Special Guests: Laura Sullivan
Laura grew up in Adelaide, South Australia, a suburban girl with big city dreams. She studied television production at Charles Sturt University, and has been working in television since 2002.
Laura was that kid fascinated by junk on the ground, and would always come home with some strange object that she’d found. She liked to draw and make things. To create. Her hands were always dirty. It was in Sydney in 2005 that she found her first note, and she's been finding notes in cities around the world ever since.
Laura also grew up in a sect called Outreach International. Whilst there, her pastor disapproroved of her note-finding habit. But since leaving the sect, she embraced her passion and turned that habit into Found By Laura – an art project that has seen her launch a book in February 2017 and exhibit her notes in a number of Sydney galleries. She'll soon take the exhibition to other cities across the country and around the world.
ABOUT THIS EPISODE
In May 2017, a sect that started in Melbourne, Australia, 50 years ago, and has been highly secretive over the last few decades, decided to change its closed-doors policy and go public with a website. Whilst up until now very little has been known about the group except by direct conversations with former believers, its members go to government schools, attend public universities, and work in everyday jobs. They could be your neighbour, your colleague, or even a friend, and you’d have no idea what’s really going on in their private lives.
CORRECTION: There is a mention of the Book of David in this episode – this was a slip of the tongue, it should be the Book of John.
Laura left Outreach International when she was 32 years old, having been born into the sect in the late 1970s. Hear her story as she relates the experience of being a young woman in a highly patriarchal and controlling organisation, the difficult decision to leave, the trauma of starting her life from scratch, and the joy that she's found in this new life – a kind that most of us take for granted. You'll also hear from other ex-members about their experiences, and where the sect stands today.
- The Effect of Billy Graham Crusades in 1959 Still Being Felt Today — Christian Today
- Billy Graham in Australia, 1959 - Was it Revival? — by Dr. Stuart Piggin, Lucas: An Evangelical History Review, no. 6, Oct 1989
- Letters to the Editor — Vision Magazine, No. 9, May-June 1975
- Salaries for ministers rapped by church founder — by Rose Simpson, The Ottawa Journal, Wednesday July 25, 1979
- The Association of Alatsatians — website with a history of the city of Alatsata
- Outreach International website
- Tony Kostas' personal website
- Seek Ye First — by Tony Kostas, Outreach International, 1975
- The Ultimate Attainment — by Tony Kostas, Outreach Media, 1983
- Building with God — series by Tony Kostas, 1985
- Led Into Love — by Tony Kostas, 2016
- UK Charity Commission Records — London Outreach Church Community Trust
- Open Charities UK — Basic charity accounts records from 30 April 2006 to 30 April 2010 for London Outreach Church Community Trust, AKA Outreach International
- ASIC Records for Outreach International — Australian Securities and Investments Commission
- Religious Trauma Syndrome: How some organized religion leads to mental health problems — by Valerie Tarico, Raw Story, 15 October 2018
- Marlene Winell, Ph.D website — Professional background, education and professional history, and current work of Dr. Winell, accessed 23 October 2018
- Outreach Letters Series — by Tony Kostas, 1988-89