Dialogue Ireland published a report on Victory Outreach one year, one week ago. We offered them the right of Reply!

We note a spokesperson for Victory Outreach claimed they have not been able to get their message over.

http://www.thejournal.ie/victory-outreach-prime-time-documentary-1226439-Dec2013/

We published our first report here in Dialogue Ireland exactly one year and one week ago. We offered space for an unedited and uncensored reply to them.>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Victory Outreach … What is really going on?vo hq

https://dialogueireland.wordpress.com/2012/12/10/8899/

They have up till now not taken up this offer. It seems to be the mark of some groups that they use lawyers to stop the truth coming out, and when it does they say they were not given a right of reply. We can confirm that we have been concerned about VO and have received over the years at least 100 calls from distressed parents and family concerning this Church and its operations. Geographically it was in a Business Park on Dublin’s north side on Ossory Rd, North Strand. It seemed to be a totally inappropriate place to operate a rehabilitation Centre.

They have moved to Ballyfermot, and it would seem natural if they have nothing to hide for the media and for an independent* addictions expert to visit some of their centres.  We received reports from those deeply involved that there are allegations of money laundering with funds gathered for charitable purposes finding their way to the USA. We have the testimony of a former member concerning these claims, which would need to be investigated by Revenue to be either corroborated or dismissed.

We stress the need for the charitable sector to be regulated but more importantly to put in place basic systems of governance. Ireland is a country with legal confetti flying out of the Dáil, but no one implementing it or taking it seriously. This sector has been ripe for harvest since the seventies, and the last coalition produced legislation on this in the 90’s and and in 2009 the situation moved forward but was not enacted.

It is clear that there is a need to move from just granting Charitable status for the furtherance of Religion and Education and the Relief of poverty to actually showing that one is actually achieving some benefit for society beyond enriching the charity itself.

This report from Australia is instructive:

https://dialogueireland.wordpress.com/2013/08/02/australian-charities-bill-2013/

One person who told us his story has given us permission to publish it in the event of something untoward happening to him. He was so afraid he was unable to deal with writing this on our site.

Last summer we received a report from a person in Cork who wished to be a source to bring these issues to the fore. Again after many attempts he went missing. He was so frightened he felt he could reveal what he had to tell us.

*Independent in that someone who shares a faith perspective but is not in competition. A centre in which also does this kind of work  from an Evangelical perspective is Tiglin. They have been the subject of many reports and are an example to compare VO with.

http://tiglin.ie/home/

thumbs_tiglin0003-1024x768thumbs_tiglin0018-1024x768

or from a Catholic faith perspective:

The Cenacolo community:

It too has been the subject of a number of documentaries on RTE.

house4

http://www.communitycenacolo.ie/

One Response

  1. I was a member for over 12 years. It was only after leaving was I able to see the cultish tendencies. I, too, do not believe them to be a true cult, but only modeliling cultish practices.
    There is a great deal of travel encouraged from its member and expected from its leaders. As stated in many articles, there are World Conferences. Women’s Mighty Men of Valor, GANG, (acronym for youth group God’s Anointed Now Generation) Rehab Homes Conference, Pastors Conferences, and Rehab Home Directors Conferences. These take place in New York or California, and not too long ago Mexico.
    It is expensive and it definitely is not a vacation , as the schedule is grueling. Classes services, prayer, and workshops start at 9 and can go until 1. Then they are always followed by evening sessions of the same from 5 until as 9 or 10.
    Skipping any session is strongly looked down upon. I was told I could not even visit my mother while I was in one city and that it would be wise to not even tell her I near, so as to not hurt her feelings. It was only a 45 minute drive away. She has since passed away and i regret not going to see her every time I was there…which was often.
    God had delivered me of addiction and prostitution and I attained my AA degree. I was working as a resident advisor at the shelter, and was a volunteer minister in the county jail. I worked in the children’s ministry for over 7 years when I became the director of the women’s home.
    I was the director for nearly three years.

