Another Hillsong paedophile scandal: Brian caught lying and trashing victim

If you are a member of Hillsong church going through extreme difficulties, know this: you might see the other side of Brian Houston when you reach out to him with a serious problem.

And if you are a victim of sexual abuse in Hillsong, know that the world has more compassion for you than Hillsong leadership.

Late last year, Kerri Ferguson was interviewed by Chris Rosebrough from Fighting for the Faith. She gave an horrific story detailing the poor behaviour of pastors Gary Dench, Ian Treacy, Phil Pringle and Brian Houston.

Chris Rosebrough interviews Kerri Ferguson

She stated in this interview that she went to the Royal Commission to testify how she was treated by these pastors. (To get more background to her story, you can read all the links at the bottom of this article.)

kerri-ferguson-c3-hillsong-brian-houston-phil-pringle

In spite of what was revealed in the Royal Commission with Brian Houston covering up paedophilia, Kerry Ferguson’s testimony also demonstrates that Brian Houston was not afraid to lie, defend and cover for Phil Pringle who also covered up paedophilia in his C3 church. She exposed those through the letter exchange she had with Brian Houston. You can read the letters below.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse - Case Study 18: a public hearing concerned with the institutional response to child sexual abuse of the Australian Christian Churches (ACC) and its affiliated churches.

There are 4 things we wish to highlight:

1. “Your letter was very sad, as you seem to be a very hurt and bitter person.”

After sharing with Brian how she was a victim to a paedophile and being shunned by C3 leadership, is this the way a loving “pastor” opens up a letter to someone so severely abused? It makes us wonder if he actually did accuse AHA of leading his father on. Houston has no problem attacking and lying to the abused to defend those he upholds.

2. “I am confident in my own heart that if you had related the story of your son to me that I would not forget it…”

He could have easily said that he had no recollection of Kerri relating the story to him. Instead Brian Houston chose to cast aspersions on her integrity, putting himself above her in this regard and saying that IF it had happened he is confident he would have remembered it.  He leaves no room to accept that she was being truthful and his memory had failed.

He has only inferred that the abused is a liar.  Another instance of abuse by Houston.

3. “… yet I have no recollection at all of ever having been told these things before the exposure on national television.”

This is damning considering that Kerri Ferguson approached Brian Houston regarding her son being sexually abused and how Brian Houston’s mate, Phil Pringle, did NOTHING about it.

Let’s say Brian Houston indeed had “no recollection” of this incident.

Brian Houston

Why didn’t he learn from his mistakes back in 1992? When it came to the Royal Commission, Barbara Taylor carefully documented the AHA case because it was important. Brian however, as president of the AOG and founder of Hillsong, did not think it was necessary to carefully document the case of AHA and his father.

Conveniently – Brian Houston suffered memory and was exposed for lacking any form of documentation when confronting his father, talking to Barbara Taylor and the victim AHA. Brian offered no documentation of AHA at all to the Royal Commission.

4. Brian offered NO church or pastoral support for Kerri Ferguson.

Brian Houston did not even offer a prayer to Kerri Ferguson. Not even counselling or provide her with any Hillsong resources to help her with her situation.

5. Overreaction…

When you read Brian Houston’s response to Kerri Ferguson, it is surprising to see him overreact to a victim of church abuse. It is most unusual to see a pastor behave like this… unless this issue hit a personal nerve with him in some way.

Consider this dialogue of Brian Houston regarding his father from the Royal Commission:

Q. At that meeting, I think the evidence that you gave this morning was that certainly you had never heard anything, any allegations against your father, by that stage —
A. Mmm.

Q. — and that this was the first time that you had been given any information that he may have been a paedophile?
A. Yes, absolutely.

Q. So it came, I think you indicated, completely out of the blue to you?
A. Completely.

Q. I take it, then, that you wanted to know at that stage whether the allegations were true or not, didn’t you?
A. I knew deep down in my stomach. Somehow deep down in my stomach, I knew. I can’t say why, but I feel like I didn’t doubt the truth of them.

