Recently, an alleged scandal has emerged which is gaining significant media attention. Australian Parliament member, Andrew Wilkie, has made serious allegations against the leaders of Hillsong Church, namely Brian Houston and Phil Dooley, accusing them of engaging in fraudulent activities such as money laundering and tax evasion. Wilkie has backed up his allegations with financial records and board papers, claiming that they provide evidence of Hillsong’s wrongdoings.
“Deputy speaker last year, a whistleblower provided me with financial records and board papers that show Hillsong is breaking numerous laws in Australia and around the world relating to fraud, money laundering, and tax evasion,” Wilkie told the speaker in the video clip provided below.
“For example, this document shows how, in 2021, four members of the Houston family and their friends enjoyed at a three-day luxury retreat in Cancun, Mexico, using $150,000 of church money. And these documents show former leader Brian Houston treating private jets like Ubers again or with church money.”
The evidence presented by Wilkie allegedly suggests that Hillsong Church has paid American televangelists, such as Joyce Meyer and T.D. Jakes, tens, even hundreds of thousands of dollars in honorariums for their engagements with the church.
“For example,” Wilkie said, “US Pastor Joyce Meyer enjoyed honorariums of $160,000, $133,000 100,030, $2,000. And US. Pastor T. D. Jakes received $71,000 and $120,000 with a staggering $77,000 worth of airfares to and from Australia thrown in.”
Further, some pastors received “curious payments” suggesting that Brian Houston may have used some of the money to illegally pay off “external pastors,” including US megachurch pastor of Church of the Highlands, Chris Hodges, who was selected to investigate allegations of Houston in a 2019 sexual misconduct scandal involving a female parishioner.
“There’s also the curious payments of $10,000 each to Paul de Jong and Chris Hodges, the external pastors who investigated allegations of Brian Houston Houston’s 2019 sexual misconduct in a Sydney hotel room involving a female parishioner.”
Furthermore, the financial records allegedly indicate that Hillsong Church earns $80 million more in Australian annual income than it publicly reports.
Wilkie has also highlighted that Hillsong’s Community Venues company funded the purchase of Festival Hall in Melbourne using a $15.7 million loan. The loan is unlikely to ever be repaid and is ineligible for tax-deductible church donations. The financial documents allegedly reveal that church funds were used to pay for luxury retreats, private jet trips, and shopping sprees that would “embarrass a Kardashian.”
These serious allegations against Hillsong Church and its leaders have sparked controversy in Australia, with many calling for further investigation to determine the validity of these claims. These well-known megachurch prosperity hucksters have always been known to be charlatans who feast off the menial incomes of their millions of followers, but if these allegations turn out to be true, there needs to be serious accountability.