Yeah, Geronimo and Phil both have told numerous stories about this. What you must realize is that they both are masters (Geronimo learned from his father) at self promotion and propaganda (shamelessly so). They want to weave stories that make sure people see them as having lived a truly hardened life and have come to Christ under the most outrageously amazing circumstances. In fact, Phil has, for years, painted himself as some former hardass, badass to all the bikers he loves to court (like he's a 16 year old girl with a crush!). The truth is that yes, he, Phil, was a heroin addict (briefly) and an alcoholic. The truth is also that he was in prison for child abuse charges... one of those being the naughty naughty kind, one of them being the downright aweful beating type of a wee little kid of his then girlfriend. He was more a weasely little addict, child-abusing butthead. In fact, his "jailhouse conversion" was probably the thing that saved his life in prison because cons don't take kindly to child abusers. If you keep in mind that of all the stories that Geronimo has given for his conversion and his meeting with his father... we may not necessarily have the REAL story in any of them... but the story that seemed most possible (when he was still back here in Anaheim, California) was that he finally was sought out by his dad (Phil). Yes, the people in the stories are correct (there was a secretary, Lois Trader and a right-hand-man named Ranch with Phil and Set Free at that time) but the whole "I walked into this stranger's church and SURPRISE he's my father" story was not a big one here so I don't believe it.
If you search the varied articles about Phil Aguilar, Set Free and Geronimo (with a G) Aguilar and the Roc as well as read "Churches That Abuse" by Ronald M. Enroth. He, along with PRC(?) group helped so many of us sort-of deprogram and carefully and clinically examine all of the doctrine that was taught to us from Set Free (and Phil) and to talk openly about the corrupt things happening with the leadership of the church that we experienced and saw. Those meetings, which went on for something like a couple of months, were so helpful...no, crucial, to recovery from the cult-like hold/practices and doctrines we'd been force fed from the church. It took me and many others some time to weed through all those experiences and doctrines to determine what of it had been God and what had been corrupt man. It took a much longer time to come to recognize (in that church, and in others) the practices and policies of cults and charismatic leader-led churches. Nowadays, I feel more equipped to recognize those early signs and typically have the strength to avoid them. I find my relationship with God is a more intimate (personal) one for me and I refused to allow my relationship with god be goalee'd by any individual. I now also shy away from strongly organized churches or organizations (lots of 'em). Ok, enough of the ranting....
Ok, so if you or anyone you know are members of the ROC please keep repeating and asking these questions:
1. How old was Sammy B and he when they started their affair while he was still married to Stacee in 1991? He was 21 and she was FOURTEEN! He's never seen a day in jail for that statutory rape!
2. Why would a pastor, called by God to minister to others, leave his young wife and children for a young girl and essentially abandon Stacee to 'The ranches' or work homes? Why wouldn't a pastor (struggling with his life like the rest of us) not go through counseling and try to work out the marriage? Is marriage not a Godly sanctioned union that should be approached with the mindset of people willing to struggle, strive toward and work together even during hardships?
3. What is a church doing with 'recovery homes' or 'discipleship homes' as they often like to call them without any licensed medical personnel or licensed psychological personnel? What if one single addict had some sort of breakdown, psychotic break, became violent or suicidal or had a major physical reaction to withdrawals? Someone could be harmed or even die.
4. What type of homes, cars and accessories (clothes, toys, etc) do the pastor (Geronimo) and other leaders in the church roll with? Are they expensive?
5. If so, are any of them gainfully employed and able to afford such expensive items while the remainder of the church body are lower and middle class and living month to month? (that was always true of our church, Set Free)
6. Is your pastor legally divorced from Stacee? Is he paying alimony and child support?
7. How are people treated in the church if they ask questions about the church and the leadership and the money? Are they rebuffed? Are they treated like 'backsliders' or 'Judas' or even ostracized from fellow friends and family in the church as punishment until they "Get right with God"? (That was my favorite one that Phil always used. He'd make it sound like he was a loving dude and cared for those who were currently 'struggling' and 'backsliding' and even encourage the congregation to pray for their backsliding/struggling brother or sister in the lord. What he was essentially doing, though, was outting someone and putting a flashlight on that person or persons to say "Hey, don't hang out with this person. They aren't with the program." Yeah, Phil loved saying "Get yourself right with God." and "Get with the Program" But those were always recriminations to get right with HIS (Phil's) agenda. Does Geronimo do similar things? Does he encourage this "300" soldiers and create a feeling of inclusion for those people who blindly follow his leadership and make others who 'aren't with the program' or who are 'not his 300' feel ostracized and like backsliders? That is a CLASSIC cult practice. Make people first feel like they are included into a special group. Make them feel part of the group and loved. That is how cults buy their support from people. It's easy. We ALL want to be included, we ALL want to be loved. We are human and need this. It is part of our DNA. Then, when we are supplicated and happy and complacently within the group cult leaders then feel free to continually get more and more relaxed in their outrageous demands or actions or words. When the first mumbles and grumblings arise against their behavior the cult leader starts to threaten the members' inclusion with the group. They ostracize them temporarily to make them again feel outside of a group and not accepted or loved. For most people that works. That makes them shut up and come back, tail between the legs, begging to be part of the group again. To rejoin the euphoria. If you get close enough to the leaders the thing you will find, and this was ALWAYS the case with SEt Free and Phil and Geronimo, that their sexual escapades were outrageous!
Phil slept with so many of the girls in the church it was ridiculous! He paid for the abortion of one of my friends, who was sleeping with him when she was only 19! Geronimo slept with the girls in "the posse" including and finally with Sammy B. I'd have a REALLY HARD TIME believing he isn't doing it still in Richmond. Watch who he hangs out with. How often is he alone with girls or women (don't pay attention to their ages or if they are married as that never bothered him or his dad).
Also, there was one night in Anaheim when we were told that one of our church's leadership o.d.'d in our chapel on Heroin.
Oh, I could go on but I have to sign off for the moment. so I'll continue in additional post with some more questions to examine at THE ROC.
Thanks for your input, I still would like to know it the pastor of the Roc met his father in a park in CA where he was playing basketball, or he meet him in a little church all stung out on drugs and ready to take his life.
The book explains that He(his father) was told where his son was and the secretary of Set Free was being the go between the two. He lived with his Jews Grandparents after his Mother past away.He was of the age of 15 at the time, when they met so the book says.And not knowing the Lord at this time.
What do you know about his life after his Mother pasted away and how he met his father?
The testimony that is being told is do different ,then what the books says.This is what brings so many people to the Roc and the support of other Churches.
Have you read the book Christianitys Executioner?