More details on Kong Hee & cohorts sentencing

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The Straits Times reports (screen grab image added),

City Harvest trial: Kong Hee sentenced to 8 years in prison, 5 other church leaders get between 21 months and 6 years

SINGAPORE – City Harvest Church (CHC) founder Kong Hee, 51, was sentenced to eight years’ jail on Friday (Nov 20).

Former CHC fund manager Chew Eng Han, 55, received a six-year sentence, deputy senior pastor Tan Ye Peng, 43, got five-and-a-half years, and ex-finance manager Serina Wee, 38, got five years.

Ex-CHC finance committee member John Lam, 47, and former finance manager Sharon Tan, 40, received lighter sentences. They got three years and 21 months respectively.

All six accused had been found guilty on Oct 21 of misappropriating $24 million in church funds, funnelling them into bogus investments that funded the singing career of Kong’s wife, Ms Ho Yeow Sun. Later, a further $26 million was used to cover their tracks.

Judge See Kee Oon said he had agreed with the prosecution’s call for general deterrence, but he said he was mindful that did not mean “disproportionately crushing sentences”.

He also highlighted the unique nature of this case – those found guilty did not enjoy personal gain and believed that they were fulfilling the objective of the church. As Kong was the overall spiritual leader and prime mover and driver of the Crossover Project – the church’s attempt to use Ms Ho’s pop career to evangelise – he should be held most culpable, the judge said.

As for Chew, Judge See said Tan Ye Peng, Wee and Lam all relied on him.

Their sentences will start on Jan 11 next year.

Asked by reporters if he intended to appeal his sentence, Kong declined to comment.

Speaking on behalf of Tan Ye Peng, lawyer N. Sreenivasan said: “This has been a very trying case. He needs to pray, reflect and discern, before deciding what to do.”

Wee’s husband, Kenny Low, would only say: “We are thankful that we are able to have some time to go back and settle our family and to (think) about what’s ahead.”

Sharon Tan’s lawyer, Mr Paul Seah, said he would have a good chat with his client and look at the judge’s statement carefully before deciding on what to do next.

Lam was also unsure if he would be appealing, and said he would have to speak to his lawyer first. “I’m just glad we have cleared this stage, at least the sentence has been passed and we know what we are in for. It’s obviously a very difficult time and we want to get the family ready. We have to prepare ahead,” he added.

As for Chew, he told The Straits Times: “No comment, you already know I want to appeal.” When asked what his immediate plans were, he told The Straits Times he would be catching the new Hunger Games movie with his family tonight.

After the sentencing, the church’s senior leadership issued a statement on their website and on Facebook thanking the congregation for their support: “We want to thank each and every one of you, our church members, for demonstrating such strength and unity throughout all these years, and particularly in these last few extremely difficult months. We ask you to remember and hold close to your heart the call of God upon City Harvest Church.

“We have learned lately what it means to have faith, trust and rest in God—let us put what we have learned to practice. Let’s band together to fulfill the heavenly calling for us through CHC 2.0.”

The statement also asked supporters to pray for the six leaders who were sentenced.

“Let us continue to pray for the six and their families as they prepare for this next step in the legal process. May God grant them grace and the peace that surpasses understanding,” the statement added.

proof_FB-CHCAnnounceCharges_21-11-2015

Both the defence and prosecution of the case made their final arguments earlier in the morning, ahead of the sentencing of the six church leaders at 3pm.

The prosecution had earlier asked for stiff sentences for all of them.

It had recommended a jail sentence of 11 to 12 years each for Kong, Tan Ye Peng, Wee and Chew.

For Lam, the prosecution asked for a jail sentence of eight to nine years, and six years for Sharon Tan.

A maximum cumulative sentence of 20 years could have been imposed on the accused, in addition to a fine.

A queue of about 50 people formed overnight outside the State Courts – the first person had started queueing at 10.30pm on Thursday – as church members turned up in a show of support for their leaders. By 7am, there were about 66 people in the queue.

Production supervisor Sam Lew, a CHC member for the past 15 years, said he was not feeling nervous or worried about the sentencing as he had already prayed about it.

Said Mr Lew, 37: “Of course we are disappointed by the verdict but we do respect the decision of the State Courts. But (I have never wavered) in my trust in the church leaders because I believe in what God is doing in our church.”

Chew and Lam were the first to arrive just after 9am. They were followed closely by the other four. Kong, usually accompanied by his wife, arrived alone.

The session began at 9.45am in a packed courtroom, with lawyers for each of the six church leaders taking turns to submit their clients’ final oral arguments.

Kong’s lawyer Edwin Tong, who was the first to speak, said the sentence meted out to Kong must be appropriate and proportionate. The characteristics of the offender and circumstances surrounding him must be taken into account.

Mr Tong said Kong had shared with the church about the Crossover Project and its members expressed support. Kong’s wife, Ms Ho, was also chosen not without their knowledge. He added that the project was without a doubt an integral aspect of the church’s evangelism.

Emphasing that all six loved the church and meant no harm to it whatsoever, Mr Tong argued that every cent which was drawn out went to the church and was supported by the church. None of the church leaders benefited from the funds used in a wrong manner.

Mr Tong concluded by claiming that Kong had demonstrated remorse. The length of the trial had taken a toll on Kong, who has aged parents and two deaf and mute siblings who rely on him for support. Kong’s 10-year-old son, who was five when the case first came to court, also suffered from the attention received, and had to be withdrawn from school after being evaluated by a pyschiatrist, Mr Tong said.

Mr Tong also submitted a letter, signed by 173 of the church’s current executive members, pleading for leniency.

An excerpt from the letter reads:”Sir, we are the ones who have given, through tithes, offerings and building funds. We are still here. And so are Pastor Kong Hee, Pastor Tan Ye Peng, John Lam, Serina Wee and Sharon Tan. Throughout these past five years, we see them still attending church. Still helping out. Still serving. We see them stand and worship God every weekend, many times with tears streaming down their faces.

“In this whole matter, we believe they wanted to fulfill the Crossover mission and in their zeal, they overstepped certain boundaries. We sincerely ask for leniency on their sentencing. For the sake of their young children, we appeal for them to be spared jail terms.”

CHC letter of appeal

Letter of appeal for leniency signed  by 173 of the City Harvest Church’s current executive members. ST PHOTO: DANSON CHEONG

Mr Kenneth Tan, lawyer for Lam, said his client’s involvement was not as extensive as the other five leaders. He was far less culpable as he was just a volunteer who failed to inquire about the questionable use of church funds because of ingrained and misplaced trust in Kong.