Q. There was some truth to it; is that what you thought? 
A. I felt – I felt that this is not a good situation, that, you know, it’s not going to have a good ending.

EXCERPT FROM THE ROYAL COMMISSION

Below is an excerpt from what was submitted to the Royal Commission last year (2015), regarding Kerrie Ferguson exposing Brian Houston of lying to her and covering for his associate, Phil Pringle. (We have inserted the actual letter she submitted to the Royal Commission down further – click to enlarge):


 

Brian Houston of Hillsong responding to child sexual abuse

In January 1988 while I was attempting to fix our marriage and attending Hillsong church, Brian Houston in one service, interrupted his message and pointed to my husband (who I did not know was a paedophile by this stage) and prophesied blessing over him, giving me hope that things were going to change for the better. This helped give me the courage later to approach Mr Houston to seek assistance in convincing Pastors Dench and Pringle to support my son and my family through the police investigation and the trial.

So since I had not been able to obtain assistance from Pastor Pringle I then approached Pastor Brian Houston of Hillsong church which I had been attending for the previous eighteen months. I asked him to speak to these other “Pastors” on my behalf, specifically Phil Pringle. Though not in the same group of churches I approached him on the basis of his being a fellow Christian and even pointed out to him that we were all members of the same church – the Christian church.

I also knew Pastor Houston to be a good friend of Pastor Pringle’s and expected that as such he would assist by speaking to Pringle man-to-man, Pastor-to-Pastor, Christian brother-to-Christian brother, or even mate-to-mate. I related our circumstances to Brian Houston who became very irritated, told me he did not believe that such a thing had happened, turned his back on me and walked away. We did not return to Hillsong church.

In retrospect was Pastor Brian Houston’s attitude to this matter surprising? Clearly not. When Brian Houston himself was asked by this Commission during proceedings whether he believed he had a moral or legal obligation to his father’s victims Houston stated that Hillsong, the Assemblies of God nor himself had any legal or moral obligation to the victims of his father’s sexual abuse. Further he claimed that he considers he did the right thing in not reporting his father’s crimes to the police. Did he have a legal obligation? I am not trained to say. But a moral obligation? Of that, who has any doubt?

I now ask the Commission to compare Pastor Brian Houston’s attitude with that of Pastor Gary Dench when Dench stated under oath in the court during sentencing for the child rapist that he was aware that the conduct was “morally wrong” and illegal yet also failed to admit any responsibility to report the matter. There is an attitude in these churches which requires serious change if our children and families are to be protected. There is also an attitude that if these men just maintain a “Holy silence” long enough it will all go away. Well it does not go away for the victims and the families. Just as Frank Houston was moved to another church, Gary Dench and Ian Treacy were moved to other churches. The pastors are looked after, the victims marginalised and treated poorly in some form of kangaroo court AND in many cases the institution is renamed.

After the criminal proceedings had been completed and Pastor Dench had admitted his knowledge of the matter under oath in court, I wrote to Pastor Brian Houston in 1992 to point out to him that indeed I had been telling the truth when I spoke to him that night – the night when he told me he did not believe my “story”.

___________________

{I submit a copy of my letter (marked ‘G”) to the Commission}

___________________

I received a reply from Pastor Brian Houston which stated that he was quite confident in his own heart that if I had related the story of my son to him he would not forget it, yet he had no recollection at all of ever having been told these things before the exposure on national television. The Commission should note that in my letter I say that I was looking for a new church and told Houston of the situation we had experienced in our past church. I did NOT mention having asked Brian Houston to intervene on my behalf in that letter.  Houston claims he has no recollection of the meeting AND YET goes on to say that he has never had any jurisdiction over Gary Dench, nor the Christian City Church as a whole, and so I should have been speaking to Dench’s superiors and not to him.  Since that is exactly what I had requested Houston to do when I approached him in 1988, (that is to intervene on my behalf) and yet had not mentioned that fact in my letter to him, it seems patently obvious that he blatantly lied about not remembering the conversation!  It seems he did recollect the exchange after all!!!

                                            ____________________

{I submit a copy of that letter (marked “H”) to the Commission}

___________________

Once again, I see this as an example of the appalling lack of memory these Pastors appear to have when it comes to any matters involving child abuse and that they have no qualms about lying when it suits them disregarding any Biblical principles. Personally, I found his response a tacit declaration that I had lied about going to him when it was clearly he who lied. This appears to be a standard method with which these “Pastors” deal with matters. Convenient memory loss, accuse of lying those who need assistance, lie if you need to cover your own backs, and leave victims and families in chaos.

This is the actual documentation that was submitted to the Royal Commission:

WRITTEN LETTER TO BRIAN HOUSTON

Dear Mr. Houston,

Noticing your appearance under the banner “Excel in Honour” in a recent “on Being” Magazine I have been moved to write to you and convey my feelings to you about a matter that has disturbed for some time.

Some four years ago I approached you after a Church Service at Baulkham Hills as I (along with my family) was looking for a Church in which to settle.  At that time I told you of a situation that had existed at our previous church (Christian City Church- Parramatta) whereby Gary Dench had been involved in a conspiracy with my husband among others to keep the sexual abuse of my son a secret from me.  You at that time expressed doubt that such a thing could happen.  Well, time, subsequent TV and media exposure, and the removal of Mr. Dench from C.C.C. has surely made you rethink your original attitude.  The school of thought that we, the faithful should not criticize “God’s Annointed” (sic) is fine to a point.  When that becomes a shield behind which church leaders hide their own sin – we should all speak out.

The Bible says to test all things and hang on to that which is good.  Having had one bad experience with C.C.C. I now feel totally justified in checking and “testing” all things.

After attending your church and also several others before settling into a wonderful Church with leadership not arrogant about its own position I found (in a series) one pastor, with his hand in the Church finances too deeply (consequently sacked) one pastor confessing to me that he liked dressing in his wife’s underwear (good grief!) and yet another who admits to connections with organized crime to get the finances needed to build his “empire”.  (All RESPECTABLE CHRISTIAN CHURCHES)

This has sent me on a mission determined to speak out wherever I feel it justified – as I too am part of God’s church and feel obliged to make sure that I am not part of a conspiracy to hide errors.

Now to the point.  I have had grievance on my heart for a long time concerning an incident with you and I feel it needs to be cleared up in order that I may satisfy myself as to its reason.

On night while attending your service we were handed (at the front door) a brochure concerning “The Gideons” and their work.  After reading about a plan whereby one could send money to the organization to purchase Bibles which would then be placed anywhere in the world (and bearing an inscription/dedication to a person of one’s choice) I decided it would be a wonderful way to commemorate a friend’s ordination to the ministry.  I decided to purchase several Bibles and have them bear a dedication to my friend.

On examination I was unable to find an address on the brochure and approached you after the service to enquire about the address to send the money to.  You showed little interest (surprising since it was your church giving out the brochure at the front door) and finally you personally (not one of your workers) took my money and my application and carelessly tossed it into a drawer near the front desk saying you’d pass it on after you found out where it was supposed to be sent.  I must admit your lack of real interest in something you were promoting at your own church did ring a warning bell at the time but I passed it off as over-sensitivity on my part.

More disturbing Mr. Houston, is that the “Gideon’s” did not receive my application for four bibles nor do my friend receive the promised ordination gift.  After four years I do not suppose I am premature in conceding that my money or application was never send (not is it probably still in the drawer).

I realize in your busy day it was probably not worth a pinch of salt to worry about following up and doing that which you had undertaken.

For me (and no doubt for the Gideon organization) it was considerably important.

At a time when my trust is pastors had been severely shaken I can assure you that in no way did you to anything to change that.  ) Incidentally as a Mum, raising five children alone, money doesn’t come as easily to me as it obviously appeared to you as you haphazardly tossed it into a drawer.

This may seem unimportant to you but if I sit on it (as I have done) I feel it does neither me, nor you, any good purpose.

