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HUGE LOSSES CLAIM
This story was printed in the Gold Coast Sun Newspaper– on Wednesday November 5, 2003

Pages 2 and 4.

HUGE LOSSES CLAIM IN CHURCH DEALINGS
By Murray Hubbard

TWO businessmen - from Perth and Brisbane - claim dealings with the Gold Coast-based Reach out for Christ church cost them around $700,000 in separate business arrangements.

Rob Adsett from Thompson Adsett Architects of Brisbane and high profile Perth entertainer and Perth City councillor Max Kay say they were promised payments when ROFC's 'overseas money came in'.

ROFC denied the claims, stating Thompson Adsett Architects agreed to provide architectural services on the 'understanding ... they would be paid if the development proceeded'.
It also says Cr Kay's property was not tied up in any way and was at all times free to be sold.

Mr Adsett's company undertook architectural work for the ROFC, which he says, commissioned drawings for a new 7000-seat church and separate office tower at Robina.
These were to be built with overseas money.
"If I raised the full amount of the bill, 1 guess it would come to around $300,000," said Mr Adsett. "We simply tired of the promises of the money and have got on with life.
All the time they would say the money is coming, the money is coming, but we never saw it.
I was not prepared to be the person to put a church out of business, so we dropped it."


In a statement from ROFC via solicitor Tony Freestone, the church says Thompson Adsett agreed to provide architectural services for the design of a church, youth hostel, drug rehabilitation and community centre near Robina Town Centre on the basis they would be paid if the development proceeded.

The development did not eventuate.
Mr Adsett said there was no such agreement to waive fees if the project did not eventuate. "There was no signed contract, but that is not unusual in our profession," he said.
"There was certainly an understanding that the fees would be paid. "

Notes made at the time by disgruntled former church director and parishioner Terry Montgomery throw a different light on the development, revealing ROFC did not own the land where it proposed to build the church.

"Rob Adsett has asked Andrew Jacovides on several occasions for payment of at least the outgoing costs Rob has incurred for engineering etc," wrote Mr Montgomery. "I know one of these occasions was early this year. "Rob commented that the people who had done the work were becoming restless and demanding payment. "The Dales land could not even be used for the church as rezoning was impossible. This is the first thing that should have been investigated. "I have seen... correspondence from Adsett informing Andrew that he had 12 staff working on the project. "I assumed Rob must have been donating the cost but in later discussions it was revealed that the cost was indeed ours and this was known to Andrew. “All work should have been stopped as sioon as that letter was received. “Executives of Robina Land Corporation and the agent... mentioned their doubts about spending such large sums on a property which we did not have under contract. This is not good for our credibility. "I have never spent any money on a property which was not under my control and I doubt that any sensible business person would consider such action." Mr Montgomery's notes state the architect bill could be as high as $200,000 to that date. "This was confirmed by Andrew in a conversation with me in his office a couple of days before he left for London and Cyprus,” he wrote. Cr Max Kay gave the ROF( church an option in 2001 to purchase for $2.3 million the Perth building, the Civic Theatre Restaurant, he had entertained in for 25 years. "One deals in good faith with church," he said. "They sent us a letter of intent and said all the money was t come from the United States. "But as time went on, months passed and all we got were letters from them, letter after letter, saying the money was coming.
COUNCILOR SAYS FAILED DEAL COST HIM APPROX $400,000
"I thought I was doing the right thing by keeping the theatre for them. Cr Kay said one stage last year they said the money was coming, they just needed US$50,000 for bank charges. "I said to them that this seemed highly irregular - why would a bank need US$50,000 when they were about to get US$50 million? Surely the bank would just get it out of the proceeds. Cr Kay said with the property off the market for two years, and the costs involved in hiring another hall for a concert, the failed sale had cost him in lost interest and outgoings around $400,000. "The whole thing was a fiasco. They ended up saying they would send me a cheque for my lost $400,000 when they settled," he said. "I guess 1 should not hold my breath. He said he met with both the church administrator, Andrew Jacovides and church founder, Steve Ryder over the sale. "Mr Ryder came to my house and said the money was happening within a matter of weeks. He said it was ready to go, and that was just before Christmas." Cr Kay is still trying to sell his theatre after more than two years of dealing with ROFC. A letter from ROFC director Andrew Jacovides to Pastor Alan Davenport of ROFC Perth, dated Feb 18, 2001, states that within a four-week period, ROFC International would be in a position to purchase the Max Kay properties. This was subject to the Worldwide Christian Foundation giving a grant to ROFC International. "Alan, let me assure you that the proposed purchase is a top priority for us and the above property will be one of the first purchases we make on a worldwide scale," said Mr Jacovides. The grant failed to appear and the Gold Coast Sun has been unable to locate any organisation called the Worldwide Christian Foundation. Pastors Alan and Norma Davenport headed Reach out For Christ in Perth and according to Mrs Davenport lent US$50,000 via Mr Jacovides so that overseas funds could be sent to ROFC International. She said last week this was done on the understanding that the Max Kay properties would be purchased by ROFC International and in consideration of the US$50,000 loan, debts owed by the Davenports would be paid off. More than a year later Mrs Davenport is still trying to get her money returned. She believes it went to a New York bank and was then transferred to a Singapore bank. Cr Kay was awarded the Order of Australia this year for services to charity and development of young entertainers. He was 2001 WA Citizen of the Year.

