|Hillsong Church - Opinion !
||[Mar. 22nd, 2008|10:44 am]
Hillsong's mental illness link is no surprise to me (LiveNews)
Hillsong's mental illness link is no surprise to me
18/03/2008 5:46:00 PM.
When I was deep in the hell of the Year 12 HSC a fellow student at Carlingford High School invited me to a ‘HSC Hype’ study camp run by the Hillsong Church. I had no idea what I was in for.
But after what I experienced I couldn’t possibly be surprised by today’s media allegations the Hillsong Church’s mental health arm ‘Mercy Ministries’ is little more than an amateur hour demon-exorcising clinic that leaves vulnerable mentally ill girls worse off than when they started.
As you can probably imagine since then I’ve kept a pretty keen eye on the church and watched its stadium like churches mushroom out of the sprawling estate they own deep in McMansion country in Sydney’s north west.
I’ve watched them spread their tentacles to the depressed suburbs of Waterloo and Redfern.
I’ve watched this organization, which pays no tax and files no financial documents with the ATO, grow in political influence.
Former PM John Howard opened their new convention centre in 2002, Peter Costello has addressed their conferences and federal politicians Senator Steve Fielding and Louise Markus are from amongst their flock.
I’ve wondered how much how much of the money they ‘tithe’ from their followers goes to ‘charitable’ projects like ‘Mercy Ministries’ and how much goes to bigger buildings, money making schemes like CD and TV sales around the world, and how much into senior pastors’ pockets.
I’ve wondered how people can buy their steroid enhanced form of worship where talking in tongues, exorcising demons and going into trances of religious ecstasy are the norm.
How people can attend their church services, which more closely resemble rock concerts, and not see they are primarily designed to bamboozle the senses.
And I’ve wondered how people can tithe 10 percent of their income to a church whose boss, Brian Houston, said last year raked in $50 million.
I realised it’s this rock concert-like show, full of literal smoke and mirrors, together with their other hocus-pocus that gets people in.
And if that’s all they did, you could hardly complain, people should be able to believe whatever they want, however kooky.
But they really shouldn’t have to pay for it. And the Church shouldn’t really be trying to ‘cure’ mentally ill people with prayer and holy water. And they really shouldn't be targeting public school children to grow their church.
But at least after today’s news everyone now knows how these people work. And no one in future, from governments down, can pretend to be surprised.
The LJ Strike is over in Australia. The above was originally posted to the No-Censorship mailing list which I may or may not have unsubscribed from. If so then there's no indication how I resubscribe.