According to The Daily Mail, a group called Hermes Far Eastern Shining (HFES) has been targeting Byron Bay festival-goers to try to lure them into their group, and they sound, well, cultish.
HFES is reportedly known for emotional manipulation and financial exploitation of its members, and have supposedly been honing in on unsuspecting individuals in the Byron Baty area, promising enlightenment in exchange for loyalty, which includes working on artefacts which the group sells for up to $12,500 per item.
Some of these supposedly transformative items include Archangel Wands, Stargate Boxes and Sacred Body of Man Bubblers. TBH, they look like shitty bits of plastic with multi-coloured liquid in them, but hey, whatever floats your metaphysical boat.
HFES was established in the ’90s by former clinical psychologist Gerald Hart Attrill, The Daily Mail reports. Attrill reinvented himself by changing his name to Jessa O’My Heart, and became leader of the group, using his disciples to create overpriced artefacts which promise to bring spiritual enlightenment.
O’My Heart (FKA Attrill) died in 2012, but before his death he supposedly instructed HFES members to recruit the folks at Byron Bay festivals, as well as students at Brisbane universities. Praying on the sweet and trusting innocence of youth. How very noble!
HFES is on the Cult Information and Family Support watch list, which has also issued warnings to potential followers. The group has also been red flagged by Senator Nick Xenophon as being particularly dangerous.
So, the moral of the story is beware of any creepy recruiters that may try to ‘love bomb’ you (yes this is actually one of their tactics, apparently) into a false sense of security, and then emotionally kidnap you. Keep your buddy in sight at all times this festival season.
If you dare, you can check out one of HFES’ promotional videos, below.
Watch: Hermes Far Eastern Shining Promotional Video