There is a story in the Murdoch Press today about the Hillsong Chruch Mercy Ministries program. I read up on this sometime back when I saw the collection boxes in every single Gloria Jeans cafe I walked past.
I was concerned by the lack of information they provided about the governance structures of the program and how they evaluated their touted '90% success rate'.
The story in the press appears to claim that casting out of demons has become a tool in treating mental illness in Mercy Ministries.
If this is true it is very disturbing and reaches back to the dark ages for its inspiration.
Mental illness is real - not the manifestation of evil spirits but an actual and treatable medical condition.
Telling people that the 'voices' they hear are demons does not help. If this is in fact what is occuring at Mercy Ministries then I am appalled.
It is no secret that Gloria Jeans are closely linked with Hillsong Church but I think that tying the franchise to a very narrow focus of charity does not give a good impression. I wonder if franchisees are 'required' to fundraise for Mercy Ministries or even if they are permitted to fundraise for other charities?