Photo Courtesy of: thingsboganslike.com
THEY REALLY ARE a bunch of hypocritical, sanctimonious bastards. But the latest revelations about the founder of the Hillsong Church won’t be their swansong.
This is the North Korea of religion. Brian Houston took over his founding father’s Christian Life Centre after Frank Houston’s life as a paedophile in New Zealand could no longer be kept quiet.
Dad was given the flick although son Brian -- then the national president of the Assemblies of God – helped guide through a sizeable pension for ‘Frank and Hazel’ and he was the head of the commission that decided ‘ we cannot see any reason’ for child abuse allegations to be made public.
The same commission that didn’t consider going to police over Houston Senior’s decades of child abuse and even sent a letter to senior ministers advising them that ‘ We cannot see any reason for this to be announced to your church or further afield.
‘Sadly, there are always one or two people with their own agendas who will try and get mileage from other people’s pain’. Yeah, people like me who think that child molesting is a crime and that people in authority, especially religious leaders, should be protecting children not defiling them.
Just keep that in mind as you watch Houston Jnr, outside the Royal Commission, saying how his heart breaks for the victims of child abuse perpetrated by his father.
Senior Pastor Brian Houston said: ‘They're true allegations, mainly, and so it's painful. It's been painful for 15 years. But you know I also understand my pain's nothing compared to someone who been molested or sexually abused by a paedophile, by a predator. My heart goes out to every victim of my father, it breaks my heart’.
'tempting’ his father
Did it break his heart when personally negotiating a $10,000 payout to one of Frank Houston’s victims -- who claims Houston Jnr blamed him, as a seven-year-old, for ‘ tempting’ his father? A claim Brian Houston denies.
'One thing that I would strongly refute is that ... I suggested that a child would somehow be responsible for an adult's actions, a paedophile's actions. I don't think that, I've never thought that. I wouldn't say that’.
Maybe. Maybe not. But rumours were rife across the ditch about Frank Houston for years and the rest of the Hillsong hierarchy hid it from police. And victims and their families were threatened with excommunication.
The Hillsong Church has been no better than the Catholics in their cover-ups of child sexual abuse.
Houston Junior could be singing from the George Pell hymn book.
reportedly attempting suicide
And I was reminded yet again today of how cover-up and ‘move on, nothing to see here’ has permeated the churches over child abuse, when I read a report of an elderly Catholic priest in Papua New Guinea who has delayed his deportation by reportedly attempting suicide with a drug overdose.
Hours after Father Roger Mount learned he would be deported to Australia, over allegations he sexually abusing boys in the 1960s, he was rushed to hospital.
Father Mount has denied the allegations of abuse, but has also ignored a 2011 suspension from PNG's Catholic Church by simply refusing to leave his rural parish and overstaying his visa.
What resonated with me, after the Hillsong reaction to Frank Houston’s unreported crimes, was the comment from the head of the local church council.
Joseph Efi said he had heard rumours of the abuse allegations but thought it was none of his business.
‘I haven't asked Father on this one because I thought this was personal to himself’. George Pell would be proud of him.
Footnote: Operation Yewtree, which was launched in the UK after Jimmy Savile’s sordid double life became public, is reportedly about to strike again. Police are investigating historic child sex abuse allegations against twelve new public figures, including senior police officers and politicians.
The crimes are said to have been committed in the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. Names of the suspects have been passed to the police by investigative reporter and criminologist Mark Williams Thomas, whose TV documentary exposed Jimmy Savile as a predatory paedophile.
Celebrity publicist Max Clifford and children's entertainer Rolf Harris were both prosecuted, convicted and jailed under Operation Yewtree, which was set up in the wake of allegations against the late Jimmy Savile.