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is victory outreach a cult?
Posted by: backsilder ()
Date: September 26, 2005 12:17AM

[/color:dad49af72e][/size:dad49af72e]we were this church for a long time and it made us feel like we were never going to be any were with out them. it was so hard to pull away from it. our days feel so lost, some times, but at the same time we have feel we did the right thing in pulling out . we have not talk to anyone about how they did us so wrong.
arlington, tx.

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is victory outreach a cult?
Posted by: i_was_one ()
Date: October 30, 2005 04:46AM


Yes, more than likely "Victory Outreach" is a cult if they made you feel like you would not be anywhere without them. Is this a fairly new religion?

The mainstream religions all want their members to stay in the flock and attend regularly, as do all churches, but they are not controlling and insecure about their members, as are the cults. So they do not pressure their members to stay in the fold by trying to make them feel that they will not function well in life without them. Scientology, which I was in, does this. It is an earmark of cults in general.

In my opinion, one is almost always better off after leaving one of these groups, finally being freed again, as was I, to think for oneself.

So hang in there, and yes, it does feel lonely after leaving one of these groups. I left Scientology years ago, and now I have received support by asking for it on this website. And it helps a lot to share your cult experince with others.

It is amazing how many people get into these cults, so you have plenty of company.

My best to you.



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is victory outreach a cult?
Posted by: arcecat ()
Date: November 03, 2005 11:47PM

Victory outreach is a part of Every Nation which was Morning Star and originally a part of Maranatha.
Basically, I call it a cult. Abusive and controlling.
I was a part of a Morning Star church for 4 and a half years.

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is victory outreach a cult?
Posted by: sunnyuno ()
Date: November 24, 2005 12:26AM

arcecat , how it going?

I was involed in VO for about 4 years. Are they a cult? maybe.
But i do not recomend you go back or stay there. I have experience spirtual abuse in the minesrty. I know most not all pastors say "PASTOR SONNY" more then they preach JESUS. This is were i started to wonder. I still have a freind in the ministry. I talk to him from time to time, but donmt not discuss the outreach, just praise reports mainly. He is a pastor ,one i respect but he was one of the few who was not controlling. He aint perfect neither am i. But i did notice that VO sets a standard of sorts and claims to have a special annointing? To tell you the truth VO hits the inner cities with the message of JESUS. This is good! But.......but do they continue to preach THE GOSPEL or do they preach VISION?

You know what i saying now huh. Keep up your personal relation with
JESUS, and ask God to place you in a church were you can serve, not be used. God wants use to serve him. God does not want to use us.

I feel your pain. VO does good as far as reaching out to the hood. But then one can be left hangin.

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is victory outreach a cult?
Posted by: arcecat ()
Date: January 16, 2006 12:06PM

I'm doing well.
Found out that the morning star church I used to attend has left Morning Star int/Every nation a few months ago.

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is victory outreach a cult?
Posted by: sunnyuno ()
Date: January 31, 2006 07:24PM


how are you doing?

just wanted to encourage you to keep on praising the Lord.
I wanted to let you know you can talk to me. PM me i you would like?
I feel your pain and want to know that Gos is good all the time. And now that we have both witness spirtual abuse we can now learn from it, and we now know what not to do, right.

God bless

brother uno

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is victory outreach a cult?
Posted by: New Life ()
Date: February 01, 2006 09:54AM

I would say, based on my 20 years of being a Christian, my relationships and discussions with some of the top published Christian cult specialists and my three years of full time participation with Victory Outreach, that they are not a Christian cult.

I use Ravi's and Walter Martin's definition regarding what a cult is rather than a secular (i.e. Wikipedia for example) definition and I don't have a problem stating that VO is not a Christian cult as some here are asserting that it is.

That being said, I do believe they are Christian church that has a lot of issues and agree with the following problems I have seen others here put forth:

1. The lack of Pastor and home director accountability. Each pastor, similar to the Calvary organization does have relative autonomy within their local church (i.e. there are no deacons and the elders serve at the pastor's sole discretion having only the power that he allows them to have which can be taken away at any time). Eventually, the offending pastor or home director problems often do resolve (I have seen them resolve) and the offending person gets "sat down" but this can take a long time at VO when it really shouldn't.