Mr Andre Maniam, Serina Wee’s lawyer, described his client as a follower who “started out as a girl doing accounts”. Wee was not entrusted with any funds and was not on the board at the time of the criminal breach of trust charge. She was also never a pastor, Mr Maniam said. Wee’s role was to provide administrative support “with limited involvement”.

He added that the job in the church’s accounts department was Wee’s first job – she had no prior experience in the private sector. Church was Wee’s life – in terms of family job, and faith – at a point in time when she was relatively young and inexperienced. There was no evidence of wrongful gain and no permanent loss in funds was intended, Mr Maniam said. Wee and the other five church leaders are not innately bad people, Mr Maniam concluded as he pleaded for leniency on behalf of his client.

In response, Deputy Public Prosecutor Christopher Ong listed four aggravating factors in the case, chief among them the fact that CHC – as a large registry entrusted with millions in members’ donations – had betrayed public trust and the trust of its donors.

The prosecution also found that the offences committed were “premeditated and carefully planned”, and they were subsequently covered up with numerous cunning deceptions to avoid detection.

DPP Ong went on to refute the mitigating factors put forth by the defence, stating that the good character of the six accused was not relevant in this case given the seriousness of the offences.

“How much weight can the good character of a shepherd be given if he is also a wolf at the same time?” he said.

The argument that no personal gain was made and that the church did not suffer any losses also does not apply, he added.

On Kong’s claim that he was remorseful, DPP Ong said Kong had not actually apologised for his role in the offences, and a confession letter he had tendered was filled with excuses in an attempt to shirk responsibility.

Straits Times CHC charges graphic

In the weeks following the verdict on Oct 21, both the defence and prosecution have handed to the court their written submissions on sentencing.

The defence has told the court repeatedly that the church suffered no loss and the six had not profited from their crimes.

The church leaders have been out on bail and barred from travelling overseas.

Kong, Tan Ye Peng, Chew and Lam have each posted bail of $1 million. Wee and Sharon Tan have each posted a sum of $750,000.

Source: Danson Cheong, City Harvest trial: Kong Hee sentenced to 8 years in prison, 5 other church leaders get between 21 months and 6 years, http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/courts-crime/city-harvest-trial-kong-hee-and-church-leaders-back-in-court-on-friday-for, Published 20/11/2015. (Accessed 21/11/2015.) (All photos taken from The Strait Times.)

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BREAKING NEWS: Kong Hee sentenced eight years jail

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Channel News Asia has been continually reporting the unfolding of events in the Singapore courts of the sentencing of six City Harvest Church leaders.

Press report on Kong & cohorts back in court for oral submission

The judge has sentenced Kong Hee eight years jail in prison.

Kong Hee jailed Phil Pringle

This is the latest update:

City Harvest trial live updates: Leaders sentenced to jail

SINGAPORE: The six City Harvest leaders who were found guilty of criminal breach of trust and falsifying church accounts were on Friday (Nov 20) received jail terms of between 21 months and eight years.

3.00pm: The six leaders have been sentenced to between 21 months’ and eight years’ jail, with senior pastor Kong Hee receiving the heaviest sentence of eight years behind bars. Judge See Kee Oon said Kong Hee, the church’s founder, was found to be the most culpable among the convicted church leaders.

The bail for all six of them was extended, and the start of their jail terms have been deferred to Jan 11, 2016.

1.57pm: “For us ex-members we’ll leave it to the judge. We have to respect the Honour’s decision. As what the prosecutor says, we need to do it right now because it will have a great repercussion on other mega churches on what and what cannot be done,” said a man who identified himself as a former City Harvest member.

1.32pm: Judge says he will pass the sentence at 3pm.

1.28pm: Prosecution: “In pursuing the Crossover Project, the accused have clearly crossed so far over the line that a substantial sentence is certainly called for.”

1.04pm: Prosecution: “This Court has found that loans were sought from a number of individuals in order for Xtron to return the ARLA (Advance Rental Licence Agreement) to CHC… Tan Ye Peng sold his house to pay back. Well, the alternative was to come to court and admit what he has done.”

12.55pm: Prosecution: “We submit that nothing in their circumstances will render the “clang of the prison gates” so thunderous as to justify a short term of imprisonment.”

12.48pm: Prosecution: “Where an offence involves a breach of trust, this is generally treated as an aggravating factor. Its powerful influence is shown by the degree to which it
outweighs factors which would normally go in mitigation. Indeed, there is the paradox that some of the strongest factors in mitigation (unblemished career, model citizen, good employment record) are often present in these cases and yet do not tell greatly in the offender’s favour.”

“The reason is that positions of trust are not normally given to individuals unless they have unblemished references, and so the offence may be seen as a betrayal of those very basis of trust, and one of the burdens of a position of trust is an undertaking of incorruptibility.”

12.39pm: Prosecution: “As this Court has observed, each of the accused persons played their respective roles in a conspiracy with intent to cause wrongful loss to CHC and to defraud the auditors.”

“They did not merely wait passively for Kong Hee to instruct them to carry out each specific act and deception needed to drive the conspiracy forward. They took their own initiative to deceive and mislead the trusting members of CHC where necessary, and cannot escape responsibility for those acts.”

12.34pm: Prosecution: “Kong Hee intentionally fostered an organisational culture of
unquestioning trust in relation to the Crossover Project. He did so by capitalising on CHC’s collective fear of external attack in the wake of the Roland Poon incident, convincing members that they ought to simply trust CHC’s leaders to manage the Project without questioning their motives or reasons.”

12.27pm: Prosecution: “The criminal breach of trust offences which the accused persons committed involve the largest amount of charity funds ever misappropriated in Singapore’s legal history.”

“This long-running case involving criminal breach of trust by the most senior managers of a charity has clearly attracted public disquiet, and inevitably affects public confidence that funds donated for charitable purposes, especially to large and well-resourced charities, are managed honestly and properly safeguarded.”

12.11pm: Lawyer Andre Maniam said: “Serina Wee was not a parish priest commanding respect. Until she was charged, most of Singapore did not know who she was.”

“The accused believed it (the usage of the funds) was for an evangelistic purpose that was positively mandated by the vision and mission of CHC.”

11.55am: Serina Wee’s lawyer Andre Maniam said: “This is an unprecedented case. Neither the prosecution nor the defence has been able to turn up a precedent when Criminal Breach of Trust was committed by using a charity’s funds for its own purposes. We are in uncharted waters.”

