Gold Coast Mayor’s Spiritual Advisor Tom Tate has warned of a ‘demonic stronghold’ in HOTA

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Spiritual adviser to the Mayor of Gold Coast, Tom Tate, told a church service in November that a ‘demonic stronghold’ had been established at the House of Arts (HOTA) and a ‘spiritual battle’ had begun .

Sue Baynes, who was hired as the town’s pastoral adviser last month, has spoken publicly about her close relationship with Mr Tate – who was elected mayor in 2012 – on several podcasts and in speeches, describing herself as his adviser spiritual.

She has also publicly declared her support and advocacy for the Mandate of the Seven Mountains.

The Mandate of the Seven Mountains is a Dominionist Christian movement in the United States that seeks to assert influence in seven public spheres: family, education, government, media, arts or entertainment, church, and business .

“The main point of this is that we need to have influential people in the kingdom who are well positioned in all of these areas,” Ms Baynes said in a 2019 podcast.

“In order for us to start thinking in the way of the kingdom and bring the mentality, the values, the principles, the way of life of the kingdom into these areas, so that the right decisions are made on the basis of biblical principles and not on humanism or other impious ways.”

A composite image of Sue Baynes and Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate speaking separately at an event in 2021.(Youtube)

Personal views, says the mayor

Mandate opposes same-sex marriage and has advocated for the inclusion of biblical values ​​in public institutions such as schools and universities.

In a speech to the Coalition of Apostolic Leaders 2020 which was posted online, Ms Baynes said she was “looking at how we are positioning kingdom people in influence in all of these areas of our city to change it with sustained societal transformation. “.

In a video posted online in July 2019, Ms Baynes said Mr Tate had expressed support for a model to create a “kingdom of God” on the Gold Coast.

Ms Baynes also baptized Mr Tate at Lake Evandale in 2018.

Mr Tate declined to be interviewed, but said in a statement that his ‘personal views are just that – personal’ when asked if he supports the Seven Mountains Mandate.

“Similar to the opinions a journalist may have on a subject, the journalist must ensure that their opinions do not influence their reporting,” he said.

“I apply the same values ​​and principles to my role as mayor.

“That is, keeping my personal opinions private and making decisions in the best interests of the majority of residents.”

A spokesman for the council said council workers like Ms Baynes generally do not do interviews.

A brightly colored building against a blue sky.
Ms Baynes said the Arts House was a ‘place of control’.(ABC Gold Coast: Dominic Cansdale)

HOTA and “spiritual warfare”

In a recording of a church service in November at which Mr Tate spoke, Ms Baynes said HOTA had become “increasingly resistant” to holding the Easter United event in its amphitheater in 2019.

Ms Baynes said she read on Google that the area around HOTA had been the “original gateway to Surfers Paradise”, making it “a place of control”.

“Those of you who know spiritual warfare understand gateways,” Ms. Baynes said.

“I knew from that moment that the enemy had a stronghold on this land and controlled the flow of traffic, if you will, in the spirit to and from Surfers Paradise and that’s where he was. .

“No wonder they didn’t want Easter United there anymore.

A scene with flowers in the foreground.
HOTA’s outdoor stage on the Gold Coast.(ABC Gold Coast)

Ms Baynes said that in a meeting with Mr Tate about the event, she told him there was “a demonic stronghold in HOTA and we need to pray about it and we need to move it”.

“He said, ‘We’re building a new bridge to Surfers Paradise, to Chevron Island, and it’s actually going to be built from HOTA and across the river,'” she said.

Ms Baynes said she blessed the HOTA Green Bridge when it opened in February 2020.

A bridge on a sunny day with green plants in the foreground and people crossing it.
The 130 meter long Green Bridge connects HOTA to Chevron Island.(Supplied: HOTA)

A HOTA spokesperson said the compound “welcomes people of all beliefs and values.”

“We are proud of the diversity of our programs and our visitors, and we will continue to be a gathering place for our entire community to connect, celebrate and enjoy.”

All employees have opinions, says mayor

Mr Tate said the board had around 3,700 employees and that “each of those employees would have an opinion on some aspect of the company”.

“Thousands of council staff have their own social media platforms and I expect many of these staff to publicly express their opinions on topics such as elections, fuel prices, religion, racism and discrimination,” he said in a statement.

“The same rule applies to the position of adviser adviser.”

A man speaks at a desk.
Mr Tate says everyone is entitled to their own opinions.(ABC News: Tim Swanston)

Mr Tate said the board’s policy made it clear ‘that a person’s personal views should not affect their employment’.

“The Counselor Counselor position is to help improve the interface between community groups working in areas such as homelessness and addictions with my office,” he said.

“It is on a casual basis, to fill a current vacancy and is engaged at a mid-level administrative level.”

A woman holding a microphone on stage.
Sue Baynes speaking in a YouTube video from July 2019.(Youtube)

“Time to Walk”

Ms Baynes said at the November event that the mayor told her the town was “waking up to God”.

“I heard the Lord say to me in preparation for this, ‘It’s time to walk,'” she said.

“Tread is actually a military term – to march means to stretch the bow, it means to pull out your spiritual weapons.

“I believe God is saying it’s time for the church to step up, it’s time for us to start claiming some things that are rightfully ours.

“We must draw our bow, we must draw our spiritual weapons, and we must be deliberate about what God has given us to do.”

Ms Baynes said she and others ‘took a few steps in HOTA and around Gold Coast City Council’ and it was ‘still happening today’.

“So a spiritual battle began,” she said.

Bright multicolored building in the middle of the lot with the skyscrapers of Surfers Paradise in the background.
The $60.5 million HOTA Gallery in Surfers Paradise is Australia’s largest regional art gallery.(Supplied: HOTA)

“Take Territory”

Ms Baynes said ‘we have begun to move the powers of darkness’ with the ‘stomp’.

The Mayor’s Christian Prayer Breakfast was held at HOTA in October.

“Can you see how God works?” she says. “Three years ago, [HOTA] wouldn’t have a bar from us.

“A few years later, we took some steps, we made statements, we used our faith, we made demands.

“Now, you can’t tell me that God doesn’t want us to take a few steps in this city, that He doesn’t want us to take territory in this city.”

Mr Tate said throughout his private life and in his role as mayor he had taken ‘advice from a wide range of people, organizations and groups’.

“I always have,” he said. “Receiving advice from many quarters helps me form an opinion that I believe represents the majority of residents.

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