Prime Minister Scott Morrison and his wife were on stage leading prayers in front of 21,000 people on Tuesday night (9/7/19) with the Hillsong Church’s Brian Houston who is still under investigation by the NSW police for concealing the sexual abuse of children by his father Frank Houston.
In 2014 while giving evidence at The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse Brian Houston admitted he knew his father had abused children and he had failed to report it to the police so it is not a fact that is in dispute or a fact that Scott Morrison wouldn’t know.
There are many reasons, which I outline below, why Scott Morrison should have never been on stage with paedophile protector Brian Houston who is under investigation by the NSW police.
I emailed questions to the Prime Minister as per below but he has refused to answer but the NSW police did respond to my email (as below) on Wednesday (10/7/19) and confirmed that they are still investigating Brian Houston which was first reported by the media in November 2018 by Channel 9. Why didn’t Nine follow up with the police as I did? Maybe it is because Nine’s Chairman is former federal treasurer Peter Costello who is also a mentor to Scott Morrison and who has also led prayers at the Hillsong annual conference.
I sent the below email to the NSW Police Media Unit on Wednesday at 5.04pm on Wednesday (10/7/19)
From: SHANE DOWLING
Sent: 10 July 2019 17:04
Subject: Media request: Brian Houston Hillsong Church
I am a journalist and have a question in relation to Brian Houston who is the founder and a pastor at Hillsong Church.
Can you please confirm whether or not the NSW Police are still investigating Brian Houston from the Hillsong Church in relation to his handling of the sex crimes committed by his father Frank Houston or any other crimes?
I received the below response from the NSW Police Media unit at 5.13pm on Wednesday (10/7/19)
From: xxxxx xxxxx <firstname.lastname@example.org> On Behalf Of #PMU
Sent: 10 July 2019 17:13
To: SHANE DOWLING
Subject: Re: Media request: Brian Houston Hillsong Church [DLM=For-Official-Use-Only]
Regarding your inquiry,
The matter continues to be investigated by officers attached to The Hills Police Area Command.
No further comment will be made while the investigation is ongoing
NSW Police Force
Given it was widely reported in November 2018 that Brian Houston was under investigation by the NSW police why didn’t any other media report that this week given Prime Minister Scott Morrison was on stage with Houston? All the other media could have done what I did and contacted the NSW police to see if Brian Houston was still being investigated.
There are many questions:
- What is an Australian Prime Minister doing on stage with someone under investigation for criminal offences?
- Why are the Australian Prime Minister and his wife Jenny normalising child sexual abuse by being on stage with Brian Houston and supporting him and his church?
- Is Prime Minister Scott Morrison interfering with a police investigation given he would have to know that his appearance with and support of Brian Houston would put pressure on the police not to charge Brian Houston?
- Why have no other media reported that Brian Houston is still under investigation by the NSW police? Are the media now too scared to upset the government given the government’s threats to jail journalists?
American billionaire and convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein was arrested in America on Saturday (6/7/19) and it has been all over the media since showing Epstein with his friends such as former President Bill Clinton and current President Donald Trump. The point about Epstein is that he was arrested 4 days before Scott Morrison was on stage with Brian Houston and Morrison would have seen all the bad press for the politicians associated with Epstein. So, why did Morrison risk going on stage with Houston given he is under investigation by NSW police for concealing the sexual abuse of children by his father? It’s worth noting that the Epstein matter also involves an alleged cover-up.
In the below video Scott Morrison answers questions from Brian Houston at the Hillsong Church conference on Tuesday (9/7/19).
It costs $370 for a ticket to the annual Hillsong conference so supporting god isn’t cheap.
Many other politicians attended the Hillsong Church conference with Peter Costello in 2005: “NSW Premier Bob Carr and federal ministers Alexander Downer, Kevin Andrews and Peter Dutton, as well as NSW Christian Democrats MP Fred Nile, Liberal MP David Clarke and other state parliamentarians as they wanted the votes. (Click here to read more) Other than Scott Morrison I don’t think as many politicians went this year with Brian Houston under investigation by the Police.
Hillsong Church – Brain Houston and the Frank Houston cover-up background
Brian Houston and his wife Bobbie started the Hillsong Church in 1983 and originally called it the Hills Christian Life Centre. It is like a franchise of the Assemblies of God. Brian’s father Frank was also a pastor in New Zealand and Australia.
In 1999 the mother of a victim, referred to as AHA at the Royal Commission and who later outed himself on 60 Minutes as Brett Sengstock, made a complaint to the church. The church covered it up and the Child Abuse Royal Commission was critical of Brian Houston, his conduct in dealing with the abuse and failing to report it to the police.
Wikipedia says there were up to 9 victims and:
“Although Brian Houston was legally obligated to report the crime, he did not do so. The victim (Brett Sengstock) later testified to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse that Frank Houston offered him AU$10,000 as compensation at a McDonald’s in the presence of Hillsong Church elder Nabi Saleh. During an internal church investigation, Frank Houston eventually confessed to the crime. The commission also heard that he was involved in the sexual abuse of other children in New Zealand.”
“A further internal investigation by Assemblies of God in Australia, in conjunction with the Assemblies of God in New Zealand, found six additional child sexual abuse allegations, which were regarded as credible.” (Click here to read more)
Brian Houston said in an interview in 2016 that he didn’t know how many victims there were. Why hasn’t he and Hillsong tried to find out?
Sixty Minutes reported in November 2018, as per the below video, that Brett Sengstock tried to sue the Assemblies of God for compensation but they refused to pay anything and claimed that they were not liable as Frank Houston never worked for them when Brett Sengstock was abused. That is the same routine the Catholic Church has used for decades to deny survivors compensation. Surely a god fearing multi-millionaire like Brian Houston could have given Brett Sengstock some compensation.
