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Hillsong Global Church: the reasons I critique it and point out its many faults

My time at Hillsong

The writer Donald Elley

The writer Donald Elley. Got over Hillsong in 2000, after Brian Houston took over Hillsong City Church- I could see he would kill off everything good and spiritual.

I attended Hillsong from 1981 to 1990 and from 1998 to 2000.

In 1981 Hillsong was called Christian Life Centre Darlinghurst or CLC Darlinghurst.

I worked closely with Frank Houston, the founder of Hillsong, doing building works for Hillsong. I built Brian Houston, Frank Houston’s son’s, first office at Baulkham Hills shopping centre in 1983.

I have outlined these times more extensively in many articles on this site.

I am in a position to commentate on Hillsong probably better than almost anyone, having experience in many denominations and wide life experience and having vast insider knowledge both from personal experience and from the testimony of others, especially those who have attended Hillsong in the last 16 years since I walked out the Hillsong door for the last time, never to return, in 2000.

I write for the victims

I write about Hillsong and critique Hillsong in support of Hillsong’s founder Frank Houston’s child and teen sexual abuse victims.

At the Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, Pastor Brian Houston, the current head pastor of Hillsong Global Church, openly stated in response to questions by the Royal Commission that he has no moral or legal prerogative to help the victims.

The Royal Commission was very astounded by Brian’s attitude.

Brian: poor excuses

Brian at the Royal Commission. Brian told the Royal Commission that he wont help the victims

This blog-site led the Royal Commission to examine Hillsong

This blog-site was a major factor for Brian and other Hillsong and Australian Christian churches leaders being subpoenaed to appear at the Royal Commission.

The Royal Commission has contacted me three times for information about victims. My blog-site showed the people from the Royal Commission that there were numerous victims apart from boy victim AHA who had approached them.

The Findings of the Royal Commission recommend that Brian be charged with pedophile protection crimes.

Why I wrote about Frank Houston’s pedophilia

My father Rev Reuben Donald Elley died in August 2012 and after dad’s death I wrote about thirty articles on this site with reflections about my father and his life.

For some reason I wrote an article comparing dad to Frank Houston. As I wrote this article I decided to write a series of articles about Frank Houston’s pedophilia, homosexuality and sado-masochism and to reflect on my time at Hillsong. It was more a cathartic exercise than anything else and I never anticipated the popularity of my articles about Hillsong nor what has transpired since.

At the time in 2012 there were few similar articles on the Net except one about Peter Laughton, Frank Houston’s young worship leader, and their secret homosexual affair from 1980 to 1984 and two about teen victim Peter Fowler.

At the time I researched the Net to see what Hillsong and Brian were saying about Frank Houston’s pedophilia. They were saying “there was one boy abused over thirty years ago in New Zealand”.

I knew this wasn’t true so I wrote about what I knew. I knew about the six Lower Hutt boy victims and from Pastor Philip Powell’s writings I found out about Peter Fowler who was 15 when sexually abused by Frank Houston at Lower Hutt Assemblies of God in the 1970s.

If you are interested in a full history of Frank Houston’s known pedophilia please google “Pastor Frank Houston. Part One. Frank Houston’s pedophile activities”.

The boy victims who have contacted me

A South Australian boy victim SA1 contacted me in 2012 after reading my article on Frank Houston. Later in 2014 Wellington, New Zealand boy victim WNZ1 contacted me on this site. After the Royal Commission boy victim AHA contacted me.

SA1’s statement:

(supplied to the Royal Commission through my encouragement)

“The abuse occurred in South Australia, in the Adelaide area.

The abuse by Frank Houston took place at Cuddly Creek camp, a camp owned by the AOG, Klemzig.

The later abuse at Klemzig AOG, at the hands of a Sunday School teacher, took place on two fishing outings, about the following year.

The abuse by Frank occurred during one week I was at the Klemzig AOG camp. It would have been in the summer of 1973 or 1974.

I was about 11. I hadn’t reached puberty yet.

My parents let me go to the kids camp.

The Cuddly Creek camp was popular.

I went to several family camps and the new year’s camp meetings with my family.

I can’t remember if Frank was the speaker for all the meetings during the week of the kids camp.

I know that there was also Tony Hopkins, a drummer there that was my hero.

All the boys were in a dormitory with bunk beds down each side.

The shower block was on the right as you came into the dormitory.

I remember Frank being around the shower block quite a lot, seemed to bump into him there.

One time I was going in and he was coming out and as I went in I saw another boy a few years older standing there with an erection. My mate, David Haig also noticed it because I remember talking about it after, as boys would.

The first time Frank touched me was in a shower. I was showering and he pushed aside the flimsy curtain and stepped in and fondled me.

The second time was in the dorm. My bed was close to the back end on the bottom. He came to the bunk, sat down and masturbated me and had me touch him over his clothes.

I don’t know if anyone saw anything that happened in the shower or the dorm.

