Justin Bieber is receiving treatment for depression: ‘It has nothing to do with Hailey’

As we discussed extensively on the Gossip With Celebitchy podcast #5, CB and I are sort of worried about Justin Bieber. We were worried about him after we read his joint Vogue cover interview with his wife, Hailey Baldwin (Hailey Bieber). That Vogue interview really changed the way I see both of them – I feel like Hailey is very “together” for 22, but even she is overwhelmed by the responsibility of being the “stable one” in their marriage. Meanwhile, it feels like Justin is putting a lot of pressure on his new marriage. They’ve been in marriage counseling since the start of their marriage, and the good news is that Justin is seeking individual help (which is what I suggested in the podcast).

Justin Bieber is going through a bit of a rough patch right now, but he’s getting the help he needs, sources tell PEOPLE.

“Justin seems down and tired. He has been struggling a bit,” a Bieber source says, adding that the 24-year-old pop star’s difficulties don’t have anything to do with his marriage to Hailey Baldwin.

“It has nothing to do with Hailey — he is very happy being married to her. It’s just something else that he struggles with mentally,” the source continues. “He has good help around him and is receiving some treatment. He seems confident he will feel better soon.”

A second source close to Bieber confirms to PEOPLE he’s getting counseling. A rep for the singer didn’t immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment. A third source who has spent time with Bieber over the years tells PEOPLE that the singer is “emotional and struggles a lot with the idea of fame.”

“He started off as a typical sweet, Canadian teen. He was such a great kid, honestly super sweet and very polite and nice to everyone around him. Having this huge amount of fame completely changed him,” the source says. “He had access to anything and everything and was surrounded by people who just said ‘Yes.’ He’s emotional and struggles a lot with the idea of fame — being followed, having his every move stalked by fans, cameras in his face. It all sets him off and he often feels like everyone is out to get him,” the source adds.

[From People]

I said this in the podcast, that I appreciated the fact that Justin was already working on all of his issues before he and Hailey got involved last year. He was really trying and really making the effort, and he got clean before they got involved again and everything. But after reading the Vogue interview, I just got the sense that he still needs YEARS of work in comprehensive therapy. I felt like he was dumping a lot of his issues onto Hailey, or she was taking on his issues because she thinks that’s what marriage is. In any case, I believe that his counseling and depression are separate issues from Hailey – he really seems to adore her, and he’s probably seeking this help so that he can be in a healthier place FOR Hailey.

Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin leave their hotel as they head to a meeting

Photos courtesy of Vogue and Backgrid.

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68 Responses to “Justin Bieber is receiving treatment for depression: ‘It has nothing to do with Hailey’”

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  1. Sara says:

    Depression is a hell of a beast. Add fame, substance abuse, learning how to navigate a young marriage, and the relentless nature of his entourage and family (his dad is the worst), Justin Bieber must be completely overwhelmed.

    I hope both he and Hailey have good counselling and support systems.

    • Monicack says:

      Beautifully articulated, informed, compassionate post. *pushes like button that she wishes were there*

    • SK says:

      I remember reading a long profile on him when he was a teenager. The journalist had spent a week with him. I came away feeling sad. I just really felt for that poor kid. He was a kid who was completely surrounded by adults (there were no friends or kids his age present) – adults who were all financially dependent on him and therefore had a strong incentive to ensure that he was always working. And boy, did he work! Constant, long hours, every day. It sounded incredibly taxing and he was just a kid. He should have been young and free. At one point he sees kids his age playing basketball and wistfully asks if he can just go and play a few hoops with them. He is sternly told that he has work to do. It was awful. I recall thinking that he would probably end up rebelling hugely and then having a Britney Spears style break down at some point. It is no coincidence that so many of these child stars go wild, have drug and alcohol issues, and often suffer from depression. I genuinely feel for him. Everyone in his life for most of his life has had their hand out.

      I do hope that he is receiving counselling other than religious counselling. I hope he is getting some actual professional help and not just speaking to his gang of pastors (who also all make a lot of monry out of him).

      • Veronica S. says:

        His mother’s “pro-life” stance always disgusted me for that reason. Not everyone is interested is having children for the purposes of financial exploitation, thanks.

      • lily says:

        A good sweet Canadian kid that people forget called people n***er, and actually sang it in a little diddy. ..and no, I’m not talking about a rap or hip hop song he was singing along to by a black rapper. He was using it like a redneck racist would. But he was a little boy, who went on to make bookoo money for producers, so people looked the other way.

        But sweet? Please.

    • me says:

      The drug use could be him self-medicating his depression as well.

  2. NotHeidisGirl says:

    Why would it have anything to do with Hailey?
    Good for him for getting help.

    • TheHeat says:

      My thoughts, exactly.

    • LT says:

      My ex had bouts of depression and self esteem issues and he absolutely blamed me – I now know it wasn’t my fault, but at the time, I felt attacked and it led to some nasty fights. Good for Justin for not putting this on her – I know many people who do look to place the blame elsewhere.

      • me says:

        My partner battles mental health issues and addiction (he self medicated with drugs and booze for most of his life) and I broke things off with him because I’d been tired of being blamed for his unhappiness and addictions.

        Only when I went completely no contact for months did he begin to realize what he lost and that ultimately, he is responsible for managing his depression.

        He is in counseling (with my full support), is clean and has come to realize only he has the ability to control his emotions and that his depression comes from within and thus only he can change his life. I have hope we can salvage our relationship for once in 5 years.

        I hope Justin continues to work on himself so he can have healthy relationships with himself and Hailey. Hailey is a young woman, not a crutch for Justin, not his therapist. It’s not her job to fix him and she deserves a partner that can meet her half way emotionally. It’s very brave of Justin to admit he needs help.

        No drug, no party, no amount of fame is worth your peace of mind.

    • Esmom says:

      I know, right? But I can see him being quick to say that because people are quick to point fingers. The lack of understanding and stigma around mental illness is still a major issue.

      Although I have to admit that it’s a little alarming to hear that Hailey finds marriage so difficult so early on.

      In any case, kudos to him for getting treatment. I didn’t seek help for anxiety and depression until I was well into my 30s and I feel like I lost a lot of time that could have been so much better when I was younger.

    • SK says:

      He has crazy fans that would likely jump to blame her and these fans get nasty. Best to state that upfront straight away.

      • Otaku fairy... says:

        Yep. It’s always the woman’s fault. Meanwhile women are supposed to put up with whatever and do it perfectly.

    • Amy Tennant says:

      So true. It was hard for my husband to accept that I was depressed before I met him and I was going to be depressed with him. Poor guy! But you’re absolutely right. The sharks were going to come out for her.

      • Alissa says:

        It was hard for my now husband too! He would say “but things are good! we’re in a good place, work is going well” etc and I’d just keep explaining to him that even though I fundamentally know that everything is fine, my brain convinces me otherwise.

        Shortly before we got married I was having a bit of a rough patch, and he just said “I know you can’t control it, and I know you’re having a hard time, but I just want you to know that I think you’re perfect and I love you and I can’t wait to marry you and call you my wife.” And that made me LOSE it. In a good way.

        I do think he had to point out that it wasn’t related to her because otherwise that is what people would automatically assume. It does make me sad that they’re already talking about how hard marriage is when they’ve only been married a couple months.

    • jay says:

      Did you read the article? The point is that his issues have nothing to do with her, but he’s downloading a lot of shit onto her and their marriage as is obvious from the interview.

  3. mint says:

    Depression is a monster to fight and I wish him all the best. Maybe it would be a good idea to take a break from the spotlight

    • Zip says:

      Apart from a couple of interviews here and there, isn’t this what he has been doing the past year or so?

      • Dee says:

        When I struggled with depression, I couldn’t hang out in my own home with my best friend; forget about international magazine covers!! I suspect he doesn’t yet fully understand getting out of the spotlight. Hopefully he will.

      • mint says:

        But he is regulary papped. If you dont want to be seen, you can fly under the radar. Taylor Swift, Beyonce, Rihanna, Angelina Jolie etc all know how to do it and they are A listers.
        Or maybe get out of L.A. Just take some time off and figure things out. I also think that the people he is around (Scooter Braun, his Dad etc) dont have his best interest in mind.

      • deezee says:

        Exactly. I think they spend a lot of their time at their house in Puslinch ON.

  4. Becks1 says:

    Glad to see he is getting help if he needs it.

    Depression is something that I wish we as a society talked about more. I know celebs’ “breakdowns” are discussed or addictions. But I feel like many people feel that if they are many on the verge of a breakdown, or if they can still get out of bed, then they aren’t depressed and depression can be a lot more…..nuanced than that (for lack of a better word).

    • Esmom says:

      It’s so true. You can be fairly high functioning yet still profoundly unwell. I have described it to my doctor as feeling like a bird with a broken wing that I have to drag around everywhere. You can manage to get through the days, but you’re not 100% intact.

    • tealily says:

      Yes, so true. Thank you for saying that. I don’t think it’s helpful to treat depression as “all or nothing.” It makes people who should seek treatment think that it isn’t bad enough to seek treatment if they are still getting up and going to work everyday.

      • Sojaschnitzel says:

        This is a very important observation. Go and seek help even if you’re still somewhat functioning, guys! Because if you leave your problems untreated, there _will_ be a day when you stop functioning.

  5. Ashley says:

    Good for them for seeking the help they need, and I would never shame them for that. At the same time, I have to side-eye the “marriage is hard” quote. Um, you’ve been married for what? A minute and a half? You have zero responsibilities and all the money in the world. Marriage hasn’t even begun to get hard for you.

    • Sara says:

      To be fair (full disclosure: I am single), a lot of my friends have told me that the first year of marriage was TERRIBLE. To quote one of them: “It’s as if you feel suddenly that you have a carte blanche and you can be your true self and the other person too and it’s a lot of true selves to have under one roof.”

      The following years were way easier.

      • Zip says:

        How long have your friends been with their partners before they got married? I’ve been living with mine for almost seven years before we got married. We’re now in our first year and there is no difference at all.

      • Amy Tennant says:

        I loved my husband dearly, and we were married for 19 and a half years. But about three weeks into the marriage I remember thinking, “I’ve made the biggest mistake in my life, and how long do we have to stay married before it’s embarrassing to split up/ have to give back the wedding presents etc.?” My mother told me she had similar thoughts about a month into her marriage to my dad, and they were together for more than 40 years.

      • Alissa says:

        We were together for nearly seven years, lived together for six, raised two of my stepkids to adulthood and out of the house, adopted two dogs, and bought a house before we tied the knot. We’re in our first year now, everyone keeps asking how it is and I just say that it’s not any different than it was before we got married – I feel like we did the hard adjustment part years before.

        Granted, everyone’s situation is different, so no judgment if you DON’T wait a long time before getting married haha. I just think that marriage felt like the right step for us because it felt like we’d already been married for a couple years.

      • TyrantDestroyed says:

        I was with my husband for 2 years (1 living together) before marriage and boy the firts year was hard!
        Adding to the newlywed stress, I moved to another country with and had to go through adaptation process plus inmigration and learning a third language.
        I feel like from the 3rd year things started to go smoother. We are in our 8th year plus a 1 year old baby and we are stronger than even.

    • PhillyGal says:

      If they think marriage is difficult now, they don’t have a chance of making it work long term.

      • Ashley says:

        I agree, phillygal. I love my husband of 13 years with all of my heart, and I am extremely lucky in life. BUT, life only gets more complicated as you go on, and if the honeymoon phase is too difficult for you, that’s not a good sign.

      • horseandhound says:

        I disagree. my parents fell in love, married two months later because they were young and reckless and then the first year of marriage was terrible for them. they almost divorced, but decided to work on it instead and now they’re married for 30 years, they’ve been happy for years, very much in love. there really are no fixed rules.

    • senna says:

      I am of two minds about this. First, having read Caity Weaver’s long interview with Bieber and the piece for Vogue more recently, Hailey’s comments make sense in light of that. Justin seemed stuck in self-destructive patterns until fairly recently. In an attempt to reform his life, he became close to the Hillsong pastor and took a vow of celibacy. Then he married Hailey, whom he’d known for years, who seems like a stable, grounded person. And part of why he married her seemed to be that he wanted to have sex again. He also seems to have lingering personal issues due to his early fame and lack of parental support, as evidenced by his juvenile behaviour a few short years ago (peeing in buckets, mooning historic sites and so on). While he might be trying to work through them, he still sounds like he’s a bit of a mess, and so marriage to someone that messy will inevitably be a lot of work. They will inevitably be dumping issues on their partner that are not their partner’s fault. They will be trying to figure out how to be a good partner when they aren’t stable themselves. This is a recipe for disaster and even if they come through all right, it is unfair to have one person “saving” another as the model of your relationship.

      But the second thought I have is about how the “marriage is hard work” is used in evangelical circles, which I have some issues with. Often, this is used as a cudgel to shame people into staying in bad marriages. Marriage is divinely ordained in their concept of it, and pastors often emphasize “marriage is work” to get people to commit to the communication, empathy and understanding that does make marriages work, instead of keeping everything to themselves and never working through problems. But if one half of the couple is lazy or abusive, obviously “marriage is work” becomes a line to keep them in place, tolerating doing an unfair amount of work for no reward for too long. The other thing is that “marriage is work” is often a line used to excuse a rushed marriage. The general idea is that any two religious Christians could get together and if they remain focused on God, they will be compatible. This is obviously complete bullshit. You often see people who have crushes on each other, but who are incompatible long-term, racing through dating into marriage without ever figuring out adult life, sometimes without ever living away from home, and expecting to figure out both marriage and partnership all at once. So “marriage is work” becomes another code-word for “I am stuck married to someone I am incompatible with.” Because you’re right – if marriage is such a struggle this early on, there are serious issues happening which should have been addressed before marriage itself.

    • isabelle says:

      uh…marriage is hard period. Wealthy or poor. 1st year or 30 years. Do you think rich people are immune to bad relationships lol? There are numbers/studies that the first year tends to be one of the hardest years of marriage. Adapting and even finding out the person you married may have different ideas than you. The first year can be the hardest year for some marriages.

  6. Emily says:

    Good for him if he’s getting help with his issues. I just hope that it’s with a genuine professional and not with some “therapist” from his sketchy church.

    • BaronSamedi says:

      My thoughts exactly. I applaud him getting real, professional help. If it some more of his cult church ‘counseling’ then I have a world of problems with.

      Though tbh the way he talked in the interview it didn’t sound like he had professional help and like a lot of churchy buzzwords…

      Best of luck to him. Depression sucks.

  7. RBC says:

    I wish Justin well in his battle with depression. I have had my bouts of depression, but with counselling and a good support system I am doing much better today. Hopefully Justin will decide to do some “editing” of the destructive people in his social circle. He does not need people like that around him

  8. Monicack says:

    Called it. When everyone dragged him as spoiled and ungrateful for cancelling his tour I said he deserved some self-care. I hope he gets the help he needs.

  9. Zazu says:

    It has to be so hard to go through depression in the public eye. Add to that a new relationship that everyone is scrutinizing and he must feel a lot of pressure to be perfect and make it work. It occurred to me in the Vogue interview that it might be good if he had something to occupy his time. When I faced depression and had too much time on my hands it typically made things worse. I completely get that he doesn’t want to do music at the moment but maybe a volunteer initiative, creative endeavor or nonprofit/UN ambassadorship would help him get out of his head a little. I’m definitely not saying it’s a cure for depression but personally I found it helpful to refocus on other people, and be helpful to those around you. It can make you feel better about yourself to make a positive impact in the world and can help you to feel grateful for what you have.

    • shocked-and-appalled says:

      Totally agree that getting out of your own head and being busy with something else can help when healing from depression. However, please don’t just throw out the idea of a non-profit or UN ambassadorship. These things need to be earned – they’re not something a celebrity searching for meaning should automatically reach for to help THEM. You should only get involved with a cause if you truly have something to offer it and you have a real connection to the issue.

  10. Lala11_7 says:

    I watched the Whitney Houston documentary “Why Can’t I Be Me” again yesterday…and Whitney nailed it in an interview…just before she slid down into the oblivion that everyone who loved and TRULY cared for her…saw happening for years….

    Whitney said that if you get into the business before you know who you really are…then everybody else ends up turning you into somebody that you REALLY don’t want to be…

    And that ain’t NOTHING but the truth….

    • Steff says:

      That documentary was heartbreaking. Whitney never really had a chance with so many bad influences in her life: i.e. her brothers & her husband. I lost in when her aunt was talking about taking care of Bobby Christina.

      Onto Justin, I mean we all mock him and some of it is justified, but I do wish him the best. He needs a good therapist to talk straight with him. And he needs to cut out the toxic “yes” people.

  11. Case says:

    Of course it has nothing to do with Hailey. Mental illness is a monster no matter how good aspects of your life are. I wish him the best.

    • Sara C. says:

      I agree with you but sadly, spelling it out like this may prevent her from getting “blamed” by some of his fans.

  12. Who ARE these people? says:

    If anything it’s that in the security of a stable relationship he feels able to get help, and maybe she has encouraged him.

    • april says:

      I agree with you. They both were in counseling when their marriage began so it was no surprise to them that they knew what they were dealing with when they got married. I saw Hailey last week on James Cordon and she seemed pretty mature for her age. I hope he gets well soon and I hope the best for their marriage.

  13. me says:

    It’s good he’s talking about this.

  14. karen says:

    any suggestions for getting the most out of therapy? i went last year [first time as an adult] and…while it was kinda nice to have someone to talk to about my week, to be honest, nothing changed, and my co-pay is high, finances are currently not great, so i’d really rather not be paying someone to talk with me without results? i mentioned to her i was not seeing any changes, and maybe we should mix it up somehow, and there was no mixing of anything, lol. so i stopped going. debating trying again either with her [and being firm that i really need to try a diff approach] or someone new. i hesitate slightly on the new, as i am polyamorous, and that’s not anything to do with my depression/not going to change, and would need a therapist who has at least a basic understanding of this.

    • Frida_K says:

      Find a good acupuncturist who specializes in gut health. The ones who make a lot of noise about treating your spiritual or mental health might not be your best bet since you are already in therapy. But treating from the perspective of gut health makes a big difference in mental health and even biomedicine is starting to pick up on that.

      Google “nutritional psychology.” Mind you, this is an absolute cornerstone of traditional Chinese medicine but hey. Now that white Western medicine has discovered it, I guess it’s suddenly legitimate.

      All acupuncturists are trained to see the connection between gut health and emotional health. There is even a school of thought that focuses entirely on Spleen and Stomach, as you can see:


      It may sound crazy, but if the Chinese way of describing it sounds foreign and odd, start with “nutritional psychology” and work backwards to the source at your acupuncturist’s office. Change your gut health, change your life. Meantime, keeping up with therapy and making meaning of psycho-emotional distress with a trained, licensed psychotherapist in conjunction with increased gut health…that might be just what you need!

      Good luck to you, whatever you do.

      • karen says:

        thank you! i tried acupuncture for depression more than 5 years back without success, but i did not ask them to focus on gut health, so that’s im sure completely different, and now that i no longer live in a tiny town, i’m sure i can find someone who can specialize. i had not thought of that, really appreciate the tip and luck wishes <3

    • Georgie says:

      When I first sought therapy I tried at least two different therapists (one that fell asleep during a session!) before I found one that resonated with me.

      One mistake I made early on was thinking that therapy would help me “fix” my problems and then I would be fine forever. Ha! I have since learned that therapy for me is about gaining tools and support to deal with the peaks and valleys of life – life really is practice, and sometimes the most important thing one can do is show up.

      Trust your gut and keep trying until you find a therapist that is a good fit for YOU – it may take a little while, but will be invaluable for the really bad times. That’s another mistake I made – I waited until my depression had taken firm root in my life again before going back to therapy – there is nothing wrong with getting care established before things get bad!

      also, don’t be afraid to inquire about sliding scale – lots of therapists offer this and it can help offset co-pays etc. good luck!!

    • Mira Belle says:

      The right “fit” therapist is #1. Often, but not always, potential therapists will do a quick 15 minutes (gratis) on the phone to see if it’s right for you. What worked for me was making a list of the issues I wanted to address before the session. No way I planned to tick off *all* those boxes (lol) but gave solid points to start with.

      Also, I am an acupuncturist. I appreciate the props from others, it can def help but along with therapy you get a better benefit.

      Something very odd but worth mentioning. One of my therapists mentioned (after so. much. therapy.) that I could lay on the couch and not have to look at her while I talked. Never had heard of this, but it took the social pressure/eye contact – which is hard for me – off and allowed me to feel more comfortable.

      Good luck and *hugs*

    • OPP says:

      hm I mean I would say that the first and most important thing is do you feel a connection with the person you are seeing? if you don’t – then trust that feeling. My friend called and saw like 12 before she found her current therapist.

      secondly, there are sex positive therapists who should be able to understand polyamory. I forget the name of the association to find people like this. But I think if that is important to you, it might be something to bring up in the 10-15 minute conversation.

      I’m very against therapists who immediately diagnose you or try to ‘push you out of your comfort zone’ – my parents already do that.

      I see therapy more as building a connection with someone that feels safe – which takes time, and gradually delving into deeper issues that affect me, as well as seeing patterns from my past that keep cropping up. Someone on twitter wrote something like, “I go to therapy to clear my head, but also to make sure I’m not dragging my baggage into everyone conversation I have, and then to sit right in my soul” and that resonated with me. Sometimes when you feel something – and have another person simply repeat it back to you, because they have truly heard you, that empathy can be what you need to hear yourself. Good luck finding someone, as it doesn’t sound like you have your person yet.

  15. Ksweet says:

    Karen, it sounds like you gave that therapist a shot; as a therapist myself, I would say try someone else. You should expect to make progress. Social workers (therapist /clinical social workers are LCSWs) are very well trained in diversity and I’m sure you can find one who has experience working with polyamorous clients. If you don’t have a referral source, call one and explain what you’re looking for and if she isn’t it, she’ll probably help you find someone. I do that all the time. Don’t give up. I wish you well!

