Chuck Smith of Calvary Chapel fame appearing on buddy Paul Crouch’s TBN. However, Smith’s Calvary Chapel Outreach Fellowship (of which Smith is President on IRS Documents) launched an “investigation” and published a scathing report on TBN-backed Phil Aguilar and Set Free. Smith says in an interview (lined in this article) that he is not in the public rebuke or accountability business…at least not with his own official Affiliated Calvary Chapel Pastors like Bob Grenier of Calvary Chapel Visalia. Can you say: Liar and Hypocrite?
I received some new information from Bill Alnor’s (now deceased) wife Jackie Alnor. Bill was a part of the Calvary Chapel-Phil Aguilar situation with close knowledge of how that situation went down.
According to Jackie Alnor, the Phil Aguilar Investigation and Report was funded and led by Lanette and Jesse Irwin. Alnor continued in a message, “They then gave the huge packet to a few people such as Oden Fong, the then CCOF leader, and to me and my husband, and to author Ron Enroth.”
In Alnor’s opinion, while Oden Fong was the main guy at CCOF at the time and while Chuck Smith is the President of CCOF on IRS documents, Alnor believes that Chuck Smith was not happy with Oden Fong for taking the Aguilar Investigation/Report and leading a Campaign to warn the Southern California public about Aguilar and Set Free.
Alnor said she believes that Oden Fong was fired from his position at CCOF due to this incident.
Alnor did confirm, however, that Chuck Smith had full knowledge that Oden Fong of CCOF (Chuck’s entity) did lead a Campaign against Phil Aguilar for similar allegations of abuse and corruption as Chuck Smith approved CC Pastor Bob Grenier of Calvary Chapel Visalia.
The fact remains, Chuck Smith knew that CCOF had led a Campaign against Phil Aguilar for the same and similar allegations as the Bob Grenier situation and Chuck Smith lied to my face stating CC, CCCM, CCOF had never done that sort of thing and doesn’t do that sort of thing, when clearly they did.
In my opinion, from my dealings with Chuck Smith, he probably hid behind Plausible Deniability in the Phil Aguilar situation when it blew up in his face and TBN (his buddies) freaked out. Kind of a Good Cop / Bad Cop routine, in my opinion. Oden Fong was probably made the Scapegoat and Chuck flashed the patented Papa Chuck® Smile and denied having anything to do with the Campaign (even though Chuck is the President of CCOF and knew what was happening at the time and didn’t stop it, until after it happened and he got massive pressure from Aguilar and the Crouches and TBN).
The information I had at the time I reported it was that CCOF had conducted an “investigation” and published a report on Phil Aguilar. Alnor’s testimony says CCOF took an existing investigation and report on Aguilar and led a Campaign in Southern California against Aguilar (Oden Fong as the lead and the main guy at CCOF).
According to the information I have, Calvary Chapel was sued over this Aguilar Campaign, indicating it was a Calvary Chapel action and not just Oden Fong acting as a Lone Wolf individual separate from his office of CCOF administrator/employ.
Chuck Smith has gotten directly involved, according to several CCCM insiders, with many other Calvary Chapel Affiliate situations including Disaffiliating CC pastors and threatening so-called “independent” Church Boards with not Affiliating their new Pastor if a Severance Package was not to his liking for the old CC pastor (through Chuck’s agents).
To this day, Chuck Smith has not sought me out to reconcile and repent of his lying to my face in our “meeting” at the Logos Building Board Room with Dave Rolph and Chuck’s Attorney Janet Carter.
I had to buy a new Irony and Hypocrisy Meter. The one I had blew the heck up. It literally evaporated, not even pieces I can gorilla glue back together.
Another “Report” has emerged about Phil Aguilar and Set Free Ministries. Guess who conducted this “investigation”? Couldn’t be Chuck Smith and Calvary Chapel…because Chuck Smith told me (listen to the radio interview in his own words) that he’s not in the business of holding folks accountable and calling them publicly to repentance…at least not his own official Calvary Chapel Affiliates like Bob Grenier of Calvary Chapel Visalia.
Well, turns out Chuck Smith is still a liar. He “is” in that business (or has been many times) as yet another piece of evidence emerges: A 318 page reports as the result of an “investigation” by Oden Fong, head of Chuck Smith’s (Chuck is listed as “president” on IRS Documents, see this site for the actual docs) CCOF.
The report indicts Phil Aguilar and Set Free Ministries/Fellowship for all sorts of pastoral and ministry “abuses” and is largely based in the testimony of “28” former Set Free members.
Here’s the article that appears on Calvary Chapel Wiki Page:
“Authority Abuses Alleged at the Set Free Christian Center
Some pastors and cult watchers have expressed growing concern over alleged Scripture twisting and authority abuses at the Set Free Christian Center based in Anaheim, California.
