Cowboy Damage Control: Hillsong leaders had no idea about Naked Cowboy’s appearance?

Brian Houston has finally commented on the Naked Cowboy (NC) that made an appearance at their Hillsong US Color Conference. Did Mr Houston apologise or repent of this stunt?

Not at all.


Instead Brian Houston decided to protect the Hillsong brand, his Hillsong leader’s reputations and avoid legal proceedings by the Naked Cowboy (who took offense that Hillsong used his character without his permission). His method?

Brian Houston’s main method is to use very careful wording to imply what he wants you to think. You also need to take note of what he doesn’t say.

Lies COT Diagram

For example,  Brian states, “Carl and Laura Lentz were also not part of the decision.” What Brian doesn’t say is what they knew about it and what part they played. And who did make that decision?

Houston omitted that other pastors were onstage. Joel Houston and Ben Houston, .. weren’t mentioned in this statement. Why?

Who did know about this and to what extent? Did Brian? (He never said he didn’t.)

Joel Houston was on the production team as a ceative director for Hillsong’s Mr Sparkle dancing to the “To Move It” debacle. So what was Joel’s role, especially as he is a Hillsong NY pastor?


Even Steven Kozar commented on Brian’s response on the Hillsong website, observing what Houston omitted from his statement:


Surprised? Hillsong decided to delete this comment.


So that is what Brian Houston essentially did:

Feign ignorance on behalf of all the Hillsong leaders gathered.

No joke.


Hillsong performers and pastors “taken back” at the ‘Naked Cowboy’ gate-crashing their performance…

Brian Houston implies that Hillsong leadership had no idea how the NC ended up in the production. Does Brian Houston want us to believe him?

Brian wants people to:

  1. Believe, “that some one thought it would be funny and sent [the NC] out there without thinking about the ramifications”.
  2. Note that those  “who perpetuate the story, do so mainly with the help of a video, no context, and a good dose of what the bible describes as hearsay and rumour.”
  3. Believe that this “silly decision… is unlikely to happen again.”

So let’s put it in context for Brian Houston.

  1. Hillsong’s women Color Conference UK put on a performance celebrating UK Culture, parading the popular sleazy pervert Austin Powers on the platform, causing the women to go crazy. The person dressing up as Austin Powers was Hillsong London’s Senior Pastor, Gary Clarke.
  2. This “silly decision” was then repeated at Hillsong US.
  3. Hillsong’s women’s Color Conference US put on a performance celebrating American Culture, putting the NC on the platform, causing the women to go crazy. The person dressing up as the NC was Hillsong New York’s Youth Pastor, Diego Simila.
  4. The “New York” song was playing when the iconic “New York” Naked Cowboy eventually rose to come to the front of the stage, nicely choreographed among other “New York” icons.

Brian Houston seems to think that the Hillsong NC was a cheeky prankster. This is not true.

The Hillsong NC was Hillsong NY’s Youth Pastor, Diego Simila. What Hillsong pastor in their right mind would put their ministry in jeapordy by pulling an outrageous stunt like this? A prank in front of Hillsong’s Senior, Pastor Bobbie Houston and “Apostle of Cool” Carl Lentz, if he didn’t it was OK?


Does this mean Bobbie Houston and Gary Clarke had no idea that Austin Powers was going to make an appearance in their women’s conference at Hillsong London, too?

Hillsong Parading Their Fleshly Principalities and Powers
Video of Pastor Austin Powers performing at Goatsong

And do you think Bobbie Houston, Joel Houston, Ben Houston, Terry Crist and Carl Lentz and other performers look “taken aback” by the NC’s appearance in these videos? Why does Brian Houston imply that all these pastors had no idea that the NC Youth Pastor was waiting in the wings just to play a pastoral prank? At a major conference in front of thousands of women?

Family friendly Hillsong Includes the Dancing Naked Cowboy?
Bobbie Houston’s guilty conscience covers up Naked Cowboy

In the video linked below, Hillsong pastors Carl Lentz, Ben Houston, Joel Houston and Terry Crist come out together on stage halfway through the ‘item’. This means all of them knew it was going to happen before the NC went on stage.  If this was a prank, at any time, these senior pastors could have prevented the NC from coming on.