11.17am: Lawyer N Sreenivasan: “Insofar as personal relationships are concerned, Tan Ye Peng’s former close relationship with Chew Eng Han has been affected. He feels sorry for what happened to Sharon and Serina.”

“He is not, he is not a participant in the heist of the century or other emotional words the prosecution has used.”

[…]

Source: By City Harvest trial live updates: Leaders sentenced to jailPublished 20/11/2015 07:48, UPDATED: 20/11/2015 15:50. (Accessed 20/11/2015.)

 

Press report on Kong & cohorts back in court for oral submission

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When reading through this article, one can’t help notice the argument, appealing to the effects of the family.

It is an illegitimate argument that there was no “no real victim” and that there was”no personal gain” when one analyses Kong Hee and Sun Ho’s “ministry”. We have video footage of Kong Hee shamelessly exploiting the sick in his church to give money to the building fund at the expense of church members medical needs and medical bills.

The most vulnerable people in his church are the victims to Kong Hee and Sun Ho’s exploitation for their highlife and celebrity status (in the name of Jesus).

What about the families of the sick who gave all their money to the Building Fund? What about those families who downgraded their lifestyles to give to the Building Fund, only to find out that what they were giving too was a sham?

Remember: the money went into this musical “ministry” of Sun Ho in the name of Jesus:

 Lets also not forget the most popular victim, Roland Poon. He would have gone through hell when he spoke up originally about the church’s financial mismanagement. What about the families of Roland Poon who had to deal with the false accusations against him and other forms of CHC bullying?

Chanel News Asia Reports,

City Harvest trial live updates: Guilty back in court for oral submissions

The six City Harvest leaders who were found guilty are back in court on Friday (Nov 20) for oral submissions.

SINGAPORE: The six City Harvest leaders who were found guilty on Oct 21 are back in court on Friday (Nov 20) for both prosecution and defence to make oral submissions to the judge on the appropriate sentences for the six found guilty.

Friday is also the earliest date for sentencing.

11.12am: Tan Ye Peng’s lawyer N Sreenivasan said: “You are being asked just to take on board the opinion of the prosecution as opposed to policy. We dont do that. When you address on sentence and you ask for deterrence, it must be backed up, and we don’t have that. The prosecution’s formulation of the sentences should not even be taken into account.”

11.04am: Lawyer Paul Seah: “My client is not a hardened criminal. She’s a faithful wife, loving mother to three young kids, a longtime servant of CHC. These reasons I ask you for a lenient sentence.”

11am: Sharon Tan’s lawyer Paul Seah said: “It is clear that she did not play a role. In a conspiracy, the law differentiates between a mastermind and an underling. She did not formulate the plans. Co-accused Tan Ye Peng and Chew Eng Han have characterised her as a follower who put into actions their plans.”

10.44am: “John Lam did not enjoy any personal gain,” said lawyer Kenneth Tan. “Kong Hee has submitted at length on this point and we wont repeat this subsmission. Our point is a similar one.”

Added Mr Tan: “He was happily married, with two teenage children and he is supporting his aged parents. His employment was terminated the day Your Honour convicted him. Given the conviction, it would be challenging for him moving forward to find new employment … there will be no specific deterrence in putting John Lam away for any length of time.”

“I ask you then in looking first of all at the offence to take into account that it is very different from many other circumstances like this. Church funds, church purposes, no real victim, no permanent loss, no personal gain.”

10.39am: Lawyer Kenneth Tan: “Unlike the rest of the co-accused, you have found that John Lam’s involvement was not extensive, much less compared to that of the other accused. You found that although he knew and participated less, he knew that these funds were to be used for the Crossover Project.”

“But you found that in the circumstances, he knew that the way the money was used was not an authorised use, but he facilitated such a use and he was therefore dishonest. His involvement was intermittent … he did not know the detail of what was going on but you found that he chose not to ask too many questions but placed his trust in church leaders.”

10.34am: Said Lam’s lawyer Kenneth Tan: “You have found that John Lam made a mistake. a serious mistake and you have found that he acted dishonestly, causing wrongful loss to his church. He cant be excused for this wrong, so I ask you in tailoring the punishment to suit the man, please look at the man in the circumstances in which you found in uncharacteristically guilty.”

“He did not use the money which had been used for an unauthorised purpose for his own gain. What he did was he facilitated the use of church monies to further the church’s mission for the crossover to evangelise,” added Mr Tan.

10.31am: Representing John Lam is lawyer Kenneth Tan. Lam “tried and he still tries to live the life of a good man, a God-fearing christian. He’s never been in trouble with the law. He’s different from Kong Hee, he’s not the charismatic leader who sets the agenda … he helps in his own quiet way.”

“John Lam trusted Kong Hee, his spiritual leader for many years,” added Mr Tan. “I set out these facts because unlike charismatic leader that Kong Hee is, John Lam could be any one of us and in fact in many ways he is better than many of us.”

10.28am: Kong Hee’s lawyer Edwin Tong has ended his oral submission.

10.26am: Said lawyer Edwin Tong: “Kong Hee has got no antecedents, and has demonstrated remorse. This trial and investigations started in 2010 – a good 5 years.”

“He has got aged parents in their 80s, who rely on him as their sole provider. They worry about him in their old age. He has two deaf and mute siblings who he provides for. He has a 10 year old son too … as a result of this, his son has had to see a psychiatrist to be evaluated and been taken out of school.”

10.20am: “In other cases, there was personal gain, so I understand why the greater the amount, the greater the sentence,” said Kong Hee’s lawyer Edwin Tong. “But not in this case, no profits, no gain was made by any accused. Not only were they no wrongful gains but there was no intention even to make any wrongful gain.”

“And that is a key point,” he added.

10.14am: “No harm was suffered by the church,” said lawyer Edwin Tong. “There was a return of the monies to the church. There is no victim in this case, the prosecution has argued that despite the fact that CHC was the owner of the funds, these funds were accumulated from a large number of individuals … the court ought to acknowledge that no one was actually harmed.”

10.08am: Kong Hee’s lawyer continues his oral submission: “You found that CHC members did not have knowledge … Chew explained that this was in deference to the wisdom of their leaders … You found also that well before drawdown, this document was available to the lawyers. It would have been easy for any board member to come to the realisation that the bond proceeds were being used.”

10.04am: “It’s fair to say that Kong Hee was always acting in CHC’s interests,” said Mr Edwin Tong. “On an overriding basis when you look at the approrpriate sentence … look at the entire conduct, purpose in the route and look at the motivation … why were these bonds necessary?”

