Last December Dialogue Ireland entered into discussions with Victory Outreach in regard to the failures of governance in regard to their agent Andy Valdez who went rogue and refused to address the serious charges leveled against him. These were clearly outlined in an RTE Prime Time documentary which can be found with a number of other articles on our blog.
We tried over a number of months to engage with the representative of VO Paul Lloyd who has responsibility for Ireland but who was based in Manchester in regard to these issues.
It became clear that they view themselves as unique and that they do not cooperate with others doing similar work. They nearly give off the idea that they are the only Christians in the way they go about their activities. They have the view that they are God’s anointed and proceeded to act alone and in ways totally similar to what was going on before.
Some leaders who were involved in VO and who were compromised by their involvement with Valdez jumped ship but were still obviously involved in the same style of ministry.
Freedom Ministries began to operate all around the country and people did not know which group was ok or which one was involved with deceitful practices. Because the revived VO did its own thing we had no influence and our report was ignored.
Also we clearly suggested that working from a base in the north inner city moving to Rathdrum was not a good idea. Why? Because there already was a work in the area and people would get confused as to who was who. In fact Tiglin tries to operate within ways which make use of medical and psychological services. Furthermore they have a strict regime to allow the addicts to make a break from their former lives. They do not go near those places associated with their addictions.
We advised VO in the strongest terms that going to Rathdrum was not helpful and would add to the level of confusion. Reality might now be forcing them to follow our advice.
DI began to get calls from the public thinking we were VO because we have the most prominent information about them on our blog. It became clear that VO is currently very attractive to vulnerable addicts as they have no demands or structures in place. So desperate parents think sending them to VO is better than them being in the gutter. However, their totally one sided methodology means in the Irish culture the person is overwhelmed and the boundaries are not very clear. They may not be bringing people into pubs or fundraising under false pretenses or getting the addicts to hand over their social welfare, but we believe this bull in the china shop approach will end in tears. A few months ago a social worker asked me for a telephone number for the Rathdrum House as they had a person who was very sick and needed to go into hospital and needed to get his stuff. She could find no contact details anywhere.
VO is not an organisation with an accountable head, but rather there are no real ways to challenge the centre. So we found Paul unable to address any concerns in reality.
We noted the Wicklow News report about concerns about the facility being close to schools but believe that VO is bound for Cabinteely. We have no evidence as yet, but only intelligence but we would suggest that the public send us reports which we will publish.
Evidence of inappropriate fundraising keep coming in, however, make sure it is not Freedom Ministries who specialise in Cup Cake sales. We are not sure how VO pays for its work if they are not doing what was done before?
Filed under: Victory Outreach |