Monday, December 31, 2018

F.A.C.T.'s End of Year Newsletter 2018 - Happy New Year!

Dear Friends and Supporters of F.A.C.T.,(Families Against Cult Teachings & Abuses),

We would like to thank you for your continued support in our mission. As we reflect on the past years accomplishments & how we’ve made a difference, we are happy knowing we’ve reached thousands of victims and helped them with valuable resources, education, and support in their journey to understand, cope with and overcome the abuses they’ve endured and or are advocating against.

Some of our work this past year includes:

The compilation of an extensive 40 plus page Resource Guide that everyone who emails us receives immediately.

We launched an online support group where people who are struggling with these situations can ask questions, share stories and get peer to peer support in a private support group setting.

We’ve mailed our printed preventative education materials to countless parents and advocates who’ve requested them in their efforts to educate themselves, their families, communities and schools. 

We’ve received hundreds of support calls and emails and listened to victims, their stories and have guided them in a positive direction away from these abusive situations and or advised them in what they can do to help a loved one.

Looking into the New Year and the future we are thrilled to be implementing and sponsoring many new programs that will directly help people of all types of abuse move from victim to survivor. Some of these programs are outlined below.
Art & Books for Therapy: Art is a therapeutic medium that can be an excellent tool to accessing emotions we cannot communicate verbally, moving towards processing and integrating our trauma. Art serves as creative expression which promotes healing and mental well being. In this new program we sponsor children from insulated, unhealthy environments and send them therapeutic art supplies and books to help them heal. This is your opportunity to give hope and healing to young victims of abuse. 

Preventative Education Initiative and Study Guide:

A Study Guide designed for students, parents, educators and advocates, that outlines the basic red flags of abuse and predatory personalities.

First Annual Survivors & Advocates Retreat:

Bringing together Abuse Survivors and Advocates of those involved in High-Demand Predatory groups and relations for a weekend of connection and healing.

The launch of our sister organization - where we will be focusing on healing and education. (please note this website is still under development)

We want to Thank all of our readers, supporters and advocates that have helped us get to where we are at. We absolutely could not do this work without your help! On behalf of the FACT team, victims and survivors, we  are so grateful for all of your support.

As we head into the next year we need your support now to continue on with our important life saving work. We know you may be receiving a great deal of emails asking for donations this time of year, and we ask you to please consider the significance of our mission, which is over looked by most people who don't understand this very real and pressing social threat.
Please help us at F.A.C.T. with our victim support programs and preventative education and awareness initiatives. We ask that you consider making a donation, of any amount to support our mission. 

Please Donate Today 

Your generous contributions are what make it possible for us to fulfill our important, life saving work. We are a 501C3 non-profit, your generous donations are entirely tax deductible. 

Thank you so much for making a year-end donation to F.A.C.T.!

We wish you the Happiest and Healthiest New Year!


The F.A.C.T. Team

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Guru Swami Vishwananda in Germany

We were asked to share this blog post and information about Guru Swami Vishwananda.

"First of all it has to be mentioned that this text is not directed against homosexuality whatsoever. The article below is based on facts and experience of a big number of young men who came in contact with a gay guru, who acts as a spiritual father of monks and nuns. It was not written as revenge but to provide information and freedom to choose beforehand whether somebody wants to visit an ashram/ guru or not. We thank this forum for allowing critical information to be voiced, as it is key in our societies to share experiences to show up possible offenses.

Warning - If you are a truth seeker, want to mediate, learn yoga or in search of a spiritual guide and consider to visit the ashram of Swami Vishwananda from Heidenrod-Springen in Germany, which is situated 1 hour west of Frankfurt/ Main, beware of visiting the ashram and please be mindful of the following information. It is then up to you to proceed with your aspirations or to stay away from this ashram and guru."

Read the full blog post / expose here:

Please share this to help raise awareness.

Thank you,

The FACT Team 

Monday, December 17, 2018

Recent Plea for Help Daughter in Gladstone Church Cincinnati, Ohio


Name of Cult Group or Church: Gladstone

Where: Cincinnati, ohio. My daughter lives on XXXX Ave and they meet near there. They used to meet at Mariemont church in Cincinnati,

Leader(s): #Name_of_Leader(s)#

Please describe the cult activity: Are their specific complaints you'd like to tell us about?

Our daughte's personality changed after she joined. She met a woman at the mall in Cincinnati, who invited her to her church. They have many meetings. She moved into a house near the church with other members. She hands over almost all of her money to them. Everything is communal. She owns nothing. She does not choose her clothes, her food, what time to get up in the morning. She reads the bible constantly. She told me that if I want to go to heaven, I must give away all of my money. She only comes to see us in xxxx Ohio (2-hour drive) when there is a special occasion. She has many meetings. She does not see old friends. She works in a xxxx with only 1 other person. It's very isolating, and these are her only friends now. Now she is going to Israel in January for 2 weeks. She says it's through a group called Hope for Israel. She says that her money goes to overseas churches, but I'm sure she has no idea where it goes.

Are you aware of any human rights violations, emotional/physical abuse, illegal activity? Please be as detailed as you can.

I am not aware of any physical abuse or illegal activity.

Involvement with group: If yes, please explain.

1)when did they get involved? About 2 years ago

2) How did you/they get involved? How were you/they directly recruited? My daughter was working an extra job at a kiosk at a mall in Cincinnati. A woman invited her to her church. I forget the woman's name, unfortunately.

