Gloria Jeans parent company insolvent

17 August 2010

In April I commented on the interesting news that Jireh, parent company of Gloria Jeans Coffee had landed itself in court over unpaid commissions to another company.  Well to give you an update I’ll hand you over to Ruth Pollard of the Sydney Morning Herald:

THE parent company of Gloria Jeans Coffee, co-owned by the Hillsong Church elder Nabi Saleh, is in ”financial dire straits” and should be put into liquidation and an investigation held into its affairs, the NSW Supreme Court has been told.

It is the latest shot fired in the multimillion-dollar lawsuit against the coffee giant’s parent company, Jireh International, by a small US-based coffee supplier, Western Export Services.

On June 11, the court ruled that Jireh must pay the export company millions in commissions and interest after it found Jireh had breached a joint venture agreement. Yesterday the parties were back in court, fighting over the formula used to calculate the total owed to Western Export Services.

Both parties were required to submit evidence to the court on their financial circumstances. ”The defendant is hopelessly insolvent,” said Jim Johnson, counsel for Western Export Services. ”There are public policy issues as to whether this company should be allowed to keep trading.”

[Read More]

What’s this got to do with Atheism or Reason?

Nothing – new readers may not be aware of the 18 months I spent in helping out the victims of the evangelical mental health facility Mercy Ministries.  To catch yourselves up on that story start here.  One of the directors mentioned in the article above Peter Irvine, was also a director of Mercy Ministries and in addition to being forced to pay damages to victims after a ruling by the ACCC it appears that his business activities are about as shady as his so called charitable ones.

So this post is some continued Schadenfreude on my behalf, frankly these bastards look like they are getting what was coming to them.


Like blood from a stone – Mercy Ministries to hand over records

20 March 2010

For new readers you can follow the start of the latest Mercy Ministries debacle in my posts here, here and here.  For those with a bit of time on your hands click the link at the bottom of this post to read about the 2 year long struggle against this rather dubious biblical ministry.

The News

I have been contacted by one of the women involved in trying to gain access to their files, who herself has been in contact with the privacy commissioner. She reports that:

  • Mercy appears to have a new legal firm, one that is more cooperative and understands the privacy act
  • That Mercy will be willing to forward complete files to qualified psychologists/psychiatrists
  • That no other files will be destroyed but rather archived in accordance with the law

What a sad fact that a group that purported to act in the best interests of their clients has to be hauled kicking and screaming to do that, which on the face of it, seems the obvious ethical and moral direction to take.

What is this Mercy Ministries all about Click here to view more details?

Mercy Ministries and Privacy Commissioner Investigations Update

7 March 2010

In the post we learnt that the Privacy Commissioner had decided to carry out a preliminary investigation of the situation surrounding the refusal of Mercy Ministries Australia to hand over client files to past clients.

In a letter received by one of the complainants, a few days ago, the Assistant Privacy Commissioner has advised:


So Mercy Ministries Australia is undergoing investigation by the Privacy commissioner and has until March 23rd to answer claims made by the complainants.  Three weeks for Mercy to cobble together a cogent argument as to why they shouldn’t hand back files containing personal information.

Did Mercy have a privacy policy?

Or does that not come under biblically based management practices?

Privacy Commissioner to make inquiries into Mercy Ministries refusal

18 February 2010

This email was forwarded to me, by an ex-mercy member who has lodged a complaint with the Privacy Commissioner.  This followers from the refusal by Mercy to release client information on request to previous residents.  It is reproduced with permission and names and contact details removed.

Dear <name removed>


Thank you for your email received on 12 February 2010.  We have treated it as a complaint under section 36 of the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth).

We have decided to make immediate preliminary inquiries into your allegations.  For information about our complaints handling process, please visit our website

I note from your email that you have requested, and been refused access to, your files under Freedom of Information.  While the Freedom of Information Acts do not apply to Mercy Ministries, the Privacy Act 1988 (the Act) does.

The National Privacy Principles (NPPs) in the Act regulate the collection, storage, use and disclosure of personal information, give individuals a right to know what information an organisation holds about them, and the right to have that information corrected if it is wrong.

Under NPP 6, unless an exception applies, if an organisation holds personal information about an individual, it must provide the individual with access to the information.  If an organisation denies an individual access to their personal information, the organisation must provide a reason that is consistent with one of the exceptions under NPP 6.

I will be making inquiries of Mercy Ministries about this matter.  If you would like to discuss the matter with me at any time, please contact me on ————— or (————– during business hours, by fax on ——————— or e‑mail —————–

Yours sincerely

Assistant Compliance Officer

What is this Mercy Ministries Click here to view more details

Mercy Ministries Australia to destroy client files

12 February 2010

I received this letter from a ex-Mercy client yesterday.  It was sent out to all clients that had requested that their personal files be released to them:


Now as they have been advised they are operating within the law and they will be destroying the requested documents.  To break the letter down

  • We have received you request to have your file
  • We understand you want to get your hands on what we have written about you
  • Our lawyers have informed us that you can’t file an FOI request to get said files
  • Our lawyers have said that we can dispose of it as per our licensing and or rules under which Mercy was set up
  • So we are destroying them.

So my questions are what rules/licensing were Mercy ministries operating under?  Did they have a records management, or client information policy?

What is this Mercy Ministries Click here to view more details