The Victims of Doreen Virtue’s Rescue Ranch Charity Solicitations
When a friend of mine revealed that a friend of hers who is currently undergoing treatment for cancer had donated to Doreen Virtue’s now disbanded animal rescue ranch, I reached out for an interview. I was upset myself after learning that the course fee that I had paid to keep the rescue animals safe in their forever home didn’t keep those animals safe for more than a few months.
So learning about my friend’s friend, I wondered what it might feel like for someone who is ill with a serious disease to find out the truth about the animal rescue ranch. How might a cancer patient who needs support and money for their own treatment feel to find out that their financial sacrifice was never needed to start with?
I did this interview via email and have copied and pasted my questions, along with Diana’s answers:
I trust this finds you well. am Tara’s friend – Diana Soenarie. You may certainly use me name for your cause against the con artist D. Virtue. She deceived so many. When I first saw her, she gave me a phony vibe, but, “yes” I got sucked in too.
I donated $100.00 to her animal sanctuary in Maui.
My feeling is “what comes around goes around”
Thank you for being a leader & spokesperson
Hi Diana, thank you so much for getting in touch.
Hope it’s alright for me to ask a few questions for this article so that people can understand a bit better how this all happened…
Doreen Virtue Cons Cancer Patient
How did you first come across Doreen Virtue’s work?
Initially, my forever-friend-and sister Tara introduced me to one of her videos (mid-2000’s). At the time, I think she was still married to Farmer. I actually, didn’t get a positive vibe from her. I thought she wasn’t quite genuine, but, I was willing to give her a chance knowing I can be cynical at times. After hearing more of her work (Angel cards, etc.) from Tara and a former coworker, I thought to myself, Doreen must not be so bad.
When were you first made aware of the animal sanctuary?
I started to moderately follow her YouTube videos, where I found out about the animal sanctuary.
What prompted you to make a donation?
At the time, I thought, “animal sanctuary – what a beautiful gesture.” So, I decided to donate $100.00 for this cause.
How did you feel when you found out that the sanctuary was going to be disbanded?
When I heard that they (Doreen & Michael) were abandoning the sanctuary, I was quite disheartened and felt deceived like many of us felt. At this point, I started returning to my original thoughts of her – “phony & opportunistic charlatan.”
I understand you were undergoing treatment for cancer at the time. I’m sure you could have used that money for your own health and wellbeing..
Yes, towards the end of 2013, I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. I underwent chemotherapy in 2014 after a total hysterectomy. I was in remission until 2015. It came back and was diagnosed metastatic because it had traveled to the peritoneum – once again chemotherapy. In 2016 it reappeared in the same area – again, chemo. Meanwhile, even during this ordeal and presently, I have been very positive and optimistic because I am so much in tune with my spirit and, most importantly, my trust in God, his Angels & Spiritual Guides. The beautiful souls in my life are, also, a great support system. In addition I am blessed with lovely employers and coworkers. In writing all this, “Yes, I could have used the donated $100.00” since I am one, who lives from check to check, especially, now earning less money because I’ve been on-and-off from work.
Thank you so much, Diana, for answering these questions for us.
I feel it is important that spiritual teachers are held accountable, just like the rest of us, and don’t feel like they are above the law or normal moral/ethical considerations. We know that soliciting for donations for unregistered charities is illegal in the state of Hawaii, where Doreen lived before her move to Washington. Though we are aware that the authorities are looking into this, we are also aware of the big cover-up that is going on with all of this and that most people who bought courses/donated to the rescue ranch will – most likely – never receive compensation. That is why it is important to continue to shine a light on what actually happened here, so that a proper record of events is preserved for history, and hopefully prevent more of the same in the future.
Meanwhile, Doreen Virtue continues to poormouth in her daily Bible study videos and speaks of the ‘persecution’ she has suffered since her Christianity conversion. Now, if she would actually act like a Christian and make restitution by refunding everyone who donated in response to her illegal solicitation, as well as all the students who were conned into buying expensive certification courses which she has since declared being of demonic origins, we’d all happily stop sharing the truth about what happened – Whistleblowing still does not equate persecution.
Doreen Virtue claims in this video that she only received a few thousand dollars in donations. It is difficult to get to the bottom of this since the website where the donations were solicited was taken down after we made it public that soliciting for donations for an unregistered charity was illegal in the state of Hawaii.
No matter how much money, Doreen Virtue actually collected this way, the truth is she never needed the donated money to start with. We know, thanks to checking public records, that Doreen Virtue sold properties worth 5+ million dollars in 2017. She also acquired new properties, including the $998,000 mountain view villa where she now lives. She is not poor and she didn’t need that money. It was her decision to start hoarding animals that she (according to her own admission) didn’t know how to properly care for, and it was her decision to start to illegally start soliciting for donations from her ever loyal fan base.
Diana and most of Doreen’s followers who donated out of the goodness of their hearts are not wealthy. Some of them, like Diana, could have put that money to better use. Many people I spoke to admit that they felt gut punched when they learned they had been taken advantage of.
Ultimately, it seems strange that someone who professes a belief in any kind of higher power would treat their fellow human beings (and other sentient creatures) this way… I keep praying for justice for all and trust that it will be so because I too believe in a higher power and I know that what goes around comes around.
Maybe when Doreen Virtue gets around to reading the passage about Zaccheus in the New Testament, she will start offering refunds to everyone she took advantage of.
But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, ‘Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.’ Luke 19:8
PS. Though Doreen Virtue promised in ‘The Joy of Jesus’ that they begun refunding Donors as soon as the ranch was shut down, Diana has to date (August 2018) not received a refund.
ETA 24 Aug, 2018: Diana now has received a refund, after challenging Doreen on Twitter. Read all about it HERE (includes screenshots).