3) Are there other family members involved?no

4) Has their been a disconnection of relationship(s) with family, old friends? Yes. We are still in touch, but she is somewhat unemotional.

5) What are the circumstances currently? We see our daughter, but it's mostly when there is a family wedding or holiday. She has not come just to see us since she met these people. She hurries home to them, limits her time with us.

Impact from group: Please describe how you believe to have been harmed and/or wronged by this group. Be as detailed as possible, and send any supporting evidence via the email below.

Except for emotional isolation from friends and family, I am not aware of abuse. My daughter is very thin, but she was always thin, so I can't say that they control her food. I know that she almost never goes to the grocery store. Someone else does that. She packs her lunch so as not to spend any money. She eats peanut butter sandwiches for lunch, but she used to not even like them. She wears loose baggy clothes since being in the group."

In this particular situation it is a major plus that the daughter is still in touch with her parents and comes home for special occasions. We are working with the parents to advice them on steps to take for an "intervention" of sorts and to delicately educate their daughter on what the process of mind control is and how it happens. We are hopeful these efforts will lead to a successful intervention and the young girl will be saved from a life of Undue Influence and Mind Control.

Your generous donations make our work possible. Please help us to continue our life saving work here at FACT. Make your tax free donation today at 


The FACT Team

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Recent Support Email to FACT - "My Brother May Be Entering a Cult"

Initial Email to our office:

"Subject : : My Brother May Be Entering a Cult
 Your Message : First of all, God bless you guys for creating this amazing organization. I am so saddened to hear about Sharoni... She was indeed innocent and manipulated beyond a doubt.

My younger brother, who himself was in a manipulative relationship with his Karate Master (xxxx) recently left his Karate Master xxxx to move to Japan, where my brother has found new mentors. He is now being taught "secret martial arts" and left his well-paying salary and is jobless to go "help the people of xxxxxx Town" to "bring back jobs" and revive their economy. Mind you, my brother is 26, naive, and not very emotionally intelligent. We are very worried and don't know what to do to coax him back. We are wondering if you have any advice or if we can please even pay for a consultation with someone on your leadership. We is myself and my mom. Thank you so much."

Our office replied back and then received another email below from the concerned family member.

"Dear xxxx,

Thanks for your warm reply earlier.
I’m wondering when would be your next soonest availability to talk.

Out of nowhere, the monks in Japan have invited my brother to stay in complete seclusion in their temple (no contact with the outside world, and they don’t let you out even if you try, once you’ve agreed). They have many abusive practices.

We’re wondering if we can get any of your advice on how to intervene.
My brother already lives in Japan with these “mentors.” 

I’m sorry to bother you with such a time-sensitive request, as I am positive you receive many and have a busy life. Whenever is your best earliest next convenience, I am available. My direct number is xxx-xxx-xxxx (My mom is CCd as she would listen to the call as well)."

We receive dozens of these types of emails on a weekly basis. Your donations and support, help us to help people in desperate situations who need sound advice.

Families need support and guidance in these difficult and delicate situations. Please help us continue our important life saving work. Please make your tax free  contribution today at:

Thank you,

The FACT Team

Monday, December 10, 2018

Colorado Police Investigating Alleged Sexual Assaults Against Buddhist Leader Sakyong Mipham

"Authorities in Colorado have launched a criminal investigation into allegations of sexual assault against prominent Buddhist leader Sakyong Mipham and members of his organization, Shambhala International, ThinkProgress has learned.

The probe by the Larimer County, Colorado, Sheriff’s Office was confirmed by four sources who have spoken to investigators and supported by emails obtained by ThinkProgress.

The investigation, which has not been previously reported, comes after a series of reports published by the advocacy group Buddhist Project Sunshine accused Mipham of sexual assault and child sex abuse — allegations Mipham and Shambhala International vehemently deny.

Shambhala International denied that it or its staff are the subjects of a criminal probe. “At this time, it is our understanding that there is no open criminal investigation in Larimer County,” the organization told ThinkProgress in a statement.

The statement echoes denials given to ThinkProgress in August after earlier sex abuse allegations were made against Mipham. His attorney Michael Scott said his client “categorically denies assaulting anyone, sexually or otherwise, sexual contact with minors, or any other criminal offense [sic].” Scott, who issued his statement after Buddhist Project Sunshine published sex assault allegations in August, did not immediately return a request for comment on the Larimer County investigation.

The Shambhala meditation center in Boulder also rejected a separate offer of victim support and assistance from the Boulder County District Attorney’s Office, ThinkProgress has learned.
The Larimer County Sheriff’s Office declined ThinkProgress’ request for comment but said anyone with information about possible sex crimes by Shambhala members in Colorado can contact investigators in its office.  "

Read Full Story Here

The FACT Team 

Saturday, November 24, 2018


Sharoni was a brilliant light onto this world, and her life was cut short by a wicked man whose sole ambition in life is to manipulate, use and abuse people, preying on them with no concern at all for their well being. Thusly, it has become our mission to expose cult figures like this and their corrupting methodologies and tactics, in hopes that it will prevent future tragedies from ever occurring. Unfortunately, Sharoni's tragedy is one of many thousands because these types of abuses have grown out of control. As a result of this epidemic there are thousands of destructive cults in our country today and these abusers prey on the sick, naive, weak and vulnerable. My daughter and thousands of other innocent young souls have no chance against these types of monsters!

Tibor Stern
Father of deceased Sharoni and
President of FACT

Please join us in raising funds on #GivingTuesday to help support our mission and programs here at FACT. 