“They all went towards the Crossover Project which they genuinely believed to be … for the best of the church,” he added. “There is no doubt that accused loved CHC and … in using the funds for the Crossover Project, using church funds for evangelistic purposes … there is no evidence of any wrongdoing.”

10.02am: Kong Hee’s lawyer Edwin Tong: “The point I’m making is that that demonstrates they did scrutinise the budget. Having obtained the bonds … that was not a license to go out and spend the church’s money as they liked, there was a high degree of meticulousness.”
“These are persons that meant no harm to the church,” said Mr Tong.

10.01am: Kong’s lawyer Tong: “In considering the appropriate sentence, bear in mind the finding that this was not a group of accused persons who were cavalier in the way they … they were not callous in the way they saw opportunities and expanded where they liked. even in the context of committing these offences they were meticulous in scrutinising the money … they loved the church and meant no harm to the church whatsoever.”

The judge has replied that “this was not my finding, when you say they were not callous”.

9.56am: “The prosecution has accepted entirely the theological legitimacy of Sun Ho’s career. Therefore there is no doubt that the Crossover Project was an integral aspect of City Harvest Church’s evangelistic efforts … to the extent that it was beyond question,” said Mr Tong.

“In using CHC funds for the Crossover Project … the acused believed they were using church funds for an evangelistic purpose … supported by the vast majority if not the entirely of the congregation.”

9.55am: “The Crossover Project is at the centre of all the offences, and your findings of the Crossover Project, what it meant to the church, I just want to highlight to your honour, Kong Hee shared with City Harvest Church members the idea of using secular music,” said Kong’s lawyer Edwin Tong in his oral submission. “Sun Ho was chosen as the ambassador at that point, not without the knowledge of the church and its members.”

9.49am: The court session has started. Kong Hee’s lawyer Edwin Tong is presenting the oral submissions.

“The sentencing to be meted out must be appropriate, proportionate and fit the particular circumstance of the offence,” said Mr Tong to the judge. “I draw your emphasis to this. No two cases are similar.”

9.34am: All 6 have arrived in the courtroom.

The six leaders of the church – founder and senior pastor Kong Hee; deputy senior pastor Tan Ye Peng; former church board member and Chairman of CHC’s Investment Committee John Lam Leng Hung; former church board and CHC Investment Committee member Chew Eng Han; and former finance managers Sharon Tan and Serina Wee – were each convicted on between three and 10 counts of criminal breach of trust and falsifying church accounts.

Channel NewsAsia understands the prosecution is seeking a sentence of 11 to 12 years’ jail for Kong Hee, eight to nine years’ for John Lam, about 11 to 12 years for both Tan Ye Peng, Chew Eng Han and Serina Wee; and about five to six years for Sharon Tan.

From 1030pm Thursday night, interested members of the public had started queueing to enter the court. At about 7.15am on Friday, passes were given out – 50 for the morning session and 50 for the afternoon session.

Said one of those in line, who is not from City Harvest Church but refused to be named: “I had dreams that during the case, during the early part, I had four dreams of Kong Hee that’s all positive. So did it come from devil or God or conscious or subconscious, so I thought I’d come here to see if it shows up.”

Source: By Published 20/11/2015 07:48, UPDATED: 20 Nov 2015 11:19. (Accessed 20/11/2015.)

Media reports suggest Kong faces “up to 12 years’ jail”

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With Kong Hee facing possibly many years of imprisonment, it is about time Australian authorities start looking at Kong Hee’s mentor Phil Pringle. (After all, both Pringle and Kong acknowledge the fact that Kong learnt how to financially run a church.)

03CWCPortrait_Phil Pringle

Phil Pringle: Kong Hee’s Advisory Pastor and Personal Mentor.

Asia One reports,

Kong Hee faces up to 12 years’ jail

THE Public Prosecutor has asked for stiff sentences for all six City Harvest Church (CHC) leaders, including the recommendation that church founder Kong Hee be sentenced to 11 to 12 years in jail, The Straits Times has learnt.

The six were found guilty last month of misusing some $50 million in church funds. Of that, $24 million was used to bankroll the music career of Kong’s wife, singer-pastor Ho Yeow Sun.

Apart from Kong, 51, the prosecution recommended a jail sentence of 11 to 12 years each for deputy senior pastor Tan Ye Peng, 43; former CHC finance manager Serina Wee, 38; and former CHC fund manager Chew Eng Han, 55.

For former CHC finance manager John Lam, 47, the prosecution asked for a jail sentence of eight to nine years.

The lightest sentence of five to six years was reserved for former CHC finance manager Sharon Tan, 40.

The prosecution submitted its written submissions on sentencing to the court on Nov 6.

The six are due back in court on Friday for oral submissions on sentencing. It is the earliest date for the court to pass a sentence.

For the moment, only Kong and Chew have indicated they are likely to appeal.

“I think it’s likely (for Kong to appeal) but I can’t confirm right now, realistically we have to see what happens on Friday,” said Kong’s lawyer, Jason Chan.

Chew told The Straits Times: “I am standing by my defence and what I testified during the trial, and will make an appeal.”

Defence lawyers told The Straits Times they felt the sentences asked for by the prosecution were excessive.

The defence has told the court repeatedly that CHC suffered no loss and the six accused had not profited from their crimes.

They were found guilty of varying counts of criminal breach of trust and falsifying accounts.

A maximum cumulative sentence of 20 years can be imposed on the accused, in addition to a fine.

Kong faced only three charges of criminal breach of trust which, along with Lam, was the lowest number faced by the accused.

But in his written judgment, Presiding Judge See Kee Oon fingered Kong as the main man behind the scandal, writing that the charismatic church pastor had “acted consciously and dishonestly”.

“Kong Hee maintains that he is a pastor and not an expert in legality. But one does not need to be an expert in legality to appreciate certain fundamental aspects of honesty, truth and integrity,” he wrote.

Judge See added that the group used their positions in the church to shroud their crimes in secrecy.

“When shrouded under a cloak of invisibility, much like the mythical ring of Gyges, people in such positions of power have no fear of accountability and tend to become their own worst enemies,” he wrote.

The ring of Gyges – mentioned in Greek philosopher Plato’s the Republic – is a mythical artefact that grants its owner the power to become invisible at will.

Judge See wrote: “It has thus been wisely said that the real tragedy is when men are afraid of the light, and if they choose not to come into the light, they do so for fear that their deeds will be exposed, as they surely will in time.”

