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Re: Set Free and Phil Aguilar and Sandra Aguiliar
Posted by: XLionheartX ()
Date: August 10, 2008 12:28PM

Here'e a good story: Please note Sandra Aguilar's Statement at the end.

5 Christian bikers accused of weapons and gang crimes
Orange County prosecutors scale back charges against the Set Free Soldiers in a Newport Beach bar brawl with members of the Hells Angels, one of whom faces a weapons charge.
By Tony Barboza, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
August 9, 2008
Five members of a Christian motorcycle gang were charged Friday with a variety of felony weapons and gang crimes after high-profile raids this week targeting the Anaheim-based group.

The charges marked a retreat from Wednesday, when authorities arrested seven members of the Set Free Soldiers, including founder and pastor Phillip Aguilar, on charges of conspiracy to commit murder. An eighth member was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder.

The charges were in connection with a double stabbing during a bar brawl with the Hells Angels late last month.

On Friday, the Orange County district attorney's filed just one attempted murder charge, against Jose Quinones, 42, and charged Glenn Schoeman, 56, with being an accessory after the fact. They were being held on $1-million and $100,000 bail, respectively.

Aguilar, 60, the group's leader and pastor; his 29-year-old son, Matthew Aguilar; and Michael Timanus Jr., 29, face felony charges of illegal weapons possession.

They were expected to post bail, which was set at $50,000 each, according to their attorneys.

Phillip and Matthew Aguilar also were charged with possessing brass knuckles.

All five were accused of street terrorism for being part of a criminal street gang.

One Hells Angel member, John Lloyd, 41, also was charged with having a loaded firearm in a vehicle.

Additional charges may be filed, said Deputy District Atty. Erik Petersen, adding that the Set Free Soldiers are a violent street gang because "they carry on a pattern of criminal gang activity."

Set Free members say they are a Christian ministry that helps rehabilitate ex-convicts and recovering drug addicts. But authorities maintain that they are an outlaw motorcycle gang.

In Wednesday's raids in Anaheim, Costa Mesa, Rancho Santa Margarita and Norco, more than 150 police, SWAT teams and federal agents arrested eight Set Free Soldiers and three Hells Angels.

The raids included four homes that Aguilar owns in the 300 block of South Archer Street in Anaheim, where authorities found multiple firearms.

The arrests followed a July 27 fight between Set Free members and Hells Angels at a Newport Beach bar.

Police said Set Free members stabbed two Hells Angels and one Hells Angel struck a Set Free member in the head with a pool ball.

Attorneys on both sides said the case will hinge on a surveillance video taken of the brawl.

Sandra Aguilar, Phillip Aguilar's wife, said after the court hearing that the group had been unfairly targeted by police, who she said terrorized the group's children and grandchildren during the raids and "turned our homes upside down."

"They cannot believe that we're Christians because we have tattoos and ride motorcycles," she said. "It's sheep in wolf's clothing."

Sandra Aguilar is just as dangerous as Phil is. She is also an accessory to the abuse and lawlessnes too.

side note:
Phil would get justice from the courts, but from the Hells Angels he will receive revenge. It is also sad that once again, other people are picking up the tab for phil. It's definately not over yet.


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Re: Set Free and Phil Aguilar and Sandra Aguiliar
Posted by: FreeAtLast ()
Date: August 10, 2008 12:54PM

To add another note to this, Phil faces felony charges of "felon in possession of firearms" and illegally non-permitted/registered firearms and another charge having something to do with promoting gang activity or something or other. But the key thing to note is that Phil Aguilar is already a 2-time loser (2 felony charges already) in the state of California. And since we still hold a 3-strike rule if he's convicted of even one of these felony charges he will be in prison permanently now.

You know Jeff Seymour has been routinely on websites advocating for Phil. On the OC Register site with the article I listed there are discussion boards for people to comment. Well someone in the chat continually referred to Phil Aguilar as "chief" which I know insiders often use in reference to him. So, finally someone asked the question "why is he being called chief?" At this point Jeff Seymour chimed in with this:

"This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief .“—I Tim. 1:15.

so..... according to Jeff we are to liken Phil to Jesus and call him chief also, eh?

not any form of Christianity that I'd want to belong to... worshipping a mere human.

