:

“The group is preoccupied with bringing in new members.”

“This was a big issue in the Victory Outreach I attended. They were always focusing on how they could get more people in the church. Even to the extent of having a church growth class.”

“The live-in rehabilitation homes of Victory Outreach are nothing more than indoctrination centers and are unbiblical. The residents are required to give up their total freedom for a one year period of time where they [may]... not be allowed to leave, use the phone, do any of the normal things in life that are done, without strict and tightly regulated permission of the leadership. Total unquestioned obedience and loyalty to leadership is a major emphasis taught in these homes. Many of the Director’s of these home is total dictator’s not servants. The rehabilitation homes are exploiting the residents by their constant fund raising efforts of car wash projects, lawn care, hauling and moving, selling pancake breakfast tickets and rally tickets in shopping centers and parking lots. Residents of these homes are often shipped city to city, even state to state to help out as financial fund raisers for major Victory Outreach events. The Pastors of Victory Outreach use the rehabilitation homes many times as their major financial fund raising tool to finance their many events. Much spiritual abuse takes place in the controlled environment of these rehabilitation homes.”

“Working in the inner-city, I've received constant proselytism and heard many stories about this ministry. Based on everything I've seen and heard, I've concluded the Victory Outreach is a dangerous cult that preys on the poor in order to exploit them financially and in the words of their founder Sonny Arguinzoni, to create and army to take back the cities for christ. Members are lured when they are recovering from serious problems such as drug addiction and abusive relationships and "sexual confusion" put into group homes wherein they are supervised by unlicensed "youth ministers" and put through a program of biblical study, sleep and food deprivation. Once integrated within the church, they are encouraged to spend all of their time within the church and invest large amounts of money into church programs that would otherwise be free, all the while feeling stigmatized whenever they try to leave or disobey any of the churches activities. Dating is forbidden unless approved by the church and marriage is forbidden until a year of dating. No physical romantic contact including kissing or holding hands is permitted until after marriage and marriage to non-members is forbidden. Their international activities also includes "ministering" to prostitutes in countries such as mexico in ways which can be interpreted as kidnapping foreign nationals. Many of their efforts are especially negatively directed towards jews and homosexuals, exploiting deep rooted prejudices within minority communities. Those that have left the church, including someone i work with have experienced
threats, alienation, economic harassment, and malicious litigation by the church. Their own founder comments on his goals as "spreading to the cities and never leaving" using very militaristic language.”

“I was once involved in Victory Outreach and saw the rejected and dejected there. People were abused by this group, which claims to be Christian, but really offers its own theology.”

“I was a member of Victory Outreach for seven years. But I realized that there were many things wrong. People were told they didn't need education and the church was always raising money for something to 'expand the vision.' Expecting members to give 'above and beyond.' I am in agreement with what everyone else has expressed about this church. Victory Outreach seems in some ways to engage in mind control."

“Teach Sonny's Vision at all times. Trust that Sonny and his so-called Elders are men of integrity. We sold all we had to go out in the mission field. Little did we know that VO might not provide for their missionaries, regardless of what challenges families faced. They refused to take responsibility, even though they had funding from 'United We Can,' which was supposedly to be used for missionaries. The families that are out there, are constantly worrying about how there are going to provide for themselves, their congregation and still send Sonny money. If you even say anything about this, you are considered a negative person. The VO detention camps leave you worse off than when you came in. Because all you hear from these fanatics is, 'You don't have enough faith to take your city for Jesus.' Discouragement instead of encouragement. Rebuke instead of Love. Enemies instead of friends. The ongoing abuse does not stop. We did not want to be a part of such an organization, so we finally decided to walk away."

“Your site has helped me to deal with Sonny's tactics. He and his family are enriched by the sacrifice of the hurting many. They demand 10% of your income, a dollar-a-day and a greater 'blessing' if you belongs to a special club. And if you give then you have his 'vision,' which he says is Gods' vision! Sonny charges outrageous prices for his special retreats. His M.O. regarding rehab homes is to indoctrinate the hurting to bow at his feet and pay the price through their work. Sonny supposedly has this 'God-given' special 'anointing' and he has mislead many. Again, I thank God for you and the courage your site helps create."

"I went almost two months without even being able to contact my family, and even get a letter from them. They used to say that our middle name should be 'flow.' We were supposed to just go with the flow of things. They said we need to learn how to submit to authority. I remember having a severe tooth ache, and not being able to even take medicine for it. I also remember them working us like slaves, and I didn't know untill way later that they got paid off of our labor. All I know is that when I finally left the home I thought God was gonna strike me with lightning; because they said I made a covenant with god and if I left my life would be 'seven times seven worse.”