At the annual conference for Hillsong Church Scott Morrison said: “Australia needs more prayer and more love”. What about the victims and survivors of Frank Houston’s sexual abuse? Why didn’t the Prime Minister mention them? (Click here to read more)
Scott Morrison would have been fully aware that the Australian Media would report his attendance at the Hillsong Church conference and his support for the church and Brian Houston and what he said. So, Morrison was, in reality, preaching to all Australians and sending a powerful message to the police who are investigating Brian Houston not to charge him otherwise they will embarrass the Prime Minister.
I sent the below email to the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet on Friday (12/7/19) at 1.29pm and have not had a response at this time.
From: SHANE DOWLING
Sent: 12 July 2019 13:29
Subject: Media request regarding Prime Minister Scott Morrison
I am a journalist and have 8 questions in relation to Prime Minister Scott Morrison and his relationship with Brian Houston who is the founder and a pastor at Hillsong Church.
It was reported in the media that Prime Minister Scott Morrison and his wife were on stage with Brian Houston at the Hillsong Church conference on Tuesday the 9th of July 2019 and it has also been reported that Prime Minister Scott Morrison regards Brian Houston as a mentor.
The questions are:
- Can you please confirm if Prime Minister Scott Morrison was aware that the NSW police are currently investigating Brian Houston for covering up the sexual abuse of children by his father Frank Houston?
- Can you please confirm if Prime Minister Scott Morrison was aware that the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse found that both the New South Wales executive and the national executive of the Assemblies of God failed to follow its complaints procedure when handling the allegations?
- Can you please confirm if Prime Minister Scott Morrison was aware that the Royal Commission also found both executives failed to appoint a contact person for the victim (referred to as AHA), did not interview AHA about his allegations, did not interview Frank Houston, and did not record any of the steps it took?
- Can you please confirm if Prime Minister Scott Morrison was aware that the royal commission also found neither the national executive nor Brian Houston referred the allegations to police, and the Royal Commission determined Houston “had a conflict of interest in assuming responsibility for dealing with AHA’s allegations because he was both the National President of the Assemblies of God in Australia and the son of Mr Frank Houston, the alleged perpetrator”?
- Can you please confirm if Prime Minister Scott Morrison was aware that Brian Houston, who was then the national president of the Assemblies of God, confronted his father with the allegations in 1999 and the preacher confessed?
- Can you please confirm if Prime Minister Scott Morrison was aware that Brian Houston called a meeting of the national executive, and relinquished the chair, but remained present during discussions on the allegations and disciplinary actions against his father?
- Can you please confirm if Prime Minister Scott Morrison was aware that the Assemblies of God executive began investigations – later discovering a further eight alleged victims of Frank Houston – but did not to make them public, telling its churches in a letter from Brian Houston there was “no reason” for it to be announced as others may use it to further their agendas?
- Can you please confirm if Prime Minister Scott Morrison was aware that Brian Houston defended his failure to go to the police, despite having no doubt it was criminal conduct?
Can you please respond by 5pm today (Friday 12/7/19) in case I have further questions. My deadline for publication is 5pm Saturday the 13th of July 2019.
The evidence against Brian Houston and the Hillsong Church of covering up paedophile Frank Houston’s abuse of children has been around a long time and most of my questions to the Prime Minister came from an article on the Royal Commission in 2015 (Click here to read). So, it’s impossible for Prime Minister Scott Morrison to say he didn’t know and explains why he refused to answer my questions.
Brian Houston and his family also gave an interview in 2016 on The Inside Story program and it is worth watching the part where they discuss Frank Houston because all they seem to care about is themselves and what impact it had on them. There was no discussion on what they would do for the victims and Brian Houston is caught out giving two different reasons why he didn’t go to the police, one version for the show and another version when he was in the witness stand at the Royal Commission.
Why do Liberal Party Prime Minister’s support paedophiles and their protectors such as former PM John Howard writing a letter of reference for convicted paedophile George Pell to use at his sentencing hearing and former PM Tony Abbott also publicly supporting George Pell after he was convicted? (Click here to read more)
Is Scott Morrison interfering in a police investigation? Or trying to influence a police investigation like John Howard did with Gorge Pell?
In 2004 Frank Houston died and at his funeral service was the then Deputy Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione who later became Police Commissioner and is said to be friends with Brian Houston. Houston gave evidence in 2014 at the Royal Commission were he admitted failing to go to the police in relation to the sexual abuse of children by his father. Apparently, the police started looking at the issue given the evidence at the Royal Commission but did nothing because of lack of evidence but reopened the matter about the same time as the Sixty Minutes story went to air.
Sixty Minutes didn’t have the same trouble the police did in getting plenty of evidence for their report in November 2018. It’s worth noting that Andrew Scipione didn’t retire as Police Commissioner until March 2017.
One of the saddest things about this issue is that thousands of survivors were promised compensation after The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse ended in 2017 and the government set up the National Redress Scheme but after 12 months only 5% of applications have been processed. I think Scott Morrison should be focused on fixing that rather than helping Brian Houston promote himself and the Hillsong Church.
There is a tonne of evidence to charge Brian Houston with concealing a serious indictable offence yet he hasn’t been charged. Why? It makes you wonder if much will happen with the police investigation given the Prime Minister gave Brian Houston the green light on Tuesday at the Hillsong conference.
Make no mistake, Prime Minister Scott Morrison knew Brian Houston is still under investigation by the police and Morrison knew it was highly inappropriate for him to be at the Hillsong Church on Tuesday night (9/7/19) helping promote it. But Morrison knows that he gets a lot of votes from the Hillsong Church and his local church which is linked to Hillsong so in a situation like this Morrison believes that votes count more than doing what is ethical and moral. I’ll keep on following up on this story.
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