Latest revelations make us aware we actually know less than we did a decade ago?

Princess DebraClaire BBurslem has also been preaching that Ireland will sink beneath the waves and that the world will face a calamity in around 2017, former followers say.

Sect leader Debra Burslem convinced followers to give her millions

·         DAVID MURRAY
·         THE COURIER-MAIL
·         FEBRUARY 22, 2015 
QUEENSLAND sect leader Debra Burslem told followers that God wanted her to have a new Mercedes and a luxury Spanish villa.
Clare Birchley and Claire Murphy are former followers of Burslem’s Magnificat Meal Moveme
The jet setting Burslem also insisted she fly first class to have more room to pray and claimed to be the rightful heir to the British throne.
Debra Burslem now lives in Vanuatu.
Debra Burslem now lives in Vanuatu.
Her extravagant lifestyle and outlandish claims have been revealed after several of her closest confidantes walked out of Burslem’s Magnificat Meal Movement in disgust.
The movement, based at Helidon near Toowoomba, attracted worldwide attention when Burslem claimed to receive messages from Jesus and the Virgin Mary.
Its inner workings have been a closely guarded secret but former followers have begun warning of Burslem’s dangerous hold on members.
Clare Birchley spent almost 20 years in the movement and was once a true believer in Burslem’s claims but now says she is a charlatan. She estimates Burslem has raised $20 million through her followers since she first shot to prominence in the 1990s. Money-raising schemes in the movement are many and varied. Burslem: 
■Insisted followers give 10 per cent of wages and donate extra for God’s blessing;
■ Recruited followers to sell products for multi-level marketing companies such as Herbalife, Neways and Forever Living which would earn her commissions;
■ Convinced followers to invest $1.8 million in a failed gold bullion scheme.
Burslem and her husband were broke when they moved to Toowoomba from Melbourne in the early 1990s and joined conservative Catholic prayer groups.
Local Catholics set them up with somewhere to live, but Burslem put the church off-side with her claims about communicating with Jesus and Mary.
Soon, the former primary school teacher was claiming she needed $45 million to build a basilica to honour the Virgin Mary. Ms Birchley says it never happened and believes it “never will”.
Instead, Burslem spent $800,000 converting a dilapidated stable in the Spanish village of San Sebastian de Garabandal into a villa.
Debra Burslem is accused of using funds from followers to convert this Spanish villa.

Debra Burslem is accused of using funds from followers to convert this Spanish villa.

Burslem also bought expensive furniture for one of her properties in Helidon. She shipped a Mercedes ML320 SUV from the UK to Vanuatu, where she is now based.
“In 2008 she started saying the key to the basilica was the Spanish stable. She said ‘God has said we are to rebuild the stable’.
“She has purchased at least nine Mercedes’ since 2000. She says it’s a sign of mercy, that’s why she should be driving in them, because of the word mercy in Mercedes.
Debra Burslem was a fan of Mercedes, saying she should drive them as they had “mercy” in

Debra Burslem was a fan of Mercedes, saying she should drive them as they had “mercy” in the name.

“She insisted on flying first class, and if it wasn’t first it was business. She used to say she prayed better.
“None of us accompanying her on those flights ever got to sit in first class. You would get to the end of the flight and she would send the air hostess to say ‘come on pack up my things’.”
Followers called themselves the “slaves of the eucharist” and wore blue robes — until Burslem realised the outfits were affecting their Herbalife sales and told them to wear civilian clothes.
Burslem fled to Vanuatu in 2007 after the tax office came calling with a $5.5 million bill. It is believed she negotiated a settlement to pay about $500,000.
She is staying on a property surrounded by a giant wall with broken glass scattered over the top for security. Her former followers estimate she has spent $1 million renovating the property.
Burslem declined to comment when Channel Nine’s A Current Affair confronted her in Vanuatu last week.Burslem has also been preaching that Ireland will sink beneath the waves and that the world will face a calamity in around 2017, former followers say.

Debra Burslem attracted worldwide attention in the 1990s when she said the Virgin Mary re

Debra Burslem attracted worldwide attention in the 1990s when she said the Virgin Mary regularly visited her.

Burslem declined to comment when Channel Nine’s A Current Affair confronted her in Vanuatu last week.
Burslem has also been preaching that Ireland will sink beneath the waves and that the world will face a calamity in around 2017, former followers say.
And Burslem’s dramatic claims do not stop at talking to Jesus and Mary.
“She purports to be the real heir to the British throne,” Ms Birchley said.
The movement has dwindled from thousands in the 1990s to about 400 including children today.
“Money can be replaced. Life cannot. The people of the MMM are good people, sorely mistaken, bled dry of their independence and psychologically tricked.
“They will need support one day as they begin to realise they have been used by a charlatan,” Ms Birchley said.
A sign hangs from one of the Magnificat Meal Movement buildings at Helidon.

