Archive for the Uncategorized Category

Hillsong: The Money Machine (A Current Affair)

Posted in Uncategorized on August 6, 2014 by hillsongchurch

Brian Houston lies about the bible to sell his book

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on September 10, 2008 by hillsongchurch

Hillsong Churchs leader Brian Houston has lied on  Television  in an effort to sell a few more books.

While selling his book “Money” he quotes from the bible saying “why does the bible say let the poor say I am rich”

These  words came out of a Hillsong song called “Let the weak say I am strong ” which was stolen from a poem called “Give Thanks” by Henry Smith

When you cant trust the leader to tell the truth how can you trust them with your soul.

Complaint by Hillsong about Mercy Ministries Media Reports – Dismissed

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on September 9, 2008 by hillsongchurch

September 10, 2008

THE Press Council has dismissed a complaint from Benjamin Isaac against the Herald. The ruling said:

Mr Isaac [complained about] aspects of a series of articles about Mercy Ministries’ work with women in crisis, its links with Hillsong Church, and related matters.

In particular, Mr Isaac took issue with an article not concerned directly with Mercy Ministries, but which reported a letter of support for a development proposal in Rosebery by the Hillsong Church. The letter of support came from Caroline Bateson in her role as manager of the South Sydney Police and Community Youth Club. Ms Bateson was a former volunteer worker for Hillsong.

The article included quotes from the club’s chief executive confirming that Ms Bateson ceased working for Hillsong before becoming club manager, that the club had written similar supporting letters for other community organisations, and that other Hillsong members had been club volunteers, but no longer worked there. Sydney’s Deputy Mayor was quoted saying the letter breached the club’s charter and that Ms Bateson had been an active recruiter for Hillsong before taking up her club management role.

Mr Isaac complained that the article insinuated that Ms Bateson had infiltrated the club to act as a Hillsong agent. He also said describing the proposed development as “controversial” was a prejudicial remark, and that the phrase “Hillsong link” in the report’s headline was misleading as the word “link” was usually associated with crime.

Mr Isaac also complained that the article lacked balance and breached a Press Council principle concerning gratuitous emphasis on people’s religion. He wrote two letters to the newspaper, neither of which was published.

The newspaper responded that the articles on the Mercy Ministries had been meticulously researched, used both named and anonymous sources, included relevant associations to religious organisations, and were clearly in the public interest. Officials from Mercy Ministries had been quoted, as had several independent health professionals. The newspaper had published an opinion piece by Peter Irvine, a senior board member of Mercy Ministries, along with a significant number of letters on the matter.

While the newspaper quoted several women who alleged poor treatment or abuse by Mercy Ministries, it also published the favourable remarks of a woman who had graduated from the Mercy program, although information about successful outcomes was not forthcoming from the organisation itself.

Concerning the story about Ms Bateson’s letter of support for the Hillsong development, the newspaper outlined the numerous attempts its journalist had made to contact and meet Ms Bateson, all of which had been rebuffed. Various relevant parties to the matter had been contacted for comment. The newspaper argued that, as well as the clear public interest in the development, it was extremely unusual for a Police and Community Youth Club actively to support a development proposal, especially one of the size and controversy involved.

The Press Council found no breach of its principles of the kind suggested by Mr Isaacs.

This story was found at: http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2008/09/09/1220857547504.html

Hillsong ‘using schools for recruitment’

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on September 9, 2008 by hillsongchurch

Posted Tue Sep 9, 2008 11:38am AEST
Updated Tue Sep 9, 2008 2:55pm AEST

The Hillsong sign sits on the entrance to the Hillsong Church

Evangelising: Hillsong is accused of trying to recruit schoolchildren (AAP: Mick Tsikas)

The Christian evangelical church Hillsong has been accused of secretly making a push to convert public school students in New South Wales.

The NSW Federation of Parents and Citizens Association says it has received a number of complaints from teachers and parents concerned that Hillsong is using public schools as a recruiting ground.

Federation president Dianne Giblin says the church is using its young people to go into schools and host barbecues called ‘Exo days’ in about 30 schools across the state.

Ms Giblin says religious education is strictly defined under the Public School Act.

“There’s a section in the Act that says there’s not to be more than one hour of special religious education a week,” she said.

“These are coming under the disguise of cultural events or even PD [personal development], health and PE [physical education] sessions.

“We believe the content is not known to the department and the content should be known. All our curriculum content is known and we feel that they should take some action.”

NSW Greens MP John Kaye says he has also received a number of complaints from teachers.

Mr Kaye says the new Education Minister, Verity Firth, should step in.

“The Education Department is calling it a cultural event but that’s not true. It’s an event which is designed to convert children to the Assemblies of God religion.”