END of November 5th news.

Below, is the news of November 26th

This story was printed in the Gold Coast Sun Newspaper– on Wednesday November 26, 2003.

Front Page Story(contd page 4)

Charity Cash Lost

Front page contained a graphic of a certificate dated 20/09/95, which indicated the transfer of US$36,000.

The ordering customer listed is
Reach Out For Christ, [ROFC]
2 Gold Coast Springbrook Road,
CARRABA 4211,
Australia.

The Beneficiary Customer is named as
Madame Alejandria Pineda.

This appears under the following heading:

CHURCH FUNDS USED TO BUY WORTHLESS GOLD BONDS.

Beneath the graphic were the following words:

HARD COPY… a copy of the record of the transfer of ROFC funds to M. Pineda.

By Murray Hubbard

MORE than $47,000 in church tithes and offerings intended for charity and missionary work ended up in the bank account of a Philippino woman peddling worthless gold bonds, a Gold Coast Sun investigation has found.

Pastor Steve Ryder’s Reach Out For Christ(ROFC) International Ministries sent church funds to the woman who was involved in gold schemes described by a joint UK/US fraud squad investigation as scams.

Bank documents obtained by the Sun show on September 20, 1995 the ROFC sent US$36,000 to Madam Alejandria B. Pineda.

The money came from offerings and tithes donated to Gold Coast Reach Out For Christ churches.

Church founder Pastor Ryder has denied any involvement in the transfer of the funds.

But documents show ROFC Gold Coast loaned $47,531 (US$36,000) to the International Ministry headed by Pastor Ryder on the understanding it would be repaid by April 1, 1996.

CHARITY FUNDS USED TO BUY ‘SCAM’ GOLD
PASTOR Ryder wanted the local churches to invest in the scheme and they refused, but agreed to lend the money to Pastor Ryder's International Ministry under strict conditions.

They insisted on a loan contract for $47,531 that was signed by the Pastor.

The International Ministry expected to get a return of US$1 million from the investment.

By August 1996 when the money had not been repaid ROFC Gold Coast became worried about its outstanding loan.

On August 16 Pastor Brad Otto now of ROFC Labrador wrote to Pastor Ryder regarding the outstanding loan to ROFC Gold Coast.

“We are sending you this letter by way of reminder that they (these loans) are well overdue, and await your reply in how you will, address the repayment,” said Pastor Otto.

On August 29, 1996 a director of ROFC International Ministries, Andrew Jacovides, replied to the request.

The letter stated that the Board of ROFC International Ministries (now ROFC Limited) would be meeting to discuss the matter of the loans in ‘three or four weeks time’.

“After this we will notify you of the board’s decision on repayment of the above,” he stated.

Pastor Ryder and Mr Jacovides were members of the board, Mr Jacovides having joined on June 17, 1996.