A sign hangs from one of the Magnificat Meal Movement buildings at Helidon.

 Our research suggests that both Claire Murphy and Clare Birchley need to give more detail in regard to their role in the MMM. This includes issues of a criminal nature which we brought to the public domain in 2012. Obviously not having local information is an obstacle to understanding the latest twists in this story. Certainly the flushing out of Debra in Vanuatu has been on the cards for some time. Now what is needed is getting beyond the Celebrity factor and following the money trail. It will involve high level policing and talking to the victims of fraud world wide. It will involve an investment by the media which will cost a bit. I was invited to be an expert witness by the ATO but it was clear that they could not get a handle on the detailed fraud involved. This is likely why a settlement was reached. The terms of the settlement made by Claire Murphy and Clare Birchley with Debra means we are unlikely to ever be able to get at the truth. There is one way but since 2010 there is one person who has the golden egg of evidence but………
This was summed up to me last Friday night when I received a call from a relative of someone who was very much a feature of my thesis published in 2006. This person is seriously ill both physically and psychologically.
The human damage this woman has been responsible for is horrendous. She looks like a shriveled Hippie now but she has destroyed families throughout the world. Let us be clear DI will assist the media in any way to bring this woman to justice and at no cost other than my time.

 

29 Responses

  1. Anyone who complains about Mike and Dialogue Ireland is not being forced to read his website. Get Real. It is great therapy for victims left in the dark with no support. Thanks Mike

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  2. Anonymous 2
    Anonymous 1 you lie. That is how they lived. Your nastiness blinds you.

    1. Did Claire and John have a place on the Gold Coast?
    2. Were you a slave living in those conditions?
    3. She confirmed what I had heard from numerous persons about the fact that Clare and Claire had other accommodations?
    Stop calling people liars and get on with answering the questions, or get off the stage.
    Your loss of your critical faculties seems to have blinded you?

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  3. Anonymous before you lose the run of yourself please think before you write. Also reread your last comment again. The TV programme was about a settlement wirh Debra. Watch the programme again.

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  4. Anonymous 1 you lie. That is how they lived. Your nastiness blinds you.

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  5. ANONYMOUS 1: Clare Murphy lived with John Tonner in a very luxurious unit on the Gold Coast. It was beautiful and looked very expensive. Does anybody know what’s happened to John Tonner? Who is carrying Debra’s handbag now I wonder? I will reply to anonymous 2’s comments when I have a bit more time. Although I will back Mike up in asking, AGAIN, that you answer the questions raised specifically. Look at the issues raised please, and offer a response, and cease focusing on irrelevancies. Oh, and Clare and Claire did not live under the conditions you are describing, although some of the presumably “lesser” slaves appeared to. Were you one of them, Anonymous 2?

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  6. When it comes to the Claire’s living in luxury I think you should find a new expert in this area. The C’s never lived permanently away from the Shrine.

    Again are you their spokesperson can they not answer their own questions? Why are you taking on this role?
    I have eye witness evidence from Claire Mansour of these arrangements and the house in the valley. Clare often flew with Debra. I have evidence as I wrote that she was with her in 5 star hotels in Jerusalem, London and that she used to fly regularly into Vanuatu. I have no information on CB as though I had a documentary on her we had a challenge to YouTube and all our videos were taken down. We have to reinstate them. Not sure if it was Debra or others? Where did she live after the arranged marriage with John Tonner? I have now asked you about five times is there an actual account by the two C’s of their story. Normally when you leave a group you explain how you were conned and under undue influence. Is there any record in the public domain?

    Now if that is luxury I feel sad picturing what Anonymous 1’s current living arrangements must be like.

    What has Anonymous 1 got to do with these issues? Her current home arrangements are not relevant to this discussion. I am certainly not aware of what they are. This person unlike myself who sought to enter the MMM HQ knows every inch of it. It was like a military enclosure and the people who were guarding the gates which was on Church property were like zombies in 2003.

    Looks like you will have to find another expert in luxury Mike I am afraid your current one is a fraud!

    No I don’t as this person knows it like the back of her hand. Again I note you are answering for others.

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  7. Because you had decided I was assisting Anonymous 1 which is not the case I do not need to defend you or moderate a person who is free to respond to you in any way they like. You seem now to have grasped the fact that they are not a cult victim and I am not seeing myself as the Cult Saviour of the former members of the MMM.

    Yet when Anonymous 1 wrote to me “You obviously have issues and are not very far along in your own recovery” and “Stop whining like a spoiled child.” and ” you are … a troll.” Mike says nothing.