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Re: Set Free and Phil Aguilar
Posted by: seymour ()
Date: August 12, 2008 04:20AM

I was involved with Set Free for a few years. I was not involved with phil's church and I asked why phil and his church never came to the events in the inland empire and was told that they were separate from our church's. This was more than 8 years ago. I can say that through set free I found the lord and have been off of heroin for the last 8 years, but I can also say that they make you feel like if you leave there program or church that you are doomed for failer. I can see that if someone is not a self thinker or does not question authority they can become kind of stuck in a place were they might not advance any farther than just getting sober. I can say that I believe that there are people that have been hurt by set free, but on the other hand I can say that there is someone that has been hurt by every church out there. I think that the actions that phil and his church display and the story's I have heard make this man and his church very unstable and very dangerous. Cult? sounds pretty spot on to me, but to lump all set free's in that category might be a little too far, or maybe not. I left probably 7 years ago. It took me awhile to go to another church because of some of the crap that went on in that church I went to. There are no perfect churches so I understand that if I look for the perfect church I will always be disappointed. I really feel for any one who gets abused in the name of god it makes me so sick. I believe that god will bring down or bring to light all corruption in his time. I used to tell people about set free and there program because through it I found the lord and I am truly a success story, but now I will recommend another program. Just think, the world lumps all christians in one category because of the phil agulars and TBN and other freaks and never wants to see the 90% who do christ's work. There program could do so much more and has so much potential that it makes me sad. Just my 2 cents.

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Re: Set Free and Phil Aguilar and Sandra Aguiliar
Posted by: Bereanslady ()
Date: August 18, 2008 02:44AM

Just wanted to point out that in 1 Timothy Paul is talking to Timothy and explaining that just as laws are made for the evil doers and law breakers as opposed to the people who are just, so has Jesus come for the sinners. as opposed to the righteous. In 1 Tim 1:15-(the passage you were pointed to in asking why Phil is called Chief) Paul is talking about himself, not Jesus. Paul is stating that he is the chief of the sinners that Christ has come back to save. He is not referring to Jesus as the Chief, but himself as the chief. Kinda humble for him to throw himself on the top of the sinners of his time, like I think Phil did when he first started Set Free aith Servants For Christ. Not that I am defending Phil-I believe he has strayed from where he was in the beginning. I agree with some of the comments stating that ALOT of people have been saved and turned their lives around following the Set Free viewpoints. But it is to an individual to grow, maintain and cherish their relationship with God, not to follow another and try to ride their way into Heaven on someone else's teaching. Pastor is all of us it is up to us to grow our relationship with God. To designate Phil as Pastor-or anyone-and give him the title just shows man that he is capable of speaking in front of other's and sharing what the Word means to him and applies to his lifestyle. Anyone can find stuff in the bible to justify almost anything-murder,, stealing, adultry or what not. A true follower studies the word for themself and discerns God's true intent. Read the word-decipher it and try to be true to it in today's world.

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Phil Aguilar, Sandra, Chill (Phil Jr.), Hebrew, and M.J. Aguilar
Posted by: XLionheartX ()
Date: August 19, 2008 01:11AM

Phil calls himself Chief Because after he was kicked out of Anaheim in 1993 following his first court trial for ritual abuse and molestation, the agreement he made with the Judge was that he would "Never be a Pastor Again". So he instructed everyone to call him Chief, as according to California Business law a "Chief Presiding Elder". He would put "contracts" on people who lived with him who slipped and called him Pastor Phil.
I think his new name should be Pastor Kill.


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Re: Phil Aguilar, Sandra, Chill (Phil Jr.), Hebrew, and M.J. Aguilar
Posted by: FreeAtLast ()
Date: August 22, 2008 11:07AM

Someone shared elsewhere a couple of articles that should be also maintained at Rickross as reference to info about Phil:

Christianity Today (Sept 13, 1993) wrote:

For several years, former members of the Anaheim, California-based religious organization Set Free have claimed there is more to this offbeat group than meets the public eye. In recent months, several of Set Free's top leaders have left, alleging financial irregularities, adultery, and authoritarian control as their chief concerns. Led by "biker pastor" and ex-convict Phil Aguilar, Set Free began as a church of about 200 in 1982. Over the years it acquired various properties, including homes for ministry leaders and ranches where young people were sent to overcome addictions to drugs and alcohol. Spurred by Aguilar's regular appearances on Paul Crouch's Trinity Broadcasting Network, the organization's numbers took off, with attendance at Sunday services reaching an average of 5,000 by 1991. Today, that number has dropped to under 400, according to ministry spokesperson Lois Trader.