2. The lopsided money policies and focus. I don't like some of the ones I observed. I was fortunate; however, in that my VO pastor was a true believe, a good model and followed scripture in his teachings and in his life. He was the real deal. However, I believe your stories of those who were not.

3. The high turnover of the homes. It simply cannot be denied. They are highly authoritian, much like the Jesus People societies of the 60's eventually became but even more so, and they do not put aside a portion of the money the guys in the homes earn so that when they "graduate"/leave they have that to take with them.

4. The strange disconnect between preaching a theology of once saved always saved and then insisting that anyone who leaves VO has "fallen away" back into the world. I never did get that and often discussed this with leadership. I think I made some headway at the local level regarding that but as I can see from your experiences it is pervasive at VO that leaving the church is "falling away" from Christ which is not a Biblical position.

All in all, my experiences were good and I certainly don't expect perfection; however, the four points brought out are valid in my observations and experiences.

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is victory outreach a cult?
Posted by: rrmoderator ()
Date: February 01, 2006 12:28PM

The issue seems to be meaningful accountability.

I have received very serious repeated complaints from people once involved with VO, including former pastors.

See []

Sonny Arguinzoni the founder and head of VO appears to have little if any accountability through democratically elected boards, nor do his pastors.

Overwhelmingly Protestant churches have such boards that are elected by congregants and bylaws that provide for the discipline of pastors and that also could if necessary dismiss them.

VO does not publish an annual independently audited financial reports that disclose all salaries, expenses, expenses and compensation to provide financial transparency.

Pastors are not required to have an accredited education such as a college degree and seminary.

Vo seems to operate something like a franchise and very different from denominational churches such as the Baptists, Methodists, Nazarenes etc.

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is victory outreach a cult?
Posted by: New Life ()
Date: February 01, 2006 01:14PM

I won't dispute that. Everything you just said is true.

That being said, they are working hard to change the education part of that paradigm. Education has become one of their greatest focuses. They have purchased quite a bit of land and already have the plans in place for building to begin for a permanent VO university on the scale of a Azusa Pacific.

They state at [] that, "Currently there are over 6,000 students who are attending the Victory Education Training Institute worldwide. The school has thousands of alumni who are impacting their communities as pastors, teachers, evangelists, missionaries, business leaders, coaches, law officers, computer programmers, accountants, and in many other walks of life. Choose from various areas of study – from business to biblical studies and more."

The formalized goal of the Institute in the next 5 years is to be a fully accredited college and reach an enrollment worldwide of 15,000 students.

We might just all be surprised where this all going. I know Sonny jr. and has a different personality than his father. I believe he will replace his father when his father eventually steps down. Sonny Jr. has had a good Godly upbringing, is well rounded, much more mainstream, never been into drugs, etc... I personally hope the combination of top leadership change and mainstream education to the masses in VO brings those much needed changes.

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is victory outreach a cult?
Posted by: sunnyuno ()
Date: February 01, 2006 07:33PM

New Life , rrmoderator

I agree with you all both. A cult? I would say no, though spirtual abuse does seem to play a role, exspecially in the mens homes. Also I think the focus on Pastor Sonny exceeds over Jesus many times? This still bothers me about the congregation.

I believe VO to be very much christian and reaches the ghettos for JESUS. The over foucus on accountabilty on "how the mens home change my life, without the mens home i would be no where" trips me out. Though i was never in the home, I was cool with many of the brothers in the home. VO claims the mens home the back bone of the church.

NEW LIFE you make good points.
the four points are on point.

rrmoderator you are make good point too.

They are different in their presentation. I remember after not being in the church for a number of years and going back to visit. Man... it was just more confomation that I needed to move on. I too was involed for 3-4 years. Some good memories, some bad ones.

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