    You don’t seem to be aware of this but your persona on line was that of defending the two C’s, and it is only now we are seeing you speak with your own voice. She was trying to get you to break free from that mindset.

    I for one don’t need Mike to defend me but at least be consistent Mike in your moderations.

    I do not need to moderate in this case I like everyone else was replying specifically and surgically to your comments.

    ANONYMOUS 3 Submitted on 2015/03/18 at 10:27 am

    Mike how many different aliases do u write under? Is this normal for someone in ur position?

    At that stage we did not know whether you were a troll and here we had someone very close to you geographically suggesting ANONYMOUS 1 was me? It took time to get clarity. However, other than Ch 9 what is going on in Queensland to assist the victims?

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  8. Thank you so much for clearing that up Mike though I was pretty confident he/she was no cult expert. When it comes to the Claire’s living in luxury I think you should find a new expert in this area. The C’s never lived permanently away from the Shrine. When they were at the Shrine they lived in monastic type rooms with enough room for a single bed, locker, cupboard and lamp. The rooms were cold, old and had no ceiling. Now if that is luxury I feel sad picturing what Anonymous 1’s current living arrangements must be like. Looks like you will have to find another expert in luxury Mike I am afraid your current one is a fraud!

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  9. Yes Anonymous 2 stop whining I don’t supervise what Anonymous 1 writes. All you guys are interesting in your ruffled feathers and have not answered a single substantial issue as yet.

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  10. Note your inability to answer the fundamental points made here Anonymous 2. As to the expertise Anonymous 1 has it is not in cult studies but having direct knowledge of the 2 C’s. How they lived in luxury and visited all kind of locations from Malaysia, Jerusalem, Moscow, London, Moscow and also were in Vanuata. Address the issues otherwise you are a joke.

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  11. And here is an example of Mike’s double standards…
    To Anonymous 1 I wrote…
    “Your anonymous affection and care is nothing in comparison.” and
    “(The Claires) are friends of the family. It goes without saying that their love and prayers are more important to them than yours. Sorry if that makes you upset but that is the truth”
    and “If you are an example of someone he has helped in their recovery no wonder we are all keeping well clear of him”……..
    to which Mike replied..
    .”Anonymous 2 could you possibly not be abusive to people here.”
    Yet when Anonymous 1 wrote to me “You obviously have issues and are not very far along in your own recovery” and “Stop whining like a spoiled child.” and ” you are … a troll.” Mike says nothing.
    I for one don’t need Mike to defend me but at least be consistent Mike in your moderations.

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  12. Dialogue Ireland claims Anonymous 1 is an expert. Here are his words…”(Anonymous 1) is an expert”.
    Let’s look at the comments of this person whom Mike calls an expert shall we…
    “they could have done something real. They did not. That makes them every bit as evil as Debra.” Now even I, a non-expert, know how ridiculous this statement is in relation to cults.
    ” I will be relentless Mike, I will not stop…They need to be very afraid” It makes you think what this person is actually an expert in and where Mike found them. And again…
    “You should not feel safe” and you Mike support these kind of threats and not only that call he/she an expert. No wonder we are all staying well clear of you and your types.

    And once again I find myself agreeing with Angie. “I am very glad that Dialogue (Ireland I presume) gives me an opportunity to inform the public.” They need to be aware of your standards and/or double standards. Thanks Angie again.

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  13. Anonymous 2 could you possibly not be abusive to people here. Anonymous 1 is not someone who needs help from me, she is an expert both in what she knows and has first hand experience of you both

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  14. Anonymous 1

    “But are you saying that Debra will be a donkey too? Pity, I like donkeys….”

    No, I wasn’t. I was referring to the self-proclaimed ‘messiah’ Quinn who had his ‘foolies’ working from dawn till dusk.

    I admire your tenacity. There is a need to expose cultic groups, particularly when religion is used to manipulate, and report it to relevant authorities. I have read Debra’s blog and, in my opinion, she is a greedy opportunist who deliberately manipulates people’s religious beliefs and used them to accumulate wealth, just as Tony Quinn did when he set up his cult.

    Judging from what I hear back from people, the general public are savvier than they used to be and authorities are beginning to take the complaints more seriously, however, due to the subtle methods used by cults such as Educo, it is an ongoing battle to protect the vulnerable. There is a fine line between those we perceive as vulnerable and those who we mistakenly believe are not.

    Anonymous 2 – you are free to think what you like, however, I am very glad that Dialogue gives me an opportunity to inform the public about the Educo cult and to comment on others.

