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Adam Hirschfeld Sentenced

Adam Hirschfeld got 4 years jail time and 12 years (concurrent) probation. The dude has a restitution order of $4.6 .....MILLION. (actually it is a little less than that now, he submitted a check today for $251.000)

The judge started out with "I have been to this rodeo before" and went on to say something along the lines of (paraphrased)- "almost all these investment fraud cases start out with the 'guru' seeking money from family friends and church members. People with whom there is a shared faith. Last I looked, the bible says thou shalt not STEAL, thou shalt not LIE. Mr. Hirschfeld, you did BOTH, and even after you knew your investment plan was on the rocks, what did you do? You lied some more, you stole some more. When you had the opportunity to tell your investors that you had lost their money, you sent them false quarterly statements indicating a profit, when in fact you had lost their money and never made any for them in any month of the program. Yours is a tale of years of deceit. You owe these people $.6 million dollars...that is a LOT of money."

The victims' statements spoken to the court were heart wrenching tales of the devastation Hirschfeld put upon his investors. Lost homes, businesses and relationships. People misled by this salesman who misrepresented his license and certifications He could have sold PFAL to the pope is the impression I got. As one said, the spiral of financial devastation they have gone through has impacted people far beyond the 100 or so investors. They almost all had thought of him as a trusted friend. A smart kid who loved God and the Word, and who wanted to help them reach their financial goals.

One said Adam had spoken of how God had blessed him so much and he was living the dream, and he wanted to help others to realize their dreams too. The problem was, he lied to them about his qualifications, and about his successes. He also told them he would not make anything except a percentage of their profits. It turns out according to the prosecutor that he and Tori got a little over $1 million from it, even though no investor made a dime, so there was another of Adam's lies.

The prevailing sense I got was that most thought Hirschfeld did not start out to steal, but his pride or whatever prevented him from facing up to the people whose money he had lost. Being "caught in the headlights" was mentioned a couple of times. Instead of informing his victims that things were not going as planned, (a risk many acknowledged they knew was possible), he told them things were going great and they were making often 8% a month. He coaxed more into the web of deceit, and urged some of the initial ones to invest more, quitting their jobs so they could tap into their 401(k)s. There were some horrid stories told today.

Speaking on behalf of Adam Hirschfeld were I believe his father? (I walked in after the name was given), Phyliss Giles (Tori's mother), two people from his fellowship (including the fellowship coordinator), and a guy named Gustav something who flew in from Wash DC., and of course his wife Victoria. They spoke of how Adam never planned to hurt anyone, how he loved God and the Word, and how he has turned over a new leaf. They pleaded to allow Adam to be on some sort of work release so he could fashion a repayment plan from his new business. They spoke of how sad it would be for his young child to be without her father. They said he was a good man and a caring husband and father.

The judge took all this into account, but seemed to rely on the probation department's report which declared Adam's business plan and its outline as to how he could make restitution was largely speculative and without hard evidence to point to its likely success. They had written that it seemed like Adam's new business plan was much too similar to the old one which bilked a hundred people out of their retirement funds, savings, their kid's college funds and their homes. They were concerned that following it was too likely to yield a whole new crop of victims.

Adam may not serve the full 4 years, with time off for good behavior and with some credits for turning himself in and pleading guilty. 