Source: By Danseng Cheong, Kong Hee faces up to 12 years’ jail, Asia One, http://news.asiaone.com/news/singapore/kong-hee-faces-12-years-jail, 17/11/2015. (Accessed 19/11/2015.)

“Christian” media report on Kong Hee’s apology

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You’d expect Kong Hee was channelling Golumn from Lord of the Rings with his “apology.”

“Pastor is sssssorry!”

Christian Today reports,

Kong Hee’s first appearance at City Harvest after fraud verdict: ‘Pastor is sorry’

City Harvest Church’s pastor Kong Hee apologised to his congregation this weekend after the guilty verdict in his trial for fraud.

According to the Asia One news service, on Sunday morning Kong faced a crowded auditorium at the Suntec convention centre, bowed and said, “Pastor is sorry”. He had used the same words at a service on Saturday night.

Kong, his deputy pastor Tan Ye Peng, finance manager Sharon Tan and former finance manager Serina Wee, were found guilty with former board members John Lam and Chew Eng Han of misusing $17 million from the church’s building fund to further the music career of Kong’s wife Ho Yeow Sun, known as Sun Ho. A further $18.5 million was used to cover up the scheme through a complicated system of bond issues and ’round-tripping’ transactions in which the church used its own money to pay debt owed to it.

The funds were used to support Sun Ho’s career through CHC’s ‘Crossover Project’, aimed at promoting a Christian voice in the secular music industry – a mission tactic familiar in the West but far less so in the East.

Kong could face as long as 20 years in prison.

Another website, Mothership.sg, quoted extensively from Kong’s address. He told the congregation: “I understand that what I’m about to say has already been widely reported in the local media, since last night. But nevertheless I think it’s important for me as your senior pastor to express my heart to you this morning. So even if you have heard it, give me a chance to say it.

“Over the last few days, many of you have asked me ‘Pastor, how have you been?’ I’ve received hundreds of text messages, emails, and of course I am saddened with the outcome of the trial. But this I do want to say.

“You have suffered much over the past few years because of your commitment to City Harvest Church. And your commitment to me. I am so sorry for all the pain and the turmoil you have had to endure under my leadership, under my watch. You have had to answer questions, and criticisms from family, from friends, from colleagues.

He bowed three times in different directions as the congregation stood and applauded.

Kong told the congregation that the church’s future was secure, “because of you and the new leadership that has been put in place”. He added: “Out of the ashes, we will rise.”

The church’s executive pastor Aries Zulkarnain showed extracts from the judge’s ruling on screens. The first acknowledged that the six who were found guilty “loved CHC” and believed they were using church funds for an evangelistic purpose of which the congregation would approve. The second said that they had known they were using the funds in a way they were not legally entitled to do and referred to the “element of dishonesty” in their conduct.

Zulkarnain said: “While we may not understand the full meaning of this judgement, one thing to know is that the judge acknowledged that the motive of the six was their love for the church and they believed they were using church funds for an evangelistic purpose.” He said that the church would improve its governance.

American pastor A R Bernard, founder of the New York-based Christian Cultural Centre, preached at the service, focusing on remaining faithful in spite of difficulties.

Kong and his wife Sun Ho closed the service with a song. Sun Ho said: “Thank you for being here, for being courageous and supportive. Thank you for your love. It has made a difference for all of us and our family members. Thank you, thank you, thank you.”

Source: Mark Woods, Kong Hee’s first appearance at City Harvest after fraud verdict: ‘Pastor is sorry’, Christian Today, http://www.christiantoday.com/article/kong.hees.first.appearance.at.city.harvest.after.fraud.verdict.pastor.is.sorry/68734.htm, Published 26/10/2015. (Accessed 09/11/2105.)

Will CHC 2.0 become CHC 3.0 if Kong & Sun Ho are guilty of “tax evasion of over S$1.4m?”

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Kong Hee said the following to Phil Pringle’s C3 Presence Conference in 2013:

“And I just got to say that, Sun and I from the bottom of our hearts, together with our eldership, our leadership: we are very very grateful for C3 for releasing Pastor Phil and Pastor Chris to be our Advisory Pastor.

And what does that mean to be Advisory Pastor? If anything happens to me, he’s taking over my church. So, you know- I don’t know- Is that good or bad news for you? Haha!

Yeah, but Pastor Phil has been a pillar to our ministry for the last three years.” [Source] (Emphasis added)

However, Sun Ho is now officially the Pastor of CHC 2.0. If this is the next trial facing Kong Hee and Sun Ho, Phil Pringle of C3 “Church” may finally receive the promised CHC 3.0. The fact that Kong Hee says that he copies everything that CHC does from his mentor, Phil Pringle’s church should make Australian authorities question Phil Pringle’s practices, especially when a C3 insider researched and compared Phil Pringle’s financia conduct to CHC’s financial conduct.

The States Times reports,

Sun Ho and Kong Hee may be guilty for tax evasion of over S$1.4m of “love gifts”

Convicted conman pastor Kong Hee and the new pastor of City Harvest Church Sun Ho may be guilty for tax evasion over the receiving of “love gifts” worth S$1.4 million between 2006 and 2009.

The S$1.4 million funding comes from a specially-created fund called “Multi-Purpose Account” (MPA), which is contributed by church members. The MPA which was closed in 2010, only came to light during the court proceedings and were kept in secrecy from the public and even church members.

According to Kong Hee’s court statement:

“For the MPA, it is more for the livelihood of me and Sun… and for other non-music production expenses in the US because we are off the church’s salary.”

Court documents revealed the following:

-More than S$300,000 on travel
-More than S$100,000 on food
-About S$100,000 on Sun Ho’s hair and make-up
-Total spending by Kong Hee is about S$600,000
-Total spending by Sun Ho is about S$3 million

The fund were contributed by 40 of Kong Hee and Sun Ho’s closest supporters between 2006 and 2009. Kong Hee was also uncovered to have lied to Singaporeans in 2005 where he declared that he earned only S$8,000/mth, when he in fact earned S$500,000 a year from merchandising sales and giving speeches around the world.

However, Kong Hee, like a smooth con-artist, claimed that the donors gave him the millions willingly:

“All the donors, they knew that it’s a freewill giving, we didn’t coerce them, we didn’t force them. Some of them did indicate that we should use it for nothing else except for our own livelihood. We always treated this as a third-party fund with accountability… We do not use it in a cavalier fashion.”

