In a recent Facebook post, ‘Fighters Against Child Abuse Australia’ (FACAA) expressed their concern about Prime Minister Scott Morrison sharing a platform with Brian Houston, a major church leader still under investigation for failing to report his father’s child abuse to police.
Founded in 2010, ‘Fighters Against Child Abuse Australia’ (FACAA) is a registered charity dedicated to confronting child abuse and family violence nationwide. Their primary goal ‘is the prevention of abuse through education, practical support, and legislative reform’. In addition, they seek ‘to empower survivors of childhood trauma and abuse, by providing them with the tools to rebuild their lives on a solid foundation’. Based in New South Wales, FACAA ‘have representatives all over Australia working hard to raise awareness about the scope of these issues, as well as lobbying for legislative change in order that more survivors see justice, and less perpetrators are given the opportunity to re-offend’.
With the following article in mind, we offer this recent (July 18, 2019) Instagram post from Brian Houston and ask him, “How transparent have you been, how free do you feel?”
Source: Brian Houston, Instagram, https://www.instagram.com/p/B0BaInJHtE4/, Published July 18, 2019, (Accessed July 18, 2019.)
“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.” Hebrews 4:12-13
Why is our Prime Minister on stage with a man who was censured by the Royal Commission for failing to report his father’s child abuse to police?
Pictured is our Prime Minister Scott Morrison and head of Hillsong church Brian Houston. ScoMo named Brian as one of his mentors when he first came to power and recently at the Hillsong conference he stood on stage with him and gave a speech to a standing ovation from the congregation.
So what’s wrong with this ?
Well for one Brian Houston is the son of Frank Houston founder of the Assemblies of God ministries and child abuser. Brian Houston was made aware of the allegations and did not go to the police about it. He did not do what he should have done, and brought his father to justice.
“Brian Houston . . . did not refer the allegations of child sexual abuse against Mr Frank Houston to the police” – Royal Commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse.
Brett Sengstock waived his anonymity as he told Channel Nine’s 60 Minutes program he was sexually abused by Frank Houston, the influential leader of the Pentecostal denomination Assemblies of God in the 1960s and 70s.
Sengstock had previously testified before the royal commission into child sexual abuse in 2013, under the pseudonym AHA. But he told 60 Minutes he wanted to publicly ask Houston’s son Brian why he did not report his father to the police, despite knowing of his abuse since 1999.
Frank Houston, who died in 2004, was the head of Assemblies of God in New Zealand until 1971. Brian was the head of the Australian branch from 1997 to 2009, and founded Hillsong in 1983. Frank was accused of sexually abusing nine boys, including Sengstock, and in 2015 the royal commission found Brian Houston had failed to report his father’s abuse to police.
Brian Houston retired his father from his role as a pastor in 1999, but did not inform police of the multiple allegations.
He told the commission his father “never, ever preached anywhere” again, but another former pastor, Barbara Taylor, gave evidence that Frank was seen preaching in Canberra the following month.
Sengstock and the Royal Commission said it was a clear conflict of interest for Brian Houston to have been the head of Assemblies of God while the church investigated his father. He alleged that Frank Houston paid him $10,000 and asked for forgiveness, but the church offered no counselling or apology for the abuse he suffered. “It is like it has been brushed under the carpet,” he said.
“We consider that a conflict of interest first arose when Pastor Brian Houston decided to respond to the allegations by confronting his father while simultaneously maintaining his roles as National President (of the Assemblies of God in Australia) and Senior Pastor,” the commissioners found. The victim Mr Sengstock said he was routinely abused by Frank Houston between the ages of seven and 12. Frank frequently stayed at the boy’s family home when he visited Sydney.
So, why has Brian Houston been investigated twice now, that we are aware of and never been convicted, despite the Royal Commission issuing him with a censure for not calling the police when he clearly should have ?
How is it ok for our PM to be on stage with a man who was censured by the Royal Commission for failing to report child abuse ?
What message does this send?
Also where is our press and why are none of them asking this question ? Frank Houston’s crimes against Brett Sengstock are a matter of public record, Brian Houston’s lack of response and the Royal Commission censuring against him are also a matter of public record, but here is our Prime Minister on stage with him.
FACAA are not anti-Hillsong, anti- ScoMo (in fact if you look through our pictures you will see one of FACAA Mascot Danny with ScoMo), nor are we anti-Liberal party, (if you look through our pictures you will see FACAA President Adam with several Liberal party members whom we have enjoyed working with), nor pro any other political party.
This post is not political at all, nor is it religious.
We will call out anyone who has abused children or those who have failed to report abuse, no matter who they are.
So why does it matter that our Prime Minister is on stage with Brian Houston ?
The Prime Minister has very recently apologised, in a very public way, to all survivors of institutional child sexual abuse, and that was a great thing to do. It showed an understanding, a willingness to work with us to create real change, not just within institutions but within our justice system, our laws and even our societies attitudes as a whole, the attitudes that allowed this behaviour to be swept under the rug in the first place.
However, actions speak louder than words and choosing to stand with someone who chose not to report his own father’s sexual abuse of children, for me, undoes many of the previous positive steps taken by Mr Morrison.
People in the public eye, whether that be politicians, actors or just those famous for being famous, are all in an exceptional position.
They can use their notoriety for positive change, to make statements about what is ok and what is not, no doubt that can be a difficult position to be in, but as the saying goes “with great power comes great responsibility.”
Our Prime Minister has a greater responsibility than most, to be aware of what his actions are saying. Choosing to support someone who, at the very, very least, let child abuse survivors down when he chose not to report his father’s criminal actions, is saying what Houston did was ok … and it was not.
Covering up child abuse is not ok, it is not a victimless crime ! Just ask Brett Sengstock !
It’s up to all of us, no matter who we are, to make sure that our actions match our words, and show exactly where we stand when it comes to child abuse…
#FACAA #ProudFACAA #Donate #Hillsong #HillsongChurch #BrianHouston#ScoMo #ScottMorrison #PrimeMinister #JoinTheFight #ShareThePage#ChildAbuse #Survivors #Survivor #Thriver #Victim #LikeThunderWeRoll#GuardiansOfTheInnocent #VoiceForTheVoiceless #HopeForTheHopeless#ChildrensChampions #EndingChildAbuse #RaisingAwareness#ChangingLives #HealingSurvivors #ChangingLaws #Legal #Law#LegalReform #JuliasJustice #PhoenixProgram #WeWillFight #StandUp #FromHellWeRise #JamiesGuardians #NeverGonnaStop
Please note: FACAA is and always will be entirely non political and non religious. We are in no way trying to influence anyone’s vote. We are merely reporting on a concerning series of events in the fight to end child abuse once and for all. A cause we have devoted our very lives to.
Source: F.A.C.A.A., Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/facaaus/photos/a.130983213613915/2402098589835688/?type=3&theater. Published July 16, 2019. (Accessed July 17, 2019.)
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