Officials at Calvary Chapel Outreach Fellowships of Costa Mesa, California — which is the ministry that oversees the more than 380 Calvary Chapels (affiliated with Pastor Chuck Smith) worldwide — have transcribed testimonies from former Set Free members. They intended to call Set Free Pastor Phil Aguilar to account for the alleged abuses at the church — if this action proved to be warranted. Calvary’s office, led by Pastor Oden Fong, has produced a 318-page report containing the testimonies of 28 people — most of them former Set Free members — that allege serious behavior problems at the church and near-dictatorial rule by Aguilar.
Read the full article here:
Here is an article appearing on Spiritual Abuse Watcher website RickRoss.com that first appeared in the Christian Sentinel:
“TBN Supports Abusive Leader’s Attack Against Christians
The Christian Sentinel, 1995
By Bill and Jackie Alnor
Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) founder Paul Crouch had some strange advice for the leader of a cult-like group he had as a guest on his show in October 1994. “Sue the bastards!” Crouch instructed on his prime time Praise the Lord show.
Crouch was giving his blessing to what pastor Phil Aguilar eventually did. Aguilar, leader of the notorious and scandalized Set Free Christian Fellowship, filed a frivolous lawsuit against Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa, Calvary Chapel of Lake Elsinore and others for libel and defamation on February 8, 1995 in the Superior Court of Orange County, California . The attorney filing the suit? The nephew of Jan Crouch, Paul Crouch’s wife.
According to the Praise the Lord show (which marked the first time Crouch had Aguilar on the telecast after a long absence), Crouch and Aguilar were upset over community opposition to Aguilar’s recent bid to establish a headquarters in the Lake Elsinore section of California. They were reading from flyers passed out to the community, one of which said in part:
We, the undersigned ministers of the community, feel it is our responsibility to express our concern to the public regarding what we believe to be a potentially dangerous threat to all of those in the area, and especially the youth….we believe it is necessary to make the public aware of some of the accusations…against Phil Aguilar and “Set Free.” These allegations include sexual misconduct and adultery within the leadership, financial improprieties, and a form of control over the members that is very abusive, physically as well as emotionally and spiritually.
But Paul Crouch said that anyone putting out such materials were obviously not Christian, so therefore Aguilar had the right to sue them all. Those signing the flyer, and/or follow up ones, Crouch declared them all unchristian (although he never contacted any of them). These people were the previously mentioned churches, along with the pastors of the following churches in the Lake Elsinore area: the First Baptist Church, First Presbyterian Church, Lakeland Christian Fellowship, Lake Elsinore Church of the Nazarene, Elsinore Christian Center, New Song Community Church, Shepherd of Life Lutheran Church, Vineyard Christian Fellowship, Grace Church, Calvary Chapel of Canyon Lake, Calvary Chapel of Murietta, Calvary Chapel of Temecula, and Free Indeed Christian Fellowship in Perris, Calif.
“I have been disturbed by a bunch of , oh, I’m just gonna say it,” Crouch said, reviewing the flyers passed out to the community, “a bunch of crap.” Later he barked, “Go ahead and tape it. Put it on your slime-ball radio broadcast. You’ll have to pray it through Pastor Phil, but this old German, I’d say sue the bastards!”
It is a mystery at this point why TBN continues to protect Aguilar. Not only have there been scathing stories against Set Free in the Orange County Register, Christianity Today and Newsweek magazines (not to mention several exposes written by Eastern Christian Outreach president Bill Alnor for the Religious News Service), but a large portion of Dr. Ron Enroth’s book “Churches that Abuse” is devoted to Set Free. And there have been television exposes as well in such shows as “Inside Edition,” not to mention dozens of transcribed testimonies from former Set-Free members that have been distributed to church leaders nation wide.
In fact, Aguilar and TBN themselves were sued in February 1992 by the parents of an 18-year-old man who alleged that Mario Ruiz, a Set Free overseer appointed by Aguilar, made their son perform sex acts in exchange for crack cocaine while they were living on TBN-owned property in Coleyville, Texas (which is also the site of the Crouch’s country estate). That suit accused Set free and TBN of fraud, negligence and negligent infliction of emotional distress.
At the time Crouch declared TBN’s innocence, called it extortion and announced that the plaintiffs would not receive a dime. But in fact, TBN’s attorneys reached a secret out-of-court settlement with the plaintiffs. While the Christian Sentinel has learned that the amount paid out by TBN was a half million dollars, TBN and the plaintiff’s attorney would not confirm that.
And it was Aguilar who helped get TBN into big trouble with the Federal Communications Commission. (See related story).
Also named as individuals in Aguilar’s recent suit are Oden Fong who is a church leader and outreach fellowships director at Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa, John Duncan, senior pastor of Calvary Chapel of Lake Elsinore, and Set Free ex-members Steve Schinhofen and Eileen Jackson. In the opinion of Eastern Christian Outreach all these individuals courageously fought this dangerous group, and they deserve our support.”
Read the full article here:
Here is the link to my interview with RemnantXRadio. The last half hour of the show is a live phone call where we talk to Chuck Smith of Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa at his home: