Victory Outreach International explains their structures

 

VOIhttp://victoryoutreach.org/about/structure/

Dialogue Ireland is engaged with VO in trying to understand what happened in Ireland.

Structure

We will try to analyse their documents to get a handle on their views and write a commentary which we hope will elicit a response from them:

 

Victory Outreach is an independent fellowship of churches with each local church having complete sovereignty and autonomy, also being both self-governing and self-supporting.

(There is clearly a conflict and from our point of view a contradiction between saying a group is autonomous and has complete sovereignty? Naturally if it has those qualities it follows that it is both self-governing and self-supporting. 

Full Definition of SOVEREIGN

1
a :  superlative in quality

 

b :  of the most exalted kind :  supreme <sovereign virtue>

 

c :  having generalized curative powers <a sovereign remedy>

 

d :  of an unqualified nature :  unmitigated <sovereign contempt>

 

e :  having undisputed ascendancy :  paramount

2
a :  possessed of supreme power <a sovereign ruler>

 

b :  unlimited in extent :  absolute

 

c :  enjoying autonomy :  independent <sovereign states>

3
:  relating to, characteristic of, or befitting a supreme ruler :  royal <a sovereign right>
sov·er·eign·ly adverb
But as you can see from the definitions above, it is hard to see how any outside control can be exercised by Victory Outreach International? This definition is going to lead to a lot of tension between the centre and the periphery. Because the statement is so absolute it leaves little room for any confusion. Take the federal USA. It is true that there are States rights, but these are subordinated to become part of the federal state called the USA. Taking the Irish example it is clear that there were people in Ireland before Valdez. One of these, Steve Tucker states categorically that, 
“I was one of the founding members of VO Ireland back in the early 90’s when we ran it from a house on the Navan Rd. The church was sent out as a VO London plant under the leadership of Paul Simpson (no longer in VO).” Also….”All VO churches are run and accountable to their mother church and its pope, Sony. For Paul to say that they are not is a complete lie. I would love to share with you more if you are interested.”
So we hope to have this debate here and for Paul or other representatives to show that the culture has changed or whether in fact Ireland was sovereign or autonomous.)

To maximize its potential for growth around the globe, Victory Outreach has in place a structure that decentralizes the decision-making processes, empowering local churches to meet the needs of their communities, utilizing their own distinctive approach. According to this structure, each church of Victory Outreach is an independent and autonomous corporation. By operating ministries independently, new leadership will develop to propel this fellowship into the new millennium.

(Not only does it decentralise its mission according to its statement above, but by definition it is not just a decentralised unit but a sovereign separate entity. The language does not stack up. Either it is sovereign or it is not? Steve’s experience suggests it is highly centralised and directly under Sonny. which is it?)

Each church of Victory Outreach is a part of a region within a district and is required to adhere to the Statement of Faith and Core Values as set forth by Victory Outreach International.

(Here we have the language of subsidiarity and devolved power from the centre. Anyone wanting to be part of VO must adhere to “the Statement of Faith and Core Values as set forth by Victory Outreach International.” A Sovereign State creates its own constitution, it is not a colony under orders. Here again this document is not coherent.)

Victory Outreach International operates primarily as a service organization for the local churches of Victory Outreach.

(This is not clear. How does a an International organisation that has a worldwide collection of sovereign churches service them. The operative word is sovereign, and we need to clear this up as part of our dialogue with Paul Lloyd. We are currently engaged in a process of discussing this with VOI, but we have no inside experience so it would be good to hear from others who are eye witnesses. Also is Steve as an apostate now reading his experience through a lens of negativity? More likely, he left because saw the contradictions as expressed in his testimony. We must also acknowledge that VO comes from an AOG background. It is clear that it is a denomination that has elements of Episcopacy but does not seem to be Congregational and connectional in governance. So the leadership in most Pentecostal Churches is not elected but selected by those themselves selected previously.)

 

Victory Outreach International takes seriously the matter of financial stewardship and strives to abide by the highest standards of fiscal integrity. Toward that end, the fellowship maintains the following policies:

Solicitation of funds –-The church teaches that Christians have a spiritual duty to financially support their church and encourages each member to give as he or she is able and has been blessed by God. Thus, most but not all of our revenue is raised from our church members and is solicited, if at all, from verbal or written appeals in accordance with our doctrines. The practice of tithing, while not mandated, is encouraged as a minimum standard of Christian financial stewardship. In its representations of need, the church strives at all times to state its financial status truthfully and factually, and does not accept a restriction on any donation that it does not intend, in fact, to honor.

(Here again we note an interesting jump. “The church teaches…our church members.” It is clear that VOI views itself as a Church, and not just as a ministry of a Church. As noted before it is clear that VOI came out of Teen Challenge which was a ministry of the Assemblies of God. 

This however, does not feature in their own view of themselves.

http://victoryoutreach.org/about/our-history/


It is clear Sonny was an ordained Minister of the AOG and in the early days used their facilities to promote VOI. The focus is on assisting drug addicts, but then it is conflated with being a Church. So it is a ministry focused on a drug addiction but it becomes a Church. In areas where the church grows strongly addicts are just part of it but in Ireland it becomes clear that the Church is mostly made up of ex addicts. This tends to lead to an imbalance as I wrote earlier where there is a too limited type of membership. It is clear from talking to Paul Lloyd that they have managed to overcome that tendency in Manchester. So a lot of the critics are likely also raising this point even unconsciously.)

Use of exempt funds –Donated monies received are used only in accordance with the legally exempt purposes of the church and related entities, as are allowed by law and stated in the various governing documents.

Accounting practices and procedures –The church maintains its accounts on an in-house computer system using third-party produced software in a manner conforming to generally accepted accounting principles. Its accounting system operates under internal controls that are designed to safeguard the church’s assets and produce accurate and reliable accounting information. Examples of internal controls used include: a system for the authorization and approval of transactions and the separation of record-keeping and reporting duties from those concerned with operations or asset custody, and the physical control of assets. Daily and monthly reports are generated to ensure the integrity of the financial operating system.

Reviewed financial statements — Each year the church produces a financial statement that is reviewed by an independent Certified Public Accountant. Such annual review is issued only after the church’s president and treasurer issue a formal, written representation to the Certified Public Accountant that the organization has, in good faith, provided everything for which the Certified Public Accountant has asked, and that to the best of their knowledge, no irregular transactions have occurred, and no violations or possible violations of laws or regulations have occurred that should have been disclosed.

Board-level authorization and oversight – Members of the board of directors of Victory Outreach International are instructed in and understand their duties under the law, to use proper legal care in the exercise of their duties. Accordingly, the board approves annual budgets of the church, approves all major financial transactions before being executed, the church’s treasurer makes regular financial reports to the board, and each annual financial statement is presented to the board for its review.

Professional consultation –The church’s board and its officers retain both inside and outside, independent, legal and financial counsel, and in addition to close and continual consultation in the regular course of business, seek their opinion on special matters as prudence dictates. These opinions are noted in the minutes of the board meetings when appropriate.

Prohibition against inurement and conflicts – The title to all property and assets of the fellowship is held in the name of the entity, is irrevocably dedicated to its exempt purposes and will not inure to the benefit of any private party. In addition, any financial transaction involving any board member that may conceivably involve a financial conflict of interest is subjected beforehand to the scrutiny and advice of financial consultation, legal counsel, and to the various state or federal laws regarding such matters.

Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and state contribution regulations –The codes and rules of the Internal Revenue Service and of the State of California regarding the solicitation, acknowledgement or receipt of, accounting for and use of tax exempt funds are complied with carefully. For this reason, all charitable donations to the church are tax deductible. All tax or financial informational returns filed with any state or federal agency are reviewed and countersigned by an independent Certified Public Accountant before being issued.

Employee salaries — The fellowship provides its employees, including its paid ministers, fair and reasonable salaries as objectively measured by taking into consideration: The nature of the job, the person’s individual qualifications and merit, the training, education or experience required, the realities of the outside marketplace, the cost of living at the site of the job, the nonprofit nature of the organization, and the financial ability of the employer and other relevant factors.

(All the above can only apply to the the VOI as the procedures are those found in the USA.)

