G’Day World #331 – Ex-Gloria Jean’s Franchisees Speak Out

My guests tonight are a couple from Melbourne who we’ll call “Bazza” and “Shazza”. For the last five years they were franchisees with Gloria Jean’s Coffee. They’ve come on to discuss their experience.


As regular readers will know, I’ve been taking an interest in Gloria Jean’s over the last few years (read earlier posts here), especially in the relationship between Gloria Jean’s Coffee, Hillsong Church and Mercy Ministries.

As you might be aware, there have been allegations over the last six months that Mercy Ministries has been treating it’s clients (mostly “troubled” young women) with techniques including exorcisms and prayer readings.

Even Gloria Jean’s Global Marketing Manager has commented on the blog in an attempt to provide their side of the story.

So I was pleased when Bazza and Shazza agreed to come on to share an insider’s story.

The G’Day World theme music:

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“Secrets of Life” (mp3)
from “End of Days”
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If you’re wondering what the opening quotes are from on today’s show, it’s the opening lines from Rimbaud’s “A Season In Hell”.


30 thoughts on “G’Day World #331 – Ex-Gloria Jean’s Franchisees Speak Out

  1. hey this is a fantastic interview and congratulations to you for doing it, and to bazza and shazza for speaking out.

    all of this resonates with the overall hillsong cult dynamics. thanks for bringing these insights to the public’s attention.

    bazza and shazza need to feel strong in the knowledge that there are thousands of supporters out there for them and there’s no doubt there are many other franchisees going through the same thing.

    Brilliant interview all round!


  2. Tanya, thanks for your comment. I’d love to chat with you on the show about your Hillsong experience. Please let me know if you’re available.

  3. hey..are you the same tanya levin who wrote the book about hill$ong called ”people in glass houses”?
    i absolutely loved that book and bought one for everybody i knew would like it.
    i’m an ex-hill$ong person and i wish i’d read your book before i joined…i’d be heaps richer! i foolishly gave them a LOT of money, trying to buy my ‘healing’
    good on all of you…thanks ‘g-day world’.

  4. This is very scary stuff to listen to, and I must say that for more than just some time I have been on and off very depressed about the state of things in these matters.
    You see it wouldn’t bee all that bad if these sort of people stuck to selling cafe and stuff, but they don’t.
    You meet thees nut cases all over the place.
    One of the worst places you can encounter these barbarians, is if you should be so unlucky to be committed to one of the thousands of rehab clinics around the world run by thees bastards.

    12 years ago, after 25 years of heroin and alcohol, a tour I did with my band was one burden too much and the lid came off.
    I came to myself 38 days later after a bender the police and hospital people on this godforsaken place still talk about.
    I shot up extacy (you don’t do that), speed, pills (50 Rivotril) and washed with alcohol (5liters wine and a bottle Jim Beam, and then it all went black.
    They say I didn’t sleep for three days and then my heart stopped.
    But in hospital I woke up, beat up two police and three hospital people, and went for the woods.
    Like I said I came to myself 38 days later(after I went for the woods, and up until today I have only pieced together one or two of those 38 days I was gone, the rest…???), and pleaded a friend to find me a rehab…anything I was falling apart…big time.
    THEN the real scary shit started.
    I was committed to a rehab run by some norwegian sect (indremisjonen)in Bergen.
    I tell you people I thought my visions and flashbacks was hitting full force, these morons were talking in toungs first thing in the morning, and praying and going on, and me….I simply had another nervous breakdown right there and then (It was like in a zombie movie, it was shit scary).
    There was NO qualified staff there at all, they were all x-junkies or alcoholix…
    And they didn’t call anyone (I had a full force breakdown…If you’ve ever seen one you know what I talk about…you never forget that).
    No doctor,, but lots of more praying….and even more.
    But after two days and nothing but panic attacks, cramps and crying from my side, they tossed me out a Saturday 11:00 o’clock at night.
    I was a no good they said (only thing they got right :-), since I wouldn’t give god (the shit) a chance.
    I had to walk 21 kilometers to next buss, and threaten the driver to take me with him (had no money, they took them too…I think).

    So when you are at the lowest and weakest, then they like to get a hold of you. And it is put into such a great system that everybody seam to think everything is just swell(excuse the 50’s expression :-).
    Look at thees christians how much good they do.

    Now I can understand what a disaster missionaries must have been around the world…I mean really…poor people.
    And also these young women in your case. I mean there is probably nothing worse you can do to any person than give them to these maniacs.

    In this situation religion is the last you need.
    I know SO! many old alcoholics that have been cured by seeing the light, just to be back on the bottle at first up hill.
    Religion found in a situation as that, is no help. Never was. All statistics tell us so.
    But why keep doing it????
    Why do these people always get green light for all their havoc???
    And the government are FUNDING it, and pumping millions in the churches every year.
    But they only spend a fraction on the junkies and the addicts …

    OK OK this is much too long I know (sorry Mr Reilly), but these people really get to me.
    I thought it was bad here in this shit place, but when I hear about your version over there, and look at America and all the shit going down over there, I do get really depressed…worse than in a long time.
    Good thing I am going on holiday tomorrow.

