Re: Richmond Outreach Center
Posted by: Sparky ()
Date: November 16, 2008 12:08AM

FreeAtLast and sawthelight,

rrmoderator brings up a very valid point. You two have been active members of SetFree and ROC. Are there free and fair elections of the BOD? Does the by-laws allow for removal of Pastor G and his (soon to be incarcerated) father?

sawthelight, you basically said that Geronimo laughs in the faces of anyone questioning him and said the church's own website states that the scripture is up to the personal interpretation of the pastor(!!!Yowzer! Danger, Will Robinson!).

I take it there is not, to your knowledge, a clear set of financial records showing where the money goes from your answers.

This certainly has all the markings of an abusive church and the very real possiblity that it is bordering on becoming a true cult. (Throw TBN and the sinsiter Crouchs' into the mix being that they partnered with dear ol' dad (the attempted murderer) and I can clearly judge this as "No thanks" and take my butt to a real christian church (if I am so minded).

Re: Richmond Outreach Center
Posted by: sawthelight ()
Date: November 16, 2008 03:34AM

Bingo - I have never seen a "true" financial ledger that lists where all the money that comes in goes - also, the pastor is the board - no one can remove him, he answers to no one - and he will tell you that - he states in his messages, if you don't like what is going on here, there is the door. kind of scary -

Re: Richmond Outreach Center
Posted by: Sparky ()
Date: November 16, 2008 09:33AM

sawthelight, here are Rick Ross' own description of "cult warning signs". Do any or all of these apply to your experience at ROC? People on this forum would find your insight to be especially enlightening and useful!

Ten warning signs of a potentially unsafe group/leader.

1.) Absolute authoritarianism without meaningful accountability.

2.) No tolerance for questions or critical inquiry.

3.) No meaningful financial disclosure regarding budget, expenses such as an independently audited financial statement.

4.) Unreasonable fear about the outside world, such as impending catastrophe, evil conspiracies and persecutions.

5.) There is no legitimate reason to leave, former followers are always wrong in leaving, negative or even evil.

6.) Former members often relate the same stories of abuse and reflect a similar pattern of grievances.

7.) There are records, books, news articles, or television programs that document the abuses of the group/leader.

8.) Followers feel they can never be "good enough".

9.) The group/leader is always right.

10.) The group/leader is the exclusive means of knowing "truth" or receiving validation, no other process of discovery is really acceptable or credible.

Re: Richmond Outreach Center
Posted by: Sparky ()
Date: November 16, 2008 09:40AM

sawthelight, sorry about calling that "cult warning signs" since that was "warning signs of a potentially unsafe leader /group". Here are other signs that are from members in said unsafe groups....did these apply to you (prior to your escape?).

Ten warning signs regarding people involved in/with a potentially unsafe group/leader.

1.) Extreme obsessiveness regarding the group/leader resulting in the exclusion of almost every practical consideration.

2.) Individual identity, the group, the leader and/or God as distinct and separate categories of existence become increasingly blurred. Instead, in the follower's mind these identities become substantially and increasingly fused--as that person's involvement with the group/leader continues and deepens.

3.) Whenever the group/leader is criticized or questioned it is characterized as "persecution".

4.) Uncharacteristically stilted and seemingly programmed conversation and mannerisms, cloning of the group/leader in personal behavior.

5.) Dependency upon the group/leader for problem solving, solutions, and definitions without meaningful reflective thought. A seeming inability to think independently or analyze situations without group/leader involvement.

6.) Hyperactivity centered on the group/leader agenda, which seems to supercede any personal goals or individual interests.

7.) A dramatic loss of spontaneity and sense of humor.

8.) Increasing isolation from family and old friends unless they demonstrate an interest in the group/leader.

9.) Anything the group/leader does can be justified no matter how harsh or harmful.

10.) Former followers are at best-considered negative or worse evil and under bad influences. They can not be trusted and personal contact is avoided.

