Editorial Opinion: Ex-Leader Warns It's No Miracle

Northern Star, March 28 2000
By Dean Gould, Editor

Spiritual exploitation has been around for centuries, but is alive and kicking in Byron Bay.

The Endeavor Academy is yet another cult offering all sorts of miracles, yet delivering little of substance.

The alarm has been raised by one of its former leaders and others who were caught up in the false euphoria of being among like-minded followers.

Ian Hamilton has blown the whistle on the religious group.

Whether it be the Miracle Centre, the Endeavor Academy or the New Christian Church Of Full Endeavor Australia, it is nothing but hype about passing spiritual fads.

Master Hector offers a mish-mash of New Age philosophy, passing reference to respected intellectual teachings and an entirely baseless claim to authority.

It is a sad reflection on the Byron community that this organization seems to have flourished there, moving from the fundamentalist Bible belt of rural Queensland.

It has been said that where there are a lot of healers there is a lot of suffering. Byron Bay has more healers, traditional and alternative, than almost anywhere else in Australia.

If people do need psychological, spiritual, physical or moral healing there are many better options available to them.

And few of these options involve peer pressure, ridicule, false promises, and threats or indeed the likelihood of getting so immersed in the process that their assets will be given over to the company running the show.

To some, it may seem like a harmless bunch of believers doing what they feel is right for themselves.

But to Mr Hamilton and others who have been on the inside, it is a dangerous mix of mind manipulation and dependence.

Spiritual guidance should help a person, not drag them down.

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