    Go get the bastards man, you do a great job…


  5. Thanks for your story Per. It seems you learned a lot from what happened to you and also to people that think praying will save them from all their troubles. Look forward to listening to this real soon.

  6. This is an amazing example of why we need independent media companies like G’Day World. Congrats to Shazza and Bazza for speaking out on the issue and also to Cam for pursuing the issue.
    I suspect this is just the tip of the iceburg – and I hope that others have the courage to stand up and tell their stories. Bad things happen when good wo/men do nothing.

  7. Listened to it last night and some of the stuff they revealed was truly frightening. I hope a lot more people hear about this and boycott Gloria Jeans.

  8. What a beatup! Why single out Gloria Jeans? Whilst the franchise sucks, so do most franchises! I recently took a look at a “Jim’s” franchise and you could easily interchange the names here. Any business is entitled to direct profits where they see fit. These guys are just sour because they bought into a franchise without reading the fine print and now winging about it.

  9. Really Steve? Do you think the fine print said “you’ll start with a prayer to Jesus and you’ll be forced to raise money for a group that subjects young girls to exorcisms”?

    It’s not the challenges of running a franchise we’re talking about. Did you even listen to the show? I’m concerned about the relationship between GJ, Hillsong and Mercy Ministries.

  10. Steve, I suggest you talk to that band who your daughter is friends with, about Mercy Ministries and Gloria Jeans.

  11. Hi Cameron, first time listener the Cynic Sage here.

    Do you mind if I upload this to youtube if I link back here and give the credit to you? I’m asking you this because I feel that if I upload this to youtube more people will become aware of the Hillsong-Mercy-Gloria Jean’s connection.

  12. Hey Cam, Just wanted to say well done on this podcast. I’ve only just started listening to it (had to stop when I got work) when i got to work. Gloria Jeans is something mainstream media has poked around at the edges but that was about it. The last thing I heard from any mainstream media was that GJ was longer supporting mercy ministries, only to walk buy my local GJs to see the Mercy Ministries fund raising box still prominantly displayed. Doing a great job Cam!

  13. I haven’t listened to the podcast yet.. tho, “You sound insane and paranoid.” I like GloriaJean’s service ie. coffee etc and was just there the otherday at Harbourtown with my mother, unfortunately I had forgotted about the free coffee passes available online. If they are breaking the law, which I doubt, it’s not my job to enforce it. Also, often, the so-called-professionals – in the mental health care system know stuff-all about the human mind-body-spirit connection. I went to Mercedes College.. personally I think it’s a great school.. and, while I’m a firm believer in the forces of nature, I also believe in the lessons of holy books such as the Bible and make the time to attend Metrochurch, Perth. It doesn’t mean I’m bananas for Jesus nor did any negative experiences turn me into a “devil” worshipper. Thankfully, they gave me sufficient education to feel truly blessed – it was only certain real world dramas that made ME cynical and depressed, then the mental health community wrestled me (literally) for possession of my soul, giving me higher doses of neuroleptics to “curtail my subsequent spiritual awakening”. Church and some other close friends have stuck by me throughout some pretty trying times – mostly aggravated by alcohol use and drug interractions/overmedication, and have offered me the sort of good-non-medical-advice-and-fellowship that no doctor or psychologist could.. Can anyone relate to that..?

  14. Natalie, I’m happy for you that you’ve had a positive experience. However I’m aware of many girls who have been through Mercy Ministries and who have found it an extremely negative experience. They call themselves “Mercy Survivors” and one of them will be a guest on my show next week. I hope you have a chance to listen.

  15. G’day world at it’s best. Interesting, engaging, very relevant and nothing you’ll ever hear about in commercial media.

  16. Sorry this is a bit out of time but I listened to this today in my gym. Can you take any cudos for the closing of 60 GJ’s outlets recently? Does this mean that 60 franchisees have done their dough? The media blurb they put out sounds like it’s the company that’s lost out. Yeah right!! Have you investigated why they really closed? Well done Cam!!! Clandestine and shady operations ned to be exposed for the scams they are.

  17. Travis – thanks mate, that means a lot!

    Gareth – lol, I hardly think I can take credit for it, but hopefully, if we keep spreading the word, we can get MM shut down in the future. That would be a good result.

  18. Good job dude. Freaky fearsome frikkin’ stuff-sounds just like Forever21. Strange how the most righteously right of ‘believers’ are the ones praying for materialistic purposes like money and the deaths of atheists and homosexuals. I was at a talk given by a gay to straight conversion school survivor from one of these places and he turned it into comedy but that’s because he’d basically been cast out, disowned and come out as a gay atheist. Apparently others at the ‘school’ weren’t as lucky.

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