Hirschfeld Money Trail
Note:  This is one of a series of articles putting together the money trail in the Adam Hirschfeld case. 
VRH1 – Received 3.7 Million Dollars.  
This company owned Xeric Oil & Gas (The word Xeric refers to a dry well) with field partners/Co-owners
Ron St. John (not licensed) and
Tim Collier (not licensed).  
Shawn Ambrose (not licensed), who co-managed CMA Advising with Hirschfeld (not licensed) managed Xeric’s assets. 
Other members of the project team were
Gustavson & Associates, LLC
Kendall, Koenig & Osner, LLP
Craig Allely
Kevin Johnson from Holland & Hart (Kevin claims to not know anything and said Hirschfeld was not authorized to use his name.)
Investments were actually accepted by A. Hirschfeld and his wife, Victoria, general partners to VRH1 (she was not licensed either.)  There were approximately 110 investors
Vision Stone Fund = Received 2.1 Million.  This company was owned by Hirschfeld and Carrington Fisk (not licensed).  HF Capital Management was the general partner and this company was registered to Phyllis Giles, wife of Rev. Paul Giles and mother-in-law to Hirschfeld.  There were approximately 26 investors.
1.3 Million dollars was traced directly back to Hirschfeld's bank account.
200,000 was paid out to others as commission for soliciting investors (these people were not licensed either).  They included Dahn Walker and Don Clemmer from Kansas.  They also included Thomas and Brian Nelson (Colorado?).  Possibly Juliena Mock.
1.8 million was funneled to VRH & FSF for other investments/oil & gas.
1.3 Million was issued in relation to trading foreign currency.

2005-2008, Fund Manager VisionStone Fund, Paragon Petroleum Group Managed $2.5 million pooled equity oil and gas acquisition and development partnership with over 30,000 acres and 42 well bores in Texas, Wyoming, Montana, and Colorado.
He also says he is a member of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners
To follow the current discussions on our forums, click here 
Hayes Gahagan
Hayes Gahagan contacted me recently.  When you Google his name, Greasespot Cafe shows quite highly in the search.  He wanted to make a statement about his involvement and how you can find out recent news about him.
For those who visit your site, I would like to make a brief statement and a request:

1. Statement

My involvement with The Way Ministry began in 1974 and ended quite abruptly in 1978, almost within hours after I had the privilege of running and losing a campaign as an Independent Conservative for the U.S. Senate.

No matter what anyone may say for better or worse about The Way Ministry or Hayes Gahagan, the fact is that our gracious Lord and Savior used a PFAL grad to reach out and touch a wretch like me with the Word of Salvation. For this, I shall be eternally grateful.

2. Request

For any of your visitors who may be interested, please refer them to hayesgahagan.wordpress.com for my testimony and other information about my life and family.

Hayes Gahagan

Affinity For Windows

Author’s note: This is a memoir: a work of memory, imagination, and some journalism in that it tells of actual people and places, many recognizable to anyone familiar with The Way InternationalTM or Rollins College. Events in some cases have been combined or contracted to tell this story. Names of people other than Way leaders and the Rollins College professor have been changed.

Nostalgia for TWI Research Raises Questions
Are you someone questioning the value of Biblical research done by The Way International (TWI) or groups run by former Way followers?  I am.  If you are, then what I have to say may interest you.
Kristen Skedgell more on Losing the Way

I visit with Kristen Skedgell and we talk about her life in TWI, her marriage, depression and Victor Paul Wierwille.


Download (37 Mb)
Date posted: 2008-06-11

Discussion Here   



Through the Fog

For the 8th anniversary of GS cafe, I have a very special guest.  He was the third trunk coordinator of The Way International during the biggest expansion of The Way.  He also served as a Corps Coordinator.We talk about the last days in the life of VP Wierwille.  And then through the reading of the Passing of the Patriarch onto the events that led to the 37 page letter sent to the Board of Trustees in early 1987.


Download (49 Mb)
Date posted: 2008-04-20

Comments Here  


Kristen Skedgell on Losing the Way

Kristen got involved with the Way International in New York in 1970.  She was an avid supporter and was one of a number of people featured in an article in Life Magazine, The Groovy Christians of Rye.  As the years went on, she got more involved and entered the Way Corps. And got married.  

Her book, Losing the Way, deals with her life in the Way.  From her spiritual hunger, she was led down a road of Manipulation and Abuse, until her dramatic escape.

This interview deals with the early part of her memoir.  She has a blog which you can find at  http://losingtheway.blogspot.com/


Download (37 Mb)
Date posted: 2008-02-20

Discussion of interview  


Rocky Horror of the Spirit

Someone really needs to take credit for putting this together.