32 Responses

  1. It’s lies the place is corrupt and opens there arms to corrupt stuff my niece involved 5 yrs has been untreated Like a dog and I want jistice

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  2. In the document you sent me on page 75 VOI describes itself thus:

    Victory Outreach International®, an autonomous and independent religious corporation

    In their structure document each local church is referred to as

    an independent fellowship of churches with each local church having complete sovereignty and autonomy, also being both self-governing and self-supporting

    This is what I hope to hear back from Paul. How it can have sovereignty and yet be under licence and under regional control. The two concepts are logically incompatible. Also what are the protocols that govern areas outside the continental USA.

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  3. Also Anonymous I did not accuse you of anything. I merely quoted your own words. You have a tendency to distance yourself from points you have made. Apologies if I picked you up wrongly.

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  4. I am sorry you felt that way. You told me I did not understand. You then proceeded to exit. You made the assertion there is no connection between Christian ethics and business. When I challenge you claim you are victim?
    I looked through the Articles of Association for VOI. It is only effective in Continental USA. It has no reference to a sovereign? Also it has no legal relevance to Ireland.
    So what relevance does this have to Valdez I am not sure. Thank you again for your participation.

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  5. DI none of what I have told you is my view at all. Insulting me is an unprofessional response. Your website is supposed to be for watching cults, but you have insulted and blamed a victim who has come to your site. This is why more people who have been involved in cults do not come forward. You have gone from valid questions to accusations and yet still remain confused. I’m afraid my trust in you was incorrect.

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  6. By the way it was your view of business ethics I was questioning not VOI.

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  7. The view that Christianity and business can’t be connected was the last straw. I can see why you have gone missing. I will read up on Sovereignty on page 74. Bye……

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  8. After all of my attempts at explaining VOI’s business model, you seem to not be able to understand. It’s getting ridiculous now.

    1. Laws regarding charities
    2. Christian points of view

    Which one can you take to court?

    I think I’m done. Good luck with this.

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  9. Christian ethics have nothing to do with business? YOU MUST SEPARATE THE TWO. Explain how you come to this position? Adultery has nothing to do with Christian marriage would be an example of your logic. I am travelling at present could you spell out the meaning of page 74 in regard to sovereignty? Just look at the dictionary definition and commentary I published to see how sovereignity is to be understood. Thanks.

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  10. You do not understand the terminology. Please read the pdf document in my first post. It’s over 228 pages long. Details of this license agreement are on page 74. Christian ethics has nothing to do with business. You must separate the two. Until you understand this, you will not grasp the connection. Again, you must read the document first. The answers you seek are in the document.

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  11. I am receptive to your comments. I am just trying to get a clearer understanging of what you are saying.
    With respect I am still no wiser as to your understanding of a Sovereign. If VOI is asking Sovereigns to pay them they are in breach of their own constitution. Surely that is relevant to our Revenue and to your IRS?
    If your view is correct then for VOI to demand funds from Sovereign autonomous entities is serious issue. However, if Valdez is using addicts to raise cash for himself he is in breach of Christian ethics. He is abusing the most vulnerable in the name of Christ. If VOI is doing it the same applies. I am trying to get evidence to this effect. You have done us a service in outlining what you remember.

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  12. Sorry I misunderstood you.

    There is no other way to explain being sovereign and also attached any clearer. It’s by way of the license agreement.

    I am not a whistle blower. I am someone who was treated very poorly whilst part of VOI. I do not approve of their practices. I find their tactics questionable and feel their aim is to acquire wealth for themselves by squeezing every penny they can out of their members.

    I am not related or close to Valdez in any way. Members in VOI know each other from the many years of being together at conferences, meetings, celebrations, etc.nothing more.

    I don’t see Valdez as a Robin Hood. I see him as someone who has not let this abusive organization bully him and try to take what doesn’t belong to them. Is this in defense of him? no, it’s against VOI rather than for Valdez. On the other hand, if he has done criminal acts, then he will have the law to deal with.

    I have to say, for someone who is actually trying to GIVE you information, it doesn’t seem like you are very receptive.You can believe what I have said or not. That’s your choice.

    An anonymous post is just that. I don’t feel like I must explain myself as I am not part of this picture. It’s no wonder more people aren’t sharing their views in this matter.

    Perhaps I should have just watched by the sidelines than to offer my insights. Being a cult watch sight, you should see the signs when people are trying to tell you something.

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  13. Anonymous you are confusing my questions with this being my point of view. I am asking you if we take your views that VOI is a cultist entity? That is if we could prove your position. So how do we deal with the idea that each Church is sovereign? Also not doing something illegal is not the same for a Christian. It is a question of it being ethical or not.
    If you are a whistle blower can you report what you have seen?
    Also you claim you do not agree with Valdez yet you seem to treat him like Robin Hood and relativize his actions. Are you in fact closer to him than you are letting on? I understand you want to move on, but perhaps you could give us your opinion before you go.

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  14. Each church is autonomous in that they set up their org on their own. They can name it what they want at this point and remain totally autonomous. But because they were sent by VOI they must sign a license agreement to use the name Victory Outreach.

    This is where they go wrong. They are actually putting their new autonomous church under the authority of VOI.

    This blocks any liabilities from reaching VOI headquarters. But now
    this autonomous church must adhere to the rules of VOI to keep the name. Their extensive licensing agreement throws in the whole ball of wax regarding structure and payments. Each church is on their own when it comes to daily operations. However, they must make payments to VOI now.

    Andy realized he would be given the shaft at some point and planned ahead. He is the result of what type of organization VOI is and to what extent a person will go to escape with more than the clothes on his back. This is what I am trying to explain to you. Cultist rogue organization? Close, but they are not doing anything considered illegal in the States. Nothing that can be proved anyway.

    I think you are finally seeing my point.

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  15. Thanks for that further clarification. So if I understand you correctly what you are saying is that Valdez was operating according to VOI commands? So instead of being an autonomous, sovereign entity he stopped making the payments under the table and said what was sauce for the goose could be sauce for the gander. If I understand you you correct he is a rogue operative in a cultist rogue organisation? I feel you do seem to have a soft spot for Andy. Robin Hood etc?

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  16. As I said, I was not commenting to show evidence or proof of any wrong doing by Andy. Only an insight to VOI. Being anonymous, I can’t expect you to take my word for anything that I have said. If my comments have not been useful to you, please feel free to delete them. I don’t want to distract you from your research of VOD & VOI so I believe my posts have come to an end. Good luck on your endeavors.

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  17. Just to confirm what I wrote earlier. We preserve total anonymity, but in doing that can’t treat the evidence presented in that manner as proof. If you are happy to communicate with us privately we can then verify what you are saying.

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  18. Let me clarify my position. First, I appreciate you keeping my IP address and myself anonymous. I would not have written if I had thought I would be made public as I have no intention of being
    involved in this problem in Ireland.

    I do apologize if I seem too forward in my comments. I am trying to speak as direct as possible to give you as much information without mincing words. This may come off as blunt and I do apologize for that.

    My objective in commenting here was to give you an insight into the thinking process of VOI. It was from your site that I read about what was going on in Ireland, and from the Prime time documentary. I have followed your updates since then. And I assume VOI has been too.

    My objective was to give you additional information about VOI from a former insider’s point of view, not to supply evidence for or against Andy’s situation as I have said “not in defense of Andy” several times. I am merely pointing out the structure of VOI and their reasoning
    to try and help you understand what type of organization you are dealing with.

    I have known Andy since before he was sent to Ireland and Paul since he was in London years ago. So they are not new to me. As a matter of fact I’m torn between how I feel regarding Andy and my total
    disdain for VOI.

    As I was part of VOI for a very long time, I do understand what is going on. It’s difficult to explain to anyone that has not experienced VOI how they operate. Although their practices and tactics are despicable, there is nothing to accuse VOI of legally. So far anyway.

    Although there is nothing I have said that would give you tangible evidence to use in your research regarding Andy, I was hoping to shed some light on the workings of VOI for you.

    You are right in that I do not know all the facts in Andy’s case. But I do know what he was required to do financially in regards to sending money to the States to VOI because ALL VOI churches must do it. By not sending monies, a church would be removed from VOI.

    This is not an assertion, this is a bylaw of VOI. It should be listed in the
    pdf document in my first comment.

    I hope I have been some help to you as that was my intention.

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  19. anonymous

    Regarding cash being sent back to the States to VOI, there is no doubt that it was. All VO churches must send monies to VOI. It’s their business model.

    You are making assertions without evidence. I have intelligence to that effect, but that is not the same as evidence. You might have it from another location, let us have it.