Re: Richmond Outreach Center
Posted by: sawthelight ()
Date: November 17, 2008 04:27AM

Let's see. I will address those that apply that I can think right off the bat:
1. Absolute authoritarnism: Number one on the list - he answers to no one!!!! He decides the fate of anyone there. There is a deacon team - that's a joke - they are hand picked and generally are those that see him as all knowing to begin with. They are not voted on, etc., no training - same as how he makes some people pastors as well - no training

2. No tolerance for questions if it goes against what he preaches - if you see something that the bible states and call it to his attention, he twists it to support whatever his belief is. Unless you believe exactly what he preaches, he tells you to hit the door. There's a year of sermons on "What the ROC believes" (from tattoos to reading only the King James Bible)

3.. definitely no meaningful disclosure of any financial statements - that's a joke. We never saw one in five years.

4. We will be persecuted if we don't believe what the roc believes.

5. There truly is no legitimate reason to leave (so they believe) and any one that leaves is banished - people are told not to talk to those that have left, they are bad seeds, heretics., - they were never strong enough in their faith - they listened to gossip, etc., etc., (the roc is your family and that's all you need)

6. It doesn't matter what the bible says, if he says it, it's the gospel. Told someone to look up scripture and comment was "Well the pastor says this......"

7. Extreme obsessiveness with the leader - he is worshipped - the roc did this, the Roc saved me,.........In one sermon he referred to God as Big G and he as little g

8. There are favorites, (he calls it "love covers a multitude of sins) if you're one of the "innies" you can pretty much do what you want, date who you want, be alone with whomever you want, etc. If you are an outtie - you have to seek permission for everything etc., - told who you can date, you can't date unsupervised (This is stressed in the sermons but doesn't require his closest circle to abide by these rules)

This is just a few of the things that come to mind

he wasn't like this in the beginning, unless he had everyone fooled which is possible

Re: Richmond Outreach Center
Posted by: googlebug ()
Date: November 19, 2008 08:26AM

The Roc is a joke. People think that its this awesome place well just wait until you get involved and your eyes are opened to what is really going on. First of all, you cant question anything at the ROC. If you have a question on a belief or anything else that goes on you had better just leave or else you will be ridiculed and looked down on by everyone there including the oh so holy leadership. They believe that their doctrine is right and anyone else who believes differently is doomed to hell. Im pretty sure it is the other way around. They go out soulwinning and tell people that as long as they say a prayer that they are going to heaven when the Bible clearly states that you have to turn from your wicked ways and live a life resembling to that of Christ Jesus. Second, unless you are in with the pastor you are pretty much screwed. If you are in with the pastor you get nice clothes, gas in your car, your insurance paid for, your cell phone paid for, your car payment paid for, basically everything you can think of and you get a paycheck. Just ask Geronimo's assistant Jammie. If you are not in with the pastor you can pretty much guarantee that you will be living off of 50 dollars a week for the rest of your life while the pastor drives nice cars and lives in a million dollar home and it is obvious that him, his family, and his "300" are definitely not hurting in any aspect. His assistants walk around in the most expensive clothes around as well as his wife Samantha. Third, they take up offerings every week but yet the church still has no money.. sounds a little interesting to me. o wait maybe the church does not have money because one of the assistant pastors steals it to buy drugs for himself and put gas in his little golf cart. Oh and did I mention that there are different rules for different people. Like certain people have to get permission every time they go out with someone of the opposite sex yet others who the pastor knows are openly fornicating are allowed to do whatever they want. The drugs are rampant through the church. People fornicate on a daily basis. One of the assistant pastors has crushes on 20 year old girls. The other assistant pastor has girls over his house from his youth group until 6 in the morning while his wife is in bed. The sad thing is Geronimo knows about all of this and does not do anything about it. People know that they can mess up over and over and over again and never repent of their sin and they will have no type of consequence or remorse so they continue to do it. I personally think that the ROC is a place for people who just openly want to sin and get away with it. They are so brainwashed into thinking that whatever they do does not matter because God forgives. God does forgive but the Bible also says "You praise me with your lips, but your heart is far from me." People at the ROC praise God with their mouth but their actions show that their heart is far from God. The ROC brainwashes people into thinking that as long as you serve God as far as working at the church then you are all set. WRONG. Its all about loving God with our whole heart and doing everything we can to live a life pleasing unto Him. I pray that God opens the eyes at everyone at the ROC to truly see what is going on there. That place is full of deception, drugs, lies, sex, and anything else that is not pleasing to God. I pray that God will convict you in your hearts of what is going on that is not right. But just be aware that once you leave you will have no friends from that place and everyone will be told to not talk to you or have anything to do with you. Trust me there is only one family from that church that continues to talk to me. You will be excommunicated from the church and when they see you out in public they will walk right past you and act like they never knew you. That really shows the love of Christ. Why would you want to be at a place like that?

