Thanks to Dave for this link: http://sites.google.com/site/c3churchbalmainreviewpage/
It is possible Google removed the page after complaints were made to them about the honesty and legality of the positive reviews on the page.
- People who went to C3 Church Balmain and who had donated tens of thousands of dollars to the church were expelled straight after asking to see properly kept accounts.
- This expulsion was carried out through the use of physical force organised by the leaders of C3 Church Balmain.
- One of the victims of this disgraceful action was a pregnant woman who was not accused of any wrong other than trusting the church’s leaders, giving them large sums of money, and wanting to know how they had spent it.
- Behaviour like this is highly suspicious.
- One of the people who was expelled from C3 Church Balmain has been pursuing legal action in the Supreme Court for eighteen months. He wants to know what has happened to his and others’ money. Despite repeated claims by Mr Ward Lucas, the church’s senior pastor, that he and his leadership team are fully accountable the whereabouts of the large donations in question is still unknown.
- None of the people who were expelled by force from the church knew what they were accused of; had a reasonable opportunity to defend themselves; or knew all of those who sat in judgement upon them.
- Those who were expelled by force from C3 Church Balmain received no help subsequently from the church, nor any significant communication whatsoever from their former ‘friends’ there.
- Almost the entire church community at C3 Church Balmain were witnesses to the forcible expulsion of the previously mentioned generous donors to the church–including to the expulsion of a pregnant woman. Not a single one did anything to stop it.
- The fake reviews on C3 Church Balmain’s Google page made out that the church is family friendly, loving, generous, helpful and community-minded. These claims were nothing but meaningless advertising. The experience of those who were thrown out of the church by force was exactly the opposite.
- True information surrounding the events leading to the expulsion by force of these generous donors to C3 Church Balmain was deliberately kept a secret by the church’s leaders. (For example in Mr Ward Lucas’s blog about conflict resolution, he does not reveal that he and the other leaders of C3 Church Balmain are willing to resort to the use of force when they are asked hard questions about the church’s administration and use of money).
- When those who had been wronged appealed for help to Mr Ward Lucas’s superior in the C3 Church movement, they were at first told to submit to him. Then later one of them was threatened with legal action if he so much as revealed publicly the least part of the superior’s involvement in the situation.
- Despite having raised large sums of money for its Rise and Build fund from those who were expelled from the church, C3 Church Balmain has no building of its own. Apparently it never will.
Daves comments were as follows:
What you say is right on the money.
Seven members of my family were expelled by force from C3 Balmain after asking to see properly kept accounts of the church’s Rise and Buile fund to which they had given more than $100,000.
The story is told on this web site:
It’s worth a look.
The church leaders are now in the Australian Supreme Court defending themselves against among others our Attorney General’s Department.
The money has vanished.
C3 Church Balmain is set up so that there is no independent oversight whatever of the use of funds donated to it.
What strikes me is that these guys convince you to give money to them by telling you if you give to God, you’ll prosper.
They are the ones who gain out of that arrangement.
The lawyers in my family’s case have found everywhere in the C3 movement dodgy private companies; dodgy incorporated associations; and church’s with massive assets that are not actually owned by the church community, but effectively by five or ten people–the Pringles of the world.
Keep protesting is all I can say!
The fault doesn’t lie in any particular company (as in say such and such company is alleged to be skimming money).
The problem lies in this (this is what has got the Attorney General interested).
If you’re a not-for-profit you’re supposed to be set up so that you have enough formal members to have an independent majority ensuring that you don’t misuse funds, and that you are looking after those regularly involved in your organisation.
C3 churches appear to set themselves up so that the legal entity behind them has a handful of members. In which case there is no independent majority overseeing the finances and protection of ordinary attendees as required under the Charitable Fundraising Act.
The short version!
At this stage white Horse hasn’t been mentioned, although I’ve read about it.
God speed one and all!
What this means of course is that unless you are a formal member of the association/company that is your C3 church’s legal entity, you in fact have no legal rights as an attendee of the church.
In addition it means that all the assets that look as though they’re owned by your church community (buildings/fittings/land) are effectively owned, not by the church community, but by the five or six formal members of the legal entity.
It also means that the handful of members of the legal entity have iron control of finances. If the majority of them gain financially from the spending of the church’s money (ie because they are employees of the legal entity as well as controlling it), then…?
Be it said significant breaches of the Charitable Fundraising Act make you liable to a jail sentence.