#GivingTuesday is a global giving movement that has been built by individuals, families, organizations, businesses and communities in countries around the world. Millions of people have come together to support and champion the causes they believe in and the communities in which they live. 

Our work depends upon contributions from generous supporters like you! Please Help Today

Some of our Programs and Initiatives are explained in detail below.

FACT's Preventative Education Initiative and Study Guide:

Most people are unaware about how to prevent abuse or even recognize what emotional, spiritual or mental abuse and manipulation is. Our goal behind this Study Guide is to Empower as many people as possible about the Red Flags of Abuse, Manipulation, Predatory Personalities, Predatory Groups and how to avoid the ever growing Situations that vulnerable people fall prey to - Especially unsuspecting young college students - which predatory groups specifically target. Please help us by donating what you can to help us get the F.A.C.T. Preventative Education Guide into the hands of as many students, parents and educators as possible.  
An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure!

Preventative Education Handouts:

We've designed handouts for parents, students, activists etc who want to help educate people about these issues. Your generous donations help us print and mail these handouts to anyone who request them. These handouts have been given out at protests, college campuses, high schools, and here are some recent pictures of parents in Michigan preparing these handouts to present to their local High School Counselors. Those same high school counselors have requested copies of F.A.C.T.S. Preventative Education Initiative and Study Guide!

We are also in the process of developing a couple of new programs, one of which is:

Books for Therapy

Many people who leave High Demand / High Control Groups and Cults are in no position financially to get professional therapy. And in all honesty, many therapists are not specifically trained in matters of cult abuse and exploitation. Books are an easy and Effective way to help those who want to help themselves.

This program - with your generous contributions, will provide books to victims of exploitation and abuse. We purchase used books on Amazon and ship them directly to the victim. Therapeutic books can help the person go from Victim to Survivor! A small example of some of the books :

We hope you will consider our organization this #GivingTuesday and help us in our Mission to save lives and end Exploitation and Abuse. Please Donate Today!

Help us get as many people involved as possible by spreading the word. Send a simple email to your friends, colleagues and family members asking them to support F.A.C.T. during the holiday giving season.

Help us get the word out about our #GivingTuesday campaign on Facebook and Twitter

On this big day, please do what you can for those who have been manipulated and afflicted by cults (especially the defenseless children and vulnerable elderly). Your giving can make an even bigger impact with the power of #GivingTuesday and with our access to matching funds.

We Thank You immensely for your generosity and support with our mission and programs. We wouldn't be able to do it without you!

Tibor Stern
President of F.A.C.T.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Chattanooga Theatre Presents - Squeeze My Cans: Survivng Scientology Nov 16-18th

Ex-Scientologist Cathy Schenkelberg will bring her Compelling one-woman show, Squeeze My Cans: Surviving Scientology, to the Chattanooga Theatre Centre Nov. 16-18.

"Review for Squeeze My Cans:

What would you do if the carrot of spiritual freedom was dangled in front of you, waiting to be seized? Writer-performer Cathy Schenkelberg decided to chase it, and what she found was Scientology. Spending most of her young adult life entangled in the controversial church, she emerged to share her story in Squeeze My Cans, a no-holds-barred cautionary tale of how she survived “America's foremost intergalactic theology.”

Read Full article here:

Purchase your tickets here:

We support you Cathy and Thank you for sharing your story and educating others!

The FACT Team

Friday, November 9, 2018

Dr. Phil - Love Bombing, Cults and Manipulative Relationships

Dr. Phil - a New Episode on Love Bombing, Cults and Manipulative Relationships.

He sums up Love Bombing very nicely.

The FACT Team

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Jerry Stocking Expose

Dear friends of F.A.C.T.,

It appears Jerry stocking has removed his article from the elphantjournal and Psychology Today. We have contacted the website admins, but have yet to hear back. We wanted to provide you with the links that were once active and are now private.

The expose will remain the same, but we wanted to update you on the reason the links do not work any longer.


The Fact Team

Clergy Sex Abuse - CA Attorney Generals Call to Action

"In light of the news surrounding the sexual abuse of children by members of clergy or religious organizations across the country, the Department of Justice is gathering information from the public regarding complaints of this nature in California.

If you believe you have been a victim of sexual abuse or have information regarding incidents of sexual misconduct by clergy members, please fill out our online complaint form.

If you would like to provide other information, please email"

If you were a victim of sex abuse by a member of the clergy (any religious clergy) please take the time to file your report and encourage others to do the same, and then Follow-up with the Attorney Generals Office. 

Our FACT Sheet on "Why Predators are Attracted to Careers in the Clergy" is available for any individual, group, church, educator, counselor etc.

Front of FACT Sheet Handout
 Back of FACT Sheet Handout
The backside of this FACT Sheet quotes part of Joe Navarro's findings as a former FBI Counterintelligence Agent regarding "Why Predators are Attracted to Careers in the Clergy".

Some of the key reasons being:

- If the predator is in a position of authority within a religious organization, he or she can claim persecution by the "enemies" of the church of organization. Any outside scrutiny subjecting the predator to the sanitizing rays of light is thus characterized as "them", the unbelievers "against us".

- Predators have access to a ready/available pool of potential victims. Within a religious order, those potential victims are identified for the predator, who knows how often they will get together and where (Sunday worship service at 11 a.m. at local church for example)

- In most cultures, children pay deference to authority figures, especially religious ones. Knowing this, the predator can almost certainly count on children abiding by their sordid requests and keeping such matters "secret" There is ample evidence of this from history, social psychology and thousands of law suits.

