King of Kings Tuam. Two yellows but still no red card!

Diqalogue Ireland has been involved with people affected by the King of Kings in Tuam. We are going to post our file on this group. We also hope that many who have found this group a problem might use our comment section to give us a deeper insight into what happened.

Mary’s cult has raked in 250,000

Which means a €39,000 4×4 for her and €80,000 stone cladding for her mansion

By Nicola Byrne,

Ireland on Sunday, December 19, 2004

The cult run by Mary Sheridan, self-styled prophetess and Christian saviour of Tuam, has raked in more than €250,000 over a two-year period as a result of her bizarre activities.  Sheridan, a 52-year-old mother of five, has acquired a brand new 4×4 and paid for expensive designer clothes and business-class air tickets out of funds raised from followers of her sect.  Former members of her King of Kings cult, who have accused her of fraud, brain-washing and destroying marriages, have made official complaints to gardai and the Revenue Commissioners.  But this week the sect was still operating in Mrs.Sheridan’s in Tuam, Co.Galway.  Since Ireland on Sunday exposed the activities of the cult last July, membership has dwindled to just four people outside of Mrs. Sheridan’s immediate family.  However, the sect continues to keep its charitable tax-free status.  Accounts which Mrs. Sheridan’s company was obliged to submit to the Revenue Commissioners show that the sect benefited to the tune of €252,300 from gifts and donations from members in just two years.  To June 2001, income was €44,348 and to June 2002, it was €208,019.  This allowed Sheridan and her husband Ossie, an unemployed builder, to be awarded salaries of €33,000, ‘pastors’ and mission expenses of €45,000 and a new Toyota RAV4, costing €34,900.

Ex-cult members say they were in awe of Mrs. Sheridan – an articulate, glamorous person who’s rarely seen without her designer sunglasses.  Although the couple, who came to the north Galway town in the 1980s, used to live in a dingy council house on the run-down Parkmore estate, they built a five-bedroomed mini-mansion, Dove Manor, on the outskirts of town two years ago.  Ossie Sheridan boasted to cult members that the stone cladding on the property alone cost €80,000. Several people who were members of the cult are now receiving psychological counselling.  Unlike the usual profile of people who are attracted to cults, Sheridan’s followers were mainly mature adults who were family people and respected members of society.

They joined the sect believing it was a Christian prayer group, but ended up being persuaded to give up 10pc of their salaries for its upkeep. The Charities Regulation Unit, operating under the Department of Community and Rural Affairs,has now promised legislation on the funding of charities, admitting that the sector in Ireland is currently unregulated.  ‘There is no statutory definition of what a “charity” is, no reliable information on the number of active charities, what their financial worth is and how they spend their funds,’ said a spokeswoman.  ‘Legislation in the new year will change all of that.’  The cult still conducts a Sunday service at Dove Manor, preaching the ‘Prosperity Gospel’ which says that people who give to the church will be sent wealth and prosperity in return.

Audio tapes acquired by IoS have Sheridan boasting of her wealth during one of the sermons.  ‘We came from a background where we had nothing, where we were praying for food on the table, where all Ossie had was a push bike.  This year, it looks like we’ll be going into four nations.  I’m flying out to Sydney tomorrow, business class, all paid for, €4,000, all expenses paid. We’re going to Sweden in May for our son’s graduation.  ‘And then we’re going to Atlanta sometime in the summer and this is just the beginning.  This is coming from living in a welfare house with a bicycle.  That’s what God will do if you walk in righteousness. ‘God chose us and if you have a problem with us, you have a problem with God.’

This week, a Tuam-based businessman whose family was torn apart by its involvement with King of Kings, spoke of his distress that the Sheridans were still operating.  ‘It’s terrible, given the trail of destruction they’ve left behind them, that they should be allowed to continue to parade around Tuam as if nothing had happened and that they be allowed to continue their operation under charitable status.  ‘Families with children old enough to be affected by the control and abuse are particularly damaged.  As some of the children have grown up and begun to rationalise what has happened, they have become very confused and depressed.  Some of them have needed professional counselling.’  Many more people have come forward with their stories of emotional abuse.  Mike Garde of Dialogue Ireland, an organisation which deprogrammes people coming out of cults, confirms that young people in particular have been severely damaged by their involvement with King of Kings.  He welcomed the proposed legislation regulating these type of churches.  ‘The situation in Tuam makes clear the need for an urgent Government response to the issue of cults in general,’ he said.  ‘Churches attract charitable status because they are seen to be doing good in the community but, when they are used for the personal enrichment of their leaders and effective money laundering, then it’s wrong.’

The Sheridans were unavailable for comment.

Caption accompanying the article:

KING OF KINGS PROFIT AND LOSS ACCOUNT

YEAR ENDED JUNE 30, 2002

INCOME

Tithes(a share of each follower’s income)…..€101,256

Other donations and gifts…………………€106,763

TOTAL…………………………………..€208,019

OVERHEADS

Mrs. Sheridan’s wages……………………..€33,378

Mrs. Sheridan’s expenses…………………..€14,233

Other ‘mission’ expenses…………………..€20,650

Travelling and conference expenses…………..€8,756

New 4X4 for Mrs. Sheridan………………….€34,900

Other gifts……………………………….€6,722

Other sundry expenses……………………..€19,740

SURPLUS (profit carried forward into next year)……..€69,640

NB: There is no record of any contributions to charity

3 Responses

  1. Dear Nellie,
    Thanks for the update 😀. Could you kindly give me a call to discuss in confidence? My number is 0872396229. Are they the same people?

    Like

  2. Just to let you know King of Kings are back again .Under the name of Spirit of life did they not do enough damage first time around they are dangerous people be careful

    Like

  3. My hope is that the law worldwide recognise this fraud as fraud, and not to seperate criminal activity from that labelled as “spritual” or church buisness. I also hope that all pastors/chruch leaders who do not go through the mainstream process of ordination/checks/accountability, are licensed. What the unsuspecting public dont realise is some pastors have underlying personality disorders. They are human. A label of pastor does not mean they are genuine. Some, inc. King of Kings pastors are convinced they are called by God and if you mix that with a narcistic trait , you have an excellent hook for gathering much “grain for the store house”. Vunerable people beware where you put your trust – you could get scalded. I owe Mike Gard a lot from Dialogue because he opened my eyes, by placing a leaflet in my hand. I asked questions and started to think about leaving. Spiritual Abuse is worth googling. The world is rife with it, yet con artists are allowed to continue to prey – wake up LAW!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: