If Hillsong members want a classic example of their own leaders lying to them, Hillsong’s recent media statement is a very good example.
Hillsong have recently disclosed the following lie on their media statement (emphasis added):
Q: Are there independent sources that can reinforce Brian Houston’s testimony?
A: Yes. The Royal Commission transcripts from 2014 confirm that the victim did not want the matter to be reported to the police.
Source: Hillsong Church Response to Recent Media Inquiries on the Royal Commission, Hillsong, https://hillsong.com/newsroom/blog/2021/07/hillsong-church-response-to-recent-media-inquiries-on-the-royal-commission/. (Updated 9:07am (AEST) 6th, August, 2021). Originally Accessed July 26, 2021.) [Archived]
In contrast to what Brian Houston and Hillsong said in their recent statement, let’s take a look at what Brian Houston actually admitted to the Royal Commission about AHA reporting the matter to police. Emphasis in bold.
CASE 18: TRANSCRIPT 88 – PAGE 9330
Brian Houston answering to Mr Beckett
Q. Point 5. Then Barbara Taylor said:
… there was a possibility that [AHA] would go to court.
Q. And that she:
… had told [AHA] that I would not stand with him in court unless the church refused to deal with the matter.
Do you see that?
Q. So you knew by 28 November 1999 that [AHA] was considering taking the matter to court?
Q. And that could include criminal proceedings?
Q. And it could include civil proceedings?
Q. Clearly, if there were criminal or civil proceedings in public, that would, first of all, cause some humiliation to your father?
Q. And it would be embarrassing for you, as his son?
A. Is that a question?
A. I don’t believe my embarrassment was the major priority whatsoever.
Q. No, I’m just asking you whether it would have been embarrassing for you, as the son of —
A. Frank Houston.
Q. — Frank Houston to have it revealed publicly that there were allegations of child sexual abuse against him?
A. I always knew that this would have to go public. That was never in doubt in my mind.
Q. I’m just talking about this particular stage. Were you or were you not likely to have been embarrassed by those matters being made public at that stage?
A. Maybe yes, maybe no, but it wasn’t a priority.
Q. In fact, it was embarrassing at any stage; it’s embarrassing today, is it not?
A. It’s humiliating to me today that I have to walk out there to cameras, and so on, about the fact that my father is a known serial paedophile, yes.
Q. You were concerned about what would happen with your father in criminal proceedings, weren’t you, and you spoke to a barrister about that?
A. I went to see a lawyer, not a barrister – a lawyer.
Q. Who did you speak to?
Q. Who did you speak to?
A. Well, a family friend took me there. The lawyer’s name was – the lawyer’s name was Graham. I can’t remember his last name. I think he was at Mallesons. And we have been in contact with Mallesons and they have no record of that meeting.
Q. Have you spoken to the lawyer concerned directly?
A. I think we may have tried. I’m just looking at my associate. I think we may have tried, but the answer is no.
Q. In any event, one part of the advice was that it was likely that your father would be incarcerated for the crime?
A. I didn’t need a lawyer to tell me that. I was well aware that if this – if he was charged, there was every chance he would end up in prison.
Q. Were you also given advice about the likelihood of civil proceedings succeeding if [AHA] was to go ahead?
A. I can’t remember, but it wouldn’t surprise me.
So who do you believe? Hillsong or Brian Houston?
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“Have I then become your enemy by telling you the truth?” Galatians 4:16