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  20. Anonymous:

    It was only when they were cut off that they rushed to Ireland like a pack of wolves.

    You remember they have known since Dec last of the facts about Valdez siphoning off the and they tried to engage with Valdez until November of this year! So it was not a mad rush but from my perspective they acted very slowly.
    They should have sent in the two directors loyal to VOI to demand an EGM. The should have notified the Charity bodies, and sought local advice which was not compromised by involvement with the earlier regime.

    DI don’t be impressed or enamored that you were able to get a meeting with Paul

    We were not impressed or enamoured as you put it. As our name suggests we deal in dialogue. We are in ongoing discussions with Paul and not all of it is in the public domain. The reason we do so is unusually he has stepped forward and he has been open with us. The reason we are continuing the process of dialogue is to check out what he says and what other VOD or Cork have to say. We have concrete evidence that contradicts what we have been told. Generally most of the groups that we deal with send us legal threats, this has not been the case with Paul.

    He is only their naive spokesperson who may not have seen the dark side of VOI yet or has settled to remain regardless as his life is entwined in it.

    I believe you are like a person sitting in the court room who says there is no need for the judge to hear the evidence the guy is guilty. We believe in due process and will proceed based on evidence not on a predetermined ideology.

    Right now, they are just trying to keep a foot hold in Ireland so they have to appease you because you and your website are causing them trouble.

    It is nice of you to give us such power, but these are the facts. We put up a post in Dec 2012 but it got scant attention. The change came in Dec 2013 when Prime time published their documentary. If your position was accurate then we would have heard from VOI before now. We only got wind of this when Valdez was excommunicated. You may be correct, but it is not our role generally but the public media which will determine what view the public will take. Our role facilitates the media, but these reporters do very deep trawls and will not give VOD a clean bill of health unless they have strong evidence.

    You are clearly Anonymous someone who has reflected on this group and from your spelling and IP address not familiar with the Irish situation. Also because you are anonymous we can’t use your evidence in our research. By the way we welcome your comments and we protect the anonymity of those that comment here. People like Steve and Mick we can use as part of our evidence, though both are out of the loop for many years.

    Treating this situation as if you are dealing with just a rogue pastor who has sullied the name of a christian church and trying to get their “good name” back, clouds the real issue of who is Victory Outreach itself.

    I believe you misconstrued what I wrote earlier.

    I have been hearing for nearly 16 years that the problem was that cash was being sent back to VOI in the States.

    This exactly what you have been saying. Then I wrote as follows,

    Now the story is that Valdez was a rogue trader and he was taking the cash for his own use. What I have been hearing from you, Mick and now Anonymous is that whereas, in Dublin Valdez was the cat with the cream, in other locations these so called autonomous entities as Sovereigns were handing over the cash back to the mother ship?

    I was saying that this is the view Paul is putting forward not myself.

    It might be good to send me a word document which we will publish as a post on “United We Can.”

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  21. DI: “Paul Lloyd is the regional/European Elder/Overseer since Feb 2014. Valdez had the role before him so he could control the agenda pretty well.”

    Yes, I know.

    Regarding cash being sent back to the States to VOI, there is no doubt that it was. All VO churches must send monies to VOI. It’s their business model.

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  22. Yes I agree VOI certainly knew of Urban Outreach and was receiving money from it. It was only when they were cut off that they rushed to Ireland like a pack of wolves. If they were still receiving the money, or the fact that they were going to lose the venue for their money stream, namely a church in Ireland, they would not have bothered with any of this.

    DI don’t be impressed or enamored that you were able to get a meeting with Paul. They are leading you into a false sense of security. Not personally Paul as he does believe what he is telling you. He is only their naive spokesperson who may not have seen the dark side of VOI yet or has settled to remain regardless as his life is entwined in it. VOI by nature and it’s structure is a money making scheme. No matter what Paul tells you, that new church must, by definition be a source of income for VOI. This church will also be required to pay all the fees that Andy’s church had to pay but they won’t do this right away. VOI will probably support this church for a time and tell them not to fund raise for a while, because all eyes are watching them, but after a few years, this church will have to meet the demands of VOI.

    Right now, they are just trying to keep a foot hold in Ireland so they have to appease you because you and your website are causing them trouble.