Mr Jacovides said Pastor Ryder was a director of the Gold Coast Church identities ‘as well as the Head and the Apostle of the whole organisation.

The money was never repaid to the Gold Coast R0FC.

Documents show Pastor Ryder and Mr Jacovides were involved in negotiations with a variety of US-based lawyers and holders of various types of dubious bonds from 1995 to 1999.

These included Chinese Government Bonds 1913, Philippine Victory Notes, Marcos Gold Bonds and Negotiable International Certificates.

Chinese Bonds 1913 have no value as securities and only a small value as collectible items, due to the intricate artwork.

The US Treasury says if anyone after 1967 tries to present series 65 Philippine Victory Bonds as having a value, ‘ it is a scam.’

Marcos Gold Bonds are an infamous scam while Negotiable International Certificates are also on a list compiled by Scotland Yard of terms that should ‘give cause for concern’.

A memo to Pastor Steve Ryder on February 12, 1997 from former ROFC member Stuart Ballantyne states, “I know you better than most and understand that most entrepreneurs use basic cashflow to seed venture capital, and in your case the seeds were the churches (the peoples) tithes and offerings.

&#Of course when the ‘get rich quick' scheme fails and ‘loans’ are not repaid to the Churches, that doesn’t matter as long as no one finds out about it," said the memo.

In another document, included in a dossier of documents delivered to Mr Ryder in February 1997, a ‘Christian businessman’ wrote: “Only recently I became aware of his (Steve Ryder’s) borrowings. from Carrara Church in one exercise alone for a 'get rich quick' gold scheme (or scam) where some 18 months ago he invited Carrara Church to participate in equity in the deal.

"The pastors agreed to loan the $47,000 funds to ROFC Ministries … and I am aware of the existence of the receipt of funds transfer to Madame A Pineda.

"While this may he regarded by some as confidential, the church should have open knowledge of where their funds are being dispersed.

"Some two years 1ater the funds have not come back.

"I strongly object to Church funds being used in this way, which firstly is abuse of position by Steve Ryder and secondly a breach of trust, for the church people who generously give of their money for supposed good Christian Ministry work.

"If they had any inkling of their funds being squandered on second rate, high risk ventures there would be open rebellion."

The Gold Coast Sun put the allegations to Mr Ryder and Mr Jacovides via their solicitor, Tony Freestone.

Mr Jacovides replied that 'Reach Out For Christ Limited, as it was known then did not send this amount alleged.'

"In fact, we have no record of this and there is no record on our bank statements or audits that were carried out.

"In fact when he (Mr Ballantyne) alleges this, there was a different regime in the ROFC Gold Coast Church, nothing to do with me or Steve,

"It was an unincorporated body at the time ran by a different Pastor and his team, as Steve was overseas living in the UK.

"There was a letter signed by Stuart Ballantyne with the unsigned letters that went all over the world. In that letter it refers to this amount of $47,000,00. No proof.

Mr Jacovides states that Mr Ryder returned to Australia in August 1995, but Mr Ballantyne's letter does not refer to any specific date.

The date of the transfer of funds from the ROFC account was September 20, 1995.

Despite previously denying any knowledge of the $36,000, Mr Jacovides, in response to further questions from the Sun on November 16, stated he was aware of the US$36,000 and it 'was transferred by ROFC Gold Coast.'

"Reach out for Christ Limited has no record of USD $36,OUO on its books," said Mr Jacovides.

Documents held by the Gold Coast Sun show the funds were transferred by ROFC Gold Coast to ROFC International Ministries (that later changed names to ROFC Limited) on September 20,1995.

From there they were transferred to the account of Madam Alejandria B Pineda at the Citibank Asian Banking Centre in Singapore.

On Thursday last week the Sun put a specific allegation to Pastor Ryder through his lawyer, Tony Freestone, that Pastor Rider had invested US$36,000 of church funds with Madame Pineda.

Mr Freestone replied that his clients would not answer any more questions from the Gold Coast Sun.

Back to October Newsletter HERE...
Back to November 5th News HERE...