I didn’t tell anyone til 2012 (during a week of a prison counselling program in Canada) when I finally started to deal with these and other issues.

Frank was so highly thought of by my parents and the whole church. I was afraid to say anything against him even though I knew that what happened was not normal. I also thought I was the only person this was happening to.

Another reason I didn’t say anything is that sex was taboo in my family. It was never talked about. My sex education was that I was given a pamphlet on puberty at age 12.

I didn’t report it to the police because I finally started to deal with it and had access to the internet in 2012. I found out through Donald’s blog that Frank was dead, so I thought it pointless to report it.

In the future I will probably need counselling from time to time.

Also I think it helps when I help others who have also gone through this type of thing.

I have friends to support me. I know that I can talk about anything with them.

I will need further counselling as time goes on. There are times when I’m pretty fragile, having lost my family as part of the fall-out of my roller coaster life”.

This site has given victims a voice

The problem for sexual abuse victims is that they’re usually disempowered and normally poor. So they have no voice and they can’t afford lawyers.

This is to the advantage of pedophile protectors like Brian Houston, who are personally very wealthy. My estimate of Brian’s net personal wealth is $50 million. Hillsong is very cash-up and pays all Brian’s legal bills, so any claimant or even the Authorities have to be cashed-up and well-prepared to nail people like Brian or George Pell.

Boy victim WNZ1

Boy victim WNZ1’s story, exactly as he told it to me in an email in October 2014.

“Hi Donald

A bit about me…I went to Teachers College from 72-74 (attending Varsity part time) before Teaching for a year and a half then living a hippie lifestyle.

AB and I hung around Wellington together in the 70’s, walking the fine line between sin, repentance and sainthood. I’m afraid sex and drugs got the better of me for a time. I also hung around up at Kapiti during the late ‘70s with AB. He was (edit) a very close friend.

Here is my story.

I discovered your blog earlier this year when working through childhood trauma with my counsellor. It was very helpful in providing background to my journey, enabling me to finally admit to myself that Frank was my abuser.

I’m 60 years old and the impact of the abuse involving Frank in my life has been significant. Despite appearing to be a successful corporate manager, I couldn’t sustain the facade. Inside I lived with fear, mistrust, anger and shame. I was depressed, lonely and isolated.

I sought comfort from my pain in unhelpful ways, compulsively pursuing and becoming involved in one relationship after another, sometimes having more than one sexual or emotional liaison at a time. I lived my life in compartments and feeling completely shut off from myself, God, my family and friends.

My broken life is testimony to the selfish acts of the sicko creep Frank Houston on an innocent boy.

From the age of five into my teens I attended Lower Hutt AOG with my family.

My encounter with Frank was when I was 8 years old.

My family lived in a Wellington suburb and my parents held a Saturday night prayer meeting which folk from Lower Hutt AOG attended.

Frank attended a few times and it was during these visits that the abuse occurred.

When I read of AHA’s experience in the Commission’s transcript, the details in the description brought everything back. I finally knew deep within me the true horror of what had happened all those years ago.

I recall feeling the weight of Frank on me, the breath in my face and my genitals being fondled.

I was completely paralysed with fear.

I could not speak. I was totally bewildered as to what was going on.

I remember this happening 2 or 3 times.

I tried to explain to my parents what had happened to me. I did not have the words to explain it.

They thought it was a nightmare. I knew differently.

I named this thing ‘the black shadow’.

I took a piece of wood to bed with me every night so I could defend myself or knock on the wall to alert my parents.

The problem was that when ‘the black shadow’ entered my room I was so fearful I could do nothing.

The incidents were not prolonged (although at the time the groping seemed to go on forever!).

I have come to realise that Frank would have excused himself to ‘use the bathroom’ and took a detour via my bedroom on the way.

I believe these incidents would have occurred more if my family hadn’t moved to Lower Hutt in 1962.

The prayer meetings were then held at the church and I don’t recall Frank visiting my home again.

I recently asked my father about the ‘incident’ with Peter Fowler in Lower Hutt where Frank had been accused of abuse. He said it was beyond his comprehension that Frank could have been guilty. He thought at that time, in his naivety that it was an ‘attack of the devil’. He was partly right – the devil was Frank!

A ‘minor’ incident occurred at lunch at the Houston’s when I was a pubescent boy. Frank pressed his leg into mine and had his hand on my thigh. I recall feeling extremely uncomfortable. Frank abused the trust of his children by abusing their friends. How depraved is that?

Another significant event in my life involving Frank occurred in 1969 when I was 15. I was sitting down the back of the church with Brian and Graeme Houston and some of the other youth at a Sunday night service.

We were chatting away during the sermon and Frank came all the way down the centre aisle from the pulpit and yelled at me to stand up. He then yelled at me “You fool!” and then turned to the congregation and continued saying “Fools like you are tools of Satan! I curse you!” He was in an absolute rage.