    They are not going to let you be involved in the overseeing of operations or view finances of the new VO church. You are considered a watchdog and they have to be careful with what they tell you. Yeah Paul’s a nice guy, but there is a line in the sand which VOI will not let you cross. You just haven’t come to it yet. He too is paying these fees to VOI. The difference with Paul is that, his church seems to be made of mostly the community and he is probably not depending on the rehab homes to support the church like most of the VO churches do.

    You see VOI is not concerned with helping people. This is the illusion. There is a monetary value per person. The larger the church, the more money they receive and the more churches they have the more money they receive. It is a repeatable business model which is why all churches raise up people to become pastors to start new churches and the cycle begins again. They spend a lot of time working towards this goal. They take an underclass of people that no one cares about and turn them into loyal followers. Then they use that to throw it in their face every time they pick up an offering or make the rehab homes work as laborers. They tell them they should be grateful to VOI for saving them and grateful to Sonny. The people want to change their lives and yes they do, but only to be in servitude the rest of their lives to VOI. Once indoctrinated, they are blind to anything else other than the vision of VOI. VOI does not see themselves as a cult as what cult does?

    Treating this situation as if you are dealing with just a rogue pastor who has sullied the name of a christian church and trying to get their “good name” back, clouds the real issue of who is Victory Outreach itself.

    Not to mention the river of gold called United We Can. Did you know that mostly all VO members do not know who receives monies from United We Can? They are also not able to find this information out. That’s because it’s a very short list. I can almost guarantee that Paul doesn’t know either. VOI may put a nice name on it’s fundraising, but it’s just another way to separate the sheep from their money.

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  23. Anonymous:
    Paul Lloyd is the regional/European Elder/Overseer since Feb 2014. Valdez had the role before him so he could control the agenda pretty well.
    Thanks for the manual will give it some scrutiny when I hear back from VOI.

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  24. Thanks Steve for your further clarification.

    My gut feeling is that Valdez would have had to been given permission to set up Urban Outreach (most likely by the regional/European Elder) in the first place.

    He was that Regional figure until Paul took over in Feb of this year. This gave him a lot of power and he always told his members going to conferences to stay mum.

    As VOI will demand 100% loyalty to the organization. There must have been money going from Urban Outreach to VOI for them to allow Valdez to continue in the project, and use their students.

    It is clear that Valdez set up UO as the charitable vehicle, but it is also clear, that was the front. The cash coming in was not necessarily though all going through UO and it was according to my informants taken out a number of times a year by Valdez and other in legal amounts from a US perspective.From an Irish Revenue perspective the fact that all the money was not put through the books of UO could constitute fraud. Here is also another example of the ministry Church dichotomy. The cash came into the Church and as you noted in London there was no charitable vehicle to account for the offering and tithes brought into the VO Church. No I believe he kept the UO company ticking over. The Directors were merely notional and people like Martin Lynch who was tasked with setting up the company were never allowed to perform their role as directors. In my opinion VO should be in there challenging Valdez’s involvement with the company. They seem to now want to start a new company, which is to concede defeat without a fight.

    but money being sent to the states whilst the church itself was broke and in debt.

    This where this is getting a bit murky in Ireland. I have been hearing for nearly 16 years that the problem was that cash was being sent back to VOI in the States. Since the Prime Time documentary they want us to believe this never happens and can’t happen as each VO unit is autonomous and sovereign. The word autonomous is ambiguous but something that is sovereign is not.
    Now the story is that Valdez was a rogue trader and he was taking the cash for his own use. What I have been hearing from you, Mick and now Anonymous is that whereas, in Dublin Valdez was the cat with the cream, in other locations these so called autonomous entities as Sovereigns were handing over the cash back to the mother ship?

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  25. My gut feeling is that Valdez would have had to been given permission to set up Urban Outreach (most likely by the regional/European Elder) in the first place. As VOI will demand 100% loyalty to the organization. There must have been money going from Urban Outreach to VOI for them to allow Valdez to continue in the project, and use their students. I would have to agree with DI on the mater of Urban Outreach being set up for VOI, but not by VOI. Valdez cut them off at the bridge with that one. Similar happened in London, where we had two charity numbers, with no accounting, no boards of governors meeting, but money being sent to the states whilst the church itself was broke and in debt.

