Cult Alert

The Mercury (Australia)/November 2, 2000
By Harriet Binet

A health cult purporting to work miracles and offer cures for serious ailments has come under fire from a Hobart alderman.

The organisation, called Infinity Forms of Yellow Remember, has a growing band of followers in Tasmania.

It was started by a former Tasmanian, Gerald H Attrill, who now goes by the name Jessa O'My Heart, but has spread through both Australia and America. Hobart City Council alderman Ron Christie said the cult, based on the principles of alchemy - the medieval belief in turning metal into gold and the search for the elixir of life - was duping people of money.

Ald Christie said: "I am very concerned about the consequences this cult is having on families here."

He has launched a campaign to raise awareness of the cult after first becoming aware of its Tasmanian activities through his former partner of 12 months Salsa Headrock Junior.

Ms Junior, a nurse at St Helens Hospital, and now using an Infinity name, denied the organisation was a cult.

"It's not a cult ... that's the ridiculous thing," she said. "There is no membership. It's a heart matter.

"It's a feeling thing that can't be analysed by the head." Ald Christie said it was unknown how many active members were in the state but he said he had recently been contacted by three concerned relatives. "It's going to grow and no one else wants to do anything about it. It is very difficult to find out about the extent this cult has grown in Hobart because of the secrecy that surrounds it," he said.

Ald Christie said his campaign to expose the cult was not motivated by any feelings of ill will towards his former partner, Ms Junior.

Another Hobart man whose partner has been involved with Infinity for about 12 months said he had been devastated by her involvement.

He refused to be named because he believed his partner would end the relationship if she knew he had spoken to the media about the group's activities.

Although still together, the man said his partner had spent at least $7000 on Infinity products and he had now taken steps to protect his own finances. "It's typical cult story," he said. "They promise everything and deliver nothing. They are brainwashed. They are 100% for the cult and become fanatical."

Infinity products can be ordered through its Website and offers for $40 "empowered" water, said to have special healing qualities, and magic wands, about 10cm long, selling for $200 a pair.

A laboratory test on a sample of "Pink Beloved" water obtained from an Infinity shop last year was revealed to simply contain water similar to the purity of spring water.

Last year the Queensland Government asked the Office of Fair Trading to investigate the product claims but the Brisbane shop closed down before an investigation could be done.

A Brisbane cult expert Jan Groenveld has worked with the families of members involved with Infinity.

She described it as a cult which used subtle mind control to manipulate people for financial gain.

"They cut off their family if there is any opposition," Mrs Groenveld said. "People become separated from families and become totally absorbed. "They really get hooked on the leader. No one that's in a cult knows that it's a cult.

"It's not until you start to see that things are wrong that you can see what you're in."

Mrs Groenveld, who has counselled victims and families of cults for more than 20 years, said isolating people from their family and urging them to "stay away from unbelief" was a common tactic.

"Like anything in life you have to have good consumer skills." A former northern Tasmanian nurse - now known as Omni and living in Queensland - has run Infinity workshops in Hobart and is believed to be a senior figure in the organisation.

She said yesterday answering questions on the phone served no purpose and declined to comment further.

Mr Attrill, who divides his time between Australia and America, completed a Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Tasmanian in 1967 - majoring in psychology.

To see more documents/articles regarding this group/organization/subject click here.