Hillsong Church Pastor Brian Houston clearly and blatantly perjured himself at the Child Sex Abuse Royal Commission when he was in the witness stand under oath in 2014. The reason for Brian Houston’s perjury was that he was trying to cover-up the fact that he and the Australian Christian Churches (ACC) covered-up the sexual abuse of children by Brian’s father Frank Houston.
Brain Houston is currently under investigation by the NSW police for concealing the sexual abuse of children by his father. The NSW police confirmed this in an email to me on the 10th of July 2019 after Scott Morrison was on stage with his good friend Brian Houston helping him promote the Hillsong Church. (Click here to read more)
Below I’ll focus on three blatant lies that Brian Houston told when he was in the witness stand under oath.
- Brian Houston lied about getting legal advice in relation to his father’s sexual abuse of Brett Sengstock.
- Brian Houston lied about why he never went to the police about his father’s sexual abuse of children.
- Brian Houston lied about calling Brett Sengstock on the phone and claiming Brett Sengstock said he did not want the police involved. (Brett Sengstock is given the name AHA by the Royal Commission in the documents)
I’ve spent the last few days going through the witness statements and transcript on the website for the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse for Case Study 18: Australian Christian Churches. There are a lot more lies than just those three but they are very important and obvious lies.
I won’t write all the details but you can read Brett Sengstock’s witness statement by clicking here.
Brett Sengstock was sexually abused as a child in the 1970’s by Frank Houston who was the father of Hillsong Church founder Pastor Brian Houston. In 1999 the Church’s management and Brian Houston were made aware of Frank Houston abusing Brett Sengstock which Frank Houston admitted to his crimes when confronted.
On the 16th of September 1999 Brett Sengstock was sent a letter on behalf of Church management advising him that:
The secular courts is not the way, I believe to go but to the church where I believe you will receive a fair hearing. I will stand with you Brett I for I believe you.
If you feel you can’t I would urge you to seek ministry for your healing for you can rise up, put this awful incident behind you and be the man that God wants you to be.
I trust Frank also confesses this awful deed, repents for sinning against God, receives forgiveness, is disciplined and rises to a higher p1ace in God because this blight on his character has been dealt with. (Click here to see the letter)
The letter to Brett Sengstock from the Church management telling him that the “secular courts” “was not the way to go” to solve his problem was in effect also saying don’t go to the police and keep your mouth shut so the Church can cover it up.
Frank Houston was never sacked when he admitted to abusing Brett Sengstock. He was allowed to resign. Brett Sengstock says when spoke to Brian Houston in 1999 he was told: “You know, it’s your fault all of this happened. You tempted my father.”
In 2014 the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse heard evidence into Brett Sengstock’s abuse and the failure of Brian Houston and the Church management to go to the police etc which the final report criticized and the report is the foundation of the current police investigation. (Click here to read the final report)
Brian Houston lied about getting legal advice in relation to his father’s sexual abuse of Brett Sengstock. (First lie)
Keith Ainge gave evidence at the Royal Commission because he was National Secretary of the Assemblies of God Australia (AOGA) from May 1995 to May 2011 (AOGA became Australian Christian Churches (ACC) in 2007) when Frank Houston’s sexual abuse of children was exposed. Keith Ainge said in his witness statement at paragraph 14:
“We did consider whether we needed to compulsorily report the offence to police. However, my recollection is that legal advice had been obtained, and this advice was to the effect that the complainant could report the matter to police given his age, and that there was no obligation on the National Executive to report the matter to police. I do not recall where the legal advice came from, or who sought the legal advice.” (Click here to read the full witness statement)
No lawyer in Australia would have given that advice which makes it obvious why he can’t remember “where the legal advice came from.” Every lawyer will tell you that if you know a crime has been committed you have a legal obligation to report it to the police. The cover-up was in full swing from the start.
In the transcript below when Keith Ainge gave evidence in the witness stand at the Royal Commission, he pointed the finger straight at Brian Houston for directing the cover-up.
Keith Ainge – Transcript page 9275 (Click here to read the transcript)
Q. And that you were relying on what Brian Houston said to you about the complainant not wanting it to go to the police; is that correct?
Q. And you had not had the matter assessed by an independent person?
A. That’s correct.
Q. And you had not had an independent person appointed to deal with the complainant?
A. That’s correct.
Q. On that basis, you determined that there was no need to refer the complaint to the police?
A. That’s correct.
Brian Houston gave evidence in the witness stand at the Royal Commission in relation to talking to a lawyer which was pure perjury. He claims he only knew the first name of the lawyer and they haven’t been able to find him since. He obviously didn’t try too hard.
Brian Houston – Transcript page 9331
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 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.
It is ridiculous and obvious perjury by both Brian Houston and Keith Ainge. Keith Ainge says the board of directors had legal advice that they didn’t need to go to the police but he doesn’t know where it came from and Brian Houston says he only knows the first name of the lawyer he received legal advice off and he now can’t find the lawyer.
Brian Houston made no mention of meeting with the lawyer in his witness statement so it looks like to me that under pressure in the witness stand he made up the lie about the meeting with the lawyer and that’s why he said he couldn’t remember the lawyers second name. (Click here and see page 9383 of the transcript)
Brian Houston lied about why he never went to the police about his father’s sexual abuse of children. (Second lie)
Brian Houston gave evidence below saying he didn’t go to the police because Brett Sengstock was 35 or 36.
Brian Houston – Transcript page 9315
Q. At that stage, you certainly knew that very serious allegations had been made against your father?
A. Yes, I did.
Q. And that the allegations were likely to be criminal conduct of one sort or another?
A. Yes, I did. I didn’t have any doubt that it was criminal conduct.
Q. Why didn’t, at that stage, you go to the police and tell them what you had been told?
A. On that day, right there?
A. Well, all of the information I was being given by different people was that the man is 35, 36 years of age and if he decides to go to the police, he can, or if anyone else decides to go to the police, they can. If we were talking about someone – if this complaint was about someone who was under 18 then and there, I’m absolutely certain we would have reported it to the police. We would have made sure that’s where it went. Rightly or wrongly, I genuinely believed that I would be pre-empting the victim if I were to just call the police at that point.
Brain Houston again gave evidence below saying he didn’t go to the police because Brett Sengstock was 35 or 36.
Brian Houston – Transcript page 9327
Q. Did you think at that stage, “This is the time that it needs to be referred to the police”?
Q. Why was that?
A. Because he was 35, 36 years of age and I genuinely believed that it was his prerogative to do that. And I most certainly never, ever did, or tried to, suggest that nobody should go to the police. I knew, for the five years my father was still alive, there was every possibility that he would be charged.
If Brian Houston didn’t go to the police because Brett Sengstock was 35 or 36 then why does Brian Houston come up with another reason below?
Brian Houston lied about calling Brett Sengstock on the phone and claiming Brett Sengstock said he did not want the police involved. (Third Lie)
Later on, giving evidence Brian Houston says he didn’t go to the police because Brett Sengstock said he didn’t want the police involved
Brian Houston – Transcript page 9340
Q. You say that in that telephone call, Brett Sengstock said, “I don’t want to go public. I don’t want to go to the police. I don’t want my identity public.”
Brian Houston said in his witness statement at paragraph 38 (Click here to read the witness statement) (In the witness statement te redaction starts off referring to Brett Sengstock as AHI then changes it to the correct pseudonym AHA)
At paragraph 38 Brian Houston claims he phoned Brett Sengstock after he first heard about the allegation and that Brett Sengstock said to him “I don’t want to go public about the abuse or go to the Police.
At paragraph 41 Brain Houston says “I believed that it was the prerogative of Brett Sengstock to make a report to the police if he wished since he is an adult. I did not dissuade from making a report to the police.”
But Brett Sengstock told the Royal Commission different:
Brett Sengstock – Transcript page 9081
Q. As you may know, Pastor Houston has given a statement to the Royal Commission. He says that he first became aware of the allegations in late October and he says that, at about that time, you had a conversation with him in which you said to him, “I don’t want to go public. I don’t want to go to the police. I don’t want my identity public.” Does that sound correct or incorrect to you?
Q. What is incorrect about it?
A. I don’t recall the call at any stage whatsoever.
Q. So it’s incorrect because you can’t remember it, or you think it’s unlikely you said something like that?
A. It is unlikely.
Q. Why is it unlikely?
A. Because the things that he would have said in it. I had very little to do with Brian Houston other than the statement that he gave before in regards to the money, and I wanted nothing more to do with him.
Brain Houston made up a phone call so he could say that Brett Sengstock told him he didn’t want the police involved, Houston made up a meeting with the lawyer (or the lawyer told him to go to the police so Houston now says he can’t find the lawyer) and Houston made up the excuse of not going to the police because Brett Sengstock was 35 or 36. The reason Houston didn’t go to the police was that he was protecting his tax-free business, the Hillsong Church, and his father and couldn’t care less about the children sexually abused by his father.
In late 2000 Brian Houston and the management of the Assemblies of God in Australia knew there were rumours of victims of Frank Houston who had been sexually abused as children. In 2000 Brian Houston and the Assemblies of God in Australia held a Special Executive Meeting 22nd November 2000 at Hillsong Church, Castle Hill. which the minutes of the meeting said in part:
Brian Houston outlined the accusations that have been raised against Frank Houston, in
relation to inappropriate sexual behaviour with boys around 33 years ago.
Brian outlined the actions of the New Zealand executive in investigating rumours of
inappropriate behaviour involving Frank Houston and between two and five people. They are meeting from the 26th November to discuss further action. (Click here to see the minutes of the meeting)
Brian Houston and the Church’s management gave various reasons why they didn’t go to the police when they found out about Frank Houston’s abuse of Brett Sengstock. But what is their excuse for not going to the police when they found out there were many more victims? The only logical answer is that they were lying and always in cover-up mode from the start and had no intentions of ever going to the police and did what they could to make sure the police didn’t find out because they wanted to protect their tax-free cash cows, the Churches. Their game plan was identical to the cover-ups they would have seen happening at other Churches.
Key evidence that Hillsong Church Pastor Brian Houston gave at the Child Sex Abuse Royal Commission in 2014 is not supported by other evidence and it’s certain that Brian Houston committed perjury.
After looking at the evidence and transcript one thing is a known fact, there is a powerful prima facie case to charge Brian Houston with concealing the child sex abuse by his father Frank Houston and there is no excuse for why the NSW Police have not charged Brian Houston and it points to another police cover-up.
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 which I believe at least tells part of the story of why Brian Houston has never been charged.
Brain Houston by his own admission never went to the police about his father’s sexual abuse of children even though he admitted he knew it was a criminal offence so there is no reason why the police can’t charge him.
Brain Houston apparently sent a letter to some media threatening them with defamation a week or so ago. Houston’s not in a position to threaten anyone as a defamation court case would again shine the light on him concealing his father’s crimes.
Slowly but surely every lie that Brian Houston has told in covering-up his father’s crimes is being exposed and every time that happens questions will be asked why Scott Morrison is his friend and openly supporting Brian Houston while he is under investigation by the police.
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