Religious cult leader accused of ruining lives and 'brainwashing' people while also charging members thousands of dollars

Daily Mail, UK/January 8, 2015

By Sally Lee

A former cult member has spoken out to warn others of a religious sect that she says has robbed 14 years of her life.

Alison Forden says she escaped from the Magnificat Meal Movement (MMM) which is currently based at a country home in Helidon, southeast Queensland.

The woman behind MMM is Debra Geileskey who founded the group in 1986 and claims to hear voices and visions of angels, Virgin Mary and Jesus.

Ms Forden told A Current Affair on Thursday night that she was 'brainwashed' by the cult which not only cost her thousands of dollars but also ruined her life and the lives of her children.

Ms Forden says all members were told to give 10 per cent of their income, while also supporting other money-making schemes led by Ms Geileskey.

'I would hate to do the figures because it would be thousands but also my children's lives they have been affected and no amount of money would ever restore that,' Ms Forden said.

'I can't believe I actually went along with everything that was told to me and I didn't question it earlier.

'I can't believe I was sucked by this place because it really is a cult.'

Ms Forden's mother, Rosemary, was also living at the country home and was required to pay rent.

She says she was constantly monitored by Ms Geileskey.

'You always had to ask or tell where you were going,' she told A Current Affair.

While Ms Geileskey now lives overseas, Ms Forden believes the cult leader still operates MMM and has 100s of followers visiting or living at the Queensland home.

Raphael Aron from Cult Counselling Australia told A Current Affair 'concerns need to be expressed for any religion that pushes a particular product or particular commodity'.

'If people feel a sense of submissiveness, a sense of obligation, a sense of belonging and also the fact that if they are going to leave they may end up in not a very good place, that's when I talk about not having the freedom to go,' he said.

While Ms Forden rebuilds her life, she still remains worried about the other lives that may be destroyed by Ms Geileskey.

'She's lying to a group of people, misleading them. How many homes will be lost? How many marriages will be wrecked? How many people will have their lives destroyed?' Ms Forden said.

A Current Affair did not receive a response from Ms Geileskey.

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