Joe's findings are extensive and thorough - the above are just a few from his list.

Thank you,
The FACT Team

Friday, November 2, 2018

A Message from Tibor Stern, President of FACT.

Dear Friends and Followers of F.A.CT.,

It is this time of the year again “Giving Tuesday” an international day of giving. 
We at FACT, have had experienced an unusual influx of complaints from victims of tremendous inhuman abuses, in the form of undo influence, mental and physical torture, sexual and financial exploitation of innocent children and adults, brought on by thousands of psychopaths, sociopaths and self declared gods. 
Some of these complaints and cases we will publish in our upcoming newsletter. 
Every complaint that we receive sounds the same : I lost my daughter or son to this evil person who brainwashed my child to disconnect and cut all ties and interaction with their family. It is so typical for all so called “Gurus” to use the same method of exclusion. 
It is usually too late by the time the family finds out the real reason for their child's new disconnected behavior towards their own family. By then, the victims have lost their critical thinking.
We at FACT see this tragic epidemic in our society, called “CULTS”. There is an estimated more than 3000 different cults existing in US.
In addition to this, there is an estimated more than 7% of US populations who are somehow involved with different cult’s. The tragic stories of destruction of families by thousands of evil minded individuals have no regard for the immeasurable suffering they bring to the victims and their families.

Our mission at FACT is to educate potential victims and their families through social media, school systems, higher learning institutions, places of false worship of self declared god’s, and to stop the cult leaders.

We at FACT are a 501c3 non for profit organization and have been successful in many cases achieving above mentioned goals, with our very limited resources.
With your help we can do more. Reaching out to more families and victims.
It is a huge financial burden to fight this evil.
Unfortunately, the government doesn’t get involved with these groups due to “Freedom of Speech.” This right under the first amendment is totally twisted and abused by thousands of heartless self serving “Gurus."
Under that pretext, we have nothing but destruction and human suffering by Millions.
This is a serious epidemic that is going unnoticed up until your family is affected.

Please help us with your kind donation in this years upcoming Giving Tuesday. No amount is too small.

Your donation is 100% tax deductible and is tremendously Appreciated!

FACT received the highest possible rating by Charity watch, which is a Platinum Guide 5 star.

Every dollar received went 100 % for the cause.

If you would like to pledge a donation earlier than Nov 27th on Giving Tuesday here is the link to do so.
Thank you and may God bless you and your loved ones and may we be able to help those who are in need.

As I always say, Those who don’t fight evil empower evil!


Tibor Stern

President Families Against Cult Teachings and Abuses, Inc

The passing of the beloved Skip Campbell

Dear Campbell family, Law firm associates and friends,

With tremendous pain I would like to express my deepest condolences to Skip’s family and friends on the untimely passing of our beloved Skip.
In the short time that I knew Skip, I learned to respect his honesty and integrity.
This more than towering person had a heart and moral compass to bring justice to all victims.
His fingerprint in seeking justice for all victims of abuses will not go down unnoticed.
We at F.A.C.T. and the Stern family will forever be thankful for your tireless involvement to seek justice for all victims of abuses.
I personally want to thank you Lyn for being there for us.
May God give you and your family strength and may the respect, love, and good memories also give you strength to continue.
In honor of Skip’s life, I will donate $2500 to F.A.C.T.
Lyn, the news of his passing did not reach me in time, as such I was not able to attend the services.

May God bless his memories, may he rest in peace and God bless his family.


Tibor Stern and the F.A.C.T. team.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Parents Raise Serious Concerns About Grace Church Near CMU

We receive calls and emails daily asking for help and support in getting a loved one out of a cult or high control, high demand group.

This is a recent example of one of those pleas for help and how Central Michigan University is not taking any action to help protect students from such groups.

"Is Grace Church Mount Pleasant a tight-knit group of Christians, or is it a place of manipulation and spiritual abuse?

"Several alumni feel that this church is targeting your students. Is there anything this university can do to prevent that?” Catallo asked Heather Smith, CMU’s Director of Communications.

“At this point, there’s been no findings of criminal wrongdoing against this church,” said Smith.  “So, there’s really no means for us to be able to discriminate against this religious organization versus any other outside organization.”

“But parents and alumni have reached out to the university and asked you to not allow this student group on campus. What’s your response to that?” asked Catallo.

“Our student organization that’s affiliated with this church has had no complaints against it that would violate our student code of conduct,” said Smith.

Read the full story and watch the video interview.

Parents and Ex-members have put together a website to tell their stories of abuse and manipulation

Parents and alumni have reached out to FACT for support. We've mailed them preventative education handouts which they will be taking to the campus and giving out to students. These free educational handouts were created to empower young adults through education - to give them the knowledge to protect themselves from predatory groups.

If you would like handouts to give out to students at your school or campus or in your area please contact us at

If you would like to donate to help us get another round of handouts and brochures printed it is very needed and would be very appreciated. You can do so here:

Thank you,
The FACT Team

Monday, October 22, 2018

Book Recommendation - Leaving the Fold by Marlene Winell Ph.D.

Leaving the Fold will help you if:
  • You have become uncomfortable with your religion and are in the process of leaving.
  • You want to understand more about Christian fundamentalism.
  • You have left the faith that was meaningful to you as a child, and you need to sort out the aftereffects.
  • You need to heal from growing up in a dysfunctional religious family.
  • You became "born again" as an adult, but you are now disenchanted with the belief system.
  • You are experiencing fear and anxiety, anger, or grief because you have left the fold.
  • You struggle with depression and confusion because you have lost your structure of meaning.
  • You have a family member or friend who is recovering from religious indoctrination.
  • You are a helping professional and want to improve your ability to help clients who are recovering from their religious experience. 