Source: Admin, Sun Ho and Kong Hee may be guilty for tax evasion of over S$1.4m of “love gifts”, MotherShip.sg, http://statestimesreview.com/2015/11/09/sun-ho-and-kong-hee-may-be-guilty-for-tax-evasion-of-over-s1-4m-of-love-gifts/, Published 09/11/2015. (Accessed 12/11/2015.)

CHC History: Kong’s long term “fellow” speaks out about Kong’s conviction

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The Mother Ship writes,

Even things got kind of awkward between Kong Hee & a fellow relatively charismatic pastor

Do not lump all Christians as one and the same because they also have their irreconcilable differences.

What’s a sign that things are bound to go pear-shaped one fine day for at least one party?

When things can even get awkward between two pastors supposedly practising the same religion.

Pastor Yang Tuck Yoong, from Cornerstone Community Church, has weighed in on the City Harvest Church trial verdict and his past association with Kong Hee via a post on his church’s website on Oct. 23, 2015.

A little background before we get to what he wrote: Both City Harvest Church and Cornerstone Community Church share the same roots — Marine Parade Christian Centre (MPCC).

Before City Harvest Church became City Harvest Church, it was a group filled with young people called Ekklesia led by Kong Hee in 1988.

Pastor Yang led his own group that was called Anastasis, which branched out in 1989, and which later became Bedok Christian Centre that fell under the umbrella of the Anglican Church in Singapore in 1990.

Subsequently, Bedok Christian Centre became Cornerstone Community Church in 1994, but later on in 1995, attained status as an independent Pentecostal church.

Now that we’ve gotten all that background out of the way, all you have to know is that in the 1980s, Kong Hee was Pastor Yang’s protege at one point in time and they were close friends.

Were.

Hence, with this background in mind, this post Pastor Yang wrote on his church website commenting on City Harvest Church and Kong Hee will then make more sense:

This week has been a shocking one for all of us. The long running legal battle over the misuse of City Harvest Church funds resulted in all the six key CHC staff accused being convicted of multimillion dollar fraud on Wednesday. The presiding judge ruled that the six had acted dishonestly and were involved in conspiracies to misuse church building funds for the Crossover Project, a church mission to evangelise through the music of the Senior Pastor’s wife, Sun Ho. And something interesting he said, “It has thus been wisely said that the real tragedy is when men are afraid of the light, and if they choose not to come into the light, they do so for fear that their deeds will be exposed, as they surely will in time.” Wow. The mammoth trial has captured the attention of the nation and elsewhere, and the verdict has left many wounded, hurting and searching for answers.

I remember when the judge had ruled that Pastor Kong Hee and the rest of his associates were guilty of all the charges leveled against them, like everyone, I had a variety of emotions. The first was grief and sadness. I felt grief welled up inside me. I grieved for Kong and how in one broad stroke, he has lost everything he worked so hard for, his whole life. He didn’t take heed to the proverb that says a good name is to be chosen rather than great riches (Prov 22:1). It would be later that my grief extended to the many of the people who had left the faith, backslid, stumbled, or who had been so disillusioned by the whole fiasco. The whole episode has brought incredible reproach to the Lord and the distortion it gives concerning God’s heart and ways. It’s given many people an opportunity to profane the Name of the Lord.

In bringing this out to the open, I did wonder if the waters were too muddied or if emotions too high, if I weighed into the discussion. It will be a risk I take, but it’s one I feel should be taken because of my past connections with Kong. Dutch Sheets said that fathers, when given the voice to do so, bear the responsibility of giving correction and wisdom. I hope mine qualifies for the latter.

My association with Pastor Kong Hee goes all the way back to the early 80’s. I was a student in the university and he was still a student in Raffles Institution. He got saved as a student and started attending Marine Parade Christian Centre (MPCC), a church where I had been attending with my family for sometime. Soon after, we became connected and we became close friends. I remember he started coming to my house to study, riding his bicycle, and I must say we got along extremely well. Even at a young age, he was ambitious, highly-driven and very charismatic. It wasn’t long later that I was made the youth leader in the church and he became my assistant. We clicked very well and together, we dreamed of many things. The youth ministry began to flourish under our leadership and soon we had hundreds of youths attending the meetings. Our pastor had recommended that we multiplied the congregation and split it to start three churches – one under me, one under Kong and one under an elder of the church, but that didn’t materialise.

Through the years, a few things started happening and it was becoming increasingly uncomfortable for the both of us. We had very different worldview, styles and personality, and to prevent any sort of split, we made a decision to multiply the youth ministry, one under Kong and one under me. Kong called his group Ekklesia, which later became known as City Harvest Church. My group was named Anastasis, which means resurrection, and it eventually formed into Bedok Christian Centre (BCC), a daughter church of MPCC. It was in 1995 that we stepped out of the Anglican Church to become an independent congregation and Cornerstone was launched. City Harvest Church had a 2-year head start. They came out of MPCC to start Ekklesia in 1988 and we started BCC in 1990. Kong and I had very little interaction during those years. We did meet every now and then, but the relationship never really went back to what it was in our younger days.

Fast forward, 2003. The Crossover Project. There’s a prophetic element to all this which I’ll share in more detail over our weekend services.

Pastor Yang Tuck Yoong
23 October 2015

If you were at the weekend service and want to share what Pastor Yang said, feel free to write to us.

Or else, we’ll just camp out at Cornerstone Community Church’s website when this week’s service’s sermon getsuploaded on iTunes.

Source: By Belmont Lay, Even things got kind of awkward between Kong Hee & a fellow relatively charismatic pastor, MotherShip.sg, http://mothership.sg/2015/10/even-things-got-kind-of-awkward-between-kong-hee-a-fellow-relatively-charismatic-pastor/, Published 25/10/2015. (Accessed 16/11/2015.)

“Christian” media report on Kong Hee’s apology

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You’d expect Kong Hee was channelling Golumn from Lord of the Rings with his “apology.”

“Pastor is sssssorry!”

Christian Today reports,

Kong Hee’s first appearance at City Harvest after fraud verdict: ‘Pastor is sorry’

City Harvest Church’s pastor Kong Hee apologised to his congregation this weekend after the guilty verdict in his trial for fraud.

According to the Asia One news service, on Sunday morning Kong faced a crowded auditorium at the Suntec convention centre, bowed and said, “Pastor is sorry”. He had used the same words at a service on Saturday night.

