According to Brian Houston’s definition of “coverup,” that is exactly what he did.
- He covered up the issue between Frank and the victim and more importantly, where the abuse took place.
- He pretended the crimes of AHA never happened.
- He moved “someone” (Frank Houston) “somewhere else” (Hawkesbury Christian Centre and then later Coastlife Church when the media FINALLY STARTED reported on Frank’s pedophilia).
At the Royal Commission and after the Royal Commision:
- “… You pretend it don’t happen…”
– Evidence revealed Brian Houston pretended the AHA incident never happened to his church and was not upfront with his church until around 2002, and even then, mislead and downplayed his father’s crimes as a “moral failure.” When the media found out it was pedophilia, Brian further covered it up at his church and in the media by suggesting it never happened in Australia but New Zealand.
- “You just move someone in somewhere else”
– Brian Houston admitted that “we had asked [Frank]” to move to another church. That church was Hawkesbury Christian Centre.
– It was agreed in the 1999 AOGA Executive meeting (which Brian Houston called), that “Mr Frank Houston would be placed under the supervision of the New South Wales Superintendent, Mr Ian Woods.” Hawkesbury Christian Centre was Ian Woods’ church.
– Evidence showed that Frank Houston was moved again from Hawkesbury Christian Centre to Coastlife Church, Erina NSW around the time the media published an expose on Hillsong (Jan 2003), when the Sydney Morning Herald announced “former minister Frank Houston, confessed to being a pedophile” (see “The Lord’s Profits“).
This is what Brian Houston said to the Royal Commission regarding moving Frank:
“He was actually attending a church in the Hawkesbury during that time. We had asked him, after this came through, to move on from the Hillsong Church and he was attending Ian Woods’ church in Hawkesbury, to my memory. So there was an office there. He didn’t use the office. The only thing he did during that 12 months was probably came to Hillsong conference. I remember him coming to our men’s conference, because he was so miserable. So he came to one or two things like that.”
Source: Brian Houston, [Royal Commission, Case 18: Day 89 – Transcript]
When this information emerged at the Royal Commission, we started collecting information from people who attended Hawkesbury Christian Centre at the time. Their comments are incriminating against Brian Houston, Ian Woods, the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) driven AOG, and the Hillsong/CLC leadership.
CULTURE OF COVER-UP EXAMPLE: ‘PASTOR’ JON DORHAUER
Before we look at their comments, we wish to show how unashamedly the NAR AOG leadership are prepared to defend their Apostolic leaders.
“So who is the person who attended Hawkesbury Christian Centre. My name is Jon Dorhauer and I was a Pastor at that church and NEVER did Ps Ian Woods say to treat Frank Houston like royality. If you have something to say, then publish your name. Makes me sick these people who take delight in half truths and attack churches that are doing their best.”
Source: Ps Jon Dorhauer, Feedback, Hillsong Church Watch, http://hillsongchurchwatch.com/feedback/#comment-13803, Published 11/12/2014. (Accessed 11/12/2014.)
Dorhauer’s comment further illustrates Pastor Philip Powell’s claim about the AOG and Hillsong/CLC leadership culture:
“There is a culture of cover-up of sexual immorality within AOG in both Australia and New Zealand.”
Welcome to the world of New Apostolic Reformation leaders who are prepared to publicly lie or distort the truth to support their leaders and further their movement. If these men and women were Christians, they would care about God, His Word, the truth and their Christian witness.
It is important for Christians to stand up for the truth. Thankfully there were some Christian witnesses from Hawkesbury Christian Centre who DID put their names out there, and they DID expose Pastor Jon Dorhauer, Ian Woods and the CLC Hawkesbury leadership. If Jon Dorhauer is prepared to react like this, what else is he not telling his members about what he knew or didn’t know back in the day when his leadership covered up the crimes of Frank Houston to his Hawkesbury Christian Centre congregation? He had the opportunity to make to it clear.
Jon Dorhauer was asked by Team ChurchWatch:
“Are you calling a parent who attended the church during this time, a liar? Was the congregation made aware of the charges against Frank Houston at that time?” [Source]
Needless to say, Jon did not reply.
Commentor, Chris’ replied to Ps Jon Dorhauer:
“Jon. Frank was a Peadophile. It Needed to be reported. I am a bible college student and one of the first lessons they taught us was that ANY incidents MUST be reported. No Cover ups, no moving people to another congregation. Reported. Investigated by the authorities who were implemented by God to punish evil doers.” [Source]
Jon, if you read this, what were you told about Frank around January 2000? If you were told the truth, you would have known Frank’s victim was Australian.
Jon, if you were told the truth, as pastor of Frank Houston at Hawkesbury Christian Centre: why did you not report Frank Houston yourself?
However, it is likely Jon hadn’t been told the whole truth, much like the rest of the AOG ministers, and wrongly assumed the AOG executives acted with integrity. This is what they hide behind.
The AOGA executive, decided in Dec 1999 not to make the pedophilia matter public. They told ministers about Frank, 2 years later, in Dec 2001, which is 2 years after Frank had moved to Hawkesbury Christian Centre – and they only told ministers then because rumors had made it necessary. AOG ministers were not told the discipline was for pedophilia. Instead, all AOG ministers were deliberately misled to believe it was some sexual moral failure back in New Zealand before Frank came to Australia. Also, it was suggested ministers did NOT tell their congregations:
“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.”
Like other ministers, Jon probably wouldn’t ask any questions and risk being seen as one of those sad people trying to “get mileage out of other people’s pain.” The AOG executive had good reason to hide that the victim was Australian and the abuse took place in Sydney. It was no accident that up until the Royal Commission in 2014, despite interviews and clarification with Brian Houston and the AOGA, the media and virtually everyone else in Australia, still thought the offence took place in NZ . That way, no-one would ask why Frank hadn’t been reported to the NSW police – which was mandatory.
So when Jon said, “…Makes me sick these people who take delight in half truths and attack churches that are doing their best,” [defending Hawkesbury leadership], Jon is defending the organisation that covered up Frank Houston. An organisation which was guilty – in writing, with evidence, of deliberately lying by misleading with half truths and omissions.
Is truth important Jon? Why did all these people not know about Frank, especially when Brian claimed he even told a conference in 2000? Probably because Brian didn’t. These witnesses have more credibility than Brian Houston, Ian Woods and the AOGA executive. Let’s see what they have to say.
“I attended Hawkesbury Church (then Hawkesbury Christian Centre) in the early 2000s under its minister Ian Woods, who was then State Superintendent of the AOG and presumably also on the National Executive.
Frank Houston was parked at Hawkesbury after he was stood down and the congregation was told to treat him like royalty. Certainly there was no warning to families in the congregation that we were harbouring a pedophile. He was our National Leader’s father, and a super-apostle in our movement.
Although I do not believe there was a risk of him reoffending, still, what I recall was the total veil of silence that fell over the matter, to the extent that one Hillsong member left the Sunday service when Brian Houston was forced to say something, believing that Frank was guilty of some kind of financial mismanagement.
Brian says that his Father never preached again. I’m pretty sure that’s wrong. While he was with us, he was allowed to preach. Brian is, yet again, a liar.”
Source: Truth_will_out, News reports from Royal Commission on Hillsong 08/10/2014, Hillsong Church Watch, https://hillsongchurchwatch.com/2014/10/08/news-reports-from-royal-commision-on-hillsong-08102014/#comment-10079, Submitted on 2014/10/09 at 10:12 am.
Nathan Zamprogno stated,
“When Frank Houston was parked at Hawkesbury in his twilight years, the instruction was given to treat him like royalty, and there was certainly no warning given to the families in the congregation that we were harbouring a pedophile. That said, I genuinely didn’t feel there was a danger, and the offence in this case was that of obfuscating the truth simply because it could be.