Re: Richmond Outreach Center
Posted by: googlebug ()
Date: November 19, 2008 08:29AM

I forgot to add that he ordained a guy who was starting a ROC in Petersburg, VA. He ordained this man 2 days before the churches first service. Thats a smart thing right there.

Re: Richmond Outreach Center
Posted by: googlebug ()
Date: November 19, 2008 11:38AM

The ROC thinks they are helping people when all it is is deception and lies. You dont know where your money is but more importantly you dont know the truth

Re: Richmond Outreach Center
Posted by: Amyzing ()
Date: November 20, 2008 12:11PM

I go to the ROC quite often and I can testify that the ROC is most definietly not a cult. No where near it. Pastor G always makes it a point that it is the LORDS work and not his. The Lord calls His people to share God's word and that is simply what that church is about. They reach out to the homeless. Richmond OUTREACH center!!!!!! The ROC has over 130 OUTREACH ministries. G is devoted to Jesus Christ 24/7. The ROC church will NEVER be named "set free." In fact the new church building is going to be opening in a few days and it's called the BIG HOUSE, always has been, always will be. For you guys saying that he lives in a million dollar home and has a bike and doesnt help anybody that is COMPLETELY False!!!! Pastor G has homes for the homeless, more than I can count. He has homeless people living in his own home. Many people have nice things, why is it such a big deal that a pastor does?? Is he not allowed to have anything for himself?? I know for a fact that if someone needed help, even a stranger, Pastor G would do anything he could to help them. Also, if you have a problem with G he would NOT dismiss you like it's nothing. Every time I approach him he is as nice as can be. How many years ago did he move here with Sammy?? He's 38 now and she is 30, big deal. NOBODY IS PERFECT!!!!!! Look at how much he is blessed with, he is obviously doing something right. So everything that you guys have said about the ROC is very much false. It's not your grandma's church and if you are closed minded about music and think it should be just hymns and suits and sunday dresses then your not gonna like it but it definietly does NOT mean it's a cult. It's FUN. Once you go, you'll find yourself wanting to go back for more!!!! GOD BLESS!!! LIVE LIFE FOR GOD!

Re: Richmond Outreach Center
Posted by: FreeAtLast ()
Date: November 21, 2008 05:51AM


I feel a kinship to you that you, of course, won't reciprocate. I was exactly where you are now in my blind and loving faith in my leader. I can recall saying those same supports for him and Phil in Anaheim. I don't fault you for such devotion. Also, I don't think faith in God is a bad thing. I also believe that, yes, God will be doing things within that church because he IS everywhere. What I'm pointing out is that Set Free and Phil, his father is where Geronimo is from. But not just to say that he is 'of course' like his father only because he is the son... no, I'm saying that I knew Geronimo in Anaheim and he WAS like his father. He learned from his father. And I've been speaking now for some time with people involved in the ROC and watching all of the media and web coverage of his church's activities and can clearly see the pattern repeating itself.

I agree with you that there will be a multitude of homeless and addicted souls brought in and 'cared' for by this church. But what you aren't ready to see is that ALSO much corruption is there. The two things are not mutually exclusive. Both things can be true at the same time of the same place. Please read back on the signs of a cult and warning signs of being involved with a dangerous leader. They all apply to the ROC's form of leadership. Also, the moderator asks many cogent questions. There is no reason to get angry if simple questions are asked of the leadership, finances and doings of leaders. If they were easily answered and defended no-one would need to get defensive or angry. Remember, that your faith is in GOD and not Geronimo. You need but defend GOD to others. Geronimo can take care of himself.