Kong, his deputy pastor Tan Ye Peng, finance manager Sharon Tan and former finance manager Serina Wee, were found guilty with former board members John Lam and Chew Eng Han of misusing $17 million from the church’s building fund to further the music career of Kong’s wife Ho Yeow Sun, known as Sun Ho. A further $18.5 million was used to cover up the scheme through a complicated system of bond issues and ’round-tripping’ transactions in which the church used its own money to pay debt owed to it.

The funds were used to support Sun Ho’s career through CHC’s ‘Crossover Project’, aimed at promoting a Christian voice in the secular music industry – a mission tactic familiar in the West but far less so in the East.

Kong could face as long as 20 years in prison.

Another website, Mothership.sg, quoted extensively from Kong’s address. He told the congregation: “I understand that what I’m about to say has already been widely reported in the local media, since last night. But nevertheless I think it’s important for me as your senior pastor to express my heart to you this morning. So even if you have heard it, give me a chance to say it.

“Over the last few days, many of you have asked me ‘Pastor, how have you been?’ I’ve received hundreds of text messages, emails, and of course I am saddened with the outcome of the trial. But this I do want to say.

“You have suffered much over the past few years because of your commitment to City Harvest Church. And your commitment to me. I am so sorry for all the pain and the turmoil you have had to endure under my leadership, under my watch. You have had to answer questions, and criticisms from family, from friends, from colleagues.

He bowed three times in different directions as the congregation stood and applauded.

Kong told the congregation that the church’s future was secure, “because of you and the new leadership that has been put in place”. He added: “Out of the ashes, we will rise.”

The church’s executive pastor Aries Zulkarnain showed extracts from the judge’s ruling on screens. The first acknowledged that the six who were found guilty “loved CHC” and believed they were using church funds for an evangelistic purpose of which the congregation would approve. The second said that they had known they were using the funds in a way they were not legally entitled to do and referred to the “element of dishonesty” in their conduct.

Zulkarnain said: “While we may not understand the full meaning of this judgement, one thing to know is that the judge acknowledged that the motive of the six was their love for the church and they believed they were using church funds for an evangelistic purpose.” He said that the church would improve its governance.

American pastor A R Bernard, founder of the New York-based Christian Cultural Centre, preached at the service, focusing on remaining faithful in spite of difficulties.

Kong and his wife Sun Ho closed the service with a song. Sun Ho said: “Thank you for being here, for being courageous and supportive. Thank you for your love. It has made a difference for all of us and our family members. Thank you, thank you, thank you.”

Source: Mark Woods, Kong Hee’s first appearance at City Harvest after fraud verdict: ‘Pastor is sorry’, Christian Today, http://www.christiantoday.com/article/kong.hees.first.appearance.at.city.harvest.after.fraud.verdict.pastor.is.sorry/68734.htm, Published 26/10/2015. (Accessed 09/11/2105.)

Kong guilty but not sorry for his crimes against City Harvest Church (Part 1)

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Jesus Christ calls false teachers and prophets “lawless ones.” Even before God’s throne, they even try to convince Christ Himself of their innocence. (Matthew 7.) By now, it is plain as day, that Kong Hee is a criminal before God and man. He is to BE REJECTED by Christians for unrepentance and sins (1 Corinthians 5(. To embrace him his to partake in his wickedness and to unlovingly destroy him eternally.

The world is seeing the lawlessness of Kong Hee and City Harvest Church. Christians MUST excommunicate Kong Hee from the Christian community of faith, strip him of his false credentials and have nothing to do with him until he comes to grip with his numerous crimes. To endorse a criminal is to make God himself look like criminal and will only promote a spirit of lawlessness in the church.

To allow Kong Hee and CHC to revel in their sin is to to spit in the face of God’s law and saving grace.

The Mother.sg reports*:

City Harvest founder Kong Hee’s first post-guilty verdict comment on Facebook shows he’s still not sorry

He also at no point admits he has done anything wrong.

In the moments after Judicial Commissioner See Kee Oon read his guilty-as-charged verdict to a packed courtroom in Singapore’s State Courts on Wednesday morning, City Harvest church founder Kong Hee, when approached by reporters outside, said, “No, not now.”

Some 30 hours later, he finally broke his silence on Thursday afternoon with a post to his public Facebook page that looks suspiciously like the statement his wife published on their church’s Facebook page and website a day earlier:

Dear Church and friends,

By now, you would have heard that the judge has rendered his decision in the long-running trial.

This is a difficult time for me, and especially for my family, just as it is for the other co-accused persons.

As was the case throughout these past three years of court trial, and the earlier two years of investigation, I have put my faith and my all in God, and trust that whatever the outcome, He will use it for good in His time and in His way (Rom. 8:28; Eccl. 3:11). My family and I are continually assured and strengthened by the love and support shown to us during this entire time. We thank you for your prayers and encouragement, as they mean a lot to us. Please keep praying for me and those involved in the trial, for our families, and especially for the congregation of City Harvest Church, which I love so dearly with all my heart.

The days and steps ahead are challenging, but with God’s grace and love, I have no fear. The Lord Jesus, my Good Shepherd, will lead and guide. I will obey, I will follow, by faith.

Love in Christ,

Kong Hee

親愛的弟兄姐妹與朋友:

現今,你應該已經聽聞法官為這漫長審訊發表的裁決。

對我而言,尤其是我的家人,這是非常困難的時期;我相信對於其他被告也是如此。

在過去三年的法院審訊與早前兩年的調查中,我將一切完全擺上信靠神,不管結果如何,神要按祂的時機、祂的方式叫我們得益處;現今也不例外(羅8:28;傳3:11)。我和我的家人常常因為你們在這段時間所給予的愛和支持得到肯定和力量。感謝你們的禱告和鼓勵,這對我們而言非常重要。請繼續為我和所有受審的人以及我們的家人禱告,尤其為我深愛的城市豐收教會會眾代禱。

前面的日子與道路崎嶇難行,但有神的恩典與慈愛,我不畏懼。主耶穌,我的好牧者,會帶領引導我。我會憑信心順服、跟隨。

基督愛裡
康希

[Source: Kong Hee, FaceBook, https://www.facebook.com/konghee/posts/10153027422951895, October 22 at 7:28pm. (Accessed 15/11/2015.)]

Now, well and good for him to say what he wants to his followers, but we’d like to highlight a couple things he posted:

1. Kong: “Please keep praying for me and those involved in the trial”

Well, Kong, the trial is over, and as even you admitted, the tribe judge has spoken. You, and your five friends (okay four friends and one ex-friend) are guilty. And convicted. Of all the charges that all of you faced.