Confronting the pastor

Former elder John Ohanian left Set Free in June after he and two other elders approached Aguilar with what Ohanian describes as "some very serious issues related to financial accountability and the appearance of immorality." Ohanian says Aguilar "refused to discuss anything with us." Among the elders' concerns was adultery, which, Ohanian charges, was taking place among Set Free leaders. "I have no proof that Phil was involved in that," says Ohanian. "If he wasn't, he was guilty of bad judgment." Stacee Aguilar left Set Free in late June upon discovering what she considered irrefutable evidence that Geronimo Aguilar--her husband and Phil's son--was sexually involved with a 14-year-old girl.

'Believe the best'

In 1991, Set Free attorneys wrote several letters on Stacee Aguilar's behalf, warning her parents, who had left the group, against trying to make contact with her. Those who leave are typically regarded as enemies. Stacee now believes she was manipulated, saying, "I was totally controlled by my husband and by Phil." She adds, "When any of us saw things that didn't seem right, we were conditioned to look the other way and believe the best." Several former members who spoke with Christianity Today say that anyone who questioned even the most minor decisions made by Phil Aguilar risked punishment, ranging from public humiliation to banishment to one of Set Free's ranches. Nanette Aguilar, who left in 1988, alleges that brother-in-law Phil assaulted her physically twice when she crossed him. She also alleges she was regularly physically abused by Phil's brother, Bert.

Westmont College sociologist Ronald Enroth, whose book Churches That Abuse opened the door to widespread criticism of Set Free, says it is difficult for the average person to understand the appeal of such groups. "Many of those who were living in the Set Free homes had major problems in their lives," Enroth says. "They had nowhere else to go. Despite some of the questionable things they experienced, they also saw a lot of good being accomplished."

Ministry spokesperson Trader says it is difficult for the average person to understand Aguilar. "Pastor Phil has strong opinions. If people don't like the way Phil acts, or if they think his strong opinions make us look like a cultish group, that's sad." As for the accusations of adultery, Trader claims that Aguilar has handled all instances of acknowledged moral failure appropriately. She denies that Phil Aguilar ever has been involved in an adulterous relationship, again attributing such allegations to the pastor's style, noting that he has no qualms about being seen alone with a woman to whom he is ministering. Trader says the allegations of adultery involving Geronimo Aguilar are also false.

Offering accountability

In addition to the issues of sexual morality and authoritarian control, former members testify to a lack of financial accountability within Set Free. They allege that Aguilar and his top assistant, Wayne Palmer, have for years routinely taken the cash from each Sunday morning's offering without further explanation about where the money ended up. Contributors, according to Set Free's critics, received no receipts, even when they requested them. Some former Set Free members have been interviewed by the local district attorney's office, giving rise to questions of criminal misconduct within the Set Free organization. Meanwhile Aguilar is spending much more time on the road. Critics say he has worn out his welcome in Anaheim. But Trader maintains the biker pastor always has done a lot of traveling, and now, because of the low numbers, does not feel as much of an obligation to be back for church on Sundays. In terms of Set Free's activities, Trader says, "Everything's the same. Nothing's changed."

With that, at least, the ministry's critics would agree.

AND ----

Orange County Register (June 22, 1998) wrote:

Controversy is nothing new to Phil Aguilar, the flamboyant street minister who in the early 1990s used to roar around Anaheim on a Harley with a vanity plate that read "BKERPAS" _ biker pastor. The eldest of seven children from a "typical all-American family" in Anaheim, Aguilar in a 1992 interview with The Orange County Register spoke of his former heroin habit and his jailhouse conversion to Christianity."If there was anybody who wanted peace, it was me," Aguilar said. "And if there was anybody who wanted to be forgiven for all the wrong things they did, it was me. I destroyed everybody who ever loved me. "

In July 1976, after a night of shooting pool and drinking wine, he got into a fight with his girlfriend at the home they shared with her two children.Police reports said Aguilar pulled a 7-year-old boy from bed by his hair, then kicked him several times and slammed him face-first to the floor, loosening four teeth and bruising his jaw and lips.