When Churches become big business machines and pastors more difficult to get an appointment with than Christ himself would have been, I feel unless someone speaks up no one benefits.  Maybe it’s fine to have heaps of people coming forward to be “saved’ – but it’s also important to deliver what is promised.  A loving, caring, HONEST church is the blueprint Christ left – please don’t get so self-important that you forget the Jesus who first called you.

Let me say that I am in NO WAY without sin – not at all – but none of us can afford to go without gentle correction here and there.  I am aware of one instance when your off-hand attitude (flippant is perhaps more correct in the instance to which I am referring) turned someone “off” whom I had brought to church for the first time.  We who have been through the mill hopefully look, past the persona, to the Shepherd but had your action to me been done to a person less familiar with the Christian Church, you may have been responsible for disillusioning them too.

I do not mean to offend – what you feel when you have this sort of complaint directed at you is your business and your relationship with God is your business.

But so is my relationship with God my business and it has been on my heart for a very great while to let you know how disturbed I was at the obvious “loss of my money”.

Perhaps now I have put the problem back onto your shoulders where it properly belongs you can be more alert not to let it happen again – (I hope so) and can be free too.

You and I and our fellow Christians should be better stewards of our Lord’s church.

Yours faithfully

Kerri Ferguson (signed)

WRITTEN LETTER TO KERRI FERGUSON

Brian Houston Hillsong Letter to Kerri

Dear Kerri,

Your letter was very sad, as you seem to be a very hurt and bitter person.

I am confident in my own heart that if you had related the story of your son to me that I would not forget it, yet I have no recollection at all of ever having been told these things before the exposure on national television.  The other thing is that I have never had any jurisdiction over Gary Dench, nor the Christian City Church as a whole, and so you should have been speaking to his superiors, not to me.

I also am totally unaware of the other matters that you mention in your letter but I am sorry that you believe I have offended you.

Regarding money for bibles.  Again I have nothing on my conscience but if you feel money is owed to you for ordered Gideon Bibles, please tell me the amount and I will forward it to you.

Incidentally, if you are insinuating that I may have pocketed this money, please be assured that that is offensive and inaccurate.

I pray God’s best for your life.

Brian Houston (signed)

Brian Houston quote - cover up Royal Commission Hillsong

RELATED ARTICLES

C3 Parramatta Scandal (Part 1)
C3 Parramatta Scandal (Part 2) – The cover-up scandal that Pringle refused to deal with…
C3 Parramatta Scandal (Part 3) Sex, Money, Power
C3 Parramatta Scandal (Part 4) Pringle regards pastors “gambling” worse than pastors defending a pedophile?
C3 Parramatta Scandal (Part 5) Phil Pringle’s leadership – an unresolved mess
C3 Parramatta Scandal (Part 6) C3 prophetically manipulating the abused into silence
C3 Parramatta Scandal (Part 7) Letter exposing Pringle covering up paedophilia & refusing to help victim

9 comments

  1. Truth2Freedom

    Reblogged this on Truth2Freedom's Blog.

    Like

  2. a voice

    Brian Houston is not a Christian at all.

    Like

  3. I sometimes wonder if some people saying “I don’t remember” exempts them from actually lying. Saying one doesn’t remember when one really does is lying and God is always watching. People may be fooled but God never is. The “I don’t remember” excuse is rife in our society these days. It’s the standard answer in many court trials. There seems to be a plague of amnesia sweeping society….. a real concern.

    Like

  4. Robbie Willson

    Church is still has lot to answer too ,skeltons are only just coming out ,They just misstreat you as I have notice @ Waterloo service with so called security.
    its all about $$$ & not victims.

    Like

  5. Chi

    Another filthy church run by lying corrupt charlatans. Hill song Church is a modern counterfeit abomination that does not resemble anything Jesus would condone or approve of.

    Like

  6. raffael

    Sadly these megachurches all almost all roten and not christian theres a good documentary
    by Jacob Prasch called THE COLLAPSE OF MEGACHURCHES…… it realy cleared thing up for me

    Like

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