With the news breaking that Hillsong head honcho Brian Houston has been charged with failing to report the sexual abuse of a 7-year-old boy by his deceased father more than 30 years ago, Houston in turn has come out swinging against his critics, threatening to sue anyone defaming the church by spreading what they describe as “spurious” and “untrue claims” about them.
In 2014, a Royal Commission confirmed that Pastor Frank Houston, who had a sexual interest in the Lord’s little ones, confessed to abusing the young boy in 1969 and 1970. Brian Houston was made aware of the allegations in 1999, five years before his father passed, but did not go to the police and turn his father in. About his father’s sexual proclivities, he would later lament:
“At that time I thought there was one (victim) and then 12 months later it became clear there were many more, mostly in New Zealand,…’It’s obvious he was a pedophile and that his behavior was repetitive and it seems like it was over a period of a decade in the late sixties and seventies.’
In the defense of his actions not to go to the police, Houston argues in his statement that “The victim was a 36-year-old adult when this abuse became known and could have taken the matter to police himself at any time” and “the victim did not want Pastor Brian or others to go to the police“-a charge the victim vehemently denies.
The victim, known as ‘AHA’ told the Guardian back in 2014 that Frank Houston met with him before he died and offered him $10,000 in compensation. When no money came after months of waiting, AHA contacted Brian Houston who allegedly told him “You know it’s your fault all of this happened – you tempted my father.” AHA stresses:
“The church community made me feel like it was my problem…I have received absolutely no support, no counseling, apology or acknowledgment of the abuse…I believe that Brian Houston and other elders of the Hillsong Church kept the abuse as quiet as they could, and have not been held accountable.”
As for the threats of litigation, possibly for sharing what we just shared, Hillsong released a statement on their website promising recompense for anyone suggesting anything other than perfect compliance and virtuous actions.
Over the past few days there has been numerous media reports and comments on social media about our senior pastor Brian Houston and references to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, at which Pastor Brian gave evidence in 2014.
Much of this commentary is factually incorrect and highly defamatory, and we call on the media and others to immediately stop making these spurious claims. We have directed our lawyers to review several articles that have published untrue and defamatory claims that smear Pastor Brian’s reputation as a Christian leader. Furthermore, we remind those who seek to spread rumours and baseless information via social media that these comments may also be subject to a defamation action.
Houston is going to court in October. If found guilty, he faces up to 5 years behind bars.
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