Aguilar pleaded guilty to a reduced charge. Five months later, while awaiting sentencing, he was arrested again _ for assaulting the 3-year-old son of another girlfriend. Because the boy had wet his pants, Aguilar spanked him and twisted his genitals, police said. The boy was hospitalized for several days. Aguilar was handed a 1- to 10-year prison term after pleading guilty to one count of child abuse.

It was at the California Institution for Men in Chino that he found salvation, he said. Paroled after 13 months, he returned to Anaheim, earned a bachelor's degree by mail from International Seminary in Florida and attended Pacific Coast Christian Bible College in San Dimas. In 1982, when he was an assistant pastor at Anaheim Baptist Church, he and a few members left to form Set Free. Aguilar's streetwise approach to evangelical Christianity appealed to bikers, drug addicts and others, and his flock grew to more than 4,000. He cultivated ties with the Trinity Broadcasting Network and Anaheim city officials, setting up a network of group homes for his followers.

In the early 1990s, former members complained that Aguilar had told them it was "humbling" to do his housework or baby-sit his children. To live in the home with two dozen others was to share "the gift of inconvenience," former members said. The homes' "overseers," as Aguilar called them, told residents when to eat and sleep, what to believe, what to do and when to do it, former residents said. Residents had to petition in writing to cross the street to make a phone call, they said.

By 1993, Set Free's numbers had shrunk as elders left the ministry amid complaints about its leadership. Set Free left Anaheim that year after being evicted from a city-owned building the church leased. Aguilar moved his flock to Visalia but left there in 1994 after local churches opposed the group's presence. He later went to Los Angeles, but in recent months returned to Orange County, re-establishing his help-the-downtrodden ministry in Westminster.

Aguilar's attorney, Daniel A. Leipold, said his client has gotten a bad rap, largely because of his controversial past. "Phil Aguilar isn't the type of guy that most people would want to invite over for Sunday dinner," Leipold said. "But Phil Aguilar is the type of guy who would provide the Sunday dinner to anyone ... His problem is that he was too generous and attempted to provide too much to too many people, and it's unfortunate that they haven't reciprocated the generosity."

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Re: Phil Aguilar, Sandra, Chill (Phil Jr.), Hebrew, and M.J. Aguilar
Posted by: FreeAtLast ()
Date: August 22, 2008 11:11AM

Hey Lion...

Didn't ya know? Phil and the Soldiers were just preachin' Jesus' word in the bar. The stabbing was just to get their attention. lol

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Re: Set Free and Phil Aguilar
Posted by: FreeAtLast ()
Date: August 22, 2008 11:23AM


I'm bringing back these comments from the moderator and posing this question:

What funds allow Matthew (son of Pastor Phil) to drive around in an ESCALADE (confiscated by police in the raid), the motorcycles of Phil and his sons, and the $50,000 bail money that got Phil sprung from the joint? Does this man have some fabulously successful business? Oh, no... I suppose it's his 'group' over which he is now 'chief' instead of pastor. Hmmm...

How appropriate is the use of 'church' funds for such flashy items and worse to spring a 'pastor' from jail after he was involved in a bar brawl with bikers and the guys they were fighting ended up in the hospital? Let's go back to the question of funds, checks and balances.... accountability.


"Set Free" is essentially a dicatatorship with no democratic checks and balances.

The Aguilars rule over the ministry like a royal family.

Your comment that no one receives a salary is not correct.

Auilar receives money through the ministry.

No one knows how the money is handled specifically because there is no financial report that reviews all expenses, compensation etc. that is annually published and independently audited.


I have never had any personal interaction with Pastor Phil’s finances but from an outsider I know that he definetly puts 100% if not more to the ministry.

Veronica77--If you have not seen a published and independently audited financial report regarding any and all compensation paid out by the ministry, you actually know nothing about Aguilar's finances.


Barnett pastors (Matthew and Tomy) drive in, in their fancy cars or from their fancy homes to conduct service and have it televised as if they themselves lived there in the Dream Center.

The Dream Center doesn't generate complaints and doesn't have a troubled history like "Set Free." Instead, the ministry is connected to a denomination, which is the Assemblies of God and is an elected board and bylaws to govern and manage the project.

