Five arrested during cult raid

AAP in Herald Sun (Australia)/August 26, 2003

Five cult members were arrested after trying to stop police from executing a search warrant at a property west of Brisbane today.

Police were proceeding to execute the warrant at a property at Ballam Hill, near Gatton, around noon (AEST) when the members of the Magnificat (Magnificat) Meal Movement stopped them from entering.

Five men, aged between 17 and 34, will face Gatton Magistrates Court on September 16 charged with obstructing police.

A police spokeswoman said officers later executed the search warrant.

Magnificat Meal Movement leader Debra Burslem has attracted international attention with claims she received messages from Jesus and the Virgin Mary.

The cult, based at Helidon, is believed to operate about 20 properties west of Brisbane worth more than $3.5 million.

Police declined to comment on the reason for the search warrant.

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