Cult follower moves to clear group's motives

The Chronicle, Australia/June 13, 2008

Magnificat Meal Movement follower Sue Lindsay has denied claims her art and craft group is a fundraising front for the controversial Helidon-based religious cult.

Mrs Lindsay is president of the Tabletop Junior Art and Craft Association Inc whose fundraising efforts include fancy dress balls, dance festivals and an upcoming $150,000 music festival, RockStock 2008.

Lockyer residents and an anonymous councillor have branded the festivals as avenues to raise money for the MMM and said the club should not be receiving government grants.

"We've got nothing at all to do with MMM," Mrs Lindsay said.

Mrs Lindsay, who is an MMM follower herself, said there were some mums at the club who were MMM members but they all kept their private lives and interests separate.

"We're a group of mothers who got together a few years ago and started doing art and craft activities with our little ones.

"Because we're busy mums we decided that instead of fundraising all year, we would have one or two major functions."

Mrs Lindsay said the club was incorporated, registered with the Office of Fair Trading and was audited each year. It offers fun activities to local teenagers.

She said residents knew she was president of the club and of her involvement with MMM.

"I work in a hospital, I shop at Woolworths and I am no different to anyone else."

Lockyer Valley Regional Council CEO Colin O'Connor said the club met with council to discuss possible funding for their RockStock event in September.

"We will look at this event and its merit to the region.

"And as with any organisation that council helps, we always like to know where the money ends up in the future," he said.

Mr O'Connor said he was disappointed a fellow councillor publicly aired their personal views about the club.

"I can't say if council has any fears or concerns as the matter hasn't been discussed yet."

The Helidon Sports and Recreation Association has also been implicated with the MMM but officials could not be contacted yesterday for comment.

MMM cult leader Debra Geileskey said she had visions of the Virgin Mary and told her followers that Christ's Second Coming would occur in Helidon.

She has sold her million-dollar Helidon retreat and moved to the US.

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