Sure, you guys  might appeal the decision, but the fact remains the trial is over. There is no more trial to be involved in. Unless you’re referring to the five-year “trial” all of you are going through?

2. Kong: “I have put my faith and my all in God, and trust that whatever the outcome, He will use it for good in His time and in His way (Rom. 8:28; Eccl. 3:11)”

Here’s what Romans 8:28 says:

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been calledaccording to his purpose.

(Which may or may not be yours. Here’s a comment on your post, too:

Screenshot from Kong Hee's Facebook postScreenshot from Kong Hee’s Facebook post

… yep.)

And here’s what Ecclesiastes 3:11 says:

He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.

Ecclesiastes 3 is a famous passage now commonly titled as “A time for everything”. If you take a look at it, a bit further down, you’ll also notice the following:

From verse 15:

Whatever is has already been,
and what will be has been before;
and God will call the past to account.

And from verse 17:

“God will bring into judgment
both the righteous and the wicked,
for there will be a time for every activity,
a time to judge every deed.”

Sure, God will use the outcome (which was already determined yesterday, if you remember — weren’t you there?) for good, and yes, in his time and way.

Which isn’t necessarily yours.

3. Kong: “The judge has rendered his decision”

Yeah, what’s with not even saying what the “decision” was? (It’s guilty, by the way.)

All the way till now, are you truly still convinced that you and your fellow church leaders have done no wrong at all?

People reading your post were unable to understand what you meant, for instance:

Screenshot from Kong Hee's Facebook page
Screenshot from Kong Hee’s Facebook page
Screenshot from Kong Hee's Facebook page
Screenshot from Kong Hee’s Facebook page

Why the vagueness? Don’t you want to come clean even to your faithful followers?

4. Kong: “This is a difficult time for me, and especially for my family, just as it is for the other co-accused persons.”

The meaning of “accused”:

Screenshot from Google search
Screenshot from Google search

Correction: you’ve all been found guilty. Which means you’ve been convicted. The issue of whether or not you guys committed a crime is no longer in question, therefore you are no longer accused.

The meaning of “conviction”, as defined by Singapore’s Attorney-General’s Chambers:

Screenshot from AGC website
Screenshot from AGC website

Kong’s post was followed by more than a hundred encouraging comments, and this one from literary critic and poet Gwee Li Sui, which was later hidden from the thread:

Screenshot from Kong Hee's Facebook page
Screenshot from Kong Hee’s Facebook page

And all that’s left are prayers and encouragement.

Surely, this is a difficult time for Kong, his family and his five fellow convicts. We shouldn’t be beating them when they’re down. But one only has to look at their comments and posts in the hours following their conviction to see that they still don’t think they have done wrong, much less committed serious crimes.

And that bears some contemplation indeed.

Source: By Jeanette Tan, City Harvest founder Kong Hee’s first post-guilty verdict comment on Facebook shows he’s still not sorry, http://mothership.sg/2015/10/city-harvest-founder-kong-hees-first-post-guilty-verdict-comment-on-facebook-shows-hes-still-not-sorry/, Published 22/10/2015. (Accessed 15/11/2015.)

* Sources added to quotes. Screen grab of Kong Hee’s statement added below.

proof_FBKongHeeStillInnocent_15-11-2015

Following the leader wherever HEE may go…

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It’s crucial to understand the mindsets behind the 5 accused followers of Kong Hee. Normally, Christian churches have Christ as the cornerstone of their faith. Pastors are called to serve their congregants by faithfully proclaiming repentance and the forgiveness of sins through Christ’s death and resurrection. Pastors also spend quality time getting to know their congregants  by praying for them, visiting them in hospitals, counseling, and other Biblical means.

CHC is NOT a Christian church by any stretch of the imagination. Rather, it’s a cult built around “Pastor” Kong Hee and his vision. (With Kong Hee possibly facing prison for 20 years, “Pastrix” Sun Ho’s vision will become the new cornerstone of the congregant’s faith.) It is impossible for the other 5 accused to walk away from their boss because their boss IS “God.” In these cults, to question the leader is to question God. Not submitting to the cult leader is a direct violation of God’s way and to leave the church is to reject God. To break any of these commandments is to lose one’s salvation, so of course the accused 5 had their fate sealed as soon as they took up the leadership positions. Kong Hee will only choose those that have sold out to his lies and who have “seared their consciences” to his every word.

Keep in mind we are NOT in any way excusing the 5 accused from the crimes they’ve committed. Rather, we’re pointing out why they would willingly break the law and blindly follow Kong Hee to the ends of the Earth. This mentality is precisely why CHC, Hillsong, C3, and other mega churches with vision-casting leaders are so dangerous.

RHT Digital & Media writes:

The sensational City Harvest Church case makes for scary reading with a pastor using his power of persuasion to make five key followers paranoid into cheating their congregation of $50 million.

Pastor Kong Hee manipulated a whistle blowing incident to create fear among the five that the church was maligned and under attack, and so they had to do their work discreetly. The whistle blower had alleged that church money had been used to promote the music career of the pastor’s wife. He convinced the five that the Crossover Project that started in 2003 to use his wife’s pop albums to reach out to non-Christians should be handled in secret. From then onwards, it was plain sailing for Kong Hee. A company, Xtron Productions, was started and sham bonds worth millions of dollars that the church bought from Xtron were funnelled into the Crossover Project.

Who can you blame for this sorry state of affairs?

The pastor who used his sway over the five to cheat, the state for not interfering early enough to stop the system from rotting, or the church members for allowing themselves to be manipulated?

Reading the excerpts of the 270-page verdict, it is clear that the pastor is the conspirator and the manipulator. But the five who allowed themselves to be manipulated cannot escape scrutiny. As the judge said, the zeal for the Crossover vision may have clouded their objectivity and judgement and obscured the need to protect other people’s money and not use it as they wished.

These five are in trouble today because they were trusted and trusting. Those following this case only for the salacious details, better wise up to the judge’s wise words: “It has … been wisely said that the real tragedy is when men are afraid of the light, and if they choose not to come into the light they do so for fear that their deeds will be exposed, as they will in time.”

The bottom line is this: You must have the guts and gumption to stand up to your boss and say no when you are asked to do things that go against your conscience. And if your boss insists that you still do it, walk away and send in your letter of resignation.

Source: From RHT Digital & Media, Power, paranoia, and a pastor, http://www.rhtdigitalmedia.com/2015/10/power-paranoia-and-a-pastor/, Published 28/10/2015. (Accessed 28/10/2015.)