The Way International's Lawyers Strike Again

The Way International has once again brought legal action against another religious organization, forcing them to change their church's name.

According to The Cincinnati Post, The Way, a Baptist church located in Grant County, Kentucky:

But another setback came in August, when attorneys for The Way International wrote to Howe demanding that the church change its name.

Followers of the international group consider themselves Christians, but hold some beliefs outside orthodox Christianity. According to the online encyclopedia Wikipedia, they believe Jesus is God's son, but not God.
Episode 9 - The Law of Believing Dr. John Juedes

This is a podcast done about a month or so ago.  We discuss the law of believing 


Download (58 Mb)
Date posted: 2007-09-28



The Law of Believing - NO GOD NEEDED


Many groups teach a form of “believing,” sometimes called the “faith message,” “word-faith” or “the law of believing.” Of the many variations of this teaching, one of the most damaging is “the Law of Believing” taught by The Way International and its late founder Victor Paul Wierwille.    

    Like Kenneth Hagin, Kenneth Copeland and some other teachers, Wierwille teaches “believing equals receiving.” In other words, whatever you believe will indeed happen. One of their favorite verses is Mark 11:23-24:    

    “Jesus said, ‘Truly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, “Be taken up and cast into the sea,” and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him.... believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”    

    Wierwille called this “believing equals receiving.” When you truly believe, you will receive what you believe.    

    Mark 11 highlights an important Biblical principle: faith is an essential part of the Christian life. As Hebrews 11:6 adds, ”without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek Him.”

John Shroyer has passed away

(from the CFF website www.cffm.org) 


TROY - The Rev. John F. Shroyer, 65, of Tipp City, Ohio, fell asleep Saturday, Aug. 25, 2007, after a brief illness and is awaiting the return of Christ. He was born Feb. 1, 1942, in New Bremen, to the late, Harold Levester Shroyer and Wilhelmine Clara (Topp) Shroyer.
He is survived by his loving wife of 44 years, Mary Lou (Watkins) Shroyer; his sons and daughters-in-law, Jeff and Tonia Shroyer and their children, Katie, Courtney and Kristen of Tipp City, and Randy and Lisa Shroyer and their children, Matthew, Morgan and Mitchell of Sidney; brothers and sisters-in-law, Jerry and Doris Shroyer of St. Marys and Danny and Donna Shroyer of New Bremen; and sister and brother-in-law, Elaine and Troy Watkins of Sidney.

He was a 1960 graduate of New Bremen High School and furthered his education at Bluffton College and the Dayton Art Institute. John, along with his wife, Mary Lou, have given 40 years of faithful service to God's people. He was the founder and pastor of the Christian Family Fellowship Ministry of Tipp City. He also ministered and taught extensively throughout the United States and many foreign countries.

Friends may call from 3-7 p.m. Tuesday at the Baird Funeral Home, Troy, with a service following at 7 p.m. at the funeral home, with the Wayne Clapp officiating. A Sunday morning fellowship and memorial will be at 10:30 a.m. September 9th at the Christian Family Fellowship Ministry, Tipp City.

Contributions may be made to the Christian Family Fellowship Ministry, 1575 St. Rt. 571, West, Tipp City, OH 45371.

Friends may also express condolences to the family through www.bairdfuneralhome.com

Thanks and God bless,

Wayne (Clapp)
The Way International sues The Way Ministries

The Way International filed suit against The Way Ministries in U.S.Federal Court on July 13th, 2007 over their use of the words "The Way" in its name.  The original complaint (pdf) can be found in GreaseSpot's Downloads section.

Excerpts from the complaint:

Plaintiff has provided religious educational services and related materials under the trademark/service mark THE WAY, and variations thereof, in the United States and internationally for more than 50 years.

Plaintiff has spent substantial time, money and effort establishing its reputation or scholarship and services in religious education, fellowship and related fields. This reputationis identified by various marks, both registered and unregistered, that use or incorporate THE WAY

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