For more information and to order the book :

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Jerry Stocking Follow-up Expose

This is a follow up exposé to our Jerry Stocking expose.

It appears Mr. Stocking is now advertising on his Youtube channel that, “Psychedelics are for everyone, no matter how old. They light up life, need to be done carefully and legally, but make for a wonderful, generative, transformational experience.”

In his Youtube Video Jerry brags about how he has tried a few different psychedelics over 13 times and urges the public to do the same. Jerry then states that trying psychedelics 13 times is still not enough for him and he needs to experiment more. In our opinion, this is not a professional who should have a non-for-profit organization for self-improvement education. We believe Jerry Stocking to be under the influence of illegal drugs as he calls them, “psychedelics” unacceptable and even more so to influence the public to try these mind altering illegal drugs. We believe this is the exact opposite of how a self-improvement educational teacher should be setting an example in terms of safety for his students and others. 

Link to Youtube video: 

His company called ‘A Choice Experience’ is a non-profit organization created by Jerry Stocking for the purpose of self-improvement education (as listed on his profile). Through the use of his 501c3, he is believed to be charging students for all of his self-improvement courses about $600 - $900 per course, and $95 per hour for private coaching / counseling. We will be forwarding all of our information to the IRS for their analysis to verify the legitimacy of the ‘A Choice Experience’ 501c3 approval. We believe a nonprofit should not be pushing for the use and experimentation of illegal drugs.

Stocking is also an author of numerous articles published by the ‘Elephant Journal’, an independent online publication. His articles mainly focus on the subjects of love, romance and relationships, with an obvious focus on sex. Very recently, he wrote an article where he admits to having paid women for sex through an “arrangement” website.

Some excerpts from his article:

“…I signed up for the arrangement site with zeal. In the first 24 hours, I emailed 23 women, most of them less than half my age…”

“In that month, I had three meetings with women, the rest turned out to be various flavors of unavailable or disinteresting.”

“I paid her for one month but only used her services twice. We remain in contact via text and email, corresponding much as an older, perhaps wiser, man and a younger, enthusiastic woman.”

“I won’t be on the site again, though the idea of it still tickles me, as does the idea of paying a certain, set amount for sex with someone I like but don’t want a long-term romantic relationship with.”

In our opinion, we believe no self-help teacher should be promoting the idea of a sex for money arrangement website, which is basically a modern day platform for prostitution. We believe his article shows his regard for women as mere sex objects for his own carnal gratifications.

A letter written to Jerry Stocking:

“What you left inside of ------- is unconscionable.  You are supposed to be caring for other beings by merging with them at the level of their suffering and taking responsibility for what you find - no matter what you find.  If you find sorrow then you work through that as your own.  If you find lust then you work through that as your own.  If you find greed then you work through that as your own.  You work through these things and free yourself then you have their liberation - the liberation you offer and that they are entitled to by coming to you.

I felt into her pain Jerry and you have been physically and emotionally abusive to her.  You should feel honored in your capacity to serve another and above all humbled in the presence of those that come to you.  Every single one of them. There is a clear distinction between cherishing another's soul and everything else.

If she was not your client then she would be an equal participant. But she is.”

Judge for yourself if you believe Jerry should be allowed to advertise himself as a self-help educational instructor with a non for profit 501(c)3 status.

The FACT Team

Victory Life Ministries - Greenville, Tx

We recently received a complaint about Victory Life Ministries in Greenville, Tx. Here is an article written about them from back in 2014.

