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Hillsong Church - the Mercy Ministries [Mar. 22nd, 2008|10:27 am]
Bob Bain
[Current Mood |confusedconfused]

Sydney Morning Herald Article - They sought help but...

They sought help, but got exorcism and the Bible

Ruth Pollard
March 17, 2008

A SECRETIVE ministry with direct links to Gloria Jean's Coffees and the Hillsong Church has been deceiving troubled young women into signing over months of their lives to a program that offers scant medical or psychiatric care, instead using Bible studies and exorcisms to treat mental illness.

Hillsong Church Gloria Jean's linked to abuse claims... (News Limited)

March 17, 2008 01:13am

Three former ministry residents have blown the whistle on the program, claiming they were independent young women when they entered, but came out broken and suicidal, believing - as ministry staff had told them - that they were possessed by demons and that Satan controlled them.

The women have since been forced to undergo years of intense psychological and psychiatric care to overcome their treatment at the ministry.

Membership at the ministry required residents to sign over any Centrelink benefits, and it is believed the group also received a carers payment to look after the women, the Herald reported.

God's cure for gays lost in sin... (Sydney Morning Herald)

March 19, 2008

Former residents say separation contracts, a ban on physical contact and teachings by an 'ex-gay' are part of Mercy Ministry's attempts to stamp out lesbianism in its flock, reports Ruth Pollard.

WHEN Mercy Ministries says it helps young women with "life-controlling issues", it means in part that it aims to teach them not to be lesbians.

In line with the Hillsong Church's strict doctrines teaching that homosexuality is an affliction that can be cured, Mercy Ministries is keen to ensure there is no lesbianism under its roof. It issues "separation contracts" to young women who make friends with each other and prevents any form of physical contact between residents.

Gloria Jean's deny affiliation... (SMH)

Ruth Pollard
March 19, 2008

Gloria Jean's Coffees hit back at claims it has connections to Hillsong Church, saying on its website: "We are not religiously affiliated, or affiliated to any other beliefs or preferences."

It said it donated $150,000 to $170,000 a year to Mercy Ministries, plus the donations made by the public to the money boxes in each cafe.

"Since then we have seen many young women's lives transformed for the better … we have been in direct discussion with Mercy Ministries and we will be working with them to understand what elements of their program could have given rise to these very concerning claims."

Along with many young women with serious complaints about their treatment at Mercy Ministries, the Herald has been contacted by some who had positive experiences.