    Oops.. posted this before i finished. After nearly 3 years of being a live in director with no pay nor one single day off or vacation, unless I was sick I cracked. I had no hours when I was off. I could not schedule their crisis. Prayer was an hour a day at 6 am then every evening at church an hour. On sundays we came early 8:30 to clean, service, stayed to serve food and clean after service around 1:00, leader’s meeting for hours, (the women had to sit on a room and read tbeir Bibles),then they would have a small life group or women’s or men’ bible study followed by that daily evening hour prayer. No matter if that group was a men’s group we stayed. It was ludicrous to drive home to just turn around to come back for prayer.
    Most people do not know that each VO rehab home is self-supporting. That’s right the church does not pay for the home. I had to get the jobs and work along side the women to pay for all the expenses. Yes, there is the rehab fees sent into corporate, the cost of getting each womento all those confetences, 100.00 just to register each, travel, hotel food, etc. Plus I had to come up with 1200 each year to insure the women in case of accidents or deaths.
    Yes, there has been a death due to extreme punishment. There use to be a common “discipline” practice of ditch digging. One would simpy dig a giant hole and then cover it back up, and then repeat the process.l. A common “discipline” practice in the homes. Until a ditch caved in and one man died. Thus. The need for insurance,
    I was doing all this and going to school online for my BA in chemical dependency at night. I was three classes away before I fell. I told the pastor i could not do this any longer. I was told to pray. I was giving everyone water to refresh themselves, but when i needed it my cup was empty, and no one was there to refresh me despite my how deaperate i said i was.
    What breaks my heart more was that when the shepherd of those sheep fell (myself) the pastors wife did not come in to feed them and protect them. They put a girl in the home who had talent but no charactor as the director. She fell within months. They just kept replacing her with girls in the home. One of tje girls who graduated the home when I was tbe director approached the pastor about this and was strongly rebuked, and asked.did she expect his wife to do it.
    Uh….yes!!!!!!! They were sheep without a shephed…babies.yes, i abandoned them and will be held accountable but at the same time this was a ministry that taught me to simply trade addiction for ministry and kept me so busy i that i had no time to know what i was feeling or even thinking.
    They once told me i needed to to attend the weekly evening Bible study after the friday service even though that would mean i would be up 24 hours. I was working graveyatd st the shelter go to community college, math lab, then friday night service. I told them my schedule and they said the people in the church did not know that and that they look to me as an example. They made me feel guilty.
    Thete is so many requirements wearing dresses, the fees, the travel. Not disagreeing with the leadets, holding the pastors and pastor Sonny and Sister Julie in such high regard hat it borders on pastor worship. Victory outreach is often mentioned more in the services than the name of Christ.
    Not all VO are all the same each has there own personality. Some sre very gentle and kind, but the principles are the same and so are the requirements.
    It is important to note dishonesty is practiced. The manual for the home and the responce pastor Sonny finally gave in apoogeletics are only in letter. I was a director and those policies are not practiced. Most of those i wasnt even aware of. Property was in my name, i managed the money… not another party for accountabilty, i had no salary, we did force fasts even though we are told technically we are not allowed, but yet, as a director, i must teach them to fast . I was told by the regional rehab overseerer to just not serve food on that day.
    When i left the house i rented, as i pioneered the home, the pastors wife had a girl in the home vome and get the keys from me. Poor girl. I she should have never been put in that position. When i came back to get my belongings, i had completely moved all my own furniture in. They put it all on the yard. They did not even allow me to pack my own belongings. They could have taken the women to the church and left me. After all, the house was in my name and nearly everything was purchased prior to starting the home.
    Not only was it it humiliating, but they damaged expensive items. I had a Sealy dial a bed, and when the dismanteled it they broke the pump. I eded up having to leave my washer and and dryer. They took all the Christian books i had accumulated through the years. I was a prolific reader and belingef to book lubs, they judt assumed they were donstions and only packed my text books.
    When they were audited the pastors wife had me sign a years worth of slips xxx tat should have been on a monthly budget and should have actually been verified. Now, i know they wee not being dishonest or embezzelling, but it still was not honest. In short. when there is no local board of directors or transparency. Or freedom to question it is just too easy for pastors and the directors to go rogue.
    Thete was much more questionable practices. I know yheir hearts and motives are right, but they are so out of balance and extreme. They often say how we were sold out for our drugs why nor God. We gave all our money to our dealer, but can’t do a dollar a day for United We Can or invest in this or that, but they fail to see that it was unhealthy then and just because it is for God does not make it any healthier.

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