“We clicked on your site by accident and we were surprised by what we read. Someone we know was in victory outreach (won't say where), a new one. This person is grateful to V.O but couldn't stay in the mens home longer than a month. The things you wrote in your article are exactly the things he experienced (once he was free from the drugs) very little food and told to sit down and shut up and read his bible. We ourselves were sadly part of V.O for a year, but when we saw what went on we decided our time had come to leave.”

“My daughter was in the women's home in northern California. I am a born-again Christian, and the way they run a home was just appalling. They don't feed the women properly and work them out in the hot sun. They take their welfare money each month, and then won't give them toilet paper. After my daughter left the home, we went to church Sunday morning and they rebuked her. They would not even look at or talk to her. I asked the pastor's wife where is the love of God? You can't take people off the street and then not take care of there personal needs.”

“My wife and I were members of Victory Outreach. What a complete nightmare this so-called 'Christian Church' was. All they ever talked about was money, money, money. When the pastor started asking for 25% of our income we knew it was time to get out. All the pastors there worship money. Even in bible studies the would constantly press for money. If you don't give, they shun and isolate you. They worship Pastor Sonny, who runs around in tailored suits, drives a BMW and wears a Rolex. Sonny owns a yacht and keeps an apartment in New York City. V.O. uses the name of Jesus to make money for its leaders, who live a high lifestyle. What a disgrace to almighty God they are. The V.O. founder is a dictator and money is its God. We will continue to pray that unsuspecting members will be delivered from these wolves in sheep's clothing.”

“"I am writing as a witness to the spiritual abuse and lies from Sonny, his family dynasty and 'yes men.' These so called elders who use psychological terrorism. I went to an indoctrination center for over nine months. I was vulnerable, seeking God and help. I was ripe for abuse. Forty men were cramped into a two bedroom house sleeping anywhere and everywhere. We were told to get on General Relief and those who did not were forced to leave. They said we must be obedient to the leadership because 'God' had 'anointed' them.”

“I came out of Victory Outreach at Santa Cruz--same legalism and worldly control trips going on there. I've got some stories as bad if not worse. Well, just wanted to say thanks for warning people.”

“I went to V.O, when I felt lost. I found that they took adavantage of me in every way possible. From the free rides to labor to money they are a cult to say the least. I went on a trip to the beach where they were supposed to burn everything that was "worldly" to them. I loaded my van with about 6 huge tables and supplies and drove to the beach at 9am, they are slave drivers not followers of Christ.. After 7 or 8 hours they still refused to feed us, I had to borrow money to eat, and I shared with my fellow starving slaves. They knew I had a sleeping -disorder, but when I asked to leave they acted like a-holes. They all are a bunch of fools and losers who think they can free-stlye flow. Oh ya, they sink so low as to try and infiltrate all the young or knew cool people by way of mind control. They are nice to certain people so that they might join and recruit their friends.I'v heard them talk wierd things, they are very controlling. I was really trying to find god and do my mission to spread the gospel until Christ returns. V.O. exploits people,the administration know's who they are. Its a business, they wont truly help you. They wont baptize people unless you pay them enough money.”

“After finding your site I could literally cry. I was wondering if the Victory Outreach program (church) that you [posted information] about was the same one I placed my sister in two months ago. And there can be no doubt it was. I placed my sister in their home thinking it was Christian in-patient drug rehabilitation. After 3 weeks of serious abuse, she left the program in need of medical help. They refused to take her to a hospital and told her that her illness was a 'spirit.' She called me just after midnight and I picked her up and took her to the hospital. While in the program she was made to work 6 days a week approximately 12 hours a day doing car washes and cleaning houses to "earn money for the home" along with the other women in the house. She was only allowed two meals a
day, usually beans and rice and one day mandatory fasting despite showing symptoms of diabetes, which runs in our family.”

“They first get a vision that a select few will be passionate about and feel like they belong. They will be filled with purpose to help fulfill this vision. The leadership will then use tactics to test the individuals loyalty and commitment to the cause. They do this by severe manipulation tactics. They make you feel if you don't give this and that then you are not sold out and are not wanting to see Gods kingdom expand. In truth it is actually the kingdom of Sonny Arguinzoni Sr. and all of his cronies.”

Sources:
https://www.culteducation.com/group/1216-victory-outreach/21753-victory-outreach-visitor-comments.html

http://www.killermovies.com/forums/archive/index.php/t-491695-victory-outreach-a-cult-exploiting-the-innercity.html

https://www.culteducation.com/group/1216-victory-outreach/21743-victory-outreach-founded-by-sonnyarguinzoni.html

https://forum.culteducation.com/read.php?14,12068,page=2

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 conclude this Expose tomorrow.

Thank you,
The FACT Team

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