[Click to Download Video]

We will critique this statement further at a later date.

Brian Houston wrote,

Have You Heard the one about the Naked Cowboy?

Brian Houston
1 June 2016

So how did someone come on stage imitating Times Square’s famous Naked Cowboy, (during a fun moment involving lots of other people), at the Colour Conference in NYC? It’s a good question, I’ve been trying to work that out myself.

I do know that Bobbie – my wife – who was convener of the conference was clearly unaware that this was going to happen and was taken back by it. She was at the dress rehearsal and there was no sign of a naked cowboy lookalike there. Carl and Laura Lentz were also not part of the decision. I can only guess at this point, that some one thought it would be funny and sent him out there without thinking about the ramifications.

What I do know is that those who perpetuate the story, do so mainly with the help of a video, no context, and a good dose of what the bible describes as hearsay and rumour. He was wearing proper shorts, not underwear, and he had a flag draped over him.

What I also know is that talk of apostates etc., is nonsense. Some well-meaning person just made a silly decision. It is unlikely to happen again.


Source: Brian Houston, Have You Heard the one about the Naked Cowboy?, Published 01/06/2016. (Accessed 01/06/2016.)

Categories: Hillsong

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9 replies

  1. If it was a so called “prank” by youth pastor Diego Simila, then he should be fired. But, I bet we won’t see that happen.

  2. do you fire anyone for making mistakes? or do you correct them and teach them for better? I believe whatever discipline that Brian has in store for his staff is his prerogative and need not be broadcasted

    • “I believe whatever discipline that Brian has in store for his staff is his prerogative and need not be broadcasted”

      It does not matter what you “think”, what matters is what the Bible says.

      1 timothy 5:20 “But those who persist in sin should be rebuked in front of everyone, so that the others will stand in fear of sin.”

      Though Hillsong is not a real church anyway, so whether or not they follow Scripture is a moot point.

  3. it actually says in his letter ‘it won’t happen again’ not ‘unlikely’

  4. entertainment in the church, that is why the Holy Spirit has left the Church.

  5. “Layer”, you cannot be serous! A mistake? This is a mistake? Whoops, don’t you just hate when that happens! A youth Pastor just mistakenly got his gear off, and mistakenly paraded his half naked body around in a CHRISTIAN conference which ought to be about promoting Jesus, repentance and the Saving Grace of the Gospel but is more intent on getting cheap laughs. You CANNOT be serious! Anyone with judgement poor enough to think this was appropriate has no right leading anybody let alone vulnerable youth. How deluded can you be, “Layer”, to try to explain this away as a “mistake”? Well, since Brian Houston himself was never “fired” and he never had the moral caliber to step down after covering up for his paedophile father and making excuses for him AND misleading a Royal Commission on certain facts regarding the matter, then we could hardly expect him to have any expertise in the area of discipline, correction or teaching could we “Layer”? Any guy with such poor judgement that he deems parading around in this manner at a CHRISTIAN event acceptable, shouldn’t be permitted to get within 100 miles of the youth of any body of misfits such as this which claims to be a church. Once and for all Houston has demonstrated what little character is required to be a “leader” in his organisation. The fish rots from the head down, Houston! And poor Bobbie was surprised? Give me a break! She has never ceased displaying what little judgement she has when it comes to common decency. Isn’t she the woman who claims she feels like a “retard” when she puts on a bit of weight!!!! When will this bunch get a backbone and own up to the error of their ways and stop getting their panting, sycophantic followers to apologise on their behalf. Better still, when will they all just go away!

  6. Carl Lenz “backroom interview” at Sydney Hillsong Conference 2016


  1. Brian Houston Responds to Criticism Over Hillsong Youth Pastor Dressing as ‘Naked Cowboy’ at NYC Church Event | WGRC
  2. Pastor Brian Houston Responds to Criticism Over Hillsong NYC Youth Pastor Dressing as ‘Naked Cowboy’ During Church Conference at Catch The Fire Ministries

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