Victory Life's discipline methods, fundraising criticized by former members

"A Hunt County-based Christian ministry aimed at helping drug addicts, alcoholics and the homeless turn their lives around has come under criticism from many former members, who say the organization’s punishment methods are excessive and their fund-raising methods are suspect.
But the center’s leadership and supporters counter that such methods are necessary when providing spiritual guidance to addicts.
Victory Life Ministry of Hunt County is run by Pastor Raymond Zifer, a self-proclaimed former drug addict himself who went through a similar program in Dallas, Victory Life Ministry of Dallas, run by Pastor Anthony Anderson.
“We have a nine month faith-based discipleship home,” Zifer said. “We bring in men and women struggling with alcohol or drug addiction or homeless and help them develop a personal, intimate relationship with the Lord and learn how to live a victorious Christian life.”
Zifer said this is accomplished through prayer and worship times, Bible Studies and discipleship program. But the facility does not employ the healthcare officials or trained counselors typically found in residential treatment programs.
Greenville resident Danny Draude is a former member of Victory Life. He eventually left the program and, like a dozen other former members, found help from the Greenville Salvation Army. Draude now has a full-time job and residence in Greenville after graduating from the Salvation Army’s shelter program.
“It’s like fishing,” Draude said of his experience at Victory Life. “You have the bait, the fish wants the bait, but the fish doesn’t know there’s a hook in the bait.”
The bait Draude is referring to is a roof over your head, three square meals a day and Christian instruction from Victory Life, according to Draude.
“It’s just a money-making scheme,” he said. “At first they are helping, providing a place and providing food, but at the same time they’re financially [benefiting], and they’re not giving back. When I went there, I didn’t have anything. I needed a place to go. After two years of helping them, and them helping me, I didn’t have [anything].”
Danny’s criticisms of Victory Life are common among the program’s ex-members. Complaints range from bizarre punishments for breaking strict program rules to a lack of an effective plan for graduating members from the program.
Banana Nut Bread
Victory Life is funded primarily by sending male members of the program to communities outside of Hunt County to share their testimonies and ask for donations. Small loaves of banana nut bread, which are baked in an industrial oven in Zifer’s house by members of the program, are given in return for a $5 donation. Members are given a quota each day, driven to locations outside of Hunt County and dropped off to raise money.
The pre-packaged bread does not contain information regarding ingredients, and the individuals preparing the bread do not have food-handler’s licenses, as they are not required to by Texas law. Zifer said his organization does not have a solicitation license, and equated the fund-raising program to a bake sale. He said the members raise money outside of Hunt County because many of them come to the program from outside of the county. But former member Johnny Mullins, who now works with the Salvation Army after having a fallout with Zifer, countered that Victory Life goes outside of Hunt County to maintain a low profile. He said members of the program selling banana nut bread have been “chased away” from areas in Greenville, Quinlan and Rockwall for solicitation.
“It’s effective for us in regards to teaching a guy to be trusted and to be able to be confident with sharing his testimony about what God has done in his life and spreading the word of Jesus Christ,” Zifer said.
However, rather than the elaborate bake sale described by Zifer, former Victory Life members described a complex operation that brought in hundreds of dollars a day in cash for the ministry that they claim is not completely distributed back into the ministry. Matthew Dollar, who was a member of Victory Life on several occasions, described a routine of baking hundreds of loaves of bread during the night, and sometimes fund-raising the next morning. He said the loaves cost between $0.50 and $0.75 a piece to make, and that Victory Life regularly raised between $500 and $1,000 a day.
Dollar described a trip to Shreveport with 700 loaves that he and a group of men from the program used to fund-raise more than $3,500. Mullins recounted a trip where he and several other men went to the Canton trade days and made $2,600 in three hours despite refusing to pay for a booth or vendor’s license.
“I hate it for them when the tax people come around,” Dollar said, adding that the ministry also draws food stamps. On the 990 form that Victory Life submits as a non-profit, the ministry claims to make less than $50,000 a year. Dollar estimated they take in hundreds of thousands per year.
The punishment, or “discipline” as its referred to at Victory Life, for breaking any of the rules varies from repeatedly writing down the same Bible verse to accomplishing menial tasks.
“When drug addicts come off the streets, they’re not going to want to follow the rules,” Danny said. “But the way they discipline is extreme in some areas. The last time, I was forced to be outside for three days, not able to shower. Food was brought to me, and I wasn’t allowed to come in [the building] or have contact with any people. I slept on the ground.”
Mullins talked about having to wash cars with toothbrushes and picking weeds from dawn to dusk for days on end.
“I’ve never seen the mental degradation and spiritual abuse that I saw with Raymond,” he said.
Other former members said they were disciplined for not selling their quota of bread.
“They put you on discipline for not meeting the quota of selling bread,” Bennie Burrow, who stayed at the facility three months, said. “You had to pick weeds for 12 hours and dig a six-foot hole for 12 hours straight. You had to scrub floors with a toothbrush.”
Burrow added when they finished digging the hole, they were told to fill it back in for the next person who was to be “disciplined.”
Although Zifer said he had no knowledge of people having to pick weeds for 12 hours, he did not deny some of the other disciplinary actions people said they were put through.
“There is discipline. There is going to be some sort of consequence,” he said, comparing Victory Life’s discipline process to when someone breaks the law. “It depends on the situation. We don’t go around abusing people.”
Some graduates of the program countered that the tough love is necessary to break the cycle of addiction. West Tawakoni resident Ted Snowden said he is a graduate of the program from August of 2013 to May of 2014. Although Victory Life was tough, Snowden said he needed the discipline in order to conquer his addiction.
“It wasn’t the easiest thing in my life, but I didn’t need easy,” he said, adding his punishments for disobedience varied depending on the situation. “I had to pick weeds before because I got out of line. I was out there a couple hours.”
Snowden said most of the time he just wrote scriptures as punishment, including Psalm 119, the longest chapter in the Bible, four to five times as punishment.
After graduating the program, Snowden said he began his own business and lives in West Tawakoni.
But while there are success stories, and while even disgruntled former members recount positive experiences at Victory Life, the program’s lack of professional instruction for its members, poor exit strategy and questionable fund-raising practices are topics consistently mentioned by almost all of the former members who spoke with the Herald-Banner. Many former members were quickly able to better their lives after leaving the program, many through help at the Salvation Army, demonstrates that many of these people are willing and capable of transforming their lives outside of Victory Life.
The men and women in the program are housed at separate locations in Hunt County. The program has run in to opposition from individuals living near to their locations, particularly one in West Tawakoni.
Zifer moved into a house on Holly Lake Drive in West Tawakoni in 2010 and his neighbors said he told them he was simply renovating the house. Zifer said he informed a former West Tawakoni Code Enforcement Officer of his plans to use the house as a multiple person dwelling, but did not elaborate on his intentions. He said he was told to “pack them in as deep as you can.”
Current West Tawakoni Code Enforcement Officer Dwayne Hall said that while the city does not have an ordinance on the books that specifies how many individuals can live in a building, the subdivision where Zifer’s house is located does have a rule against operating a business.
West Tawakoni Police Chief Brandon Kilpatrick conducted an investigation into Victory Life in 2011. He concluded that Zifer was running a business out of his property in West Tawakoni, located on Holly Lake Drive.
Jerry and Judy Nunnenkamp live across the street from Zifer, who recently built a three-story addition to the house. They said men, women and children have lived at the house over the past four years, and that they’ve seen as many as 15-20 at a time. They were worried the program might be housing sex offenders, drug addicts and alcoholics, and they requested a list of the inhabitants from Zifer in order to run background checks on the program members, but they said Zifer refused to give them one.
“They use those people for labor,” Judy said, indicating that at times the members chant loudly and stomp. “They are operating like a cult.”
Victory Life has a second building, which they use for their women’s ministry, in the Easy Living subdivision outside of Quinlan. A couple of years ago, they began leasing a church building on the I-30 frontage road near Jungle Burger, although their lease is up soon and has not been renewed. The men’s ministry was moved to that location. Greenville Fire Marshal Greg McDonald said he did sign off on a certificate of occupancy for the building recently.
A fourth property, called “The Farm,” is located somewhere near Canton, according to multiple former members. They say the program plans on moving to the Farm sometime in the near future.
Hunt County does not have a fire code, so it defaults to Texas regulations, according to Hunt County Building Inspector David Jones. The Hunt County Office of Homeland Security, where Jones works, inspects such buildings, but only on a complaint basis, due to its small staff size. In 2011, Jones inspected the Holly Drive facility, and noted that it lacked several attributes required of a residential building, namely exit doors that swung out for evacuation, panic hardware for the doors and a hard-wired smoke alarm system. Jones filed a report saying that within 60 days, Zifer installed the necessary items and the building was brought up to code, but for no more than six residents."