The Barnetts are connected to Phoenix First Assembly, which also has no troubled history and is a long-established denominational church with the usual democratic checks and balances and a financial budget report.

Whatever salaries and other compensation the Barnetts receive is discussed and approved by a board.

None of these checks and balances exist regarding Aguilar and "Set Free."

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Re: Set Free and Phil Aguilar
Posted by: souzacircle ()
Date: October 08, 2008 10:41AM


The reason I am coming out saying these things is because the Scriptures say that a person should be marked if they are walking in a disorderly manner that opposes the Truth. As a person of leadership (or shall I say dictator) Pastor Geronimo has pep rallies every Saturday that go off of emotion rather than based on the Word of God. He is so worried about gossip in the church and constantly preaches against anyone who even dares question or say anything against the leadership. He was so frustrated that he stated he would even knock out anyone who would verbally question or come against any part of the leadership. He brainwashes the congregation to believing everything he says to be true and goes off of doctrine more than the Word of God. Many of his sermons completely twist the Scriptures in order to fulfill his own desires, for instance he re-married his Uncle (Bert) for the 9th time.

This place is completely off in every way and is truthfully sending more people to Hell than ‘saving’ them. Saved people look Holy, sanctified and like Christ, people at the Roc in no way care about being Holy. We could take for instance, G’s own brother-in-law, let’s call him Beau for fun, I know for a fact that he has had more sexual relations than anyone I have ever met and they were all at the church. These women were unmarried and married (Yetta), and even underage. I can count off of the top of my head at lease 35 and most of them with G’s knowing. But what can Pastor G say, when he is just as dirty. He states that his mission is to help others but, there are only a few people who have EVER left there truly changed. G’s own secretary, we can call her Jammie, lives with him and his family, while her husband does not live with them. He left the state for over 6 months and she still continued to live with them. Looking at the pictures of them two, they look more in love than him and his own wife. It is funny that his schedule allows for the both of them (G and Jammie) to have Tuesday nights to themselves but I guess once an adulterer always an adulterer. That truly is the power of their ‘gospel’. It is a proven fact that the assistant pastor, Pastor Ranch, was caught using Heroin a little less than a year ago. He was stealing church funds in order to feed his own addiction, what was his punishment, three months in a discipleship home and here he is again, the assistant Pastor. This man is addicted to pain killers and constantly nods off, even while he ‘preaches’. As well G called a leadership meeting and told all of his leadership and staff that if anyone asked about Ranch to say that he will going to help start a new discipleship program. But they refuse to make him get drug tested and no one dare ask Holy G for fear of complete ridicule and persecution from the pulpit. Drugs are rampant in this place and I am not talking about the discipleship homes but in the leadership. Fornication is everywhere and no one even cares, because of what Pastor G had told me “What you do in your personal life is your business”. Do u want this to be your church?

Their doctrine is a complete fallacy and they preach more about nonsense than the weightier matters: law, judgment, mercy and faith. People can go there for years and truly come out knowing nothing about the Bible, this place prepares no one for eternity but is mainly a work, labor camp that idolizes their leader, Pastor G. He lives in a million dollar home and drives a $100,000 motorcycle while the rest of the congregation lives meekly.

I pray these people see the truth and leave this place before they get swept up into the cool music and fun tattoos, meanwhile forsaking their first love (God). I want everyone to understand and read the verse below and learn to walk in righteousness.
“This is evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are also suffering—6since indeed God considers it just to repay with affliction those who afflict you,7and to grant relief to you who are afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels8in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.9They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might,10when he comes on that day to be glorified in his saints, and to be marveled at among all who have believed, because our testimony to you was believed. To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power,so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.” 2 Thess 1:5-12

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Re: Set Free and Phil Aguilar
Posted by: badkoolaid ()
Date: January 16, 2009 01:23PM

You got to be kidding me , you are now telling people that you were never involed with phils set free?Pardon me but I was there brother , you and chip both,were there .Not only that you worked with Sandra , you did eveything phil asked you. You even joined an out law club , what a set up he did to you , and you still kissed his....well you would of but you where far to up it . come on your not fooling anyone, YOU WHERE THERE. Come to terms with your part we all have to.Take responsablty for your part or the grip of phill will always be there. You where there, you questioned nothing .

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