LET US PRAY
written by Andrew Bolt, courtesy of the Herald Sun.
Used with author's permission.
14 Nov. 2003

LET me tell you how two Christian pastors came to be on trial after discussing Islam in church, in a case that's so far cost them $100,000.
This will show how our shiny-eyed Equal Opportunity Commission can cause more religious strife than it solves. And helps kill free speech in doing it.
Diane Sisely, the EOC boss, was not happy last year. She hadn't found the many Muslim-hating racists last year she felt were out there, particularly after the September 11 attacks.
Sisely was ready for them - and armed. The Bracks Government, in an appalling attack on free speech, had passed its new racial and religious vilification laws, under which people could be jailed for speaking their minds.

But what did she find?

Peace and tolerance, according to the figures in her annual report, rather than the "dramatic levels" of hatred she'd warned of.
In fact, the EOC in the 12 months to June last year logged just five complaints of religious vilification in the entire state, covering all faiths and none.
Just five. Plus 72 complaints - including the trivial and try-on - of religious discrimination.
This wasn't good enough. And so Sisely, who said the low figures proved people were too scared to complain, took action.
Over the next year, her staff taught nearly 10,000 Victorians, particularly Muslims and Arabs, about our discrimination and vilification laws - and how to complain to her office. It seemed the EOC wanted more complaints.
And, early last year, Sisely hired May Helou.
I THOUGHT the EOC had to serve all Victorians equally. But in hiring Helou, Sisely risked giving the perception that the EOC sided with Muslims above all other religious groups.
After all, May Helou was the head of the Islamic Council of Victoria's support groups for women and for Muslim converts, and now sits on its executive.
The Islamic Council would have been delighted to see what work its official was now given by the EOC.
As an EOC bulletin says, Helou's job is to make sure "people from Arabic and Muslim communities are aware of their rights under anti-discrimination laws" and offer "support to people wishing to make a complaint".
But then she took a step that makes it look even more as if the EOC now doesn't just resolve complaints, but even incites them.
One evening, at the Islamic Council headquarters, Helou alerted several Muslim converts to a seminar on jihad to be run by a Melbourne Pentecostal church, Catch the Fire Ministries.
One of the converts, Jan Jackson, last month told a Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal hearing that Helou was worried the seminar would be full of Christians "without any Muslims present".
SHE said Helou asked her to go, and even rang her at home at 8.30 on the morning of the seminar to again ask: "Can you please go?"
Another convert, Malcolm Thomas, now the Islamic Council's secretary, told VCAT that Helou asked him to attend, too. A third, Yusuf Eades, said he couldn't be sure which Islamic Council leader asked him to go.
And so Catch the Fire - unknown to its leader, Pastor Danny Nalliah, and its speaker, Pastor Daniel Scot - had among the 250 Christians at its seminar three Muslims, all sent by Helou and a colleague, and seemingly ready to feel vilified.
Bingo. The speaker, Scot, was a Pakistani who had faced a death sentence in Muslim Pakistan for being a Christian, and had lived in Egypt and Saudi Arabia. He was not only familiar with Muslim countries, but had read the Koran many times.
He certainly knew it better than did Jackson, as she admitted to VCAT.
As he talked, he cited passages in the Koran and Hadith that he said radical clerics used to justify armed jihad, looting, the killing of converts from Islam, the rape of captive women, lying for the faith and more.
(Catch the Fire's website lists the Koranic sources Scot used, and examples of Islamic leaders and scholars who interpret these verses in the way he warned of.)
When Scot finished, one of the converts, Thomas, stood and asked: how should Christians respond?
"Pray," Scot replied. Muslims "should be loved".
But the converts were still furious, and said they felt vilified and scared. Jackson said she didn't like the way the audience had laughed at the Koran, either.
One confronted Scot during a break, and Jackson left a message for Helou at her work about what she'd seen.
Some time later, the converts met Helou at the EOC and decided to complain to the EOC about the pastors.
But how manufactured was this complaint? After all, if Helou and her colleague hadn't asked the converts to monitor the seminar, no Muslims would have been there to feel offended or frightened.
WORSE, the EOC, whose staff member incited this complaint, now had to act as the neutral "umpire" in conciliation talks between the converts and pastors.
Stranger still, Helou not only was a member of the EOC that was trying to conciliate this case, but was a leader of the Islamic Council that officially joined the converts in their complaint.
Let me stress that Helou herself was not involved in the conciliation, and three months ago left the EOC. I do not say she acted deceitfully, against EOC rules or with improper motives.
She may well have prompted the complaint in her role with the Islamic Council, not the EOC. But the conflicts of interest here are disturbing. It is tyrannical for a state body to be both prosecutor and judge, or, at least, conciliator. And an EOC official shouldn't organise complaints involving a group of which she is a member. That is unfair - and dangerous.
The EOC conciliation talks failed, and so Nalliah and Scot must now defend their right to free speech in a VCAT hearing that has dragged on for four expensive and draining weeks.
This heated legal battle has inflamed passions on both sides. The Islamic Council badly wants to win and says Muslims around the world are watching.