  16. DP says:

    Of course the depression has nothing to do with Hailey. However, the quick marriage at such a young age probably has something to do with his depression. As in, he may have been extra motivated to get married bc he craved stability and hoped it may help fix things within himself.
    Sadly, it won’t. Having a loving, stable partner helps, but individuals need to seek treatment and work on themselves. I wish them both the best. They have a tough road ahead, but at least they are being honest and seeking treatment.

  17. minx says:

    I don’t wish depression on anyone, hope he comes out of it.

  18. Redgrl says:

    “Typical sweet Canadian teen?” Uh, no. He had a father who abandoned him until he made money, and who then dumped his second family to come back and do drugs with his son. He had a mother who was, shall we say “known to police” until she decided to do the whole “born again” business and market herself as some ludicrous faux Christian. This kid never had a chance at a normal life.

  19. SJR says:

    I hope he is getting help. From actual professionals who are licensed to treat depression.
    His church strikes me as taking advantage of him, he’s their major celeb just as Tom Cruise is CoS.
    He needs proper help, not a church who is going to do everything they can to keep him in the fold.
    Personally, I have given up on organized religion after I hit a difficult period in my life.
    The Catholic Church I was raised in, gave me zero useful advice. And, after joining a friends church, in which I received the old chestnut “God never gives you more than you can handle, you need to pray more.” Neither of which was even in the same universe of logic/useful advice.

    I went to 3 different therapists over a period of 10 years. Anti-depressant meds alone are not enough for some of us.

    He’s still a young man, he has resources to get help. And, his new, also young wife needs help too, IMO. Getting out of the public eye would help a lot too.

  20. Littlefishmom says:

    Depression is a lifelong struggle. May he find peace and tools to navigate.

  21. Jenn says:

    He has complex PTSD. Like Kaiser said, he needs years of trauma counseling. No shame in that, and none of us will ever fully understand his journey. I hope he is with a therapist who can help him see clearly.

    About Hillsong: In university I joined an “aberrant church.” It had all the outward flourishes of a normal Protestant church, but it possessed (and I quote from the Christian book titled ‘Churches That Abuse’) “cultlike tendencies.” A higher-up threatened me after I left, which was horrifying, Although the church is comparatively tiny, it uses Scientology-level tactics (I have followed it online since leaving). This particular church practiced something called “shepherding,” which is an extremely dangerous type of “spiritual pyramid scheme.” I left the church after just three months… and only later did I learn that, in addition to shepherding, my church *arranged marriages*. Two of my classmates married each other after a very short time — I didn’t even know they knew each other! And I was close to both of them!! — and I should’ve put it together right away.

    Listen, if your church 1) has a charismatic “leader,” 2) practices “love-bombing,” 3) forces you to confide “sins” to somebody (so that damaging information can be used against you later), 4) puts those people who have “put more time into the church” “in charge of you,” 5) uses time, money, or emotions to *separate* you from your “family” and 6) ARRANGES YOUR MARRIAGE, then DING DING DING you are in a cult!!

    In reading about Hillsong, I have zero doubt that their tactics are the same. They scout out people with spiritual needs who are *already* separated from their families. These folks are achingly lonely, and the cult rushes in to fill that void. Their celebrities are alienated and afraid, and Hillsong sees only opportunity. All of their parishioners are victims. If it’s anything like the abusive church I left, Hillsong warns its members that leaving will mean doom and curses shall generationally follow — because all aberrant churches use threats (beyond the usual “hellfire” one) to keep members in line. They probably threaten to leak info. They also likely rely on “shepherds” to administer physical abuse, so that it can’t be traced up to the top. Finally, they encourage quickie marriages to establish “house churches” — local, homegrown church couples with their own parishes. (The children of house churches are often neglected, cared for by fellow church members while parents’ attention is directed elsewhere.)

    If you’re a Christian selecting a church, please do not join a charismatic “prosperity” church like Hillsong. There are damaging Evangelical churches everywhere, I realize, but… please also avoid literal cults.

  22. Hate to see anyone dealing with this.

  23. Anare says:

    He seems bipolar to me or at least ADHD. Reading that Vogue piece made him seem exhausting to be around. So often child stars are robbed of a normal childhood and also of a good education. As they move into adulthood they have a hard time coping with life. I feel sorry for him in that regard and hope he can get the help he needs and live a quality life.