Courier Mail, The (Brisbane), 01/05/2001, pg. 3

DEBRA and Gordon Geileskey, the couple behind the Magnificat Meal Movement, are being investigated for tax fraud.

An Australian Taxation Office spokesperson, confirming a “priority” investigation, said allegations of unconscionable conduct and criminal fraud would be forwarded to the Australian Federal Police.

A magistrate last week ordered Gordon Geileskey to pay $38,000 to two former cult members over a real estate dispute in which he paid only half the agreed price for a property in Helidon, in the foothills of the Toowoomba Range.

The Toowoomba Magistrates Court hearing was the first civil action brought by members against a leader of the cult.

Magistrate Alan Yorkston said Mr Geileskey failed to honour an agreement to provide the couple with a first registered mortgage and failed to make payments to them.

Terry and Ann Johnson joined the cult in 1996 seeking healing for Mr Johnson’s terminal illness.

Mr Johnson said the trauma of being involved in the cult was an enormous drain on them.

“We have begged with Mr Geileskey to settle because of the all stress but he wouldn’t,” he said.

Mr Johnson said the court decision restored his faith in the legal system but he was not naive enough to believe it would be the end of the dispute.

“The ball is fairly and squarely in Mr Geileskey’s court. He either does the right thing by us or we have to execute the judgment to get our money back,” he said.

Mr Johnson estimated he lost another $60,000 to $70,000 in business deals involving Mrs Geileskey.

“’We have to kiss all that money goodbye,” he said.

The ATO investigation was very good news for former cult members, he said.

“(The Geileskeys) must be held accountable for their actions. There are other cases worse than ours. People have lost a lot more money than us.”

Allegations against the Geileskeys of unconscionable conduct relate to Mrs Geileskey using information from her husband’s real estate business to pose as a prophet and direct people to make real estate deals.

Ex-cultists said Mrs Geileskey approached members during church services and gave them handwritten messages saying God had revealed they should buy or sell certain properties through her husband.

Former members also provided police with documents showing how the two allegedly co-operated to persuade clients to make dubious purchases.

In several cases, Gordon Geileskey allegedly provided confidential business information to his wife who then directed followers by telling them the deals were “God’s will”.

Former cultist Maureen Luce said Debra Geileskey told them her husband was “Our Lady’s real estate agent” and anyone going to another agent would be cursed.

Dozens of families from across Australia moved to Helidon and at Mrs Geileskey’s urging bought houses through Mr Geileskey.

After families were shown houses, Mrs Geileskey would accompany her husband to the houses and tell people which one the Virgin Mary had chosen for them, saying she had a vision of the family living there.

Copyright 2001 / Courier Mail