Monday, January 21, 2019

Recent Complaint Filed with F.A.C.T. - Set Free Ministries

"Name of Cult Group or Church: Set Free Ministries


Where: All over Southern California but I started at their ranch in Phelan, CA then went to a home in Riverside CA and now am at a home in Colton CA.

Leader(s): #Name_of_Leader(s)#

Please describe the cult activity: Are their specific complaints you'd like to tell us about?
Please excuse me but my mental health has deteriorated severely since I have been trapped in this cult. It is very hard for me to focus or keep my mind together to explain things that clearly anymore. I need serious psychiatric help at this point, but they will not allow me to see a doctor or even a dentist because they are always making me slave for them with no pay. I don't even know where to begin, I have so much to say about this horrible cult. At the moment I have no where else to live and I am deathly afraid of ending up homeless.

Are you aware of any human rights violations, emotional/physical abuse, illegal activity?

My life was threatened numerous times already. I have been threatened to be beat up many times, and threatened to be killed other times. The director and overseer of the Riverside house abused me pretty badly for 9 months. The director of the Riverside home XXXX even once brought a gun to the house saying he was going to shoot another guy. That is when I decided to leave that home out of great fear of my own safety. XXXX choked a 22 year old autstic kid and attacked him with a hammer. His name is XXXX. XXXX also left the home and is now in another Set Free house in Redlands CA. XXXX an overseer of the Riverside home threatened to beat me up and said he was going to kill me on several different occasions. I told the Pastor XXXX several times about it, and the Pastor did nothing about it. The Pastor protects those two very evil men for some odd reason. They are both gang members and I am afraid they may retaliate against me and really have me murdered like they threatened to do. XXXX and XXXX also commonly smoke marijuana together which is against the rules, but they are allowed to get away with it too. They also take the money we make from working to buy marijuana and other drugs with. I was forced to ride in the trunk of a van many times from Riverside to LA and back with absolutely no kind of protection. If we would have been rear ended I would be seriously injured or most likely dead. I was always cussed out and belittled there. I am now at this house in Colton which isn't as abusive as Riverside, only the Pastor XXXX is very strange. We slave for him all the time, but we are forced to eat very expired food when he buys groceries for the house from our food stamp money and we don't know where the food goes. We are literally force fed the Bible all day long if we are not working.

A lot of the work they make us do is inhumane and illegal on all kinds of levels. They lie to you and say you will be able to find your own job after 6 months of being at a home but they really just want you to remain their legal slave. I need medical attention but they won't let me go see a doctor because they keep scheduling these work assignments where we are traveling every where. They do not care about our health or safety in the slightest. They only care that we keep making money so the Pastors and Directors can sit around and do nothing. Most of the time the Pastors just stay in their rooms and sleep or watch TV. Then they spend all kind of money on cigarettes, cigars, lottery tickets, fast food and personal food, and personal trips and vacations. There's a car wash we are forced to do every Thursday night all night for twelve hours or more wiping down cars. Sometimes it is so cold we are wiping ice on cars. We even have to go if it's raining. We are supplied with no protection from the elements. We can never leave the house. If we go anywhere we have to take someone with along, but usually we can never go anywhere at all. We are forced to memorize all kind of verses from the Bible, and we also have to write 12 pages of homework about the Bible on top of working even though we are exhausted. If we don't we are punished and potentially kicked out. They do not give anyone a 30 day notice to leave either. They either send you back to their horrible disgusting ranches infested with bed bugs and diseases, or they just kick you out on the street. At the ranches, they won't let you see a doctor or will even take you out the hospital sometimes even if it is an emergency. They take people's phones away on whim. They make you sign a waiver saying they are not responsible for any death or injury, when they make us sometimes do some pretty hazardous activities and put us in dangerous situations, like when I was forced to ride in the trunk of a van.

There is this one paper they give us that I would like to share that is particularly disturbing. It says something along the lines of we must pronounce ourselves dead for Jesus or something very odd and disturbing. I have a copy of it and a blank waiver that we are forced to sign. One guy started dating a girl in the ministry and they would always fight. He was a driver in Riverside. One night they were fighting bad and he kept swerving the van with about 5 of us in it. I thought for sure we were going to get into an accident. We are not allowed to use the internet here in Colton even though we slave for this guy. He also doesn't allow Obama phones so it kind of cuts out all communication with the outside world. There's a couple people here who have very serious mental health problems and really should see a psychiatrist for help, but psych meds are not allowed and even some pain medication is not allowed even if it's prescribed. Their answer to everything including a toothache is to send people to the emergency room, but then they give us trouble if we try to schedule appointments. They are also committing welfare fraud and other types of fraud on all kind of levels. It is basically exploitation and amounts to legal slavery. They are just taking advantage of people who are desperate and have no where else to turn.

Involvement with group: If yes, please explain.

1) When did you/they get involved & for how long? I know many people involved. I first went to their ranch in Phelan and then to Riverside and now I'm in Colton.

2) How did you/they get involved? How were you/they directly recruited? I was sent from the San Bernardino Community hospital there because I was homeless and attempted suicide. My suicidal ideations are even worse now than before.

3) Are there other family members involved?
None of my family no.

4) Has their been a disconnection of relationship(s) with family, old friends? Yes because they make it extremely difficult and sometimes impossible to communicate with the outside world. They confiscate phones and do not allow you to use their internet or computers. How is anyone supposed to get a job?

5) What are the circumstances currently? The circumstances are that I'm worse off than before I got sucked into this cult, and I feel hopeless, helpless, and I often think about suicide again all the time. It feels like there is no way out of this besides the streets, and my life has now reached a final dead end.

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. Yes I have been very much verbally, mentally, emotionally, and sometimes even physically abused by this group as I have explained above. My mind is very scattered right now and it's difficult to explain all this in one sitting. I may not have a phone it internet access that much longer either. I guess if I just leave and become homeless, the worst thing that could happen is I die, but that might not be so bad because my suffering will finally end.

Is there anything else that we should know or you would like to tell us: Please tell us anything else you think we should know.
It would really help if someone could reach out to me and ask me specific questions I could just give short answers. I wish to God I could meet someone in person for a day or something and explain all this to them if they ask me specific questions. I am so very tired now mentally that it's hard to get in every detail. I seriously need help, but I am afraid I will have no place to live. I was supposed to go to the doctor and I was going to see a social worker who said he might be able to help me on the 23rd but the Pastor said I couldn't go and I had to reschedule because he wants us to go travel somewhere and work. He is planning on making us travel all kinds of places in the US and work extreme hours for no pay, so he can sit at home and watch TV and live the easy life. I am in no mental state to be traveling, and this could turn out to be a very bad and dangerous for me. I am at my wits end, and everyday I feel even more ready to die. I'm not sure what good complaining here will do, but at least someone should know about this horrible cult. They have no intentions of helping you in the long term at all, they just want to keep you as their little puppet slave. I hope someone does something, but on the other hand I do not want to become homeless. In the mental state I'm in I know I would not survive very long on the streets. I most definitely need a precarious type of assistance out of this cult.

If you have additional files, links, etc. that you'd like us to be aware of, please send them to the email address below. I can take pictures of some papers they have here and try to send them that I find pretty disturbing."

If you or someone you know has been victimized by this group or have any information regarding this we encourage you to please come forward and tell your story. You may file a complaint with our office at this link:

Thank you,
The FACT Team 

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