MEANWHILE, Christians even in the United States and England have claimed that the pastors are persecuted, and VCAT's hearings are filled with sternly praying folk.

 What a tribute to the EOC and to the Government's foul laws against free speech, which were actually meant to spread religious tolerance, not inspire such conflict and oppression.

But let's look at the bright side. The converts have given Sisely three more complaints to add to her little list. In the discrimination industry, that seems to count as a success.

Donations towards the legal costs HERE...

Original Article at;
http://heraldsun.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5478,7864988%255E25717,00h.html


GOOD TIDINGS OF GREAT JOY

“Behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people” Luke 2:10. The birth of the Lord Jesus Christ was (and still is) an occasion for great rejoicing because:

1)He is the only Saviour of humankind – read Luke 2 verse 11;
2)Heaven and earth joined in a plan of peace for mankind – read Luke 2: 13-14; and
3)The great God of eternity associates with us in our human condition. – Luke 2: 12, 15-16
THE ONLY SAVIOUR
As a member of God’s people who are committed to truth in a day of religious pluralism, we must proclaim without compromise the uniqueness of Christ and His claims to be the ONLY Saviour of the world. There are NOT multiple paths that lead to God and to heaven.

There is ONLY one way; and into a world of complicated and confused ideas there comes GOOD TIDINGS OF GREAT JOY.
John 14:6 – “Jesus said unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”
Acts 4:12 – “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is no other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”
PEACE THROUGH CHRIST
Our world leaders along with the structured church are in turmoil. Men and women have lost their direction and are without a compass. They have no harbour or anchor or mooring lines. So they race from one prophetic hope to another. The fact is they have rejected the basic offer of the Christian message, which was enunciated at the time of Christ’s birth with both heaven and earth joining in the proclamation.

The message of Christmas is of peace and goodwill to all mankind – Jews and Arabs; male and female; pale skin and darker skin; – from the God of Abraham, Isaac & Jacob . Naturally the message needs to be read and accepted to gain the benefits.

Heaven and earth joined together to confirm this universal TRUTH and that is GOOD TIDINGS OF GREAT JOY.
Isaiah 48:22: There is no peace, saith the LORD, unto the wicked” (c/f Isaiah 57:21).
Romans 5:1: Therefore, being justified by faith, we have peace .. through our Lord Jesus Christ.
JESUS BECAME POOR
We are told that the distance between rich and poor in our world is becoming greater. We tend to ignore the poor and honour the rich. However, the great news of Christmas is that the creator God of eternity voluntarily became poor in the person of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

2 Corinthians 8:9 “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might be rich.
Paul was not writing to multi-millionaires but to the poor first century Christians who were frequently persecuted for their faith. Yet he says that Christ had made them rich, so obviously he did not have material riches in view, but rather our position and state in Christ.

Irrespective of our social or financial status we are SPIRITUALLY RICH and that’s GOOD TIDINGS OF GREAT JOY.

May God bless you and your family this Christmas.
Sincerely your friends in CHRIST,

Philip & Kathleen POWELL and family 04/12/2003.


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Appeared in December Mailer 2003
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