Dozens of ex-Destiny members contacted the Herald after yesterday's story about dissension in the Brisbane branch.
And though the Herald only publishes the quotes of a couple of the dozen, what they say is telling:
Former Destiny church-goer Agnes Granada said she left Auckland's Mt Wellington branch because "I started getting uncomfortable".
Ms Granada, who attended services for five years, said moves such as making the $300 signet ring a compulsory purchase for each member led her to believe Destiny was not a church, but a money-making cult.
"It doesn't reconcile with what Jesus preached - it's going out of context. I myself was uncomfortable with buying a ring for $300," she said.
"God is spiritual and [Bishop Tamaki] seems to be doing things materialistically - $300 is two weeks groceries for the average family."
Another member said she had to "walk away from it all and repent" after realising she was attending a cult and not a church.
"Tamaki is moving away from the true faith and is setting up his business empire," she said.
"Where does it say in the Bible that only members wear rings?"
Indeed. And Adolf at No Minister (who knows a bit about these things) suggests that it is time that the IRD audited Destiny's books, and suggests several areas which might merit IRD's attention. We concur wholeheartedly, and have commented on Adolf's blog that if the IRD had a tax collecter/auditor by the name of Matthew, he would be just the man for the job!
In the meantime, we have no doubt whatsoever that there will be considerable disquiet in the Destiny world at the moment, and we can imagine that the men in black suits with the FBI earpieces will be knocking on quite a few doors over the next wee while as Destiny moves into damage-control mode. This time however, we believe that the fissures in Destiny's carefully-crafted security wall may prove impossible to mend; without Divine intervention, of course!