Irish eyes on Queensland cult

Catholic News/June 5, 2003

An Irish cult specialist and academic has come from Dublin to investigate the teachings and beliefs of Helidon self-proclaimed visionary Debra Geileskey and the effect she has on her followers.

Mike Garde is an adviser to the Archbishop of Dublin on cults and sects springing up within churches and the community and provides exit counselling for people who leave controlling religious organisations.

Mr Garde was alerted in 1997 that the Magnificat Meal Movement was recruiting followers in the Catholic Church in Ireland.

Relatives of members had contacted him for help to try to rescue people who had been drawn into the group and then were cut off from the church and their families.

"Exit counselling is important because if people process their experiences they are more likely to recover in a shorter time. If they pretend it never happened they can feel guilty for leaving and they can be left with terrible trauma," he said.

Mrs Geileskey infiltrated the Catholic Church in Toowoomba in the early 1990s and quickly expanded her recruitment around Australia and overseas, predominantly in Ireland, the US and the Philippines.

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