Bubble or nothing

Tweed Daily, Australia/June 6, 2006
By Madeleine Doherty

An urgent investigation into the activities of Tweed-based Hermes Far Eastern Shining Pty Ltd is under way.

NSW Minister for Fair Trading Diane Beamer yesterday initiated the investigation after a series of articles examining the company’s activities were published in the Daily News on Saturday.

Hermes Far Eastern Shining is a new company that sprang up in 2002 after the NSW Supreme Court banned Infinity Forms of Yellow Remember Ltd Pty and its directors from selling bottled water and other items it claimed had healing or empowerment properties.

At the centre of both companies is 65-year-old Gerald Hart Attrill, of Eungella, known to his followers as Jessa O’My Heart.

Members of the Hermes group, referred to as "water people" by locals, believe Jessa is an alchemist and Jesus Christ incarnate. They believe he is capable of empowering a range of products including wands, coasters, saturn bubblers and discs.

The products range in price from around $30 to the $30,000 bubbler and are sold locally and internationally.

Following the court action in 2002, Hermes Far Eastern Shining, based in Tyalgum and Murwillumbah, was born.

"With professional help we adjusted our product range and refocused our literature to ensure that the true purpose of our work is clearly presented ...." the company’s literature says.

The 50ml bottles of water, which sold for $80 by Infinity Forms of Yellow Remember, were replaced by a coaster produced by Hermes Far Eastern Shining. The new sales pitch claims that a glass of water placed on the coaster will become empowered.

A former member of the group said Jessa had created a whole company that sold discs that empowered the water you drink.

Members were encouraged to buy the products because the more you bought the more enlightened you became.

Yesterday Ms Beamer said it sounded like some people were up to their old tricks.

"To suggest a coaster empowers a glass of water is completely unbelievable," Ms Beamer said.

Backing the Minister is Sydney-based Dr Stephen Mutch, patron of the Cult Information and Family Support (CIFS) grou p.

CIFS supports families whose loved ones are in cults and assists with members exiting cults.

"It’s about time the NSW Parliament established an inquiry into anything to do with the sale of spiritual and supernatural items," Dr Mutch said.

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