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  26. Regarding changing the church name from Victory Outreach to Freedom Church, it was not illegal for Andy to do that. That’s why VOI is not challenging that.

    Because the charity Urban Outreach was not called Victory Outreach, VOI has no legal claim to it or it’s funds. I don’t know why Andy used Urban Outreach instead of VO. It was actually a good strategic move on his part in that VOI usually tries to seize all monies and property when illegally trying to remove a pastor. They only have a right to tell him not to use their name anymore. So I would not consider it a rogue move, rather it protected him from VOI. You have to understand how ruthless VOI is when it comes to money and assets. Again, this is not in defense of Andy.

    As the head of Urban Outreach, he would have the right to allocate the funds, but account for it if/as required by Ireland law. This fund allocation could include his salary, parsonage, travel, business meals, entertainment etc. as all businesses can deduct this as an expense.

    I must add that leaving VOI should not be considered a rogue action. In my opinion, more churches should consider this. I think your concern is about to whom would Andy be accountable to, now that he is independent right? That would be the laws governing charitable orgs. and churches in Ireland.

    So, at this point the question is, has an actual crime been committed by Andy or not? Again, Ireland’s laws would dictate that. If only rules from VOI have been broken, then that is not crime.

    I have to say I don’t know all the details of this situation, only what has been posted. I am neither for nor against Andy in this matter, although I am glad he has left VOI and is out of the grips of a cultic natured group, despite his own actions. As for what the Irish people have had to go through dealing with the likes of any VO, it is a shame.

    Can you explain your evidence regarding cash being flown to the States?

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  27. So Meecha, Steve and Anonymous do you believe Valdez set up Urban Outreach for VO or was it a rogue org for his own enrichment? My evidence is the cash was kept liquid and flown over to the States. How would you guys read what I am seeing.

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  28. Let me also add, that according to this document, VOI is licensing it’s trademark name. There may be a difference in franchising and trademark licensing, but I use the word franchise to convey the idea of the structure of VOI. In the above paragraph I said VOI was a franchise. Let me clarify, I meant, it operates like a franchise.

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  29. Here is a document from 2008 regarding your question dialogueireland. As you will note, VOI is actually licensing their trademark/name. This is why pastors must obligate themselves to VOI. Like stated above, they are a franchise who have contractually obligated the pastors to paying many fees or losing their minister’s license and association with the church. In reality, the only thing that could be taken away from the pastor legally is the use of VOI’s trademark name. However, most pastors don’t read the contracts they sign and are not aware or understand that they are really autonomous. This is the brainwash manipulation that happens to everyone who is a ministry position. It starts from when they enter the church and continues until they are sent as pastors. By the time someone is a pastor, they have gone through years of this mental abuse and feeling like they owe everything to VOI. This is why when you speak to the members they talk about being faithful, loyal, the vision etc. This is taught in the rehab homes and always from the pulpit. VOI tells them that if it wasn’t for VOI and Pastor Sonny that they would still be on the streets doing drugs and that no other church would have accepted them.

    TRADEMARKS AND SERVICE MARKS
    Victory Outreach International has a variety of trademarks and service marks, registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. As such, Victory Outreach International has the right to exclusive use of such marks. From time to time, Victory Outreach international licenses the use of certain marks to the churches of the Christian denomination faith.

    Persons(s) nor business entity(ies) (e.g. corporations) do NOT have the right to use the Victory Outreach International logo or words —Victory Outreach“, without prior express approval from Victory Outreach International. Victory Outreach International grants such approval to use trademarks and service marks, registered to Victory Outreach International, where such use is granted from Victory Outreach International to a church of the Victory Outreach International, Christian denomination faith in the —Trademark License Agreement.“

    CORPORATE BUSINESS STRUCTURE
    Corporate Business Structure:
    There is no association, in terms of legal corporate business structure, between the churches of the Victory Outreach International faith and the Christian denomination, itself. Each church of the Victory Outreach International, Christian denomination faith, is an independent and autonomous corporation. Each church operates its business, independently.