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  15. In an early post Anonymous 1 on another article you wrote ” I don’t think there is anybody more qualified than Mike to understand this situation and help victims.” If you are an example of someone he has helped in their recovery no wonder we are all keeping well clear of him. Good luck in your recovery though and sleep well.

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  16. Sorry if I sounded arrogant, I wasn’t and was just stating facts. The Claires have given the Gaffney family love and support over many years. They are friends of the family. It goes without saying that their love and prayers are more important to them than yours. Sorry if that makes you uppset but that is the truth.

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  17. Oh dear, Anonymous 2, your arrogance knows no bounds. My prayers are less important? You’re funny. Who are you praying to now? That dreadful and blasphemous picture of Mary with the bleeding hands? Or some other icon? If the two C’s had the slightest care or regard for anybody else they would have ended this. Yes they are real, and they could have done something real. They did not. That makes them every bit as evil as Debra. The same goes for anybody else who is withholding information. That’s the core issue here, and that’s what needs to be addressed.

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  18. Just so you know Anonymous 1 the Gaffney family is very supportive of the two Claires and their love and prayers are far more important to them then yours will ever be. They stood by the Gaffneys in their exit and in their pain and in their loss. They were real. Your anonymous affection and care is nothing in comparison.

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  19. 1 says: I will be relentless Mike, I will not stop. There is a fire in my heart now. Justice, truth and light will always win out. They need to be very afraid. The very people who Debra lied to and about, those with destroyed lives and reputations will be the ones to bring her to justice. Do you hear me Debra? Clare? And Claire? You know who I am.

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  20. Anonymous 1.
    You must be relentless now in bringing the Australian authorities up to speed with these people who are masquerading as assisting the victims.

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  21. Anonymous 1 we can only believe that they thought no one was watching and whereas, they can present themselves to those ex MMM’ers who they have contact and those who left a long time ago as champions of liberty they have hidden from them that they are complicit in helping, maintaining and settling with Debra. As a result they were never able to reply to our claims like the one below

    https://dialogueireland.wordpress.com/category/christian/magnificat-meal-movement/page/2/

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  22. I remember that car. Padraig Gaffney loved it. He used to drive Debra everywhere. He was her driver. JT used to drive, but then all he seemed to do was carry her excessively ugly handbags. Padraig was a good man. He is dead now. Debra has disowned him and all of the Gaffney family. What a disgrace. Padraig was like a slave to her, did whatever she asked. Look what he got for his efforts. And his family too. Sending love to that family and praying for them

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  23. Angie, this post relates to Debra, although your sentiments are sound you are getting off topic. But are you saying that Debra will be a donkey too? Pity, I like donkeys….

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  24. Quinn claims to be the reincarnation of Jesus, however, when Quinn reaches the pearly gates God will ask Jesus, “do you know this man who claims to speak from your mouth”? He will say, “I never knew him. He is an imposter and responsible for damaging souls.”

    And God sends him back to earth as a very stubborn donkey to work from dawn till dusk each an every day. There is no such thing as a holiday for a donkey.

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  25. Well said Angie

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  26. “The movement has dwindled from thousands in the 1990s to about 400 including children today.”

    Clare and Claire have left the cult and have acknowledged that MMM is abusive. Conveniently, followers of Christianity take solace in the belief that God forgives them their sins, however, I question whether they are Christian at all. They know there are children in the cult and yet do nothing to prevent further damage.

    We see the same reluctance on the part of ex-quinnites in the Educo cult who were under hypnotic influence and worked for Tony Quinn. They should be at the forefront to expose him for the controlling freak he is and ‘top brass’ alongside him when justice is meted out.

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  27. I am using a number next to your name for clarity. Could you use it as I had to check IP’s before designating it.

    Clare and Claire you call yourselves Christians now? How many souls have been lost to Debra? You were complicit in this. The leading of people astray and away from their salvation. Perhaps your cries should be directed towards God instead of the media who with their “cash for comment.

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  28. I am using a number next to your name for clarity. Could you use it as I had to check IP’s before designating it.

    Dear MS Birchley. Was your money replaced? Did you receive your 30 pieces of silver??? Do you have your life back? What have YOU done to help these other people you are now bleating about and feeling sorry for? You did NOTHING! You copped out, took your money and ran. Same goes for your girlfriend and namesake. You disgust me. You hurt me personally, and my family. I will never forget. Forgive, yes, as Jesus taught us. The truth will come out. You should not feel safe. You helped Debra to take away so many other people’s safety and security. You don’t deserve to feel safe. Look at your conscience, if you have one. Do you?

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  29. Staying under the radar ( not seeking publicity) is a great way to avoid scrutiny and or detection as you continue scamming your victims with deceit and deception

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