I still feel the pain and shame of that moment now – 45 years later. Not only was Frank a pervert he was a bully! All my life, from this moment forward I was filled with anxiety and unable to be direct with anyone in authority for fear of being shamed and/or humiliated.

Then the Jesus Hippie thing came along with lots of hugging. Frank would seek out young men to embrace. It was creepy. I still remember him pushing his crotch into me as we embraced in ‘brotherly love’!

Frank the Paedophile was a liar, full of cunning and deceit.

He was a very scary controlling man.

I am sure there are many more victims out there – both children and young adult. I suspect a number of people I knew in my teens and early twenties were victims of Frank.

My wife emailed Brian Houston in 2009 when I uncovered and told her of my abuse. He responded in a supportive way stating he had no knowledge of the abuse but that I was welcome to contact him to discuss it. I have not taken him up on his offer.

I have been granted long-term counselling stemming in part from my childhood abuse experience. I also attend a 12 Step programme which is helping repair my brokeness. I am lucky I have a supportive wife and family which I nearly lost.

I turned away from God for a long time. I am slowly learning to trust God with my life.

I remain angry about what Frank did. I still struggle to find a place of forgiveness in my heart for him.

Maybe Frank didn’t have this verse in his Bible…

But if you cause one of these little ones who trusts in me to fall into sin, it would be better for you to have a large millstone tied around your neck and be drowned in the depths of the sea. Matthew 18:6.
Thanks Donald, for bringing the abuses of Frank to light.

Keep up the campaign.

Truth always wins in the end.”

This site uncovered Frank Houston’s close friend Jim Williams as a pedophile

This site uncovered Frank Houston’s close friend, and Brian’s Houston’s spiritual uncle, Jim Williams as a pedophile. Jim Williams was Frank Houston’s successor as head of the New Zealand Assemblies of God in 1977.

If you google “Pastor Jim Williams. Multiple Pedophile Offences against girls revealed on this site today. House of Praise Springwood, Queensland. Former Superintendent of the New Zealand Assemblies of God.” published on 21 October 2015 you’ll find the article about Jim Williams.

Jim William’s child sexual abuse victim Caroline Andrews

A comment by Caroline Andrews on another article of mine about Jim William’s multiple adulteries, “Pastor Jim Williams. Springwood Church Queensland. Multiple victim pedophile and serial adulterer. Head of NZ AOG after Frank Houston. How the corrupt priests of Pentecost sowed devils on each other. Part four. New Zealand errant Pentecostal pastors who couldn’t pastors keep it in their trousers or sexually abused little kids”, published on 31 January 2015, showed up Jim Williams as not only a serial adulterer while a Christian pastor but also a pedophile like his close friend and accomplice Frank Houston.

These two pedophiles were probably part of a pedophile ring and may have been Satanists.

It is likely that we’ll never know.

The comment on this article by Caroline Andrews

by Caroline Andrews 14 October 2015

“I was a member of the AOG church in Heathmont when Jim williams was in charge of our young peoples group.I had given my heart to the Lord at the age of 10 and just after my 12th birthday in 1960, Jim williams started to mollest me and this went on for over 3 years. He taught me to be secretive and when I was questioned at the age of thirteen, I only admitted to him kissing me as I was embarrased in front of my mother. Years later at the age of 33 I found out that he had abused my twin sister and two other young girls at the time. This abuse has had a profound affect on my life. As he took away my childhood, and affected my education as all I could think about was him. I regret that I was never interested in my school life. I am still very secretive, and I have issues that I am only good for one thing in life and that is to please a man. I have no self esteem. My marriage collapsed when my husband found out about the sexual abuse as I had never told him. Also my love of God is non-existant and I do not believe in a loving God any more. It took me half my life to realise the affects of his abuse on my life. He should have gone to jail as he was in simple terms a paedophile of the worst kind. About twenty years ago, he was made to sign a letter of apology to my sister and myself, but when it was delivered to us, we were not allowed to read it until we promised that it would be burnt straight away. This letter was not signed, neither was it a proper apology as all he said was that he would pray for our healing. What a joke. My sister has spent half her life in the care of psychiatrists and I have been on anti depressants for half of mine. I will never get over what he did to me and it is a life sentence for me. That is all I have to say. Caroline Andrews nee Orr.”

Teaching about what New Testament Christianity looks like

On this site I teach about the New Testament and what New Testament Christianity looks like.

Teaching about the Holy Spirit

On this site I teach a lot about the Holy Spirit, personal holiness, Christian ethics and thinking about the poor, the less well-off and the underdog.

Taking up causes for the oppressed or underdog

I particularly like to help the victims of abuse, particularly the victims of clergy or church workers.

I also will publish articles in support of people who have been victimised by large corporations.

Summary and conclusion

There are many other subjects I cover on this site like art, music and travel.

This site reflects an eclectic range of my interests.