Whatever you think about Geronimo and Sammy B (Samantha, now) the simple truth, supported many times over by a myriad of articles I've posted throughout here and other Set FRee posts clearly identify their ages and the absolute truth of the origins of their relationship are that Geronimo was 21 and Sammy B was 14 when they first started having sex and getting involved. This was in Anaheim when he and Sammy were on the "Posse" dancing and singing 'converted' songs. They gained much popularity by taking current hip hop and rock hits and changing the lyrics to 'godly' ones. He was married at that time to Stacee, a friend of mine. They had little gorgeous children. He had her, Stacee, sent off to the ranches to both get her out of the picture and as punishment. That's the truth. That's something Geronimo did. N

Earlier someone suggested that some people here have no sympathy for past wrongdoings. No, to the contrary for me. I believe we all have ample opportunity to come from horrible doings on our parts and turn around and make a new life for ourselves. I believe in 2nd and 3rd and 4th chances. I am merely watching and recording what are the current activities and asking questions I feel need to be asked, as are several other people in this discussion. What I point out is the PATTERN of Geronimo's behavior and his church's by extension. I relate his past doings to ensure that people here see the history and pattern and ask them to look and determine for themselves if they too see this disturbing pattern. If it were not still being perpetuated no-one would have anything to say about the ROC's leadership or Geronimo. But, you'll note that several brave persons have posted here sharing their knowledge of things going on RIGHT NOW at the church and its ranches.

I ask you and Yhall to merely remember that your faith is in God and no-one here wants to shake or shatter that. Also, no-one wants you to go through what I and others have gone through. We merely see it coming to the Roc and offer open, caring discussion about what has happened to us, and about what is happening there now. We encourage you to ask your own questions, maintain your faith, and decide for yourselves. There is no need to be angry or upset. I certainly don't personally attack you. I consider you brothers or sisters in God.

Oh By the way. SPARKY... no, there is not ever an open election of leadership at Set Free, nor has there been.

Also, another bit of my story at Set Free that I've not included before related to all of the sexually inappropriate behavior that went on there. Sharing this, I hope, can demonstrate how completely innocent of the wrongdoings of others one can be and still rub shoulders with them in the same church...

During my years of service at Set Free I remained free of the corruption of the core. I, like Yhall and Amyzing above felt that the church and even the leaders were all so innocent and just 'sinners' struggling daily like myself. I was unable to put the pattern together. I would see incidents as being isolated 'slips' rather than a routine of the workings of the church. On quite a few occasions I was propositioned, sweetly or even bluntly, to have sex with leaders in the church and guys in the various Posse and biker groups in our church. In fact, two separate couples who were deacons in the church befriended me and spent months doing what I can now only recognize as courting me. I felt so warm and happy wrapped in their friendship that in both instances I was shocked silly when they propositioned me to have a threesome with them. That's what I said, two separate couples (deacons and closer than you could imagine to Phil) propositioned me for a threesome. Beside them, lots of other guys in the posse, in the biker group Phil and Geronimo were part of propositioned me to have sex with them. These weren't simply newbies in Christ who had 'just come to God.' These were leaders in the church. Closest to the pastor. The various propositions kept coming over a few years. I, each time, turned them down and in my innocence thought that the person or persons were merely 'struggling' and 'needed prayer.' God, how naive I was. Even though it was coming from the leadership and kept coming over and over again I never saw it for what it was. I never saw the pattern. I would have defended them to you if you accused them to me! That's how much I believed! I even lived with one of those couples and just prayed for them. ahahaa I swear I was so darned gullible I should have been declared legally retarded at the time. I can laugh and make light of it now but it was really a bad situation. God was even using those incidents to try to show me the truth of what was going on around me. And, yes, God was good enough to protect me and insulate me from it and allowed me to keep my innocence, if not overly naive.

I keep hearing about the sexual escapades of Geronimo and his leaders and of the rampant drugs and now theft of church funds. I am prayerful and concerned. But, I KNOW with certainty that there will be many in the church, like myself, who remain innocent and completely untouched by these wrongdoings and corruption. Of course. Please understand that I differentiate those things and know that many people will be at the ROC for the right reasons and good things will spring forth. But the leadership is corrupt and many questions need to be asked.

So, please don't take the questions asked here and personal accounts shared here as attacks against God or claims that no good at all cannot exist at the ROC. I hope my story shared that much.

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