Hillsong declined to comment when contacted by the ABC.

‘Exorcisms, cruel techniques’ part of Mercy Ministry treatment

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on March 27, 2008 by hillsongchurch

Posted Mon Mar 17, 2008 11:10am AEDT
Updated Mon Mar 17, 2008 11:09am AEDT

The peak body for mental health professionals has issued a warning on the potential dangers of faith-based cures for mental health problems.

The Sydney Morning Herald has revealed allegations of incorrect treatment of several troubled young women by the Christian group, Mercy Ministries, which is linked to the Hillsong Church.

On its website, Mercy Ministries claims to treat women aged 16 to 28 years old by “providing homes and care for young women suffering the effects of eating disorders, self harm, abuse, depression, unplanned pregnancies and other life controlling issues.”

But three former patients told the Herald that the programs involved “emotionally cruel and medically unproven techniques”, such as exorcisms and “separation contracts” between friends.

The girls reportedly left the Mercy centre suicidal, after being told they were possessed by demons.

The newspaper report also claims Mercy Ministries received the women’s Centrelink payments during their residential stay.

Mental Health Council of Australia spokesman Simon Tatz says it is important people receive treatment that is evidence-based, for instance psychiatry and certain drug treatments.

“It’s about getting people into treatments that are proven to work,” he said.

A spokeswoman for Federal Human Resources Minister Joe Ludwig says the allegations regarding Centrelink are being investigated.

Meanwhile, coffee chain Gloria Jean’s says it will continue its sponsorship and fundraising of the Mercy Ministries program.

A spokeswoman says the company was told the allegations were unfounded.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2008/03/17/2191256.htm

Hillsong’s mental illness link is no surprise to me

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on March 18, 2008 by hillsongchurch

Tim Brunero

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.

Not after what I saw 13 years ago when I ended up with a hundred or so other 17-year-olds at a remote convention centre enduring, between sessions of study, a week of activities with a deep undercurrent of hard core Christianity.

A week that culminated in a late night ‘conversion session’ on the final evening.

We were all packed into a room and seated cross-legged on the floor. In strode Christine Caine, now a senior pastor at the outfit.

What followed was an exhausting two-hour marathon of fire and brimstone – a textbook example of extreme emotional manipulation.

At the end, when we were all pale and adrenalised, we were told to bow our heads. If we wanted to be saved, all we had to do was raise our hand.

We were told our thumping hearts was God knocking on our souls – a physiological response to stress dressed up as spiritual calling.

As meek hands were raised, we were whipped up further; “There’s more, I know it, Jesus may never knock again!” We were kept like that for over ten minutes.

Then those who had raised their hands were removed from the room. The whole disgraceful episode led to the church being banned from advertising such camps at our school.

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.

Where growing the church both in wealth and it numbers matters above all else.

In fact I wondered enough to go to their services to see for myself.

When I arrived a young welcoming committee rep, Rani, met me. Together we watch and sing along to a band, seven attractive young singers and a thirty-person choir.

Those on stage, none of whom were older than 35, have their eyes closed and hands raised in religious rapture as the concert style lights sweep the room and smoke machines puff away.

Two huge screens overlay the song lyrics about “surrendering to Christ” with images of the action on stage and close ups on the audience from multiple camera operators.

One girl two seats down with her eyes closed keeps singing the songs long after they’ve finished, clearly in a trance.

After the music stopped, an older man hit the stage, telling us he’d just read a book about the leaning tower of Pisa – built in 1173 as the belltower of a nearby church.

He said no one could remember who designed or constructed it – but they could remember who paid for it, an old woman who’d left 60 gold coins for the purpose in her will.

The moral of his story was this woman was remembered 800 years later, and if we gave to Hillsong we could be remembered in 800 years as well.
We were directed to the tithe envelopes on our seats, where we could put the recommended 10 percent of our income. Conveniently, we could pay with cash, cheque or credit card.

We weren’t really being asked, we were being told.

Next was a church news video presentation encouraging us to enrol in one of the many conferences, weekend retreats, or ‘diplomas’ in theology offered at Hillsong’s religious school.

At the end there was a conversion session exactly the same as I encountered at the ‘HSC Hype’ study camp.

Right at the end, people who were sick identified themselves. Others crowded around them placing hands on any available piece of flesh and muttering and mumbling away to themselves, talking in tongues.

On the way out, I saw a large Polynesian man. I was told he was Brian Houston’s bodyguard.

Rani informed me his presence was necessary as some people who don’t agree with the church’s teachings run up on stage during Brian’s performances.

I was amazed at the positive energy the feeling of community was great – it’s just a pity it costs so much.

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.

Mercy Ministries – The Victims Speak Out

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on March 18, 2008 by hillsongchurch