    Christian Denomination Faith:
    A church of the Victory Outreach International, Christian denomination faith, is of the same faith as other churches of the Victory Outreach International, Christian denomination faith. The relation among the churches of the Victory Outreach International, Christian denomination faith and the Victory Outreach International, Christian denomination is that of theology and faith, only.

    VICTORY OUTREACH INTERNATIONAL CHRISTIAN DENOMINATON
    Victory Outreach International, Christian denomination, is an autonomous and independent, non-profit, religious corporation.
    Victory Outreach International, Christian denomination, faith: The churches of Victory Outreach International, Christian denomination faith, and the Victory Outreach International, Christian denomination are of the same faith — this is the common denominator among the churches and the Christian denomination.

    Legal Structure:
    There is no relationship, in terms of legal business structure, among Victory Outreach International, Christian denomination, and the churches of the Victory Outreach International, Christian denomination, faith.

    Victory Outreach International though independent legally, is spiritually a family that believes and has the same vision, and purpose of united we can do all things through Christ!
    (end of document)

    So what you have here, is a church VOI, that has found a way to act as a franchise without having to subject themselves to U.S. franchise laws by operating as a religious entity. Receiving all the monies and benefits of a franchise but not registered as a franchise. It’s a fine line, that may be difficult to prove they are breaking any laws. Perhaps morally though.

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  30. This is very good post. You have explained the structure very well, as it is very difficult to explain to an outsider the real on goings within VO. Paul is a lovely guy, but so was Brian Villalobos and many others. Sadly, they are victims of abuse themselves but will not admit it. Paul would lose everything if he came out of VO, whilst at the moment he has hundreds of pulpits open to him. Whilst planting VO Dublin in the early 90’s, we had to fast because we had no money, no food whilst still expecting to tithe to the mother church, pay the ministers licence and give back to ‘united we can’. Philip La Crue came over for a weekend and put up in a Hotel and ate whatever he wished whilst we shared a bag of chips between 3. I know this was a long time ago, but they have not changed, because Sony is still on the throne.

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  31. I am waiting for a reply to my question of how a national entity can be autonomous and sovereign yet be subject to VOI?

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  32. http://www.kerkrecht.nl/data/onderdelen/5299/Operational_and_Policy_Manual_2004.pdf

    This is an older manual but the policies have not changed much or at all. Today, there are fees that have to be paid to VOI by all affiliate churches. Fees are minister license fees to be paid monthly or face the loss of his minister’s license, United We Can fees paid by each church, pastor and all in ministry. They forced pastors to have the monies taken directly from their bank accounts with computers set up at world conferences for this. There is also rehab home fees per month per home, conference fees per church which ranges in the thousands especially world conference, tithes from each church plus the pastor has to pay his own 10% tithes on top. The list goes on and on with how much money a pastor and church has to give to the corporation. Although VOI claims that each church is autonomous, they are in control and will use intimidation to claim all properties of said autonomous church. In reality, Victory Outreach International is a franchise that licenses their names to their pastors at a great price. Inspite of all the accusations against Andy, he is actually right in not giving up his church, property or assets to Victory Outreach as they do not have a legal claim to them.

    This is not in defense of Andy, he is the product of the Victory Outreach International’s flawed system. Why after 25 years would he leave VOI? Because VOI has a brain washing intimidating grip on it’s pastor’s and they all feel threatened of losing their position. It takes a lot of suffering at the hands of VOI for a pastor such as Andy to leave the Outreach. The only reason VOI is trying to keep a church in Ireland is because it’s a cash cow for them as they try to keep a foothold in Europe. Had this all not blown up in their face in public, they would not have done anything as long as they were getting all the monies I listed above.

    Exactly who did they send to take over the church? People who are also followers of Sonny who he can control, from his church. It may seem like things will be alright for the “new vo church” but you will be getting more of the same but because these new pastors are still green, they will behave for a while. Don’t think for a moment Sonny didn’t know about all that was going on until now. They always use that as an excuse that he didn’t know what was happening.

    Paul is a good guy and means well. But don’t forget, he is also part of victory outreach international and as such is under their control too. They are just trying to save their own skin. They demand loyalty to Sonny and VOI, giving nothing in return. Ask any pastor what has the corporation done for them? The answer is nothing. They don’t help the pastors with anything at all, they only squeeze them for fees. They will throw out any pastor to keep the machine of the outreach running.

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