And this had happened before. When… a certain person in the church had a moral failing, it became public knowledge and had to be dealt with. And then… another certain person had a moral failing and the leadership grasped the opportunity to blame the victim, valorise the instigator and (literally) move the problem off-shore because it could be. Containment. Damage-control. Image preservation at all costs. Cold comfort (actually, no comfort) that it ended up ruining them all anyway. Marriage and Family? Frauds.”
Source: Nathan Zamprogno, FaceBook, https://www.facebook.com/emma.whale.12/posts/10152545228124221, Published 8 October 2014 at 02:59. (Accessed 08/03/2017.)
John Chisholm stated,
“Looking specifically at the current case, Frank and how long it took anyone to question him. Being the untouchable Lord’s anointed certainly meant that it took much longer for people to seriously look at the allegations.
But on a more personal note as we hear more about the details of the accusations against Frank, I have to start questioning what Ian knew. Frank was invited into our congregation, he was treated like royalty. As the father of three young kids, I was not told that there was any allegation against him. I happily let him sit and chat with my son after services (something he did quite frequently). So, who knew what? Who was lax in warning the parents of HCC that they had a potential problem in their midst? Did Ian know and not tell us? Did Brian know and not tell Ian? Had Frank confessed to a different sin and as such no one knew?
I am not overwrought at this. I was not about to accept an offer of babysitting from Frank (no, he didn’t offer). I don’t believe my children were in any real danger, because I was with them but there were a lot of processes which didn’t exist and moreover, there were processes which did exist but were bypassed for the celebrity parishioner. An atmosphere which was less sceptical of questioning would have been an atmosphere where this was less likely to happen.”
Source: John Chisholm, FaceBook, https://www.facebook.com/emma.whale.12/posts/10152545228124221, Published 10 October 2014 at 16:14. (Accessed 08/03/2017.)
John Chisholm also stated,
“There have been a lot of questions asked. Questions like what did Ian know when he placed Frank in a seat of honour (lord of the visitors lounge) and welcomed him into our congregation from the pulpit and by name. I doubt the commission will bother mentioning that in the findings, but the more I read of the transcript, the more it seems likely that Ian was aware (although I am not certain). But if he wasn’t then Brian was certainly hiding things because Ian was supposed to be leading the restoration process and you can’t be expected to give absolution without confession.”
Source: John Chisholm, FaceBook, https://www.facebook.com/emma.whale.12/posts/10152545228124221, Published 11 October 2014 at 09:45. (Accessed 08/03/2017.)
Christine Reid said,
“I wasn’t even aware Frank Houston was at our church at the time. Were our children knowingly put at risk?”
Source: Christine Reid, FaceBook, https://www.facebook.com/emma.whale.12/posts/10152545228124221, Published 10 October 2014 at 17:19. (Accessed 08/03/2017.)
Christine Reid also said,
“We are all watching and waiting, and yes appalled that a COINFIRMED pedophile was brought into a place where our children were meant to be safe!!! SOMEONE knew and he was there anyway.”
Source: Christine Reid, FaceBook, https://www.facebook.com/emma.whale.12/posts/10152545228124221, Published 11 October 2014 at 09:07. (Accessed 08/03/2017.)
Emma Whale said,
“I hope I am wrong, but from what I have been able to piece together,Frank was at our church and treated like royalty when the leadership knew of the allegations. This is where obfiscation is a serious issue – “moral failing” is hardly a way to adequately capture “child abuse”.”
Source: Emma Whale, FaceBook, https://www.facebook.com/emma.whale.12/posts/10152545228124221, Published 10 October 2014 at 17:55. (Accessed 08/03/2017.)
Narelle Selwood stated,
“He was at HCC as ian was ‘supervising’ him. I had even forgotten he had been there. It wasn’t for long. But agreed John, you wonder all that.
I think this whole process is that the AOG grossly mishandled the reports of abuse.”
Source: Narelle Selwood, FaceBook, https://www.facebook.com/emma.whale.12/posts/10152545228124221, Published 10 October 2014 at 18:15. (Accessed 08/03/2017.)
Email all comments and questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.