Monday, October 15, 2018

Blogger Wins Defamation Case Against Her by "Cult Leader" Serge Benhayon

"A wealthy NSW spiritual healer has suffered a significant defeat in his defamation case against a blogger after a jury found many of her posts were true, including that he's the leader of a socially harmful cult."

 The "substantially true" findings included that he "has an indecent interest in young girls as young as 10 whom he causes to stay at his house unaccompanied", preys on cancer patients and "is a charlatan who makes fraudulent medical claims".

The jury also found substantially true that Mr Benhayon had exploited children by having them vouch for UM's dishonest healing practices and "exploits cancer patients by targeting them to leave him bequests in their wills".

Read the full article here:

There are A Lot of "Snake Oil" salesman in this world - who prey on the vulnerable - Buyer Beware!

Monday, October 8, 2018

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

How Can My Loved Be So Blind? They Are in a Cult!

On a daily basis we talk to people who are struggling to understand how in the world their educated child, boyfriend, sister, mother or father, friend etc can be so blind as to not see they are involved with a high controlling abusive group, church or individual.

They lose sleep, work hours and are emotionally distraught trying to understand it and rescue them from it. It can be one of the hardest struggles to convince someone that what they believe is "wrong" or they are being deceived.  No one likes to admit they are wrong or have been duped.

In many cases it's not the religious "beliefs" that are in question but more the destructive policies and practices of the group pr leader to conform their members completely.

According to Steve Hassan's BITE Model, these are some of the main tactics cults and predatory personalities use to gain control over their prey.

Behavior Control
Information Control
Thought Control
Emotion Control

Some of the best possible ways to arm yourself, your friends and loved ones is to know ones own vulnerabilities, educate ourselves on how manipulation is done, the personality types that prey on the vulnerable and to have strong critical thinking skills to prevent yourself from getting caught up in such groups or relations.

Please Share.

The FACT Team

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Students Concerned About on Campus Religious Solicitors and Rumors of Sex Trafficking - University at Buffalo

We read the below article by The Spectrum - The Independent Student Publication of the University at Buffalo - about Religious Solicitation on UB campus and we felt the need to write about this topic again.

We have received many past complaints from people in many different cities about the groups World Mission Society Church of God, and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints both of which mentioned in the article as soliciting on UB Campus.

Religious solicitation and predatory group activity is a huge problem on and around college campuses and they purposely target vulnerable, impressionable, unsuspecting young minds. Students, faculty and parents need more information about these topics so they can make informed, educated decisions about the groups and associations they consider getting involved with. 
Information to Critically Think with.

Our website (which is in the process of being overhauled and updated) provides much of our materials in pdf format, but we also have printed handouts and brochures free to students, parents etc.

Here is the link where you can print and share some of these materials.

Here are some of the red flags to be aware of when being approached by groups and or individuals.

If you think you or someone you know is involved in a predatory / controlling group or situation and need help and more information Or If you would like our handouts to share with friends, fellow students or parents and faculty feel free to email us at or call our toll free # at 877-360-FACT (3228)

We are here to help educate and empower any way we can.

You can learn more on our Facebook page and Twitter @FightCults 

Thank you,

The FACT Team

Monday, September 17, 2018

Complaint Filed Against: Mastery in Transformational Training

One of the many complaints we've received recently. 

"Mitt - Mastery in Transformational Training

Where: Marina Del Rey is headquarters and they do trainings at hotels like 4 points Sheraton at lax


Please describe the cult activity: they use every brainwashing technique, fear guilt and pressure from family and they popped my wifes tires and disabled her car when she tried to leave .

Involvement with group: If yes, please explain.

1) When did you/they get involved & for how long?
Mom and grandma since before it started in a different program called life spring
2) How did you/they get involved? How were you/they directly recruited?
My grandma pressured her paid for it and said just go its paid for
3) Are there other family members involved?

4) Has their been a disconnection of relationship(s) with family, old friends?
Yes mom keeps calling the cops and social services
5) What are the circumstances currently?
No contact with them now

Impact from group: My wife could and should be the one to explain

Is there anything else that we should know or you would like to tell us: I have done research and found some things that have not yet been reported and how they scrypt and trick people to go down a path they subjects think they chose"

If you have any direct experience with this group, feel free to share with us.

Thank you,

The FACT Team

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Author Renee Linnell, "The Burn Zone: A Memoir, Talks About Her Time in a Cult

Renee Linnell, Author of "The Burn Zone: A Memoir, opens up about her time and experience in a cult and her thoughts about it all.

Watch her video interview with BOLD:

Thanks for sharing this with us Renee and we hope to catch up with you soon for an interview chat.

Thank you,

The FACT Team

Monday, September 10, 2018

Never Be Afraid to Question People and Their Motives

Many people who are caught up in high control, high demand groups and or relations are often conditioned to not question things.
Always be wary of anyone who tries to prevent you from questioning. Protect your freedom and autonomy.  Learn to recognize common recruitment tactics and situations.
  • People who are excessively or inappropriately friendly; there are few genuine instant friendships.
  • People who are very persistent in trying to get you to join, and won’t take no for answer.
  • People with invitations to free meals, lectures, and workshops.
  • People who demand secrecy from you.
  • People who make you feel like there’s something wrong with you if you’re not interested in joining.
  • People with simplistic answers or solutions to complex world problems.
  • People who try to play on your guilt; you don’t always have to reciprocate a kindness, especially when it may have been a way to manipulate you.
  • People who are vague or evasive. If they are hiding something, it’s usually because they don’t want you to know the real answer.
  • People who claim to be just like you, so you feel you have a lot in common.
  • People who confidently promise that they can help you solve your problems, especially when they know little about you.
  • People, who make grand claims about how their group can save mankind, help you achieve enlightenment or show the road to happiness.
  • People who always seem happy
  • People who claim they or their group is really special, even the most special.
  • People who promise quick solutions to difficult problems.
  • People who put down reason and critical thinking, and tell you not to ask questions about the group – just open your mind to it. 

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Shambhala Denies All Allegations of Misconduct

Shambhalas letter of Denial to the community 
"Dear Community -
We are writing to you in the wake of today’s release of more allegations of misconduct and criminal behavior regarding the Sakyong and board members that were released in Buddhist Project Sunshine Phase 3.
We want to be clear to you, our community, that based on the information provided, Shambhala, the Sakyong and the four Board members named in these allegations categorically deny the substance of the allegations, which are not only unfounded, but are each based on speculative and unsubstantiated claims.  The publication of such salacious and defamatory information is grossly irresponsible.
Over the past six months, Shambhala has made it clear that we take any claims of misconduct extremely seriously. We invite and encourage anyone with a claim of harm to bring such claims forward through one of the three channels we have opened.  Our focus remains on the appropriate healing and rebuilding of our community, especially as we move through this leadership transition.
There are three ways to report a claim of harm:
  • Third-Party Investigation: Claims of sexual assault or misconduct by any teacher or leader in the Shambhala community can be raised directly to the independent investigator, Selina Bath, of Wickwire Holm. Ms. Bath can be reached by e-mail or phone at (902) 482-7030.
  • Care and Conduct Process:  Shambhala’s Care and Conduct policy exists to address cases of harm within the community and provide a path forward for all parties when a complaint has been brought against a Shambhala office holder. Click here to contact the International Care and Conduct panel.
  • An Olive Branch: An Olive Branch will serve as a neutral third-party to receive stories of harm and provide victim advocacy services. In the coming weeks, they will open a Listening Post where stories can be brought forward. Questions about this work may be directed to Katheryn Wiedman, Co-Director of An Olive Branch and Project Director, by e-mail.
Further, we are disappointed to learn of the continued attempts to discredit the integrity of Wickwire Holm’s independent investigation and the work of An Olive Branch, both neutral and independent third-party organizations working to provide services to those who have felt harmed in the community.

  • For questions about the investigation and Shambhala’s relationship to Wickwire Holm, please refer to the community e-mail that was sent on August 11, 2018 which includes a statement from Wickwire Holm.

  • To read about An Olive Branch’s complete scope of work, please refer to the community e-mail that was sent on July 20, 2018 to the community by An Olive Branch.

From the beginning of this process in February, our intent has always been to promptly and thoroughly investigate all claims by anyone who has felt harmed within the Shambhala community, to effectively remedy all claims that are substantiated, and to create a strong and healthy sangha.

As always, we welcome your feedback, questions and concerns at

We also invite you to contact the Transition Task Force with questions or suggestions about the leadership transition process at

With appreciation,
The Outgoing Kalapa Council
Josh Silberstein, Chair
Jane Arthur
David Brown
Wendy Friedman
Jesse Grimes
Mitchell Levy
Adam Lobel
Robert Reichner
Christoph Schönherr"

The FACT Team

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Renee Linnell on Meghan Kelly Show

We've talked to Renee Linnell several times about her experience in a cult. She has generously sent us advanced readers copies of her book.

She will be interviewed live on the Megyn Kelly TODAY show on September 5th at 9a.m. e.s.t
answering questions about her book, The Burn Zone and why she joined a cult.

 Be sure to check it out and if you are in Aspen Oct 9th she will be at the Explore Bookseller 221 E. Main St. Aspen at 5:30pm for a discussion and book signing.

Congratulations Renee!

The FACT Team

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